Ian Weinberg en Healthcare, Human Resources Professionals, English Developer and facilitator of neuro-coaching program. Neurosurgeon in practice • NeuroSurge - neuromodulation 11/2/2018 · 2 min de lectura · 1,7K

The hateful and the cruel

The hateful and the cruel

It’s everywhere. It’s at the office and even in your home. It’s beamed at you every day by the media. It’s the hateful and the cruel. In its mildest form it creates unhappiness which undermines wellness and productivity. At its worst, it kills and it maims and it threatens our survival. But what lies at the core of this hatred and cruelty? For if we do not engage and apply our collective minds to understanding this dark side of our nature and implementing appropriate interventions, we are doomed to suffer eternally.

The hateful and the cruel represent one of the more perplexing neuropsychological pathologies which is seemingly intractable to conventional modalities of clinical intervention. Available statistics indicate that the success rate of rehabilitation for these individuals is no more than 10 – 15 percent. Having a special interest in this condition, I undertook a case study analysis of a sample of the hateful and the cruel using my own NeuroSurge application.

Common to many afflicted individuals is a history of significant nurture deprivation, often with elements of abuse. The early narrative emerging from this environment incorporates elements of loneliness, low self-esteem, distrust, the belief that they are born to serve the needs of others at the expense of their own as well as anhedonia –the inability to experience personal joy and gratification. This usually impacts negatively on the ability to form personal relationships and predisposes to a hopeless-helpless outlook on life in general.

The chemical configuration that parallels this state is one of low dopamine (dopamine is associated with personal gratification, fulfillment and motivation), low serotonin and raised pro-inflammatory cytokines – the mediators of inflammation (which underpins many illnesses including cognitive deterioration and possible degeneration into Alzheimer’s Disease). However it is when the narrative includes an element of ‘why should I be the only one suffering’ that the foundation is laid for schadenfreude hostility. Schadenfreude is defined as deriving personal joy from the suffering of others. Studies have indicated that this individual derives a dopamine boost from schadenfreude thoughts and behavior! Thus the condition is perpetuated chemically. It is in fact this element which makes the condition so intractable to intervention – they are deriving high levels of dopamine (personal gratification) from schadenfreude-based cruelty.

The second element which contributes to the intractability of intervention in this condition, results from the compromised function of the pre-frontal cortex, the neurological place of reasoning. High levels of deprivation negatively affect cognitive development (in the pre-frontal cortex). High levels of deprivation also result in raised levels of cortisol which again, negatively affects the development (myelination) of the pre-frontal cortex. The overall result is a marked deficiency of cognitive integration required for effective reasoning. This is compounded by the fact that raised cortisol levels together with raised inflammatory mediators, negatively affect the function of the hippocampus – the place of short term memory.

Interestingly MRI studies show that in the chronic situation many of these individuals have larger amygdalae (seat of fear, anxiety, panic and rage) with smaller or atrophied hippocampi when compared to the low deprivation sample. In fact in children that have experienced high levels of deprivation, the amygdala/hippocampal ratio is significantly enlarged – a possible prognosticating index.

Loneliness and distrust result in low levels of oxytocin. Conversely, becoming part of a group sharing a belief in the same values (hatred, racism, cruelty), boosts levels of oxytocin which also results in raised dopamine levels and collective gratification. Add to this the collective deficiency of reasoning and you get a schadenfreude-driven wrecking machine which feeds on itself. It visits its hatred, terror and cruelty upon a vast spectrum of humans and animals. The terror and cruelty incorporates a need to control and dominate, probably originating from nurture deprivation and self-esteem issues. These traits further contribute to the driving momentum.

There is no current lasting clinical ‘cure’ for this destructive neuro-degenerative condition other than radical psychosurgery. Ethical and logistical challenges however preclude this modality of intervention becoming a viable consideration at this time (even though there are a good number of amygdalae that we’re just itching to excise!). The logical ‘civilized’ intervention includes initial instruction and mentoring with emphasis on the negative consequences of hateful and/or cruel behavior. This should be underpinned by the provision of authentic facts and the neutralization of intrinsic biases and prejudices (elimination of deletion, distortion and generalization of information).

Failing this, prescribed appropriate behavior with violation penalties/punishment becomes the next level of intervention – the carrot has failed and only the stick remains. But when all else fails, there is no alternative for non-rehabilitatable, repeat offenders other than banishment to remote workcamps! The hateful condition however is inevitably unstable and self-limiting. If contained and left to its own devices it ultimately consumes itself through its own hatred and cruelty.

Further reading:




                                                 Copyright reserved – Ian Weinberg 2018

Ian Weinberg 15/2/2018 · #28

#27 Thanks for that perspective Linda. The issue at the core is how does an individual transcend deprivation-based limiting beliefs? In the profile that I've described, the instinctive/empathic/sensitive human attributes have been crowded out or are in deep suppression as a result of extreme deprivation and probable abuse. Consequently we're unable to call upon this resource to regain the 'authentic' human condition. At the neuropsychological level I would suggest that all that is available is a play on the reward and fear centers together with cognitive intervention that is top-heavy on reasoning if there is any receptivity. And indeed I am leaning over to an AI influence. I have previously described the application in detail – see https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ian-weinberg/a-braive-new-world , specifically the last 2 paragraphs.

Linda Hart 15/2/2018 · #27

Thank you Ian for this provocative, well developed, easy to digest piece. I continue to be "offended" by the notion of "non-rehabilitatable" as you put it, where neither carrot nor stick achieves any meaningful and lasting change, but that's my stuff. I am interested in the intervention you suggest "This should be underpinned by the provision of authentic facts and the neutralization of intrinsic biases and prejudices (elimination of deletion, distortion and generalization of information)." Whooo hoo!, appealing only to the cognitive (assuming that all individuals respond to the benefit of "facts" in equal measure), without knowing what their instinctive talent for "fact-finding" might be, is potentially biased toward the rational. This is, as opposed to appealing to the individuals natural and instinctive predominant bias, which may subvert this acceptance of "authentic facts", making intervention a long, costly and intensive affair. To your words "Add to this the collective deficiency of reasoning and you get a schadenfreude-driven wrecking machine which feeds on itself. It visits its hatred, terror and cruelty upon a vast spectrum of humans and animals." As a mediating consultant, I submit, that in your intervention you may be inadvertently giving approval and credence to the ascendency of artificial intelligence to obviate the debilitating bias in humans that you refer to.

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Harvey Lloyd 14/2/2018 · #26

#23 Its not so much hating as it is fearing. This may appear to be splitting hairs. But when we see others as haters then it defines our actions. When we see others as afraid of something it changes our dialogue.

For sure haters exist. These are easily separated from the fearful when we include the context and circumstances.

But the other side of the coin is those who only see haters. Those who need to rectify their own fears by identifying all those opposed or different opinions as haters. This makes their brain happy:)

When we look to become proactive in our environment of change, we feel is important, one must recognize that change can engage another's fears. This is a natural response and not personal. From horse and buggy to cars, women as second class citizens to rightful place in society, different cultures gaining civil rights all shared a common theme, change/human development.

Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg address spoke to this change and its difficulty in perfecting the human condition.

Harvey Lloyd 14/2/2018 · #25

#24 Amen:)

Cyndi wilkins 13/2/2018 · #24

#22 @Harvey Lloyd...True...it would seem the biggest challenge of humanity is in facing our own darkness. Pointing the finger at one's self is the most difficult journey of all.

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Lyon Brave 13/2/2018 · #23

It's interesting that hating a group of people can make your brain happy

Harvey Lloyd 13/2/2018 · #22

#21 Your perspective is true but would also point to a difficult journey ahead.

We may or may not have created our own fouled bathwater, but none the less its what it is.

Our journey is is facing this very discomforting truths. We have three very specific ares that we must develop actionable items within.

1. Those who have succumbed to a narrative that is detrimental to society; 2. Those who are on that narrative building journey; and 3. The youth of our education system.

We should remain human across these group not because of fault but rather because we are human.

Unfortunately right now all three groups are being leveraged under the guise of power grabbing. Regardless of side power is being derived from those who would seek to leverage the victims within each group. Although benevolent on the surface, given time the true agenda is exposed.

With all of the ideologues who want us to change our ways towards one of the groups, not much has changed over the last couple of decades. In some cases the challenges of humanity have grown.

Until we are ready to confront the real issues of our time then we will fall victim to those who wish to control us.

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Cyndi wilkins 13/2/2018 · #21

"There is no current lasting clinical ‘cure’ for this destructive neuro-degenerative condition other than radical psychosurgery." Lobotomy? Seems we have created our own version of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."

The unfortunate truth of this, besides sounding like we have brought this on ourselves, is that there is little to no help for these people to recover any sense of 'normalcy' to their lives. As in the case with Jeffrey Dahlmer , whose father claimed his mother was manic depressant and still heavily medicated during pregnancy...It would seem that man's life was doomed before it even started...It's a shame he was allowed to destroy so many others before finally being captured. The ball was dropped on that one too...several times.

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