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
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
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.