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Archive for June, 2007

Are they just evil people?

An evil person is one who exploits or harms most everyone he/she encounters; the question of the utmost importance is do evil people share certain personality characteristics? Perhaps personality type has nothing to do with evil. We all know that every person has made bad moral choices at one time or another so perhaps people who repeatedly make bad moral choices are no different than anyone else.

There are many reasons to consider whether evil people have a special or different personality type. For Lovefraud readers, the best reason is to define and learn to recognize a group of people to avoid.

Sociopaths, psychopaths–just call them evil

Medical and mental health professionals have differing views and opinions about the personality disorders that are the topic of Lovefraud—sociopathy, psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder. You could also include narcissism and borderline personality disorder.

There is disagreement among professionals about how the disorders should be defined, what causes them, and what can be done about them. As an example, take a look at a recent post along with the comments: ASK DR. LEEDOM: Is there a gender bias against men in the diagnosis of sociopathy?

No matter what discussions are raging in the professional world, here is what the rest of us need to know: There are evil people among us.

Fred Brito: A con artist profiled by Dateline

Every so often I get down on myself for having believed the lies of a con artist. When I come across stories like The Ultimate Con Artist which recently aired on Dateline, I realize that many who should have known better have been fooled. Before you read the rest of this column, follow the link and watch the video of this man.

After the sociopath. Time passes. Love heals.

Time. It waits for no man. Nor woman.

I cannot hold it in my arms. I cannot stop its inevitable course. I can only journey with it from this moment to the next. I cannot change time passing. I can change how I pass through time.

Time. When in an abusive relationship, tied up in the lies of a sociopath, time was my foe. It passed in relentless pursuit of itself, while I stood still, locked into the macabre dance of his sinuously veiled truths reflected in the contortions of his lies sifting through the hourglass of time, burying me alive. With him, time passed slowly. Heavy. Ponderous. Dark. Angry waves crashing against the once impenetrable fortress of my psyche, eroding my foundation, peeling back my flesh to expose the soft underbelly of my dreams until I stood, alone. Lost in time.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Fake doctor Jeffrey Marsalis acquitted of date rape

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been transfixed in recent weeks by the trial of Jeffrey Marsalis, 34, who was accused of raping seven women.

After five days of deliberations, a jury acquitted Marsalis of 24 counts of rape, and could not reach a verdict on one charge of rape by forcible compulsion. They did convict him of two counts of sexual assault. He could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in prison.

Met on Match.com

Poor impulse control: a symptom of sociopathy in men and women

This week, I met a man in his early 20s, who approached me to ask about sociopathy. He is in search of answers regarding his former girl friend and BOTH his mother and his father. He stated he had just ended a relationship with a woman who was physically and psychologically abusive to him. He said it was hard to end the relationship because he still loved her.

The man was raised by his father after his alcoholic mother abandoned the family. His father was an abusive character who also drank alcohol and paid little attention to the kids. He asked if I would explain why people are abusive psychologically and physically and why this is related to alcoholism.

Is Tony Soprano a sociopath?

Tonight, in the final episode of the HBO series The Sopranos, we find out what happens to Tony. Will he get whacked? Will he escape? Will he go into the federal witness protection program?

As a prelude, last week’s episode, called The Blue Comet, showed Tony as a man alone, losing his family, friends and even his psychiatrist. Early in the show, Tony’s shrink, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, is at a dinner party with other mental health professionals, including her own shrink, Dr. Elliot Kupfenberg. The conversation turns to sociopaths:

ASK DR. LEEDOM: Is there a gender bias against men in the diagnosis of sociopathy?

There is gender bias in our current mental health diagnostic system. This bias occurs for three reasons.

  1. There are genuine gender differences in the manifestation of behavioral disorders.
  2. Those creating the diagnostic categories are biased.
  3. Those making the diagnoses are biased.

Each of these reasons for gender bias is operative with regard to sociopathy. We would hope though that gender differences found in behavioral disorders reflect true physiologic differences between men and women. This week I will attempt to convince you that physiologic differences between men and women account for the higher prevalence of sociopathy in men.

How to find out if someone is truly military

My ex-husband, James Montgomery, told me he had earned the Victoria Cross, Australia’s highest military honor, for his heroism during the Vietnam War. He said he continued his military service for 30 years, as an Australian attached to American Special Operations, including Navy SEALS. He said he became an intelligence analyst for the Special Operations Command and the National Security Agency. I saw the reports that he wrote about Islamic terrorists.

ASK DR. LEEDOM: How does one ever get over the heartache of being taken by a con artist??

Con artists are a special category of sociopaths. In fact, most if not all are also psychopaths. If you were tricked by a con artist, I would say you are in good company, since all three of the authors on this blog were also fooled by con artists! This week one of our readers posted her story as a comment to ASK DR. LEEDOM: FAQ #1 “Why is this so hard for us mentally?” Her post illustrates many of the important characteristics of a con:

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