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on 18 August 2011
If ever there was a book which I wish I'd read twenty or thirty years earlier, it's "Puzzling People: The Labyrinth Of The Psychopath."

Firstly, it's worth highlighting Mr. Sheridan's motivation for writing this book. It was not for the sake of adding to the many fine academic studies which have already been done by eminent researchers. It stemmed from his attempts to make sense of his own disturbing encounters with a number of chilling characters with whom he had had the misfortune to come into contact. He was drawn to the study of all the available psychiatric literature over a number of years. As his own understanding increased, he realised that what he had learned could save a great many people from a lot of avoidable distress. This book is the result. It's a practical guide for everyone rather than a specialised treatise for academics.

Thomas Sheridan explains in clear language that because our notions of a psychopath are dangerously short of the mark, we needlessly make ourselves vulnerable to predatory, cold-hearted parasites who have no feelings of empathy or shame and yet appear on face value to function as normal members of society. The author then demonstrates that a proper and straightforward understanding of the psychopathic mindset is a reliable defence against their predations. By the time you finish this book, you will know everything you need to know.

Contrary to popular belief, the genuine psychopath is fairly unlikely to be a convicted serial killer ending his or her days in a prison cell. It's far more likely to be your manipulative work colleague or a close relative or a former lover who stole your heart or the person sitting beside you on a train.
They do not all look like Charles Manson or Pol Pot. They can appear to be charming, courteous, attractive, sexy, devout, helpful - in fact, they will be whatever you want them to be if they identify you as a target before you realise their real nature. Then they will use you up. Once they have taken whatever they wanted from you, they will discard you as if you were no more than a used battery. By that time they will have identified their next target and you will have outlasted your usefulness to them. Sheridan explains that "it's just business" in their view. They have no capability for feeling remorse, empathy, compassion or any of the positive, spiritual attributes of a human being.

There is strong scientific evidence that there will be at least one psychopath amongst every twenty or twenty-five people in the general population. Psychopaths will be found in practically any environment where they sense that they can take some advantage of an unsuspecting victim. And although victims won't necessarily be gruesomely murdered, they will still suffer appallingly as a result of their encounter with one of these dreadful creatures.

The author strongly stresses that not everybody who does bad things is a psychopath and we should not bandy the term around lightly. However, he also makes it very clear that there are reliable ways to determine if you are dealing with a genuine psychopath and there is a very good section of the book which addresses this specific area. I found myself suddenly making sense of previously incomprehensible episodes that had troubled me for many years. Now that the penny has dropped, it all makes sense. They do not trouble me now.

One of the most important aspects of the book is that it is not designed to frighten us or foster suspicion and mistrust. On the contrary, it is thoroughly positive and its essential theme is that knowledge of the problem is the best and surest form of protection. Mr. Sheridan convincingly argues that psychopaths are powerless against people who are wise to their manipulative devices. This vital knowledge is relatively easily acquired but, for lack of it, there are many decent human beings who have lost their homes, their marriages, their businesses, their savings, their confidence, their self-respect and even their will to live. For that reason, I can't recommend this book too highly.
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on 4 March 2013
We have been programed to think of psychopaths as violent criminals like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy or movie characters like Norman bates.
Thomas Sheridans Puzzling People explains the real nature of the psychopath, this evolutionary offshoot that walks among us, this small percent of the population have the same symptom, namely a complete lack of conscience. The difference is that the majority with this mental disposition operate within the laws and only rarely get caught but destroying lives in the process. This book that's extremely well written and makes it very clear that psychopaths are not like us, they can not be reasoned with or reformed. This knowledge is invaluable for anyone whose life comes in contact with a psychopath, past, present or future, and gives testimony from victims of psychopaths and also Arouses the curiosity for all who seek to understand human behavior. I passed this great read on to a friend who is studying for a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology & sociology, she passed it on and recommended it to her class mates and lecturers, it got great feedback. Ive read six books on psychopathy and puzzling people is the one i always recommend.
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on 30 January 2012
Puzzling People explains the real nature of the psychopath and the danger signs to recognise when you have the misfortune to encounter one either in a close 'relationship' or within the workplace.

Thomas Sheridan brings our awareness of psychopathy up to new levels and, I, for one, am very glad he has written this book and explored the reality of the mind of the psychopath. It is deceptive to think of a psychopath as being in jail. Most of them are out here operating amongst us in relationships, in government, in all the professions and in financial institutions across the world. Some operate just beneath the criminal radar, but still commit crimes on a level that are breathtaking in the emotional, psychological and financial damage they inflict. This is a disturbing to say the very least and a majority of people are unaware of the dark and hidden dynamics that are the centrefold of the psychopath.

I believe knowledge and a core understanding of psychopathy to be crucial to everyone, in order to avoid the destructive and great emotional harm that comes from intimate contact with them in any way at all. Thomas Sheridan has illustrated the depth of hollowness and the damage of which psychopaths are capable in this book. He has encompassed the reality of the disturbing landscape which surrounds psychopathy and given us the tools of how to avoid it in the future.

I highly recommend 'Puzzling People' to everyone!
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on 2 October 2012
I wasn't sure what I to expect but I have to say this has been the best read in a long time! I would highly recommend it to anyone who has ever come across a psychopath and are at a loss of how to cope with them or how to get rid of them. Thomas Sheridan has done some amazing research and know's his stuff, but the great thing is that he put's it in a away that the general public can get to grips with it, without having a dictionary on standby! Fantastic addictive reading that has been fodder for the Soul...
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on 31 October 2011
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 researchers have been discussing psychopathy, psychopaths and psychopaths-in-power for over a decade.
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on 6 March 2013
I bought this book after buying and reading Thomas Sheridan's other two books, Defeated Demons: Freedom from Consciousness Parasites in Psychopathic Society, and The Anvil of The Psyche. This was after finding Thomas Sheridan by chance one afternoon on a Youtube Video with Vinny Eastwood.
We all read good books, some very good, some ok, and occasionally we find a book or an author which stands out from the rest, and in some cases even changes your life. These 3 books by Thomas Sheridan have done just that for me. After suffering from a traumatic break up two and a half years ago, and still until reading these books, I thought it was my fault, I was to blame. This deeply troubled me from the summer of 2010, even more so as a family member was involved. When in point of fact I think i was dealing pr had been dealing with a Psychopath woman hell bent on destroying me.
These books have helped me understand exactly what happened, how it happened, why it happened and more importantly how to prevent being a victim of a Psychopath again...I do not use the word Psychopath lightly for describing what I dealt with, only through these books and listening to Thomas Sheridan in interview have I come to understand and feel confident in labelling my past experience as with a psychopath. I firmly know that everybody should read these books and listen to Thomas Sheridan in interview on Youtube and his website [...]. It could very well just save your life and sanity, quite literally.
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on 2 February 2012
This is a really precious book and it is the sort of book that we all need.
For me, just like for anyone, who is utterly confused by the maelstrom that is life with a psychopath, this book has been the best so far, and so I recommend it to you.

I spent 30 years trying to figure it all out from the perspective of normality, which is all that most of us understand. By then I had a veritable library of supportive research and books, because I think that we all find that understanding this problem, goes a long way towards support and healing.

There was one aspect that was at that time still largely missing from the studies ,and that is about the outstanding and incredible skill of the multiple masks and the rapid switch of masks from one into another, each being a complete persona each with separate viewpoints and memories. The longest personas lasted for 18 years, with short term expedient personas switched on top of the main one, in order for the owner of these false facades , not to be cornered or exposed. These are multiple masks on the move.

So after all that time,I have found that, a major characteristic of false faces, so expertly juggled, has been covered in this book, and I now have some certainty about what I have been existing through. A living hell and wasted life requires at the very least, an understanding of how it works and why! So for anyone who is looking for an up to date, comprehensive expose of psychopathic characteristics , all given in a clear, readable and reasonable way, with a realistic approach to enabling one to deal with it, here is a book that might be wise to read and to share.

I wish you all the most heartfelt wishes for success with your endeavours to deal with this, and so a great many thanks to the author for this book.
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on 12 November 2011
I have read several books on this subject and in my opinion this one is the best. It offers a wealth of information in a personal and easy to read way and if you have ever been in a situation where you have encountered such a person this book could be invaluable to you. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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on 13 May 2011
This book has helped me to understand who psychopaths really are. When reading this, you'll be asking yourself: Why no one ever explained this to me? Why wasn't I told about this anywhere - at school or college?

My understanding of a psychopath, like most people, was: psychopath is a vicious cold-blooded serial killer or a 'sick' cult leader etc. Couldn't be further from the truth, as I thankfully found out. Only a very small percent of psychopaths actually commit punishable crimes. Most of them just use others, in the same way we use things, to their advantage without feeling of guilt/'biting' conscience or any feelings or conscience at all for that matter. Once they have taken what they wanted from you and you are no longer 'of any use' to them, they move on to next person-target.

Information about this phenomenon is purposefully supressed and misinterpreted in main stream media.

Puzzling People is invaluable for anyone who has been or still is victim of a psychopath. And you might be without knowing. This book will help you understand the magnitude of what you are being/have been subjected to and why. You will be able to recognize psychopaths in your life and avoid them or deal with them if you can't avoid contact with them (e.g. your boss/colleague at workplace, a family member etc).

Having been a victim of psychopath in the past myself i didn't know that i'd be reading the story of my life when I picked up this book! I read about EVERYTHING that actually happened to me. I felt like finally someone understands the sheer amount of manipulation and lies I was exposed to and went through. (Psychopaths lie like they breathe, one as much as the other and are absolutely proficient in this without fear of being 'caught' lying and without remorse).
It also helped me realize how many people are going through the same emotional torture. If you are a victim of psychopath, you are not alone! Quite the opposite. You'll be amazed to learn, how many people share almost exactly same 'experience' of psychopaths. The stories of victims are so simmilar as is thinking and behaviour patterns of psychopaths. Only when you don't understand who psychopath really is, you can't understand, what is going on. Because it is so far divorced from anything you consider normal.
It was an excellent easy read and helped me tremendously. Higly recommend to everyone! You'll discover a new world around you, literally... My greatest thanks to the author for this revelatory masterpiece!
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on 17 September 2011
I cannot praise this book enough. After experiencing life dicatated by a psychopath for many years and previously reading the Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout and Without Concience by John D Hare, this book helped so much. It is not academic is phrasiology, but explains the tricks and manipulations on how these people 'feed' off caring and loving people. It gave me the understanding and feeling that I was not alone and have learned and become stronger despite a life that had been so deeply upsetting. I have built on these past negatives and have become positive and view this now as a lesson in life and use it for a more happy and a more self esteemed future, knowing my boundaries and not being caught again in their trap.

If you have also experienced the hurt that these people inflict, this book will explain and help you dissassociate with these truely horrendous people for good.
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