How to spot a psychopath (part 1)
April 5, 2012
The psychopath is a master of many things: deceit and cruelty foremost among them.There are both principles and formulas at work in every psychopathic act on earth. These include tangible and intangible elements—red flags, the warning signs of approaching danger.
Red flags are hard to see and harder to believe. This works in the favor of those who do evil. As described in numerous other posts, evil succeeds because its deeds are so egregious as to be beyond belief.
Evil does not change, but the gullability that allows it can be turned into discernment which stops it.
Evil is predatory according to its particular hunger(s). It goes out into the world to abuse women, acquire power, defile children, steal money, wage war, torture animals and so forth. It identifies, monitors and stalks its preferred prey. When an opening occurs, it disguises itself as beneficial or helpful to gain entry.
The exception to this is the predator whose pathology is so advanced that he has dropped his mask of sanity and is simply killing wantonly. This is a hallmark of the brain damage behind clinical psychopathy—the derangement intensifies with age. They need more blood, more money, more flesh, more drugs, more power, more thrill, etc.
No thinking person would willingly admit into their home, life or organization, someone who presented themselves as deranged. Hence the act, the mask, the persona. The devices of deceit vary according to the resources of the predator and the vulnerability 0f the prey. The purpose of deceit is control.
- In personal relationships, the predator befriends, helps, earns trust, fascinates and flatters irresistibly. This draws in the prey. It jams her radar, lowers her guard, influences her thinking and separates her from her gut.
- In organizational relationships, the predator will identify who can serve him or her, build superficial alliances, construct control mechanisms, gather information and support. This opens up the resources needed for whatever style of plunder is planned.
When the prey is under control (committed, compromised, exhausted, trapped, pressured), the psychopath begins to reveal his true nature. The revelation of the horror of human evil by its acts of deceit and cruelty is a highly destabilizing event. This buys the predator more time and opens the prey to greater trespass. Very few victims are able to react accurately and quickly to avert further damage.
Emotional states of extreme anxiety, especially fear and horror, make normal people more impressionable and more vulnerable. Individuals who have been abused by a psychopath sometimes go into a sort of trance. Their nervous systems get overwhelmed. They go numb. They shut down. This sets them up for even worse predation. Some of them report what has happened to them, others do not—even those who are being actively abused and violated.
What went through the minds of the victims of Jerry Sandusky? Henry Lee Lucas? Bernard Madoff? Dean Schwartzmiller? Jon Corzine? Robert Lee Yates? Hank Paulsen? Drew Peterson? George Bush? Scott Peterson? Theodore Bundy? William Clinton?
These individuals committed acts that caused great suffering and destroyed many lives. And they got off on it. Some of them stole a lot of money, other amassed power and/or body count. Some of them were caught, but the others carry on. All of them did what they did because circumstances allowed it.
(In his 13-million-dollar-advance biography, somehow written after a term in which he couldn’t remember anything, Clinton said he did what he did with Monica Lewinsky because he could.)
Most psychopaths are more resistant to admission than that. And so are their families, who wrote the book on flanking and denial. The deranged are largely the product of abuse. They grew up with it; those who formed them are not about to give ground. In court trials, you’ll see weeping family members decrying accusation and proclaiming innocence.
- Financial criminals have long escaped culpability because they have positioned themselves into offices whereby they can simply have laws changed to suit their depradations. Their victims number in the hundreds of millions, their theft in the tens of trillions.
- Intimate criminals are also experts of staying just inside the law while visiting enormous pain on their spouse, children and animals. In the US alone, their victims number in the tens of million every year.
- Murderers change spouses and neighborhoods.
- Molesters and rapists change methodology and mobility.
Some predators change their own circumstances when the past begins to catch up with them. They enter or leave office, alter their appearance, change professions, spouses, locations and so on.
Psychopathy is permanent
None of this lessens their evil and insanity. Psychopaths cannot change what they are. Some of them know this. Others remain in denial. With the exception of the possessed, psychopaths are what they are unto death.
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