The Maria James Murder: the role of psychopathy

The previous instalment in this series can be read here

  • For the reader who has been following this series of articles on the Maria James murder, and whom I would not expect to know much about psychopathy, I will briefly outline some major points of this condition.

    My intention is that this "Bonus episode" will help in understanding the brutal murder itself and in understanding the systemically corrupt institutional environment (subject of the next instalment) in which it happened and facilitated the covered up.

  • Dealing with professionals who have no clue
  • For the last year or so, I have been dealing with professionals whom, in turn, deal with corruption in varying ways and in varying occupations. I have been staggered at their lack of knowledge of psychopathy and their disinterest in the subject. A knowledge of psychopathy is essential to understand the corruption, the criminals and their networks. It is also essential to know about to guard against being continually 'blind-sided'.

    "Know your enemy" is the first rule in any contest.

    Understanding psychopathic prevalence is also necessary to understanding our society and its institutions and to have a chance at successfully navigating your way through them. The estimates of the prevalence of psychopaths vary depending on the researcher and their criteria, but there is a consensus around 5% of the adult population. 1 in 20 will be a psychopath of one sort or another.

    The odds shorten considerably from there when dealing with a power organisation and shorten further still when dealing with a person high up in that same organisation. So you are going to meet and deal with them whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not.

    It is this 5% that creates 95% of societies' problems. They are our only true enemy. Therefore, it is essential to know and understand them.

  • How to understand psychopaths?
  • It is often pointed out that psychopaths (and I include sociopaths, narcissists and Machiavellians) have no conscience, no empathy, no shame and no guilt, but how do you understand that? The key, I believe, is to realise they do not have the same level of self-awareness or the same level of free will that ordinary humans have. Once armed with this knowledge, psychopaths begin to become predictable. You then have a chance to defeat them.

  • Limited self awareness
  • Few people are consciously aware of it (because it is all around us all the time) but our connection to others not only gives us feedback on our behaviour but also adds another level to our self-awareness. It sounds paradoxical but being aware of others and how life is for them extends our own self-awareness to a wider world – to another level. We become aware that we are important in our own world but also that we are just one person in a sea of other people whom we are dependent upon to varying degrees and who, in turn, have their own worlds. Our world becomes larger and richer and we can see how the consequences of our actions will ripple out into this more expansive world.

    Psychopaths do not have this ability and so their self-awareness is compromised, hence their narcissism. They live in a very much smaller world so they cannot see the ongoing consequences of their actions outside of their own small narcissistic existence. This is not to excuse them but to explain their sometimes very stupid and self defeating behaviour.

    In their world, no-one has legitimate interests except them. Maria would have had no interests in the eyes of Bongiorno or O'Keeffe. If she will not serve their interests, then she has no value and is to be disposed of.

    Physically, we need a mirror to see parts of ourselves that we cannot see ordinarily. Psychologically, the people around us provide this same 'mirror' for us so that we can better see and know ourselves. But, if you have no connection to that 'mirror', you cannot take on-board any information it is providing you. This is why it is a waste of time trying to reason with a psychopath. Being reasonable means balancing your interests with another's or society's interests. But they don't recognise others' interests. They are anti-social.

    Our sense of shame and our conscience comes from this added level of self-awareness that society provides us with (and that we participate in) and this is why psychopaths have none of these attributes. So psychopaths do not know themselves as we know ourselves. It has been said that psychopaths do not know who they are; they only know what they want.

  • Natural Law and free will
  • Natural Law is the recognition of the laws that govern our world. They are universal, constant and immutable. More specifically, they govern the consequences of actions. These laws apply to such things as gravity, thermo and electro dynamics and they also apply to such things as human behaviour. If Natural Law did not govern the consequences of human behaviour, study in the field of psychology would yield no applicable results: the words of Jesus would contain no wisdom or guidance; and without a consistency of cause and effect, conscience could not be a guide nor could we have a consistent sense of right and wrong and therefore there could be no such thing as common sense. Society would cease to function.

    We have free will so each of us is autonomous and we have authority over ourselves. And if we have authority over ourselves, no-one else has. Equally, we do not have authority over someone else. Yet, we are social beings. This is how we are designed. We have free will, autonomy, self-authority and are social beings at the same time.

    To preserve our self-authority and our social responsibility/dependence simultaneously, Natural Law says that all interactions need to be voluntary. Dominating others, causing harm or imposing coercion on another is a transgression of Natural Law. The individual suffers and so does the social group because it is now dysfunctional and there will be adverse consequences. The consequences are unavoidable.

    The remedy for a transgression against a person under Natural Law is Restitution. But our Legal System does not do that so our legal system also acts against Natural Law as do all institutions that employ coercion against the innocent and ride roughshod over people's free will. This is the Corporate/Legal dysfunctional world we live in and that further harms our society.

  • No free will to do good
  • Animals have free will. Anyone who has been around animals knows this as you can watch them making choices. But they have limited free will as they have no free will to act maliciously. They act always in accordance with Natural Law; in accordance with their design.

    Human beings have the free will to act in accordance with our design, Natural Law, and also to act against it. We can do good or we can be malicious causing harm deliberately and gratuitously. There will be consequences from going against Natural Law; that is its nature! It is also called the Law of Consequences. We can exercise our free will to jump off a cliff but we cannot exercise our free will over the consequences of that choice.

    Psychopaths are distinguished from the rest of humanity by their complete inability to do good for the sake of doing good. They always act directly or indirectly against Natural Law to cause gratuitous harm. They cannot do otherwise because that is their design. They do not have the free will to do good. That is why they can never be trusted. The consequences of their harmful actions always cause further harm to the society.

    They are bereft of true creativity and revel in destruction instead. In the final analysis, they are anti-life.

    This is what we saw in Maria's brutal death. She fostered and protected life. O'Keeffe and Bongiorno sought destruction and death to prove their superior power to themselves and to assert their entitlement to ruin or end lives and take pleasure in doing so. Psychopaths are anti-life and this is what is at the core of their being. Those who sought to interfere with the investigation have brought further harm to Maria's family and to society. The consequences continue onward.

  • Will always seek to do harm
  • Psychopaths are driven to cause harm at every opportunity. That is not to say they do not do things that appear good and may even be good initially but these acts of philanthropy and charity (in its original sense) are enacted only to foster a position from which greater harm can be done.

    Even common or garden variety bullies will engage in alternating good and bad behaviour but the good behaviour is only there to continue to ensnare and confuse the victim. Alternating behaviour, especially if it is grossly conflicting behaviour, is a major warning sign of psychopathy.

  • Psychopaths cannot experience joy
  • Joy is something that is shared with others or with the creation of others which may include God, as in Nature. Joy comes from this higher level of self awareness that, by its nature, we share with others. Psychopaths cannot do this because they cannot emotionally share with another human, never mind God. They know they are set apart from everyone but mistake this for their superiority rather than the incapacity that it is.

    They can experience pleasure, though, and that is what they focus on and what they try to get us to focus on. They are driven by sex, drugs, food and dominance over others; sensual and cerebral pleasures. Notice how teevee programming is dominated by food and sex?

  • Driven by the need for power
  • If you have no connection to others, you are necessarily the centre of your world and therefore the most powerful actor in this world. And how do you know that? Because you can manipulate and have power over others; power to harm them. By doing so, you affirm your position in the centre of your world which is the only world to a psychopath. They are oblivious to the worlds of others.

    So you are God, effectively. Being affirmed in your own mind as being God is quite a rush. In the mind of a psychopath, harming someone is demonstrating their power. To stop exercising that power over others is to stop existing. This is just not going to happen. A king without entitlement is not a king.

  • Excellent at climbing hierarchies
  • Hierarchies concentrate power at the top and distribute it downwards. So, as a psychopath, you co-operate with those in power over you and you compete with those whom you are level with or can overtake easily and you dominate those under you; kiss up, kick down. All attention is focused on climbing the hierarchy because it offers more power.

    With no inhibitions and the ability to shamelessly lie and manipulate others, climbing the hierarchy over normal people becomes a relative doddle.

  • They promote each other
  • Psychopaths spend their days looking for suckers, the people with lower awareness and/or higher empathy. The people they avoid are those that are intelligent, compassionate and are 'results based' in their thinking. These high functioning people follow Jesus' dictum, “By their fruits, ye shall know them”.

    These insightful people are based in reality, the objective world. They are looking for the contradictions, the inconsistencies, the lies in others' words and behaviours. These are the people who can 'put two and two together'. These people are essential for the proper functioning of any organisation. As such, they are a major threat to the psychopaths who deal in illusions constantly.

    Are the psychopaths going to promote someone with these abilities? Not if they can help it. Quite the opposite actually. The safest person for a psychopath to promote is a fellow psychopath. The radar they employ to seek out suckers and threats also identifies fellow psychopaths for them.

    So any hierarchy, given enough time, will become stacked with psychopaths at the top with a chain all the way down. They will form a hidden hierarchy of their own; a hidden chain of command with an entirely different and hidden agenda. This hierarchy will inevitably act against Natural Law, harming people both inside and outside the organisation and offering no restitution. Further harm will follow. This is the Corporate/Legal world we live in.

  • They promote incompetence (same thing)
  • A psychopathic candidate for promotion need only display a certain level of discreetness and an endorsement of the hidden agendas to qualify. Competence does not factor into the selection process. You can see this time and again when people survive investigations into corruption, found to be deficient, and promptly get promoted anyway. We will see this detailed in the next instalment when looking at Victoria Police.

    Therefore, a corrupt hierarchy will be incompetent by definition. And the level of incompetence in an institution will equal the level of corruption.

    Many people do not overly concern themselves with the exploitation of children thinking it does not concern them. But it does, profoundly. This is because the corruption in 'high places' is controlled through paedophilia (the perfect blackmail) and these paedophiles that are in control of our society are not only corrupt but incompetent. And it can only get worse.

    The Maria James Murder podcast series is beginning to shine a light for many listeners on the systemic corruption within the Catholic Church and Victoria Police. This systemic corruption could only persist with support from a corrupt government and a corrupt legal system. Once a society's institutions are corrupted, that society is headed for the rocks in all sorts of ways.

  • Listening for truth
  • Psychopaths have no way of really understanding other people. When they are talking about someone else, they can only draw upon their own consciousness to describe them. So when a psychopath is describing someone else, they are (truthfully) describing themselves. They always 'project' their own state of mind onto others.

    Whenever a psychopath is describing him or herself, they are lying. They live in a fantasy world where they are supremely competent and never make mistakes (it's always someone else's fault). So their words can only describe this fantasy world and they are driven to shore up the fantasy at every opportunity. 'Every opportunity' means every time they open their mouths. Reverse everything they say about themselves and you will be very close to the truth. 'Virtue signalling' is pretty constant, too.

    Those wishing to know more about this subject and how to identify most psychopaths can read more here -

    Here is a very good book on psychopathy that is free and in the public domain (generously donated by the family of the late author)-
    The Mask Of Sanity by Dr Hervey Cleckley M.D.

    Below is a two and a half hour discussion related to a lot of the issues of psychopathy and systemic corruption globally. If you are short on time, the first 30 minutes are particularly worth listening to.

    The next instalment in this series, The Golden Greek - Paul Delianis, can be read here

    View on YouTube


    Excellent writing, James.

    Excellent writing, James. Thanks for sharing the link. I will read the "Maria James Murder" story have me intrigued!


    Thanks Greencrow. It is a

    Thanks Greencrow. It is a gruesome and senseless murder, for sure. It's tragic, especially for the family..

    What is intriguing about it is how it has remained unsolved until recently (to my satisfaction, at least), What is also intriguing is how the police to this day are distracting the public and journalists, although this is breaking down.

    The murder is a window into a very dark world that involves lots of criminals and people in "high places". In short, it looks into how our society really works. Hopefully, we will be able to show how this is so in future instalments.

    Persistent patterns of behaviour

    Read the sub-conclusion (Persistent patterns of behaviour) on p83-4 of "Past Patterns - Future Directions" (link at end of comment). It is a perfect description of psychopathic behaviour within an organisation. The critical points are contradictory opinions of their workmates and their contradictory behaviour.

    Psychopaths charm the dickheads to use them as support when needed and piss off the competent and turn one group against the other. So you get the wildly differing opinions about the psychos

    Superficially they get the results but they inevitably cheat (innocent convictions) to get the numbers. But the numbers please their bosses because it's a numbers game (designed by psychos) so they like it. It creates all sorts of problems (of course) hence the high number of complaints from the public.

    Anyway, p83-4 is a perfect description. It points out that the solution is to institute and enforce the "No Asshole Rule". But how are you going to get assholes to institute it?!!!

    McJ's picture

    Beat me to it...

    I was going to add that bit as a comment on this post but just hadn't gotten around to doing it! I thought it was a perfect description of psychopathic behaviour as well.

    I like to take credit for other people's work!

    Ya gotta be quick smiling

    Another thing that struck me about that report conclusion was that the authors seemed to have no clue as to why it was persistent and what it all meant. It could be feigned ignorance but I suspect not.

    McJ's picture

    It struck me like that as

    It struck me like that as well. Their interpretation of events in general was different from what I would have concluded.

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