Victims and Survivors of Psychopaths

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Archive for January 2009

Homepage: APD, Sociopath, or Psychopath?

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Currently these three disorders fall under the diagnosis of APD in the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).  In the ICD-10, the diagnostic reference book developed by the World Health Organization, and accepted throughout Europe, these disorders fall under the diagnostic category of Dissocial PD.

The “psychopath” was the first disorder formally recognized by psychiatry.  In 1952 the word “psychopath” was officially replaced with “sociopath PD”, however, both words were often used interchangeably.  In 1968 “sociopath PD” was replaced with “personality disorder antisocial type”.  But the word “psychopath” is used extensively in the companion volume, Treatment Psychiatric Disorders, published in 1995 by the American Psychiatric Press.  The PCL-R (psychopathy checklist) is considered an integral part of forensic psychiatry. (Cook, 1997).

For researchers, due to the need for accuracy and precision, the terms “sociopath”, “psychopath”, and “APD” have different meanings.   Although most psychopaths meet the diagnostic criteria for APD, most people with APD do not meet the criteria for the psychopath.  APD is a condition commonly found in criminal populations.  The diagnosis is focused more on behavioral aspects, rather than personality traits.

On the surface, the sociopath may resemble the psychopath, but the sociopath can have a capacity to build relationships and to feel some degree of guilt or remorse over harming someone they care about.  They may feel loyalties to certain groups, such as gangs or the mafia, and will refrain from lying and exploiting within that group.  But they care nothing for social norms, have no loyalties to society at large, and will break the rules of society.  So, the sociopath will exhibit psychopathic type behavior in some contexts, but not in others.

The psychopath does not feel guilt or remorse, and must meet the criteria of the PCL-R psychopathy checklist.  Dr. Hare compared the “sociopath” and the “psychopath” as having a “cold” versus having “pneumonia”

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January 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

Gas lighting: Messin’ with your mind

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 Gas lighting is written about in Women Who Love Psychopaths:  Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm.   J. Reid Meloy writes about it in The Psychology of Stalking:  Clinical and Forensic Perspectives.  The term “gas light” comes from the 1944 movie Gaslight, in which a gold-digger sweeps a woman off her feet, marries her, then deliberately sets about making his new wife and other people doubt her sanity.

Gas lighting is a form of psychological warfare that is deliberate and progressive in nature.  Gas lighters first start with subtle psychological warfare to diminish the victims self-confidence, to upset their sense of reality, and to make them doubt themselves.  They want to break the victim down a bit before engaging in more direct attacks, so the victim is in a weakened state and will be less likely to figure out what is going on and take action to protect themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 27, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Victim, when asked about her Mother: “Momma? She’s in the freezer.”

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Mobile, Al.  Assistant District Attorney, Asheley Rich, said, “The (victim) stated when he first had sexual contact with her he explained that it was normal and described to her and told her in detail the story of Lot from the Bible.” Clinical psychologist, Michael Rosenbaum, says that it is characteristic of a sexual predator to manipulate their victims, and that Mr. Hopkins  also abused his faith to get his way. “He obviously used that story and arbitrarily interpreted it, as a way to influence his daughter so that she would think his having sex with her was normal,” Rosenbaum said. He also states a predator will use whatever they can to influence a child.

Anthony Hopkins, age 37, a traveling minister in Mobile, Al., was arrested on 7/28/08 at a church in Jackson, Al. after preaching a revival sermon on “Forgiveness”.  He was charged with murder, sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, and incest. He was turned in by his 19 year old daughter, the eldest of eight children, whom had fled the home and talked to police attached to the Child Advocacy Center. Her Father had been raping her since she was 11 years old.

Hopkins, his wife, and children had lived in Jackson, Al. in 2000 and 2001 before moving, saying there were resettling in New Orleans. Daniel Maharrey said he and his wife knew the Hopkins when they lived in Jackson, and had helped feed their children. He said: “He (Hopkins) was not a Preacher. He was a man that was going to use whoever for whatever gain he could get out of life.” He also said Hopkins had put out letters saying people would be cursed if they did not give him money.

While still living in Jackson, in 7/2001, Hopkins filed a domestic violence report against his wife, Arletha, claiming she attacked him while he was attempting to leave for work, calling her “belligerent” and claiming she scratched him. (This tactic of blaming the real victim and filing charges against them or setting them up to be arrested should sound familiar to many victims of psychopaths). He had already begun raping his daughter approximately one year prior to the DMV allegation.

In talking to police, the victim told them she had been having sex with her Father (for 8 years). When asked about her Mother, she said, “Momma? She’s in the freezer.” On approximately 11/04/04 Arletha Hopkins caught her husband abusing the daughter in the bathroom of their home. The daugher stated this led to an argument between her parents and the next morning her Father asked her to help hide her Mother’s body in the freezer. Police believe Hopkins strangled Arletha during the argument.

According to police, it turns out the freezer wasn’t the victims first grave. Hopkins first tried to hide the body in a wooded area in Semmes. According to a detective, Hopkins had his daughter watch as he dug the grave, then had her help lift her Mother’s body into the shallow grave. (now imagine the fear instilled in this daugher as to what would happen to her if she dared to go against her Father’s wishes). He later got worried someone would discover the body, so he dug up Arletha and brought her home and stuffed her in the freezer. She remained in the freezer for nearly four years.

At the time of the arrest, Hopkins and his children hadn’t been residing in Mobile for very long. But they brought the freezer along with them to their new residence. Hopkins neighbors said they didn’t know him well–just knew him as a “Reverend”, and that his children were allowed to frequently play in the yard, but were not allowed to play with other children on the street. A “missing person” report had never been filed on Arletha, and Hopkins told people his wife had died four years earlier while giving birth to their son.

Hopkins has pled “not guilty” to all charges.


Written by victimsofpsychopaths

January 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Book Review: Women Who Love Psychopaths

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Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm by Sandra L. Brown, M.A. & Liane J. Leedom, M.D.  Brown is the CEO of The Dangerous Relationships Insitute and Public Psychopathy Education Project. She has previously counseled psychopaths and now focuses on their victims. Leedom is a psychiatrist who was conned into marriage with a psychopath, so she has first hand knowledge of the psychopathic love relationship. Her ex husband, who was motivated to ”bring down a Doctor” is now in prison. Although this book focuses on women who have been involved with psychopathic men, it is also highly applicable to men who find themselves entangled in psychopathic relationships as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm