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The Pity Play - Tipoff Play of Sociopath

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by TG1, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    A good friend shared this with me recently. It describes behavior that sociopaths in our everyday lives display.

    The pity play

    Tip-off trait of a sociopath
    Look for the pity play

    Is there any mannerism, any type of behavior, any use of language, that can identify a sociopath?

    According to Martha Stout, Ph.D., author of The Sociopath Next Door*, the best clue that you are dealing with a sociopath is the pity play.

    “The most reliable sign, the most universal behavior of unscrupulous people is not directed, as one might imagine, at our fearfulness,” Stout says. “It is, perversely, an appeal to our sympathy.”

    The combination of consistently bad or inadequate behavior and frequent pity plays, Stout continues, is the closest thing to a warning you’ll ever get that you are being manipulated by a sociopath.

    Sociopath manipulation techniques

    In her book, Stout also describes other techniques that a shameless sociopath will use to keep the rest of us in line. They are:

    • Charm
    • Risk-taking, and convincing others to do it with them
    • Recognizing a person who is decent and trusting—the perfect target
    • Sexual seduction
    • Crocodile tears—especially when sociopaths are about to be confronted
    • Righteous indignation—Plan B when sociopaths are about to be confronted
    • Exploiting social and professional roles
    • Gaslighting—making victims doubt their own perceptions

    The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1944 movie called Gaslight, in which gold-digging husband marries a rich, innocent woman and tries to make her feel like she is going insane. Sociopaths are experts at it.

    For a sociopath, winning is all

    A sociopath has no conscience, no emotional attachment to others, and no ability to love. For a sociopath, Stout says, “life is reduced to a contest, and other human beings seem to be nothing more than game pieces, to be moved about, used as shields or ejected.”

    So what does a sociopath want? According to Stout, a sociopath wants only to win.

    More about this at

    You can buy the book at
  2. Lone Star

    Lone Star Crusader

    Sociopaths will be handled when Super Powers is finally released!! :yes:

  3. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    Hell, it's being handled right here. Right now. On ESMB.


  4. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

    So that'd be NEVER, then. :biggrin:
  5. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    I think the label "sociopath" is very similar to the label "suppressive person".

    I also think that use of the label sociopath requires the same mistakes in logic and thinking about others that the term SP needed to be used as well.

    It comes down to an inability and unwillingness to understand another person and the very different kinds of things by which they might be motivated.

    It is a label, and a lazy way to understand other people.

    As a label it can also be as destructive to a person who uses it as SP was to Scientologists.

  6. AnonKat

    AnonKat Crusader

  7. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    They are very real.

    They're present in everyone's life.

    And they destroy things.

  8. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

    People with Personality Disorders are serious business. I have known a couple, and it's all too real. It's not misunderstood motivations. And it's not because anyone is lazy.
  9. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

  10. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Can you give me the situation and show me how it was very real?
  11. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Sorry TG1

    This sound just like "SP" to me.
  12. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    Yeah, well ...

    It sounds like a sociopath to me.

    The behaviors exhibited by sociopaths are a lot more specific and observable and predictable. Unlike with an "SP" you don't have to imagine or assign a person's "motivation" or "intention" to a sociopath. You just observe them and watch what they are doing.

    Of course, the resulting destruction is also apparent and doesn't have to be guessed at.

    That's my opinion.

    Have you ever read Stout's book? Would you like to?

  13. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

    Not at this forum, but it's horrible, trust me. You can PM me if you would like to talk PD's with me.
  14. Claire Swazey

    Claire Swazey Spokeshole, fence sitter

    Kinda reminds me of this show I saw- I think it was one of the Nova shows on PBS- about these people accused of dong stuff to their kids, decades later, pursuant to some repressed memory syndrome stuff. All later discredited of course. Anyway one of the psychologists was saying, self righteously, guilty people always say they're innocent. And I was like, yeah and so do innocent people.

    Lots of people do at least some of the things named in the thread op. Though, I suppose if one did all those things all the time, then that would indicate they possibly were a sociopath.

    I find that those who go on the most about sociopaths are those who are basically stirring the pot and doing the very things of which others are sometimes accused. I consider it to be a witchhunting meme.
  15. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    Sociopaths are real. I know of some. I'm not going into details.
  16. Claire Swazey

    Claire Swazey Spokeshole, fence sitter

    I think there probably aren't many sociopaths or psychopaths. I know there've got to be some- I watch true crime stuff all the time and almost all those people sound pretty damn close to it. But in the long run, most people are just people but they often have character flaws. Everyone has them and it's a matter of degree.

    I don't think much of bogeyman-izing. I really don't.

    I do have an anecdote to share, though.

    I used to go to this coffeeshop and there was this guy there. Pleasant, well spoken. Young, had dreads, but so do lots of people to whom I never give a second thought or have any concerns over. Something about this guy seemed, well, unclean. Thing is, I never saw him do or say anything wrong. And it's not the sort of fancy or perception I generally have. It really isn't. It was the weirdest thing and to this day I will never quite know why. Very odd.

    But I didn't do or say anything about it, either.

    In life, what you do is conduct yourself and you watch and listen. Just as you look both ways before crossing the street, you do that with people. I once was walking down a sunny street downtown, mid day. All business types out walking at lunch time in a nicer part of downtown Seattle. I saw these two vivacious young women- maybe 18 or 20. Maybe only 17. They were laughing and running, as if they were running for a bus. Lots of buses on that street. But something about the way they were moving- I didn't like it. I didn't trust it. So I walked much closer to the shops (the sidewalk was fairly wide there) and away from the curb. Then I saw the girls throwing their drinks on people who were walking by. I saw that something was up, didn't know what or why, but got the vibe, moved back, and I was fine.

    That's all you do. But this fearmongering stuff? IMHO, doesn't work.
  17. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    I've read reviews of the book but have not read the book.

    I have seen this video by the author of The PsychoPath Test, which is very interesting about the phenomenon of labeling people with these kinds of labels.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  18. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    I do, too. Large bureaucracies attract them because they can hide and manipulate the rules.

    I ate dinner next to one once. Well, more than one and more than once, but this one sticks in my mind. He had a whole division up an move to another site in another (much less desirable) state. I asked about how this was going to disrupt people's lives an impact productivity on some vital projects. His attitude was that it was up to those people to suck it up. Of course, he had someone help him move from the UK to the US - at the VP level all sorts of help becomes available. But this was not just the cluelessness of echelons above reality. He had no doubt things were going to be rough for those people, and it was vary apparent he just didn't give a fuck. They were pawns in his power play. THAT lack of empathy was the lock-in that he was a sociopath.

    But here's the kicker. Within 6 months of that dinner, that other site was closed. Now, that was a multi-hundred million dollar decision. Let me tell you that such decisions are not made at a Fortune 500 company without long, long deliberation and analysis, usually over a year's worth. That fucker KNEW, the very night he was talking to me, that those people he was sending away were going to be moving again in less than a year if they wanted to keep their jobs. Many of them with kids. Many of them declined to come back, and that was what he wanted, because later he bragged about downsizing without the need to fire anyone. Yes, he didn't need to let many people go, because they quit from the disruption to their lives. Many spouses had found jobs in the new state and put their foot down about moving again. But that asswipe came out smiling about it - literally.

    That is a sociopath in action. The fact that none of the other division chiefs looked in on it or stopped it makes me suspect he was not the only sociopath at that level, not by a long shot.
  19. I love it when you get all pre-Modern! (that's in the good sense--Aladair MacIntyre, Hannah Arendt)

    The science of labeling people comes from the idea that you can look at patters---and by look at means evaluate----in people lives and determine their character from that.

    The presupposition is that there is no presupposition in the eye of the beholder.

    But just the patterns observed means the viewer has already put his opinion in the soup.

    For someone to say that the actions they see from a poster on the board qualifies as this psychiatric condition or that psychiatric condition is so wrong because such observation has to include the person's entire activity to be legitimate, not just things type on a message board.

    And even then it is just an opinion based on a paradigm based on presuppositions.

    But to just go by conversations on a message board---that's a witch hunt.

    The Anabaptist Jacques
  20. tetloj

    tetloj Silver Meritorious Patron

    I read this too Alanzo and suggest it is very good companion reading for those who follow Hare and Stout's work (I would also suggest Stout's book as compainion reading for Ronson's). His views certainly urge caution and I recall his words when I start labelling people as sociopaths, narcissists etc.

    I would point out that Ronson is a journalist and Martha Stout an academic of a reasonable pedigree (cursory glance).

    Whether a sociopath is an SP? Hare predicts that sociopaths are about 4% of the population; I believe LRH put SPs at 2.5% (ish).

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013