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The psychotic excuse
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-05-07 07:43:49
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I’m returning to the same subject after a very brief time from my last article but with all the news agencies full of reports I cannot avoid it and I’m referring to the unbelievable Austrian father and the two families that grew under his tyranny. What triggered me this time was a report that his attorney is planning to ask psychiatric care for him instead of any other punishment and definitely avoid imprisonment, and to strengthen his argument he says that if the state’s specialist doesn’t confirm his psychotic status he's going to ask help from experts outside the state psychologists and psychiatrists.

When I read things like that I understand all the arguments psychologists and experts have made for the last forty years over televised series and films that show a twisted view of the investigation work. I am personally a fan of those films but I have the ability to understand and separate reality with Hollywood and by Hollywood I mean this entire fake world these series and films create. There are thousands of crimes happening every day in all the big cities all around the world. Thousands of them are solved one way or another but thousands more are not; and are not solved due to a series of reasons including state responsibility, police inability, misunderstanding or mistranslating the law and even because of luck.
But crimes are not solved in CSI laboratories, for example. CSI laboratories are there to assist the detectives in solving a crime and they work under the directions of the police. Profilers don’t transform in seconds into criminal minds that can understand how a criminal is thinking and solve crimes in hours or even worse, prevent a crime. The process to solve a crime is slow if there is no obvious proof, tracks or eye witnesses and it demands a lot of work, time and research and it is not solved in an hour’s episode including the adverts.

What happened in Austria will take time to unveil in full reality despite the fact that the crime is known, the criminal to start with confessed – doesn’t matter what his attorney says afterwards – and all the proof is there, including the results from the laboratories that proved that the man has fathered all the kids. You see, as I mentioned in my last article, in this crime the victims are not only the imprisoned daughter and her three kids but all the family including the mother and wife who was a prisoner of his the last forty years.

Social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, profilers, criminologists and any other expert you can imagine will want to examine the family and hundreds of essays are going to be written especially about the father and I’m sure somebody will base their career on this family. But for the ones who will succeed in reaching the family and the father will mean two basic things: first of all, a very slow process with countless interviews and, secondly, more seriously, these people will be interested in the 'why he did what he did' and not to prove that he is not guilty. His guilt is a fact, his crime is a fact.

Returning to the beginning and the attorney’s remark that his customer is psychotic and that his place should be in a hospital and not in a prison I turn my remarks to how much television series like "C.S.I." has twisted the way people see a crime and the investigation. I have to admit that I would never expect a remark like that from somebody who has been at least educated to understand the law and if this is his line of defense he’s hurting more his customer than helping him and finally he should stop watching so much television and start reading his law books.

The only reason a court would ever accept that defendant should be hospitalized instead of imprisoning is if the defendant cannot distinguish the difference between bad and good. This means an individual with serious brain handicap and there are cases like that where the defendant had the reactions of four or five years old. In this case the defendant knew very well the difference in such level to organize his acts a decade before actually acting. The man knew very well how to distinguish bad and good by using every possible way including his mind power over the family and his despotic behavior to hide the truth from them. He even used contemporary events the excuse of a cult where his daughter had supposedly joined, remember that the whole event is going on in mid-eighties where cults had become fear and passion for a lot of young people in central Europe. The man had every sense of good and bad and even his latest act to stop talking to the police and the investigators without the presence of his lawyer and not admitting anything shows that he’s been …watching a lot of television also!

Last and not least is the lawyer’s remark that his customer is …psychotic! The man should have done at least some research before saying that, just think how many times a day we call somebody crazy because of the way he/she drives, because the way they eat or the way they hold their handbag or newspaper. As I mentioned before if that’s his line of defense he has definitely chosen the wrong way, he has better advise his customer to admit his crimes and help the experts help a traumatized family – including his wife and his other kids – to recover at least partly of this nightmare!

    
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Alexandra Pereira2008-05-07 11:59:06
He sounds much more like a psychopath than a psychotic... the lawyer doesn't know the difference, or pretends he doesn't? But professionals and experts do. More than that, they have ethic obligations. It would be shameful for them (even outside the state ones) to cover and cooperate with such immoral defence strategies. If they do so, with damage both of their professional honesty and personal decency, they should be punished as well, by the competent institutions. Full stop.

Now for the word psychotic... it has entered common sense and common speech, but has an entirely different clinical meaning and is innacurate in this case. I have a feeling that the lawyer knows this through his own research but is trying to mix up things as much as possible, so his client can get away with it. Justice with no ethics is not justice either.




Alexandra Pereira2008-05-07 12:46:21
The psychotic hardly harms others, is the main victim of his own disease and is impaired in emotional, reasoning and behavioural terms, almost like a grown retarded child in this sense. He is no chargeable judicially, the psychopath not only is as SHOULD be.

The psychopath is not impaired at all in terms of reasoning, he's a highly manipulative, calculist and deceiving person. Many psychopaths score high in abstract intelligence tests, though according to the purposes of the tests their performance varies... because they are very deceiving, it's often useless to do paychological tests to psychopaths. They think in all kinds of schemes to pretend/give certain "normal appearance/impression" at work and in their local community. They plan with many details how to harm others, and get pleasure from doing so.


Alexandra Pereira2008-05-07 12:58:51
Psychopaths, like pedophiles and rapists, don't feel empathy for other peoples' feelings whatsoever and use them as instruments only, instruments to give a certain sense of power and control to themselves. They are the only person who exists, their self and its needs. We say that they lack "emotional ressonance" to say that they are like stone or a vacuum emotionally. But this is not the worst, the worst is that they simply DON'T HAVE moral. This means they know what is wrong and right, but they DON'T CARE about it. They can use any mean, and they often do - and very deviant, awful ones - just to fulfill their self needs. There is no known treatment for this kind of personality - more than a disease, it's a highly deviant and harmful kind of personality - until the moment.
So this means the priority should be to protect the society from psychopaths, instead of trying to excuse them just to win a mediatic judicial case!!


AP2008-05-07 13:03:52
PS - another big difference is that the psychotic, on the contrary, cannot/doesn't even think/care about deceiving others to give a "normal and adapted impression".


AP2008-05-07 14:51:52
PS2 - To put it simple:

Psychotics are highly impaired people, they often lack basic skills, ecc. They feel and they suffer.
Normal people, with a normal sense of moral, can have transitory ephisodes/break-downs with at least some psychotic features in situations of extreme stress.

Psychopaths are not impaired at all (they can even be "hyper-adapted"). Normal people cannot have "psychopathic break-downs", because it's almost a constitutional thing, a deep moral deformity plus a complete vacuum in emotions and empathy. They hardly feel anything but a primitive anger, that they commonly direct towards harming others. BUT: they pretend they do feel. This deceit/fraud mechanisms often require a very specialized, careful and sharp analysis to be identified. Psychopaths are very sick and harming people.

There is no doubt that this man in not a human being, but the most despising beast.


AP2008-05-07 15:14:19
I wonder who controls lawyers' ethical practices, besides the ethics of the supposed "experts" he wants to use.


Emanuel Paparella2008-05-07 16:50:46
As already pointed out in a previous comment on the subject, the efforts to name the monster and his characteristics has already begun. As Derrida wrote, eventually those monsters become our pets. That explains why somebody like Levinas hardly ever spoke of the Holocaust. He felt that to name that social monstruosity which has all the characteristics of a psychosis would be to normalize it. Much has become "normal" in our Western civilization, so called, and the greatest abnormality is that we no longer recognize it as abnormal. Kierkeegard called it "the sickness unto death."


AP2008-05-07 21:25:16
Well, it's nice that psychotics are no longer treated with electric shocks and lobotomy and that their life quality increased so much, but they have nothing to do with this case, or with this criminal.
On the other hand, depressed and frustrated people are fed with prozac and similars in the West, and we consider it "normal" to treat social problems like that (covering them at an individual level, attacking and anesthesizing the individuals so that they don't disturb a certain collective order, which is not always the best).

About psychopaths, places where you can find more of those personalities per square metre are the army, jails, and among populations of mercenaries, murderers, serial killers, pedophiles, rapists, some white-collar criminals and drug addicts. But not only. So one can be in your neighbourhood.


if2008-05-07 21:50:24
States should be aware and watch out for that. Also families should not be sanctified when it comes to state intervention.


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