Kevin Annett, On the Nature of Evil |439|

#21
I thought this was a great interview. Having been confronted with and been the target of evil, I have considered everything that was discussed. So none of it was new to me, generally, but I found some of Kevin's nuances to be interesting. I really liked Alex's challenging questions. I could tell where/what they pointed and appreciated them even more for what was left un-said, yet that provoked thought.

IMO, being the target of evil is like being raped. In fact, it is being raped. Not necessarily physical/sexual rape; something deeper. It involves a profoundly deep recognition that you - and I mean the real you and all it contains, but especially the good - represent nothing to some people/some entity. They/it will destroy you for sport. Chew you up and crap you out and not even remember your name five minutes later. Makes you realize that you don't count for anything. Worse, when they're done with you, if you are, literally, still alive, you have had any vestiges of the belief that humans/life are basically good and trustworthy taken from you for good. Still worse, IMO, the goal is to make you think that there is no god that cares about you. That someone/something can rob you of your sense of worth and your peace of mind and trust in god is something you can't intellectually understand and can't emotionally understand unless it has happened to you and happened in a big way. This is magnified when deception is involved. You didn't even see it coming. Deception is almost always a factor. You were stalked and preyed on.

I'm not talking about the mundane and careless evil that people do every day; the ambitious person at work that sees you as competition on the career ladder and who then damages your reputation to get you out of the way. That's kind of expected and understandable (though I neither condone nor appreciate it). It has a sort of logic to it unsavory as it may be. Nor am I talking about the spouse that cheats with the other's best friend. Again, not nice, but there is a certain underlying understandable aspect to it. Nor the robber the breaks into your house or mugs you on the street. We can rationalize these events and thus protect our sense of things. What I'm talking about is evil that cannot be understood. That goes beyond human foibles and weakness. Evil that is deliberate and persistent; deadly at times, but always seeks to kill the target's very soul.

I have a hard time with Kevin's notion that such evil makes us stronger. I mean it could, for some, in a way, but to the extent that is true, it does so at great cost. Kevin made an analogy about a soldier going into battle and coming out without a leg. I don't think Kevin fully appreciates the damage that combat can do to a person and even more so to a naturally sensitive person. There are wounds deeper than the loss of a limb. I only agree with Kevin to the extent that having survived an episode with true evil, one will have hopefully learned lessons and will likely not be victimized by it again. However, one aspect of true evil is that it seeks to crush survivors such that they feel helpless and do become permanent victims to be used at will. It always seeks to break the spirit. So Kevin isn't speaking for all victims by any means.

Which leads me to the idea Kevin seems to support that, by fighting evil, one must become aligned with the same dark forces as the evil. I disagree. Intent is everything. I do not believe that in slaying monsters one becomes a monster as long as one is self aware and has accurately identified a true monster. I also believe that in slaying true monsters, one serves as an example of hope to those whose spirit the monster has damaged.

Finally, in similar vein, I get what Kevin means about the yin/yang of the thing, but, again, disagree. If the monsters job is to destroy our souls, then our job is to kill the monster first. That's the dharma of the thing. To do otherwise is to shrink from life and thus kill your own soul.

Otherwise, I thought Kevin had some pretty good ideas about all of this. Evil persists because it is very deceptive/sneaky. It hides until ready to strike and then it strikes selectively under the cover of lies.
 
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#22
Just to be clear, are you talking about sexual molestation or actual murder, as Kevin is alleging?

David
As far as I'm aware there were no actual murders of molestation victims but I gather there was collective priest abuse of some of the young, under privileged male victims. Later there were some suicides by victims, and priests upon being accused and charged. Oddly there was not one actual conviction. No priest went to prison.
 
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#23
I thought this was a great interview. Having been confronted with and been the target of evil, I have considered everything that was discussed. So none of it was new to me, generally, but I found some of Kevin's nuances to be interesting. I really liked Alex's challenging questions. I could tell where/what they pointed and appreciated them even more for what was left un-said, yet that provoked thought.

IMO, being the target of evil is like being raped. In fact, it is being raped. Not necessarily physical/sexual rape; something deeper. It involves a profoundly deep recognition that you - and I mean the real you and all it contains, but especially the good - represent nothing to some people/some entity. They/it will destroy you for sport. Chew you up and crap you out and not even remember your name five minutes later. Makes you realize that you don't count for anything. Worse, when they're done with you, if you are, literally, still alive, you have had any vestiges of the belief that humans/life are basically good and trustworthy taken from you for good. Still worse, IMO, the goal is to make you think that there is no god that cares about you. That someone/something can rob you of your sense of worth and your peace of mind and trust in god is something you can't intellectually understand and can't emotionally understand unless it has happened to you and happened in a big way. This is magnified when deception is involved. You didn't even see it coming. Deception is almost always a factor. You were stalked and preyed on.

I'm not talking about the mundane and careless evil that people do every day; the ambitious person at work that sees you as competition on the career ladder and who then damages your reputation to get you out of the way. That's kind of expected and understandable (though I neither condone nor appreciate it). It has a sort of logic to it unsavory as it may be. Nor am I talking about the spouse that cheats with the other's best friend. Again, not nice, but there is a certain underlying understandable aspect to it. Nor the robber the breaks into your house or mugs you on the street. We can rationalize these events and thus protect our sense of things. What I'm talking about is evil that cannot be understood. That goes beyond human foibles and weakness. Evil that is deliberate and persistent; deadly at times, but always seeks to kill the target's very soul.

I have a hard time with Kevin's notion that such evil makes us stronger. I mean it could, for some, in a way, but to the extent that is true, it does so at great cost. Kevin made an analogy about a soldier going into battle and coming out without a leg. I don't think Kevin fully appreciates the damage that combat can do to a person and even more so to a naturally sensitive person. There are wounds deeper than the loss of a limb. I only agree with Kevin to the extent that having survived an episode with true evil, one will have hopefully learned lessons and will likely not be victimized by it again. However, one aspect of true evil is that it seeks to crush survivors such that they feel helpless and do become permanent victims to be used at will. It always seeks to break the spirit. So Kevin isn't speaking for all victims by any means.

Which leads me to the idea Kevin seems to support that, by fighting evil, one must become aligned with the same dark forces as the evil. I disagree. Intent is everything. I do not believe that in slaying monsters one becomes a monster as long as one is self aware and has accurately identified a true monster. I also believe that in slaying true monsters, one serves as an example of hope to those whose spirit the monster has damaged.

Finally, in similar vein, I get what Kevin means about the yin/yang of the thing, but, again, disagree. If the monsters job is to destroy our souls, then our job is to kill the monster first. That's the dharma of the thing. To do otherwise is to shrink from life and thus kill your own soul.

Otherwise, I thought Kevin had some pretty good ideas about all of this. Evil persists because it is very deceptive/sneaky. It hides until ready to strike and then it strikes selectively under the cover of lies.
Excellent post, Eric.
 
#24
This show is an interesting study of Western guilt - a bias against ourselves in the West, which informs so much of our religion, science, politics and culture. This is also an interesting study on how a false presumption of our original sin of just being human - like white, or Western, or carbon producers, etc. - can be exploited by some looking to shake out some spare change.
Evil is beyond guilt. That's what makes it so strong. It has no inhibitions and knows that it will not experience guilt regardless of what it does. Actually, the more harmful and damaging its behavior, the more powerful it feels. It's values are 180 degrees from what normal humans hold (or try to hold). Heads is tails. Lies are truth. Satan is God/God is Satan. Pain is pleasure. He is right and your own senses should be doubted...etc,,,etc

A people overwhelmed with guilt cannot fight evil. They worry about becoming monsters themselves, etc.
 
#25
Obviously reparations cloud this issue and many others, but you sound a bit defensive with that remark.

David
Lol! Even to make a presumption of innocence makes me potentially in cahoots with child-rapists! You've gone from mere bigotry into paranoia. This is how witch hunts begin - nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition!
 
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#26
Evil is beyond guilt. That's what makes it so strong. It has no inhibitions and knows that it will not experience guilt regardless of what it does. Actually, the more harmful and damaging its behavior, the more powerful it feels. It's values are 180 degrees from what normal humans hold (or try to hold). Heads is tails. Lies are truth. Satan is God/God is Satan. Pain is pleasure. He is right and your own senses should be doubted...etc,,,etc

A people overwhelmed with guilt cannot fight evil. They worry about becoming monsters themselves, etc.
Interestingly, I posted on this very subject 'round about last year. I'll paraphrase:

"[Conspiracy buffs] will take absolutely the most half-baked, hair-brained and far-fetched conspiracy stories at face value, hook, line and sinker, as long as it comports to his preconceived notions of absolute good and evil in the world.

The longer that "conspiracy" pod-casters are active, the more they seem to be convinced of an absolute good and evil operating in the world; and their own higher-ordained role in fitting the facts to their own chosen narrative. For instance, most of us would agree that abuse of children would be, if not absolute evil, then about as close as it gets. It therefore fits the absolutist preconceived narrative, and even in the absence of real evidence, lends credibility to mere rumors."

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/ed-opperman-trump-epstein-why-beliefs-don’t-change-399.4250/page-2#post-127319

And also here:

"Not to belabor the point, but what is required is an examination of the premises through which we view all the evidence before we rush down a rabbit hole looking for evidence that supports these premises.
For me, there are few "tells" which give away the underlying belief system of most people. As I said before, expressing a belief in absolute evil is one such tell; but people who believe in absolutes are divided:
The spiritualist religious group will find satanic activity, covens, disreputable clergymen, everywhere - the spiritualist "tell".
Those who believe in the more materialist Darwinist Evolutionist model will see government cabals, programmed mind control, MK-ULTRA, everywhere - the materialist "tell".
The scientific materialist and the spiritualist model can even merge in people like David Ike, who sees satanic-looking reptilians behind a materialist conspiracy facade.

I do not mean for an instant to dismiss any such beliefs out-of-hand; but the absolutist nature that these beliefs can assume is problematical - and sometimes dangerous. What to bear in mind is that there are no such absolutes in nature - absolutes of good and evil exist entirely in our own minds. This could be why Rupert Sheldrake has demonstrated that there are no real absolute constants in nature - and that even the speed of light is variable."

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/ed-opperman-trump-epstein-why-beliefs-don’t-change-399.4250/page-3#post-127348
 
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#27
Interestingly, I posted on this very subject 'round about last year. I'll paraphrase:

"[Conspiracy buffs] will take absolutely the most half-baked, hair-brained and far-fetched conspiracy stories at face value, hook, line and sinker, as long as it comports to his preconceived notions of absolute good and evil in the world.

The longer that "conspiracy" pod-casters are active, the more they seem to be convinced of an absolute good and evil operating in the world; and their own higher-ordained role in fitting the facts to their own chosen narrative. For instance, most of us would agree that abuse of children would be, if not absolute evil, then about as close as it gets. It therefore fits the absolutist preconceived narrative, and even in the absence of real evidence, lends credibility to mere rumors."

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/ed-opperman-trump-epstein-why-beliefs-don’t-change-399.4250/page-2#post-127319

And also here:

"Not to belabor the point, but what is required is an examination of the premises through which we view all the evidence before we rush down a rabbit hole looking for evidence that supports these premises.
For me, there are few "tells" which give away the underlying belief system of most people. As I said before, expressing a belief in absolute evil is one such tell; but people who believe in absolutes are divided:
The spiritualist religious group will find satanic activity, covens, disreputable clergymen, everywhere - the spiritualist "tell".
Those who believe in the more materialist Darwinist Evolutionist model will see government cabals, programmed mind control, MK-ULTRA, everywhere - the materialist "tell".
The scientific materialist and the spiritualist model can even merge in people like David Ike, who sees satanic-looking reptilians behind a materialist conspiracy facade.

I do not mean for an instant to dismiss any such beliefs out-of-hand; but the absolutist nature that these beliefs can assume is problematical - and sometimes dangerous. What to bear in mind is that there are no such absolutes in nature - absolutes of good and evil exist entirely in our own minds. This could be why Rupert Sheldrake has demonstrated that there are no real absolute constants in nature - and that even the speed of light is variable."

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/ed-opperman-trump-epstein-why-beliefs-don’t-change-399.4250/page-3#post-127348
dually 202,
I think there is an absolute evil. You don't always see it because it hides and deceives and when present in people it isn't absolute. Evil people are the flip side of good people. Good people try to be good, but fail sometimes. Evil people work at being evil and fail sometimes and do a little good.

I also think that there would be a better understanding of the topic if we would allow ourselves to accept that some people are born evil - and they are devoted to evil regardless of socio-economic conditions and interventions. It's nature over nurture. These are relatively rare people; maybe 0.5% of the population. Maybe a little less.

I don't buy into the "we could all be Nazi SS" argument. That is because I do not think that the typical German civilian or soldier was like the SS. The SS was hand picked for psychopathic tendencies. It was a tiny proportion of the German forces and population in general. The regular German army was like any army anywhere. Just a bunch of young men caught up in the times fighting for their country. They did not massacre Jews and did not even fully understand what was happening in concentration camps (do you know what goes on in prisons or even regular towns on the other side of the country from you? And you're not off fighting a war). Same with the German civilians. Not liking Jews to some extent is a far cry from systematically killing them all - and no, it isn't a slippery slope (if it was Steve and some other commentators here would be genocidal Nazis!). No. Only a special few actually architected and carried out the killing of Jews. Furthermore, we have ample examples of Germans saving Jews from the death camps. Evil is evil before and after it expressed itself in a human. It is that which it is and it is pure in its base. No social science or moral equivalence gobbeldy goop about it.
 
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#28
dually 202,
I think there is an absolute evil.
A belief in the existence of absolute good REQUIRES the commensurate existence of absolute evil - can't have one without the other. Claiming to represent "absolute" good has been exploited by politics, religion and science as an excuse to create absolute evil - It is just as simple as that.
Once we invoke absolute good, then the enemy automatically becomes the opposite – the dehumanized personification of absolute evil; and all evil inhuman behavior against them can then be justified, done to defend ourselves from this existential threat.

Just a glimpse back at the bogus justifications for Mideast wars can demonstrate how easily our preconceived beliefs of good and evil can be used to manipulate public opinion into committing atrocity in the name of the absolute good – duty, honor, god and country.
 
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#29
I’m not catholic nor am I here to defend Catholicism, etc. but we simply do not recognize our own preconceived cultural bias.

My grandmother came from Ireland to Canada to be raised in one of these Catholic orphanages. The men on my Grandfathers side were in the US Calvary in Montana. Most of the original cowboys on the planes were Irish. Irish Catholics have always been well aware of the genocidal hatred of them for their religion, as well as race – they were considered a separate, inferior race by the English. My relatives escaped the ethnic cleansing going on in Ireland in the 1840s – this included food stolen from starving babies mouths at gunpoint by British soldiers – food grown by the Irish and stolen, shipped out of the country. Those relatives in Montana told us to never forget what had happened back home in Ireland.

However, one guy waves around what looks to be a dog’s bone (if it was really indigenous, this would be a desecration) and claims this as evidence for some supposed “genocide” of tens of thousands beginning at a time when most of central Canada was barely settled by Europeans. He tapes his writ to the church door like some modern-day Martin Luther - right under the nose of an Irish priest, one whose ancestors probably survived a REAL, WELL DOCUMENTED genocide. Talk about the irony. With upwards of 1.5 million liquidated and an entire country of Ireland depopulated, this has only now – 170 years later, admitted to be a “genocide”. Talk about your long-term “coverup”.

I know that no prejudice runs as deep as religion. Look at the Balkans in the 1990s or the Mideast today. But my advice is to stay away from the whole ancestral guilt and perpetual grievance reparations industry. This only serves to reopen old wounds and to keep us forever at each other’s throats - only for the benefit of a few opportunists.
I agree with you on a couple of points.

One is that you raised some very particular example of a historical event in Ireland which is largely unmentioned in the present day. From my perspective, I know of huge, overwhelmingly huge and tragic events in other parts of the world, which barely get a mention these days. I realise that some stories will never be told, will be forgotten, no matter how large. All I can do from my own position is to allow any injustice which is recognised and remembered to stand symbolically as representing ALL suffering and injustice.

I also sympathise with your closing paragraph, though I would not single out any single cause such as religion. To do so is to diminish or disregard other tragedies. That aside, I do think there is a need to move forwards with an intention towards healing and well-being and not to dwell on old wounds and old conflicts. If we want a better world, then that should be where our energies are focussed.
 
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#30
A belief in the existence of absolute good REQUIRES the commensurate existence of absolute evil - can't have one without the other. Claiming to represent "absolute" good has been exploited by politics, religion and science as an excuse to create absolute evil - It is just as simple as that.
Once we invoke absolute good, then the enemy automatically becomes the opposite – the dehumanized personification of absolute evil; and all evil inhuman behavior against them can then be justified, done to defend ourselves from this existential threat.

Just a glimpse back at the bogus justifications for Mideast wars can demonstrate how easily our preconceived beliefs of good and evil can be used to manipulate public opinion into committing atrocity in the name of the absolute good – duty, honor, god and country.
Just because a concept or fact gets abused and twisted doesn't mean it isn't true or that we should never speak of it.
 
#32
"[Conspiracy buffs] will take absolutely the most half-baked, hair-brained and far-fetched conspiracy stories at face value, hook, line and sinker, as long as it comports to his preconceived notions of absolute good and evil in the world.
The trouble with that argument is, if someone wrote a book about a paedophile with lots of money setting up an island devoted to the abuse of children, and then in the plot, it got its own airfield and attracted politicians from all over the world to partake. Then the politicians were filmed and blackmailed...

That book would not have sold - way too far fetched - go figure.

I don't believe in chasing ancestral guilt - I do not believe that guilt can be transmitted across generations, and I certainly don't believe in paying people for injustices that their ancestors endured - but if the Church murdered kids in addition to raping them, then it seems reasonable that we aught to know.

Also I find that right across the topics covered by Skeptiko there are those who will tell us to stay off this or that topic because it is too nutty, or because we would get sucked into a black hole of conspiracy. It is almost diagnostic in signalling that there is stuff they would rather didn't see the light of day.

David
 
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#33
so what do you think Christians should do about this?
Since I believe Kevin Annett is correct when he says all of the big Christian organizations are involved in child sex trafficking, money laundering, brain washing and any number of other nefarious activities, then ALL Christian organizations, large & small must clean house. Expel members, clergy, laity, & all others who are proven to be law breakers; those expelled must be turned over to the appropriate agency to determine punishment. Once this is accomplished, then those churches may attack the WOB & any other group that has not purged its ranks. The WOB would make great strides toward credibility if it allowed the clergy to marry, for instance. However, I think that purging & keeping the ranks free of corruption would necessarily lead to the deliberate dismantling of large churches & mega-membership communities for two reasons: large organizations are unwieldy & difficult to police, inviting the abuse of power. Also, unity of purpose & belief is a challenge; look at the struggle that the United (so-called) Methodist Church is going through right now. Finally, all religious conglomerations should reject the tax-free status that invites the greedy to become involved; this would also encourage a disintegration into small, manageable community units. Christians must reject the "Christendom" described by K. Annett & return to the core teachings that were abandoned & out right banned, such as the doctrine of reincarnation in 553 A.D. by the Council of Nicea under the leadership of Constantine.
 
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#34
Not liking Jews to some extent is a far cry from systematically killing them all - and no, it isn't a slippery slope (if it was Steve and some other commentators here would be genocidal Nazis!).
You are simply wrong here.
If I am guilty of “Not liking Jews to some extent” how then do you explain my admiration and respect for Richard Feynman, Miko Peled, Schlomo Sands, Einstein, Gabor & Aaron Mate, Einstein, Finkelstein, Gideon Levy and many more?

This highlights a problem that I posted about to Sam Hunter recently. Joe Rogan is fond of talking about this too. I think we ought to be more careful before making assumptions about people we want to comment critically about. We tend to highlight the tribe rather than the act. For example it is too easy to lump Zionists as thinking the same way, because there appears to be a sliding scale of ‘Zionist‘ thinking. Noel Chomsky identifies as a Zionist, but he thinks very differently to other people that call themselves by that name. I may be generally ‘of the left’, but I really dislike the Labour Party in the Uk. (And the democrats in the US btw) So where does that really place me? I made a sweeping statement about the Labour Party there, when really, I ought to be more careful, because I am sure I could find ‘something good’ to say.

Yes, I am very critical of some ‘Jews’, but them being Jewish is not the reason that I oppose their actions. I think that some individuals here, in Israel and the US, deliberately use this to confuse our thinking.

Keep my name out of your posts and I’ll do likewise!
 
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#35
View attachment 1510
You couldn't be more right about that
Solzhenitsyn really hit the mark. One of C.G. Jung's commentators explained that denying the shadow or our dark side robs us of energy & makes us vulnerable to uncontrolled expression of it. Being aware of it aids its management. One of my favorite cinematic depictions of our dual nature appeared in Ron Howard's "Missing." A brujo tells one of the characters that "there are two dogs fighting inside of you, one good & one bad. Which one will win?" The man says, "I guess the one I feed the most." So I think it's everyone's responsibility to "feed the good dog."
 
#36
For Jarad
Start by googling Warren Jeffs and put his name into a you tube search, plenty of books- Prophets Prey by Sam Brower, Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall and Lisa Pulitzer.
 
#37
One word: Wetiko. Love the account of what Native Americans did with child abusers; i.e. got rid of them in the forest. Sign of the times when instead of "the forest" our child abusers get spirited away (with their wealth) out of their jail cells into some hideaway place (i.e. Epstein). What Annett is describing is our greatest modern challenge to overcome - accepting the evil within ourselves to enable us to accept it in others (i.e. the Vatican).
 
#38
something I've noticed is those who are evil, that is the ones who will try to harm others if the opportunity presents itself seem to actually enjoy it. Some will keep their dirty deeds to themselves. Others will gloat with their like minded friends about how they, "Stuck it to someone." But it remains my belief that during the course of one of the evil person's many lives his God given intuition finally awakens him and he begins to feel the pain he is causing others. That is his first step toward Redemption. It is in this last lifetime that he, with God's help in changing his ways and bearing the trials of his karmic debt, will at his bodily death be fit to rejoin The Source. To enter the Godhead as we all eventually do.
 
#39
I’m not catholic nor am I here to defend Catholicism, etc. but we simply do not recognize our own preconceived cultural bias.

My grandmother came from Ireland to Canada to be raised in one of these Catholic orphanages. The men on my Grandfathers side were in the US Calvary in Montana. Most of the original cowboys on the planes were Irish. Irish Catholics have always been well aware of the genocidal hatred of them for their religion, as well as race – they were considered a separate, inferior race by the English. My relatives escaped the ethnic cleansing going on in Ireland in the 1840s – this included food stolen from starving babies mouths at gunpoint by British soldiers – food grown by the Irish and stolen, shipped out of the country. Those relatives in Montana told us to never forget what had happened back home in Ireland.

However, one guy waves around what looks to be a dog’s bone (if it was really indigenous, this would be a desecration) and claims this as evidence for some supposed “genocide” of tens of thousands beginning at a time when most of central Canada was barely settled by Europeans. He tapes his writ to the church door like some modern-day Martin Luther - right under the nose of an Irish priest, one whose ancestors probably survived a REAL, WELL DOCUMENTED genocide. Talk about the irony. With upwards of 1.5 million liquidated and an entire country of Ireland depopulated, this has only now – 170 years later, admitted to be a “genocide”. Talk about your long-term “coverup”.

I know that no prejudice runs as deep as religion. Look at the Balkans in the 1990s or the Mideast today. But my advice is to stay away from the whole ancestral guilt and perpetual grievance reparations industry. This only serves to reopen old wounds and to keep us forever at each other’s throats - only for the benefit of a few opportunists.
first things first, did it happen the way that kevin said? Looks to me like it did. Looks to me like he's the truth teller in the burden of proof is on those who see it differently.
 
#40
One word: Wetiko. Love the account of what Native Americans did with child abusers; i.e. got rid of them in the forest. Sign of the times when instead of "the forest" our child abusers get spirited away (with their wealth) out of their jail cells into some hideaway place (i.e. Epstein). What Annett is describing is our greatest modern challenge to overcome - accepting the evil within ourselves to enable us to accept it in others (i.e. the Vatican).
Agreed... But this is tricky, eh? I keep coming back to the question of complicity... can I acknowledge that the evil I see is a reflection of my own evil still move forward to transcend / transmuted it both internally and externally?
 
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