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Aw ake!

June 22,2000

SHOULD YOU BELIEVE


EVERYTHING
YOU HEAR?
Average Printing 20,381,000
Published in 82 Languages

Should You
Believe
Everything
You Hear? 3-11
Most of us are bombarded with information
every day. What forms does it take?
How can you sift the true from the false?

Propaganda Can Be Deadly 3


After the Storms
-R elief Work The Manipulation of Information 4
in France 15
Do Not Be a Victim of Propaganda! 9
Read of what was done to
help many to cope with Young People Ask . . .
the devastation caused by Should I Live Abroad? 12
the worst storms to hit
France in over 300 years. Dally Aspirin
Should I or Shouldnt I? 20

A Big Lesson From a Tiny Island 22


The Hazards of
Watching the World 28
Hitchhiking 26
For those who hitchhike, From Our Readers 30
what precautions are vital to
avoid becoming a victim? A Corpse Comes to Life 31

Finding What Was Lost 32

2 Awake! June 22, 2000


I
CAN BE DEADLY
halfway around the world
while the truth is putting on
its shoes. -Attributed to MARK TWAIN. joke. Its persuasive techniques are regularly
applied by dictators, politicians, clergymen,
u OU miserable Jew! snapped the advertisers, marketers, journalists, radio and
TV personalities, publicists, and others who
j f schoolteacher, as she slapped
A her seven-year-old student. She are interested in influencing thought and be
then invited the class to file by him and to havior.
spit in his face. Of course, propagandistic messages can
B oth the teacher and the stu d en ther be used to accom plish positive social ends,
nephewknew perfectly well th at the boy as in cam paigns to reduce d ru n k driving.
and his parents were not o f Jewish descent. But propaganda may also be used to pro
N or were they Jewish by faith. Rather, they mote hatred for ethnic or religious m inor
were Jeh o v ah s W itnesses. Taking advan ities o r to en tic e p e o p le to bu y cig a
tage of widespread prejudice against Jews, rettes. Every day we are bom barded with
the teacher was fostering hatred of her stu one persuasive c o m m u n ic a tio n afte r a n
dent. For years b o th the teacher and her other, point out researchers A nthony Prat-
class had been told by their priest that Jeho kanis and Elliot A ronson. These appeals
vahs Witnesses were despicable. The boys persuade not through the give-and-take of
parents had been called bo th Com m unists argum ent and debate, but through the m a
and agents of the CIA (Central Intelligence nipulation of symbols and of our m ost basic
Agency). So the boys classmates filed by, ea hum an emotions. For better or worse, ours is
ger to spit in the face o f a miserable Jew. an age of propaganda.
How has propaganda been used to affect
T hat boy survived to tell his story. The
hum an th in k in g and
same was not true for six million Jews liv
the centuries? W hat
ing in G erm any and nearby countries some
can you do to protect
60 years ago. Vicious propaganda was instru
yourself from danger
m ental in extinguishing the lives o f those
ous p r o p a g a n d a ? Is
Jews in Nazi gas cham bers and concentra
th e re a so u rc e o f
tion camps. Widespread, profound, unques
trustw orthy inform a
tioned, and virulent anti-Semitism led many
tion? These and oth
to regard the Jews as enemies whose exter
er questions will be
m ination was not only necessary but just. In
discussed in the fol
th at case, propaganda proved to be a weap
lowing articles.
on of mass extermination.
Yes, propaganda can be displayed openly P ro p ag an d a w as used
by the use of such emblems of hate as the to v ictim ize Jew s
swastika or subtly by the telling of a tasteless during th e H oloca

Awake! June 22, 2000 3


THE
MANIPULATION
By clever and
OF INFORMATION
persevering use o f propaganda
even heaven can be represented
as hell to the people, and conversely A History of Propaganda
the most wretched life as paradise. Today the word propaganda has a neg
AD O LF H IT L E R , MEIN KAMPF. ative connotation, suggesting dishonest tac
tics, but originally th at was not the m eaning
intended for the term . Propaganda ap p ar
A S M EA N S o f co m m u n icatin g have
ently com es from the Latin nam e o f a group
/ \ e x p a n d ed fro m p rin tin g to th e
of Rom an Catholic cardinals, the
tele p h o n e, radio, television, and
tio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for
the In tern etthe flow o f persuasive mes
sages has d ram a tic ally accelerated. T his the Propagation o f the Faith). This com m it
com m unications revolution has led to in teecalled Propaganda for sh o rtwas es
fo rm a tio n overload, as p e o p le are in u n tablished by Pope G regory XV in 1622 to
d ated by countless m essages from every supervise m issionaries. G radually, p ro p a
quarter. M any respond to this pressure by ganda cam e to m ean any effort to spread a
absorbing messages m ore quickly and ac belief.
cepting them w ithout questioning or ana But the concept of propaganda was not
lyzing them . b o rn in the 17th cen tu ry . F ro m an cien t
T h e cu n n in g p ro p a g a n d ist loves such times, men have used every available m edi
s h o rtc u ts e s p e c ia lly th o s e th a t sh o rt- um to spread ideologies or enhance fam e
circu it ratio n al th o u g h t. P ropaganda en and power. For example, a rt has served pro-
courages this by agitating the emotions, by pagandistic ends since the days o f the Egyp
exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on tian pharaohs. These kings designed their
the am biguity o f language, and by bending pyram ids to project an image o f pow er and
rules o f logic. As history bears out, such tac durability. Similarly, the architecture o f the
tics can prove all too effective. R om ans served a political p u rp o se the
---------------------------------------------------------------- A w ake!----------------------------------------------------------------
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It probes beneath the surface and points to the real meaning behind current events, yet it always stays politically neutral
and does not exalt one race above another. Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of
a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.
Unless otherwise indicated, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures With References is used.

4ws/r0/(ISSN 0005-237X) is published sem im onthly by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.; M ilton G. Henschel, President; Lyman
A. Swingle, Secretary-Treasurer; 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2483. Periodicals Postage Paid at Brooklyn, N.Y., and at additional m ail
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Vol. 81, No. 12 Printed in U.S.A. 2000 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Sem im onthly ENGLISH

4 Awake! June 22, 2000


P ropaga nda p ro m o tin g w a r an d
sm oking has c o n trib u te d to
m any d eath s

glorification o f the state. The term propa and the Eastern blocs waged all-out cam
ganda took on a generally negative conno paigns to win the great m asses o f uncom
tation in W orld W ar I when governm ents m itted people to their side. Every aspect of
began playing an active role in shaping the national life and policy was exploited for
war inform ation spread by the media. D ur propagandistic p urposes. In recent years
ing World W ar II, A dolf H itler and Joseph the grow ing so p h istic a tio n o f p ro p a g a n
Goebbels proved them selves to be m aster da te c h n iq u e s h as b e e n ev id en t in elec
propagandists. tion cam paigns, as well as in advertising by
Following W orld W ar II, propaganda in tobacco com panies. So-called experts and
creasingly becam e a m ajor instrum ent to other leaders have been em ployed to p o r
prom ote national policy. B oth the W estern tray sm oking as glam orous and healthful

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Awake! June 22, 2000 5


and not as the th reat to public health th at it surveys have shown th at in G reece, 96 out
actually is. of 100 crim es are p erpetrated by [Greeks].
The causes o f crim inal activity are eco
Lies, Lies!
nom ic and social, he observes, not ra
Certainly, the handiest trick o f the propa cial. He blam es the m edia for system ati
gandist is the use o f outright lies. C onsid cally cultivating xenophobia and racism by
er, for example, the lies th a t M artin L uther a slanted coverage o f crime.
w rote in 1543 about the Jews in Europe:
They have poisoned wells, m ade assassina Name-Calling
tions, kidnaped children . . . They are ven Some people insult those who disagree
om ous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, with them by questioning character or m o
assassins, and ch ild ren o f the devil who tives instead o f focusing on the facts. N am e
sting and work harm . His exhortation to calling slaps a negative, easy-to-remember
so-called C hristians? Set fire to their syna label onto a person, a group, or an idea.
gogues or sc h o o ls. . . T heir houses [should] The name-caller hopes th at the label will
also be razed and destroyed. stick. If people reject the person or the idea
on the basis o f the negative label instead o f
A p rofessor o f gov ern m en t and social
weighing the evidence for themselves, the
studies who has studied th at era says: A nti
name-callers strategy has worked.
semitism has fundam entally nothing to do
For example, in recent years a pow erful
with the actions o f Jews, and therefore fun
antisect sentim ent has swept m any coun
dam entally nothing to do with an antisem-
tries in E urope and elsewhere. This trend
ites knowledge o f the real n atu re o f Jews.
has s tirre d em o tio n s, c re a te d th e im age
He also notes: The Jews stood for every
o f an enemy, and reinforced existing prej
thing th a t was awry, so th at the reflexive
udices against religious m inorities. Often,
reaction to a n atu ral or social ill was to look
sect becom es a catchword. Sect is an
to its supposed Jewish sources.
o th er w ord for heretic, w rote G erm an
Making Generalizations Professor M artin Kriele in 1993, and a her
A nother very successful tactic of propa etic today in G erm any, as in form er times,
gan d a is g en eralization. G en eralizatio n s is [condemned to exterm ination]if not by
tend to obscure im p o rtan t facts about the fire . . . , then by character assassination, iso
real issues in question, and they are fre lation and econom ic destruction.
quently used to dem ean entire groups of The In stitu te for P ropaganda A nalysis
p e o p le . G y p sie s [or im m ig ra n ts] are notes th at bad nam es have played a tre
thieves is, for instance, a phrase frequently m endously pow erful role in the history o f
heard in some E uropean countries. But is the world and in our own individual devel
th at true? opm ent. They have ruined re p u ta tio n s ,. . .
R ichardos Som eritis, a colum nist, says sent [people] to prison cells, and m ade men
th a t in o ne c o u n try su c h p e rc e p tio n s mad enough to enter battle and slaughter
caused a kind o f xenophobic and very of their fellowmen.
ten racist frenzy against foreigners. It has Playing on the Emotions
been shown, however, th at when it comes Even though feelings m ight be irrelevant
to delinquent acts, the culprits in that coun w hen it co m es to fa c tu a l claim s o r th e
try are ju st as likely to be native-born as logic o f an argum ent, they play a crucial
foreign. For example, Som eritis notes that role in persuasion. Em otional appeals are

6 Awake! June 22, 2000


IS THE WORK OF
S o m e o p p o n e n ts o f Je JEHOVAHS W ITNESSES A n o th e r jo u rn a lis t, fo r
h o v a h s W itn e s s e s have m e rly n e g a tiv e a b o u t th e
a ccused th e m o f s p re a d
PROPAGANDISE? W itn e s s e s , s ta te d : They
in g Z io n is t p ro p a g a n d a . liv e a n e x e m p la r y life .
O thers have c h a rg e d th a t th e m in is try o f th e Questions They do n o t v io la te th e s ta n d a rd s
Young People Ask
W itn e s s e s p ro m o te s C o m m u n is m . S till o th Answers That Work o f w h a t is m o ra l a n d rig h t. A po
e rs h a v e c la im e d th a t th e w o rk o f J e h o litic a l s c ie n tis t s im ila rly re m a rk e d
v a h s W itn e s s e s p ro m o te s th e id e a ls a n d a b o u t th e W itn e s s e s : T h e y b e
in te re s ts o f A m e ric a n im p e ria lis m . A nd have to w a rd o th e r p e o p le w ith pro
th e re a re th o s e w h o a s s e rt th a t th e W it fo u n d k in d n e s s , love a n d g e n tle
n esses are a n a rc h is ts , fo n e s s .
m e n tin g d is o rd e r w ith J e h o v a h s W itn e s s e s te a c h th e
th e a im o f c h a n g in g th e rig h tn e s s o f s u b m is s io n to a u th o r
s o c ia l, e c o n o m ic , p o lit ity . A s la w - a b id in g c itiz e n s ,
ic a l, o r le g a l o rd e r. O b th e y fo llo w B ib le s ta n d a r d s
viously, th e s e c o n flic tin g o f h o n e s ty , tru th fu ln e s s , a n d
a c c u s a tio n s c a n n o t a ll be c le a n lin e s s . T h e y b u ild g o o d
tru e . m o ra ls in to th e ir ow n fa m ilie s ,
The s im p le fa c t is th a t a n d th e y h e lp o th e rs to le a rn
J e h o v a h s W itn e s s e s a re how th e y can d o th e s a m e . They
none o f th e above. T h e w o rk live p e a c e a b ly w ith all m en, n o t
o f th e W itn e s s e s is c a rrie d g e ttin g in v o lv e d in d is r u p tiv e
o u t in fa ith fu l o b e d ie n c e to d e m o n s tra tio n s o r p o litic a l rev
Jesus C h ris ts m a n d a te to h is d is o lu tio n s . J e h o v a h s W itn e s s e s
c ip le s : You w ill b e w itn e s s e s o f s e e k to be e x e m p la ry in obe yin g
m e . . . to th e m o s t d is ta n t p a rt o f th e law s o f th e h u m a n s u p e rio r au
th e e a rth . (A cts 1 :8 ) T h e ir w o rk fo th o ritie s , w h ile th e y w a it p a tie n tly
cu ses s o le ly a n d e x c lu s iv e ly on th e on th e S u p re m e A u th o rity , th e Sov
go o d n e w s o f th e heavenly King e re ig n Lord Je h o va h , to re s to re p e r
dom-God's in s tru m e n t fo r b rin g in g fe c t p e a c e a n d rig h te o u s g o v e rn
peace to th e w h o le e a r t h M a tth e w m e n t to th is e a rth .
6 :1 0 ; 2 4 :1 4 . A t th e s a m e tim e , th e w o rk o f
O b se rve rs o f J e h o v a h s W itn e s s th e W itn e s s e s is e d u c a tio n a l. Us
es have fo u n d no e v id e n c e th a t th is in g th e B ib le as a b a sis, th e y te a c h
C h ristia n c o m m u n ity has e v e r bee n P u b licatio n s o f p e o p le w o rld w id e to re a so n on Bi
a fo rc e d is ru p tiv e o f th e good o rd e r Jehovah's W itnesses b le p r in c ip le s a n d th e re b y d e v e l
o f any land. p ro m o te fa m ily values an d
op rig h t s ta n d a rd s o f c o n d u c t and
high m o ra l stan d ard s
M any jo u rn a lis ts , ju d g e s , a n d o th m o ra l in te g rity . T h e y p ro m o te v a l
e rs have c o m m e n te d on th e p o s itiv e c o n trib u tio n s ues th a t im p ro ve fa m ily life a n d h e lp y o u n g p e o p le
th a t J e h o v a h s W itn e s s e s h ave m a d e to th e c o m cope w ith th e ir p e c u lia r c h a lle n g e s . They a ls o h e lp
m u n itie s in w h ic h th e y live. C o n s id e r s o m e e xa m p e o p le to fin d th e s tre n g th to o v e rc o m e bad h a b its
p le s . A fte r a tte n d in g a c o n v e n tio n o f J e h o v a h s and to d e v e lo p th e a b ility to g e t a lo n g w ith o th e rs .
W itn e s s e s , a re p o rte r fro m s o u th e rn E u rope c o m S uch a w o rk w o u ld h a rd ly be te rm e d p ro p a g a n
m e n te d : T h e se a re p e o p le w ith s tro n g fa m ily tie s , d a . As The World Book Encyclopedia says, in a c li
th e y a re ta u g h t to lo ve a n d to live by th e ir c o n m a te w h e re id e a s c irc u la te fre e ly , p ro p a g a n d a d if
s c ie n c e so as n o t to h a rm o th e rs . fe rs fro m e d u c a tio n .
Awake! June 22, 2000 7
fabricated by practiced publicists, who play seems to be a nearly endless supply of nasty
on feelings as skillfully as a virtuoso plays words th at prom ote and exploit hatred to
the piano. ward particular racial, ethnic, or religious
For example, year is an em otion th at can groups.
becloud judgm ent. And, as in the case o f Some propagandists play on pride. O ften
envy, fear can be played upon. The C anadi we can spot appeals to pride by looking for
an new spaper The Globe and Mail, o f Febru such key phrases as: Any intelligent person
ary 15, 1999, reported the following from knows t h a t . . . or, A person w ith your ed
M oscow : W hen th re e g irls c o m m itte d ucation cant help b u t see th at . . . A re
suicide in M oscow last week, the Russian verse appeal to pride plays on o u r fear o f
seeming stupid. Professionals in persuasion
are well aware o f that.
The sly art of
Slogans and Symbols
propaganda can Slogans are vague sta te m e n ts th a t are
paralyze thought typically used to express positions or goals.
Because o f their vagueness, they are easy to
and prevent clear agree with.
For example, in tim es o f national crisis
thinking or conflict, dem agogues may use such slo
gans as My country, right or wrong, Fa
m edia im m ediately suggested they were fa therland, Religion, Fam ily, or F reedom
natical followers o f the Jehovahs W itness or D eath. But do m ost people carefully an
es. N ote the word fanatical. N aturally, alyze the real issues involved in the crisis or
people would be fearful o f a fanatic reli conflict? O r do they ju st accept w hat they
gious organization th a t supposedly drives are told?
young people to suicide. Were these unfor In writing about World W ar I, W inston
tu n ate girls really connected w ith Jehovahs Churchill observed: Only a signal is need
W itnesses in some way? ed to transform these m ultitudes o f peace
The Globe continued: Police later adm it ful peasants and w orkm en into the m ighty
ted the girls had nothing to do w ith [Je hosts which will tear each other to pieces.
hovahs Witnesses]. But by then a M oscow He further observed th at when told w hat to
television channel had already launched a do, m ost people responded unthinkingly.
new assault on the sect, telling viewers that The propagandist also has a very wide
the Jehovahs W itnesses had collaborated range o f symbols and signs w ith which to
w ith A dolf H itler in N azi G erm anyde convey his messagea 21-gun salvo, a m il
spite historical evidence th at thousands o f ita ry salu te, a flag. Love o f p a re n ts can
th e ir m em bers were victim s o f the N azi also be exploited. Thus, such symbolism s
d eath cam ps. In the m ind o f the m isin as the fatherland, the m other country, or
form ed and possibly fearful public, Jeho the m other church are valuable tools in the
vahs W itnesses were either a suicidal cult hands o f the shrewd persuader.
or Nazi collaborators! So the sly a rt o f propaganda can paralyze
Hatred is a strong em otion exploited by thought, prevent clear thinking and discern
p ro p a g a n d ists. L oaded language is p a r m ent, and condition individuals to act en
ticu larly effective in triggering it. T here masse. How can you protect yourself?

8 Awake! June 22, 2000


DO NOT BE A VICTIM
A fool will believe OF PROPAGAN
anything. Pr o v e r b s 14:15,
T o d a y s E n g l is h Ve r s io n .

H ER E is a differencea big differ No one w ants a m ind contam inated with

T ence betw een education and pro poison. Solomon, a king and educator in an
paganda. Education shows you how cient times, warned: Anyone inexperienced
to think. Propaganda tells you what to think. puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one
G ood educators present all sides of an issue considers his steps. (Proverbs 14:15) So we
and encourage discussion. Propagandists re need to be selective. We need to scrutinize
lentlessly force you to hear their view and whatever is presented to us, deciding what to
discourage discussion. Often their real mo accept and w hat to reject.
tives are not apparent. They sift the facts, ex However, we do not w ant to be so nar
ploiting the useful ones and concealing the row that we refuse to consider facts that can
others. They also distort and twist facts, spe improve our thinking. How can we find the
cializing in lies and half-truths. Your emo right balance? By adopting a standard with
tions, not your logical thinking abilities, are which to m easure new inform ation. Here a
their target. Christian has a source o f great wisdom. He
T he p ro p a g a n d ist m akes sure th a t his has the Bible as a sure guide for his think
message appears to be the right and moral ing. On the one hand, his mind is open, that
one and th at it gives you a sense of im por is, receptive to new inform ation. He proper
tance and belonging if you follow it. You are ly weighs such new inform ation against the
one of the sm art ones, you are not alone, you Bible standard and fits w hat is true into his
are comfortable and secureso they say. pattern of thinking. On the other hand, his
How can you protect yourself from the m ind sees the danger o f inform ation that
types o f people th a t th e Bible
calls profitless talkers and de
ceivers of the m ind? (Titus 1:10) D iscernm ent
Once you are fam iliar with some enables you to
of their tricks, you are in a better
position to evaluate any message
discard irrelevan t
or inform ation th at comes your or m isleadin g
way. Here are some ways to do inform ation
this.
B e selective: A c o m p le te
ly open m ind could be likened
to a pipe th at lets ju st anything
flow th ro u g h it even sewage.

Awake! June 22, 2000


Test w h a tever you are readin g or
to see i f it is truthful

is entirely inconsistent with his Bible-based But it is far better for each individual per
values. sonally to ch o o se w h at he will feed his
Use d iscern m en t: D isc ern m en t is mind. It is said th at we are w hat we eat,
acuteness o f judgm ent. It is the power or and this can apply to food for b oth the body
faculty o f the mind by which it distinguish and the mind. N o m atter what you are read
es one thing from another. A person with ing or watching or listening to, test to see
discernm ent perceives subtleties of ideas or whether it has propagandistic overtones or
things and has good judgm ent. is truthful.
Using discernm ent, we will be able to rec M oreover, if we want to be fair-minded,
ognize those who are merely using sm ooth we m ust be willing to subject our own opin
talk and com plim entary speech in order to ions to continual testing as we take in new
seduce the hearts o f guileless ones. (Ro inform ation. We m ust realize th at they are,
m ans 16:18) D iscernm ent enables you to dis after all, opinions. Their trustw orthiness de
card irrelevant inform ation or misleading pends on the validity o f our facts, on the
facts and distinguish the substance of a m at quality o f our reasoning, and on the stan
ter. But how can you discern when some dards or values th at we choose to apply.
thing is misleading? Ask questions: As we have seen, there
P u t in form ation to the test: Be are many today who would like to delude us
loved ones, said John, a first-century Chris with persuasive argum ents. (Colossians 2:4)
tian teacher, do not believe every inspired Therefore, when we are presented with per
expression, b u t te st the in spired expres suasive argum ents, we should ask questions.
sions. (1 John 4:1) Some people today are First, examine w hether there is bias. W hat
like sponges; they soak up whatever they is the motive for the message? If the mes
come across. It is all too easy to absorb what sage is rife w ith name-calling and loaded
ever is around us. words, why is that? Loaded language aside,

10 Awake! June 22, 2000


We can confiden tly
look to G o d s Word as
the source o f truth

P opular opinion is
not alw ays reliable

what are the m erits o f the message itself? True Knowledge Versus Propaganda
Also, if possible, try to check the track rec Previously, it was m e n tio n e d th a t th e
ord of those speaking. Are they known to Bible is a sure g uide for c le a r th in k in g .
speak the truth? If authorities are used, Je h o v ah s W itnesses u n e q u iv o c a lly su b
who or what are they? Why should you re scribe to Jesus statem ent to G od: Your
gard this personor organization or pub word is tru th . (John 17:17) This is so be
lication as having ex pert know ledge or cause God, the A uthor o f the Bible, is the
tru s tw o rth y in fo rm a tio n on the su b ject G od of truth.Psalm 31:5.
in question? If you sense some appeal to Yes, in this age of sophisticated propagan
emotions, ask yourself, W hen viewed dis da, we can co n fid e n tly look to Je h o
passionately, w hat are the m erits o f the v a h s W ord as th e so u rce o f tru th . U lti
message? mately this will protect us from those who
want to exploit us with counterfeit words.
Do not ju st follow the crowd: If you
2 Peter 2:3.
realize that w hat everybody thinks is not nec
essarily correct, you can find the strength to
think differently. W hile it may seem that all
IN OUR NEXT ISSUE
others think the same way, does this mean
that you should? Popular opinion is not a re
liable barom eter of truth. Over the centuries
Is Life Too Cheap?
all kinds o f ideas have been popularly ac
cepted, only to be proved wrong later. Yet, Smile Its Good for You!
the inclination to go along with the crowd
persists. The com m and given at Exodus 23:2
serves as a good principle: You m ust not The Lure of Santeria
follow after the crowd for evil ends.

Awake! June 22, 2000 11


YOUNG PE
I wanted to live somewhere
else.-Sam.
I was just plain curious.
I wanted to see something
new.-Maren.
A close friend told me that
breaking away from home a
little would be good for me.
-Andreas.
I was hungry for adventure.
-Hagen.

O YOU ever dream of liv


D ing in a foreign country
perhaps just on a tem po
rary basis? Every year, thou
sands o f young p eo p le are
able to do ju s t th at. A ndreas says o f his in adult independence. It can broaden your
foreign experience: I would love to do it horizons culturally. You m ight even m aster
again. a foreign languagesom ething th at could
Some youths make a tem porary move be increase your prospects in the jo b market.
cause they want to earn money or learn a for Nevertheless, living abroad is not always
eign language. For example, in many coun a positive experience. Susanne, for exam
tries au p air program s are quite popular. ple, spent a year as an exchange student.
These allow young foreigners to do domes She says: I was sure th at it would be abso
tic work for a family in return for room and lutely fantastic from start to finish. It was
board, and they are able to use their spare not. Some youths have even been exploited
tim e to study the local language. Then there or have run into serious trouble. So before
are youths who move abroad to gain an edu packing your bags, it would be wise for you
cation. Others make the move to find work to sit down and consider the pros and cons.
so th at they will be able to help their fam
ilies financially. Still others move because Analyze Your Motives
they are not sure what they want to do af Considering the pros and cons would cer
ter school and they want to take a time-out tainly include examining your motives for
abroad. wanting to go abroad. It is one thing to trav
Interestingly, some Christian youths have el to p u rsu e s p iritu a l in te re sts o r to
moved to lands where there is a shortage of care for fam ily responsibilities. But like
evangelizers, in order to expand their minis the youths quoted at the outset, m any de
try. W hatever the reason for the move, living sire to move simply because they want ad
in a foreign country can be a valuable lesson venture, greater freedom, or a good time.

12 Awake! June 22, 2000


This is not necessarily wrong. Af
ter all, Ecclesiastes 11:9 en co u r
ages young people to rejoice in
their you th . However, verse 10
w arns: R em ove v exation from
your heart, and ward off calamity
from your flesh.
If your motive for moving to a
foreign land is to avoid parental
restrictions, you m ight be invit
ing calam ity. D o you rem em
ber Jesus parable o f the p ro d i
gal son? It involved a young m an
who selfishly traveled abroad, evi
dently to obtain m ore freedom. Before long, Are You Ready?
though, calamity struck, and he found him There is another factor to consider: Are
self hungry, im poverished, and spiritually you truly m ature enough to deal with the
illLuke 15:11-16. hardships, problems, and conflicts that will
Then there are those who want to move arise abroad? Likely you would have to live
because they w ant to escape problem s at with a room m ate or a family and adjust to
home. But, as Heike Berg writes in her book their routine. So how are you doing at home
Whats Up, if you want to go away only be now? D o your parents com plain th at you
cause you are unhappy . . . and you believe are inconsiderate and self-centered? Are you
everything will be b e tte r som ew here else prone to be picky about w hat you eat? How
forget it! Really, it is better to face prob willing are you to do your share of the house
lems squarely. N othing is gained by ru n work? If these are difficult issues for you
ning away from situations th at are not to our now, imagine how m uch m ore so they could
liking. be for you in a foreign country!
O ther dangerous m otives are greed and If you are a Christian, will you be able to
m aterialism . S p u rre d on by a desire for m aintain your own spirituality? O r do your
w ealth, m any y o u th s n u rtu re grandiose, parents constantly have to rem ind you not
unrealistic ideas o f w hat life is like in in to neglect Bible study, Christian meetings,
dustrialized lands. Som e im agine th a t all and the preaching work? Would you be spir
Westerners are wealthy. But this is far from itually strong enough to resist pressures and
true. After moving, m any youths find them tem ptations abroad th at you might not face
selves in a strange land, struggling to get in your homeland? On his first day at school
out of poverty.* The Bible warns: The love in a foreign land, one young Christian, an ex
of money is a root o f all sorts o f injurious change student, was told where he could get
things, and by reaching o u t for this love illegal drugs. Later he was asked out on a
some have been led astray from the faith and date by a female schoolm ate. In his native
have stabbed themselves all over with many land, a girl would never express her interest
pains. 1 Timothy 6:10. so directly. A young African who moved to
* See the article Counting the Cost of Moving to an Af Europe also observes: At hom e you never
fluent Land, in the April 1, 1991, issue of The Watchtower, see imm oral pictures in public. But here you
published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New
York, Inc. see them everywhere. Moving abroad could

Awake! June 22, 2000 13


Talk w ith your p aren ts a b o u t
the benefits an d dangers o f m oving

den to them even if they urge you to stay.


This could strain or even destroy your rela
tionship with them .Proverbs 25:17.
If you plan to earn money while abroad,
do not forget your Christian obligation to
obey the secular authorities. (Rom ans 13:
1-7) Does the law allow you to work in that
land? If so, under w hat conditions? W ork il
legally and you can com prom ise your stand
as an honest C hristian and leave yourself
w ithout basic protections, such as accident
insurance. Even if it is legal to work, you will
need to exercise caution and shrew dness.
(Proverbs 14:15) U nscrupulous employers
often take advantage of foreigners.
Making a Decision
lead to spiritual shipwreck if one is not sol
id in the faith. 1 Peter 5:9. It is clear, then, th at the decision to move
to a foreign land is a big oneand should
Get the Facts! not be taken lightly. Sit down with your p ar
Before making a move, you need to get all ents, and consider carefully the expected
the facts. Do not go on secondhand informa benefits and the possible dangers. Try not to
tion. If, for example, you are considering a let your enthusiasm override your discern
student-exchange program, how much will it ment. Be honest when analyzing your m o
cost? You may be surprised to know that it tives. Listen carefully to your parents. Af
often involves thousands of dollars. You also ter all, they will still feel responsible for you,
need to find out whether the schooling you even if you are hundreds of miles away. Like
receive abroad will be recognized at home. ly you will need their financial support to
Also, gather as much information as you can survive.
about the countryits laws, its culture, its
All things considered, it may be th at mov
customs. W hat costs are involved in living
ing is unwiseat least for the time being.
there? W hat taxes will you have to pay? Are
there health risks you should consider? You This may be disappointing, but there are
may find it helpful to talk to people who have many other exciting things you can do. For
actually lived there. example, have you explored the possibili
Then there is the m atter of living accom ty of visiting interesting places in your own
m odations. H ost parents of exchange stu country? O r why not get a head sta rt on
dents usually do not expect any m aterial learning a foreign language? In time, p er
com pensation. Even so, staying with indi haps the opportunity to travel abroad will
viduals who do not respect Bible principles open up.
can cause great stresses and strains. Staying W hat, though, if you do decide to move? A
with friends or relatives might be an alter future article will discuss how you can make
native. But take care not to become a bur- a success of your stay abroad.

14 Awake! June 22, 2000


rescued

In th e m id d le o f ru in ed vineyards,
a c rip p le d ra ilw a y lin e
now le a d s now here
RELIEF W ORK
IN FRANCE
BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN FRANCE

their cars or drowned in their sleep. One


rescued victim likened the horrific No
vember night to the end of time. A
whole region of southw estern France
329 towns and villageswas declared
a disaster area.

R A N ^ O IS E o p e n e d th e d o o r to get Worse Was Yet to Come

F som e logs fo r th e fireplace. I ju s t


couldnt believe my eyes, she recalls.
There was water up to the doorstep, and
a huge wave was coming through the gar
T h e so u th w e st was still d ressin g its
wounds when disaster struck again. An ex
ceptionally strong depression over the Atlan
tic Ocean generated hurricane-force winds.
den gate. Her husband, Thierry, with wa The first gale swept across northern France
ter up to his neck, fetched a ladder from the on D ecem ber 26, 1999, and the second dev
garage. The family reached the attic, where astated the south the following night. Wind
he cut an opening in the roof. Soaked and speeds o f over 125 m iles p e r h o u r w ere
terrified, the couple and their three children recorded. A ccording to official registers,
waited four long hours to be rescued. Final
ly, a French police helicopter located them cars
d o tte d th e lan d scap e
and winched them to safety.
Swollen by to rre n tia l rain, rivers over
flowed their banks, breaking dikes and de
stroying bridges. Waves o f m uddy w ater,
som etim es over 30 feet high, sw ept away
everything in their path. M ore than 30 peo-
ed in
France has not had such a storm since at
least the 17th century.
Helene was eight m onths pregnant when
the gale hit. I was extremely scared, she
recalls. My husband was returning home
on his motorcycle, and I could see branch
es flying everywhere outside. I couldnt help
but think that he would never see his baby.
My husband had hardly arrived when water
started to rise in our home. We had to jum p
out the window.
In France, at least 90 people died. They ei
ther drowned or were struck by falling roof
tiles, chimneys, or trees. H undreds of oth
ers were badly injured, including a num ber
of civilian and arm y rescuers. The gales also th eir m eans o f livelihood, as
affected neighboring countries, killing over greenhouses and orchards were destroyed.
40 people in Britain, Germ any, Spain, and
In just a few hours, the wind wreaked hav
Switzerland.
oc on Frances forests and parks, razing hun
Aftermath dreds o f thousands o f acres o f woodland.
O f M etropolitan Frances 96 adm inistra According to the French N ational Forest Of
tive departm ents, 69 were officially declared fice, an estim ated 300 million trees were de
n atu ral disaster sites. Dam age has been stroyed. Im posing centuries-old trees were
estim ated at some 70 billion francs (11 bil uprooted or snapped like matchsticks. The
lion dollars). The devastation in some towns, wind tore huge swaths through the forests o f
villages, and ports rem inded onlookers of a Aquitaine and Lorraine.
war zone. Roads and railways were blocked On the day after the storm, I went into
by fallen trees or electrical pylons. Roofs the woods, said Bernard, one o f Jehovahs
were ripped from buildings, construction W itnesses who works as a forest warden.
cranes toppled, and boats tossed It was astonishing. Confronted with such
up onto quays. Thousands of a sight, you can t rem ain unmoved! Here,
80 p e rc e n t o f my congregation de
pend on the forest for their
f lic Ull/llllllg a IId ;

P/ne trees snap p ed In Salnt-P ierre-sur-D Ives,


lik e m a tc h s tic k s N orm andy
in the C reuse d e p a rtm e n t M . D a n ia u /A F P
C h a re y to n /L a M o n ta g n e /M A X P P P
or cathedrals. N um erous
religious edifices, including 15 Kingdom
living. People, especially the elderly, are
H alls o f Jeh o v ah s W itnesses, were dam
deeply shocked. On the grounds of the Pal
aged. In some places meetings were held by
ace o f Versailles, 10,000 trees were felled. It
candlelight or with kerosene lamps.
will take two centuries for the park to recov
er its form er appearance, lam ented one of Approximately 2,000 families o f Jehovahs
the head gardeners. W itnesses suffered storm dam age to their
property, ranging from fallen trees or lost
As power lines fell, m ore than one sixth of
the population in France was plunged into roof tiles to homes th at were completely de
darkness. Despite the heroic efforts of pub stroyed when rivers overflowed their banks.
lic services, tens of thousands of people were Several W itnesses were injured. Tragically,
still w ithout electricity or telephone service in the C harente region, a 77-year-old W it
two weeks after the storms. Some small vil ness drowned as his helpless wife looked on.
lages were totally cut off. Families forced Others had a close brush with death. G il
to draw w ater from wells and to use can bert, aged 70, recalls: Its a miracle th at I
dles felt as if they were living one hundred wasnt killed. The door burst open, and wa
years ago rather than at the threshold of the ters surged in with incredible force. I im m e
21st century. diately found m yself in five feet o f water.
I was saved by hanging onto my wardrobe.
T h e sto rm s did n o t sp are
public buildings, chateaus, Providing Needed Help
The storm s generated extraordinary sol
id a rity in F ra n ce a n d th ro u g h o u t E u
ro p e. T h e n e w sp a p e r Le M idi libre o b
served: T here are tim es w hen ch arity is
alm ost obligatory, w hether it is engaged in

In th e g ardens o f th e P a la c e o f V ersailles a lo n e ,
1 0 ,0 0 0 trees w ere fe lle d
C h a rle s P la tia u /R e u te r s /M A X P P P
4 * *
'# J.- .

It* -
Team s o f Jeho vahs W itnesses
cle a n in g a hom e fo r th e e ld e rly In
La R e d o rte (abo ve) a n d th e tow n
h a ll o f R aissac d A ude (rig h t)

spontaneously, out o f friendship,


or because o f conscience.
Im m ediately after the storm s,
rescue co m m ittees o f Jeh o v ah s
W itnesses w ere set u p to h elp
m em bers o f local congregations as
well as others alfected by the di
saster. Regional Building C om m it
tees, norm ally used to construct
Kingdom Halls, organized team s
o f volunteers. A fter the N ovem
ber storm in the southwest, 3,000
W itnesses participated in the res
cue and cleanup work, helping the
victims remove the m ud and wa
ter th at had flooded their homes.
W itnesses were among the first vol
unteers to arrive in some villages.
Public buildings, such as schools,
post offices, town halls, hom es for
the elderly, and even a cemetery,
were cleaned up by the Witnesses.
In many cases they worked along
side relief services.
Help was extended to all, regardless o f traum atized by the experience. Those who
their religious beliefs. We helped out the lost th eir hom e or a loved one will need
village priest. We cleaned the basem ent o f much time and the support o f family and
his house, observed one Witness. With re friends to reb u ild th e ir lives. Follow ing
gard to others who received Witness aid, he the flooding in the Aude region, Dr. G abri
added: People viewed us as if we had fallen el Cottin, from a psycho-medical emergency
from heaven to help them out. One official comm ittee, noted: Any support from peo
said: You m ight see it as their way of read ple of the same religious body as the victim
ing the Gospel and helping their neighbor. I is also considerably helpful.
think that those who came lived the G os Jehovahs W itnesses view providing such
pel and their religion. A Witness volunteer aid as a m oral and S c rip tu ra l obligation.
commented: Your heart moves you to come There should be no division in the body [of
and help like this. Its a real pleasure to be the true Christian com m unity], stated the
able to do something for our neighbors. apostle Paul. Its m em bers should have the
After the double gale o f December, doz same care for one another. And if one m em
ens o f W itness fam ilies were o u t o f co n ber suffers, all the other m em bers suffer with
tact with their C hristian brothers for sever it. 1 C orinthians 12:25, 26.
al days. Under the supervision of traveling In the hours following the storm, a dozen
overseers and local elders, relief aid was Christian brothers and sisters came to our
organized. Blocked roads and dead phone home to help clean everything, says Helene,
lines sometimes made it impossible to reach m entioned earlier, who is now the m other
friends living just a few miles away. To help of a lively baby girl. Even W itnesses who
isolated m em bers o f th e ir congregation, had themselves been affected by the storm
some W itnesses crossed devastated woods came to help us. The help was so wonderful
on foot or by bicycle, despite the very real spontaneous and from the heart!
risk of falling trees. Once again, volunteers
Odette, whose hom e was destroyed in the
w orked h a rd cleaning schools, lib raries,
flooding, said o f fellow W itnesses: They
cam psites, and neighbors hom es and un
greatly com forted me. You just cant express
blocking forest trails.
what you feel. I am very, very moved by all
Creating a Bubble of Love that was done for me. A nother sum m ed up
M any victims o f these catastrophes, espe the feelings of m any by exclaiming in appre
cially young children and the elderly, were ciation: We are really in a bubble o f love!

BLACK TIDE d iffic u lt. Thousands o f v olunteers, d ie d a fte r th e s u p e rta n k e r Amo


In m id -D e c e m b e r, ju s t b e fo re young and old, cam e from all over co Cadiz ran a g roun d off B ritta n y
th e storm s, th e s u p e rta n k e r Erika France to h e lp cle a n th is visc o u s in M arch 1 9 7 8 . M any o f th e birds
sank in heavy seas a b o u t 3 0 m iles fu e l fro m th e rocks and sand. w ere w in te rin g on Frances shores
o ff F ra n c e 's w e s t c o a s t, s p illin g The a c c id e n t has c a u s e d s e ri a fte r m ig ra tin g fro m E ngland, Ire
1 0 ,0 0 0 to n s o f oil into th e w aters. ous e co lo g ica l m a ritim e c o n ta m i la n d , and S c o tla n d . The d ire c to r
Som e 2 5 0 m iles o f s h o re lin e fro m n a tio n . The oyster and sh e llfis h in o f th e R o c h e fo rt B ird P ro te c tio n
B r itta n y to V e n d e e w a s p o llu t d u s trie s have been badly a ffected. L e a g u e c o m m e n te d : I t s a c a t
ed. The storm aggravated th is eco A c c o rd in g to o r n ith o lo g is ts , a t a s tro p h ic oil s lic k . It is by fa r th e
lo g ic a l d is a s te r by w h ip p in g th e le a s t 4 0 0 ,0 0 0 s e a b ird s p uffins, w o rs t th a t we have ever s e e n .. . .
oil into a m u ltitu d e o f s m a ll gluey g re b e s , g a n n e ts , and e s p e c ia lly We fe a r th a t rare c o lo n ie s o f birds
s lic k s , s p re a d in g th e p o llu tio n , g u ille m o ts have d ie d . T h a t is up w ill be w eakened or even e lim in a t
and m akin g its rem oval even m ore to te n tim e s th e n u m b e r th a t ed fro m French s h o re s .
DAILY ASPIRIN
Should I or Shouldn't I?
The following is a true-to-life scenario described by
a doctor. It reflects an all-too-frequent problem.

H E whole fam ily was worried. Now the daily use of aspirin by individuals has in

T even th e d o c to r was too. I f his creased in recent years. Why?


b leed in g d o e s n t sto p so o n , the
d o cto r said, we may have to consider a
blood transfusion.
Enthusiasm for Aspirin
In 1995 the Harvard Health Letter reported
that routine aspirin use saves lives. Citing
The m an had been slowly losing blood several worldwide studies, which have been
through his bowels for several weeks, and repeated m any tim es since then, research
the problem had been diagnosed as inflam ers concluded: N early everyone who has
m ation o f the stom ach, or gastritis. Are you ever had a h eart attack or stroke, suffers
sure youre not taking any m edications? from angina, or has undergone coronary ar
asked the frustrated doctor.
tery bypass surgery should take one-half to
No. Only this natural over-the-counter one aspirin tablet daily unless they are aller
stuff for my arthritis, said the man. gic to the drug.*
Suddenly the doctor pricked up his ears. O ther researchers claim benefits of taking
Let me see it. C arefully searching the aspirin daily for men over 50 who are at risk
in g re d ie n t lab el, he fo u n d w h at he was for a heart attack and for women at risk as
looking for. Acetylsalicylic acid! Problem well. Furtherm ore, there are studies indicat
solved. W hen the patient stopped taking the ing that daily aspirin may reduce the risk
aspirin-containing com pound and was given of colon cancer and that large doses over a
iron and some stom ach-healing medicine, long period can help lower blood-sugar lev
the bleeding stopped and his blood count els in diabetics.
slowly returned to normal.
How does aspirin work to provide these
Medication-Induced Bleeding proposed benefits? Though all is not known,
G astrointestinal bleeding caused by m ed evidence indicates that aspirin acts to make
ication is a serious m edical problem today. platelets in the blood less sticky, thus in
T hough m any m edications can be im pli terfering with the form ation o f blood clots.
cated, the m ajority of such problems come Presumably, this helps to prevent blockage
from medicines used for arthritis and pain. of small arteries to the heart and brain, in
These include a class o f m edications called this way preventing damage to vital organs.
nonsteroidal anti-inflam m atory drugs, or W ith all these presum ed benefits of aspi
NSAIDS. N am es may vary from one coun rin, why doesnt everyone take it? For one
try to another. thing, there is still m uch that is not known.
A sp irin is p re s e n t in m any over-the-
* Awake! does not recommend any particular kind o f
counter m edications, and in m any countries medical treatment.

20 Awake! June 22, 2000


Even the ideal dosage is unclear. Recom lems, no aspirin intolerance, and no stom
m endations range from one standard tab ach or gastrointestinal problem s. O ther po
let twice daily to as little as one baby aspi tential problems or m edication interactions
rin every other day. Should the dosage for should be reviewed w ith the physician prior
women be different from th at for men? D oc to beginning therapy.
tors are not sure. W hile enteric-coated as As noted before, aspirin and aspirinlike
pirin may be considered som ewhat helpful, m edications ca rry th e significant risk o f
the advantage o f buffered aspirin is still con bleeding. And th at bleeding may be subtle,
troversial. not im m ediately apparent, and slowly cu
Reasons for Caution m ulative over time. O ther m edications too
Though technically aspirin is a n atural need to be considered w ith care, particu
su b sta n c e A m e ric a n In d ia n s o b ta in e d larly other anti-inflam m atory medicines. Be
com ponents o f asp irin from the bark of sure to inform your physician if you are us
a w illow tre e it has m any side effects. ing any of them. In m ost cases it would be
Besides th e fact th a t it c au ses bleeding wise to discontinue the m edication prior
problems in some people, there are many to surgery. Perhaps even regular laboratory
o th e r p o ten tia l co m p licatio n s w ith aspi m onitoring of blood levels would be helpful.
rin, including allergic reactions in aspirin- If we want to protect ourselves from fu
sensitive people. N eedless to say, daily aspi ture problems, we will heed the Bible prov
rin usage is not for everyone. erb: Shrewd is the one th at has seen the ca
A person who is at risk for heart attack or lam ity and proceeds to conceal himself, but
stroke or who has significant risk factors, the inexperienced have passed along and
however, may w ant to ask his or her doctor m ust suffer the penalty. (Proverbs 22:3) In
about the risks and benefits o f daily aspi this m edical m atter, may we be among the
rin use. Certainly the patient would want to shrewd ones so th at we suffer no penalty
make sure he or she has no bleeding prob with our health.

Who Might Consider Taking Aspirin Daily


P e o p le w h o h ave c o ro n a ry h e a rt d is e a s e o r n a rro w e d c a ro tid a rte rie s
(th e m a in b lo o d v e s s e ls in th e neck).
P e ople w h o have had a th ro m b o tic s tro k e (th e k in d c a u s e d by c lo ts ) o r a
tra n s ie n t is c h e m ic a tta c k (a b rie f s tro k e lik e e p is o d e ).
M en o ver 5 0 w ith o n e or m ore o f th e fo llo w in g ris k fa c to rs fo r c a rd io v a s
c u la r d is e a s e : s m o k in g , h y p e rte n s io n , d ia b e te s , e le v a te d to ta l c h o le s
te ro l le ve l, low HDL c h o le s te ro l, s e v e re o b e s ity , heavy a lc o h o l c o n
s u m p tio n , fa m ily h is to ry o f e a rly c o ro n a ry d is e a s e (h e a rt a tta c k
b e fo re age 5 5 ) o r o f s tro k e , and a s e d e n ta ry life s ty le .
W o m en over 5 0 w ith tw o o r m o re o f th o s e ris k fa c to rs .
Source: C o n s u m e r R e p o r ts on H ealth

You m ay wish to consult your physician before


m a k in g any decisions on this m a tte r.
A B i g Lesson
From a Tiny Island
APA N U I, a 64-square-m ile volcanic the lesson of Rapa Nui. Let us take a few
R outcrop virtually devoid of trees, is the
m ost isolated piece of inhabited land in the
moments, then, to review some highlights
of Rapa N uis history. O ur account begins
world * The entire island is now a histori about 400 C.E. when the founding families
cal m onum ent, partially because of its rock arrived in their oceangoing canoes. The only
statues called moai. These are the work of a eyes watching were those of hundreds of sea
once vibrant civilization. birds wheeling above.
Carved from volcanic rock, some are An Island Paradise
buried so deep that only their giant heads The island did not boast a broad variety of
are visible. In other cases, the torso is above plants, but it was well endowed with forests
ground, and some moai still sport a rock top- of palm, hauhau, and torom iro trees, besides
knot called a pukao. By far the majority lie shrubs, herbs, ferns, and grasses. At least six
unfinished in quarries or scattered about on species of land birds, including owls, herons,
ancient roads, as if the workers just threw rail, and parrots, were thriving in this remote
dow n th e ir tools and walked off the job. area. Rapa N ui was also the richest seabird
Those standing vary from isolated statues breeding site in Polynesia and probably in
to rows num bering up to 15, each one with the whole Pacific, says Discover magazine.
its back to the sea. Understandably, the moai The colonists may have brought chickens
have long mystified visitors. and edible rats, which they viewed as a deli
In recent years science has begun to un cacy, to the island. They also brought crop
derstand not only the mystery of the moai plants: taro, yam, sweet potato, banana, and
but also the puzzle of why the once thriving sugarcane. The soil was good, so they im
civilization th at built them collapsed. Signif mediately began clearing land and planting
icantly, the facts coming to light have more a process th at continued as the popula
than historical value. According to Encyclo- tion grew. But Rapa N ui had a limited area
pcedia Britannica, they offer an im portant and, though well forested, a limited num ber
lesson for the m odern world. of trees.
T hat lesson concerns m anagement of the
The History of Rapa Nui
earth, especially its n atural resources. Of
course, the earth is far more complex and bi W hat we know about Rapa N uis histo
ologically diverse than is a small island, but ry is based m ainly on th re e fields o f in
quiry: pollen analysis, archaeology, and pa
that does not m ean that we should ignore
leontology. Pollen analysis involves taking
* Although the inhabitants call both their island and pollen samples from the sedim ent of ponds
themselves Rapa Nui, the island is more commonly known
as Easter Island, and the inhabitants are known as Easter and swamps. These samples reveal the va
Islanders. rieties of plants and their abundance over

22 Awake! June 22, 2000


m any hundreds o f years. od are dolphin bones. To bring in dolphins
T he d e e p e r the pollen from the o p en sea, the islanders em ploy
sam ple is lodged w ith large canoes m ade from the trunks o f big
in a bed o f sediment, the palms. Trees also furnish raw m aterials for
earlier the time period it the gear used to move and erect the moai,
represents. the construction o f which is by now well
Archaeology and paleon under way. Expanding agriculture and the
tology focus on such things need for firewood continue to nibble away
Easter Island as dw ellings, u ten sils, th e at forests.
M o u n ta in High M a p s moai, a n d th e rem ain s o f 1200-1500 S tatue co n stru c tio n is at its
C opyright 1 9 9 7
D ig ita l W isdo m , Inc. anim als used for peak. The R apa N ui p o u r vast
food. Since any re s o u rc e s in to m ak in g moai
Rapa N ui records are in hiero and the cerem onial platform s
glyphic form and difficult to on w hich they stand. A rchae
decipher, dates preceding E u ologist Jo A nne Van T ilburg
ropean contact are approxim a writes: The R apa N ui social
tions, and m any o f th e a s structure em phatically encour
sum ptions ca n n o t be proved. aged the p ro d u ctio n o f m ore
A dditionally, certain develop and larger sta tu e s. She adds
m ents, as set o u t below, may th at approxim ately 1,000 stat
overlap adjacent tim e periods. ues were produced over some
All dates, shown in bold, are in 800 to 1,300 years . . . , one for
the Com m on Era. every seven to nine people at
400 Between 20 and 50 Poly peak population estim ates.
nesian settlers arrive, probably in 50-foot or A pparently the moai were not w orshiped,
longer double canoes capable of carrying though they played a role in burial and agri
m ore than 18,000 pounds each. cultural rites. They may have been viewed
800 The am ount o f tree pollen in sedi as an abode for spirits. It seems th at they
m ent decreases, suggesting deforestation is also symbolized their builders power, sta
under way. G rass pollen increases as grass tus, and genealogy.
spreads into some o f the cleared areas. 1400-1600 The population peaks at be
900-1300 A bout one third o f the bones o f tw een 7,000 and 9,000. T he last patch es
anim als caught for food during this peri of forest disappear, in p a rt because o f the

A p p ro x im a te ly 1 ,0 0 0 s ta tu e s w ere pro d u ced


V*
extinction o f native tional Rapa Nui culture essentially comes to
'w m m m r w ^ r birds, which had polli- an end.
J k y """ nated the trees and dis- 1864 By now all the moai are to ppled,
| \ persed the seeds. With- many deliberately beheaded.
o u t e x c e p tio n , every 1872 Only 111 indigenous people rem ain
species o f native land on the island.
bird becam e ex tin ct, says Discover. Rats Rapa Nui becam e a province o f Chile in
also contributed to deforestation; evidence 1888. In recent years Rapa Nui has had a
shows that they ate the palm nut. mixed population of about 2,100. Chile has
Erosion soon takes hold, stream s begin declared th e e n tire islan d a h isto ric a l
drying up, and water becomes scarce. Dol monument. In order to preserve Rapa N uis
phin bones stop appearing about 1500, pos unique character and history, m any statues
sibly because of the absence of trees large have been reerected.
enough to make oceangoing canoes. Any A Lesson for Today
chance of escape from the island now dis Why did the Rapa Nui not see where they
appears. Seabirds are wiped out as people were headed and try to avert disaster? N ote
become desperate for food. M ore chicken is the com m ents of various researchers regard
eaten. ing the situation.
1600-1722 A bsence o f trees, intensified The fo re st... didnt simply disappear one
land use, and soil depletion contribute to in dayit vanished slowly, over decades. . . .
creased crop failures. Large-scale starvation Any islander who tried to warn about the
takes hold. The Rapa N ui polarize into two dangers of progressive deforestation would
opposing confederacies. The first signs of so have been overridden by vested interests of
cial chaos appear, possibly even of cannibal carvers, bureaucrats, and chiefs.Discover.
ism. This is the w arrior heyday. People begin T he price they p aid for the way they
living in caves for protection. About the year chose to articulate their spiritual and politi
1700, the population plum m ets to approxi cal ideas was an island world which came to
mately 2,000. be, in many ways, but a shadow of its for
1722 D utch explorer Jacob Roggeveen is mer natural self.Easter IslandArchaeolo
gy, Ecology, and Culture.
the first E uropean to discover the island.
This occurs on Easter, so he names it Eas W hat happened to the Rapa N ui suggest
ter Island. He records his first impression: ed th a t u n controlled grow th and the im
pulse to m anipulate the environm ent past
[Easter Islands] wasted appearance could
the breaking point were not merely aspects
give no other impression than of a singular
of the industrialized world; they were the hu
poverty and barrenness.
man condition.National Geographic.
1770 A bout this time rival clans of the re
W hat if today there is no change in the
maining Rapa N ui begin toppling each oth so-called hum an condition? W hat if hum an
e rs statu es. W hen B ritish explorer C ap kind persists in imposing upon o u r earth
tain James Cook visits in 1774, he sees many our island in spacean ecologically un
toppled statues. sustainable way o f life? According to one
1804-63 C ontact with other civilizations writer, we have one big advantage over the
increases. Slavery, now comm on in the Pa Rapa Nui. We have as warning examples the
cific, and disease take a savage toll. Tradi histories of other doom ed societies.

24 Awake! June 22, 2000


Yet, it m ight be asked, Is m ankind taking we m ust change o u r religion. O ur present
note of these histories? M assive deforesta gods of economic growth, science and tech
tion and the continued extinction o f ea rth s nology, continuously rising standards o f liv
living things at an alarm ing rate suggest that ing, and the virtues of com petitiondeities
it is not. In Zoo Book, Linda K oebner writes: that we consider all-powerfulare like the
The elim ination o f one or two or fifty spe giant statues on the Easter Island platforms.
cies will have effects th at we cannot predict. Each village com peted with its neighbours
Extinctions are creating change even before to erect the largest statue__ M ore and more
we understand the consequences. effort went into the resource-consum ing. . . ,
A vandal taking one rivet at a tim e from a but pointless, carving, moving and erecting.
plane does not know which rivet will cause A wise person once said: To earthling
a crash; but when th at critical rivet is gone, man his way does not belong. It does not be
the fate of the plane is sealed, though it may long to m an who is walking even to direct
not crash on the very next flight. Likewise, his step. (Jerem iah 10:23) O ur C reator is
hum ans are elim inating ea rth s living riv the only one who can show us how to direct
ets at the rate of over 20,000 species per our step. He is also the only one who can lift
year, with no sign of letup! W ho knows the us out o f our sad condition. This he prom
point o f no return? And would such advance
ises to do in his Word, the Biblea book
knowledge really m ake a difference?
that also records m any good and bad exam
T he b o o k Easter Isla n d Earth Isla n d ples of past civilizations. This book can, in
made this significant com m ent: The person deed, be a light to o u r roadway in these
who felled the last tree [on Rapa Nui] could see
dark tim es.Psalm 119:105.
that it was the last tree. But he (or she) still
Eventually, th at roadway will take obedi
felled it.
e n t h u m an s to a p a ra d is e o f p e a ce and
We Must Change Our Religion plenty a new w orld th a t will include
If there is any hope, adds Easter Island that tiny patch in the South Pacific
Earth Island, it is surely in the idea that called Rapa N ui.2 Peter 3:13.

The w h o le e a rth , In clu ding re m o te islands, w ill b eco m e a p a ra d is e


my
The Hazards of
Hitchhiking BY AW AKE! CORRESPONDENT
IN AUSTRALIA

On a hot summer day in 1990, 24-year-old British


backpacker Paul Onions was hitchhiking on the Hume Highway,
south of Sydney, Australia. Paul was grateful when a stranger
stopped to give him a lift. He had no idea that accepting it would very
nearly cost him his life.*
BLIVIOUS to danger, Paul sat in der the seat. He took out, not tapes, but a

O the front seat o f the vehicle and


c h a tte d w ith th e d riv er. W ithin
m inutes the seemingly benevolent driver be
cam e aggressive and argum entative. Then
gunwhich he pointed at Pauls chest.
Ignoring the d riv e rs com m and to stay
seated, Paul ripped olf his seat belt, dove
out of the car, and ran with all his m ight
the driver suddenly pulled over, saying that up the highway. The driver chased him on
he wanted to get some music tapes from un- foot, in full view of other motorists. He final
* It should be noted that in some places hitchhiking is
ly overtook him, grabbed him by his T-shirt,
illegal. and flung him to the ground. Breaking free,
Paul ran in front of an oncoming van,
forcing the frightened driver, a m oth
er w ith children, to stop. At P a u ls
pleading, the m other let him in, swung
the van across the median, and sped
away. Only later would Pauls attacker
be identified as a serial killer who had
m urdered seven backpackers, some of
whom were hitchhiking in pairs.
W hat m ade these victims such ap
p ealin g ta rg e ts fo r th e m u rd e rer?
At the killers trial, the judge noted:
Each o f the victims was young. They
P a ren ts can avoid undue w orry
by providing th e ir children
w ith phone cards or som e
o th e r m eans to c a ll hom e

were between 19 and 22 years old. Each was


travelling far from home, the inference be
ing that they would not have been missed for
some time if anything happened to them .
Freedom to Roam
International travel is within the reach of to harm . W hen relatives and friends are
far m ore people today th a n it was ju st a in the dark about a travelers w hereabouts,
few years ago. For example, within a five- they are not in a position to be o f m uch help
year period, the num ber o f Australians visit in case of emergency. For instance, what if a
ing Asia more than doubled. In search of ex traveler wound up unconscious in a hospital
perience or adventure, stream s of teenagers and no one back hom e knew where he was?
and young adults board airplanes bound for
Keeping in Touch
far-off destinations. M any of these travelers
In his book Highway to Nowhere, British
plan to hitchhike to keep their expenses to a
journalist Richard Shears wrote about sev
minimum. U nfortunately, in m ost parts of
the world, hitchhiking is no longer the inter en missing hitchhikers who had abruptly
esting and relatively safe m ode o f travel that stopped com m unicating with their families
it once waseither for the hitchhikers or for and friends. O f course, at first, families may
those who pick them up. not be sure whether their relatives have dis
appeared or are just not keeping in touch.
A positive attitu d e and enthusiasm for
travel sim ply ca n n o t su b stitu te for cool- This can make them reluctant to alert the
headed, p ractical w isdom . E agerness to authorities when they do not hear from the
travel often m eans th at young people de travelers.
part insufficiently prepared for the journey One of the hitchhikers had often had tele
and w ithout fully understanding the dangers phone conversations with her parents cut
or their responsibilities, observes a book short when she ran out o f change. Consider
let written for families searching for missing ing this in hindsight, her parents .urged fam
children. ilies to provide their children w ith phone
The booklet adds: People who travel with cards or some o th er m eans to call home.
an organised to u r group, on business, or W hile this may not have saved the life of this
who follow well planned itineraries rarely go young woman, regular com m unication can
missing. W hether in A ustralia or in anoth often help the traveler to avoid, or at least
er country, m ost people who are eventually deal with, lesser difficulties.
classified as missing, seem to be those who The seven backpackers who lost their lives
back-pack and travel on the cheap. may have read the travel books that call Aus
W hether one is hitchhiking or not, trav tralia one of the safest countries in the world
eling w ithout an itineraryalthough attrac for hitchhikers. N evertheless, hitchhiking
tive to some who do not want to feel tied once again proved to be foolhardyeven in
downcan leave a person m ore vulnerable pairs and even in the safest o f countries.

Awake! June 22, 2000 27


W A T C H I N G T H E W O R L
Planet Earth Unique vary the tones, and they cup experts say that parents need to
According to astronomers, their hands so that the sound set a time for their children to
new planets continue to be dis will carryup to two miles. Al go to sleep and make it a prior
covered as scientists measure most lost in the 1960s, the silbo itynot a last resort after ener
the slight wobblecaused by has become popular again, and gy or activities run out.
the gravitational pull of the the island now has an annual
planetof the distant star the whistling day. There are, how AIDS Worldwide
planets orbit. As of 1999, 28 ever, limitations. You can car According to a new Unit
such planets are claimed to ex ry out conversations but there ed Nations report, worldwide
ist outside our solar system. are not many things you can more than 50 million peo
The new ones said to have been talk about, says Juan Evaristo, ple have been infected with
discovered are about the size a local education director. HIV-AIDSthe equivalent of
of Jupiter or larger. Jupiters the population of the United
mass is some 318 times greater Children and Sleep
than that of Earth. Like Jupi Kingdomand 16 million have
ter, the planets are thought to died, says The Globe and Mail
be composed of helium and hy of Canada. Research in nine
drogen. Because of the orbit African countries has revealed
al distances of those planets, that 20 per cent more women
it is said to be highly unlike than men are now infected with
ly that any earth-size planets the disease and that teenaged
could coexist with them. More girls [are] about five times more
over, unlike Earths circular or likely to be infected with HIV-
bit of 93 million miles, they cir AIDS than teenaged boys. Pe
cle their stars in oval orbits. Parents must set limits, not ter Piot, executive director of
One orbit, in fact, goes from only on how late school-age the Joint United Nations Pro
36 million miles to 214 million kids can stay up but on what gramme on HIV/AIDS, de
miles away from its star. It is they can do before bedtime, scribes the situation in Eastern
beginning to look like neatly says Parents magazine. Watch Europe as explosive. The re
stacked, circular orbits such as ing TV, playing computer and port points out that the HIV
we see in our own solar system video games, and surfing the infection rate in the former So
are relatively rare, said one as viet Union has more than dou
tronomer. Net are stimulating activities
that keep kids minds work bled in the past two years, the
Whistle Communication ing overtime. And a full plate steepest increase in the world.
of after-school commitments Experts say that it is a reflection
Spanish schoolchildren on prevents them from finishing of the increase in intravenous
the island of Gomera, one of drug use in that region. Around
the Canary Islands, are be their homework at a reasonable
hour. Research shows that the world more than half of
ing required to learn the whis those infected with HIV-AIDS
tling language used for centu sleep deprivation often has a
ries by local shepherds, reports different effect on younger chil contract the disease by age 25
The Times of London. Origi drenthey become hyperac and they typically die before
nally developed as a means of tive and uncontrollable, where their 35th birthday.
communicating across valleys as adults become sleepy and
Sunscreens and Cancer
in the mountainous terrain, quiet. As a result, when at
the Gomera silbo, or whistle, school, sleep-deprived children Putting on high-factor sun
uses sounds to imitate sylla lack the ability to concentrate, screen lulls people into a sense
bles of speech. Whistlers put pay attention, retain what they of false security and can in
their fingers in their mouths to learn, and solve problems. The crease their risk of skin can-

28 Awake! June 22, 2000


cer, reports The Times of Lon new lease on life. A Delhi- Worried Underwriters
don. This is because they based firm has come up with The French newspaper Le
spend longer in the Sun and a design that features a much Monde reported that 1999 was
absorb more radiation. Re lighter and sleeker structure an accursed year for reinsur
searchers from the European that cuts down wind resistance, ance. Natural catastrophes in
Institute of Oncology in Mi a gear system that greatly re 1998 caused 90 billion dollars
lan, Italy, found that those us duces pedaling effort, ergo of damage, of which 15 billion
ing factor 30 sunscreen spent nomically correct saddles, han dollars were reim bursed by
25 percent more time in the dlebars that reduce wrist strain, insurance companies. How
sun than those using factor 10. and roomier, more comfort ever, 1999marked by earth
Says Phillipe Autier, the studys able passenger seats. According quakes in Turkey and Taiwan,
author: The protective effect to T. Vineet, the project leader, typhoons in Japan, floods in
of sunscreen use against skin it fits into todays politically- India and Vietnam, and oth
cancer, particularly melano correct scenario where human er disastersmay cost insur
ma, has not been demonstrated rights and a pollution-free en ers even more. Insurance un
in the general population, but vironment are the buzzphras- derwriters are concerned about
there are compelling data that es. Says Outlook: The humble the increasing likelihood of
show a strong relationship be rickshaw could turn out to be major catastrophes in densely
the ideal means of transport in populated areas. The worlds
tween duration of recreational
the 21st century. leading insurance underwriter
sun exposure and skin cancer.
warns of the devastating ef
Health professionals are now Irreplaceable Mail fects of global warming and
warning against prolonged ex the consequences of human
posure to the sun, regardless of activities on climatic condi
the level of protection a sun tions.
screen gives. Christopher New,
cancer campaign manager of Mount Everest Now Even Taller
Britains Health Education Au Mount Everest, the worlds
thority, advises: Dont stop us highest mountain, is even tall
ing sunscreens, but do remem er than scientists previously
ber you shouldnt use them so thought, and is still growing,
that you can sunbathe longer. says a recent Reuters report.
To date, technology has not Using sophisticated satellite
The Ideal Transport? succeeded in replacing the im systems, climbers measured
Pedicabs, also known as tri pact of a letter, states the Everest at 29,035 feetabout
shaws or cycle rickshas, have newspaper Le Figaro. In 1999 five and a half miles high . . .
been in use in India for de the French postal service de That is seven feet above the
cades. However, the magazine livered a record 25 billion let previous official measurement
Outlook notes that they have re ters. Of these, 90 percent were of 29,028 feet, made back in
business mail, and only 10 per 1954. The new measurement is
mained unchanged, having a the height of the snow-covered
heavy wooden structure, large cent personal correspondence.
Nearly half of all mail sent peak. The height of the actual
cast-iron chassis, awkwardly rock summit underneath is still
tilted seats and no gears. In enclosed some form of adver unknown. The National Geo
recent years, there has been tising, which 98 percent of graphic Society is adopting the
much opposition to their use those questioned claimed to new figure for its maps. Besides
because of the strain put on have read carefully. Each day, moving upward, the mountain
their drivers, who are often old Frances 90,000 mail carriers, actually the whole Himala
er, undernourished men. Now, of whom 40 percent are wom yan mountain rangeis mov
with air pollution reaching haz en, make more than 72,000 ing in a northeasterly direction,
ardous levels in India, the cy rounds to deliver the 60 million toward China, by 1/16 inch to
cle ricksha has been given a letters posted daily. 1/4 inch each year.

Awake! June 22, 2000 29


F R O M O U R R E A D E R S

Drugs The series Are Drugs Taking Over Angels Congratulations on your frank se
the World? (November 8, 1999) was well ries of articles W hat Is the Truth About
researched. I work as a probation officer in Angels? (November 22, 1999) It is about
an area where there are a lot of young drug time someone had the courage to write a
addicts. This issue will help many to get respectful, but honest, expose of the dan
free from the drug habit. gers posed by distorted beliefs about angels.
J. T., Germany
I especially appreciated the picture on
I was so encouraged by the story of Pedro page 9, showing that the angels themselves
and his wife, Ana. For six years drugs ruined reject the flattery and prominence they have
my life. By studying the Bible and speaking been given today.
to others about what I am learning, I have J.L.A.H., Brazil
gained the spiritual strength to break free
from the drug habit. Medical Ordeal The story of the M ajor
D. J., United States family in the article We Learned to Rely
I have been teaching h e a lth classes in on God Through Adversity (November 22,
school for 15 years. This issue of Awake! was 1999) encouraged me. Our son had a num
perfectly timed, since we are presently cover ber of serious heart defects that required
ing the subject of alcohol, drugs, and driving. surgery. The doctors told us, Your son is
I will surely be using the information in this going to die w ithout a blood transfusion!
issue! The doctors even separated my husband
C. J., United States and me to increase the pressure on us to
consent to a blood transfusion. But like the
Tagua Nut I have read every issue of your
magazine since 1954, and I never cease to M ajor family, we prayed for strength and
be amazed at the articles that describe the courage. Our son survived the surgeries and
versatile uses of things Jehovah created. is fine now. He has expressed his wish to be
The Tagua N utCan It Save Elephants? baptized as one of Jehovahs Witnesses.
was one such article. (November 8, 1999) B. C., United States
Thank you for helping us to appreciate
more and more the marvelous wisdom of My husband was hospitalized, and the doc
our God. tors said that he could be there for months. I
D. H., United States was growing very tired of trying to tend to
Witchcraft Thank you very much for the three children while also visiting my husband
article W hat Is Behind Witchcraft? (No every day. My Christian brothers and sisters
vember 8, 1999) A lot of people used to proved invaluable in helping with the chil
think witches were ugly and old. But the dren. Just when it seemed I couldnt take it
Wicca movement is now attracting many anymore, my husband came home. When I
young men and women. My own daughter read this encouraging article, I could not help
started getting interested in this. However, but shed tears of heartfelt empathy and sad
she had asked for her own subscription to ness for everything the M ajor family has been
Awake!, and the first issue that came con
through. How happy I am to see how much
tained this article! It came at the proper
time. they relied on Jehovah!
B. H., United States J. A., United States

30 Awake! June 22, 2000


A Corpse
C om es to Life
By A w ake! correspondent in
I N D O N E S I A

N JULY 17, 1997, an unusual an B esides its d istin c tiv e o d o r, a n o th e r

O nouncem ent was m ade on the


national evening news in Indone
sia. One of the largest floral structures
in the world had blossomed. Why would
thing that makes the titan arum unique is
its size. The m ature plant towers over all
but the tallest o f hum ans. One plant in Bo
gor Botanical G arden grew to be 8 feet
the mere blossoming o f a plant be judged tall and emerged from a huge vase-shaped,
a worthy topic for the evening news? Be pleated spathe 8.5 feet in diameter. This
cause this plant is differentit may blos floral giant developed from a tuber that
som for just two or three days three or weighed nearly 220 pounds!
four times in its 40-year life span. After In spite of the enorm ous size of its
the announcem ent the num ber of visitors blossom, titan arum cannot boast the
to the Bogor Botanical Garden, where the worlds largest flower because the plant
plant is kept, increased by 50 percent. In is really com posed of, not one, but nu
fact, the plant had upwards of 20,000 vis merous small flowers.
itors in just one day! The titan arum is but another ex
The plants full botanical name is ample th at illustrates the truthfulness
phophallus titanum . Som e call it titan o f the psalm ists statem ent: M any
arum for short, b u t m ost Indonesians things you yourself have done, O Je
call it th e c o rp se flow er b ecau se the hovah my G od, even your wonder
odor it produces when it blossoms re ful w orks . . . T h ere is none to
minds them o f the corpse o f a be c o m p a re d to y o u .
rotting fish or o f a decay Psalm 40:5.
ing mouse. The putrid
odor signals to polli
nating bees th at the
flower is in bloom.
Finding What Was Lost
Last year, in Maryland, U.S.A., a man The magazines were not there, but a
politely refused the Watchtower and purse and a wallet were. Im m ediately a call
Awake! magazines. His young daughter, was m ade on the w om an whose address
however, asked if she could have them , was in the purse. Upon approaching her res
and the father said that she could. The idence, the two Witnesses m aking the
two were cleaning their car and putting call saw a middle-aged w om an leading a
trash in a nearby trash container. stallion to the barn. W hen they gave her the
Concerned that the magazines might be items, the w om an exclaimed: Thank God
discarded, the Witness who had offered everything of im portance is heremy pass
port, checkbook, credit cards, and horse
docum entation. She said that the item s
had been stolen the night before.
Since the trash container was about
to be em ptied, it was fortunate that it
had been checked.
The wom an offered a reward, but
instead of accepting it, the couple
returning the purse and wallet
gave her the brochure What Does
God Require of Us? To express her
appreciation, the wom an wrote a
check to be used to further the
worldwide distribution of such Bible-
based publications. And since then,
has taken a real interest in Bible
study.

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