Pitcairn Island -- wow, what a story

I’m surprised no one’s posted anything yet about the Pitcairn Island saga. What a story!!!

I read Mutiny on the Bounty as a kid and was enthralled by it. I’ve seen all 3 movie versions and loved them all, especially the Mel Gibson version due to the beautiful naked brown skinned girls paddling out to the ship, and I used to fantasize about living on a southsea island surrounded by such beauties, like Paul Gauguin, or like the survivors of the Bounty. I was captivated when I learned that the mutineers made it to Pitcairn Island, with the native girls they brought along, and survived and multiplied and died off and multiplied some more so that today, over 100 years later, 47 people live on that barren little island in the middle of nowhere and most of them are descendants of the mutineers (a few others arrived later).

Then recently there’s been the big sex trial. Apparently all of the able-bodied men on the island, including the mayor, are being tried for rapes dating back 40 years and if they are convicted that’s the end of their community, because the men are needed to perform certain basic chores on the island, such as rowing out to giant ships (their lifeline to the world) to pick up goods.

Of course if they’re rapists they should probably be convicted and sentenced as rapists. But first of all, why the hell should UK law apply? Pitcairn isn’t British territory is it? Second, they’ve got this defense that they’re living by polynesian standards of 100 years ago that still apply on Pitcairn. Sounds a little wacky maybe, but on the other hand, Pitcairn is truly an extremely unique situation and maybe they shouldn’t be judged by the same standards of the rest of us whom time hasn’t forgotten.

Check it out on google. Read some of the news stories. Here’s a good Pitcairn website to start out with: lareau.org/pitc.html

It’s quite a strange story.

Well, I know that sex with 12 year olds is normal in the remote parts of Polynesia, but well… Still, not really acceptable, and also… sex with 12 year olds was not in in the UK 200 years ago, as far as I know.

they should make it on a rotational basis, so 2-3 men get to the slammer at the time.that way, they will get punished, and well… the economy of the island will remain more or less intact.

serious question. with such a small population, what do they do to prevent inbreeding? and if they bring people in from the outside(which i’m assuming is possible), can’t they just do that once the men go off to jail?

It seems to me that most of the inhabitants must be seriously inbred, and so therefore mentally defective and not responsible for their actions. Well, at least it’s one defense.

In response, I agree with bababa that inbreeding invariably must happen on Pitcairn (side point: Darwin, who should have understood inbreeding very well married his 2d cousin). As to your second point, would YOU want to live with 47 inbred wackos on a barren, remote island 1 mile by 2 miles, in the middle of the ocean, far from anywhere, where goods (and people) can only be delivered by infrequent giant ships, weather permitting? Probably closer to Lord of the Flies than Fantasy Island.

Perhaps the Pitcairn residents use the, umm, services of passing sailors to prevent inbreeding. :smiley:

Quite a few years ago, my family used to go to an “out island” of the Bahamas for New Year’s. The resident population there was much higher than 47 people – I’d guess 150 or so. The proportion of mentally retarded residents was shocking – at least a dozen of them were badly retarded due to inbreeding.

Now, what kind of tropical paradise would it be if you couldn’t take advantage of doe-eyed underaged lovelies?

Pitcairn is a British colony, no? Therefore British law applies, no matter what they might say about local customs.

In-breeding is probably a real concern, but could be mitigated by having as many people sleep with as many other people as possible. That way the genes get mixed up more.

A good help would be if we all came together, and donated sperm to them… Just 4-5 of us guys sending nitrogen cooled packets to them, would add quite a bit to to the somewhat shallow gene pool there.

OK you have an island of imbred imbeciles starting ot propagate at the tender age of 12. Wonder why the brits bothered…

[quote=“Mr He”]
OK you have an island of imbred imbeciles…[/quote]

You foreigners just don’t understand Taiwanese culture.

:bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

I used to know a Christian (surnamed Christian - direct descendant of Fletcher) whose family were ex-Pitcairn Islanders. This was in NZ. Wasn’t Pitcairn a NZ dependency? Maybe not. Anyway, she didn’t seem inbred.


As for the Bounty movies, turns out I was wrong there weren

A citizen of a country of famous for the molesting of sheep commenting on inbreeding. More please!

:bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

Brando ended up moving out to Tahiti and marrying his lovely Bounty co-star.

Most of the original Bounty descendants were relocated to Norfolk Island (located between Oz and New Zealand). One of my former hostel mates at Formosa 1 was a Norfolk islander, and a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian. As, Norfolk is an Australian territorial island, he had Aussie citizenship. He ended up pioneering the In-line skating craze in Taiwan. Some of you probably know him. Cool guy.

I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean back in the 80’s. St. Helena Island, had a population of only about 1,500 people (much larger than Pitcarin), but they had inbreeding issues too, for sure. Virtually everyone was related. It was pretty obvious that an input of genetic material wouldn’t have been unwelcome based on how the local lasses were eyeying me and my crewmates. Never did get around to doing my part to diversify the gene pool. Shame.

I’m a big fan of obscure, remote islands, and have always found the Pitcarin/Norfolk story fascinating.

I’m heading to Antarctica in about 8 weeks, and will be stopping at the South Shetland Islands on the way to the Peninsula. Highlights here are Deception Island - which is a flooded volcanic caldera, and Elephant Island, where Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the (first) H.M.S Endurance ended up stranded after the Endurance was crushed, and while Shackleton and a small party sailed to South Georgia Island for help. Alas, while this trip should allow for a visit to Elephant, South Georgia - one of the worlds most beautiful islands, and the Falklands/Malvinas will have to wait for another time.

Interesting topic Mother T.

I’m envious mwalimu. When I was younger I often thought I wanted to own a yacht some day and sail around the world. As time passed, and with the wife I married a year ago, it now seems that will never happen.

On the other hand, I was talking to a guy last week who sailed around for 8 years (20 years ago) on a 150 ft yacht that he got for free. Long story, but he bought a former navy mine-sweeper that was being sold as scrap for $27,000, removed all the gear he didn’t want and sold it to a scrap dealer for $27,000. I didn’t have time to find out what he paid to rig it properly, though, but he was only 30 at the time so I doubt he had much dough to invest then. He finally settled on land when it was time for his kids to start school.

On the third hand, I had a roommate whose dad had retired on a 26 ft boat and was always begging the son to join him on a round the world cruise. Teh son finally agreed and dad came to our house, laid the charts on the table and showed us their 3 year route. They left from Sacramento and only made it to San Diego, before the son bailed out, couldn’t take rationing water so intensely (bathing in water taht had been used to cook macaroni) and being confined on such a tiny boat with his authoritarian dad.

Oh well, when I finally return to the states maybe I’ll get a little boat to putt around in and hope my wife doesn’t mutinee.

Theroux’s the Happy Isles of Oceania is quite a good insight into the what it’s like sailing the South Seas.

I’ve heard that the Pitcairners are inbred, but that could just be a myth. The whole underage girl obsession topic tho is nasty. I’ve heard that Switzerland is the most progressive and that if you report someone they will seriously be investigated. That’s fantastic. I say take the child sex people, lock 'em in a cage and dump them in the South Pacific - far from any islands, however. The Marianas Trench would do well.

I understand how you feel sbmoor262004, apparently having been raised in a modern western society. BUT, a defense being raised by the Pitcairn islanders is that in traditional South Pacific island cultures children regularly engaged in sex at a young age and it wasn’t seen as disgusting, immoral or criminal as it is in today’s society. It was just a natural part of growing up. And there seems to be evidence to support that argument, as in the below excerpts from a serious scholarly study:

[quote]While sailors on the early European exploring ships regarded Polynesia as a sexual paradise, the missionaries they brought viewed the same cultures as dens of debauchery. Oliver (1989) cites a 1778 report of J. Forster who stated:

The problem with viewing the behavior of the Pitcairn Islanders as just an expression of their Polynesian culture, and therefore OK, is that some of the women involved complained about it. If it were truly completely acceptable in this society to have sex with girls as young as 5, or for 15-year-old boys to have sex with 11-year-old girls, I don’t think there would be any women cooperating with the prosecution. The fact is, some of the women on the island who started having sex at 11 or 12 consider this to be a normal part of their culture, and others view it as rape and child abuse. This society is not just Polynesian, either - they are part British.

Well, that’s nice. I once met an English sheepdog that didn’t have hip dysplasia. So what?

The effects show up in populations. She should be glad she wasn’t one of the ones with genetic problems. A while back I read something about one of the Amish sects, and how they had some horrible metabolic disease among their men, because they’re one of those sects that believes only the descendants of the original group is saved, so they’ve been inbreeding for a few generations now – and one member of the original group had the genetic defect. I suppose I could make some comment about it being God’s punishment on the believers. . . .

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]
Oh well, when I finally return to the states maybe I’ll get a little boat to putt around in and hope…[/quote]

ARRRRRRR! Buggery on the 'igh seas!!!

:bravo: :bravo: :bravo: