Open Thread: First Contact

Whole twitter thread can be read as a single post by clicking the link below:

If you grew up immersed in sf like me, an immediate image: Two Alien Greys shaking their heads, as one remarks, Since unfortunately Captain Rectal Probes happened to be the first one poking around this wasteland at the desolate edge of the galaxy, it’ll be another [x]many time-sequences before those poor spooked Terrans can safely be introduced to the Universal Network…






102 replies
  1. 1
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    So, over/under on Trump trying to order the US Marine Corp to invade North Sentinel Island?

    There is no way to integrate them into the modern world without wiping out nearly every member of their tribe.

    I wouldn’t say that. If we could somehow understand their language and communicate with them remotely, AND convince them to get vaccinations, then it’s a remote possibility. Not impossible, but improbable it might as well be impossible.

    I wonder if the modern world will yet still destroy them, given rising seas and climate change.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    I had to Google to understand what is going on. John Chau was delusional. Gifts of scissors, fishing line, and volleyball? What the fuck were the islanders supposed to do with that?

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    From the little I’ve read, they are plenty tough and they don’t want to be integrated into anything.

  4. 4
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @debbie:
    He was going to wow the godless heathen savages with pretty toys, duh, and teach them about Christ. And how to not eat their own shit, also too.

    He was a moron who got himself killed. Like Chris McCandless in Alaska. But of course, all the major missionary orgs are praising him as a “martyr”. I mean, I know his family is hurting, but can’t they just acknowledge that Chau was a fool who committed suicide, essentially? Can’t his family acknowledge that? He should have come across info that the islanders were violent. If he thought God was going to protect him, well, what happened?

  5. 5
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @debbie: why do you hate Wilson?

  6. 6
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @debbie:
    He was a missionary. To be a missionary is to be arrogant and delusional.

    Good riddance.

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I don’t hate Wilson. I hate the uses he’s been put to. Just leave him on the soccer field already.

  8. 8
    Keith P. says:

    @debbie: Should be enough to escape the island….or maybe build a radio to call for help.

  9. 9
    MazeDancer says:

    Just dipping in to mention Chewy.com is having a big Black Friday sale. No clue why they’re giving good deals on pet food you would otherwise buy. But they are. So stock up if you can. I only found out because I went to order something.

    And on topic, that guy was so insanely wrong, wrong, wrong to visit that island.

  10. 10
    Walker says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I know his family is hurting, but can’t they just acknowledge that Chau was a fool who committed suicide attempted to commit genocide, essentially?

    Fixed that for you.

  11. 11
    randy khan says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    The family is unlikely to think that about him, at least in public, and particularly if they all are in the same evangelical group. They may even have helped to pay for his mission.

    But this isn’t really a criticism of them – most people don’t want to believe things like that of people they love.

  12. 12
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    “He was going to wow the godless heathen savages with pretty toys, duh, and teach them about Christ. And how to not eat their own shit, also too.”

    He was going to complete the genocide of the Adamanese tribes.

    The Adamanese had been in almost complete isolation from the rest of humanity for at least 15,000 years, maybe as much as 60,000.

    The amount of vaccinations they would require are almost endless and there are common illness’s that we have limited immunity to, that you can’t vaccinate for, that could be fatal for the Adamanese.

  13. 13

    Can’t say I blame the inhabitants of these islands.

  14. 14

    There are certain Christian sects that believe that the end of the world (which is a GOOD thing, by their lights) will not come about until every person on Earth has heard the gospel of Christ and has chosen to accept him or reject him. This is why you get these kinds of missionaries. I suppose that as a bonus, if you get killed while doing this work you go straight up to Heaven so you can’t lose, right?

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    Chau was a delusional fanatic, not just a tourist or even a misguided nice guy. The world is what it is, and he refused to deal with that.

  16. 16
    bystander says:

    It’s like Firesign Theatre minus the laughs. Civilization, Ho!

  17. 17
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:

    He was going to complete the genocide of the Adamanese tribes.

    The Adamanese had been in almost complete isolation from the rest of humanity for at least 15,000 years, maybe as much as 60,000.

    The amount of vaccinations they would require are almost endless and there are common illness’s that we have limited immunity to, that you can’t vaccinate for, that could be fatal for the Adamanese.

    True. I did acknowledge above that it was undesirable, and probably impossible to do anyway.

  18. 18
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I blame the arrogance of religion – all religion.

  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    Speaking of soccer.

    Remember Rafael Salguero of Guatemala? FIFA ExCo member who voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup? Three years ago he disappeared just days before the 2nd US indictment on soccer corruption was unsealed. Turns out he was secretly cooperating with the probe all along.— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) November 22, 2018

    His sentencing is on December 6. Part of what we may learn is what prosecutors know about the vote for Russia to host the World Cup in 2018. And Qatar upcoming in 2022. FIFA is so incredibly corrupt.

  20. 20
    LesGS says:

    As I understand it, the Gospel must be preached to the whole world before Jesus will return. (…noodles around on the Web…) Yep, Matthew 24:14. So, I guess in some Christian’s minds, as long as these folks don’t hear the “Word,” Jesus stays away. That may be one of the things that impels people like Chau to this sort of stupidity.

  21. 21
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @randy khan:
    I know. I’m more angry at the missionary orgs for calling him a martyr, than anything. All they’re doing is encouraging more of this.

  22. 22
    Jeffro says:

    Wow (re: the islanders)…the world is a strange place. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    Islanders, 1, sneaky Christian missionary, 0.

    No sympathy for the late Mr. Chau. None. Zero. Zip. None.

    I hope he ends up more a cautionary tale than a “martyr.” He died for his idiocy, not for his faith.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    He certainly managed to bollix up the missionary position.

  25. 25
    HeleninEire says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Yeah. A few months ago there were boatloads of Mormons trolling the streets of Dublin. Funnily I only recognized them because they actually dress like the “Book of Mormon” guys. White shirt, black pants, and the name plate that identifies them. I kept walking past them and then I finally I said “You are in Ireland. Do you think you are going to convert the IRISH to yet another version of Christianity?”

    Mr. Young Stupid Mormon was like ‘What??” “Hey”, I said “Magdalene Laundries.” Huh?” he said.

    Yeah that “Huh?” is the fucking problem.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    He’s a martyr to blinkered arrogance, blind stupidity and smug sanctimony.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @NotMax: Well, you can’t argue that he didn’t get fucked.

  28. 28
    JGabriel says:

    @debbie:

    From the little I’ve read, they are plenty tough and they don’t want to be integrated into anything.

    From the little to moderate amount I’ve read on the Andaman Islands, the Sentinelese tend to kill anyone who contacts them (with apparently good reason). I guess they usually try to send warning shots first, but anyone who tries a second or third time can kiss their life good-bye.

    The only reason I bring this up is because, if you read anything at all about the Sentinelese, it’s pretty much one of the first – if not the first – thing that you’ll come across. It is almost literally impossible to hear or read anything about them without learning within 2-4 paragraphs that any attempt to try to contact the Sentinelese is likely to end in your death.

    So there is no way Chau couldn’t know that.

    To attempt it was just phenomenally stupid. From what I’ve read, it seems like maybe he was a pretty nice guy – but, it’s still very hard to have any sympathy for him. Even if you ignore how incredibly dangerous he should have realized it was for himself, you can’t ignore how dangerous such contact could have been for the Sentinelese, who have little to no exposure to, or immunity from, most diseases that have evolved in the rest of the world over the past 50 millennia, give or take.

  29. 29
    Sloane Ranger says:

    This was discussed on the Jeremy Vine show (Radio 2) this lunchtime. They had someone on who knew this guy. He said said that he had medical or paramedical training and was certain he would have taken precautions against accidentally infecting anyone. Of course, the guy they interviewed was also a Christian so was sympathetic.

    Apparently Chai knew what he was doing was illegal and planned accordingly. What I don’t understand, even given his plan, is how he thought he could actually be a successful missionary when he could have known nothing about these people’s culture and mores or even speak their language! How can you preach the word of God if you can’t understand them and they don’t understand you?

    The guy seems to have been a fantacist.

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I wonder if the modern world will yet still destroy them, given rising seas and climate change.

    From Wikipedia:

    North Sentinel is surrounded by coral reefs, and lacks natural harbours. The entire island, other than the shore, is forested.[12] There is a narrow beach encircling the island, behind which the ground rises 20 m (66 ft), and then gradually to between 46 m (150 ft)[13]:257 and 122 m (400 ft)[1] near the centre.

    There may well be some aspect of climate change that eventually destroys the Sentinelese, but fortunately, for the time being at least, it seems unlikely that rising seas will be the cause.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion.

    I wish someone would raise that concept with these pinheads.

  32. 32
    Ukko says:

    @HeleninEire: as I understand it all the bright ones are taught foreign languages. The ones you meet in the anglosphere are, shall we say, not the quickest studies.

  33. 33
    debbie says:

    @JGabriel:

    From my link:

    According to the fishermen who helped Mr. Chau, they motored for several hours from Port Blair to North Sentinel. Mr. Chau waited until the next morning, at daybreak, to try to get ashore. He put his kayak in the water less than half a mile out and paddled toward the island.

    The fishermen said that tribesmen had shot arrows at him and that he had retreated. He apparently tried several more times to reach the island over the next two days, the police say, offering gifts such as a small soccer ball, fishing line and scissors. But on the morning of Nov. 17, the fishermen said they saw the islanders with his body.

    How many rounds of arrows have to be shot at a person before they realize they are not wanted? And how far does a person think he will get preaching the Gospel to people who clearly have no interest in interacting with him?

    Frankly, the Sentinelese provided sufficient warning. It’s his stupidity not to have heeded those warnings.

  34. 34
    Barb 2 says:

    A young male as first contact with an isolated tribe is doomed to failure. This is well known from numerous field reports from the obscure world of cultural Anthropology. Females of the “tribe” won’t trust him and he will be seen as competition by the tribal males.

    Throw in strange religious dogma of western missionaries and the grand experiment will fail. Most likely the idiot who got himself killed had zero training in how not to come off as an arrogant jerk.

    What ever religious group he was representing is to blame for his death. The End of Time religions believe that all humans must be contacted and given a chance to “accept Jesus as their personal saviour” before Christ can return to earth. Also, blood must flow in the middle East of Israel before Christ can return. It isn’t clear which of these events happens first – the killing contact of missionaries or the blood flowing event.

    Seem like a repeat of the death of newly arrived male missionary someplace in Africa fairly recently. That guy came with a bonded female a.k.a. Wife. Africa has had a long history of missionaries who lead the way of land seizure and the western culture domination of the world. Hawaii is a prime example of missionaries and land theft and cultural repression. This remote tribe may not know the history but they do recognize what this single male missionary represents a threat.

  35. 35
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @JGabriel: Again, according to the Jeremy Vine show, the islanders may not have to worry about climate change but they may have to worry about other things. One of the people interviewed said that the Indian government was giving serious consideration to changing their policy towards the Andaman Islands. They are being pressured by Big Business to “develop” the Islands and exploit their natural resources on one side and to provide medical and other aid to the indigenous people on the other.

  36. 36
    hilts says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion.

    You hit the nail right on the head. The word missionary is simply a synonym for an out of touch douchebag.

  37. 37
    sukabi says:

    @Sloane Ranger: depending on what the missionary had brought with him, cold, flu, or other viral or bacterial pathogen, the tribe may already be on their way out, as at least some of them were handling his body to bury him.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    MattF says:

    @Sloane Ranger: Hmm. Yeah, once I saw mention of ‘beaches’, I guessed that the islanders were doomed. I imagine a future tour group being led around, and the guide pointing to a rock, saying “And this is where the last one was killed. No WMDs were ever found.”

  40. 40
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @debbie:

    Frankly, the Sentinelese provided sufficient warning. It’s his stupidity not to have heeded those warnings.

    He thought Gawd would protect him. You’re earlier assessment of delusional is probably right on the money. Delusion is just a different type of stupidity if you think about it. As others have noted, he also put the islanders in danger due their lack of immunity to many of our diseases.
    @JGabriel:

    There may well be some aspect of climate change that eventually destroys the Sentinelese, but fortunately, for the time being at least, it seems unlikely that rising seas will be the cause.

    That’s good to hear! I hope they remain content for many years to come.

  41. 41
    Yutsano says:

    Way OT: I just watched this clip of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and yeah I think she’s getting it.

  42. 42
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @sukabi: I don’t disagree with you. I was simply reporting what the interviewee said.

  43. 43
    Captain C says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    If he thought God was going to protect him, well, what happened?

    God was sending a very clear message of “Leave my children alone before you kill them all with infectious diseases, you fuckwad! Also, you’re not going to the good place.”

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Mike Pence and Jared Kushner should head up a goodwill mission to these islands.

  45. 45
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Better yet, Trump himself. He’ll cow those dusky savages with his superior white manliness. //

  46. 46
    Msb says:

    What Debbie said. Those people told him to go away until he forced them to make him go away for good. Death is a serious penalty for stupidity and rudeness but Chau seems to have asked for it.

  47. 47
    TS (the original) says:

    The good missionary also did much damage to the fishermen who took him to the island. I believe they are under arrest for aiding in his killing.

    Seven people including five fishermen have been arrested for helping Chau reach the island.

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    debbie:

    How many rounds of arrows have to be shot at a person before they realize they are not wanted? … Frankly, the Sentinelese provided sufficient warning.

    I completely agree.

  49. 49
    Aleta says:

    Angus Johnston @studentactivism

    One thing that leaps out at me from this amazing, fascinating thread: How much of the chatter about the people of North Sentinel Island has assumed that the community has no history.
    *
    
The assumption that neolithic peoples live outside of time and history is incredibly widespread. “Incredibly,” because a moment’s thought will make clear that the assumption is false, must be false.



    What @RespectableLaw has written in this thread is the halting, fragmentary start to a history of the Sentinelese people over the last 150 years.

When you frame it that way—as “a history of the Sentinelese people over the last 150 years”—it immediately becomes obvious how partial and inadequate it is, right?

    *
    

Because the vast majority of what would make up such a history is unknown to outsiders. There are volumes that could be written—untold hours worth of stories that are being told on that island right now—that the rest of us can have no access to.

    * 


    What happened to John Allen Chau was historically contingent. It was shaped not only by interactions between the Sentinelese and outsiders over the last 150 years (and, presumably, beyond), but by historical forces on the island as well.




    A lot of people don’t get as far as “if Chau had coughed on one of these people he just might have wound up kiling them all” in their understanding, but even that is basically square one.



    We talk a lot in my classes about how the survival strategies of cultural minorities get warped and distorted when they’re described by members of dominant cultures, and popular discussions around Chau’s death are (among other things) that ramped up by orders of magnitude.


  50. 50
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @sukabi: My immediate family is Quaker, but some of my cousins are missionaries of some sort. I remember listening to one talk about how after working abroad for many years, they had been stationed in D.C. She proudly told me that the many foreigners living there were easy to convert because they they didn’t have local support systems.

  51. 51
    Jay says:

    @sukabi:

    They seem to have a protocol for handling invasives from pigs to long pigs.

    They kill them, leave the corpse alone overnight, then use ropes to drag the corpse to a prepared grave.

    While they have been known to take metal, they don’t strip the bodies or reuse blankets, and seem to know that close contact and handling of the bodies are dangerous.

    They are known to kill infected members of the tribe to prevent disease transmission.

  52. 52
    hells littlest angel says:

    @MazeDancer: Wow, so many brands of dry cat food on sale — except the expensive one that’s the only one my boy doesn’t throw up. Oh well, maybe next year.

    And the only good missionary …

  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @debbie:

    How many rounds of arrows have to be shot at a person before they realize they are not wanted?

    The puritans missed this obvious lesson as well when they hit the shores of what would become the US of A

  54. 54
    hells littlest angel says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Send both Trump and Pence — the day after Pelosi is elected Speaker.

  55. 55
    JGabriel says:

    @TS (the original):

    I believe they are under arrest for aiding in his killing.

    Seven people including five fishermen have been arrested for helping Chau reach the island.

    No, they’re not under arrest for helping to kill Chau. The article title you quote is, in fact, correct – they’re under arrest for helping Chau reach the island.

    As far as the Indian gov’t is concerned, the Sentinelese are a sovereign people who are entirely within their rights to kill anyone who trespasses on their island. The crime was breaking the law to take him there, and thereby threatening the well-being of the islanders. Chau’s death was just the regrettable and tragic consequence that ensured the people who helped him get there got caught.

  56. 56
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:

    They are known to kill infected members of the tribe to prevent disease transmission.

    That’s horrible, but unfortunately necessary, given their circumstances.

    I feel sorry for the poor pigs that were sent by outsiders. Granted, they were probably going to be slaughtered anyway, but still.

    I think it likely that the Sentinelese had contact with other islanders in the area, in addition to their own contact with the British, and saw what happened to them. I don’t think they want to kill anyone, but do so in order to protect themselves.

    It would be child’s play for a platoon of modern infantry to land on the island and defeat them, which is why I’m afraid that the Indian government is apparently deciding whether to change their policy towards them and allow corporations to develop the islands. I’m not aware of any significant resources on North Sentinel Island.

  57. 57
    JGabriel says:

    @Aleta: That’s a really good commentary on this issue. Thanks for sharing it, Aleta.

  58. 58
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    It’s actually an other Adamanese Tribe that the Indian Government is considering changing their policy towards. The Tribe’s reserve has a major road through it, and tribe members have initiated contact, relocated to the reserve boundaries near outside communities, started tentative trade, sought medical attention and education.

  59. 59
    TS (the original) says:

    @JGabriel:

    The article title you quote is, in fact, correct

    My original comment was related to something I read elsewhere, that I couldn’t find (could well have been someone else’s assumptions). Regardless, he did encourage people ( bribe? – he paid them) to break the law. He is now dead and they have been arrested. Everyone lost because of a really stupid idea.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @TS (the original): Yes, exactly.

  61. 61
    debbie says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    And when the indigenous tribes eventually resorted to violence, the colonists resorted to smallpox-infected blankets. One has to wonder what this was called in missionary-speak?

  62. 62
    waratah says:

    @NotMax: You made me laugh.
    @Corner Stone: and you made me laugh.
    Thank you both I needed that.

  63. 63
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @debbie: winning!

  64. 64
    zhena gogolia says:

    New thread, already.

  65. 65
    Suzanne says:

    @HeleninEire:

    I only recognized them because they actually dress like the “Book of Mormon” guys.

    Um yes. The musical was spot-the-fuck-on, in every way.
    Mormons often know surprisingly little about their own faith, let alone any other faiths, or anything about the culture of the places they get sent on their missions.

    I will say that their missionaries no longer come to my door, despite the Phoenix East Valley being the second-largest LDS community in the world. A Formon (what we call ex-Mos) friend assures me that, for this to have happened, they have me on an internal list of Beyond the Pale Sinners, or whatever the fuck they call it.

    Back on the topic at hand, the problem with any missionaries who attempt to preach and convert rather than do acts of public service is the same all over the world. I don’t want to say that Chau deserved what happened to him, because that’s a horrible end, but nor am I losing sleep over it. And he’s not a martyr. He’s naive at best and fatally careless with the lives of others at worst. And I have always thought that any kind of conversion effort is filled with horrifying levels of hubris.

    I hope there is no effort to get his body.

  66. 66
    Suzanne says:

    @debbie:

    the colonists resorted to smallpox-infected blankets

    From what I have researched, this specific action did not in fact take place.

  67. 67
    Gvg says:

    I have been thinking he was really just disguising a suicide.

  68. 68

    I saw that! Crazy how life works out.

  69. 69
    Tsukune says:

    “The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that’s where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won’t do if they don’t know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight.”
    ― Terry Pratchett, Eric

  70. 70
    khead says:

    “When white privilege goes wrong!” See also Otto Warmbier.

  71. 71
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Yup. It can end when we least expect it. Or should in the case of Chau.
    I’m reminded of this quote:

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @Suzanne:

    Not sure if Fort Pitt was the first instance, but I’ve never heard this was not true. More than a few novels by Native American authors refer to the practice.

  73. 73
    Central Planning says:

    @Suzanne: once when Mormons came to our door, they tried to give me a Jesus playing card. I told them I didn’t want it. They insisted. I did I didn’t need it. Still they wanted me to take it. I told them I would just put it in my recycling bin. The look of horror on their faces was priceless. They kept the card.

  74. 74
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @HeleninEire:
    I have no use for any religion, but I reserve special scorn for:

    1) Scientology
    2) LDS (the Scientology of the 19th Century)
    3) Missionaries
    4) Jehovah’s Witnesses

  75. 75
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:

    The Tribe’s reserve has a major road through it, and tribe members have initiated contact, relocated to the reserve boundaries near outside communities, started tentative trade, sought medical attention and education.

    Well, that doesn’t sound horrible at first blush.

  76. 76
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    And when I said “should”, I meant that Chau should shave have expected that he would die.

  77. 77
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @khead:
    Except the missionary wasn’t white, I don’t think. He looked Asian to me. Still probably a fundie.

  78. 78
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    The Indian Government and it’s experts are trying to “figure it out”.

    How to open contact with out destroying the Tribe, the tribes culture, traditions, language, etc. How to bring a Stone Age people into the Modern World and Society, with out the negatives.

    It’s a tricky business.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    Germ theory was a fringe idea that was not accepted by scientists until the 1850s. The colonists may have had an idea that the blankets carried some kind of taint or miasma, but it’s far more likely that the local tribes were infected by face-to-face contact with the people who gave them the blankets than they were by the blankets themselves. From what I’ve read, the disease vector of smallpox is such that it’s poorly transmitted by objects but easily transmitted with a cough or a sneeze, which is one of the reasons it’s so deadly.

  80. 80
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    No, it actually is horrible.

    The road was put through without any consideration of the impact on the Jarawas.

    Now tour groups get taken out to throw food to the natives in exchange for their “performances”.

  81. 81
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I do know that colonists/settlers very early on determined to wipe out indigenous populations rather than co-existing with them. That they would resort to sickening them seems very believable to me. Wiki has germ theory first starting in the 16th century, but I know nothing about this at all.

  82. 82
    khead says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Well, he may not look white…

    Chau attended Vancouver Christian High School and graduated from Oral Roberts University, a Christian college in Oklahoma, in 2014, with a degree in health and exercise science. While there, he worked with the university’s missions and outreach department.

  83. 83
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @HeleninEire: In 89 I saw 2 Mormon missionaries in usual mission attire biking out to an apartment complex for visits.

    In 91 in former East Germany there was a touring Mormon group doing a square dancing demonstration in the center of a city (don’t remember which one now). They passed out brochures with info about how many decades Mormons had been in that city.

  84. 84
    Dan B says:

    @Central Planning: Was it a White Jesus card?

  85. 85
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “Another incident speaks to the intentional spread of disease. In 1763, as Odawa chief Obwandiyag (Pontiac) began his resistance movement against British rule, Sir Jeffery Amherst, leader of the British army, suggested to Col. Henry Bouquet that smallpox be introduced via infected blankets given to the First Nations they were fighting. He wrote, “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” Several historians note there is no evidence that Bouquet or any of his men carried out the act. That same year, however, William Trent, a trader at Fort Pitt (located in present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) wrote of a meeting with two members of the Delaware Nation, “we gave them two Blankets and a Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

    https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/epidemic

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094753/

    https://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/252

  86. 86
    Dan B says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: According to the gay webs he, Chau, had gone on some event with Matt Staver the head of the anti-LGBT Liberty Council.

  87. 87
    Central Planning says:

    @Dan B: of course!

  88. 88
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @khead: @Dan B:
    So, he’s culturally white; specifically right-wing evangelical white.

  89. 89
    Eric S. says:

    @debbie:

    The fishermen said that tribesmen had shot arrows at him and that he had retreated. He apparently tried several more times to reach the island over the next two days, the police say, offering gifts such as a small soccer ball, fishing line and scissors. But on the morning of Nov. 17, the fishermen said they saw the islanders with his body.

    There was speculation by some in comments (here and/or elsewhere) this could have been a suicide “by islander.” Full disclosure, I have no idea what suicidal thoughts feel like and have no idea how the innate desire to live affects them, but this drains what little sympathy I had for that story.

  90. 90
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Found in online charisma news. Chau graduated from Oral Roberts U in 2014. He was 27 and had gone on mission trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, and So Africa. He recently joined the missionary group All Nations

  91. 91
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    Chau graduated from Oral Roberts U

    That alone explains everything about him

  92. 92
    Zinsky says:

    I think we have located an appropriate place to send Donald Trump after he is removed from office….

  93. 93
    Zinsky says:

    @Jay: We have the same issue with Fox News viewers!

  94. 94
    Platonailedit says:

    So, the islanders had their own stand your ground laws. Who cudda known.

  95. 95
    Jay says:

    @Zinsky:

    Destroy the Tribe, they have no culture and have gone fully from deplorable, to unredeemable.

  96. 96
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    he would have taken precautions against accidentally infecting anyone.

    Aside from a bunny-suit, I don’t quite get what he could have done, that would have worked. Oh, maybe pray to Jesus, I guess.

  97. 97

    Two more relevant links, since I have them to hand:
    “He was a genocidal asshole and I wish worse had happened to him. Death just is not enough. Let me tell you why.” – https://twitter.com/JShahryar/status/1065309680514195456

    “On the Beach in the Andaman Islands: Post-mortem of a Failed Colony” – https://www.epw.in/journal/2011/26-27/special-articles/beach-andaman-islands-post-mortem-failed-colony.html

  98. 98
    Suzanne says:

    @debbie: From what I have researched, there is no direct evidence that “infected blankets” were purposely given to Native Americans to intentionally spread disease. That’s not to say that Europeans did not spread disease or commit other acts of genocide.

  99. 99
    Jay says:

    @Suzanne:

    See upthread, there is direct evidence, not just from European letters, but from Indiginous oral histories.

    History often get’s rewritten by good research.

    As an example, the Fraiser River Gold Rush, was not at all like it was portrayed,

    http://ronsdalepress.com/books/claiming-the-land/

  100. 100
    Suzanne says:

    @Jay: There’s lots of direct evidence that European colonists wanted to do it (but there’s a lot of other fucked up ideas that they apparently didn’t, uh, execute), there’s lots of evidence that they committed plenty of genocidal actions, and there’s not a lot of direct evidence that smallpox was successfully and intentionally transferred via blankets.

    As Mnem points out upthread, it’s a fairly shitty way of transmitting the disease. It is more likely and just as inhumane that they were infected through typical contact.

  101. 101
    Jay says:

    Westerners have been throwing diseased bodies and belongings over walls both ways since towns and cities built walls.

    There are Western records of both the Military and Settlers giving the lersknal effects, clothes, blankets, handkerchief’s from smallpox patients to Indigenous Tribes,

    There are many Indigenous Oral Histories, ( which in Canada, not the US have legal standing in a Court of Law) recording epidemics of smallpox after recieving such “gifts”.

    The Wakpanogg invited the Puritan’s to settle because they had already suffered 2 epidemic’s of western disease, and saw the Puritan’s as a “ballencing force” against other tribes.

    Was gifting Indigenous tribes with smallpox blankets and other things an effective bioweapon?

    We don’t know, the people who could tell us are long dead.

    We do know however, since the 1920’s, it has been a highly effective weapon in the Amazon, Paupau New Ginea and other Miner, Oil, Settler vs. Indigenous peoples land conflicts.

  102. 102
    Hunter says:

    @Jay: Chau was told not to visit the island, and told that the islanders had no immunity to whatever he might be carrying, and went anyway.

    When I read this story, I was reminded that European diseases killed more American Indians (North and South) than all the guns combined. IIRC, a German naturalist whose name eludes me right now managed to wipe out a fairly advanced civilization in the Amazon basin just by making contact with the native and then going on his way.

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