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Transcript: Interview with a Psychopath Neuroscientist Entrepreneur

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J.F.: Yeah, when I first, quite by serendipity through my family scans saw mine, which is extremely pathological and looked just exactly like the worst serial killers I've been looking at, and then I laughed it off and then the genetics came in and I laughed it off and I was the same way. I had inherited all of these what were considered high-risk alleles and yet here I was and I was a family man and I had a great job, successful, happy, so I said two things are going on here. One either the theory is wrong or something is really missing or I'm completely kidding myself. And so I had to go through each of those and find out where the glitches might be and where maybe the most fruitful honest answers to this were. And the bottom line I came out with, I just happened to be watching my mother pruning in our backyard and she was pruning our plants, she comes over, she loves to do that, she's like ninety six now and I was thinking about this, while I was just sitting there, she was sitting on this three legged stool. I said what is wrong with this theory, and then I realized it was her and my family. I was raised so incredibly wonderful and after I started talking about this to her she started to tell me things about my youth and how dark I had gotten and what she was worried about and probably why I was treated so well. They were wonderful parents and extended family, my aunts and uncles and grandparents and everybody around me. They went the extra mile for me to, I think, protect me and it was for a couple of these reasons that I detail in the book and that she doesn't argue with. And it was at that point I realized that that might have been the mitigating thing and when I checked those gene alleles I had that I thought were risk alleles, well they are, some of these serotonin ones especially. They are if you're brought up in a very hostile, abusive environment but if you're brought up in a very loving environment, it has the exact opposite effect. It's like these alleles are opening up your frontal lobe to what it expects to find in your life, whether you live in a hostile world, or a loving world.

R.K.: And so I would say that it was a combination of love and luck because you've disclosed that as a teenager you did engage in illegal actions that could have gotten you arrested.

J.F.: Oh yeah and in fact when caught, many times I was able to make the cops laugh and they said this is a good guy, he's smart, he's okay, he's just with these hooligans and the others guys might end up overnight in jail and I would never be. I was able to navigate that with, I guess with charm but I came across. I wasn't stressed out. I don't respond to stress or to groups of people even. So it was just, it was lucky because of the family I grew up but I was also lucky because I think and I never thought this, I was quite opposite in my beliefs a few years ago, that I was growing up. Now I look like hell, but all during that time, I was very athletic, five marks in sports through college and everything and I was good looking and I was in great shape and very personable and bright and I think I was able to navigate with all of these things together even though people at that time thought there was something wrong with me. One doctor and a priest in college who thought I was really quite evil even though he couldn't pinpoint anything.

R.K.: So you've gone through your life with people telling you, because you mention a number of occasions in the book where your colleagues, psychiatrists and what have you have literally said to you, for you to have done that you have to be a psychopath and you always shrugged it off.

J.F.: Just completely blew it off because you know, when it was all in front of me, this is after twenty five years of interacting with these guys, one much longer actually, back to the seventies and I just thought they were saying, Oh Jim, you're crazy. Like somebody says, you're crazy. So, Rob, I just figured, oh yeah, you crazy fun guy. And they go no, what you did was psychopathic and you do these things all the time. And when they all said it to me, and then people who are close going way back who are professionals who really have hung around me they know what I do. They say yeah we've been telling you forever but see you're kind of a fun guy, you're interesting, you're bright, so we put up with this other stuff. And you don't kill anybody or hurt anybody but you are not right.

R.K.: You know, I got to digress a little. When I did the interview with the author of Confessions of a Sociopath it was the first radio interview she was doing, the others were all print interview and I, frankly, I was kind of nervous about it to be dealing with a predator. And I don't quite have that same feeling with you. Maybe it's because you've disclosed who you actually are, maybe it's because you have painted a different picture of your life story and you are doing things that are making a difference, maybe it's because you're taking it public, and maybe it's because it's just how smooth you are.

J.F.: Yeah. Well-or a combination. These are conversations I have with my family and my colleagues. Because they said well what are you doing now? You're doing this, you're being nice because, and you're coming out with this because you're trying to protect yourself from any sort of behavior later on, you're doing that because you have so much, you're so narcissistic that you want to prove that you can do something that's impossible, it's on and on like that. And I'm trying to consider all of those things but for me, frankly, Rob, it's fun. It's a game. And now I am the target of the game. Which makes it, it kind of adds a little bit of the interest. Instead of trying to manipulate other people all the time and being on the make, generally all the time, now I'm dealing with myself. And it's a game all the time with me, what game are you playing with yourself.

R.K.: Well I've done a good number of interviews with people who are experts on this and they all say that it's all a game to psychopaths and sociopaths. Manipulation, control, that's the game that they live for.

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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. 

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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

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