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Thread: Thoughts on the Isla Vista perpetrator

  1. #1

    Thoughts on the Isla Vista perpetrator

    So, I've been reading portions of the shooter's 141 page essay, which he title "My Twisted World", as well as statements by his family. While the loss of the victims and their families perhaps deserves to be the bigger story, I couldn't help but become fascinated with the psychological profile of Elliot Rodger.

    After thinking about where blame for the events should be placed, I am inclined to separate the sequence of events into two parts:

    1. Kid fails to mature into a psychologically healthy adult, and becomes down and out.
    2. Down-and-outer legally purchases firearms and shoots a bunch of strangers.

    People like to talk about #2 a lot w.r.t. U.S. gun culture and laws, and how this kind of thing would be preventable if we reduce levels of ownership and accessibility of firearms to levels on par with other developed nations. Of course, our deeply rooted love-affair for guns means that typical, ignorant Americans, and gun lobby that exists on their (and the gun manufacturer's) behalf, will continue to push for people to own guns who don't need them. I'd imagine that very few people who own a gun in the U.S. really need one.

    Although random shootings like this probably don't account for a great deal of violence in the U.S., gun violence in general surely does, to the extent that we are a more violent nation than similar European countries.

    Assuming that #2 (sadly) doesn't seem likely to change any time soon, here's my theory about how he became down and out.

    • Kid grows up having high expectations for his life, somewhat naturally, since he seems to come from a successful and somewhat wealthy family. His dad was an assistant director of Hunger Games.
    • Either is genetically predisposed, or develops, an extreme shyness.
    • May be somewhere on the autistic spectrum as well.
    • Changed schools quite a bit as a kid. He also didn't come to the U.S. until he was five (he was born in England).
    • Never seemed to develop a sharp intellect or any amount of common sense.

    Crucially, at some point he seems to have developed a debilitating Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In addition, he doesn't seem to be all that bright, since his number one goal in life seems to be based on his primitive sexual urges. Anyway, as a result of his unchecked narcissism, his complete lack of social skills go wholly uncorrected. This seems to further impair his deductive reasoning skills. Witness the hundreds or thousands of dollars he spent on lottery tickets, even driving from California to Arizona to buy lottery tickets with a bigger jackpot.

    Eventually, he humiliates himself by trying to force himself into an Isla Vista party by showing up drunk, and acting out violently towards others in a spat of jealousy. He ends up getting pushed off a 10-foot ledge and breaking his leg. Then he gets beat up, and has to drag himself home.

    At this point, he is full of jealously and hatred, and has utterly isolated and humiliated himself.

    For those of us living in a country that allows people in this position to legally purchase a firearm, it does make one wish he wasn't so bullied or isolated. Perhaps his situation and apparent lack of intelligence predisposed him to it. But there are surely a lot of other isolated kids in a similar position that don't resort violence, and thus we don't hear about them. This one just happened to be a painfully shallow, spoiled rich kid with no social skills who developed a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, ultimately allowing him to justify a "if I can't have it all, then nobody will" attitude to himself.

  2. #2
    I'd also like to point out that despite the fact that although he was also able to stab his housemates to death, this doesn't mean that he would commit the same crime with knives instead of guns should guns have been totally banned in America. I think a large part about gun violence is the way shooting people is glorified in film and television. As much as we love our awesome action movies, one has to admit that our culture of violence has negative repercussions when certain segments of the population take this glorification too much to heart.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 05-25-2014 at 05:36 PM.

  3. #3
    That said, I don't think we can completely blame the glorification of conquest and violence on contemporary culture. Violent, tribal behavior has been one of the most defining parts of human society for thousands of years.

  4. #4
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    If only he had been more lazy.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Assuming that #2 (sadly) doesn't seem likely to change any time soon, here's my theory about how he became down and out.

    • Kid grows up having high expectations for his life, somewhat naturally, since he seems to come from a successful and somewhat wealthy family. His dad was an assistant director of Hunger Games.
    • Either is genetically predisposed, or develops, an extreme shyness.
    • May be somewhere on the autistic spectrum as well.
    • Changed schools quite a bit as a kid. He also didn't come to the U.S. until he was five (he was born in England).
    • Never seemed to develop a sharp intellect or any amount of common sense.
    Then there's:

    you will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male.
    So we can probably also blame /r/pua for making this semi-autistic social retard believe that human interaction is beep-beep push correct button and sex will fall out.

  6. #6
    Ah. In case anybody didn't know this, I forgot to mention his justification for all of this: He was 22 years old and "still a virgin".

  7. #7
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    Well tbf he was pulling all of the right levers and sex never fell out, so clearly the problem is with women.

  8. #8
    Yeah, I've watched one of his videos, I got the same impression.

    Psychologically immature, narcissistic, inferiority/superiority complex...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Well tbf he was pulling all of the right levers and sex never fell out, so clearly the problem is with women.
    .

    /Thread

  10. #10
    Yeah, I definitely don't think the PUA/MRA **** he was rabidly ingesting is getting enough credit for the mindset he ended up in

    Esp. considering the multitudes of sympathetic "yeah girls, this is what happens when you don't go out with nice guys" comments on his videos, I think to write him off as a one-in-a-million crazy is a little myopic

  11. #11
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    Stop trying to psychologically profile a dead person you've never met. You're just further stigmatizing mental illness by placing blame on supposed mental disorder. How about we place blame on the blatantly misogynistic culture that obviously influenced him. Autistic or not, if PUA/MRA culture didn't exist, he wouldn't have killed anyone.

    It's not even the first time this has happened. http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyl...nist-extremism
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  12. #12
    Tell me after you've read his 141-page essay that he does not have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, despite basically being a failure in life.

  13. #13
    But yeah, based on his videos, it's hard not to see that his whole schtick about being entitled to sex with women is emulated from somewhere.

  14. #14
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    I'm saying "tell me he does not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder" is horribly unscientific and therefore useless. There are plenty of people with many personality disorders that don't go on murderous rampages. His mental illness was not the cause. Not to mention the argument that his personality disorder was caused by the culture, not something he associated with because he already had a preexisting condition.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  15. #15
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    These type of events seem to occur out of a "perfect storm" of events leading up to it. Honestly, there's blame to be placed all around. You can not just cherry pick the ones that suit your own political agenda. just based on the information provided in this thread:

    1. Family members do not do enough to evaluate members of their family and help to ensure they seek and receive appropriate treatment.
    2. Gun licenses should require a medical clearance (including passing a psychological evaluation). Private gun sales should require validation of purchasers gun license. Though, I still believe that if someone wants a gun then they will acquire one even if they don't have a license. So it is unclear to what degree this will actually help to prevent these types of events.
    3. Parents are not doing a good enough job in teaching their kids how to successfully integrate with society. This includes not bullying others. We should ALL strive to do a better job of helping the people around us who need help instead of kicking them when they're down.

    In so many ways these events are proof of OUR failings as a society. This person was failed by nearly every person he encountered. Blaming these events on the broken individual just because they are the one that pulled the trigger is a cop-out to not admit those who failed that individual.

  16. #16
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    Or we can blame the ****ed up rape culture we live in and stop trying to illustrate this as an issue with "blame to go around" because it happens to let us rest easy knowing there's nothing we can do about it.

    Calling the very real ****ed up culture that actively discriminates against women a "political agenda" is morally reprehensible.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    There are plenty of people with many personality disorders that don't go on murderous rampages. His mental illness was not the cause.
    Ahaha, what? Of course his mental illness was the cause. A mentally-well person isn't going to go on a killing spree, whether or not they've been taught they are entitled to sex. Many mentally ill people require early diagnosis and treatment in order to avoid becoming a danger to themselves and others. Don't romanticize it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    I'm saying "tell me he does not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder" is horribly unscientific and therefore useless. There are plenty of people with many personality disorders that don't go on murderous rampages. His mental illness was not the cause. Not to mention the argument that his personality disorder was caused by the culture, not something he associated with because he already had a preexisting condition.
    Okay, I can see what you're saying. Maybe he was a passably healthy person who just happened to be a jerk, and decided to emulate some misogynist ********s. On the other hand, most mentally healthy people, however dickish and hellbent they get, have something else to live for that stops them from throwing their lives away.

    That said, I still contend that anybody who reads his manifesto can't immediately recognize that the level of narcissism he displays is so overpowering that it has pretty much consumed his life and completely ****ed whatever judgement he had to begin with.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 05-25-2014 at 09:20 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Ahaha, what? Of course his mental illness was the cause. A mentally-well person isn't going to go on a killing spree, whether or not they've been taught they are entitled to sex. Many mentally ill people require early diagnosis and treatment in order to avoid becoming a danger to themselves and others. Don't romanticize it.
    What? No, I'm saying that his mental illness and his crazy misogynistic attitudes go hand in hand. I'm saying you can't just write it off as "lol just had mental illness just an unfortunate tragedy." You can't just assume it was "in his DNA" and call it a day.

    And, most importantly, that his views are shared by people who aren't mental illness candidates.
    Last edited by Emon; 05-25-2014 at 09:29 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    Or we can blame the ****ed up rape culture we live in and stop trying to illustrate this as an issue with "blame to go around" because it happens to let us rest easy knowing there's nothing we can do about it.
    That's not what I posted at all. Please re-read my post. I mentioned at least 3 things we can do better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    Calling the very real ****ed up culture that actively discriminates against women a "political agenda" is morally reprehensible.
    I definitely also did not say that either. If you listen to the debates that spawn from these events on most news outlets, it usually boils down to a politically motiviate point (ie, gun control, health care, etc.) Emon, I really don't understand your post in responds to mine. You seem to have read into my post something that isn't there.
    Last edited by Alco; 05-25-2014 at 09:24 PM.

  21. #21
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    It's what's missing from your post that's the problem.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  22. #22
    When I first heard about the whole PUA thing, it creeped me out that this kind of thing could even be legitimized in any online venue. I suppose now that more people are online, the more depraved elements of society are also congregating. For better or for worse, you can now find like-minded people on the web, no matter how anti-social your beliefs are.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alco View Post
    I definitely also did not say that either.
    I thought you did, as it came directly after my point, sorry for the confusion.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    When I first heard about the whole PUA thing, it creeped me out that this kind of thing could even be legitimized in any online venue. I suppose now that more people are online, the more depraved elements of society are also congregating. For better or for worse, you can now find like-minded people on the web, no matter how anti-social your beliefs are.
    This is not some bizarre corner of the internet. This is everywhere, all the time. It may not be as bizarrely, outright bad as a few of the forums that attract the worst kind of people, but the culture is real and permeates everything.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    It's what's missing from your post that's the problem.
    Ah. LOL. Your post wasn't there when I started my post. I'm watching a movie at the same time so it took mine longer to post.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    What? No, I'm saying that his mental illness and his crazy misogynistic attitudes go hand in hand. I'm saying you can't just write it off as "lol just had mental illness just an unfortunate tragedy." You can't just assume it was "in his DNA" and call it a day.
    It was probably a structural defect.

    We don't just live in a 'rape culture', we live in an 'everything culture'. We are taught from a young age that we are entitled to absolutely everything we want, so to some extent every one of us feels like we have been cheated out of something we deserve. Institutionalized misogyny is a horrendous thing, but a mentally ill person wouldn't exactly have to spend a lot of time in order to find a different reason to go on a rampage.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Alco View Post
    1. Family members do not do enough to evaluate members of their family and help to ensure they seek and receive appropriate treatment.
    2. Gun licenses should require a medical clearance (including passing a psychological evaluation). Private gun sales should require validation of purchasers gun license. Though, I still believe that if someone wants a gun then they will acquire one even if they don't have a license. So it is unclear to what degree this will actually help to prevent these types of events.
    3. Parents are not doing a good enough job in teaching their kids how to successfully integrate with society. This includes not bullying others. We should ALL strive to do a better job of helping the people around us who need help instead of kicking them when they're down.
    I don't know about #2, but at least for #1, yes, his parents definitely knew something was up. They had him see a few different counselors, as well as hiring some "friends" to spend time with him.

    I can't say I'm too surprised that they didn't sufficiently connect with him in order to help him. I mean, with all his crazy ideas. Perhaps counselors need training to identify those under the influence of PUA? Otherwise they're sure to have a hard time relating to someone with such bizarre, hypocritical and antisocial beliefs that would be hard to make up if you hadn't first heard of them.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    It's what's missing from your post that's the problem.
    Ah, I see. I was only providing examples off the top of my head as commonly relates to these types of events in general. I wasn't considering the sexual element as it is rarely emphasized in these types of events. However, I do feel that the sexual element relates to the psychological component for which I feel family and friends have a sociological responsibility for identifying.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    It was probably a structural defect.

    We don't just live in a 'rape culture', we live in an 'everything culture'. We are taught from a young age that we are entitled to absolutely everything we want, so to some extent every one of us feels like we have been cheated out of something we deserve. Institutionalized misogyny is a horrendous thing, but a mentally ill person wouldn't exactly have to spend a lot of time in order to find a different reason to go on a rampage.
    I mean sure, you might be right. But I'm cautious to let the takeaway be that mental illness is the problem, rather than rape culture (specifically PUA subculture) being more directly to blame. Maybe he would have found another reason to kill people otherwise, but IMO it's irresponsible to just wave your hand at mental illness and call it a day.
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  30. #30
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    All said, I'm glad the media is going to use this to attack something that is actually harmful, PUA, instead of video games like normal.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alco View Post
    Ah, I see. I was only providing examples off the top of my head as commonly relates to these types of events in general. I wasn't considering the sexual element as it is rarely emphasized in these types of events. However, I do feel that the sexual element relates to the psychological component for which I feel family and friends have a sociological responsibility for identifying.
    That's part of the problem. That's a core part of what happened here. Why do you think the media is just ignoring it? Well, some are. I've seen headlines about "socially troubled college student" that barely even mention the PUA part.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    It was probably a structural defect.

    We don't just live in a 'rape culture', we live in an 'everything culture'. We are taught from a young age that we are entitled to absolutely everything we want, so to some extent every one of us feels like we have been cheated out of something we deserve. Institutionalized misogyny is a horrendous thing, but a mentally ill person wouldn't exactly have to spend a lot of time in order to find a different reason to go on a rampage.
    That makes sense. One thing I've been wondering had been: if he reeeeeally wanted sex, why not hire a prostitute instead of buying lottery tickets? That leads me to believe this is more about his personal ego than women. Although, the argument could be made that prostitution wouldn't satisfy his desire to subjugate women? IDK. At this point we're blatantly speculating.

    Then you also have your rapists. There were a whole number of things he could have turned to to act out his hatred for women. Something tells me this was more about his own sense of self-worth, and how "society" (in this case women) wronged him by not recognizing how obviously great a person he was.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    I mean sure, you might be right. But I'm cautious to let the takeaway be that mental illness is the problem, rather than rape culture (specifically PUA subculture) being more directly to blame. Maybe he would have found another reason to kill people otherwise, but IMO it's irresponsible to just wave your hand at mental illness and call it a day.
    High-profile mass killings by a mentally ill person seem to be an annual event now, and it'd be hard to argue that many of them have anything to do with PUA/rape culture. More often it's an institutional lack of screening and treatment for mental illness, the malfeasance of public officials, and a lack of due diligence by firearm sellers and owners. I think it's irresponsible to downplay the mental illness part because these events will keep happening with or without PUA, as long as dangerously insane people continue to go untreated and continue to be able to arm themselves freely.

  34. #34
    Whoa. I didn't know Tom Cruise's character in Magnolia was based on a real person. I've really been in the dark about this whole movement, which apparently dates back to the `70s.

  35. #35
    As we're all here talking about this, do any of you ever analyze yourselves and wonder if you could have turned out like this person, or any other thing you can imagine? Honestly I once believed there was a magical combination of words and actions that would get any woman in bed with me, that all I had to do was find it out. I've later grown up and priorities, concepts, ideas, goals, have changed, but upon self analysis, it scares the hell out of me how if I had not gotten out of that mindset, and certain conditions had joined in, I could have become a terrible person. I think we all should just consider that not everyone grows up the same way or pace, and that everyone's environment will cause different developments. Most of us are fortunate.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  36. #36
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    What's really remarkable about that sort of thinking is that pretty much anyone actually can get laid all the time. It's just that you don't have to be incredibly manipulative to do it.

    READ: I'm not condoning PUA behavior in any way. I'm saying the result can be achieved without actually using the methods they suggest. I'm also going to throw it out there that if this is in any way a priority for you and you're over the age of 25, then you've got some really strange priorities.
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  37. #37
    I just watched a video where Neil Strauss tells a TV host what he would do to 'pick her up'. The entirety of his idea basically is to make the targeted woman feel jealous / bad about herself by
    1. pretending to ignore her by instead talking to her friends, and
    2. when the two actually begin to interact, start off by insulting her

    This actually sounds really, really stupid. I can't see how this could possibly be good advice for anyone. I mean it seems mostly like therapeutic (bad) advice directed toward needy, insecure men who normally can't talk to women without looking looking desperate.

    Probably the main problem that men who feel the need to do this is rooted in the fact that they don't see women as people. I mean, if they did, they could just converse with them in a normal way, ya know?
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 05-25-2014 at 10:59 PM.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Antony View Post
    What's really remarkable about that sort of thinking is that pretty much anyone actually can get laid all the time. It's just that you don't have to be incredibly manipulative to do it.

    READ: I'm not condoning PUA behavior in any way. I'm saying the result can be achieved without actually using the methods they suggest. I'm also going to throw it out there that if this is in any way a priority for you and you're over the age of 25, then you've got some really strange priorities.
    There are lots of situations where one can get laid without using any of the stupid "techniques" that PUAs (con artists) suggest (and most likely never work).

    In my experience it's nothing more than statistics and being a person (with goals, sanity, being fun). Basically meet enough people, and you'll eventually find someone who you turn on, and you both conveniently live close enough to meet.

    Some people argue that their physique (mainly overweight people) doesn't allow them to have even that kind of social contact. I hate to say it, but being morbidly obese is damn unattractive, and what's more important, extremely unhealthy, and we all know that the human being generally excited by indicators of a healthy mate (both physically and mentally).
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  39. #39
    A lot of men, morbidly obese or not, are lonely because they have unrealistically high standards of female attractiveness. I mean, where is it written that there are more fat men than fat women?

    Also, having such high standards may explain why some men have such low self esteem, and therefore feel the need to try bogus manipulation techniques.

  40. #40
    I'm reading the highlights now, it's an interesting peek into crazytown.

    So unfortunate that he wasn't stopped when the police initially looked into his angry youtube videos.

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