He constantly asks for sympathy,
takes risks , lies to you and when caught shows no remorse. It
is unsettling, frightening. Somehow it is your own fault. But what or
why would anyone do these things? There is an answer.
terms, "psychopathy", "sociopath," "sociopath,"
and others refer to individuals who look human but, in elemental
ways, are not. They harbor a condition which cuts them off from us.
Their automatic emotional reactions, foundational to limiting wrong
behavior, do not exist. These individuals emulate compassion,
concern, affection, kindness and love – only to further their
purposes. They feel no compunction about stealing, lying, or
committing crimes to achieve their goals. They consistently demand
sympathy, knowing perfectly well they deserve none.
They do not want or need sympathy. But
they do need you to feel sorry for them, to want to help them. It is
all manipulation, emotions emulated to get what they want. They know
we feel sorry for them and project the existence of emotions they
never feel, just another lie.
People catching their eyes report
feeling a chill of fear, as if looking into the eyes of a predator.
Psychopaths are predators among us. The pain and suffering of those
around them mean nothing, is pleasure to them. Their motivations seem
inexplicable to the emotionally normal, who comprise 96% of the
Psychopaths have no conscience.
Where before little was written on
the condition outside of professional journals, now much more is
known. This is changing.
The evidence, now mounting, indicates
the condition has a genetic element which becomes activated when
combined with the conditions in the life of the individual. The last
few years have taken understanding of the condition known as
'psychopathy' to new levels.
While only 4% of the population
have the condition Martha Stout, PhD., points out in her book, The
Sociopath Next Door, you are likely to have contact with psychopathic
individuals on many occasions during your life time. You therefore
need to understand the danger signs.
Experts in the field of
psychology have been researching the problem since 1980. Much is now
In 1999 Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. published
Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
Today, thanks to Robert Hare, David Kosson,
Pd.D, and others, the means exist to reliably diagnose the
condition. The test, carried out by qualified professionals, allows
us the tools needed to understand and to take steps to help victims.
The test, known as Hare
Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and the Hare Psychopathy
when used by qualified
professionals makes available the means to identify those with the
condition. As with other tests it, presumably, will soon be commonly
used in court proceedings.
Hare's new book, Snakes
In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work,
written with Paul Babiak, Ph.D., and published in 2006, opens
the issue of the impact of the condition on the workplace, including
It has been estimated elsewhere that as
many as 19% of those in upper management may be psychopathic.
Disturbingly, this may well also be true in higher levels of
government given the massive cross over which exists at
the highest levels of each. Logic supports the theory.
The test originated by Robert Hare has
proven to be a valuable tool both to help victims and, increasingly,
to open the door for victims to find justice. The work of Hare and
his associates may, possibly, be used to the benefit of business and
politics as well.
Psychopaths can impact us from every
direction. For individual victims there is also hope.
participate with clinicians, therapists and others to move on with
understanding. The site provides a Forum
for victims, clinicians, and therapists for discussion and could well
become the hub needed to generalize understanding of the condition in
the general public.
Reading books on the subject, such
as the excellent work by Martha Stout, Ph. D., The
Sociopath Next Door
provide tools and tests which you can use personally. Dr.
Stout, a practicing psychologist and clinical instructor in the
department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, warns the reader
to beware of those who fail the simple tests she outlines. Three lies
and your out, is one of simple suggestions she proposes.
In dealing with the overall problem
Stout raises other questions which are profoundly on point for all of
On the question of war: Should
sociopaths be tolerated as useful in time of war? Are we
intentionally allowing psychopaths into the military? Perhaps
Has our toleration and ignorance
smoothed the path for ugly behavior in other parts of our culture?
What would a psychopath do, if elected to office? If they were the
determining factor in deciding what matters, their profit or your
Have we considered the dangers the
unchallenged presence of psychopaths present when combined with the
tendency in most of us to defer to authority?
If winning is the only thing that
matters there is nothing you will not do. Recognizing no limits,
psychopaths ignore the damage to others. As any small, determined
group can change the world for the good, as Margaret Mead said, so a
small number of individuals could destroy it. We need, therefore to
limit the access of psychopaths to power while identifying them to
A short tour through the books and the
site raise questions
which may well open up new understanding of ourselves. As
individuals, parents, activists, and businesspersons, as Americans,
we need to know.