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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 09, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Apr00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

LDS Member Examines Evil In Documentary
Bergen co NJ Record 6Apr00 A2
By Jim Beckerman: Staff Writer

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Phil Tuckett has looked into the face of Evil and reports, "It is very frightening." Tuckett is the director, producer and writer of the TNT documentary entitled, "Faces of Evil". For his research, Tuckett examined evil in all of its forms--from Satan and Hitler to Marilyn Manson and horror movies.

"I have the reaction that when you see something evil, you get as far away from it as you possibly can," Tucket said. As a devout Mormon, Tuckett had many reservations about entering into an area where angels literally fear to tread. Tuckett cracked books with titles like "The Satanic Bible," and even dragged himself to a Marilyn Manson concert in preparation for an interview with the schock rocker.

Speaking of the Marilyn Manson concert and interview, Tuckett said, "He's in the business of making disturbing images in your mind." "But then he turns it around, and when he talks, he's very articulate. In his mind, what he's doing is very constructive. He's pointing out these contradictions in our society."

Andrew Delbanco, who wrote "The Death of Satan" is one of 12 experts that Tuckett interviews. He seees Manson as one of many artists today that traffice in the symbols of evil: fire and brimstone, darkness, pain, terror and visual images of Satan. Film director John Carpenter,("Halloween"), FBI serial killer expert John Douglas, exorcist Emmanuael Milingo, horror author Poppy Z. Brite and slavery scholar Dr. Molefi Kete Asante are some of the interviews featured in the documentary.

"I think Hitler is the one person in the history of the earth that everyone would agree is evil," Tuckett said. "But if you talk to a Navajo medicine man, he would say Hitler wasn't evil, but way out of balance. Because everybody has good and evil in us, and Adolf Hitler was the most out of balanced man who ever lived."

Tuckett has drawn no conclusion about this time being more significantly evil than any other. He believes media sensationalism has made the trappings of evil more visible than ever. "I have to say, our [experts] were split on that, " Tuckett said. "Some thought we were headed toward some kind of horrible conflagration. Others said there's probably no more evil, we just know about it more, because the press makes sure we know. In the days of Genghis Khan, there was probably more evil, we just didn't know about it."

The documentary poses a harrowing moment in a slave fort in West Africa, where thousands of manacled, screaming human beings are being forced onto slave ships. It juxtaposes this image against a quiet back road in Jasper, Texas, where James Byrd Jr. met his horrific end in 1998 while being dragged to death behind a pickup truck by white racists.

"Standing on that road in Jaspar, it's terrifying, it's oppresive, it's like something squeezing your chest," Tuckett said.


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