Characteropathy is the term used by Andrew M. Lobaczewski for personality disorders that are acquired rather than inherited. They can be caused by brain damage occurring at birth or during the course of a person’s life, or by other factors such as being reared by one or more characteropathic parents.
There are several types of characteropathy, some described below, each pathology having its own role in the ponerogenic process.
Paranoid disorders can have two causes – damage to brain tissue, or psychological deformation in those reared by paranoid characteropaths. The latter may be more or less severe – a deformed sense of psychological reality is typical, though the effects may extend to a secondary type of paranoid characteropathy.
The paranoid character is generally capable of relatively correct reasoning and discussion as long as differences of opinion are only minor. This abruptly stops when their own ideas or stereotypes of reasoning are undermined, or when they are forced to accept a conclusion previously subconsciously rejected; a torrent of pseudo-logical, largely paramoralistic and often insulting utterances are then unleashed which always contain some degree of suggestion.
The power of the paranoid lie in that they can easily enslave less critical minds through their influence. Through experience they become aware of this ability and attempt to take advantage of it in a pathologically egotistic manner.
Frontal characteropathy is the result of damage to the frontal areas of the cerebral cortex. Such damage selectively impairs the ability to "grasp a certain number of imaginary elements in our field of consciousness and subject them to internal contemplation." The general intelligence is not greatly reduced, and other mental abilities, including the ability to intuit psychological situations, remain intact. As a result of the damage, the character of the afflicted person is increasingly deformed as they go through life.
The pathological character of such people, generally containing a component of hysteria, develops through the years. The non-damaged psychological functions become overdeveloped to compensate, which means that instinctive and affective reactions predominate. Relatively vital people become belligerent, risk-happy, and brutal in both word and deed.
Persons with an innate talent for intuiting psychological situations tend to take advantage of this gift in an egotistical and ruthless fashion. In the thought process of such people, a short cut way develops which bypasses the handicapped function, thus leading from associations directly to words, deeds, and decisions which are not subject to any dissuasion. Such individuals interpret their talent for intuiting situations and making split-second oversimplified decisions as a sign of their superiority compared to normal people, who need to think for long time, experiencing self-doubt and conflicting motivations. The fate of such creatures does not deserve to be pondered long.
With improved medical care for pregnant women in modern times, the perinatal brain tissue lesions most commonly the cause of frontal characteropathy have become less common. As such, this disorder has become less prevalent. The spectacular ponerogenic role played by those so afflicted, in history and even today, however makes this an important subject to understand.
Such “Stalinistic characters” traumatize and actively spellbind others, and their influence finds it exceptionally easy to bypass the controls of common sense. A large proportion of people tend to credit such individuals with special powers, thereby succumbing to their egotistic beliefs. If a parent manifests such a defect, no matter how minimal, all the children in the family evidence anomalies in personality development.
The author studied an entire generation of older, educated, people wherein the source of such influence was the eldest sister who suffered perinatal damage of the frontal centers. From early childhood, her four younger brothers exposed to and assimilated pathologically altered psychological material, including their sister’s growing component of hysteria. They retained well into their sixties the deformities of personality and world view, as well as the hysterical features thus caused, whose intensity diminished in proportion to the greater difference in age.
Subconscious selection of information made it impossible for these men to apprehend any critical comments regarding their sister’s character; also, any such comments were considered to be an offense to the family honor. The brothers accepted as real their sister’s pathological delusions and complaints about her “bad” husband (who was actually a decent person) and her son, in whom she found a scapegoat to avenge her failures. They thereby participated in a world of vengeful emotions, considering their sister a completely normal person whom they were prepared to defend by the most unsavory methods, if need be, against any suggestion of her abnormality. They thought normal woman were insipid and naive, good for nothing but sexual conquest. Not one among the brothers ever created a healthy family or developed even average wisdom of life.
Lobaczewski also identified Joseph Stalin as a frontal characteropath, on the basis of his behavior in combination with photographs showing "the typical deformation of his forehead which appears in people who suffered very early damage to the [brain] areas mentioned above."
Comparative considerations also led the author to conclude that Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, also known as Stalin, should be included in the list of this particular ponerogenic characteropathy, which developed against the backdrop of perinatal damage to his brain’s prefrontal fields. Literature and news about him abounds in indications: brutal, charismatic, snake-charming; issuing of irrevocable decisions; inhuman ruthlessness, pathologic revengefulness directed at anyone who got in his way; and egotistical belief in his own genius on the part of a person whose mind was, in fact, only average. This state explains as well his psychological dependence on a psychopath like Beria. Some photographs reveal the typical deformation of his forehead which appears in people who suffered very early damage to the areas mentioned above. His typical irrevocable decisions his daughter describes as follows:
Whenever he threw out of his heart someone whom he had known for a long time, classifying him among his “enemies” in his soul, it was impossible to talk to him about that person. The reverse process became impossible for him, namely persuasion that he was not his enemy, and any attempts in that direction made him fly into a rage. Redens, Uncle Pavlusha, and A.S. Svanidze were incapable of doing anything about it; all they accomplished was to have my father break off contacts and withdraw his trust. After seeing any of them for the last time, he said goodbye as if to a potential foe, one of his “enemies”...
- Svetlana Alliluieva, Twenty Letters to a Friend
We know the effect of being “thrown out of his heart”, as it is documented by the history of those times. When we contemplate the scope of the evil Stalin helped to bring about, we should always take this most ponerogenic characteropathy into account and attribute the proper portion of the “blame” to it; unfortunately, it has not yet been sufficiently studied. We have to consider many other pathologic deviations as they played essential roles in this macrosocial phenomenon. Disregarding the pathologic aspects of those occurrences and limiting interpretation thereof by historiographic and moral considerations opens the door to an activity of further ponerogenic factors; such reasoning should be thus regarded as not only scientifically insufficient but immoral as well.
Drug-, toxin-, and infection-induced characteropathy
A number of drugs, of both the legal and illegal varieties, damage the brain in ways that affect psychological understanding and personality. Lobzczewski identifies cytostatic drugs used in chemotherapy as being damaging to the phylogenetically oldest brain tissue (i.e. the parts least recently evolutionarily developed). As such, these drugs damage "the primary carrier of our instinctive substratum and basic feelings."
Persons treated with such drugs progressively tend to lose their emotional color and their ability to intuit a psychological situation. They retain their intellectual functions but become praise-craving egocentrics, easily ruled by people who know how to take advantage of this. They become indifferent to other people’s feelings and the harm they are inflicting upon them; any criticism of their own person or behavior is repaid with a vengeance. Such a change of character in a person who until recently enjoyed respect on the part of his environment or community, which perseveres in human minds, becomes a pathological phenomenon causing often tragic results.
Could this have been a factor in the case of the Shah of Iran? Again, diagnosing dead people is problematic, and the author lacks detailed data. However, this possibility should be accepted as a probability.
Lobaczewski mentions that endogenous toxins (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, food additives, industrial and household chemicals) can have similar effects. Likewise for infections that attack the brain.
When, on occasion, the mumps proceeds with a brain reaction, it leaves in its wake a discrete pallor or dullness of feelings and a slight decrease in mental efficiency. Similar phenomena are witnessed after a difficult bout with diphtheria. Finally, polio attacks the brain, more often the higher part of the anterior horns, which was affected by the process. People with leg paresis rarely manifest these effects, but those with paresis of the neck and/or shoulders must count themselves lucky if they do not. In addition to affective pallor, persons manifesting these effects usually evidence naiveté and an inability to comprehend the crux of a matter.
We rather doubt that President F.D. Roosevelt manifested some of this latter features, since the polio virus which attacked him when he was forty caused paresis to his legs. After overcoming this, years of creative activity followed. However, it is possible that his naive attitude toward Soviet policy during his last term of office had a pathological component related to his deteriorating health.
Role in the ponerogenic process
On the smaller scale, characteropaths may cause much psychological suffering to individuals, families, and local communities. Apart from the immediate influence of the characteropath, those who have grown up with a characteropath among their parents or siblings will often have an impoverished psychological understanding as a result, and may lead their lives in ways that impact others negatively. This often includes poor choices in the founding of their own families, and an inability to parent the next generation in a healthy way. As such, the negative influence of characteropathy can extend across the generations.
On the larger scale, characteropaths play an important role early in the ponerogenic process of whole societies. Once a population is sufficiently hystericized, it is open to being influenced by characteropaths in prominent positions, including in government. This influence further weakens the ability of the population to use healthy common sense, and thus leaves them open to being influenced by more severely pathological individuals. Essential psychopaths will sense the opportunity and move forwards with the aim of gaining power over the society. A government with characteropaths in prominent positions is often a precursor to a pathocracy where essential psychopaths form the ruling elite.
Character anomalies developing as a result of brain-tissue damage behave like insidious ponerogenic factors. As a result of the above-described features, especially the above-mentioned naiveté and an inability to comprehend the crux of a matter, their influence easily anchors in human minds, traumatizing our psyches, impoverishing and deforming our thoughts and feelings, and limiting individuals’ and societies’ ability to use common sense and to read a psychological or moral situation accurately. This opens the door to the influence of other pathological characters who most frequently carry some inherited psychological deviations; they then push the characteropathic individuals into the shadows and proceed with their ponerogenic work. That is why various types of characteropathy participate during the initial periods of the genesis of evil, both on the macrosocial scale and on the individual scale of human families.
An improved social system of the future should thus protect individuals and societies by preventing persons with the above deviations, or certain characteristics to be discussed below, from any societal functions wherein the fate of other people would depend upon their behavior. This of course applies primarily to top governmental positions. Such questions should be dealt with by an appropriate institution composed of people with a reputation for wisdom and with medical and psychological training.
The features of brain-tissue lesions and their character disorder results are much easier to detect than certain inherited anomalies. Thus, stifling ponerogenic processes by removing these factors from the process of the synthesis of evil is effective during the early phases of such genesis, and much easier in practice.
- Lobaczewski, Andrew, Political Ponerology: The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes; Red Pill Press; 2006