There's an Arthur C. Clarke quote (really the Arthur C. Clarke quote) that goes "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." That might make you think of the Wizard of Oz, who pulled levers behind a curtain in order to look like a sorcerer. Or of any given episode of "Doctor Who." On the South Pacific island of Tanna, this trope is writ onto the real world as a result of the complicated intersection of colonialism and indigenous practices. Meet "John Frum," the mythical WWII G.I. who's become a messiah to thousands.
A Myth with Muddy Origins
John Frum (America)
John Frum Cult in Tanna
Written by Reuben Westmaas December 7, 2017
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