Quote# 141391

John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver, Wash., an Instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips abroad, traveled to the Andaman Islands — an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal — this month to make contact with members of the tiny Sentinelese tribe, police said. The tribe, which has remained isolated for centuries, rejects contact with the wider world and reacts with hostility and violence to attempts at interaction by outsiders. The island is off-limits to visitors under Indian law.

Chau’s riveting journal of his last days, shared with The Washington Post by his mother, shows a treacherous journey by dark in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts. The men — about 5 feet 5 inches tall with yellow paste on their faces, Chau wrote — reacted angrily as he tried to attempt to speak their language and sing “worship songs” to them, he wrote.

“I hollered, ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,’ ” he wrote in his journal. One of the juveniles shot at him with an arrow, which pierced his waterproof Bible, he wrote.

?“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote in a last note to his family on Nov. 16, shortly before he left the safety of the fishing boat to meet the tribesmen on the island. “God, I don’t want to die,” he wrote.

John Allen Chau, Washington Post 16 Comments [11/30/2018 12:18:08 PM]
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Malingspann

This makes me again imagine a sci-fi movie/tv series where Earth is visited by alien missionaries.

11/30/2018 12:39:03 PM



Darwin Award achieved.

11/30/2018 12:47:22 PM

Canadiest

Give it a few months and this event will transform into many more miracle claims, already Fundies are writing 'Primitives found God' stories to be published when the news cycle drops this.

11/30/2018 1:47:52 PM

Volcheka

Isolated population without immunity to modern diseases+idiot sneaking onto island=self defense.

11/30/2018 2:06:48 PM

The Crimson Ghost

I read about this moron last week; been waiting for some submission on here blathering about how he's a martyr for jeebus or some such nonsense. He's no martyr, he's a Darwin Award. And absolutely no loss.

11/30/2018 2:30:40 PM

HS

Spent the time thinking about this ever since i read about this, so I'm gonna ramble about this a little, but I really can't get a few thoughts out of my head. Just what is the endgame the rest of the world is seeking with those people? The fact that almost nobody is asking this is creeping me out more than this guy's brainwashing. Those people are a pre-neolithic tribe, with all the shittyness it implies. Standard of living uncomparable with modern societies, infant mortality out of proportions, average lifespan likely under third world levels, tooth decay, broken bones etc., being basically death sentences while we can painlessly treat them in a matter of hours, getting infected with a parasite (such as worms) being a lifelong ordeal rather than a squicky nuisance as it is for us, no opportunities in life except to be a hunter/fisherman, no chance to ever know anything else than their little island, no organized society/rule of law beyond what the dominant tribespeople decide, etc., etc., etc.. Those people have to live with all the bullshit humanity was getting rid of, and rightfully applauding itself for getting rid of, for millenia, and almost nobody seems to have a problem with this?

Like, OK, I get it, there's the infection fear in play, but for fucks sake, since those people haven't already all dropped dead from the few, even personal, contacts they've had with outsiders over the years, I highly doubt they are that vulnerable toward it. Hell, at worst we can simply treat them like we already treat people with near-total immune deficiency, fill them with antibiotics, give them protective suits, etc.. Sorry, but I honestly fail to see what's so important so as to justify keeping a bunch of people in a lifestyle which just about no-one sane would, if given the choice, choose over modern society.

Scientific and technological advancement has, over the millennia, improved every aspect of our lives near-uncomparably with what we had before, yet those people are apparently supposed to remain cut off from all of it? There's a very important line where doing this turns from trying to keep these people from unintentional destruction into keeping them in their present pathetic state out of pure sadism, and the outside world's actions are currently seriously close to bridging that line. The fact that almost nobody seems to have a problem with this (for example, on the r/worldnews thread about this, I had to go through 6000 comments of the "good riddance", "Christianity is a disease", "tables turn on the colonizer" types, before I saw someone bring my points up) is, IMO, far creepier than the way this guy seemed to function.

11/30/2018 2:37:01 PM

Thanos6

@HS:

No, I completely agree with you.

Whenever I read about people like these or the various uncontacted tribes in the Amazon, etc., I really feel like there has to be some way to educate them about everything the modern age has to offer, so anyone who wants to catch up with the rest of the world can do so, and anyone who chooses to stay as they are has at least made a fully educated choice.

11/30/2018 2:47:04 PM



Serves him right. If only a few more Christians would get this, the world would be a better place.

11/30/2018 3:07:54 PM

Anon-e-moose

You'd have thought that he would have Done The Research to know about Capt. Cook when he went to Hawaii: and what happened to him there.

Least of all the Andaman Islands

'Rough Guides' indeed.

--EDIT--

@#2174263

Darwin Award achieved


Done, and done.

11/30/2018 4:20:36 PM

Kanna

@Thanos6 and HS

I see your point, and agree with it in part. I hate the thought of people and cultures being kept as they are merely as a sort of anthropology lab. But their experiences in the past have poisoned them to the supposed "benefits" of civilization, and I suspect there is no reasonable way to approach a group who cannot speak the local languages and (justifiably) view all interlopers as hostile. That's true whether they bring bibles or penicillin.

It's not our decision to make, and a different government has different laws which must be obeyed. There's no excuse for naïve missionaries.

11/30/2018 6:17:19 PM

SpukiKitty

@Kanna

This.

Also; Who's to say the tribe doesn't have their own knowledge of natural medicine?

I can understand the tribe's reaction. They're probably aware of....via a long storytelling tradition....of what happens with others like them who got "contacted" by outsiders. They've heard of the colonialism, the exploitation of the land, the oppression and/or genocide and the destruction of cultures. They heard of it and went "Hell no!".

Anyhoo; While my condolences is with this guy's family and sad that a young man is dead I still think this young man is a huge bozo with no respect of other cultures and faiths (even primitive Animist ones).

11/30/2018 8:49:38 PM

Hasan Prishtina

@ Kanna

I agree that the Sentinelese have their own negative experiences of contact with the outside world. It needs to be up to the Sentinelese whether they want contact with strangers or not. As for peoples being kept as “anthropology labs,” that doesn’t really fit with what anthropologists do or how they work; it would be impossible to write an anthropological study of the Sentinelese that was of any value precisely because they are uncontacted.

@Thanos6

Unfortunately, the standard of medicine available to many people in remote parts of the world does not match the benefits of what is available in the urban, industrialized countries. Once the Sentinelese have been contacted, they remain remote and, realistically, many of the health and social problems you describe would still be true for them.

@ SpukiKitty

Given the isolation of the Sentinelese, it’s very unlikely that they are aware of the histories of other peoples beyond their own limited contact with strangers. It’s also highly unlikely that Sentinelese culture is “primitive,” for if there is such a thing as a primitive culture, anthropologists haven’t seen one yet.

11/30/2018 9:38:44 PM

Titania

Knowing what I do about the Conquistadores, and yes, also our treatment of the Aborigines, and their oppression on missions...I can quite understand why the Sentinelese feel the way they do.

While Chau's death is sad, I acknowledge their right to protect their homeland.

11/30/2018 10:03:01 PM

creativerealms

"In 1880, in an effort to establish contact with the Sentinelese, British naval officer Maurice Vidal Portman, who was serving as a colonial administrator to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, led an armed group of Europeans to North Sentinel Island. Upon the group's arrival, the islanders fled into the treeline. After several days ashore, during which they found abandoned villages and paths, Portman's men captured six individuals, an elderly man and woman and four children.

The man and woman died shortly after or before their arrival in Port Blair, likely from disease, and so Portman attempted to befriend the surviving children by giving them gifts before returning them to North Sentinel Island, in hopes that the children would help village elders realise the British were friendly. The attempt was unsuccessful, likely due to the aggressiveness of Portman's visit and the fact that his efforts resulted in the deaths of two Sentinelese people. Additionally, due to differences in culture, the children might not have recognised the gifts as such."

That is their first modern encounter according to Wikipedia. With a small group like that I wouldn't be surprised if that story isn't passed on and remembered as a warning not to trust the outside.

11/30/2018 11:04:42 PM

Swede

This is the guy who was harmed by the isolated tribe once, and then came back to be killed, right?

Judging by how we have destroyed our planet, like we have several others just waiting in line, I can understand the hostility of the isolated tribe towards outside people...

Yes, we think you're crazy in all this. They want to be left alone, so leave them ALONE, for crikey's sake!
An arrow through your waterproof Bible ought to be warning enough; God saved you once, now stay away!

Wait; "waterproof Bible"? Is it a Children's Bible, similar to this one?



12/1/2018 3:09:00 AM

Kanna

@Swede

Family anecdote: I had (non-waterproof) cloth books as a very young child, wet the bed, and printed the book onto the sheet. Mom loved to embarrass me by telling that tale.

12/5/2018 5:58:06 PM

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