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Emporia

August 17, 1986

Re the sentence: "At the core of Tom (Bird) and Lorna (Anderson's) story is the chilling question: How could evil lurk in the heart so close to piousness?"

For centuries, great evils have been concealed beneath fine dresses of piousness. Witness church-sponsored terror, Inquisitions, the Ayatollah, witch hunts, the Dark Ages and other horrors perpetrated in pious finery.

Piousness serve as such a great disguise because people expect, and want to expect, to find virtue pure as the driven snow beneath those skirts. A good rule of thumb may well be that the more piousness exhibited, the more evil likely to be found underneath.

DAVID BATE

Long Beach

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