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Confessions of a Sociopath — a book I don’t want to buy or read

Today a new book went on sale called, Confessions of a Sociopath: A life spent hiding in plain sight. The author is a woman writing under the pseudonym of M.E. Thomas. Although she doesn’t want people to know her real name — gee, I wonder why? — Thomas claims that she is a successful lawyer and a Mormon Sunday school teacher. Oh, and she enjoys ruining people’s lives.

Thomas runs a website written by sociopaths, for sociopaths. I don’t want to mention the name of it, because I don’t want to give it any publicity. (If you really want to know, send me an email.) On this website, people who say they are sociopaths swap stories about how they get over on the rest of us stupid sheep who are burdened with hearts and consciences.

Anyway, the book publisher, the Crown Publishing Group, an imprint of Random House, has apparently put its marketing muscle behind this memoir. An article by Thomas is featured as the cover story of this month’s Psychology Today

Tomorrow, M. E. Thomas is appearing on the Dr. Phil Show.

The publisher has sent out many advance reader copies. Amazon.com already has 35 reviews of the book. Another big review by Julia M. Klein appears on BostonGlobe.com. Her first paragraphs are:

Talk about an unreliable narrator: Just what are we to make of a book by a diagnosed sociopath that functions alternately as a warning against sociopathy, an apologia for it, and an embodiment of its worst manipulative tendencies?

This intermittently fascinating, if rather disjointed, account is part memoir, part psychological treatise, and entirely not to be trusted. Its pseudonymous author, M.E. Thomas, describes herself as a law professor and a Mormon who tithes and teaches Sunday school. Even more surprisingly, she claims to have “a close circle of family and friends whom I love and who very much love me.”

That last statement is ludicrous, of course, because the core of sociopathy is an inability to love. But as we all well very know, sociopaths are exceptionally good at talking about love and convincing us that their feelings are real.

At least this book, and the marketing dollars behind it, is drawing attention to the fact that millions of sociopaths live among us, and they aren’t all deranged serial killers. All of us here at Lovefraud have already learned that lesson the hard way.

After the money I lost to my own personal sociopath, the last thing I want to do is give money to another one by buying this book. I already know what they are.

 



48 Comments on "Confessions of a Sociopath — a book I don’t want to buy or read"

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  1. fight says:

    I think it would be upsetting to read this book. If people here began to post that it was helpful in some way, I might get it at the library. But, I would not want any sociopath or anyone using “shock value” to make money off of a book about sociopaths. I prefer both clinical and self-help for the victims. I think those books do a good enough job of describing them for me.



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  2. Poppy Rain says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments because I am too lazy right now, so I may be asking something that someone has already asked. Am I the only person who doesn’t think this M.E. Thomas broad is a sociopath? From what I’ve read, it only appears that she is a manipulative person who uses manipulation to get what she wants, and that is only one minor characteristic of a sociopath. She seems really fake to me (I don’t mean imaginary fake, but just pretending to be a sociopath fake).
    I’m guessing before she started her little blog and wrote a book she was some average broad who was unhappy being average and small. She probably heard about psychopaths/sociopaths in a magazine or television or some other media form, and thought sociopathy/psychopathy sounded glamorous for whatever reason. She also must have heard the statistic that not many people have antisocial personality disorder and that it is rare, and she liked the idea of being “different” or rare. That’s just my viewpoint, though, so maybe I’m overreacting or whatever. If she really does have antisocial personality disorder, it is most likely a very minor form and she just exaggerates it for attention.



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    • Stargazer says:

      I wouldn’t put it past a sociopath to imitate a sociopath. Or a bigger badder sociopath.



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    • Enemjay says:

      You Read the book and you’ll see the depth of her manipulation. Her main pleasure in life next to a love of music is “ruining people”. If that aint sadism then I don’t know what is. A couple of posters had written that they were uninterested in buying the book out of fear of supporting such a despicable individual. I’d recommend reconsidering as there are tons anecdotes, stories, and reflections here which one could use to further develop their psychopath detector. The folks who have been directly preyed upon probably already know what to look for. However for the folks out there who assume that “everyone has some good in them, even the darkest of souls”, I feel like they really need to see how dangerous these buggers can really be.

      If you don’t want to provide financial support to the author, then I’d recommend borrowing it from the library or listening to the audiobook on YouTube (that was my method – you can find it easily by searching the title on YouTube.)



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  3. one/joy_step_at_a_time says:

    Confessions of a Sociopath interview – I don’t know if you can access this from the US or not, but google ‘Confessions of a Sociopath and CBC”. I heard this interview with ME Thomas last night. (Confessions of a Sociopath – Q – CBC Player) BTW, it’s not Jian interviewing her, but the interviewer does persist in pointing to the parts of her behaviour that she would like to present as not so bad. Just listen to her. She’s evasive and manipulates her answers to distance her behaviour from being contextualized as ‘bad’. Her moments of glee are also interesting. Her tendency to intellectualize her disorder is pervasive, as is her elevation of her disorder to something ‘better’ than the way of empaths. She’s a wolf.



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    • Hopeforjoy says:

      One steppers,

      I agree, that woman is severely disordered and that’s all we need to know. It’s good to have labels to guide us to better a understanding but it’s not a “one size fits all” scenario. Sociopathy manifests itself differently within each individual depending on gender, environment, and what their stake is in the relationship.

      She is a wolf, I saw part of the Dr. Phil interview and I felt sick to my stomach. For me, that was my intuition saying “I know who you are”. She’s too glib.

      Hope you’re well One steppers! I miss your voice:) I don’t post much but I still read Lovefraud every day.



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  4. lesson learned says:

    Hi Donna,

    I was going to email you to discuss this book, as I’m contemplating doing a review of it on my blog and I had a question for you about something specific, but perhaps that can wait after I saw this post.

    I read all of the book yesterday. Being an adult child of a psychopathic grandparent, parent, partner to 3 ex- psychopaths and having a psychopathic son, gave me a different perspective entirely about this book. It has been deeply troubling to me.

    I spent a great portion of last night reading all of the reviews. Those were interesting too. I did not see much more than a clip of the interview with Dr. Phil and don’t think too much of him anyway so I don’t watch his show.

    I do know what website you’re talking about that M.E Thomas runs and I won’t say it here as you have shared not too, but when I was first out of my relationship, I spent a lot of time on that site, to get an idea as to what sociopaths think. It helped me in ways that I cannot describe.

    The book was so troubling to me because the behaviors she is describing about herself, is exactly what I saw in my childhood and with every psychopath since. The book has enormous value, because there is no one on the planet who ‘gets it’ like the survivors of sociopaths and while it is very repulsive on one level, it is incredibly validating on another. Her specific descriptions of her tactics, how she executes them, and what she thinks about them, are incredibly enlightening and directly match all of my successful psychopaths behaviors.

    Ironically, her high narcissism, applicable to those sociopaths who are professionally and monetarily successful, was woven all throughout the book.

    It’s interesting how she labels herself as confident, as having the ability to love, as a ‘good’ person. Her description of her parents, as good and loving was completely contradictory to her stories of what was clearly their own disorder and ineptitude while she and her siblings were growing up. This is peculiar to me because every single one of my ex psychopaths discuss their abusive parents in glowing terms.

    It’s easy to see through her BS, her obvious narcissism is labeled by her as ‘confidence’-totally contradictory.

    She says she can love and loves her family~ contradictory, she can’t love and these people are her minion who are loyal to her. I found it particularly interesting when she mentions ‘love’ for her nieces and nephews and her desire to ‘protect’ them from publicity. What could be more adoring than CHILDREN for a sociopath?

    Her lack of empathy is described in glowing terms as an ability to ’emotionally detach’ and to be ‘focused’.

    There were other revelations I found interesting with regards to sex and romantic partners. Sex is merely a utility, a means to an end. She compared it to eating something enjoyable. She describes her ‘paramour’s or those she has been in relationship with, in barely disguised contempt as all of them were empaths. A relationship long term was possible with her, providing one was willing to do everything HER WAY.

    It was also interesting to note she couldn’t keep the mask up longer than eight months in her relationships. She describes how energy depleting it is to try to give her victims what they want. She bores of them once they are ‘hooked’. The term she used to describe them was ‘dependent’ and ‘needy’.

    As empaths, we can never, ever visualize what it would be like to live as they do, but it is so so so important to understand how they think to protect ourselves.

    The most important validating factor of this entire book was with regards to vulnerabilities that we all share and the sociopathic desire to ruin. It was not at all surprising to me the lengths she would go to exploit them. Her narcissistic bragging about how she gathers information for later use with each victim, further validates the writing I’ve been doing on my own blog, in sharing with survivors how these people think and how incredibly dangerous they are.

    I think we do ourselves a disservice by not reading it, for these very reasons. Sociopaths live amongst us whether we like it or not (and we don’t like it!), and since this is the case, we must find a way to protect ourselves, our children, our families and now, even our country (I see the sociopaths in government/politics/corporation).

    I believe it was Joyce in all her wisdom, having suffered generations of psychopathy, and the tragedy that has befallen her, that mentioned on a post somewhere that she would rather a psychopath perform surgery on her than anyone else. Who needs to be more focused than a surgeon?

    There are MANY sociopaths in the medical field, and while I’ve had the misfortune of having just a few of them as PCP’s, most of them were specialists, ie, surgeons, neurologists, gastroenterologist, etc.

    As survivors, we have experienced the intensity of their predatory ‘focus’, during luring and love bombing. The same focus is given in their professions as well, providing it is beneficial to them and often it is.

    When we see them in power as we do today, we see how focused they are in destroying our country. They should not be in positions of power, however if they are to be “functioning” members of our society, it is best to put them in positions where they will do the least amount of ‘damage’. Saying that is very contradictory I know, because they wreak so much havoc and cause us all so much pain, but unfortunately, we will not be allowed to banish them to a deserted island, nor better yet, a distant planet.

    My father was a psychopath. He worked for the government for over 40 years, and was in charge of providing services to the most vulnerable people. The poor and minorities. He hated them, compartmentalized his entire life away from his job, but those vulnerable people LOVED him, and his work produced many opportunities for them. He wasn’t in it to benefit them, he was in it to benefit himself and had national recognition within the government and publicly for doing so.

    I HATED this about my father. If only those people KNEW….the contradiction was striking between his personal and professional life, as were his attitudes and behaviors. It was intensely difficult and painful for me to live in his world knowing what he was doing, knowing what his motives were and hearing him bash minorities, the poor and oppressed to his wealthy friends.

    At home, he was a devastating and ruinous individual, many, many lives were destroyed privately by my father.

    Anyway, Donna, it’s good to see and read the articles here again, as its been awhile. I notice some familiar faces are gone.

    I hope this post finds you well!



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    • Freedom Has Tax says:

      There are two things I find odd about this comment: (1) how could your grandparents, parents and own children be psychopathic, but you yourself be a “nuerotypical” (a.k.a. empath)? (2) It is extremely suspicious that you, or someone like you (a nuerotypical being), would write a positive review about the book… Almost makes me wonder if you (lesson learned) are M.E. Thomas trolling blog websites (and review sites), writing good reviews about the book so people will go out and buy it, or at least read it to bring publicity and fortune to yourself, that is if you are M.E. Thomas.



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      • Redwald says:

        Quote: “how could your grandparents, parents and own children be psychopathic, but you yourself be a “nuerotypical” (a.k.a. empath)?”

        Very easily. Many traits of every kind are not inherited by every member of a family tree, but can remain recessive, only to reemerge in a descendant.

        Anyway you should read what the poster actually wrote. It was not about having psychopathic grandparents and parents in the plural, only about a psychopathic grandparent and parent. Presumably that means three grandparents and one parent were normal. There’s no reason why such a person can’t be normal themselves. The son’s psychopathy could have been inherited from one of the psychopathic partners the poster spoke of.

        Quote: “It is extremely suspicious that you, or someone like you (a nuerotypical being), would write a positive review about the book.”

        I don’t see anything the least bit suspicious about it, particularly with such a reasonable explanation of why the book was so helpful. Just because somebody happens to be neurotypical, that doesn’t have to mean they’re going to run shrieking in horror from a book they find educational and informative.



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        • Abracadaver says:

          “particularly with such a reasonable explanation of why the book was so helpful. Just because somebody happens to be neurotypical, that doesn’t have to mean they’re going to run shrieking in horror from a book they find educational and informative.”

          I do not see how this book could be helpful at all to anyone, frankly. M.E. Thomas’s point of view in the book is very limited; she doesn’t offer an outside observers perspective on her disorder. I do not think this book would be helpful at all to anyone, unless they have fallen victim to a psychopath. Even if a victim (like the person who posted the original comment) reads this book, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is helpful; it just gives said victim a perspective into the mind of the selfish bastard who hurt them.



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          • Redwald says:

            But isn’t that the whole point, Abracadaver? Surely it’s natural for anyone who has been victimized by a sociopath to want to know just how and why a person could do these awful things to them; what kind of alien mind could be responsible for such deeds, and how such a mind works?

            For one thing, as I’ve said elsewhere, many people victimized by abusers (of all kinds) are tempted to blame themselves for somehow “deserving” the abuse—because otherwise they can’t imagine a reason why anyone would treat them so badly. It must be a relief to anyone in that position to get confirmation that there’s nothing “wrong” with themselves; that they were victimized because of the defective way the abuser’s mind works.

          • Abracadaver says:

            Redwald, I suppose you are completely right in that the book would help “victims” understand “how and why a person could do these awful things to them”, but I do not think it could help people who have no experience with psychopaths and those who know very little about the disorder.
            P.S. Sorry I had to type this as a reply on my comment because there was no “Reply” option under your comment.

        • lesson learned says:

          Redwald,

          You are right! I find that being educated about the disorders and how sociopaths ‘tick’ is critical to recovery and to helping survivors understand what happened to them. It answers part of the “why” questions, although ultimately, because it is incurable, the why questions are limited to tactics and how they are implemented.

          Freedom, I understand your ‘suspicion’, however I’ll help answer your concerns.

          My grandmother was psychopathic. My grandfather was not. My father was psychopathic, my mother was not. My 3 ex’s were psychopathic, including the father of my children. One child is psychopathic, the other five are not.

          As to a positive review of the book. Absolutely. As I read it, one of the most striking features were the revelations with regards to her tactics and how she thinks about them and implements them. It is an excellent foundation, not only for understanding how sociopaths think and operate, but how to better protect ourselves. One of the things that stood out to me the most and in which I write a lot about is VULNERABILITIES. The sociopaths targets these especially and so it underscores advocating for survivors to undergo a genuine and complete recovery,that is not about him/them, but what weaknesses and vulnerabilities they have that allowed this into their lives in the first place.

          Self and other awareness created during the healing process in addressing our own humanity, can be just what is needed to prevent another targeting. It doesn’t mean we won’t be targeted, but we can take information like this and learn from it.

          “I don’t see anything the least bit suspicious about it, particularly with such a reasonable explanation of why the book was so helpful, just because somebody happens to be neurotypical, that doesn’t have to mean they’re going to run shrieking in horror from a book they find educational and informative.”

          Excellent, Redwald and you are exactly right. I don’t just see one side of the issue. If I’m going to protect myself and learn to understand it so that I can share it with others.

          Many survivors I work with had PTSD reactions to it or outright discounted it. I find this sad, because the behaviors this sociopath describes provide a window into the mind of someone so disordered and validation for survivors who would readily see those behaviors and connect the dots to their own experiences.

          Peace.



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          • shane says:

            Great review. Makes total sense. Thanks for sharing in depth. I totally agree that we learn from both sides. During my recovery in therapy, for reasons that would take a bit of explaining, my therapist arranged a meeting with me and two P’s she works with (she sees both, the disordered and survivors, alike). The meeting took place due to a particular issue I could not get past, and in turn was stalling my recovery process. It was incredibly enlightening and most helpful to my recovery, to say the least. These particular P’s, however, were not nearly as surly as Thomas seems to be. (In case it is of interest to anyone, the P’s had/have been in therapy for many years, both sets of their parents became aware of differences and initiated therapeutic treatment). Of course neither are “cured” of the disorder, however they “manage themselves well” in society, for lack of a better description, which can be the result of therapy being introduced prior to a particular age. Onward…

          • Hopeforjoy says:

            Lesson Learned,

            Thank you for sharing your experiences. Personally, I read EVERY book I can about emotional abuse, controlling personalities, sociopaths, psychopaths, liars, wolves in sheep’s clothing, etc. etc. etc. I have 5 new books in my Amazon queue about these various subjects.

            I need to protect myself from disordered people and the only way to do that is to be educated. I can’t read enough about it. Sometimes it triggers me but that is something I have to deal with.

            No doubt that M.E. Thomas is cashing in on her disorder but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn something from her narrative.

            By the way, where is Oxy? I haven’t seen her here since the format changed. I miss her.

  5. Freedom Has Tax says:

    In the book, M.E. Thomas wrote about finding myriad opportunities for scamming a trusting community. How do we know this book isn’t a scam?



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  6. anam cara says:

    ……I think a concern is that the author would gain financially the more people who buy the book ergo making the spath wealthy. Better to borrow
    ……Oxy’s psycopath son’s parole was up for review around about May. Outcome? I hope she is okay.

    Blessings x



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  7. Poppy Rain says:

    She seems more like a narcissist than a “sociopath” to me. Do you really think an antisocial person would blatantly reveal themselves & their identity on national television, for the whole world to see? Even though she was wearing a wig, make-up and a fake tan, it wasn’t hard to identify her as Jamie Lund, and she surely must have known that.
    I saw some of the “highlights” of the interview with her on the Dr. Phil show and I have listened to the 12 minute interview with her on NPR. In the NPR piece, she said something about [in the beginning of her blogging career] being different online than she was in real life, and she enjoyed the persona she embodied online more than her real-life persona. My interpretation of that? She created this delusional sociopathic persona of herself online that made her feel powerful and less vulnerable, so she decided to stick with that and recreate it in real-life, even though it was a false representation of her (I am speaking in the past tense here of when she first started the blog because I think having the blog has really developed her delusion; as she learned more about the disorder and pretended to have it, she learned how to fake it and adopt the mindset). Not to mention, she said a psychologist brought up the term “sociopath” vaguely when she first saw said psychologist; she never said she was actually diagnosed with ASPD/sociopathy.
    In the interview with Dr. Phil (and in her book) she says she looks at babies and cute animals and just wants to squish/kill them (or something among those lines). My interpretation of that is she doesn’t like the attention small babies and animals steal from her, so she wants to kill them or get them out of the picture so attention will be shifted back on her. She merely is a narcissist, but she claimed to be a sociopath in order to get the fame. Think about it: nobody wants to read a memoir from a narcissist, nor would we care what goes through the mind of a narcissist since we already know plenty of them, but we would love to get inside the mind of a sociopath to see what is really happening because they seem rare and hard to spot. Thus, people are much more interested in reading a memoir from a sociopath than a narcissist.
    One final thing: to me, I felt like the book was just about her trying to prove she was a sociopath, and not about wanting to help people see things through the eyes of a sociopath.
    It befuddles me that you people who claim to have so much experience with psychopaths/sociopaths actually fell for her little scam. I guess you haven’t completely learned from your experiences..



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  8. olynik says:

    I understand that everyone has their own experience with sociopaths, and obviously the one who started this website resents them, but I feel this book is different. It is not a scam, it is not a narcissist claiming to be a sociopath, it is a true account of a sociopath and dealing with hiding in plain sight. I feel like everyone here is quick to judge and didn’t take the time to understand M.E. Thomas. At the end of her narrative she writes “Most sociopaths want to hide their identity, but I don’t want to hide forever. My life’s goal is not to have a ‘pass.’ I want everyone to know who I am. I want to live in the light. Right now it’s not safe, though. People don’t like sociopaths. There are books and Web pages devoted to detecting and avoiding sociopaths: Don’t talk to these people, don’t be around them, don’t let them ensnare you. I want people like me to know that they aren’t alone. And I want everyone else to know that I’m a natural human variant. I want to take off the mask, but not until I change the world to make it a safer place for me.” If you don’t want to be around a sociopath because you feel they are toxic, so be it. But don’t go around saying they are all the same and all out to destroy you. That’s like saying that every snowflake is exactly the same, every man/woman is the same as the any other, and that is not true. No one appreciates being cast out of society, so why are we doing that to sociopaths?



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    • Stargazer says:

      What I read in this quote is that sociopaths get lonely having to hide behind their masks all the time. Poor lonely sociopaths….let me get my violin. We should be kinder and gentler to those who want to exploit us….we should pity them, right? Sounds like a classic pity play if you ask me. I wish they would all take their masks off. That way we would know who they are so we could steer clear of them.



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