extracted from "The
Nature of Evil - Political Ponerology"
Monotheistic faith strikes a contemporary thinker primarily as an incomplete
induction derived from ontological knowledge about the laws governing
microcosmic and macrocosmic material and organic and psychological life, as
well as being a result of certain encounters accessible by means of
The rest complements this induction by means of
items man gains by other ways and accepts either individually or in
accordance with the dictates of his religion and creed. A soundless,
wordless voice unconsciously awakens our associations, reaches our awareness
in the quiet of mind, and either complements or rebukes our cognition; this
phenomenon is every bit as true as whatever has become accessible to science
thanks to modern investigative methods.
In perfecting our cognition in the psychological field and attaining truths
formerly available only to mystics, we render ever narrower the space of
nescience which until recently separated the realm of spiritual perception
from naturalistic science. Sometime in the not too distant future, these two
cognitions will meet and certain divergences will become self evident. It
would thus be better if we were prepared for it. Almost from the outset of
my deliberations on the genesis of evil, I have been conscious of the fact
that the investigative results concisely presented in this work can be used
to further complete that space which is so hard for the human mind to enter.
The ponerological approach throws new light upon age-old questions
heretofore regulated by the dictates of moral systems and must of necessity
bring about a revision in thought methods. As a Christian, the author was
initially apprehensive that this would cause dangerous collisions with
ancient tradition. Studying the question in the light of the Scriptures
caused these apprehensions gradually to fade away.
Rather, this now appears to be the way to bring
our thought processes closer to that original and primeval method of
perceiving moral knowledge. Quite characteristically, reading the Gospels
can provide teachings clearly convergent with the method of understanding
evil derived from naturalistic investigations on its origin. At the same
time, we must foresee that the process of correction and conformation will
be laborious and time consuming, which ultimately will probably prevent any
Religion is an eternal phenomenon. A sometimes overly active imagination
would at first complement whatever esoteric perception could not handle.
Once civilization and its concurrent discipline of thought reaches a certain
level of development, a monotheistic idea tends to emerge, generally as a
conviction of a certain mental elite. Such development in religious thought
can be considered a historical law rather than individual discovery by such
people like Zarathustra or Socrates. The march of religious thought through
history constitutes an indispensable factor of the formation of human
Acceptance of religion’s basic truths opens to man a whole field of possible
cognition wherein his mind can search for the truth. At that point, we also
free ourselves of certain psychological impediments and gain a certain
freedom of cognition in areas accessible to naturalistic perception.
Rediscovering the true, ancient, religious values strengthens us, showing us
the meaning of life and history. It also facilitates our introspective
acceptance of phenomena within ourselves for which naturalistic perception
proves insufficient. Parallel to our self knowledge, we also develop our
ability to understand other people, thanks to the acceptance of the
existence of an analogous reality within our neighbor.
These values become priceless whenever man is forced into maximum mental
effort and profound deliberations in action so as to avoid stumbling into
evil, danger, or exceptional difficulties. If there is no possibility of
apprehending a situation fully, but a way out must nevertheless be found for
one’s self, family, or nation, we are indeed fortunate if we can hear that
silent voice within saying “Don’t do this” or “trust me, do this”.
We could thus say that this cognition and faith simultaneously supporting
our mind and multiplying our spiritual strength constitute the sole basis
for survival and resistance in situations wherein a person or nation is
threatened by the products of ponerogenesis, which cannot be measured in the
categories of the natural world view. That is the opinion of many righteous
people. We cannot contradict the basic value of such a conviction, but if it
leads to contemptuous treatment of objective science in this area and
reinforces the egotism of the natural world view, people holding this
conviction are unaware of the fact that they are no longer acting in good
No major religion indicates the nature of the macrosocial pathological
phenomenon; therefore we cannot consider religious dictates as a specific
basis for overcoming this great historical disease. Religion is neither a
specific serum nor an ae-tiotropically active antibiotic with regard to the
phenomenon of pathocracy.
Although it constitutes a regenerative factor
for the spiritual strength of individuals and societies, religious truth
does not contain the specific naturalistic knowledge which is essential for
understanding the pathology of the phenomenon, and which is simultaneously a
curative and a resistance generating factor for human personalities. Rather,
religious faith and the phenomenon of pathocracy are in fact at different
levels of reality, the latter being more earthy. That also explains why
there can be no true collision between religion and the ponerological
knowledge about the macrosocial pathological phenomenon.
If we based our societal defense and treatment with regard to destructive
influences of pathocracy only upon the truest religious values, this would
be reminiscent of curing an insufficiently comprehended disease exclusively
by measures which strengthen body and soul. Such general therapy may furnish
satisfactory results in many cases, but it will prove insufficient in
others. This macrosocial disease belongs to the latter category.
The fact that this pathocratic phenomenon, which has spread to the most
wide-ranging scale in human history, demonstrates hostility to any and all
religion does not imply the conclusion that it is the opposite of religion.
This dependence would be structured differently under other historical and
contemporary conditions. In the light of historical data, it appears obvious
that religious systems have also succumbed to ponerogenic processes and
manifested the symptoms of a similar dis-ease.117
117 Not to
mention the fact that currently, the neocon-Bush administration is using
Christianity as the ideology by which they mask pathocracy. [Editor’s note.]
The specific basis for healing our sick world, which is also a curative
factor for restoring full reasoning capabilities to the human personality,
must therefore be the kind of science which renders the essence of the
phenomenon evident and describes it in sufficiently objective language.
Resistance to the acceptance of such knowledge
is often justified by religious motivation; it is largely caused by the
egotism of the natural world view in its traditional overrating of its
values and fear of disintegration, and it must be constructively overcome.
The pathocratic phenomenon has appeared many times in history, feeding
parasitically upon various social movements, deforming their structures and
ideologies in a characteristic fashion. It must therefore have met with
various religious systems and with a variety of historical and cultural
backgrounds. Two basic possibilities for a relationship between this
phenomenon and a religious system can thus be adduced.
The first occurs when the religious association
itself succumbs to infection and the ponerogenic process, which leads to
development of the above-mentioned phenomena within it. The second
possibility emerges if a pathocracy develops as a parasite upon some social
movement whose character is secular and political, which must inevitably
lead to collision with religious organizations.
In the first case, the religious association succumbs to destruction from
within, its organism becomes subordinated to goals completely different from
the original idea, and its theosophic and moral values fall prey to
characteristic deformation, thereupon serving as a disguise for domination
by pathological individuals. The religious idea then becomes both a
justification for using force and sadism against nonbelievers, heretics, and
sorcerers, and a conscience drug for people who put such inspirations into
118 As is the
case in the United States and Israel today. [Editor’s note.]
Anyone criticizing such a state of affairs is condemned with paramoral
indignation, allegedly in the name of the original idea and faith in God,
but actually because he feels and thinks within the categories of normal
people. Such a system retains the name of the original religion and many
other specific names, swearing on the prophet’s beard while using this for
its doubletalk. Something which was to be originally an aid in the
comprehension of God’s truth now scourges nations with the sword of
When such phenomena are long-lasting, those people who have retained their
faith in religious values will condemn such a state of affairs, thereby
indicating that it diverges widely from the truth. They will unfortunately
do so without understanding the nature and causes of the pathological
phenomenon, i.e. in moral categories, thus committing the malignant error
with which we are already familiar. They shall take advantage of some
amenable geopolitical situation in protesting such a state of affairs,
breaking away from the original system and creating various sects and
This kind of breakdown can be considered a characteristic consequence of any
movement’s infection by this disease, be it religious or secular. Religious
conflict thereupon assumes the character of political partitions, giving
rise to warfare among various believers in the same God.
As we know, this state evolves into the dissimulative phase once human
rancor starts to become exhausted; however, this form will be much more
long-lasting than a pathocracy feeding on a secular movement. Human
individuals cannot easily contain the entire process within their frame of
reference, since such a state spans many generations; their criticism will
thus be limited to the questions they are immediately familiar with.
However, this gives rise to a gradual but
uncoordinated pressure front of reasonable people, thereby instigating some
kind of evolution within any group thus engendered. Such evolution will aim
at reactivating the original religious values or at overcoming the
Whether this process achieves its definitive goals depends upon two
conditions: If the original idea was contaminated by some pathological
factor from the outset, the goal is unreachable. If it is attainable, our
asymptomatic approximation will place us in a position wherein the
definitive elimination of the effects of the surmounted illness requires an
objective view of its essence and history. Otherwise it is impossible to
eliminate the leftover pathological deformations which would survive as a
factor opening the door to renewed contamination.
Some religious groups may have been started by persons who were carriers of
certain psychological anomalies. Particular attention should be focused upon
largely paranoidal characteropathies and their above-discussed role in
instigating new phases of ponerogenesis. For such people, the world of
normal human experience (including religious experience) succumbs to
deformation; spellbinding of self and others easily follows, imposed upon
other people by means of pathological egotism. We can observe marginal
Christian sects today whose beginnings were doubtless of this nature.
If a religion which later fell apart into numerous doctrinal variations had
such a beginning, the above-mentioned regenerative processes effected by
healthy common sense will bring about a point of advancement that the said
religion’s ministers perceive to be a threat to the religion’s existence.
Protecting their own faith and social position will then cause them to
employ violent means against anyone daring to criticize or bring about
liberalization. The pathological process begins anew. Such is the state of
affairs we may be actually witnessing today.
However, the mere fact that some religious association has succumbed to the
ponerization process does not constitute proof that the original gnosis or
vision was contaminated from the outset by errors which opened the door to
invasion by pathological factors, or that it was an effect of their
influence. In order for the doors to be opened to infection by pathological
factors and furthering progressive degeneration, it suffices for such a
religious movement to succumb to contamination sometime later in its
history, e.g. as a result of excessive influence on the part of initially
foreign archetypes of secular civilization, or of compromises with the goals
of the country’s rulers.
This succinct summary repeats my above adduced causes and laws of the course
of the ponerological process, this time with regard to religious groups.
Important differences should be underscored, however. Religious associations
are among the most enduring and long-lived social structures, historically
The ponerological process in such a group runs
its course in a much larger time frame. In effect, man needs religion so
much that every such group, provided it is numerous enough, will contain a
large number of normal people (generally the majority) who do not become
discouraged and form a permanent wing inhibiting the process of ponerization.
The equilibrium of the dissimulative phase is
thus also to the advantage of those people whose human and religious
feelings are normal. Nonetheless, isolated generations may thus have the
impression that the observed state represents its permanent and essential
characteristics, including the errors they cannot accept.
We must therefore pose the following question: Can the most constant and
sensible action based on the natural world view and theological and moral
reflections ever completely eliminate the effects of a ponerological process
which has long been surmounted?
Based on experience gleaned from individual patients, a psychotherapist
would doubt such a possibility. The consequences of the influence of
pathological factors can only be definitely liquidated if a person becomes
aware that he was the object of their activity. Such a method of careful
correction of detail may sound reminiscent of the work done by an art
restorer who decided against removing all later paint-overs and revealing
the master’s original work in toto, but rather retained and conserved a few
failed corrections for posterity.
Even against the conditional backdrop of time furthering the healing
process, such efforts at step-by-step untying of knots based on the natural
world view only leads toward a moralizing interpretation of the effects of
uncomprehended pathological factors, with the consequence of panic and the
tendency to retreat to an apparently safer side. The organism of the
religious group thus will retain some dormant foci of the disease which may
become active under certain permitting conditions.
We should therefore realize that following the path of naturalistic
apperception of the process of the genesis of evil, attributing the
proportionate “fault” to the influence of various pathological factors, can
ease our minds of the burden represented by the disturbing results of a
moralizing interpretation of their role in ponerogenesis.
This also permits more detailed identification
of the results of their operation, as well as definitive elimination
thereof. Objective language proves to be not only more accurate and
economical to work with, but also much safer as a tool of action when
dealing with difficult situations and delicate matters.
Such a more precise and consistent solution for the problems inherited from
centuries of ponerological nescience is possible whenever a given religion
represents a current of gnosis and faith which was originally authentic
A courageous approach to remedying conditions
caused by presently perceptible poneric processes, or by chronic
perseverance of survivals from such states far in the past, thus demands
both acceptance of this new science and a clear conviction of original truth
and basic science. Doubts will otherwise block any such intent by means of
insufficiently objectified fear, even if they have been repressed deep into
We must be convinced that the Truth can endure
such a washing in modern detergent; not only will it not lose its eternal
values, but it will actually regain its original freshness and noble colors.
With regard to the second above-mentioned situation, when the ponerogenic
process leading to pathocracy has affected some secular and political
movement, the situation of religion in such a country will be completely
different. Polarization of attitudes with regard to religion then becomes
inevitable. The social religious organization cannot help but assume a
critical attitude, becoming a support for opposition on the part of the
society of normal people. This in turn provokes the movement affected by
this phenomenon to an ever more intolerant attitude toward religion. Such a
situation thus places a given society’s religion before the specter of
Whenever pathocracy emerges in an autonomous process, this means that the
religious systems dominating that country were unable to prevent it in time.
As a rule, the religious organizations of any given country have sufficient
influence upon society to be able to oppose nascent evil if they act with
courage and reason. If they cannot, this is the result of either
fragmentation and strife among various denominations or of internal
corruption within the religious system. As a result, religious organizations
have long tolerated and even uncritically inspired the development of
pathocracy. This weakness later becomes the cause of religion’s disasters.
In the case of an artificially infected pathocracy, the religious system’s
joint liability may be lesser, albeit still generally concrete. It is
justified to exonerate a country’s religious systems for the state of
affairs if the pathocracy has been imposed by force. Specific conditions
emerge in this situation: the religious organizations have the morally
stronger defensive position, are able to accept material losses, and can
also undergo their own recuperative process.
Pathocrats may be able to use primitive and brutal means to combat religion,
but it is very difficult for them to attack the essence of religious
convictions. Their propaganda proves overly primitive and brings about the
familiar phenomena of immunization or resistance on the part of normal
people, with the final result being the opposite of the intended moral
Pathocrats can only use brute force to destroy
religion if they feel the latter’s weakness. The principle of “divide and
conquer” can be used if there are various denominations with a long history
of enmity, but the effects of such measures are generally ephemeral and can
lead to unity among the denominations.
The specific practical knowledge collected by the society of normal people
under pathocratic rule, together with the phenomenon of the psychological
immunization, begin to exert their own characteristic effect upon the
structure of religious denominations. If some religious system succumbed to
ponerogenic infection sometime during its history, the effects and chronic
survivals thereof persevere within for centuries. As already adduced,
remedying this by means of philosophical and moral reflections meets with
specific psychological difficulties.
But under pathocratic rule, in spite of the
abuse suffered by such a religious organization, the latter organism
specific antibodies are transfused which cure the ponerogenic survivals.
Such a specific process aims at ridding the religious structure of those
deformations which were the effect of the operation of the pathological
factors familiar to us. Insofar as the appearance of pathocracy in various
guises throughout human history, always resulting from human errors which
opened the door to the pathological phenomenon, one must also look on the
other side of the coin. We should understand this in the light of that
underrated law, when the effect of a particular causative structure has a
teleological meaning of its own.
It would, however, be highly advantageous for
this recuperative process to be accompanied by greater awareness of the
nature of the phenomena, which also acts similarly in terms of developing
psychological immunity and healing human personalities. Such awareness could
also help elaborate safer and more effective plans of action.
If individuals and groups believing in God are able to accept an objective
understanding of macrosocial pathological phenomena, especially this most
dangerous one, the natural outcome will thus prove to be a certain
separation of religious and ponerological problematics, which qualitatively
occupy different levels of reality. Church attention can then revert to
questions regarding man’s relationship with God, an area for which churches
have a calling.
On the other hand, resistance to ponerological
phenomena and their worldwide spread should be largely assumed by scientific
and political institutions whose actions are based on a naturalistic
understanding of the nature and genesis of evil. Such a separation of duties
can never be quite consistent, since the genesis of evil includes
participation of human moral failings, and overcoming these based on
religious premises has been the responsibility of religious associations
since times immemorial.
Some religions and denominations subjected to pathocratic rule are forced by
such circumstance to become overly involved in matters conventionally
referred to as political, or even in economic efforts. This is necessary
both in order to protect the existence of the religious organization itself
and in order to help fellow believers or other citizens suffering abuse. It
is important, however, to avoid having such a state of affairs become
permanent in the shape of habit and tradition, since this could later make
it more difficult to revert to normal human government.
In spite of existing differences of conviction and tradition, the basis for
cooperative effort on the part of people with good will should contain that
characteristic convergence of the conclusions we deduce between the precepts
of the Christian Gospels (and other monotheistic religions) and a ponerological view of the genesis of evil.
The faithful of various religions
and denominations do in fact believe in the same God, and at present they
are threatened by the same macrosocial pathologic phenomenon.
This creates sufficient data to enable a search
for cooperation in affecting achievements whose value is so obvious.
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