akha at loxinfo.co.th
Sat Oct 2 12:48:04 UTC 1999
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<owner-endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au>
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Date: Sat, 02 Oct 1999 19:48:04 +0700
From: Matthew McDaniel <akha at loxinfo.co.th>
Organization: The Akha Heritage Foundation
endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au,
"sovernspeakout at egroups.com"
<sovernspeakout at egroups.com>,
<IndigenousWorld at onelist.com>,
<missionwatchnetwork at onelist.com>,
akha at loxinfo.co.th
Subject: Re: ELL: terrorism incitement
vs. academic discussion
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owner-endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au
endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au
I will include this in one email because there are a score with a number of
I find it so odd that people with the most freedom are the quickest to want
to regulate it for others.
The effect of basically very culturally racist missionaries should be of
interest to a few people as to the effect that they have had and
have on indigenous peoples poorer and lesser funded than themselves.
Missionaries for the most part in north Thailand are very well funded,
wealthy by Akha standards.
I find it so strange that so many academics are so skin thin that they only
like comfortable discussions under the subjects they have chosen but then
would ask that any subjects that might also fall under that subject become
eliminated if it contradicts their contradictory view of the world.
In other words, lets discuss endangered language but not what endangers
them. It is plenty clear on this list that people would protect the
missionaries for the most part, that the wealthy groups like SIL, American
Baptist and a host of others should be able to force churches on
no one should be able to force them out.
Well if I am going to have my eggs fried, I'd like them fried, not rolled
around in oil a few times.
And anytime anyone discusses anything that walks on a sacred cow then it
Where is the disrespect in my emails. I feel missions are a significant
cause of language shift for centuries now and are still doing it.
Don't you read history?
The collectivization of Indians into the California missions, the Canadian
mission system, first army then mission caretakers to neutralize the balance.
Building a clinic does not give license to neutralize peoples cultures.
Why, and I say this because I want an answer. Why do you think it is OK to
force churches into villages making division but not ok to take them down?
One would think you biased.
Course we all are to some side.
But someone may as well tell me they want to talk about niceties if on one
hand they want to talk about the handwringing that can be done to save
endangered languages while on the other hand letting the thief out the door.
The questionable practices of SIL and many orgs are reason for great
But of more interest would be the methodical study of the abuses of
missions and that effect on their view of their own culture and language.
Now I am very interested on your reference to the destruction of churches.
First off, Jeff Allen made the comparison on the "bombing" of churches.
I think that this once again departs logical academic discussion.
Discussion, should be limited to the statements at hand and the validity of
them. If something is unclear, rather than leap great gaps of logic at a
single bound why not ask for a clarification.
I rhetorically suggested that if it made the racially squeamish feel better
that churches could be "dismantled" rather than destroyed. I think it
rather silly distinction.
The fact remains that numerous churches should be pushed over by a buldozer,
knocked down by sledge hammers, filled with water till the walls break,
however you want it. The building is destroyed.
I say that forcing a church on people, denying all the process by which it
was done, and somehow hoping to look like the victim, IS VIOLENCE. Just not
to you. But sure is for the Akha.
Singapore National TV just did a documentary on it and the attitudes of the
missionaries and it will be done over and over till the unjust practices that
the missions use against these impoverished people are stopped.
They must have a church in EVERY Akha village. This can't happen in Thai
villages, won't happen, so somehow they must settle for less, but why can't
they settle for less among the Akha. Its a matter of force, they have more
money, the Akha have less, and they can force it.
The churches are built in the most offensive and divisive manner possible,
always taking the dominant community center area in the village or the
highest spot, all the traditional leadership is displaced, and the villagers
have their heads filled up with blatant lies on the part of the missionaries
that have used this to end their culture and take custody of them. They
still remain impoverished. What they gain is unclear, what they loose is
immense. And this is not to say that someone can not share their view on
Jesus. But that is not the same as what is being done here and the grand
displacement of NON-WHITE culture.
Culture and the right to those traditions are protected by international law.
Yet missions can some how get a waiver and everyone will smile. Says little
about the dirty work that they really do and have been doing for so long.
I can plenty help people without telling them their ancient traditions,
culture and knowledge of the world they live in is rubbish, can I not?
Why can not missionaries do this?
What kind of incredible arrogance makes people think that they have the right
to go half way around the world, speak five words on Jesus, then add a bunch
of western cultural expectations, build a church, wipe out the culture, and
then leave for the safety of town?
But I am getting off track. I was talking about destroying churches of an
alien religion that is forced on people without those people having
sufficient right and option to refuse it.
It is foolish to say that this is not heavy handed or that the fact that
people would rather look the other way is not based on their preferred RACIAL
AND CULTURAL prejudice.
Hey, so OUR churches and missionaries do that to THEM OVER THERE! Oh well,
like barking at the moon. Oh, how we dismiss our own dishonesty so easily.
I say, and I will say it again, that missionaries who force another religion
on people by underhanded means should have their churches destroyed which
were not built with community full consent, without durress and they should
be asked to leave the country.
And I am pursuing this avenue with people in the Thai government right now,
to bring an end to the building of churches in Akha villages in Thailand and
to prevent missionaries from pushing an alien culture and religion on these
There are some Christian Mission groups that are primarily humanitarian in
They are the exceptions, for the most part the missions care only for their
I have a mountain circuit that takes me over some of the roughest jarring
roads in northern Thailand to more than 278 villages. I can see in one
spectrum what these missionaries have done, and what they are bent on doing
completely and then some.
It is very much a danger to these people being marginalized and having their
language and customs endangered.
When you eliminate a people's culture, just how much of the language and the
need to speak it for those elements have you eliminated. And what gives you
the right? Because missionaries call something evil it is? We have such
seperate standards for what is right and what our own culture does.
Maybe you would like to suggest a way, assuming you would pay for it, of
removing churches from villages without destroying them?
But don't all scream "flame" because someone asks a hard question and won't
Just answer the question, how do you remove a church that was placed to
intentionally divide a village without destroying it?
An awful lot of Christians are liars about what they are really doing
they are really willing to go about it. But should we call them people who
"sometimes have to do things a certain way to get things done" or can we just
call them liars?
They pay money to buy off headmen to convert a village. They say they
I'd like to know.
Sally Thomason wrote:
> Let's see: Matthew McDaniel urges us to destroy churches and
> then, when challenged by Jeff Allen, insists that he was talking
> about `dismantling' and not violent destroying and/or that he had
> accidental collisions with churches in mind; then Diego Quesada
> suggests that it's perfectly all right to incite people to
> violence because the CIA won't care unless the victims are connected
> to powerful interests, and that in any case the victims are racist
> and don't deserve protecting. Postings like this -- in fact, from
> what I've seen, *all* the postings from these two list members --
> make me want to desubscribe to this list, reluctantly, because, like
> Jeff, I value the non-yelling-and-shouting postings on relevant
> topics from other list members. But then Henry Szymonik posts a
> really interesting message about relationships between introduced
> religion and Native peoples.
> I wish this list were moderated so that flames could be rejected.
> Alternatively, I wish people who like to denounce other people could
> learn to exercise some self-control so that list members who are
> interested in less passionate discussion could learn from all the
> informative & courteous other list members. Maybe they could learn
> this if they could somehow come to understand that diatribes will
> convince absolutely nobody.
> -- Sally Thomason
> Endangered-Languages-L Forum: endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au
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The Akha Heritage Foundation
386/3 Sailom Joi Rd
Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130
Mobile Phone Number: Sometimes hard to reach while in Mountains.
Donations by check or money order may be sent to:
The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304
Donations by direct banking can be transferred to:
Wells Fargo Bank
Akha Heritage Foundation
Acc. # 0081-889693
Keizer Branch # 1842 04
4990 N. River Road.
Keizer, Oregon, 97303 USA
ABA # 121000248
Or In Thailand:
Matthew Duncan McDaniel
Acc. # 3980240778
Bangkok Bank Ltd.
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