The thing that all “official misconduct”, “white collar misconduct”, and criminal behavior have in common is a thing called “perversity.” Perversity comes from a word that means twisted, as in the Lotus Sutra’s warning that in the distant future there will be “evil monks whose hearts are fawning and perverse.” There are all sorts of perversity.

Society easily recognizes some forms:
Child Abuse, Pedaphilia, drug addiction….etc.
Society readily excuses or seems blind to other forms:
Alcohol abuse, white collar crime, official crimes, fraud, deceptive advertizing, political pandering.

But they are just as perverse.

The source of all deluded behavior is known as “mara” in the east, Maya in India, and Samael in the bible. It is “illusion.” …

There are two kinds of illusion. One is usually known as “delusion” and the other is “ignorance.” All perversity are “from within” and thus are psychological to one extent or another. They have to do with the “wiring” of our internal operating systems. Like with computers this is the result of “hard wiring” somewhat– from our genetic and developmental structure. The thing is whatever, the excuses, the internal compulsions, or the justifications, we have “volitional” control over either our behavior, or the moral responsibility to develop such control. When we are blind, or blinded, to our “perverse parts” then that can be called “ignorance.” When we are intentionally blind, that is “ignore-ance” and is the worst form of delusion.

We can be blind to the facts, or we can intentionally adopt a false narrative. To some extent all narratives are either “fiction” or ‘hypothesis.” They are “history” or stories told about something. Sometimes the actual story is a “fable” — and that is appropriate for conveying morals and models, though only if the fableist shares that secret at some point with his audience and is aware of it himself. The source of much perversity is in the adoption of narratives for behavior that don’t apply to reality.

Fighting our own “perversity” means recognizing that the true source of how troubles impact is is within. And the main source for troubles is the “lie”. recognizing that and fighting it on our three levels of interaction (within, local and universal) is a struggle for all of that. A person who struggles to be a “righteous” or “penitant” person struggles with mara to win. A person who blinds himself intentionally is an arrogant person. We have tough choices as it is, if we adopt an arrogant attitude that makes it all the harder to make good ones.

So with that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to seperate fact from fiction, and to simultaneously recognize the value and place of both. Without our sustaining narratives and goals, we have no life. We have the choice of creating a world of justice and light or a dark perverse world. The light entirely flows from within. That is something that all religions attest to.

The antidote to perversity is “humility” which doesn’t mean to debase yourself, but does mean to live a life where one constantly self examines and knows that “I can do better today than yesterday.”