By | October 31, 2013 29 Comments

A neuroscientist and his psychopathic brain

James Fallon, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry, human behavior, anatomy and neurobiology, discovered that his own brain matches the brains of diagnosed psychopaths. In this radio interview, he talks about psychopaths, their brains, and why he didn’t turn into an exploiter.

Am I a psychopath? on


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As interesting as it promised to be, the Science Friday article itself ended up by reminding me of a poem:

The only problem
with Haiku is that you just
get started and then

So I’m glad Donna drew attention to the radio interview, which I might otherwise have missed. (Click on the LISTEN NOW button near the bottom of the article.) This is both enlightening and encouraging.

It’s also worth following the link to the entry for Fallon’s book, though the comments on it are brief and Jane Dystel’s review seems needlessly negative about one aspect. Since other readers found the book “absorbing,” “fun and engaging,” and “couldn’t put it down,” it’s odd to find her criticizing it as “sterile” and “emotionally flat.” One wonders what she was hoping for—a Harlequin novel?

The Science Friday article has a link to Fallon’s paper as well, though that will take more time to digest.


Like all psychopaths James Fallon LOVES to brag about his self discovery, the fact of the matter is, he has known since childhood he was different, he knew long before his brain scan he was a psychopath and that is the very reason he went into his field.

He was on the Dr Drew Show not to long ago flattering Drew like a psychopath does with great ease and Dr Drew had no clue that he was being manipulated by a psychopath for fun even though Fallon told Dr Drew about his psychopath brain scan….how Dr Drew responded (for someone who studies/works directly with mental illness) was a perfect example of how anyone can be sucked into a psychopaths mental games quickly (how we all got sucked in). Steven Hassan wrote in his book “Releasing the Bonds” that anyone and everyone can be sucked into a cult or abusive relationships…sadly he is correct.

James Fallon and Sam Vaknin both profit in their minds for being “honest” about being a psychopath (well maybe Vaknin is not honest about being a psychopath)…but a psychopath always wont’s to win one over on the average person proving they are smarter, for control. for fun and there is know doubt these two use mind control, gas lighting, and all the other tricks psychopaths use to manipulate anyone that will listen to the lectures. I feel sorry for the young naive students that sign up for James Fallon classes or anyone that listens to or reads any of Vaknin’s literature because it IS damaging to their minds, emotions, and mental well being.

Since finding out exactly who my ex husband is = sociopath…if someone stated to me that they are a psychopath I would steer clear immediately of what they are saying because I know from experience sadly it is all manipulation, control, lies and mind twisting (to put it nicely) that you will get from them and Fallon and Vaknin are no exception.

It’s very scary that this guy is a professor at a top university and no one fired him immediately for being a psychopath! Image all the damage he has done at the university to get others fired, have mental breakdowns, female/male students been sucked into affairs with him etc…so scary!!
Read Katie Drummond interview on fallon, I found it by googling “James Fallon psycopath”….here is an excerpt….you can never trust a sociopath…

“…….After Fallon revealed the findings in a 2009 TED Talk, mainstream media latched on: he was profiled on NPR, graced the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and even inspired an episode of the TV series Criminal Minds. Now, however,

Fallon is telling his own version of the story. In a new book, The Psychopath Inside (Penguin Group), Fallon takes a hard scientific look at our evolving understanding of psychopathy through the lens of his own biology and behaviors.

And the latter, as he admits, haven’t exactly been laudable: Fallon isn’t a murderer, but he writes candidly of hard partying, perpetual lying, and reckless, dangerous impulsivity not to mention the admission that he’s never truly made an empathetic connection (even with his wife).”

********************************************************* (end of Jame fallons interview with Katie, I posted the whole interview below for you Donna)


Here is more from Katie Drummonds article on James Fallon:

“So if you personally aren’t the Hannibal, then what kind of psychopath are you?

What I’ve realized is that for me, it’s all about the power. I get a buzz from manipulating people, and from making them want to do things for me even if I don’t take it that far, by making unreasonable or immoral demands on them. I just like to know that I can; it’s like a game I play whenever I walk into a room. I can really turn on the charm, I can really work it to get whatever it is that I might want. I mean, I don’t look good: I’m fat and I’m old. But I can make people think that I’m really special. And that gives me a hit that I crave.

Look, let’s say all of a sudden I was broke, I didn’t have a career, I didn’t have a family. Then I could see myself breaking the codes of ethics and morality, and getting into some ugly behavior to get what I wanted or felt I needed. But I’ve been very fortunate to have a wonderful, privileged life so I don’t feel a need to break those codes. I’m just saying that I can easily see myself going there…..” (James Fallon comment end)


My ex husband is masterful at this kind of manipulation…this is how he sucked me in…he needed help painting his living room and no one would help him…I did not want to help him, looking back it was all a game to him to get me to help him to control me, to manipulate me etc…throughout our marriage he was able to manipulate people one after the other, of course I had no clue how he was doing it…once he met a customer at work and got him to get his brothers and he to help roof the house…these guys had not clue how to roof a house and had literally just met my ex husband 30 mins earlier, when they came to the house I was honestly embarrassed that they were roofing with my ex….years later the original brother stated that one min they were just talking and the next he was on his roof and he still did not know how that happened (and this guy along with me had no clue we were dealing with a manipulative sociopath!!)

I would highly recommend you read her article its very telling at what Fallon does…so so scary that he is getting away with his abuse!!!


Without any judgment or commentary on whether or not this guy is a psychopath, I noticed he spoke in a rather choppy and nervous voice and said “you know” a lot, as though he were disconnected from his feelings. An voice analyst could have a field day with that. As a scientist, though, he could be expected to be the analytical type. It is possible he has channeled his drive into his work rather than into manipulating and exploiting people. But he may still have low empathy. This could fly under the radar because in our society many men are analytical and not connected to their feelings, especially if they are in jobs that are highly analytical. So he may be onto something – that psychopaths can be redirected in childhood. Or the whole thing could be a hoax. Never know with a psychopath.


Hi Donna, yes it was a Q&A interivew with fallon…(except the part where I talk about my husband/manipulation/roof)

here is one of the articles with the above info…just google “james fallon psychopath” for more info, you will see he contradicts himself in difference interviews. Reading through some of the other google post, I read that Fallon did that study with Dr Amen (…since Fallon is a psychopath I doubt his story about how he learned he had the brain type of a psychopath…

Dr Amen has stated in his lectures/interviews that anyone that works with him he conducts a brain scan, he has even stated that he scanned own kids to insure they would have a healthy brain, his daughters bf(s) also to keep them safe and he scan his wife’s brain to insure she was a safe person after dating her a short while…so I imagine that Amen would do so with Fallon. google “Dr Amen you tube” to see his PBS special and other interivews & his books (if you have not read his books they are excellent and I think a part of the healing process).

I know from my own experienced with a sociopath (ex husband) that you only get a small percentage of the truth from them, the rest are lie after lie you have to dissect and that is exactly what a sociopath wants to keep you confused…after reading/seeing fallon on Dr Drew there is no doubt the guy is a con artist psychopath just like Valknin.


From what I have observed in the article Jan posted and the radio interview, this is an example of a biologically predisposed sociopath who is self-aware. Regardless of whether I’d ever trust him in a close relationship (probably not), I think we can learn from him about the role of nurture in psychopathy. I have not read or heard anything in his interviews that sounds grandiose or indicates he is deliberately being manipulative. His odd choppy verbal style is a little concerning – reminds me of some of George W. Bush’s old speeches. I do get the impression that he is being honest about his urges to play games with people and his extreme lack of sensitivity. Sadly, he cannot suddenly develop empathy, but he can learn to find motivation in socially acceptable (thoughtful, caring) behaviors. Pride seems to be a good motivator for him. He doesn’t want to be thought of as insensitive or uncaring. This is probably the best he can do. I think of the difference between my boa constrictors whom I raised with love as babies to those who grow up with no human interaction. The former will be docile, and the latter will be defensive. But they both have the same innate tendencies. It is an ongoing discussion amongst boa owners whether their snakes know them, trust them, and perhaps can even love them. We’ve come up with no definitive answer. I can predict with 98% accuracy my boa’s behaviors. But the other 2% are a wild card, and this is what makes them potentially dangerous. But the danger element is definitely great decreased by the fact that I handle them frequently and have for 7 years. Similarly, I think there are probably environmental conditions that deemphasize sociopathic tendencies and emphasize more humane behaviors and thoughts.

People live with and learn to manage all kinds of conditions – bipolar, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia….I think there is a certain kind of tragedy in a person with a disorder becoming self-aware but not really being able to change the core of the disorder.

I myself am love-motivated. When I walk into a room, the last thing on my mind is how to exploit people. I am more interested in how I will connect with them, whether there will be any kind of affinity. But not everyone is love-motivated. Some people are power-motivated. Some are motivated by creativity. Some are more concerned with security than anything else. It’s good to know that not everyone is love-motivated and to see who isn’t. But I don’t think it’s productive for me to hate those people, only to see them clearly and to protect myself when necessary.


Jan, to answer your question, we don’t know if he is telling the truth or not. Personally, I don’t see anything in his presentation that indicates that he isn’t. If he came out in another book and said his parents beat him or it turned out he has no siblings, etc., that would be a different story.

I do believe it is possible to be a self-aware person with psychopathic tendencies. And I believe it is possible for that person to want to change, even though the changes are not motivated by empathy.

Supposing someone came along and said they read a book and they believe they are a psychopath. But they have never once exhibited any characteristics. Personally, I look at the behaviors.


here is part of an interview that Fallon did with AB Journal (found by googling James Fallon psychopath):

Here Fallon tells a different story to a journalist of why he choice to do a brain scan on his family and himself:

“Fallon decided to check out brain patterns of his family members after he learned from his mother at a barbecue that eight of his ancestors had been accused of murder, including Lizzy Borden, the story says. Several family members had already submitted to PET scans for an Alzheimer’s study, so he decided to take a look….”.

**************************************************************** (end of article)

Fallon is not the first to study brain scan’s on psychopath or to determine that psychopaths have different brains (meaning they are wired differently) these studies have happened at top Univ around the world.

I think that Fallon has left a trail of destruction behind him and he had to come up with a story to prevent people from knowing the truth about him = he is not a good guy, that he is a liar and manipulator (as indicated in his book per the interviewer)….what better scam for him to come up with then to say he has a brain like a psychopath but because he was not abused as a kid and grew up in a “loving home” that he is not a bad psychopath….sorry there are NO GOOD psychopaths the brain scans show that a psychopath brain is exactly like another psychopaths brain. Fallons brain scan study was conducted with prison psychopaths, so fallon compared his brain scan with psychopaths that were murders etc…his brain was like theirs!

I believe that james Fallon and Sam Valknin are both con artist psychopaths who are profiting off of people (victims) by selling their books etc…The only difference between these two is the fact Fallon is a more successful psychopath who has learned to blend in to society easier then Valknin possible because Fallon has a higher IQ.

Fallon is manipulating the interviewers and the readers by stating that because he is not a murder or a violent man that he is not a psychopath…we all know that the bulk of psychopaths are not violent at least in public examples of this are Bernie Madoff, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong but never the less they are psychopaths and do great harm covertly to lots of victims and no one is wise to their manipulation even when the victims speaks the truth the victims are not believed most of the time because the psycopath has started a smear campaign against the victim.

Bottom line Never trust a psychopath! (including Fallon)


Jan7, is there a link you were going to attach? I wouldn’t mind reading more. Is there something written about the “trail of destruction?” My opinion is based only on the video and article. Based on those things alone, I don’t see anything that indicates he is other than what he says he is.


Stargazer, you’re right; I haven’t seen evidence of any “trail of destruction.” I put in a long post about this early Saturday, but it got hung up with a message saying it’s “awaiting moderation,” possibly because it included five links to other Web pages and videos about Fallon. The system may be erroneously flagging it as “spam.” Anyway I agree with the views you’ve been expressing.


Still waiting for Jan to post a link about the trail of destruction. I may stand corrected in my views.

I have known several people (one who used to post here but was driven off) who claim to have sociopathic tendencies or even to be full-blown sociopaths. One I dated. He was not a full-blown sociopath but just very insensitive and low-empathy. Others seem to want to disclose the way their mind works and how they are managing their lives to try and fit in. They know they are different, but they don’t want to go to prison or lose their spouses, so they have learned to conform to socially acceptable behaviors. I have no reason to believe that these people are not on the level. There is no reason a very intelligent person predisposed to sociopathy couldn’t use their mental capacity to choose socially acceptable behaviors.

People are multi-faceted, and one thing that seems to be universal is the need to disclose or share who we are with at least one other person. Also, some people are more self-aware than others and that includes some who fall on the anti-social spectrum. Again, I think you need to look at a person’s behaviors to see if they match the words. The guy I dated who claimed to be sociopathic never once lied to me. He was totally congruent in word and deed. But he was extremely insensitive and could be very cruel, and discarded me very cruelly at the end. A person who is insensitive can be more trustworthy in certain ways than one who constantly lies. It all depends on the behaviors.

The guy I dated who was a full-blown sociopath was a pathological liar. This made him completely unreliable and dangerous to me.


Jan, I hope those amateur roofers didn’t make a mess of your roof, and you didn’t end up having to sing “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”!

Anyway thank you for directing my attention to the very information I was looking for. After listening to the James Fallon interview I was wondering how he was viewed by those close to him, and specifically whether he was married, whether he had any kids, and what they thought or felt about him. Sure enough, here are some answers in this interview with Katie Drummond that you mentioned.

Fair enough, Fallon does admit “he’s never truly made an empathetic connection (even with his wife),” and his behavior in the past has not been ideal—though others have labeled him “inconsiderate” rather than anything more serious. Quote: “You know Jim, a lot of the time you’re kind of an asshole…” (In this video from “The Moth” he says their complaint was that he “doesn’t bond” with others.) And he enjoys charming people to get them to want to do things for him.

However, he does say he puts limits on that behavior—“I don’t take it that far, by making unreasonable or immoral demands on them.” I have to give the guy credit for that, and more important, for trying to take responsibility for the way he treats others. Too many people, psychopathic or not, don’t do that. Nobody can help “being who they are.” What matters is what they do.

It’s the “bottom line” I was concerned with, and that seemed to be answered in the “top line” (as it were), which began: “James Fallon is a happily married father of three.” In my mind the word “happily” says a great deal, especially since his marriage (so I gather) has lasted a lifetime so far. Lower down, he says “at the end of the day despite everything, they [my family] still think that deep down I’m a pretty good guy.”

Of course, we could object that we’ve only got his word for that! So it was particularly helpful that Katie Drummond was able to get a direct quote from his wife in person, who said he’s become “more considerate.” Even if Fallon’s brain is not capable of “feeling true empathy” with his wife, that need not stop him from behaving in a caring way toward her, which should include things like listening to his wife, acknowledging her concerns, and trying to meet her needs in any number of ways. Plenty of wives and husbands aren’t perfect; many are worse, and can’t even plead “psychopathy” as an excuse for their behavior! If Fallon’s wife and family are happy enough with him, that to me is the bottom line.



[continued from above]

As for the other things you mentioned, I haven’t found anything to say Fallon already knew he was a psychopath, or that that was his reason for choosing this field of research. I hear that many psychopaths do sense they’re “different” in some way from other people—sometimes even from childhood—so it’s not unreasonable to suppose Fallon became aware of some such difference earlier in life. Starting at 8:22 in the radio interview he did mention his mother being “disturbed” by some of his behavior shortly before puberty, though that problem seemed to go away.

Still, none of that is to say he expected his brain to be like that of violent killers!—which he discovered around 2006, according to Barbara Bradley Hagerty’s article from June 2010, A Neuroscientist Discovers a Dark Secret. From the University of California, Irvine, this list of Fallon’s publications shows none that he co-authored with Dr. Amen prior to 2006. So even if Amen did do a PET scan of his own on his associates including Fallon, he wouldn’t be telling Fallon anything he didn’t already know.

Why should Fallon not trumpet his discovery about himself? The man is a scientist, after all, and however disturbing this revelation may have been to him personally, he must also have been intellectually fascinated by it. As he said himself in the radio interview: “That was pretty wild!” But he told Katie Drummond that some of his previous associates started to avoid him once he “came out” as a psychopath. If he’d wanted to hide his true self in order to “con” people, he could just as easily have kept quiet about what he’d found. Yet he didn’t.

I found a video clip of Fallon’s appearance on the Dr. Drew show, but to my annoyance it was abruptly cut off before the end. So it did nothing to help me understand what you were saying about Fallon “manipulating” Dr. Drew. In that segment I saw no flattery at all; nothing except straightforward questions and answers about brain scans and the characteristics of psychopathic killers. So I’m not clear in what way you saw Fallon manipulating Dr. Drew, what mental game Drew was being sucked into, or what harm could have resulted from it. It’s only a TV show about psychopathology. It’s not as if Fallon was appearing there to persuade viewers to invest money in some Ponzi scheme.

Where I really start getting baffled is at the string of accusations leveled at Dr. Fallon that seem to come right out of thin air: claims that he “cons” people (implying fraud), that he practices “gaslighting,” that he makes people “have mental breakdowns,” that he sucks female and/or male[!] students into “affairs with him,” that he “gets others fired,” and has “left a trail of destruction behind him.” Where is the evidence for any of these allegations?

Apart from (presumably) being selfish, unfeeling and neglectful at times, and impulsive as well, all I’ve heard about Dr. Fallon’s bad behavior is that he’s “partied hard” (drinking too much, I suppose) and told a lot of lies in his time. I don’t even know if they were serious lies or not. People of that kind often tell lies that are nothing more than “tall tales,” to make themselves look good or to entertain people by being the “life and soul of the party.” Or in petty matters, like saying he has to “stay late at work” when he’s really going to the bar. I have no evidence that he’s lied, say, to swindle anyone out of money or to falsify the results of his work, anything serious like that. If he had, it’s unlikely that his colleagues would “still trust his judgment,” as he said they did.

“Affairs”—with female or even (gasp!) male students? Where’s the evidence for that? If Fallon were a wholesale philanderer it’s far less likely he’d still be married to Diane after so many years. Besides, he said himself in the radio interview (at 11:10) that he “doesn’t need sex.” Of course we can’t take that too literally; he does have three children after all! But his point is well taken: that not every psychopath has to be an insatiable sex maniac.

I’m afraid it’s quite indefensible, legally as well as morally, to propose firing a man from his job based on what is, in the end, nothing but a brain scan. People are not fired because of what they “are,” but because of what they do—or fail to do. We’re asked to imagine the damage this man could be doing—but “imagination” is just that: a hypothetical possibility at most. Imagination is not evidence. It’s not fact. It’s not proven reality. If this man were really doing all these dreadful things to people, then there would be complaints from those he was harming, and those complaints could justify firing him. If that’s not happening, not only is there no cause to fire him, but no reason to suppose he is leaving a “trail of destruction.”

The only thing I found still harder to comprehend was the proposal that people’s minds, emotions and mental wellbeing could be damaged by nothing more than listening to a lecture or reading literature by Dr. Fallon. Or by Sam Vaknin for that matter. About the worst thing it could do is to tax their own brain a bit, but I never heard of anyone’s brain being sprained by too much exercise. Apart from anything Fallon may have done in his personal life, the value of his work to the larger society is in the many positive contributions he’s made in numerous aspects of neuroscience. That’s another reason why it would be pointless to fire him without good cause, depriving us all of any future work he might do.

I could say the same of Sam Vaknin’s work, though he’s a different topic. I’m not trying to pretend Vaknin is a “good guy”—it’s common knowledge he’s been in prison for fraud, and he doesn’t treat his wife so well—but his writings, though they’re open to criticism as all such writings are, have been genuinely valuable to a great many people. Anyone can see that from their testimonials.

The real issue underlying all this is that psychopaths are not all the same. In many respects they can be as diverse as any category of human beings. Even the really bad ones can be as different from one another as chalk and cheese. People come to this site to discuss psychopaths because the ones they’ve dealt with have been anything from chronically abusive to downright evil. But that in itself doesn’t disprove the existence of others, possibly like Fallon, who may at least be far better adjusted than the typical psychopath.


James Fallon says he is a psychopath. i believe him. so should you.

Sam Vaknin is a psychopath, google “I, Psychopath” and watch the free documentary over the net where Vaknin learns YES he is a psychopath.

Donna Anderson Lovefraud writes under the red tap Beware the sociopath: “Here is how Robert D. Hare, Ph.D., begins his book about psychopaths, Without Conscience:

“Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.”*

Donna Anderson Lovefraud Continues to say: Sociopaths exhibit a range of behaviors. In fact, Dr. Hare diagnoses them according to their score on a scale. So just as you could describe someone’s intelligence as ranging from smart to genius, you could describe a sociopath as somewhere between sleazy and serial killer. If you see sleazy, he or she may be on the low end of the scale, but they’re still bad news…”

All psychopaths have the same traits, just look at Hare’s list of traits of a psychopath Lovefraud has them posted.

honestly, I am now done talking about this subject. Thx for your post.


Donna, there are other questions posed by this debate. For instance, does having a brain scan like those of sociopaths makes one a sociopath? What makes a person a sociopath? Is it a brain scan? According to Dr. Hare’s checklist, it is a set of behaviors that make one a sociopath. So if a person is not exhibiting those behaviors, is he or she a sociopath? How many people are walking around with the same brain scan? What would we do if we knew?

Does this guy’s admission that he is low empathy and unable to bond with people make him a sociopath? There are many people who have difficulty bonding who are not sociopathic or even personality disordered. In fact, people who have had trauma in early childhood will have trouble bonding, and they will exhibit symptoms of personality disorder. Current research (according to my analyst) is that people with bonding issues due to childhood trauma such as neglect can be healed. Many of these people have low empathy because they are in so much pain themselves, they cannot possibly feel someone else’s pain. Does that make them sociopaths?

So do we judge a person’s character based on how they describe themselves? This won’t work because many people have opinions or judgments about themselves that are not based in reality. Case in point, how many people here thought we were mentally ill because the sociopaths in our lives told us we were?

I think a good predictor of how a person will behave is not a brain scan or a label or even their own self-analysis. It is past behaviors. If we look at how a person has behaved his whole life, we will have some indication of how he is likely to behave in the future. This is never a 100% guarantee, obviously, because human beings all have free will choice. Of course, there are some conditions such as schizophrenia that often have an onset in early adulthood. In this case, I don’t know if a brain scan would be a predictor of the likelihood of someone having a psychotic break, though there is probably scientific research in this field.

If our behaviors could all be predicted by a brain scan, then it would make sense for every person who is born to have their brain scanned the same way they are fingerprinted. That way we can “keep an eye” on the ones with the problematic brain scans. Of course, this is ridiculous. Outside of scientific research, using the information to criminalize a person would be like sending a person to prison for their thoughts. If that were the case, we’d all be criminals at one time or other.

Then there is the question of if we knew someone’s brain scan predisposed them to disorder, how much would we then project that disorder onto the person? And then would the person become what we expect him to, due to projective identification?


I think we focus to much on labeling people, using the spath word. I meet people all the time that have no morals, lack of conscience and most of all lack of respect. I think it’s the times, our culture breeds these assholes. It’s up to me, if someone makes me feel uneasy or I recognize any lack of respect I just walk away. I just dont need these people in my life. I dont give them a chance to exploit me. Maybe I have developed spath-dar. And that is a good thing because so often when I encounter these freaks they look at me like I know what they are and that makes them uneasy.


Hey folks. I have been on here for a while and posted up to about a year ago. I have been predated by someone who I now believe to be disordered as well as having my spouse nearly taken. this site was a lifesaver for me. it also prompted me to do a LOT of research. the strange thing is, my sister began a search for our family lineage a few years back and found that some of our ancestors on my fathers side were, well, shady? these were folks that came from the old country. upon asking some pointed questions about recent lineage, I found that I had at least two uncles who displayed p-traits. one of them lived next door and my mother was like a she bear with us kids. she didn’t let us near him without an eye on us.
the point i’m getting to here is this. lets remind ourselves that it is likely that genetics only sets the stage for a persons likelihood of cluster b traits. I can remember my own childhood and I was a handful. but my parents(both) stayed after me and I developed empathy. I, when looking back, think that had it not been for them pointing the way constantly, well, I might have become an entirely different person. I think that genetics and environment come together to determine whether or not we develop any empathy. and it looks to me as if empathy (or lack thereof)is what determines whether a person is capable of committing the awful acts we hear of on lovefraud.

sincerely and with respect


Family of Origin and the ensuing aftermath

Finally I am speaking out…

My comments are from the perspective of having a psychopathic son. He’s not a murderer, although there are many instances in which I was in fear of my safety around him. But he is callous, mean and dishonest.

His father was a psychopath, and I had no idea that a pre-disposition to psychopathy is genetic. Now that I’ve experienced the creation of a psychopath, I think I might be able to impart some awareness.

Had I not been a tea-totter, another name for a person who rarely or never drinks, I would have thought that my toddler had fetal alcohol syndrome. As a developing child, he was impulsive, explosive, and nothing, not rewards and not punishment, meant anything to him. He killed his rabbit by slamming his head into the stairs when he was about 3.5 or 4 years old. He was also cute, smart and funny.

He was kicked out of 3 schools and the dormitory at college. At the age of 27, well beyond the stage at which he should have known better, he stole a computer monitor from Costco right under my nose. I realized what he had done once I drove him home and saw it in the back of my car. Ever his mother, I insisted he pay for the unit and took him back to the store to do so. I thought he was “difficult” and if I kept trying to lead him onto higher moral ground, eventually he’d get it. When I finally understood that his father was a psychopath, it finally made sense.

I credit the fact that my son was raised in a nurturing and moral environment with the fact that he did not become a ghoul. Abused children of psychopaths will often become abusers. My son was abandoned by his father at age 6. He became an abandoner instead. Five years ago, he told me, “Now that I’m independent, what do I need you for?”, and I’ve barely seen him since then. In fact, it’s now three years since I’ve seen him at all.

BTW- he’s very close to his very wealthy father. He is now his father’s Golden Child which is common in children of psychopaths. They either become the “Golden Child” or the “Scapegoat” to be mercilessly picked on. My son was the scapegoat until his father realized he’d gouged such a huge hole in his heart that he could manipulate him through it.

I don’t believe that PET scans tell the whole story. They may indicate some of the brain functioning that can contribute to psychopathy, but I believe the chemistry of the brain is also an issue.

Oxytocin is the nuero-transmitter that makes us trusting and caring. In her book, “Just Like His Father”, Dr. Leedom identifies that oxytocin receptors must be stimulated by parental warmth when a child is very young in order to create affective empathy. I believe both the combination of oxytocin, brain infrastructure and social impact will all affect the depth and type of the disorder that does or does not arise. If a child has brain infrastructure that is consistent with a psychopath, but receives considerable parental warmth and a warm, supportive social structure, they could avoid sliding into the depths of psychopathy and/or have a less ghoulish form of the disorder.

Unfortunately, my ex failed to support his child from birth and I was compelled to work long hours to keep a roof over his head and food in his tummy. He had 5 care-givers before he was a year old. I wish I could go backwards in time.

Psychopaths run the gamete of being louses, or being horrific ghouls. But the common thread is that they have very little or no affective empathy. If you fell out of your chair around my son, he would laugh. Once day we were in the hospital and an orderly tried to come on with a stretcher containing a badly injured patient who was in grave distress. My son pushed the “door close” button in order to avoid being in the same space.

Would he murder someone? I don’t think so. Would he hurt someone? Without blinking an eye, and make it all their fault as well. While I don’t miss the havoc my son created in my life, I miss the son he could have been. I can only console myself with knowing I did the best I knew how at the time, and find some peace through understanding.



Wow. It takes a brave person to recognize the evil in this world albeit your own son.

I admire you tremendously and wish you the very best.

We are all on a path in this life and you have shown what courage and integrity look like.

Thank you.


Thanks so much for your kind words.

The sting goes out of the ordeal when you know you can provide some insights to help someone else get through!

This blog is truly a God send for many people!




This came across my facebook page yesterday, it is from Forbes Magazine. Chilling to me since my ex was clergy and studied for a year in law school.

The Top 10 Jobs That Attract Psychopaths

Everyone I have ever worked with has, at some point, called another colleague or coworker “crazy.” But does your job actually attract true psychopaths? In the book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success,” Kevin Dutton explains that there are jobs that can attract literal psychopaths ”“ and also jobs that are least likely to do so.

It’s important to note that a psychopathic person isn’t necessarily one that is set out to kill others (even though you might feel as such on a Wednesday afternoon in the office.) In reality, psychopaths merely ”“ and typically ”“ just lack emotions and empathy, or the ability to identify with others. Dutton has said that ”a number of psychopathic attributes [are] actually more common in business leaders than in so-called disturbed criminals attributes such as superficial charm, egocentricity, persuasiveness, lack of empathy, independence, and focus.”

This may explain why many of the jobs attractive to psychopaths ”“ such as CEO’s, salespeople and media types ”“ are often found in the tech industry.

So what jobs are most attractive to psychopaths? Here’s the list, originally published online by Eric Barker:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

And for those looking to potentially avoid working with the least number of psychopaths, here’s the list of occupations with the lowest rates of psychopathy:

1. Care aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant


I like your post.

However, I would move “creative artist” over to the other side of the page.

This would include actors, producers, directors, musicians, and most creative areas. Since they have a different brain for their “art” I believe there is a higher probability for a mood disorder and/or a personality disorder.

I was married to a “musician” and the arrogance and entitlement that most of these folks display is nauseating. I tired of his demands from me to flatter him endlessly. I was relieved to unload this big baby out of my life!

Therapists should be in both columns.


Also, I work for a company that deals with surgeons. I have never seen a LARGER group in ONE profession that is so evil.

Selfish, arrogant, entitled, and pathological liars.

Scary to think what they may be telling their patients! Terrifying to think of the power they have and the money they make off sick people.

No wonder our health care system is so corrupt.

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