By | November 10, 2008 95 Comments

The New Yorker writes about researchers’ struggle to study psychopaths

Two Lovefraud readers brought an article in the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine to my attention. It’s entitled Suffering Souls—the search for the roots of psychopathy, by John Seabrook.

The article starts off describing the work of a researcher, Dr. Kent Kiehl, who is using an fMRI machine to study the brains of prisoners in the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, searching for physical indications of psychopathy. The author provides a brief history of the evolution of scientific understanding about this personality disorder, and describes today’s conflicting opinions about it. Seabrook reviewed the literature and interviewed experts, including Dr. Robert Hare.

All in all, the article provides an excellent summary of the state of scientific research about psychopathy. If you want to understand how the researchers think about this personality disorder, I recommend that you read it.

Never met a psychopath

Although the story is comprehensive, one of the points made me think that we at Lovefraud have a better understanding of psychopaths than researchers.

“Unlike most academic psychopathy researchers, Kiehl has spent many hours in the company of his subjects. When he meets colleagues at conferences, he told me, “they always ask, ”˜What are they like?’ These are guys who have spent twenty years studying psychopaths and never met one.” Although the number of psychopaths who are not in prisons is thought to exceed the number who are—if the one-per-cent figure is correct, there are more than a million psychopaths at large in the United States alone—they are much harder to identify in the outside world. Some are “successful psychopaths,” holding down good jobs in many types of industries. It is generally only if they commit a crime and enter the criminal-justice system that they become available for research.”

This is scary—many researchers in psychopathy never met one? We should consider ourselves better informed, because we’ve all had extremely close encounters with these predators. And we know exactly how the ones who are not in jail behave.

More information is needed about psychopaths in the community. That’s why our contributions to the study, Victimizations, coping, and social support of adult survivors of psychopaths, are so important. If you haven’t yet filled out the survey, be sure to do it.

Parents and children

According to the New Yorker article, Dr. Robert Hare does not approve of using his Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) in child custody disputes. Although I can understand where Dr. Hare is coming from—his test was designed specifically to predict recidivism among offenders—it is still the gold standard in identifying psychopaths. As we at Lovefraud know, psychopaths make terrible parents. Unfortunately, there is no scientific documentation—yet—of what we know to be true.

This points to the need for more research on psychopaths who are not in jail. First of all, we need to be able to identify them, especially in family court cases. Secondly, we need research documenting that psychopaths do, indeed, harm their children. I know this cause is very important to Dr. Liane Leedom, and we hope to contribute to more thorough understanding of these problems.

The article also touches on the issues of children with psychopathic traits. On the one hand, it states that psychologists don’t want to label children as psychopaths. On the other hand, there is some evidence that children with psychopathic traits can be helped, “if you catch it young enough.” That means they need to be identified.

It’s a circular problem. There is a very strong genetic component to this personality disorder, so it is crucial to identify psychopathic parents, because their children may be at risk of also becoming psychopaths. We also need to identify children who have inherited the dispostion to the personality disorder and are, in fact, at risk. That means diagnosing them so we can try to help them.

The issue of at-risk children is not one in which we should be squeamish or politically correct about identifying the disorder. Lives are at stake.

Mental illness?

In scanning prisoners’ brains, Dr. Kent Kiehl hopes to find a biological cause for the psychopathic personality disorder. By finding a cause, there is the chance of developing drugs to treat the disorder.

This raises philosophical and ethical questions. What if he succeeds? What if he proves that psychopathy is a form of mental illness? But what if people are diagnosed and treatment doesn’t work? If psychopathy is a mental illness, does that mean that these predators aren’t responsible for their crimes?

I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do know that here at Lovefraud, we are building a valuable knowledge base beyond that of the scientific researchers. We know how psychopaths behave when they are free, out in the community, and doing what predators do.

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

Precisly Donna!

Never met one ahuh!? I will bet my HOUSE that they have met many! they just never knew it ! LOVE jere

Great Article!

On the topic of the researchers never having met a member of their subject, I sure hope the folks researching open heart surgery and c-section techniques and writing documents on their “findings” have had hands-on experience. Good gravy.


This was a really good article. The problem with socios and psychopaths, as I see it, is that plenty of them break the law, they just are too crafty to get caught. Or if they do, they somehow manage to worm their way out of serious punishment. My ex P has been arrested numerous times for varying offenses, but he has never seen the inside of an actual prison. For theft about 25 years ago he spent a few days in the county jail, then he was sentenced to probation. He has spent a few days here or there through the years in the city or county jail, but never prison. It’s amost as if they are gifted at getting out of trouble.

He scams people out of money too, but the criminal justice system is so overloaded those kinds of cases aresn’t usually given much emphasis, and I think socios and psychopaths know this. It’s the perfect crime for them. So, IMO, most of them do break the law repeatedly, but alot of them just don’t end up in prison for it.

I hope these studies will eventually be useful in somehow assessing children so they can be helped at the stage when it is more possible to prevent the full blown disorder.

I would disagree-know a psycho – you know psychos.
Just as you see a broken leg, you know a broken leg.

They have different degrees of acting out and tools based on intelligence, status, looks etc. but there are many defining characteristics. Pity play is one, charm, hypocrisy etc…

I think their similarities are why we often think we know the same people!


I want to play devil’s advocate here on a few things and want to make it clear I am playing devils advocate.

Any theory/explanation as to why these people do what they do is incomplete if it ignores one of if not the most important variables, the psychopath himself/herself. Each person is a unique product of nature and nurture. What impacts one person may have little to no impact on another person. There are a number of factors that contribute to the a person being a psychopath and there is no single element that is the cause. Research is slowly proving this to be true. To quote from some research released this month:

“An appreciation of the idea that differences in gene expression can occur over vastly different time scales helps understand some of the complex relationships between genes, brain and behavior,” Robinson said.

The picture that is emerging from these and other studies suggests that social signals can have a profound effect on when and how genes function.

An organism’s genes, its environment, the social information it receives, “all these things interact,” said Clayton. “Experience is constantly coming back in to the level of the DNA and twiddling the dials and the knobs.”

We should consider ourselves better informed, because we’ve all had extremely close encounters with these predators. And we know exactly how the ones who are not in jail behave.

I would say that we should consider ourselves better informed only about the ones we personally have interacted with. I say this because it is a mistake to try to say that all psychopaths behave the same way. It would be the same as saying we are better informed about depression because my spouse has it or better informed about ADD because my child has it. There may be behaviors and symptoms that some have in common but each person is unique and each combination of people is unique. What I think people who have dealt with psychopaths have that is golden is their information about how the psychopath acted with them. If a person knows I am a researcher they often act differently with me, if they see me as just some guy on the street they act differently, if they see me as their chosen prey they act differently. I have known psychopaths who have acted one way with one victim and another way with a different victim. Anecdotal evidence can be of value but it is dangerous and wrong to rely on it alone.

In the article it says:

But the problem is that “psychopathic behavior—”egocentricity, for example, or lack of realistic long-term goals—is present in far more than one per cent of the adult male population. This blurriness in the psychopathic profile can make it possible to see psychopaths everywhere or nowhere.

I think this is something that should be brought out more often.

Ox Drover

Dangerous mentally ill people are “confined” today, and people who are “not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect” can be kept incarcerated or confined for the safety of the public. Many dangerously mentally ill people are NOT confined, but at the same time, there has to be some way to PROTECT society from the predation by these people regardless of what the “label” is.

Years ago a neighbor of ours was probably psychotic and he killed my cousin (in front of his 8 yr old son) then walked to town about 18 miles and told the sheriff what he had done, then told the sheriff that he better be “getting on home that it was time to milk, and he had a few more people he needed to dispose of as well.” He was kept confined for most of the rest of his natural life, they did let him out when he was very elderly and dying from tB. He escaped once and was out for a few weeks, and since my grandfather was one of the people this man wanted to kill and named, my grandfather went armed until the man was recaught. There is no doubt in my mind that this man was out of touch with reality, and did not know right from wrong, and because of his violence, he was kept locked up for the protection of society and any future victims. He could not have been “executed” because he really didn’t know the difference in right and wrong, but the bottom line was the same, he was kept in lock up with other violent and “crazy” people. Since at that time there were no real drugs for “curing” or “controlling” insanity, the ONLY way to keep him and others safe was to keep him in Rogers hall, which is the wing of the Arkansas State Hospital for the Criminally insane where this type of person is confined. I did a short stint there as a student observer.

mine was in the kitchen , “adulterating” the food…


Do you think that people any people can only love to the capacity that they were showed?
I would think that about my sociopath. His mother is cold, she has nothing to do with our son or even any of her grandchildren. His father moved away and left him when he was young. His father did the same to him as he is doing to my son, and he is cold like his mother. He has no concept of family or even love. He is always telling me something is better than nothing in regards to my son. He blames me for not seem him, but he fails to realize or even see that he choose to live the way he does. I am scared about my son, I never what him to be like his father. I want him to know family and what love is.


So does that mean there are tollerable PSY/SOC? a degree of abuse in a relationship that is tollerable?


They are searching the river today by my house! The hellicpters have been sitting there like giant dragonflys waiting to pounce on a bone! First thing this morning then back again for the noon a clock lunch hour! Casey Anthony is probably not one of the Divers ? I bet that water is cold it was 50″ here this mornin!


a degree of abuse in a relationship that is tollerable?

Of course not. But there is a difference between someone who is abusive and someone who is a psychopath. All psychopaths are abusive but not all abusers are psychopaths. And psychopaths are not abusive to everyone they interact with. So just because someone displays some psychopathic traits does not mean they are a psychopath.


MY Psycopath Scored 100 and 10 percent He got a Gold star an A+ and got to go to the front of the line when the warden Hollard CHOW!

Ox Drover

Dear Anna,

There are BIG genetic components in psychopathic behavior and personality disorder, PLUS environmental. It sounds like your psychopath got the DOUBLE WHAMMY from genetics AND environment. Psychopaths are not good parents, so they pass on the genes sometimes and give the kid a miserable up bringing so the kid doesn’t have a snow ball’s chance of turning out to be anything except a psychopath.

My psychopath son had what I think is a fairly good up bringing, far from perfect, but I was a good parent. He was a psychopath anyway. My ADHD son who you would have thought was more likely to be a psychopath turned out to be a very caring person. Go figure.

You can’t “hang” all behavior good or bad on upbringing as we all have CHOICES in how we choose to behave toward others (with the exception of some people who are legally insane and out of touch with reality). The Ps have a choice because they KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG, they just prefer WRONG.

But the genetic component doesn’t in my opinion give them a free ride any more than the genetic component toward alcoholism or drug addiction give the person a free ride. They also can choose yea or nay.


I cannot imagine it, but I suppose it is true. People can live a lifetime without knowing an S/P.

Aren’t those of us posting here just the lucky ones? Ha!

I’m going to have to weigh in on the “they’re all alike” side. Because of sites like this one, and learning all the predictable S/P behaviors, I was able to get away from mine fairly cleanly. No violence, no stalking, etc. Because they are so alike, and so predictable, I was able to anticipate what mine would do before he did it.


I second this Opinion !Todd well said

Plus those scales are administered by a professional within the confines of a limited relationship. Live with one, be the intimate of one…they’d be off the scales.


Well, a person could have every single trait on the PCL-R at the Level 1 range that applied to them and still score only a 20 on the PCL-R, thus they would not be a psychopath. They would just be high in psychopathic disturbance traits.

Ox Drover

DEa Jen,

Yea, well there has to be a cut off at some point. Just like a person w ho is “mentally retarded” I think the cut off is 75, legally, so if a person scores 74, he is MR and “not guilty” of his crimes, but if he is 76, then they can execute him. Of course the scores on an IQ test are variable depending on lots of things. So, it isn’t “fair” that the guy who scores 74 gets a pass and the guy who scores 76 gets executed, but in order to make it “objective” rather than “subjective” they have to put some kind of “score” to it.

I personally think 30 is TOO HIGH for the score, and it should be lower. But I don’t have any control over what it is set at, so I have to just go with the flow. If it would get some of them or the worst of them off the streets it would be better than what we have now.


I think for research purposes a cutoff score of 25 is sometimes used. Of course, a person who scores 20 on the PCL-R is gonna have a high number of psychopathic traits and be problematic. My only point was that a person can have all the traits to some extent, but not exhibit them to the degree that would be needed to qualify for a diagnosis of a true psychopath.


It is my understanding that in a formal diagnosis they also use collaborating information/records such as criminal records, school records, employment records, financial records etc. plus conduct interviews with family etc. in addition to just talking to and testing the potential psychopath themselves.


Tood: I agree with you. Then again, some people have been manipulated all their lives by control freaks one way or another, they just chalk it up to being normal for how our society is today. At least in the big cities it’s the norm. I don’t know about the smaller, rural towns and burbs, that know everyone and take time out to check on the welfare of their fellow neighbors.

I noticed that when I went through my suit with my managers… many of my co-workers looked the other way out of fear, others that were on the bosses bandwagon followed orders to ignore me and ignore anything they should happen to witness what was planned against me, not to speak with me, or when they spoke to me, they spoke down to me. Others didn’t want to get involved knowing from experience about these bosses having their wrath come down on their careers too. Then my favorite were the co-workers that came from such abusive family lives they (what it looked like to me) loved seeing another person get abused. I felt like they some how got vindication witnessing others get what they received all their lives from their home life. They were the ones who had it, live and learn to survive, it’s no big deal attitude.

It all comes down to conditioning. Condition the humanity out of all of us.

What is that motto, oh yeah “CHAOS REIGNS SURPEME”.



Let me provide a real life example in this discussion.

He was imprisoned for his part in helping to kill another person. That was just the crime he was caught and imprisoned for. He also committed various other crimes. He was abusive to his girlfriends, he was impulsive, he was charming when need be, he was egocentric, he was intelligent and glib, he had difficulty in regulating not ust his impulses but also his emotions, he displayed little to no remorse for his lifestyle and behaviors, he displayed no empathy for his behaviors, he was deceptive and manipulative, used drugs and alcohol, was easily bored, had a quick temper, had a low tolerance for frustration and stress, was unable to delay gratification.

So do you think he is a psychopath?

He was and is not. While he was in prison his sister was killed. She had followed his example and entered into the anti-social lifestyle and paid the ultimate price. He blamed himself for her death. After he left prison he got his act together. He received counseling with a specialist, received medication along with that. He got married, had children, became employed and started helping others to break free from their anti-social lifestyles. He stopped using drugs and alcohol, surrounded himself with pro-social people and formed a circle of people close to him who would help him stay on the pro-social side and not be abusive to anyone. His wife was an assertive woman who had no problems confronting him and he took that well and last time I spoke with her they were still happily married and were looking forward to grandchildren soon.

Now of you asked the people (or many people really) that this person had abused and mistreated if he was a psychopath you would here a resounding yes. And that is perfectly understandable. Does it mean he was?

He is not. He was diagnosed and treated for ADHD once he was released (one of his children also has it) and had good follow up care. The medication and counseling made a huge difference in his life and in helping him figure out so many things. He had empathy, he had remorse, he had guilt, and and the list goes on. But with the problems of ADHD added to the drug and alcohol use suppressed/hid all this. He often did not display certain emotions because he was constantly under the influence and he had difficulty regulating his emotions even when he was not. He also felt deeply about some people but differently about others.

But unless the specialist he went to had not had the training and taken the time to tease out all the variables and history it would have been extremely easy to say this guy is a psychopath. AND if you had tested him with the PCL-R at the time of his arrest he very well may have tested out pretty high. Proper diagnosis of a person is, well should be, a very in depth and complex thing.

All the symptoms on Hare’s can easy apply to someone with ADHD. I would suggest looking at the long term studies that have been running for 25+ years about ADHD and see how many more times a person is likely to go to jail and prison if they have it than those that don’t. It is scary.

Dr. Thomas E. Brown of the Yale University School of Medicine listed these as some, but not all, of the signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults:

Easily bored
Low tolerance for frustration and stress
Unstable, unpredictable moods
Quick temper
Inability to delay gratification
Speaking without thinking
Acting impulsively (e.g. impulsive spending, sudden change of plans) without regard for consequences
Jumping to conclusions

All of those are things that also apply to psychopaths.

Anyways just something to consider 🙂

My spsycho claimed to adhd too- but I have to say…so what if he did and asbergers too? And you can be rude, impulsive, jumpy, scattered and thoughtless without being manipulative, deceptive, pity seeking and charming.

These characteristics are not exclusive of a psyco:
Easily bored
Low tolerance for frustration and stress
Unstable, unpredictable moods
Quick temper
Inability to delay gratification
Speaking without thinking
Acting impulsively (e.g. impulsive spending, sudden change of plans) without regard for consequences
Jumping to conclusions

I do not believe any disease forces someone to be a lying, manipulative consciencless monster.

I also do not think adhd should be a get out of jail free card.


BloggerT7165: Interesting … gives the rest of “them” hope. Well, at least we can hope for them.

It does prove about the conditioning theory I hold, that they immaturely condition themselves from such early ages to suppress emotions due to actual or perceived trauma. Thinking and believing that they are correct by doing so, that they’ve conditioned their lives to be such, they’ve become accustomed to it, not realizing what they are missing.



If you go with the conditioned belief then you are leaning towards “sociopaths” rather than psychopaths. Personally I believe there are both and there is a difference between a psychopath and a sociopath.

The man in this case was not conditioned into an anti-social lifestyle as a child and certainly did not “condition” himself as a child. ADHD can be a very serious disorder that is biologically based. His mother, grandparents and other family members were middle class law abiding people and they raised him in a decent environment and tried to get him to follow their example. However he was never diagnosed and treated for the disorder he had and things spun out of control for him. His relatives would tell you that he was a sweet child before he started school but after he entered the school system things started to change for him.


I read that just drug addiction alone, like to cocaine for ex., can cause a person to behave like a psychopath. That you have to look at how their behavior was prior to the drug addiction and then once they are off the drugs, instead of just how they behave while addicted.

Interesting example, BloggerT7165. Aren’t all clinicians supposed to rule out any other condition that could account for symptoms that look like psychopathy anyhow, before diagnosing someone as a psychopath. But I guess any diagnosis would only be as good as the clinician who is doing the diagnosing and unfortunately not all of them might not be so thorough.


Jen2008: Well, cocaine was the drug of choice for those that worked with me.

What started off as a casual Thursday night happy hour boosts, went to Thursdays and Friday night hurrahs … to Thursday, Friday and adding Saturday only during the day, then what the heck it’s Saturday night LIVE… so they added that in too. Then it became, Thursdays, Fridays, All day Saturdays, and Sunday just to get them through the day. Oh, boo-hoo, it’s MONDAY morning and they can’t get up, can’t come into work, what the heck and it would snow all through Monday too. Now it’s Tuesday and they are trying so hard to be good, as they snap down your throat for saying good morning, or how’s your day? Or, can you help me on this project? That was a big no, no. So the saga was now Monday through Monday, week after week, by month after month … until the years passed by … one big blurr … to … we hate you Wini, you’re the reason we are so miserable, and jumpy, and thin, and getting so old … and …



Actually there is no “psychopath” diagnosis in the US. And the one that is close is ASPD. You can have ASPD and ADHD at the same time actually. ADD and other mental health disorders are Axis I diagnosis but MR and Personality Disorders are Axis II diagnosis.

And yes a good clinician should try to rule out other conditions but that can be very hard to do at times. Obviously many criminals are not like most clients and have no incentive to be honest or helpful.

I have seen quite a few people who have been diagnosed with depression yet they consume a 1/5 of alcohol a day for years, or use drugs everyday for years. Do they get diagnosed as substance induced mood disorder? I have seen very few that do. And yes drug/alcohol use can cause people to do many behaviors that mimic other disorders.

You are right, like any profession there are good clinicians, bad clinicians, and so/so clinicians.


I forgot to mention that for people under 18 the one that might be close would be Conduct Disorder/Childhood Onset. Which means onset prior to 10 years of age.


BloggerT7165: What about the use of antihistamines for colds or allergies? My EX constantly took over the counter stuff … Winter through to the next winter. And I always wondered why someone would constantly take that stuff. Is this a secret addiction?

Ox Drover

There are misdiagnosis events in all forms of medicine and in mental illness I would think more than in physical medicine (at this point in time).

I have a son who is VERY ADHD, but he has never been violent and has a conscience and empathy. Dr. Leedom published an article (CRS cant remember the name of it) with statistics showing that about 1/3 of people who are bi-polar are also psychopaths. Even well regulated bi-polars (as far as the mania/depression are concerned) can still be psychopaths. My Trojan HOrse Psychopath was/is. she also noted in that or another article that ADHDs are more likely to be psychoopathic. Apparently the genes for bi-polar and ADHD have something in common with the genes for Psychopathic tendency. And, some of the behaviors for bi-polar and ADHD can be similar.

My ADHD son though has never exhibited any kind of manipulative or hateful behavior at all, ever. My psychopathic son, however, is NOT ADHD at all. In fact, he is very calculating and manipulative and lays his plans far in advance and with malice aforethought. My ADHD son may be from time to time “impulsive” but not in ways that harm others. He can delay gratification, and manages his money well. He (like me) has some “enabling” behaviors but is (like I am) working on them and his own healing. Personally, he is a very likeable and trustworthy person.

So, yes, diagnosis can be a problem. And not all criminals are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are criminals. However, my experience *(which may not be typical) with the criminals I have know, there is no (or rarely at least) such thing as an EX-convict.

The “best indicator of future behavior is past behavior”–doesn’t mean someone convicted of a crime can’t change, but with the recidivism rate what it is–what? 60-70%–? I will not lose any sleep over thinking that someone might change if only I would take them under my wing when they get out of prison.


One thing I have learned over the years is that people can become addicted to almost anything. Gambling, drugs, alcohol, texting, online gaming, eating, car racing, bungee jumping, etc.


I hear you on the calculating and manipulative and the laying of plans far in advance. My co-workers were masters at laying out plans, stepping way back (weeks, months or even a year)… out of sight … as they watched safely how their victim they set up took the fall.

Incredible, absolutely diabolical and incredible.

I always wonder what the point was? What possible kick could they possibly derive out of any of this?

Don’t answer that, I have since, found out why?



I also do not think adhd should be a get out of jail free card.

No disorder should be a get out jail free card and that was not implied by me in any way. Everyone is responsible for their own actions regardless of why they did them.


Ghee, and I always thought any of the diagnosis were a free for all for anything and everything, cause heavens if you should happen to slip one day and call them a spoiled brat?

That is so politically incorrect.


Unless a person knows for sure that the child/person is a spoiled brat, and I mean knows for sure not just thinks based on limited interactions, than it is not just politically incorrect it is judgemental and abusive.


spoiled brat or 8 year old sociopath?
I find this case interesting


The mom didn’t have custody. The dad did. Makes me wonder if the boys mother is a sociopath! I would love to hear more about her.

Ox Drover

Well, there are “non abusive” labels we can hang on them, like “insincere” or “narcissisticly inclined” or just say “they are ACTING like a spoiled brat” (not implying that they ARE a spoiled brat” LOL)

One of the funniest psychological cartoons I ever saw was this woman squatting down to speak to a small girl age 4 or 5, and in the back ground is the smoking remains of a house that has obviously been burned to the ground. The woman says to the kid “Mommie and daddy are not mad at YOU, Marilyn, Mommie and Daddy are upset by the naughty thing you’ve done” LOL ROTFLMAO.

When my kids were under my roof, I tried to differentiate between their acts and their character, but there comes a point when I can’t distinguish the action from the character. My youngest biological son is a psychopathic murdering, conniving, hateful, malignant criminal who should stay in prison for the rest of his life for the good of society and his family. Those are the most positive things I can say about what he is, what he chose to be. It is a waste of much God-given talent and intelligence, but he made the choices and he is paying the price for his choices.


I have work in a prison for 10 year, and I interact with S/P all the time. And I never would have thought I would have get involved with one especially have a child with one. He seem to be perfect this all American guy but behold he had double and secret lives. Before he became a police officer he worked at my facility and everyone loved him and though he was a stand up guy. But they never knew about his secrets. It like he has this mask.


the reason I wonder if the mother of that 8 year old boy who shot his father is a sociopath, is because she doesn’t have custody. Sociopaths are notorious for abandoning their offspring, which would cause her to lose custody. Also, when the mother is a sociopath the gene is stronger to be passed on. Plus, when children are devalued and discarded, it can have a horrible effect on the child-especially when it is by their mother. They say the boy wasn’t abused by his father….but darn it, being devalued and discarded IS abuse. The boy may have very well been abused by his non existent mother, especially if she is a sociopath!


I agree Ox 🙂


In addition to using an MRI machine to scan brains, Dr. Daniel Amen uses PET (photo emission something) to scan brains for activity in various lobes in resting, concentrating and other conditions. He can tell what is likely wrong with someone from which lobes “light up” and which ones don’t light up in the tests.

He has written several books on this topic that are very interesting. It’s interesting to think that some day better diagnosis can be made from brain scans instead of from checklists of behavior.


BloggerT7165: Does 24 + years, working side by side with people for that length of time, 8 hours per day, 5 days per week … that you see these folks more than you do your family or friends … be considered casual contact?

Everyone in the medical field insists these personalities are due to missing genes or genes passed down from generation to generation … how about old fashion, attitudes, family beliefs/dysfunctional ways of not problem solving in your life is passed down from generation to generation aka family conditioning passing down dysfunctional ways of living? No one able to stand back and see the overall picture due to their conditioning.

Oh, there’s another way to live your life?

Remember the equation that is an absolute:

God and Science = solutions.
God and medicine = solutions.
God and politics = solutions.
God and anything = solutions.

Could that possibly mean that God created EVERYTHING and until you work hand in hand with the Creator, break-throughs DO NOT happen, causing years of spinning your wheels, until one exhausted researcher says “oh, God, I’m tired, please help me with this solution”? And then the news wires are jammed up with the information and the person who discovered it … cameras are flashing, newspapers are working overtime to get the paper out. Every reporter is elbowing out the competition to get the scoop!


Elizabeth Conley

“What are the like?” Well, they’re individuals of course. That being said, maybe these researchers should read Machiavelli. Sociopaths are not new.


Wini anything is possible I agree. But the whole the bible is the cure for everything kick gets old for me. I just recently came out of about 13 months of dealing with a few cases of Clergy Sexual Abuse. Last time I checked there was on average 70 cases a week of clergy sexual abuse being reported in just the protestant churches alone and more if you add in the catholic church. I can say that in all my years and all the awful things I have seen, the clergy sexual abuse cases have been the worse. And not so much because of the offenders but because of how the people have acted when the accusations have been made. Not to mention the actions of the offenders peers.

Go to this site which is run by a survivor of CSA and she is an attorney. That will be just a hint of what I am talking about and how awful it is. Make sure you read all of the posts for a full picture.

To a true psychopath the bible is just another tool to use to get over on people, to achieve power and control over others, etc. And there are billions of people on the planet that are not christian (including friends and relatives of mine) and just because they are not christian in no way means they are somehow less than or a worse type of person.

As an orthodox (small o) Catholic- I am the first to admit the Church harbors sexual predators. I was targeted by a psycho in church. I know of another, and see everyday how far clergy have their heads stuck up their asses regarding the reality of psychopaths amongst them.

That said- I agree without God we are finished. We can do so much self help, but there comes a point we cannot do it by ourselves, if ever did anyways. God’s reality and assistance is not a front to our free will ( He gave it to us) but just natural law. We are created beings, in the image and likeness of God. We are spirits encased in flesh. This is a battle betweeen good and evil.

And though it is not popular to say it, it’s not just nature vs.nurture…it’s about free will. And the results of choosing sin. Sin compounds and numbs one from ones conscience. I am a poor theologian, and cannot possibley make someone else experience God. All I can do is sincerly suggest prayer and patience.

Elizabeth Conley

Dear BloggerT7165,

The failure of the Baptist church to prevent clergy sexual abuse and other forms of spiritual abuse stems from failure to obey God’s Word. This common failure to obey usually stems from the failure to personally study God’s Word. As always, ignorance of the law does not always protect people from the consequences of failure to obey. Witness what happens when people accidentally drive down the wrong way on a one way street.

It’s as simple as that. Sociopaths cannot use the Bible to manipulate people into doing stupid things. They can use Christians’ failure to read and study the Bible for themselves as a tool to convince them to do stupid things. This happens all the time.

Note that Wini doesn’t claim that going to church and blindly following the Narcissist in the pulpit will empower you. (Yes, a staggering percentage of preachers are narcissists!) She claims that studying God’s Word for yourself will empower you.

The Bible clearly warns Christians about these Narcissistic pastors. The Bible warns people over and over again about the pitfalls of Narcissistic thinking.

No, Christians are not the only good people in the world. (Don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible. The Bible spells this simple fact of life out very clearly.) Yes, some Christians are Sociopaths. (Don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible. The Bible tells you who they are and what to do about it.)

I have a hard and fast opinion about the value of God’s Word. Here it is: “If you are a Christian, you need to study your Bible every day.”

Christianity is a way of life. The Bible tells you how to live well as a Christian. If you claim to be a Christian and strive to live in a Christian community without studying the Bible, you are a hazard to yourself and others.

I’m sorry the various Baptist Conventions are busy trying to be good Baptists and ignoring the mandate to be good Christians. It’s a shame, but it’s not their Bible’s fault. Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives. It is very common for people who substitute regular church attendance for regular Bible study to forget they are Christians and become merely religious instead.

I’d disagree- there could be a miracle…but even that would not mean I’d have to believe it. Believing in miracles of others is not an article of faith.

And I dsiagree- a psychopath is sane and able to choose, they just in most disturbing unimaginable ways choose evil.

I know it shakes our foundations, but that’s key- it’s a sane choice.

Send this to a friend