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(New title:) How are people manipulated by psychopaths?

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posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Hi team! Okay, this topic is my pet....
A bit of intro perhaps is in order. I am a retired Mental Health professional -- specifically a clinical therapist, with credentials. I am ALSO a survivor of a sociopath/psychopath who nearly ruined my life.

How does this happen?

Currently, here in the US, a trial is underway that brings to light the many faces of psychopathology. This is an excerpt from this website: aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org...


What is psychopathy?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder signified by a pattern of lying, exploitiveness, heedlessness, arrogance, sexual promiscuity, low self-control, and lack of empathy and remorse. Those who are affected may appear normal thus increasing their ability to effectively prey on others.

EDIT: to change the thread title for clarity!

People severely affected with psychopathy have a false belief in their own superiority, a sense of entitlement and a complete disregard for social norms. They therefore leave a long trail of victims and survivors over the course of living their lives. Their victims include strangers, friends, lovers, co-workers and family members.

Unable to love, feel remorse or show any trace of guilt, they survive by charming, conning and manipulating others. Because they are impulsive and do things that hurt other people, psychopathic individuals are also called "antisocial" by mental health professionals.

What causes psychopathy?

Genes play a significant role in the cause of psychopathy. However socialization and other environmental factors interact with genetics, so genes are probably not the only determinant.

Psychopathy is very costly to society. The disorder is responsible for much human suffering. The disordered person, his/her family and nearly everyone he/she contacts is affected.


My question for team ATS revolves around that tenent. Sociopathology, in my opinion, is pandemic in this world today. At every level of society....from global banking to corporations to neighborhoods to alleyways, we are surrounded by sociopaths.

I myself, a trained pro, have been victimized. That is to say bamboozled -- sucked in by the charm, attention, and utter manipulation of a person who was utterly unable to have a healthy relationship. Yet, I believed!

I would love to discuss how psychopathology/sociopathology has affected any of your lives. Consider it a casual clinical study, if you like.

I will tell my story, if asked. Does anyone else here have a story, or theory, or stance on the issue of psychopaths in our society, and their blatant and heartless treatment of anyone they find to exploit?

Could be no one here wants to address it. Sociopaths are EXPERTS at getting people to go along with their intended agendae without even knowing it....that is: unwilling conspirators.

The trial (which had become a media feeding frenzy) to which I refer holds under the spotlight a family in which some members are publicly being exposed as having sociopathic/pyschopathic behaviors. I am happy to discuss the trial in detail as well....

If anyone is interested.

Please keep in mind, I am approaching this from a psychological/sociological point of view. The referenced court case is an excellent "case study" in the dysfunctional behavior of individuals, and leads not only to the causes of sociopathic/psychopathic behaviors, but also family systems (i.e., the theory that people are an amalgam of their upbringing, parental skill level, and familial history of counterproductive coping mechanisms).

Any thoughts?? If anyone has read the books by profilers of serial killers or their ilk, and studied the profiling field itself, you might have been exposed to the concept of how HARD it is to NOT become a victim to these very skilled con-artists.

All the best!
WT

edit on 29-6-2011 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
Does anyone else here have a story, or theory, or stance on the issue of psychopaths in our society, and their blatant and heartless treatment of anyone they find to exploit?


Yes. I think they exist because they are rewarded by society. The more materialistic and money-oriented society gets, the more it downgrades community and worships excessively at the alter of the individual, the more psychopathy flourishes because the utterly amoral, soulless nature of hyper-capitlaism mirrors the impoverished inner world of the psychopath. Just as market fundamentalists say the market itself will solve every conceivable problem, for the psychopath every problem lies within, to be tackled by the almighty ego. Any dependence is weakness, community is boring and dull at best, only a source to be taken advantage of.

And today's world rewards all the attitudes of the psychopath. Superficial charm? Check. See "Hollywood." Brutality? Check. See "Multiple simultaneous wars." Naked greed? Check. See "too big to fail."

Our entire society on the macrocosm is a mirror of the psychopath on the microcosm!

The book American Psycho, while often crude and foul-languaged, is an important book because it makes the connection between psychpathy in an individual and psychopathy at the core of the highest reaches of society. The following passage is from near the end:



"...where there was nature and earth, life and water, I saw a desert landscape that was unending, resembling some sort of crater, so devoid of reason and light and spirit that the mind could not grasp it on any sort of conscious level and if you came close the mind would reel backward, unable to take it in. It was a vision so clear and real and vital to me that in its purity it was almost abstract. This was what I could understand, this was how I lived my life, what I constructed my movement around, how I dealt with the tangible. This was the geography around which my reality revolved: it did not occur to me, ever, that people were good or that a man was capable of change or that the world could be a better place through one's taking pleasure in a feeling or a look or a gesture, of receiving another person's love or kindness. Nothing was affirmative, the term "generosity of spirit" applied to nothing, was a cliché, was some kind of bad joke. Sex is mathematics. Individuality no longer an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire -- meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. Fear, recrimination, innocence, sympathy, guilt, waste, failure, grief, were things, emotions, that no one really felt anymore. Reflection is useless, the world is senseless. Evil is its only permanence. God is not alive. Love cannot be trusted. Surface, surface, surface was all that anyone found meaning in... this was civilization as I saw it, colossal and jagged..."

American Psycho, Brett Eston Ellis, pp.274-275


edit on 29-6-2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


Thank you. Disturbing indeed.

The movie "American Psycho" is one I have recommended to persons who are vulnerable to these monstrosities.
I have not read the book, but I will!!

I agree with you completely. So....how do we conquer it?



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 01:56 PM
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If you like to speak with me - please message me privately

TIRED OF CONTROL FREAKS



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:01 PM
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YAY victim- the new mainstream fashion.

Why live your life and do what you want when you can just be a victim and give up all power and hope.

It is not my fault I AM A VICTIM.

Accept personal responseability, move on, stop blaming others for what you cannot do now.

We all have crap in our lives, some play victim there whole life and some get up dust off and live.

Why be a victim, make things happen. Stop living in the past and living in other people problems.

So yeah "victims" is a pandemin, like the homeless, and homegrown terroism.

A bunch of people to selfabsorbed to realize that stupide crap holding you back is in your head it is your thoughts. Yeah someone did something to you, so what you really gonna spend your whole life on that?



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:02 PM
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I am convinced that my significant other is a sociopath. She seems to have zero conscience.

I'd call her my wife, but I found out that she was still married to her last husband when we were married.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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I have to agree society rewards the behaviour and that in most cases we see that while even the most extensive psychos... will do and say long enough to suck in a person to suit thier needs temporarily..

That mostly the ruse does crack. Depending on the resolve of the individual.. Thats why I think our own empathy and in some cases 6th sence is necessary to root out something thats.. "not quite right" about them.

And yet.. some have different motivations as well. The few ive had the misfortune of running into seem to merely wish to survive. Any.. downright.. monstrous sociopaths.. ive yet to encounter.. thankfully.


While thier apparent emotionless is a symptom.. I have to disagree with the observation.. and honestly say that.. they are more emotionally repressive. depending on their particular interests and... excitements.. which are not easily hidden. sociopaths blossom when dealing with subjects that make them feel "alive" so its led me to beleave this is a true issue with society.

The effemeril spiritual context lacks spiritual merit in love. Without love a society suffers.. Plainly.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:10 PM
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I am a woman 51, and all of the men I had gotten 'involved' with, were in that spectrum (narcissist socio psycho) I mean they fit ***ALL*** the descriptions for those conditions. This was during my 30's, so hence a long time ago. I had my own ummmm disorders (NOT those) which I wasn't acknowledging and therefore I was seeking to be "rescued". All these men were good looking and seemingly smarter than me. They were 'superior', which I took for high confidence.
The narcipsycho-conditions, WERE UNKNOWN to me at that time, I NEVER heard of them, so I had NO idea there were a parallel group of humanoids with different incompatible brains.
Here are the things I remember about ALL of them.
Glib. Unfaithful. Three stalked me. NEVER introspective. No guilt. Always others to blame, it was never them, it was always YOU. Women users. Mostly maintained 'an island of stability' (a dumb woman) from which to play. Underachievers.
I was no angel and innocent victim. I had my own problems and hidden motives, which were different, so I got (gladly) taken advantage of by them. I was ignorant, traumatized, and extremely stressed out, so I was unable to think right. Thats not a good enough excuse probably, but like I said I had my own flaws as well.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by GisfridMaillor
 


Your post seems to be a completely hostile and inappropriate response to this topic. I am not claiming "victim". I am asking ATS members if they have ever been the subject -- the chosen person -- of a sociopath.

I am attempting to bring light to the fact that people with the best and most empathetic of intentions can be sucked into the vortex of a person with no scruples, no empathy, and no remorse.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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Sociopathy being not too abnormal is the future of western societies. I think most people can now be pushed to breaking points, and many are starting to operate outside of the rule of law to some extent.

I think it's already estimated to be between 2-5% in the US, and I see no reason to think that number will diminish.

I'm starting to think the term is more of a cop out for failed social engineering techniques. It seems if the system adequately provided sanitary, and safe environments for individuals, these numbers would be next to naught.

What's funny is that often times, intelligent individuals who see through the BS will be classified by society as exhibiting antisocial behaviour. I think that fighting against injustice is a right no matter what the system chooses to label me as.

Here is a brief description of something that got me thinking differently about trying to fit into societal standards a while back:

Positive Disintegration



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by GisfridMaillor
 


Actually you make a good point about "victim". I put myself to be walked on every time, by those others. I used to have zero self esteem and hated myself. If I was strong, happy, and full of love for self and others, none of my bad experiences would have happened, I think.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by simone50m
reply to post by GisfridMaillor
 


Actually you make a good point about "victim". I put myself to be walked on every time, by those others. I used to have zero self esteem and hated myself. If I was strong, happy, and full of love for self and others, none of my bad experiences would have happened, I think.
You can change that.

If you really want to.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:18 PM
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Yeah, I voted for him, too. Fool me once...

Seriously, though, I have concerns about a friend of mine. He's an obvious psychopath. But I try to keep him in line. It's not easy, but he's like a brother to me. But I'd turn him in in a heartbeat if he went off the reservation.

/TOA
edit on 29-6-2011 by The Old American because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


Yes, they can change that. You are absolutely right.
thanks for contributing.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


I have indeed changed! I no longer have horrible low self esteem and hate, and I have learned alot. I experienced moments of enlightenment, when everything that was true and previously unseen, came 'scrolling' up in my brain. It's been a long journey, but I have mentally and spiritually ascended. Am not perfect by any stretch currently. Thats for sure. But like they say, "Knowledge is power".



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:36 PM
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You will find this hard to understand but it is the truth, and will help reconcile your conflict. You want to look at this from "psychological" pov. The problem with this effort is that it presumes something false that you are not fully aware of. It presumes that ALL people are made up of exactly the same animating energy and ALL people want and desire the same things. The psychology world simply all people are the same, all people want the Rockwell reality, and states with "therapy" all BEHAVIOR can be modified and therefor those who are just don't get it can understand that both wanting and getting the same things we all want will be better for them - and us. The psych world's major flaw is it is concerned with behavior modification ONLY, and the accepted modes of correction are geared toward what the controllers of the planet want at any given time.

This premise is wrong. There are folks out there who are NOT, NOT like you at all and their behavior is just fine - the problem is their real needs. A body is a body, anyone can have one. What animates a body is a different story and there are a myriad of animating energies that inhabit bodies. The ones you describe as sociopaths and the like don't want "love, career, money, family" and the rest of the Rockwell mythology. Pull back the skin, open up the animating matrix, and you will find something in there that a: hates you and your kind. b: wants you to get none of those things - if you think they are important to you. c: wants your energy and will do anything to get it; including torturing you or itself, yes itself.

The sociopaths are you call them are professional victims, looking for better ways to ply there trade. They are NOT looking to change at all, they are just fine thank you very much. They are always in the hunt for more energy. They cannot be dealt with, bargained with, reasoned with because they don't want what you want - they want your unhappiness, your pain, your suffering because they FEED off of it. They are always one step away from crisises, always know how to manipulate you to give the one more chance. They use words - they are just words, "love" and "sorry" anytime they need - they never mean it because the are meaningless words to them. You give the words value, they laugh at your silliness.

You would never date dog. Why not? Couldn't it be said that a dog would be so much happier if it had a mortgage, a irs payment, car insurance, and of course love? Sure, but you wouldn't date it because it isn't like you. You presume the presence of a body make you alike, it does not.

Stay away from them, you will never, ever win. They cannot be helped simply because it is YOU that thinks they need help, they don't need help just more energy. There is simple test which I have taught for years which works perfectly. Ask self reflective questions. If the individual in front if you is not self reflective, not interested it knowing more about itself, then you need to run.

Get over the idea that bad childhoods, mommy and daddy divorcing, poor test scores and the rest are the issues and of only a little love were interjected the world would be a better place. This is nonsense, they are DIFFERENT, their entire matrix of life is DIFFERENT, and they should be left to play with their own kind.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by simone50m
 


Your post brings up the parallel problem: WHY do some women gravitate toward this type of guy? I think that, in itself, is a pandemic. I call it the "Bad Boy Syndrome."

Yes, each person who has been sucked in by this type has their own issues, there is no question about that. It has to do with self-esteem, needing to be needed, wanting "love to conquer all." I am no longer susceptible, and glad of that...I feel your pain. I've been there.

So, shall we discuss what sort of childhood experiences leads a person to fall for this kind of snake-oil salesman?


edit on 29-6-2011 by wildtimes because: Spelling!



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:40 PM
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According to your definition, all politicians are psychopaths. And we wonder why our country is in pile of #.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by crankyoldman
 


You are totally correct. Everything you said. One day, I did some search on the deceased Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer. His upbringing was pretty fair, and it is said that "he was a happy toddler". My upbringing was far worse than his, with it's poverty, strife, and instability.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by GisfridMaillor
 

Okay, I have changed the title, so that it encompasses the subject I want to discuss. I am not advocating "I'm a victim!" mentality.

I am hoping to discuss how persons can become unwitting conspirators under the influence of persons who are very skilled at persuasion and have lots of charisma....

Hope you can contribute further!
WT



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