The Heavener Runestone
Nestled in a crevice of Heavener Mountain, a mile east of the town of Heavener, in extreme Eastern Oklahoma in the western foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, stands a very curious Savannah Sandstone rock formation. It is curious because it contains some markings on it that do not fit the culture of the region. In modern times, it was discovered by a Choctaw Nation Hunting party in 1832. After the medicine men saw the writing, the tribe refused to settle in the area. Some would dismiss it as superstition, but others contend they experienced something that scared them away. They have never settled the area and have placed only a token gambling casino in the town, though the Choctaw have located other larger casinos/tracks in other major cities in the area.
When the white man discovered the stone in 1876, they ignorantly called it "Indian Rock" without investigating the matter any further. In the 20th century, despite multiple discouragements from the Smithsonian Institute (the curator at the time did not believe were any white men in North America prior to Columbus), researchers began to realize that the Native Americans had nothing to do with the creation of the markings on the stone. Many theories have arisen regarding the inscriptions on the stone, but most of the theories proved inconclusive. Yet, many feel that the inscriptions on the stone may tell a story of why the area is so impoverished. Here inlies the main mystery that Jon van Helsing and Tom Mack are striving to discover and understand. They believe if they can find the cause of the curse, they can break it and change the lives of the people who live in the area.
The Paradoxical Mountains
The South Central United States features two significant mountain ranges: the Ozark Mountains and the Ouachita Mountains. The Ozark Mountains are home to WalMart Corporation [NYSE:WMT], one of the largest companies in the world They are also home to Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE:TSN], the largest food production company in the world. While these corporations and many others bring a lot of wealth into the region, the Ozark Mountains also have one of the largest entertainment centers in the United States. Branson, Missouri is home to famous country music acts like Mel Tillis, Boxcar Willie, Jim Stafford, Ray Stevens, Mikey Gilley, and many others. Even the remnants of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra have fled California and come to Branson. One of most interesting people to take up residence in Branson is once-fallen tele-evangelist Jim Bakker. All of these people seem to do well in this spiritually-rich business environment.
Move to the south and the business environment changes considerably. To begin with, there are no major corporations headquartered in the area. Despite having lots of quartz, gold, silver, petroleum, and other natural resources, the area has remained economically disadvantaged. To many students of business, this is mystifying. To students of spirituality, this wreaks of some kind of curse.
The Hispaniola Model
Several places in the world are places of prosperity located next to places of poverty. The most notable case is the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. On the eastern side is the prosperous country of the Dominican Republic. On the western side of the island is the poor country of Haiti. The Dominican Republic is a fairly wealthy country that exports agricultural goods to the United States and other countries. Haiti, on the other hand is poor and has remained poor, almost from its beginnings in the later 18th century.
Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, Haiti was a prosperous French colony that, according to records from the time, produced most of the coffee and sugar consumed in Europe. But after the Haitian Revolution, the country has always been poor. No amount of international aid has helped this country free itself from its poverty. While many theologians, ministers, spiritualists, and other specialists have theorized why this situation has been the case, many of them will agree that some kind of curse is in place. What is well-known about the area is that the slaves literally sold their souls and their land to the devil in exchange for freedom from French rule. The reason they called upon the devil is because France was the most powerful country in Europe at the time. The slaves did not think anyone else could help.
The Search for the Curse
The same situation holds true for the Ouachita Mountain region of the South Central United States. The area should be prosperous, but it is not. The poverty may not be at the level of Haiti, but it is still a poor cousin to the wealth of the Ozark Mountains. The natural resources of the Ouachita Mountains far exceeds that of the Ozark Mountains.
As author Jonathan van Helsing has investigated this situation, he has discovered a number of similarities between the Ouachita Mountain region and the nation of Haiti. He has discovered a chain of events that has impoverished the region and made it a haven for political corruption, drug-running activities, and illicit behavior of all types. The Heavener Mysteries outlines the results of his search for the curse which has corrupted a region by impoverishing its residents, both spiritually and financially.