Serial Killers

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Devoid ofrepparttar ability to empathize, permeated by haughty feelings of superiority and uniqueness,repparttar 126199 narcissist cannot put himself in someone else's shoes, or even imagine what it means. The very experience of being human is alien torepparttar 126200 narcissist whose invented False Self is always torepparttar 126201 fore, cutting him off fromrepparttar 126202 rich panoply of human emotions.

Thus,repparttar 126203 narcissist believes that all people are narcissists. Many serial killers believe that killing isrepparttar 126204 way ofrepparttar 126205 world. Everyone would kill if they could or were givenrepparttar 126206 chance to do so. Such killers are convinced that they are more honest and open about their desires and, thus, morally superior. They hold others in contempt for being conforming hypocrites, cowed into submission by an overweening establishment or society.

The narcissist seeks to adapt society in general - and meaningful others in particular - to his needs. He regards himself asrepparttar 126207 epitome of perfection, a yardstick against which he measures everyone, a benchmark of excellence to be emulated. He actsrepparttar 126208 guru,repparttar 126209 sage,repparttar 126210 "psychotherapist",repparttar 126211 "expert",repparttar 126212 objective observer of human affairs. He diagnosesrepparttar 126213 "faults" and "pathologies" of people around him and "helps" them "improve", "change", "evolve", and "succeed" - i.e., conform torepparttar 126214 narcissist's vision and wishes.

Serial killers also "improve" their victims - slain, intimate objects - by "purifying" them, removing "imperfections", depersonalizing and dehumanizing them. This type of killer saves its victims from degeneration and degradation, from evil and from sin, in short: from a fate worse than death.

The killer's megalomania manifests at this stage. He claims to possess, or have access to, higher knowledge and morality. The killer is a special being andrepparttar 126215 victim is "chosen" and should be grateful for it. The killer often findsrepparttar 126216 victim's ingratitude irritating, though sadly predictable.

In his seminal work, "Aberrations of Sexual Life" (originally: "Psychopathia Sexualis"), quoted inrepparttar 126217 book "Jackrepparttar 126218 Ripper" by Donald Rumbelow, Kraft-Ebbing offers this observation:

"The perverse urge in murders for pleasure does not solely aim at causingrepparttar 126219 victim pain and - most acute injury of all - death, but thatrepparttar 126220 real meaning ofrepparttar 126221 action consists in, to a certain extent, imitating, though perverted into a monstrous and ghastly form,repparttar 126222 act of defloration. It is for this reason that an essential component ... isrepparttar 126223 employment of a sharp cutting weapon;repparttar 126224 victim has to be pierced, slit, even chopped up ... The chief wounds are inflicted inrepparttar 126225 stomach region and, in many cases,repparttar 126226 fatal cuts run fromrepparttar 126227 vagina intorepparttar 126228 abdomen. In boys an artificial vagina is even made ... One can connect a fetishistic element too with this process of hacking ... inasmuch as parts ofrepparttar 126229 body are removed and ... made into a collection."

Yet,repparttar 126230 sexuality ofrepparttar 126231 serial, psychopathic, killer is self-directed. His victims are props, extensions, aides, objects, and symbols. He interacts with them ritually and, either before or afterrepparttar 126232 act, transforms his diseased inner dialog into a self-consistent extraneous catechism. The narcissist is equally auto-erotic. Inrepparttar 126233 sexual act, he merely masturbates with other - living - people's bodies.

The narcissist's life is a giant repetition complex. In a doomed attempt to resolve early conflicts with significant others,repparttar 126234 narcissist resorts to a restricted repertoire of coping strategies, defense mechanisms, and behaviors. He seeks to recreate his past in each and every new relationship and interaction. Inevitably,repparttar 126235 narcissist is invariably confronted withrepparttar 126236 same outcomes. This recurrence only reinforcesrepparttar 126237 narcissist's rigid reactive patterns and deep-set beliefs. It is a vicious, intractable, cycle.

Correspondingly, in some cases of serial killers,repparttar 126238 murder ritual seemed to have recreated earlier conflicts with meaningful objects, such as parents, authority figures, or peers. The outcome ofrepparttar 126239 replay is different torepparttar 126240 original, though. This time,repparttar 126241 killer dominatesrepparttar 126242 situation.

The killings allow him to inflict abuse and trauma on others rather than be abused and traumatized. He outwits and taunts figures of authority -repparttar 126243 police, for instance. As far asrepparttar 126244 killer is concerned, he is merely "getting back" at society for what it did to him. It is a form of poetic justice, a balancing ofrepparttar 126245 books, and, therefore, a "good" thing. The murder is cathartic and allowsrepparttar 126246 killer to release hitherto repressed and pathologically transformed aggression - inrepparttar 126247 form of hate, rage, and envy.

But repeated acts of escalating gore fail to alleviaterepparttar 126248 killer's overwhelming anxiety and depression. He seeks to vindicate his negative introjects and sadistic superego by being caught and punished. The serial killer tightensrepparttar 126249 proverbial noose around his neck by interacting with law enforcement agencies andrepparttar 126250 media and thus providing them with clues as to his identity and whereabouts. When apprehended, most serial assassins experience a great sense of relief.

Serial killers are notrepparttar 126251 only objectifiers - people who treat others as objects. To some extent, leaders of all sorts - political, military, or corporate - dorepparttar 126252 same. In a range of demanding professions - surgeons, medical doctors, judges, law enforcement agents - objectification efficiently fends off attendant horror and anxiety.

Yet, serial killers are different. They represent a dual failure - of their own development as full-fledged, productive individuals - and ofrepparttar 126253 culture and society they grow in. In a pathologically narcissistic civilization - social anomies proliferate. Such societies breed malignant objectifiers - people devoid of empathy - also known as "narcissists".

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Visit Sam's Web site at

What is Narcissism?

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

The American Psychiatric Association, based in Washington D.C., USA, publishesrepparttar Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) [2000] where it providesrepparttar 126198 diagnostic criteria forrepparttar 126199 Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The DSM defines NPD as "an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts."

The DSM specifies nine diagnostic criteria. For NPD to be diagnosed, five (or more) of these criteria must be met.

[Inrepparttar 126200 text below, I have proposed modifications torepparttar 126201 language of these criteria to incorporate current knowledge about this disorder. My modifications appear in bold italics.]

[My amendments do not constitute a part ofrepparttar 126202 text ofrepparttar 126203 DSM-IV-TR, nor isrepparttar 126204 American Psychiatric Association (APA) associated with them in any way.]

[Click here to download a bibliography ofrepparttar 126205 studies and research regardingrepparttar 126206 Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) on which I based my proposed revisions.]

Proposed Amended Criteria forrepparttar 126207 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits torepparttar 126208 point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);

Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;

Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);

Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);

Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;

Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or acceptrepparttar 126209 feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;

Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroyrepparttar 126210 objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feelrepparttar 126211 same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;

Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "aboverepparttar 126212 law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Visit Sam's Web site at

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