From Neglected Books: Mary Astor, Author – The Incredible Charlie Carewe

The following is a quote from the Neglected Books (http://neglectedbooks.com/?p=241) regarding The Incredible Charlie Carewe:

“[. . . . ]  A year later, Doubleday released her first novel, The Incredible Charlie Carewe.

Cover of Dell paperback reissue of 'The Incredible Charlie Carewe'Although it suffers some of the typical construction problems of a first novel, The Incredible Charlie Carewe is a remarkable work that demonstrates “qualities of depth and reality” equal to those Anderson noted in Astor’s acting. Charlie Carewe is the handsome, charming, charismatic son of a wealthy East Coast Establishment family with impeccable bloodlines. On the surface, it seems as if the sky is the limit–no doors are closed to Charlie Carewe.

Unfortunately, something is a bit, well, odd, about Charlie. At first, there is just a sense that his behavior is a bit hard to explain, but given his class and status, his parents, his sister, the help–everyone writes it off to quirks in his character. But then his sister comes across Charlie in the rocks along the shore of their country estate–bashing a playmate’s head into the rocks:

There was absolutely no savagery in the action, no passion or hatred, no viciousness, He looked up briefly as he saw Virginia and Jeff and called out a smiling “Hi!” and then went back to his task. Firmly, purposefully, as though he were occupied in cracking a coconut. In the seconds before movement came back to the paralyzed observers another wave whispered up to the two boys and receded with pink in its foam.

Charlie’s victim is rushed off to the hospital with permanent brain damage and the Carewe’s social finesse is put to the test as they graciously usher out their guests as if nothing more than an unfortunate accident had taken place. The next morning, as he tucks into his breakfast, he asks chattily, “What’s the news on Roger? Did he die?”

The Carewes can recognize that they have something of a ticking time bomb on their hands, but their upbringing and lack of psychological awareness (the incident above takes place in the early 1920s) leaves them helpless when it comes to dealing with it. They shuttle Charlie through a series of elite prep schools, smoothing over matters when he’s quietly asked to leave due to thefts, attacks on other students, or other indiscretions. For a long time, the only person who seems remotely able to accept that Charlie’s actions are more than a little abnormal is his sister Virginia, and even she is at a loss to explain it:

As usual, she thought, she was making a fuss, putting too much importance on Charlie’s behavior. She should be used to it now. Wearily she thought, at least there was one consistency; in any given situation, Charlie could be counted on to do the wrong thing, the inappropriate thing. Nobody, but nobody, could be more charming when he wanted to be. He had, it seemed, a full command of the social graces, and in any gathering, especially of people who were strangers to him, could attract attention with no effort. People would gravitate toward him, toward the sound of his pleasant voice, his contagious laugh; but always he seemed to want to destroy it….

Schools could expel him, friends were quickly made and quickly lost, his contact with any kind of social life was brief, and none of it seemed to matter to him. Nor did it matter that the cumulative effect was destroying a family.

Astor displays a clinical objectivity in leading us through every step along the way as Charlie spreads havoc into the lives of almost everyone he meets. In each situation, the pattern is the same: glittering, showy success followed by abrupt failure due to some or other act of willful brutality. His forms a company, makes a great splash, achieves fame as a tycoon and philanthropist, and within a couple of years is being escorted out by his nearly bankrupted partners. He makes a show of joining the Navy after Pearl Harbor, then weasels his way out by pretending to be a bed-wetter. He drives his wife to divorce and alcoholism, borrows and loses money from friends, seduces wives and ruins friendships.

Not even the incredibly strong defenses of family fortune and status, though, can withstand the destructive force of Charlie’s will, however, and only an unlucky trip on a staircase keeps Charlie from standing alone in a wasteland of his own fallout. What Charlie is, we can now see in a glance with the benefit of much greater awareness, is, of course, a psychopath. The psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley recognized this, citing Astor’s book in the 1964 edition of his classic work on psychopathology, The Mask of Sanity:

In many respects the most realistic and successful of all portrayals of the psychopath is that presented by Mary Astor in The Incredible Charlie Carewe. The rendition is so effective that even those unfamiliar with the psychopath in actual experience are likely to sense the reality of what is disclosed. The subject is superbly dealt with, and the book constitutes a faithful and arresting study of a puzzling and infinitely complex subject. Charlie Carewe emerges as an exquisite example of the psychopath – the best, I believe, to be found in any work of fiction.

The Incredible Charlie Carewe should be read not only by every psychiatrist but also by every physician. It will hold the attention of all intelligent readers, and I believe it will be of great value in helping the families of psychopaths to gain insight into the nature of the tragic problem with which they are dealing, usually in blindness and confusion.

By this point, anyone reading this review who’s been in a bookstore in the last decade can’t help but think of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. If asked to sum up the book in a single catchphrase, I would have to say, “Imagine American Psycho written by Louis Auchincloss (or Edith Wharton).” Where Ellis writes to shock, Astor writes to show how people of refinement and elaborate rules of conduct respond when faced with pure irrational violence.

The Incredible Charlie Carewe is a remarkable novel not just in the detail and accuracy of its portrayal of a psychopath but in the “depth and reality” of its portrayal of the society in which this particular psychopath operates. Astor is very much in the territory of Wharton and Auchincloss, and she’s clearly deeply familiar with it. This is a novel that has more than a few parallels with the story of the 20th century as a whole, which is one reason it’s a genuine shame that it vanished after a single Dell paperback release in 1963.”

(http://neglectedbooks.com/?p=241)

Other mentions of Astor’s Charlie Carewehttps://pathwhisperer.info/?s=carewe&submit=Search

From the ‘[S]nake-hearted’ era . . . post:

Sadly this was written in the 1950sI’m sure the authors, William March (the novel) and Maxwell Anderson (the play), thought knowledge of psychopathy would spread quickly in the modern age.  As did Hervey Cleckley, Mask of Sanity, and Mary Astor, The Incredible Charlie Carewe, (https://kat.cr/the-incredible-charlie-carewe-mary-astor-mobi-t7972573.html, https://openlibrary.org/books/OL5798604M/The_incredible_Charlie_Carewe), no doubt.  I don’t know what went wrong.  (https://pathwhisperer.info/2014/11/08/this-snake-hearted-era-reginald-taskers-monologue-from-the-bad-seed/)

Why knowledge of psychopathy has not spread throughout society is worthy of an extended discussion.

“Sociopaths Count On Getting The Benefit Of The Doubt”

From Lovefraud, O.N. Ward:

Chapter 3:  Sociopath Math

Husband Liar Sociopath for store

I can almost hear the collective cacophony. “Onna! That can’t be the whole story. There has to be something more to it. There are always two sides.”

In an attempt to be fair and to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt, we tend to discount and dismiss malicious, destructive behavior. Sociopaths count on this. Contrary to the popular saying, there are not always two valid sides to any story (and it would not surprise me if it was a sociopath who first planted this idea in our collective unconscious). Are there two sides to the story of Bernie Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme? Does the heart-breaking story of Laci Peterson and her unborn son’s 2002 Christmas-time murder at the hands of her philandering husband Scott have two sides? What about the conviction of ex-policeman Drew Peterson for murdering his third wife—are there two sides to that story? (His fourth wife has been missing since 2007.) It is critical to realize that there does not have to be more to the story of Paul and Jenny—not if Paul is a sociopath.

Since we have empathy and a conscience, it is almost impossible for us to imagine that there are people, like Paul, who are devoid of both. Yet, there are—lots of them. To help silence those voices in your head that want to give Paul a legitimate side to the story, I would like to give you a crash course in what I call sociopath math.”  http://www.lovefraud.com/2016/04/28/sociopaths-count-on-you-getting-the-benefit-of-the-doubt/

Available from Amazon:  “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned”

A phrase I’ve heard directly from psychopaths (I use the words synonymously):  ‘Go ahead and tell, no one will believe you anyway’.  That’s often true.  It’s called assumed similarity bias/assumed normalcy bias (https://pathwhisperer.info/2015/11/02/assumed-similarity-bias/).

Search today: “how to solve a harassment case with a sociopath and hr”

Well, . . . it ain’t easy.  It depends mostly on whether the company has a hr department run by actual sociopaths/psychopaths.  Sociopaths/psychopaths love being in hr, they get to play puppet master.  If that’s not the case there’s still the question of how to overcome the hr reps’ assumed-similarity/assumed-normalcy bias — facts can overcome a bias or syndrome but will just bounce off an assumed-similarity psychotic (one should keep in mind that that assumed-similarity comes in all flavors:  bias, syndrome, disorder, psychosis — incidentally the same is true for naive prey response syndrome).  See https://pathwhisperer.info/2015/11/02/assumed-similarity-bias/, https://pathwhisperer.info/2011/02/11/a-search-today-i-am-the-target-of-a-sociopathic-bully-what-do-i-do/.

My experience with psychopathic harassment was while working for UBS, which I consider to have a psychopathic history (as essentially Nazi bankers during WWII and the later holocaust gold scandal), psychopaths in management, psychopaths in human resources.  Actually I consider UBS to be psychopathic entity.  I should have left early on.

Psychopathic tadpole drains normy tadpole of life force/juices — biological instraspecies predators, parasites, cheater strategists and sneaker males

Spadefoot normal and cannibal tadpoles

Among spadefoot toads some tadpoles become cannibals while the rest eat algae (http://www.centre.edu/web/news…..storz.html). If there is enough food and the water doesn’t dry up (which is the norm) the normals keep their numbers up and things are more or less in balance. If the ponds dry too quickly then the faster growing cannibals are much more likely to survive to adulthood and reproduce. If the proportion tips in favor of the cannibals they eventually have to turn on themselves and the population crashes. In the rebuild, the normals again come to the fore. Rinse. Repeat.

Dr. Robert Hare describes psychopaths as “intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs.” They lack conscience, they take what they want and do as they please, without guilt or remorse. “What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

Flanged and Flangeless Male Orangutans

Nature's Sneakiest Males, And How They Win Where Alpha Males FailNature's Sneakiest Males, And How They Win Where Alpha Males Fail

“One of the more startling examples of the two types of males is in the Sumatran orangutan. The species is famous for male bimaturism. Some males mature fast, developing their bodies and growing the distinctive folds, or flanges, on the sides of their faces. Other males keep a juvenile look, sometimes for as long as twenty years after becoming sexually mature. These juvenile-looking males can get chased out of a territory by a mature male, but much of the time they’re ignored. Biologists thought that this was a typical sneaker strategy. The unflanged males looked too young to be worth fighting.” http://io9.gizmodo.com/natures-sneakiest-males-and-how-they-win-where-alpha-m-1678927415

Chinook Salmon

Nature's Sneakiest Males, And How They Win Where Alpha Males Fail

Chinook salmon swim up river every year to spawn. Two kinds of males make the trip. Jacks are small, slender fish that sexually mature fast without putting on bulk. Hooknoses mature slowly, spending more time in the ocean feeding and fattening up. The difference between the two is dramatic, as is the difference between their technique. Hooknoses are big and bulky, and can fight off other males, but when it comes down to it, maneuverability is key. Jacks can dart in at a crucial moment, releasing their sperm and fertilizing the eggs the hooknose fought for.”  http://io9.gizmodo.com/natures-sneakiest-males-and-how-they-win-where-alpha-m-1678927415

George Simon, PhD, somehow makes the mistake of thinking psychopaths are the only known intraspecies predator.  This isn’t so, see spadefoot toads above (I’m sure there are others also).  But his understanding of psychopaths is right on:

Psychopaths are the only known intra-species predators.  [. . .] they consider themselves superior creatures compared to common humans.  They have the most malignant form of narcissism.  They know all too well how different they are from the rest of us but don’t consider this a shortcoming.  Rather, they consider themselves more than “special.” They consider themselves distinctly superior to those who possess two characteristics they don’t have:  empathy and conscience.  The way they see it, folks with a heart and with those things the rest of us call “qualms” are an inferior breed, the perfect patsies, and their rightful prey.  http://www.manipulative-people.com/serious-abusers-and-psychologys-failure-to-understand-them/

Search: “should sociopaths be placed in group therapy”

Absolutely not.  Since they can’t be cured or psychologically changed, group therapy only teaches them how to pass more successfully.  It teaches them to become even more skillful wolves among the sheep.

Further, any therapist who believes they should is not actually a therapist at all, and should, in my opinion, lose their license.  Therapy only works through the therapist witnessing for the client’s unconscious (or soul or psyche) the client’s soul wounds.  The client may divulge to the therapist soul truths they can’t divulge to themselves, as the client journeys to reintegrate the alienated self.  Basically this is the Alice Miller methodology.  But it was ever thus, she is just one of the few to try to write it down.  The only therapists who are useful are the ones who’s subconscious can sense the needs of their clients’ subconscious and mirror them.  If the soul defect of the sociopath/psychopath is not apparent to the therapist, that person is a therapist in name only.

Being psychopaths, the normal psychopathic shenanigans will take place in the group.  Extremely manipulative the psychopath may essentially take over the group process without the enabling therapist’s even being aware of what is happening.  Or the psychopath may be driven by arrogance to prove his superiority over and over again.  There’s a well-known story of a psychopathic client bragging to the group of seducing both the therapist’s wife and girlfriend, all the while with the therapist sitting there attempting to keep his best therapist face on.  To put it bluntly, any therapist who allows a psychopath in group therapy with non-psychopaths is stupid and/or incompetent.

The Intercept gets conned by probable psychopathic reporter

“The news website The Intercept said on Tuesday that a former reporter had fabricated quotations in some of his articles and impersonated other people by using email accounts in their names.

Betsy Reed, the news organization’s editor in chief, said that the first evidence appeared in late December and that the reporter, Juan Thompson, was fired on Jan. 4. In an online note to readers, she listed four articles that had been corrected and one that had been retracted.

Ms. Reed wrote that an internal investigation turned up instances in which Mr. Thompson quoted people who later said he had never interviewed them, could not remember speaking with him or whose identities could not be confirmed. She added that he had also quoted unnamed people he claimed to have met at public events whose words could not be verified and that he had used an email account in someone else’s name to impersonate a source.

The note also said he had created an account in her name.

. . . .

The retracted article was based on an interview with someone presented as Scott Roof, the cousin of Dylann Roof, who is accused of murdering nine people in a racially motivated attack in a church in Charleston, S.C., last June. In the article, Scott Roof is quoted saying that Dylann Roof’s hatred may have stemmed from a girl who chose to date a black man rather than him.

“After speaking with two members of Dylann Roof’s family, The Intercept can no longer stand by the premise of this story,” the retraction on top of the article says. “Both individuals said they do not know of a cousin named Scott Roof.”

. . . .

Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Thompson sent The New York Times an email addressed to Ms. Reed. In it he said he was undergoing radiation treatment for testicular cancer and had not had the time or energy to review his notes. He attributed the errors in his articles to poor reporting and the unwillingness of some of his subjects to go on the record, rather than to intentional prevarication.

. . . .

“This is a case of a troubled individual,” Ms. Reed wrote. “We have corrected the problems we found in his journalism in a transparent manner, and will continue to strive for the highest standards in our reporting.”” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/03/business/media/the-intercept-says-reporter-falsified-quotations.html?_r=0

He’s probably also a pseudologue, he doesn’t seem to understand that there is an actual reality ‘out there’.

Psychopathic “Fake priest on the run”– Erwin Mena

“He’s known as “Father Erwin Mena”. Since the mid 1990’s he’s been celebrating mass at Catholic churches throughout California. He’s held prayer meetings, paid counseling sessions and nights of confession in the dioceses of San Bernardino, Stockton, Orange, and Fresno.

But he’s not really a priest. His real name is Erwin Arnaldo Menacastro, 49 years old. Detectives say he’s a fake wanted by the LAPD for swindling thousands of dollars from believers. His latest ploy was selling tickets for a pilgrimage to New York and Philadelphia to visit with Pope Francis during his last U.S. tour.

Detectives say the Pope-Tour scam netted Mena more than $15,000 from unsuspecting victims, many from low income families.”  http://cal-catholic.com/?p=21941