Ariel Castro – Pain Recycled or Original Evil?

In “Inside the mind of Ariel Castro,” (Fox News opinion, May 10, 2013) Dr. Keith Albrow says there is no original evil left in the world, everyone is just recycling pain.

Albrow says Castro endured as a child crushing abuse – physical, emotional, sexual – at the hands of relatives, and the key to understanding him is to understand that his ability to empathize was killed. Thus Castro’s mind creates a house of mirrors, reliving over and over again the abuse, unable to escape the “dehumanized recreation of his own destruction.”

A man who loves his mother cannot brutalize women and violently force abortions. Did Castro deny and suppress at five and at thirteen years year of age  a murderous rage toward his mother, when it was too psychologically threatening, and then as an adult allow that rage to explode out of him at all females?

Dr. Albrow states that Ariel Castro is neither monster nor devil, but a small boy ruined.  But as an adult he failed to fight the darkness within so, in the light of the world, the horrors of his basement chambers are now exposed.

Albrow’s opinion that there is no original evil left in the world is thought-provoking, empathic in itself, and the keystone to his article, albeit somewhat doubtful. Hasn’t it been true that at least since Cain and Abel there have been plenty of criminals with decent parents? Hasn’t it been true through recorded history that everyone is born with innocence, the capacity to reason and yet at the same time the capacity to do evil? Hasn’t this been named “original sin”?

Indeed, while Castro had a small, quiet, inner voice telling him his behavior was monstrous, he didn’t stop. Why not? Come now the slow wheels of justice, finely grinding.

If some monsters are born freshly into the world, or if all monsters are grown of recycled pain, the distinction is important only to the society trying to determine the just disposition of each case. The distinction is meaningless to the brutalized and dead victims.

I close with this memorable truth from Dr. Albrow’s article:

“It is popular to speak of children as resilient. It is a complete and utter myth. Children are exquisitely emotionally sensitive. The seeds of major depression and panic disorder and PTSD and borderline personality disorder and, yes, antisocial (psychopathic) personality disorder are most often sown in childhood and adolescence. And while someone may be born gifted by God with a hardy brain chemistry, with serotonin and norepinephrine and dopamine aplenty, many are not, and are, therefore, even more vulnerable, from birth.”

Read more:”

About ghostofvangogh

Advocate for mental health care and services, and for ethical treatment of other human beings.
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