Savior of the World

You know what’s really cool? The way young people have been able to mobilize globally through social media to affect change. Think of the Arab Spring uprisings last year and the changes the people are making to the New Middle East.

Think now of this new movement called KONY 2012:

It’s fascinating how we Archies already knew about the Invisible Children long before this wildly popular movement came about, thanks to David’s efforts in working with this group. And while I quietly championed David’s interest in global charity and good works, I’ve always had an uneasy response to any Western responses to problems and atrocities that take place on the African continent.

By the same token, I also have issues with Christian missionary work also taking place there and in other third world countries.  The intent is good, but there are repercussions.


For those of you who don’t know Imperial history, this is how it works. First, a European country sets its sights on the natural resources available in a foreign location (the “Gold” part).  Then they send in “God” (i.e. Christian missionaries) who tell all those HEATHENS how backward and savage and ridiculous their own cultural worldviews are and why they must exchange their old beliefs for Christianity.  Then, once the indigenous peoples start believing in the Europeans’ God, they get crushed, enslaved, and colonized, while the white people come in and take over through Western Imperialism.

That’s how my ancestors were enslaved by the way.  Somewhere on what was then called the “Slave Coast” (stretching along Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and throughout West Africa), Africans were captured and rounded up as “cargo” and stuffed like sardines in the belly of the ships, as illustrated below:

It took slave ship crews a while to figure out how many Africans they can stuff into a ship without losing a huge portion of their “goods” (slaves), and sometimes on the journey called the Middle Passage (sailing from Africa to the New World), the crew might toss weak captives overboard, along with the dead and dying, because they would then collect on insurance for their “lost goods.”

It was such ships that bore Christian names like Jesus, John the Baptist, Mary the Redeemer, etc., and on such ships, captains like John Newton would pen beloved Christian hymns like “Amazing Grace,” even though he and his crew took part in mass torture and mass rapes of those African captives aboard. Yep, I know enough of my Christian past to know the damage it can do to a continent.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade, as it was called, didn’t end until 1807, and while some good Christian folks called “Abolitionists” helped usher in the ban on this slave trade, there was once again an economic incentive to do so.  European interests started seeing that there was more profit to be made in the natural resources of Africa – like diamonds, oil, rubber, and other materials- rather than on their human resources, as represented by slaves.

Once again, Christian missionaries would be sent in to the African continent to make way for “God, Glory, Gold.”  They would convince African natives that their way of living is so backward and so HEATHEN, and since their numbers had already been decimated by the millions that were already taken away as slaves in the Americas, it was easier to conquer those left behind.  Tell them their way of life sucks without Jesus, and sooner or later, they are being colonized. Of course, those who refuse to give in to Western imperialism without a fight would be turned into devil-worshipping sinners who must be crushed and eliminated at all costs.

It’s an ugly history, and Africa is hardly the only continent where such Western imperialist practices took place.

So, despite my Christian faith (or perhaps because of it, knowing from whence my people came and why we adapted Christianity according to our own African-derived beliefs here in the Americas), I’m very wary of contemporary Christian missions and especially wary of the ways that we Westerners tend to look at the African continent and find convenient “war criminals” to demonize, which is exactly what is going on with this KONY 2012 campaign.

Now, what does this have to do with David Archuleta? Plenty, actually.  After all, he’s getting ready to go on a religious mission (who knows where) and he supports Invisible Children, who is behind this massive campaign.

You all know I love me some David Archuleta. I don’t know how many times I’ve made that clear. But there are times that I don’t share his worldviews, and this may be one of those moments.

Don’t get me wrong.  Joseph Kony is a horrible human being, and there may be many truths to what the KONY 2012 campaign says about him (although different reports are investigating since there are some exaggerated facts).  The sad truth is: Joseph Kony is not alone in perpetrating crimes against humanity.  Uganda is one country neighboring countries like Rwanda, which experienced a genocide back in 1994, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which continues a horrific war waged over raw materials that finance our high-tech revolution.  When guerrilla gangs and soldiers do horrible things on the ground in developing countries, you best believe that some multinational corporation based here in the U.S., in Europe, in the Middle East, and in Asian countries like China and Japan is behind the chaos.

Why is chaos needed in certain African countries? So that the political infrastructure is so unstable, so in shambles due to warfare, genocide, and other acts of violence, that wholesale corporate theft can occur when the world isn’t looking and the locals are being terrorized.  When there are so many rapes and wars going on, who’s there to ensure safe and equitable transfer of raw materials and natural resources that are used to finance our global economy? How else do corporations profit but through free and cheap labor and chaotic infrastructures that enable easy access to resources?

Think about that for a minute.

To demonize one man is to rely on a recognizable stereotype of the scary savage African man and to ignore the larger global and historical structure that enabled his barbarity to begin with.

When we send young Christian missionaries to places like undeveloped countries such as Uganda, we are sending them in with no compass, no map, no historical guides, and no knowledge, except in a simple little belief in how Jesus is the “Savior of the World.” The only reason any church – not just Latter Days, mind you – would even send their young’uns into such places with zero preparation of the global economy and the geopolitical spheres in which such conditions exist – is because it continues in a tradition of “God, Glory, Gold.” You have to truly believe in your own superiority (racial or national or religious) to even attempt any “salvation of the world.”

That’s one of the reasons why I think the musical Book of Mormon is so clever. It totally makes fun of the whole process of sending clueless American Mormon boys to places like Uganda, where there are serious political, economic, and social problems that they’re not even prepared to solve but they’ve been told they can “convert and save” the people.

It’s also one of the reasons why I would love to see David do a self-parody of himself and star in Book of Mormon when he returns from his own mission. 😛

When I met David in Verona last December, I definitely got a sense that he was quite the innocent and, no matter where he is sent, he’s sure to grow and learn (I would hope) and not simply retreat into some safe version of what the world is after witnessing what the world actually is.

But that’s what the whole KONY 2012 campaign reminds me of: young, impressionable kids not knowing how to discern complex global issues but responding all the same through a bleeding-heart impulse to catch a bad guy.

I wish the world were that simple.

I can only hope that the same young will be willing to learn more once they get invested in popular campaigns like this one.

The good thing about David, I must say, is that he tweeted his excitement over the twitter trending of Invisible Children’s #stopkony campaign without himself condemning Joseph Kony.

As usual, he knows how to be a shrewd diplomat.

Posted on March 11, 2012, in current trends. Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Shanny in Australia

    I’ve always had a bit of a squelchy feeling when using the term ‘civilised’….can’t help but think all those ‘uncivilised’ people out there think they are perfectly civilised and it’s us ‘civilised’ people who have got it all wrong. We may build tall buildings and fly big airplanes but are our lives really more happy, more fulfilling, more connected, more giving, more loving, more liberating…..I’m not so sure in all instances.
    HG, your post surprises me a little….you’re talking about dishonourable intentions by powerful people, you even linked to the conspiracy theories surrounding Whitney Houston’s death recently….but if I remember right, you don’t believe in any 9/11 conspiracy theories? I’m just surprised and a little curious is all.

    • you’re talking about dishonourable intentions by powerful people,

      Powerful people sometimes do dishonorable things, you do know that, right? Why are you surprised and curious about my views? And no, I don’t believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories or even all those “Illuminati” theories. I link to those ideas because it’s interesting that people are distrustful of people with power, and in some instances, we should be.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Well a lot of people who do not accept the standard explanation for 9/11 think that it was really brought about by ‘powerful people with dishonourable intentions’ similar to what you discuss in your post there. I know you have strongly stated your views against the 9/11 conspiracy theories before and since you seem to be open minded about ‘conspiracy theories’ after all I just wondered what your thought processes were around 9/11 then…?
        I don’t want to hijack this thread with 9/11 stuff though,….i am interested in what you might have to say…but it’s just curiosity…not a big deal.

    • i don’t have one iota of the knowledge hg has of this matter but this post reminded me of the assassination of patrice lumumba in the 1960’s. in brief, there is uranium in the congo. other countries, incl. the u.s., wanted control of it. lumumba tried to unite his people, seeking independence from belguim and control of his country’s resources. the u.s. and belguim have acknowledged involvement with his assassination.

      then there’s s. africa with its diamonds and gold. years ago i read sidney sheldon’s “master of the game” and it raised my awareness of the chaos and conflict surrounding control of those resources.

      all this to say, i think hg’s post is more factual as opposed to conspiracy theory.

      re. david, i was glad to see him tweet #stopkony. i believe he really cares for the well-being of those kids. i do hope the mission is an eye-opener for him. if he thought it was something that music industry people wanted to exploit and control him in pursuit of quick bucks, wait until he sees how the world really works.

      • Shanny in Australia

        I think the term ‘conspiracy theory’ has been given a negative reputation because of people who have ridiculed those who have believed in ‘conspiracy theories’. However ‘conspiracy theory’ simply means….the idea that people or organisations are secretly working together. The term conspiracy theory does not mean something is untrue. Conspiracy theories can be completely true and based in facts. So when I asked my question of HG, I was not challenging her on the truthfulness of anything.

      • Shanny, thanks for the clarification.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Thanks for the acknowledgment Desertrat. 🙂

    • First, thank you Desertrat, for bringing up the examples of Lumumba and South Africa and for acknowledging that my references to African history and present-day struggles are based in fact and not conspiracy theories. They’re actually quite a number of different films about the continued exploitation of land and and people on the continent, from “Blood Diamonds” to “Lumumba” to “The Constant Gardener.”

      As for 9/11 conspiracy theories, I don’t believe most of them b/c they mostly assert that the destruction of the Twin Towers was some elaborate hoax. Sorry, but as a New Yorker who is very familiar with lower Manhattan and with the Manhattan skyline whenever I would fly into the city pre-9/11, I can’t take any “hoax” theory about 9/11 seriously at all. We all FEEL that void left behind in the wake of the attacks on a regular basis, and I distinctly remember taking the bus home a few days after the attacks and crossing the bridge over into Manhattan and watching the smoke rise up from the left-behind ashes and all the makeshift fliers posted from 14th Street on down of those who were missing. 9/11 is much too real and little less abstract for me to reduce to a “hoax” conspiracy.

      Now, do I believe ALL the information that was shared? We came up with a very quick story about who did the attacks and why, and if I have my own suspicions, I believe other unidentified organizations (and perhaps even unidentified nations) may have been involved that we have yet to know of. So, my own personal belief: YES, 9/11 happened, NO, I do not believe it was an “inside job” (that’s just too absurd, no matter how anti-government one might be), but we may not have all the facts about who all the culprits were behind it and how long and deep underground they had been planning the attacks. Just my $0.02.

      • Shanny in Australia

        I trust that you saw my comment about the term ‘conspiracy theories’ HG and understand that I was not questioning your comments. I was simply asking a question about your opinions on 9/11. Which you have now answered. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Very interesting post, hg. I enjoyed reading it. “It’s also one of the reasons why I would love to see David do a self-parody of himself and star in Book of Mormon when he returns from his own mission.” I agree with that. That would be a good move by David.There are two sides to the Kony 2012 movement and its video going viral. I think that the discussion that everyone is having about it and how horrible Joseph Kony truly is can be a positive thing. I still think that Invisible Children does some very good work but I see your points.

  3. This is an interesting topic. It is also a story about the power of social media. Which has its pro and cons IMO. This is How the 30-minute Kony 2012 video went viral:

    “KONY 2012,’’ a 30-minute documentary film that aims to expose the abuses of Ugandan guerrilla Joseph Kony and his murderous Lord’s Resistance Army, has received more than 52 million views on YouTube and more than 14 million on Vimeo since it was posted Monday. The viral video has received support on Twitter from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, P.Diddy, Angelina Jolie, and Justin Bieber, who combined have more than 40 million followers. The White House White House Press Secretary Jay Carney then said President Obama backs those behind the viral Internet campaign, designed to bring Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony to justice.”

    • Very interesting. I should have known Bieber was somehow involved, lol.

    • Shanny in Australia

      Now we just need a vid of David’s to go viral.
      I think anyone who can figure out how to make any vid they wanted go viral, would be the next ‘worlds richest person’. lol

      • I agree with you Shanny. David does need a video to go viral. lol

      • David should do a cover of JB’s Baby song and post it on youtube before he leaves for his mission. Or he should say something really controversial in his last vlog. I bet it will go viral lol

  4. Thank you for this interesting post HG. I agree with you about the way young people have been able to mobilize globally through social media to affect change but I can’ t help and deplore the lack of interest of the media now about the Arab “revolutions”, they just pass to another topic like if everything was solved now. I also deplore the silence about Syria and the people who are dying there. Apparently, all the dictators don’t get the same treatment and I understand that there’s nothing to get from Syria. I learned a long time ago that no assistance (to the third world countries especially) is free and without afterthoughts. I can’t help but be cynic when it concerns politics.

    Colonialism is a big subject in my country. And it’s still a polemical one. Some politicians wanted to change what’s taught in school for example by focusing on the “positive aspects” of colonialism. Some are still trying to perpetuate the relation “colon/indigenous” and there’s still that feel of superiority especially from the older people who are nostalgic of the glorious past of their country. The colonialist countries robbed the natural resources of the African countries but nothing changed today. They are just doing it in a more legitimate way. When they left the colonized countries, they let a political vacuum and destroyed and impoverished countries. They also imposed or supported the dictators in place so they can maintain a sort of control. How ironic to see the french politicians criticize and attack Ben Ali or Khadafi when they showed in the past their great relation with them, not so long ago they were calling them friends. Politicians here are just starting to be accountable for their past relations, especially regarding the money and diamonds they received from the African dictators.
    I’m sorry for my broken English but it’s a topic that touch me a lot. A part of my family is from Morocco, a former French protectorate. Morocco is only starting to develop and evolve into a democracy but the huge financial debt contracted doesn’t help to totally break free from the former colonizer.

    • you’re so right. regarding syria, the news here only shows a glimpse of what’s going on there. i never hear enough to fully understand why people are being killed.

  5. “Saving Josh Bradley” and “Nandito Ako Week 4 Is Intense” are trending on twitter. I’m sure TV5 don’t regret having David on their miniseries lol, all those NA trending topics since the start of the soap are great promo for them ! When you think that we had a hard time in the past to make TOSOD trend lol

  6. We had some LDS missionaries (one from UT) come to our door a few weeks ago because I had stopped at a local visitor’s center during AZ concert. My husband was astounded that they knew nothing about the history of the area.

    Let me explain. My area was settled by religious Dutch immigrants and where I live is like what SLC is to Mormonism. The church runs the city, local politics, and it is not uncommon to be asked, “Where do you go to church?” when meeting someone.

    You HAVE to know that history and culture in order to do mission work here. I can’t believe that the MTC did not inform the young men a bit about the context of the place they were going. My husband actually had to explain a little about the area and even the denomination. Knowing the language of an area is not enough.

    Self-growth involves questioning, critical thinking, and exploration. Can someone explain from their own experience (or their children’s experience) how that occurred during the mission?

  7. Picking up from the last thread, I hope that David can keep in touch as well, but I just can’t see tweeting and Skyping going over well when his roommate is only able to call home twice a year.

    • David’s companion will be allowed time one day per week to contact loved ones, just like David will — online via email or chat or somesuch. I’ve not heard anything about skyping though or even anyone suggesting that David might do that. But maybe I just missed it? As far as tweeting, that remains to be seen.

      I don’t see anything there being hugely unfair to his companion. Its possible that David may be given a bit more leeway to get a message to fans but I don’t anticipate something extraordinary or enough to be unfair to the other guy. Maybe that guy will want to send a message to his own fans. 😉

  8. PS I am assuming that he may be able to have more contact with home as the breadwinner (it is my understanding that the church will allow this for the main family income earner who is on a mission?)

    • Freo, if that’s the case, the church should aloud David to keep his career going while he is away by means of some sorta communication with his fans. Communication with his family is not a question, he will be able to do that, but us fans need to have that contact also in order for his career to survive, being he is the main income earner,IMO.

      I really have a hard time understanding these mission rules. One that stands out in my mind is the 24/7 partner. I’m sorry, but I believe that everyone needs alone time to be one with God.
      I know that it’s a sacrafice, but come on, they are giving two years of their lives to service others (and I choose to view it this way and not to recruit church members) I think the church needs kinda keep up with the times. Love David, but don’t understand his religion.

      • This is a most interesting article, full of global history that I had never read. Over the weekend I had found a great deal of information about David’s journey and because of the Internet and YouTube, there is little left to the imagination.

        Don’t ever feel badly that you tell your children or grandchildren stories about Santa Claus because…Well I won’t talk about Saint Nick right now bless his soul, what a cheerful fellow and asking for only milk and cookies!


  9. preview for the upcoming episode of na — josh gets jealous, lol.

  10. My daughter posted this on her facebook last week after the KONY video came out.
    “Being one who extensively studied the conflict in East Africa as part of my Master’s program, I’m thrilled that everyone is suddenly aware of the atrocities that have been going on for decades over there. However, I also spent a lot of time studying ineffective and unethical NGOs as part of the program as well. Be aware, be informed, do what you can, but be careful where you send your money. Sometimes it does more harm than good.” She is very frustrated. She commented that she is 100% sure Invisible Children is not going to solve the incredibly complicated conflict with money they get from this campaign or any other. They are an advocacy and awareness group only. Unlike a group like Rising Star, no one will ever see measurable results in solving problems from Invisible Children.

    However, to the extent that now everyone is talking about this, from Ellen to the 7th grader in North Dakota, they do their job. Just make sure everyone understands what their job can and cannot accomplish and determine if they want to spend their dollars there or somewhere else. I sense that her frustration and other’s stems from what was expressed earlier – social media movements are only good to a certain extent and then we move on to the next thing that is the celebrity cause du jour.

    • Well, there is something big to be said about raising awareness, baby steps to change.

    • Shanny in Australia

      What I find frustrating in situations like this is the root of the problem needs to be fixed rather than just putting bandaids on but the root of the problem is so complicated and extensive…it seems unfixable. Maybe that is why the best that can be done…especially from a lay person’s position…is to just try and help one life, one person at a time.
      BTW, I have done a bit of reading about NGO’s in the past…and your daughter calling them ‘unethical’ and ‘ineffective’ doesn’t surprise me. lol

      • Shanny in Australia

        Another thing a lay person can do is to be politically aware, take an interest in maintaining their own freedoms and the freedoms of others and vote in morally sound and honourable leaders.

  11. About the connections made between this cause and the Book of Mormon musical: In order for a parody to be effective – and it should be remembered that the intent of a parody is to mock or trivialize something – it has to at least be accurate. While there are some things that are accurate in the musical, there are others that are not, both in regards to the Mormon doctrine and in regards to the way Ugandans are portrayed. I have to say I have only read extensively about it, have never seen it, But I was surprised to see that many critics were appalled at the way modern Africans were pathologized – they are portrayed as rural, backwards, poor, violent, uneducated, illiterate, superstitious, gullible, without hope and diseased. One of the running gags is about a girl who thinks she can text message using a type writer, when in fact East Africans are extremely well versed with using cell phones. It strikes me that they wouldn’t find those things a bit funny, that they would fall flat to a Ugandan, just like the elements in the musical that are so inaccurate that Mormons don’t find them funny either.

    One critic said he cringed when he saw talented African Americans hamming up “African-ness” for cheap laughs. And to the extent that it trivializes and mocks something that David holds sacred – in fact making it a burlesque rather than a clever parody, I’m not sure I follow the reasoning about why him starring in this post-mission would be a good move for him.

    It is true that some missionaries are not well prepared for the culture shock they face. I don’t think that any amount of teaching about the culture and beliefs of an area can fully prepare you until you live among the people. And they DO learn about the culture and history in the MTC, much more than they used to. Sometimes it is not all that specific however. I don’t know where Freo lives, but it may be that the mission she is in does not just include the area where she lives and other areas are not the same. There would not necessarily be any reason to teach about the Dutch settling the area to someone who may never be sent there.

    Along the same lines, most African missions today have mostly African missionaries. The poor dumb white guys from America are in the minority big time – another glaring inaccuracy that the whole musical is based on.

    Mormons love nothing more than to laugh about themselves. There are lots of parodies, satires and mock-u-mentaries about various aspects of LDS culture that are hilarious. But they are first of all accurate (which is what makes them funny) and not intended to offend.

  12. The thoughts about The Savior of the World – That is precisely why GUNS GOD and GLORY is evil. Jesus himself never ever promised an end to political oppression. Colonialists usurped His message for their own gain. He acts as a Savior and ministers to people one by one, individually, and brings peace to people’s individual souls, rather than collectively to a nation. To the extent that people are suffering under evil regimes or repressive political conditions, many find that the gospel brings them peace and a way to cope through the difficulty, just as it does for all of us. In fact, one of my favorite stories about this very topic happens to be about a woman from Sierra Leone, ironically, and how she found , yes, the LDS church, after seeing most of her family killed or mutilated and having to flee her country.

    I think most of Christian missionary work in third world countries today does this and only this. Some Westernization may occur simply because we live in western dominated world, but thankfully the days of ‘conquering territory for God’ are over.

  13. I can understand & appreciate how Mormons are offended by the very successful play, Book of Mormon. However, I’m pretty sure those who have seen it or have heard of it are aware it is a parody and not meant to be taken seriously. For those who DO want to know the truth about Mormonism, the Internet is a gold-mine, no pun intended, of information on any topic regarding the history of Mormonism. Of course reading any material by LDS members which shows Mormonism in a bad light or in any way opposes the BOM, even if there is irrefutable proof, is strongly discouraged by the LDS church leaders.

    However since I am not LDS, I HAVE read extensively all I can about it. I wanted to know what David will be experiencing and trying to better understand why he chose to do this. In the course of my research into LDS and Missionaries, I am no closer to being happy about David doing a mission now than I was when he first announced it. One of my concerns is that David will not be able to fulfill a complete two year mission due to his celebrity, which will deeply disappoint him & he will be forced to cut short his mission for his own safety. My concern is not that he may have to return earlier, but more for his safety.

    I am still and will always be a fan of David and his talent as one of the finest vocalists ever and now, especially after today’s episode of NA, a fine actor. Anyone seeing David for the first time today on NA would never guess he is not a skilled actor but merely a first time and only a few weeks actor. He is phenomenal, a true artist. As I read somewhere, a Consummate Artist who can do it all.

    • Jus’sayin, I to have read up on the religion too, so I would feel better about David’s decussion, but I to am no closer to being happy about David doing a mission. The thing is in order to be a Mormon missionary, I think from what I read, you have to believe in all the doctrine.
      So when David said he was going on a mission for the LDS church, yes I was a little disappointed with him, only because of a few things that he has to believe and preach. It is his private beliefs and somehow I wish I had never known about them.

      It’s not going to change my feelings for David and his career, I still want him to successed and I want to listen to that beauitul golden voice for the right of my life.

    • I try to focus only on the public person. I just try to dissociate David the singer from his private beliefs. It’s not easy since his announcement to go on a religious mission but I still try to only focus on the music (and the acting now). TBH, I’m not sure I care anymore about his decision to leave for 2 years and the consequences for his career. It’s his decision after all and I accepted the fact that I can’t do anything to change it. And regarding his comeback to music, I lowered my expectations to a point where I’m not even sure I still have any. It’s great that he’s working on music before leaving and like any other fan, I’m enjoying watching him act in NA but I think I’m just becoming less ODD which is a good thing in my case lol. I think I’ll always be a fan because I love his voice, I just hope that I’ll be able to enjoy the music he’ll decide to do too.

      • jus’sayin, cq, and cmoi I not only agree with your comments but you have stated my feelings on many things regarding David and the mission. Watching the Voice. This show really entertains me. I like it better than AI but will probably still watch some of Idol. Back to the show.

      • Yeah , i’m with you in the same page right now from ”try to dissociate David the singer from his private beliefs” to ” I lowered my expectations to a point where I’m not even sure I still have any.” … i recognize that i followed him because i had big expectations about his future career , i really saw the Big Star on him , Voice talent, look and personality, but i stop fighting with my own wishes and i started to accept what many others fans say about him really not to want a big career and be happy with and small one, and i just find right now more easy to not have expectations about the future , if he is able in some years to put good music and regain again all the opportunities he had this past years and better than that to see that opportunities with other perspectives , i will be so happy to hear about him , otherwise any other try to put a excited spin in this all situation will be futile …. if he don’t want, nothing that our wishes can change , sadly :/

    • I enjoyed reading your comments. I have no idea how it could be safe for him to be just about anywhere. I do believe that the church must be preparing to protect him and be fully responsible for his well being including keeping his voice healthy. He is a very special person of celebrity status and there will need to be obvious allowances made for him.

      Despite the rules and expectations being placed on David, I am guessing that there will be changes around the one year mark and that is purely my guess. It is such an unusual situation unless there is so much in the planning that we are not aware of.

      The series today was like David’s first acting job once his acting classes had been completed. He was a very fine actor…His list of artistic accomplishments is growing longer.


    • If David tries and for some reason cannot complete his 2 years of service, due to his celebrity status or other matters unknown at this time, I think he would take it in stride. It may be like the royal kids when they are in school and the press and locals just are respectful and don’t bother them or photograph?
      ( hopefully_). I think there may be a few photos at the beginning and then things will settle down. ( but who knows)

    • Well, tbh i really think that once he start his mission period his gonna be full into it for the two years, he’s just now too deep into the mystical phase of his life i guess, and with a total idealistic view of the life, his role and his religion , something fed by his own fans in the last years additionally . Yes he’s leaving music for the fans and i think is a good strategy btw and yes he has the intention to still in communication and many fans think he should do that in order to have a career post mission, but from my view after maybe the first couple months him like us we’ll be able to move on into others projects and i’m almost sure will be even unnoticeable and more easy to let it go with the months …. with exception of the ones that are really obsessed …. but him will be absorbed for the activity.

      I’m not concern about his security , his church know by now that they should send him to a safe place and in the top i want to imagine that he has assurances that put conditions too, even if he has not legal connections with a label , but who knows , i mean he still a celebrity , at least until the last day on US.
      just my tow cents in your comment.

  14. “Forevermore” reminds me of “Longer”, (the studio version of the song he sang on AI).

    OT but I watched an old episode of Psych about a murder committed on the set of a popular Spanish soap opera. It reminded me of Nandito Ako and the discussions we had about it lol. They caricatured everything from the required over acting and the incredible twists in the script to all the people who watch soaps secretly and are ashamed to admit it. Don’t know if there are Psych fans but it was really funny !

  15. It is a real dilemma for some, not all of David’s fans who do not believe as he does. It’s a dilemma we face that we can have deep feelings for this beautiful and wonderful person and still be disillusioned about his decision to go on a mission,

    They say he is following his heart and he is happy & at peace with his decision, But if he has any misgivings about that decision especially after the success he enjoyed & is still enjoying from his Manila adventures, he would never say so. What he accomplished, how much he has grown professionally from his MKOC Tour & Nandito Ako, in a short time is truly phenomenal. I doubt even he expected it to turn out as successful as NA has been. Or maybe he did know what he was capable of and needed to make sure we knew it too before he leaves. All I know is if he comes back and wants it, he can have it all.

    In the meantime, we can enjoy NA for this week & next. Then his Forevermore album & hopefully new music he says he is working on before he leaves. I think many fans are distancing themselves from David if the few comments of the sites are any indication. I think it may be kind of a self-preservation some fans are going through after having been a loyal & true fan of David to become less obsessed. For some though, it’s easier said than done. Seriously!

    • What I see the fans doing or not doing, is indeed self-preservation. Their quietness speaks for itself and I am seeing their hearts in the right places although they are rather sad for the moment. His fans here in North America have been phenominal with their support and at times their enduring patience. I hope for the best all the way around.


      • I think it is self-preservation by many of David’s fans to kind of distance themselves. I think it is not such a bad thing for fans to have lower expectations and be realistic about what the future holds for David’s music career. I support David and remain a fan and hope for the best for his career but for me I have much lower expectations at this point. I am past the ODD and I think it is a good thing for me like cmoi also mentioned.

    • Yeah ‘ totally self-preservation’ , in my case i just want to close the young David era until the release of the Phillipino album, i guess he deserved that last support … after that event we’ll be in a different mood.

  16. This is what I was afraid of, diehard fans slipping away even before he leaves. This is so sad.

    • cq,

      It’s not really that surprising is it? Some fans, me included feel kind of let down. Like when a loved promises something and then does the opposite.

      Let me explain. Most of David’s fans have invested a good part of their lives following him, buying his music & merchandise, attending his concerts & events thinking it was a great investment with a 100 percent return. For the last four years it has been worth it even when there were dry spells & some ups & downs but still we hung in there with him. Then for his MKOC Tour, a NEW David showed up! He was exciting, electrifying, confident and magnificent! I attended several shows, from the shows in NY & PA & traveling hundreds of miles cross-country to CA. I could not get enough. I was so sure it was the beginning of a new & exciting time for us. I thought David was ready to take on the music industry and show them he was not going to be denied. I had heard he was being pursued by some big & powerful agents in the industry during the tour and I just knew 2012 was going to be HIS YEAR! I did the VIP thing twice & both times he gave no hint of what was coming. He was genuinely pleased & happy when fans were telling him how excited we were for him and how fantastic the shows were. I told him I was looking forward with much anticipation to seeing him perform live again as he is IMO, the best live performer in the world today. Of course he was humbled & was grateful for all the praise & love he was shown by the fans but never did he hint this tour would be the last for a very long time for his fans here in America.

      When he made his announcement, I was shocked and quite honestly I thought it must be a joke. I must have heard wrong. Then I actually felt betrayed and even angry. I though how could he have fooled us? Why would he make us love his performances, his vocals, HIM, just to leave it all behind? After the shock wore off, the anger also left me, but I still felt a sense of betrayal for a time. That feeling didn’t last long either because I realized David didn’t owe me anything. He had paid his dues to me in full with all the great & happy moments he’s given me. I will always be a fan. I will be here when he returns whenever that may be.

      I do understand and don’t blame fans who feel they must take a step back to discover & enjoy other artists. While we want to believe David will want to renew his career when he returns, and even though he says that is exactly what he plans to do, he is very unpredictable as we have seen these last few months. He is an enigma. No one can begin to guess what his priorities will be in one or two or three years. Who ever would have guessed he would do a SOAP OPERA just before going on a MISSION? So who really knows what David will do when he returns. Some of us will be here waiting, some won’t. I’m sure he knows all this.

      • jus’sayin, you are right, of course. The comment I made was me being very sad about the whole thing. I do understand that fans have to move on.
        Still hoping that we will be surprised with regular great music and fun thing while he is away, so that most of us will be hanging around to be part of the action.

      • jus’sayin, by the way, I just started commenting not too long ago, before I was just lurking. One day just went for it and decided to join the fun. Hoping this site as will as other David site stay open because I find it so much fun to get my opinion voiced and to hear others opinions. I might not agree with everything others say, as they might not agree with me, but what a fun ride.

        I so do understand where you are coming from…..who really knows what David will do next, but I’m so hoping it’s fantastic music.

      • Great comment jus’sayin. I think many fans have the feelings that you just expressed. I think that David could gain back the interest of some of his fans if he was only gone for a year and if he has a plan in place when he returns. The plan should be a label and professional management. He needs professional guidance in the music industry and always has even if he and his dad thought he didn’t. IMO after AI David’s dad thought he was going to be in charge and it does not work that way in the industry. I actually do not consider myself a diehard fan and I never was. David’s career was interesting to follow but it will not be for the next few years and even after that he does not have the right plan in place for his career IMO. I am quite sure David knows all this too. I think it is wonderful if David does humanitarian work on his mission but he needs to think of his career too IMO.

  17. Here is a link to a blog in the Washington Post that is a response to the musical by a public affairs officer of the Mormon church, Michael Otterson. He doesn’t take offense with the musical. He points out it is just entertainment, but points out that in the same seven years that it took to write the musical, the church was doing lots of humanitarian work in Africa including providing clean water to 4 million people, wheelchairs for 34,000 children, helped provide improved or restored sight to 126,000 people, and provided training for 52,000 people in neonatal resuscitation.

    Nineteen year old kids aren’t very worldly wise, but they learn a lot while serving. They learn from the people by talking to them in their language.

    As many of you say it is tough to understand David choice to go on a mission. You might feel better if you focus on the hands-on humanitarian service that he will be doing at least once a week. Missionaries all over the world do this. Some missionaries do nothing but humanitarian service. Missionaries consider all that they do as a service to humanity. They encourage people pray and to live better lives. The missionaries learn to love the people in the country where they serve–all the people, not just the members.

    David has plenty of practice at this. In addition to his humanitarian service, he has always put his fans first, and in that way has served them. Also, I think that he truly loves his fans–all of them.

    • David needs to take some career advice from Donny and Marie Osmond IMO. Their careers have gone up and down but they are doing great now. I think that they do very well in Vegas. My friend just went to see their show in Vegas and said it was packed and they put on a great show. Interesting article LS.

  18. BTW Nandito Ako today was so sweet, and they better give more time to Josh and Anya to make strong the love feeling 😉 …. two week look short to end all this story line . lol 🙂

  19. HG great informative post , thanks 🙂 …. here my thoughts
    1. Yes , by the time of colonization many bad things were made in the name of God, but like today when you put religion – politics and power in the same place , nothing good should come from that mixture ( just look the republican party lol) …. and actually is a biblical mandate to separate both of them , but human never listen lol. 🙂
    2. I’m so impressed too with the social media effect in many of this social phenomenon , but true is that many young and even not so young follow to this cause more for the group emotion effect that for real knowledge de the situation …and fast pass to the next buzz thing to support … of course the result are not alwyas bad, and like ‘rael’, said ” raising awareness” is a big baby steps, and social media make this part so fast … so like all in life is about learn and grow.
    3. And about the missionaries, from all the denominations is general , i think there is actually a difference between a Missionary and to do missionary work for some time ….. a real missionary really give his life to the cause … i just think is something that require vocation, not all the people has this ministery in my opinion , at least not all are mature enough to do it for the right reason, without imply they are in a superior status that others ( i just read some blogs btw) …. of course to do it , the persone should be convinced of what she’s gonna share , but shoul be really aware about the culture of the country where she gonna go and inmerse herself in that culture to understand their life views and real concerns .
    But again religious missionary ”should” be all about to bring peace,hope and love to the ones in spiritual need that is what God means and represent , i mean the simplicity of the gospel ….not about money or ostentation or politics or business ( you can disagree is OK to me )
    4.Like Julee said, right now is a lot more comun , i guess for more of the denomination , at least in the protestant too to have missionaries from their own countries, this kind of missionaries have enought respect for their culture and know by self experience what the concerns of the comunities are ….. but anyway the only anf first commitment of a missionary is to share God with people, then if they can be free and to have hopes and give love surely they gonna find the self peace and have a happy life in despite the economics difficulties.
    5. ”Jesus himself never ever promised an end to political oppression. Colonialists usurped His message for their own gain. He acts as a Savior and ministers to people one by one, individually, and brings peace to people’s individual souls, rather than collectively to a nation. ” ”I think most of Christian missionary work in third world countries today does this and only this. Some Westernization may occur simply because we live in western dominated world, but thankfully the days of ‘conquering territory for God’ are over” Well said Julee .
    6. I have mixing feeling about The ‘StopKony’ campaign ,not the reasons , but the way …t-shirts, bracelets … is just a little too much marketing for something should be noticed since long time ago? 7000 childrens kipnapped?

    Sorry for the long post btw.

  20. KathyH (@KathyHsayshi)

    I’m going to comment even though I didn’t take the time to read every post thoroughly, and for that, I apologize. It’s more of a coping strategy than anything else. I find that in the time before David leaves, I’m eager to drink in the positives. There’ll be plenty of time to adapt to changes after he leaves.

    HG, your post is thoughtful and informative and I know little about how things have worked historically but some previous reading led me to a similar understanding, nevertheless. I can’t help but remember David’s history as regards mission work. His mother’s side must have felt the blessings of conversion to the Mormon religion, as I believe the grandmother who converted is still living. And I do think missionaries do good work, regardless of history. There are corrupt men and there are peacemakers, but most of us are a little of both, no?

    And as far as fans leaving. I can only see what *I* see. Within the circle of folks that I’ve gotten to know a little more personally, I see a spectrum of reactions. My closer friends are all still very supportive. They’ve bought the music and will buy anything else that comes out. They are watching the miniseries. I am by far the one who comments the most, and that’s always been the case. But when we speak, we talk about what’s up with David. Of my wider circle, again, I know of no one who has left. A few are quieter, but they are the rarer cases. Most have gathered around to support each other in a time that is emotional. David’s follower list on Twitter has grown quiet a bit with the series. I know. Most of those are surely Asian fans. But Asian fans are fans and I love them. They are generous in sharing. That’s part of what I love about David’s fan base.

    I won’t try to predict what happens when he returns. David seems to do pretty well living in the moment and that’s something I aspire to do. I’m predicting that I’ll be as big a fan in two years as ever.

  21. Hi HG! Just wanted to say how much I appreciate this piece. I’m always in awe of your knowledge and wisdom. I still visit your blog from time to time, not out of any expectation about David’s career moves or lack of them, but just to enjoy your writing and hopefully learn from your acutely focused critical mind. Peace!

    • Valbraz!! *waves frantically*

      Sooooo good to hear from you! Hope you’ll come out from lurkdom every now and then. 😀

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