The psychopathy of control

It may seem ambitious, but this article seeks to serve as: an overview of why I believe there is no distinction between criminal psychopathy and what Eustace Mullins calls “the hegemony of parasitism”; as a companion piece to my video, ‘Study and Control‘; and as a partial review and hearty recommendation of Jon Ronson’s “The Psychopath Test“. It will, therefore, be a long article, so go read something else if you want a shorter read.

One evening in 2003, when I was waiting to meet a girl for a blind date outside Victoria Embankment Gardens, I was approached by a strange man who wanted me to come into a tent and talk to him and his associates about the 9/11 attacks. My determination in remaining where I was (so I could meet the beautiful girl as arranged) prompted the man to attempt all manner of new lines of persuasion to coax me into the tent, while I politely said “Sorry, not interested” half a dozen times or more. Eventually, thinking that the girl might show and not realise that I was her date since this weird-looking man was talking to me, I asked him to get to the point.

“Why don’t you just tell me what’s in the tent, and what all this is about?” I challenged.

“Oh well I’m with the Church of Scientology and we want to talk to you about how individual people can change the whole world.”

Upon hearing this, two things happened to me: the small chance that I might have ended up going into the tent (for example, if the girl had stood me up and I was lacking anything better to do) vanished instantly (I have known for a long time just how horrendous Scientology is) but my interest was piqued to hear what he meant about individuals changing the world.

The chap then proceeded to explain to me the nature of consciousness. “There’s a start point,” he explained, “and there’s an end point, and somewhere in the middle, is a CHANGE.”

After delivering this incredible simplification to me, he looked at me in a way that I’ve since associated with Jacques Derrida – as perfectly combining two expressions. The first, superficially looks at you with wonder as if you have no choice other than to admit how breathtakingly brilliant what you’ve just heard is. Underneath that, the second, harder-to-read expression says “I know I’m full of shit and I really hope you don’t just call me out on it here and now.”

The 9/11 bombers, the scientologist went on to explain, took a start point (presumably he meant when they first received heavy indoctrination at their training camps), underwent a change (accepted the idea that it was Allah’s will for them to fly planes into buildings and kill thousands of people), and then went on to an end point (flying the planes into buildings and killing thousands of people).

The funny thing is, at the time I thought this was mumbo-jumbo designed to confuse and intrigue people in equal measures so they went into that tent, but now I think that there is something very important in that simple model. In fact, I think that the most devastating ‘change’ that can occur in any person is the decision to interfere – for whatever reason – in other people’s lives.

I’ll explain. Let’s start with Jon Ronson’s book…

“The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry” is a brilliant read. Though I enjoyed his previous books, “Them: Adventures with Extremists” and “The Men Who Stare At Goats” in parts, I enjoyed The Psychopath Test a lot more, and I think it’s because it’s a far-more rounded work, on a far-more crucial topic.

Ronson tends to avoid definite conclusions, admirably leaving room for the reader to make their own mind up, while at the same time providing such a wealth and breadth of information that they are as well-equipped as they can be without having to do the huge amount of research he himself has done.

Ronson does a great job of illustrating how many of the approaches and methodologies of the very people that are supposed to diagnose, treat, and possibly even attempt to cure psychopaths, can seem psychopathic in themselves. Perhaps the best example of this is the reference to the nude psychotherapy sessions of Dr. Paul Pindrim, where patients were made to talk to their own genitals and excretory organs, and to ruthlessly examine those of their fellow patients; how anyone suffering from problems of the mind could be made to feel better by this method is completely beyond me.

But the most interesting aspect of The Psychopath Test is that Ronson’s thesis at certain times throughout the book (which is not to say that it is the thesis of the book itself) is/was that many of the world’s elite – bankers, statesmen, and influential academics and scientists – might themselves be psychopaths.

Like Ronson, I am intellectually uncomfortable with the labelling of certain people as inherently different from ‘normal’ people. And since ethics and even some practical issues has thus far prevented scientists from determining whether the amygdalae (part of the brain deemed to be dysfunctional in psychopaths) of some people are different from birth, or whether this difference is brought on by an experiential or environmental factor – I would like to suggest that the situation is perhaps a bit more complicated than that, and that people’s behaviours (ethology) are quite strongly determined by the content (and not just the condition) of their brains.

In his 1977 masterpiece, “Cosmic Trigger”, Robert Anton Wilson wrote:-

Paul Watzlavik, among others, has performed classic experiments in which totally sane people will begin to behave with all the irrationality of hospitalized paranoids or schizophrenics – just because they have been lied to in a calculated and systematic way. This sort of “disinformation” matrix is so typical of many aspects of our society (e.g. advertising and organized religion, as well as government) that some psychiatrists, such as R.D. Laing, claim it is the principal cause of psychotic breakdowns. When the politics of lying becomes normal, paranoia and alienation become the “normality” of the day. The government, as the principal liar of the 1960s, was, of course, more deluded than anyone else, since its reality-map had become a classic disinformation system.

This view correlates with what I have already written about bad journalists in a recent post, and it clearly applies to most members of political and academic elites. As my friend Entito Sovrano always says, “they’ve become the victims of their own dumbfounding systems”.

What I want to emphasise in particular though is that the desire to study and control others is itself the root of the psychopathic cycle, and is the step that, above all others, must be resisted, even when (and especially when) it arises in otherwise sane and sociable people. In my video, Study and Control, I showed (albeit via the format of talking cartoon characters) that heteronomous study and control should not just be seen as mind control and brainwashing propaganda. People practise not just control for its own sake, as O’Brien says in Orwell’s 1984, but because of deformities of character.

For example, because systems of cultural and economic class delineation and perpetuation have existed for such a long time, the elite have automatised and become victims of their own self-perpetuating doctrines. When Jay Rockefeller ‘joked’ that his “father told [him] that’s the way the system is meant to work”, it was an ironic joke, because in fact that’s exactly what he and all the ruling class think – that it is natural and desirable for there to be people – such as him and his family and his cronies and his overlords in the more powerful families – that ‘take it upon themselves’ (a phrase disgusting in all senses of the words) to be the leaders of others. If given truth serums and made to explain their selves (a fantasy of mine), such elite controllers would argue that they are superior, have received better educations and that rather than have a society in which people of ‘lower standing’ do whatever they like, unguided, it is better to have a society in which the best elements of it (a self-fulfilling claim) take the reigns and guide that society to the best results for mutual benefit; nothing could be more psychopathic.

As a doctor in Ronson’s book says (and I paraphrase), “criminal psychopaths damage individuals and families, whereas governmental and economic psychopaths can devastate whole societies”. And since there now exist elites powerful enough to wield truly global influence, one can argue that their psychopathic behaviour is brutalising the whole world.

Ronson begins The Psychopath Test by telling a wonderfully-mysterious (but true) story of a reclusive academic in Sweden creating a huge stir because of the fact that his personality leads him to want to do odd things like create unsolvable puzzles and send them to hundreds of people. While I won’t go so far as to label this tendency a ‘defect’, it can be used as a comparison to the massive knock-on effects of the defects of the global elite: because of the state of their minds, mass carnage and suffering propagates. Not that it would be an ideal situation, but if they were satisfied only with being rich and enjoying the wealth they had amassed up to that point, the knock-on effects would genuinely free so many other people around the world, and so in a consequentialist, utilitarian sense, restore a great deal of positive values.

The elites are not only mistaken in their beliefs that they are superior, but in believing that anyone (group or individual) can properly study and control others. Study and control on the level they are talking about – is virtually impossible, certainly far beyond the reach of any currently-existing human cognitive system.

Which brings us back to 9/11 and the scientologist: whether or not 9/11 was the doing of Wahhabist muslims, Mossad, a shadow conspiracy inside the US, or some other group, as a phenomenon it is undeniable evidence that a single power bloc can control any given situation, even if it wanted to (which some of them do).

And as we return to that scientologist (who with any luck has probably been excommunicated, reformed, and is living a better life), we should also bring back his little thought experiment for modelling what goes on in the world:

There is a start point (the desire to interfere in another’s life), a change (acquiescence to that desire or dismissal of it) and the end point (autonomy prevailing, or the cycle of heteronomy and psychopathy beginning).

I don’t care whether you love thy neighbour as your self – just don’t think his life has anything to do with you unless you both wish it so. Since everything comes down to choices: try to make sure yours are the right ones.

Dorset, September 2012