The Hannibal Test

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs

Spoken with great elan by everyone’s favorite cannibal. Why was Clarice so fascinated with him? Was it like looking down the well, into the bottomless darkness? Wanting to see, but afraid to know what’s really down there? The wanton evil so thinly veiled by sensual elegance; speaking of a well-healed life (just) momentarily out of his grasp. But he’s clever, oooooh so much more clever than anyone else.

Why are we so fascinated with psychopaths? It is so easy to watch a film or read a book and say, “Thank Heavens I don’t know anyone like that….” But do we really NOT know anyone that fits that mold?

Today, Siggy, my favorite three-headed shrink of all time, writes an outstanding post at PJM on the Age of Psychopathy.

There are many clinical definitions for ‘psychopath,’ but one of the clearest definitions of a ‘psychopath,’ is anyone with a deficient conscience. It doesn’t matter how the deficiency is arrived at. If a person’s conscience is deficient, chances are psychopathic behavior is in the picture.

To a psychopath, ‘guilt’ has no meaning other than as a tool to manipulate others.

The impact of that psychopathy is directly related to the amount of influence the psychopathic person has over others. ‘Guilt’ has no personal meaning to the psychopath. It is an idea or a concept and nothing more- certainly nothing to be reckoned with or to invest any emotion in.

[…]We are living in an Age of Psychopathy when entire populations imagine that because they have certain beliefs and feelings, those beliefs and feelings are entirely appropriate and their consequences in the real world are perfectly acceptable, no matter how much death and destruction they might generate. The desire to ‘win’ in the political arena trumps everything else. Millions are to be subjected to tyranny and death because evil is given a free pass out of political expediency.

If the psychopath isn’t living in a lucite cell or a spider hole or delivering your mail while lusting after your liver, chances are they are some type of government official. While they usually are tyrants and dictators and despots, they can also be your state assemblyman, county commissioner or even city mayor. They are everywhere. While Siggy reminds us that

Each of us can be separated from reality at times. Sometimes we daydream and sometimes we can picture the seventh level of hell welcoming the telemarketer who calls at dinnertime. Those feelings are normal. They coexist alongside our ability to make logical decisions and analyze our realities and deal with them. They can even influence and magnify our beliefs.

Psychopathic behaviors enter the picture when individuals, confronted by the painful truth about themselves, refuse to acknowledge and deal with that truth and are unable to see others except as extensions of their own wishes, feelings, or needs. A political agenda that embraces hate and racism and then projects that evil onto others, demonizing and dehumanizing them, is a psycho-pathological political agenda.

Society’s norms, at least the ones I grew up with, are shifting rapidly. Everything we (or at least I) hold dear is under siege by evil.

Hence the Hannibal Test. You know how it works – it doesn’t need to be explained, at least to those of us who do not suffer from megalomania.

Many of us have been saying for some time that history is repeating itself. The same delusional behaviors that were ignored then are being ignored now, but with the impunity of “civil rights” and “racial profiling” as the gravy. We cannot sit around in our parlors like the dear Szpilman family in The Pianist, inanely believing that the Nazis would never come for them. The goose-stepping morons of today, like those of the past, have no conscience. And our death is their ultimate goal.

1 Comment

  1. April 3, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    […] Possibly dovetailing nicely with a bison burger, wedge salad with house BLT Ranch dressing and “…a nice chianti.” Ted! Bro! Is it not enough that you have the most toys of ANY US citizen? The “Mouth of the […]


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