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Batavia’s Grave yard


Mike Dash opinion in words of publication about Batavia’s Graveyard as related to Charismatic Leadership style:


‘ In 1628, the Batavia, owned by the Dutch East India Company, sailed for java with more than 300 people on board ship operations were under Captain Jocobsz, a skilled officer but also and alcoholic whose  womanizing  could cross the line into rape. The ship’s operations were directed by Francisco Pelsaert, a competent merchant who was also a thief, stealing from his employer.

As happened in those times, the Batavia went off-course and washed up on a reef off the west coast of Australia. There were some barren islands close enough for the crew and passengers to reach. The islands had neither food nor water.

It was not long before the captain and his merchant counter-part set of in a small boat to seek rescue, abandoning their 300+ charges. This was, however, the perfect opportunity for the ship’s second in command, a young man named Jeronimus  Cornelisz. Despite having gone bankrupt as a pharmacist, Cornelisz had managed to obtain a position with the  Dutch  East India Company. He found that he could disappear into this large bureaucratic firm. This didn’t really surprise him, as Cornelisz believed that his every personal action was divinely directed.


Jeronimus Cornelisz was also a charismatic leader. He could persuade intelligent men that he had their interests at heart and that by following his advice they would profit greatly. That  probably had something to do with how he obtained his position to begin with. In this situation, he convinced a small group of former crew men and passengers to accept him as their leader, now that the captain and chief merchant had abandoned them.

First, he split up the party, sending groups of passengers to nearby small islands. Then, to consolidated control, he ordered his followers to deal with those left-by killing them.Cornelisz and his followers butchered men, women, and children, ultimately slaughtering more than 200 of them in a frenzy of murder.

Cornelisz is a psychopath….Devoid of conscience and remorse….We would simply call him a charismatic leader, a malignant narcissist of the most dangerous type.’ – Mike Dash, author of the book Batavia’s Graveyard(New York:Crown,2002).





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