deprivation theory: secret of the cargo

Cargo cults. In times of stress look for the prophets of an earthly paradise. Is America ready for its own millennial cult…

The deprivation theory is most clearly illustrated by the cargo cults of Melanesia, which to our eyes seem to demonstrate extreme cupidity. The first such cult arose in 1893 when a native prophet in New Guinea announced the coming of a new age of abundance. Gardens would produce yams to overflowing, the trees would bend under their heavy load of fruit, and the dead ancestors would return to inaugurate a new era of plenty. Since then many similar cults have appeared throughout Melanesia. All predict the imminent destruction of the whites there, the return of the dead, and the arrival of a cargo of trade goods – thus the name “cargo cults” for such movements. These cults reached their height after World War II- when the cargo did mysteriously appear, usually as a drift from torpedoed Japanese and Allied ships or as shot-down aircraft. The cults continued after the war as well. One island cast their votes in local elections for President Lyndon Johnson. When they were informed that President Johnson was not on the ballot there, the islanders collected money to buy him- because they were convinced that he possessed the secret of obtaining cargo.

—A 33-year-old filmmaker from New Jersey created a fake “yogalebrity” persona for a film project but wound up with a real American following.
Kumare, real name Vikram Gandhi, speaks with a thick Indian accent. His hair is long, his beard is full, his feet are bare. Wrapped in a saffron sarong, Kumare effortlessly became a spiritual beacon for a curious bunch of truth seekers in Phoenix. Gandhi was raised in a Hindu household, the child of Indian immigrants. He watched, slack-jawed, as his fellow Americans embraced the spirituality of his Indian ancestors in search of truth.
About 15 million Americans practice yoga, which has grown into a $6 billion-a-year industry.
Gandhi started making the film about sadhus, or holy men, in India and the U.S. But soon he decided that a deeper truth could be found by becoming a religious leader himself. So he kicked off his shoes, grew out his beard and hair and started speaking in his Indian grandma’s accent….Read More:

All cargo cults believe that outsiders know some secret, of which the natives are deprived,- something a little similar to the current fetish for conspiracy theories, reptilians, etc, whom if they could just be exposed and slain, would result in general prosperity, also a form of utopianism- for obtaining the wonderful possessions that they have seen outsiders own. The missionaries played a major role in the spread of this belief because they doled out large amounts of trade goods as rewards for conversion. The natives saw the total society of whites and understood unconsciously that religion played an important role- and if they wanted to obtain the riches, beyond imagination, of the outsiders, the simplest thing would be to adopt the religion. But as the natives lined up to be converted, the gifts available for distribution to each convert became proportionately less. Finally, after almost everyone in a local area was converted, the flow dried up altogether. The natives, of course, felt they had been cheated. They no longer received the material benefits of conversion- and they still had not been told the secret of obtaining cargo. In 1933, a missionary in New Guinea reported that he had been told- as translated from pidgin English- by a native spokesman: “How is it that we cannot obtain the origin of wealth? You hide this secret from us. What is ours is only rubbish, you keep the truth for yourselves…The white man hide from us the secret of the Cargo…”

Samsara. Ron Fricke. Read More:

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