“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” – William Shakespeare
This following number is staggering: There have been “263 mass shootings” in 2019, in the U.S. alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This includes the slaughter of 31 innocent people at the El Paso and Dayton killing sites. Now, add seven more victims from a recent rampage by a maniac in West Texas.
Some experts suggest these kinds of killings are contagious. When one happens, the odds are you can expect another shortly. It’s called the “copycat phenomenon,” David Anderson expounded on this possible reason and nine others for this phenomenon.
Of course, access to guns, mental illness, racism, seeking fame, religious hostility and revenge are all high on just about everyone’s list in explaining such criminal behavior. The bottom line, Anderson argued, is that these shooters are all very disturbed people and they “need to be found prior to the action taking place.” Good advice, but not very easy to accomplish.
What all these shooters have in common, however, is that they all belong to the human race. They are figurative speaking, one of us! That brings me to the deep thinking of one of my fave psychologists, Carl Gustav Jung.
Whenever one of these God-awful mass shooting occurs, I recall immediately what Jung said about man’s proclivity for wrongdoing. He wrote: “The evil in man is of gigantic proportions!” And, Jung quickly added: “Man denies this and regards himself as harmless, thus adding stupidity to his iniquity.” Ouch!
This tendency towards evil, Jung continued, resides in man’s “shadow side,” also referred to as his unconscious. If you tell most people about what he said, and ask them to talk about their “shadow side,” they will laugh at you and say something like this: “No way, Jose, not me. I’m a former member of the Boy Scouts. It’s not in me, it’s the ‘others.’” All of the above can be found in Jung’s book, “The Undiscovered Self,” with a more detailed explanation.
Jung’s exhibit “A” on this point is how scientists, all good and decent people, created the “H” bomb, which is capable of destroying life on the planet. Jung insists that their shadow sides, whether they will admit it or not, played a role in that bomb-making process.
Now, let’s shift over to another kind of evil. In this one, which recently came to public notice, children have been targeted as victims by members of the clergy. I’m referring to the horrific sexual scandal of the pedophile, children-abusing priests engulfing the Roman Catholic Church. It truly shocked the world. I have to wonder what Jung would have said about this kind of clerical sickness. We’re talking here about evil on a massive human scale. Law enforcement officials are working tirelessly to get to the bottom of it.
We already knew the RC Church in this county had a very poor record in opposing the endless, immoral wars that have engulfed this nation since WWII. From the horrific Vietnam conflict to the wars in Iraq, the most you could get out of the RC Church was some bland statement on the subject filled with pious nonsense.
Here are some hard statistics about the pedophile-priest scandal: as of June 1, 2018, the number of priests accused of sexually abusing children in the U.S. stands at 6,846, while the currently known victims total 19,001. The authority for these mind-blowing numbers is the BishopAccountability.org website. This site continues to be updated.
One of the states leading the way in bringing these evil-doing priests, and their disgusting protectors in the church hierarchy to justice, has been Pennsylvania. More than 1,000 young victims were identified in a sweeping Grand Jury Report, which was released on August 14, 2018, by its intrepid Attorney General, Josh Shapiro. (USA Today.) Kudos to Mr. Shapiro.
The report went on to state: “Church leaders…were more interested in safeguarding the church and the abusers than tending to their victims…Priests were raping little boys and girls and the so-called “men of God” who were responsible for them not only did nothing: They hid it all.” More than 300 predator priests were named in the damning report. It can be found at: https://www.inquirer.com/
(I strongly recommend, if you have the stomach for it, to read this report in its entirety. It is beyond shocking.)
A tip of the hat to Maryland’s Attorney General, Brian Frosh, who soon followed the Pennsylvania precedent. He began opening a process on September 21, 2018, that allowed local victims of an abuser at a school or place of worship to contact his office.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore updated their list of Religious Brothers and Priests accused of child sex abuse on July 23, 2019. It can be found here. at The 23 names recently added bring the total to 126 accused child sex abusers.
The RC Church keeps preaching that the vast majority of their clergy weren’t caught up in the priest’s sexual abuse of children scandal. This is true. That, however, raises questions: such as, if they knew about this sex scandal, why didn’t they speak out about it to the police authorities? Why did they remain silent?
It’s time for the priests in the RC Church, not involved in the sex abuse scandal, to come clean about all the evil that they know of that went on in their church. Trust me, it is long overdue.
Finally, as for the evil of the “mass shootings,” (discussed above), the situation for more killings is sadly greater than presented by David Anderson. All efforts to keep dangerous firearms of every description, particularly the AK 47 rifle, out of the hands of the demented, must be redoubled. The clock is on the field.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1