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May 18, 2013 5:19 PM   Subscribe

M.E. Thomas is a self-professed sociopath. Or is she? Law blog "Above the Law" attempts to track down her true identity. Review of the book "Confessions of a Sociopath" in the Boston Globe.
posted by Kitty Stardust (17 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This isn't really well-enough-supported to work right now. -- restless_nomad

I've got a bad feeling about this. If it's not cool to out nice people, then it's not cool to out self-professed not-nice people.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 5:37 PM on May 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

Whether or not the person who wrote the book resembles its subject, this seems like a case of marketing.
posted by clockzero at 5:55 PM on May 18, 2013

To see a person go in two paragraphs from:
stood there for a moment, letting my rage reach that decision-making part of my brain, and I suddenly became filled with a sense of calm purpose. I blinked my eyes and set my jaw. I started following him. Adrenaline started flowing; my mouth tasted metallic. I fought to keep my peripheral vision in focus
I am generally free of entangling and irrational emotions.
is amusing.
posted by idiopath at 6:00 PM on May 18, 2013 [18 favorites]

I do love to read the myths people construct about themselves, but what a sad little person the author is. The purest kind of weakness is having to find reasons to feel oneself superior to other people. If she were truly convinced of her superiority, she wouldn't need to even think about it.
posted by winna at 6:06 PM on May 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sociopath's dream."

I've always thought so, too.
posted by Catblack at 6:11 PM on May 18, 2013

I am generally free of entangling and irrational emotions

But of course this is part of the general unwritten rule that acts driven by rage, jealousy, and status-seeking are not "emotional" because they involve emotions we associate with men. Shed one tear, though, and you're entangled in irrational emotions for sure, boy howdy.
posted by escabeche at 6:22 PM on May 18, 2013 [30 favorites]

"You could have died; the doctors are very angry," my dad said, as if I should have apologized to everyone. I think my sociopathy was triggered largely because I never learned how to trust.

I do not think this word means what you think it means.
posted by benzenedream at 6:27 PM on May 18, 2013

Now there are two. There are two _______.: "I've got a bad feeling about this. If it's not cool to out nice people, then it's not cool to out self-professed not-nice people."

Above the Law is literally the grossest site on the entire internet. I'd worry less about them being not-cool and more about them giving your computer syphilis if you click the link.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:29 PM on May 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

One suggestion on that law blog is that this is being written as subtle defamation of a real person by an ex of some kind. That would be extra screwed up. Either way, I'd be very surprised if this turned out to actually be a woman.

I think outing this person is entirely justified in this case too.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:29 PM on May 18, 2013

Winna, I agree. If we tease apart the possible motivations for writing a piece like this, and the possible benefits and edifications which come attendant, we are forced to accept a more complex view of this person, one to which you rightfully apply empathy.

I think it is far more interesting to examine the media climate that allows the dissemination of this story than to speculate on the degree of psychopathy that can be found in this individual. I am reminded of the articles on The Last Psychiatrist exploring this subject, which use as their basis these mass-media depictions of extreme psychiatric conditions to show that they tell us far more about the deficiencies we see in ourselves than than they describe evil behaviors.
posted by Teakettle at 6:41 PM on May 18, 2013

Whoever she is, she sounds self-involved and ghastly.
posted by unSane at 6:53 PM on May 18, 2013

Real or not, I feel that we are doing society a disservice by giving her the attention she so evidently craves.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:59 PM on May 18, 2013

I am reminded of the articles on The Last Psychiatrist exploring this subject

I'll second that.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:01 PM on May 18, 2013

At first glance the web page thumbnail photo and the Doctor Phil video definitely could be the same person. If it's her it's no big deal at all but if it's not, the people at Above the Law are really a nasty bunch. They have an anonymous source desribing a real person:

She was generally known as the IP law professor with big tits (she only taught trademarks and copyrights because she had no science background) and there were A LOT of guys (and girls) that were infatuated with her. The sociopathic part that people were able to pick up on was the stare – that blank, empty, uncaring stare. I met with her in office hours once. I wasn’t sure if she wanted to f**k me or eat me. I’m assuming now that it was likely both.

Maybe this post ought to get deleted on the possibility that the doxed woman is not the author of the book and psychology today article and this is gawker type shit.
posted by bukvich at 7:03 PM on May 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

So much is made in Hollywood and on TV of colorfully berserk psychopaths or depicting working class sociopathy, gangsters, thugs, Sopranos types, violent prisoners, and military nutcases. I do think it's important that there is more mainstream info about white collar sociopaths, as they occur especially in powerful jobs, in politics and especially in the corporate world.

I did comment at probably much too great length on this topic on a previous MeFi post.

Psychopaths Caused the Financial Crisis … And They Will Do It Again and Again Unless They Are Removed From Power

It has been said the definition of a corporation is that of a sociopath, a pathological, remorseless concern with the bottom line over any concern for humanity.

That said I did think there were many confusing aspects to this alleged autobiography. This line, for example, makes no sense when it comes to sociopaths: I have a close circle of family and friends whom I love and who very much love me.

Sociopaths, malignant narcissists, are not capable of love, only mimicking the behaviors of love. Possessive, yes, on occasion affectionate, lusty, passionate, romantic on occasion, sentimental but love in any real sense of that word, no. Without whole empathy and sustained well wishing I do not think love can be experienced and I think a sociopath is capable of only cognitive empathy and extremely diminished or no affective empathy.

Another confusing phrase: I was not a victim of child abuse. But then she says several paragraphs later: I was the middle child in a family with a violent father and an indifferent, sometimes hysterical, mother. I loathed my father. He was phenomenally unreliable as a breadwinner, and we often came home to find the power shut off because we were months behind in our electricity bill. He spent thousands of dollars on expensive hobbies, while we were bringing oranges from our backyard to school for lunch.

And: He and my mother let me suffer for over a week because, as I later discovered, our family's medical insurance had lapsed. When I woke up after surgery, I saw my dad standing over me with tired anger. My appendix had perforated, toxins spewed in my gut, I became septic with infection, and my back muscles became gangrenous.

That certainly sounds like a child-abusive family.

It is a good thing to educate the public about sociopaths, especially the white collar ones as well as to get a glimpse of what the interior mindset of the sociopath is, to make some sort of sense of it. More information is out there about male sociopaths, so getting to know about the reality that there are female sociopaths is an important practical piece of life survival knowledge.
posted by nickyskye at 7:22 PM on May 18, 2013 [10 favorites]

Jesus, the appendix story is beyond fucked up.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:37 PM on May 18, 2013

are not capable of love, only mimicking the behaviors of love.
Which is also a sentiment we applied to gay people, 50 years ago.
posted by aw_yiss at 7:39 PM on May 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

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