We tend to shun the concept of the willing killer because it offends our kinder sensibilities, but a controlled psychopath is an asset on the killing fields. Those who possess such a temperament are natural killers and many have served this country well. The problem lies in identifying these individuals and positioning them where they can be most effective.
A natural killer is a person who has a predisposition to kill—he enjoys combat and feels little or no remorse about killing the enemy. These men have existed throughout the history of warfare, and their feats have often been hailed as heroic. They constitute less than 4 percent of the force, yet some studies show that they do almost half of the killing.
“My name is Andy McNab and I’m a psychopath.” Author of Bravo Two Zero, the story of his time as part of an eight-man Special Forces operation behind enemy lines in Iraq during the first Gulf War. “For me, I realize the people I’ve killed are human beings,” he says. “But I think, you know, So what? It’s all part of the game.“
“Members of elite or special forces are high functioning psychopaths,” writes CJ Werleman.
He points out that they are sometimes referred to as “compassionate psychopaths” – which seems to be a contradiction. Psychopaths, by definition, don’t have much empathy, therefore would struggle to be compassionate.
He asks the question:
“The question citizens of the US and other Western democracies must now ask whether they wish to have their streets and communities patrolled and set upon by “compassionate” or high-functioning psychopaths, who hold little or no emotional or physical connection to the city to which they have been deployed, on behalf of increasingly authoritarian governments?”
Psychopaths are everywhere in the news today but nobody (except me) is calling them that. Which is part of the problem. We don’t recognise psychopathy when we see it, so we do nothing systematic about handling it.
This story about NZ politicians doing stupid things might be signs of psychopathy. Of course it could just be normal stupid human tricks, but a) we know psychopaths are attracted to power, so there is likely to be a higher concentration of them in politics than in society in general; and b) you would think that people in positions of power and high media visibility would know not to do such stupid things that might be more understandable in people who aren’t so much in the spotlight.
And this story about people not obeying COVID isolation rules after entering QLD is another indication of psychopaths because a) they don’t think the rules apply to them; and b) they don’t care about the welfare of others, so making a bunch of people sick, maybe even dying, and destroying the economy, is something that would hardly register in their minds.
It’s a weird experience to watch your kids break out on their own. Often these days I look at my older boys and think “where the hell did you come from?” They are running around as young entrepreneurs doing things I barely understand.
I’ve got three boys. Taylor Reilly is 19. He’s been getting a ton of media coverage lately about his entrepreneurial adventures. Hunter Reilly is also 19. He’s got over 200,000 followers on TikTok and millions of views. Fox is only 6 and thinks his big brothers are legends. He doesn’t have a social media profile yet but keeps asking me to make TikTok videos of him.
I’m quite sure one of these days they are all going to be far more successful than I am – and that’s a good thing. As a parent I can’t think of anything more fantastic.
I just read this great post by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup and a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL) and Columbia University, co-founder of Metaprofiling and Deeper Signals, author of ‘Confidence: How much you really need it and how to get it’, and ‘The Talent Delusion: Why data – not intuition – is key to unlocking human potential’) on Forbes “Are Narcissistic Leaders As Confident As They Appear?“.
He talks about how narcissism often masks a deep feeling of insecurity and how “their confidence is unlikely to reflect actual competence”. So what happens when you get insecure, incompetent narcissists who manage to talk themselves into positions of leadership? As Tomas points out, when you get leaders who “display a type of narcissism that shows no traces of insecurity, let alone self-awareness” and which “coexists with psychopathic tendencies”, this can become “a particularly brutal and toxic cocktail”.
I’ve reached out to Tomas via Twitter to see if he’d be willing to come on my podcast for The Psychopath Epidemic to discuss further.
You can now watch Marketing The Messiah online! Go here to rent or buy. It’s not on Netflix, etc…. yet. You can only get it on our site for now.
The best way to tell if someone is a narcissist is apparently just to ask them. A narcissist will reply “oh yeah, I’m a narcissist”. It’s called the Single Item Narcissism Scale test. I learned this during my recent interview with neuroscientist David Chester for the Psychopath Epidemic podcast.
I got home last night to find one of the walls of our house covered in paper hearts. At first I thought Fox had done it. Awwww. Then I inspected more closely. Nope. Not Fox. Not Chrissy. Instead it was some unknown Mormon ladies – and the hearts were intended for Chrissy. She dropped out of the church 20+ years ago, but, like the mafia or Hotel California, you can check out of the Mormon church any time you like, but you can never leave. They recently found out where she lives (we’re still not sure how). A couple of months ago, pre-covid, a couple of middle-aged white men knocked at our front door one afternoon. I opened it and they asked if Christine lived here. Now just imagine that for a second. A couple of unknown men knock on your door and ask for your wife by name. What’s your immediate conclusion? I asked where they were from and quickly established they weren’t from the CIA (whew), but from the LDS. At that time, Chrissy asked them respectfully to please not contact her again as she has no intention of re-joining the church. But then, last night, some of their fellow church members decided to walk onto our property, while we were not at home, and plaster messages over our wall. If it was up to me, I’d march down to their local church and ask to speak to the women who did it. Then I’d ask them how they would like it if I snuck into their yard and posted stickers all over their house saying “Joseph Smith was a polygamist who had sex with a 14 year old girl because God told him to!” Or “Rent Marketing The Messiah Today For Only $4.99 (USD) – marketingthemessiah.com/watch“. Chrissy is much nicer than me, though, so that probably won’t happen. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Mormons. I think they are fascinating. I’d love to make a documentary about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and their 14 year old wives. But I have to wonder what they hope to achieve by sneaking into people’s yards and pulling these kinds of… stunts. It’s wrong on many levels and I’m sure they wouldn’t like the “favour” returned. So take a note from Jesus’ book and DO UNTO OTHERS. Or, as I always put it on our podcasts – Don’t Be A… Stunt.