“Since psychopaths are pathological liars and their every interaction with others is self-serving and strategic, even seasoned investigators and forensic psychologists have great difficulty dealing with them. Basically, they’re always faced with the liar’s paradox yet still need to get useful and true information from them.
Katherine Ramsland (from trutv.com) wrote an excellent article about how investigators deal with the inevitable obstacles and difficulties they encounter when attempting to retrieve true information from psychopaths about their crimes. I’m pasting part of her article below:
. . . While psychopaths appear to use the same language as normal individuals, they have their own inner logic. They calculate the world around them in terms of self-gain. They are society’s vampires. They may be intoxicated rather than repulsed by the idea of targeting humans and picking them off, because it makes them feel powerful. Their agendas have no analogues in the normal world. That means developing a careful mode of communication. In this person’s perception, almost any response could be the “wrong” one.”” https://psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/investigating-psychopaths/
From “Damaged” by Malcolm Gladwell:
[Dorothy Otnow Lewis:] “The day before [Ted Bundy] was executed, he asked me to turn off the tape recorder. He said he wanted to tell me things that he didn’t want recorded, so I didn’t record them. It was very confidential.” To this day, Lewis has never told anyone what Bundy said. There is something almost admirable about this. But there is also something strange about extending the physician-patient privilege to a killer like Bundy-about turning the murderer so completely into a patient. It is not that the premise is false, that murderers can’t also be patients. It’s just that once you make that leap-once you turn the criminal into an object of medical scrutiny-the crime itself inevitably becomes pushed aside and normalized. The difference between a crime of evil and a crime of illness is the difference between a sin and a symptom. And symptoms don’t intrude in the relationship between the murderer and the rest of us: they don’t force us to stop and observe the distinctions between right and wrong, between the speakable and the unspeakable, the way sins do. It was at the end of that final conversation that Bundy reached down and kissed Lewis on the cheek. But that was not all that happened. Lewis then reached up, put her arms around him, and kissed him back. http://gladwell.com/damaged/
Again, “To this day, Lewis has never told anyone what Bundy said.” This is just downright bizarre. She doesn’t know that she was being played? She thinks Ted Bundy was capable of a ‘soul communication”, that deep inside his psyche was a tortured soul wishing to reach out to others? “Bundy thought I was the only person who didn’t want something from him,” Lewis says. Really?
I do quote her approvingly elsewhere, on dissociation (https://pathwhisperer.info/2014/03/19/to-the-de-blasio-administration-i-hereby-volunteer-to-identify-nypd-whiteshirt-psychopaths-gratis/). I think she has a deep knowledge of the psyche of human beings. I don’t understand her blindness here, unless it’s simply the special relationship between females and the male psychopath.
She had no idea whatsoever of what was sitting across the table, in her discussions with Mr. Bundy. Namely, a biological mechanism that could read/sense her emotions, vanities and vulnerabilities, instantaneously calculate a normal human response that would cater to his readings and his manipulative ends, and then mime them. Actually, in acting terms, psychopathic reactions are a beat off, the readings do take time. This momentary pause should be noted.
Psychopaths use words as a tool, strategically. The manipulative use of language is their main lifetool, as fins are to a fish. Valuable communication is nonverbal. Borrowing Ramsland’s phrase: there is no analogue in the normal world to their use of language. However their strategies are understandable and their communications should be interpreted through that understanding. It is also important to figure out “how old” the target psychopath is. That is, how far did they get in their arrested development path (somewhere in latency – 6/7 to puberty, though there are always very, very young traits — none of them for example get the ‘sharing thing’ though many can mime the behavior). How self referential is the target? What’s the need to brag? How arrrogant? What are the individual’s triggers? What level of self control? The more one knows about the individual’s personality the better. All of this goes into the mix in teasing the truth out of a pathological liar’s communications.
AMIA Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman found dead in his Puerto Madero home
The body of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found in the bathroom of his apartment in the Buenos Aires City neighbourhood of Puerto Madero late on Sunday.Nisman, who was expected to take part in a closed-door hearing in Congress today to reveal the details of explosive allegations that involved President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, was found minutes before midnight.
The prosecutor reportedly committed suicide, according to sources, who say he was found in a pool of blood. That information has yet to be confirmed. http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/179900/amia-special-prosecutor-alberto-nisman-found-dead-in-his-puerto-madero-homeBue
Diego Lagomarsino, below, the last person to see Alberto Nisman alive and the individual who lent Nisman the death weapon.
He obviously couldn’t hurt a fly. http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/180904/%E2%80%98nisman-was-afraid-of–fanatics%E2%80%99
Argentine President Says Nisman Killed in Conspiracy
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said she had “no doubt” that a prosecutor who accused her of graft was murdered, and that he was killed in order to dirty the reputation of her government.
Alberto Nisman was fed false information to accuse the government of intervening in the investigation into the biggest terrorist attack in Argentine history, and then killed to discredit her administration, Fernandez said.
“They used him while alive and then needed him dead. It’s that sad and terrible,” she wrote in a statement on her website. “The real operation against the government was the death of the prosecutor.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-22/argentine-president-says-nisman-killed-in-anti-government-plot
Brava Madame President. The victims of psychopathic/psychopathic modality setups aren’t supposed to call out the perps, lest they appear ‘nutty’. The attacks are designed as win/wins. The victims need to ‘call them as they see them’.
Argentina has had a long history with psychopaths in positions of power in the military and security services.
The Family That Disappeared
ABSTRACT: PERSONAL HISTORY about Argentina’s “dirty war” and the writer’s cousin, Daniel Tarnopolsky, 41, whose family was murdered by the junta… Twenty-three years ago, Daniel’s family “disappeared”—the world that has been used to describe what befell an estimated thirty thousand people in Argentina during the years from 1976 to 1983, when the country was ruled by a military junta. Twelve years ago, Daniel filed a civil suit that charged the government of Argentina and two leaders of the junta, Admiral Emilio Massera and Admiral Armando Lambruschini, with the abduction and wrongful deaths of his parents and siblings. What, precisely, happened to Daniel’s family—the bodies have never been found—remains unknown. . . . http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1999/11/15/the-family-that-disappeared
July 15, 1976 evening, Daniel Tarnopolsky is called to his grandmother’s:
Somehow Hugo Tarnopolsky had been persuaded to find and retrieve his daughter, Betina, by his captors. No doubt he had been made to feel this was necessary to prevent either his imminent death or his wife’s (more likely). Maybe he felt that ‘as long as I am alive, I may be able to reach the kidnappers’ humanity,’ and found his daughter in order to buy time. He didn’t realize he was dealing with psychopaths or normal human beings acting in psychopathic modality. On pure logic, he should have realized that both he and his wife were ‘already dead’, but for that he would have had to given up all hope.
I recall an armored car depot robbery, the psychopathic inside-man robber got the guard in the enclosed bullet proof chamber to come out by threatening another employee, the guard’s friend, who, of course, kept screaming through tears for the guard to come out. Somehow the psychopath persuaded them that he would then allow both to live. But of course, they were both killed immediately. Psychopaths have an uncanny ability to manipulate normals’ emotions, tuning in to their targets’ most wishful thinking.
“Like mad dogs going after their prey.”
What are we supposed to do? Delete our Facebook pages? But that’s impossible.
The execution of strings of relatives, friends, associates. At least this monstrous quote makes it clear that keeping a small, low profile as possible will be of little help.
I don’t think the “Dirty War” (“as though there were two sides”) was the issue at all. It was the excuse. As we see from below, evidence wasn’t necessary. The point of subjecting the population to terror was the continuation of their own power and the subjugation of everyone else — pure evil.
This is a complete horror story. Sadly, the ultimate fate of the Tarnopolsky’s was almost certainly to have been drugged, stripped naked and thrown out of helicopters to their death in the sea:
Death Flight Tale Rekindles Memories of ‘Dirty War’ : Argentina: Ex-officer describes throwing leftists out of planes into sea. Thousands believed victims of this policy.
BUENOS AIRES — Stripped naked and drugged unconscious, 13 political prisoners lay in a row on the airplane floor. Before he threw them out into the dark sky over the South Atlantic, Adolfo Francisco Scilingo recalls, he thought of photographs from Nazi death camps.
And he still does. The freeze-frame image comes back to torment him again and again, he said in an interview. “The mental problem I have is there when they were piled up, I mean, when they were lined up, very similar to the World War II photos.”
Scilingo, a former lieutenant commander in the Argentine navy, is making headlines here with detailed accounts of his participation in death flights that were used to eliminate suspected subversives under a harsh military regime. His confessions have rekindled searing memories of this country’s “dirty war” against leftist guerrillas in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when an estimated 9,000 to 30,000 people disappeared after being seized by security forces.
. . .
In 1977, he was in charge of the motor pool of the Navy Mechanics School, then a notorious center for the detention and torture of political prisoners in Buenos Aires. He said that up to 20 prisoners from the school were dropped into the ocean during flights every Wednesday over a period of about two years–and that most navy officers were assigned to participate in at least one flight.
He headed the extermination crew on two flights in June or July of 1977. Here is his account of the first one:
On a Wednesday afternoon, he reported to the basement of the school officers club, where 13 men and women prisoners had been selected for the flight. “They were told that they were going to be transferred to a prison in the south and for that they had to be vaccinated.”
The “vaccine” was a sedative that made them groggy, barely able to walk. Many had to be helped up the stairs and into a waiting truck.
Scilingo knew that his mission was to kill the prisoners. “You ask what I felt. At that moment, I didn’t feel anything. I mean, I didn’t feel anything because I was doing a job. . . . I still wasn’t conscious of the problem. I still hadn’t accepted the reality.”
The flight left from the restricted military zone of Aeroparque, Buenos Aires’ in-town airport. A navy physician on board injected the prisoners with a second sedative, which put them to sleep. Then Scilingo and other crew members began undressing them in silence.
“It was a tense situation, a nervous situation,” he said. His “first shock” came when a young noncommissioned officer, overcome with emotion, began to cry.
“I tried to explain to him the unexplainable. . . . I told him it was a mission required by the Fatherland, that that was the way things were, that we had to accept them. . . . For me, it was traumatic.”
When all of the prisoners were stripped, Scilingo suddenly grasped the enormity of the scene. “There are all the bodies, all undressed, still alive, and I knew it was (in preparation) to throw them out in a little while–I can’t get over that shock.”
As chief of the extermination crew, Scilingo said, he helped carry the victims to the plane’s open door one by one, and then, “I personally threw them out.”
. . .
Emilio Mignone, a lawyer and human rights activist who has written books on the dirty war, charged that the policy of secretly killing “subversives” was decided in meetings at the highest levels of the armed forces and that the death flights were part of that policy.
“They invented a system that they thought was a solution no one would find out about,” he said. “They knew the ocean currents, and they threw them where the currents would carry them out to sea.” . . . http://articles.latimes.com/1995-03-13/news/mn-42225_1_dirty-war
From the New York Times:
“I have spent many nights sleeping in the plazas of Buenos Aires with a bottle of wine, trying to forget,” [Mr. Scilingo] said. “I have ruined my life. I have to have the radio or television on at all times or something to distract me. Sometimes I am afraid to be alone with my thoughts.”
. . . Horacio Verbitsky, a reporter for Pagina 12 to whom Mr. Scilingo gave his account, say that for the country to move ahead, all sectors of Argentine society, including the military and the church, must acknowledge their role in the crackdown.
“For a wound to heal and scar properly, you first have to clean it thoroughly and not leave infection inside,” Mr. Verbitsky said. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/13/world/argentine-tells-of-dumping-dirty-war-captives-into-sea.html
But the role of psychopathy has never been explored.
I have no doubt at all that this execution system was planned by actual psychopaths. “They invented a system that they thought was a solution no one would find out about,” Emilio Mignone said. “They knew the ocean currents, and they threw them where the currents would carry them out to sea.” It has those psychopathic characteristics: beyond the pale cruelty of almost unimaginable savagery – we’re less than bugs on a windshield to them; arrogance – to think they could hide it; shallow calculations – their childish minds; their stubborn belief that the rest of us are just like them – they thought their normal accomplices would stay silent.
The weakest point in the psychopathic admirals’ strategy was that non-psychopaths can not carry out psychopathic orders unscathed. The defeat of the Argentinian psychopathic terrorist state, however, came only with the overreaching of General Galtieri’s Falklands/Malvinas war.
There are other horrors still unplumbed.
Argentina’s campaigning grandmother finds grandson born to death camp mother
Estela Carlotto, founder of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, says 36-year-old pianist named Guido is the child stolen by military regime from Laura Carlotto, who was killed after giving birth. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/06/argentinian-grandmothers-find-son-of-woman-murdered-under-dictatorship
Back to the present, President Kirchner needs to evaluate all the players in the Alberto Nisman saga for possible psychopathy. Also explore Argentina’s civil commitment policies — top level psychopathic criminals will almost never expose themselves to legal sanction, however if a case can be made that they are psychopathic menaces to society, they should be hospitalized as the criminally insane.
I’d like to look at the continuum from imprisoned failed sociopaths to SAPs (socially adept sociopaths). Basically they are all adherents of the credo, ‘you call it cheating, I call it winning.’ The failed sociopaths have problems with the cheating part (i.e., getting caught), the SAPs can be phenomenal at it.
In my opinion across the spectrum they all have characteristics in common. They are all like a child in a candy store. Their wants are as big as their eyes, with the same childhood sense of entitlement. They want everything they see. A low level sociopath will simply reach out and start taking and end up in jail. A SAP will be able to restrain this reaching until safe opportunities present themselves. But the basic desires are identical. There is also a whole panoply of related arrested development characteristics. In my opinion, all sociopaths are in a state of immature sexuality. Essentially they never progress past childhood sex play, orgasms are simply thrown in. Similarly, their personality, reasoning, moral, etc. development are also stunted.
Though they may not choose to do so, all sociopaths in my opinion see nothing intrinsically wrong with seducing a 13 year-old girl neighbor into prostitution, incest, “Dress Grey” raping of a straight or closeted gay buddy (i.e., individuals who would be unlikely to press charges due to the publicity), spreading AIDs with no concern, torturing a child in front of a parent, or a parent in front of a child, viewing others as tissue paper to be used and discarded, etc. I believe this to be true no matter how well educated, well dressed or well spoken a sociopath may be.
What then separates the SAPs from the failed (and caught) sociopaths? I see the situation as being the balancing of two countervailing pressures. One pressure, drive actually, is to reach out, take and dominate. The other pressure is simply the need to get away with it, which has both internal and external aspects. Failed sociopaths lack the internal resources to restrain themselves (apparently, some people, including many professional researchers, consider only these individuals to be true sociopaths — they couldn’t be more wrong). Other sociopaths have the internal resources, but only if the external environment (i.e., the threat of some punishment) necessitates it. The continuum is really a scale of talent at being hypocritical. The advanced SAPs are simply magnificent hypocrites — able to bide their time, be patient, realistically assess their position in the food chain (the concept of the food chain is central to sociopath life stories), restrain their arrogance, desire for dominance and rudeness and wait for opportunities without consequence for indulging their sociopathic wants, etc. Hypocrisy is simply their main lifetool, as swimming is the main lifetool for a fish.
It is always educational, when evaluating a possible sociopath, to note how the individual consistently behaves around those “lower in the food chain” — it can be quite amazing. If a superior is a devotee, sadly they will often believe the sociopath and not their eyes.
Apparently, the current rage in the field is the argument over whether sociopathy is a normal-to-special-trait continuum (similar to tallness) or a present/not present trait (such as blue eyes). It is the latter. The only way that so-called scientists can make the former argument is that they have no idea of what they are talking about. See the story of the five blind men and the elephant. This is quite apparent from the amazing quote from J. Seabrook’s “Suffering Souls, the Search for the Roots of Psychopathy” in The New Yorker, “Unlike most academic psychopathy researchers, Kiehl has spent many hours in the company of his subjects. When he meets colleagues at conferences, he told me, “they always ask, ‘What are they like?’ These are guys who have spent twenty years studying psychopaths and never met one.” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/10/081110fa_fact_seabrook
The following websites are examples of individuals being driven to share their knowledge, come to grips with their experiences or warn the unwary.
Dealing With Diabolical Danielle Weblog
A “Beware of Poison Ivy” site.
Holy Water Salt
a blog about irradiating evil through “light”
Both a personal experience and general knowledge site.
Charmed, I’m Sure
Seems to be notes of personal experience intended to be used in a documentary.
Questions About the Book
The emotional devastation of falling for an emotionless sociopathic mimic.
A big get together — shared stories, outrages, speculations. The testimonies here may seem unbelievable to the inexperienced or uninitiated but they’re very real. A few quotes below (emphasis added):
I too raised a psychopath, who has murdered once and tried to murder me. I also raised two young men who are fine men. . . .
. . .
This past year when my P son and his cronies were trying to kill me (at least, but probably other members of the family would have been targeted after I was gone and when I fled and they couldn’t find me, they tried to kill my son C) in any case, I WAS FREAKING OUT, TOTALLY INSANE, UNABLE TO THINK OR FUNCTION. . . .
. . .
I understand the pain of realizing (finally) that your child, the child you planned for, gave birth to, nursed and loved is a monster beyond redemption. I understand the emotional and yes, PHYSICAL PAIN, of turning your back on that child (even though they are now an adult) and emotionally burying that child in your heart, as if they were dead, to at least preserve the memories you had of when the child was an infant, a toddler, and a young child that was the shining light of your life. I sort of feel like my child died and his organs were donated, but the MAN who has his organs is a monster, and not my son, any more than it would be if his kidneys or his eyes had been donated instead of his whole body.
The memories of the “morphing” years when he quit being the shining child and became the monstrous adolescent, then murdering man, those were the most difficult years of my life and I held on to toxic hope for 20 years after I should have “let go”—but I guess I thought the letting go was so painful I couldn’t handle it, but I know that the NOT LETTING GO was MORE PAINFUL and became so painful it was LET GO OR DIE. I chose, finally, to let go and live. It was so hard, harder than anything I have ever done.
Unlike Todd, I have my own monster out of my house, but I keep the guns CLOSE because I never know as long as he is alive when he might send another of his friends to try to kill me, for revenge, if no other reason. Both of my other sons and I are armed, or within reach of a gun at all times, day and night
She uses the kids as pawns. She molested her son, he told his therapist (at 4 years old). Drew pictures of her vagina, doesn’t like hair in his mouth, wet the bed, the whole nine yards. She got out of it. We’ve been in custody hearings for a year and a half. The judge feels SORRY FOR HER!!!
I’m with Holywater (10/10 9:53 am) when she says:
“I think once you’ve been around a p you know the difference- they’re not insane, and once the mask slips, or you catch a glimpse, it’s nothing you’ve ever seen before unless of course you’ve known other p’s.
I recently was asked to prove my p was/is unfit for a position, nothing I said/experienced matter…lucky for me I track him- so I proved through concrete evidence “he says one thing, does another”
Recognising a p is not rocket science.”
It’s that “oh, moment” you look for . . . . To decide if someone may be a s/p I at first follow a rough checklist but then I wait for a gestalt type emotional/mental “click” or “oh, moment.” It is only at that point, if the answer is yes, that I can say ‘yes, that person is a s/p.’ And I agree it is not rocket science, anyone with normal emotional intelligence can do it.
I also agree that to communicate with others you have to concentrate on the s/p’s behavior. The “oh, moment” of recognition is not transferable to others. They have to go through their own emotional/mental processes to get there.
The New Yorker writes about researchers’ struggle to study psychopaths
. . . Although the story is comprehensive, one of the points made me think that we at Lovefraud have a better understanding of psychopaths than researchers.
“Unlike most academic psychopathy researchers, Kiehl has spent many hours in the company of his subjects. When he meets colleagues at conferences, he told me, “they always ask, ‘What are they like?’ These are guys who have spent twenty years studying psychopaths and never met one.” . . .
This is scary—many researchers in psychopathy never met one? We should consider ourselves better informed, because we’ve all had extremely close encounters with these predators. And we know exactly how the ones who are not in jail behave.
She Said She Had Breast Cancer—But She Lied
“Suzy Bass had less than a year to live. The Knoxville, Tennessee, high school math teacher was battling stage IV breast cancer, and it had spread to her shoulder and heel. . . . “Everyone just loved her immediately. We could tell her anything.” . . . Webb’s students dedicated their prom fund-raiser to her . . . A week before the big dance, though, the school received a series of troubling phone calls. Bass, they said, was making the whole thing up. . . . A week after getting exposed, Bass pulled down her Facebook account, changed her phone number and disappeared. In her wake, she left a community of angry, bewildered people with many unanswered questions: How did she do it? How could we not have known? And the biggest, most puzzling one of all: Why?”
I first learned of pseudologia fantastica from a Discovery Channel documentary, Why We Lie. The only reference to the documentary I can find is at a business ethics site (they are extremely harmful to the workplace): Why We Lie
Though the word wasn’t used, it was apparent that pseudologues were also sociopaths — guileless manipulative ability, inspiring pity, geniuses at making others feel sorry for them, the truth was of no concern, amoral, etc. Apparently some researchers agree, some don’t — but there’s very little material on pseudologues. Wikipedia entry
From the few (two to be exact) I believe I have known I would say they are definitely sociopathic, but with a twist. Most sociopaths are not impaired at all in terms of reality testing. Pseudologues however don’t seem to realize there is a difference between reality and the stating of it, apparently unaware that reality is actually real. Furthermore, apparently their brains are structurally different. Habitual Liar Brains Look Different On Scans
The ones I knew were extreme sociopaths, they might as well have been emotionless machines that could calculate the proper emotional response incredibly quickly. In acting terms, the reaction was however a beat off, a noticeable delay — but why notice if the sociopath is saying everything you want to hear or has drawn you into their fantasy or has captured your caring nature to take of them.
Latest pseudologue (9/10/10): One more cancer hoax story: Jessica Vega, http://www.aolhealth.com/2010/09/08/jessica-vegas-cancer-hoax/. While the article doesn’t mention pseudologia fantastica or sociopathy directly, it does mention antisocial personality disorder which is a great advance.