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Cult of CARGO – the religion of the natives

    During the Second World War, a very surprising phenomenon arose. After its completion, scientists discovered a new religion that spread among the tribes of the South Pacific. They called it the Cult of CARGO. The fact is that during the war with the Japanese, the Americans built many military bases on the Pacific islands. Some of the islands were too small to build airstrips, so the cargo was dropped from aircraft, some of which fell directly into the jungle to the local natives.


    The islanders had never seen white people before, so they watched them with interest. They saw that the Americans did not work – they did not grind grain, did not climb palm trees for coconuts and did not hunt. But instead, white people drew incomprehensible stripes on the ground, put some kind of hats on their ears and spoke strange words. Then they waved flags and shone bright lights into the sky, and by the grace of the gods, iron birds flew in and brought food, clothes and other wonderful things in abundance.

    After the end of the war, the Americans mounted their iron birds and left the islands. The natives had nowhere to take all those wonderful things: lighters, stew, sweets and, most importantly, fire water. The wild tribes of the islands of Melanesia never avoided work, but no matter how hard they tried, they could not make a tarpaulin, or beautiful designs on clothes, or a bottle of wonderful drink.


    And then they wondered: why do the gods favor white people, but they don’t? What are they doing wrong? Day and night they turned millstones and dug gardens, but nothing fell from the sky. Probably, to get all these wonderful things, you need to do the same as the pale-faced ones. Namely, put on hats (headphones) and shout strange words, and then draw stripes on the ground, light fires and wait. Perhaps all this is magic rituals and magic that the Americans possessed. After all, it was quite obvious that all the beautiful things appeared to them as a result of magical actions, and no one had ever seen them do them themselves.


    Then it was decided to follow the example of white people. Some islanders began to lay semblance of roads and clearings in the jungle, others built radio towers from branches, others called on the gods through bamboo microphones from halves of coconuts, and others built idols – huge models of aircraft.

    But no matter what they did, the planes did not come. However, the natives believed that they probably did not pray enough, and continued to shout into bamboo microphones, turn on the landing lights and wait for the gods, who would finally bring them the treasured cargo. Priests appeared who knew better than others how to pray correctly and furiously reviled those who shied away from performing all the rituals.


    During these activities, they no longer had time to grind grain, dig sweet potatoes and fish. When, a few years later, anthropologists reached the island, they sounded the alarm, as the tribes were on the verge of extinction. They began to provide humanitarian assistance, which finally convinced the natives of the correctness of their views, because the wonderful cargo finally began to fall from the sky again!

    Adherents of the CARGO Cult are usually ignorant of manufacturing or commerce. Their concepts of Western society, science and economics are very vague. They firmly believe in the dogma that is obvious to them – white people had a special connection with their ancestors, who were the only creatures who could produce such wealth that cannot be produced on Earth. So, it is necessary to observe rituals, pray and believe.

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