Wolfe Attack

davidwolfeI love a surprise and I just got one from The Psychopathic Times. To those who don’t know, this is a daily blog/enewsletter which I subscribe to. The surprise was an article by David (Avocado) Wolfe who is best known for his advocacy of the raw, vegan diet. I have been on this diet several times in my lifetime. The longest stretch of time was six years. I have, therefore, been quite aware of Mr. Wolfe. Some of you may remember him from the TV reality series, Mad Mad House on the SciFi channel. In short, five people representing alternative lifestyles judge ten contestants for their ability to deal with their unusual madhouseways of life. David Wolfe, known on this show as Avocado, was called a “Naturalist.” He basically represented his diet which the guests were required to try. During the time I’ve known about this man, I had no idea that he had any thoughts or opinions about psychopathy. Yet, here is his article. As most articles about psychopathy, his is of the hostile variety. The title, 8 Ways Psychopaths Try to Control You. {sigh} Such a mundane, such a “normal” approach coming from an “alt.”

simpson_aspdMr. Wolfe explains that it’s all about control. Everyone wants it but “most of us accept that other people have rights and feelings just like our own. It’s a trait known as empathy, and it’s what stops us from controlling others against their will, for fear of hurting them.” Why don’t psychopaths feel empathy? “[t]he psychopath’s brain works a bit differently; they don’t feel empathy or the remorse that comes along with harming others.” Because we lack empathy and, therefore, no remorse, we employ eight methods by which we seek to control the unsuspecting normal folk. The Wolfe explains each and every one of them.

stare1First on his list is the psychopathic stare. “Psychopaths possess a very striking stare that tends to make people uncomfortable. Why? Well, it lacks in humanity.” Why does our stare “lack in humanity?” Well, David quotes my good friend, Lucky Otter who explains, “the stare makes it seem as though the psychopath has nothing inside them except a vast and endless void.” I have discussed this in another post which I called The Eyes Have It. As one of those people who live behind “the stare,” I explained what is really going on in our minds. It has more to do with interest than with malevolent intent. In a lighthearted stare2mood, I once posted a quote from Kubla Khan by Coleridge referring to the sublimity of our stare. But David says, “It’s not that the psychopath doesn’t know their stare makes people uncomfortable – in fact, they use it for that very reason; to exert control over another person’s emotions.” Well, I’ll admit I have used it that way when I was dealing with a hostile person. The ability to stare someone down can enhance one’s power. But we don’t usually “use” our “stare” to make folks uncomfortable. Why would we? If we are really trying to manipulate someone to gain control, I hardly think “making them uncomfortable” is the way to go. We are more commonly accused to using our charm to make people like and trust us.

paranoid-21The second method of control on David’s list is gaslighting which means making someone doubt his sanity or sense of reality. But such simple statements as “you are taking this too seriously” or “I was only joking” are often called “gaslighting.” David disposes of this subject in a few lines. I had a lot more to say about gaslighting.

The next item is called brainwashing. How this differs from gaslighting, I’m not clear. But brainwashing is nothing more than an attempt to persuade others that our worldview is correct. “They want you to think their worldview is correct.” So I guess this blog is a form of brainwashing since that’s what it’s really about. What’s wrong with trying to win others over to one’s worldview? The problem is “their worldview is completely abnormal and, in many regards, inhumane,” which is, after all, a matter of opinion.

bullying-cartoon01-webMoving right along, the next one is bullying. He provides a link to an article called The Hidden Suffering of Psychopaths (reproduced here on my blog for easier access). Strange that this article is given as evidence for bullying. It does explain why some psychopaths become serial killers but it doesn’t really discuss bullying by psychopaths as such. Usually, if we bully at all, it is in order to get our way. But we’d rather persuade (what others call manipulate) than bully just as a psychopathic man would rather seduce than rape. The velvet glove is better than the iron fist. Of course, according to David Wolfe, those who have known us have become victims needing psychotherapy to recovery. He makes this point with a link to a site calling itself “a non-profit organization providing information and support for victims of psychopathy.” Mew! Mew!

gossipThe next item is gossip. It seems we have a propensity to turn people against our “victims.” This seems like something more characteristic of narcissists. The web is full of “victims'” sites that seem more concerned about narcs than ‘paths but are pretty sour on both. I wrote A Psychopath’s Guide to Haters which goes into the pathology these people who are busily defaming us. And yet we are accused to defaming or gossiping about them. Well, “hippies create cops/cops create hippies.”

Pretended-11-09-12-400x400Next comes baiting. We are just too damned nice to our “victims” and lure them in with “attention, kind words and gifts. That’s how they trap you in their world.” How nasty of us. It’s a “red flag.”

Next is the tight leash. We keep our victims close and isolate them to keep — you guessed it: control.

Finally, the one I like the best: Self-Sabotage. “Psychopaths will throw themselves into the depths of despair if it means someone will follow them there. It’s one of the ways they prey on those who possess sympathy and empathy.” So we will harm ourselves in order to lure our victims to harm. Yeah. Right. wisdompsyThe link above is to Psychopath Research. The article, written by Jenna Lynn, is How Psychopaths Sabotage Themselves. According to the article, we have intelligence without wisdom. (Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, would disagree.) What is wisdom? “Wisdom is defined as ‘the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight; the quality of being prudent and sensible.'” Defined by whom? “Common sense and insight?” That’s totally subjective as is “prudent and sensible.” We are also woefully lacking in spirituality. “They also seem to lack true spiritual intelligence, which is described as ‘having deep values, acting from principles and beliefs, having a sense of compassion and deep empathy for the well being of others, having one’s own convictions, having a sense of belonging and connection to others, and learning from mistakes, and having a sense of vocation: the desire to serve mankind and to give back, to make the world a better place.'” Again I ask. Described by whom? “Deep values?” Which are what? “Having a sense of compassion and deep empathy?” So, since we, by definition, lack empathy, we can never be spiritual. Jenna has “never seen this type of intelligence in a psychopath.” I wonder how many she has known.

one-step-ahead-of-despairBut where did David Wolfe get this business of throwing ourselves into the depths of despair if it means someone will follow us there? I couldn’t find that in the article he linked to. I see despair as an enemy I am on guard against it. Empaths also need to watch out for despair. Psychopaths fight it with optimism and detachment. What weapons do empaths have? I wouldn’t know but I would hardly accuse empaths of lacking the ability to be spiritual. What good would it do me to drag an empath into despair? People in despair aren’t much fun. They are boring.

David ends his piece with a video featuring Sam Vaknin telling people how to “deal with 196184_5_psychopaths.” Interesting person, Sam Vaknin. A self-proclaimed narcissist, he has been marketing himself as a healer of “victims” of people like himself. I’m sure he’s doing very well.  But what possessed David Wolfe to become a spokesman for those needing protection from psychopaths?

I have been doing some research and I find that Wolfe is now neither raw nor vegan. He is offering a recipe for Paleo cookies. Well, we all move on. I gave up the raw, vegan lifestyle when the food got too boring.  Interesting to run into him where we’ve both traveled the world of ideas, health and now psychology.

4 thoughts on “Wolfe Attack

  1. So much that is said of psychopaths hinges on the question of empathy and whether or not they “have” it and holding them out as an opposite of the empath. Here’s an hypothesis: It is not that the psychopath lacks empathic perception. Serious control of others would be impossible or greatly hampered without being able to “read” them. The emotional intelligence is there, but with a distance, an observer position rather than a participant. That may not be quite the best way to describe the situation, but, perhaps, close.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well this is interesting…sort of. Not too much of a shocker as he strikes me as a trend chaser.

    When I first started studying/researching nutrition, of course I came across the raw vegan lifestyle and David Wolfe. Let’s just say it didn’t take me long to see how well his last name fit him.

    Liked by 1 person

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