Looking into the Face of Evil.


Every human being alive has at one time or another looked directly into the face of evil, sadly, the vast majority were completely unable to recognize it when they did. Evil does not wear the face most people think it does. It does not have cruel blood dripping fangs, scales or claws as sharp as razors, only in Hollywood does evil have those attributes. In reality, evil’s truest face is most often seen in caring compassionate eyes.

Most people do not recognize evil when they see it face to face, because they do not actually know what evil is. Oh, they think they know, but most actually do not understand what evil really is. Everyone knows that evil is seductive, they know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. the problem is that they have never bothered to grapple, to wrestle intellectually with what those phrases actually mean. In order for evil to be seductive, it also has to be breathtakingly beautiful, to be alluring, it has to be capable of making you desire it. If it were truly hideously grotesque and genuinely mind numbingly frightening, it would never seduce anyone.

How is it that the road to hell can be paved with good intentions? If you are seeking and attempting to do something good, are you not in fact trying to be good? Everyone knows that evil is by definition, not good, how therefore can good be evil? Evil is only able to appear to be good, because so few people genuinely understand what evil is. It is that failure to understand what evil genuinely is that allows it’s alluring beauty to deceive people.

Every human culture and civilization has had it’s own version of evil incarnate, their own Devil as it were. The Hebrew Prophet Isaiah in a few cryptic sentences described and defined who the Devil is and what makes him evil, and in doing so, he defined pure and unadulterated evil.

(Isaiah 14:13-14 KJV) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Let me translate this for you. Lucifer, Satan, that old Dragon, the Devil made a conscience decision, in both his mind and his heart. The decision that he made, was that he was going to become the decider. Not just for himself, mind you, but the decider over all of creation. He was going to make the decisions for everyone and everything. He was going to make the laws, the rules, the decisions, everything would be done his way, for his purposes. He would reward whom he chose to reward, to punish whom he chose to punish and to ignore whom he chose to ignore. In short, he was declaring that he was going to be the new God.

Ezekiel tells us a little more about who Lucifer, Satan, the Devil is.

“You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

No matter how you look at it, that is one damned impressive Resume. But how does any of that translate into anything even remotely relevant to today? Let me give you a sick, twisted and grotesque allegorical comparison.

On Friday, Nov 1st a seriously disturbed young man went into Los Angeles International airport and shot and killed a TSA Agent and wonder 6 other people. Shortly thereafter all of the major media began telling the story of the TSA Agent who was killed. He was a wonderful father and husband, a pillar of the community, the salt of the earth and an all around good guy, who died needlessly while attempting to protect the general public from evil people like the deranged young man who killed him.

So now we have placed a face upon evil, but it’s not the face you think it is.

Let’s get to the sick twisted and grotesque part of this allegory. Let’s slide back in time to 1939 Poland. Furthermore, rather than being American’s, or even an unfortunate Polish person, let’s place ourselves in the hearts and minds of the average German Patriot. Let us create a fictional German and a fictional news report about that fictional German.

This afternoon a disturbed young man entered the Train Station in Warsaw and shot and killed Helmut Beker, a Sicherheitspolizei officer who was providing security at the Warsaw Train station, Helmut was a wonderful father and husband, a pillar of the community, the salt of the earth and an all around good guy, who died needlessly while attempting to protect the general public from evil people like the deranged young man who killed him.

The single most common and repeated question regarding the German people under Nazi control, is; “How could they have allowed Hitler to come to power?” The answer is, that like the vast majority of human beings, they allowed it, because they did not now what evil really is. Like the majority of all human beings, when they thought of evil, they saw an image in their mind of a monster with blood dripping from it’s fangs and claws, not a friendly face trying to help them up when they stumbled and fell in the street.

Historians and Media personalities, having decided that the Nazi’s were pure and unadulterated evil (for the love of god please do not mistakenly assume that I am suggesting that they were not, because they indisputably were) have done an amazing job of airbrushing out of the historical record anything about the Nazi’s that would suggest that they were anything other than monsters whose fangs and claws were dripping with blood.

While it is incontrovertibly true that the Nazi’s were evil, nothing is ever as black and white as the Nazi’s were painted to be. You cannot recognize the face of evil if you refuse to see it for what it really is.

Our fictional character, Helmut Beker wasn’t a monster, he was a police officer, a cop. He was one of the good guys, trying to protect his society from dangerous and often violent elements that were a threat to German security. To the average German in 1939 the Nazi’s weren’t monsters dripping with blood chewing on the bones of small children, they were politicians promising a better, brighter future. They were Gunter, the next door neighbor’s son who joined the Wehrmacht to protect Germany. They were Uncle Hansi, the dashing and charismatic Luftwaffe pilot, or they were Helmet Beker, the FBI Sicherheitspolizei agent who lived across the street.

The true face of evil, the face that most people look directly into, and cannot see, belongs to everyday people. It belongs to those who would be the decider for someone else. It belongs to those kindly and gentle faces that reach out an open hand to help you up when you have fallen. It belongs to politicians promising a better and brighter future, to cops protecting you from the evil intentions of dangerous people, to soldiers protecting their homelands. It belongs mostly to average everyday citizens, who for a promise of security, safety and a brighter future, willingly surrender their own right to be the decider in their own lives, to someone else because of a promise of security, safety or prosperity.

In one rather abstract respect, the true face of evil, is much like a single grain of sand, small and insignificant, but when enough of them come together…

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No human being is ever 100 percent pure evil, the home movies of Adolph Hitler, shot at the Eagle’s Nest, showed him to have a warm compassionate and gentle side. The Nazi officers in charge of the concentration camps made similar home movies and took pictures that displayed the exact same things about them. If you were to arrive on earth today, knowing nothing what so ever about World War II or the Nazi’s, and see those photographs or home movies, and nothing else, it would never cross your mind to suspect the people in them were responsible for the horror’s that they inflicted upon the world.

What you would see would be average ordinary people, gentle, compassionate people, people working together to build a better, brighter future for their families and friends, not monsters, not the true face of evil. To see the true face of evil, you must first know exactly what evil really is. The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions, and it’s paved by people who reach out to give you a hand when you have stumbled and fallen in the street. It’s the face of good people who are willing to take away your right to make your own decisions because you might not make the right decision, because the decision you might make may be beneficial for you, but not for society in general.

Evil has many faces, but the face it most prefers, the face it wears the most often is a face of compassion, of concern, a gentle kind face. It wears this face the most often, it’s the face it most prefers, because it is the face so very few can recognize as evil. It’s the face of a police officer who takes away your right and your ability to defend yourself because he can do it better or because you might accidentally injure someone else attempting to defend yourself. It’s the face of the politician who promises you a better, brighter future and then takes away your right to decide which health insurance is best for you, because the decision you might make, is not the decision he believes is best for society in general. It’s the face of your next door neighbor who votes for that politician because he believes that surrendering a few of his rights will usher in a new age of prosperity and help to bring about Heaven on Earth, or a new social order of justice and equality, who believes that his or her vote will help “Fundamentally Transform” your country into a Utopia.

That is the true face of evil, the face that most people look unblinkingly into, and cannot recognize.

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2 thoughts on “Looking into the Face of Evil.

  1. Pingback: Sleeping through the Blitz: Peace in our time. | The Wilderness of Mirrors

  2. having decided that the Nazi’s were pure and unadulterated evil (for the love of god please do not mistakenly assume that I am suggesting that they were not, because they indisputably were)

    Volkswagen is obviously not evil… therefore not everything NAZI was pure evil… therefore Nazis were not pure evil….. there is always some light in there somewhere..

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