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In John They Trust............... A question for ATS members

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posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:05 AM

The island’s John Frum movement is a classic example of what anthropologists have called a “cargo cult”—many of which sprang up in villages in the South Pacific during World War II, when hundreds of thousands of American troops poured into the islands from the skies and seas. As anthropologist Kirk Huffman, who spent 17 years in Vanuatu, explains: “You get cargo cults when the outside world, with all its material wealth, suddenly descends on remote, indigenous tribes.” The locals don’t know where the foreigners’ endless supplies come from and so suspect they were summoned by magic, sent from the spirit world. To entice the Americans back after the war, islanders throughout the region constructed piers and carved airstrips from their fields. They prayed for ships and planes to once again come out of nowhere, bearing all kinds of treasures: jeeps and washing machines, radios and motorcycles, canned meat and candy.

But the venerated Americans never came back, except as a dribble of tourists and veterans eager to revisit the faraway islands where they went to war in their youth. And although almost all the cargo cults have disappeared over the decades, the John Frum movement has endured, based on the worship of an American god no sober man has ever seen.

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This has been going on since WWll.. Question for the membership at ATS.. If you were very rich and money was no object what would you do for these people?

Doing nothing is not an option.

Would you load your yacht or airplane with food stuffs and soda as a final offering and tell the natives John says, "this is it... no more freebies;"... Or would you leave them alone to their own ceremonies ? Just wondering what effect learning that John is dead and not a God might have on their society.. I would assume their are those on the Island who know the whole thing is a crock but due to the fun and ceremony continue to play the game.. The children will continue to believe much like the Tooth Fairy stories of many youths.

There are actually many levels to their story depending on how you are wired and your individual belief system.

So what do you think given the scenario above ?

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:21 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

I'd do the latter.

Tell them the absolute truth. John was a man, just like they are and he died, just like they do.

He wasn't among them to save them, he was there because he was ordered to prevent people from another land establishing a base on their island.

They didn't care about the effect arriving in the first place would have on the islanders, why should telling them the truth be something to be seen as a negative, when allowing them to continue to believe in an untruth may be worse for them?

Honesty is the best policy. Once they know the reality, they can plan thier future with a clean slate and believe in themselves once again, and not in a ficticious idealism based on a bloke ordered to unload supplies to fight the Japanese with.

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:24 AM
A perfect example of unintended consequences and a stark lesson on the violation of free will.

And the OP suggests we have no other choice but to violate their free will again to fix the original. Sadly, the OP is probably right but how would one accomplish this successfully? It makes it a lot easier to see how/why our ancestors could have experienced something similar.

My opinion would have to be based on the premiss that what the Mayans, Aztec, Inca, Hopi, Sumerian, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, etc, etc saw and believed was due to a similar violation. What did those who violated our free will do? Apologized for violating our free will, fornicating with us and subsequent drowning than promising not to do it again. Finally, ride off into the galactic sunset.

Perhaps, in the end its better to leave well enough alone. Tragic as it is, its best to allow them an opportunity to experience a dramatic loss of faith when we don't ever return and they can simply fade into history as a tragic lesson or they can middle through and find a new truth. We have a nasty track record for "fixing" nations no matter the size. Let them be.
edit on 15-7-2014 by Rosinitiate because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:26 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

There is a dilemma about taking small island people out of their natural culture and suddenly bringing them up to the 21st century with a thump. It means oil pollution and power stations and of course paying for goods from the great God of western materialism. In many ways I see it as a form of slavery, however its their decision in the end.

Gently telling people the truth is in my book far better than them continuing on with a lie. No one wants to look a fool and wonder how people laughed at them behind their backs.

A good example for me today is people living on huge landmasses with neighbour states bearing down on them never had a choice of sticking with their own cultural beliefs, hence how widespread religions have become, but I do think one's own culture without the veil of other belief systems is far more valuable. I see how its valued by the huge number of people wanting to go back to the beliefs of their own ancestors rather than today's mainstream beliefs. (I am not including blood sacrifices as I hope we have got past that one, but a mixture of understanding science and belief linked to the old ways is very comforting for many).

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:28 AM
a reply to: Rosinitiate

I love the bit about 'Ride off into the galactic sunset" it is very apt. I agree with your sentiments also.

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:36 AM
I would do the only responsible thing to do: I would tell them I am a descendant of King Solomon and that the fields need to be dedicated to the "sacred" plants.

I'd come back each harvest season, give them their "cut" and return to the western world with "sacred" (for religious purposes only) herbs and spices.

Maybe incorporate some tantra into the cult too...

Yeah I would exploit them at all

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:38 AM
The existence of cargo cults is a nice demonstration that religion is total bunk.

I mean, with the cults we have been able to watch and document the birth of a religion and can clearly see that it is the product of a society's need to make sense of events it does not understand.

Mankind obviously needs to invent stories and ceremonies, ie religions. The religions we see today are simply the most successful cargo cults of the past.

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:40 AM

originally posted by: Rob48
The existence of cargo cults is a nice demonstration that religion is total bunk.

I mean, with the cults we have been able to watch and document the birth of a religion and can clearly see that it is the product of a society's need to make sense of events it does not understand.

Mankind obviously needs to invent stories and ceremonies, ie religions. The religions we see today are simply the most successful cargo cults of the past.

Because without them you can't have taboos. Without taboos you have a pretty #ty control system.

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 05:52 AM
Tell them the truth .. along with show them the cesspool of modern "civilization" .. then leave the rest up to them to decide.

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 06:18 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

I would first prepare the ground. The establishment of a cargo cult, centered around an individual is no less powerful than a cult or religion founded on any other principle, and no less pervasive in its effect on the minds it touches. Therefore a certain amount of groundwork would be required in order for the people involved, to even begin to accept the truth.

So, if I had unlimited resources, I would drop leaflets and a cloud of speaker, and projector equipped drones over the island. The leaflets would have information about not only John, but the place in which he lived, and the normal lives of people there. It would include the phrase, in bold.

"He was, but one of many, and is no more."

The leaflet drop would also include leaflets with images of the modern world, and the fact that many people wander its streets, and that some of them have nothing, and others have much, to illustrate that not all is peachy in the realm of their corpse God.

The speaker drones would play a spoken history of the Second World War, with a focus toward the reason for the arrival of the troops from the US, including this notional Frum character. They would explain that far from being gods, these were men, Frum included, and to worship any one of them as gods cheapens their efforts and sacrifices in war. It is nothing for a god to travel half a world away from his family, and make war on his enemies. But for a human being to do these things is to risk everything.

Some of the speaker drones would pair up with projector drones. The projector drones would project moving pictures from the Second World War, images of men in US uniform, unfortunately and unmistakeably dead, to show that Frum and his ilk were not gods, but mortal. The speakers would offer documentary commentary, further explaining the meaning of all these soldiers arriving on the islands, and the wider context within which these things occurred. They would also play audio and show video of what the world is like today, with more commentary.

This would only be the groundwork. Some might say, "why not just land there yourself and set up a learning center to enlighten the people on the island to the truth?". I can understand that, and certainly, it would be easier in terms of logistics and equipment spending. However, people who receive news that they do not like, often respond with violence, especially if that news challenges their understanding of not only their lives and culture, but their faith. Therefore, placing a person on the ground to do this would place that person in significant danger. In addition, sending some sort of security force to protect that individual, would put the islanders in danger as well.

That is why a hands off approach would work best, just to get people used to the idea, or at least spread the information around, so that it was out there in the ears and minds of the islanders, without risking their lives, or the lives of those trying to provide the data.

After that, diplomatic efforts could take a more direct and hands on route.

posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 07:43 AM
Create a movie showing all of the ills of what happens in a culture of material .When is enough, enough .I have often wanted to run off to a secluded tropical island just to get away from the busyness we see and hear .Throw in something like the 911 with the after math moving to other countries around the world . Show them the poverty and hardships of groups within the society from wence their god came .

Educate them to ask the right questions and give them the tools to find their answers .If they were there before and after without their John then rebuilding to the new shouldn't be too too hard .Less is best ,and more is not .It's a hard call for some one who lives where John was born to explain to a group who are only stuck in a past memory of him . Things change and sometimes change is just a matter of forgetting about the past .

posted on Jul, 17 2014 @ 08:49 AM
Screw it... their life seems better than ours in many ways. "If you cant beat em, join em." I jest, but at the same time I wonder and am tempted. But then I am tempted by a lot of things which I do not partake in.

posted on Jul, 17 2014 @ 10:04 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

I would give them the 25 hp outboard motor they want.

Seriously the last part of the article is priceless.

As we look down into John Frum’s fiery Tanna home, I remind him that not only does he not have an outboard motor from America, but that all the devotees’ other prayers have been, so far, in vain. “John promised you much cargo more than 60 years ago, and none has come,” I point out. “So why do you keep faith with him? Why do you still believe in him?”

Chief Isaac shoots me an amused look. “You Christians have been waiting 2,000 years for Jesus to return to earth,” he says, “and you haven’t given up hope.”

For anyone who would say their cult is strange or dumb I hope you don't believe in something just as strange or dumb.

Anyway I wouldn't try to make them into A-John Frum's look how hard it is to get educated people to realize modern religion is bunk.

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