There is a social code within Samoa as I know that you well know, whereby shameful facts are concealed.
We don’t talk about STDs or suicide rates or incest . . . or your inappropriate relationships with women.
Some call it diplomacy. Others the Samoan way. Or the Samoan culture, Fa’a Samoa.
I understand this, as I know you do too. It’s an incredibly pragmatic way of dealing with social challenges in the small islands where if everybody is not closely related to each other, then they certainly will know each other. It’s not the biblical way of course, which is to be a little more honest about things, but it keeps the peace quite well nonetheless.
When you ripped me off over the aborted Samoa Day project, it took me a couple of days to work out WTF was happening. You know that I was a little green when it came to political things and I had to learn the Samoan ways (which in many ways are a little more direct and brutal than our Western sophistication) but learn I did.
I learned that you are a politician. I found out the hard way that politicians are the same across the globe and I found out from your people the true nature of your relationship with Sonja. I was puzzled at first. Oh sure, in retrospect it’s obvious but I genuinely didn’t know why you guys never looked at each other at our meeting. I thought it was just the Samoan thing at the time. I genuinely thought that you didn’t know why Sonja was playing games. I never suspected that you too were in on it!
But the people spoke, Tui. They talked. I asked around town and they all knew, well most of them did anyway.
“Dennis, they are close!” one High Chief explained to me.
“Dennis, don’t go there . . . ” was a second warning.
“How did you find out?” was a common reaction from Samoans concerned that a Palagi would know your/their secret(s).
“You have to understand the life of a Samoan High Chief” others would try to explain and justify. “He is the chief, you know!”
My enquiries continued for years, Tui. They weren’t a deep investigation to rat you out – more just chatting with your people, like I always did, picking up little bits from here and little bits from there. When I twigged at what “inappropriate” actually meant I was at peace. I understood and it all made perfect sense. I didn’t like it but at least I knew what I had gotten caught up in the middle of.
As you know, I did nothing about my knowledge of how things really work in Paradise, until I wrote the book Corruption in Samoa, of course when I relayed the events as I did.
Tui, I’ve said elsewhere that I don’t give two hoots who you muck around with, except for the fact that you ripped me off over it and because you use the name of Christ you make a mockery of him with your conduct. I am VERY sure that Gillian and others around you have all paid a price for your indiscretions – I know that I have. That sucks!
I want you to know from this letter though that a large part of the resentment that your people have toward you is because of your hypocrisy. They know, Tui, and for fear of their culture or what you could or would do through your Samoan control systems they are all too scared to talk about it.
I’m not, as you can see.
In my next letter I will be sharing of the spiritual aspects of this all and I attempt to teach you why even though you lead an entire country, you actually lead a futile existence.
Standby for more direct talking in my next letter.