Calculating a precise number on the prevalence of Sociopaths is difficult. Part of this problem is that Sociopaths are so skilled at concealing their influence.
The recently released “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” commonly referred to as DSM 5, sets this population at 0.2% – 3.3% (p. 661). Martha Stout, “The Sociopath next Door” emphasizes a higher prevalence of 4%. However a thesis point of this page is that Sociopaths are drawn to churches. People are nice there and easy prey to their tactics. The recent FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (July 2012) on Psychopathy notes
Most Psychopaths are skilled at camouflage through deceptions and manipulation, as well as stalking and locating areas where there is an endless supply of victims.
As Lucas Morgan has pointed out
The typical church is small enough for them to pull off their goal of control and domination, and big enough to make it worth their while.
BTW, if you want to do the math by Stout’s assessment of 4% (which we believe is low in a church setting), in an audience of 200, eight people in the crowd have the capacity to harm you and others without feeling any remorse. They will actually enjoy the opportunity to cause the trouble and damage a church’s efforts to be an extension of God’s kingdom; so long as they can exert their perceived Power and Control.
The FBI categorizes them in three levels,
1) Psychopaths Clinical (AKA “serial killers”)
2) Psychopaths; daring the legal boundaries
3) Sociopaths, daring the social boundaries
Typically expect to find that,
- 85% Sociopaths are men
- 66% Borderline Personality Disorder are women
c. Roberts Hare
Note, severe Borderline hostility may do just as much harm as Sociopaths cause. The major difference is that the Sociopath will continue to fight more aggressively for more power once they have had a taste of the power. Their goal is total dominance over people. More is never enough; they must have all.
A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed
till the evil is so far advanced
as to make avoidance impossible.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)