I, Psychopath

I, Psychopath

2009, Psychology  -   254 Comments
Ratings: 6.62/10 from 208 users.

I, PsychopathPsychopaths... we usually only know them from Hollywood movies. We never expect them to enter our real life. But, the psychopath is closer than you think. Experts believe their number to be as high as one in a hundred. Most of them function incognito in high-powered professions...all the way to the very top.

But... it takes one to truly know one. In this intriguing documentary, Sam Vaknin, a self-proclaimed psychopath, goes in search of a diagnosis. In a scientific first, he allows himself to undergo testing to find out if he was born without a conscience. He knows he's narcissistic and cannot empathize with others. By his own admission, he's pompous, grandiose, repulsive and contradictory, ruthless and devoid of scruples, capricious and unfathomable... but he believes, he's not a bad person. What he is is indifferent...he couldn't care less. Unless, of course, the topic is himself.

Vaknin and his long-suffering but ever-loyal wife, Lidija, embark on a diagnostic road trip. But, it's uncharted territory... deep into the mind and life of a psychopath. The 47-year-old convicted corporate criminal has agreed to take part in the pursuit of his own diagnosis... meeting the world's experts in psychopathy in the hope that science will provide some answers for why he is like he is. These experts put Vaknin (and his wife) through a battery of rigorous psychological tests and neuro-scientific experiments.

Vaknin is shocked at the results. Sam, his wife, the scientists, the film-makers - will they ever be quite the same again?

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254 Comments / User Reviews

  1. HG Tudor sounds VERY similar.

  2. This movie is boring

  3. He would be interesting to talk to. fun and charming and yet complicated

  4. Well first time for everything a narcissist that is truthful wow.!

  5. i'm more interested in the psycocat, that guy don't scare me or interest me

  6. I recently got married back in may 2017. Actually now I don’t even know if I still want to be married with this person. I believe he is a narcissist. Lately it’s like walking on egg shells with him. I feel like I have to watch what I because of how he may react. One day he is loving, then the next day he is a complete dick with a irritating attitude...you can tell because it’s written all over his face and I don’t even know how to ask him what’s wrong because he would throw a fit out on me and give me attitude. Because of his mood swing behaviors and constantly blaming me for everything after asking my opinions on things. This cause me to feel like a different person where I don’t know myself anymore, I been having mood swings, depressed, stressed, insecure and I feel useless. Lately all I have wanted to do was be by myself and not talk to anyone

    1. Wow! Your comment sounds like my life! I used to be peppy, happy, outgoing, spirited, fun but now I am like you said depressed, insecure, stressed, & I feel useless too & I have also felt like I wanted to just die. I could never kill myself, but I felt like I had no reason to live after all of the mental torture. Honestly, your comment echoes what I go through daily.

    2. Please be careful.you said walking on eggshells & I feel ya so much on that.Everyone told me to run but I stayed now for 15 years but all I can say to you is if you stay & he is a nars then you heart will be broken in so many ways so just know that & make sure you can handle that pain is so hard to bare sometimes & the memories are like flashbacks of the abuse you can't ever forgot the past bc deep down it just kills who you are so I say make sure he is worth it
      js Much Love & bless ya

  7. Almost every single person here doesn't know what a Psychopath is. They're not evil people, guys, they just can't feel emotion. Actually read up (I would advise reading Athena Walkers writing) on what Psychopathy is before falling for the trap of what things like this tell you.

  8. I watched this movie as part of some research I'm doing. Vatnin scared the bejeezes out of me. What I saw was a dark-haired Donald Trump!

  9. There will always be psychopaths in the world. There were probably fewer of them and they were far less tolerated 10K years' ago when communities had to work as a team to survive, at a time which pre-dates our fragile and mal-adaptive society. They fit in rather well today, which does not mean that they are deeply sick people. Do not be fooled by the fake modesty, it is all a ploy to pull you in. If you want to confound this man and put him out of business as a pretend-psychologist, then all you have to do is ask him on Youtube what the title of his doctoral thesis is (you need to research and write one to get a Phd) and the titles of any papers he has written. See what sort of an answer you get.

  10. Makes me think about who is running for president

  11. This is an excellent documentary and its providing a true public service: educating us non-psychopaths to recognize what a true psychopath sounds like. SV is truly chilling. I've run across a few over the decades and it's uncanny how similar their presentation and personalities are; it's very debilitating and draining to work for one, but I think I am better at spotting them now so I haven't been victimized by one in a long time now.

    This doc helped with that: spotting the smarmy too-nice-too-soon and the slippery, oily character of their speech. Creepy.

    Also wanted to mention: the terms "psychotic" and "psychopathic" sound similar but mean different things, but some of the commenters have been mixing them up.

    SV is a psychopath, or is psychopathic, he is not psychotic .

    "Psychotic" or "psychosis" means "unable to tell what is real vs unreal; a break with reality, delusional, having hallucinations, etc."

    "Psychopathy" is being manipulative, lying and conning people for your own gain, a lack of conscience, a lack of empathy, a lack of remorse for the harm you do to others, etc.

  12. Ian Walker is a fraud. This is a dis information film about the true nature of psychopaths and how they operate. For a start you don't get Post traumatic stress by making a film with them for a few weeks where you are both being paid and YOU are holding the camera. Ian had the power of the camera and the edit and the story. It was Sam Vankin who put himself in the vulnerable position. Sam Vankin knows who he is and his writing on NPD from the mouth of the beast is very enlightening and useful to victims. He has taken himself away from society because he knows that he's potentially dangerous. Ian baited the guy and filmed him with a secret camera. This is actually the way REAL PSYCHOPATHS operate so perhaps Walker should turn the camera on himself.

  13. The best fishing doco i have seen in years!

  14. A frightening, enlightening look into the Magic Mirror of narcissism and psychopathy. Who's filming who, and to what end? What makes this doc frightening is that psychopaths operate all around us, with much more subterfuge than this psychopath-narcissist who enjoyed self-publishing his book and coming off as superior to his partner, the investigators, the filmmaker, and...just about everyone else. The enlightening part is that we can more readily see the behavior aimed out at us as psychopathic or narcissistic, and we can defend ourselves against it. We no longer have to suffer the bullying boss, the demeaning spouse, the self-involved Leader of Some Pack, without knowing we can nail their behavior as pathological and then either correct our course, or walk away from it. Finally, we can say: it's not me. It's YOU. And I don't have to take it anymore. Finally, we have options when explaining to employers why so-and-so is just not suited for the job of CEO, or why we're not going forward into a relationship with so-and-so, or why we're just through with people for whom there is no redemption, no other way, in sight. This doc gives power to those who encounter the non-lethal psychopath and his or her potential damage; we now have some tools to spot them (and not buy their books) before their hooks are in us.

  15. As the 'daughter' of a psychopathic narcissist I at first questioned Sam's psychopathy because he seemed too controlled and perhaps just ego maniacal. However, the bullying of the filmmaker eventually made me realize that he very much is. The wife obviously has some issues, and I hope she doesn't have children with him. That would be like procreating with an unpredictable wild animal. Snapping over nothing, bullying, being verbally abusive are all traits my father carried. He was also physically abusive, and he eventually took a family member's life. The identification of these individuals and the awareness of their manipulative tactics, and lack of empathy, is potentially life saving. I understand why people question the validity of this psychopathic science. However, I assure you that they are real, the scientist's description of the psychopathic is very accurate, and most importantly, they hurt everyone around them, and they do not have a conscience. DO NOT APPROACH THE PSYCHOPATH!

  16. I watched this documentary and my initial reaction was that he is not a psychopath. as i continued watching this conclusion was only reinforced. this man is a narcissist. he relishes in getting HIS way and getting the attention that comes with being a psychopath. very little is know about psychopaths so a chance to study one is rare. this man relishes in the idea that hes special and different. a true psychopath would never reveal themselves as such. thats their ace in the hole. nobody knows theyre a predator so it makes people believe their manipulations.

    1. This guy could murder someone at any moment and not feel a thing one way or the other. If not while filming this movie, then he probably has in the past or will in the future. A lack of empathy not only makes someone highly capable of committing violent crime, it makes them highly likely to murder, rape, abuse, etc. They are born killers. They live to harm others and think it is natural to do so.

  17. The verbal manipulation of a real psychopath is a thing to behold... and
    behold it is ALL you do. You do not believe the bullshit for one

    I have had 3 careers and many small side jobs
    because I worked through college and as a temp off and on since 1988. I have worked for
    several psychopaths in business - both women and men. The men were louder,
    the women quietly vicious. All got what they wanted at my expense and
    all were above me in the economic feeding chain.

    When I was in Washington, DC, I started calling them "The Brilliants." Trust me on this: they aren't all that smart and they do make mistakes. Their mistakes can me small or large - but they usually result from two things:
    1) Going to fast because slowing down and thinking things through would be a weakness.
    2) Not caring about any possible outcome other than the one they think they will get.

    When their plans lie in ruins at their feet, so sorry ya.

  18. The only reason Vaknin agreed to any of this is because he feels HE can use it to HIS advantage for his books for his web site for his image. It's all about him. Walker ends the film feeling damaged and he is. Only because he questions that Vaknin may have had some truths to his abuse. So I would say this. Sam Vaknin saw what you felt weak in. He 'read' you like a book and attacked you in a way to train you to doubt yourself. He attacked you at your core beliefs in yourself. He would consider a victory that he's made you doubt yourself. What he does is a survival technique, if you are busy worrying about what's wrong with you, you aren't looking at what he's doing. He is distracting and controlling you. Throw out what he said to you. It meant nothing to him, it was only a way to get at you… Let it go. If you are worried ask people you trust about it for their honest opinion on what you need to work on. Not this man. He is preying on your mind in any way he can. If you doubt yourself he wins.

    1. This is the second Psychopath documentary I've watched. This one filled in a LOT of gaps.. What you say about Sam V. is so true. The guy is a vampire. Take his teeth out of your soul and walk away. Leave him to his just desserts.

  19. I think Walker is the Psychopath. He makes Sam react which is what psychos do. They don't get angry. They're passive aggressive. They make people angry around them. I think Walker makes Vankin look honest.

  20. he is not psychopath. no aspd. He is just jew and loves money

  21. Vaknin is everywhere. He is annoying, self- promoting with a big mouth. His accent is vile, harsh and jarring. He is self-obsessed and too far up his rear end. Who is he to criticize Obama! He needs to analyze his over-inflated narcissistic self and disappear.

  22. This was so interesting; never a dull moment.
    I went online and found out more details about Sam's earlier life. His mention in the Financial Times was especially helpful.
    The best part of this doc, for me; was his visit to the German doctor.

  23. Oh my so many people deny that this guy is a psychopath. I'll tell you straight off the bat that HE is a living psychopath. Psychopathy and Narcissism, like all the other mental illnesses have a certain degree of severity. (One might have more advanced psychopathic traits that another, if that makes sense. i.e One might me more narcissistic than another). Let me just put it simple, the DSM (diagnostic and statistic manual) contains a ton of labels that are just labels and nothing else. A psychopath for the most part lacks remorse along with a myriad of other symptoms. (how true is that? Then why do psychopats get angry? Isn't that an emotion?)...... this is why I'm saying the the DSM is just a bunch of labels and nothing else to it. For everyone that wants to find out more about the Psychiatric Industry and all the labels they use to make profit look up the documentary -

    Dissociation disorders such as Depersonalization and Derealization can also make you not feel emotions but it's more like temporary.

    Lets just take it from here -

    I've lived with a psychopath that was actually my dad. I'm talking of my own experience, it's the behavior that makes an individual a psychopath and not necessarily their thought pattern which might be irrational anyways, especially if they're dealing with some other mental illnesses. Psychopathy runs in families, you'll often see that a psychopath has the ability to turn the family members into psychopaths - sooner or later. Why? Because they're not allowed to be happy. They're not allowed to have the freedom they want and they MUST do what their ABUSER says, otherwise they'd be in trouble. I am speaking out of my experience with my dad, that I believe had psychopathy since he was born.

    No wonder I suffer with PTSD, OCD, anxiety and depression for almost a decade now.

    Here's what a psychopath can do, I'll just try to list a few of the things that I've lived in my own shoes - so been there done that ..

    * A psychopath dad can buy you a pair of rollerblades and will NOT let you take them with you or go rollerblading with your school mates.

    * A psychopath dad will tell you that life is hard and you will never make it.

    * A psychopath dad will tell you that you have NO REAL FRIENDS and you will never have friends, to top it all you will actually NOT be allowed to have friends.

    * A psychopath dad will take you to work with him on Saturdays and Sundays and will have you do homework for 8 hours in a row simply because that's what he wants you to do in your free time, instead of playing basketball or go out rollerblading like any kid should do aged 10 - 11.

    * A psychopath dad will not let you go on a skiing trip with the school - 5 years in a ROW! How? Just making up some lies and making you feel guilty for the useless things possible and actually punishing you on not going in the skiing trip for something you haven't done in the first place.

    * A psychopath dad would literally destroy the entire house, over an argument with his wife (jealousy related).

    * A psychopath dad will always tell you - You do this and that the way I want you to, and never go over my word. His favorite proverb was "An Arab had a cat and the cat just had to go his own way". Basically this translated to - The Arab was the cat's jailer. And that is what a psychopath is to his family - A Jailer. You cannot love your jailer can you? I never loved my dad either, I was afraid of him and would literally freeze in my shoes whenever he was around, he was the JAILER. Does that make me a psychopath for not loving him? NO. It's simple you can't love your JAILER.

    * A psychopath husband will never ever let his wife work, he prefers to have complete control over the finances, the house, his wife and so on. He does not want his wife having social relationships that he can't handle.

    * A psychopath dad will promise he'd buy you a bike and a laptop and you wouldn't get the presents even 20 years after, when it's already too late lol, but he'd only make fake promises that's the main idea.

    * A psychopath dad doesn't like to play with his children, he just enjoys manipulating them just as he wants (as if they're objects).

    * A psychopath dad would buy you toys that you're not allowed to play with, of IF you're allowed, you're only allowed for short periods of time.

    * A psychopath dad would buy you a toy and take it from you and break it right in front of you 30 minutes later.

    * A psychopath dad (MIGHT) have a psychopath dad himself. This probably explains why he didn't want to go to his dad's funeral.

    * A psychopath dad would beat you up for things you haven't done. He would punish you for weeks on end without any reason.

    * A psychopath dad would probably not let you see girls when you're a teenager, getting all angry over it and calling you names, beating you up and sending you to your room.

    * A psychopath dad could keep you closed in the house even on holidays, just because he doesn't want you to have contact with the society which he utterly hates.

    * A psychopath dad has friends, but always has something to blame about them.

    * A psychopath dad will never EVER be satisfied with you grades even if you have A+'s and B's.

    I am nowhere near criticizing my dad, I am just trying to picture here what a psychopath looks like to me. I study psychology and psychiatry so I am not talking non-sense.

    Hope this pictures the psychopath.

    Only someone that has been living with a true psychopath can identify himself/herself in all this. A person that hasn't is most likely to get in contact with psychopath and never know it was a psychopath in the first place.

    No psychiatrist on this planet is perfect! Even the best one can misdiagnose, they even admit it in certain documentaries. Why am I saying this? Because a mental illness as it's classified in the DSM IV based on a myriad of symptoms that overlap other mental disorders and it's not always necessary that you meet ALL the criteria under a certain diagnoses to actually have that mental illness.

    NO. A psychopath doesn't necessarily kill. (My dad eventually comitted suicide in his mid 40's) A psychopath isn't necessarily the most charismatic person you'd know - they can also be miserable depressed people - they're all about CONTROLLING and MANIPULATING for their own pleasure.

    Wonder why some people make it to the top of the pyramid and other don't? Because they're psychopaths (WELL not in all cases anyway) They do what they do, manipulate, control and go up the ladder). They'd even go over dead bodies to get their BACON (which is in most cases Money/Power).


    1. how do you deal with situations like this

    2. My dad fits 90% in this description but he is not a psychopath he is an alcoholic

  24. Aren't psychopaths supposed to be charismatic? Isn't that one of the core characteristics? This guy is simply just the most boring person a camera has ever been turned on... what an absolute waste of intellect and ability.

    1. I would propose that they are charismatic when they need to be to achieve their goals and their true natures come out when they have no consequences.

    2. Not necessarily.

  25. Interesting - I couldn't quite work out why the disparity of his assertions. He seemed almost too quick sometimes to highlight aspects of his behavior which he considered psychopathic to medical professionals - I'm not sure why he felt the need to do this? Could be any number of reasons - I won't speculate, and yet towards the end of the doc he seemed a little shocked when the results of the psychopathy tests came through and he had scored so highly? His wife - seemed a nice enough lady. More of an enabler than a victim.

  26. Psychopath or just a jerk? Maybe he's in between - the film does point out that it's not always clear. PDs are not either/or. Heck, I think some of his behaviour (overreacting to the tiniest criticism, denial, projection, black-and-white thinking, superiority complex, thinking that they're the authority and are always right and marrying women who agree) could apply to a lot of European men of his age. Including my dad!

    1. I like your post. At some point, don't we get to quit splitting hairs and just say it for what it is?

  27. Boring as hell, and he's ugly to boot! Not even worth analyzing his id, ego and superego. Just a boringly pompous dolt.

  28. defining Christ a psychopat however is really a paradox, considering that the key words of what he used to preach were "love" and "compassionn"

    1. In a way it makes sense that a psychopath trying to create a religion would preach love and compassion, because they would presumably want everyone else to be motivated by those attributes and therefore be easier to control.

    2. What makes you think Christ was trying to start a 'religion'? Perhaps he just had empathy for people and the authorities who wanted to 'control by fear' were afraid of the power of compassion. Also if the story is true, Christ forgave his killers, something that a psychopath would not do.

    3. I wasn't talking about Christ, I was talking about a hypothetical psychopath trying to create his own religion.

    4. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I agree with you that it does make sense that a psychopath could find some opportunity in religion. I suppose in every area of human society. I think that it is a severe mental illness and they have no control over it. It's hard for us to feel compassion for them because we are angry at them. If they were in a mental institution and labeled 'insane' we would feel sorry. We should protect ourselves however, but without anger.

  29. Very interesting and original subject, I didn't know psychos could have nearly a normal life with wife and job and be non violent physically. In some points they do seem to be more pleased togheter and have more complicity than many couples I know: strange. I think the documentary worth a more profound and extended version. Would have been perfect for a Herzog one.

    1. Most are non-violent.

  30. Try growing up with one. You are constantly questioning things. Even now, as an adult, I constantly question myself. It's maddening. My father is a major narcissistic psychopath, but my mother remained with him up until her death, for 49 years. So I don't really blame him because he has a sickness...I blame her for not getting us out. And my father is 100 times worse than this blow hole.

    1. Blame your mom ? You say your dad is a "Major" narc psychopath and you think your mom would have been able to do anything ? She was no doubt under his control. If you want to lay blame... blame life.

  31. pschopath?....probably more of a borderline personality disorder with an anger management problem.

  32. worst audio editing ever on this film...

  33. i like how the director allows himself to be potentially mentally eclipsed by the psychopath, during the interview in part 2, when he comes off intimidated by the egotistic guy. That dude is so in love with himself, he should have started laughing at him... thats how you deal with these people, they are useless leeches... some dogs are bad and just need to be put down.. some things(people) are just ****, plain old ****.

  34. i was bored after 5 minutes...nothing new,i know tons of these people,and they never surprise.

  35. He does not have a real PhD (Pacific University) and the insinuation that it is not real sets him off. He has set his own trap in that he was a child prodigy yet he has no advanced degree. He is nothing special, no great "psychopath" (which is his current schtick for making money), just a low self-esteem, hollow individual who has found a new role to play. Don't waste your time on him.

  36. Having lived through years with a psychopath, this brought back the fear and the memories of the degrading that I had to live with. I am one of the lucky ones to have escaped. If it were not for the accent, I would have swore it was my ex speaking. There is a commonality to their behavior and I wish the courts would look at this.

  37. anyone else notice the female that tests wives is a sexist hypocrite... constant criticism, rules, character assassination. you never listen (maybe she never shuts up), rule 2000 and what?, im going to have you tested for being a sociopaths should qualify as attempted character assassination.

  38. what a nauseating man, good documentary though

  39. Definitely got the sense of this being a ' badge ' to make himself ' interesting'. Glad I am not married to him !

  40. I thought the filmmaker was a bit of a pushover- I hate to say it but I didn't find his complaints of being bullied off camera to be gripping television. The interjections of his own insecurities were distracting, and went against the grain of the film. I wish he would've pushed his subject more, drew him out so to speak. Now Im just picturing him sobbing into his breakfast cereal, "I'm an intellectually lazy filmmaker!" wah..haha..He did have that good bbc2 narrator voice though.

  41. This guy isn't a psychopath or narcissist. Hes just a major control freak. He wants to control everyone around him to the point were he even wants to control how people think of him. What a waste of time this vid was. He should be killed. Now that wouldnt be a waste of time

    1. We tend to be control freaks.

    2. So... he was able to trick the brain scanner ? Cool...

  42. In reality, none of us are what we think we are, so bottom line: Sam's not the narcissist or psychopath he would think he is. Therefore, so long as he maintains this fixed view of himself that way, he's really guilty of self delusion more than anything.

    1. Seems like he takes pride in calling himself a Psychopath its almost like thats what he wants everyone to think he is if you ask me. To me that is really crazy I mean WHY would anyone want to be a psychopath? You are what You Think,You are what You Say You are You are what You eat or whatever lol. Strange :0

    2. I think that this guy is not a psychopath. I think he is deluding himself into thinking that he is one probably because he believes that being a psychopath is superior.

  43. -Congratulation, you have now have been diagnosed as a psychopath...

    -I knew it.

    -...so now we are gonna have to lock you up for 20 years.


    If you have not laughed by reading this, you are a psychopath.

    1. No... you're just not funny.

    2. and you shall know them the fruits of their labours lol, two more for the bus!

    3. is this your way of saying everyone is a psychopath??

  44. Why doesn't he have sex with his wife???

  45. Poor wife looks like at least 45 instead of 39. I think Sam is not even narcissistic or psychopath but a typical relatively intelligent Jewish boy that was raised by his Jiddische Mamma like he is God's gift to the world.

  46. Certainly he's a nasty piece of work. To me the continual bonhomie when he wants to make a good public impression is not connected to any emotion and a dead giveaway - literally, you get no feeling from the man. But underneath I get the impression this guy is empty, his life's built on deep inner insecurity and the split off emotion is a defence. You can see these people in any office - they think they can substitute an image - of super-efficiency, dedication to the company, outer image or false charm - for being real people. There's just an utter sterility that drives me, for one, away. I had to leave this sort of environment. They destroy trust and belief. Read Brett Easton Ellis - American Psycho - for a good depiction.

  47. he is such an egotistic SOB that it is not funny.The guy thinks he is the best thing that ever happened. I hope people don't buy his book nor his DVD's. I don't want this a....hole to make money out of gullible people

    1. Sadly that grandier etc is part of being a psychopath - and of course narcissim at its best

  48. hes a fool he has the so called warrior gene but 30% of the men has it, i want 2 show him whats he spotting with retard

  49. after watching, i'd just say-i dont know what's wrong with him, and i dont care. and i'm glad he's not in politics. i think he's all about power. he needs to dominate and he needs to feel superior. he craves recognition. i wonder if they'll ever have a kid.

  50. before watching, i just want to say that i think anyone one goes into politics must have psychotic tendencies and the higher u go, the more the psychosis manifests itself. there is something sickish about wanting to control ppl

    1. psychosis is completely different different from psychopathy. In fact a psychopath is less likely than an average man to have pslchosis

  51. Most psychopaths are intelligent frauds. How do you think psychopaths that murder get so many victims before they get caught. its because their intelligent but they ignore some of the risks because even smart people think it wont happen to me.

  52. Good documentary though he seems to come across more as an intelligent fraud able to manipulate the tests rather than a true psychopath still wouldnt want him as a lodger though :)

    1. I think this most accurately describes Sam. He said in the film that he was able to make money about of being a so called psychopath so this was just PR stunt for him but the brain scans should be taken into consideration.

  53. Really great documentary. I could actually feel myself "fearing" that man! He's the REAL DEAL...Thanks Vlatko! :)

  54. wow this guy just seems like a fraud. He's too into it to really be a psychopath. It's like he a wanna be and tries to hard, but actually isn't what he claims to be.

    1. I find Sam annoying, but sometimes relateable. I guess we all have the same traits, just to varying degrees.

    2. Try to check your grammar. ...too hard....

    3. Are you being topicaly funny? I mean on the subject of control and you telling a stranger to check her grammer? She's not writing an essay so her grammer is surely of minor importance so imgonna, assume. you are being funny:

    4. That's the point. He thinks he's being clever by getting people not to take his claims seriously. But at the same time it's a form of self=advertisement, inverted snobbery seeking negative "admiration" for being special i.e. 1% of the population. Like a typical psycho he thinks he's in control and fooling people but in the end he's out of touch with what's really inside his mind and fooling himself.

  55. "His care for his victims, gave him, at least for a while, a feeling of being an important person!"

    Thats whats driving Sam Vaknin.

  56. Fantastic documentary!

  57. Great documentary. I find Sam annoying, but sometimes relateable. I guess we all have the same traits, just to varying degrees. However, I must admit, I can completely understand why the corporate world is ruled by so many people with psychopathic tendencies.

  58. Having problem watching the video..help?

  59. Sam is a psychopath as proven by the doco. Sam denies he is a psychopath and wishes to be seen as a "narcissist". So I'm definitely not Sam, Lol! Having been a victim of a psychopath I happen to take interest in the subject. I just think the opinion of "Sam isn't really a psychopath" or "you can't define a psychopath" simply isn't true.

  60. Jim is so incredibly invested in the label. Reading through the commentary, I've been wondering if Jim in fact is Sam? Who would invest so much time in semantics? The vitriol is similar. The attacking of anyone that has a different view is almost the same. Jim has a number of interesting points to make - but the devaluing of others?

  61. I loved this !

  62. Is funny how this man has a youtube channel where he claims to be a psychologist and pretends he wrote a book on how to spot psychopaths and narcisism.Samvaknin is his username.Check it out if you want to see how far a psychopath can go with lies.

  63. Paul: Good comment!

  64. Passenger.

    That sounds to me like the hasty and exaggerated desire of someone who has been unlucky in love one too many times.

    Just imagine not being able to feel real love or compassion for anyone; your parents, your siblings, partner. Imagine your whole life's experience being based upon selfishness. That sounds like hell to me. But then maybe that's just because I'm not a psychopath lol.

    And BTW, they are almost certainly NOT the "next level of our evolution". As a social species, humans *necessarily* evolved an ability to feel empathy for each other. Imagine a species of social animals who had no regard for the rights and interests of other members in the group. That species would very quickly destroy itself. Natural selection ensures that humanity evolved, and retains, the capacity to feel empathy.

    So why do psychopaths exist at all? I think that in certain circumstances psychopathy may be evolutionarily adaptive. Certainly in the context of *inter-group* conflict there is an evolutionary need for a leader who furthers the interest of his own group, at the expense of other groups, by using psychopathic means. Historical conqueror figures such as Genghis Khan may have in fact been psychopathic, and certainly today there is a higher percentage of psychopaths in the military than in the general public.

    Another reason for the evolution of psychopathy may be to do with sexual reproduction. Psychopaths will happily lie, con and cheat their way to reproductive success. Many will start a family in one town and later simply pack up and move to another town to repeat the process. This behaviour makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary perspective; ensure you pass on your genes to as many offspring as possible.

    Now this behaviour only works if the general public is generally trusting and empathetic. This allows the psychopath to control and manipulate the "trusting masses" to further his own ends. A parasite requires a host to feed off. A society consisting of only parasites would not work. So, fortunately, we can rest assured that psychopaths are not "the next level of our evolution".

  65. RealityBites, They might just be the next level of our evolution, ultra-humans, when you don't feel for others, the only thing you understand is your own survival!

    Just imagine a world where you're not vulnerable, don't fall in love, don't get hurt... i envy them!

  66. Reality Bites: Anyone that has been a victim of a psychopath probably feels the same way. If they feel no empathy for us why should we feel compassion for them?

  67. Psychopaths can be cured, it's called a 45ACP single session therapy.
    The amount of damage they do outweighs their contribution to mankind, they need to be exterminated completely.

    A scan can be done that monitors the brainwaves, it is a 100% accurate diagnosis. They are sub-humans, they are missing the component that makes them human. It's not their fault they are defective, just unfortunate for them to be a parasite in need of a bullet.

  68. I thought the fat chick was the victim in the spot the walk test rather than the girl with the trendy limp.

    Similar to how I arbitrarily picked the victim, a psychologist can falsely pick a correlation as a diagnosis of some poorly defined disorder.

  69. Some animals eat/kill their own children or sexual partners. "That is nature"!.

    If/when we humans do it . . we call it EVIL.

    1. I think it's still weird, twisted nature.

  70. And I'm not American. Keep swinging.

  71. The USA uses 80% of ADHD meds produced worldwide. I can understand why you or any American would feel this way.

  72. Jim, do you know what the word "primary" means?

  73. Evil is not a part of nature, evil is a term used by religious people. Psychopaths are what they are: a danger to society in general.

  74. Young: That's it.

  75. "The broad selection of targets indicates that ADHD does not follow the traditional model of "a genetic disease" and should therefore be viewed as a complex interaction among genetic and environmental factors. Even though all these genes might play a role, to date no single gene has been shown to make a major contribution to ADHD."

    - Acosta, MT; Arcos-Burgos, M; Muenke, M (2004). "Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Complex phenotype, simple genotype?". Genetics in Medicine

  76. When it comes to nature vs nurture I'll say this. A pyschopath is born, a sociopath is created.

  77. Jim,

    Nope, sorry. The primary "cause" of ADHD is genetics. It's extremely heritable. After that, premature birth is the next biggest risk factor.

    It is NOT caused by diet, TV, video games, lack of spankings or any other nonsense you'd like to throw out. Again, the literature is quite clear on this.

    And I'm not sure what your comment prior to that was about. If you'd like to clarify, feel free.

  78. Pills might help symptoms short term but ADD and ADHD are actually an environmental condition caused in children by consumption of sugar, fat and other chemicals (particularly traces of lead). Most kids are hyperactive anyway, its a great business for big pharma and doctors who get kickbacks. We'd be better off as a society if parents were educated on how to prevent their child from getting ADHD then just prescribing them kiddie cocaine and doing permanent damage.

  79. @Bean: Geez I believe you, you definitely have ADHD!

  80. Armchair Shrink,

    "Armchair" is right!

    My ex has borderline personality disorder, as a result of severe trauma in early childhood. He's a deeply compassionate person who is entirely capable of loving others and feeling remorse.

    He's also a frightening mess who practically seems to warp reality around himself (or so it seemed to me when I was caught in the suction of our relationship), but he does not look like a psychopath. Or a narcissist, for that matter. His emotions aren't exactly "normal," but he certainly feels them, very strongly. And while his behaviour can be very erratic and harmful to others around him, hurting anyone else has NEVER EVER been his goal. His goal is only to protect himself from attempts to destroy him he is paranoid about and convinced are inevitable.

    I realize this is anecdotal, but the idea that Vaknin and my ex actually have the same disorder is pretty laughable to me. Nothing I have read on borderline personality disorder suggests it is remotely similar to psychopathy either, so I don't know where you are getting that from.

    As for something which is NOT anecdotal, you are wrong about ADHD. I have ADHD myself, and have spent years reading the literature. If you knew anything about the actual numbers, you would know that under-diagnosis is a FAR larger problem for the ADHD community. There is a subset of the population (middle-class white males, from what I've seen) who seem to be over-diagnosed, but that is only a subset. And the myth that ADHD is hugely over-diagnosed might sound good in the media, but it does a huge disservice to girls, minority children and poor children who are largely NOT getting the proper diagnosis and treatment they deserve.

    ADHD is a complex and multifaceted disorder that affects every single aspect of your life. It is not just wiggling in your seat, and a good doctor can certainly tell the difference! Dismissively referring to people's Dxes as if that's all it is downplays the enormous impact the disorder has on your life if you have it.

    Please try sitting down and keeping your mouth shut until you actually know what you're talking about.

    1. Very true. BPD is an entirely different situation to psycopathy.

  81. For sure, Vaknin is a psychopath. What I am saying is that psychopathy is a FACT of nature. We call it EVIL because it IS EVIL. EVIL is also a part of nature. Animals kill and eat each other all the time . . . and so do we. When we do it to each other it is EVIL, when animals do it, it is nature. I for who said "Nature is red in tooth and Claw".

  82. @ Sarah99999: Vakinin is a convicted swindler.

  83. I'm not arguing that some of the similarities in psychopaths are the same, I'm arguing that all psychopaths are not carbon copies, especially not with the way the affliction is used as a catch-all the way it is, and all of them are going to do serious damage to those around them, I don't think that it's impossible for someone like that to become self aware of this fact and just do their best not to interfere with others as an example. I also don't think a lot of people realize just how many of these people are in society undetected and probably never will be detected because they go out of their way not to commit crimes they either can't get away with or would interfere with their obsessive need to self preserve at the cost of those around them.

  84. So you're saying that psychopathy doesn't exist and people that believe it does are close-minded? Hmm. I agree with you that environmental factors are huge in shaping people and their behaviour.

  85. I think it's funny how close minded so many people seem to be these days.. > >

    Then again, I guess people have always been close minded throughout most if not all of recorded history so..eh.

    Something people don’t take into account a lot of times with psychology, aside from being just ignorant and not researching what they are even talking about, is that while people have a lot of general universal “similarities” that our brains are all unique from one another and that the make up of the brain is pretty much impossible to be exact between subjects because of the countless genetic and environmental factors to take into account between each person, and since we all live our own lives and last time I checked all have very different experiences from each other (though we can have similarities), that to just clump all people with a certain affliction into one broad generalization is purely absurd.

    But then again what do I know.

  86. >Name: There's still that pesky fact that he scored 18 on the Hare test.

  87. A psychopat never say he is a psychopat or think he is one in his mind it is not wrong what ever evil stuff they're doing, so he is liying.

    1. You're stupid. I am diagnosed aspd and will freely admit to it as long as it doesn't get in the way of anything I'd care to accomplish... or in the case that it is obvious that what I'm doing is 'harmful', I will say call me what you like, but the 'harm' harm is nominal (because it is to be honest- I get what I want- you learn a lesson). I scored a 32 on the test they gave me in prison, so don't even go there with 'you aren't one either' assuming you would read this. I'm only here because my mother is a psychologist and sent me the link on FB haha.

    2. prison>? oh your mother must be so proud of u

    3. I agree, although she may be entangled in the roots of his issues.
      I'd like to know if there is help for people who for one reason or another have discovered they possess a lot but not all the symptoms (for want of a better word)? I am studying Psychology to try to understand why I am so different to everyone I know, a path I was getting bored with until I stumbled on this possible facet of myself. Actually my long suffering partner stumbled on it and has now stuffed my nose in it. I am in SE Queensland if anyone knows of someone who may be able to help! I know! My lecturers would be a good choice but I am studying online and do not want any potential colleagues jumping to conclusions.

    4. Hi parrastack - could you be bipolar?? might be worth looking into x

    5. Hi Mistymoo,
      Nah I don't think so, it's not mood swings that set me apart from most but more a way of thinking. The more I dig the more I think it is a bit of this and just my personality type. Thanks though!

    6. Hi pARRASTACK , no problem my dear - there are loads of personality disorders out there - or sometimes we can just be emotional - best of luck x

  88. @Matt Cain:

    >This guy is not a psychopath.

    I suppose that's why he scored 18 on the Hare test, huh?

  89. So many "Sam Vaknin is not a psychopath" trolls here I can't help but lol!

  90. @Matt Cain, "The day you get to work with murderers (evil) and self absored arseholes (failed and successful business people) – you can come back and offer some insightful and intelligent contributions." That's what Robert Hare did for many years before coming up with the test. I didn't and never claimed to and never wish to do so. I didn't say anything about narcissists. And it is considered an "anti-social" personality disorder.

  91. Also . . . Guppies eat their babies . . Why? Because they're hungry. After all, they just gave birth!

    Psychopathy is a fact of nature (and there is no God!).

  92. It is impossible to cohere the existence of psychopaths with a theistic world-view. First of all, if psychopaths exist, then they MUST be part of God's purpose. If God is all powerful then anything that happens only happens by his will. God could put an end to psychopathy if he so desired.
    Some people try to rationalize the contradiction between their world-view and the existence of psychopaths by positing that psychopathy has a largely environmental cause. But research repeatedly shows that psychopathy does not have an environmental basis. Twin studies suggest that psychopathy has a strong genetic component. This is largely due to the nuerobiological structure of the patient's brain, and is present from birth. A person with the best family in the world can still be a psychopath.
    So the question must be asked; why would God allow for some people to be born without a conscience? If life is a test to see who will get into heaven, surely everyone must possess a conscience (an understanding of the difference between "right" and "wrong"). Psychopathy makes no sense from a theistic view, but makes total sense from an atheistic view. As social creatures, humans (like other social animals) have evolved the ability to empathise with others and to perform altruistic behaviours. This opens an evolutionary niche for the individual who is capable of manipulating the trusting masses. People like SV are proof that there is no God.

    1. Or maybe your view of theology is somewhat too simple to account for the existence of amorality? Theologicaly speaking in more detail, psycopaths are a necesary function by which moral people can differentiate. Just as everything needs an opposite in order to have definition. You may even say that the devil is the father of morality! Also a commitment to Atheism can just as easily become a religious conviction much the same as Im sure you would agree that irrational overlooking of facts and forming definites on a lack of information is evident in relgious views, and as an Atheist would be doing if they werse tobecome emotionally invested in their views.

  93. Forgot. Nuance is very important Jim. Psychopathic traits are things we examine in Cluster B Personality Disorders. Which is different from a formal diagnosis. Of Narcissistic Personality disorder. His rages are commensurate with his diagnosis. An Antisocial Personality Disorder on the other hand would kill, hurt, maim without empathy, remorse or feeling. Try this thing called analysis and consistency. It could be a new world order for you Jimbo.

  94. Gee Jim. The term psychopathy doesn't actually exist in modern nomenclature. So your comments about its value and utility represent a disconnect. The term has evolved into antisocial and narcissist. The day you get to work with murderers (evil) and self absored arseholes (failed and successful business people) - you can come back and offer some insightful and intelligent contributions. Don't worry. We also don't use nervy and mental breakdown. The modern era. Who knew. The good old days Jim. I suggest it is time you modernised. Perhaps NOT.

  95. Wow, I'll take your diagnosis over the Robert Hare test for psychopathy and an MRI scan, Matt Cain! NOT

  96. This guy is not a psychopath. He is a boring garden variety bully - with narcissisic traits. He has no capacity for feelings/emotions - then why the narcissitic rage / anger? Hmmm. No emotions. That is like saying someone with Anxiety or Depression are without emotions. This is what we call illogic. So he gets very little pleasure from life. Hmmm. So miserable people are psychopaths? The world is then populated with them.

    I have worked with psychopaths (child killers), antisocial (petty crime) and narcissists. The man is not creapy. He leaves you cold. Not blistering cold like a true killer - but that akin to a boring nothing person. An evangelical narcissist. I should know. I am a psychologist that worked in the forensic system for 10 years. Perhaps the 1,200 clients I saw and the 12 staff I supervised (add another 10,000) counts for something.

    This single instance is psychology-lite.

  97. The experts still don't agree amongst themselves. There are on-going debates about the differences between NPD, ASPD, Psychopathy, Sociopathy etc.
    I think the similaries exceed (by an order of magnitude), the differences, and I as far as I'm concerned they are all EVIL, and as far as I'm concerned, I stay far far far far far *1000000000 away.

  98. "Everything about these disorders (as I see it) is still in flux . .
    Hey . . .but that’s just me!

    That is how you see it and you have every right to see it the way you want, you do realize you are arguing with a system that experts have come up with though, right? These personality disorders are real and can be diagnosed. Experts didn't just pull the test out of their behind, alot of research has gone into it.

  99. @Sarah, are you actually Sam Vaknin? I really don't understand why you would be arguing for him or defending him. Sam is a douche.

  100. In the scheme of things, SV is not so bad (except to his girlfriend or wife?). He is giving us some usable information about Narcissists. As far as I know . . he didn't kill or swindle
    anyone . . . he's just writing words. So what? Who cares?

  101. Lol, samisadouche, that comment is 100% on point!

  102. Sam Vaknin and other self-proclaimed psychopaths are really just douchebags. Psychopath is pretty much synonymous with douchebag, or a-hole, or criminal. The saddest part is that he wears this tagline like a badge of honor.

  103. I'm not trying to convince you of anything, Jim. I respect your opinions & appreciate the information you posted above. As Sarah pointed out, these definitions are bound to change radically as new scientific data & newer, more refined testing methods are discovered.

    Psychology & psychiatry are emergent professions with track records that are mediocre at best. A few decades ago, homosexuality was listed in the DSM as a mental illness.In the 70s, millions of housewives were 'diagnosed' by psychiatrists as 'Neurotic' & prescribed high doses of Vallium. Then along came the 80s & every other person was given Prozac. Nowadays, every other school child who is fidgety & is having academic difficulties & 'behaviour problems' allegedly has ADHD & is taking medication. While I'm sure that some of these children actually have the condition & can be helped by medication (& other support), I bet that the future will reveal that the vast majority were being drugged unnecessarily. These professions are highly theoretical & very controversial. The only thing we seem to disagree about is the diagnosis!

    This man has yet to actually demonstrate any of the behaviours typical of psychopaths. He lacks that glib superficial charm (or maybe it just doesn't show in this film)typical of psychopaths: he comes off more as self-absorbed, boorish & dour; like a sulky immature adolescent. Whatever it is that he's got going on with his wife seems more & more like a carefully crafted 2 person shtick than the real dynamics of a marriage between a psychopath & a pathetic non-entity.

  104. All this mumbo-jumbo is still in the process of being formulated. For sure, definitions of these personality disorders given by the DSM or other psychological organizations, will be much different 5 or 10 years from now. Everything about these disorders (as I see it) is still in flux . .
    Hey . . .but that's just me!

  105. Labeling a person as a psychopath involves forensic measurement, using a diagnostic tool such as the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R).

    The PCL-R is widely considered the "gold standard" for assessing psychopathy. Psychopathy is most strongly correlated with DSM-IV antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and the ICD-10 antisocial personality disorder and dissocial personality disorder (DPD). However, the PCL-R criteria for identifying a psychopath are stricter than the diagnostic criteria for ASPD or DPD; psychopaths represent a subset of those with ASPD, and psychopaths' traits are more severe.

    (A quote from the Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry)

  106. We're not talking about polygraph tests, we're talking about a test for psychopathy which included an MRI scan showing a lack of activity in the frontal lobe concluding he is a psychopath. Still not sure what you're trying to convince me of, armchair shrink? Vaknin is a psychopath as proven by the tests, nothing you say will change that fact. Sorry.

  107. It doesn't matter if he is a fraud or not. Anything we can glean from his writing . . good for us, i.e., we had exploited the exploiter. If there is nothing to benefit us . . we won't be back, and he won't get any more "Narcissistic Supply".

  108. I am not defending him at all; I am denouncing him as a fraud.As for manipulating an MRI, this is not what I allege that he is able to do. What he is adept at doing is manipulating & controlling his responses. The same way some criminals (& others) learn to control their responses so as to fool a polygraph test. Even the most sophisticated polygraph test administered under the most stringent conditions by an experienced professional will NOT yield results admissible in a court of law because, despite the fact that the contraption monitors physical responses typically present in liars,it is not fool-proof. Serial killer Gary Ridgeway (who was by no means a genius!)passed a polygraph test as have many other notorious criminals.

    I do believe that psychopathy along with many other personality disorders are real & legitimate, I just haven't seen compelling evidence that this man is truly psychopathic! I see a garden-variety Narcissist who arguably has Borderline Personality Disorder. It is noteworthy that he is, according to the film, the 1st psychopath to voluntarily present himself to a clinic as such. Doesn't this reasonably lead anyone else out there to doubt his authenticity? This behaviour is NOT typical of psychopaths: it is unique to this man, who is a convicted fraudster, who thrives on attention & is no doubt generating revenue & celebrity for himself through this new identity.

    When & if he ever does something truly indicative of psychopathy (besides being a Bernie Madeoff-style recalcitrant greed-driven crook)I hope they report it-but I won't be holding my breath waiting for it!

  109. @Armchair Shrink, so the psychopath is able to also manipulate MRI scans? Wow, amazing, I didn't know that. I can't figure out if you are defending Vaknin or not, but that's okay, we're all entitled to our opinions. If you want a "peak" into the way these people "allegedly think" simply read the works of Robert Hare and others that have dedicated lifetimes to the study of psychopathy and other personality disorders.

  110. Firstly, I'm a woman. While this is factored into the equation, if you take a good look at the test (you can find it online)you'll see what I mean re how readily anyone familiar with it can readily manipulate their responses to give a certain impression depending upon what their agenda is. This same test is frequently given to police work candidates.

    The contingency of the subject's honesty is the precise reason why this test is inadequate & inappropriate for so-called psychopaths & sociopaths. As you pointed out, honesty & psychopath do not belong in the same sentence.

    If I had any interest in this man's books, I certainly wouldn't have referred to him as a tiresome fraud. I have no intention of wasting a second of my life on his website nor would I ever consider purchasing anything whatsoever from him. I believe that this is yet another reincarnation of this fraudulent 'scammer': taking advantage of the layman's interest in psychopathy & offering them the 'privilege' of getting a peek into the way such people allegedly think.

  111. 1. The test subject is being 100% honest in his responses.
    Don't be rediculous, if you knew anything about this test which it seems you do, you would know this is obviously factored into the equation. Psychopath and honest is a complete oxy-moron and should not be used in the same sentence.

    You sir are manipulating facts and I wouldn't be surprised if you are either Sam Vaknin himself or someone interested in the profits from his book sales. Nice try.

  112. I remember the test he took. Despite what the researchers aid, such tests CAN be readily manipulated by someone familiar with the procedure, how it works & what is required of him. As for the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality test he took, this particularly foolish test depends entirely upon several iffy principles. Here are 2:

    1. The test subject is being 100% honest in his responses.
    2. The test subject has the metacognitive objectivity to provide a frank assessment of his own traits.

    If you test a subject on a day when they're feeling on top of the world, confident & happy, & their relationships, career & finances are in good shape, you'll get one set of responses. Take that same person & ask them these same questions when he's just lost his job, his wife has taken the kids & left, he's discovered that his teenage daughter is using drugs & the bank is going to foreclose on his home & I guarantee you that from one month to the next, you'd swear the results are from 2 different people!

    There's something else that occurs, often subconsciously, when people are asked to respond to personal questions where there are pre-determined responses. Consider a question such as "How often do you read to your children?" Here are your choices for answers: daily, often, seldom, never. NOBODY will select 'never' unless they're childless. Almost no one will cop to 'seldom' either. Why? Because 'we' want to give answers that make us feel good about the kind of parent that we are AND we don't want to feel judged as lousy parents by the person who will see our responses. This is true even when the test is done anonymously & we have no clue who will see the responses! There's a fancy-shmancy term for this phenomenon, but since I'm a shrink of the arm-chair variety, I'll not go there.

    Back in high school, our class was given a gov't survey to fill out. The questionnaire was designed to determine the habits, behaviours & beliefs about 'modern teens' -or so we were told. Not one of us took it seriously. We gave the impression that we were all raving, drooling maniacs suffering from Hallucinations due to our rampant drug abuse. We ALL allegedly came from frightfully dysfunctional homes, were racists, anti-Semitic homophobic crack-pots. The only conclusions that the gov't could have gleaned from this study were that:

    - Teenagers didn't give a hoot about their survey
    - We all had a really great sense of humour

    ...or that we all needed to be secluded in rubber rooms post-haste!

    This guy's no psychopath: when his wife (door-mat in this case!) mentioned how she tells him that she loves him but he doesn't feel it (or something to that effect) he immediately countered that it made him feel reassured. Now...why would a Psychopathic Narcissistic alleged genius feel 'reassured' by anything this 'tabula-rasa'(HIS term for her)says? Why would he need reassurance in the first place IF he truly were as conceited as he wants us to believe that he is? Psychopaths see people as at best means to an end or useful but disposable commodities & at worst, inferior & inconvenient obstacles. This guy is, true to what he was arrested for, a tiresome fraud!

  113. @Armchair Shrink: Good analogy but you must be forgetting the part of the film in which Vaknin underwent the Robert Hare test for psychopathy. He scored 19, very high. There's no grey area, he is a full blown psychopath.

  114. Armchair Shrink..excellent post! I do think that the film is still very valuable...because generally no one in his position admits to failings. A psychopath has no awareness that they are wrecking havoc everywhere....and the same is true of BPD. What is the difference between BPD and psychopath?

  115. This self-absorbed couple are both fatiguing manipulators. He's not an authentic Psychopath: he diagnosed himself near the beginning of the video as Narcissist with some Psychopathic traits. I'm no shrink, but he strikes me as a Borderline. The self-harm manifests in him as self-sabotaging his own success (knows he's a fraud & sees himself as unworthy of success)A 'true' psychopath wouldn't do such a thing: he doesn't care whether he has 'earned' his success or not: he just wants what the wants. I saw terribly low self-esteem beneath his arrogant façade. His wife has 'piggy-backed' her identity. She's Mrs. Famous Psychopath. This lack of any true sense of intrinsic self-worth or stable identity is what unites them. He uses Locke's term Tabula Rasa to describe her & I agree. He's one himself, however! Strip away the carefully contrived image & you'll find a void.

  116. Great, you're an emo psychopath. *Yawn*

  117. Why do people hate psychopaths? I have psychopathic traits, though I believe myself to be mostly narcissistic. I don't go around scamming and abusing people, and though I do 'see red' at times, I would never kill somebody. It's just stupid. My IQ is only 125, which is just above average. Maybe I'm a dumb psycho, but I'm 14, so it's possible that psychopathy is a phase, and part of puberty, as I have never 'hurt' an animal/bullied until my teens.

    I do feel emotion, though only when its to do with me. I generally don't give a c@#$ unless things are to do with me. If someone is getting beaten to death right in front of me, the only reason I will care is because the attacker could turn on me next. A lack of empathy does not make a person a monster, and the fact that people simply assume: 'emotionless, people-using b@#$%&*' when they think psychopath really pisses me off.

    I do not go around using people, and prefer to keep to myself. Though I can persuade people to believe practically anything, I don't do so for pleasure. I do what I have to do to to survive and reach the top. I don't go around scamming for fun.

    On the subject of love, I understand the feeling, though I don't think I could love anybody. I simply don't view people as worthy, and loving another psychopath is just too dangerous, as they may not love you back etc. I don't view people as being 'worthy' of selfless love, as that's the only love I can understand. Loving someone means giving everything for someone, and it has to be two way. So it's impossible.

    That said, I may not be a psychopath after all.

  118. I've had kids, it's hard enough with a 'normal' dad to raise them, who would want to have offspring with someone who could pass this possible mental attitude, what kind of father would he be? If he cannot show affection for you, then the children are doomed for a 'dad'.

  119. rhetoric? I've confessed to sharing the non-feeling of narcissism and/or psychopathy. I imagine that is "strange" but I am not him..I only identify to a degree with him. Did you find my entire comment strange? Am I the only person to think Lydia is better off not having his children?

  120. @Sunday:

    That looks like Sam Vaknin rhetoric to me. Pretty strange comment.

  121. I found this documentary through a link in the Casey Anthony forum. Most people believe Casey murdered her child. I believe she neglected her to death (avoidant-left her in the pool or something) but then later has had a very ho-hum attitude about it all.

    When you share traits with these people (I remember seeing Sam's book somewhere and considering purchasing it--but I did not)...you tend to wonder, why am I like this?? Why don't I give a fig about that person (when I "should")?
    I can remember clearly feeling NOTHING about anyone except me and sometimes the people who might admire me (but only if they admired me). It is strange to have this realization that I have been a Narcissist...and that throughout my life I alternated between Narcissist and victim. This film was helpful to me to show me how I am Casey, Sam and Lydia.

    My Mother was a Narcissist too..so Lydia might consider In vitro fertilization instead of making offspring with Sam.

  122. He was eye roll worthy. It was pretty obvious that he had at least studied the criteria of psychopathy. While he probably has some disorder, I don't think he's worth the hurrah that this movie made. Mental illness isn't uncommon (as everyone's heated debates and stories here have shown) and everyone feels the need to talk the damned subject to death. Why did I watch this? I have a degree in Psychology and thought that maybe something new would pop up in here. Nope. Just the same old 'look at me' persona that seems to be prevalent nowadays. As you may have guessed, I stopped being a psychologist because I can't stand any more whining. There are people with genuine problems and the rest are just awful to deal with.

  123. so weird... when the experiment of how to tell who is vulnerable I zeroed in on the one they said was the victim. I have been victimized by these psychopaths too, boyfriends and my own father. To survive a childhood with my dad I learned to be manipulative. =( Not something I'm proud of but I do notice it. According to some online tests i'm histrionic, borderline, schizoid, dependant, and OCDP... lovely. Officially I've only been diagnozed with depression and score highly on risk of becoming a victim because of my high empathy. I'm quite the character!! lol I guess I have the N trait too!!

  124. I found this doco very interesting, but the music almost ruined it for me - get rid of the music while people are speaking please! The score is just grating..

  125. I feel that psychopaths are found in religion also, the place where everyone is supposed to be around 'good people', you just have to keep your eyes open.

  126. The creator of this documentary did a brilliant job! He was brave too. He put his own reputation on the line. He was vulnerable, and in doing so, he displayed how psychopaths work, and how they are.

    The subject of this movie tried to depict him as the sort of documentary maker that Michael Jackson had. He saved his psychic/psycho attacks for when the cameras were all off. This is exactly how psycho work. They hide their attacks brilliantly, space them out just right, and put just enough force in it where it's not so obvious that it's an attack, i.e. "Plausible deniability", yet the cumulative damage hits deep and hard.

    I saw the 1 woman stand out and I'm extremely empathic. I've had very close family that are Psychotic and I know the type very well, as I am often targetted by such, even though most people are not. I know it is very real. Psychos are everywhere, and when a target individual comes near one, they release their slow poison. Sometimes it is blatantly cruel and unusual, but usually it is a constant, well-timed, subtle barrage of quips and insults that gradually eat away at the victim's guts.

    Now consider all that I've written here, what sort of monster does such on purpose? They will continue to do it when the victim is on his death bed! They have no empathy and enjoy inflicting suffering.

    Targets and victims are often extremely empathic, caring, loving, kind, good-hearted souls!!! The higher they fly, the more jealous and envious psychos are. The holy Bible says that the bats hate the light.

    These are the traits of psychopaths, and another trait is that they seek, lie, cheat and kill their way to the top position of any social hiearchy, and that is why they are our congress, senate, president, and boss. Ever wonder why corporate policy seems so crazy? Ever wonder why in any well established chain-business, a system is in place that makes people work as hard as they can, as fast as they can, with as few breaks as possible, with as few benefits as is legally allowed, under intollerable conditions, with not enough help, where socializing is discouraged, and everyone feels like a slave? Psychopaths care nothing about people. They care only about profits. They make the laws, make the rules, and design how the whole corporate system works, how nations trade, how taxes are distributed, how wars are entered in to, and continued, and they own the media that presents their actions in a good light, and candy-coats their image, and avoids their horrific nature. The world is run by these types, and with the modern scientific advancements of nuclear, and medical sciences, its high time the common man, the ones with a moral conscience stand up and take the power for themselves!!!

    But how? Wars are fought with guns. Power is guns, control of the police, and control of the media, and the psychos have it all, so what is the solution?

    There is one solution and it began in 1844.

  127. The book by Martha Stout on the Sociopath Next Door is also a good reference to check out. Sociopaths tend just to be delinquents with conduct disorders. True pyschopaths tend to be manipulative, cunning, domineering, controlling, totally cold, and are sometimes greedy and sadistic. When you get to know them they actually do meet one's expectation of what evil looks and, more especially, behaves like too.

    I spotted the victim (with the red hair blue jeans and purple long-sleaved top) right off too, with the shuffling shambling gate schlepping along with her arms poking out, her hips swaying, and leading with her pelvis. Figure she would be a gullible easily-played credulous rube too. A lot of those middle-class white girls make easy victims as they lack situational awareness. Don't go fussing around in your purse for your keys and keep your head up and walk with a purpose like you are going somewhere.

    Am not a sociopath or psycopath myself, but have had bouts of ocd, anxiety, and depression and some folks consider me to be a paranoid narcisist.

    1. Yes, "The Sociopath Next Door" was quite informative and interestingly enough it was discovered in the residence of an elderly woman in Santa Monica(I think it was there) who along with another elderly lady would "kidnap" homeless men, take care of them, take out hugh insurance policies on them(so as to defraud the companies)and then brutally murder them. They were textbook psycho/sociopaths/

    2. agree an excellent book for anyone wishing to study in this field

  128. This jester is a nobody.

  129. Shem, I saw that post on the movie's website. Interesting point, just no proof, poking a snake with a stick and a metaphorical cover doesn't actually tell us the film maker did this or that. Interesting theory though. Robert Hare, the leading scientist on the subject of Psychopaths gave the film a very good review and said it portrayed an accurate image of the relationship between psychopath and the victim and how cold and cruel they are. If anything this film has opened alot of peoples eyes to the issue of psychopaths in society. As a victim of one in a workplace and having got out in one peace I can tell you its a relief to see there are people out there such as this film maker that care enough about the subject to make a documentary. The psychopath creates huge problems in the work place and society in general and I think people that apply for managerial and executive positions need to undergo the Robert Hare psychopathy test to show they are fit to manage people and make important decisions. We might find when the world of commerce and politics is run by healthy minds that care for other humans, that world will become a much less greedy and more peaceful world.

  130. Isn't it funny how good looking people are never called creepers, yet if you took the same behaviour and knocked him down from a 9 to a 4 then he's a bonafied freak who is out to harrass you.

    Physically attracitve people are immune to being viewed as creepy. I have yet to encounter such.

  131. Shem Liran wrote:

    "...with a reptilian quality that would send shivers down any normal spine. He is a sadistic and robotically methodical verbal thug who exalts in his handiwork as he reduces everyone around him to stammering nervous wrecks..."

    Indeed. That seems to be an evolutionary quality that we humans have adapted; to, in a sense, "feel" these people out. Like a "spider-sense", if you will.

    Trust your instincts, not that "person's" charm.

    If a charming person approaches you and it "creeps" you out, run away. That's what kept your ancestors alive.

  132. Sam Vaknin, the subject of this documentary, we are told, has a high IQ (185!!!), a sense of humor, an irresistible charm, a fake doctorate, and a submissive-codependent doll of a wife. I saw no sign of the first three. Sam is nothing short of loathsome, with a reptilian quality that would send shivers down any normal spine. He is a sadistic and robotically methodical verbal thug who exalts in his handiwork as he reduces everyone around him to stammering nervous wrecks. His wife, Lydia, is a tragic, heart-wrenching, truly lovable figure. What she sees in this physically and spiritually repulsive putrid shell of a human being is beyond me. The moments with her were the strongest in the movie and Walker made a bad call of not pivoting the film around her demure presence. I hope she doesn't get her wish and have kids with Vaknin. She and her children deserve far better.

    But I harbor grave suspicions regarding the director of this "gem", Ian Walker. Clearly, there is no love lost between him and his protagonist, Vaknin. Equally clearly, we cannot trust him to be truthful and to avoid the kind of editing that borders on misleading the viewer.

    Consider Sam's allegedly forged academic degree. Whatever his shortcomings and repugnant traits, Sam is brutally and unflinchingly and invariably and unfailingly honest about himself, his disorder, and what a monster he is. Why would he lie about an irrelevant and minor topic like his academic degree? Throughout the film and in its closing 2 minutes Sam protests that he had attended a full-fledged university with campus, faculty and students; that he had submitted a doctoral dissertation (indeed, it can be found in the Library of Congress!); and that he has had to defend it. Walker than plucks a sentence out of context and adds it artificially to Vaknin's previous protestations to create the (patently false!) impression that Vaknin admits to having a fake doctorate!!!

    Or, consider this: Walker meticulously documents Vaknin's abusive raging outbursts. On many occasions, it is crystal-clear that Vaknin is reacting to off-camera taunting and ill-treatment by Walker. Walker even admits in his PR material to having "poked this snake with a stick". The film's logo is an image of Walker decapitating Vaknin! But Walker never shows us what he did to Vaknin - only what Vaknin did to him, ostensibly unprovoked. Walker uses clever, one-sided editing to achieve a highly unethical result: a misrepresentation of what happened, for sure!

    This is what I mean when I say that I cannot trust the seethingly hateful, resentful, and envious Walker to be an impartial guide to Vaknin's circumstances, conduct, and psyche.

    Shouldn't documentary filmmakers harbor at least a modicum of sympathy and compassion in order to avoid the voyeuristic pornography that most exposes become? Walker failed to skirt this particular trap. Hence 7 stars instead of 10.

  133. Oh, so if einstein has an IQ og 145, then it means that this Sam guy in this documentary has a higher IQ than Einstein in about 35-40 points.
    Yeah well, that makes a lot of sense. (:

  134. it seems rather than being an actual condition a "psychopath" is simply a label for psychologists and psychiatrists to label people they think they cant help , treat or rehabilitate- its the junk bin for people- it is its own definition in that its incurable or untreatable"- just a medical term for " totally hateful bastard who probably needs locking up"

  135. einstein actually had an IQ of around 140ish i seem to remember- liam gallaghers is higher than einsteins at around 160-just shows you that iq scores are pretty meaningless like all pseudoscientific measurements of human mental capabilities- including the psychosis scale.i have a ridiculously high IQ score that has no reflection on how clever i am- if people quote their IQ score at you then they are usually adding 20 and covering up for the fact they dont have anything intelligent to say.

  136. As a general rule, those that think they are NOT bad people, are usually bad people. Every psychopath or sociopath or politician, (lol!) thinks they are doing the right thing, even as they destroy others.

    People that think they ARE, in fact bad people, are probably not. Humility is the most important step to being a productive citizen of any society.

  137. I'm sorry that I couldn't pass on my point, as a woman who has a bf who has psychotic tendencies. It just heats me up, people like you, people who think they "know-it-all".

    I've seen that alot of people think it's genetic. Well, it's true to some extent, but most of the blame is on people. People like you, made my bf the way he is.

    He've gone through alot in his life, that made him emotionless, seeing people as objects. Usually traumatic incidents turn people like that.

    I don't really know what he went through, because I never went through such things as he did, so I can't say I understand him fully. But I understand him. I know it's childish, but it just heats me up. I think that every person will get mad if someone says dirty things about his/her partner.

  138. bunkum-the whole thing- medicalisation of a particular type of personality is pseudo-science of the highest order- it also infers that these conditions like all mental illnesses can be cured or treated by the pharmaceutical industry- to give angry, unfeeling bastards a medical label somehow excuses them from their behavior so that there is little chance to rehabilitate or punish them for their actions- the definition of psychopathy is basically the irrational angry idiot in all of us- an ancient and brutal survivalist instinct and a very interesting subject for discussion that has been hijacked by psychiatrists and the medical establishment-

    all they seem to be able to is come up with three hundred new fancy terms for nutter and sell a load of poisonous drugs off the back of it.

    consider the narcissism shown by the medics in the film- to claim "i know about madness" now that is truly "psychotic"
    crazy is just crazy and everyone in this film is crazy especially his poor wife-

  139. Excellent comment Danica, you have put the other facepalm worthy commenters to shame

  140. Wow these comments are facepalm worthy.

    Edit: Whoever manages this site need to add the emotional icon app.

    For now this will suffice


  141. I really don't know what your point is noname other than an attempt to tell a far fetched story that no one really cares about.

  142. I'm fed up with talking with stupid ass hole like yourself.
    That man who spit on his face, didn't know my bf. He was just near him and was probably drunk. He said to his friends, "Hey look at something cool", saw my bf, and decided to spit on his face. If you were to read my post more accurately, I wouldn't have to exlain that to you.
    You would have been dying to be like my bf,just like everyone else who meets him. My bf has enough of jealous people revolving around him. No need for another one.

  143. And one more thing I find fascinating is why anyone would read anything, let alone take advice from this con man?

  144. So, back to the question what would I do if someone came and spit on my face? Noone has ever done that to me because of the simple fact that I'm not an arrogant prick that attracts that sort of attention as your super genius boyfriend seems to attract all the time. If he was such a great person, people simply would not spit on his face hahaha

  145. Wow, the story keeps getting more elaborate. And false. Please continue with your mildly entertaining story! Noname.

  146. Sarah99999 - says who? you? lol. Einstein has an IQ of one one hundred ninty something, and that Sam guy has an IQ of 185.
    It is rare, but it's possible.

    My bf is a genius in spesific issues. In maths for example, he sucks ass. But on all other subject he's kind of a genius, yes. He's especially good at solving problems. Finding holes and weaknesses in all aspects in life. Including in people. He's good with "building" ideas. That's why he's good at managment and telling people what to do.
    People listen to him automatically. Even if they don't like what he says, he can say things in a way that make people agree no matter what they thought before.

    What's he's different from Sam is about his behaviour. My bf is distant and cold with other people, but he's a generally a funny guy and easy to get along with. And people get always relied on him in some way, so they need him, even without realizing that.

    And Charles, my English isn't that good, (I'm still from Israel you know), are you saying that if my IQ was average my bf wouldn't be with me or are you implying that my IQ is below average?

    My IQ in my opinion, is slightly above average if you ask me.

    btw, that Sam's original name is very popular. There are alot of Shmuel Ben David in Israel. I mistoken between him and another 19 year old who has the same name. I didn't read the whole article cuz I was lazy(: so sorry about that lol.

  147. Hum. 187 would be like super-genius, wouldn't it? It's theoretically possible, but probably very few, I would guess. What does your BF do for a living, Noname? I hope you have at least the average IQ which would be enough to say goodbye to the psychopath, but it seems like you don't, ironically.

    I'll have to check the news on this guy. I hope he gets all that he desirves.

  148. Noname,
    No one in the world that has an IQ of 187.
    and I KNOW you don't care, that you're caught
    in a lie.

  149. Oh, and I just noticed, that's really nice that someone deleted one of my posts here. I didn't curse, nor did I insult someone. Someone deleted it just because they thought they know better than me and they don't agree with me (?).

    That's really nice, really.

  150. Psycopaths aren't people who like to lie, unless there is a reason to. XD Actually, they are one of the most honest people.

    Oh well, I don't really care if you believe me or notXD

  151. I'm starting to think you are the psychopath, noname, and are making this up. Nice story.

  152. If a man in a bar comes over to you and and spits on your face for no absolute reason, and laugh his head off as if he's done something so hilarious, what you would have done?
    My bf got a glass and shattered it on his face. He began dragging him towards a window (it was high), and he wanted to throw him off. But people stopped him. My bf is VERY patient, but some things he just cannot tolerate. My bf is never the one who starts fights.
    He's not a twat. If so, the people who got hurt from him are twats! Believe me, they got what they deserved.

    And psychopaths are good liers because:
    1. They're very clever. My bf has an IQ of 187.
    2. They're manipulative in character.

  153. My point I was trying to make exactly, thank you Sarah

  154. They are very good liars,because they have no conscience, they don't care if you know they were lying, and don't care whether they or caught. They just DON'T CARE!

  155. and BTW, yo, they aren't that good at lying. They don't care which makes them good liers but carless liers hence why they get caught out all the time.

  156. sorry to say it noname, but your psychopath boyfriend sounds like a complete twat and I hope he gets locked up for his crimes where he won't be able to hurt any more innocent people. Due to his condition, he won't care but at least he can't hurt people. After being the victim of a psychopath I really don't know how people can sympathise with them

  157. It happened 2 months ago^

  158. btw, I read in the Israeli news that this person is arrested because he's a suspect. They think he helped his father to kill someone.

  159. Psychopaths aren't doing anything without no reason. I think that the reason he made this video if to feed off of his narcessistic personality.
    It's true that psychopaths don't feel any human emotion, especially not love, but my bf does.
    It only means that Psyhcology isn't a precise science at all.

    Sam's wife loves him very much. But you know, if she loves him that much, she should be able to be loved back. She said so herself that she doesn't believe he doesn't love her. I understand her very much.

    Eventually, she knows him better than all those psychiatrists who analyzed him. She can go if she wants to, but she doesn't. It means that she loves him. And obsessive about him.

    Obsession is one of the charastarists of psychopaths.And I believe she's VERY obsessive. People who are in a relationship with a psychopath aren't very normal themselves.

    Just like me, and I know it. I'm not so different than my bf.

  160. btw, all those people who say that they know a psychopath and that they're the biggest liers...

    If they were really so good at lying, you wouldn't even know they lied.

  161. My boyfriend is a psychopath just like the one shot in this video. His analysis from psychiatrists concluded that.

    It's funny because this Sam is from Israel and I am too!

    My bf is very alike to him in many many ways - including acting as a normal person, people like him because he's funny, and he can be very manipulative.
    He has no empathy whatsoever to other people, except for me. He's never agrresive verbily and not physically with me, and he's notaggresive physically to other people unless there is a reason to.

    There have been alot of encounters that my bf used physical force on other people, because they pissed him off, and in alot of these occations, these encounters were fatal. He almost killed them if no one stopped him.

    So...he can be a killer very easily, if people piss him off too much on some spesific issues and if my bf wasn't in a good mood in the first place.

    And i'm so angry that they call his wife a victim! My bf is so loving and caring we are a perfect couple. And I never felt that it's a one sided love. We are a perfect and normal couple,and I think that all couples should be like we are.

    And we are together for almost 2 years, and we live together happily. (:

  162. Reminds me of G Bush

  163. This makes perfect sense to me having dealt with a total psychopath of a boss for a year, last year. It was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. All of this is very true analogy, from the bullying on and off to no emotion to the temper tantrums and character assasinations. They are in such high positions because they are so good at lying. My boss was the biggest lier I've ever dealt with. Finally after 5 others formally complaining he was kicked out of his position. People that have the responsibility of managing others need to undergo this kind of psychological testing.

  164. I picked the girl immediately. She radiated easy victim. I've had this ability all my life. I avoid these type of people like the plague because just my being around them causes me to become angry and frustrated.

  165. I grew up with a psychopathic father....violent, aggressive, pleading, sweet talking, abusive, & I can tell you.....you never ever get over it


    SO WHATS YOUR POINT - ?????????

  167. I visited Sam's site & asked him for help on a narcissist I dealt with some time back. After watching this documentary & seeing how he views his 'wife' , I feel kind of sick that I actually thanked him for his advice.

  168. this reminds a little bit 'paths to freedom' but as a documentary is really, really bad.

  169. Yes he is a psychopath they are very common I have read his books he likes the narcissistic supply he gets they have no empathy and to me they are the real missing link. You see many of them in banking and Govenment and being adored by others they have a lack of feelings for anyone you are an object to them they hurt others because they can its that simple. I say they are psychic in that they can scan others very quickly looking for what makes you tick there is different degrees of this trait its not an illness and they are not sick to them they are normal its you that's ill.
    They view others as objects for them to do with as they please Sam's ,mother I would say was the same and I think I read his wife had a father like this so she likes being with this type of man, many people do they find these people exciting and different and if you are brought up in a family run by one or two parents like this you get to know them and you learn never ever to trust them. Humans can not come to terms with the fact that we produce such humans, but we do it runs in families but not all the kids are affected with it but they suffer if they have parents or siblings who are.

    There is a wide spectrum of this trait from narcissistic personalities to serial killers and they work in all types of jobs and some in very important jobs like rulers and leaders of countries. They are boring people really as they have little of interest inside of them but demand that you play their games.

    Ask yourself why men leave their so called loved ones and join up to kill people they know nothing about but because they are told to by others whom they know nothing about says its okay, and when killed are treated as heroes and romanticised by those who coursed the wars in the first place and their loved ones get what? a flag and bit of bling and the ones that set the war get money and wealth? very psychopathic thinking and actions. You have heard many of these usually men but there is women saying things about the people who are dead as if they were nothing only there glory. One of the UK leaders was seen all the time in the war field with a snow white shirt on in the middle of men in uniform with the look in his eyes of the hero when if fact he would be to scared to go into the field, this man also sells arms to both sides and is now a very rich man of the back of the wars, that he thinks we should all forget now as she sets about another country, and he is not sorry he told us so.

    They can not say anything kind or caring but really get their rocks off on rage and hate and killing as long as they are not doing this but you are for him as they see themselves as special. I find them evil and many are dangerous as they can scare you badly

  170. agree with Bird. he's just a wanker.

  171. hes not a psychopath hes just a wanker.....

  172. I saw this document last night. It was not planned, but the outcome was so powerful. I realised very quickly that I have spent my life being a victim to psychopathic men. My father and several partners. I shared Sam's wife's personal traits of being a victim. Particularly when I remember the excuses I made and sometimes still make for the behaviour of these men. They really did make me feel I deserved it.

    He may well be fooling everyone into believing he is a psychopath to gain fame and fortune, but doesn't that ring true with psychopathic behaviour.

    I learn't so much from this documentary about the psychopaths in my life and the victim that I can be. It is obviously an area that warrants much more study.

    Thank you so much for bringing this documentary to us. It left me feeling better prepared for the next time a psychopath identifies me as a victim. I am now wishing that I will realise who they are first.

  173. I think this guy just wants to be special. I have ran into so many people that play games, lie, cheat, etc. a lot of people just suck. There are just a lot of a--holes now days.

  174. to sarah999 no truer words were ever said 'psychopaths are not miserable only their victims are' Three children and 23 years later i finally escaped and thank god or i would be dead by now.

  175. Just a new thought in here.

    "Vaknin"'s is a changed name of Moroccan Jewish decent.
    He said he was born and raised in Israel.
    His accent can attest to that.
    His real name could've been: "Ouakhnine", or "Ouaknine".
    Try pronouncing it..! It's quiet exotic and hard.
    It is a typically Arabic sounding name (meaning: the cute one"), he preferred then not to use or talk about its/his real origins ..
    I've live in his country for a while over 35 years ago, where Moroccan and other Mid-East Jews were discriminated against and treated as 2nd class citizens by Europeans Jews at the time.

    It maybe that he is now positioning his stature as "special / disturbed / w/o conscience/" because of his "shameful" background and experiences as a child.
    And not specifically because of abuse from his parents. But mostly because of "deep shame" ingrained within his soul and intellect!

    This is a new subject to ponder in here, and that "Vaknin" and wife could at best clarify for us in depth.

  176. Many times I have little or no interest in others, but fake it in order to seem socially stable or acceptable. Does this make me a psychopath?

    I also can make up a sugared truth and feel frustrated when I'm called out on my half-truths. We are all narcissistic to some degree, are we not? If we weren't, we wouldn't be able to operate in society. The idea of greed, is self-interest. In my opinion, this happens to be something that we are born with and probably manifests itself more aggressively in different personalities. Surely nurture has an affect as well.

  177. Still Suffering: Don't give up hope. Keep your head about you and fight for your life and for your son's life. Don't let him crush you or make you dispair; that's part of what they intend to do. You have my sympathy and my prayers tonight. I feel so sorry for you. :-(

    Charles B.

  178. I was in a relationship with a psychopath 9 years ago & when I tried to end it, he forced himself upon me. This person has caused hell for me & the resulting child ever since. Currently he is attempting to gain custody of my child, for a 2nd time. Because he is so cunning & charming & manipulative, the courts believe his lies. My son is intelligent & sees through him, experiences his lies & his bullying, but this psychopath cons the court into believing I am at fault by saying I've turned our son against him. Because of this, my son may well be forced to live with this psychopath & removed from the mother he loves dearly & has always lived with. This psychopath definately has no conscience, & neither has his solicitor.

  179. I thought NPD and psychopaths are two different things but just have similar traits. That NPD was based on deep insecurity and includes a lot of boasting to make up for it and psychopaths just have bad wiring and don't need to boast as much unless they think it will get them things.

  180. Disappointing film. It teaches noting about psychopathy, the study of it, or even Sam (the sufferer) himself. This is simply a poorly made documentary about the making of the film that you are currently watching.

  181. I am a light psyco. I am cunning and manipulative and use SpeedSed teks and etc.
    My condition was triggered a great deal by a company of a real mental psycho who was my friend. I still respect him big time-- he made me realize life the way ir really is.
    He was very direct, real, harsh, often aggressive and truthful at the same time. He could nail anyone by telling them their daemons, as if he could see right thru them.

    And bwoy-- he f--ked a LOT of chiks. That is one of chars of the psychopaths.

  182. could anyone else just tell the victim immediatly when they showed her walking before they told you which one?

  183. i think my sister is... she is very similar to this guy in so many scary ways... i nearly fell into depression when i was younger because of her continuous abussive behaviour...now luckily I don't get to see her but still when i speak with her over the phone it gives me a sickening feeling.

  184. I was involved with a psychopath for six years. I didn't know he had been diagnosed earlier in his life. Let me tell you it was the worst hell on earth and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. The things they can get away with doing are so inhumane and insidious. I'm out now but, I still get stalked by this soulless monster sometimes. I no longer fear him. He just seems like an empty pathetic manipulator who is sadly now someone else's problem. You'd never know to meet him casually that he is this way. In fact to everyone but, his nearest he is mr. charm and comes off quite pitifully. Not all psychopaths are successful at business either. Learn the red flags and do not fall for the charm ACT. They will suck everything good out of your life and then black mail you if you say anything with smearing YOUR reputation.

  185. I was involved with a narcissist on and off for 7 years. A few months after the extremely ugly ending of this extremely toxic relationship I was diagnosed with a life threatening disease. My advice to Lydia or anyone else invoved with a NPD is to run for your life.
    One thing Sam said that really resonated for me was the part where narcissists operate more like slow poison as opposed arsonic or knifes. So true. Their effect is so insidious and you don't see it when you're caught in their twisted sphere.

  186. Whoops! got a little further in the documentary and things have changed. that'll be the last time i comment before getting to the end. :)

  187. he's really smart, he wants to prove to the world that he's a psycho and he almost certainly knew what kind of tests they'd throw at him if his IQ was 185 as the narrator mentions.
    well, i'm not sure it takes an IQ of 185 to see that he researched the diagnostic criteria for determining psychopathology. i mean, those things aren't exactly bulletproof.

    yeah, this guy's an egomaniac, but so are most guys. big deal? just about ever girl i went to high school with dated a guy like this.
    no, all this dude is, is a smart guy that found his hustle.
    thanks for the documentaries. this site is absolutely wonderful and I tell everyone i know about it!

  188. IF you are looking to escape a bad relationship or have left one and are trying to work out what happened.. Look at a book called "The People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck..this is a classic in the field and is very, very helpful

    it describes the "signs" of these kinds of people eg
    obsessed with money.. give and then take back gifts..
    lie but insist you have remembered wrong.. obsessed with appearances in the eyes of others..etc etc

    a friend of mine has been greatly helped by this book..
    it has helped her grow and recover tremendously
    along with new found faith in Jesus Christ..

  189. Well This little narcissistic egoslime is just scared,little roach,who needs people so much....Without people he would die,without putting them down he would shit his pants from fear of normal life....And for Lidia...She needs to realise,that Love does exist and she don't need this abusive loser,even if she dont find her"soul mate" she be treated so much better by other person

  190. Psychopaths are not miserable...their victims are.

  191. Too bad someone can't just put this lying criminal scumbag out of his misery. Makes perfect sense that he's jewish.

  192. A person with a personality disorder is a loser . . .
    by DEFINITION. Sam has the disorder . . Sam is the loser.

  193. Sam is becoming a caricature of himself.

  194. sam is a mild mannered, civil version of my psychopathic ex.

    but the coldness is there. the narcissism is there. the opportunism and manipulation--brought back memories.


  195. Chilling. My therapist thought that I would find this documentary interesting and seek some personal validation in watching the behavioral characteristics of a personality disordered individual. For nearly 30 years, I too, had been married to a man of similar traits. In my experience, my ex spouse's behaviors would range from charming and attentive, to deliberate abuse and intentional character assassination . He never demonstrated any remorse. After 10+ years of therapy I consider myself a survivor. Throughout divorce trial and final judgement, he still attempts to bully, badger and harass me. He is unstoppable and relentless and he can never be rehabilitated. Thanks to my therapy, I have learned not to respond and engage with him.

    The scariest part of this documentary is Lydia and how she accepts her spouse's behavior. To her I say, "Look closely into his eyes, he feels nothing for you and you continue to feel for him. He will never change, but Lydia you can."

  196. It is soooo important for narcissists to get the attention of "the very people" they don't respect or care about.

    In fact, narcissists DO care VERY MUCH care about getting this valued attention from the people they don't value.

    Narcissists need US very much. If narcissists were stronger, & really were superior, they wouldn't want or need our attention.

  197. No Sam, you have taught many people a lot about Psychopaths. I (We) have given you nothing. It is you that has been exploited.

  198. Sarah, he was never caught, he chose to become a self proclaimed psychopath. The attention he gets from being a notable psychopath satisfies his narcissistic desires. He has you duped if you believe that you are exploiting him, his ulterior motive is obviously the attention he is receiving, and he is exploiting people in the fashion. If Sam was really lying about being a psychopath, being able to act one out would make him a psychopath anyway, as stated in the documentary.

  199. Sam is a psychopath. But who cares?

    He is just like any other psychopath. There is nothing special about him. SAM thinks he's exploiting us . . but in fact . . WE are exploiting HIM.

    If he were a little smarter, he would have not gotten caught and stayed under the radar, so that he wouldn't have been discovered.

    Being famous for being disordered is REALLY STUPID!

    That's just my opinion. . .

  200. Unbelievable. I began to feel sorry for Sam as he will never experience the spectrum of human emotion.
    That "soothe, fix, love into healing" switch immediately went off in my brain.
    The only difference between me and Lydja is that I found the power and courage to leave a psychopathic narcissist. I escaped hell and fled to Christ's arms.

  201. In the beginning at 6:27 where they say a psychopath can con you into thinking they are something they really are not. To me that is what Vaknin does over and over again.
    I have to wonder that if he is so self aware of his own NPD why he does not seek help and healing for it due to the fact it is caused typically by deep wounding and abuse often by the individuals parents.
    I have always heard that if an N could become self aware they could change.
    Regardless he confuses me and creeps me out. I feel like he is trying to make himself an expert and own the online information regarding NPD. Maybe he is right, he is NPD and a psychopath.

  202. well, i have yet to watch it but my problem with vaknin and his love of fame. He goes around telling everyone all the time how evil he is and I start to think I am being conned somehow.
    What if he has studied psychopathy so much that this is just a lie and a ploy to get his narcissistic supply.
    Just a thought. I will watch the doc and see if my opinion of the guy changes.

  203. I give incredible kudos to the filmmaker...his resolve and strength to make this film and empathize with him completely. It brought back a "chill" I have not been able to shake for the past 12 hours. Oh to have never known! - A NPD relationship surviror

  204. I was Lydia. My ex psychopath's ex-wife was Lydia. If you are a survivor you will see the cold emptiness that you saw in your ex's eyes in Vaknin's eyes. This film helps clarify a great deal. Thank you Ian and Dr. Hare.

  205. "SELF-PROCLAMIED PSYCHOPATH??" come on this film is *******. I could go and proclaim I am a psychopath. Doesn't mean I am one. Only a psychologist could suggest that. I'm not going to even bother watching this film.

    1. Sam Vadkin really is a psychopath not just a self-proclaimed one.

  206. i think she really loves him. she seems to believe there's something in him that can be redeemed. possibly he has her manipulated. but i don't think she's in it for some kind of agenda.

  207. lidias into him 4 money,

  208. -really

    Yeah it's hard to know for sure what's going on with him. His best bet is to consult a professional to figure out what's going on if it's affecting his life too negatively.

  209. hi Graham.. he's hitting close to 30. think lack of finding work has somewhat to do with it.. but than again he's abit immature for his age... can be quite psychopathic when he gets into one of those moods.

  210. -really

    How old is your brother? Is he still in puberty? Because it sounds like he's going through it.

  211. .. sorry to confess this on the internet.my brother is somewhat a psychopath...random mood swings and aggressive beahviour.. constant bullying.
    Not quite sure how effective this doc is.. but good insight.

  212. Really great documentary. I could actually feel myself "fearing" that man! He's the real deal. Thanks Vlatko!

  213. if you have grown up, or work with a psychopath, this film makes sense.