Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tautology

A reader asked me if there is any definitive way to tell whether somebody isn't a sociopath. I took the opportunity to preach:

The diagnosis of sociopathy is useful, but only to the extent that people understand it's limitations. The main limitation is that we cannot identify it by its root source, we know it only by its symptoms/characteristics.

I like to use the analogy of determining someone's religion. How might we determine that someone we met at a cocktail party is Catholic. Let's say they have an Irish last name. We know (or think we know) that Catholicism is a very common religion in Ireland. Let's say that the guest is married. We think that marriage is valued in that religion, culturally and doctrinally. This man starts talking about his 5 children. We have met other Catholic people who have a lot of children and think we remember something about the Pope being anti contraception. Some of our new acquaintance's children are named things like Mary and Joseph, not just biblical names but particularly Catholic sounding names to our ears. He makes mention of being involved in various charities. Catholics seem to be charitable people because they have all sorts of relief organizations and hospitals.

This is the sort of datamining and coming to conclusions that we do everyday (sociopaths more fluently than empaths). After we have concluded that there is a decent likelihood of our new acquaintance being Catholic, we can bring up things to which he might respond well (family, purity, etc.) and avoid topics that he might find offensive or incendiary (child molesting priest scandals or abortion).

What have we actually done? We have taken a list of characteristics and put our new friend in a particular category based on those characteristics: Irish last name, married, 5 children, Catholic names, charitable. We wouldn't be that surprised if he turned out not to be Catholic -- it's certainly possible for people to be all of those things and not be Catholic. Nor would we expect every Catholic person to manifest any or all of these traits.

These traits are not definitive. Catholic does not equal Irish, big family, bible names, and charitable. But some of them get at traits that we would consider definitive, such as the doctrinal belief of procreative sex or the importance of love for fellowman--they are the manifestation of beliefs that are definitively Catholic.

If we had to, how could we conclusively prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man is Catholic? Perhaps if he were baptized, but what if he lapsed or converted to another religion? Would that count? What if he had the exact beliefs but was never baptized. What if he was baptized, attends mass with his family, but doesn't believe?

It is so difficult to define what it means to be "Catholic," and the definition might expand or contract for certain contexts. For instance, we might use a broad definition when we are examining the influence of Catholicism in a community, narrow when considering who could be appointed to high positions of church leadership. But for most purposes we are content to accept people's subjective self-identification.

Like the label "Catholic," the list of sociopathic characteristics literally come from researchers' collective observations about what traits tend to be shared by sociopaths. Recent brain scans and other studies suggest a link between these characteristics and something more "definitive" and unique about a sociopath's brain. But it would be a mistake to conflate the list of characteristics of a sociopath with the definition of sociopath, just as it would be a mistake to assume that all Catholics would share the exact same traits -- or that having a certain list of traits is what makes people Catholic.

163 comments:

  1. m.e, what are some of the traits you possess? you aren't very narcissistic, are you?

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  2. NPD = SHALLOW, SUPERFICIAL, SEXY.

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  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfDafokeoEw

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  4. Wouldnt be easy to tell if someone WAS a sociopath considering the majority of people are not?

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  6. Guess not sociopath and you have a 96%+ chance of being right.

    Reversing the burden of proof is an interesting contortion, both fomenting ambiguity and asking people to check their tendency to cast aspersions.

    Very well contrived M.E. Is that what you got out of it Erin?

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  7. @She

    A reference to this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMRW9vJ10pU

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  9. Erin - May I ask a favor of you? I think you'll concede that a large percentage of this blogs readers despise being subjected to your daily comments, including myself. In light of that and as a favor to those that feel this way, could I ask you to take just one day off a week from posting any comments? Preferably you could pick a weekday, Mondays would be good. Thanks for considering.

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  10. Shut up specialk. Who cares about Erin? She only exists because people like you pay attention to her. I keep telling you all that to make her suffer you just have to ignore her. She never says anything different and you people end up falling into the same traps over and over again. You're starting to repeat yourself just as much as she does.

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  11. I agree with She and UKan. This post is kind of pointless(or at least the question was).

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  12. why does sociapaths care bout data mining an deductiv resaning

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  13. A reader didn't ask that question.
    You just made it up, so you could preach.

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  14. nikita is so mysterious... are you ukan?

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  15. Anon, are you ukan?

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  16. nikita, are you ukan?

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  17. Nikita = Misanthrope
    _____________________

    Duh

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  18. Ukan, are you anon?

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  19. george bush is god.

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  20. believe it or not, there are actually more sociopaths than there are narcissists.

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  21. i like this blog, but i fail to see how M.E. is a sociopath. unless he's wearing a mask, but what would be the point of that if you've already told everyone that you're a sociopath on a blog written all about your experience's as a sociopath? he's also way too insightful to be a sociopath.

    i personally believe that M.E. is an aspie who has fixated on the subject of sociopathy.

    what does everyone else think?

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  22. personally, i don't care.

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  23. @5:10

    Thank you, doctor. Glad to know that every sperg and his aunt can diagnose a fellowman.

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  24. @ anon 5:10

    i'm not sure if me is a sociopath or not, can we decide? it would be nice to hear about what he does on a daily basis, or a little about his life, so we can decide for ourselves..?

    it would seem that most of the sociopaths come here to play games, or to boast of how superior they are to the rest of humanity. noticeably, they also grow bored and switch from topic to topic frequently. we can't say if m.e isn't a sociopath...

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  26. @pms

    do you embrace philosophical values? does it affect your moral code? if you have one...

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  28. Everything she does is deniable. There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to help you.

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  29. Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her. She’s also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She’s very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers (“Don’t wash our dirty laundry in public!”) and will punish you for telling anyone else what she’s done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public. She’ll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding.

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  30. ukan is far from dense. he probably isn't very scholarly smart, but i can tell he is a manipulator. aggression is praised more than intellect, in the corporate world... it is not not mindless aggression, call it, circumstantial aggression or controlled aggression..

    all in all it's part of the spectrum of manipulation....

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  31. 'Everything she does is deniable. There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to help you.'

    true, she's very bitter and passive aggressive. if we're not all willing to ignore her, i suggest we simply refrain from speaking directly to her. talk about her as if she's not even in the room, as i'm doing now.

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  32. the aggressive types on this blog aren't stupid, they're just narrow minded and insular.

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  33. The S's are completely indifferent to Erin, everyone else is caught up in here nonsense.

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  34. "When the egocentricity, lack of empathy, and sense of superiority of the narcissist cross-fertilize with the impulsivity, deceitfulness, and criminal tendencies of the antisocial, the result is a psychopath, an individual who seeks the gratification of selfish impulses through any means without empathy or remorse."

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  35. @Erin

    I believed I loved the father of my child, the only way I felt capable at the time. You have to understand that 21 is still young, and I had no self control back then. In my own mind, I thought I was helping to set him free.

    When I left him, I was very kind. I didn't see any reason to hurt him, because I no longer had a reason to keep him. I'm actually not the one who destroyed him. His second wife put him through every kind of emotional and psychological torment possible.
    Compared to her, I ended up looking like a saint.

    And btw... he has never once resented me for swaying him to go against his beliefs. He never went back to them.

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  36. if psychopaths are also narcissists, then why do some psychopaths on here hate narcissists?

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  37. @Eden
    Thank you for that thoughtful answer :)

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  38. For gifted children, nothing is as simple as it seems and so precision is needed to help sort out relationships and to enable decision making. True/false and multiple choice questions are extremely difficult for gifted children who see clearly that the answer depends on the context - they see endless shades of grey, not black and white. Seeing many layers of meaning in each situation, they quickly pick up mixed messages in social situations that leaves them very confused and embarrassed.

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  40. just do it, or don't do it, erin. stop dragging the issue out and creating unnecessary drama.

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  41. My wife was gang raped by a troupe of mime artists.

    They performed unspeakable acts on her.

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  42. Pretty sure you already told that one.

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  43. still funny though

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  44. if psychopaths are also narcissists, then why do some psychopaths on here hate narcissists?


    Narcissists annoy me because of their constant need to get adoration from people. It's weak to me. It's annoying and boring sitting through a narcissist talk about themselves. They lie about accomplishments to make themselves look better than who they actually are. I've heard the same lies regurgitated a thousand times from this type of person:
    "I was in the special forces on secret missions."
    "I used to be a drug dealer, but I gave it all up after making millions and wanting to change my life." (Nothing to show for it of course)
    "I know (name drop, name drop, name drop)"
    "I'm working on this movie...."

    It's all lies to make their pathetic life seem interesting. They try to lie to me in a way to seem more tough, because I'm a alpha male. In reality they are shit. I find them to be insecure and annoying. I can see right through their lies and I used to get in fights with them all the time for calling them out. I never knew what they were called till I found this site a while back.
    Sociopaths are con artists. They don't care what you think about them. You are a object and they are trying to get you to do what they want. Sociopaths are narcisstic because they love themselves so much. However, that love doesn't need approval from others to be validated like a narcissists does.

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  45. yes, because sociopaths never lie to make themselves look better (SARCASM).

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  46. It's the approval seeking that makes the difference. Sociopaths don't have the same motivations.

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  49. ukan how did u handle all that narc rage?

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  50. Yup, I'm a lady alright... I just got back from my ballet recital, now I'm sitting on my couch and tucking into a fat free yogurt, while watching an old rerun of 'sex and the city'. ta ta boys xoxo. (;

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  51. Literalily walking pass someone who is telling her story to people and is snottering and crying. Not even knowing who you are and having no idea that this stranger is the cause of her tears. That just happened to me. I gave the person a friendly hello, looking like I felt sorry for her. It felt so good I could cum.

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  52. "UKanne"

    so simple, so clever

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  53. @Ukan

    Why did you choose the name Ukan?

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  54. I'll say this for the first time: that Adam kid takes so many shots at comedy, and some of them end up brilliant.

    [don't jerk off to this, Adam]

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  55. Oh no my name isn't Adam, I'm still around sometimes you know ... I haven't cum yet, but it felt so nice watching that bitch cry when entering the elevator, I lightened a good cigar once in my apartment. I'll jerk off later this evening.

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  56. A strong woman worth tens of millions crying like a little baby, god I'm so good I feel like fucking myself :-) lol (that's the devil's laugh you're hearing)

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  58. @Erin
    Are you still around here in let's say +/- 2 hours, I'm taking my weekly liquid laxative in a couple of minutes.

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  59. why'd you delete all your comments, david? we all remember them btw, faggot.

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  60. David's Vaseline OrderAugust 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    The drug store is calling
    A MAN size vat of Vaseline is on the way over :)

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  61. @Anon
    I'm flattered that you remember all my comments x

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  62. There's my favourite pharmacist :-) I can recommend him to all of you, his vaseline is premier quality!

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  63. why did you delete them, was the question.

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  68. OMG! has anyone read Zwaks blog recently? the dumbass got imprisoned for downloading illegal software... LOL.

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  69. by 'illegal software' zwang means child porn.

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  70. @Zwak
    That is really,really sad :(

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  72. who cares david?

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  77. Fine I'll remember you for 1 second as the cum gargling whore. Is that better?

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  83. Good Christ you are obnoxious.

    And you fucked over your landlord? Doesn't sound so smart.

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  89. It's a bit like the nazi's that killed dozens of people and then played perfectly Schubert on the piano

    Nice delusions of grandeur there.

    And ofcourse if I would have to choose between conning a goy or a Jew, I would for sure con the goy.

    Nothing much is funnier than a shiksa using the word "goy".

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  90. Faure's Requiem is one of my favs, though.

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  91. why do some psychopaths here (like zawk and tnp) use charm and others don't bother? am i the only one here who finds zawk and tnp charming?

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  93. @medusa

    do you find zawk and tnp charming?

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  94. 3:06 was for Erin.

    Charming? Relatively speaking, I suppose so.

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  95. I don't find zhawq charming, I find him obnoxious. Not to mention his stupidity. He's always on about how he's one of the more intelligent psychopath's with something to offer society, despite the fact that he's spent half his life in prison for murder and rape and whatever else. Actually he is fairly intelligent, but he's still failed miserably so what does that tell us. The most pathetic thing about him is the fact that he insists and insists that he is a good person even after admitting to raping and murdering for fun. It's really laughable. He sounds so desperate to prove himself that its sickening. Why is he so concerned with coming off as "good" to a bunch of people who couldn't care less either way? He's not, the only person he's trying to fool is himself. He really wants to be a normal good natured person. Push that shit in the real world, not to us. And make sure you dont tell people about your background when you do. He's a delusional, directionless, self deceiving failure to put it simply.

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  97. @mis

    true, but i still find him charming in a way.

    i don't think that there is much i can learn from him cos he blames everyone else for his issues.

    wv: reezun

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  101. Yes Erin, I know that. And I know it refers to females.

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  103. I just said what I see. I know Zhawq doesn't usually bother with games here and he reacts with indifference or forced lightheartedness to most attacks. So I just said what I think and I don't really care how he reacts. I reckon he wont hold a grudge or even care that much.

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  105. David, did you suck so much dick you now breathe spunk instead of air? You know, because when you talk, it's all over the place.

    If you catch my drift.

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  107. @Erin

    Well, that explains a lot...

    You know? For a psychic you really have a knack for misinterpreting people's intentions.

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  108. @Wheatley
    LOL
    Even if you did not mean it in that instance you have the capacity

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  109. @Erin

    Good to know you're not above pedophilia.

    Anyway, over here it's already August 19 so, nighty-night everyone :)

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  110. Wheatley sounds old enough to be your son Erin.

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  111. @Wheatley
    Are you a kid?
    How could you guys tell he was young?
    Anyway,you don't talk like a kid

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  112. How could you talk to him like that?
    You should be ashamed of yourself.

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  114. Erin, you are pathetic and deserve to be treated as such.

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  116. Harass you...lol
    Get ready Erin, you aint seen nothing yet.

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  117. Erin I would love to see your website.

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  118. Erin looks like your mother taught you well. Do you want to play with wheatlies wiggly?

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  119. @Ukan
    I should have known I would make all you A holes come out of the wall like roaches :)

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  120. Bella I want to see your website

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  121. Erin, you are the only roach around here.
    You need to be exterminated.

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  123. uuuuuuum, yeah, so this guy is a FUCKING PSYCHOPATH, right?

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeksPy5Veg4

    at 2:50, he gets really nuts

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  124. Who died and made you God :)

    Apparently your son did.
    Now it is time for YOU to PAY for all your SINS.

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  125. good for you Erin :)

    is that the same David? David seems manic or something.

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  127. @anon 5:35

    there's something serious wrong with that man for sure...

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  128. Your PATHETIC Erin.

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  129. erin i thought you were going to go away if everyone told you they didn't want you here. everyone already told you many times.

    and whats with the smiley faces.

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  130. Zoe (who needs sleep)August 18, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    @nikita
    i'm so scared :(

    yawn

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  132. Erin said...
    @Zoe
    I am the veteran of 5 Vagina Wars.I fought the good fight.
    I want to retire and turn the baton over to others *hands baton*


    @Erin
    eek! where's the rest of the pig? *drops "baton"*

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  134. Mother, is that you?

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  135. I dont get it. Erin did your son die?

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  137. It minds well have been you who killed me. Everyday you live is a insult to my life.

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  139. How did your son die Erin?

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  141. She killed me

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  142. don't be such a little dick, anon

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  143. @Erin
    i was alluding to Medusa's pig joke but it didna work :(

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  144. Did you kill your son Erin and admit it on here?

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  145. so anyway, i like M.E.'s analogy.

    would that make the narcissists the bible-thumping fundamental christians of the pd world?

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  146. you're all douche bags. don't try to retaliate because i've already outed myself as a fuckass, there's nothing more you can say to me... bitches.

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  147. Sociopath(for real)August 18, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3K-mrlYG7Y

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  148. Moral of the Story:

    Never trust your heart to a love prostitute who collects SS Nazi jewelry.

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  149. @M.E.'s Post . . . Wonderful subjective self-identifcation allegory. Bravo.

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  150. @sociopath(for real)


    1-Heel to the balls

    2-And here we have it -the crucifix-

    3-I don't believe in an eye for an eye. I believe in 2 eyes for an eye

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  151. I would NEVER download illegal software!... '^L^,

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