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Missionaries: Are they "saviours", or do they make peoples "extinct"?

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posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 07:14 PM
For this post I am firstly reminded of George Robinson, the English missionary who gathered the apparent last "full-blooded" 300 Tasmanians on the Flinders Island.
Please see
Although he earned a fat salary and survived his charges, were his intentions really genocidal? Culturally perhaps; he subjected them to a harsh Christian regime. But did he really want them to die?
Recently I read a book called "Fate of free people" (Henry Reynolds, 1995), which documents a petition from the Tasmanian aborigines on the Flinders Island to the British Crown. Not only were they literate, but they begged to be released from the essentially "mad missionary".

Are there cases where indigenous people survived because of missionaries?
Judging by sites like Crusade Watch and official history, the romantic notions of the Jesuits in the famous movie "The Mission" seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
The current opinion seems to be that missionaries are bad, and people should be protected from them before all tribal cultures disappear.

I reiterate a question however - if uncontacted tribes are found (usually in Amazonia or New Guinea) who should inform them of their global poverty status, or their "citizenship"? Surely an ATS member is just as worthy to inform them on current events as a missionary, TV anthropologist or government/industry minder. Who decides?

[edit on 13-7-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 10:24 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Interesting site:
While often Christian practices have merged with Native American traditions, it appears that American Indian culture is still threatened by evangelical and Mormon missionaries, and to some the word "Christian" has become repugnant.

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 03:50 AM
Missionaries should be outlawed. Theyve caused more bloodshed and misery forcing their barbaric views upon others around the world.
Have to laugh though several years ago some missionaries attempted to try their stupidity in the local village .. However before they even arrived at the village the local children ran through yelling "HIDE ! THE EVIL ONES ARE COMING ! " the entire village population vanished into the jungle - wasnt a individual there when the missionaries arrived.. The villagers stayed hidden until the missionaries left.
Had to laugh when some of the villagers came to my place at the time and told me. I let them stay till the missionaries were gone. Havent had any missionaries show up since.

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 05:03 AM
Its happening in Haiti right now.

The little mom and pop stores and food vendors that existed in haiti were displaced by the religious NGOs and missionary groups and there free food.
If they give away free food how do the local farmers make a living.

Instead of giving everyone free food they should have given out scrip in exchange for work to all able-bodied persons that could be used to get food from the mom and pop stores.

This would have supplied a workforce for rebuilding and keep the exsisting food distrabution system running.

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 05:22 AM
im sure they accomplish their mission even if the employ was not for the basis of self extinction.if any person not properly ordained to accept the charges "bought against them" accepts the charges they may be doing a saving from the wo/man who is fit to accept them.

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 06:11 PM
Christian missionaries are often discussed as negative influences in indigenous cultures. However, it's only fair to say that Christian regions are also missionized by all kinds of sects from other faiths.

Nevertheless, I was a big (but also critical) fan of the Christian documentary series called "Travel the road". The two male missionaries (Scott and Decker) got into hot water after they were shown embedded with US soldiers in Afghanistan.
The US military had to distance itself from the pair, considering that the Muslims were already touchy about Bush's "crusade" slurs.
Interesting dilemma.
(For a clip see:

I found the programs great traveloques. The depicted preaching is minimal, usually a few seconds to politely confused (often already Christianized) locals, with unsure interpretation. Local wars and problems are never contextualized eg. in Rwanda it is never explained that the Christian/Western world were complicit and farbade any interference in the genocide, or that colonialism divided the Hutus and Tutsis along ethnic lines. The episode on Himalayan sky burials was really slanted - as if the Western tradition of feeding the dead to worms is any better than feeding them to vultures.

What I found really sad was a TBN reference to Amazon Indians burying a child that cries too much alive. However, it now seems the clip was faked by missionary groups to justify their activities.

[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 06:18 PM
Religion is a scam, and missionaries are the sales force. They not only sell through persuasion, but they will use any means to snare the sucker.

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 06:36 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

I reiterate a question however - if uncontacted tribes are found (usually in Amazonia or New Guinea) who should inform them of their global poverty status, or their "citizenship"?

No one...leave 'em alone. Informing them of their status is arrogant, not helpful.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it...

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 06:38 PM
I just saw a clip from the "Hakani" video.
Because of the tribal nudity (or actresses' nudity) I'll rather err on the side of caution and not link to it directly.
The clip is intoduced by Survival International (a pressure group for indigenous peoples). It claims that the video was staged by actors for fundamentalist missionaries. It was made while a draft bill was debated in Brazil that would allow for the removal of Indian children from their communities. It is obvious propaganda, and the soil with which the one remarkably silent child is buried is allegedly chocolate cake!
At one point one child pulls another from the soil and the guy that buried it just stands there and says: "Bring him back, he must die for the tribe".
I mean really. Perhaps it's meant to make fundamentalists look bad?

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by facelift

Ideally you are correct.

The problem is that somebody is likely to contact them, and tribes who have an initial contact with violent frontier cultures or industry magnates are unlikely to survive for long.
The problem is that such peoples are sitting on resources, eagerly eyed by miners and loggers - the last of the colonial loot, if you like.
When the trans-Amazonian highway was built, organizations like FUNAI ( were set up to facilitate the inevitable contact, and they saved a lot of groups from the lawlessness and disease that totally devastated others.
Others are left alone as long as possible, although indigenous land rights are probably more pronounced in Amazonia than New Guinea, but it's important that groups aren't overwhelmed and know their rights.
Some outsiders may eye their souls and children, and they will consider it their divine right to interfere with them.

[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]

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