The Filipino mind: Imprisoned in a "crusader" mentality

At various times over the European Middle Ages, sitting Popes would routinely call for crusades not too different from today’s Islamic jihads. These crusades had military objectives that had lofty ideals attached to them, such as those that involved the “retaking” of the “Holy City” for “the greater glory of the Almighty” and other crap mentalities like that. It so happened that the term “crusade” as used in most history books became generally associated with the specific example I cited — wars fought with one or the other Islamic empire of the time over the city of Jerusalem. Many monarchs were only too eager to volunteer armies and resources for these “noble” udertakings. This was after all a time when indulgences could be bought from the Church. These indulgences were perceived by the moronic minds of the time to equate to brownie points with God and an assured place in Paradise with Him. For the rich and powerful, the ultimate brownie point scored with the Almighty would come in the form of military service or the provision of an entire army to support the latest crusade.

The Crusades along with its close cousin The Inquisition as well as various crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of various gods over our history as a species rank among some of the most outrageous instances of wholesale misguidance. There are three key elements that underpin the psychology that drives human stampedes of the scales seen in the crusades and other instances of genocide that pepper human history: a perverse mission, prevalent flawed thinking, and extreme deference.

What better way to illustrate the above psychological underpinnings by using — what else — a renowned modern-day Medieval society such as what can be found in the Philippines!

The crusader mentality can be found in the Philippines today. It may not be as militaristic as the term connotes (for that matter Filipinos don’t have much of a world-class martial tradition to begin with, as our sorry-ass military history would show), but it still so spectacularly exhibits itself — within the domain that our renowned Heritage of Smallness allows, that is.

A perverted sense of “mission” underpinned by melodrama

Emotion and messianic complexes drive the sort of people who end up grossly misguiding an entire society with their demagoguery. Rather than see themselves as being motivated by a more down-to-earth inspiration underpinned by, say, personal fulfilment or even personal reward, they take a lofty we are doing this at ‘great personal sacrifice’ for the ‘greater’ good position which at best is quaintly noble and at worst rather amusingly self-important.

A dogmatic set of narrow guiding principles bourne out of inbred thinking

The mentality basically reflects their religious origins. “Crusades” and “messiahs” are pretty much religious conceptual relics. And not surprisingly, organised religion is both dogmatic in nature and inbred in the way it manages (or rather controls) its organisational taglines. You can see it in the way many people who belong to organisations (and, for that matter, entire societies) that have a track record of stunted intellectual development and growth turn inward when their views are challenged — preferring instead to surround themselves with like-minded people and their myopic like-minded views rather than open their doors to open and often confronting debate.

Deference to hierarchies and old/traditional orders rather than engage along lateral and egalitarian communication lines

Typical of people whose minds are imprisoned in crusader mentalities is that they as a matter of personal policy defer their thinking to traditional hierarchies. As such, they have a limited ability to process information acquired in the field, from peers, and even from those they perceive to be subordinates. Instead, they maintain a thinking approach tethered to their “elders”, their dogma, and their war cries and slogans. They escalate their personal issues with others to their elders — and the elders of their adversaries — rather take them up individual-to-individual. The latter is the mark of a people fit to be democratic. Unfortunately what constitutes typical behaviour in Filipino society does not meet this specific criterium.

* * *

Crusades, of course, go hand-in-hand with some form of deity or its modern-day proxy. In 21st Century Philippine society, blind beholdenness to religious edict is still a norm and, as such, a deity as an underpinning to modern-day “crusades” here still applies (thus the continued power and influence of the primitivist Philippine Roman Catholic Church). There are other entities in our society that, largely by our own doing, now enjoy deity status as well. One of them that I’ve cited many times before is the Philippine Media which is pretty much laughing all the way to the bank year in and year out as a result of our continued patronage of their mediocre products. The other is the now largely-discredited cadre of traditional demagogues that, admittedly, still infest the Philippine blogosphere. The power of the latter two lies in their ability to pass themselves off as the Average Pinoy Schmoe’s ally against the “evil” government and other evil “oppressors” — a clear play into the easy target that is our renowned victim mentality.

How much longer we choose to be imprisoned by our crusader mentality is all up to us. We have the power to be free and to choose. We just need to make use of this power wisely.

Are you an AntiPinoy?


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11 Responses to The Filipino mind: Imprisoned in a "crusader" mentality

  1. FreeSince09 says:

    Nice point Benigs!

    We are raised to be so dogmatic and unquestioning that society sees questions as dissent.

  2. Persona Non Grata says:

    My mentor, Renato Pacifico, once protested before a church in Cebu. He protested for the deliverance of the prayers of the parishioners nationwide. He was alone with big black bold picket sign. He was carted off by the police. Parishioners, whose prayers were never answered, branded him as retard.

  3. justice league says:


    This “Heritage of Smallness” article you are referring to has been previously assailed in front of you.


    Your continuing use of that article pertaining to issues previously debunked to achieve whatever goals you have clearly shows that YOU ARE STILL INDEED FULL OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE FULL OF!

    • ChinoF says:

      Or that he doesn’t need to debunk. The truth speaks for itself. You just see it as it happens.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      Justice League, it is not the style of Benign0 to spar. He wanted his philosophy to emerse and marinate. Instead of sparring, which he finds “waste of time”, he does a follow-up article based on the comments of his articles, making casual references to it. It is too casual and fleeting that you, Justice League, wouldn’t even know he was referring to it except for those who are intelligent enough to discern.

    • Dr. José Rizal II says:

      Justice League, Nick Joaquin’s work speaks for itself. The only people who wish to go against the obvious Truth are those who are either blind, stupid, or evil.

      Which one are you?

  4. ChinoF says:

    Filipinos seem to see even wrong things as causes. When a jueteng lord gets caught, supporters and accomplices will flock in defense not just of their lord, but in defense of jueteng! Thus, Filipinos can crusade for the wrong things.

    There was a crusade to free Flor Contemplacion from Singapore, even if she already admitted to her crime. There come crusades to save loud videokeing in the middle of the night because it’s a tradition people so enjoy (at the cost of others’ peace and quiet). And there’s a crusade to bring down only GMA when the real corruption lords are the oligarchs. If only Filipinos learn to crusade for the right things.

  5. sarcasmgasm says:

    like any crusade, there’s the usual “just cause”. We’ve seen plenty of it in modern history. From burning of the Reichstag to 9/11.

    The Philippines is no different. EDSA 2 being a notable example.

    It’s just the case that WE, Filipinos, don’t seem to learn from this lesson. It may not be in the form of yet another People Power, but it may be the case of the 2010 elections. There’s yet another “just cause” rallying masses yet the herd, being a herd, just follows whoever is in front of him not knowing of what is to come.

    Again, ignorance is exploited with the “just cause” under the brand “morality”.

    What do we get in return?


  6. Persona Non Grata says:

    The crusade was the reason for retaking Jerusalem from the Muslims. The victors rewrote history as they deemed necessary.

  7. manila paper says:

    Dysfunctional media is to blame for our dysfunctional democracy. But the people who consume media are also to blame.

    “As long as the overwhelming mass of persons in the broader society are drawn to news articles that reinforce, and do not question, their fundamental views or passions, the economic imperatives will remain the same. The logic is parallel to that of reforming a nation’s eating habits. As long as the mass of people want high-fat processed foods, the market will sell high-fat and processed foods to them.”


  8. justice league says:

    Chino F,

    Your reasoning indicates that you have maintained the same level of intelligence you exhibited when we were still discussing the article “Draft Quezon for Senator” in FV.

    You can pat yourself on the back for that.

    Persona non Grata,

    it is not the style of Benign0 to spar. He wanted his philosophy to emerse and marinate. Instead of sparring, which he finds “waste of time”, he does a follow-up article based on the comments of his articles, making casual references to it.

    Are we talking about the same Benigno?

    I have proof dating back to our days in MLQ3’s blog that Benigno’s style includes sparring. Some might say it is even downright “war”.

    Better you run down the discussion between Benigno and I on Filipino Voices “Encapsulating the Philippine national “debate”” and “The Philippines under a positive light” and then come back and say this “he does a follow-up article based on the comments of his articles, making casual references to it” if you feel up to it. Heck, if you want more of those I can sure look for more threads in FV or even in Mlq3 for that matter but those 2 threads should show you already how Benigno spars.

    And judging by the age of the discussion presented; since you so much believe that Benigno does as you say he does by making follow up articles based on the comments of his articles; where therefore is this so called follow up article of Benigno that is based on my comments?

    Maybe that is the way he is now here (where you claim his style does not include sparring) because this is “” and he is probably preaching to the choir where there maybe not enough intelligence going around to discern what Benigno is full of.

    Suffice to say; I know your preacher more than you do!


    Your 3 traits do not apply to me because I have proof that contradicts this so called obvious truth that you claim.

    For instance, Nick Joaquin (RIP) talks about this so called “one grand labor following one grand design.” And to provide credence to that he claims that the masterpiece “War and Peace” of Leo Tolstoy was done that way.

    Yes, it is indeed a masterpiece but it did not follow this so called “one grand labor following one grand design.”

    It was done piecemeal.

    Parts of it were already published as short stories before Tolstoy embarked on expanding it to become what it became. There is even an excerpt of his diary where he claimed to have had an inspiration and decided to continue the story that he had already made.

    Joaquin would also make us believe that buying cigarettes singly in a store abroad would be insane. But that is not the case. Those same stick of cigarretes are referred as “loosies” and are legally sold in areas of the USA.

    Either Joaquin was blatantly ignorant of the truth or he twisted it to suit his goal!

    The proof I present is linked above in the first post.

    But since you feel that “Nick Joaquin’s work speaks for itself.”, then present proof to disprove mine.

    Go ahead. Show the choir and I that you are neither “blind, stupid, or evil.” by presenting proof to contradict mine.

    If you can’t show proof of your own, then choose one of the traits you offered as the one that best describes you!

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