Search Box

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sociopath alert: LBJ

A commenter, Quartermain, just sent this link from mackwhite.com. It's a picture perfect portrayal of a man utterly lacking in conscience (though White only uses the word "sociopath" once).

I'd heard it speculated that LBJ was a sociopath, and hadn't doubted it based on what I knew, but had never looked into it that closely myself.

I hadn't known before, for instance, that Johnson had tortured and killed both a dog and a mule in his youth.

I had heard that Johnson had had sex with various women while his wife was in the next room; but I'd never heard that he'd actually fondled them while his wife was in the same room.

And I hadn't known about the hired killer Mac Wallace LBJ had at his disposal.

LBJ's possible connection to the Kennedy assassination will never be proven, of course. But reading about all the other things LBJ did does make one more inclined to believe it was real.

Part of the case that White makes is simply for LBJ's uncouthness. A lack of refined manners is by itself not proof of sociopathy; in fact, it can sometimes just mean that someone is merely unpretentious and more "real." But many of LBJ's well documented personal habits, such as conducting meetings while sitting on the toilet with the door to his stall wide open, are indicative of his complete lack of inhibition and embarrassment.

Normally when I put up a "sociopath alert" I try to make the case myself. But I can't improve on what White has written.

25 comments:

Steven said...

I've read about him before. I read that he was capricious and could be nasty to his staff and that he had favourites whom he rewarded.

Would you say there is any particular trait that is the essence of sociopathy that the other traits follow from or maybe a single neurological condition that causes them all..?

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I read a biography about his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, feeling very sorry for her. LBJ would have given any woman (who was married to him) PTSD. Lady Bird came from a family who had some money (her father owned a successful business). I think that LBJ pursued his future wife, very much liking the fact that she came from a family that had money.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Steven --
There are two basic traits which are sort of related to each other: an inability to love, and a lack of conscience. The thing is, a "conscience" is such a nebulous, intangible thing that to say this doesn't really convey much hard information. And "love" can mean different rings to different people. But those are basically the two traits from which all the others spring: lack of loyalty, dishonesty, impulsiveness, lack of concern for other human beings, etc.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Yes, I vaguely remember hearing that Lady Bird came from a well to do family. Marrying for money is something a lot of sociopaths do when they can.

Remnant said...

The recent postings about Brian Williams combined with this LBJ piece are good reminders about the overrepresentation of sociopaths in the public arena: politics, television, public religious figures, etc.

Think of the list: Clinton (Bill, Hillary and, I am willing to bet, Chelsea...), Joe Biden (in my view), Newt Gingrich, Tony Blair, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Brian Williams, L. Ron Hubbard, etc.

I am aware that there is a selection bias in such assertion since by definition we will hear about public sociopaths and not about more private types. But I believe the nature of sociopathy leads many of them to be attracted to public areas: self-aggrandizement, lack of shame, ease with lying, adeptness at adopting whatever is the popular position.

I mention this because it is yet another reason to largely ignore public affairs, because the relative influence of sociopaths is too high. No sociopath is a truth-seeker or someone trying to benefit society, so their reasons for pushing a given policy will always be bad ones, with the most harmless one being that they believe it is simply the one that will work most to their own opportunistic and careeristic betterment.

Think of all the policy stances and public advocacy issues that have turned out to be wrong: global warming (I tend to think), cholesterol and saturated fat, immigration (LBJ), the Civil Rights Act (LBJ), the Iraq War and Middle Eastern policy generally. My point is not that sociopaths are responsible for all of these, but that the large unacknowledged presence of sociopaths in public affairs should caution us against paying it much heed. The fact that they seem to be in both politics AND journalism will tend to amplify the negative effects: some sociopathic politician will raise a harmful policy to steer attention away from his corruption/sexual piccadillos/other policy fiascos and some eager sociopathic journalist will pick it up and run with it, encouraging thousands of impressionable young idealists to pursue a career in something pointless.

Find things out for yourself, don't weigh the views of those (newsmen and politicians) who have no particular expertise in an area, and don't make life decisions based on what politicians and newsmen tell you is "important". How many clueless but well-meaning people have died, been seriously harmed or just taken a wrong step in life by going off to fight fool wars, or going to give "humanitarian aid" in regions they would never even have heard of without politicians and newsmen?

Some people might say, "well that is a reason to get more involved in politics: to correct these errors and to displace the sociopaths." I think it is a fool's errand. Better to tune it out and live your life without the guidance of the "wise public men".

John Craig said...

Remnant --
You are so, so right about all of that. Sociopaths ARE overrepresented in the public arena, not only because they're attracted to the "glory" positions but because they're god at obtaining them. To rise to the top in certain positions you have to be able to present yourself a certain way, and sociopaths are usually consummate actors. They can put on a compassionate act (which makes them seem more compassionate than people who actually are), a wise man act (even though they're not), etc. And they're also good at the toadying and backstabbing which can help one rise.

I agree that we should take public figures' pronouncements with a grain of salt, especially those in the media, but unfortunately, we have to pay attention to our politicians, they are the ones in control of our destinies, to some extent. Or, at least they're in control of our country's destiny.

I agree with you about the fool's errand bit. There's pretty much nothing we can do about sociopaths in public positions other than expose them as what they are. And even if we do that, the people who take their places will often be sociopaths too.

Great comment.

Remnant said...

Thanks, John Craig.

By the way, did you see Jared Taylor's other recent non-AmRen article, posted at Unz.com? He mentions that "[he has] a half-Asian friend—a connoisseur of stereotypes—who thinks blacks and whites differ in that respect even more than they do in average IQ." Sounds familiar... :)

http://www.unz.com/article/what-i-like-about-blacks/

John Craig said...

Remnant --
Ha, yes, that's me.

I hadn't seen the article on Unz, but he did ask me to take a look at it before he submitted it. (I'm a little chagrinned, I told him to take out that Jesse Jackson paragraph and he didn't.)

Steven said...

Perhaps more direct democracy is the way to go, where the public at large vote on more of the policy. I think Russel Brand put it well when he said that whenever you concentrate power, you create an asshole.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I'm with you, have always believed in referendums rather than elected representatives.

Steven said...

You rock.

Steven said...

I read the link. I'm impressed by how bold and principled Kennedy was in going against the status quo. He was asking for trouble. Presidents don't usually do that and we can see the results.

Johnson sounds scarily despicable but none of that is a surprise after what I've already read about him. There's something strangely compelling about reading about him though. Not that it would be any fun up close. Proper psychopath.

http://kevindutton.co.uk/psychopathy-presidents.html


John, are you ever worried that you'll get trouble off one of the sociopaths you write about?

John Craig said...

Steven --
You're right, there is something weirdly compelling about Johnson. He was a force of nature, unconstrained by normal standards of behavior -- which is pretty much the definition of a sociopath -- and that can be hard to take your eyes from.

I'd seen that list of Presidents before, and don't know enough about most of the Presidents' personalities and private lives to have any sort of informed opinion about most of them, but disagree with some of the others.

It occurs to me that I could be in trouble with one of the sociopaths, but generally they fall into two categories: the rich and famous, and the convicts. The rich and famous aren't going to bother with small fry like me, and even if they Google themselves and see my post about them, they wouldn't want the negative publicity associated with suing someone who called them a sociopath, especially since what I say is true, and they probably realize that. With the convicts, I generally take care to write about people who are not on the verge of being released. And even if they are, they generally have more immediate enemies than me anyway. I've actually refrained from writing about a few people in those Prison pen pal posts just because they (a) are about to be released, or (b) are members of gangs that have long reaches.

Steven said...

I'd be more worried about a private vendetta than getting sued. I guess you're right they wouldn't bother.

Steven said...

Speaking of personal vendettas:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/16/woman-stalks-couple-posting-fake-ads-for-parties-and-sex-services-after-they-outbid-her-on-dream-home/

John Craig said...

Steven --
Wow, what a sociopath.

I like her denial at the end: "I did not intend to harm this couple."

Steven said...

I know. I couldn't believe that.

And her lawyer is ridiculous too. Why even bother describing her as an outstanding community member?

And he did the classic thing of saying she did it because she was sleep deprived from caring for her disabled child- so she actually did it because she is such an angel.

Its intolerable she gets to live a mile from their house and they are still under stress.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Agreed.

Anonymous said...

I think the couple should be financially compensated for the trauma, medication costs and therapy costs.

That sort of torment will effect them for the rest of their lives and PTSD doesn't just go away.

This was a completely innocent couple, what bitch.

Andrew

John Craig said...

Andrew --
My guess is, at some point they will sue her. They have an awfully good case.

Taylor said...

The history behind the gulf of tonkin incident is further evidence of LBJ's sociopathy.

My understanding is that LBJ and Sec. of State Robert McNamara probably did not purposefully orchestrate a false flag attack, but that they pretty much manipulated the situation so that they'd end up with a war.

Released White House tapes document everything, but some of it is left to interpretation. The conspiracy interpretation may be far-fetched, but there's clearly some malicious intent.

Anonymous said...

After learning about Kathy Rowe (via the commenter Steven), the stalker of a young couple who outbid Kathy on her "dream home", I read online articles about this woman. She is one vindictive, evil person, carrying out her schemes against a couple that she didn't even personally know. I feel sorry for her disabled daughter and her sick husband. Kathy Rowe belongs in prison, having gotten off with a light sentence of house arrest. What an awful person.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
You're exactly right. That level of vindictiveness is basically only seen in sociopaths. Especially when you consider that the other couple's "crime" was to bid on a house; they didn't even know her personally.

Anonymous said...

It occurred to me that it would be sweet payback if people in Kathy's community pulled a few "pranks" on Kathy, making her life not so pleasant, helping her experience what she dished out to the young couple.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
The best payback would just be the jail sentence she deserves.