Millions of sociopaths roam the planet. They inhabit all segments of the population. They are male, female, rich, poor, old, young, all races, all religions, all education levels, all demographic groups. Most of them are not in prison, so they move freely among us, living their lives by exploiting others.
Many take pride in their ability to manipulate others. Some who are criminals view crime as fun. They see nothing wrong with their behavior. As long as they keep succeeding, sociopaths will continue to behave the way they do.
So how do we make them fail?
Sociopaths only want to win, so failure is losing. Failure is not being able to exploit others, or at least not being able to get away with exploiting others.
I see four steps to shutting them down, and they all revolve around education.
1. Educating the public about sociopaths. This is the first step. So many Lovefraud readers who have tangled with sociopaths have told me, “I didn’t know these people existed!” Yes, they exist. Sociopaths live among us. And they are dangerous to our mental, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual and physical health.
This is why I launched Lovefraud. This is why I’m embarking on the Lovefraud Education Program to teach high school and college students about sociopaths. (If you’re in a position to bring the program to your school, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.) And there are so many more people who need to be educated, including therapists, lawyers and judges. We all need to know the warning signs of sociopathic behavior, so that if we see them, we can respond appropriately—especially by running away.
2. Exposing known sociopaths. This, I believe, is the only strategy that really works against sociopaths. We can’t count on winning judgments against them and actually collecting our money. We can’t count on them being prosecuted or locked up. Sometimes the only way to keep them from harming others is to blow their cover.
We do need to be cautious about this, as I explained in a previous article, Exposing the sociopath. Many of you may not be able to skewer your exes publicly, as I did with James Montgomery. But you may be able to quietly speak your truth in your community, profession, church or wherever you know the predator is trolling for new victims. In the future, a few words of warning, coupled with growing public awareness of the disorder, may be enough.
3. Stop breeding sociopaths. Sociopaths are hard-wired for sex. They have a lot of sexual magnetism, and many Lovefraud readers have said that sex with the sociopath was the best they’ve ever had. But a consequence of sex, of course, is children. And because sociopathy is a highly genetic disorder, children born of sociopaths are at risk of inheriting a predisposition for the disorder.
One of the big things I hope will be accomplished through the Lovefraud High School Education program is to help young people understand that romantic relationships with sociopaths lead to nothing but trouble. If more people refuse to get involved with sociopaths, that will mean fewer at-risk children.
4. Appropriate parenting for at-risk children. Although sociopathy is highly genetic, inheriting the genes doesn’t necessarily mean that every at-risk child will grow up to be a sociopath. It is the interaction of genetics and the environment, including parenting, which actually creates the disordered individuals.
Many people realize, after a child is conceived or born, that their partner is a sociopath. If this is you, you need to take steps to raise the child so that he or she does not develop this disorder. I realize that this is immensely difficult and complicated, especially when the sociopathic parent will not let go of the child, which is often the case. But the healthy parents should try, as best they can, to teach the child how to love and feel empathy. (For information on how to do this, read Just Like His Father? by Dr. Liane Leedom.)
Perhaps with education, perseverance and time, our descendants will see the end of sociopathy. And they’ll thank us for taking the first steps to hasten the demise.