TIL of the “cargo cult” belief, in which pre-industrial societies mimic western activities, such as the building of mock airstrips, and performing daily rituals such as dressing as parading soldiers, which they believe will cause spiritual agents to deliver highly desired cargo such as in WW2 arenas

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>The John Frum cult, one of the most widely reported and longest-lived, formed on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. This movement started before the war, and became a cargo cult afterwards. Cult members worshiped certain unspecified Americans having the name “John Frum” or “Tom Navy” who they claimed had brought cargo to their island during World War II and whom they identified as being the spiritual entity who would provide cargo to them in the future


Should we gather up some still-flying WWII aircraft and airdrop some food and medical supplies to them?


Richard Dawkins mentions it in *The God Delusion*, how people would sit in “towers” with wooden “headphones”, waiting for all that cargo to appear. It’s amazing what impressive lengths humans will go to on incomplete information. I guess Western civilisation’s wooden headphones is the Vatican.


When has YOUR god delivered SPAM? Not in living memory.


Werner Herzog talks to a cargo cult in Into The Inferno. It’s actually really interesting.