© 2008 All Rights Reserved. Do not distribute or repurpose this work without written permission from the copyright holder(s).
Printed from https://www.damninteresting.com/the-unburdened-mind/
“I don’t think I feel things the same way you do.”
The man sits at the table in the well-fitted attire of success—charming, witty, and instantly likeable. He is a confident, animated speaker, but he seems to be struggling with this particular point.
“It’s like… at my first job,” he continues, “I was stealing maybe a thousand bucks a month from that place. And this kid, he was new, he got wise. And he was going to turn me in, but before he got the chance I went to the manager and pinned the whole thing on him.” Now he is grinning widely. “Kid lost his job, the cops got involved, I don’t know what happened to him. And I guess something like that is supposed to make me feel bad, right? It’s supposed to hurt, right? But instead, it’s like there’s nothing.” He smiles apologetically and shakes his head. “Nothing.”
His name is Frank, and he is a psychopath.
In the public imagination, a “psychopath” is a violent serial killer or an over-the-top movie villain, as one sometimes might suspect Frank to be. He is highly impulsive and has a callous disregard for the well-being of others that can be disquieting. But he is just as likely to be a next-door neighbor, a doctor, or an actor on TV—essentially no different from anyone else who holds these roles, except that Frank lacks the nagging little voice which so profoundly influences most of our lives. Frank has no conscience. And as much as we would like to think that people like him are a rare aberration, safely locked away, the truth is that they are more common than most would ever guess.
“[M]y mother, the most beautiful person in the world. She was strong, she worked hard to take care of four kids. A beautiful person. I started stealing her jewelry when I was in the fifth grade. You know, I never really knew the bitch — we went our separate ways.” –Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
The word psychopathy dates back in an early form to the 19th century, but as a modern term it’s primarily used in reference to the work of Canadian psychologist Robert Hare. Hare’s PCL-R tool (Psychopathy Checklist – Revised) was developed to test for a wide range of socially deviant behaviors and personality traits, the most important being the absence of any sense of conscience, remorse, or guilt. The result of this combination is a destructive, self-serving, and often dangerous individual sometimes called “the born criminal.”
The psychopath’s world is a strikingly skewed one in which the normal laws of human emotion and interaction do not apply—yet it serves as reality for a sizable portion of humanity. Spanning all cultures and eras, roughly one man in every 100 is born a clinical psychopath, as well as one woman in every 300. They are so common that every person reading this sentence almost certainly knows one personally; indeed, a significant number of readers are likely psychopaths themselves.
Many potential psychopaths might not even realize they have the condition, nor has there traditionally been any easy way for others to recognize them. The leading scientific test is Hare’s PCL-R, but to be valid it must be performed by a qualified professional under controlled conditions. For those who can’t be bothered with such expensive frills, we present the PCL-DI: an alternative, PCL-inspired test guaranteed to appear scientific.
Note: This interactive was developed before mobile browsers were a thing, so it may not work well on small screens.
The concept of the psychopath is only the latest and most refined in a long string of attempts to account for a certain pattern of conduct. In the 19th century, psychiatric clinicians began to notice patients in their care who fit no known diagnosis, but who nevertheless displayed strange and disturbing behaviors. They were impulsive and self-destructive. They had no regard for the feelings and welfare of others. They lied pathologically, and when caught, they shrugged it off with a smirk and moved on to the next lie. It was a puzzle—because while there was clearly something unusual about these patients, they showed none of the psychotic symptoms or defects in reason thought necessary for mental illness at the time. Indeed, apart from a tendency to follow foolish and irresponsible impulses that sometimes got them into trouble, they were coldly rational—more rational, perhaps, than the average citizen. Their condition therefore came to be referred to as manie sans délire (“insanity without delirium”), a term which later evolved into moral insanity once the central role of a “defective conscience” came to be appreciated. By the 20th century, these individuals would be called sociopaths or said to suffer from antisocial personality disorder, two terms that are still used interchangeably with psychopathy in some circles, while in others are considered distinct but related conditions.
The psychopath does not merely repress feelings of anxiety and guilt or fail to experience them appropriately; instead, he or she lacks a fundamental understanding of what these things are. When asked a question such as “What does remorse feel like?” for instance, the typical psychopath will become irritated, deflect the question, or attempt to change the subject. The following response from a psychopathic rapist, asked why he didn’t empathize with his victims, shows just how distanced such a person can be from normal human emotion:
“They are frightened, right? But, you see, I don’t really understand it. I’ve been frightened myself, and it wasn’t unpleasant.” –Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
Arriving at a disaster scene, a psychopath would most likely gather to watch with the rest of the crowd. He might even lend assistance if he perceived no threat to his own safety. But he would feel none of the panic, shock, or horror of the other onlookers—his interest would fall more on the reactions of the victims and of the crowd. He would not be repulsed by any carnage on display, except perhaps in the same sense as serial killer Paul Bernardo when he described cutting up one of his victims’ bodies as “the most disgusting thing he had ever done.” He was referring to the mess it made.
Despite this emotional deficiency, most psychopaths learn to mimic the appearance of normal emotion well enough to fit into ordinary society, not unlike the way that the hearing impaired or illiterate learn to use other cues to compensate for their disabilities. As Hare describes it, psychopaths “know the words but not the music.” One might imagine that such a false and superficial front would be easily penetrated, but such is rarely the case, probably because of the assumption we all tend to make that others think and feel essentially the same way as ourselves. Differences in culture, gender, personality, and social status all create empathy gaps that can seem almost unfathomable, but none of these is as fundamental a divide as the one that exists between an individual with a conscience and one without. The psychopath’s psychology is so profoundly alien to most people that we are unable to comprehend their motives, or recognize one when we see one. Naturally, the industrious psychopath will find this to his advantage.
Some psychologists go so far as to label the psychopath “a different kind of human” altogether. Psychopathy has an environmental component like nearly all aspects of personal psychology, but its source is rooted firmly in biology. This has caused some researchers to suspect that the condition isn’t a “disorder” at all, but an adaptive trait. In a civilization made up primarily of law-abiding citizenry, the theory goes, an evolutionary niche opens up for a minority who would exploit the trusting masses.
This hypothesis is supported by the apparent success many psychopaths find within society. The majority of these individuals are not violent criminals; indeed, those that turn to crime are generally considered “unsuccessful psychopaths” due to their failure to blend into society. Those who do succeed can do so spectacularly. For instance, while it may sound like a cynical joke, it’s a fact that psychopaths have a clear advantage in fields such as law, business, and politics. They have higher IQs on average than the general population. They take risks and aren’t fazed by failures. They know how to charm and manipulate. They’re ruthless. It could even be argued that the criteria used by corporations to find effective managers actually select specifically for psychopathic traits: characteristics such as charisma, self-centeredness, confidence, and dominance are highly correlated with the psychopathic personality, yet also highly sought after in potential leaders. It was not until recent years—in the wake of some well-publicized scandals involving corporate psychopaths—that many corporations started to reconsider these promotion policies. After all, psychopaths are interested only in their own gain, and trouble is inevitable when their interests begin to conflict with those of the company. This was the case at Enron, and again at WorldCom—and Sunbeam CEO Al Dunlap, besides doctoring the books and losing his company millions of dollars, would allegedly leave his wife at home without access to food or money for days at a time.
The thought of these people wearing suits and working a 9-5 job conflicts with most people’s image of psychopaths gleaned from films like The Godfather and The Silence of the Lambs. But it shouldn’t be surprising. A lack of empathy does not necessarily imply a desire to do harm—that comes from sadism and tendencies toward violence, traits which have only a small correlation with psychopathy. When all three come together in one individual, of course, the result is catastrophic. Ted Bundy and Paul Bernardo are extreme examples of such a combination.
“Do I feel bad when I hurt someone? Yeah, sometimes. But mostly it’s just like… uh… (laughs). I mean, how did you feel the last time you squashed a fly?” –Unnamed rapist/kidnapper
If psychopaths often appear where we don’t expect them, neither does the clinical term always apply where we think it might. Nazi Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering is thought to have met the diagnostic criteria, but Hitler’s own behavior was frequently inconsistent with that of a psychopath. Columbine killer Eric Harris fit the description, but his accomplice Dylan Klebold did not. In total, only about 20% of a typical prison population qualifies as psychopathic (half of the violent offenders), and the difference from the general population is readily apparent to those who know them well. Even the most hardened of normal offenders can find their psychopathic cellmates unnerving.
The same discovery awaits most anyone who becomes close to such an individual. In romantic relationships, a psychopath may be charming and affectionate just long enough to establish intimacy with a partner, and then suddenly become abusive, unfaithful, and manipulative. The bewildered partner might turn to friends and family with their story, only to be met with disbelief—how could the warm, outgoing individual everyone has come to know possibly be guilty of these acts? All too often, the abused partner blames the situation on themselves, and comes out of the relationship emotionally destroyed.
But from a comfortable distance, the impression given off by a psychopath is often highly positive. The same absence of inhibitions and honesty that makes psychopaths so dangerous also gives them unusual powers of charisma through self-confidence and fabricated flattery. The aforementioned Sunbeam CEO Al Dunlap was a legend in business circles—“a corporate god,” some called him—precisely for his ruthless, results-oriented business style and in-your-face, furniture-hurling personality. In social circles, psychopaths are often the most popular friends among members of both sexes. And strikingly, in entertainment media such as films and books, it’s not just the villains who tend to have psychopathic personalities—it’s the heroes, too.
One doesn’t have to look far to find examples of this kind of protagonist. James Bond, the promiscuous, daring secret agent who can ski down a mountainside while being chased by armed attackers without breaking a sweat, is a textbook case. Frank Abagnale Jr., the charming con-man on whom the recent book and film Catch Me if You Can were based, is another highly likely candidate. And nearly every character played by action stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone—the ones who vow revenge on an enemy and rampage about while coolly spouting one-liners—would qualify for a diagnosis.
“I wouldn’t be here if my parents had come across when I needed them,” he [‘Terry,’ imprisoned bank robber] said. “What kind of parents would let their son rot in a place like this?” Asked about his children, he replied, “I’ve never seen them. I think they were given up for adoption. How the hell should I know?” – Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
The reasons we look up to these conscience impaired people are unclear.
Most likely it has something to do with the confidence they exude, the ease they seem to feel in any situation—a trait that comes easily in someone essentially incapable of fear or anxiety. Maybe we’re easily suckered in by their natural glibness and charm. Or maybe on some level we envy the freedom they have, with no burden of conscience or emotion.
The psychopaths, for their part, will never know things any other way. Most experts agree that the condition is permanent and completely untreatable. It’s been theorized that their situation is the result of a kind of inherited learning disorder: without dread or anxiety to deter them, psychopaths are unable to make the associations between behavior and punishment that make up the building blocks of a normal conscience. That being the case, it is questionable whether a description such as “evil”—which is not uncommon in both the popular and scientific literature—can really be applied to individuals incapable of understanding what it means.
But to those who cross their paths, this may be small comfort.
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FIRST!! >:D someone had to do it.
I work with many psychopaths. I work in a jail and the one that I remember the most was a guy that had eaten part of a couple of people that he killed. When he was being interviewed by detectives, they ordered food rather than interrupt the interview. The suspect said that he wanted “meat lovers pizza” and then laughed about it.
The last criterion on the self-test was my favorite :)
Damn Interesting indeed. I’ve always wanted to learn about psychopathy.
Wow! Damn Interesting indeed! I may know a psychopath or two now that I think of it…
It’s amazing how many people I know, some related to (by marriage) that fit this profile. I wonder if people think that about me?
DI indeed. Have met a number of these guys. It is strange interviewing on of these people all shackled up and going to jail. They often understand the concept of breaking the rules and the consequences that go with it. They just don’t understand why what they did should be considered “bad.”Itt’s sort of a “what’s the big deal?” attitude. Definately creepy.
arvash – No they didn’t. I find it interesting that the ‘psychopath’ is considered abnormal in this article. In the article about depression (can’t think of it’s title), people with depression have been found to have a more realistic view of the world than a ‘normal person’ does. This could apply to psychopaths also. I think that most of the greatest achievers in our society would fall into the psychopath category, and the people that do the dirty work that ‘us normal folk’ just dont want to think about, like cleaning up after crime scenes etc. would be considered psychopaths also. Emotional detachment is a skill that can be learned as well as inherited, but can emotional detachment be un-learned? that would be the question to answer to help the ‘psychopath’ become ‘normal’ again… But it think in all honesty that the non-violent psychopath is a credit to our society and they would not want to be ‘normal’.
The scary thing about articles like this is that based on what’s written here, many people I know would class me as a psychopath – but I know I’m not one. Hope nobody spooks at shadows!
I’d probably classify as a psychopath (or worse), even though I do know the difference between right and wrong and do feel guilt and such. But for some things, such as (for instance); if I caught a burglar in my house, I wouldn’t hesitate to put him down and end his life right there. Or if someone killed a person I loved, they’d bought themselves a death sentence immediately. I would hunt them down, torture them and kill them slowly and painfully. I *know* it’s wrong to do such a thing, but impulsively I’d do it without thinking twice. I just can’t help it. Maybe I do need professional medical attention, but hey, I try to look at it this way: stay out of my way and I’m cool with everyone, you f*ck with me or someone I care about, and you (and the people responsible) will get what’s coming their way. :-|
“For instance, while it may sound like a cynical joke, it’s a fact that psychopaths have a clear advantage in fields such as law, business, and politics. They have higher IQs on average than the general population. They take risks and aren’t fazed by failures. They know how to charm and manipulate. They’re ruthless.”
Sounds like House…
Emotional detachment-such as those who clean up crime scenes-is situational. That would not classify someone as psycho pathic.
uc3dog, your response to those situations would not reach the bounderies of psychopathy either.
The fact that you know right from wrong and choose the latter is different from not grasping the concept of why something is considered wrong by “sane” society.
Psychopathy is a much deeper issue. Even anger is completely different with most pschopaths. ic3dog’s reaction is not typical of psychopathic behavior as a typical psychopath would have little, if any, emotional reaction to something that happened to someone else.
These behaviors are often noticable from an early age. However, once psychopathic/sociopathic behavior is noticed behavior is usually modified to blend in with so-called normal society.
What is so frightening is how well they blend in. Think Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dhamer etc. Dhamer had one of his victims in his house with police officers present. He convinced them that the victim was drunk and they were just having a lovers quarrel about it. THERE WERE SEVERAL CORPSES ALREADY STORED THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE! Had he not been so charming he would have been caught right there. Instead, look at the results.
Wow! This article describes my Mum’s ex-husband so well. Very charming, until he married Mum and then turned completely uncaring and abusive. He is in the army, so he gets the oportunity to shoot at people and be shot at (his words). He wanted to become a helicopter pilot in the army but failed the psych test because he was a danger to himself and others. He found this very funny. When mum left him it did not affect him emotionally at all. He also has zero interest in ever meeting his son again (or his daughter from a previous mariage). So how succesful a psycopath is he? I guess he found a legal way to satisfy his violent tendancies by joining the army, and on the whole he manages to fit into society. Its just bad news for anyone who gets to know him personally.
I know I wouldn’t classify as psychopathic, because I worry about it. Sure, I’d make a good supervillain, but the important thing is that I recognise the pain that would cause. The point, I guess, is that psychopaths simply don’t understand, and I realise this sounds trite, what it is to be human. (I’m guessing Bewildered probably checked a fair few of the boxes in the test – the whole attitude that there’s nothing wrong with being a psychopath seems like it’s a telltale sign.)
Though it’s DI that many movie heroes would qualify as psychopaths.
DI article. I’ve been reading articles for about 6 months and just finally got around to getting a username so I can comment. I’m not sure whether I enjoy the articles or the comments more. This is a great site.
“That being the case, it is questionable whether a description such as “evil”—which is not uncommon in both the popular and scientific literature—can really be applied to individuals incapable of understanding what it means.”
“Evil”, by neccessity, appears to be a moral term. Morality, regardless of any one particular definition, still defines generally, whether something may be good or bad ( evil ). I cannot imagine – or perhaps, to be more honest, I do not believe that a psychopathic person is incapable of understanding what it means. If the psychopath who tortures and kills another were subjected to the same tortures, would not he or she object to such treatment? This would undeniably illustrate a conscious understanding of right and wrong. Would it be intellectually satisfying to believe that Hermann Goering, pictured above, would feel the same if the atrocities he committed against others were perpetrated against him? Regardless of any fancy social concepts, I do not believe any individual on the receiving end of “evil” has any problem at all understanding it. Therefore, in that same concept, should the roles be reversed – should the “evil” one become the victim, he/she too would prove that such behaviour is unwanted, undesirable, wrong, evil, etc.. He would, in fact, be making a moral decision ….
@Bewildered: the DI article you’re thinking of about depression is The Total Perspective Vortex.
“…the absence of any sense of conscience, remorse, or guilt…”
(I will not insert a ‘hillary’ reference here.)
Great Article. I find Psychopaths to be damn interesting, and always looking for articles as such.
Can anyone please explain to me the below?
If Scientology condemns Psychiatry and Psychology as fake, does it too condemn Psychopaths as myth?
I mean, if they do not recognize chemical in-balance in the brain, people who can’t empathize with others pain, and all the other traits of a Psychopath, then do they not believe they exist.
Or do they believe they exist but are inclined to act that way due to reasons only Scientologists can understand?
If the latter, then isn’t it any Scientologists obligation to inform us of there beliefs anyway?
– I mean no offence by this comment, I respect all people’s beliefs and there right to believe them, however I am merely curious.
Merus – Alas, i don’t believe i am a psychopath, i have a good sense of right and wrong and my mind and body let me know when the line is near or crossed. But i also have a good sense of live and let live and get quite frustrated when i see a person with one trait being considered ‘normal’ and another considered a freak. For the record, i didn’t actually click on the test, but i will now just to make sure that what i’m saying isn’t some delusion on my part :-) I’d be content to be a psychopath though, ignorance is bliss…
1c3dog – take a chill pill, happens when you’re not sure which one of 4 people did the damage? Kill them all? and their families? That’s why we have a legal system and don’t deal with things out of anger…
Thanks Odd – i couldn’t quite think of it, it was driving me psychotic!
Hey drizen – in my above comment where i said live and let live – i meant to add ‘except scientologists’
Just a few days ago, I got into crimelibrary.com and have spent hours reading up on serial killers, so this is a pretty timely article for me. I studied Psychology for years and I’ve always been fascinated by psychological disorders, especially abnormal ones. I’m probably MOST interested in antisocial personality disorder. I’m commonly attracted to many people who fit the descriptions listed here in spite of myself. It’s the confidence, charisma and willingness to take risks. I find myself jealous, wishing I didn’t care as much what others think of me. I answered the test questions as myself, and then as one of my best friends, and he’s most certainly a psychopath. It’s interesting to see the positive side of psychopathy expressed. It’s such a frightening disorder. It’s very hard, maybe impossible, to trust someone like that when you know just how unmoved they are by the emotions of others. It does make one to think outside society’s box, but when they want to destroy things, the results are dismal. Damn Interesting, I need to buy the Hale book.
Shadowflyt said: “If the psychopath who tortures and kills another were subjected to the same tortures, would not he or she object to such treatment? This would undeniably illustrate a conscious understanding of right and wrong.”
Not really. A psychopath has no problem looking out for themself. To them, they are the only one that matters. They don’t want to be tortured any more than someone with a conscience, but it’s not related. Right and wrong, and good and bad are not really moral terms to a psychopath. They understand them as legal terms, but what’s good for the psychopath is “good” or “right”, what’s bad for them is “wrong”. I actually doubt that a psychopath would beg for mercy. It seems much more plausible that they would become angry and self righteous instead. It really is considered the least curable of all mental disorders, maybe because it’s inherited (I hadn’t heard that before, just that it starts in childhood as Conduct Disorder) but also because a psychopath almost never decides to go into therapy on their own. Sometimes they’re forced by law, or by family members, but historically they are unwilling and narcissistic participants who do not see anything wrong with themselves and generally blame others.
Absolutely fascinating. I always thought there was something wrong with the “hero” running around killing “bad guys” (think innocent hired help.) Now I know that they’re all just a bunch of psychopaths. Thank you Christopher for this DI article!
Nice article, although I hoped to learn a bit more. Not your fault though, just nothing new under the sun i guess.
As for most of the commentators, I get the vague feeling they either (and hopefully) read the article too hastily, or did not understand its quintessence.
Meeshymeg writes “A psychopath has no problem looking out for themself. To them, they are the only one that matters. They don’t want to be tortured any more than someone with a conscience” – and so I must ask … Why? WHY do they NOT want to be tortured any more than someone with a conscience?
What do these people(psychopath) expect of other people – do they expect others to empathize with his problems?
I think psychopaths can have a very positive impact on society. While they may not understand emotions, they have been known to work better logically. Emotions can be added into an equation just like any other variable. They can account for the general populations feelings without needing to feel such themselves. So, the lack of emotions can be made up for with superior reasoning. Of course, the violent pyschopaths are another story. But they are not a majority among psychopaths and we should not judge the whole on the actions of the few.
Because it hurts. They’d have no qualms about torturing someone else, because it doesn’t hurt the psychopath themselves. If they were being tortured, they would be in pain. They’d see their own misfortune as a bad thing, but not because of any moral issue with torture.
Fascinating article, and very well-written.
I don’t think I know any psychos, and I’m glad!
So, to get this straight, psychopaths can experience the normal range of human emotions (anger, love, jealousy) except for those that involve any sense of empathy?
I think they could use other peoples empathy for their genuine or fictitious problems if they wanted, and not feel any guilt in doing so. If someone didn’t empathize, it’s not like you’d hurt their feelings.
Would you care to explain this ‘quintessence’ that you think they have not understood?
Some articles I have read say it’s not so much that psychopaths lack empathy, in the sense of the ability to understand other people’s feelings – they lack compassion. Evidence of their empathy is their ability to manipulate others’ feelings – you can’t do that if you don’t understand what they are and how they work.
I’ve known a couple of socio/psychopaths, I think. Fortunately they weren’t the violent sort, they were just bloody annoying and inconsiderate.
DI… though self-diagnosis is not a good thing!!!
Great article! DI!
The movie: The Bad Seed is an excelent example of the baby psycho[pathic]. I recommend any of you younger readers to look it up and watch it. The original version is much better than the recent re-make.
Also, one commented on visiting crimelibrary.com, one of my favorite sites. If you would realy like to while away a couple of hours for the sheer joy of exploration, look up Hanibal Lector….(yeah!) they actually have a profile and pschoanalisis of the character. Too cool.
Thank you Christopher!
Sigh. Charm and drive coupled with a complete disregard for the opinions of others. I wish I had it.
So timely an article. Just tonight I encountered a person who was callous, uncaring and highly abusive. This was an old friend of mine that I made a special trip out into the Chicago cold to see this evening. I couldn’t figure out if he was psychopathic, or if he just wanted to upset me. Either way I left quickly and I’m much better off. I was surprised and really ticked. If you’re a nice person those types can see you as prey. Tonight I had a first hand experience with the vile behavior described above and I can personally attest to the level of annoyance that it causes. It made me feel angry. Grrrr. Thanks for letting me share :)
Yes and no: I think it hits the nail on the head to say “no empathy”. However taking out empathy takes out a whole range of emotions, including love. They may like sex, they may like ‘possessing’ an attractive mate, but can never feel the real bonding that is love.
Because it hurts. The thing with a psychopath is that they think of themselves as fundamentally different from others, like a normal person perceives the difference between themselves and a bug – you have no trouble understanding that a bug will flee if hurt, but may not relate the bug’s hurt to your own sense of pain – so it is for the psychopath and their emotions. This does not make them stupid. On the contrary, there is some support for the idea that, for some, it is precisely because they are smarter that they perceive themselves as fundamentally different.
Empathy is usually learned as a child: there are numerous studies demonstrating how it works. My favorite book on child rearing, “Bringing Up a Moral Child” (Amazon.com, unfortunately out of print), is chock full of them.
These methods for raising empathy are, of course, less effective in adults. I would not recommend trying to reform an adult psychopath – you’re very likely to get him angry at you, and that can be a very bad place to be.
Psychopathy is also much more common in adopted and foster children. When it starts developing in children, it is often called “Attachment Disorder” (Wikipedia). Unfortunately it appears that most treatments out there are ineffective if not directly counterproductive, e.g. rebirthing (Wikipedia). The best current book I know on treating children who are heading down this road is Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control” (Amazon.com).
Please excuse my ignorance: who is the guy in the main article picture?
Had to get an account upon reading this article — felt I needed to react in some way. Damn Interesting of course.
I found it a bit disturbing to read this, as I could relate to a certain extent with several things mentioned here. I haven’t spoken to anyone professionally about this, or informally for that matter. I can interpret and understand others’ feelings and actions effectively. In every situation, however, I am more concerned for how I can benefit. I don’t feel like an asshole. But I can’t see why anyone else would feel differently from their own perspective. If I’m wrong in this, do explain why. Sacrifice or selfless behavior seem like excuses to further one’s own image or create security for oneself in the future.
In day to day conversation, (not here!) I lie constantly. Nothing harmful particularily, but whatever I think will improve my standing in a given situation. I am very rarely tangled in these lies, as I am very effective at planning them out quickly. No one has got a clear image of who I am, and sometimes I also wonder if I even do. But I’m quite good at manipulating the way people see me and how they at toward me.
I am promiscuous in my own quiet way, and I tend to abandon relationships as soon as I begin to feel too committed. Let me state that I am not abusive. I do not harm others intentionally at any time. I think such things come around in circles. I don’t really care about what people expect from me, including teachers and law enforcement, so long as I think I can avoid consequences. The idea of coming to physical or emotional harm does not upset me, but this can largely be attributed to my diagnosed mood disorder, as can my utter lack of long-term (and often short-term) goals. I am on medication and in psychiatric counseling to deal with depressive tendencies. I actually have exceptionally low self-worth.
I don’t feel bad about anything I do unless experience teaches me that it cannot further my intentions. I learn from such mistakes after one or two falls, and move on quickly. I am absolutely certain I have feelings one way or another, but I do tend to exaggerate or mask them to meet the needs of circumstance. The way I see it, they don’t have a particular use except insofar as I can make them useful. I try to learn more every day by watching people, writing down my experiences, and thinking about how interaction works and what it means both between peers and strangers.
It was disconcerting to think that the traits noted in this article lined up so frequently with aspects of my own personality.
I realize while I write this that it may look outrageous. I am not trolling. I am trying to be very honest and clear about the way I feel, a lot easier to discuss online than face to face with people I share my life with. I hope you’ll look at this as an interesting case study, and bat around some speculation. I’d like to figure some things out, and thought this might be useful. What do you think?
Oh, and that’s Bundy.
Well. Hello, ex-husband…
(Not quite emotionally destroyed over here, but came close to it.)
arvash getting in the first comment kept me from teetering over the edge on the self-test. Now I can continue to go undetected.
That was chilling. I’ve known for a while now that pyschopaths and sociopaths don’t necessarily have to become Ted Bundy style killers – they can just live normal lives. I didn’t realise that pyschopathic qualities was what big corporations looked for in their CEO’s – and presumably the same sort of qualities have been prized in world leaders, both past and present. Thay whole Al Dunlap situation is seriously disturbing – yet I bet people thought ‘who cares how he treats his wife? He’s making money for us!’
BTW – crimelibrary.com – absolutely fascinating place, though sometimes a bit black and white when it comes to moral judgements.
This is just evolution… Anxiety and fear are tools for survival against wild animals (fight or flight response). Maybe these ‘psychopaths’ are just more adapt to the world of today.
Wow, I know a guy who scores almost 100% on the “test.” He has all the tendencies, combined with a hare-trigger temper, a passion for revenge when he feels even remotely slighted, a very bi-polar personality, and the regular ingestion of mind-altering substances (both legal and illegal). Fortunately, he lives far away from me now, and our only contact is via e-mail, but even that is unnerving. One message will be “normal” and friendly, then he will pick up on some innocent little thing in the reply and go off on a threatening tirade, then when he’s back to normal he will blatantly deny having said those things, even if you confront him with a copy of the e-mail. I’ve always thought that of all the people I know, he’s the “Most Likely to be Mentioned in a CNN Breaking News Report Someday.” I’ve distanced myself from him over the years, but hesitate to cut him off completely, lest that in itself set him off. (He’s been known to fuck up people that he thinks have dissed him with long-distance revenge — hacking their accounts, spreading rumors or reporting false allegations to law enforcement, etc.)
1. Disturbing thought, but I applaud your insight; you might very well be correct. In one sense, psychopathic men represent the ultimate “Alpha Male,” don’t they?
2. I wonder how many professional football players fit this article’s definition?
3. Can we consider the persons who post here frequently (some compulsively, apparently) to be highly egocentric?
4. Given the idea that psychopaths lack empathy but have learned how to imitate “normal” emotions, I wonder how many “computer nerds” would fit nicely within this article’s definition? I have often heard that “computer nerds” live on the computer because they can’t handle the real world. If it is true, at least they aren’t out among us.
5. This is kind of a long post, and I post here frequently. Perhaps I should be worried about myself.
On second thought, no, I don’t think so…. I took the article’s test, and everything came out okay.
I am also a true crime buff, and have perused most if not all of the articles in the ‘murder’ section of crimelibrary.com. I have read much on there about attempts to define psycopathy, although in most cases it is after the fact, once the killer is caught it is easy to look back on their behavior and classify them as a psycopath. The trick would be to identify the signs and be able to do something about it BEFORE they murder dozens of people. We can all think about the serial killers such as Bundy and Dahmer and see the obvious diagnosis, but the fact that there are actually a larger percentage of psychopaths living normal lives completely under the radar is actually rather scary. In most cases the killer was living a fairly normal life until one day something just snapped, or some major event in their lives triggered them to go out and commit violent acts. So, isn’t every clinical psycopath potentially dangerous under the right circumstances?
Nice article. I was struck particularly by the suggestion that psychopathy is a good survival strategy for our times. In the twentieth century, psychopathy was popularized as a system of ethics by Ayn Rand. Her ethics (egoism, which existed actually for centuries before) amounts to an ethics that is motivated by personal consequences only. That is, you do the right thing only because doing the wrong thing can result in retaliation against you. Ayn Rand made feeble attempts to respond to this objection to her ethics. Her argument was essentially that certain actions are beneath a moral person. But, given that she thought all her ethics were purely rationally based, this begs the question as to what makes any particular action wrong and therefore “beneath” the actor. I’ve argued this point with a lot of Objectivists (as followers of Ayn Rand’s philosophy call themselves). Only one has (chillingly) agreed with me. The others have disagreed but had no convincing counterargument. As the article points out, there is an advantage to pretending not to be a psychopath, so most of them learn to fake it.
I don’t know what the percentage of people are hard core Rand disciples, but I wouldn’t be surprised if about 1% of educated types (i.e., the sorts who are likely to do things like base their personal ethics on philosophy) are Objectivists, which happens to correspond to what the article estimates as the percentage of psychopaths. That seems a good estimate, in my experience.
As a real-life bomb disposal expert, how do I get on the Damn Interesting A-team? E-mail me, Alan.
I don’t know what concerns me more – the potential behaviour of the unfortunate people with this condition, or the comments on here supporting such behaviour.
First, understand that a psychopath will not feel emotionally driven to do any of the things listed in the character profile of the article. If a person you know does these things out of emotion, then they are usually just mean, or even sadistic. Those types of personalities are emotionally driven.
OK so I’m a psychopath. No remorse here. So that’s why I always get “You’re the most selfish person in the whole wide world!!”… booo f*kn whoo. Business is going well though…
My upstairs neighbor is a classic sociopath. She’s a con artist, a pathological liar, a thief, and a sometime prostitute when she’s desperate for money. She fits every single criterion of sociopathy. She has absolutely no conscience or sense of remorse or real emotions, and she sees other people only as a means for her to get what she wants. She’s never had a real job or worked an honest day’s work in her life. She thinks she’s smarter and more clever than everyone else, she plays the victim if she’s caught, she’s superficially charming, and she has an uncanny ability to immediately hone in on an angle (or weakness) to connect with her potential victims. She counts on people thinking that she’s just like them and everyone else. There are always red flags, but people tend to ignore them. She tried to hone in on my wife and me, but we saw the red flags immediately and steered clear of her. She lives to lie and manipulate people, and she’ll test you with more and more outrageous lies to see how far she can go. She’s currently under 4 felony indictments for fraud and stock fraud because she got sloppy stealing money from someone who thought she was her “best friend.”
Piece of advice: Pay attention to those little red flags.
Do you think the watchers in government, the moral defenders, the police, the religious right, the Homeland Security types, read DI? Ooops! Forget I said that! In fact, I didn’t say that. It was… umm… my cat! She cat types all the time, and although I love her… no, no I don’t! I’ll be happy to turn her her over… to anyone that asks:-/
This article brings up some interesting ideas. Psychopaths can exist on the largess of society only because the majority of people have empathy. Human society could be considered somewhat hive-like, and psychos are the loafer ants that don’t do any real work but eat anyway. Would it lead to greater harmony in society if people like this were screened for and eliminated? Should psychopaths have their right to live even though they pose a constant threat to those around them? Does having no empathy and fear make you less than human? Empathy is not just an knee-jerk emotional reaction, but the mental acknowledgment that the things you interact with everyday have minds like you, and aren’t just gibbering meat sacks. Autistics technically view the world in some ways that are more “truthful”, but being that the condition makes it difficult for them to interact with other humans and adapt to new enviroments, it’s considered a disorder. What’s more important, traits that that allow people to maintain societies, or that increase personal ability?
Was carefully clicking on the buttons of the psychopath test, and burst out laughing on seeing “Posts “first!” comments on Internet sites”.
Simply superb, Christopher! Simply Superb!!! :)
I love it when a plan comes together.
I just ran the quicky test using my daughter as the subject and she comes up as being pretty psychopathic – so is there something like PFLAG for for this?
For all of those who have administered this test to themselves and those they know – you may want to check you reality guages.
From the article, immediately before the ‘test’ (note the subtle humour):
“The leading scientific test is Hare’s PCL-R, but to be valid it must be performed by a qualified professional under controlled conditions. For those who can’t be bothered with such expensive frills, we present the PCL-DI: an alternative, PCL-inspired test guaranteed to appear scientific.”
Sorry – “check your reality gauges”
Not really my place to say, but I think ‘flatrick’ may have been referring to the liberal and literal use of the ‘test’ provided in the article?
Rook – I think most of your symptoms are related to depression, not psychopathy. Depression will make you feel distant from other people, and make it hard to relate on an empathic level, and also make it hard to care what other people think. Being manipulative proceeds from there.
I found this very DI, I also think it is interesting to point out that these people are mentioned quite a few times in the Bible but modern churchianty will not touch something like that with a ten foot pole. 2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10, Psalms 58:3-6, Romans 9:22. My best answer as to why God made these people is Romans 9:22.
But what about the flip side? People who have too great a dose of empathy – who cry when a fly falters.
Seems there is a continuum here: doormats to raging a-holes. (apologies if that’s too insensitive) Maybe a different way to put it – a range from predator to prey.
If there is no effective way to attenuate psychopathic characteristics, is there also no way to reduce the vulnerability of the over-emapthetic?
Interesting that a larger proportion of the male population is said to be psychopathic compared to females. This could explain a lot, and I wonder if we had information about how the genders fall on a scale from most to least emapthetic, whether the curves would be mirror images of one another.
I guess it’s all a part of life on the planet – dealing with individuals on their own merits and trying not to be too shocked when people don’t live up to expectations. So, be alert out there, and don’t turn around too fast, lest you get stabbed in the face.
Egoism is not Psychopathy. As an example, take the anecdote about about a very famous Egoist and the argument he gave in favor of Egoism describing our actions:
It is said that Abraham Lincoln stopped his carriage and proceeded to wade into a mud hole to free a piglet who was stuck in the mud and suffocating. Upon his return his companion cleverly sought to strike a blow against Lincoln’s belief in Egoism. “Rarely have I seen an act more altruistic and selfless”, he said. Lincoln replied, “If I had allowed that poor little piglet to suffocate, I should never have been able to sleep tonight.”
Egoism states that we all do things that are in our own best interest, whether we realize it or not, and Ethical Egoism prescribes that we should strive to act in our own best interest in a determined way, even if our own best interest is only to feel good about ourselves and avoid guilty feelings or remorse at the expense of getting our shoes and pant legs muddy.
As you can see, conscience and empathy play a large part in the Egoist perspective; and, Social Contract goes a long way toward explaining the existence of conscience and empathy.
It is rather obvious that Psychopaths lack the natural or learned tendency to act or feel in a way that corresponds to the tenets of Social Contract; this, contrary to your statements, has absolutely nothing to do with Ethical Egoism or any other system of Ethics, not even Hedonism.
Egoism is no more Psychopathy than Natural Law is Schizophrenia.
In case you are wondering, I’m not an Objectivist. I am a Rule Utilitarian, and I know I’m not a Psychopath; because, I wouldn’t have let that little piglet suffocate either.
Being more on the side of the “selfless goody two-shoes” and overly empathic (I cry over sentimental coffee commercials) myself ( I get teased about it all the time), I think these people are very scary. As far as being highly intelligent, charming, etc., just remember that old saying that if something (or someone) seems to good to be true, it probably is.
I liked JGJones story about Abraham Lincoln and the pig. True character shows in what we do when no one is around. I wouldn’t have been able to let the piglet die either.
Chilling article Mr. Putnam, DI and a nice big piece of pie.
Acidophilus – I’m all for wiping out a section of the population, as long as the proponents of wiping out that section are the first to go… How would you feel about that?
In this one case, I smiled.
“Human society could be considered somewhat hive-like, and psychos are the loafer ants that don’t do any real work but eat anyway”
Actually, after RTFA it’s apparent that they’re FAR from loafer ants…
1) take that test with a grain of salt! It is halfway a joke.
If your daughter’s behavior really is a problem:
2) have her see a psychologist (take time to find a good one!) and listen to what he says
3) Do your own research into psychopathy / attachment disorder and how it applies to her. (I suspect you would anyway, considering you were interested in a support group).
If your daughter really does turn out to have attachment disorder, one of the people who wrote “Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control”, has a website, and I found this list of support groups there.
I have never been to one of these support groups, so I cannot personally vouch, but I think they are probably okay. Be warned: there are whole movements “out there” that use authoritarian methods that will only drive the behavior deeper underground without addressing the root of the problem – keep your eyes open.
Shadowflyt-Others have it covered already. They don’t want to be tortured because it hurts them physically. It wouldn’t keep them from torturing someone because they don’t care if it hurts someone else. They can’t sympathize.
Missdove said: “Some articles I have read say it’s not so much that psychopaths lack empathy, in the sense of the ability to understand other people’s feelings – they lack compassion. Evidence of their empathy is their ability to manipulate others’ feelings – you can’t do that if you don’t understand what they are and how they work.”
I think that’s a great way to explain it, lacking compassion, thanks.
To the few, including the author of this piece, who suggested that it may be adaptation: That’s compelling, and it is a logical idea, except that psychopaths have existed throughout human history, haven’t they? In roles of power, especially. Do you mean since before evolution they’ve learned to play on other people’s emotions for their own gain? I wonder if it exists in apes. My boyfriend (not a psychopath, or an ape, but a physicist, yay!), tries to distance himself from emotions so he can sort things out logically. That used to worry me, but I’ve come to realize that 1) he can’t do it as often as he would like to, and 2) sometimes it’s good to be rational instead of getting all wrapped up in depression or rage or something. I suppose that there’s a point for adaptation in small numbers. Psychopaths may get things done, but compassion is the glue that holds society together. If we were all psychopaths, no one would really benefit.
Acidophilus said: “Autistics technically view the world in some ways that are more “truthful”, but being that the condition makes it difficult for them to interact with other humans and adapt to new enviroments, it’s considered a disorder.”
I think the difference here is the idea of social contract (as mentioned by JGJones here). While autistics can be very literal, that doesn’t mean that their picture of things is more truthful, it’s just different because it’s lacking the larger social picture. My adult sister has Asperger’s Syndrome and she is very selfish and stubborn. She doesn’t empathize with others, but it’s because she doesn’t understand the emotions others feel, this is why I think missdove is on the money when she says it’s not empathy that psychopaths lack, it’s compassion. My sister is compassionate at times, and can be very loving, but she doesn’t understand what makes someone else feel bad unless she actually sees them crying, and then she can only relate by thinking they’re upset about what makes HER sad. A sociopath understands the social framework and just doesn’t care unless it benefits them to exploit the system, an autistic misses the reasoning involved. It is strikingly similar. I wonder if the two are related, and if it all ties in to the adaptation theory. Hmmm.
Beartiger- It’s funny that you brought up Ayn Rand. I’ve never read any Rand (but I’ve heard scathing critiques). My sociopathic friend (no, I wasn’t basing it on this test) is a big old fan of hers for precisely the reasons you’ve mentioned.
Mikell said: “But what about the flip side? People who have too great a dose of empathy – who cry when a fly falters…Maybe a different way to put it – a range from predator to prey.
If there is no effective way to attenuate psychopathic characteristics, is there also no way to reduce the vulnerability of the over-emapthetic?”
I would group myself in there, I’m overly compassionate sometimes, and a depressive. I’ve already mentioned my attraction to the magnetic personalities so many psychopaths possess. I’d say that I’m a great mark and quite vulnerable, but I’ve studied these behaviors, as well as learned from experience, and can generally keep from letting sociopaths take advantage of me by recognizing when I’m being used for something other than my company. One close friend is an exception, he’s hurt me badly (emotionally) in the past, the only reason I feel safe is that he’s in another country and I didn’t speak to him for years until he came to me and apologized (just to get on my good side, he said he didn’t remember what he did wrong, until I gave him a laundry list). Others like me aren’t as lucky and get very hurt when they get into those relationships. As long as they aren’t traumatically abusive, we heal, and learn. Maybe a brush with a psychopath can help the doormats to grow a thicker skin? I’m making excuses for myself. Still scary, though, and I have to warn myself away sometimes.
Obviously, I can go on and on, and keep contradicting myself. This is really my cup of tea, but I’ll stop here.
sounds like my dad.
Ok, that posted before I could edit, sorry. I want to add that Asperger’s Syndrome is a mild form of autism (for those who didn’t know), and that it makes my sister completely inept socially, in contrast to the charming personalities of psychopaths. The end.
I love the part about “manie sans d’elire”! Had some bad wrecks and sometimes dreams are hard to distinguish from reality. I know I’m crazy so can I get a check? Most crazy people not know they are crazy so should be worth something……….
I wouldn’t feel anything, because I would never myself support such a thing. A truly fair and just society cannot be founded on evil things, such as state sponsored murder. I merely brought it up because I think it’s interesting and important to think about. I’m sorry if you thought I was trying to troll, I like to bring up provocative things only because they make for good discussion. Ideas that are abhorrent should be talked about, or else we won’t truly understand what makes them so. And to Meeshymeg, with autistics I was referring to the way that they constantly perceive environment as brand new, and can notice things that neurologically typical people don’t. Autism has no benefits for social interaction as far as I’m aware.
Jitterwyser (post 29) and Wh44 (post 37) both answer that the psychopath does not want to be tortured any more than some one with a conscience “because it hurts.” However it is said, it is still painfully obvious that being hurt is not a good thing. Jitterwyser is unable to escape the “moral” ramifications in stating that “their own misfortune [is] a bad thing.” Nor does Wh44 escape the “moral” ramifications in providing a rationalization for the psychopathic behavior. People do not make excuses for doing good. There is no need to rationalize away good behavior. Wh44 states very well and quite truly, I believe, that the ability to rationalize does not make them stupid. Whether or not we like to think of “good” and “bad” as moral issues, we still understand that the psychopath has chosen to do something to another person that he or she would not want done to himself/herself. To justify or rationalize the behavior by stating “I am fundamentally different” than the one I am hurting illustrates, again, a consciousness of the badness, evil, or dare I say it, the moral wrong being done to another.
I believe the picture is of Ted Bundy
Meh… What he really should have done was rig the test so that clicking “Yes” on that item automatically produces a rating of “Pure psychopath” regardless of your other responses. :P
This article perpetuates three myths:
that rationality is opposed to morality,
that unemotional morality is impossible,
and that morality is written in our genes.
And it ends with a dose of moral relitivism.
This entire subject is predicated on a patently false premise: Morality is Absolute.
It’s not. Not at all.
We think of psychopaths as lacking the capability to distinguish between Right and Wrong, when history has proven that these abstract concepts are valueless. If something is Right, absolutely morally Right, then shouldn’t it always have been Right, and always will be Right?
Yet some of the things we now find morally reprehensible have a long history. Allow me to offer a few examples….
Slavery. Almost everyone reading this would be in agreement that slavery is Wrong. In fact, it would be almost impossible to find a proponent for slavery, certainly in the Western world. Although it persists in areas of Africa (ironic), it has mostly been eradicated. But why?
Not because it’s Wrong. If it were Wrong, then how did it persist for almost all of human history? The Romans, The Egyptians & The Greeks all used slaves to build their civilizations, to quarry the stone for the magnificent buildings that survive to this day. Slaves were spoils of war, and conquered people were sold to offset the costs of conquest. Whether to row the galleys, or to serve in the homes of the conqueror, slaves were an essential part of the economies of almost every culture in the world, up to a couple of hundred years ago.
And what happened a couple of hundred years ago? The Industrial Revolution. Why invest in owning a human that needs food and lodging, can be unpredictable in behaviour and output, and requires rest, when a machine can get the job done, and machines don’t die. Granted, you can put 2 machines together as much as you like, and they’ll never breed a third machine, but in all other respects, machines are superior to slaves. Watt did more to end slavery than any moral epiphany. But for thousands of years, slavery was Right.
How about Public Executions? Another thing we consider Wrong, and even proponents of capital punishment agree that public executions as a form of entertainment are, at the least, distasteful. But again we see something NOW considered Wrong that has thousands of years of history of being Right.
Gaging psychopathology against this variable moral compass is simply a mistake. Those qualities we interpret as mental illness would be exactly those which would have made a fine Viking, or a soldier in some conquering army, raping and looting and pillaging and torturing and perfectly comfortable in knowing that all of it was Right. His comrades, his Priest, and his King would tell him so.
Note to self: FIRST you pillage, THEN you burn. I hate getting that one mixed up.
So, as an avowed psychopath, I can tell you frankly that Right and Wrong are illusions, that Morality is NOT absolute, and that all that remains is practicality. You all are nothing but currency, to be saved or spent according to what’s practical for me. If I choose to help you paint your living room, it’s not that I like you, and want to be kind to you, it’s because six months from now I’ll ask you to help me move.
If I take an hour or two to listen to you vent over a breakup, it’s not because I empathize, it’s because I want to bind your loyalty closer to me. Frankly, I couldn’t be bribed into giving half a shit about you or your fucked-up life. But I’ll fake it, because it suits my purposes.
If I spout mindless drivel about how you’re the center of my universe, it really means that I want someone to cook and clean for me, and that it feels good when I stick parts of my body into parts of yours. And when you come around to seeing that I really AM a cold-hearted bastard I can replace you in a very short time.
Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to start murdering my neighbours, or dissecting the cat. There is no practical benefit in it for me….who am I going to borrow a smoke from? As well, incarceration doesn’t really appeal to me. But Right and Wrong don’t enter the equation.
I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying here. If you are saying that not knowing the difference between good and evil can itself be evil, then I agree (emphasis on “can”: small children don’t know, but they are not evil).
If you’re saying I’m committing the evil of rationalizing evil psychopathic behavior: no, I’m just attempting to provide understanding. It is hard to fight something you don’t understand.
If you are saying that the psychopath rationalizes his actions this way, you’ve missed the point of the article: the point is the psychopath doesn’t rationalize. They are often surprised when someone other than the one harmed takes offense at their action, and only then do they bother with any kind of defense of their actions.
Sorry, I must have missed that. Where exactly was that?
Unemotional anything is near impossible: people are not motivated without emotion.
There is a pile of evidence that some basic morality is written into our genes, and the genes of all the “higher” social animals (antelopes, but not ants).
Are you complaining that this might imply that some people do evil things because they have “bad” genes? I think that is too simplistic a view of the world: while I do believe everyone is responsible for themselves, regardless of environment and genes, I also think we should not be blind to these factors. Again: it is hard to fight something if you don’t understand it.
Finally: I think the free online book The Authoritarians” can give a lot of insight into the very real harm being done by socially dominating psychopaths in society today, right now. It is not a perfect book: the labels he uses are often unhelpful and he tends to be polemical, but the research and his conclusions appear to be very well founded.
Thank you for perfectly demonstrating the viewpoint of a typical psychopath.
If you want to understand the psychology of “normal” people better, understand that people experience the pain of others in their “in group” as their own pain. Literally painful – like someone is cutting them, or twisting their insides. For a large portion of the population that “in group” is now the entire human race and often other species as well (note the rise of Animal Rights activism).
Another way to look at a psychopath is, as someone who has reduced their “in group” to themselves.
Looking back at my last post, it occurs to me that a psychopath would not see the positive side of this kind of empathy. Let me correct that: not only does one feel the pain of others, one also feels many of the joys. If someone rights an injustice, I feel elation. If a friend accomplishes something, I feel good about it too. And then there’s the huge difference between “feels good when I stick parts of my body into parts of yours” and making love. :-)
What you wrote above reminds me so much of the person responsible for the Virginia Tech shootings. I remember so many fellow students and people who knew him saying they all thought he might kill someone someday. There were a lot of signs that were ignored in that situation. He seemed very angry, but I would say he was a psychopath in that he thought his violent suicidal rampage was good for him.
Well at least you know something isn’t right in your world. Since I don’t have this problem it is hard to be empathetic which is very ironic considering what we are talking about. Emotions are this wonderful soup of reactions, but it’s a lot more organic than it is logical. Imagine being able to tag experiences like how you tag pictures on flickr, and each tag can trigger emotional reactions based on each individual’s personal set of tags like “Chocolate ice cream makes me happy.” And the culture at large can determine cultural tags that are followed by everyone like “9/11 makes America sad.” I would say to just make sure your personal set of tags aren’t wildly out of sync with the tagging system of the culture at large, and just try not to step on anyone’s toes so to speak. Additionally, if it is someone you are really close with you could try to learn their emotional idiosyncratic traits and be respectful of them by asking them questions about how they feel about certain things. I’m pretty emotional but also quite logical so I hope this helps out. Good luck with getting your emotional groove on. :)
What I find interesting is the idea that corporations apparently “select” for psychopathic behavior. In fact, there’s quite a bit of theorizing out there that corporations themselves can be considered psychopaths:
See, for example, “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power” by Joel Bakan; or the movie “The Corporation” based on it (by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan).
A Corporation exists for the sole purpose of maximizing the profits of its shareholders. Everything else – including social responsibility – is secondary, at best.
Thought I would say something about the comments on Ayn Rand. The thing to understand about her writing is that she idealises rationality. She does however not consider emotion a bad thing, but she wants to rationalise that as well. Several characters in her books show psychopathic traits in that they refuse to adhere to laws of morality not of their own making and often behave in antisocial ways.
But objectivism and egoism does not idealise the psychopath, they merely recognise that all our emotions and thoughts originate with the ego. And they do so for a reason. The idea is to understand these reasons and work toward that which makes you feel better.
When one of Rands characters decide to stop supporting his family because he sees them as freeloaders it is not just some psychopathic whim. He realises that he has no true emotional exchange with them and so refuses to stand by moral and social convention.
The idea of egoism is simply to work for ones own best interests, emotions before economy. If this does tend to create strong, confident and fearless individuals, that is still not psychopathy.
It is understandable, though, that Rand attracts sociopaths ans psychopaths since on the surface it can give legitimacy to some of their acts.
PJMurphy- Morality is a pretty abstract concept. I dislike the term because it makes us think in black and white, and instead I think of it as part of social contract. I’m not convinced that it’s inborn, despite what people say. I think it’s something you’re taught from birth by interacting with others (this can work in animals, too) and becomes second nature. That explains how people can condone slavery, or still have no laws against gender or sexuality based hate crimes (to be more current) but later see those things are reprehensible.
Your conscience can be made up of whatever group you relate to, like Indians, dentists, Athiests, lacrosse players, whatever. Most people relate to as many other humans as they can contemplate (their monkeysphere, I guess). What your group thinks of as wrong is wrong. What your group enjoys is good. When you narrow a group down to just one person, you get the psychopath.
Our human interactions are all social lubricant, we all try to minimize our own pain and maximize our pleasure, it’s just that most people care about doing that for all the other people their brain has room for. I don’t want to gain off of someone else’s misfortune, I’d feel guilty of doing wrong, and that gets in the way of maximizing pleasure. So is that guilty feeling my conscience/morals, my fear of retribution, or both? I think it’s a social construct to keep most of us in line. It’s bad for society overall to have too many vultures. It’s pretty effective, but we still need laws. We can’t be concerned about every person in the world at once no matter how much we try, we don’t seem to have the capacity, and that leaves us free to take advantage of those outside of our group.
Very interesting article. But I don’t see how Bond could be classed as a psychopath. It seems to me that he does have a strict moral code, and one that actually means something to him, rather than one he’s simply learnt to abide by. Hasn’t he put his own life on the line for others many times? As far as I know he has never killed an innocent person. When his wife was killed (I think in the one with George Lazenby), didn’t he show grief? In Goldeneye (I think), a friend and fellow secret agent turns to the dark side, and he offers bond a chance to join him, an option which would have given him a greater chance of survival and likely led to personal gain. Bond refused. Surely a psychopath would have readily abandoned his assumed principles, since they would have had no meaning for him anyway?
Having a moral code that allows you to kill under certain circumstances doesn’t make you a psychopath.
I disagree that most or many fictional heroes could be considered psychopathic. A fundamental component for any hero is surely empathy. True, a lot of fictional heroes have complex and enigmatic personalities, and seem to be able to maintain coolness in situations which most people would find highly disturbing, but that could better be explained by their will to do what needs to be done, and by strong nerves, rather than a lack of feeling.
I believe the Psychopathic designation for Bond comes from the fact that he rarely, if ever, shows any sort of remorse or regret for his kills. More often than not, he dispatches them with a quip that shows that he clearly does not care that he has cold-bloodedly ended a human life.
His only saving grace is that he is doing it in order to foil an even more dangerous psycho.
My ex husband is a sociopath(clinically diagnosed). I was married to him 17 years. The extremely interesting facet of those 17 years comes in the fact that he was adopted shortly after birth. His birth brother (another adoptee) found him first, and they were surprised they were so alike- their criminal records matched up, (although my ex had spent more time in prison-and was proud that he had “beat his brother” in these stats), their alcoholism and addictions matched, etc. Then, after more searching, we met the birth family-Yikes! They are almost all afflicted with mental illnessess and addictions (sociopathy, paedophilia, Narcissitistic Personality disorder, BPD, drug, alcohol, sex and gambling addictions). I truly believe my ex and his brother were hard wired genetically for a predisposition to certain addictions as well as psychopathy. And me? Co-depentant in recovery and just diagnosed with BPD.
It seems like a lot of the comments are from people attempting to claim that they’re psychopathic or know someone who is. I’m not saying you don’t, or you aren’t, but unless you’ve been diagnosed by a professional, you’re probably suffering from something less severe.
There are a lot of other disorders that share a lot of the traits of being a psychopath, not to mention that people in general just seem to give less and less of a shit about other people. Hence the old idea about being “neighborly” and now less and less people even KNOW their neighbors, much less would help a neighbor out. Just because people in general care less about other people doesn’t mean you’re a psychopath because you don’t give a shit about people.
Also, it seems like most of you are more likely to relate to narcissistic personality disorder than psychopathy. It’s just like psychopathy, except you have a conscience. You know what’s right and wrong, and you feel good or bad about doing good or bad things, you just don’t give a shit.
It’s probably worse than psychopathy, because you can actually feel horrible about something, but you care more about yourself and what you want than you do about other people.
Good for you?
Also, if you’ve ever loved anyone or can think of anyone who you love so much you would never hurt them, you’re probably not a psychopath.
I was married to one of these guys. That marriage nearly killed me and when it was over, it took me more than five years to recover. He never laid a hand on me, but his ability to manipulate and to be completely untouchable, emotionally, was almost my undoing. Any person who find themselves in a relationship with one of these people…don’t hold out hope for a decade, like I did, that he will finally “see the light” and change. They won’t…they only get worse…and you only get more sad and more confused. Save yourself and get out as soon as you can.
So, is Lt. Commander Data a psychopath?
for starters, I’m 15. I’ve grown up and my parents divorced when i was in 7th grade. Since then i have seen my father swindle and screw over my mother at every corner. I am convinced my father IS a sociopath. I’m not an unruly or another stupid teen (i hope you can take my word for it!) insulting their parents because i dislike them.
Personally, i believe that sociopaths or psychopaths are fully aware of emotions of others. I think they are aware because they do experience the emotions, just not from within, they are externally experienced. For example, a child learns by seeing their mother, father, or other siblings interact. The psychopaths may learn emotions from siblings and parents, but not experience them. It may be similar to hearing about another person’s experiences and learning from them while still not experiencing them yourself. Although you yourself did not experience what happened, you could feign, or tell the story as your own and fool others into thinking you have experienced it. Therefore, I believe, Psychopaths can feign or act an emotion, but not truly grasp it.
I’m also curious if there are different degrees as to how psychopathic a person is. Or if there is a opposite disorder, where a person may care too much.
just my two cents. :)
PJMURPHY, I agree with your major point, morality is not an absolute. It never has been and never will be. However, it is a generalized set of standards agreed upon by society at large.
Our modern military personnel find themselves in constant conflict because of this. Military personnel have oneprimary duty: to kill. This is an act society deems immoral. Remove “war” from your thoughts here. concentrate on the killing of other human beings. Society says it is wrong therefore it is wrong. That is morality. That soldier, sailor, marine or airman is put in a situation to commit an act he/she knows is morally wrong. We now tell them it is ok in situation. Conflict!
Society also deems helping others as a moral act. Take saving someone elses life. But how many of us would throw a floatation device to ol’ Mr. Bundy up there if we saw him drowning? Very few I’d bet.
The biggest Source of morality is religion. Not to put any beliefs above others, but different religions have different beliefs therefore their views of what is a moral act and what is not.
Alittle food for thought. Nice that you brought out absolute morality PJ.
Rook – Seriously, talk to someone in a professional capacity. I saw someone suggest it was depression, not sure if that’s the case but if it is, talking to someone should help. If you are indeed a psychopath, then self awareness of this could help you maintain balance and help prevent you “going over to the dark side”.
DI Article, very interesting. I watched a documentary years ago on this, and saw an interview with a psychopath in an institution. Was was talking about the 3 boys he’d killed before he was caught, and the guy he killed in the institution. He explained how he was riding his bike along a street one day and saw a small boy there and wondered what it would be like to kill him, lured him away and strangled him. He rather liked it so then a while later found another and killed this one too. The third time he upped the ante because he didn’t get as much of a thrill out of the second one as the first so he tortured the boy for some time before eventually killing him. He talked of these things with about as much emotion as most people talk about going down the road to buy a loaf of bread. It was truly chilling to watch.
PLAYBOY magazine, way back in the early 70s, made note of the ‘usefulness’ of the psychopath in society and how they had no allegiences to any one or any lifestyle or value system and, as such, tend to be highly adaptable to changes in society, bending with the times and the flow of things, unlike the rest of us who acquire the standards of our times and then cannot change easily. Witness how anyone older than, say 35, is committed to certain singers and songs that were the stuff of their ‘growing-up’ culture (along with TV shows, breakfast cereals, ball teams, etc). They have a hard time accepting new music, new products, new fashions, and so forth and feel a dedication to their era. The psychopath, on the other hand, leaves it all behind and embraces new technology, new fashion, etc. because they can never be ‘wedded’ to any of the elements of the times of their lives. That sort of adaptation serves a purpose for society and for evolution, lest we all become stick-in-the-muds.
As I was reading this, I was just thinking, “Wow. [Certain friend of mine] could possibly be a psychopath and I wouldn’t even know.” And that is sort of scary. Thank you DI, now you’ve made me afraid of my friends. ;)
Here is a couple of links to stories about a person that I had to deal with that I think is a psychopath.
Thank you for your corrections (post 83). This forum is conducive to brevity and therefore sometimes lacking in clarity. I should never wish to portray you (or anyone else) as evil for sharing their thoughts and ideas in this forum. The description you give of the Psychopath is right on the mark, I believe. He is intelligent (or can be), and aware of his actions. His apathy is not in question at all, neither is empathy or compassion or any other character trait. And I am in no way stating that morality is either absolute or relativistic – All these points are peripherals. The soapbox I am standing on is merely to point out that the psychopath does make a conscious choice, and is therefore accountable for his actions. I confess to being pigheaded in my UNbelief that the psychopath is incapable of making a morally good choice in place of a morally bad choice. In other words, I refuse to believe that the psychopath (or any person, for that matter) has NO choice but to do evil. This, of course, is said with my apology up front to anyone who may be offended by my choice of words describing morality, but if they would be offended by it, then I guess my point is well made …:)
I’d like to point out that James Bond is fictional and thus has no diagnosis. Even Ian Fleming is off the hook, although he did seem to have the ability to describe a character that all of us would like to be like, mostly because we are stuck with having feelings and worries and hang-ups and inhibitions and tend to get scared or angry or frustrated or buckle under pain and pressure, etc. That we would identify with and imagine ourselves to be free of all these limiting human factors doesn’t make the character a sociopath. It makes us envious of someone who can be heroic and get the girl and know just exactly how to drive a fast car and what to order for breakfast in Istanbul. That so many can contrive of such a suave and sophisticated rake and enjoy his exploits has more to do with imagination than criminality.
I don’t think Rook is a psycho. Just very self-absorbed. Look up from your navel- there’s a whole world out there! Mere teenage angst…
couchtime – are psychopaths really better at adapting to new technology? Don’t they form sentimental attachments to things (a one-way process) as much as anyone else? You make them sound like supermen, when in fact many of them are deeply flawed (a higher proportion of psychos in prison than normal people in prison, for example).
What’s really interesting here is the assumption that there is no compunction to behave ethically if you cannot connect with another person’s feelings, e.g. It’s acceptable to hurt you because your pain means nothing to me.
For me, and most people I think, ethics are rules that one lays down for oneself or internalises, and really have little to do with how our transgressions will affect others. I refrain from stealing or beating annoying people because I don’t want to get arrested, fired or beaten up. Most of the time, I wouldn’t want to cause suffering to anyone/anything, and the thought of it even makes me queasy, but you know how it is when you get greedy or angry… I always hold myself back, but the desire can be strong.
Do soldiers in wartime find it hard to kill because they do not want to cause someone fear and pain, or because they do not want to break the ultimate taboo?
Is ethical behaviour imprinted on us through the emotions? During our formative years, are we explicitly taught that we shouldn’t do to others things that cause US pain? Is that how such restrictions are enforced – we are made to associate others’ pain with our own? Empathy as the base of ethics?
Are those soldiers afraid of causing themselves pain – pain that they will themselves create? After all, humans are not actually connected, only socially.
I really never thought of it that way.
“charisma, self-centeredness, confidence, and dominance are highly correlated with the psychopathic personality, yet also highly sought after in potential leaders.”
“Despite this emotional deficiency, most psychopaths learn to mimic the appearance of normal emotion well enough to fit into ordinary society, not unlike the way that the hearing impaired or illiterate learn to use other cues to compensate for their disabilities.”
“They lied pathologically, and when caught, they shrugged it off with a smirk and moved on to the next lie. ”
Gosh, am I the only one to notice the perfect fit of this description to the Bush-Cheney “team”?
That there test uses “presently” incorrectly. It means “soon”, not “now”.
There are several levels on which ethics operate, including as internalized rules, but also as matters of the heart. I think the most poetic explanation comes from the Baha’i Faith:
Good, because then I won’t insert a Dubya reference. :P
Or Billy reference either.
“…an evolutionary niche opens up for a minority who would exploit the trusting masses.”
I hear things like this and I always think I’d probably laugh as well. However I don’t think that’s actually a psychopathic tendency more the ability to compartmentalize the fact that on the one hand its actually a quite clever pun while on the other hand its a pun about a brutal murder.
You’re joking right? I’d think a self-proclaimed crime buff would know that Dahmer didn’t just snap…that boy was screwed up from day one. I don’t know many people that, as a youth, go around collecting road kill to take home and dissect…or kill a dog just to open it up and see how it works
He should have felt sorry for the pain he put the dog through, he should have felt bad for it and it’s family that will never see it again. He should have felt bad for the animals that were dead on the side of the road. But he didn’t, probably because he couldn’t.
Personally I don’t think I could even approach a flattened cat and look at it’s eyes…this guy went searching for things like that…then picked them up, took them home…and ripped them apart. Killing humans didn’t require Dahmer to ‘snap’, it just required him to escalate the behaviour he exhibited as a child. Apparently what made Dahmer “snap” was a surgery he had…it changed him, why? Dunno. He was a popular kid (much like the article suggests psychopaths will be) prior to this, he then became more withdrawn. He still was able to turn on the charm (like the article states psychopaths do easily) to get person after person after person to go back to his apartment where he would introduce them to their maker.
Having read the article I’m not sure why you think psyhcopaths being more abundant than originally thought is ‘scary’. It takes a different type of person to commit acts of violence on another human being, being a psychopath would make this easier to do…but there would still need to be a desire to do it. Just because the psychopath won’t feel remorse for his/her actions…doesn’t mean they have a desire to commit acts that they should feel remorse for.
Add intelligence to that list of conscience, remorse or guilt….and you’d be talking about Dubya!
I think it is…well…can be. Given the situation you can act rationally or morally. It’s actually a problem with soldiers and others in positions that need to act rationally and not morally. Can’t always be doing both.
I’d think if you are unemotional your morality would be because it’s what you’re supposed to do, it’s what other people say is the “right” thing to do. Not because you understand it. If I have no emotion or ability to feel remorse for my actions upon others….why would I have any morality at all? It would be confusing to me….why can’t I kick that cat like I’m attempting a 60 yard field goal? Because it’s wrong? Why? Because it hurt the cat? Who cares?
I think the article said that the lack of morality is written in our genes.
I think the general thrust of the discussion on Psychopaths shown in the article is not that psychopaths are more violent than non-psychopaths, but that psychopaths, having the same urges as the rest of us, are uncaring of the results of violence that they perpetrate on others. Therefore a psychopath could lead a completely blameless existence, but could just as easily commit violence or murder if it should suit their purposes, without any qualms whatsoever.
For instance, say you’ve been with your partner for several years and are considered as a de-facto married couple. The relationship is unravelling and half of what you jointly own is going to be given to this other person. Most people would consider losing half their stuff a better option than committing murder, despite the fact that in murdering someone who is leaving, you essentially lose nothing. A psychopath has no emotional attachment to the idea of murdering someone, therefore the idea of losing material goods, their house etc would be considered worse than killing someone (if the person is leaving never to return, what’s the difference if they are alive or dead?). At the end of the day, they are faced with a choice – lose the person and half your stuff, or just lose the person…
This is when a psychopath becomes dangerous. They don’t “snap” or “lose it” one day, it just comes to a decision they make where killing someone seems like a better idea than not.
There certainly is a higher than average # of prisoners who are ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder), compared to society, at large so to speak, but that STILL means most of them are walking among us. One might even conclude that the ASPDs in prison are something MORE than just ASPD. Some are drug addicts and THAT is the main reason they are doing time. Others ain’t all that bright and merely got caught out of stupidity. And others may have temper problems, impulse problems, etc. that are predominant and not under as much control as must be the case in their more successful, unimprisoned diagnostic ‘cousins’, such as the politicians and other con-men (‘confidence’, not ‘convict). In any case, the results of ASPD persons upon society is hardly limited to crimes. The price we pay for them amongst us goes untold, except perhaps by their family, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
I am fairly convinced that sentiment is not part of sociopathy. They may collect baseball cards but they sell them easily and walk away without a twinge of regret, same as they would sell their grandmothers. Therefore, any ‘attachment’ they feel has a pricetag and isn’t at all like
real attachment that perseveres as a feeling of loss. That is the curiosity about ASPD… attachments are contrived and imagined and wash down the drain and are mostly feigned to appear like others. Now and interesting side angle is this: They know they are faking it but they generally think everyone else is, too! At least the others who qualify in their minds as “Dogs” who are supposed to take advantage of the “Sheep”. Betcha Roger Waters could see the patterns when he was conceiving ANIMALS.
First off, it wouldn’t be “my” stuff, it would be “our” stuff. The other person is entitled to half of it. Secondly, it’s just stuff, and I can always get more and better stuff. And most importantly, the odds of getting away with it are very slim. The risk isn’t worth it.
Here’s a better analogy…
You’re in your second floor bedroom, cleaning a rifle, on a dark and stormy night. You look out the window, and your neighbor is in his backyard, in the rain, digging a hole in his garden.
You’ve always suspected that he’s a shady type, perhaps a coke dealer. He has nice clothes, a new car, fancy jewelry, but never seems to go to work. Once the hole is big enough, he goes into his garage, and returns with a clear plastic bag, filled with stack after stack of money, which he clearly intends to bury in the garden. There are no lighted windows, nobody about, and the rain will wash away any traces of blood spatter that would indicate the trajectory of the shot, as well as cover the sound. In short, you can shoot this guy, take the money, and be absolutely 100% certain to get away with it. But you can’t just dig up the money, because he would never rest until he found out who did it, and he would surely kill anyone who stole his money.
Let’s up it a notch…he’s an acquaintance, you’ve had a few beers here and there, and maybe watched a ball game now and then. You’re not best friends, but you get along okay.
So, do you pull the trigger?
This is my first post on this site, and it’s the first article I’ve read here. Damned interesting for sure… I’m in the military and this article describes me and most of the people I live and work with. The military loves psychopaths and if you aren’t one they try to make you one. Please remember that these psychopaths are our psychopaths. The best field medics, the best leaders in combat, they’re all psychopaths. If you’re ever in combat you’ll pray that the men around you are psychopaths. Psychopaths aren’t necessarily bad people, they’re just able to go through life unhindered by the emotional things that cripple other people. There are too many negative connotations surrounding the word psychopath. Hopefully this article informs people that not all psychopaths are serial killers. They’re just people that think differently, and in some fields of human endeavor the ability to think logically without emotion is a tremendous advantage.
In response to PJ Murphy’s scenario, yes I’d pull the trigger and kill a rich, shady stranger. If I knew the person… well, how much money are we talking? Anything over $300k is worth killing an aquaintance.
Could the argument be made for varying shades of psychopathy? After reading this it tries to come off saying it’s a black or white issue, and not a decision of sorts. I’m not quite sure about that as what if one could just block their emotions and the ‘little voice’ and do as they need just as a ‘true’ psychopath does by nature. I’m thinking of a concept like a lightswitch psychopath. Mind you it would likely be a trained ability, someone worked to stifle the little fears and voices you have over right and wrong so that the job could get done whether getting it done as a ceo, or getting someone done as a killer, thief, etc.
Honestly outside of the clinical cases I’d say many people have a little bit of a psychopath in them more or less on their ability to shut down the boundaries that designate someone as one.
…oh and PJ in post 119 there on the ‘gardener’ scenario there. Logically speaking I’d be afraid of going to jail, as I know deep down I wouldn’t last long either due to other inmates or the confinement so I’d need to be kept on suicide watch in a private cell as I’d do it. That out of the way…if I felt with the scenario I could off the guy in the dark, during a lightning flash and crash of thunder to scope my target and block out the bang of the rifle I’d seriously consider it. If it were a friend no, but a no one/slight acquaintence, as the other guy above my 1st post said…how much $?
Those interested in psychopathy and sociopathy may also want to look up “malignant narcissism”.
Crimelibrary.com, my favourite site after DI.
I’ve wondered for a while if I’d turn out to be psycho. My friends tell me my obsession with crimelibrary.com is just healthy curiosity. I’m not so sure. maybe I’m just getting ideas….
Interesting question. My guess is probably no. If I remember right, Data does have a conscience mechanism in his programming, it just doesn’t operate on an emotional level. Also, since he lacks all emotion, he also lacks the negative emotions that make psychopaths (and to some extent humans in general) who they are: anger, greed, the need for stimulation and self-aggrandizement, etc.
Bear Tiger, you misconstrue Ayn Rand. She wrote, “There can be no such thing as a ‘right to enslave'”. She insisted that you must recognize and respect other people’s rights, which is the exact opposite of a psychopath’s attitude.
The protagonists in her novels are self-absorbed but it is their antagonists who are the real psychopaths, indifferent to the suffering they cause in their pursuit of power over others.
Anyone else think of Bush and Cheney, et al?
Also, I disagree that this is somehow evolutionarily beneficial in our modern world. What sort of use is a father who has no concern for his offspring’s welfare? A great deal of human physiology and culture is dependent upon the exact opposite. Perhaps it is true that the corporate world inadvertently selects for just the qualities a psycho/socio-path possesses (not surprising, given that corporations themselves are practically psychopathic), but this does not necessarily improve that person’s chances of passing down genetic material.
Therefore, I would venture to guess that the prevalence of this disorder is a result of current society’s dysfunctions, and not reflective of the overall evolutionary process in the least. After all, a world entirely composed of psychopaths would be utterly chaotic, as exhibited what just a few of these individuals can do in our current US administration!
PJMurphy…totally agree with your thoughts.
Instruction booklet for Psycho to get ahead: 48 Laws of Power
But what about a father who can dupe another man into raising his kids for him? And even if the trait lowered the survival rate of children, the increased promiscuity that goes with it probably made up for it.
A world full of them would be, but that’s not what we’ve got. Just a few here and there can be beneficial, at least to the psychopaths themselves.
It’s kind of like color blindness. In most cases it’s a disadvantage, and it certainly wouldn’t help us any if our entire species had it. But there’s evidence that color blind men are able to break certain kinds of camouflage that other people can’t — so by having just a few of them around, the group benefitted and the trait was passed on.
so Mother Teresa is a physco?
there is a difference between OCD and this.
most successfull people have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
i think perhaps YOU should take the psycopath test.
Anyone else think of Bush and Cheney, et al?
Oh please! If they were psychopaths we would have turned Afghanistan into a glass parking lot. Then we would have neutron bombed Iraq, strolled in a few weeks later, and taken the oil.
Instead we used expensive precision munitions in Afghanistan while dropping food during the day. And in Iraq we’re still on the ground trying to protect normal Iraqis from radical Iraqis while the bulk of their oil sits untouched in pools which literally bubble to the surface.
I am sick and tired of people from this generation painting anyone they disagree with as evil monsters. If you question global warming models you’re a holocaust denier. If you think Saddam broke the law and deserved to lose his government you’re a Nazi, and Bush is Bushitler. If you want to drill for oil or build a power plant then you must hate the Earth and be for killing baby animals. Tired of excessive taxes and plans to socialize the U.S. economy? You’re an insensitive monster who hates the elderly and children. Want tighter immigration controls? You must be a racist!
I’M SICK OF IT! If you disagree with a policy, then disagree using rational, logical arguments. If you have to resort to ignorant fallacies and name calling, stay out of the public discourse completely.
Bush is not a psychopath. But if I have to put up with citizens and politicians (i.e. Clinton and Obama) ripping each other apart over political differences much longer, I might become one!
I have read the letter of a guy in Melbourne Australia who shot and killed approx 9 innocent people in the street (Julian Knight). He wrote the letter in prison to someone he used to serve with in the Army and the correlation between some of the above profiles and the comments he made in the letter are very accurate. I distinctly remember him referring to his actions as being “taken quite seriously by authorities”. His words were quite surreal – almost as though he was detached from he had done and did not comprehend the seriousness – what a fruitloop!! Hopefully he’ll stay in prison for the rest of his natural life!!
Oh please! I was hoping that things wouldn’t get partisan, but I just can’t let this pass: assuming Bush were a psychopath (I am not saying he is or isn’t), what personal gain would he get from turning Afghanistan into a glass parking lot, or neutron bombing Iraq? Is that anything compared to the gain in power from perpetual war? What about all the profit Cheney, Bush Sr. and others are making because they are invested in “military” stocks? There is a lot more money and power to be gained in perpetual war than in the “glass parking lot” solution.
Expensive munitions = big profits for Daddy. The amount of assistance being spent in Afghanistan is a pittance, virtually nothing when compared to the military expenditure.
The U.S. presence there is also protecting the oil. Interestingly, the oil has been unmetered since the war began. Bushies, like Paul Wolfowitz, were predicting that the profits from that oil would pay for the invasion and occupation. How much has been pumped and where has that money gone? I certainly don’t know, but I find it suspicious.
Funny you should say that. The word “evil” used to be rarely heard in politics, and then mostly from fringe groups. I was quite shocked when I first heard GWB talking about the “Axis of Evil” and such: he and his followers use morally weighted words like “evil” much more than those on the other side of the aisle. Such words leave little room for diplomacy: nobody thinks of themselves as evil. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
No, you’re just in denial – you’re also using ‘holocaust’ to make it sound over the top. Any objective look at current evidence indicates that mankind is causing global warming. If you want to trot out evidence to the contrary, please check that it hasn’t been disproved first – that seems to be a favorite of anti-global warming folks.
I think Saddam deserved to lose his government, but not so much that we needed to kill over 100,000 Iraqi citizens (minimum estimates, realistic estimates have topped 1 million) and 3000 of our own soldiers. If you think this wasn’t predictable, then tell me, why was the General who first predicted this outcome (before the war) fired by GWB?
I would not accuse an opponent of “being for killing baby animals” (unless, of course, they really and obviously were) – you’re just putting over the top words in your opponents mouth. Would you deny that there can be good reasons for opposing drilling or building a power plant in a particular location?
I note you use the word plans. The fact is, the U.S. has been headed in the opposite direction for decades now: social spending was dwarfed by military spending even during the Clinton years, much more so now. If you want to reduce taxes, stop the war.
Please tell me, why do you want tighter immigration controls? Seriously, think about it. Do you think they are taking away our jobs? Have you ever worked one of those jobs that they typically get? Do you think that they want to abuse our social system? If that were true, why are they so eager to take such crappy jobs?
Note my emphasis on “they” and “our“: virtually all arguments for tighter immigration controls rely on dividing the world up into “us” vs. “them”, and then implicitly or explicitly saying that “we” are better than “they” are. How is that not racist?
You took the words out of my mouth.
Funny you should say that. If you look at Republicans vs. Democrats, the Republicans are much more partisan and downright nasty. For example, look at your example: Clinton and Obama. The media has hyped their differences no end, but if you actually look at what they say, watch them in debate together, they are very collegial and respectful. That kind of behavior in the Republican party would be labeled “friendly”.
Summary: if you’re going to go on a verbal rampage, please try and put some thought and possibly some research into it instead of just regurgitating what you have been fed by Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and the right-wing propaganda machine.
I had read all the posts some days ago and tried to post a comment from my mobile phone which was lost. Now that I have access to the internet from a PC again, I will try to write in short some of my comments to specific posts.
Someone could be emotionally detached if after a period on his life emotions become a burden or under social pressure maybe but that has nothing to do with psychopathy imho. He can still return back to his normal functioning and his emotions might still secretly annoy him which he might not want to show in public. The psychopath cannot feel emotions even if he wanted to.
Also, I don’t think some other mental disorders mentioned here have anything to do with this. I think depression and OCD are on the other side, where emotions really affect and become a burden.
As for geeks mentioned, maybe you talk about people with Asperger’s Syndrome (btw not all geeks are related with AS though and not all AS people are related to computer geeks). AS people have not naturally acquired social skills and they have to copy them manually. Because of this fact, there are usually misunderstandings between AS people and “normal” people communication during social situations which gives the misinterpretation that AS people lack of any emotions which isn’t true. But that’s far from comparing them with psychopaths.
I joined up specifically to reply to this DI article. Fascinating! I was romantically involved with a charming, sexy sociopath for a while. She was clever, remorseless, conscienceless, sexually promiscuous, amoral, a trained actress, a relentless liar. She was also very ADD, and had Tourette’s. I was blindsided by sex and glamour. We started living together a week after we met. The whole thing went sour as soon as the wealthy guy she was trying to make jealous actually got jealous and asked her to marry him. She dumped me and wed him less than 2 months later. In retrospect, yes, I saw the red flags but chose to ignore them. Thank heavens I wasn’t rich! Her new husband is, which is of course why she wanted him. I consider that I got out of it relatively unscathed.
I subsequently predicted that she would quit her job and start spending his money, and that’s precisely what she did. I also predicted that she would divorce him within two years and take him to the cleaners in the settlement. She has a but less than a year and a half to do that, but I expect to be fully vindicated.
Never having been involved with such a poisonous, manipulative personality, I had no defenses. I would know better now, of course. *shudder*
An improbably large proportion of people here seem to think they or their friends are psychopaths. Wishful thinking?
I’d suggest that if you’re having any kind of crisis of conscience over the thought that you might be one, then you’re not one! And if your friend is a real psycho then he’s not really your friend! How can a person be your friend if he feels no empathy? He might, for one reason or another, be able to behave as a friend might, but surely true friendship requires some feeling.
I think a lot of people are confusing recklessness, cruelty, or just plain jerkitude for total indifference.
And I don’t think any fictional heroes could be called psychopaths. If the audience really believed the ‘hero’ had no empathy then the designation wouldn’t fit. It might make for an interesting character but not a hero. I know what people are thinking of when they say a certain fictional hero is a psychopath, but there’s always the suggestion that he really does have a heart after all. Why else would he go back to save the woman/child when he has a chance to escape (as seems to always be the case).
Bond kills bad guys. And he doesn’t need to have a cry afterward. But if he didn’t have ANY empathy he’d just as soon slaughter his latest sexual conquest.
Extremely well said.
My father was a psychopath, his traits almost perfectly match the test profile above. So I believe I have more of an in-depth understanding of the diagnosis than most.
According to his case history, his parents didn’t believe in picking up and comforting him from birth ’til age 3. They believed any tender and affectionate attention might “spoil him”. Therefore, the “attachment disorder” fits him to a “T”.
Though I have a sister, his wrath was always focused on me. He criticized everything I did and nearly every thought I expressed. I was always amazed by his ability to apparently transform from hollering at and whipping me to answering the phone and speaking to someone at the office with Bill Clinton like charm and warmth. What a crock!
I could write a book about his modus operandi, but throughout his life he cheated without actually being involved in legally defined crime. From having someone write his thesis at NorthWestern to always keeping lover on the side, it’s so sad. He arranged to have my mother medicated on Elavil for behavior eleviation. Though it was tragic, I just about laughed when it backfired, and she turned manic and started venting her rage on him for a change.
Despite being increasingly successful in his profession, he refused to help either my sister or me to attend college. Despite the fact that I had a scholarship to the University of Chicago, I still couldn’t afford to attend.
After I was an internationally published photographer or was featured in gallery openings in Aspen, he wouldn’t even look at my work or say “boo”. My mother suggested that he was jealous.
Anyway I must say I gave a great sigh of relief when he expired while I was taking care of him ’til the end. Fortunately, somehow or other I’ve always been amazingly resilient.
I still prefer Maslow’s heirachy of values pyramid to define an individual’s level of functioning, and a psychopath by definition cannot fit into the higher levels of creativity and spirituality.
Affimative self-expression is not within the grasp of the psychopath’s consciosness. As a beholder beauty never enters. I can understand why he was so jealous of me, since I had such an enriched experience of ideal values — you know, the good, the true, and the beautiful.
He knew these would never be within his real, and my heart goes out to anyone who must spend their live denied the wonders that some of us enjoy every day.
Vague, diagnostic terms like psychopath or sociopath are okay as far as they go, but from a broader view, as a nation we are slipping further and further away from what Erich From described as “the sane society”. Greed, dominance/submission, and a multitude of dysfunctional behaviors are the norm. Little wonder that our “leaders”, the CEO’s and neocons have risen to the top, and are ultimately besmerching our formerly most cherished ideals.
The United States is in the process of a dysfunctional, addictive crash, unfortunately, none of us are immune to the impacts.
However, some of us who find greater satisfactions in life not necessarily tied to or dependent on “shopping ’til you drop”, driving the biggest, baddest SUV, or living the biggest McMansion. So our lives will continue with “small, but beautiful” satisfactions.
We can overcome our materialistic distractions, and take actions to eliminate the destructive domination of the neocon, psychopathological “alpha” males/females, whenever we become desparate enough. Or I loath to even consider the alternative! We must wake up, in the spirit of our original founding fathers!
WH44 – I also agree with farmer dave – extremely well said. Good to read a well thought out response to the diatribe posted by dtaylor!!
I will go against the grain of comments here and say that I don’t particularly like how the article was worded. I’m afraid many people will read this and perceive just about anyone, including those with social anxiety disorder or those sharing even a slight similarity to a sociopath as being a freak of society who enjoys putting on a face for personal gain or satisfaction in devouring people. I will say that I am without doubt a sufferer of social anxiety and will often “put on a face” to appear happy when I am really not. Most of my relationships with people are short and I do find it difficult to fit into almost any social situation. For unknown and yet to be explained reasons however, I do indeed notice that people naturally attract to me and find me highly likable and at work am often placed in favor of the higher ups despite my lacking of communicative skills. I do consider myself unique and feel I am an exception to what is considered by the standards of society to be “normal” (if there is such a thing.) I certainly DO think about others but I am more inclined in thinking about myself first because honestly most people are sheep and will not return the favor. I am the sort of guy who leaves the last remaining paper towel in the bathroom unused for the next patron and will use my clothes instead to dry my hands. I don’t tell people that I’ve left the last paper nor do I demand a compliment, the act is completely anonymous and there is certainly no personal gain to come out of it other than to bring a smile to someones day. On the other hand I am less likely to be in a state of shock or horror being witness to a terribly morbid accident scenario. I am essentially the guy you want to stay close to come a zombie plague as I am a survivalist more than anything else and that may be why I and people like me are more inclined to finding success than others, not because I share traits of a sociopath even if I suppose I am one… Intellectuals of the early 1900’s believed that all plagues insects and rats would be extinguished by the year 200o as did those who thought with certainty that the world was flat at one point or those who are certain that some guy floats around in the clouds watching over us allowing us passage into another existence… This article itself states that the sociopath condition is still highly mysterious to this day so why are you inclined to believe everything said in this article is certain or fact? Everyone is certainly different based on many factors and thats without needing fact. One other thing this article DOES do right is in showing that NOT every sociopath grows up to become a mass murderer. Still people are people and they will become jaded by anything they read or watch or hear such as the fear of those who are even remotely different to themselves (such as racial differences for example). Once upon a time powerful people who were highly respected told us those of color were insignificant and most people nodded agreeably until someone unique themselves brought light to the situation. My point is I’m sick of all these articles trying to fit everyone into certain categories. Your either a freak or your normal, nothing in between no gray area where its possible to be slightly different and beautiful at that. Still I did find the article rather interesting and just hope to inspire thinking outside the article itself. Btw I am an artist by profession so I find a particular advantage to having disorders work in my favor.
This is interesting. I’m pretty sure I’m not a psychopath, since I value love, friendship, and especially helping others above all else. I mean, I’m human, but I feel guilty when I do wrong. Thing is, I’m a libertarian, a big believer in individual rights, the free market, and people doing whatever they want. I’m not big on the welfare state, (progressive) taxes, or the nanny state. Because my political philosophy tends toward greed and self-interest at the expense of others (let rich people keep their money, shrink welfare and government services), some would accuse me of being psychopathic. However, I see it the other way: I’m probably too naive and empathetic. Because I give to charity and try to help others whenever I can, I assume others will, too and private charity (people helping the poor because they have freely chosen to) can replace welfare (people helping the poor because they have no choice). What do yo guys think?
psychopath, sociopath..They are the same right? Just wanted to chime in again and say I’ve been watching through the entire James Bond collection for the past two weeks and am enjoying every one of them so far. :)
An interesting post. Might I suggest you break it up a bit into logical paragraphs? It is much less intimidating and others are more likely to read it then.
Been there, done that. This is probably why people like you. I’ve found, at least for my circumstances, it is better not to “put on a face”. I have enough job stress without it.
I prefer to go tell an employee. They are usually thankful for the information. Or, in my place of work, I’m the guy that refills the dispenser and the coffee machine, despite it not being my job.
I agree that is a failing of this article – that is probably because that is current thinking among psychiatrists and psychologists.
I think the entire psychopathy thing may be due to a defense mechanism: allowing doubt about a past cruel action would allow intolerable levels of guilt, so the person has to go into denial of one sort or another in order to survive. This denial can range from “it didn’t really happen”, through “they brought it on themselves”, to the psychopathic “other people aren’t really like I am”. This kind of denial acts as a rather sharp cutoff, such that psychologists think that something is organically different, where it may not be.
I think any system can work, including the libertarian system, if there are enough people of “good will” in the society, and that no system can work if there aren’t enough. I think a large portion of the population is lacking education on basic ethics and morality – how and why moral behavior is a good thing, and so the U.S. is on the decline, regardless of which system we use.
I think we need to do something about that. The problem is, there is no “quick fix” – ethics is something best taught by example, and that takes time.
Ethics and morality has traditionally been the domain of religion and so ethics is often left out of the school. Churches on the other hand have become increasingly divisive, separating their followers from others, saying “we are the only ‘true’ ones”, which often leads those followers to behave less than morally towards other people.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is found in every major religion, and all other laws flow from it.
What isn’t pointed out in articles like this is that psychopaths aren’t to blame for everything – empathy is a double-edged sword and `us and them’ works to make people act tribally in a way quite often far more destructive than the depradations of a lone psychopath. Of course, psychopaths may well confound the issue by playing on that.
And, BTW, whatever the hell else it is morality isn’t based on logic – check out Godel’s Theorem if you don’t believe me
I think your statements show a much stronger signs of a ‘sadist’ than a ‘psychopath’, but obviously that’s just my reading. For one, the fact that you clearly care for your family seems to exclude the diagnosis of ‘psychopath’.
Very good point. Again, I point your attention to the free online book “The Authoritarians”, which addresses that extensively.
Umm. Sorry, I’m not following you. I am very familiar with Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems (Wikpieda reference), but I don’t see how a proof that any logic system must, per definition, be incomplete (i.e. cannot prove its own consistency), prevents you from applying the current standard logic system to morality.
I still think pretty much all reasonable moral code follows logically from “do unto other as you would have them do unto you”. “Logically” in this case includes using reasonable assumptions (like: “anyone who has not killed themselves, probably does not want to be killed”) and logical inference (“do unto…’ + ‘anyone…’ => ‘Thou shalt not kill’.”).
Haven’t bothered to read all of those comments, but I thought I’d post on this, seeing as everyone seems interested.
Psychopaths don’t feel emotions, at least not like ‘normal’ people. They can be switched on and off.
Like anger for instance… I can get angry whenever I like, like flicking a switch, and display all the symptoms of anger. Inside, I don’t really feel angry at all, more like an observer, studying the reactions of people around me to what I’m doing.
Same with other things… I started deciding what hours I wanted to go to work, rather than following the hours my employer set me. I got a warning for my timekeeping and am irritated that they are questioning what I want to do, rather than being sorry that I have messed them around and broken the rules.
Now, I know what ‘normal’ people would think in that situation, that the employer is correct and I should be reprimanded. I do have a clear knowledge of what people perceive as right and wrong actions. But I seriously do believe that the world I’m living in is my world, and everything that goes on has an effect on me which I must attempt to control, and them trying to stop me doing things my way was a definate inconvenience.
In my relationship, I admit to using my family, and I don’t feel sorry for that. I could leave, but I am not miserable… neither am I happy. I am just content with the way things are.
My wife cooks for me, cleans for me, does anything I ask.. if that were not the case, then I wouldn’t stay around. I don’t ‘love’ her, in the common descriptions of that emotion, I feel an affection towards her, but certainly not strong enough to be called love.
I’ve stolen things before, but it was easy, as I didn’t get nervous or panic.. I just picked an item up and walked away with it. I have never harmed another living creature, but I have no doubt that it would be quite easy, I just don’t have the desire to do that.
The only real ’emotion’ that I can say I honestly feel is irritation (if that’s even an emotion). I get irritated by things constantly, and always those things that are stopping me from doing what I want to do, or making it more difficult. But I find a way around it.
I’m never happy, or even really sad… I just live, in my own way, in my own world…. I’m comfortable with that.
I would break any law if it was beneficial to my own personal gain, and I wouldn’t feel sorry if I were caught.. I’ve been caught on things before and mostly, I find it amusing.
I could tell you lots more, or answer questions for those interested in how we perceive the world, but I probably don’t have space here.
This shows a profound lack of respect for the other participants in this discussion. Most likely you are a “troll”, looking to provoke a maximal response.
Normally, the proper response to that is no response. However, at a meta-level, your post is an object lesson in how a non-psychopath can display many of the attributes of a psychopath. There are many different types of trolls, who troll for very different reasons. You can find out more about that here (http://www.io.com/~zikzak/troll_thesis.html).
That was a bit of a washout.
Turns out that the “thesis” at http://www.io.com/~zikzak/troll_thesis.html is itself a form of trolling. Good enough that I didn’t detect it in the first quick scan.
Somewhat more reliable information can probably be found at Wikipedia, however take it with a grain of salt: I am sure the trolls are active there too. :-)
wh44, thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. Lots of interesting discussion here to think about. .
Many thanks for the diagnosis!
Here’s me thinking I was displaying psychopathic behaviour, when all along I was a troll.
I feel much better now!
you might also be a psychopath – that just doesn’t look like the reason for posting “I am a psychopath”. If you had bothered to look, which you pointed out at the start you didn’t, you would have seen there were already two similar posts to yours, with some interest/discussion. There is little to no interest in rehash.
If you weren’t truly interested, why would you post without reading the discussion? I think the most likely cause is, you want to provoke reaction, preferably angry, for the sake of reaction, also known as trolling or flamebait.
You have provoked a reaction, but not an angry one. Unless you have something truly interesting to say, I’m going to stop “feeding the troll” now.
BTW: I’m wh44, not 12345.
Sorry wh44, I obviously didn’t read your post very well, as I got your name wrong.
There’s a misunderstanding, which seems to be my fault entirely.
I read the article, which didn’t provide anything really new, but when I noticed the length of the comments (which as you know, I only skimmed over), I thought that everyone seemed quite interested in the topic.
You said in your last post ‘If you weren’t truly interested, why would you post without reading the discussion?’…. I never claimed to be interested at all, I said that it seemed everyone else was interested, and so I provided an outlook that I thought might add to your interest.
Unfortunately, as I didn’t read properly through the comments, I was unaware that people had already discussed the things that I mentioned.
I wasn’t posting for impact… ‘Look!! I’m a psychopath!!’, as its not something to be proud of or shout from the rooftops really… its just normal… more just because I thought that questions may have been asked in the comments that my post might have answered.
Maybe I SHOULD have read all the comments first, but I’m not all that bothered anyway.
If my comments weren’t interesting, then I won’t continue the discussion, because it wasn’t particularly interesting to me in the first place, I was just providing a point of view.
Hello all, I’m back. Had some slight mishaps to overcome. For instance my barn caught on fire. Had some week-plus-old Boar kids (market goat from South Africa) housed there and got to play fireman. Blasted adults saw me running into the smoke carrying a large bucket of water (only choice I had thanks to the sub-zero weather). Same style of bucket we usually grain them with, and the dolts followed me into the blaze. Between dousing the fire with water, dragging burning debris out with a pitchfork, booting the ill-contempt’s out, and running around the haze filled barn rescuing the newborns my night was very hectic.
Unfortunately we lost three kids and one foal, but it could have been worse. Spent the last little while rebuilding and repair. So all is good again.
As some of you know, I was unduly tortured. I would classify those past tormentors as psychopaths. Though I cannot be sure of all I remember, pain has a way of clouding rational thought, there are some I am certain of. For instance, two of my tormentors talked about their families like someone who was casually whittling on a piece of wood, or skipping rocks across the water as they chatted. Only at the time they were slowly twisting nails into my arms.
I discovered if I did not cry out as they desecrated my flesh, they would become extremely angry. They would slap me until I passed out, or grab rocks and smash my fingers between them. One seemed to derive pleasure by touching my eyes, even so to force his finger into the orbit past the tear duct. Some days the right eye just will not focus correctly. Really a pain if I say so myself. The eyes are very adept at healing, even from the damage mine received, wondrous indeed!
Of the scars born those days from long ago, they appear as extremely faint pink or white lines and dots. Many do not even notice them, including the ones that circle my head like a crown. My feet tell a different story. Neither pinky toe sports a toenail to this day. The right large toe sports a misshaped nail that covers only half the nail-bed with a 1/8” rise on the right half, looking like a frozen wave above the bare nail-bed. A horrendous scar covers the soft tissue below my right ankle. At one time a hole existed there that one could drop a golf ball into.
During this time, they acted as if this was their right. That I was inferior and deserved all that they could do to me. I myself grew despondent, and when they pointed a pistol at me I prayed that the single shell was in the chamber as each took a turn spinning the cylinder and then pulling the trigger. But of course when the gun only clicked, a pistol whip was usually my reward.
Finally came the day when they released me. I think that they did not believe I would survive. I only recall being dumped into a trunk as they laughed, and when I awoke, it was in a sewage filled pit.
During my ordeal, I recall neither compassion nor disgust in my tormentors at the ravages performed upon my body. The only time they seemed disgusted is when I refused to cry out from the pain.
Sorry, I needed to correct this. Thats Boer as in Dutch for Farmer migrants that settled in South Africa in and around Cape Town and not Boar as in the Sus scrofa or wild boar of Europe.
Your point may have more merit if you could show that “Cheney, Bush Sr. and others” were not already heavily invested in “military” stocks prior to the hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq beginning. Or that they adjusted their investments to focus solely on the industries that are providing the means to continue these conflicts. If “they” are pushing war for profit, as you imply, then surely “they” are also adjusting their portfolios to focus on the munitions and equipment being used, and pulling all their money out of military-type investments that may not be utilized in the two conflicts.
Yes, a bomb costs more than a loaf of bread. Your point? It costs money to wage a war, but just because that is more expensive than the aid, doesn’t mean there is some nefarious conspiracy. Furthermore, virtually the whole world agreed going into Afghanistan was a good thing. Again, your point?
Well, would you rather the oil not be protected? We’re there, whether or not you agree with the reasons, and the oil is there. Should we ignore it? What folks predicted and what has transpired is immaterial, since we know predictions are often just as likely to be wrong as right. But your question/comment are silly and transparent. Of course you want everyone to think that Bush, et al, are secretly lining their pockets with illegal oil money. You just don’t have the courage to come out and say it, because people might think you just don’t like Bush, which you clearly don’t.
Virtually ALL politicians use “morally weighted” words, and have done so for some time. Do a little research. Reagan (whom you may also dislike) used the term “Evil Empire” to describe the USSR. Anti-gun politicians (both Ds and Rs) refer to “evil assault weapons” when trying to ban some semi-automatic firearms, and have been doing so since long before Bush was in office. “Evil” is not a new term to politics.
No, there is still an active debate on the subject. And he wasn’t using the term “holocaust” to sound over the top. Those who have disagreed with the theory of man-made global warming have been compared to “holocaust deniers.” Many who disagree have been afraid to state their views because of the expected backlash against them for being so bold as to question a theory that is being forced down the public’s throat. Whether or not global warming is because of man’s influence has not been irrefutably proven, no matter what you might want to believe.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but your question is silly and pointless. To whom are you referring? And if we take your question as being somehow true, then the answer would be we don’t know, but your phrasing is designed to make the only possible answer be, “Because GWB didn’t want to hear that prediction, so he looked for someone who would tell him what he wanted to hear.” We get it. You don’t like Bush, and you love to share your opinions, no matter if they are not supported by any facts.
Again, you miss the point, either intentionally or otherwise. Extremists in the conservation movement constantly make outrageous statements that liken the concept of drilling for oil in Alaska, for example, to an attempt to exterminate all of the animals there in exchange for oil. Would you deny that there can be ways to drill for oil without wiping out entire ecosystems?
Social spending has expanded. By saying it has been dwarfed by military spending is a clever misdirection. You want people to believe social spending is down, when it is not. This is a similar tactic to politicians who claim a particular party wants to cut spending for x. In fact, the party wants to cut the spending the other party proposed, but still increase it over the prvious year. Just by not as much. Military budget has always exceeded social spending. If you want to show there is an actual reduction in social spending, please show the evidence.
Another nice attempt at misdirection. Can’t speak for the author you’re attacking, but I’d like to see tighter controls to cut down on illegal immigration. My mother was an immigrant, and came in the country through all the legal channels. What’s wrong with wanting everyone else to do the same? And maybe more secure borders will help keep out those who want to do serious harm to this country? I have no problem with immigration. It’s illegal immigration with which I take issue. Unfortunately, whenever people talk about immigration, lots of people start implying racism. That’s just a fact.
As for the jobs question, yeah, I’ve done lots of labor jobs. Landscaping, moving furniture, dishwashing. What’s your point? If I had to, I’d do them again.
Yes, YOUR emphasis. You make the point. He didn’t say “they” or “our,” you did. So you have now labeled anyone who wants “tighter immigration” a racist, regardless of their reasons, but you had to do it by interjecting terms that were not used. Just terms you seem to think everyone MUST use when discussing the subject.
Get a grip. Both sides are known for bitter infighting, and the Clinton/Obama feud is an excellent example. It’s gonna get much worse, but it also may be just as bad on the other side. This little blurb of yours can probably be best described using the technical term. You are utilizing a tactic known as “I know you are, but what am I?”
Um, ditto, but I guess replace “FOX News, Bill O’Reilly and the right-wing propaganda machine” with “NBC News, Keith Olbermann, and the left-wing propaganda machine.”
There IS no left wing propaganda machine in the US. Anyone who is a centrist by the standards of the rest of the world is considered a raging loony lefty in the US. America has a right wing and a far right wing, in great part due to the absurd two-party system (twice as good as a one-party system, 2 x 0 = 0) and a clear, effective and concerted effort by the Republicans to pull the center rightward.
Yay! Good to have you back.
Silly me, I thought I was poking a hole in dtaylor’s “glass parking lot” argument as opposed to actually accusing Bush. Oh, wait: “wh44 said: “…(I am not saying he is or isn’t)…”, I was.
I note that you do not address the “power” argument, which is actually the more relevant for a psychopath.
Again, my point was that dtaylor did not have a point.
“Silly and transparent”? It is known as a rhetorical question: it is meant to be transparent! I prefer not to be partisan, but you’re right, I don’t like Bush. Not a surprising prediction when over 60% of American voters don’t like him, including a substantial portion of his own party.
However, more to the point, your counter attack conveniently ignores my original question: where is the money going? The President should know, and if he doesn’t, then it’s just as bad as if he was lining his pockets with it – either way we are losing over one hundred million (estimate) in revenue every day.
Yes, I do remember Reagan (a Republican), and I wasn’t the only one shocked by his use of the term “Evil Empire”. If you remember that, then you must remember the furor in the press, too.
You say the Democrats use morally weighted words just as much, but they do not. To prove the point, I’ve hunted up old State of the Union addresses and counted how often the word “evil” was used:
Bill Clinton: 1993: 0, 1994: 1, 1995: 1, 1996: 0, 1997: 0, 1998: 0, 1999: 0, 2000: 0, Total: 2
George W. Bush: 2001: 0, 2002: 5, 2003: 4, 2004: 1, 2005: 1, 2006: 2, 2007: 2, 2008: 1, Total: 16
I realize it is not a perfect comparison, but if you can think of a better one, please present it.
1) If there is serious debate, please tell me where it is: the only debate I have seen, is over how bad it is, not whether or not it exists. See Scientific American, Science magazine, Nature, etc.
2) I note you ignored my request to cite credible evidence.
3) Both sides have accused each other of suppression: Science magazine did reject an anti-global warming article (note: total rejection rate for all articles submitted is ca. 30%), and the White House has redacted reports and threatened firings.
4) I have looked at the evidence on both sides myself, and find the evidence for global warming pretty compelling.
It looks like I was wrong: General Shinseki apparently simply retired June 11, 2003. It is pure coincidence that he predicted that a much larger force would be required to hold a postwar Iraq.
Lawrence Lindsey was fired for predicting the Iraq war would cost between 100 and 200 billion dollars in September 2002 (it is now way past the high estimate).
So, yes, I think it does look like Bush fires people who disagree with him, and yes, it is supported by fact (he also fired two Generals who were against the surge, and countless others: try googling “bush fired disagreed”). And no, I didn’t share this with people until provoked by dtaylor’s diatribe.
If you think the quagmire was not predictable, maybe you should see this 1994 video of Dick Cheney (youtube).
I am not an extremist, I do think there are responsible ways to drill for oil. I said as much in my first post. I was objecting to dtaylor’s “must hate the Earth and be for killing baby animals” tirade. Are you denying that there are fact-based objections to the plans for drilling in Alaska?
dtaylor was implying that it was social spending that was busting the budget. I stand by my statement: if you want to reduce taxes, stop the war. The war has now cost the U.S. nearly 500 billion dollars in direct costs (National Priorities Project), over and above the usual military spending.
What’s wrong with that is:
1) Going through legal channels has become much more difficult since your Mother’s time: My wife’s sister is an American (born and raised in the U.S.), her husband has been trying to get a work visa for many years now (no, they are not on welfare: she works and he takes care of their little boy). They are on the verge of giving up and moving back to the UK.
2) Effectively securing the borders is prohibitively expensive: e.g. the proposed border wall will cost billions, if it is ever made, and any sane analysis of it will tell you that it will barely make a dent in illegal immigration.
I doubt that even much more secure borders would keep out a resourceful terrorist willing to give up his life to attack the U.S. Meanwhile we pay a lot of tax dollars to try and keep people out who just want a chance at a better life.
Unfortunately, much of the time when people start talking about immigration, they are being racist.
I was, rather obviously, destroying the argument that “they take our jobs”. The fact is, that by doing the low paying menial jobs, they are taking jobs that no one else wants and actually creating “higher level” jobs: they are consumers too, not just workers.
Yes, MY emphasis. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: why do you want “tighter immigration”? Because Ma did it legal? Because it will make it marginally more difficult for terrorists?
Excuse me? Are we reading the same things?
dtaylor used mostly unsubstantiated claims and fallacies, then accused others of doing that. I found it rather galling, so I used facts and rational argument for a point-by-point rebuttal to his one-sided diatribe.
You, for your part, seem to conveniently ignore or misunderstand a lot of what I say, have the gall to accuse me of “misdirection”, and are now accusing me of not using facts and reasoning?!
I repeat, I don’t see this feud. The worst I have seen is a tiff in the debate on Jan. 21 (youtube, in the first two minutes). Taken in the context of the many times they have explicitely praised each other, that is not a feud (dictionary.reference.com).
I was favorably interpreting dtaylor’s emotional tirade and lack of facts and logic as simple “regurgitation”, as opposed to willful distortion.
I don’t watch NBC News or Keith Olbermann – I don’t own a TV – though I will admit to having seen Keith Olbermann in online video clips two or three times. I’ve seen more O’Reilly clips than Olbermann.
My daily news source is slashdot, where the favorite candidate appears to be Ron Paul. This is supplemented occasionally by reading a potpouri of online sources, primarily CNN, Fox, ABC, AOL, International Herald Tribune (British), Der Spiegel (German) and Heise Online (German).
Your post is not regurgitation inasmuch as you address my post. However, I find it rather irksome that you conveniently ignore much of what I said.
I stand by what I wrote.
Interesting article, and some interesting comments, as well… though I’m finding the political arguments here unfortunate and distracting (not to mention really long to scroll past). Why not do this at a political discussion site instead?
Radiatidon, I am curious about the circumstances surrounding your awful experience… can you point me to a post or comment that explains this history?
I agree, at the same time, I can’t let such nonsense go unanswered. So, I will repeat a request made in earlier discussions:
Alan: Can we please have forums? You could put a link in and move posts that are only marginally relevant (e.g. dtaylor’s and sid’s posts and my responses) to a new thread, where the tangential discussion could continue for those interested. If there is a technical difficulty with true forums, perhaps a pseudo forum: create a stub article and attach the posts to that?
In the below referenced material, I was just a tourist wandering in the wrong area at the wrong time. Part of a larger group of friends exploring an open-air market, I stopped to admire some beautiful, handcrafted articles. As I conversed with the artisan about purchasing some of her wares, a drunken man knocked me into the women’s stand. Trying not to fall, I accidentally hit her with my elbow, which resulted in her crying out in pain. Without warning I was surrounded by some very dark and very angry faces. I was only able to say “Hey guys…” before a fist bloodied my nose. I was dragged off the street into an alley and beaten unconscious. The rest is related in the following links.
Thanks, Radiatidon. Such a harrowing tale; I’m very sorry for what you’ve suffered. As Kalliste said:
Regarding PJMurphy’s interesting comments about the relativity of morality, it seems that there is quite a bit of current research into the “science of morality”, as explained in the article The Moral Instinct: “Moral intuitions are being drawn out of people in the lab, on Web sites and in brain scanners, and are being explained with tools from game theory, neuroscience and evolutionary biology“. It’s quite long, but very interesting.
No, you were misdirecting. And failing to use facts or logic. What fact did you offer?
Your “power” argument is pointless, as “power” can be perceived in any number of ways. It would certainly be a show of “power” to go the glass route, and the fear generated from such a display of “power” would, itself” generate additional “power.” Your “perpetual war/power” scenario pales in comparison to the “power” a swift and decisive victory would have generated. And your “financial gain/power” scenario is merely speculation, as I explained, and not based in facts.
So, you were making a point that someone else had no point by having no defensible point yourself? Interesting strategy.
Yes, rhetorical questions tend to be silly and transparent. They have no use in reasoned dialogue, unless you want to be snarky or provocative. Most people try to claim they are nonpartisan. Few achieve it. I don’t need to look at opinion polls, though, as you are simply too transparent.
Just because you don’t know where the money is, doesn’t mean it is unknown.
Yes, a Republican, who to this day has incredibly high approval ratings. Since you felt the need to note he was a Republican (which, presumably, everyone knows), it would seem that you aren’t just someone who doesn’t like Bush, but someone who doesn’t like Republicans. Fair enough, but any hope of you putting forth the illusion that you are not partisan is effectively gone, in my opinion.
Oh, I did not realize “evil” is the only “morally weighted” word. I guess it’s OK to say “evil” on occasion, then, just not too frequently. I work in the world of politics (and own a TV), so I probably have a better grasp of how both sides use emotional rhetoric (or “morally weighted” words, if you prefer) to further their agenda. Both sides are generally wrong when they do so, but someone with partisan feelings might obviously take more offense when the other side uses them.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you forming an opinion on one side of this debate. But to claim there is no debate is simply wrong.
It took a matter of minutes to come up with this. Few say global warming doesn’t exist. Many dispute that it is caused by the actions of humans. It may be, but there is still an active debate, regardless of how you wish to deny it.
But the real point you evaded was the claim that those who deny man’s responsibility are villified by the other side. That’s what dtaylor was saying. It’s true, and you attacked him for telling the truth.
There is no “fact” that Lindsey was fired because of his prediction. The “fact” is that he was gone shortly after. You, and certainly others, have simply come to a conclusion as to the reason. To quote from “Princess Bride,” I don’t think you know what that word (fact) means. Oh, and since most people seem to think the “Surge” has worked, to this point, then I guess Bush was right to fire those generals, if that’s why he did it.
That’s not the discussion, but another nice attempt at misdirection. I never said “the quagmire was not predictable,” nor did dtaylor. Try to stay on topic.
Nobody said you are an extremist. You questioned dtaylor’s statement about how some extremists call those who wish to drill for oil animal killers. They do that, even if you don’t, but you were itching for a written confrontation. As for your question, nope.
He implied nothing of the sort. You inferred. Your proposal may, indeed, lead to lower taxes. But that has nothing to do with what dtaylor said. He said when people rail against taxes, the natural response from some is to imply they hate kids and the elderly. That is oftn true, and I see it happen all the time. Again, stay on topic.
1) Becoming a citizen should be difficult. Since you don’t know what my mother went through, however, you really have no point. Knowing what it takes to become a citizen of other industrialized countries, however, U.S. citizenship is generally far easier.
2)Ah, so it’s expensive and may not work, so don’t bother. Then again, it may help. Then again, nobody said anything about the border wall. If your solution is to just open the borders, then you are in a distinct minority. Most people (even those who don’t like Bush, like you) want to see immigration reformed, predominantly to go after illegal immigration.
Again, it might not work, so why bother trying? A rather defeatist (no, not pragmatic) attitude. As for folks looking for a better life, go through the proper channels, and that’s fine. Or maybe look at ways of improving their country so life there is just as good as it is here.
And much of the time they are not. Again, the point dtaylor was making was that no matter what the intentions, folks who talk about immigration reform are regularly labeled as racist with no basis in fact.
No you weren’t. American citizens will do the same jobs, and have for some time. In fact, some are losing their jobs because there is a labor force that will do it cheaper. Why pay minimum wage or higher when you can pay someone here illegally far less? And are they also consumers? To a certain extent. But a lot of that money also goes back to their home country, which would generally not be the case if the job were being done by a citizen.
Yes, YOUR emphasis. It’s not an Us v. Them argument, in the sense you wish to craft it. It’s a Legal v. Illegal argument. Two reasons already stated, and many more that deal with economics and overall global improvement. It’s not racism, although I can appreciate if it makes you feel better if it is.
Never saw a single fact in your diatribe against dtaylor. Just unsubstantiated claims and fallacies. Still not sure if you’re the pot or the kettle.
I haveen’t ignored or misunderstood a thing. I’ve pretty much got you figured out, and it didn’t take much effort. You are very prolific in your use of misdirection. you’re just not very good at it.
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. You just may not be paying close enough attention.
This feud will soon escalate into an attempt to destroy the legacy of Bill Clinton. That will get interesting. Buy a TV if you want to watch.
Again, I haven’t ignored anything. I’ve covered your statements, disputed and dispelled them, and pointed out where you have tried to use misdirection to get off topic.
I would expect you to stand by what you wrote. You offered nothing more than opinions, conjecture, partisanship, and thinly-veiled insults. Those can’t really be disproven, since they are all a matter of your perspective. Unless you change your perspective, then I expect you to continue to stand by what you wrote. But you are still, at virtually every turn of this discussion, wrong. In my opinion.
sid: since you seem to have trouble identifying facts, I am going to put an extra label “(fact)” next to some of the more obvious facts, for easy identification.
You are failing to point out where I was misdirecting. I was using plain logic. dtaylor made an assertion, that if GWB were a psychopath he would have turned Afghanistan into a glass parking lot, I demonstrated that there was a gaping hole in that logic.
My “financial gain/power” scenario is speculation?!?!
President Bush is the most powerful president in history: he has gained the right to declare war from congress (fact, presscue), arrogated the right to send prisoners to gitmo with no Habeas Corpus, including American citizens (fact, nytimes), he has been illegally phone-tapping on a massive scale (fact, bbc), he has the right to declare martial law and suspend elections in an emergency he himself is allowed to define (fact, Defense Budget bill PL 109-364, provision “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies”, passed in Oct. 2006). No president in history has had these powers (fact).
It is also fact that his father and friends have been making millions off of his waging war (fact, see the Carlyle Group). Bush himself was required to divest himself of stocks to avoid conflict of interest, but that has not prevented his Daddy from making a mint.
These are facts, not “speculation”. The “glass parking lot” is speculation.
I think my statements stand for themselves.
I was wrong. It isn’t a hundred million dollars a day that is missing, only 5 to 15 million (fact, nytimes).
You are conveniently ignoring the point that I was making: Republicans use morally weighted words more. So of course, it is relevant that Reagan is a Republican. How could it not be relevant when you cite him as a counter-example? He is a further example!
You are deliberately playing stupid. I repeat: if you can think of a better (objective measure), please present it!
You and dtaylor are right, many are villified for denying global warming.
May I point out that if you actually read the first link, it states that there is a consensus among climate scientists that global warming is caused by human activity and cites multiple sources (fact), and that the only debate is in some segments of the U.S. (fact). The other two links are to partisan organizations (fact).
So, Lindsey was fired for some other reason? Probably because he had BO.
The surge has worked? So, people aren’t being killed on a daily basis anymore?
We’ve lost 9 more soldiers since the weekend (fact). Killings are down, but very far from gone, and we cannot maintain this troop strength for long (fact).
Excuse me, you and dtaylor were arguing for the Iraq war. So, if you are saying it is irrelevant that a quagmire was predictable, that is saying you are for the quagmire, the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and the deaths of our service men and women (currently at 3940). All so that Saddam Hussein could be removed from power.
I didn’t think you could possibly be for such a thing, and so thought that the predictions were relevant. Please, excuse me if I was wrong.
Fine: we agree, that some people on both sides are over-the-top partisan. If you stop claiming to be right because there are people on the left who are wrong (known as the straw man argument), then we can drop it.
I don’t know precisely what your mother went through, but if it is more than 10 years ago, then it was a lot easier than it is now. I know a few people who have immigrated and some who are trying to now. I currently live in Germany, and I know it is tough to get into Germany, but still not as tough as it is to immigrate to the U.S. today. (I don’t have time to look it up right now – but my personal anecdotal evidence is pretty strong).
My own stance is that we need to reform immigration to make it easier: then those few who still take the illegal route will stick out and be easier to catch.
As I said above: if we make it easier for those who are just looking for a better life, then there will be far fewer who will take the illegal route and it will be easier to catch those who do. I think that would be much more effective than building a useless wall.
The point was and remains, that those most interested in “tightening immigration” are, in fact, racists (fact, publicgood.org).
Okay, I concede the point. Some jobs are taken and not replaced by high-end jobs. The solution is still to make legal immigration easier: then they are citizens and can demand minimum wage.
The citizen watch groups and others pushing hardest for “immigration reform” are racist. Does it make you feel better to imagine that they are not?
If you saw no facts, then you weren’t looking. No wonder I had to repeat myself so much.
I stand by my words.
Hmmm. It looks like the tiff might actually turn into a feud. Note that the article is dated January 30, my post was January 29 (fact).
If you weren’t ignoring things, why did I have to repeat myself so much?
Aside from the fact that this entire discussion is offtopic, I have not been offtopic with respect to dtaylor’s post.
Your summary is, itself, a perfect example of what you accuse me of.
Let me see if I can simplify things for you (he said, tongue-in-cheek). Nothing in your previous posts are “facts.” I’ll take care of the “facts” you NOW are including, but that will not change the actual fact that you supplied no facts in your initial response to dtaylor (just partisan, regurgitated vitriol), and the “facts” you have since supplied, by and large, are not actual facts. Mostly opinion, speculation, and the occasional anecdotal reference.
You exposed no “gaping hole” in anyone’s logic. You merely offered another speculative opinion that supports your anti-Bush agenda. dtaylor offered an opinion as to why the partisan slap at Bush/Cheney was unwarranted, and you responded with a weak counterargument that was, and is, unsupported by facts. I, in turn, pointed to other arguments as to how Bush, if he were truly just seeking power, could have better achieved those results. If you think the protracted war argument carries more weight than the swift victory argument, then you have a serious lack of understanding regarding the global political climate. Just an opinion, but certainly supportable by looking at the theories without your anti-Bush myopia.
Your misdirection was when you decided to reject the “glass parking lot” scenario by not even considering the idea that such action would increase his power by striking absolute fear into other countries. You then continued the misdirection by suggesting a scenario to support the Bush-bashing that is not supported by facts. I explained that in a previous post, but to refresh, the financial gain scenario must be supported by documentation showing reallocation of investments that would indicate there was not heavy investment in defense-related corporations prior to the war, but there was leading up to it. You would then need to show that those investments were focused in the areas that showed remarkable profit, as opposed to those that did not. What you failed to mention is that conservatives tend to believe in a strong military, and likely invest in corporations that rely on military contracts. Heck, most people know that such investments are often times, even in times of peace, quite profitable. Your argument has no merit because it cannot be proven, thus, it is merely your opinion, and, again, unsupported by facts.
Yes, it is. See above.
So many corrections, so little time. Anyway, Bush most powerful in history? That’s an opinion, not a fact. It all depends on how you define power. The war in Iraq has weakened his standing in most parts of the world, which greatly diminishes his power. Same at home.
Bush has not “gained the right to declare war from Congress.” First, in this context, Presidents have power, not rights. Rights are reserved to the people. Second, the proposal to which you refer is being suggested to restrict ANY President (obviously geared towards Bush right now) from engaging in ANY military action against Iran. Not all situations, just Iran. Furthermore, the Constitution merely says formal declarations of war must be made by Congress. Technically, we are not at war with Iraq, we are involved in a military action. And this was with Congressional approval. In contrast, Harry Truman put us in Korea without Congressional approval. In fact, Wikepedia states there have been at least 125 occasions when a US President has taken military action without Congressional approval. Nothing new here, so, not a fact (or, perhaps, just irrelevent).
Habeas Corpus? Suspended by Lincoln during the Civil War, and by Grant in the 1870s. Lincoln did it in response to riots, militia action, and under pressure from some generals to rein in “Copperheads,” who were Democrats opposed to the war. His suspension was struck down in court, but he ignored the ruling. Grants actions were in response to KKK activities.
In ’42, the Supreme Court ruled unlawful combatant saboteurs could be denied Habeus Corpus. In ’96, Congress passed, and Clinton signed, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which set certain limitations on HC. So, again, this isn’t uncharted territory. A “fact,” perhaps, but irrelevent.
Phone tapping is a touchy subject for many, but what the Bush Administration has been doing has yet to be declared “illegal,” so, not a “fact.” Other Presidents may very well have done the same (yes, I know, just speculation), and certainly they all had the power to do so. It would be up to the courts to determine the legality of such action, and up to now, they have not rendered a decision. Again, no “fact,” here.
PL 109-364 was passed by Congress, and gives all Presidents from this point on the same power (not right). It is new to Bush, true, but not exclusive to him, and was passed by a Congress controlled by the Democrats. Yes, this, indeed, is a fact, but is still irrelevent. By your arguments I infer (see, that’s the word to use) you mean to imply (again, proper use) that this action was somehow secretive, nefarious, and intended to benefit Bush, and Bush alone. In fact, it was done under full public scrutiny, and all Presidents from this point on will have the same power, unless it gets repealed. Again, factual, but irrelevent and unsupportive of your arguments.
Yes, the Carlyle Group is an investment firm making money. There are many like it. Yes, former-President Bush was an advisor, is not now, and is likely profiting from ALL of the investments in which Carlyle is involved. Yes, current-President Bush was on the Board, but left in ’92 to run for Gov. of Texas. Yes, Carlyle has many military investments, the bulk of which were acquired in ’97. These are, indeed, facts. Your conclusion, however, is specious, at best. I guess in ’92, Bush knew he’d be Pres. one day, and get us involved in military actions, so he quit the Board. Then, in ’97, this cabal of nefarious operators knew Bush would be elected in ’00, and get the U.S. involved in military actions, so it started amassing military investments. I think your foil may be wrapped a little tight.
Some facts, but mostly irrelevent, as I’ve carefully explained. Ultimately, your “most powerful president in history” statement is just your opinion, and pretty unsupportable.
Yes, they stand as a bunch of opinions based on your dislike of Bush, not on any real or relevent facts.
You’ve been wrong on so many levels, it’s nice to see you finally acknowledge it once. Oil missing? Yes, a fact. Bush responsible or somehow involved (at least, that seems to be what you are implying)? Not a fact. Point of mentioning it? Unknown, but probably so you can be provocative. “Ohhh, there’s oil missing. Bush doesn’t know where it is. What could that mean?” Translation, you are trying to implicate Bush as either being corrupt or incompetent to promote your anti-Bush agenda. Not very creative or insightful. Missing oil could be because of sabotage, theft, mistakes in accounting, a combination of these posibilities, or some other unkown reason/s. But the issue is being investigated, not ignored.
I have yet to ignore a single point you have made. In fact, I specifically countered your point by stating BOTH SIDES use “morally weighted” words. You pointed solely to the use of the word “evil” as an example, which is obviously not the only example. I mentioned Reagan’s use of the word to show that it is not new to the public discourse. And he’s still quite popular, so any flak he may have received from liberals obviously didn’t do much. On the other hand, you even cited Clinton as using the word. And I can guarantee FDR used the word a few times leading up to and during WWII. I know you support Ds over Rs, but I was making sure others who may be reading this exercise in futility would clearly understand that, so they can weigh your opinions accordingly. Let me be clear on this. Both sides use “morally weighted” words, and with regular frequency.
I’m not playing anything, I just ignored a tragically flawed attempt at some sort of objective measure. You want a better formula? Take a random sampling of Ds and Rs holding public office. Era and office is not specifically important, but they should match (e.g., 10 Ds and Rs holding similar offices from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, etc.). Then, come up with a list of “morally weighted” words. Then, take speeches made by the folks in the sample and do a simple comparison. There, that is a far superior measure than your simplistic Bush v. Clinton State of the Union “evil” paradigm.
Ah, an actual admission that we are right. And only after bludgeoning you over the head ad nauseum with actual facts and reason. Who would have thought?
You may, as I did. But you are wrong. What the link states is that proponents of the man-made theory are claiming consensus. Those who disagree, and there are many outside the U.S., say there is not. Multiple sources expressing disagreement are also cited. As for your dismissal of the other links, partisan in what way? Are they partisan becasue they disagree that global warming in man-made? If that’s the case, then I guess thos who support the man-made theory are also partisan. If your partisan tag is based on something else (perhaps some actual facts?), then feel free to elaborate.
Cute, but irrelevent.
Well, if it is your position that the only definition of success for the surge is a complete eradication of all hostilities and casualties, then no, it has not worked, But that’s not what people either expected or promised. It has worked to reduce violence, which was its goal. Even war critics have agreed that it has worked. The media has agreed that it has worked. Only the extremists from the anti-war movement disagree, and come up with such clever ads as “General Betray-us.” I guess I know where you stand.
Sustainable, though, it’s not intended to be. In fact, because of the success there is talk of drawing down troop numbers.
Again, you are wrong on so many levels it boggles the mind. Where, exactly, did I argue for the war? I merely pointed out flaws in your anti-Bush/anti-war arguments. That is not the same as being for the war. I just don’t like to see someone bluster illogically, while accusing someone else of doing the same. For the record, I support the actions in Afghanistan, along with the reasons to go in, and support the actions in Iraq, but don’t necessarily think we needed to go in. In other words, we are there now, so let’s do what needs to be done to stabilize the country, get it on its feet, and get out. If you cannot see the difference between that and supporting the war from the get-go, then you are either not very smart, or far too partisan to get it. I guess in response to your juvenile quagmire comment, I will respond with, oh, so I guess you support Saddam torturing and executing innocent civilians.
I didn’t say I was right because those on the other side use inflamatory rhetoric. I said dtaylor was right with his examples of inflammatory rhetoric. He didn’t say the other side does not do the same thing. He simply said he’s sick of being hit with inflammatory rhetoric when he states a view with which extremists on the other side disagree. I’ve said numerous times both political parties use “morally weighted” words. I presumed you understood that to also mean both sides of any issue have extremists that do the same. Again, i was defending the specific examples cited, which you attacked. I’m just happy to see that you finally agree with me and dtaylor.
Yeah, I’ve got some pretty solid anecdotal evidence, too. Again, from my experience (through others and media reports), it’s easier to become a U.S. Citizens than it is most other industrialized nations. If you want to try to prove me wrong, then I guess you need to find the time.
A valid opinion, but one with which I tend to disagree. I say keep it as is, get harder on the illegals, and maybe work to make the other countries from where the illegals are coming better so there won’t be such a strong desire to “escape.” Logically, wouldn’t that help make the whole world a better place?
Again, wall isn’t the only solution, but it may have some merit. I guess we’ll see. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell its effectiveness, since you cannot really tell how many it has stopped. You can look at estimates of how many illegals came across before, and how many after, but how accurate are those numbers, really? Anyway, like I said, keep the rules the same and crack down on the illegals.
Um, I hate to burst your bubble, but Public Good is a left-wing network. It is extremely partisan, starkly anti-right-wing (and, of course, anti-Bush, who is actually softer on immigration than most on the right), and certainly very supportive of an open-borders policy. Of course it’s going to say that most people who want to tighten immigration are racist. It helps its cause. That doesn’t make it true, or a fact, though.
Glad for the concession, and again, I disagree with your conclusion, but we’ve covered that
Some may be. I don’t belong to, or support, any that are (any that aren’t, either, as I express my views directly to my elected representatives). And the groups pushing hardest against immigration reform are mostly far-left, socialist organizations. They are anti-big business, anti-Bush (not sure why, though, since he’s much softer on immigration than am I), anti-military, anti-gun, etc. So what? We’ve already established that virtually every side of every political or social issue has extremists.
Again, you haven’t offered much in the way of facts. Some now, but mostly irrelevent to the discussion, but previous posts have been remarkably devoid of facts. Again, quoting Princess Bride, I do not think you know what that word (fact) means.
As was expected. You would have to change your actual opinions to recant any of the opinions you have offered.
Finally, a relevent fact. Yes, this article was published after your posting. I guess you are unaware of the months of back-and-forth between the two candidates. Nasty little stuff, like a Clinton staffer bringing up Obama’s admitted youthful drug use, and the links to Clinton staffers of an e-mail trying to promote the misconception that Obama is a muslim, and some sort of Manchurian Candidate. Again, buy that TV, or read the news more carefully. This has been going on for some time.
Because you were either unable to see I addressed your points, and firmly disputed them, or unwilling to admit so. And actually, you didn’t really repeat yourself so much as offer new opinions/arguments with each new post, then claim you posted facts where none existed, then offer facts that were either not factual or not relevent to the discussion.
Yes, you have. dtaylor’s post was a complaint about the response of excessive, negative rhetoric whenever certain issues were raised. To be completly on-topic would have been to counter his complaint with proof it doesn’t happen. You didn’t. Closer to on-topic would have been to defend the rhetoric. You did in some ways (immigration reform=racism). But where you really jumped off track was when you tried to use dtaylor’s posting as a forum for airing your anti-Bush, anti-war, pro-man-made global warming views. Throwing in anti-war reference in response to the social spending issue? Off-topic. Drilling for oil response? Unnecessary, irrellevent, and basically pointless.
No, I have been meticulously on-topic, and trying desperately to steer you back to the topics of dtaylor’s post. I’ll grant you that I don’t always offer facts, but I also didn’t claim that I had, or when I did, I actually offered not only facts, but facts relevent to the discussion. Yes, I offer opinions, but generally make it clear they are such. I can be partisan, but my postings have not been partisan in any way. Unless, of course, you feel that defending certain facts and realities is somehow partisan. Just because I dispute your anti-Bush opinions, for example, doesn’t make me pro-Bush. My goal was not to support Bush, but to dispell your baseless, unsupportable allegations. And I would hope any insults I may have included were not thinly-veiled. When I offer an insult, I intend the recipient to know he has been duly insulted. If any were unclear, for that, I most humbly apologize.
okay that is bloody hilarious. how can you not see the humor in this and laugh?
“In most cases the killer was living a fairly normal life until one day something just snapped, or some major event in their lives triggered them to go out and commit violent acts. So, isn’t every clinical psycopath potentially dangerous under the right circumstances?”
“until something just snapped”
rings close to the truth. Think about it every day they live a lie, they play a game, they hide who they are in the shadows so as not to ruin everything, they have to supress their natural urges. this takes and enourmas amount of effort and to do it every day. constantly you are forced to hide and put a show. the game pays off at times. for it is a wonderful thrill to play with peoples minds and live life as a game. as a psychopath you do it every day, you have no choice. But only a great man can or a dead man can do it forever. The only way out is death, be physical or internal.
You are either forced to play the game or quit, in order to quit you have to come to face a very touchy matter, you have to abandon the only reason you’ve ever lived, it is the only thing that keeps them alive, the love of the thrill that comes with living, and spinning lies, playing with people, emotion, power, heartlesness. a psychopath loves himself dearly. he is the only that matters in his mind. it is a highly internal struggle, the strain is constant and the veil is only skin deep sometimes they cannot handle it and they do just snap.
sid: I have a life to live and can no longer afford to spend hours answering your specious arguments. If you want to deceive yourself, go to it. I doubt you’re fooling anyone here who doesn’t want to be deceived.
Yes, when hopelessly overmatched, the best course of action is to beat a hasty retreat. I really don’t believe you choose to no longer respond, I believe you see that you simply are unable to rise to the level I have set as the standard in this discussion. Not sure what has changed in your life that leads you to abandon your quixotic cause, but perhaps you simply no longer have the stomach for promoting your partisan ideology when faced with a superior opponent. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
But I do appreciate your holier-than-thou perspective. Yes, I must be desperately trying to “deceive” myself because I actually believe your pointless, inaccurate ramblings have somehow found a morsel of truth. You must know me so well.
Just try to keep your partisan views either to yourself, or make sure they are at least supportable (so far, not) and (most importantly) on topic, and we’ll get along just fine. When you stick to subject matter you actually understand, you do just fine, so my unsolicited advice to you is to stick to those areas. Otherwise, I’m sure we’ll go round and round again, in the future. Which, of course, is fine with me. I love a good dialogue, even when it seems otherwise pointless.
The readers here aren’t likely to be “fooled” by either of our views. They will probably review the dialogue and see who actually makes salient points. I’ve disputed and dispelled, rather effectively, every one of your “facts,” which may not convince some that my views are correct, but have probably led some to cast some serious doubts as to your ability to support your anti-Bush cause. Unfortunately, you may also have to bolster unrelated posts with real research and actual facts, since some may simply openly question everything you say, now that you have shown your inability to defend your positions.
That said, I say good day to you, sir.
sid: I can and have adequately defended every position. I simply have a life to live beyond bickering with a partisan such as yourself.
I work more than 40 hours a week (I’m a programmer), I have a bathroom that I’m redoing, I’m learning Chinese, visiting friends, practicing guitar. I don’t have time to write responses for several hours every evening (it takes time to “boil things down” to short salient arguments). Anybody who reads our respective posts can make up their own mind, and I’m happy with that.
Good day to you too, sir.
This discussion got really lame after someone made that crack that Bush was a psychopath. I’m sure there are better places to have in-depth political discussions than on this article.
As someone else pointed out, Data has ethical programming based on Asimov’s laws of robotics (not to harm a human, not to allow harm to come to a human through his inaction, and to avoid harm to himself as long as this does not clash with the first two laws – though I suppose for the Star Trek universe you have to include something like ‘for human, read also Vulcan, Klingon, Bajoran, etc’). His elder brother Lore lacks such programming and does appear to behave psychopathically in a number of cases, and to influence Data to behave similarly when he manages to hack his ethical programming.
His confusion about human emotion, though, does not appear to be a psychopathic trait, because he is very interested in normal emotion and would like to understand and experience it – he clearly sees it as valuable and important. Data is a character that many high-functioning autistics and Aspergians identify with, because he is aware that the way other people think and feel is valid, and that it would be helpful to understand it, while also being aware that it is very different from the way his own mind functions. In fact, in the episodes in which Lore is able to manipulate Data to behave like himself, he achieves this by bribing him with emotional stimuli.
And in any case… he is a made up android in a pretend story about space exploration.
Gee, it only takes me a short time to pick your stuff apart. Not sure why it takes you hours, but since it does, I guess I understand. My job, raising a two-year-old, remodeling my kitchen, visiting friends (doesn’t everyone do that?), and all the other random personal stuff is a little time-consuming, too. But if I were going to start blasting someone with partisan rhetoric, as you did dtaylor, I’d be sure to make the time to defend my comments. But noting the weakness of your positions, again, I understand you losing the taste for such endeavors. Most people who throw partisan jabs just because they think they have the opportunity to get away “clean” tend to follow the same course as have you. Blast, defend/misdirect weakly if confronted, then quit when it’s clear you are in over your head.
I guess your opening statement kind of boils this whole discussion down succinctly. Just settling for “adequate” has never been my thing, but if that’s what works for you, so be it. I guess that’s pretty obvious when one compares our arguments. I’d suggest you haven’t even reached the level of “adequate,” but that’s a horse that’s been ridden into the ground.
I said, GOOD DAY!
(1) A robot must not harm a human or, through inaction, allow a human to come to harm.
(2) A robot must obey humans’ orders, except where this would conflict with the First Law.
(3) A robot must protect its own existence, except where this would conflict with the First or Second Law.
sid: ROFL! You just have to have the last word, so you can maintain the illusion that you’ve “won”.
If that interpretation makes you feel better, then so be it. Realistically, though, somebody always has to have the last word. The fact that you continue to make comments and offer your personal opinions (yes, that’s a fact) simply means that I can choose to address them or choose to ignore them. I choose to address them. If that amuses you, then I’m happy to amuse you.
Ultimately, though, the very same opinion you offer of me can be said of you. You have abandoned the dialogue, claiming you don’t have the time, yet you curiously have the time to try to get in the last word, in a weak attempt to create the “illusion” you have somehow managed to make a point. But you cannot simply take your ball and go home if I won’t allow you to, which seems to cause you as much frustration as failing to gain any traction in the original discussion. Now that’s funny. In my opinion.
How damn interesting! couldn’t read all the comments thoroughly but feel much better now. would think of myself as a desperate psychopath but for the sense of humor. really fascinating how information changes the world! the article is a most curios stuff, the test is much fun and the endless discussion is just a thrill. have examined myself by 8 types of psychopathy described in wikipedia and each is to some extent about me…to the extent I want it to be about me))) that is definetely the case! what I mean is that as long as such terms (note TERMS not phenomena) exist there will always be psychos and schizos among us. call it Big fear (as with Castaneda), or social epidemic, or whatever. just a few points to think over.
the first one. how long has that branch of psychology dealing with psychopaths existed? is “psychopath” is just a more general term for a number of types of antisocial behaviour, or the hole classification is to rationalize the irrational, to spot the extremes? does “normal” mean “lacking psychopathy at all” or “to some extent”? so to what extent and what if the extents are not unified worldwide? sorry, just a bit of Dostoyebsky may be. psychopaths are humans too, most of them are not in jails, some may be quite nice people, a few might be well-known genius (have just read Richard Brenson’s book), so who are the rest then?
the second one. the so called normal people. i think i’m quite normal though my ex-girlfriend thinks otherwise (note i’m from Russia and some things may sound overexaggerated but basically we aren’t considered normal as a whole). if you take the east that is generally “abnormal” to the west but still constituting the most part of population – is it a psychopathic civilization? if we take only clinical cases – are there any surveys revealing the trends among developed and developing countries and the real numbers of the “psychopathically abused” in both? i don’t think there is any difference in “abused minds” among races but cultures do make psychopaths different, i’m sure. perhaps it’s a norm somewhere.
the third. is not it a social disease? there’s so much of aggression, depression and other inadequate (or adequate?) states within the society – is a psychopath the most vulnerable then or The Untouchable one? i wonder, what would “computer nerds” think of the whole stuff. don’t think they need society in it’s present form any more. moreover – they are the society of the future, decentralized and virtual. am i wrong? if i were a high IQ psychopath – i would prefer to surf into the web than walk zombie-like in a consumers’ world))) beter create my own))) there seems to be some kind of double standard in psychopath definition. the victim of genetic misfortune, social disbalance or mere rumours (people say, you know) or a drop-out individual with disproportioned values? who cares in the web and why not make if the fame?
The last one. just a bit of humor. the life here in Russia is a lethal dyagnosis – but it’s also a treatment. hope we don’t have that many self-made psychiatrists so far)))the analysis, you know, has always ended on the bottom of the bottle. make fun and take care)))
Right. I’ll do you for that!
What are you going to do, bleed on me?
You’re a looney.
The Black Knight always triumphs! Have at you! Come on, then.
[ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT’s last leg off]
Oh? All right, we’ll call it a draw.
Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off!
I would like to point out that this site is AWESOME. The articles are excellent and entertaining to read because they truly are Damn Interesting, while peppered with witty humor. I read the entire comment section, which are always insightful and on par with the article. (btw is would be about 95 pages printed!).
Sid: You lost, this is my view and the view of my brother and two friends at work. Who all enjoyed this article and more so your comments. You’re and rather good debater, but your view of the world is askew. (Don’t bother responding as I will not be checking back, for a long time anyway, as I assume you will)
We need a forum for comments like mine
Thanks again Christopher for a great article!
“Spanning all cultures and eras, roughly one man in every 100 is born a clinical psychopath, as well as one woman in every 300.”
Finally, proof that men are more psychotic than women!
Upon answering the questions on the “detector” test/quiz, my ex-boyfriend was right on the mark! He was diagnosed bi-polar in prison. When he skipped out for the 2nd time (yes, I was stupid) he left me in debt for almost 20K again. He was/is so intellegent and a real Fox. In the course of our relationship he would tell me of the smoozing, bilking and hurt he had created right down to his own mother! To my amazement and belief that he was reformed, he FOXED me and my family too. He knows the deep pain he had caused but could care less.
After completing the Psychopath Detector Test, I have come to the conclusion that I am a psychopath………..or maybe just ADHD!!
This is my first time on this site, so my first post. I read several articles, and this one grabbed me right away. How early can the symptons be detected? I have a 9-year-old son, diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. I don’t think any of his doctors or therapists have really dealt with his real issues. He just doesn’t care. He honestly believes that he doesn’t have to follow rules, they don’t apply to him. He enjoys picking fights and pestering, then tries to get the other person in trouble. He never considers consequences for any of his actions, because he doesn’t think there will be any. He flat out lies just to see the other persons reaction. He doesn’t seem to have any honest emotions except anger. It’s almost like you can see him watching to see my reaction when he cries. It feels like, he’s not really sad or hurt, he just wants to see how I’d react if he was sad. It seems faked or forced. I’m not really sure how to explain it, and no one else sees it.
I filled out the questionaire with him in mind, and I was frightened with the results. How can I tell if this in a genuine concern, or not? I can’t get any of his doctors to hear me, they think I’m over-reacting. But, frankly, I know him better than they do.
Gosh the last time I killed a fly I felt horrible.
Funny, I read this article and thought it pretty much described many corporate professional in America and the UK…
I am a teacher in a fairly large high school and have encountered many disturbed children (as many of you know that the cases of mental illness in children as risen considerably without sure reason), and I have seen one sure fire case of a socipath. The child is an American citizen but his mother is here illegally, she is a fine woman and a caring mother. She told the child that he could not go to a party therefore called immigration to deport his mother, she was deported and he simply did not care. When something like this occurs the child is placed in foster care and of course a check into his living situation and no abuse was found. The child gave no explanation or care and doesn’t mind foster care and all seems relative to him. On thursday of last week was his last misbehavior, that I am aware of, and he was impersonating school officials through the phone to get his friends out of class not because they wanted to leave ( it was pizza day, the only reason) but because he was bored and could care less about others wants or needs. He is interesting to watch and very little can be done for him now especially because his mother is not there to request testing. Sad but I am not sure even treatable.
Geez….I’m now positive that my ex-husband is a psychopath. He definitely meets all the criteria. Very interesting article.
I am a department manager for a small factory. Recently I was given a new hire to train in my department. In the 3 short months he has been with us he has gone on a personal attack with everyone in the department even to the point of getting one person fired by lying. Since I am “lower management” I am not included in hiring or firing although I work on the shop floor side by side with the workers. Training takes 2 months so I had ALOT of one on one with this guy and got to know him pretty well….He is such a psychopath its not even funny. Now that he is out of training I see him run from office to office spouting such carisma and BS to suck up it would make you vomit. Since he has already succeeded in lying and getting someone in the department terminated, I fear for the welfare of all of us. I see how the “uppers” are falling for his manipulative ways and he has made it clear he will do what it takes to get to the top.
I know most of us have had to deal with people like this at some point in our lives but this one is a real booger. He recently let me in on the fact that he was just released from prison after 10 years for grand larceny even though he was adopted as a baby by a doctor and obviously comes from money. 10 years and hes not even 30 yet. This only drives home the fact he is a true and serious psychopath.
In my opinion a psychopath going into prison at the age of 18 for 10 years is only going to help him fine tune his psychopathic ways. It is PRISON after all. So now I am seeing the results of this and frankly I am terrified and open to advise! Talking to the “uppers” is not the way to go, this will appear as I am “picking” on him and will also put me in his crosshairs.
So, any advice, Ill take it, prayers and good wishes too…LOL
Jiliu I really liked your post, it does sound like the character of House. I never knew that Pschopathy is what it really is. I though it only applied to serial killers and movie monsters.
From my knowledge I do believe that if we fallow Sigmund Freud’s point of view about humans having the id(unconscious desires such as killing someone or torturing someone), the ego(putting the desires of the unconscious into a more realistic and moral action) and finally the super ego(the standard behaviour in society and only doing what is right) we will understand psychopaths a lot more.
Now the point I want to make is that I believe psychopaths develop such a detatchment of emotions because as children they were never taught the difference between right or wrong. At birth till a couple years into life, infants only think that life is all about them, they will do what they want because they want. At one point, through the help of the development of the ego and the super ego thanks to society basis and morals from their parents, they learn that others have feelings and doing good for others is part of life. When a child isnt exposed to such an environment, they stay stuck in their “id”. And so what is naturally unconscious for us and buried deep inside, becomes their conscious, their reality therefore to them their actions arent considered bad.
I believe that psychopaths are not the villains, however the victims of our world.
I think psychopaths are a product of our society. America is a psychopath-egocentric, charming, the list goes on. In a country like America there is no wonder we have a lot of psychopaths. We breed and raise them to be.
I agree :)
Definitely. Sid, sorry, you lose. I choose to pay more attention to posters who can make their arguments without resorting to insults, name-calling, snide personal attacks, and otherwise simple asshattery. You lose, Sid.
Wh44 – well done.
So Bill Clinton is a psychopath?
Look at the detector:
Superficially charming; “silver-tongued”
Self-absorbed and egocentric
Easily bored, in need of constant stimulation
Lies habitually (please refrain from lying presently)
Manipulative; a swindler
Remorseless; rationalizes wrongdoings or is outright indifferent to them
It’s rather troubling, if you think about it. A charming liar is bad enough, but a charming psycho is worrisome.
Yes, I’m going to get blasted as being political, but seriously, look at his past behavior, his treatement of women, his propensity to lie and think about it?
This is my first time on the site, and damn interesting it is. After reading beartiger’s post on Ayn Rand, I feel compelled to write a reply that perhaps can offer another suggestion on the subject of psychopaths and the way we view the issue.
Ayn Rand’s philsophy and ethics, it can be argued (and has been argued), contains a lot of holes in reasoning and logic that have essentially rendered it discredible. I would think that psychopaths, with their higher IQ and overabundant capacity for reason and logic, would find themselves locating the failures and weaknesses of Objectivism rather than aligning with the argument. Many have argued that it is the persona of Rand and Objectivism that people subscribe to, moreso than the actual argument. A good (fictional) exposure of this is Mary Gaitskill’s “Two Girls, Fat and Thin.”
Instead of Rand, consider Foucault. Whether or not one agrees with his arguments, they are of higher intellectual sophistication, which again I would think that a psychopath with a high IQ would align with more fully.
To pursue Foucault in a more general sense pertaining to this article, I think it’s relevant to bring up his argument that psychiatry and related professions of ‘normality’ have created a structure of social surveillance–we suspect and survey others (“they are so common that every person reading this sentence almost certainly knows one personally”), and we also engage in the act of self-surveillance (“a significant number of readers are likely psychopaths themselves”). Clearly a number of posts have attested to this. Unlike Foucault, I’m not suggesting that this surveillance is entirely wrong–I can certainly see the benefits of identifying those with antisocial characteristics–but I think it’s important to keep in mind the social structure in which we exist, where moral and ethical agreements combined with knowledge toward a marginal group can lead us to make fairly quick judgements and decisions. I think this is why, over time, we have seen paradigm shifts in acceptance of certain ‘marginal’ groups such as slaves, homosexuals, etc. I’m not predicting that psychopaths will some day not be regarded as problematic–I’m just trying to point out that even the concept of ‘normal,’ to which psychopaths are defined in terms of opposition, is mutable.
Just something to think about.
Nice article, but I have to disagree on the characterization of James Bond as a psychopath. While the character as portrayed in the movies may indeed seem to fit the bill perfectly, this is largely a result of the necessary simplification of characterization for the screen. In Ian Fleming’s books (which are paradoxically darker for having a more feeling Bond), Bond is a much more complex character. Fleming frequently examines Bond’s famous drinking and womanizing as a way for him to escape his conscience and “silence the voices of all the people he’s had to kill in the line of duty” (Goldfinger, 1959 – paraphrased from memory). While the movies’ Bond may be easier to portray in ninety minutes, the books give us a character that is tortured by the characteristic definitively absent in a psychopath: a conscience.
This is my first visit to the site and I find an article on one of my favorite subjects! Some excellent books have been mentioned in the comments as additional reading. Another truly great and reader friendly book is “The Sociopath Next Door”. It is written by a Harvard psychiatrist whose name escapes me at the moment.
Funny how these Dr PhDs never dare accuse our own politicians and psychologists by name of being psychopaths and genocidal maniacs. Probably out of fear of losing their own MKULTRA contracts, or winding up strapped to a gurney with electrodes lobotomizing their brains.
“If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, heh heh heh, just so long as I’m the dictator, heh heh heh.” —George Bush Jr, convicted drunk driver, pled guilty to cocaine possession (expunged after diversion, community service and probation), demoted from pilot to mail clerk for AWOL and desertion of Vietnam Wars, sued for rape (plaintiff Margie Shedinger murdered), accused of homosecuality (his dominatrix Leola McConnell is missing and presumed murdered), questioned by police as a suspect in mass murder of a Satanic narco cult in Brownsville/Matamores, built his ranch in Waco/Crawford, currently sued with in federal court under the RICO Act for perpetrating the terrorist massacres on 9/112001, along with accused rapist Dick Cheney (2 DUI convictions). His father George Bush Sr was sued under the RICO Act for narcoterror bombings during Iran-Contra). Along with Bill Blythe III (a/k/a Bill Clinton, bastard son of trillionaire Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller) and lesbian wife Billary Rodomski Clinton (who personally ordered tha massacre of 80 Christians at church in Waco/Crawford), genocided 2.6-million Iraqis and Afghanis (both are former US allies “just following orders” from CIA and MI6). Prescott Bush was Adolf Hitler Shicklegruber Rothschild’s top Nazi in North America, who was arrested 3 times during World War 2 for violating the Trading with the Enemy Act, and paid a $750,000 forfeiture. Then there’s Yale Skull & Bones homosexual Nazi death cult for grave robbers, plus Bohemian Grove where the Bushes and Clinton perform annual “simulated” human sacrifice to a 50-foot-tall idol of Molech/Satan and run around nekked with 3,000 gay men holding each other’s peepees while they weewee.
Is Bush a psychopath? Is poly ticks defined as “many bloodsucking creatures”? Does fluoride lower IQ 20 points in Nazi death camps? Does the pope get sued for pedophilia in Nazi death camps and the Catholic church?
“QKHILLTOP was a cryptonym assigned in 1954 to a project to study Chinese Communist brainwashing techniques and to develop interrogation techniques. Most of the early studies are believed to have been conducted by the Cornell University Medical School Human Ecology Study Programs. The effort was absorbed into the MKULTRA program and the QKHILLTOP cryptonym became obsolete.”
-U.S. Senate Hearing on MKULTRA, Appendix C, QKHILLTOP DEFINITION, 1973
“The concepts involved in manipulating behavior are found by many people both within and outside the Agency to be distasteful and unethical. Nevertheless, there have been major accomplishments both in research and operational employment. Over the ten-year life of the program many additional avenues to the control of human behavior have been designated under the MKULTRA charter, including radiation, electro-shock, and harassment substances. Some activities raise questions of legality implicit in the original charter. A final phase of the testing places the rights and interests of US citizens in jeopardy. Technical Services Division initiated a program for covert testing of materials on unwitting US citizens in 1955. TSD has pursued a philosophy of minimum documentation in keeping with the high sensitivity of the projects. Some files contained little or no data at all. There are just two individuals in TSD who have full knowledge of the MKULTRA program, and most of that knowledge is unrecorded.”
-MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence
FROM: CIA Inspector General, NB 108-113, 26 July 1963
“We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated. The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. This lacks historical perspective. Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electrically control the brain. Some day armies and generals will be controlled by electrical stimulation of the brain.”
-Dr. Jose Delgado, Director of Neuropsychiatry, Yale University Medical School prof and CIA mind control scientist, Congressional Record, No 26, vol 118 February 24th, 1974
My mother fits this description to the tee. I always thought she had narcissistic personality disorder, but I think Psychopath would be closer. This causes distress to state this as I still love her. I realized a few years ago that there is nothing I can do to get her to empathize with hardships I experienced or when things were going exceptionally well (for myself or for anything or anyone else…example is 911…like the article says, she was interested in the “reactions” but never once sympathized with the victims). Its frustrating to be around this and sometimes I just keep my distance when it gets bad.
Imagine a little kid growing up with a parent like this. Yes, I had alot of problems by the time I left home at 17. But, too, I have had to develop my own sense of self worth and give myself the nurturing I did not receive. I feel others pain very deeply. Maybe this is one of the outcomes for growing up with a psychopathic parent…. Maybe there is a term for the complete opposite of psychopaths?
I’m on a pretty clear path now…I’m in my late 40’s. But its been a lifelong journey and struggle to come to terms with a parent like this. She is still up to her same games. Short term friends, manipulating, charming…she really is a fascinating person. Just doesn’t have a consciense.
NPD and psychopathy are not too very different, and both can occur simultaneously. Do NOT try to help these people. They will victimize you, tell everyone you know (especially people who are close to YOU) that you were the perpetrator, rationalize their behavior by explaining to themselves that you deserved it because you should have known better, and blissfully continue about their lives while your’s falls apart. Both of my parents can be categorized as both NPD and psychopathic, and I have avoided them since I was 17, as have my brother and sister. My sister went into counseling with them, and the counselor became so frustrated that she told them to not bother coming back after hearing comments from my parents such as “We take after the kids. It’s their fault we acted like that.” Mind you my sister was 10…
My most recent experience with one of these was a business partner. He was the victim of everyone and everything, and seemed credible enough. His true personality became apparent within a few months -they can’t hold it together for much longer than that. Contrary to his stories, his ex-fiance had left him because he brutally assaulted her and cheated on her, not because she was crazy and jealous. He hadn’t gone into the military earlier in life because he wanted to travel, but because a lenient judge offered him the option of military service over jail after he lost a rape case. And his ex-wife left him because he bilked her out of thousands of dollars and beat her, not because they weren’t getting along…..Luckily, I only lost around $6,000 before I found all of this out, instead of the huge investment I had planned to make. He is now living with a female psychopathic former coworker of mine who was helping him to embezzle from me. I rest assured of their mutual destruction within the next few months, as the two of them will definitely seek to do each other in when the novelty wears off – which it does with NPD and psychopathy after about two hours.
Just stay away from people like this and let the law handle it if necessary. They are very slick because they don’t feel the emotions that cause other people to blow their stacks. They sit back and keep their cool thus appearing to be the victim of crazy, incoherent, angry (and rightfully so) you when you try to confront them. Unless you need the law to help you, just remove yourself from them completely and in whatever way you have to in order to be safe!
As always, opinions vary. I guess you don’t mind posters who misdirect, avoid addressing direct questions, and are generally hypocritical. My guess is you don’t like Bush either, so it’s not surprising you would side with Wh44. Please note, however, that he/she resorted to insults, name-calling, snide personal attacks, and a whole lot of “asshattery.” Personally, I think they add a bit of flavor to these types of informal discussions, but I tend to not fire the first shot. When Wh44 launched his personal attack on dtaylor, that, in my opinion, made her/him fair game for the same. Just remember to try to remove your own partisan filters when reviewing these kinds of discussions. I don’t mind you disagreeing with me, provided you didn’t start off with your mind set as to how you were going to view the discussion from the beginning.
Good advice … it’s interesting that even here people are quick to minimize the possibility that Rook actually has psychopathic traits, which he described in detail with alarming accuracy. Depression does not exclude psychopathy either, by any means. It would be useful to try to find a way to live ethically with these qualities …
Advice: document, document, document! Try and stay out of his sites, and document everything you do and, if possible, what he does. Keep a diary, make photos or photocopies or otherwise record anything that might become important and is legal to do so (depending on circumstances, it may not be legal to copy some company documents). That way, if and when it comes down to his word against yours, you have the evidence to back up what you say.
Best of luck! My prayers are with you.
I joined this site after reading this article just to post my story. I was briefly involved with a psychopath. That is until I was assaulted, without provacation, and he was arrested by the police. The most unnerving part of the assault wasn’t the physical abuse (which was extensive), but the flat look in his eyes while he was doing it. And the way he turned it off, like a light switch, when the police arrived.
I went through a great deal of counseling after the assault. As it was explained to me, by a psychologist who did a clinical rotation with pyschopaths, it is not so much a matter of they can’t feel emotions. They just can’t feel emotions for other people. Which is why they have no concious when it comes to the hurting or killing of another.
As to fitting into society and how it was explained to me, they learn what is called “sham emotions”. In other words, they learn to fake emotions so they can fit into society. Which is why those that don’t fit in are considered failures.
Anyone interested in reading a very good book about this, in layman’s language, I highly recommend “The Sociopath Next Door”. Four pages into the book and I had a visceral reaction and threw up when I realized how close I had come to being killed by this person.
Close enough that the local District Attorney’s office, after receiving the court ordered psychological work up on him, is paying to move me prior to his release from prison.
These are dangerous people in sheeps clothing. The worst kind of evil. They are not to be triffled with, even in the most casual of relationships.
I agree – documentation is very important. That’s what’s getting me out of a huge mess with one of these. They usually have criminal histories and prefer to stay away from the law. If you start quoting it to them with documentation to back it up, they’ll usually back off/move on to another victim.
As for traits and warning signs, here are some which are literal – this is exactly what you will notice:
These people cannot tell the same story twice. They contradict themselves at every turn. They will say or do something and deny it – sometimes MOMENTS after whatever they did. You could have been standing right next to them and they will say – “nope, didn’t say it/do it. YOU’RE crazy! What are YOU talking about?” They are perpetual victims – you will notice a lot of stories about people doing them wrong. You will be the next victim of this character assassination. They will rob you, cheat, lie, and tell everyone that you were in fact the one who did these things to them. You will start hearing unpleasant rumors about yourself and be very confused. Have witnesses present during all interactions once you catch on to them – do NOT be alone with them. If they tell a story about being victimized, check up on it – usually they are projecting, or in other words were themselves the perpetrators and NOT the victims. Check on all stories concerning their past relationships. Don’t take their word for it that ALL of the exes were the crazy ones or that they were done wrong at every job they’ve had – and usually they’ve had tons of both exes and jobs. They are always right and you lose every argument while they have their way with you and your life. They have an excuse and alibi for everything, and will deny deny deny even though you can prove that they’re lying! They like to isolate people from each other/remove support systems and friends from their targets by causing trouble between them so that they don’t speak to each other/find out from each other what’s really going on. This is especially true in their romantic relationships. They will go so far as seducing your friends in order to separate you from each other. You will notice your friends, colleagues, and relatives melting away or avoiding you. These people will be enlisted to aid the psychopath if possible (which happens frequently) against you. You may be angry with your own friends for perceived slights against you by them – which you find out about from the psychopath. They will in turn feel the same way towards you. The psycho is adept at causing conflict and uses it to their advantage as a screen. The chaos distracts from what is really going on. There’s a LOT of soap opera type drama with these people. They pull disappearing acts – you’ll spend an enormous amount of time with them and then – they’re gone. When they return, they’ll ask you where YOU’VE been. You’ll start to notice that the pattern is to show up when they want something, but it might be too late when you catch on – you might have already given them money, sex, substantial gifts..You’ll feel guilty because they convinced you that they needed you during one of their disappearing acts and you weren’t there for them – and give them more. One thing to be really careful of is the tempers these people often have. You will notice it every once in awhile if they’re just casual acquaintances, but if you get to know them better you will see it rear its frightening head often – explosions of anger. BE CAREFUL. They have no emotions the way other people do, so they feel totally justified in beating their wives/husbands/pets/kids/strangers…It’s always the other person’s/animal’s/neighbor’s car’s fault too. Do not feel sorry when they seem contrite of tearful – it’s an act geared to get you to comply. They’ll be right back at it once you become agreeable to them again. Substance abuse is rampant with these people as well and can be of either gender.
When you see the signs – mainly your life falling apart while their’s is better than ever thanks to your constant supply of money, emotion, assistance, whatever keeps them afloat – get out of there. You could be in more danger than you imagine.
Sorry, sid. I rather think you lost the argument as well. I didn’t necessarily agree with you on all points, but that’s not why. Once you started the open insults, i think you kinda gave it up by default. You accused wh44 of using thinly veiled insults, but geez… Even after he decided to stop, you kept eggin him on. I think cuz you didn’t want the debate to stop??? I dunno. Sort of lost my stomach for the whole argument after that. Good job wh44! Made me proud.
Also, one of the points you made about the US fixing the problems in other countries to lessen illegal immigration. I’m not sure which country your mom came from, but if it’s anywhere in the region of where I am now, you would know its not as simple or as easy as “fixing” the country. If enough were being done ( which it isn’t) it would still take years and years for any kind of change to take place. I’m sorry, no disrespect intended here, but if you ever talked to some of the people in these countries, I think you might take a different stance on this. For some of these people it’s emigrate to better place or die.(sorry, not trying to be melodramatic here but its true). You say you have a two year old, so maybe you can understand. If your child was under constant threat of attack because of the political instability in the country, poverty etc. what wouldn’t you do to make sure your child was safe? I know you’re not arguing against immigration as a whole, just illegal immigration, but like wh44 said, it’s not as easy as it used to be. It’s way too expensive, and realistically, if you struggle to provide food and water for your family on a regular basis, can you really be expected to be able to afford legal immigration? (sorry about my lack of facts to back this up… I know you hate that stuff but I thought that my exposure to this stuff might make up for it? It doesn’t, but I’m not a seasoned debater like you guys…:))
This one in particular made me flinch.
Actually… forget I said anything at all. This is your business, not mine. I do know that wh44 was insulting at times too sid… don’t mean to be unfair. I think you two cld/shld be great friends actually.lol. You both are friggin brilliant:) even if you wld get on each other’s nerves half the time. Neway, ttfn.
1 in 300, eh?
Well… I’m empathic… But I hate if when people don’t conform to what I think they behave like. And I know something’s wrong there, because that’s called: taking away their freedom of thought, speech, and behaviour. I wouldn’t like that if someone did it to me, so I won’t do it to anyone else. (But they’re all so goddamn STUPID. *face-palm*)
And I’m manipulative. Once, when I was, erm, eight or so; I was surprised when my “talking mum into getting me something I wanted” didn’t work. Whether that means I’m spoiled or selfish, or both…?
This probably explains why I like roleplaying and acting sociopaths…
Some to think of it, you need to have empathy to be an (good) actor, but sociopaths don’t have any… Hmm… Mind, I’m probably not all that good of an actor. ;)
Hey, narcissism stems from insecurity. There’s your insecurity right there.
Luckily for all of you, I’m not going into politics. (Too much corruption… And idiots, lots of idiots. I get violent around stupid people, so I stay away from them… For example: “Oh my gawwwwwd [name]….!!! You’re a freeeeeeeeeaaak!!!” So I punched them. Sigh.
Come to think of it, not some to think of it.
[Lies habitually (please refrain from lying presently)]
“You can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. Honestly.”
What kind of freak post “FIRST!!! ZOMG!!! I WIIINNNZ!!!” Anyways? Do they have, what, one brain cell… that they share collectively?
I suck at these kind of “tests” (e.g. Quizillia type things) because I can never answer them honestly. I’m sure this is some kind of warning, I’ll just ignore it. I’m not going to go on any serial-killing sprees… (Or AM I??!! MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! *hack* *cough* [/joke])
“What does remorse feel like?”
Oh well, I’m safe then. ;)
I still feel bad for telling my little sister that there were monsters in the cupboard when she was, well, little.
Remorse; not a good feeling. Worst feeling EVER. (Besides pain.)
After taking the article and all the comments and changing them to 16 point font and pasting it into Word, the total comes to 244 pages. That’s longer than many, if not most, books. I read it all; except for some of the political stuff which got old after a while.
Though I find much of the article, and subsequent conversation, quite interesting, I didn’t see many answers to the obvious question. And that is why?
So, here goes. And as Monty Python always says, “And now for something totally different.”
First go to http://www.profoundstates.com/entity.htm and read some excerpts from the “An Entity” chapter (pp.373-381) of Michael Chrichton’s (Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun) autobiographical book, “Travels”. This excerpt from the last chapter of his autobiography details a hypnotherapists’ session with him regarding his 4 dark spirit attachments. As he’s already rich and famous, and this book never became well known, there wasn’t much reason for him to lie about his spiritual sickness in that autobiography.
Second, should you have both the time and the inclination, then go to “Remarkable Healings: A Psychiatrist Discovers Unsuspected Roots of Mental and Physical Illness” by Shakuntala Modi at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1571740791/. This mental health care professionals’ book is still the best book on the subject of what causes mental illness.
After reading her book, if you haven’t blown off the true cause of mental illness, then go to my “Primary Malevolent Spirit Removal Resources” page at http://www.profoundstates.com/demonic.htm. Among other things, here you will find such resources as my “Books about Possession, Related Mental Illness, Removing Dark Spirit Attachments and Psychic Self Defense” page at http://www.profoundstates.com/attach.htm. Here you will find quite a few books, written on this subject, by mental health care professionals. Unfortunately they have to buck the trend of believing that chemical imbalance causes mental illness.
If one understands that mental illness is caused by chemical imbalance, then one should ask the obvious question. And that is, what causes the chemical imbalance. The obvious follow on question is, “what comes before chemicals; what are chemicals made of?” And the obvious answer is, energy. All chemicals are made of energy; as is everything else on the physical plane that is relatively solid (less than 1 percent solid of course; check your quantum physics here).
So, mental illness is caused by chemical imbalance. Chemical imbalance is caused by energetic imbalance. Then, the next question is, what causes energetic imbalance. The answer is energetic parasites. Religious people call them demons. Hypnotherapists call them lower astral beings.
As long as this post is becoming, you might say, “Why don’t you just right a book?” So I did. It’s at http://www.profoundstates.com/book.htm.
Mike Beaver CHt.
Odd. I’m nearly the exact opposite of that quiz. I don’t lie and i genuinely feel sad when sad things happen to others. One time i cried because my friends mom found out she had cancer, i hardly knew her but i cried (my mom and family are healthy etc) I feel aware of everything. and feel that i know the sanest course of action to take in any situation. Though i am clingy but extremely honest with myself in any situations. (about how i feel, some guy was flirting with my girl and i admitted being super f^cking jealous, then calmed down and trusted my girl instead) Can someone tell me if this is a weird way to react to things?
I beleive you are whats considered an “Empath”.
Great article DI! Whilst reading this, I couldn’t help but remember the first time I read “The Bad Seed” at the age of 12 or so (many years hence) and was fascinated. And if anyone here is a Stephen King fan, then remember the “goon” who was a friend (if you can call him that) of one of the bad guys in “It”….the big boy who thought nothing of pulling wings off flies and had in his past caused the death of his baby brother….another classic case of psychopathy. But then again, most of the bad guys in “It” were probably psychopaths.
Personally speaking, I can only think of possibly 1 or 2 unfortunate times I may have crossed the path of a psychopath….one being a physician I worked for many years ago. Brilliant man but without scruples or morals whatsoever. Although there ARE some times that I wonder about the state of mind of my 24-year oldstepdaughter….nah….I think she’s just suffering (and the rest of my family) from a perpetual state of “it’s all about ME and to hell with you” disorder.
The whole description fits well in a couple of guys I know… Oy..
Wow, so what I always thought about my ex-husband John N. is true! Confirmation!!!!
How about Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld, then?
I totally agree with you. Some of these folks must have no lives.
My vote goes to Teddy Kennedy as possible heavyweight champ (especially considering his driving/reporting record), and Billary makes a good psychopath tag-team. But now entering the ring, the former Governor of New York, the one, the only, Eliot “How-Much-to-go-Bareback?” Spitzer!
I don’t mind anyone disagreeing with my tactics, and I completely understand they are not for everyone. I generally don’t, however, cast the first stone. When I see someone posting dismissive/insulting comments, I just figure that’s the way they want the discussion to go, so I happily oblige. Regardless of who you think “won,” it’s good to see that you acknowledge wh44 used the same techniques.
As for immigration, it is an incredibly complicated subject, and not one that will be solved with easy solutions. A good long-term solution would be to make all places relatively equal. That way, nobody feels they must leave their homeland in order to simply survive. Exceptionally complex, yes, but that truly should be the goal. Otherwise, everyone just leaves those places for the greener pastures.
And if that greener pasture happens to be the U.S., well, considering there are probably hundreds-of-millions of people (if not billions) throughout the world just struggling to survive, there is no way this country could take them all in.
Thus, there must be a multi-level effort. Making getting into this country fair for everyone is a laudable goal. Defining “fair,” of course, is a bit complex. I’m still not convinced we should make it any easier than it currently is, but we definitely need to do something. But also helping other countries improve has got to be part of the equation. That’s the whole idea behind programs that promote humanitarian aide. The U.S. does a lot of that. Loans to other countries may be helpful. Again, the U.S. does a lot of that.
There are very few truly effective policies that can be implemented, successfully, by taking the “easy” route.
This article is just plan bad. I’m sorry to be blunt, but it reads like it was written by someone who doesn’t have a very good understanding of modern psychology. It’s basically glamorous pop-psychology. The conditions that make someone unable to empathise with other people is just one aspect of many complex and dynamic factors that make up a person’s mind.
And then there are the comments… Some people love to diagnose themselves and others, but most aren’t very good at it. Psychological diagnoses are just artificial classifications made to aid the treatment process and it’s important to not place too much emphasis on labels as they can be very subjective and almost meaningless without context.
As someone who has great interest in cognitive psychology, this whole thing just makes me cringe.
Phyllis Hyman, the singer, was very empathetic. Check her out.
A psycho I encountered asked me to get into a coffin he had made…..
How about some other examples of psycho behavior?
I scored high on the test. Am I a psychopath? I DO feel empathy and would only hurt a person if I truly felt they deserved it.
Well, as a “non-psychopath” with a criminal bent (or some such wording; I forget exactly what the test results labelled me), I disagree with the medical establishments conclusion that psychopaths are incurable. Because as well as being a non-psychopath with a criminal bent, I’m also a Christian, and I believe that what psychiatrists and sociologists label a mental disorder is really a spiritual or emotional one (evidenced by the demonstrable profound lack of emotion in those diagnosed as “psychopaths”) and that this spiritual/emotional illness can indeed be cured. In a person with so-called psychopathic tendencies, their emotions are repressed, not absent. Repressed, that is, by demonic activity. But the psychopathic demon is a demon like any other — it is totally subservient to God’s spirit. And when God’s spirit commands it to leave a human soul, it must leave. In the Bible, that’s known as “casting out. Jesus did it profusely and successfully, as should all those who operate by God’s spirit (which is the working definition of a Christian, for those who may not know). The people from whom the demons were cast out were cured, healed, made whole again. So, too, can today’s psychopaths be cured — not by drugs, not by counselling, not by incarceration, not by execution, but by God’s spirit only. Oh, and by the way — the imbalance in seratonin and other chemicals is caused by the illness; the illness does not result from the imbalance. I always find it amusing when the medical establishment puts that particular cart before the horse. It’s like saying snow causes cold weather to happen, or an increase in traffic congestion causes rush hour.
As a clinically classified psychopath, (without a criminal record, thank you) I have to admit, it is something I revel in.
Obviously I have a vested-interest in the subject and studied it extensively. The labelling itself, ‘psychopath’ is a negative term, having heavy connotations of ‘cannibalistic axe-murderer’, and I, myself, prefer the term sociopath, which has a much more glamorous feel. However, modern clinical terminology places the whole range of psychopathic disorders in the same dirty great box.
I could talk at length about the details of discovery and the joys of being a psychopath, but instead there is a much more concerning aspect to psycho/sociopathy which I’m writing here to share.
The county psychologist notes, detailing my disorder, are presently safely tucked away in a digital drawer somewhere in the bowels of the UK’s NHS computer system. Patient-doctor confidentiality should, in the UK at least, have kept such a thing safely tucked away for eternity, unless I am admitted to hospital with some kind of dementia, or accused of a violent crime.
However, changes are afoot.
The Mental Health Act of 1983 governs the admission of people to psychiatric hospital against their will. Under the Act, mental disorder is defined as “mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder and any other disorder or disability of mind”.
There is that magic phrase. Psychopathic disorder.
Luckily for the super-sane amongst us, it is only used when the subject ‘… is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct.’
I’m not planning on going out and then killing people to make a skin-suit. Admittedly, this is little to do with over-rated empathy issue, but nevertheless, the Mental Health act had never been an item of concern. Until now.
Proposed changes to the Act include easier ‘sectioning’ laws. Once in place, a partner, colleague or family member can make a call to the Police or a local Hospital, suggesting that they ‘feel threatened’. The prospective inmate will then be given the usual battery of tests and if found ‘guilty’ of having any of the previously mentioned ‘mental deficiencies’ can be incarcerated indefinitely.
The bleeding-hearts amongst you may be jumping with joy, but try this. Replace the word ‘psychopath’ with ‘Homosexual’, and see if it sounds so mentally-healthful.
Psychopaths are born, not made. This is clearly evidenced in all the subject literature. Psychopathy can not be cured, not least because ‘sufferers’ are not particularly interested in being cured.
But as of next year, (if I were to return to the UK) a call to the police without any evidence or intent of threat, I, and others like me, could be locked in the Loony bin.
I am a greater ‘threat’ because my condition has already been diagnosed, and I can go straight to the Asylum without ANY of the intermediate mental probing.
So, some words of warning to any budding Bundy’s out there. As mentioned in the article above, exclusive psychopath tests are rare, and if you are being given one, then it’s probably too late to pretend otherwise. Be more wary of the increasingly common Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test and its various sequels. It is easily spotted, aside from the name and trademark clearly shown on the cover and the 561 true-false questions. I am ashamed to admit it, but it *is* rather good at spotting and pin-pointing this exact condition. It is used in Job interviews, criminal-case psych reports and for various other purposes.
Don’t think you can bluff or lie your way through it, I fell for that trick, and if anything it made the results clearer. Really, I mean it, don’t take the test. The legal way to bypass it, is to simply say that you have studied psychology and you ‘know’ the test, therefore your results are automatically rendered inconclusive.
Finally, if you ARE going to be psych tested, for whatever reason, read up on the ‘correct’ results expected for the commonly used ‘House-Tree-Person’ and ‘Rorschach’ tests. Those 5 mins of reading could save your cute nutjob ass from being stuck with the sickly axe-murderer label.
Finally a note from a personal viewpoint, and this is not something I have found documented elsewhere. I can spot another psycho easily. This may be due to my research, or some spooky ‘psycho-kinsmanship’. Whatever. Nutters and psychos are a league apart, but as long as I carry the psycho label I’ll be tarred with their same pathetic brush.
P.S. I’m not ignorant to the obvious ‘psychopathic’ undertones to this message, hitting or hinting at many of the tickboxes shown in the little pseudo-test above, and no doubt many of you teen-angsty types will assume I’m lying. I know what I am, and it goes without saying. I really, REALLY don’t care what you think.
Mr. Clockwork – A certified danger to society for 9 years 11 months and 12 days.
(p.p.s, the nickname has nothing to do with the Orange. It’s a small thing I know, but I’d hate it if anyone assumed, even for a moment, that I’d choose a nick based on that shallow morality tale.)
ppps – Sorry, I just can’t help myself. The collection of ‘my mental mate billy’ stories on here is annoying…
Please, for your own sake, everyone. Don’t go around labelling every maladapted criminal type as a ‘psychopath’. Ignorance is not bliss, it is just annoying.
Emotional retardation is not psychopathy, it is emotional retardation.
Pulling the wings of flies and kicking kittens is not psychopathy, it is sadism or attention seeking or one of thousands of other disorders.
Goth-type dark-bedroom behaviour is not psychopathy, it’s being a gothic teen.
Being ‘Spiritually misaligned’ or ‘Demon Possessed’ is not psychopathy. The commentator is simply retarded. I mean that in it’s true sense, not the playground name-calling way. But since they have their own non-‘threatening’ disorder, it is safe to ignore their subnormal intelligence.
READ the article, it is generally accurate.
Other ‘warning’ signs to watch out for:
Failure to adhere to loan contracts or other monetary obligations. – I will readily admit to being blacklisted by the banks in a number of countries.
‘Falling off the Radar’ – Cutting all ties and burning bridges behind themselves is no great loss to a psychopath.
Inconsistent Likes and dislikes – Generally, it is assumed to be part of the ‘lying when questioned’ routine, but from my personal recollection, addictions can turn to repulsion practically overnight, and vice-versa.
“How did you feel at the time?” – The mother of all impossible questions for a psychopath. The answer, if given, will be usually generalised to one-word answers, or the other extreme, which is a pre-scripted answer full of dramatic detail. Avoid the pre-scripted answers by asking the same question regarding a variety of events. Psychopaths are not emotionless monsters, but emotional context plays little-to-no part of their memory recollection.
I have a 40 year history with what I recognized only 3 years ago to be a psychopath. I can not describe the relief in finally connecting all the dots, all the hurt and pain and logic defying rationalizations made that each perhaps stood a test on it’s own, but strung out time after time and instance after instance over decades defied a resolution needed very badly. We were on and off married/split/together 20 years. After another twenty, I and my now adult children have been damaged and affected nearly all our lives by this woman. I’ve never commented on a forum like this anywhere on anything. I only want to impart this – I can’t help you much to avoid them – everyone’s a tad off, and these people much more than make up for it – it takes time to recognize a truly soul less creature… years of history to diagnose.
Even think you’re involved, go see a pro. Convinced? Run like hell, family or friend opinion be damned – they can’t see it, most likely will never see, will be abused or abandoned themselves eventually, or what they do see they only wonder and eventually blithely accept when they fail to rationalize things for which they have no basis for understanding.
You can’t help her/him. You can’t change them or save them. Protect yourself and those you love. You can love, that’s why you can hurt. They don’t. Except themselves. Period. And they don’t miss what they can’t comprehend. Don’t pity them, they suck up sympathy as their lifeblood of last resort.
You will read whatever tone you will into this text, and at some point in time all would most likely been valid I’m sure. But I’d like you to know that I and my family know what we’ve lost and gained, and over time and with knowledge we deal with it; all are relatively successfull and happy, I’ve got grandkids now. But we still deal with it.
I think my boyfriend is a psychopath!!! Someone please help me! :(
Maybe the best article I have ever read about psychopathy! Indeed Damn Interesting.
Beware of Christopher A. Blanchard bearing gifts or the promise of gifts. He is out of the box again. Most common get to know me phrase that he uses is, ” It seems I have forgotten my wallet”. He likes to make you feel sorry for him; as if you can save him. Usually just after you start to get to know him. Beware, very distuctive, sexually deviated, very determined, to get it all. Uses phrases like “Is that wrong” and Quotes TV sitcoms as if real life. Can be gotten rid off by just simply denying his every whim.
Some of the psychopath traits matches my personality, but I always thought that were
simply personality traits (specifically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENTP)
But for the guys like me that stumbled upon this article and realized what they really are,
there are some books that are very helpful to improve your skills:
Robert Cialdini – Science of Persuation
David Lieberman – Get Anyone to do anything
The Mystery Method (or any pickup books, theyre great!)
How to Talk to anyone 92 tips for success
Know any helpful others? share it!
Wow, do I feel SOOO Foolish, Ashamed, Stupid, Clueless & Victomized. Most of ALL is the feeling of INSIGNIFICANTS and PAIN !!
I always saw myself as a Beautiful Woman Inside & Out. I am known by my family & freinds, co-workers, and the acquaintances at the Drug store, Gas station, ect as an Outgoing, Gregarious, Witty, Christian, Tenderhearted (I cry at the Hallmark Commercials & Menorial Day Speechs & Cover my eyes when watching someone get wacked in a movie-it HURTS my soul) EXTROVERT. I always call them (Rx,Gas station, Restaurant) by name and try to engage them in conversation & Thank them. My kids think I know everyone. I don’t really, I just want others to know they are appreciated for just being themselves.
He was So Charming, with a Big Beautiful smile. Very Attractive Bald headed Black man in his 40’s that was always on the go…. Golf, Church, Sports, Kids, and a Big Extended Family in our area. A profest Born Again Christian from a Large Moral & Spiritfilled Christian Family (I know them personally, and Mom & Dad R. are AWESOME people-I love them)
We started dating in 2001, and things seemed so wonderful. My 4 kids & his 4 kids were around the same age and got along Better than I could have ever imagined. We ALL had gone on 3 vacations together and always had a blast (He & I were Very responsable, Respectable-Not sleeping together. We exspessed good and moral character to the kids AND each other). His parents call me their daughter & exspress their LOVE for me still to this day. We enjoyed Bible studies at his fathers home with his brother in-law that is a paster, with a few of his siblings there as well. Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas & Sunday Dinners were Fabulous. My kids loved going and being with his Big family. To this day his 3rd child (girl) & my 2nd child (boy) are still best freinds. I, myself am still incontact with Mom & Dad R.
After being involvded with David, I found out he had cheated on his wife of 18yrs 3-4 times, befor they got divorced. Quote by David “I would have stayed married to her for ever” as though it was HER FAULT !! I was already falling for him, I should have Ran, not walked but ran…….because before I knew it he had cheated on me too, surprise surprise….His kids & ex-wife knew it, but not me. His 2nd child (oldest daughter) told me while on our 3rd vaction on the coast of Oregan. How DEVASTATING, and he lied & denied it ALL & said “I” was “CRAZY” Until I got his cell phone and found the name of the girl his daughter told me about and called her from his cell. She answered, & we both found out and then I handed the phone to him, unexpecting who was on the other line. He aplolgized, cryed, baby, baby….. we split….then 5 months later he calls beggging me back….he had just got a new job (fired from 2 jobs before) that Oct. and called me at 6am in the morning to beg me back……(going back in time) when he lost his 1st job, I was paying his bills, and ended up paying $15,000 tward his morgage that was going into forcloser…because “his house was a bigger house than mine for all of us to live”!! Then in he lost that job, because he got fired for lying on his resume that he had a 4 yr degree. Which he did NOT have a 4yr degree, He went 1yr to Eastern University. So then I got a 2nd job to help pay his bills cuz the heat, water & phone got turned off .He had to have these not only for the kids but to be able to get another job. This happened so many times-and he had custody of ALL 4 kids ( she couldn’t afford it, e talked her into it.-I now know He didn’t want to pay child support) He had no Empathy for my pain, not remorsefull-he would “say I’m sorry” but do it again…No emotions, Doesn’t take resposibiliy-it’s seems to always come around that it’s my fault…ie “you shouldn’t have been talking to my daughter about Adult stuff- I didn’t…she couldn’t understand why such a good nice christian lady like myself would be with her dad..!!! Then he says things and doesn’t remember, no he insist he NEVER said or did it. Which ever the case may be. But, he had left it on my recorder and he refused to listen to it saying I was crazy to STILL have it, Why didn’t you erase it… your’e crazy. He has Not been faithfull to ONE WOMAN since we broke up last March ’07 & he tried to see me all the time to where I had to ask his mom to tell him to stop calling and coming to my car window at the store…. But for some ODD reason….I may be just as SICK as he IS NOW….I have NO IDEA why I THINK I’M Still in LOVE with him….Can someone tell me WHY…& can I be helped ??? The test on this web site I took and it says: Yes, he IS a PSCHOPATH….so Why I’m I like this…My HEAD says run….But my HEART can’t let go…Please respond, someone…Sorry so long, Thanks – B in Puget Sound Washington
OOPS- Victim- NOT VictOm….Sorry…my ice had water in them while thinking and writting this….please forgive my spelling :)
OOOPS again….my eyes… had water (tears) not my ice had water…..I’m gettimg off now, to upset…
Heathermayfield Posted a Comment on February 27th, 2008 1:19 pm, I Just read your comment….I wish I would have read it before I wrote mine…..I wish I read it 7 YEARS AGO………… What a waist of time….. will I ever be free of the PAIN I FEEL….Why do I still LOVE him…..My heads says NOOOOOO … My heart says….it’s not that bad…..but it is….especially after reading ur comment…..it’s like, you KNOW HIM !!! Now What ?
Just because some one cheated on you does not make him a psychopath, and an online test is not the best way to find out. He could be a nymphomaniac or any other number of plausible reasons without being a psychopath. I do not mean to sound overly harsh but one article read on a web site should not be the end all verdict. You also blame him for not taking any responsibility for his actions, yet you are doing the same thing. He did not hold you at gun point and force you to do anything, you need to except responsibility for your own actions and move on.
wow. this is such a DI article… now i’ve found a website which is worth-reading and worth-spending my time with.. KUDOS to DI
I think my boss is psychopath. It kind of creeps me out to think of individuals with those charactristics being in postitions of power! Very interesting article for sure, we don’t often think of psychopaths are “normal”, functioning people.
I wonder if the truest mark of a psychopath is to leave others utterly baffled and helpless to understand–like an emotional koan. I too recently exited a relationship with someone who shares many of these traits. I often wonder if I’m demonizing him. The rest of the time, I’m aghast and disbelieving at his cruelty and seeming inability to grasp its consequences for others. After four years and countless split-ups, I had people telling me to run from him, afraid he’d kill me eventually. I don’t understand why his actions seemed to simply vanish from my mind every time he returned apologizing. It was more than abuse–there was something compulsive going on, for both of us. I tend to fruitlessly search articles like this one for answers that I suspect don’t really exist. I guess the difference between the haves and have-nots of conscience is absolute. I wonder if psychopaths lack “theory of mind” or something like it. What’s paradoxical, to me, is that such people make me feel I’m the one who lacks it: I should be able to “get” them but I can’t. That’s the fascination.
Apparently im a psychopath with criminalistic tendencies.
I’m glad to see that the condition of psychopathy is becoming known to the general public. The ignorance of most of us of what we are dealing with when we encounter a psychopath is a serious (and in the case of police officers, sometimes fatal) problem.
I moved in next door to one of these inhuman creatures (and they indeed are not fully human; even Dr. Hare characterizes them as lacking “the very characteristics which make us human”, and quotes one of his colleagues who calls them “intraspecies predators”). Fortunately I, unlike the previous tenants whom it drove out of their home in which I now live, had been warned about it by its neighbors, and have thus far succeeded in neutralizing it. As a consequence, I have been forced in self-defense to study the phenomenon.
Far from being some sort of “adaptive mutation”, these creatures are a throwback to more primitive life forms. The ability, not the inability to feel guilt and shame, is what allows humans to coexist with each other in the absence of some constant threat of reprisal for mistreating and abusing our fellow humans. Because we can feel guilt and shame, we possess internalized inhibitions against behaving in a completely selfish manner as do the lower animals. Lacking that characteristic, we could never produce complex societies, but could only exist in small bands at best, and even then only in a social structure determined by brute force and a hierarchical “pecking order”. The notion that psychopaths are somehow an “adaptation” to society is nothing more than an attempt by leftist “progressives” to blame society for the existence of psychopaths, so as to avoid confronting the fact that they are simply born defective in such a manner as to disallow them from being able to peacefully coexist with the rest of us. The latter idea is such anathaema to leftists that they simply refuse to countenance it and will go to any lengths of casuistry and warped reasoning to avoid it.
Because psychopaths are predators (which probably is the logical outcome of being unable to “relate” to others), it is vital for their potential victims to be able to recognize them. At the same time, because the psychopath consciously and unconsciously attempts to emulate normal human behavior, it can be very difficult for normal humans to identify one sufficiently in time to avoid becoming its victim. For police officers in particular, a first encounter with a psychopath can be fatal for this reason. A simple traffic stop can result in the psychopath killing the officer simply because there is an outstanding warrant for the psychopath, and it simply chooses killing the officer as a viable alternative to going to jail.
The biggest problem with psychopaths is the magnitude of the problems they cause, which is far out of proportion to their numbers. While they are overrepresented in the general population of prisons, they represent the preponderence of the most heinous criminals: cop killers, dictators, serial murderers, junk bond traders, school shooters, embezzlers, rapists. They occupy law enforcement resources far out of proportion to their numbers. In all probability if we were able to wave a magic wand and simply make the psychopaths vanish from our midst, we would be left far better able to deal with the residual problems of criminality in society. As it is, a single psychopathic killer can occupy police resources sufficient to capture a large number of other, common criminals.
Probably the best we can hope for is to make everyone possible aware of the existence of these creatures, and of the fact that they do “telegraph” their condition in odd ways. Almost anyone who has been victimized by one has become aware, too late, that there were warning signals which they ignored. Our normal tendency is to assume at the outcome that everyone we meet is basically like us, sharing certain common characteristics as human beings. When dealing with a psychopath, this can be a fatal mistake. Unfortunately, until we can reform the judicial system in such a manner as to recognize psychopaths – and without unjustly stigmatizing those who, as an earlier poster suggested, are merely suffering from depression – and permanently incarcerate them, a good healthy dose of suspicion and mistrust of one’s fellow man is in order for all of us.
Moreover, once identified, these creatures must be dealt with ruthlessly, in the sense that one must set aside normal considerations of mercy, rehabilitation, and redemption. Such sentiments must be reserved for real humans who have gone astray. With the psychopath, we are dealing with a vicious, atavistic life form which must be removed from our midst, permanently, no matter what redeeming characteristics it may appear to possess, no matter what remorse or regret it may contrive to display, and no matter how apparently reformed it may appear to have become. The psychologists have begun to recognize this, although only the most courageous of them such as Dr. Hare are willing to admit it, since it runs directly against the grain of the leftist indoctrination which they receive in college. If the general population can be similarly educated, we could make significant progress in eliminating the worst of the criminal population from our midst.
The FBI is now recommending that Dr. Hare’s book be required reading for all police officers who come into contact with the general public – the “beat cops” and patrol officers. I would extend that recommendation to everyone in the general public. It may seem odd to fixate on such an obscure book as being of such value, but it is probably well merited by the damage done to people’s lives by psychopaths and the potential rewards of identifying them and eliminating them from society.
You’d have to be a psychopath to run a telemarketing company or initiate a political robocalling campaign. If not, it begs the question as to how these people can sleep at night?
In December 07 I started getting strong suspicions that my huband of 28 yrs may be having an affair. Trying to gather evidence over many months I did find some questionable activity on his part. Then I started to buy books, “When Your Lover is a Liar” & “Date Decoder” immediatley I read articles on the psychopath, was blown away of the personality & signs of this, most of it was on cue, except physical abuse. He will look me in the eye, swear on his mothers’ soul that he never did & never would have an affair in our marriage. Also caught him in some lies when I finally brought up the topic of an affair. He has always been controling, very cool yet upset when I don’t do something he insisted I do. And he rationalized his thinking & I started to believe he was always right & logical. He admitted to me early in our meeting that he had multiple girlfriends at the same time.When 1st wife left him he had sex w/ her best friend the next day. but I truly believed he wanted to build a relationship w/ me & he loved me. He’s a con, & I was in denial all those yrs, but now I’m not so sure i am. He has no remorse or guilt over all my suspicions when confronted.
Some feedback, please ??
I just got rid of my best friend after 24 years. A bigger socipath there isn’t. I suffer from PTSD and was the perfect foil for him. I finally went to therapy for other issues, but this was the biggest breakthrough.
He has not contacted me since. I outlined everything in a letter, almost 13 pages worth, and told him that he was a sociopath, and to get some help. I also sent it to his brother, who is the only one that he ever listens to, even if only temporarily. I then said I would get a restraining order, and also file a grievance through work, as I managed to get a volunteer job where he works. If he does contact me, I will contact his boss, everyone in the memberships he belongs to, all of his family and their friends. I have 911 on speed dial, and will use it. His ex, who is my best friend, also got all the dish on his behaviors that I was forced to hear about. She made sure others were told, etc.
He likes this area, and is hesitant to leave. But if his source of income gets removed, he will have to go. By the way, he hides in plain sight as a manager in the mental health system. His expertise is in the one area that doesn’t do well in identifying a sociopath.
2 days ago he agreed to start an antidepressent, & seek therapy, he said ” I’ll do anything to save our marriage.” The next day when I made an appointmet to see our Dr for med, he said he doesn’t need antidepresants or theapy. when I asked why he said he would, he claimed ( as always) I was just telling you what you want to hear. He claims I can’t handle the truth in my crazy thinking, in saying this, he always puts it back on me. I never know when to believe him. I am a nurse & mostly his support as I make more money than him, & provide health insurance for him. Don’t think he’ll leave me because of this, however, I am truly considering moving on. I am his meal ticket, & he thrives on this. He also told me he likes being a psychopath, he claims ” but I’m a good one. Just like good & bad cholesterol. He said he tells people that he is. I don’t know if I believe any of this. and he is accusing me of diagnosing him.
I am in between a rock & a hard place.
There is no such thing as a good psychopath. Move on, and no matter what he says, or who he gets to advocate for him, and no matter how he promises to change, HE WON’T. Seek out a woman’s support group, go to therapy yourself, tell your friends about what he has done. It will be painful for you, but write everything down, and give it to someone you trust. Do what you need to to get rid of this parasite. Whatever tinge of guilt you have will pass. Look back over your life with this man, and try to see through different eyes.
A quote from #201: “NPD and psychopathy are not too very different, and both can occur simultaneously. Do NOT try to help these people.”
Sorry Heather, I spend considerable time opposing such psychobabble labeling. Perhaps two out of three people ordered by courts to be examined by a forensic psychiatrist get a “diagnosis” like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or are even more likely labeled as psychopaths or paranoid schizophrenics. The impression conveyed is that the problem is really quite irrevocable and that the particular specimen individual needs some long-term housing in a penal institution or mental hospital, or alternatively, needs daily controlling medications for the foreseeable future.
Such labeling is ultimately extremely destructive in a variety of ways, and is so entrenched in our system that once the label is applied, it is virtually impossible to remove.
We have derisive terms for licensed therapists like “shrink,” which also do little good other than to remind us that we should continue to re-examine our assessment of them with great care and considerable frequency. Freud had some odd notions which became virtually unquestioned for decade after decade. I am not saying that none of his ideas were sound. Just that his theories should have been examined with considerably greater skepyicism and care, rather than being accepted with the almost messianic fervor that characterized the whole “mental health community” for half a lifetime.
And in the middle of the twentieth century, lobotomies became very widely excepted, and many thousands of people were turned permantently into mental vegetables. Note particularly the excesses of Dr. Freeman.
I am not using an isolated excess to prove my point, and I’m not saying that some very few lobotomies were not beneficial, both to the subject and to society.
Another example of a procedure which was very, very overused was Electro Convulsive Therapy. The results were less dramatic and obvious, but they would never go away. This was even more routine than lobotomies, and was often done multiple times, over a long period of time, to the same patient. Lobotomies were generally done once.
But let us return to the Forensic Psychiatrist, who is little more than a labeler and an appendage of the courts. It is an entirely accurate appellation to call them all pricks. And before you automatically think that I am being obscenely rude, I am not. The original use of this insulting term did not refer to the sexual apparatus, but did refer to someone who “aided and abetted” the courts in the testing of those suspected of witchcraft. It was a shortened form of the word witchpricker, descriptive of the forensic practice of poking the suspect with a needle. It was thought that if the individual bled from the puncture, they were likely innocent, If they did not, they were witches. If the results were ambiguous, more extreme tests were employed, sometimes killing the suspect.
And for those of you saying “Yeah, but that was ancient times, this is modern times; the present!” It was modern times; the present for those accused witches as well. And I doubt that it will take any three or four hundred years for people to decide that we today were as collectively delusional as the witch-hunters.
I just watched a psycopath get on the freeway, fully loaded and moving out of state. He didn’t see me watching, but I had to be sure he was actually on the road before I can sleep again. These people are not funny. This is serious stuff if you know one of them. I am still shaking.
Ferris Bueller is such a psychopath. Highly popular, charming. Convinces his ill friend to use his father’s prized possession, a museum-quality Porsche, and ironically fakes his own illness to gallivant around town in said car.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1986
(Ben Stein rules and is definitely not a psychopath. Dork:Jerk -> Aspie:Psychopath)
Actually, it was a Ferrari, which makes it a far greater crime against humanity.
In my earlier comment, #250, I went somewhat afield, and never got back to your own very apparent distress. And without going into deep detail based on what you said, and the way you said it, I would like to say that your remarks can be read and interpreted in a variety of ways, depending on the particular mindset of the listener or reader.
So allow me to use an example totally unrelated to anything you said, in the hope that you will be able to relax and perhaps glean something useful from the illustration.
I recently was sought out by a woman who wanted me to help straighten out a gentleman who she was a caregiver for. She had been with him for a few years. The way she presented the situation, he had a variety of intractable problems. It is of no value here to go into detail. I did finally agree to have one session with him and found her assessment of him to be rather understated. His problems were so convoluted and complex, and his automatic defenses were so sophisticated, and he was so resistant to even the idea of improving his situation, that I aborted our first session in the middle.
For one thing, he was under the regular care of a physician, taking a variety of medications, some of them not consistent with alcohol consumption.
Along with these medications he was consuming with almost religious fervor an economical 19 proof Chablis, which he purchased in case lots of gallon bottles. No physician worth his salt could have missed this level of alcoholism. But apparently each of the doctors attending this fellow did. Otherwise, why would they have prescribed the array of medications he was taking? He also had a few years of weekly therapy at some considerable expense, therapy which the therapist was ready to continue forever if necessary.
The enigma was, why would this otherwise sane and sociable woman have stuck with him for so long?
She had some apparent self-esteem problems. But she seemed lucid and intelligent, and the incongruity of her sticking with this fellow rather piqued my interest. So when she came back and asked if I could help her to adjust or adapt, I asked myself the same thing, and thought that perhaps I could.
Within the month, I revised my opinion, terminating our sessions. It turned out that she was feeding off his abuses and all the attention she was getting from being such a monumental victim. And she was clandestinely victimizing him as well, in an array of ways that were every bit as kaleidoscopically complex and toxic as the gentleman was to her.
Then I happenned to meet her husband, from whom she had been estranged for a number of decades. He seemed to me a normal congenial fellow for that hour and a half.
But she had a litany of complaints against him that were serious enough for a normal woman to have shunned him forthwith. Certainly it would not have taken a healthy woman even a year or two to break loose. Yet she splits her time between living in the house next to her estranged husband, interacting with him regularly, and taking care of this other disturbed gentleman. And she was also punishing her husband at every turn. Which was, as far as I could tell, all right with him. And all the while, throughout most of those many years, she was not having any sort of physical relationship with anyone at all.
I could sprinkle psychiatric labels like confetti here. Would we really contribute to understanding of this situation by doing so?
I think not. We would only provide the illusion that we had done so, and supplied some cookie cutter solution based on the labels.
Could I help this woman? No question that I could. Have I already helped her? No question that I have. Have I been damaged? Yes. Will I get over it? Of course. And will I get stronger? Probably.
I don’t know whether I should be laughing or shaking my head at most of the people, who, without any certification or experience whatsoever, start giving out diagnoses. While there is a possibility that some of these people are actually on to something, what I’ve read, I…
Okay. Heads I laugh, tails I shake my head.
Quite a good read, I especially got a kick out of reading the comments section.
But please. I identified 2 or 3 genuine sociopaths up there, the rest are hypocondriacs.
I found all the victim posts quite funny, just because your X didn’t treat you properly doesn’t mean he’s a psycho (maybe you just didn’t do enough to keep him interested in you)
@Clockwork; Thanks for the heads-up.
I am a sociopath. I have no conscience. For some reason, I’d like to expose myself. Anyone interested in talking to a psychopath? I do not check this account, E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t read all these comments. Too many people are too full of themselves. Too many others try desperately to pretend they are something they are not. “I’m a psychopath. I’m a sociopath. I make Hannibal Lecter look like Dr. Katz.” Please. Nobody is going to make a special case to talk to a self-diagnosed, so-called “psychopath” because everyone here knows someone or another who is. I know I have mental problems and antisocial issues, but that doesn’t make me interesting. If it did, I wouldn’t be wasting my time reading all this damn interesting stuff. I’d be out-and-about meeting new people, flipping the bird at old men driving Buicks with their signal lights blinking for a mile and no headlights in the rain. I’d be at a bar, meeting lovely young ladies, then making excuses why I can’t go home with them (because any ladies interested in going home with me on the first meet are whores). I’d be cleaning toilets in a sorority house, installing fiber-optic cameras in the stalls. I’d be sending every name of every new person I meet on MySpace to Google SMS just to find out where they live. If I was really a psycho, I’d want to be a real sicko, not just a maladjusted extrovert pretending to be interesting.
My boyfriend, now ex, is a sociopath. It is not because I am bitter at breaking up with him. He genuinely has no emotions other than irritation and anger. I found him to be a caring, loving soul, but that was all pretext in order to get what he wants. He has two children from a previous marriage, who he says he loves dearly and would protect to any end. By when I asked him what his ex-wife would do if she found out what he was like, then he shrugged his shoulders like a little boy and said he’d be looking for another home. When he says he loves them, it is a sociopathic view of love; he would walk out on them without a backward glance. His dearly loved father died of a heart attack: he is back to work the next day, with no upset. It wasn’t his way of dealing with it through work; there was nothing there.
He has many lovers, but no close friends. He seems curious about emotions: he knows what they are and how he should respond, but there is nothing. He has on occasion hurt the few people he ‘cares’ about if he is bored or irritated, and to see what their reactions are, but he will soon move on. Leaving that person to deal with the result.
He freely admits (now) that there is something missing within him. Always has been. He hates himself, but has no interest in changing. The has no morals and freely admits this to me (now). He is not proud or ashamed of it. He does not generally talk about, boast or brag about the things he does. Most of his colleagues and associates label him as nice guy. He is good-looking, charming, intelligent and easy-going. He is not particularly social, and will never drink to excess or become drunk. He is not violent.
The closest he comes to love, is that he ‘cares’ about a handful of people. I feel sorry for him, in that he has spent his entire life, unknowing of emotion both good and bad. He felt no sense of relief at what he told me. There was no burden. Half of what he told me were lies, but the one truth I know, is that he has no emotion. None. Nothing.
I am the only person in the world that has any inkling of what he is like. I want to be his friend and help him through this, but as a true sociopath he cannot be helped and indeed does not want rescuing. I am just trying to muddle through, as I am sure that there are so few people who are in my position. I should just walk away and not look back. Like he would.
I have something to share with you that may make you think I’m a socio/psychopath but I can assure you that I’m not. I did some foolish things as a boy and young man, but I came to realize that they were learning experiences. I never set out to purposely hurt anyone and thankfully, never did.
I did, accidentally, hurt people three times that I recall. One winter I pushed my best friend and he fell and hit his head on the ice during recess in junior high. It wasn’t done out of malice, we were horsing around. I felt awful about it. Another instance was when I was practicing putting the shot for track and field. I lost control of the shot and it landed on a girl’s back. She was sitting off to the side but still too close and there was only so much room in the gymnasium. Luckily, it wasn’t a steel shot, but plastic filled with steel pellets for indoor training. Again, I felt awful and guilty. She cried but recovered, only bruised but very sore. Thank God for that. I remember conking a cousin on the head with a rock that probably weighed about half a kilogram. I was trying to scare her and her sister away because they were riding on my toys and teasing me. I could never touch their toys when I went to their place without getting a smacked hand. They lived close by. I was only about 5-yrs old. They would gang up on me from time to time and I’d had enough. I didn’t mean to hit her. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach immediately as they ran off with her screaming. I went into the house and waited for the phone call. Luckily for me Mom knew what the girls were like and when I explained that I was just trying to scare them off, she figured it was an accident. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t spoiled. My parents believed in discipline, believe it.
To a young child, consequences are the result of experiments into how far you can push a thing. I learned my lessons in self-control and never resorted to violence, even when jealousy got in the way of relationships when I got older. I eventually learned to let go. I had to or I’d be labeled a stalker by now, wouldn’t I? Such learning experiences are called growing pains. I didn’t start dating until I was 18 and it was hard to get a handle on unfamiliar emotions. I had to learn to not be jealous. It just drove girls away. I learned to control jealousy. When I wasn’t jealous, some women turned jealous. Lots of stories in my life. I never tried to take advantage of any of them. Some I just couldn’t love the way they wanted me to. Trying to love someone isn’t loving them. Then I found out it all happened for a reason. Music was what woke me up to reality.
If you’re pathological, you may find the need to label me as being so, also, because of what I’m about to share with you. It is the most extraordinary thing and a miracle that this thing could possibly be real, because I was agnostic. To me the concept of God was so abstract that people who went to church struck me as unrealistic hopefuls. I had lots of friends and relatives who believed in God or at least said they did. I used to say if there is a God, we would be judged on how we treated others. What did I know?
Some things I know for certain, others I’ve forgotten, some I’ve yet to discover. I don’t consider myself to be perfect and don’t pretend to be. That’s part of the reason that I wish I knew why these things happened and are happening. 9-11 was a very affecting event for me, as well as everyone alive. I kept thinking that this disaster might not have occurred if my own plans hadn’t been thwarted by liars who were protected by the very system that tells us we’re free. I had plans to be an actor and thought I could help those in need if I became influential enough. That was then, this is a cliche.
Seventeen days after 9-11 the anomaly occurred. Since then, events, as you will read them in this poem and these song lyrics are a partial record of what has happened, and are, to the best of my knowledge, correct.
I can prove that I was born to compose music and write lyrics for it and poetry, as well. It is all descriptive and tells a story of my life, as these events happened to me. I include one poem and one song, the music of which came to me as the others did.
After only playing the guitar for a relatively short while, starting when I was 26, I began to hear music that I’d never heard before. It all sounded so familiar but it is totally original. Some people have told me that some of my music sounds like Pink Floyd but it doesn’t really. I’m not trying to emulate anyone. It’s like these are songs that were somehow missed, overlooked chord progressions that make a sense I never knew I was capable of when younger. Others sound like all the Beatles were still living and got back together. That’s the closest thing I can describe them to, stylistically speaking. I get very nice compliments at open stages. People approach me. I don’t fish for compliments. I hate talking about myself, but find that I must. It isn’t really a conscious process, at all, although my conscious mind does have to work out the details of what chords fit the melodies, just as so many others, geniuses of the form, have found before and since.
The hardest part, after the music came to me, was thinking of words that fit those melodies. The words that would eventually come, more than anything, were how I saw the world and personal relationships, again, as many have done before. The difference, to me, is not just one of self-perception. I began to think that something was wrong. I wondered why these deeply personal observations came out as music. It was a process that took years. Without hearing my music it’s extremely difficult to describe what I mean. I can only give you the words here. It’s copyrighted material, but I own the copyright so please don’t alter it. That’s all I ask.
When 9-11 happened we all awoke to a new reality. The problem is that it’s a manufactured one and it has been so for ages, hidden from the average human being by sycophantic sociopaths who scrabble for leadership roles like quarters tossed into a swimming pool for daring young divers to fight over. Nothing is as it seems but Nature and that still holds countless surprises in store. Just because one doesn’t know a thing doesn’t mean that one can’t or won’t find out, regardless of expectations. We certainly can’t believe everything we’re told about the environment, either. All number of slippery characters are deeply involved in the current market meltdown (fear-mongering for those unaffected by it) and you can bet that the causes are not due to natural economic forces, at all.
Please pardon the pedantic meter of the first piece. I’m just describing what happened as best as I can recall and what I think it means. The words came and I wrote them down. Whether or not you agree is, of course, your option. I don’t tell lies and I’ve never hallucinated in my life. I even sent my entry into the James Randi Educational Foundation because I’m certain I can win the so-called Million-Dollar Challenge with my songs. It’s a fraud I discovered. Just read the stipulations and you’ll understand why. Here’s just one example: It’s okay for someone to prove life after death but you can’t say God is behind it. Another would be proving that you predicted the future. God is not invited. See what I mean? I can’t afford to go to him. He says he’ll come to you or send someone. Lie. It’s just a fraudulent publicity stunt. I called him and he hung up on me mid-sentence. He’s not just a skeptic. He’s a cynic. He’s no expert. He’s just a God hating naysayer.
By Legal Means
Kevin Clay Gardner©2004
The Queen’s judge and crown prosecutor lied to me in order to get their way
But I had given the court two hundred dollars so that I could have my say
I was charged with causing a disturbance in Chambers, which was a falsehood, a lie and untrue
These two badgered me to make me fear their authority, when they hadn’t the slightest clue
I had sued Her Majesty the Queen in right of Alberta for putting me in a mental institution
Their intransigence helped lawyers and liars to steal my life, therefore, they owe me restitution
Lawyers don’t seem to think that they should also have to pay for their mistakes
But when people prevaricate purposefully to win they do it for their own sakes
The reason the master decided for a defense that was, essentially, a lie
Is that lawyers don’t want people defending themselves, so they shouldn’t even try
They don’t want people to defend themselves when that’s how they make a living
So, of course, when you challenge their reasons for this, they can be very unforgiving
But I gave money to this imperious court for the right to sue the government
And their treatment of me after I gave them this fee was to everybody’s detriment
These glorified lawyers attempted to make me feel that it was of little use
By treating me like my deepest thoughts were nothing more than filthy refuse
They took advantage of their privileged positions, as any liar only naturally will
The prosecutor had the gall to compare me to someone else, as if I too could kill
They feigned ignorance, pretending not to know about my request for the evidence
In the form of a copy of a recording that would’ve easily proved my innocence
Then after the judge told me that I should’ve asked sooner, he lied right to my face
Telling me that I had the right to defend myself after putting me in my place
For when I asked him for a little more time the judge denied me an adjournment
So I knew that, if I didn’t say I was guilty, I would surely be risking internment
I had to think fast because I was shaking, like my nerves were coming apart
Their one and true purpose was only to make me think that I’d lost right from the very start
The immature manner with which I was treated is an example of how spoiled they really are
But if they think I’ll fold because they “believe” I should, well, that won’t get them very far
Because of their training they should know the law and subsequently, should also know better
But this reliance on extortion by “legal” means can make even a judge a real go-getter
With the usual primary motivational factor being the great and almighty dollar
So around the necks of the helpless, weak, sick and poor they can fortify that invisible collar
Counsel for Her Majesty the Queen in right of Alberta said that I asked them for assistance
Which was something that I had not of them and served only to exemplify her ignorance
They totally discounted my claim like each and every one of them was also a genius
With a vain, sanctimonious, hypocritical display of egocentric arrogance and meanness
I truly wish I could forget these things that I cannot help but remember
Like seeing the light of God in the year 2001 on the 28th day of September
Seventeen days after the fateful day that our leaders tell us we’ll never forget
But I’m afraid that these people may be bound for a place where they will know only regret
It seems that, for some people who seek or have power, lying comes as if it’s second nature
As evidenced by the behaviour of many past and present members of any given legislature
How can they expect to be forgiven by God and the certainty of their own absolution
When they accept what is plainly an act of fraud as an appropriate resolution?
Since, of course, they were the only ones who actually committed any crime
In spite of their vaunted positions, they will definitely be the only ones who do the time
For, because I have Choctaw ancestry, I must add one other thing
When the Queen’s representatives lied to me, they essentially made me King.
I’d rather be dead than be a slave. However, being a servant of humanity is something else entirely. That’s an honour and a privilege. Being subservient to sociopathic sycophants does not appeal to me whatsoever.
Because of Me
© 2008 Music and Lyrics Kevin Clay Gardner
I took the government to court
Because they did me wrong
They told me that I’d lost my mind
That’s why I wrote this song
I have to prove I’m not insane
Before my chance is gone
They still don’t want to listen
But I have to carry on
(Chorus – On 2nd to Bridge)
Because I saw this shining beacon
In the night sky over my head
It wasn’t something that I was seeking
Now I must warn you
You’ve been misled
The ones who say they’re in control
Are in for a surprise
I know the Lord has saved my soul
I couldn’t help but realize
I know I must play out this role
And do right in God’s eyes
But the truth can really take its toll
And it could lead to my demise
Because all of these lawyers ganged up on me
They wouldn’t let me tell my side
So how can they tell me this country is free?
They were all swell headed in their pride
And full of envy
Because they feared me
But soon we shall see
The world will be free
Because of me
Sociopaths? Yeah, I know all about sociopaths. They run the system and when they’re cornered they’ll resort to force. Believe it. Some free world.
I don’t know why God did it this way. I don’t know why the world has to be so bloody when it’s such a beauty. I guess it boils down to the old every coin has two sides philisophical conjecture. Actually, every coin has 3 sides including the edge, but why quibble? You could say that is analogous to where Order and Chaos clash. Only on the ethereal plane do the divisions become clear. Ask anyone whose died and come back to tell of the experience. Mickey Robinson comes to mind.
Archaeologists also discovered the locations of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the other destroyed cities of Biblical note. Nearly pure balls of sulfur are buried in the ashen ruins. Look it up. Don’t take my word for it. The world is a magical realm, if you can atune yourself to see the signs. Why blame me for the bad things when I’m prevented from doing the right thing? Well, that’s what lawyers do and did to me.
I’m just a man who was shown and given the truth as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think that makes me better than anyone else. But all ego aside, it does make me unique.
Misspelled “who’s” as whose. Darn. Missed that proofing. See, not perfect.
I’m a sociopath. Clinically diagnosed, not via a flimsy Internet questionnaire. But my question would not be how to change, like some people previously asked. Mine would be: What on earth makes anyone think I want to change?
TryingToUnderstand, I may not know YOUR boyfriend but your post sounds like my X. He painted this portrait of himself as a hard working salesman, working several jobs to support his wife and two daughters, self made, owning a home on a golf course and a lake house. Former special forces who had been tortured, a mother who abused him. He was sometimes like a scared child……UNTIL, the stories became more bizarre and the lies became known. Nothing he told me was the truth. His badly behaved adult dauthers are as manipulative as he. He says he loves them but he loves to manipulate and control them as they do the same with him. His need here is to control their relationship with him and his x wife. he could not have her “win”. It IS all about winning.
People are to be used for his own personal gain. Although I don’t believe he has done anything against the law, he is abusive with his lies and when he shows his anger (which may be the only true emotion he feels) he is verbally abusive. I don’t believe he truly looked to gain anything in terms of money but rather personal and emotional control of others by appearing to fit in and appearing to be someone admirable. He has admitted that he sometimes feels extreme rage and wants to randomly hurt others. On the outside he is attractive, well built, and seems perfectly normal. He is not and most people will NEVER get that close to him to learn this.
He tells stories of having been a SEAL and tortured and this is why his testicles are small. WRONG. I found used and unused needles in his trash. He has heart liver and kidney problems (all symptoms of steroid abuse). His testicles are small because of this as well. He was in theNavy for four months before being discharged. He saw the abnormality of his daughter’s behavior and sometimes tried to understand. He explained her as not having a “social filter”. (she is very inappropriate whether alone or in groups. I told him his older daughter may have “antisocial personality disorder”. He flew off the handle. I think he knows. They have an emotionally incestuous relationship. It is inappropriate by any standard for a father-daughter relationship. He talked about quitting his job with the NSA where he kileld seven people on behalf of the US government(which he did while he was also a salesman)…… he talked about a friend from the NSA who needed his help who called him at all hours of the day and night….. (NOT I now believe these were other women calling him) how he had to stop en route to Rochester NY one day because the guy was killed by the NSA for doing somehting against the NSA. He told me all his military record had been “burned”. (doesn’t happen in real life).
ALl lies. I later found that he told a former girlfriend, with whom he had an affair the SAME stories at a different time. I also verified his military service.
When I found him in bed with a woman 18 yrs younger, who was a former stripper, with three illegitimate kids, on welfare, no job and cancer, I thought I would die. We were building a home together. I struggled to understand, why someone like that. I have an advanced degree, good job, beautiful home. He told me all the same about himself. (None of which was true.) See, they don’t discriminate when the have the need to feel in control or to dominate. If you have a slight vulnerability you are a good target and you just happened to be there. Lucky for him. They are destructive and dangerous in many ways. They have potential to “snap” at any time. There are varying degrees of sociopathy/psychopathy. But because they are pathalogical liars, it’s difficult to study and learn about them because the truth may never be told. If their behavior is not consistent with their words and they continually lie, trust your instincts and run like hell. They are very convincing. He is now living with a man who is the stripper’s brother, who was recently released from jail. he looks like and pretends to be a redneck which is the new world he lives in. You know, pick up truck four wheelers, fire pit in the back yard, hanging with bikers and trailer trash….. the whole bit.
Their only goal is to emotionally damage and control our every thought and action. In the end, you are nothing and will be discarded anyway. Run from them don’t walk.
In my opinion one can substitute morality and emotions quite effectively by a profound sense of and caring for aesthetics. You might not want to destroy something beautiful just because it affects your immediate sensual feelings. Accordingly, on the one hand you might simply consider it as more beautiful and “fitting into the image” to have an integer mind and soul.
On the other hand, some moral theories that are not at all based on emotions (as Kant’s) might appeal to your holistic world-view, i.e. suggesting a stanza like “I believe that good behaviour as not lying and being grateful etc. will in the long run result in a better wealth for everyone including me”.
A couple of you responded saying the your ex-boyfriends were psychopaths and mine was too – we are still involved off and on. I see all of these traits in him that you two mentioned, but I can’t seem to break free. I try to spend time with another man, then he calls and I don’t want to be with the other person. He constantly seeks attention from women who are in bad relationships. He talks poorly about people behind their back. He’s moved three times in the two months. While he was living with me (2 years) I paid for everything as he had no job and he told everyone he couldn’t work because he had liver cancer. He never cleaned the house or cooked. He talks like he’s a millionaire when he is out in public and puts on a big show and everyone is in awe. Now he lives in a rented room in a house with kids in their 20’s. They are more emotionally mature than he is. He constantly says how sick he is – looking for attention and sympathy. He usually finds it with one of his female friends.
I dont mean to be callous ladies, but great choice in men…really, that is the best you can do/find???
With all the liberation and free will you’ve been given by strong women and a nation, all the education and awareness, all those talks w/ your family and friends and that is the kind of man you select for a mate??? I swear… at some point, even you are responsible for some of what goes on in your own life!
Granted some men are a waste of skin, if so dont get involved w/ them.
Lets see… quick solutions instead of just reinforcing an obvious problem.
1.) Have standards concerning the men you see, it is alright to discriminate when it is your personal time and bedroom…
2.) Look for normal traits like: he works, has goals, dreams, is in contact w/ family, has a few friends, a pet…
3.) Genuinely wants to spend healthy time w/ you going on the town or free stuff…
4.) Find a man that is in to you, yes I know some of you girls like to play nurse and can be giving and understanding but it is not a one way street…
5.) If he is truely cracked, tell someone else and by all means leave, chances are your no psychologist no matter how many pscho babble conversations you have had or are a lifetime subscriber to the wisdom of Ophrah…
6.) Do things on your terms, not on his terms just because he says he “needs this or that”, oldest Momma boy trick in the book…
7.) Look for a man that can stand on his own, it is probally nice to be needed but it is probally really nice to be pampered and spoiled…
8.) This ties in to the first item, have personel standards of what you will and wont tolerate in your life, make them your guideline, dont let others set your own terms of a relationship into their favor, just talking about a two way street, 50-50+-.
9.) Now, you again! You must learn/continue to stand alone until you find your partner, then you can stand together! Finding someone to fill time and space isnt the goal here ladies, you know what you like and you may need to put yourself in your best possible position to attain a functional partnership.
10.) If your half hearted, I’ll guarantee you will not get the right guy for you.
11.) Think with you brains, not your heart or your woo-woo-woo!!! Again ladies, with your brains…
I know your not looking for help here, but too bad :) I get tired of women, perfectly sound, functioning ladies trying to get it right with their hearts and other parts but using their brains last! Think… There are better men out there, dont worry, those men may not be alone long, there are alot of women crazy enough to put up with them! :)
Every thing is ran by sociopath/psychopaths. Since their so good at getting into positions of power and privilege by what ever means necessary, it explains what has happend to wallstreet our goverment and the world. Lord have merci
Dear victim of David R.
Let me tell you, and all the other hopeless romantics’ who think they can change a crazy ,man, a story about my mom. She was 29 when she met my father. She had 3 children from another marriage, was a computer programmer, before most people even knew what they were, and a champion athlete. She had the looks of a movie star. Just why she got involved with my father, I’ll never know be cause he was a convicted rapist with no steady job or prospects for the future. But she married him. She could of backed out at first sign of abuse and manipulation but instead decided to have children w/him, my sister n I. We suffered needless lack, poverty and cruelty but my mother never left. She stayed through all the head games ,beatings homelessness and poverty dragging my sister n I along for the ride. Her health finely pied the heavy price of her stupidity in thinking she could change him as did my sister and I, when she died of brain cancer at 47. My sister and I were not only left motherless, but also homeless with an insane abusive father. It is by the grace of God that I survived a lot of the stuff I did. Ladies be careful cause your decisions don’t only effect you.
Wow. I read this and I thought of my now ex-boy friend. The guy whos wife calls me at 6:30 in the mornig cuz hes having an affair with me and neither of us knew it at the time. He had two lives one here and one in TX. Lots of fun lies huge stories, not talking just excuses.. these were whoppers. Im so sickened but so glad she caught on and I did not move my entire family (im a single mom with 3 little kids) to another state. we would have been away from all family and freinds and helpless. This article has opened my eyes and Im doing more research. I also forwarded it to her. I feel horrible for her too and their kids. The whole thing is a mess.
What you described as a argument towards the morality of a psychopath when subjected to the same methods of pain and suffering they gave to another person (or receiving any torture for no particular reason) doesn’t seem to flow with my mojo.
The psychopath not wanting to receive any form of pain, suffering, or life-threatening situation is about self-preservation. It has nothing to do with right or wrong, but life or death. I believe a psychopath, or anyones, number one goal is keeping one’s self safe from any harm. Atleast that’s what i’d be thinking in your situations mentioned; myself, certainly never right or wrong.
Hope i didn’t sound like a wise-ass :)
One more thing i’d like to say to one of the first 10 comments (can’t remember which one exactly):
Someone mentioned about killing someone if they robbed their home or hurt their loved ones. I’m not sure if what you typed is what you meant or just a justification for killing someone.
I’ll throw it out there and say i’ve fantasized [not sexually] about someone robbing my house while i was in it just so i could kill them (methods need not be said). Because if your life or “space” is threatened society allows murder and practically commends you for “being so heroic” to protect your home and life. No investigations, no worries about being jailed. Of course you don’t even have to worry about the work in cleaning it all up, since it was self-defense it gets taken care of by the f’in police!
Err… bit of a ramble…
I find this article and the responses thereafter very enlightening. But I wonder, what happens when one psychopath or sociopath encounters another? And they inherently aware that this other person has the same perceived “lack” that they also hold (if they are aware at all of their normative non-empathic state)? Lets say for instance that they are both fully aware that they have what society considers to be a social and moral deviant disease; if a time comes when they utilize said “fake” behavior with another who has the same failing what happens then? Can sociopaths bond over being similar? Can one who is aware of psychotic behavior in another become enamored of another who has a similar failing and seek them out in some compulsive need to understand themselves? I think a huge idea that many commentators seem to disregard is the fact that a psychopath is not emotion-less. They just experience emotions differently (ie. different motivations, situations, etc.). I believe the distinction between psychopathic behavior and the desire to murder, torture, or commit morally grey to black crimes against another human being is not only pertinent but neccessary to understanding the true threat of a psychopath. One must realize that to be “used” you must also be “useful” in some way to the user. Not everyone is that important. Therefore most psychopaths are not a threat to you unless you are simply unlucky. But murderers abound with and without psychotic tenancies or proclivities. What does this mean? Is this important? Why are we so fascinated with the psychopath or sociopath? And is a lack of empathy necessarily so bad when those who are not psychopaths have no real conception of what it entails (because they can not experience it)?
Maybe I’m the only one here who thinks this, but Iago from the Shakespeare novel, Othello, immediately came to my mind.
when i first started researching sociopathy ( trying to prove mersault is a sociopath for a reasearch paper, a thesis i now have doubts about 2 days from due date….yea im screwed) i thought i was a sociopath for like 2 minutes(i’m not charming, i can think up how to used people, but won’t go through with it, i can contol my violent urges, i avoid breaking laws (other than ones that are usually broken (speed limits can bite me(lol so many “()” in a “()”(yea can’t spell))) , and i think way too much to be reckless.). i realised now i was just trying to plac myself in a group (wrong one i know), but I do lack empathy,(if i saw you dying i’d try to help you, but only out of curiosity not because you were dying. And if a friend has a problem, i give anwsers based on some kind of logic(but im like the last resort, if a friend is talking to me about emotional stuff, a. they ran out of options, and b. they know i won’t sugar coat anything.). i lack emotion to the point where people get annoying, and i get annoyed they are annoyed, and wonder wtf is making them care so much. I’m fairly certain i do have emotions, no one can really tell because i have the same face, and the same almost monotone voice no matter the situation(i had to give a speech for english, and no one knew i was going to pi** myself(not literally) til i told them afterwards). But i think i’m just alexithymic (yay?). I know i have emotions, i can’t express them for sh**, i only know they are there because my body does something (my legs shake when im nervous, which is horrible when you’re starting pitcher, and trying not to balk, anger i almost stop breathing, fear/nervousness (don’t really see a difference) buttflies, sadness i’ll get back back to you on, etc.) but i do know what i could be feeling and my body basically just confirms it.
ANYWAY, i thought mersault was a sociopath, and i see it, but i can almost as easily make an arguement against it. He appears to have good works habits, just no ambition, you can argue he “cons” people to get things just by saying don’t worry i’ll be your friend, confidant, w/e you want me to be because (this part in his head) to be honest i just don’t care, you can tell me anything and i’ll just passivly listen while i get whatever you offered for my services. Case in point, the pimp guy (can’t remember his name, he says he works at a warehouse though) asks him if mersault was his friend (or something to that effect), and mersault says yes ( a lie) just to get some sausage and wine. a significant con not of itself (but turns out to cost mersault his life ( was the sausage really worth it buddy?), but he does manipulate the guy’s need for a friend (because appearently no one would talk to him because of pimptitude) to avoid cooking/paying someone to cook for himself. His whole relationship with maria(don’t know her name either, but his bed buddy) is based on him finder her physically attractive, and her actually liking him as a person. he basically tells her if anyone asks me to marry them i’d say yes. he says this with no remorse, guilt or shame (thanks this site “http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html”). this along with his mother’s death shows he seems to have o capacity for love. He has a constant need for stimulation, drinking, smoking, sex, swimming, the sun(the sun seems to be his bane throughout the book, but i don’t think the stimulation MUST be positive. His behavioral controls suck (from how i understand it he just kills the dude because the light refelcted from the knife pushed his level of irritation over the edge and he just snapped), he kills they guy, but makes little to no mention of how the family must feel, and maria (bed buddy) visits him he sees what his incarceration is doing to her, and really doesn’t care. Read the paragraph and you know he’s unempithetic, how many of us wouldn’t care our mother died? then on top of that within the first chapter, seeing someone who really cared for your mother struggling to keep up witht he funeral procession, and not try to help him in some way shape or form (put me in that situation, and i’ll be able to tell you my anwser). when talking to the magistrate he decides to just get assigned a lawyer instead of looking for one convienent (showing some parasitic-ness or whatever you want to call it, but its a really weak arguement. im most using this so i can mention his conversation about god with the magistrate. seriously one of the funniest things i’ve ever read in my life, if you read no other part of this book read this part.) although he has no charm what-so-ever (except in maria’s (bed buddy) eyes), enough of the pieces fit to be able to strongly speculate that he is a sociopath. with information of his childhood, we could confirm this, but with what we have, he really looks like one (although one of the less violent ones).
so yea that’s about it, i guess i should put something saying this is more of a rant of someone who seems emotionless, perpetually sarcastic, and is wondering if he can find something to attach a label on this (at the moment i think its alexithymia). and thanks for allowing me to write an outline of my paper (its on topic leave me alone) critique as you see fit. Peace.
I think the only way to answer this post, without being critical of the original poster, is to tell a story that I had with a psychopath. I’m in my 50s, and the kid who lives next door is in his 20s. He’s always getting into some sort of trouble, and I’ve bailed him out on a number of occasions. He swears he’s stopped smoking, stopped doing drugs, and stopped drinking. He also swears he’s straight. The problem is, none of these things are true. My wife and I live next-door, and one evening I started receiving lurid emails. “Come on over, if you bring alcohol and smokes I’ll give you a bj”. At first I was shocked, but just figured he was drunk and didn’t respond. But the messages got more and more intense. Finally, I went over to try to talk to him, and he was waiting on his couch, with bed-room eyes and soft lights. He had planned the encounter. He had taken great pains to make sure I would have sex with him.
We had been friends for almost a year, but yet after he got what he wanted, he wasn’t interested in me as either a friend or a romantic interest anymore. I was humiliated. The night he told me to come over, he told me “I don’t have any money, can you lend me some…I’ll pay you back.” I did lend him money, which he promptly took downtown, and blew on booze and blow. What’s blow? I actually had no idea until he told me it was coke. Did he have any remorse about it? None what-so-ever.
About two days later, he knocked at my door, asking for a quarter. He didn’t have enough bus fare to get downtown. Makes 50 grand a year, but doesn’t have a quarter and “need one so my friend and I can get downtown” so I gave him a quarter. He asked for a hug, which I felt uncomfortable with, but then I reluctantly leaned in, he smacked me in the testicles and walked away without any expression on his face. So, after I got over the initial shock, I asked him if he would be around the next day and he said “yes”. So the next day I went to talk to him about it, and he had his “friend” over, supposedly asleep in his bed, at 3 pm in the afternoon. He said “See ya!” with a cheery expression on his face, and slammed the door in my face.
Recently, he got locked out of his place and came over to ask if he could stay at our place. I showed the same remorse he did: “Bad time, sorry” I said, showing no emotion at all. Showing up at my place in the middle of the night with absolutely no thought behind whether or not he was inconveniencing us just didn’t phase him. Finally he left–because we wouldn’t let him in.
If he doesn’t think he’s hurting people, he’s dead wrong. If you don’t think you’re hurting people, you’re dead wrong. But if you think that we can’t see through your facade, you really do have a problem. I know what to look for now. After being used for so many months, after being lied to, manipulated, cheated, swindled and cajoled, I know exactly what to look for, and what to do. He doesn’t get let in anymore. He’s quite a bright young man, and he’s got several “friends”–female and male–who he can use. I’m sure one of them will put him up. As for me, I’m going to talk to the landlord of my building about him and his drug-related activities. Considering some of his recent illegal activities (including sending drugs through the mail and apparently making a cool thousand dollars off the transaction)–he claims he made a thousand dollars but can’t pay me back the meager amount I lent him? He’s just lying.
Get some help, Rook. Get some help before someone figures out who you are and they take their revenge on you. You would be surprised how angry and vengeful people can become when they are messed with the way I’ve been messed with. Sometimes, it’s not just the psychopath who knows how to cover their real identities. Some of us work in law enforcement and monitor situations like this. Some of us do so undercover. Be advised, if I am one of those people, I would take great strides to gather evidence in such cases. As a result, you might just find yourself in prison for illegal activities. And in prison you won’t be fooling anyone, because our inmates have a way of figuring out personalities quite quickly. You don’t mind pain? Well, you’ll get all you can handle there, and when a few inmates are on to you, the party will be over very quickly.
We see this all the time where I work.
Take a hint, Rook.
I have seen much said on the internet about how to spot psychopaths, how they behave, treatments etc. But I have never seen anything that says; “this is how you deal with one in a real life situation…”
My real life situation is frightening, a psychopathic neigbour who is acting out low level harassment against me so far; (things like slamming doors, intercepting mail, interfering with my door bell and other things).
He threatened me with violence after I instructed the landlord about the door bell (and he is capable of it as well), yet even though he is on strict parole and has a history (I have since learnt) of causing problems with other neighbours and violence.
His girlfriend more or less begs me for help when he sends her to knock on my door and ask for favours for him, yet she is as powerless as I.
Things will only get worse as his lack of comprehension and paranoid delusions against me take futher hold, do I have to kill this crazy f*ck first before he kills me? Is that what it comes down to?
WHY can’t he understand that he is so transparent in his thoughts and actions and highly predictable…. Seriously what the hell can I do? (And don’t say move, I have no money no friends or family….)
If you live in the US, sue.
Seriously, although your neighbour surely has some psycological deficiencies, it does not sound like he is a psychopath.
A psychopath does not feel any emotions, while that guy seems to get some sort of sadistic pleasure out of harassing others. Also psychopaths are mostly rational – they tend to do what they do for their personal gain, and I see no gain in the actions you described.
A close friend of mine is this way. But maybe not totally. Total lier, fully manipulative, cold but engaging, he fell apart when his teenage son got cancer. His response was to blame God and rail against the company he worked for, (that paid out half a million for the child’s treatment). When the boy got better, he quit and got disability.
He is a drug addict now. His Doctor keeps him tanked on Xanex and Vicodin. Maybe out of fear. He threatened me once, three stories up on some exposed scaffolding. I took my glasses off while laughing at him (my usual response to fear is to laugh). That so unnerved him he backed off. When he asked later I told him, that because he is a big fat ex-Ranger, and I am not, I figured my only chance was to pull us off to fall to ground. He would probably die, I would likely live, but with full disability as the company knows he has mental problems. It worked, he never threatened me again. Actually, I really enjoyed his company. For a bastard he was a lot of fun.
Are you kidding me? I knew my exhusband for EIGHT YEARS before I decided to even date him. He was smooth – said & did all of the right things… up until the day we got married. At that point there were 5 children & 2 whole families involved! While we were dating, he never raised a hand to me, never yelled at me, never said mean, hateful things to me. Once we were married, all of that changed. He lied. Plain & simple, he lied. To me, to our “friends,” to our families… and never felt one ounce of remorse for it. I tried desperately for 5 years to hang on & make it work. We had FIVE CHILDREN. I owed it to them to try. He decided to walk out in 2007, and never looked back. His children haven’t seen or heard from him in almost a year. Good for us though, since he has decided since our break up to take over $60,000 from customers. He’s been to jail in 4 different counties for taking people’s money and not giving them the service they paid for. So, Girth, while we are trying to make good decisions where men are concerned, these men give new meaning to the words liar, fake & phony! You never even see it coming. Most of them are just that good at it.
I have a tentative theory – combining elements from scientific research and books I’ve read like “Why They Kill”. Will throw it “out there” in the hope that I may learn something further from the responses….
Humans are “programmed” like hormonal/chemical/electrical computers, with remarkably predictable responses to stimulus. Even things that people feel are completely uncalculating may in fact be, subconsciously, extremely calculating: e.g. studies show that “heart-renderingly sincere love” is characterised by activation of the parts of the brain related to obsessive compulsive, lust, and reward-expectation behaviours. Let’s run with that hypothesis temporarily: if you love someone, it is because you actually want something from them, even if it’s just the chance to prove to yourself how good a person you are by being selfless in your sacrifices to them, but ultimately that’s just a stepping stone to the expected rewards that would come with getting them and others to appreciate your sacrifices. My suspicion is psychopaths have simply seen through all this, transcended the emotional level and begun relating to other people as “robots” to be “programmed” through the inputs (the five senses) in order to predictably produce some desired output. This isn’t terribly different to the path taken by Buddhists, seeking to understand themselves and progress past illusion, but in psychopaths instead of embracing compassion and using this process as a way to help others, they react with a total contempt for the remarkable lack of self-awareness and transcendence of the people being manipulated. It becomes so easy to trigger the expectations that cause others to love them, to have contempt for not only the gullibility of victims, and to resent or be totally cynical about the hidden wants that these emotional lovers are actually projecting on the psychopaths.
Typically, the transcendence comes as a spontaneous event, a result of abuse they’ve suffered themselves, when they start to see “objectively” what is being done to them and how the person or society hurting them is insensitive to their own emotional displays. What comes around, goes around. From being the despised hapless naive victim, they start perceiving themselves as the new masters and all others as victims. It’s a new form of terrifying strength taken on to avoid vulnerability. (I gather many psychopaths refuse to admit they have had such an experience, but that it often comes out after extensive interviewing, but then they’re smart enough to lie convincingly and just for the fun of it, so who knows).
I was married to a psycho/sociopath for 25 years(book in the making!) The very interesting piece to these characters is the delusion that they are able to live under. We had what the world viewed as the “Nelson” family. This can be a very covert personality based on the varying degrees of the intrusiveness of the disease.
My ex was manipulative from day one, but i did not see it. Nor did others. He was able to live under a veil of appropriateness. His best game was manipulation and he worked it in his sleep. Everyone he came into contact with was manipulated, everyone, and they never saw it coming and many still don’t realize that is what is happening.
I think in my experience the greatest damage was done to those “closest” to him because they were living under the guise of authenticity of character. This is the biggest part of the manipulation. They are not at all who u think they are. Not at all. And yet they don’t even flinch in their web of lies, in fact i believe they don’t see it as a lie, just their own truth, convienient when they create it. There is never an acceptance of responsibility for their actions, they have shed any and all responsibility for any problems, but are the sole proprietors of all successful endeavors and their wit a charm will attest to that.
Since I became aware of the diagnosis, i see how their insane behavior creates insanity in their victims. I did nearly go insane trying to figure him out and help him. Know this….There is no help for these people, it is not treatable, just get out of their way and stay out of their path of destruction and u will find the peace and happiness that u thought were void from the earth.
I loved the article. My sister is in the middle of a nightmare of a divorce with a true sociopath! He hits every bullet of the profile and this is extremely frightening. For you who do not take this condition seriously, think twice. There is no way to escape them once they have their teeth set in. As a family, this man is destroying everything we have worked all our lives for. Even though my sister has a restraining order, he still manages to find ways to mentally terrorize her. He has a girlfriend who is “financing” this terrorism and expects to marry him when (and if) the divorce is final. He destroyed her life – ruined her marriage, business, family relationships, and is now working through her money to further destroy my sister’s life and anyone else who tries to help her including their children. He hasn’t held a job for over 10 years and earns a living by selling pirated porno on the internet. He has everyone who didn’t know him prior that he is the victim and my sister is the evil person who is out to destroy him and take away everything that is his or that “he is entitled to”. He did not want the divorce, he just wanted to be able to see his “girlfriend” anytime he wanted and then to be able to come home to his family like nothing was amiss. He even felt he had a right to sleep in the same bed with my sister because he felt he was doing nothing wrong and blamed her for him having the affair. She worked 8-5 at a normal job throughout the marriage while he stayed at home. He couldn’t work for anyone or any company because every place was full of “ignorant people” who never saw his potential or understood how great he really was. Now that my sister was finally able to get him expelled from the home (he finally ended up beating her) he can’t stand not having total control over her life. He breaks into her banking records, telephone records, and even spies on her or follows her to monitor her every movement. Mind you he still has this girlfriend on the side who is also convinced it is my sister who is the monster. I could go on and on but my message is this – these people are extremely dangerous, almost impossible to detect until they have you in their grasp, and almost impossible to get rid of. The more you try to back away, the more they dig their claws in. I am convinced that the only hope for someone in a situation like my sister is to disappear and go underground – like in a witness protection program. Leave and never come back. Change your name, appearance, friends, and leave your whole past behind you. Otherwise there is no escape but death – and I sincerely do mean DEATH. If it wasn’t for her children, I feel that my sister would have chosen that option a number of years ago. These people are MONSTERS and anyone who doesn’t believe that and hooks up with one will regret it for the rest of their life. Thank you for reading this and I hope this message helps someone out there. PS. This man’s name is Rex Butcher and he truly is a butcher!!!
lol.. Well apparently I’m moderately a Psychopath, and my husband is a just a psychopath… Guess those are the breks huh? Oh well… Guess it’s a good thing I’m only moderately one.. So I can check his ass whenever he does something ignorent that might get him arrested… I like to think we are in love, but I guess thats all an illusion huh ? Well except for the rocky times.. Ah well.. to each their own.. Nice article..
Question: Here is a profile of a woman in her mid-40’s. She is from Georgia & uses the southern belle attitude to a T. She even told me once that she & her sister liked to put on the southern belle innocent act as they got a lot of attention that way. She is very intelligent & picks up instructions very rapidly. She was raised a Morman & when she first came to work at my last job she was trying to decide whether or not to marry a man, also a Morman. She had been married once & has 3 children. Our office consisted of about 15 people & the first 2-3 months she spent most of her time trying to get everyone involved in her decision making about the marriage. I tried to be as kind as possible, but after awhile I really just wanted to get my work done. The last time she talked to me about it I asked her if she loved him & if he loved her. She said yes to both & I told her that is the only reason to get married, if there is true love on both parts. So she married him. Several months later she had some problems with her son’s attitude at school. This also became the entire offices job to help her through this. At one point I was in her office & she shut the door. She started complaining about her marriage & said it was my fault because I told her to marry him. I just laughed & reminded her that all I did was tell her to marry only if they really loved each other. She didn’t say anything, but I started noticing a malicious, gossipy nature showing up in her. Untrue rumors started going around about me & I caught her several times whispering to someone else & stopping when I came close. Soon I was seeing other people, some of who I thought had been my friends, looking at me strangely. I really loved the work I was doing but I started having a really tough time putting up with most of my co-workers treatment of me. I tried to get some of them to open up to me, but only one woman would speak to me about it & even she seems really nervous about it. It’s hard to fight gossip especially if things are so vague. I worked through all of this for about 3 years. I left that job almost 4 years ago under very, very stressful circumstances & illness. I haven’t worked since. The doctors tell me that I suffer from CFIDS & Fibromyalgia. No one seems to know how I developed these illnesses. I believe it is the stress related to my treatment by this woman in my last job.
This woman doesn’t seem to fit the profile exactly. She is religious, even teaches Sunday school at her church. And she is still at that job, not moving on. But she has the respect of all who work there so she is happy to stay there instead of moving to another job. She always seemed to want to be center of attention. When she first started to work there my supervisor found out that she had stolen a master key to everyones office, but our supervisor didn’t fire her. We all had keys to the front door & after awhile she would go into the office building to work at all times of the night. She even took her daughter out of bed one night & took her into work as she wanted to do something there, who knows what. This was around midnight. I was the database technician & she let her daughter go into my office use my computer. The next day I had to call my consultant in to straighten out the mess her daughter had done. But she was always able to talk her way out of getting fired or even disciplined.
I know my illness is caused by stress. That seems clear enough. And I’m not blaming any one person or situation for all that stress. I’ve never been through such a situation before or met a person like her before & when I think back it surprises me that I didn’t really fight the gossip like I maybe should have. I only wanted to go to work & do my job, collect my pay check & go home. Now I can see all the things in a clearer light & how she turned so many people against me. At this point there is nothing to be done , but I’m just interested. I’m a Christian & I always wondered how she justifies her behavior with her religion. Actually, I’m very glad to be away from her & all of my so called friends. Could this woman fit the profile of a sociopath?
From what you wrote, no.
Not everyone who is hateful and gossippy is a psychopath. I also wonder why she would single you out as a target for her gossip. The fact, that you gave her “advice” for her marriage ahardly seems a reason, especially given that she was asking everyone else in the office as well. Are you sure, there wasn’t another reason for her to dislike you? (e.g. repeated complaints with your boss?)
I can’t think of anything else I could have done to displease her so much. She is very intelligent & a good worker so I had no call to complain about her for any reason. I became ill in 6/05 & hadn’t really thought of her or the job or any other person there for all this time, with the exception of fleeting thoughts as we all have about past experiences. I’ve been too busy seeing drs., etc. I just happened on this website & wondered. It was just such a strange experience, unlike anything I’ve ever gone through before. And why it came to mind, I’m not sure.
You’re right about gossips, not all are psychopaths. Since most of the office seemed to be listening to her & very possibly passing things on, I can’t believe they are all psychopaths. I hope & pray you’re right. And I’m going to look at it that way from now on.
Thanks for your insight.
well, I usually don’t comment on such articles, but this one was very interesting. I was married to a man for almost 30 years that is one of the most classic cases of a sociopath that there can be. (every one of the above answers was marked yes) I was not raised around someone such as he, but realized early on that there was something extremely wrong with his behavior, but I couldn’t put a finger on it exactly. Not only was he a classic example of a sociopath, but he was also abusive and dangerous because he could not stop himself when he lost his temper. My children, it’s their father, were begging me to divorce him and get away from him because he was coming to the point where he would have murdered me in front of them, without a doubt. We have now lived through 4 of the most unbelievable years of our lives because the state of Texas has forced us to stay here and endure delayed court dates and non-protection from this man who comes over every single day to our home and thrives off hurting us, beating me up, shoving our children, forcing himself into our house and stealing anything he can get, arguing and threatoning us, he’s stolen all my clothes and shoes and things I had packed to move with, both my saddles and tack to my horse, he even stole my horse for a year and a half, all my original art work (I’m a professional watercolorist), he’s put water down my gas tank for a year and a half until he got caught by the neighbor and my car was ruint, he keeps turning the lights and water off at the meters, he’s bled me at the court house and the lawyers office of over $30,000.00 now, and that’s only 1/8th of what he’s done. The list goes on and on. The police can not do anything about it because it’s considered a “civil matter” and they are on the “criminal” side of it. I’m told my restraining order is “civil” and cannot be inforced. The DA finally told me they might be able to help get me a protective order when my contempt case closes out………which it finally did yesterday, (it only took 4 years, folks! BUT I WON!!!!). I hope they will now help me and give us protection. I intend to move away from this state……..who treats women and children like possessions and who needs a dead body before they will move on a sociopaths problems………..and I will take me and my children far from this man and demand that he stay away or die. Does he know “evil” and right from wrong……..yes he does. He has told me what was right, when he did wrong. Was he sorry? He showed me false emotion to mimic the right emotion. Manipulation was very fine tuned for every situation. In order to manipulate a situation, you must first be able to differentiate between right and wrong and exceptable from non-exceptable, and a sociopath can do this. He calls me “evil” because I stopped being responsive and compationate and started counteracting his actions. What he did to me……..I did back to him………the torcherer became the victim and he didn’t like it one bit. He hasn’t stopped his games. Getting him out of our lives and making him stay away is the only answer. I am writing a book…..entitled “Laughter Through the Tears”, ….it will have everyone gasping “no way, no one could treat their family like this!”, and “how could such things happen in the State of Texas?” Ya’ll be praying for us that we leave this place without bloodshed this next month! God bless, Julia
You have my sympathy. I hope this situation with my sister ends up with us being able to turn the tables around like you did. The attorney tells us that he hopes to rap up the divorce by June. This is the good news, however, my poor sister knows that until her youngest reaches an age where he can decide if we wants to see his dad any longer, Rex will continue to make her life a living hell. Unfortunately, the courts won’t let her disappear with the kids. So Julia, my family and I wish you the best as we know what you have gone through. Our prayers go with you. All I ask is that you keep us in your prayers also, as we will need all the help we can get. Sincerely, Paula Whitten and Family
Much too many comments to read in one setting, but this article and http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html (Profile of the Sociopath), which led me here, are dead on in many points to my own experience. I have believed in my own mind, always, that my father, who passed away over a year ago, was, a ‘sociopath’. Only in my own mind have I used this word and I defined it in this way. When a sociopath looks into someone else’s eyes, they don’t see anyone looking back at them. At the end of each day, say, walking home from school, I would feel nauseated, knowing what I was in for the rest of the day. EVERYDAY. He was not violent but scary and no outsider would say that he was, that he was a nice man. But to my Mom and my siblings, it was continuous domination and humiliation. I don’t think I’ve met anyone close to in my life that were like this, but from what I’ve read, maybe you just can’t always know or be sure. But some historical figures and celebrities I’ve read about I seem to recognize as sociopaths as I have described as I have lived with. For instance, that pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, Joe McCarthy, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. They (were/are) sure of the inferiority of all other people in their life experience, don’t know how to debate civility, and look so bully/foolish when they try, insult with a pre-supposed righteousness and fearless when they are caught in a lie. Some get rich from this, McCarthy was censured, Coulter is McCarthy and the pastor scrapping to get away with being eternally labeled as a child abuser zealot before he dies. Sociopaths, while not locally dangerous like violent psychopaths, when given an opportunity or platform, because other human beings to them are simply complicated objects, are a bane to peaceful life and social progress.
I live next door to one of these people but unlike most psychopaths he is relatively stupid. Still, he is equally disturbing to be around. The content of his conversation when he thinks nobody else is listening is always seasoned with the most cruel self centred filth you could imagine, and yet the silver tongue comes out whenever anyone he thinks he might be accountable to is around. Having encountered too many of these people in my life, I wish there was some way of just sticking them all on an island somewhere with the minimum of technology so they can’t harm anybody else for as long as they live. I believe that would be a far kinder fate than they would wish on others who happen to come under their radar for whatever reason.
I’ve been diagnosed as a sociopath but the qualities above don’t apply to me, or at least I don’t think they do. Maybe I’m in denial. In any case, I write a blog about the terrible things I’ve done and me reflections of them. You can check it out here: http://www.ablessingindisguise.org
‘ablessingid’ It’s interesting what you say in your blog, but although I am no expert in these subjects, I wonder at the fact you feel genuine remorse as the classic sociopath and psychopath appear not to have the ability to feel remorse.
I’m a Christian and have been for almost 20 years. Before becoming a Christian I did have a very violent temper, albeit quite a sense of fair play that went with it. I justified my temper and I had my own code of conduct etc but I still had that nasty temper. Now I just don’t have it as the concept of wisdom and patiently waiting on God to avenge the injustices I percieve in the world have taken care of that.
But back to your conscience; I know that psychiatrists used to use the term schizophrenia to describe a variety of mental conditions that didn’t have any other definable title or description, so I wonder if perhaps you have been diagnosed as a sociopath in a similar way because the doctor had a bit of trouble pinpointing what was exactly the problem.
If you are genuinely a sociopath and you now have a conscience, I commend you for the journey you have made and want to encourage you to continue with it. If to any extent your experiences of rage has anything to do with a sense of injustice, I’d also encourage you to think about the fact that there is a ‘higher court’ in terms of God and His eventual and very real justice for everyone.
I do know a guy who I think may have also been a sociopath until he became a Christian, and although it took a long time for those traits to fade away, he really has changed in the time I have known him. Doctors form opinions based on what they can quantify, observe and describe in relation to the natural human body and personality, but they tend to be less inclined to go in the direction of what is happening spiritually, maybe because they would be laughed at for it! But you know… there are many things in heaven and earth that we can’t put into words or clearly defined catagories. May God bless you on your journey.
Thanks, Mick—I appreciate the thoughtful sentiment. Yeah, I haven’t ever hurt anyone with a direct desire to do so; it’s always been a very impulsive act of rage which lasts for a couple seconds and then dissipates. However, I do think I have a conscience—a strong one at that. I’ve founded numerous local community groups and have worked for the past few years for an assortment of education nonprofits. I have a strong desire to help others, and when I make mistakes I genuinely desire to fix things and ensure that others weren’t negatively affected by my missteps. Yet sometimes I’ll go to my anger management group and they’ll really grill me on what I believe vs. what I think I believe. It’s in those instances when I start to wonder if I’m living a lie.
Experiments with rats have shown similar results as with humans…
If you ignore the rats, or humans…”Lack of affection…”, they become socio/psychopathic…
If you punish them painfully for mistakes…”Corporal punishment…”, no matter how painfully…they turn out normal…
Of course, reality is a little different…
So many variables…
Yet a thread of commons patterns…
We all know a psychopath…
We all have a choice…
Predator or prey?…
It is a cognitive process…
With time and rewards…reinforced…
Like all experience…
Flavoured with genetics…
Sprinkled with emotions…
Or a learned lack of…
Baked in time…
“All too often, the abused partner blames the situation on themselves, and comes out of the relationship emotionally destroyed.” This is so me. Seems to me sociopaths have no friends unless they can benefit from the relationship in some way. Using people, manipulating people, preying on the gullible or vulnerable, or in my case people who already have low self-esteems, is second nature to a sociopath. Saying to a sociopath, I saved your life, doesn’t that count for anything–no it does not. My helping a sociopath & hoping for some form of kindness or lasting warmth or appreciation in return–is rather like a car hoping its owner will still want to appreciate it after it ceases to run & has no uses anymore.
I think we ALL have sociopathic trates. Put us on a scale somewhere between 1-10 of the generic
sociopathic requirements and we fall somewhere in that range. For example; I kill a blue marlin to
salvage his bill so I can use it to mount a replica, I have zero remorse for the fish and don’t find anything wrong with it. You, may kill a man to take the gold from his teeth to wear around your neck as adornment and find nothing wrong with it…. What is the difference when you put it on that scale, lack of remorse for taking a life without regard for anyone or anything else. But moreover, anyone who is attracted to a person who wants to abuse them, use them or be in anyway shame them by our relationship “norms” is right where they desire to be. Anyone can peg a self absorbed confident person from 1st. contact, and most are attracted to that type, unless of course you are that type and don’t care to banter for the lime light. The other trates that you say are so cleverly disguised are not hidden at all. You can look into another person’s eyes on topics that might disgusted the average “normal” person and read a knee jerk reaction. I think too much drama is wrapped around
sociopathology in general. Each of us to some degree don’t give a damn about others when our wants and needs are threatened or at risk. I think their are far more people faking it in today’s society than you want to be aware of. I think society norms are changing and self preservation may have caused many folks to acquire these traits from a very young age. Example, all those latch key kids that are all grown up and running around amuck in this country today. The problems you have with real sociopaths aren’t a problem less you are dysfunctional yourself and CHOOSE to be involved with one in a relationship; the agenda of a sociopath isn’t to hurt someone else as much as to not allow anyone else to stand between them and what they want, again, the scale ; 1-10…. we are all selfish to some extreme and until someone falls over the edge and takes another HUMAN life outside of our constructed norms, war/defense… leave it alone, let them live and prosper and if you are lucky, you may work for one and reap from what falls to the side, like YOUR little pay check or some good financial advice, or maybe a good read or movie. Greater point here is don’t throw every sociopath to the curb just because they aren’t good in romatic relationships. On every other front the are harmless lest you get in their way. I think a broad overview of requirements cast too wide a net on the real dangerous ones… hope I made some sense to someone out there ~
I just had my first experience with a classic sociopath. Oct 08′ Our7 person company hired a front desk/ Office Assistant, Jessica. She went through our 3 months temp to perm period and during that time won the hearts of everyone. She quickly befriended all of us on facebook. Become a good friend to all of significant others when they called. She befriended all of our building staff, the mailman, neighbors in other suites. She was Charismatic, had an undying love for her six month old son and was proud to be a single mom. Everyone admired her courage to work Full time and be a single mom, which she talked about constantly. She was so open and honest about EVERYTHING in her life, which is something the new age hippies who head the company value very much. I on the other hand was very weary of her. I thought it was odd and annoying that she came in and swooped everyone off their feet, was constantly dominating every conversation about herself, her child, her love life. I also thought it was super annoying that she always got her way and bragged about it. The coveted in bldg parking spot that had a wait list. Every other Friday off schedule etc. Things in her life was constantly changing. She would constantly got to the salon downstairs and change her hairstyle every other day with weaves, wigs, etc.I quickly accepted I was just a hater and was jealous because I lacked the openness she had. I quickly started to become friends with her, although sometimes annoyed by her egocentric behavior. By Jan 09′ she randomly decided that she was moving out of her Boyfriend of 5 years house and getting her own $1500/ month apartment on her 35K salary. Then she went on a campaign around the office to acquire stuff for her apartment. She was able to get gift cards, pottery etc. ( kitchen stuff from me). Then about 2 months later she moved back but kept her place,because she couldn’t break her lease. She also talked openly about getting gifts from and seeing other men. She quickly befriended one of our VP’s . Jessica offered to be a surrogate when she was having fertility issues. The VP didn’t take it seriously , but it offered her a glimpse of hope, and ultimately made them closer while going through the fertility process. Jessica would often offer to bring her child over to her house etc.
August 10th I returned from my vacation hear that she is going to be of the office the next day, because her Boyfriend of five years just lost it, “because of all of the lies I supposedly told him” and slashed her tires, and she was pressing charges etc. The same day she was out I got a call from a check cashing place saying that The check Jessica cashed bounced because the account is closed. Of course the check was unauthorized and before she could be confronted about it she sent an email apologizing and saying how she had hit rock bottom and was desperate,because she was losing her apartment. Our COO spoke to her shortly after and she said she basically told her some story about feeling ashamed for not having enough $ and that she wanted to come in an apologize ( with the hope of getting her job back). After a bit of research and fessing up to avoid criminal charges. We found out that she cashed multiple check in the ball park of 1000. She indeed was in danger of losing her apartment on July 17th, but her VP friend bailed her out after she called her frantically crying on 19th, a few days before she cashed the check. A day later the same VP let her use her Credit card to get gas, because she was rolling around on empty. A few days later she stole the VP’s credit card and went on a over 1000 dollar shopping spree. We also found that she used our COO’s (her former friend) credit card to buy herself a new Palm Pre. She opened credit cards using various peoples identity, which she used to furnish her apartment in January. She opened new company cards. She graciously asked all of VP’s for their VM passwords, so she can ” check their messages while they’re away.” This is when she went in and deleted all of the collection calls their voicemails. Her Scam dates way back to a few months after being hired and continued while she befriended all of us. It may even go deeper, because we were visited by the Secret Service yesterday about a separate investigation they are conducting involving our CEO’s personal credit card. The sad thing is that she admitted to doing this before. She was caught at her old job and was able to swindle getting out of it. It is disheartening to know that this woman who is clearly a sociopath, may never be stopped, because No one will press charges against her. People are so easy to forgive her and sympathize with her,because of how warm and charming she was. I just hope she can learn to turn this energy into something positive, because I witnessed how much power she had over everyone and it was something fierce.
My son was recently convicted of statutory rape (he’s 25 and she was 15) and he was diagnosed as a sociopath at the age of 14. We put him in therapy and have tried COUNTLESS treatments over the years. He came from a loving family and was a normal sweet child until about 14 yrs of age. Then he just snapped and strarted getting into trouble and not caring about the consequences. In his late teens and early 20’s he got a total of 69 parking tickets (he never paid a one) until his car was impounded ahd his license was suspended. He wouldn’t stay in college, refused to work at a job for more than 3 months and then got bored and quit. He ALWAYS dated girls that were too young for him because he could control them. As soon as he was arrested, I KNEW HE WAS GUILTY. This is a sad, sad condition. As a parent it’s heartbreaking. After reading this article, I see many of the same traits in him described here. Possibly he is both sociopathic and psycopathic?
I’m fairly ceartain I’m Anti-Social/Sociopathic. I can’t say for sure becuase, for one I’m only 16, and two I’ve never seen a pchysicatrist, or other medial professinal. But I seem to fit 99.9% of the symptoms used to classify sociopaths. I even got Psychopath on the quiz above. I know that It’s just a quiz but I only answered no the “Posting First” thing, which I thought was kinda stupid. But anyways, I’ve stolen from just about everyone I can get my hands on, I lie everyday for no apparent reason, I guilt trip because I love the look on their faces when they decide to give into whatever I’m asking for, I had a girlfriend, but we broke up because she got boring, after sex it kinda just flat lined. I don’t usally get physicaly violent to people outside of my family, but I take out any anger on my brother, I’ve been known to smash things, kick animals, just exsplode and leave everything in shambles around me. I can get anything I want just by getting to know a person, playing off their wants and desires. It’s all just so easy, everyone else is just dull and boring. I really want help, but after seeing people opinions about treatment I gotta admit, I’m kinda sad, but I guess I’ll be one of those people that does this sortof thing for the rest of their life. I can live with, hell I’ve been doing for 16 years now.
You are for the most part in this article referring to the key components of an antisocial personality not a psychopath or a person suffering from the wide range of psychotic illnesses outlined in the DSM and I believe you understand that yet you continue using this title to outline a personality disorder. I will agree there appear on the surface to be quite a few similarities between the two however in my experience deep down the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths can me summed up by the delusional and the diluted.
This is for PJ Murphy (or whatever your real SATANIC NAME IS)….You are one sick Mother-Fuck and SHOULD be put to DEATH!!!! I hold no sympathy for you CREATURES..Biologic, no matter to me! If I knew where you were, I would hunt you down myself for the MONSTER you are! Until now, I did not know that “Your Kind” were so prevailient. I DO strongly beleive/understand now that your kind are the DIRECT reason for the horrible state that the World is in today! Not being an overly, or even particularly religious person myself….YOU ARE THE INCARNATION OF SATEN!!! And, THAT is the reason your numbers are so high and seem to be growing. When dicoverd, if not destroyed…you should at least be rendered sterile! I have been, and due to disabilities, still am “stuck’, for now, with a Sociopath and, just up the street, it’s Mother. My life has been DESTROYED because of him, his mother and ALL of your kind…..I will NEVER heal. And, you do not care? But, you do not want to be tortuered or destroyed…do you? Oh, NO, I KNOW that you WISH to produce/create your kind!! You ARE NOT HUMAN! You are NOT another “type” of human as is hypothesised by some. You are EVIL MONSTERS who are bringing down the very existance of mankind! You have no place, no right, to Earth, Heaven, Hell or Even another planet (which you would just destroy as well anyway). You have no right to even BREATH THE SAME AIR as true humans! Phychiatrist and other like them love to study you because of your sick, disgusting oddities (for lack of better wording) so they “tolerant your existance”! Unfortunate, sad and even unfair/uncontitutional as is may sound….ALL humans (or in your case “humanoid-like mutants”) should be THROUGHLY SCREENED from age 12 to 18 BY LAW, in ALL countries on Earth. When discoved, immediately DESTROYED…..humanely, of course. If I EVER catch or hear of one of you so much as LOOKING AT one “of mine”….I will not laugh it off as my (older) family members have done, beleiving that you are not REAL, that you are not CAPABLE OF THE DETRUCTION that you cause….YOU KNOW, better than anyone, that you do not have to EVEN think about killing or physically harming a human to DESTROY them!!! I will begin my crusade by doing my best to enlighten the “older”, uninformed and work my way up and out to ALL I can reach…..AND I WILL GAIN STRENGHT IN NUMBERS!!!! Your “kind” will be wiped off this Earth like the SCUM, GARBAGE, USELESS, WASTE OF AIR/SPACE THAT YOU ARE!!!! Beware, my EVEIL MONSTERS OF SATEN, you know who you are and you know you can and will be discoved! You will hovel underground….yes…..BUT YOU WILL BE DUG OUT LIKE THE DEAD, SLIMY WORMS THAT YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!! BE VERY WARY…VERY, VERY, VERY WARY…..AND SCARED…BECAUSE YOU WILL BE FOUND AND DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS….I PROMISE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LUVARIAN….please read my other post….the one about PHYCOPHATHIC MONSTERS…O.K. little boy? You sound as if you may just be a spoiled or unloved or uncontrolled or unwanted CHILD to me….BUT….get some professional opinions….K? Then, pleae get back to me on here….K? That way we’ll ALL know for sure….K? Oh, and if you are a poor little PHSYCO-MONSTER or just an exceptionally bratty juvinile….you can find help in you school or community….there ARE free clinics. Though, I am hoping that all can be screened by very, well qualified professionals. Just do your best…K? And, please, please come back and let us know….I’ll even LET you use me for something Evil…..you won’t even have to trick me…K?
Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury. Your tyrannical dogmatic approach to the systemic reform of society is not unlike that of most people who share the same views as you, and it could be argued that people like you are the reason that society is where it is today. — Even if by some extraordinary means your radical views were to come to fruition, you would only give birth to the same “evil” you’re attempting to eradicate. Perhaps you should first understand the nature of oppression before you attempt to even understand the nature of the human psyche. Dealing in absolutes confines the human mind into a prison, no matter how beautiful the world; show a prisoner the world, and all he will see is bars.
“an alternative, PCL-inspired test guaranteed to appear scientific.”
Well what do you know, im a psychopath. Thats good to know >:}
I understand women sociopaths are rarer than men.
5 years ago my stepson got married, we thought S was a bright, VERY CHARMING, well put-together woman. Over the years I cautioned R about their finances, always seemed to be in financial trouble due to her spending. 2008 Christmas was an extravanganze even though they had no $, and owed us quite a bit. An argument ensued over the “treatment” of her older son.
Two months later she called his employer (a prestigious university, he is an associate professor on a tenure track), his mentor uncle, and his sister, claiming she and the children had been abused. This plus her bizarre telephone 2 hour rambling conversations convinced us to contact authorities about the children. They assured us her treatment of them was abuse (verbal, not physical). They also said he “would not act”, he was the abused spouse, and turned out the perfect victim. A month later she did a “fake suicide” in front of the children, 911 called, she was released. Two days later she woke him, tore off his shirt, bit him 20+ times over his upper torso. 911 was called, she was taken by the police after quite a struggle, but amazingly released 2 hours later with only “harassment” charges placed. She then took the kids to a womans shelter after cleaning out his bank account, and accused him of abuse and rape (false).
A month later the court awarded him custody of the children 4 days a week, her 3 days. And no child support or maintenance. Forward 8 months: After “anger” counseling, parenting classes, marriage counseling, he is totally on board with her even as she continues to keep him penniless and from doing his job–his reviews have been poor, and likely to stay that way. He has NO say over anything. We have not been invited to his home, have seen the children 4 times in 8 months, and then only if it fits their convenience. He says she will not allow him to bring the children except on her terms. She has lost control of us, and is trying to get us back into her “fold”. We are no longer interested in her drama and games. We aare considering moving from the area.
Sociopaths are extremely charming, excellent at conning others, learn appropriate responses, all the things listed in the survey questions. However, they will certainly destroy anyone within their control. All was well between us and her until we “crossed” her once, then it was all over.
Interestingly, virtually everyone that meets her has said–there is something wrong with her! Her sense of humor is cruel. She has grandiose ideas and plans, but none ever come to fruition. Her 1st son, now a teenager, has learned to be a great “con”, admits practicing his technique and facial expressions in front of a mirror. He also is likeable, very charming. Whether he will be a sociopath also is yet to be determined.
If one has never been closely associated with such a person, one has no idea of the utter lack of empathy or feeling that exists in such a person.
Footnote: We came a day after the attack, he was so unhappy–felt very bad that his children had to see the police take his mother off in handcuffs! A few months later, she filed a harrasment complaint against me, I had police at the door, and denied her charges. I heard nothing more from them. R rails about police interfering in his life, we have to remind him each time that she was the cause of police showing up “Oh, yea.” Then he promptly forgets what happened. He is the perfect victim.
Interesting. Recently my boyfriend of 4 years has broken up with me.. AS I spoke to his aunt re: our breakup she commented she thought he was a sociopath. I did not really understand her comment so looked info up online. he fits all of the traits. at first he was charming and complimentary. soon after he was verbally abusive, started accusing me of cheating, always calling me when I was not with him, every 5 -10 minutes. Even calls and nasty texts in the middle of the night accusing me of having someone else in my bed…especially if i did not hear the call or respond to the text. If I did not answer he would leave nasty messages accusing me of cheating, maybe with a neighbor or friend. I had friends that were male but soon lost them barely had my female friends anymore. he bought me a car, paid for some of my bills. always held this over my head.. I trusted him and believed him. I found out he was on the internet dating sites..many..but he started accusing me of doing so.. he never acknolwedged this only blamed me for being unfaithful.. he has been in trouble with the law..since a young age..always blaming someone else. THings are never his fault.. i started to feel incompetant..even though I have always been very strong and self sustaining woman. I felt confused at times even doubtful..but he is so very charming. He would spend money ruthlessly..never a care in the world. Would take other “women” to work functions but i was never invited..never mixed business and pleasure..eventually he had a run in with the law and did some jail time i took care of his child..gave up my home and he convinced me to move in with him..I did.. I gave up my job to help him out…worked for him but never was paid..we lived together for a few months and now he has ended it with me..quickly and drastically..threw me out..I have no money and am trying to get back on my feet..he does not care i have no money for food or bills..does not care..there is no remorse.. I email him and text him I am upset and confused and he accuses me of starting shit..and oh by the way two weeks before he threw me out he started a relationship with another woman..I feel i have aged drastically during this horrible time.. I trusted him totally..giving up almost everything for him. For my sake I still have a bit of integrity and self worth left.. he never truly broke me down to nothing. I still speak to him but keep it cool and calm.. as to not upset him. his anger was intense.. I did love him and trust him but what a fool I was.. never again..
I found the article while reading about sociopath, trying to understand my adult child behavior. I am very sorrowful to say that my child fits the profile perfectly, and has a very samll impressionable child.
I want to do my PHD in physcology. I have learnt so much in that area since my friend of 12 years left me. I discovered that the past 12 years have been laced with lies and deceptions. He decided to go as it was all about to catch up on him. I thought that he was a narsaccist and I still do however the right clincical name for his condition is definietely anti social personality disorder. I was never really scared as he could be charming and appeared at times to be loving. Now I know it was all a means to an end and I feel angry with myself for not stepping up to the mark and taking action. There were some huge incideneces that he talked his way out of. There were some very spooky ones too. Confusion reigned but I had a disabled son who was physically disabled and my friend was emotionally disabled so I pressed on. Constant promises for the futire were his forte. He had put a deposit on a house for us so he had told friends. His wife had died of caner or his girfriend had had a miscarriage. Nearly all his stories involved death which is frightening. He has cut himself off from his home city and no one knows his whereabouts other than he is renovating his Dads house. His Dad doesnt own a house . Sounds trivial but its not as he has threatened to find me again. he will too when all else fails. He is smart and works with computers. He has got his jobs by charm and lying saying that he has worked with disabled chilren. Immediately he is looked on as a considerate and compassionate man. he is not. In fact he is very cruel. Two of my friends lost their lives recently and all he could say was when their time is up its up! He is very mean and selfish. He took me for a ride and now i have to recover and start again. I have a good network of friends but they dont understand at all, telling me to put it all behind me and move on. My goodness I want to do that.
I have now to deal with his sexual promiscuity which I know was in full swing. Everthing that he abhored he was involved with. Pot smoking he hated but earlier on it was an addiction. He is now back into it. It goes on. These people are dangerous and should be prosecuted but the law cannot deal with them.
That is quite a story here, I feel for you and i wish you very well with your studying.
I am now 50 years young and traveled a lot, worked at lots of different jobs and always with lots of people around me, and yes i must agree with this good article that describes the character of a psychopath.
Heck the description here fit me also (( “” characteristics such as charisma, self-centeredness, confidence, and dominance are highly correlated with the psychopathic personality, yet also highly sought after in potential leaders.”” )) and probably more people, but LUCKILY the absence of the other characteristics makes me not a psycho. ;-)) .
Being aware of feelings and understanding how much words can hurt is a very important social skill and lots of people miss these skills. And the lack of talking about problems instead of using violence says a lot among lots of peoples.
I am happily self employed because of the fact that dealing with a boss/employer/manager, just don’t work for me. I never take ( AS THE DUTCH WOULD SAY >> “”EEN BLAD VOOR ZIJN MOND”” , TRANSLATION >> A LEAVE BEFORE MY MOUTH ) .
So having said all this here DURONIMO stand up for yourself and good luck from now on.
Greetzzz, Frank G.
Just found this information. I’m sure this all describes my ex. The constant grandoise lying, relationships, sexual promiscuity, verbal and emotional abuse to me and the kids, very intellegent, always changing jobs, just got his 4th divorce, alchoholic, and so much, much more. But does not accept blame for anything. There is always some reason or person to blame for everything that happens, but it’s never him. Or he just shrugs off unfornutate things like it was no big deal. Almost with a grin even like it was comical. I think his father was the same way. He died in prison. Convicted drug dealer. My ex always said he would give his kids a better life and always be there for them. Yet in some ways it was worse. Even though he had great jobs and earned good money and was a reserve deputy life was about him and what he could accumulate and do for himself. Is this or can it be hereditary? Or is it a learned behaviour? Two of three children have picked up on the lying habit. One much more so than the other. One of those two is very social and the other more anti social. Are there things I should watch out for? They are very young adults right now. I worry. Their dad went from having it all to nothing because of his problems. It destroyed him. He’s a jobless alchoholic now and has even pulled a gun on his last wife and his brother. He seems to be trying to get in an up swing again but it’s always such an emotional toll on the kids. They don’t trust him at all. What do you do when you’re 95% sure of your suspicions but have no rights on the person? What do I do to tell if my kids have these traits?
Oh my does that sound so much of my ex husbands traits and bahaviour. If you have no child with this man why are you still talking, texting and e-mailing with him. One thing I have learned, even before I found a name for what he was, is that he fed off of this. He will continually move from one woman to the next, who ever can offer him the most financially, socially and sexually. But in order to be nice to that one they have to have another one to take all of their meanaess out on. DO NOT BE THIS PERSON! Have no contact with him what so ever. I made sure that any contact I had with my ex was directly related to the kids health insurance ect. I always had an attorney, or other person take care of it when ever possible. Also do not talk to anyone of his friends, girlfriends. This also fuels the fire. Their fear of their lies being discovered if you talk. By now he’s already filled her head with so many lies about you she won’t beoieve a word you tell her. Mine just went through his 4th divorce (not including ex girlfriends and fiances) and none of them were his fault. They were dopers, cheaters, etc. You have to get past the brainwashing that has been done. Be thankful you had no children with him and that you can just move on. Now do it in peace and be greatful.
So today I found out that my 20 year son was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, or psycopath, or sociopath, which ever you choose. Everything I have read today says there is no cure and there is no help for him. He is currently not living here, and I still have 4 children living at home. What the hell is a mother supposed to do with this kind of information???? Everything talks about the friends and girlfriends and co-workers, etc….etc….. but nothing says what a mother is supposed to do with this kind of information? The only upside to this is I now know WHY he acts the way he does and DOES the things he does. It’s horrifying! It makes me sick to my stomach and I can’t even begin to determine the emotions I am feeling and have felt today. If anyone has some good advice or opinions I am willing to listen. I don’t even want to talk to him on the phone right now, it makes me mad and ill all at the same time!!!
Al tho it sounds cruel what i am about to say, the best way to help yourself and your kids is not to get in contact with your son anymore if you try to help him he only will be fed by your attention to him and exploit you more and more, and yes keep him away from your other kids.
I hope i am making any sense here for you, all the best to you.
Frank G. Thanks for the advice, and I do agree with you. I had night mares all night and I feel worse today than I did yesterday. And I plan on staying completely away from him and keeping my family away from him also. As I see it if I were to let him back in my home knowing WHAT he is that would be grounds for his counslor to call social services on me. As he should! I still don’t know how to process all this I never thought in a million years I would be faced with something like this.
thanks for listening
Your welcome Lyz,
Believe in your strength, and keep your spirit up.
Im moderately psychotic according to this test (sorry if my spelling is not perfect…) anyway… I somehow cannot ever believe in mental illness I mean are they even real or are they just a way for other people who cannot understand the mind of someone who’s psychotic to label them instead of understanding their problems maybe?… I dunno… I guess if you had many other “mental disorders” along with being psychotic it would be awful since you could turn to crime and whatnot… fortunately Im one of those persons who doesnt believe in harming self or others so… couldnt really care less how people see the psychotic personality as because I think its just a way to turn their backs on the real issue at hand… understanding the reasons of these people doing what theyre doing… they just label them with whatever mental disorder they find…
on the other hand I do believe I have certain psychotic behaviours that might make a psychologist (not sure if thats the right spelling) think I am a little crazy =P haha but you can blame my genetics for that since my brother I believe is probably an agressive psychotic … he has gone from doing violent things to doing just reckless stupid things and still showing no remorse or emotion about it eventhough he’s ruining his own life… he is a little pathetic if you ask me but it might come in the genes afterall….anyway… at least Im not like him I dont go so far as to take drugs or lie or do other things that might be considered as harmful to either myself or society so I think Im pretty good myself … but I do know someone who fits the description perfectly except for the part about maybe violence and he is a lawyer lol, he sure is a violent creepy bastard he is mentally violent… loves to play mind games with people, always trying to put the shame on others and blaming others for his own lack of responsability… sure politics most have the biggest amount of psychopaths there =P
oh sorry duh.. moderatly psychopath… whatever still same sh** haha
After taking that little test up there, I think anybody could have psycotic tendancy’s! I know I do, but I get really pissed when it comes to my kids and someone is picking on them or trying to harm them. Of course the sad thing is, that’s usually my oldest son! Finally coming to grips with the reality of it all now. Not depressed and cunfused anymore. I did let my guard down for a few days but I am back on track now. Just trying to make sure my family is protected and keep my distance from him. He claims he’s trying to get help, I truly hope so, but alas we won’t know till it’s all over and the fat lady sings! I guess it wouldn’t be any different having a son for a psycopath than being married to one, either way, they’re probly out to hurt you or manipulate you. I do have a question???? Can they feel love or is it just a learned responce to get what they want? I love him he’s my son, but now I am wondering (or holding on to some shred of hope) if he ever truly loved me???
thanks again for listening
I came searching for this article. Searching for answers. As i was swept off my feet by a man 26 yrs of age. Sending me flowers and cake, shopping sprees. The constant need to stay in lavish hotels, going from city to city, without planning. Impulsiveity. He changed his name adn occupation everywhere we went. I noticed it was to gain their trust, so that he could con them out of money. He was good. By this time we were engaged. I was frightened, and inlove. But i realized he was empty inside. The tears were fake, he had no real feelings for anyone, not even his own parents. He said he would never let me leave him, but when i did he never came searching for me. he had no guilt, no empathy, charismatic and calm. Not violent, and nothing seemed to phase him. i was attracted to how calm and collected he was. But as time passed, i noticed speech impediments, like his brain was working faster than his mouth, and no regrets. It was obvious to me he felt nothing real and lived an empty life, but i was also convinced that somehow beyond all that I was the only one that mattered. I fooled myslef and let him fool me. I had just lost my mother and needed this whirlwind he put me in, and the lavish lifestyle he provided. I am left now in such pain. Embarrased that i miss him. Embarrassed that i let him in. And just lost. I still have nightmares. But i no longer hate him. Because i saw the misery he lived with, its as if he knew he was living in hell because he felt nothing real. and when he did, it was very shortlived, and he would go back to the same restless jumpiness the next day, looking for another victim, incapable of telling one truth the twelve hours he was awake. I swear the 7 months i spent with him have traumatized me more than anything i have experienced. because he gave me so much and took so much more away. i wish i coud have a hidden camera with me on that journey. i saw things i hadnt seen in movies. i gave him up. hoping he would return. but reading this article and all the links before getting here i realize, he will walk this earth with no regrets and continue to ruin every relationship he encounters without even wanting to.
This link below proves again how good this article is from Alan.
Talking about profiling this guy matches it all.
Scary how deceiving this animal was on that show and showed his real face with the other two contestants,
and yes you wonder why there was no screening in those days.
I just ended a four and a half year relationship with a sociopath who is also a high functioning alcoholic. She fits all of the profiles/character traits of a sociopath, she used to tell me how her ex husband and one of her daughters are sociopaths. Being with her has taken its toll on me emotionally and financially. We lived together for almost three years and she moved out ten months ago. I was fine with it being over and after a couple of months I let her convince me to just be friends. What was I thinking? I took a lot of the blame for the way she treated me, I guess I took it personally. I now understand it wasn’t personal, it’s her, it’s the way she is. I no longer have any communication with her of any kind. If you find yourself with a sociopath, run, save yourself.
To the Mum with a sociopthic son.
My friend was adopted and has wonderful adoptive parents. His Dad was tough on him but I think he needed that. They warned me years ago of his behaviour but had no idea that it was a pshyc condition that could be named. When I spoke with his Mum recently she advised me to cut myself right off from him. They had to. but they have kept an open door to his infrequent visits. They do not believe a word that comes from his mouth and he is not allowed to stay with them more than one night. So all in all, they still love him and I guess are hoping for the change. That wil never happen so they keep their distance. It is a dreadful place to be lady. He is your son and you do love him but for the safety of the family you have to set boundaries. I never did that but clearly that is where I made a huge mistake. They will control you otherwise and you will become their victim which is what they thrive on. Always think of yourself as higher than they are. Dont let them over talk you and in fact dont try to negotiate as they have no conscimce. Do not believe a word that comes from their mouth and what does happen to come out remember that they believe the exact opposite. Its just awful. I recently read that when you are accused by a sociopth of LOSING IT then its time to go and go fast. They will put it all back on to you and you will start thinking that you are the sociopath. Thats strategically very clever. Well. they are……but so are you once you know what to look out for. They are creeps and everything they do or say is for self gain. Your dreams mean nothing to them at all. They mirroe others and use the same language but its all false and cleverly acted out.
I am currently going through a divorce from a psychopath/sociopath. It wasn’t until I started the divorce process that I realized what he was. I think to myself all the time how in the heck did I get involved with this person?? Marry this person?? It is just crazy and scary.
wikizen: I completely feel for you and have gone through similar situations. Keep your chin up and your guard up. Best of luck to you.
Enter your comment hereI am what yuo would consider a non violent sosiopath but i dont see this as a bad thing but more as a way of thinking yes naturaly i manipulate people around me but is it always for bad no…now you would answer this as yes yit is your manipulateing the people who trust you to get what you want but take into consideration that maybe manipulations dont always have to end in a bad way for the quoted victim as im only in my last year of highschool i am constantly finding myself bored and need stimulation but even in things such as sports i can find little stimulation so i often tend to manipulate people into challenging me in such things as debates but is it bad to make people try and think on a deeper lvl to compete with my thought i wouldnt say so.
But as much as i have confidence and natural charm yatta yatta i cant help but find myself but envious of the normal person ii quite like the lack of empathy to be honest but lack of true feeling is something that you cannot think through or solve with your brain alone as this is why i find many people much like myself try to acheive these unatanable feeling a ultimate challenge for the emotionless to feel emotion hence the reason i am very manipulative in relationships but not to take my partners money or crush them emotionally and ii will find myself makeing my partner feel as though she is evrything something special wich of course for me is just simple words but for her are empowering and endeering but i will not deny i just leave when i still cannot achive emotion as a sosiopath i realize that this is a very strange goal to have
i just thought this would be an intrestig little snipit to read about for those who are interested in understanding or learning more about this subject this is only what was on my mind at the moment so if anyone has any further questions i would feel free to answer them you can email me and or post and i will try to get back to you…..if your wondering why i would be wanting to descuss this subject i find it very interesting to converse with people unlike me i very much enjoy figuring out how people think and thought this site would be a good way to converse without people worring about me harming them in any way as there is no way for me to
Well let me start off with this. I am the MOM of a sociopath/psycopath. When I was first told his diagnosis a while back I was devistated. A feeling you will never know. I thought I will never be able to have a relationship with my son. He will never see his siblings again, pretty much every emotion a mother can think of. But see that’s the difference there. He has no concept of emotion, just like you. There is no magic pill or cure for anti social personality disorder! He did try to get institutionalized to see if he could get some help, none! You know what they said? The only kind of help for someone like him/you is to go to jail and be alone and bored and deal with the consequences of your actions. And he did go to jail, but for something stupid and to satisfy a warrant. He/we found a therapist that he couldn’t manipulate, well he probly can but it defeats the purpose. I don’t know if you are or can be violent but he can and has! In the process of this we have had some serious discussions about the way he thinks and how I think. You sound alot like him. Which is why I responded to this. Above I was told to stay completely away from him and have nothing to do with him. I tried, I’m his mother and it’s just not happening. The nice thing about being his mother is I am much harder to manipulate. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but I have an easier time seeing thru the lies and the bullshit. He has pretty much said that the lies are just so much more interesting than the truth. And I have seen him at work and how easily he can manipulate people. He’s good looking and very charming. I have no clue where he will be 5, 10, 15 years from now, but for the time being, I do know he’s safe because I see him almost every single day now. I don’t know if you have someone or something that is a comfort zone for you but I am his. I have seen weaknesses in his disorder and flaws but I also know that there are no emotions behind that smile. And yes I wondered if he ever loved me. Do you love your mother? Father? Someone? or do you have a “form” of love? I do understand this because my definition of happiness is not what others would say it is. Disfunction is actually the norm, just look around, watch the news, hell just walk down the street! I’m up for discussion only you can decide how honest you want to be. For me that’s not a problem, my one true atribute to myself, I don’t lie!
Thank you for this opportunity! I am new and not sure how to present my unhappy life. Here goes….I have been married for 21 years. I married a man who’s wife died at a very young age from Lupus and they had addopted a son at his birth and his wife died when the little boy was 2. I married this man when the little boy had just turned 4 years old. I did not have children and I had HIGH HOPES that our lives would be filled with Love, a good home, baseball, football (maybe), school activities, watching him grow and become a well adjusted man, and so on. My mother died when I was 4 and I had no one that wanted me, my father went and started a new family 3 months after my mother died with a brain tumor and while I lived with my grandmother, she was not happy and told me so everyday that she had raised her family and now in her Golden Years, she had to put up with me because she promised my mother that she would take care of me but I always followed the rules and when my grandmother died, I was 13 and took care of myself, got a high school and general business education all on my own. I had no one to turn to so I wanted to give my step son what I didn’t have which was someone that would always be there for him so I started out being a school mom, I did everthing I could to help the teachers and my step son by being involved in school activities, etc., but It got to heavy because of his behavior and it was like the teachers were so angry with me that I couldn’t stand it anymore so I backed away as much as I could because my self esteem was on the ground and his father would not even respond to what I was telling him, he would just look at me and that was it. I went to see a Psychiatrist for about three months, after testing, he told me that I was being a Door Mat, threw the Yellow Pages down in front of me and said, “find a divorce attorney”. I should have taken his advice then but I was a wimp. While we have had the good home, and everything that most people could ever want, the other parts have been a total hell! From day one, I don’t even know how to say this….the son has had control over his dad all the time and me most of the time. I noticed from day one that my step son would lie about everthing. I would see him do something that could hurt himself or cause harm to another child and he would say to my face that he did not do so and so whatever it might be at the time and I would say but I saw you and I am concerned that you could hurt yourself, hurt your friend or get into trouble. Well, he called me the liar. I went along thinking that he would mature and become a responsible, respectable and productive person, but I have been so wrong and I feel I have wasted 21 years. He still lies about everything, he is a theif and a scary person, but he can be Oh so sweet when he wants something and promises the World if he gets what he wants. Please, I am going to be selfish for a while! I have talked to his father, my husband all these years with no help. My step son was in school after school because he would cause so much trouble he would be disbarred from ever stepping foot on the property again! They called for meeting after meeting with his father but his father would always say “they are against him”, and I would end up going only to be fussed at by angry teachers and I would understand how they felt because I felt the same way, how sick is that, and I have stayed right here in the big mess!!!!!!!! When my step son was in the forth grade, my husband, on his own, bought a house way out in the country and here we are, 15 years, I have lost contact with old friends, all of my relatives are deceased except for my half sister and I feel lost!!! My step son is now 24 and married to a girl that lives in Australia that he met online and traveled to Australia off and on for 4 years, at his dads expense, he doesn’t work, he want work, he conns his father everyday and his father puts up with anything he wants to do. My step sons wife sends him money and he want even get a job so she can come to the U S to live with him. I am sick, sick at my stomach right now just typing about this situation. My step son has a Genius IQ and does NOTHING to better himself. At fifteen years old, the State kicked him out of school and said he would not be allowed to attend another school in this state, so that was the end of his schooling. When he was 17, I took him to a Technical School in another state and he got his GED and his scores were the highest anyone had ever gotten at that school. He has a group of friends that come over anytime, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, it doesn’t matter. I have lost all respect for my husband and I sleep in a seperate part of the home and have for a number of years now and my husband goes to sleep everynight with his TV on loud so his son and his friends want wake him up with the video game playing, movies, girls, drugs. laughing and so on and my step son has his own little apartment downstairs that he and his friends have trashed so bad it needs to be totaly redone. I don’t sleep much anymore because I am afraid of him that is I am afraid of my step son. I can say one thing and he goes off on me. If he disagrees with me, he tells me to stop yelling, but I don’t yell, I would be afraid to yell at him. I would love to yell and tell him that he is a BIG BULLY! If he gets angry during the day when his dad is at work, I run up to my room and lock the door and stay there until his dad comes home from work. His dad knows all that has happened and will not do anything to help. My step son got caught driving with drugs, was jailed, lost his car that his dad bought him, 4 cars now and is fixing to get his drivers license back and good old dad is going to buy him another car! He has gotten 9 traffic violations and dad has paid everytime plus paid several thousand to get him out of the drug problem his father paid a $2,600.00 phone bill he ran up while talking trash to a ohone sex person. At night, his friends come over and he fixes them food, etc. and I clean up the mess the next day, I am a fool! I want out of this mess, but I don’t know how! I will be 60 years old soon, I am 8 years older than my husband and still a very young sixty but starting to feel older and tired. I haven’t worked in years and now there are not any good jobs for a person that has no recent experience. I am a private person who can’t stand to be around the conflict that is happening now.He is getting older and I think that one day, my stepson might kill me and I don’t know how to leave! Am I stupid or what?
Thank you for your information. This article was attached to the Profile of the Sociopath. This information was extremely important for me since I just finally got out of a very mentally and emotionally abusive relationship and through my counseling was told that the man I was in a relationship has the characteristics of a sociopath/psychopath. After reading this, I realized this is true. He has every feature of the descriptions and behaviors. I no longer feel sad and trying to “figure” it all out as to what I should have done or why he is treating me this way. I now understand and I can get on with my life….healthy and happy. Thank you again for helping to save my life. I will no longer blame myself and drive myself crazy trying to get the answers. Most importantly, I will never let him manipulate his way back into my life again. Thank you!
I am currently 17 and show some of these traits. In each and every relationship I have been in i got in deep enough so i could tear their heart to pieces. I have made it a very fun game. I lie to my teachers and any other adult who i talk to to make them believe i am a responsible young man who is going somewhere in life. I have lied to every single person i have met with, my aim is to see what i can get away with, when i get away with a lie i am inside happy and excited, when i don’t i laugh it off and come up with a new lie. I feel nothing towards anyone at school, or anywhere else. i have found my way into many relationships just so i can get sexual pleasure, i then get bored and throw them out with the trash.
Is there really no known cure?
I have never heard of these type of people. I wish that I had known about these type of people existed before I got married. The profile of a pyschopath fits my ex-husband to a “T”! He had all the traits of a psychopath. Cold, calculatng , unremoreful, uncaring, unfaithful to everyone even his own parents, self absorbed, promiscous, compulsive liar and had the infamous “was everyone else’s fault” syndrome.
So many people here seem to have been hurt by psychopaths, or be psychopaths themselves. My story is different. I once knew somebody who was the opposite of a psychopath – a being of what seemed like pure love and goodness, like the more unbelievable of fictional characters. She would definitely fall into the “selfless goody two-shoes” category on the Pseudo-Scientific Psychopath Detector, but that’s such a negative sort of term. She was like an angel, I think, but human, too. You may think – I would, too – that this description is just the madness of first love (yeah, it was in high school, she was the first person I ever fell in love with, I, poor young “non-psychopath with some criminal tendencies” that I was, couldn’t help it, but she – just the opposite of what a psychopath would do – was sincerely sorry but completely faithful to her existing boyfriend, curse him) but everyone agreed there was “something wonderfully off about her.” Is this a recognised type of person, like a psychopath? Is there a name besides angel for people like her?
I was diagnosed as an antisocial young. Not sure when they changed the criteria of it being along the lines of psychopath or sociopath. I do feel great empathy for others in fact too much,. my sense of right and wrong i feel is based on the circumstance u are in. I do have most of these traits I wonder can u still be one of these and have empathy, love and still feel remorse or guilt occasionally tho u cannot seem to stop ur actions?
No Psychopath but indeed interesting facts at http://www.allfaltugyan.com
Well, i quite like this discussion, having just tried the test and found out that I am a moderate psychopath.
well what can i say….no change there then…..hehehehehehehhehehe
If anyone would like to talk with a genuine psychopath then mail me, I promise i will not get in your face or do something stupid.
After reading these pages, I guess that i have identified with what is written and described above. Also I have found that “we, the psychopaths are the normal one’s” and not you lot, remember that nature makes us and that we are here for a reason, that you “Normal’s” missed out when mother nature handed out the brains, we are here because a nich opened up, that is what nature dose, it really should be you the “normal’s” whom should have a disrespectful words used for themselfs, what is “NORMAL”?
The guy above me ,bigboss, (first of all that’s a very stupid name) is clearly lying. I can tell he just took information he picked up and tried to use it. For one he needs to take a serious grammar and punctuation lesson. 1 he said “we, the psychopaths are the normal one’s” it’s “we, the psychopaths, are the normal ones.” 2 “Normal’s” is supposed to be “Normals;” wow so many mistakes like “nich” to “niche” “dose” to “does” “themselfs” to “themselves” etc. Sociopaths are supposed to, at very least, come off educated. He’s just some worthless loser who wants to feel special. Haha i bet he honestly thinks he’s everything the page says, but really he’s just someone who “wants to be.”
I’ve read pretty much everything on this site and others hoping to get some idea understanding on my behaviour. Though like most posters, I score pretty highly on “tests” to start with, though I’m currently being diagnosed by a proper doctor. The last few paragraphs of PJMurphy’s post #82 accurately sum up the pretense I put on in certain situations, like seeming empathetic towards people in need in order to get things from them, whether it be sex, drugs or money etc. I have several “girlfriends” both on and offline, none of which i even have the barest shred of emotion for and would leave the second i’m done with them (or get bored, which happens quite easily) without any sense of remorse or guilt. People think i’m nice, witty, charming with a great sense of humor, the guy that “can do no wrong, he’s so innocent and harmless” even while I secretly gain pleasure any way I can and treat most things in my life like a game that has to be won.
I get pissed off easily when I dont get what I want, I blame others for if I get caught out lying about things, but thankfully with a high IQ and decent memory I can usually turn the tables and get someone else to take the blame for it. I could go on and on about my experiences, maybe even start my own blog up one day detailing some of the more “horrific” things I’ve done and doing (though of course to me, this is just society’s view of whats wrong and bad, I dont give a flying.. fig…”)
So opinions anyone? Quite happy to share more detailed information on my situation if anyone cares to read
Spot on there, though why someone would want to be a sociopath is beyond me! Perhaps the lack of moral/ethical compass and having no regrets or remorse over anything you do to further yourself is one of the few benefits of this condition (that and money gained if your pretty successful at it like the more ruthless corporate executives and politicians with ASPD)
I wouldn’t say that just because the person has improper writing skills that they are not a sociopath/psychopath. My ex is definately one and his writing skills are terrible, although he thinks differently. My ex is a narcissist, a spoiled rotten brat and has the biggest case of entitlement I’ve ever heard of, so when it came to school he didn’t bother to pay attention in class and was never made to, hence the horrible letter writing which he thinks are legally intimidating to me.
BUT I would love some advice if anyone has any thoughts about what to do when you have an ex who is a sociopath and is being ‘protected’ by the local police department. He gets away with everything from having his ‘friends’ give me parking tickets to having my 16 year old daughter charged with assault after he attacks her and gives her a physical injury. He hasn’t done anything physical to me since I got out, 13 years ago, but it’s been constant warfare with him using the kids to torture me, he has no concern for the fact that he’s totally ruined their lives and futures in the process. Definate sociopath when his own childrens needs mean nothing to him, yet in the courtroom he plays it up that he’s a concerned parent and I almost vomit over the rediculous lies.
My question is this: when my youngest turns 18 and he no longer has her to use as a tool, (the courts insist on 50/50 placement, so she’s been his way to get into my home and my life) will he become desperate and escalate to more violent measures then he’s been keeping to. So far it’s been constant harrassment, threats and doing anything he can to extort money out of me through the courts and kids. He’s been satisfied with this because he feels he still has ‘control’ over me, when the youngest is 18 and I can put a complete stop to the phone calls etc, will this push him over the edge?
I know 2 psycho/socio-paths, although at the time of “friendship” did not classify them as such. However, having come upon the topic and reading up on it, now know more defintively about it, and can now do so. Thank goodness, being the ‘weak willed person’ I certainly am in their eyes, they are out of my life for the most part. The internet knows no bounds though, and I must say the curiosity keeps me coming back for more, but from a safe distance combined with extreme care in what is written (how that can be used in the future) and without hinting to those people that I’m “on to them”, even though I know that could care less if I was…it’s immaterial.
I’ll describe one of them. Met this guy in high school. He was very smart, but did not get good grade due to is apparent lack of focus. He always had bigger eggs to fry. Anyone who got to know him knew he was a little ‘off’, charming and good looking as he might be. He planned a surprise birthday party for me, took me to the arcade to play pin-ball while the surprise party was gathering. A bit later, I discovered the roll of quarters he had with him to use the games was stolen off my bedroom dresser the week before. He was adopted very young and was in trouble for minor things constantly, the biggest of which I later learned was from starting fires. I probably lost a lot of what would other been long-lasting friendships due to being associated with him. We had fun. He was reckless and unabanded. Lots of fun. A total Yin-and -Yang when you got to know him better. He’s been married twice. I went to his mom’s funeral. He feigned sadness and put on quite the show for all the attendees that were completely igonorant. I was tempted to stand up and clap at the end of the eulogy, but I know that would have not been viewed warmly…and I felt bad for his dad anyway…and I bit for myself too…cause she was such a nice, but very weird, person. I’m glad I never got to know her better. She gave me the creeps, but it was nothing I could ever put a finger on. He ruined a part in time of my life emotionally, and that’s the clincher. The things I’ve written are totally minor I know. If only I could paint the overall, broad picture. That would take a book. The turning point came during a Thanksgiving break after high school when I found him ‘in bed’ with his also adopted brother. He wanted sex any way he could get it. Any such person doesn’t ‘make love’…they ‘do sex’. At first appearances, like while at the mall, we could walk the mall on Friday nights and have the girls google over us. He loved the attention, I was indifferent and only did it because what the heck, I was a teen. He’s moved several times and is now far away, but get concerned that when I do hear from him he talks about moving back. He’s probably not the brightest at socializing as others that have the mentality. Having experienced being with both individuals at separate times of my life…they shared many qualities..but were also quite different. From what I’ve experienced, a person can fall within the label regardless of intellect. That has nothing to do with it. And there seems to be levels within the ‘label’ that further delineates from serial killer to just plain pain in the ass. I wonder though, the same as what others have, would any future retalitory measures taken on my part perhaps lead them to taking a measure of revenge – not of physical nature, but of whatever they can scheme up to get a momentary rush. Therefore, even though tempted at times, I do not write them. I unfortunately ‘friended’ them in Facebook. But they are well far away from my location. Distance does make the heart grow fonder. Fonder of the notion that they are no where near me. I feel for the posts from any one who has posted about having a marriage, relationship, sibling, or child that falls within this category. Best thing to do is NOT communicate with them. And for those who have read and posted about “it” and described the uncaringness and other dribble you have…so what. I don’t care and you don’t care (if what you even say is true). If it is true that you are a sociopath, you don’t care what anyone says, so why post in the first place. It’s too bad all this information is available now on the internet. It’s just more fuel to feed the imaginations of those that fit the label….fuel for that, as well as was to hide more effectively what has become known publicly. On the otherhand, one can’t diss anyone for being like this. Everything is relative in the broad scheme of things. It’s not really a disorder, nor a brain dysfunction. It just is. The world in some ways has become a better place with this, and in many ways worse. I really don’t like describing or labelling ‘socio/psycho pathology’…because in doing so give it in and of itself credence. As far as the status quo goes though, and in review of the statistics, I’m sort of inclined to see it as merely a deviance from the morally and socially accepted norm…which in other ways means nothing. I’m “quite a piece of work’ myself of an entirely different nature. Quite aware of it. I’d like to be of psychopathic mind set sometimes…sort of like and overweight person would like to be anorexic. In both cases, the ‘means’ does not become and attractive ‘ ends’.
I Realize that as i am the last comment to be posted i will obviously be overlooked, however, What an incredible article that was.
“This has caused some researchers to suspect that the condition isn’t a “disorder” at all, but an adaptive trait. In a civilization made up primarily of law-abiding citizenry, the theory goes, an evolutionary niche opens up for a minority who would exploit the trusting masses.”
This part Fascinates me. The concept of the human mind evolving and adapting constantly to Social situations, which in turn turns off “Normal” more suppressive emotions to deal with the in-balance, has my mind racing
Maybe more “Personality Disorders” could be better treated if we looked them all as the minds way of finding advantages in such tedious times.
Sleepy rant finished………….
I found the article very enlightening indeed. Since my son was only a mere 2 years old, I knew something was wrong, mothers always do! Life has been extremely difficult with this child and for the past 22 years I have had so many close calls and emotional uphievals with him. Matters have spiralled so out of control that the family unit has been shattered to the extent where I actually fled the family home and when to live at a womens’ shelter because of his behaviour. Thank you for confirming what others could not. My son has the ability to wrap anyone around his little finger and therefore the doctors I took him to for help did not manage to give the correct diagnosis. Regardless of my protests, they would send me home with him telling me that he is just a normal naughty little boy. I have moved almost 17000 miles away and have left him to his own devices because I am unable to cope with it anymore. The emotional abuse and sometimes physical abuse, has been unbearable.
Thank you so much for this article – now I can have peace, knowing I was right all along. I love my beautiful boy, but cannot risk the rest of my family nor my own sanity any longer. He has no remorse and cares only for himself.
I have spent 22 years trying to help him and in the process lost myself, ruined my relationship with my husband and almost lost my other children.
Entirely not surprisingly this test claims I am in fact a psychopath. It said psychopath like halfway through.. I answered “yes” to 15/19 and “some what” to two. The only ones I don’t fit is habitual liar and the “first!” thing. I am glad I am a psychopath. Emotions and remorse are pointless. You are much better off going about life without such things as they are only going to hold you back. I recently had some events occur in my life most would deem quite upsetting. I went to jail for the weekend which really wasn’t so bad I caught up on my reading and watched some of the March Madness tournament and when I got out I found out my girlfriend had been raped. To be perfectly honest I didn’t give a shit. Then she told me about a month before the rape she had cheated on me. To this I felt relieved that she gave me the easy way out since I liked someone better anyway. Fast forward a few weeks my best friend died of an over dose. I guess most people are supposed to go through grief and feel bad right? I just felt happy for him. I mean he got out of this fucked up world and went out the best way possible. Just 19 years old. Lucky him. I got kicked out of his funeral a few days later. I was at a podium infront of 50 people sharing stories about him. I had a few people laughing until one of his best friends came up to me and cut me off and took me to another room. He said I made his mother cry (who abandoned him when he was a little kid) and that those stories I was telling are the reason that made my friend “hate me” and that I had no right to be there and if it wasn’t for me my friend would probably still be alive. I simply turned around and walked out and shrugged it off. The only time I ever really feel emotions is when I do heroin. I’m not sure why. I guess heroin is supposed to numb people emotionally so perhaps it has an opposite effect on psychopaths? Maybe psychopaths should be given a heroin prescription, there’s your cure! I have no desire to harm other people. I mean I really wouldn’t care if I did, but with all the forensics and shit they have now it’s just not worth going to prison for the rest of my life. There is just little to gain out of doing this. You know who is another psychopath? God. Noah’s Ark… Didn’t like the way the world was going so he mass murdered everybody? I doubt he even felt bad about it. And the story of Moses. He kept telling Moses to get out of there while “hardening Pharoh’s heart” making Pharoh unable to release Moses’ people then he murdered all of Pharoh’s army. God is definitely a psychopath.
After reading this I felt great concern for the children born to the PEOPLE that are this way. (apples don’t fall far from the tree!) And the future significant others whose lives they will destroy. We need a new type of “self defence” taught to our children, one that prepares them for the prediator stalking the halls of our schools and employment areas of our work forces!
You are quite interesting and like your attitude.
Is it bad that all of the quotes in this article made me laugh?
ok so apparantly I’m a sociopath, and the only reason I would care about your empathy, which I probably could get real easy, is so I could use it to my advantage so don’t feel bad for us feel bad for yourselves. sheep. you should know I’m non violent and adhere to a moral code but only because I believe in Karma and not because I feel bad about lieing or cheating or stealing. I know because of studies in quantum physics that you get back what you put out as a consequence I have a very happy disposition. I do feel compashion for people in pain or who are hungry just not empathy or sympathy for their emotion “I got through it, why can’t you” “your grandma was 84 and in pain you should be glad she died” If someone offered me a cure I would laugh at them and ask why? I DON’T LIKE TO HURT PEOPLE but if it happens whatever.
Hi I’m a sociopath, non violent infact I don’t enjoy violence, physicall pain is something I understand and don’t wish on people. I do love but in a very selfish way I’m compasionate but have no empathy, That my need some explaining when I see someone in a negative situation I’d like to see them get out of it and will even help but It doesn’t make me feel bad for them if they can’t the only person I feel bad for is me for not being able to help. I’m on a path to enlightenment based on a belief that the physicall world can be “manipulated” through a strong mind
You all irritate me. Most of you don’t understand what you’re talking about and the ones who do fail miserably to get their point across.in a way I would and could call you all psychotic but its like taking to 1st graders, you’ll find some form of rebuttal. No one cares. Why did you waste your time? Do you feel better now that your opinion is out, relieved maybe?hmm, thank you all :) you’ve been damn interesting indeed.
From what I have read, no one has mentioned the possibility of ministers being sociapaths. It is a perfect setting for these types of people.
Sorry for my last post. It was an error.
I am still on the first page of comments (so many to read.) and seeing the progression of comments back and forth to one another.
Unfortunately, it starts in 2008. Back at that point it was a very intelligent discussion. evil, morality, Ann Rand, egoism etc.
I found the discussion downgraded when more ‘psychopaths’ entered into it.
These ‘psychopaths’ were likely self diagnosed, young and attracted to the idea of power…some have anti social thoughts but saying they have some empathy? Yes, I did read that.
What I would like to discuss with a non-criminal and ‘diagnosed’ pyschopath is this:
1. What do you think are your greatest life achievements?
2. How do you handle Boredom?
3. Have you had a relationship with another psychopath and how was it?
Are you still connected to one another?
A note to Meeshymeg: I am not sure you are still blogging but wanted to say how much I enjoyed what you wrote on page 1, wherin you mentioned your autistic sister. By 2012, I am sure you have read about brain scans for psychopaths and autistics. Psychopaths do not connect to their empathy center but read others well (alexithymia). Autistics connect to their empathy center but have great difficulty reading others (alexithymia).
1.difficulty identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal
2.difficulty describing feelings to other people
3.constricted imaginal processes, as evidenced by a scarcity of fantasies
4.a stimulus-bound, externally oriented cognitive style.
Here is a site for info on the autistic brain.
“Importantly, there was no difference in the degree of empathy between autistic and control groups after accounting for alexithymia.”
I believe that emphasis on psychopathy will help the empaths understand that a psychopath sees the advantages of being who he or she is.
After reading much material on the internet (and i like all perspecives), I definitely understand what psychopathy is. I take labelling seriously but I want to hone my skills to at least be on the watch. Hey, it is for personal protection.
Of course we empaths are fascinated by serial killers, that is a given since we cannot fathom the thought of killing anyone…yes to bugs, but no to people.
As for myself, I am more fascinated with non criminal psychopaths as I believe they are just as dangerous period! Who has not had to work with a boss from hell? I applied all my research (Hare, mask of sanity, mri brain scans) to previous work mates and finally came up with someone I was always curious about because he was sooooo very hateful. I will not waste time describing him, you know norbecame popular to those who were wanna be geeks. I had reason to believe he actually replicated servers in his own home. In other words, he used his hacking skills within a company. Not long after, he was the go to guy to check employees internet activities which led to people being fired. He delighted in this role. Some instances were simply weak, but he used his influence.
I have met nuts before and very angry ones at that, but not the same with this guy. It was in his eyes.
Perhaps the most telling of all is that psychopaths do not connect to their fear center ( in the brain – amygdalia). It cannot be concluded that all fearless people are psychopaths, but all pyschopaths are fearless.
I am very sure religion draws in psychopaths… especially the more cult like leader-based religious groups. It is a perfect setting; easy prey for carrying out sexual abuse of women and children openly. This fits with numbers 1 to 8 on Hare’s pyschopath list which are considered core psychopath traits.
Never trust your feelings, as your feelings can be inputted by someone who wanted to damage you. Do things only after double checking if they are good to human kind as a whole. Make youself a good one that deserve being respected and admired in the long run rather than in the short term. Things that benefit human kind would benefit everyone including yourself in the long run.
my wife and I had a psycopath right next door to us it was horrible they told lies about us and wrecked our lives so bad. they turned everybody against us and we lost family and friends. we also lost lost our dog and can not prove if he killed it now he put his kid in where I work. they are evil horrible people. the sad thing is there kids are going turn out like them from being around them..
Sociopaths don’t have a reason to mess with you .Their whole existance has a base on this behaviour,on every breath they take.Feeling how sad that is?…Well i feel for them. It’s truly sad to be born to leave this imprint on the world.
Once someone called me a psychopath just based on the fact that I could be one of those women who laughed upon reading that a man’s dick was cut off by his wife because he was unfaithful.
My defense was people DO laugh at unexpected news.
One of my friends busted him left and right and said there are millions of people laughing right after reading a bad news followed by a good news. It does not make them any more “sicker” than he say people are.
And another said that men and women are just wired differently up there. If people continually demand “gender equality” – something I once supported but saw how it cannot be supported – they will forever be unhappy.
Your post is almost a historical record of my last 20 years.
Your last sentence of the post was exactly how it ended.
It was our daughter, we have now armed ourselves both physically and mentally. As I re-read your experience I am astounded at the fact I could have written it verbatim. They over time sharpen their skills like a cat sharpening claws, its frightening to watch actually.
Marsupial, I disagree with your statement posted above (20 January 2008 at 09:22 pm):
Emotions are not simply a “variable” that can be added into an equation, as if the mind and intellect and reasoning ability are a math equation! Good grief, that is so cold, ignorant and simplistic, it seems like it could come from the mind of a psychopath.
Emotions are essential for good reasoning ability. They contribute essential information (and are based on essential information) necessary for good reasoning.
my first comment :)
I wonder if anyone would look back this far though,
I would class myself (and the DI test confirmed it)
as moderately psychopathic
The flaw in most people’s arguments/opinions on this matter, is that they see it as black and white, is psychopath a term that we will use to describe someone who is completely amoral?
Or much like Autism (You may see how the two could be linked, lack of emotional intelligence/empathy etc) would we not subject this to a scale?
Very thought provoking, I never knew it before, but I can embrace my psychopathy now and ensure that I make the most of it
Here is a little twist for you, I lack the feelings involved, as a “normal” person or neuro-typical as I like to say person would understand it, yet I have long term goals to help more people, and help the environment more than any person in history? (keep an eye out in the future for the name Tom Nicholls)
I would love to discuss this with someone, perhaps it is that I learned at some point that by helping others I could gain a positive feeling for myself and so my reasons are truly selfish? Or is there some other factor that I am missing?
Don’t fool yourself. You are talking about operating from emotions of revenge and anger. If you have never done any of the things that you mention, you wouldn’t stand a chance against a violent real psychopath. Keep living your imaginary vigilante life, if it makes you feel secure, however, just keep in mind that you are only fooling yourself.
no, their IQ isn’t higher, then average. (explain you later, if anybody is interested)
no, we don’t look up to them, unless we haven’t had a close relationship with them, but just read.
no, it’s not true, that they don’t know, they are hurting others: not knowing what you are doing is different from doing it, because you think you are the only one, who is allowed. they don’t allow the same to be done to themselves, do they??
no, they aren’t strong or heroic. courage is, when you are scared, but can overcome the fear and still do GOOD….and good, not bad, Bad is easy to do.
no, as weird, as it may sound, the sadistic type psycho isn’t as bad, as praying (doesn’t care, if somebody is hurt). swear…read Dr. George K. Simon.
Re: quots “from horses mouth” – well….a quot from a ‘victim’ – “a psycho says the sky is blue, it means, that it’s not”. this to just consider, but believe the rest, or you are in trubble, because….
….YES, THEY ARE DANGEROUS, but silly, because
…Yes, it IS a disorder.
Answer these simple questions to figure out whether or not you’re a psychopath/sociopath:
1. How would you feel if your wife or husband (who has been good to you) told you with conviction that they never really loved or even cared about you?
2. How would you feel if your pet of many years died suddenly and painfully before your eyes?
3. How would you feel if your mother (who was good to you) was killed in an automobile accident on your birthday?
4. How would you feel if a friend committed suicide in your back bedroom while you were asleep?
5. How would you feel if your neighbor , who treated you well , lost both of his legs and an eye in a violent farming accident?
6. How would you feel if your boss ,without a single word, suddenly shut down his business that you’d been working at for over 20 years?
7. How would you feel if your sister in law (who is considered a pleasant person) died from a brain aneurism while seated next to you at the dinner table during Christmas?
8. How would you feel if a severely abused box of puppies were left unconscious and dying on your doorstep?
9. How would you feel if your father (who has treated you well) had his house set on fire while sleeping and he was then left horribly disfigured by the fire?
10. How would you feel if your daughter came up missing while walking home from school one day and she was never found again?
If you answered: “I don’t know” “I wouldn’t care” OR “What do you expect from me?” to the majority of these questions the odds are in favor of you being a psychopath/sociopath.
PLEASE FORGIVE THE LENGTH OF THIS. IM DESPERATE. TRY THIS ONE. I HAVE BEEN WITH MY WIFE, SOMEHOW, FOR 20 YEARS. AND I DONT SAY THAT WITH ANY CRITISIZM
TO HER AT ALL. I AM CERTAINLY NO SAINT BY ANY STRETCH, WITH ALOT OF SUBSTANTIAL EMOTIONAL DAMAGE, AND HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANT MISTAKES IN OUR MARRAIGE. BUT I HAVE BEEN OBSERVING, HELPING THE BEST I COULD GIVEN MY OWN HANDICAPS AND ITS TAKEN ME THIS LONG TO GET A GRASP ON THINGS. MY MOTHER IN LAW FITS THE PROFILE OF A PSYCHOPATH TO A T. ON THE QUESTIONAIRE ABOVE THE ANSWER IS YES TO ALMOST EVERY ONE. THE ONES THAT ARENT YES MAY BE JUST UNKNOWN. IF THATS NOT BAD ENOUGH, IT SEEMS IT COULD BE GENERATIONAL
IN HER FAMILY, BUT I CAN TELL THAT FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE, SHE HAS BRUTALLY AND TACTICALLY MANIPULATED HER KIDS IN EVERY WAY. WITH THE USE OF MOTHERHOOD, FEMALE VICTIMIZATION, JUSTIFYING HER PROMICSUITY AS SOMETHING SHE HAD TO DO FOR HER KIDS, THAT VERY SADLY, MY WIFE BELEIVES THIS AT LEAST TO A CERTAIN POINT. IVE READ ABOUT MOTHER MARY CULT BEHAVIOR. THATS HER. JESUS THE RESCUER FITS HER LIKE A GLOVE. ALSO WITH THINGS IVE HAVE GATHERED, SHE COULD HAVE COME FROM A MAFIA “WANT TO BE” MENTALITY, WITH HER THINKING THAT SHE IS THE MAFIA BOSS OR SHOULD BE. SOME THINGS THAT ARE OBVIUOS THAT I POINT OUT TO MY WIFE, SHE WILL VISCIOUSLY DEFEND AND ATTACK YOU UNTIL YOU ARE BROKEN. NONE OF HER SIBLINGS, RELATIVES GET ALONG, AND EVEN HER KIDS AND THEIR KIDS REALLY GET AL9ONG, MOST IMPORTANTLY MY WIFES FIRST BORN DAUGHTER, WHO JUST HAPPENNED TO BE ONE OF HER GRANDMOTHERS SPECIAL FAVORITES. I COULD WRITE A BOOK ON THIS AND ALMOST HAVE, BUT PLEASE GIVE ME SOME INPUT ON WHAT I SHOULD DO. THIS MAY HELP TO CONVINCE YOU IM RIGHT. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO STRIVE TOWARD GOOD, PEACE AND HARMONY THE BEST I CAN, AND THE HARDER I TRIED THE WORSE THINGS SEEMS TO HAVE GOTTEN. BAD THINGS IRONICALLY KEPT POPPING UP TO UNDERMINE ANYTHING I DID. GIVING MONEY, GIVING OF MY TIME TO HELP. TRYING TO LISTEN. TRYING TO HELP MY WIFES FAMILY MEMBERS, ETC. IT NEVER HELPED, AND IT ALSO APPEARRED THAT IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH AND MORE SHOULD BE GIVEN. THE GOAL WAS TOTAL EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL EXHAUSTION(WHICH HAS HAPPENNED NOW) TO COLLAPSE OF BOTH MY WIFE AND I, THEN, THE WAY MY WIFE HAS BEEN BRAINWASHED, THE URGE TO RUN BACK TO HER MOTHER MARY, JESUS, ALL KNOWING LOYAL SAVIOR WOULD JUST BE TOO GREAT SO I WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE OR FOLLOW. THIS HAS BEEN A TREND IN HER FAMILY, BUT WITH ALL INLAWS RUNNING OFF IN THE END, AND THEM BEING THE EVIL ONES THAT LEFT. AT LEAST MANSON DIDNT USE HIS OWN CHILDREN DO CARRY OUT HIS EVIL, MY MOTHER IN LAW USES HER OWN KIDS. I REALLY THINK THAT SHE RAN OUT OF OTHER ADULTS AND EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS TO MANIPULATE LONG TIME AGO SO SHE TURNED TO THE ONLY THING SHE HAD LEFT, AND THE MOST VULNERABLE TO A MOTHERS HOLY LOVE, HER KIDS, SHE CLAIMS TO LOVE AND ADORE SO MUCH. READ THIS; http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html. THIS SCREAMS OUT WITH BELLS AND WHISLTES AND FLAGS GOING UP EVERYWHERE. MY GUT HAS BEEN TELLING ME TO BE AFRAID, BUT I WOULD IGNORE IT. TOWARD THE BOTTOM OF THE WEBSITE, THAT WOOULD EXPLIAN. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER PIECE THAT FITS UNFORTUNATELY.PLEASE ANY INPUT, ADVISE YOU CAN GIVE PLEASE DO.
If you want to meet a truly skillful psychopath to to any VA clinic and say you think you might have ptsd. You will be introduced to one immediately. He or she will be your “therapist.”
Oh my MEDMAN, the first thing you have to do is STOP SHOUTING. The answer to your problem is (as always), within you. Psychopaths have little more sense of empathy than most of living things. They’re just predators/consumers like 99.999999…% of all organisms. You have an advantage! You actually do have empathy. You understand. You have morality. Stop expecting the humans around you to be any more than other organisms. Just life. Just be able to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.
What is it that you all want from me?
I know my phone was tapped.
I know it’s been taking audio and possibly video recordings of me for a long time.
I care but I don’t know what I can do.
Can you if your all real or just bots tell me what you want from me please? I just want it to stop. I submit. Please stop. I can give you what you want, I don’t want to spend my life like this because I’m stuck right now and want free. I’m not what you think and can prove it. Please let me be humble and move forward. I’m trying to reach out there. Please regard me as a human if you are one too.
I do have feelings. I don’t want problems anymore than anyone else does. I want to talk to somebody about this please. I am beat OK? I’m not trying to play a victim or change anyone’s opinion. I just want to not feel like I being studied like a lab rat. Who is it that I offended? Police, teachers? Peers? NSA? I am sorry for whatever I have done. Please stop alienating me. I don’t even know if it’s real or a scripted machine designed to toy with psychology of actual people. My go number is the 250 4060 number. I wish I could make my mistake right with you. I swear I am not all bad. Please don’t keep doing this to mw.
I think a lot of people will behave in a sociopathic manner, or in a pathologically narcissistic manner, if anyone goes out of their way to cater to them, or to inflate their egos in the least fashion, because they view relations between people as contests for supremacy and dominance, therefore, if you treat them with dignity and respect they will then immediately say something or do something contemptuous towards you, if they do not see you as a member of their “tribe”, but as an “outsider”, particularly if they are ENVIOUS of something you have, or some quality that you demonstrate! Anything which is positive about you is a thing that which will attack with derision and contempt. They ARE morally insane. Even quiet little mice of people are capable of acting that way, they may be seething inside with rage and hostility, and the moment they come across someone who is going to allow them to freely express themselves, they will turn and attack that person like a snake jumping out of the grass, and it will fill them with sadistic satisfaction. You have to be able to discern people’s character.
What about alleged psychopaths who have been actively encouraged to display these traits? What happens when people are forced to make a opinion about someone’s alleged psychopathy due to another unrelated matter, sweeping it under the mat and promising this would never happen again? You cannot make judgements founded in a society actively encouraging people to be themselves, come out of the closet, love their flaws, love themselves and be free and choose you own path through life? Is that not a basic human right? Privacy? Freedom? The American dream?
No, it would appear not. At least not in your case. But that was different wasn’t it?? Its all about everything your not. Like rap music in the 90’s, ‘bitch don’t call here anymore’, ‘you can’t make a ho a housewife.’. It’s different now. Just put a fucking bullet in my head cos to be honest, the devil doesn’t like being called a ‘sociopath’. Yes the fucking .
1. I read this article in 2008, and I am glad to say that I am still not a psychopath, at least according to the test.
2. A learned behavior? Possibly. I favor genetic traits or genetic deformities, though.
3. This appeared in DI’s Curated section a few days ago: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/outintheopen/impostors-1.4695876/how-a-psychiatry-professor-accidentally-discovered-he-was-a-psychopath-1.4705718
I first read this in January 2008? Hard to comprehend.