In The Matrix of the Psychopath

Psychopaths and the Matrix


The Matrix.

One of my favorite movies ever.  I got to thinking about how it parallels our experience with  a psychopath when a very dear reader, ‘efemeris,’ said this:

“I connect psychopaths to computer hackers and viruses. They come in many forms and differ in the degree of their programmed function. What a virus, a spammer, a hacker or related threats do to a computer is what a psychopath does to us humans. And they will cover up their infections and act like “normal” human beings in order to spread the infection.”

Have you seen The Matrix? It’s about a guy named Neo, who believes he’s living a normal but slightly empty and troubled life. By day, he’s a computer programmer for a large software company. By night, he’s a hacker. He lives alone, he barely sleeps, and there’s a profound void in his life, but it’s something he can’t quite pinpoint – until he is contacted by a woman named Trinity. “It’s the question that drives us,” she whispers to him, to which he correctly responds “What is the Matrix?” This is the question that has gnawed away at Neo for years, yet he’s never been able to put it into words until now. It is the voicing of this question that begins his transformation.

Neo learns he’s not living in the real world at all — he only believes he is. In reality, he lives in a simulated world — a simulated life — that’s been constructed for him.


 The Matrix is an illusory world, one created to prevent humans from knowing they are slaves to an external influence.

The true nature of the Matrix is that it’s a detailed computer simulation of life. It’s been created to keep the minds of humans docile while their bodies are kept in pods stored in massive power plants, so their body heat and bioelectricity can be consumed as power by the sentient machines that have enslaved them.

The concept that the Matrix is a construct that humans are unaware of, is similar to the idea of Samsara in Buddhism and Hinduism. Samsara teaches that the world we consider ‘real’ is actually a projection of our own desires.
How is this like the experience of involvement with a psychopath?
The psychopath came along and fulfilled our desires by creating an illusory world of love, in order to enslave us and feed on us. We were existing in a matrix that the psychopath created, and we didn’t know it.
the matrix has you
The Matrix Has You, courtesy of David Flores

Neo learns that once he knows the truth, he will never be able to return to his old life.

Neo indicates his acceptance by choosing to swallow an offered red pill; his reality soon disintegrates and he abruptly wakes up, naked and wet, in a liquid-filled pod, finding himself as one of millions of people connected by cables to an elaborate electrical system, providing energy to those who enslaved them.

We had the same cold awakening when we realized the truth of what was happening to us. And we will never go back to our old lives.

The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, are popular culture symbols. The red pill represents the painful truth of reality, while the blue pill represents the  blissful ignorance of illusion. Neo swallows the red pill, which leads to his escape from the Matrix and into the real world, therefore living the “truth of reality,” even though it is a harsh truth.

Just like Neo, we will have to swallow the red pill and learn the harsh truth before we can escape from the matrix of the psychopath.

Phillip Taylor
Red Pill Blue Pill, The Matrix, courtesy of Phillip Taylor

A central theme of the Matrix is Neo’s heroic journey as the One. It’s the hero’s journey, one that each of us is on, but may not recognize.

Neo also meets a character known as “spoon boy.” He has this conversation with him:


Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Spoon Boy is trying to tell Neo that the spoon exists only in the Matrix, which means it doesn’t really exist at all. It’s a lesson for Neo, to help him realize that manipulating the Matrix isn’t about focusing on an object within it and trying to change it. The object doesn’t exist, so he can’t change it; he can only change himself, by becoming free.

Likewise, we can’t change anything within the illusory world the psychopath created for us – the only thing we can do is free ourselves from it.

(The psychopath exists only in the matrix)


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37 thoughts on “In The Matrix of the Psychopath”

  1. Nearlybel

    Since my awakening post ‘my’ psychopath and your film blog, I have been thinking about and re watching some films and seeing them in a completely different light. The matrix was always a favourite and I mean to rewatch, but I remember they are plugged in at the neck and I was told recently this is a massive source of energy. The artists, the writers, filmmakers, they are highlighting in their own chosen medium, they are way ahead of us in ‘knowing’. The realisation of the truth, people must do their own awakening, for themselves, their family and friends, for society and for the very survival of humanity. I watched Arbitrage the other night and couldn’t come to a conclusion about the Richard Gere character, because he was so likeable, he blurred the lines, but he was psychopathic and so were his financial rivals all ignoring and covering up a massive fraud, and getting such a kick from fooling others, they perpetrate an illusion for their own financial and societal gains.
    Another interesting, thought provoking blog Admin :)

    1. Admin

      I think the Matrix is not only a good analogy for what each of us experienced personally, but for what society is experiencing as well.

      The Matrix is definitely worth watching again when you’ve awakened, either from an experience with a psychopath or something else.

      The UK’s TV program “Psychopath Night” was really good, and it included ‘a countdown of the Top 10 movie psychopaths, as selected by experts, including a real-life Clarice Starling who uses Hollywood movies to teach her FBI trainees about psychopaths and how to handle them.’


  2. PsychoBoy

    Bravo, admin. One great post after the next. If you can’t get in one way, you change your angle and try another and another and another. That’s exactly what I do, except I’m more successful than you are. Do you really think it will do any good? The majority of your readers will never get it. Why do you get it, admin? It makes me wonder.

    1. Admin

      Thanks, PsychoBoy.

      A lot of my readers certainly do get it. Those of us who want to get it, and are willing to get it, will get it.

      The problem for some isn’t that it’s too complex to get — the problem is that it’s too simple.

  3. Sandra

    Another wonderful post that is helping to lead me out of the complex matrix of confusion, illusion, deceit and dissonance – created by allowing the ex-P into my own and my children’s lives – into a (hopefully) calmer life of honesty, simplicity, clarity and a modicum of predictability. (Sorry for the convoluted sentence!) Thank you so much for your writing.

    1. Admin

      I have no problem with convoluted sentences — I write them all the time :-)

      Glad you liked the post!! Best wishes to you and your children, Sandra.

  4. Ann

    I really liked the analogy admin.Once again a great post.

    1. Admin

      Thank you! I have loved making analogies lately..

  5. Lauralee

    What do you mean when you say the psychopath only exists in the matrix?

    1. Admin

      What I mean is that outside the matrix, the psychopath has no supply, so they have to remain within it to survive. They have to keep us in it to survive. If we’re not in their matrix, we are of no use to them.

  6. efemeris

    we have to find a good anti-virus software, a firewall, anti-spam and anti-hackers programms, anti keygen applications etc.
    so…..Microsoft Essentials?….Kasperski?….. McAffee?…..Norton?…..
    No…Hare, Cleckley, Admin, O’Toole, Babiak…. ;)

    This is a good analogy. I liked the movie too. I went to see the Matrix with one of my co-workers (don’t work for the company any longer) and he said to me when leaving the theater “Did you see that? He (Neo) forgott his glasses by the end of the movie (he left them in the Matrix).” And I said “Yes, and I took them with me.” putting the glasses on my nose. I really had the very same model. We had a good laugh.

    The company we were working for was one of these companies where corporate psychopaths and narcissists have the “saying”. I can’t say that the co-worker was a really good guy either. He did most of the business for himself, taking many company ideas, customers and suppliers to his own company in his hometown (in the nearby country). Can’t say whether it was just his revange while he was let go or pure machiavellismus. But others did just the same. So sick. I was let go because I refused to work in “illegal way” and to obey to them.

    1. Admin

      Thanks for the inspiration for this post!

      Definitely NOT Norton or McAffee…My choice is Hare and Babiak. Love those two. But I guess I’ll have to go with Admin, since I have no choice.

      Very funny story about the glasses! What a coincidence! The same thing happened to me when I saw the movie Hangover. One of the male characters carried a purse, and of course his friends made fun of him and they called it his ‘man purse,’ but he called it his ‘satchel.’ Well I happened to be carrying the exact same bag! My friends noticed on the way out of the theater, and from then on they called it my ‘man purse.’

      I’m glad to hear you refused to obey the company and do things in an illegal way. The last time I saw ‘the psychopath,’ he said (out of the blue, of course) “Will you obey me?” I said, “No. Never.” He discarded me the next day. I still have no clue what the h*ll he was talking about. **Spaceship Moment**

      1. efemeris

        you are wellcome :)
        it is good that he accepted your “no” whatever he might have had in his head.

        1. Admin

          I saw that he was serious when he asked, and he saw that I was just as serious when I answered. I don’t know what he had in his head, but I knew enough by then to know that it wasn’t anything good. It was a pivotal moment. When I say that he discarded me, it might not be completely accurate.


          1. efemeris

            take good care of yourself. it’s good that you have a security system in your house and a dog. I know it’s not a 100% protection, but it’s still better than nothing. my mother has never given up on me, so I know well the feeling. my brother and i came closer again after 12 years of NC when our father died four years ago. it lasted for about two years. it’s not hard to say who’s behind all that.

            1. Admin

              I’m surprised that you remembered my security system. It allows me to sleep very well at night! Alarm + Cameras + Lights + Trained Dog + Yappy Yappy Little Dog + Safe Room + A Few Very Well-Chosen and Practiced Backup Measures + Police Officer Cousin = Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

              I’m sorry the closeness didn’t last between you and your brother. I deal with sibling issues, too. I have a sister with ‘borderline personality disorder’ who has not spoken to me for 6 years (since my father died), but she won’t tell me why… apparently, it’s a ‘secret.’ I’ve been dealing with her my entire life, but only recently accepted it for what it is. I tried so hard to reach her for four years, until I had the ‘psychopath experience’ and learned all I did. Now I wonder why the h*ll I wasn’t happy for the peace I’ve had since she’s been out of my life! I was brainwashed to think that because she was my ‘sister,’ we had to be close. Not true. No one has the right to abuse me, or any of us. Doesn’t matter if they’re ‘family.’

              I realize your situation might be very different, but I just put it out there for whatever it’s worth.

          2. efemeris

            My brother has NPD, he is very shy and has low self-esteem. He can be very charming too, cute and adorable. He seemed to understand me. When I was trying to explain the NC with our father, he said “I know, that all happened when you were adolescent”. We talked alot about the issues in the past and I was willing to explain everything to him. He would call or send a text quite every other day. But the last 12 months we barelly had contact. He started to avoid me, would be ready for a date or to go out with me and than he doesn’t come, doesn’t even call before to say if he cannot come over. Not even after to appologize or to explain. I started to worry that something bad happaned to him. The last few times I saw him, he changed, became ironical and I saw that very special moment in his face when his mask cracked. It was so unpleasant, scary and I quite didn’t want to believe this is happening. I love him dearly and think almost every day about those passed times when he was little kid. It was very hard for me to tell him that I do not accept the way he is treating me and that I’m not playing this game any more. He doesn’t call me any more, no texting, nothing.

            I understand your situation with your sister. I do have some borderline traits but not the full developed disorder. Once my grandmother died I had the fear of being alone. It came with the thought about my reality – my grandmother was the only caregiver and the only person who would understand me. She has also saffered alot with her marriage and with the problems with my mother. The other trait is that I had become too emotional. I have cried two years long after being bullied at work and in the fan club. I was a neurotic too. But by reading alot about PDs and Hare and Cleckley my symptoms are going away. I’m willing to go out again, to drink a cup of coffee in my fave restaurant, to spend time doing my hobbies (photography and digital art). :)

            1. Admin

              I recall your telling me about being bullied at work and in the fan club, in addition to family problems. It’s no surprise you would have ‘borderline traits,’ efemeris. They are normal reactions to what you’ve experienced. It’s good that in learning about PDs, you realize what caused you to react in this way and now your symptoms are improving! I’m happy to hear that.

              Ironically, in doing research about the psychopath, I found information about my sister. An outstanding article that helped me understand how I was feeling about her giving me the silent treatment was this one: The Silent But Deadly Treatment. It made me see just how damaging it is. The author says, “The silent treatment is a statement of contempt, relating, “You aren’t worth the energy it would take me to acknowledge your existence, let alone your feelings or needs.” I finally had words to describe how my sister (and the P) made me feel with their silent treatments.

              Another excellent article that helped me understand my sister and the P was Devaluation and the Inability to Form Emotional Attachments. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU (AND OTHERS) READ IT. Here’s a little excerpt:

              “…considering that we’re born into relationships that either build us up or fail us from the start, there’s something very human about experiencing our value through our interactions with those around us. Wanting to know that we matter. Wanting to know that we matter enough that we won’t be left suddenly and without a trace. But people do that to each other all the time. They do it to children…They can’t empathize with the way their actions are going to impact a child’s sense of value for the rest of his or her life…What you’re left with is the sense that you weren’t worth it. That you were something to be left.”

              I learned so much about myself, and others in my life, in my search for info about the P! SO many things finally made sense! And I wasn’t at their mercy any longer. Or, at least not quite as much. Sounds like you have experienced the same thing.

              I like digital art, too. The picture for the post “Spaceship Moments” is one I designed. It’s a lot of fun!


          3. efemeris

            yes, capitulation is the key-word. that’s what the abusers want from you – to capitulate. The silence tactic. My mother is the master in it. But it is over now. I feel free. The past few years I didn’t listen to the music and right now I’m listening Soul II Soul “Back To Life”.

            I like your creation for the Spaceship Moment. :) Maybe you can find me with the email address on FB. My initials are E.T (don’t want to write my full name here) and I use also my artist page name in ( ) below my name. :)

            1. Admin

              Listening to music again is a good sign of healing, and especially so if it played a part in the victimization. I couldn’t stand music at all for a long time; even the muzak in the grocery store was too much (I remember crying in the frozen food aisle at one point), but now I can listen to anything. Some songs remind me, but it doesn’t upset me.

              I will try to find your FB page.

  7. Nearlybel

    Oh psychoboy, I suppose the clue is in the name :)
    And what is success to you?
    And really does it matter?
    I’ll give you my take on it: you screw over others, cos it makes you ‘feel’ magnifico, period.
    What a wonderful contribution that is for society. But hey who
    cares??? Only those of us who invest in society, something you know nothing about. Because you are a parasite. How lovely is that?
    I know ye will be unable to answer, abstract thinking not your forte.

  8. janes

    Thank You PsychoBoy !
    & thx admin for letting us read their insight.
    Again you are Brilliant & Hilarious !
    i will watch the Youtube video.
    its confusing that LauraLee & PsychoBoy have the same picturue

    1. Admin

      ‘brilliant and hilarious’ — I can think of no higher compliment than that. I don’t deserve it, but thank you anyway.

      I had the same thought about the monster pictures being the same, but just didn’t care enough to look into it. Lots of internet tricks at play…but not a lot of time to waste on them.

      1. janes

        i hear you. it obvious amount of time you spend on researching, contemplating & remembering your not so pleasant memories with a P :(

        1. Admin

          If it still upset me in a big way, I would not be doing this. I stopped for a few months for that reason, but then felt I was at a point where I could continue without harm to myself. So here I am, and it’s been OK.

          You should see (or maybe not) the comments I DON’T publish, that I send straightaway to the trash bin. I don’t think too much about the mild ones, unless a pattern starts to emerge. There are people online who love to put one over on me. Good for them. The stakes are low here, so I won’t spend the same time I do vetting someone in real life.

          ETA: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy this. The hassles are minor, but helping others is major. In a way, it’s a very positive form of revenge. I never consciously wanted revenge, but wow this is perfect if I had ;-)

  9. Ann

    I live in India. Id like to know how i can purchase your two books- Psychopaths and love and Boundaries. Are they available online with a cash on delivery option?

    1. Admin

      Hi Ann. They’re only available on Amazon (kindle and paperback). I thought they were available in India? Please let me know, OK? Thank you.

      1. Admin

        May I send you an email?

  10. janes

    Ps must hate this sites exposes, LOL because, us their victims love it so much. i don’t think you, me & all of the readers are after revenge. we just don’t want to repeat our most hurtful experiences again and we want to be able to differenciate a good partner from a bad one.
    Ps must feel like this site & our comments throw GARLIC at them :))

    1. Admin

      I should put a picture of garlic on every page.

      Most people aren’t looking for revenge. Like you said, we just want to go on to a better life. I knew one woman who was hell-bent revenge and I spent a good bit of time trying to talk her out of it, because it was only going to end up hurting her.

      1. Admin

        Janes, scroll down and look at the footer.

        Problem solved! :))

  11. janes

    LOL :)))
    Thanks, i feel safer now !

    1. Admin

      Me, too :)))


  12. BetterBe Anon

    Love the analogy. It’s the alternative reality that they create and that others – including ourselves at one time – buy into. They manage DOWN our expectations and manage OUT our expectations. DOWN because we learn to expect them to behave in increasingly unacceptable ways, and OUT because we learn to expect them to behave in increasingly bizarre ways. ‘Oh, it’s just how X is’. Their complete lack of shame, their manipulation and powerful charm ensure that they evade all consequences.

    I’ve been going LC (low contact) for a while just to get out of the Matrix my P creates. It’s been lovely to be away from pathological people. Nice just to concentrate on real life, with real thoughts instead of obsessive, angry thoughts. I think taking a break is where we can reflect on how to deal with them, their Flying Monkey(s), the oblivious Fan Club and apaths. My P is obsessed with regaining control of me at the moment – endless hoovering attempts, which at present means breaking my boundaries by getting physically close. I’m equally determined that though he appears to control nearly everyone else he’s certainly NOT going to control ME.

    I think my biggest challenge is to get rid of the angry thoughts. I have to be calmer. After the shock of discovering that disorders like this exist, the anger at the surrepticious manipulation, the anger that he’s completely untouchable (glad I don’t have to work there) and the anger that no one else saw what was going on (that’s changing) I need to become much more accepting. Spaths and Machs exist. So what? I see them on the news all the time – so now I’m bumping into them in real life. Big deal. It could be a thousand times worse – my two pale into insignificance compared to what other people have to deal with.

    So this is a little lesson for me. One day I shall be grateful. Right now I learn all I can about these disorders – 550 pages of copied and pasted research in Word so far, and I keep a daily journal of all interactions with the P and the M. Turn negatives into positives. I’m plodding through Cleckley, ‘Political Ponerology’ and (though it makes me want to spit) ‘The Wisdom of Psychopaths’. SOO many more books to read. So many psychopath websites too. Jessica Kelly has a lovely way with words but what stands out most with her is the dragging emptiness of her life. I suppose I’ll have to research Machiavelli, too … There’s not so much research on Machiavellianism. One of the unloved disorders; it’s not in the DSM.

    After that … well, I know where I’m headed with this. Hopefully it’ll be another nail in the coffin of psychopaths. Whether or not I can make it work remains to be seen …

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Some of your anger probably stems from the P crossing your boundaries. Why not go NC instead of LC?

      Yes, it’s amazing what we come to accept when involved with a P! Down and Out, perfect description. It happens ever so slowly, so we don’t even notice the bizarre world we’ve been taken to. It’s like falling down the rabbit hole in slow motion, and then believing the Mad Hatter is not only normal, but your soul mate.

      I gave up on Political Ponerology. It upset me too much. I get more than enough of it just reading the news.

      True, there’s not much on Machiavellianism! It’s just too long of a word, so no one wants to deal with it ;-) Psychopathy isn’t even in the DSM. They decided it’s too hard to diagnose, so why bother…

      “Psychopathy researcher Dr. Kent Kiehl says “the absence of easily readable signs has led to debate among mental-health practitioners about what qualifies as psychopathy and how to diagnose it. Psychopathy isn’t identified as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” He is “frustrated by the lack of respect shown to psychopathy by the mental-health establishment.” Because of it, he says, hardly anyone is funding research into the science.” (That’s from my post, Is There a Psycho in a Psychopath?)

  13. BetterBe Anon

    Definitely anger at crossing boundaries. Anger all round! But giving up the activity I love isn’t an option at the moment.

    Psychopathy not in the DSM is nuts. When I first came across that I thought, ‘I wonder how manyhigh-functioning Ps were on the committees that decided that?’ Obfuscate, muddey the waters, blend it in with ASPD. I have HUGE respect for Hare – thoughts like that must surely have crossed his mind but he stays always cool and detached.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Psychopaths are the best-kept secret!

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