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Join Date: Oct 2011
Re: Read this after the Sandy Hook shooting, you should too.
Originally Posted by lovethetriangle
When it's a white dude, he's got psychological issues.
Provisional Psychological Profile
of the October 2002 Washington, D.C.-Area Sniper
October 9, 2002
In the absence of any specific criminal evidence, and based solely on rational consideration of likely personality configurations consistent with the known behavior patterns of the individual responsible for the October 2002 shooting spree in the Washington, DC area, it appears most likely that the sniper has a sadistic personality pattern, possibly modulated by negativistic and paranoid tendencies. Theodore Millon (1996), a leading authority on personality disorders, has labeled this personality composite the tyrannical sadist. Though technically not an antisocial personality, the actions of individuals with this personality amalgam are frequently of an antisocial nature; hence, the syndrome has also been labeled tyrannical psychopathy (Millon & Davis, 1998, p. 169). The tyrannical sadist syndrome is described below, followed by more specific descriptions of the sadistic, negativistic, and paranoid personality patterns.
The Tyrannical Sadist
Theodore Millon (1996) describes the tyrannically sadistic syndrome as follows:
Along with the malevolent antisocial [i.e., an antisocial personality with sadistic and paranoid features], the tyrannical sadist stands among the most frightening and cruel of the personality disorder subtypes. Both relate to others in an attacking, intimidating, and overwhelming way, frequently accusatory and abusive, and almost invariably destructive. Some are crudely assaultive and distressingly “evil,” whereas others are physically restrained, but overwhelm their victims by unrelenting criticism and bitter tirades. There is a verbally or physically overbearing character to their assaults, and minor resistances or weaknesses seem to stimulate tyrannical sadists, encouraging attack rather than deterring and slowing them down. It is the forcefulness, the unrestrained character, and the indiscriminate anger that is most notable. Descriptively, these sadists appear to relish the act of menacing and brutalizing others; forcing their victims to cower and submit seems to provide them with a special sense of satisfaction. Among those who are not physically brutal, we see verbally cutting and scathing commentaries that are both accusatory and demeaning. Many intentionally heighten and dramatize their surly, abusive, inhumane, and unmerciful behaviors. Although these individuals are in many respects the purest form of the “psychopathic” sadist, they do exhibit some features of other personality types, most notably the negativistic and/or the paranoid.
What is also especially distinctive is the desire and willingness of these sadists to go out of their way to be unmerciful and inhumane in their violence. More than any other personality, they derive deep satisfaction in creating suffering and in seeing its effect on others. Their mean-spirited disposition leads them to abandon universally held constraints that limit the viciousness of one’s personal actions. In contrast to the explosive sadist [i.e., a sadistic personality with borderline features], for whom hostility serves primarily as a discharge of pent-up feelings, tyrannical sadists employ violence as an intentionally utilized instrument to inspire terror and intimidation. Moreover, they can self-consciously observe and reflect on the consequences of his violence, and do so with a deep sense of satisfaction. Many other sadists, by contrast, experience second thoughts and feel a measure of contrition about the violence they have produced.
Often calculating and cool, tyrannical sadists are selective in their choice of victims, identifying scapegoats who are not likely to react with counterviolence. These sadists employ violence to secure cooperation and obeisance from their victims. Quite frequently, they display a disproportionate level of abusiveness and intimidation to impress not only the victim but also those who observe the sadist’s unconstrained power. . . .
Much of what drives the tyrannical subtype is their fear that others may recognize their inner insecurities and low sense of self-esteem. To overcome these deeply felt inner weaknesses, tyrannizing sadists have learned that they can feel superior by overwhelming others by the force of their physical power and brutal vindictiveness. “I am superior to you, I can defeat you in all things that matter, I will triumph over you despite your past achievements and superior talents. In the end, I will be the victor.” Once unleashed, the power of vindication draws on deep fantasies of cruel and unmitigated revenge. There are no internal brakes to constrain them until their fury is spent. There is little remorse for the fury of their violence and the destructive consequences they create. The subjugation or elimination of others has become the primary goal. (pp. 489–490)
Fromm, E. (1973). The anatomy of human destructiveness. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Millon, T. (with Weiss, L. G., Millon, C. M., & Davis, R. D.). (1994). Millon Index of Personality Styles manual. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
Millon, T. (with Davis, R. D.). (1996). Disorders of personality: DSM–IV and beyond (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.
Millon, T., & Davis, R. D. (2000). Personality disorders in modern life. New York: Wiley.
Millon, T., & Everly, G. S., Jr. (1985). Personality and its disorders: A biosocial learning approach. New York: Wiley.
Oldham, J. M., & Morris, L. B. (1995). The new personality self-portrait (Rev. ed.). New York: Bantam Books.
Strack, S. (1997). The PACL: Gauging normal personality styles. In T. Millon (Ed.), The Millon inventories: Clinical and personality assessment (pp. 477–497). New York: Guilford.