Life Can Be Ducky

Jemima Puddle-Duck Finds Lovefraud

My thanks to Beatrix Potter, author of Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck
This story is adapted from her story, brought into today’s world of psychopaths, victims and recovery on the world wide web.

foxreadingpaperJemima Puddle-Duck lived on a farm. It could have been a nice place to live except for one thing. The farmer’s wife would not let Jemima hatch her own eggs. She routinely confiscated Jemima’s eggs and gave them to a hen to hatch. For some reason, she thought Jemima would get bored sitting on eggs as long as it would take to hatch them. She wouldn’t even give Jemima a chance.

Jemima ran away from that farm, seeking a foxandducksafe place to lay her eggs. She chanced upon a handsome fox who was reading a newspaper. “Quack!” said Jemima. The fox looked up surprised to see a duck addressing him.

The fox, James Tod, was a charming psychopath. A predator by nature, James loved roast duck. Never before had a duck actually sought out his company. This was just too good an opportunity to pass up. He and Jemima walked along the path while Jemima explained her dilemma.

sillyduck“I need a place to lay and hatch my eggs,” she quacked. James listened attentively, giving Jemima his full attention. “I think I can help you,” he said. “Come to my home where there is a delightful place for you to make a nest and hatch your precious ducklings.” He let her into his shed, smirking psychopathically at the naivety of his prey. “Come right in and make yourself comfortable,” he said softly. 

jemimasnestJemima found a lot of feathers in the shed. They were very soft. A perfect nest. She laid lots of eggs. What a relief to finally have laid them. She settled down luxuriating in her soft new home.

The next day, James suggested they have a feast. He listed some herbs they would need to make a delicious omelet. Jemima apparently didn’t notice any cognitive dissonance in planning to eat omelets while hatching eggs.

donnaShe did go off into the forest to find the herbs James had specified. As she was carrying back, she ran into Donna Anderson, the creator of Lovefraud, the anti-path blog. Donna specialized in helping victims of psychopaths to realize they were victims and to tell their tales of woe. “You silly duck,” scolded Donna. Don’t you know that foxes are natural predators. This fox is planning to cook you and eat you.”

omelet“Oh, no!” replied Jemima. “We are just going to eat an omelet.”

“Eat an omelet?” screamed Donna! “You are going to eat your own eggs?”

Jemima blushed. “No! We are not going to make an omelet out of my eggs.”

“So you’re going to eat someone else’s eggs?”

Jemima realized there was no way she was going to win here. “Never mind,” said Donna. “I have some courses that will help you recover from your relationship with that psychopath. Here are my continuing educational webinars. And the most important thing, you must go no-contact immediately.”

“But my eggs are there,” said Jemima.

“Actually, the eggs have already been eaten by some dogs I keep around my place. They protect me from flying monkeys. But they love to eat eggs.”

And that was the tale of Jemina Puddle-Duck and Lovefraud.


Ha! I knew it!

What did I know?

Psychopathy and Creativity are intimately related.

Today’s Psychopathic Times has a stunning article: What do psychopaths and creatives have in common? I have always cherished our ability to “think outside the box,” richard-wagner1conscience-free, able to go wherever our muse leads us. Some great artists have been considered scandalous. My favorite composer, Richard Wagner, was, as my mother called me, “a law unto (my)himself.” What got tongues wagging the most was his tendency to borrow money without paying it back. My sister and I got into some heated arguments. I maintained the great music he composed more than paid for whatever he owed. Later, when society’s widespread anti-Semitism fell into general disfavor (without necessarily diminishing), Wagner was attacked for being anti-Semitic. The fact that anti-Semitism was part of society, not considered antisocial at all, didn’t seem to matter. Now a man can be retroactively antisocial as the social standards change and make what was normal now demonized. If that hadn’t been enough, Hitler loved Wagner’s work (as do many other people) and caused his work to become associated with Nazism in the minds of the public and historians. The fact that there is a vast distance between loving and being loved seems to elude Wagner’s critics.

Blake, an indisputably great poet and artist wrote the Proverbs of Hell. Some of them the-red-dragon-and-the-woman-clothed-with-the-sun-1803-1805-by-william-blake-framed-paintingwere “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” That has always struck of chord with me. Others are

  • “The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow.”
  • “The road of folly leads to the palace of wisdom.”
  • “Sooner murder an infant in it’s cradle than nurse unacted desires.”
  • “You never know what is enough until you know what is too much.”

Blake also painted the Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun. This stunning painting has been featured in Thomas Harris’ novel, The Red Dragon, the first on the Hannibal Lecter novels, and Diary of a Drug Fiend, by Aleister Crowley.

Aleister_Crowley_1Some artists outraged common sensibilities by their very creativity. Wagner, Blake, Crowley and even Ayn Rand were among them. Rand has often been called a “psychopath” due to her philosophy. I don’t agree with her social Darwinism. However, her daring to state that selfishness is a good thing pushed many buttons. She ever wrote an essay called The Virtue of Selfishness. Isn’t that what psychopaths are always being damned for? Crowley, of course, is notorious. He has been nicknamed “the evilest man on earth” for his colorful reputation, some of it earned and some made up.

Freedom enables “antisocial” acts as well as sublime acts of creativity. There’s a slogan that well-behaved women never make history. Of course, that was more about politics than art but the underlying issue is freedom, after all. Those who dare step outside the protective confines of society can be monsters or geniuses or just people who have a greater range of choices because we have taken them. We all have an aura of the forbidden. As Coleridge wrote in his wonderful poem, Xanadu — Kubla Kahn.

Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.



Sometimes there are more questions than answers. This is especially odd since so many questions have been asked and answered about psychopathy. 

The truth of the matter is that there are many experts but no consensus on which one has the right answers. Such is the case with psychopathy.

Although the word Psychopath has existed for centuries. First known usage was in 1985. The word breaks down into the Greek word psyche, meaning mentality or soul and path meaning sickness or suffering. Hervey Cleckley (1903-1984) wrote a book in 1941 called The Mask of Sanity in which he gave a much more specific definition of the word. He became interested in psychopaths after having discovered an interesting anomaly in patients of his mental hospital. There were people who seemed really normal and rational but would surprise him with behavior far outside the norm, whatever that was to Cleckley. He developed a checklist of personality traits that, together, make up the personality of a psychopath. These traits are 16 in number and consist of:

Cleckley’s Checklist

  1. Superficial charm and good “intelligence.”
  2. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational “thinking.”
  3. Absence of “nervousness” or psychoneurotic manifestations.
  4. Unreliability.
  5. Untruthfulness and insincerity.
  6. Lack of remorse or shame.
  7. Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior.
  8. Poor judgement and failure to learn by experience.
  9. Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love.
  10. General poverty in major affective reactions.
  11. Specific loss of insight.
  12. Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
  13. Fantastic and uninviting behavior, with drink and sometimes without.
  14. Suicide rarely carried out.
  15. Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
  16. Failure to follow any life plan.

Robert D. Hare (1934- ), considered the godfather of psychopathy built his own study of psychopathy upon the work of Cleckley. The title of his most widely read book pointed to a core feature of psychopathy: Without Conscience (1993). He also created a checklist of 20 features. This is the checklist currently used.


  • Glib/superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self worth
  • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  • Pathelogical lying
  • Conning/manipulative
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Shallow effect
  • Callous/lack of empathy
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Poor behavioral controls
  • Promiscuous sexual behavior
  • Early behavioral problems
  • Lack of realistic long term goals
  • Impulsivity
  • Irresponsibility
  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • Short term marital relationships
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Revocation of conditional release
  • Criminal versatility

One can see a lot of the same traits in each checklist. Throughout recent history, the word psychopathy was replaced by sociopathy around 1929 at a time when environment was thought to have a greater impact on personality than biology. It has since jumped back and forth as thinking has done the same. But most people who use these terms say psychopaths are born that way while sociopaths become that was as a result of trauma or abuse. 

Psychopathy has long been a psychiatric or psychological concept. However, neurologists have discovered that many people diagnosed as psychopaths have distinctive brains that can be seen on MRI or Cat Scans. This difference has given credibility to the notion that psychopathy is a neurological (rather than just psychological) condition probably already present at birth. The distinction between psychopathy and sociopathy is bolstered by that finding.

Both psychopathy and sociopathy have been supplanted in the “bible” of psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual(DSM) created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Where these terms would be expected to appear, the term antisocial personality disorder is used. That has caused a fair amount of semantical confusion since ASPD is not considered identical to psychopathy. Many prisoners are diagnosed with ASPD but a smaller number of these are considered psychopaths. Robert Hare spent most of his time studying psychopathy among prisoners. Current standards consider Hare’s checklist appropriate for use on prisoners whose number on the list is considered predictive of recidivism so it is used by parole boards as criteria for when to grant a prisoner parole.

Tina Taylor

Outside the rarified atmosphere of professionals, there has been a great deal of intelligent lay discussion of psychopathy (in it’s many terms). Tina Taylor publishes a newsletter called Psychopathic Times: Narcissist Nation. Ms. Taylor is of the opinion that, not only can psychopathy be diagnosed by an MRI brain scan, but such scans should be mandatory for all politicians who seek a position in running the country. But some experts deny that the MRI can be used as a diagnostic tool. Neurologist James Fallon is probably the most famous professional to advocate the diagnostic potential of the MRI. His book, The Psychopath Inside tells the story of how he discovered his own inner psychopath after seeing a scan of his own brain. 

One would think psychopathy can be diagnosed by a brain scan. But some neurologists say it can’t be. Chris Chambers, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the school of psychology, Cardiff University, wrote an article, Could a brain scan diagnose you as a psychopath? The fallacy involved is called the fallacy of reverse inference. In my Logic class, we called it the fallacy of distribution. Just because all crows are black, it doesn’t follow that all black birds are crows. The neurological features of the brain are a lot more complex than James Fallon and Tina Taylor would have it. 


Who’s the Asshole?

badseedPsychCentral has an article about RAD children (this isn’t Rock Against Drugs—it stands for Reactive Attachment Disorder) and their parents. The article, Why Parents of R.A.D. Children Always Look Like A**holes by W. R. Cummings, defines RAD as “a brain disorder that is caused when a child is not nurtured in the first few months of his/her life.” The description of these children reminds me of psychopathy (or “callous unemotional” if you like). They warn us that RAD kids are capable of manipulation to get what they want/need. RAD kids see people they like as “resources.” What do they want?

That might be snacks. That might be physical affection. That might be TV time. It could be a myriad of things.

pussycatPhysical affection? That is something the child hugs the parent for? S/he “manipulates” the parent into giving physical affection? Why does physical affection have to be obtained by manipulation? The description of a child with RAD kind of reminds me of the way a cat behaves. Sure, most cats will rub up against your legs and purr in order to get fed. But sometimes the cat just wants to be petted.

manipulationWhat is manipulation? Isn’t everything manipulation when you get right down to it. We learn what behavior elicits response from others and we deliberately behave in ways we have learned will be rewarded. If we had no idea how our behavior affects the treatment we receive from other people, we would really be unmanageable and we would probably have to be institutionalized. For that matter, the way parents and other adults treat kids is just as manipulative. We try to get kids to act the way we want them too. We punish them when they do things we don’t like and reward them when they do things we do like. How is this any less manipulative than the behavior of a RAD kid or a psychopath, for that matter. Face it: Society is run on mutual manipulation. The behaviorist psychologist, B. F. Skinner recognized this as shown in his books, Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity.

strictmomThe article lists ways parents of a child with RAD should behave. Some of these items are stunning. “They have to monitor every bite of food their kids take.” Say, what? Why? “They have to respond to negative behavior with a robot-like voice because giving any type of emotional reaction to their child spurs the behavior onward. They have to respond to positive behavior with a robot-like voice because being overly bubbly teaches their child how to manipulate people more thoroughly.” At this point, I start wondering if the kid was emotionally unattached before receiving this kind of treatment or if s/he is reacting to the parents’ own lack of attachment towards the child. No matter what the kid says or does, all s/he gets is a robot intent on greyrockcatching the kid in bad behavior. I’m baffled as to why Cummings thinks cutting a child off emotionally is going to make hir feel attachment to the parent. Why even adopt such a child? Why not leave hir in the orphanage. The people who work at such institutions can give hir the same detached “robotic” care.

The internet is full of articles instructing people to disengage emotionally from psychopaths. They warn their readers that psychopaths only charm and seduce them as a prelude to hurting them. So go no contact or grey rock the moment you discover psychopathy in a lover. This article is telling parents to be the same way towards their child. Wild.

Help! Someone’s Dying!

urbanempathyIf empathy is so wonderful, why does it get so obnoxious? Why do empaths feel the need to get so hysterical about someone else’s problems? OK. If someone has a problem and asks for help, it’s perfectly fine to help them, if one wants to. But I’m talking about cases where the one with the “problem” has not asked for help. The failure to ask for help is what really seems to upset these empaths who want to make other people’s problems their own. At the same time, these same empaths get all pushed out of shape when the person with the problem get a following and exerts an influence on others, usually people younger than themselves. There’s something about age differences that brings out a really annoying feature in many people. The older one thinks s/he has a parental right, nay, responsibility to boss the younger one around. This is especially obnoxious and absurd when the age difference is only by a couple of years. When the older person doesn’t get all bossy, s/he’s accused of being a bad influence. Can’t we take our hands out of each other’s wounds, folks? Please?

I recently stumbled upon a group of You-Tube videos about someone named Eugenia Cooney. This person is a model and You-Tuber. She is also anorexic.  But she doesn’t admit it. She claims to be a normal, naturally thin woman. She has many fans who have been agonizing about what appears to be her imminent death.  The video below,

made by a former anorectic, explains what is really going on in the mind of Eugenia and how clueless these fans are. But it seems retarded to me to see these folks self-righteously demanding that “we” do something about what seems to be a slow suicide. By “we,” is that Onision and me? Yes, Onision is one of the ones who likes to shame himself and everyone else with guilt. It seems “we” have failed Eugenia Cooney by not somehow saving her.

onisionAmidst all the confusion and finger-pointing, one You-Tuber has shown actual insight. A chick at Of Herbs and Altars  shows amazing wisdom. But even she can’t help moralizing. In her case, she guilt-trips, not the fans as much as Eugenia, herself, on the ground that she is a bad influence on the kiddies. Oh, brother! This again? If we are to have free speech on the internet, we can’t let our fear of being a bad influence on kids censor us. People need to think for themselves. I have no sympathy for people who won’t take responsibility for their own ideas. They get what they deserve.

The world of empathy-worship insists on moral involvements between people that goes 'What kind of crazy nonsense is that? It sounds like you've been listening to your inner adult again!'far beyond simply treating each other in an ethical manner. We are somehow responsible for a self-destructive celebrity. The celebrity, herself, is responsible for her effect on her fans. Why can’t everyone be responsible for hirself? If someone is too young to think for hirself, let hir parent or guardian monitor what s/he can see on the internet. Personally, I thought for myself from the earliest age.

I am sick of those who want to save us from ourselves. I’ve done self-destructive things. I knew they were self-destructive and I didn’t want anyone trying to stop me. They are not responsible for my choices and I don’t hold myself responsible for their choices.

Eugenia Cooney is certainly freaky looking with her extreme emaciation. I can understand “fans” watching her just waiting for her to die. Our interest in each other is not always benevolent. In fact, entertainment in general often focusses on the darker side of life. Most people find the spectacle of people killing each other more fun and interesting than watching peace and tranquility.

Marilyn Manson’s song, Mister Superstar from the Antichrist Superstar album alludes to the desire of fans to consume and destroy their idols. It contains a whisper in the mix slyly suggesting to the superstar “Why don’t you kill yourself on TV. I wanna see you die.” While the TV sitcom, One Day at a Time was playing and MacKenzie Phillips was heavily using cocaine, fans watched the show just to see her gradual deterioration. The lack of empathy is really refreshing.