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Archive for 2006

Saddam Hussein, psychopath

In March, 2006, Ala Bashir, a personal physician to Saddam Hussein, published a book called The Insider: Trapped In Saddam’s Brutal Regime.

For 20 years, Bashir was part of Hussein’s inner circle. Saddam had invited Bashir, a plastic surgeon, to join his medical team—an invitation that could not be refused. It was also impossible to quit, even when Bashir feared for his life. So for 20 years, Bashir witnessed the dictator’s behavior.

“He was certainly a psychopath: friendly and polite, but ruthless toward his enemies and challengers,” Bashir said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper. “I do not believe that Saddam Hussein regretted the suffering he caused the Iraqi people.”

Narcissistic whims

Another article about the book, published by The American Enterprise Online, said,

Wishing you strength, recovery and love for the New Year

The end of the year is a time of reflection, and I am in awe of the strength of the human spirit, as evidenced by everyone who has posted on the Lovefraud Blog.

You have come face to face with evil. You have survived. You have recovered, or are taking steps to do so.

I am very grateful for all the heartfelt and insightful comments being posted to the Lovefraud Blog. One thing I’ve noticed is that comments are often added to stories that have been online for awhile. So if you have some time, you might want to look at past articles and read the comments. There are some particularly thoughtful comments on these articles:

Telling our stories of being targeted by sociopaths

Child victims of sociopathic parents

Fear and loathing when the sociopath returns

One woman’s experience of romantic manipulation

Posted in: Donna Andersen

The Inner Triangle: a means of understanding sociopaths

April, 2003, nearly four years ago, the police removed my then husband from my office in handcuffs. Following his arrest, the stories came rolling in. People called to say, “I never told you this but…” When the shock of it all wore off, I had to admit I had failed to make the most important diagnosis of my life, that of sociopathy in the man I married. I knew I had to understand, for the sake of my son and myself, why I missed this diagnosis. What did I not understand about sociopathy?

Sociopathic traits versus sociopathy

I grieve for myself and let the psychopath go

When someone dies, we grieve. The process is well-documented, the steps clearly defined though seldom straight-forward. We each journey through the process at our own speed, in our own time. But, regardless of our pace, we must go through each step to come to that place where we can be at peace with only the memories of the one we loved to warm our hearts, as we learn to accept that they have gone forever as we move on.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Is Bishop Terry Hornbuckle a psychopath?

Lovefraud received an e-mail from a reader who nominated Bishop Terry Hornbuckle, of the Dallas, Texas area, to be profiled as a True Lovefraud Story.

I had not heard of the good bishop. But after reading the news coverage about him, our reader may be right.

Terry Hornbuckle—apparently he appointed himself as bishop—was the founder and charismatic leader of the Agape Christian Fellowship, a megachurch in Arlington, Texas. He preached a message of prosperity, which turned out to be beneficial for the bishop—he and his wife, Pastor Renee Hornbuckle, owned expensive homes and drove luxury cars.

In March, 2005, Hornbuckle was arrested and charged with three counts of rape. He was later charged with possession of methamphetamines. Hornbuckle spent time in rehab, but then tested positive for drug use. On August 22, 2006, Hornbuckle was found guilty of raping three women. Two of his victims were parishioners.

Why have sociopaths failed to develop a conscience?

Sociopaths are described as individuals “without conscience.” Specifically, sociopaths lack conscience because they are unable to experience guilt and empathy. To understand how sociopathy develops, we must understand how guilt and empathy develop. Scientists have begun to understand how guilt develops in children. Studies show that children who experience the most fear experience the most guilt. Children who are fearless have little guilt and less inhibition when it comes to violating rules.

Is fearlessness inborn?

It seems that fearlessness is an inborn trait, as children under a year old have been identified with this trait. There are however, researchers who believe that some of our child rearing practices promote fearlessness in vulnerable children. Indeed many in our society may view fearlessness and independence as positive and desirable traits. Boys especially, are encouraged to squash their fears and be “tough.”

Telling our stories of being targeted by sociopaths

Sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. They purposely drain the life out of people and then throw them away. Despite their charming and charismatic veneer, they are evil to the core.

In my opinion, the people who truly understand this personality disorder are those who felt the full brunt of sociopathic deceit, and then woke up to the truth.

We, the former targets, remember the promises of love and luxury, and how it all seemed so possible. We remember the confusion—how reality didn’t match the promises, and the excuses that explained away the discrepancies. We remember attempting to express misgivings, only to be told we were crazy.

We, the former targets, also remember the shock, dismay and devastation we felt upon learning that everything we were told was a lie. The devastation didn’t happen just once, it happened many times, as layer upon layer of deceit was uncovered.

Child victims of sociopathic parents

The benefits of a relationship with both parents depend on the quality of care the parents can provide. This fact is illustrated in the following story:

FREMONT, Calif. – A 6-year-old boy abducted from his mother was returned home safely Friday after his father was arrested 200 miles away in the Sacramento Valley, police said.

Ralph Baldenegro, 56, was arrested near Red Bluff and was being held at the Tehama County Jail.

Baldenegro allegedly broke into his estranged wife’s house, beat and handcuffed her, and kidnapped the boy Thursday night, said Fremont Detective Bill Veteran. He also hit his 14-year-old stepdaughter.” Read full story.

The news is full of stories like the one above that call into question the common notion that a child needs both of his biologic parents. Often, people say, “She needs to love her mother.” Or, “He needs to love his father.”

Healing from an encounter with a psychopath. It’s all in my perceptions.

Recently I was hired to write a script for a video on Mammography. While working on the voice-overs, the actress hired to do the narration kept stumbling on one line. I knew it sounded awkward but was having trouble changing it. The Director and I looked at the sentence — The fact that the screening mammogram might have saved her life, is not a myth. It’s a fact.

“It’s the word, fact. It appears twice in the sentence and makes it awkward,” I said.

We struggled for some minutes to think of a word to replace it with, but couldn’t find one that fit.

“We can’t change the last two phrases,” I said. “They have to go together because that’s the power statement. It’s not a myth. It’s a fact. We’ve got to find another word for ‘fact’ at the beginning of the sentence.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Victim alerts others about con artist Brian Ellington

Eve Hawkins of Queens, New York City, first contacted Lovefraud in absolute frustration. She said her ex-boyfriend was a con artist, she brought 200 pages of evidence to her local NYPD precinct, and the cops did nothing.

I asked Eve to tell me a little more about her story. To my surprise, she sent me an 8,000-word narration: How she met Brian Ellington. How he wormed his way into living with her. The stories and lies Ellington told. How she struggled to get rid of him. How she finally succeeded.

Eve’s story captured the confusion, mixed emotions, anger and frustration known by anyone who has been targeted by a sociopath. Her story was so passionate and so well-written that I decided to publish it as a case study. Read it here:

Brian Ellington combines sex and fraud

Eve builds a website