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Psychopaths among us
PSYCHOPATHS AMONG US
by Chester Connell
(Dec. 15, 2015)
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. The traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. 1 Peter 5:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
“When you [encounter psychopaths] its crucial to recognise the red flags” – National Geographic.
Who or what is a psychopath? Are some of our Caribbean political leaders psychopaths?
The term “psychopath” is used so generally today by the public and in the media that the clinical has become cliche. Say the word “psychopath” and images of Hollywood-generated axe-wielding killers persist. The definitive truth of psychopathy is, therefore, dissipated and the essence of the word, “psychopath” and an understanding of its effects, remain largely within the offices of psychiatrists and their patients. This is unfortunate. Steep is the price to pay for not being aware that a psychopath is in your midst. Catastrophic are the consequences for not comprehending the dangers wrought by a psychopath on the lives of the people among whom he lives, moves and has his being.
It is crucial to our spiritual, mental, and physical well-being to recognise the fact that there are among us influential persons afflicted with this dangerous condition. And here is the danger: These individuals with serpentine souls — psychopaths — gain large acceptance in public and private even though they constitute a grave and present danger to everyone else. Why and how psychopaths gain this acceptance from family, friends, colleagues and the larger community must be understood in the interest of all concerned. This writing on the wall forewarns and forearms us so that we are prepared to defend ourselves from the disturbing intentions and actions of a psychopath on the prowl. This knowledge, and the application of it, is key if we seek to live sane lives in relative joy and peace.
Recognising the psychopath
Is it possible to tell whether a person is left-handed or right-handed, simply by looking at them? One would have to observe the individual at a more interactive and responsive level. For example, throw the person a ball. Ask her to write. The truth will become clearer: that person will automatically use the hand accustomed to carrying out his day-to-day life functions. As an added twist, the individual may be ambidextrous — and this fact could also be hidden by the individual if she/he knows she/he is being studied.
So, too, with psychopaths — one cannot recognise a psychopath simply by superficial observation. To detect a psychopath it is necessary to continually study the individual without his being aware that he is being observed, over a period of time. What does one seek in this study? One particular behaviour: how the individual responds to situations where she is required to have a conscience. The psychopath has no conscience. The study of psychology reveals that a psychopath is not capable of empathy, that inborn ability of most humans to inwardly feel emotions — one’s own emotions or those of another human. For example, a man who is a psychopath (psychopaths are usually men and statistically form 1 per cent to 2 per cent of a country’s population) will attend a funeral of a close friend but will feel no sadness. He will, however, imitate the behaviour of normal persons and will pretend to be sad, complete with tears. This psychopath would simultaneously also have no problem, while at the funeral, making openly sexual overtures to the grieving widow.
Psychopaths do not look mad; do not act as if mentally deranged. On the contrary, psychopaths have mastered the art of appearing normal. They DO know right from wrong but lack empathy and remorse. Psychopaths are pathological liars and are exceptional at manipulating others. Dr. Richard Hare, professor emeritus, former forensic psychologist at the University of British Columbia, Canada, is recognised as the world’s foremost expert on psychopathy. Dr. Hare developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist for law-enforcement organisations across the globe. His checklist shows a specific bundle of traits that only psychopaths exhibit. The name of his acclaimed, trail-blazing book, Without Conscience, The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, says it all. These two words, “Without Conscience”, explain the mind and world of the psychopath, succinctly. Quite simply, unlike the 98-99 per cent of the rest of the population, the psychopath has absolutely no conscience. Without Conscience, The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, available on Amazon, is described thus:
Presenting a compelling portrait of these dangerous men and women based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D. Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognised? And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition.
Dr. Hare says Psychopaths are predators. To the psychopath, he is a cat and everyone else is a mouse. The University of British Columbia Professor Emeritus says, “Depending upon the environment you’re brought up in, how intelligent you are, how good-looking you are, if you learn to dress and speak properly and you’re attractive, you’re devastating; if you’re psychopathic, [you’re] deadly. They make decisions that impact upon a whole society and they do this without any particular concern, remorse, no empathy for the population.”
Interestingly, there are certain occupations and professions that attract psychopaths: The top ten are: 1 — CEOs, 2 — lawyers, 3 — media (especially radio and tv ) 4 — salespeople 5 — surgeons, 6 — journalists, 7 — police officers, 8 — clergymen 9 — chefs, 10 — civil servants. (With the number of persons in certain of these professions in SVG, combined with the general lack of critical thinking across large swaths of the population, could this be a fat factor for SVG being in the spiritually-distressing, mentally-traumatising, psychologically-shackled, politically-destructive, economically-dire, socially-declining and disturbing state it’s in?)
When it comes to women, a male psychopath is the ministrative seducer prime. Sandra Brown, co-author of Women Who Love Psychopaths, says, “These men are anything but boring and women find that extremely attractive, his power, his dominance, his success.”
Psychotic VS. Psychopathic
Many erroneously conflate psychopathy / psychopathic with psychosis and psychotic. Psychotic is an umbrella term used to describe the mental state of becoming unhinged from reality. Depression, sleep deprivation and other issues can cause one to become psychotic. However, psychopathy, the subject of this article, is a personality disorder which expresses itself in the individual psychopath as a lack of empathy along with impulsivity, recklessness, scrupulousness, callousness, and lying. The psychopath is not psychotic. The psychopath is very well-aware of what he or she is doing, constantly preparing, planning and plotting, constantly analysing the risks and benefits with the ultimate goal of reward for himself or herself.
Many also assume that psychopaths are found within the lower economic brackets or that these persons are uneducated, are from, or that they form, crime-ridden environments. The opposite is usually true. While psychopaths are found throughout all socio-economic levels, most psychopaths are rich. Many psychopaths are found in the upper echelons of large, powerful corporations or at the head of governments. The environment of the corporate world — where one person is accorded overall power as chief decision maker or in government where the prime leader exerts overarching — and often overreaching power — is a perfect environment for the psychopath to carry out his unconscionable actions — literally actions that do not pass through the conduit of a conscience because no conscience exists in this individual. Within the highest circles of power and wealth a lack of pity and remorse is practically a prerequisite to success and only the psychopath can truly thrive in that diseased environment.
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy
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