Psychopaths in Power – The Elephant in the Living Room
Psychopaths in Positions of Power
“The eyes of a psychopath will deceive you, they will destroy you. They will take from you, your innocence, your pride and eventually your soul. These eyes do not see what you and I can see. Behind these eyes, one finds only blackness, the absence of light. These are of a psychopath.” ― Dr. Samuel Loomis
There was a time when the “cream” rose to the top in regards to important positions in society.
This is no longer the case.
It seems now that the “scum” has risen to the top in positions of power.
It even appears that this “scum” has worked its way to power in all aspects of power and authority.
From positions of power in the corporate world, to the political world, advertising and even in the private sector.
A psychopath is a very good actor.
In order to survive, they can feign and pretend to be like a normal human being.
They tend to gravitate to positions of power and they put on a mask and try to “act” like a human.
The psychopath’s Mask of Sanity is very important to understand.
It gives him the cover to roam freely in our society, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Realizing early on life that he’s different from the rest, the psychopath learns to mimic emotional states and expressions without feeling them himself one bit.
Without any internal conflict of guilt, remorse or shame, the psychopath manipulates the people around him.
He can tell you exactly what you want to hear, appear compassionate and the good ones have a very convincing mask that is hard to see through. It takes time and a lot of observation.
Psychopaths can be very intelligent with a high IQs. They can write scholarly works, imitate the words of emotion, but over time, it becomes clear that their words do not match their actions.
This is what Martha Stout, Ph.D. has to say about psychopath’s in her book Crazy and frightening – and real, in about 4 percent of the population.
“Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.
And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.
Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.
You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience that they seldom even guess at your condition.
In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.
You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences, will most likely remain undiscovered.
How will you live your life?
What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)?
The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people – whether they have a conscience or not – favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites. […]
Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.
If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people’s hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction. […]
Crazy and frightening – and real, in about 4 percent of the population….” – Martha Stout, Ph.D.
Eminent researchers on the phenomenon of psychopathy estimate that it affects between 1 and 4% of the population, potentially over 10 million individuals in the United States. A lot of them are ‘sub deviant’, meaning they are aware of their condition and conceal it effectively, and occupy white collar, military and government positions.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, the next step in the rabbit hole is that psychopaths can recognize each other, create networks, and collectively view normal human emotions and humanity in general with condescension and disgust.
In addition the psychopath enjoys manipulation of ‘the perceived weak normal’ and gains pleasure from causing others pain. Then there is ‘secondary’ psychopathy, the environmental conditioning of psychopathic traits in non-psychopathic individuals.
“Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts.
The general public hasn’t been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison….Psychopaths have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: They are fast-talking, charming, self-assured, at ease in social situations, cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless.
The psychopath can actually put themselves inside your skin intellectually, not emotionally. They can tell what you’re thinking, in a sense, they can look at your body language, they listen to what you’re saying, but what they don’t really do is feel what you feel.
What this allows them to do is to use the words to manipulate and con and interact with you, without the baggage of this ‘I really feel your pain’ ” – Dr. Robert Hare, Without Conscience
Dr. Hare also addresses the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath:
“For most people, the confusion and uncertainty surrounding this subject begin with the word psychopathy itself.
Literally it means “mental illness” (from psyche, “mind”; and pathos, “disease”), and this is the meaning of the term still found in some dictionaries. The confusion is compounded by the media use of the term as the equivalent of “insane” or “crazy”….
Most clinicians and researchers don’t use the term in this way; they know that psychopathy cannot be understood in terms of traditional views of mental illness.
Psychopaths are not disoriented or out of touch with reality, nor do they experience the delusions, hallucinations, or intense subjective distress that characterize most other mental disorders. Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised….
In another book co-authored by Dr. Hare with Dr. Paul Babiak called Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, they compare psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder APD:
“Many people are confused about the differences among psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder. Although the terms frequently are treated as if they are interchangeable—by the general public and professionals alike—they refer to related but not identical conditions.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder described by the personality traits and behaviors that form the basis of this book. Psychopaths are without conscience and incapable of empathy, guilt, or loyalty to anyone but themselves.
Sociopathy is not a formal psychiatric condition. It refers to patterns of attitudes and behaviors that are considered antisocial and criminal by society at large, but are seen as normal or necessary by the subculture or social environment in which they developed.
Sociopaths may have a well-developed conscience and a normal capacity for empathy, guilt and loyalty, but their sense of right and wrong is based on the norms and expectations of their subculture or group.
Many criminals might be described as sociopaths.
Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a broad diagnostic category found in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). Antisocial and criminal behaviors play a major role in its definition and, in this sense, APD is similar to sociopathy. Some of those with APD are psychopaths, but many are not.
The difference between psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder is that the former includes personality traits such as lack of empathy, grandiosity, and shallow emotion that are not necessary for a diagnosis of APD. APD is three or four times more common than psychopathy in the general population and in prisons. The prevalence of those we would describe as sociopathic is unknown but likely considerably higher than that of APD.”
Common Characteristics among Psychopaths (This doesn’t mean that all of these characteristics of found in psychopaths.) Many people have a touch of several of these traits, but few have a majority of them in full measure. And normal people feel shame when they act in cruel or selflish ways, whether they are upbraided by others or are stricken by pangs of conscience themselves. But the psychopath CANNOT feel a bad conscience, ever.
>Superficial charm and average intelligence.
>Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
>Disregard for laws and rules.
>Disregard for the rights of other individuals.
>Untruthfulness and insincerity.
>Psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal.
>Lack of remorse or shame.
>Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
>Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience.
>Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
>Specific loss of insight
>Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
>Slick, lying, manipulative, ruthless and sadistic.
>Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
>Suicide threats rarely carried out.
>Doesn’t look at the long-term consequences of their actions.
>Rationalize their own harmful behavior.
>Willful denial of the truth.
>Can learn how to fake normal human emotions by observing others.
>Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
>Failure to follow any life plan.
> A psychopath will put on what professionals refer to as a “mask” of normality that is likable and pleasant. For example, the psychopath may do good deeds to gain his or her victim’s trust.
> Psychopaths will often believe they are smarter or more powerful than they actually are.
>Psychopaths often do well with money, business and career because they will do whatever it takes without any feelings of remorse or guilt.
> Stillness, quiet and reflection are not things embraced by psychopaths. They need constant entertainment and activity.
>Strong belief that they will never be brought to justice for their criminal behavior.
> A psychopath will tell all sorts of lies, little white lies as well as huge stories intended to mislead.
> An absence of any guilt or remorse is a sign of psychopathy. Psychopaths cannot feel guilty.
> Studies show that psychopaths do not respond emotionally to concepts that elicit positive or negative emotions in others, such as love or rape. They demonstrate atypical emotional reactions to deaths, injuries, or other events that would cause a deep negative response in others.
> Psychopaths are identified as cunning and able to get people to do things they might not normally do. They can use guilt, force and other methods to manipulate.
> Psychopaths are callous and cannot naturally relate to non-psychopaths.
> Psychopaths are often parasitic, meaning they live off other people. They will use others to gain power and resources, and may enter their lives quickly and easily.
>Psychopaths are impulsive and irresponsible.
> A psychopath will never admit to being wrong or owning up to mistakes and errors in judgment.
> Psychopaths tend to exhibit delinquent behaviors in their youth, including aggressive behaviors towards others.
> Psychopaths may commit many types of offenses, and while they might sometimes get caught, the ability to be flexible and get away with committing crimes is an indicator.
> Lawyers are the second most “psychopathic” profession in the world after CEOs, according to Kevin Dutton’s book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths.”
> Psychopaths tend to talk a lot.
>Psychopaths tend to have enormous egos, an incredible sense of entitlement and an overinflated sense of their own self-worth and importance.
There are different degrees of psychopathic behavior and different types including the sexual psychopath and the work psychopath. Most studies indicate that there are no conventional methods available which cures psychopathic behavior.
On the contrary, when conventional methods have been used, the psychopath becomes empowered, and reacts by improving their cunning, manipulative methods and their ability to conceal their true personality, even from trained eyes.
Since the psychopath has no real emotions, they develop their own personality throughout their life by mimicking those around them. Their inability to control inappropriate outburst of anger and hostility often results in loss of jobs, disassociation with friends and family and divorce. This in itself is filtered by the psychopath into a justification process for more aggressive behavior.
Because of their inability to gauge when their actions are being perceived as dishonest, deceitful or dangerous, they also fail to accept that there are consequences for their actions. They always maintain a belief that they can outwit those who pursue them and that they will never be caught.
Once caught, they believe they will find a way back out.
The top psychopathic profession list
- Media (Television/Radio)
- Police officer
- Clergy person
- Civil servant
Any job that requires care and nurturing will not attract a psychopath generally speaking.
- Care aide
- Charity worker
- Creative artist
Psychopaths are individuals who demonstrate risky behavior, as well as the inability to follow social norms. They exhibit extreme temperaments, ranging from fearlessness to impulsivity. Apart from suffering from anti-social personality disorder, psychopaths are known to be delusional.
Conscience and empathy are some of the common traits they lack.
Nature (genetics) is said to be one of the strongest predisposing factors of psychopathy. According to David Lykken, a behavioral geneticist, psychopaths feature brains with physiological defects. Based on his studies, the part responsible for emotion and impulse control is underdeveloped in psychopaths.
On the other hand, additional research also shows that psychopaths demonstrate low-state autonomic nervous systems. As such, they are unable to show emotion, and they are incapable of feeling what other individuals feel.
There are four types of psychopaths. They are:
- Primary Psychopaths– These are individuals who are immune to disapproval, punishment, stress or apprehension. Incapable of experiencing any emotion, primary psychopaths do not have a clear plan in life.
- Secondary Psychopaths– Known to be risk-takers, secondary psychopaths do react to stress. They often worry and waddle in guilt. Despite this, they thrive in living a life of temptation and adventure.
- Distempered Psychopaths – These individuals often burst into a fit more easily than other psychopaths. They have strong sexual urges, apparent in their habits of pedophilia, illegal indulgence and drug addiction, among many others. They love the ‘high’ associated with risky activities.
- Charismatic Psychopaths – True to its name, these psychopaths are very appealing and attractive. Somehow gifted, they use their talents to manipulate other individuals. Viewed as irresistible, charismatic psychopaths often take the form of dangerous cult leaders.
“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon