Psychopaths, It’s All in Your Brain

I’ve been receiving some comments on an earlier post I wrote about the dark ritual energies that seemed to accompany the new Batman: The Dark Knight movie. You can view what I had to say about this here: Batman Movie and Dark Satanic Energies.

Many of the comments have been intelligent and insightful. The ones I have deleted have invariably been from young, hostile men who are proud about how “manly” they are because they are unaffected by scenes of brutal, explicit violence. Their comments can best be summed up as: “Dude, it’s only a movie!”

In the April 24, 2007 issue of MIT’s Technology Review there is a fascinating article called What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Evil?

The article talks about how modern day psychiatrists and neuroscientists are learning a lot about psychopaths through studying brain imagery. The term “psychopath” has many definitions, but generally it’s a person who lacks empathy, compassion, fear, or remorse. Brain scientists are finding that the sections of the brain responsible for generating these normal emotional reactions appear to be “missing” from the brains of psychopathic people.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers in the United States, Germany, and elsewhere have started taking scans of the brains of psychopaths while the patients view horrific images, such as photographs of bloody stabbings, shootings, or evisceration. When normal people view these images, fMRI scans light up to indicate heavy brain activity in sections of the emotion-generating limbic system, primarily the amygdala, which is believed to generate feelings of empathy. But in psychopathic patients, these sections of the amygdala remain dark, showing greatly reduced activity or none at all. This phenomenon, known as limbic underactivation, may indicate that some of these people lack the ability to generate the basic emotions that keep primitive killer instincts in check.

The article does go on to say that not all psychopaths become killers. Some people whose limbic section of the brain is underactive head into the “heroic” professions and become firefighters, police officers, or fighter pilots.

That’s actually a little scary. Give the psychopaths all the guns and heavy artillery and hope that they don’t act out, even though their brains predispose them to be inhumanly desensitized to the suffering of other people.

What a superb idea.

I think before anyone runs for political office or is allowed to enter the military they should have a brain scan. It should be determined whether the person is able to feel compassion or empathy. If they are a psychopath, they are prevented from participating in either profession.

The Technology Review doesn’t go into detail about how these brain tests work, but basically what happens is that the person sits with electrodes attached to various sections of their brain and they are made to watch various images which are flashed before them. Innocuous images like cute animals, nature scenes, and cars are interspersed with photographs of brutal scenes like dead or mutilated bodies, war zones, and so forth.

In a “normal,” non-psychopathic brain, there is a huge spike of activity in the limbic center of the brain (the compassion and empathy center) whenever any of the horrific and violent images are shown. And when  pleasant pictures are flashed in front of them, there is no such spike in activity.

In a psychopathic person their brain activity remains level throughout. In other words, they have NO REACTION AT ALL when violent and bloody pictures of dead human bodies or mutilated animals are flashed in front of them. It’s just another day at the beach for them. They are unable to identify with the suffering of others and are blissfully unconcerned. At the anatomical level they are incapable of experiencing empathy.

We live in a culture where we have given permission for movies, TV shows, and other forms of media to constantly be flashing brutal images at us of people being mutilated, tortured, and killed. And this is supposed to be okay, and we’re all supposed to go around being “manly” and insist that these images don’t degrade us emotionally and reveal us to be sadistic animals.

Right.

Just yesterday I went to see what was happening at a liberal blog published by Arianna Huffington called the Huffington Post. Above the fold, filling the entire top and center of the screen, was a devastating photograph of an old woman crying as she stood next to another old woman, probably a close relative, who had been shot dead in the head and was lying on the ground in front of her.

Faces were not blurred. The spot where the bullet had penetrated the woman’s brain and left a blood trail was not obscured.

We were just forced to see this if we went to that blog.

You know, I get it, Huffington Post – there’s horrific violence escalating in the former Russian region of Georgia right now and civilians are being killed.

But I would feel just the same about it, knowing that it was terrible, if you hadn’t shown me that disrespectful and gory image of some poor woman being shot dead, leaving her family devastated and grieving.

That’s because I’m a human. Not a psychopath.

I GET IT.

Psychopaths don’t. It doesn’t matter how violent the images, how gory the movie, or how brutal or disgusting the photos or movie scenes are.

The brain of a psychopath is not wired the way real, compassionate, functioning people’s brains are.

And we have allowed the abhorrent consciousness (or really, complete lack of consciousness) of the psychopath to dominate our culture, littering our media landscape with images too horrifying for a child to see. And if we’re honest with ourselves and we’re not playing “manly man” games, we know that they are too terrible for an adult not to be emotionally affected by, too.

And this is what we now celebrate in our movies and our media. Including in the Batman movie, which was one dark, ritualistic scene of gore after another.

Young, psychopathic men out there – you’re welcome to enjoy your scenes of brutality and your complete non-identification with the victims of violence depicted in those films. You’re welcome to continue claiming, “Dude, it’s just a movie!” while at the same time enjoying all those horrific images of REAL people dying and being mutilated each day in the news. Admit it. You get off on it.

Just don’t expect to get any air time at this blog. This blog is all about outlining the Custodial influence in human affairs.

And there are a lot of signs in the ancient texts about the Custodians that point to them being the true originators of the psychopathic brain sickness that many of their descendents have developed.

You cannot objectively view the actions of a being known as “Yaweh” or “Jehovah” in the Old Testament (who by the way, sounds exactly like the bloodthirsty and vindictive Marduk from the ancient Sumerian texts) and not identify this “god” as a complete psychopath.

We’ve been giving psychopaths too much respect, too much power, since day one.

And I say it’s time to end it. And if you can’t make a distinction between images that uplift the human race and inspire expansion of consciousness and imagery that degrades, abuses, and limits consciousness, well then -

You’re not just a psychopath.

You’re clinically stupid and not qualified to comment on the human condition in any way, shape or form.

4 Responses

  1. Well done! Well done!

  2. I agree and understand on a deep level, being a atudent of human behavior myself.

  3. It’s a good text you wrote but it has one major flaw:

    How does a lack of emotion make someone “clinically stupid”, when intelligence has nothing to do at all with emotions?

  4. Good article. However, regarding the image you saw on Huffington post that was to your disliking – I totally get what you’re saying, but, sometimes putting out such horrific images reminds people (who are not psychopathic) how horrible reality can be and gives people the impetus to help change things. I for one hate to see such images, not because of the image itself but because of what the image is telling me is occurring. I’d rather see reality than pretty colours. I like to know what’s really happening in the world no matter how bad the reality is. And I’d especially like to know what’s going on if it’s not so pretty.

    But what you’re saying about movies is correct – it does make people more comfortable with such horrific things over the long term. But again, people know when they’re watching a movie that people are acting, it’s fiction. If you were to show them something base din reality, their reactions and words may be quite different.

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