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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a Sociopath.
A bit too long winded, but nevertheless very interesting, a valued lesson on a type of personality some may be compelled to try and change for the greater good, and why not to bother. A great insight on how to manage such a personality if they cannot be avoided for so offen they cannot be removed from any contact, as so many of us know at least one sociopath.
Published 13 months ago by AnnMccoy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A predator... a wolf among sheep... a danger to all... Yeah, okay, got it.... *Sigh*
An interesting read but occasionally turns into a bit of a slog through all the "I'm a predator... I'm a wolf among sheep...." etc and so on. Like we "empaths" (aka sheep) can't also be cruel, vindictive, selfish, calculating, manipulative and driven (she seems to think we all wander around crying all the time because we're so terribly emotional - but then I suppose she...
Published 17 days ago by KC Starr


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a Sociopath., 26 Nov 2013
This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
A bit too long winded, but nevertheless very interesting, a valued lesson on a type of personality some may be compelled to try and change for the greater good, and why not to bother. A great insight on how to manage such a personality if they cannot be avoided for so offen they cannot be removed from any contact, as so many of us know at least one sociopath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A predator... a wolf among sheep... a danger to all... Yeah, okay, got it.... *Sigh*, 11 Dec 2014
This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
An interesting read but occasionally turns into a bit of a slog through all the "I'm a predator... I'm a wolf among sheep...." etc and so on. Like we "empaths" (aka sheep) can't also be cruel, vindictive, selfish, calculating, manipulative and driven (she seems to think we all wander around crying all the time because we're so terribly emotional - but then I suppose she would think that as she has no idea what it's like to feel a wide spectrum of emotions).

She declares that sociopathic tendencies exist on a spectrum, well then so surely do empathetic ones. Labelling everyone who is not a full blown sociopath as an "empath" as if we are some kind of sub-species really grates after a while. Obviously, the point is she is bound to be this arrogant because she has an elevated sense of self esteem... Yes, I get it.

Aside from finding her somewhat annoying because she really likes the sound of her own voice (which she admits) the book is an easy and engaging read. I didn't find her repulsive - instead I felt quite sorry for her. Her childhood experiences and parents' emotional neglect of her is really sad and potentially explains a lot.

I was most interested in the parts where she talks about her diagnosis and how she feels about being a sociopath (yeah, an empath who wants a sociopath to talk more about her feelings...) as whole but a lot of the book consists of anecdotal tales about silly or cruel things she has done which seems something of a missed opportunity.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I am probably smarter than you, dear reader', 24 Feb 2014
By 
Legal Vampire (Buckinghamshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I found this book fascinating, but it divides Amazon reviewers. I give several quotations below, so if you are thinking of buying it, you can decide if its style appeals to you:

"I am probably smarter than you, dear reader, but I know that in the rare instance this will not be true."

"I don't like people knowing things about me because it just means more things to remember I can't lie about"

"[at social gatherings] If I'm not listening, I'm probably telling a joke or shamelessly flattering you. I would probably rather not be talking to you at all, but since I am I might as well be polishing my charm"

"The Mid-West, a place so characterless it was as if it had been fashioned out of cardboard"

"I have to have a way to blow off steam. So I ruin people. It's not illegal, it's difficult to prove, and I get to flex my power"

"If I were only ruthless when I needed to be or only towards people who "deserved" it, I don't think I could be as effective. I would be constantly questioning myself - is this person worth it? Do I really need to be going after them in a particular way? Instead, my natural inclination is to be aggressive to everyone."

"I adhere to a religion [she is a Mormon]... The practice of it is just good sense - it keeps you out of prison and safely hidden in the crowd. But the heart of morality is something I have never understood."

In places she uses more words than necessary, but she still writes readably and effectively.

`Sociopaths', one of whom is the subject of this book, are people who have a mental condition that includes having no conscience, remorse or shame and no intrinsic sympathy for the suffering of others. Many sociopaths learn to fake concern for others to gain social acceptance, and to control their behaviour for self-interested reasons like avoiding punishment, but they do not feel anything intrinsically wrong in offending against morality or social conventions. Consequently they are more likely to behave recklessly.

Many sociopaths are convicted criminals. These are the ones most likely to be diagnosed and studied. The psychiatric professions have put a lot of effort into studying criminal sociopaths, perhaps because studying them is all that they can do with them, as there is no known cure.

A greater number of sociopaths live apparently normal lives, observing and copying normal reactions to appear like the rest of us, but have no inhibition about deceiving, manipulating and harming us if it is in their interest. One or two of your neighbours, relatives, colleagues, doctors or local Sunday School teachers, including some who appear charming and caring, may be sociopaths of this kind.

There are academic and 'pop' psychology books about sociopaths, generally treating their condition purely as a `bad thing', written by researchers who are not (or do not admit to be) sociopaths themselves. `Confessions of a Sociopath' is unusual in that while the author, a former Assistant Professor of Law from the western USA, has obviously read up about research on the subject, she is not a psychologist or anything like that. She is an authority on sociopaths because she is one herself.

She knew from an early age she was not like others. Adults might not notice, assuming her self-centred, cruel or wild acts to be normal childish behaviour. Other children, however, could tell she was different. The author learned to mimic the reactions that others appeared to expect and made friends at school, although she used to e.g. enjoy forming a group of 3 friends, and then manipulate the other 2 to set them against each other.

As a young woman, the author was told by someone she worked with that she was a `sociopath'. At first she thought little of it. Finally, after her irresponsible behaviour led to her being unemployed and alone, the author thought more seriously about what was different about her. She sought professional diagnosis which confirmed that, as she had begun to suspect from reading about the subject, she was a sociopath. She recalls that the doctor who diagnosed her at times seemed close to tears as she told him about her life.

She began a blog about the subject `SociopathWorld.com', which is still going.

She admits that she found it harder to write this book, without a live audience or the rapid feedback of comments on her blog, to know the effect her words have on readers. Indeed she admits she does not really understand how people who feel sympathy or a sense of `right' and `wrong' think at all. Looking at such things as an outsider they often seem to her, probably rightly sometimes, inconsistent and illogical.

She is quite clear that sociopaths can love, although it is like a little child's love: intense, possessive and self-interested.

As scientists now find is true of many things, there is probably an inherited component to being a sociopath, but the cause is unlikely to be as simple or inevitable as just having certain genes.

The author relates tne condition to the lack of a `sense of self'. I found that harder to understand, as she is aware enough of herself to put her own needs and desires before other people's. I think she means she has no sense her identity is bound up with being e.g. `a respectable member of the community', `feminine' or `masculine'. Consequently, she has few inhibitions against behaving in ways that go against any of those statuses and, like many sociopaths, is bisexual.

I suspect that the remorseless (and therefore sociopathic??) logic of evolution by natural selection favours the survival of sociopaths as a small percentage of the population, often giving them a competitive advantage within their societies, and sometimes their societies over rival nations, as long as they never become so numerous that society falls apart for lack of trust, which would reduce the chances of survival of all its members, including the sociopaths.

The author is not ashamed to be a sociopath but can see it might have been better for her and for society if she was not.

She has constructive ideas about how, as there is no known cure for sociopaths, society could steer them away from crime and towards less harmful behaviours. Uncomfortable though it may make many of us may feel, I do not think we should dismiss her arguments that society benefits from having sociopaths to do jobs that require ruthless logic and/or the ability to coolly risk danger or social disapproval e.g. investment analyst, spy. For some reason she also considers my own day job of lawyer to be a good profession for sociopaths.

As in any autobiography, it is possible that the author is not telling the truth about themselves. As a sociopath, `ME Thomas' (she admits this is a pseudonym) would have no problem of conscience lying to us if she wanted to do so. The odd thing is, to a remarkable degree I think she was actually telling the truth this time.

Google `ME Thomas law' and at time of writing you will find details of a former Assistant Professor of intellectual property law at a college in Texas, whose career history very closely fits what the author of this book says about herself. She is said on the Internet to have been exposed as `ME Thomas' in 2013 and to have lost her academic position because of it. A couple of images show her then having attractive long black hair and being in her early thirties.

In later interviews and her blog, while she still uses the pseudonym ME Thomas, she refers to having suffered career consequences from being `outed' as a sociopath. She does not say if she is in other employment now. Perhaps risking public exposure was an example of the recklessness she admits is often characteristic of sociopaths.

If you search for `ME Thomas Sociopath' on YouTube you may find a recorded radio interview in which her (no doubt sometimes deceptive) charm comes over, and, although less lively, a couple of semi-disguised TV appearances, especially the second half of an episode of an American programe called `Doctor Phil'.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lone Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, 16 Sep 2014
By 
Mac McAleer (London UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I hesitated in buying this book. Part of me was attracted to the subject and part of me was repulsed. This is the memoir of a socialised sociopath, not of a criminally violent psychopath. The terms sociopath and psychopath are interchangeable but psychopath has darker connotations. The author lives embedded amongst us and, although she can seem a little odd, she is just another member of society. You may know a sociopath yourself. One may be your boss. Or one may be you.

As I read the book my fascination continued but so did my occasional repulsion. I was unable to read the last two chapters on sociopaths and love (Love Me Not) and sociopaths and having children (Raising Cain), but on the whole this is a serious, intelligent and readable book. The author recounts her life and attitudes and comments on these with information from academic studies on sociopaths. However, I was not sure how much of this book I believed. Could the whole thing be a hoax written by an academic who studies sociopaths? At the beginning it states that the author's name is a pseudonym and some of the personal details have been changed. Sociopaths lie and have no empathy; is the author playing with the reader?

On the surface this is a not particularly interesting story of a woman who grew up a tom-boy on the US West Coat in a slightly dysfunctional Mormon family who goes on to become a law professor. The real story is what is going on underneath the surface.

THE AUTHOR is the founder of a blog called SociopathWorld . com. At the start of the book is a 2-page "Psychological Evaluation Excerpt". This purports to be an evaluation of the author by a psychologist. The author is described as having a lack of empathy, to be ruthless and calculating in relationships, egocentric and sensation-seeking. She does not have phobias or depressions and is content. She is successful in life and could be described as a "socialised" psychopath.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The author does her best to convince us that she, 28 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
The author does her best to convince us that she, a committed Mormon, is some kind of scary sociopath we should all be afraid of! She states ( repeatedly) her very samey sociopathic traits that are just not convincing enough for me. She lacks empathy but can force herself to feel emotions, this pretty much sums up most frazzled world weary people! She made the teachers she didn't like ( and who obviously thought she was a pain too) lives hell by complaining about them, er,so,...this is standard teenage stuff. She wasn't that effective in her 'sociopathic' Machiavellian shenanigans because none of them were sacked. (but this was explained away by the fact she just wanted them to feel uncomfortable)

Fact is, she just isn't a good sociopath, her evidence is too weak, more a self absorbed, immature, narcissist. Of which there are ten a penny. These can be spotted within ten seconds of meeting, sociopaths after 20. Fact is, we know so much about these personality types now, that we can instantly spot them and make a decision whether to avoid anything but the minimum contact with them. Some still choose to be burned by them, more fool them, they've probably got a personality disorder themselves...

I think the author thinks being labelled a sociopath gives her some kind of power. A power she clearly didn't have as a child, what with her disturbed mum having break downs on the bathroom floor and her dad doing his best ''here's Jonny'' impression, this background couldn't have been easy for any kid, and for all she claims otherwise, the clue to her psyche lies in her erractic childhood...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A BORING CELEBRATION OF PSYCHOPATHY / SOCIOPATHY, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
I've read much about psychopaths / sociopaths, and I have to say I found this read to be both boring and nauseating. The prose is poor, the overall structure is crude and the writer repeats herself over and over, and over! (Pun intended.) It appears to me she wants to present some kind of celebration of psychopathy, when what she has presented instead is a very good treatise about why this seriously disordered personality type is despised by the rest of society. M E Thomas strikes me as an unkind, selfish, empty and lonely specimen who uses her grandiosity and egocentrism to compensate for this, as do many of her ilk. You can get the main threads of the book from the internet and the website sociopath world.com, so I really wouldn't waste your money!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, well written insight, 4 Sep 2013
By 
T. Houston (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
This book was - in places - really shocking. But some parts created envy that you could live a life not caught up in doing the right things by others or being preoccupied by guilt or negative feeling.

Undoubtedly there are parts of a sociopathic personality in us all at least some of the time, and you can't help but think about people you know to wonder if any of them would fit that 'label'.

It was well written with a number of insightful personal anecdotes, and I found it very entertaining - I couldn't put it down. I've never read anything on sociopaths, so I have nothing against which to judge the book, but I'm still thinking about it a week after finishing it, so I'd definitely recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read..., 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
a new perspective on a popular subject .
This book is a lively fast moving read which I thoroughly enjoyed.
If psychopaths have crossed your life, I can thoroughly recommend it!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I question the accuracy and validity of her statements, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Confessions of a Sociopath (Kindle Edition)
She says she is a sociopath. I question how she scored on the test - anyone who has ever taken that test can easily figure out what to say to score high on the scale or low depending on the outcome they want. She spoke on Dr Phil about how she feels that she is careless with knives, and when she cuts herself with one she feels thrilled by it- this is not a sociopathic trait. She says in her book that "I am not completely immune to feeling blue. Of the negative emotions I feel, regret is the saddest and strongest. " This is the opposite of what I know of sociopaths. They regret nothing. Honestly I quit reading after that (at 50%) because it got boring half way through. I think she is more delusional than sociopathic. Definitely a narcissist, possibly with some other mental disorder.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and insightful read, 1 Dec 2014
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It took me a while to get into as it's not the normal sort of book I would usually read (prefer more romantic fiction e.g. Nicholas Sparks!). I picked this up as my Dad once did a "psychopath" test question on me and prety much every time I meet a new person I ask them it, I've only ever came across one other person who gave the same answer as me. I found the book very interesting and certain parts more interesting than others but I suppose that depends on where your interest in the subject lies. I definitely recommend this book but probably to people who generally prefer non-fiction books.
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