Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.
Recently a reader wrote asking this question regarding evil and sociopaths. Have you considered exorcism as treatment for psychopaths/narcissists? I have come to firmly believe these people – even the ones under-the-radar legally- are effected/infected by evil. As a practicing Catholic, I feel as if I have been targeted specifically. I realize you do not know me and that such claims are bizarre, but I know you have called psychopathy evil-so I wonder if you have considered what can be done spiritually?
There is no doubt in my mind that the Bible makes references to sociopaths. The Bible warns, “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing!” There is no better metaphor for a sociopath. However, I think before we ascribe a supernatural cause to an occurrence we are obligated to fully investigate if that occurrence can be explained by other means.
I would like to share with you two excerpts from my books. The first is from Just Like His Father? The second is from my new book about sociopathy, which will be available soon.
Speaking as an armchair philosopher, I think that when we study antisocial personality disorder and how it develops, we are actually studying the means by which evil enters our world. Since we are physical beings, living in a physical world, evil has to be a physical condition. Is there any evil that is not caused by some combination of callousness, poor impulse control and faulty moral reasoning? If through more effective parenting practices, we were able to reduce the prevalence of antisocial personality traits and addiction in our society, the effect would be a reduction in the amount of evil in the world.
This is from the introduction to my next book:
This book is dedicated to the many readers who have asked us “Would somebody please tell me why s/he did this?” Reading Without Conscience by Robert Hare will give you a good idea what a psychopath is. This book explains why we use the word sociopath to describe the group of people who have invaded our lives and injured us. This book also explains why sociopaths do what they do.
After figuring out that my ex-husband and the father of my son is likely a sociopath, I realized I had to become an expert in the disorder. Recent studies reveal that this disorder is genetically transmitted in families. As a psychiatrist I already knew the diagnostic criteria, what was missing was the why. Why do sociopaths exist, how do they develop, and what causes their destructive behavior? For me to know and recite the criteria was not enough to prevent the disorder from developing in my baby, I had to learn ALL the whys.
It was with this goal that I studied the scientific literature for knowledge of this disorder and how it develops. I report to you that although our understanding is incomplete, we know enough to answer the why question. I report these answers to stop our readers from feeling baffled. There is really nothing baffling about sociopathy. I also report these results to put a stop to the cult of awe and even admiration that surrounds many sociopaths. Because people do not understand sociopaths, there is a tendency to imbue them with special powers. They have become mystical demonic beings in the minds of many. While I am not disputing that the disordered neurodevelopment that produces a sociopath may give rise to a spiritual disorder, the whys of sociopathy are fully explained by natural causes. There is no need to evoke the supernatural.
The reason I have not yet finished my next book is that I am considering how detailed I should be in explaining the biological underpinnings of sociopathy. I have written the book for those with no more than a high school biology background. I would appreciate any comments regarding whether you would want to read a complete summary of the biology of sociopathy.