Demonology, Criminology, the Pathological Perspective, and Sadism

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Demonology, Criminology, the Pathological Perspective, and Sadism
No matter what happens in our lives, our bodies will always be surrounded or involved in numerous acts of deviance. Whether someone acts under the influence of the devil, or if we do something to bring pleasure to ourselves, something will be seen as deviant behavior. Whether it is caused or chosen, deviant behavior is a regular part of life. Every deviant has logic behind his or her behavior. Whether they do it for power, control, hatred, or anger, there is some type of reasoning for their actions. Why demonic deviants seen as evil? Why is sadism silenced? Why is deviance looked at as a bad thing?

Demonic deviance rose in the middle as a way to describe those who were acting against G-d. Those who did not follow word of G-d were seen as sinners who were impacted by the presence of the devil in their souls. Deviants, as Stephen Pfohl says, act deviant either “through temptation or through possession” (Images of Deviance and Social control 22). A tempted deviant is taken over and made weaker “by the multiple forms taken by the devil – sloth, anger, lust, pride, envy, gluttony, greed” (Images of Deviance and Social control 23). Possession, the second way to deviance, is when a person is possessed by the devil, or legitimately taken over and controlled by the devil. The devil has a part in every act of deviance making the person harm the victim and G-d.

As time moved forward, theorist in the eighteenth century started to rule out demonic deviance, as it was not rational. These theorists were seen as classical theorists. As Pfohl puts is, “Deviance, like any other human act, was viewed as a freely calculated choice to maximize pleasure and minimize pain” (Images of Deviance and Social control 63). The society was connected through a social contract, in which every member gave up a little bit of liberty. Deviance was seen as acts going against that social contract. This outlook on deviance gave a more rational sense of thinking, which restored some liberty to the people. It connected the citizens by law rather than by spirit.

In the nineteenth century, a new way to look at deviance rose. Pfohl states a simple overview, “Deviance was pictured as a sickness, not sin, and as caused rather than chosen” (Images of Deviance and Social control 104). The deviant’s mind was controlled by a physical or mental sickness, which caused him or her to go against the will of society. Cesare Lombroso had three component of this pathological perspective (Images of Deviance and Social control 104). He saw humans as deterministic. Certain behavior was superior, and other behavior was inferior. All behaviors were caused by the natural law. His second component was positivism. In order to find out what caused deviance, positivistic science, or observation and experiments, had to be performed. His last component was an organismic infection. Society favored the human body, and if a part of that body were sick, then it would be weakened, which caused deviance.

In today’s society, all three perspectives still exist. The least prevalent is the demonic perspective. Today, “the demonic perspective relies on beliefs that are no longer believed as much as other beliefs” (47). People in today’s world use a naturalistic explanation as opposed to a spiritual explanation, but demonology still exists. Monica Sjöö discusses Dan and Ron Lafferty, who in 1984 committed murder. The two, as Sjöö says, acted deviant because “G-d told them it was ‘his will’ that theses people ‘be removed’” (The Great Cosmic Mother 313). The Lafferty brothers killed their sister-in-law, and her baby because they were acting against G-d’s will and deserved to “be removed”. This type of deviance, killing someone based on demonology, has been less prevalent because the United States separates its Church and State. The Lafferty brothers were sentenced to life prison for an act that would have been praised several...
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