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Individuals with psychopathic traits are often attracted to affinity groups—religious, atheist, political, or social groups of people who share common values, beliefs, or interests. The collective trust that members of these groups have in one another and their common belief system provides a perfect cover for the psychopathic person. A psychopathic individual can be highly skilled at accurately mimicking the group’s beliefs or values while in the presence of its members. As a result, trust is easily gained and his or her true motives or covert activities are less likely to be discovered or recognized as malicious.
An affinity group that has been victimized may have members who are unable to face the truth about a covert bully. Often, they will rationalize his or her behaviors and continue to believe that the person is basically good at heart.
Unfortunately, it is common for the group to side with the psychopathic person if he or she has targeted an individual member to exploit, abuse, or ostracize. With a well established virtuous public persona and respect from the group, skillful manipulation and deceit, and a careful choice of target, the aggressor will turn the tables and have others believe the victim is the guilty party.
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A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION PROVIDING INFORMATION
AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF PSYCHOPATHY
Rosa says: Isn’t it amazing how sociopaths can run around smearing people, telling insidious lies with impunity…THEN…when WE try to warn others (with the TRUTH) about possible danger of the socio, it’s “Kill the Messenger” time…and we are the “Messenger”. What’s up with that?
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What you are describing is the standard abuser protocol called DARVO, an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse roles of Victim and Offender. Your question and your righteous outrage are about psycho/sociopaths’ ability to harm others easily and repeatedly—with impunity—sometimes with devastating consequences for their victim. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the victim’s friends and family may withhold support or reject him/her at the worst of times because the abuser had the evil foresight to secure their sympathy and support, and at the same time, destroy the victim’s reputation and credibility.
Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
“A manipulative person … is a covertly aggressive personality.”
“You ask a manipulator a direct question, you rarely get a direct answer.”
See more on Dr. George Simon and related blog posts:
In the early 1800s, doctors became aware that some patients who appeared outwardly normal were lacking what we would call a conscience. They were described as morally depraved or morally insane. The term psychopath was first used around 1900, then changed to sociopath in the 1930s to emphasize the damage afflicted individuals do to society. Today, researchers have returned to using the term psychopath.
…it is by no means the rule that virtue is rewarded and wickedness punished, but it happens often enough that the violent, the crafty, and the unprincipled seize the desirable goods of the earth for themselves while the pious go empty away. Dark, unfeeling, and unloving powers determine human destiny; the system of rewards and punishments, which, according to religion, governs the world, seems to have no existence.
New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis, Lecture 35, A Philosophy of Life.
From an article on The Sociopathic Style™:
A sociopathic person is walled off from their inner core. How they present themselves to the world is a facade. Their operational system is power. To relate to them by playing the power game is a losing proposition because they are masters of the game and they will win at all cost.
The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt
to Clarify Some Issues About the
So-Called Psychopathic Personality
is a book by American psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley, first published in 1941. It is considered a seminal work and the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century.
Cleckley, a pioneer in psychopathy research, coined the phrase mask of sanity to describe the psychopath’s ability to perfectly mimic a normally functioning person and to mask or disguise the disorder; a fundamental lack of moral conscience and internal personality structure. Despite the seemingly sincere, intelligent, even charming external presentation, internally the psychopathic person does not have the ability to experience genuine emotions.
…or Why Do The Bad Guys Always Win?
The purpose of this blog is to help that process. You can
help by sharing your experience and spreading information.
Note to viewer: The slideshow should be viewed with a grain of salt. It presents some known psychopathic traits, but in an oversimplified fashion. In the real world, do not expect a psychopathic individual to exhibit all of these traits, or any one of them as obviously or as extremely as the slide show may suggest.
Add to Fact #5 about childhood warning signs: cruelty to animals.
Psychopaths and sociopaths are likely to appear friendly and generous. They are masters of deception, adept at faking emotions they don’t actually have—compassion, remorse, or humility—to win trust or gain power over others. Behind a convincing facade of respectability, intelligence, and high moral standards, they operate outside of standard ethical boundaries; recruiting lower-level psychopaths to do their bidding and manipulating normal, “good” people into accepting or supporting their shady agendas.
of a Sociopath
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She’s a successful law professor and a Sunday school teacher, with a host of family and friends. But her interpersonal calculus centers on how to manipulate and outmaneuver the many people in her life. Welcome to a world of ruthless cost-benefit analysis, charm, and grandiosity.
By M.E. Thomas, published May 7, 2013.
Last reviewed on May 19, 2013.
Cloak of Conscience
Don’t be fooled by nice manners. What looks like politeness can be pretense used to sugarcoat aggressive, manipulative, or false communication. Look at the content; not merely the cover. In other words; pay attention to what the person is saying, and don’t be fooled by who he is or how he is saying it.
See also It’s so easy to be fooled
That is the persona of many con artists, abusers, paedophiles, and killers. Ted Bundy was handsome and educated. The number of young women he raped and killed has not been determined, but it may have been more than 200.
How about, lack of empathy?
I don’t think so.
As an isolated factor, I don’t think lack of empathy best nails the sociopath.
Many millions of people, after all, lack empathy and aren’t sociopaths. Also, exactly what constitutes empathy is a subject of some disagreement. Some LoveFraud members, in fact, question whether sociopaths even lack empathy (some asserting, to the contrary, that the sociopaths they’ve known have used their capacity for empathy to exploit them).
But the biggest problem with lack of empathy is its weakness in explaining the single, truly best signifier of sociopathy—the characterological exploitiveness of the sociopath.
It is a high level of exploitiveness that most singularly exposes the sociopath.
“Not only do psychopaths live among us, but also through our ignorance we have allowed them to rise to positions of almost absolute power over us. Widespread knowledge of the reality of psychopathy on this planet is the essential first step to securing our future and that of our children. Make it your priority to spread the word.”
Red Pill Press editor Harrison Koehli discusses the book Political Ponerology by Andrew Lobacewski. It is an audio file with descriptive titles added.
“This is an extraordinary book.”
Ilan Pappe, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
“Political Ponerology is fascinating, essential reading.”
Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect
The book is a look at psychopaths in political power. Political Ponerology is a study of the founders and supporters of oppressive political regimes. Lobaczewski’s approach analyzes the common factors that lead to the propagation of man’s inhumanity to man. Morality and humanism cannot long withstand the predations of this evil. Knowledge of its nature—and its insidious effect on both individuals and groups—is the only antidote.
“These people are at war with you. Don’t ever tell them your secrets or your insecurities. They will just use it against you to inflict more pain. It’s a harsh reality to accept, but some people really are that hostile towards the world that they really are out to emotionally hurt everyone and anyone. The people they are closest to are just their easiest victims.”
A young “psychopath” shares his thoughts.
Recently, I noticed one of the “top searches” leading people to this site was a phrase, “psychopath taming.” In response, I performed a similar search through Google, just to see what would come up. Not surprisingly, the results contained very little of substance. I came across several books of fiction, at least one book purportedly being a true story of some psychopath or other who got better (often through the power of Jesus or other such nonsense), and other similar things. I came across one or two other psychopathy-related blogs as well. Of course, the the psychopathy survivor-related blogs and forums just make me shake my head and laugh, mostly when they go into such keen detail and speak with such confidence as to the how and why we do what we do, as if each and every one of us follows the exact same mould.
But I digress. The…
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Since, in the majority of cases, people who indulge in abuse are selective about whom they abuse, other people are typically surprised—or in disbelief—when hearing that someone is experiencing on-going and periodic abuse from someone they know and have always seen as nice and friendly. “Nice and friendly” is the persona of many conmen, abusers, and killers. Although many folks really are as nice and friendly as they seem, some most definitly are not. Like Ted Bundy.
Individuals with antisocial personality disorder are self-centered and remorseless. They do not care about the feelings of others.
Perhaps most frightening is that they often seem completely normal.
The study of criminal behavior includes an examination of mental disorders that can contribute to deviant behavior. Sociopathy and psychopathy are terms used in psychology and criminology to refer to two separate groups of people with antisocial personality traits. Significantly, these conditions are not classified as mental illnesses and they are not official diagnostic terms. In the fourth edition of the…