The Psychopath Project - Rule of the Psychopaths

From the beginning, I am compelled to say that a real psychopath has a brain physiology that is different from a normal person and pretty much guarantees that they have no choice in the matter as to whether they are one or not. In light of that fact, I have created a term that is descriptive of the influence that successful psychopaths in high places can have on those around and beneath them... "Trickle-Down-Psychopathy."

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Monday, 25 August 2014
The Rebirth of the West
By Werner de Gruijter, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"Actually, many academis argue now that the only personality type that thrives in the neo-liberal world is the psychopath, someone who is naturally inclined to experience less stress and inner pain."

Published on Monday, August 25, 2014 by TruthDig
How the Brutalized Become Brutal
by Chris Hedges

"Any good cop, like any good reporter, knows that every criminal has a story. No one, except for perhaps a few psychopaths, wakes up wanting to cut off another person’s head. Murder and other violent crimes almost always grow out of years of abuse of some kind suffered by the perpetrator. Even the most “civilized” among us are not immune to dehumanization."

Tuesday, 05 August 2014
Recuperating Marcuse Against a
Culture of Cruelty

By James Anderson, ROAR Magazine | Op-Ed

"Neoliberalism, the contemporary form of capitalism, structures this “surplus-repression” and engenders what Henry Giroux suggested is a widespread “culture of cruelty,” which normalizes violence to such a degree that mass shootings recur regularly. Analyses of individual psychopathy and of real cultural problems abound, but the inquiries cut those acts “off from any larger systemic forces at work in society.”

OpEdNews Op Eds 6/25/2014
The Modern Political Psychopath
By Helene Stohne

"Having once had the utter displeasure of being married to a psychopath, I can't help but notice the eerie similarities in current politics..."


"And now I see these very behaviors played out in front of the cameras every day! No psychopath is a suitable representative for us in Washington, or anywhere else for that matter. Wall Street is full of narcissists and psychopaths, and the current economic system makes them all float to the top."

Published on Monday, June 22, 2009 by Rabble (Canada)
Imagine: Prosperity without Growth
by Murray Dobbin

"The magnitude of the moral crisis of the political right is staggering. The greed, dishonesty, hubris and psychopathic disregard for the public good renders the whole business elite utterly unfit to pronounce on anything -- not even on the economy, but certainly not democracy or how we run our collective affairs."

Broadcast June 11, 2014
Paul Craig Roberts On Russia
De-dollarization, Psychopaths, Monsanto
GMO and more

Podcast submitted by Rob Kall

"I talk for almost two hours with Paul Craig Roberts On Russia, De-dollarization, capitalism, Psychopaths, Ed Snowden and NSA, Monsanto GMO. Corporatization of the FDA and more."

"Paul, So Rob, I agree with you. We have a nation run by sociopaths and psychopaths."

"When you don't regulate human behavior, everybody can act like a sociopath/psychopath."

Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Nuclear Crisis: Can the Sane
Prevail in Time?

By James McCluskey, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"This psychologically diseased minority has tended to dominate the normal majority. The disorders can make the bearers a danger to the rest of us. And when such individuals get into power, with the destructive forces already referred to at their disposal, this danger could not be more acute and urgent. The disorders are Psychopathy, Paranoid Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder."

  "Tragically, in our corporate culture, the psychopaths have a home in organizations which embrace their own values."

"The corporation, after all, is deliberately designed to be a psychopath: purely self-interested, incapable of concern for others, amoral, and without conscience." "Psychopaths can fight their way to the top of corporations without experiencing the restraints of conscience felt by others."

OpEdNews Op Eds 5/7/2014
What Would a Psychopath Do?
Here are Five Things

By Rob Kall

"So, reading the rantings of one psychopath, I started wondering: if psychopaths could change the rules to their benefit, what would they do? Here are a few ways that you might expect psychopaths to try to shape the culture, the narrative and the rules..."

Published on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by The Nation
'Fuck Earth Day': Let This Year's Be The Last
by Wen Stephenson

"You want extreme? Business as usual is extreme. Just ask a climate scientist. The building is burning. The innocents—the poor, the oppressed, the children, your own children—are inside. And the American petro state is spraying fuel, not water, on the flames. That's more than extreme. It's homicidal. It's psychopathic. It's fucking insane."

  "Planning on descendants? Well, hey, good luck with that...or maybe you would not like to commit the horrors to come against them?"

Tuesday, 08 April 2014
Thom Hartmann: There Has Not Been a
Legitimately Elected Republican President
Since Dwight Eisenhower

By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

Original-WebLink - Local Copy

KARLIN: In a chapter called "Madness," you have two sections: global psychopaths and bankster psychopaths? How literally do you mean those terms?

HARTMANN: I mean them absolutely literally. There is evidence that many people who run top corporations and key parts of our economy are quite literally sociopaths....

Monday, 24 March 2014
What Comes After Capitalism?
By Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV | Video Report

"...when the alarm clock goes off and the climate change deniers and their corporate blood sucking psychopaths who pay for the propaganda that enables climate change deniers to pretend that there is still a debate to be had over the Apocalyptic course that human induced climate change has us on..."

Thursday, 20 March 2014
Bureaucracy, Autocracy and
Neoliberal Canada

By Fred Guerin, Truthout | Op-Ed

"Under autocratic forms of governance, it is a seductive power that can invert the moral order and reward psychopathological personalities. In other words, it can turn virtues like empathy and justice into vices and vices such as greed, inflexibility and rank opportunism into virtues."

Monday, 10 March 2014
Neoliberalism, "Just Desserts" and the
Post-Climate Crisis Economy

By Gaius Publius, America Blog | News Analysis

"The same with the water supply. In fact, I can almost bet that these commodities will go into scarcity because of one factor alone — the psychopaths in the investment community are giddy over the prospects."

  "Criminal in the worst way. Do you see why I use a word like “psychopath” with such confidence?"

Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Fear In A Handful Of Dust: The Sacred
Vehemence Of Imagination In A Soulless Age

By Phil Rockstroh, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"The human element evinces the pathology displayed in psychoanalytic consulting rooms; the economic elite are psychopathic; tea Party types exhibit paranoid displacement while liberals exhibit neurotic insularity."

Sunday, 03 November 2013
Inside the Psyche of the 1%
By Don Fitz, Synthesis/Regeneration | Op-Ed

"Do the rich and super-rich tend to be psychopaths, devoid of guilt or shame?"

"Psychology has a long tradition of bending to current race, gender and sexual orientation biases. Its class bias is reflected by the dominant portrayal of psychopathy."


"Reid chides those who recoil at the thought of suspending rights: “While we have been interminably discussing this weighty issue, the psychopaths, who don’t trouble themselves with contemplations, have been gaining ground.”

  The text "psychopath" is found 93 times in this article.

Sunday, 27 October 2013
America's Most Beloved War Criminals
By Justin Doolittle, Truthout | Op-Ed

Monday, 23 September 2013
Chris Hedges | The Act of Killing
By Chris Hedges, TruthDig | Report

"Some are psychopaths who relish acts of sadism, torture and murder. But others, maybe most, see killing as a job, a profession, good for their careers and status."

Monday, 16 September 2013
Being Hannibal Lecter
By David Cupples, Truthout | Op-Ed

"But we speak here not of the realm of psychopathology, but of politics and public servants who ought to be judged for their performance in carrying out the duties of their office."

Monday, 02 September 2013
Fear and Loathing II: Liberation Theology
By David Cupples, Truthout | Op-Ed

"Though Reagan lionized the Contras as freedom-fighters, the "moral equivalent of America's founding fathers," reports of their brutality sank to depths of psychopathic depravity. Tens of thousands would die in Reagan's Contra War."

Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Has Our Species Become Insane?
By Jim McCluskey, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"Deeds which would be prosecuted as major crimes if performed by citizens are routinely enacted byour leaders yet they take no responsibility for these crimes and exhibit no remorse. They act without conscience; they are sociopaths and, in some cases, psychopaths (occupying the extreme end of the sociopathic range)."


"The renowned US writer and journalist William Blum declares, in an article referring to ‘Washington’s endless bombings and endless wars’ and Kerry’s hounding of whistleblowers, that we are witnessing ‘Unlimited power in the hands of psychopaths’ He adds, ‘My own country truly scares me’"

  "The psychopathic behaviour of our political and corporate leaders is clear for all to see; but what about ourselves, the citizens."

Monday, 12 August 2013
Death by Corporation: America's
Corporate Deathstar

By Brian Moench, Truthout | Op-Ed

"In Part I and Part II of Mankind: Death by Corporation, we looked briefly at what amounts to ruthless, psychopathic behavior of our largest corporations spanning most major industries."

Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Empire Of Panic And Ephemera:
Applying Rigorous Imagination To
America's Paranoid Style

By Phil Rockstroh, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

"As a people, what is our legacy to future generations? Depressing, isn't it? Ecocide. Debt slavery. War without end. A social milieu in which privileged psychopaths not only thrive but decide the fate of the multitudes."

Published on January 30, 2013
What Is a Psychopath?
The Neuroscience of Psychopathy Reports Some Intriguing Findings
William Hirstein, Ph.D.

Psychology Today, Mindmelding: Philosophy meets neuroscience, Sussex Publishers, LLC

This article speaks on some primary traits of a psychopath such as: Uncaring; Shallow emotions; Irresponsibility; Insincere speech; Overconfidence; Narrowing of attention; Selfishness; Inability to plan for the future; Violence.

"The term “psychopath” was first applied to these people around 1900. The term was changed to “sociopath” in the 1930s to emphasize the damage they do to society. Currently researchers have returned to using the term “psychopath.” Some of them use that term to refer to a more serious disorder, linked to genetic traits, producing more dangerous individuals, while continuing to use “sociopath” to refer to less dangerous people who are seen more as products of their environment, including their upbringing. Other researchers make a distinction between “primary psychopaths,” who are thought to be genetically caused, and “secondary psychopaths,” seen as more a product of their environments."

Wednesday, 05 December 2012
Schizophrenics, Psychopaths Holding
America Hostage

By Brian Moench, Truthout | Op-Ed

"The psychologist Kevin Dutton in his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, notes society, and especially Wall Street, admires and rewards many of the qualities of psychopaths - fearlessness, emotional sterility, supreme confidence, ruthlessness, lack of remorse, refusal to take responsibility, narcissism and delusions of grandeur."
  "Other studies suggest that financial elites, like psychopaths, are more likely to feel like rules and societal constraints don't apply to them. Mitt Romney's entire business and political career, especially his approach to paying taxes, is the freshest, most conspicuous example of this personality trait."
  "We are still allowing a powerful elite, who behave like psychopaths, to steer our government towards protecting their interests at the expense of everyone else. The greatest threat to the United States will never be Al Qaeda, Russia, China or Iran. It will be our failure to wrest control of public policy from the inmates of our own insane asylum."

July 24, 2012
How Will the 99% Deal with
70 Million Psychopaths?


"With more than 7 billion people on the planet that means there are as many as 70,000,000 psychopaths alive today."
  "Thus the psychopathic corporation was forged as a Frankenstein monster that enabled the constant flow of psychopathic blood, continuously replenished by the 1% of the population born into psychopathy in each new generation, to rise into positions of power as stock traders, corporate executives, and corruptible politicians."

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 by
"By Imbeciles Who Really Mean It": Lost
Verities and Dirty Hippies

by Phil Rockstroh

"Regardless of the dissembling of corporate state propagandists, free market capitalism has always been a government subsidized, bubble-inflating, swindlers' game, in which, psychopathic personalities (not “job creators” but con job perpetrators) thrive. By the exploitation of the many, a ruthless few have amassed large amounts of capital by which they dominate mainstream narratives and compromise elected and governmental officials, thereby gaming the system for their benefit."

Published on Thursday, November 24, 2011 by the Toronto Star
Weeding Out Corporate Psychopaths
by Mitchell Anderson

"Given the state of the global economy, it might not surprise you to learn that psychopaths may be controlling the world. Not violent criminals, but corporate psychopaths who nonetheless have a genetically inherited biochemical condition that prevents them from feeling normal human empathy."
  "This shark-like fixation on self-interest means that psychopaths often feel a clear detachment from other people, viewing them more as sheep to be preyed upon than fellow humans to relate to."

"If psychopaths have in fact installed themselves in the upper reaches of the world’s financial institutions, their genetic deficiency dictates that their greed knows no bounds."

Published on Sunday, June 05, 2011 by
The Rise of the Second-String Psychopaths
by David Schwartz

"The United States corporate and government spheres have become, Vonnegut suggested, a perfect habitat for psychopaths. What has allowed so many psychopaths to rise so high in corporations, and then government, he wrote,

“is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin’ day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they don’t give a fuck what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich!"

  "The US has been endowed with abundant resources, and there have always been a more than sufficient supply of psychopaths of the first intellectual grade to supply corporate suites and their subsidiary, the Congress."
  "How had our country disappeared? Vonnegut proposed that among the contributing factors was that it had been invaded – as if by the Martians – by people with a particularly frightening mental illness. People with this illness were termed psychopaths."

Published on Monday, December 06, 2010 by
Happy as a Hangman
by Chris Hedges

"What is frightening in collapsing societies is not only the killers, sadists, murderers and psychopaths who rise up out of the moral swamp to take power, but the huge numbers of ordinary people who become complicit in state crimes. ...True evil, as Goethe understood, is not always palpable. It is “to render invisible another human consciousness.”

Published on Monday, May 10, 2010 by
After Religion Fizzles, We’re Stuck with

by Chris Hedges

"Fairy tales about heaven and hell, angels, miracles, saints, divine intervention and God’s beneficent plan for us are repeatedly mocked in the brutality and indiscriminate killing in war zones, where I witnessed children murdered for sport and psychopathic gangsters elevated to demigods."

Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 by The Guardian/UK
Is There Any Point in Fighting to Stave off
Industrial Apocalypse?

by George Monbiot and Paul Kingsnorth

"Here are three observations: 1 Our species (unlike most of its members) is tough and resilient; 2 When civilisations collapse, psychopaths take over; 3 We seldom learn from others' mistakes."

Published on Monday, May 11, 2009 by
Becoming What We Seek to Destroy
by Chris Hedges

"We are morally no different from the psychopaths within the Taliban, who Afghans remember we empowered, funded and armed during the 10-year war with the Soviet Union. Acid thrown a girl's face or beheadings? Death delivered from the air or fields of shiny cluster bombs? This is the language of war. It is what we speak. It is what those we fight speak."


The Society for the Scientific Study of
Psychopathy (SSSP)

Welcome to the Psychopathy Society

The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (SSSP) is a non-profit, professional organization aiming to promote the conduct and communication of scientific research in the field of psychopathic personality (psychopathy) and to encourage education and training in those fields of science that contribute to research in psychopathy. The members of SSSP are actively engaged in trying to better understand the characteristics and causes of psychopathy, as well as better ways of detecting it, treating it, and ultimately preventing its destructive manifestations. Our organization is dedicated to the science of psychopathy. Nevertheless, we welcome not only established investigators, but also students, clinicians, educators, science journalists, attorneys, and others who are interested in learning more about research on this still poorly understood condition.

Books News & Opinon Articles - Peer Revued Articles - Video

Corporate Psychopaths
Organisational Destroyers

First published 2011 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN
© Clive R. Boddy 2011

Available at or from
Palgrave-Macmillan Publishers

Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1403971692
ISBN-13: 978-0230284722
ASIN: 0230284728

"CLIVE BODDY has been studying the effects of Corporate Psychopaths as experienced by hundreds of managers over the past five years. This has included collecting information on the perceived levels of incidence of experiencing Corporate Psychopaths, collecting reports of critical incidents involving potential Corporate Psychopaths and more recently, collecting data on the effects of Corporate Psychopaths on organisational outcomes."
"When large corporations are destroyed by the actions of their senior directors, employees lose their jobs and sometimes their livelihoods, shareholders lose their investments and sometimes their life savings, and societies lose key parts of their economic infrastructure. Capitalism also loses some of its credibility. These corporate collapses have gathered pace in recent years, especially in the western world, and have culminated in the global financial crisis that we are now in..."

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths
Go to Work

A book by industrial psychologist Paul Babiak and psychopathy expert Robert D. Hare. The text was published by HarperBusiness on May 9, 2006.

Available at - Wiki

"Snakes in Suits is a compelling, frightening, and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment: what kind of companies attract them, how they negotiate the hiring process, and how they function day by day. You'll learn how they apply their "instinctive" manipulation techniques -- assessing potential targets, controlling influential victims, and abandoning those no longer useful -- to business processes such as hiring, political command and control, and executive succession, all while hiding within the corporate culture. It's a must read for anyone in the business world, because whatever level you're at, you'll learn the subtle warning signs of psychopathic behavior and be able to protect yourself and your company -- before it's too late."

The work is interlaced with fictional narratives illustrating how the factual content applies to
real-life situations
Political Ponerology

© Andrew M. Lobaczewski
Preface, Notes and Commentary © Laura Knight-Jadczyk
and Henri Sy

Translated in 1985 from the original Polish "Ponerologia Polityczna" by Alexandra Chciuk-Celt, Ph. D., University of New York, N.Y.
Corrected by the author in 1998

Website for the Book
Links for purchasing are found here
"Political Ponerology is fascinating, essential reading." --Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect "This is an extraordinary book." --Ilan Pappe, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine The original manuscript of this book went into the furnace minutes before a secret police raid in Communist Poland. The second copy, painfully reassembled by scientists working under impossible conditions of violence and repression, was sent via courier to the Vatican. Its receipt was never acknowledged - the manuscript and all valuable data lost. In 1984, the third and final copy was written from memory by the last survivor of the original researchers: Andrew Lobaczewski. Zbigniew Brzezinski blocked its publication. After half a century of suppression, this book is finally available. Political Ponerology is shocking in its clinically spare descriptions of the true nature of evil. It is poignant in its more literary passages revealing the immense suffering experienced by the researchers contaminated or destroyed by the disease they were studying. Political Ponerology is a study of the founders and supporters of oppressive political regimes. Lobaczewski s approach analyzes the common factors that lead to the propagation of man s inhumanity to man. Morality and humanism cannot long withstand the predations of this evil. Knowledge of its nature and its insidious effect on both individuals and groups - is the only antidote.

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints,
Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us
About Success

by Kevin Dutton

ISBN-13: 9780374291358
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 10/16/2012
Pages: 288

Website for the Book
Links for purchasing are found here

In this groundbreaking adventure into the world of psychopaths, renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton combines original scientific research with bold on-the-ground reporting from secret monasteries, Special Forces training camps and rarefied psychopath wings of maximum-security hospitals. Provocative, engaging and surprising at every turn, The Wisdom of Psychopaths reveals a shocking truth: beneath the hype and the popular characterisation, psychopaths have something to teach us.

The Mask of Sanity
Hervey Cleckley, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,
Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Ga.

Fifth Edition: private printing for non-profit educational use
Copyright 1988 Emily S. Cleckley
Cleckley, Hervey Milton, 1903-1984
ISBN 0-9621519-0-4

The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality is a book written by American psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley, first published in 1941, describing Cleckley's clinical interviews with patients in a locked institution. The text is considered to be a seminal work and the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century. The basic elements of psychopathy outlined by Cleckley are still relevant today. The title refers to the normal "mask" that conceals the mental disorder of the psychopathic person in Cleckley's conceptualization.
The link is to the 5th Edition - 1988
Supporting Books

The Origins of Totalitarianism

The 1951 edition
Author: Hannah Arendt

Wikipedia-WebLink - Local Copy Text File
Read Online - List of Editions

Hannah Arendt wrote only briefly on education, in “The Crisis in Education”, where she asserts that “education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token save it from that ruin which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and young, would be inevitable.”Yet her critique of modernity and account of political action and the public realm is profoundly relevant for educators and educational theorists who seek to locate their activity within a range of other human undertakings and within the context of the modern eclipse of public life. Hannah Arendt’s work points towards how we can fall short in our responsibility for, and love of, the world, and education can become complicit in the erosion of a vibrant and robust public realm.

In the United States the current process of transition away from democracy to oligarchy, showing signs of fascism, and very likely heading towards totalitarianism is strikingly similar to what happened to the countries described in this book. Upon reading this, or even some of it, you can recognize things that are happening now that were used to achieve domination in the past.

"The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination."

Published: January 1, 2009
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Author: Chris Hedges

Hardcover, 240 pages
New York : Nation Books, c2009
Books by Chris Hedges at

"Hedges argues against the leviathan of elite, corporatist interests. His argument is sober and somber. Few escape the blanket of his critique, because we are all complicit, over generations, in erecting this all-powerful beast, which demands our obedience or ignorance -- or both. His argument is a description of how "we are a culture that has been denied, or has passively given up, the linguistic and intellectual tools to cope with complexity, to separate illusion from reality." The ordinary, not extraordinary, is what we must seek if we want a way out of the morass and moral turpitude we suffer. Implicitly, Hedges argues for a return to values based in real community as opposed to illusory communities created by transnational corporate interests, "reality" T.V. or the abstract global community."

Complete Abstract by William Morris

Mike 1/6/2015
Is Putin Creating a New World Order? ...
Oil Price Blowback
Article By Mike Whitney

The Grand Chessboard
- Open and/or Download the PDF File of this Book - Aproximately 10mb
223 Pages, Scanned with OCR Performed.
Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski

This book maps out and accurately predicts world political, economic, and military events as they have been, are, and will be progressing... though ultimate outcomes are yet to be seen. It appears that the United States and NATO are trying to position themselves around Russia and China while maintaining a presence in the Middle East so as to create hegemony, prevent the aforementioned and related countries from uniting against the US economically and militarily with world domination as an ultimate goal. At the moment, Vladimir Putin keeps getting in the way so the US has “demonized” him and is working on ways to destabilize Russia and get him out of there. So far, Putin holds fast with China as its bosom buddy and collaborator in turning most of the world’s energy resources away from the US dollar... such a thing, if successful, would destroy the US economy. The race for economic and political primacy is on and relations between the superpowers are becoming strained with extreme or world war in the realm of possibility.

This particular issue may not be described in this book, but in case you haven't noticed, such domination has already been implemented against the populations of the NATO countries themselves --ever since the Reagan Administration-- with the majority of the US population being duped into complacency towards their patriotic duty to support the Constitution and rid this country of the tyranny by the "Power Elite" that have been effectively destroying their democracy and stealing away their wealth along with the sovereignty of this country.



Peer Revued Articles Books - News & Opinion Articles - Video

Date: 20 Feb 2011
The Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the
Global Financial Crisis

Clive R. Boddy

Journal of Business Ethics
August 2011, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 255-259

This short theoretical paper elucidates a plausible theory about the Global Financial Crisis and the role of senior financial corporate directors in that crisis. The paper presents a theory of the Global Financial Crisis which argues that psychopaths working in corporations and in financial corporations, in particular, have had a major part in causing the crisis. This paper is thus a very short theoretical paper but is one that may be very important to the future of capitalism because it discusses significant ways in which Corporate Psychopaths may have acted recently, to the detriment of many. Further research into this theory is called for.

April 2010
Corporate psychopathy: Talking the Walk
Paul Babiak Ph.D., Craig S. Neumann Ph.D., and
Robert D. Hare Ph.D.

Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: International Perspectives on Psychopathy,
An Update
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 174–193, March/April 2010

There is a very large literature on the important role of psychopathy in the criminal justice system. We know much less about corporate psychopathy and its implications, in large part because of the difficulty in obtaining the active cooperation of business organizations. This has left us with only a few small-sample studies, anecdotes, and speculation. In this study, we had a unique opportunity to examine psychopathy and its correlates in a sample of 203 corporate professionals selected by their companies to participate in management development programs. The correlates included demographic and status variables, as well as in-house 360° assessments and performance ratings. The prevalence of psychopathic traits—as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R) and a Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL: SV) “equivalent”—was higher than that found in community samples. The results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) indicated that the underlying latent structure of psychopathy in our corporate sample was consistent with that model found in community and offender studies. Psychopathy was positively associated with in-house ratings of charisma/presentation style (creativity, good strategic thinking and communication skills) but negatively associated with ratings of responsibility/performance (being a team player, management skills, and overall accomplishments). Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Modernity and the Monstrous: the Making
of the Modern Psychopath

Stephen Garton, Professor of History and Dean of the
Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney

Articles: Arts: The Journal of the Sydney University
Arts Association - Vol 23 (2001) - Pages 64 - 81

PDF of this article is available at no cost
Final Summary Paragraph: "The failure of contemporary theories of the psychopath to move us much beyond ideas over two centuries old suggests, to me at least, some limits to our capacity to comprehend, something that escapes the will to know. It also suggests that, despite modernity, the mysterious and unfathomable are still things that pervade our culture. What we can know is not so much the nature of these things, the what or why of the mysterious, but how it works in specific times and places, how unfathomable things work within culture and allow us to talk about ourselves in complex ways. We might struggle to know evil as a thing in itself, but we can make a serious effort to understand some of the ways it has shaped our culture and out deeper cultural fears and anxieties. Perhaps this is an insight into why I practise history-it is one of those things that can free us from the tyranny of the present."

Publication date: 2014/7/1
On the Trail of the Elusive Successful
Sarah Francis Smith, Ashley L Watts, Scott O Lilienfeld

Journal: Psychological Assessment, Volume: 15, Pages: 340-350
The British Psychological Society

Sarah Francis Smith, Ashley L. Watts and Scott O. Lilienfeld broadly, research suggests there may also be a bright side to some 'dark triad'personality traits (Judge et al., 2009). Indeed, psychopathy, along with narcissism and Machiavellianism (the other two members of this triad), appear to predict both positive and negative social outcomes, including short-term occupational success (eg leadership: Judge & LePine, 2009). This academic research is mirrored by a burgeoning popular literature surrounding the concept of successful psychopaths.

For decades, researchers and social commentators have alluded to the successful psychopath. Features associated with psychopathy such as interpersonal charm and charisma, fearlessness and a willingness to take calculated risks may predispose to success in a number of professional arenas, such as business, law enforcement, politics and contact sports. A burgeoning body of research is taking strides to examine potential adaptive manifestations of psychopathy. Nevertheless, the existence of successful adaptations of psychopathy remains hotly contested. Can researchers track down the elusive successful psychopath or will the concept go down in history as clinical lore?

January, 2012
Successful Psychopaths- Are They Unethical
Decision-Makers and Why

Gregory Stevens, Jacqueline Deuling,
Achilles Armenakis
Journal of Business Ethics., Vol. 105 Issue 2, p139-149

"Successful psychopaths, defined as individuals in the general population who nevertheless possess some degree of psychopathic traits, are receiving increasing amounts of empirical attention. To date, little is known about such individuals, specifically with regard to how they respond to ethical dilemmas in business contexts. This study investigated this relationship, proposing a mediated model in which the positive relationship between psychopathy and unethical decision-making is explained through the process of moral disengagement, defined as a cognitive orientation that facilitates unethical choice. The results of the study supported this model, and implications for theory and practice are discussed."

Published: 2012
Dead zones of the imagination: On violence,
bureaucracy, and interpretive labor

The Malinowski Memorial Lecture, 2006
David Graeber,
Goldsmiths, University of London

HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2 (2): 105–28 - 24 pages
ISSN: 2049‐1115
Social Anthropology
School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland, UK

"The experience of bureaucratic incompetence, confusion, and its ability to cause otherwise intelligent people to behave outright foolishly, opens up a series of questions about the nature of power or, more specifically, structural violence. The unique qualities of violence as a form of action means that human relations ultimately founded on violence create lopsided structures of the imagination, where the responsibility to do the interpretive labor required to allow the powerful to operate oblivious to much of what is going on around them, falls on the powerless, who thus tend to empathize with the powerful far more than the powerful do with them. The bureaucratic imposition of simple categorical schemes on the world is a way of managing the fundamental stupidity of such situations. In the hands of social theorists, such simplified schemas can be sources of insight; when enforced through structures of coercion, they tend to have precisely the opposite effect."

Bibliography Entry:
Evertsson, H. (2012)

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Psychopathic Personality Traits: A Meta-Analytic Review. Örebro, Sweden: Örebro University, Criminology C. Retrieved February 2016, from:

To understand the etiology of psychopathic personality traits and thus in the long run to be able to develop successful prevention, a first step is to find out what role genetic and environmental effects play. A meta-review of 15 twin studies (N=26, 981), was conducted to estimate the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on psychopathic personality traits. The results show that additive genetic (heritable) factors and non-shared environmental factors each explain 50% of the variance in psychopathic personality traits, while shared environmental factors were of no importance. Measure, informant, age, and sex were investigated as potential moderators showing that informant had an impact on the findings. This meta-analysis provides a structured synthesis of the relative genetic and environmental contributions in psychopathic personality traits through various stages of development and across sex.

Bibliography Entry:
Sabrina Weber, U. H. (2008, January)

Structural Brain Abnormalities in Psychopaths: A Review

Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 26, 7-28. Retrieved from

The biological basis of psychopathy has not yet been fully elucidated. Few studies deal with structural neuroimaging in psychopaths. The aim of this article is to review these studies in order to contribute to our understanding of the biological basis of psychopathy. Data in the literature report a reduction in prefrontal gray matter volume, gray matter loss in the right superior temporal gyrus, amygdala volume loss, a decrease in posterior hippocampal volume, an exaggerated structural hippocampal asymmetry, and an increase in callosal white matter volume in psychopathic individuals. These findings suggest that psychopathy is associated with brain abnormalities in a prefrontal–temporo-limbic circuit —i.e. regions that are involved, among others, in emotional and learning processes. Additionally, data indicate that psychopathic individuals cannot be seen as a homogeneous group.

The Psychopath Project: Rule of the Psychopaths
Warner R. Heston III


With this paper I will offer a short discussion on psychopathy. My focus will be on a certain aspect of psychopathy that is prevalent in our society though not generally recognized by most people. The word psychopath will likely bring to mind images of serial killers, sexual predators, and perpetrators of horrible crimes against humanity who come away with no remorse and an inclination to commit more. There is another kind, typically less visible, that can have a much greater influence on society while maintaining a potential for the same depths of depravity and evil, the successful psychopath.

The Successful Psychopath

The successful psychopath is higher functioning, more disciplined and calculating, and a more intelligent and efficacious version of what most of us know and fear from popular culture. These are not the ones that can be found in our prisons and mental institutions. These psychopaths are part of our everyday life and can be found in the businesses and industries we work for (Boddy, 2011), the political leaders we vote for (Schwartz, 2011), the financial institutions where we keep our savings and invest (Moench, Schizophrenics, Psychopaths Holding America Hostage, 2012), the military organizations we join and depend on for our defense (Hedges, The Act of Killing, 2013) (Doolittle, 2013), and among the multitude of positions that wield influence throughout and between the aforementioned categories.

“Beneath an attractive facade may well be your destruction by someone who may not fully qualify as human. This person experiences no emotion, has no fear, does not experience guilt or shame, could care less for another’s pain because they have no empathy, and any destruction they leave in their wake means nothing to them (Heston, 2014).”
They will face you with a smile while unaffected by the surrounding chaos and it matters not that many people have just lost their jobs or all financial resources. They exhibit no evidence at all of concern for what they have created. Lies regarding their responsibility in destructive events flow as freely as truth and they are skilled in placing all blame on others. As executive administrators they can happily leave a financial catastrophe many millions more to the good and with no doubt about their exceptional worth as a captain of enterprise. That illusion may well place them at the helm of another doomed ship or in an exclusive consulting capacity (Hare, 2006). Perhaps there was no reason to leave with ultimate catastrophe averted by a bailout from the government. The investors, customers, and taxpayers will bear the brunt, but the all-important company will survive in the wake.

Corporations routinely operate manufacturing facilities that are death traps for the people working in them and when death comes from explosions or collapses, they simply repair or rebuild only to continue the same way under protections from the relative government (Moench, Mankind: Death by Corporation, 2013). Death can reach out beyond the boundaries of their facilities with the toxic chemicals they use polluting the environment and the food. Again there are all manner of protections from the government at the expense of countless people, their health and their lives (Moench, Mankind: Death by Corporation, 2013).

As the leaders of industry and their political puppets are obviously, at the very least, the equivalent of psychopaths, the corporations as a whole are like giant, collective, psychopathic beasts that go about destroying the environment to such a degree that it threatens the very existence of humanity (Moench, Death by Corporation, Part II: Companies as Cancer Cells, 2013). Monsanto’s chemically managed methods for farming is unsustainable, their poisons are killing off the pollinating bees while increasingly poisoning the food you eat. Chemicals approved by the FDA for food can be extremely toxic such as the artificial sweetener aspartame which has been shown to cause cancer and an assortment of other serious conditions. The fossil fuel industry obviously influences government policy against transitioning to renewable, green energy so that carbon induced global warming (anthropogenic climate change) has the potential to destroy humanity in a few fundamental ways. The near future could witness the sudden, catastrophic release of Arctic methane, the oceans are already dying, world fresh water reserves are going away, and the list goes on. There are many more issues that combine with these that paint a picture of psychopathy as a ruling force that is rendering all forms of life on this planet as disposable. It is obviously a short sighted condition.

Who is a Psychopath?

There is what I refer to as a biological, dyed-in-the-wool psychopath then there are those who have become one over time and more due to environmental factors than genealogical. I would speculate that there is any given level for combinations of the two from one individual to the next. Imaging tests done on people with severe psychopathic behavior found they have less gray matter or abnormal structure in the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex areas of the brain (Sabrina Weber, 2008). To be more specific the abnormalities in brain structure include “a decrease in posterior hippocampal volume, gray matter loss in the right superior temporal gyrus, decrease in posterior hippocampal volume, amygdala volume loss, an exaggerated structural hippocampal asymmetry, and an increase in callosal white matter volume (Sabrina Weber, 2008).” These areas of the brain are instrumental in enabling moral reasoning, empathy, guilt, fear, and emotional learning.

Broader studies have found that environmental factors also play a very significant role in the development of psychopathy. In fact, it was found that genetic and environmental factors each contributed 50% to the development of a psychopath (Evertsson, 2012). Certainly there will be variations in that in any given individual. Environmental influences are not so much from experiencing abuse but absence of good parenting and being surrounded by others with conducive behaviors (R.J.R. Blair, 2006). Learning that relative behaviors gain the desired rewards combined with a genetic predisposition an individual can develop psychopathy (Evertsson, 2012). There have been no therapies found to rehabilitate a psychopath. There is no way to repair the inherent brain structure abnormalities.


Considering the evidence of world events, especially more recently, that relate to big business, military action, behavior and actions of politicians, and the ongoing results, it is as if psychopathy is the guiding principle or qualification for success to ruling the world. It may be that many leaders in those categories could not be scientifically diagnosed as a psychopath, but one school of thought says “you are what you do.” Logic compels me to speculate that through neuroplasticity, the practice of psychopathic behavior can develop someone’s mind into what would essentially be a psychopath in so far as everything they do is the same. Another school of thought will say that “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Perhaps the same process that might develop the virtual psychopath within the brain could also depreciate the areas of the brain that would be otherwise genetically abnormal from the beginning in the real psychopath.

I propose that not only is psychopathy becoming a predominant mode of behavior for success at the highest levels of business and politics, but it is also a learned behavior that spreads among those who would follow. Furthermore, its infectious nature combined with its effects can cause its victims, the public at large, to acquire its features, if for no other reason, out of a need for a way to accept and deal with such things under the belief they have no power to change it. We never actually got that “trickle-down-economy.” We did get trickle-down-psychopathy.


Boddy, C. R. (2011). Corporate Psychopaths: Organisational Destroyers. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England: First published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Doolittle, J. (2013, October 27). America's Most Beloved War Criminals. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from

Evertsson, H. (2012). Genetic and Environmental Influences on Psychopathic Personality Traits: A Meta-Analytic Review. Örebro, Sweden: Örebro University, Criminology C. Retrieved February 2016, from

Garton, S. (2001). Modernity and the Monstrous: the Making of the Modern Psychopath. The Journal of the Sydney University Arts Association, 23, 64-81. Retrieved from

Hare, P. B. (2006). Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work. New York,, NY, United States: HarperBusiness.
Retrieved from

Hedges, C. (2013, September 23). The Act of Killing. truthout. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from

Hedges, C. (2014, August 25). How the Brutalized Become Brutal. CommonDreams. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from

Heston, W. (2014, December). The Psychopath Project: Rule of the Psychopaths. Slide 1 of 10. Winston Salem, NC, US. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from

Moench, B. (2012, December 5). Schizophrenics, Psychopaths Holding America Hostage. truthout. Retrieved Fedruary
2016, from

Moench, B. (2013, July 23). Death by Corporation, Part II: Companies as Cancer Cells. truthout. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from

Moench, B. (2013, June 26). Mankind: Death by Corporation. truthout. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from

R.J.R. Blair, K. P. (2006, NA). The Development of Psychopathy. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47:3/4,
262–275. Retrieved from

Sabrina Weber, U. H. (2008, January). Structural Brain Abnormalities in Psychopaths: A Review. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 26, 7-28. Retrieved from

Schwartz, D. (2011, June 5). The Rise of the Second-String Psychopaths. CommonDreams. Retrieved Fedruary 2016, from


The monstrous killers that rape, torture, murder, and even devour other people are indeed psychopaths, but there is another kind; a higher functioning, more disciplined and calculating, more intelligent and successful version of psychopathic human and they are everywhere (Boddy). You would not know it if you met one until you became their target and perhaps not even then. They are charming, engaging, sophisticated, fearless, calm and composed in high stress situations, and have a drive to succeed. The unfortunate fact is that their success will be at your expense.

It is easy to see ourselves as victims of these monsters, but we are all essentially responsible for this mess... though, perhaps, to varying degrees. We continue to overpopulate this world as we go about using it up and severely polluting it. Collectively we are a monster turned against itself and we will pay ever more dearly until our all-encompassing, suicidal deed reaches fruition. The alternative is to awaken from this insanity, take responsibility, and change everything... now.
11/11/2014 - This is a 'little' project I just started working on about successful psychopaths in our society. It began as my part of a group presentation for my psychology class. (yet to be presented) I have begun to find quite a bit of information on the subject, in the way of books and articles, and I will be listing my findings here to support my research. There is much more to add here... as I find the time.


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artist - © 2011-2014 Mikolaj Ostapiuk, MouseCityKola
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