A Glimpse Of Evil

What drives a man to be capable of evil? Is evil born into us, or are we always a victim of our circumstances?


On the third of January a tragedy occured in Laos, one that could have been easily avoided. A thirty eight year old man lured his twenty four year old wife into the forest of the northeastern Xieng Khuang province then murdered her with an axe blow to the spine. He committed this act as part of a plan to create a louk lord, a mystical talisman that has legends surrounding it about how it gives it’s owner great power and riches. The man planned to talk to ghosts with the aid of the louk lord and get them to give him the lottery numbers that he hoped would change his situation. Failing that he would have been able to sell the louk lord to the highest bidder for an extremely high asking price. However, it wasn’t the murder that would create the louk lord. These can only be made in a ritual using the foetus of an unborn babies. That’s right folks, this guy murdered his young, pregnant wife and cut the three month old foetus from her body. The man has since confessed to his crime but wont tell investigators where the body of his unborn child is.

So let’s re-examine this for a second. This guy is so poor that he holds the lives of both his wife and their unborn baby to be secondary to getting some cash in. People in the surrounding area would be willing to part with a small fortune for something that can only be made using the body of an unborn baby and would have been willing to pay him for it even after his pregnant wife disappeared. Either someone somewhere has bought the louk lord or it has been taken by one of the investigating officers, presumably to be used for the purpose it was created.


So back to the original question – what drives a man to evil?

One could argue in this case that the man would never have thought to do such a thing if he hadn’t been so poor or if he was born in another country free from such superstitions. One could also argue that his blatant disregard for human life would have driven him to find another way to profit from his wife and child, and that this murder may well be the lesser of two evils. The truth is we’ll never know what could have changed and, given enough time, we’ll forget about this as more immediate events draw our attention. The human mind is capable of dealing with the greatest of evils as a triviality, compartmentalising these things until they just don’t affect us given the right circumstances. What drives a man to be capable of such evil? We’re all just born that way.

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33 thoughts on “A Glimpse Of Evil

  1. There are those who claim that people can do evil things without knowing it, even completely contrary to their will, as if they were under the influence of a force, resting either without or within. Fundamental Christians would call it possession or obsession by demons or perhaps even the deity called the Devil.I don't know about that.One thing I do know, evil is a lot like love. In one way, at least.If you don't know what true love is, because you have never experienced it, you will have difficulties in knowing what it actually is, and you will be confused when people talk about it. Until you experience it yourself. After that point, you will never be confused again. You will know true love, every time you see it.In my experience, it's the same with evil. You don't really know what evil is until you have experienced it, up close, 'seen the face of evil', so to speak. When I read about evil or watch somebody on television who talks about evil, it often leaves me wondering if they really know what they are talking about. It gets so theoretical, intellectual, cynical.I have 'seen the face of evil' myself, and I recognize it where I find it. Like I do with the thing we call true love.I have a slight feeling, that this goes for you too, oh evil one… ;)I respect that. Seriously.:up:

  2. It's not the only thing to come from within, and what one man is willing to do to ensure success can change the world for better or worse. – Furie, now.

  3. Originally posted by Furie:

    The truth is we'll never know whatcould have changed and, given enough time, we'llforget about this as more immediate events draw our attention.

    Indeed… It's not the first case, and I've got a sickening feeling that it's not gonna be the last.

  4. People in this country 'rape' new-born infants to 'cure' HIV. :cry:.They also kill men, women, and children to harvest body parts for 'muti'. People vanish everyday, and no one questions these disappearances untill their mutilated, decomposing bodies turn up in a sugarcane field ten months later. :awww:.This is just daily life in Africa. :rolleyes:.

  5. Muti's the one where they eat the parts to gain their ability, yeah? So you'd eat a sniper's eyes, a pianist's fingers and a porn star's daddy issues for that. I remember that all started with tribes eating their dead warriors to bring their strength back into the tribe. You humans are so environmentally conscious.

  6. Originally posted by Mik:

    We're all just born that way.

    I believe that you've hit the nail on the head. I'm sorry to say this, but the last century gave us plenty of acts, ritual and otherwise, performed not only by individuals, but by whole groups, nations. of people, against other people who differ *only* in their religion or skin colour. No money was involved. Honestly, I would have thought that by now, this kind of thing, while shocking, abhorrent, frightening and insane as it is, can only really be viewed as 'human'. There are *so* many bastards out there who don't seem to give a flying fuck about anybody, or anything other their own tiny, nasty little selves, that I reckon they must be a reasonable percentage of the human population. Which one of the 70 to 100 people around youi is it? Huh? It's just like the 6 degrees of seperation – I bet it's way less than 6 degrees of separation for *all* of us, to the nearest evil, no conscience murdering bastard.Set light to the fucker and let's watch him burn alive – that's what he'd do to you or me if there was a few dollars in it.\edit :Originally posted by Martin:

    I have 'seen the face of evil' myself

    I too, have looked into someone's eyes, and seen amusement, and my potential death – the reason I wasn't gutted like a fish with no second thought was because the dude liked me. It *is* a scary world out there, when you get deep into it.

  7. Nice place, that South Africa, even outside the prisons. At the moment I read Schopenhauer who has to say a lot about the evil, god and man.

  8. Originally posted by FlaRin:

    I too, have looked into someone's eyes, and seen amusement, and my potential death (…)

    And that is exactly what I was talking about, because when you experience evil, up close, it is always in the eyes of someone. It is as if this is the only way true evil will show itself. You can wonder if a man is evil, sure he is doing evil things and perhaps also saying evil things, but if he still has human eyes, there is a pretty good chance that he is not evil at all, just misguided or confused or simply mentally disturbed and thus curable. Seeing this glimpse of evil in someone's eyes is surely a wake-up call, but seing it in your own eyes is… Well, not good at all.And though, it happens.

  9. Even if evil should be in us all, I'd say it'll have to take a sick mind to murder a woman you love to cut out her unborn baby and use it for a ritual. It has to take a sick mind!

  10. You're right Pussy Cat – a sick, unhinged, abnormal mind and, importantly, something completely wrong, or perhaps missing, from the heart.It scares the fuck out of me, to think that there are people, men, out there like that, because I have a daughter that I love to distraction – and a woman whom I love beyond all things, and if anything happened to either of them, I would lose my normality (if that's what I have) and wouldn't rest until I'd committed utmost torture on the individual who harmed either of them. I realise I have that potential in me, for sure.

  11. Not so much evil itself as the capacity for it. Until you've been at your worst you just don't know what you're capable of and how far you're willing to go for something. As Martin partially recognised, all of us who come to this page have one thing in common – we've been there and come out the other side, changed in some way. We've each seen a part of ourselves that haunts us (or a torn part of me that haunts you guys at least 😉 ) and that we don't want to see again. More importantly, we controlled it to a degree and came out the other side.

  12. The definition of evil varies over time, from generation to generation, from culture to culture. :awww:.To a psychopath or sociopath, there is no evil. (hence they have no conscience)

  13. Not exactly. Psychopaths and sociopaths can be fully aware of the lines between normality and evil. They just don't care about them.

  14. Do you mean good and evil or lawfull and unlawfull? :sherlock:.It's probably just me, but I've always had a problem with the idea that someone can do something that they know to be inherently wrong, (aka evil) and have no qualms about it. :awww:.Whereas virtually everyone breaks laws without having a conscience about it because they don't perceive it to be wrong. :left:.Conscience is usually defined as being an awareness of right and wrong, which is why my understanding has always been that a psychopath is aware of the law, but see's no wrong in what they do. :sherlock:.Your statement does give me pause for thought though. It makes me wonder, however, whether we can ever legitimately use the term 'psychopath' at all? :confused:.It seems to me that every criminal qualifies as a psychopath if your explanation is correct. :left:.

  15. Suddenly finding yourself in a situation so utterly desperate that the only way to come out of it alive is by doing something contrary to your definitions of what is right, can happen to everyone. The difference between a psychopath and a normal person is that doing the bad thing will not give him a feeling of guilt. And it is the suffering and pain connected with the feeling of guilt that will keep the normal mind from choosing bad actions. However, we all do bad things from time to another, because we have no other choice, and deal with the burden of guilt it gives us.To me this is not evil. Evil is doing something bad for no reason at all. Like killing somebody or setting stuff on fire for absolutely no reason – just because you feel like doing it, for the pleasure, knowing beyond doubt that it is bad. This is evil.

  16. Can we this evil into a sliding scale where that "man" in your post is on one side, and something less evil like… talking behind somebody's back is closer to the other side? If yes, then I do believe that evil exists in all of us.

  17. According to the technical definition, everyone is a psychopath if they've ever put themselves first even once.Explain more after recharge. Watch for edit.

  18. I think the 2 sides idea is excellent, Rose – less evil, like coveting somebody's shoes and plotting to 'adopt' them unexpectedly, should the opportunity arise? Evil like that, you mean?? On the one side?? As opposed to wiping out the human race, on the other side? 🙂

  19. Yes. I think people think of "the grade of evil" (so to speak) differently thing. While we all feel absolutely horrified of the story in this post, I think the grade of evil (so to speak) is pretty individual. I'd be extremely upset if somebody stole my shoes, but I wouldn't necessarily call that evil. I'm sure somebody else would, though.

  20. I guess it all depends upon how each one of us defines 'evil', doesn't it. Where does the the scale change from just being 'bad', 'unpleasant', 'naughty' andor 'nasty' to actual 'evil'.I think plotting to harm some living thing, with no reason other that personal interest or pleasure is evil. Stealing a car, shoes. money etc. isn't. Criminal, but not evil. Damage to living things is where evil begins, i m o .

  21. I love it when a post just sparks the imaginations of my readers and sets off tangent conversations related to the main subject.As far as I'm concerned, the scale of evil is not only changed by who is thinking about it, but their knowledge of a situation. You see someone getting attacked and killed by a gang in the street and you may find that evil, until you find out they were parents of the children that person molested at which point you'd think the victim was evil, until you find out they didn't do anything and their ex lied about them to make that happen to them. All the while someone else is watching you watch these events and thinking you're an evil bastard for not intervening in the first place. Your perception of events can change evil around as easily as it does truth. Motivation can matter as much as the act itself in some cases, as can intent and perception.My point with this is that we all have the capacity to commit acts that others would think are evil, as we're human. When you've been down that road there's only so far you can go before you can return, and many of us count that line as evil while others may think you've crossed it ages before then. However, if our survival (or that of those we care for) counted on it, most of us would cross that line. We may not be happy about it, but we'd do it, possibly shifting our estimation of where the line is.

  22. I suspect the scale of evil changes very rapidly once one reaches the point of no return. Then, I imagine the sky's the limit. Kill one, why not kill 2, torture 10, then kill 50, then blow up a school. Justify it in the name of religion andor race….where does that take our discussion???

  23. I find it hard to define true evil. Much of what is described as evil is more along the lines of being immoral from the viewpoint of the person describing. There are vegetarians who describe eating meat as evil, but to them it's really just immoral. In this guy's case, clearly what he did wasn't radically outside the accepted morals of the region. Otherwise, he wouldn't have had the expectation of being able to find a buyer and get good money for his atrocity. It's likely that those involved have long learnt that this is unacceptable outside their circle, but do you think they really consider themselves evil? Do evil people ever consider themselves evil? I think it's more that they consider everyone else to be worth nothing, perhaps placed on earth purely for amusement.Another aspect of evil is shown here and here. Words fail me when I read those things.

  24. Those poor women. It's disgraceful that this happens even once in what is supposed to be a civilised country. It seems we're more prepared to bully those who aren't entirely innocent than we are to punish those who are entirely guilty.

  25. In South Africa, the current philosophy is anti punishment. The theory goes that there is no such thing as a criminal. There are only 'offenders'. We're supposed to call these 'offenders' our 'clients'. The emphasis is on rehabilitation. The fact that you cannot rehabilitate someone who does not want to be rehabilitated is conveniently ignored. :rolleyes:.It doesn't help that we have legacy laws that most people don't agree with. :awww:.Possession of dagga (aka canabis, marajuana) is a criminal offence. A large percentage of police and correctional officials, however, smoke it themselves and don't consider it wrong. And amongst my colleagues, pirated movies are just about the only movies they ever watch. No amount of talking with them can convince them that it's wrong to buy pirated movies. :awww:.

  26. I have on different occasions met genuine bona fide Hannibal Lecther like evil, face to face. The first was a guy who had first killed his wife, because she was 'boring and stupid' and gotten away with it for almost ten years until he killed his daughter, because she was 'evil'. (She knew what had happened to her mother and had grown old enough to become a threat for him.)In his eyes I saw evil for the first time. True epic demon evil, if you know what I mean. Dark, senseless, pointless evil beyond any extenuating circumstances. Fucking scaring…The second was a peadophile. He was not considered evil, because he was legally insane and they tried to treat him with medication. He had never raped or killed any child, but was convicted for possession of child porn and put away in a sanatorium where I met him.He had the same eyes as the killer. Same evil glare. I knew that this guy would have been able to do evil things if he had not been locked away and sedated by medicine.They had the same evil eyes. Having met these two evil men setlled it for me. I have ever since been able to tell by the look in somebody's eyes, if he is truely evil or just an immoral bastard. So, I am personally not at all in doubt about what is evil and what is not.

  27. Originally posted by Furie:

    I wonder if you'd have noticed the same things had you not had expectations caused by knowing what they'd done?

    Of course I have considered that myself, knowing a little about how the mind works, but I actually didn't know what the child-porn guy was when I first met him, because he was just a fellow patient at a rehab institution. I first heard his story after I saw him in the eyes.And later I have seen the same look in the eyes of different men and women. However, I can't say for sure that they all were completely dangerous man-slaughtering evil, only that it was there – this scary glare. Fortunately I have never myself been a victim of evil deeds. I am only a victim of my own poor judgement.Being immoral or even criminal is not really evil in my book. Doing bad things because you are temporarily fucked-up, is nothing compared to some of the true evil shit you hear about.

  28. Interesting. I wonder if you'd have noticed the same things had you not had expectations caused by knowing what they'd done? :sherlock: I remember one time I was getting breakfast in a cafe with Kim. We'd almost finished when this guy walked in, completely unremarkable in every way and with nothing that draws you to him at all. Suddenly every atom in my body is screaming at me to get the hell out of there. I'm talking full on spider sense here, the sort that makes animals run for no reason. I just knew that guy was dangerous. No clues at all but I knew it wasn't safe to be around him. In hindsight it could've been a panic attack or something, but I'm not entirely convinced of that to this day.I think we're made up of places where we draw the line, things we wouldn't do. Those lines make a border around us that defines who we are as much as how we react to others crossing those lines. I personally wont do pirate movies, but mainly cause they're usually shite. If they were better quality I'd get all my movies like that if only to get rid of the hour or so of piracy warnings they come with. I have no problem with downloading music or books either so long as I've owned the thing I'm downloading at some point. After buying a certain album on tape, CD and minidisc, I don't think it's right that I should have to pay again because the artist wants more money for no more work. I can't think of another product that works like that. Imagine if changing the fuse on the plug on your TV was illegal and they demanded you buy a new TV. Not quite the same but not far off.Back to Martin again. The creepiest thing you'll ever see is those sorts of eyes on a child. I almost turned to religion after that, except the priest invited me to go down on my knees and open myself up to the Lord, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about a deity.

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