Yes, we were. A group of smart individuals is always going to be smarter then only one or two ego-maniacs. Since most people's goal is being the top dog, or rat, they feel threatened by such a group. Then evil influences see their opportunity (this goes beyond the visible world) and will be all to happy to use that type of personality for their own ends - in this case ruining the chance of people getting better.
Two greatest tricks ever performed by evil are: making people believe that it doesn't exist and influencing people in such a way that they are convinced they are doing "the right thing" when they are actually doing evil's bidding.