- Dr. Robert Hare, Emeritus Professor of Psychology,
University of British Columbia, has spent more than three decades
researching psychopathy. He has developed the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL)
and its revision, the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) These lists
have proven extremely valuable for the proper assessment of psychopathy.
- Hare describes psychopaths as "intraspecies predators
who use charm, manipulation, intimidation and violence to control others
and to satisfy their own selfish needs." They lack conscience, they
take what they want and do as they please, without guilt or remorse. "What
is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being
to live in social harmony."
- Most people are familiar with some of the more widely
publicized psychopathic murderers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. These
are men have been quoted as having said some of the most bone chilling statements.
For example, Ted Bundy said "I'm the most cold-blooded
sonofabitch you'll ever meet and John Gacy called his victims "worthless
little queers and punks". The "Yorkshire Ripper" , Peter
Sutcliffe, coldly remarked that he was "cleaning up the streets"
of the human trash". http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/notorious/tick/psych_6.html.
- And yet, however extreme these cases are,
it is important to bear in mind that they did not initially present with
their psychoses. They were obviously possessed of a certain charm
or appeal to lure victims into their sick world.
- "It must be remembered that even the most severely
and obviously disabled psychopath presents a technical appearance of sanity,
often with high intellectual capacities and not infrequently succeeds in
business or professional activities for short periods, some for considerable
periods .Although they occasionally appear on casual inspection as successful
members of the community, as able lawyers, executive or physicians, they
do not, it seems, succeed in the sense of finding satisfaction of fulfillment
in their own accomplishments. Nor do they, when the full story is known,
appear to find this in an ordinary activity."
--H.Cleckley, "The Mask of Sanity"
- In the 19th century, psychopathology was considered to
be "moral insanity". But today, the definition has been
broadened. It includes the "antisocial personality" or "sociopathology".
The proverbial "person next door" could be a psychopath.
The politicians you look towards for leadership could be psychopaths. Your Pastor,
Priest or Rabbi could be a psychopath. And, lastly, the charming
companion you are dating, or married to, could be a psychopath. I
do not mean to scare you, but closing one's eyes will not make the situation
- How many of us have ever heard, or said, "But he
promised to change"? I have heard that sentence many times and, sadly
enough, I have also said it. A full description of one of my forays
into the world of psychopathy is written about on my website www.judyandreas.com
called Learning Life's Lessons.
- Bob Hare admits that he too has been suckered in by a
psychopath. "I'm ashamed that I fell for Jonathan. But he was brilliant,
charismatic and audacious. He radiated money and power. (though in fact
he had neither), while his real self---manipulative, lying, parasitic,
and irresponsible..was just far enough under his surface to be invisible.
Or was it? Maybe I didn't know how to look, or maybe I didn't really want
- "There are psychopathic personalities in the highest
echelons of government, and even within religious hierarchies in America.
You can t just assume that a person with the title judge or hospital orderly
got there honestly and won t manipulate the hell out of you." --Personal
communication from Psychologist Schreibman to H. Cleckley, 2/10/86
- One thread that runs true is the psychopath's inability
to feel compassion. They often possess a deep seated rage, which is
split off and repressed. "They do not see others around them
as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they
have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. In their warped minds,
the end always justifies the means. When they show what seems to be warmth,
love or compassion, it is more feigned than experienced and usually serves
an ulterior motive. Since they are not genuine, neither
are their promises."
- As I mentioned earlier, politics is a field that
attracts psychopaths. I am sure that this comes as no shock to my readers.
Is it their lust for power? Could be. Are many of them groomed to
"cremate their consciences"? I've heard tell. One
thing is for certain. We are living in perilous times and many
people have lost faith in leaders who have been caught lying and cheating
repeatedly. History is being rewritten and those who have "eyes to
see" are aware that much of what we learned in school has been fiction.
- We have become disillusioned with the mainstream
media as more and more lies are uncovered. We continue to watch the most
obscene results of their commissions and omissions, like the devastation
of Iraq. And so, in desperation, an ever increasing number of people have
turned to what is called "the alternative media". We
have become dependent on the Internet in our efforts to learn the news
behind the news. However, I am sad to say that this group of supposed "truth
tellers" is not free from psychopaths either. It has been infiltrated
by agent provocateurs and haters of all shapes and sizes. They point accusatory
fingers at one another, as well as their favorite hated target. Through
distortions and blatant lies, they spread the most vile rumors and race
hatred over the Internet.
- Recently, I discussed this sorry state of affairs with
a friend. During our conversation, she stated
- "There are psychopaths everywhere. It is not about
Jews, Christians, Muslims etc, but about psychological deviants who use
- Psychopathy research is rumored to be raising more
questions than it can answer. Is there any hope? Is
there a cure? It pains me to inform you that, according to psychiatrists,
the answer is a depressing "No."
- " Shock treatment does not work. Drugs have
not proven successful in treatment, and psychotherapy, which involves trust
and a relationship with the therapist, is out of the question. Psychopaths
are incapable of opening up to others. They don't want to change. "
- So, what can we do? Perhaps a good beginning would be to
hone our skills of observation. If we become familiar with the traits
that these parasites possess, we will be less likely to run the risk of
being food for their sick appetites.
- Hopefully, the following list of psychopathic traits
will help you avoid the pain and suffering that accompanies an encounter
with a psychopath.
- 1. Glibness/superficial charm.
- 2. Grandiose sense of self-worth.
- 3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
- 4. Pathological lying
- 5. Conning/manipulative
- 6. Lack of remorse or guilt
- 7. Shallow affect
- 8. Callous/lack of empathy
- 9. Parasitic lifestyle
- 10. Poor behavioral controls
- 11. Promiscuous sexual behavior
- 12. Early behavior problems
- 13. Lack of realistic, long-term plans
- 14. Impulsivity
- 15. Irresponsibility
- 16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
- 17. Many short-term marital relationships
- 18. Juvenile delinquency
- 19. Revocation of conditional release
- 20. Criminal versatility (Hare, 1986)