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Bringing God and Finding Death: A Christian Missionary on North Sentinel Island

Curiosity for the undiscovered last tribe, that tantalising moment when eyes are cast upon the previously unseen, remains the anthropological Holy Grail. But to do so would lead to the natural consequences that come with contact and invasion: the foisting of an alien divinity upon others, most probably a monotheistic Sky God, whose grammatically challenged invocations are found in a holy text. Then would come the introduction of terminal disease, the mod cons, and ultimate extinction.

For the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island, part of India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands, isolation is both conservation and vulnerability. Encounters have been recorded, though these are unflattering for modern audiences reared on sanitised words. Marco Polo wrote, around 1296, of “a very large and wealthy island called Angaman” populated by men with “heads like dogs, and teeth and eyes also like dogs. I assure you that, as regards their heads, they all look like big mastiffs”. An inventive man, was the cheeky Dalmatian.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four adds to the exotica of terror, with his Dr. Watson describing a villainous Andaman Islander sporting “murderous darts” and a “face [that] was enough to give a man a sleepless night.” He had “features so deeply marked with all bestiality and cruelty.” Never to be outdone, Sherlock Holmes, plucking a volume from his shelf, finds it describing a people, after Polo’s fashion, as “naturally hideous having large misshapen heads, small, fierce eyes, and distorted features.”

Contact with the shy locals has proven fatal, though not always. In 1867, the passengers and crew of the wrecked Indian merchantman, the Nineveh, managed to survive attacks launched by, in the description of the captain’s report, “perfectly naked” men “with short hair and red painted noses… making sounds like pa on ough”.

A more recent display was at hand in August 1981, when the crew of the Panamanian-registered freighter, the Primrose, ran aground on a reef near North Sentinel after enduring heavy weather. Initial relief turned to terror. “Wild men, estimate more than 50, carrying various homemade weapons are making two or three wooden boats,” came the wired distress call from the captain, sent to the Regent Shipping Company’s offices in Hong Kong. “Worrying they will board us at sunset. All crew members’ lives not guaranteed.”  The crew, armed with piping, axes and a flare gun – kept up a week long vigil till the arrival of both a tugboat and helicopter, courtesy of the Indian Navy.

In 2006, two apparently intoxicated Indian fishermen, Sunder Raj and Pandit Tiwari, were less fortunate in their poaching ventures, meeting their gruesome end after straying into the island’s proximity. Efforts by an Indian Coast Guard helicopter to recover the bodies was foiled by Sentinelese armed with bows and arrows.

The dangers were just as grave to the tribes ringed by the Andaman Sea. Colonialism, fuelled by the penal experiments pioneered by such vessels as the East Indian Company steamer Pluto, put pay to the culture of the Great Andamanese people, their people perishing to measles and syphilis.

A British naval officer, Maurice Vidal Portman, gave the world a highly conventional demonstration about how a new civilisation treats another: You kidnap their members, and observe them in captivity. Essentially incarcerating a select few, adults and offspring, Portman witnessed the adults ail and die. The orphaned children were returned to their abode. He did, at least, have the grim sense to observe in 1899 that, “We cannot be said to have done anything more than increase their general terror of, and hostility to, all comers.”

Efforts to engage the islanders, propelled by insatiable curiosity, have never stopped. As late as 1975, the efforts by a documentary maker for National Geographic attempting to cover North Sentinel resulted in an arrow in the leg. In 2000, historian Adam Goodheart got the bug and ventured to North Sentinel, observing, from a safe distance along the shoreline, figures “facing us, and one of them was holding something long and thin – a spear? A bow? Impossible to tell.” The title of his contribution to The American Scholar was predictably inelegant and suggestive: “The Last Island of the Savages.”

The Indian government has banned travel to the island on penalty, a situation that has had the unintended effect of turning the surviving individuals in question into residents of an open air, inaccessible zoo. That zoo, a natural entrapment of hunter-gatherers, is written about as an existence of finite contingency, a curiosity that must surely meet its demographic, if not cultural reckoning. Sita Venkateswar, writing in The Scientific American, asks how long this “window to our past” will remain open.

A degree of added exoticism that accompanies such moves has also been accentuated by a 2017 ban on the taking of photographs or the making of videos of the protected Jarawa and other tribal communities of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, including the Andamanese, Onges, Sentinelese Nicobarese and Shom Pens. As the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) outlined in a statement last year, “removal of these objectionable video films from YouTube and initiate action on those who uploaded these video clips on social media platforms” was an imperative. Penalties of up to three years imprisonment apply.

John Allen Chau fell for the temptation, wishing to bring his own variant of the Sky God to this population numbering anywhere between 50 to 150 people. Had he been a more cognisant student of the island’s history, he would been aware that those bringing gifts, however well intentioned, are bound to be met by more arrows than sympathy. The crew of anthropologists, armed police and a photographer for National Geographic met just that in 1974 despite, wishing to, according to one of the scientists, “win the natives’ friendship by friendly gestures and plenty of gifts.” History is replete with instances where the gift-giving foreigner ends up doing far more than simply being generous; disease, alcohol, land theft tend to follow, almost always with the god of Christianity thrown in. Chau’s own gifts were more modest: a small soccer ball, fishing line, a pair of scissors.

On North Sentinel Island, the hopeful Chau envisaged, according to his notes, a “kingdom of Jesus” springing up in the community, a proselytising language all too reminiscent of those missionary forebears described by Edward Andrews in 2010 as “ideological shock troops for colonial invasion whose zealotry blinded them”. All Nations, an international Christian missionary group, merely confirmed this sentiment: “John was a gracious and sensitive ambassador of Jesus Christ.”

An unimpressed Dependra Pathak, director general of police of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, steadfastly denied any tourist label for the intrepidly foolish Chau, feeling that he had gotten there under false pretences. (God bothering types can be economical with motives when required.) “We refuse to call him a tourist. Yes, he came on a tourist visa but he came with a specific purpose to preach on a prohibited island.”

The 26-year-old from Washington State became a twenty-first century victim of an old curiosity. He had done so before, some four times, always with the assistance of local fishermen who gave him unheeded warnings. Accounts of these visits, both in terms of frequency and how he got to the island, vary: he is said to have also ventured to North Sentinel by canoe from November 15 on a few occasions, having made contact with the inhabitants. On those occasions, he returned safely, though he was attacked.

Chau showed the quizzical nature of the confused faithful. Why would these tribesmen be aggressive? He, as any truly paternalistic invader, had “been so nice to them”. His faith was sufficiently strong to excuse any death he might suffer. “Do not blame the natives if I am killed.” And killed he was, his dragged body seen on the beach on November 17 by the fishermen who warned him. With a globe now choked by the mantra of mandatory interconnectedness, being an untouched island community is not only a heresy but a crime for the curious. “They are not wanting anything from you,” explained the Indian anthropologist T.N. Pandit, who had made visits to North Sentinel between 1967 and 1991. “They suspect that we have no good intentions.” How logically prescient.


80 comments

  1. Karen Kyle

    Binoy……you really are the dizzy limit.And you are doing the usual, combing history and literature for evidence of white man’s stupidity and and wrongdoing in the past and then laying it on thick.

    May I point out that these evils happened in the past when attitudes were very different. May I also point out that one of the great strengths of Western Society is the ability to recognise wrong, to correct such wrongs and to change course. Have you forgotten that white men fought white men in a devastating civil war in the US to abolish slavery?

    And it is a sad fact but true that contact with Europeans would bring disease to native people just as white men were susceptible to hitherto unknown disease once they entered Africa and other tropical areas. Perhaps you are of the opinion that contact should never have been established at all. And if you are of this opinion perhaps you imagine all the peoples of the world living in isolation without understanding or knowledge of each other. Sounds very odd.

    And you do bang on endlessly about Colonialism. Without Colonialism and Imperialism you lot would be sunk. You have to keep it alive and topical even though European Colonialism received a death blow during WW1 and was gone by WW2. But for spurious propaganda purposes you have to keep it going.

    And you are quite right. It has been kept going. The Soviet Union did a great job of building an Empire in Europe which included half of Germany and had Imperial designs in the third world i.e. The Middle East, Africa, South America. Their territorial ambitions were huge. Russia’s ambitions are still huge. First Georgia, the Crimea, Ukraine. Russia wants the Soviet Empire back. Russia wants to strut on the world stage. Russia longs for Imperial power and unlimited personal wealth among it’s ex KGB rulers. Russia is as crooked as all hell and Putin is a murderer and a thief.

    As for the European sins of the past…….do we blame this generation of young Germans for WW2 and the Holocaust? Of course not. That would be unfair in the extreme. But apparently the Europeans of today must bear the weight and the guilt of past Colonial crimes. What utter rubbish. What we can do is behave better than our ancestors and we do.

    And you have the usual smart alec attitude towards religion. I might remind you of Freedom of Religion and I presume that means freedom to worship or not worship any way a person chooses without suffering infantile withering contempt from smart superior atheists.. You know what the poet William Blake had to say about contempt…..it belongs to the contemptible.

  2. Joseph Carli

    Karen Kyle..I am sure you just deliberately set out to pick a fight. You have just there above threw a brick through every window on the past and then chucked a Molotov cocktail into the future. Might I remind you that here in Aust’ we STILL have those same colonialist families or the attitudes in charge…and yes…the west has made terrible mistakes and YOU continue to want to extend those mistakes into the future..if you want a better world, you have to draw a line under both the attitudes and the progeny that wants to continue the anachronistic ways and change the ruling class to change the rules!
    https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/an-advanced-society-2/

  3. Paul Davis

    It seems highly likely that religious belief is caused by a function (malfunction?) of our evolving brains.

    For the sake of the future of this planet it might be useful if collectively and cooperatively (lol) humanity started to research and finally resolve this question.

    Who knows, we might all realise that we share a common origin, we are all brothers and sisters, and we would be much better off getting along together …. without the dangerous baggage of phony religion imaginary gods and false prophets.

    But then, like the Edward G Robinson character in Key Largo, some of us “want more” and will lie cheat bribe steal murder etc to get it.

  4. Karen Kyle

    Joseph……that isn’t an argument. That is a pointless rant. Give me an argument….rebut me point by point.

    Paul……I doubt that research will throw any light on the topic of religion. The world is stuck with it for the forseeable future and maybe long into the future. And your last sentence is right. We are our own worst enemies.

  5. Ian

    Just because one is so convinced that their Sky Fairy is the One True and Only Sky Fairy, does NOT, ever, give them a right to ram their idiotic beliefs down others throats.

    Some bang on about ‘Religious Freedoms’. Well guess what?

    Freedom FROM religion has just as much representation under the Law irregardless of the ‘swearing on the bible’ throwback bullshit as other religious nutters.

    The Religious Freedom distraction that has been trotted out as a textbook Dead Cat tactic works both ways.

  6. Joseph Carli

    ” that isn’t an argument. That is a pointless rant. “…you’re having me on!…what the hell is yours but a miasma of motherhood statements and generalisations meant to convince us that “white is right!”…are you sure that you are an old union hack…you sound more like an apprentice Liberal party candidate.
    And if European colonialism is gone, why is the Queen still head of state? and how come the indigenous Kaurna peoples of the Adelaide plains were never paid for the land stolen from them when it was the STRICT INSTRUCTION from both the British Parliament AND signed off by the King of England that NO land nor the cultural rights of the indigenous peoles to enjoy that land was to be taken without fair purchase?
    AWW!!..you don’t know history…you’re just full of bluff and bluster…go try it on with some one else…amateur!

  7. Karen Kyle

    Joe……we can’t live a hunter gatherer lifestyle any more I’m afraid. You could try it. And seeing Aboriginal traditional life as the epitome of all that is good and virtuous is a mistake. Aboriginals did change the landscape by the use of fire, just as the the mega fauna died out soon after their arrival. And there are examples all around the world especially in South America of peoples and civilisations that rose and flourished for a while and then mysteriously died out or vanished. They are now remnant populations among the native peoples. Looking at the past is not useful. We have to look towards the future. There was never a golden age in the past anywhere. Get real.

  8. Joseph Carli

    ” we can’t live a hunter gatherer lifestyle any more I’m afraid”…And just what the hell do you think capitalism is, if not a living, breathing metaphor of stalker and quarry?….and is not the stock market just a “sophisticated” example of barter and exchange?…and there have been many examples of “Golden Age”…the time of Rome in c; 98-180 under successive virtues of Emperors gave that section of humanity a golden age for 4 score years plus…
    The same for the indigenous peoples here…especially along the rivers..why invent the wheel when all you wanted was at the end of a day’s walk..notwithstanding the usual accidents and tribulations of the human condition, the tribal existence may be frugal in possessions and sometimes rude in construct, but the fact that it worked for tens of thousands of years without either monetary debt or the mobile phone surely give a degree of credibility to its makeup?

  9. Karen Kyle

    It is not a question of “white is right” that is offensive. It is a question of deliberately engineered self hatred and blame for the evils of the world. It is right minded to view critically the mistakes of the past. It is downright neurotic to shoulder all the blame and guilt for the sins of our ancestors.. Mind you it is mighty handy for propaganda purposes. Hard line lefties can make damned good use of it until people wake up to what a very thin argument it is.

    The Monarchy has been reduced to a rump and the only reason it has survived at all is because they do as they are told. Australia doesn’t need them……we should be a republic and we will be under a future Labor Government providing we can solve the problem of the role of a President As far as Australia is concerned the Monarchy is mostly decorative and ceremonial with no real teeth under ordinary circumstances..

  10. Kaye Lee

    I would suggest, if we are going to look towards the future, it may be time to stop the archaic tribal rituals where men dress up and chant and burn incense and engage in symbolic cannibalistic ceremonies whilst bestowing absolution for sins, and crimes, in return for chanting with beads. Instead of tokenistic wasted sacrifice like enforced celibacy and not eating meat on Fridays and giving up sugar in your coffee for Lent, how about we look at the intent and sacrifice some personal wealth for the common good, and some nationalistic hubris to recognise that our wealth is built on theft of land, labour and resources…of children, culture and dignity.

  11. Karen Kyle

    Jesus Christ Joseph…….there was never a Golden Age. There was never any kind of Utopia. You sound quite religious about it all

  12. Joseph Carli

    Karen…”The sins of the father are visited on the children”…unless you purge the ideals of the father..we still live under the ideals of the father ..that is why a patriarchal system of Royal Rights is still promulgated by many in Aust…”Droit et mon Dieu” and all the rest..and to face the future, you have to lance the boil of the past…many crimes have been committed in our recent past..the children of those victims need to be redressed..you can’t hide from history.

  13. Joseph Carli

    Karen..there is a utopia…it exists within our own private lives / families if we are fortunate or hard-working for the good of all…I say I live here in the mallee in “splendid isolation”…on the aged pension which while leaves us in a precarious state of near poverty, we still enjoy the splendid tranquility of the bush and all its creatures…so ; “Yes Virginia…there IS a golden age”..

  14. Karen Kyle

    You can’t stop anything Kay Lee. Nor do you have the right to do so. Now you are sounding like an old Commo. You don’t have to worry about Christianity. It is losing influence fast and has been for the best part of two centuries. The extremists are those we should worry about.

    Theft of land,labour and resources culture and dignity. The story of humanity. It has ever been thus. And it sure as hell don’t look like changing any time soon. The West learns it’s lesson and now Russia and China are about to repeat the same old same old. While the bastards are still pointing an increasingly shaky accusing finger at the West. Liars they are. Misinformation and manipulation oozing from every pore. There seems to be not one redeeming feature.

    Sacrifice some personal wealth for the common good?. I will drink to that..

  15. Joseph Carli

    Anyway..I have to go now to watch some Franco Noir…will catch up later…..play nice kiddies!

  16. Karen Kyle

    That is not what I mean by a ‘golden age Joseph and it isn’t what you meant by a golden age either. You change the meaning of words to give yourself some wiggle room. Won’t wash.

  17. Karen Kyle

    Joseph……the sins of the father? There you go being religious again. And what the hell are Royal Rights? Do you mean the succession or what?

  18. Kaye Lee

    “You can’t stop anything Kay Lee.”

    Me personally, no. But a tsunami is made up of individual drops.

    Understanding the past goes a long way towards explaining the disadvantage of the present which allows us to move towards a better future by listening to those who have been harmed and giving them the respect to know how best to address the hurdles they currently face. Drop the father knows best attitude and work with the Indigenous community rather than offering up punitive white man punishment.

    I am not scared of China and Russia either. If they are trying to expand their influence, they are doing nothing more than others have done – often violently. That does not excuse them – I want all of us to stop wasting money on wars and useless weaponry..

    No-one’s going to do anything drastic because trade actually rules the world, much as the dick-wavers might like to huff and puff.

  19. Michael Taylor

    … just as the the mega fauna died out soon after their arrival.

    The archaeological evidence would suggest otherwise. The megafauna lived for about 50,000 years after the arrival of the First Australians.

  20. Karen Kyle

    Michael Taylor……that isn’t what I have read. However the more that is discovered the more the picture changes slightly,If the mega fauna had survived for 50000 years after the arrival of the Aboriginal people that would date their existence to quite late.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Well it just goes to show that you’ve been reading the wrong stuff. And believing it!

  22. Karen Kyle

    Michael Taylor…….not at all. I maybe read stuff written 10 or 15 years ago which has since been modified and updated by further work and changes in technology so that dating etc is more accurate. Or maybe you have been reading the wrong stuff. I will look into it later……maybe.

  23. Michael Taylor

    And there I was thinking that everything I learned in Aboriginal Archeology at uni had an element of truth about it.

    Oh well. Karen Kyle knows best.

  24. Karen Kyle

    Michael Taylor…….don’t be daft. How long ago were you at Uni? The picture might have changed slightly since then. Archeology is like that and so is history.

  25. Kronomex

    I have no sympathy for the idiot that got himself killed.
    I also see our resident pompous and overbearing know-it-all is spouting off again…and again…
    Don’t bother replying and getting all huffy, I won’t be coming back to this thread.

  26. Michael Taylor

    Karen Kyle, you really ought to appraise yourself of the facts before you start making a fool of yourself because of your uninformed statements.

  27. Karen Kyle

    Michael Taylor…….new dating techniques, measuring the luminosity in grains of sand. Similar techniques used in the ME to calculate the age of terraces in Israel. Very interesting re possible 80000 years of Aboriginal occupation. They must have left Africa early.

  28. Michael Taylor

    Kronomex, sage advice.

    I have noted with interest that Karen Kyle turns people away from entering discussions on this site. I don’t think this will be tolerated much longer.

  29. Karen Kyle

    Kronomex. I have no sympathy for the idiot that got himself killed either. I worry about the Islanders though. If there are very few in numbers they are doomed.

  30. Michael Taylor

    Ummm, the Aborigines came here from India.

  31. Karen Kyle

    Michael Taylor …..did they? Years ago I saw a documentary on Aboriginal DNA which said they came out of Africa like the rest of us. If they came to Australia from India they could have been in India for a long time before they arrived in Australia. They might have left Africa 100.000 years ago. Fascinating.

  32. Karen Kyle

    According to Australian Geographic there is evidence of Indian contact 4000 years ago. Maybe migration, maybe just a mixture and maybe the DNA didn’t come directly from India at that time. It might be a mystery for solution in the future.

  33. Michael Taylor

    Everyone has African DNA, but it doesn’t mean they came here direct from Africa.

  34. Miriam English

    Good grief, Karen. Talk about rant! You do love to bang on about how we should all be grateful for colonialism, and how religion is innocent of what the awful atheists accuse it.

    You contradict yourself constantly. You say these things are in the past, but then you point to the colonialist ambitions of Russia in the present (while ignoring the colonialism of USA). You somehow excuse the colonialism of the English and its diseases (merely unfortunate) and theft and slavery.

    Yes, good things come out of the Western traditions, as they do out of most traditions. But many bad things come from them too. Yes, one thing that came out of Western culture is the ability to challenge tradition and change for the better… such a pity that it is so often stifled by people like you who decry attempts to expose our wrong-doings.

    Religion is expert at propagating lies and covering the eyes and ears to reality. That’s why so many ills follow it wherever it stains human society.

    I’m curious by what you meant by “you lot” when you were praising colonialism and imperialism.

    I read Binoy’s piece as an interesting tidbit about a curious corner of the planet that has, against all the odds stood against the modern world. Am I in favor of the primitive life they lead? Not particularly. They’re welcome to it, but I don’t want it for myself. Binoy certainly wasn’t advocating for them or against them. He was describing an interesting thing. Let’s reverse your accusation, shall we Karen? Are you in favor of forcing the modern world upon them? Do you think the balance of disease and resource-theft versus modern gadgets would tip things in their favor?

  35. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, you are an angel. Just when we needed one. 😀

  36. Karen Kyle

    Miriam…….I suggest you read it again. You are putting words in my mouth. As for these native peoples, it is a great pity that they are unlikely to be with us much longer and this is the result of the modern world. In their own time they could have moved between islands, they could have mixed with others and found mates among others and thrived. Even if they were friendly it is probably too late now.

  37. Karen Kyle

    Miriam……and how have I contradicted myself?

  38. Paul Davis

    The earth is not an angel factory. No one has a soul that lives for ever in some fantasy heaven. No one is rewarded for earthy service by god in some ficticious afterlife. Jahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Thor, Asharoth, Zeus and all the plethora of mythical spirit creatures, demons, demigods, orcs, fairies, goblins, the nephilim, etc etc are figments of human imagination and invention.

    The concepts of god, divine rule by kings, enforced subjection to holy decrees and so forth are merely instruments of our enslavement. Those that take advantage of these obscenities to enhance their power over others are organised criminals and gangsters who warrant no respect or regard by their fellows.

    Politicians, rulers and leaders that believe in this rubbish are delusional and should be politely avoided… many of them are very very dangerous…… christians believe it is ok to pollute and ruin the environment because their god says “behold i am making all things new” (when it comes to reclaim the earth in the last days)

    Intelligent people know all of this and yet, even in this forum religious crackerheads pop up from time to time…

  39. Matters Not

    Re:

    time to stop the archaic tribal rituals where men dress up and chant and burn incense and engage in symbolic cannibalistic ceremonies whilst bestowing absolution for sins, and crimes, in return for chanting with beads.

    Perhaps it’s to do with the a constructed reality? And a glance at some statistics reveals that it is a construction widely shared. Then there’s the realities constructed by followers of Baha’i, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism and that’s only the beginning. Studies within each religion reveal even more (micro) complicated constructions.

    Perhaps there’s academic studies that deal with this phenomena?

    Talking about constructions of reality, MT thinks there are angels who arrive in the nick of time.

    Then there’s those 100 people who arrived on the beach at Surfers with toys for a dead child.

    All deluded? Or is that explanation far too simple?

  40. Karen Kyle

    Matters Not……..of course it is a constructed reality. The question is where did it all come from? At least we know some of the why.

  41. Karen Kyle

    And all deluded is too simple,

  42. Michael Taylor

    I sense I am being mocked by MN. 😜

  43. Matters Not

    MT, not at all. Constructions of reality (and we all do it) are usually seen as natural and right by members of a particular group (Kelly’s Facebook, is but a micro example) while outsiders can readily see the stupidity and irrationality of their claims. So easy to see the failings of the other – but much, much harder to see defects within our own (group) construction of reality.

    But I was being facetious re academic studies. Try this as an opener.

    What is reality, really? There can be no concrete answer to this, as reality too depends upon individual situations. What may be the reality for one person may not necessarily be the reality for someone else. Social construction of reality thus says that individual perception of reality is based upon individual beliefs, individual backgrounds, and individual experiences. Sociologists feel that what an individual perceives to be ‘reality’ is based upon individual experiences and individual beliefs, as well as the culture norms that individual was raised with. However, it is also true that an individual’s construction of reality agrees with the society’s construction of reality― in short, it is acceptable by the society

    https://psychologenie.com/the-thomas-theorem-of-sociology-explained-with-examples

  44. Miriam English

    Matters Not, “constructed reality” is such an absurdly empty term. It’s like trying to say there is no actual color blue, only constructed blue, where each person decides for themself what they want blue to be. It’s not only dopey and useless, it’s plain wrong. There really is objective reality, just as there is objective blue. Redefining actual reality to be whatever anybody wants justifies delusion and negates reality.

  45. Karen Kyle

    Constructed reality is a valid term. Money is a constructed reality. But some constructed realities are based on facts. Money is a fact. Some constructed realities are based on perceptions. Religion is based on perceptions But there are objective facts, e.g.the Norman Conquest 1066, and the sun will rise tomorrow etc. Different perceptions of reality sometimes means different interpretations of the meaning of facts, So you will have the history of a war for example written from different points of view. Same war, same facts different perspectives.

    Different points of view isn’t a serious problem. What is a problem is the negation or ignoring of facts, changing facts and rewriting history or generally trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. This is the work of the propagandist and it is dangerous.

  46. Jexpat

    Just a quick correction:

    Chau grew up in Alabama and graduated from Oklahoma’s Oral Roberts ‘University’ in 2014.

    Only more recently did he move to Vancouver, Washington, where he was associated with a fundamentalist organisatision known as Covenant Journey.

  47. Joseph Carli

    AHA!…I can see by those last few posts above from MN , Miriam and the ubiquitous Karen K’ that there is need for a treatise to explain and give grounding to the many theories that beset and confuse the fine example of humanity we find on these pages.
    I therefor propose to write a dissertation on my theory of …: “Logical Truth”…Ta Da!…there..I unveil it!..Logical Truth ; a methodology that gives credibility to and fills in the gaps of those pertinent times in action and history that have either no written or oral proof….My frienamies….I HAVE THE ANSWER!
    Watch this space.

  48. Michael Taylor

    My eyes are glued, Joe. 👀

  49. Joseph Carli

    Yes..and I thank you for the opportunity, Michael..should it arise…and I intend to write it soon..AND ..yes..I do expect some mocking flak for the attempt to enlighten the somewhat, sometime, stagnant imagination of an otherwise inquiring social mind…Sure..I can already hear the mockers..the cynics armed to their diploma teeth with verbal bullets of scorn..of laughter..: “Ha Ha” they will say..”Pshaw!” they will dismiss..”after all who are you but a mere carpenter..a mere bagatelle without qualification..lacking in all credibility”…and they will metaphorically wave their scribbled bits of paper that they call “Diploma currency” under my nose..and a more counterfeit currency you’d be hard-pressed to find this side of the Royal Mint.. or they will parade around with it waving high like a banner of excelsior at a ceremony of the minds…or mensa!

    But no…I will persevere…patience and virtue on my team…and yes!…good old common-sense, that matriarch of human endeavour, that provider of imaginative sustenance and vigor for many millennia of human achievements..and …and…..oh well..I think you get the gist..I’ll catch you later..

  50. Kaye Lee

    FFS Joseph. NO-ONE and I mean NO-ONE here has ever done any such thing. We are all agreed that learning is a lifetime pursuit and that experience is a great teacher. But I get heartily sick of your denigration of educational qualifications and your sneering dismissal of those who earned them. It is fucking hard studying full-time whilst working several part-time jobs, and looking after the domestic duties entailed with just living, usually in a shared group hovel. And nowadays, kids come out of that education with a huge debt just to make beginning life that tad harder.

    By all means share your pearls of wisdom. It would be great if you could do it without the chip on your shoulder.

  51. Joseph Carli

    I suspect, K’ that you would like to replace that chip with a “Sisyphus stone”…?

    K’ Lee..My whole being revolts at the “comfortable considerations” you give to your conclusions…Sure, we are both of the Left..but I feel I am still on my own “Long March” while you are settled in your comfortable suburb with your comforting ideal and comforting existence…..we differ greatly..

  52. Joseph Carli

    But not irrevocably!

    Anyway …I was just taking the general piss…

  53. Kaye Lee

    You know nothing about my personal circumstances Joe. Stop making ill-informed assumptions – it’s aggravating. You seem to think that university students are all privileged dilettantes swanning around flaunting their social superiority as they are trained into some groupthink. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure – there are some of those – just like there are some wealthy tradesmen. My contentment with life in no way implies wealth or complacency. You are not the only person on a journey Joe – everyone here is keen to learn more every day. I also try to learn to become a better person. That will also be a lifelong pursuit where the goal will never be reached but the journey continues.

  54. Joseph Carli

    I rest my case..

  55. New England Cocky

    @Michael Taylor: As a skeptical scientific heretic I suggest the Aboriginal settlement originally did NOT come through India and across Indonesia, but rather came the Southern route via the remnants of Gondwanaland or Antarctica. I will grant an African Rift Valley origin with southward migration over time to satisfy the European Afrocentric fascination, but the geological data from ice cores from Antarctica does not support the northern route.

    Additionally, the three surviving least technologically developed communities occur with the Tasmanian aborigines before extinction by European actions, the original Terra del Fuagans on the southern tip of South America, best seen in pre-1900 book illustrations, and in Southern Africa with the pygmies and their “high tech” bows & arrows.

    Similarly, the origin of Australian flora is unlikely to be exclusively SE Asian. True the northern costal rainforest is likely Indonesian in origin, but the southern Nothofagus forests are definitely Antarctic origin, when the Antarctic had a climate the same as Coffs Harbour today; which was about 10,000 years ago. Then there is the diversity originating in Australia of the Wattles family, and the Pea family, and some others (I have forgotten over time) which have literally hundreds of species in Australia and 2 or 3 species on any other continents.

    @Joseph Carli: Thanks for the invite Joseph but my life can do without another ego-wanker. Would you be so kind as to publish that proposal on another website apart from this informative blog where I enjoy the critically objective writings of Kaye Lee and the comments of others.

  56. Diannaart

    I really enjoyed Dr Binoy Kampmark’s latest thoughtful essay on the impact of colonialism and religion upon indigenous communities.

    Just sayin’ … I realise I have interrupted another dual of egos, please do continue …

  57. Joseph Carli

    NEK…: ” . . . I enjoy the critically objective writings of Kaye Lee and the comments of others.”…oh..you mean like your above subjective theories?

    Karen Kyle!!…where are you…I’m gonna need some back-up pretty soon..the dogs are out of their kennels!

  58. Henry

    I don’t comment here very much though Miriam is one of your best commentators. She is most wise.

  59. Joseph Carli

    I have to ask..: What has happened to that old Australian rat-bag sense of humour…Perhaps it is my ; “Aged white male building site” style that gets up peoples nose..or it could be (though for the life of me I can’t see it!) my pushy opinions and such…but there seems to be so little tolerance for chiaking and stirring these days…chill out people it’s not all that serious….lighten up..I can tell you a joke or two if you want!

  60. Michael Taylor

    NEC, the evidence confirms that they definitely came from India. The dingo also came from India, which the Aborigines brought with them a few thousand years ago.

  61. Michael Taylor

    I agree with Kaye about the uni thing. Equally was hammered into us, as was the respect for others. Joe, I doubt there was a person in our course who acts and thinks like those you despise.

    Admittedly, I can’t speak for the other schools in my uni.

  62. Joseph Carli

    Look…everybody…I don’t mind you demolishing my theories…I don’t mind you trying to destroy my character…or accusing me of everything from “wankerism to sexism”…but PLEASE….PLEASE..in all fairness…spare a thought for a chap and DON’T go about destroying my illusions!

    Here…in compensation…here’s a little amusement for you on a Saterdee afternoon..: https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/joyce-delivers-the-flowers/

  63. Karen Kyle

    Good story Joseph. I had a friend who took some Paterson’s Curse home and planted it in her garden. She thought it was lovely. Then again she did plant a Norfolk Pine in her rockery.

  64. Joseph Carli

    Good to see you on-board, Karen…stick around for a bit…might need a bit of muscle later…someone to take my back….and ta also for the like on the story….There are many amusing people about…

  65. Miriam English

    Don’t get too upset at Joe. I think he’s been relaxing with wine a bit on a sunny, breezy Saturday and let a bit more hang out than he intended. I think it’s not meant to be spiteful.

    Fair warning though, Joe, it is a bit hard to work hard on something for many years and then have someone pop up without that background and say they know better. It’s a bit like someone saying, “Eh! These know-nothing carpenters! They’re doing it all wrong. I’ve been looking at what they do in my spare time for a while now and I know better than the lot of them.” A bit hard to swallow? Now you see what Kaye means.

  66. Joseph Carli

    Ah..Miriam, Miriam…why doubtest thou?

    The Lady of Shalott (1832)
    By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Part I

    On either side the river lie
    Long fields of barley and of rye,
    That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
    And thro’ the field the road runs by
    To many-tower’d Camelot;
    The yellow-leaved waterlily
    The green-sheathed daffodilly
    Tremble in the water chilly
    Round about Shalott.

    Willows whiten, aspens shiver.
    The sunbeam showers break and quiver
    In the stream that runneth ever
    By the island in the river
    Flowing down to Camelot.
    Four gray walls, and four gray towers
    Overlook a space of flowers,
    And the silent isle imbowers
    The Lady of Shalott.

    Underneath the bearded barley,
    The reaper, reaping late and early,
    Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
    Like an angel, singing clearly,
    O’er the stream of Camelot.
    Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
    Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
    Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis the fairy,
    Lady of Shalott.’

    The little isle is all inrail’d
    With a rose-fence, and overtrail’d
    With roses: by the marge unhail’d
    The shallop flitteth silken sail’d,
    Skimming down to Camelot.
    A pearl garland winds her head:
    She leaneth on a velvet bed,
    Full royally apparelled,
    The Lady of Shalott.

  67. Joseph Carli

    Miriam…As a matter of interest, I have been re-reading Gertrude Stien’s “The Autobiography of Alice. . . ” again after a very long time..and I find her language structure rather clever and forceful..in a writing kind of way..will discuss over on my post later if you want..

  68. Miriam English

    Joe… you got doubt out of that?????

  69. Joseph Carli

    No Miriam…I got the doubt from your admonishing me like I would have no “insight” into what or from where “they who shall not be named” is coming from….it hurt, Miriam…it hurt..

    ( I like that poem…btw..)

  70. Miriam English

    Easy solution to that, Joe. Don’t act as if you have no understanding of it.

  71. Mark Needham

    Karen Kyle. Mate, been there, tried that with Joseph. If you say something you are just picking a fight., and yet again, he says this ‘that old Australian rat-bag sense of humour’
    Some time back, an Article, was completely removed, after Joseph and others fair gave me some good old Aussie Larrikinism. Joseph can be quite nasty, when he trys hard.

    Main reason, for saying, is that it is nigh on impossible to have a conversation with him.

    Pity,
    Mark Needham

  72. Joseph Carli

    Mark Needham…From Larry Pickering’s blog…: ”

    Bat Wed 9 Nov 2016 10:37:20 am

    Anyone interested, here is the conversation on The Aim Network., regarding trigs and 18c.
    http://theaimn.com/such-outrage/#comment-502028
    I write under my true name, Mark Needham.
    Bat Tue 8 Nov 2016 07:27:43 pm

    OT. Chatting on the AIM site. This a reply to a question, about Tony Abbot and Labour politicians in the Rural Fire Brigade.

    The Answer:- “” Kaye LeeNovember 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm
    So you actually believe that Tony fights fires and isn’t just there for the staged photo?””

    No Labour politicians names offered., no fire fighting volunteers. ”

    Oops!…here’s that bloody Joe Carli again..picking a fight!

  73. Joseph Carli

    Ah, Miriam…it’s the skin…some peoples is rather thin..sigh!….you got to tread so gently sometimes…

  74. Mark Needham

    Cheeees Joe.

    As I said,
    “It’s a Pity”
    Mark Needham

  75. wam

    if only he had had taken a friend who survived then we could all praise god for saving him.
    ps how happy am I that the jew ploy didn’t work in wentworth and now the terror rant failed miserably go go go billy.

  76. paul walter

    All I can say is, when religious nutters doorknock me I just shut the door on them.

  77. Diannaart

    Paul Walter

    When god botherers go to all the trouble of walking the steep incline to my front door, I ask them for their address, after all they have mine.

    I don’t see any point in being discourteous in spite of the irritation I feel towards these delusional people.

  78. Max Gross

    Permit to call it. “Religious belief” is simply a mental illness, probably genetic in origin, given the many people affected, across races, nationalities and cultures.

  79. paul walter

    I’m not rude to them. I ask who they are and when they tell me they are out god-bothering I tell them “no thanks”, but close the door to ensure there is no foot in the door stuff.

    Anyway, I was only trying to give an example of how I believe these islander people would feel when these sorts of people invade their privacy.

  80. paul walter

    I’ve nothing against religion, although I see religious mania as a problem, Max.

    The universe is such an amazing place that asks so many questions of mere humans with limited intelligence. I love philosophy but loath fanaticism, which is just another lazy retreat from doing a bit of hard thought.

    In the end I become yet more amazed at how little I can know for sure about the universe, infinity, eternity and the processes involved.

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