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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sociopath alert: Julie Hermann

An article in yesterday's New Jersey Star Ledger described how the new Rutgers Athletic Director, Julie Hermann, quit as the Tennessee volleyball coach "after her players submitted a letter complaining she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse."

A few excerpts:

"The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable," the players wrote. Specifically, they said the coach had called them "whores, alcoholics and learning disabled."

In blunt terms, the players wrote, "It has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue."

Hermann, the players say, absorbed the words, turned to her team, and said simply: "I choose not to coach you guys."

Hermann says she did not remember the letter by her volleyball players. When the letter -- given to The Star-Ledger by one of the women -- was read to her by phone on Wednesday, she replied, "Wow."

Their accounts depict a coach who thought nothing of demeaning them, who would ridicule and laugh at them over their weight and their performances, sometimes forcing players to do 100 sideline pushups during games, who punished them after losses by making them wear their workout clothes inside out in public or not allowing them to shower or eat, and who pitted them against one another, cutting down particular players with the whole team watching, and through gossip.

Several women said playing for Hermann had driven them into depression and counseling, and that her conduct had sullied the experience of playing Division 1 volleyball.

Asked about the players' lingering grievances, Hermann reacted sharply and said she was flabbergasted. "I never heard any of this, never name-calling them or anything like that whatsoever."

The word "whore," she said, is "not part of my vernacular. Not then, not now, not ever. None of this is familiar to me."

Ironically, Hermann has been hired to clean up the Rutgers athletic program after the scandal involving an abusive basketball coach and an AD who did nothing about him. Hermann said all the right things about putting the athletes first; but of course hypocrisy is a sociopath's stock in trade.

If you look at the video in the linked article, Hermann says, "Trust me, there's no video" -- about a video which in fact does exist, in which she is attending a wedding (which she says she has no recollection of attending). "Trust me" is a common formulation among those who know that people shouldn't trust them. 

Hermann's loss of memory about how her volleyball coaching ended is very convenient, to say the least. Sociopaths lie unashamedly whenever it suits them.

Most telling, of course, is the description of how Hermann treated her players. Sociopaths often rule through intimidation and ridicule. They aren't above sabotaging (having players do 100 push-ups on the sidelines during games is self-defeating).

Another sociopathic specialty is public humiliation; dressing down a player in front of the others qualifies as that, as does forcing them to wear their workout clothes inside out. And not allowing players to shower or eat goes beyond what even most other sociopathic coaches would do.

Easy verdict: screaming sociopath.


bluffcreek1967 said...

Typical of sociopaths who will brazenly lie about things that can easily be fact-checked. In my former line of work (cop), I dealt with them all the time.

They are able to get away with much of their lies because they're convincing and don't hesitate or stammer when they speak. Even when they're caught in such obvious lies, they will make up even more lies (often outlandish ones) or non-chalantly dismiss it and continue on in their self-righteous attitude.

It used to be frustrating for me because I wanted them to acknowledge how illogical, or deceptive, or morally wrong they were - but they never really admit such things (at least not in ways that demonstrate genuine concern of others). I no longer expect such things from these types. I expect it of normal people who still possess a conscience, but not of the typical sociopath.

As you probably already know, our prisons and jails are completely filled with these types - and that's not an exaggeration in the least.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
You're absolutely right, getting a sociopath to feel guilt is impossible, and even getting them to admit it is extremely difficult. And yes, I'm familiar with their lying-more-in-order-to-cover-up-a-previous-lie technique.

I'm sure you dealt with quite an awful lot of them in your line of work.

I've read that 25% of inmates are sociopathic, but that seems low to me. I'd guess it's closer to 50%.

W O D said...

Most sociopaths would not do what this lady has done they are way more cunning.

Why out youself so obviuosly. She could of taken a great wage and played these girls for years.

Just watched the Louis Theroux documentry on San Clement prison. One of the prisoners outright admits what excites him is not what would excite a normal person

I'm interested in who John found out to be a Sociopath.

John Craig said...

W O D --
You're right, this woman could have played it smarter. But I guess the pleasure of demeaning those girls outweighed the risks she was taking by doing so.

I actually think that a sociopath's sexual desires are all that different from a normal person's. The difference is that a sociopath will ACT on them. For instance, I'm guessing that lusting after children isn't all that rare; look at the prevalence of child pornography. But a non sociopath, even if he has that kink, is probably not going to act on it; he knows how wrong that would be, has scruples, and would be ashamed of himself if he did. A sociopath, on the other hand, has no scruples and feels no shame, so is therefore much more likely to go ahead and molest a child.

I'm not sure what you mean by that last question. (Are you asking who it was who originally educated me in the ways of sociopathy?)