Sympathetic Magic

Wikipedia offers a general insight into the phenomenon of the Cargo Cult.

A cargo cult is an indigenist millenarian belief system in which adherents perform rituals which they believe will cause a more technologically advanced society to deliver goods. These cults were first described in Melanesia in the wake of contact with allied military forces during the Second World War.

Isolated and pre-industrial island cultures that were lacking technology found soldiers and supplies arriving in large numbers, often by airdrop. The soldiers would trade with the islanders. After the war, the soldiers departed. Cargo cults arose, attempting to imitate the behaviors of the soldiers, thinking that this would cause the soldiers and their cargo to return. Some cult behaviors involved mimicking the day-to-day activities and dress styles of soldiers, such as performing parade ground drills with wooden or salvaged rifles.

Primitive, shamanistic thinking had the indigenous people constructing mythological airplanes out of mud, straw, and the occasional faded Coca Cola sign in expectation that the friendly flyboys would return to give them chocolate and canned meats. It’s the same reason I used to draw oversized dicks in the margins of my school text books: sympathetic magic.

It didn’t work then and it didn’t work today in Dealey Plaza.

But I noticed the true believers were a little lazy with their cult activities. How was J. F. K. Jr. going to return to claim the office of Vice President alongside the former guy if there was no airplane made out of straw and mud and an old road sign from the Black Canyon Highway? No wonder the Qs were disappointed.

Is QAnon a cargo cult? Follow up with Wikipedia and think about it.

Cargo cults are marked by a number of common characteristics, including a “myth-dream” that is a synthesis of indigenous and foreign elements, the expectation of help from the ancestors, charismatic leaders, and lastly, belief in the appearance of an abundance of goods. The indigenous societies of Melanesia were typically characterized by a “big man” political system in which individuals gained prestige through gift exchanges. The more wealth a man could distribute, the more people who were in his debt, and the greater his renown. Those who were unable to reciprocate were identified as “rubbish men.” Faced, through colonialism, with foreigners with a seemingly unending supply of goods for exchange, indigenous Melanesians experienced “value dominance.” That is, they were dominated by others in terms of their own (not the foreign) value system, and exchange with foreigners left them feeling like rubbish men.

Since the modern manufacturing process is unknown to them, members, leaders, and prophets of the cults maintain that the manufactured goods of the non-native culture have been created by spiritual means, such as through their deities and ancestors. These goods are intended for the local indigenous people, but the foreigners have unfairly gained control of these objects through malice or mistake. Thus, a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will, at some future time, give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members.

Symbols associated with Christianity and modern Western society tend to be incorporated into their rituals: For example, the use of cross-shaped grave markers. Notable examples of cargo cult activity include the setting up of mock airstrips, airports, airplanes, offices, and dining rooms, as well as the fetishization and attempted construction of Western goods, such as radios made of coconuts and straw. Believers may stage “drills” and “marches” with sticks for rifles and use military-style insignia and national insignia painted on their bodies to make them look like soldiers, thereby treating the activities of Western military personnel as rituals to be performed for the purpose of attracting the cargo.

Christian symbols, toy guns, military maneuvers, looking to a cult leader, assuming others are taking what should be theirs. delusion, and an embarrassing afternoon in Dallas.


A splinter group of a splinter group of QAnon was convinced, based on the evidence of numerology, internet puzzles, and too many beers jawboning over the back fence, that an encyclopedia full of famous people who faked their deaths in order to escape the Deep State, were going to parade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas at 12:30 on 2 November. JFK would then install The Former Guy as the true President of the United States and JFK Jr. would serve as the anointed Vice President. The list of names of the erstwhile walking dead who would join the party was impressive and grew rapidly, as conspiracies tend to do.

Note that when JFK, Jr. failed to show, the true believers weren’t dismayed, suggesting that the revealing was rescheduled for later that evening at the Rolling Stones concert, of all places.

Where is Eric Hoffer when you need him? Will Charlie Watts also return?


It wasn’t all disappointment and shattered delusions in Dallas when JFK Jr. failed to return. Many prominent dead personalities were sighted in the crowds of QAnon believers: Dale Ernhardt, Robin Williams, H. R. Pufnstuf. And later that night it was noticed that Keith Richards might actually be John Kennedy in disguise. This last theory was debunked, however, pointing out that Kennedy would not look as bad as Richards despite Kennedy being over a hundred years old and dead to boot.

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