Akha Chronicles
Book 1: Maesai
Chapter 20: Missions

 

 

Missionaries

Missions were a very destructive influence on the lives of the Akha and were bent on destroying the small remaining hopes which they had, their last identity.

The missions were so arrogant they could not see the WHITE nature of their work, and this made disuading them by normal means impossible.

 

KMT

British and opium wars

the missionaries

KMT

 

Tactics of Village Splitting and Take Over

 

Black Friday In An Akha Village

I and a friend fought our way up mud track roads after a four hour trip to reach one of Northern Thailand’s most remote Akha villages, Hur Mae Khom.

We had a gift of writing books and pencils for the last traditional families in the village.

Two weeks before the headman told me that the Chinese Baptists had come and convinced

three quarters of the village to become Christian.  From personally checking with the

families they had told me that it was required that they abandon all of their traditions in the

process. Finished.

So when I climbed the ladder to the headman’s porch and sat down I was greatly concerned

as he sadly poured me tea.  I and my friend drank while he related the events of the last two

weeks.

There had been five or six families that stuck with him.  There was one village elder living up

the hill that was helping to hold it all together.  The headman had not invited the missionaries

and did not approve of their demands.  But then some time in the last week they had

convinced the elder to join their forces below and abandon the headman.  So he moved down

to those huts. The other families soon followed along.  What could he do, with the last elder

gone from the tradition there was no one left to teach the old ways to the families.  He was

more than just a little sad, saddest that I had ever seen him.  Though the huts had not moved

he was now a headman without a village and the new puppet pastor the new functional

headman.  He knew that the missionaries always promised to give lots to the people if they

converted.  Meanwhile the villagers were still asking for medicine that the missionaries apparently weren’t including in the deal.

I went down into the other huts and was immediately struck by all the changes being

imposed on the people.  Numerous women were no longer wearing their headresses as they

had been so proudly doing all the years that I had supplied medicine to this village.  I asked

them why and they said they couldn’t any more.  Some of the older women still hung on.

But the pressure was now definitely there to abandon them.  There would be no traditional

practices, songs, or dances at all now, possibly something would be allowed at Christmas.

The woman who practices the traditional knowledge and medicine for the village was

stopped.  She was told that it was evil and that she could no longer treat people’s illnesses.

In the name of their religious beliefs, and quite in contradition with the spirit of those beliefs,

the missionaries are eradicating Akha culture in village after village.  The Akha, with

probably 98% written illiteracy, their books the elders, have no way or perspective by which

to judge this method that comes with all the promises of prosperity.  Prosperity that seldom

materializes.  From a standpoint of incredible rapid economic change and severe poverty

they are being robbed of their rich heritage.  Children are taught that their parents are living

under the power of darkness and bondage, teaching disrespect to parents in direct contradiction of the missionaries’ own religious texts.

Such practices could not be gotten away with without much criticism in the west, but people

who enjoy the freedoms of their individual traditions and beliefs in the west do not believe in

offering those same freedoms to others if they can exploit them for the agendas of their mission agencies.

We believe this has everything to do with endangered language.  If you ban the culture, what

exactly is the language then good for?   A religious ban imposed on culture is just as powerful as a governmental ban on culture if not more so.

We find these repeated actions to eradicate Akha culture from among the Akha people as going against standards set forth in the UN Draft of Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples.

Anyone who would like an entire copy of the UN Draft on Indigenous Rights please send me an email.

There is a whole lot going wrong here.

 

Why I am opposed to the Missionaries:

 

A betrayal of what is good

 

A betrayal of a people

 

Creating divisions

 

 

Refusing to accept the culture of the Akha

 

 

Arrogance, hypochrisy

 

 

The Akha

Akha Days

Part One

The Missionary Cold War

 

A complex and careful war.

How missions work and effect the lives and independence of the Akha and their freedom to their own religion and culture. How the villages are broken and converted.

The involvement and structure of the mission system in north Thailand is very important to understand, but of greatest importance is to understand that the Akha as a people have a right to their own tradition and culture under international law, and this right is certainly not being protected.  It is one thing to say that the Church has a question of character and morality in this matter, but ultimately the failure to protect the Akha and their culture must fall in part both on the Thai government and International organizations and the Missions.  The missions, since they are the perpetrators, are the chief defendant in the matter.

The history of missions is long, through the centuries, from crusades to the new world, a political order that always claimed it wasn’t.  Always converting and eliminating tribal cultures and often tribal peoples, subjegating smaller groups into the larger ones, assisting colonialization and assimilization. A growth industry on the back of others, following close to the exploitation of resources and lands that the indigenous live on.  This parallel situation is very hard for missionaries to admit to.  They are woefully ignorant of anything but the polished, carefully selected version of their conquest history.  It is quite amazing that anyone denies this political role and goal of missions does not exist, but quite a few still do make this denial.

In Thailand there is functioning both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church.  They both work with the Akha. The Catholic Church is under one structure, while the protestant efforts are under many structures.  There are a few umbrella organizations that house many of the individual organizations of the protestants, but this certainly does not cover them all. Since the protestants do not organize a visible central structure, though they often work in such a way quietly, they can claim security from appeal to any such organization. Their makeup of many missions, churches, individuals, all claiming to be unaffiliated makes bringing them to justice for their crimes that much more difficult.

They are here for a reason.  I am not sure what all those reasons are, but it certainly appears to be based on inherant needs of the individuals in these organizations and not much on the needs of the people whom they work with, in this case the Akha.

The need of the missionary individual is to stay out of hell, and they feel that in order to ensure this, they must also keep a few other people out of hell by converting them to the same fear paradym. This is the driving force of the missionaries, you won’t meet one that wants to talk the Bible or the details and justifications of all this.  At best, rather than logic and blow by blow discussion you will encounter rhetoric and quotations.  Obviously these people are very insecure, very unsure of themselves, and really are quite afraid to think for themselves.  Many of them have their lives, years and years, buried in such ventures and if it were inspected now, the validity, well, might be more than they could handle, that they had wasted much time and years.  Or had just been wrong.

I don’t mind that people believe different than I do but I wonder why they can’t even argue their own belief system?  For instance, say if I said I agreed that it is good to keep people out of hell.  I might add that I believe that for the sake of argument because I also believe that it is good to try and prevent bad things from happening to people, much in the same way the Thai highway department is installing guard rails in the mountains along the side of steep roads.  So then I would ask the missions, that if saving people from harm is the point, then why is not the money focused to do the most good, water, medical care, human rights, etc rather than build big church buildings?

But they are not so interested in such things.  Many Christians make careful distinctions before giving away money.  One is that they are around to save souls only, the costly church buildings are for this reason, and they aren’t allowed to spend for saving from other things.  Ok, saved from snake bites but not malaria.  Odd support system they do have indeed.

This explains their casual disregard of the living and human rights conditions of the Akha.  It is just much easier to build a church and claim success.  When you need more to do, and when you need to show how compassionate missionaries are in helping others where the Buddhists won’t then you can cross the line and borrow one or two human needs also, to show how much you care for these poor folk.  But, the real goal is evangelization, and the rest is borrowed for additional kudos.

For this same reason, having supplied a village with a church, the missionaries feel no guilt at going home and living and eating well in Chiangrai, Chiangmai or elsewhere, because they have done their job.  This is a very careful good news, or “gospel” as they are so fond of calling it.  This is the purpose of their work, to spread the “good news” the gospel.  However, the good part of the news is very limited.  When this is pointed out, the missions must refer to their mission packet for working with the Akha.  In this mission packet, built, embelished upon, and added to as the years go buy, are the standard protective answers that they have for being basically racist bigots that they are.  “Oh, the Akha are bound in the spirit of bondage, that is why they must suffer and die till they come out of it and think like us.”  And so goes the thinking and the neighborhood.

The missionaries can not cope with the fact of how good they all live, compared to the Akha they claim to help.  In only one or two situations are missionaries living in the villages and this is for the sole purpose of putting a complete end to the culture and converting them all to be good american style mindless evangelicals.

Goals of the missions and why we have a problem

The chief effect of the missions is to deny the Akha their right to be who they are, keep their own culture and traditions.  The missionaries wish to impose a different one, one of the west, on these people.  This is made easier by the poverty, another reason that the missions do not fight the poverty in the villages.  To fight the poverty would make them less able to succeed in forcing their religion on the Akha.

The missionaries lie and go to great length to deny that this is what they are doing, taking away the Akha right to freedom to their own religion and culture.  These people are criminal by every measure of international law guaranteeing the Akha the right to be who they are, religiously and culturally.  Further the missionaries seldom speak the language and have little clue to the culture of the Akha.  It isn’t like their own so it is wrong.  That is all.

I would like to point out the fact that the missions are not here in any limited kind of way.  They are not here to convert a maximum of ten villages.  They feel compelled due to their belief system, no matter how filled with contradictions it is, that they must convert the entire earth to their way of thinking.  They must have proof that they are succeeding and this need for proof brings many errors and ills with it also.

But it must be constantly pointed out, that this is their belief system that they number one not only feel they must do and impose, they also in a self fulfilling way, feel that it must be their right to convert all to believe like them, or they are not having religious freedom.  They say nothing about the right of the other people whom they wish to convert to be left alone, to practice their own culture.

Further, there is no unified theory of what their own religion is, so every individual and group comes with a diferent definition, within the greater pool.  The greater effort accepts this based on the idea that at least everyone will be converted to some form of social Christianity.

I say social Christianity because if you ask these people what it means to be a Christian, they will say that in reality many people are not “true Christians”, are only church goers.  But they try to at least convert villagers to this first status, in order to increase the second, but would deny they are related.  So we convert an Akha village to be Christian, but are they all Christians, don’t know, ok.

So one of my cases against these people is that they are converting the villages to an acceptable form of evangelical american style religious culture first of all and that this does not have anything to do with what their own Bible even claims to be about, mass social movements not really being the focus of the Bible.

So how does this spell out for the Akha?

Since there are no limits to what the missions want, we can assume that their goals at conversion want it all.  For the Akha, this means they want all Akha villages converted, their culture put an end to.  It really doesn’t matter if there is later on inner strife with two and three churches sprouting up.  They have been converted first off and the details can be sorted out later.   That the Akha were not allowed to be who they wished to be is not of a matter.

So the goal is to convert all the Akha, to take over by force of outside pressure, all Akha villages in Thailand, Burma, Laos and China.

None of the missions involved will discuss the specific problems involved in this, though they do admit problems exist.  In many cases, due to many efforts on my part to expose this missionary campaign, they are going to length to mask their true efforts by pretending to care for the culture of the Akha.  They are liars.

Over the past 80 years the missions have destroyed much of Akha culture, displaced the youth, abandoned the youth would be better to say, converting them out of being Akha into being nothing with no place at all  unless it is the church, which hardly matches the knowlegde and past they came from.

If you go to Akha.org you will see many photos and additional commentary on this process that they have brought about in the mountains.

 

Current situation

But I would now like to go on to mention the current situation with the Akha and what the missions are doing to them.

Currently the mission, numbering in the scores, are working to break the last of the traditional Akha villages and strenthen their grip on the existing villages.  This is a political colonization.  Surely the US embassy and the Thai government are aware of it and in agreement that it can go on, or law would be used to stop it.

Most of the missions are from the US.

We have numerous villages now that are being split or under pressure to split.  The missions involved are known, who they are, how they are working, who they are paying to do the dirty work.

Requests to the UN for assistance in the matter go unheeded.

The traditional elders are pushed aside and given no choice. Though it is illegal for people who don’t follow the Akha way to live in the village, these new converts that have been converted in the villags, insist on staying and building a church and defying the leadership of the village.  In the past they used to seperate to another village, fine enough, they no longer do, insisting that it is easier just to break the whole village.  Christians say that they are suppose to obey those in authority.  Missionaries deny this. They have a way of breaking every rule that they themselves say they believe in.

Once pushed aside, not only are the elders reduced, when there are enough converts in the village who have taken control, then they will be pushed to claim the village as a Christian village, against the wishes of the elders, and then they forbid all Akha religion in the village, taking the village over and then forbidding the village the same religious freedom they insisted upon.

This is a war, a cold war of religious and political terrorism being waged against the Akha in the mountains.  No bullets, just lots of force.

Many people comment that the Akha must agree to this or it wouldn’t happen.  This is not at all the case.  Well paid Akha are sent to force a conversion, step by step on the new village.  The intruder does not work, does not farm and is not from that village.  They are paid insurgents, paid trouble makers.  They find the weakest point in the village, some family with a problem with the existing leadership, and then the power battle is on.  Divide and conquer.

The trouble making churches and missions are photographed and listed on the web site Akha.org.

(This being the biggest ploy of the protestant dominated US).  So the excesses of the Catholic structure could be made to look like they had been done away with, while still retaining in full the nasty habits of the lesser character of humanity when combined with the power excesses of religion.

Where as the Catholic church was centralized and powerful, the protestant church is decentralized and less powerful. If it was a reformation movement, it was only briefly so.  The final result of the movement was many little units of the church which have basically no oversight or accountability, and definitely will not answer questions, the most notable part of any religious authority or government.  The failure to answer questions they don’t like which would expose corruption, human rights abuses and the very lack of freedom of religion, as in freedom from their religion.)

 

Missionaries

Always unable to answer the questions

 

Korean Presbyterian Mission

 

Rose Martinez

Runs the Children's Happy Home and a few other places

 

 

Missions

I would have to have a strategy of what I was going to do there.  I hate to unite with the religious element because I think that despite the fact that they have some of the better things in consideration, that in reality they are not so willing to be intellectually honest about all that is going on.  They are taking some of the old fashioned techniques, already abandoned in much of the west for the negative side effects they brought with them.  Try explaining this.  Forget it.  No one questions God.  They are building the kingdom of God.  If you want money just ask Jesus.  Oh, you want to know how I get money?  Well I can’t tell you that.

I think of how much I could have gotten done here if I had had some brotherhood, some cooperation from the religious organizations down in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai area.  But they all seem to be part of a club and I would have to send out all the signs of buying into all the dogma that they are a part of if I was going to get money from them and from my experiences with the likes of Christian Happy Home and Rose Martinez that would still not be too much of a likely hood because they are all trying to enlarge their Dynasties and aren’t interested in helping someone up here with new and different ideas get anything done in an area that they quite apparently would like to annex but just haven’t had the time or energy to do so to this point.  That is all sad when one thinks of the loss.  For four years I have asked for their help and got none.  Meanwhile the kids could have seen a different life.  Next door the Chinese Baptist Church has its new usually empty multi million baht sanctuary, painted an appropriate five story pink in the heart of the brothel district.

Oh well, the personal questions, choices and decisions go on.

 

Barry

Tell more about  this one.

He comes here with his silent wife. Preaches hard, then digs the young chicks and ditches the old broom and takes home a real babe.

 

Missioanary family Gaw Jaw

 

Loi Chiang

 

lewis/cia

                People say this is why Lewis got kicked out of Burma.  I haven’t seen anything in missionaries in general that would keep them from being party to the CIA.  Father appa even said that Lewis took blood from Akhas in the hospital to sell to GI’s during the war.

 

Bill young

                His father was Gordon Young, the one who had the infamous comments about the Akha.

                He worked for the army, cia, who knows.  Nimit says he visited him at his hut in a US army uniform.

                others said he had more than one lahu wife,  is he married? you mean how many?

 

Gordon youngs comments about akha from Mika Toyota

That they were the dirtiest people and one guy screwed all the virgins

 

brian barney/dea

Brian Barney got calls from the DEA

They played basketball together on Sundays

Meese brothers

Their father

                The meese brothers, some say they are pentacostal, others say they believe in removing spirits, lewis said they taught his villages that if they weren’t baptised with the holy spirit they weren’t saved yet.  He didn’t like them.               

                The father, he was said to be well liked by the different tribes and met them at Chads guest house in Maesai sometimes when he came there.

 

The Paul Lewis Sterilizations

The full story and Akha Reply

 

Missioinaries

Came here and worked a lot with the Akha, I don’t think they understand them and that may be academic in the long run.

protestant

many protestant groups, like rats eating at a carcass

catholic

low ebb but steady, always a balance to the protestant

 

Past, present, Yote and adjay

dapa people, don’t know what village they are from, would be good to know and how long ago lewis began working with them.  Nimit would know.  Phillip said nimit was jealous that yos got the job instead of him, something like that. Course there is an odd connection on nimit.  People said lewis stayed with nimit for a long time to try and get him to dry out, but failed and nimit says lewis told nimits wife that it was useless and to take a hike and she did and that she became a prostitute in Bangkok.  So he had at least two sons by her and then remarried.  That is interesting and I wonder if maybe there isn’t some hurt there that blocks nimit, or maybe it is just his self serving bullshit again

 

Pensa’s Mission

Does the government like pensa’s mission?  He may be tolerated because they still help agenda of assimilation.  Is it a form of accountablility? Akha women who pensa knew who couldn’t bear children. Why?

 

What is the goal of missionaries?

To get complete control of the Akha for themselves, their way of thinking and their religfious organizations.  Compares to the ethiopians at Hertzof Yasef and the “TOM” training school.

 

Adjay married an American with baby now

Adjay has a save the girls center.

Missionaries, just answer the question, what about akha culture.

still paying for sterilizations.

 

Mission Incidents

Abaw Leeh Gaw at Loh Mah Cheh, house burned by Christians.

Gaw Jaw Akha forestery Dispute? Christians cut sacred trees.

 

Missions List:

 

animism replaced with seven devils

akha hostels, dapa etc

betrayal of a people

bridging to jesus christ

control the driving missioinary agenda

american baptist

american family planning international

This was Paul Lewis gig

does the government like pensa’ mission

Does the government like pensa's mission?  He may be tolerated because they still help agenda of assimilation.  Is it a form of accountablility? Akha women who pensa knew who couldn't bear children. Why?

lost collections of knowledge, missionaries

lost information and good will from villagers

korean presbyterian connection

korean presbyterians

missioinaries

missionaries, compare to hertzof yasef and tom training school.  a pool ofconverts, forced end of ethiopian jew

missionaries : just answer the question, what about akha culture

missionaries as an instrument of foreign policy

missionaries pick up pieces

missionary as counter balance

Missions:

Meese family

Just say NO to missionaries

mmm missionary military marketplace

morse brother

Morse family

refudiating missioinary practice

religious policy and ethic for churches

retirement centers, the missioinary bonus

OMF

omf and lewis

SIL

the amounts of money available to omf, lewis brian and dapa, yote,l adjay, leo and adjew

the baptist church/hospital maesai

the baptists

the black hand

The Missionaries

The missionaries blew the pillars out from under the building.  The thais were only busiy defacing it.

the missionary failure

the missionary legacy

The soft cushy missionaries jobs and their one year visas: 

We know what they say they do but we don’t really know

Thy neighbors land mark,  the akha and missionaries

Without a gate by Nightengale,

luka knew, husband now dead, wife alive, reads like Sunday school

wycliffe and lewis

young family

deprovera, lewis used?

If one contributes to fragmentation and disunity are they also contributing to genetic decline?

 

Pensa

he may be tolerated because he helps agenda of assimilation

Akha council passed over for view of OT manuscript, Sahu

 

Misison Tactics

 

Martha Explanations:

I hope my explanation below is not too long.

I was so broke today I almost forgot to do my visa and had to borrow the $8 to do

it, but was one of the happiest days

of my life in this neck of the woods, having just signed off sending out all the

email.

Well, some of my friends call me a heretic because I say a frog has a stomach but

they have never looked in the frog.

What I mean is that I say what the missions are doing here is very wrong.  Many who

understand don't need much

explaining, and others don't want to know but brand me a heretic.  Now if they would

look in the frog they would see,

yes, it has a stomach.

In other words if the would look at what is done to the villages by the missions

they would see that it sure isn't

"thy neighbor as yourself".

Now some of the first events were that some of the Akha were converted.

This was many years ago, in the early 1920's for the Catholics and then or later for

the Baptists.

But in Thailand it may have been much later, like in the 50's.

Now I would assume that in those days with the rarity of white people and their

relative wealth and education it would

not be hard to get an entire village to convert after one of the headmen converted

or after an Akha who had converted

came and sold them the line.

We must include here that the Jesus story itself, is a good story, it is not a story

that does harm to people, and

this is the very unfortunate baiting that so hurts people.  These orgs and people

appeal to what hope people find in

the teachings of Jesus, and then use it to betray them.

However, the conversion of complete villages is not very common.  Particularly when

one investigates.  What one finds

out is that the village is rolled over, not converted.

Certain players or dissenters in the village find a point of contention and

promising what the other can not or will

not divides the village against the other elders often in a situation of anger.  For

instance the dissenter, more

often than not, was in a violation and went for conversion rather than cough up a

fine or reprimand.

I have not found one village that fully converted.  And I know one of the oldest

villages in Thailand, the village of

one of the oldest converted Akha Pastors, and his village is a bloody mess, his son

I know, and his son is a very

gentle person, but very on the spot and very in the rent of things as well.  We have

had many words, kind words, but

he is not happy with me for my rules.

So time after time I have found that a combination of money, promises of money and

power, promises of leverage,

promises of moral debt reduction, reactionism against existing leadership, are the

elements of conversion, and let us

not leave out heavy handed visiting preaching, heavy handed visiting white

missionaries passing out crackers, and

flaunting money, building a church, doing the one time rocket ignition of some

village improvement (which never then

carries on) and the outright confrontational verbal humiliation of elders by an

outsider backing the dissenter.

In no case that I know of has an elder opted to convert and pull the village.  It is

always a very less powerful

dissenter and often the key troublemaker in the village who himself is at odds with

the elders and in some cases in

danger of village eviction.

I have repeatedly pointed out this dishonest tactic to the missionaries and pastors,

and they can not explain to me,

that if they are so honest and innocent, why it is always being employed on their

shift.

So maybe I have come up with this.  Each community, as in globalization, is a nodule

that can be hooked on a major

bypass road to rush full volume consumption to it.

Each community is also a nodule for religion.  The religious and the consumerism

have ties, the first promising the

latter of course, but they need not necessarily for sake of argument.  The church is

itself a business and each

community a market.

This was in my opinion the alternative that Jesus offered people, the end of and

freedom from religion.  The church

has gone to extreme lengths over the centuries to prevent this distinction.

Currently, as I say, I know of no wholy converted villages.  Just the same the

missions advise that this is the best

goal, the ONLY way.  Funny they say that when it never appears to be the case.

I have watched as villages were converted and it didn't once happen without outside

interference, push and payoff.

Which in a way is good, because it also says a comeback could happen.

But in the case of American Indians, the proof is that the damage and fragmentation

of the community was so severe,

that the community dies.

Thus also in the book you sent me in Bay Area Tribes and the Missions there.

I think there lacks good books on the mission methodology, and what is wrong with

it.  It would read like the

And since the village, each village is an economic market to the mission, the profit

goes to the pastor or regional

pastor to whom the plunder has been promised, and there is no way that he is going

to stand for a non conversion

situation.  So he forces it, doesn't matter, it is a market, a religious market, and

the religion or any aspect of it

has nothing to do with the situation, he is going to corner the market.

I have seen this determination in the young pastors and old alike.  They see what

THEY are going to get out of it and

that is all that matters.

 

Matthew

 

 

Martha:

Unless the villages were scattered really closely together I would say that 40

huts is the average, 20 is less common.

And lets say 20 to 40 huts with 200 to 400 people is VERY standard here.

A 20 hut village may have some spiritual elders but not all. However in the tribal

system this is not a problem because they often "borrow" or visit to other

villages, both the regular villagers and the elders who are always on call.

However, if someone comes and converts, moves or modifies half the village, that

is enough to destroy and gut it.

We see that here.  A split village is soon very week, elders say, "what could we

do, we did not convert but the whole village was converted around us.  The dynamic

is always very evil and I am so surprised that not more protest this as an extreme

contradiction to anything right.

The crusades and inquisition mentality is the same today with the church.

What was done there did not change at all.

And in his book Milliken mentioned how the natives that were already controlled

were used as the front guard to gain the rest.

This would apply to food system as well.  If forestry or mission move or split the

village the food system can fall apart, since it is joint cooperative.  If people

can not borrow the joint labor to work in their field at peak times, and then pay

back with a few days in the other fields, no harvest will get done before food

spoils.

This is crucial.

This makes missionaries terrorists which is what they are.

Genocidal terrorists.

Here the daughters go to town and the sons sell speed pills when that happens,

always the worst relocated and split villages have the worst prostitution and drug

situtions.  I have even seen this when the location is only meters away, but the

situations combined were different.  One village surviving, the other had a tiny

view and stayed alive.

Here the missions also standardly showed a fake vote by immediately moving as many

people as possible to the mission.

This happened in Keng Tung, where there are thousands of impoverished Akha around

the mission, no farm land and thus no food security. The mission is shameless

about this.

And that village has the highest rate of prostitution of girls to Thailand.

Hope that helps,

Matthew

 

Dawn Project

There was the Dawn Project out past Maechan on the way to Fang, north side of the road.

I went there once with a journalist. Of all things, the place had been donated by Khun Sa, the “great” drug lord who brought death to so many.  His picture was on the wall like a trophy, a very large painting, the man in uniform, heil.  And everywhere signs about Jesus and the Bible and crosses painted on everything.  A hard core kind of religious place.

They coordinated with the baptist church in Maesai and then I heard lots of things about their Haen Taek base being involved in using the Akha for an underground into china. The base in Haen Taek was Khun Sa’s old place there too.  He donated it. There were at least two trucks they had running around.  One was a jacked up and beat up two door four wheel drive that they used for running mostly the Haen Taek Road.  A skinny Chinese guy ran that, must have been about forty.  He would flash his lights at me and I kept track best I could of the areas where he was working, but it wasn't hard to guess since they had split so many villages. 

Actually I wondered about all this Chinese activity until a friend from Taiwan wrote an email and told me how there was this sect and they wanted to use the Akha for a back road into China.  Didn't surprise me, but also I talked to a Lt. in the Thai army and he told me that the Chinese didn't number so many in the Haen Taek region and saw the much more populous Akha as a group to tie together with since the Chinese themselves weren't really so welcome.  The Akha outnumbered them about three to one.  Some 25,000 Akha.

There was also a mission down in Huai Krai, more than one, but from one came a fellow that I interviewed in Joesehthai village.  He said he taught the Akha that the devil came in and out of the gate and so they had to do away with it. Got that much on video. Well, Joesethai tried to split Maechan Luang village with Sala Boh Tah and others and they failed, and got kicked out, didn't like me much for that but I had warned them many times not to screw the village up.  They thought it their right and had told the headman that if it hadn't been for him they would have overthrown the village two years before.  I heard that about thirty missionaries came up, met with the Army and the village headman and were really put out when they saw a bunch of anti missionary t shirts in the village and they got the boot.

 

Religion

 

One Belief of Another

Some people believe that whatever the plight of today is payment for the past life.  This might leave one quite disinterested in the plight of others perhaps as much as prosperity theology.

One could view it that they almost had a duty to help pay the person with suffering so that the past would get the justice that it deserved.

 

Catholics and Akha Books

According to Father Apha there was very little that the catholic church had in Akha writing . After 80 year there was just about nothing in print.  What an unfortunate situation.

 

A Couple Missions

Who could tell why they came.  Some people thought they were trying to keep themselves out of hell and this was a rite of passage.  Maybe the church sent them as a good thing to do and they still didn't know.  They lived well.  One tried to wonder about this contrast but it was soon easy to figure out, most of the mission type thought that sin was the cause of poverty of the own person's doing and soon as they "saved" them they would find wealth and happiness.  Not so different from Amway. 

Talking to these people was like talking to a wall.  Face to face or email, didn't matter.  They could skwirm all they liked, but never answer the question.  Course I came loaded for bear, so maybe it was like asking a man at his execution if he was having fun yet?

I had a couple oppositions to these people.  First off I just bloody didn't like them, they were so in denial, so dishonest, if you asked me.  I would ask them how they could be living such good lives, so much donor's money for fancy buildings and hardly any time in the field.  They had trouble with that one.  I seldom passed them on the road.  Course they had a few bullet headed chinese guys out in the field that looked like they pounded the road a little for Jesus, but that was discouraging too because they were so racist they could have formed up their own KKK.  Yeah, if you weren't evangelical or chinese, just didn't cut it.  And Akha, I suppose to them that was the bottom of the pile. 

I talked to these creeps in the field.  One guy, he said there right on video, that they tell the Akha the devil comes in and out of their gate.  Gee.  They banned all the dancing, any thing traditional, was worshipping the devil they said.  Was ok to worship money, the chinese did lots of that, but not the devil.  The Akha had it all wrong.  I wondered if they had a permit to be running around in the name of Jesus abusing people of their traditions and culture. No wonder Tibet was screwed up. 

But couldn't blame it all on them, the got their cue and financial back up from the Chinese christians living in the west, and those people got it from the hard core baptists in the US and those people read Calvin's notes when he was busy burning people at the stake for the dear name of Jesus, so little wonder the Chinese were screwed up. 

If you went to the Dawn Project.  God, wanna see a cult, well the dawn project is a drug rehab project. And who do they have on the wall? Khun Sa, that's who, he's their godfather because he gave them the land to set up the center to rehabilitate from the evils of God.  Painted signs of the cross everywhere, bible verses on everything.

That would be like sending Jack the Ripper out to look for your missing daughter?

Course this little piece of detail, once again, was lost on the Chinese Christians.

No wonder the central Government in China didn't like the Pope and all these Christians running a muck. Lord knows what kind of mess and distortion they would brew.

The Koreans, well when they weren't being good presbyterians, they were busy pimping girls in Maesai. Yeah, they always hung out at the big condo next to the klong, or down brothel alley, course they learned that probably from the chinese church built in brothel alley.  Yeah, great view from the pastors fourth floor study.

Naw, didn't mean that.  The pastor seemed naive, like he really believed that Chinese were just better. Nice guy, just never heard of other races than Chinese.

But sit through one of the services in the church and you know why you didn't learn chinese, probably preaching about beer and cigarettes and stuff like that.  Always funny how they took the brunt for sin.

But there were some nice people in that church, and I didn't have anything personal against the pastor, just wondered why they could never figure out that a little modifying might help.

Heck, I remember the time the white haired fellow came from Burma.  I asked him why the Akha women from the Church always sold her daughters.  Don't you teach these people anything I asked.  Why was it that so many of the Akha who lost their culture to become Christian did this.  Yeah, her daughters worked in the stable while she went to church and got her hair done, the sweet little pig.

Chinese Christianity seemed so much like facism to me.

I stopped by the Huai Krai mission, asked the guys there to quit harrassing Mae Chan Luang village, they couldn't get it either. God sent them.  These people were so full of themselves.  Forget trying to get them to understand what culture was.  If you didn't have a spoon small enough you got to suck the eyes out of the fishes head.

It was like blinders, that was equivalent to believing in Jesus. How sad that it had come to this.  Large maggots, spreading over the land, no ears, no eyes, just mouths to eat it all.  I had never seen anything but this kind of denial and blindness among church goers.  Everyone afraid to be the dissenting voice even if they have a tinge of conscience.

Many missionaries told me that they knew that what the missions were doing was wrong, but could one get them to stand up, and shout, this has got to stop!  No, I didn't think so. 

Missionaries sometimes wrote to me and said I was way off, I didn't mind, I told them to be so kind as to show me  how, and please bring their bank statements.

The protestants were often the second wave.  Then the pentacostals.  The protestants came and split into Catholic villages, then after they busted that up, then the pentacostals would catch up with them.

The missions didn't have to do all the work, they got Akhas bread into a state of fanaticism, and they would set them out and show them that if they didn't push forward they would loose all their bennies.

There wasn't much of a resistance movement started among the Akha.  But if the Akha ever collectively figure out what the missions were up to, what it all  meant, how they had done this in a few places before, how the Thais wouldn't let them do the same in their communites, well, one day there would be hell to pay.

 

The Black Hand

 

Missionaries And Their Intentional Destruction

Of Akha Traditional Culture

In Northern Thailand

 

There are approximately 70,000 Akha Hill Tribe people living in north Thailand in some 280 villages throughout Chiang Mai and Chiangrai Provinces.

Counting the Akha in Laos, Burma and Chia they may have a total population as high as 400,000.

Few western travelers are aware that western based missionaries have been working for years to seperate the Akha people from being who they are via means of “conversion” to Christianity.

The Akha have a belief system that is interwoven with their raising of food, and their consideration of the plant and animal life that they live within in their mountain communities.  The essense of the belief system is the goal of good crops, careful use of medicine for ailments and raising children for the next generations.  No single component can be seperated out from the other.  One can not say that the Akha have a culture and a religion, a way of farming and a culture for it is all intertwinded.

They system is complex, carefully balanced, even orthodox in nature if one were to consider it as simply a religion. The culture of the Akha completely administers village life.

For years, missionaries have chosen to dismiss what it is the Akha know and consider it irrelevant to their conversion. They have classified the culture as evil, and that it can simply be replaced by the modes of western evangelical or catholic religion.

The effects on the Akha have beed severe.  First off, they did not invite the missions, but with their coming they have had to see their own culture and elders displaced, and their villages split.

 

The Problem:

The problem is that the missions are working hard to get the Akha to abandon 

 

Overview

what the missions do

tactics, extraction theology, the Jesus Film, with intentional prejudice

reasoning given

rewards promised

divide and conquer

neighboring village pushes them

western money

akha elite

non speaker of Akha is the driver

lashwey

Boohaye in Huai Krai

German

Josehthai

Splitting villages

Building churches

Discouraging traditional dress and culture, lost “Social Security”, Lost Environmental  

Protection and  knowledge

Damage to language

Parent child link

Indigenous knowledge

Self direction and control

All the different groups

Claim to not be centralized but all work together

The stand alone traditional village is the mark

If a village is laid to seige, how can they survive.

Poverty, the Akha picked on more than Thai

Missions need poor people to run the place.

 

The Black Hand

Missionaries and Their Intentional Destruction of Akha Culture in Thailand and Burma

In a time when Church Institutions worldwide are paying out record monetary settlements for their mistreatment of Indigenous Peoles it is time that the mission “colonization” of the Akha Hill Tribe people in South East Asia be stopped.

There is probably no group of indigenous people that have been so invaded and had such a host of different churches foisted on them at the expense of their culture as the Akha people.

Many people will probably not find these activities surprising for how missions and missionaries behave except that they think it stopped four hundred years ago.  It did not. The same horid tactics of villainizing and seperating a people from their own historic culture are alive and well. 

This persistent trait of Christianity gives real and significant reason to question the very premise of these institutions and what they are really about, rather than their stated concern for the souls of human beings.  The racist fundamentals of their mind set which cause them to dispise anything that is not of their own culture is a dead give away.  If the teachings of Jesus are relegated to a handful of guidelines for living and concerns for other human beings, suddenly the highly organized and regimented “church planting” is no longer needed, calling into serious question why these people exist.  The need for people for their agenda and control seems to be the answer.  In this case it is the poor, the Akha, who must pay for this.  Not so unusual, whereever one spots a mission, it is usually the poor that the mission has filled its seats with, filled its kitchens and other facilities with.  One may get the initial impression that these people are being helped, yet at the same time the mission facilities could not exist without them as the non poor, for the most part, are not interested.

The Akha Hill Tribe are one the most accessible groups of indigenous people of record, open to guests and accepting dispite the inconvenience it may often present to village life.  Tourists come in record numbers from western countries to visit the Akha in their villages. Agencies throughout northern Thailand make significant incomes providing transportation to the remote Akha village locations.  From a monetary standpoint alone, the Thai government has right to be concerned, because it has yet to be found where any village which missionaries succeeded in “converting” as they put it, still has its native culture in tact. 

In village after village the missions stealthily displace the culture of the Akha, discourage their traditional ways and dress. There will soon not be one village in Thailand with any real culture in tact if the process is not stopped. 

Strapped in poverty and having few to no human rights, the Akha have little alternative perspective to gain an informed view of what the well financed missions are doing. The Akha see their culture pushed aside in steps that are carefully orchestrated by the missions by the deceptive means that they use.  (List them here) There of course is not a problem with this unless one feels that an inherent right people should have is the right to their own culture without the interference of other dominant cultures. 

Somehow the people who are forcing the change are the first to talk about how fluid cultures are.  Furthermore, since the mission has the time and money, even if the village does not want to abandon its culture, the mission will bring this about, because what the people want is not important.  That the village is converted and a church is built is important.

Faults and weaknesses in villages are capitalized on in this campaign.

The Akha don’t have a plan, they just want to live, the missions certainly do have a plan and it can be a long  term plan, just to take over a few villages, amounting to a year or more.  Whatever it takes. A number of families may be split off from a village and then they are used to gain access into the village and are used to get the land and build the church even if the whole village does not agree with it.

Missions know that to gain access to many villages they must work with the children first, but this often leads to alienation between the parents and the children.  This is the intent of the mission, hardly an oversight or problem for them.  In the end run the mission is hoping that the village can be turned by the use of the children in this manner.  When ever entering a village, cookies, balloons, any item can be used to attract the children from parents and then begin teaching them that their parents don’t have a clue and what they believe and teach should be abandoned and ignored.  Note the contradiction to all the carefull methods of teaching that will occur after they have caught these children for a generation:  “We must obey and respect our parents. That is what God wants us to do.”  Have you ever seen such two faced people?

In the end, villages which are not connected and are normally each autonomous, come under mission control. The missions become bigger.

Numerous expatriates in Northern Thailand have been long term witnesses to this treatment of the Akha people.

 

What is being lost

It is only recently that western populations are admitting to what the indigenous have and what is being lost.  Possibly it is because the world and the natural resources are being compressed down to the last particles and suddenly in a turn of attitude, western populations are concerned about what happens to the last environments and the last peoples in them.

But with the ongoing attitudes of western people towards resource use (and waste) there is little likelihood that the machine will be easily stopped or altered and it is the fate of the indigenous which hangs in the balance.  It may soon be that what is occuring for the indigenous will next happen to all of the western peoples.

Indigenous Peoples such as the Akha posses an incredible knowledge of the natural environment and human relationship to it.  Plants, animals, food, insects, the cycle of the weather over the years.  Medicines that can be gained from the forest.  And important is the way in which the Akha relate to each other and their environment and keep it all in balance in a kind of environmental theology.  The Akha have a highly organized legal system of village administration, farming, and spiritual balance.  Missionaries often characterize their spiritual life as “Devil Driven” but this is hardly the case. In village after village they find reason to discourage the dance, the singing, the dress and anything that would have any appearance to be related to the past.

Not only is this incredibly arrogant, but in reality they are wiping out these people’s life and imune system for their own selfish needs wrapped up in their religious belief that compells them, not something that the Akha are asking for.  If they, the Missionaries, feel that they themselves will be condemned if they don’t “share” the Gospel, as in a disease, that is their problem, their psychological problem, and they should not bring their problem to the mountain and foist it on people who are not asking for it.

The Akha have considerable knowledge of balancing their environment while still keeping considerable personal freedom.  Detractors who accuse them of slash and burn (assuming that it is always new trees which are being cut) can only base it on the record they see with the soil in Thailand.  However these records conveniently overlook the interacting of numerous factors.  Villages are quite stable if not forced to move.  Akha villages that moved into the mountains of what is called Thailand, did so in many cases due to war.  One village will only farm so much ground, and the old stable villages rotated their farm ground on at least a ten year basis.  Three years in, as many as seven years out.  But in the case of Thailand, for many years now, the government has been moving the Akha, and making them change the land they farmed.  This of course keeps breaking the cycle, and requires new area to be cleared.  While major non native specie pine tree planting schemes take land from the right and left of the Akha, they end up being forced to clear more land which is also taken.  Quite clearly there is a great agenda behind planting as much pine as possible, in the place of natural jungle. The more the facts are twisted in the public, as the press, the easier it is for these interests to put the blame on the Akha instead of where it should be.  If the interest is jungle, forest, then why is not natural forest protected and natural jungle and forest allowed to grow back when reclaiming ground for this purpose?  There are huge number of rai that can be seen all over the north that are ten years and older in rows of pine stands.  Why?  Nothing grows under these trees.  Who intends to harvest it?

Villages that are not forced to move, have been stable for as many as 80 or 90 years in Thailand, from when they first arrived, some longer, it is said.  Villages that were within meters of the border, were there for 25 years, had nor reason to move, had all the ground the needed for growing, which they rotated, while still keeping the jungle in tack that they also needed.  This is one major falicy that keeps on going against the Akha people is that they cut all the trees.  The Akha need the trees, they need the jungle for their animals, for the animals and herbs and fruits that it provides.  So it is only in their behalf to want to help preserve it.  Many cases, the old village site is still there, the fact that people once lived there can be seen, because of the investment of labor in the land, but the same village is now elsewhere needing new land in those areas also.  Very little is said about the right of the Akha to have land at all.  We assume that most people should have the right to some land, why then not the Akha?  A village that has investments in the land for over 50 years, why should they not have some right to that investment?  Does not international law provide for this?  And how can the uses of the land which are to replace them be considered more important?  If trees are the issue, why is not a comparable amount of flat rice land demanded to be put back into the native forest that it once was?  Why must only the mountain land bear the tree burden?

The collectivization and hegomony of the missions combines with government activity to help destroy this knowledge that the Akha have of their environment and their village independence.

Numerous Akha whom the missionaries have converted and pay well, are more than willing to continue this process as long as the money is there.  One has yet to see where they no longer have a western money supply but continue to try and convert more villages.

The missions come in many colors and each one has a different story that they feed the Akha to try and get them to convert.  Anything bad is blamed on traditional culture. 

Now if the missionaries ban the practice of the culture in the village, which encompasses just about everything, they are sterilizing the indigenous knowledge system completely.  In the end, what do the Akha need to use their language for when they can’t talk about 90% of it?  In all the Akha ceremonies incredible knowledge of their past history and traditions that have carried them over the centuries is known.  Forbidden, these are lost and are not taught to the children.  What children should not have a right to their heritage?  But the missions don’t seem to have a problem with this either.

Missions are also of the attitude that they can eliminate great portions of the culture or any portion of it and not disturb the whole thing. 

But what is most odd is that they think they have the right to do this at all.  Their belief system that promotes this is THEIR belief system and it should not be the duty of the Akha to be experimented on or abused of their own culture because of the missionaries’ distorted needs.

Should the Akha have to have a church in their village just because Christians believe they must have one?  The villages often have a church, locked naturally as compared to a Buddhist Temple, and it would appear that in many cases the Akha can not even relate to it.  The building is something that was imposed on the village and then left there, occasionally opened.  Not so different than a container truck that was left beside the road in their view.  The realities of their lives?  Well, doesn’t do much to address that obviously.

The Akha have an intricate system of leadership in the villages but the missions displace this with the appointment of a pastor, whose job it is to make sure that the culture is steadily suppressed.  The pastor is rewarded nicely for carrying out this function.  Not a few have gotten a new house out of the deal at the expense of the village.  The elders and their leadership role are denied.

Peeh Mahs, like the village historian and poet, are banned as well as Nyeeh Pahs, the village healer.  In a twist of logic, the Christians claim that the Nyeeh Pahs are using the power of the devil to heal people of disease. 

Villages which don’t agree about the presence of the missionaries are usually split, one part moving to another location in an extreme change for the Akha since villages are made up of great extended families.  The missionaries grab off a few families first and then justify the increasing division of ideas and people in the village.  The elderly know what is occuring and that division is being sewn among them and that their old culture is being denied their children by people who have no concern and no right. 

A church is often built in the village with the consent of only a family or two and sometimes even two churches fight for location, one at this end, then the next one having to be built bigger at the other end, usually at great expense.  This battle for the village seems disrespectful and odd at best when the villagers themselves might not even have the most basic things such as clean water.

This process usually specifically, not by accident, calls for the total abandonment of Akha dress, songs, dances and any traditional ceremonies as well as the elimination of the gates and swing if not the actual burning of them in a symbolic cleansing of the village to meat the missionaries sense of religious furor and melodrama.

In the end, the missions are claiming that it is their right to define the village, what they will believe, what will be left behind and how it will all go down.  This is an incredible act of ongoing arrogance and without a government ban it is unlikely that these people will police themselves.

Increasingly in the name of protecting the young people, girls are being taken from the village for education with little concern for the long term survival of the village.  Instead of strengthening the village the missionaries have taken the postition that it won’t survive so what the hec, might as well get it over with.  The young men see the number of women available for marriage decrease, and despair settles into the villages. The 5th article of the Geneva Convention on Genocide prohibits the removal of people from their group to make them the part of another group for this very reason.  As a result, the girls, indoctrinated into another life, do not return to the village, usually do not marry Akhas, and the population of the Akha from that is effected.

 

Mission denial

The missions themselves completely deny what in fact they do.

Of course, way up in the mountains, who would know?

The very question that they can not handle is when you ask them why they force the Akha to abandon their culture?  How could it be possible that the Akha would just do that on their own?

Why don’t the missions push the Thai people around in the same way?

Is it just because the Akha are so poor?

The missionaries claim that they are just teaching the Akha about Jesus, when in fact they are doing a whole lot more.  They are displacing a whole way of life.

They initially have a very negative view of Akha culture, and a very high esteem of their own, so it is only natural that displacing Akha culture should be the only thing to do.

Asked why they teach against the culture of the Akha and what gives them that right they suddenly begin to quote the Bible instead of answering the question.  On one hand they pass themselves off as acting only for religious reasons, but in reality the issue is about power and money, who will get to control the villages.  They don’t care who the Akha are, what their culture is about or what they know, nor if the culture is lost, they care only for their growth agenda and if that comes at the expense of the Akha so be it.

 

Need for protection

There is the need for international protection of indigenous groups from this kind of prosyletizing.

Any person, as long as they have “felt the Lord’s calling” can go and practice on the Akha Hill Tribe.

The vast majority of missionaries are here on their required mission pilgrimage, required of all “good Christians”, to save pagan souls.  Allthough it is not always the case, they usually come well connected, bring a good purse with them, drive nice cars, live in nice housing compounds, get paid well and live well and send their children to the private schools.  All very nice in comparison to those they are here to “save”.  And of late they even bring the “cultural integration” jargon with them, though goals or tactics have not changed much.

They come with heads full of understanding of the people they are here to “Save”.  Those people are all “living in darkness and bondage.” The missionaries are here to bring them light.  However when you begin to start making comparisons between the kind of things they describe as examples of darkness here and what goes on regularly in the west the whole thing starts to break down.  Usually that is the end of the discussion.

 

Recommended Reading:

Is God an American

The Missionaries

A time of Little Choice:  Randall Milliken

 

Keng Tung Mission

 

Alfred:

The name of the priest in Keng Tung, East Shan State, Burma is Father Clemment Lashway.

He is not Akha, as some priests are.  He is not even tribal, he is Chinese.

He took the task to build a new mission in one of the last northern autonomous zones against the chinese

border, so clear in its own nature and undisturbed.

First he made a circuit of all the villages as has been done in much of lower shan state, and then he proceded to

build a massive church on a hill.

After that he built a small chapel room across the valley at the location of the desired mission.

He works some to set up agriculture already around the mission area and draw the Akha to the mission.

Where did you hear this before, Bay Area?

Then he immediately noted to me, and this was December last year, that now he will set up a place near to him at the mission, for all the girls, and then one place across the valley at the church, for all the boys.

You explain this to me even without infering any ill goings on here, but just as an act of race, gender, and

destruction of these young people?

It is my opinion that Indians, everywhere, must rise up against the church because the church is doing violence

against them and just doesn't stop.  They say they are sorry, but the policy is not sorry and they go on.  Indians have far more reason to be angry today than any Palestinian ever thought of.

People can say Indians should forget the past.  But the same events and attitudes are still going on that effected

them in the first place and the people against them are still implementing the same policies. 

BIA can have an Indian apologize.  I see that as no structural change in the fact that the ax has already passed

through the neck and is buried in the block.

The problem that we have as Boyle points out is the bantustan mentality.  Now tribal peoples are fragmented

by distance and communications but more importantly so, by the different locations they have on the timeline

of destruction.

It is time that the internet was used to make a brief graphic representation of the stages of destruction, and that

getting past that people unite in an iron form past all the details and collectively fight the church off their backs

with all its denial and hidden oppression so cleverly mixed in with acts of kindness.

So they build a mission on your reservation.  Gee, isn't that convenient.  Would you like to take a hot shower

before you die?  Before you kids grow up in the mess you did?

The missions are not the only factor in many places, but on many reservations and in the reservation

succumbing process they were and are significant.  Missions, as here in Thailand and Burma, are relied on by tyrants to who console themselves that someone is picking up a few pieces, and as well we can say that missions rely, NEED tragic events in order to gain power over people's lives who would  not give it to them normally, if they had freedom from oppression.

How else can you explain that the missions here in Thailand have kept a firm cap on information about attrocities against the Akha, have done nothing to help the villages themselves in any substantial way, but keep taking particularly girls from the village.

If you want to persue this issue as it is in Thailand you can contact House of Grace on the internet.  As run here in Thailand by AhJay.  An Akha traitor, bought by the missions, why they are taking girls from the villages and not supporting the villages to be strong.

This project is supported by people from places like Georgia.

Then there is his brothers project, Yos, another Akha traitor, and he is well fed and golfed by the American Baptists.  You can contact their mission office and ask for Keith Tennis, head of this region from Hong Kong, what their policy is on all this.

There is Youth With a Mission, New Tribes Mission, and a host of others, all hidden from the eye, unless you have done years of research, a huge mission picture, millions of dollars in trucks, compounds, salaries, budgets, but the villages are dying without representation and without a penny.  They have no rights and the people are being destroyed and the missions are helping it be done.

They are taking the apples as they fall from the tree, but seem to have both hands shaking the tree just a little themselves.

It is an incredible denial, an incredible violence, an incredible injustice and tragedy and it is not going on only

in Thailand, it is the mission agenda of global totalitarianism and subjegation of tribal peoples.

NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

Akha.org has just a little information.

 

Matthew

 

Mission Training

You can go to http://www.akha.org to begin your training.

First read the literature, all the links over, very carefully.

Then go to the pictures and take a look.

Ask questions.  Keep an open mind.

In Northern Thailand there are more than a hundred missions and millions

of dollars spent keeping these people fat and fed, while the hill tribe

they claim to reach are DYING.

But this is not the point alone.

The point is to understand how western cultures take the teachings of

Jesus, and twist them till not recognizeable, and then use them as a

justification for building their empires on the backs of the poor, all

the while claiming to reach them for Jesus.

Don't you think this is a crime?

Should be.

The point is not to condemn your effort or good intentions.

The point is to cause you to think about what has gone wrong, and even

more so, why the church, of all people, can not admit that it is biased,

racist and trashes the poor while the church itself can do no evil and

gets richer.

Of the many people that the Pope canonized last week, many were

criminals in China.  The Pope failed to deal with this issue, it was

intentionally done as an insult to the Chinese people.

How can people such as christians claim to be for the truth then in such

denial.

Mission Boards are no exception.

If you wish to work with people in the way you describe, first come to

understand these issues, then become a crusader for these people's

rights, not somone who would convert them.   The pagan west is far more

evil than these people who they go to help.

 

Matthew

 

Rodney and Suzanne

Missionaries who want to work with the Hani

Rodney’s dreams after having met Nick and while he was staying at the Maesai Guest House so they moved to another place, the Top North I think.

 

lewis 4 volume set ethnology

Now I have copy of that.

 

Church luka

fellow preacher giving out 100 baht notes, 2 wives and opium

yeah, same old Sunday school tricks, Barry and his wife. typical way an evangelical wife should look I figured, all stuffed up

 

Gabriel says

“ Books, i’d like to help your work as long as you don’t tell the missionaries.  I get a lot of business

from them.  But I don’t understand why they come here on ;big budgets instead of coming here to help people on faith?”

 

What is the goal of missionaries?

To get complete control of the Akha for themselves, their way of thinking and their religfious organizations.  Compares to the ethiopians at Hertzof Yasef and the “TOM” training school.

 

Father in CIA

Los altos, at fathers dying day he didn’t want to go because he didn’t want to hear his

Mental Dissonance

 

Keng Tung Mission

Writing in vatican

The priests wrote mostly of their own experiences, not of the people.

 

Franklin:

May I have a copy of the notes?  Evangelicals.  Religion as business.

 

Dr. McDaniel, who was he?

Helped Paul Lewis on sterilizations

 

I meet paul lewis with naha

What he said about our meeting at dinner that night that Brian Barney told me later.  It gave him a headache, will tell you that much.

 

An Offer That Got Turned Down

We would also like to mention that we offered SIL, the Wycliffe Bible people, that we would coordinate with them on a

Bible distribution program, us doing all the work, if it was combined with our effort to produce history books about Akha

culture in a broad based literacy effort.

SIL REFUSED

We still wonder what they were afraid of?

We wonder why they were opposed to literacy?

Or maybe, like so many people suspect, it is about political religious control, not a love for Jesus and Bibles.

 

lost collections of knowledge, missionaries

If there was good the missionaries took away more of the good than the bad it would seem

 

secrecy of knowledge

that’s the missionary attitude

 

Akha council passed over for view of OT manuscript, Sahu

zera said sahu told him this

 

Andrew is agaw’s brother

cultural chief, lives malipaco

 

Dorothy Uhlig

Her letter to me about the Black Hand and the Akha. Copy it here.

 

The missionaries up to the Yao, near Gaw Jaw Akha

Seventh Day adventists, boy was she a big one, and the gal with her.

Looking at the missionaries suck stickers, her telling the Yao man that he should carry the load.

 

Jimmys group

Never met this guy, Brian refered to him, a pentacostal Akha apparently, pastor.

 

ywam

Rose martinez.  Watkins said she was a big bull dyke. I believed him, she looked it.  I got behind her in a line once, and said to myself, WHAT is this in front of me.  Then I looked and it was ROSE, Rosy, is that you?

 

missionaries

compare to hertzof yasef and tom training school.  a pool ofconverts, forced

end of ethiopian jew marriages

 

gordon young and his book and what he said about akha

Mika Toyota told me about it and I checked it out and it was true.

 

Christian heroin reform meae salong, chains

This is what Phillip said, I didn't see it and don't know where the place is unless it is the Santi School.

 

Sterilization and Blood Theft

Perpetrated Against Akha People

By American Baptist Missionary

 

Rumored widely for many years witnesses have now stepped forward who claim that the American Baptist Missionary Paul Lewis sterilized more than 20,000 Akha Hill Tribe women in Burma’s Eastern Shan State alone, running his operation on trust that he had built as a missionary and student of their culture.

This project was done secretly without the approval of the Burmese Government by requiring the women to come into Thailand for the procedure, using many people in the Baptist Church hierchy to organize the movement of the trusting women, who now claim they had little education as to what the long term effect on their lives would be.

Government leaders in this region of Burma now know about the project and say that it was illegal in that it did not have Burmese government approval or proper documentation that the rights of the women were not being violated.

Although Burma is much maligned for human rights violations, activities of western organizations such as this appear to be disregarded by the same agencies which make the human rights reports.

In addition witnesses now verify the rumor that blood was simultaneously stolen from these women for resale.

Taken during the sterilization procedure blood was collected in amounts of 200 and 300 ml.  Attending family members or friends of the women were witness to this as well. Women who received local anethesia only saw for themselves that the blood was being taken.  They did not know why the blood was being taken out of their arm at the same time as the rather unrelated surgery.

The women were only paid for the cost of the truck to come down to the clinic where they would be sterilized just south of the border in Thailand.

There was no follow up care and even to this day in this region of Burma medical care is very difficult to come by for the poor.

Of the more than 20,000 who witnesses say were sterilized in Burma alone, they say that more than 3,000 women died.  Many developed a weakened condition, began loosing weight, the pain related to the surgery did not subside and in the end they died.  These deaths ranged from a period of time ranging in two months after the surgery to three years.

In a past video interview Paul Lewis claimed that any pain related to the surgery was simply phsycosomatic and that the sterilizations were the right thing to do and “should be done”.

Now the children of many women have died and they are ubable to have more children.

Many women also experience weight gain problems that they can not control.

More research is needed into the number of women sterilized in the Paul Lewis project and the number of those who have since died.  Witness accounts seem to confirm that the number who died is extremely high as might be associated with any other kind of surgery. This same scene was repeated in Thailand.  There appeared to be a lot of money connected with this project.

Even now the witnesses are afraid to speak out against Paul Lewis publicly, stating that he is a very powerful man and that they fear people who continue to get money under the table from his Baptist related organizations will retaliate against them.

According to the Akha Traditional Culture system five people serve as the government in one village. This multiperson leadership system in villages was eliminated by many missionaries and replaced by single pastors who rule the villages with an iron fist, allowing no dissent or return to traditional ways.

These pastors also ensure that the women do not speak of the difficulties they have experienced and the pastors continue to receive money from western missions.

Paul Lewis, now safely in retirement in Claremont, California, could not be reached for comment.

 

Matthew McDaniel

 

The Paul W. Lewis Reply to Accusations:

From:      “Paul W. Lewis”

 

REPLY BY PAUL W. LEWIS

I have received an article from the Akha News Service, Maesai, Chiangrai, Thailand which accuses me of several things. I would like to reply to these accusations, and trust that my reply will receive the same coverage as the allegations received.

 

REPLY SUMMARY

1. ALLEGATION: Paul Lewis had more than 20,000 Akha women from Burma sterilized.

    FACT: I helped between 300 and 350 Akha women from Burma receive

an operation they greatly wanted and needed. They were most anxious to

have the operation because they could not take care of the children they

already had.

2. ALLEGATION: The project was done secretly.

    FACT: The program to help tribal families was carried out under

the auspices of the McCormick Hospital Family Planning Program based in

Chiang Mai, with full authorization from Thai authorities. Citizens of

Burma regularly come over to Thailand to receive the health assistance

that is not available there.

3. ALLEGATION: The women did not know the long term effects on their bodies.

     FACT: A Thai woman doctor trained at Johns Hopkins Medical School

used the latest methods - the same as used in the USA. The long term

effects for those women would be much the same as women who have the same

operation in this country, with the exception that their living

conditions are much, much worse.

4. ALLEGATION: Blood was stolen from these women for resale.

    FACT: This is the most obscene statement that could possibly be

made, and totally false. Surely such activities would have been found by

alert authorities in Thailand, who monitored the whole program. A local

anesthetic was used, and there was an IV drip started well before the

operation, and continued during, and after the operation. Blood was not

drawn, except in a few of the early cases to check for malaria. We found

so many of the women from Burma had malaria that we no longer bothered to

check, but simply gave a full course of malaria medicine to each woman

from Burma, as well as to accompanying members of her family, when they

arrived at the hospital.

5. ALLEGATION: Of the 20,000 women sterilized more than 3,000 have died.

    FACT: Since there were not more than 350 Akha women from Burma

who received the operation, for over 3,000 of them to die is totally

impossible, and reveals something of the lengths the author is going to

in order to discredit the program.

 

REPLIES TO SPECIFIC STATEMENTS IN THE ARTICLE

1. “Paul Lewis sterilized more than 20,000 Akha Hill Tribe women in

Burma’s Eastern Shan State alone…”

        As part of a family planning program I helped to conduct for the Lahu, Akha and Lisu tribal groups of Thailand, at their urgent request, we began to offer sterilization to those couples who did not want to have more children. They knew very well that they would not have more children following the operation - there was full disclosure and full consent. It was explained to them in their own language, and hundreds of couples came for help.

        There was fully informed consent in every aspect of the program -

as an anthropologist and as a follower of Jesus Christ this was a top

priority for me. The local committees which I helped organize to guide

and oversee the tribal family planning program (one Akha, one Lisu and

two Lahu committees) decided that only couples with two living children

should be accepted for sterilization, and then only if they lived near

medical facilities. For those couples who lived further away from good

health care centers, they felt we should not sterilize any couple that

had less than three living children.

        During the early years of the program we provided family planning

service for Lahu, Akha and Lisu in Thailand. After we had been conducting

the program for a year or two, several tribal people from Kengtung State

in Burma (both Lahu and Akha) came to ask if they could receive the same

help, since it was not available in their country, and they were

desperate. I checked with the Chief Medical Officer in Chiang Rai

Province and he said, “We do not ask ‘Where are you from?’, but ‘Where

does it hurt?’ Of course they can come. We already serve hundreds of

patients from Burma every month in the hospitals in Mae Sai and Chiang

Rai.” I knew this to be true, since I was often asked to translate for

the people from Burma.

        Over the last four years of our seven year six month program we

began to accept couples from Burma to receive sterilization. A very

skilled Thai woman doctor, who received her training in sterilization at

Johns Hopkins Medical School, would travel with her team to a modern

Government hospital in Phayao the last Friday and Saturday of each month.

Her brother was the Director of that hospital. She would give

sterilizations to the tribal women who came from Thailand, and then later

from Burma as well. She always did it in a spirit of love and compassion.

Since all of this happened some 20 years ago I do not have all of the figures with me in Claremont, CA, but I do know that in the total program there were fewer than 3,000 (three thousand) women who received the operation as a part of our program. As I recall the number was 2,978.  There were approximately 64 men who had vasectomies as part of our program. [Note: All of the statistical material I produced has been turned over to the Akha people in Burma and Thailand. There would also be some statistics in the Family Planning files of McCormick Hospital, but in those figures we did not separate the patients by tribal group or place of residence.]

        Of the 2,978 sterilizations, about half of them were done in

Chiang Mai. The operations done there were for tribal couples living in

Thailand. We only accepted couples from Burma in the Phayao Hospital, and

later in a Lahu village in Chiang Rai Province which was nearer to tribal

villages (Akha, Lisu and Lahu) and closer to the Burma border. I would

presume that Dr. Arunee Fongsri performed roughly 1,500 sterilizations in

Chiang Rai Province, either using the laparascope or performing

mini-laparotamies. Of those 1,500 cases a little less than half of the

patients were from Burma (roughly 750). If my memory serves me correctly,

about 40% of these would be Akha (that is, about 300 women), 45% were

Lahu, and the other 15% were Lisu, Kachin, Tai Loi, Shan, etc. Just to

make sure I do not understate the total, let me estimate that up to 350

Akha women from Burma received sterilization in our program.

        Logistically speaking it would have been impossible for us to

perform the number of operations claimed by the Akha Heritage Foundation.

Dr. Arunee Fongsri would perform the operation on about 35-40 women the

last Friday and Saturday of each month, ten months out of the year. Even

if all of the women she operated on for a four year period were Akha

women from Burma, that would still be just 400 women per year, or a total

of approximately 1,600 over that time - much less than the 20,000

claimed. But they were not the only ones coming. They represented about

40% of the ones who came, although I do recall one trip when the Akha

women from Burma constituted approximately half of all of those receiving

the operation. That large a percent of Akha women from Burma did not

happen very often, however.

2. “This project was done secretly without the approval of the Burmese Government by requiring the women to come into Thailand for the procedure … Government leaders in this region of Burma now know about the project and say that it was illegal in that it did not have Burmese government approval or proper documentation that the rights of the women were not being violated.”

        When people along the border of Burma are sick or need to see a doctor, they do not need to get approval from the Burmese government to seek help in Thailand. At the time of our project family planning was virtually illegal in Burma, except for military officers and their families. Medical care and medicines were extremely difficult to obtain, which increased the problems tribal families faced as many couples had a baby every two years or less. They pleaded with us for help!  3. The term is used, “…they had little education as to what the long term effect on their lives would be.”

        We followed up many of the women who had the operation, and found very good results from the operation itself. The sterilization they received (whether by the $10,000 laparascope or by the simpler but just as effective mini-laparotomy) is the VERY SAME that American women receive! There was one Lahu woman from Thailand who had a “bleeder” following the operation, but this was taken care of before it became serious.

        In the hills of eastern Burma many women die in child birth. I

know. I have driven many tribal women (Lahu, Akha, Wa) having trouble

giving birth to a hospital so that their lives could be saved. The long

term effect of not having the operation was often death!

        Also, we found that almost all of the women coming from Burma had

malaria. At first we only gave malaria medicine to those who were having

an active case. As time went by we changed and gave EACH OF THEM a full

course of malaria medicine the moment they arrived in Phayao, since most

of them had it in their system. They were most grateful for this. One

Lahu woman who had the operation came back about a year later bringing

her sister for the operation, and said that she had not had a malarial

attack since we gave her the medicine when she had come for her surgery.

        I should mention here that I was deeply concerned about the long

term effect of all family planning methods. That is one of the reasons I

worked to receive a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of

Oregon. Also, our program had wonderful backing from McCormick Hospital

in Chiang Mai in all of these matters. The world-renowned family planning

expert, Dr. Edwin McDaniel, was advisor to the project, and it was their

program that lent the excellent services of Dr. Arunee Fongsri to us. At

the time, she had performed over 50,000 sterilizations in Thailand, and

was very highly thought of by the whole medical establishment. She was

frequently asked to give papers in family planning conferences in

Thailand and other countries  about her superb program of training others

to perform this operation.

        It is true that sometimes there was some scarring following the

operation - which can happen in this country as well. Also, it is true

that the diets of the tribal women in Southeast Asia are often very poor,

and that there are various other things that can cause serious diseases

among them, but usually these matters are not related to the

sterilization.

4. “In addition witnesses now verify the rumor that blood was

simultaneously stolen from these women for resale.”

        This is total fabrication! When women were first coming from Burma we thought it might be good to test for malaria, and enough blood was taken to cover a slide! When we found that over 70% exhibited malaria in their blood we did not bother to do that any more. As I mentioned above we simply gave every woman a full course of malaria medicine.

        While we were in Thailand there were wild rumors about people

going around to steal blood to sell etc. There was never proof of this,

but lots of fear. We never took blood to sell - or even thought of doing

so. We did give blood transfusions to a few women who were very weak. I

remember a Lahu woman from Burma who had almost bled to death during her

last miscarriage. She was given blood before and after the sterilization,

as were a few others. We also provided powdered milk for those still

nursing babies and needing extra nourishment. Believe me, we did

everything we possibly could to help those families get the very best

service possible. Twenty years later for a group that calls itself “Akha

Heritage Foundation” to put a totally blatant lie like this on the

internet is staggering to say the least!

5. “… to this day in this region of Burma medical care is very difficult to come by for the poor.”

        Right! And that is why we paid their travel and even for their

food for the journey. That is also why we knocked ourselves out to help

them past this hurdle in their lives, because there was no way a couple

could continue to feed and care for their children when they were having

ten children or so before the woman was 35 years of age - and we had many

such cases!

6. “Of the more than 20,000 who witnesses say were sterilized in Burma alone, they say that more than 3,000 women died.”

 

        To make the statement that over 3,000 women died from the

outpatient operation when there were fewer than 350 Akha women from Burma

who received that operation stretches the imagination! In 1996 when I was

attending a conference related to the Hani and Akha in Chiang Mai,

Thailand, I was confronted by a Westerner charging that the women in

Burma who were sterilized were in terrible pain from the operation, with

many of them dying. I checked around with some Akha leaders from Burma

and Thailand asking if this was true. They were amazed to hear this

(including one Akha in-law of the Westerner who made the accusation), and

told me it was not true. The wife of one of the men told how as a little

girl she had been with her mother when she went to the Phayao hospital to

receive this operation, and how grateful her mother and father were to me

for helping out in this way. Then they asked me where I had heard about

women being in serious pain. When I told them who said it they laughed

and said, “It sounds like something he would say!”

7. “… Paul Lewis claimed that any pain related to the surgery was simply psychosomatic…”

        Tribal women in Southeast Asia have lots of pains and problems. I remember a Lahu woman who had had sterilization coming to our home while we still lived in Chiang Mai and saying that because of the surgery she had a terrible rash on her legs. We looked. Sure enough, she had a bad rash. We said that it was not due to the surgery. “But I never had it before the operation, so that must be the reason” she said. We took her to a hospital and got medicine for her, and the rash cleared up.  If I made a statement to the effect that “any pain was simply psychosomatic” I’m afraid I did not state my own convictions very well.

Many such pains can be psychosomatic, but many of them are the result of

intestinal worms, cancer, poor diet, working much harder than they

should, adhesions from various causes, etc. etc. As far as we could tell,

within five years after the end of the program, there was not one

fatality that could be considered a result of the operation. This may be

a better record than in some Western countries.

8. The author calls me a “very powerful man”, and claims I was giving “money under the table from his Baptist-related organizations”.

 

Money sent to the field for work went through the Lahu and Akha

themselves. I did not receive it. Actually, none of the money for the

family planning program came from Baptist sources, and funds for

education and development often come from Sweden, Germany and other

countries. I must acknowledge the generous funding of the group called

Family Planning International Assistance for supporting the Hill Tribes

Family Planning Program of McCormick Hospital.

         For over 40 years I gave my life and talent to help these people

in every way possible, but I always worked WITH them, and sought to turn

over all aspects of the work to them as quickly as possible. In regard to

the family planning program, I turned all of that over to the Thai

Government at the end of our seven and a half years of service.

9. The author speaks of the pastors in Christian Akha villages upsetting the traditional cultural system. (Actually, I do not know where the part about the “five men” comes from.)

        If and when an Akha pastor does that, I am not happy. I firmly believe in the division of church and state, and in allowing the Akha to determine the type of culture in which they wish to live. Often, of course, the pastor is the only person in the village who has had at least a basic education and can speak Burmese or Thai, so when officials and others come to the village they may talk with him more than the headman - which is unfortunate. Anyone who knows what I did in both Burma and Thailand will know that I pushed for an education for ALL tribal people, young and old, male and female. I can honestly say that I have not personally been in any Christian Akha village in either Burma or Thailand where the headman has been superceded by the pastor. I know there are some mission groups that tend to bring this type of thing about, but it certainly is not the Baptist way. I am afraid that the author of these statements does not really understand either me, or the Akha people.  10. “Paul Lewis, now safely in retirement in Claremont, California, could not be reached to comment.”

        There are a number of Akha people living in and near Mae Sai who could have given the author my address, telephone number and e-mail address. It would have been the ethical thing to do for the author to have at least contacted me before spreading these accusations around the world on the web. Perhaps I could have saved him some embarrassment, if nothing else.

        

CREDENTIALS OF PAUL W. LEWIS

        I was born in Denver, Colorado June 30, 1924. In 1946, while attending seminary in Philadelphia, I learned that a “great tribe in the hills of Eastern Burma did not have their language reduced to writing”, and I felt that was not fair. It was the Akha people, I later learned.  After intensive linguistic training my wife and I went to Burma in the fall of 1947 and were there until April 1966. There we served the Lahu and Akha people under the auspices of the Board of International Ministries, American Baptist Churches/USA (with headquarters in Valley Forge, PA).

After studying Lahu first and then Akha, I reduced the Akha language to

writing in 1950, and began to produce literature. Dr. Frank Laubach, the

world-renowned literacy expert, came through Rangoon at that time, so my

wife and I took an Akha young man and two Lahu men with us to work with

Dr. Laubach in producing Akha and Lahu primers especially designed for

adults. Using a pattern Dr. Laubach taught us we also produced readers

for new literates  for both tribes.

        I was asked by the Human Relations  Area File in New Haven to

write up my findings concerning the Akha people of Burma, so before we

left Burma in 1966 I spent 15 months doing intensive research into their

fascinating culture. I produced four volumes entitled “Ethnographic Notes

on the Akha of Burma”. These were published by HRAF. It will be noted

that I sought to include the Akha words for all of their ceremonies and

other cultural activities. I wished to help others know and understand

these great people.

        We went to serve the Lahu in Thailand in 1968. During our early

years there I taught anthropology one year at the University of Chiang

Mai (I had an MA in anthropology at that time from the University of

Colorado). I also began collecting ethnographic notes on all six tribes

in Thailand, which eventually was useful in writing the book my wife

Elaine and I authored called, “Peoples of the Golden Triangle”. It was

published in English, German, French and Thai, and the latter translation

is currently being used in teaching anthropology in Universities in

Thailand.

        I received a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology at the University of

Oregon in 1978. Much of my reason for studying in that field was that I

wanted to do NOTHING to harm the wonderful people I had totally fallen in

love with - the Lahu and Akha people of Southeast Asia! My dissertation

is entitled: “Introducing Family Planning to the Akha People of

Thailand”, and is available on micro-film. I sent my own copy of this

dissertation to an Akha Cultural Center in Chiang Mai, which is just now

being developed by some Akha leaders in Burma and Thailand.

        I have produced two Akha dictionaries, the first published by

Cornell University, the second (greatly enlarged, and with many Thai

terms included) was published in Thailand by the Development and

Agricultural Project for Akha (DAPA), a development organization which I

helped to start, and which was made possible by financial help from

Diakonia of Sweden.

Besides various books and magazines I helped to produce in Burma, as well

as the Akha New Testament and an Akha hymnal, I produced the following

Akha books in Thailand toward the end of my stay there: Akha Ballads,

Poems and Songs (313 pages); Akha Riddles and Proverbs (113 pages); Akha

Stories (330 pages); Akha Health Book (131 pages).

        I must acknowledge the wonderful backing I have had from various

groups - first and foremost being the International Ministries of

American Baptists. They made it possible for my wife and me to share

God’s infinite love with the people in Southeast Asia, which was always

our basic goal. I was far from being a “perfect” missionary, but I

appreciate so much the compassionate and creative backing the American

Baptists gave to us and our work. Then I must also thank the Lahu and

Akha people of both Burma and Thailand who have taught me so many

wonderful things.

My address is: 

       

Dr. Paul W. Lewis

560 W. 8th St.

Claremont, CA 91711

U.S.A.

 

My phone number is: (909) 625-3350.

My e-mail address uses my initials (pwlewis) with @juno.com.

There is also a fax number for the Pilgrim Place community, where I live.

That number is: (909) 399-5508 (my name must be included in the beginning of the fax, since many people use this number).

Paul W. Lewis

March 18, 1999

 

12 May 99, Akha Response

This is the Akha Response:

You may delete if of no interest to you.

It is rather lengthy and difficult to read in some places but is the original handwritten response.

This is the Akha response to the issues of how their language has been manipulated and how they were increasingly marginalized by the “pioneering” of sterilizations among the Akha which has continued on through to this day.

This response is written by a number of Akha who fear for their safety should they make their names public.  Threats have already been made by people involved with the protestant missions.

 

April 4, 1999

Maesai, Chiangrai, Thailand

A reply to comments of Paul W. Lewis that the Akha have not been exploited by the protestant missions, that blood was not taken, and that sterilizations did not happen in large numbers, were not done carelessly, and did not cause a lot of women to die:

One Elder states:

“Paul Lewis says that our statement that blood was taken from women being sterilized is “obscene”.

Obscene as compared to all the women who died?

Just what is he talking about?

“Of seven ladies that had sterilization in our village, two passed away shortly after the sterilization. Although the Akha do not currently have the funds to research the exact number who died away it is indeed quite high.  Why? They went to receive sterilization because they were poor. After being sterilized since they could not become rich automatically they had to go and work as usual.  So they had to suffer pain from their operation. Since their poverty demanding them not to stop their job, they had to face with new disease of feeling pain all the time.  Later, they had to pass away with new disease.  That’s why, the help given by others turned out to be a trap for most of the Akha ladies who were being sterilized. Those who survived, still many are suffering from various kind of diseases and social abnormalities.  Some became opium addicts, still some became very thin and suffering from bleeding.

Who did all these things?  To me it seems to be like a systematic way of killing our hill tribe, to annihilate us.  Why I dare say like that?  As they are experts in these fields, they know ahead for sure that those who underwent operation some or somehow would not be able to do hard labor in the rest of her life.  Knowing it properly, they persuaded hill tribes women to undertake such operation by offering bonus to individual person to lower down the population of hill tribes people for sure. 

They killed the best of our people.  Since our people knew about it very little, they accepted it like a fish which sees the bait but not the hook.

Now I feel very bad for my suffering people. To whom shall I blame?   To my poor people or to those so called experts who jumped in with lots of money as if they were our generous benefactors?

Whatever it be, from my personal experiences and eye witnessing, this project did not do any good for our people.  Why such a great and well known man like Dr. Paul Lewis, intentionally and willingly tried to carry out such expensive project particularly just for our hill tribes people?  Since they are well educated and being able to foresee what will be the result of their project, why they did such to our tribe?  It is still remaining as a mystery for our people especially for those young people who love their people very much.

Regarding the Baptist missionaries, they seemed that they did not show any interest for our culture. Why?  They did not encourage to name the new born children in the traditional name.  They just eager to build big churches in every village.  Even if there is just one christian family in a village where there are over 100 households, they try very hard to build a big church for that family.  Such thing happen in Akha villages.  There may be only one christian family, but the villagers did not allow him to build a church but he did not listen so he built a small church, later the villagers pulled it down. Why? Because they are afraid that there will be division among the villagers, later the villagers will become two groups that they will start to speak bad to one another.  So at last there will be division in the village.  As examples we may find up to two or three churches in just one small village, how one will belong to Baptist mission, another to church of Christ and another one still to Pentecostals, etc.   and you will not find anyone from among these various churches for our culture.  Why?”

Another Akha:

“I was not Baptist but lived among many Baptist villages. I could get the best news that there were going on with the Baptist Church when Paul Lewis was staying in Burma as well as in Thailand.  He was so friendly with many Baptist Pastors that what he is going to tell us indeed coming out from the mouths of the pastors.

Regarding the sterilizations, he said that women not only from Tachilek district at the border, but also from Mong Phyak, Mong Yog, Mong Hkat, Mong Yan, Mong Pin as well as Keng Tung were sterilized.  Almost all of them came from Baptist villages. Why?  Because those who came to bring these women down also mostly came from pastor’s society.  Time they trusted to their Chief Pastor very much that it seemed they did not think very much that it would be right or wrong.  Only later when they came to realize that  sterilization was not good at all for hill tribe women for many suffered and died of this.  Since women came from many many villages for more than ten years at least, the number would be very great and those who passed away most probably would be more than three thousand already.  Still other remain who are still suffering.  Basing on what many came across from all these we dare say that much perhaps even more than that.

I do not understand why Dr. Paul Lewis spent lots of money to carry out this project?  Apart from giving money to each patient he also gave all the traveling expenses to them and 3,000 baht to the agent, which at that time was a lot of money, for bringing the women in.  That is why in those days his project became a good income for those agents who managed to bring down the patients to the surgery.  Most of these agents came from pastor’s societies.  To be able to get that 3,000 baht as a bonus, many tried to fulfill this project enthusiastically, so that became a sort of economy for them.  Because of such situation it seemed that many women received only good stories of what would follow suit after sterilization.  No body told them the bad side effects that would come out from that project.  But fact is fact. Most of those ladies who underwent sterilization met with various types of disasters.  To whom shall we blame for al these things?  It is plain truth in our villages.  Whoever denies it will be just cheating the world.  I am still wondering why such a great man initiated such a bad thing to our hill tribe?  I am very eager to know the answer.

Some claimed that certain amount of blood was drawn away from their bodies varying to one another.  The patients themselves also never knew why the drawing of blood was done upon them.  This was more than what would be made to come out for a blood test.  How true it is would be left over with the persons who were paid to do the sterilizations and have access to all the records.

For the time being, so many patients could not work anymore, many became very thin and suffering from various form of disease. Many others still becoming socially abnormal that they felt shy for being like that.  But how to solve it? There is no answer.

At the beginning when christianity was arising among the Akha people, they burnt down our gates, and ancestor offering boxes.   Slowly we were named with christian names that traditional names and naming system were disappearing away slowly.  By now when a new child is born, he or she will be named in christian way either by the mistress of the pastor or by the pastor himself, eliminating our ancient naming system by which we count our generations back.  Now the children can not do that, because the naming system was interfered with and destroyed by these christian mission people.

By looking at this to be Akha means needs to know our genealogical line.  If they are pushing away such good custom of Akha, no doubt they don’t care if they push away the culture of Akha people also.  Thus at first they threw away our culture, later divisions came among the people although they are same christians. In that way, there sprouting up one church after another in the same village.   Now not only division among the villages but also division among the families are arising. How to solve it?  What a miserable situation is going on among our people in Burma from western missions coming in from Thailand.

Regarding the education given by missionaries, that was very good indeed.  Many young people came to know how to uplift the living standards of our people.  At the beginning it seemed to be very good.  As the years gone by, boarding departments also show interest only for girls.  Why?  Especially in Thailand.  Due to having prostitution so highly, under the name of safeguarding young women, boarding schools for girls sprouting up.  But then the girls no longer feel to marry Akha men.  So where will the Akha children come from and what will happen to our people and villages? They do not come back to the villages. In this way the Akha women are being taken away from the Akha world.  That is why the present education being given by the missionaries should be closed down quickly and changing into new educational system.  Education should be given in village level thus giving chances to both boys and girls in the village life.  Then we will be able to preserve ourselves, instead of having the young women “bought out” from us, then we can also save our language.

We do not know why the so called missionaries are trying to throw away our culture so eagerly?  Isn’t there any good thing in our culture?  If there is not even a single good point, why then are they making business by selling Akha head dresses and other things also?  Making lots and lots of money by writing about our people, culture, custom and history?  After all, to be able to write such things from where do they get all these informations?  Indeed, all these informations are given by my people and they are still poor as usual.  What about those authors?  They become rich and well known to the world for writing and knowing about us.

For example, Dr. Paul Lewis when he came to Burma in 1947 he hardy acquired any degree.  Through his zeal and eagerness to learn he gained his MA and Ph.D. while he was in Burma and Thailand.  In fact he gained great knowledge from us.  So many Akha elders who were well informed regarding Akha Zauh had to sacrifice lots of their time so that a person like Paul Lewis, who did not understand even a single Akha could become an Akha expert up to writing books in Akha.  Who are his teachers?  We the Akha.  He became very famous by writing about Akha Zauh in english under four volumes and they are in Cornell University.  What are the contents of these four volumes?  The real culture of Akha was never suitable for Akha readers.  Paul Lewis’s mission had Bibles, not books on our culture.  The so called four volumes written about Akha Zauh was never written in Akha.  Now we even doubt that Paul Lewis might have written about Akha in an oppressive way.  If he is forbidding our Zauh, why then he is writing all of this?  The book called “People of the Golden Triangle” which has sold thousands of books in many languages must have made him some name and some money.  Does he deny he made great name off us, but lives safely while we still die?

So our poor people did not make any trouble for him, instead helping him to be more learned man and more wealthy man.  People like to call him a “great man of God”.  But why did he dropped down such a bad seed called sterilization which has been carrying on by other people?  My people were so good to him that he gave us back the worst thing!? Can we tell or name him that he is still a christian?  Now he is retiring with lots of wealth while we are remaining still very poor?

Regarding the religion, at the beginning it seemed to be very good.  Converting one village after another. Later it turned out to be division among the people.  Why?  Some became Catholics, some protestants, some still holding their ancestor offering while others became Buddhists.  All these even though they are Akhas and sons of the same Sooh Meeh Oh, they could not face to one another. Why?  First they took away our culture which has been handed down upon over 1500 years already by naming it that it was bad to carry.  Now we want to raise a question, how good the christianity is then.  If that is good enough, why there are so many groups, teaching about Jesus and yet fighting to one another?  First they divided our people, now they are dividing our villages and lately they are dividing our families by building many churches just in one village.  On Burma side and Thailand, it looks like a testing ground for their different groups of religion.  Our people are indeed confusing a lot.  Better not to have one of them than having all of them.  They are just trying to take the best from us and leaving us in despair.  We seems to be like a prey for them.

Regarding the Akha scripts, before Paul Lewis was born, Catholic Akha script was already there, printed by Msgr. Bonetta from Toungoo Press.  And the present Catholic script is the third improvement and already taken into shape before 1950 and done by Fr. Protuluppi.  The earliest Akha prayer book was printed somewhere around 1917 already.  By starting a new one, Baptist mission started with their own script to make a difference between Catholic and Baptist. They would not agree to work together.  Due to this which one we shall choose?  Just to take an escape from all of this we worked with the people at the Akha Heritage Foundation to make a script which solved the problems inherent in both the others, and that took no religious side.  With this we can record all our Akha Zauh accurately and it can be typed, read and learned quickly.  For sure we would be most criticized by the missionaries first, but we don’t care, we just care that all our Zauh should be recorded for the children before we pass away.

The missionaries quickly seized upon the killing of twins at birth in Akha culture as a means to vilify the whole culture and turn many Akha against anything and everything Akha.  Divide us. Conquer us?  On every culture, which we can ever find in the world, since they are formed long time ago, some of them will not be up to the mark of modern society, some may seem to be with error.  In Old Testament time they are human sacrificing even.  Cannibalism is still going on in some part of Africa.

In that way, our culture also some seems to be very cruel.  For such case, instead of understanding upon our culture, missionaries would like to mock at us, with that they blamed that our culture was indeed very bad in that we killed new born twins.  In those days, they presumed that only animals would give birth to more than one.  If two or three babies are born from the same womb at the same moment, the presumed that they would bring bad luck to the society.  So they killed them. In those days people were waging war in our land all the time and migrating from one place to another all the time also.  If the mother had to care two or three at the same time, it would be very hard for the family.  They might have their own reasons for all of this.

Today I would like to ask to those concerned about it properly since killing is wrong indeed, why then abortion is going on and on all the time especially in US where all the missionaries come from?  Is that not against the violation of human right?  Even in your churches?  Why such thing is going on and on all the time?  To us we castrate only animals, to make them become fat quickly especially for rearing pigs.  In abroad they are sterilizing ladies, this also what a strange thing for us here.  Due to those authors who tried to exaggerate our culture so much in a mockery way that readers presumed we Akha people might really be primitive people.  Because of that, when they converted an Akha village into Christianity they burnt down our gates, ancestor shrines, swing etc.  Apart from that , they also stopped us from doing traditional burial, naming to new born children in traditional way of names, no more recitations, no dancing allowed.  In fact all these things made the Akha people to persevere their culture and language over one thousand five hundred years already.  If these can keep the Akha people for such a long tie as a group of people, we don’t think that all these would be very bad.   That’s why we want to ask you, whether it is not it is worth to keep them instead of condemning them and throwing them all away?

For example, gate of the village means fence of the village like the fence of our compound.  Is that wrong to have a fence of the village?  To the Akhas, swing ceremony represents to God’s creation of human, they say that the Akha has descended from God through the swing. Is it wrong to commemorate that?  Is it wrong to name an Akha new born child after the name of their respective lineage?  That’s why missionaries should reconsider it over again and should change their way of teachings.

If all these cultures are bad as they named, can we say that sterilization is justified?

Now sterilization is still going on from the seeds that Paul Lewis dropped down.  All these can be seen in the stream of life here.

From our close observation we came to know that when the missionaries arrived these missionaries selected some ones so that later these people would be able to take their place. In this way they formed a lot of Akha elite thus taking them away, from the ordinary people.  They made them into a group to be extra ordinary Akhas, thus giving them best education, best facilities of the world.  That is why there small group could buy the latest cars one after the other.  They became very powerful that they could pin point anybody whom they want and start ordering what they like.  Why they did like that?  Only those concerned would know the purpose of doing that?  Now these young leaders replacing old missionaries.  They think that they belong to upper class and they don’t want to admit that they also came from the same people.

From where all these divisive ideas came from?  From the foreign missionaries?  If that is true, why did they do that?  We have no proper leader, no country, no land to be able to claim as ours, no wealth, no education, number also very limited.  To such a poor people, why did they do that?  It seems that they are having to faces.  Under the title of help they suppress us.  To the world they gained their reputation as benefactors of disappearing tribes.  They built their reputations on us for many years. While many Akhas served to assist this reputation for many years, assistance came back only to a few.

The way they behaved upon us seemed as if we did not know about God before they arrived here.  Why do missionaries think they are the only ones who can perceive God?  If there is no good teachings among the Akhas, we are sure that we can not have survived until this day.

 

Please Post this information as widely as possible.

Akha News Service

Maesai, Chiangrai, Thailand

 

Jesus Film Exchange:

 

Please Forward This:

Please Complain To The Jesus Film Project Directors (Emails Listed)

Regarding This Intentional Exploitation Of The Akha People of Thailand,

Burma, Laos and China.

Jesus Film In Akha Language: Racism at its best!

The Jesus Film Project mailto:jfp@ccci.org

The Discussion With The Jesus Film Project

A Request That Traditional Akha Culture Be Respected In The Film

Translation Into Akha

At the time as shown below in the email transmissions I requested to the

Jesus Film project that the same errors that were in the New Testament

translation in Akha language not be repeated in the film.

In the New Testament translation to Akha the word used are that Akha

Elders Crucified Jesus.

We all know this not to be the case.

The people from the Jesus Film project never answered the concerns in

these emails but evaded the subject, and then for months did not reply

until we placed our questions on the internet.

But at that time they informed us that the film was finished and the use

of the words had occurred, "oh well."

On seeing the video itself, the reference to the Akha Elders as the

people who killed Jesus is not done once but repeatedly.

I can only say, knowing the Christian Akha who backed this film, well

paid by groups like American Baptist, that the slur against Akha

traditional leadership is INTENTIONAL!

They deserve the condemnation they get, having lived fine lives off the

betrayal of their own people for financial gain.

 

Jesus Film  Email Exchange:

 

1.

Akha Jesus Film

Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 17:35:06 +0700 From:

 mailto:dcady@ccci.org

 

Dear Doug Cady:

I contacted Mr. Dearing with the message below and he said that I should

contact you.

I work with the Akha Hill Tribe in Northern Thailand and I am very

concerned regarding accuracies in translation for a Jesus Film for the

Akha project.

Do you know anything of this project, or who might and how I can get a

copy of the script being proposed?

In the only available translation of the New Testament which was done

many years ago there are serious errors in the translation that twist in

very harmful predjudices against the culture of these people.

For example, a name for a certain kind of elder within the Akha

community is used in the translation of "High Priest" and since it was

used in the context of the crucifixion of Jesus it would cause the

automatic assumption that the Akha Elder was being blamed for this.

Since a similar position does not exist in either foreign or Jewish

governments it is not an accurate translation.  Yet this serious error

in the NT has existed for years with no attempt on the part of white

missioinaries to correct it.  As far as I know, there were no Akha in

Jerusalem in the early parts of the first century A.D.

 

Thankyou for your reply.

 

Matthew McDaniel

Maesai, Chiangrai, Thailand

 

2.

10 Nov 98, Jesus Film

Akha Jesus Film

Tue, 10 Nov 1998 21:17:24 +0700

Matthew McDaniel <akha@loxinfo.co.th>

Mike Ball mailto:mball@ccci.org>

 

Mike Ball:

Numerous Akha people are aware that there are serious flaws in

the translation of the

Akha New Testament which casts desparagement upon Akha traditional

culture without justification.

These particular errors of a serious nature come in Bible texts relating

to the crucifixion of Jesus.

If these errors are passed on to the film, the film will place itself in

 

a rather negative category.

All they would like to see is a printed copy of the script, and the

choice of words that it uses.

They would like to give their input into the correctness of the

translation as used in the script for

this film.

 

A copy of the script can be emailed to me, I will print it out and give

it to the Akhas who have requested it.

(this request was never honored on the part of the Campus Crusade Jesus

Film Project)

 

There is a long tradition here of the missions walking on the rights of

the Akha to impose their highly financed churches in Akha villages and

to forbid them to practice their culture.

I can supply a huge number of photos and video testimony to substantiate

this matter.

These problems are well documented at this time.  The World Council of

Churches section on indigenous matters is also informed of this issue.

I should be very clear that no one says they are against the project but

 

only voice the opinion that inaccurate tranlation will add to the

propoganda that is being used by

protestant denominations to damage the culture of these people.

This is a matter that could be solved readily but it is also a matter

that could do serious damage if the film is used for propaganda purposes

against the traditional culture of this tribe.

It should be said that in the past there have been repeated attempts to

get the missionaries to see that they can assist the Akha without

banning their culture, forbiding them to practice what the missionaries

for the most part do not understand.

But this effort has failed.  The churches go up, usually in the center

of the village as the attatched photo shows, the people are told to stop

practicing their culture, all

traces of it are removed or burned and so the matter goes on.

The people in the village where this photo was taken were catholic for

15 years, very small quiet parish, then this

monstrosity was pushed into the middle of this otherwise bamboo village.

 

 It could have been located outside the village as to not be disruptive,

in any direction

say 100 meters.  But that is not

how these people do it, why be bashful when you are going to push it all

 

aside anyway?

I hope that I have made clear the concerns regarding this matter.

There are a whole lot of people listening on how this matter is going to

 

go, not just here in Thailand.

 

I have spoken to both Rodney and A-Je regarding the activities of the

missions regarding the culture but I don’t think we are communicating as

to how serious a human rights issue this is.

While general conditions for the Akha continue to deteriorate because

they have not the same human rights guarantees as you or I the missions

continue to take as

much advantage of this situation as possible.  Many have even said that

the woes which the Akha

are experiencing as people who have no civil rights, are the hand of God

becuase they have

chosen to live in darkness and bondage. In village after village the

Akha tell me that they were

forbidden to practice their traditional culture.  This is not a right

that the missionaries have and

it will continue to be publicized

that they are doing this to a greater and greater international

audience.

It is not my intention to be adversarial, just to state plainly how

serious this matter is.

There is a continued refusal of missionaries to give room and regard to

Akha traditional culture. There is a continued behavior to

feel they have the right to forbid the culture if these people want to

learn about Jesus.

 

Matthew McDaniel

 

3.

Mike Ball wrote:

 

Dear Mr. McDaniel,

         I’m an Asia Coordinator for JESUS film Recording projects.  I’m

 

following up this question

   with A-Je and Rodney Guenther, who spent two weeks last month

recording "Akha".  A-Je has

   a computerized uncorrected script, I believe.  The recording is still

 

in process, here.

   I will let you know what I find.

   God bless you !

    Mike

 

4.

Subject:

Re: Akha Jesus Film

Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 08:57:49 +0700

Matthew McDaniel <akha@loxinfo.co.th>

Mike Ball <mailto:mball@ccci.org>

 

Mr. Ball:

I hate to take issue but you are not answering my question.

I have asked you if it is possible to see a copy of the Akha Script

because various Akha wish to view it.

This is a project that will be released to large numbers of Akha, the

public in fact.

If there is no concern, then, all though it may be a nuisance and bother

to you, there should be really nothing to hide in sharing the script.

It can be conveyed electronically.

However, if the Jesus Film for the Akha is actually a partisan work,

then you possibly have reason to protect the fact that it is in reality

a partisan work.

If I were translating the New Testament for the Akha and an atheist

asked to see a copy, although I might very dislike what their intention

"might" be I would realize that once I had chosen to enter the public

sphere, I expose my work to the attention of any and all and follow

through accordingly.

However, my original statement to you was that the New Testament had

serious flaws in it. This in combination with a partisan religious

agenda has done and continues to do serious damage to the Akha as a

people, not something that I think Jesus Christ intended.

If a simple request to view a script, not for the purpose of interfering

with your project, but just for the purpose of getting the opportunity

to express concern over certain content if it should exist and try to

open up a discussion regarding it in an appeal to fairness and justice.

If this is an affront to the way the project is being run then it raises

more serious issues which we were not intent on finding.

As I have told you before, the behavior of the western financed missions

regarding the traditions of the Akha is not acceptable because for one

thing it is illegal.

I have explained the reasons.

I should also say that I did not get the impression from speaking with

Rodney that he either understood or had any concerns for the culture of

the Akha from comments he made.  It appears that the conveyance of his

particular spin on his particular agenda is more important than the

issues that people have been raising for years about the way in which

particularly American based missions have treated the Akha.

It may be very possible that not all the Akha disagree with the Missions

and what they are doing, particularly those that are paid well to help,

if you know what I mean.

But it should also be noted that many Akha who are Christians are

adamantly against the missions as well.

I do not know if there is anything in the script that people should be

concerned with.

I would hope not.

However the lack of openess and transparency on the part of the missions

here does not do much to ensure any one.

 

If your answer is that you will not make a copy of the script publicly

available before production that is your choice, but keep in mind that

this will be noted for the record and that it duly adds to that

suspicion for which there is already a substantial basis as a result of

many years of mission behavior of this very same nature.

It casts a shadow on the willingness of the people on this project to be

open to the issues that exist and increases the feelings that the

missions will come here and do as they please.

 

Matthew McDaniel

 

5.

Mike Ball wrote:

Sir,

 

   I received  your letter expressing your concern about the recently

recorded translation of the JESUS film in the Akha language.

 

Concerning the script, it was translated by an Akha, not taken

directly from the Akha New Testament.  The script was then approved by

several Akha.  The final recording was approved by an Approval Committee

of Akha people from various regions.  All of them approved the

translation and the recording.   We were looking for a translation that

would be understood by all Akha, not just the Thai Akha.  I want to

encourage you that every effort was made to assure that any errors were

found and corrected by allowing people whose first language is Akha to

repeatedly scrutinize the script and recording.

 

While I know that in the end, any production will have it’s

shortcomings, it’s my prayer that this film will be a great benefit to

the Akha people in all countries.

 

 Sincerely,

 

Mike Ball

 

Our Note:

 

In the end a script full of flaws and racial and cultural slurs was

completed.  "Its finished" they told me at a meeting, "can’t be changed

now".

 

"God will judge you for every Akha you keep out of heaven by opposing

this project"

 

"Paul Lewis (of sterilization fame) is a ‘Man of God’.

 

Please protest the release of this film to the emails of the people of

the Jesus Project Listed.  We have copies of the Jesus project in Akha

and it is very insulting to Akha people.  It backs up the prejudices

that the missionaries from the west, places like the US, consistently

teach to the Akha children as to how bad their culture and elders are.

 

Please Forward.

 

Jesus Film In Akha Language: Racism at its best!

The Jesus Film Project mailto:jfp@ccci.org

 

Lewis

 

lewis, does cia give or gave money

 

lewis and leo would like them to be it would seem

 

lewis cia

 

lewis money su0pply to burma

 

lewis roots

 

lewis sterilizations, dr. in Phyao, Dr. McDaniel

 

lewis still money supply to people in Burma?

 

paul and elaine lewis

 

pensa fertility problem

 

Pensa’s home for girls and other kids

 

Pensa's Mission

 

The “Young Dynasty”

 

Lauren Bethel

 

gordon young and his book and what he said about akha mika toyota

 

Rose martinz

 

Father Joseph

 

Father Pensa

 

father bosco mong pyah, pagans

 

pensa

 

dorothy uhlig letter

 

Bishop Abraham

 

Father Norman

 

Father Clement Lashwey

 

Brian Barney

 

Brian Barney indiana or illinois

 

Brian barney played basketball with the dea

 

brian salary and annual budjets

 

Franklin:

Comment about gate removal at local church meeting.

It was this stupidity that made their situation as missionaries impossible

 

Ah Jay, Ah Huuh, Father and his death and house and missionaries there.

Abaw leeh gaw

 

Adjew

There is the Adjew who worked under Lewis.

Phillip talked to him.  Seems he had helped keep the sterilization thing silent.

Then there was the Adjew who worked at Som mah kohm. He wasn’t very pleasant.  He was Leo’s wife’s sister.  Then he got busted for dealing heroin and ran away to Burma.

 

Missions and Missionary Behavior and Policy

 

                We think that the goal oriented approach of western missionaries to convert the Akha to Christianity, whether they like it or

not, is extremely arrogant and not at all in the spirit of the teachings of Jesus Christ.  If an individual or group with time and money

"lay siege" to an impoverished Akha village to "convert it" does this village have a choice?  We think not, but this practice has

been going on in Akha villages for years. 

Sects pick and choose Bible texts to justify their behavior, yet seem completely closed off to discussion of the issue or

reflection

on how their position is perceived. 

We do not believe that the mainstream evangelicalism or Christianity from the west has much similarity to the Teachings of

Jesus Christ at this time. 

We believe that Fundamentalism or Evangelicalism are names for social and cultural belief systems that may include some of

the teachings of Jesus Christ, but whose main goal is a religious agenda which is often very competitive within itself.  We do not think it right to foist these kinds of problems and ethnocentric belief systems on tribal groups.  To look at the literature of these organizations you might think it some kind of football game, the tribal people the pigskin. 

In Southeast Asia there are a horde of mission groups and individual come solely for the purpose of converting tribal peoples. 

This INVARIABLY means that the people must change, abandon their traditions and culture. As this is the only thing that these  people got taught.  If they had been taught to do it another way maybe they would. 

We do not think, from an theological standpoint, that the teachings of Jesus Christ focused on the changing of people's culture.

However we do think he had the utmost to say about corrupted religious agendas and religious leaders who loaded burdens on people which they were unable to bear.  People who made the propagation of religion a business which completely missed the

real needs of the people for compassion, understanding and help with their daily physical needs. 

We believe that in many situations missionaries are one of the chief causes of the marginalization of tribal cultures and the

 

ENDANGERMENT OF MINORITY LANGUAGES

We can readily show proof of this to any visitor who would like to come and research this subject. 

We would suggest that those who belong to the Endangered Languages effort stand up and loudly protest these practices.

(Don't hold your breath, they're all too busy mining SIL databases)

We think that the practices of the western mission groups which INSIST on the abandonment of complete traditions, the

imposition of concrete church buildings in bamboo mountain top villages and the insistence of the removal of Akha Gates are Human Rights Abuses according to the UN Draft on Indigenous Rights.  We realize also that these activities are "winked at" in the west. 

Majority populations expand, land bases shrink, governments ignore but we see no other single focused effort so consistently in

name and agenda do all it can which by its very nature will eliminate tribal identity and force assimilation.  And if history is any

record, after "assimilation" comes extinction of the race as can be readily seen in the United Statesamong no longer existing tribal groups. 

We might ask here, why, if western religious systems are so right, why do they so quickly condemn tribal people's cultures

while those very same western countries took all the tribal lands as they saw fit, and to this day continue to patent tribal plants and

tribal human genetics? Just who is corrupt in this picture?  Just who is in need of converting?  Just

when are the right Americans going to come back and pick up all their unexploded bombs in Laos? We find it appalling that this double standard continues to this day. 

 

"Do as we say, not as we are very busy doing!"

"Take this aid, the price is Jesus." 

What a horrible way to get to know anybody.

 

Yaesu Tsaw Hah

It was very obvious to me from working with my cook that those Akha who considered themselves “Christian” had latched onto some of the most obnoxious behavior and unfortunate behavior.  Without hardly exception they made the intentional point of not teaching anything about their past, their culture, their history to their children.  Sure there were things in Akha culture one could do without, as with any culture but why not teach the good parts.  But the Christians and this was the sole source of it, intentionally taught what was bad.  Taught the role that the western Christians wanted from them if they were still to get their moneyl.  This whole role of christianity was bad and I wanted nothing to do with it.  So they really didn’t know who Jesus was, they gave up the past, they got nothing but mouth to replace it with.

 

Other things Missions

 

Luka:

I saw Luka today, he seems real scared of me, laughs real uncomfortable, like he doesn't want to hear the questions, the ideas, the contradiction, well, I will leave him to that.

He was driving his twin truck through maesai with the donor judge in tow.

 

Gospel?

In the current reality here, just seeing what has happened to the Akha, how much "gospel" seems to be race based, has caused me to ask whta the "gospel" really is.  I think it si that Christ died so that our perishing nature could be healed and such that we could find the "good" and our way home, preventing the death of the soul.  It all sounds strange I know, a complex formula of complex events, that are rather unreal from the modern techno world of white christianity, which did itself the big favor of divorcing itself from its Jewish roots. 

 

The Reading Akha

Those who can read Akha were developed by the Catholics and the Baptists.  The Catholics designed almost no boks, not even a Bible till of late, but the Baptists designed a New Testament and a few other books.  One can say the Baptists translated no literature for the Akha, that they totally suppressed their culture even though they had devised a powerful tool for literature.

It appears to me that Akha traditional knowledge jas om ot twp dostomct categproes and others.

One is the balance of nature by 12 ceremonies and more.  The other appears to be details of civil law.

We find it reprehensiblethat the missionaries would suppress knowledge of a culture that would make it appear that they wanted spiritual colonial control of a people, which of course they do, obviuosly colonialists, no "whosoever will" in their theology. Not allowed here.

When other denominations came in only then did the American Baptists and such complain about "devisiveness" not bothering to think what they had been champions of.

Many of the rules and laws of Akha Traditional Culture appear no different than the rules and laws governing our secular societies.  The attempt by the missionaries such as the American Baptists to classify all of th is as a religion and to replace it with their own theocracy is likely to cause a backlash against even any good intentions they may have had.

To say nothing of having been what one might consider immoral if not extremely arrogant.

 

Akha Theology and Missions

I think that people hope to see big splash conversions in the villages.

The missionaries have a very bad name here and rightly so.  I try to keep put out a different angle on the story while working at basic needs for the  Akha.

Real things take a lot of work and the villagers know the difference. We are currently laying the foudation for a very streamlined literacy project with fast access to the language.

The editor is also working on his own project of a New Testament and Old Testament in Akha different from that of the American Baptists.

I wonder how good it will be?

 

Indigenous vs. Missions

It is pretty difficult in a short paper to bring in all the information and illustrative examples of what missions are doing to the Akha indigenous culture.

This is only intended as an opening introduction to the issue.

It certainly behooves teh reader, particularly the Christian reader to do the necessary research of these issues in order to enlighten themselves of the incredibly negative relationship that the Christian people have dealt out to indigenous peoples.  As a burden upon work that they have fostered.  It is NOT the duty of indigenous peoples to enlighten Christians.

Only when the existing and well documented history of Christian disregard for and ill treatment of the indigenous is understood, can Christians expect to claim any honest right to their own faith or reconciliation for their actions.

All too often the apparent good Christians claimed to be doing was not with the full consent of the indigenous they were busy doing it to.

It should be made very clear from the outset that considering the terrible history of Christianity with its frequent plunder of peoples and their lands, that any God fearing individual might do well to diassociate themselves from "Christianity" as compared to being a follower of Jesus.

The convenience with which people hide behind the claim to be Christian to being "born again" continues to play to the ambiguous history of the group.

The entire collective is called upon during perceived persecution, but no such collective is called upon when sommons are made regarding "mystakes".   Rather one is likely to h ear, rather than a clear accounting, "Christians make mistakes, Christians aren't perfect."  And this may be brought up in the discussion of events which are no less criminal, no less than acts of genocide.

The Christian Church has been involved in acts of genocide according to the definition of the word via the 1948 acords.  And Christianity as a civilization movement h as been responsible fr massive genocides of peoples of the Americas while land and resources were taken via settlement and plunder, more commonly called "trade" these days.

After all it was Christian America as some call it, which was a chief consumer of slaves for many years.  A place for the most part, a black person to this day is still a second class citizen, which on would not envy.

I can not stress enough that it is the so called Christian who must bear the burden for examining their traditional relationshiop towards the indigenous as both a destructive and murderous one.

This is the legacy.

This genocide waged by Christian society continues throughout the world to this day.

Neither can I stress enough the n eed to examine the term Christianity and its inherent ambiguity.

When faced with "pagans" "muslims" every westerner is a Christian.  But when faced with "charges" one is a "christian" in the west as opposed to those in the west who "are not".  And further yet, one may claim as is often heard "well they could not be 'true believers' to have done like that."

These three levels of distinction are carefully held while living under the benefits of all three.  So a "true believer" lives comfortable in a land plundered from the now dead and impoverished indigenous.  Yet the individual, quick and clever, with mouth and bank account full, claims that he "as a Christian, as a 'true believer' didn't do it." Or that these events that befell the Indians were a sign, a judgement even from God, for their evil ways, and that their heritage was handed to better people.

For this reason I prefer to follow the clear and unambiguous teachings of Jesus rather than lay claim to anything Christian or suit myself further by claiming to be one, picking and choosing the benefits at will.

So f you live in America particularly next time you sit down for a thanksgiving day or Christmas meal, ask yoursefl who used to live on "your" ladn and where they are now?  You know, Indians.  In reality they are not all gone, though every attempt is made to make it so, but just in many cases stuffed off to some remote corner of your state.

Now let me turn my attention to missions.

If we consider that American missions particularly come from a country where people live a way of life that is built in with racial arrogance all conveniently wrapped up with "being Christian" and considering the past history of the conquest of the American Continent, what kind of "gospel" can we assume might show its face on the foreign mission field where predominantly white missionaries from predominanantly conservative evangelical fundamentalist heartland America show up?

And this is where the contradictions, deceptions and denials of the "Christian" movement can be seen.

Unable for the most part to admit to their racially arrogant treatment of "minorities" in Amreica would it make much sense that they would be able to deal with it in the thrid world where they are under far less accountability.  Every missionaries Aryan dream?

I would go one step further.  I would suggest that Christianity is an an opiate administered by an economic movement carefully engineered to give the missinaries total amensia of wrongfull deeds while filling their own or their countries coffers.

Seen as strictly an economic movement of plunder and ever increasingly high standards of wealth it quite readily explains the logic and process. Seen as a religious movement it does not do the same as readily, and seen in the light of the clear teachings of Jesus it is rife with twisting, churning, corruption that damages unknowing peoples.

So I am envisioning a wall.  On one side the teachings of Jesus and those who would adhere to that, on the other side Christianity, evangelicals, and all their carefully doctored "proof texts" from the Bible that allows them to do anything to other people in the name of Jesus.

You yourself will have to decide what side of this wall you wish to live on but the choice becomes increasingly important as we persue the incredibly wrong treatment of indigenous peoples by those who call themselves "Christian".

As I enter ito this specific discussion of the mission treatment of indigenous peoples and their culture I ask many questions as to "why?" does this occur, why do these abuses of everything Jesus taught continue to occur at the hands of those who profainly lay claim to be the sole users of his name?  Crosses everywhere?

Missions are the cloaked forward military operation arm of not western governments, but the white race.  There are exceptions to this but the offenses are far too severe to beg off when one considers the cost to the indigenous.

Behind this offensive white militaries can and do follow.

We certainly see this with the Akha.  The opium trade, missionaries, the market place forced on the people, the military coming from the US.  Why so many missionaries in an area so full of drugs.  Doesn't anyone else notice this?

I will carefully point out the contradictions, the methods of operation and what follows. 

A person may be a nurse in a mission hospital.  But that is an isolated incident in what the role of the mission over all is and the connected commercial interests that benefit that same person's country.  LIke army, navy, air force and marines, there is the need for missions, which soothe the consciences of the war mongers as they haul away the booty at cheap to no price for western consumer markets.

The net ledger balance is in their favor by and far.

Would not anyone find a cntradiction in the fact that American Missions try to evangelize in Laos against government wishes, while millions of unexploded American bombs lay strewn about the countryside.  Where are the people who assembled these in factories now?

What do the missions do wrong??

First apparent mystake is racism.

Winter and ice had more to do with the advancement of white people than race, which they prefer to attribute it to.

You worked hard i nthe summer or in the winter there was no food, no house and after the first freeze, like a pumkin plant, you were dead.

So you worked hard, invented, forged, and made machines and weather protecting devices, anything that made winter safer.

Now if you put that on a ship you could end up in another man's land where he ate mangos and you had a gun of steel.

 

Some basic thoughts:

1. Racial arrogance

2. Religious belief mixed with all the roles of plunder.

(eg. They had and knew nothing so we took it all)

3. Using Jesus as a justifier of it all.

4. Lack of knowledge or understanding of the culture.

5. Number 5 is where the racism really comes in.  White boy (girl) missioanry, mixes his own culture in and then tells the native of a 1,000 years culture that Jesus is the only right way and his culture is superior because it is like Jesus and would the native please abandon his entire culture for "jesus".

 

Now on the other hand the white person need not be ashamed of the good things they have as much of it came by very hard work, but they should not mix the reasons for that, with what their religiuos beliefs are, that they are the same.  And there is no further reason to teach the native to abandon their own culture and all its knowledge.  However one is tempted to think that these abandoning conversions, or extraction theology is convenient proof to the people back home that the  missionary is in fact doing something.

Yet Americans would never offer to abandon their own culture, wether they vassilate between claiming it is the same thing as Christianity and Jesus or not.

From claiming that Jesus was a white man the Christians allow themselves many lies.

The problem is that missions come to change people.  They claim that they come to change them like Jesus but in fact they come to change them to be like themselves and their own culture.  As one jokester put it, God created man in His own image, and man returned the favor.

As a result, instead of bringing the native people good with no strings attatched, everything ends up being connected to the greater agenda of making the native peoples as miserable as themselves.

If it worked that would be one thing, but for the most part it doesn't all the while contributing to the more rapid downfall of the very people they pretend to help.

 

Charges Against Missions

1. Missions are building their wealth on the backs of the poor.

2. They are supressing indigenous culture and knowledge for their own benefit.

3. They are removing children of all ages from their natural families and villages in the mountains.  They are thus blocking and discrediting the natural education of these children while teaching them deceptions about their own culture which discredits it in the minds of the children.

4. They fail to work in the villages through the existing Akha leadership and traditions.

5. They consistently attmpt to undermind the traditional cultrue of the Akhas all the while denying that they are doing so.

6. They particularly target children for anti Akha propaganda in an attempt to split and divide the villages.

7. Villages are seen as "targets" and "trophies" to take over.

8. A village can not be considered to be taken over unless the village completely abandons their culture.

9. Churches falsely tell the Akha they are worshipping the devil.

10. Swings and gates are required to be removed.

11. They remove young women from the villages discouraging them from marrying among their own people which effects the birth of Akha children.

12. Their entire mission policy is based on the racially arrogant agenda that they and their culture is superior to all things Akha though most of what they know about Akha culture is disinformation.

13. The overall policy of the missions is to collectivize and control a free people and the destruction of their culture is crucial to this process.

 

How can the Akha defend themselves against this financial onslaught?

 

Boarding School

 

Dear TAHR:

This is a very serious matter.

I do not know the names of the people at the church.  We are not exactly on

talking terms.

There are numerous administrators and pastors.

There are also numerous churches here.

It is very hard to get this information and the reason should be no mystery.

They don't like people to know what they are doing.

The Church in Bangkok is very familiar with all of their operations however.

I have been working to safeguard the villages, and hold them together against

government attempts to take their land and force them to either starve or

relocate.

In the Doi Mae Salong Area the Akha have already lost much of their land

while the Chinese plantation owners of tea, fruit and flowers prosper

enormously with increased farm holdings.

This same event is repeating itself elsewhere.

For this reason it is extremely serious that no children be taken from their

villages, not that it was ever good.

But at this time, any indication of a weakening village, less workers, only old

people, increases the government pressure to take more land or relocate the

village.

As well, the Akha have a unique culture.  It has never been necessary to

destroy their culture in order to tell them the inherent truths of Jesus.

Truths seperate from a western view of it, if you will.

Yet the Chinese missions here have taken great delite in villifying every aspect

of the culture in a black and white fashion which causes polarization on the

issue and villages to split.  In other words if you are to believe in Jesus, you

must stop being Akha.  Its that basic.  Stop being who you are, and what you

know.

This was first instituted by the catholics and others such as Paul Lewis in this

region.

The Chinese missions here are basically American Baptist.

All of these missions I have alerted that they were creating an impending

cultural disaster.

In more and more villages they have made pay offs or struck fear in the

villagers if they did not convert.

Hua Mae Kom Akha village, over run.

Mae Chan Luang Akha village, Split

These two are just a couple.

All of the Chinese Baptist Missions are networked to the Maesai Chinese Baptist

Mission in Maesai, Chiangrai.

But there are many missions in this network, they have meetings, and there

are also American Chinese Baptist, American Baptist, and German missionaries

working in this same network.

 

Maesai Baptist Church.

Maesai Lisaw Children's Home

Huai Krai Mission

Huai Krai Mission ##

Haen Taek Chinese Church

Haen Taek Akha Boarding School

Haen Taek Chinese for Akha boarding school

Emanuel Gospel Fellowship at Huai Krai

(Ms. Sing? American Taiwanese, her mission has repeatedly tried to take over

the traditional villages in her area.  After a take over there is no more practice

of the traditional knowledge system of the Akha or their orthodox

environmental theology)

There are more, but I do not know where they are all located.

They now have many churches in the mountains, using Lahu and Lisaw to

pressure the more resistant AND INTACT Akha.

Besides this boarding school, counting the others, it adds up to hundreds more children.

You will not find any tradition left with any of these children.  They are

required to convert.

This breaks the parent child link, made hard by distance already, to the oral

traditions and knowledge system that each Akha child learns.

The conditions of poverty in the villages are immense. Rather than fight

government policy, they take advantage of this incredible tragedy and pull

the children.  They have pulled so many girls particularly that there are not

enough for the young men to marry.  This is definitely a case of illegality at a

very tragic level.  High grading the young women out of the community to

take ownership of them.  They will seldom return and even more seldom

marry to Akha.

The Maesai Chinese Baptist mission is currently building a 300 bed boarding

school for pulling more Akha children out of the mountains far from their

traditional environment and family. Though this is a time tested formula for

getting money from donors it is WRONG.

Unfortunately American Missions set this precedent.

The 300 bed boarding school cost $450,000 US dollars to build, is nearly

complete.  The land cost in addition to that.

The message to the children is that "we can be better parents to you than Akha

parents."

We asked Maesai Baptist Church about this boarding school and the talked

desparagingly about the Akha community in the mountains.

They did not mention the growing Chinese Tea plantations, nor the fact that

the Akha land is very valuable and that children are needed in the villages.

Neither do they mention that there are numerous Thai schools near any one

village and that IN VILLAGE schools can easily be set up if they are not just

being set up to prosyletize.

In addition the cost of this boarding school sets a further horrible precedent

that it is just fine to do this if you have money.

Let me put it to you this way.

A tea processing plant, completely, capable of processing more than 10,000

kilos of tea per day, costs $150,000 to set up.

$10,000 will buy all of the tea plants needed to make an entire Akha village

economically independent in two years.

It will also help them to use the land THEY own for themselves rather than

being driven off by Tea barons and forestry.

$450,000 would buy tea for 40 Akha villages, there are only 282 in Thailand.  

The economic contrast to such an expenditure is what Jesus was talking about.

Unfortunately the Chinese Baptist Church, nor their donors, can see this.

We are talking about taking 20% of the entire Thailand Akha community and

making them financially self sustainable.

To not do this, to rather spend this on compounds and mission facilities, for

relocating and seperating children must be called an incredible sin, if you are

to use religious terms.

As well, the location of the 300 bed boarding school is in the rice fields, in the

lowlands, 500 meters from the super highway.  Akha's are mountain people,

not mosquito and heat people.  This will cause increased sickness and fever in

these children with further exposure to mosquito born illnesses and the illnesses

in the adjacent Thai communities such as AIDS.  The incidents of AIDS is quite low

in the traditional Akha communities due to very strict religious belief.

As well, the entire property is surrounded by rice paddy, no suitable area to run

or play in of any size.  Essentially the Christians are setting up prison camps for

the children of the poor.

Unfortunately the Chinese Baptist Church, nor their donors, can see this.

The other western missions are the same. 

While the Akha battle the last war for their culture and heritage, people in the

name of Jesus, fail to protect it and help take it away, no, are the most

aggressive to take it away.

We have mounted an International campaign against this Boarding School and

all other similar models.

http://www.akha.org

http://www.akha.org/missionpage1.htm

http://www.akha.org/maesaimission.htm

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/AkhaZauh/petition.html

The Address for the Chinese Baptist Church is as follows.

I do not have an email for them or exact box number.

 

Maesai Chinese Baptist Church

Moo 7

Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130

Thailand

 

They are affiliated with this church in Bangkok:

 

Maitrichit Chinese Baptist Church

PO Box 50

Bangkok, Thailand

10103

Phone 66-2-222-5056

Please fax:  fax 66-2-225-0299

 

Thankyou for your concern and enquiry.

If you are interested to know the conditions that the Akha face at the

hands of different elements in the mountains, you may investigate the

forestry and police issues on

 

http://www.akha.org/intromenu.htm

http://www.akha.org/murder.htm

illustrates how these people are treated.

Though the Huai Krai German missionary has a church in this village, he did

not do anything to help investigate the beating death of this man.

I can testify to NO human rights effort being made on the part of any of these

missions to help defend the human rights or land rights of the Akha.

This illustrates the grave miscarriage of human concern and responsibility

which is occurring when money is spent in such a fashion while a community

of unique people, die.

WE MUST ASK if the church is so unwilling to stem the tragedy, and if they are

able to so prosper with projects that increase the tragedy, if they themselves

in a manner of wishful thinking are not creating or at least partners to the tragedy

that is befalling the Akha people.

And we might keep in mind that the Akha in Thailand and the Akha in China continue to

suffer under the hands of Chinese Drug Lords.

 

Matthew McDaniel

The Akha Heritage Foundation

Thailand

TAHR wrote:

           Dear Matthew, reading all your emails and seeing your websites about

     the plight of the Akha people has filled us with deep concern. Therefore, we

     would like to know a bit more about the Baptist missionaries from Taiwan

     that are working in Thailand. Since we are here in Taipei, where most of the

     main offices of churches are located, we could express our protest directly

     to them, using Chinese. For that purpose we do have to know1. which church

     exactly sent those missionaries,2. how many there are and, if possible,3.

     their names and any other details concerning them. Please try to send us the

     necessary information, allowing us to directly contact the concerned

     church. Regards,TAHR

 

Operation Dawn

well, the bigger drug dealers continue the end game policies by turning their land over to their wardens, to process the tennants a little longer, while they take a leave of abscence on drug charges and run away a little deeper in Burma.

The picture below is such an establishement.  When you go up the driveway you see crosses everywhere and       no smoking signs from those people who export so much tobacco around the world from the Bible belt.  Somekind of in house conflict I suppose.  And maybe the crosses are to remind people that everything is mixed up,not straight, and that there are a lot of dead result of the mix up.

Up at the top of the compound, you get the biggest bonanza of bible verses painted and hung everywhere like you could sniff it for a high.

And then there is this huge painting there of The Man.  I asked who it was because it was so ironic, and the painting was big and like someone who wanted to be looked up to, more like someone wanted you to look up to the painting, painted more in the style of those effeminate Jesus paintings before he dies, but here they had pulled Jesus out and the rock he was messing with, and put in this standing soldier, the same background.

Oh, he's the guy who made this all possible, he cares deeply about people, he donated his land, this land for a drug rehabilitation center, he doesn't want people to use drugs.

Maybe putting him on the Jesus canvas was part about all the lies they tell about Jesus and what he pays for, why he takes people's children and all else, I don't know, but finally they told me their saint's name, Khun Sa.

Dawn project trucks run around the hills, ministers for Jesus, telling the Akha, who the KMT and the rest of the chinese hordes have rode hard for a good century, that they are here to bring them the good news, and take their land for tea, yep, Jesus made us do it, least the guy on his canvas, there is a resemblance don't you think, should he be carrying a cross, you know life isn't easy for Khun Sa.

 

Comparitive Religion

I think that in most ways the original Akha religion was better than the Christian alternative that they ended up with.  Not what they MIGHT have ended up with but what they did end up with.

I don't speak of redemption, but of the inherent competition, the sea sawing of the psyche, peopel insisting they are better than this or that person or way of thinking, condemning their own history, culture, and traditions, even their own race, is sad to see someone think of themselves like that.  And many social rules are broken.

Warm families, strong families, are very important, believing in and upholding the good.

 

Missionaries

What I notice:

1. Many cultures are lost after exposure to missinaries

2. Missioanries dammage aspects of "other people's" cultures

3. Missionaries are n ot able to distinguish between their culture and teachings of Jesus Christ.

4. Missioanrie are not able to transmit the story of Jesus into another context, the context that holds the other people's world together.

5. Missionaries are unable to realize that anohter's culture may be more spiritual, have greater ties to the environment than their ownn.  Why weaken this link?

 

Korean Pimps

Korean missionary maesai and his Korean friends pimping girls.  They are friends to the black leather bag guy, who is in business with the white haired burmese pastor, who is friend with the Lisaw CIA treasurer guy to the boarding school / Maesai Baptist church, as well.  So who is selling who to who?

 

Bishop Abraham

The lawyer in Tachilek Mr. Time Kwaw, whose office was near to the Catholic Church.  He is Karen.  Well known. 

He said that it is well known that Bishop Abraham kept for himself more than $1 million US.  The Bishop's sucessor is in coronation already.  A Lahu man.  1997 or so, was coronation time, so many peopel came from many countries on a chartered jet to Keng Tung or Rangoon.

From what William Wong said in Keng Tung, (the doctor's son near market, who used to work at Wang Tong hotel in maesai) everyone knows the priests and the Bishop are very very rich people.  They solicit and receive donatins from Italy and have it sent to various banks and then only a littel is applied to the mission.  The rest they transfrer to other accounts in various banks and countries, maybe such as Singapore, etc.  So findin all these bank accounts, the legal names, etc, is where the work is. 

Now I have heard this very strongly from two sources that the mission is doing this, of course it is obvious, just looking at the Akha whom they use for money bait.  There is never any improvement for theAkha in ten years here.

Peter Townsend in Keng Tung also knows very much, but I must gain time to talk to him.

He lives in Keng Tung next to St. Luis Church.

 

Friar Ahile

Friar Ahile U Tun Shwe may be the name of priest Clement Lashwey, the nast one.  In all the mission pics he always positioned himself behind the Bishop.

 

Catholic Mission

From cruising the grounds of the Catholic mission in Keng tung it is obvious that they have amassed a very large fortune of compund buildings.  From older to newer and these are very often maintained an dbuilt up with the donation fo labor of the Akha who live there.  While the surrounding homes of the Akha are poor.

The Karen Lawyer said that bishops gave money to the mission from other countries, like lebanon and Japan and Italy and so forth when the Bishop went to Italy, and showed a video of the mission and the poor Akha.  He thinks some Bishops gave as much as $50,000 each.

I asked Father Norman about the comparison of poverty of the Akha and he agreed it was not right, only to tell me what he thought I wanted to hear.

I asked him if the mission had a bank account for donations, he said "No", that they didn't have one bank account and sure not in Maesai or Thailand.  I wondered why he lied to me.

I met the sisters of charity in Keng Tung also, near the hospital, helping with the people there who were so poor and could afford nothing.

The Church set up the hospital but the gov. took it over and so they only maintained a place next door and  helped the poor through a side door in their mission place.

The hospital is a very dark place.

I spoke again to father Norman that the mission looked so neglected, without care, just lots of crosses.  Without vision for the people, which would make it alive, if it had something to offer.

The grounds are large and uncared for, worn out grass, that is about all.  No flowers or trees.

Secular monks live alone.  Father Norman is one.  Then there are communal monks who live together.

 

The Bishop's Bank

20 years ago Bishop Abraham had a bank account in Daka Bangledesh because there was a Cardinal there but now there is a cardinal in Bangkok so he shifted all his bank account to Bangkok though he may have one in Malaysia or Singapore also.

Paul Sai Lon is the shuttle man from Tachilek to Keng Tung who goes back and forth twice a month.  No glasses , about 5'10" and around 48 years old.  He lives at the parish hill in Tachilek near the church and the lawyer.  He is also a tourist guide in Keng Tung.

Peter Louis Jekuh is the next Bishop, a Lahu.

Khin Maung Tun is an ex Akha Judge retired now in Rangoon.  He was a judge in Keng Tung.  He doesn't like Bishop Abraham from knowing many things going on.  He sometimes travels overseas, the judge.

He urged Kwaw to talk to Bishop Abraham to get favor, to show favor, kindness and care to the Akha there at the mission and in the mountains around Shan State.

Peter Townsend used to live in the seminary also and knows many things.

 

Truck in the "converts"

At Bpah Mah Hahn the missionaries truck in Lisaw from the other places to make it look good as not many people will come.  They tell the Akha, even falangs do this, to give up their culture and give out medicine that the Akha don't know what it is for or if it is vitamins or what.

They are from Maesai Baptist Church and that network.

One was an American named Mike.

 

Ah Pay's Village - A Mission Mess

The man Richard builds church and house.

The two foreign campers

The steep drive.

The guest house, sewage problems, illnesses imported to all the village kids.

Being Christian they really hated being Akha.

He didn't charge people to come but charged them to leave in the truck.

The road crossed a bad creek bridge.

Some foreigner died there, probably heroin.

 

Missinary Section

Maybe there was a mafia but the missionaries stance was not the best contrast.

What the Akha needed was strong hope and assistance with no price attatched short of cooperation and good governance.

 

1. For moer than fourty years missions from places like America have been waging a war of cultural disinformation and destruction of the native culture against the Akha people.

 

2.  In village after village with a method no less carefully thought out than military planning western missions have displaced the traditional elders nd appointed pastors and built churches in the mos prominant spots in an effort to impose their cultural values ot he Akha people.

 

3. The missionary ongoing displacement of Akha culture has been justified primarily by finding exagerations within Akha culture to use as excuses to demonize the entire culture.  The missionaries would never hold this to themselves.

 

4. Missions train their people in a campaign of cultural proaganda and outright inacurate portrayals of Akha culture, what they understand of it which is not much, in order to perpetuate these efforts and deceptions for their colonialization of the Akha. Missionaries are almost always from the midwest US, white, and have little exposure to people from races other than their own.  To them Jesus was white, and always will be, despite the FACTS.

 

5. Claiming a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the missionaries actually preach a gospel of racial and cultural supperiority. 

 

While requiring the Akha to completely abandon their culture, the mission workers living in affluence hardly have to abandon their own.

 

6. More times than not the culturally generous mission workers live safely away from the villages in expensive compounds, unlikely to ever be a part of the real lives of the Akha, their culture or understand it.

 

7.  They come under high godly clalling that while having the cultural understanding of one academically lazy imbecile, they are welcome ot invade the Akha and require them to abandon all they have had and peacefully believed in for centuries.

 

8.  To further promote their destructive work they recruit the various Akha to help them and paying them well, offering all the trappings of the west to them, they create an insulated cultural elite that will do any bidding to preserve their new found wealth.

 

When the average Akha may be earning $2 a day at best, a car represents a very wealthy benefit at the inflated prices in Thailand.

 

This is done rather than benfitting the Akha across the board.

 

9.  Rich mission compounds with all their perks are built amid the poverty and despair of the villages.

 

In some cases missions buy land and offer it cheap or free to the Akha who will move there.

 

Oh, of course they all have to abandon their culture and beliefs as part of the deal.

 

Why can't the missionaries just help out?

 

10.  Very little is understood about the reasons and methods behind akha culture and other indigenous cultures. Yet while respecting none of it and replacing all of it, good information has long been available on the comlexity and intricacy of these cultrues which should give even the most blind religious zealot some twinge of caution beofre poiling it all on the wood stack for burning.

 

11. The villages, still going.  But for year the missions have been claiming that the village is finished, and have done all within their m eans to fragment and split the villages in a highly organized effort to build a religious empire.

 

With ver little proof why, or option for an international historical perspective on the historic behaviour of missions, the Akha have been repeatedly asked to abandon who they are.

"Throw away your culture".

 

12.  Inacurate NT translatin for Abaw Tsaw Maw.

 

13.  Mission backed sterilizations.

 

14. Missionaries come for a relatively short period of time, like weekend warrors for Jesus, yet the disruption, division and confusion they sew in the villages and society of the Akha people lasts for decades.

 

Meanwhile the missioary will go into their next misguided and destrucktive assignment, looking for more soul counts, in their firm belief that they are saving the lost and that this is how you do it, though they themselves will never have the missfortune of having to live how these people get to live after they get through "saving" them.

 

15. The Akha, a gentle people, never asked these people to come.

 

16.  List of missions and boarding schools

 

17. Photos

 

18.  When I asked the Taiwanese missionary why the man couldn't  have b een helped with money to feed his family she said they were there to teach the Bible, that they couldn't help them all.

 

This was the upper village Emanuel Fellowship.

 

Less than twenty meters from the wealthy multi story mission with its vehicles and twin satelite dishes, the imoverished man lived in a tiny hut and drank poison to kill  himself because he could n ot feed his family.

 

Fifty meters in the other direction a month later an Akha woman of 33 drank poison as well, killing herself, because her daughter was ill and she could not afford medicine.

 

Then shortly after that another girl hung herself next to the mission.

 

19.  Burial of Meeh Sah and the man.

 

20.  Leo's paper on Akha Lawlessness after they get religion.

 

21.  Lewis file, gencide hearing, video, Phillip's video.

 

22.  The seige of Hua Mae Kom

 

23.  Dancing room below Bpah Mah Hahn

 

24.  Missionary position on drugs, conditions back home in US.

 

Missions: What is lost

The Taken Children:

What they loose.

 

More Missions:

 

1. Missionaries make a distinct and dedicated effort to turn young children and young people away from their parents and culture, and this is done by portraying the new religion as good, and the old religion and culture as evil.  Arrogance.

 

2. Missions do not research and understand the culture of the Akha because they have no interest to.  They are sure that their way of life is supperior. Racism.  Jesus taught that we are not to place ourselves above others. (use this comparison system?)

 

3. Jesus taught respect for the family land mark, parents and elders.

 

4.  Missions take opportunity with anyone to split a village, to go against the elders.

 

5.  Missionaries give cookies to the children, to get them to come to the church even though the families forbit it.  The missionaries hav no problem with this, that they are turning the children against their own parents and grand parents, in reality they feel they are fulfilling a prophecy.

 

6.  In Bpah Cheeh Akha the parents tell their children not to go to the church but the church people bribe them with cookies.  The children normally do not get cookies or even enough to eat.  Though the church may bribe them with cookies, they would never do anything in the village to effect the real nutrition issues.

 

7. They have songs and teach dances to the children, but in the end they always forbid dancing, real dancing, other people's dancing.

 

8.  When I talked to Father Nomran about the problem he did not want too much to talk abou tit and appeared to try to get rid of me as soon as possible.  He is a priest at the Keng Tung Shan State Mission.

 

9.  Father Clement Lashwey was one of the worst thinking priests, working with Akha and Muey people in Monglar.

 

10.  He said "We must convert them even the buddists know more about God than the Akha. 

 

11.  Father Clement Appa also could not answe to the problem.  But he stated that the Akha now were loosing all their culture and knowledge of their language - especially those at the mission.

 

12.  He said that the mission knew who was selling the girls to Maesai to be prostitute.

 

13.  In all of theeven best priests they can not deny that the sell out has occured any more than they can rationalize their part in it, so that while admitting to the truth they also admit that they have sold out the people and caused harm.

 

14.  Father Clement Appa said he fought with the mission about the Akha cultture, that Bishop Abraham and others opposed him.  He was the oldest Akha Priest.  Now he is dead as of June 2000.

I wonder if he didn't say what he did, not because he would still do it any different but because he was  near death and it made him feel better to do so?

 

15.  Father Bosco said the Akha were "pagans".  He died in June 2000 also.  I met him many years ago in Tachilek.

 

16.  In the case of lower Bpah Cheeh Akha the mission was building a new church.  I sensed very much desire of control by young men for the village.  The traditional Akhas were glad to speak to me.

 

I asked the young men if there was a permit from army to build the church?

 

There were only three families of 14 that had interest on that day.  The headman thought it was benign enough, this was obviuos from talking to him but he became a ittle more aware as I spoke and the people took stickers to put up on their doors about what the missionaries intended for Akha culture.  The young church men were very angry about this. These stickers.

 

17.  In the case of Mae Chan Luang Akha the pastor from Jeeh Seh Thai Sala Boh Tah had been working under the direction of others at Jeeh Seh Thai to overthrow the leadership of the headman at Mae Chan Luang, Ah Bauh.

 

Booh Dzmm had aborted a baby at 3 months so her father suddenly wanted to be Christian and the missions like Emanuel Fellowship were more than willing to help.  But generally the people of the village did not like either Ah Tooh, Booh Dzmm's father who wanted to be the village pastor.  He was told that if he became the pastor he would really become the new defacto headman of the village.  And of course this was the case.  But Ah Bauh kicked them all out of the village instead.

 

Many missinaries came from Jeeh Seh Taih, Maesai and other places to a meeting with the village and the army.  The army said "No" and backed up Ah Bauh the headman.  The missionaries were very angry at me but the Ampur cut the electricity to Jeeh Seh Taih for fighting and making this problem.

 

For two years Ah Bauh had told Sala Boh Tah not to come to the village but he would not listen.  First three, then six,  then 11 houses were "converted".  But then seven came back to the traditional side and it went back and forth.  I only knew the politics of some of it.

 

18.  Christians, if they really believe what they say, should be honest and open but this is not the case.  They are closed, talking to them is IMPOSSIBLE and there is no persuit of liberty or truth.

 

So it is nearly, no impossible, to gain any discussin with them, any solutions.

 

Like the cargo cult they are the missionary cult and their efforts are fanatical.  They seek not the worship of Jesus, but the Ccontrol of the people.

 

19.  The flat sand village, where the girl with one eye was, no one cared for this village's needs much, they were catholic, but what they had of their culture had been taken away.

 

20.  It must take some effort to seperate from the "religion" we learned to come as individuals to understand I and only Jesus, with whom and what we can have no doubt and speak boldly.  But also we must come to know and gorow in faith and experience and lay down an honorable raod before us and an honorable history behind us.

 

21.  Now I am married to an Akha girl who is fully traditional.  I hope that she will not only hold onto her culture but also come to know who Jesus is, rather than what christians happen to be doing here.

 

22. We seek only to know Jesus, to depart sometimes from what we were taught but never from the true knowledge of what and all he was.  Our place in eternal life, with that, sometimes cncepts hard to grasp. 

 

Can we wrap our soul around it?

 

But in my travels I find few who grasp Jesus.

So in my own life I lay hold of what I can grasp, what I can understand, but also strive greatly to ision and life.

 

24.  The problem of the missionary cult is that these people are not truly teaching the Akha of Jesus but seek control of them.

 

25.  Akha culture is their identity, their immune system, and when we take this away we cause the destruction of these people.  The missionaries don't bother to answer to or understand this fact as proof of their own invalidity.

 

In the history of missionaries we can often see that the people they worked with are now gone as a race.

 

26.  Missionaries come of the same races that are destroying the indegenous at the same time that this missionizing is occurring.  One would be comvinced that they are depnedent on weakening and tragedy.  There can be no redemption or upbuilding found in their work in the context of this unanswered question.

 

We see this action in Asia, Africa and South America.

 

The missions a scourge to establish the new world order.

 

27.  I talked to Mooh Dzurh's father about this but he also can not answer strongly.  The church, it is a replacement for all that the Akha were and had.

 

One can see the tragic loss of culture and knowledge, the old Akha being buried with what they saw and knew.

 

Division made by missions

In the market a Christian Akha told me that she would not sell anything a traditional Akha made, so much is the hatred the missionaries preach.

 

Father Norman

And I talked about faith.  I see that faith is the pivotal concept of the New Testament.  Of the Old Testament too naturally.

For prayer and belief in Jesus or God, we must have faith.  Belief.  This is certain.  But faith hinges on "if".  "If ye have faith, IF you believe."

This would make it appear that all we are depends on us, we have or we don't have.  Now it would also appear that God does or can increase our faith.  Maybe we can build our faith, to increase it.  Maybe God answer prayers in increments our faith growing in time.  Of all this I am not sure.

But faith woudl seem to be an ingredient we must have, and y et I do not know how we are to build this element in our lives or other people who know either.

When I pin many Christians down about faith they must endlessly sidestep the question, showing no such confidence as the rest of their talk.

If faith is the core of the Gospel, but people can not answer for it, what can we say?

I find many times that people of Christian don't much like to talk surely of it, they prefer it remain mysterious, but Jesus spoke very clearly of it and as though it was central to all other things.

This is all vrey strange to me as I feel that God should be clearly to us, brightly in the eye, not going on in the shadows.

We look to understand faith, build it, to interest with God and perceive him.

Father Norman wnated to leave quickly.

Maybe my questions were hard for him.

 

At the Catholic Mission

Bishop Abraham

Arch Bishop Mathias Daungy and Apastolic Delegate: Anuncio in Bangkok Mr. Bernardine.

Father Norman was the priest for James Mawdsley.  His parents, Diane and David were in a n ewspaper picture on the wall holding upa birthday cake.

Father Norman told me that prisoners upon being sent to the jail will be beaten very  badly by the prisoners unless they pay off the guards first.

Such is the life of miserable humans.

But the Akha told me no such story, and I knew a few of them who had been there.

The Shans don't like the Budda on the hill, this is the one that the Burmese built right next to the mission wall, much bigger and taller and dominating than the mission bell tower next to the church. 

The Shans say it is not God, but was built by the army.

The army h ave guns, we do not said one man, therefore the army can do bad things.  In the town the people are educated but in the villages the army takes the land.

The army looks out only for itself they say.

Well, similar could be said for the mission.

I talked to Father Norman about Father Lashway and getting him to change his ways but did not think it would be successful.  Maybe I needed to write letters to Bishop Abraham and Father Lashway about the matter.  Arch Bishop Mathias is in Daungy.  And t he Italian Father Bernardine is the Nuncio in Bangkok.

 

Large Cross at Mission Keng Tung

The mission had built a large cross for the year 20000 and I commented that they built themselves up but there must be some committee to help the Akha girls from going to Maesai to be prostitutes, not more crosses.

Father Norman told me I could not visit the mission library without permission of Bishop Abraham.  This sounded odd to me.  And he didn't say it like it was procedure and he thought Bishop Abraham would let me go either.

It was unfortunate that everything here at the mission was so tightly controlled.

Maybe I would have to come to know this Bishop Abraham.  I was told he liked Singha Beer in cans, the ones marked "For Export" that came from Thailand.  Not the regular ones, out of the stores.

 

Bishop Abraham

Arch Bishop Mathias and Father Lashwey.

Father Appa Clement died in June.

Father Bosco died shortly there after.

 

Catholic Mission Keng Tung

In my discussion with priests at the keng tung mission I asked them about the Akha.  The priests said that the Akha were very low moral people and they had to "teach them".

But then I asked why so many girls were prostitutes from Joseph Hill Village (the mission village)  going down to Maesai for this purpose?

To that they could not answer.  How dishonest religion is.  But they said alcoholism and such wre from depression.  They denied the mission had moved the Akha from the hills.

It was no wonder that the Akha were depressed.   The houses were poor and dim lit.  Every time one came to the place a new church was being built.  There was a new one built now and a new pedastal cross at the main mission entrance as well.  The mission had a new paved street, leading up to it, but there was not one visible improvement that I could see in nearly ten years of coming to Joseph for the villagers.  It still appeared to me that there was much vitamin and nutrition deficiency.

The one Akha guy in Joseph could speak english but from his shop he sold as much alcohol as he could, which helped no one in the community either of course.

 

Mission Stories Keng Tung

Richard told me many stories of the RCM people.  Once they ran a brothel out of the back door.  Double bank accounts etc.  And maybe now still they are selling girls to Maesai. 

 

Selling Children KT

Selling children to rich families from their "orphanage".

In the Journal on missions I have some about this.

 

Catholic vs. Traditional or Protestant

I find that with the Catholic there is vrey  much more vice (som pah sak Akha) and less order than in the traditinal villages.  And in both Catholic and protestant I sense greater anger.  Certainly tehere is reason for it.  If the Akha do not come to grips with this reason they will not be able to channel the work the right way.  Currently church and mission make very great use of them.

 

Father Norman

At the mission, father norman had been there 24 years, nearly the senior Priest.

 

Father Norman left for Yangon today for a meeting

 

Where is the leadership

Slowly I get to know this town better.  It is however discouraging to see poeople not led better.  Neither the nuns or priests do much work but do not teach others to help.

 

Missions

Mae Chan Luang Gets Split for the Second Time

I haerd aout it ni a wedding at Pah Nmm Akha so I went over to Mae Chan Luang village to check it out.  It was raining and foggy when I got there and there was a lot of mist in the woods.

The road was slick and slow.  The Maesalong road always a pain in the ass anyway with all its steep sharp curves.

The driveway out to the village was slick and a muddy mess.  Locking rear axle would help my truck but I didn't have one.

One stretch had concrete so there was only one other stretch that was bad now.

At Mae Chan Luang village the headman Ah Bauh was gone so I talked to his son.  They said that Cheh Ur, another Keeh Seh Thai villager h ad helped to split the village with the Taiwanese missionaries backing them.  They hit him once but after the village split they let him pass.  I could see there was new huts down below the village, since the converted families had to leave the village.

Ah Baw Ah Tooh would be the pastor, the crooked father of Booh Dzmm.

Booh Dzmm's mothers sister's husband was in jail now, his younger brother lived in Pah Nmm.

It is very clear what the missions are doing but few care.

 

The Missionaries Say:

The Akha destroy the environment

They make the Akha change how they build their homes.

In the Jesus Film they say that the Akha Old men killed Jesus.

Children seperated from their villages and culture said their life would  be better, but what can be better when you stop being who you are?

The missionaries tell the Akha they will not help them unless they become Christian.

They are here to save their souls, while they are dying.

The missionaries don't teach the Akha about Jesus they tell them they must be like white christians.

They make them burn their ancestor boxes, and cause the Akha to feel ashamed of themselves in every way.

A church in every village.

Teach the Akha not to dress traditional, that it is shameful???????

 

Boarding School

With Ah Lmm from Cheh Pah Kah, I went down to see the new center for Akha Children, removed from the village, centralized at another location.  Hardly supportive of the cultrue by any stretch of the imagination.

Part of the prblem was that the xians pooled their resources, planned on "takeover" and continuously owrked toward this goal while the Akha were just busy living, farming and getting on with life.

It required mobilization and this was no small job.

 

Missionary Pitch

What was the missionary pitch?  Maybe they promised a rosy easier life but delivered death often kissing them to sleep.  would appear so, a lazy, slepy stance was needed, then people easily die, like the churches of Rwanda, thinking people, ood peopel, who aren't good, will save them.

Why is it that death and despair follow so close on the heals of missionaries who promised hope while stealing it?

The missionaries must kill the mind to steal.  They must get people used to very large contradictions in the landscape they see, which would normally be very alien to them.  The mind must be drugged to sleep, and few can revive afterwards.  Their sterilization of the mind is nearly complete, maybe that is why they call it brain washing or purging of all content.  a n empty slate with only the word "God" printed on it but no means to even truly - as a good human might delve into or enhance one's understanding of even this.

So even post conversion the first generation is godfull fools.

Noteworthy is that the Christian villages are the most drug and prostituion prone.

And anger.  Ah Djuuh came from the most ompverisehd Bpah Mah Hahn.  Part Christian, part traditional, but chiefly driven into despair.  What a shit hole.  No wonder they went first to drugs Christianity and prostitution.

 

Fearing for Whose Soul?

Father Clement Lashwey

"We must teach them God.  They have no God.  If we do not WE will be condemned."  These were the wors the catholic preist spolke to me with vigor and passion, I was not so sure about conviction, something didn't ring true.

"You don't reckon that this could be a case of your problem, not their problem?" I spoke softly.

"Surely the Akha have a god, are aware of God?"

"No, no, I don't think so" said the priest.  "We must teach them, it is our duty, or we will be condemned."

"Yes, but haven't us folk who know about Jesus bombed half the world?  These folks ask for nothing but to be left alone.  They believe in God, just not your version of God," I heard myself saying.

And so was to go another discussion with a zealot for God, this time father Clement, who was working in the Monglar Border region with a new mission, pulling some of the last Akha off their lands and off their traditions.  Couldn't have people having their traditions now could we?

Up in Menglar he had built a first parish and a massive new church up on a hill overlooking the town, across from the massive temple of some sort.  Glaring to see it was painted deep blue and white.  What a person could do with all that money to lift people up.  We were already abandoning those places in the west, the back of the wave.

 

Keng Tung Diocese

Bishop Abraham is Kayin People

Father Norman is Kachin

Father Lashwey is Chinese and Akha, his mother Akha

Father Appa, now deceased, was the first Akha priest.

 

The Mission again

I went and talked with Father Norman.  The way I see it, the catholic church can not see its mistakes.  It is not just that they are isolated from foreign money (maybe not) but also that there isn't anything that they do which would lift the people, surely not the Akha people there at Joseph on the hill where the greatest past time is alcohol.

The hill village around the mission is about 3,000 people, houses closely packed together, little to no gardens, ditches and roads full of trash and no apparent attempt to clean it up. The houses are made of mud bricks, some have two stories.  The bricks are plastered over, may even be whitewashed.  The newer places may have real bricks and real mortar.  The roofs are of the Shan clay tiles.  The construction style rather british.

Every house has a shrine bigger than any Akha, then there are chapels everywhere, a new one being built, this is no cheap structure either.

But there are no books.

The mission takes people, then they go so high which isn't that high, and then that is it.  A truely depressing place.

 

The ACT

A hard act to follow.

In all ACT villages that I visited I get the feeling that there is anger, a great friction, a great abrasive contradiction between who the people are and what they are being forced to be.

 

Missions and Land

The most crucial two areas for the Akha are to defend against the missionaries and to defend their land rights, particularly when it comes to addressing the planting of all this pine on their rice lands.

 

Peter Luis Jekoh, the new Bishop to be

 

 

The missionaries tell

The missionaries tell the Akha that they destroy the environment.  They will join the propaganda from the government on any level to pressure the Akha more.

The Akha whom the missionaries convert they even make to change how they build their houses, men on one side, women on the other side.  The missionaries make a good lie on every count they can.

 

The Mission Gap

Lots of money the missions had but no money to really help theAkha as you or I would want to be h elped.

 

Missions and Drugs

The real question was, were the missions involved in heroin smuggling and trade?  All these Taiwanese Christians and all the money they were investing, people don't do that without any hope of an economic return.

Certainly there were some cozy connections here.

 

Other Missions

christianity to the Akha.  A careful presentation of Jesus

What they already had been taught was wrong

 

Akha Hill Tribe Under Missionary Assault

The hilltribes of Thailand have long been a curiousity to westerners and a focus of study on the part of many researchers.  They are advertised heavily in the tourist areas for their exotic quality.  But few people understand the conditions under which these people live and the opportunities that they have or don’t have to play a participatory role in their own economics.  Not to belabour a point about opportunity, but to point out the shortage of good information available about the true circumstances of these mountain tribes. 

     Chiangmai swarms with shopping tourists, coming to conferences, exhibitions, enjoying the sidewalk cafes, looking at the ever spinning world of new and wonderfully creative workmanship of the Thai artisans that evolves year to year in greater and greater color, the creative inventions of high quality nearly inexhaustble.

    Vehicles moving everywhere, a taxi never more than an arms length away, waiting to wisk you off to five places you know and a few you don’t know but gladly welcome, the smell of both western and Thai foods just about as prevelant as the taxis, in the Thai manner of convenience.

    Little wonder that you may not know that many of the western people flying about Chiangmai in style actually live here.  Posh rigs, families in private schools, well dressed, well fed, a tourist on any other night.  But tonight is missionary night and missionaries there are, not just one, but everywhere you look in Chiangmai.  Large complexes, both new and old mark decades of mission influence in the north, the more recent energetic building boom in mission facilities the most noticeable.  Many names adorn their fancy trucks, the occasional one besmirched with mud, but so many trucks.  A little investigation begins to show that there is enormous moneys in these operations, extensive western support networks which project the workers into the “field” such as Chiangmai, all with the more often common than not goal of “evangelization” of guess who, yes, these very same hilltribe peoples.   

     The obvious new level of operations might go un -noticed by some but not all.  A far cry from the missions of yesteryear when missionaries gave up much to make sure their work was effective just one more time and they did all that they could to ease the difficulty of the lives of the people they served. Chiangmai missionaries, no chagrin at this apparent affluence while “doing their job” from fancy vehicles and facilities, continue to operate on the presumed agenda, that vestigial agenda, that they are here to reach the “lost, the desperate, the unsaved.”  And often the people who best resemble this needed contrast to the great white way are the disenfranchised hilltribes of northern Thailand. 

    The process is not new, just a whole lot of extra flair and cash of late.  For a hundred years and more the American Baptists and others have worked “with” the Lahu tribe.  Any remnant of their culture is not enough to make it recognizeable from what it used to be.  The Lahu have succombed.  But the Akha hilltribe is a different story.  Their culture carries with it all the aspects of a very intricate orthodoxy, woven carefully together with their planting of rice and interaction with the jungle. They are not distinguishable from their environment and do not see themselves as such.  Fields are friends, and you care for them as friends.  You don’t cut down the bamboo in its most productive time, you don’t cut trees where you bury your dead. You don’t marry anyone related to you by less than five generations. A careful clockwork or rules, ceremonies, festivals and days off, all measured by a 12 day calendar, all adhered to rigorously, the entire village moving to the clock, their hands and minds free to be what and who they are without thinking about it. 

     A people of geneologies. Carefully remembered. Rules carved out of experience and time, the preservation of the culture and ultimately their people as a race.  That is, until they met missionaries.  Missionaries, for all they study language and encounter the unknown, have never met a culture that they felt was un-necessary to destroy.  Destroying culture is proof that they have been there and left their mark, that they have succeeded in carrying out the great commission and kept themselves out of hell for just one more day.  The hell they may have created for someone else they don’t notice, as they are “saving souls” and this is more important than earthly inconveniences, least for the “other” people.  They themselves live in a level of comfort as to make the average expat married to a national quite envious.

     Culture might mean little to people who don’t have an old one.  Think of watches, dime a dozen on the streets of Chiangmai, but the are made, they are not born of the same culture as their carefully crafted Swiss counterparts.  An artisan will notice this.  The casual passerby may not.  A watchmaker will. And so an Akha elder will know that Mac Jesus, delivered in a flash four wheel drive, yet to see mud on the sidewalls, is not the same as culture.

     From a financial and moral standpoint the worth and maintenance of the missions, many of them who base their agenda on this “saving” of the hilltribe, is in the millions of dollars.  Churches, employees, huge buildings and vehicles, visas, credit cards, the numbers are staggering, all carefully hidden in the same look alike tourist crowd of Chiangmai.

     Meanwhile, for more than 40 years the Akha have been experiencing the ever increasing exploitation and degredation of their environment and land.  Strip logging that took all the trees out for timber rapidly gets covered up with propaganda about “slash and burn” farming. Tabloids portray the Akha as “vermin” “foreigners” “illegals” even though many of their villages have been in Thailand for at least a hundred years. And in the current clime the Akha loose their last land and see their villages forcibly relocated, scare tactics used on every level.  It is this environment that the western missionaries particularly like because it forces many of the Akha into their missions when they have little choice.   

     Villages are targets for “Church Planting” campaigns and are split or pressed into conversion, wether the elders like it or not. Even unconverted, the villages are pressured to give their children over to the missions, a mind to mold, a culture to be forgotten, removed from their mountain homes, no less than the Australian Aborigines of the lost generation. The removal of the children further weakens the villages, dissipates the culture and gives disrespect to the elders, the arrogant missions gloating over what they have “saved” while a much greater number of kin watch their villages die. Since missions have been prophecying the death of the Akha villages for decades, we have to wonder if they are a parasite no different than the worm that would shake the tree, to make the apple fall, claiming it couldn’t do that.

 

Missions

An Akha Theology

What they think Jesus means

Stopped bldg of school

 

 

More:

The Jesus Film Meeting: They can  not answer the questions

Ah Jay keeps calling me a liar in both Akha and English

"Jesus is the end of culture" Rodney said.

End of whose culture?

Churches tried to make a point by where and h ow they were built.

The yellow signs. I took a lot of them down.

Children were bait for money.

The orphanage - many not orphans.

Many missionaries admitted the problems, loss of culture etc, but would not honestly stand up and fight against it.  The Mission Fraternity.

Not on one occassion had a missionary just answered the questions or said what should and would be done about the errors. Joe Cooke came close.

Pastor Agaw's house, the big Jesus signs. The Jesus cult.

 

 

Mission Related Story NON Akha (Edit)

Stop tribal mission schools Date:

Fri, 11 Jun 1999 15:24:59 +0200 (MEST)

Stop Mission Schools for Tribals in South Palawan !

Will Christian arrogancy and aggression never end? Why to evict tribal peoles from their forest homelands and force them into mission schools?

Life in the forest was perfectly adapted to the natural environment over thousands of generations, and this harmony between man and nature is now being destroyed for progress and development. But progress and development for what?

Tribal people, once culturally uprooted by civilization, become the underdogs within the civilized society after a short while. This is the result of a UN recent study.

The Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme (PTFPP) together with Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) recently inaugurated the Iskulan et Kamantian, a school built for the  Palįwan tribal community who lived in the upland forests of the Brooke“s Point Valley near  Mount Mantalingahan.

The costly Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme (PTFPP) is initiated, financed and widely run by EU Europeans seeking for control over the Palawan forest land, which is worth still Billions of US Dollars.  Instead of protection PTFPP has got a vital role in the destruction of the forests, e.g. by their extended roar constructions.

SDA is notorious for conditioning of evicted tribal forest peoles, e.g.  pygmees in Africa.

The school was built through the help of the Community Environment Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Brooke“s point who donated salvaged timber for the construction while PTFPP provided the construction materials.

It started in 1993, when the US governmental development agency USAID donated some four Million US$ to get the Palįwan tribal people around Mount Mantalingahan out of the forest and educated to serve the money society.  Then in 1993 SDA missionaries established a Learning Center in Kamantian village, propagating the impression that the upland tribal forest dwellers had no knowledge and need to be taught. Students came, of course, from the upland forests, which had been degraded under the same development syndrom as PTFPP, USAID and SDA show. These student have been promised a bright future after school. A deceptive hope for most of them, a wedge driven into the tribal community.

Subito, one of the first graduates of the Learning Center, related how his aquired math skill comes handy whenever he sells his handicraft and the one from his non-educated tribal fellows in the town market. With the modest profit he will now buy, what he formerly never needed.

The people in Kamantian village also learned to record the significant events in their community such as birthdays which enabled them to aquire birth certificates and other so-called legal documents, which they also formerly never needed and which brings them under strict control by outsiders.

Meanwhile, CO-Director Ricky Sandalo of PTFPP said that they will also work for the construction of water systems, toilet facilities, nursery and health station in the village. All these former unnecessary equipping will give PTFPP and other officials a solid background to force the remaining forest dwellers down to village life, in order to get complete control over the financially extremely attractive timber in the rainforest.

The missionaries are now aiming for the establishment of a multi-grade elemantary education under the Department of Education and Science (DECS) wherein livelihood skills could be enhaced for the Palawan tribal people, whos livelihood had been destroyed by the same power that want to give them livelihood skills now, under their strict control. Predominant aim of the US-American SDA missionaries is: control. Their media are schools and churches.

The inauguration was attended by Brooke“s Point Vice Mayor Ariston Arzaga, Crisauro Baltazar of PCSDS, Barangay Samariniana, Barangay Captain Leo Alsaga, PTFPP Co-Directors Ricky Sandalo and Graham Bell, other PTFPP personnel and the oldest living tribal leader in the village Panglima Taktarik, now totally deprived of power and certainly without any information given to him, that this inauguration sybolized a desaster for his peoples and a milestone in the ongoing ethnocide.

The Palawan NGOs Network (PNNI) and all the other christian and development-oriented so-called support organizations for tribal peoples on Palawan island remained remarkably quiet.

 

Important For Action

IKDM wrote:

·          att Mr Matthew McDaniel

> 

> Dear Mr McDaniel,

·          I am the editor of the Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor.

My

·          colleague forwarded your request for help: please tell me what you want me

·          to do. I have checked our files and seen that we published a Research

·          communication about the Akha who live in northern Thailand mainly form

·          small-scale agriculture. The communication (in IK&DM 4(1), April 1996, p.

·          26) focused on the Akha medicine plant project. Would you want to publish an

·          urgent Call for help in the forthcoming issue or do you need any other help

·          and assistance? I will do the best I can.

> 

·          Anna van Marrewijk

·          Editor, Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor

·          CIRAN / Nuffic

·          P.O. Box 29777

·          2502 LT The Hague

·          the Netherlands

·          Fax: +31-70-4260 329.

The Truth Can Not Start With A Lie

Racism and Hate

      From changing the skin of Jesus, to every other ruse and lie in the book, the  missions sought control of the indigenous peoples, no different than what they had done in California, to the Indians there, to the Aborigines, the Canadian Indians in Residential Schools, the mission involvement in the theft of the Hawaiian Islands.  Nothing had changed with white people, they were still the paranoid racists, having to change everything to white, from their bread to their underwear, to the skins of other people, or at least their souls.

      They had the bibles, we had the land. We have the bibles, they have the land. White people just don't get it.

      White people were a hateful race, no such scourge had ever been released on the people’s of the earth in the history of man, never such an arrogant race with such a sense of superiority over others, all credit being given to the color of the skin, rather than the law of plunder that they subscribed to.  Building empire, promising all the victims that they would be allowed to join in on the plunder of the next in line to be plundered in return for joining the empire.

      If we have to pick between the teachings of Jesus and Christianity the choice is clear.  How odd that a religion which claims Jesus as its founder, has to base all that it does on a ongoing litany of lies and deceptions, compromises and genocides, from the Inquisition to the Papal Bulls, to disappearing Jewish gold taken by the Nazis, to the every day act of denying that it is all about the money, the land and the resources.

      The treatment of the Akha by the American, German and Australian missions is no different.  Based on lies, shaming and destruction of Akha traditional culture as evil and less than white culture, the lies go on.  The white people apologize for nothing, watching as the folks they hate and despise, the people of color, continue to pour in over the fence, continue to marginalize the white people to the point that they must abuse the rest of the planet with nuclear forces. The white people have married a culture of extinction and must maintain it with genocide to propel the lie as long as possible.

      The acid test of racism lies in the fact that nation states, established as a cartel on power by white people, choose to never honor the passports of nations that they enslaved, killed and oppressed.

      Follow the money, follow the lies. Never do as they say, look instead ONLY at what the white people do unto others.

 

Stealing the Children

      The missionaries kept claiming that they were helping the Akha and the more that they said it the more it rung hollow.

      The fact of the matter was that the Akha were a resource, and the missions wanted them to help justify a budget, housing, compounds, jobs, salaries, mission buildings, the good life, none of which they could justify without a standing crew of slaves. The white people never had gotten out of slaving.  They just learned to conceal it better.

      And so they slaved the Akha, taking t hem and their children as resources, without paying for it, making gain for themselves, their pet Akhas in tow. “Look at what a wonderful job we are doing of helping (ourselves) others” they loved to say, totally ignorant or refusing to admit to mission history and that they were once again repeating it.

      Christianity itself divorced the human into confusion and every possible conflict with his natural self, giving the missions greater control over all who fell for its ruse.

                Accusing others of hatefullness, while they themselves based their economics on race hate. In the end, they kept it all for themselves, but still chose to portray themselves as the victims.

                And even the missions who claimed they were "different" would never come out and accuse or oppose those they claimed they were different from.  So one could guess how much difference there was in this good cop bad cop routine.

                Those who would join the process of destruction, could be "winners" be they Akha, Chinese Baptists or naive white kids, but the majority were just grist for the mill.

 

 

Missions

Encounters with Attitudes of Hate

In my discussions with people, I was surprised how ill many of them spoke of the Akha.  Chinese, Chin, Kachin, Thai, they all had a negative and cynical line about these people.  The missionaries portrayed the Akha in other than honest light, and certainly many times in derogatory ways that gave people permission to speak ill of the Akha without just cause.  All of which was quite different from my own experience.  This amazed me, because it was all so negative as to not ring true, to come deep from prejudice, as I figured no group of people could be so bad as described.  And it annoyed me that these people considered themselves respectable, while looking down so low on the Akha.  Akha's who had been "converted" also looked down on their traditional friends and spoke very badly of being Akha, many of them refusing to use any language other than Thai, denying that they were Akha themselves.  I found this also very disturbing.  In a word, it appeared to me that if you needed someone to dislike, you disliked Akha people.  To become Christian Akha was an abdication of self.

The Akha I knew worked very hard, and they had a story I could hardly discover with my lack of knowledge of their language and my general resistance to learning a new language.  The Akha were obviously very poor, taking the brunt on many fronts, and the details of this I was only to discover after much time.  During that time the Thai army was busy forcing many villages to relocate into incredible poverty for the convenience of policy that was harsh and self serving.  Years later I would be dealing with fallout from the relocations of these very villages.  I saw the relocations going on at the time but didn't realize what it was.

I found the Akha warm people, and liked them just as they were, yet the way in which they were often treated and regarded by the respectable people gave me greater interest and incentive in working on behalf of their cause.

I saw few people or organizations doing anything for them.  Only speaking ill of them.  Even organizations which claimed to be set up to help them could not explain to me what they actually did for the Akha.  The mission organizations of course were only out to gain control of converts and villages.  I would learn later to what disastrous extent.

Many people were surprised and even critical of my free first aid care to the Akha and my willingness to pay their hospital bills when I could.  Hospital staff and others were endlessly humored and put to laughter by my interest in these people.

I made numerous Akha friends in Burma and began increasing the number of villages I visited in Thailand.  Over the years it became clear that there were many religious organizations working with the Akha, but once again, apart from church buildings, little apparent benefit going to the people.

Too often it appeared that projects were set up to match available money, then when the money ran out, so did the project and little regard was given to the bigger picture, addressing the problems the Akha faced.

What lacked was care, care that could turn right and left, and see problems where they were to be found, and look for solutions likewise.

I ran the gauntlet of those apparently more experienced than myself, soon discovering that it was better to trust my own instincts than have someone tell me how it "really was". 

The gap between the lives and realities of the tribal peoples, was not something that could be adapted to the western people as something that they could exploit and use or conveniently pass up, but rather it was just different, something that had to be left alone, that had requirements and times and ways all its own.

 

Missions

I really didn't understand what was going on with the missionaries in Thailand when I started working with the Akha.  I had the typical idea that missionaries were good, that they helped people, that this is what they were about.  But I soon found that this was not the case.  Yes, maybe they did help people but they weren't about this, they were about gaining control of people, and helping them a little bit was part of the sales pitch.  In fact, the missions withheld help they could have provided the Akha, because tragedy is a great soil for creating dependancy, which is the chief need of missions.  I think that I could be so bold as to say that missions hope for tragedy, that their need for tragedy may as well create it, that their presence as they are now, encourages tragedy and disregard.  The do not rebuke tragedy. By sins of ommission they cause tragedy to prosper in ease, without challenge.  With Bible in hand, missions sanctify the work of the demon scourges on humanity.  Protecting and expanding the agenda and wealth of the mission is the first priority.

The missionaries as a whole were white, arrogant to a detail, and quite racist in their evaluations of the Akha and "what they needed".  I gave up after some years noting all the disparaging comments they made.  The missions who were so hasty to judge the Akha in a dismissing manner.  Dispite growing up Christian I soon came to despise the mission people and their vast self protecting mission establishment.

The mission people continued driving around in their nice vehicles, lords of the poor.  I had increasing conflict with these people, asking them why it was so few people appeared to be addressing the problems of such poverty and ill health in the villages?  With time I discovered the events which caused these situations, but it was enough for me to see at the time that conditions existed that should not have and few were doing anything about it.  Making Akhas into nice Christians was obviously more important than wether they lived or died.

The missions made every excuse for taking away children, like they have always done, taking the children of others, rather than help parents to raise their own children safely, as I think Jesus would do.  The missionaries never asked what THEY would want if it were themselves.  And the fact was, that in taking the children, they were stealing, because they were taking what they were not paying for, and they sure wouldn't be taking it if there wasn't profit in it for them, which there sure was. Stealing yes. Stealing children.  And they did this in a coercive way, working with the government, working with poverty. Lying.

I became curious about the culture, why it was so put down, and found that the missionaries had pat stereotypes they used as reasons it was "all bad" and to justify what they were doing to the Akha.  The missions had a story to hide, and things to cover up.  Whatever they could find as a fault, it was all the more reason to make every Akha into a white evangelical.

I found the attitude repulsive and distanced myself from the missions.

The missions are one of the biggest risks to the Akha.  Particularly in a time when in some ways they are gaining greater legal status and acceptance in Thai society.

In times past the missionaries made great institutional gains gobbling up villages due to the incredible poverty and political lack of protection that the Akha endured.  Hard to know what the missions promised as they took over village after village and displaced/forbid the traditional culture as evil. Now as times got better in some ways, the missions could only smile at what they had done in the dark to these people and the struggle that they created as the traditional Akha battled to hold on in a split cultural environment.  To keep fashionable as the mission strong hold came under greater attack, the missions increasingly pretended to show concern for the cultural traditions of the Akha, least giving it lip service in their presentations in English language where such violations would first be noticed.  They were excellent liars and avoiders of the realities that their mission policies dealt out in the villages.

The Akha had a right to freedom from other people's religion. They also had a right to their own religion.  Missions wanted freedom for themselves and no one else.  Missions did not even recognize the religion of other people, the legitimacy of it.  Missions were based on racial arrogance.

 

 

End

Have a comment or question? Like to know more? Send me an email at akha@akha.org
Copyright 2004, by Matthew McDaniel