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'Enlightenment Of Evil,' A Moving Memoir
Posted by Tommy Garrett on Jul 27, 2011 - 11:28:47 PM

BEVERLY HILLS—As I began to read the advance copy of Don English’s critically acclaimed autobiography titled “Enlightenment Of Evil,” I found myself feeling almost the way that I did a few weeks earlier when I was reading Jaycee Dugard’s epic account of her kidnapping, brutal serial rape and torture at the hands of two demonic people, whom she learned to deal with and live with, and somehow survive. What makes English’s story so much more enthralling and chilling is that he too endured and survived similar treatment. However, his abuse was at the hands of someone who was supposed to love him, not a stranger at all; but his own brother.

“Enlightenment of Evil: Murder, Abuse, Transcendence” chronicles the life of someone who is stronger than anyone I’ve ever known. Don English grew up with one person loving him unconditionally through his formative years in childhood; that was his father, who had no clue about some of the horrific behavior his elder son was inflicting on the apple of his eye. Don’s torture would take on epic proportions and included sexual, emotional and severe physical abuse once his father died. Being buried alive is something out of a soap plot, but not for Don English. It happened everyday actually, for an entire summer while his parents were at work for most of his childhood, and he lived in fear that if he exposed his brother’s torturous secrets that he’d not only be killed, but so would everyone else he loved. A few years after his father died, his mother, who had been a hopeless alcoholic during his youth, stepped up to the plate and became the only loving parent he had left. His mother stayed sober for the rest of her life and became a spiritual maven in the Tucson, Ariz. region.

However, English’s mother would not only be his spirit guide throughout his life, but I found her being mine when I was reading the book. Though brilliantly written with excellent descriptive skills that will leave you wanting never to put the book down, English’s mother seemed to be the one who spiritually turned each page for me. I felt like she needed her son’s story to be understood. Perhaps the only thing in the book that was predictable was that Don’s older brother finally ended up in prison for life after committing one of the most horrific crimes in the annals of human history. His brother’s almost Hitler-esque quality of enjoying the art of his torture would have broken a mere mortal, but not Don English.

Without very much education and very meager means, Don chose the profession of cosmetology as a way perhaps to make beautiful faces and images on people so that unconsciously he’d have the opportunity to take ugly away from the face of evil he encountered every morning when he woke up, and he prayed would end every night he went to bed. The evil and terror on September 11, 2001 at least abated after a few days, months and years. However, imagine the power a demonic-filled sibling had over him, and yet, his brother did not win at destroying Don’s goodness. The evil, the murder and the abuse was transcended into goodness. Don English shows no outward signs of what trauma he endured. However, he shows the reader by telling the truth in his amazing story and releasing the fear inside himself, and it will ultimately help the pain subside. Others who are enduring similar abuse will be heartened to believe in hope and redemption of this world.

The story of his life is proof that there are earth angels on this planet who through fate will alter the irrationality of hatred and evil. English not only educated himself, but accepted the help of many of his very distinguished and high-end clientele to become educated and very financially well-off. During all of his abuse, he had to live in greater fear of the unknown. As evil as his brother’s abuse was, an inner secret of being a gay man, and yet not having one positive gay role model to share his feelings with or even to confide in about his suffering would have made most men suffer for the rest of their lives with nothing but dysfunctional relationships. Not so for Don, who lives in a mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California with Jim, his life partner, who offers him the love and nurturing he needed so much as a child.

Don’s mother was forgiven by him, his brother was rightly written off to the penal system, and he even has a fascinating story in the book about meeting a long lost niece that he never would have known about except for a series of bizarre coincidences. He was also given the honor of a Better Homes and Gardens award for his decorating skills. What comes across in this book is the story of survival. Like Jaycee Dugard’s story, English’s would be depressing and unrelenting in sorrow had he not become the great man he is today. He is one of the world’s finest men who has written a book that deserves a Pulitzer Prize. This soon-to-be bestseller is currently not available. However, it will be released on August 15 and be available on And you can also order from booksellers around the U.S.

I only wish I had the clout Oprah Winfrey does, because if I could convince 100 million people on this planet to read this book, I would be able to know that I have influenced the lives of many people to live the best life they can live, and reading this book is an experience from which I will also grow to become a better person because I feel that if Don can overcome what he has with such aplomb, that anything is possible. Or maybe perhaps, he simply is one of the most incredible souls God created in his vast universe.

“Enlightenment of Evil: Murder, Abuse, Transcendence” is the must-read of the 21st Century.


Cliffside Malibu




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