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Matthew McDaniel akha at
Sun Oct 10 06:22:49 UTC 1999

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	 Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 13:22:49 +0700
	 From: Matthew McDaniel <akha at>
	 Organization: The Akha Heritage Foundation
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	 To: Henry Szymonik <heszy at>,
	         Endangered Languages Linguist list
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		  Subject: ELL: Re: Fight Fire with Fire?
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		  No body gets attacked, this is a discussion. Not about

		  I do not work with any religious groups because until there
		  is more defense
		  going on of the Akha the religious groups feel no need for
		  caution, this is
		  already changing slowly.  The need for evangelicals,
		  fundamentalists, to feel
		  they are all in the same alliance all the time is so
		  important that they will
		  never lay blame at the feet of others or ask for
		  accountability as long as
		  all is "being done for Jesus".  That sounds about as deep as
		  one can go into
		  brainwashing and denial, need I say more?

		  My comments to the list were that more study should be done
		  of this
		  area, and
		  that it should not continue to get the blind eye, that
		  missionaries will be
		  missionaries while everyone claims to go on fighting "so
		  hard" to preserve
		  endangered languages.  Then it is rather staged foolishness
		  would you
		  say not,
		  if one hand works to heal what the other hand is immensely
		  damaging.  If
		  someone claimed this to be standard imperialist behavior who
		  would blame
		  them.  But
		  of good conscience, people who claim to be protecting and
		  assisting endangered
		  languages should not have a lack of clearness as to what is
		  helping and what
		  is hurting and who those people are.

		  Certainly there are enough cases as here in nothern Thailand
		  where it is rife
		  to show that a good percentage of missionary activity around
		  the world has
		  been very much in favor of the culture and race of their
		  countries and
		  very bad for the minority peoples affected.  I think that
		  this is what is
		  possibly hard for more than a few to admit.  But it is quite
		  logical and
		  obvious.  This has been a dominant trait of missions
		  omitting the few exceptions.

		  But if people are going to be academics for a cause, then
		  they should at least
		  be honest about it in case by case events.

		  In the past missions built hospitals, but they still often
		  demand that
		  people depart from their culture.

		  I do not see any reason why American misisonaries from
		  mainstream groups like
		  the American Baptists, would have a policy to do this to the
		  Akha here and
		  then not have a policy to do it to the native peoples of
		  other countries.
		  This would seem odd in deed.

		  But I have long been used to the fact that the mission, the
		  church, is going
		  to be way above criticism even if they were mopping the
		  streets with plutonium
		  wash, Jesus would have told them to do it, there would be a
		  reason, a logic,
		  one of course that couldn't be changed if only for the fact
		  that an outsider
		  was suggesting it.

		  In the end, the missionaries will have to be forced to stop
		  by pressure, by
		  publicity and shame of their operations and handling of
		  people whom they
exploit to gain numbers, that is what it is about after all now isn't it?

The missions operate to make their programs and budgets grow, and power, and
they always need more people in order to do that.

I think the words were "persistent intent to commit cultural genocide."

If there had been some centrist group in missions, still why would I join
forces with a group that wants to interfere to the 30% mark instead of
the 60%
mark?  Because they have money?  I wouldn't sell one Akha downstream for that,
not that you were suggesting I should, but this work always has operated on
little money and I expect that to continue.

We build on community support to exclude, prohibit and expel the
missions and
make them as unwelcome as possible because I don't have time for their head
games and they quite frankly haven't a clue as to why they are so disliked.

People including missionaries should be held accountable for their own
stupidity, and it is not the responsibility of another, or me, on limited
budget as opposed to their rich ones, to educate THEM.

You will not find one missionary in a hundred up here who can speak Akha or
has a clue of what their culture is about.  Now isn't it just a little
criminal that people like that would be bent on destroying what they don't
have a clue to?


Henry Szymonik wrote:

> > Why should I think deeper, about what?
> You keep chastising people on this list for not doing more.  I was trying
> to give suggestions for different ways to fight the missionaries who are
> committing the anti-cultural deeds you talk about.  If you're not willing
> to try them, fine.  But it comes across that you merely want people to
> do exactly what you want them to do and aren't willing to even consider
> other ideas (my fire-vs-fire idea) or discuss situations where religion
> apparently has not damaged the native language (my Ojibwe and Hawaiian
> examples).  I was trying to help and all I get is attacked.
> "why should I think deeper, about what?"  sounds like you don't really care
> enough to try new things.  If your efforts haven't stopped missionary
> activity it seems like a given that you need to "think deeper" to try to
> come up with better ways to counter the missionaries' activities.


Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
386/3 Sailom Joi Rd
Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130
Mobile Phone Number:  Sometimes hard to reach while in Mountains.

US Address:

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.
Maesai Branch

Web Site:
mailto:akha at

Discussion Groups:
akha at
indigenousworld at

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