borderline2“Splitting” is one of the characteristic symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. It means seeing other people as either perfect or horrid. Insisting on personal perfection is a symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What is perfection? It’s the one thing that is flawless. There can only be one point that is perfect. Because it is perfect, it must be changeless. Can beauty be flawless? One can be gorgeous in one color scheme. But another color scheme can look just as good? How can one achieve perfection?

The Greek philosopher, Zeno, posited an arrow going toward it’s goal. At some point, it is halfway there. Then it’s halfway from there to the goal. How does it ever reach the goal? A dog equal distance between two bowls of food has to decide which bowl to go towards. But, if they are completely equal, how does the dog choose? Doesn’t the dog have to starve, being unable to decide between two equally perfect choices?

perfectionEveryone yearns for perfection but fortunately accepts the fact that it is impossible. Plato defined material reality the attempt of objects to achieve the perfect ideal form that never exists in reality. Christians take it as a point of their dogma that nobody is perfect (except Christ, of course) but they can be saved by Christ. Knowing one isn’t perfect, admitting it, is humility. What makes our universe imperfect? It is constant change. If perfection is a static state, something unsurpassable, every change takes us and the universe away from perfection.


So either perfection is either something not alive or it must encompass change. People say the universe is perfect. They must mean the universe, in it’s constant change and development, is perfection. Like that song that goes, “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

unicursalhexIf the universe is perfect as it is, we must be perfect too. All we need to do is accept our nature. “The law of Thelema is ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.’ The law of Thelema was developed in the early 1900s by Aleister Crowley, an English writer and ceremonial magician.”

“Do what thou wilt” sounds like a perfect statement of the psychopathic mind set. There is a catch though. This statement only refers to one’s “true will.” The true will is axiomatically what is in line with the universal will. You could call it “God’s will” if you were religious. The rest of the statement is “Love is the law, love under will.” Of course, if the universe is really perfect, true will would have to be in harmony with it. As a part of the universe, we can’t help but be perfect too. As the above-quoted song goes, “You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.” All we have to do is accept ourselves as we are. We can still aspire to goals. But that aspiration is just another aspect of our perfection.

As a psychopath, the above philosophy resonates with me. The borderlines are right too. People are perfect (and/or perfectly horrible). And Narcs can stop searching for supply. They are perfect too.






Ever notice how whenever someone really evil or villainous comes to our attention someone is sure to casually call that person a “psychopath.” Of course, that is bogus. Psychopaths represent like 1% of the population, sociopaths, 4%. If we were responsible for all the villainy in the world, we’d be very, very busy.

hitlerI’m not saying psychopaths don’t ever do things people consider horrible. And I’m certainly not saying we are incapable of these things. But NTs, aka empaths are capable of some very impressive enormities. People like to debate whether Hitler was a psychopath or a narcissist. What they don’t spend much time discussing is what was it about the population that allowed them to enthusiastically support Hitler’s policies. Who ran the concentration camps? Who manned the trains going to those camps? Who spread dreadful lies about the Jewish people? Were they all psychopaths? We know that would be impossible.

prestrumpNow we citizens of the United States of America have a president that many are comparing to Hitler. Although he didn’t get a clear majority of the vote, he got a sizeable plurality. I find it significant that, whenever a large population of people do something morally questionable, they are not called “psychopath” or even judged.


psychopathsmaybeTina Taylor says psychopaths are running the world, let’s test politicians to keep them out of office. She admits we can’t tell which ones are psychopathic so she wants to do a brain scan on all of them. I have a better idea. Let’s judge their policies and only support the ones which are good. Then we don’t have to worry about their brains.

If the world is going to Hell in a hand-basket, perhaps ordinary people need to take a critical look at themselves and ask why the road to Hell is paved by “good” people with “good” intentions.



Psychopaths and Professionals



A while ago, I discussed an article about psychopaths and Robert Hare. The article was called I called Into the Mind of a Psychopath. I called mine Into the Mind of a Shrink, mirroring and mimicking the title of the article I was discussing. But, as they are studying us, it makes sense for us to study them as well. I like Hare although he has said a lot of bad things about us. We are dangerous, predatory, harmful. But he has also helped to define me with his checklist so I will always have a soft spot for him.

I belong to the Psychopathy Society, a private group in Facebook. Yesterday, I discovered on Twitter that there is another  Psychopathy Society only it is for professionals and students who are studying us. They distance and objectify us as does most of society. An example of their writing:

'I do not think I'm a God. God like, yes. But not God.'“Psychopathy is associated with persistent antisocial behavior and a striking lack of regret for the consequences of that behavior. Although explanatory models for psychopathy have largely focused on deficits in affective responsiveness, recent work indicates that aberrant value-based decision making may also play a role. On that basis, some have suggested that psychopathic individuals may be unable to effectively use prospective simulations to update action value estimates during cost–benefit decision making. However, the specific mechanisms linking valuation, affective deficits, and maladaptive decision making in psychopathy remain unclear. Using a counterfactual decision-making paradigm, we found that individuals who scored high on a measure of psychopathy were as or more likely than individuals low on psychopathy to report negative affect in response to toonvectors-29510-940regret-inducing counterfactual outcomes. However, despite exhibiting intact affective regret sensitivity, they did not use prospective regret signals to guide choice behavior. In turn, diminished behavioral regret sensitivity predicted a higher number of prior incarcerations, and moderated the relationship between psychopathy and incarceration history. These findings raise the possibility that maladaptive decision making in psychopathic individuals is not a consequence of their inability to generate or experience negative emotions. Rather, antisocial behavior in psychopathy may be driven by a deficit in the generation of forward models that integrate information about rules, costs, and goals with stimulus value representations to promote adaptive behavior.”

Notice how the language of professionals so often seems designed for obscurity instead of clarity? I read the above paragraph a few times (as many times as I could stand) and think this chap is saying psychopaths don’t learn from experience. But I guess it’s more impressive in a long paragraph full of turgid prose.

passpclrThe relationship between psychopaths and professionals is interesting. Professionals claim to have the exclusive ability to know who is and who isn’t a psychopath. Why? The 20 traits in the PCL-R seem pretty straight-forward. But Hare says you need special training to be able to assess those traits in an individual. Does anyone else find that odd? What do they learn in their classes that makes things like “superficial charm” easier to recognize for them than it is for the average Joe?

Jon Ronson, who wrote a novel called The Psychopath Test, managed to antagonize Robert Hare by exaggerating his credentials as a psychopath-spotter on the strength of a single course he had taken with Dr. Hare. Ronson’s “depictions of the PCL-R and its ronsonuse were superficial and inaccurate. The PCL-R is a controlled instrument restricted to trained researchers and to clinicians with the academic, professional and legal qualifications to conduct psychological evaluations. PCL-R assessments require careful integration of interview and collateral information according to strict scoring guidelines.” There are written guidelines that provide the anointed with the specialized ability to interpret and apply the checklist with authority. Unfortunately, this knowledge is kept secret. Materials can be purchased for from $85 to $460. Only people who already have credentials are able to register and log in to some organizations where they can access some texts. Why this secrecy? It reminds me of a kids’ club where membership is closely guarded.

drlucyBut Hare admitted that it’s not all about expertise. “Of course, not all clinicians have the personality, astuteness, impartiality, judgment, and interpersonal skill needed to collect, integrate, and interpret the extensive information involved in complex psychological evaluations. Some perhaps are guided by personal belief, and philosophies about human nature, or by explicit or implicit biases against, or attachments to, their clients; others may be too tenderhearted or tough-minded to provide balanced PCL assessments. Some clinicians may be unqualified or unsuited to conduct psychological evaluations that have serious consequences for an individual and society. Others function in an adversarial system in which an allegiance to one side or the other may trump professional integrity. These and related issues concerning the use of the PCL-R and its derivatives are addressed in lockhart.jpgthe current volume. The insights and recommendations of the authors of chapters concerned with clinical and forensic applications of these scales will prove to be particularly valuable to novice clinicians and will help those with more experience to hone their skills. At the same time, the criminal justice system must ensure that its clinicians and evaluators are competent and able to justify their evaluations.” This strikes me very much as common sense. Unfortunately, people with the wrong personal qualities can be quite capable of completing a course and becoming credited “experts.” Could not the inverse also be true? Could people with the objectivity and intellectual honesty not ever gain access to the inner sanctorium of knowledge? The people in my psychopathy group are hungry for knowledge and could probably apply the knowledge with special keenness.

jacknicholsonA few nights ago, I re-saw the old classic film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I couldn’t help noticing that the Jack Nicholson character reminded me of many of the case studies in Hervey Cleckley’s classic, The Mask of Sanity. The first case is indicative of the examples in Cleckley’s book. Max “seemed pleased to be at the hospital, was expansive and cordial, a little haughty despite his well-maintained air of camaraderie.Though a small man, only five feet six, he made a rather striking impression. His glance was fresh and arresting. His movements were quick, and he had an air of liveliness vaguely suggestive of a chipmunk. Though preposterously boastful, he did not show any indications of a psychosis.” Like Randle McMurphy, the protagonist of the film, Max was a invasiontroublemaker. “He was often caught sowing the seeds of discontent among other patients whom he encouraged to break rules, to oppose attendants and to demand discharges. He made small thefts from time to time. This trend culminated in his kicking out an iron grill during the night and leaving the hospital. He took with him two psychotic patients, and numerous others testified that he had tried to persuade them to leave also.” It is interesting how a film can make the nurse of an institution who follows all the rules look unsympathetic while someone who acts exactly like a psychopath in one of Cleckley’s case studies is the hero. There is a scene where McMurphy walks into the kingsleyhallNurses Station and all the staff panics just as if they saw a mouse or some really creepy insect. Professionals’ need to separate themselves from their patients could, itself, become a subject of serious study. It’s not just something of practical necessity. It’s visceral. One psychiatrist who didn’t seem to share that phobia was R.D. Laing. He presided over a radical I guess you would call it a mental hospital but unlike any others. The shrinks and the patients were all just people. Yes, once I wrote to Kingsley Hall saying I wanted to join them and they needed to know if that would be as a patient or as staff. I was also once in a mental patients’ liberation group and one of the members was so needy towards me, I had an absolute need to distant myself. Nothing’s simple.

monicaThe general public is fascinated with psychology, as well it might be since psychology is a key to understanding the human psyche. Since we are all humans, we all have psyches and we all wish we could understand ourselves better. The world is full of amateur shrinks. The web is full of do-it-yourself psychological tests. So many psychiatric concepts seem so completely graspable by any intelligent layman that it’s just irresistible. There will always be a need for some people to be in the role of patient which means there will be healers. But many others want more fluidity in the roles. They are taking that liberty, like it or not. So many people have personality disorders they have self-accessed and never plan to see a shrink. And people will always be diagnosing each other and celebrities with abandon and glee. The human spirit is hard to contain.


Ouch! That hurt!

laughterIt’s a never ending source of wonder to me how certain people think they can hurt my feelings. For example, this comment was left under one of my blog posts.

you are sick in the brain. a part of your brain that is supposed to work, just doesn’t work.

Like WOW. I’m devastated! Does he think I didn’t know the brains of psychopaths are different from NTs in ways that are detectable in MRIs?

White Liberal Guilt

leftI have been in a lot of political discussions lately and I have come to recognize some usually unstated assumptions. The ruling class in the United States is desperately wicked. They run this county and cause it to do terrible things. We Americans are to blame for everything our country does. This last is usually conveyed by people scolding liberals from the left for daring to criticize Donald Trump. Their statements usually go, “Where was your outrage when Obama bombed all those countries?” The underlying meaning may be that capitalism is evil under either party. But it sometimes comes across as pro-Trump. I have even seen these posts on Facebook which actually linked to pro-Trump sites.

Here is a real post as an example:

Liberal friend: “Trump won’t let my colleague’s mother visit him here !”
Me: “Fuck wealthy middle class Muslim travelers ! I just wish he’d stop bombing Donbass !”
donbassLiberal friend: “Where’s that ?”
shame2 I didn’t know, myself. I looked it up on Google. I learned that there has been a war going on since 1994 between Russia and the Ukraine. With all the wars waged by my own country, the United States, it’s no wonder I never heard of this one. But people in Facebook seemed to think my ignorance was shameful. The quote above specifically points to ignorance about Dunbass as proof of the stupidity and hypocrisy of “liberals,” the newest hate term on the left.
activistsHere’s what I think is wrong about the ethical Weltanschauung  stated in the first paragraph. In order to take responsibility for what the misdeeds of my country would be a 24-hour-a-day job. I ought to know. I have been a full time activist in the past. When you really get into it, you run around like a chicken without it’s head. You can put your entire energy into fighting political injustice and not scratch the surface. Suppose you want to just live your life? Are we really responsible for the crimes of others? Some people just want to live and let live. They believe that as whiteprivilegelong as they live a “good” life, they are doing OK. Is this wrong? Some political folk will remind us that, as white Americans, we are privileged. It is our privilege not to have drones knocking the roof off our house and destroying the baby sleeping in his crib. Lots of people are not so lucky. One problem with the idea of white privilege is the fact that black and other non-white, including non-American people have the same desire to just live their life. Those who are right under the bombs don’t have the prerogative. Does that make it immoral  of those who do have the prerogative to take advantage of it?
cainableAre we our brothers’ keepers? Cain didn’t think so. But he is considered “evil” according to the ethics of Christianity and Judaism. But, then, Cain had been the one who had slain his brother. Those who don’t choose to live their lives trying to change “the system” haven’t personally done the “evil.” Some people dedicate their lives to righting the wrongs of the world. I find them astonishing. They seem so pure. I mean the ones who are truly motivated by idealism. I would include Diane Oughton, Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers of Weather Underground fame. The latter two have been living above ground, obeying the law and living a normal life for many years and still have stayed true to their ideals. When you hear so much about corruption, you’ve just got to admire such people. I do, anyway. But I am not like them. Such selflessness is not part of my nature. I don’t feel obligated to give up everything in my life for a goal that benefits others. I could be corrupted if I had the choice. So did I every really believe in those ideals? What is belief? What is dedication?
freepsycAs a psychopath, I am naturally detached from the fate of my fellow mortal. Being low in empathy and free of guilt, I am not pulled down by the suffering of the world. That gives me the ability to enjoy life as long as I am one of the lucky ones not to live in a war zone or be treated as a pariah. No cop every shot me just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, if I had been around in Nazi Germany, it would have been different. Now it looks like the United States is entering a period like the one Germany lived through. But, lucky me, they are going after the Muslims this time. Should I feel guilty? I don’t.
proletariatMarx stressed the importance of revolution being made by the people who were harmed by the system and who had everything to gain by overthrowing it. White and male supremacy keep people divided by giving marginal privileges to some in order to divide the people.  He taught that white and male supremacy could be overcome once the people understood that giving up their petty privileges was ultimately in their own best interest. A lot of activism isn’t being led through appeal to self-interest. People are encouraged to take a stand based on morality rather than self-interest. For the same reason, people are encouraged to practice veganism.The ideal is kindness and empathy rather than throwing off the yoke of oppression. I can understand people recognizing that animalrightslogically animals have the same “right” not to suffer. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of. They certainly don’t care to be super exploited. Logically, their well-being is as justified as anyone else’s. Does this logic place a moral claim on those who have nothing to gain by sacrificing themselves for the well-being of the less fortunate? I don’t see a logical connection between one fact, the fact that we all have the right to live well doesn’t necessarily lead to the obligation to champion that “right” of others, especially if it means forsaking some of the good things in our own life.


Of course, there is the mystical idea of the Oneness of all being. As Hans Sachs sang, in Die Meistersinger, people hurt each other and don’t hear their own cry of pain.

Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn!
Wohin ich forschend blick’
in Stadt-und Weltchronik,
den Grund mir aufzufinden,
warum gar bis aufs Blut
die Leut’ sich quälen und schinden
in unnütz toller Wut!
Hat keiner Lohn noch Dank davon:
in Flucht geschlagen, wähnt er zu jagen.
Hört nicht sein eigen Schmerzgekreisch,
wenn er sich wühlt ins eig’ne Fleisch,
Delusion Delusion Everywhere delusion!
Where I look searching ‘
In town and world chronicles,
The reason to me,
Why even to the blood
The people are tormented and tortured
In useless mad rage!
Has no reward nor thanks to:
Fled into flight, he imagined to hunt.
Do not listen to his own pain,
When he digresses into his own flesh,

motherterOnly the saint or mystic really perceives other people’s pain as his own. It would be the ultimate expression of empathy. Wagner understood it but he didn’t really feel it. To see ourselves everywhere is practically a renunciation of life. Marx didn’t preach this, of course. Wagner (and Schopenhauer) see it as the highest form of consciousness. But they didn’t partake of this consciousness. Perhaps Mother Teresa did.

Many righties consider political correctness a way lefties deny freedom of speech. It’s easy to make a fetish of political correctness as a ball and chain. Theoretically, political correctness is a position arrived by a group of like-minded people after principled struggle. The position is reached with a lot of hard work and defended as trannysomething precious. But the way political correctness really operates much of the time, it is what most people consider decent and polite. It is also a position fought for by some and submitted to by others whether they like it or not. For example, the idea that a “transsexual” can change his/her gender is one people accept against their own better judgment. Insisting on calling a male-to-female tranny “she” is a form of gaslighting. People go along with it because they think it makes them decent and fair to oppressed people. But, when righties insist all political correctness be thrown out and people accept oppressive speech as legitimate, that is also a form of gaslighting. Any expression someone is bullied into accepting against his own understanding is gaslighting whether on the right or the left.

Just a Word

As a teenager, I spent two years in a mental hospital (ages 13 to 15). I have what people call a personality disorder which is the subject of this entire blog.

nyspiI am against President Trump as are so many. But I have one reservation about how people are speaking about him. Every time I see the words “mentally ill” or “narcissistic” or “psychopathic,” I cringe inside. I wish we could oppose his politics without this mental health jargon. Many, many people have these “disorders” without ever acting like Trump. Some people would like to actually ban psychopaths from office. Tina Taylor of No Psychos, No Druggies, No Stooges believes every candidate for high office should be subjected to a brain scan to find out if they are psychopaths. I have opposed this as prejudicial. My blog post, Testing Politicians for Psychopathy: Common Sense or Witch Hunt? presents arguments against it. Another blogger, James, also explained what was wrong with this idea in The Case against MRI Scans. Yet the crisis that Donald Trump’s presidency has created for the United States has made Tina’s idea more palatable to many people.

trump_as_narcissus_smallerThe concept of “mental illness” was used to exempt crazy people from blame when they do things they can’t help. Saying they are not bad but only “ill” looked like a humane way of dealing with these cases. The problem is that the stigma attached to criminal insanity carried over to the concept of “mental illness.” Now people sneeringly through the accusation, “You’re SICK!” at each other. Calling people “sick” didn’t free them of stigma. It made sickness stigmatized as well. In addition, the concept of “mental illness” has expanded to include all forms of psychological distress or impairment. Many people who are not psychotic and never will be are in therapy for help with issues that trouble their psyches. All these people can be technically called “mentally ill.” Certainly someone like me who has a history which includes a stay in the loony bin is so labeled.

One of the most freely misused words in the English language is “psychopath.” People thoughtlessly call anyone who does something terrible a “psychopath” although most crimes are committed by people who are no psychopaths. This sloppy use of language attaches the ugliness of each of those crimes to people who really are psychopaths. That’s unfair. Because of the stigma, most people with a mental health label, particularly psychopathy, are “in the closet.” But many blogs and web sites describe how to “spot” us, basically to “out” us.

The Problem is not Psychology. It’s Politics.

tweetingDonald Trump became president due to a multiplicity of complex causes, economic, social and political. Our country is deeply divided. There is also a severe gap between economic classes. The top 1% has more power than the rest of us and whoever is president is unduly influenced by those people. Those of us who don’t like the way Trump is running the country need to speak out loudly and clearly. But we need to speak out against his politics. Whether he is “mentally ill” or not doesn’t matter. His bad politics matter. We can condemn political malfeasance as well as heinous crime without recourse to mental illness jargon.


  • Here’s what’s psychologically wrong with Donald Trump.
  • Donald Trump ranks high on Hare Psychopathy test. This page uses the word “psychopathic” and “psychotic” interchangeably. It attributes this semantic confusion to Dr. Kevin Dutton who would never talk that way. Shame on them.
  • Rae Abileah, formerly of Code Pink. A wonderful person. (No, there’s no reason to put this link here but I found it while doing this blog. She never uses psychiatric language talking about Trump. I think part of the reason some people do is to make him look like the other. So straight of them.
  • From Democracy to Pathocracy by Tina Taylor. A perfect example of psychologizing a political disagreement. The article starts with a quote from Martha Stout, “That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow…” As I explained in Free to Choose, our lack of conscience scares people because it means we are free to do anything. But that doesn’t mean will will do the worst things possible.