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Transcript: Interview with a Psychopath Neuroscientist Entrepreneur

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J.F.: Absolutely. I mean you got it dead on because that was a real question. It's like, people say, why, you saw that kid in trouble or somebody with a neurological disorder, developmental disorder, they said, I saw tears in your eye. And that started when I was young and I used to visit some of these hospitals. My father owned a drugstore and in going there early on I saw them and it was really sort of when I think I really did have a connection and it would really get to me and it still... that's the one thing that's held on and I think it's a conditioned emotional response. It happened so early when I was around people, young kids, who had Down's Syndrome and because of that I really hated bullies. And the people I really was kind of rough on were bullies and it had to do with these kids with developmental disorders but, I think, other things don't get to me emotionally. Generally, I can see people in poverty and in trouble but it doesn't bother me like that. So I... it may be something that really hit me very, very young and it stuck with me.

R.K.: Unless somebody pisses you off and then you talk in the book about revenge. Talk about your approach to revenge.

J.F.: Well, Rob, in talking to two of the psychiatrists about going through, you know, this is recently while I was writing the book, about what counts. What's...obviously a lot of normal people have these, these psychopathic traits to one degree or another and I said, what are the hardcore ones? They went through and they said, well nothing gets to you. You don't show any stress, nobody knows when you're mad, you never get mad. They said, well what do you do? I said, well actually some people get me furious but I never show it. They don't know I'm mad and I'll hold it for as long as it takes until the time is right and I'll get even with them. It could be years later and I try to go back in a fair way. I never go back with more than I thought the offense was to begin with that they provided and I always get even and I do it surgically and I do it really without emotion at the time, but I get them every time. And they said that is psychopathic and that was one they said that normal people don't do. I mean, a lot of people can be glib and be cold and all this stuff, but that is a particular thing. It shows a predatory behavior on people emotionally and it just, they said you don't have to get even in other ways. You can destroy people very subtly.

R.K.: Yeah, I just watched "Philomena," a new movie that just came out with Judi Dench and at one point she forgives some horrible behaviors. How are you with forgiveness?

J.F.: Well, little things don't get to me, first of all. In terms of forgiveness, I have always thought because I was hyper-religious growing up and I... fairness, instead of forgiveness, fairness was always extremely important to me and it still is in my politics, in the way I treat people. Fairness"even though I fall short many times. In terms of forgiveness, I don't think I really forgive.

R.K.: Okay.

J.F.: I always thought I did and you're the first person who has asked me that directly and my first gut response is that I don't really forgive and the next minute, or two, I am going to think about it while we're talking to see if I'm jumping to a conclusion here that maybe not-

R.K.: That's-

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J.F.: That's my gut response.

R.K.: Fair enough. And I want to take a step back again and tell you a little bit about some of the reasons I wanted to interview you. Somewhere I saw that you are a libertarian and it's clear to me that you think about what causes you to do what you do and I'm interested in your ideas on how the brain and genetics tie in with libertarianism and I know you've either written about it or talked about it because you mention it in your book a little bit. So I'd like to hear a little bit about that. The other thing is I call my show Bottom Up Radio Show. It started out as a kind of a lefty political show and then I got very interested in this idea that we're in a transition from a top-down to a more bottom-up culture. I have become very interested in indigenous tribal cultures. There are still a couple thousand of them existing now that haven't been destroyed by contact with modern culture and most of the world was indigenous tribal culture five or six hundred years ago, even though civilization started about twelve thousand years ago with the onset of farming and cities. So, in the back of your mind, keep that in mind because I wonder where that fits in. I pointed out things like billionaires which I believe should not be allowed to exist, I think they're too dangerous and have too much power which I know that just pushes all your buttons as a libertarian. I'm smiling as I say it. But I believe that before civilization when there were indigenous tribal cultures that anybody who acted like a billionaire would have been treated as insane and either killed or thrown out. So, I haven't seen anything in your last chapter you write why do psychopaths exist and you start to touch on some evolutionary ideas and I'm curious about, and you talk about how they've always existed, and I'm curious about how you think they would have functioned and how they still function in indigenous tribal cultures.

J.F.: Well, to kind of give a mixed answer to the mixed bag of questions, which are great by the way, I'm interested in that and I've become more interested in the past couple of years in the questions you talk about and it's one of the ways that I've refocused all my research in the past years and what we're actively doing now. I think, you know I've talked to the other people, the psychiatrist and the geneticists that I work with. Who are the shamans in these early cultures and some that exist today? Those are the schizophrenics, of course, and then who are the ones that are the leaders? Who got this fearless dominance and who, well they're the people who can organize the real aggressives that have the D-4 or dopamine-four allele that makes people want to give over the mountain and have sex with everybody on the other side of the mount. So we try to pick this apart genetically. Now, to your question about the origins of war, well. you know a couple of years ago-

R.K.: No-

J.F.: Go ahead.

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R.K.: I didn't say anything about war, that's on my list I want to talk about it so go ahead, but, maybe we'll tie it all together.

J.F.: Okay. And so as I started looking at myself a bit, becoming more interested in the etiology of the psychopaths and murderers and non-murderers, I got involved with a project called Med-Gene to look at this and I got a call from the Discovery Channel. They said, where are you going next and I told them and they said, let's have a film crew follow you around. We went to the Sahara Desert, the deep desert, and I wanted to test the nomadic Berbers, the nomadic Bedouins, those tribes and test them genetically and interview them to see what the warrior genes... what's the distribution of them in this. This group because nomads... these are people before settling down into cities and it kind of recreated what it was twelve thousand years ago, like you said, and we did that analysis and we're going to do more of those types of analysis in North Africa, in the Levant, you know, in Palestine and parts of Europe. We're interested in this to see how these warrior cultures are perpetuated. How you get transgenerational violence. How it can skip generations and how you can maintain a very stable feature that increases the level of aggression of certain societies and the reason why it's never gotten rid of. Very interested in that, we've started these studies on it and so I'm simpatico with the point you made about that so, yeah, we're going after the answers to those with genetics and imaging.

R.K.: Now you just made a leap though. You went from calling them Berber Bedouin nomads to warrior culture. Could you explain that?

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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My first impression: grandiosity. ... by Dan Baron on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:23:18 PM
And, I forgot: narcissism. Do you think that mayb... by Dan Baron on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:53:14 PM
A very interesting interview Rob. Thank you for tr... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 12:22:21 AM
Good try, Bob. But I didn't see anything that coul... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 3:46:53 AM
What happened here? The interview is fascinating a... by lynn Faulkner on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 8:11:58 AM
Lynn and Daniel, the second half of the interview ... by Rob Kall on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 10:02:55 AM
'bringing a lot of science into this piccture...' ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 9:50:44 AM
Mark, please explain what specifically you see as ... by Rob Kall on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 10:04:20 AM
I do not want any confrontation here but I thin... by Mark Sashine on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 11:01:58 AM
Oh, it would be only fair to mention that I do not... by Mark Sashine on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 12:20:34 PM
How dare you, Mark? I laugh aloud! You haven't the... by Dan Baron on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 2:50:38 PM
Don't you realize, that the last place a person wi... by Dan Baron on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 3:09:51 PM
I hope this whole rant is a joke ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 7:09:33 PM
Yes, a joke. My humor is such, that I say the oppo... by Dan Baron on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 7:35:53 PM
I figured it out as it shows in my comment about C... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 6:19:19 AM
A new cottage industry. Proclaiming (or almost) on... by Dan Baron on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 6:48:17 PM
In the tone of the comment:If doctor Who here ac... by Mark Sashine on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 7:18:06 PM
2009-11-08 The boss of Goldman Sachs claimed ye... by Dan Baron on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 12:05:58 AM
(continued)****************Like many other banks, ... by Dan Baron on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 12:10:44 AM
On the subject of the psychological make-up of peo... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 5:56:51 AM
But again, I had been saying this all along like ... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 6:21:29 AM
I think that two visual indicators of narcissism i... by Dan Baron on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 8:20:48 AM
Daring and fantastic interview, thank you! It call... by Daniel Noel on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:20:24 PM