Mutant Message Down Under

Mutant Message Down Under

by Marlo Morgan

Paperback(Tenth Anniversary Editon withn New Intro)

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Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan

Mutant Message Down Under is the fictional account of an American woman's spiritual odyssey through outback Australia. An underground bestseller in its original self-published edition, Marlo Morgan's powerful tale of challenge and endurance has a message for us all.

Summoned by a remote tribe of nomadic Aborigines to accompany them on walkabout, the woman makes a four-month-long journey and learns how they thrive in natural harmony with the plants and animals that exist in the rugged lands of Australia's bush. From the first day of her adventure, Morgan is challenged by the physical requirements of the journey—she faces daily tests of her endurance, challenges that ultimately contribute to her personal transformation.

By traveling with this extraordinary community, Morgan becomes a witness to their essential way of being in a world based on the ancient wisdom and philosophy of a culture that is more than 50,000 years old.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060723514
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/25/2004
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Tenth Anniversary Editon withn New Intro
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 94,889
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Marlo Morgan is a retired health-care professional. She lives in Lee Summit, Missouri. Her first novel, Mutant Message Down Under, was a New York Times bestseller for thirty-one weeks and was published in twenty-four countries.

Read an Excerpt

Honored Guest

It seems there should have been some warning, but I felt none. Events were already in motion. The group of predators sat, miles away, awaiting their prey. The luggage I had unpacked one hour before would tomorrow be tagged "unclaimed" and stay in storage, month after month. I was to become merely one more American to disappear in a foreign country.

It was a sweltering October morning. I stood looking down the drive of the Australian five-star hotel for an unknown courier. Contrary to receiving a warning, my heart was literally singing. I felt so good, so excited, so successful and prepared. Inwardly I sensed, "Today is my day."

A topless jeep pulled into the circular entrance. I remember hearing the tires hiss on the steaming pavement. A fine spray of water leaped over the bordering foliage of brilliant red bottlebrush to touch the rusty metal. The jeep stopped, and the driver, a thirty-year-old Aborigine, looked my way. "Come on," his black hand beckoned. He was looking for a blond American. I was expecting to be escorted to an Aboriginal tribal meeting. Under the censoring blue eyes and disapproving manner of the uniformed Aussie doorman, we mentally agreed to the match.

Even before I made the awkward struggle of high heels into the all-terrain vehicle, it was obvious I was overdressed. The young driver to my right wore shorts, a dingy white T-shirt, and sockless tennis shoes. I had assumed when they arranged transportation for the meeting, it would be a normal automobile, perhaps a Holden, the pride of Australia's car manufacturers. I never dreamed he would arrive in something wide open. Well, I would rather be overdressed thanunderdressed to attend a meeting--my award banquet.

I introduced myself. He merely nodded and acted as if he were already certain of who I was. The doorman frowned at us as we propelled past him. We drove through the streets of the coastal city, past rows of veranda-fronted homes, milk-bar snack shops, and grassless cement parks. I clutched the door handle as we circled a roundabout where six directions merged. When we exited, our new heading put the sun at my back. Already the newly acquired, peach-colored business suit and matching silk blouse were becoming uncomfortably warm. I guessed the building was across town, but I was wrong. We entered the main highway running parallel to the sea. This meeting was apparently out of town, further from the hotel than I anticipated. I removed my jacket, thinking how foolish it was not to have asked more questions. At leastI had a brush in my purse, and my shoulder-length bleached hair was pinned up in a fashionable braid.

My curiosity had not subsided from the moment I received the initial phone call, although when it came I couldn't say I was truly surprised. After all, I had received other civic recognitions, and this project had been a major success. Working with urban-dwelling, half-caste Aboriginal adults who had openly displayed suicidal attitudes, and accomplishing for them a sense of purpose and financial success, was bound to be noticed sooner or later. I was surprised; the tribe issuing the summons lived two thousand miles away, on the opposite coast of the continent, but I knew very little about any of the Aboriginal nations except the idle comments I heard occasionally. I didn't know if they were a close-knit race or if, like Native Americans, vast differences, including different languages, were common.

What I really wondered about was what I would receive: another wooden engraved plaque, to be sent back for storage in Kansas City, or perhaps simply a bouquet of flowers? No, not flowers, not in one-hundred-degree weather. That would be too cumbersome to take on the return flight. The driver had arrived promptly, as agreed, at twelve o'clock noon. So I knew, of course, I was in for a luncheon meeting. I wondered what in the world a native council would serve for our meal? I hoped it would not be a catered traditional Australian affair. Perhaps they would have a potluck buffet, and I could sample Aboriginal dishes for the first time. I was hoping to see a table laden with colorful casseroles.

This was going to be a wonderfully unique experience, and I was looking forward to a memorable day. The purse I carried, purchased for today, held a 35-mm camera and a small tape recorder. They hadn't said anything about microphones or spotlights or my giving a speech, but I was prepared anyway. One of my greatest assets was thinking ahead. After all, I was now fifty years old, had suffered enough embarrassment and disappointments in my life to have adopted plans for alternative courses. My friends remarked how self-sufficient I was. "Always has Plan B up her sleeve," I could hear them saying.

A highway road train (the Australian term for a truck pulling numerous full-sized trailers in convoy style) passed us heading in the opposite direction. They came bolting out of fuzzy heat waves, straight down the center of the pavement. I was shaken back from my memories when the driver jerked the steering wheel and we left the highway, heading down a rugged dirt road, followed for miles by a fog of red dust. Somewhere, the two well-worn ruts disappeared, and I became aware there was no longer a road in front of us. We were zigzagging around bushes and jumping over the serrated, sandy desert. I tried to make conversation several times, but the noise of the open vehicle, the brush from the underside of the chassis, and the movement of my body up and down, made it impossible. It was necessary to hold my jaws tightly together to keep from biting my tongue. Obviously the driver had no interest in opening the portals of speech.

My head bounced as if my body were a child's cloth doll. I was getting hotter and hotter. My pantyhose felt like they were melted on my feet, but I was afraid to remove a shoe for fear it would bounce out into the expanse of copper-colored flatness surrounding us as far as the eye could see. I had no faith the mute driver would stop. Every time my sunglasses became filmed over I wiped them off with the hem of my slip. The movement of my arms let open the floodgate to a river of perspiration. I could feel my makeup dissolve and pictured the rosy tinge once painted on my cheeks now streaking as red trails down my neck. They would have to allow me twenty minutes to get myself back in order before the presentation. I would insist on it!

I studied my watch; two hours had passed since entering the desert. I was hotter and more uncomfortable than I could remember feeling in years. The driver remained silent except for an occasional hum. It suddenly dawned on me: He had not introduced himself. Maybe I wasn't in the correct vehicle! But that was silly. I couldn't get out, and he certainly seemed confident about me as a passenger.

Four hours later, we pulled up to a corrugated tin structure. A small, smoldering fire burned outside, and two Aboriginal women stood up as we approached. They were both middle-aged, short, scantily clad, wearing warm smiles of welcome. One wore a headband that made her thick, curly black hair escape at strange angles. They both appeared slim and athletic, with round, full faces holding bright brown eyes. As I descended from the jeep, my chauffeur said, "By the way, I am the only one who speaks English. I will be your interpreter, your friend."

"Great!" I thought to myself. "I've spent seven hundred dollars on airfare, hotel room, and new clothes for this introduction to native Australians, and now I find out they can't even speak English, let alone recognize current fashions."

Well, I was here, so I might as well try to blend in, although in my heart I knew I could not.

The women spoke in blunt foreign sounds that did not seem like sentences, only single words. My interpreter turned to me and explained that permission to attend the meeting required I first be cleansed. I did not understand what he meant. It was true I was covered with several layers of dust and hot from the ride, but that did not seem to be his meaning. He handed me a piece of cloth, which I opened to discover had the appearance of a wraparound rag. I was told I needed to remove my clothing and put it on. "What?" I asked, unbelieving. "Are you serious?" He sternly repeated the instructions. I looked around for a place to change; there was none. What could I do? I had come too far and endured too much discomfort at this point to decline. The young man walked away. "Oh, what the heck. It will be cooler than these clothes," I thought. So, as discreetly as possible, I removed my soiled new clothing, folded it neatly into a pile, and donned the native attire. I stacked my things on the nearby boulder, which only moments before had served as a stool for the waiting women. I felt silly in the colorless rag and regretted investing in the new "making a good impression" clothing. The young man reappeared. He, too, had changed clothing. He stood before me almost naked, having only a cloth wrapped around in swimming trunk fashion and barefoot, as were the women at the fire. He issued further instructions to remove everything: shoes, hose, undergarments, and all my jewelry, even the bobby pins holding my hair. My curiosity was slowly fading, and apprehension was taking over, but I did as told. Mutant Message Down Under. Copyright © by Marlo Morgan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi(2)
From the Author to the Reader xiii

What People are Saying About This

Wayne Dyer

A powerful message for all of us. I was hypnotized by the simple truths and spiritual lessons. Read it and tell everyone you know to do the same.
—(Wayne Dyer)

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The story of a courageous woman, who walked with the Aboriginals and learned the wonderful secrets and wisdom of an old, old tribe. Things we all need to learn in our modern society: to get back in touch with nature, to trust and have faith in our inner knowledge and guidance.
—(Elisabeth Kubler—Ross)

Marianne Williamson

"A beautiful tale of a woman's mystical journey."

Reading Group Guide


An American woman is summoned by a remote tribe of nomadic Aboriginals, who call themselves the "Real People," to accompany them on a four-month long walkabout through the Outback. While traveling barefoot with them through 1,400 miles of rugged desert terrain, she learns a new way of life, including their methods of healing, based on the wisdom of their 50,000-year-old culture. Ultimately, she experiences a dramatic personal transformation.

Mutant Message Down Under recounts a unique, timely, and powerful life-enhancing message for all humankind: It is not too late to save our world from destruction if we realize that all living things -- be they plants, animals, or human beings -- are part of the same universal oneness. If we heed the message, our lives, like the lives of the Real People, can be filled with this great sense of purpose.

Discussion Questions

  1. Mutant Message Down Under opens with an ominous prediction: "I was to become merely one more American to disappear in a foreign country." What were your expectations as you began reading this book? When the narrator leaves her hotel and goes off in a Jeep into the Outback, what did you imagine would happen to her? Were you surprised by her willingness to relinquish her clothes and all of her material possessions?

  2. Who is Ooota? How does he mediate between the narrator and the Aborigines? When he tells her that they are going on walkabout, how does the narrator respond? What explanations does Ooota give for why she must follow?

  3. What did you think of the palm reader's revelation that the narrator was destined to come to Australia to meet someone who wasborn at the same instant as she was? "The pact was made on the highest level of your eternal self." How is this fortune borne out in the narrator's experience? Who is the person she was destined to meet, and how is this same destiny foretold by the Aborigines she accompanies on walkabout?

  4. What aspects of discrimination against Aborigines does the narrator witness prior to her adventure? How does the narrator strive to improve employment opportunities for young, urban Aborigines? To what extent do her good works gain her recognition in the Aborigine community at large?

  5. Why do the narrator's Aborigine companions call her Mutant? How do the members of the Real People tribe treat her at the beginning of their journey? Were you surprised by the living and traveling conditions the narrator describes? How would you characterize the relationship the Aborigines have with nature?

  6. How do the Real People communicate with one another when they are separated by long distances? Were you impressed by the sophisticated techniques they have learned over time for healing? How was their collective healing knowledge put into practice in the case of the injuries sustained by Great Stone Hunter?

  7. The narrator writes of the Real People: "They believe how you feel emotionally about things is what really registers. It is recorded in every cell of the body, in the core of your personality, in your mind, and in your eternal self." Did you find this vision of human experience resonated for you? What other aspects of the Real People's spirituality appealed to you?

  8. The narrator writes of the Aborigines: "It is truly amazing that after 50,000 years they have destroyed no forests, polluted no water, endangered no species, caused no contamination, and all the while they have received abundant food and shelter." What are some examples of the way in which they respect their world? Were you surprised by their knowledge of life outside of the Outback?

  9. When the narrator is escorted into the sacred underground area, what does she experience? How does her exposure to the history of the Real People reveal her own role in their development as a people? Why do the Real People conclude that they must leave the Earth in order to save it? What is the narrator's responsibility for securing their legacy?

  10. How does the narrator change over the course of Mutant Message from Down Under? Which of her attitudes change? What kinds of experience is she willing to embrace? Would you describe her transformation as total?

About Marlo Morgan

Marlo Morgan is a retired healthcare professional. She lives in Lee Summit, Missouri. Her first novel, Mutant Message Down Under, was a New York Times bestseller for 31 weeks and was published in 24 countries. She is also the author of Mutant Message from Forever.

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Mutant Message Down Under 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I should say that this book seemed important to me for some time. It did change my perspective of relationships to other people and caused me to be more open and honest with my closest friends and relatives. That is why it hurts so much to find out about the blatant misrepresentations and inaccuracies in the book. I am deeply hurt by this literary hoax and even the valuable meaning of it for me is lost in the manipulative and exploitative spirit in which it was written. Marlo Morgan should be ashamed of herself. The plight of Aborigional Australians is made worse by her effort in this farse of natural spirituality. I even feel sorry for the poor consumers who actually spent money on the book in its origional self-published form. You have been deceived.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The frustrating thing about this book is that the author admits that it is fictional, but claims that it is based on a true story. So while reading it, I kept being annoyed trying to figure out what parts were actually true. It's pretty clear that she made a lot of stuff up. As for the philosphies and spiritual teachings of the book, there's nothing really new here. Same themes that you get in accounts of Native American religion or other pre-Western cultures. All in all, a yawner.
JubileeJean More than 1 year ago
It was my son who gave this book to me for Mother's Day one year. What a switch. All his life I have been speaking to him of spiritual matters and, to my great joy, this was a reflection of his heart. A huge round of applause to the author who is reaching so many people with such honest, soul-transforming words. This is the book for those who like to dream and imagine themselves traveling to places they are assured never to go. Not for the timid, however, this book is as point blank and revealing as your inner most thoughts. You are definitely on a journey to the center of the Outback with the author, who was called to listen and learn while a small procession of Aboriginals guided her ever inward. Not by plane or even horse and wagon, but by walking and eventually shedding everything as she went. She humbly removes her dignity, layer by layer and you feel her discomfort with every briar she walks on. She has been beckoned by the nomads not only to hear their distress signal but to take up the drum and beat the rhythm with them.until the world stops to listen. The effect is profound and leaves the traveling reader with a sense of urgency to join in. This book is a wonderful road map to compassion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first, I really got into this book. There's a lot of New Age and spiritual 'stuff' that reminded me of a stage I went through in the '70s. There is a lot of spiritual 'truth' to what the author wrote -- but the Aborigines have been fighting this book since 1994 because of the misrepresentations of the facts about Aboriginal culture. You'll learn more from 'Rabbit-Proof Fence' and any one of the Arthur Upfield mystery books (originally published from the 1930s thru the '60s, some of the titles have been recently reprinted).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great book. nook cover picture is the wrong one and gives an incorrect impression.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, this book is non-fiction, for those who are wondering. To Ed and others that question Morgan's character re: this issue, because she would not reveal the true names of the tribes people, she was coerced into saying the book is fiction. She changed their names to protect them. So, from that point of view, it is fiction. However, the story is true, and has inspired me more than any book I have ever read. The Aboriginals faith in a higher power, touched me deeply, and has forever changed my life. This book is my favorite to give as a gift.
Guest More than 1 year ago
as a book of fiction it is ordinary, as a book of fact... it is pure fiction!! ' 1996 a delegation of Aboriginal elders went to the United States to express their horror and hurt.... that the this book was being portrayed as a 'true' story. A week later Morgan admitted that she had lied about the authenticity of her story.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic, I wish we could all see life through their eyes. I use the prayer they use daily for their needs and I have been amazed at how effective it is. Read it!
Anonymous 19 days ago
What a blessed read Info for us all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ultimate challenge? This did not sound good. <p> "If you can beat up Mikey," Raphael explained,"you will get. . . the title of. . Best Kunoich? I dunno." <p> "I get it. Beat up Mikey. You don't need to give me a prize." Venus grinned. But inside, she was frowning. What if she ended up looking like a complete idiot? What if the turtles laughed at her? What if she were to beat Mikey up too much, and what if she got in huge trouble with Sensei? What if- <p> "The fight starts in 5 . . . <p> 4 . . . <p> 3 . . . <p> 2 . . . <p> 1! <p> This was no time for worrying. Mikey threw a punch at Venus's face. She dodged it. She tried to kick him in the stomach, but he rolled out of the way. He stood back up. Mikey started spinning and punching and kicking. He wasn't really anywhere near Venus, though. He stopped and threw four ninja stars at her. Venus did a backfilp to evade the throwing stars, and held herself in position on the wall. <p> "Hey! No fair! Venus, where are you?" Mikey cried. <p> Venus smiled to herself. Below her, Venus now noticed, was a wall of weapons. Swords, Sais, Extra Nunchuks, a . . Staff? Yes, that would do nicely. Aiming carefully, Venus threw the staff at Mikey's stomach. It hit him in the gut and he fell over onto the floor, groaning. Realizing what she had done, Venus flipped off of the wall and rushed to Mikey's side. <p> "Oh my gosh, Mikey," Venus cried, "Are you OK?" <p> Raphael turned to Leo and Donnie. "She's completely untrained, right?" <p> "I showed her how to dodge a punch," Leonardo replied,"But other than that, yeah. Venus is completely untrained." <p> "Guys," Donatello exclaimed suddenly, "Do you realize what this means?" He quickly answered his own question,"Well, of course you don't. I'm the smart one. Anyway, if Venus were to be fully trained, she would be an amazing ninja." <p> "So, she'd be as good as me?" Raphael scoffed. <p> "Better." Donatello continued,"Guys, with proper training Venus could be the thing the team needs. Venus could help us take down Shredder - once and for all." <p> "Donnie's right," Leo agreed,"But when should we tell her she's in?" <p> "Soon," Raphael said,"Very soon." <p> AUTHOR'S NOTE: The next part is on the next result. It should be up soon. Happy reading! <p> Lots of friendly punches, <p> NinjaNerd &hearts :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read at first, until I learned that Marlo Morgan lied and used stories and information she neither had rights to, nor compensated -anyone- for the use of their personal stories/histories/information. Consider: how would you feel if you told someone a mildly personal or intimate story about your family's history, and they then chose to publish it as "their own;" thinly covering their bum by claiming that what they've written is fiction based on their own actual history/experience. In addition, they've added embellishments and un/mistruths by weaving in stories from -other- people. THIS is what Ms. Morgan has done in writing her "Mutant Message" books. When confronted by the people she stole from and dishonored, her response was to mock them for their simplicity and ignorance, even once claiming that the individuals who arrived at a public press conference had -actually- come to assassinate her! Please do not be taken in by the pretense of spirituality from an author who doesn't understand the meaning of it. Please respect and honor the people she has done wrong to by NOT purchasing books written by Marlo Morgan; B&N has a HUGE library to choose from, and better spiritual literature is available! :)
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Nothin its just your facial expression i gtg bbl.
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"Same for me," she shot back. "Its called having a sibling and not being heartless."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Second result."
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Chartreuse nods. "I agree." She bandages Aria's arm and sigs back on her heels. "How's that?"
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stitcher55 More than 1 year ago
There is a very powerful message in this book. Her experiences during her walkabout are remarkable. This book gives us mutants something to consider about how we live our lives.
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