Signs of a sociopath in Eliot Spitzer

In 2002, Time Magazine named Eliot Spitzer, when he was New York State Attorney General, “Crusader of the Year,” due to his relentless pursuit of corporate crime. He went after the giants of Wall Street, extracting large fines for illegal and unethical behavior.

That’s why his very public downfall has drawn so much interest. And that’s why, now he’s resigned as governor of New York in disgrace, the stories of his aggressiveness, his bullying, and his apparent belief that the rules did not apply to him, are so widespread.

When I first heard that Spitzer was implicated in a prostitution ring, I figured that if anyone had the dirt, it would be the New York Post. How right I was. Frederic U. Dicker, the state editor for the Post, wrote about Spitzer in an article entitled, Bully gets his comeuppance. Here’s how it started:

“A disgraced Gov. Spitzer has been publicly and privately described for more than a year by New York’s top political figures as a ruthless, sanctimonious, amoral man whose righteous public persona was regularly contradicted by the realities of how he conducted his political life.”


But it got better. Eliot Spitzer described himself as a “f***ing steamroller” to Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco. Dicker wrote that Tedesco—a muscular, one-time star college athlete—confided to an associate, “This guy scares me.”

The New York State Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, who had been targeted by Spitzer, was quoted as saying, “There’s something wrong with Spitzer, something wrong in his head.” Bruno also said, according to Dicker, “he’s a liar, he’s a hypocrite and he cannot ever be trusted.”

Then Dicker wrote, “Even friends described Spitzer as a man whose mood can swing in seconds, as a once pleasant cast undergoes a frightening Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like transformation after a perceived personal slight or policy disagreement.”

This was beginning to sound like all of the stories told on Lovefraud. Eliot Spitzer was beginning to sound like a sociopath.

Accusing the titans

Spitzer made his name prosecuting corruption on Wall Street. But as I continued to research Spitzer, I found a telling incident. In April, 2005, Eliot Spitzer went on ABC-TV’s Sunday morning news show and accused Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former chairman of AIG, an insurance giant, of misleading the public about the company’s dealings. “The evidence is overwhelming that these transactions were created for the purpose of deceiving the market. We call that fraud,” Spitzer said. “It is deceptive. It is wrong. It is illegal.”

Shortly after that, John C. Whitehead, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs, wrote an op/ed piece for the Wall Street Journal entitled Mr. Spitzer has gone too far.

“Something has gone seriously awry when a state attorney general can go on television and charge one of America’s best CEOs and most generous philanthropists with fraud before any charges have been brought, before the possible defendant has even had a chance to know what he personally is alleged to have done, and while the investigation is still under way,” he wrote. Whitehead accused Spitzer of damaging Greenberg’s reputation.

After reading the op-ed piece, Eliot Spitzer phoned John Whitehead. Whitehead was so shocked by what Spitzer said that he wrote it down: “Mr. Whitehead, it’s now a war between us and you’ve fired the first shot,” Spitzer said, according to Whitehead. “I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written that letter.”

Whitehead was astounded. “No one had ever talked to me like that before,” he said. “It was a little scary.”

After his very public statements on television, Spitzer never brought criminal charges against Hank Greenberg.

What was he thinking?

When news of Spitzer and the prostitution scandal broke, the question all the pundits were asking was, why would Spitzer do such a thing? What was he thinking?

The Associated Press put out an article that asked exactly that question entitled, Why do smart people do dumb things?

A variety of psychologists and political analysts speculated: Does risky behavior precede the powerful job? Or does something about being in power cause the behavior?

“There’s the psychology of the exception,” said Leon Hoffman, former chairman of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s public information committee. “People in power sometimes feel they can do things that us, mere mortals, are forbidden to do. There’s a sense, as with adolescents, that ‘I won’t get caught.'”

The consensus in the article seemed to be that power corrupts. No one mentioned that the corrupt seek power, especially when they have a personality disorder.

Talking heads on Larry King

Just to see what else people were saying about Spitzer, I watched Larry King Live last night—something I don’t usually do. His guests included New York State Senator Joseph Bruno, Dina Matos McGreevey (wife of the New Jersey governor who also resigned in disgrace over a sex scandal), Dr. Drew Pinsky, a cop who busted prostitution rings, a TV newscaster, and a former sex worker.

I found the comments of Dr. Drew, as he is know, most interesting. Dr. Drew, who is an internist specializing in addiction medicine, hosts a radio talk show called Loveline, and is the host of Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Explaining how people are able to live double lives, hiding unbelievable things from the people closest to them, Dr. Drew said:

“What I see— and I think is the case here with Governor Spitzer—they tend to have difficulty experiencing other people’s feelings. They tend to be very aggressive and sometimes even ruthless, as he was in his case. And they really are out for their own sake.

“And when they get the power that they’re looking for, oftentimes they sort of feel special and excepted from the kinds of things that they’re expecting of everybody else and they minimize it, decide that it’s okay for them, and they just sort of rationalize it and off they go.”

Okay, he didn’t use the term sociopath, or psychopath, but that seemed to me to be what he was describing.

Then Larry King asked Dr. Drew, “What is the governor going through?”

“You know what, the guys that perpetrate things like this, the men oftentimes feel a deep sense of shame,” Dr. Drew answered. “And it is frightening to them to get anywhere near shame. And so they seem to us to be somewhat Teflon, like they’re skating past it.”

I wasn’t buying that one, at least in Spitzer’s case, but the show continued. Larry King asked Dina Matos McGreevey if she thought her husband, Jim McGreevey, loved her.

“No, I don’t think that he loved me. I think he married me for political expediency,” Matos said. “He wanted to be the governor and he believed that he needed a family in order to do that.”

“I’m not sure that’s true,” Dr. Drew replied. “Dina, you’re describing sexual addiction, sexual compulsion there. Those guys do love people to the best that they’re able.”

I’ve written about the McGreevey case before. In my opinion, Jim McGreevey is a sociopath. So I think Matos was right and Dr. Drew was wrong—Jim McGreevey never loved his wife.

After that, Larry King asked Dr. Drew, “Does the governor need help?”

“I think so,” Dr. Drew replied. “And that’s one of the things that concerns me. I don’t see the kind of contrition that I see from ”¦ someone that would really reach out and be willing to change. I just don’t see it.”

“But he needs help?” King repeated.

“In my opinion, all the things we have talked about tonight have treatment,” Dr. Drew said. “They work. I treat people like this all the time. They get a lot better.”

I started yelling at the television.

Psychopathic qualities

So did anyone get it? Did anyone think that Eliot Spitzer might have a personality disorder?

Yes— Frederic U. Dicker of the New York Post.

After he wrote the article I referenced above, Dicker was interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show. Lauer asked him to comment on the strong feelings people had about Eliot Spitzer.

“There is sense on the part of a number of people, you have to put it psychological terms, of a psychopathic quality,” Dicker said. “He was a guy who couldn’t connect with people emotionally. He would say one thing to you, and a minute later, he would say just the opposite to someone else. He didn’t show emotion in dealing with people, he never had a personal connection, which is so vital in politics.”

So why did the reporter get it right when the medical professionals got it wrong? Quite simply, the reporter knew Eliot Spitzer, knew his personality and knew what he had done. The medical professionals were talking in generalities.

The key to identifying a sociopath, or psychopath, is in the person’s actual behavior. When you know what to look for, the behavioral clues are easy to spot.

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40 Comments on "Signs of a sociopath in Eliot Spitzer"

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Thank you OxD for your comments. It is so comforting to hear the kindness and “feeling” in your words apart from having had a good laugh. The P I was married to used ANY contact he possibly could get with me to devaluate me and create an illusion in front of other people, especially my sons, of me being crazy and him the poor sincere, guiltless victim. Of course I sometimes really acted like a crazy, furious monster and would today and forever again, because he did drive me crazy with his lies and of course everyone who didn’t know him as I did, absolutely loved him! I never could figure out why certain people I knew very well, suddenly started acting strange and even hostile or antagonistic towards me. I only realised a while ago that he was telling lies about me to everyone who could possibly be my friends or be a support to me to put me in a poor light.
To V.abraded I can say I agree with OxD that you need DISTANCE and TIME. Be good to yourself and forgive yourself for the things you might be beating yourself up with. It is impossible to be the perfect person you would have liked yourself to be, when you are in such intimate contact with an inhuman beast like a P. I would add some form of support system. My friends, especially those who didn’t believe his lies, were invaluable to me. But I must say, as a Christian, I found tremendous solace in the Word of God. The Lord says in Jes.54:4-5-Don’t be afraid and don’t be ashamed. …Because the One who has made you, is your husband. (my translation). I have never since been as lonely as I was when he was still alive. … No, I didn’t murder him (I sometimes think I should have long ago!) but he died in an accident. So, God knew I wouldn’t be able to take it longer or I think he (the P) was going to murder me the night of his accident, but that’s speculation. So He intervened Himself.
Love and peace to you all! And thank you for this wonderful site, Donna!!


Knowing for certain (after the fact) that my P-son had tried to have me killed, and “knowing” before, so that I fled to safety before his plan could be accomplished, I actually lived in hiding for nearly six months…not only from my son but all the rest of my family and friends except one son and about 4 friends had no idea where I was.

Like the story of King David hiding from King Saul in the caves, I believe my intuition that my life was in danger (at that time I had no real evidence) was God’s warning to me, just as he warned DAvid by Jonathan, Saul’s son.

Several months after I fled, and the plan to murder me had failed because they couldn’t find me, they went into Plan B, which failed and got two of them arrested. My P son is already in prison, the two arrested were my Daughter in law, x wife (now) of son C who was “fogged” and her BF the Trojan Horse P that my son had sent to “infiltrate” the family.

My faith in God is increased, many times, and the “providence” of God I believe saved my life. My faith has held me up when nothing else did. But in addition to having faith, I think that we have to work WORK at also doing what we can for ourselves, and let God take care of the rest of it.

“Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord” –and it is natural and normal to want vengence against them, but that is not our right or providence. That is in God’s hands, and believe me, I would rather be in YOUR hands than in GOD’s hands for vengence, so by allowing them to “skate free” (for the moment) I think we can be assured that the JUSTICE we wish for for these people will be the vengence of a just God.

New York Post wrote: “A disgraced Gov. Spitzer has been publicly and privately described for more than a year by New York’s top political figures as a ruthless, sanctimonious, amoral man whose righteous public persona was regularly contradicted by the realities of how he conducted his political life.”

The biggest clue that Spitzer is not a psychopath, though he is obviously a hypocrite and liar and probably has some narcissistic traits, though he may also have some good qualities, is the very paragraph quoted above. When a country is under the thumb of a pathocracy, as the U.S. is currently, pay close attention to whom they seek to destroy. It’s obviously, the ones who won’t play ball with them. And consider the fact that the media is the whore of the power elite, and you’ll begin to understand a few things.

Addenda: On the topic of McGreevey, while again, it may look like psychopathic behavior, a bit of deeper research and an understanding of the current political situation would go a long way toward helping anyone who wishes to analyze such things to perceive the “line of force” running through the incidents.

For example, consider what Wayne Madsen wrote about McGreevey:

“Here we go again. Another political bombshell hits the American people and there is yet another connection to the subterranean labyrinth of possible Israeli intelligence activities. New Jersey Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey’s announcement on August 12 that he was resigning because of his involvement in a gay relationship with an Israeli national may be the tip of an iceberg that represents another high-level Israeli attempt to burrow into the most sensitive areas of U.S. national security and our political process. The surprise announcement is also being used by a number of neo-conservative news outlets to tarnish the Democratic Party and absolve Israel of any connection to the New Jersey political scandal.

“The ties between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Russian-mafia infused government and shadowy Israeli and Eastern European ex-intelligence agents are beyond a doubt, according to international law enforcement officials. But what is not readily apparent is the fact that a number of Israeli off-the-books intelligence operatives are active inside the United States and they do not have U.S. national interests in mind. In particular, the Israeli-Russian mobsters and their allies within the Sharon government have adopted one of the most successful intelligence ploys used by the former KGB and East German Stasi–the use of prostitutes or “swallows” to gain intimate access to high Western politicians, so-called “sexpionage.” In the case of Israel, which welcomed a number of émigré former Eastern bloc intelligence agents during and after the Cold War, this has entailed the use of both female and male prostitutes. The fact that White House chief dirty tricks operator Karl Rove has close connections to the political spin machine run out of Sharon’s Jerusalem office is also a concern when it comes to Israeli-connected dirty tricks operations being run against Democratic politicians in the United States.”

I think that everyone here is familiar with the idea that a psychopath can engage with a person, and that person will be “converted” to doing all kinds of things via the manipulation of the psychopath. It’s not a new concept. So, why aren’t ya’ll doing some serious thinking about these things? Do some digging!


Allow me to share the same information that I posted to Liane’s comments on the Spitzer Scandal:

There’s more data behind the “Spitzer Scandal”; look at what Amy Goodman writes:

So, yeah, the guy had some definite issues, but it’s a bit precipitate to suggest that he was a sociopath. It’s one thing to talk about personal experiences with paths, but quite another to consider issues in “high places” where the powers of psychopaths can be brought to bear on an individual and make them look guilty as hell.

Understanding Political Ponerology is crucial when analyzing events about which you are only allowed to know what the press tells you, and must consider who controls the press: those in power who are effecting the scandal and “take-down.”

I’m pretty sure that Spitzer did some things that aren’t very savory, but then, so did JFK. One must also consider men who are married to psychopathic wives and how they cope if they are in public positions and can be easily made to look really bad if they walk out and distance themselves from a woman who has “all the cards to play.”

All I’m saying here is that we really need to take the time to think about these things carefully, examine the “line of force,” use the knowledge we have gained from psychopaths up-close and personal to help us figure out the picture within the picture that we only see from a distance, and only see what we are supposed to see.

Does that sound like “conspiracy theory?” Yeah, it does. Keep in mind that the word “theory” means “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world” and when we are aware of the powers and abilities of psychopaths and the part they play in conspiring against us, and then think about them in positions of power, “conspiracy theories” don’t seem so whacky after all, now do they?

But only those people who are aware of the existence of psychopaths have any real hope of seeing this, and that is what those of us who have had these experiences need to tell others.

The very label “conspiracy” serves as an automatic dismissal, as though no one ever acts in secret. Let us bring some perspective and common sense to this issue.

The United States comprises large organizations – corporations, bureaucracies, “interest groups,” and the like – which are conspiratorial by nature. That is, they are hierarchical, their important decisions are made in secret by a few key decision-makers, and they are not above lying about their activities. Such is the nature of organizational behavior. “Conspiracy,” in this key sense, is a way of life around the globe.

Within the world’s military and intelligence apparatuses, this tendency is magnified to the greatest extreme. During the 1940s, the military and its scientists developed the world’s most awesome weapons in complete secrecy.

Anyone who has lived in a repressive society knows that official manipulation of the truth occurs daily. But societies have their many and their few. In all times and all places, it is the few who rule, and the few who exert dominant influence over what we may call official culture. – All elites take care to manipulate public information to maintain existing structures of power. It’s an old game.

Nearly everything of significance undertaken by America’s military and intelligence community in the past half-century has occured in secrecy. The undertaking to build an atomic weapon, better known as the Manhattan Project, remains the great model for all subsequent activities. For more than two years, not a single member of Congress even knew about it although its final cost exceeded two billion dollars.

During and after the Second World War, other important projects, such as the development of biological weapons, the importation of Nazi scientists, terminal mind-control experiments, nationwide interception of mail and cable transmissions of an unwitting populace, infiltration of the media and universities, secret coups, secret wars, and assassinations all took place far removed not only from the American public, but from most members of Congress and a few presidents. Indeed, several of the most powerful intelligence agencies were themselves established in secrecy, unknown by the public or Congress for many years.

Since the 1940s, the U.S. Defense and Intelligence establishment has had more money at its disposal than most nations. In addition to official dollars, much of the money is undocumented. From its beginning, the C.I.A. was engaged in a variety of off-the-record “business” activities that generated large sums of cash. The connections of the C.I.A. with global organized crime (and thus de facto with the international narcotics trade) has been well established and documented for many years. – Much of the original money to run the American intelligence community came from very wealthy and established American families, who have long maintained an interest in funding national security operations important to their interests.

Secrecy, wealth and independence add up to power. Through the years, the families and people with wealth and power have gained access to the wrorld’s most sophisticated technology sealed off millions of acres of land from public access or scrutiny, acquired unlimited snooping ability within U.S. borders and beyond, conducted overt or clandestine actions against other nations, and prosecuted wars without serious media scrutiny. Domestically, it maintains influence over elected officials and communities hoping for some of the billions of defense dollars. [including scientists, universities, etc.]

Deception is the key element of warfare, and when winning is all that matters, the conventional morality held by ordinary people becomes an impediment. When taken together, the examples of official duplicity form a nearly single totality. They include such choice morsels as the phony war crisis of 1948, the fabricated missile gap claimed by the air force during the 1950s, the carefully managed events leading to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, the Iraq war, the dissolution of the Constitution after the alleged “terrorist attack” on 9-11.

The secrecy stems from a pervasive and fundamental element of life in our world, that those who are at the top of the heap will always take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo.

And they are generally psychopaths in power over all of us, not just the personal types that cause untold misery to their families.

The point is, we need to be careful in our analyses, and widen our scope so as to include those paths who make society friendly to the psychopaths next door.


At first I thought I read your post wrong. I don’t understand how the paragraph you quoted from the Post could be evidence against him being a sociopath. I know that the political system is full of alliances and plots that we have no idea about, but that does not mean that these sociopaths are not to blame for their actions. Yes, I call them sociopaths because I think that Donna and the rest of us are as qualified as any psychologist to diagnose them.

We are not only judging by what Republican politicians are saying about him, we have video footage of his pitiful “apology” and his actions are clearly reflective of his lack of empathy and conscience.

I do not rule out the possibility that the Republican party can take advantage of the situation and maybe even set them up for situations that they know their sociopathic nature will not let them pass up. That’s the nature of politics. But that does not shift the blame off of these people. They are responsible for what they have done. If they had not cheated on their wives (novel concept!) in such heartless and disgraceful ways, the Republican party would not have had a chance to fuel a media campaign against them.

I don’t think negating the fact that Eliot Spitzer is a sociopath serves to widen our scope. If he shows the signs, there is no point in arguing them away for political reasons. If you could bring proof of the sociopathy of another political figure (without political bias), we would welcome it here. Because it seems to me the world of politics is full of sociopaths, on both sides. I think Donna just wrote about this case because it’s all over the news and it is easy to see the signs that all of us here know all too well.

Laura, your analysis of politics of the “powerful” using the “powerless” is totally right on. I think there have been so few rulers in the world since time began that were not “crooked” or psychopathic that I have coined a new term for my feelings. I am a “political agnostic”—I am not sure that I believe there is an honest politician in the world!

Psychopaths rise to the top in underhanded and self serving situations in which being able to do what you want to to accomplish a purpose regardless what what methods you use to torture, or invade a country. I think it always has been and always will be.

The strong take over the weak. The masses follow. I can’t see that changing.

It would be nice if “honest” men were in office, but at the same time, I don’t see it as being likely any time soon.

The fantatics and the psychopaths will always gravitate to power and just as dictators, Hitler for example, rose to power, Stalin, Mao, and others of the last half of the 20th century, untold tens of millions of deaths resulted from these men and the “minor” sociopaths that they used in their rise to power before their eventual down falls.

I just finished reading two books on China during Mao’s take over, one written by a “communist believer” who was an American who stayed in China, and another one who was a “believer” who was of Chinese nationallity. Both of these men wrote from the heart and the personal close contact that they had with Mao and his other close contacts–both of these men eventually escaped China at great risk to themselves and others.

The American man was placed in solitary confinement and torture and starvation for 7 years as a “test” and believe it or not, when he came out of prison he was STILL faithful to Mao until many years later. (Talk about N-fog!)

Just as we may have empathy for the victim of a violent psychopath such as the wife who returns again and again to a man who beats and abuses her, these men returned again and again to the psychopathic leader who abused them and the others, unable to fathom that someone could be so EVIL and without conscience. Reading their stories was almost like reading the blogs written here of the women and men who were in N-fogs for years with their Ps—and reminds me that I too was in the N-fog with my Ps for so long.

I can empathize with these men. I can also empathize with the people who were warned of the Nazi camps, but chose to stay in Germany because they could not comprehend that anyone could be THAT EVIL. Many of those people lost their lives because they would not listen to the warnings about Hitler’s psychopathic intents.

All of us have suffered as victims from the INDIVIDUAL Ps that have impacted us personally, but I don’t think it is any different except on the SCALE of the Psychopaths who rule countries, manipulate the media, and FOG an entire population.

Like I think it was Abraham Lincoln said “you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.” Sometimes by the time some of the people are no longer fooled, there are so many people that are fooled that those that are not fooled and in the minority can’t escape.

Sometimes I feel like John the Baptist, “crying in the wilderness” and no one wants to hear unless they have personally experienced the devestation of a “personal psychopath” or a “cultural psychopath.”


I am in complete agreement with Ariadne. Peruse the traits of a psychopath/sociopath provided by Dr. Robert Hare, Ph.D. contained on this site. Most of us on here use those as our guide upon which to base our discussions, not on conspiracy theory, military or intelligence strategies of the 1940’s, or controversies over whether Karl Rove is a dirty tricks operator or a political architect.

Former Governor Spitzer, as the Lovefraud authors and resident experts found, displays many of those behaviors. I am in agreement, and will add he is paying the price for his own actions and behavior just as he should.

Laura Knight-Jadczyk is the originator of the left-wing blog site called SOTT, Sign of the Times, I believe. I have a quote I think is appropriate with my tongue slightly in cheek, “The left is full of crop circle paranoids. The right is full of stupid angry people. The sheer volume of information in both does manage to strip things to bare bone facts, but not by virtue of intelligence, just volume – like a colony of bacteria feeding on a corpse.”

The point is, we are all intelligent adults on this site and can understand underlying political motivations without being spoon fed propaganda of any slant. Further, our scope is sufficiently wide to include any and all related behavior, but without political bend. Those discussions are best left to the sites that invite political bias.


Benzthere, you put my thoughts very eloquently, thank you for “clarifying” me! LOL

Any time OxD. Many times your writings have mirrored my thoughts exactly!


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