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Cargo Cults: I read an article once that the Melenasian cargo cults had died out but -- this was the interesting part -- recently resurrected as a tourism thing. So that people were putting on reenactments of cargo cult rituals because doing so made people come to their islands and spend money.

But according to this Smithsonian article, the John Frum cult is still active and is gradually turning into a real religion (Leonard's heuristic for cults turning into real religions: the eschatalogical event predicted by the cult keeps not happening, so it gets moved off into the indefinite future or the realm of metaphor). And I can't find the other article, so I guess the Smithsonian one wins. Probably there's just a few people doing cargo cult demonstrations on the side. It doesn't seem like they could support the whole tourist economy.


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