Thursday, April 18, 2013

Q&As (part 2)


Do you think that sociopaths are born or created? 

Most researchers think that there is both a genetic and environmental component to sociopathy. I think I received my genetic component from my father’s birth father, who abandoned his  family, lost the family fortune on a vanity project, and had prominent facial scarring from all of the risky behavior he engaged in over the years. The environmental component was my unstable childhood home with an unpredictable and often-violent father and a sometimes hysterical mother.

You were raised Mormon, graduated from Brigham Young University, and teach Sunday school. How do you reconcile that with being a sociopath?

Being raised Mormon is probably the reason why I am not in prison. More than anything else, the church taught me that actions have consequences. I learned certain choices might look like they would make me happy but ultimately would leave me worse off. The Mormon church and its members were also a stabilizing force in my family life. When my parents weren’t around, we had our teachers, leaders, and friends’ parents to pick up the slack. I can honestly say my life has been better for being a church member, and so I remain.

You believe that sociopaths have a natural competitive advantage. Why?

Sociopaths have several skills that lend themselves to success in areas such as politics and business: charm, an ability to see and exploit weaknesses/flaws (which in politics is called “power-broking,” and in business, “arbitrage”), confidence, unflagging optimism, an ability to think outside the box and come up with original ideas, and a lack of squeamishness about doing what it takes to get ahead.

If you don’t have a sense of morality, or feel the emotions that most people do, how are you able to operate in the world without being detected?

I think everyone learns to lie about his or her emotions to a certain extent; I just take it a step farther. People ask, “How are you?” and you respond, “fine,” even though you had a fight with your spouse that morning, have a sick child, or any multitude of things that make it hard for you to feel fine about almost anything in your life. You could honestly answer the question, but you don’t because overt displays of strong emotion in ordinary social interactions are not accepted. Most of the time I don’t need to show any emotion at all, and I try to limit the times that I do by begging off attending funerals, weddings, etc. When I do show up to these functions, I try to mimic the other attendees. If I’m dealing with a person one-on-one, I just try to reflect their emotions; usually they’re distracted enough by their own overflowing emotions not to notice my lack of them.


  1. Wow
    My best friend for a time was a Mormon. I hope M.E talks more about the Mormon church, as I find it fascinating

  2. Yeah, I would agree that it is both genetic and environmental. I was dropped on my head as a baby also... Probably contributed as well

  3. the one thing interesting about ME she used to be mormon

  4. Saw Book of Mormon on Broadway a couple weeks ago. Sooo fucking hilarious

    1. Did you purchase your ticket or steal it?

    2. I manipulated a family member into letting me go with them instead of their spouse. Didn't pay a cent for the $260 ticket

    3. what a broke-ass

    4. I like to call it being thrifty

    5. There's no such thing as a free ticket. Your value has just been reduced by $260 in the eyes of that family member.

    6. Do you think I care about that shit?

    7. you're such a boring dickhead M. Brig practically all your sentences display an aura of boringness....

    8. I could show you some quite vivid and interesting sentences. Perhaps as I began to dissect your limbs from your still-concious body. I don't think you would be bored then.. not that I care whether you are bored or not. It would provide me fabulous entertainment though in that moment, and distract me from the chronic boredom I am faced with at all times. Real boredom is something you have no concept of, clearly.

    9. im kinda bored now. I cant imagine having a relative that i valued at much more than 260. So spot-on, broke-ass :P

    10. your comments are weak and pathetic 9:33, say something real or get the fuck out of here

    11. 9:46 make to love to me... Make it real... Or else forget about it.

    12. lol !

      That's quite a lucky score on those tickets, Brig. Even if you wanted to pony up for them, you wouldn't be able to get them for a while.

  5. Twitter Tweet
    "Bad behavior doesn't come from innate evil, it comes from consequence free opportunity."

    But you don't know bad behavior is consequence free until after the fact. Evil is born from the heart and mind before the act.

    1. And what is evil anyway? The definition seems to change randomly over the ages; it was fine to enslave weaker nations just a few centuries ago. Now slavery is seen as a great evil, but invading a country and killing thousands is seen as acceptable as long as you're 'freeing' them. I don't know about you, but to me, these arbitrary rules of good and evil are ridiculous.

    2. Maybe, the mystery of goodness is even greater than the mystery of evil to you.

      Evil, is that force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.

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