The Big Kahunot
File under: Gurubusting
A concerned citizen of the state of Hawaii forwards a warning:
There are some new people in our community who are part of an organization called Aloha International. I consider them a cult, because the leaders have many obsessed followers and they consider their leader a demi-god. Tax-wise they operate as a church (501(c)(3).Whether or not Serge is actually qualified to claim the title Kahuna, he's registered the domain huna.org, which puts him at the very top of the Google rankings for the search term "huna". It seems to be yet another anglo's appropriation of Native American culture as a means to name, fame and financial gain. We pray the good folks on the Islands will always have the opportunity to experience a native expression of their indigenous spirituality rather than be fed their heritage back to them as white american cheese.
The ringleaders are Serge and Gloria King and Serge's assistant, Susan Floyd. Serge considers himself a kahuna, although he was not raised in the Hawaiian tradition, does not speak fluent Hawaiian, is not Hawaiian and didn't move to Hawaii until about the late 1980's.
He began teaching his huna classes in LA where he lived. It turned out to be quite lucrative for him so he moved to Kaua'i. From there he continued doing workshops. He charges enormous amounts of money for people to take classes from him.
He travels around the U.S. and the world touting his "knowledge". He has written several books on huna and shamanism. The books contain what he has read and heard about huna and Hawaiian traditions but he will tell you he had a Hawaiian uncle in LA who trained him. Turns out, the uncle was not a kahuna. He had only lived in Hawaii for the early part of his life. Serge calls himself "Kahili". Supposidely, this uncle from Hawaii hanai-ed him and thus gave him the name. (note: in the Hawaiian tradition, adults are not hanai-ed, only children!)
Needless to say, the Hawaiian community on Kaua'i was in an uproar against him. They came to terms with him by getting him to stop calling himself a kahuna and to stop telling people they were kahuna's after taking his training. He was never accepted by the Kaua'i Hawaiian community and many others on Kaua'i as a huna teacher. So, the two kept their distance from each other for the most part.
Some of the Hawaiians on Kaua'i looked into contacting the uncle who Serge said trained him. They could never locate such a person who had ever lived on Kaua'i and moved to the area that Serge mentioned. They strongly feel his story is false.
Aloha International preaches love and aloha on the surface, but there is much anger and money grabbing going on underneath their veneer. Other followers have moved over to Volcano as well. More are planning to follow. Also, many people will be coming this way for workshops. They come in the hundreds.
Kumu hula, Frank Hewitt is establishing a cultural center at his home in Mountain View where Aloha International will hold their workshops once the place is ready. Frank has told me he does not agree with Serge's teaching and Aloha International, but he wants the money they can bring in for his center. He told me this years ago, so I wonder if the money has been too good for him to pull out. This is a criticism from the Hawaiian community that Frank has heard many, many times.
Now, I have nothing against people making a living and being prosperous. It's when people make money using deceptive practices as does Aloha International.
I got involved in their cult innocently by thinking I was learning about my culture. But one early morning dawn, my Hawaiian grandmothers and my Hawaiian spiritual teacher, came to me in a dream and said I had to detach myself from Aloha International immediately and not to continue friendships with the group. When I got away from the group I was better able to see what was truly going on.
So now they've moved to Volcano! I feel there is a good chance that they will do things to get people in the community to join them as followers.