Full story of the missionary killed when trying to convert an "uncontacted" tribe

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/22/full-story-of-the-missionary-k.html


Christ, what an asshole.


Sic semper ignoramus


I know there’s going to be plenty of grumpy cats saying “GOOD” about this, but goddamn it’s just…sad. What a waste of a life that could have been spent in faith and service to his fellow man doing what he loved, but instead he just threw it away for nothing. It sounds like he had a genuine love and reverence for nature–think how many people he could have guided through the mountains he loved to share the things he found beautiful about them. But instead, just a stupid waste.


The first impressions were right. He was an egotistical asshole leaking fake humility under high pressure. He didn’t care who he hurt as long as he got to collect a nice big pelt. The world is no poorer for his absence.


In a subsequent interview with the Sentinelese, they explained how they had been in contact with other indigenous peoples around the globe, and were thus prepared to deal appropriately with advances from white Christians.


A place that hasn’t heard of the GOP? I’ll risk it.


I don’t know. I think this article really downplays what a destructive act this young man was engaged in. It makes him seem like a misguided hero instead of someone who is so drive by an ideologically dangerous version of Christianity that has been the handmaiden to brutal imperialism for a couple of centuries now that he was willing to risk the lives and health of the people in question. His actions could have wiped out an entire culture and people, and he understood that, and he went anyway.

I don’t celebrate his death by any means. But neither do I mourn that there is one less individual out there who wish to destroy all that they have no interesting in understanding.


To be clear, in no way to do I think this is an issue of a misguided hero, notwithstanding the tone of the article. That’s precisely what I find sad–nothing about this was noble or worthwhile, it was just stupid. I don’t mourn that there is one less individual out there like him, but I do mourn that there was an individual out there like him in the first place who wasted in such a foolish, and potentially destructive endeavor.


Oh, I was talking less about you and more about the tone of the article. I most certainly don’t think you were defending him!

Personally, his behavior enrages me, rather than saddens me, given the destructive history the missionary work often played in colonialism. I don’t think he was foolish, rather he was indoctrinated by a dangerous ideology that he was attempting to carry out, when he understood how destructive contact with the Sentinelese could be. He cared more about trying to get them to accept his faith then he did about their actual lives.

[ETA] If there is anything tragic about what he did with regards to himself, it’s that he could have used that same passion to do good works right here in his own country. How many thousands of his fellow citizens go hungry every night, or live on the streetst? How many American children go to bed cold or too hot? How many refugee communities could use education classes or connection with legal help? How many people die alone every day who could use someone just being there? How many Americans need love and acceptance just as they are? But he did none of those things. Instead, he decided to focus on a tribe of people who he could have killed just by showing up. It’s rage inducing, honestly. [Sorry, keep noticing tiny errors!]


As I see it this is no different than the people who think they can “pray away” serious illness.

Fervent belief is not a magic power, you can’t say “Jesus loves you” in English to people who can’t speak English and expect they will suddenly understand.

Reality has it’s own agenda.


I read this a few weeks ago and while it was fascinating I shared the same frustration. It seems like Chau had some gifts that if channeled properly could have done some real good, but instead he wasted his life on a single-minded focus toward proselytizing a society that clearly wants to be left alone.


Just a guess, but it’s possible he reconciled it by believing that his God wouldn’t kill the people he was trying to “save” like that.

He just didn’t realize that his God would protect them by letting them end him.

Where’s the glory in that? He wanted to be a missionary man. /s


From the article, he understood how pathogens work; plus his father is a doctor. He very much knew that he could make them sick. He had a cold or something at the beginning of the article and he put off going to their island because of that. He absolutely knew. He just thought it did not matter, because if he got to them, and told them about god and converted them, they’d be saved for heaven. He literally didn’t care if he killed them as long as he converted them.

Also, I love that song…


I’ve personally felt that I shoud install the trapdoor to a pit with spikes in front of the door, hidden by the mat. Especially when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come by.


More on the tone of the article:

No, the projectile would have been aimed at Chau’s large and soft gut. Once he was crippled, the Sentinelese would have charged in, wielding their long arrows like spears. But before then, Chau would have had time to confront the fact that he was going to die. And I have faith that he welcomed his killers with Christlike love.

These are the last lines of the article… WTF?!? In addition to lionizing Chau, this article utterly dehumanizes the Sentinelese. It mentions that they were aware of the threat posed by outsiders, as there was a kidnapping years ago by a British citizen. And the anthropologist who made contact in the 90s had some good things to say, but the author just paints them as irrational savages anyway.


It doesn’t get any more Darwin Award than dying from trying to spread fundamentalist Christianity.


Keep a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra by the door, when they come round pick it up and tell them you also want to spread the good news.

They won’t come back.


Ha! A good strategy.

I took a philosophy class back in the day, and one guy did Nietzsche for his presentation. He brought a copy of the bible and threw it in the trash. One girl in class started crying!


Suicide by indigenous cop.