True evil: People haunted by what they can’t explain
But those who have brushed up against real evil in their professional lives say it’s nothing to celebrate.
The Circuit Court handles nearly 200,000 cases a year, Kelly said. “And I would say 99.5 percent, maybe even higher, of the people that we deal with are people who are struggling, people who have made mistakes, people who have addictions that cause them to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise.”
“I think it’s malevolence,” he said. “I think evil is really the right word. I think it is possible to look at people and say, ‘That person is evil.’ It’s the only way to explain it.”
It doesn’t happen often, Kelly said, “but it has happened often enough that I know the feeling of sitting on the bench and saying, ‘I just can’t understand it. It’s incomprehensible.’ And that’s the face of evil.”
From a Christian perspective, Carpenter said, “Evil is anything that operates outside of the way God ordained the world to be.” And, he said, “The biblical perspective would be that there are things outside of just this physical world that are connected to evil and darkness.”
Besides, he said, “If we’re dealing with supernatural realities, the God that we follow is the one who trumps all powers. There’s no demon or devil who wins the battle if you’re on his side.”
David Frankfurter of Durham spent years immersed in a study of evil for his 2006 book, “Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History.” The former director of religious studies at the University of New Hampshire now chairs the religion department at Boston University.
Russell Dorr is a physician’s assistant from Merrimack. He recently retired, which gives him more time for his other job: chief researcher for the Master of Horror himself, author Stephen King. The two men have been friends for years.
“It’s frightening. You begin to get a metallic taste in your mouth, and your stomach is churning, and you just want to get away from it as quick as you can.”
There’s a concept in Judaism called “yetzer hara,” or evil inclination. It’s the opposing force to the inclination to make the right choices, explained Manchester Rabbi Levi Krinsky, “to be godly, to be holy and to sanctify everything around us.”
Krinsky is convinced that evil is “a scaredy cat” that runs from the light. “With enough good deeds and random acts of kindness, evil will disappear,” he said.
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