Whispers and rumors of verbal and physical abuse by Susun Weed have circulated quietly in the herbal community for years. In 2018, a police report documenting the alleged choking of a student, led to a flood of first-hand accounts of abuse by Susun. This website is an attempt to make sure the victims stories aren’t forgotten, and hopefully will deter continued abuse.
The original report of choking that set things off“Obstruction of breathing: Susan Weed, 72, of 416 Fishcreek Road, Saugerties, was arrested by Saugerties police at police headquarters at 4:39 p.m. Thursday and charged with the misdemeanor of obstruction of breathing and blood circulation. Weed was allegedly having dinner with the victim when she became upset because the victim, who was placing lettuce in a plastic bag while cleaning up after dinner, did not leave enough air in the bag and was “choking” the lettuce, according to a press release. Weed placed both of her hands around the victim’s neck and applied pressure, obstructing her airway for several seconds, police said. Weed turned herself in at police headquarters and was processed and released with an appearance ticket for Saugerties Town Court. An order of protection was issued on behalf of the victim.” http://www.dailyfreeman.com/article/DF/20180702/NEWS/180709944
"Many years ago I paid over 2k to go to her farm and be her apprentice. She ended up beating me many times over the head and back then throwing me into her stove after I was doing the dishes 'wrong'! I was so mentally abused by her that I stayed for a few days after thinking I somehow deserved it. I then escaped with another apprentice. After the incident I filed formal charges against her and then won in court and she was charged with assault. I did not receive my money back. I have met many other people who have been abused by her even a former teacher there who told me of other horrors she witnessed." More
"The reports of Susun's behavior as abusive are true. It is not that "Susun yells a lot", it is that Susun Weed employs classic abusive techniques to break down women and then try to build them back up: screaming, insulting, creating high stress situations with impossible standards, intermittent positive reinforcement." More
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Susun was beating the shit out of lesbians in the 1970s that she was romantically involved with and was also financially, verbally and psychologically abusive. She cloaked being a lesbian batterer by terming the relationships consensual sadomasochism( guess who was the sadist?) and further shrouding her behavior by twisting feminist polirical theory. When called out for being a batterer of lesbians she in turn accused wimmin of not being there for HER and announced that as lesbians had been so cruel to her (talk about gaslighting) that she was returning to men. I just heard on a podcast that she sacrifices cats at her rituals in front of her students. Has snyone called animal welfare or PETA on this sick sadist? What a charlatan. Time for a Netflix special to warn away the gentle spirited. I am gonna say it..EVIL.
I was a big fan and had many of her books. I stopped at her "center", assuming it was like other holistic health communities I had been to which were open to visitors. A man answered the door and Susan came flying toward me toward me yelling and calling me names. If the man hadn't held their back she would have attacked me. I left and my only regret as I didn't throw her books in the mud in the driveway. That was 20 years ago and I'm still haunted by it. I hate seeing images of her and can't understand why she is a prominent figure in the holistic health world. I'm sad for others but relieved to find this forum to confirm my experience that she's a horrible and abusive person. I couldn't believe the place on her website that asks "why does Susan yell" what a pathetic cover up for her criminally abusive behavior. If I could help bring her down to size I certainly would.
Susun weed and her team drugged me. I escaped by sneaking out after her many threats to bodily harm. I ended up in the emergency room to come off of an unknown substance that rendered me severely confused. A woman found me wandering down highway 212 and thankfully called the police. I am filing a police report as well as a lawsuit.
Gaslighting crazy making bat shit lunacy defined, complete with lecherous troll. I was screamed at, chastised, endured crude behavior, and had to del with filthy moldy housing. I did spend a day and night cleaning in reciprocation for being there. Was told by Susun I could 'do no wrong' at the 'nettles patch ' (name for house where the apprentices housing is ) and to clean the space any way I saw fit for my work exchange, only to find out later that day that they don't believe in cleaning and were angry at the thought. Also screamed at for locking the door at night, even though the place is by the side of the road and I was there alone. She demanded I I leave my door unlocked at all times. The gas stove leaked, so to use that with certain instructions(I did not), and the place was freezing cold. Was told that sheets were not to be changed for the next guest, when preparing to move to the other side of the nettle patch duplex, as a guest was coming from out of town for Sunday night. Screamed at me for carrying glass on the property and insisted no glass was in the pre amble of work exchange, it was not, I have the phone message Miki left on my machine confirming my attendance, and nothing on the details of work exchange on the website link in my e mail, where I found this opportunity in the first place says anything about no glass. Plus it was a glass she gave me! any healthy person would know it was an honest mistake. . Yes, I forgot and did bring a glass mason jar with milk to the morning circle, it was my breakfast, which she promptly took away, while yelling at me in front of the group, making the assumption I was trying to hurt her or something. (Menopause absentmindedness maybe? I really just spaced out, hurrying to be on time for talking stick opening circle. Also, she had brought the milk to the nettles patch, but then took the cloth container it was in back with her, and she demanded to know if I observed how she carried the glass. But the way to carry it was gone, she had taken it. So I didn’t get to eat till lunch time. That did not really bother me it was a legitimate reason to be pissed, but assuming something terrible about my reason, because I was forgetful, was bonkers. I was still in the state of being amused and though she was funny. little l did i know, she sure is. At my apothecary I only use glass so was just in the habit, was rather absurd and to yell and yell about it in front of others, seemed like this woman was desperate for a dumping ground. But I took it wit a grain of salt, maybe there was something wrong with me? Sure why not, I am only human. The guy Miki or Michael who seems to be the work exchange manager and cook,(who never told me about the glass rule before arrival, same person) would not stop staring and my body in a way that made me exceedingly uncomfortable every chance he got the entire time, Even after having to tell him not to! After asking him not to look at by body lasciviously he then became hostile and short tempered. Particularly with me compared to the other students there on the second day, it seemed. For example, giving instructions to rake leaves, then yelling at me for dumping them where I was told to and to re do it, with a broken down wheel borrow no less. Also spoke to me in a curt and rude way, tried to humiliate and shame for asking question, and yelled at for not asking a question and doing whatever it was the ‘wrong way’ and looked at my backside or front side or any side every time I was near him, even saw him looking at me through a window, very creepy. A mean spirit by all accounts. The bathroom at Nettle Patch had an un flushed shit in it on the second day, which was not there the day before. I suspect he left it there, as no one else went into my living space, I was the sole inhabitant for the two days I was there. So I was unable to use the shower or bathroom as there was no out going fan vent working to change the air in there either, Not sure how they have a Certificate of Occupancy. The lights were also sketchy, sometimes working, sometimes not. Susun screamed at me again and again, thought it was just funny she was so ridiculous and was really reaching for the lesson . tried to take her criticism to heart, She makes assumptions about intent, and throws around the word ego like a beach ball, lied, then accuses of lying, insisting she knows my thought process. Also, zero self reflection on her part. Made a seemingly racist comment as well, claiming to hate the Chinese, strange to say at an herbal school as Chinese herbalism is nothing to shake a stick at in my opinion,. also discredited another person in the field, that would otherwise be a seeming Allie and support to the Wise Woman Way. Ego anyone? Invited to stay an additional night this was special she assured me, i would now be a part of the family. Okay golly gee, i am honored. I am a hard worker even though she told me i am lazy, lol. i worked as hard and fast as i could, i got as much done as i could with the time i had. , and had fun doing it, simply because i care. i wanted to support the place and the greatness i imagined was there. So for dinner Sunday night I payed careful attention to the time when I asked when we would gather at pearls, the place she stays, I guess. She said, it would be some time between 6 and 630 so I showed up at 615, to be sure to be on time, to be screamed at and called a liar, as Susun insisted she told me it was between 630 and 7, and not to question her. I am certain she said 6 and 630, she had been yelling at me for two days so I was very careful to pay attending to the hour I was to be there. At that point, I looked her in the eyes, said ‘bye’ gathered my things, and left. This was my experience at the Wise Woman Healing Center, all true. I was in touch with my sadness to see one of the great wisdom keeper in this state. I felt seriously unsafe to participate further. I consider the treatment I received nothing less than verbal, physical and mental abuse. I had a work exchange, no real money involved, and tremendous training in my own rite, so was more free to walk away (okay, I ran!) During one meal Micky and Susan were talking and expressing how funny it was that apprentices ran away, so some sadism there to perhaps? Miki talked about what a bother it was to have people calling, then expressed dismay the ‘others’ did not show up, as he mentioned three other names of wimmin who where supposed to be there. I imagine if I had paid real money for a training, I would have a more complex story and maybe more reluctant to tell. Because,like others, I imagine, I feelt tremendous loyalty to a great researcher and writer and wise womyn and honored to be in her presence, as her life work is so dear to my heart. I cleared my respiratory system expectorating from sobbing because of how sad it felt that this is what I found when seeking to simple be in the presence of and pay dues to a very important teacher in my life (through her books), so I guess that was good. She has been in the epicenter for decade and I deeply admired her, a great influence in my life. I can only imagine what is going on there and their reasons for being this way. But by all accounts does not seem the least bit well to me I really sincerely sorry to say. I would not want my sister daughter mother or grand mother there, but where else is there to go? Sound familiar? Her books are great though, I give her credit for that. I think if it weren’t for having to deal with her side kick Micky, I might have been able to find this all amusing and stay with it for whatever lessons she had for me. But insult to injury, is having a guy like that with executive privileges showing little ability to be respectful of me as a womyn, even when addressed directly, and if I were younger and more naive, it would have been far more difficult to pinpoint and say something about being leered at, would have just felt shame that it was somehow my fault. Yuck. Also for the record, was sitting by the wood stove, Micky came and move the cast iron slate right over my head, didn’t say excuse me, or even say move out of the way, and could of hit me,i felt he was menacing and his word at punch was, ‘evil’ glad he outed himself, Feel sorry for anyones who eats his cooking. The first day and job of work study when I first met him, (we were moving cases of books) he shares his favorite roll in his brief acting career was playing a vampire. Hmm, wonder why. Also, Susun said that if I cleaned the clothing closets, if there was anything I wanted to ask and then I could probably have it, so I chose a scarf, asked her if I could have it, and she said not not that closet, a different closet. Okay, maybe so I doubt myself, but then, in light of it all, could have been just another piece of gaslighting, Didn’t want to stay longer to find out. All this goddess stuff, which is really deep and amazing, yet it fees it is god that is missing and its the one I called when faced with this bullshit, and I heard clearly I was in danger and to get out of there. Stacking wood, with Susun, she accused me of wanting to hurt her and have the wood pile fall on her, when I have spent more than a decade stacking wood for myself, piles that never fell over btw. But she yelled at me about that too, and insisted that was my intent. And i did try to do just what she said. I had no idea about all these testimonials and really hope that their trauma from their experience there doesn’t turn anyone off to brilliance and beauty of Herbalism and mysticism. 101 beseech benevolent forces of the unseen world, and use those to give one s against the harmful ones.. I have been seeking the goddess and what that means, but so far it is god that comes though for me and in this case especially. seems like some evil spirts have taken over. Dangerous place. Thank you for reading any or all of my ramble here, and offering a forum to express my WTF. Green Blessings.
Around 2002 when I lived in Portland, Oregon and was an established clinical herbalist running a small underground herbal hospital, I was asked to pick Susun Weed up at her brother’s home down by Sauvie Island and deliver her to a lecture she was giving up past Troutdale in the Columbia Gorge. I was easily a half-hour early but she made us over 45 min late by refusing to come out of the house where I could hear she was engaged in a savage screaming match with someone (I believe was her brother). Despite that rough start, at one point on the drive I could not contain my emotion of being slightly star-struck and thrilled to be in her presence, and hesitatingly relayed my experience of reading Healing Wise when it was first published, and appreciating her for helping me deeply understand nettles, and how her book helped set me on my path toward training as a clinical herbalist, and she immediately verbally attacked and excoriated me the rest of the drive, telling me that I had deeply offended nettles and that the nettles plant therefore hated me, and causing me great shock. I almost stopped literally on I-84 and demanded her exit out of my car, but my compassionate side (or perhaps my companion in the backseat suggested I not), I chose to just be quiet and simply focus on getting her to the destination with speed. Needless to say I did not go inside to attend her talk but left immediately upon dropping her off! A few years later she was flown out to speak at the Montana Herb Gathering I was running First Aid for, and my friend attended her class & reported to me that she was spouting full-on lies and incorrect information, and that it was an extremely dangerous presentation for newcomers/lay people to hear, full of wrong information on how to use essential oils internally among other strange topics very unlike what we'd come to know as her teachings. It seemed she was deliberately trying to cause harm to laypeople by teaching them unsafe practices, and her lecture was completely unlike what someone might learn from her books and previous teachings. It was then that I knew she was of a significant safety concern to the herbal movement especially newcomers, and began actively advising students to completely avoid studying with her. Later, (or possibly earlier to that AHG conference) the topic of her value and liabilities to the herbal profession came up at an AHG conference I attended, possibly at a roundtable discussion, and it was decided that she would definitely not be invited to speak at conferences any longer, and I believe an advisement went out semi-publicly to advise students not to study with her in person, but that people would not be discouraged from purchasing her online educational materials nor purchasing and reading her previously-published books. Here it is 2022 and human traffickers, sexual predators, cult leaders and other similar abusers are still not being effectively prosecuted, fined or penalized by our ever-more corrupt justice system in America. We have an epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. We cannot rely on public policing to do the work for us, we must enact our own security measures. I think it's past time for some agreement on decisive actions to take place and the profession needs to collectively decide how to set the ethical and moral bars quite a bit higher. History has shown that after plagues and pandemics, healers are subsequently persecuted the most. Let's not let the cult of personality cast shade on our profession and get us all in trouble, guilty simply by association.
About eighteen years ago a friend and I traveled from Ithaca, New York to Susun Weed's retreat near Woodstock, NY. Our first mistake was that we were a bit late, due to no fault of our own. Instead of being welcomed, we were called out on the carpet. My friend Maria, in the dark, happened to back into Susun's rickety fence. She did no damage, but nonetheless was screamed at by Susun. We attended Moon Lodge with no other unpleasant happenings. We returned the next day after deciding that the unpleasantness we were feeling was behind us. However, every time my friend asked a question, or volunteered an answer to Susun's questions, she was ridiculed. By the end of the paid workshop, Maria was close to tears. Susun's apprentices assisted Ms. Weed throughout the day. It was clear that they could not do anything correctly in Susun's eyes. There was a lot of belittling towards them by Susun. They also were close to crying. I regret that I did not speak up to defend these women or leave the workshop in protest. It was a very uncomfortable experience for everyone attending. This was my first herbal gathering. Thankfully I stuck with it and found a whole world of safely loving, caring competent herbalists. My heart hurts for all these unsuspecting women that were caught in Susun Weed's web.