By | April 2, 2008 110 Comments

“The conscience is a vital organ”

Isn’t it strange how the mind works? I read with approval Dr Leedom’s latest post. In it she manages to be at once hard-nosed, realistic, and still keep positve. There are very real differences in the brains of those with psychopathic traits, she writes, but the brain is plastic and therein lies just a sliver of hope.

For some reason the opening lines of Martin Amis‘ novel House of Meetings came back to me. It is set in the Soviet Union:

Dear Venus
If what they say is true, and my country is dying, then I think I may be able to tell them why. You see, kid, the conscience is a vital organ, and not an extra like the tonsils or the adenoids.

Amis has also written a stunning nonfiction book about Stalinism, Koba the Dread, which has its own staggering opening:

Here is the second sentence in Robert Conquest‘s The Harvest of Sorrow: Collectivization and the Terror-Famine:

    We may perhaps put this in perspective in the present case by saying that in the actions here recorded about twenty human lives were lost for, not every word, but every letter of this book.

That sentence represents 3,020 lives. The book is 411 pages long.

And then I remembered that Amis’ cousin Lucy Partington was murdered by the infamous serial killer Fred West! How could I have forgotten? Amis wrote wrenchingly about it in Experience:

My family cannot understand the extraordinary collision that allowed him to touch our lives, and I have no wish to prolong that contact. But he is here now, in my head; I want him excised. And Frederick West is uncontrollable: he is uncontrollable. For now he will get from me a one-sentence verdict…. West was a sordid inadequate who was trained by his childhood to addict himself to the moment when impotence became prepotence.

Amis clearly knows a thing or two about psychopathy. Consider his compact ‘verdict’:

a sordid inadequate

    • – this suggests ignoble actions and motives arousing moral distaste and contempt combined with a biological lack

trained by his childhood – dysfunctional modelling and upbringing by his family and surroundings

addict himself – this both highlights the central, pleasurable place wickedness played in his life and emphasises the crucial place of will (he didn’t become addicted he addicted himself)

to the moment when impotence became prepotence – here is the defining characteristic of the psychopath: he lives for the moments when his power or influence over others occur. Deep beneath this is a secret fear/knowledge of his utter unimportance/worthlessness.

Amis, through the imaginative power of the artist, has captured remarkably well the heart of the matter.

He is not an easy read, but it now occurs to me that in a way our theme has been one of his central themes. For example, Lovefraud readers have recently written worried letters about the perpetuation of psychopathy among the young via antisocial social environments and psychopathic genes. Time magazine’s recent cover story is about the phenomenon of youth delinquency in Britain. Amis was ahead of the curve when he wrote about it in his novel Yellow Dog.

His forthcoming book is a collection of essays on 9/11 called The Second Plane. (You can read one essay, ‘The Age of Horrorism’ , here.) The collection has received a lot of negative comment: Amis is a racist, etc. Well I’ve read a lot of Amis’ work and and can’t square with that judgement. (What he says is that Islamofascism produces awful racist feelings in him and he doesn’t know what to do with them.) I wonder whether some of the objections to his book are due to what we at Lovefraud encounter all the time: regular folks’ refusal to believe in human evil. These are the fortunate people who have not fully encountered evil – hope their luck holds out.

Back to Dr. Leedom’s article – she makes it clear that the small candle of hope she holds out is not for the full-blown psychopaths Amis writes about, but for those with psychopathic traits.

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Dr Steve-

I will look up the books- though I think I need to read something uplifting soon….

One point- the dysfuctional family.

I wonder statistically how many psycho come from them versus not.
Mine was/is fawned over. I recall an ex-wife telling me she had found cards he had left from his parents telling him he’d be the next…..
They groomed his ego steadily from early on.

The conscience IS a vital organ, and one I believe is there from birth…or not at all. It can be strengthened or weakened, but it cannot suddenly come out of nowhere when someone is older. Which is why the sentence, “Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior” makes sense to me.

I remember the Wolf talking about doing something highly unethical within his musical group. He was going to take over the rest of the group from the unsuspecting (even) older man who had started it and hired everyone else long before the Wolf came along.

He told me this and did not bat an eye. Literally said it the way someone else would describe where they were planning on going for dinner.

“Wouldn’t that be unethical?” I asked.

He paused for awhile and then reluctantly agreed it would be, and back-pedaled on the issue. That was last year.

Guess what he did?

Yep. He’s now with the rest of the group, sans the guy who created that band and was its leader. He claimed to me that everyone else walked-out on the guy on a night he just happened not to be there. Well, that’s most likely a lie; he seldom missed a night of “performing.” But he knew by then I was on to his utter lack of conscience and ethics and would have realized the truth if he said he was present at the time.

This lack of ethics is not new for him, either. Two previous bands he’d been in described various power struggles they had with him, saying he had a “hidden agenda” and bad attitude, and complained like he was the band leader.

When he emerged from the ether into my life in 2006 he was a mess: he’d been having an affair with a married women and God knows what other drama. My life was problematic from family illness, but no personal soap operas, by choice. I had the feeling he was trying to get himself better through me, a ladder rung on his way back up. He was so tiny, frail and wan, the opposite of robust in mind, body and spirit. Over the next six months with me he changed dramatically – got healthier, looked much better, came back into himself. Once that happened, he was on the way out the door – and suddenly cruel, cold, calculating and demeaning.

What he doesn’t realize is that those changes for the better did not come from within – so they will not stick around. He can’t make them happen alone. Sure, he may find fresh supply, but eventually he will have to call on his inner resources, heart and goodness.

What doesn’t exist won’t pick up the phone or call back. He’ll be back to square one and may not even realize how his lack of conscience led him there. He can’t stand to be alone for even a few days….there’s just no “there” there .

Ox Drover

I have to say that I don’t think a “conscience” is born in anyone, but a learned thing, but like intelligence vs knowledge, the knowledge is a learned thing, and I see intelligence as the “bucket” you are born with to put the knowledge in. Some people have a bigger bucket than others.

I think that while the psychopath may have a genetically smaller “bucket” in which to put a “conscience” (the knowledge of right and wrong and an awareness of doing it) I still think that they have “choices” whether to conform or not.

For example, there are still people in the world who are taught that female circumcision is “good” although our culture sees this as a horrible and painful mutilation and child abuse that no mother would allow her child to undergo for any reason.

People who are taught from birth that this is a good thing, who have in fact, undergone this themselves, who force this on their daughters are doing with with a “clear conscience” and in fact, would feel shame if they did not do this.

The content of our conscience is a learned thing–what is right and wrong in our culture, and our family, and our time. How strongly any construct within the conscience is considered good or evil is also another learned thing.

There are many behaviors in my conscience that were proscribed by my early teaching that I have chosen, as an adult, to reexamine and to “toss out” without I think great damage to my moral structure. In examining my own conscience though, I did NOT toss out “thou shalt not kill.” I did not toss out “thou shalt not steal” but I DID toss out “you have to be nice to everyone no matter what they do to you.”

In the old Jewish Law, a child was considered a child until age 12, and I think this was because a child, though they are developing a conscience and a knowledge of what is right and wrong in their culture, and developing an inner control over this, an inner “brake” on “wrong” behavior, before age 12 really don’t have the concept of “right and wrong” firmly implanted.

After age 12, in that culture, a boy was considered a man and treated as such by the Law. If he killed, he was tried as an “adult” because it was assumed that he had enough maturity to KNOW that it was wrong to kill another human, and should have had enough control over his own behavior to NOT kill.

We are seeing children as young as 9 become killers today, and many in the 12-15 year old age range. There is debate in our society if these killers should be considered adults or “children” in the legal system. Did they KNOW what they were doing was wrong? Should they have been expected to NOT do this thing, since they knew it was wrong? Where do you draw the line between “adult behavior” and “he’s too young to know what he was doing?”

A four year old who knows it is “wrong” to play with matches shouldn’t be sent to jail for life for burning down a house even though he KNEW it was wrong to do so, because he cannot be expected to foresee the consequences of playing with the matches. A 12 year old who deliberately sets fire to a house knowing that the people inside are sleeping and are likely to not get out in time…what about him?

Having watched a psychopath “grow up” from birth to a cold blooded killer incarcerated and still trying to “control” the universe, I honestly don’t know if my son ever had a conscience and then lost it or threw it away. I do know that there are some strong genetic things going on.

When my son was young, he was probably one of the most pleasant children to be around I have ever know. He seemed to want to please adults and performed well in school, was well mannered, not arrogant and not unusually aggressive. He was exceptionally bright and in every gifted and talented program offered, then sent to a Christian school. Until he reached puberty, an early one I might add, I could not have asked for a better child. I have even over heard him “counseling” other children who were troubled over their parent’s divorce, or in one case, the death of a parent, when he was 10 or 11.

Except for a moderate amount of scrapping with his brother when they were pre-school to first grade, he got along well with other children and adults. I can’t ever remember him doing anything nasty to other kids in the neighborhood and they were well enough supervised that I would have known.

At age 11, there was ONE episode that IN RETROSPECT, makes me wonder if the internal P-feelings were there, when he stole some money from my purse and bought a radio from another kid at school that he wanted and I told him we could not afford. Even when caught and confronted by the parents of the other kid, by me and the other boy, he DENIED, DENIED, DENIED and became totally defiant. He ran away from home. After this all “died down” though he resumed his previous behavior and outward expression of his “good attitude.”

All his friends were “the good kids” in the neighborhood until suddenly, over one summer, he stopped hanging out with the “good kids” and started to hang with THUGS. A Jekyll/Hyde switch that caught me totally off guard. He became belligerent to me and totally defiant. I was so taken back by this sudden switch in behavior that I took him to a physician and had him tested for drugs—he came up negative for everything except caffeine.

Did my son have a conscience of some sort and as he reached the “age of accountability” decide to throw out the contents of it, the way I reexamined the contents of my conscience and tossed out some of the things that I looked at and thought did not really apply to reality today? Did he decide to toss out his entire sense of “right and wrong?”

It is obvious to me that he has NO shame now, in fact, he gloats and glories on how horrible his crime of murder was “worse than the cops even know.” He is of course filled with rage toward me in particular because I have thwarted some of his “plans” and in the past turned him in to the police for theft.

Did he ever have any “shame?” When he was younger? I’m not sure because he rarely did anything to cause any problems until he did the Jekyll/Hyde switch at puberty and at that time I saw only rage and defiance.

He apparently still “seeks approval” though, but only from his criminal buddies, and shamelessly manipulated his grandmother and his brother and me. He lives in a fantasy world where he is “King” and even though he is in prison, he dreams of the day he is “free” to prey as he wills on anyone.

He is now a man who is “critically” deficient in only ONE aspect of character–he has no conscience. He is bright, charming if he wants to be, but his lack of conscience, that ONE critical thing out of all the other talents and blessings that he has, makes him a dangerous human being who should never be let loose in society to prey on others. What a waste of talent, intellect and a hundred other “good” things.

Just as Eliot Spritzer, former governor of NY, obviously had talent, intellect, charm, and the ability to accomplish things, lacked the ONE critical element to make him an outstanding man. Conscience. Spritzer was not raised in a ghetto, not raised in poverty, not raised in ignorance, didn’t lack an education, didn’t lack opportunities, neither did my son. For whatever the cause of their lack of conscience, this necessary element to complete a human being, it wasn’t all the things that our society “blames” on producing psychopaths. Psychopaths come in all colors, both sexes, and every economic status, and intellectual capacity.

The fanatics who took over the planes on 9/11 had “clear consciences” and thought they were might think that they were “psychopaths” and “killers” I think that they probably did have consciences, just trained to a “different” right and wrong from our culture. It scares me for our society when people are “trained” to opposing “rights and wrong” to that extent, but I don’t think it is lack of conscience that made them do it, but training in another culture opposed to our way of life here in the US.

There was a time when Christians thought it was “right” to invade Islamic countries (the Crusades) because the Islamic countries were “against God”—now the shoe is on the other foot. We no longer think it is “right” to invade them for religious purposes, but they think it is right to invade and attack us because we are “evil.”


I totally agree with you that training that leads to terrorism. THere are so many people involved that they can’t all be psychopaths. I think that for every type of “us vs. them” attack, there are the common people who get trained to do the dirty work, and the psychopaths that sit at a comfortable distance and orchestrate the whole thing.

I think that whoever gets brainwashed into perpetrating these crazy acts is just looking for something to believe in or some kind of certainty in life and the psychos take advantage of that. It doesn’t excuse it at all, but I think you are on to something, Oxdrover when you say that they had clear consciences. They were probably just so out of touch with the reality of what is right and wrong that they thought they were doing what was right.

By the way, I have a problem with anyone who says that they have “racist feelings” and doesn’t know what to do about it. Like he has no control over it. If Amis really knew about psychopathy, he would know that anyone from any country, any religion, and any background can be a psychopath. It is part of the nature of psychopathy that P’s use whatever they have at their disposal to gain power and abuse it. That includes religion. People on this blog have mentioned quite a few times how their BM was “very religious.” It is one of their ploys. It does not belong to Islam, it exists in every religion. So there is no reason to feel “racist” towards any certain group because it happens and has happened at many points in history with different religions. He, as a “scholar” should know that.

Ox Drover


It isn’t that these terrorists don’t “Know right from wrong”–they DO, but “their right=our wrong”–to THEM they ARE “doing RIGHT. To US they are doing “WRONG.” Their culture and the fanatics that are using their religion as a CLUB to hurt others are teaching them a (by our thinking) convoluted standard of right and wrong.

If you went back and met your own Christian ancestors from the 1200s they would most likely burn you at the stake. They would think that they were doing right because you believed the world was round. They believed that thought in your head was DANGEROUS to them. It proved you were EVIL. It proved you were bewitched by Satan and to protect themselves and the TRUTH you must be killed.

The radical Islamists believe that our way of life is DANGEROUS to them, and an affront to God and that they are doing “God’s work” to stamp out the evil creatures that we are so that we will not pollute the world.

There may be people in the ruling groups that are Ps, and know that they are manipulating the “common man” with religion to do their work and kill others, or they may be like the Apostle Paul who was obeying the Jewish law, and with a clear conscience helped to stone St. Stephen. Later, St. Paul realized that what he had done was Wrong, but at the time, he thought he was doing right!

I am sure some of the people who were involved in t he Crucifixion of Christ thought that they were doing right, even though the Pharisees (whom I consider Ps) had incited the population to cry out for his Crucifixion for his “crimes” of calling the Pharisees heretics. The Jewish leaders were afraid that Jesus would convince the population what scoundrels they were and so he had to be “silenced.” So they trumped up a charge, hired one of his “friends” to betray him, and hired liars for witnesses. Typical P behaviors, look at Eliot Spritzer’s persecution of various “political enemies, ” and threats against them.

I admit I am “prejudiced”—against fanatics of any race, religion or culture–I hate black bigots, white bigots, Islamic bigots, Christian bigots, and any kind of bully of any kind regardless of what their agenda is. I’m against radical left wing political views, I’m against right wing conservative views.

But I respect your right to believe anything in the world that you want to believe, as long as you do not forcibly try to inflict your views and opinions on ME or anyone else.

Where things get “sticky” is in international situations. If one group in country A is “wiping out” another group (genocide) does Country B have a duty to invade country A and put a stop to this behavior? Germany never attacked the US, but did we have a duty as a nation to try and protect the people that they were killing in their own country?

I know that there are 1000 answers to the above questions and I don’t have them all. I wish I did. I wish SOMEONE did.

When I was 18 I THOUGHT I did, and all things were “black and white” and now things are some shade of gray to me, with very few black and white issues. I no longer feel I can change the whole world. I try to look at as many sides of an issue as I can and if a decision on my part is required to make it as well as I can. To behave in a morally upright way as much as humanly possible. To “do unto others” is a way that I can face myself in the mirror, but at the same time, not to tattoo DOOR MAT on myself either.


Oxdrover wrote:

“I have to say that I don’t think a “conscience”? is born in anyone, but a learned thing, but like intelligence vs knowledge, the knowledge is a learned thing, and I see intelligence as the “bucket”? you are born with to put the knowledge in. Some people have a bigger bucket than others.”

I agree up to a point. I actually had an argument with one of my friends not too long ago about nature vs. nuture when it came to the human conscience. I believe that most of us — 99% or more — are born with the capacity to feel normal things like compassion, empathy, sympathy, etc. for other people. But I do think that that for some clinical reason (I see it a lot in Aspbergers people), the conscience just is not there. They have to be “told” what is right and wrong and how to act accordingly to fit in with society.

If you met my ex’s family, you’d know that he was raised in a good environment with caring, nurturing people who did everything they could to set a good example. But he is lacking that certain base level of conscience. I’ve known the man for years, and I have never seen him authentically “care” about anyone, unless it somehow benefitted him.

So … yes and no on this one. I do believe there are people who are essentially born without a working conscience.


Dr. Steve,

Sorry if I sounded too angry in my post, I know it is a complicated subject. I know that a lot of people might get prejudiced thoughts looking at the issue of “one religion/way of life vs. another” but the fact that this kind of violence has happened so many times in history should be enough to stop those feelings.

Trying to find out why it is happening in this particular case is an admirable pursuit and I guess his gut reactions to it might have encouraged him to do so in the first place. But grouping 1.2 billion people together into one “race” is certainly a stretch. There is no one Muslim culture and no one way of thinking for all Muslims.

Sorry, this is getting way off-topic. Anyway, very interesting thread and it is probably true that a lot of the critics of his work just haven’t experienced the kind of evil that we have so they think he’s going comic-book-villian on us. If they only knew. . .

Ox Drover

Dr. Steve,

I too have seen parents who thought their “little Johnny” did no wrong, usually those are parents who refuse to believe the reports of teachers, neighbors, and other children.

Fortunately, my “little Peter Perfect” wasn’t one of those kids. I lived in a neighborhood where all of us stay-at-home mommies monitored the entire pack of kids about the same age roaming the neighborhood.

Until he hit puberty he WAS this “perfect” kid except for that ONE instance of theft, and we lived in such a small town I would have known if he hadn’t been, the fact that I did live in a small town was why I even knew that something was wrong when he showed up at home with a radio he had asked me to buy for him, and I told him we couldn’t “afford” it. I immediately knew something was wrong, and the next day when the neighbors showed up with their little boy who had “sold” it to my son we confronted my son, all of us, and even with the evidence in front of him it was DENY DENY DENY—which was SHOCKING to me, because he had NEVER done anything like that before.

Sometimes now I wonder if his “perfection” wasn’t somehow pathological…why did he try so hard to please? Why did he never get into the things every other kid in the neighborhood was involved in? He seemed to be the JOY of every teacher he ever had, the “best friend” of all the other kids, and all that one could wish for in a kid—but something was wrong for sure? When he did “flip flop” into every parent’s night mare from every parent’s dream child, it happened so “suddenly” that I actually took him for a drug test (you couldn’t buy them over the counter then) and he came up clean as a whistle.

Over night he dumped his “good friends” that he had been friends with since before first grade, and started hanging with thugs, being openly defiant to me, and before long (about 3 months) I had NO control or influence over this kid at all.

Nevernever land, I think we are both saying the same thing, but our “definitions” of conscience are not quite the same.

My definition of “conscience” is the grief/shame felt by doing something you have been taught is WRONG.

Intelligence is the CAPACITY for education to one degree or another, but a VERY intelligent person can be totally ignorant if they are not TAUGHT and educated.

A person born with a CAPACITY for a conscience can be TAUGHT to do what you and I would call “evil” and not feel bad about it because he thought what he was doing was OK. I don’t’ think any child is born with the KNOWLEDGE of what is good and what is not because that “right and wrong” vary with culture and society, time and place.

In the US before the Civil War some people thought that slavery was ok, right or wrong, but each one thought that their view was “right” Today, we think slavery is WRONG. Period. In the middle ages people were burned at the stake for thinking the world was round, and people thought that was RIGHT to do so. Of course today if you think it is flat, people may laugh at you, but no one is going to burn you at the stake.

So really, I think all cultures change the definition of what is right or wrong as they progress or regress. The Romans thought murder was “wrong” yet they thought it was fine to have people torn to death in the arena for entertainment because they were “Christians.” Or to pay gladiators to fight to the death for their amusement.

I do think you can take a child and teach it that murder is right and that theft is right and that they will do those things and not feel that what they do is “wrong” or feel any guilt about it. Just as St. Paul participated in the stoning of St. Stephen thinking he was upholding the law of God, later to realize he was not, anyone can be taught that black is white and right is wrong.

Some of the problems with conscience is that Ps do not accept the “right or wrong” of ANY culture, only the “what I want is what I will do” attitude of all despots regardless of the culture in which they were raised.

Just as you can be “Ignorant” because you don’t have the capacity to learn much, or you can be ignorant even though you are very bright and have a great capacity to learn but no one ever taught you, I think a child can have no conscience because he didn’t have the capacity to hold one, and the other is that no one gave him one by teaching him right from wrong appropriate for his culture. How could any child learn that it is wrong to steal and take something from another child unless we (society and parents) taught him?


It occurred to me (while I was on the subway), why N/P/S are evil.
Given that they naturally have this nature
1) they have no conscience
2) They are controlling
3) they are envious and jealous
4) they must win
If you (the victim) are reasonably happy . . They are jealous of your happiness, and they must WIN, i.e., BE HAPPIER.
They only way they can insure WINNING, i.e., being HAPPIER, is to make you UNHAPPIER.
They do this by any means available to them . . ie., put-downs, bullying, lying, gas-lighting, cheating. And since they have no conscience this doesn’t bother them at all.
All it means is THEY WIN because now they are happier than you (and controlling you). . because they have made sure that YOU ARE MISERABLE!




However, I do not believe they are every truly “happy” or “happier”.

What they perceive as happiness is 180 degrees from the norm.

I believe they are (to themselves unacknowledged) miserable, and the “Win” which makes their Target “More Miserable” makes them “Less Miserable”…. thus HAPPIER in their own mind…but only temporarily.

That is why they keep striking. They are just plain evil.


I agree with this need to ‘win’ but they are not so intelligent as they will cut off their noses to spite their faces – the ‘win’ can be something that totally sabotages their lives as well as the lives of others around them and makes them look like a failure to the rest of society, but they still count it as a ‘win’ if they have got one over the other person or made their life a misery in some way.

The need to put others down in order to feel some semblance of happiness is totally sick and evil to me. Normal people magnify their happiness by sharing it with others and making others happy – that is the important altruistic urge that makes for successful communities and societies. The psychopath is just that sick – in their quest for control over others, the making them miserable is just proof of their ultimate control.

I am unsure as to whether conscience is innate or is brought about through education and environment. I have seen people who have the best and most nurturing homes turn out to be monsters. Similarly I have seen those who have grown up in homes I wouldn’t consign a dog to turn their situations around and vow to lead a different life. I have to think that some part of it is genetic – the capacity to feel guilt, shame and to think ahead and consider the consequences for others. To me a lot of conscience is tied up in our ability to think – to think – what does this mean for the other person? How are they likely to feel about this? Is there a better way for me to do this so less harm ensues? I don’t know whether the psychopath just can’t or won’t think things through or whether lack of empathy means he just doesn’t because other people don’t matter. We know they have problems with impulse control – so they act without thinking. At the e nd of the day anything we posit about them is merely theoretical – we don’t truly know what causes it, why they act like they do and why they hurt other people.

Conscience certainly is a vital organ though – without mass conscience how would society look after those who need protecting? There would be no charities, no social welfare systems, no do gooders in the neighbourhood. It deeply concerns me that the altruism that used to be part of everyday life in generations gone by is rapidly disappearing today – how many people now tithe ten percent of their income to the church they belong to? Everyone is feeling entitled to be selfish these days because we deal with massive inflation – “Well it’s hard enough for ME to make ends meet – so I can just give them nothing – they will get by and I have to look after myself”

It is precisely this selfishness that allows people to overlook the very real injustices that happen all around them – domestic violence and psychological abuse – if it’s not happening to them then they close their eyes to it. This selfishness allows people to be hoodwinked by the psychopaths – they don’t take the time to delve into the story of the other person and tend to believe the lies they are presented with at face value. Society is enabling these people to do their evil work.

Heartmoonstar and Sarah – you correctly point out that what the psychopath displays as ‘happiness’ is nothing even remotely near the truth. The psychopath is a lone wolf who requires the lifeblood of vibrant people to keep his decaying tissues alive. His ‘happiness’ is just an injection of someone else’s vital essence. Anyone remember the movie The Dark Crystal? The little beings were being drained of their lifeblood or essence after being hypnotised – this is exactly a metaphor for the psychopath. There are many ways to drain lifeblood too – through put downs, lying about the person and getting others on side believing the lies, through lying to the victim and pulling the wool over her eyes, through psychological abuse and gaslighting, through any manner of sport where he deems he has ‘won’. Perhaps it is as simple as getting a new victim to groom and rubbing that person in front of the discarded victim – that makes him look good of course – how could he be disordered if someone else wants him for relationship??? Meanwhile the victim struggles to clean out the wounds inflicted by him and looks like the aggressor because she can’t engage in relationship being too damaged from the psychopath’s blows. They walk off without a backward glance – no remorse, no guilt, no conscience.



Thank you for your detailed analysis, there is so much to learn and understand about evil beings. I especially like your comparisons in the last paragraph.

There really are Vampires.
They are decaying and need your vital essence to feel alive.
They drain your lifeblood.
Their inflicted wounds are toxic.
Alone without a victim they would die.
But they always seem to find some other unsuspecting Target to feed upon.


Happy…hmmmmm that’s a thought…..

They aren’t happy….they fake it all… they appear to be happy……and live in their own fantasies….

if they would just put the same effort into doing good…..theyd be very successful……
But a con is easier!


Yes Erin – we are always the bad ones – this creates a good sob story for the next victim – they can project all the hatred and blame onto us and get the next target to soothe and clean out the wounds – little do they know.

The lies are unbelievable – the sad part is most people do believe them!


Heartmoonstar – so right – they can’t survive alone. This time as he knew it was forever and I wouldn’t change my mind, he found a new target in weeks – someone younger for the naive factor. Someone his own age wouldn’t put up with his antics!


I heard recently an expert say that what N/P/S wanted was to DOMINATE the victim. Somehow the word dominate seemed much more powerful & accurate then CONTROL.
It is interesting that when you first meet one of the evil preditors, they seem to be very interested in you (your likes and dislikes etc). I believe they are gathering information so they can dominate you . . i.e., give you something that will makes you happy . . then take it away. After awhile, it is much easier for them to keeping taking thinks away (by put-down, rages, gaslighting etc.) than giving you things, inorder to exert their dominance. It’s like they have you on a string, THEY ARE PULLING IT, & WE’RE REACTING!



I dont’ know if you know the story of my spath but she actually creates a whole cast of characters and dupes whole online communities. and she made a boy i wanted so bad that i was willing to give many of my own needs up…and then SHE TOOK HIM AWAY; fake killed him, then reusrrected him and tried to have the other characters devalue me as someone not worthy of his time and love.

so this, this dominance this is truly it. truly.

ty my girl. who is the expert? can i read more someplace?


The expert is Dr. Reid Meloy. He’s written a few books on psychopathy.


Thanks Sarah. Have you read his work?


I have his books . . they’re long, and not for laymen, so I’ve only read parts.
But I just heard him on a podcast that I got from itunes, called “BIG IDEAS”. You should be able to find it.


Here is the web site with the video!


“…Deep beneath this is a secret fear/knowledge of his utter unimportance/worthlessness.”

i’m not sure why i even care, but i do hope this is true.

Ox Drover

Did anyone else watch 20/20 tonight with Barbara Walters interviewing Former Governor Mark Sanford’s wife? If this man is not a psychopath he is doing a good job of acting like one.

His impulsive behavior in sneaking off to Argentenia to visit his GF while still governor, then the press conference when he got back (even before talking to his wife) and laying it all out ab out the affair, THEN and only then calling his wife and saying “How did I do?” (at the press conference) His wife was totally suprised and saw it on TV.

She is a gutsy [email protected] He is a scum bag!


Ox yes i watched it. At least he wasnt having an affair with a man. These poloticians (sp) are giving the gay’s a bad image. John Edwards is a big Narcissist. I hope he ends up going to supercuts to get his hairs done..the creep – oh well another criminal lawyer shows his real stuff….


lostingrief – thats what the books say but I have trouble accepting that also – I think they think they are perfect..


I pulled this off a post by Oxy almost a year ago. for some reason i can’t post to the thread it was on. I consider this a contract for wearing big girl panties:

The truth is:
There is NO tooth fairy.
There is No Easter Bunny.
It does NOT take two to fight.
There are NOT two sides to every story that are both valid.
There is NOT good in everyone.
Some people are EVIL personified.
NOT everyone can be “helped”/reformed/fixed/understood.
Everyone is NOT equal.
I AM BETTER than a psychopath.


Nice one step and oxy – like it a lot! Definitely not two valid sides to this story! There is one bullsh** side that is constructed of lies and one valid, truthful side that remains silent because … why bother reasoning with stupid people who are fooled by lies? That’s just protesting and throwing more pearls before the swines 😛

One step – love the comment about ‘big girl pants’ – I am definitely wearing my big gal pants these days … and they’re naturally big for the big butt often found in big girls 😛

Sarah999 – love that video – bit of a hard watch and understand with all the severe academic language but well worth persevering with. I can fully see why the books would be tough to get through! This is one of the best reviews of literature I have come across – if you find any more cool videos please share them here!

Ox Drover

Dear One step,

Some threads are locked down because there was something going on or a troll from somewhere came on board, and Donna would lock the thread to keep it from going off toward abuse of one or more bloggers. She deletes the “BAD STUFF” so you might not be able to see where it had been to know why the thread was locked, but I bet that is what happpened.

Glad you liked my comments there, and I do think we are taught as children lots of UN-TRUE “truths” like “it takes two to fight” etc.

My P X-DIL used to talk about putting on her “big girl panties,” but with her that meant being a BITCH. LOL And boy did she accomplish that! Landed her sorry butt (covered by her big girl panties) in the BIG GIRL’S JAIL THOUGH! LOL So I guess it was a good thing she had them on because while she was there she got whooped-up on a time or two and I think she decided she didn’t want to go to the BIG GIRL’S PRISON either, so she is keeping a low profile now that she is on probation for 10 years. I run into her in town every now and then at an auction. She usually looks like an “egg sucking dog” skulking around with her BF who is a junk dealer. He is a real “winner” too, let me tell you. She met him on an S&M web site and they hooked up. When she was having an affair with the Trojan Horse P she discovered she was “into S&M” and we found pictures of their “play” which were made in my egg donor’s house—truly disgusting! So I guess if that is what she is “into” she is probably getting what she wants. At one time she was actually a very attractive woman, but now she looks almost as old as I do (I’m 63) and pretty much “rode hard and put up wet.” Her family “disowned” her when she went to jail, her personality disordered daughter and she have parted ways, so she’s pretty much on her own now except for her BF and working at a McDonald’s last I heard.

Sometimes, they get what they “deserve” and sometimes they succeed in stealing from others and living “high on the hog” on someone else’s money. Just depends on how good a con they are and how gullible their dupes are. She just wasn’t very good at her cons so ended up in a hole she dug for herself. But though I am NOT a con, I have dug some pretty deep holes for myself too, by making poor choices, and taking care of others instead of myself.

I think the trick is to recognize when we are digging ourselves into a hole and QUIT DIGGING and start climbing out. I admit though, it isn’t for me at least always easy to do that.


Dear OxDrover,

Thank you for your words & wisdom,
I copied them below . . because they are SO important,
and so wise, and NEED repeating!

“The truth is:
There is NO tooth fairy.
There is No Easter Bunny.
It does NOT take two to fight.
There are NOT two sides to every story that are both valid.
There is NOT good in everyone.
Some people are EVIL personified.
NOT everyone can be “helped”/reformed/fixed/understood.
Everyone is NOT equal.
I AM BETTER than a psychopath.”

Quantum Solace

midlifecrisis says:

I agree with this need to ’win’ but they are not so intelligent as they will cut off their noses to spite their faces ”“ the ’win’ can be something that totally sabotages their lives as well as the lives of others around them and makes them look like a failure to the rest of society, but they still count it as a ’win’ if they have got one over the other person or made their life a misery in some way.


Ha! I didn’t realize you knew the monster in my life. 🙂

They’re all the same, a cookie-cutter of each other. The one I used to be married to will gladly blow $100,000 to cheat me out of $100 and then, the way he gloats and boasts about his win. Sick, sick, sick! They really are very sick puppies.

Ox Drover

Dear Sarah and one step,

Thanks for reminding me of this post of mine! Even though I wrote this, sometimes I FORGET it. But I do think it is the bottom line truth, the mantra if you will, and I need to remind myself of this over and over.

I can validate myself! Sometimes I may even be the ONLY person who validates my truth, what I know is TRUTH, what I know is RIGHT.

Truth is not determined by a VOTE, and it is NOT changed by public opinion. There was a time when people would be burned at the stake for saying the world was a globe, because public opinion was it was flat, but that id NOT change the shape of the world.

We in this country hold up Democracy as some sacred truth of fairness, but there are times that “democracy” ends up being two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for supper tonight!

When the psychopath and any number of their dupes are all in agreement that WE are the ones that are the problem it is sometimes enoughh to make us question our own truths and what is right or wrong.

I rememember a letter from my P son telling me that the entire family agreed with him, and therefore I was OBVIOUSLY the one OUT OF STEP. It was difficult to hang on to the truth when everyone else is saying I am “out of my mind”—but it is important to us and our own sanity that we CAN validate our own truths, “there is NOT good in everyone and there are not two sides to every story that are both valid.”

It is good to be validated here, but also that we learn to VALIDATE OUR SELVES!

Thanks guys for reminding me of my own words! (((hugs)))


i just wrote a friend and told her what my heart is up to. my dear girl heart is deeply sad and hurting. and resolved.

the last few days have brought much change. it’s good. it’s tiring. it’s complex and nuanced.

i have the pieces of the puzzle now. the shock and awe is lessened. the grief goes deeper.

the dowsers were here today. and tonight i have to sneak out and put a number of wire omega signs in the earth along a ley line. I am not sure if the tings we did today will help – but they will not hurt. I held dowsing rods (to use) today for the first time. i walked some boundaries (fence lines, etc.) and witched, looking for lines of different sorts of energy. the fellow i worked with is a 3rd generation dowser (and an engineer). i like him much. the rods were awesome – a tool, an illustration. i want to learn to find water.


it’s bunny day. and i have had no chocolate eggs.

oxy shot the easter bunny, that’s why. 🙁

Ox Drover

Dear One-step,

Well, since I killed that little long earred faker, you might just have to go out and get you some stuff at the store–and make you some of those TRUFFLE chocolate things you made online last week and PUT UNDER MY NOSE to make me slobber like a dog looking at a ham bone! Besides you were a bad girl and the easter rabbit wouldn’t have brought you anything but some coal and switches for your stocking—er ah–basket, and you will probably not get a visit from the GREAT PUMPKIN either come Halloween! You and Charlie Brown can sit in the pumpkin patch til you learnn to lay your own chocolate easter aggs! LOL ROTFLMAO

Folks around here believe in dousing too, some use a piece of a tree limb and some use copper rods held in the hands or inside little pieces of copper pipe so they can swing freely.

I’m not sure what I believe about it…I’ve seen some good demonstrations that make me wonder for sure. There is a man I know who can walk over a flat piece of field that is our local grave yard and his rods cross when he passes over a grave, even with him blindfolded and led around by someone else. ??????? But there are bigger things in the universe than I know that is for sure!!!

Hope you had a great weekend! Even if you were chocolate deprived. If it helps SO WAS I!!!


oxy – how do yo know HOW BAD i’ve been? 😉

i have kinda stopped celebrating any holidays in the last few months -‘cept my birthday actually – and it was made good by other folks…i just showed up. residual from the spth. no energy. no money. no focus.

i have had a wild ride the last few days. it’s good, as things are moving forward with the unravelling of the story i have been living with the spath – but i am a bit wiped out. (and now lf has posted my comment beofre i was done!?)

the dowsing is interesting. we are – the whole dowsing group and i have a field trip planned to go out to my land in June – and look for water. I had a pretty interesting time today with them. i feel energized when i talk to these folks. and that is a good thing. I don’t get too energized about much these days. that will change and needs to change. life is so much better than it seems right now.

it’s so weird – the spath got caught and she didn’t get away with one of her latest scams ’cause an old dupe busted her. and now i know who the REAL people were in all those photos i have that the spath used to represent the pantheon of peeps i had contact with.

this week with have lawyers in it. i just have to keep walking forward.

Ox Drover

Dear One-step,

Well, I’m sending you some cyber chocolate to cheer you up!

You know, the spatholes usually get “caught” or “outed” one way or another eventually. At the very least, we know that they are “hollow-grams” of real humans and are empty on the inside and none of the things they do really are fulfilling to them.

Keep on walking forward One-step! ((((Hugs))))

Yes, they{the spathholes,} are empty, just like the choc eggs are empty! Just as well, or wed put on even more weight!
Your cardomom chocs sounded so great One- step, when are you going to make some?
Hope you had a good Easter!
Easter Bunny Hugs!!!,
Sorry Oxy, Cyber chocs just dont do it for me, darlen!!{No Oxytocin rush!}Love, gem.XX


Well, I am feeling IT around the spath- I have been for days. And I am having a hard time with it.

He is in my thoughts haunting me and I know intellectually that there is NO WAY and I am by ACTION NO CONTACT but the haunting is hard.

I don’t understand it and its frustrating to have this subroutine running all the time.

I try to understand that there are set back s in the process and retry to gain beach in the battle for my life.

But, its not about what HE did or didn’t do its about the process of letting go and moving on.

Check the map. Hmm Even if I am not as far a long as I wanted, I am in the process. I can check where I am.

I can focus on the power of now- what do I need to do NOW-
Breaking it down into the simplest steps and achieving them one at a time.

On the bigger picture, I can get help. A job coach, family, friends, therapists, attorney,support community-

What ever pices I use, I can assemble an army. Remember the guy from Fed EX who got marooned on an island?
He kept company with a volleyball!

On the spiritual side I can be grateful for a lot of the aspects of this and even the suffering of having been lied to and betrayed.

I can let go of my fear to Christ and be forgiven for anything I’d beat myself up for.

I have learned how to talk to my inner child and to calm her down, I know I am worthy of a better love and I know what happened in my past which empowered the Spathhole.

The tools are there, I just have to use them and the only thing this is going to take is time.

Time, time time.

Ascertain position.
Call in the troops
Assemble the weapons
Consult the experts
Acknowledge the higher power
Find peace in the decision to let go
Execute the decision to let go

OK. Check.
Its a lot of gear to carry around.
I wonder if there is an easier way?

The day is on.



Your posts hit home with me.

I could be so far along in my recovery/healing process and yet deep deep down inside I have ever so tiny but recurring haunting moments, thoughts, memories drifting in and out…but much less drifting in as time passes by.

I dont know what to attribute both to. The continued healing and the continued haunting. I find myself having conversations with myself by way of encouraging inner strength… things like…ok..this is what happened…this is what I need to do…this is part of life…this person was UNABLE to be a person of his word and unable to love me – so why isnt it easier to let go?

For me, I found it was my experience of loving another, of giving, of caring, of trusting, of believing so intensely/intently…and that has challenged me to LET GO of that. As the years go by (cant believe its 2 years now…Ive decided NOT to LET GO of THAT about myself — but to HOLD ON to it for others who appreciate me. He did not. Well, not to the extent of it being heartfelt and real – he was just surviving off of me, my goodness.

I chose the wrong person. The wrong person chose me. I have days where I dont need the troops and the support and the validation – I have moments where I can accept the truth with peacefulness (I never had that before)…and then there are moments when I could curl up in the fetal position and bawl like a baby – how did I get here? why is it so hard to let one unhealthy toxic person go?? Then I see – thats the part of me that has to become a bit more healthier in that regard — that part is the unsettled unhealthy uncertain unknown part of myself — its not about him — and its ok with me — I like the journey of coming into my own — slow as molasses – but steadier as go, each and everyday.

There is no rush, there is no timeframe. There is only a commitment to keep moving forward. Keep allowing myself to be who I am and where I am and not beat myself up.

We have already let THEM go. We have to let ourselves let go in order to set ourselves free. Is there an easier way? It has helped me to keep focusing that his choices were pisspoor and ultimately my choices not to choose loving myself and respecting myself over another first — were both a combination of making the perfect storm for us.

So what choices now will bring me back to being able to “sing in the rain” again?

Healthy choices – including but not limited to letting myself let go — but holding on to what I choose to in my heart. And choosing to live in the here and now…consciously choosing to embrace the day ahead of me each morning…it may be a boring day, it may be filled with family, friends or solitutde or something new…but it will no longer be filled with an unhealthy relationship with a toxic person whom I loved and cared about but who was stunting my growth and spirit and learning and growth- and being rid of that in and of itself makes life easier as I go. Not always easy to see that tho! 🙂

Letting go is never easy – but its doable — over time. You are getting there too. I can hear it in your words. That little girl inside of us is growing and maturing and willingly letting go of the unhealthy connection we made in our lives. Its ok and its going to be ok! We have ourselves to thank for our progress and taking the steps to let go…

We are doing it… we ALL are! Towanda/Towando!!!!!


Hi Silvermoon,

I too have been stuck lately. Not only on my recent xS troubles but on negative family ties and the bad men and boys of my past. For me it’s a combination of the “fool” moon, a special occasion not shared with my biological family(as well as the xS to some degree) AND getting deeper into the Betrayal Bond.

>I have learned how to talk to my inner child and to calm her down, I know I am worthy of a better love and I know what happened in my past which empowered the Spathhole.<

I am learning these things too. I'm now believing it will be impossible to receive better love unless I uncover all that has happened to me which allowed the hurt I received later in life. It will not be easy or quick by any definition and that is disheartening.

I like you will press on though.

Thank you for sharing.


Hi One Step,

I hope you are doing better today and got a little chocolate fix yesterday. Just a little, mind you. ;o)

I am sorry for blurting out my stoopid question Friday night. I can be so paranoid.

Ox Drover


Good Job!!! Hang ON and hang on and when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on some more!~


That other stuff I said was too intellectual, so I’m shortening it. You are doing great, and your attitude is perfect. Keep going!



and mi-ss-ing.


OxDrover, being very new to this site, I had no idea of your history and I can only say that I cannot imagine the impact of the spath’s actions on your life. I can only offer you my my most heartfelt support – I can’t even find words.

Whether the sociopathy is genetic or learned, it is unfathomable to me, though (as I keep repeating) the academic aspect has been documented, researched, and continues to be ignored in lieu of “what could we have done, differently?” All of the “what causes it” rhetoric is a diversion from educating – it doesn’t matter what, why, how, or whom. Bottom line is that they are a danger to everyone that does live within the boundaries of conscience.

My son, I believe, was trained into sociopathy by his father. His father insisted that he demonstrate “respect” which was defined as fear – fear from everyone in the family. In the past year, I’ve had memories surface that I’d tried very hard to repress, and I can see the energy that went into modeling an as yet innocent into what he is just as clearly as I can see the monitor in front of my face. Specific incidents are so chilling that I can’t believe that I didn’t run when I had the first indication that something just wasn’t right with my ex – before the damage was done. But, I didn’t, and there it is.

My feeling now (and, for the past few years) has been one of impending doom that something terrible is going to happen to either my yonger son, or the spath son’s “fiancee,” ro someone else. When the shootings at VA Tech happened, I was concerned that it had been my own son who had done the shootings (this was before the identity of the shooter was known), and even had to confirm that it wasn’t. His claims are so grandiose, and he has no genuine source of income other than the life insurance that he and his brother were supposed to receive upon their father’s death, along with resources that he bilks out of the taxpayers using his fabricated status of the decorated combat veteran. When the money has run out, I truly feel that Something Bad is going to happen, and I have no control over this runaway train.

I’ve contacted adult Social Services – that’s a completely different story that would require a whole new website – Law Enforcement Agencies, and even my youngest son’s school (he’s a legal adult, but still in high school). I’ve sent copies of the physical evidence that I still have in my posession in the hopes that SOMEBODY will take this seriously.

Does ANYBODY have any suggestions on this? I do not intend to sound cold or callous about this, but pretending that my eldest son is misunderstood and that everything will work itself out would be so wrong on so many levels. I refuse to enable his deceptions or violence, and it seems that nobody is willing to hear me, or even listen. He is a predator. He is violent. He is dangerous. He is armed (I’ve seen at least one of his handguns). He is a danger to anyone who comes into contact with him, male OR female. UGH…..

Ox Drover

Dear Button,

No offense taken, Button, I sometimes fo get that it is difficult for folks to keep up with each other’s stories.

I am so sorry that you too are a member of the “Rosemary’s Baby Club.” There are several other members here on this site and to me that is exactly what it feels like to give birth to something that you want so much and it turns out to be EVIL personafied. You end up looking and feeling like the “crazy one” even though you are the ONLY person in the world who knows the danger. You end up being viewed as “henny penny” runniing around saying “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” and no o ne believes or validates you.

I am finally past the point of needing the validation of others, I did get the sheriff to believe me about the Trojan Horse Psychopath, the former cell mate of my P-son’s that he sent here to invade the family by renting a house from me then becoming “friendly” with the family, and eventually installling himself into my egg donor’s home as her LIVE IN CARE GIVER where he drugged and influenced her, stole money from her and had an affair with my other son’s P-wife, then when discovered, trying to kill that son, went to prison again. His maiin target was ME because my death (due to a family trust) would have assured my son a large inheritence whereas if my egg donor had died first, he would get nothing. Sheesh, when I went to a new therapist he thought I was a paranoid NUT JOB and I had to bring in court documents and witnesses to prove that YES, THEY ARE ALL OUT TO GET ME! LOL I can laugh about it now, but ithas been a long hard almost 6 years of complete chaos with the death sudden of my husband and step father’s 18 month bout with cancer and his death.

I’ve been here at LF for over two years, I actually can’t remember when I came here, but it has been my SALVATION and Donna Andersen is my God-sent ANGEL!

I live on the same farm with my egg donor who is continuing to enable my P-son by sending him money and presumably willing him money or gifting him money at her death. Since I have gone NC with her for doing this (among other reasons) I’m not sure what is going on financially where he is concerned. I am fighting his parole via an attorney I hired for that job and will continue to fight my son’s parole. He kileld a 17 yr old girl in Jan of 1992 and has been in prison ever since, but actually, in prison all but a few months since he was first arrested in 1989.

Since your son is an “adult” even though in high school, they are not going to listen to this “histerical” mother. You would thinnk now with all the school killings an such that they would listen. Heck that Crhistmas Day bomber on the airplane, his father tried to warn people and NO ONE LISTENED.L

Witsend has a 17 yr old psychopathic son, who right now does not live in her home, but she is legally responsible for him though he is totally definant and probably dangerous at least to her.

You are right, the “cause” is not as important as the fact that there is no treatment, but fortunately, medical science and genetics are unwinding some of the genetic propensity to this disorder. At least when that is done the “innocent” parents won’t be blamed as CAUSING this by “mistreating” these little darlings and that is a GOD SEND! I didn’t cause this in my son, and you didn’t either. Even abused victims have CHOICES on how they act, and I firmly believe that even with genetics playing a role, that CHOICE is the main thing. They choose to abuse. They do no right from wrong. They just do not HONOR RIGHT OR GOOD.

Glad you are here though, and it seems that more and more people for the Rosemary club are showing up here, but also many of them had a previous relationship with the OTHER DNA donor that put their kids at risk, both environmentally and genetically. (((Hugs))) and my prayers that you son does not do what you fear!


And the authorities can hide behind the old budget cuts and the laws that tie hands….
We cant’ arrest them for a crime they haven’t commited yet!



frustrating, indeed……and, that feeling of impending doom just won’t go away…..

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