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

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posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 11:46 AM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

Oh yes, and I love the Joker in The Dark Knight, and he is indeed the perfect metaphor for the difference between a psychopath and everybody else/ordinary when he is burning the large pile of money, and he tells that (Chechnyan?) criminal guy, the one with the dogs - "Gotham deserves a better class of criminal, and I'm going to give it to them"...ordinary evildoers are like the gangster who deplores burning the pile of money, they want things, they want the money, they do bad things to get what seems good to them...the psychopath doesn't really want anything exterior to himself, in particular, he already has everything he wants through his enjoyment of incarnating the psychopathic process...What does the Joker want? He just wants to keep on joking, baby...That's it right there, that's the whole thing in a nutshell...

posted on Mar, 2 2010 @ 01:01 AM
reply to post by poet1b

And of course you know what assumptions the authors made because you understand how others think.

Wrong. I know it because advertising, publishing and the media are fields in which I have worked--at quite a senior level, I might add--for 28 years.

Just as you assume you have a clue about who I am.

I don't assume that you misinterpreted my words. I know it--because I know how my words were intended, and that is not how you took them. Please list any other assumptions you think I have made about you. Let's see how well they stand up to scrutiny. Then we shall see if I have any grounds for assuming that you are intelligent, well-intentioned, truthful or sane.

[edit on 2/3/10 by Astyanax]

posted on Mar, 2 2010 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

So you have built your life based on fooling people into buying things that they don't need, not exactly a solid basis for an understanding of reality.

Did it ever occur to you that there are plenty of people who feel spoiled by life, who see life as too easy, who want something more than materialism, who are bored with their toys?

It is easy to see why you have chosen to close your mind.

What you are making clear is that all your assumptions are wrong. There are in fact many, many people who want more out of life than wealth and power. This is clearly a reality that you refuse to face.

posted on Mar, 2 2010 @ 02:11 AM

Originally posted by poet1b
So you have built your life based on fooling people into buying things that they don't need

And you accuse me of making unwarranted assumptions. Well, well.

You can't tell the difference between seeking power as a means and seeking power as an end.

That was exactly the point I was making to begin with. See the post you originally replied to, in which I said

Originally posted by Astyanax
The historical record shows that (the people I mentioned in my first post) all actively sought power, even Gandhi. Doubtless they sought it for a good purpose--but that, remember, was exactly my point.

So what, then, are we arguing about? Whether or not there are bad people, or only people who do bad things? Your reply to me was your first post on the thread, so it wasn't as if I'd attacked something you'd previously said.

You are posting on this thread only to pick a fight with me, and that for no better reason than that you have chosen to take a general comment I made about the authors of this book as a personal insult somehow directed at you--even though I didn't even know you were following this thread at the time.

Do you realize just how bizarre your behaviour has been?

you have demonstrated that you know nothing about human nature

Wrong again. All that has been demonstrated is your irrational, unfounded hostility and eagerness to jump to the wrong conclusion.

[edit on 2/3/10 by Astyanax]

posted on Mar, 2 2010 @ 01:36 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

So you don't like people making assumptions about you. Welcome to the club.

So what, then, are we arguing about? Whether or not there are bad people, or only people who do bad things? Your reply to me was your first post on the thread, so it wasn't as if I'd attacked something you'd previously said.

Yes, that is the debate, whether or not there are bad people, or whether the situation is in your opinion that there are only people who do bad things. I would say this is pretty much the subject of the thread.

I was reading along thinking this concept had merit, and then you accused everyone who gave it serious thought as being

"less assertive, less effective, less powerful people who resent their lowly status in life ".

Those are some pretty harsh words.

How can you be surprised that people would take offense?

Back to the real debate.

As per my previous example, which you ignored.

"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?"

I would say psychopath meets the bill.

The same can be said for a great many other crooked deals executives pull on a regular basis, like robbing 401k pension plans.

posted on Mar, 2 2010 @ 01:47 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Very well. Such is your opinion.

However, the debate is not about good or bad people. It is about whether or not some people suffer from a disease called psychopathy. Mental illness is not about good people or bad ones; it is about sick people or well ones.

Now explain, please, why you were so bloody rude.

[edit on 2/3/10 by Astyanax]

posted on Mar, 2 2010 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

I don't buy the mental illness excuse. These are people who have decided, screw everyone else, I will take what I want when the opportunity presents itself.

By human nature, we are predators, and therefore opportunists. Conquest is also at the heart of our nature. These people are following their instincts.

The thing is, that the whole concept of civilization is that we all agree to abide by set rules.

What we are seeing in these modern times is large numbers of people breaking the rules, and claiming that it is alright as long as they are doing it in the name of the company, or in the name of good business. This is a huge problem with our current system. People who commit crimes through dirty underhanded deals, who hide evidence of crimes, and carry out psychopathic tendencies hiding behind some institutional identity need to start being held responsible for their crimes.

Why have you been so rude, and continue to be rude. I have explained myself very well.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 02:26 AM
reply to post by poet1b

Perhaps you have been a paragon of courtesy in your own mind. That would be of a piece with the delusive character of all your other statements on this thread. At any rate, I am not in the least interested in your opinions on this subject or any other. I prefer to interact with decent people who can keep a civil tongue in their heads.

This conversation has only lasted so long because I wished to know the cause of your hostility. Now I do, and I find it is of no importance whatsoever. So as far as I am concerned, our conversation is over. You may place whatever libellous construction you please on that--judging by your foregoing posts, you seem to be good at libel.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 11:24 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

No doubt, you are a real paragon of virtue.

What do you think about truth in advertising?

If you earn a living by deceptive advertising, how hard would it be to look into the mirror daily?

Should someone feel guilty about convincing a mass audience to buy drugs that they don't need, when they know those drugs will lead them into an early grade, make their problems worse, affecting their families as well.

I can see why such a person would want to keep their mind closed.

Ignore the people who make them face the consequences of their actions.

Best to hang out with their fellow co-dependents.

posted on Mar, 14 2010 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

Probably one of the top ten post on ATS.

Where to begin.

I've worked for a fortune 500 company for 15 years in various capacities.

The last ten years proves your statement "when psychopaths go to work". At my company, the psychopaths are to be found in management. Each company has a "flavor" a way of managing it's "people". At my company that style is bullying.

Some people ask what has happened to America?

In my humble opinion and from what I have seen just being a little fish in a little pond, America is being owned and operated by a bunch of psychopaths. These are people who will screw over almost anyone to get the almighty dollar and stay in the game, no remorse, no qualms about hurting another it's all about themself and they will stop at nothing. I've watched good people literally sell their very souls. Funny, they don't realize they've sold their souls. They think of the devil in medieval terms and haven't a clue that the "devil" is the CEO/Companies that now run America - and they are the devil's henchmen.

On that August day in 2002, Hare gave a talk on psychopathy to about 150 police and law-enforcement officials. He was a legendary figure to that crowd. The FBI and the British justice system have long relied on his advice. He created the P-Scan, a test widely used by police departments to screen new recruits for psychopathy, and his ideas have inspired the testing of firefighters, teachers, and operators of nuclear power plants.

According to the Canadian Press and Toronto Sun reporters who rescued the moment from obscurity, Hare began by talking about Mafia hit men and sex offenders, whose photos were projected on a large screen behind him. But then those images were replaced by pictures of top executives from WorldCom, which had just declared bankruptcy, and Enron, which imploded only months earlier. The securities frauds would eventually lead to long prison sentences for WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and Enron CFO Andrew Fastow.

"These are callous, cold-blooded individuals," Hare said.

"They don't care that you have thoughts and feelings. They have no sense of guilt or remorse." He talked about the pain and suffering the corporate rogues had inflicted on thousands of people who had lost their jobs, or their life's savings. Some of those victims would succumb to heart attacks or commit suicide, he said.

Then Hare came out with a startling proposal. He said that the recent corporate scandals could have been prevented if CEOs were screened for psychopathic behavior. "Why wouldn't we want to screen them?" he asked. "We screen police officers, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?"

It's Hare's latest contribution to the public awareness of "corporate psychopathy." He appeared in the 2003 documentary The Corporation, giving authority to the film's premise that corporations are "sociopathic" (a synonym for "psychopathic") because they ruthlessly seek their own selfish interests -- "shareholder value" -- without regard for the harms they cause to others, such as environmental damage.

Is Hare right? Are corporations fundamentally psychopathic organizations that attract similarly disposed people? It's a compelling idea, especially given the recent evidence. Such scandals as Enron and WorldCom aren't just aberrations; they represent what can happen when some basic currents in our business culture turn malignant. We're worshipful of top executives who seem charismatic, visionary, and tough. So long as they're lifting profits and stock prices, we're willing to overlook that they can also be callous, conning, manipulative, deceitful, verbally and psychologically abusive, remorseless, exploitative, self-delusional, irresponsible, and megalomaniacal. So we collude in the elevation of leaders who are sadly insensitive to hurting others and society at large.

On the broad continuum between the ethical everyman and the predatory killer, there's plenty of room for people who are ruthless but not violent. This is where you're likely to find such people as Ebbers, Fastow, ImClone CEO Sam Waksal, and hotelier Leona Helmsley. We put several big-name CEOs through the checklist, and they scored as "moderately psychopathic"; our quiz on page 48 lets you try a similar exercise with your favorite boss. And this summer, together with New York industrial psychologist Paul Babiak, Hare begins marketing the B-Scan, a personality test that companies can use to spot job candidates who may have an MBA but lack a conscience. "I always said that if I wasn't studying psychopaths in prison, I'd do it at the stock exchange," Hare told Fast Company. "There are certainly more people in the business world who would score high in the psychopathic dimension than in the general population. You'll find them in any organization where, by the nature of one's position, you have power and control over other people and the opportunity to get something."

There's evidence that the business climate has become even more hospitable to psychopaths in recent years. In pioneering long-term studies of psychopaths in the workplace, Babiak focused on a half-dozen unnamed companies: One was a fast-growing high-tech firm, and the others were large multinationals undergoing dramatic organizational changes -- severe downsizing, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. That's just the sort of corporate tumult that has increasingly characterized the U.S. business landscape in the last couple of decades. And just as wars can produce exciting opportunities for murderous psychopaths to shine (think of Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic), Babiak found that these organizational shake-ups created a welcoming environment for the corporate killer. "The psychopath has no difficulty dealing with the consequences of rapid change; in fact, he or she thrives on it," Babiak claims. "Organizational chaos provides both the necessary stimulation for psychopathic thrill seeking and sufficient cover for psychopathic manipulation and abusive behavior."

What has happened to America will continue to expand upon the whole planet I believe as it's gone past the point of no return.

The common man stands by and watches in silence as his cube partner loses their job and breaths a sign of relief that he/she has a temporary reprieve - get this, it's only temporary.

A bully will bully whoever is left, you either become one of them or get bullied.

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. In Niemöller's first utterance of it, in a January 6, 1946 speech before representatives of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt, it went (in German)

[edit on 14-3-2010 by ofhumandescent]

posted on Mar, 14 2010 @ 01:46 PM
reply to post by ofhumandescent

"What has happened to America will continue to expand upon the whole planet I believe as it's gone past the point of no return. "

Nice post.

I agree and applaud your understanding that evil grows when men of conscience stay silent. I haven't a clue how to wake people up to the true nature of this dilemma we're currently facing, but something must be done, like decades ago. It will only continue to get worse, until people get enough balls to stand up to these bastard people. The problem, as always, is ignorance. People seem to be unaware of what evil is these days, and what to do about it. Trickle down demoralization, IMO.

posted on Mar, 14 2010 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by ofhumandescent

Thanks for the compliment on the thread!

And great information that you added, I appreciate the insight and personal example!

Ed: for sp. grr

[edit on 14-3-2010 by LadySkadi]

posted on Mar, 14 2010 @ 07:11 PM
If you look at how ruthless corporations were ran at the turn of the twentieth century, 1890-1930, you will find corporate leaders even more ruthless and unscrupulous. the corporate design itself leads to massive abuse, as people are able to commit serious crimes hiding behind the corporate mask.

posted on Mar, 17 2010 @ 08:01 PM
reply to post by Chillidog1

yep they will screw with you anyway they can just to maintain their job.

posted on Mar, 17 2010 @ 08:10 PM
reply to post by nine-eyed-eel

Too right, a psychopath wants nothing more, than to watch the world burn.

And there is a fine line between a genius and insane person, that line is their approach.

A genius will use his or her knowledge to help the world, an insane person will use it to make the world hurt more, destroying himself with it.

The Pyrrhic Victory comes to mind.

Quote from : Wikipedia : Pyrrhic Victory

A Pyrrhic victory (pronounced /ˈpɪrɪk/) is a victory with such devastating cost to the victor, it carries the implication that another such will ultimately cause defeat.

The Battle of Thermopylae, comes to mind, as a Pyrrhic Victory, in service of state, Leonidas sacrificed himself and 300 men, as a hero to die to stop a tyrant, a true psychopath, Xerxes.

reply to post by LadySkadi

LadySkadi, just thought I would tell you how much I love this thread, and it's with members like you, which inspire me to write threads like the one below.

Blackmail : Keep Your Friends Close, Keep Your Enemies Closer, The Threat of Subversion Through Fear

It has everything to do with your topic, Snakes in Suits, through blackmail.

This thread you've done is kicking butt and I'm sure the similarities between your analogies, metaphors, and meanings will fit fine with mine.

Come on over, the water's fine, the mud's getting deep, and murky waters are ahead.

[edit on 17-3-2010 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on Mar, 17 2010 @ 08:53 PM
Here is a thread I started that has a similar theme, that some of you may be interested in.

posted on Mar, 17 2010 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

reply to post by poet1b

Excellent. Great threads to link here.

posted on Mar, 18 2010 @ 08:43 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

Most corporate executives are nothing but private sector politicians, and yes, these power seeking megalomaniacs do terrible things.

Quote from Poet1b

Who understands the score but not you.

posted on Mar, 19 2010 @ 01:48 AM
reply to post by ofhumandescent

The first twenty years of my working life were spent around senior executives in big corporations. These days, though, I only tend to meet them socially, and not very often. Still, if those decades of personal experience have taught me nothing, I'm probably unteachable.

What would your experience of these things be, ofhumandescent? How many years did you spend in the executive suite? What advantage of insight and experience do you have that enables you to tell with accuracy who knows the score, and who doesn't?

posted on Mar, 19 2010 @ 07:13 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

I am sure they are all well mannered decent people on the social level, but this doesn't change the facts that their policies often do terrible things to other peoples lives. They buy up productive companies, lay off the people who helped to build those companies, and strip the companies of wealth on a regular bases, destroying peoples lives, and often communities, for nothing but pure profit.

Then when you take a look at the working conditions that these same corporate executives set up in third world countries, it is obvious that any sense of decency that your fellow executive buddies portray is nothing but a facade.

It the widespread fleecing of 401k plans and pension funds is not enough, how about this.

Here is one for you, high incidences of deformed babies being born in Tex/Mex border town factories, where babies are being born without brains.

Child labor?

Out of sight, out of mind, right?

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