I chanced on a writer with the pseudonym ‘Time for Change‘ at the Democratic Underground on the subject of ‘Political Ponerology: A science of Evil applied for political purposes‘ (see also parts II & III). Much of the substance of those articles is based on a book written under Soviet terror in Poland (the only surviving original writer being Andrew M. Lobaczewksi). Like the writers, I too think that this subject has been neglected for far too long and is way more important than most people think. In order to to avoid more horrors, more people should learn the truth about psychopaths and how they manage to gain power in our societies to produce ‘pathocracies’.
To get a little personal, I could note I myself have gone to great lengths avoiding psychopaths in my own life. Mainly because as a little kid I was not so fortunate to have that opportunity. I was just about to turn 4 when I met not one, not two, but actually three people, I would later learn to be more or less stereotypically psychopathic in my kindergarten classroom. Out of just about 20 people that was quite lucky of me since they picked me as their main target and thus I had the opportunity to study their behavior up close and personal. Two of these were (at the time) very little bully types while one was a teacher. The bullies formed a team of three of which one member was a little follower type but not totally psychopathic himself.
At first they just wanted to fight me to prove they were the tough ones. They were quite methodological and I actually fought them sequentially in the order of size. At first I was able to overpower the smallest one without any trouble. The second one (of about my own size) however proved to be different. At the very first punch I received I was surprised as it was delivered as hard as he could muster. It actually hurt. This was surprising because most people don’t hit others like that for no reason. Obviously after that I had to get a little serious but I tried using soft punches at first to make him understand that I didn’t want to hurt him and neither should he want to hurt me (I had been indoctrinated with some Christian teachings as a kid which may have influenced my behavior). This proved to be futile. We circled a table and exchanged punches while I was wondering what was wrong with that guy. At some point the thing started to get nasty as we were already jumping on the table while trying to deliver attacks from a vantage point. Nevertheless the fight stopped after some minutes right after I had demonstrated I was actually a lot stronger than him. I did not retaliate at all when I had the opportunity even though I had clearly suffered more during the fight as he had been hitting as hard as he could while I had been mostly using soft punches.
Later I fought the biggest guy who I feared a bit due to his size but it turned out he was actually even weaker than the previous bully (he had more brains but less muscle it turned out). I simply delivered superior force and the fight was over in seconds. That was however hardly the end as after that they started attacking me first in pairs and then finally all together (and they were getting a bit outraged after I had humiliated them more than few times already). We must have fought hundreds of times during less than three years and after the first tries they never dared to attack me unless all three of them were together as only then we were on more or less equal terms. And all times they were really trying to hurt me. They did this for fun while I was silently trying to teach them there was no need for violence. It’s totally ridiculous I know now but I thought I could change them. For more than two years I tried.
But there’s of course a lot more to the story than mere violence. There’s lies. Lots of them. You know, how did we (or they) manage to turn the kindergarten into a constant battleground while the teachers should supposedly have prevented that? I’ll give the short story: these bullies had the habit of inventing events out of thin air. Events that served their interests. These people were actually quite smart. Early on, almost everyone around was believing that things that had never actually happened had happened. Even though I myself knew these people were liars, there are few things I only years later understood had to be complete fabrications. As a little kid for some stupid reason I didn’t think anyone could invent what I could call ‘big lies’ (or actually I think the reason was that I myself found it cognitively hard to lie and did not yet understand that wasn’t the case with the psychos whose brains function in a different manner) . And neither did the other kids who were often totally clueless. Neither did most of the teachers (these actually had lower IQs than the bullies and some other kids on average which in a way explains their lack of understanding). One of them however was a liar as well and deliberately kept the other teachers well supplied with misinformation (she had one ‘helper’ as well). The bullies were her favorites and she protected them using constant deception. She basically used them to punish other kids. She was a liar and a sadist and I can hardly imagine she had anything resembling a conscience. A psychopath in short and very much like the bullies. And she was also openly Christian and quoting the Bible quite often.
This detail (a ‘Christian’ psychopath) lead me to some internal conflict, since as a kid, I had more or less swallowed the belief that Christians are ‘good people‘. In my own dealings with the bullies I also had tried to apply what I had learned about Christian ethics of not hating my enemies (etc.) even though their sadistic behavior was growing more apparent and worse with the time and not better as I had been hoping. At times they really managed to hurt me and few others but I kept hoping that at least one of them would ‘see the light’. But no, the more suffering they caused, the more apparent it became that they really were fundamentally different sort of people than I and most others. They never showed any embarrassment or regret. The only time the most sadistic bully cried in front of the class was when he had told all the others that I had kicked him in his face and was trying to get me punished. And nobody questioned his story even though I pointed out that it would probably show on his face if I had actually kicked him (and my indignant shouts of ‘That’s fake cry!‘ hardly aroused any sympathy). No, almost everyone thought that I was a pathological liar (especially other kids but some teachers too so they were not taking me seriously). After all one of the first things they did years ago was calling me a liar. They repeated this all the time and it was no use when I later told others that they were the liars as they had already swallowed ‘the first lie’ that I was a liar. This in spite of the fact that it should have been crystal clear who the real liars were for anyone who had eyes (I can only presume this was due to ‘denial’ as discussed in the links above).
Anyway, there was also the growing realization of the fact that my strategy of trying to ‘rehabilitate’ the bullies (inspired by my Christian beliefs) was a total disaster. Instead I started harboring the idea of murder in my mind. Kindness had lead to the triumph of evil. And it was growing all too clear that somehow I’d better stop them myself because nobody else was doing anything to stop them. I had the strength. I had the opportunity. I had the knowledge of their wickedness. But still my Christian indoctrination prevailed and I could not bring myself to the point of doing it. I could not kill evil. Not at that time. And the evil triumphed in my childhood.
This experience however has lead me to the suspicion that the very reason that Christianity has been so successful is actually because the psychopaths have found Christians to be the perfect sheep. Christianity has made the citizens almost powerless against the psychopaths who rule over them. I imagine this was the case in the Soviet Union where the vast majority of the population was Christian and should have been able to overthrow the evil regime as they had the numbers on their side but failed to do that quite possibly because Christians believe it’s wrong to kill the rulers no matter how evil they are (though I suspect Christian beliefs help psychopaths in numerous other ways too).
Still, regarding the psychopathic bullies I encountered, I might note a few additional details. Firstly, these were what could probably be classified as ‘successful’ psychopaths as they were clearly some of the smartest people I encountered during my childhood — smart enough to avoid serious trouble thanks to their ability to manipulate people most of the time at least and good students too. All of them happened to be blond but as this was in Finland this is not so surprising (they come in all colors though and are possibly even more prevalent in black populations!). Later I learned that one of their fathers ended up in jail (only for a ridiculously short time but still) due to torturing his wife for years but other than that they seem to have avoided significant trouble in the system as far as I know. What most surprised me though as a kid was that the most sadistic one of them was actually very talented as a graphical artist. I would never have thought that someone so evil could also produce something beautiful but that nevertheless was the case.
(To conclude this post I once again I recommend studying the subject as it is an important one. If I have the time and energy I may write about some things I think ‘Time for Change’ has gotten backwards.)