Open Letter Regarding Daniel Foor & Ancestral Medicine


Who We Are

Why We Are Sharing This

Core Harmful Themes and Patterns We Have Experienced From Daniel Foor

  • for example: offering opportunities and access specifically to people of color perceived as ‘loyal’ to him in order to boost his own status as ‘multicultural’; appointing BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ people to positions of advisory and conflict mediation regardless of their actual experiences or professional capacity in conflict-resolution; recognizing trans/non-binary folks during ritual selectively/when convenient or when perceived to be for his benefit but not at other times
  • for example: resisting relationships of accountability to oversee his leadership, and focusing only on organizational policy changes
  • for example: gaslighting others’ expressed experiences of harm; speaking openly about perceived character or personality flaws of those who speak up or leave to discredit them; creating secrecy so that folks feel insecure about how they are being discussed and judged by others; claiming that it is against organizational ethics/principles to have any questions or criticisms of leadership or to talk about these things at all
  • for example: creating an inner circle of leadership who could not question his authority in a meaningful way; doling access to inner circle practitioners based upon perceived loyalty; drawing on advice from multiple practitioners and using triangulation to determine who is considered worthy, skilled or good enough to access opportunities such as teaching; publicly questioning/humiliating people who he perceives as a threat, creating an extensive application process for new prospective students framed to seek those most likely to not object to his leadership
  • for example: claiming others’ contributions to his method as his own; appropriating others’ ideas/teachings without attribution or citation, while simultaneously fixating that others “properly” give him credit for his work; unethically offering supervision in areas in which he is unqualified to do so; asking practitioners to lead teachings and then incorporating their experiences into his public teaching without acknowledgment or consent; doing surface-level research and then claiming expertise in a practice or topic
  • for example: consulting a psychic to find out information on students without their consent, especially to gauge their “trustworthiness”; creating dual roles between AM and his spiritual Ifa community by gatekeeping access to opportunities in one through demands met in the other; involving students in troubles within his marriage, creating exclusionary dynamics around ritual based on “dangers” for people who are at the margins.
  • for example: grooming women by confiding intimate details of his personal and professional relationships; sharing about troubles in his marriage and making people feel like they were “special” because they were his ‘confidantes’; demanding constant validation, praise, guidance and emotional labor from femmes; non-consensually disclosing the details of someone’s sexual assault on a practitioner network-wide call while they were absent.
  • for example: obvious disdain, invalidation, and dishonoring of older women, femmes, and trans folks when they give him criticism or feedback; favoring younger and/or less experienced people as ideal candidates for his trainings
  • for example: asking others, especially those with marginalized identities, to defend or cover for him; soliciting students to create trainings to quell group challenge to his behavior; relying on his staff to write his responses to accountability requests
  • for example: regularly shifting into a narrative of victimhood as a power move; continually centering himself and his intentions above the expressed experiences of others; lack of humility and total defensiveness; overtly treating internal work around race and oppression as a waste of his time that he was not willing to engage with (outside of a particular format, and after a specific date); placing BIPOC and trans folks in leadership positions in order to deflect feedback about lack of diversity; erasing records of the failing accountability process; creating urgency, instability and lack of transparency in who gets to teach intensives; economic extraction by paying minimal wages to online course supporters and selecting people for roles and work based upon their status of owing money for trainings
  • for example: using “wellness” as a standard for engagement with ancestors and desired outcome; attempting to exclude people who are “lit up” (meaning emotional or with any intensity of feeling) from rituals, and group and organizational process; creating abstract and ungrounded requirements for people’s mental health to engage in trainings.
  • please see below for more details

More About the Context of This Letter

Details About Attempted Accountability Process

  • Dissolved all internal networks of practitioner communication, working teams and capacity to engage directly and transparently as a group.
  • Suppressed the DEI research and audit findings, failing to share the results with the practitioner network as had been promised.
  • Disregarded the recommendations that centered issues of power abuse.
  • Only gave credit, responded to, and made available to the practitioner network the recommendations based in policy change and organizational structure.
  • Claimed the DEI team were unprofessional and disappointing, thereby placing blame on them and discrediting what they surfaced.
  • Deleted recordings of community meetings held throughout 2019, which were kept on a shared resources google drive folder for all practitioners to access, in which this process and various harms were discussed.
  • Held a single 2 hour student network meeting to “apologize” and relay the accountability process results, in which all participants were muted, the chat function was disabled, and staff were communicating with him privately to help him navigate and be “less defensive”. He proceeded to respond to each claim brought to him (reading from a document primarily written by a staff member) with defensiveness and dismissal, lacking expression of an understanding of the harm caused, or a plan for how he would do better. He closed the call by claiming he was “done” working with these issues and would offer a final circle in which each person would get two minutes to air any final concerns.
  • Used these collective expressions of harms and the laborious survey feedback to re-write and create new policies and organizational structures which effectively enable his behavior while simultaneously protecting him from further call-outs/scrutiny. Ultimately, he used the opportunity to update his website language to reflect inclusive words, and changed the structure of the organization.
  • Began to kick out of the organization anyone who did not follow a stringent and controlling set of rules around communication, particularly around any asks for accountability.



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