Charming manipulative sadistic liars

I would just like to emphasise that I am bringing this article to your attention even though it has nothing to do with any current political leader I am familiar with whatsoever, absolutely nothing at all: The Psychopathic CEO. From the article:

A psychopath is different from a psychotic in that the latter is a person who has lost touch with reality, often suffering from delusions, while the former is not detached from reality but lacks empathy and doesn’t care about the consequences of his or her actions. Psychopaths are generally considered intelligent, manipulative and charming – and lack the ability to learn from mistakes or punishment….

“They don’t care that they are hurting you. They will do what they have to do.”…

Psychopaths are more closely related to sociopaths than to psychotics, because both are categorized as having antisocial personality disorders. In their ground-breaking 2006 book “Snakes in Suits,” Paul Babiak and Robert Hare were among the first to attempt to quantify the presence of corporate psychopaths in the C-suite. They estimated the rate of psychopathy in the executive suite to be 3.9%. Since the release of the book there has been much disagreement over the extent of the presence of psychopaths in corporate America with most other estimates landing between 8% and 12%.

And in politics, who knows how many charming manipulative sadistic liars there may be in leading positions? Of course, you would need a qualification in psychiatry to suss them out so I only ask this out of curiosity since no one I can think of comes to mind.

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October 2, 2021 2:07 pm

Yeah, it’s a tough one.

For mine they are all very principled people with nothing but the well being and security of everyone but themselves, as their job description and oath of office dictates.

Timothy Neilson
Timothy Neilson
October 2, 2021 2:11 pm

“Intelligent, manipulative and charming”.
I can think of quite a few who score 1 out of 3.

October 2, 2021 2:19 pm

Apropos nothing in particular, I note Jeff Kennett this week described Malcolm Turnbull as “friendless”.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
October 2, 2021 2:43 pm

Unfortunately the greasy pole most favours those who are driven to climb it over the crushed entrails of their colleagues.

There’s an interesting parallel, with differences, between politics, unions and corporations.

In corporations the greasy pole climbers are most evident in middle management. Dilbert isn’t fiction.

In politics the pole climbers are themselves greasy, since they have to have sufficient appeal to get themselves elected. Those who have the life-consuming urge without any accompanying merit often end their days in local councils making the lives of ratepayers a misery.

And unions favour a similar greasy climber, often coarser types who don’t have enough charisma or appeal to get themselves elected. Yet they still have the terrible drive to climb the pole, as all of these people do. So they go up the union ladder instead. Hence the MUA, BLF and the likes of nice Mr Setka.

October 2, 2021 2:47 pm

Hare’s Psychopathy Check List has been used for a few years-to diagnose psychopaths/sociopaths , you can even do it yourself haha I trained in Personality Disorders before this was being used . Hare looked at CEO ‘s after years in Canadian prison system studying psychopaths and after the financial crisis looked into CEOS’ behaviour . There was a very good documentary film Inside Job I think , made with Matt Damon interviewing players in this financial crisis and boy do the psychopaths stand out .
Biggest characteristic is the complete lack of empathy and of course the beliefs of narcissists which are , that the rules do not apply to me and I am entitled .
Two former leaders had traumatic childhoods with loss of a parent however the third would have been a bully at school . No names no pack drill but Google the Checklist and from memory only 8 traits needed.

October 2, 2021 3:13 pm

I used the word “psychopath” to describe a certain Victorian leader the other day.
No prizes for guessing who.
The only definition I would most certainly disagree with in his case is that he is “charming.”
Repulsive, monumentally self-righteous and patronising are appropriate descriptors.

October 2, 2021 4:15 pm

Two former leaders had traumatic childhoods with loss of a parent however the third would have been a bully at school.

A while back Mark Latham commented on the difference between the public & private personas of two former Labor leaders he knew. Whereas Keating was seen as dour and nicknamed ‘the undertaker’ he was actually quite warm in private. Otoh, everyman’s mate Bob Hawke was privately a bastard.

Not that you were referring to either of them, min 😉

October 2, 2021 4:58 pm
Fair Shake
Fair Shake
October 2, 2021 5:01 pm

I’ve worked for several psychopaths over the years. One guy in particular. V intelligence, could be smooth / charming when he needed something from you but throw you under a bus if the situation necessitated. As he had the predilection to stab you in the front and not from behind I did have a certain grudging respect for him. Oh and he retired as a Director of a large Corp in his mid40s. He had a plan , worked his plan then got out.

Miss Anthropist
Miss Anthropist
October 2, 2021 8:52 pm

I’ve never encountered a psychopath but many of the people I know claim they have.

October 3, 2021 8:04 am

I’ve never encountered a psychopath

How would you know? No personal knowledge, but I’ve heard that many top doctors are. That in the case of say, a surgeon, lack of emotional involvement might actually be a plus.

Roger W
Roger W
October 3, 2021 10:03 am

Don’t care if they hurt you? I think many actually enjoy that aspect the most.

Shy Ted
Shy Ted
October 3, 2021 11:59 am

Maybe, maybe not but I’m much more inclined when considering our lot is the sheer number of the childless or a variation on that. Having kids is about the biggest wake up call about what life is really about that you’re going to get. And if you don’t get that wake up you just don’t get it. Every tear, fall, lie, cold, tantrum which sends you round the twist gives your life meaning. Look at all the comments on the Cat and the range of emotions knowing the elite have taken over your life’ work and are now endangering them, the lie being it’s to save them. These are empty people and they know it for. Fame and fortune has come to them when they wouldn’t ordinarily achieve it. It’s LOTRs precious. A substitute for meaning.
And then there are the chancers like ScuMo. Long history of duplicity and dubious and poorly explained dealings but beating the accusations gives you a sense of invincibility and you can do it again and again. Maocolm has essentially just admitted he was going to benefit from the sub contracts by chatting privately with the granny grabber. But all that money just isn’t enough so you need more and more until you want/have it all.
Chant, Young, Sutton. $600k pa for doing paperwork FFS.
The corporate class can’t be compared because if you don’t remain competitive in a cutthroat corporate world… You have to make hard decisions.
The ABC is a psychopathic corporation because it doesn’t have to earn that money, there’s no reality base. Kelly, Trioli,et al. Where else would they earn 6 figures?
Genuine psychopaths, Bundy, Darmer, Christie were all cured of their psychopathy. Milat, Percy and others allowed to live out their lives were not.

October 3, 2021 3:38 pm

I was listening to Podcasts of Bad Blood The Final Chapter – Theranos, on a road trip with my son

John Carreyrou’s final chapter on Theranos

Covering the blood testing startup in print and audio

If you’re a Decoder listener, it’s a pretty sure bet that you’ve heard of Theranos and its charismatic, troubled founder Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes convinced a long list of major investors and companies to give her huge amounts of money, all on the back of her claims that the Theranos technology could do hundreds of blood tests with just a tiny sample of blood — a pinprick.

The Theranos testing machine — called the Edison — wasn’t accurate, even though it was deployed in Walgreens locations around the country. All the while, Holmes was appearing on covers of magazines, signing more deals, and attracting greater and greater fame. Until everything changed. Right now, Holmes is on trial in a criminal lawsuit brought by the federal government. Her former partner, Sunny Balwani, will face his own trial for similar charges.

Today, I’m talking to the reporter who first exposed Holmes and Theranos, and started it all. John Carreyrou was working at The Wall Street Journal in 2015 when he started publishing articles about how Theranos was misleading customers, partners, and investors. Theranos aggressively tried to stop John’s reporting in 2015 and Holmes even tried to get Journal owner Rupert Murdoch, who was an investor in Theranos, to stop the story. He declined, and the stories have become a cautionary tale: you can’t just believe the hype.

I wanted to talk to John about the case and what it has been like to cover the story for six years. He is as close to this story as any reporter can be. He’s even on the witness list — and he was put there by Elizabeth Holmes’ legal team. And because this is Decoder, we talked about what it’s like to be a podcast creator — John is covering Holmes’ trial on a new podcast called Bad Blood: The Final Chapter — how that business is going, and why he decided to put some of his episodes behind the Apple Podcasts subscription system. And I asked for the numbers, of course.

Miss Anthropist
Miss Anthropist
October 3, 2021 7:00 pm

I really have met many sociopaths.
I was making a joke against myself.

October 4, 2021 2:03 am


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