Posted in: Diagnosing Evil
Dear Mark: Thanks for your comments and ideas! As a psychotherapist treating adult victims of child sexual abuse (and as a recovered survivor of that kind of abuse) I can certainly testify to the existence of people motivated by evil. The behavior you describe (from Peck) sounds like narcissism run amok. It is not all that difficult to identify narcissistic people, and those with full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Getting them into therapy and into a willingness to participate in healing is often extremely difficult for exactly the reasons you mention -- they have convinced themselves that they are right, they are "normal," that they are entitled to behaving in ways that make them feel good at someone else's expense. Even so, I agree with you completely that to talk about "evil" or even narcissistic behavior without the moral, spiritual component leaves a hole in the discussion. And when you get someone who has set out to play god, you certainly are talking about the spiritual realm. Thanks again for your thoughtful introduction to this conversation. Yonah Klem, Ed.D., L.C.P.C.