A Definitive Modern Theory of Evil, Coming to a Bookstore Near You

For several years I have been writing a regular monthly column on religious liberty and the culture wars for ‘Infocus News,’ a Muslim newspaper in California. Sadly, ‘Infocus News’ has suspended publication—it never quite found enough donors to stay afloat. It is nonetheless my fervent hope that very shortly the needed donors will manifest themselves, and ‘Infocus News’ will once again be a vibrant and ongoing journalistic concern.

I’ve also been engaged the last few years in completing the book that every political-literary journalist dreams of writing—the ‘big book’ that fearlessly confronts the major issues of the day and either vanquishes them, or reduces them to manageable proportions. Therefore it is my great pleasure to announce that my book Trauma Bond: An Inquiry into the Nature of Evil is coming out on March 16, 2013, and will thereafter be available at all major bookstores and on Amazon.com. (It is being published by Psyche Books, which in turn is an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.) It consists of my theory of aggression and evil—particularly the thorny problem of systemic evil—and is in part the result of twenty-five years of working as a counselor doing psycho-social rehab in various mental health programs, in addition to being the Executive Director for the Interfaith Freedom Foundation.

Think the world’s becoming a more violent place? It’s not your imagination. Leaders refuse to learn from their mistakes—instead they get better at rationalizing the harm they do. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Trauma Bond: An Inquiry into the Nature of Evil shows how one can help break society’s cycle of aggression, beginning with oneself.
Trauma Bond is an audacious, ground-breaking psychological theory about how aggression replicates itself in the world. What causes aggression? One thinks of low tolerance for frustration, cultural traditions, and people born with excessive latent aggression. But there’s another and much more important cause: people exposed to violent events—as victims, witnesses or even perpetrators—internalize the aggression they experience. They often act it out later, without understanding where the aggression comes from. Women tend to act it out against themselves; men act it out against others. Trauma Bond explains in detail how this dangerous mechanism works.

When people conceal, dissemble or glamorize aggression, it becomes a form of evil. When enough people engage in unacceptable aggression simultaneously, and the state takes on the role of concealing and facilitating it, mass aggression is likely to become a form of systemic evil. When aggression becomes evil, it becomes an extraordinarily dangerous and malignant force that could destroy civilization. Trauma Bond explains how we can break free of this toxic cycle of psychological and physical violence. We can begin this process today, in order to make the world safer, both for ourselves and for our children.

Trauma Bond calls for a ‘moral psychology,’ promising neither happiness nor gratification, but personal authenticity based on the development of an informed, life-affirming moral code.

Lawrence Swaim