It’s not I’m anti-social, I’m only anti-woik,
Glo-ri-os-ki, that’s why I’m a joik!

What causes crime? The classical environmental “root cause” theories suffer from two crippling defects. First, whatever root cause you choose — poverty, unemployment, peer pressure, parental abuse, parental indulgence — the vast majority of people who are exposed to it do not become criminals. Give us your poor, your jobless, your inadequately-brought-up yearning to breathe free to their therapists, and you will find that the vast majority, in all cases, are law-abiding. Whoever thinks that prisons breed criminals might ask himself who winds up in prison in the first place. Prisons incarcerate criminals. Not a great deal of breeding goes on in jail.

The criminals who have never faced your pet root cause, who grow up well-fixed, with loving parents, in law-abiding neighborhoods, also remain to be accounted for. People save most of their hand-wringing for crimes committed by these types, not because the crimes are especially brutal, but because none of the conventional explanations seem to fit. He was only a lad, he had everything, why would he do a thing like that? The shock comes from ideas smacking into reality.

If crime, metaphorically, is a disease, and its “root cause” is a virus, you can be exposed to the virus without catching the disease, and you can catch the disease without being exposed to the virus. This violates both tenets of Koch’s First Postulate straightaway. Aristotle wouldn’t be too happy either.

All this is not to disparage the sociologists, who presumably are doing their best. Multifactorial phenomena like crime defeat hard scientists as well; witness the struggles of medicine with cancer or physics with the Three-Body Problem. Humans seem not to be very well-wired to analyze more than one cause at a time; in fact the very concept of “cause” implies singularity.

According to Stanton Samenow, criminals cause crime. More precisely, criminal thinking causes crime. By trade Samenow is a clinical psychologist who specializes in criminals, and he came to his views, he writes in Inside the Criminal Mind, with some reluctance. Under his mentor, Samuel Yochelson, with whom he authored a three-volume study of the criminal personality, Samenow began to come around. He found Yochelson’s methods especially convincing:

Dr. Yochelson first had contact with these men… when things were going badly for them. They were about to be sentenced by the court, were already locked up, or had been faced with the loss of something valuable to them such as a family or career. In his initial interview, Yochelson asked few questions of the criminal but instead presented him with so accurate a picture of himself that the criminal could do nothing but agree.

Hey, with a shrink like that I might go myself! Yochelson could do this, Samenow says, because all criminals think alike. It starts early: most criminals have developed their habits of thought long before adolescence. Samenow begins with what most of us could figure out if we thought about it. Criminals all fancy themselves special, more intelligent than straight people. They treat everyone, including their family and closest friends, as pawns to be moved around for the chessboard for their personal gratification. They lie, not just like most of us when they’re in a tough spot, but all the time. They hate work because it’s, well, work. They are impatient and seek quick rewards.

He proceeds to become disquietingly shrewd and well-informed. On the sudden flashes of interest the delinquent shows in school:

The criminal child appears to have a short attention span for most classroom assignments. However, to his teacher’s astonishment, his lethargy is transformed into a burst of concentrated activity once he finds an interest… One teenager recalled that whatever academic interests he had disappeared as soon as someone provided direction, tested his knowledge, or imposed a deadline. He said, “The interest would turn into a conflict when something had to be produced like a paper or a test.” His “conflict” was that he objected to others’ telling him what to do, whether at school or anywhere else… He reflected, “Grading systems always bothered me, because I just disagree with them totally. If there’s anything I’m interested in, I can do it.” … The parts of the curriculum that interest [criminal children] are those appealing to their sense of adventure and thirst for excitement, such as a detailed account of a bloody battle or a dramatic science experiment.

On pleading insanity and getting over in the nuthouse:

To the criminal, the hospital is a permissive prison. Because he is considered sick, his crimes of the past and violations of the present are treated therapeutically, not punitively. He figures, often correctly, that he can do as he pleases as long as he shows remorse and psychological insight later. If he uses illicit drugs, he can explain it as his seeking relief from overwhelming anxiety. If he tries to escape, he can relate it to intense depression. Sometimes he gets away with such psychological rationalizations and may even be praised for them.

Memo to Judith Rich Harris, who has made quite a name for herself by arguing that peers have more influence over children than their parents do: which peers would those be, exactly?

Every secondary school has groups with different names — preppies, jocks, sweathogs [I guess: the book was published in 1984], freaks, and so forth. Snarled one 14 year old, “Preppies, I hate ‘em. They think they’re so neat with their alligator shirts.” He chose to associate with the “freaks,” who skipped school, used drugs, and went on shoplifting binges. One father said of his son, “If Guy saw a group of neatly dressed students holding their books and talking about girls, cars, and sports, and he saw a scraggly bunch of boys swaggering around, drinking, and cursing, he would always choose the second group.”

One might argue that Samenow has only pushed the question back. Sure, criminals think a certain way, but why? Nature? Nurture?

Neither. Asking why someone commits a crime is like asking why Caesar crossed the Rubicon. It is the individual, irreducible act of will, what Ludwig von Mises calls “ultimate data.” In the absence of Laplace’s mathematical demon, choice is as low as we can go.

My copy of Inside the Criminal Mind, borrowed from a friend (like Anatole France, I never return a book or get one back, and my library consists entirely of other people’s books), is heavily annotated, mostly with proper names. I recommend my friend’s approach, so long as you don’t write your own name too often. Next to a passage about criminals who cry discrimination to shift attention from their own wrongdoing he writes “Clinton” in the margin. Another about criminal sentimentality and sensitivity to art and music has “Mom” (Mom?) written next to it. Many pages bear the names of our mutual friends, and yes, it’s true, and no, you don’t want to know them.

(Update: Mark Wickens comments, briefly but trenchantly.)

(Further: Michaela Cooper takes me to task, first, quite properly, for my bad manners, for which I hope she accepts my apology, and then for my content. Essentially she makes two points. One is that with criminality we are dealing with “risk factors,” not causation. The jobless commit crimes at a higher rate than the employed; therefore if the government finds everyone a job crime will decline. Not so fast. When sociologists say that X is a risk factor for Y, they mean that X and Y occur together more often than one would expect by chance. Since it is effectively impossible to control for variables in these studies, causal inferences are just-so stories. Joblessness might be a risk factor for crime; but one could also say, with equal logic and considerably more anecdotal evidence, that crime is a risk factor for joblessness.

Michaela also convicts me and Samenow of circularity:

What is a “criminal” anyway? It can’t be just someone who’s been convicted of a crime, since obviously zillions of people convicted of crimes (drug possession, involuntary manslaughter, isolated thefts of opportunity [Dreiser's Hurstwood], not to mention those wrongfully convicted) don’t fit Samenow’s stereotype. Presumably, for Samenow, a “criminal” must have committed several crimes. How many? And what of those whose recidivism is driven by compulsion rather than sociopathic calculation — kleptomaniacs, flashers, peeping Toms? What about the ordinarily kind and loving alcoholic who assaults people when he’s really drunk? Must they all be crowbarred into Samenow’s singular criminal-mind box?

Surely many, many, many people incarcerated have few, if any, of the characteristics Samenow trots out! So, then, which prisoners do have them? Why the criminals!

I’ve never known a “kind and loving alcoholic who assaults people when he’s really drunk,” although I’ve known several violent alcoholics. I don’t believe in “compulsion,” and I don’t believe in Hurstwood either. Why can kleptomaniacs and flashers manage not to steal or expose themselves when the cop is watching?

Samenow claims that everyone who habitually commits crimes against people and property thinks this way. This is the vast majority of the prison population, including the ones who happen to be locked up for drug offenses, as any criminal lawyer will inform you. Now Samenow may be wrong, but his position, logically, is impregnable.)

Aaron Haspel | Posted November 13, 2003 @ 12:38 PM | Culture

30 Responses to “Your Criminal Mind, and Mine”

  1. 1 1. Eddie Thomas

    I’m not sure why choice is a better answer than nature. My experience with thoroughly manipulative people is that they really can’t imagine things any other way, and think that people who live differently are either attempting to deceive or idiots. Choice presumes a grasp of alternatives, which these people don’t seem to have.

    Of course, not all manipulative people become criminals either.


  2. 2 2. Mike Spenis

    Good post. You are correct when you point out that poverty does not cause crime (if it did, the Great Depression would have been much different)! If there is a correlation between poverty and crime, it is primarily because criminals don’t hold done regular jobs or get promoted very often. For the vast majority, crime does not pay well at all.

    A minor quibble – it’s only fair to point out that while well-raised, well-loved children sometimes do follow a life of crime, the overwhelming majority of criminals come from far harsher backgrounds. I can predict, with great confidence, that the young child born today to a crack whore in the housing project is going to be a high-risk kid.

    I suspect that choice, at his level, has little to do with it. He will probably become exactly the sort of kid the good doctor described, but he will have little say in the matter.


  3. 3 3. Jim Valliant

    As a professional prosecutor with almost 15 years experience trying dozens of every type of case you can list, including child-molests, elder-rapes, murders, etc., I can say that Aaron has it exactly right. I have even spent time watching over the drug-addicts in our local "coerced treatment" program, "Drug Court," and I have read more forensic psychology reports than I care to number.

    All legitimate efforts at "rehabilitation" (for all crimes and in all contexts)are essentially cognitive in nature. One of the favored phrases is "play the tape forward" (i.e., think thru the consequences before you act.) This–and this alone–has been shown to have ANY effect on future behavior.

    Eddie: Choice definitely does NOT imply "a grasp of the alternatives," only the existence of them and the introspective awareness that an effort is required to know more about the existence of such "alternatives." That effort, the effort we know that thought involves, is the very thing that the criminal evades. He doesn’t WANT to know any of the "alternatives." He wants only to persist in his own self-justifying "trap," whatever that may be. Without engaging in the effort of thought, he will, every time.

    Mike: Choice has everything to do with it, "high risk" or not. The "high riskers" lack the obvious incentives that the more privileged are openly confronted with by parents or peers; most "high riskers" do not end up criminals; and, all but the clinically psychotic "high riskers" know, repeat KNOW, that they could have chosen otherwise when they do commit crimes. Just ask ‘em … every time.

    Even the worst heroin addict can avoid shooting-up if the cop is watching, every time, no matter how bad his "shakes." In any given instance, the behavior is always avoidable and knowledge of the alternaties is available with the required effort.

    Aaron: To complete the case, one must identify volition with thought itself. This avoids the Eddie and Mike issues from the outset.

    Samenow is definitive, but I would also recommend (for fun) Leonard Peikoff’s lecture, "What To Do About Crime," delivered at the Ford Hall Forum afew years back. Of course, his theme is that it is not just thinking, but philosophy that lies at the root, and Samenow’s data only supports this idea.


  4. 4 4. Michael Snider

    Aaron, I don’t see how Samenow’s argument has any particular relevance to the very good data Judith Harris has collected: she doesn’t argue that peers are the definitive influence on character, just that on the average peers have more influence than parents, and both together must be weighed against genetic or other somatic factors (injury, disease, etc). Besides, there are people at the tails of every distribution, and there are certainly people who aren’t especially affected by their peers. Acoording to Samenow, these folks don’t think they have peers.


  5. 5 5. Mike Spenis

    Even the worst heroin addict can avoid shooting-up if the cop is watching, every time, no matter how bad his "shakes." In any given instance, the behavior is always avoidable and knowledge of the alternaties is available with the required effort.

    That’s a good point.


  6. 6 6. Mike Spenis

    Jim,

    This is still bothering me… I think we both agree that the kid in the high-risk environment is likely to turn out differently than the kid in the loving home. I suppose we could resolve this by saying that high-risk environments can damage kids, and make them *want* to be bad.

    Is that accurate? Is it fair? I honestly don’t know.


  7. 7 7. steve

    Church Doctors:
    Original Sin…you got it… your deal.


  8. 8 8. Eddie Thomas

    "Eddie: Choice definitely does NOT imply "a grasp of the alternatives," only the existence of them and the introspective awareness that an effort is required to know more about the existence of such "alternatives." That effort, the effort we know that thought involves, is the very thing that the criminal evades. He doesn’t WANT to know any of the "alternatives." He wants only to persist in his own self-justifying "trap," whatever that may be. Without engaging in the effort of thought, he will, every time."

    Jim, the introspective awareness that you speak of would seem to be important only because it is a beginning to what I have called "a grasp of the alternatives." Simply having an awareness that there are alternatives would not put one in the position of being able to choose meaningfully between them.

    I’m also not sure what you are trying to load the term "thought" with. As I pointed out, manipulative people know that others think differently from them, and (from my experience) think of these others as either deceivers or fools. They are aware that there are alternatives, but they can’t take them seriously. In the language of William James, these are not "live" options.

    Your experience of the criminal mind exceeds mine (although I’ve lived with a few), and your knowledge of the research is better, but I don’t see how "playing the tape forward" shows any real cognitive or moral change. Are the criminals coming to understand their error or just learning to better foresee the consequences that society will impose on them?


  9. 9 9. Aaron's sister

    OK, here’s my theory. Criminality is like obesity. Part of it is undeniably nature. The research on obesity points to a psychological (not a physiological) genetic component: food speaks louder to some of us than to others. Nevertheless, even some for whom food’s cries are deafening manage to stay thin, and those people are generally wealthier and better-educated than those who succumb. Ditto criminals. Some of us have an abiding distaste for work, and perhaps a predisposition to enjoy the pleasures of money and/or drugs. Some succumb to crime, and environment has a lot to do with who those some are. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.


  10. 10 10. Aaron Haspel

    Eddie: "Meaningfully," in your terminology, and "live," in James’s, are freighted with at least as much baggage as "thought" is in Jim’s. When you write that criminals "can’t" take the alternatives seriously, you really mean "won’t," don’t you? You acknowledge that they know that the alternatives exist. "Can’t" begs the question. You also seem to be proposing a dichotomy between understanding why an action is wrong and understanding its consequences. Actions, in my view, are wrong precisely because they have bad consequences, in the long haul, for the actor. "Playing the tape forward" simply induces the criminal to lengthen his time horizon. If he does so, then he acts more intelligently, and more morally.

    Mike skirts the question of predisposition and my sister raises it explicitly. I have never understood exactly what an individual "predisposition" to conscious behavior is. The concept makes sense to me only statistically: a group with characteristic X engages more often in behavior Y than the general population. My sister, who seems to have a very noisy kitchen, takes refuge in metaphor. I’d like something a little more down-to-earth.


  11. 11 11. Aaron's sistert

    Aaron — I can’t give you chapter and verse on criminality, but I can on obesity. You say: "I have never understood exactly what an individual "predisposition" to conscious behavior is. The concept makes sense to me only statistically: a group with characteristic X engages more often in behavior Y than the general population." Characteristic X is a gene and, given the same environment, people who have it are about 2 and a half times more likely to engage in the behavior of overeating and/or underexercising, thereby becoming obese.


  12. 12 12. Aaron Haspel

    The fact that people who share a certain characteristic of mine get fat, or commit crime, at a higher rate than the general population says nothing about a "predisposition," on my part, to get fat or commit crime: I still have to choose to overeat or mug old ladies. What I’m looking for is a coherent definition of "predisposition" that applies to me, personally. I do not understand what the word would mean in such a context. Similarly, actuarial tables, though indispensable if you sell insurance, say nothing about your personal life expectancy, as any actuary will happily inform you.

    Michael Snider’s remarks about Harris also bear on this point. Harris confuses cause and effect. Children choose their peers (or their associates, if Michael prefers); with their parents they have no such liberty. You decide how you wish to behave, you choose friends who behave the same way, and voil! influence.


  13. 13 13. Mike Spenis

    I have never understood exactly what an individual "predisposition" to conscious behavior is. The concept makes sense to me only statistically: a group with characteristic X engages more often in behavior Y than the general population.

    I think it is reasonable to talk about behavioral predisposition at an individual, rather than group level, so long as we are not talking about genetic influences on behavor. (I do agree that genetics is best understood as a matter of probabilites within a group).

    Consider a child who has been bitten by every dog he meets – this kid is understandably going to be "predisposed" to reguard dogs with suspicion, and to exhibit a different conscious behavior towards dogs than his peers do. He might overcome it, and he might not, but he certainly carries an extra burden here.

    Getting back to crime, I’m coming around to the idea that children who have been damaged by terrible environments can express this damage in a lot of ways. One of the ways they might express it is by developing a genuine desire to be criminal.

    This seems sensible to me, and it neatly resolves many of the loose threads here. (Believe it or not, this is a new discovery for me, so I haven’t really had time to think it all the way through).


  14. 14 14. Mike Spenis

    Forgive me for going on about this. Once more comment, and I’ll stop…

    Have a look at the graphs in this post:

    http://www.fecesflingingmonkey.com/1003/1003.htm#a100603

    They show, in very stark terms, that one group of young men is something like ten times more likely to become criminal than another group. Now, to be quite blunt, something must have caused this. This is not just a matter of independantly arising free will.

    Whatever explanation you eventually come up with, it has to explain what’s on this graph.


  15. 15 15. Jim Valliant

    That thinking takes an effort, i.e. that it is an alternative, is directly observed through introspection, like the experience of anger or joy. Knowledge (beyond direct sense-experience) is the product of thinking, i.e. choosing that effort. The more we know, the greater the range of our choicesknowledge is, indeed, power, as Bacon said.

    If we do not engage in the effort of thought, then, to that extent, we are determined automatons, controlled by nature and/or nurture in one way or another, but by factors beyond our control. The power of knowledge is the product of the choice to think. In that sense, yes, an introspective awareness of this primary alternative is important insofar as it leads to the grasp of other alternatives. The choices made by a five year old child are every bit as "meaningful" as Aristotle’s, even if, as a result of all of his thinking, Aristotle’s range of options is enormously greater, and even if the child does not realize all of the consequences of his choice. (Does "meaningful" choice require omniscience?) A journey of a thousand miles…

    I "load" the term thought with only its most primary meaning: the effort to figure something out.

    Getting into the mental habit of thinking (i.e., "playing the tape forward") is precisely the moral change, the change in character, that these folks so desperately need. Habits are first the products of choices. Habits built on moral knowledge or moral ignorance are called "character."

    I used the heroin addict to demonstrate that the even the "HIGHEST riskers" have choice. Will most addicts lose values which are, in the long-run, important to them? Yeah, but this failure to consider the long-run is a failure to think. The "odds" may get tougher and tougher, depending on genetic or environmental conditions, but the primary choice remains right where it always is, with the choice to think or not.


  16. 16 16. Jim Valliant

    Correlations may hint at causes, but cannot claim to show them yet. Moreover, certain conditions may well make it enormously difficult to make certain choices. But all of us with a funtioning human brain, even heroin addicts, retain the power of choice.


  17. 17 17. Bill Kaplan

    What crimes are we talking about?

    Rape, murder and armed robbery are miles and miles away from smoking dope and aiding and abetting the filing of a false income tax returns (Michael Milken’s avowed offense). Presumably the criminals who perpetrate these crimes would be of different character than the latter group, having fewer or less obvious criminal characteristics.

    So here is a thought: If you are referring only to the former crimes and not to the latter maybe we have a test for what should be criminalized and what should not be. Malum in se could be distinguished from malum prohibita by the people prone to commit the act. Legislators could then analyze an issue — the sale of unregistered securities in viable company, for example — by looking at who would do it. If really bad guys don’t do it, maybe it shouldn’t be a crime.


  18. 18 18. Eddie Thomas

    Aaron: "When you write that criminals ‘can’t’ take the alternatives seriously, you really mean ‘won’t,’ don’t you? You acknowledge that they know that the alternatives exist. ‘Can’t’ begs the question."

    "Can’t" is too strong, but "won’t" is too weak. It isn’t that they know alternatives and simply don’t choose the right one. James’s language seems to get at the point reasonably well. Haven’t we all been familiar with some alternative that at one time holds no purchase on us but at a later time does? Religious people call it "getting conviction," or better yet, "being convicted," as we finally take responsibility for a truth that has been with us all along.

    "You also seem to be proposing a dichotomy between understanding why an action is wrong and understanding its consequences. Actions, in my view, are wrong precisely because they have bad consequences, in the long haul, for the actor. ‘Playing the tape forward’ simply induces the criminal to lengthen his time horizon. If he does so, then he acts more intelligently, and more morally."

    It is begging the question to say that an action is wrong because it has bad consequences for the actor when the consequences in question are imposed by society as punishment. Why punish one thing rather than another? I don’t doubt that you can condition a person to consider better the probability and unpleasantness of getting caught versus the gain from the criminal act. The criminal may indeed make better choices, but this is, at most, only a step toward being moral. Someone who does right only because the law requires it is still a low-life.

    Jim, I think we can agree on the value of the effort of thought, and that encouraging this effort may be the decisive step in someone’s transformation.

    Aquinas makes an interesting distinction between human law and divine law. The human law habituates people to the good externally, by imposing unpleasant consequences in relation to socially destructive actions. The human law cannot, however, transform people internally, and so the divine law is needed to bring forth a truly moral, i.e. not just socially acceptable, character.

    We don’t need to believe in the divine or get hung up on the external/internal distinction to understand what Aquinas is speaking of. I consider myself to be a far better person than the law or custom requires, and I attribute that to my extensive sense of what is mine: my family, my friends, my country, and, to some extent, my world. The criminal, I believe, tends to see himself simply as subjected to these relations, and thus has no qualms about taking from them in turn. The extensive self is perhaps the primary alternative that the criminal needs to grasp, and I don’t see how the effort of thought or habituation will in themselves suffice.


  19. 19 19. mg

    You might also be interested in Colin Wilson’s psychologically and philosophically insightful A Criminal History of Mankind. This out of print book is worth the search.


  20. 20 20. Jim Valliant

    Eddie: Criminals are stupid people and, in my experience, not because their brains are defective. I am not a thief or a killer for totally selfish reasons that have very little to do with getting caught. Add all of it into the mix and these folks are just about the most irresponsible and self-destructive human beings you can imagine. Even if there was no law enforcement, indeed, especially in the absence of civilization, these folks would have incredibily short life-spans. The ‘criminal genius’ is almost completely a comic-book myth. The half-way thoughtful would never risk it.

    I usually sympathize with Aquinas, even though I am an atheist, and I make sense of him this way: Religious conversion is only one example of cognitive change, the only real way human souls ever change, i.e., changing what they think and believe. This eventually changes their emotions and habitual bahavior, i.e., even behavior’s ‘default’ settings, or what Aristotle would have called one’s ‘second nature.’ But this second nature can be changed and ‘overcome’ if you will–even the drug-addicts’.

    Bill: Yes, the forms of criminal behavior I mention are vastly different. Drugs should be made legal. But the drug-addict, as the "hard case" for free will, is a great example. And the fact of volition pertains to all behavior, criminal or not.


  21. 21 21. Bill Kaplan

    Jim:

    Your hypothesis of short "natural" life spans of criminals reminds me of a case I had while serving on grand jury. The grand jury was asked to consider the case of a man who sold bogus illegal drugs to undercover agents several times. Incarceration in this case is really protective.


  22. 22 22. Terry Lautin

    If criminal A, from the bad home, and criminal B, from the good, were to autopsied, and their brains stained,examined, and found to be riddled with spirochetes, would you think differently about what was causing their behavior?


  23. 23 23. Eddie Thomas

    Jim:"I am not a thief or a killer for totally selfish reasons that have very little to do with getting caught."

    Since I know that the conversation here includes Objectivists and kindred souls, I tried to anticipate your point by speaking in terms of selfishness, although my sense of self may be more extensive than yours. I wouldn’t disagree about the intelligence of your average criminal, but I’m not sure that self-destructive behavior is simply a mark of stupidity.


  24. 24 24. Jim Valliant

    Terry: I have said, and will say again, that a functioning brain is a prerequisite for cognition and, therefore, volition. But, of course, your experimiment is hardly satisfactory in any event. Not only have such brain studies been a repeatly dismal failure, they usually fail to seperate-out brain conditions that result from choices and behaviors from pre-existing ones. Ultimately, they would have to show how those darn spirochetes induce a certain identical cognition in both actors, since even the psychotic acts on his dubious perceptions or hallucinations.
    Eddie: Outside of rational suicides, the self-destructive IS the irrational and plenty of smart people are irrational all the time. In my experience, stupid is as stupid persistantly does, however.
    Yes, I assume that ethics is about the practical and often difficult matter of living life–and not some mystical or arbitrary construct.


  25. 25 25. Alan Sullivan

    You never return a book, Aaron? No wonder you’re interested in the criminal mind…


  26. 26 26. Jim Valliant

    Forgive the bad spelling.


  27. 27 27. Bill Kaplan

    But Jim, spelling is volition.


  28. 28 28. Jim Valliant

    Exactly, it involves the effort the thought. I know all too well the evasion here–and from personal knowledge.


  29. 29 29. Terry Lautin

    Jim,
    You should have stopped after the first sentance. "Not only have such brain studies been a repeatly dismal failure, they usually fail to seperate-out brain conditions that result from choices and behaviors from pre-existing ones."
    This does’nt make sense. It’s best to quote an actual study, and not wave off all scientific experimentation (I’m sure you can’t have read it all) as failing to correlate spirochetes with bad behavior.
    "Ultimately, they would have to show how those darn spirochetes induce a certain identical cognition in both actors, since even the psychotic acts on his dubious perceptions or hallucinations"
    I think you also make the mistake of assuming that human brains are essetially identical, and respond identically to outside stimuli or provocation. NOT TRUE. We have widely varying histo-types, and different brains will react differently to spirochetal assault, but all will be diseased, and dysfunctional.


  30. 30 30. Terry Lautin

    And this is only the lay press:
    http://www.msnbc.com/news/997153.asp#BODY


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