Wallace B. Henley on How to Have Cities Without the Police

‘Police departments systemically fail to make arrests in sexual assault cases.’
Photograph: Ragan Clark/AP

Those eager to shrink or even eliminate police departments in their cities could learn much from the mutineers who, in 1789 revolted against Captain William Bligh and took over his ship, the Bounty.

Wandering through the vast South Pacific they came finally to a deserted island, Pitcairn. The mutineers brought along Tahitian women they had kidnapped or bargained for along the way and determined to make for themselves a paradise.

Instead, “the next five years became a nightmare for the small colony,” wrote Vance Ferrell, in his little history of the events. Several of the men “had always been heavy drinkers.” Once they had exhausted the alcoholic leftovers from the ship, they began to experiment with ways to brew their own booze and search for other intoxicants.

They found a source in the “tee tree.” The men were drunk all the time and terrorized everyone around them. Murder, suicide, rape, fights, theft, brutality took over the little community.

Wallace Henley, former Senior Associate Pastor of 2nd Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Scott Belin

It was a “world” fallen deeply into the tohu-bohu chaos condition mentioned in Genesis 1:1-2 — structureless and barren spiritually, morally, and relationally.

Yet eventually the Pitcairn colony became an example of a reformed society that knew peace, tranquility, security, and abundance.

And they did it without a police force.

In his book, Ferrell tells how it happened. He titles a chapter, “Paradise Begins.” Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutineers, was rummaging one day through his sea chest when he discovered a Bible his mother had placed there years earlier. Christian and another mutineer, John Adams (also known as Alexander Smith) began reading it.

Fletcher Christian died, but Adams kept reading and pondering.

One night, he said, “I had a dream that changed my life.” An angel appeared in the night vision and began to warn Adams of the consequences of his old lifestyle. “Then he called me to repent,” and “train the children in the way of Christian’s Bible.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace B. Henley