Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith,
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzlin’ you is the nature of my game …
–Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
It is recommended that the reader read Goldman’s two previous columns
on the Littleton Massacre: “Notes from the War Zone”
An odd thing has happened to me over the past week. I’ve become much
less interested in Littleton, per se ; rather, the focal point of
my interest has widened, ultimately landing on the larger (and in my
mind the “real”) issue here: the presence of “evil,” and its various
manifestations, in the world today.
I have three television sets in the office where I write. They’re
perpetually on, sans sound (a holdover from my musician days). At
present, one screen is showing images of the wreckage due to the
tornadoes in Oklahoma. On another there’s a live feed of a high-speed
freeway chase. There’s about one of these per day in L.A., but this one
has an interesting twist in that the perp has been shooting at the
pursuing cops from the driver’s side window (how the hell is he
aiming?). On the third screen, holocaust like-images of the ravaged
faces of the bombing victims in Yugoslavia stare out at me.
It’s odd. Watching this melange of images, coupled with the daily
reports of various copycat Littleton shootings and bombings (and/or
threats thereof) taking place across the U.S. — not to mention the
usual assortment of heinous acts committed daily (the one that caught my
eye today found a man deliberately driving his car through a fence and
onto a preschool playground, killing 2 children) you’d almost swear —
if you were a believer in such things — that we actually were in the
Unfortunately, I’m far too skeptical to accept such a notion. What I am
convinced of, however — and have been for some time — is that the
amount of evil in the world has increased massively over the past twenty
years. And my gut feeling is that things are going to get a lot get
worse before they get better.
Let me pause for a brief aside: When I began writing this column I
figured that you — the fine upstanding, “open-minded” Americans who
make up the readership of WND — wouldn’t take much time to grasp the
nature of this column. Which is to say that my work runs the gamut from
straight investigative reportage to curmudgeonesque harangues to (when
the mood strikes) complete and total put-ons.
No such luck. Frankly, you guys have disappointed me greatly. I thought
writing for liberal rags was bad, but you people are just as bad. Maybe
worse. To be completely forthright, I’ve found you to be, in large part,
one of the most uptight, judgmental, humorless bunch of prigs I’ve ever
written for (nothing like starting off a column by alienating your
But, hey I’m not here to whine. The only reason I make these comments is
to inform you up front of my “posture” in writing this particular series
of columns on the nature of “evil.” When it comes to this subject
matter, you will find no tongue-in-cheek, no sarcasm (well, maybe just a
little), no fooling around. When I’m dealing with this area, I’m stone,
Moreover, you need to understand that I approach this subject matter not
as an authority of any sort. Although I have an extensive background in
cult research, as well as brainwashing and deprogramming — my approach
to this subject matter is strictly scientific. That is, I am seeking
answers. In order for this to be possible, it is necessary to start with
no conclusions and no prejudices. The moment you deal with this issue
from the point of view that you are an “authority” or that you “know,”
you’re no better than the parade of clowns we see everyday on the talk
shows — each of whom have an agenda they’re pursuing — be it gun
control, some new law restricting violence in the media, or people who
insist you must accept their particular religion.
I have only one agenda, and that is get at the “truth” of the matter.
(And if you’re serious about this issue, that must be your point of view
Thus, I reserve the right to change my point of view, shift directions,
make intellectual leaps (hell, I might even contradict myself!) as I see
fit. If this bothers you, I suggest you take your leave now.
My belief is that any other approach — when one is dealing with matters
of a spiritual nature — is not only foolhardy, it’s utterly worthless.
The “truth” gives itself over to us in a variety of ways; it takes on
many and sundry shapes and forms. Sometimes it’s subtle; at others, it
smacks you right in the puss. Moreover, evil — the subject we’re
attempting to look at– has the capacity to influence each and every one
of us at any moment in time. You’d do well to constantly remind yourself
of this. One of the ways evil works is by inserting false thoughts and
ideas and in your mind. Evil is highly subtle. It also has its own
peculiar kind of intelligence and cunning.
Thus, the very first tool you must hone, if you want to take part in
this examination, is your ability to discern. This is no easy task.
Discernment demands that you must not only be completely focused on your
subject; you must also be aware of your own responses as you conduct
with your examination. That is to say, as you look through your
microscope, you must also listen — without judgement — to all your
reactions (that is, the “tapes” which are stored in your brain, and
which form the background from which you act.) These “tapes” are what I
refer to when I speak of “conditioning.”
I’m sorry if this all sounds terribly metaphysical. It’s not. All I’m
saying is that besides looking at the problem, you have to be aware of
your responses to the problem. More importantly, you must be willing to
set them aside. Otherwise can never truly “look.” To “look” demands a
clear (unpolluted) mind — not one full of ideas and beliefs.
Alright, let’s move on. I’m well aware there are those of you who don’t
believe in evil at all. One person this week wrote to me: “I giggle when
I think of a literal devil.” This is not an uncommon response. Evil is
not something we can put our hands on. We can’t see it, smell it, or
touch it. Thus, the more scientific/literal minded of us have a sound
basis for saying, “Ain’t no such thing. If there is, show it to me.
Though I can neither define nor prove evil, I can say without hesitation
that — in terms of the Littleton Massacre — it was, without a doubt,
the prime motivating force behind the deeds of the two murderers.
Evil, and its various manifestations, are so thick, so numerous, in the
world today, that I am prepared to say that anybody who dares question
the existence of evil is either a fool, or have themselves been “taken
over” by evil.
Now let me get even more specific. I don’t believe that the killers
targeted — as is being touted in the media — jocks and minorities. But
I do think they had a target?
Who, you ask?
The answer is — “Believers.”
I don’t have proof that every single victim in the Littleton massacre
was a believer in the Lord (I am purposefully not using the word
Christian), but it’s abundantly clear that a good many of them were. The
only one that’s been identified in the media thus far is Cassie Bernall,
who was shot after she answered “yes,” when one of the killers asked her
if she believed in God.
But Cassie wasn’t the only one asked that question. Another student in
the library was also asked the very same question. What he said was not
reported, but he must have responded in the affirmative before Eric
Harris blew his brains out. According to onlookers, Harris looked down
at the dead boy and sneered, “There is no God.”
Again — why? Why would Harris have asked two people this question?
Isaiah Shoels, and Rebecca Scott — both murder victims — were strong
believers in the Lord. In one of the most amazing sequences I have ever
witnessed, Rachel’s parents went on national TV and “forgave” the two
killers. I sat there, stunned. I asked myself, if that were my daughter,
could I do that?
I’m afraid my answer is no. Not only would I not be able to forgive
Harris and Klebold, but — had they lived instead of killing themselves
— I would have done my level-best to make sure that they didn’t get to
complete their lives on this earth.
Another incredible sequence that was shown on TV: Rachel’s younger
brother (who, prior to learning that his sister had been killed, had
been leading a group of kids in prayer) was shown holding the hand of
Isaiah Shoels father, as the grieving man (also a Christian) repeatedly
broke down while talking to the newscaster.
Here was a young man — in a moment of his own great suffering — giving
comfort to another man.
I cannot get these images out of my mind. They humble me. They make me
Yes, the Lord is showing us his face in the wake of this atrocity. Never
have I heard so many people talking about “God,” … about “prayer” and
“forgiveness.” The media itself — as one would expect — doesn’t touch
this angle. Rather, they stick to “the issues” — gun control, media
violence — things their learned cast of “experts” can debate about
while they sell airtime.
This afternoon I received an email which informed me that both the
Branch Davidian killings, as well as the Oklahoma bombing — took place
on dates having some relationship to Adolf Hitler. Which brings us to a
question which many of you are asking: Just what was behind Harris’ and
Klebold’s fascination (correction: obsession) with Hitler and Nazi lore?
Klebold, as has been pointed out, was half Jewish. During the last
family Seder he had asked the “Four Questions.”
With Harris, the love of Nazi lore is (slightly) more explainable. As
with many kids of his age, he identified with anything that reeked of
rebellion… anything that would make clear his hatred of our culture.
Still, something is wrong here. Neither of these boys was reminiscent of
your typical, trailer park trash, white supremacist. Neither had
anything to do with the skinhead culture. Yet they spoke to one another
in German; they were enraptured by the music of Rammstein, a satanic
German band, and the favorite of many Goths (and other teen idiots).
Why? Was the fascination with Hitler — the “Sieg Heils” uttered
whenever Harris and Klebold got a strike while bowling — simply typical
teenage behavior … thumbing their noses at the establishment? Saying,
“F–k you” to the system?
Perhaps. But I think there was a deeper reason for the Hitler-fixation.
And unless we are willing to step out of socio-politcal paradigm and
move into the much less “reasonable” spiritual arena, we will never
fully understand this.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, because of a piece I was writing on
cults, I had been in the process of studying Hitler for several weeks
prior to Littleton. To me, one of the oddest things about Hitler was the
man’s utter ordinariness. Those closest to him often described him as
“without any discernable personality.” Yet the more power he gained, the
more “charismatic” Hitler became. “It was as if something would take
him over … would speak through him,” said a close associate.
If you accept the notion that Hitler gradually became inhabited by
spirits (i.e. demons) the picture begins to clear. It also answers many
questions about the man himself (How did such an “ordinary” man gain
control of an entire nation?)
Point two: though Hitler kept his agenda secret until his rise to power
was a fait accompli, his mission — the extermination of the
Jewish people — was something he had held dear from his youth. Again —
Who are the Jews? God’s chosen people. Hitler’s explanation as
to why he felt that Jews should be exterminated was because they had a
“blood taint” — that they were a “subhuman race” of whom the world
needed to be “cleansed.” (These were ideas Hitler learned in studying
the teachings of occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.) But isn’t it
possible that the demonic spirits that infused Hitler hated — wanted to
exterminate Jews — because of who the Jews were, God’s chosen people?
As I said, this kind of reasoning is not “logical,” It requires a leap
of faith. I am not suggesting you accept it. I am simply asking you to
Harris and Klebold “exterminated” a number of students. Students they
hated. A large portion of these students were “believers” in God.
Coincidence? I’m not saying yes or no. I’m saying that we need to add
this to the equation.
One of the oddest things about Littleton (and hence, my fascination —
hell, make that obsession with the event) is that, the more you
get into it, the less things add up.
A couple of examples: The suicide of the two killers. Yes, they may have
had a suicide pact, but let’s not forget: these guys were on a massive
high during the murder spree. It was a major adrenaline rush times 10!
That is not commensurate with the “mood” or state of mind from which one
If indeed the boys planned the killings for a year (and the evidence of
this is fairly strong), and could, knowing what they were going to do,
go about doing their daily duties — attending classes, going to the
prom … even going bowling on the morning of the killings! — this
means that for one year they pulled off an Oscar Award winning acting
job that fooled literally everyone — including their families. This is
not something one “learns” to do. No, there has to be another “author”
to attain this level of talent.
These are but two of countless aspects of this murder spree that simply
make no sense — at least not from any standard psychological point of
Another one of the people who showed up on my TV screen while I was
writing this column was Christian “missionary” Bob Larson. A former rock
musician-turned bible-thumper, Larsen’s been on the scene for a long
time now. To be honest, I’ve never liked nor trusted the guy. Larsen’s
latest “incarnation” has found him “freeing” people who are “in bondage”
to demonic spirits. Which is exactly what he was doing when I looked up
from my computer screen and saw him standing — hands upraised —
screaming at the top of his lungs, at a massively overweight woman who
was cowering in a chair in front of him.
It was a scene straight out of “The Exorcist.”
The demon possessed woman thrashed around in her chair, spoke in a
guttural voice, sneered, snarled, swore, and rolled her eyes back in her
head as Larsen bade the “demon” in her to “name itself.” It finally did.
“Hate,” the woman/demon spat.
“Hate … I command you in the name of Jesus Christ … to come out of
her … now!” Larsen shouted. People in the audience said “Amen,” and
waved their hands in the air.
After some five minutes of banter, the woman let loose a terrible scream
as the “demon” exited her body. She and Larsen hugged as the audience
So amazed was I at this demonstration, that it took me another five
minutes before I realized what I was watching was in fact, an
Infomercial! The product Larson was hawking was a book and a videotape
on “Spiritual Warfare.” Thirty-nine bucks. Cheap.
It wouldn’t be fair to dismiss what I’d seen as a sham simply because
Larson was selling a product … or because he wears an incredibly cheap
wig, or because something about the man reeks of fraud. All I can say
is, it’s guys like this (along with Jan and Paul Crouch, and dozens of
others) who keep me — and probably thousands of others like myself —
from aligning themselves with mainstream Christianity.
Last week, I made the statement that the two killers were “demon
possessed.” Does that mean that I believe that if Bob Larsen had been on
the scene that the massacre could have been prevented? Could Larsen
have held his hand up and commanded the demons to come out of the two
killers in the name of Jesus? Or would Harris and Klebold have laughed
in his face and blown him to smithereens?
One of the most dangerous traps when one is dealing with “spiritual
warfare” (unfortunately this term itself has become a clich?) is that we
tend to go for simplistic, easy-to-digest solutions. I’m sorry, but I
just don’t buy the Bob Larsen approach. And Larsen is by no means the
only one practicing this B-movie style exorcism; go into any evangelical
church and you’ll likely find people engaged in some version of this
You can take this very same argument and use it against the people who
are making the statement that Harris and Klebold were “programmed” to
kill by the constant watching of violent films like “Natural Born
Killers” playing “Doom.” and other violent video games. These people
opine that in subjecting themselves to a steady diet of this stuff,
Harris and Klebold turned themselves into perfect little Manchurian
Candidate style killers.
What I’m saying is — no matter which paradigm we utilize — we must not
be satisfied with simple, easy-to-digest explanations.
Understanding evil — and dealing with it — is, I’m afraid, more
complex. Thus it demands much more refined thinking than most of us are
willing to engage in.
Let’s look at the phenomenon of violent video games and films. I’ve no
doubt whatsoever (especially after buying “Doom” this week, and
immediately getting hooked on it — despite its crummy graphics and
terrible synthesized music track) — that these were indeed factors. But
killing a real person — watching actual blood fly from the bodies of
real live flesh and blood people — is so far removed from game playing
or images on a screen — that I find it impossible to stomach the
“experts” making the argument that the killers were “programmed” by
movies and videos.
Presuming neither of these boys had ever killed before, how do you
possibly explain their absolute lack of “shock” — in fact, their utter
glee (reports have said that they were whooping and screaming as they
blasted away) if this was the first time they ever encountered actual
humans being killed? (Not to mention that they were the ones doing the
And how do you go — in the span of 20 minutes — from laughing and
shouting and having a grand old time, to putting a gun to your own head
and ending your life?
It simply makes no sense. That is, unless and until you ascribe some
“non-human” explanation to these acts.
But again, we must be extremely careful. If you say, OK I accept the
“spiritual” angle, that still doesn’t let you off the hook. In fact, it
just makes the problem more complicated, because it means that no known
methodology — punishment, incarceration, counseling — is going to work
with someone who is inhabited by evil spirits.
Likewise, I don’t believe that standing over a “demon possessed” person,
Bible in hand, and conducting a Bob Larsen-type exorcism has any more
chance of “curing” them than do any of the more “conventional” methods.
I got a lot of angry mail this week because I suggested that people stay
out of churches, temples and other places of worship. I said this not
because I think that it’s bad for people to congregate (in fact, I
believe we need to fellowship). But what typically happens in
these places is nothing more than repetitive behavior — behavior not
designed to help us “see” or “understand” — but rather, behavior
designed to help us “feel good.”
Spiritual warfare demands “awareness.” Awareness demands a clear mind.
You don’t obtain a clear mind by going to church or temple and singing
and praying and shouting “Amen” anymore than you get a clear mind by
repeating some stupid mantra over and over. What you get is … you get
programmed. You get drugged. You get dull. You get stupid.
You get a clear mind by divesting yourself — that is, deprogramming
yourselves — from the conditioning you’ve been subjected to all your
lives. And the truth is that this is not something that we really want
to do — because in actually deprogramming yourselves, we have to come
face to face with all of the ugly realties about ourselves that we would
rather not look at. We have to come face to face with our own greed, our
own selfishness, our own ugly little ego, and even (yes) our own ability
to commit atrocities like murder (it’s been genetically programmed into
us for centuries). Believe what you like; there is not one of us who
incapable of killing — no matter how “civilized” we may be on the
outside. There is not one of us who is, in fact, free from “evil.”
States Dr. Ronald Markman, a psychiatrist and author of “Alone With The
Devil,” a study of numerous murderers, including Charles Manson, “We’re
all capable of murder, which is why all religions contain specific
commandments against it and why it’s against the law. If we weren’t all
capable of it, there would be no need to forbid it.”
Seeing ourselves — without judging or without trying to run away from
what we encounter — is the ONLY way to begin this exploration. Clarity
does not take place at the end of the road. It must take place at the
very the beginning. Until we are ready to actually face the ugliness,
the depravity in ourselves — we can talk till we’re blue in the face
about all this stuff … but it has no meaning whatsoever.
Next week, we’ll continue with the subject of evil, and discuss some
actual “techniques” which you can utilize in order to begin the process
of deprogramming, so that you can confront “evil” head on. Not as an
idea, but as a reality — as a part of yourself.< p>
Though I’m unable to answer all of your emails personally, I welcome
your comments on this column. Anyone interested in learning more about
de-programming may write to email@example.com. Anyone
with tips/information on Littleton, please forward them to
firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of you who are interested in
obtaining the Special Report on the Littleton Massacre (we are
about to release the much-expanded Volume 2 of the Special Report
as this column goes to press), please click here.