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Psychopath Game

This post is also available in: German

It was inevitable that the winding path to Chateau Heartiste, hedged by fragrant nihilismicus viscosum, would culminate, as it traveled past the noble stone house to the woods out back, in a dark place where demons play. And when one ponders the changing nature of the empire within which CH is embedded, it should not surprise to stumble upon these demons at the foul climax of their bacchanalia.

Meet Stanley, the psychopath. This is his story. Pay special attention to his relationships with women. Read about his near-magical power to seduce and charm women to perform services for him that would defy the imagination of the most corrupted and vengeful beta male.

During the summer of 1972 a small item of news appeared in many of our daily newspapers over the country. It was an item that immediately engaged my attention. Over the two short columns was printed this arresting headline:

YOUNG MAN INDUCES FIVE TEEN-AGE GIRLS TO SHAVE THEIR HEADS

The report, as I remember it, did not go into much detail about this unusual event or give an adequate account of the young man’s methods of persuasion, of his motives, or of just what impulses might have prompted the five girls to take such an unusual and, one might even say, such an unnatural step. Among my first thoughts on this accomplishment was that Stanley must surely have been the man who brought it about. Who in the entire world but Stanley would have thought up such an exploit? Who else would have had the inclination to carry it out? Though the news report did not actually identify Stanley as the man involved, it brought back many memories of him over the immediately preceding period of several years when I was trying to deal with him and some of the complicated and unusual problems his behavior kept creating for those concerned with him, and for himself.

Like a number of other patients presented in this book, he repeatedly showed evidence of superior abilities and demonstrated over and over that he could succeed in Studies, in business, in impressing and attracting other people, and in virtually anything he might choose to undertake. And, similarly, he lost, or seemed to throw away, with no sign of adequate motivation, everything he gained, and especially the things that he claimed meant most of all to him.

The psychopath is different than most people. He is missing, or seductively convinces himself that he’s missing, a moral sense, save for that morality which accrues to the self. He may not be evil, but he certainly has the capacity to be evil, for he will have no remorse should he choose evil. An amoral person, whose amorality is perhaps developmentally hardwired, who can’t empathize with the suffering of others and for whom others exist solely as instruments of his pleasure… can this person be described as anything but a demon in human form?

And yet, here again, as we discover so often when examining this subspecies of man closely, women can’t resist the demon’s sway. They drop to their knees to suck his devil seed dry. Why? What is the psychopath’s source of power over women? Clues abound.

Typical of his behavior in high school is an incident that occurred while he was making excellent grades and holding positions of leadership. With no notice or indirect indication of restlessness, Stanley suddenly vanished from the scene. He failed one day to appear at classes and did not show up at home that night. After he had been gone for over two weeks, a period of great anxiety for his parents who had no way of knowing whether he was living or dead, the police finally discovered him working successfully in a large department store in Knoxville, Tennessee, approximately a hundred and fifty miles away. He seemed quite unconcerned with the ordeal to which he had subjected his parents.

The psychopath has mastered the attitude of aloof indifference.

During his first year at the university he was accused by a girl he had recently met of getting her pregnant after solemn promises of matrimony.

Before this trouble was settled by his family, at considerable expense, a similar accusation was made by another girt in a different state.

The psychopath lies with ease. More importantly, he knows what lies are most effective.

To set out without delay on the trip of approximately a hundred miles he casually stole a truck that happened to be at hand. It was heavily loaded with dairy products. State police pursued him, and in the chase he turned over the truck wrecking it and injuring a companion he had persuaded to go along with him. The damages, including hospital bills, cost his family several thousand dollars.

The psychopath is impulsive. He acts recklessly. I’m sure his company is very exciting for the people who have the fortune to meet him.

While still in college, he showed his excellent persuasive abilities during one summer vacation selling Bibles down in the Cajun country near the Gulf of Mexico.

The psychopath is a natural in the art of persuasion.

During this time he was living with his first wife who eventually had to leave him because of his tyrannical demands and his predilection for beating her up severely at the slightest provocation. It is difficult to imagine conduct of this sort in one who ordinarily gives the impression of a well-bred and considerate gentleman.

The psychopath is an occasionally dangerous man, and all the more dangerous for the expertise he brings at concealing his dark nature.

In discussing the first wife’s accusations of such conduct as this, Stanley usually brushed them aside as a typically feminine and somewhat ridiculous exaggeration of some minor disagreement. When confronted with undeniable evidence to the contrary, he admitted having taken mild physical measures to influence her, saying that he “just couldn’t stand her screaming and bawling,” This habit of hers, he said, made him lose his temper. When it was emphasized to him that her weeping and outcries did not precede the beatings but occurred only after the beatings began, he showed very little response. Apparently he felt that this crucial point was not sufficiently important to argue about and seemed to dismiss it without further thought as something virtually irrelevant, or at most a trifle.

The psychopath doesn’t feel genuine feelings, but he can mimic feelings, which is a sufficient talent to attract the interest of women. Never underestimate the number of women who can be bamboozled by phony emoting.

Chiefly because of this physical maltreatment, the first wife left him on many occasions.

Translation: She kept going back to him.

When with her and when separated, he easily obtained employment, usually as a salesman.

The psychopath has state control.

While he worked, his income was ample for any ordinary needs. During one period of prosperity he was very successful selling small computers for household use. He later added as a sideline the enthusiastic promotion and sale of waterbeds, shortly after these were introduced and hailed as a stimulating erotic innovation.

The psychopath seduces employers, customers, and women alike.

Then, without any particular reason, he would give up an excellent job at which he was distinguishing himself.

The psychopath is unpredictable.

Sometimes he would go out merrily and buy on credit several expensive suits and ample supplies of new shoes, shirts, and neckties.

The psychopath peacocks.

Stanley has proved himself a master over the years at misrepresentation in situations where the truth would cause him difficulty or put him in a bad light.

The psychopath never DLVs (demonstrates lower value).

He has also been scarcely less active and ingenious in the fabrication of elaborate lies that seem to have had little or no chance of helping him gain any material objective. […]

On at least one occasion he told a psychiatrist that when he was about 10 years old his mother frequently had adulterous relations in his presence with various men. When the plausibility of this claim was questioned, Stanley explained, or seemed to feel that he explained, by saying, “It was because she knew she could trust me with anything.”

The psychopath loves fucking with people’s heads.

While separated from his wife for a period of several months, he went for a short time with a divorcee not long out of her teens, who will here be designated as Marilyn. During this brief courtship he convinced her that though he had once been married, his wife and also his 2-year-old son had died. Actually they were at the time living in another state with the wife’s parents.

The psychopath does it all for the nookie. Or, rather, he does it all for himself, and the (barely legal) nookie mysteriously follows.

At their first encounter, or soon after, he convinced Marilyn that he was deeply in love with her and had every intention of marrying her. She had no way of knowing that these intentions, if they ever existed, had greatly changed (or that Stanley’s wife was still living) until he came to her with what must have been one of the strangest, most surprising and most inappropriate proposals ever made by man to woman.

He requested and persistently urged Marilyn to write a letter to his wife and in it explain to her that Stanley’s love for her (the wife) was strong and genuine and to implore her to accept and welcome him back without further delay. I have inexpressible respect for this young man’s powers of persuasion and have often marveled at his accomplishments in getting people, sometimes the most unlikely people, enlisted in working with him to bring about his various and sometimes incompatible or absurd aims.

Despite these extraordinary powers, Marilyn could not be induced to take the role that he tried to press upon her, Though extremely shrewd in many ways, Stanley, in discussing this matter, seemed to show some peculiar limitation of awareness, some defect in sensibility, of a nature I cannot describe or clearly imagine. This often led him into gross errors of judgment that even very stupid people would readily see and easily avoid.

The reactions Marilyn must have had to the unusual role he proposed and urged upon her invite many questions. Putting further speculation about these reactions aside for the moment, I asked Stanley if he did not think it might have seriously damaged the cause he sought to further if Marilyn had written the letter to intercede for him. Surely, I thought, it would occur to Stanley that such a letter from the other woman would point out and emphasize his sexual infidelity during the separation.

“Oh, no,” said Stanley, in tones of strong and almost indignant conviction. “My wife knows I’d never be unfaithful to her.”

He then went into some detail about her unassailable confidence in his sexual loyalty. “Why,” he said as if in real pride, “I promised her that if I ever did that with another woman, I’d let her know about it right away.”

I then brought up the point that he had given me plainly to understand that he and Marilyn had been indulging in sexual relations freely and regularly up to the time when he made his request for her intercession. Stanley seemed in no way dismayed. “But my wife,” he said confidently, “She doesn’t know about that.”

The psychopath possesses a vast reservoir of overconfidence and overestimation of the attraction that women have for him. Experience justifies his bloated self-conception.

Something in his attitude seemed to give fleeting and very imperfect hints of a difference far within that distinguished him in a very special way from the usual or ordinary human being who is unscrupulous and unconcerned about veracity or honor. When Stanley said, “My wife knows I’d never be unfaithful,” there was in his tone what seemed to be the very essence of truth and sincerity. There was pride in his voice that seemed rooted in this essence. Could it be that for the moment he lost awareness that he was lying? Perhaps even awareness of what truth is? If so, I think this oversight might have occurred because to him it mattered so little. Whether his sworn fidelity was real or not was apparently no more than an academic question empty of substance. The only tangible issue was whether or not it contributed toward gaining his ends. Whether the fidelity existed or his oath had been honored was, for Stanley, a matter that could interest only a sophist who concerned himself not with actualities, but with mere verbalistic capers.

The psychopath has unshakeable inner game.

On two or three occasions he voluntarily entered psychiatric hospitals, apparently to impress his wife by making her think he had at last realized he needed help and meant to change some of his ways. These visits were brief and fruitless and seemed plainly designed to manipulate domestic situations or to elicit new financial aid from his parents.

The psychopath is always looking out for number one.

His many notable and sometimes puzzling exploits were apparently decided upon and carried off on his own, without extraneous stimulation or chemical aid.

The psychopath loves himself.

In high school, and in college during the late 1960′s, he was often thrown with and sometimes almost surrounded by groups of young people who went about in ragged blue jeans, with unkempt beards and long dirty hair that seemed to offer a standing invitation to lice. With many of these young men it was considered stylish and desirable to leave out their shirttails and, on formal occasions, sometimes to come barefooted. Among these could be found many who thought of themselves as radical activists defying the “establishment” and its laws, moral codes, and conventions. In contrast, Stanley wore traditional clothes, remained clean-shaven with neatly trimmed auburn hair. He seemed to have no special interest in changing or challenging society, or in promoting rebellion. Verbally he expressed allegiance to law and order and regularly identified himself with traditional virtues.

The psychopath is a nonconformist.

Let us note briefly a few examples of Stanley’s typical power to convince and to persuade. A year or two before his second wife had to leave him he had no difficulty in getting a young women to turn over to him all her savings, which she had accumulated by steady work over years and which she had been carefully guarding to give her two young children some measure of security. She had clear knowledge of Stanley’s repeatedly demonstrated financial irresponsibility and, one would think, almost certain knowledge of what would happen to her savings.

The psychopath is so seductive he causes women to lose the normal functioning sense of propriety and self-interest they normally exhibit when in the company of niceguy beta males.

More recently he succeeded in arranging for admission to the hospital of a young woman with whom he had been living for a few weeks. She was legally married to another man but had left his bed and board. Stanley was able somehow to convince the ordinarily strict and uncompromising authorities in charge of admission to this hospital that insurance his employer carried on him would cover this lady in the same way as if she were indeed his wife. She did not claim his name as her own or attempt to falsify otherwise her name and status. When she was dismissed, the hospital was left with a large unpaid account that is almost certain to withstand even the most heroic efforts at collection.

Five minutes of psychopath beats five years of beta husband.

On another occasion, Stanley escaped the consequences of a felony charge by serenely posing as an undercover agent working with the authorities against organized pushers in the hard drug traffic. This ruse apparently worked well enough for him to avoid arrest and to leave the state and eventually to takefurther intricate steps to escape the legal consequences that would almost surely have been disastrous to the ordinary man.

The psychopath loves to role play.

His unusual ability to make conviction spring to life and continue to flourish against adversity, and even obvious contradiction, emerges again in a somewhat different area. An attractive and sensitive young woman whose early years had been extremely unhappy and, perhaps, had given her a far greater than ordinary need for genuine and unstinted love, seemed to find at last in Stanley what she had sought above all else in life. She was separated from her husband and for a long time had been loved dearly by another man who apparently offered her everything in his life without qualification or demand for ordinary reciprocation. Stanley grossly mistreated this appealing sexual partner who continued to live with him despite gross and flaunted infidelity, severe and repeated beatings, and other unprovoked outrages. In attempting to explain why she continued with him despite real fear that he might kill her, she said that somehow he made her feel genuinely loved for the first time in her entire life.

The psychopath knows… CHICKS DIG JERKS.

This statement seemed at first to suggest that Stanley might possess remarkable physical prowess and skill at sexual relations. It also might suggest that his partner was masochistic and actually found some perverse satisfaction from being mistreated. Continuing study of her reactions and her attitude gave increasing, and finally convincing, evidence that in neither of these possibilities lay a likely explanation of her loyalty. The more she discussed their physical activities in sexual relations, the more Stanley’s performance seemed unimaginative and his abilities at best ordinary. What she thought he offered her was not primarily physical. It was, I believe, precisely what he was almost infinitely incapable of offering, even in a small degree, but what he apparently simulated with complete success, casually and without effort. It was, she repeatedly said, the way be made her feel personally valued and cherished, deeply and truly loved, rather than a remarkable sensuously erotic experience that bound her to him. One can but marvel that Stanley, and only Stanley, of all the men she had known, could give her this invincible impression of sincerity in personal love and make it convincing time after time despite the repeated and trenchantly disillusioning contradictions demonstrated so vividly and so painfully, and sometimes brutally, by his conduct.

The psychopath is a maestro of the comfort stage of seduction. He intuitively knows that love, even simulated love, is a drug women can’t live without, and a reagent that dissolves the perimeter defenses of the most hardened cynics. But love is never more intoxicating to women than when it’s extracted, slowly and painfully, from a man who won’t give it up easily.

During another period of marital separation, this time from his second wife, Stanley carried out an exploit worthy of our attention. After a brief sexual adventure with another attractive young woman, Yvette,

Psychopaths keep ten in the kitty.

he apparently tired of her and turned his attentions to Sally, one of her friends from a nearby town.

Psychopaths are preselected by women.

She, too, was responsive and everything seemed to indicate a serious and progressive love affair. This new relationship, however, was abruptly terminated by a sudden trip to Europe that Stanley decided to make for reasons that he never made convincing to me, or even quite clear.

Psychopaths are outcome independent.

[Stanley] claims to have learned from Sally that Yvette was about to leave the country, that she was planning to spend some time in Brussels, and later in other parts of Europe. On hearing this, Stanley says that he called Yvette’s home and was told that Yvette was not there. He, nevertheless, persisted in seeking all sorts of information about her trip, apparently making a nuisance of himself and pressing her father repeatedly for information on points he felt were not properly a matter of Stanley’s concern. The father finally hung up, and afterward neither parent would talk with Stanley on the telephone. They had apparently been unhappy about Yvette’s former association with him and did not want it to be renewed.

Diligent fathers are kryptonite to psychopaths. Single moms are… you finish the sentence.

When asked why he did not get word to Yvette by some simpler means, such as having Sally notify her family, he does not give a really adequate explanation. He repeatedly emphasizes his sense of mission, the urgency of his task, and his determination to fulfill it. He also fills in details of action and adventure on the way to Brussels and while there in such a way as to conceal, or at least almost magically blur, the deficiencies that leave the account of his maneuvers so far from convincing.

Psychopaths are always DHVing (demonstrating higher value).

“Why,” Stanley answered promptly, and in his best tones of knight-errantry, “I’d have done that for anybody.”

It is beyond my power to describe the glibness or convey what I believe to be the lack of substance and reality, the emptiness of real human feeling, in these fine words that came to him so readily.

The psychopath is alien to men, and lover to women.

One gets the impression that Stanley sliced through the ordinarily paralyzing masses of bureaucratic technicalities and red tape with ease and celerity suggestive of Alexander the Great when confronted by the Gordian knot.

In expediting transactions and in manipulating people for this exploit, Stanley must have been at his best. The implausible story about Yvette having carried with her the wrong medicine and its alleged threat of danger to her life must have taken on lyrical notes in his telling.

The psychopath is a skilled storyteller. The content of his stories matter less than the style in which he delivers them.

On the other hand it must be remembered that Stanley has often carried out various extremely injudicious projects, suddenly and with no apparent regard for the consequences, and without any discernible goal that could, in terms of ordinary human motivation, account for his conduct.

Chicks dig a passionate man! Goal-directed passion, pointless caprice, same difference.

There seems little doubt that he grossly exaggerates and indulges in fantastic lies as he recounts his adventures, but there is reason to believe he attracted enough attention with the publicity he gained to persuade first class hotels and restaurants to honor his checks and enable him to live for a while in high style while he pursued his course as a dedicated man on a desperate mission of mercy.

Chicks dig a self-made man.

Here he seemed to find a role that highly elated him in some peculiarly egoistic fashion. In it he seemed to find a satisfaction somewhat similar to but greater than the satisfaction apparently given him by some of his other less elaborate lies and posings and his sprees of squandering money that he did not possess.

Chicks dig narcissistic psychopaths who show more concern for themselves than for the women who love them.

Is there any doubt remaining why women love psychopaths? The psychopath’s character and method is the distilled essence of Game. Of applied charisma.

Psychopath Game is End Game. It’s where a player will go should he decide to pursue his calling to the extremes of accomplishment. All that’s left to wonder is what of the future? Is our world becoming more welcoming to psychopaths and their depredations? Are women, freed from the shackles of reliance on emotionally healthy beta providers, seeking in increasing number the very special attentions of the charming psychopath?

If so, shudder for your posterity. Because that demon retreat awaits them.

[crypto-donation-box]

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