A more nuanced description of the nonhuman human

Per Herve Cleckley, per Joe Mcginniss:

Recall here the words of Herve Cleckley, which I encountered for the first time in the fall of 1980: “Only very slowly and by a complex estimation or judgment based on multitudinous small impressions does the conviction come upon us [in regard to the psychopath] that, despite these intact rational processes, these normal emotional affirmations and their consistent application in all directions, we are dealing … not with a complete man at all but with something that suggests a subtly constructed reflex machine which can mimic the human personality perfectly.” [Mask of Sanity, p. 369]

It took me a long time to accept that MacDonald could be the charming and apparently caring man I’d come to know (or thought I did) during the summer of 1979, and, at the same time be what the psychiatrist Otto Kernberg has described as “an enraged empty self—the hungry wolf out to kill, eat and survive.”

http://www.joemcginniss.net/the-1989-epilogue

2 Responses to “A more nuanced description of the nonhuman human”

  1. Joe–Have you considered writing a book about the Lindbergh Kidnapping case?

    Thanks
    Tom

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