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Cults and Generation Names in Papua New Guinea Tertiary Institutions: A Case Study - Passam National High School

Through my case study, I have learnt many things about cult and generational names. I have interview a student here who once was a member of a cult group during his Secondary School in Passam National High. The cults and generation names evoked from the subculture activities practiced in national high schools. In this case study, I will talk about three things. The Cult and the Generational name used, these would be the definition of cult and generation name and also how the name is passed onto the next students. Secondly, I will talk about the reasons and the causes of the cult generational names. Finally, the strategies to help avoid the cult practices in National High Schools and Secondary Schools around Papua New Guinea. In addition to this, I will also make few remarks on banning down cults activities in National High and Secondary Schools in Papua New Guinea.

Map of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea


Cult is a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided. It is unorthodox, meaning that it is not practiced or conformed to the accepted or established form of a religion. It is a false, and directed by a charismatic, having possess great powers of charm or influence by authoritarian leader.

Most students in national and secondary schools in Papua New Guinea fall into this transient system of belief. They have their own belief system and practice devil worship in their dormitories. They focus on darkness, death, torture, suicide and immorality.

Cult is total opposition to Christian moral values and beliefs. There are different types of cults practiced in the national high schools. One of them is the generation name which is popularly practiced in the national high schools.

Generation Names

Generational names are one of the main parts of the cult that is practiced in national high schools. These are secret nicknames which are passed from one generation to next generation of students before leaving National High Schools. This is done in order to avoid losing the generational name. This event happens every year for incoming and outgoing students who practiced this system of worship. The grade twelve (12) students who have a generational name attempt to pass the name onto the incoming grade eleven (11) students before graduating.

However, not all students have generation names because they resist the pressure of the initiation process. It is only about 30 – 50% of National High School students do practice this cult activities.

The generational name evoke from the subculture activities practiced in national high schools. Subcultures are small groups of students within school who have common interest, goals and share their ideas.

The subculture generational name is regarded as negative because the groups’ values and practices are considered harmful. It is also threatening by the general population of students.

Generation Name Characteristics

The generation name has its own characters. The name is more than just a nickname that is used. Each name comes with a personality or character. These are set of personal values and behaviors that the student bearing the name is expected to exhibit or display.

Some types of Generation Names

Some types of Generation Names used in Passam National High School in East Sepik Province







Act Stupid


Dr. Sorrow

Dress in Black




Crazy Cats

Helimax VIII




Bel Hat Man




The passing of generational name has been associated with the following;

  • Claiming of territory within and outside of school
  • Harmful initiation rites
  • Creation of hierarchical structure of power amongst group members
  • Sexually promiscuous behavior
  • Making high performing students complete assignments for other group members
  • In extreme cases, devil worshiping and occult rituals
  • Bullying of other students


Student subcultures are more common in boarding schools, especially the national high schools. There are several causes of subculture to be name but all are not similar in all schools. This would simply depend on the administration of the schools. Here are some causes of subculture.

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  • Weak in religious activities, insufficient support by teachers
  • Poor living condition – dormitories and ablution facilities
  • Students frequently off campus without knowledge of school staff
  • Parental and community influences are much weaker
  • Students lack supervision of teachers
  • Inexperienced young teachers, lack confidence to handle students problems
  • Students come from troubled backgrounds.
  • Lack school based counsellors

These issues are vulnerable to the attractions of extreme social behaviors. Subculture activities often reflect social problems in society as a whole, which schools have limited control over it.

Strategies to avoid Subculture

Like any other organization, when there is maladministration and the handling of discipline matters, the problems occur. However, here are some strategies that will help to minimize the problem of subculture in national high schools in Papua New Guinea.

The school administration needs to be knowledgeable in all aspects of administrational matters. The principal of the school should be trained to be content with leadership capability.

  1. The policy on students’ behavior management should be emphasis in all national high schools. There should be a tougher policy for student bridging these policies.
  2. Review the current education policy. Some are not necessarily relevant and causing problems in schools.
  3. Christian Religious Education (CRE) should be compulsory practiced in all national high schools. Students can grow well with Christian moral values and beliefs.
  4. Renovation of students living condition. The dormitories and ablution facilities need to be maintained for the betterment of the students.
  5. All National High Schools should have school based counselors. The counselor can counsel students to help themselves as teachers have no time in doing the counseling of students.

These are some main strategies that are seen to be helpful to minimize the negative subcultures practiced in national high schools. The Education Department should consider and seriously take action into it to cut down on cults and generational names activities in schools.


It has been seen that before reform that was late 1960 to 1980, national high schools operated well under guiding ethos of unity in diversity. They produced more young people to fill places at university and other tertiary institutions. The schools facilities were well equipped, adequately financed, and generally staffed by experienced teachers. The students’ problems were well managed and dealt with as it arise.

When reform comes in, these trends have change dramatically. Papua New Guinea has experienced widespread social change resulting in fewer training and employment opportunities for school leavers. It has increased law and order problems and the loss of a degree of tradition control.

What do you Think?


Lorelle from Papua New Guinea on February 12, 2020:

I'd like to know your sources please. Also, I am not too sure the word "cult" could be used to describe these kind of movements in PNG. Perhaps the term "occult" may be more suitable. I'm not too sure as well, I'm still reading. But, please, if you can provide me with some of your sources.


SmokyMountainIsle on July 04, 2016:

Was an FTM and had never indulged in the activities listed in the report. Can you verify your source(s) and also I.D your self? If not, this report is nothing but false and damaging to young men who were part of the fraternity at Passam National High School who now hold key positions in both the public and private sector. Even to those in the faith who are ordained Pastors including others who work closely with the Clergy. Why not arrange to have an audience with those you write about to hear first hand our side of our history. I assure you it is rich and colorful. Its no secret we are on Facebook and have members who are prominent citizens as well. You are invited to engage us publicly or privately if you believe in balanced reporting unlike your very biased gutter reporting which we find absolutely distasteful.

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