For the Victims of Violence

Sociopath Recruitment, Zealotry and Padding.

Posted on: April 15, 2010

As established in the tomes of research on sociopathy, the sociopath is a master recruiter. It is fundamental to understand why this is an element of their existence and how it serves their goals of domination and victory.

When sociopaths make contact with people they are not in a normal reciprocal point of exchange, they are scanning the person they are in contact with for weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Where a normal person has curiosity and interest, the sociopath has  agenda and intent. People serve purposes for sociopaths beyond the normal rules of reciprocal behavior, under which normal people function. This is very important to understand. Nearly all sociopathic relationships begin with the sociopath presenting himself as charitable, kind and reverent. Additional encounters continue with the sociopath presenting their (supposed) victimization, by some other entity. This usually is not a case of severity or immediate endangerment, but more of a “test” to establish what the victim will be willing to do for the sociopath voluntarily. Remember that the sociopath has already sized up and scanned their new recruit. People who may be suffering from emotional distress, or stress or any other number of maladies are generally preferable to their predatory instincts. This is most likely due to the fact that these maladies present clear and evident vulnerabilities, vacuums where sociopaths can easily fill a need, which in the case of emotional distress is magnified. Studies have shown that sociopaths prey on people with bi-polar disorder, victims of trauma and people in need, more often than folks not suffering these conditions.

Why does the sociopath recruit? Because of the simple fact that those acting in agency to the sociopath provide a barrier of protection for him. If you are the victim of a sociopath it should be understood that these agents cannot be convinced of their servitude, the masterful level of manipulation that has taken place is nearly impossible to accomplish by a normal individual. With normal people, relationships are exchanges complete with emotional ups and downs. Sociopaths have no conscious, no feelings of guilt or remorse, only a feeling of power and a need to win. With this in mind, configuration of the agent to a point of zealotry is accomplished because the sociopaths have no remorse for their manipulation of the agent. The exchange is one way, with the sociopath pretending to fulfill a need of the soon-to-be-agent and the yet to be transformed victim finds themselves in a position of debt, owing to the sociopath. Sometimes the “charity” of the sociopath is contrived, or even false. They may create a false problem and position themselves as a person who helps the soon-to-be-agent out of this bind. The sociopath may say they were looking out for the person, standing up for them, changing others opinions of them and at times creating the perception that they had sacrificed something for the victim. It is exactly this exploitation of reciprocity where sociopaths build their agency. Always remember that the agent working for a sociopath will do extraordinary and immoral things for the sociopath, as the sociopath owns their debt-either real or imagined.

Padding is something which seems to be a defense mechanism of the sociopath. A sociopath who has gotten themselves into some sort of bind, a grand strategy isn’t working, their whims of sexual conquest have fallen short, or even worse their agenda has become exposed, react by engaging in mass recruitment. For example, if a sociopath is in a position of management (an organizational sociopath) and they find themselves in a situation where they may be in trouble, they may engage in hiring or promoting anyone who will be indebted to them. Regardless of the persons qualifications, or aptitude, they will be utilized for their ability to pad the sociopath from the failings of their agenda. And if anything may happen to the sociopath, the indebted person will serve as an agent allowing the sociopath to engage in revenge or remotely administer their agenda. In places of employment, the sociopath will often hire “friends” or unqualified people to positions to they could not have obtained by honest means. Sometimes with the only requirement that they “help them” with something. This may be an employee they wish to conquer or dominate, or even to obtain information. The recruit is indebted and generally puts aside their sense of morality for the sake of the person who “gave them a shot.” The sociopath usually provides these individuals with tales of his victimization or dire needs to offset any doubts. This locus of control is external and many people unfortunately believe that positions of authority are moral by default. After all a soon-to-be-agent may reason that the target of the sociopath is of course a bad person, because (as a result of the sociopaths manipulation) the sociopath is a provider for them and anyone who is opposed to this is opposed to them.

Really one has to be careful in taking the psychology of the zealot or agent any further than surface understanding, as it may lead to the desire to inform the agent they are being manipulated. This is a game that a normal person cannot win, the agent is merely an extension of the sociopath who acts at first in debt, then later they must maintain the agency or come to the realization of what they have done. The sociopath owns the morality of its agents and if at any point they become non-dependent they are abandoned. Which happens all of the time with sociopaths when people are not useful to them. In fact, as the agent works for the sociopath, he creates a “file” of information useful for the inevitable discarding which will make the sociopath appear in a good light and more often then not, the former agent as crazed or “insane.” Behind all sociopaths are a trail of broken lives. Sociopaths always abandon their victims and agents.

A zealot who has come to the end of the line as an agent of a sociopath is a broken mess. This person has usually resorted to engaging in abnormal pursuits for the sociopath, they almost always have helped the sociopath to destroy other peoples lives and are now being abandoned. At this point the zealot comes to a realization of their use and lack of value, the damage they have caused others and the terrible feeling that they are vulnerable to manipulation. At this point the sociopath has prepared a remarkable defense of themselves, presenting the discarded individual as immoral and “out-of-control.” How does the sociopath succeed here? The zealot feels a strong need to expose the sociopath now, however, the sociopath has created a strong alibi for nearly everything the zealot could expose them for. More importantly, the sociopath has created abroad swath of evidence of the negativity of the agents character. This is reinforced by other agents the sociopath has recruited. The recently discarded person they may find they now have to deal with the lives they have disrupted as a zealot. One must remember that sociopaths expend no energy manipulating, nothing is lost in spurious engagements or in creating a ruse, so the constant corralling of victims is for the sake of maintaining a false position of morality. “The (name) I know would never do what this crazy person is saying he did.” The key here is not to make contact. Remember a sociopath needs to make constant contact, whether in person, digitally or thru agency. Avoid them.

To keep sociopathic recruitment in context, maybe it is better to contextualize it correctly. Sociopaths do not recruit, they induce.

For those interested in how sociopathic manipulation functions in a structured environment, consider this work:

Organisational sociopaths: rarely challenged, often promoted. Why?


Organisational sociopaths: rarely challenged, often promoted. Why?

Employee behaviour, Managers, Organizational culture, Promotion


Richard J. Pech, Bret W. Slade


Society and Business Review








254 – 269






Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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Purpose – Organisations sometimes select and promote the wrong individuals for managerial positions. These individuals may be incompetent, they may be manipulators and bullies. They are not the best people for the job and yet not only are they selected for positions of authority and responsibility, they are sometimes promoted repeatedly until their kind populate the highest levels of the organisational hierarchy. The purpose of this paper is to address this phenomenon by attempting to explain why it occurs and why organisational members tolerate such destructive practices. It concludes by proposing a cultural strategy to protect the organisation and its stakeholders from the ambitious machinations of the organisational sociopath.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors develop an explanatory framework by attempting to combine elements of the theory of memetics with structuration theory. Memetic theory helps to analyse culture and communication of beliefs, ideas, and thoughts. Structuration theory can be used to identify motives and drives. A combination of these theoretical approaches can be used to identify the motives of organisational sociopaths. Such a tool is also useful for exploring the high level of organisation tolerance for sociopathic managers.

Findings – Organisational tolerance and acceptance for sociopathic managerial behaviour appears to be a consequence of cultural and structural complexity. While this has been known for some time, few authors have posited an adequate range of explanations and solutions to protect stakeholders and prevent the sociopath from exploiting organisational weaknesses. Reduction of cultural and structural complexity may provide a partial solution. Transparency, communication of strong ethical values, promotion based on performance, directed cooperation, and rewards that reinforce high performing and acceptable behaviour are all necessary to protect against individuals with sociopathic tendencies.

Originality/value – The authors provide a new cultural diagnostic tool by combining elements of memetic theory with elements of structuration theory. The subsequent framework can be used to protect organisations from becoming the unwitting victims of sociopaths seeking to realise and fulfil their needs and ambitions through a managerial career path.



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