On November 17, 1961, he left camp with Dutch anthropologist Rene Wassing. Their double pontoon boat was swamped and overturned, leaving them adrift about three miles from shore. Two local guides swam for help, but two days later it had still not come. That day, November 19, Wassing reports that Rockefeller said he thought he could "make it," by then an estimated 12 miles from shore. What happened next can never be proved. Wassing was rescued one day later, but despite an extensive and exhaustive search, neither Rockefeller nor his body were ever found.
Theories abound, and testimony varies. Some believe he must surely have died of exposure and exhaustion during his long swim and drowned. Others believe a crocodile, or other creature, might have gotten him. But the theory that keeps rising to the top is that he was captured and killed by the Otsjanep tribe in retaliation for the murder of several tribesmen by Dutch colonial officials. And finally, you will find the surmise that because cannibalism among the Asmats was a part of exacting vengeance and Rockefeller's body was never found, that he was also eaten after being killed.
To us, cannibalism is the height of barbaric cruelty. Civilized people who consider themselves to be basically "good" would never stoop to such a thing, would they? Would we? Perhaps not literally, but spiritual cannibalism thrives in every culture.
I have seen married couples carp and bicker, criticize and complain, even in front of others, to the point that you check the legal column the next morning to see if a divorce decree was filed the night before. Anyone with sense, we think, would see how such words and actions would eat away at the bonds of their union. Indeed, marriage takes constant maintenance to insure that those bonds remain intact. They certainly won’t survive such destructive behavior, but people continue to behave that way, impervious to the embarrassment they cause anyone with earshot, and heedless to the effect on their relationship.
We sometimes treat the body of Christ the same way. One person has a disagreement with another, about most anything, and that one is his target from then on. All he can see is the bad, never the good. All he can hear are the things that rankle, never the things that help and encourage, and so he is certain his behavior is justified. His distorted vision keeps him from seeing the harm he is causing the body of the Lord by his arrogant, self-centered attitude, and the good that might have been accomplished in spreading the gospel in the community is put on the back burner for the sake of “winning,” even when the contest is petty and of no spiritual value. It also keeps him from seeing exactly how foolish he looks as he destroys the things he claims to be trying to save.
Being a cannibal is one of the worst things we can imagine, especially in our enlightened and civilized age. Yet the Bible says that is exactly what we are when we reach this point. Take a look at the relationships you have in your family and in the kingdom today. Make sure you are not partaking of a meal that God would consider abominable.
For you, brethren, were called for freedom, only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, make sure you be not consumed one of another, Gal 5:13-15