De­cep­tive charm

The Amherst News - - OPINION - Shirley Hallee

In a re­cent Chron­i­cle Her­ald news re­port Ch­eryl Hornsby stated that the charm­ing Jac­ques Gre­nier was the last per­son she thought would be in­volved in drug traf­fick­ing. She added - He had such a gen­tle man­ner, the nicest guy, in­cred­i­bly in­tel­li­gent. She also in­di­cated that she felt sorry for him...since he is a can­cer sur­vivor who was try­ing to sail around the world.

It seems Gre­nier and Luc Chevre­fils have been charged with pos­ses­sion of 273 kilo­grams of co­caine for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing and con­spir­acy to im­port co­caine. Hornsby came to know Gre­nier at East River Ma­rine... her place of em­ploy­ment. At least she thought she knew him.

What Ch­eryl Hornsby might not un­der­stand is that she may have come face to face with a per­son who meets the di­ag­nos­tic cri­te­ria of psy­chopa­thy. The cri­te­ria in­cludes...a fail­ure to con­form to so­cial norms and re­peated law break­ing. It seems that this lat­est in­ci­dent was not Gre­nier’s first rodeo. He has a his­tory that in­volves drugs and sail­boats.

In 1997 Gre­nier was ac­quit­ted of smug­gling nearly 810 kilo­grams of mar­i­juana from Ja­maica into Florida. He told cus­toms agents he boarded the boat in Cuba. Although it was shown that he lied re­gard­ing travel to Ja­maica it was felt there was not enough on him at the time to war­rant a con­vic­tion.

Other cri­te­ria re­gard­ing di­ag­no­sis Per­spec­tives of Psy­chopa­thy is de­ceit­ful­ness, lack of re­morse or guilt, cal­lous­ness, lack of em­pa­thy, glib­ness, su­per­fi­cial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, and patho­log­i­cal ly­ing. The fact that Gre­nier and his com­pan­ion chose to smug­gle a huge amount of co­caine into Canada would in­di­cate that he could care less about the lives that might be af­fected by drug use. Be­cause this il­le­gal ship­ment was so large, it is likely that an or­ga­nized crime group would have been be­hind this ac­tiv­ity.

Although An­ti­so­cial Per­son­al­ity Dis­or­der and Psy­chopa­thy share the same check­list, Dr. Robert Hare in­di­cates they are re­lated dis­or­ders but dif­fer in sig­nif­i­cant ways. The psy­chopath is more cal­lous and ex­ploita­tive. Dr. Hare goes on to note that in­tel­li­gence is a fac­tor that sep­a­rates these two dis­or­ders. With psy­chopa­thy there is an in­ter­per­sonal di­men­sion which is pos­i­tively re­lated to ver­bal in­tel­li­gence.

One study in­di­cates that in prison set­tings ap­prox­i­mately 70 to 80 per cent of pris­on­ers qual­ify for a di­ag­no­sis of an­ti­so­cial per­son­al­ity dis­or­der while only 25 to 30 per cent meet the cri­te­ria for psy­chopa­thy (Pa­trick, 2005). The later group seems bet­ter able to stay out of prison...pos­si­bly be­cause they are more in­clined to pro­tect them­selves.

Psy­chopaths can lack con­di­tioned re­ac­tions to nor­mal pas­sive avoid­ance of pun­ish­ment, yet some have enough in­tel­lec­tual aware­ness of so­ci­eties rules to avoid acts that will land them in prison. It ap­pears that this later group might in­clude some un­prin­ci­pled and preda­tory busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als, high-pres­sure evan­ge­lists, and crooked politi­cians (Hare et al., 1999).

The reader should take note of my state­ment that Ch­eryl Hornsby “may” have come face to face with some­one who meets the cri­te­ria of a psy­chopath. Psy­chol­ogy was part of my stud­ies in my most re­cent de­gree... how­ever, I am not a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. Even if I were, I could not di­ag­nose some­one from a dis­tance. Still...the life-style and be­hav­iour of Jac­ques Gre­nier leads to spec­u­la­tion.

I would sug­gest that Ch­eryl Hornsby not al­low her­self to feel too sorry for Gre­nier. Some psy­chopaths can be very charm­ing and like­able. They have in­sight into other’s needs and weak­nesses. Fi­nally it must be re­mem­bered they are patho­log­i­cal liars. It is pos­si­ble that Jac­ques Gre­nier is not a can­cer sur­vivor... and what­ever pun­ish­ment Gre­nier re­ceives comes as a re­sult of his own ac­tions.

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