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Archive for February, 2011

Bernie Madoff asks, ‘Am I a sociopath?’

New York Magazine scored an interview with Bernie Madoff, who talked to a reporter from federal prison.

Read Am I a sociopath? on NYMag.com.

Here’s the comment that I posted about the story:

To answer the question in the article’s headline, “Am I a sociopath?,” yes, he is.

I almost choked at the quote that Madoff’s therapist said he wasn’t a sociopath, he had morals. There are only two explanations for this statement. Either Madoff was lying, and the therapist never said it, or the therapist is clueless. Both explanations are highly possible.

Nearly 2,400 people have contacted my Lovefraud website to tell me their stories of being conned by sociopaths. The stories are just like this one – the only difference is the scale of the swindle.

Sociopath, psychopath – Lovefraud’s proposal for naming the disorder

One reason why many of us found ourselves victimized by sociopaths is because we did not know that dangerous personality disorders existed.

We may have heard of crazy people, but we assumed that we could spot them because they looked and talked crazy. We may have heard of psychopaths, but we assumed they were serial killers or some other type of obviously hardened criminal.

We did not know that people existed who could convincingly proclaim their love, cry tears of sadness, and make glowing promises for the future, all simply to exploit us. We did not know that these people were called sociopaths and/or psychopaths.

In my opinion, a big reason for the public’s unawareness of, and confusion about, this dangerous personality disorder is the lack of agreement in the mental health profession about naming and defining it. How can you educate the public about these social predators when you can’t even decide what to call them?

Becoming aware of our strengths

By Ox Drover

I got to thinking today about being stronger now than I was prior to the last experience with the psychopaths in my life … but when I really got to thinking about it, I realized I have actually always been as strong as I am now, I just didn’t know it or take advantage of it.

One of the reasons that humans are able to work horses, mules and oxen to pull heavy loads is because the beasts we use for our labor do not realize their strength. They don’t realize the absolute brute force power they have over us. We “control” them because they allow it.

Man kills his wife, her divorce lawyer, then himself

A 71-year-old California man in the midst of a divorce apparently did not want his wife to get her share of the marital property. James Williamson shot his wife’s divorce lawyer, Judith Soley of Fresno, then pursued and shot his wife.

This article quotes a family friend as saying that Williamson was manic depressive, but it seems to me that he was also sociopathic.

Read Bass Lake double slaying stuns family friends on FresnoBee.com.

For more detail, read Sandra Kay Williamson’s actual divorce petition, Williamson vs. Williamson.

Links supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

Review of ‘Love Fraud’ on the Psychopathy Awareness blog

Like us, Claudia Moscovici had her run-in with a psychopath, one that almost destroyed her marriage. Since then, like many of us, she has thoroughly researched this destructive personality disorder. She started a blog called “Psychopathy Awareness,” and wrote two books: a novel called The Seducer, and an upcoming nonfiction book called Dangerous Liaisons.

In her review of my book, Love Fraud—How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan, Claudia writes, “I didn’t think I could learn much more about the subject, but Donna’s book proved me wrong.”

Read the entire review on Psychopathy Awareness.

Love Fraud is available in the Lovefraud Store.

LETTERS TO LOVERAUD: I will work on whom not to trust or love

Editor’s note: Here is Part 2 of yesterday’s article, “Almost everything under the sun happened to me, and I’m fine,” written by a reader who posts as “Jen.”

Okay, so I had a crappy childhood, but I survived it. I came out of it okay. I have had what I now think might have been sociopaths in my life from time to time as friends, lovers, or family. At the time, I had no clue what they were, but I did know they were screwed up. I quickly rid parasites from my life after I figured out they were just out to use people. I was strong, and I was no way going to be surrounded by meanness.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Almost everything under the sun happened to me, and I’m fine

Editor’s note: Lovefaud received the following letter from a reader who posts as “Jen.”

I think something must be wrong with me. Wait, I KNOW something is wrong with me, but I don’t think it is all that bad.  I think it is the ‘bad’ people in the world that make it that way.

Part 1- My Screwed Up Childhood!

I went through a lot of abuse as a child. Not from my parents, but from the people around them. I do blame my parents for putting their children in situations that were wrong.

Sociopaths keep the charade going for awhile

I was with my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, for two and a half years. During this time, I knew he was costing me money, but he attributed his lack of business success to “being ahead of his time.” I eventually discovered that he was lying and cheating on me. But although I saw eruptions of anger, my ex was never abusive towards me—nothing like the abuse many of you have endured.

Some sociopaths can treat people reasonably well for an extended period of time, if it suits their purpose. For example, Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a reader:

I was not in a disastrous relationship with my S. Our relationship was less than three years, our marriage less than two, when he openly cheated and decided to leave me, then played games of false reconciliation, which in hindsight were so he could have two sex partners.

‘Economic sociopath’ sentenced to 30 years

Troy A. Titus ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of nearly $12 million. Although it’s unlikely investors will get their money back, Titus was sentenced last year to 30 years in prison. The assistant U.S. Attorney called Titus an “economic sociopath.” The judge said to Titus, “You are a man without a conscience.”

Read Disbarred attorney sentenced to 30 years for fraud on PilotOnline.com.

Troy Titus was featured in an episode of the CNBC show American Greed. The show will air again on Monday, February 21 at 3 p.m. EST.

View a clip of American Greed: Financial Guru Gone Bad.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.


While her baby lay dying, mom goes shopping

A Toronto woman was convicted of manslaughter for failing to seek medical attention for her badly scalded 19-month-old son. Melissa Alexander said the child pulled a bowl of hot water on himself, but experts testified that his injuries were consistent with being immersed in hot water. Then, as the baby lay screaming, Alexander went shopping, leaving the toddler’s 3-year-old brother to babysit.

Here’s the article. Be sure to read the two links under “More related to this story.”

Toronto woman convicted of manslaughter for infant son’s scalding death on TheGlobeandMail.com.