Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loving father or calculating sociopath?

Clark Rockefeller, aka Christopher Chichester, aka Chris C. Rowe, aka Charles ‘Chip’ Smith, aka Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, was convicted of parental kidnapping in June of this year. After losing custody of his daughter Reigh to his wife, Gerhartsreiter kidnapped her and attempted to start a new life with her under yet another one of his aliases. He was of course found and arrested, His daughter, whom he affectionately calls ‘Snoops,’ was reunited with her mother. His conviction was the culmination of an amazing, Tom Ripley-like tale of changing aliases, fascinating deceptions, and quite possibly murder.

I remember watching his story as it was told on “Dateline” earlier this year with great interest. Of course, we can never be completely sure of these things, but his modus operandi, along with his responses during an on air interview, virtually screamed sociopath to me. A psychiatrist hired by the defense diagnosed him as a narcissist who also suffered from grandiose delusions. I can see that. After all, his last and longest alias was as nothing less than a Rockefeller. But the calculation and manipulation that spanned decades suggested he was more sociopath than narcissist. He knew what he was doing. He was an experienced actor. He slipped into and out of different roles with ease and he knew exactly how to comport himself, which words to say and which emotional buttons to push to maneuver others into believing whatever he wanted them to believe about him. At the very least, malignant narcissist might be a better explanation.

What fascinated me were the contradictions he seems to represent. His cons weren’t of the usual “bilk the idiots out of tons of money” variety. It was more along the lines of wanting to find a mask to actually be. Gerhartsreiter wanted to be something other than the anonymous German kid he was born as and he was determined to make that happen, even if it meant living a lie. To that degree he reminded me of Matt Damon’s Tom Ripley. Also, there was the attempted kidnapping of his daughter. Was his daughter supposed to be a bargaining chip that he would use against his wife in some future power play or did he actually hate the idea of being separated from her? There were several witnesses at the trial who claimed that he was nothing but a loving and devoted father to his child and the wife never suggested otherwise during the trial nor afterward, with the exception of course, of the kidnapping itself.

Did Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter actually want to "be someone"? Did he make an emotional connection of sorts with his little girl? Is someone who has clearly demonstrated a capacity for deception and effective manipulation capable of such a thing? And if he is capable of making any kind of love connection, what does that say about the idea that it is impossible for sociopaths to love?

71 comments:

  1. Ah, very interesting. I wrote my thesis on the role of mental illness in custody battles and how the current diagnostic tool (the MMPI) is inadequate to determine mental stability for custody and is misused as a predictive tool. It's weakness in detecting the male dominated disorders- NPD and Anti-Social PD- is also...well sucky.

    Point is...Female sociopaths are more likely to use children as pawns than male sociopaths. Male NPDs go for the children though, with high frequency. At any rate, kidnapping is more of an NPD thing. But there are exceptions to the rule.

    If you believe that sociopathy is largely genetic (most scientists do, especially in women) and personality disorders are often genetic with an environmental catalysts, then it's possible for someone to have been hardwired a sociopath and have a Narcissistic personality structure. In fact it's not only possible it's diabolical!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "And if he is capable of making any kind of love connection, what does that say about the idea that it is impossible for sociopaths to love?"

    Wait, so you watched a dateline special or whatever, and you think the fact that some manipulative guy kidnapped his daughter and treated her well might mean that sociopaths can love? I understand wanting or believing it to be true, but to base it on that?

    Unusually weak for you, man.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does it matter as long as he took care of his little girl?? I really don't think it does. He must have had a bond with her, even if he was incapable of bonding with anyone else. He obviously went to a hell of a lot of trouble to keep her with him. I don't think it has much to do with being spiteful toward his ex wife. Maybe he felt threatened in some way? Kidnapp is a strong word...lol, it makes me laugh....a parent cannot kidnapp their own child!!! Not in my eyes anyway.(Maybe somebody elses child, but not their own flesh and blood). I tend to think of it as disappearing for a while lol....they should give the guy a break at least he didn't murder her...he kept her safe...even had a little pet name for her awwwww
    As for the wife??? well something must have gone on behind the scenes for him to have taken such drastic actions...women can be just as bad with games. I doubt she was little miss innocent herself. Main thing is the little girl knew she was safe and well with her father. (obviously the wife may have been pissed off though)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a victim of International Parental Child Abduction.My soon to be ex husband...tricked me while his mother was over here in Canada.They said my daughters great great grandmother is on her deathbed sick and her dying wish is to see my daughter!! and for 3 months they manipulated me out of stress I would throw up thinking time away with my daughter is unthinkable,even as they stated less THEN a month would be there and him his brother who still isn't married,which now I know why, they are all in on it.

      Delete
    2. This plan was all for Canadian papers. he had one agenda,he did not love me while we were married or before that he said anything he wanted to make me love him manipulated me in every way such a good actor.He is using my car accident when i was 12 as a way to say i am a unfit parent so he took her away from me and gave the child to his mother,while his mother uses my daughter as a source of income since in that Country it is very poor.I did not see my child in person since she was 7 months old and now she's 2.They are now trying parantal alienation on a 2 year old. Pinching her while I am on Skype with her or making scary faces behind the camera so it is not tapped(I have call recorder for SKYPE)Now since he came back to Canada WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER which he promised she would be coming back with him, they made a alias account which I don't know what it is and cannot even see her on camera.

      Delete
    3. He went over there to where she is now(right before i left trying to find a way to get her home to Canada,but the embassy said they would use it as ME kidnapping her and also via SKYPE the mother in law stated (she might go into HIDING with my baby)So when he went over there it wasn't for her 2nd birthday it was for in our language to prepare ZIMNICA.Chopping wood(his father died 7-8 years ago from a heart attack) chopping wood, smoking meats, doing manly work like he did before he came to Canada and fed on me to love him to keep him in Canada and heard I was getting a substancial amount of monies of course that are now gone.Even stating in his affidavit I SPENT IT ALL he said as a form of psychological behaviour that i have OVER SPENDING which is NOT true and can prove that in court also.He took joyful parts of my life like just having my child the day she was born. He asked me to take out 10 000 dollars out of my investment account so that we can have for rent this and that for him to go drinking with the guys to celebrate which that never even happend I thought to myself well yes she is just born now I won't have time to go shopping for food and other things maybe she will need some things that I forgot all bills paid on time this money will be for many many months! When I got home, there as a fridge full of food and drinks that is it!Where did the 10 000 go?On what?Now which I believe all 3 are sociopaths,his mother the main controller of his older brother and him the youngest.He in his mind thinks what he did,that there is nothing wrong with what he did,he is using all kinds of strategies and lies.I can count and prove 47 lies in his affidavit.I cannot say that I suspect he is a sociopath and has mother issues.I found some,Adult content one day,on my history on my computer" Mother feeding teenage son pudding"I watched it a bit the mother looked identical to his own,it was gross,I called up my mother right away thinking holly c**p what is this!I went recently,to the RCMP which contacted immigration and so forth I am working with them,and while I was almost 98 percent close to getting Interpol to go get my baby he sends me papers for divorce and full custody of the child in there,there is all kinds of pathetic attempts to make me seem I should be in a mental institution and lies lies lies!which I have proof which is good in this matter!He believes he can get away with it but he can't with my proof.I do not want him to go near my child again not even over SKYPE, because while he was over there I pleaded with him to have her come back and I would sign a document and fax it over for him to go across the borders even at the airport but he never listened he uses that saying I said NO to all of this but i have it ALL recorded so that he cannot say LIES!I think he still thought I was naive,well my LOVE GOGGLES came off a long time ago and I am Strong and will fight this sociopath to the end and have it the other way around having ME as sole custody of my child he doesn't care for her

      Delete
    4. What if the courts ask him if you state in your affidavit that you love her and it was not your intention to make her stay that long over in *home country* then why didn't she come home sooner why didn't this all start sooner,he has no good explanation for it at all. It's despicable to say and LAUGH!!!! that a parent can't ABDUCT or KIDNAP a child from the other parent!!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!!

      Delete
  4. As usual Peter, you've managed to say nothing at all while making it look like you've made a point. You're a sociopath who's decided to mess with the sociopath's, aren't you dimwit?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Come on now, Jim, you should realize that shit isn't going to work with me. Quit while you're only a couple miles behind.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tink said: "At least he didn't kill her!"

    You would make either the best or worse lawyer this side of the universe. I can't tell which one yet.

    Tink, you could be correct about the mom being a fairy-butt-dust-browning-eatin'-villain...but that would be unlikely. But not impossible. However, if you play the odds, he probably DID do it to punish his ex and didn't have concern for the child, at least it was not effectively shown. Poor child is probably a mess from constantly being on the run, changing names, identities. What he did to her, his child, was not what I would describe as 'keeping her safe'. Most people can't do that kind of stuff and come out unscathed. To keep her quiet he probably had to quite a bit of brainwashing-type manipulation techniques, mental or physical abuse. It's not natural for a child not to want to be with both parents...and it's especially true that a gal wants her momma.

    Anyway, it will backfire, because children don't believe their parents are awful until the teenage years. Now she's probably exalted her mother up to a saintly ideal because she wasn't there to prove differently.

    If the mother was so awful...why didn't he go through social services or the court system? If there was something there he would not have resorted to taking his child and putting her through what he did.

    Just because someone got 'punished', doesn't mean that they did anything wrong. The mom may be an innocent in this. He could just be an asshole.

    Or you could be right. But that would be the exception.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Butt Pirate: You don’t throw in anything useful the way any number of other commenters here have. You don’t provide any insights. You don’t write convincing arguments. And you play stupid word battles with people who learn real quick like that that’s all you’re about. So, Thunderbird was either right about you and you’re a sociopath who’s decided to do this as a fun little hobby knowing damn well your arguments are stupid or you really are a nimrod, someone who is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is.

    Either way, I’m outtie. I’ll say this for you. You got me to comment. Something about people pretending to be more perceptive than they really are bugs the shit out of me. That’s my problem though. I’ll pay attention to the truly smart, funny people who have something to say and let you be you.

    Peace out

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jim:

    There really is no need to call him a butt pirate. Peter Pan is just as insulting, and more so since it was self assigned. Either way, he wears tights and that is the only awesome thing about him.

    Odd that there is a Peter Pan AND Tinkerbell on the board. But finally the sociopath-Disney link has been made. Too much Disney rots your moral compass, kids.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well Jimmy boy, if it's really that obvious that I'm just here to play "word battles," why the hell did you bother to comment to me in the first place? From your position, it seems like an exercise in futility. Not a very intelligent choice.

    Actually, most comments here aren't very constructive. Usually, one person posts something, and everyone else goes, "Yeah, I agree!" and rehashes the exact same shit reworded.

    "Sociopaths are awesome!"
    "Yeah, totally awesome! Empaths suck!"
    "Yeah empaths are so easy to manipulate!"
    "Yeah let's talk about manipulation!"
    "Manipulation is awesome! I'm such an awesome manipulator!"
    "I'm an awesome manipulator too!"
    "Yeah we're awesome!"
    "Yeah! Fuck those empath sheep!"
    "Hurray for sociopaths!"
    "YEAH!!!!"

    If they're not doing that, they're stating the obvious as if it's some revolutionary idea that only a great sociopath could possibly discover, then go on to talk about how delusional empaths are. The irony is awesome, and way too easy to pick on.

    For the most part, they operate in an intellectual vacuum. I like to provide a cynical view of, well, just about anything they say. Whether I agree with them or not is really quite irrelevant, as my purpose is just to get them to think outside of their narrow two-dimensional box of sociopath mutual mental masturbation.

    Is it an exercise in futility? Most of the time, yes. But every once in a while, I can tell I've made a couple of them think just a little bit harder than their normal shit-it-and-forget-it verbal diarrhea.

    And in the cases where I can't, I get a good laugh out of it. It's really a win-win situation for me.

    For a good example of why I love this site, and why I keep posting... see the article M.E. posted where some sociopath went on to deny the claims of delusional grandiosity, while simultaneously building up sociopathy as, quite literally, the best thing in the history of mankind.

    Haha! These people are so clueless, they can't see how absolutely retarded they sound, or they do and don't care! Even if they do, it's fun to see them try to argue against their way out of their own bullshit.

    "What they call delusions of grandeur, I call being the best thing in the history of mankind ever!"

    Hahaha!

    Every other post, more stupid shit exactly like that. If you can't see it, I think you're the one with perception issues. Or maybe you just like having your ego stroked along with the rest of them?

    Win, lose, get called and idiot by idiots, I really don't care. I bring some variety to an otherwise stagnant blog.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sarah, don't you realize this is never-never land? Everyone here fancies themselves a master manipulator and a genius.

    And with Tinkerbelle already here... I couldn't resist the name.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow. You've never taken a literary criticism class have you, Peter?

    Try to keep the mixing of the metaphors to about...say 10. To start.

    And you're clueless that you've just demonstrated one of the finest examples of irony I've ever had the pleasure to witness:

    50 lines of run on sentences and mixed metaphors to describe your contempt for sociopath's and how clueless they are about their own delusions of grandeur.

    And then, priceless. You close with:

    I bring some variety to an otherwise stagnant blog.

    Wow. Kudos to you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Peter Pan said...

    Sarah, don't you realize this is never-never land? Everyone here fancies themselves a master manipulator and a genius.

    What does that have to do with Never-never land??? Read a book, goddamnit!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Odd that there is a Peter Pan AND Tinkerbell on the board. But finally the sociopath-Disney link has been made. Too much Disney rots your moral compass, kids.

    Hmmm, I’ve wondered about that myself. There was a poster here calling herself Disney as a matter of fact. Disney, Tinkerbelle, Peter Pan… You’re all the same person, aren’t you? ME, is this you? Or has it been Thunderbird all along? There are only 4 commenters here and they all use 5 different aliases! lol

    ReplyDelete
  14. For the most part, they operate in an intellectual vacuum. I like to provide a cynical view of, well, just about anything they say. Whether I agree with them or not is really quite irrelevant, as my purpose is just to get them to think outside of their narrow two-dimensional box of sociopath mutual mental masturbation… I can tell I've made a couple of them think just a little bit harder than their normal shit-it-and-forget-it verbal diarrhea.

    So what you’re saying is that you’ve decided to play the role of permanent troll then? That’s cool. To each his own. I must say I’ve never understood the pleasure of troll like behavior on forums and comments sections and so on. Seriously, I’m not being insulting here. I truly don’t get the point. I’m an atheist, so it would be like me going to a fundamentalist Xtian forum and deciding to “awaken” them to their needlessly small minded stupidity and usher them into the light of rationality or some such nonsense. Why would I care one way or the other what a group of people whom I’ve never met and will never meet, think about their invisible friend? I never visit Xtian or Muslim or Jewish forums and the reason is, I just don’t give a damn. Let the hoi polloi have their delusions. “Let them eat cake!” So even if every single person here is out of the blinking minds, why would you care? Are you a professional in the mental health field? I don’t know, but I’m guessing no. And you don’t sound like you’re coming from a compassionate place, so you can’t be here to help anyone. What’s in it for you, other than amusement? If that’s all it is, well again I say, cool beans man. I don’t get it, but who says I have to? I don’t understand why people like to have sex with horses either, but who cares, so long as I don’t have to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sarah, do you not know fantasy when you see it? C'mon now, you're embarrassing yourself.

    Daniel, I don't do it to help anyone. I do it for three main reasons:

    a) amusement when things get crazy
    b) curiosity about how you folks rationalize this stuff. i.e. I want to read quality content.
    c) the challenge of getting it out of you

    I really do get a lot of satisfaction when you folks start speaking rationally, even if you disagree with me. Those "thank you"s I post are genuine. But so is the hysterical laughter when you make asses of yourselves.

    As I said, win-win.

    ReplyDelete
  16. And you're clueless that you've just demonstrated one of the finest examples of irony I've ever had the pleasure to witness:

    The difference here is that I leave this shit in on purpose. Sometimes I even throw it in, just for good measure. Think, "and 90% of people think they're being funny or clever when really they're not."

    I'm also not in the least bit afraid to admit that I contradict myself, etc. That's the big difference between us, honey-bear. Don't take yourself too seriously, babe. You're a nobody, just like the rest of us. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cool Peter. What the hell, so long as you’re enjoying yourself and fools like me are willing to play along (I do it mostly to pass the time, especially while I’m at work), than I say play on playa.

    ReplyDelete
  18. No I get it, Peter. You don't.

    I'm guessing Narcissist, anyone else?

    Completely unaware, in denial. The Narcissist false self is unstable and incomplete that what he tries to hide just leaks out everywhere, and yet he is oblivious.

    My point was, silly:

    You think we have delusions of grandeur. You call this never-neverland. You say it's because we live in a fantasy. You have such contempt for us.

    Poor thing is jealous. You're not a troll...you're a Wanna-Be.

    ***Think Peter Pan...think.***

    This is your metaphor, not mine.

    You have such contempt for us that you've inserted yourself into the metaphor as...um, the central character? the foundation of the fantasy? The leader and driver of the plot? You don't just want to be here for kicks. You want to be the center of attention here. You wish you weren't such an outsider. You want this to be yours.

    What lies behind your contempt is just envy. You don't have delusions of grandeur, but you wish you did, you pretend, you posture. But it's all just hide that exquisite self loathing thing you've got going on.

    Peter says: This is never never land where all you guys think you're number one and the best! But you're all just fools in some fantasy world and I'm the only one who is in reality here! Whaa!

    Me: And you are...?

    Peter: I'm Peter Pan.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm not sure what to say to that, Sarah. Nobody's ever seen through me quite so clearly before. All I want is to be liked, but I can't figure out how to do it. I figure that you've all got such huge egos, that maybe if I pretend to have a huge ego, too, I'll get your respect. I don't want to be one of the sheep. I want to be something greater, something better than my status as a human being can allow. I want to be a God, like you, like M.E., like Daniel, like Thunderball. Or I at least want to have your respect. Is that too much to ask for?

    What am I doing wrong?

    I don't get it.
    I don't get life.
    I don't get any of this.

    How can I stop hating myself?

    You're right about the name. I wanted so badly to be a part of this fantasy, to make it real through make-believe, just like in the movies, that I chose the central character of this never-never land. The humor and irony of it all is just a convenient front to hide behind.

    Will you help me figure it all out?
    I can't do it on my own.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please, Sarah. Don't turn me away. I don't think I could stand it if you did after seeing me for who I really am. It would only validate all my feelings of inferiority, of worthlessness, and I don't think I could live with that. I've lived this lie for so long, trying so desperately to believe that all my success is due to talent and intellect, and not lady luck or God's divine plan. But I can't do it any more. I just can't continue like this... I need help! Please, please don't turn away. I'll do anything. I can cook. I can clean. I'm reel good at getting blood out of carpets. Reel reel good. Please, just tell me what you want. You'll have it. Whatever it is, I don't care. Just accept me.

    Please?

    Why is it taking you so long to reply?

    Please I'm begging you don't keep me waiting! I need you! I need you more than I've ever needed anything else in my life. I need all of you, my big happy sociopath family. Sure, we have issues, but it's all good, right? We're kin. We're brothers, and sisters, and lovers. And M.E. is the daddy. Hi Dad! See? Come on guys let's be friends. I NEED ACCEPTANCE PLEASE!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I told you what to do. Read a book, goddamnit.

    You're not funny and you've clearly shown you can't discern irony in anything, let alone your own words.

    So I don't think you would be hiding behind devices you can't define or use correctly. But it's not about that. I usually like to show people rather than lecture, but you need someone to take you by the hand and tell you blatantly so that you don't misunderstand:

    Whatever you're doing or saying...(and please listen this is important)...comes across as ridiculous, disgusting nonsense. You're trying too hard to prove yourself. You're trying too hard to be clever.

    You offer a deluge of mixed metaphors, nonsensical hypotheticals and then you whine like a baby. I've not seen you offer anything yet (you know, facts, studies, articles, silly things I like to call "information"). But, you're always asking someone to prove something to you. No one here is your teacher, kid. You have uneducated, unverified illogical opinions that you somehow believe deserve to be taken seriously.

    Go.Read.A.Book.God.Damn.It.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've tried. It didn't help.

    I read Robert Hare's book, without conscience. I've read Robert Greene's book, The 48 Laws of Power. I've read The Art of War. I've read the Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. I've read the manual for my firewall from front to back. I've even read Harry Potter. And the Chronicles of Narnia.

    It doesn't help. I need guidance.

    I don't understand. Reading doesn't help.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Please, tell me what was illogical. Help me fix it. Help me understand.

    I can't do it on my own.

    This sucks so bad.
    It hurts.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Two idiotic replies in 2 minutes?

    Please see above RE: Trying too hard to be clever

    ReplyDelete
  25. No Sarah please help me I'm not trying to be clever I want you to help me. Help me understand what is logical and what isn't. I'm begging you, help me stop sounding stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Peter's comments are consistently entertaining because they always upset some delicate creature.

    Sociopaths are characterized as having a 'lack of affect' and diminished anxiety when confronted. Why do so many of M.E's 'sociopath' readers become shrill whenever the blog is criticized?

    I enjoy the blog, but I have the impression that M.E. is a young guy and sometimes his editorial judgment shows immaturity.

    It's good for him to see some criticism . . . I hope it keeps this site from becoming a circle jerk for insecure kids with fantasys of being sociopathic.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I try. :)

    By the way, Sarah, you folks deny the credibility of 95% of the articles and books out there, in favor of your own interpretations of your lives and those of others you've "diagnosed," without any professional knowledge. You even go so far as to redefine the term so that it fits you and anyone you want to identify with. So, fair lady, I would advise you to read.a.god.damn.book.damn.it.fucking.ass.cunt.fuck.emphasis.spell.it.out.arrghh.

    I'm sorry, that was stupid. Please, Sarah. Help me stop sounding stupid. Only you can help me, and I want so very much to be like you.

    Don't make me beg... I can't beg forever. I just want your love.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Here, Sarah. I have an excerpt from an article for you. Please, read it.

    "DSM IV-TR criteria

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:[1]

    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love (megalomania)
    3. Believes they are 'special' and can only be understood by, or should associate with, people (or institutions) who are also 'special' or of high status
    4. Requires excessive admiration
    5. Has a sense of entitlement
    6. Is interpersonally exploitative
    7. Lacks empathy
    8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes"



    Grandiose sense of self-importance.
    Check.

    Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited brilliance.
    Check.

    Belief that you are special and somehow different from everyone else.
    Check.

    Is inter-personally exploitative.
    Check.

    Lacks empathy.
    Check.

    Believes others are envious of him or her.
    Check.

    Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
    Check.


    Now, for your own criteria for NPD:
    In complete denial:
    Check.


    And from what I've read elsewhere:
    Sensitive to criticism.
    Check.


    My dear, you're no sociopath, and that's why the criteria need to be modified to apply to your life.

    You want to be something better, you need to believe you're something better. Narcissism doesn't work for you, because it's just a lie. Narcissists lie to themselves. It's what they do. But a sociopath... that's different. They're unrestrained, fearless, unstoppable, manipulative forces of nature. They really are something other than human.

    C'mon honey, you're accusing me of narcissism while I'm poking fun at myself. Doesn't that strike you as a little strange? I think it's your inherent disgust for narcissists, people with FAKE power and grandiosity, shining through brilliantly.

    So yeah. Read some books. Stop warping the definitions to fit you. Be honest with yourself.

    Seriously. Try it.

    I'll stop picking on you now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sarah said

    Tink you would probably make the best or worse lawyer this side of the universe. I can't tell which one yet.

    lol...that made me giggle! lets put it this way if i was on death row...i wouldn't want me as a lawyer!!

    Daniel said

    Disney, Tinkerbelle, Peter Pan your all the same person aren't....

    Dan, awww thanks as if im anywhere near that smart. Its hard enough work just being myself let alone inventing another person. :)

    Anyway iv been thinking about what sarah wrote earlier and yeah she definately had a point there actually. when my parent did the whole "disappearing with the kid for a few years", in hindsight i guess it wasn't in my best interests afterall, i mean just look at how i turned out, ha ha ha....sometimes its a plain case of better the devil you know.
    Theres no fear. At least not intially, and when any kind of realisation sets in...well its too late because you have adjusted.

    If the guy in the article fed the kid and made sure she was warm then i suppose he was kind to her in a twisted way.

    ReplyDelete
  30. TL, DR.

    -Captain Hookge

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh, I love it. You want to quote an excerpt from an article to show that you read. How adorable.

    And how adorable still, that what article you chose was not an article so much as it is the Diagnostic Criteria straight from the DSM. Which is a manual...very close to a book, but not really quite there. I'm proud of you Peter, tho. It has bounded pages, you're looking for the right thing. Sure you had a little set back and thought it was some article that those crazy Wiki guys wrote, but it's moving in the right direction. It's going to be an uphill battle since you don't know the difference between a book, an article or even a manual...but maybe I'll make up some pretty little flashcards for you. No wait. I won't.

    Okay, how old are you? Seriously? I may or may not be a sociopath, but I don't want to be a bully. It's only just occurred to me that you might be 16 or something and I'm not really grading you on the proper curve. I can lower my expectations and let you be.

    But before you go I want you to go to that DSM-IV you got there, if you really do, and look up Sociopath and tell me that criteria check list. Because I might need make fun of how you argued that someone wasn't a sociopath because they fit the DSM-IV criteria for NPD.

    But it's my fault. I should have been more specific: Read.the.entire.book.god.damn.it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Harry, do you mean improving the editing of the blog posts he writes or the comment section? 'Cause the former is kinda ballsy of you.

    A lot of personality and cognitive disorders are characterized by a lack of affect and what you call 'diminished anxiety' when confronted. Strange, tho, that you picked the two symptoms that absolutely must be observed to verify. Do you think you can discern affect, voice inflection and fluctuating anxiety levels on a blog? And if so ... how?

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think Peter had a good point in the beginning. Just because the man treated his daughter well, doesn't mean he loves her. But I also think M.E. was just using that as a starting point for a discussion about the broader subject of sociopaths and love.
    But I have to agree with Daniel that Peter is going out of his way to get a reaction from his fellow commenter. It makes him appear as though he has a grudge against sociopaths in general. Although, I do think it's nice to have someone like Peter around occasionally, because he does (whether you admit/know it or not) bring up a lot of the incongruities in the thought-processes of some of the comments.
    I understand that Peter thinks he's making some of the other posters understand their sometimes illogical claims, but he does it in a way that only manages to annoy them...not that he should expect them to care about his opinions of their opinion anyway.
    I think one of the problems with the “normal” world is that it generally assumes that all sociopaths are one, homogenous group that all think alike--but that’s another issue altogether.
    Anyway, in regard to the article: I think the guy was just running away from his hideous last name, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Personal vendetta? Nah.

    I don't care if a person's a sociopath. I treat Daniel alright.

    Same with M.E.

    I'm just allergic to certain ways of thinking. I do like to cause trouble from time to time, though. Won't deny it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. A dog can love and no one suggests that a dog ccomprehends human morality, or has empathy for other dogs.

    -Dr Whom

    ReplyDelete
  36. What do you call loyalty, duty, adherence to rules, respecting authority, etc?

    Have you never seen a dog whimper when another dog or owner is distressed?

    I think you need to think this through more, Dr. Whom.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I wonder if M.E. actually reads these comments. He's either laughing his ass off or crying, I'm guessing. Internally, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sarah - review Jim Profit's post above. He seems personally hurt by Peter's criticism of the blog.

    . . . seems odd for a "sociopath" to be so upset by anonymous criticism online. If he has difficulty identifying with 'anything' because of his presumed moral/psychology flexibility, why so "frustrated" with Peter's antics?

    I didn't mean that M.E. should edit the comments section. Only that his content gets weaker when he falls back on unsophisticated expressions of pride in his pathology. Some of the less interesting commentators here do eat that stuff up . . . and those people also seem the least credible sociopaths (to me).

    ReplyDelete
  39. Would the 'loving father' of M.E.'s original post need to have a emotional connection with his daughter to treat her well?

    Parental altruism is based on a genetic connection to the child. I don't think he would need to feel empathy to want to protect his interest in the girl.

    The lengths and means he went through to keep "Snoop" sound sociopathic to me. I kind of like this guy, but it might not have been the best situation for the girl.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Peter,

    So you are saying that dogs have consciences and empathy for other dogs/humans?

    -Dr Whom

    ReplyDelete
  41. Harry,

    I don't remember if that guy Jim said if he was a sociopath or not. It didn't seem to me that he was personally hurt, but I'm not the best at discerning the difference between being offended by someone's stupidity and being personally offended at what they say. And sometimes I mistake both as just plain old impatience.

    The posts I think are well thought out for discussion and rebellion, the former insures it's always somewhat clever, but the later does bring out the bra burners. But the rebellion part is unavoidable. Pitfalls and necessities of a counter culture.

    ReplyDelete
  42. DRW, I'm saying there is more evidence to suggest that they do than that they don't. Given that, and the fact that neither of us is fluent in dog, your earlier statement was a bit asinine.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Peter,

    Fair enough. Where is this evidence you speak of?

    Dr Whom

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dr. Whom, here's an article of interest.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Re: dog morality

    But if morality can be taught, as that article implies, does that not exclude the notion of an innate "moral compass"? What we see as morality is simply adopted survival traits?

    Isn't what makes morality so sacrosanct is that it is fixed...romantically eternal? (Not a rhetorical question, I'm really not sure)

    Why is so much more comfortable for people to believe that morality is some innate code humans are given, rather than the result of habits perpetuated by choice that improve the chances of success? I can go along with the fate game, the romantic pre-determined vision of the world - but I honestly don't understand why that perspective is easier for most to swallow. And I don't think it's because their 'dumb' or 'sheep'. Well, at least not exclusively that. There's something else there, something I don't understand that is significant to them...it's a variable I have yet to define. And it doesn't help that it's often described as ineffable- that only suggests operant conditioning. Which brings me back to the same effing hypothesis with only a bunch of circular logic to support it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sarah,
    I think this issue is best compared to M.E.'s post about the varying moral standards in different human cultures. While different moral standards can be learned or acquired, however you'd like to word it, the common factor is the ingrained notion that such a code must exist, even if its nature is debatable. It drives people to seek it out, some even devoting their entire lives to that goal, and attempt to adhere to it.

    As silly as it sounds, I think one could make the argument that the same may apply to dogs. Even wolves display fair play and certain signs of empathy in the wild. It's been a while since I've read about it, but if you're interested, a quick Google search should turn something up.

    ReplyDelete
  47. But if morality can be taught, as that article implies, does that not exclude the notion of an innate "moral compass"?

    Not necessarily. You’d have to have the basic “infrastructure” already in place in the brain in order for moral instruction to take. Kinda like language.

    Isn't what makes morality so sacrosanct is that it is fixed...romantically eternal? (Not a rhetorical question, I'm really not sure)

    To most people, I suppose so, although I see no evidence to suggest anything like eternal or objective morality exists outside of the brain.

    Why is so much more comfortable for people to believe that morality is some innate code humans are given, rather than the result of habits perpetuated by choice that improve the chances of success? I can go along with the fate game, the romantic pre-determined vision of the world - but I honestly don't understand why that perspective is easier for most to swallow. And I don't think it's because their 'dumb' or 'sheep'. Well, at least not exclusively that. There's something else there, something I don't understand that is significant to them...it's a variable I have yet to define. And it doesn't help that it's often described as ineffable- that only suggests operant conditioning. Which brings me back to the same effing hypothesis with only a bunch of circular logic to support it.

    The species appears to be predisposed to believing a lot of unbelievable things. My own opinion is that this propensity to believe the fantastic must have been useful to us at some point in our evolution, which would partially explain why the trait is so widespread today.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Daniel,
    You really don't see the evolutionary benefits of morality, even in today's world? It seems pretty obvious to me, and it baffles me why so many here can't seem to see, accept, or admit it, whatever the case may be.

    I like to think of communities, nations, and the human race itself, like multi-celled organisms. Any energy spent on internal competition for resources is wasted energy, unless the results are beneficial to the organism's survival. Imagine if your skin cells started competing nutrients and oxygen at the expense of those around them. Or the cells in your heart, or your lungs, or your brain. You might as well be a mass of competing bacteria instead of a man, without any of the benefits made possible by the cells of your body working in unison.

    Bear in mind I'm not trying to say sociopaths are inferior here, nor am I suggesting that morality, empathy, etc, is perfect in any way. But it's the best motivation we have to work together in our social units, or even as a race, without shooting ourselves in the foot quite so often. In my eyes, that's a definite evolutionary advantage.

    Where exactly do you differ in opinion? Do you think this is a case of you not seeing the same benefits, or is it not being willing to accept that you as a person don't have that particular evolutionary advantage?

    Again, this has been baffling me.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Another good example might be a collection of small neighboring nations that can't even begin to compare in power with a unified nation like the U.S., even if they're allies and frequently work together when it's in their personal best interest. (versus the best interest of an entire nation of states)

    ReplyDelete
  50. You really don't see the evolutionary benefits of morality, even in today's world? It seems pretty obvious to me, and it baffles me why so many here can't seem to see, accept, or admit it, whatever the case may be.

    I never said that morality does not benefit the species as a whole. I said that I don’t believe that morality is an objective property of the universe. Or, I should say that I see no evidence to suggest that it is. Obviously, just because something is beneficial doesn’t make it an objective fact. To go back to my so called ‘obsession’ as a case in point, there are several studies out there that suggest that believing in god may do a body good. Even if that were true, that doesn’t mean that god exists, only that believing he does appears to be correlated with certain health benefits.

    Where exactly do you differ in opinion? Do you think this is a case of you not seeing the same benefits, or is it not being willing to accept that you as a person don't have that particular evolutionary advantage?

    I have discovered that it is not to my advantage to force myself to feel and experience life in ways that are not real for me. Acting as if I have a ‘normal’ conscience falls under that ‘pretend to be something I’m not’ category. This is something I mentioned in another thread. Moral emotions, or altruism, have definitely been useful to the species. However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that anyone who does not experience moral emotions is somehow inherently deficient and should either try to gain those emotions or pretend to have them. That’s where the first part of my difference of opinion is. I’m not going to go around thinking of myself as pathological because I differ when it comes to moral emotions. A lot of normals would be more than happy to tell me that I should feel/think otherwise and that’s their prerogative. It’s my prerogative to refuse to internalize their judgments. The second part would be that I see no reason to believe that I should use an arbitrary standard like “the good of society” to judge myself or anyone else as a general rule of thumb. The body and it’s intricately linked parts are a fine analogy when it comes to demonstrating the broad value of cooperation, but it breaks down when you attempt to use it as an explanatory model for understanding how human civilization actually works at large. It also breaks down when you attempt to shoe horn particular individuals using it.

    I obviously don’t believe in shoulds as a way of life for myself. What is, is. If you have a ‘normal’ conscience, I say terrific, good for you. I apparently don’t have much of one. Telling me I should have one or that I should feel horrible for not having one or that I should think of myself as a freak are all statements that I happily dismiss out of hand. (In these comments I’m not talking about you specifically. I’m talking ‘you’ as in people in general.)

    ReplyDelete
  51. "The species appears to be predisposed to believing a lot of unbelievable things. My own opinion is that this propensity to believe the fantastic must have been useful to us at some point in our evolution, which would partially explain why the trait is so widespread today."

    That's why I was asking.

    ReplyDelete
  52. By believing the unbelievable, I am referring to Sarah’s comment about morality being generally thought of as sacrosanct. The so called sacredness of it, the elevation of moral principles, the willingness to sacrifice everything for said principles because they are THE TRUTH, that’s the unbelievable part, not morality itself. Moral emotions are an evolved set of traits and they've been useful to the species, but there’s no evidence to suggest there is anything transcedent about them.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Oh, I agree.

    I thought you were referring to the belief that you should treat other people a certain way. Looks like I just misunderstood.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I thought you were referring to the belief that you should treat other people a certain way…

    Actually, I’d say that this belief is also illusory, as in, it’s a false mental representation of observed phenomena. Or more simply, it doesn’t always describe what you actually do. You treat people how you treat them. Whatever people tell themselves about it before and after is irrelevant to the reality of what they actually do. ‘Shoulds’ aren’t as powerful as we think they are.

    Now if you say that the ontological status of morality is irrelevant because it’s an evolved set of traits upon which human societies have built laws, traditions and mores, and that in the aggregate it’s proven evolutionarily useful, then I’d be in agreement. Except I wouldn’t believe any of that applies to me.

    I think that’s the crux of it. Morality is fine, it’s all well and good (if somewhat limiting), but it doesn’t apply to me and I see no reason to believe otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Good posts, Daniel and Peter. And thanks for the link.

    Since we all seem to be in agreement that morality can be beneficial and is subjective, what might be some moral principles we could logically develop for both ourselves and others?

    Treating others as one would like oneself to be treated might be one to start with - or the more advanced version of treating others as they would wish to be treated. Thoughts?

    -Dr Whom

    ReplyDelete
  56. Moral principles? help me out here seeing as i seem to be the spring chicken, but what is soooo hard about treating someone how oneself would like to be treated??? I just don't get it??? How is it advanced to treat someone how they would wish to be treated??? (If someone likes 2 sugers in their tea, put 2 sugers in their tea God dam it if it makes them happy. Its less work for yourself in the long run!!!)
    Being moral is really straight forward to me. For example its wrong to stab somebody...so i don't do it lol simple as that. Yep i know that was a dumb example, but i don't have the desire to read any more super intellectual books on psychology and actually be intersted in them, and im not ashamed to admit that either. I mean ive studied both social science and pyschology but to me it was all a load of text book talk not really applicable to everyday life, merely examples and although i did very well in both subjects as soon as i completed my studies, i tucked my little qualifications under my belt and kept them only for when i needed them to land myself a career. As bad as that sounds lol.

    Im extremely impressed by the level of intellect a lot of you have here. But im so straight forward and simple, that life is not complicated to me. I have to skim read a lot of these posts because i just haven't got the desire in me to genuienely get absorbed in facts and scientific research if im not going to be marked on my response. If it walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck....well its a duck to me, so to speak.

    Morality to me is just like a set of house rules....you don't have to "feel" them to abide by them. They are just a set of sensible instructions to stear you through life. I guess thats the same principle for the bible.
    But if you really need to steal....steal it...if you really have no other choice to kill it....kill it. Obviously there are always exceptions to any rule.

    But as far as relationships go well they are pretty simple as well in my eyes. lol (no surprises there then)
    Its not good for the stomach of your partner if your having mad rampant sex with another behind their back, then climbing back into bed with them at the end of a day...(ewww lol) so i wouldn't do it. Thats moral in my eyes...its just playing by the rules for an easier life. Lies for instance...i don't see the point of them....there is work involved in maintaining a lie which i just don't want to spend any energy on spinning around in my head. Harmless twisting of the truth, yeah thats fine by me, but huge whopping lies are just pointless, everybody gets found out eventually one way or another. Then you end up making even more work for yourself trying to wriggle out of it.
    Deliberately hurting somebody?? hmm well that depends really, i think the level of severity and intent is significant there. But i understand as much as i desire to, the law forbids me from running down my ex in my car to break his legs. Mores the pity...i didn't feel a shred of remorse for punching him in the face though and i never will!! lol
    Its pretty easy to stop oneself doing something majorly immoral...just pausing to think about the possible consequences is enough of a deterrent for me. e.g jail time!!

    If something is deemed as wrong in society i mull it over in my head as to why that particular action is deemed as wrong. And i agree with most of the moral principles...

    rape
    illegal murder (war is an exception)
    child molestation.

    Those are the top 3, i have none of those desires, i think its sick, so off with the head of anybody who commits such crimes.

    stealing
    lying
    cheating

    Ok im capable of all 3, but its not really going to make my life easier if i do any of the above, so i don't.

    And due to all that i consider myself a moral person :) (well just about) Maybe i am moral for selfish reasons at times in order to protect my own interests, but aren't a lot of people to a certain degree??

    ReplyDelete
  57. Dr Whom, I of course have no desire to develop any moral principles. To do so would imply that I think it important to predetermine how I am going to treat people or handle circumstances before I actually come across them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I am going to contradict myself and admit that I do have 4 principles that may or may not be considered moral. One, I prize politeness, two, I hate getting my hands dirty, three, I don’t like child or spousal abuse and four, I don’t like it when people are blatantly contradictory or stupid. I do feel emotions of annoyance and disgust around those ‘principles’. Even admitting that, however, does not mean that I would refuse to break any of the above ‘principles’ should circumstances demand it. Otherwise, I’m good with having no predetermined moral rules. I suppose you could say that having no ethical principles beyond the ones I’ve outlined above is my predetermined default moral code.

    Tink said, “How is it advanced to treat someone how they would wish to be treated???”

    I think the good doctor was referring to the idea famously found in several different religions that one should treat others the way you would have them treat you. It is slightly more nuanced to put the focus on treating others the way they want to be treated. The latter isn’t as well known or as obvious as the former.

    As always, I like your no-nonsense tone Tink. It’s common-sensical. Up to a point. I suspect that your take on this isn’t as normative as you may think, however. For instance, you say you don’t have to feel anything about the ‘house rules’ in order to follow them. This is true and I agree. But I think you’re missing something. I think that most normals not only believe that they have to feel something when it comes to morality, they do. They appear to experience visceral reactions to moral issues and to suggest to them that these emotions are superfluous would be to miss the point. I’m not just talking about emotions like guilt, shame and remorse. I’m also talking about compassion, empathetic joy, love and so on. From what I’ve read and from my own personal observations, the emotions are as essential to their experience of morality as the explicitly stated rules and regulations themselves. Perhaps more so. I think you may not get this as much because of your own sociopathic lineage and upbringing.

    But like I said above, I’m emotionally indifferent to most moral principles. A good analogy might be the carnivore verses the vegetarian issue. Vegetarians might wail against me for my meat eating habits. Vegetarians and vegans (aka food Nazis) can show me videos like this, where the little chicks are turned into ground round, alive, with the belief that watching such a thing might at the very least arouse empathetic feelings within me. Maybe they'd hope that seeing such an ‘atrocity’ might make me think twice before biting into my next chicken sandwich. I watch that video and feel… indifferent. (Well, actually there was something intriguing about it, but that’s another subject. lol) Tink, you might also feel indifferent if you watched it. Hell, most meat eaters might feel indifferent to their plight. If watching that video does not in any way, shape or form tempt you to at least briefly consider giving up chicken or meat in general because you just don’t give a damn, then you’ll know how I feel about most all morality. I don’t go around stabbing people, to use your example. But yeah, if I felt the need to or if I believed the situation ‘required’ it, I just might. Although, stabbing seems like such a bloody affair and I do hate to get my hands dirty… lol

    ReplyDelete
  58. I've seen quite a few of those types of videos and the actual killing of the animal doesn't bother me. The way i see it is, it has to be killed in order to end up on my plate. Somebody therefore needs the job of being the "butcher" to earn the money in order to feed their own family and others. Its very straight forward in my point of view. Its not pointless killing. I didn't find that video cruel. Its just part of life. (Plus animals really do stink, i can't stand the smell of them and the whole way through watching it i kept thinking eewwww it must really stink in there! I couldn't work in a place that stank of animal). The purpose of an animal is to provide meat, thats the way i see it. However i do think its important to have free range and organic food. If the animals are allowed to roam free and live like a chicken or whatever the animal is before it ends up on the chopping block then thats humane. Animals were made for eating i think vegans are really unhealthy to deny themselves whole entire food groups just because the chicken was beheaded. Not only does it taste really good, its great for the body. We all need protein!! lol

    ReplyDelete
  59. Tink- everything that has life deserves to live. You aren't superior to animals and to imply you are is just ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  60. oh here we go i thought id upset at least one animal lover. Listen i never said i was "superior" to a fluffy little tasty animal. Jeez why are people so sensitive!!! It annoys me. Im not going to start denying myself meat just because it has a life!! im so sorry if i "offended" you with my meat eating ways. I doubt a wild animal stops to think before it devours its prey that it might be kinder to eat some grass instead. Eating meat is not cruel. If you re read my "ridiculous" post i did mention that animals should be free range for their quality of life before they end up in the butchers shop. For fuck sake.
    It comes to something when i can't even post on sociopathworld without upsetting someone. #shrug# Get off the blog if the little dead chickens upset you!!!!!!!!
    Why can't people be more practical??? Protein is needed for the body, meat and eggs contain it. Its good for you...EAT IT.
    The people were working in a slaughter house!!! What are they supposed to do, give them nice little pet names and stroke them lovingly before they through them into the blender. Now to me, that would be cruel.
    To any of you that want to call be dumb, annoying, ridiculous (im laughing as i type this) well please save your energy for someone who actually gets offended by being called those names. I like being dumb, annoying and ridiculous. Thats the way i am lol. I have no desire to come on here and argue with a "paragraph". I mean where is the fun in that??? I have "real" people to start arguments with, its far more satitisfying. Try it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Tink, who comes on a blog called 'Sociopathworld' and argues for the sanctity of animal life? I bet 'animal lover' was one of our less than sane commenters playing a joke because you know, that's how we roll. lol

    ReplyDelete
  62. "I have no desire to come on here and argue with a "paragraph". I mean where is the fun in that???".................So to be clear, you have no desire to argue with what was actually a sentece and not a paragraph by returning it with 3 paragraphs???? I'm confused..I thought you had real people to debate with???? Hmmmm.hmmmmm???


    I

    ReplyDelete
  63. you know what i thought the exacy same thing after i typed that...LOL, fair play to you there, i thought Tink "it was a sentence"....but big deal im sloppy! And i head off on tangents...thats my problem not yours! lol....for fuck sake Anon get a name already!! I chuckled as i read that response...errr hello??? THIS IS CYBER SPACE!!! if you really believe i want to debate on a blog then you believe it, i know better :)....besides i never have anything constructive to say on here do i. lol I dip in and out to have a nose, read the articles and the comments, decide whether of not i want to leave something totally innane and pointless for all to speed read then im on my way. Take me with a pinch of salt. I do.

    ReplyDelete
  64. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    Goddamn ME refused to reconnect the blog to the forum so we SC goers will just have to spam advertisements for the forum in the comments section. ;)

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts over 14 days are SPAM filtered and may not show up right away or at all.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

.

Comments are unmoderated. Blog owner is not responsible for third party content. By leaving comments on the blog, commenters give license to the blog owner to reprint attributed comments in any form.