« I’m OK, you’re OK if you love me


Luc Ladmiral enjoyed an enviable life in the little French town of Ferney-Voltaire, close to the Swiss border. Upon completing his medical studies in Lyon, he had taken over his father's medical practice. His estimable wife Céline bore him two beautiful children, Sophie and Jérôme, and he quickly became a leader in the community, valued for his gregarious personality and his sound judgment. To put a capstone to his good fortune, his closest friend, Jean-Claude Romand, also moved into the area to take a job as a researcher at the World Health Organization in nearby Geneva. The two men had met in medical school. Romand, like Ladmiral, had married his college sweetheart Florence, a woman universally admired and respected, and had two beautiful children of his own, Caroline and Antoine – younger playmates of the Ladmiral children. Romand made a somewhat negative impression on mutual friends – having come from a small village, the only child of a forester and a mildly neurotic mother, he was disdained as something of a rustic. But Ladmiral would have no part in social snobbery and vouched for Romand in their circle. Luc valued Jean-Claude precisely for his quiet qualities – he was modest, unassuming, quick to deflect praise, eager to praise others. He was an exemplary husband, a doting father, and a devoted friend. He had taken impeccable notes in school and generously shared them. Luc considered him trustworthy and dependable as well as a good pal. The two families were extremely close. Jean-Claude was Sophie's godfather.

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About Stephen Kennamer

For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.

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