All posts by nowve666

I'm free in my mind. I've done whatever I wanted to do in my life. Now I'm 72. Well, all good things come to an end. The way the world is getting, it's just as well. Freedom means being able to embrace whatever ideas one has regardless of taboos. It also means total self-acceptance.

Self-Mastery

mind_over_matterIt’s a well-known truism that psychopaths feel less emotion than “regular” people. This inability to feel everything NTs feel is often considered a deficit. But it can also be beneficial. Without the full range of emotions, psychopaths are also spared the emotions of guilt, anxiety and shame. Tests suggest psychopaths are also less susceptible to physical pain. The same detachment that enables psychopaths to dispense with unpleasant emotions can also free us from physical suffering.

burning_fingerprintsAn episode of Law & Order: SVU features a psychopath who has overcome his reaction to pain that he was able to burn off his fingerprints on a hot grill without so much as a quiver. Although it is doubtful that many psychopaths can achieve that degree of detachment, it can be done. I have experimented with such achievement.

It started when I happened to be in pain from something or other and I wondered what it was about pain that is bad. I focused on my pain to try to isolate the thing about it that is, in itself, unpleasant. The more I focused, the more illusive the sensation became until it disappeared. I realized I had a found a way to stop pain. The trick is not trying to stop it. You have to truly and sincerely be trying to invite it. From this point, I realized that the thing that makes pain painful is our trying to flee from it. In other words, not accepting the moment. Those who are always in the moment need not suffer. Pain and fear are practically the same thing. Both involve dreading something. In the case of fear, it is something in the possible future that is dreaded. In the case of pain, it is a sensation of the body.

dalai_lamaI have since come across my method (I think of it as mine because I discovered it myself) in the writings of others. It’s considered a high form of  yoga. It’s kind of paradoxical that psychopaths should have access to this very advanced kind of self-mastery, especially when we are sensation-seekers, game players and power seekers. The expression on the face of the man at the top of this page is not the peaceful look of an enlightened being such as the Dalai Lama. It is an excited face, the face of a man thrilled with his own god-like abilities. Speaking for myself, the peace of enlightenment is well and good. I guess I’ll want to achieve it some day. But as long as I can seek and get thrills, I want thrills. I want the excitement and the drama of Life but I am not above dipping into some of the wisdom of the sages when it can improve my life.

Kevin Dutton’s book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, attracted attention partially by the paradoxical idea that we can be wise. We can be impulsive, amoral, transgressing and without a conscience. We are free to do anything we want. But why should wisdom mean living with shackles such as the ones imposed by morality. Is that what the voices of society want us to believe? What if it’s not true. Maybe the laughter of the gods is about this very (to most) terrifying truth.  Someone just asked why it is terrifying. Because most people are afraid of freedom. They think without their precious morality, everything would fall apart. They fear the temptation. As Coleridge wrote:his_flashing_eyes.jpg

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Heavenly Thrills

beckyIn 2006, the film, Jesus Camp hit the silver screen generating controversy right and left. Filmmakers, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady probably only meant to show a fair and balanced documentary about a significant segment of the American population which lives the mainstream culture but knows little of the evangelical one. Liberals saw the film as an expose of a malevolent and dangerous under-culture existing among us. Many Christians saw the film as a manipulative attempt to make them look bad. Some people on both sides of the divide recognized the nuanced approach that let the complexity of the charismatic culture reveal itself.

leviThe main characters of Jesus Camp are Becky Fischer, a charismatic children’s minister who presides over a conference and then a camp and three of the children who stand out and are focused on: Levi O’Brien, a 12-year-old boy sporting a mullet, 9-year-old Rachael Elhardt and 9-year-old Tory Binger. Another child, Andrew Sommerkamp, bravely admitted he had a hard time believing in a God he never saw or knew much about. The film doesn’t show the believers giving Andrew much attention or help. Becky Fischer wrote a book called Jesus Camp my story about her experiences with the film and the complex series of events surrounding the story.

I am an atheist and I find some of the pet issues embraced by this community seriously wrong-headed. The issue most strongly focused on was abortion. I must confess I can’t gardeningreally understand what all the fuss is about. If God created life, why can’t he create new lives to take the place of the ones who are aborted? Nature is profligate. She creates life in abundance and it is axiomatic that much of that life is snuffed out early. Every gardener knows that killing is necessary to make a garden thrive. Weeds need to be pulled or they will suffocate the plants the gardener wants to grow. Snails and other pests must be killed or otherwise discouraged from feasting on the life the gardener is nourishing. To be hands-off and to respect all life equally is to enable the jungle from taking over. Not that a jungle is a bad thing. But mankind managed to develop into the dominant species by taking control over agriculture. Why is childbirth an exception? Primitive people who don’t have the technology of abortion have their own primitive form of birth control. Some expose to the elements infants they can’t or don’t want to raise. Really poor communities have no prayerchoice. The “pro-lifers” are fond of the word “murder” with all its emotional connotations. Of course, “murder” is a legal term referring to the unlawful, premeditated killing of human beings who have been born. Animal rights people also misuse the word “murder,” accusing all carnivores of murder. Becky Fischer objects strenuously to the idea that her community is “political.” But ideas like “pro life” (really pro-birth) has political consequences. One of the extra scenes on the DVD shows a group of children driven to a “pregnancy crisis center” to pray for the ending of abortion. This center is right next door to a Planned Parenthood. These centers are notorious for misleading pregnant girls and women into thinking they can get abortions there only to reveal once it’s too late that they don’t do that sort of thing. It’s fair enough with both store-fronts side by side. A girl who wants an abortion can go next door to Planned Parenthood. But the Right is very serious about snuffing out all options for abortion. In ten years, will that Planned Parenthood still be there? Not if “pro-lifers” have anything to do with it.

sandradayoconnerThe film began with a radio announcement that Sandra Day O’Connor retiring from the Supreme Court, clearing the way for President Bush to appoint a Justice who wants to repeal Roe vs. Wade. Becky objected to the timing of that announcement. It seems Justice O’Connor’s retirement came after the kids did an intense prayer (I would call it a working) to end abortion. Becky considered this a miracle and wished the film had depicted it as such. Another miracle that didn’t make it to the film was the stopping of a serious storm that had been heading right for the camp.

toryAs we can see, the supernatural plays a great role in the lives of these evangelicals. As a former Wiccan, I was amazed to see some of the prayer activities the group did which very much resembled the kind of Wiccan magick we used to do. Becky assembled a large number of coffee cups. She had the kids write on the cups things they wanted to eliminate such as “corrupt government.” These cups became what Wiccans call a “poppet,” an object used to represent another thing they want to work magick on. Then they worked up a cone of power with a lot of energetic chanting and movement culminating in the shattering of the cups with a hammer. The sight of such a familiar kind of ritual warmed my heart. I saw that these Christians did the same fun rituals we used to do. Ironically, they are very much against Wicca, Witchcraft, magick, calling up spirits, or anything they would label the occult as long as it wasn’t specifically Christian.

tonguesPentecostals and charismatics work very closely with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does many things pagan-invoked spirits do. The Holy Spirit enters the Christian and causes him/her to speak in tongues. No offense intended to them but it reminds me very much of Voodoo where the spirits enter and possess the mambo or hougan and speak or act through him/her. Many holyspiritChristians are against speaking in tongues, perhaps for that reason. I find it interesting and colorful. Children Becky ministers to learn how to speak in tongues, make prophesies, hear the word of God and heal the sick. I can easily see how these empowering activities make Christianity much more compelling than sitting in the pews singing hymns. As Rachael said, the latter kind of churches are “dead churches.” Becky also mentioned that Christian churches are losing members to paganism and drug use because the hunger for the supernatural hasn’t been satisfied. The kids Becky leads are empowered in a very exciting way. They are made to see themselves as the center of a vital drama; actors, not onlookers. “Boys and girls can change the world?” she intoned. “Absolutely!”

breatheproAt the Conference, a troop of kids perform something called Breathe Prophecy. I couldn’t help noticing how precise and focused every kid was during this performance. It was dramatic and musical and militant. This is presumably one of the spectacles that have liberals worried. Later, at the camp, a group of kids wearing camouflage uniforms with their faces painted like warriors chant. “V I C T O R Y! That’s the soldier’s battle cry!” Having read Howe and Strauss, I am reminded that these kids are Millennials. Levi calls his generation a “key generation.”

The scenes of the kids’ home lives and interactions with their parents show a lot of harmony between the generations. What surprised me most was the fathers. They had very gentle auras, even the one who was a marine and about to go overseas. I wouldn’t have expected such gentle men. I thought they would be very macho. But it wasn’t so. Overall, the main impression of this culture is cohesiveness. People have remarked at the passion of the kids. I would add to that, a unity. People predicted that when the kids grew to be teenagers, they would change. To our surprise, this didn’t happen.


hellSo why didn’t I join up? I little matter of disbelief. I just can’t and down even want to believe that a God who created as as imperfect beings who can’t be good enough to deserve to go to Heaven would judge unbelievers so harshly that he would caste us into the lake of fire for all eternity. Call me a humanist but I don’t really believe anyone deserves such a fate, no, not even the worst of us. And yet they believe that even really good people go to Hell if they don’t believe in Jesus. What about people who lived before Jesus was even born? Well the limboCatholic Church came up with a pretty good answer, Limbo. Unbaptized babies, ancient Greeks and Romans and everyone else who didn’t have a chance to believe in Jesus could go there. But the Church has abandoned that doctrine. One priest explained to a friend of mine that everyone who earnestly seeks to do the good as he understands it, even if he’s wrong, is basically a good Catholic regardless of his beliefs. I’ve also heard Catholics deny that statement. And Becky’s lot would definitely deny it. Calvinists actually believe God knows who is going to be damned before he even creates them. So God creates people for a destiny of eternal damnation. That is the most evil thing I could ever imagine!

evilgodI don’t believe anyone deserves Hell. We are finite, mortal beings. What can we possibly do to deserve infinite, eternal torment? If I, with my finite understanding, can believe in forgiveness for all sinners, how can God, who is purported to be Love, be less merciful? It just doesn’t compute.

Christians point out that God made a “perfect plan that none should godevilperish,” meaning Christ dying on the cross. But why isn’t his sacrifice for everybody, regardless of their beliefs? Of course, the people who never heard of him or who lived before him are paid an enormous injustice. Christians never seem to want to explain this enormity. They wax indignant at abortion but accept eternal torture of the undeserving with equanimity. And even those who heard about Christ and still don’t believe shouldn’t be punished for honest beliefs. How can any God be so evil. Yes, I said evil and I meant it.

Becky wrote, “You were born for God. You were born for His pleasure out of a love no human being can understand.” That’s quite right. I don’t understand such a “love.” “God angrygodhas a plan for your life. It is completely intertwined with His desire to have a friendship with you.” Be his friend or perish?

“It’s actually not true we are ‘all God’s children.’ What is true is we are all His ‘creations.’ He indeed made all of us. But to be a legitimate son or daughter of the Most High God you must be ‘adopted’ into His family. The only way this can happen is through His Son Jesus.” My earthly parents were more flexible and forgiving than this being of so-called infinite love. People say Donald Trump is a narcissist. He is nothing next to this “god.”


Levi:

Rachael:

Atheists Watch:


Links

Self Awareness

fingerpointingPsychopathy is a label originally applied to us by others. Originally, we were just ourselves. Only later, we found out that who and what we were had a name which we came to accept. There are few words that evoke so many different and varied opinions.

mynameisPsychopathy is defined as a personality disorder of people who have certain traits. Robert Hare’s PCL-R is a checklist of traits that are characteristic of psychopathy. Robert Hare is a psychologist and only trained practitioners are supposed to administer the test. According to Dr. Hare, the only people qualified to administer this test are “clinicians.”

clinicianClinicians should

  • Possess an advanced degree in the social, medical, or behavioral sciences, such as a Ph.D., D.Ed. or M.D.
  • Be registered with the local state or provincial registration body that regulates the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorder (e.g., psychological or psychiatric association);
  • Have experience with forensic populations (as demonstrated by registration as a diploma in forensic psychology or psychiatry, completion of a practicum or internship in a clinical-forensic setting,or at least two years of relevant work-related experience)
  • Limit their use of the PCL-R to those populations in which it has been fully validated. The manual, published in 1991, stated that this meant only adult male forensic populations (e.g.,institutional or community correctional facilities, forensic psychiatric hospitals, and pre trial evaluation or detention facilities.) However, there now is enough empirical evidence to support its use with female and adolescent offenders, as well as with sex offenders.
  • Insure that they have adequate training and experience in the use of the PCL-R. We further recommend that, wherever possible, the PCL-R scores of two independent raters should be averaged so as to increase the reliability of the assessment.

assessingQuite a list of requirements to interpret a list of 20 qualities. Training can be quite pricey. The Hare PCL-R Training Program can run to $499 or $600. Quite an elitist program. To make matters worse, “psychopathy” does not even appear in the DSM so most psychologists won’t even use the checklist. Instead of listing “psychopathy,” the DSM has “ASPD” OR “Anti-Social Personality Disorder.” The PCL-R is never used to diagnose ASPD. Curiosity.com has the full list. The list of qualities the PCL-R accesses are:

psychopath1These are the 20 criteria:

– Do you exhibit glib and superficial charm?

– Do you have a grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self?

– Do you have a constant need for stimulation?

– Are you a pathological liar?

– Are you cunning and manipulative?

– Do you have lack of remorse or guilt?

– Do you have shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)?

– Are you callous, and do you lack empathy?

– Do you have a parasitic lifestyle?

– Do you have poor behavioral controls?

– Are you sexually promiscuous?

– Did you display early behavior problems?

– Do you lack realistic long-term goals?

– Are you overly impulsive?

– Are you irresponsible?

– Do you fail to accept responsibility for own actions?

– Have you had many short-term marital relationships?

– Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?

– Have you experienced a revocation of conditional release?

– Do you display criminal versatility?

membersDoes it really require the exalted knowledge listed above to apply these descriptions to someone and draw an intelligent inference? Not being one of the anointed, I don’t know. And why does one have to be a psychologist to “diagnose” someone with a condition that isn’t even listed in the DSM (although DSM-V admits “this pattern has also been referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial personality disorder).”

notpsychMore confusion is sown by the use of the words “psychopathy” and “sociopathy.” There is no consensus of the meaning of these terms and the difference between them. But most people agree that psychopathy is a neurological condition while sociopathy is psychological and created by the environment.  I guess only a brain scan can tell which is which but some say that even sociopaths have distinctive brain scans.


stigma1I think psychology and psychiatry were invented as a way stigmatized behaviors could be considered sickness and less stigmatized. The fields are what is called soft science as opposed to physics or chemistry or even biology. It has always lacked the precision of the hard sciences. Although more and more of “mental illness” is being found to have a physical correspondence, most behavior grows out of the will. Tourette syndrome can cause “behavior” for which the person has no responsibility but that’s the exception. Behavior disorders are patterns of behavior the majority of mainstream society just flat-out doesn’t like. You can give it a fancy psychiatric term but people judge it anyway. Psychopathy is especially reptilianpsystigmatized. The most outlandish explanations have been hatched. Psychopaths have been said to be shape-shifting reptiles, for example. People question our very humanity. M. Scott Peck has tried to combine moral opprobrium with science in his book People of the Lie, subtitled The Hope of Healing Human Evil. “Evil” isn’t normally referred to as something that needs to be “healed.” Can someone be “sick” and “evil” at the same time? What is sickness? What is evil? Both are phenomena that bother others, that society would like to banish. But sickness isn’t considered the fault of a sick person. Evil is supposedly freely chosen.

lovefraudOn the web, groups of people have come together as self-proclaimed victims of “evil” psychopaths and narcissists. The “evil” is usually at the hands of mothers or lovers. Ironic how people can go from an intimate relationship with someone to suggesting they aren’t even human.

 


peakNo matter how psychopathy is defined, it is clearly a word meant to denote pathology. Psychopath means something wrong. How are those of us who carry that label supposed to deal with the fact that society sees us as something wrong regardless of which of many opinions out there about how and why we are “wrong?” We have all had to come to terms with the awareness that we were different right from the start. It causes us to know we are alone in a way few people experience. But, as Ayn Rand put it, “every aloneness is a pedestal.”

Ableism

Psychopathy: Racism and Ableism from the Medical-Industrial Complex
by Autistic Hoya

PCI have long had a problem with people applying the label, “psychopath,” to any behavior the speaker finds reprehensible. In other words, “psychopathy” equals “bad.” Finally, I have come across an article that attacks that practice. But politics makes odd bedfellows. While I love the writer for standing up for psychopaths, I find some ideas that I either disagree with or which even make me laugh out loud. In reading the article I will be discussing here, I am entering Politically Correct Land; Nay, I am smack in the center of the storm.

PC_talkThis article even contains a trigger warning: “Disability-related slurs and other ableist language, mention of rape, racism, and ableism.” While I support social justice, I find a faction of left-wing movement folk to be absurd. I guess that’s a good thing in that it ameliorates my loathing and hatred for the Right. At least the Right gets some things right…er, correct. I agree with them in wanting the Nanny State off my back when it comes to saving me from myself. I’m an adult and I’ll choose what substances to imbibe. I also consider the Transgender harassment.gifMovement wrong-headed and chafe under the authoritarian insistence on everyone giving lip service to the Movement’s opinions (er…delusions). I laugh, along with everyone else at such monstrosities as first grade children being accused of sexual harassment because they gave another kid a kiss. Ditto to the charge of child abuse applied to kids who are mean to other kids. So, in immersing myself in this article, I am entering what I consider alien territory.

libtardThe article calls bullshit on the casual way people, OK, the way we casually use “ableist” terms to diss one and other. For example, “to refer to one’s political opponents as blind or deaf to progressive ideas.” While I can see calling one’s opponent “retard,” is oppressive to those who really are retarded, saying someone is “blind” because he cannot see one’s point doesn’t really strike me as oppressive to the blind. Maybe I am the one who is blind or, pardon me, deluded, ON NO! That’s ableist too. Delusion is a symptom of schizophrenic psychosis. What can we say about extremely wrongheaded people? This degree of PC dogmatism is cutting the balls off the language. Isn’t it? We can’t call them morons, idiots, fools, crazy. <shrug>

madorbadOn the other hand, I am sick and tired of people calling everyone who does something really bad a “psychopath.” There is a tendency to blame psychopaths for all the ills of society. Our system is “psychopathic.” Tina Taylor of Psychopathic Times believes society’s ills can be cured if we could only prevent psychopathic politicians from taking office. Of course, that raises the question of how we identify psychopaths. Tina has an answer to that: brain scans. Brain scanning as a diagnostic tool for psychopathy is controversial. Unfortunately (or fortunately), one can’t really have a policy until we can know with a degree of certainty who we are talking about.

antisocial-personality-disorderI have only come across one person (until now) who linked psychopathy with race. Black people are prone to it, said this person. The article by Autistic Hoya also says that people diagnosed with Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), the American Psychiatric Association’s stand-in for psychopathy, are disproportionately black. Of course, leftists tend to find rich white folk more psychopathic and they bolster their claims with studies indicating that the richer one is, the less empathy he has.

stigmaThe article bemoans the fact that psychological anomalies are stigmatized. Few people look at the reason people are considered “mentally ill” in the first place. Those called mentally ill are the people who behave in ways that disturb the majority of people in a society. Therefore, “mental illness” and stigma seem inseparable. The concept of mental illness was originally created in order to fight stigma. Instead of calling someone “bad,” one said he was “ill.” But the connection between behavior society disapproves of and disapproval cannot be severed by change of terminology. Let’s face it. Outcasts will be outcasts no matter what you call us. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep fighting for precision in language. But the very precision takes us to the same point we have been trying to get away from. All society seeks conformity. Freud had a name for it: Civilization and it’s Discontents. Can the connection between those two things ever be severed? In the meantime, STOP CALLING ALL BAD PEOPLE PSYCHOPATHS.


Links

Final Solution for Psychopaths?

dramaSome people probably think we psychopaths are over-dramatizing the amount of oppression we face as a group. For the sake of clarity, I submit this exchange of ideas that just occurred on Quora where I answer questions from time to time. https://www.quora.com/Why-are-psychopaths-considered-evil/answer/Fran-Theresa-Nowve

Here is the question, my answer and a comment, leading to exchange of views.

Why are psychopaths considered evil?

Frances Nowve:
guilty2Most people believe that people can only be good if aversive stimuli threaten them with punishment if they transgress the norms of society. This is called the “conscience.” NTs feel guilty when they do “wrong.” They can’t imagine anyone being “good” voluntarily unless they are threatened with a conscience. They don’t understand that some people can be free of the threat of conscience and still not do “evil.”

Gilberto De La Vega (comments):

psychoIronically, I personally think that we should find better ways of diagnosing and targeting sociopaths so that we can engage in the process of eliminating them from our gene pool and human population. Sociopaths are destructive and evil and are the cause of a lot of suffering in the world, globally and historically. I think at some point in the future we should have a social cleansing of psychopaths and sociopaths where we kill off all sociopaths and psychopaths and make sure they don’t reproduce in our children. That seems like the logical thing to do. It’s for the good of our species.

hitler2Frances Nowve (replies):
Hitler couldn’t have said it better. Genocide. The final solution to psychopathy. Then there will only be loving empaths like you in the world.

Gilberto De La Vega (replies):
vladI don’t even hate psychopaths and sociopaths. I actually feel bad for them because they are sick in the head. But my feelings about them are irrelevant. The point is that sociopaths and psychopaths are incredibly dangerous to human society. They have been responsible for some of the most hideous and heinous crimes against humanity throughout history. People ranging from medieval ruthless lords like Vlad the Impaler all the way to the modern serial killers and rapists like Ted Bundy and Jefferey Dahmer. These people plague the population of Earth and wreak havoc unto the world with no remorse and there is no possibility for them to be cured or become good through rehabilitation. So, I’m sorry I mean no disrespect, but these people gotta go. It’s for the greater good and survival of our species.

Frances Nowve (replies):
You apparently haven’t even read my original reply to the original question which was that one doesn’t need an averse stimulation like a guilty conscience in order to lead a reasonable life. I am a psychopath and I never killed hundreds of people like Vlad the Impaler (who, by the way, has never been diagnosed). Many psychopaths never kill or “wreck havoc unto the world.” I admit that, if we do, it would be “with no remorse.” But most of us don’t. On the other hand, NTs like you presume to be are capable of seriously professorsuggesting that psychopaths “gotta go…for the greater good and survival of our species.” You are talking of genocide, Sir. The fact that you can do so without hatred is truly chilling. I suggest more “havoc” has been wrecked by NTs throughout history than psychopaths. As a professor once said, “It might not be a matter of evil dictators but whole populations of evil people…like us?” Your final solution provides ample evidence for that thesis.

Gilberto De La Vega
Fran Theresa Nowve

Poverty-Eugenics-NewspaperBut there are far more NTs embracing horrible ideologies than there are psychopaths. Eugenics is considered one of those horrible ideologies, by the way. You are clearly one of those horrible NTs. You would eliminate all psychopaths because some of us kill? Since I called you on it, I see you are retreating from wanting to kill us all off. But what would you recommend in the case where a psychopath manages to be born anyway? Kill the kid the moment you realize what he is? Funny way to promote a kinder, gentler society.

Gil (if I may call you that), I have taken the liberty to copy this entire thread to my blog where it can be followed more easily. Final Solution for Psychopaths? Quora isn’t so conducive to this much back and forth. I invite you to continue the debate there.

Gilberto De La Vega
Fran Theresa Nowve

Well, I’m glad you no longer want to kill us. After all, your main objection to psychopaths is that some of us kill so how can someone call for killing as an antidote to the problem? As you said, “in retrospect, (it) seems barbaric.” It not only seems barbaric. It is barbaric.

psychopaththeproblem“We need to find a solution to the problem of psychopaths/sociopaths in our society. We need to find a way of eliminating them from our population.” No. “We” don’t “need to find a solution to the problem of psychopaths/sociopaths in our society.” Psychopaths are not a problem for me. People who think like you do are a problem. How would you like someone defining you as “the problem” and looking for ways to eliminate you? Why do you keep referring to “psychopaths” as if they are some group of people far away who can’t hear you. You are referring to me and my kind and I am right here. You expect me to discuss “psychopaths” as some sort of abstraction? You expect me to identify with your “we” when that “we” is trying to eliminate me? Why can’t you see that your attitude is just as lethal as anything a psychopath could cook up? You blame the bad behavior of NTs on “pathological ideologies like racism, classism, nazism, Stalinism, radicalized religious doctrines like we see in ISIS, tribalism, etc.” Don’t you see how tribal you are being? You are defining us as the “other” who is the problem, who shouldn’t even exist. If that isn’t tribalism (to use the kindest word), what is it?

thankyouclarice“And yes, I still maintain the assertion that this will promote a kinder, gentler society. You can’t deny that psychopaths and sociopaths are dangerous to human civilization.” I do deny it. Far fewer psychopaths do really harmful things than NTs. You even admitted it but suggested that if NTs do bad things because of an ideology, it’s not as bad as when we do things “because they want to do those things, even though they know it’s wrong, and have no conscience or remorse about it.” To bring you back to my original answer again, I pointed out, “Most people believe that wisdompsypeople can only be good if aversive stimuli threaten them with punishment if they transgress the norms of society. This is called the ‘conscience.’ NTs feel guilty when they do ‘wrong.’ They can’t imagine anyone being ‘good’ voluntarily unless they are threatened with a conscience. They don’t understand that some people can be free of the threat of conscience and still not do ‘evil.’” You keep insisting that a conscience is necessary to keep people from doing “wrong.” That’s treating people like children who don’t really have any will for good. They only behave because they fear the punishment of a guilty conscience.

I suggest you read Kevin Dutton’s book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths to broaden your perspective. If my words can’t persuade you, maybe his can.

Gilberto De La Vega

My Reward System

waitingI’m so bored! Broke. Nowhere to go. Waiting waiting waiting. It seems like all I ever do is wait for something. And I HATE waiting. Really hate it. I’m waiting for some good money which seems like a done deal. Everything except the actual cash. Grrrr. If I were one of those people who say there is a purpose for everything and the universe is sending a message, I would probably say the universe is teaching me to be patient. Ugh!

new-thai-girlfriend_o_266531I’ve been thinking about transsexuals. They suffer from something called gender dysphoria. That means they “feel” like the other gender from which they had been born. It is considered proper now to enable people to “change” genders (providing they can afford the medical procedures). They are encouraging “transitioning” in people who have those feelings at alarmingly young ages. It’s hard to imagine how a three-year-old can make such a decision. I’ve been told that sex is the physical property of male and female while gender is the social construct. Since society has loosened the rigid category of what is “male” and what is “female,” I would think it would be easier for people to be themselves in the bodies they were born with. Below is a video documenting a camp specifically for transgender kids (boys to girls). The process is shown in a very positive light. These kids look like girls. Of course, they are all pre-puberty. And it’s hard to remember they all still each have a penis. They need to decide later in life whether to have the operation to have an artificial vagina designed in place of their cocks. The process is fabulously expensive. It’s amazing that so many parents are willing and able to foot the bill. These male to female trannies are really into being girly-girls. The climax of the camping experience is a “fashion show.”

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a boy. Transgender wasn’t an option so I stayed a girl. Since puberty, I have been glad to be a girl/woman. I am happy to be a real female with a real vagina and reproductive system. I don’t think of these trannies as real males and females. But I am impressed by how heartfelt their desires are to change over.

bigotThe transgender movement is very powerful politically, I am told. Most of the Left embraces it but a sizeable part of the women’s movement take exception to these males insistence on invading female space which feminists won the hard way. The Right, of course, is the hard nugget. They resist but the transgender movement is a formidable force.

tevyeThe bottom line is these people are unhappy in their given gender. The medical field supports their desire to change so they can be happy. Do people have the “right” to change their circumstances to be made happier? If so, why can’t I get rich. It would make me very happy. I wouldn’t have to be fabulously wealthy. Like Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), I would be satisfied with “a small fortune.” How about girls getting female hormones to enhance their figures to make them the sexiest chicks on the block?


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Letting Go

beach

I grow old. I grow old.

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
mermaidsI have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prubrock by T. S. Eliot

graveyardOne way of knowing one is getting older is by the number of people one knows who are dead. I had a friend whom I have known since the age of 13 and I recently learned she was dead. We met in a nuthouse which had been my home between the ages of 13 and 15. We had been really good friends for years but had drifted apart a few years ago. She was the first person to tell me I was a psychopath. I called her about a year ago as I had just discovered it was possible to get one’s medical records from our years of incarceration. I thought she would be interested and excited at the prospect. She would have been at one time. This time, not so much. I asked her if she remembered telling me I was a psychopath. She denied remembering that and volunteered the information that she wasn’t “impressed by them anymore.” Well, that chilled me and I mentally let her go as a person no longer of any interest to me. It was interesting to see how easily I dismissed her as she had once been really important to me. After a while, I began to miss her and feel nostalgia so I tried to contact her only to find out she was dead. That was kind of a shock as this was the first person (other than parents of course) that I had known from so long ago who was dead. It’s so final.
phylisI had another friend with whom I had been close about 35 to 40 years ago. We were still friends on Facebook but hadn’t really spoken much for years. Just yesterday, she contacted me to question me about my psychopathy. I’ve been “out” on Facebook for over a year so I assumed my old friends knew by now. I have friends on Facebook from many different times in my life with whom I shared different interests. I have a bunch of political friends. The great thing about them is that we can still debate our interests in a rational manner and agree to disagree when necessary. Other friends were gathered from various interests and enthusiasms such as the novels of Anne Rice. These weren’t merely email friends. I actually got together with them over the years. We’re still friends but not as involved with each others’ lives. Then there are friends I’ve made more recently with whom I share the experience of being in Cluster B. I’ve been more involved with them then the others recently and sometimes I forget there’s a world outside our little circle. I love them for their open-mindedness. I can be myself among them in a way I have never before be able to.
letgoThis old friend has totally rejected me based solely on my psychopathy. To her credit, she did give me a chance to “explain” but she found my writing “long-winded,” too much trouble to bother reading. Meh!
Well, that’s why psychopaths wear masks. People can’t deal with reality. I can afford not to give a damn at this stage of my life. I can let people go if they can’t accept me. And have room for those who want to be in my life.

Top of the Food Chain

The film, The Psychopath Next Door, has an amusing sequence in which the psychopath is likened to a cat eating a mouse. To make it more amusing, the cat and mouse are working in a corporation. The cat, clearly, is the boss and the mouse, a terrified employee.

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The cat’s lack of empathy as he toys with the mouse is stressed.

imamouse

That’s rather silly. A mouse knows damn well what the cat wants to do to him. He doesn’t try to implant his own values on the cat. He expects and gets no mercy.

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Again, the words are Robert Hare’s. These words are more realistic than the ones imputed to the mouse. Cats don’t care what their prey is going through. Note the show of naked power as the cat holds the mouse’s tail down.

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Cats love to play with their food, hence the expression, playing “cat and mouse.”

eaten

The delicious conclusion.

hare_psychopathnextdoor

Robert Hare has illustrated something I’ve always said, myself. Cats are psychopaths, not just because they hunt live prey. Compare them with dogs. Dogs are always looking like they feel guilty. You can’t shame a cat. Just try it. Cats are beautiful, independent and graceful. Mark Twain said that those who love freedom love cats.

Are psychopaths top of the food chain? We take care of ourselves. But, as cats don’t always hunt, we are not always seeking prey. A cat who is fed regularly doesn’t bother hunting mice. But I wouldn’t try having a cat and mouse living together in one house.

Grandiosity Without a “Self?”

selfish or spiritual?

jungianshadowSpirituality isn’t always about sweetness and light. Jung was one of the first to recognize how important embracing one’s dark shadow could be for real spiritual progress. Even standard spirituality can be selfish with it’s focus on the individual reaching enlightenment (except for Bodhisattvas) or salvation. Psychopathy is considered selfishness par excellence whether spiritual or not. Ironically,  we selfish people are noted to not have a strong sense of identity which makes it easier for us to assume whatever identity we need for a particular situation at the moment. I remember having a very vague sense of who I was as a teenager. I looked in the mirror and saw a face that seemed just kind of generic. M.E. Thomas probably named it best as an elastic sense of self.

beautyI got into Eastern mysticism fairly early in life, starting with Alan Watts but moving on to Baba Ram Das and acid. I experienced a mystical awakening where I realized we are all One. (Of course, the nature of mysticism is that is gives one a “truth” that is very private. The experience strikes one as convincing on a mega noitogetenlevel but not something easily transmitted to another person. Therefore, I’m only naming this as my experience, not insisting anyone else adopt is as “true.”) Buddhists deny the existence of a soul and Judeo-Christians tout the virtue of selflessness. Almost everyone considers the ego as the antithesis of spirituality. During my love affair with acid, I saw the “ego” during trips as a person trying to guard a very small territory while we really had it all, but for attachment to the ego.

stpaulWhile most people consider psychopaths lowlives, Kevin Dutton wrote The Wisdom of Psychopaths, subtitled What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach us About Success. In this book, he names Saint Paul, “The Patron Saint of Psychopaths.”

To the Jews, I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people. (1 Corinthians 9:20-22)

iamwholegameThis reminds me of when I was a kid and belonged to two rival gangs at the same time. I told each one that I was spying on the other when I wanted to go and play with them for a while. My friends and I actually do the same thing on Facebook when we join with psychopath-haters, the so-called “victims” and pretend to be one of them.

Without a strong sense of self, how can we be grandiose?  Zhawq explains

“I do have as strong a sense of being ‘me’ as everybody else, I just cannot relate it to or define it by the social labels and values that mainstream society uses to identify an individual as different from other individuals. In that sense I am the masks I put on, and without a mask I have no real identity as distinguishable from other people’s identities – not outside of my personal inner sense of ‘self’, and without an outside observable identity I don’t really exist.”

bocagentsoffortuneI wonder if our grandiosity is attached to a meta-self, a “self” that encompasses our many shifting shapes. I take a great deal of pride in my freedom from any of the bugaboos of society which hold most people in their thrall.

The Blue Oyster Cult wrote a song called I Love the Night which is probably about a man becoming a vampire upon meeting a beautiful vampiress. The song goes, “The day’s OK and the sun can be fun but I live to see those drusillarays slip away.” The beauty of the night is in it’s quiet. I compare the quiet of the night with the quiet of emotions turned down. It’s cool and peaceful to be detached from the clamor of most people’s emotional drama. Perhaps our lack of guilt is related to our flexible sense of self. Most people need to live and act in a way that is consistent with their Self. If myself is fluid, what can really be incompatible? Nothing.

nakedPerhaps my guiltlessness has something to do with the fact that I’m constantly reinventing myself, being reborn. The “me” of yesterday isn’t the “me” of today. I’m constantly standing at a starting point contemplating unlimited possibilities. When people ask what I have done to justify my grandiosity, I am nonplussed by their question. Done? I can do anything. I can be anybody. Like Pinocchio in Stromboli’s theater, I’ve got no strings to hold me down, to make me fret, to make me frown. I am everybody, everything, limitless. Jiminy Cricket must have slept late again. He can’t keep up with me and never will.

 


Statement of Psychopaths about their Self:

  • “If a person has no strong sense of self in general, then of course he will probably have no strong sense of lost integrity when he violates life projects which for the rest of us would be central parts of our self identities. In a nutshell, it’s not that the sociopath lacks moral integrity specifically; he lacks general self identity integrity, of which moral identity integrity is only a possible part. So a lack of, say, a moral conscience, isn’t really the central problem for the sociopath. What’s more at the heart of things is his lack of moral identification, along with the lack of any other significant life identifications.”
    quoted by M.E. Thomas, Sociopath World
  • Psychopaths have weak identities in general.  Our only constant is change.  We are chameleons and we wear the personalities of those around us.  I believe that the constant shapeshifting that we engage in leaves us with a very weak sense of identity.  We can state facts about our being but we cannot articulate who the underlying person actually is.  Our identities are like candle flames, dancing in the wind and ever-changing in color and shape.
    Candle Flames…Psychopaths and Identity, Jessica Kelly
  • For me there is no clearly defined personality outside of my masks. And I have many. I can to a large extent choose which mask I will put on according to the setting and my purpose with interacting with the people who’s daily stage in life it is, for whom it defines and represents who and what they are.
    zhawq, Psychopathic Writings

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A Boomer at Liberty

milliesLike many people living in today’s fucked up world, I have read The Fourth Turning and am looking to the Millennials to “save” us. If they do, they have quite a task on their hands. My experiences with Millennials are limited. I was active in the Occupy movement where I guess most of the people were Millennials. I thought they were beautiful and idealistic. All that. They stood up to police repression as long as they could. I’m sure many are still in the movement doing other things.

hannahI heard about TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY quite recently. People were all in a tither because two teenage girls committed suicide after watching this Netflix series. It sounded interesting so I got the book and joined Netflix to get the full experience. I read the book and saw the episodes. I’m presently going through the episodes a second time. It made me realize that this was a very different generation. The focus is on kids going to Liberty High School. The main character, Hannah, who killed herself and left tapes for thirteen people to listen to and find out how they had failed her and were therefore responsible for her death. How weird is that?

Hannah.gifFor starters, she doesn’t seem like someone who would kill herself. She seemed to have too much going for her to give up on life. In the beginning, she sets up an elaborate, cute and clever way of getting a date with a boy she liked at a new school. He offers her a ride in a car full of his buddies and she says “Thanks but my chariot awaits” as she jumps on a city bus. He follows her on the bus and she puts her number on his phone and then jumps off the bus. He calls and she makes up a math problem about two buses leaving from different places and what time do they meet to set up a date to meet him at a park. All this doesn’t look like a girl without resources. They kiss and everything should have been wonder except he does this very guy thing. He lets his mates think they did more than kiss, hence her reputation takes a turn south. That’s a common experience for girls and women, not only in high school. Shitty thing to do but is it reason enough to hold him partially responsible for her suicide?

sadhannahThat experience is followed by other experiences, many of which are even more obscure. I got the impression that anything that isn’t perfect in her interpersonal relationships is ground for indictment of the other person. I’m aware of the term highly sensitive personality but come on! From a sassy, resourceful girl, Hannah turns into a fragile, yet bitter injustice collector who blames everyone she knows for disappointing her.

clayWe share her tapes with Clay Jensen who is also sensitive and vulnerable. Clay is all-too-willing to feel guilty for Hannah’s death before he even hears the tape relating to his own failings be what she wanted him to be when she needed him to be it. He is guided through the maze of guilt-inducing tapes by his friend, Tony, a boy who seems a lot more mature and detached than the others. Tony provides a cassette player and keeps Clay on track when he is too overwhelmed to keep listening.

jocksAt the time Clay gets the tapes, most of the other kids have already heard them. They seem very defensive about their role and the blame they could incur. It doesn’t help that Hannah’s mother is suing the school. She is looking for evidence of bullying. The school is also defensive. They are trying really hard to show how sensitive and caring they are. They have posters all over telling kids “Suicide isn’t an option.” The kids set up an altar to Hannah, first on her locker and then on a table in a hallway. Are schools really held culpable if they don’t altarhannahmanage to protect a student from unkindness if it leads to suicide? I do know some schools go to ridiculous extremes such as charging a First Grader with sexual harassment for kissing another First Grader. Can a school really be blamed for bullying? Most bullying happens outside the sight and sound of teachers. Few bullied kids disclose their problem to adults. They are too ashamed. I know some schools have programs to boost self-esteem. The kids I know who had such classes didn’t seem very keen on them. Just saying. Hannah’s case doesn’t really seem like a typical case of bullying. She wasn’t taunted, called names, beaten up or any of the usual things. I don’t think her experiences alexin school really deserve the name of bullying. A boy lies about how far he got with her sexually. A girl and boy she was friends with drop her and become a couple. A boy turns stalker and takes pictures of her from outside her window. Yes. This is more serious than the other problems she had previously had. But it’s just one boy, not a group of mean kids. She plans to trap the boy with the help of another girl. They succeed and find courtney13out his identity but not before he gets a picture of the girls kissing each other. Hannah isn’t a lesbian but the other girl is and she dirties up Hannah’s reputation a little more to protect herself from being outed. Sorry. I don’t call any of that bullying. Maybe Millennials do. The law suit doesn’t seem to be doing anyone much good. The mother is perplexed. Her daughter hadn’t given her any information about why she was ending her life. That was reserved only for her peers. In fact, none of the parents really have a clue what is happening with their kids.

parentsClay’s parents get quite frantic when Clay disappears for long periods of time while he processes Hannah’s tapes. He is seen to be part of a serious drama while the parents are completely excluded. Hannah’s parents cope with their grief and puzzlement by filing a law suit against the school. As sensitive as the kids are to each other, they seem strangely uncaring claysmomabout their parents. Clay’s mysterious disappearances and his intensity (the reasons for which he keeps to himself) and Hannah’s suicide with not even a suicide note for her parents, just the gory sight of her dead body in the tub full of bloody water. It’s only important to her that her peers know why she did it. One of the boys, Justin, the kid who kissed and told more than there was to tell, had a mother who hooked up with claysdadabusive men who beat Justin savagely and threw him out of the house. He depended on his peers for a place to stay. One of the most supportive of his peers is Bryce, the rapist. Obviously, Bryce is more than a monster. Most of the parents seems reasonably good parents but they were all excluded from the truth until the end. The adults at the school were also left out of the loop. A man who was an unofficial counselor had no psychological training but seems to do his job well. But the story seemed to blame him for not being omniscient.

justinfoleyThe kids seemed to fear they would be blamed and lose their acceptance in colleges for their roles. Most of them banded together to keep the contents of the tapes strictly secret. They feared Clay would prove the weak link. In order to keep him quiet, one night, some of the boys way-laid him, grabbed his bike which they put justinsabusein the trunk of their car and forced him to ride with them.  The driver, Alex, drove really fast, got stopped by a cop who turned out to his father. Alex’s dad lets him get away with anything as long as Alex is obsequious to him, always addressing him as “Sir.” Clay doesn’t cry out when the car is stopped telling the officer he’s there against his will. He apologizes for the fast driving as if he were guilty. After the ride, the boys keep Clay’s bike. I would have told them I would tell everything if I didn’t get the bike back immediately. I would have reported it stolen. Clay did none of those things. It’s hard for me to imagine how anyone can be so passive. Justin goes so far as to suggest murdering Clay and making it look like a suicide.

bryceOne of the boys is a rapist. He is also a top jock so he is protected by the others although they don’t seem to really like him. Justin, however, is a close friend to the rapist, Bryce. Bryce takes him in whenever he has to leave his abusive home. He is grateful and feels he owes Bryce a great deal. So one night, at a party, when Justin’s girlfriend is passed out drunk, he lets Bryce have his way with her. When she sobers up, Justin tells her she had sex with him. She “believes” him but has memories that belie the story which she represses. Hannah knows the truth jessicaand is upset that Justin won’t tell the truth. Another “trauma” Hannah experienced was riding in a car with another girl driving. The girl accidentally knocks down a stop sign and refuses to report the accident. Later that night, another two cars have an accident due to the stop sign being down.  Hannah is deeply disturbed by her friend’s failure to take responsibility and somehow this also contributes to her suicide.

marcusYes, a long, sad story about imperfect people acting imperfectly. What’s a snowflake like Hannah to do? One experience stands out as really nasty. She has a first date with a boy named Marcus. He keeps her waiting for an hour and shows up finally with a bunch of his mates who sit at another table. One of them explains that he keeps girls waiting for an hour because he knows if they are still waiting, they will put out. But Hannah doesn’t agree to his mauling and knocks him off the seat of the restaurant booth. He says, “I only asked you out because I thought you were easy.” That’s rank.

zachHannah stays in the booth, feeling sad. Another boy, one of Marcus’ friends, sits down at the booth and is really nice to her. He calls Marcus an “asshole” and is trying to make her feel better. But she remains hostile and seems to blame him for being more socially successful than she is. Clay, upon hearing the tape, keys Zach’s car. I find Clay incomprehensible. He is so guilt-ridden! We finally find out what his “crime” was. He and Hannah finally make out but she suddenly starts crying and says she’s not worthy of him and runs away. Clay’s crime was not stopping her and telling her he loved her.

hannahsuicideShe is eventually “raped” by Bryce. There is a discrepancy between the story in the book and in the TV series. The former has her getting into a hot tub with him and passively allowing him to have his way. She thought he should have seen by her facial expression that she didn’t want it. The latter shows him actually raping her, that is, forcing her against her will despite attempts to get out of the tub.

counselorsAfter all her trials and tribulations, Hannah decides to give life one last chance. She sees the counselor. But she rejects the chance to report Bryce. The counselor suggests that, the only option left is to get on with her life. That was his “crime.” I don’t know what he could have said or done other than that. Maybe a Millennial can explain it to me.


kidsatlibertyIf Hannah really believed her death were the fault of all these other people, why did she kill herself? You would think not thinking it was her own fault would allow her the courage to go on.

Throughout this story, the kids are in their own world. They live their high drama while adults are left wondering what is happening with them. Strauss and Howe (The Fourth Turning) depict Millennials as very polite and respectful. They are here too. Only they keep their problems to themselves and their peers.

werther17There has been a lot of kerfuffle over the fact that two teens have committed suicide since watching the series. Teenagers have been suicide-prone for centuries and media has always been blamed. When Goethe wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther, there were a flurry of suicides for which Goethe was blamed. He responded,

“I had saved myself from a tempestuous element with this composition, from a situation into which I had been driven through my own fault and the fault of others, through a chance and a chosen way of life, through intent and haste, through stubbornness and compliancy. I felt like a man after absolute confession — happy and free again, with the right to a new life. This time an old household remedy had done me a lot of good. But just as I felt relieved and lighthearted because I had succeeded in transforming reality into poetry, my friends were confusing themselves by believing that they had to turn poetry into reality, enact the novel and shoot themselves! What actually took place now among a few, happened later en masse, and this little book that had done me so much good acquired the reputation of being extremely harmful!”

Ozzy-Osbourne-Suicide-Solution1

Ozzy Osbourne was also blamed for driving his fans to suicide. His song, Suicide Solution, was actually about the destructiveness of alcoholism. A blues song, Gloomy Sunday, has also been blamed. Fortunately, Netflix hasn’t bowed to the pressure to make creative story telling as bland and harmless as Velveeta Cheese.

 


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