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By September 20, 2010 106 Comments Read More →

If only the media added educational to the sensational

A Lovefraud reader frequently sends me links to stories in the Daily Mail, a tabloid based in the United Kingdom. Here are some recent articles:

Newlywed ”˜murdered his wife of just five months after she discovered his affairs on Facebook’ (September 3, 2010)

Bigamist who claimed to be decorated Falklands hero to woo fifth wife then fleeced her of £50,000 (September 6, 2010)

Cheating husband bludgeoned wife to death before going Christmas shopping with mistress (September 9, 2010)

Internet Romeo conned dozens of women out of £500,000 pretending to be terminally ill (September 15, 2010)

Here at Lovefraud, we can recognize that the bad actors in all of these cases are likely sociopaths.

The signs are all there. One perp was called, “The man with the golden tongue.” About another perp, a cop said, “he targeted vulnerable women, gained their trust and then fraudulently obtained money for his own needs.” The man who murdered his wife conducted an elaborate charade for four days, using her phone to send texts to family and friends saying that she had left him.

A different story

Yes, I’d say these guys are sociopaths. But to the Daily Mail, they’re just sensational stories.

The Daily Mail has a circulation of nearly 2 million. That means every day, nearly 2 million people read these stories. Can you imagine how helpful it would be if the Daily Mail actually pointed out that there is a common denominator among all these cases? That they are, in fact, sociopaths?

For example, here’s the type of information I’d like to see added to the “Internet Romeo” story:

Good-looking, charming and apparently a successful professional, David Checkley seemed perfect to the women he courted on dating websites.

In reality, however, the 52-year-old was a serial fraudster who cheated his victims out of half a million pounds.

One lent him £10,000 after he claimed to need money for a vital operation to cure his fictional Parkinson’s disease.

Others gave him cash for invented business dealings as he posed variously as an architect, property developer, fighter pilot and Vietnam War veteran. One woman ended up losing her house.

Here’s where I’d elaborate:

How did this happen? How did so many smart, successful women fall for this bloke’s stories?

“In cases like this, the perpetrators often have a personality disorder,” explained one expert. “Often, people who charm others and then take advantage of them are sociopaths.”

The term “sociopath,” the expert explained, does not necessarily mean someone is a serial killer. Rather, a sociopath is someone with no conscience and no empathy for others. They can appear to be charming, glib and charismatic. They often seem to be a lot of fun. But they are social predators, whose aim is to exploit people to get what they want.

So why don’t the media explain what a sociopath is, or connect the dots so that people can start to see the pattern in the behavior described in these stories?

First of all, most reporters are clueless about this disorder, just as we were once all clueless. They went to the same schools and live in the same society as we do. If we never learned it, neither did they.

Secondly, even if the media realizes someone is a sociopath, actually saying it creates all kinds of legal problems. The media are in the publicity business, and publicity gone bad can turn into defamation. The Daily Mail has lost some big libel suits, and I’m sure would prefer to avoid them.

Media suggestions

So what could be done? Here are suggestions for the Daily Mail and other media:

  1. Publish informational stories about sociopathy, explaining how prevalent the disorder is, and what the symptoms are.
  2. Watch for stories in which someone has been diagnosed as a sociopath in court, because, in the U.S. at least, anything said in court can be published without fear of defamation.
  3. When someone is diagnosed as a sociopath, explain what it means, and what kind of behavior the person exhibited that is typical of a sociopath.

If the media could add education to the sensationalism, a lot of people may learn to recognize the behavior and avoid being victimized.

If I were a cynic, I’d say that the media might not want to do this, because then they’d have fewer sensational stories. But I don’t think they’d have to worry. Unfortunately, there are so many sociopaths, and they are so good, that  it will be a long time before the predators run out of victims.


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106 Comments on "If only the media added educational to the sensational"

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Donna, I agree with you totally! Sensationalizing a story with “eye popping headlines” is what draws readers whether the story is written in the tabloids or the broadsheets! Or magazine, or on line!

I don’t have a doubt that most of the “honorees” of these stories are most likely very nigh in psychopathic traits and if they are ever given a PCL-R while they are in prison, there is little doubt in my mind at least that they will flunk. I think they will score very [email protected]

The problem is too, a layman can say about a “bad guy” or anyone else, “He looked depressed to me” and no one is going to take action legally for “calling him names.” However, even professionals are loath to label someone “psychopath” for fear of reprisals because without an accurate and legal “diagnosis” the term can’t be used “safely.”

Strangely enough though the papers say the “alleged serial rapist” or “alleged” whatever crime he is being prosecuted for.

Sometimes I’ve even read the comment “the lady arrested was alleged to have been very depressed before her children were killed.”

Even if only more reporters would publish articles about what a psychopath is, or publish the general behaviors of a con-man who RESEMBLES a psychopath it might help.

Until our young people are being taught at an early age that “not everyone is nice” and names given to the type of people who are not nice I think the ignorance will continue. I think we still have a long up-hill battle to educate the public, much less the press about what a typical psychopath is. I think most if not all of the criminals in those stories would qualify.

I’ve noticed that on some shows such as, 48 hours, or D
ateline or 20/20, often a comentator will say, “He/ she showed a lack of remorse and an inability to empathize with others…ocassionally they will use the word, “sociopath,” but it would be most helpful if they used all the descriptors and the label together.

Frankly, I’m pretty amazed that anyone ever gets diagnosed as an S. They don’t seek help, and they lie like a rug, fake and charm, connive and masquerade…I don’t see how anyone can depend on a professional diagnoses…I just think that is probably pretty rare….but we know what they are and how to identify them. I guess, at this time the best thing we can do is proclaim, “he fit the profile” or, he displayed the charactoristics” of a Sociopath, because he….1. 2. 3.

Probably the vast majority that are diagnosed are diagnosed in prison, and so are perpetuating the myth that all are serial killers, and violent criminals.

I had direct experience of the Daily Mail when one of their regular journalists wanted to write a feature about my book. The book is an auto-biographical novel and describes my disordered ex (NPD, APD) and what life was like with him. Even though the names were changed (to protect children) the paper didn’t want to run the story without giving my (absent) ex the right of reply. They wanted to fix on another aspect of my life and leave the whole NPD/APD out of it, despite the fact I had a top UK forensic psychologist read the book and provide his professional opinion.
The sad fact is that these conditions are rarely diagnosed until a serious crime is committed, and in cases like mine, it is the victim who ends up getting psychological help, whilst the APD/NPD remains just below the official forensic radar.

I’m now glad the story didn’t run, as it’s not really the platform I want for my book, which addresses such a serious issue. I totally agree with you though that the media do little to help educate people about this problem. Instead, often making the subject of the story look gullible or even stupid. Some of the reader comments they allow are horrific.

Very goood points Donna – there seems to be an almost universal reluctance to mention sociopathy or psychopathy except in the most extreme cases of violence ie serial rapes or murders. Naturally this bias contributes to the erroneous belief that all sociopaths are serial killers. So when we meet a charming one dressed in a suit we are not prepared for what dwells beneath that polished exterior.

I would like to see more publically funded research on sociopaths who are not in jail. If this happened and was publicised, it might contribute to shifting the beliefs about sociopaths to a more realistic picture of the subtleties associated with sociopathy. They don’t weild a knife or gun every day, very often hold down responsible jobs and definitely engage in exploitative relationships that destroy and harm others. But they don’t look any different to a normal person for the first while – there’s no fangs or strange horns growing from the head.

Maybe what we should do is add our own comments and point out that these symptoms look like sociopathy – then at least anyone who reads the article and comments might become knowledgeable and aware. I suppose we could also write letters to the editor highlighting the magnitude and impact of sociopathy on targets.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

@ Sarah Tate – Sarah, is Tate your actual name? I am just wondering as I knew a Brit in Canada a few years ago with that last name, who told me some wild stories about his ex…and in light of being spathed I have wondered more than once about him.

It’s like the reporters of these stories always seem to evoke a condescending tone of “This could never happen me, but look what happened to this poor dupe.”

It’s a disconnected reality that is dangerous to project because any one of us could be taken in at any given time.

If the media is going to continue to sensationalize this subject, the least they could do is close by saying these disordered personalities are everywhere, and we should all educate ourselves about the characteristics of these types of predators so the same thing does not happen to us or one of our loved ones.

Instead of treating each sensationalized story like an isolated incident, the media should be responsible enough to portray the personality disordered as a deviant thread that runs throughout society….mostly UN-checked.

The only way people will raise their awareness of this subject is when it is seen as a problem that affects ALL of us.

Dear Donna:

You website has helped me more than anything, and I mean everything–every resource I have checked into for support.

It never ceases to amaze me that whatever place I am in my grief, boom-LF has an article or topic on the very thing.

I can so relate to what you are saying here. After calling many, many counselors recently, I found 1 counselor who works at a domestic violence agency.

The first question I asked her was: do you have experience dealing with women who have had relationships with sociopaths.

She says: Why is that important to you? Duhhhhh!

Rosa, SO TRUE! It baffles me how little people understand about this. Even in the therapy community….I have two friends and colleagues who work with DV (I have, too, with perpetrators) but these two therapists have NO idea about aspd (sociopaths). I have told them my story in bits and pieces and one said to me “well just move on”. seriously? Like I am NOT trying to move on! and when things were really bad with me and x spath I was no doubt acting like the basket case I was and I think they really wondered what I was doing to cause him to do this. I get that my behavior before coming to LF needed some work..I was out of my mind in pain, fear, disbelief, but you’t think seasoned counselors would recognize this, esp. those who work in DV!
I can tell you…I plan to work with women, and men, who have had this issue…when I heal first, that is!

Kim F-and others on this topic….my ex spath is a physician. tall good looking, comes across the strong silent type (translation: rager). He and his girlfriend now 3rd wife, had to do MMPI for custody eval. (so did I) and his came back narcissist, extreme anger towards women, paranoid and lacking insight. His g/f who is also a physician came back as inconclusive translation: LYING.
My MMPI was benign. But HE got custody. I get what he was doing. He found someone to marry to look credible (which is what he has done over and over) and they were in MY house that I designed for our family. I left the family home is what the Ph.D psychologist custody eval. said. Well, I told her that I left one family home and went to our other family home in the city. She told me she was unsure of my stability because of not working and leaving the town my daughter had grown up in. (she was 4 at this time). I told her i had given up my previous career as a nurse anesthetist to stay home with my D after we brought her home from China, something she needed very badly, and I raised her, I disciplined and taught her. He was never home. He said he would give us “one night a week for family time the rest of the week is mine”. And I had to go back to school…I was getting my masters in psych and had this plan for a while. But two doctors living in my house in same town despite MMPI results meant I lost my daughter to this sicko. It is INSANE. You can see why I lost my mind after that. I just couldn’t understand what had happened in my life. THe five years of marriage and insanity was something I didn’t get yet, either, then losing custody….I couldn’t think straight. I was so distraught and so wish I would h ave had LF at that time so I could have made better decisions. I tried so hard to put my life back together overnight basically and in my pain I made stupid decisions. My goal is to now help women make good decisions after this kind of situation..to now make any major changes until they can think clearly. I tried to buy a house and I moved and just was nutty in trying to get my power and my life back but I didn’t know what was happening, what my ex was still doing…pi’s on me, keystroke monitor on my computer, he harrassed and followed me and my friends…and took my four runner out of my locked parking area…yet he is the healthy one? Really?

Dear Chinagirl,

They take so much away, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally and even sometimes our REALITY…but you have started welll…how are the telephone visits going with your daughter? Is his wife still being kind to you and to your daughter as well? I sure hope so and I pray so.

Continue to focus on the positive moves you can make, and to reinforce that you are moving in a positive direction.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the most important thing right now for you and your daughter is the relationship you two have. Even though right now it is at a distance, keep up every positive second of communication with her. ((((Hugs)))) and God bless.

Chinagirl,

I could barely read your posts when you told your story awhile back. They were so painful. I’m glad you are reaching out to others because you have invaluable advice to help others.

The damage your ex has done and continues to do, is beyond comprehension. Terrorizing and wreaking havok on the innocent partners, parents, relatives and the worst is what they do to the children. Without conscience for sure.

Keep the faith and stay strong, he hasn’t destroyed you yet (and won’t)! Like the phoenix, rise from the ashes! I know that sounds kind of corny but I believe it. The strength of will to overcome the spaths path of destructive carp is ENORMOUS!

@ one_step_at_a_time

no, that’s not my real name. It’s my pen name. I live in Europe, hence the connection to the Daily Mail.

They really were more interested in focusing on ome other ‘sensational’ headline, such as ‘why I hate my ex’ or ‘why I never want my children to see their father again’ than focusing on the things he had done and the Personality Disorder which lay behind it all. I know if I’d have gone ahead with the feature, I would have come in for a lot of stick. It may have a massive circulation, but it is aimed at a specific audienc,e and therefore ‘educating’ people about such serious disorders is not high up on it’s priority list.

Sad, but true.

until one has personally suffered from being in the path of a sociopath, education about them just doesnt register, it’s one of those things we have to experience first hand to understand

Dear Pollyannanomore, et al,

“Maybe what we should do is add our own comments and point out that these symptoms look like sociopathy ”“ then at least anyone who reads the article and comments might become knowledgeable and aware. I suppose we could also write letters to the editor highlighting the magnitude and impact of sociopathy on targets.”

Yes! I’ve been espousing that very sentiment for awhile and remain a strong proponent of making it known to the media that we want to educate the mainstream and raise public awareness.

While it is frustrating ”“ to use an understatement ”“ to be targeted by a sociopath, I feel even more frustrated that the word isn’t getting out in a big & informative way. I’ve commented at websites on articles and show pieces, and composed requests to syndicated shows, as well as cable & broadcast programs & networks for this very reason, and oftentimes encouraged others who’ve experienced the exploits of a sociopath to do the same.

So I put together a media contact list to make it as easy as possible without actually typing & sending everyone’s messages for them at http://www.sociosibs.info/awareness.htm#media. While it doesn’t yet include print media, it does contain an extensive up-to-date list of nationally aired media contact pages & email addies.

If we want more media focus on this topic, then we have to make it known to media editors & programmers. They can’t read out minds. And for those who are of the mind that it won’t help, we won’t know if we don’t ask, and it can’t hurt to ask.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

sociosibs – went to your home page – very nicely written. and very true to my experience of that kind sweet ‘preyed upon’ soul who i loved.

Donna Andersen and Sarah Tate:

I know you both understand the dilemma faced by the media and why they want to avoid the potential for liability that would come with labeling someone a sociopath (especially if there’s no diagnosis included from court records, as Donna mentioned). And the truth is, most of us would want the chance to give our side of the story too if someone publicly accuses us of inappropriate behaviors (there also can be non-sociopathic people with hidden agendas, as we all know).

When facts in a story are balanced, they really do speak for themselves. And Donna does a great job of this in her book. She provides factual information of what happened in her dealings with James Montgomery, and examples of how she perceived and handled many events. Montgomery is exposed by unquestionably clear indications of his deceptive behaviors.

At the same time, I see progress made with the internet being such an open forum for all kinds of information. There are many individuals now publishing their experiences with NPDs/sociopaths and personal recovery from toxic relationships on personal blogs.

So there is much to celebrate, even small victories. More information is accessible to the public now than ever before in the history of this country.

Since Donna and Sarah are both authors of books about relationships with sociopaths, I’m sure you get to use opportunities that come up (book signings, speaking at schools,etc.) to keep putting the word out whenever possible.

I am doing what I can to share research and other information with clients, colleagues, family and friends.
A generational shift is happening in my own family-of-origin in that I am introducing topics related to sociopathy in some discussions with my son (who’s 14) and some nieces and nephews. I try not to overwhelm them and generally ask questions to get them to think about how they’d feel if a friend continuously lied or tried to cause trouble between them and others, for example.

In contrast, I got my most intensive education about sociopathy in my mid-40s — even though in hindsight I can now say pieces of the puzzle were thrown my way since my early 20s (the dots weren’t connected, though, until now — and I continue to learn).

I also sometimes post comments after reading newspaper articles and find a way to mention the words sociopath or narcissist as food for thought. Many Lovefraud readers speak of how they attempt to help educate others — potential new victims and family members.

So through our combined advocacy and education efforts to deal with the major problems of and caused by pathological narcissism and sociopathy/psychopathy, we will keep making a difference.

To all at LF — One person at a time, and in each of our communities across the globe, never forget that your experience and knowledge can help someone else.

Donna et al,

All knowledge acquired by the human race is not once and for all educated into people—but must continually be re-educated into each generation.

Just as the offspring of the best horse I ever had, if not educated and trained, will in one generation revert to the wild state of total ignorance of humans.

No matter how many people we educate about sociopathy, as each new child is born into the world, we must continue the educational process. It is a process that is never “finished.”

Even if by “magic” we were able to teach every person in the world about psychopaths today, the job would still not be “done” any more than if we were able to teach every adult person in the world how to read today, tomorrow we would still need to send our children to school.

We mustn’t give up on our efforts to educate people about sociopathy every chance we get, any more than we would give up working toward 100% literacy in our communities just because we may not achieve that goal instantly and then never have to work on it again.

I applaud each of the authors here and the people who have written books, spoken in the media, or even just commented on a news article. Each “drop of rain helps to fill the river” and by everyone contributing to the river, we can make our lives, and the lives of others, better and safer from the predators among us.

Oxy, off topic, sorry, but you asked (yesterday? I can’t find the right thread) if any of us were having trouble downloading threads… last night I would try to download a long thread and only half of it would download, then I would hit the refresh button and would get the page downloaded… and many times when I post a comment I am left looking at a blank screen — I have to refresh. I have a cable hookup that is very fast (Road Runner) so I’m not sure what the problem is, mine sounds very similar to what you’ve been going through.

I will notify donna again and see if the problem is with her server or IT. Thanks for the information, it has been a continual problem with me on an on and off basis and drives me bonkers. LOL

Sociosibs, I got a bit excited reading your post! I think a community such as this of people who have gotten away from them has powerful potential as a research group and advocacy front to present education to the general public.

With these condescending reports about scams (even the word implies something slimy and low class but mainly involving money) and victims who’ve been cheated and swindled and abused there is a kind of condescencion. You are so right Rosa about how targets are looked down on in stories like that. In relation to sociopaths, a quote comes to mind
“There, but for the grace of God go I”

Any one of us who is wandering around like an innocent child is vulnerable to any manner of attack from these predators. This might be an exploitative work relationship, a single swindling event or a long term life sucking situation. Knowledge and intuition are definitely our best forms of defence against being prey again. Development of both is key. I think intuition exists even when we’re in relationship dynamic with the psychopath, but we teach ourselves to attempt to ignore it as it warns us of the extreme danger we’re surviving in.

It’s a war zone where you never know where the next hit is coming from .You have no idea what it will be – it could be a cold look or a frosty response or perhaps a general pattern of behaviour over days or weeks or years. And always the promises – so we teach ourselves to ignore it – we accept their version of reality where everything is perfectly normal according to them. We KNOW it’s not but nobody will believe us. That is if we’re not detached from everyone else in our lives but the psychopath.

It’s a real horror situation. All those films with ghosts and ghouls are nothing when compared to the horror that is a person with no feeling for his fellow human being. A heartless and souless shell – an automatron. That is horror. And to be abused and manipulated and lied to and used and treated with contempt by this person because we don’t know how to recognise them is a horror. It was hell for me – torment and hell on earth. I could have died or gone mad or given up or ended it all. But I didn’t. ANd now life is … not the same, but is slowly moving towards being more normal.

Public education is a must … we all need to share where we can with people who believe us and when we feel strong enough be prepared to highlight the issue to the mainstream media. I have contacted several investigative journalism programmes in my country to request a clip on everyday sociopaths and some of the myths attached to them. It would be good to have some funding from Government to help with public education campaigns … people really need to know about this.

Many thanks to Donna and other brave determined former targets who go above & beyond to spread the word!

“Public education is a must ” we all need to share where we can with people who believe us and when we feel strong enough be prepared to highlight the issue to the mainstream media.”

And thanks to Pollyannanomore and others here who gather the courage & gumption to speak & write publicly whenever the opportunity arises.

This place, Lovefraud, has been not only a great place for information and support, but a place where folks can heal safely and empower one another.

One of the biggest obstacles to protecting targets, and a boon for the sociopaths, is that they are believed no matter how absurd their tales, whereas we’re looked at as having 2 heads when we attempt to expose them. This is a key reason why I feel a need to raise awareness among professionals and the general public. However bizarre my story sounds, it is thus because of the exploits of the sociopath, rather than inherent in my telling about it, like the case of others here who are portrayed as nuts by the sociopath and not believed, compounding the trauma.

In addition to posting comments to articles online and sending messages to media requesting coverage of this topic, I, too, have been composing my own story. It began as a way to protect myself and my family, whom I believe to be in danger of the acts of a specific sociopath. Once it is ready, I’ll submit it here at Lovefraud, as well as at my website, and elsewhere.

Having been painfully confronted by how hard it is to get the word out, especially considering that we will not sink to the depths to which the sociopaths will, which puts us at a disadvantage, I’ve deduced that the way to counter such underhandedness is to methodically build a case. That is, collect evidence, put the puzzle pieces of the portrait of the sociopath together, and add an expert opinion or two.

It does seem that a main reason that the words, “sociopathy” & “psychopathy” are not attached to those who undoubtedly have it in the many published stories about them is due to liability issues, which sociopaths take full advantage of. So I figure if I back up my story with hard evidence and professional opinions, then that may cover the issue and allay the fear of legal action for publicizing it.

Read a follow up on the case of the bridegroom who murdered his wife 5 months after the wedding when she caught him on FB–he got 17 years! Be out sooner of course!

WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE MURDER A CRIME in the civilized world? Gosh I am tired of this carp where in the “civilized” world we almost condone Murder, and in other countries they will stone you for cheating! There has to be some MIDDLE GROUND HERE!

Thank you, One_step_at_a_time. Glad you liked it.

I’m an amateur designer so it isn’t a robust site, but it’s a basic start for what I’m trying to do in reducing or eliminating sociopathic destruction.

Dear Sociosibs,

I like your site very much, but I would recommend that you let people READ at least without joining, because your real reason for the site is INFORMATION and EDUCATION. Making it EASIER for folks to read I think will help push that agenda further.

As for publishing the “stories” and them being “verified” by whatever method you intend to “verify” them—even if you were Maginum PI, and a CSI, a judge and a lawyer all rolled into one, you cannot assure that your printed stories are TRUE. That is why newspaper say “the alleged rapist” or “Joe Blow was ALLEDGED to have raped a 4 year old.” ONLY after he is convicted by a jury and sentenced is he “guilty.” Then the paper will say, “Joe Blow was convicted of raping a 4 year old child.”

It so happens that I believe Donna’s story about James is true. She has newspaper articles etc. to attest to that, but that is not PROOF, as in a court of law except where he was convicted by a court.

OJ was judged “not guilty” too, but I think the truth is otherwise, so just having “proof” that someone is or is not “bad,” “mean” or “criminal” doesn’t mean they are a “psychopath/sociopath/Antisocial personality disorder.” Doesn’t mean I won’t say “my son is a psychopath” or that “my son displays behavior that is labeled psychopathic by mental health and lawenforcement professionals, such as…”

And NOTHING means they can’t sue you. (Believe me, I can prove that one!) Doesn’t mean they will prevail in a suit, but it does mean you must defend yourself, hire an attorney, etc.

Look at Maryjo Buttifuco, Joey threatened to sue her, he changed his mind, but in spite of everything he did and all the EVIUDENCE she had, she is NOT QUALLIFIED TO CALL HIM A SOCIOPATH legally. If he had had a “reputation” of any kind to besmerch, he might have actually prevailed in court.

Look at the story recently where the DA who texted the victim in a DV case he was handling and trying to have an affair with her. While you and I might think he is a psychopath for behaving in this way, legally and medically, he is not one. So he could sue me for saying he is… but I say, BRING IT ON BOZO, LET’S GO FOR IT!

Dear Donna,

You HAVE CREATED A FORCE!!! The ripples of the stone you threw into the “ocean of ignorance” about psychopathy are still moving outward every day!

I read Hare’s book “Without Conscience” sometime in the mid 1990s, and though much of it resonated with me about my psychopathic family (specifically my P-sperm donor) never the less, Hare’s book did NOT give me the TOOLS to HEAL THE DAMAGE that had been done for decades to my LIFE.

Hare is GREAT as a researcher. Many other mental health researchers are great researchers and are working on the wheres and wherefores of psychopathy. How much is nurture, and how much is nature? BUT WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR ME?

Frankly, not much! LoveFraud on the other hand gave me a comforting place to come for validation and for knowing I was NOT alone in my misery. It helped me to see that others had come before me, and were working their way out of their misery and I could use their SHINING LIGHTS for guides to help me find the way.

It isn’t just about stories of bad people who hurt innocent people…it is about recognizing WHY there is a problem, and that THERE IS A SOLUTION. That there is a COMMON thread that runs through the seam of humanity.

We study the history of the Holocoust, not just to tell tales about bad guys who hurt others, or how they did it, but to find out how to prevent it from happening again. To recognize that there are some people on this earth that are so EVIL that they cannot even be redeemed by any God or philosophy, because they don’t want to be. We can’t change them, but we can refuse to enable them. We can help to heal their victims. We can educate others to their presence, and help them to recognize the predators when they see them just like a mama antelope teaches her calf to run from the smell of the lion.

Thank you again Donna! And everyone here on LF who has worked so hard to recover and to reach out hands to others to help them as well. God bless the survivors!

Dear Ox Drover,

Thank you for your feedback. I’m confused about the initial paragraph, though, particularly, “” I would recommend that you let people READ at least without joining, because your real reason for the site is INFORMATION and EDUCATION. Making it EASIER for folks to read I think will help push that agenda further. —

As for the stories, it is not that they need to be verified by professional opinions, it is that appropriate professionals can look at the evidence, such as public records and witness statements, and offer an opinion. It’s OK with me to use the word “alleged”, or clarify that they are only “opinions”, or even not attach the words “sociopath” or “psychopath” directly to the person profiled, so long as it’s within the same story and refers to that person. For instance, something along the lines of, “The acts that you describe fit the pattern of a psychopath, and here’s how,” or “These are typical behaviors which sociopaths engage in.”

In the case of my story, I’ve already secured an FBI trained & certified criminal profiler, and am also looking for a forensic psychiatrist trained & certified to administer Robert Hare’s psychopathy checklist.

Dear Donna,

“Lovefraud is on a mission to do exactly what you are talking about ”“ raise awareness about sociopaths.”
“Please tell people about the book. My goal is to get a movement going—

That’s why I’m such a devotee and applaud your valiant efforts. I mention Lovefraud in just about every conversation I have with folks about this topic, and refer them to this website. Now that your book is out, I’ve done my little part to promote it, too. I tell people about it and it’s among my website’s list of valuable resources at http://www.sociosibs.info/resources.htm.

With Lovefraud, you have indeed created a movement, and I’m blessed to be onboard.

As far as I’m concerned, you cannot talk about sociopaths without talking about gaslighting.

Hopefully, everyone knows that gaslighting is standard operating procedure for a psychopath.

So, if you can become proficient at recognizing gaslighting, your chance of getting into an abusive relationship is greatly reduced…..provided you don’t ignore the red flags.
Gaslighting is something you can call someone on right away, and you can warn your friends when they are being gaslighted, as well.

It’s great to know the characteristics of a sociopath, but not everyone who is charming and superficial is a socio.
If someone shares common interests with you, is this person a new friend or are they just mirroring you???

Like BloggerT7165 said a few weeks ago, “There are a million and one ways to come at someone.”

So, I think it’s a good idea to take a hard look at HOW someone is coming at you.

For example, someone who does not take “NO” for an answer is someone who wants to control you….even if they are showering you with flattery the entire time.

And then, there is the Pity Play that can be used in a million different ways.
I swear….it’s not a coincidence that Pity and Psycho both begin with P, if you know what I mean.

It’s great to get the bullet points out there about sociopaths.
But that’s not going to keep people from being conned.

It’s impossible to tell if someone is lacking a conscience when you first meet them, unless it’s a serial killer coming at you with an ice pick.

The key to not getting conned is about learning the insidious techniques socios use to hook and destabilize their victims.

The way they manipulate others into accepting their twisted version of reality (gaslighting) is what sociopaths do best, my opinion.

Dear Sociosibs,

Maybe I mistook the purpose, I clicked on “stories” and it wouldn’t let me “read” unless I “joined” and gave my name/email etc.

On Love Fraud anyone can READ and not have to post or “register” that was what I meant. Maybe I mistook what your purpose was in how your site was set up.

There is another blogger here that you might be interested in contacting, look on the left side of the LF blog links and click on “female offenders” on the BLOGROLL. That is the site of BloggerT who is a professional therapist with much experience in psychopathy. He has worked in prisons and other such places and is a great one for RESEARCH links. His site is really great and he is also a great guy! Very much into the RESEARCH end of things. I think you will like his site. He regularly posts here. I enjoy his posts very much and he contributes a great deal of information when he does post.

I’m always teasing him about “adding FACTS to my rants!” LOL

One of the things that his blog concentrates on is the FEMALE offenders who are largely ignored by the media and by even LAW ENFORCEMENT as sexual offenders. I think he intends to branch out into female offenders in general not only sexual ones.

I happen to have a personal agenda against sexual predators, having been personally acquainted with one of THE worst, Charles “Jackie” Walls III of Lonoke, Ark. who is now doing life without parole in the Arkansas prisons. There h as been a nationally done 1 hour doc. on Jackie as well as many written media and you can google the Ark Dept. of Corrections and see more about him. Ark puts their convicts on line!

I knew Jackie was a jerk, and I did not like him, though his father is one of the finest men ever to walk the earth and his late mother as well. Great family. He is a MONSTER! He volunteered for 20 years or so with Scouts and they think he molested over 1,500 kids through the years as well as was responsible for several suicides and murders as well. HE IS THE DEFINITION OF EVIL.

He even molested a nephew who later suicided and got one of his victims to kill his family after the victim had confessed to his folks what was going on. That was how Jackie was eventually caught when the kid was caught.

At the time I knew Jackie, I went to church with his family, my mom worked with his dad and I was a close friend of the family. I had NO idea what a psychopath was, and really didn’t know what a “real child molester” was or that such things REALLY happened in “Mayberry USA” where we lived. Since then I have known several who were convicted by a court of law and did prison time. In my opinion ALL sexual predators are psychopaths, though I know that there are those that think they can be redeemed. Dr. Anna Salter who is one of the experts in this field believes as I do, though she doesn’t use the “P-word” she does believe they are NOT EVER REDEEMABLE.

I wish more experts would use the P-word or the S-word! ANY “word!”

OxDrover:

Sometimes I feel like I’m on ESP with you or something.

We posted 2 minutes apart, and we both mentioned BloggerT7165 in our posts.

What’s up with that???

His ears should be ringing right about now.

Dear Rosa!

LOL I do think that brilliant minds do run in the same directions! Yours and mine of course!

You know it is interesting. This morning an elderly neighbor of mine whose wife died a couple of years ago who is VERY poor and very lonely, and his rotten worthless kids did him out of everything he owned except a BARE roof over his head (literally) anyway, he came walking up my driveway this morning and fell into my arms sobbing that he needed to borrow some money (about $20) because his truck was out of gas on the road not far from my driveway and he needed to go to town.

Of course I would have given him the last half of my last biscuit without a second thought. HOWEVER. Hanging on the arm of this man was a “meth ho” that was so stereotypical that it made me want to SCREAM.

She also wanted to know if I had a cigarette!

I sent son D to the store with a gas can to get fuel for the old man’s truck, and I gave the old man all the cash I had in the house about $35 bucks, and then they left for him to drive her to town for some appointment she had at the medicaid office.

I didn’t want to “pry” too much but I did pry a bit, and it just FROSTED MY COOKIES that METH HO had moved into the old man’s house and was using up what few resources he had. I think his total income is somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 a month plus food stamps. His house is gone because his grandson had the old man mortgage it and give him the money. Yea, I know, the old man brought it on himself by enabling all these free loading kids and so on. But you know, it just made me so tooth-grinding mad for this METH HO to be using him like she is.

You’d be proud of me though, I didn’t say a word to him, or try to “rescue” him, or try to find someone to put her out of his house or anything on that line. I guess all-in-all, the poor old guy is better off with that flea bitten bag of bones with rotten teeth than living there without anyone. It still makes me grind my teeth! URGGGGGGGGG!!!!!

It does pith me off though that she will buy cigarettes with THE MONEY I GAVE HIM. LOL

Rosa It is because we have experienced it, lived it and survived it that we have all this wisdom. Yes we can try and educate other’s about these trait’s in people and if they recognize the trait’s we are talking about then they too have been involved with one. But for the lucky one’s that think we are crazy, it’s like trying to explain how a heart attack feels, it’s different for everybody. For me Life Lesson learned from experience, the whole encounter was a test.

Well said, Henry.

I tend to repeat myself alot.

Good points Rosa – gaslighting is not an easy thing to explain though but I think you;re right that it;s a major symptom of the disorder and a major cause of damage in targets – we are trained to distrust our own perceptions about what is happening. And once that happens it;s the psychopath who writes history and forms the script that makes up our current and past life. Gaslighting and its destabilising effects give them ultimate control.

The other major symptom is lies.

And gaslighting in combination with lies stops us from seeing the entire pattern as any time we bring up a problem from the past it is denied or our interpretation of it is denied.It is an insidious cycle and one behaviour allows the other to continue.

Hens you are so right that we can only be wise in recognising it now that we have experienced the minutae of the disorder.

Donna it is my hope that in the future formal academic research on non jailed sociopaths will be carried out with this community. Our knowledge needs to be linked with theory and the developing body of knowledge on sociopathy that is forming worldwide. I am so glad you developed this site and this community – I don’t know what I would have done without it. I was devastated in walking away from the sociopath and couldn’t see how I could possibly recover and survive on my own. But I have and now that I’m stronger, I want to contribute to helping others and spreading what I know about the disorder.

It is frightening how vulnerable those people are who are highly empathic as well as ignorant to the reality of personality disorders. It’s an ambush from left field that nobody expects or knows how to respond to. I’m so glad you just didn’t hide away from this – most people do. They’re so embarrassed at the abnormality of their experience with the sociopath and the effects on them that they don’t talk about it and they don’t learn about it.

Those voices are lost. And alone. And they shouldn’t be.

I have taken such comfort away from what I have read here. It has encouraged me, cheered me, made me think, allowed me to grieve and let go and shown me a path towards a much better tomorrow. It is the people here that have done that. And the people are here because of the site that you developed in response to your experience.

You are to be applauded and I hope that all who give their time here receive the recognition they deserve in this important education and support community. There is nowhere online like this despite the proliferation of sites from former targets. Thankyou. Thankyou. Thankyou.

Hens … lovely to see you again. 🙂

Kathleen I have lost the thread you responded to me on. But please know I read every word and am following the ideas closely in practice. I also discussed the ideas with others to get some perspective.

There is hope after being with a sociopath. Life is so much better out of their shadow. I am sending a wish out today to anyone who is sitting small and lonely inside a horrific relationship where all their power has been taken by someone who has no soul. My wish is that you will believe life is so much more than present reality. But only when you cut contact with the sociopath. I hope you will take the first step towards that today for yourself. Life is sweet on the outside and everything is fine 🙂 You will be okay 🙂

Dear Ox Drover,

“I clicked on “stories” and it wouldn’t let me “read” unless I “joined” and gave my name/email etc.”

Thank you for explaining. Actually you’re referring to 2 different pages. There is no “joining” my site, and right now the only people who can get to the “stories” are specific people for whom I’ve set up access with a username & password. Here’s an explanation of those 2 pages:

CONTACT ”“ This is the contact page for anyone who may have questions, comments, resources to add (to the Resources page), or a story to tell. Filling it in or not has nothing to do with joining anything and is unrelated to the Stories page, except that one who may wish to submit a story can start the ball rolling with this contact method. To guard against proceeding recklessly, I do insist on knowing who a person is and how to contact her/him IF s/he wants his/her story to go up on my site. However, anyone can read all but the Stories section at present without ever filling in or sending the contact form. Which brings us to”

STORIES ”“ This is where stories about specific sociopaths will ultimately be uploaded. For now it is still password-protected for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the only story up so far, and still incomplete, is about my sister. There’s a ton of evidence there that I’ve tracked down about her, and I’m treading cautiously and one step at a time at the moment because of a current situation that is dangerous to myself and my family because of her. Initially I intended to use that story to help protect myself & family; ultimately I intend for it to be a starting point for more people’s stories that can be more easily accessible.

Everything other than the Stories section IS accessible to anyone online without having to join anything at all. To reiterate, there is no joining at my site. I know it’s not a great site; as I wrote previously, I’m an amateur. So your feedback is welcome, as it hadn’t occurred to me that the site could be so misconstrued.

Also, since my son is in Scouts, the story you wrote of stayed with me when I watched that show. I’m sorry you knew that guy.

And thank you for mentioning BloggerT, whose posts and site I have seen and appreciate. Most of what I find online highlights men who con women, so I would like to see more about female predators. I’m related to one who has devastated many people, including her immediate relatives, a husband, boyfriends, friends, neighbors, employers, and whole families. My investigation has turned up witnesses to her heartlessly killing numerous animals beginning in her childhood, all the way through to finding carcasses & skeletal remains sprawled on the property she abandoned just 2 years ago. She has a young-adult daughter who I now realize has always been in grave danger, who has ended up in different ERs too many times with unexplained causes for comfort. So I’m heartened that BloggerT is illuminating the female sector of sociopaths.

Dear Sociosibs,

Not all psychopaths torture animals, though some do. My P son never did torture animals.

My genetics are filled with people very HIGH IN PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS and behaviors on both sides of my family tree. My P sperm donor is a full blown psychopath who has killed, (but remained out of prison) and who has had at least 7 wives that I know of and has beaten most if not all of them. He has raped, stolen, and an an adult abused animals as well as humans. There are NO socially redeeming factors for him. He is pure “pornography on two legs”—utter and unredeeming FILTH.

My P-son who has never met my P sperm donor his grandfather, is almost a carbon copy of him, ONLY worse. VIOLENCE without remorse. VIOLENCE with PLEASURE.

My adopted son D works for Scouts and the scout program has improved now about protecting the scouts from adult predators on or off staff. I think maybe Jackie’s crimes may have had a positive effect in that direction.

Through OUR FAMILY’S KNOWLEDGE OF PSYCHOPATHS and my adopted son’s connection with young scout leaders and older scout leaders he is using that opportunity to EDUCATE Scouts and leaders about all psychopaths! (not just the sexually directed ones) So it is an ill wind that blows no one good!

I’m glad that you are taking your experience (as bad as I’m sure it must have been) and turning it into something that is healing for you and your children, as well as a site for healing and knowledge for others.

Through the years of healing I have had a desire to pass that knowledge on, and have looked at various ways to do so. I even thought about for a time turning the farm here into a sanctuary for victims of psychopaths and violence.

I’m still not sure what direction my life will take in the future, but I continue here at LF volunteer at other places as well. My life is still a work in progress.

OxDrover,

I suspect that my h-spath resembles his father in many ways, believing that psychopathy runs on his paternal side (he had an uncle who was committed to a state mental hospital for trying to injure an aunt). Some of the stories that I hear about my father-in-law have me strongly suspecting that he too was a sociopath (although not an outgoing one). My sister-in-law who had a hand in raising her younger siblings told me that if her father had a dollar, he would spend it, that he would give the shirt off his back to a stranger (but that she doubted that he would do the same for her), and lastly that whenever he was in the household, you were walking on eggshells. The climate was ripe for my h-spath to develop the disorder because his father was abusive toward the children and his mother was unaffectionate and unnurturing toward them. What puzzles me is why the h-spath is the only one who seems to have turned out a sociopath. I know it doesn’t help to say it, but if I had known more about my h-spath pre-marriage (what his family members already knew about him), I wouldn’t have married him.

Bluejay, your hub may be the only spath in the family, but his siblings are probably spath bait.

It’s like growing up in an alcoholic home. Chances are you’ll be one of two things, an alcoholic or a co-dependant…or, if you’re really lucky, both!

So, it’s possible his siblings learned how to be targets and victims.

Yea, the 17 years he got (and of course will get out of prison in much less) is a slap in the face of the woman he killed and her family.

When is MURDER going to be a CRIME again? We send people to prison for decades for a pound of marijuana and someone chokes the life out of his wife when she catches him cheating, and he gets a slap on the wrist!

Since he likes kinky sex so much, I hope he gets Bubba for a cell mate—or whatever they call the UK version of the 400 pound “Bubba the pervert.”

Bubbles?

Being born into a family with a sociopath for a sister has its pros & cons, relative to those who partner up with them. On the one hand, I have never been attracted to, indeed I’ve felt repelled by, sociopathic men, so I have not been at risk of any romantic relationship with one. On the other hand, I am irrevocably connected to the sociopath in my life, and have been her frequent target almost since she was born. Looking back with the knowledge I now have, I see how she’s manipulated my whole family and so many others, even as a very young child. I always knew something was wrong, but nobody else ever saw it, so I usually kept my thoughts to myself. She has always been a master at keeping her true nature under wraps and those with puzzle pieces separated. And even as a preschooler she was a skillful gaslighter.

The gene(s) comes from my father’s side. He left us when we were quite young, and after finding him in my late 20s and getting to know him for myself, I realize now that he was a narcissist. In meeting and learning more of his side of the family, it seems there were and are others similar. My mother’s side is afflicted with addiction and its peripheral dysfunctions, although I see no indication of Cluster B Personality Disorders. My sister was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) after her arrest on 7 counts of felony arson that included burning down her (really her husband’s) house. I am now convinced that had the clinician possessed more accurate and well-rounded information as I’ve recently assembled, the diagnosis would have more precisely been for another Cluster B PD, Anti-social PD, the DSM comparable to psychopathy.

Over the years I’ve healed a great deal from the messy reality that is my family, and have enjoyed a healthy state of mind for at least half my life. I was fortunate to have had my mother as a role model who perpetually overcame obstacles, bounced back from adversity, and went on to make lemonade out of lemons one way or another. For example, when my son and I discovered that the public school system was not equipped to educate such an unusual child (he’s extremely intellectually gifted and multi-exceptional, that is, with special needs), we turned that into a positive. In my undying advocacy for him, together we ended up changing policy itself in the entire school district—in a very friendly, albeit determined way—and we are now pursuing legislation to make changes statewide.

So that’s what I’m doing with this issue of sociopathy. The grief surrounding my mother’s terminal illness and subsequent death was compounded by my sister’s malevolent manipulations and continuing exploits that will result in my losing my home if I don’t do something about it, among other devastating outcomes. Since I don’t operate the way she does, and simply will not, I have to be thorough and methodical in warding off what appears to be inevitable. It was my investigation induced by this pursuit that led to the revelation that I was dealing with and had grown up beside a sociopath. I’d long suspected her of Munchausen’s by proxy, and am now convinced of it, especially after locating and getting a written statement from her ex-husband who independently came to the same conclusion and added evidence to support it. I remember living with a little girl who persisted in abusing our pets, however, incongruously she became and still is known by many around her to be an “animal whisperer” of sorts. Now I have witness statements about her severe abuse and killing of animals to counter her portrayal of herself and more accurately match what I recollect of her.

So, what started as a determination to do what I could to prevent my sister from making my son and myself homeless has expanded to protecting my family from whom I now understand is far more dangerous than I’d ever realized, and further onto raising public awareness in an effort to help myself and family in our situation with the side benefit of helping others. My little website is just one small piece, a place to begin my writing and store the evidence I’ve collected. I’m also penning a manuscript and a screenplay, and just recently renewed my producer’s membership with my city’s public access television channel in order to produce a pilot for a series that will definitely air locally and can be submitted to national cable & broadcast networks. I don’t know how far I’ll get or how successful this will be, but I won’t know if I don’t do it.

When my son was a little fella and my husband left us (like mother, like daughter, oh well), I sought employment that would enable me to remain as close to being a full-time mom as possible. When I couldn’t find a job to support us and keep a roof over our heads (the same roof I’m trying to hold onto now), I made one. That’s when I started my own company which I ran successfully for 15 years, until retiring just this year. And again, that’s what I’m trying to do with this issue. I have not stopped requesting that the existing venues educate the mainstream about this horrific societal affliction that is sociopathy, and encouraging others to do the same because there is power in numbers. But I’m seeing that it isn’t quite happening despite many more able & qualified people who’ve tried and failed before me, although the good news is that I am noticing important victories, such as the hard-won successes of Donna and Mary Jo. So, concurrent with my endeavor to get this information aired on existing shows, I’m making one.

I absolutely believe these things, that everyone has at least one gift to share, and that even those of us who feel we have nothing to give can. It is empowering to know that we can do something, even if we don’t have much ourselves. So, depending upon where each of us is along the path of recovery from the devastation wrought by the respective sociopaths in our lives, each of us has the power to do a little or a lot, but to do something, anything toward prevention of this horrific societal affliction. Preaching to the choir as we talk among ourselves is imperative for the recovery process, but ultimately speaking up, even in a tiny way, to those who know little or nothing about our collective experience is what will incite real change that can help prevent its reoccurrences. It’s healing and empowering, even if it’s just one email to one newspaper, magazine, or local or national show or network, asking for publication of information on this topic.

OK, down from one of several of my soapboxes now. 😉

Dear Sociosibs,

Darlin, I think we are related! My P-genealogy is about like yours! What aren’t personality disordered are enablers/co-dependent.

I agree that in many ways blogging here is “preaching to the choir” but fortunately, so many new choir members come here that this blog is educating so many newly aware victims.

In addition to what goes on here at LF and other blog sites, information to the media is very important as well. Unfortunately, as I am sure you know, the media tends to portray “psychopaths” (by whatever name) as serial killers etc. rather than “the Sociopath next door” as Martha’s book called them. My family is rife with both types, the “every day” psychopath and the murdering psychopath.

As Liane Leedom pointed out, the condition is not either/or but a spectrum from BAD to EVIL, but none of them worth the term “good” in any way.

I’m glad that you were able to change your child’s school, as raising a gifted child is as much or more of a challenge than raising one on the lower end of that scale. Raising a psychopathic one is a NIGHTMARE! Many of us here can testify to that.

I wish you godspeed in your quest for media attention to get the word out! God bless.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

don’t know if anyone is around – doesn’t look like it.

i did it. i outed her. so much closer to well and truly done. a bit shakey – adrenaline rush no doubt.

onwards and upwards.

Dear One,

I guess I’m the only one around and that isn’t for long. What does “I outed her” mean? To a web site, cops, ???

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