Honors Projects


This essay explores the utilization of folklore beliefs in psychological warfare through a comparative analysis of General Edward Geary Lansdale's tactics during the Hukbalahap insurgency at the beginning of the Cold War and the historical exploitation of the asuang myth by Spanish Catholic missionaries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While both instances involved leveraging local superstitions to influence behavior, their motivations and approaches diverged significantly. Unlike the missionaries, Lansdale's actions stemmed from a strategic imperative to combat communism rather than a sense of racial superiority or religious domination. Drawing parallels between Lansdale's methods and centuries-old patterns of oppression, this essay argues that understanding the historical context of folklore manipulation sheds light on the complexities of power dynamics and ideological struggles in conflict settings.



First Advisor

Dr. Walter Grunden

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. James Pfundstein

Second Advisor Department

World Languages and Cultures

Publication Date