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 Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 12:39 am

Someone post this on Tumblr. Unsure of the source but it might be useful in this thread!

List of Psychopathy Symptoms:

Considerable superficial charm and average or above average intelligence.

Absence of irrational thinking.

Absence of anxiety or other “neurotic” symptoms.

Unreliability, disregard for obligations, no sense of responsibility.

Untruthfulness and insincerity.

Antisocial behavior.

Poor judgment and failure to learn from experience.

Pathological egocentricity.

General poverty of deep and lasting emotions.

Lack of any true insight; inability to see oneself as others do.

Ingratitude for any special considerations, kindness and trust.

Fantastic and objectionable behavior, after drinking and sometimes even when not drinking. (Vulgarity, rudeness, quick mood shifts, pranks for entertainment.)

No history of genuine suicide attempts.

An impersonal, and poorly integrated sex life.
Failure to have any sort of life plan or goal.

The Standard “Checklist” of Psychopathy Symptoms:

GLIB AND SUPERFICIAL CHARM — the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything.

GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH — a grossly inflated view of one’s abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart.

PATHOLOGICAL LYING — can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative and dishonest.

CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS: the use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain.

LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT: a lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims.

SHALLOW AFFECT: emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness and superficial warmth.

CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY: a lack of feelings toward people in general.

PARASITIC LIFESTYLE: an intentional, manipulative, selfis, and exploitative financial dependence on others.

POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS: expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR: a variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners.

EARLY BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS: a variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, animal cruelty glue-sniffing, alcohol use and running away from home.

LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS: an inability or persistent failure to develop long term goals.

IMPULSIVITY: the occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning.

IRRESPONSIBILITY: repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments.

FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS: a failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

MANY SHORT-TERM RELATIONSHIPS: a lack of commitment to a long-term relationship.

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY: behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE: a revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation or failing to appear.

CRIMINAL VERSATILITY: a diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes or wrongdoings.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 4:19 am

Lifetime wrote:
You've spent all this time refuting the psychopathy label for Eric, fine he's not a psychopath, yet you've yet to tell us why acted out in the way he did. What was so wrong with Eric that he not only felt the need to kill, but actually did kill innocent teenagers hiding under table crying and begging for their mother's. What happened to the happy, smiling, sports playing, animal loving, crying over his friends, Eric that you know?
Life happened. I've touched upon some of the reasons why he may have committed to doing the things he did, but I cannot be definite about it because I have no chance to speak with Eric himself. I think it is a very complicated set of circumstances and personality that drove him to his eventual actions. Some of the contributing factors I can currently see include the uprooting of stability through the moves from state to state, the toxic school environment of Columbine, the drive to make a lasting impression on this world, the need to 'play the hero' with the motivation shifting from keeping humanity safe from 'evil' to keeping earth safe by getting rid of humanity, the difficulties in connecting with his peers and forming lasting relationships, the inability to take rejection, his medication, and his battle with his own thoughts that he has described as 'racing'. I do not doubt for a second that Eric was a possible sufferer of mental illness, but I do think that the psychopathy label doesn't match quite as fully as other labels such as bipolar disorder may do. There's no way to diagnose him with anything after death, so the only assumption we can make as of right now is that he exhibited enough traits of OCD in order to warrant medication and therapy for these. In no way do any of these factors excuse his behaviour. The combination of them, however, is what led him down this path. It is important to try and understand that Eric may have been at war with himself long before he was at war with the world at large.

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As far as I'm concerned, some people are defined by their actions in life. If people choose to ignore Eric's happy childhood and only focus on his actions on April 20th it's for a good reason. It's the point in his life that stands out the most, his biggest accomplishment. April 19th was the last we saw of normal Eric, on April 20th he chose to show us his other side, that of a cold blooded killer.
I agree that his last actions do define his life. (Not really sure on whether he would have seen it as his biggest accomplishment, though, because a lot of the original plan fell through and backfired.) Yet, I think that his childhood and his teenage years tell the background of the 4/20-story. You cannot hope to understand what brought him to that place where he was able to gun people down in cold blood and create bombs that would've wiped out hundreds of people if they'd gone off. In order to understand Eric and what brought him to sit at the 4/20 table with his 'brother in arms', you have to go back a lot further and acknowledge everything he was before as well. I was not able to connect with Eric's side of the matter for the better part of the last year, because I was never able to push past the last year of his life. The moment I did go back further and traced his path pre-4/20, I was able to make some sense of the kid. (I'm not done with him yet. He still baffles me sometimes.)

highwayhypnosis wrote:
thedragonrampant, I don't really know about the whole psychopath conclusion as well. I'm a little iffy on the whole thing, and although the diagnosis is complex, I sometimes can see why he might be diagnosed as one. Can you name the evidence suggesting that he wasn't one? I already listed the times he felt remorse and sympathy in an earlier post, but I'm not sure about anything else.
I can sometimes see why the psychopathy diagnosis may sound logical to people, too. (Until I see the checklist of psychopathy and realise that half this stuff doesn't sound like it's applicable to him and that the stuff that is mostly applicable can usually be found in other teenagers just as much..) The times that he felt and expressed remorse or sympathy are a good place to start out from. I also use witness statements and statements from people from other places he used to live in describing Eric the way he was pre-4/20, which usually give off the impression of a weird but funny kid who could be timid and perfectionistic and genuinely kind but also mocking and angry at times. (Statements from people in Plattsburgh are interesting, but also statements from girls he asked out/spoke with more than once and statements describing his work ethic and the way he was in school.) I also use the diversion papers and some of Eric's own journal entries, which do show a manipulative streak but also show self-professed 'neurotic symptoms' and a sense of responsibility. (The diversion papers in particular are interesting because they show a real cry for help. Eric knew that some of the things he went through weren't 'normal' and that he needed help to figure out what was going on and how to handle it. He could've kept his mouth shut about it the way Dylan did, but instead chose to come forward with his problems. He may have ranted against the treatment set up for him, sure, but a lot of people do this out of fear for how much it'll change them and if they'll still be 'themselves' after.) Furthermore, I used some of his school papers and some parts of the basement tapes for my theory (described way up in this thread) on his shifting loyalties and his possible hero complex and for an impression of his genuine affections for places and people he used to know. All of these things together help form a picture of a kid who wasn't a born killer, but whose path in life and growing troubles with himself drove him to the eventual crimes we now know him for. It's a really complex puzzle to put together and I'm quite sure I'm missing pieces. There's a lot of reading between the lines going on here. Some of the stuff that Eric himself comes out with was designed to be a showcase for his shadow side (the biggest problem I have with Fuselier is that so much of his theory hinges on Eric's journal), so you can't always take his own words as the most concrete evidence for one theory or the other.

I would normally get a little deeper into it (give you page numbers for one thing Rolling Eyes ) and get into the interesting debate on Dylan's actions going on up-thread, but I have come down with a pretty severe bout of the flu and it's taken me the better part of the hour just to write this post.. If I don't make perfect sense in some of this, I'm sorry. Embarassed 
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 6:44 am

lasttrain wrote:
StinkyOldGrapes wrote:
lasttrain wrote:
I don't see Cullen in my edition saying that Eric was a psychopath from birth...
What book are you reading? Because it sure ain't the copy I'm reading.

Cullen is very obviously stating that Eric was born the way he was. His brain works differently than normal people.

I think there is a misunderstanding here and it may be my fault for not making myself clear.

I agree with your characterization of Cullen--he does believe that Eric was born a psychopath.

But this does not mean that Eric was acting like a psychopath at age 2.  Evidence of Eric acting normally during childhood does not disprove Cullen's argument.  You can be born a psychopath and still show quite normal affect in many situations, especially in childhood.  What matters is the overall pattern Eric shows, and as Cullen proves that pattern is one of psychopathy.    

Before you agree or disagree with me I want to make sure that you understand my point, because our disagreement here is a very specific one.
OK. We agree that Cullen, Fuselier, and Hare believe that Eric was born a Psychopath.

Let's look at the evidence to support that diagnosis:

Most seriously violent Psychopaths display at least some dysfunction in childhood, but it's certainly possible that Eric was one of the minority who didn't.

Psychopaths are unable to feel fundamental human emotions. If Eric is a Psychopath, then it means that any empathy, love, joy, or genuine human connection Eric displayed were merely illusions -a deception spun by Eric.

It's possible to claim that same accusation of anyone! How can any person prove the emotions they feel are real? A diagnosis of Psychopathy usually involves a face-to-face interview, where the client admits they feel little emotion and empathy. Eric isn't alive to defend the claim that he was incapable of feeling shame, fear, joy, empathy, etc. It's Cullen's word against the word of a dead kid.

There is only one solid piece of evidence that Eric was incapable of these emotions: His attack on Columbine. Even then, this attack is only evidence that Eric lacked empathy towards the suffering of random people. It doesn't demonstrate that Eric lacked shame, fear, or the ability for genuine human connection.

Eric's journal is evidence for nothing. Expect rage. A good deal of Cullen's evidence for Eric's Psychopathy relies on Eric's journal.  Eric's journal proves that he hated people in general. Trying to use it prove anything more is not much better than fortune telling. What did Eric really mean when he wrote this or that? Who knows... certainly not me, and not Cullen or Fuselier either.

There are numerous possibilities why Eric lacked empathy for random people. All mass shooters display the same appalling failure of empathy that Eric did -including Dylan- but they are not all Psychopaths.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 7:21 am

This is just barely scratching the surface about this entire subject, but I have always felt that what I can only describe as Eric's fixation on downplaying his emotions is a blaring indication that he was actually, in fact, intensely emotional. I think he was acutely and profoundly emotional and sensitive. Over-emotional indeed. If such feelings and emotions didn't exist, there'd be no reason for him to even discuss them in any capacity. Saying things like he was going out of his way to prevent any sort of bonding with his parents and things of that nature. Saying he had to "turn" everything "off"; and telling himself to imagine that everyone was a "monster" in "Doom". Someone who didn't have any feelings, empathy, sympathy, or selfless human connections wouldn't give any of that a thought at all. I feel that his feelings were actually so intense that he could no longer cope with them, address them, or even understand them, and over time it got progressively worse (particularly with the medication he was forced to be on, and the way he was erratically cycling on and off of them).
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 8:41 am

Lifetime wrote:
StinkyOldGrapes wrote:

I'm too lazy to go looking back through the actual books, but this is written by Cullen:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Cullen says, "Klebold was hurting inside while Harris wanted to hurt people."

That's a cute play on words, but it's simply not true. Dylan absolutely wanted to hurt people, and that's what he did. Dylan's motivation might have been his own emotional pain (the motivation for many mass shootings), but he is not Eric's opposite, as Cullen's statement implies. They both wanted to hurt people.
Doesn't that kinda make sense though? Who ended up doing most of the killing, Eric, by a long shot. I'm sure if Dylan wanted to he could have easily matched Eric's body count, or exceeded it. Instead, Dylan had a known jock at gun point the perfect opportunity and instead just "gifts" him to Eric. I'm not denying that Dylan was ruthless in what he did, but if he wanted to kill people as much as Eric did he certainly didn't show any motivation in killing, he was mostly yelling.  
The original plan was a bombing. Dylan helped carry those bombs into the building, fully expecting to kill hundreds. Dylan was definitely motivated to kill -not just a few, but a huge amount of people. Cullen is only telling half the truth when he says that Dylan was "hurting inside". The other half is that Dylan felt just as little empathy towards random people as Eric did.

Rather than say "Klebold was hurting inside while Harris wanted to hurt people", it would be more accurate for Cullen to have said "Klebold was hurting inside and wanted to hurt others, while Eric just wanted to hurt people period".

I agree with you that Eric was the more motivated killer. The guy lived, ate, and breathed violence for years. However, Dylan being less motivated doesn't automatically make him a follower, as Cullen takes the great liberty of concluding.

Dylan may well be less of a monster than Eric, but a less vicious monster is still a monster nonetheless. There's no reason to assume, as Cullen does, that Dylan didn't want to be there. Just because Dylan couldn't outdo Eric, doesn't mean Dylan was confused about being there. There's no reason whatsoever to assume it means that!

Instead of calling it The Psychopath and The Depressive, call it The Gleeful Psychopath and The Slightly-Less Gleeful Psychopath!


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Cullen, in his book, claims that Dylan was convinced by Eric to participate in the attack. Dylan was in a vulnerable position because of his mental illness, which incapacitated him to think clearly. That sounds like an insanity excuse to me!
When I first started reading stuff like that it just made me think that Dylan was so screwed up in the head that he was convinced by his friend to attack their school. To "you" it sounds like an insanity excuse, to me it just made Dylan sound even worse. I can't change how you perceive things.
You may perceive Cullen's description of screwed up Dylan to be "even worse", but that's not how Cullen sees it. Cullen very obviously intended to portray Dylan's actions as a product of his depressed incapitation, and not his true nature.


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Why did he act that way? Attacking your school is a common fantasy. Most people don't want to go to jail or commit suicide, so they don't do it.
Your right most teenagers don't because they want to live their lives. So then whats with the handful of teenagers that do? Why didn't the thought of death or being incarcerated for the rest of their lives stop Eric and Dylan?

You can't sit here and try and tell me they were normal, you just can't, not after what they did. There was something wrong with them. I understand that you can't diagnose people after they're dead but, at least there are people trying to come up with reasons that would help explain why they chose to kill. Other than that the only other explanation would be that they were just pure evil and thats the end of it.  
OK. We agree that it's relatively common for teenagers to fantasize about attacking their school. We can assume that a small percentage of teenagers are homicidal right now, but care too much about their own lives to throw it all away by murdering people.

Why didn't the thought of death stop Eric and Dylan? Because they were suicidal. I don't believe you have to be mentally ill to be suicidal. Suffering, including extreme suffering, is a part of life. Suicide is a possible solution to that suffering.

Eric and Dylan were both homicidal and suicidal at the same time. This is obviously a rare overlap, but simply because something is rare doesn't make it abnormal. In E/D, there is evidence of extreme suffering, rage, and an experience of pleasure from violence, but none of those things are illnesses.

Of course it's possible that Eric and Dylan had abnormalities -Psychopathy, hormone imbalances, mental illnesses, or whatever else.

It's also completely possible they were normal teenagers who simply made a bad choice.

EDIT: I apologize for this shitty response. I think both you and lasttrain have raised a lot of good questions that deserve good consideration. But the truth is, I'm so, so ill right now, and I just don't have the energy to think about this anymore right now.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 8:47 am

tfsa47090 wrote:
This is just barely scratching the surface about this entire subject, but I have always felt that what I can only describe as Eric's fixation on downplaying his emotions is a blaring indication that he was actually, in fact, intensely emotional. I think he was acutely and profoundly emotional and sensitive. Over-emotional indeed. If such feelings and emotions didn't exist, there'd be no reason for him to even discuss them in any capacity. Saying things like he was going out of his way to prevent any sort of bonding with his parents and things of that nature. Saying he had to "turn" everything "off"; and telling himself to imagine that everyone was a "monster" in "Doom". Someone who didn't have any feelings, empathy, sympathy, or selfless human connections wouldn't give any of that a thought at all. I feel that his feelings were actually so intense that he could no longer cope with them, address them, or even understand them, and over time it got progressively worse (particularly with the medication he was forced to be on, and the way he was erratically cycling on and off of them).
You took the words right out of my mouth. I completely and totally agree with this. Eric was overpowered by the extreme emotion he felt, and Columbine was his honest attempt to handle it.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 8:50 am

Also, thedragonrampant, I hope you feel better Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 2:07 pm

This is what it boils down to:

The critics are saying that Eric had emotions, had feelings, etc., so he wasn't a psychopath.

But Cullen is not claiming that psychopaths never show feelings or emotions in any situations.  On the contrary, he recognizes (as does Hare) that psychopaths do show occasional good emotions that come through "dimly," and also show incredible bouts of feelings, such as anger, self-regard, and self-pity.  The fact that Eric liked his dog, liked his friends, expressed happiness and sadness on occasion does not mean he wasn't a psychopath because all psychopaths do these things.  Hitler loved his dog.

I don't see how anyone can read Cullen's book and not be convinced.  Cullen gives you hundreds of statements from Harris where he is glib, grandiose, glories in lying, displays callousness, and fantasizes about killing, not to mention the fact that he gleefully killed almost a score of children.  He also gives you dozens of witnesses, from adults to kids, who describe seeing psychopathic traits in Harris.

Yeah, there could be other explanations for each of these things, but in Harris's case, they are bundled together in such textbook fashion that another diagnosis becomes highly improbable.  When Fuselier presented his findings the medical community immediately approved them, as Cullen describes.  If you want to claim that Eric is not a psychopath, you have to claim that the current definition is wrong, because Eric fits the definition almost as closely as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2013 11:43 pm

Quote :
Life happened. I've touched upon some of the reasons why he may have committed to doing the things he did, but I cannot be definite about it because I have no chance to speak with Eric himself. I think it is a very complicated set of circumstances and personality that drove him to his eventual actions. Some of the contributing factors I can currently see include the uprooting of stability through the moves from state to state, the toxic school environment of Columbine, the drive to make a lasting impression on this world, the need to 'play the hero' with the motivation shifting from keeping humanity safe from 'evil' to keeping earth safe by getting rid of humanity, the difficulties in connecting with his peers and forming lasting relationships, the inability to take rejection, his medication, and his battle with his own thoughts that he has described as 'racing'. I do not doubt for a second that Eric was a possible sufferer of mental illness, but I do think that the psychopathy label doesn't match quite as fully as other labels such as bipolar disorder may do. There's no way to diagnose him with anything after death, so the only assumption we can make as of right now is that he exhibited enough traits of OCD in order to warrant medication and therapy for these. In no way do any of these factors excuse his behaviour. The combination of them, however, is what led him down this path. It is important to try and understand that Eric may have been at war with himself long before he was at war with the world at large.
Alright, for starters, I grew up in the military, I speak on experience when I say that moving around all the time sucks. I can't think of a single kid who enjoyed having to move around all the time. Few probably liked it, some probably tolerated it, and others hated it ( I fall into the "hated it" category). I never killed anyone. As far as the toxic environment at Columbine, you can't truly believe that the school was so bad that it turned two teenagers (and no one else) out of the thousands that walked those hallways into killers. And if you think Columbine is bad, look up Massillon Washington High School and the documentary "Go Tigers" and you will learn the true meaning of athlete worship. Columbine doesn't have shit on them. I'm honestly surprised no ones tried to attack that school, from what I've learned about it so far it seems horrible. As far as his need to leave a lasting impression on this world. A lot of people at that age crave attention, but most don't kill to get it. So it's no surprise that the need for fame was a motivation for what he did (think grandiose sense of self). His inability to connect with his peers? That fucker had more friends then I ever did growing up. This is the one thing that pisses me off about him. He had friends, good friends, that he pushed away at the end. Fuck him and his self pity. Rejection.... it sucks, no doubt about it, it can be extremely painful, more so than physical pain. Even still, the ones who get rejected usually just beat or kill the ones who rejected them i.e. their girlfriend. Very rarely does it result in the mass murder of innocent people.

Alright that's enough. What I'm trying to do here is show you that what you think motivated Eric to kill are the same things that millions of people have to deal with day in and day out and yet, we don't see millions of people trying to kill each other. There's still something missing.


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I agree that his last actions do define his life. (Not really sure on whether he would have seen it as his biggest accomplishment, though, because a lot of the original plan fell through and backfired.) Yet, I think that his childhood and his teenage years tell the background of the 4/20-story. You cannot hope to understand what brought him to that place where he was able to gun people down in cold blood and create bombs that would've wiped out hundreds of people if they'd gone off. In order to understand Eric and what brought him to sit at the 4/20 table with his 'brother in arms', you have to go back a lot further and acknowledge everything he was before as well. I was not able to connect with Eric's side of the matter for the better part of the last year, because I was never able to push past the last year of his life. The moment I did go back further and traced his path pre-4/20, I was able to make some sense of the kid. (I'm not done with him yet. He still baffles me sometimes.)
His plan did fall apart, but he still ended up the number one high school killer along with Dylan. I never said we shouldn't look at every stage of his life growing up. What I was saying is that the general population sees Eric as he was on April 20th, the monster next door. They're not like us, looking into every aspect of his life to try and find out what it was exactly that drove him to murder. That at times, or even most of the time to his family, friends, peers and teachers he was a normal teenager. The general population never saw that side of him. You're right in saying he's more complex than just being labeled a monster.

If you haven't already I'd like you to read Peter Langman's book Why Kids Kill or at least read the part on Eric. I'm interested in seeing what you'd have to say about it.


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(the biggest problem I have with Fuselier is that so much of his theory hinges on Eric's journal), so you can't always take his own words as the most concrete evidence for one theory or the other.
If so much of his theory hinges on Eric's journal its because, his journal was extremely personal and gave him insight into what he was thinking when he was alone. And if Eric faked all that to make it seem like he was a psychopath, he must have done a lot of studying on the subject to get it just right. What was that about psychopaths having above average intelligence? That seems like a pretty damn smart move to me.

Quote :
I would normally get a little deeper into it (give you page numbers for one thing Rolling Eyes ) and get into the interesting debate on Dylan's actions going on up-thread, but I have come down with a pretty severe bout of the flu and it's taken me the better part of the hour just to write this post.. If I don't make perfect sense in some of this, I'm sorry. Embarassed 
I honestly don't care to discuss Dylan not to sound mean or anything. His love sick depression just makes him seem kinda like a wussy to me. I hope you feel better.


Quote :
OK. We agree that it's relatively common for teenagers to fantasize about attacking their school. We can assume that a small percentage of teenagers are homicidal right now, but care too much about their own lives to throw it all away by murdering people.
We all have bad thoughts from time to time. It's our ability to control them that separates the normal people from the crazy killers.  


Alright, I got to as much as I could tonight. I may not be able to post again for a little while my internet will be shut off soon. Forgot to pay the bill, oops

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2013 12:08 am

lasttrain wrote:
This is what it boils down to:

The critics are saying that Eric had emotions, had feelings, etc., so he wasn't a psychopath.

But Cullen is not claiming that psychopaths never show feelings or emotions in any situations.
You're right. Cullen isn't saying that Psychopaths never show emotion. But he is saying that Psychopaths are retarded in their emotional spectrum.

Examples from Cullen's book:

"Joy, grief, anxiety, or amusement--he can mimic any on cue."

Cullen is saying that Psychopaths mimic these emotions, they don't feel them for real.

"Shame did not register; neither did fear. Psychopaths are not individuals losing touch with those emotions. They never developed them from the start."

Cullen is saying that Psychopaths do not feel shame or fear -they never developed them from the start.

"The fundamental nature of a psychopath is a failure to feel." Or, "Researchers often compare psychopaths to robots..."

"No love. No grief. Not even sorrow, really, or hope or despair about his own future. Psychopaths feel nothing deep, complex, or sustained."

"they fall far short of the average golden retriever, which will demonstrate affection, joy, compassion, and empathy for a human in pain."

Cullen and Fuselier are absolutely claiming that Eric's emotional spectrum was retarded, and that he was unable to feel genuine love, grief, sorrow, affection, attachment, and human connection.

What evidence do Cullen and Fuselier have that Eric was unable to feel deep or sustained emotion?

Quote :
I don't see how anyone can read Cullen's book and not be convinced.  Cullen gives you hundreds of statements from Harris where he is glib, grandiose, glories in lying, displays callousness, and fantasizes about killing, not to mention the fact that he gleefully killed almost a score of children.  He also gives you dozens of witnesses, from adults to kids, who describe seeing psychopathic traits in Harris.
We are now looking for evidence to support the theory that Eric was unable to feel deep or sustained emotion. You have mentioned the same three sources of evidence that Cullen mentions:

1) Dozens of witnesses.

There are also dozens of witnesses that claim the exact opposite, which Cullen deliberately doesn't mention. If Cullen isn't going to consider any witness that contradicts him...

2) Hundreds of statements from Harris where he is glib, grandiose, glories in lying, displays callousness, and fantasizes about killing.

These may well be traits of Psychopathy, but they are also all traits of rage too. Rage should be considered first, before Psychopathy, but Cullen and Fuselier skip over everything and go directly to the Psychopathy diagnosis.

Cullen says, discussing Eric's journal, "I will choose to kill," Eric wrote. Why? His explanations didn't add up. Because we were morons? How would that make a kid kill? To most readers, Eric's rants just sounded nuts."

Cullen and Fuselier are confused when they first read Eric's journal. They don't know what to make of it. They've already decided: "Eric's rants just sounded nuts." -no normal human would talk that way. To me, it Eric's journal just sounds like the journal of any 90s gamer -painting yourself as God, delighting in callousness and killing, cartoonishly violent humor...

Seriously, read my post on "Free Speech" in the Misc. Section. That guy talked about killing kindergarten children and watching their blood "rain down" on his Facebook page. Nearly all computer dork gamers talk the same way Eric did, especially in the 90s.

3) The fact that he gleefully killed almost a score of children.

This is evidence that Eric lacked empathy towards random people, and that he enjoyed murder, as did Dylan. It's not evidence of anything else. It's not evidence that Eric was unable to feel deep or sustained emotion towards those he cared about, which is required for Psychopathy.

Quote :
Yeah, there could be other explanations for each of these things,
...Which Cullen and Fuselier should have considered first, instead of skipping over them and going straight to the Psychopathy possibility.

Quote :
When Fuselier presented his findings the medical community immediately approved them, as Cullen describes.
In an earlier edition of the DSM of Mental Disorders it included Homosexuality as a mental disorder. The medical community approved THAT too. These are busy people, who often just don't have the time to consider the possibilities in depth.

Quote :
If you want to claim that Eric is not a psychopath, you have to claim that the current definition is wrong, because Eric fits the definition almost as closely as possible.
Eric only fits that description based on contradictory witness statements, a rather humorous journal, and an ability to kill (which his friend also shared).

What Eric and Dylan did was just normal human behavior, there's no need to pathologize it. Feeding Christians to the lions, witch burning and torture, public hangings... human beings delight in violence.

What Eric and Dylan did was cruel and it was a bad decision, but that doesn't make them abnormal for making that decision. It just means they were violent and cruel individuals -both of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2013 1:36 am

Lifetime wrote:
Alright that's enough. What I'm trying to do here is show you that what you think motivated Eric to kill are the same things that millions of people have to deal with day in and day out and yet, we don't see millions of people trying to kill each other.
We do see lots of people trying to kill each other! They're just not school shootings. Murder is not that rare. For instance, child murder is more common than shooting up your school, yet I think murdering your own child is more cruel than murdering your classmates. There is a lot of violence and murder every day. A lot of people make the choice to kill someone, including teenagers.

Suffering is a strange thing, because all sorts of situations which you wouldn't expect can cause it. Sometimes just doing the right thing -like questioning mainstream religion, as E/D did- can cause extreme suffering. Murder/suicide is a possible solution to that suffering.

Quote :
There's still something missing.

I know what you've saying. Many people suffer and they don't choose murder/suicide as their solution. But a bad choice isn't the same as an abnormal choice.

Why do some people fall for Internet Scams? Some people just make bad choices. Eric and Dylan were one of them.

E/D did something rare and different, much the same as when someone breaks an Olympic record. But rare and different are not the same as abnormal.

The question then is: What drove E/D to make a "rare and different" choice? That's no longer a discussion about abnormality, it's about morality.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2013 5:37 am

Lifetime wrote:
Alright that's enough. What I'm trying to do here is show you that what you think motivated Eric to kill are the same things that millions of people have to deal with day in and day out and yet, we don't see millions of people trying to kill each other. There's still something missing.
Of course there is something missing. Thing is we're probably never going to figure out what the missing piece is because the kid himself isn't around to observe and question. There is a lot of guesswork when it comes to this. We can't diagnose him with psychopathy based on the little information we have, but I can't be sure that my interpretations are the way to go either. I agree that everything I named is not a motivation to kill in and of itself, but they are what I would call contributing factors to the big picture. Something happened to the kid that made his morals skew to a side most people don't accept as being 'normal' to the point where he was able to seriously injure and kill other human beings and have that be 'business'. I don't know the exact train of circumstances that brought him to this point. It seems too easy to me to claim that it was purely something he had no control over, such as being a born psychopath would be. It also is problematic to say that the contributing factors aren't reasons to kill. They may not seem like good enough reasons to start killing people to you and me, but they may very well have been a part of the set of reasons that Eric Harris and many others like him have for murder. It's a horrible choice. It's a choice that makes me sick. But the fact is that many people around the world choose to commit murder for any number of reasons, including the cocktail of contributing factors I named above, and that just because you wouldn't kill for those reasons doesn't mean someone else wouldn't.

Quote :
If you haven't already I'd like you to read Peter Langman's book Why Kids Kill or at least read the part on Eric. I'm interested in seeing what you'd have to say about it.
I actually saw it when I was out in the city the other day. It looked really interesting when I skimmed the chapters. I really like some of the stuff on his website, too, especially the article where he notes Eric's contradictory nature. (I've always thought that he had no set motivation or reasoning for anything.. Everything that happened to him was something that 'added to' something else and his opinions/thoughts were evolving rather than remaining stagnant reasons why. It's one of the things that really drive home how young Eric was when he planned and executed NBK.) Langman seems to come away saying that "Eric had a disturbed personality with prominent antisocial, narcissistic, and sadistic traits". To me, this proves relatively unproblematic at present and may even be something I can agree with. I'd have to read the book to be able to be sure that Langman and I are on the same page, though. I want to buy Far From The Tree first, but will certainly one day turn to Langman's book as well.

Quote :
If so much of his theory hinges on Eric's journal its because, his journal was extremely personal and gave him insight into what he was thinking when he was alone. And if Eric faked all that to make it seem like he was a psychopath, he must have done a lot of studying on the subject to get it just right. What was that about psychopaths having above average intelligence? That seems like a pretty damn smart move to me.
I think I've said something like this before, but I believe that there's a problem with taking Eric's word for much of anything. The boy's a walking vessel of contradictions and hypocrisy. I don't think he faked the journal. What I do think is that he played his existing thoughts up and 'amped' his entire journal up to become a single cry of rage. The journal does provide a rare insight into some of what was going on inside the boy, but none of it is enough to be able to state that he was a psychopath. (And if it is, I am suddenly very concerned about my own journals from those years of my life that read like a mix between Dylan and Eric.. Laughing)

Quote :
I honestly don't care to discuss Dylan not to sound mean or anything. His love sick depression just makes him seem kinda like a wussy to me. I hope you feel better.
Awww, poor Dylan! Laughing 

Thank you guys (Lifetime and StinkyOldGrapes) for wishing me well. I'm doing a lot better this morning, thankfully. StinkyOldGrapes, I hope you'll feel a lot better soon as well! Very Happy (You took the words right out of my mouth with that last post on psychopathy and the medical community. The DSM itself is a bag full of problems and continues to be a freakshow now that they're making the fifth version. There's a reason why that revision of the DSM is taking so damn long and it's because nobody sees eye-to-eye on anything inside it. Rolling Eyes Some are even suggesting abolishing the thing altogether and starting from scratch.)

tfsa47090 wrote:
This is just barely scratching the surface about this entire subject, but I have always felt that what I can only describe as Eric's fixation on downplaying his emotions is a blaring indication that he was actually, in fact, intensely emotional. I think he was acutely and profoundly emotional and sensitive. Over-emotional indeed. If such feelings and emotions didn't exist, there'd be no reason for him to even discuss them in any capacity. Saying things like he was going out of his way to prevent any sort of bonding with his parents and things of that nature. Saying he had to "turn" everything "off"; and telling himself to imagine that everyone was a "monster" in "Doom". Someone who didn't have any feelings, empathy, sympathy, or selfless human connections wouldn't give any of that a thought at all. I feel that his feelings were actually so intense that he could no longer cope with them, address them, or even understand them, and over time it got progressively worse (particularly with the medication he was forced to be on, and the way he was erratically cycling on and off of them).
I just want to requote this because this is an interpretation I feel is right on the money. Thank you for phrasing this so eloquently.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2013 1:21 pm

In response to StinkyOldGrapes, thank you for your long consideration of my post.  This will be my final word on the subject and my final attempt to convince you that Cullen is right because I don't want to clutter the thread.

What defines Robert Hare's psychopath is the combination of lying/manipulation (Factor 1) and antisocial behavior such as crime or violence (Factor 2).  That's the essence of it.

And you could point to examples of people who have 2), like postal workers in the 80's who attacked their workplaces or gangbangers who attack their neighborhoods.  

But what distinguishes Harris is his textbook combination of glorification of lying and homicidal behavior, which fits Hare's scheme perfectly.  

This is the real kicker for me.  It's not the lying (which teenagers do) and its not even the homicide (which people with other mental illnesses commit).  It's the strange combination of the two which Harris testifies to so clearly in his own words.

(By the way, I'm not sure why you think that "rage" is a rival explanation to psychopathy.  Yes, Harris displays rage very early in his writings and he keeps it up until minutes before his death, but we have a name for someone who feels such sustained murderous rage toward the whole world: a psychopath.  "Reactive anger" is a key correlation of Factor 2 of Hare's checklist.  Rage of this kind is a symptom of psychopathy).
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2013 6:33 pm

lasttrain wrote:
In response to StinkyOldGrapes, thank you for your long consideration of my post.  This will be my final word on the subject and my final attempt to convince you that Cullen is right because I don't want to clutter the thread.

What defines Robert Hare's psychopath is the combination of lying/manipulation (Factor 1) and antisocial behavior such as crime or violence (Factor 2).  That's the essence of it.

And you could point to examples of people who have 2), like postal workers in the 80's who attacked their workplaces or gangbangers who attack their neighborhoods.  

But what distinguishes Harris is his textbook combination of glorification of lying and homicidal behavior, which fits Hare's scheme perfectly.  

This is the real kicker for me.  It's not the lying (which teenagers do) and its not even the homicide (which people with other mental illnesses commit).  It's the strange combination of the two which Harris testifies to so clearly in his own words.

(By the way, I'm not sure why you think that "rage" is a rival explanation to psychopathy.  Yes, Harris displays rage very early in his writings and he keeps it up until minutes before his death, but we have a name for someone who feels such sustained murderous rage toward the whole world: a psychopath.  "Reactive anger" is a key correlation of Factor 2 of Hare's checklist.  Rage of this kind is a symptom of psychopathy).
You haven't convinced me.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Aug 17, 2013 8:39 am

lasttrain wrote:
In response to StinkyOldGrapes, thank you for your long consideration of my post.  This will be my final word on the subject and my final attempt to convince you that Cullen is right because I don't want to clutter the thread.
I'm still not feeling that great (chronic illness), but I want to give you my thoughts. I also appreciate you discussing this with me. And I don't think you should feel that you shouldn't post anymore about this, because I'm certain that people, myself included, like to hear your thoughts on the subject. This has been such a friendly, respectful discussion. It's nice.

Quote :
What defines Robert Hare's psychopath is the combination of lying/manipulation (Factor 1) and antisocial behavior such as crime or violence (Factor 2).  That's the essence of it.
No. That's not the essence of it. While lying and violence are definitely part of the Psychopathy Checklist, questions regarding emotional retardation make up nearly half of the criteria.

I'm going to refer everyone to the Hare Psychopathy Checklist:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

While lying/manipulation and antisocial behavior make up some of the Psychopathy criteria, almost all of the other criteria deal with emotional retardation.

Glibness/superficial charm, Lack of remorse or guilt, Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric), Callousness; lack of empathy, Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom...

All of those aspects of the Psychopathy Checklist deal with emotional retardation.

Cullen, Fuselier, and Hare are clear: A Psychopath does not feel deep or sustained emotion.

Eric spent hours and hours programming Doom levels alone, so he definitely wasn't "prone to boredom" and "needing stimulation".

No one, except Eric, can know for certain whether he felt any sustained human connection towards his parents, so it simply makes Cullen and Fuselier look unprofessional when they suggest that.

Eric certainly lacked empathy, affection, and remorse towards people he hated, but there's no evidence that he behaved that way towards people he cared about.

Eric seems less like a cold-hearted Psychopath and more like an irrational terrorist. Terrorists usually aren't Psychopaths. They usually care very much about their families and the people they perceive as being on their side. But they are capable of unspeakable cruelty against people they perceive as being their enemies.

Terrorists often have a mentality that could be summed up as "You're either with me, or against me". But they aren't Psychopaths.

It's also worth noting that Wikipedia says, "no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis titled "psychopathy"". While I don't doubt there are real Psychopaths in the world, we are still debating a condition that has never been proven to exist.

Quote :
But what distinguishes Harris is his textbook combination of glorification of lying and homicidal behavior, which fits Hare's scheme perfectly
Cullen exaggerates. There are only two instances of lying which Eric mentions.

The first is concerning the van break-in:

Eric (and Dylan) were clearly humiliated by this experience.

Perhaps if they'd been given a large fine, they would have gotten over it. But they were sentenced to a humiliating Diversion Program instead. In this Diversion Program they were forced to participate in activities that would "fix" them. How degrading! Any kid that steals something knows they are doing the wrong thing, and deserves punishment, but to have a bunch of adults tell you "I'm an upstanding citizen and you're not, and I'm going to help you be more like me..." is going to incite anger in any teenager.

I don't think the adults around them realized how traumatic this situation would be for a teenager. This program was designed to be humiliating so that teenagers would learn their lesson and not do it again, but for a suicidal teenager -who doesn't care about their future- it only cemented Eric's decision to take others with him when he died.

Eric was forced to write the apology letter, and if the Diversion Program staff believed that a forced apology letter was genuine, then they're too dumb to be teaching youth anything, let alone how to be "better people". Eric's apology letter is so dripping in sugary sweetness that you can almost taste the bitterness between the lines.

Faking that apology letter so excessively was Eric's was of getting back at the Diversion Program staff who'd humiliated him. He was restoring his pride. They had enjoyed humiliating him, so he was enjoying making them look dumb.

The second lying incident is a mere passing reflection on his own life:

Eric observes that he's no better than the people he hates. It's almost like when people say, "I hate my father, but I grew up to be just like him."

Another thing, if you look up the symptoms of High Intelligence in children, you'll notice that lying is one of them. Intelligent children often have have to lie to cover their "weirdness", which other people don't understand. That "weirdness" is actually intelligence, but other people don't understand it and think there's something wrong with that child. So, the child must lie about themselves to fit in and be loved, and all human beings want to be loved...

Eric seriously needed to talk to someone about how much he loved violence and how good it make him feel. His killing urges weren't abnormal, but something that serious needs moral guidance and discussion. Ideally, he should have been able to talk to his parents. But imagine what most parents would do if their child told them "I enjoy the thought of killing people."

Quote :
(By the way, I'm not sure why you think that "rage" is a rival explanation to psychopathy.  Yes, Harris displays rage very early in his writings and he keeps it up until minutes before his death, but we have a name for someone who feels such sustained murderous rage toward the whole world: a psychopath.
Another person who feels this "sustained murderous rage toward the whole world" is a Suicide Bomber. Suicide Bombers aren't usually Psychopaths either. They plot -in murderous rage- to get back at the people they perceive as their enemies. They're consumed by blind rage, as I feel Eric was. They're not emotionally retarded, as Psychopaths are, they're emotionally extreme.

Other known Psychopaths, like Serial Killers, don't feel sustained murderous rage at all. They're definitely not killing because they're consumed by rage, they're much more colder than that.

Fuselier brags about being the FBI's number 1 psychologist, the best hostage negotiator, and whatever else he's bragged about that I stopped listening to... but I find him kinda infuriating. If I ever feel the need to take a bunch of hostages, they had better not call in Fuselier to negotiate with me, because everyone will end up dead.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Aug 18, 2013 4:26 pm

StinkyOldGrapes wrote:

Eric certainly lacked empathy, affection, and remorse towards people he hated, but there's no evidence that he behaved that way towards people he cared about.
I think Eric follows quite a few of the characteristics on the Psychopathy Checklist.  If not psychopathy I could definitely see Antisocial Personality Disorder which is actually kind of a nebulous blending of the two.  But there again, many teenagers have APD.  There are just some things on the checklist that don't quite add up so while Eric may have some of the characteristics, I can't really pigeonhole him a an out-and-out Psychopath.   

And let's not forget... Eric and Dylan had psychology class... oh I love the irony of that... and while studying Psychopathy, Eric, in all his 'self awareness' may have decided it would be important to assume some of those traits in order to carry out NBK.  It could be useful to incorporate "psycho" mindsets in order to accomplish their NBK goal.  In this regard, it would become a form of self brainwashing, or joint brainwashing between the two. Eric already had the passion of hatred. It could be kinda cool to give up the powerless form of hate - where you're only pissed off and frustrated in your mind - to the kind of hate where you're in the drivers seat.  You're the god and they are ants.  You could then program yourself to see 'the enemy' as random, faceless targets, ala zombies from Doom.    Eric starts to lie to his parents and becomes better with it overtime and at some point those lies become 'necessary' to hide the fact of their mission.  He also begins to view it like a heady rush.  I can act real good, lie through my teeth and convince my parents and people in general of whatever it is I need to accomplish. What a handy skill I've cultivated!  I can now justify this behavior and disrespect over the parents I love because, ultimately, this will help us fulfill my goal of ridding the earth of useless humanity.  Sorry, mom and dad. But it has to be done this way.


stinkyoldgrapes wrote:
Eric seems less like a cold-hearted Psychopath and more like an irrational terrorist. Terrorists usually aren't Psychopaths. They usually care very much about their families and the people they perceive as being on their side. But they are capable of unspeakable cruelty against people they perceive as being their enemies.

Terrorists often have a mentality that could be summed up as "You're either with me, or against me". But they aren't Psychopaths.
Exactly where I was going with this!  For me, Eric and Dylan were sane in what they did, which is what is so mind boggling for most. They made a concerted effort at their plans and they almost pushed themselves to accomplish it, they brainwashed and trained themselves to think a certain way.  They felt it was necessary.

"We did what we had to do."  That is such a strong statement. It speaks volumes.

It's purely like soldiers preparing for battle.  A two man, teenage 'Rebel with a Cause' war against the entity called 'society'. Everyone talked about shooting up there school. Eric wanted to actually walk the talk. He believed in his cause as did Dylan. Time for the outcasts, the nobodies, to drop that unexpected nuclear bomb on white bread upper crust suburbia and make the jocks, the preps, the richies and xtians - all their enemies suffer for their ways. They knew and understood that the ripple effects from their damage would continue on for a very long time.  They loved their parents and they said as such.  They felt badly but they had to do this in some ways, but it. must. be. done. There is that sense of that. No turning back after all the time spent plannig.  It was their cause.  It's a bit too concerted of an effort, too organized for psychopaths, I think.  Oh sure, the traits of a psychopath was utilized by Eric, so that it would prepare and allow them to become merciless soldiers carrying out their terrorist mission.  

And just like with a war or a terrorist mission, if they saw someone they knew or liked, they would not go psycho on them indiscriminately with their weapons. Eric eventually noticed John Savage under the table.  I guess he kept realigning his gun at that 'zombie somebody' under the table and then recognized who it was. He knew that someone had a face and had meaning to Dylan. Eric then stood up and said, who true soldier fashion: "Identify yourself."

Additionally, Dylan at some point stumbled upon Tim Castle and his gun was pointed at him ready to shoot - until he recognized who it was.  And he gestured for him to get out.

These are actions of soliders or terrorists, who are programmed to not give a damn about those they do not know but to spare those they did care about. If friends ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, oh well, war is war.


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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Aug 19, 2013 2:28 pm

OK, one more.

Our difference boils down to one thing: feelings.  Cullen says (and I agree) that Eric was a psychopath. You are saying he wasn't because you think he had feelings.  My response is that it's not all or nothing. Cullen's definition of psychopathy allows a certain amount of affect. Hare says that "genuine emotion is short-lived and ego-centric," and Cullen throughout notes many of Harris's fleeting and egocentric feelings.

Now, you could point to various testimonies and say "These are genuine emotions from Harris." But I say: remember the context.

For example, Eric says "Yea... Everyone I love, I'm really sorry about all this. I know my mom and dad will be just like.. just fucking shocked beyond belief."

That clearly looks like genuine emotion doesn't it?  If I saw this attributed to an unnamed teenager, I would clearly believe that this person had real feelings.  There are many statements like this from Harris.  But here's the thing. Eric said this before he attempted to kill most of his classmates and condemn his parents to the worst agony they could know. Sorry means you wish you hadn't done it. You can't truly say you are sorry for something this enormous while still fully intending to do it. That short-lived, ego-centric sorry, not real sorry.

Truthfully, I believe the "Harris is a psychopath" thesis would less strong if Harris didn't show these fleeting emotions.  Then you might argue that he kept the emotion inside.

But he does show his emotions, and reveals them to be shallow, fleeting, and ego-centric.  He says, "I wish I was a fucking psychopath so I didn't feel any remorse but I do." You might look at this and say, "See! He has feelings." But true remorse means that you wish you didn't do it.  He said this before he did it while still fully intending to do it. That's not a real feeling.  It's a shallow, fleeting, ego-centric psychopathic affect.

To me, the few statements of feeling you do get from him prove his psychopathy, because they are all so fleeting and absurdly weak given the enormity of what he fully intended to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Aug 19, 2013 3:33 pm

lasttrain wrote:
OK, one more.

Our difference boils down to one thing: feelings.  Cullen says (and I agree) that Eric was a psychopath. You are saying he wasn't because you think he had feelings.  My response is that it's not all or nothing. Cullen's definition of psychopathy allows a certain amount of affect. Hare says that "genuine emotion is short-lived and ego-centric," and Cullen throughout notes many of Harris's fleeting and egocentric feelings.

Now, you could point to various testimonies and say "These are genuine emotions from Harris." But I say: remember the context.

For example, Eric says "Yea... Everyone I love, I'm really sorry about all this. I know my mom and dad will be just like.. just fucking shocked beyond belief."

That clearly looks like genuine emotion doesn't it?  If I saw this attributed to an unnamed teenager, I would clearly believe that this person had real feelings.  There are many statements like this from Harris.  But here's the thing. Eric said this before he attempted to kill most of his classmates and condemn his parents to the worst agony they could know. Sorry means you wish you hadn't done it.  You can't truly say you are sorry for something this enormous while still fully intending to do it.  That short-lived, ego-centric sorry, not real sorry.

Truthfully, I believe the "Harris is a psychopath" thesis would less strong if Harris didn't show these fleeting emotions.  Then you might argue that he kept the emotion inside.

But he does show his emotions, and reveals them to be shallow, fleeting, and ego-centric.  He says, "I wish I was a fucking psychopath so I didn't feel any remorse but I do." You might look at this and say, "See! He has feelings." But true remorse means that you wish you didn't do it.  He said this before he did it while still fully intending to do it. That's not a real feeling.  It's a shallow, fleeting, ego-centric psychopathic affect.

To me, the few statements of feeling you do get from him prove his psychopathy, because they are all so fleeting and absurdly weak given the enormity of what he fully intended to do.
I'm sorry but I don't really think you can fully stand on that. I'm not really sure what Eric was and it doesn't matter because what's done is done.

But, I don't see how the examples you gave are ego-centric? They're not all about him, they're about his family. Short lived, absolutely but I don't see how it's ego-centric and I do believe that he meant it. He never says that he's sorry that his actions will affect the victims and their families, he apologizes to his own. Not because he's technically sorry for what he's going to do but because of how their lives will be ruined.

I believe it was something that he was compelled to do. Something that he felt was his "destiny" of sorts and that he couldn't back down from it. So while he could be very sorry for what he knows it's going to do to them, he doesn't have to be sorry for the actions themselves.

The same way when people write suicide letters. They believe what they are doing is the right thing, but they know that it will devastate their families and loved ones. It doesn't stop their actions because they have warped their sense of what is right.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Aug 19, 2013 4:49 pm

areyoulistening wrote:


He never says that he's sorry that his actions will affect the victims and their families.
I think you just answered your own objections here.  He was planning a tragedy that would kill hundreds and leave thousands of family members without their children or sibling forever, and yet he is not capable of sparing a single thought for them.  

He has only weak and dim feelings of remorse, and all of those concern either his family or himself. Again, I think Eric would appear less psychopathic if he left no feelings behind, because then you could at least conclude he was hiding them. But he shows you what's in his heart, and it ain't much.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Aug 19, 2013 5:01 pm

lasttrain wrote:
areyoulistening wrote:


He never says that he's sorry that his actions will affect the victims and their families.
I think you just answered your own objections here.  He was planning a tragedy that would kill hundreds and leave thousands of family members without their children or sibling forever, and yet he is not capable of sparing a single thought for them.  

He has only weak and dim feelings of remorse, and all of those concern either his family or himself.
I don't have objections to the fact that he may of been a psychopath. I don't live in his head and I never knew him, I can't make any judgements.

You said "Eric said this before he attempted to kill most of his classmates and condemn his parents to the worst agony they could know. Sorry means you wish you hadn't done it. You can't truly say you are sorry for something this enormous while still fully intending to do it. That short-lived, ego-centric sorry, not real sorry." The part that I answered was that he never truly meant his apology to his family because I believe that he did. I know he didn't give a toss about the others but why would he? His primary concern is the fact the it's going to totally derail his parents lives. As I said I believe he was sorry for them but that his actions were something he was compelled to do.

Can I ask, what do you mean by weak? Dim, I assume you mean is in the grand scheme of things his "half-arsed" sorry doesn't really count for much.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Aug 19, 2013 5:50 pm

By weak, I mean that the feelings were very low intensity compared to what most people would feel about the same situation.

Hare (and Cullen) define psychopathic social emotion as weaker in duration or intensity.

You can see this very clearly in the case of Harris. He feels about the same remorse over the impact this will have on his parents as you or I would feel if we accidentally ran over the family flower garden. Which is not to say none, but just wildly out of keeping with the historic nature of what he was about to do. This child literally had no ability to imagine what other peoples' lives might be like.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Aug 20, 2013 12:12 am

I believe Eric was not a psychopath and did feel guilty about what the attack would do to his family and his apologies were sincere. But I do remember him saying in his journal that sorry doesn't mean shit to him and it's just another word. Another one of Eric's contradictions.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Aug 20, 2013 1:29 am

Eric may have had physcopathic traits but Cullen does too!! He's a pathological liar, manipulates people into believing his lies and bullshit stories and can even come off quite smooth in interviews.
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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Aug 20, 2013 9:25 am

CatherineM813 wrote:
Eric may have had physcopathic traits but Cullen does too!! He's a pathological liar, manipulates people into believing his lies and bullshit stories and can even come off quite smooth in interviews.
LOL 

So true! Cullen has used evidence proven to be false. He's made up pieces of the story that no one could possibly know. And when confronted about these things in interviews, he openly admits that he doesn't have a clue if these things are facts or not, and just shrugs it off like it's no big deal to pull the facts out of your ass and market them as truth! His lying is definitely unhealthy. Wouldn't want to be married to him!

Also, I just saw that on another thread that you just had your birthday a week or two ago... So, yeah, happy birthday for that, and hoped you conned everyone into buying you good stuff Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Aug 20, 2013 10:03 am

lasttrain wrote:

Our difference boils down to one thing: feelings.  Cullen says (and I agree) that Eric was a psychopath. You are saying he wasn't because you think he had feelings.  My response is that it's not all or nothing. Cullen's definition of psychopathy allows a certain amount of affect. Hare says that "genuine emotion is short-lived and ego-centric," and Cullen throughout notes many of Harris's fleeting and egocentric feelings.
Either Eric had a full emotional spectrum or he had emotional retardation.

Quote :
Now, you could point to various testimonies and say "These are genuine emotions from Harris." But I say: remember the context.
The burden of proof isn't on me. Cullen is the one making the Psychopath accusation. It's not up to me to prove that Eric had a normal, full emotional spectrum. The burden of proof is on Cullen to prove that Eric didn't.

And there's simply no way in the world he can accurately do when Eric isn't alive to answer the questions of an interviewing Psychiatrist.

Quote :
For example, Eric says "Yea... Everyone I love, I'm really sorry about all this. I know my mom and dad will be just like.. just fucking shocked beyond belief."
Cullen hasn't even seen The Basement Tapes!

Quote :
That clearly looks like genuine emotion doesn't it?
It looks like nothing, because I haven't seen it myself, and neither has Cullen.

Quote :
If I saw this attributed to an unnamed teenager, I would clearly believe that this person had real feelings.  There are many statements like this from Harris.  But here's the thing. Eric said this before he attempted to kill most of his classmates and condemn his parents to the worst agony they could know. Sorry means you wish you hadn't done it.  You can't truly say you are sorry for something this enormous while still fully intending to do it.  That short-lived, ego-centric sorry, not real sorry.
I doubt it was intended as a real apology. Eric was recording a video that he wanted the whole world to see. He had an image to uphold. He wasn't exactly going to start crying "I really don't want to do this, but you've all hurt me so badly..."

Have you seen Cho's video? It's a cold and almost zombie-like final message. Is he a Psychopath?

Quote :
But he does show his emotions, and reveals them to be shallow, fleeting, and ego-centric.  He says, "I wish I was a fucking psychopath so I didn't feel any remorse but I do." You might look at this and say, "See! He has feelings." But true remorse means that you wish you didn't do it.  He said this before he did it while still fully intending to do it. That's not a real feeling.  It's a shallow, fleeting, ego-centric psychopathic affect.
Or it's the journal of a teenager who fully intended for the world to read it. Being a psycho is cool. Being heartless is valued in our world.

In that video where Eric walks the school hallways and the Football players shove his friend, Eric lowers his head. I can't imagine behaving like that. I would have at least said "Fuck you!" That emotion  Eric is displaying is very clearly shame, the same emotion Psychopaths are defined to lacking in. Eric responds to this situation with so much emotion that the viewer feels sorry for him. There's definitely normal human emotional exchange going on here.


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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Aug 20, 2013 10:10 am

InFiNiNcEX5 wrote:

And just like with a war or a terrorist mission, if they saw someone they knew or liked, they would not go psycho on them indiscriminately with their weapons. Eric eventually noticed John Savage under the table.  I guess he kept realigning his gun at that 'zombie somebody' under the table and then recognized who it was. He knew that someone had a face and had meaning to Dylan. Eric then stood up and said, who true soldier fashion: "Identify yourself."
I very much agree with how "soldier-like" Eric and Dylan behaved. They seriously believed they were on a mission. They were killing for a good reason. All soldiers are capable of killing if they believe the reason is justified.

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PostSubject: Re: Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read   Cullen's Columbine: Chapter-By-Chapter First Read - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed Aug 21, 2013 8:06 am

StinkyOldGrapes wrote:
CatherineM813 wrote:
Eric may have had physcopathic traits but Cullen does too!! He's a pathological liar, manipulates people into believing his lies and bullshit stories and can even come off quite smooth in interviews.
LOL 

So true! Cullen has used evidence proven to be false. He's made up pieces of the story that no one could possibly know. And when confronted about these things in interviews, he openly admits that he doesn't have a clue if these things are facts or not, and just shrugs it off like it's no big deal to pull the facts out of your ass and market them as truth! His lying is definitely unhealthy. Wouldn't want to be married to him!
I agree with you guys, he doesn't source his material well if at all. It's frustrating that his book gets so much media attention and is even read in schools, he is just spreading false information everywhere and unfortunately people read this book and automatically believe everything he writes.
I think I could forgive all the mistakes if his book had been published in the immediate aftermath of the massacre as there was a great deal of confusion. But he had access to many many useful materials and it seems he did not use them wisely, again if at all.
There are many examples in the book that are loosely based on actual evidence from the 11k but it seems like he then adds in extra bits, thus resulting in something so grossly exaggerated it is almost laughable. I think i would be embarrassed if i had written a book that claimed to be factual and there were huge chunks of it that were not.
I could go on and on but I am happy that this thread has been created and i intend to check it out more thoroughly in the near future.
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