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Saving the world from sociopaths

Last week, three teens from Oklahoma were charged with killing an Australian student athlete “for fun.”

Christopher Lane, 22, was visiting Duncan, Oklahoma, where his girlfriend lived. While he was jogging down the road, a car drove by him and Lane was shot in the back. Charged in the crime are Chancey Allen Luna, 16; James Francis Edwards Jr., 15; and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17.

According to CBS News:

“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,'” said Police Chief Dan Ford. “The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'”

Back in June, there was a similarly shocking case in Indiana. Jordan Buskirk, 25, of Jasonville, and Randal Crosley, 26, of Linton, have been charged in the murder of 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe.

According to ABC News:

Two childhood best friends killed teenager Katelyn Wolfe for a thrill and then bound her body, attached it to a weight and threw it into a Sullivan, Ind., lake, according to court documents released today.

Confronted with evidence, Jordan Buskirk told police that he and Randal Crosley had conversations about “forcing themselves onto a complete stranger for at least a week” and that the idea to kill was “just something that popped into their heads,” Linton, Ind., police detective Joshua L. Goodman said in an affidavit filed in Greene County Court.

And then there’s the case of De’Marquise Elkins, 18, accused of shooting a 13-month-old baby in a stroller during a robbery attempt. Elkins is currently on trial in Georgia. Dominique Lang, his 15-year-old accomplice, testified that Elkins counted down, twice, and then shot the baby in the face.

A detective, Roderic Nohilly, testified that Elkins claimed he had nothing to do with the crime, and taunted police that they had no evidence.

According to Jacksonville.com:

Officers got an arrest warrant and, as they were handcuffing Elkins, he made what Nohilly described as a “spontaneous utterance.”

“He said, as he was walking out, ”˜Y’all ain’t got — on me. Y’all ain’t got no gun. Y’all ain’t got no fingerprints. All y’all got is a — acquittal,’ ” Nohilly testified. When Elkins saw another detective smile he said, “Oh, got the gun?”

These were all random, cold-blooded, senseless murders. There are no rational reasons for these murders, but there is an explanation: The perpetrators are sociopaths, and this is really important for people to understand.

Problem and solution

Most people look at these crimes, throw up their hands, shake their heads, and go about their business. After all, what can be done?

Actually, once you understand that the people committing these atrocious acts are sociopaths, you have identified the problem. And with the problem accurately identified, it’s possible to work towards a solution.

I am not saying this is going to be easy, and we’re not going to see a turnaround in our lifetimes. But we can start the change, so that generation by generation, life will get better.

5 steps to change the world

1. Acknowledge that sociopaths exist. This is really radical. It means we have to dump ideas that are ingrained into society, such as “people are basically the same” and “there’s good in everyone.” Yes, those philosophies are usually true, but it is critical to understand that there are dangerous exceptions.

2. Teach the signs of sociopathic behavior. No normal person would willingly become involved with a sociopath in any context a relationship, friendship, business dealings. If we know the warning signs, we can steer clear of these destructive encounters.

3. Stop having sex with sociopaths. This protects us in two ways. First, we avoid getting hooked into relationships that will end up somewhere between painful and fatal. Secondly, a result of sex is children, and we won’t be bringing more children into the world who carry a genetic risk for sociopathy.

4. Teach at-risk children empathy and love. Many people have already been hoodwinked into relationships with sociopaths, and as a result, have children who may be genetically at risk. These parents need to be proactive in helping the children develop empathy and love. And courts need to understand that exposing these kids to sociopathic parents makes it more difficult to raise them to be healthy.

5. Focus on community. Human beings are social animals, and we need each other. Real, in-person connections enable us to heal, grow, look out for each other and gather support when we need it. One of the major tactics of sociopaths is to isolate us and cut off our support systems. If our social supports are weak to begin with, this isolation becomes much easier.

Yes, this outline is simplistic, and I realize that. People have been talking about “changing the world” for hundreds or thousands of years.

What may be different is identifying the root of the problem—sociopaths. Most of the world’s manmade problems—crime, war, poverty, economic collapse—are probably the result of some kind of exploitation, and the people who do the exploiting are sociopaths. Identifying the real problem makes a solution possible.

At the very least, by learning about sociopaths and keeping away from them, our own lives can be better. But if we do nothing, a future may come when the world is overrun by cold, calloused predators, who go around killing people for no reason.

It all starts with education. Here’s the main message: Sociopaths exist, these are the warning signs, stay away.

 


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13 Comments on "Saving the world from sociopaths"

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Donna,

I love this simple list. I am going to print this out and share it (when appropriate). There is another article here about Castro, who held three women for 10 years. I hope the mental health community will put more resources and time into studying him, and other’s like him.

But like you said, first we have to acknowledge this disorder EXISTS, then we can stop trying to find ‘rational’ reasons for their actions.

I could not agree with you more: this minority of morally sick individuals are likely responsible for the greatest amount of trauma and suffering on the planet. I -almost- believe if we could get a handle on these characters we could really, truly, turn the human trajectory toward a much more positive outcome- perhaps saving the planet and ourselves.

I know I’ve thanked you numerous times Donna, but my gratitude really knows no bounds when it comes to Love Fraud!!!!!

Slim

I_survived_The_Bastard

I’m reading a very good book at the moment called The Chimp Paradox. Its not specifically about socio/psycho paths. It talks about the 2 parts of the brain: the frontal and the limbic (the human and the chimp respectively). The chimp acts on emotion and the human acts on logic.

It talks about how its very often the chimp part of us that reacts to a situation first rather than the human part and it teaches how to manage the chimp so that the human can come through and be more logical. It mentions psychopaths and how they seem have no human capability centre and so act totally as chimp. Which explains a lot.

It talks about how many situations such as boundary disputes, road rage etc are one person’s chimp reacting to another person’s chimp and if we can manage our own chimp it helps the other person manage their chimp.

It explained how my ex worked, he obviously worked very much in chimp mode and he over stimulated my chimp.

Donna, I am so glad you wrote this pro-active article, it is a very practical guide! I also love Slim’s response. I have often thought about different ways to create social policy in order to address the plague of sociopathy and protect communities from it (i must admit some of my own fantasies have been much too radical and retaliatory, in my angry moments–including sterilization after diagnosis of sociopaths that have committed more than one violent crime already). Education and identification of sociopathy is the first step, which is why I love what you are doing so much! I would love if someday there was a way that courts considered a diagnosis of sociopathy in custody hearings; created policy that limits the social freedoms of sociopaths to take managerial positions over others, or executive positions at companies that directly impact our ecology (like fracking and oil companies, or government). Ironically, though sociopaths are completely amoral, they are themselves protected by (and therefore exploit) ethical laws. i do believe that someday our society will evolve past this Age of the Sociopath (as i call it). Currently, Lovefraud is the single, most comprehensive and focused site providing support, balanced insight, education and important practical information to the population at large about sociopathy, and creating momentum toward this evolution. Thanks again for all you do.

Men and women need a license to drive. They should also need a license to give birth to a child. If there is sociopathy in their family, or they themselves are sociopaths, they won’t get that license. But if there is sociopathy in their family (and they themselves are not sociopaths), they would be allowed to adopt a child. I know this is not PC. But sometimes you have to “bite the bullet”, and do what’s necessary for the greater good. This is the best and quickest way to significantly reduce sociopathy in our society. Sociopathy has been proven to have a huge genetic component and is incurable.

Awesome, Donna

I have often had these thoughts in my head. You are so right about educating the public. I would love to have a chance to do just that…especially since a sociopath sexually assaulted me on a schoolbus, undermined me daily, manipulated other people (men especially) to verbally attack and threaten me…and she lives now with nothing but Kudos from people (because THEY DON’T KNOW). The tragedy of others ‘not knowing’ is horrendous; the mere ‘sighing’ and ‘oh well’ attitude is atrocious.
The public, especially families, are as bad as the sociopaths…but of course…they are afraid.
Anything I can do? Remind me of the person to contact when I am ready to ‘go public’? I am getting madder and madder.

Bravo Donna!

Donna,

This is a tall order and so complicated as well. As a social worker, I am not really supposed to give up on anyone. This has already been a sticking point for me from time to time. It is what it is and I know it when I see it.

On the other hand, the knowledge and experience I have has also helped me see things that others don’t. For this I am grateful.

But I am FULLY on board with educating the world about the disordered.. and how to protect ourselves from people who display the red flags and danger signs.

Aloha

The issue is, though, that WE have awareness…my belief is that there needs to be a large scale public awareness campaign along the lines of the campaign organized by MADD. Right now, the public at large remains neutral, distancing themselves from this dark side of humanity. When we make people really aware that anyone can be duped and that the societal costs in terms of lost productivity and healthcare dollars is astronomical, then we could maybe start to make some headway….My hope is that some little bell of recognition rings in every victim’s mind when they deal with the disordered. Then they can take steps to keep safe. The real issue is that the covert abuse so often gets to fly under everyone’s radar that the victim gets doubly hurt….by the abuser and by others who deny the abuse. A well run public awareness campaign would address that. And of course the red flags of love fraud!!!

I’ve been reading for several months now, and I impressed myself recently when I was able to identify a narcisist I talked to on the phone from online dating.

I had never before been able to so quickly, calmly & objectively analyze and identify like that.

I told him that he wasn’t being “nice”, made it clear that I saw through his manipulative ploys, and even told him directly that I thought he was a narcisisst.

Two days later the dating site removed his account and notified his correspondents. The clues had been subtle, but I guess they caught them as well.

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