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  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 09:24 on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    How Can My Baby Boy Be a Psychopath? 

    Little girl with flame on middle finger

    He is 8 years old. I was in denial for a long time that he fit the description of a Sociopath. Even after the diagnosis, I struggled to find excuses which would invalidate this diagnosis. But I knew it was true, even if it took a long time to admit it to myself. A few months ago, I began to accept it. I started doing research, but most cases like his are deemed hopeless. I don’t think so.

    My son is very intelligent. He has been nominated by his teachers into ‘gifted’ programs. His mind is not that of an 8-year-old child. I began to recognize the signs in him when he was around 4 years old. He’s now 8, and things are deteriorating for us as he gets older and smarter.

    He taught himself how to write in cursive when he was 7. He has perfect cursive handwriting – much better than mine. And he has perfected my signature. He can forge anyone’s signature by simply watching them sign it one time. He has filled out credit card applications that came in junk mail. He can address a letter, put a stamp on it, and fill out all necessary information to obtain a credit card in my name. He has also used my credit card to order thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Amazon including cell phones and tablets. Despite being banned from using the internet for this reason, he always finds a way. I change my passwords and pin numbers – but he somehow learns them again. He is seemingly unstoppable.

    He has no regard for the safety or feelings for others. He will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. I do not mean in the same way that a child will manipulate a parent in order to get a cookie before dinner. I mean in a way that he would destroy a person’s life for a cookie, and think nothing of it. That is NOT an exaggeration.

    I have tried to teach him what is right, what is wrong, and why it is so. I sit down with him, and I explain in depth all of the reasons for why it is not okay to steal my credit card and order merchandise from the internet. I spend hours upon hours with him, face to face, explaining how and why his actions are harmful, as well as the consequences of those actions. He can recite my words back to me and he can even explain it back to me in his own words. He understands what I am saying, but he will turn around and do the exact same thing 2 seconds later if he feels like it. If it means losing our house, if the consequences are that it would ruin our lives. If someone could die.. He truly does not care about those things whatsoever.

    I’ve exhausted myself trying to reason with him. I’ve tried everything to get him to care about what he’s doing. I used to think that he did care and that he was sorry, but just could not control himself. I wanted to believe that. He was very convincing when it seemed he was expressing remorse. But I learned that his words are just that. Words. There’s no intention of keeping any promises. There’s no actual guilt or remorse. He simply goes through the motions of apologizing – but he is not actually sorry. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t know him at all. I could not distinguish what was real, what was pretend, what was mimicking.

    He says things to purposely hurt me. He blames me no matter what I do, and no matter how hard I try to make him happy. When I try to stand up to him, he uses hurtful words and breaks my heart. When I try to stand up to his violence, he pushes even harder. He threatened me that if I reach out for help that he will lie and say that I do bad things that I don’t really do. He had me backed into a corner with no way out before I could even realize what was happening. I was left to decide: Do I ask for help and risk them believing him over me and lose everything including him? Or do I back down and continue to let him do these things? I was on the verge of suicide, and I reached out for help.

    Despite everything he’s done, I love him. These details are just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Life has been truly horrible for a long time. He’s in a hospital now and in an environment that is controlled so that he can be helped and I can safely do what I can to help him, too. He’s my child, and I want him to be with me. I just need to be able to get to him. I can’t accept that this is all he’s capable of and I can’t accept that there’s no hope for him.


    Excerpt from “How can I reach my child who’s a Sociopath?

    Image courtesy: Anake Goodall

    For more information about psychopathy:  TED-Ed Lesson “What is a psychopath?

    Search tem: Are there psychopathic children?

    Psychopath TEST Politicians


    • insanitybytes22 09:49 on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a very sad and frustrating thing to read.


    • James 10:00 on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Really interesting article, this kid is a lot cleverer than I was. I wonder if being in a hospital will help him though. It may well change his behaviour to be more pro-social, but it will probably deepen the emotional rift between mother and son. He will see it as being abandoned rather than ‘helped’. She may get rid of the psychopathy (or at least the more overt symptoms) but also lose her son altogether in the process.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @GeneticPsycho (Tina) 21:19 on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think it is yet possible to get rid of psychopathy. Maybe the overt misbehavior will be toned down so he is easier to live with – like you 🙂 I think you are right about the abandonment that the son will feel. One of my psychopath brothers accuses my mother of abandonment even though it is not her fault that she was stricken with severe illness. Nothing can convince him otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Allie 10:11 on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is heartbreaking to read. I’ve read the famous book “Without conscience and her story seems to fit. Prayers.


    • C-PTSD Awareness 06:06 on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Empathy. Mom’s who have kids with Childhood Conduct Disorder know.


    • lucy 15:01 on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi! I feel for you.
      Maybe first solution is by starting to seriously not being scared of him. Learn him what boundaries are, and not softly and apologizing, but clearly and efficiently. If you feel helpless, get help from an educator.
      This kid needs authorities and clear boundaries to hold his -apparently strong- anxiety. Hence for now you get anxious and he gets even more anxious too and so abuse you even more… and its a never ending toxic circle. Until you react.
      It’s tiring and he might be very manipulative, but you are powerful and, as his mother, much stronger than him; at least morally. Hope it will give you some hope. You are not a victim and he has no power (well, the only power you let him have). Take care!!


      • James 06:00 on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Not only is what you say mostly incorrect, you are also not writing to the mother in question. This article is an excerpt from “https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-reach-a-child-whos-a-Sociopath”. Take it over there.


    • Gretchen 21:43 on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Children can not know that what they say hurts their parents. I have an overly empathetic child, so she becomes very upset if she thinks she has hurt me. For my friend… His son was diagnosed at ten. He is now a young adult. He wreaked havoc on their lives. False molestation charges. Almost caused his parents to divorce over it. Stolen money, small animals captured and dissected- it was horrifying. Upon speaking with my friend, he emphasized that if he could have done anything differently, it would be to assert his authority more. Pyschopathic children cannot be parented the same way. They are without a moral compass and work only with logic.
      I am glad that he is getting help. It must break your heart to have a child that you know is mentally incapable of loving you back. I cannot even fathom that pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James 06:40 on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I guess the ‘pain’ is akin to grief. Grief which may be misplaced, I might add. Your child can still make you proud, even if s/he is a psychopath, and you can still have a relationship with them.


        • @GeneticPsycho (Tina) 07:21 on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          The grief/pain is unavoidable. Even if a parent is proud and has a relationship with a psychopathic child, the pain from the palpable absence of love is ever present.


          • James 08:53 on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

            Yeah, I understand that. I don’t think my parents experience “a palpable absence of love”, in fact I think they accept that I do love them. The most either have said on the matter is lamenting a lack of care shown toward them. But as far as I know, they don’t know anything about psychopathy.

            Actually, come to think of it, I have a bad memory from when I was very young (certainly a pre-schooler, and now so long ago that it may be a dream or a mis-remembered event) of my dad saying “I don’t think you love / like* me” and leaving me alone in my dark room (it was bedtime).

            *Can’t remember which he used.


          • James 08:55 on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

            Is “enough love for the both of us” a myth then?


    • madken 03:59 on January 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Put a gun to his head and blow it wide open…. now seriously… I think you’re exaggerating.
      You are the psychopath!


      • Laura 23:36 on March 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        For you to think anyone is exaggerating without loving it makes you an ignorant, insensitive ass. As for the article, you are being codependent. If your son is truly without a conscience, he is not going to grow one because of your love. You are wasting your time with that, and he is exactly where he needs to be: where he can’t hurt others. I hope he stays there for good. All sociopaths needs to be separated from the population permanently.


    • Laura 23:43 on March 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This child is where all sociopaths need to be: separated from the population. To “love” him like he is going to change because of that love is waste of energy.


  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 09:26 on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    America Gone Mad 

    STOP the terror! (We are the terror!)


    “The price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilence.”

    – Thomas Jefferson –

    Many people become uncomfortable when anyone criticizes their country. Patriotism, to them, means accepting whatever your country does… period. “My country, right or wrong” is the best expression of this blinkered kind of patriotism. But such simple-minded, blind faith has had a down side, for it has allowed corrupt people and nefarious interests to steer our country down some very dark paths.

    It’s understandable to love your country unconditionally, even as you would love a child. But loving someone does not mean we should ignore when that person does something wrong. Likewise, loving our country should not mean that we shouldn’t recognize, and hold it accountable, when it does not live up to the principles and ideals upon which it was founded.

    So here are 7 ways in which our country and our government has gone terribly wrong;

    The Government is Controlled by Big Money, Corporate and Military Interests

    It has probably always been true to some extent that big money interests have exerted considerable interests on all levels of government. As long as there are people who can be bought for money, gifts or opportunities, there will be politicians who are happy to work for the interests of the elite. But at least in the past, these types of political vermin were recognized as corrupt, if not outright criminals. Today, we have institutionalized the co-opting of politicians, and made the selling of their services to the highest bidder the de facto manner in which the electoral process works.

    The Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United Decision declared that corporate campaign donations are the legal equivalent to speech and therefore freed up corporations to make unlimited contributions to the candidates of their choice. This distortion of the concept of free speech is an egregious example of how the interests of the elite have even taken over the highest court in the land. And what we should all be asking ourselves is, now that they can “speak” to the government with massive voice of their millions of dollars… is it even possible anymore for our puny little voices to be heard at all?

    Wall Street’s  So-Called Free Market Operates More like a Crooked Casino

    A Free Market is supposed to be a system where prices are determined purely by the laws and forces of supply and demand – but today’s financial markets bear little resemblance to that. In recent years our banking and financial markets have been exposed as little more than criminal enterprises where the only operating imperative is to fleece the most amount of people possible. From the LIBOR interest rating scandal, to the manipulation of gold pricing, to high-frequency, front-running stock trading, to allowing banks to borrow money at 0% interest to artificially inflate stock market and prop up the failing market for US Treasury Bonds… these and many more fraudulent practices have destroyed any semblance of a free market and exposed the truth that what is erroneously called ourFinancial Markets are in fact closer to  crooked casinos – but in these rigged games not only does the house always win, but the casino owners are allowed to sit at the table and take your money directly.

    “Free Trade” Agreements have Allowed Multinational Corporations to Destroy our Domestic Economy

    For the past 50 years big, multinational corporations have had one major goal – to put their operations, agendas and practices outside the control of pesky government authorities. They have systematically achieved this goal through the implementation of so-called Free Trade Agreements, such as The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and many others. These complex legal agreements, typically written by corporate lawyers, are sold to us as ways to improve our domestic economy by opening up foreign markets to U.S. exporters by eliminating barriers to trade.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The truth is that Free Trade agreements are instead directly responsible for the shuttering of thousands of American factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs as Multinational Corporations – now freed from the danger of having import taxes levied on their foreign-produced goods – have been allowed to place their production facilities in whatever countries offer the lowest labor costs, the cheapest resources and most lax environmental and safety regulations. This off-shoring of American productive capability, this undermining of the earning potential of millions of American workers, this expatriation of hundreds of millions in annual tax revenues has all been very good for corporations and the owner class – but devastating to our country.

    America is Addicted to War

    For decades, U.S. military spending has outstripped all other countries combined – and several times over. These hundreds of billions of dollars have paid for the most lethal weapons in the world and made our military industrial suppliers extremely profitable and influential. Due to their critical role in our national security, military suppliers are the only industry that by law cannot outsource their production capabilities to other countries and therefore it is the only domestic industry that our government protects… and boy do they protect it!

    With the fall of the  Soviet Union – and the subsequent crash in U.S. military budget – the neocons in the government were desperate to identify a new enemy – one which would allow them to justify increases in military spending. In a white paper entitled The Project for a New American Century, they proposed the need to increase our military might so that no other country could every pose an existential threat to America’s dominance in the world – but they realized that this could not happen “without a catalyzing event, such as Pearl Harbor.” So they created an new existential threat called Terrorism and they aided and abetted the required catalyzing event, which was 9/11. Armed with a boogeyman for their new century, the neocons and their friends in the military industrial complex entered a new golden age of military spending.

    American arms manufacturers today sell a total of $235 billion in material and weapons each year – supporting millions of people in an otherwise declining economy. We have 16 spy agencies employing 100 thousand employees, another million people employed by military and national security law enforcement agencies. As Jonathan Turley, Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washing University writes, in America “we don’t just endure war, we need war.”

    America’s Tax Code Enslaves the Masses while Giving Rich & Corporations a Pass

    The current tax code is 70,000 pages long. For most Americans the rules that pertain to us, those for paying taxes on our income, investments, property etc. could easily be be summed up in less than a hundred pages. So what’s in the remaining 60,900 pages? These remaining pages contain the arcane loopholes, dodges and tax avoidance instruments which were specifically inserted into the code so that the wealthy and powerful could protect their riches and avoid paying taxes like the rest of us.

    The cost of tax breaks for corporations has been escalating for the past few decades, totaling $176 billion in 2013 alone. Tax for individual taxpayers are heavily tilted in favor of the top income earners, and in 2013 amounted to more than $770 billion – in that year 4,000 of America’s top 1% owed no income tax at all due to loopholes in the tax code.

    What’s important to remember is that these tax breaks & loopholes have the very same effect as any other kind of government spending – and should be subjected to serious consideration and oversight. Currently our government looses over $1 trillion per year in lost revenues. If recovered, these losses would erase the federal budget deficit with a few hundred billion to spare! But with our elected officials in the pocket of the billionaires, bankers and corporations, tax code reform is unlikely to ever receive any serious attention.The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." - Thomas Jefferson 1816

    Our Elected Officials No Longer Represent We The People

    You could make a case that our system has never been quite as democratic as information ministers would have had us believe. Big money and industrial interests have always had a great deal of influence on our government. Congress has a long tradition of pork barrel politics, where constituent industrial interests are rewarded with pork in the form of plush government contracts or advantageous legislations, sneakily embedded into otherwise innocuous bills. Legislators have gotten away with this sort of light corruption because it was easily spun as necessary for the creation jobs for the people in their districts.

    But this deference to big money interests is not always in the interests of the people. Tax havens and loopholes add untold millions of dollars to corporate coffers, tightening government budgets and shifting the tax burden onto ordinary people. The increasing globalist agendas of multinational firms – and their desire to be free of any governmental restrictions or oversights – has eliminated millions of jobs and dismantled many of our traditional worker’s rights and benefits, off shored millions of American jobs and given rise to corporate excesses like genetically modified foods and fracking.

    But the nail in the coffin of our democratic process had to be the Supreme Court’s unbelievableCitizens United decision which conferred citizen status on corporations and with it the right to free speech – which in the case of corporations means the right to donate as much money to the campaigns of politicians as they wish. This single decision has singlehandedly overturned America’s long tradition of protecting the election process against the undue influence of big money. Now the only politicians we will even be allowed to vote for are those already in the pocket of bankers, billionaires and corporations. Your vote, essentially, serves only to legitimize an electoral process – and rubber stamp the candidates – that have been purchased by the money elite.

    And the worst thing is… the only way to overturn this hideous Supreme Court decision is through the excruciating process of Constitutional Amendment – the last such amendment, the 27th, was originally proposed in 1789 and only ratified in 1992.

    Our Bill of Rights has been Systematically Dismantled

    The greatness of America has been owed in large part to the protection of individual freedoms and liberties guaranteed to its citizens by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These rights were meant to make this a country where the Rule of Law reigns supreme – where the people are protected against the governing class’s historical tendencies toward tyranny and despotism. So accustomed are Americans to these unique freedoms that we take them for granted, never imagining that we could ever be subjected to a system where we would lose things like the presumption of innocence, the right to a speedy trial, the right to privacy or protection against illegal search or seizure.

    Yet thanks to the unprecedented attacks on freedom contained within the villainous Patriot Act and it’s co-conspirator the National Defense Authority Act, the possibility of just such a dystopian reality is a very real and present danger.

    Thanks to the Patriot Act, we now live in a security state where we have lost the right to privacy in our homes, in our person and in our communications. The government is now constantly recording our calls and emails, watching and tracking us as go about our lives, checking our papers at illegal checkpoints and subjecting us to invasive groping and scan technologies when we travel.

    The NDAA has overturned 200 years of law which has kept the military out of domestic policing and ushered a new police state where the military is now allowed to conduct operations against the American people, and where someone who might simply have been at the wrong place at the wrong time can be detained without charges or representation, held indefinitely and transported anywhere in the world for a trial in a tribunal of the government’s choosing.

    So there you have it, 7 things really wrong about this country.

    Now you might say that this is too negative, that it doesn’t consider the many good and fine things about this country… and you’d be right. But the point is that much of what’s good and great about this country is directly attributable to the rights and freedoms that we have only recently lost. The uncomfortable truth is that our government has given itself the powers of a fascist state – but so far they have kept a friendly face on it. There is no way of knowing for sure if this campaign against freedom will be reversed, or if it will evolve into something ever more dark and sinister. But we must all be careful about a government who asks us to trade our freedom for security. For as Plato recognized ages ago, “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”

    Excerpt from “7 Things REALLY Wrong with America”  on Vote-Revolt.com May 2015


    Psychopath TEST Politicians

    • nowve666 09:49 on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      We never were the good guys. This country was founded on genocide and slavery.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rita 21:58 on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Issues are complex and truths are uncovered as layers from an onion.

      I went through conversation with a friend concerning the Vietnam War which was the national concern of much of my childhood. I was trying to make a point and was stopped short by an exasperated listener who informed me of government wrongdoing and that was all there was to it.

      If we are to make government the alpha and the omega, we are in for disappointment on a scale of biblical proportions. If we expect banking industry leaders to be honest, OMG.

      “Let slip the dogs of war” refers to dogs for a reason. Even loss of can only be measured in response to greater or less salvation of life. The better angels of our nature are away from the dogs of war, the Judas who controlled the purse, and the kings whose shield consists of protection as the accused concerning the lies of propaganda.
      It is all of us. Mick Jagger sang a very famous verse regarding guilt:

      I shout it out who killed the Kennedys, when after all it was you and me.

      We have to be accountable in order to change. What part do we play in the guilt of lies, theft, fighting, consuming the less expensive foreign product?

      Yes, some corrupt far more than others, but after all it is you and me.

      We must look to ourselves for positive change because as I recently told an African-American friend, the man is never going to do if.


  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 10:39 on November 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Extreme managers and workplaces [Capitalism and corporate psychopaths] 

    Albert Dunlap, ex-Sunbeam CEO, fraudster

    Albert Dunlap, ex-Sunbeam CEO, fraudster

    With their conscience-free approach to life and willingness to lie to present themselves in the best possible light, corporate psychopaths are to some extent products of modern business.

    Their characteristics of being ultra-rational, financially oriented managers with no emotional concern for or empathy with other employees, marks them as apparently useful to the style of capitalism that is merely profit oriented. This may be illustrated by a brief examination of one CEO who has been nominated as possessing some psychopathic traits, Albert Dunlap.

    Albert Dunlap was mentioned as a possible psychopath as well as being discussed by Hare as a possible corporate psychopath. Dunlap was the CEO of Scott Paper and then Sunbeam Corporation in the United States. Dunlap was at first lauded by analysts on Wall Street and known as ‘Chainsaw Al Dunlap’ because of his ruthless and bullying approach to cutting costs and callous indifference to firing employees. Callousness is a key trait of psychopaths and Dunlap has been described as being outrageously callous. Furthermore, the more people he fired, the more the share price increased.

    At Scott Paper, Dunlap started in 1994 and soon shed about US$2 billion of assets and laid-off a third of the global workforce. To many analysts, such a strategy suggested a move to make Scott Paper an attractive acquisition target, and indeed by the end of 1995, Dunlap had organized the sale of the corporation to its competitor, Kimberley Clark. This caused more layoffs at both companies, whereas Dunlap’s severance package was activated, and he left with a reported US$100m. Scott Paper’s headquarters was closed, and in total, about 11,000 people lost their jobs during Dunlap’s management.

    The superficial charm of the corporate psychopath, together with their willingness to lie and ability to present a false persona of competence and commitment, makes them appear to be ideal leaders. This is particularly the case with those above the corporate psychopaths who do not interact with them on a day-to-day basis and so do not know them well. This implies that there is a need to understand the effects of the presence of corporate psychopaths in organizations. The current research helps in furthering this understanding. First, there is a brief introduction to corporate psychopaths.

    Corporate psychopaths

    Psychopaths are people with a constellation of behavioural traits that marks them as uniquely ruthless in their parasitic, care-free, predatory approach to life. Psychologists have not reached a conclusion as to the causes of psychopathy. However, patterns of similar brain dysfunction have been associated with the personality, with particular impairment in the orbital-frontal cortex being evident. Causality is implied but not established, and, for example, physical damage to this area of the brain can result in the onset of psychopathic behaviour.

    Some psychopaths are prone to instrumental violence, which is violence with a further purpose, such as robbery, in order to get what they want, and these violent criminal psychopaths tend to end up in prison. More successful psychopaths have been less frequently studied. However, they may have better cognitive levels of executive functioning, for example, in the orbital-frontal cortex of the brain and may retain the ability to control their impulses, enabling them to seek corporate rather than criminal careers. Such psychopaths have been called ‘Industrial’, ‘Executive’, ‘Organizational’ or ‘Corporate’ psychopaths, to differentiate them from their more commonly known criminal peers. The term ‘corporate psychopath’ has been adopted as the usual term for such people.

    Corporate psychopaths may cross the line into criminal activity, and fraud is theoretically considered to be common among corporate psychopaths. However, as yet, there remains little empirical evidence concerning corporate psychopaths as white-collar criminals. Perri (2013) makes a persuasive argument that psychopathy is a risk factor for fraud. Furthermore, Perri states that several frauds have involved CEOs and chief financial officers (CFOs) with psychopathic traits.

    Research method

    A series of 1-hour interviews was conducted with four human resources (HR) directors and three other managers in the United Kingdom from April to September 2013. Academic researchers conducted the interviews, which were voice-recorded (with permission) and transcribed.

    Research participants were shown a 10-item psychopathy measure called the ‘Psychopathy Measure—Management Research Version 2’ (PM-MRV2) (see Appendix 1) and asked which items on the measure applied to the potentially psychopathic manager they were referring to. In this qualitative research, a score of at least 8 out of 10 was used to identify subjects as corporate psychopaths. This is an abbreviated and statistically untested measure of psychopathy. However, it corresponds with other measures of psychopathy in use.

    Psychopaths share some characteristics with narcissists and Machiavellians, and psychologists often research them as the so-called dark triad of personalities. Some psychologists suggest that the ‘dark triad’ consists of three overlapping but distinct personality variables: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Others suggest that Machiavellians and psychopaths are so similar that they are essentially the same.

    Narcissists can be exploitative and destructive leaders. However, research is arguably moving towards a consensus that narcissism is the ‘lightest’ of the triad and that while Machiavellianism and psychopathy are very similar, psychopaths are the ‘darkest’ of the three personalities. For a view of the characteristics of the three personalities, see the following articles for a description of the ‘dark triad’, ‘dirty dozen’ measure (Jonason and Webster, 2010) and of an abbreviated measure of the original ‘dark triad’ measure (Jones and Paulhus, 2013).


    The corporate psychopaths investigated in the current research reportedly created a variety of extreme and dysfunctional workplaces. For example, the HR director involved in managing the psychopathic manager identified in interview 2 described the workplace as being extreme; First, in terms of staff withdrawal behaviour. Departmental staff turnover at about 40% per year was twice the average for the industry sector involved, and the reasons given for leaving were marked by fear. One employee, in tears, reported,

    ‘it’s horrible, I cannot say how, but it’s all horrible’

    when giving in her resignation. In this case, the departmental head (the corporate psychopath) handled most resignations personally, without involving HR, and reported that a high turnover was because of the stress of working in such a highly efficient department:

    He (the corporate psychopath) …, would say, ‘oh they’ve lost their drive … (He’d say) I don’t  think ‘x’ is performing very well; I am going to persuade them to go’. Then of course his superiors would think; gosh he’s being proactive. He is really on top of his team. (HR director, interview 2)

    This was an explanation that was accepted by the highly educated and professionally qualified principals of the professional services company involved.

    Second, in the department headed by the corporate psychopath, the department’s level of cooperation with other departments, notably with finance and HR, was extremely low. Post- crisis examination (the presence of the corporate psychopath precipitated an organizational crisis) revealed that staff in the corporate psychopath’s department had been warned not to deal with HR and finance other than through their departmental head (the psychopathic manager). This was to minimize the possibility of his fraudulent scheme coming to light. However, this lack of communication was what first alerted the suspicions of the HR director:

    I had suspicions about the Head, from when I first joined, because of the way that he interacted with people – because of the way that he preferred to do things quietly on a one-to-one. How lots of people at a senior level in the firm sang his praises, but there seemed to be a slight atmosphere where people in his department were clearly quite intimidated and had been specifically told not to communicate with people in other departments. (HR director, interview 2)

    fear flickr ikrichter

    Third, the department was managed via a culture of fear, involving the bullying and intimidation of junior staff and the coerced resignations of those unwilling to unquestioningly obey the psychopathic manager.

    Another key manager was coerced, threatened with murder, and then, blackmailed by the psychopath into cooperation with his fraud – and because of this had a nervous breakdown. Perri and Brody warn that psychopathy is a risk factor for fraud and further, that if a psychopath’s fraud is thwarted, then violence and murder may result from this. Such links between psychopathy and white-collar criminal behaviour have been noted, and in the current research, a link between fraud and the threat of murder was evident:

    The man was vile but very clever, extremely good at managing upwards, so got promoted because everybody thought he was doing such a fantastic job and saving everybody so much money – and he was crooked to the core and ruthless. (HR director, interview 2)

    The manager embroiled by the corporate psychopath into the fraud believed that the lives of her family and herself were in danger if she disobeyed the psychopath. He had threatened to kill members of her family if she did not cooperate. That manager finally became a witness in the eventual prosecution and imprisonment of the psychopath. Other departmental members also reported that they had been in fear of their lives.

    Fourth, prior to exposure, the workplace was marked by high levels of top management support for the corporate psychopath who perpetrated the fraud. The top managers of the business regarded him as being an extremely able manager who was highly efficient at running his department and at saving money for the firm. This expertise at cost cutting was actually from another manager—the manager who had been coerced into the fraud. Such claiming of the good work of others is thought to be typical of corporate psychopaths:

    He managed the relationship in a charming fashion entirely, and pretty much everyone thought he was a star – until you hit that middle management layer… and they hated him. (HR director, interview 2)

    This good reputation among superiors was so positive that when the HR director first made the allegations, they were met with disbelief and denial by the main board members, and [also raised] accusations that the HR director was acting out of jealousy. Only when presented with specific evidence did the directors bring in fraud accountants.

    This latter experience is in line with the expectations raised in the literature on toxic leadership and corporate psychopaths. Corporate psychopaths are described as being people who flatter those above them – while manipulating their peers and abusing those under them.

    Staff withdrawal and turnover

    The HR director in interview 3 also mentioned that the presence of a psychopathic manager jeopardized the discretionary extra effort that employees can put into a business. Therefore, it is not just physical withdrawal that is influenced by the presence of corporate psychopaths but also emotional withdrawal:

    His selfish nature, his negativity around things that didn’t suit his own particular agenda, his whimsical way in which he made decisions and people had to live with the consequences, the uncertainties of it all. All of that militated against a constructive business. (HR director, interview 3)

    The research participant in interview 6 reported on the influence of a newly appointed  corporate psychopath CEO in a not-for-profit organization. With less than 50 employees, absenteeism was reported to have gone from a monthly occurrence to a daily one. Senior staff were reported to be absent for weeks due to stress, and junior employees were reported to take regular days off sick. In terms of turnover, 86% of the staff employed at the time of the CEO’s appointment had left, with the remaining staff planning to leave.

    Morale in this organization was described as being at an all-time low. The research participant was reportedly planning to leave as soon as his final attempt to warn the board of governors [about] the CEO was complete. Success in this endeavour was not anticipated by the interviewee as the psychopathic CEO had reportedly ingratiated himself with the head of the board of governors who had come to regard the psychopath as a friend.

    Reports of extreme work environments

    Regressive work practices such as whimsical decision making and abusive management were
    also reported when there was a corporate psychopath present. There was reportedly an emphasis in these environments on increasing short-term profits by cost cutting rather than by increasing longer
    term profits through investment in new production techniques and training.

    Single bad leaders can have a disproportionately negative effect on the whole organization. In this research, it was found that the extent of the bad influence of the corporate psychopath depended on his position. At main board director or CEO level, the malignant influence was organizational, whereas at departmental level, the influence was more specifically located but with wider repercussions.

    Welcome to the company

    The sense from the participants in this research was that the experience of working with a psychopath was a harrowing one, remembered long after the event and considered unique. One participant reported dreaming about it for 10 years afterward, and that his resignation from that company was the only fond memory of working there. Another participant found that they could not continue to talk about the experience at all because it was too painful:

    Actually I will be honest, for quite a few years afterwards … I would dream about being back there … which that would have been for a good ten years or more afterwards I think … It was really unpleasant working there … I’ve worked in quite a lot of different sectors. I’ve worked in construction which is a really hard-nosed industry … I never saw anybody like him (the corporate psychopath) before or after. (HR director, interview 4)

    Corporate psychopaths are reported to be excellent manipulators of people, good at organizational politics, and skilled at causing divisions in order to make people disunited and easier to control.

    Corporate psychopaths fail to provide training and information needs for employees working under them. The current research extended this finding to uncover that research participants thought that they were being undermined in their jobs, as part of, for example, organizational power plays by the psychopath involved.

    A characteristic of psychopaths is their ability to lie convincingly because they do not get emotionally flustered. This was evident in interview 1 where the psychopathic board director denied (to the other members of the UK board) that he had been advised of a business plan that was about to be implemented. This resulted in the plan being abandoned, after months of careful planning, on the day it was supposed to start, and this engendered organizational confusion and personal upset. This can best be understood in the words of the participant concerned in the incident:

    An awful amount of work went into this (business plan) involving lots of people. We … briefed this (psychopathic) guy on what was going to happen … He went through it in detail with us and he said, ‘yes, I am very happy’. … He was very supportive of it … So anyway (the day of implementation) came around and the Board sat down for a final meeting … He said ‘I know nothing about what you are talking about’
    … Other people … were saying, ‘… you talked to us about it’. He was just adamant that … he knew nothing about it and he said you have to stop the whole thing. … So huge trauma in the Board room … people in tears and all sorts … it really got very angry and feisty in this conversation with people saying ‘but you know!’. He was adamant he didn’t know anything. So they had to stop the whole thing …

    Straightaway you could see he … would just lie blatantly. (Advertising manager, interview 1)

    This interviewee also commented that the corporate psychopath was untrustworthy – in that he
    would undermine other people’s work, lie about his involvement or knowledge, and sit through
    presentations and criticize them, but then later represent the same presentations and ideas as his
    own work.

    Organizational destruction

    In the literature on corporate psychopaths, it has been theorized that their presence and influence will ultimately lead to organizational destruction and that an ethically bankrupt organization will become financially bankrupt. However, this theorized link between psychopathy and performance has not been established empirically.

    The research participant in interview 1 was an advertising manager in the company he was talking about, [referring] to a corporate psychopath who occupied a main board position. This psychopath reportedly had a devastating effect on the advertising department and advertising practices of the company, because with no real experience he took over advertising within the company.

    (Corporate psychopaths are theorized to be promoted beyond their true abilities because of their capacity to present themselves well, manipulate others, lie about their abilities, and claim the good work of other people as their own.)

    The work ethic, involvement, and commitment of the employees were reported to have been largely destroyed – with staff taking days off, undertaking large amounts of non-organizational related activities in the workplace, and lacking drive and purpose.


    Individual managers can influence the work environment around them towards an extreme environment – marked by poor practices and conflict. A stance is adopted here of being critical of how these unethical psychopathic leaders have been allowed to prosper.

    From the body of research into psychopaths at work, theories have arisen which attempt to
    explain how modern business has facilitated the emergence of the psychopathic manager – who has, in
    turn, influenced capitalism in an extreme direction.

    Counter to current findings, some psychology researchers claim psychopathic traits such as the ability to remain calm and unemotional in pressured circumstances may be factors of success in business. However, psychology researchers usually define success in individual terms (e.g. Do traits help the individual get promoted?). Broader measures of success could include whether psychopathic managers are good for other employees, society or corporate social responsibility, or, are likely to indulge in the illegal dumping of toxic waste.


    This research makes a contribution to the literature on extreme workplaces by demonstrating that ruthless managers (corporate psychopaths) have an influence in generating such workplaces. The research makes a contribution to corporate psychopathy theory because it shows that corresponding with expectations, employees seek to leave, or, emotionally withdraw from the organizations that are managed by corporate psychopaths. Turnover is higher in such organizations.

    As would be expected of the behaviour of corporate psychopaths: Employees are mistreated, loyal employees are fired or resign, resources are misallocated or stolen, business plans are capriciously rejected, management consultants are hired needlessly and internal intellectual resources are abused or unused. Employee well-being decreases, organizational confusion replaces a sense of direction, organizational ethics decline and corporate reputation suffers. Corporate psychopaths rely on the good work of others (claiming their ideas, presentations and plans as their own) or else rely on management consultants to do their work. Employees report that they hate to work in these environments and withdraw from these extreme workplaces via claiming high levels of sick leave and leave [the job] due to stress.

    Corresponding with theoretical expectations, the current research found that corporate psychopaths will engage in fraud and are unconcerned with the organizational destruction that they create.

    The commonalities in these reports concerning the behaviour of corporate psychopaths were notable, and they appear to have a modus operandi involving bullying, fear, control and manipulation. The current research supports earlier findings from quantitative studies because yelling, shouting and the undermining of employees via public humiliations were all evident. Insights gained go beyond what has been established quantitatively because reports of employees living in fear of their lives were recorded.

    The current research also supports the view that corporate psychopaths over-state their qualifications and abilities, claiming degrees from prestigious universities and management competencies that they do not possess. Furthermore, corporate psychopaths use divide-and-conquer tactics to maintain control of employees, unions and boards, while jeopardizing client service quality and organizational outcomes through their erratic and fickle management plans.

    The PM-MRV2

    (Excerpt of Psychopathy Measure—Management Research Version 2) Copyright: The Corporate Psychopaths Research Centre / Clive Boddy
    1. Superficial charm and apparent intelligence. The subject appears to be friendly and easy to talk to, agreeable, makes a positive first impression, and is apparently a genuine person who is socially at ease.
    2. Untruthful and insincere. The subject lies and is a convincing liar because of their apparent sincerity and honesty.

    3. A cheating personality. The subject cheats, fails to live up to promises, cons, seduces and deserts others. They are good at organizational politics, claim the good work of others as their own and would probably steal, forge, commit adultery or fraud if they could get away with it.

    4. Is totally egocentric. The subject is egocentric and self-centred, cannot love or care for others and can only discuss love in intellectual terms. They are totally indifferent to the emotions or fate of their colleagues.

    5. Has no remorse about how their actions harm other employees. The subject denies responsibility for their own poor behaviour and accuses others of responsibility for failures that they themselves cause. If they admit any fault, then they do so without any regret or humiliation. They put their career advancement above their colleagues.

    6. Emotionally shallow. The subject can readily demonstrate a show or display of emotion but without any true feeling. They cannot experience true sadness, woe, anger, grief, joy or despair and are indifferent to the troubles of others.

    7. Unresponsive to personal interactions. The subject does not respond to kindness or trust in the ordinary manner. They can display superficial reactions but do not have a consistent appreciation for what others have done for them. They are indifferent to the feelings of others and can openly make fun of other people.

    8. Refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. The subject initially appears to be reliable and dependable but can then act unreliably and with no sense of responsibility or regard for any obligations to others.

    9. Calm, poised and apparently rational. The subject does not display neurotic or irrational characteristics. They are always poised and not anxious or worried even in troubling or upsetting circumstances which would disturb or upset most other people.

    10. Lack of self-blame and self-insight about own behaviour. The subject blames their troubles on other people with elaborate and subtle rationalisations. They do not think of blaming themselves, even when discovered in bizarre, dishonest or immoral situations that would promote despair or shame in other employees.


    Excerpted; in-line accreditation has been removed, and paraphrasing done for ease of reading. Please see the original document for references: “Extreme managers, extreme workplaces: Capitalism, organizations and corporate psychopaths” by Clive Boddy, Derek Miles, Chandana Sanyal and Mary Hartog, Middlesex University, UK  2015

    Photos courtesy BusinessInsider.com, Ingrid Richter, someecards

    • Human 17:33 on November 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, met with and interviewed Al Dunlap. In the book, his account of the encounter, and of Dunlap’s grandiosity and ruthless “career,” is both insightful and entertaining.


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