Dear Editor: This is an excerpt from the article “The Hope for Healing Human Evil” by M. Scott Peck M.D. ("The Road Less Traveled") Simon and Schuster, New York, N.Y. 1983

“People who are evil also use lies to confuse those who are not.” The evil are the "people of the lie," deceiving others as they also build layer upon layer of self- deception. “People of the lie,” it should be pointed out, display certain characteristics that correspond with recognized psychiatric disorders. “People of the lie” invalidate and deny responsibility for their actions — and the consequences such actions have on others, as all people with personality disorders do. They may also, Peck says, exhibit these characteristics:

(a) Consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which often may be quite subtle.

(b) Excessive, albeit, usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury.

(c) Pronounced concern with a public image and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of lifestyle but also a pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives.

(d) Intellectual deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild schizophrenic-like disturbance of thinking at times of stress.

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Evil people love and look out only for themselves. Not only do they lie to others, but most especially they lie to themselves, taking narcissism (self-love) to its ugliest extreme. They are unable to see the world through the eyes of others. Evil people can appreciate only their own cravings, ambitions and yearnings. Evil people, in their narcissism, often attempt to consume all those around them into their evil games and intentions. For this reason, working with the evil can be dangerous for everyone.

Rod Annen

Madison

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