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Serial Killers Revisited

Uploaded 10/15/2019, approx. 41 minute read

That's because the culture itself is psychopathic and narcissistic. Psychopaths and narcissists are only very partly a mental health issue. Psychopathy and narcissism is only very partly a mental health issue.

It's more about social dysfunction.

Originally, psychopathy was not considered a psychological issue at all. It was considered an issue of deficient morality, and it was called the character disorder.

So social context, social functioning, social narratives, social mores, social kind of conventions, social anomies, social dysfunctions, alienation, all these are heavily involved in eliciting narcissistic and psychopathic reactions from people.

For example, it's a very little known fact that trauma victims, the victims, not the perpetrators, trauma victims develop severe narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors. I call it the narcissistic psychopathic overlay.

So trauma victims display diminished empathy. They lose impulse control. They become totally self-immersed and self-interested. They become aggressive, etc. So technically, if I were to observe a trauma victim without knowing that she is a trauma victim, I might have diagnosed her as a psychopath.

And that's an example of the contagion effect of psychopathy and narcissism mediated via social structures and the utter collapse of hitherto human interaction, institutionalized human interactions.

So with the collapse of the family, with the collapse of a community, with the collapse of frameworks, frameworks, organizational frameworks, with the collapse of meaning, it's a meaningless society. I think possibly, maybe for the second time in human history, after the 14th century, it's a society without meaning.

All these engender, foster, encourage, and reward narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors.

So narcissism and psychopathy have, of course, a psychological mental health dimension, but I would say that the more pronounced aspects are actually social, societal.

It's politically incorrect. Speech is suppressed in academia, explicitly and implicitly, and via peer review processes and so on and so forth. These are things you must never say, you must not say.

Morality play where narcissists and psychopaths are the new equivalents of demons and devils in the middle ages. And the victims are in purgatory or like Hieronymus Bosch, in one of Hieronymus Bosch's paintings, yes, they are in hell. And they're in hell tormented by demons. And the demons are the psychopaths and narcissists.

The thing is, if you rub often enough with the demon, you become demonic. And this is the hidden and suppressed truth of the matter.

In scholarly literature, you can find, of course, studies that substantiate it, and already the very least allude to that, but never online and never in popular discourse. There it's politically incorrect. All scholarly literature says this because we know, for example, that all narcissists are the outcome of childhood abuse. By definition, narcissists are victims of abuse. It's very simple.

And we know that psychopathy is a bit of a different issue.

First of all, there is a huge debate if there is such a thing at all, if there is such a clinical entity, an enormous debate. There are the likes of Robert Hare and Babiak and others who claim, or Dutton, who claim that there is such a thing as a psychopath.

The overwhelming majority of the profession don't agree with them. They don't think there's such a thing as a psychopath. What we have instead is antisocial personality disorder, which is a much wider spectrum disorder and has extremely little to do with Robert Hare's psychopathy or with his test.

So there is an open question whether there is such a thing as psychopath or is it a fashion or a fad or commercially driven exploitation of popular fears and popular imagination and popular narratives that are fictitious, have very little to do with reality.

But narcissism is a well-established clinical entity, has been for well over 120 years. And all narcissists, without a single exception, have been formed via childhood abuse.

Of course there are many forms of childhood abuse. Childhood abuse is any situation where the boundaries of the child are not allowed to emerge. The child is not allowed to separate and individuate from the parent.

So it could be physical abuse, it could be sexual abuse, but on the other hand it could be for example, idolizing the child or putting the child on a pedestal or pampering the child or using the child to gratify the parent or to realize the parent's unfulfilled dreams. This is also a form of abuse.

Well, shaming is according to some scholars like Morrison and others, my wife is doing work in this field as well, so shame is foundational for narcissism.

Some narcissists, some forms of narcissism, not all. Some forms of narcissism are compensatory. They compensate for deep-set feelings of shame and inadequacy. And they serve to regulate a labile sense of self-worth, owing to shame.

But in any case it's universally agreed that narcissism is the outcome of abuse. So by definition, all narcissists have victims of abuse and all victims of abuse potentially can become narcissists. It's a no-brainer.

And many of them do. Many of them absolutely do.

Yes, you see, narcissism is an emerging faith. It's an emerging religion.

And the reactions to narcissism are the same reactions we have encountered when Islam burst on the scene, when Christianity came. I mean, whenever a new religion emerges, we have, as a society, we have religious reactions.

Now these religious reactions, the language changes, obviously the vocabulary changes, the pretensions change.

But in essence the language is the same. It's a morality play. It's God against the devil. It's good against evil.

So narcissism is an emerging religion in the sense that narcissists deify themselves. They consider themselves to be gods. Not god-like, by the way, gods.

So as narcissism spreads, we have more and more gods. It's a polytheistic religion. It's a religion with multiple gods.

But it uses the current day metaphor. The current day metaphor is the network. Whenever we study anything, we use the network metaphor. We study the brain. We use neural pathways and neural networks. We study computers. We have computer networks. Network is the prevalent metaphor nowadays.

So obviously narcissism is based on a network metaphor where every narcissist is a god, but also every narcissist is a node in the network.

So we have the first case in human history of a distributed religion, a religion where there's no one centralized God, but multiple gods, polytheistic religion, where we have multiple equipotent gods, gods with the same powers, many of them, and the ability to generate many of them. It's like not a restricted pantheon, but it's an open access pantheon.

All of these are computer metaphors because computers run our lives and computers have become our lives. So we're using computer metaphors.

So the process of becoming a narcissist is the process of apotheosis. It's the process of becoming a god. You convert yourself from a human to a god.

Once the conversion is finished, you are a god, a one-man God, a one-man cult, a one-man religion. You worship at the altar of the false self and you sacrifice to the false self your true self. There is human sacrifice involved in narcissism because the narcissist sacrifices his true self, which he despises, to the false self, which he admires and worships.

And so you see that there are pronounced religious dimensions in narcissism.

And consequently, the reactions are very religious. You can go online and see what I mean. People are talking about evil. People are talking about demons, demons, literally. People are talking about devils, etc.

I mean, there's a lot of religious discourse around narcissism and even the non-religious atheists, secularists, they use religious metaphors such as evil. They say narcissists are evil. Evil is not a psychological term. I'm a professor of psychology. I never use the word evil. Evil is a religious term.

Serial killers, to start with, as far as what we know about serial killers because serial killers are a very new phenomenon. We didn't have serial killers in the middle ages or at least not modern serial killers.

Serial killers is a new phenomenon because serial killers have again, two dimensions. They have a mental health dimension, but they definitely have a pronounced social dimension.

For example, there is no serial killer without media involvement.

The media creates the serial killer. So we have a movie like Born Killers. You see how the media interacts with the serial killer and actually creates the serial killer.

So serial killer without media, without police, without social institutions and structures, without the social outcry, without reaction is not a serial killer. The audience, absolutely. It's a narcissistic drama. It's a narcissistic performance, a narcissistic theater.

Serial killers are theater. They use, of course, as raw material bodies, but they are absolutely about theater and they stage productions and they do it knowingly and consciously and they involve social institutions actively. They pursue social institutions. Jack the Ripper sent letters to the media of his time to newspapers.

The first, arguably the first modern serial killer. Yes.

So you can't say that it's restricted to mental health.

And when it comes to mental health, most serial killers have malignant narcissism, as Kernberg called it. Malignant narcissism is a gentle name for psychopathic narcissists. Narcissists who are also psychopathic. So most of them are malignant narcissists or psychopathic narcissists to be more precise clinically.

But they are also, many of them are also sexual sadists or sexual aberrant deviance in some, in some way, shape or form.

So there is a confluence here.

The first book about the topic was written well over 140 years ago by a guy called Krafft Ebbing. And we didn't make much progress since we simply don't know. We know that all sexual acts, including consensual, totally conventional sexual acts involve objectification. And this is especially true with men, not with women, by the way.

Extremely few women objectify their partner, but men do objectify. For example, we know in studies that we have conducted and so on. And I recommend to you to read the book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

So we know for example, that men react extremely powerfully to the point of orgasm if they are exposed to disjointed body parts of women. Not the totality of the woman, a body part, even if the photo implies that the body part is cut off, they still react orgasmically to a photo of a body part or a video of a body part. Even if there is a kind of a hint that some crime took place and the body part is, you know, cut off. We're talking well over 50% of men.

So that's definitely a male phenomenon because the male brain reacts to visuals almost exclusively. Men don't react to any other cue, which explains why men consume pornography overwhelmingly and not women.

So men react to objectification of the female body and to visuals. From here, it's a very small step to actually doing it, actually objectifying the female body and actually enjoying the visuals.

But of course, cutting, the blood, this involves a different set of mental issues. I mean, there is a subculture of BDSM, a subculture of sadomasochistic sex, which goes to extremes and, for example, involves choking or involves even cutting and drinking the blood that's called the vampire subculture.

So we do have this, but none of them would cut anyone's throat and none of them would enjoy snuff, snuff films, you know? And of course, snuff films are fake. We didn't come across a single snuff film, which was written. It's all fake.

There are of course perpetrators who document sexual killings. I mean, actually in the modern day and age, in the last 40 years, the vast majority of perpetrators documented their exploits on film starting in the seventies. So that part is true, but of course they don't share it online. Everything that is available online for download, etc., that's nonsense. That's absolute fake.

But yes, of course there are perpetrators who did record their doings and their sexual killings and so on. Such movies do exist, but they never go and get into the public domain. Whatever is available in the public domain is fake, but it's very realistically made. So it doesn't matter if it's fake or not fake. It gives the absolute impression that it's real.

And that is as distinct from child pornography, which is overwhelmingly real. Let's say child pornography, you don't have anything fake. There, almost everything is real, including horrible things like rapes of three years old. That's all real.

But coming back to the issue of sexual sadism, sexual sadism involves the objectification of the woman, as I've mentioned, which is very important to understand an integral part of male psychology, psychosexuality. It's common. It's normal. It's typical. Visualization and objectification of female body parts. That's utterly common.

Taking it a step further and converting the fantasy into reality via a blood splattered scene, that requires a different set of mental issues.

And we have spotted some correlation with psychopathy. Some, not as big as the media portrays it and not as big as show business would have us believe, but some correlation with psychopathy.

But actually it's much more correlated with sexual sadism and with a distorted need for intimacy, because most of the perpetrators we have studied, for example, Ed Gein and Ed Gein was the prototype for Hannibal Lecter. Most of the perpetrators we have studied actually enjoyed intimacy with the body parts. So Ed Gein would skin the victims and wear the skins. And this was a form of intimacy.

The only way they can obtain intimacy is by merging with the victim. And the only way to merge with the victim is to consume the victim's life.

This is not as crazy as it sounds. Actually it underlies most civilized, most cultures in the world. In most cultures in the world, primitive cultures, I mean, not today's cultures, but in most primitive cultures and until the 16th century, by the way, not that far away. In most primitive cultures, consuming someone's life was the ultimate form of intimacy.

So we had human sacrifice. We had cannibalism. For example, in many Native American cultures, if you wanted to show respect for a warrior, you would eat his heart or liver. In other cultures, slaughtering someone was an act of union, becoming one.

So it underlies a lot of religious practices and a lot of shamanistic practices, killing someone, dismembering someone, cannibalistically consuming someone, was an act of intimacy.

And of course, for example, we had the cannibalistic act in Germany a few years ago, where the two men, one was butchering the other, slowly and gradually, not immediately, butchering him part by part and they were eating the parts together. Imagine.

So they perceived it as lovemaking. They constantly described it as lovemaking.

And indeed, psychologically speaking, when we make love, and I'm not talking about the sexual, but also about the sexual act, definitely. When we make love, even in a one night stand, you know, there is a moment, a split moment where we cease to exist. Death is intimately connected with sex, extremely intimately connected with sex. The French have an expression, la petite mort, a little death. Death is the flip side of sex. Sex, of course, brings life to the world, but you bring life to the world by dying momentarily, which is orgasm.

Indeed, we discovered, for example, in studies that when people have orgasm, most cognitive functions shut off completely, utterly, and the autonomous nervous system takes over.

So it was well known in the underworld of Paris in the 19th century, there were collaborations between prostitutes and thieves. The prostitute would take a client and when the client orgasm, the thief would come into the room and steal his wallet and the client would not notice it at all because he was orgasming and he had no cognitive functions.

It was so well known that there were coalitions between prostitutes and thieves. It was known that the minute of orgasm, the person is clinically dead. Nothing works.

So the affinity, the affinity between sex and death is enormous. And of course, if you look at rituals throughout the world and throughout history and in numerous cultures and civilizations and religions, you see this extremely close affinity between sex.

Actually there were many religions where sex led to ritual slaughter, to sacrifice, sex led to sacrifice. So the women were having sex before they were, for example, being sacrificed.

So this affinity is embedded in our brains and with some people it seems social inhibitions which tell us don't take it any further, don't translate this primitive affinity between sex and death to reality. These inhibitions are somehow absent.

We can simulate this situation by, for example, consuming alcohol or drugs, but especially alcohol. When we consume alcohol, we have a state of total disinhibition, depending on the level of alcohol, but above zero, 18, we have a state of total disinhibition.

Many people, when they have consumed alcohol to that level, which is level that usually leads a bit later to blackout, when they've consumed alcohol to this level, their social inhibitions are gone. Their cognitive functions are gone and they are unable to form long-term memories.

At that stage, many people become extremely aggressive. Even people who are totally docile and tranquil and pleasant and kind become utterly life-threateningly aggressive.

So if you look at statistics, you will see that an inordinate amount of murders happens with intoxicated or inebriated people, by some accounts, 40%.

And so when we remove inhibitions, we immediately revive or resuscitate the link between sex and death.

And in the male brain, sex is connected to body parts and visuals. So if I remove the inhibition and sex leads to death, then sex itself must involve body parts and visuals. So it's one step forward and I cut the woman. So I have my body parts, I have my sex, and of course I have my death.

And the only thing standing between us and this is our socialization process. The process by which we interject, internalize, our parents' voices, peers, teachers, role models, media, etc., which keeps telling us, you don't do these things.

And still, despite all this, after alcohol consumption, in 20 to 30% of the cases, there is rape. Despite all the social inhibitions, and we are not talking about 2%, in 20 to 30% of cases, men rape women after they got intoxicated.

Aggression, death, body parts, visuals, sex, they're all interrelated in the male brain. It is, of course, no accident that the vast majority of serial killers are men, not women. It's a dysfunction of the male brain. It's something, sorry for the expression, fucked up with a male brain.

Well, I think men who were able to transition smoothly from sex to violence, not necessarily to death, but from sex to violence, did have an evolutionary advantage.

First of all, they were able to direct this aggression and violence to eliminate competitors. And they were able to direct this aggression and violence to the woman, and subdue her and subjugate her or kidnap her.

And we have many stories in antiquity of men simply coming and kidnapping women, including married women, the story of the Sabines and so on.

The story of the Sabines, you said?

Yeah, it's a story about how one Ionian Greek, males of one Ionian Greek tribe kidnapped married women.

But that's only one example. There are numerous stories about men coming and kidnapping women and killing the men or killing some of the women if they refuse.

I mean, it's very common in antiquity and in most mythology. In most mythology, it's common. So I think, yes, it did have an evolutionary advantage.

If you were able to transition smoothly from sex to death or from sex to aggression or from sex to violence, you propagated your genes more. You were more successful with propagating your genes.

And today is the same.

Listen, what happens in modern society is that we ritualized and we converted to symbols, all these ancient primitive underlying processes, but they have not changed.

We are still aggressive with each other as males when we compete over females. This aggression wears many forms and is, as I said, highly ritualized and symbolized. But it's there on every table where men and women sit together, the males aggressively compete for the females.

It can wear many, many guises, for example, humor, sense of humor. So one man would humiliate the other pretending to be humorous. Or brutal honesty, one man would say honest things about another. He's just being honest. You can't say anything. It's not bad.

So there are many forms of aggression, but this game continues.

If you don't have social inhibitions and of course, narcissists don't have social inhibitions, they're disinhibited. In other words, the process of socialization is incomplete or incomplete.

Because they are gods, they are godlike. Society, its rules, mores, edicts, conventions and instructions should, has nothing to do with them, can have nothing to do with them because they're above society. They're god, not godlike. They're gods. They're figureheads. They're godheads.

And this is common also to psychopaths. By definition, grandiosity negates inhibition.

We even discovered a phenomenon called alcohol myopia. Alcohol myopia is when you drink alcohol above a certain level, you become narcissistically grandiose.

All people, by the way, anyone who drinks and alcohol blood concentration level reaches a certain point becomes narcissistically grandiose. And this is called myopia. Alcohol myopia.

And so alcohol leads to grandiosity. Grandiosity leads to disinhibition. Disinhibition leads to unbridled action, not constrained by any rules or conventions or whatever. And extremely often leads to aggression and murder.

So alcohol simulates for us the narcissistic state of mind. Simply by drinking alcohol, we all become narcissists. And of course it feels wonderful to be a narcissist because you're godlike. So people who drink for a while are godlike.

Imagine the narcissist is constantly inebriated, constantly intoxicated. He is constantly grandiose and he says to himself, the inner monologue is, I'm above all this. I'm not bound by these rules. They are for mere mortals. I'm a god.

And if you look at Greek mythology, the gods allow themselves many things. They eat their own children. They copulate with mortal females. They have half sons like Hercules, who is half god, half mortal, half human. And they kill others. I mean, they are allowed to do things that humans are definitely not allowed to do.

And we even have many situations in Greek and Roman mythology where humans try to behave like the gods and they're punished.

The minute a human tries to emulate the gods and do something that gods do regularly, the gods punish him because it's hubris. It's pretty, it's unthinkable that men would be allowed to behave as a god is totally allowed to behave.

And narcissists are all gods. That's how I started this conversation.

And of course they are allowed to cut a woman to pieces and drink her blood or I don't know what else to do with her. They're allowed, they're gods.

Grandiosity leads to social disinhibition and social inhibition is the only thing standing between us and the very deeply embedded ancient rituals of sex and death, which were very intimately connected and interchangeable and transmutable.

And of course I will mention one last thing.

Transubstantiation in the Catholic church. We drink the blood of Jesus. We eat his flesh. The Catholic church doesn't tell you that the wine is like the blood of Jesus. It tells you that it is the blood of Jesus by a miracle called transubstantiation.

Whenever you drink the wine, you are drinking the blood of Jesus and you are eating his flesh with a wafer. That's his flesh. You're engaging in an act of institutionalized cannibalism.

How is that different to cutting the body of a woman and cooking some of her flesh and then eating it? How exactly is it different?

If you are God, Jesus was the son of God. You as a narcissist, you are God.

All these are connections in our mind, even if we are not aware of it.

But we are all exposed to these messages. It's in the air. We can't avoid them.

Women who do watch this are the same group of women who watch horror films.

Since time immemorial, we sat around the campfire and we enjoyed vicarious fear and vicarious terror. Knowing that we are safely ensconced close to the flames and we will not be harmed and we are safe.

Vicarious experiencing and vicarious experiencing in general is very ancient and very embedded.

What is pornography? It's vicarious sex. Everything is vicarious.

What is the film industry? It's all safe narratives watching from a safe distance and experiencing secondhand emotions or processed emotions.

I think, though, that there is a second explanation, I think women have tapped into the victimhood narrative.

There is an emerging global phenomenon to which I have contributed my share, I must say, an emerging global phenomenon of women as victims.

It is the flip side of militant feminism which started not now, but probably in the 1940s, 1930s, with Simone de Beauvoir in the 1960s, much older than American feminism.

But there was this strand of militant feminism. Of course, the foundational myth of militant feminism was that in patriarchal societies and all societies were patriarchal, male chauvinistic, in these societies, women were victimized or at the very least abused and exploited, which is another way of saying victimized. And this was a foundational myth.

As women became victorious in many ways, triumphant, as they succeeded to obtain many of their very justified goals of equality, access to the workplace, etc., access to education, etc., they carried this myth forward.

Now they had the power, for example, now they had the access to technology, access to workplace, access to finance, access to media, the media, access to courts and law enforcement, access to... Suddenly, women gained access to the levers of power and they took this myth and they are using now all the levers at their disposal, all the institutions, all the access they have, to take this myth and convert it into a cornerstone of modern thinking.

So I think there is a global movement, enormous global movement, of victimhood as an identity.

And in a smaller way, victimhood is a profession. So many women make money out of victimhood. They sell books about how they were victims and how they were victimized, not to be victimized.

So victimhood became an industry, sometimes a cottage industry, sometimes a big industry.

And so when a woman watches a serial killer on screen who kills women, it taps into the victimhood narrative, which is a very powerful narrative and very rewarding.

Because if you accept the victimhood narrative, you belong and you can also make money and you can attain.

For example, look at the Me Too movement. The Me Too movement is a victimhood movement.

I am not now discussing the merits of the claims underlying the Me Too movement. I'm looking as a sociological anthropological phenomenon. It's a victimhood movement.

And of course, other minorities are doing exactly the same. For example, African Americans. They're doing the same. They're tapping into the victimhood narrative.

Victimhood pays. Crime used to pay. Now victimhood pays. So everyone wants to be a victim.

And you have even male victims. You have men going their own way. You have the Manosphere. You have folks about endangered and threatened masculinity.

Everyone wants to be a victim. No one wants to be a perpetrator. That's why everyone gangs up on narcissists and psychopaths. Because everyone wants to be a victim.

And the narrative of narcissism and psychopathy creeps into victimhood, regardless of its nature. I even heard black thinkers in the United States describing slave owners as narcissistic psychopaths. So it's like creeping everywhere.

And people of course describe Donald Trump as malignant narcissist. So it's in politics as well.

Psychopathic narcissism came to be an organizing principle. An explanatory principle. Something that imbues existence, human existence with meaning. Because as I said, it's a morality play. It's good against evil. Everyone wants to belong to the good side. Women want to belong to the good side.

And the only way in today's world to belong to the good side is to be someone's victim. But everyone wants to be a victim. So which victim can you be?

Narcissists and psychopaths and serial killers.

Serial killers fulfill a critical psychosocial role in modern life. Because they are the unbridled, unadulterated evil. You cannot justify serial killing. You cannot argue with it. You cannot somehow see the good sides you need. I mean, it's pure unadulterated evil.

And so it's a beacon. It's a beacon of evil. It's a guideline. It's a lighthouse.

And all the victims can say, well, let's watch a movie about serial killing and feel good about ourselves, because serial killer is 100% bad, and that makes me less than 100% bad. So I'm somewhat good.

When you watch a serial killer on screen, you feel good about yourself. You feel threatened. You feel fear. But you also feel good about yourself.

First of all, of course, we must make a clear distinction between narcissists and serial killers. A tiny, negligible, vanishing minority of narcissists become serial killers.

Is there a benefit to studying the minds of serial killers? Only in the strict police procedural sense. In the sense that perhaps we can predict their moves. But we are getting help from unusual quotas. For example, we discovered that serial killers use trajectories between victims that are identical to trajectories used by bees when they go between flowers.

I'm kidding you're not. Serial killers imitate bees. When serial killers move from one victim to another and you chart the trajectory on a map, it will be identical to a trajectory of a bee going from one flower to another. So we are getting help from unusual quotas.

The study of serial killers has only one benefit. The ability to predict the next moves of future serial killers. Otherwise it teaches us nothing about the human mind. Nothing.

And all these programs online, I mean, on television, so they are utter waste of time. They are just to titillate and, you know, tantalize. We can't derive benefit from studying the brains of serial killers because they are so deviant and aberrant. They are such outliers that they teach us close to nothing about anyone except about themselves.

So if you study Ted Bundy, you will know everything there is to know about Ted Bundy. But I don't think you'll know anything about anyone else.

I mean, so it's a pretty useless sample. It's nonrepresentative sample. So it's useless.

We want to study big populations because big populations teach us about big number of people, which is the aim of psychology.

Now, narcissism is a different story. As I told you, narcissism has a mental health dimension, but also a pronounced social, cultural and anthropological dimension. And it's an organizing principle, explanatory principle, underlying motivational principle, underlies many human interactions.

And of course, all of us have healthy narcissism, which is the core, which underlies our sense of self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem. So we can't avoid narcissism. No one can. Everyone has healthy, primary narcissism.

So yes, the study of narcissism is useful, of course. It's useful, not in the way that it is cast online, in my view.

Because online, people say, well, if you study narcissism, you can avoid them. Or if you study narcissism, you will know how to cope with them or manage them or win over them or whatever.

I think it's way too late for this. I think we have entered the age of narcissism. And in this sense, I agree more with the cover story of the New Scientist in July, 2016. The cover story said parents teach your children to be narcissists.

So I think it's very useful to study narcissism so that you can cope in a future world, which will be utterly narcissistic, so that you can derive beneficial outcomes to yourself, so that you can succeed, accomplish things, reward yourself, etc.

Survive. I think it's way too late to counter the wave of narcissism. I think that tsunami took place.

It started, narcissism, pathological narcissism as a foundation, as a founding principle of modern life was identified already in the sixties by the likes of DuBois, Althusser and others, mainly French thinkers. And then in 1974, there was a guy called Christopher Lasch. Christopher Lasch wrote a book, The Culture of Narcissism, which was the father of all books on the topic. And he said very clearly, we are entering a culture and civilization, which is going to be 100% narcissistic and better to, you know, get ready. And he was right. It was 100% right.

And so we are there. That's it, society is narcissistic. The big question is, will we transition further? Will society transition from being nearly narcissistic?

When I say society, I mean, global society, because we go to China, you see the same thing. I mean, it's too late even to find enclaves where narcissism is, you know, still the wave didn't arrive. It's there's no such place. The entire world is narcissistic. And of course you see social media, social media is a technological manifestation, reification and expression of narcissism.

But the question is, will we transition further?

Because to the left of narcissism or to the right of narcissism, depending on your political views, there is psychopathy. Will we become psychopathic societies?

Well, that's a different issue altogether. There's a difference between narcissism and psychopathy is the following.

Narcissists need people. Narcissists need people for narcissistic supply.

Consequently, narcissists are prosocial. They collaborate in teams with other people, even Donald Trump. I mean, narcissists work with other people because they need other people to regulate their sense of self worth via narcissistic supply.

Attention. They need attention. You can't have attention without people.

So narcissists read people very well. They have cold empathy, empathy without emotions. They understand people. They collaborate with people. They set goals together with people. They work in teams. They are prosocial.

Psychopaths are not. Psychopaths do not need other people. Psychopaths are goal focused or goal oriented. And they use other people to obtain these goals and then they discard them or kill them or get rid of them somehow.

So for psychopaths, people are utter objects, total instruments. They don't need people or anything that people have to give. They don't have emotions. They don't need love. They don't need attention. Many psychopaths try to avoid attention or to evade being noticed.

So if we transition now from a narcissistic civilization, global civilization, because there are transmission mechanisms among cultures and societies via mass media, the internet, so today it's a global civilization.

If we were to transition from a narcissistic global civilization to a psychopathic global civilization, our species is doomed.

Psychopaths do not work together. They do not collaborate. They try to, they are highly competitive. They're extremely ruthless and ambitious. They use other people as instruments. They don't need anything from anyone. They are totally self-sufficient.

This would be the utter irredeemable atomization of what used to be human society.

We are seeing signs of this.

I personally think we are transitioning to a psychopathic civilization. Of course we had examples in history of psychopathic civilizations. Nazi Germany, for example, was a psychopathic civilization.

Which by the way started off as a narcissistic civilization. Don't forget that Nazism was a reaction to narcissistic injury of the German people. The German people were humiliated. They were grandiose and they were humiliated and humiliation was such that they became psychopaths.

And they transitioned from narcissistic society to a psychopathic society. And that's what a psychopathic society looks like.

And so if all global civilization becomes psychopathic, we as a species, I don't think we have a prayer. I don't think we'll survive.

And of course in such a society, one of the main indicators that we are transitioning from narcissism to psychopathy is school shootings, mass killings, mass killers and serial killers. Serial killers are like biomarkers. They are indicators of anomaly.

There was a guy called Emil Durkheim, a sociologist, Durkheim used the term anomie. Amazingly in his book Suicide, Durkheim predicted many decades ago, he predicted the societies become more and more anomic, more and more disruptive and dysfunctional. And when this happens, he said, there will be many more suicides, which is the case today, and there will be many more serial killers.

So I think serial killers are like biomarkers of underlying cancers or malignant processes. And it is no accident that both school shootings and serial killings have exploded in the past, shall we say, 20 years, utterly exploded. I mean, 100 years ago, you had serial killers after Jack the Reaper and so, but you had like one a year. That was like big news. And mass killings were almost unheard of.

Today you have, on a typical year in the United States alone, 400 mass shootings. And in a typical year, you would have anywhere between 40 to 70 new serial killers. That's in the United States alone.

Possibly top psychology would give you, many would tell you that wanting to go to the stars is wanting to escape reality.

But it's very common when the narcissist or psychopath, especially in narcissism, there's what we call collapsed narcissist. It's a narcissist whose aspirations, dreams, wishes, grandiose narrative, grandiose script collapses. So we call this collapsed narcissist.

When there is a collapsed narcissist, they go, especially if they have psychopathic traits. It was very common by the way, most, most psychopathic narcissistic traits and a few narcissist psychopathic.

So decompensation is when all the defense mechanisms, psychological defense mechanisms shut off, and simply shut off.

And now before I continue, you need to, perhaps as a layman, understand the main role of psychological defense mechanisms.

Psychological defense mechanisms were first described by Freud, but after that it was a lot of work to augment what he had suggested.

Psychological defense mechanisms are, their main role is to isolate us from reality, to reframe reality, to rewrite it, to hide parts of it, to suppress some elements, to emphasize and enhance others in a way that would be congruent, would fit into our view of ourselves, self-perception.

And if you are a narcissist, grandiosity.

So this is the role of psychological defense mechanisms, even in healthy people, to keep reality away from you. If you were exposed to reality without defense mechanisms, you would in all probability commit suicide because you would be totally overwhelmed, a process called dysregulation.

So psychological defense mechanisms, as Freud himself suggested, they are extremely crucial to functioning.

So the narcissist's grandiosity, the defense mechanisms of the narcissist are compromised. Compromised because they are used to support an unrealistic grandiose view of the narcissist. They really divorce the narcissist from reality, totally.

So in the case of the narcissist, the defense mechanisms are compromised because they are abused. They are used to support the grandiose narrative, which is divorced from reality completely.

The prominent defense mechanism in narcissism is fantasy. Fantasy is a defense mechanism.

So what happens is when there is a collapse, when the narcissist can no longer deny reality, for example, when he failed miserably and he cannot deny it anymore, or when his wife left him and he cannot deny that she had left him, or when his business collapsed, or when he was arrested and put in prison, things that he cannot deny anymore.

When reality intrudes, there is a state of collapse. At that moment, all the defense mechanisms shut down and the narcissist gets in direct contact with reality.

Now a healthy person would not be able to survive this.

In the narcissist's case, it's absolutely life threatening. The narcissist consists of grandiosity.

With the grandiosity gone, what's left behind is a void and emptiness because the narcissist doesn't exist. Narcissist sacrificed himself when he was a child and created the false self, which by definition is false.

The narcissist lives and exists only exclusively through the false self.

And when there is a collapse and this defense mechanism shut down, the false self disintegrates. And the narcissist is left facing his own emptiness and void.

There is no feeling more frightening than this. No terror comes close to this.

It's the equivalent, I think, of dying.

And so, at that moment, the narcissist goes through decompensation, the defense mechanism shut down, and then he acts out.

Acting out is doing something very dangerous, risky and reckless. It's a form of self destruction because the narcissist can no longer live with himself.

It's too frightening, too terrorizing. He tries to destroy himself, actually. So acting out can be anything, can be having unsafe sex with a stranger, can be drinking and then driving to death, can be anything. But any form of reckless, dangerous, risky behavior is a form of acting out.

Acting out is common in narcissism, in borderline personality disorder and in psychopathy. And in the case of psychopathy, it is also connected to lack of impulse control.

So the psychopath will decompensate. And then, for example, the psychopath wants to obtain money and he finds a victim and he works on the victim and then he fails. The victim tells him no money.

That's in psychopathic sense, it's a collapse. The psychopath's defense mechanism shut down and the psychopath, that's the decompensation. And the psychopath acts out.

In the case of the psychopath, because there is no impulse control, the psychopath can easily kill the victim. And of course, such a process is described to perfection, immaculately, meticulously, by Dostoevsky in his famous book, Crime and Punishment.

Where there is a psychopathic narcissist called Raskolnikov. And Raskolnikov tries to steal money from an old woman. And when she denies him, the process of decompensation is described so wonderfully. And then he acts out, he kills her.

So killing someone is a form of acting out because of course it's self-destructive, especially if you tell others. It's about destroying yourself because you had failed. And you had failed, thereby losing your defense mechanism, like fantasy. And you finally get in touch with reality and realize what a wretch you are, what a failure, what a horrible person.

No, I don't think the opposite is altruism because many narcissists are altruists. They are altruists because altruism makes them look good because they obtain narcissistic supply by being altruistic.

So I don't think that's the opposite. I think the opposite of narcissism is sociability, the ability to conform to and work within social structures.

Narcissists do that, but they don't do it for social goals. They do it for their own gratification. And they do it only as long as they get gratification.

The minute you shut off the narcissistic supply, they're gone. They're not invested emotionally. This process is called cathexis. They're not cathected. They're not invested emotionally in anything, not even in a marriage. Narcissists would get married to a woman for as long as she provides him with supply. The minute she shuts off the supply, he will divorce her and never dedicate a second thought to her.

So narcissists are solipsists. They are, in this sense, though they are pro-social, they seek to leverage society and social interactions to their benefit via narcissistic supply.

The psychopath doesn't bother to do even this. A psychopath just takes what he wants.

The narcissist works via social channels and institutions and structures to obtain narcissistic supply. The psychopath just goes for the jugular. He just gets what he wants. They help with society, structures, institutions, morals, and rules.

Psychopath is like a narcissist's shortcut. Narcissists and not interested in supply.

Psychopaths are usually interested in sex, money, power. This is the triad.

So it's actually a narcissistic defense, feeling humiliated. There's a lot of humiliation in listening to someone brazenly lying. A lot of humiliation because you feel that you are underestimated and treated as an idiot and even as an object.

When there is no remorse and no regret, it's very much like doing the same thing again.

So it's a reenactment in a way. A reenactment because whenever he lies, you know the truth, you contrast the two, you are forced to reenact what had happened. Lying forces you to reenact.

No wonder in all religions or most religions, you have confession because telling the truth is cleansing and purifying in the sense that it doesn't force us to relieve the trauma.

And when Nelson Mandela became president, the first thing he did was the truth and reconciliation committees where South African police officers, who interrogated, tortured, and killed people were allowed to escape scot-free without punishment, on conditioned that they came to these truth and reconciliation committees and told the entire truth, how they tortured and maimed and killed people.

It's important. Telling the truth prevents you from relieving the trauma. Lying forces you to relieve the trauma because your brain immediately contrasts what you know had happened with the lie being told.

He was actually dragging you to the submarine with his lies and forcing you to witness what had happened. It's very traumatizing.

And finally, so there is narcissistic injury, there is forced re-traumatization, and finally there is always the 1% chance that he might get away with it, that the morality play will end badly. It wouldn't be the first time.

I've just read, I watched an interview, I'm sorry, with a woman who had been raped while unconscious, drunk and unconscious. And her perpetrator received six months in prison and was released after three months. And she wrote a book about it. I Have No Name, I think it's called.

And so it does happen. These things do happen. Some judges do believe the lies. At some point, I mean, somewhere in your mind, in a tiny, tiny niche or corner, there is this terror that he might get away with it. That justice will not be done, that the cosmic order will collapse, that such people will be let loose.

And so lies present the potential for injustice and even worse, for an imminent threat. Lies threaten, because they can unleash this guy back on society. And on you, because you're a woman.

So all these intermix and they exasperate. I think that that was it, more or less, but they're all lying.

Narcissists less than psychopaths, by the way, because narcissists like to brag about what they do, they can't resist it, but narcissists much less. I mean, actually, narcissists don't lie a lot. They have something called confabulation. Confabulation is when the narcissist, because narcissists are dissociative, they have severe dissociation. They don't remember many things because they have no emotions and they are not invested emotionally in anything. They can't remember anything.

Today we know from modern studies of memory, we know that memory is intimately connected with the emotions that were attached to the circumstances. So we remembered via emotions. Most memories are not cognitive. They're emotional.

And because narcissists have no access to their emotions, they can't remember. So they forget a lot. Narcissists forget like 80, 90 percent of their lives.

And now what they do, they fill in the gaps. It's a process called confabulation in technical term, clinical term. They fill in the gaps.

They say to themselves, where have I been on that date? Wait a minute. It was a Wednesday. Usually I go to golf. Probably I was in the golf club. I was in the golf club. They would state it like a fact. Even though in the background, they are speculating that it makes sense. It stands to reason that they had been in the golf club.

So this is called confabulation, the reasonable or probable filling in of gaps in memory. And this is what narcissists do. Of course it's perceived as lying. But actually they're not lying. They're just speculating as to what would have made sense, what was most probable.

Not so psychopaths. Psychopaths are not dissociating. They have perfect memory. Actually, many psychopaths have idiopathic memory, amazing memory. So they are lying. They are absolutely lying. And they are using, leveraging their unusual memory to construct elaborate lies that incorporate big chance of truth.

And therefore psychopaths are extremely disorienting and misleading.

Because at some point you say, wait a minute, it's right. Yeah, that did happen. Yeah. Wait a minute. Yeah, he's right. I mean, like they totally disorienting. It's like a kaleidoscope, a hall of mirrors.

And that is psychopaths are doing this, not narcissists.

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