View Full Version : Fact or Fiction?

07-05-2004, 08:47
The term "Going Native" has been used by the media to describe a person that identifies so much with the indigs that they become one themselves. I've never heard a QP use the phrase so I ask:

Is this something that happens or can happen or is it just a term thought up by a creative writer to move his story? If it's true, what types of things are used to combat the problem? if it doesent violate OPSEC.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
07-05-2004, 12:47
Actually I think I would prefer the term, "establishing a close rapport and working relationship". It can be a problem and SF were warned about getting involved in the FULRO movement in SVN where the goal was the recognition of the Montagnards as a legitimate people with rights and governmental powers. While I cannot speak for others, it was pretty easy to do everything you could to look out for the yards and keep the LLDB under control to the point of threatening, in one of my more contentious times, to smoke their butts with some 20mm cannon from a couple of AIE skyraiders if they didn't come around. The best way to control "going native" was to put things in perspective and always remember everything you do was bound to have a long term effect. The idea was to ensure that whatever you did when you were no longer there that the "natives" could function on their own and not be tied to us for ever. I think the closest that my team every came to "going native" was to adopt yard dress, wear the necklaces and bracelets and participate in their various ceremonies. Of course, even good intentions can backfire. I can remember quite vividly, after we acquired a couple of 105 mm howitzers, trying to convince a village cheif to relocate his village within the range of the guns. I did all the right things, donned the loin cloth, put on the bangles, sat around a jug of rice wine and started to parley with him. The long and the short of it was he would move if I could demonstrate that I could bring out the "sun" in the night. They had never seen an illumination round out where they were located. I said I could, but if I did he would move the village and there would be no first born sacrifice as was the normal custom. Well, you got to remember I said we acquired those weapons so we where a couple of brain cells short of being fully trained on them. So to control things I sent my team sergeant and a medic the 11 clicks up the valley and waited until night fall. Took an azimuth to put the rounds just short of the village, set the elevation at 45 degrees for max range, had the timer set, and corked off the round. Well no one told us that there was a metal disc that pushed the illumination system out of the canister and come to find out I damn near took out a portion of the village chiefs hut with the disc and I think we killed one of the pigs. The team sergeant was right on top if it, had me shift the tube and the rest, as they say, is history. Village moved under the guns and no sacrifice. So the long and the short of it, there is a time and a place to "go native" but not completely.

Jack Moroney

07-05-2004, 13:25

Just because an individual or team are well versed in "Cross Cultural Communications" does not necessarily mean "going native".

Hell...I'm out here in N. CA and I'm damn sure not about to go native.:D

07-05-2004, 13:35
In historical books I've read it's been described as the Col said. In the fictional books it comes up all the time as someone getting into it so much that they "become" a native.

I can see where, as the example above shows, it can help the mission. Just trying to find out if the fictional version has ever happened.

07-05-2004, 17:00
We used to say it all the time - not always negative, but rarely serious. "Go native early." etc. I've been told by several here that I "got off the boat years ago". An apparent reference to Apocolypse Now.

My only response was "Gran triple hijue puta, Uds., no tienen ni idea con quien se metieron. Si me vuelven a decir esto otra vez, les juro que no respondo." Then ride off on my burro. The nerve of some people!

07-05-2004, 20:10
Viva le reveloution!

07-08-2004, 01:38

The Reaper
07-08-2004, 07:10
Originally posted by DoctorDoom
"Going native" as an perjorative originates from the time of the British colonial empire in India, used in a primarily negative way against those English who adopted native customs, learned the language, or agitated for the welfare of the indigenous population.

I don't normally see it as a pejorative.


07-08-2004, 15:55

07-11-2004, 10:39
I hope you guys don't mind me replying here.
Personally I would assume that "going native" is the best way for you to understand the culture that you're in and for that culture/community to accept you and allow you to be more involved in different aspects of that community. To make an effort to separate yourself (culturally) you miss out on experiences and knowledge while also endangering yourself.
I spent some time on a Navajo reservation in N.Mexico -- participated in some ceremonies, slaughtered sheep, made mutton, learned the language, etc... Yes, some of the natives (actually some of the older women) were upset to see a white woman involved in some of thier special ceremonies. One of the medicine men kind of took me under his wing while I was there and put a lot of time into teaching several aspects of thier culture and heritage to me. I think this is all due to the fact that I was open minded, asked pointed questions, and made every effort to do things thier way. I fell in love with thier culture, spirituality, and traditions. So I find "going native" an easy thing to do, and certainly, I'd fight along side them if someone or some group was violating thier rights.
I honestly envy you guys here that get the opportunity to "go native" with different cultures. It also shows a lot about you as an individual (at least in my opinion).

07-11-2004, 10:51
Calling one a "Native" in Brit and Commonwealth circles is slightly degrogotory these days.

Team Sergeant
07-11-2004, 12:05
Originally posted by Guy

Hell...I'm out here in N. CA and I'm damn sure not about to go native.:D

Sure your not.....

You're the only SF type I know that "walks the poodles.":D

The Reaper
07-11-2004, 12:15
Originally posted by Team Sergeant
Sure your not.....

You're the only SF type I know that "walks the poodles.":D

Now THAT is going to leave a mark!