NPR story about psychopathy test

NPR recently aired a two-part series about the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the test created by Dr. Robert Hare to measure a person’s degree of psychopathy. It was designed to predict a prisoner’s rate of recidivism, and many, many studies have demonstrated that it does exactly that.

Part One discusses the case of Robert Dixon Jr., a California inmate who was determined to be a psychopath, and consequently is unlikely to be released, even though he feels like he is reformed. Part Two features an interview with Dr. Hare, in which he says that the worries that the PCL-R is being misused.

Listen to the stories on NPR.org:

Part One: Can a test really tell who’s a psychopath?

Part Two: Creator of psychopathy test worries about its use

Here’s an online debate about the stories:

Expert Panel: Weighing the value of a test for psychopaths

Links supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

UPDATE: More NPR discussion of the PCL-R, with NPR staff taking the test. This segment repeats some of the stories aired previously.

This American Life with Ira Glass: The Psychopath Test

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

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I can understand Dr. Hare’s concern that his PCL-R might be misused in “labeling” a person a “psychopath” which is a very derogatory label and one from which a person would not be expected to “recover” or even “improve.”

That said, I am also very concerned that criminals who have demonstrated a life-long pattern of violent behavior are given sentences or parole which indicate that at some point in time they will be “safe” to release into society….sex offenders in particular…such as the rapist that was released, the one that took the photographs of Dr. Liane Leedom when she was 17, and had already killed one young woman, then after that, killed another….

I have no doubt that my own youngest biological son is a psychopath, even his medical records from the prison label him as “ASPD,” though I am not sure he has had the PCL-R administered….he has a life time record of crime sincehe reached puberty, including murder, poor impulse control, no empathy, no remorse, etc etc.

Personally, I think that keeping the most violent offenders in prison for natural life would cut violent and repeat crime by a great margin, and in lieu any other way to “label” them, while the PCL-R isn’t 100% fool proof, I think it is the best tool we have for picking out those dangerous individuals.

Unfortunately, our criminal justice system, including the states who have a “three strikes you’re out” system in place, isn’t set up to pick up on the more dangerous ones on the first serious offense, so it takes several serious or heinous offenses to put the criminal in prison for “life.” (real, natural life.)

After an internet prilgrimage from emotional vampirism, difficult jerks, manipulative people and other informal informations, i arrived to Marietan psychopathy site and still i was not able of getting it. It was when arrived to the PCL-R the online one, i supposed reduced version, that i saw my creature was full of those traits so simplied but so accurate of the Hare’s checklist. Later i needed more explanation but the portrait of the creature was in those 2 groups of faulty emotions and anti-social traits.

Can we make all teen girls learn about this?

I sure wish someone would have warned us as teens!

Yeah. It’s not pleasant to have one’s body stolen.
Peole should be taught of the existence of these collectors of people.

Just like they teach kids about sex education in grade school they should teach kids in high school about sociopaths.

This should be required curriculum. This way the kids would be prepared if they met one and not go into it cold turkey like many of us did and have the rug pulled out from under you.

I wish I would have been educated about them before I took the marriage plunge. Maybe in the future our towns and communities could come up with a program where Love fraud survivor’s could go into the schools and lecture to the young men & women. Many of us have earned a PHD in socio-pathology after the hell we’ve been through and LF is educating us and filling in the gaps we were unaware of.

Donna is doing a great job going into the high schools but this should really be a national program.

Expose these monsters for what they are before folks lose their heart & soul.

Thank God for the internet that is exposing them.

You know, the more I think about this subject, the more I think that there needs to be SOME criteria to assess the potential for future violence of a person who has already proven s/he is disposed to violence. “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior” is an “old saying” but pretty well true.

It has been proven already that people who “score high” on the PCL-R IN GENERAL are the ones who commit 80% of the violent crime (I think that is the correct percentage)…..as it is, only about 40% of released inmates finish their “conditional release” (parole) successfully without committing another crime worthy of prosecution.

There are also many people who still believe that “there is good in everyone” deep down, and that “environmental conditioning” is responsible for the VAST MAJORITY of criminal or bad behavior.

While I agree that environment has an aspect in behavior that we as a society label “criminal” I also believe that genetics play a part in how that environment effects the individual.

Culture also impacts what is “acceptable” in a society and what is not. For example, the men who high-jacked and flew the planes into the Trade Center on 9/11 thought they were doing a GOOD and WORTHY thing….However, WE (Americans) thought they were doing a bad or evil thing. Were they psychopaths? Probably (in my opinion) not. Do I think what they did was bad? Absolutely, to my mind, yes! However, I was raised in a totally different culture with a totally different view of “right and wrong.”

So I think that behavior must be looked at in light of general culture as well as other environmental factors. If a person whose beliefs/culture dispose him/her to violence in this country, even though they truly believe they are doing “good or right” (right now in Arkansas there is a young man on trial for one count of Murder and one count of attempted murder, because he went to a military recruiting station and shot two men, killing one and wounding another, because he had converted to Islam and he wanted to “fight” the people he believed were persecuting “his brothers”) those people I believe must be restrained from inflicting violence in violation of our larger cultural dictates….whether they are psychopathic or just culturally of a different attitude….or whether they are mentally ill, or for whatever reason they are violent.

We “interview” and “assess” the potential future violence of mentally ill people who have committed violent acts and they are kept incarcerated in either mental hospitals or prisons (depending on the circumstances) until they are deemed “safe” by A professional person(s) who assess them using some form of “test” or “check list” or “observation” and draw a conclusion from that assessment about the person’s fitness for release into a larger society without danger to others or society in general. So why should psychopathy be different than mental illnesses that make a person violent? Should there not be SOME assessment tool used to assess the potential future violence of an individual with a CONFIRMED HISTORY OF VIOLENCE IN THE PAST? Or a LONG STANDING PATTERN OF VIOLENCE?

Of course NO psychological “tool” or test is going to be 100% predictive of future violence in any individual circumstance. However, how much “risk” are we willing to take that a person who has ACTUALLY reformed is not released? Or how much “risk” are we (as a society) will to take that we release someone who IS PRONE TO MORE VIOLENCE?

Right now, for every 100 people the parole boards are releasing, 60% of them do not finish their “supervised” release before committing crimes….so I would say that more people are being incorrectly released than are being retained….

I realize that I AM PREJUDICED because my son, who is a psychopath (diagnosed ASPD) and has a history of chronic violent crime, including MURDER, and a history of failure to follow rules IN PRISON, comes up again for parole in another 2 1/2 years….and there is a reasonable chance that he might actually get paroled in spite of my objections to the parole board that he is a danger to me in particular (and I have proven this to the parole board through documentation in his own hand writing) and society in general…

I realize that the US has the highest incarceration rate of the “civilized” world, and there are about 2 million men and women in prison or jail and about 7 million on probation or parole or some kind of supervision, and that about 25% of the inmates in prison are 30+ “card carrying psychopaths” and the AVERAGE score on the PCL-R of all inmates is 22 (very high in P-traits) so this is not a population that bodes well for relationships or in society. However, the “top 25% of the criminals do 80% of the violent crimes” so it makes sense to me to keep these men and women either heavily supervised or incarcerated.

I do not have much “confidence” in the supervision of inmates that are released on parole though….as the “Trojan Horse” psychopath that my P son sent to kill me, his parole officer did not know he was a 3 X SEX OFFENDER….after having raped 3 kids ages 9, 11 and 14….and spent 20 years in prison for those offenses, with a history of heavy violence in addition to the sex crimes. My other contact with parole boards and parole officers has been about as uninspiring as well.

No system of “justice” or “crime control or punishment” is perfect, and the one in the US is I think WAY less than perfect….with some totally innocent people being prosecuted/convicted, and some totally guilty people being set free to hurt more people…but how can society function if there is NO way to separate out those violent predators from society?

From my own personal experience .my bio daughter Spath has been extremely violent in her lifetime, but the Spath step daughter is not physically violent but way scarier. I don’t know which is worse….the one that only lives in the moment and can fly off the handle over anything OR the one who plots behind the scenes. She just seems to be way more diabolical and patient. She can wait you out as long as it takes…..every plot she has ever designed has come to fruition flawlessly. Regardless who gets hurt in the process. As far as I know Oxy neither has put a hit out on me. However, I have instructed my husband and my youngest daughter (who is normal) that if I am ever on life support to NEVER leave me alone with either one of them !! They know I am serious about that request. Oxy, do you think there are more of them today or are we just better at labeling them? I have heard some refer to Cain as the first sociopath, and I can see that. Hopefully your son will never be given the opportunity to harm you !!

Dear Creampuff,

I actually do see P-traits in The story of Cain….first he did envy Abel and became very very rage filled, wasn’t repentant about killing his brother…and he was more concerned with how HE WOULD SUFFER the punishment of banishment and that others would want to kill him….DUH!?!?

So yea, I see some psychopathic attitude in him as well as the violence…actually there are many examples of psychopaths in the Bible not just one.

I’m like you, I’m not sure if the “sneaky” psychopaths are worse than the openly violent ones or not…either can be pretty devastating. At least with the openly violent ones you KNOW UP FRONT they are poison…with the sneaky ones, sometimes they have you stabbed in the back before you know they are poison!

NPR, eh? I’m not surprised. Most of these five articles positively reek of soft-on-crime, “bleeding-heart liberalism.” Why can’t we all feel sorry for the poor misjudged offender and let him out of the nasty horrible prison?

In saying this, I am by no means dismissing the reservations expressed by Dr. Robert Hare. I have a very good impression of Dr. Hare as a careful, thoughtful scientist (not like one or two self-appointed “experts” I could mention), and the main article confirmed this impression further. Hare’s view is properly balanced. What are the real problems?

One, it seems, is that not everybody outside of the research establishment is properly trained to administer the PCL-R. This may cause inaccurate results.

Another is that bias may sometimes influence test results. But surely this is only a significant factor when the tester has a vested interest in coming up with either a high or a low score. That effect is at its greatest when one tester is working for the prosecution and another for the defense. Even in those cases, the average divergence between the two scores was only eight points. This is not an enormous spread, considering there’s more than a twenty-six point difference between most “normal” people’s scores and the score of a psychopath. Moreover, I don’t see why anyone conducting tests for a different purpose—a parole board hearing—would have any motive to bias the scores one way or another.

The final problem is with the limited power of the PCL-R to predict whether or not the subject will in fact reoffend. Yet this is a limitation of all such tests. No test can ever predict with certainty whether a person will commit a crime. The PCL-R just happens to be unusually good, with 80 percent of identified psychopaths reoffending within five years. But this still means 20 percent will not reoffend—within that time period anyway.

Any shortcomings of this kind must be viewed against the fact that no justice system can ever be perfect. A certain proportion of wrong decisions is inevitable. We all realize that innocent people have been convicted, even executed now and again. When it comes to deciding how long to keep a given offender in prison, or whether it’s safe to let him out, still more uncertainty is involved. It’s harder to predict future behavior than it is to determine past behavior! Still, we have no real alternative to putting up with the occasional wrong decisions of a necessarily imperfect justice system—while working at the same time to improve it. Virtually any justice system is better than none at all. Tools like the PCL-R have helped to improve the decisions it makes.

If the problems I’ve mentioned above are truly significant, two things should help. One is making sure that those who administer the PCL-R are properly trained. Perhaps a system of certification will help.

The other is simple. Nobody should be kept in prison—or let out!—solely on the basis of a single test. A test should never override common sense. Perhaps some officials do get lazy and sloppy and do what amounts to shirking the responsibility of a parole decision by passing the buck onto a “tester” instead. That shouldn’t happen. A psychometric test should be only one factor, no matter how major, taken into account along with a criminal’s history, recently observed behavior and attitude, likelihood of becoming a productive citizen and any other relevant circumstances.

But this NPR program hands us a sob story about ONE criminal, Robert Dixon, who despite appearing (eventually) to undergo a change of attitude in prison, MAY continue to be refused parole because his PCL-R score places him “in the high range of psychopathy.” It’s illustrated with an array of family photographs to give the reader a nice, warm, “homey” feel about what a good guy Bob Dixon really is despite his history of violent crime, and what a shame it is that a cold, hard justice system won’t let the poor man go home to the bosom of his anxiously waiting family. And all because of a single test result.

Among those photographs I see none whatsoever of the young man who was murdered in the robbery that sent Robert Dixon to prison. No matter how much his own family misses him, that young man never will be going home. The piece of crap that shot him dead is given a name, “John Walker,” but curiously the real victim in all this, who did nothing to deserve being killed, is not even dignified with a name by the writer of this article. This dead young man, and countless others like him, are left in the background as if they don’t matter.

I can have some sympathy for Robert Dixon, who not only didn’t pull the trigger in this instance, but seems to have been reluctantly coopted into this robbery and never expected it to turn out the way it did. He was left in something of a “Derek Bentley” position (for those familiar with that notorious British case).

Just the same, Dixon, unlike Bentley, was a violent and dangerous young man. He was already guilty of rape and beating a woman, among other crimes, and when they put him in prison he continued to show the same aggressive and violent propensities for most of the next two decades. Clearly prison was the right place for him at the time.

Yet on the basis of this one man’s situation the writer expects us to start doubting whether the PCL-R is an appropriate tool for assessing violent criminals.

Even if Dixon appears to be a “reformed” man, we do not know if that’s true. We do not know that he isn’t pulling the wool over the eyes of his family, his friend Stuart, and his other supporters, the way many psychopaths are so good at doing.

After all, the article did point out an important fact. According to Dr. Henry Richards, psychopaths are not only far more likely to reoffend when released from prison. They’re also more likely to be released earlier in the first place!—which only compounds the problems they cause.

Obviously that’s because psychopaths are good at fooling prison officials that they’ve “reformed.” Could that be what Dixon is doing too?

We do not know that Dixon’s “reformation” wasn’t just a process of learning to be more cunning. Instead of remaining a “dumb” psychopath who made his aggressive behavior obvious to everyone, Dixon may be a psychopath who’s smartened up and learned to present a more deceptively “winning” image. Including to whoever wrote this piece for NPR.

Despite his appearance of “reform,” we do not know that Dixon won’t relapse into crime if he is let out on parole. Like many other psychopaths, he might do just that.

Now I don’t mean to be totally cynical about Robert Dixon. Psychopath or not, I’m willing to grant that he could have “smartened up” in other, more sincere ways. Perhaps his supporters are right, that he has reformed and is capable of avoiding crime. It’s even possible that the PCL-R was poorly administered and he’s not such a psychopath after all.

But even if that’s true, we do not know that he’s going to be refused parole, solely on the basis of his PCL-R. He has his supporters, after all. And besides a lawyer, he now has a psychologist of his own, on his side, willing to testify that he’s not the kind of calculating predator this test made him out to be. With this evidence in his favor, no matter what the article is trying to imply, he may be paroled anyway in spite of that PCL-R.

So far, none of this discussion about one man, which is not only anecdotal but speculative as well, seems a good reason to dispense with the PCL-R when assessing criminals. Not when the tool has proven so valuable overall, as Dr. Richards pointed out in connection with his Maryland program.

Of the three “experts” with commentaries of their own, Dr. Richards, while wisely admitting that the PCL-R is not infallible, had the most solid practical reasons to promote its use. But he was the only spokesman NPR chose who was in favor of the test—perhaps a sign of “tokenism” by NPR. Their other two commentators were opposed.

Out of these two, Karen Franklin’s contribution had nothing whatsoever to offer about the value of the PCL-R. It was just about the usual tiresome leftist obsessions. What is this neurotic nitwit doing in a professional job—in forensic psychology, no less? She sounds like one of these silly women in institutions who have sex with violent teen delinquents on the excuse that “love will cure them.”

At least John Edens seemed to have a point worth examining. Namely, how far the “personality” component of the PCL-R (as opposed to the “criminal history” component) really does predict the likelihood of a criminal reoffending.

The trouble is, whatever legitimate concern Edens may have on that score was vastly overinflated by his exaggerated handwringing over the so-called “stigma” attaching to criminals whose personality earns them the “psychopath” label. In that respect he’s no different from Miss Franklin. This is typical of the irritating “modern liberal” obsession with image over substance, with “feelings” over facts, all of which manifests a deplorable lack of proportion.

So these criminal psychopaths don’t like being “stigmatized”? All I can say is TOUGH TITTY! How they feel about the label is a trivial issue compared with OUR need to identify dangerous people and keep them locked up! In any case it’s absurd to complain about these offenders being “stigmatized” when they’ve already stigmatized THEMSELVES through their own actions! What could be more “stigmatizing” than a label like “criminal” or “felon,” “thief” or “murderer”?

As for whether the “P” label affects people’s attitudes, Edens’s fears are largely chimerical. The people involved are judges, parole boards and the like. Unlike some members of the public, they’re familiar with what the label means and know perfectly well that a “psychopath” doesn’t have to be Ted Bundy or Hannibal Lecter. As for the public reaction, these test results are rarely visible to outsiders anyway. It’s not as if psychopaths who do get paroled are sent out into the world with a big “P” branded on their forehead for all the world to see and run screaming in horror.

If Dr. Edens is so disturbed by “labels” and “stigmatizing,” there are other cases more deserving of his attention. For instance, the way men accused of “domestic violence” offenses are labeled “batterers,” when many of them never “battered” anybody. In a world of “politically correct” euphemismsleftist “political correctness,” that’s to say—this vicious feminazi dysphemism sticks out like a sore thumb. This is just one symptom of improper feminist intrusion into an area of the justice system where its pernicious influence goes well beyond mere labels. Alternatively, Dr. Edens might challenge the use of that recent innovation, the “sex offender” registry. Unlike the “P” label, that stigma IS fully visible to the public, a real problem when some so-called “offenders” are unfairly registered for trivial or purely technical reasons and are no threat to anyone. That’s not a small problem when some of them, though living inoffensively, have been harassed, victimized, even assaulted by shrieking vigilantes because they’re on the register.

But what about the meat of Edens’s claim, about the predictive value (or otherwise) of the personality component of the PCL-R?

First of all, Edens points out that “there are lots of people with extensive criminal histories who don’t have a psychopathic personality.” This is perfectly true—and perfectly irrelevant! Indeed, lots of people—the majority, in fact—commit crimes for some reason other than psychopathy. Other factors can underlie their criminality instead, including mental disorders of a different kind, or alcoholism or drug addiction. That doesn’t make psychopathy irrelevant as a cause; not in the least! All it means is that other factors in addition to psychopathy need to be taken into account when deciding whether to keep a criminal safely locked up.

Edens also makes the point that scoring on the personality component of the PCL-R is more influenced by the tester’s subjectivity. This may be true, but judging from other comments it may also be a fixable problem. In any case it’s a problem that needs to be fixed for other reasons.

If Daniel Murrie is right that lack of training explains much of the variability in test results, that can be remedied, and should be. Anyway it needs to be remedied for the sake of anyone studying psychopathy per se in a clinical setting.

This brings up the question as a whole of “cross contamination” between two different environments: that of clinical research on the one hand, and the criminal justice system on the other. These NPR articles are questioning how far it’s appropriate for a test developed for research purposes to influence decisions in the criminal justice system. Yet we should also be concerned with how the requirements of the criminal justice system may have inappropriately influenced the classification of mental disorders.

This same argument about “subjectivity”—perhaps together with the justice system’s necessary focus on criminal offenders—has led to the refusal by the DSM committee to recognize “psychopathy” as a distinct condition. Instead it’s adopted a sloppy, all-embracing notion it calls “antisocial personality disorder,” at the expense of diagnostic precision. One criticism of so-called “AsPD” is that it’s “virtually synonymous with criminality.” From a psychological viewpoint it doesn’t tell us too much that we don’t already know from looking at someone’s criminal record. It is not the job of psychology merely to categorize people by their behavior, but to identify the specific mental condition underlying the behavior. Superficially similar behavior can be caused by quite different disorders.

So “antisocial personality disorder” is deficient in two ways. It’s deficient at distinguishing between the psychopath and those who commit crimes for other reasons. It’s also deficient at identifying the psychopath who succeeds in flying under the radar of the law, never getting caught for an indictable offense—though often doing damage to society in other, more insidious ways.

Of these two forms of cross-contamination, I think this is the worse of the two. The reach-me-down concept of “antisocial personality disorder” is more likely to take several factors leading to criminality and conflate them all into one pseudo-“explanation.” This hampers the ability to single out one factor from another (and possibly treat some of them). On the other hand I see nothing wrong with considering a single condition, “psychopathy,” when making decisions about parole and the like, as long as other relevant factors are also taken into account.

Lastly, Edens states that “existing research suggests it is the criminal history component of the PCL-R—not the (less reliable) personality component—that is most helpful in identifying those likeliest to commit future crimes.” SO WHAT??? Anyone who studies this wording carefully—AND the research Edens refers to—will realize this does not discount the value of the personality component in predicting recidivism!

Didn’t parole boards and the like ALWAYS consider criminal history when deciding whether to let an offender loose on the public? I should hope so! And yet, as the NPR story makes clear, they seized on the PCL-R precisely because it was so good at predicting who would reoffend and who wouldn’t. Not 100 percent accurately, but certainly better than the methods they’d used before.

Perhaps one thing the test did was to systematize criminal history information in a way that maximized its predictive value. Yet that’s not to deny that the personality component helped as well.

And if we look closely at Edens’s statement, he doesn’t deny it either! All he says is that the criminal history component of the PCL is the “most helpful” of the two in identifying potential recidivists. This is no more than we’d expect! By and large, the best predictor of future behavior is previous behavior! OF COURSE we wouldn’t expect the personality component ALONE to be as good a predictor of future criminality as an offender’s rap sheet. If anyone, despite being a psychopath, has succeeded up until now in steering clear of the law—or anyway has been cunning enough to avoid getting caught—that’s still quite likely to continue.

But the personality component does tell us something important about the reason behind the criminal behavior, and the compulsion to continue it, or anyway the relative inability to change it. Nothing Edens said discounts the fact that the personality component, taken together with the criminal history component, forms a better predictor of future criminality than the criminal history component alone.

The abstract of the “research” Eden referred to confirms this. It was only designed to study whether there’s an “interaction” between the two scales of the PCL-R: whether psychopathic traits MULTIPLY the risk of violence in someone with a history of social deviance. As a crude example, if somebody scored 15 on both scales (15 x 15 = 225), are they NINE times as likely to commit violence as someone who scored only 5 on both scales (5 x 5 = 25)? (It doesn’t have to be exactly that, but that’s the essence of the idea.) They concluded it wasn’t true. But they never denied that there WAS an ADDITIVE effect: “This meta-analysis… tested whether an interaction between the [PCL-R] Interpersonal-Affective and Social Deviance scales predicted violence beyond the simple additive effects of each scale.” So these additive effects are already well recognized. Someone who scores 15 on EITHER scale and 5 on the other is still statistically more likely to be violent than someone who only scores 5 on both scales. So there’s no reason to ignore the “personality” component of the PCL-R.

Despite the complaints we’re always hearing about “our society,” we ought to recognize one stunning success. We haven’t banished crime—no society has succeeded in doing that—but we did make remarkable progress in cutting it down. In 1991 for instance, the murder rate nationwide for the United States was 9.8 per 100,000. That added up to 24,703 murders that year. Crime topped the list of public concerns.

Yet by the year 2000, that murder rate had plunged to only 5.5 per 100,000. It was little more than half of what it had been less than a decade earlier. Despite a 12 percent increase in population meanwhile—many of them immigrants with a higher than average crime rate—murders in 2000 had dropped drastically from nearly 25,000 to 15,517. We had to be doing something right at last.

Several things helped, I’m sure, including “three strikes” laws, imperfect as they may be. But one drastic change was in the number of people in prison, which rose by something like 60 percent during those same nine years.

Clearly there’s no alternative to taking the worst offenders and KEEPING THEM LOCKED UP! (Or eliminating them altogether in some instances.) It’s one of many situations in which the worst 10 percent of any population causes 90 percent of the trouble.

But who are “the WORST” offenders? It’s worth noticing that this trend toward locking up more criminals did not start in the 1990s. Once America got over its 60s and 70s flirtation with “soft on crime” liberalism, this sharp trend toward increased incarceration started ten years earlier, at the beginning of the 1980s. Though the prison population was not as high in the 80s as in the 90s, it was rising at the same rate. Yet its effect on crime in the 80s seemed dubious at best. In 1980 the U.S. murder rate was the highest ever, 10.2 per 100,000. It dipped somewhat during the 80s, but then peaked again in 1991 although more and more criminals were being imprisoned all the time. It’s only in the 1990s that the murder rate really started to drop.

What all this demonstrates is that crime control is not just a matter of locking up more criminals, but of choosing which criminals—the most incorrigible ones—to keep locked up. Clearly we did that better in the 90s than in the 80s.

It’s hardly an accident that the PCL-R was finding more widespread use during the 90s, in Dr. Henry Richards’s program for one. A test that succeeds at sorting out the sheep from the goats is not one to be discarded lightly.

Eva, I like that phrase….people collectors….very true….yes, Oxy, I think that is the very reason the step Spath is much more frightening to me……sometimes she is actually friendly and sometimes she is as cold as ice…I actually prefer her when she is cold and distant…so I always feel like she is plotting behind the scenes. The way she has “gutted” her mother in law over the last 15 years is just beyond anything I’ve ever seen…cruel….and she’s gotten away with it !! Her every move is calculated. Oxy, if Cain was the first one, do you think they just entered the earth through his lineage via Satan and have always been? Or is it just bad wiring in their brains? Even though learning about them has brought much insight, wouldn’t it have been a wonderful life to have never crossed paths with one? Let alone as many as we have encountered !

I posted something to this effect yesterday when I had questioned which type of spath is more dangerous? The one who is visibly violent, beating, raping, etc. or the one who is so cunning and actually kind of sweet? My X spath was the latter. I think it can be more dangerous in some ways. Not to take anything away from the horrible damage the former can do.

92044, most people would take a beating over years of psychological damage. At lease with a beating, you might get justice, but with the mind-fuck, you are considered at fault for allowing it.

the worst case is the combo, beating and mind-fuck.

redwald, spaths are good at hiding what they are, but not all of them learn to do it early on. Sometimes they are mentored by other spaths. i think this is the case with Dixon.
My spath has mentored other spaths. one meth addict, rapist spath, he mentored into controlling his urges and focusing on his goals. That spath became a police officer, took the Tony Robbins coarse, married my sister, got a law degree and now works for homeland security. See? spaths CAN improve. they just have to focus their evil on one thing. The one thing was destroying me and my sister and taking our money. we both had large insurance settlements. Mine is gone, sister’s is on the way out.

Spath also trained my neighbors. They used to be meth addicts and the guy was selling used cars on the side, but spath convinced them to take his construction skills and start a home building business. Well the construction boom died – LOL! (bit of schadenfreude there hehehehehhheeee) but he did stop using meth! The point to this was so that he would move next door to me and build his home there. so spath could use him against me as well.

Spath wrote a letter and I found it in a bible. He admitted that he is evil and that his purpose in life is to encourage others to do evil. He’s like the Tony Robbins of spaths!

I only mention this so that you never think you have imagined it all, because they lurk everywhere and in shapes you could not conceive. BTW, all three pretend to be republican conservatives… riiiiggght! they are all 3 parasites.

Sky-I love how you found the letter in the Bible saying that it was his mission in life to make others do evil. What a place for him to keep that letter. WTF-what a freak!


You are right. I think I would rather be hit than get this cunning, secret, devious stuff. But having both would be the ultimate disaster.


I’ve had variations of spaths.

None of this is foreign to me, however, when talking in simplistics, it was easier to handle a fist to my face, seeing it lifted than the shit the ex spath did to me where I never saw it coming until the end.

Emotional/sexual/psychological/spiritual abuse is far worse.

Seems to me that physical abuse is just a topper. It’s obvious.

Spaths love the sneaky shit.

It’s harder to get out when you’re fighting your cognitive dissonance on a constant basis.


the weird part is that I don’t like to think of them as human, but the letter threw me for a loop. In the letter, it was a CONFESSION TO GOD, expressing remorse (of a sort) because he was having so much stomach pain and he was begging God to save him. he signed it in 1984 and later signed it again in 1986. But during that time he was being evil anyway. It’s an addiction to evil and he just can’t stop.

LL, your telling me!
Cog Dis was my enemy, he had me convinced until the last 6 months that he was just an inconsiderate asshole. But with a heart of gold. I mean, he saves kittens and puppies, so he must be good. right?

Sky-that is totally creepy! I think that you are right about what you said before. I would rather take a beating than take long term psychological/emotional abuse/ mindfucking. Although if anyone did ever beat me it would only be one time that they did it. Then they would be on the business end of my loaded glock 27 with NOPD up in their face. My friend who is the district commander won’t even let me talk about him in her presence cuz it makes her blood pressure go up and her face gets really red.

2 cop

that’s why spaths prefer not to beat you. Smart ones anyway.

Why beat you when they don’t have to lift a finger to destroy you?

It’s so much more FUN for them to MINDFUCK YOU TO DEATH!


LL-I would feel sorry for any one of them that got too close to me.


LL – yup, mindfucked, no condom used.

(and nice to ‘see’ you. don’t have time to hang out tonight, but just wanted to say hi!)

can i introduce you to my exspath? 🙂
he loves cops. That’s who he dupes the most so that he can use them to do his dirty work. He knows just how he can find the corrupt ones.

I’d love it if a cop mind-fucked him backspath style.

Sky ~ that would be VERY cool to have your exspath mind-fucked by someone that he THINKS he is duping… that would be poetic justice there!!

ll murder by suicide – i wonder how many assholes have gotten away with that?

Skys-he can’t pull anything over on me,he’d be disappointed. I am going out for the most corrupt police dept in the country. I see a lot that goes on and I will have my eyes out for the bad ones and I’ll take them down.


Ha, you haven’t been to my city! I swear we have the most corrupt cops on earth. There has been some serious sh*t that has gone down here.

he would focus in on you so fast: woman, lesbian, cop, pretty…and drama queen. All his favorite foods!

You’d make an excellent spath lure. Can you act?

Yes, Cain was the first vampire. Do you remember the discussion we had about the fallen angels?
Well there are some books known as the dead sea scrolls.
They carry books of the bible that were omitted from the church canon. There are a few books that get heavy into the vampires or sociopaths. These are the books of Enoch, Raziel, & Lilith.
There is also a book, known as the Book of Nod.
Now I mentioned the book of Genesis where it talks of the fallen angels coming down from heaven to mate with the daughters of men. Well these other missing books I mentioned above go into the sociopaths & vampires in great detail.
Apparently according to them, the original sin in the Garden of Eden took place when the angels mated with the humans.
The angels were perfect in their generations. Divine if you will. The angels who came down to mate with humans were known as the “Elohim”.
There were 200 plus angels involved in this. They came down to Earth for a taste of human love. There is a law in the Universe which says, the angels are not allowed to mate with the humans. And when they did, they produced the “nephilim.”
The “nephilim” were akin to mating a donkey with a horse and producing a “jackass”. The “nephilim” were ruthless and described as “inhuman”. If you remember me telling you they were a separate race that came out of Ur of the Chaldee’s. They were being hunted down by the Jinn(prounced Gin). The Jinn were a race of half witch, half human beings. They hunted these nephilim down to kill them because they didn’t want the human race infected by mass evil and the angels were not supposed to mate with humans.
So they murdered them by the millions. But some of them escaped and infiltrated throughout the Earth.
Their modern descendants are the vampires and sociopaths and they have infiltrated the human race.
Their body’s are mortal. But their souls are not.
These are the things legends are made of. From these we get the Greek myths of the Demi-Gods. Half-human,half-god like creatures with super-human powers and abilities.
There are 3 species of humans walking the planet:
1. The sociopaths & vampires
2. The witches; these are normal folks with a human soul plus a little extra
3. The nils or the dead-heads; these are people with no psychic ability.
These missing books I named above go into the generations of Cain and explain the vampires & sociopaths in more detail & how they came to be. If anyone is interested or has more time you can read up on it at a future date.


I got chills reading your post. I have always questioned whether my X spath is human because of his behavior and because he has those two different looks I have talked about in other posts. It still freaks me out. I definitely have to read up on this. Thank you so much for the info. Feel free to post more if you can.


I have read your comments on your spath’s letter in other threads, and I think you are making too much of his “remorse.” For one thing, socios do that (i.e., beat you up and then weep and beg for forgiveness, etc.) as a matter of course in their human-to-human relationships. So why assume it’s any more authentic in relation to God?

Moreover, I believe you said your spath had a literal belief in things like demon-possession. Well, if that was the case, he must also have had a literal belief in heaven and hell. (And if not a literal belief, then at least a nagging uncertainty along the lines of Pascal’s Wager.) So it would make perfect sense that he should try and “set things right” with God if there was any chance of his illness proving fatal. (Even for illnesses that aren’t life-threatening, I’m sure that that God has received scores upon scores of reverential “spath prayers”!) Indeed, on a matter of such moment (i.e., the fate of his immortal soul) why shouldn’t act out the “I’m sorry for being such a bastard” pity-ploy routine with Jehovah himself?

If they can play the red-eyed and remorseful “confidence man” in relation to other human beings, why not likewise to the Divine? The fact that it was a PRIVATE letter makes no difference. Because, again, if he had a literal belief in God, it really wouldn’t equate to a private memoir at all: it would just be a matter of his attempting to dupe the Creator like he duped everyone else!

At any rate, I bet if you went back to Puritan Colonial days, you would see much the same sort of thing. That is, the spaths must have been around just like today, but their lack of conscience would have manifested in more covert and convoluted ways (“pulling one over on God”, and whatnot). Come to think of it, that is a rather interesting issue in its own right!


I saw something on TV two nights ago that the upcoming program “THE BACHELORETTE” (or is it the BACHELOR? I’m not sure) has something worth watching.

Apparently this man came on the show to seduce this girl, and he faked the whole thing. She fell in love with him, and he was only faking it, manipulating her and hoping to make her cry. Even the other men on the show were shocked.

I am not much of a TV person but I want to watch this and see all the reaction to it.

Stuff like this can really help the general public understand sociopaths and the damage they inflict.


Redwald, Are you, by any chance, in the criminal justice feild?
You are so intelligent and articulate, and it’s clear that you’ve done your research, I wouldn’t dare to enter into a debate with you. Suffice it to say, that I am probably, in your estimation, a bleeding heart liberal, and a feminazi, and would certainly NOT WANT YOU administering the PCL3 (or whatever it is) and then adding up the points, in an effort to determine MY future. People ARE BIASED, whether they know it or not, and those biases determine their conclusions.
By the way, I think there is a disproportionate number of spaths in law enforcement. Perfect career for someone with a need for power and domination.
Having said all that, I agree with much of what you’ve said. We have to rely on something to predict who will re-offend and who won’t.

Agreed! He was trying to dupe God, like a child would.
But still, this does show his addiction to evil. He can’t stop.

In the old days many of us girls had A FATHER to screen these jerks or a brother warn us or an other male figure but this is happening less and less. So we are educating people. This has given me an idea.

right, my father is a narc and my brother is a spath.
They are happy to see me hurt.

Hi Kim,

Actually no, I’m not in the criminal justice field at all. I never considered it as a career either. I suppose I could imagine myself as a forensic scientist, “CSI”-style—or possibly a detective. That seems natural to me. I’m sure lots of people enjoy a good mystery, and solving a mystery, which is what much of that work is about.

But as a policeman, I think I’d do a lousy job. There are parts of the job I might enjoy, like the variety, but parts of it I wouldn’t enjoy at all. That’s because I wouldn’t want to be harassing people by enforcing laws made by someone ELSE that I didn’t approve of in the first place!

Theft, fraud, serious assaults, murder, and other real crimes, fair enough. But as an example, when it came down to lying in wait, catching drivers and handing out citations to them for exceeding a speed limit set by someone else, I just wouldn’t want to do it. Not unless they were doing something that really made them a danger to others.

Otherwise I’d be bothered by what a load of hypocrisy this all is! I’d be thinking “Gee, in their place I’d be doing 80 mph on this road too. It’s perfectly safe as long as you’re paying attention, which you should be doing anyway if you’re driving.” Having to drive at an artificially slow speed is intolerably boring. So why should I punish someone for doing the same thing I’d do myself? Besides, it’s all a load of BS anyway, when half of it isn’t about ‘safety’ so much as the city or the state ripping off drivers to get revenue. So that’s just something I wouldn’t want to do.

Or take drug laws. That’s a different and perhaps better example because I don’t use any drugs myself and never really have done. I’ve smoked pot literally about three times in my life, including college days, and that’s it. It didn’t seem to do a lot for me. Maybe I have a natural “high” or something and don’t need it! 🙂 But if someone else wants to smoke it, where’s the big deal? It’s no skin off my nose! (Basically I’m a libertarian.) All right, we don’t want to see drug dealers selling junk to schoolchildren, people getting hopped up and assaulting others, and that kind of thing. And we wouldn’t want to see our own children ruining their lives through drugs. But I’ve watched that “Cops” show on TV—it’s enjoyable as a show, of course—and quite frequently there’s an episode where someone gets stopped in a car, the cops find some weed, and the poor driver or passenger ends up being dragged off in handcuffs. And they weren’t bothering ANYBODY! In those situations I’d sympathize with them, more than with the cops!

As for myself, I’ve spent my career in a totally different field… computers. In later years this was about computer communication and network management. So that’s all about “machines.”

Now some people regard “people” and “machines” as totally separate. For instance, there’s a guy named Art I’ve worked with whose job was largely “education.” He conducted courses to teach customers and others how to use certain software. But he wasn’t always good with it himself, and he often had to turn to others for help. He said to me once, “I’m a ‘people’ person. I like working with people best. These machines, they confuse me!” On the other hand, another guy named Bruce graduated from MIT and was brilliant with computers and system design. He spoke as if he was the opposite of Art, because he could always work well with machines. Yet when it came to working with people, he never wanted to be a manager. He said “People are a pain in the ass!” It was quite funny, because he actually was very good at working with people too. People liked him, and he was an excellent communicator who could make things clear and also understand what was going on in other people’s heads. But to him, “people were a pain in the ass.”

But the way I see it myself, the two spheres of life don’t have to be so different. After all, a computer is only a kind of “thinking machine,” and what is the human mind but another kind of “thinking machine?” It’s immensely more complex, but there are inevitable parallels between the two. That includes the way computers these days communicate with one another, just as humans communicate with one other… or try to! And the way machines often malfunction is echoed in the way some people’s minds malfunction, as they do when people have personality disorders.

Come to that, what I said at the beginning about imagining myself as a “detective” and “solving mysteries” is a lot of what I’ve actually done in my career. Specifically, debugging software. Finding out “why something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to” and putting it right is a large part of software development. Investigating “what dun it” is not too different in principle from finding out “whodunit.” It’s only a different kind of mystery.

As for being a “bleeding heart liberal,” and what you said about “bias,” I doubt very much that you could be as extreme as Karen Franklin, who was so dead set against the use of the PCL-R. One reason I didn’t say much about her article is that while there’s plenty I could have said, most of it would be irrelevant to the topic of the PCL-R. That’s because so much of what she said herself was irrelevant!

As you said yourself, on the one hand people can be biased, and these biases can affect test results. On the other hand, yes, “we have to rely on something to predict who will re-offend and who won’t.” So we end up “weighing” one concern against another, trying to determine which is greater and which is less. Do we get better decisions with such a test, or without it? One factor here is that there’s always a risk of bias anyway, whether we use a test or not. If a parole board makes decisions entirely on their own, “by the seat of their pants,” they could well be biased too. But Karen Franklin wasn’t even trying to do any “weighing” of this kind. She didn’t acknowledge that there might be any value at all in the test—or that we have to make decisions on some basis, test or no test. In fact she wrote quite literally as if psychopaths were not even real! To her, that sole issue of “bias” (and “labeling” and related fears) was so HUGELY inflated that it filled her entire field of vision, so that she couldn’t SEE any other issues at all, let alone that other issues were important.

Also, you may be a “femiNIST,” but I’d be inclined to guess you’re not a “femiNAZI.” 😉 There is an important distinction between the two—though I have to admit there’s also a problem with choosing labels. Christina Hoff Sommers made the essential distinction, though “feminazi” is not the word she used herself! You may have read her classic book about what she called “equity” feminism versus “gender” feminism. Take care!

Has Anyone Heard of the “nephilim gene?”



I am reading up on this now…

I dont think a 1 size fits all diagnosis works. My spath is now over 50. The intensity of which he tortured me emotionally got worse when he was in his early 40’s,now he is over 50 and is worse than ever.
Also,with this test cant the more accomplished liars say that the photo of a dead family bothers them when it actually doesnt? Pathological liars are very good at telling people what they want to hear as long as it serves their purpose

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