ACWG was a small group of like-minded, but unorthodox believers, living in various parts of the United Kingdom, but with links and contacts across the world. They shared views,and passed around articles during the period 1980-2000. This is just one of the articles preserved from their prolific output.

Chiefs and Indians

Alan Halden's delightful fable illustrates how leadership can feed on itself
and lose touch with the people it is meant to serve. This article was previously published in "Barntalk" and "Insights" and is reproduced here with the author's permission.

... in the not too distant past, the Great Spirit began to speak to the Indians in the north, in the western coastlands and on the eastern flats. Little bands began to meet in their teepees to rediscover their common life in the Great Spirit and to make deep friendship. They held pow-wows, spoke wisdom, and smoked the pipe of peace. Each group, a band of brothers freely serving and sharing gifts with each other...

After a while each band began to recognise a warrior who seemed to have a deeper knowledge of the Great Spirit, to whom they would listen with respect, go to for advice and look to for Organisation. They gave him a feather to wear and he soon became known as One-Feather. After three moons, One-Feather ceased to hunt and fish. The others brought him gifts. He told them the Great Spirit's words; how to plan their lives; how to bring up their children. Some Indians now found it harder to hear the Great Spirit for themselves, finding it easier to listen to One-Feather.

It was not long before a One-Feather with a larger band than most, was given a pony by his people and began to travel. He met with other bands and eventually called a meeting of One-Feathers.
'We need to get more organised' he told them, 'the present situation is a woolly mess.'
'Didn't the Great Spirit himself bring it about?' asked one brave. 'Of course' replied the pony rider, 'but he has told me that things must change.'
So the One-Feathers decided, as leaders, that they themselves needed a leader. So it was that the pony rider became Little Chief Two-Feathers with an appropriate headdress and a special teepee. He would not have much time to share with the no-feathers now, but would instruct the One-Feathers who would pass his teaching down. Some One-Feathers now found it more difficult to hear the Great Spirit for themselves and found it easier to listen to the L.C.T.F.

Some moons later Two-Feathers, who now had a horse and travelled more widely holding many gatherings for One-Feathers, came across others like himself. They met in solemn conclave and decided that they too needed 'covering'. (A curious term arising from an ancient writing referring to a squaw who was covered by a famous chief's blanket.) After some fuss and a lot of pow-wow, Big Chief Many-Feathers emerged. He was given a many-horsed chariot and a team of Two-Feathers to travel the country giving input and guidance. Some Two-Feathers now found it more difficult to hear the Great Spirit for themselves and found it easier to listen to the B.C.M.F.

... meantime the Great Spirit began to speak to the no-feathers in the north and in the coastlands and on the eastern flats. Little bands began to gather in their teepees to share their common life in the Great Spirit and to enter into deep friendship ...

© Alan Halden - 1989