Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work; A Review

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posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by McGinty
 


I wanted to point out the differentiation between sociopath and psychopath you are making is misleading.

I checked your source, and it is essentially opinion and conjecture with no academic or medical value.

I agree it's interesting, and perhaps at some point a differentiation which is recognized by the medical community will be made and recognized as such, but at this point, it hasn't been.

I'm sorry if this is a little off-topic, I just didn't want readers to believe that a difference between the two terms has been defined/identified by the medical community. It has not. In fact both terms at this point are archaic.

They are still used of course, in conversation, but not by clinicians as a viable diagnosis of mental illness.




posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 02:23 PM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


I agree, in fact the article i sourced states this - that little has been clinically defined.

However, it was said earlier that psychos are random and chaotic, without the ability to persevere at a task because they'd get bored. But the article clarifies (as does many others) what is currently and generally believed about these types of people is that their behavior can be separated into 2 distinct groups:

The first group, who are indeed chaotic and easily bored...
...and the second, who are highly organized and patient, yet highly deranged. These are referred to as Sociopaths and Psychopaths respectively.

This certainly makes it clear that if someone appears normal and consistent does not mean they couldn't be Psychotic, just that they are not sociopathic.



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 05:50 PM
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What I have observed is that a great many people are willing to act very inhumanely when hiding behind the corporate identity, or any institutional identity. People like to pretend it is all right to treat others as cold blooded as they choose because they are acting on behalf of the corporation.

This is the biggest problem with any corporation or institution. People do not feel that they should be held responsible for their own actions when acting on behalf of the institutional identity, and that needs to be changed.

If you are working at a corporation and you are fired without sufficient cause, due to dishonesty on the part of your boss, then you should be able to go after the person who committed the deception.

Something needs to be done to hold those who commit crimes in the name of the corporation responsible for their actions. There are a lot of petty tyrants out there, backed by those who gain from their tyranny.



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


Okay, in order to clarify the definition, for everyone, here we go.

The Dark Knight - "And Here We...Go"



Quote from : Dictionary.com : Psychopath

psy·cho·path
/ˈsaɪkəˌpæθ/ Show Spelled[sahy-kuh-path]
–noun
a psychopathic person.

psy·cho·path (sī'kə-pāth')
n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Cultural Dictionary

psychopath [(seye-kuh-path)]

A mentally unbalanced person who is inclined toward antisocial and criminal behavior.


...and...


Quote from : Dictionary.com : Sociopath

so·ci·o·path
/ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθ, ˈsoʊʃi-/ Show Spelled[soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-]

–noun
a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or socialconscience.

—Related forms
so·ci·o·path·ic, adjective
so·ci·op·a·thy  /ˌsoʊsiˈɒpəθi, ˌsoʊʃi-/ Show Spelled[soh-see-op-uh-thee, soh-shee-]

Cultural Dictionary

sociopath [(soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-uh-path)]

Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal.

Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.


Now, whether anyone agrees or disagrees with Dictionary.com that is up to them.

And I do feel a vast majority of politicians, bankers, and business people fit that description.

Wall Street itself is a place where this type of individual fits in well.

[edit on 24-2-2010 by SpartanKingLeonidas]



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 06:41 PM
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Everyone (who has given the issue some thought) seems to have their own personal understanding of how a psychopath and sociopath differs...

here's my take:

Everyone is narcissistic to an extent. It's healthy to have love for one's self...as long as theirs a bit of balance between love of self and love for others. When we begin to skew this balance more towards love of self, pathologies manifest. The first, I call a narcissist. Next I would consider antisocial personality disorder. Further would be a sociopath. The last and most narcissistic as (in)humanely possible would be the psychopath.

A narcissist can still experience love for their nation, their group of friends, or their family. A sociopath can still experience love for their friends or family. A psychopath only experiences love of their selves.

This was the easiest way I came to understand these terms, though they may be inaccurate in other peoples eyes.



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 07:19 PM
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First lets take the stigma out of it and call it what it is, mental illness. As I have stated several times before, people with narcisstic personality disorder are attracted to politics, or Hollywood, to get the reinforcement attention they need. They never received it in the past, so they constantly seek it from those around them.
But narcissism is gravely misunderstood. It is not someone who is in love with themselves, but someone who despises themselves so much, and feel so much despair and worthlessness, that they have to create and alter ego to protect this shriveled and sad emotional state.

I highly suggest reading up on actual narcisstic personality disorder to understand more.

Now the quoted article is correct in some respects, those afflicted with some mental illnesses do only selfish things and view people as objects.
But there is an explanation.

Most (not all)mental illnesses have a basic ingrediant, something happened to make someone have the emotional capacity of a 3 yo. When you put that in a grown person's body, you get mental illness. If you view them as three year olds, you can see the behavior, the selfishness, the aggressiveness.

It is created by part genetics and part environment. Sadly, most are that way because someone made them that way. All it takes is an emotionally absent parent to create it. When you have a parent missing emotionally or missing altogether, you spend your life trying to fill the void and find the verification you need from that parent. It is felt far more accutely with missing fathers then mothers. Not that the role of mother is not equally important, but the ramifications show up more with missing fathers.

Mental illness is not always obvious. It is not someone rocking in a corner thinking big purple kangaroos are gonna kill them.

Sometimes you meet someone that just does not seem "right". Or a relative that can't seem to stop getting in trouble. Those can be signs of mental illness.

I do not think much of this author furthering stigmatizin it and calling them snakes in suits. Instead of portraying it for what it is, sick people.



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


?

I'm pretty sure the definition of narcissism is love of self, so a narcissist would be someone who loves their selves to an abnormal degree. However the core disruption got started seems irrelevant, as they've cemented their self-absorbed image. To my understanding, narcissists won't ever truly become rehabilitated.

I've read some information on narcissistic personality disorder before, and never understood it to mean a lack of self-confidence. I thought it was a need to be the center of attention, because they feel entitled to it. I thought this entitlement came from egotism...self-love.



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by unityemissions
 



Pathological narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme forms, it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is considered to result from a person's belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others.[18] This belief is held below the person's conscious awareness; such a person would typically deny thinking such a thing, if questioned. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation that (they imagine) would follow if others recognized their supposedly defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others’ view of them and behavior towards them.


wiki link


Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism


mayo clinic


Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders. People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions and a distorted self-image. Narcissistic personality disorder is further characterized by an abnormal love of self, an exaggerated sense of superiority and importance, and a preoccupation with success and power. However, these attitudes and behaviors do not reflect true self-confidence. Instead, the attitudes conceal a deep sense of insecurity and a fragile self-esteem.


medicinenet



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


Enjoyed reading your thoughtful reply. Thank you.



posted on Feb, 24 2010 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
As I have stated several times before, people with narcisstic personality disorder are attracted to politics, or Hollywood, to get the reinforcement attention they need. They never received it in the past, so they constantly seek it from those around them.


Nixie, in re your interesting post, thanks for the clarification. What, then, is the correct term for folks who received "over"-focus and attention as kids and told by their parents they were always correct, always perfect, always the appropriate center of attention -- whatever the contrary evidence of the situation and then grow up to believe the same about themselves and expect to be treated by others as their parents treated them?



posted on Feb, 25 2010 @ 10:21 AM
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@nixie-

Is this a nature vs nurture argument, explanation?

I'm not sure it's possible nor realistic to describe a complex set of circumstances (physical and mental) to such a theory... Or, did I miss the point? Entirely possible, functioning on lack of caffeine at the moment...


ed: yep, nevermind, I understand what you are saying.




[edit on 25-2-2010 by LadySkadi]



posted on Feb, 25 2010 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


I recognize that you are offering the classic definition of narcissism, but there are people who are not a result of bad parenting, who simply see themselves as better than everyone else, and therefore feel that they deserve what ever they can get, not matter how they get it.

Sadly, there are plenty of selfish people out there in the world who have decided that they don't care about anyone else, and it has nothing to do with how they were raised.

We were raised with this belief in humanity that is completely unrealistic, and time has taught me this lesson.

The smart thing to do is learn to recognize these people, and their allies, and remember not to trust them. Learn to forge alliances with the people that have shown they only want what is fair. It is not just the people at the top. Bureaucracies seem to cater to the kind of people who will take anything and everything they can get, with no remorse, or sense of fairness.



posted on Feb, 25 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Oh, these multiple-reply things...

reply to post by McGinty
 


Darwin didn't invent evolution

Indeed he did not. You could say Nature did, or--if you're religiously inclined--God did.


'An endless war of all against all' makes my thesis seem a little melodramatic - a slightly manipulative act!

Not guilty. It is a quote from Hobbes--'bellum omnium contra omnes'--and it is exact. But Hobbes was wrong...


The animal, and plant, kingdoms show the savagery of evolution in full swing.

Correct. They also display cooperation (social insects, schooling fish, migrating birds, lion prides, wolf packs), reciprocity (mutual grooming in birds and mammals, symbiotic relationships between animals and plants of different families and kingdoms, food-for-sex trades in higher primates), altruism (between genetic kin in most higher animals), and all the other instinctual bases of human morality. Female bowerbirds even do art criticism.


Now you have it that because people are more evolved than animals etc. this makes cooperation a necessary factor in survival, thus evolution...

No. Despite the protestations of evolutionists, the theory of evolution by natural selection is not obvious or easy to understand. A common misconception is that evolution moves towards perfection, and that humans are somehow 'more evolved' than, say, plants. Not so. Human beings are no more evolved--ie no better adapted to their environment--than cockroaches, blue-green algae or the common cold virus. Cooperation and other 'moral' behaviours exist throughout the living world. Bacteria communicate and cooperate for survival and reproduction by sending chemical messages to each other. The principle of evolution by natural selection is 'use what works'. Nature is morally neutral.

Further argument on this would be off topic for the thread, but u2u me if you would like to continue the discussion, and perhaps we can find a different, more appropriate thread on which to debate the subject. The O&C Forum is full of them.

* * *


reply to post by TheLaughingGod
 

Yes. Re-read the passage you quote and you will see that Cleckley makes a distinction between true psychopaths and the people described therein:


These patients with temporary or circumscribed maladjustment or self-defeating behavior... are mentioned here to distinguish them not only from the fully manifested psychopath but also from those who, over the years, show more subtle indications of widespread and intractable defect or deviation in essential personal reactions and subjective evaluations. The psychopathologic process, or state, which I believe is seriously disabling the patients already presented may be regarded as affecting in part and in varying degree those yet to be discussed...


* * *


reply to post by poet1b
 


I'm sorry, but if you don't understand why we have jails, then you simply are not connected to reality.

Insulting and unsubstantiated. Of course I understand why people think gaols are necessary. But is it because some people are evil? Perhaps you need to clarify your original question, or qualify it, before we can discuss it intelligently--although it is, of course, off topic...


If you are right about the historical figures you mentioned, then please, provide the evidence to back you claims? I have read a great deal about the most of the people you mentioned, and you are wrong.

Do you really need the obvious stated for you? The American presidents I mentioned obviously ran for political office and won. That qualifies as seeking power--and gaining it. Martin Luther King formed and ran a lobby group, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and turned it into a major political force. Gandhi's career as a political activist began in South Africa in his youth; after moving to India in 1915, he became a figure with enormous popular influence and appeal, which he used to take control of the Indian National Congress and secure, gradually and over time, the independence of India from Great Britain. As for Churchill, the Wikipedia article on him should give you all you need. Start here and read down the page.


Ghandi, I would say, has gotten much better press than he earned.

Really? Interesting. Is this a subject you're knowledgeable about?



posted on Feb, 26 2010 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Of course I understand why people think gaols are necessary.


Do you really? That is some ego you have. You may think you understand how other people think, but you are wrong. Your perspective of the world isn't nearly broad enough for you to presume that you understand how others think. Before we can discuss anything intelligently, you are going to have to get over yourself.

Jails are necessary because there are people who demonstrate by their actions that they can not be trusted to live among civilized people. There are numerous psychopaths of varying degree out there roaming the planet.

How many times do I need to repeat myself before you begin to understand what I am saying.

There is a huge difference between people who seek power for powers sake, and those who seek power to accomplish a goal or to solve a problem.

Are you capable of understanding the difference between an Abraham Lincoln, and an Adolf Hitler?

Once you begin to grasp this concept of the difference between these two types of leader, then maybe I can begin to share my perspective on Ghandi with you.

By the way, I think you missed the point on Darwin. Darwin didn't conceive of the concept of evolution, there were many others of the same opinion in his day, all working towards proving the concept. Darwin is the guy who got all the credit. There are many other valid concepts and perspectives on evolution out there that should still be considered.

In addition, in your quote, Cleckley isn't making a distinction between a true psychopath (an absurd notion) and people you indicate as describe therein, but between people who partially manifest psychopathic behavior and those who become fully manifested psychopaths.

There are a great many people gifted at being social chameleons, including psychopaths capable of hiding their psychopathic tendencies in order to get what they want.

Just because a person can normally control their psychopathic tendencies doesn't mean they should be trusted, or that the impact of of their actions when they do give into their psychopathic desires will be less damaging.

The degrees by which people are willing to cross the line between right and wrong are considerable, as well as the lengths they are will to go after crossing those lines.

Things are not nearly as cut and dried you would like to believe.



posted on Feb, 26 2010 @ 10:26 AM
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I was fired from my job a week before this past Christmas. I had an issue brought up by my supervisor, someone who fits the descriptions of the typical psychopath snake in the suit. We went back and forth on the phone and he assured me I still had a job and that we would have to "evaluate my duties" and make some changes to my job duties. I asked him if we could have a rep from the company above him present as we "redefined" my job duties. Mind you, my job duties had already been "redefined" about a dozen times and was nothing close to what it originally was when I was hired. I explained to my supervisor that he was asking me to do things that nothing close to my job description, I was a healthcare provider, he was asking me to look into marketing strategies, advertising, making commercials. Things that advertising and PR people get paid large amounts of money to do. So I asked him if he could have his supervisor or a rep from the hospital we worked for attend the redefining session.
The next day I went into work, my supervisor started the day by giving me 4 days worth of his paperwork that he needed input into our data tracking system so his supervisor wouldn't be barking at him. I got all of his work done, went to lunch, and when I came back, he called me in his office and fired me. 1 week before Christmas and this POS lowlife gives me the boot cause he didnt want to have to explain to his boss why his employees were too busy doing his job to do their own.
It's now almost March and I'm still looking for work. I spend most days seething and obsessing, sometimes feeling like I'm the psychopath, empathizing with the Joe Stack's of the world, and asking myself how did we come to this? How did we let these monsters ascend to their positions of power? Sometimes I think I'm lucky cause I'm almost at the point where I have nothing left to lose. I had to move out of my house cause unemployment doesn't pay enough, can't find a new job. And at this point I'm not even sure I ever want to work in healthcare again. After 20+ yrs of dedicating my life to helping those in need, I don't feel that drive I used to have, and healthcare isn't even about helping people anymore. Patients are now referred to as customers. They care more about what kind of insurance you have than what illness or injury you have. I have become apathetic, bitter, hopeless, and feel that inner rage and resentment building. And now as I face losing my woman as well, I'm contemplating things that I never knew my mind would be capable of thinking.
This is what a corporate psycho did to me.
Snakes indeed!



posted on Feb, 26 2010 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by Chillidog1
 


Snip...
I have become apathetic, bitter, hopeless, and feel that inner rage and resentment building. And now as I face losing my woman as well, I'm contemplating things that I never knew my mind would be capable of thinking.
This is what a corporate psycho did to me.
Snakes indeed!


First, I'm sorry that this happened. Being unemployed is difficult at the best of times and certainly not an easy thing to go through right now.

Second, whether your boss was a "psychopath" or just a "snake" is probably debatable, but in the end, the outcome is similar. Business is business and is this way often at the expense of the "little guy" who isn't in a position to play the game and remember what that is... profit and power... Whether that is bad/good/necessary/or not is perspective.

I wish you the best... good luck to you.



[edit on 26-2-2010 by LadySkadi]



posted on Feb, 26 2010 @ 11:42 PM
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reply to post by poet1b
 


That is some ego you have.

Another insult. Why?


You may think you understand how other people think, but you are wrong.

It doesn't take any special training, or even much insight. People speak their opinions plainly to each other, publish them in print and on the internet, share them on television and on the radio. Anybody able to hear and to read comes quickly to know the range of views people hold about controversial issues like incarceration.


Your perspective of the world isn't nearly broad enough for you to presume that you understand how others think.

Perhaps. But note that I did not assume I know why you think gaols are necessary. I asked you. Why does a simple, polite question elicit such a boorish and discourteous response?


There is a huge difference between people who seek power for powers sake, and those who seek power to accomplish a goal or to solve a problem.

That may well be, but you were insisting that the people I named weren't seeking power. Here are your own words on the subject:


The people you list, are people who did not seek power, but solutions.


* * *



By the way, I think you missed the point on Darwin. Darwin didn't conceive of the concept of evolution, there were many others of the same opinion in his day, all working towards proving the concept. Darwin is the guy who got all the credit. There are many other valid concepts and perspectives on evolution out there that should still be considered.

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything I posted on this thread. You're attacking an imaginary stalking-horse of your own making.


In addition, in your quote, Cleckley isn't making a distinction between a true psychopath (an absurd notion) and people you indicate as describe therein, but between people who partially manifest psychopathic behavior and those who become fully manifested psychopaths.

Precisely. That is the distinction I have been upholding all this time. Such people are not psychopaths.


Before we can discuss anything intelligently, you are going to have to get over yourself.

Yes, it certainly seems impossible to hold an intelligent discussion with you.

[edit on 26/2/10 by Astyanax]



posted on Feb, 28 2010 @ 11:58 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Another insult. Why?


Because you say insulting things like this.


The authors of this cynical, confusion-sowing book obviously guessed that, by pretending the margin doesn't exist or is just a thin grey line, they could write a book stereotyping powerful and effective people as psychopaths--and that if they did, then less assertive, less effective, less powerful people who resent their lowly status in life would buy their book by the truckload.


Which essentially is you saying that everyone who thinks the authors of this book might have a point, are "less assertive, less effective, less powerful people who resent their lowly status in life", and this somehow isn't an insult?

How could you not see this as an insult aimed at everyone on this board.

Then you propose the most ridiculous claim that because people who do extremely bad things also do good things doesn't make them a psychopath.

How else would you describe a group of corporate executives who decide to continue with a product or production process in order to maintain profits, even though they know it is killing people in a most horrible manner?

The insane things people with your levels of personal certainty say are more than anyone with a sense of humanity should be willing to ignore.

I guess it is a sign of the times.



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 02:48 AM
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reply to post by poet1b
 


Which essentially is you saying that everyone who thinks the authors of this book might have a point, are "less assertive, less effective, less powerful people who resent their lowly status in life", and this somehow isn't an insult?

I said 'essentially' nothing of the kind. You have chosen that interpretation of my words and have evidently applied it to yourself. Well, if the cap fits, wear it and welcome; but I was speaking of an assumption made by the authors about people who buy the book.



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


And of course you know what assumptions the authors made because you understand how others think. Just as you assume you have a clue about who I am.

Once again, that is some massive ego you have. even though you have demonstrated that you know nothing about human nature, and you can't tell the difference between seeking power as a means and seeking power as an end.

Obviously, according to you, as long as a psychopath demonstrates some level of decency, they are not psychopaths. The serial killers of the world love people like you.

You are an enabler.





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