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Explaining evil — the psychopathic agenda

Evil does, in fact, exist. That was the revelation posted last week, by Richard Cohen, a columnist with the Washington Post.

The impetus for his column was the atrocities committed by the Islamic State — the jihadists who overran Iraq, murdered anyone they didn’t like, and beheaded American photojournalist James Foley.

“I used to not believe in evil,” Cohen wrote in his article, The Islamic State is evil returned. Now he does.

Cohen compares the acts committed by the Islamic State to those of other purveyors of brutal atrocities — Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. In the generations since World War II, Cohen notes, philosophers and editorial writers have obsessed over the question: “Why?” Why did the Nazis inflict such horrors on other people?

Cohen quotes the conclusion of another writer, Martin Amis: There is no why.

The why: Psychopaths

On the contrary, I believe there is an explanation for evil actions, like those committed by the Nazis and Islamic State jihadists.

The people who come up with diabolical plans for mass murder and other atrocities are psychopaths.

Here’s the key point to understand about psychopaths: They are fundamentally different from the rest of us. They are literally missing the trait that makes the rest of us human.

Psychopaths have no ability to love.

This is the point so many people asking “why?” fail to get. They are trying to interpret evil behavior through a normal lens. They ask how any normal person can do what these tyrants and murders do.

The answer is that psychopaths are not normal.

Human motivation

Human beings experience four social motivations:

  1. Attachment — the desire to be with people, especially a significant other
  2. Sex
  3. Caretaking — a desire to look out for and take care of other people. This is the essence of real love for another person.
  4. Power — the desire for a superior social position.

The first three motivations — attachment, sex and caretaking — are the three components of romantic love.

The fourth motivation — power — isn’t necessarily bad in measured doses. After all, it’s our power motivation that makes us want to be achievers and leaders.

According to Dr. Liane Leedom, in normal people, the power motivation is held in check by our love motivation. We want to secure power and social position for ourselves, but not at the expense of severely hurting someone else.

Psychopaths, however, are totally different.

Psychopaths, Dr. Leedom explains, have no love motivation to put the brakes on their power motivation. They experience power and control as totally exhilarating, and don’t experience love and the desire to care for others at all.

So psychopaths have an out-of-control desire for power, with no concern about what happens to others. That means a psychopath can do whatever he or she wants to pursue domination, and experiences no guilt or remorse about steamrolling anyone who is in the way.

Gathering followers

Widespread atrocities, such as those committed by the Nazis and Islamic State, require the involvement of many people. How do all these people get involved?

First of all, the leaders of evil movements are likely to be psychopaths. Saddam Hussein was a psychopath, according to his personal physician. Most people consider Adolph Hitler to be a psychopath, although he may have had other mental issues as well. Cult leaders are probably all psychopaths.

We know first hand how convincing and manipulative psychopaths are. They convince other people to go along with their plans. In the beginning they are magnetic and charming, but later, as their power increases, psychopaths may increasingly use tactics of fear and brutality.

So what happens to the followers?

Many of the followers may have psychopathic traits themselves. The more disordered they are, the more they are willing to do the leader’s dirty work.

Psychopathy is also, in a way, contagious.

High levels of aggressive and brutal behavior reinforce an individual’s power motivation, and weaken the caretaking motivation. So people who already had psychopathic traits become worse. And those who perhaps did not have psychopathic traits, but cooperated with the evil movement in order to survive, lose their humanity and become more callous.

Finally, some people in the movements are brainwashed — especially those who started becoming indoctrinated while young, like the Hitler youth and many boys educated in jihadist madrassas.

Dealing with evil

Here’s another article about conditions on the ground in Iraq:

‘They’re so evil’: Pastor serving in Iraq says Islamic State’s murderous rampage like nothing ‘seen since the days of the Holocaust,’ on TheBlaze.com.

So what does this all mean for the international community?

Leaders whose job it is to make national and international policy need to know what we know about dealing with psychopaths:

  1. They lie.
  2. They cannot be trusted.
  3. They will promise anything, then do what they want.
  4. Their sole objective is winning.
  5. If you give them one inch they will take 10 miles.
  6. You cannot appeal to their humanity, because they have none.
  7. They do not care who gets hurt, or killed, including their own.

All of us at Lovefraud know what’s like to have a psychopath wreak havoc in our lives. Unfortunately, psychopaths are also capable of wreaking havoc on a grand scale.

The world is dealing with evil. I hope our leaders who are deciding how to respond recognize that.

 

 

 



12 Comments on "Explaining evil — the psychopathic agenda"

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  1. AnnettePK says:

    Evil and psychopathy are everywhere – spaths utilize every opportunity available to do evil. The run of the mill small town spath would take the role of dictator and ratchet his evil deeds up to national level given the opportunity. They are limited only by what they think they can get away with.

    Other nations that come to mind are North Korea and many African countries, that are held by evil dictators.

    Sadly, psychopaths are well represented in the pool of politicians/leaders of any country (or organization), including our leaders; so peace on earth and health and happiness for everyone are not the goals of most of those in power anywhere, which is why the world is as it is.



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    • Barb says:

      And the picture of Charlie Baker is there for a reason? Just looking at this guy scares me…his eyes. Baker was/is out to attack state unions and union bargaining…another Scott Walker.

      I worked for the state of Mass. in Lowell and will never forget a guy there who was a supervisor (not directly over me but he thought that way). He was snide and sent mean emails to me until another guy there decided I was ‘sexy’…then supervisor guy got in on the game. He suddenly racheted up sexual tension, to the point where I wanted out and was willing to drive a truck for a living.

      I remember once stating proudly that I was a state worker, and this supervisor said, ‘I’m going to call Charlie Baker…’

      I believe that he had friends (like Baker) in high places.



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  2. Jan7 says:

    Excellent article Donna.

    I knew there was evil on this planet like everyone before meeting my ex h who is a sociopath, the bible warns us, as kids you had that fear at night about the “monsters in the closet”, we viewed it on the news and ponder “who does that? or What drives a person to do that?, we know there are bad seeds but you never think that you would meet a “evil” person because you have that internal gut of fear, that fear that makes you careful while walking to the mall from the parking garage at night, or not driving in a bad neighborhood, or the instant you get a bad vibe from a person you just met etc.

    I saw my ex h for who he was the second I met him through a mutual friend but it was complexing to me because he had a lot of nice, normal friends surrounding him. He was camouflaged among good people yes there were a few people that I did not like but for the most part the large group that followed him were kind, honest, normal people. So you let your guard down thinking that you must be interpreting your gut reaction incorrectly also for me I had just moved to a new state for a new job so I had a lot of change going on which Steven Hassan author of Freedom of mind states that someone is most likely to get sucked into a abusive relationship or cult when they have a life change such as a new job, going off to college, getting divorce or a break up, a death in the family, moving etc.

    Now after escaping his hell and educating myself I look at the world so much different…now I feel like I have one key to the understanding this planet and why as kids we fear the “mosters”..I know who the monsters are and can spot them a mile away (just like prior to meeting my ex h) but the difference is now I know the terms sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissist and know who common they are on this planet but most importantly I know not to give these people any chance to enter my life, I do not have to be nice I need to protect myself and my family.

    Now I look at world government leaders from Prime Minsters to Presidents so much differently. You see the psychopaths politician, you see them using brain washing techniques, you see the sociopathic games they are playing on the country because you lived it but no one else especially the news reporters sees what you are see. It’s quite shocking.

    The politicians are feeding the brain washing and mind control material directly to our news media who unknowably are passing this on to control the masses. Just look at Bill Clinton and all the sociopathic games he played when he was caught cheating before his first elections and during his time as president…and look at how people still have him a sociopath on a pedestal because he has manipulated the press to manipulate the masses that he is “sorry” for disgracing our WH..there is a reason why he is nicknames “Slick Willy” but still people turn to him for advise (sickening) and put him on a pedestal while sadly all his victims from Jennifer Flowers to Monica Lewinsky and all the other women in between and all the political people who called him out of his bs are dragged through the mud with his masterful sociopath smear campaign.

    Looking at Putin’s (Russia’s dictator) con game is down right scary, he is mimicking exactly what Hitler did ie land grabbing and manipulating his citizens minds slowly over time ie not allowing gay rights, jailing people who talk against him. He is very covert with his evilness. As the EU & US scramble to have “talks” with Russia, Putin continues to move more tanks in (just like he did in the Georgia region a few years ago) to Ukraine. Putin then refuses to talk then when he is pushed in a corner (ie sanctions against him) he says he will “talk” while setting up the meeting he moves more tanks into the region while he is feeding lies, manipulation to the Russian press to control the Russian citizens.This is what my divorce looked (obviously on a much small scale) like game after game after game by my husband as he is moving assets out of our home state & hid assets while he was sending me emails stating that we can work the divorce without lawyers…What Putin is doing is just on a larger scale then what all the sociopaths in our lives did to us but never the less they are still the same con games. Putin terrifies me because he has become “friendly” with other sociopath and communist countries such as China, Cuba, Syria, and I wonder if he is feeding the military fire (guns and anmo) power into Iraq, Iran, Syria to create more chaos so that he can continue with his fight for Ukraine. My ex h used to always blurt out “create a distraction” at the time I did not understand this but know after leaving he was creating distractions to exhaust me and throw me off from what he was really doing = cheating, conning people, abusing me etc.

    The only politicians that have come out to state that Putin is a “psychopath like Hitler” is Hilary clinton (and she would know first hand being married to one) and Prince Charles of England. At least a few people in World politics know what they are dealing with just like the rest of us here.

    One thing I wanted to add regarding this article is Steven Hassan authors of Freedom of mind bite model info. Steven Hassan is a cult and domestic abusive expert who has formulated the “Bite model”…this is a model of how a sociopath/psychopath slowly over time changes the victims life style/views/thinking to make them conform to the sociopaths rules = mind controlling the victims. Hassan states when the following is changed the person will conform to the sociopath. This is what dictators do as well..this is what Putin is doing slowly with time, the Syrian dictator, Castro, etc. It does not matter if it’s a individual trying to control his family only or a dictator who is trying to control hundreds of millions people…they use the same techniques to control their victims mind. Google “Steven Hassan Bite Model” to learn how you were mind controlled by your ex sociopath.

    I. Behavior Control
    II. Information Control
    III. Thought Control
    IV. Emotional Control



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  3. Viewpoint says:

    My heart is sick and heavy for all the evil there is in the world which ISIS personifies. How evil is birthed, whether individually or within a society, is a multi-faceted miasma, I believe.

    One thing that needs understood is that about 85% of the world exists on less than $10/day to survive; desperate circumstances to make for desperate thinking and lives. Is it not evil that we know this or that we don’t even know it? And which is worse: That we know but do so little to change that or that we let ourselves be so ignorant? So caught up in the vagaries of our lives, culture and society that we care not to know what the rest of human kind are facing?



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  4. BeckyR says:

    An article of depth, Donna. If there is a positive to come from the ordeal with a psychopath (and his taker clan), it exists for me as the awareness that evil is not just a philosophic debate. The force is real. I wonder what would be the look of the world if ONLY psychopaths remained.

    I don’t know what the agenda might be, but because of your site and others, awareness is increasing and they can no longer hide indefinitely. I feel there is some truth to New Age ideas in that we must – while still keenly recognizing this entity – focus on our strengths of compassion, intelligence, and thoughts toward a betterment for the whole of us.

    It’s a strange inoculation. Once seen, we can no longer hide our heads in the sand.



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  5. BeckyR – yes – we can no longer hide our heads in the sand. If nothing else, the experience of a sociopath truly opens our eyes.



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  6. jm_short says:

    What a timely and appropriate article!

    We seem to be witnessing the growing dynamic of mass, cult-like psychopathy in society. The unchecked escalation of atrocity to a level that can no longer be overlooked is what leads to warfare, just as the heinous acts of a psychopath in a family leads to abuse and divorce.

    Genocide is often overlooked as a psychopathic function. The perpetrators carefully build their following and distort society’s reality in much the same way that perpetrators build justification in our individual families, gas-lighting us and turning away the minds of loved ones and friends who we would normally call on for support.

    Attila the Hun was particularly noted for his ruthless and barbaric methods. His aim was to undermine opposition. He built his following through the fear that atrocities would befall anyone who stood in his way. Hitler produced a similar fear. If you weren’t his friend, you were his enemy.

    In large measure, children of psychopaths will side with the psychopath out of fear….. the fear of abandonment, misuse and abuse. They’ve had a front row seat to the horror that was caused for the other parent. While some children will have intact empathy and not be swayed, some will fall in step with the demands the psychopath places on them, and some may be psychopaths themselves.

    In societies in which the beheading of yourself, your children, your neighbors or your friends could be the result of your opposition, jumping on the bandwagon feels like a necessity to all but the very bravest souls.

    How do you stop a society whose level of psychopathy has spun out of control? First, we need to grasp the concept on a smaller scale…. we must recognize the dynamics of dealing with psychopathy right here within our families. Once we do so, we can apply the concepts to a broader stage. No matter how grand their bully-pulpit, psychopaths think alike. Without affective empathy, they fail to react to the “human” condition in all non-psychopaths except to exploit it.

    Joyce



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    • AnnettePK says:

      I can relate to the really good points you make, especially regarding the children siding with the psychopath parent. They have seen what the P does to the victim (often mom), they know what’s in store for them if they don’t go along with the disordered parent. Additionally, the children know (perhaps without consciously thinking it through) that the disordered parent’s ‘love’ and approval is conditional. The normal parent will love them no matter what and will always be there for them. I witnessed all this playing out with my ex P and his children and step children from his first marriage. He used them as pawns against both me and his first ex wife, in really awful subtle ways.



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  7. Babs94540 says:

    The most relevant book I’ve read on this subject lately is called “Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend.” by Barbara Oakley.

    Oakley discusses not only Hitler but Chairman Mao and other strong-willed, obsessively driven, charismatic tyrants and despots throughout history who exhibited most or all the traits of psychopathy, and how they manage to influence so many others as to change the course of history.
    And she discusses mental illness (borderline pd, if I remember correctly) on a much smaller and more intimate scale: her own sister was highly manipulative and abusive.

    She discusses the complexities of genetic predisposition and how that impacts the neurochemistry and structure of the brain RE how it functions, but in easily-readable layman’s terms; it still takes both environment and genetic predisposition working together, according to Oakley, but genetic predisposition plays a MUCH larger role in the development of psychopathy (and some other disorders) than is currently considered politically correct.



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  8. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    I was born in a family of very low IQ siblings. Almost all the births of my siblings children are also low IQ children. When you looked at those kids, they had these weird stares, like they weren’t all there. I am the only one in my generation with a conscience. There are four in the next generation of 17 kids that have a conscience. I do not know my father’s genealogy history, except that the only two siblings I was able to contact were of very low IQ. I suspect incest. My father is a pedo, as is my brother and one sister.

    What US soldiers discovered in the villages of Iraq and Afghanistan are whole families with only one or two dominate males who make babies with their siblings, with their offspring, with their mothers/aunts. These villages serve the dominant male. They are of ONE mind. They have no conscience with regard to the sanctity of human life.

    This is not valid for ALL family groups, but it is the most common type of group. They are tribal. And this is how Al Queda and ISIL are able to create armies. When the USA removed brutal dictators, there was no one to stop these types of groups from advancing their agenda.

    Now you have two levels of terrorists: The very smart, very educated level who strategize and plan, and the mindless grunts who carry out the plans. Neither have a conscience. I forgot to mention, many of these groups are schooled from birth to hate, and not just dislike or will change when they learn different, they hate with a voraciousness that unless you see them on film, you can’t imagine how children can be so violently hatefilled.

    Now… explain to me how we capture “hearts and minds” of these rabid murdering, very strong, loyal to their masters, singleminded psychopaths. So many of them on a level that used to be contained by brutal dictators. And… how can we now, when faced with the hoards on a battlefield, which are the exceptions from the family group.

    I am saying MY siblings and most of their kids HATE with a vengeance that you can not imagine, and what keeps them semi contained, is IF they don’t want to go to prison, they keep a low profile. They live in very small rural southern towns where they get a beatdown if they step out of line. I know if my siblings and their children were able to be free, they’d be easily recruited into ISIL, or any organization that rewarded them for mindless murdering.

    Know that as bad and as hurtful as our sociopathic abusers have been, they are capable of so very much more.



    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      oops. wish I had edit.
      @how can we discern the exceptions on the battlefield? How to know who could be redeemed, who have a conscience that would be changed if we could reach their hearts and minds?

      I hope we never find out. But it would be folly to think the time is not coming, and soon.

      WISHING I was a conspiracy nut. But I remember WISHING my ex was who he pretended to be. Look where that got me.



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    • AnnettePK says:

      Thank you for sharing this interesting, chilling and relevant observations. It seems like a physical healing is needed, or that some of these people need to be reborn with minds that work right and a good upbringing. It seems like it’s too late for them in their present life. In the OT, God commanded His ancient people to put to death everyone in certain societies where among other evils, people were burning alive their babies and children as sacrifices to pagan gods. Given your explanation of the hatred and screwed up-ness of certain societies, it becomes understandable.



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