Amazon Tribe, Suicidal Cult

You have to watch this. So sad.

  • Revyloution

    Anyone who tries to say ‘we should go back to living simply’ should be forced to watch this tribe burying babies alive. Idolizing primitive cultures is born of just as much ignorance as those who worship bronze age gods.

    • http://adventuresinsciencefilm.blogspot.com/ SteveZ

      I’m not so sure “idolizing” is what is going on.
      From our perspective, yeah, ok, it’s a suicide cult that kills children. From their perspective, they die when they want and they cull the sick and deformed from their already small gene pool.
      Watching this, I wasn’t struck with sadness so much as the notion that this is what they do. They’re not evil, they just… are. The Brazilian government has gone to great lengths to preserve their culture. Does it deserve to be protected given our outrage at human rights violations? Or should it be protected because that 10,000 year old culture is pretty amazing? No matter what, I think the idea of going in there with modern baubles was kind of a bad idea as that’s how the beginning of the end started the decline of other “lost cultures.”

      • Len

        Sadly, the only thing now lost about these people is what their culture and history will shortly be.

    • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

      It’s more complicated than that, and your reaction suggests an emotional outburst rather than an actual examination of what people who ‘idolize primitive cultures’ actually are trying to say. Not that it is unexpected or unacceptable to freak out a bit at the idea of a people burying their own children alive, but the whole ‘modern culture sucks, let’s go back to Eden’ idea comes with the knowledge that nature is cruel, death is inevitable and not everyone is going to make it. Cultural artefacts like this are not usually born out of maliciousness, but of misunderstanding. That’s a far cry from a people with a much broader worldview deciding to build weapons that can snuff out entire cities at a stroke because, despite having every reason to know how stupid and dangerous it is, they still cannot not do it.

      Cultural comparison is largely about perspective. To them, we might look like utter barbarians for kicking our children out of the family home for six or seven hours a day and locking them in a building where they will be forced to do mindless busywork and screamed at for trying to perform their normal bodily functions. It is tragic that they think they have to do this, but it is almost as tragic that we think we’re better.

    • knowdoubt

      Idolizing “modern” cultures such as our own is born of even more “ignorance as those who worship bronze age gods.” Outrage over human rights violations there while ignoring our own vastly greater human rights violations by any measure is, well, what it is and it isn’t pretty.

  • FO

    Yup… Is that legal?
    Can the government dispense them for *killing children*?

    • Michael

      Of course they can. Who would stop them?

      But they won’t.

  • John C

    Is it ratings season for Atheist websites or something? Ha. I know sex sells but resorting to topless pics of jungle women is a little beneath your usual, high standards, D, ;).

    • Kodie

      Grow up.

      • John C

        It was a joke, Kodie…you know, joke? I was poking good fun at my good friend, D! So lighten up, eh? All the best, K!

    • Ebon Badger

      The fact that you seem incapable of looking at a naked woman without sexually objectifying her means you’re either 13 years old, or a moron. Which is it?

      • John C

        Why, yes Ebon, both, 13 and a moron. You must be psychic or something…but we’ll call it specially ‘gifted’, ;).

  • Paul

    I would argue that from their perspective as a subsistence culture that what they do is for them completely moral and done for the general health of the society. We have a culture that encourages those least capable of supporting and raising children to be productive members of society and spends much of our money on trying to take care of the kids who will for their entire lives be something that the rest of our society must take care of rather than they being contributors to society on their own.
    I have been reading a lot lately about the Eugenics movement in the US and Europe in the early 20th century. Their goal was the same, to “improve the human breed”. We did not really have the knowledge as to how to do this so we decided that using race and mental health to be the deciding factor on whether or not someone was to be allowed to breed. The term that the Nazis used later “racial hygiene” started here in the US. People in mental hospitals were routinely sterilized and this continued to happen with the mentally retarded until the adoption of the “rights of the retarded” act in the 70′s or early 80′s.

    The size of our population allows us to be more benevolent, especially when we factor in our more efficient means of producing food and other necessities of life. This small tribe doesn’t have that luxury, unless they allow western culture to destroy their way of life as we did with the Native Americans.

    I guess where I come down on all of this is that these people have been successful living as they do. What right do we have to force our values and system of living upon them?

    • Kodie

      Difficult to say. Wrong beliefs are wrong beliefs. They believe they’ll be reunited with their loved ones, so they kill themselves. They believe disabled children are inhabited by evil spirits, so be cruel to them. They believe a drug that affects their brain chemicals transports them to some spiritual knowledge, and they do not give the reporter a choice not to use it.

      Who knows if they maybe don’t have the resources to care for older people or sick children, but their methods are kind of… whack. Their reasons are purely stupid. Here is an article that might put it in perspective: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/644796-it-s-part-of-their-culture-reading-nick-cohen-in-the-light-of-the-jaipur-affair

      If we turn it on ourselves and say, well, that’s part of the culture, we just live with the majority beliefs. But we resist. The difficult thing to say is, and the video offers a choice, let them be as they are, or modernize them and ruin something which belongs to them and not to us. If their culture works for them, one would want to leave it alone. Nobody particularly likes an outsider coming in and changing your stuff. And if they want to kill themselves… say that doesn’t hurt anyone, but their loved ones miss them and kill themselves too. As for the disabled children, that’s absolutely cruel. If that’s their “way,” why don’t they just poison the children? Why let them get mauled by jaguars? Or how about stop being so silly and not kill anyone?

  • http://endemoniada.org Martin

    I really didn’t like the tone of that video. This goes beyond religion, this is pure culture we’re talking about. They live in the wildest of the wild, and they’re forced to come up with a way of living that protects them, and so they have. From the euthanasia to the infanticide, everything they do is, in its core, evolutionary. In the animal kingdom, elderly animals are seldom taken care of to the point where they become a strain on the group as a whole, and mothers (sometimes fathers) regularly kill their babies, especially if they are unhealthy.

    That said, the second big problem with all this is the stupid “we have to preserve these people” mentality, as if they are trophies of some kind. Either we believe that modern society and civilization is something to strive for, and we should include everyone we find in this, or we think their way of living is so great that it needs to be preserved, in which case what the hell are we doing in big cities and driving cars? The cognitive dissonance here really irks me. Pick one or the other, but standing square in the middle isn’t going to do anyone any good whatsoever.

    These are not museum pieces, these are living, breathing people. If we believe the way they live is “immoral”, then it’s our responsibility to help them, even if that destroys their culture. Conversely, if we believe they have a right to exist as they are, then leave them the hell alone.

    • Kodie

      From the euthanasia to the infanticide, everything they do is, in its core, evolutionary.

      Then why do they make up silly reasons to do it? If this is their reality, why do they make it magical? The perpetuation of suicide to be reunited with loved ones, it’s a religious trick to get people to do it so they don’t have to care for an aging population, and be so happy they look forward to it. Do animals need tricks to thin the herd? The infanticide also, they do it in a cruel manner to the child because it’s the evil spirit they are trying to rid.

      There is part culture that a society has a right to preserve, such as many global major cities are completely foreign in culture to the outsider, and y’all would resent a forced conformity to a preferred culture, and superstitions that cause human suffering unnecessarily, for example, sharia law, priesthood vows of chastity, and sending a sickly child into the woods to be eaten by jaguars.

      • http://endemoniada.org Martin

        Then why do they make up silly reasons to do it? If this is their reality, why do they make it magical?

        Religion follows nature, not the other way around. Human beings happen to be intelligent to a whole other degree, and I believe this has caused us to invent religion, just as it has a lot of other things. Intelligent human beings can’t simply passively accept that evolution does what it does, they are inquisitive and will invent reasons if obvious ones can’t be found. Enter religion.

        In other words, the “religious” aspects of their life isn’t the cause of their actions, but rather a rationalization of it necessitated by our intelligence.

        There is part culture that a society has a right to preserve, such as many global major cities are completely foreign in culture to the outsider, and y’all would resent a forced conformity to a preferred culture, and superstitions that cause human suffering unnecessarily, for example, sharia law, priesthood vows of chastity, and sending a sickly child into the woods to be eaten by jaguars.

        If you’d understood what I was saying, you’d have seen that I wasn’t advocating adopting their practices at all. Quite the opposite. Personally, I think we shouldn’t even blink at the prospect of modernizing these people and adding them to modern society. The “they’ve always done it this way” excuse just doesn’t cut it for US to morally allow their kind of lifestyle. If we want to praise ourselves for our modern living, we have to be consistent and help those outside our modern life to enter into it as well.

        The other side to this is that if preserving “authentic” native life such as this is the top priority, then the stupid “they’re doing immoral things!” attitude has to go. We’d have to accept that they simply do things differently, and that we don’t have a say in it at all.

        Again, it’s the cognitive dissonance on OUR behalf that irks me, not their practices as such.

    • knowdoubt

      Excuse me, but your perceptons of moral and immoral do not give you the right to “help” them if they don’t want your help.

      “Either we believe that modern society and civilization is something to strive for, and we should include everyone we find in this, or we think their way of living is so great that it needs to be preserved, in which case what the hell are we doing in big cities and driving cars?”

      These kind of illogical arguments and questions are enough to drive me back to religion – just kidding, but really when we start taking care (some minumum medical care that everyone is entitled to – by virtue of being members of the human race) of our sick, elderly and children we might have something on them but at this point that is no less than people in glass houses throwing stones.

      Maybe we could just throw them into our already largest penal system on the planet untill they adopt our morals and cities and cars, etc. and show em some real love rather than just destroying their culture shich I know is appealing when confronted with the different.

      IMHO

      • http://endemoniada.org Martin

        You seem confused, because that is pretty much the point I was making.

        The problem we have is being consistent. We want to preserve whatever old and decrepit rituals we have, but we can’t tolerate the equally old and decrepit rituals of Amazonian natives? That’s not OK. On the other hand, as an atheist I have a hard time letting them live like this and do these things just because they always have. Educate them, make sure they find a place in this world, and give them the morals _we_ pride ourselves for having, or at least the capability to develop their own morality.

        It’s a choice, but refusing to make that choice and still acting as if we’ve done the responsible thing is not right.

        • Len

          … and give them the morals _we_ pride ourselves for having, or at least the capability to develop their own morality

          They already have their own morals. We “civilised” people seem to not like them and are conflicted about wanting versus forcing the tribe to change the morals they have developed.

          • Kodie

            I think it’s patronizing either way. We wouldn’t want them to force us to live the way they live, and yet, they didn’t give the reporter a choice not to participate but merely to observe their hallucination rituals. But we consider the sort of atrocious customs they have to be quaint compared to the atrocities committed in the name of religion of our equally civilized countries. Like, Islamic theocracies of the middle East, we consider close enough forward to criticize how backward they still are. But a primitive culture is as a “child,” we either feel compelled to make them update, or grow, or we excuse them selectively for their lack of advancement. A prominent analogy to me would be that we lock up adults who make a tantrum at the grocery store, but let a child scream its head off, that’s its way.

            • knowdoubt

              “..they didn’t give the reporter a choice not to participate but merely to observe their hallucination rituals.”

              When in Rome do as the romans do. The so called reporter invited himself to their tent I didn’t get the impression he was “forced” to do anything. Anyone who travels the world knows you are faced with eating and drinking what is available in the land you’re visiting.

              “Like, Islamic theocracies of the middle East, we consider close enough forward to criticize how backward they still are.” If you had become an Atheist having been raised in an Islamic culture I’m sure you would feel the same way about life in these United States. Having lived in an Islamic culture for a number of years I can’t help but see the theocracy of our own culture and how backward it is. You must admit we are a killing machine of innocent women and children rivaled by no other country in the world. Good grief, shed the blinders. Still torturing and denying basic due process even to citizens.

            • Kodie

              When in Rome do as the romans do. The so called reporter invited himself to their tent I didn’t get the impression he was “forced” to do anything. Anyone who travels the world knows you are faced with eating and drinking what is available in the land you’re visiting.

              Taking drugs is beyond hunger to eat whatever they’ve fixed for you. It begins 10:45ish, the “initiation ritual,” he says, “I wasn’t given a choice.” I guess he could have left instead and not gotten the footage for the rest of his movie, so that was his choice, to risk it and do what he conceives to be his job, to show the rest of the world these remote places and people. If I’m watching the same thing as you, they know how to poison themselves and seem gentle and welcoming, could have easily initiated him by killing him, and besides, who knows what’s in that tree bark? They obviously think it’s not harmful, but they don’t live past 35. I guess that’s why I’m not a travelogue explorer and he is.

  • tritrek

    Why? For them, the sad thing is that we have to live in boxes, wear uncomfortable clothes, play our roles against our real thoughts. Sad is someone even considers entering their world. WHO are we to judge them? We (well, we…. the “holy” church) have interfered with people in Africa and we know how it ended. The same thing happened to people in Oceania…

    Let them live in their own ways.

  • Giorgio en Eva

    Let’s be serious,Catholic believe in Adam and Eva despite our scientific knowledge .What is worst ?

    • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

      Catholics (except Rick Santorum, who apparently knows better than the Pope) also believe in evolution, acknowledging Adam and Eve as some kind of mythology based on a spiritual truth. I really don’t see how that compares to the belief that killing your own children is a good idea… though all Abrahamic religions have their own story about that.

  • Maria Lima

    These are no more than sensationalist lies. I can’t understand why you would you believe this… It is completely illogical and ridiculous for any society to kill their productive members at 35!
    These are fundamentalist evangelicals trying to depict Brazilian native americans as primitive horrible human beings in order to gain access and evangelize them.
    For more information, check this: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8145

  • Adam

    Hey, look what happens when you use Wikipedia:
    http://www.survivalinternational.org/about/hakani


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