Friday, November 28, 2008

UK: Mother's tears as court hears how ex-husband murdered her 'babies'

Paul, left, and Jay were murdered by their father

Published Date: 27 November 2008
By Ben Bailey

A MOTHER wept in court yesterday as she heard how her former husband had stabbed their two young sons to death, before trying to set their bodies alight. Ashok Kalyanjee, 46, picked up Paul Ross, six, and his brother Jay, two, before driving them to a secluded spot and cutting their throats. He then poured petrol over the boys and himself and tried to set the silver Mercedes on fire, but the car did not explode and he survived.

Kalyanjee, who left a chilling suicide tape, had lured the reluctant boys into spending the day with him with the promise of money to buy toys and a game of football. But all along he had planned to kill them. He pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday to two charges of murder, and the boys' mother, Giselle Ross, broke down and sobbed as her sons' last moments were relived. Alex Prentice, QC, prosecuting, said: "To say that Giselle Ross and family are devastated is inadequate. I suspect no-one can properly describe the sense of loss Giselle Ross and her family have suffered."

Ms Ross's last words to her sons were: "Bye babies." Mr Prentice told how Kalyanjee, from Glasgow, called Ms Ross at her home in the Royston area on the morning of Saturday, 3 May, to ask if he could see the boys. Although divorced, he regularly saw his sons. Paul was not keen to see his father – but Kalyanjee offered him £10 to persuade him. The court heard Paul told his mother: "Mum, I could buy a Spiderman toy with £10."Later, Ms Ross received a phone call from her ex-husband, in which she said he sounded "cold and strange". After claiming the boys were fine, he told her: "You'll regret everything you've done to me in life." He then hung up. Ms Giselle feared he was about to flee the country with her sons. Repeated attempts to call him failed and she frantically began to search parks before reporting the boys missing.

Passers-by alerted police after spotting Kalyanjee slumped in the car, parked in a lay-by in the Campsie Fells, near Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire. Two officers went to the scene and were overcome by the stench of petrol as they opened the door to the car. Kalyanjee was unconscious and had blistering on his skin. The officers immediately noticed a large, black-handled knife covered in blood lying on the floor. Paramedics pronounced the two boys dead at the scene. Their father was taken to hospital. Police discovered a dictating machine next to the vehicle, on which Kalyanjee said: "These children are mine and they go with me. "This death is near. I've become a gambler and a drunk, nothing has become of me. Nobody can separate us, nobody can separate us now."

At a hearing last week, he admitted killing the boys, and yesterday he formally pleaded guilty to murder. The judge, Lord Brailsford, deferred sentence until 11 December.Latest in a long line of fathers who did the unthinkable

• MARCUS WESSON: In 2005 Wesson was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing nine of his children, many fathered through incest.
• PERRY SAMUEL: Was sentenced to 30 years after smothering his daughter Caitlin, five, and son Aiden, three, in north Wales, in 2006 because he thought his ex-fiance, Sarah Graham, was having an affair.
• MARVIN GAY SENIOR: On 1 April 1984, Motown superstar Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father in Los Angeles after an argument over misplaced business documents. He was sentenced to six years' probation for manslaughter.
• JAMES HOWSON: Killed his 16-month-old daughter, Amy, at their home in Doncaster, south Yorkshire, by snapping her spine "in two" over his knee. He was sentenced to at least 22 years last month.
• MOHAMMED RIAZ: Murdered his family in November 2006, in Accrington, Lancashire. Riaz set fire to his house, killing his wife, Canez, 39, daughters Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 13, Alisha, ten, and Hannah, three, because he feared the girls were being raised in an overly westernised culture.

The full article contains 693 words and appears in The Scotsman newspaper.
Mother's tears as court hears how ex-husband murdered her 'babies ... 27 Nov 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Dirty Dozen of Psychopaths

Despite all the different names, labels, and variations that people use to describe harmful human beings, whether the author is a writer using descriptive naming with characteristics, or a so-called expert using pseudo-scientific sounding labels, the common feature of the types of dangerous individuals is a predatory nature. Relationships with these users and abusers are so devastating, because they prey on others. The way this predatory nature is displayed is what might differentiate one from another, and just like all individuals, no two are exactly the same. There may be overlap in some types of behaviors and variations in others. This desire to classify people by behaviors IS NOT A SCIENCE. I say this with bold letters as there has been an effort in the psychology field to elevate hypothetical theories and labelling that are more like philosophy to a higher level as if it were a science. There is no way to scientifically "diagnose" individuals with harmful behavior traits. There is no medical test, no blood test, no dna test, no scan, etc. that can accurately "diagnose" a person as a psychopath or personality disordered or whatever you want to call them. In fact, these cunning manipulators often can appear charming to a so-called professional. The person who would best know whether or not a person is harmful would be the victim. These con artists are sometimes so skilled that they can make others believe that they are the victim. They are very adept at getting sympathy from others and rely on this to further their own wants and desires.

To write down a list of traits and give them a name is just labelling. With that said, this list of types is just based on observations of types of predatory individuals. Interaction with people behaving in this manner will likely result in the victim (prey) being victimized in any variety of unpleasant ways. What is recommended to do when dealing with people like this is to recognize this negative predatory behavior and lack of concern for the well-being of others, and then to avoid involvement. Thinking that a person could change or making excuses for behaviors will only result in the victim becoming entangled with the predatory psychopath. The victim may then become an enabler who is depended on by the psychopath. When the victim finally realizes that the person is not good and wants to leave the relationship, this frequently causes an escalation to even worse behavior by the psychopath and more suffering by the victim, sometimes with lethal consequences. It is a no win situation that should be avoided at all costs.

1. The ‘Jekyll/Hyde’ Psychopath comes on strong, sweeps us off our feet. He targets us by falsely mirroring our values, interests, goals, philosophies, tastes and habits. He fakes integrity, honesty and sincerity. He plays the role of the victim. We take pity on him. He wants to marry us quickly. This control freak wants us dependent on him. He portrays false integrity, appears helpful, comforting, generous in his 'idealization' of us phase. It never lasts as Jekyll turns into Hyde. His victims are objectified and disposable. He convincingly mimics human emotions. His lack of conscience is shocking, incomprehensible and emotionally painful to us. We remember his odd reaction to situations. We end the relationship and salvage what we can, or we are quickly discarded as he cultivates a "new perfect partner". He will very much enjoy double-dipping attention he gets by cheating. He will have numerous relationships. He may drop verbal clues about his true character early in the relationship, but we fail to grasp its meaning. Eventually the unmasked psychopath emerges and we remember that early warning. His targets suffer emotional and financial devastation and our emotional recovery is lengthy. Defense Strategy: Abandon all efforts to help or cure him. His true identity is exposed and the false character he portrayed is gone forever. Accept the reality. Seek therapy. Join a support group to know you are not alone. Ignore and don't react to his hurtful words. Don't take the bait when he blames or lies. They fool even trained professionals. Do not be gullible, vulnerable or naive. Prepare for a nasty divorce. Accept no abuse. Learn about mental diseases and disorders.

2. The Female Psychopath: Using her false mask of sanity, this charming "Southern Belle" schemer appears helpless or needy, pitiful, inept or emotionally unable to cope. Even total strangers give her things she gratefully accepts. Falsely claiming to be the victim, this passive parasite lures and abuses the normal protector/provider instincts in her male target. When her mask comes off she is cunning, ruthless, predatory, and loveless.Defense Strategy: This 'damsel in distress' will try to hook and reel you in. Take the hook out of your lip. Don't make her emotional neediness your problem. This black hole of need can never be filled. Understand the mask of helplessness is not the "real her". If she won't give reasonable answers to reasonable questions turn and run. Beware and remember "...deadlier than the male." Realize she uses sexuality as a lure. Avoid financial or emotional involvement.

3. 'Liar Liar' He will lie for no reason. He will skillfully twist our words, dodge and evade questions, divert the topic, and omit important facts in his ever-changing, self-serving goals. "Hang 'em high" he says about the murderer on the 6:00 news. This hypocrite claims high morals then proceeds to exploits, manipulate and abuse others. His lies about us are emotionally cruel. He will accuse you of being crazy. He will blame others and take no responsibility. Defense Strategy: Quietly verify what he says. The grain of truth he drops occasionally is cleverly-disguised manipulation. Do not try to negotiate or bargain. Head for the door when things don't add up. Learn about projection.

4. The Thrill Seeker never learns from his past follies. Easily bored, his hunt for new thrills escalates. His reckless disregard for others endangers them. Poor impulse control, bad judgement, criminal activity and substance abuse are common. Defense Strategy: Don't get involved. Use your good judgment. Say No. Don't take the bait of his rage or manipulation. Don't bail him out. Facing consequences is his best lesson.

5. The Malevolent Psychopath is now fully unmasked. We remember when his eyes were vacant, cold and predatory. This wife-beater, murderer, serial killer, stalker, rapist, fighter, harasser, terrorist has a 'chip-on-his-shoulder' attitude. His short fuse erupts into rages. He anticipates betrayal, humiliation or punishment. He imagines rejection and rejects first to 'get it over with'. He will harass to get your reaction and try to make you look out of control. Can become dangerous and unpredictable. He has no remorse, no conscience and no regard for the rights of others. This coward sadistically picks on the vulnerable, women, children and the elderly. Defies probation or the courts. He has bad judgment. He never learns his lesson and repeats past actions to his own detriment. The media loves stories about his heinous acts. Defense Strategy: Act to protect yourself physically, financially and emotionally. Don't tip your hand that you're leaving. Don't take the bait of his over-reactions. Use the services of the police, law and shelters.

6. The Arrogant Psychopath displays his false mask and his haughty strut as he demands centre stage. He seeks envy, attention even our fear and hatred. He can never get enough. Fame or infamy are the same to him if he can acquire notoriety. Reacts disproportionately to situations. He boastfully displays his possessions to garner attention. Defense Strategy: Learn the red flags of behaviour. Demand equal treatment. Deny him the attention he demands. Learn about Malignant Narcissism. Support his grandiosity and self image when this serves your need to bide time to get away.

7. The Charismatic Leader manipulates others to obtain status, control, compliance, money, attention. His effective brainwashing tactics often found in religious cults or political venues. He targets the naive, vulnerable, uneducated or mentally weak. He falsely portrays himself to be virtuous, the perfect father, husband, spiritual leader, advisor, mentor, friend. Defense Strategy: Avoid him. Know his payoff is attention, money or controlling us. Be suspicious of excessive charisma emanating from others. Pay attention when your gut instinct tells you to avoid him.

8. The Promiscuous Psychopath (male or female) Pornography, hypersexuality, masturbation, incest are reported by his targets. Anyone, young, old, male/female are there for his gratification. This predator takes what is available. Can have a preference for 'sado-maso' sexuality. Easily bored, he demands increasingly deviant stimulation. The internet a favourite hunting ground. However, another type exists, the one who withholds sex or affection.Defense Strategy: Expect this type to try to degrade you. Get away from him. Expect him to tell lies about your sexuality to evade exposure of his own. Be aware of their frequent presence on the internet.

9. The Nomadic Parasite has a lack of long-term goals. With unrealistic expectations, he is aimless and lacking commitment, focus or direction. He aggressively pursues opportunistic predatory use of others. Defense strategy: Be aware of their red flags. Don't bail him out. Know his ability to appear helpless, pitiful, confused and in need of our assistance.

10. The Conman/Manipulator pits people against each other. We may be used as his proxy interacting with others as he sets us up to take the fall while he enjoys watching the performance he orchestrates. Keeps his allies and targets separate to avoid exposure. Verbally skilled at twisting our words, this charmer usually gets his way. Applying 'fear' selling tactics, faking expertise, this scam artist crafts situations to appear helpful, indispensable, ready to solve our problems. Money and conning others are his objective. He will agree to anything then turn around and do the opposite. He will accuse you of breaking the contract. Legal, custody agreements and normal social or personal protocol mean nothing to him. Enjoys orchestrating police/legal action and playing the role of the 'poor me' victim. Defense Strategy: Expect him to disregard the agreement. Know the 'nature of the beast' .Avoid involvement. Be self-sufficient. Avoid any "Trust-Me" get-rich-quick sales pitch. Learn how swindlers and scam artists operate.
11. The Professional Bully is often successful and intelligent in his field. He will fake his abilities and credentials. He exploits others, and must be in absolute control. He relies on his intellectual manipulation, and charisma. His eye on the boardroom, he backstabs his way to high position. He ruthlessly abuses his power. His bad judgment has adverse affects on many levels of society. He places others in problem or failure situations. This professional bully has no social conscience, and is often suspicious and paranoid. Others may support him to further their own objective but this wheeler-dealer leaves them holding the bag.Defense Strategy: Keep your references and resume up to date. Don't get involved in anything illegal. Document thoroughly to protect yourself. Thwarting them may backlash with a cascade of retaliation.

12. The Psychopath Child displays signs as early as age 3. This juvenile delinquent shows early red flags of psychopathy including lying, fighting, stealing, bullying, bad judgment, cheating, cruelty to animals, vandalism, manipulation skills, truancy, sexual activity, fire-setting, substance abuse, and running away from home. Many see him as 'sneaky'. Defense Strategy: Now is the time to fix the problem, not the blame. Maintain domestic stability. Recognize signs in early childhood. Reinforce and reward positive behaviour. Seek medical help - the earlier the better. Establish firm moral integrity practices and standards in the home. Parent/Family Management Training help is available. Please contact your local mental health association

We have used the male gender. Yours could be female. Additional Reading: 20 Traits of Malignant Narcissism
Enjoy the Psychopath Fun Test (Is Yours One?)

UK: Rape father jailed over daughters’ 9 children

From The Times
November 26, 2008

Rape father jailed over daughters’ 9 children
Rosemary Bennett and David Brown

A major investigation has been launched into the failings of police and social services in two counties after a man was jailed for raping his two daughters and fathering nine of his own grandchildren.

The 56-year-old businessman from Sheffield held his daughters virtual prisoners for 25 years, moving them around houses in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to avoid detection.
The sexual abuse, which has chilling parallels to the case of the Austrian rapist Josef Fritzl, started when the girls were eight years old. Their father would rape them up to three times a week and punch, kick and hold them to the flames of a gas fire if they refused his demands.
The women were at Sheffield Crown Court to hear a judge give him 25 life sentences for rape, with a minimum term of 19½ years. The man, who cannot be named to protect his victims’ identities, refused to attend.

Related Links
How two girls were trapped
Austrian justice seems better
An abuse on every level

The two women became pregnant 19 times in all. Two of their nine children died at birth.
Sentencing Mr X, Judge Alan Goldsack, QC, said: “In nearly 40 years of dealing with criminal cases and 14 as a family judge the combination of aggravating circumstances here is the worst I have come across.”

Politicians and child protection experts asked how the abuse was not detected by the numerous social workers, doctors, teachers and police officers who came into contact with the ever-expanding family over 20 years. Sheffield City Council has launched an independent inquiry, and the role of South Yorkshire Police, Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police will also be examined. Both councils said that the family was known to them. The court was told of several contacts with authorities that could have raised the alarm.

The details of the case have come to light a fortnight after news of the death of Baby P in Haringey, North London, sparked public outcry and fears that the entire child protection system is fundamentally flawed.

The daughters described their father’s sentencing as a final escape from decades of mental and physical torture. “His detention in prison brings us only the knowledge that he cannot physically touch us again,” they said in a statement. “The suffering he has caused will continue for many years and we must now concentrate our thoughts on finding the strength to rebuild our lives.”
The inquiries are likely to focus on health professionals’ failure to raise the alarm. James Baird, representing the defendant, said that it was inconceivable that the crimes could go un-noticed. “All the signs were indicative of an incestuous relationship,” he said.

Social services in Lincolnshire had contact with the family when the daughters were young and suspicions were raised about the children’s parentage. In 1997 the women’s brother came forward with “hearsay evidence” of incest. Police investigated the claim, but no further action was taken. The family moved back to South Yorkshire in 2004 and social services again became involved, but the abuse went undetected.

Chief Superintendent Simon Torr, of South Yorkshire Police, defended the force from claims that it could have stopped the abuse earlier. “This has been a thorough, robust, timely and professional investigation from the moment that the victims first disclosed the abuse, and Sheffield City Council have fully supported the police in bringing about a successful prosecution,” he said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Children of dead Michigan woman found safe

Children of dead Michigan woman found safe

November 25, 2008 15:07 EST
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) -- Three young Michigan girls have been found safe, a day after their mother was found slain in the family's home.Saginaw police had suspected the sisters were abducted by their father, who they described as "potentially dangerous." A nationwide Amber Alert had been issued for the girls, ages 3, 5 and 9.Authorities say a tip from a motorist who heard the alert led Michigan state police to a car the girls and their father were in. A day after being spotted in Indiana, the father and daughters were found today back in Michigan, about 25 miles from Saginaw.Police found the body of the girls' 32-year-old mother yesterday after she failed to pick up another child at school. Authorities say they haven't determined the cause of death but that it's considered to be a homicide.The father is in custody. He hasn't been charged with a crime, but can be held for at least two days without charges being filed.

Doctor Saw Paranoia Before Fire

I do believe that this Dr. understates the risks of domestic violence. Not only is he negligent about protecting victims of family abuse, but this doctor also accuses domestic violence victims of parental alienation, but tries to disguise the accusations as "covert" or "subtle" alienation.

His evaluations have not only resulted in the deaths of these 2 children, but have resulted in abused mothers and children being re-victimized in court.

Doctor Saw Paranoia Before Fire

BYLINE: DON JORDAN, Palm Beach Post Staff WriterDATE: December 29, 2006PUBLICATION: Palm Beach Post, The (FL)EDITION: CSECTION: A SECTIONPAGE: 1AMEMO: Ran all editions.

A man who killed himself and his two children when he set his suburban Lake Worth home ablaze last week seemed to be "a good parent" but had "extreme feelings of paranoia," said a psychologist who evaluated Tony Camacho and his family in April.Phil Heller, a Boca Raton child psychologist with expertise in clinical and forensic psychology, was appointed by the courts to conduct a series of interviews and psychological tests with each member of the family - Camacho, 39; his ex-wife, Jennie Carter, 37; and their children, Nelson, 10, and Crystal, 8 - to determine the best custody arrangement in the couple's impending divorce. What he found in Camacho was a man who obsessively craved attention, was racked by stress and failed to compromise."He thought of the world as a very threatening place," Heller said Thursday. "He would only deal with rationality, not with his feelings."The April interviews offered a glimpse into the family's home life, where Camacho was the more active parent while Carter worked long hours.According to court statements, Carter worked as a technician. Camacho was self-employed and worked from home for Adjustable Comfort, which repairs adjustable beds, earning $33,000 a year.Carter could not be reached for comment."Camacho was a good parent," Heller said. "The kids were never harmed. He took the children to doctor's appointments."But when Heller asked the children, both said they would rather live with Carter. Nelson wanted to take care of his hardworking mom and be the man of the house. Crystal yearned for a female bond.Camacho resented the children's love for their mother, Heller said."They had a fondness for her that Tony would obscure," he said. "Tony couldn't handle it."Camacho constantly denigrated Carter in front of the children, and when Heller proposed joint custody on the condition that Camacho change his behavior, Camacho wasn't interested, Heller said. He wanted only full custody.Heller recommended that the courts grant Carter custody. That's when the doctor said he saw the full extent of Camacho's obsessive behavior."He would not stop calling me," Heller said. "He always had something new to tell me. Nobody called obsessively like him."Camacho's emotional problems may have stemmed from a troubled childhood, Heller said. His father abandoned the family after divorcing his mother when he was 5. He grew up in poverty and was forced to quit high school and work to support his family, Heller said."He really had lifted himself up by his bootstraps," Heller said.Heller never changed his recommendation, and on Dec. 13, the courts finalized the divorce. Camacho was ordered to leave the house on Fairview Street, west of Lake Worth , by Jan. 12 so Carter could move back with her children. She had been living nearby at her parents' home in Lake Worth .Camacho set the house on fire eight days after the ruling, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office officials said. He died of smoke inhalation after stabbing Crystal in the back, severing her spine and leaving her paralyzed as the flames engulfed their home, according to the sheriff's office.The county medical examiner has not determined whether she died from the wounds or from smoke inhalation. Nelson died of smoke inhalation the next day.Heller said there may have been signs that Camacho could be violent - he was very stressed, he was obsessive, Carter alleged he had been abusive - but said the man took care of his children."I'm still going through my mind wondering why I didn't think he would kill," Heller said.
- don_jordan@pbpost.comIllustration: PHOTO (B&W)

Phil Heller: 'I'm still going through my mind wondering why I didn't think he would kill.'

Copyright (c) 2006 Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.

UK: Police let down murdered family

Police let down murdered family

Mrs Pemberton had long been a victim of domestic abuse
A mother and son who were shot dead by her estranged violent husband in 2003 in Berkshire were let down by the "standards of basic policing".
Julia Pemberton and 16-year-old William were killed by Alan Pemberton, 48, who then turned the gun on himself, at their home in Hermitage near Newbury.
An independent review into their deaths found "significant opportunities" were missed to identify the threat.
Thames Valley Police said it "has learnt lessons from the tragic deaths".
A court order had banned Pemberton from going near his estranged wife and their property after he had made threats to kill her.
But the review, commissioned by the West Berkshire Safer Communities Partnership and published on Monday, criticised Thames Valley Police for not having a domestic violence policy in place at the time and failing to notice the warning signs.
They did not receive an effective police response and we apologise for the distress this has caused the family
Det Ch Supt Andy Taylor
The couple separated in September 2002 following years of his "unpredictable, demanding and controlling" behaviour.
Over the next year he made threats to kill her and the family, glued the locks on the house and scribbled threats on an affidavit applying for the injunction.
Mrs Pemberton, who was suffering from breast cancer, met the Thames Valley Police domestic violence co-ordinator a number of times and had an alarm fitted to the home.
But Pemberton was never interviewed by police or charged with any offence.
Unlawful killing
The 200-page report's authors said: "It is our view that on a number of occasions Julia did not receive a competent police response.
"We believe she was let down by the standards of basic policing, record keeping and follow-up.
"There is evidence of instances when police officers did not attend the scene, thoroughly investigate or link incidents or crimes which were reported."
At an inquest into their deaths East Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford recorded verdicts of unlawful killing and said police could not have prevented their deaths.
But Mrs Pemberton's brother, Frank Mullane, from Swindon, won an agreement - the first of its kind in the UK - to hold a review of the deaths to help shape future investigations.
Mr Mullane said: "This was not about saying sorry, it's about saying someone is at risk next week because something is broken in our police force so we have a duty to get it fixed."
The review found that "opportunities were missed" to collect evidence in the first "golden hour" after complaints of his threats to kill were received.
"Had the threat to kill been investigated as a serious crime in September 2002, the course of events that led to the death of William and Julia Pemberton in November 2003 may have been interrupted," the report said.
'Not complacent'
"Significant opportunities were missed in April and May when information was available concerning the escalating risk to Julia and William, which may have led to a more informed police response at a critical time.
"We have concluded that positive intervention by Thames Valley Police in response to reported crime in the preceding 14 months may have altered the course of events.
"It is not possible to know whether positive intervention ultimately could have prevented the deaths of William and Julia."
In a statement, Det Ch Supt Andy Taylor, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that Thames Valley Police could have, and should have, provided Julia Pemberton and members of her family with a much better service than the one they received.
"We agree with the report that they did not receive an effective police response and we apologise for the distress this has caused the family."
He added that the force - which deals with about 1,000 domestic violence incidents a month - was "not complacent" and made "significant improvements" in how it deals with such cases including a force-wide policy on domestic abuse.

Call for domestic homicide review-Australia

Sydney Morning Herald
Ruth Pollard November 24, 2008

A STATEWIDE domestic homicide review is being urged, driven by incoherent domestic violence policies and the failure of the legal system to help protect women from being killed by their violent partners.
Such reviews from the United States to Britain and Canada have documented inadequacies in services meant to help women and children, legal impediments, training gaps and patterns of violence that indicate to authorities a family is at increased risk.
The findings have forced changes to policy and practice and in many districts have resulted in large reductions in domestic violence homicides.
Yesterday Victoria became the first state in Australia to establish a review, more than a decade after a Californian county completed its first systemic examination of the high number of women and children being murdered in domestic violence attacks.
"Whether you are looking at a single death or a number of deaths over time, what research shows us is that clear patterns are able to be identified where the system is weak," said Betty Green, the convener of the NSW Domestic Violence Coalition.
"Maybe policy changes are needed, maybe it is increased resources for training police and magistrates - these are the kinds of changes that can come about via a homicide review process."
When a death is reviewed, every service and agency that came into contact with the woman is examined - police, health services, community services, as well as whether there was an intervention order in place and whether the woman had told family and friends about the violence.
"At the moment everybody holds a little piece of the puzzle and we believe by having a fatality review team all those pieces are brought together and you get a much clearer picture,"Ms Green said.
Myrna Dawson is an associate professor in public policy in criminal justice at the University of Guelph in Canada, and is a member of the Ontario domestic fatality review team.
"We make recommendations that are targeted at specific bodies who might be able to implement a change, such as education for health professionals, police or social services on the common risk factors," Professor Dawson said.
"Actual or pending separation is key … in almost 80 per cent of fatalities we have reviewed, separation has played a role in some capacity, but we haven't really targeted resources or training towards what can we do to help victims to safely leave a perpetrator."

Another common factor that has come up in every review is poor communication between the agencies dealing with the victim and the offender, which often include social services and drug and alcohol programs, she said.
"These reviews help us to identify where some of the weaknesses in the system are, where resources need to be focused and to understand what is needed to implement change," Professor Dawson said
In every death, there are what experts call "red flags" - indications the potentially deadly behaviour is escalating and that urgent intervention is required.
These can include threats to kill the woman, threats from the perpetrator to kill himself, separation and post-separation, a history of domestic violence or stalking or access to firearms, Ms Green said.
"There are lots of indicators that come up that will give workers who are well trained some warning that there is something not quite right here, that this woman is at risk."
The NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, first recommended the establishment of a domestic violence review team in 2006, after reviewing police practice in response to domestic violence. Since then dozens more women and children have died, and NSW is no closer to finding out why.
"We can see that looking at … the way families and individuals interact with a range of different government departments and services providers … can give you the benefit, certainly in hindsight, of seeing what you could have done differently," Mr Barbour said.
"By trying to identify factors that continually crop up where you see fatalities in a domestic situation will help identify risks and allow you to intervene in a relationship earlier, with the obvious benefit of preventing a fatality."
The review would also help agencies to improve their capacity to respond to potentially fatal situations, he said.
"My office is very aware of the significantly challenging environment our front-line workers deal with, from DOCS, police, housing, or the non-government sector, drug and alcohol workers.
"But all of those people would recognise the benefit of having an independent body look at the way a family that was the subject of a domestic violence homicide was dealt with and how a family in a similar situation might be able to be helped better in the future."
Superintendent Rodney Smith, the corporate spokesman on domestic violence for the NSW Police Force, said his service supported the introduction of a domestic violence homicide review.
"We are looking at trying to intervene at the earliest possible opportunity from a policing perspective to get the best outcome as we can for victims of domestic violence and hold the perpetrators to account."
But the Department of Community Services is not as keen. Without expressing any support for the process, a spokeswoman said DOCS recognised there had been calls for a review.
But it warned that if a review was established, it should "not duplicate existing review processes undertaken by NSW Police, the Coroner, the Ombudsman and the child deaths review team".
This story was found at:

Desperate bids for survival

Ruth Pollard November 24, 2008

Domestic violence survivors tell their stories to Ruth Pollard.
Some leave with just the clothes on their back. Others make discreet trips to a relative's house, taking small bundles of belongings to prepare for their escape. A few squirrel away meagre savings to help them survive on their own.
Most have left more than once and many will return yet again.
Over the past six weeks, the Herald has visited many of the state's refuges, speaking to women who have, in an act of immense bravery, made it out of brutally violent marriages and partnerships and found shelter, temporarily, from a life of fear.
We cannot identify any of these women, or the refuges in which they found safety, because it could lead their husbands or partners to track them down and put at risk their lives and those of the other women and workers at the refuges.
These are the women who have survived, who have made it through one of the most dangerous periods for women in crisis - leaving a violent relationship and taking their children to safety.
Many more before them have not survived. Nearly 30 women and children have been killed in domestic-violence homicides in the past 12 months alone in this state, and there are no signs that the death toll will fall.
Her husband gambled away all their money, time and again. He took their baby bonus and her maternity leave payment and gambled that, too.
When he was broke, he tried to convince Fatima to let him film them having sex, so he could sell the footage on the internet and make money exploiting the woman he said he loved.
Fatima has moved four times since leaving him, and he has tracked her down every time. Despite his threats to kill her and their children, she has been compelled to attend mediation with him thanks to the family law amendments brought in under the Howard government.
In halting English, Fatima tells of her ordeal, tears streaming down her face as she shakes her head in disbelief, as if to say: "How did it come to this?"
"We had been married a couple of years … [when] my baby was born and he started to control me. I was still thinking: 'Maybe he will just find a way to right things'. So I just kept waiting."
But her husband's behaviour worsened, she says. He continued to threaten her, and when the next baby bonus instalment was paid he again took it for himself.
"I asked him if he has a gambling problem but he denied it. He says, 'You are just whingeing.' "

At this point Fatima was not a permanent resident in Australia and her husband used that as a weapon, telling her: "You cannot have the baby because the baby is Australian."
She says: "I was scared, so I kept waiting. In the end, it took three years to realise what he did to me. He kept calling me names, threatening to send me back, and I am scared because I do not know the system and I think I am going to lose my baby.
"He took control of me; I had to listen to him."
Her husband continued taking her money, leaving her little to care for the children. He lurched between threats, hostility and begging for forgiveness.
"Sometimes he is nice. Sometimes he says sorry. Sometimes he is begging me - so I think things can change."
But nothing changed. Fatima's husband was violent, menacing and angry all the time. Once he hit her on the head with a frying pan, by which time she was convinced he would kill her.
"Every night I live in fear. Every night, when I go to sleep, I worry. I lock the door. So every night it is a nightmare. Maybe he [will] come this night - he will kill me and my kids."
Whenever Fatima tried to leave, he took her children so that she had no choice but to stay. And he just became angrier and angrier. He picked up a television and smashed it to the ground, he made his children watch pornographic videos and he yelled at Fatima constantly.
"He knows I do not like pornography. I am worried my kids will grow up and learn violence from his home; yelling, fighting. So I come to my social worker again, I pick up my clothes and take them to my family, secretly."
Fatima is now required to attend mediation with her husband, but even then there is no safe place.
"In mediation he would abuse the kids. Every time I had to give him the children he would call me names - the mediator called the police, he was so angry."
Fatima had applied for an apprehended violence order, but because it had not arrived the police said they were unable to act.
"When the police come they say: 'These are his kids, we cannot do anything.' They said we have to wait for the Family Court."
Her husband continually taunted her. He said: "I am not scared of the police, I am not scared of the shit lawyer. You have to believe me now."
And the threats continue when they go to court. Fatima says he has told her: "I am going to kill you, I am going to kill our kids, I am not scared of anything."

His temper is legendary. When a neighbour upset him, he tried to blow up that person's car, she said.
Within two weeks of her fleeing to the refuge he had found her, warning: "You cannot escape from me, I will find you."
"They moved me to the other house. I think he is stalking me; he finds me anywhere I move. Three times I moved and he find me, in the shopping centre, at the train station, because he is stalking me, he is threatening me," Fatima says. "The last time I moved I feel very scared. I believe in his capabilities because when he is angry he loses control."
Fatima decided to go into hiding. She has isolated herself from family and friends so her husband cannot find her or get any hint about where she is living. A new mobile number, her fourth home in a different suburb and no contact with anyone.
She still lives in fear - every time she sees someone who looks like him she is crippled by panic attacks; if her children are even momentarily out of her sight, she fears he has abducted them.
But underneath it all, she knows she has ensured her children will have a better life, free from violence and abuse.
"I am making new friends. I go to a domestic violence group … I am in a nice house, I have my social worker. I have to keep strong - I am with my kids, we enjoy life, we plan for the future and live in peace."
She had planned her escape for many, many months. Her partner controlled almost every moment of every day, reading her mail, monitoring her phone calls, accompanying her to the supermarket, always watching.
But she was clever, too - the sound of a running shower masked hushed conversations with her sister, a secret bank account slowly accrued her meagre savings, as she planned and hoped for the future.
All the while she braced herself against his violence, the punching, his hands around her throat, dragging her down the stairs by her hair, her body slammed against the wall as he thrust a knife into the plaster next to her head - a threat of things to come.
As his violence increased, he turned his attention to their children and it was then that she made her move.
"I was with my ex for four years and I had two children with him. He was very abusive towards me but it was not until he actually threatened and hit the children that I actually realised it was time for me to go," Bridget says.
"In that time I had managed to save some money, which he found in my account and withdrew, but … I had planned that I was going, my sister knew I was going, so it was just a matter of time and making sure it was safe for the three of us to get out."

What made it difficult, if not impossible, to leave was that her partner refused to let her go anywhere alone with the children.
Bridget had managed to save another $500 - nowhere near what she needed to start again but enough to buy essentials such as nappies and clothes - when what she describes as a "miracle" occurred. Her partner let her take the children shopping with her.
"We often went with a large family … I told them I had to get petrol, which is on the way, and that I would meet them at the shops, which meant I could go in a separate car."
They passed her at the petrol station and Bridget, with $500, her two children and a baby bag, called her sister, got in her car and drove to freedom. She moved in with her sister, who had relocated to try to keep Bridget safe, but her former partner tracked her down.
"I don't know how he managed to get her address. He found her number, he was ringing constantly, he was ringing my mobile constantly. I changed my mobile number at least 10 times … and he just kept getting the details."
There was nothing left to do but move again, for everyone's safety, so Bridget and her two children went to a refuge.
Bridget's case worker went through her details with a fine-tooth comb. Bank accounts were changed, pin numbers changed, Centrelink details changed, mobile phone companies changed, everything password-protected, everything that connected her to her old life removed.
She now gives talks to other women, making them aware there are places they can go to get help and dispelling some of the myths men create when they use violence as a weapon.
"My ex used to say to me all the time that I will never amount to anything, that I will never meet anyone else, that I will be a single mum for the rest of my life, that I won't be worth anything … and I started to believe it.
"When I left him I thought, 'Yep, I am going to be a single mum for the rest of my life, stuck on welfare, Department of Housing, the whole lot,' and it wasn't so long ago that I realised that is not true.
"I have been able to move on with my life. I have got the children - they are safe, I am safe. I have been to TAFE. I have now realised I am giving them a hope, that I have given them a chance … and that I won't be alone … Life is good at the moment."
"I came to Australia with not any knowledge of English. I didn't have any family or friends and only after the short time of a month I had been raped and stuck into a very violent relationship with a man, so it took me so many years, about 4½ years, to get out of it."

Karla has just emerged from another violent encounter with a man she shared a flat with. He punched her and stabbed her several times, until she found the strength to push him away and escape to the street, where she collapsed on the footpath, unconscious and bleeding.
The signs of the struggle still mark her - a black eye, scars just healing, arms wrapped around her slender body for comfort as she recounts her brush with death.
"He took the knife [and] I realise he is ready to kill me. He is struggling with one hand, holding the knife in the other. He was saying his prayer to God: 'God forgive me, I have to kill her.'
"When he said that, I saw in his eyes, this is it, this is the killer look."
It all began innocently enough. Karla met the man's sister out one night and she befriended her. Soon she had met the entire family and it made sense to move into a flat with the man, so welcoming were he and his relatives.
But what looked like a loving family turned out to be one devoted to crime, Karla says.
"They all hide this from me. They say they are religious. They introduce me to their parents, to most of the family, they accepted me as I have no family here and only two dedicated friends - I guess they took that as easy access to a new victim.
"From what I have found out, it is not only me who went through this … That person who did this to me is now charged - at the moment he is in the jail. The bigger danger is his brother, because they are working as a team."
Karla has since been moved to another refuge for her safety. Now her biggest challenge is to break the cycle of violence that has punctuated her life.
"I don't know that I am brave but I know myself I am very strong in my belief, in my heart, there must be a way out of anything … I am not going to give up."
She must also face the prospect of giving evidence against her attacker, and the ever-present danger she feels at the thought of being exposed to him and his family. "I am very concerned about my safety - the fear is stronger and deeper."
This story was found at:

Latest related coverage
Dying to be heardAudio slideshow: The Herald spent weeks with women in domestic violence refuges. Here are their stories.
Shameful secret of our family murder epidemic
Despite all her cries for help, Evelina was left to die
Call for domestic homicide review
Remembering the victims

Austrailia: Shameful secret of our family murder epidemic

By Ruth Pollard November 24, 2008

THE number of women and children murdered in domestic violence is at a 10-year high, prompting calls for an urgent review of the state's fractured legal, police and community service systems.
At least 74 women and dozens of children die in Australia each year at the hands of violent men, making up the majority of all murders committed.
But experts warn the real death rates are even higher because of serious weaknesses in the way homicide data is collected. Family law changes that force shared custody and mediation have placed even more women and children at risk of harm, they say.
The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hull, announced yesterday his state would be the first to implement a domestic violence death review, saying the aim was to analyse all cases and develop more effective strategies to reduce homicide rates. The NSW Government has so far ignored these calls.
It is not hard to find flaws in the way the police and legal systems deal with violence against women. In the past two years alone there have been countless preventable domestic violence homicides, where danger signs were not recognised, or worse - ignored, where women repeatedly sought protection and did not receive it, where children were killed because women at risk were denied help to survive away from violent partners.
These are just a few cases:
 A woman and her daughter were found dead earlier this year. The Herald understands the woman, who was not an Australian resident, sought an apprehended violence order but police rejected her pleas for help because they thought she was complaining in order to get residency.
 Gary Bell murdered his children, Bon, Maddie and Jack, then killed himself in Pericoe on the South Coast this year - he had been arrested for assaulting his wife just beforehand but was released by police. The family was known to the Department of Community Services.
 Rachael Young was shot and killed in front of her child by her ex-partner, who had just been granted bail on assault charges.
 A woman and her baby were burned to death in their home by her boyfriend - violence had been repeatedly reported to police.
The NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, said the Government's response to the issue was inadequate and a review would significantly reduce the death toll by identifying risk factors for domestic violence homicides and where families fall through the cracks.
"You will usually see threats of violence or homicide being made before a death occurs, or find access to weapons, or previous examples of depression, drug or alcohol issues," Mr Barbour told the Herald.

"Looking at how they are dealt with, whether they have been properly identified by agencies as signalling greater risk down the track, is very important to preventing these deaths."
Similar reviews - some in place more than a decade - in the US, Britain and Canada have resulted in a dramatic drop in deaths. In Santa Clara County, California, there were 51 domestic homicides in 1997. With reforms implemented after a homicide review, deaths fell to three last year.
The sheer volume of harm - more than 27,000 domestic violence-related assaults in NSW last year, making up 30 per cent of all assaults reported to police and about 35 per cent of all police work - is overwhelming. Then there are the deaths, peaking in NSW this year at a 10-year high of 29 domestic violence-related murders from July last year to June.
The majority of these occur in partnerships deeply scarred by violence, often with apprehended violence orders or other legal interventions in place. Nationally, at least 40 per cent of all homicides involved intimate partners or ex-partners or another known family connection, said Judy Putt, head of research at the Australian Institute of Criminology.
In NSW, a much more limited collection of data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics puts domestic violence-related homicides at 34 per cent of all murders. Yet this is only part of the picture, as the only homicides counted are those prosecuted through the courts. Murder-suicides, which make up a quarter of cases, and family annihilation, where the father kills his children, possibly his wife, then himself, are not counted, as there is no one to prosecute.
The horrific deaths of the three children in Pericoe, or the murder of Ingrid Poulson's two children and her father by her estranged husband in 2003 are not counted in the statistics, because the men killed themselves.
"Our key concern is that the increased number that we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg and that there are a lot more women dying in domestic violence-related fatalities than what we know about," said Betty Green, the co-ordinator of the NSW Domestic Violence Coalition.
Despite education campaigns, there were still significant misunderstandings about domestic violence in the community and in key services such as police, leading many to miss clear danger signs women and children were at extreme risk, she warned.
"Women do not die by accident, they don't die because of a mistake, they die because of a culmination of a repeated pattern of violent behaviour," she said. "There is no passion, there is no love in a domestic violence fatality. It is really, really important that we name it for what it is - in most cases it is premeditated, it is anger, it is revenge and it is the ultimate act of control."

This story was found at:

Latest related coverage
Dying to be heardAudio slideshow: The Herald spent weeks with women in domestic violence refuges. Here are their stories.
Despite all her cries for help, Evelina was left to die
Desperate bids for survival
Call for domestic homicide review
Remembering the victims

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family therapist jailed on charges of domestic battery

Why and how victims of psychopaths continue to be victimized is very much a result of unethical mental health professionals profiteering off family law cases.

To give you an example of the hypocrisy at work, please check out this article on the arrest of one such family therapist:

Family therapist jailed on charges of domestic battery
Holder 11/23/2008 St. Petersburg TimesMichael Anthony Holder, a family therapist for the non-profit Agency for Community Treatment Services in Tampa, has a Web site that touts his "Dynamic Parenting System." But Holder's own parenting tactics landed him in jail Saturday night, where he remained Sunday without bond on charges of domestic battery. They include choking and injuring his 15-year-old stepson.

Tampa family therapist jailed
By Alexandra Zayas, Times Staff Writer In print: Monday, November 24, 2008

TAMPA — Tired of your child's defiance, arguing, and disrespectful attitude?
Having problems with your child at home, in school, or out in public?
Family therapist Michael Anthony Holder poses these questions on his Web site, and offers an answer:
His "Dynamic Parenting System," an intensive series of in-home consultations designed to help parents correct their children's negative behaviors.
But Saturday night, Holder's own parenting tactics landed him in jail.
Holder, 39, was arrested on two domestic battery charges, including battery on his 15-year-old stepson, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports.
Holder is accused of grabbing the boy by the neck during a dispute, choking him and inflicting several cuts on the boy's arms and face and a bruise on his left arm, an arrest report said.
Holder denied choking the boy, but admitted touching him in an attempt to get his stepson out of his living quarters, the report states.
Holder, of Tampa, remained in Orient Road Jail on Sunday without bail.
Holder lists his employer as ACTS, or Agency for Community Treatment Services, a nonprofit that provides a range of services, from help with substance abuse to mental illness to child protection.
The report says that Holder's wife identified herself as a witness to deputies. She could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Hillsborough court records show Holder and his wife filed for divorce less than two weeks ago.
"Behind great relationships there is always great parenting," Holder says in his Web site. "And great parenting is only achieved when a child values and respects the role of their parent."
Alexandra Zayas can be reached at or (813) 226-3354.

Beware of Users and Abusers

Everyone should be wary of an individual who has glib charm, a soothing voice, a penetrating gaze, dramatic gestures, and engages in meaningless flattery and vague/inconsistent responses to personal questions. When a psychopath complains of how others treat him, it should be remembered who the real victims are likely to be.

THE PSYCHOPATH - The Mask of Sanity

Special Research Project of the Quantum Future School

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....
The prevalence rate for anorexic eating disorders is estimated a 3.43 percent, deemed to be nearly epidemic, and yet this figure is a fraction lower than the rate for antisocial personality. The high-profile disorders classed as schizophrenia occur in only about 1 percent of [the population] - a mere quarter of the rate of antisocial personality - and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the rate of colon cancer in the United States, considered "alarmingly high," is about 40 per 100,000 - one hundred times lower than the rate of antisocial personality.
The high incidence of sociopathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth.
Yet surprisingly, many people know nothing about this disorder, or if they do, they think only in terms of violent psychopathy - murderers, serial killers, mass murderers - people who have conspicuously broken the law many times over, and who, if caught, will be imprisoned, maybe even put to death by our legal system.
We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent sociopaths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense.
Most of us would not imagine any correspondence between conceiving an ethnic genocide and, say, guiltlessly lying to one's boss about a coworker. But the psychological correspondence is not only there; it is chilling. Simple and profound, the link is the absence of the inner mechanism that beats up on us, emotionally speaking, when we make a choice we view as immoral, unethical, neglectful, or selfish.
Most of us feel mildly guilty if we eat the last piece of cake in the kitchen, let alone what we would feel if we intentionally and methodically set about to hurt another person.
Those who have no conscience at all are a group unto themselves, whether they be homicidal tyrants or merely ruthless social snipers.
The presence or absence of conscience is a deep human division, arguably more significant than intelligence, race, or even gender.
What differentiates a sociopath who lives off the labors of others from one who occasionally robs convenience stores, or from one who is a contemporary robber baron - or what makes the difference betwen an ordinary bully and a sociopathic murderer - is nothing more than social status, drive, intellect, blood lust, or simple opportunity.
What distinguishes all of these people from the rest of us is an utterly empty hole in the psyche, where there should be the most evolved of all humanizing functions. [Martha Stout, Ph.D., The Sociopath Next Door] (highly recommended)
For those of you who are seeking understanding of psychopathy, Hervey Cleckley's book The Mask of Sanity, the absolutely essential study of the psychopath who is not necessarily of the criminal type. This book is no longer available. We have it scanned and our team of researchers spent two weeks going over the text carefully to eliminate text conversion errors. You may download the entire book FREE as a PDF from the link at left, top. (Read A Sample Chapter of The Mask of Sanity)
"Likeable," "Charming," "Intelligent," "Alert," "Impressive," "Confidence-inspiring," and "A great success with the ladies": These are the sorts of descriptions repeatedly used by Cleckley in his famous case-studies of psychopaths. They are also, of course, "irresponsible," "self-destructive," and the like. These descriptions highlight the great frustrations and puzzles that surround the study of psychopathy.
Psychopaths seem to have in abundance the very traits most desired by normal persons. The untroubled self-confidence of the psychopath seems almost like an impossible dream and is generally what "normal" people seek to acquire when they attend assertiveness training classes. In many instances, the magnetic attraction of the psychopath for members of the opposite sex seems almost supernatural.
Cleckley's seminal hypothesis concerning the psychopath is that he suffers from a very real mental illness indeed: a profound and incurable affective deficit. If he really feels anything at all, they are emotions of only the shallowest kind. He does bizarre and self-destructive things because consequences that would fill the ordinary man with shame, self-loathing, and embarrassment simply do not affect the psychopath at all. What to others would be a disaster is to him merely a fleeting inconvenience.
Cleckley also gives grounds for the view that psychopathy is quite common in the community at large. He has collected some cases of psychopaths who generally function normally in the community as businessmen, doctors, and even psychiatrists. Some researchers see criminal psychopathy - often referred to as anti-social personality disorder - as an extreme of a "normal" personality dimension (or dimensions).
We would characterize criminal psychopaths as "unsuccessful psychopaths." The implication, of course, is that many psychopaths may exist in society who cope better than do those who come to the attention of the judicial and welfare systems.
Harrington goes so far as to say that the psychopath is the new man being produced by the evolutionary pressures of modern life. Other researchers criticize this view, pointing out the real disabilities that the clinical psychopath also suffers.
The study of "ambulatory" psychopaths - what we call "The Garden Variety Psychopath" - has, however, hardly begun. Very little is known about subcriminal psychopathy. However, some researchers have begun to seriously consider the idea that it is important to study psychopathy not as an artificial clinical category but as a general personality trait in the community at large. In other words, psychopathy is being recognized as a more or less a different type of human.
One very interesting aspect of the psychopath is his "hidden life" that is sometimes not too well hidden. It seems that the psychopath has a regular need to take a "vacation into filth and degradation" the same way normal people may take a vacation to a resort where they enjoy beautiful surroundings and culture. To get a full feeling for this strange "need" of the psychopath - a need that seems to be evidence that "acting human" is very stressful to the psychopath - read more of The Mask of Sanity, chapters 25 and 26.
Also, read Cleckley's speculations on what was "really wrong" with these people. He comes very close to suggesting that they are human in every respect - but that they lack a soul. This lack of "soul quality" makes them very efficient "machines." They can be brilliant, write scholarly works, imitate the words of emotion, but over time, it becomes clear that their words do not match their actions. They are the type of person who can claim that they are devastated by grief who then attend a party "to forget." The problem is: they really DO forget.
Being very efficient machines, like a computer, they are able to execute very complex routines designed to elicit from others support for what they want. In this way, many psychopaths are able to reach very high positions in life. It is only over time that their associates become aware of the fact that their climb up the ladder of success is predicated on violating the rights of others."Even when they are indifferent to the rights of their associates, they are often able to inspire feelings of trust and confidence."
The psychopath recognizes no flaw in his psyche, no need for change.
Psychopaths In the New Age
At the present time, there is a veritable explosion of reports from our readers about their experiences with individuals they have encountered in the "alternative research" fields, as well as in general interactions of their lives. What is so shocking is the number of such individuals that must exist, based on these reports. This is not just an occasional event, it seems to be almost a pandemic!
Our research team and egroup have been engaged for some time in researching and analyzing these interactions and the characteristics and the dynamics and the personalities. Our research has led us to identify them with "Psychopaths." They can also be Narcissists since Narcissism seems to be merely a "facet" of the psychopath or a "milder" manifestation. You could say that the Narcissist is a "garden variety psychopath" who, because of his or her "social programming," has less likelihood of running afoul of the law. In this way, they are very efficient "survival machines," living out their lives doing untold damage to their families, friends and business associates.
It is only when a person takes a long and careful look at the full-blown psychopath - a sort of exaggerated Narcissist - that they are able to see the caricature of the traits that then make it easier for them to identify the "garden variety" psychopath - and/or the Narcissist.
Our world seems to have been invaded by individuals whose approach to life and love is so drastically different from what has been the established norm for a very long time that we are ill- prepared to deal with their tactics of what Robert Canup calls "plausible lie." As he demonstrates, this philosophy of the "plausible lie" has overtaken the legal and administrative domains of our world, turning them into machines in which human beings with real emotions are destroyed.
The recent movie, "The Matrix," touched a deep chord in society because it exemplified this mechanistic trap in which so many people find their lives enmeshed, and from which they are unable to extricate themselves because they believe that everyone around them who "looks human" is, in fact, just like them - emotionally, spiritually, and otherwise.
Take, for example, the "legal argument" as explicated by Robert Canup in his work on the "Socially Adept Psychopath." The legal argument seems to be at the foundation of our society. This amounts to little more than con-artistry: the one who is the slickest at using the structure for convincing a group of people of something, is the one who is believed. Because this "legal argument" system has been slowly installed as part of our culture, when it invades our personal lives, we normally do not recognize it immediately.
Human beings have been accustomed to assume that other human beings are - at the very least - trying to "do right" and "be good" and fair and honest. And so, very often, we do not take the time to use due diligence in order to determine if a person who has entered our life is, in fact, a "good person." And when a conflict ensues, we automatically fall into the cultural assumption that in any conflict, one side is partly right one way, and the other is partly right the other, and that we can form opinions about which side is mostly right or wrong. Because of our exposure to the "legal argument" norms, when any dispute arises, we automatically think that the truth will lie somewhere between two extremes. In this case, application of a little mathematical logic to the problem of the legal argument might be helpful.
Let us assume that in a dispute, one side is innocent, honest, and tells the truth. It is obvious that lying does an innocent person no good; what lie can he tell? If he is innocent, the only lie he can tell is to falsely confess "I did it." But lying is nothing but good for the liar. He can declare that "I didn't do it," and accuse another of doing it, all the while the innocent person he has accused is saying "I didn't do it," and is actually telling the truth.
The truth - when twisted by good liars, can always make an innocent person look bad - especially if the innocent person is honest and admits his mistakes.
The basic assumption that the truth lies between the testimony of the two sides always shifts the advantage to the lying side and away from the side telling the truth. Under most circumstances, this shift put together with the fact that the truth is going to also be twisted in such a way as to bring detriment to the innocent person, results in the advantage always resting in the hands of liars - psychopaths. Even the simple act of giving testimony under oath is useless. If a person is a liar, swearing an oath means nothing to that person. However, swearing an oath acts strongly on a serious, truthful witness. Again, the advantage is placed on the side of the liar. [Robert Canup]
This highlights one of the unique things about the psychopath: their seeming inability to conceive of the abstract idea of "the future."
It has often been noted that psychopaths have a distinct advantage over human beings with conscience and feelings because the psychopath does not have conscience and feelings. What seems to be so is that conscience and feelings are related to the abstract concepts of "future" and "others." It is "spatio-temporal." We can feel fear, sympathy, empathy, sadness, and so on because we can IMAGINE in an abstract way, the future based on our own experiences in the past, or even just "concepts of experiences" in myriad variations. We can "predict" how others will react because we are able to "see ourselves" in them even though they are "out there" and the situation is somewhat different externally, though similar in dynamic. In other words, we can not only identify with others spatially - so to say - but also temporally - in time.
The psychopath does not seem to have this capacity.
They are unable to "imagine" in the sense of being able to really connect to images in a direct "self connecting to another self" sort of way.
Oh, indeed, they can imitate feelings, but the only real feelings they seem to have - the thing that drives them and causes them to act out different dramas for effect - is a sort of "predatorial hunger" for what they want. That is to say, they "feel" need/want as love, and not having their needs/wants met is described as "not being loved" by them. What is more, this "need/want" perspective posits that only the "hunger" of the psychopath is valid, and anything and everything "out there," outside of the psychopath, is not real except insofar as it has the capability of being assimilated to the psychopath as a sort of "food." "Can it be used or can it provide something?" is the only issue about which the psychopath seems to be concerned. All else - all activity - is subsumed to this drive.
In short, the psychopath - and the narcissist to a lesser extent - is a predator. If we think about the interactions of predators with their prey in the animal kingdom, we can come to some idea of what is behind the "mask of sanity" of the psychopath. Just as an animal predator will adopt all kinds of stealthy functions in order to stalk their prey, cut them out of the herd, get close to them and reduce their resistance, so does the psychopath construct all kinds of elaborate camoflage composed of words and appearances - lies and manipulations - in order to "assimilate" their prey.
This leads us to an important quesion: what does the psychopath REALLY get from their victims? It's easy to see what they are after when they lie and manipulate for money or material goods or power. But in many instances, such as love relationships or faked friendships, it is not so easy to see what the psychopath is after. Without wandering too far afield into spiritual speculations - a problem Cleckley also faced - we can only say that it seems to be that the psychopath ENJOYS making others suffer. Just as normal humans enjoy seeing other people happy, or doing things that make other people smile, the psychopath enjoys the exact opposite.
Anyone who has ever observed a cat playing with a mouse before killing and eating it has probably explained to themselves that the cat is just "entertained" by the antics of the mouse and is unable to conceive of the terror and pain being experienced by the mouse, and the cat, therefore, is innocent of any evil intent. The mouse dies, the cat is fed, and that is nature. Psychopaths don't generally eat their victims.
Yes, in extreme cases the entire cat and mouse dynamic is carried out and cannibalism has a long history wherein it was assumed that certain powers of the victim could be assimilated by eating some particular part of them. But in ordinary life, psychopaths and narcissists don't go all the way, so to say. This causes us to look at the cat and mouse scenarios again with different eyes. Now we ask: is it too simplistic to think that the innocent cat is merely entertained by the mouse running about and frantically trying to escape? Is there something more to this dynamic than meets the eye? Is there something more than being "entertained" by the antics of the mouse trying to flee? After all, in terms of evolution, why would such behavior be hard-wired into the cat? Is the mouse tastier because of the chemicals of fear that flood his little body? Is a mouse frozen with terror more of a "gourmet" meal?
This suggests that we ought to revisit our ideas about psychopaths with a slightly different perspective. One thing we do know is this: many people who experience interactions with psychopaths and narcissists report feeling "drained" and confused and often subsequently experience deteriorating health. Does this mean that part of the dynamic, part of the explanation for why psychopaths will pursue "love relationships" and "friendships" that ostensibly can result in no observable material gain, is because there is an actual energy consumption?
We do not know the answer to this question. We observe, we theorize, we speculate and hypothesize. But in the end, only the individual victim can determine what they have lost in the dynamic - and it is often far more than material goods. In a certain sense, it seems that psychopaths are soul eaters or "Psychophagic."
Conscience seems to depend on the ability to imagine consequences. But most "consequences" relate to pain in some way, and psychopaths really don't understand pain in the emotional sense. They understand frustration of not getting what they want, and to them, that is pain. But the fact seems to be that they act based solely on a sort of Game Theory evaluation of a situation: what will they get out of it, and what will it cost? And these "costs" have nothing to do with being humiliated, causing pain, sabotaging the future, or any of the other possibilities that normal people consider when making a choice. In short, it is almost impossible for normal people to even imagine the inner life of the psychopath.
This leads us to what psychopaths DO have that is truly outstanding: an ability to give their undivided attention to something that interests them intensely. Some clinicians have compared this to the concentration with which a predator stalks his prey. This is useful if one is in an environment with few variables, but most real life situations require us to pay attention to a number of things at once. Psychopaths often pay so much attention to getting what they want that they fail to notice danger signals.
For example, some psychopaths earned reputations for being fearless fighter pilots during World War II, staying on their targets like terriers on an ankle. Yet, these pilots often failed to keep track of such unexciting details as fuel supply, altitude, location, and the position of other planes. Sometimes they became heroes, but more often, they were killed or became known as opportunists, loners, or hotshots who couldn't be relied on - except to take care of themselves. [Hare]
It should be emphasized that psychopaths are interesting as all get out - even exciting! They exude a captivating energy that keeps their listeners on the edge of their seats. Even if some part of the normal person is shocked or repelled by what the psychopath says, they are like the mouse hypnotized by the torturing cat. Even if they have the chance to run away, they don't. Many Psychopaths "make their living" by using charm, deceit, and manipulation to gain the confidence of their victims. Many of them can be found in white collar professions where they are aided in their evil by the fact that most people expect certain classes of people to be trustworthy because of their social or professional credentials. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, psychiatrists and psychologists, generally do not have to earn our trust because they have it by virtue of their positions. But the fact is: psychopaths are found in such lofty spheres also!
At the same time, psychopaths are good imposters. They have absolutely no hesitation about forging and brazenly using impressive credentials to adopt professional roles that bring prestige and power. They pick professions in which the requisite skills are easy to fake, the jargon is easy to learn, and the credentials are unlikely to be thoroughly checked. Psychopaths find it extremely easy to pose as financial consultants, ministers, psychological counselors and psychologists. And that's a scary thought.
Psychopaths make their way by conning people into doing things for them; obtaining money for them, prestige, power, or even standing up for them when others try to expose them. But that is their claim to fame. That's what they do. And they do it very well. What's more, the job is very easy because most people are gullible with an unshakable belief in the inherent goodness of man.
Manipulation is the key to the psychopath's conquests. Initially, the psychopath will feign false emotions to create empathy, and many of them study the tricks that can be employed by the empathy technique. Psychopaths are often able to incite pity from people because they seem like "lost souls" as Guggenbuhl-Craig writes. So the pity factor is one reason why victims often fall for these "poor" people.
Psychologist Robert Hare cites a famous case where a psychopath was "Man of the Year" and president of the Chamber of Commerce in his small town. (Remember that John Wayne Gacy was running for Jaycee President at the very time of his first murder conviction!) The man in question had claimed to have a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He ran for a position on the school board which he then planned to parlay into a position on the county commission which paid more.
At some point, a local reporter suddenly had the idea to check up on the guy - to see if his credentials were real. What the reporter found out was that the only thing that was true about this up and coming politician's "faked bio" was the place and date of birth. Everything else was fictitious. Not only was the man a complete impostor, he had a long history of antisocial behavior, fraud, impersonation, and imprisonment. His only contact with a university was a series of extension courses by mail that he took while in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. What is even more amazing is the fact that before he was a con-man, he was a "con-boy." For two decades he had dodged his way across America one step ahead of those he had hoodwinked. Along the way he had married three women and had four children, and he didn't even know what had happened to them. And now, he was on a roll! But darn that pesky reporter!
When he was exposed, he was completely unconcerned. "These trusting people will stand behind me. A good liar is a good judge of people," he said. Amazingly, he was right. Far from being outraged at the fact that they had all been completely deceived and lied to from top to bottom, the local community he had conned so completely to accrue benefits and honors to himself that he had not earned, rushed to his support!
I kid you not! And it wasn't just "token support." The local Republican party chairman wrote about him: "I assess his genuineness, integrity, and devotion to duty to rank right alongside of President Abraham Lincoln." As Hare dryly notes, this dimwit was easily swayed by words, and was blind to deeds.
What kind of psychological weaknesses drive people to prefer lies over truth?
This may have something to do with what is called Cognitive Dissonance. Leon Festinger developed the theory of Cognitive Dissonance in the 50's when he apparently stumbled onto a UFO cult in the Midwest. They were prophesying a coming world cataclysm and "alien rapture." When no one was raptured and no cataclysm he studied the believers response, and detailed it in his book "When Prophecy Fails." Festinger observed:
A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.
We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.
But man's resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.
It seems that part of the problem has to do with ego and the need to be "right." People with a high "need to be right" or "perfect" seem to be unable to acknowledge that they have been conned. "There is no crime in the cynical American calendar more humiliating than to be a sucker." People will go along with and support a psychopath, in the face of evidence that they have and ARE being conned, because their own ego structure depends on being right, and to admit an error of judgment would destroy their carefully constructed image of themselves.
Even more amazing is the fact that when psychopaths do get exposed by someone who is not afraid to admit that they have been conned, the psychopath is a master at painting their victims as the "real culprits." Hare cites a case of the third wife of a forty year old high school teacher:
For five years he cheated on me, kept me living in fear, and forged checks on my personal bank account. But everyone, including my doctor and lawyer and my friends, blamed me for the problem. He had them so convinced that he was a great guy and that I was going mad, I began to believe it myself. Even when he cleaned out my bank account and ran off with a seventeen-year-old student, a lot of people couldn't believe it, and some wanted to know what I had done to make him act so strangely!
Psychopaths just have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: they can be fast talkers, they can be charming, they can be self-assured and at ease in social situations; they are cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless. And even when they are exposed, they can carry on as if nothing has happened, often making their accusers the targets of accusations of being victimized by THEM.
I was once dumbfounded by the logic of an inmate who described his murder victim as having benefited from the crime by learning "a hard lesson about life." [Hare]
The victims keep asking: "How could I have been so stupid? How could I have fallen for that incredible line of baloney?" And, of course, if they don't ask it of themselves, you can be sure that their friends and associates will ask "How on earth could you have been taken in to that extent?"
The usual answer: "You had to be there" simply does not convey the whole thing. Hare writes:
What makes psychopaths different from all others is the remarkable ease with which they lie, the pervasiveness of their deception, and the callousness with which they carry it out.
But there is something else about the speech of psychopaths that is equally puzzling: their frequent use of contradictory and logically inconsistent statements that usually escape detection. Recent research on the language of psychopaths provides us with some important clues to this puzzle, as well as to the uncanny ability psychopaths have to move words - and people- around so easily. […]
Here are some examples:
When asked if he had ever committed a violent offense, a man serving time for theft answered, "No, but I once had to kill someone."
A woman with a staggering record of fraud, deceit, lies, and broken promises concluded a letter to the parole board with, "I've let a lot of people down… One is only as good as her reputation and name. My word is as good as gold."
A man serving a term for armed robbery replied to the testimony of an eyewitness, "He's lying. I wasn't there. I should have blown his fucking head off."
From an interview with serial killer Elmer Wayne Henley:
Interviewer: "You make it out that you're the victim of a serial killer, but if you look at the record you're a serial killer."Henley: "I'm not."I: "You're not a serial killer?"H: "I'm not a serial killer."I: You're saying you're not a serial killer now, but you've serially killed."H: "Well, yeah, that's semantics."
And so on. The point that the researchers noted was that psychopaths seem to have trouble monitoring their own speech. What is more, they often put things together in strange ways, such as this series of remarks from serial killer Clifford Olson: "And then I had annual sex with her." "Once a year?" "No. Annual. From behind." "Oh. But she was dead!" "No, no. She was just unconscientious." About his many experiences, Olson said, "I've got enough antidotes to fill five or six books - enough for a trilogy." He was determined not to be an "escape goat" no matter what the "migrating facts." [Hare, Without Conscience]
Those of us who have had experiences with psychopaths know that the language of the psychopath is two-dimensional. They are, as someone once said, as "deep as a thimble." An analogy is given of the psychopath as a color blind person who has learned how to function in the world of color by special strategies. They may tell you that they "stopped at a red light," but what it really means to them is that they knew that the light at the top means "stop," and they stopped. They call it the "red" light like everyone else, but they have no experience of what "red" really is.
A person who is color blind who has developed such coping mechanisms, is virtually undetectable from people who see colors.
Psychopaths use words about emotions the same way people who are color blind use words about colors they cannot perceive. Psychopaths not only learn to use the words more or less appropriately, they learn to pantomime the feeling. But they never HAVE the feeling.
This quality of the mind of the psychopath has been extensively tested with word association tests while the subjects are hooked up to an EEG. Words that have emotional content evoke larger brain responses than do neutral words which is apparently a reflection of the large amount of information that can be packed into a word. For most of us, the word cancer can instantly bring to mind not only the description of the disease, but also fear, pain, concern, or whatever, depending upon our experiences with cancer - whether we or someone we love has had it, or if it had some impact on our lives, and so on. The same is true with many words in our collective and individual vocabularies. And, unless we had a traumatic experience with it, a word such as box or paper will be neutral.
Psychopaths respond to all emotional words as if they were neutral. It is as if they are permanently condemned to operate with a Juvenile Dictionary. Hare writes:
Earlier I discussed the role of "inner speech" in the development and operation of conscience. It is the emotionally charged thoughts, images, and internal dialogue that give the "bite" to conscience, account for its powerful control over behavior, and generate guilt and remorse for transgressions. This is something that psychopaths cannot understand. For them, conscience is little more than an intellectual awareness of rules others make up - empty words. The feelings needed to give clout to these rules are missing.
What is more, just as the color blind individual may never know he is color blind unless he is given a test to determine it, the psychopath is unable to even be aware of his own emotional poverty. They assume that their own perceptions are the same as everyone else's. They assume that their own lack of feeling is the same for everyone else. And make no mistake about it: you can NOT hurt their feelings because they don't have any! They will pretend to have feelings if it suits their purposes or gets them what they want. They will verbalize remorse, but their actions will contradict their words. They know that "remorse" is important, and "apologies" are useful, and they will give them freely, though generally in words that amount to blaming the victim for needing to be apologized to.
And this is why they are so good at using Game Theory. And unless we learn the rules of how they think, they will continue to use it on us with devastating results. Normal people HURT when treated cruelly and insensitively. Psychopaths only feign being hurt because they perceive hurt as not getting what they wanted, and tried to get by manipulation!
In the book Violent Attachments, women and men have noted the particular stare of the psychopath - it is an intense, relentless gaze that seems to preclude his destruction of his victim or target. Women, in particular, have reported this stare, which is related to the "predatorial" (reptilian) gaze; it is as if the psychopath is directing all of his intensity toward you through his eyes, a sensation that one woman reported as a feeling of "being eaten." They tend to invade peoples' space either by their sudden intrusions or intimidating look-overs (which some women confuse for sexuality.)
Another extremely interesting study had to do with the way psychopaths move their hands when they speak. Hand movement can tell researchers a lot about what are called "thought units." The studies indicate that psychopaths' thoughts and ideas are organized into small mental packages. This is handy for lying, but makes dealing with an overall, coherent, integrated complex of deep thoughts virtually impossible.
Most people are able to combine ideas that have consistent thought themes, but psychopaths have great difficulty doing this. Again, this suggests a genetic restriction to what we have called the Juvenile Dictionary. Not only are they using extremely restricted definitions, they cannot, by virtue of the way their brains work, do otherwise. Virtually all of the research on psychopaths reveals an inner world that is banal, sophomoric, and devoid of the color and detail that generally exists in the inner world of normal people. This goes a long way to explain the inconsistencies and contradictions in their speech.
The situation is analogous to a movie in which one scene is shot under cloudy conditions and the next scene - which supposedly takes place a few minutes later - is shot in brilliant sunshine. […] Some moviegoers - the victims of psychopaths - might not notice the discrepancy, particularly if they are engrossed in the action.
Psychopaths are notorious for not answering the questions asked them. They will answer something else, or in such a way that the direct question is never addressed. They also phrase things so that some parts of their narratives are difficult to understand. This is not careless speech, of which everyone is guilty at times, but an ongoing indication of the underlying condition in which the organization of mental activity suggests something is wrong. It's not what they say, but how they say it that gives insight into their true nature.
But this raises, again, the question: if their speech is so odd, how come smart people get taken in by them? Why do we fail to pick up the inconsistencies?
Part of the answer is that the oddities are subtle so that our general listening mode will not normally pick them up. But my own experience is that some of the "skipped" or oddly arranged words, or misused words are automatically reinterpreted by OUR brains in the same way we automatically "fill in the blank" space on a neon sign when one of the letters has gone out. We can be driving down the road at night, and ahead we see M_tel, and we mentally put the "o" in place and read "Motel." Something like this happens between the psychopath and the victim. We fill in the "missing humanness" by filling in the blanks with our own assumptions, based on what WE think and feel and mean. And, in this way, because there are these "blank" spots, we fill them in with what is inside us, and thus we are easily convinced that the psychopath is a great guy - because he is just like us! We have been conditioned to operate on trust, and we always try to give the "benefit of the doubt." So, there are blanks, we "give the benefit of the doubt," and we are thereby hoisted on our own petard.
Psychopaths view any social exchange as a "feeding opportunity," a contest or a test of wills in which there can be only one winner. Their motives are to manipulate and take, ruthlessly and without remorse. [Hare]
One psychopath interviewed by Hare's team said quite frankly: "The first thing I do is I size you up. I look for an angle, an edge, figure out what you need and give it to you. Then it's pay-back time, with interest. I tighten the screws." Another psychopath admitted that he never targeted attractive women - he was only interested in those who were insecure and lonely. He claimed he could smell a needy person "the way a pig smells truffles."
The callous use of the old, the lonely, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, is a trademark of the psychopath. And when any of them wake up to what is happening, they are generally too embarrassed to complain.
One of the chief ways psychopaths prey on others is to make use of the normal person's need to find meaning or purpose in life. They will pose as grief counselors, or "experts" of various sorts that attract followings of people who are looking for answers. They are masters of recognizing "hang-ups" and self-doubts that most people have, and they will brazenly pander to them to gain a follower to use later. Hare tells of a staff psychologist in a mental hospital whose life was destroyed by a psychopathic patient. He cleaned out her bank account, maxed out her credit cards, and then disappeared. How did he get to her? She said that her life had been "empty" and she had just simply succumbed to his sweet words and verbal caresses. As we already know, such words are cheap legal tender to the psychopath. They can say "I'll pray for you," or "I love you" just to create an impression. It really, really doesn't mean a thing. But some people are so lonely and so desperate that even imitations are better than nothing.
Then, of course, there are people who are just simply so psychologically damaged themselves that the psychopath is the obvious choice for a partner. They may have a need to be treated badly, or a need to be excited by danger, or a need to "rescue" or "fix" somebody whose soul is in obvious peril.
In a book about Richard Ramirez, the Satan-worshipping "night Stalker," the author described a young coed who sat through the pretrial hearings and sent love letters and photographs of herself to Ramirez. "I feel such compassion for him. When I look at him, I see a real handsome guy who just messed up his life because he never had anyone to guide him," she is reported to have said. [Hare]
Sadly, as we see, psychopaths have no lack of victims because so many people are ready and willing to play the role. And in many, many cases, the victim simply refuses to believe the evidence that they are being victimized. Psychological denial screens out knowledge that is painful, and persons with large investments in their fantasies are often unable to acknowledge that they are being deceived because it it too painful. Most often, these are women who rigidly adhere to the traditional role of the female with a strong sense of duty to be a "good wife." She will believe that if she tries harder or simply waits it out, her husband will reform. When he ignores her, abuses her, cheats on her, or uses her, she can simply just decide to "try harder, put more energy into the relationship, and take better care of him." She believes that if she does this, eventually he will notice and will see how valuable she is, and then he will fall on his knees in gratitude and treat her like a queen.
Dream on.
The fact is, such a woman, with her fierce commitment to such a man, her dedication to being a proper wife, has allowed such fairy tales to distort her sense of reality. The reality is that she is doomed to a lifetime of abuse and disappointment until "death do us part."
One of the basic assumptions of psychotherapy is that the patient needs and wants help for distressing or painful psychological and emotional problems. The psychopath does not think that they have any psychological or emotional problems, and they see no reason to change their behavior to conform to standards with which they do not agree. They are well-satisfied with themselves and their inner landscape. They see nothing wrong with they way they think or act, and they never look back with regret or forward with concern. They perceive themselves as superior beings in a hostile world in which others are competitors for power and resources. They feel it is the optimum thing to do to manipulate and deceive others in order to obtain what they want.
Most therapy programs only provide them with new excuses for their behavior as well as new insights into the vulnerabilities of others. Through psychotherapy, they learn new and better ways of manipulating. What they do NOT do is make any effort to change their own views and attitudes.
One particular psychopath studied by Hare and his team of researchers was in a group therapy program in a prison. The prison psychiatrist had written in his record: "He has made good progress… He appears more concerned about others and to have lost much of his criminal thinking."
Two years later, Hare's staff member interviewed the man. At this point, it ought to be made clear that, in order to make the research more accurate, the terms were that nothing said by the subjects to Hare or his staff could or would be repeated to the prison authorities, and they kept to their agreement in order to insure that the subjects felt free to talk to them. Psychopaths, if they know that they won't be penalized for what they express, are very happy to boast about their prowess in deceiving others. The man, assessed above by his prison psychiatrist as having made such remarkable improvement, was described by Hare's staffer as "the most terrifying offender she had ever met and that he openly boasted about how he had conned the prison staff into thinking that he was well on the road to rehabilitation. "I can't believe those guys," he said. "Who gave them a license to practice? I wouldn't let them psychoanalyze my dog! He'd shit all over them just like I did."
Psychopaths are not "fragile" individuals, as Robert Hare says after years of research. What they think and do is produced from a "rock solid personality structure that is extremely resistant to outside influences." Many of them are protected for years from the consequences of their behavior by well-meaning family and friends. As long as their behavior remains unchecked or unpunished, they continue to go through life without too much inconvenience.
Some researchers think that psychopathy is the result of some attachment or bonding difficulty as an infant. Dr. Hare has turned the idea around, after all his years digging into the background of psychopaths. He says:
In some children the very failure to bond is a symptom of psychopathy. It is likely that these children lack the capacity to bond readily, and that their lack of attachment is largely the result, not the cause, of psychopathy. [Hare]
In other words: they are born that way and you can't fix them.
To many people, the idea of a child psychopath is almost unthinkable. But the fact is, true psychopaths are born, not made. Oh, indeed, there is the psychopath that is "made," but they are generally different from the born psychopath in a number of ways.
The fact is, clinical research clearly demonstrates that psychopathy does not spring unannounced into existence in adulthood. The symptoms reveal themselves in early life. It seems to be true that parents of psychopaths KNOW something is dreadfully wrong even before the child starts school. Such children are stubbornly immune to socializing pressures. They are "different" from other children in inexplicable ways. They are more "difficult," or "willful," or aggressive, or hard to "relate to." They are difficult to get close to, cold and distant and self-sufficient.
One mother said: "We were never able to get close to her even as an infant. She was always trying to have her own way, whether by being sweet, or by having a tantrum. She can put on a sweet and contrite act…"
The fact is: childhood psychopathy is a stark reality, and failing to recognize it can lead to years of vain attempts to discover what is wrong with a child, and the parent blaming themselves. Hare writes:
As the signs of social breakdown grow more insistent, we no longer have the luxury of ignoring the presence of psychopathy in certain children. Half a century ago Hervey Cleckley and Robert Lindner warned us that our failure to acknowledge the psychopaths among us had already triggered a social crisis. Today our social institutions - our schools, courts, mental health clinics - confront the crisis every day in a thousand ways, and the blindfold against the reality of psychopathy is still in place.[…]
The last decade has seen the emergence of an inescapable and terrifying reality: a dramatic surge of juvenile crime that threatens to overwhelm our social institutions. […] Children under the age of ten who are capable of the sort of mindless violence that once was reserved for hardened adult criminals. […] At this writing, a small town in a western state is frantically searching for ways to deal with a nine-year-old who allegedly rapes and molests other children at knife point. He is too young to be charged and cannot be taken into care because "such action may only be taken when the child is in danger, not his victims," according to a child protection official. [Hare]
Why does it seem that we have a veritable epidemic of psychopaths? Sociobiologists are suggesting that increasing psychopathy is an expression of a particular genetically based reproductive strategy. Simply put, most people have a couple of children and devote a lot of time and effort to their care. Psychopaths systematically mate with and abandon large numbers of women. They waste little of their energy raising children, and in this way, psychopathic genes are being propagated like wildfire. The sociobiologists aren't saying that the sexual behavior of people is consciously directed, only that "nature" has made them a certain way so that it will happen effectively.
The behavior of female psychopaths reflects the same strategy. "I can always have another," one female psychopath coldly replied when questioned about an incident in which her two-year-old daughter was beaten to death by one of her many lovers. When asked why she would want to have another child, (two had been taken into protective custody), she said "I love children." Again we see that the expressed emotion is in contradiction to the behavior.
Cheating skills seem to have an adaptive value in our society. The fact is: psychopaths often end up on the top of the heap, John Forbes Nash, for example.
At the present time, there is something very scary going on in the metaphysical community: talk about the so-called "Indigo Children." One of the chief promoters of this idea, Wendy Chapman, writes:
Indigo Children are the current generation being born today and most of those who are 8 years old or younger. They are different. They have very unique characteristics that set them apart from previous generations of children. [...]
These are the children who are often rebellious to authority, nonconformist, extremely emotionally and sometimes physically sensitive or fragile, highly talented or academically gifted and often metaphysically gifted as well, usually intuitive, very often labeled ADD, either very empathic and compassionate OR very cold and callous, and are wise beyond their years. Does this sound like yourself or your child?
Indigos have come into this world with difficult challenges to overcome. Their extreme levels of sensitivity are hard to understand and appreciate by parents who don't share this trait. Their giftedness is unusual in such high numbers. Their nonconformity to systems and to discipline will make it difficult to get through their childhood years and perhaps even their adult years. It is also what will help them accomplish big goals such as changing the educational system, for instance. Being an Indigo won't be easy for any of them, but it foretells a mission. The Indigo Children are the ones who have come to raise the vibration of our planet! These are the primary ones who will bring us the enlightenment to ascend.
Sounds like a severe case of denial and wishful thinking, in my opinion. But, as we already understand the psychological reality is merely a tool for the Theological Reality, I suspect that the reader already has jumped ahead of me here and realizes what a big snow-job this "indigo children" deal is. Ms. Chapman has kindly provided a check-list to determine an "indigo child." After learning what we have about psychopaths, let's have a look at her list:
Have strong self esteem, connection to sourceKnow they belong here until they are told otherwiseHave an obvious sense of selfHave difficulty with discipline and authorityRefuse to follow orders or directionsFind it torture to waiting in lines, lack patienceGet frustrated by ritual-oriented systems that require little creativityOften see better ways of doing thing at home and at schoolAre mostly nonconformistsDo not respond to guilt trips, want good reasonsGet bored rather easily with assigned tasksAre rather creativeAre easily distractible, can do many things at onceDisplay strong intuitionHave strong empathy for others or NO empathyDevelop abstract thinking very young Are gifted and/or talented, highly intelligentAre often identified or suspected of having ADD or ADHD, but can focus when they want toAre talented daydreamers and visionariesHave very old, deep, wise looking eyesHave spiritual intelligence and/or psychic skillsOften express anger outwardly rather than inwardly and may have trouble with rageNeed our support to discover themselvesAre here to change the world - to help us live in greater harmony and peace with one another and to raise the vibration of the planet
What we see above is a list that includes certain definitely psychopathic behaviors along with behaviors of gifted children. We have to wonder at the attempt to weave the two together.
Where did this idea of "Indigo Children" come from? The phrase, "Indigo child" was coined by Nancy Ann Tappe in her book Understanding Your Life Through Color (1982) and refers to the color in these children's aura. Ms. Tappe was interviewed by Jan Tober for her book The Indigo Children (1999) and said: "These young children - every one of them I've seen thus far who kill their schoolmates or parents - have been Indigos."
That didn't stop Tober from writing her book and declaring that these children are "Spiritual Masters, beings full of wisdom, here to teach us a new way of being." The way the followers of the idea justify the fact that "not all Indigo children are filled with unconditional love, tolerance and non-judgment," is by declaring that they require "special" treatment and handling with kid gloves because they are so special and delicate and sensitive.
In a pig's eye. They are psychopaths and they have an altogether different agenda. And somehow, they are aware and seek to ensure that their offspring are well cared for, and that a lot of psychopaths grow up without being identified as what they are.
Nevertheless, there is no explaining the extremes that "true believers" will go to in order to find excuses for inexcusable things. Elizabeth Kirby, a businesswoman in southern California, who has "studied and practiced metaphysics for the last 21 years," writes:
In hearing about the school shootings, I knew Indigo children were pulling the triggers. The Columbine High School shooting was so horrific it caught everyone's attention. At the time my eldest daughter said to me, "Because they (Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold) were Indigos they wanted to do it, so they just did it. No remorse, no guilt, they just went ahead and shot all those people because they wanted to and felt they needed to." Indigo children don't have guilt to keep them in check and because they balk at authority they don't believe they have to follow the rules.
Writers in mainstream America like Jonathan Kellerman are lumping the Indigo school shooters with the psychopaths; the dark entities who are bullies, con-men, stalkers, victimizers, serial killers and those who kill for thrills. I don't believe these Indigo children who have taken weapons to school to harm other children are psychopaths. They have been bullied and teased and have an avenger attitude seeking justice for injuries inflicted on them. They aren't killing just for the thrill of killing. These kids know changes have to be made within the school system and they chose violence to make their statement, to give us a wake up call. Some of these metaphysical Indigo children are not hesitant about using violence to bring about change, and to bring us to enlightenment.
Indigo violence is here and it will continue, at least with this present generation of Indigo children. We are seeing with the current Indigo violence how the school system needs to be changed and how imperative it is to address the issues of bullying and intimidation in school. As the Indigo children grow to adulthood, their agendas will move out of the school system into our other systems, our social, political and judicial systems for example. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, is an Indigo.
Amazing, huh? Did you catch the remark: "Some of these metaphysical Indigo children are not hesitant about using violence to bring about change, and to bring us to enlightenment."
Don't we find that just a tiny bit contradictory? Aren't we stretching a bit? How about diving straight into denial?
At the present moment in history, the appeal of the psychopath has never been greater. Movies about psychopaths are all the rage. Hare asks "Why? What accounts for the terrific power that the personality without conscience has over our collective imagination? One theorist proposes that people who admire, believe, or identify with psychopaths, are partly psychopathic themselves. By interacting with a psychopath, even peripherally, they are able to voyeuristically enjoy an inner state not dominated by the constraints of morality. Such people are enabled to enjoy aggressive and sexual pleasures at no cost.
For normal people, such movies may serve to remind them of the danger and destructiveness of the psychopath. They will shiver with the sense of something cold and dark having breathed on their neck. For others, people with poorly developed inner selves, such movies and glorification of psychopathic behavior only serves as a role model for serious acts of violence and predation against others.
Some psychologists propose rationalizations for psychopathic behavior, suggesting trauma, abuse, etc. The problem is, that argument does not hold up in case after case after case.
It seems that t he only difference that family background seems to make is how the psychopath expresses himself. A psychopath who grows up in a stable family and has access to positive social and educational resources might become a white-collar criminal, or perhaps a somewhat shady entrepreneur, politician, lawyer, judge, or other professional. Another individual with the same traits, and a deprived background might become a common con-artist, a drifter, mercenary, or violent criminal.
The point is, social factors and parenting practices only shape the expression of the disorder, but have no effect on the individual's inability to feel empathy or to develop a conscience.
Robert Hare once submitted a paper to a scientific journal. The paper included EEGs of several groups of adult men performing a language task. The editor of the journal returned the paper saying "Those EEG's couldn't have come from real people."
But they did. They were the EEG's of psychopaths.
Some people have compared psychopathy to schizophrenia. However, there is a crucial distinction as we will see:
Schizophrenia and psychopathy are both characterized by impulsive, poorly planned behavior. This behavior may originate from a weak or poorly coordinated response inhibition system. We tested the hypothesis that schizophrenia and psychopathy are associated with abnormal neural processing during the suppression of inappropriate responses.
The participants were schizophrenic patients, nonpsychotic psychopaths, and nonpsychotic, nonpsychopathic control subjects (defined by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised), all incarcerated in a maximum security psychiatric facility. We recorded behavioral responses and event-related potentials (ERPs) during a Go/No Go task.
Results: Schizophrenic patients made more errors of commission than did the nonpsychopathic offenders. As expected, the nonpsychopathic nonpsychotic participants showed greater frontal ERP negativity (N275) to the No Go stimuli than to the Go stimuli. This effect was small in the schizophrenic patients and absent in the psychopaths. For the nonpsychopaths, the P375 ERP component was larger on Go than on No Go trials, a difference that was absent in schizophrenic patients and in the opposite direction in psychopaths.
Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that the neural processes involved in response inhibition are abnormal in both schizophrenia and psychopathy; however, the nature of these processes appears to be different in the two disorders.
"More and more data are leading to the conclusion that psychopathy has a biological basis, and has many features of a disease," says Sabine Herpertz, a psychiatrist at the RWTH-Aachen University in Germany.
The brain imaging techniques of positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide the opportunity to investigate psychopathy further. They might allow researchers to discover whether psychopaths' physiological and emotional deficits can be pinned down to specific differences in the anatomy or activation of the brain.
Among researchers who are starting to explore this area, there are two main theories of psychopathy. One, championed by Adrian Raine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and supported by the work of Antonio Damasio of the University of Iowa, gives a starring role to a brain region called the orbitofrontal cortex (see diagram, below). This is part of an area of the brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, involved in conscious decision-making.
The other theory, promoted by James Blair of University College London, holds that the fundamental dysfunction lies within the amygdala, a small almond-shaped structure that plays a critical role in processing emotion and mediating fear. Recently, using PET scanning, Blair has shown that activation of the amygdala in normal volunteers is involved in responding to the sadness and anger of others, and he hypothesizes that amygdala dysfunction could explain the lack of fear and empathy in psychopaths.
The two theories may not be mutually exclusive, Blair points out, as the orbitofrontal cortex, which does the 'thinking', and the amygdala, which does the 'feeling', are highly interconnected.
Following widespread concern that the criminal justice and mental health systems are failing to deal effectively with dangerous psychopaths, there is a movement in several countries to instigate fundamental legal reform. The most controversial suggestion is to make it possible for individual who have severe personality disorders to be detained in secure mental institutions even if they have been accused of no crime. Although these particular provisions have alarmed civil liberties campaigners, the raft of measures also includes a major initiative within the prison service to improve the handling of those with APD--including psychopaths.
According to one individual who suffered at the hands of a psychopath:
"The World has only one problem, Psychopaths. There are two basic types of Psychopaths, Social and Anti-Social. The essential feature of Psychopaths is a Pervasive, Obssesive- Compulsive desire to force their delusions on others. Psychopaths completely disregard and violate the Rights of others, particularly the Freedom of Association which includes the right not to associate and the Right to Love."
Over and over again we come up against that little problem: religion and belief systems that have to be defended against objective evidence or the beliefs of others. We have to ask ourselves "where did these belief systems come from that so evidentially are catastrophic?" And then, we have to think about the fact that now, in the present day, when many of these systems are breaking down and being replaced by others that similarly divert our attention away from what IS, it becomes necessary to "enforce" a certain mode of thinking. And that is what Psychopaths do best.
Psychopaths dominate and set the standard for behavior in our society. We live in a world based on a psychopathic, energy stealing food chain, because that's just the way things are. Most people are so damaged they no longer have the capacity to even imagine a different system based on a symbiotic network.
They are not only damaged by others, but also by the thousand little evils they have done to others to survive. For them to see the system for what it is, would require them to see the part they have played in perpetuating it. That is a lot to ask of a fragile ego. Also, those who are not psychopaths, still want to make human connections but are afraid to, for fear of being taken advantage of and stolen from energeticaly speaking.
With the brief historical review we have examined, we are acutely aware that this is NOT a phenomenon confined to our present "time." It is a trans-millennial evolutionary strategy that, step by step, has brought us to our present position. What emerges in the present day is just Machiavellian diversion that focuses the attention of those who are easily deceived. This is reinforced by the "clappers" in the audience, and there seems to be an entire army of psychopaths among us whose job it is act as vectors of attention and direction. We hope that the readers of these pages will give themselves permission to imagine, research and implement a different way of being. And to stand up for themselves while doing it. As Wilhelm Reich wrote:
Why did man, through thousands of years, wherever he built scientific, philosophic, or religious systems, go astray with such persistence and with such catastrophic consequences?" […]
The answer lies somewhere in that area of our existence which has been so heavily obscured by organized religion and put out of our reach. Hence, it probably lies in the relation of the human being to the cosmic energy that governs him.
The same question is posed by Castaneda's Don Juan:
I want to appeal to your analytical mind, ' don Juan said. 'Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradiction between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behavior. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of beliefs, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal.
In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous maneuver - stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous maneuver from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. […] Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them.[Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity]
The problem is also delineated by Georges Gurdjieff:
"So that in the actual situation of humanity there is nothing that points to evolution proceeding. On the contrary when we compare humanity with a man, we quite clearly see a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal, and what is foreign, at the cost of the natural, the real, and what is one's own.
"Together with this, we see a growth of automatism.
"Contemporary cultures requires automatons. […] One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man. [Gurdjieff, op. cit]
Intolerance and cruelty are NEEDED to guarantee the "cover-up." A certain kind of "human being" acts on behalf of this cover-up. And in this sense, psychopaths, as Alien Reaction Machines are the playing pieces in the Secret Games of the Gods.
What Is A Psychopath?

The QFG is committed to bringing to your attention any and all information that will help you to live a life free of the soul-killling manipulations of others.
Our Sincere Thanks to the Owner of the website on Psychopathic Personality Disorder for kind permission to quote her research in assembling this report. Until we began to investigate, we had NO idea how widespread the problem was, and how many victims there are. Visit her site, check her links to support groups. For a more comprehensive look at the problem, based on our OWN research, please read our new article:
"Official Culture" in America: A Natural State of Psychopathy?