What’s Defective in the Brain of Gareth Morgan?

Most Kiwis have now had occasion to listen to Gareth Morgan and have realised that there’s something missing from his brain

New Zealanders have had a collective experience this year – 97.6% of us have seen Gareth Morgan on television or social media and thought to themselves “There’s something fucking wrong with that guy.” Even by the mediocre, ignorant, bombastic standards of the puffed-up pissants who comprise New Zealand’s political class, Morgan stands out as a particularly vile specimen. This article takes a psychological perspective to examine what might be wrong with the man.

Having a go at someone on the occasion of the sudden death of a beloved pet, as Morgan did upon the death of Jacinda Ardern’s cat this week, is about as worthy of admiration as having a go at someone on the occasion of the death of a grandparent. It’s a really low thing to do, and a person wouldn’t normally think to do it unless something was missing from their brain. After all, many pet owners consider their animal friends a legitimate part of the family.

Imagine if Sam Morgan suddenly died and Jacinda Ardern had a go at Gareth on social media, taunting him on account of the damage Sam did to the environment with frequent international air travel. It would be the most appallingly unprimeministerial conduct ever witnessed in the history of the country. The whole nation would be united in agreement that someone who behaved like that was not fit to run a pub, let alone lead a country, on account of lacking basic compassion.

That this sort of conduct is not beneath Morgan won’t surprise the large numbers of people who have observed him speak and got a creepy vibe from the man, as if he was someone who you wouldn’t leave alone in a room with a pet or a small child.

Probably the reason for this is that Morgan, like most individuals who give other people the creeps, has a very low opinion of the importance of other people. As evidenced by his proposal to buy a section of Awaroa Beach, Morgan considers other people lesser beings, their opinions less worthy, their feelings less valuable.

This is not news to anyone who criticised Morgan’s refugee policy on one of his billions of sponsored FaceBook threads, and was verbally abused as a consequence.

It is cause to believe that Morgan has utterly failed at what a psychologist would call the development of a Theory of Mind – in other words, Morgan has absolutely no idea what’s going on in other people’s heads.

This hypothesis is supported by Morgan’s rude, crude, almost autistic dismissals of other people’s viewpoints. Like most narcissists, Morgan responds firstly with disbelief and rage when people disagree with him, and then when this cools becomes snarky and contemptuous. No effort at creating a common understanding with another person is made – you agree with the truth as divined by Saint Gareth or you are simply subhuman.

No amount of explaining could get it into Morgan’s head that most people are appalled by a tax plan that calls for taxing the family home. For the vast majority of people, their tenure of dwelling is their basic security in life: their castle and their home base. Of course, someone with hundreds of millions who can buy a house with pocket change cannot understand these sentiments, but the telling thing is that Morgan made no effort to – anyone who disagreed was simply a misinformed idiot.

Neither does he seem to have the faintest idea how much joy people get out of cats, and therefore the great anti-depressant effect that cats have on the people that spend time around them. He seems to have completely failed to understand that most cat owners see their cats as fellow beings of a similar order of importance to other people. This is pretty weird, all things considered, because there are very few people who are mentally defective on such issues of empathy.

Probably the main reason for this failure is that Morgan just doesn’t care. Judging by his behaviour on the campaign circuit, other people are, for him, just tools to be used in the achievement of a greater objective.

In other words, Morgan shares a failure to develop a theory of mind with all manner of criminals, psychopaths and dictators, who, like him, are missing the basic empathy that makes people truly human.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XV

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1235-1290), Breivik turns to the question of how to consolidate and organise European conservative groups. This is mostly to be achieved through the promulgation of what Breivik calls the “Vienna School” of ideology, so named because it was in Vienna where the last great expression of a European will to not be ruled by Islam took place.

For Anglo readers, some of Breivik’s philosophy will appear very curious. Some of this originality is a consequence of being European, such as his desire to resist “excessive US cultural influence”. He also believes in the idea of partitioning South Africa in two countries, with one for the Europeans. These sentiments he shares with many other European thinkers, not all of whom are right-wing.

Fundamentally, as is repeatedly emphasised, Breivik is looking for space away from what he considers hate ideologies. These hate ideologies are all as bad as each other in Breivik’s mind, and he claims to oppose any such ideology based on hate: “A multiculturalist is just as bad as a Nazi, which again is just as bad as a true Muslim, a communist or a fascist.”

The four most prevalent hate ideologies in the modern world, against which all nationalists and patriots much stand, are according to Breivik:

1. National Socialism (anti-Jewish hate ideology, racist in nature).
2. Islam (anti-Kafr hate ideology, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists etc).
3. Communism (anti-individualism, anti-freedom).
4. Multiculturalism (anti-European hate ideology, anti-white racism).

Sometimes Breivik’s argumentation is so reasonable that one is forced to consider whether or not he may have become demented after composing this document. For instance, he correctly points out that it isn’t a good or honourable idea to fight the hate of multiculturalism with the hate of Nazism, and one ought to strive to find an ideology without hate. He also points out that young people should not be considered “lost causes” just because the media labels them racists, a level of tolerance severely at odds with his infamous actions.

Much of this section is taken up with talk about the “seven fronts” of peaceful activism, which involve ways of promoting a cultural conservative message and resisting the hate ideologies of Communism and Multiculturalism while acting within the law at all times, and how people in these fronts must officially deny support for the “eighth front” of armed resistance.

Breivik gives a sense of having left no stone unturned when he writes at length about the reality of time in prison for anyone really interested in being a member of the eighth front. How to conduct oneself in prison in order to undermine Islam is discussed at length.

The most interesting thing to take away from this section is the question Breivik raises when he talks about the need for reasonable cultural conservative movements. He makes the claim that multiculturalists have sown the seeds for their own downfall by making moderate cultural conservatism impossible, because this has driven a large number of impressionable young people into the embrace of hate ideologies like Nazism.

This might be the aspect of Breivik’s philosophy that people will have the most difficulty understanding. He has the historical understanding to foresee a counter-reaction to leftism, and he knows that the greater the excesses of one age, the greater the excesses of the counter-reaction. So he is a voice of moderation in a very real way, somehow managing to be a centrist on the paranoid and aggressive axis.

Interestingly, however, Breivik puts the responsibility of creating this reasonable cultural conservative movement on his readers. He argues that any unwillingness to do so will inevitably result in impressionable youth having their social needs met by more insidious movements.

Why Kiwis Hate the Police II

Many forget that the warrant of a New Zealand Police officer is not to enforce the law but to keep the peace

Consider this thought experiment. You’re driving down a state highway at 100km/h, with some cannabis in your car. Going around a bend, you see a Police car upside-down in a river with no person in sight. Obviously the driver failed to take the corner, and is almost certainly in dire need of immediate medical help. The question is: do you stop and help, or do you just drive on past?

Most Kiwis would argue that the correct answer is clearly to stop and help. After all, it’s a medical emergency, and the Police couldn’t possibly be so unreasonable as to charge a person with a cannabis offence if someone’s life was on the line. Surely discretion would be used in such an instance.

These Kiwis would have more faith in the Police than Caleb Smith, of Greymouth. His story, which hit the news yesterday, has appalled New Zealanders. Smith made a suicide attempt, and part of the Police response was to search his house, discover some cannabis plants, and charge him with a criminal offense. He now has three criminal convictions.

This incident is very enlightening when considered in the context of broader relations between the public and the Police. The reaction of most New Zealand citizens when reading about the conduct of the officers in the Caleb Smith story is horror, disgust and outrage, but that isn’t the worst thing.

The worst thing is the effect stories like this have on public perceptions of New Zealand Police officers.

Stories like Caleb Smith’s tell the reader that the sort of person who becomes a New Zealand Police officer is the sort of person who is willing to go up to another Kiwi at their lowest point – in the midst of a suicide attempt – and kick him in the guts, making his life far more difficult for no benefit to the public good, and without the consent of the New Zealand people. It’s a person willing to be cruel simply for the sake of it, using their uniform as a shield to evade responsibility.

Like a dog, they just do what they’re told without consideration. At least, this is how the Police naturally start to appear in the eyes of the population they are supposed to be keeping safe when that population read about such incidents.

Cries of “They’re just doing their jobs!” don’t change the sentiments that stories like Smith’s make Kiwis start to have towards Police officers. In fact, mindlessly following orders is as contemptible as anything else – and people know this.

At the end of the day, every Police officer has the free will to refuse to enforce laws that are unjust, and if they choose not to exercise that free will they cannot complain of the consequences.

It is the duty of every sentient being to consider whether their actions cause suffering to leave the world, or whether their actions bring suffering into the world. That Police officers enforce a law on the Kiwi people that causes great suffering, and that they do so without the consent of those people – who do not approve of that law – is worthy of contempt.

If Police officers choose to enforce a law, even when doing so requires them to willfully add more suffering to the life of one of their fellows who is already suffering severely, then it’s only natural that the people come to hate them.

Why the Religious Oppose Drug Use

The religious are closed-minded about a lot of things, and drug use is one of them

One oddity about the Western political landscape is taken for granted with no explanation given. It is that the religious, especially the fundamentally religious, oppose all drug law reform measures. Considering that drug prohibition does immense harm to drug users by subjecting them to a justice system built for murderers, rapists and thieves, it’s not clear why the religions would oppose this. This essay looks at why.

The religious prohibitions against drug use seem doubly strange if one considers that many of the world’s oldest religious traditions involve the use of cannabis. This is particularly true of the South Asian religions like Hinduism, which arose in the same general area in which cannabis was cultivated. Why would a tradition of behaviour intended to get one closer to God oppose the legalisation of an entheogen?

The truth is that religion, insofar as it’s practiced in our modern times, has degraded into the opposite of a spiritual practice. 21st century religion in the West no longer has anything to do with apotheosis or sharing any genuine insight into the nature of God that a person might have had.

21st century Western religion is just a sham, selling a communal sense of moral superiority, to people with low self esteem, for money. The people selling it don’t want their flock asking too many questions. They just want them regularly returning to be fleeced for a steady passive income.

In order for this ancient scam to be possible, people have to be separated from true spirituality. If a person is connected to true spirituality then they will instinctively understand that ridiculous stories like the need to mutilate the genitals of new-born babies, or that failure to worship God in the correct manner would doom someone to eternal punishment, or that a desert full of inbreds in Asia Minor was the holy land, are all ludicrous superstitions that serve only to distract people from genuine communion with God.

So religions need to deny people their spiritual birthright in order to make them confused enough to exploit them. Therefore, they need to deny them the entheogenic sacraments that the people have used since prehistory to connect themselves with God.

Entheogenic drug use leads to novel states of consciousness, which lead to original perspectives, which have a deconditioning effect on previous brainwashing, obsession or delusion. In this sense it is very similar to meditation, which also leads to novel states of consciousness that have a deconditioning effect (and it’s no coincidence that the religious have also tried to replace meditation with ineffective lizard-brain rituals such as prayer, chanting, contemplation etc.).

The religious oppose entheogenic drug use because it leads to genuine spirituality, because once this is achieved a person can no longer be scammed with fairy tales that are only convincing to the ignorant. It’s just a rehash of the many-thousands of years old story of wealth and power and the lies told to secure them.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XIV

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1153-1234), Breivik gives his thoughts on the Knights Templar and ethnocentricism. The ultimate goal appears to be the institution of a cultural conservative society akin to that of Japan or South Korea, or what Breivik believes Europe to have been like in the 1950s.

Again, an element of paranoia comes through in Breivik’s writings, evidenced through extremely cynical conclusions to otherwise intelligent paths of reasoning. He correctly notes that the Nazi loss in World War II made any nationalist or racial conservative sentiments start to look a bit dangerous, and that this gave the initiative in the culture wars to the Marxists, but it’s not necessarily true that what happened to the West was due to some nefarious master plan.

It’s more likely to be simple superstition – such a thing happens to the ideology of the losers of every war.

Despite the paranoia, Breivik’s cold Nordic honesty shines through as some points, such as when he concedes that the Marxists have up until now been better propagandists than the cultural conservatives.

Although Breivik decries Nazism as a hate ideology at many points in this document, this section, if read in isolation, could easily give the reader the impression he was a racial supremacist. He decries what he believes to be an attempt by the cultural Marxists to cause the extinction of the Nordic genotype on the grounds that this genotype is evil, and he justifies an ethnostate on the basis that one would preserve the indigenous rights of the European people in the face of high Muslim breeding rates.

At some points, Breivik’s argument shows a distinct lack of deeper coherence. At one point he correctly points out that women like Pamela Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift attained fame due to their distinctively Nordic appearance, but the fact that this is true is evidence against a global media conspiracy to exterminate the Nordic genotype. Why would a media conspiracy put forward the Nordic genotype as a beauty standard when they could put forward an Asian or an African genotype and convince white men to ignore their women?

If the media puts the Nordic look forward as a beauty ideal this will simply shift the pressure of sexual selection to favour Nordic people, which means that the Nordic genotype would reproduce at a higher rate than it otherwise would have done.

The Nordic genotype is not really faced with extinction. People of Nordic genotypes control 30 million square kilometres of territory across Europe, North America and Australia and number close to 400 million (USA 180 million, Germany 75 million, Britain 55 million, Canada 20 million, Low Countries 25 million, Scandinavia 20 million, Australia and New Zealand 20 million). Their combined economic output is three times the closest competitor (either the Japanese or the Han Chinese).

Any idea that Breivik is a neo-Nazi can be decisively put to bed when he writes that “If there is one historical figure and past Germanic leader I hate it is Adolf Hitler.” However, he concedes that there is a 60% overlap between his ideal policy and that of the Nazis.

In a passage about sexual morality, Breivik writes “Approximately 50% of my female friends end up under the definition/category; promiscuous (female sluts) as they have engaged in sexual activity with more than 20 partners…” This sort of lifestyle was not for him, however, despite that “I could easily have chosen the same path if I wanted to, due to my looks, status, resourcefulness and charm.” This invites one to wonder how Breivik would have turned out if someone had given him some MDMA at age 18 or so.

Curiously, there is a passage where Breivik writes about the need to use “reprogenetics” to create a race of humans free from hereditary diseases in which he sounds very similar to the megalomaniacal Sigurd Mastersen in The Verity Key. Breivik wants to use women in third-world countries as surrogate mothers for embryos engineered to create a child of the Nordic genotype.

Further underlying Breivik’s inability to comprehend irony, he writes in one passage about the dangers of hip hop and how the lyrics can easily lead to a destructive and anti-authoritarian attitude. Well, it’s apparent that Breivik himself fulfills the criteria of having a destructive and anti-authoritarian attitude.

Notably, Breivik writes that “I never tried drugs myself as I never wanted to break that threshold.” Perhaps if he had been willing to try some drugs he would have broken out of the paranoid, obsessive, repetitive thought-loops of vengeance and justice that led him to kill over 70 people.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XIII

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1068-1152), Breivik writes about a wide variety of topics, including a proposal for a merit system for the society of knights, how to counter state propaganda, an entreaty to European police forces and an argument for the reinstitution of patriarchy.

Again without apparent irony, Breivik writes that “[The media] deliberately portray us as the anti-thesis of the ideal person so that we achieve a minimum of impact when it comes to appealing to the average European.” This is a curious position if it is considered that the average European, being rather civilised, generally finds murderers unappealing.

It’s obvious from reading a document such as this one that a person with Breivik’s mind was clearly capable of carrying out the deeds he was accused of. But it’s hard to know what to make of someone who advises prospective mass killers to “Visit a male salon if possible and apply light makeup” before taking photos of themselves in order to look the best.

Here Breivik gives a very interesting explanation for the phenomenon of the mainstream media describing white mass shooters as “lone wolves” or “mentally unstable”: ultimately, the Establishment wants to avoid having to explain why there is an ideological opposition to the way they are running things, because having to explain this would give that opposition the perception of legitimacy.

This explains why ruling classes of all times and places are so quick to decry their opponents as “mad” – because it delegitimises them.

Yet again, Breivik decries Nazism: “We hate everything Nazi Germany stood for, in fact we view the current EUSSR/Multiculturalist regimes of Western Europe as totalitarian Nazi regimes.” It’s apparent that there will always be people who call him a neo-Nazi, but anyone who has bothered to read this document knows that this isn’t true.

The most difficult thing for most readers of this document to understand will be Breivik’s frequently declared opposition to “all hate-ideologies; communism, cultural Marxism/multiculturalism, Islam and national socialism.” Most people tend to assume that any mass shooter belongs to a hate ideology and will therefore have considerable difficulty putting Breivik in a box.

Also difficult to understand is Breivik’s frank acknowledgement of the success of Islam in honouring those who have martyred themselves for its cause. Perhaps this has occurred out of Breivik’s will to approach the question of nationalism from a military perspective.

When Breivik writes that “It is every Europeans duty to defend their people and country against the ideology of genocide, conquest and destruction known as Islam,” this raises a number of questions. Some of these questions are fair, but many will resist asking them for fear of granting legitimacy to violent nationalist sentiments.

The biggest is this: how do we know that Islam is not an ideology of conquest? Because the only thing stopping more people from following Breivik’s line of reasoning is the pervasive belief that Islam is not an ideology of conquest. If this belief does not accord with reality then it will eventually yield.

This is no trivial point. The fact remains that if a large number of fighting-age men come into your territory with an ideology of conquest then you are literally at war, no matter how much you might deny it or want it not be true. Who decided that these “refugees” came to Europe with a long-term will to peacefully integrate? Who is even qualified to decide such things, and, if no-one really is, how can it have happened?

Certainly if the millions of Muslims who are currently in Europe decide that they don’t want to peacefully integrate – and the experience from everywhere else is that they don’t – then letting them in in such numbers was a catastrophic strategic error from the perspective of European leaders tasked with maintaining the quality of life of their people. It might be a problem that takes a century or more to solve.

Perhaps it’s not unreasonable to declare these leaders traitors?

Interestingly, Breivik explicitly mentions in this section the fact that attitudes to Jews make it extremely difficult for European nationalist sentiments to unify around a common goal. On the one hand are neo-Nazis, who consider Jews the enemy; on the other hand are Christian conservatives, who consider the Jews a common ally against Islam.

At the end of this section, Breivik underlines the strength of his identification with Christianity, making the argument that only the Catholic Church can unite and speak for all Europeans and that conservative Christian governments ought to reflect this in their policy.

In all, it’s clear that the Establishment is, and must be, very uncertain about how to respond to someone like Breivik. They appear to have mostly decided to make the subject of him and his ideas taboo (which is, of course, a red rag to those of us at VJM Publishing), but this strategy is doomed to fail because of the increasing pressure brought about by the political trends mentioned in this document.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XII

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 949-1067), Breivik continues to evaluate strategies and tactics for terrorist acts. Chillingly, here he writes specifically about the benefits of targeting a party conference of social democrats, for the reason that security will probably be poor, as well as expounding on why this would be so excellent a propaganda move for the cultural conservatives.

This section continues the high detail discussion about how to best carry about a terror attack. Given the comprehensive nature of the rest of the document when it comes to listing Islamic crimes, one is left with the impression that an extreme amount of thought went into the planning for the massacre that Breivik did carry out.

The idea that the ends justify the means comes through very clearly in this section. On the subject of attacking a left-wing party gathering with a flamethrower, he writes that “A severely burned category A or B traitor will in reality become a living symbol of what awaits individuals guilty of trying to sell their own people into Islamic slavery.”

There is something grimly medieval about mutilating living people to let them serve as a reminder of what befalls traitors, and this section is much darker and more demented than the sections about history. One is reminded of the admonition not to lose one’s own humanity in the course of warfare.

Again the paranoid nature of the rest of the document shines through when Breivik writes, of the largest annual conference of Norwegian investigative journalists, “98% of them are considered quality category B traitor targets”. With a worldview like this, Breivik could justify killing almost anyone.

Unsettlingly for us at VJM Publishing, this explicitly includes us – “90%+ of [writers] support multiculturalism and usually portray their world view through their works.” So we would also be marked for death if Breivik had his way, as those who work in the arts and recreational services tend to have broadly leftist sympathies.

The descriptions of how to break out from being pinned down by Police forces during an operation read like Breivik is writing about a video game. One passage describes how a car can be stolen and driven through any cordon that the first wave of Police officers might set up. This gives the impression that Breivik must have spent countless hours in dark plotting and fantasising.

Reassuringly, Breivik is able to demonstrate a sense of moderation. On the subject of using nuclear weapons in terrorism he writes that this “would normally inflict too many civilian casualties and it is therefore hard to imagine how nuclear weapons could benefit our cause.”

Breivik emphasises in this section the need to keep “civilian” casualties at a minimum. By this, of course, he means people who are not leftists. One is further reminded of the paranoid and oppositional nature of the document. It is also grandiose, which comes through in passages such as the description of how to blow up a nuclear reactor for the sake of financial damage to the “mutilculturalist regime”.

An unappreciated irony, at least on Breivik’s part, is that the document repeatedly emphasises how important it is that any prospective “operative” avoid getting flagged by the domestic security and intelligence services, yet it is possession of this document itself, with its voluminous advice for how to carry out terror attacks, which is most likely to get a person flagged by said spooks.

In fact, given that Breivik actually did go on to carry out a mass shooting, possession of this document is possibly the biggest red flag one could raise to the security services. Instead of being titled “A European Declaration of Independence” it could just as well be titled “A European Declaration of War.”

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XI

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 848-948), Breivik talks about the details of actually planning a terrorist attack. These hundred pages are very detailed and it is easy for the reader to feel a chilling sense of the ruthlessness with which Breivik carried out his own operation.

Opening with the quote “Violence is the mother of change”, this section is as comprehensive as any of the previous ones.

It goes into considerable detail in advising would-be terrorists how to keep their intentions a secret from their fellows. For example, there are several pages devoted specifically to the advantages in pretending to have a World of Warcraft addiction when it comes to explaining away the avoidance of social occasions, and pretending to be gay is given as a good strategy for deflecting intrusive questions.

Ironically, the document references the success of Muslim terrorists at several points during this section, in particular when Breivik is talking about the need to maintain psychological discipline and motivation, and how the very same psychological straitjacket that Breivik despises is so effective when it comes to guerrilla warfare.

Keeping with the same vein of the earlier parts of the document, this section goes into bemusing levels of details when it comes to planning an operation. There is an exhaustive account of all the considerations necessary for putting together a suit of ballistic armour that would resist even rifle fire.

This section also covers the use of steroids to achieve the maximum physical ability to carry out a terror attack, as well as the use of ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin stacks. No detail is too trivial to be added here, which underlines the degree that Breivik was serious about action.

Perhaps the strangest part of this document is the passage relating to the possibility of using like-minded white nationalist or national socialist contacts to secure weaponry. Here Breivik takes care to point out that these groups are likely to view the potential operative as hostile if they learn that he is pro-Israel. This passage more than any other speaks to the self-imposed social isolation that was necessary for Breivik to carry out the actions he did.

In a passage that is reminiscent of the reasoning of Charles Manson, Breivik talks about targeting Muslim women out of the specific hope that male relatives will swear revenge against the people of Europe and thereby create a continent-wide race war.

Further underlying the isolation that Breivik found himself in, his list of prime targets for terror operations consist of the political parties that he considers to be Cultural Marxists. These lists contain almost every party in the Parliament of every country.

Writing The Psychopath

Psychopaths make for fascinating characters in creative writing because they are dangerous, ruthless and unpredictable

The psychopath, sociopath or person with Antisocial Personality Disorder has for centuries been one of the most interesting subjects for creative writers. Something about their nature reliably invokes a sense of horror in the reader – perhaps the ruthlessness, perhaps the callousness, perhaps the deep and smouldering hatred for life. This article looks at how you can believably portray a psychopathic character in your own creative fiction.

It’s important to note that ‘psychopath’ and ‘psychotic’ are two entirely different things. A psychopath is seldom a madman – there is usually a distinct logic and methodology to their actions, even if those actions are considered abhorrent by the majority of people around them.

Psychopaths are primarily characterised by a lack of shame or remorse. Essentially this means that they don’t feel bad about causing suffering to other sentient beings. If they do cause suffering to another person or animal they will rarely accept that they shouldn’t have done so, and even when they do they are never sincere.

A striking lack of remorse after the psychopath did something that harmed someone might be the clue that lets other characters realise that they’re dealing with someone who is a bit different up top. The psychopath might be unaware that they’re supposed to feel remorse (depending on their level of sophistication) and may appear to become confused when another character acts as if remorse would be expected.

Lying is another essential characteristic of the psychopath. From the perspective of the author, this presents an interesting challenge, because the characters that interact with the psychopath are unlikely to realise (at least, not initially) that they are being lied to.

This isn’t just a question of telling a lot of lies. Psychopaths are good at lying as well. They stay cool when telling lies – even if initially disbelieved, and this means that the microsignals that people subconsciously use to detect liars are present less often.

A character who encountered a psychopath might find themselves slowly figuring out that they’re being lied to. They might be so taken in by the glib charm of the psychopath character that they are reluctant to accept that that character has been misleading them, and only by thinking hard about the facts do they realise that something doesn’t add up.

These two traits combine as well, in remorseless lying. The psychopath does not care about the consequences of telling lies, neither when it comes to the suffering caused or the risk of being caught out. The lack of shame means that even if they are caught with indisputable proof that they are lying, they might continue to insist that their accuser must be mistaken, possibly mentally ill, or that they should just “get over it”.

These characteristics might be of more interest to psychological fiction than a psychopath who is just a remorseless killer. Although, if they are a remorseless killer, they no doubt will have developed a fantastic web of lies to divert attention from the fact. Keep in mind that some serial killers were even able to keep their streak of murders a secret from their own wives!

Another personality trait that typifies the psychopath is a constant need for stimulation. It seems that psychopaths do not derive the same satisfaction from everyday activities that non-psychopaths do, and this has leads to an increased incidence of risk-taking behaviours, such as sexual promiscuity, violence and drug use. The psychopath tends to be impulsive, on account of that they don’t have much in the way of inhibitions.

This means that a psychopath character will almost certainly not practice meditation, for example. Neither will they be fond of long walks on the beach, hiking, chess, Test cricket, gardening etc. They wouldn’t be able to sit still for long enough to partake in pastimes such as these.

A history of irresponsibility also characterises the psychopath. It’s common for psychopaths to be incapable of holding down a stable job or relationship because of the need for constant stimulation and because their lies and callous behaviour tends to limit social opportunities. Some other characters in your story might find this history a warning sign.

Another decision that the author will have to make is whether their character is a psychopath or a sociopath. Although both conditions generally fall under the rubric of Antisocial Personality Disorder, there is a distinction in that psychopathy is innate whereas sociopathy is a learned condition from the environment.

Depending on the needs of the story, the character might have been “born bad” or they might have lost their natural empathy as a consequence of massive physical, sexual or psychological abuse. The author will have to decide this once they decide what emotional reaction they want to reader to have, because a character who has had everything good beaten out of them in childhood will be more engaging to some readers, particular those with a higher demand for psychological realism.

Taking these considerations into account when writing a psychopathic character should allow the author to make an accurate portrayal of someone with the condition while avoiding the common cliche of mindless, uncalculating sadism.

*

This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto X

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 776-847), titled “A Declaration of Pre-emptive War”, Breivik discusses how “Christian/conservative/nationalist” forces can organise themselves to best resist the coming chaos. Here he is particular about making sure that the work is seen as hypothetical and fictional, apparently for the reason that he is concerned about potential legal consequences from being too explicit.

Here again Breivik demonstrates that he is not a neo-Nazi, at one point by demanding that the national governments of Europe issue a statement in support of Israel against Muslim aggression, at another by calling Hitler a “twisted mass murderer.”

Here also he holds European politicians accountable for every single crime committed by Muslims in Europe, a crime rate that he describes as “an average 1000 atrocities per 100 000 Muslims annually.” The line of reasoning Breivik pursues here is that, without Muslims being in Europe, none of these crimes would ever have happened. This is perhaps the most untenable of all the claims in this document.

Although it’s literally true that none of the crimes committed by Muslims against Europeans would have happened if there were no Muslims in Europe, the absolute numbers of crimes in a particular country is primarily a function of the absolute numbers of people – after all, America manages to maintain an extremely high rate of crime (by developed world standards) with far fewer Muslims than Europe.

Breivik tends to conflate all genuine criticism of European traditions and institutions into the category of the great Marxist/feminist conspiracy against Europe. He does this with the nature of the Church’s influence on European society – here Breivik can not tolerate any criticism of the Church on libertarian or humanist grounds. All criticism of the Church is a Marxist plot to destroy Europe.

The paranoid nature of some of the earlier parts of the document resurfaces when Breivik details a media-led conspiracy to deny the truth about historical Islamic violence. This also misses the mark.

The media doesn’t educate anyone, ever – it sells advertising. Breivik considers it a kind of bias for the media to be silent on, for example, the genocide of Hindus and Buddhists in the Hindu Kush, but that degree of historical detail is reserved for special and academic interests, not for a mainstream media which speaks to a twelve-year old intellect.

There is an eerie foreshadowing of the future when Breivik cites Jefferson as saying “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Indeed, later on in this section he goes as far as declaring that “The time for dialogue is now over. The time for armed resistance has come.”

The legal measures suggested in this section are those that Breivik appears to believe should be instituted by any genuinely patriotic European front, should any take power. Curiously, one of the policy points allows for the immediate release of all “patriotically-minded” individuals from Western European jails.

Perhaps Breivik himself, incarcerated as he is for life, is counting on such a policy in order to get out of jail himself.

When he writes that “Norway and Sweden are two of the world’s most repressive Marxist regimes,” he echoes a sentiment that is common among Scandinavian conservatives, especially Christian ones. This sentiment is grounded in a disbelief that the conservatives are in a genuine minority. Where majority opinion does not agree (and it’s far from agreeing with Breivik’s demands that all Muslims be deported on pain of execution), this is considered evidence of brainwashing.

Interestingly, Breivik lists all of Communism, Cultural Marxism, Islam and Nazism as “hate ideologies” which must be opposed by any European male who wishes to be accepted into what he hopes might become a renewed European chivalric order.

It’s apparent that anyone who thinks like this in contemporary European society is bound to experience a certain degree of social isolation. This might ultimately help to explain the reasoning that led Breivik to take the actions he did.