Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Psychopaths: A letter from an insider

Andrew D Atkin

I have been given permission to post this very interesting letter. It was recently sent to me by a man who obviously knows far more about the serious criminal world than myself. It is a response to my previous post, Should we be screening for Psychopathy?

As requested it is anonymous.


The major part of your argument may be realistic although you don’t seem to realize the true nature of psychopaths and those that label a person a psychopath. I have studied psychopaths for several years, approximately 40 years. I have more personal experience with psychopaths then most people ever have or ever will have.

The first thing you have to consider is education. Did you attend a university? Did you ever encounter a professor with whom you had some grievance such as grades or what he/she was teaching? The vast majority of psychiatry is taught by universities, I would suggest the vast majority of professors teaching these classes are themselves psychopaths, if not, at least sociopaths. Therefore, how can you expect such a professor to teach realistic courses in the soft sciences or even in the neurology departments that experiment on brains with the use of (on the most part MRIs?)

As I said I have a lot of personal experience with psychopaths. I believe my story is different from most that you might hear. I will tell you my story only for the sake of showing that those that label people psychopaths cannot be trusted.

I was a child in a family of twelve children, my father a WW2 veteran. He did try hard to be a good parent but was unable to, I believe, for one reason because he was suffering himself from the effects of his painful experience in the war. Another reason was my mother who was obviously mentally ill, I did not know it at the time, but when she went missing for several weeks or months and we all thought she was hiding out in bed, she was actually in a mental hospital.

My mother has always said I was a rotten bastard from the day I was conceived and she does so still today some sixty years later. My mother, as did my father picked their favorite children and the rest of us suffered under extremely abusive conditions. Mind you I still believe my father tried, he was just unable to control his anger or his favoritism for the few of the twelve. Of course, my mother also had her favorites, I was not one of either.

I suppose you already have figured out that I was not a wonderful loving child. I got into all kinds of trouble, mostly because I could not understand why United States citizens that invaded our village every summer had so much more than us. We had no heat or running water, while the cottages owned by US citizens were heated all winter, had water, even working telephones, although empty from September to June of every year, except for food, cigarettes, and alcohol they left behind in hopes that we that broke in would be happy to get that and not destroy their cottages. On the most part, the children like me were happy to take up part time residence in their cottages during winter, enjoying the food, warmth, showers, etc. I was about eight years old when I got into this scenario.

Since there were only a couple hundred year round residences that serviced the vacation industry during the summer I became well known as one that took advantage of the cottages. Our family was poor, more so than most since there were so many kids. I got beaten at least weekly by the other kids in town mostly because I was the one less cared for at home, seldom had reasonable clothes, and never any candy or such to share as the rest of my siblings did, at least the siblings close to my age. I often came home bloody and wore those bloodied clothes back to school the next day. My father in attempting to control me beat me often until I was about twelve when I just started laughing at him and he ran out of energy before he could make me stop laughing. My mother on the other hand never laid a hand on me, as she said, “I was not worth punishing.”

At fourteen I was taken to a local mental hospital (a wing of a general hospital.) I did not like being confined so I acted out and was sent to a provincial hospital. Again, uncontrollable I was sent to a Maximum Security hospital for the Criminally Insane. At fourteen I was labeled a psychopath. I have to add that even the psychiatric community did not accept that a boy of fourteen could be a psychopath. Although I had never committed a violent act, never charged or convicted of any such act I was housed with approximately forty psychopaths. Rapists, child molesters, murderers, mass murderers and even a couple businessmen. I spent a long time learning what they were about and who they were. I walked, talked, and interacted with them during the day; luckily we all had separate cells during the night. I learned very quickly that I had to show no fear of them or anything else, also that they should fear me. As it turned out I got along well with most of them and I had only a few problems while there.

I was finally released when I hit a fellow that had kicked me; I was put in the bullpen. The fellow in the bullpen next to me talked to me a lot, but every time someone opened his cell door he punched them in the face. He had been transferred there from a penitentiary where he was doing twelve years for murder. I told him if he kept acting like that he would never get out, he explained that he would be out and back in the pen within a week, or so, he was better off doing his twelve years in the pen then being in this place for as long as they wished to keep him. Further, he told me that by following their rules, getting along well, accepting all the torture, capsule treatments, LSD treatments, Scopolamine, speed, electric shock etc. I was the one that would be there forever. He was released back to Kingston penitentiary a couple days later, and I took his advice. I told them to F-O every time they wanted me to take another drug treatment or start some new advanced therapy method, I began telling the doctors they were the psychopaths not me and I went from the bullpen to the front door, and never returned.

After leaving although I had only about a grade six education at twenty one years old I went to college for about six month and then to university. I might add that during my time at university, during a seminar with approximately 20 so called educated people, except my vote, they voted unanimously that anyone that has a diagnosis as a psychopath should be hung immediately; this was in a philosophy class in which we were discussing the pros and cons of capital punishment.

Several years later I have never had a run in with the law, never charged or convicted of any crime, not even a parking violation. I raised two children on my own because my wife left when my son was born and she was unable to accept that my son had CP and would be confined to a wheelchair for life. He lived with me until he was 21, and in his second year of college. He did finish his four year course in teaching the disable to live independently and he now works for Independent Living for the last several years. He is married, owns his own home, and is doing quite well. My daughter did have some difficulties as a teen but now has four children, she is married to a hard working fellow, and they are doing just fine. I am sure this is absolute certain proof that I am a psychopath and should have been put to death upon diagnosis.

I should also add that many of the people from that psychiatric facility attempted a class action law suit against the province and the hospital for crimes against humanity along with several other crimes. Obviously, since the courts are paid by the Province they would not hear the case. I have attached a copy of that class action law suit just so you can see this is not a joke or a made up story.

My point in all of this is, who do you expect to decide who is and who is not a psychopath. Doctors and therapists are often wrong. Further, since I have MS, I know that MRIs are not always right or conclusive. MS is multiple scaring of the brain and/or spine. If an MRI shows multiple scares on the brain and/or spine but cannot say the person has MS, how could you possibly expect them to be sure that some difference in the brain can conclusively prove the person is a psychopath.

The only way justice can be served is to make lawmakers, businessmen, banksters, and the rest follow the law as any other citizen has to. Not as in the recent case of the New York governor who signed into law that all men caught paying prostitutes must go to jail, and when he got caught paying in the range of 13 thousand for a prostitute he stepped down and was given his own television show. Add to that G.W. Bush and Clinton, both presidents of the United States of America, Clinton claimed he could do anything he wanted as he was the President. G.W. Bush said he could torture, tap telephone calls, anything he pleased because he was the President. When G.W. Bush first became president a woman accused him of raping her, she was immediately put in a mental hospital and as far as I know, no one has ever heard from her, or anything about her since. Again, I say, all that needs to be done is to hold every person accountable for their actions, if they commit a crime, they should be charged, and if convicted, punished as would anyone else. The most resent, Obama, has lied, cheated, took the US to war without congressional approval, this is illegal but he claims it is not because he is the president. In this case some other political liar is pretending to take him to court over not consulting congress on the war, this is just a game, in any other case the president would not be sued and going to court he would be impeached; again because he is president he gets away with doing as he pleases.

Further, you mention that after a person takes these psychological tests, and I suppose MRIs, the information should be posted on the internet. What if the information is wrong? The majority of people in the US believe second election which put G.W. Bush in as the president for a second term was rigged, there were congressional hearing on the ways in which the computer systems could be compromised, and still nothing was done. So some poor guy gets bad results from his testing and it is listed on the internet, he is scared for life, most likely he would have a very hard time getting a job, if he could at all. On the other hand some companies might like this type of so called psychopath, so he gets hired on. How many customers or people he ran into would trust him, how many would want anything to do with him.

I can give a life example of this as well. During my stay in the hospital for the criminally insane they had a television station come in and do a documentary on the place and people there. The documentary started with something like, this place houses rapists, murders, mass murderers, etc. there was no mention of a few that had really done anything particularly wrong; they were just unmanageable as kids.

I was in that documentary. As I said previously, I tried my best to make sure everyone there was afraid of me instead of thinking I was afraid of them so I acted like a real tough kid, as nasty as a bear with a toothache. That person was shown in the documentary, when I got out some people still remembered that documentary and knew me, particularly those from my home town. I was likely one of the most feared people in town. I still was just about ten years ago when I moved out of that town. It has been a lot of years now so I am sure no one would recognize me where I now live. In fact the real reason I was put in the hospital in the first place was because the authorities did not believe my family was capable of looking after me, and believed it was for my best interest.

That is the kind of problem you would create with posting some doctor’s or therapist’s views on the internet, no doctor or therapist is correct 100% of the time.

You present a good argument, unfortunately you assume that these tests would always be correct when in fact in the soft sciences they seldom are, and in the case of using MRIs, as I said MS is a perfect example of how bad they can be.

You really should look up Multiple Scleroses (MS,) it seems pretty simple, multiple meaning 2 or more, scleroses meaning scares. Any MRI can see scaring on the brain or spine, so if there are more than two it should be a simple matter, yet it is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnosis because MRIs are not perfect and they most certainly would not be in seeing certain regions of the brain different colors, scared, larger, smaller, whatever. It is just not that simple.



The point made that we have to be careful with diagnosis is absolutely valid. We must be extremely careful to test the tests - especially in such a sensitive territory as this. In the scenario that someone receives a psychopathy diagnosis, and maybe the diagnosis is made public, then it should be linked with an open statement informing of the insecurities in the testing methods (be what they may).

However, for politicians (and other) that can send thousands of people away to be killed in wars etc, I still believe we need to conduct the most comprehensive analysis possible, for the sake of profiling. I feel it's a price that the most powerful people in our society should have to pay for the sake of maximising our security against [latent] tyrants. But also, of course, there should always be the option that a powerful person step down from their position if they wish to not have their profiles made public.

The other point that was made relates to what makes a psychopath - or maybe different types of psychopaths? This is not entirely clear, at least not to me. I think the essence of a psychopath is just raw inhumanity: This means a dead-cold indifference to the well-being of others. Not so much blood-lust or acted-out rage or anything like that, but a shoulder shrug at the thought of someone else being devastated as a result of your dishonest or immoral actions.

I gather it's easy to confuse 'psychopathy' with what's termed 'antisocial personality disorder'; the latter of which is generally the product of a particularly nasty childhood. Psychopathy seems to be an even deeper problem still: going right back to [probably toxic] events within the womb leading to deep imprints and epigenetic distortions, and maybe there are base-genetics factors as well. But as to the genesis of psychopathy, I'm really not too sure - is anyone?

Finally I would like to say that this letter that was sent to me was much appreciated.

Andrew Atkin

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