Jason E. Fort
Evil Escalates, Until It's Outmatched, or Stopped Outright
I thought I'd start this post with the cover of my first novel, because the main character of my first book illustrates just how evil naturally escalates. Of course he is the extreme version...but in many ways, evil can get to the extreme point of killing multiple victims from the tiniest evidence of its presence. Working in law enforcement, one gets to see and hear, and in some cases, stop such escalation. My main character in my first book, starts out as a special forces operator. His death dealing doesn't start, though, until his family is killed, and he seeks vengeance. Vengeance belongs to God - not us. If we take vengeance, it is evil. And my character not only escalates his behavior, but he takes more and more risks. He pushes the envelope as revenge takes a hold of his every thought...even into his prayers. One can imagine how unhappy that would actually make God.
Yet this is how evil works. Let's take a basic look at domestic violence between a divorced couple. At first, the disgruntled husband may have trouble letting go of his ex, so he may start to call her house, but just hang up when his ex-wife answers. At first, it may seem like nothing, but after some repetition in the behavior, the ex-wife becomes afraid. In many of these cases, because the ex-husband got away with the first line of offenses, he begins to call and leave harassing messages. If he catches her on the phone, he may say some disturbing things that cause either more fear, or anger. Many times, if law enforcement does not get involved, the ex-husband becomes even bolder. He may start to follow his ex. He may purposely make himself seen at random times, in awkward places, just to make his ex feel uncomfortable; to the point that she feels like she can't control it or him. As he increases his nerve, he may even confront his ex. Many times this is were violence occurs. Police almost always end up being involved if the first time isn't deadly, but there is enough evidence to prove the wife was harmed. Of course there are exceptions...but in most cases, if this type of incident happens twice, but the wife moves on with minor injuries the first couple of times, this emboldens the abusive husband or ex-husband even more. Unless something happens to completely remove the woman from the situation, such as she skips town and loses all touch with the ex, these situations typically end one way: Either the abuser escalates things to the point that it forces a life or death showdown with police, the abuser kills his victim, or both. Now I know nobody wants to hear about these situations, but they are very real - and if it has started happening to anyone out there - TAKE ACTION. There is an inevitable course of events unless that evil is outmatched, or stopped outright.
Let's look at this with a different common scenario; school bullying. A girl gets cut from the cheerleading squad. Because she was unique from the clique of girls that fit the mold for the select cheerleading group, one or more of the girls, for whatever reason, send little messages to the girl. Let's say the girl tries to ignore these messages at first, so the 'mean girls' send more vulgar messages, or try to do subtle things to put the bullied girl in the spotlight. Perhaps this girl doesn't have many friends and is an introvert, and hides in a shell and isolates herself because she doesn't know how to handle or respond to this abuse. The timidity shown by the girl who didn't make the squad emboldens those doing the evil actions. They start to say intentionally hurtful things; it becomes a competition amongst the bullies, who can make the girl feel worst. Next thing you know, one day, the poor introverted girl takes her own life at a tender age, because of the evil actions taken by others.
Serial killers; look at all the serial killers on record. There is blatant evidence that each killer started with perhaps killing just one person. If they never get caught for that one murder, and they are contemplating doing it again, the second murder comes easier to them. Finally, you have a killer on the loose, who feels so confident because he hides in plain sight, and takes his victims unaware. His methods become more violent many times when they feel like they will be caught soon. Or, in some sick way, they begin to feel some warped sense of remorse, so they almost want to get caught. This escalation to evil has always existed. Take a look at the book of Job. How did Satan attack Job? He kept raising the stakes with God at the expense of Job. Why? Well, in Satan's case, it's because he was allowed to. There could be a whole separate theological discussion as to why God allowed this...but Satan escalated because he was not stopped - and God chose, for that particular sequence of events, not to overmatch him.
See, I think we are coming to a point where too many people are doing things to embolden evil. Look at radical Islamic terrorism. Look - the peacefulness of the actual religion of Islam can be debated all day long...but the intentions and the ACTIONS of terrorists that practice a RADICAL religion, which happens to be based on actual teachings contained in the history of Islam, are undeniable. Yet people, to this day, are still playing the 'you're just going to upset them' card by talking about it? This is sheer idiocy. This is worse than the undeniable evidence to a spouse that her husband or ex is going to kill her, because the abuser has a psycholigical advantage. But here, in good ol' USA, we are out of excuses. Read this carefully, as I will type it slow. YOU ARE EMBOLDENING THE TERRORISTS!
Guess what happens when an attacker enounters a timid individual who shuns away from their presence in fear; who shrinks down away from the threat? The attacker POUNCES; they dominate; they become relentless. This is what Americans who want to play nice with desperately evil people are doing, with their false words of coddling...you're shrinking away from the problem. You understand what happened the last time we did that, right? Heard of the USS Cole? 9/11/2001 (of course some will debate that one)? Benghazi? I teach folks in self defense classes, and even in de-escalation classes to deal with behavioral patients - if you encounter someone who wants to hurt you, you have to be assertive! The only way to handle violence, once present, is to either escape it (which just makes them want to come again), or stop it!
Why am I saying all this, you may ask? Because I am sick of it; I have been wired my whole life to be aware of things when they are about to go south. Have I been wrong on occasion? Sure - but sometimes, the evidence is so compelling, that you just have no excuse. Does this sound like I am talking down to some folks? You betcha - because if a football coach sees his player getting smoked by the same player, the same way, over and over again, eventually he has to put his foot down. Grow a pair America. Stop coddling these yahoos in Iraq, and Syria, and Yemen, and Iran, and any of the countries where the more intelligent community has actually realized the threat. Show these cowards that they're overmatched, and stop them outright!