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Female sociopaths are a pretty wide and fuzzy category that includes a wide variety of behaviors, but have the same core set of personality traits. On one point of the spectrum are Femme fatale, on the other those who wear a mask of a faceless corporate bureaucrats or right wing authoritarian functionaries without sense of humor. Some are petty vindictive micromanagers who are as far from any overt display of sexual attractiveness as one can get (although that does not exclude some flirt or sex with higher ups in a new meaning of kiss up, kick down authoritarian motto ;-).
Finnish researcher Kaj Bjorkqvist found is that girls are no less aggressive than boys; they're just aggressive in different ways. Instead of fighting on the playground like the boys, they play subtle mind games that may be even more damaging than a black eye. Male bullying is comprised of direct behaviors such as teasing, taunting, threatening. Female bullies attacks are typically more indirect and directed at causing a target to be socially isolated through intentional exclusion. So it is little surprise that female bosses are usually more cunning and inclined towards more sophisticated bullying and prefer such methods as:
Indirect aggression, which is widely used by female bullies involves the use of relationships, rather than fists, to hurt another. Rumors, name calling, cliques, shunning, and a variety of other behaviors are the weapons that female bullies use against other females and (less often, males) in schools, universities, sports teams, during recreational activities. The is also an alarming tendency of increasing incidence of physical confrontations between adolescent girls, which is an escalation of relational aggression to "male bullies" level ("alpha female" phenomenon).
Among typical manipulation techniques are:
The most powerful technique female bullies (and all sociopaths are bullies) use is the isolation and exclusion, which in high school environment can take grotesque forms:
My "lunch tray moments" consisted of going from table to table, trying to sit down, and kids telling me I wasn't welcome to sit with them, and then eating by myself in the detention room, the only place that would have me.
My "gym class moments" consisted of being the girl left over when the last team captain chose the second-to-last girl, and then the other team captain declaring she never picked me and that I was not on her team.
I adapted first making friends with the neighborhood dogs who all accepted me with love and dignity, and then by getting involved with out-of-school activities and making lots of friends outside of school. By 10th grade, I had friends at school again.
You can learn some features of female sociopath by studying selected scenes from movies such as
This is a kind of inexpensive, but somewhat useful therapy sessions. You can watch a particular, interesting for you scene multiple times and get better in dealing with similar situations. Usually the first half of the movie is more valuable in this respect then the second. As those are movies, the actors opposite to female sociopath usually do not demonstrate caution, an that's the negative side of such an learning path. Still despite all the shortcoming (and way too many "Right here, right now" type of sex scenes ;-) I would recommend to watch them on PC with two monitors with the screen on the left streaming a movie and taking your notes and putting screenshots on the right screen in MS Word or some other editor. Paper is also good for notes, but you can't edit them afterwards, unless you convert them into some electronic format.
In pages devoted to those movies I tried to list the scenes, that look to me somewhat educational. You can try to match a particular technique, or particular trait depicted in the scene. Of course the value of a particular scene is highly individual. So the scenes that I recommended are not necessary the best for all people. Your mileage may vary.
Sets of traits are notoriously unreliable and somewhat unscientific approach but they can serve you well. In any case we do not have anything better. Traits is probably the oldest way to explain differences in human behaviour. But it is important to understand that traits are not inert peace like mechanical parts, they are more like chemical substances, they interact/react with each other and while each of them individually can be found in many "normal" people, certain in combinations they react with each other. for example what we mean by word "extrovert" and "introvert" are actually some constellations of trait. Similarly there is a constellation of traits that produce toxic personality, called sociopath., In this particular case a female sociopath. So a female sociopath in not a mechanical combination of certain traits but a "yet another type of personality", a very toxic indeed. And gender here is one of the traits that goes into this toxic combination. In no way they are "male sociopath with vagina". They are a different chemical substance.
You can view traits as behavioral tendencies (Allport, 1966), more generalized and deeper connected with inner brain structures then habits. Some of then are acquired, but many originates from within, are innate to to speak. Traits initiate and guide behaviour, but environment also play important role. For example a teenager, accustomed for respect of his classmates find himself in a summer camp with older boys, who look down upon him. One day his new friends propose swiping a few candy bars from a corner store. When a gang ridicules him, the honesty (which is a social trait common for most cultures) is destroyed by stronger trait of desire for social status.
Combinations of traits that are typical for psychopathic personality is now well known and well researched. That does not mean that they are easy to detect. Quite opposite. It is very difficult task and in most case the detection happens way too late. Still "knowledge is power" and there are a couple of traits that should be highly alarming and that are somewhat visible even under the think smokescreen of deception. They should ring alert for any person who read this page (although most people reading this page probably got here somewhat late, but better late then never) are:
The components of this "psychopathic charm" is difficult to define. But you can easily see it in movies that depict such individuals. Women who have a closely related set of traits, but without personal fearlessness, courage and ability to handle stress typical for sociopaths are grouped under the label Histrionic personality disorder. The researchers of this disorder proposed a useful mnemonic that makes it easier remember the behavioral characteristics that are somewhat typical for sociopathic charm. Of couse this is simplification, but still is a useful simplification. This mnemonic phrase is "PRAISE ME":
The key element of sociopathy is the absence of conscience. The term itself is a shortcut for "people without conscience." In this sense they are radically different from other people, real aliens: other people are just tools for them, not human beings. And it does not matter that in the case of female sociopaths such an alien appears in an attractive female body. Such people are so power hungry, so dominance oriented that they stand far apart from other people. Again they can and probably should be considered aliens. Sociopaths only care about fulfilling their own immediate needs and desires. As a rule, they demonstrate selfishness and egocentricity to the extreme. To this extent they are more animals than humans. Ruthless, slick. often psychically beautiful predators (BTW is not tigers beautiful unless you are put in the same cage) that skillfully entrap the victim and devour him/her.
Everything and everybody is considered by a sociopath to be object to be used in achieving their goals, fulfilling their own needs and desires. And those features are especially run contrary to expectation of "normal people" in female sociopaths as women are assumed to be caring. Tim Field believes the stereotypical view of men as aggressive and women as nurturing often very effectively protects female sociopaths from being seen for what she is: "A sociopath in a skirt."
Dr. Martha Stout, in her book 'The Sociopath Next Door', discusses the techniques of the sociopath -- what she refers to as 'the tools of the trade'. Among the most typical we can mention the following:
The components of this "psychopathic charm" is difficult to define. But you can easily see it in movies that depict such individuals. Women who have a closely related set of traits, but without personal fearlessness, courage and ability to handle stress typical for sociopaths are grouped under the label Histrionic personality disorder. The researchers of this disorder proposed a useful mnemonic that makes it easier remember the behavioral characteristics that are somewhat typical for sociopathic charm. Of couse this is simplification, but still is a useful symplification. This mnemonic phrase is "PRAISE ME":
Love bombing is an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection. The phrase can be used in different ways. Members of the Unification Church of the United States (who reportedly coined the expression) use or have used it to convey a genuine expression of friendship, fellowship, interest, or concern. Critics of cults use the phrase with the implication that the "love" is feigned and that the practice is psychological manipulation in order to create a feeling of unity within the group against a society perceived as hostile. In 2011 clinical psychologist Oliver James advocated a form of love bombing in his book Love Bombing: Reset Your Child's Emotional Thermostat, as a means for parents to rectify emotional problems in their children.
The expression "love bombing" was coined by members of the Unification Church of the United States in the 1970s. In 1978 Sun Myung Moon, the founder and then leader of the Unification Church, said:
Unification Church members are smiling all of the time, even at four in the morning. The man who is full of love must live that way. When you go out witnessing you can caress the wall and say that it can expect you to witness well and be smiling when you return. What face could better represent love than a smiling face? This is why we talk about love bomb; Moonies have that kind of happy problem.
Psychology professor Margaret Singer popularized the concept. In her 1996 book, Cults in Our Midst, she writes:
As soon as any interest is shown by the recruits, they may be love bombed by the recruiter or other cult members. This process of feigning friendship and interest in the recruit was originally associated with one of the early youth cults, but soon it was taken up by a number of groups as part of their program for luring people in. Love bombing is a coordinated effort, usually under the direction of leadership, that involves long-term members' flooding recruits and newer members with flattery, verbal seduction, affectionate but usually nonsexual touching, and lots of attention to their every remark. Love bombing - or the offer of instant companionship - is a deceptive ploy accounting for many successful recruitment drives.
When you find yourself in such a situation the first thing is not only to try to learn basics things about this situation, so that you can avoid typical pitfalls, but also start documenting each day in special logbook. It provides you a feedback and ability to return to previous situation and understand what they really meant and might help to avoid some traps. In a very real sense documenting your like each day in the evening before going to speed or first thing in the morning must become your habit, Here knowledge is real power and knowledge in thse days impossible without memory "crutches" which log provides. It is your additional memory bank, albeit a very primitive one.
One important advice is to view your situation is a special brand of warfare as tricks you might face are typically used during the war.
The behaviors that a female sociopath demonstrates often include as a subset the behaviors of borderline personality. And borderline personal disorder is more frequent among female (approximately three times more frequent in females). That means that rich material about borderlines might help to understand female psychopaths better. The differential diagnosis is difficult but usually sociopath are not included to cause self-harm. In all other major areas those two are very close. The features of BPD include emotional instability, "black-and-white" thinking intense unstable interpersonal relationships, a need for relatedness, a fear of rejection and impulsivity. Historically the term meant "borderline insanity".
There is no surprise that typically people with BPD often evoke intense negative emotions in those around them. For other people BPD are "impulsive", “attention seeking", “difficult,” “demanding” and, worse of all “manipulative” Borderline personality disorder and mood disorders often appear concurrently. Some features of borderline personality disorder may overlap with those of mood disorders. Both diagnoses involve symptoms commonly known as "mood swings". An unusual degree of instability in mood in borderliners and especially bouts of rage (See Understanding Borderline Rage) are typical. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights) is an important diagnostic criteria for BPD.
As a rule those traits leads to chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships. Increased levels of conflict in romantic relationships is typical as well as rapidly decreased satisfaction of romantic partners, leading to affairs on the side and other form of partner abuse. The majority (around 96%) of hospitalized borderlines have an eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa and bulimia). Substance abuse is also a common problem in BPD. This might well be due to impulsivity or as a coping mechanism, and 50-70% percent of psychiatric inpatients with BPD meet criteria for a substance abuse disorder. Alcohol dependence is the most typical, but is often combined with the abuse of other drugs.
Manipulation and deceit are viewed as common features of BPD by many of those who treat the disorder as well as by the DSM-IV. Borderlines typically are ruthless, conniving, mean, heartless, two-faced, and worse.
|Manipulation and deceit are viewed as common features of BPD by many of those who treat the disorder as well as by the DSM-IV. Borderlines typically are ruthless, conniving, mean, heartless, two-faced, and worse.|
The prevalence of BPD in the general population is 1-2%. Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed in three times as many females as males. It's like a feminine version of sociopathy, and is nearly as dangerous. While it is diagnosed only in individuals over the age of 18, symptoms necessary to establish the disorder often demonstrate itself in adolescents.
See also Hillary as a pathological liar
Due of "BPD troika" of traits: “manipulative” + “demanding” + “attention seeking" this group is seen as among the most challenging groups of psychiatric patients, requiring a high degree of skill and training for both the psychiatrists, and nurses involved.
Recklessness in general is very typical trait of BPD that makes them very similar to sociopaths. Like sociopaths they are impulsive and easily engage in self-destructive behaviors including alcohol or drug abuse, promiscuous (and intense) sexuality. Many are attracted to gambling.
Impulsivity, Recklessness along with "courage under fire" are very typical traits
Oscillations between idealizing and demonizing others (intense love changes to intense hate with no "grey area") is another typical symptom (kind of bipolar relationships). This, combined with mood swings, undermines relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.
Another telling symptom is attempts to cause harm to oneself. Suicidal or self-harming behavior is one of the core diagnostic criteria that help to provide a differential diagnose as most listed traits are common for other types of disorders too and first of all to female psychopaths. But psychopaths tend not to harm themselves and have a low suicide rate. They are kind of human Terminators. BPD patients have high suicide rate (approximately 8-10%). Self-injury attempts are highly common and may or may not be carried out with suicidal intent. Ongoing family difficulties can lead to self-destructive behavior.
To understand techniques used by female sociopath you need to keep in mind that they can use any known technique of entrapment of the victim. And this capability is amplified by their typical traits which make them perfect in the role of seducers and entrapment artists. If you think that they would never attempt film your intercourse with them and use it later to blackmail you, think again. Among traits that are often present as a constellation and that you need to be aware of are:
To understand what those short description really mean is not easy. Words does not communicate the whole picture here. That means that need to watch several movies such as "Dangerous liaisons" which spells out well the process of psychopathic seduction.
As narcissists are often sex addicts, narcissist managers represent direct danger to female subordinates, such as secretaries due to their propensity to seduce. To seduce just to prove that they can. The other person is just a tool designed to increase their self-word, another "conquest". Paradoxically this is also true for females, which also are often sex addicts in their own right and like to "collect trophies". While people typically view seduction narrowly as purely sexual in nature, but actually the concept is wider then that. Wikipedia gives the following definition:
Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray". As a result, the term may have a positive or negative connotation. Famous seducers from history or legend include Lilith, Giacomo Casanova and the fictional character Don Juan. Seduction as a phenomenon is not the subject of scientific interest, although similar, more specific terms like short-term mating, casual sex or mating strategies are used in evolutionary psychology. The Internet enabled the existence of a seduction community which is based on pseudoscientific discourse on seduction.
Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioral choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal. Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone — male or female — by an appeal to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their "sexual emancipation" Some sides in contemporary academic debate state that the morality of seduction depends on the long-term impacts on the individuals concerned, rather than the act itself, and may not necessarily carry the negative connotations expressed in dictionary definitions.
Which most commonly is discussed in the context of Narcissism, but has much wider applicability
See Classic cycle of sociopathic relations (idealize-seduce-devalue-discard).
At the end of relationship considerable effort are put to made it very clear that everything was the victims fault. See Blaming the victim
Blaming the victim is the essence of devaluation. Female sociopath lie so easily that after they methodically and systematically destroy the relationship, they can present her former partner to the outsiders as a worthless, horrible human. Also after they are in relationship for some time, t hey are never satisfied and are always looking for a new better target. Always. And having no moral principles (in other words being naturally promiscuous) they behave opportunistically, if they have a chance to get a new "fresh" partner, who looks to them more promising then the old one, of only because of the excitement of a chase. Feeling Like Spilling Your Guts to the Narcissist?
Remember: Pointing fingers at narcissists is difficult for Non-Ns. We want to be fair. We want to be honest. For every finger pointed at the N, we have three pointed back towards ourselves. So in order to feel good about ourselves, we can admit to having flaws, shadows and defects, too. But we CANNOT, SHOULD NOT, DO NOT need to admit this to the narcissist. It’s not good for YOU and it’s definitely NOT good for the narcissist.
When narcissists feel threatened, they cannot stop themselves from using whatever ammunition they have to defend themselves. Some narcissists regret their behavior afterwards but not nearly as much as we regret having trusted them.
See Films depicting female sociopaths
You should remember famous saying that "War is a continuation of policy by other means". that suggest the value of your own "war plan" as measure that help to counteract their plans. Of course plans are ruined at first contract with reality, but that does not diminish their importance. Read one or several books ob the subject. Go to the library and study the topic like military study their craft. It can save your life. That fact that you have found this page is good, but you need more efforts. Much more efforts.
That also might help you to avoid some common presumptions, mistakes and pitfalls typical for "normal" people, when they are face such a situation. Especially it this is your first encounter the judicial (it's judicial, not justice as as you soon find out it's not about justice ;-) system.
Knowledge here is a real power and helps to avoid a nasty surprise of the mean, dirty tricks used against you. Expect a character assassination. Like in real warfare, be ready that opponent will use dirty tricks against you to win in court. Prepare for false accusations. Beware of traps. Try to minimize communication and practice Negative Politeness.
First of all, like in real war, there is a "fog of war" over the whole situation (i.e., you are facing incomplete, dubious, and often completely erroneous information and high levels of fear, doubt, and excitement). Here keeping daily log might be of tremendous help as it might slightly help to see though the fog. Still the level of uncertainty is high, which complicate rational assessment of the situation so delays with the reaction and keep your cards close to your chest. This simple tactic might in many cases be not detrimental, but advantageous.
Actually studying war tactics which were discussed for example in famous Clausewitz On War (available free from clausewitz.com) and The Art of War is not a bad idea. Among them (cited from Wikipedia):
For a sociopath the stable personality does not really exist. Everything including current personality is built on lies, and carefully woven together to entrap you. As our focus is on corporate environment, it is important to know that micromanagers are most often females and that the majority of their victims are also females. In Lovefraud Blog post When women are sociopaths-psychopaths the author aptly noted:
There is actually very little research data available regarding sociopathy in non-criminals and in women. The little research that has been done reveals that sociopathy in women entails two or three main features that are similar to those found in men.
Namely, female sociopaths lack empathy and enjoy manipulating and exploiting others. Violent and impulsive behavior is less common in sociopathic women. This fact may make them more dangerous, as they more easily blend in with the rest of society.
The key traits of sociopathic females
A recent study of adolescent girls in detention performed by Crystal L. Schrum, M.A. and Randall T. Salekin, Ph.D. of the University of Alabama and reported in Behavioral Sciences and the Law, revealed the core qualities that best described young female sociopaths. The teens were callous and lacked empathy, had a grandiose sense of self worth and were conning and manipulative. They were also likely to engage in impersonal sexual relationships. Importantly, the researchers revealed that female sociopaths did not necessarily have “shallow emotions.” Again the lack of impulsivity ... make a female sociopath more difficult to spot.
... ... ...
The case of Michelle Drake also illustrates something else about female sociopaths. The courts are more likely to go easy on them. This attitude of the courts may reflect the fact that many people excuse the behavior of female sociopaths and feel sorry for them. Look at the cases of women in the news lately. We don’t know if the women involved are sociopaths, however, these cases do illustrate the double standard that exists in how we judge female as opposed to male antisocial behavior. Several women teachers have been found guilty of sexually exploiting students. They were treated very leniently for the same crimes that would have put a man in jail for many years.
So personality they present to you is just a convenient fabrication created for particular purpose by their talented inner cinematographic director. That means that for a victim the relationship is not based on informed choice. The sociopath chooses you, exploits you and moves in. Outsiders, without the benefit of knowing the details, may see sometimes discrepancies between the mask and behavior, but we tend to discount these observations, and may even spend energy convincing our friends that this is accidental deviations of generally good person. Third, because everything is faked it usually does not last long.
Relationship between psychopathic boss and his/her subordinates in corporate environment often involve victimization. It often goes far beyond trying to take advantage of someone by deception and includes projection and gaslighting. The victimization is predatory in nature; it often leads to severe financial, physical or emotional harm for the individual. Only recently has society begun to deal with female bullying, perhaps more insidious because it rarely involves fists. Rather pointed barbs, cruel remarks and isolation of the victim are used, frequently leaving much more lasting damage.
Female psychopath approach to personal relations much like to war of conquest. It is all about domination and power. There is no emotional attachment to anybody. Everybody is just a tool. We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else. And what female psychopath wants most is the power to define your reality. Often this is done via exploiting sexual attractiveness.
Some movies, especially Bad girl category of movies (Wikipedia) provide additional insights into techniques used and ways of exploiting sexual attractiveness (which for them is just a weapon like stiletto):
"Bad girl movies" are a subcategory, mostly of films noir, labeled by latter-day movie buffs to describe the dark films of the 1940s and 1950s starring provocatively beautiful women on the wrong side of the spirit and/or the letter of the law. The movie posters to these films usually featured sexy artwork of the actress, posed seductively. Currently, these images in original posters and reproductions are as valued as are the films themselves.
Among the classic "bad girl" performances are:
- Ida Lupino in They Drive by Night (1940)
- Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon (1941)
- Joan Crawford in A Woman's Face (1941)
- Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944)
- Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (1945)
- Ann Savage in Detour (1945)
- Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
- Ava Gardner in The Killers (1946)
- Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
- Martha Vickers in The Big Sleep (1946)
- Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1947) and Station West (1948)
- Jayne Meadows in Lady in the Lake (1947)
- Lizabeth Scott in Dead Reckoning (1947) and Too Late for Tears (1949)
- Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street (1948)
- Leslie Brooks in Blonde Ice (1948)
- Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946) and The Lady from Shanghai (1948)
- Anne Baxter in All About Eve (1950) and Bedevilled (1955)
- Laurette Luez in D.O.A. (1950)
- Peggy Cummins in Gun Crazy (1950)
- Audrey Totter in Tension (1950)
- Joan Fontaine in Born to Be Bad (1950)
- Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and Niagara (1953)
- Cleo Moore in On Dangerous Ground (1952) and One Girl's Confession (1953)
- Gaby Rodgers in Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
- Marie Windsor in The Killing (1956)
- Jane Russell in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956)
- Mamie Van Doren in High School Confidential (1958)
Others in the "bad girl" category have included: Gloria Grahame, Angela Lansbury, Dorothy Malone, Beverly Michaels, Jane Randolph, Claire Trevor and Shelley Winters.
I would add such classics as Dangerous Liaisons and Vanity Fair (with Becky Sharp character) to the list. At the same time not all female psychopaths use sexual attractiveness and in office environment some are even routinely attack their female subordinates, who possess those traits.
See also Films depicting female sociopaths
I wrote in 2010 at SST on the characteristics and dangers associated with narcissistic leadership. "Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou chronicles the rise and fall of Theranos, a Silicon Valley healthcare startup founded and run by Elizabeth Holmes, a card carrying narcissist if ever I saw one.
This book, in my opinion, paints such a detailed and comprehensive picture of the way these creatures operate that I thought it worthwhile to bring it to the attention of SST members who may doubt my warnings of the dangers of allowing such folk near the levers of power in business and, worse, Government.
I read this book over two nights and it unfortunately brought back my own experiences of working for a narcissist to the point of causing sleeplessness and indigestion.
Under the direction of the charismatic Holmes, Theranos burned through some $900 million in investors funds before being found out in 2015. Their blood testing business was a sham that endangered patients. The company's key business strengths were the "reality distortion field" Elizabeth Holmes projected over investors and directors and the twin weapons of secrecy and fear they wielded over their employees.
Disbelievers my argue that start up companies sometimes require desperate measures to stay afloat and that you cannot make an omelette, etc. etc. However the pattern of behavior at Theranos was ingrained and consistent - "an orchestrated litany of lies" as a judge has said in another matter.
If you wish to perhaps be a little forearmed against the day that you perhaps must engage with one of these creatures it would be well to understand the cautionary tale of Theranos. https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Blood-Secrets-Silicon-Startup/dp/152473165X https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/05/walrus-on-narcissistic-leaders-.html
jnewman , 3 hours agoThis is a similar personality type with a different set of risks. These people are common in finance and medicine: https://www.theatlantic.com...Godfree Roberts , 8 hours agoIn the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout, "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths...That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow–but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."
My study of Chinese government revealed an important truth -- one that explains much about that country's rapid rise: they find our amateur, promise-driven, personality-based governance repulsive. They would no more vote for amateur politicians than for amateur brain surgeons. To them charm, good looks, quick wits and rhetorical skill signify shallowness, instability and glibness. Altruistic politicians have been fundamental to Chinese governance for two millennia.
Their political stars have always been experienced, scholarly, altruistic problem-solvers chosen on merit after decades of testing.
In 1000 AD, during our Dark Ages, with just one scholar-official for every eight thousand citizens, China was harmonious, technologically advanced and prosperous. Emperors and dynasties came and went while loyal, disciplined–often courageous–civil servants lived far from family, serving in remote regions under terrible conditions.
Confucius' moral meritocracy and the rigors of the job discouraged sociopaths and officials integrity, efficiency and entrepreneurial energy made China the most advanced civilization on earth.
So highly do the Chinese esteem their best politicians that they deified one whose legacy, a water diversion project, has repaid its capital investment every twenty-four hours for 2,270 years. Millions visit his shrine, which is built overlooking his masterpiece, every year to offer incense and sincere thanks.
The altruistic tradition is remembered in a Singapore Government White Paper, "The concept of government by honorable men who have a duty to do right for the people and who have their trust and respect fits us better than the Western idea that government power should be as limited as possible."
And would-be members of China's Communist Party take an oath to "Bear the people's difficulties before the people and enjoy their fruits of their labors after the people". They often fail, obviously, but at least they've got something to shoot for–and a standard that the other 1.3 billion non-members can hold them to.
 The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout Ph.D.
 The Doctrine of the Mean
Mar 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"The idea has been allowed to take hold in the army that general officers are a race apart, not subject to the norms of ordinary life and that nothing should limit their ambition, not even common sense. " It seems quite clear from this and other articles, that the ROE are about covering General officers backsides, and nothing else.
What is killing the Army is exactly the same disease that is killing the American economy and has killed American politics, and it is spreading internationally. That disease is the promotion or election of officials, be they Generals, CEO's or Congressmen who have a variant of narcissistic personality disorder.
People so affected may be intelligent and hard working, but they cannot empathise with anyone. Normal human emotions, shame, love, fear, embarrasssment, etc. are a mystery to them.
Such folk self select for high office because they will do anything to get ahead without the slightest qualm, and that includes lying, cheating, character assassination, backstabbing and outrageous flattery of their seniors. They mimic whatever behaviors they need to exhibit to get ahead, but they don't "own' those behaviours.
At the core of them, there is a gaping hole where empathy for their fellow humans should be. Furthermore, since only a narcissist can or will work for a more senior narcissist, once the infestation starts it multiplies and filters up and down through the organisation. Based on what I've read about the levels of frustration, lack of morale and junior officer turnover, I believe, it may be safe to say that Petreaus and McChrystal are afflicted this way and most probably many officers below them and elsewhere in the Defence Forces as well.
Since McChrystal no doubt thinks of his troops as no more than a pack of valuable hunting dogs, why would he possibly consider muzzling them with restrictive rules of engagement to be a problem? "I mean it's not as if we actually have to succeed in doing good in this god forsaken country, it's not as if the troops have to care about what is happening, I just need to construct the illusion of success in Afghanistan sufficient to get my next promotion. Why can't the troops see things that way as well?" If you wish to read about an extreme example of this type of behaviour look no further than the case of Capt. Holly Graf, whose narcissistic abilities allowed her to rise to command of a Navy cruiser. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly_Graf
To put it another way, the disease that permitted Goldman Sachs to sell bonds to investors while at the same time secretly betting that the value of said bonds would fall is one and the same as that affecting the Army. The absolute give away, which I have not yet heard of in the Army, is the mistreatment of subordinates. Of course the reason for the infestation of these folk in senior management is our well meaning efforts to end discrimination. Unfortunately discrimination on grounds of character is now forbidden, and solid evidence of good character provided by peers and subordinates is the only way to avoid promoting narcissists. To put it another way, there are people I was at school and university with who were rotten then and are rotten now, but today such evidence is inadmissible in promotion decisions. If you want a depiction of a Narcissist in high office, look no further than Australias current Prime Minister:
"The third example highlights Rudd's nascent contempt for most of the people who work for him and occurred days after his stunning election win. Staff who had gathered for a briefing on their responsibilities were told their Great Leader would address them. They were all on a high after the victory, but their excitement soon turned to dismay. They didn't get a version of the true believers speech; instead, Rudd had one clear message: if any of their bosses stuffed up, it would be on their heads. They were the ones who would pay the price. He told them they would be given their lines every day and their job was to ensure they and their bosses stuck to the script. They were not to put a foot out of line. Or else. No mistakes or deviations would be tolerated. Thank you and good night. Oh and the f-word, which Rudd loves dropping almost as much as the c-word, featured prominently in his little lecture. Old hands who had worked for previous Labor administrations didn't hang around for very long after that. One referred to him not by name but as "the megalomaniac from Queensland"."
There is no cure for this disease until moral character is once again assessed before promotion decisions are made. Walrus
Posted at 01:07 AM | Permalink
walrus , 9 years agoThank you all for your comments. I think I need to expand a few thing s alittle further.Norm Mosher , 9 years ago
Narcissism is not "Self Love", narcissism is a love of "reflected" love from others. Narcissus fell in love with his reflection in the pool. While Narcissism is an essential part of all our personalities in the NPD disorder the demand for constant narcissistic stimulation from other people consumes all other desires.
Now many people who suffer from this condition sublimate this need through hard work and apply great intelligence to it as well. However there is a huge cost because of the character defects Narcissism causes - chief of which is an inability to empathise with normal human beings.
There has been serious discussion in management theory that NPD sufferers can be valuable sometimes as managers can make ruthless but necessary business decisions. However that cynical observation has to be balanced against the damage and loss of staff and morale such a manager inevitably causes.
A classic example of Narcissistic behaviour was provided recently by the Chairman of an Airline, that for a whole year had ruthlessly worked to lower wages and employment conditions for its workers. At Christmas time she gave some Forty senior managers each a $600 bottle of wine (Penfold Grange Hermitage). Can anyone not imagine the multiple negative effects of such a gesture on the ordinary airline staff?
It is too big a task to catalogue the everyday examples of people with this condition. The movie stars and celebrities for example whose private lives, as seems normal with Narcissists, are a smoking wreck. Tiger Woods is a classic case.
However when we start talking about elected officials, or would be elected officials like Sarah Palin, we can see the serious implications. Australias Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for example has micromanaged a series of massive policy failures at home and now craves his narcissistic sublimation by impressing foreign dignitaries on every available occasion, earning him the nickname "Kevin 747" for his propensity to jet off overseas to speak at the U.N., confer with President Obama, etc. His bad, narcissistic, style of decision making has cost the nation a lot of money.
In the case of President Obama, what can we say about some one caught making an off the cuff remark about "The Special Olympics" or who was caught ogling a girl who was not much older than his own daughters? Do we see a pattern here?
I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the "Suicidal Statecraft" that destroy nations is a by product of narcissistic leadership - for example "The Habsburg Provocation" to "The honour Of France" that started the Franco - Prussian war.
At the General Officer Level, what can one say about Patton? A brilliant charismatic leader and strategist? What does the incident of the shell shocked soldier say? McArthur? Petreaus? The supposedly sleepless McChrystal? I don't know.
By way of contrats, and Col. Lang will take me to task on this, I was struck on reading Gen. Schwarzkopfs autobiography, by his apparent high degree of empathy with the average soldiers, even if he appeared far more uncompromising with the officer corps. I also was struck by his solution to logistical squabbling between Corps commanders in the lead up to Gulf war One - a field promotion of his logistics Chief from a Two Star to a Three Star General. Such a solution would be anathema to a narcissist.I am amazed at a discussion of narcissistic personality disorder that to this point, at least, has not mentioned today's poster child for this disorder -- Sarah Palin.anna missed , 9 years agoIt would seem that narcissism is rooted in the notion of individualism, in that it expresses a love for the self over the group. Interestingly and ironically, wasn't it the Catholic Church that championed individualism in the post dark ages era, as a mechanism/method to disassemble the collectivist mentality of Germanic tribalism -- while at the same time replacing it with their own hierarchical social/religious authority structure.Sidney O. Smith III , 9 years ago
I think what Walrus says is essentially true, but would be better said by including the social context by which narcissism or the cult-ification of individualism could be seen as generating its own kind of social order, or social hierarchy based upon meritocracy, or the illusion of merit when equated with raw power.
Or perhaps in better words, individualism or narcissism must be seen in the context of being its own hierarchical social structure, with its own construct of social (not individual) values that are internalized an acted upon by its participants.
And maybe, this why the "effects" of narcissism are so widespread and endemic in all of our institutions.At least in the civilian world, there is an aspect to this personality trait that is not emphasized in Walrus' comment. A few -- not all -- of those with a narcissistic personality traits are brilliant. Megalomania is one of the pathways to creativity, albeit it usually ends w/ some kind of tragedy.Maureen Lang , 9 years ago
You can bring these people down, imo, and beat them at their own game but expect career sacrifice and do not expect fanfare. And I would never under estimate their extreme talent.
Can't say about the military world nor do I want to know. But it sure seems to be that General Bragg at Chattanooga fulfilled a lot of Dr. Dixon's categories in the article mentioned by S.Henning.
I don't understand all this hoopla about the greatness of Confederate Generals. Seems to be painting with too broad a stroke. Foote does a magnificent job debunking the myth as he continually details the shortcomings of various Confederate Generals. Where was Joe Johnston when Pembleton was suffering in the beleaguered city? Why isn't Ft. Bragg named Ft. Longstreet?Arun,VietnamVet , 9 years ago
Re: SST wardrobe malfunction- seems it's just too much to ask that these seals, statuary, etc. be left as they are by prudish pols (John Ashcroft, anyone?)
Personally, my idea would be if a change simply must be wrought, let's go in the other direction & have Virtus' appearance match the one on the 1776 VA four dollar note:View HideRules of Engagement are simply the manifestation of tasking a bureaucracy, whose only purpose is to killing the enemy, to construct a puppet popular secular colonial government. It can't be done. "Winning Hearts and Minds", all over again.Arun , 9 years ago
There must be something that draws people to power who never learn from the past. On the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, there have been news stories that comment on the Vietnamese culture and their resistance to foreign Invaders. Yet, not one has mentioned the real hard nosed fundamentalist culture that has defeated every invader and has never been conquered, the Afghans.Off-topic, but it would seem that Sic Semper Tyrannis has had a wardrobe malfunction - at least according to the Virginia Attorney-GeneralPatrick Lang , 9 years agoRoyGRoy G , 9 years ago
Yes. plWell put. I didn't know about Holly Graf, and found her story interesting.The Wikipedia article about her included this:Stanley Henning , 9 years ago
Captain Graf's awards include a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal with one bronze service star.
I'm not military, but that's some fairly heavy heroic hardware, especially for a seaman, no? Isn't the medal quest a game tailor made for narcissists?The leadership conundrum is a crucial issue. It also brings to mind Norman Dixon's Psychology of Military Incompetence (1975), which I used to recommend to officers working under me in situations that reflected the problem. There is a good summary of this book at the following link:JohnH , 9 years ago
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/publications/pointer/journals/2004/v30n2/book_review.htmlUnfortunately I think that narcissism has always been the flip side of leadership. Most of us don't need the fawning adulation of our peers. And most of us have enough self-awareness to preclude us from exuding the self-confidence necessary for selection as a leader.rick , 9 years ago
Narcissism and the accompanying tendency to put self-interest above public interest is why the founding fathers instituted a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, leaders find ways to circumvent or disable checks on their authority over time.HOW DO THESE MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE GET THEIR JOBS????J , 9 years ago
Oh. Wait. Never mind. The Americam People are the victims here...that's right.
I forgot that for a minute and in forgetting that it seemed for a second like the American People might get the behavior out of politicians that they consistently reward at the ballot box. How silly of me.Walrus,Jane , 9 years ago
We have had to witness this plethora of Narcissism being carried to the extreme ever since 911. Instead of holding accountable those responsible for failing to do their duties, the Narcissists in both our Congress and White House decided to create 'more' Narcissistic 'castles in the sand' with their DHS, TSA, NORTHCOM, etc.. I can understand to a point DOD deciding to create NORTHCOM, but I had always thought that was what NORAD was for. Alas, no NORAD accountability, heaven forbid. Let's create more $$$ sank-holes like TSA, and America's very own version of an internal NKVD force known as DHS (as what many of my fellow Americans refer to DHS as).
While the Narcissists in our White House and Congress eat their crumpets and drink their tea, everyday people who do show signs of human life inside them (i.e. emotions, moral instincts,etc.) continue to be downtrodden by these bands of Narcissists who have in effect altered the food chain. Accountability and responsibility are not in their Narcissist dictionaries.Our moral instincts are not logically consistent. A recent classic experiment shows that people would, without hesitation, hypothetically choose to flip a switch causing a speeding train to ploy into one person rather than into a group of people. But if the only way to stop the train was to shove the fat man next to them into its path they wouldn't do it even though doing so would produce one death rather than many.alnval , 9 years ago
It seems probable that in a combat situation a person of normal instincts would even more strongly favor the guy next to him and and tend to kill more freely to protect him even though in an insurgency situation the ultimate success would seem to rest on generating s little hatred among the populace as possible by killing as few bystanders as possible. Hence both the restrictive rules of engagement and the sickening taste they leave in the mouth of those required to act to risk a buddy for a bunch of strangers.
You can reach restrictive rules of engagement by either route: a deep empathic understanding of the human emotions of the insurgent population OR by an ant farm view which simply assigns no value to human life and emotions -- your own side or the others -- but simply sees ROE as the best means to success.Col. Lang:
An intriguing thesis and one with which I'm sure many would agree.
To keep it from turning into a never-ending and unresolvable debate, Walrus' argument would be strengthened significantly were he to describe the behavior and measurement techniques to be used to assess 'moral character' and the criterion to be used to determine the validity of the assessment results.
Feb 24, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com
...Samantha was diagnosed with conduct disorder with callous and unemotional traits. She had all the characteristics of a budding psychopath.
Psychopaths have always been with us. Indeed, certain psychopathic traits have survived because they're useful in small doses: the cool dispassion of a surgeon, the tunnel vision of an Olympic athlete, the ambitious narcissism of many a politician. But when these attributes exist in the wrong combination or in extreme forms, they can produce a dangerously antisocial individual, or even a cold-blooded killer. Only in the past quarter century have researchers zeroed in on the early signs that indicate a child could be the next Ted Bundy.
Researchers shy away from calling children psychopaths; the term carries too much stigma, and too much determinism. They prefer to describe children like Samantha as having "callous and unemotional traits," shorthand for a cluster of characteristics and behaviors , including a lack of empathy, remorse, or guilt; shallow emotions; aggression and even cruelty; and a seeming indifference to punishment. Callous and unemotional children have no trouble hurting others to get what they want. If they do seem caring or empathetic, they're probably trying to manipulate you.
Researchers believe that nearly 1 percent of children exhibit these traits, about as many as have autism or bipolar disorder. Until recently, the condition was seldom mentioned. Only in 2013 did the American Psychiatric Association include callous and unemotional traits in its diagnostic manual, DSM-5 . The condition can go unnoticed because many children with these traits -- who can be charming and smart enough to mimic social cues -- are able to mask them.
More than 50 studies have found that kids with callous and unemotional traits are more likely than other kids (three times more likely, in one study) to become criminals or display aggressive, psychopathic traits later in life. And while adult psychopaths constitute only a tiny fraction of the general population, studies suggest that they commit half of all violent crimes. Ignore the problem, says Adrian Raine, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, "and it could be argued we have blood on our hands."
Researchers believe that two paths can lead to psychopathy: one dominated by nature, the other by nurture. For some children, their environment -- growing up in poverty, living with abusive parents, fending for themselves in dangerous neighborhoods -- can turn them violent and coldhearted. These kids aren't born callous and unemotional; many experts suggest that if they're given a reprieve from their environment, they can be pulled back from psychopathy's edge.
But other children display callous and unemotional traits even though they are raised by loving parents in safe neighborhoods. Large studies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have found that this early-onset condition is highly hereditary, hardwired in the brain -- and especially difficult to treat. "We'd like to think a mother and father's love can turn everything around," Raine says. "But there are times where parents are doing the very best they can, but the kid -- even from the get-go -- is just a bad kid."
Still, researchers stress that a callous child -- even one who was born that way -- is not automatically destined for psychopathy. By some estimates, four out of five children with these traits do not grow up to be psychopaths. The mystery -- the one everyone is trying to solve -- is why some of these children develop into normal adults while others end up on death row.
A trained eye can spot a callous and unemotional child by age 3 or 4. Whereas normally developing children at that age grow agitated when they see other children cry -- and either try to comfort them or bolt the scene -- these kids show a chilly detachment. In fact, psychologists may even be able to trace these traits back to infancy. Researchers at King's College London tested more than 200 five-week-old babies, tracking whether they preferred looking at a person's face or at a red ball. Those who favored the ball displayed more callous traits two and a half years later.
As a child gets older, more-obvious warning signs appear. Kent Kiehl, a psychologist at the University of New Mexico and the author of The Psychopath Whisperer , says that one scary harbinger occurs when a kid who is 8, 9, or 10 years old commits a transgression or a crime while alone, without the pressure of peers. This reflects an interior impulse toward harm. Criminal versatility -- committing different types of crimes in different settings -- can also hint at future psychopathy.
But the biggest red flag is early violence. "Most of the psychopaths I meet in prison had been in fights with teachers in elementary school or junior high," Kiehl says. "When I'd interview them, I'd say, 'What's the worst thing you did in school?' And they'd say, 'I beat the teacher unconscious.' You're like, That really happened? It turns out that's very common."
We have a fairly good idea of what an adult psychopathic brain looks like, thanks in part to Kiehl's work. He has scanned the brains of hundreds of inmates at maximum-security prisons and chronicled the neural differences between average violent convicts and psychopaths. Broadly speaking, Kiehl and others believe that the psychopathic brain has at least two neural abnormalities -- and that these same differences likely also occur in the brains of callous children.
The first abnormality appears in the limbic system, the set of brain structures involved in, among other things, processing emotions. In a psychopath's brain, this area contains less gray matter. "It's like a weaker muscle," Kiehl says. A psychopath may understand, intellectually, that what he is doing is wrong, but he doesn't feel it. "Psychopaths know the words but not the music" is how Kiehl describes it. "They just don't have the same circuitry."
In particular, experts point to the amygdala -- a part of the limbic system -- as a physiological culprit for coldhearted or violent behavior. Someone with an undersize or underactive amygdala may not be able to feel empathy or refrain from violence. For example, many psychopathic adults and callous children do not recognize fear or distress in other people's faces. Essi Viding, a professor of developmental psychopathology at University College London recalls showing one psychopathic prisoner a series of faces with different expressions. When the prisoner came to a fearful face, he said, "I don't know what you call this emotion, but it's what people look like just before you stab them."
Why does this neural quirk matter? Abigail Marsh, a researcher at Georgetown University who has studied the brains of callous and unemotional children, says that distress cues, such as fearful or sad expressions, signal submission and conciliation. "They're designed to prevent attacks by raising the white flag. And so if you're not sensitive to these cues, you're much more likely to attack somebody whom other people would refrain from attacking."
Psychopaths not only fail to recognize distress in others, they may not feel it themselves. The best physiological indicator of which young people will become violent criminals as adults is a low resting heart rate, says Adrian Raine of the University of Pennsylvania. Longitudinal studies that followed thousands of men in Sweden, the U.K., and Brazil all point to this biological anomaly. "We think that low heart rate reflects a lack of fear, and a lack of fear could predispose someone to committing fearless criminal-violence acts," Raine says. Or perhaps there is an "optimal level of physiological arousal," and psychopathic people seek out stimulation to increase their heart rate to normal. "For some kids, one way of getting this arousal jag in life is by shoplifting, or joining a gang, or robbing a store, or getting into a fight." Indeed, when Daniel Waschbusch, a clinical psychologist at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, gave the most severely callous and unemotional children he worked with a stimulative medication, their behavior improved.
The second hallmark of a psychopathic brain is an overactive reward system especially primed for drugs, sex, or anything else that delivers a ping of excitement. In one study, children played a computer gambling game programmed to allow them to win early on and then slowly begin to lose.
Most people will cut their losses at some point, Kent Kiehl notes, "whereas the psychopathic, callous unemotional kids keep going until they lose everything." Their brakes don't work, he says.
Faulty brakes may help explain why psychopaths commit brutal crimes: Their brains ignore cues about danger or punishment. "There are all these decisions we make based on threat, or the fear that something bad can happen," says Dustin Pardini, a clinical psychologist and an associate professor of criminology at Arizona State University. "If you have less concern about the negative consequences of your actions, then you'll be more likely to continue engaging in these behaviors. And when you get caught, you'll be less likely to learn from your mistakes."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.comAnonFromTN , says: February 4, 2019 at 8:12 pm GMT@Harold Smith
I think your folly is that you are trying to rationalize greed. Greed is irrational, we inherited it from our irrational aggressively territorial cousins, monkeys. Remember Soros: he looks like he died a couple of weeks ago (I wish he did), but still grabs for more loot and resents those who get in his way, including Trump. When greed is powerless, it is simply ridiculous. When greed has power, it becomes evil.
That's the downside of so-called market economy: the driving force is greed (apologists like to call it profit, bit semantics don't change the matter). Unregulated greed, like unregulated power of wind (hurricanes) and water (floods), is destructive, whereas properly regulated it can produce some good.
You also ignore the fact that all those MIC profiteers don't really want WWIII. They want to keep stealing huge amounts of taxpayers' money on military contracts. For that they scare the common folk with dangers that do not exist and regale them with "patriotic" BS they don't believe in. Deep down they know that to enjoy their loot they must stay alive: unlike pathetic politicians, the gods do not take bribes.
As to those people throwing rocks from the overpass of I-75, I think "Beavis and Butt-Head" answers your question. Hopeless stupidity of people totally lacking imagination, when it becomes active, is evil. But the people themselves are just unimaginative morons.
So, my point is there is no such thing as evil per se, there is greed and stupidity (often the combination of the two) that leads to evil actions.
AnonFromTN , says: February 4, 2019 at 11:32 pm GMT@Harold Smith
Greedy elites are liars and mass murderers because they have no moral scruples: they would think nothing of lying or murdering people just to get more money. If they can enrich themselves by doing something good, they won't pass up that opportunity, either.
You can call them evil, if you wish, but that worldview is the dead end: if there are inherently good and inherently evil people, you simply cannot do anything about that. You can promise rewards or punishments in the afterlife, but that would not prevent any crimes or get murdered people back to life here on Earth.
If you look for causes of evil behavior instead, you have a chance to minimize or eliminate those causes, thereby minimizing evil behavior. That does not negate the spiritual nature of humans, unless by "spiritual" you mean supernatural.
So, from my perspective, the views you propound are essentially defeatist. Personally, I do not think anyone is inherently predisposed to good or evil, you have to look for motives. Then you have a chance to motivate good behavior and demotivate evil one.
However, let me tell you what I tell my students: if you are conventionally religious, you don't want to discuss religion with me.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.amazon.com
Mosleys unease with all these claims had grown since that morn- ing's discovery. For one thing, in his eight months at Theranos, he'd never laid eyes on the pharmaceutical contracts. Every time he inquired about them, he was told they were "under legal review." More important, he'd agreed to those ambitious revenue forecasts because he thought the Theranos system worked reliably.
If Elizabeth shared any of these misgivings, she showed no signs of it. She was the picture of a relaxed and happy leader. 'Ihe new valuation, in particular, was a source of great pride. New directors might join the board to relied the growing roster of investors, she told him.
Mosley saw an opening to broach the trip to Switzerland and the office rumors that something had gone wrong. When he did, Elizabeth admitted that there had been a problem, but she shrugged it off. It would easily be fixed, she said.
Mosley was dubious given what he now knew. He brought up what Shaunak had told him about the investor demos. They should stop doing them if they weren't completely real, he said. "We've been fooling investors. We can't keep doing that."
Elizabeth's expression suddenly changed. Her cheerful demeanor of just moments ago vanished and gave way to a mask of hostility. It was like a switch had been flipped. She leveled a cold stare at her chief financial officer.
"Henry, you're not a team player," she said in an icy tone. "I think you should leave right now."
There was no mistaking what had just happened. Elizabeth wasn't merely asking him to get out of her office. She was telling him to leave the company -- immediately. Mosley had just been fired.
Jan 12, 2019 | www.amazon.com5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, horrifying, and richly detailed account of corporate ambition gone awry. May 22, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase I started this book and could not put it down. It's a horrifying true story of a driven entrepreneur whose only overriding goal was to become insanely rich. And she would do anything, any unimagineable thing, to get there.
Elizabeth Holmes leveraged her family's high profile connections to draw in early investors and supporters, who were not very inquisitive on details, nor very skeptical in nature. Drawing on the good name and reputation of these early supporters, she was able to build an impressive roster of other supporters with stellar reputations in tech and venture capital circles. From there, it was just a matter of stage managing the house of cards she was building.
Holmes crafted a Potemkin village that had fooled investors, customers, and visiting dignitaries. Her product demonstrations were outright theater, staged managed illusions worthy of David Copperfield. Theranos employees in on the ruse were assured it was just temporary, until the actual product could be perfected and the results repeatable. That day would never come. Those on the outside who also worked in this field had well founded and grave doubts about how Theranos could be touting a product that seemingly defied both logic and physics. Their suspicions, proven to be correct, was that it was too good to be true.
Without a trace of guilt or regret, she induced powerful tech workers to leave lucrative careers at other major tech firms, giving up millions in stock options, to come work for Theranos, surely knowing the whole thing would collapse one day. When skeptical board members asked to see data affirming the effectiveness of their product, Holmes would defer, saying those papers were in perpetual legal review. Some employees, when they were no longer useful to her, or deemed disloyal, were immediately and unceremoniously marched out.
This is a real life thriller, the story of someone who is a true diabolical movie villain. Holmes is portrayed vividly as a paranoid sociopath who could also be disarming, charmingly manipulative, utterly ruthless and devoid of conscience. This is a tale of corporate greed and lack of regulatory oversight gone all awry.
Elizabeth M. Rogers 5.0 out of 5 stars The Impossible Revealed May 21, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified PurchaseVery interesting read about the fraud that is Elizabeth Holmes. For those of us in the clinical lab industry, we knew that all the tests she claimed could be performed accurately and less expensive from a capillary sample was just simply not true. It was just a matter of time for the truth about her and the impossibility of what she claimed, to finally be revealed. Great investigative reporting John Carryrou!
lb136 VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars The tale of the naked empress May 25, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseThe first time I saw her was in the New York Times monthly "T" magazine. She was a young blonde with big blue eyes clad in black. I poured myself another drink and checked out the article on her.
Turned out she was one of those Silicon Valley bright young things--name of Elizabeth Holmes, and she was supposed to be "one of the five visionary tech entrepreneurs who is changing the world." Her game had something to do with blood tests. Seemed she'd started one of those companies that "disrupt" business. Companies they call Unicorns that start up with over a billion and hope to sucker the average Joe into buying stock in them. I admit this one made sense to me--blood tests are big business, and this Holmes seemed to have found a way to run blood tests for multiple conditions on one device, and simply by taking blood with a finger prick. No more needles in the vein.
I'll level with you. I didn't see how it was at all possible, but this was the mid teens, and I was just getting used to putting my credit card in a slot in the machine instead of swiping it through. Always something new, right?
So I mentally tipped my hat to her and went on with my life. And then faster than Aaron Judge can loft one out of the park, the Times issued a correction. There was some question about whether her technology worked at all. And before I could even bundle up the print magazine for recycling she had been disappeared from the web version. So now I repegged her as a grifter and thought no more about her until I read . . .
"Bad Blood." John Carreyrou is the reporter who had written the Wall Street Journal article that took down the Empress of Silicon Valley. He takes you through the story and paces it like a film noir suspense tale. You know the kind--the one where you know who the bad guys are from the starter's gun and you wait to see how they get caught. He begins in the middle with one of Holmes's signature firings. She would abruptly fire anyone who began to catch on and/or didn't show enough adoration. Then he takes you quickly through her early years (she dropped out of Stanford to start working on her invention--a portable blood-testing machine that never did work properly) and on to the founding of her company. He describes her blue eyed unblinking stare, her unusually deep voice (that, too, seems to have been put on), and those black turtlenecks that came from her adoration of Steve Jobs.
This Elizabeth, too, had a Raleigh--but she made the mistake the Virgin Queen never did: this dude was her lover, too. And she made him #2 in her company. Nearly all saw through him, and feared him. Together they made the mistake of not letting employees in the various departments communicate with those in other departments, which made research and development complicated more than somewhat (yes, they did actually try to create this portable blood test machine the big con started only when they realized they couldn't do it).
With charm, guile, promises, and an impressive board (Secretary of Defense Mattis and Henry Kissinger were once on it) that had no voting power she had secured contracts from Safeway and Walgreens for walk-in wellness clinics, and kept getting investors to hand money over to her. She finally went public. So Holmes had to produce . . . something. But she couldn't. And with that, the whole thing started to unravel. Some of the people she hired realized the tests weren't working -- healthy patients tested positive for conditions they didn't have. Or vice versa.
And they ratted her out . . . to Carreyrou, who exposed her in The Wall Street Journal. At that point, at about the two-thirds mark, the author, previously writing in third-person omniscient, takes over the narration in the first person as the con comes crashing down.
Even though you know how it turned out, it's all very suspenseful, filled with people departing the company escorted by armed guards, lawyers practiced in the arts of intimidation who've been given more power than perhaps they deserve, and a few people with the courage to expose fraud--fraud that could have harmed people.
In the epilogue Carreyrou wonders if Holmes "fits the clinical profile" of a sociopath, but states he will "leave it to the psychologists to decide." Then while conceding that "she had a vision she genuinely believed in," he adds that "there's no question that her moral compass was badly askew." He concludes: "Her ambition was voracious and it brooked no interference. If there was collateral damage on her way to riches and fame, so be it."
NOTES AND ASIDES: Per IMDb: A film version based on this book is "in development." Adam McKay ("The Big Short") will direct. I'm sure you will easily guess who will be playing Holmes.
Beau's Mom 5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling page turner about the rise and rapid fall of the first female billionaire tech entrepreneur May 27, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseI have followed Mr. Carreyrou's brilliant series of articles in the Wall Street Journal on Theranos over past several years, and signed up for the book as soon as it was published. This is his first book, and it does not disappoint. It is a suspenseful read that I tore through in just a few days. The story of Elizabeth Holmes is an extremely compelling one, and I understand that Jennifer Lawrence is being considered to play her in a future film. Holmes' single-mindedness, charisma and powers of persuasion are epic, but ultimately her lack of knowledge, morals and or any true empathy for patients are her undoing. What the future holds for her will be very interesting to see.
My only complaint about the book, and it is a minor one, is that one of the most powerful stories from the WSJ was not told in its entirety. There was a published story about Tyler Shultz, the grandson of George Shultz, that went into far more detail about how he resisted the incredible pressure that the Theranos attorneys put him under. His grandfather refused to side with him, and at first his parents refused as well, but they eventually realized that he was right and mortgaged their home to pay for his legal defense. The bravery of that young man in his early 20's, to stand his ground against the most powerful law firm in the country, his former Secretary of State grandfather and his own parents, moved me to tears. It is worth searching for that story online. I feel confident that Mr. Carreyrou will score a third Pulitzer for his reporting on Theranos.
Dennis Mabrey 5.0 out of 5 stars They need to do jail time.... the whole lot of em. May 29, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseFew people mentioned in this book come out looking good. Holmes, her wacky boyfriend Sunny, Holmes's brother and his 'Frat Pack', and certainly the 'great men' on the board of directors such as George Shultz and Henry Kissinger who really performed no oversight of Holmes's and Sonny's actions in any way. They are all a big bunch of despicable clowns with broken moral compasses.
However, there are some good people here... one of whom is Shultz's own grandson who was one of the whistleblowers. It is a bit of a sad story to read that George Shultz sided Theranos over his own grandson. A number of engineers and lab workers came out and told their stories as well and we should be thankful they did. The shoddy lab conditions produced test results that misdiagnosed many people.
And then there was David Boise.... the 'super lawyer' who hired people from Black Cube (former Israeli agents) to go out and spy and intimidate people. There is a special place in hell for lawyers and I am sure there will be an even more 'special place' for the likes of David Boise.
If you think everyone around you is a sociopath you might not want to read this book. It will only confirm your suspicions. That said...I could not put the book down. I read it in one night until the sun came up.
Graham M. Flower 5.0 out of 5 stars Description of an Extreme Corporate Culture that created its own inevitable downfall. June 6, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified PurchaseI read this book because I know one of the professors whose lab she was associated with at Stanford. Its a pretty fascinating story. I've worked in tech for 39 years and for about 7 different tech companies. I've seen some workplaces that have some of the silo problems described here and some organizations that were quite dictatorial but I've not seen an organization that had the extreme intolerance of dissent that this one had. The author does a good job of mapping out the landscape. An extremely persuasive Ceo who was able to charm powerful people and leverage them into giving her credibility and a culture internally of extreme suppression of dissent.
I've never experienced anything like the sorts of tactics used on departing employees to prevent them from commenting on the internal issues. In my experience the management is primarily focused upon not having an employee take proprietary secrets out the door and clearly this is a problem that has occurred, but here the Ceo and Coo seem to have wanted to suppress negative information that included just negative comments about the general state of development of the devices and even wanted to prevent employees from taking documentation of their own complaints about internal views about things like the robustness of laboratory practices that had little real proprietary value to the company.
In the end Ms Holmes missed a key lesson from her idol Steve Jobs, the product has to work and it has to work well if you are going to disrupt an entire industry. It sort of looks like Elizabeth followed an electronics or software playbook (in the extreme) while not completely recognizing that this wasn't going to fly in the medical space.
It is true that dictatorial organizations that suppress dissent tend to become heavily politicized with leaders who are removed from problems at the bottom and sycophantic middle management and they tend to have higher levels of turnover as this one did.
i'd say that Mr Carryrou does an excellent job of bringing out the pathologies of this organization from the point of view of the bulk of employees, what cannot completely be discerned is exactly how disconnected the leadership really was here. It is amazing that Ms Holmes was able to charm so many important people for so long. In the end it was the reality of the poor performance of the product that showed up, and it is fairly obvious that even had this author not started the fall, the fall from grace was inevitable.
YumYum 5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! May 28, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseOh my- this is a fantastic book. It is a quick read because it is so fascinating. I've followed Holmes since she was on the cover of magazines wondering just what she was doing. I've worked on an IRB committee (research ethics),and the entire time I was reading this book I was shocked at the lack of ethics on the parts of almost everyone in the story. They KNEW they were going to use this machine; they knew it wasn't ready; they knew Holmes was lying and deceiving and then ritually firing people who found her out, but not ONE person went to the FDA or even the SEC or FBI or whomever to say it was a fraud? And it was quite a fraud. One that was using human beings in its testing. The writing is compelling, and the story is so unreal that you can hardly believe it is true. Somehow it seems to boil down to greed. If this were fiction, you'd laugh in spots at how preposterous it seems. But it isn't fiction. It is a terrible saga of deception and manipulation, and it proves that when money is involved, people see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear.
Drwo 5.0 out of 5 stars Whatever You Should Be Doing, You Will Probably Blow It Off to Finish This Book June 18, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseThis book is a mixture of jaw dropping hubris, charisma run amok, and the gullibility of those who should know better.
For those unfamiliar with this story, the short version is: Elizabeth Holmes, 19 years' old, drops out of Stanford to form a company and then raises hundreds of millions of dollars based on her vision of how a single drop of blood tied to proprietary technology could revolutionize medical diagnostics. The original vision became an almost beside the point issue to keeping everyone, including her board members and employees, in the dark about failure - and failure it was.
The long story, this book, explains how the company, Theranos, valued at something like $9B at it's height in 2012 and 2013, went to zero because the technology Elizabeth was selling to investors didn't actually exist. Frightening in its scope, Elizabeth Holmes presented herself as a brilliant inventor, scientist and entrepreneur, a photogenic genius out to make people's lives better.
The private Elizabeth, paranoid and secretive, created a bizarre work environment where highly educated, qualified professionals were fired for attempting to explain something she needed to know but didn't want to hear, or to express any opinion counter to her own. She then threatened them, sending many into debt defending lawsuits made from whole cloth. Installing her boyfriend as overseer, neither of them having any scientific qualifications or training, neither had real interest in building a team to work towards a shared vision. Hundreds of millions of investor money were swallowed up with no resulting innovation. At first, they obscured, then they lied and kept right on lying.
Although investors always risk disappointment, it's doubtful many expected a company with hundreds of millions of dollars to work with accomplishing nothing at all. Unlike Bernie Madoff, who kept his scam close to the chest, Theranos hired specialists, at one time as many as 800 employees, and then refused to let them work together.
John Carreyrou, relentless in his pursuit of this story, stood up to the constant threats and produced brilliant research and what should be a cautionary tale for future board members, employees and investors, encouraging them to do some rudimentary investigation before taking the "Well, he drank the kool-aid, so it must be good," attitude, but they probably won't.
Stealthy 5.0 out of 5 stars LOCK HER UP! August 28, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseMy neck is sore from shaking my head, left-to-right, in total disbelief of all that happened with Elizabeth Holmes, Sunny Balwani and Theranos. What a piece of work! I kept telling my husband about this book and he finally said, "Stop! I'm going to read the book for myself."
Elizabeth Holmes: narcissistic, a sociopath, suffering from delusions of grandeur, paranoid, a mean bully, retaliatory, a pathological liar, exploitative and downright ruthless. She is living proof that 85% of workplace bullying comes from Women.
The high-powered people that were totally Bamboozled by this woman is just incredulous – George Schultz, James Mattis, Henry Kissinger, executives at Walgreen's, Safeway and too many others to mention here. Their level of incompetence and blind trust makes them look pathetic.
Bravo to Tyler Schultz for standing up against the face of evil: Elizabeth and Sunny at Theranos, their high powered and intimidating attorneys, his parents and his grandfather, George Schultz.
The book was easy to read. Despite having a HUGE cast of characters, they were easy to keep track of and John C. did a great job reminding the reader of who this person was if mentioned later in the book. The technical lab stuff was clearly explained and easy to follow.
I agree with another reviewer that we will be needing a sequel. Even if we catch pieces of the future of this saga here and there via the TV news, newspapers, magazines, Mad Money, "60 Minutes, etc., it just isn't the same until it is all pulled together like you did in this book. You did a fantastic job! I can't wait to see you interview Elizabeth from prison just like Diana Henriques did with Bernie Madoff.
Wittgenstein 5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of the Con June 7, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified PurchaseRead this book. Or, rather, start to read it and you will never put it down. While I knew vaguely that the Silicon Valley wunderkind Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos had run into major regulatory problems, I had no idea of the breadth and depth of the fraud she and her co-conspirators committed. The Wall Street Journal reporter who first broke the story has now written a page turning report that not only damns Holmes, but also people she fooled into supporting her such as the current Secretary of Defense and two former Secretaries of State. And for those who believe, as I do, that David Boies' incompetence in Bush v Gore cost Gore the election, will not be surprised to learn that he was one of the principal enablers of the fraud not just as her attorney, but as a major shareholder and Board Member. I repeat, read this book. One last point that the author and more importantly his original sources emphasize -- this was not just a financial fraud, but a fraud that put patients' lives at risk. Scary. So when you hear about some magical new medical solution, make sure your BS meter is well tuned before you buy into the claims.
Jan 06, 2019 | www.alt-market.com
With the exception of military tacticians acting in defense against an aggressor, con men are predominantly sociopaths. In order to carry out a "grift" against innocent people, an extreme lack of empathy is required. Understanding the mind and motivations of sociopaths and narcissistic sociopaths makes it possible to identify them faster and allows us to see their con games ahead of time.
In terms of social control, elitist con men are highly preoccupied with preventing spontaneous organization of rebellion. But this does not always involve the outright crushing of dissent. Instead, the elites prefer to use co-option and misdirection (con games) to lure rebellious movements to focus on the wrong enemy, or to trust the wrong leadership.
I am often reminded of the infiltration of the Tea Party movement by neo-conservatives in the years after the 2008 election. Neo-con-men exploited the desire among Tea Party activists for mainstream legitimacy and more widespread media coverage. They gave the activists what they wanted, by injecting their own political puppets into the movement. It did not take long for the Tea Party to abandon its initial roots in individual sovereignty and the Ron Paul campaign and adopt a decidedly statist tone. The smart people left the movement early and went on to launch their own efforts, but the goal of the establishment had been accomplished -- the grass roots organized threat of the Tea Party was no more.
That said, the principles of conservative economics, small government and personal liberty remain entrenched in the American psyche and continue to grow. These ideals have a life of their own, and almost seem to act autonomously at times from any particular group or leader.
Dec 09, 2018 | www.rt.com
The #MeToo movement was supposed to make life easier for women in the workplace. It was all about respect and making real abusers pay a price for their behavior. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
One of the aims of the movement was to force a change in the conduct of men who said and did sexually inappropriate things in the workplace -- a concept which few people could quibble with. A year on from its beginnings, however, it seems the movement has morphed into something else entirely -- and ironically, it's hurting both men and women.
The 'Pence Effect' and 'gender segregation'
The #MeToo movement has taken down men across a wide spectrum of industries -- but so far, Wall Street has avoided a huge public scandal -- despite its reputation for being, well, a fairly sexist and male-oriented environment. So why has it escaped the #MeToo spotlight?Two female reporters for Bloomberg interviewed 30 Wall Street executives and found that while it's true that women might be afraid to speak up for fear of losing their careers, men are also so afraid of being falsely accused that they won't even have dinner, or even one-to-one business meetings with a female colleague. They worry that a simple comment or gesture could be misinterpreted. "It's creating a sense of walking on eggshells," one Morgan Stanley executive said.
Bloomberg dubbed the phenomenon the 'Pence Effect' after the US vice president who previously admitted that he would never dine alone with any woman other than his wife. British actor Taron Egerton recently also said he now avoided being alone with women for fear of finding himself in #MeToo's crosshairs.
I remember when a woman I was friendly/kind with perceived me as someone who wanted "more." She wrote me a message about how she was uncomfortable. I'm gay. https://t.co/7z0X7Dwzkp-- Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) December 4, 2018
All these extreme strategies being adopted by men to avoid falling victim to an unjust #MeToo scandal are creating a kind of "gender segregation" on Wall Street, the reporters say.
Hurting women's progress?
The most ironic outcome of a movement that was supposed to be about women's empowerment is that now, even hiring a woman on Wall Street has become an "unknown risk," according to one wealth advisor, who said there is always a concern that a woman might take something said to her in the wrong way.
With men occupying the most senior positions on Wall Street, women need male mentors who can teach them the ropes and help them advance their careers, but what happens when men are afraid to play that role with their younger female colleagues? The unintended consequence of the #MeToo movement on Wall Street could be the stifling of women's progress and a sanitization of the workplace to the point of not even being able to have a private meeting with the door closed.
Another irony is that while men may think they are avoiding one type of scandal, could find themselves facing another: Discrimination complaints.
"A Wall Street rule for the #MeToo era: Avoid women at all cost." https://t.co/TCGk9UzT4R "Secular sharia" has arrived, as I predicted here: https://t.co/TTrWY6ML34 pic.twitter.com/YpEz78iamJ-- Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) December 3, 2018
"If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment, those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint," Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison told Bloomberg.
Not all men are responding to the #MeToo movement by fearfully cutting themselves off from women, however. "Just try not to be an asshole," one said, while another added: "It's really not that hard."
It might not be that simple, however. It seems there is no escape from the grip of the #MeToo movement. One of the movements most recent victims of the viral hashtag movement is not a man, but a song -- the time-honored classic 'Baby It's Cold Outside' -- which is being banished from American radio stations because it has a "rapey" vibe.
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Nov 22, 2018 | www.amazon.comForeword to the book by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
... ... ...
Nowadays the word "psychopath" generally evokes images of the barely restrained - yet surprisingly urbane - mad-dog serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, of Silence of the Lambs fame. I will admit that this was the image that came to my mind whenever I heard the word; almost, that is. The big difference was that I never thought of a psychopath as possibly being so cultured or so capable of passing as "normal". But I was wrong, and I was to learn this lesson quite painfully by direct experience. The exact details are chronicled elsewhere; what is important is that this experience was probably one of the most painful and instructive episodes of my life, and it enabled me to overcome a block in my awareness of the world around me and those who inhabit it.
... ... ...
If there is a psychological theory that can explain vicious and harmful behavior, it helps very much for the victim of such acts to have this information so that they do not have to spend all their time feeling hurt or angry. And certainly, if there is a psychological theory that helps a person to find what kind of words or deeds can bridge the chasm between people, to heal misunderstandings, that is also a worthy goal. It was from such a perspective that we began our extensive work on the subjects of narcissism, which then led to the study of psychopathy.
Of course, we didn't start out with such any such "diagnosis" or label for what we were witnessing. We started out with observations and searched the literature for clues, for profiles, for anything that would help us to understand the inner world of a human being - actually a group of human beings - who seemed to be utterly depraved and unlike anything we had ever encountered before. We found that this kind of human is all too common, and that, according to some of the latest research, they cause more damage in human society than any other single so-called "mental illness". Martha Stout, who has worked extensively with victims of psychopaths, writes:
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 concerting 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 between 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. 
We did not have the advantage of Dr. Stout's book at the beginning of our research project. We did, of course, have Robert Hare and Hervey Cleckley and Guggenbuhl-Craig and others. But they were only approaching the subject of the possibly large numbers of psychopaths that live among us who never get caught breaking laws, who don't murder - or if they do, they don't get caught - and who still do untold damage to the lives of family, acquaintances, and strangers.
Most mental health experts, for a very long time, have operated on the premise that psychopaths come from impoverished backgrounds and have experienced abuse of one sort or another in childhood, so it is easy to spot them, or at least, they certainly don't move in society except as interlopers. This idea seems to be coming under some serious revision lately. As Lobaczewski points out in this book, there is some confusion between Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder and Sociopathy. As Robert Hare points out, yes, there are many psychopaths who are also "anti-socials", but there seem to be far more of them that would never be classified as anti- social or sociopathic! In other words, they can be doctors, lawyers, judges, policemen, congressmen, presidents of corporations that rob from the poor t< give to the rich, and even presidents.
In a recent paper, it is suggested that psychopathy may exist in ordinary society in even greater numbers than anyone has thus far considered:Psychopathy, as originally conceived by Cleckley (1941), is not limited to engagement in illegal activities, but rather encompasses such personality characteristics as manipulativeness, insincerity, egocentricity, and lack of guilt - characteristics clearly present in criminals but also in spouses, parents, bosses, attorneys, politicians, and CEOs, to name but a few (Bursten, 1973; Stewart, 1991). Our own examination of the prevalence of psychopathy within a university population suggested that perhaps 5% or more of this sample might be deemed psychopathic, although the vast majority of those will be male (more than 1/10 males versus approximately 1/100 females).
As such, psychopathy may be characterized ... as involving a tendency towards both dominance and coldness. Wiggins (1995) in summarizing numerous previous findings ... indicates that such individuals are prone to anger and irritation and are willing to exploit others. The)' are arrogant, manipulative, cynical, exhibitionistic, sensation-seeking, Machiavellian, vindictive, and out for their own gain. With respect to their patterns of social exchange (Foa & Foa, 1974), they attribute love and status to themselves, seeing themselves as highly worthy and important, but prescribe neither love nor status to others, seeing them as unworthy and insignificant. This characterization is clearly consistent with the essence of psychopathy as commonly described.
The present investigation sought to answer some basic questions regarding the construct of psychopathy in non forensic settings ... In so doing we have returned to Cleckley's (1941) original emphasis on psychopathy as a personality style not only among criminals, but also among successful individuals within the community.
What is clear from our findings is that (a) psychopathy measures have converged on a prototype of psychopathy that involves a combination of dominant and cold interpersonal characteristics; (b) psychopathy does occur in the community and at what might be a higher than expected rate; and (c) psychopathy appears to have little overlap with personality disorders aside from Antisocial Personality Disorder....
Clearly, where much more work is needed is in understanding what factors differentiate the abiding (although perhaps not moral-abiding) psychopath from the law-breaking psychopath; such research surely needs to make greater use of non forensic samples than has been customary in the past. 
Lobaczewski discusses the fact that there are different types of psychopaths. One type, in particular, is the most deadly of all: the Essential Psychopath. He doesn't give us a "checklist" but rather discusses what is inside the psychopath. His description meshes very well with items in the paper quoted above.
Martha Stout also discusses the fact that psychopaths, like anyone else, are born with different basic likes and dislikes and desires, which is why some of them are doctors and presidents and others are petty thieves or rapists. "Likeable", "Charming", "Intelligent", "Alert", "Impressive", "Confidence- inspiring," and "A great success with the ladies". This is how Hervey Cleckley described most of his subjects in The Mask of Sanity. It seems that, in spite of the fact that their actions prove them to be "irresponsible" and "self- destructive", psychopaths seem to have in abundance the very traits most desired by normal persons. The smooth self-assurance acts as an almost supernatural magnet to normal people who have to read self-help books or go to counseling to be able to interact with others in an untroubled way. The psychopath, on the contrary, never has any neuroses, no self-doubts, never experiences angst, and is what "normal" people seek to be. What's more, even if they aren't that attractive, they are "babe magnets".
Cleckley s seminal hypothesis is that the psychopath suffers from profound and incurable affective deficit. If he really feels anything at all, they are emotions of only the shallowest kind. He is able to do whatever he wants, based on whatever whim strikes him, 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 horror or a disaster is to him merely a fleeting inconvenience.
Cleckley posits that psychopathy is quite common in the community at large. His cases include examples of psychopaths who generally function normally in the community as businessmen, doctors, and even psychiatrists. Nowadays, some of the more astute researchers see criminal psychopathy - often referred to as anti-social personality disorder - as an extreme of a particular personality type. I think it is more helpful to characterize criminal psychopaths as "unsuccessful psychopaths".
One researcher, Alan Harrington, goes so far as to say that the psychopath is the new man being produced by the evolutionary pressures of modern life. Certainly, there have always been shysters and crooks, but past concern was focused on ferreting out incompetents rather than psychopaths. Unfortunately, all that has changed. We now need to fear the super- sophisticated modern crook who does know what he is doing - and does it so well that no one else knows. Yes, psychopaths love the business world.The study of "ambulatory" psychopaths - what we call "The Garden Variety Psychopath" - has, however, hardly begun. Very little is known about subcriminal psychopathy. Some researchers have begun to seriously consider the idea that it is important to study psychopathy not as a pathological category but as a general personality trait in the community at large. In other words, psychopathy is being recognized as a more or less different type of human.
"Uninvolved with others, he coolly saw into their fears and desires, and maneuvered them as he wished. Such a man might not, after all, be doomed to a life of scrapes and escapades ending ignominiously in the jailhouse. Instead of murdering others, he might become a corporate raider and murder companies, firing people instead of killing them, and chopping up their functions rather than their bodies." (Harrington)...
... [T]he consequences to the average citizen from business crimes are staggering. As criminologist Georgette Bennett says, "They account for nearly 30% of case filings in U.S. District Courts - more than any other category of crime. The combined burglar)7, mugging and other property7 losses induced by the country's street punks come to about $4 billion a year. However, the seemingly upstanding citizens in our corporate board rooms and the humble clerks in our retail stores bilk us out of between $40 and $200 billion a year."
Concern here is that the costume for the new masked sanity of a psychopath is just as likely to be a three-piece suit as a ski mask and a gun. As Harrington says, "We also have the psychopath in respectable circles, no longer assumed to be a loser." He quotes William Krasner as saying, "They - psychopath and part psychopath - do well in the more unscrupulous types of sales work, because they take such delight in 'putting it over on them', getting away with it - and have so little conscience about defrauding their customers." Our society is fast becoming more materialistic, and success at any cost is the credo of many businessmen. The typical psychopath thrives in this kind of environment and is seen as a business "hero". 
Hervey Cleckley actually comes very close to suggesting that psychopaths are human in every respect - but that they lack a soul. This lack of "soul quality" makes them very efficient "machines". They can 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. Andrew Lobaczewski addresses the problem of the psychopath and their extremely significant contribution to our macrosocial evils, their ability to act as the eminence grise behind the very structure of our society. It is very important to keep in mind that this influence comes from a relatively small segment of humanity. The other 90-some percent of human beings are not psychopaths.
But that 90-some percent of normal people know that something is wrong! They just can't quite identify it; can't quite put their finger on it; and because they can't, they tend to think that there is nothing they can do about it, or maybe it is just God punishing people.
What is actually the case is that when that 90-some percent of human beings fall into a certain state, as Lobaczewski will describe, the psychopaths, like a virulent pathogen in a body, strike at the weaknesses, and the entire society is plunged into conditions that always and inevitably lead to horror and tragedy on a very large scale.
The 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 an example of how psychopaths can directly affect society at large: 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. We believe that the legal argument is an advanced system of justice. This is a very cunning trick that has been foisted on normal people by psychopaths in order to have an advantage over them. Just think about it for a moment: the legal argument amounts to little more than 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. But here's how it works.
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". When a conflict ensues, we automatically fall into the legal argument 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 a useless farce. If a person is a liar, swearing an oath means nothing to that person. However, swearing an oath acts strongly on a serious, strongly on a serious, truthful witness. Again, the advantage is placed on the side of the liar.
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 "see ourselves" in them even though they are "out there" and this evokes feelings in us. We can't do something hurtful because we can imagine it being done to us and how it would feel. 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 the 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 by them as "not being loved". 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 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 camouflage composed of words and appearances - lies and manipulations - in order to "assimilate" their prey.
This leads us to an important question: 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. 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 of psychopathy, the entire cat and mouse dynamic is carried out. 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 don't normally go all the way, so to say. This causes us to look at the cat and mouse scenario 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?
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".
In the past several years, there are many more psychologists and psychiatrists and other mental health workers beginning to look at these issues in new ways in response to the questions about the state of our world and the possibility that there is some essential difference between such individuals as George W. Bush and many so-called Neocons, and the rest of us.
Dr. Stout's book has one of the longest explanations as to why none of her examples resemble any actual persons that I have ever read. And then, in a very early chapter, she describes a "composite" case where the subject spent his childhood blowing up frogs with fire-crackers. It is widely known that George W. Bush did this. The subject is also described as graduating college with a С average - which Bush did at Yale - so one naturally wonders ...
In any event, even without Dr. Stout's work, at the time we were studying the matter, we realized that what we were learning was very important to everyone because as the data was assembled, we saw that the clues, the profiles, revealed that the issues we were facing were faced by everyone at one time or another, to one extent or another. We also began to realize that the profiles that emerged also describe rather accurately many individuals who seek positions of power in fields of authority, most particularly politics and commerce. That's really not so surprising an idea, but it honestly hadn't occurred to us until we saw the patterns and recognized them in the behaviors of numerous historical figures and, lately, including George W. Bush and members of his administration.
Current day statistics tell us that there are more psychologically sick people than healthy ones. If you take a sampling of individuals in any given field, you are likely to find that a significant number of them display pathological symptoms to one extent or another. Politics is no exception, and, by its very nature, would tend to attract more of the pathological "dominator types" than other fields. That is only logical, and we began to realize that it was not only logical, it was horrifyingly accurate; horrifying because pathology among people in power can have disastrous effects on all of the people under the control of such pathological individuals. And so, we decided to write about this subject and publish it on the Internet.
As the material went up, letters from our readers began to come in thanking us for putting a name to what was happening to them in their personal lives as well as helping them to understand what was happening in a world that seems to have gone completely mad. We began to think that it was an epidemic, and, in a certain sense, we were right. If an individual with a highly contagious illness works in a job that puts them in contact with the public, an epidemic is the result. In the same way, if an individual in a position of political power is a psychopath, he or she can create an epidemic of psychopathology in people who are not, essentially, psychopathic. Our ideas along this line were soon to receive confirmation from an unexpected source: Andrew Lobaczewski, the author of the book you are about to read.
I received an email as follows:Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have got your Special Research Project on psychopathy by my computer. You are doing a most important and valuable work for the future of nations ...
I am a very aged clinical psychologist. Forty years ago I took part in a secret investigation of the real nature and psychopathology of the macro-social phenomenon called "Communism". The other researchers were the scientists of the previous generation who are now passed away.
The profound study of the nature of psychopathy, which played the essential and inspirational part in this macro- social psychopathologic phenomenon, and distinguishing it from other mental anomalies, appeared to be the necessary preparation for understanding the entire nature of the phenomenon. The profound study of the nature of psychopathy, which played the essential and inspirational part in this macro- social psychopathologic phenomenon, and distinguishing it from other mental anomalies, appeared to be the necessary preparation for understanding the entire nature of the phenomenon.
The large part of the work, you are doing now, was done in those times ... I am able to provide you with a most valuable scientific document, useful for your purposes. It is my book "Political Ponerology - A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes". You may also find copy of this book in the Library of Congress and in some university and public libraries in the USA.
Be so kind and contact me so that I may mail a copy to you.
Very truly yours!
Andrew M. Lobaczewski
I promptly wrote a reply saying yes, I would very much like to read his book. A couple of weeks later the manuscript arrived in the mail.
As I read, I realized that what I was holding in my hand was essentially a chronicle of a descent into hell, transformation, and triumphant return to the world with knowledge of that hell that was priceless for the rest of us, particularly in this day and time when it seems evident that a similar hell is enveloping the planet. The risks that were taken by the group of scientists that did the research on which this book is based are beyond the comprehension of most of us.
As I read, I realized that what I was holding in my hand was essentially a chronicle of a descent into hell, transformation, and triumphant return to the world with knowledge of that hell that was priceless for the rest of us, particularly in this day and time when it seems evident that a similar hell is enveloping the planet. The risks that were taken by the group of scientists that did the research on which this book is based are beyond the comprehension of most of us. Many of them were young, just starting in their careers when the Nazis began to stride in their hundred league jackboots across Europe. These researchers lived through that, and then when the Nazis were driven out and replaced by the Communists under the heel of Stalin, they faced years of oppression the likes of which those of us today who are choosing to take a stand against the Bush Reich cannot even imagine. But, based on the syndrome that describes the onset of the disease, it seems that the United States, in particular, and perhaps the entire world, will soon enter into "bad times" of such horror and despair that the Holocaust of World War II will seem like just a practice run.
And so, since they were there, and they lived through it and brought back information to the rest of us, it may well save our lives to have a map to guide us in the falling darkness.
Oct 30, 2018 | features.propublica.org
Bob Gort , Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:49 PMAge discrimination has been standard operating procedure in IT for at least 30 years. And there are no significant consequences, if any consequences at all, for doing it in a blatant fashion. The companies just need to make sure the quota of H1B visas is increased when they are doing this on an IBM scale!900DeadWomen Bob Gort , in reply to" aria-label="in reply to"> •Age discrimination and a myriad other forms of discrimination have been standard operating procedure in the US. Period. Full stop. No need to equivocate.Anon , Friday, March 30, 2018 12:49 PMWait for a few years and we can see the same happening to "millenials".
And the women who run these companies are as shallow and ruthless as the sociopathic men.
Oct 29, 2018 | features.propublica.org
Stauffenberg , Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:21 PMIn the early 1980's President Regan fired the striking air traffic controllers. This sent the message to management around the USA that it was OK to abuse employees in the workplace. By the end of the 1980's unions were totally emasculated and you had workers "going postal" in an abusive workplace. When unions were at their peak of power, they could appeal to the courts and actually stop a factory from moving out of the country by enforcing a labor contact.
Today we have a President in the White House who was elected on a platform of "YOU'RE FIRED." Not surprisingly, Trump was elected by the vast majority of selfish lowlives in this country. The American workplace is a nuthouse. Each and every individual workplace environment is like a cult.
That is not good for someone like me who hates taking orders from people. But I have seen it all. Ten years ago a Manhattan law firm fired every lawyer in a litigation unit except an ex-playboy playmate. Look it up it was in the papers. I was fired from a job where many of my bosses went to federal prison and then I was invited to the Christmas Party.
What are the salaries of these IBM employees and how much are their replacements making? The workplace becomes a surrogate family. Who knows why some people get along and others don't. My theory on agism in the workplace is that younger employees don't want to be around their surrogate mother or father in the workplace after just leaving the real home under the rules of their real parents.
The American workplace is just a byproduct of the militarization of everyday life. In the 1800's, Herman Melville wrote in his beautiful book "White Jacket" that one of the most humiliating aspects of the military is taking orders from a younger military officer. I read that book when I was 20. I didn't feel the sting of that wisdom until I was 40 and had a 30 year old appointed as my supervisor who had 10 years less experience than me.
By the way, the executive that made her my supervisor was one of the sleaziest bosses I have ever had in my career. Look at the tech giant Theranos. Silicon Valley and Wall Street handed billions of dollars to this arrogant, ignorant Millennial Elizabeth Holmes. She abused any employee that questioned her. This should sound familiar to any employee who has had an overbearing know-it-all, bully boss in the workplace. Hopefully she will go to jail and a message will be sent that any young agist bully will not be given the power of god in the workplace.
Oct 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
In a fiery speech announcing her decision, Collins ripped unsupported claims by Avenatti's client, Julie Swetnick, that Kavanaugh facilitated a Cosby-esque "gang rape" operation while in high school.
Some of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important . I am thinking in particular not of the allegations raised by Professor Ford, but of the allegation that, when he was a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape .
This outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others . That such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our American consciousness. -Sen. Susan Collins
Paracelsus , 38 minutes ago linkFBaggins , 1 hour ago link
I didn't really care much about the stuff alleged to have been done by Kavanaugh thirty-five years ago. Arguing with a close family friend I stated that there was nothing I found more tiresome than the old lawyers tactic of springing something on you at the last possible minute, leaving a steaming pile of turds in the middle of your desk, and then expecting to be taken seriously. Decorum? Rules of debate? How about the laws of discovery, sharing info amongst colleagues?
Just because this was not a criminal trial is no reason to throw out the rules for policy making, the nomination process, which both sides have adhered to in the past. People were comparing this to the Anita Hill fiasco during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Delay, interrupt, stall, maximum media exposure. Never any evidence or criminal charges to point to.
In criminal trials there is the process of discovery by which the admission of evidence at the last minute is strongly ill advised, and can result in it being tossed out. Sen. Feinstein would be aware of all the rules and procedures, but she feels above it all.bh2 , 3 hours ago link
Hey Avenatti! If you and your client had any idea of what the truth is no one would every have heard of her or of you. Don't give us this ******** that you were just representing your client. If you had a brain you would have known she was FOS from the get go, and if you were honest you never would have represented her. So what is it? Are you just stupid or are you dishonest, or both?The Terrible Sweal , 3 hours ago link
People who make salacious claims unconfirmed or outright denied by their own named "witnesses" tend to get sued for defamation. And the lawyers they rode in on.
... ... ...platyops , 4 hours ago link
Three women advance fabricated allegations and the #resistance, Demonrats, Third Wavers and cucks blame one male lawyer.
They just can't learn.Debt Slave , 4 hours ago link
Michael Avenatti is not a nice man at all. He was a factor in making the accusations seem like a circus. No one takes him seriously as he slinks around the gutters.trutherator , 5 hours ago link
I sure am glad that Avenatti was stupid enough to represent a lunatic like Swetnick.RictaviousPorkchop , 6 hours ago link
Avenatti is the scapegoat. The Ford story was already fast breaking down, and the secret polygraph and the secret therapist notes and her ex-boyfriend should have made more noise in the Senate.
... ... ...KingTut , 6 hours ago link
This filth needs to be disbarred.inosent , 7 hours ago link
They embraced this puke and revelled in his garbage accusations. Now they need a scapegoat, and he's it. God forbid Feinstein get raked over the coals for screwing this thing up. The was a political hit, and everyone knew it. But the GOP are so spineless that a high-school-drunken-grope-fest brought them to their knees. Fortunately, the Dems stayed true to form and blew themselves up.
What I do not understand is how could they be so stupid as to endorse the Avenatti slime factory in the first place? TONE DEAF.Kidbuck , 5 hours ago link
Avenatti needs to be disbarred. To file a complaint for his breach of professional responsibility, suborning perjury, and engaging in acts of moral turpitude:
If enough complaints are filed with the CA state bar, he may get disbarred.
Attorneys ALREADY have a really bad rep. Part of professional responsibility is to uphold the integrity of the legal profession. The ONLY thing Avenatti did was to make every attorney look like a complete shyster sleazeball, which given I just took the bar exam and will probably become an attorney soon, I find immensely offensive.
Here is his license information:
http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Licensee/Detail/206929John_Coltrane , 6 hours ago link
The MSM gave these clowns face time and the morons of America watched and believed...TemporarySecurity , 5 hours ago link
The Demonrats used false sexual allegations against Roy Moore coupled with ballot box cheating (their typical mode) to win a senate seat in conservative Alabama. So, since their main national platform of open borders is so repugnant to any normal taxpaying voter, this is their only strategy. They simply got caught. All the allegations against both Kavanaugh and Moore were fabricated and the proof is the Soros' paid lawyers who represented them all. And Feinstein and Schumer conspired in this farce. And independent voters know it!
They're just pissed they got caught in their fraud and this energized the R. base which will lead to a red wave in a few weeks. And just think of the political commercial possibilities for any Demonrat senator hoping to prevail if they vote against Kavanaugh. I expect the final confirmation vote won't as close as the vote for cloture for this reason.MoreFreedom , 6 hours ago link
Be careful, Roy Moore was a different story. There was evidence including him saying he liked to date high school age girls as a 30 year old along with multiple other people who remembered what was alleged. Not just Democrat operatives. Morals were not that different then than now. Was he guilty of a crime no, could reasonable people still dislike his morals sure. I grew up close to that era and thought the college age kids hanging around HS girls was nasty. Moore verified as a 30 year old he liked them young.
Ford 0 corroborating evidence. By lumping in Moore with Kavanaugh you are giving credence to believe the victim because all you are following the "patriarchy" of believing the accused regardless of evidence.Totally_Disillusioned , 7 hours ago link
The Democrats have a long history of making last minute sexual misconduct allegations against their political opponents, always without any evidence or corroboration. And sexual misconduct allegations that pale in comparison to what a lot of Democrats have been alleged to do (rape allegations against Clinton, Kennedy having an affair that left a woman dead, John Conyers for settling sexual harassment allegations with taxpayer money, Hillary for trashing victims, or consider Weinstein and other famous/rich Democrat donors or newsmen). I'd bet most of these allegations against Republicans were simply made up for political purposes because they were plausible, couldn't be disproven, and couldn't be proven. Ford's allegations fit the pattern.
The charges are always last minute, to deny the accused an opportunity to defend themselves. Kavanaugh provided an excellent defense that would be good court room drama in a movie, when no one in the GOP was willing to defend him, and too afraid of being accused of not believing a victim and attacking them.
What's really going on are the Democrats in charge, are looking to deflect the attention from what they did, to Avanetti because Avanetti did the same, except the charges of his client, weren't believable, even though they couln't be proven or disproven. They don't want to take the blame, for what voters might do in the midterms.
One thing's for sure, you don't see Democrats calling for indicting and prosecuting false accusers. They're teaching people to bear false witness for their personal purposes.putupjob , 7 hours ago link
" Gang rape mastermind " might have been a bridge too far"
was this great or what?
avenatti gave the diversion, the clutter, the political sideshow so that all charges could be swept away and completely fake and uncorroborated. there was no provable basis for the ford charges, but the crazy swetnick stories simplified brooming the whole thing.
we can only hope that avenatti will be back in 2020, to run for president, and to come marching with his parade of **** stars and "wronged" women who spend all their time performing in strip clubs.
Oct 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
Deltaeus , October 2, 2018 at 4:38 pm
Wow. I'm saddened that so many people carelessly toss aside the best parts of our civilisation such as the presumption of innocence.
Accusers have to prove their charges.
Imagine Joe Lauria is accused by someone of something heinous. Anyone who doesn't like Joe can now comment on social media about how he looks like the type of guy who would do that. Anyone who disagrees with him might be motivated to do that. They can suggest psychological reasons for his atrocious behaviour. The accuser does not need to prove anything – just some lurid details and a tearful interview are enough, and the rest of us can no longer see his by-line without remembering all of the innocent children he molested.
See? What I just insinuated is completely untrue. Joe is an honest and good man, but anyone can smear him at any time and ruin his livelihood. Its easy. And Joe just made it easier with this article.
Please, think about what it is like to be unfairly accused. Perhaps in the abstract you can shrug, but talk to anyone who has actually been the victim of false allegations, and you will realise how powerless you are in that situation. Your only protection is the civilised idea that you are innocent until proven guilty, and if you destroy that, well, that would be a shame.
irina , October 2, 2018 at 10:53 pm
Have you ever experienced a false accusation ? I have, and I didn't even know it.
For many years, my mother in law sincerely believed that her grandson was not her son's child. This was patently untrue, but I was clueless because no one (we lived surrounded by her immediate family) told me, although the women all gossiped behind my back. You can only imagine how this affected all my familial relationships. She never did come clean about this situation (her thinking was affected by long term steroid use) but did eventually apologize to me (without precisely stating why) the year our son turned thirteen, at which point he started strongly resembling his dad (her son).
False accusations are a very serious thing, and we are accepting them all too glibly.
Oct 05, 2018 | www.unz.com
anon  Disclaimer , says: October 5, 2018 at 1:18 am GMT
Alcohol, Memory, and the Hippocampus
[In adolescents] . . . cognitive processes are exquisitely sensitive to the effects of chemicals such as alcohol. Among the most serious problems is the disruption of memory, or the ability to recall information that was previously learned. When a person drinks alcohol, (s)he can have a "blackout."
A blackout can involve a small memory disruption, like forgetting someone's name, or it can be more serious -- the person might not be able to remember key details of an event that happened while drinking. An inability to remember the entire event is common when a person drinks 5 or more drinks in a single sitting ("binge").
. . . The ability of alcohol to cause short term memory problems and blackouts is due to its effects on an area of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a structure that is vital to learning and the formation of memory.
Thus without a properly functioning hippocampus learning and memory become problematic. https://sites.duke.edu/apep/module-3-alcohol-cell-suicide-and-the-adolescent-brain/content-alcohol-memory-and-the-hippocampus/
Christine Ford claims her difficulties in her first years in college were due to "trauma" from the attempted rape. A professor of psychology, Ford used impressive big words, (iirc) stating that endocrine imprints such traumatic memories on the hippocampus.
So does alcohol.
Why did no one ask Christine Beasley Ford how much and how often she drank in high school and in college?
Oct 05, 2018 | smallbusiness.chron.com
If you are accused of harassment in the workplace, it is important to carefully consider your next moves. Your initial reaction might be to vehemently defend yourself against the claims; however, try to keep a cool and calm head and approach the situation professionally. The more hotly you protest the charges and the angrier you get, the less inclined people may be to listen to your side of the story. Talk to a Lawyer
Book a consultation with a lawyer. If the matter can't be resolved via simple mediation within the workplace, you have to be sure to protect yourself and your job. A lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and give you an idea of how to best proceed with such allegations presented against you.Write it Down
Provide a written account of what happened from your point of view. While this may differ from the account of the person claiming the harassment, it is important that you at least get your side of the story out. A written statement doing so gives human resources and/or management something to refer to during the investigation.Tell the Truth
Be honest. If you know you did what the accusers say you did, be honest and the ensuing punishment may be less harsh. Talk to your manager about what happened, admit to what you did wrong and provide solutions for how to avoid further incidents. Most important: stop the "harassing" behavior immediately. The situation may worsen if it continues, whether you feel it is actual harassment or not.Provide Witnesses
Provide an alibi and/or witnesses, if the claims are not true. If someone says you harassed them at a time when you know you were in a meeting or talking to someone in his office, then say so. Supply the name of any witnesses who can provide you an alibi. If there were other people around at the time that the alleged harassment took place, ask them to speak up on your behalf.Stay Calm
Avoid retaliating in any way. Particularly if you have been falsely accused, you may feel angry, frustrated and more emotional than usual because of what you are going through. Don't take any adverse reaction against the person that made the allegations or do anything that might be perceived as retaliatory.Draw Attention to Your History
Give an accounting of your track record with the company. If you've been accused of something you know you didn't do and you have a clean personnel file, explain to your manager that you've been with the company "X" amount of years, have never had a problem with another employee and have always treated others with the utmost respect. Your record could work in your favor.Consult with HR
Consult with your human resources representative to determine how to best proceed according to company policy. Explain your side of the story and focus on what you can do to resolve the matter quickly and focus on your job. A human resources rep might be able to mediate in the matter and get it settled without having to take things further; she may also advise you of the steps you need to take or explain that there is nothing more you can do while the company investigates.Tip
- Whatever you do, don't confront the accuser. This may provide additional fodder for the allegations against you and anything you say might be misconstrued and used against you later.
- Also, don't discuss the case with other people in the workplace, as the gossip may in turn spur the allegations against you.
Oct 05, 2018 | www.irishexaminer.com
What's clear is that the spectre of false allegation continues to dog the reporting of sexual violence. There remains a public impression that false allegations are common and that innocent people suffer as the result of being wrongfully accused.
The evidence on false allegations fails to support public anxiety that untrue reporting is common. While the statistics on false allegations vary – and refer most often to rape and sexual assault – they are invariably and consistently low. Research for the Home Office suggests that only 4% of cases of sexual violence reported to the UK police are found or suspected to be false.
Studies carried out in Europe and in the US indicate rates of between 2% and 6%.
... ... ...
This article was written by Lisa Lazard , Senior Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University and was originally published on The Conversation .
Oct 03, 2018 | www.unz.com
False accusations of rape are not uncommon. A few gain national attention. Most do not. A few: Tawana Brawley , a black woman, was gang-raped by four white (of course) men, except that she wasn't. Next there is the Duke Lacrosse case , Then at Rolling Stone a feminist writer and a magazine not greatly given to fact checking published the story of rape at the University of Virginia, also discredited. It cost them a libel settlement. And so on.
Again, if the accused men and boys had been guilty, long prison terms would have been a good idea. But they weren't. The presumption of guilt for men and innocence for women are convenient for those who want to prevent confirmation of a judge but do not reflect reality. People, assuredly to include women, use what power they have to get what they want.
The editor of a major paper once told me that he never allowed a woman into his office unless the door was open and a third person present. Why? If a disgruntled reporter says, "He groped me," it will go viral. (Joyful headline headline in competing paper: "Editor of Daily Blatt allegedly .") Months of furor will ensue. He will have large legal bills. The suspicion arising from that "allegedly" will never die. The paper's board may well decide that regardless of guilt he is having too serious an affect on the advertisers. He will be permitted to resign, never to get a similar job. The Daily Blatt will settle as quietly as possible for a quarter million.
Meanwhile, the Kavanaugh carnival is up and running. Now, Lord save us, we have USAToday trying to nail Kavanaugh for yes pedophilia. The evidence? Ain't none. None needed. Hey, we're talking the American media.
Nuff said. I predict the soon headline: "Berkeley sychotherapist recounts seeing Brett Kavanaugh leading the entire Marine Division in gang-raping thirteen-year-old autistic orphans."