by James Corbett
June 09, 2024
from TheCorbettReport Website







Have you ever wondered what would happen if you suddenly gave the Internet to a remote, isolated indigenous tribe with no prior experience of the modern world?


Well, wonder no more!

That's exactly what you're about to find out...

Yes, as either an elaborate PR stunt or a selfless act of generosity (depending on whom you ask), a wealthy American benefactor has just bestowed the "gift" of Starlink antennae on an Amazonian tribe to connect their isolated community to the Internet.

In other words,

we are watching exactly what transpires when you introduce a non-technological tribe to the "glories" of the Internet.

And the result of this strange little experiment has been exactly as horrific as you might imagine...







The Vale do Javari is one of the largest indigenous territories in Brazil.


Located in a remote region of Brazil's Amazonas state, it is believed to be home to,

"the greatest concentration of isolated groups in the Amazon and the world."

One of those groups is the Marubo, a tribe of around 2,000 people who have had only limited contact with the outside world since they were first "discovered" during the Amazon rubber boom of the early 20th century.

The Marubo have been in touch with the outside world for a century now, but for the most part they have eschewed modern technology and amenities in favor of their traditional tribal lifestyle.


They live in communal huts and they fish, hunt wild boar, grow cassava and eat banana porridge.

But nine months ago, everything changed for the Marubo...


That's when Enoque Marubo - a leader of the tribe who spent years living in the "civilized" world and thus realized the potential value of the Internet - recorded a 50-second video asking for help connecting his community to the world wide web.


Days later, they heard back from Allyson Reneau...


Reneau is - according to her website - an international motivational speaker, a professional gymnastics coach, a successful entrepreneur and, oh by the way, the mother of 11 children.


She also likes to highlight her international charity work, which includes visiting children in Rwanda, talking on Pakistani television and speaking at conferences in South Africa.


Also, according to The New York Times, Reneau likes to highlight international charity work she may or may not have been involved with.

In 2021, she was interviewed on CNN and Fox News for "rescuing" an all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover.


But days later, lawyers for the robotics team told Ms. Reneau to stop taking credit for a rescue she had little to do with.

And so, when she received a video from a Brazilian indigenous tribal leader in traditional headdress begging for 20 Starlink antennae to bring the Internet to his remote corner of the Amazon, Reneau jumped at the opportunity.


Comparing herself to Charlie Wilson - yes, that Charlie Wilson - she bought the antennas with her own money and booked a flight to Brazil to deliver them to the Marubo herself.


With a cameraman along to document the magnanimous act of philanthropy, Reneau, Enoque Marubo and a band of men carrying satellite antennae on their backs trudged miles through the forest to reach the Marubo's isolated encampment deep in the heart of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory.


The antennae worked. Connected to Starlink via some cheap phones bought with Brazilian government welfare checks, the Marubo were now online.


So, what did this new connection with the outside world mean for the Marubo? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here are two thousand words of explanation for you.


First, the "before" picture of Marubo village life:





And then the "after" picture:





The connection was, as Enoque had envisioned, immediately useful.


It enabled village leaders to communicate with each other and coordinate their emergency response, it helped teachers share lessons with students in far away villages and it allowed the Marubo to communicate with friends and family who had moved out of the forest to join the modern world.


But the connection was also, as Enoque now concedes, immediately damaging to the community...:

"It changed the routine so much that it was detrimental.


In the village, if you don't hunt, fish and plant, you don't eat."

Instead, teenagers were spending their time on social media networks, watching soccer videos and chatting on Instagram.


Young men, meanwhile, immediately gravitated toward pornography, a fact Enoque finds particularly disturbing:

He is most unsettled by the pornography.


He said young men were sharing explicit videos in group chats, a stunning development for a culture that frowns on kissing in public.

"We're worried young people are going to want to try it," he said of the graphic sex depicted in the videos.

He said some leaders had told him they had already observed more aggressive sexual behavior from young men.

As a result, Internet use has been limited.


The antennae are switched on only two hours in the morning, five hours in the evening, and all day on Sundays.


The story is interesting because it seems to exactly confirm what we already know:

the Internet can ruin a society in a matter of months...

The story also contains the type of head scratching statements that make sense only to those who understand the insanity that the Internet medium engenders in its users.

"Everyone is so connected that sometimes they don't even talk to their own family," laments Alfredo Marubo, leader of one association of Marubo villages.


"Young people have gotten lazy because of the Internet," complains Tsainama Marubo, a 73-year-old tribal elder.

Instead of learning the orally transmitted traditions of Marubo culture - kneading jenipapo berries to make black body paint, for example, or making ropes of jewelry from snail shells - now the youth are only interested in,

"learning the ways of the white people."

Or, in the understated words of the always staid and subdued headline writers of The New York Post:

"Remote Amazon tribe finally connects to Internet - Only to wind up hooked on porn, social media".

So, what does this story tell us about the Internet and the global society it is creating?





BEHOLD! THE Internet!



Why is our immediate reaction to the story of the Marubo:

"Yeah, that sounds about right"?

And, perhaps more importantly,

why is our next impulse to immediately scroll on to the next article in our never-ending news feed, congratulating ourselves that we correctly predicted this sorry result?


Is it because we know that the Internet was, from its very inception, a creation of the military-industrial complex and the alphabet soup agencies that was always intended as a tool for tracking, surveilling and controlling any would-be opposition to the Silicon Valley overlords?


Is it because we know by their own admission that the pioneers of social media deliberately engineered their algorithms to exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology and make their platforms as addictive as humanly possible?


Or that (again by their own admission) these same social media mavens concede that social media is "ripping apart society"?


Or that, by and large, all the Big Tech CEOs raise their children tech-free or greatly restrict their children's screen time?


Is it because we know, as one of the earliest viral Internet videos (before YouTube was even a thing) has it, "The Internet is For Porn," and that pornography is a neurological weapon rewiring the brains of an entire generation of men in ways neurologically indistinguishable from severe drug addiction?


Or that porn has actually been used as a weapon of demoralization, as when the Israelis seized three Palestinian television stations and began "broadcasting pornographic movies and programs in Hebrew" on them?


(And is it any wonder that Elon Musk has just tweaked Twitter's rules to formally allow adult content on the platform?)


Is it because, as Jack Dorsey has admitted, the social media companies that now dominate the world wide web not only made the disastrous decision to centralize discovery and identity into corporations, but that these companies and their mysterious algorithms are now threatening free will itself?


Is it because, as a diligent student of The Corbett Report, you know about Google's Selfish Ledger and Facebook's mood-manipulation experiment and Facebook's shadow profiles?


Or because you have learned that Information Overload is a Weapon of Control and that humans have no free will if Big Tech gets their way?


Or because you have discovered the life-altering power of The Filter Bubble?


Or because you are now aware of the long-term goal of the hucksters and charlatans of our era to lead us (by way of "mixed reality") towards accepting the coming integration of man and machine?


Is it because you not only studied The Media Matrix documentary and my online course on Mass Media: A History, but also followed those cookie crumb trails back to Marshall McLuhan's groundbreaking work on Understanding Media and his 1965 interview on The Future of Man in the Electric Age?


Or, for those who find the philosophical musings of an articulate and erudite Albertan too much to handle, is it because you at least followed the cookie crumb trail back to Neil Amusing Ourselves to Death Postman and his work on Technopoly and his lecture on The Surrender of Culture to Technology?


Is it because, having contemplated all of this information and having combined it with the startling fact that the average American now spends 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media, you realize that, in some fundamental sense, humans are already some amalgamation of human and electronic media, some species of homo medias that no longer remembers what it is to live an authentic human experience in the natural world?

Yes, I dare say it is because of all that.


So, here's the real question:

why are you still sitting there on your device, reading these words...?









This is where I could end the article with some upbeat take away about our predicament.


The part where - after acknowledging the gravity of the situation - I remind us all that we are still in control and that it is ultimately our choice how we spend our time, our attention, our energy and our resources.


I could exhort us to take this responsibility seriously and encourage us all to wisely choose what we spend our time doing.


I could then remind you of my #SolutionsWatch episodes on Deleting Your Social Media and Unplugging from the Matrix and Taking Back Our Tech and Eye-bouncing and my conversation with Larry Rosen on How to Control Your Smartphone (So It Doesn't Control You).


I could even end this article by pointing out (as Neil Postman does in the lecture linked above) that,

the fact that everyone is now aware of the problem of the Internet is itself a hopeful sign...!

After all, it means that we are no longer under the delusion of the old propaganda designed to convince us that the "Information Superhighway" is going to be the answer to (rather than the cause of) all our problems.


I mean, that's precisely the point of all these articles on the "Remote Amazon Tribe gets the Internet and Immediately Falls Apart" story, isn't it?


These types of articles are playing on the fact that we all know the Internet is increasingly a vile and divisive place that is tearing society apart at the seams. That's why we clicked on it. That's why we're reading about it.


But once again,

I am left wondering why we are all still here.


I know everyone has their excuses for participating in this societal train wreck.

Me...? I now make my living online! I have to be here!


What choice do I have? Of course, there is the option to completely eschew the Internet altogether and to go live a happy, care-free 100% authentically human life.


Tell you what:

I'll sweeten the pot.


I hereby pledge that I will pay anyone who, after reading this article, forswears the Internet and never touches another electronic device again a cool ONE MILLION JAPANESE YEN (6,400 $ about)...!

The trick is you'll have to find a way of getting in contact with me and proving your Internet-free existence and collecting the money in person. Good luck!


But for the rest of us... here we are.

Like it or not, there is no turning the clock back on the Gutenberg Revolution 2.0...

So, perhaps it's appropriate to give the last word today to the Marubo.

Decades ago, the most respected Marubo shaman had visions of a hand-held device that could connect with the entire world.

"It would be for the good of the people," he said.


"But in the end, it wouldn't be."


"In the end," he added, "there would be war."

His son sat on the log across from him, listening.

"I think the Internet will bring us much more benefit than harm," Enoque said, "at least for now."

Regardless, he added, going back was no longer an option.

"The leaders have been clear," he said.


"We can't live without the Internet"...