Beware the [Political] Psychopath,
by Clinton Callahan
www.dissidentvoice.org/, May 12th,
The following is largely extracted from
Twilight of the Psychopaths, by Dr. Kevin
Barrett and The Trick of the Psychopath's Trade by Silvia Cattori.
Both articles are recommended. Both articles reference the book
Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted
for political purposes, by Andrzej Lobaczewski. Cattori's article
is longer and includes an interview with the book's editors, Laura
Knight-Jadczyk and Henry See.
I make the effort to share this information
because it gives me, at last, a plausible answer to a long-unanswered
question: Why, no matter how much intelligent goodwill exists
in the world, is there so much war, suffering and injustice? It
doesn't seem to matter what creative plan, ideology, religion,
or philosophy great minds come up with, nothing seems to improve
our lot. Since the dawn of civilization, this pattern repeats
itself over and over again.
The answer is that civilization, as we
know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations,
our own included, have been built on slavery and mass murder.
Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development
of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, cheat,
steal, torture, manipulate, and generally inflict great suffering
on other humans without feeling any remorse, in order to establish
their own sense of security through domination. The inventor of
civilization - the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed
an army of controlled mass murderers - was almost certainly a
genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths
have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the
struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies - especially
Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary
history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve
their disproportionate power. And as their power grows ever-more-threatened,
the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the
apotheosis of the overworld - the overlapping criminal syndicates
that lurk above ordinary society and law just as the underworld
lurks below it.
During the past fifty years, psychopaths
have gained almost absolute control of all the branches of government.
You can notice this if you observe carefully that no matter what
illegal thing a modern politician does, no one will really take
him to task. All of the so called scandals that have come up,
any one of which would have taken down an authentic administration,
are just farces played out for the public, to distract them, to
make them think that the democracy is still working.
One of the main factors to consider in
terms of how a society can be taken over by a group of pathological
deviants is that the psychopaths' only limitation is the participation
of susceptible individuals within that given society. Lobaczewski
gives an average figure for the most active deviants of approximately
6% of a given population. (1% essential psychopaths and up to
5% other psychopathies and characteropathies.) The essential psychopath
is at the center of the web. The others form the first tier of
the psychopath's control system.
The next tier of such a system is composed
of individuals who were born normal, but are either already warped
by long-term exposure to psychopathic material via familial or
social influences, or who, through psychic weakness have chosen
to meet the demands of psychopathy for their own selfish ends.
Numerically, according to Lobaczewski, this group is about 12%
of a given population under normal conditions.
So approximately 18% of any given population
is active in the creation and imposition of a Pathocracy. The
6% group constitutes the Pathocratic nobility and the 12% group
forms the new bourgeoisie, whose economic situation is the most
When you understand the true nature of
psychopathic influence, that it is conscienceless, emotionless,
selfish, cold and calculating, and devoid of any moral or ethical
standards, you are horrified, but at the same time everything
suddenly begins to makes sense. Our society is ever more soulless
because the people who lead it and who set the example are soulless
- they literally have no conscience.
In his book Political Oenology, Andrej
Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages
even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social
hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without
the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector
tests), psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get
what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme
bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents
are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within
hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines
that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues
decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries,
so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote
and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental
hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become
top-heavy with psychopaths. Since psychopaths have no limitations
on what they can or will do to get to the top, the ones in charge
are generally pathological. It is not power that corrupts, it
is that corrupt individuals seek power.
How can we distinguish between psychopaths
and healthy people? What is the portrait of a true psychopath?
Such a dangerous question has almost never
been successfully asked. The reason is because we mistakenly confuse
healthy for normal. Human psychological diversity is the health
of our race. There is no normal because healthy humans continuously
evolve beyond all normalizing standards. The terrorism of searching
through hierarchies for anyone deviating from normal is no different
from witch hunts or Inquisitions. You must remember that hierarchies
thrive on such low dramas, torturing victims until they confess
to evil beliefs. Not so long ago the church and state ongoingly
acquired significant income and property through witch hunts and
Inquisitions. This continued for over two hundred and fifty years.
Ten generations of Europeans understood pogrom as normal life.
Let us not return to that nightmare. Testing for normal is guaranteed
to backfire in our face. There is no normal. But there is conscience.
We have very little empirical evidence
to support the idea that true psychopathy is the result of an
abused childhood, and much empirical evidence to support that
it is genetic. The neurobiological model offers us the greatest
hope of being able to identify even the most devious psychopath.
Other recent studies lead to similar results and conclusions:
that psychopaths have great difficulty processing verbal and nonverbal
affective (emotional) material, that they tend to confuse the
emotional significance of events, and most importantly, that these
deficits show up in brain scans! A missing internal connection
between the feeling heart and the thinking brain is detectable.
Psychopaths are incapable of authentic
deep emotions. In fact, when Robert Hare, a Canadian psychologist
who spent his career studying psychopathy, did brain scans on
psychopaths while showing them two sets of words, one set of neutral
words with no emotional associations and a second set with emotionally
charged words, while different areas of the brain lit up in the
non-psychopathic control group, in the psychopaths, both sets
were processed in the same area of the brain, the area that deals
with language. They did not have an emotional reaction until they
intellectually concluded that it would be better if they had one,
and then they whipped up an emotional response just for show.
The simplest, clearest and truest portrait
of the psychopath is given in the titles of three seminal works
on the subject: Without Conscience by Robert Hare, The Mask of
Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, and Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare
and Paul Babiak. A psychopath is exactly that: conscienceless.
The most important thing to remember is that this lack of conscience
is hidden from view behind a mask of normality that is often so
convincing that even experts are deceived. As a result, psychopaths
become the Snakes in Suits that control our world.
Psychopaths lack a sense of remorse or
empathy with others. They can be extremely charming and are experts
at using talk to charm and hypnotize their prey. They are also
irresponsible. Nothing is ever their fault; someone else or the
world at large is always to blame for all of their problems or
their mistakes. Martha Stout, in her book The Sociopath Next Door,
identifies what she calls the pity ploy. Psychopaths use pity
to manipulate. They convince you to give them one more chance,
and to not tell anyone about what they have done. So another trait
- and a very important one - is their ability to control the flow
They also seem to have little real conception
of past or future, living entirely for their immediate needs and
desires. Because of the barren quality of their inner life, they
are often seeking new thrills, anything from feeling the power
of manipulating others to engaging in illegal activities simply
for the rush of adrenaline.
Another trait of the psychopath is what
Lobaczewski calls their special psychological knowledge of normal
people. They have studied us. They know us better than we know
ourselves. They are experts in knowing how to push our buttons,
to use our emotions against us. But beyond that, they even seem
to have some sort of hypnotic power over us. When we begin to
get caught up in the web of the psychopath, our ability to think
deteriorates, gets muddied. They seem to cast some sort of spell
over us. It is only later when we are no longer in their presence,
out of their spell, that the clarity of thought returns and we
find ourselves wondering how it was that we were unable to respond
or counter what they were doing.
Psychopaths learn to recognize each other
in a crowd as early as childhood, and they develop an awareness
of the existence of other individuals similar to themselves. They
also become conscious of being of a different world from the majority
of other people surrounding them. They view us from a certain
Think about the ramifications of this
statement: Psychopaths are, to some extent, self-aware as a group
even in childhood! Recognizing their fundamental difference from
the rest of humanity, their allegiance would be to others of their
kind, that is, to other psychopaths.
Their own twisted sense of honor compels
them to cheat and revile non-psychopaths and their values. In
contradiction to the ideals of normal people, psychopaths feel
breaking promises and agreements is normal behavior.
Not only do they covet possessions and
power and feel they have the right to them just because they exist
and can take them, but they gain special pleasure in usurping
and taking from others; what they can plagiarize, swindle, and
extort are fruits far sweeter than those they can earn through
honest labor. They also learn very early how their personalities
can have traumatizing effects on the personalities of non-psychopaths,
and how to take advantage of this root of terror for purposes
of achieving their goals.
So now, imagine how human beings who are
totally in the dark about the presence of psychopaths can be easily
deceived and manipulated by these individuals, gaining power in
different countries, pretending to be loyal to the local populations
while at the same time playing up obvious and easily discernible
physical differences between groups (such as race, skin color,
religion, etc). Psychologically normal humans would be set against
one another on the basis of unimportant differences (think of
Rwanda 1994, think of Israelis and Palestinians) while the deviants
in power, with a fundamental difference from the rest of us, a
lack of conscience, an inability to feel for another human being,
reaped the benefits and pulled the strings.
We are seeing the final desperate power-grab
or endgame (Alex Jones) of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners
and President-killers; money-laundering international bankers
and their hit-men - economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors
and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political
enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known
as psy-ops and PR specialists - in short, the whole crew of certifiable
psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running
Why does the Pathocracy fear it is losing
control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge.
The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out.
Psychopaths go through life knowing that
they are completely different from other people. Deep down they
know something is missing in them. They quickly learn to hide
their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others' emotions
so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the
Today, thanks to new information technologies,
we are on the brink of unmasking the psychopaths and building
a civilization of, by and for the healthy human being - a civilization
without war, a civilization based on truth, a civilization in
which the saintly few rather than the diabolical few would gravitate
to positions of power. We already have the knowledge necessary
to diagnose psychopathic personalities and keep them out of power.
We have the knowledge necessary to dismantle the institutions
in which psychopaths especially flourish - militaries, intelligence
agencies, large corporations, and secret societies. We simply
need to disseminate this knowledge, and the will to use it, as
widely and as quickly as possible.
Until the knowledge and awareness of pathological
human beings is given the attention it deserves and becomes part
of the general knowledge of all human beings, there is no way
that things can be changed in any way that is effective and long-lasting.
If half the people agitating for truth or stopping the war or
saving the earth would focus their efforts, time and money on
exposing psychopathy, we might get somewhere.
One might ask if the weak point of our
society has been our tolerance of psychopathic behavior? Our disbelief
that someone could seem like an intelligent leader and still be
acting deceptively on their own behalf without conscience? Or
is it merely ignorance?
If the general voting public is not aware
that there exists a category of people we sometimes perceive as
almost human, who look like us, who work with us, who are found
in every race, every culture, speaking every language, but who
are lacking conscience, how can the general public take care to
block them from taking over the hierarchies? General ignorance
of psychopathology may prove to be the downfall of civilization.
We stand by like grazing sheep as political/corporate elites throw
armies of our innocent sons and daughters against fabricated enemies
as a way of generating trillions in profits, vying against each
other for pathological hegemony.
Nearly everyone who has been part of an
organization working for social change has probably seen the same
dynamic play out: The good and sincere work of many can be destroyed
by the actions of one person. That doesn't bode well for bringing
some sort of justice to the planet! In fact, if psychopaths dominate
political hierarchies, is it any wonder that peaceful demonstrations
have zero impact on the outcome of political decisions? Perhaps
it is time to choose something other than massive, distant hierarchies
as a way of governing ourselves?
So many efforts to provide essays, research
reports, exposés and books to leaders so they might take
the new information to heart and change their behavior have come
to naught. For example, in the final paragraph of his revised
edition of the book, The Party's Over, Richard Heinberg writes:
I still believe that if the people of
the world can be helped to understand the situation we are in,
the options available, and the consequences of the path we are
currently on, then it is at least possible that they can be persuaded
to undertake the considerable effort and sacrifice that will be
entailed in a peaceful transition to a sustainable, locally based,
decentralized, low-energy, resource-conserving social regime.
But inspired leadership will be required.
And that is the just-murdered fantasy.
There are no inspired leaders anymore. And in hierarchical structures
there can't be. Assuming that you can elect men or women to office
who will see reason and the light of day, and who will change
and learn and grow, make compassionate decisions and take conscientious
actions is a foolish, childish dream. Continuing to dream it simply
plays into psychopathic agendas.
Only when the 75% of humanity with a healthy
conscience come to understand that we have a natural predator,
a group of people who live amongst us, viewing us as powerless
victims to be freely fed upon for achieving their inhuman ends,
only then will we take the fierce and immediate actions needed
to defend what is preciously human. Psychological deviants have
to be removed from any position of power over people of conscience,
period. People must be made aware that such individuals exist
and must learn how to spot them and their manipulations. The hard
part is that one must also struggle against those tendencies to
mercy and kindness in oneself in order not to become prey.
The real problem is that the knowledge
of psychopathy and how psychopaths rule the world has been effectively
hidden. People do not have the adequate, nuanced knowledge they
need to really make a change from the bottom up. Again and again,
throughout history it has been meet the new boss, same as the
old boss. If there is any work that is deserving of full time
efforts and devotion for the sake of helping humanity in this
present dark time, it is the study of psychopathy and the propagation
of this information as far and wide and fast as possible.
There are only two things that can bring
a psychopath under submission:
1. A bigger psychopath._2. The non-violent,
absolute refusal to submit to psychopathic controls no matter
the consequences (non-violent noncompliance).
Let us choose path 2! If individuals simply
sat down and refused to lift a hand to further one single aim
of the psychopathic agenda, if people refused to pay taxes, if
soldiers refused to fight, if government workers and corporate
drones and prison guards refused to go to work, if doctors refused
to treat psychopathic elites and their families, the whole system
would grind to a screeching halt.
True change happens in the moment that
a person becomes aware of psychopathy in all its chilling details.
From this new awareness, the world looks different, and entirely
new actions can be taken. Distinguishing between human and psychopathic
qualities begins the foundation of responsibility upon which we
have a real chance to create sustainable culture.
Clinton Callahan, originator of Possibility
Management, author of Radiant Joy Brilliant Love, founder of Callahan
Academy, empowers responsible creative leadership through authentic
personal development. Read other articles by Clinton, or visit