Why I think twice before calling someone Evil

This year Robert Black died. He was a serial killer and paedophile. And, together with a long line of others before and after him, the newspapers branded him “Evil” and a “Monster”.  I do remember in 1994 I was struck by these headlines about Robert Black because I felt uncomfortable with them. And now I have cause to ask myself “Why?”

When I call someone “Evil” and a “Monster”

1) I’m using lazy shorthand

2) I can sweep distasteful acts under the carpet without reflecting on their true significance—in other words I’m avoiding pain

3) I am disconnected from humanity and devoid of compassion

Now, you may say This is all very well. But what about the victims? Those of you who know something about me and my history will know that of course I empathise with victims. But this post is not about victims—it’s about perpetrators. And interestingly it demonstates that, perhaps, I am capable of rainbow thinking after all!

In this 3 minute recording I explain a little more. Please listen and do share your views:


What do you think? Is it helpful to call people a monster and evil? Why do we call people “Monsters”?