Talk:John Frum

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Swiss Flag[edit]

Could somebody tell me why there is a swiss flag next to that US-flag? Is it connected to that cargo-cult, and if yes: how? Thanks!

The Swiss flag is one of several Swiss flags that was brought to Tanna (specifically to the "Group of Fred") by myself, Christian Kracht, in 2004. "The Group of Fred" is a schismatic John-Frum-believer-group that split up from the original "Group of Isaac One". Their leader Fred had asked for these flags to fly them, as the Swiss emblem - white cross on red - inverts the red cross flag - red on white - used by the "Group of Isaac One". The flags themselves may now be considered as "Swiss cargo", as they were delivered to Fred on Feb 15 (John Frum day). Email me for more info & photos on this ceremony:

John Frum seems to be derived[edit]

The 2nd paragraph states: "The name John Frum is sometimes considered a corruption of "John from (America)"" the 5th paragraph ends: "The name "John Frum" is possibly derived from World War II GIs introducing themselves to the locals as "John from America"" this seems a bit double.

Vanuatu versus New Hebrides[edit]

Vanuatu hasn't been called New Hebrides for 24 years, as far as I know. Is it necessary to keep this archaism?

I think the idea is that at the time of Jon Frum's emergence, it was called the New Hebrides, hence it is written as "associated with cargo cults in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu)" rather than "associated with cargo cults in Vanuatu." —Stormie 01:29, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)
How about "associated with cargo cults in Vanatu (then the New Hebrides)"? --Thomas 19:09, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
When I originally wrote the article I wasn't too clear on the geography, having gotten my information out of various older books. It should probably say "Vanuatu". silsor 03:46, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)
Use the place name contemporary with the event. You wouldn't write "In 1066, William of Normandy invaded the United Kingdom (then England)." --Tysto 18:11, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Need more detail[edit]

There's a lot of unexplained details here. For example, who exactly is "Rushfeld"? - Keith D. Tyler 23:55, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

I've just reverted this article because the previous version seemed to be a Copyright violation. Much of the article seems to have been taken wholesale from this website. Please feel free to update the formatting and content with material from later revisions, but please make sure material is not taken directly from this website. The Jade Knight 21:57, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I just was about to let people know this had large sections of copyrighted material lifted from, but it appears this was already noted almost 2 YEARS ago. If no one is coming forth to re-write, is it appropriate to delete passages, or add citations to the source? (The source is listed in the 'external links' section, but not references.) (talk) 06:15, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I have deleted the copyvio material which was still present in the article. Baileypalblue (talk) 07:47, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Jon versus John[edit]

Most articles I've seen on the subject give the name as "John Frum". Why is the article using "Jon"? See for example the recent and definitive Smithsonian article. Jeffr 17:34, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Because the anthropology textbook I used to create the original version of the article used "Jon", having been published in the 1960s. silsor 20:20, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I've moved it to John, which seems more prominent.--Cúchullain t/c 08:11, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Military population[edit]

It seems implausible to me that a small archapelago like Vanuatu could be the base of 300,000 US troops during WWII. Could this be more like 30,000?

yeah, i mean, how could 300,000 people fit on 100km2 of island, when a mere 8.2 million fit on 830km2 of island elsewhere. ~Ash Ponders 17:20, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, islands elsewhere where there are well established transport links, industrial-scale food production, etc.. It's possible, but unlikely. How many US troops were there altogether in 1945? JackWasey

These islands host a population of 212,000 + tourists. 300,000 in dense, organized bases would not be a stretch at all. Hawaii, which is about 10% the landmass of Vanuatu, has a population of 1.2million, for comparison. (talk) 06:23, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Usually black?[edit]

All the references I have read say that John Frum is white, and quote people from Vanuatu saying this. Need a reference to say that the majority of US servicemen IN VANUATU were black or white, if relevant to the article at all.

I'll look for references, but most of the ones I've read say John Frum is usually black, as in African American, but is sometimes white, and is always American, though not always a GI. The one ref off the top of my head is John Frum He Come: A Polemical Work about a Black Tragedy by Edward Rice. I don't understand what you mean requesting a reference for whether the majority of US servicemen in Vanuatu were black or white. Why would that be relavent to this article?--Cúchullain t/c 03:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Dangling sentence[edit]

The last sentence in the second paragraph appears to be a completely spurious reference to the UK census. Does anyone know why it's there? Leftover from a previously removed section, perhaps? Bagheera 00:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

No, I (or someone) forgot to close the <ref> in a reference. It's fixed now.--Cúchullain t/c 23:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

John From Movement,Inc.[edit]

I added the external link to their site, as well as the alternative spelling "John From". I do not know if the site is what it purports to be, but it certainly is pertinent!Lee 15:00, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

It's not what it purports to be, it's the homepage of some Australian huckster claiming to be the savior of Tanna. But it is pertinent, so it should probably be left in.--Cúchullain t/c 20:01, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
If we're not going to remove it, we should perhaps make it clear that it's not what it claims to be. The guy says "John Frum has returned", and his page is full of repeated requests for donations. It also says: "In Fiji the Fijians [meaning the indigenous population] own less than fifty per cent of their three hundred Island Nation [sic] and now represent under 49% of the population. They are the poor tenants of another man's golden greed." That is blatantly false. Indigenous Fijians own over 80% of the land in Fiji, and represent over 57% of the population (and rising). The reference to them being "poor tenants of another man's golden greed", when read in the context of long-standing tensions in Fiji, seems to be thinly veiled racism directed against Indo-Fijians - particularly ironic given that indigenous Fijians are landowners and that their tenants are, for the most part, Indo-Fijian. Anyway, I would suggest removing the link entirely. Aridd (talk) 12:07, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
If we can make it clear from a NPOV, then keep it. Otherwise, treat it as link to be avoided? I'm just throwing this out for consideration -- I don't have strong feelings either way. Pawyilee (talk) 08:02, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
On review, let's remove it. Just because it claims some relevance to the John Frum cultus does not mean it is actually relevant.--Cúchullain t/c 08:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Request for more sources / research result. John as John the Baptist? Frum as onomatopoeia?[edit]

I understand that nobody identified a person named John Frum, and he is considered to be fictional.

We were wondering if any researcher considered the word 'frum' as an onomatopoeia imitating airplane or any other machine sound? Richard Dawkins clearly associated cargo cults with airplanes deriving cargo.

And as the name 'John' is considered, weren't the natives baptised by missionaries? 'John' sounds very christian. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:08, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

I recall seeing a documentary where a native describes John as a 'prophet of the United States' and that the US would make their people wealthy. And the same person viewed the island's tourism as a fulfillment of that prophecy. If I recall correctly, he was a village elder of some sort.
What you describe seems to be pure conjecture. Psychiatric and other theoretical explanations for religious beliefs are always about as pertinent as the religions they seek to describe. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 18:38, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Frum name[edit]

Frum (or "Frumm" or "Frumme" or "Fromme") is a pretty common German or Jewish surname. I find it hard to believe that there were virtually no American Frums in the past, as this article claims. It seems pretty reasonable that an American soldier of German or Jewish origin could really have landed on the island.

The source cited for that piece of information leads to Yahoo people search, so it's WP:OR. I'll delete it. Phonemonkey 10:00, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Pre-WWII Movement[edit]

Both BBC and Damn Interesting say John Frum was a native of the island, and his movement, essentially an anti-Christian one, predated the WWII invasion of American GIs , which drastically altered it. It is still undergoing change. Pawyilee 06:53, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

To John From?[edit]

Northerntoe (talk) 16:25, 20 November 2007 (UTC)northerntoeNortherntoe (talk) 16:25, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

what if it was a lost package sent to a guy named John but part of the message was missing so it read

"To John From" or just "John From" and the spelling changed over time like in any long believed tradition.

Origin of the Name[edit]

It occurs to me that on a base full of GIs from different parts of the states that there would have been a lot of introductions along the lines of "I'm X from Y," with "Y" being the name of "X"'s home town. Since John is a common name among Americans, and the name of John's hometown would have been giberish to the natives, a native with a less than perfect command of English might naturally mistake "John from" as a name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Frum/From[edit]

For what it's worth, I was in the then-named New Hebrides in the 1960s, spending some time on Tanna, and recall the name being pronounced to rhyme with "mom" rather than "mum". It would not be surprising, I suppose, to find that it is and has been variously pronounced. Perhaps this has some significance to those hypothesizing about the name's origin. Tim Ross (talk) 11:24, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Dating Inconsistencies[edit]

I believe there are inconsistencies concerning the date the religion was started.

"He is depicted as an American World War II serviceman, who will bring wealth and prosperity to the people if they follow him."
America did not enter WWII until 1941.

"The religion arose in the 1930s, when Vanuatu was known as the New Hebrides."
The religion could not have been started in the 1930's if it is based around an American WWII vet.

"On John Frum Day in February 2007, the John Frum Movement celebrated its 50th anniversary."
This indicates that the religion was started in 1957.

I agree. The dates are very suspicious. (talk) 10:56, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 11:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Chief Isaak Wan Nikiau Contradictions[edit]

First, the article says this:

On John Frum Day in February 2007, the John Frum Movement celebrated its 50th anniversary. Chief Isaak Wan Nikiau, its leader, was quoted by the BBC from years past as saying that John Frum was "our God, our Jesus," and would eventually return.

In the next paragraph, it says this:

Chief Isaak Wan Nikiau, its leader, became a Christian in the 1990's and gave up his belief in the John Frum Movement.

Both are given references, but it doesn't seem likely that both are correct. Note that despite the wording in the wiki, the referenced BBC article does not say "from years past"; as written it implies the Chief said it during the 50 year anniversary.

Prothonotar (talk) 08:06, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Adding more information about origins[edit]

I recently added back in some information about the origins of John Frum that had been previously reverted some months back. Another editor reverted my change today, on the basis that the references were not reliable. I have added some additional reliable sources.

It is important to note that based on WP standards, "Other reliable sources include university-level textbooks, books published by respected publishing houses, magazines, journals, and mainstream newspapers. Electronic media may also be used, subject to the same criteria."

The reference in question, The God Delusion, is published by Houghton Mifflin and was written by Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most respected scientists, and the author of numerous well-regarded books on biology and human culture. I have kept it in as a reference, because it clearly meets the WP standard as a reliable source.

In any case, none of the information that I added back in (about the uncertainty of the origin of the alleged personage John Frum) is controversial, and it is consistent with virtually every available written account of the John Frum cult.

Please do not revert this info without talking about it here first and discussing your reasons for objection. If there are portions that you believe require more references, please add a note to that effect, but please do not remove the text. Thanks. PeaceLoveHarmony (talk) 02:33, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

The preferred proceedure is WP:BRD: if you get a reverted, it's best to go to the talk page and discuss it as the next step, don't just revert back to your preferred version. At any rate, I don't see why Dawkins should be cited here. He's certainly not an expert in the field of Melanesian religious practice, he's a biologist. This is especially so since he's just being used to cite something else already cited, and which really should not be in the lede to begin with. Other parts of your edit are inappropriate as well. It restored references to a travel guide website, which is clearly not reliable, and to census data which was being used for some original research. It also removed at least three reliable sources (Peter Worsley, Lamont Lindstrom and Geoffrey Hurd) and material attributed to them.--Cúchullain t/c 12:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't recognize that your two edits did contain different material. Apologies. However, there is still the problem of adding inappropriate sources and removing good ones.--Cúchullain t/c 12:32, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Attenborough Quote[edit]

The article states that Attenborough was quoted hearing:

"'E look like you. 'E got white face. 'E tall man. 'E live 'long South America."

In Bislama, the language of Vanuatu, long means next to, blong (a much more common word) means of, so the last part of the quote means he was from South America. Might be worth mentioning something in the article about this?

I think that wording is perfect. Why not go ahead and add it? Risssa (talk) 21:17, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't know who added the quote to the lede, but it was added without the sentence that follows it, above, and without that sentence, it has only a tenuous connection with what precedes it in the lede. Just introducing a quote with "Quoting Attenborough," is not enough. The quote was offered by an editor, here on the Talk page, above, to support the idea that the original John Frum, if he was a real person at all, might have come from South America, and rather than being a native American/indigenous South American, he may have been white. This quote does not support the sentence that precedes it in the lede, that he is usually, or often, understood to have been black.
The quote, with the explanatory sentence that follows it here on the Talk page ("In Bislama,..."), either needs to be moved to the part of the article that discusses the possible origins of John Frum, or a sentence or clause needs to be added before the quote to introduce the possibility that John Frum was white, and then the quote will support or illustrate that possibility. – CorinneSD (talk) 22:23, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Frum = broom[edit]

This article from the Smithsonian Magazine suggests that Frum is a corruption of the word "broom," meaning to sweep away the white colonists. The article also says the American soldiers dumped all their unused supplies and their heavy machinery. including transport, into the water after the war ended thus, sadly, depriving the native people of all that "cargo." I think this should be added to the article but I don't know enough about the people or about anthropology to evaluate it for addition to the entry: Also I edited the article for coherency and word usage plus I added a lot of links. I did not touch the references nor did I change the basic structure except once -- to combine two very short paragraphs into one (at the end of the History section). Risssa (talk) 05:01, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

I think you added too many links. Have you read WP:OVERLINK? – CorinneSD (talk) 22:32, 29 December 2013 (UTC)[edit]

There is a website here calling itself "John From Movement Inc." which seems to be a thing. Whether to include it under External links? Dunno (not familiar with the subject), but asking. The existing External link labeled "John Frum Movement" which goes here appears dead. Herostratus (talk) 15:52, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Does it show any worthwhile material? I could not see anything beyond a graphic which was interesting, but not sufficient for a link here. Searching for the dead external link in Google shows a cache that is less than a month old, and shows hits in which I'm reluctant to visit. Johnuniq (talk) 23:36, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Um, when I click on it I get this page which is a whole bunch of text. To be honest it seems kind of odd though. So I dunno. Herostratus (talk) 02:16, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

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