THE CHURCH OF Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sociopath's dream. Mormons believe that everyone has the potential to be godlike--I believe this includes me. Every being is capable of salvation; my actions are what matters, not my ruthless thoughts, not my nefarious motivations. Everyone is a sinner, and I never felt that I was outside this norm.

When I attended Brigham Young--where students were even more trusting than the average Mormon--there were myriad opportunities for scamming. I stole from the lost and found, saying I lost a book, but then I would take the "found" book to the bookstore and sell it. Or, I'd take an unlocked bike that sat in the same place for days. Finders, keepers.

But I am functionally a good person--I bought a house for my closest friend, I gave my brother $10,000, and I am considered a helpful professor. I love my family and friends. Yet I am not motivated or constrained by the same things that most good people are.

I don't mean to give the impression that you shouldn't worry about sociopaths. Just because I'm high-functioning and nonviolent doesn't mean there aren't a lot of stupid, uninhibited, or dangerous sociopaths out there. I myself try to escape people like that; after all, it's not like all sociopaths give each other hall passes to avoid harassment.

Despite having imagined it many times, I've never slit anyone's throat. I wonder, though, had I been raised in a more abusive home, whether I would have blood on my hands. People who commit heinous crimes--sociopath or empath--are not more damaged than everyone else, but they seem to have less to lose. It's easy to imagine a 16-year-oId version of myself being handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit. If I had no one to love or nothing to achieve, perhaps. It's hard to say.

 


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    Sociopaths

    Stories of those who are sociopaths and who have had experiences with sociopaths will be posted here.

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