I purchased this book years ago while browsing in the local B & N, of which the title captured my brain waves, The Most Evil Men and Women in History by Miranda Twiss.
Here’s a list of the people she wrote about: Caligula, Nero, Attila the Hun, King John, Torquemada, Prince Vlad Dracula, Franciso Pizarro, Bloody Mary 1, Ivan IV, Elizabeth –Countess Bathory, Rasputin, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Ilse Koch, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin.
First, I’ll have my soapbox moment and then share brief portions from the book. 😛
Even though we know without a doubt the evilness that humans do, we tend to forget just how controlling the devil can be within us. This writing is just a reminder that there is some form of evil or bad (whichever you prefer to call it), be it mild or severe, within us all. You can deny it, but I believe it to be true. The reason being is that we are all inherently sinners. We all have had episodes of anger and meanness, rages of jealousy and bitterness, mouths full of gossip, the mindset of unforgiveness, and thoughts of revenge.
Let’s review the words of God in Exodus 21:23-25– But if any lasting harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Now let’s review the words of Jesus concerning judgement of others in Matthew 7:12– Therefore whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus also reminds us concerning enemies to use the same Law, Luke 6:31-And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Does anyone ever soak in what He says afterwards? Let’s read verse 33 Luke 6– And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Wow! Nice eye opener there….For even sinners do the same.
Then let us look here again in Luke 6:45– A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Only Jesus knows the truth concerning our heart, no matter how hard we try to hide it,it can be seen by others due to your actions.
Now, I don’t believe we all intentionally inflict pain on others, or intentionally kill another or group of people because of their religion, race, or just because they exist, nor do we possess the desire to do such. We can hurt and even kill others with the power of the tongue and with what is within our hearts. Tis has been proven so, throughout human history. There are some of us who say “God knows my heart”, yet they do not know their heart. They will sometimes use this as an excuse for their wrong doing to another, but too arrogant or self-centered to apologize. God wants us to know our own heart, to overcome those bad things that may escape due to our hearts condition. I have no doubt, we can become as God wants us to be.
Therefore I’ve come to the conclusion there within us all exist both good and evil/bad, darkness and light, even though we’d like to think we’re all good within. That’s a good thing though, if we continue to believe so, we eventually become what we truly believe with lots of work and faith to achieve such a goal with the help of the Holy Spirit. I think we forget at times that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. Let’s work hard in ridding ourselves of the bad, the evilness that lies dormant. After all, we have several biblical characters that worked out their darkness and became a light to others, these are the two most are familiar with; Saul who killed Christians became Paul, and Moses the murderer who delivered the Laws of God to God’s chosen people.
Side note- Nero, the 5th Emperor of Rome, was the product of an incestuous rape. Caligula rapped his sister Agrippina(the younger) at the age of 12. Caligula was Nero’s father and uncle, fancy that and he too was listed amongst the “most evil”.
Caligula- born in 12AD Gaius Julius Caesar to Germanicus a war hero and Agrippina(the elder), the granddaughter of Emperor Augustus. Gaius was successor to the Emperor Tiberius who died in 37AD. The people were dazzled by Gaius Caesar and his family connections, and the Senate handed him unprecedented powers. For the next four years, the schizophrenic Emperor would use these powers to terrorize, rape, and murder, with sadistic delight. Two thousand years later his sex life is still a watchword for depravity. (Gasp!) He reveled in torture, demanding slow and painful executions as to be carried as he dined. Finally, Caligula would declare himself God.
Caligula now began striking out at close relatives and former friends. Gemellus was accused of making plans in anticipation of Caligula’s death. The eighteen year old was handed a sword and shown how to commit suicide. Next, Caligula turned on his father-in-law, Silanus. The old man was accused of treason, after he refused to accompany Caligula on a boat trip. Silanus was forced to cut his own throat with a razor.
He spent the entire summer of 40AD rigorously preparing himself to be a God. He provoked outrage with the demand that the Temple of Jerusalem be converted into an imperial shrine containing a statue of himself. He took the refusal as an act of grave disloyalty and ordered the death of those who had opposed him.
Elizabeth, Countess Bathory
She was a sadist who perpetrated incredible cruelties upon her servants and peasant girls, murdering over 650 of them during her reign of terror. The Bathory family was rich and one of the most powerful protestant families in the whole of the country. Her father George was a minister, who married his cousin, Anna. As a child, Elizabeth was prone to frequent fits in which she would be overcome with rage and uncontrollable behavior. (must be the result of incest) In the dead of winter the Countess would have young women stripped naked and taken into the courtyard below her window. Water was then poured over the victim until she froze like an ice statue. Elizabeth would sit and gaze at her beautiful human sculptures for hours.
In 1971, the self-created General Idi Amin became President of Uganda. To the rest of the world he was a showman whose extravagance was exceeded only by his talent for comic buffoonery. But behind the grinning face was a calculating monster…. He mutilated his wife and murdered his ministers, keeping the head of one in his refrigerator as a warning to others. Amin anxious to prove to Gadaffi that he was a worthy protégé, opened an office in Kampala for the Palestine Liberation Army, with full diplomatic status. He declared his admiration for Adolf Hitler and drew up plans for a memorial to the Nazi dictator to be erected in the middle of Kampala. In January 1972 he warned that any Asians holding political meetings would be summarily shot. Then on 5 August he dropped his bombshell. He gave 80,000 Asians ninety days to leave Uganda, claiming the idea had come to him in a dream from God. In March 1972 he ordered that all Israelis had to leave Uganda. His accusations became increasingly wild- he claimed they had been intending to poison the Nile and kill all Arabs in Sudan and Egypt. Angry and hurt, the Israelis pulled out.
Lord have mercy, even after knowing such people existed and exist, I don’t understand why or how they get away with so much evilness. I bet the behavior and actions all are due to things that happened in their childhood. Come Lord Jesus!
Love Covers a Multitude of Sins