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NCJ Number: 134986 Find in a Library
Title: Cultism, Insurgency, and Vigilantism in the Philippines
Journal: Sociological Analysis  Volume:52  Issue:3  Dated:(1991)  Pages:241-253
Author(s): D Kowalewski
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 13
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based upon an analysis of newspaper reports, this study profiles the behaviors of State-approved cultist vigilantes against communist insurgents in the Philippines.
Abstract: Early studies of church, State, and cult assumed that the church usually supports the State and, together with the State, opposes the cult (deviant religious group). The cult, in turn, is alienated from both. This study indicates that in the context of Third World revolutionary turmoil, the roles are more complex. In the Philippines, the threat of communist insurgency against the Catholic Church as well as the State led to a policy of the recruitment of civilian groups to act as vigilantes in opposition to communist insurgency. Cults (with deviant beliefs that typically combine elements of Catholicism with animism) were included in such groups. Thus, the alliance of church and State has sought the cooperation of cults to repel a common threat. An examination of Philippine media accounts of vigilante activity shows that cults have been particularly aggressive in rural areas in attacking those believed to be insurgents. This has included evacuations, assaults, arson, and killing. Persons and groups targeted by the cults are not given any opportunity to plead their cases in formal judicial procedures. The media accounts indicate that cult vigilantes compared to noncult vigilantes are much more aggressive and violent in their activities. The findings suggest that public opinion on vigilantes is running strongly against the cultists and is likely to further polarize the church, delegitimate the State, and marginalize the cult. 2 tables and 68 references
Main Term(s): Vigilantes
Index Term(s): Cults; Foreign policies; Philippines; Religion; Revolutionary or terrorist groups
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