Superstitious Beliefs: In and Out of Prison


It has been said that every culture has its own respective belief system. That it exudes a traditional outlook oftentimes referred to as superstitious beliefs. Internet sources, submits that “Superstition is a belief not based on reason. It is sometimes attributed to luck or fate. Some superstitions are: Break a mirror seven years of bad luck. Always hold your breath when passing a cemetery Raise your hands when going under a train overpass and there is a train on the bridge. Step on a crack, break your mothers back. Throw salt over your shoulder when you spill it. Never walk under a ladder. Never have a black cat cross your path.”

In the prison community, certain beliefs would approach the level of religion and even if it is a bit skewed away from the usual superstitious angle, it is almost embraced and subscribed to psychologically and even sociologically like what superstitions are in the free community. Let us consider the following.

a. Most prisoners believe that their incarceration were not product of their offensive acts but more on their offensive past.
b. Most prisoners believe that imprisonment is a spiritual rebirth more than an enforced judicial discipline.
c. Most prisoners believe that they are innocent from charges blamed on them.
d. Most prisoners believe that membership in gangs is insurance from danger.
e. Most prisoners believe that poverty and incompetence of their counsel are root cause of their incarceration.
In my long years in the prison service, I have formulated too some kind of a superstitious belief which I have, wittingly or unwittingly, ingrained in my perceptive bias of working in the prison community. It is not about prison, it is more about a world view I have noted in analyzing every facet of life in detention facilities. I have divined the following and would cling to it as if it is gospel truth. Please note:
1. Belief that ones’ loved one in life hereafter still brings luck and some form of messages to the living. This can be done through simple prayers and pleas, but of course after the exercise one must have to out rightly forget everything. The point is respect for the memory and belief in trust. One may be surprised that what he has sought and forgotten has been realized in due time.
2. Belief that if one is focused in pursuing a specific situation or aspiration, chances are it will be attained.
3. Belief that if one evades any area where there is a funeral or a cemetery his life force is not disturbed and therefore the death force could not assume any influence.
4. Belief that the body can heal itself as long as the mind believes in it.
5. Belief that fearing nothing can overcome any obstacle along the way.
6. Belief that anything young when ingested internally, as in being eaten ( like sprouts in plants, young shrimps done in paste like alamang, “balot” or day old chick, eggs) , could work wonders as in arresting ageing. It could even be a cure for getting old, since ageing is a form of disease.
7. Belief that a dead relative becomes supernaturally an angel protective of his/her loved ones if constantly prayed for, as in being remembered.
8. Belief that one receives a prosperous situation as long as it is prayed for from a dead friend or relative.
9. Belief that luck favors the bold, daring and courageous.
10. Belief that bad luck or misfortune is the twin character of the selfish and the egotistic person.
Well, there is, in my estimation, nothing wrong when one believes on something—scientific or otherwise.


About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on April 4, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. elmer albasin derla

    Yes i addition.beliefs are sometimes influential,from the family,peers or groups where an individual belong


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