By | January 21, 2009 83 Comments

Who stands in the way of the new America? Sociopaths.

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I made a point of watching television as a new American president took his oath of office. I wanted to hear what Barak Obama had to say in his inaugural address.

The new president’s message was a recognition of the problems confronting this country, and optimism that, through dedication and hard work, they can be overcome.

“Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America—they will be met.”

I was moved to tears, and barely maintained my composure through the 17-minute speech.

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

Addressing our problems

Obama talked about the need for those who manage public dollars to be held to account, restoring the trust between people and government.

He recalled earlier generations who faced down fascism and communism:

“They knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.”

Obama addressed leaders in countries torn by conflict:

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

But to me, the core of his message was a return to our most deeply held values:

“Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends—hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism—these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.”

Sociopaths smirk

To sociopaths, of course, hard work, honesty, courage, fair play, tolerance, loyalty and patriotism, are not values to live by, but the marks of easy prey.

Sociopaths view public dollars as personal ATM machines. Power has nothing to do with humility and restraint; power means take-no-prisoners victory, no matter who gets trampled or killed along the way. Corruption and deceit are not crimes, they’re strategy.

So while 96 percent of us watched the speech hoping that Obama could pull it off and lead us to a better future, approximately 4 percent of the population, the sociopaths, smirked at our joy, hope and optimism.

They quickly started calculating the next angle, the next scam—like how to get a hunk of $800 billion in bailout money.

Sociopaths in politics

One of the big problems, of course, is that our government is littered with sociopaths. Here on Lovefraud, we’ve written about politicians who seemed to exhibit sociopathic traits:

  1. Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois governor who apparently tried to sell Obama’s senate seat.
  2. Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor caught with a call girl, and known for steamrolling his way through the state legislature.
  3. Vincent J. Fumo, the Pennsylvania state senator now on trial for 139 counts of fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and filing false tax returns.
  4. James McGreevey, the former New Jersey governor who resigned, claiming he was being blackmailed he was gay. In my view, it was a claim designed to distract attention from his political collapse.

Sociopaths are drawn to politics. No experience or qualifications are necessary to become a politician. They just need to be smooth talkers, and make promises that they don’t necessarily have to keep.

Politicians have the opportunity to engage in power plays far beyond the scope of most of our lives. It’s a job tailor-made for sociopaths, because all they really want is power.

What we can do

Given the truth about these disordered people that those of us who have experienced them know, what can we do? I have some suggestions:

  1. Educate yourself about sociopaths. All of us here at Lovefraud are doing this. But we should educate ourselves not only to recover from our personal traumas and improve our private lives, but to recognize sociopathic behavior in the public arena.
  2. Educate other people about sociopaths. This is best done after you are fairly well along in your own recovery, and can talk about the disorder without emotion. When you have your facts straight about sociopaths, and can calmly discuss the sociopath in your own life, people listen.
  3. Do not vote for sociopaths. If you become aware of sociopathic traits in someone who is running for office, do what you can to make sure he or she does not get elected. If all you can do is withhold your vote, fine. If you can do more, even better.

In my view, many of the problems society faces can be attributed to the self-serving, power-mongering behavior of sociopaths. Perhaps if we can shed light on this dangerous personality disorder and circumvent the people who think only of themselves, the goals Obama has set for America can be achieved.

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Right on, Donna!

What a timely post this is as we herald in a new President of the US.

I’m not the least bit surprised you were overcome with tears of joy, hope while listening to Obama’s speech.

Compared to Bush, he is a Saint. Not saying he is an actual Saint, just a comparison to an evil, vile man that I did not vote for.

The frustration, the fury, the outrage, the horror that I have felt while that “man” was in office, his tyranny, his psychopathic actions towards peoples of other countries AND Americans, can somewhat now be appeased by a new President.

Never forgotten and hopefully his criminal acts will be turned over to the International Court in Hague to deal with his war crimes. Maybe justice will finally be served. I fervently pray that it will be so.

As to the psychopaths running amuck in our country…as I have restored the woman that I am and then some, strong and confident and wiser, I have no problem discussing PDIs to anyone who will listen.

I bring them up in just about every conversation I have with people. Sometimes to test their reaction (to closely observe them for the “signs”) and/or to share my knowledge to them.

I liken it to creating a chain; a chain of wisdom and information that can save each and every one of us from the overwhelming destruction that PDIs cause for good, decent folks.

I offer, share what I have learned, from a non-combatant position, calm cool and collected, rational so any person who is interested and/or concerned listens…and wonders.

The seeds are being sown and may they sprout caution, alertness, and self-preservation measures.


As usual, it’s too bad for “them” that they can’t feel what millions of people around the globe felt about this election.

Time for them to get therapy … and fast.



Check out these visuals, and notice a few things. Meticulous vs. messy: thinks about what he says and does instead of “shooting from the hip”? The authentic smile of the VP? (In “The Science of Happiness,” research indicates that it’s impossible to smile like that unless it’s from the heart!) The body language of casual connection vs. aggression? Basketball as a team sport vs. solitary exercise on a bike?

And, you dog lovers might argue with me on this one, but isn’t a terrier — by breed — an aggressive little attude-driven thing that kills its prey by grabbing it and not letting go, even shaking it to death? Labs and poodles go retrieve things for their masters, and by definition they have “soft” mouths — they’re gentle with their bite.

Elizabeth Conley

Most of the home schooled children around the country watched the presidential inaugeration. Our household was no exception. To us, the most important point made was the peaceful and orderly transition of power.

I’m not starry eyed over this president, nor do I hold the last administration in contempt. Both of their images are 99.9 % media hype.

Let’s just hope Mr. Obama is not assasinated. The consequences would be unusually disastrous.

While you’re trying to avoid voting for sociopaths, I ask that you also refrain from voting for narcissists, dominionists, racists, socialists and other dangerous loons.

Life isn’t all about the Sociopaths. There are other issues.


Just like was done for puppy mills, maybe we all need to chip in and put up a billboard asking Oprah to do more about sociopaths in every day life…..your doctor, your politicians, etc. I think she has done some shows about narcissistic men, but can’t remember if the slant was right because the one show I saw was before I knew anything about the topic, intellectually.

Thanks, Donna for this reminder.

I too was touched by Obama’s speech. He’s a wonderful, genuine person. But he’s entered a world where all kinds of structures are designed to support sociopathic systems. Though I hardly ever pray, I prayed for him that his clarity about what’s right stays clear.

As we’re educating people about sociopaths, I think we really need to teach them to study their professional and family histories. Sociopaths leave messes. Politicians and high-level bureaucrats are masters of words. It’s not what they say, but what they do where the truth is told.

Beyond that, don’t imagine we are powerless. Right now, I’m helping a client, a private company, demand that a government agency perform its duty rather than bow to special interests. Fighting the government is the kind of thing that supposedly can’t be done, but mobilized public opinion is the one thing these people respond to. If they’re not in an elected office, they’re working for someone who is.

We can create change. You may have to be tenacious. You may have to throw the occasion fit. You may have to work hard to convince other people that it’s in their self-interest to support you. But it can be done.


Interesting day to be talking about voting for sociopaths! Today Hillary Clinton was confimed at Secretary of State. Good for her! For many years I found her hard to take given what she had to take from Bill. Talk about sociopathic behavior. She could be blogging here with us for all the public humiliation she took. Years of cheating and lies. While in the White House, leaving Church on Easter Sunday carrying a Bible and thengood ol Bill meeting up with Monica in the Oval Office in the afternoon. And top of that denying her ever had sex (no intercourse) with her. You know the stories! Yes, Americans voted him into the White twice. And Hillary stayed with him. Talk about Betrayal Bond!

My feelings toward her are much more charitable since I know what it is to be addicted to the charm of a sociopath. I also know the crushing feeling of betrayal. Thank God it was not a publice spectacle for me. Who can forget the photo of Chelsea walking between her parents out to the helicopter. Hillary looked like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders and Bill had his tail tucked in (for once). Thank God I am no longer linked to a dangerous man.

The State Department will keep Hillary’s feet off the ground. Political No Contact. Just hope that Bill’s dating is kept out of the press. Hillary deserves quiet dignity for herself and her daughter.

Say what you will about George W. Bush. He is no sociopath. He had his moments, but George did his 12 steps away from the bottle and was a model father and husband. History will regard him as good man in tough times just like Harry Truman. How we ever let Bill off the hook is beyond me. Of course, Al Gore paid for the price in his defeat. Getting back to the issues of sociopaths in office….without naming names and sounding political…..they come to bad ends. Their health ususally fails them. How much toxicity can you carry and stay alive. Keep that in mind when you are considering a toxic ex. Some other woman gets to care for the poor broken bastard who was never that great to her either. No wonder so many widows come out their shells after the death of a husband. Sometimes they are privately relieved. I know about it happening.

The new president is a good guy and creates a great model for so many reasons. We must all move forward from the negatives in our lives. Now is a good time to begin.

Keep sociopaths out of office. Moral leadership should also fit into our reasons voting.


I wish we had standards that would help us to institute moral leadership. But then that starts sounding like “moral majority” and other scary terms with alternative agendas. I’m talking about compassion-driven agendas that are inclusive, and that allow allow people with conscience to make their own difficult decisions as their consciences dictate.


peaceatlast said:

Say what you will about George W. Bush. He is no sociopath.

Possible evidence to the contrary:

* Video: Then-governor George W. Bush appeared on the Oct. 19, 2000 episode of the David Letterman Show. During a commercial break, when executive producer Maria Pope was leaning over to consult with Letterman, Bush reached out and used the hem of Pope’s green jacket to clean his glasses, seemingly without her knowledge. When Pope looked over at Bush, he dropped her hem and sat back suddenly. What does Bush’s willingness to furtively use someone else’s clothing as a cleaning rag say about him as a person?

* Article: Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media studies at New York University, and he is the author of several books, including Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder, a compilation of Bush’s verbal gaffes. In the article, Miller makes the following points:

“Bush is not an imbecile. He’s not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he’s incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he’s a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss.”

“He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he’s speaking punitively, when he’s talking about violence, when he’s talking about revenge… When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine… It’s only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes.”


A little information concerning our governor Rod Blagojevich….

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has missed a deadline to submit proposed subpoenas for his impeachment trial in the state Senate next week.

The deadline for Blagojevich to tell the Senate what people and documents he wanted to subpoena for the trial was Wednesday afternoon.

A Senate spokeswoman says the governor didn’t submit the list of subpoenas. The prosecution filed a list, but it won’t be made public until Thursday.

Blagojevich has ignored other deadlines. He refused to file a response to the impeachment charges and has not sought to have the charges dismissed.

Blagojevich is accused of abusing his power by scheming to benefit from a Senate appointment, circumventing hiring laws and defying decisions by the General Assembly.

Gov. Blagojevich wife is removed from her job.

CHICAGO (AP) A Chicago homeless agency has fired Illinois’
first lady from her $100,000-a-year job as its chief fundraiser.

The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday on
their Web sites that the Chicago Christian Industrial League
exercised a termination clause of Patti Blagojevich’s contract Tuesday.

Interim Executive Director Mary Shaver told the papers she can’t
discuss personnel issues.

The organization hired Blagojevich last year. Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested in December in a federal fraud and bribery case.

Patti Blagojevich isn’t accused of wrongdoing. But prosecutors
say a recorded telephone call captured her expletive-laced
suggestion to “just fire” newspaper editors if the Tribune Co.
wanted state assistance to sell Wrigley Field.

Washington – The lower body of the Illinois state legislature voted overwhelmingly Friday to impeach Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested last month for trying to sell president-elect Barack Obama’s vacant US Senate seat.

One last thing is that Governor Blagojevich was offered a “pity job” working at a radio station if he would resign and not force Illinois through a costly and long impeachment trail….

Think he will take up on this offer? Okay so I am just being silly now….


Pres. Obama is pretty good at objectifying

“We are talking about a situation in which, in the course of an abortion procedure, a child has been born alive is out of the womb, breathing and living on its own and he cast a vote against the idea that we should not stand by and let that child die!”


This is I believe THE biggest challenge we face, getting the laws, trade rules, etc that codify sociopathic behavior in business (collection of men and women pooling their resources under the protection of the LLC ( limited liability corporation).

Corporations, through a usurpation of the law, and an unconsitutional ruling, have the rights of “persons”. But they do not die, they have no guilt or empathy, and they have enormous resources and capital. They are charged with making the largest possible profit, regardless of the impact on people, community or the environment.

They own government and support politicians who can be managed and who support sociopathic values.

We cannot effectively screen every politician running for office for sociopathy, but if we removed the corporations right of “Personhood” we would remove their right to

Free speech – and the courts ruling that money is speech, giving them the right to “buy” policiticians and public opinion, and the court ruling that “free speech” includes the right to lie.

Corp. Persons right to non discrimmination – which allows them to force their business into communities and environments where they are not wanted, and where they destroy the fabric of the local economy. The 13th ammendment right also prevents enviromentalists from excluding certain products and additives to consumer goods, through trade treaties and the WTO. The effect is to nullify many exsisting environmental laws and consumer protection laws.

Corp. Person right to privacy- allows corporations the right to skirt watchdog agencies, OSHA, EPA FDA etc oversight.

By creating a revolving door of personnel between gov’t, corps, the military, and the regulatory agencies we have created what is pure and simple a socipathic, fascist system, richly rewarding the insiders, while crushing the rest of us with historic gov’t debt, two illegal wars of occupation and a collapse of our economy. The regulatory agencies (think SEC and Madoff) have become a joke, effectively screening the Business and Corp. interests from the wrath of the Vitims, as opposed to protecting the consumer from corporate malfeasance.

Once again, I highly recommend the film “The Corporation” and urge those who are interested to look at the work of these grassroots groups fighting to abolish “corporate personhood”

these sights will link to others. This is a long term, generational stuggle, like the civil rights and womens rights movements. It involves the dismantling of the greed based system that is choking off our dreams for the future, and destroying the health of the planet.

Sorry for my long rant, but this is the work I turned to as an activist during the darkest hours after 9/11, which were also some of the bleakest during my mariage to the P. Even after watching the film “The Corp” which details the 13 identifying characteristics of the P, I did not realize I was sitting next to one.

He claimed to be in sympathy with my outrage at the deceit and evil going on, while casually deceiving and raping me financially and emotionally at that very moment.

Anyhow, this is very good work to get involved with, for those that would like to try and “make a difference.” There are grassroots organizations in almost every state working on this issue.

And I LOVE the idea of getting Oprah, the other “O” on the case of educating about P’s. Can we start a campaign? It would make excellent television and probably save many lives and countless hearts.



Sorry, all those above web addresses should have read .org not .com.


I am very disturbed to see these attacks on here which really have nothing to do with the blog. Seems like people are using it for their own political platform… “evidence” from the Letterman show and a professor of media studies?

Ox Drover

UP to now I have specifically avoided posting on here on this “political” thread.

My opinion is that a HIGH PERCENTAGE of our elected leaders are psychopathic to one extent or another, and almost all of them are in the Narcissistic category of used car salesmen.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I think it was Donna that quoted a statistic that “ordinary” people put in a powerful position start to assume N-ish behavior patterns. I agree with that.

I think the spate here lately of elected officials being “caught” being crooks and being prosecuted is simply the TIP of the ICEBERG of corruption; the “good old boy” system of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” I don’t think there has ever been a government on earth that didn’t operate under that system and that INCLUDES OURS.

“Bread and circuses” to keep the population from revolting.

Welfare and entitlements in the case of the US, while the rich crooks get BILLIONS in “bonuses” out of our “bail out” money, which even the people in favor of it say is not being monitored on how it is spent.

It wouldn’t have mattered to me which of the candidates was elected for president, the current state of our affairs; moral, political and financial etc. in our country depresses me. I don’t have a lot of confidence in ANY person in high office, because too many times, in order to achieve that position to even “run” for an office, the candidate has had to make too many compromises that bespeak a lack of integrity.

Our country has seemingly accepted a “live now, pay later” attitude with a large majority of our “middle class” buying things they can’t afford, hoping to pay back later in cheaper dollars the things they feel entitled to today. Debt is at an all time high, and in many cases people will never be able to pay back. A huge number of homes are in foreclosure because people wanted to “keep up with the Joneses” and lived in debt. Our manufacturing is going over seas, our national deficit spending has been going on for years, our educational system (depending on which set of statistics you read) is turning out illiterates in a high percentage with about 30% of 9th graders eventually dropping out of school before completing high school. They are not equipped to work at a job above “would you like fries with that” even if they would have completed highschool.

Education is not universally valued by our population, but “living high on the hog” with name brand clothing and vehicles etc. seems to be a universal desire.

Too many of our population use street drugs and alcohol to “medicate” themselves for depression and mental illness, excuses are made to “justify” the poor psychopath’s behavior because he was abused by his parents, etc. rather than hold him/her accountable for their actions.

Our criminal justice system is CRIMINAL, not justice. Too many “white collar” criminals get off with a slap on the wrist, or the psychopaths like OJ get off because of “jury nullification.” Fortunately, he didn’t this last time, and went to prison for his crime.

Over all, I think the State of the Union is pretty depressing, but I hope that the “depressing” state in which we are living will be “bad enough” that it will spark a revival of sorts, to help the country as a whole realize that we have been allowing the psychopaths to run rampant in our society, and that we need to quit ENABLING them. We as a nation, I think, need to but the blame where it lays, and realize that OUR part in enabling them has allowed them to run rampant through our society.

Just as I allowed a few psychopaths to ruin my life with my UNrealistic “hope” that I could “fix” them, I think our nation has used “political correctness” to ENABLE the psychopaths of our nation (whether they be found in gangs or in the whitehouse) to run rampant without controls of any kind. I think WE THE PEOPLE need to wake up and take back our power and our control, and STOP ALLOWING the psychopaths in WAshington, our state capitols, and in our homes to run the world into the ground for their own benefit.

How to do this? One “people” at a time—live within our means, demand accountability from our elected officials, prosecute and imprison those that violate “right and wrong. Those that lie, cheat steal and use violence. Enact “three strikes” laws to put th,e violent criminal aspect of our society in prison for life without possibility of parole.

Our (as a society) definitions of “right and wrong” seem to have vanished or gone underground, or become argumentative concepts. We (as a people) some how swallow that WE are to blame for what our ancestors did to yours 100, 200, even 300 years ago. Groups hate each other because of these things.

Peace between groups of people cannot be made as long as there is such intense hatred. Israel and Palestine are only one example.

Having spent considerable tiime in other countries in my young adult life, I have some idea of how other peoples of the world perceive us (Americans) and to a great extent they are justified I think. Though I am not an “isolationist” I do believe that we (Americans) should clean our own house before we try to clean up anyone else’s house, or be the world’s policeman.

Our housecleaning does not need to start with JUST our leaders, but with each of us—how we live our lives, how we spend our money, and how we treat each other, and how we vote.

This is only an opinion from my own observations, but the behahior and actions of Nancy Pelosi are 100% sociopath. This is one ppwerful, and in my opinion, dangerous lady.

Ox Drover


My sons, their friends and our friends have been having some pretty heavy political debates here lately—naming names and giving our opinions of them (mostly what we think are psychopaths) and the “stuff” they are “pulling.”

I was listening to National Public Radio the other day and some white house reporters were being interviewed. The topic of discussion was some of the promises Obama made before h e was elected, and they were talking about how by “changing the definition” of the words he could “keep” those promises while not keeping them. SOUND FAMILIAR? LOL

Like “getting the battle forces out of Iraq” would be to “rename” them as “security” forces or “instructors”—- and also the reporters seemed already annoyed at the “Open and transparent communication” that Obama promised and according to the reporters, DID NOT deliver as the REPORTERS had expected him to….

So “promises” made by politicians are always (it seems) open to “interpretation” somewhat like the promises of the psychopaths—and with more than a bit of GASLIGHTING I think as well. I sit here and smile and shake my head but not really with amusement so much as “it is business as ususal” I think. The only differences I see in the two parties is HOW THE SPOILS ARE SPLIT. I admit I am a bit of a cynic about politicians, but I am also deeply disappointed in how many people really believe that a change of administration is going to make any appreciable changes for US (We the People).

While democracy has a great many problems, I can’t come up with a better alternative to suggest unless we can rid the world of ALL psychopaths, but I doubt that is a do-able thing. So there we are back to square one. But sometimes I do feel like John the Baptist “crying in the wilderness” for the American people to “repent, repent!” and throw these bastards out of office!

OxDrover – well said. I have read that democracy historically lasts about 200 years, then people will always vote for the candidate that promises the most. This seems to be the case, but I certainly don’t have any solutions to offer…other than Prayer!

Ox Drover

I agree, Travis, Prayer is the only option I have. If you look at history and don’t take the “hints” from it, you are doomed to REPEAT it. Look at the “republican” Rome and how it fell and many other societies where the rulers tried to placate the public with “bread and circuses” A good book to read on the economic and political down fall of Rome is “We Who are About to Die, Salute You.” It is about how 90% of the GNP of Rome went into the games and “entitlements” of the rich and the citizens. It describes our (US) economic conditions exactly, and how cheap overseas labor was being used by Rome and their balance of trade was upside down (like ours) and the entitlement programs of the citizens was like 100% welfare and little or no production, and the games were used to entertain them (sort of like TV and media today) and the rulers were lining their own pockets and “scratching each other’s backs” etc. and lo and behold, the barbarians took over. They couldn’t control the huge empire they had once had or act like the world police. I do suggest that this is a very well researched book and quite interesting from an economic point of view.

In a way, sometimes, I wish I was “retarded” and didn’t know as much as I do, because in my intellect, I know these dangers and I can’t do anything about them, but I have a friend who has an IQ of about 75, but he lives a happy life in his ignorance and worries about NOTHING. LOL “Vanity, Vanity, all is vanity.” While Solomon’s proverbs are uplifting and right on, his other writings show that he had so much wisdom that in some ways it was depressing to him. Though I don’t claim to have the wisdom he did, I also know that even though he had the wisdom, he didn’t always USE it either, so that is some comfort to me because I haven’t always used my own wisdom very well either. It hasn’t always protected me from MYSELF. (laugh and sigh) His down fall was enabling his thousands of women.


Dear Shabbychic, I am sorry that you find this thread distrubing. However, given the very specific subject matter of this thread I do not believe anyone posting was off topic or abusing the forum, and I include myself in that assesment.

Some of the contributors to LF have work, or church or other issues that are directly affected by SPN’s. We know that by codifying socipathic behavior in law and business we are validating every single one of them. We know that the successful ones are very successful. We know that corruption has become the norm and the world is strewn with innocent victims.

What is the point of finding a way to rid our lives of the personal P, only to be thrown into the lions den with the professional established P’s? Freedom from abuse is freedom from abuse, no matter what the source.

The issues in the big picture are the same, control, power, manipulation, exploitation, humiliation, cruelty and abuse.

This should be off topic?

We can jump out of all the personal frying pans we want, until we look at the big fire, we are leaving the SPN’s in charge.

It is an attitude and a way of life, and even as an agnostic at best, I believe it is sinful, deeply sinful to not speak out at the economic and other dogma that enshrines sociopathic behavior in our way of life, and thereby celebrates that behavior as a way of being.



I fear that this post may anger many who read it. That is not my intention. My intention is to ask you to be as honest as you possibly can and to move beyond wishful thinking and open your eyes to the truth. We need the truth and not wishful thinking if we want to protect ourselves from sociopaths.

When something is true and we do not want to admit it, we are on the road to being suckered. Just because we do not like a fact, it does not cease to be true.

I find it very disturbing that so many here who have been duped by sociopaths and con artists with dubious backgrounds that promised them the world and then gave them nothing are now following the same path with Obama. It would be nice if he were the real deal, but I see too many signs that he is not.

For some of you, your family and friends may have seen the signs that you were getting involved with a sociopath and warned you about what they saw. I’ll bet you rejected or at least dismissed those warnings. Others may have surrounded themselves only with family and friends who were also duped by the sociopath. In either case, you didn’t want to hear the truth, so you put on your rose colored glasses whenever you looked at your sociopath. We are still in the “honeymoon” phase with Obama, but if we took off our rose colored glasses, some disturbing things would emerge.

1. He has no real accomplishments to speak of, but he talks a very good game, just like a sociopath or con artist. He is so handsome. He is so smooth. How could anyone who seems so nice be a bad guy? Think of all the stories that the sociopaths you know have told you where they exaggerate (or lie about) a very thin resume. I would challenge those who want so much to believe in Obama to point to a real accomplishment. (To those who defend him by saying that he is an improvement over Bush, consider whether you have ever traded in one problem for a worse one.)

2. Keeps a lot of secrets, especially about his past. One example: He refuses to tell (or says he can’t remember) where he lived when he was a student at Columbia University. Is there anyone out there who attended college and can’t remember where he/she lived??? For me it was a very long time ago and I can tell you all the places I lived. Obama is definitely hiding something. There is plenty of speculation about what this might be and I have my own guesses, but they are just guesses. The fact that he avoids this topic is not a guess. It is a clear sign that he is covering up something. The New Times states that Obama “declined repeated requests to talk about his New York years, release his Columbia transcript or identify even a single fellow student, co-worker, roommate or friend from those years.” Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.

3. Involvement with drugs. He has admitted to more than casual use of cocaine and marijuana. How many of the sociopaths you know were involved with drugs? (Mine was not, but many stories I’ve read here involve drugs.)

4. Close association with criminals and shady characters. Bill Ayers. Rod Blagojevich. Tony Rezko. many many many more. Just one recent example: The man he chose for Secretary of the Treasury (Geithner) did not pay $43,000 in taxes. Obama cannot claim he did not know this. But rules and principles and laws are for suckers, not for narcissists.

5. He promises you everything you want to hear from him, then delivers little or nothing. In Obama’s case, it’s too early to tell how much he can deliver and we should give him the benefit of the doubt, but the signs are not good. I doubt there will be a tax cut for 95% of Americans, which he talked about constantly during the debates. Let’s wait and see what happens.

Promises already broken: Barack Obama opted out of public financing after he promised on national TV he would not.

Despite Pledging To Withdraw American Troops From Iraq Immediately, Barack Obama Now Says He Would “Refine” His Policy After Listening To The Commanders On The Ground. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but the point is that he campaigned with one promise, then changed when elected.

He promised his kids a PUPPY. I’m assuming that this is a promise he will eventually keep, but he’s stalled for a long time. It’s simple. It’s for his kids. He needs to follow through on it. It will generate a lot of positive publicity for him. (Is he holding back until he needs it?) If he can’t keep a simple promise to his kids (soon), I will be very concerned. (The rest of us have to calculate the cost of taking care of the dog and the time required. He has a staff that can do it for him. This should be a no-brainer.)

6. Our willingness to make excuses for his faults and failures. Again, a little early to tell, but so many find it very easy to overlook any perceived faults. Are we defending him to those who point out his faults the same way we defended the sociopaths who conned us? “They just can’t see him the way I do.” “They just don’t understand him the way I do.” Because we identify with him, we see criticism of him with criticism of ourselves. Can we be objective and admit that he is actually human and has faults? How many are too many? Do we avoid looking too closely because we are afraid to see them?

7. The need for extreme attention. Obama’s acceptance speech and inauguration celebration were the biggest (most narcissistic) in the history of the US.

8. The “reverence” and “adoration.” Songs have been written about him, recorded and performed by schoolchildren, distributed widely via internet (and possibly TV, but I don’t watch much so I can’t say for sure). Has this ever been done for any other politician that you can think of? (I can think of a few, but they were not American Presidents.)


I believe that our new president is part of the spiritual revolution about to transform this country and the world.

The notion that Obama is a sociopath is absurd. He is a man who believes in collaboration and cooperation, not using force and power to subjugate others, as did our last president. The policies and beliefs of the last administration have brought this country to the verge of destruction. Isn’t that what sociopaths do?

I also believe that the current economic crisis is part of this spiritual revolution (or evolution). Many of the companies that have been driven by greed are failing. Think of the many corporate CEOs that have harmed people in favor of profit. I would guess that many of them are sociopaths.

I agree that sociopaths stand in the way of the new world order. The good news is that we outnumber them and there seems to be a growing awareness of their destructiveness. Their Power Over model is becoming a thing of the past, an outmoded idea that has brought us to the brink of destruction. Obama’s inauguration generated excitement because many people realize that we are all connected and that people, not profit or power, come first.


Courageous post, Not Taking It. It is true that anyone can be president. But it is true only because once chosen by the elites in power, they are then managed. Not much will change because the real power brokers are still in place and pulling the strings.

My hope is that the signs you alude to are not because we have elected a Socio. My hope is that Obama will work to deserve the respect and hope that people have vested in him. Unfortunately, a close look at some of his appointments do not bode well for a dramatic shift in diretion and he will be hamstrung by the power brokers protecting their interests.

When where and how he spends the second traunch of bailout money $350 Billion will probably set the tone for his real loyalties and the direction of his administration.

In the meantime, there are lots of grassroots efforts to remake our communities along the lines of our own principals and ideals, and to challange the hegemony of big business and to bring back transparency in government.

The more we build our own alternatives at the local level, and reclaim our right to self governance at the local level, the more able we will be to affect change at the regional and national level.



I don’t think that Obama is a sociopath. My S sure did love him though, mostly because he is all about making 100 percent sure that women can always have abortions. That is very very important to my S.

Elizabeth Conley

Thank you nottakingitanymore,

I refrained from enumerating my misgivings about Obama, ’cause I think it’s a waste of time. My list is somewhat different than yours, but there’s considerable overlap. He presents as a sociopath with narcissistic tendencies, or narcissist with sociopathic leanings – take your pick.

The utter slavish, starry eyed, devotion of his adoring sycophants clinches it as far as I’m concerned. They’re gonna freak when the honeymoon is over. I wish I could say I’m gonna enjoy that, but the waiting is actually making me queasy. This is going to be a complete cluster-F.
Anybody who thinks Mr. Obama is going to pull out of Iraq or wave his fairy wand and fix the economy simply doesn’t grasp the gravity of our situation. We are going to draw down slowly in Iraq and hit Afghanistan with every thing we can muster. We’re going to suffer a slight economic downturn for about 18 months, with an “adjustment” in the world economy. Any government tinkering is only going to make it worse. That’s a bitter pill, I know. Obama can sugar coat it, but he can’t change the prescription without harming the patient. Of course, a sociopath wouldn’t care about the patient. He’d just care about looking good and milking the situation for all it’s worth. As we say around here, “Forecast calls for pain!”
We are cursed to live in interesting times. Me, I like things dull. This is really gonna blow.

For what it’s worth nottakingitanymore, lots of other people see it coming too. All we can do is roll with it. Previous generations have been through this and worse. We will thrive. Awareness should not lead to anxiety. There are always methods of leveraging good outcomes out of bad situations.


It would seem to me that it would be difficult to really discern whether a politician is a sociopath or not. Not only are they charming and practiced at hiding their true nature, but they each have a huge team of people striving to do the same. I believe that our government is quite saturated with them, on both sides of the fence. So we can only make our voting decisions as best we can, and not rely too heavily on them. We can get out in our communities and make a difference on a basic level, at least that is within our control. Did you know we have the longest lasting democracy in history? Sort of interesting, and scary.

Healing Heart

I think whether or not Obama “comes through” for us, a tremendous triumph for us, as Americans, is that we elected an African-American. Whether he ends up being amazing, or horrendous, the fact is that we have progressed enough, that we elected an African-American. The rest of the world thought we couldn’t – we were too mired in predjudices and bullshit equality to actually walk the walk rather than talk the talk. And we even doubted we could do it ourselves. I think until his victory was announced, many of us did not actually believe it could happen – and were surprised when it did. We did it!

I voted for Obama. I get the starry-eyed feeling when I look at him – and his wife, and his children. “They’re all so beautiful…” I think with stars in my eyes. And yes, I see that as a possible warning sign. I think Aretha Franklin said “As a nation, we have fallen in love with Obama.” I think that’s true, and it may be dangerous. But it feels great! And falling in love feels great when its the real thing! Maybe it isn’t with Obama. Time will tell, time will tell.

And yes there are parallels between Obama’s romance with us as a culture, and the sociopath’s romance with us individually. As a culture we are highly vulnerable, we’ve been abused, betrayed, we’re losing esteem from ourselves and others, and we are ripe for the picking.

But time will tell. My thought is that Obama is the start of a new beginning. Whether he delivers that, or we deliver it to ourselves, he is the start. We elected him, we made our choice. If he’s a sociopath, it will be revealed soon enough. We have built a system with enough checks and balances (at times an excrutiating amount of red tape bureacracy) that he won’t be able to do nearly as much damage as a sociopath can do to us individually. And we are not a culture of victims. As a group, we are not the highly empathetic, forgiving, tolerant, compassionate, personality that usually makes up those of individual victims on this site. Most people think of “Americans” as quite the opposite. Collectively we are anything BUT the kind, gentle, compassionate souls who get taken by sociopaths. Go ask about us in Europe, Asia, or, hell, the Middle East.

I hope Obama comes through for us. If not, we will remove him eventually. Sure, there would be some damage, but probably not irreparable. And the rest of the world is very pleased we elected him (feelings towards americans have changed drastically already) and we have shown some real progress and evolution by electing him.

Time will tell.


nottakingitanymore: I feel it in my heart that Obama wants to build up the world, not knock it down. I don’t believe he plays the negativity game and this it was you probably find frustrating.

The name of the game for so many years has been the “air the dirty laundry”. They even wrote a song about it. Tear someone down and think it is “normal” to crash and burn the person. (a big issue for me because it happened to me … just because my boss needed a escape goat). Tear someone down so another can step over him/her and they are the victors? Victors in what?

Obama looks to me as a very enlightened man. You can see it in his eyes when he looks at his wife and children. You can see it in his eyes when he looks at anyone. I believe that both he and his wife want to leave negativity behind them (to heal this world) and maybe, just maybe that’s why he avoids the media when they want to put their negativity spins in full gear.

The man has been president for one week … maybe if we did something positive and said prayers for our new President to do what is good for this world would be a positive step in the right direction.

I know no other president in history that has surrounded himself with so many people of God! If that isn’t positive, I don’t know what you are expecting.

Peace … I know I am praying for him and his beautiful, loving family.


I can’t believe you’d have a list of examples of sociopaths and not include Dick Cheney and possibly Karl Rove.

Cheney has zero remorse and promoted the use of torture, war profiteering and is simply not capable of regret.

Rove was the architect of the Bush 2000 campaign, where, like him or not, he got Bush elected through fraud and smears on opponents. You can’t tell me he had nothing to do with the robo-calls in SC alleging that McCain had an illegitimate black daughter.

I do hope for the best with Obama, but I do not like some of his choices so far: Rahm Emanuel has divided loyalty between the US and Israel, Joe Biden is not good news either, and Hillary? All three are war hawks. Keep in mind that we’ve already struck Pakistan once under his watch. Take a look at a map of the Middle East sometime–you’ll see that we’re surrounding the last large country to hold out against the American war machine: Iran.

Don’t believe the propaganda being fed to you that makes all Arabs/Persians out to be terrorists, it simply isn’t true.


nottakingitanymore: About the PUPPY.

I am an animal rights activists. Everyone that knows about bringing a pet into your home knows that the family needs to be settled first.

The Obamas just moved into their new home. The children just started in a new school. Both parents are just getting to know the White house staff. They need to look for a puppy that the children are thrilled over.

There are many things that need to fall into place before the puppy or puppies are brought home.

I suggest we give them TIME to adjust.



Elizabeth Conley,

My list could have been much longer, but I tried to put in the things in that people on this blog could most understand. There are so many more examples in all categories and so many more things that are warning signs.

Most of the American public has spent the entire campaign wearing blinders. We have raised a generation on the movie ideas that if you want it bad enough it will happen and if you believe in it it will be true. Too many have bought into that wishful thinking.

Some of the most positive posts (in my opinion) were those encouraging people to take charge of their own lives at the local level. That is exactly the attitude we need as individuals and as citizens. That is exactly the opposite of the attitude that some fabulous politician/boyfriend who looks good and tells us just exactly what we want to hear is going to swoop in and make everything better.

Will the true believers forgive us for pointing out the truth when the fairy tale comes crashing down? No. I think they will be more angry at us, as if pointing out that it was a fairy tale caused it to end, as if we were responsible for waking them from a pleasant dream. They say that people can forgive you for anything except for being right.

They also say that the best lies are the big ones. The little lies that people tell are easy to uncover. The big ones are believable because they are so preposterous that no one can imagine that someone would have the audacity to tell them.

It’s good to know that at least one other person here is in touch with the reality of the political situation and is not all about wishful, magical thinking. Thanks for your reply.

Ox Drover

Dear Elizabeth and NTIAM,

I agree with your thoughts on this. The “hope” or “belief” that government should take care of us (We the People) and solve all our problems is a fantasy which has apparently been sold to the public in the US IMHO.

Just as we (former victims of Ps) know, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for yourselves and our own lives, or we SHOULD be. If we leave it to the politicos to ‘rescue” us from ourselves, you know what that leads to! LOL (but it isn’t “funny”)

Individuall responsibility by a population is the only way that we can have a sensible government. When government gets big enough to take “care” of you, it will be big enough to take everything away from you.

EVen if Obama is siincere, then he is naive, if he thinks he and his party can by magic fix our economy by throwing great chunks of money to the very corporations who defrauded us of it in the first place.

I am neither a Republican or a Democrat, but I adhere to the Jeffersonian ideals of government. While Jefferson was not all that successful in his own private life, his ideas for a government “by the people, for the people” was right on the mark in my opinion. I think as we have strayed from that over the centuries since he spoke and wrote, we have become less and less a “democracy” or a “republic” and more of a “to the victors go the spoils” society.

“We the People” are the ultimate losers.

Elizabeth Conley

nottakingitanymore & OxDrover,

It’ll pass, it always does. Let’s just hang tough… or to paraphrase the immortal Ben Franklin: “We must hang together or we will all most assuredly be hung seperately!”

These old-fashioned notions about government are not en vogue these days. Since no one hates them more than your average journalist, I don’t expect them to make a comeback any time soon.

If there’s hope, then it’s on the local level. In local politics, common sense a more common virtue than it is on the national scene. Further, we can prevail within grass roots movements more readily than within the two major parties.

Get used to your status as killjoys! Personally, I think of myself as a cheerful pessimist. “The world’s going to sh-hit and I’m gonna make my fortune in organic fertilizer!”

Ox Drover

Dear Elizabeth,

Since I just killed the last bull on the place, I will have to make mine in organic COW crap instead of organic BS! LOL

Unfortunately, I live in one of THE most corrupt counties in the nation (If you don’t count Chicago area) so local politics around here are ROTTEN. Been that way since before the Civil WAr so I don’t expect them to get any better. Graft, corruption and all that stuff. No one cares any more, it is just the “good old boy” system at its worst. Anyone who tries to bring any light on the situation is persecuted to the max. My husband tired to fight the local airport commission and they started in on him, the EPA came out to investigate if we were bull dozing “wet lands” (at the top of a hill) when we put in our airport landing strip. Another man was drive out of the airport along with his business, harassed by the EPA and all kinds of “dirty tricks.” You might as well throw yourself on your sword as to try to get the politics straightened out around here. I felt bad about doing it but I ended up telling my husband to SHUT UP or I would “kill him myself” because it would be easier for us all than for me and our entire family to be mowed down by the hail of bullets coming after him, and there was NO chance he would “win.”


Talk about users and abusers!

Yesterday, Oprah had the Rev. Ted Haggard (who lead a congregation of 14,000 and headed the National Association of Evangelicals, representing 30 million people) his wife and two children on her show.

I would have loved to see this user psychopath admit he is and always will be a follower of the DEVIL’s! Why don’t they just admit this fact? They are caught dead nuts … and they continue to cling to their lies, lies, and more lies.

Oprah didn’t give him an inch and didn’t buy a word that came out of his lying mouth. He gave nothing but flimsy excuses for his anti-social behavior and unfortunately for his wife and children, they are still clinging to the hope that there is something redeeming about this degraded creature. Talk about a user.

Haggard was caught in a scandal involving purchasing crystal meth and his sexual involvement with a male prostitute.

Haggard was shamed (well at least his family was shamed) and sent into exile aka forced to move out of the State of Colorado. He was the religion leader of thousands.

Why doesn’t one just admit what a user and abuser they are? Just one of them admit why they are the way they are? I don’t think I’m asking a lot here … I’m sure compassionate people will find something they could do to support themselves. I’d like to see one have the guts to admit that everyone in their lives has been used and abused by them so they could survive from whatever age they started to use others. This guy would have been the prime candidate for finding this information. He already got caught red handed but won’t give up the real deal of what makes him tick … he says he doesn’t know! Cough!


I understand why we react to all this bad behavior. But I’m a big believer in solution-oriented thinking.

Rove succeeded in subverting the electoral process because he harnessed reactivity to scary, emotional issues (to some people), and successfully diverted their attention away from larger issues that affected their wellbeing. What he did was actually lower the quality of these people’s thinking by deliberately pushing emotional buttons.

Smart manipulators, like Rove, know that triggering reactive thinking is a way to “control the dialogue,” to determine what we’re going to talk about or think about. If I’m making a marketing presentation to a group of executives, and someone speaks to say that he’s heard the marketing budget is going to be cut in half, my presentation has been hijacked and I might as well go home. Unless I can think quickly enough to recover it by directly addressing the underlying fear with a vision of a solution.

The thing about complaints, about any kind of thinking that could possibly lead to a “this doesn’t work for me” statement (even if we only think it), is that its flip side is knowledge of what we really want. Or how we know it really should be. Or would be, if things were working right.

And that is where our power is. Knowing how we want it to come out. Knowing what’s right. Speaking up, not about the thing that’s wrong, but the fact that something is blocking what is right. And emphasizing the right persistantly, relentlessly.

It’s work to come up with positive statements when faced with negative situations. But it’s the work of people who believe in their own power to change things. Nothing good happens unless someone can envision it. In politics, a vision of good government is the most powerful tool we have for shaping government to that vision.

In dealing with government systems, I’ve trained myself to talk to people’s best intentions. “I know you want to do the right thing. How do we get from here to there? What do you need and what do I need to do to help you?”

The government bail-outs of the financial industry are being done for a reason. That reason is the need to open up the credit markets again. I don’t think that anyone involved in this process is pleased with the idea of the government becoming a shareholder of private industry or become an owner of distressed credit. But that’s never been the objective. The objective is to restart the flow of credit that is necessary for the movement of money where it’s needed. The losses the financial industry has sustained have lowered their risk-management reserves, and the result is they’ve shut down their lending and made their lending criteria so tough that the flow of money has basically stopped.

The reasons behind this situation are history. We can learn from them, and we’re watching that process too. Not just in this country and it’s regulatory processes. But globally. The news out of Davos suggests that pure buyside capitalism, as the model for a global economy, is being seriously questioned. And that’s a good thing. Capitalism without humanistic restraints is monstrous, a destructive influence of snowballing greed gradually erodes compassionate values that should underpin civilization.

But it is also the basis of freedom, as we know it, the rights of free speech, free association, freedom of belief. Because compassionate values tend to lead toward centralized decisions about what’s good for everyone. These authoritarian edicts erode freedoms and create 1984-like scenarios.

How we want this to come out is important to think about. That’s one of the reasons that Obama is such an interesting pick as a president. He brought compassion and social obligation back into the national dialog. Balancing free-market-based democracy and organized social obligations is difficult. There is not a single nation that I know of that has pulled it off. The democratic nations that have attempted to create a lot of universal government-supported services have not done well during economic downturns. The socialist nations have sluggish economies or weakened civil rights.

In the US, this has been a cyclical balancing act. When the economy tanks, the government becomes more active in the financial sector and social services tend to expand. When the economy’s on an upswing, social services tend to be reduced in favor of reduced regulations and trickle-down economic stimulus with the idea that more people (not just the rich) will profit.

From my perspective, if there is something to learn here, it is that any financial intervention and any social program need to be structured toward maintenance of a healthy balance between individual and social interests. And part of that is building social programs that foster individual potential among the disadvantaged, so they can participate more fully in business and society. Another part is making the top layers — whether they are the rich or the biggest corporate generators of profits and revenues — directly responsible for funding these programs. And the rationale for that is, not least, because the top layer is taking their profits from the working lives of people with little power and capabilities that are limited by circumstances.

I’m not on a soapbox here. I don’t care if anyone else agrees with me. But what I’m doing is giving evidence of my effort to work on how I want it to come out.

Does my work make a difference? I think it does. Because our best visions are what draw us forward. Getting this far with my thinking — even if it’s not perfect — is going to draw my support to people and movements that I think are going in the right direction. Or it’s going to cause me to attract people who are moving in a similar direction. And together we act, learn what works, refine our thinking, and keep the whole thing moving in a direction that seems right.

To get back to my original point, we live in a culture of complaint and finger-pointing. I think it’s a kind of cultural victim mentality. We are angry, aggrieved, embittered, and accept that “it” is bigger than we are. And I think that’s very convenient for the power structures that want to keep their grip on the way things are.

If there’s anything we learn from this experience of healing from our encounter with sociopaths, it’s that we have power. And that we have, if we become aware of our own values and our own objectives, the ability to hold onto to it and do something with it. To use it for ourselves. Not to give it away to some big, bad bully on any level who wants to make us less than we are, so they can vampire off us.

There is a syndrome that I call the Haiti Effect of nations that have suffered through colonialism, and seem too traumatized to ever get a fully mature relationship with power. They continue to think that power is about bad daddies, and at every level of government, bureaucratic power seems to be equated with exploitation of whoever is lower down the totem pole.

Power hierarchies are actually efficient organizational structures, but only if the understanding of power incorporates a clear understanding of its responsibilities. And those of us who were not brought up by people who modeled responsible use of power for us, we have a special challenge in developing a mature understanding of the meaning and use of power.

This is what I’m working on now. I’ve gotten through become self-actualized (as least in theory and I’m practicing). But the more empowered I become, the more I think about what’s beyond me, about positive change, about how someone who doesn’t think like a victim acts in the world. I’m not interested in worldly power, per se. But I am increasingly interested seeing things work better.

I’m still in process, but these are the thoughts that come out of that process.


Kathleen Hawk: Good theory … but try this truth on for size.

Why is it that in any company (private or public) do they promote those that sleep with the inner circle? It’s the oldest form of control in the world … and is outdated and beyond dysfunctional and abusive. Yet, it exists! Believe me, it exists.

Why aren’t teams of undercover folks going into these said corporation and reporting back what they are finding out about the anti-social personalities in controlling positions?

I realize you can’t answer this right now … but, at least think about what I’ve written. It’s not only me … many employees know these facts of the behind the scenes shennanigans of who are the “entitled chosen ones in the inner circle of any company” and their sexual exploits and big egos run amuck and eventually run said corporations into the ground!

I wish Oprah would get off her duff and finally question USA about the sexual exploits in corporation through out the USA! Who gets promoted … who plays the game and who doesn’t.



It’s 5:55 p.m. and Gov Blagojevich is officially thrown out of office.

Our country is waking up folks to the likes of the anti-social personalities.


They don’t, Wini. I work with C-level executives in every client company (CEO, CTO, CIO, CFO). The closest to this scenario I’ve ever seen is a CEO who was dysfunctional, ran a dysfunctional company, and a could not extricate himself from the influence of a woman who was good at nothing but flattering him. It held the company back, and held him back from developing as a manager.

Beyond that, I’ve worked in public and private companies, industry-owned utilities and government agencies. And I’ve never seen what you’re talking about.

I’ve seen really dysfunctional internal politics, particularly in public agencies. I’ve seen people promoted beyond their level of competency. I’ve seen a lot of bureaucratic “that’s the way it’s always been” thinking, particularly in middle management. I’ve seen a lot of bitter frustration, particularly among the line workers, who actually understood the business better than their managers, and couldn’t get heard because they couldn’t get through to the executive level. I’ve seen really brilliant people fail to thrive in corporate settings, because they didn’t understand that superb performance has to fit into a corporate “slot,” and that organizations are not creative, but control structures.

But I’ve never seen what you’re talking about, and I think that it must have either been a public agency or a quasi-public agency where the motivating factors and the internal controls are very different from a profit-driven organization.

The thing about profit-driven companies is that their character is tested on a ongoing basis by the people they serve (customers) and the ownership (private or public). That doesn’t mean that various types of bad things don’t happen. Greed, hunger for power, and fear of change are parts of human nature and you’ll find them everywhere — in families, churches, non-profits, governments, and AA groups.

You once pegged me as someone who profits as a part of the upper layer. In a way I am. And I’ve lived through, and been part of the craziest and most spendthrift era of our lifetime — the years before the Internet implosion when a bunch of relative babies were burning through unbelievable amounts of investor money in the belief they were going to cash out and buy a South Sea Island before they were 30. I was part of that, and I did the limos, $100 (a head) lunches, conferences in Sydney and Munich, multi-week business trips to London and Amsterdam, the ridiculous parties and more ridiculous culture of self-congratulation.

If anything could be described as management shenanigans, it was this era. Bur anyone with any sense (including me) knew that it was a wave, and it was going to crash, because the behavior wasn’t prudent and it couldn’t be self-sustaining. But even in that, Wini, I didn’t see what you’re talking about.

It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Power is a strange thing. I’ve come to thing of it as a kind of burden, because in some ways it’s the only way to get anything done, but it really is corrosive to character. And I say this as someone whose had more power than I ever expected to have in my life. As I’ve gotten more experience with it, I’ve learned that the best way to deal with it is get rid of it, delegate as much as I can. And keep myself open, as much as I can stand, to feedback on my performance as a leader. For me, power has forced me to be constantly testing my behavior against my ethics, because I’m measured on performance, not what I did to get it done.

Beyond that, it’s tiring and it’s easy to develop repulsive habits. Like assuming I have the right to any reward I can think of, because I’m sacrificing my life to this thing. And assuming I can treat people anyway I please because my burden is heavier than theirs. And just falling into drugs and stupid sex and bigger and better everything, because the breaks are so few, and I want the little time I have to compensate for all the intensity of the work. (Why do you think that powerful people are the biggest clients of professional dominants? Because they want a break from being responsible for everything.)

So you may see the big egos run amok, and powerful people do become so screwed up that they lose their grip on what’s important and become more involved in their sources of relief than the work they’re responsible for. But in my experience, they’re not only the exception to the rule, they are a tiny fraction of the many senior people who manage their responsibilities well, manage to balance their work and home lives, and who are admired and respected for good reason by the organizations they lead.

Business management, like everything else, is a place to develop character. And most of the senior people I know got there because they did that. It’s not that they don’t have to balance a lot of imperatives. In public companies, the customers’ issues and the shareholders’ issues are often diametrically opposed. In growing companies, the need to invest in the company and build a good corporate culture is often at odds with the need to quickly build the value of the company. Any decision they make is going to be a disappointment to someone. They have to live with that too, and getting rid of good people because they don’t fit the current plan and they can’t afford to keep them until the world changes again.

I grew up working class, and I had to learn all this on my own. Class perspectives are interesting things, and my father hated everyone. I grew up listening to diatribes about polacks, heines, guineas and spics. He hated Roosevelt. He hated the niggers and the goddammed socialists. But most of all he despised the rich people he built houses for. He couldn’t work for anyone else because he despised bosses and despised the losers who worked for them.

I got out of there, funded myself through college, and thought I was going to be middle class. I studied liberal arts and became an intellectual. I distrusted anyone who was wealthy, thought the banks were the lackeys of the empire, and thought computers were tacky.

Overcoming my prejudices and getting real about how things work was the work of a lifetime. And I hear you, Wini, but what I hear more than the facts is the undertone. And your anger and resentment about the unfairness of things. About entitlement, power, status. About how hard it is to break into entrenched power structures and get anything changed.

And I don’t know what to tell you, except that in hating it, you may be giving it power. I’ve found that the more I understand it, the more I can speak its language, and frame change in terms of what motivates it, the more I can twist those little knobs and pull those hidden levers, the more I can actually change things. I’ve done more good by teaching people that it’s safe to tell the truth than I’ve done in any other work of my life. And these are powerful people who were being held back, as human beings and as corporate entities, by being so knotted up by fear of what would happen if they just shared what was really going on. In my small way, I’ve changed lives and changed the future for organizations with just that one little thing.

But I couldn’t have done it if all I could think about was what they were doing wrong. I had to have my own vision of what could be right, and pull them into it by their own dreams. Listening to them and trying to put myself in their shoes, and then helping them to see another kind of future that gave them good reasons to change.

That doesn’t mean that I think that what you feel and your impulses aren’t useful. You’re what I would call a muckraker or rabblerouser, and that’s important too. You wave a big flag over some mess and say this is not acceptable. And that spotlight on the mess draws censure and creates embarrassment and causes changes to relieve the shame and rebuild reputations. But if they’re only responding to that, it’s reactive thinking and they’re like to find some quick-fix to mask the problem.They may not really examine their ethics or their processes, unless someone uses the opportunity to insert another vision of what’s possible and is smart enough to recruit enough cooperation to make it happen.

So we’re playing different roles as change agents. You create opportunities for someone like me to come in and turn a mess into a change for the better. Something they might not have been impelled to consider if someone like you hadn’t pointed out that things weren’t working right.

And Wini, when I say you’re a muckraker or rabblerouser, I’m saying that you could have had an incredible career as a journalist or organizer. This passion you have against what’s wrong is the kind of on-the-ground catalytic force that stimulates grass-roots activism and really drives change.

I know I keep telling you this, but if you haven’t read The Starfish and the Spider, I wish you’d get a copy. Everytime I read one of your posts against bad behavior at high levels, I think of this book. You and I are different kinds of catalysts. I’ll never start a movement, or impassion people to action. I’m a process person, a teacher of personal empowerment and a therapist in the sense of identifying and removing obstacles to dreams. You see what is wrong in no uncertain terms, and you demand response. From your listeners, as well as from the source of the problem.

All that certainty of yours scares me a little, but then I’m not a joiner. Other than my belief that developing human potential is the most important work in the world, I don’t see things in black and white. But you do, and there’s power in that.

If I ever wrote a story about you, as I see you, I could imagine you in a rolling tent show, standing behind the podium all around the country and demanding that people get up out of their seats and do something about making the people in power act like ethical, responsible folk who have that power because they’re supposed to care about what’s right. Not change the system, but change the people so they understand they’re being watched and measured for their ethical behavior, and not just their business performance.

I could imagine you doing that. And I could imagine me, flying in once in a while, to advise you how to talk to these monsters when your growing power brought you into their offices with demands for change.

Wouldn’t that be fun?


Kathleen Hawk: I tell you an unspoken truth and you lay it on me … that I must have an underlying anger issue and resentment problem. Nice, but typical response.

Get real. If you are in a high paying position do you honestly think you are going to have some sort of girl talk with any of the other executives who slept their way to the top?

Put your authority into good use … hire some knock out women and men in the looks and brains department … to do undercover for about 6 months in any company USA and lets see what they report back to you.

I’ve asked many many people along the way about their companies and places of employment. All tell me the same thing. When I ask them what they do about it … they say in one way or another “they keep their heads down, mouths shut and never have the conversation about this topic with anyone”!

Just because you aren’t privy to it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.



Kathleen Hawk: You’re reading me all wrong … but, you do make me laugh.

Smile, it’s contagious.


Another very important aspect of Wini’s posts is that of reminding everyone that N/S/P types are everywhere! Their victims exist in every social circumstance and are not found only in romantic relationships.


“This morning, {Jan. 28, 2009} the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Mississippi handed down a 16 count indictment accusing Republican Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and his wife Laura Warr of illegally obtaining grant monies for personal use. If convicted on all counts, they each face a total of 210 years in federal prison and up to $4 million in fines. This has been a cooperative investigation between the FBI, HUD, Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, the US Attorneys Office and State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s office.”

Warr is the highest ranking government official indicted for Katrina fraud.

Wini, I don’t think we can communicate about this.

I respect you. But I’m sorry I got into this conversation.


That’s OK Kathleen.



KH & Wini: “I am increasingly interested seeing things work better.”

This is my stance. This is my survival stance. Without this, I don’t know why I’ve been through this hell.

Kathy, if you’ll give me a hand up (my knees are stiff and my back hurts) I’m running behind the bandwagon, and ready to jump on board.

There’s plenty wrong with the world. What’s right? Nothing? Well then, let’s invent some rightness.

We’re doing tremendous work by educating ourselves about socio/psychopathy — that means we can recognize them.

But the defining trait I continue to see is that “they” are committed to destruction, chaos, even stupidity if it ultimately “puts them on top.”

Oc-Drover pointed that out in her description of the hospital that was destroyed by a psychopath who stepped into a position in the heirarchy to be able to commit sabotage. Even greed (sorry, Wini, but please look at this) doesn’t explain their actions. They will — in the terms of the guy who obliterated my life as I knew it — will kill “the Golden Goose” (his “pet name” for me).

Kathy, you claim and inspire power when you urge us to claim our “wants.” Of all the things the psychopath stole from me, the most significant was my ability to “want.” When I shortcircuit that “want” by knowing I’m already defeated, I destroy the future out of my own pain.

Keep urging us to, however we can, heal our broken parts and claim our ability to desire –to desire something better for us and our children and those we love who truly know how to love us back.

I can talk about the mechanisms that might or might not work in this self-destructing society of assumptions. But if we are intimidated and browbeaten and shamed into the gas-lit fog of our sociopathic abusers, we cannot even rise up to WANT!!

I WANT A FUTURE, where I can thrive –spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, financially, physically . . . And I want this for everyone else who can, in their hearts say, YES, ME TOO!!!

The curious thing is — no psycho/sociopaths can apply. Because they don’t get it. And never will. Even if it benefitted them, they couldn’t “go there,” because it wouldn’t give them the power/control “fix” they crave.

So, Kathy, can you reach a little farther? I’m running as fast as I can.


Rune: What do you want me to look at?


Wini: What do we WANT? What do we want that can make things better. Let’s get past the blaming and fingerpointing. I know there’s tons of misbehavior and deliberate destruction out there.

Here’s the one thing I think we can actually do — individually and collectively: we can define a type of interaction that we WANT to define a new society.

We already know what we DON’T want. Enough.

What DO we want.

Hugs to you. You’re a passionate warrior.

Oh Rune,

Here, I can hang on by my toes if that will pull you in.

But I think you just took a great leap, and here you are with a big grin on your face, dragging me back in (because my toes were not really doing it.)

So now we’re talking about the future. Too cool! You can’t imagine how long it took me to even think about the future again. And here you are, sitting on the wagon like you owned it. See all that smoke behind us, that’s gas-lit, brow-beaten fog.

It’s our life. We can think what we want. Dream what we want. Believe what we want. Be what we want. And create any damned thing we can think of. First in dreams. Then in reality.

I personally want everything to work better. I want people to wake up to their absolute right to develop into full-blown, empowered, joy-seeking, compassionate, entitled, responsible, hell-raising, articulate, honest, fearless, results-seeking guided missiles. I want all the sports teams renamed Love and Fear. They can swap off the names on a weekly basis. So our gamblers can bet on Love vs. Fear and our sports news announces the latest results on the Love vs. Fear match in whatever city.

I want the slot machines in Vegas to give out little tokens that say “hug me” and “tell me what you like about me” or “do me a good deed” or “sing me an Elvis song” that they can redeem with anyone else in Vegas, because it’s the law there.

I want all the lawmakers in Washington to have to live on welfare in subsidized housing with their families for two weeks a year. The location is picked by lottery.

I want all the CEOs of companies that employ minimum wage labor to work at those jobs and be paid that pay for one day a month, every month for as long as they have the job. They have to buy their uniforms out of that money, get to the job on that money, and eat on that money that day.

I want all single mothers to be entitled to food stamps, AFDC, free job training and childcare, until they find a job that pays at least 200 percent of the poverty level for a family their size plus childcare expenses and transportation.

(Thanks to Wini on this one.) I want awareness training on anti-social behaviors to be mandatory at all workplaces, a poster on the wall with bullet-pointed characteristics and unacceptable behaviors, as well as a quarterly vote (handled anonymously with a computerized system) for people to “vote out” destructive or obstructive co-workers. The vote would be non-binding, and HR would not have to act on it. But the results would be recorded and the company would be liable for personal or corporate damages caused if the situation was left uninvestigated, or an investigation indicated that the workers were right but the person was not fired.

That’s a start. I could go on, but I want to get some sleep.

Oh, and for myself, I want to be more self-validating. I’m with Oxy on this. I’m working on it. I’m working on strategies for handling my little panic attacks. I had one last night, and I took a deep breath and sat with myself. It worked, and I work up this morning and didn’t remember until this afternoon that I had an implosion last night.

It would be nice if everyone understood me and liked me. But at the end of the day, I’m the authority on me.

And Rune, I want to hug you so much that you can probably feel it.

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