Cyber Criminal Minds
“Dark Psychology is both a human consciousness construct and study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of people to prey upon others motivated by psychopathic, deviant or psychopathological criminal drives that lack purpose and general assumptions of instinctual drives, evolutionary biology and social sciences theory. All of humanity has the potentiality to victimize humans and other living creatures. While many restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses. Dark Psychology explores criminal, deviant and cybercriminal minds.” Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. 
Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of people to prey upon others. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans & living creatures. While many restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses. Dark Psychology seeks to understand those thoughts, feelings and perceptions that lead to human predatory behavior. Dark Psychology assumes that this production is purposive and has some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99.99% of the time. The remaining .01%, under Dark Psychology, is the brutal victimization of others without purposive intent or reasonably defined by evolutionary science or religious dogma.
Within the next century, iPredators and their acts of theft, violence and abuse will become a global phenomenon and societal epidemic if not squashed. Segments of iPredators include cyber stalkers, cyberbullies, cyber terrorist, cyber criminals, online sexual predators and political/religious fanatics engaged in cyber warfare. Just as Dark Psychology views all criminal/deviant behavior on a continuum of severity and purposive intent, the theory of iPredator follows the same framework, but involves abuse, assault and victimization online using Information and Communications Technology. The formal definition of iPredator is as follows:
iPredator: A child, adult, group or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age, either gender and not bound by economic status, race or national heritage.
iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, deviant or abusive behaviors using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cyber criminal, online sexual predator, internet troll or cyber terrorist, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:
I. A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT. II. The intermittent to frequent usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to obtain, exchange and deliver harmful information. III. A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.
Unlike human predators prior to the Information Age, iPredators rely on the multitude of benefits offered by Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others using ICT in an abstract electronic universe.
Although it is assumed all humanity, has residing deep in their psyche, the potential and Dark Psychology for behaving in harmful and malevolent ways they rarely or never activate, ICT and cyberspace offers a direct connection and psychological route to the dark side. Just as ICT and cyberspace is incredibly pro-social and beneficial to humanity, these same technological advancements can lead humanity to diabolical and sinister endeavors.
The Arsonist is a person with an obsessive preoccupation with fire setting. These individuals often have developmental histories filled with sexual and physical abuse. Common among serial arsonists is the proclivity to be loners, have few peers, and absolutely fascinated by fire and fire setting. Serial arsonists are highly ritualistic and tend to exhibit patterned behaviors as to their methodologies for setting fires.
Preoccupied by fire setting, Arsonists often fantasize & fixate upon how to plan their fire setting episodes. Once their target is set ablaze, some arsonists experience sexual arousal and proceed with masturbation while watching. Despite their pathological and ritualistic patterns, the serial arsonist feels pride in his actions.
Thanatophilia, Necrophilia and Necrologies all define the same type of disordered person. These are people, and they do exist, who have a sexual attraction to corpses. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, by the American Psychiatric Association, classifies necrophilia as a paraphilia. A paraphilia is a biomedical term used to describe a person’s sexual arousal and preoccupation with objects, situations or individuals that are not part of normative stimulation and may cause distress or serious problems for the person. Hence, a Necrophile’s paraphilia is sexual arousal by an object, a deceased person.
Experts who have compiled profiles of Necrophiles indicate they have tremendous difficulty experiencing a capacity for being intimate with others. For these people, sexual intimacy with the dead feels safe and secure rather than sexual intimacy with a living human. Necrophiles have divulged in interviews feeling a great sense of control when in the company of a corpse. A sense of connection becomes secondary to the primary need for perceived control.
A serial killer is a true human predator typically defined as someone who murders three or more people over a period of 30 days or greater. Interviews with most serial killers have revealed they experience a cooling off period between each murder. The serial killer’s cooling off period is a perceptual refractory period whereby they are temporarily satiated with their need to cause pain to others.
Criminal Psychology experts have hypothesized their motivation for killing is the pursuit for an experience of psychological gratification only achieved via brutality. After they murder, these individuals feel a sense of release combined with egotistical power. The experience for them brings such gratification that they become wanton of feeling the experience of release and gratification once again.
“The term ‘serial killings’ means a series of three or more killings, not less than one of which was committed within the United States, having common characteristics such as to suggest the reasonable possibility that the crimes were committed by the same actor or actors.” FBI
Sexual assault, rape, humiliation and torture are often involved during the course of their murders. Experts at the Federal Bureau of Investigations have outlined other motivations in addition to anger, rage, attention seeking, thrill seeking and monetary gain. Often, serial killers exhibit similar patterns in their choice of victims, how they murder their targets, and methods for disposal of the body. Criminal experts trained in behavioral analysis concur serial killers have a history of significant emotional, behavioral and social pathology. Although not absolute, serial killers tend to be loners who experience difficulty engaging in functional relationships.
Provided above are four examples of offenders and offender groups who commit abusive and/or violent bizarre acts sharing the common bond of having deep psychological deficits with distorted worldviews. These serious psychiatric and/or personality constructs, which may metastasize throughout their being, defies reason. What is it about these human predators, how do they function and socialize in their day-to-day lives? These brief profiles speak volumes about the dark nature of the human condition. In addition to all sharing mild to severe psychopathology, they all are perceptual loners with deep-seated forces governing their decision-making capacities.
The serial arsonist may not assault other people or find gratification from being a human predator as does the serial killer, but he actually experiences joy and elation from his fire setting. In addition to joy, he feels a sense of accomplishment from the devastation he has caused. His episodes of fire setting are extremely dangerous given he can cause harm to others, but the goal of inflicting pain or bodily harm is not his modus operandi.
For the serial arsonist, the big payoff is his sense of pride and distorted perception of accomplishing a brilliant feat of genius. His perverted sense of achievement, at times, lead him to become sexually aroused and masturbation ensues. The arsonist’s behavior is reprehensible, illegal and dangerous, but typically does not involve premeditated murder. They live within an abyss of infernal obsession.
Although the Necrophile is not causing pain to another person or victimizing others, his actions are extraordinarily bizarre and absent of any sense of logic. The Necrophile’s need for perceived control is so insidious that he actually develops a sexual attraction to a corpse. Imagine what the experience must be for him. He is sexually aroused by a lifeless body that is expressionless and absent of warmth. Most people yearn for connection during sexual intimacy, but the Necrophile does not require this. He becomes aroused by the experience of a total and complete disconnect. Clearly, his mind has entered a very dark realm.
The serial killer is one of the most despotic characters that manifests from the dark side. In films, court cases and news coverage, the serial killer is frequently a subject of intrigue. The essence of this epitome of deviant evil echoes a part of the human psyche that only the serial killer himself can realistically experience. Just as an alcoholic craves his next drink or an opiate addict yearns for his next fix, the serial killer becomes addicted to murder.
The serial killer speaks of the gratification and elevated sense of release once his murder has come to fruition. Unlike the necrophile or serial arsonist, the serial killer’s sole endeavor is to extinguish life. For many of these assailants, sexual arousal by torturing their victims is a common theme. Although a common theme, there are other equally disturbing drives causing them to torture their victims.
These four examples are illustrations of the extent to which humans will go for the experience of power, pleasure and/or goal attainment. All of the criminal profiles described, involve assailants feeling a sense of gratification from their abusive and/or heinous actions. The reality is that these examples are merely basic profiles of four segments of the population of men and women who participate in criminal, abusive or deviant acts. The extent to which humans will go for sexual gratification, perceived control or financial gain is quite extensive and elaborate.
Before the advent of scientific advancements and the capacity of society to explain deviant human behavior, monsters and demons were the cause of such chaos. Unable to understand how people could commit such atrocities, metaphysical beings were the only logical explanation. Instead of fearing their neighbors, early civilizations concocted legends and tales of demonic beings. Werewolves, Vampires and Ghouls prowled the night stalking their prey.
Although contemporary society deems itself as advanced in its ability to comprehend the potential for humans to commit violent and heinous acts, learning how to reduce and/or prevent bizarre and deadly actions perpetrated by humans remains elusive. Our species is the only group of living organisms that participate in actions antithetical to our survival.
Dark Psychology is both the study of criminal & deviant behavior and a conceptual framework for deciphering the potential for evil within all human beings. This writer does not claim to have the proverbial “holy grail” of defining deviant human behavior, but rather a framework for inquiry and further investigation.
Fifteen years ago, when this writer first became interested in the study of forensic and criminal psychology, he posited that aberrant deviant behaviors were part of a psychiatric illness not yet determined. With the passing of time and research, intrigue followed from the vast array of theories and explanations for why humans maintain a capacity to prey upon other humans.
The idea of Dark Psychology entered this writer’s theoretical exploration and he began to formalize a set of concepts he believed plausible. The sum of his attempts ended in narrow concepts aimed at trying to explain the psychopath and sexual predator. Four years ago, this writer experienced his first paradigm shift pertinent to his present theory.
“A psychopath, as described by psychologists, is emotionally flat, lacks empathy for the feelings of others and is free of remorse. Psychopaths behave as if the world is to be used for their benefit, and they employ deception and feigned emotion to manipulate others.” Bill Steele, Chronicle Online (2011)
The construct that follows is this writer’s best attempt at defining why humans are predators with the potential to prey on others for reasons that seem to lack purpose and/or understanding. This writer presents to you, Dark Psychology.