30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Psychopaths rule our world,
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This review is from: Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath (Paperback)
I think Sheridan's book serves as a helpful synopsis of the research into humanity's intra-species predator. It doesn't beat delving into the original reading material itself (Without Conscience, Snakes in Suits, Sociopath Next Door, Political Ponerology, etc) but it's a good starting point into what is at once a complex topic and yet something that can be readily grasped by anyone inclined to invest a little time and energy into understanding the single greatest problem facing the world.
I particularly liked Sheridan's framing of the problem in terms of a psychopathic control grid. This meta-concept relates directly to, and encapsulates, the research undertaken by Polish psychologist and author Andrew Lobaczewski, who introduced the term 'Pathocracy' in Political Ponerology, a book which sketches out - often in deep detail - the workings of the 'Psychopathic Control Grid'.
I did have reservations about some of the 'secondary characteristics' he listed as markers for psychopathy, such as 'spotting the psychopath' based on visual cues originally heavily promoted in pop psychology for the very purpose of obscuring the picture (such as being able to read the condition in someone's eyes). Even the best psychotherapists are fooled from time to time.
My niggling doubts became serious worries when I read Sheridan's follow-up book, Defeated Demons. Here he takes his 'psycho spotting' to a whole new level, at one point saying that they can be discerned by their eclectic music collection:
"A genuine psychopath will have the most bizarre music collections. Everything from Doris Day to death metal, there will be no consistency based on actual emotion or style. To the psychopath, it music [sic] merely serves as potential props to manipulate others; bespoke tastes for their bespoke personas." [p.96]
Without any evidence to back up his claims, Sheridan expounds such statements with absolute certainty and presenting himself as an authority on psychopathy. He's not really, although his talks on the subject have certainly garnered a lot of attention and a slot on the anti-New World Order conference circuit.
While it's good to see the information getting out, buyers should beware that Sheridan appears to have lifted entire texts from posts on the Cassiopaea forum, where SOTT.net researchers have been discussing psychopathy, psychopaths and psychopaths-in-power for over a decade.