mage67 (mage67) wrote,

Cargo Cults

I'm so bad. On Xmas I was working and listening to an audiobook on atheism. I get triple pay on Xmas and there was almost no work, so don't feel bad for me.

It was a good book though. It's called The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

The part about the cargo cults in the South Pacific was interesting.

The natives saw white people filling out paper work and marching as soldiers and saw no use for those activities.

"Why did you [Europeans] wind up with all the cargo?", as asked by a South Pacific islander

They thought they were religious rites and saw those rituals rewarded by the white people receiving cargo they didn't make and didn't earn.

So they think there is a cargo god named John Frum who will reward them with cargo if they pretend to fill out paper work and march like soldiers and such.

We believe the name John Frum comes from when soldiers introduce themselves as "John from America" or such. Such cults developed independently several times on isolated islands where we visited. The name John Frum isn't universal though. In Vanuatu, there's even a John Frum political party.

The natives made air strips made of trees and coconuts or rifles made of wood to mimic us so that they can receive cargo from their god.

When a John Frum cult leader was told they were waiting for the coming of John Frum for 19 years and shouldn't he give up, he said "You've been waiting for Jesus Christ for 2,000 years, so i can wait a little longer for John Frum"
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