Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mystery of Mystery of the White Lions

The title of this post is not a typo. I have just finished reading Mystery of the White Lions by Linda Tucker, and I don't know what to make of it. The basic premise of the book is that white lions have a long and sacred history in Africa, and their recent reappearance in the wild signifies earth-changing events to come.

Perhaps my confusion comes from my hope, that the book would be revelatory, conflicting with my impression, that the writing is sloppy and dense, not to mention finding it to be downright wrong in places.

The worst offense, in my opinion, is Tucker's repeated references to her "near-death experience" which consisted of sitting in a disabled Land Rover with a bunch of other people in the African bush while some lions were close by. Not one of the people, Tucker included, suffered so much as a scratch on that occasion. No matter how frightening it may have been to her at the time, this is NOT a "near-death experience" as she repeatedly calls it, and to call it such not only perpetuates the ignorant corruption of the term that has seeped into popular culture, it does a great disservice to those who have had true near-death experiences. It also seriously undermines Tucker's quest to be one who bridges the scientific and spiritual communities. A true near-death experience involves a person flatlining, having a deeply profound and meaningful spiritual experience, and being revived. True NDEs DO bridge the physical and spiritual, they are enlightening and life-changing, and are far more significant than merely being scared. This apparent lack of knowledge of a true spiritual experience reported by millions of people really makes me doubt Tucker's sincerity in probing both the scientific and spiritual realms, especially since a true NDE is not really all that far removed from what some of what she claims to have researched and experienced herself.

Another seemingly telling slip is a one-time reference to white tigers as Siberian tigers, another misconception that is widespread among the uneducated public. Anyone with real interest in such animals knows that white tigers are Bengals, not Siberians. I find it hard to believe that someone who has spent so much time researching white lions and their genetics could not have come across such basic information about their close cousins. Add to this the fact that Tucker said she spent significant time with Siegfried and Roy, and this mistake just blows me away.

These are gaffes related to Tucker's main subject matter on such a basic level that I cannot help but be skeptical about the rest of her book.

Adding to my doubts is Tucker's web site, The book begins with an excerpt from an eloquent "Plea for Africa" by Credo Mutwa (more about him in a minute). The book says the complete essay is on the web site. It is not. The entire web site gives the impression of abandonment and decay, since it has very little content newer than 2008, broken links (interestingly, in the section about buying the book), and a contact form that doesn't work.

The vast majority of the book is devoted to African shaman Credo Mutwa, a famous person but unknown to me until now. I shall have to research him carefully before I can come to any conclusions. But already I have come up with an interesting question: If we are to believe everything he is quoted as saying in this book, should we also believe his statement (not in this book) from January of this year, that half the world's population will not see the year 2011 because of oil...?


  1. Thank you for your review..

    I myself am very much into the phenomenon of the White Lions. As a matter of fact, there is a show on tonight on White Lions. I have no doubt in my mind that I would have ended up reading this book. Me and you seem to have similar thoughts on a lot of things, and your review shows me this woman clearly has no logic to many things. (Writing a book being one of them.)

    .... That "near death experience" you touched on made me laugh as well. :)

  2. I started going through the book a second time, and it's not working for me any better than the first time. Maybe I just wanted too much from this book. Maybe you have the right approach-- maybe I should just laugh it off.

    If you're still curious about the book, you can preview many pages at Amazon (click on the picture of the book above) and at

  3. PS--Thanks for mentioning the show on the NatGeoWild channel; I didn't know about it, and it's about Linda Tucker and her white lion project.

    And for anyone else reading this later, the show will be repeated on July 27.