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The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

I’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

81 Comments to
The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

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  1. I wouldn’t be so quick to rule out Roger’s Asperger’s Syndrome in the mix of the reasons for his actions. There is a component to this disorder of lack of theory of mind, empathy that can stretch to sociopathy. While mentally ill people aren’t necessarily more violent than the rest of the population, there can be a subset who are. There are Asperger’s advocates who eschew treatment for high functioning autism while insisting instead that the community accommodate their idiosyncratic behavior. They sound a lot like the demands for coddling like Roger.

    • This kid was as gay as the day is long. His first crush was his friend, “James,” whose, “long blond hair,” was mentioned in the manifesto before Elliot ever got around to mentioning women.

      Read his manifesto and then watch him, “dancing,” in his car to such heterosexual-male favorites as Whitney Houston’s, “How will I know?,” and George Michael’s, “Father Figure.”

      Get your heads out of your @$$&$ people.

      This closet case is closed

      • You are clinging to the obvious. Can you put a little more effort into your opinion? I want to know a little more of where you are coming from aside from the blanket gay statement.

      • If he loved blonde blue eyed women so much, why didn’t he just get up and jump on a plane to Stockholm, Sweden? He had the money to go there. I was just wondering what in the world could have been stopping him from going to one of those Scandinavian countries? Even Holland or Denmark would have been good for him to at least give it a try anyway. Their government in Holland especially, doesn’t mandate prostitution. That means he could have had all the sex he ever wanted with a beautiful blonde “woman” like he constantly describes in his autobiography. Who knows, maybe the girls over there would have propositioned him. He was too frozen in fear, and didn’t want to try something new and perhaps the only thing left for him to do in order to fulfull his dreams. He was looking for love in all the wrong places.

    • No way what you say! I have asperger’s syndrome and I have very low self esteem because I am treated like shit all my life because I am different. People with asperger’s have low self esteem. And talking about empathy: I have more empathy than most people, but it comes out in a different way. Saying that aspies don’t have empathy is load of crap. Believe me! I see each day “normal” people doing thins to each other that I can’t understand how people can be so cruel. Talking about empathy: every person with asperger can say the same about normal people. Aspies get bullied and treated like shit by “normal” people. Do call this behaviour of you “normal” people having empathy?????????

      • regarding
        “Rodger’s problem wasn’t a chemical imbalance. Nor will we ever be able to isolate the cause hidden away somewhere in his DNA. This isn’t a case of “mental illness” in the typical sense of the word (though he certainly was mentally ill).

        But his problem wasn’t Asperger’s, bipolar, clinical depression or any other sort of brain disorder. His psychopathic episode, the “day of retribution” as he called it, in which he killed six innocent people with plans to “slay” many more, was driven by a less elusive problem. ”

        i’ve thought about this, tho i am not a psychologist. i would go as far as to say. he is a classic psychopath. all the ” life style” personality and characteristic traits fit perfectly.
        Superficial charm and average intelligence.
        Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
        Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
        Untruthfulness and insincerity.
        Lack of remorse or shame.
        Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction. ( the same “need” for antisocial behavior is shifted to self delusional behavior of self worshiping, in order for him to justify retaliation or to get even, he have to see himself as better than all the rest )
        Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience. ( his understanding of experience is self delusion )
        Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love. ( the egocentricity expand to his self delusional world of self love “god’s given rights…etc” )
        General poverty in major affective reactions. ( this is where he goes the opposite direction. he believe his vengeance was justify. )
        Specific loss of insight. ( his never gain understanding of reality. his insight was a self delusion )
        Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations. ( in his case. he weve a detail self delusion world)
        Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
        Suicide threats rarely carried out. ( munchausen by proxy candidate )
        Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated. ( it doesn’t matter. he will alway need a group to fallow him around. he wants the external validation. from anyone. or anything. he will see himself as a victim)
        Failure to follow any life plan. ( in his case, his short term plan was to blame and react to other’s failure to his vision.)

    • I have asperger’s and the fact that asperger don’t have empathy is load of crap! Believe me. I see every day you “normal” people doing mean things to each other that makes me cry and I will never do. People with asperger or autism are most of the time the victimes that gets bullied and treated like shit by you “normal” people because we are different. Talking about “empathy”; Do you think the normal people treating autistic people like less is having empathy??????

    • Elliot had a narcissistic personality disorder and an anti social personality disorder, His actions had nothing to do with autism. There is also nothing in his background, or childhood that contributed to this. Sure, his parents got divorced, but he was not abused. Even abused kids don’t have to end up violent, but this extreme action by Elliot can only come down to some malfunction in his brain chemistry. No empathy and feelings of grandiosity that he believed gave him the ‘right’ to kill people. If he hadn’t used girls as a justification, he would have found something else. It’s really worth listening to the forensic psychiatrists and forensic psychologists who have written about Elliot, as amateur opinions are just that – opinions, that don’t contribute much to the discussion at all.

  2. The kid was also quoted as saying, “I will kill every blonde I see.”

    Many don’t see this as hate speech, as it’s supported by the “There aren’t any real blondes” “Anyone knows it’s just a joke” premise.

    Do people still think inciting someone to target and kill based on the physical appearance of the victims, “Just a joke?”

    Ethnic blondes are supposed to endure the “blonde joke” the “Nazi joke” the “dumb blonde joke” long after we in the First World have come to our collective senses about cruel jokes, based on other’s ethnic origins, aren’t much like jokes at all.

    Once a person has been labeled as an object of derision, they are depersonalized and, as we have seen, vulnerable to attack, rape, murder. When someone leers “Does the carpet match the drapes?” I invite you to consider shaming the speaker, rather than the one spoken of.

  3. I also think that a child’s environment (family relatives, and school) can play a huge factor in creating the over-indulged child.

  4. This article seems poorly supported. Thompson seems to use logic in the reverse of the normal method. He sees a similarity between Rodgers and his patients–patients whose problems are ostensibly rooted in poor parenting. He then draws the conclusion that because Rodgers’ behavior is a parallel albeit extreme manifestation as that of his patients the etiology (cause) is the same. Rodgers left a voluminous record in his personal biographic writings. Over time more facts are certain to emerge. Those facts, not unfounded assertions of causation, are the best evidence for identification of the cause of Rodgers’ behavior. Until these facts are aligned with a description of his pyschopathology and a true etiology this article offers little more than unfounded diatribe.

    • @SilentBlogger7 Have you read Rodger’s 140-page manifesto? The author of this article has, and so have I, so I can vouch for the interpretation given here. There is nothing illogical or fallacious going on in this article, nor is the author guilty of ignoring other potential factors in Rodger’s case – he is simply suggesting, based on his clinical practice and his reading of the manifesto, that similar forces (i.e. over-indulgent parenting) were at work and may have contributed to Rodger’s behavior. I suggest you actually read some of the “voluminous personal biographic writings” so you too can develop an informed opinion and spare us your own “unfounded diatribe.” Furthermore, on a site called “PsychCentral,” do you really think it necessary to point out that “etiology” means “cause”? How pointlessly pedantic. Your whole comment is a perfect example of how to try (and fail) to appear smarter than your interlocutors while in fact contributing absolutely nothing to the discussion beyond simple disagreement. Well done.

      • Voice of reason – you are intelectual and funny lol. what you wrote was on point… a lill harsh, yet on point.

      • Actually–yes, I have skimmed his manifesto. It suggests that while he received the material necessities of life he lived in world where his parents and peers were somewhat self-obsessed and driven to attain shallow things; in a phrase, they moved in the advertising and film industry. The author’s theory of narcissism is that the narcissist simply needs to “learn a lesson” and get over being spoiled. Those who have studied narcissism in detail suggest a different cause; defective mirroring that denies the child a grounding in an authentic self (see Ronningstam’s summary or Kohut’s work). Overindulgent or neglectful parenting can both work to achieve this effect; sometimes they are combined. In either event the true needs of the self are never mirrored –as a consequence a grandiose false self with malignant desires takes over.

      • You are narcissistic, too like Elliot. When you post your photos and your day-to-day life in social media, you are telling your friends and the world about you, yourself and you. Why do you think you are SO important that you want the world to know what you do each day and what you look like?

        GENERATION Y. Elliot’s narcissism and sense of entitlement are typical of the TROPHY KIDS generation. There are hundreds of thousands of people in his generation like him. He is the BARNEY generation. Because I am SPECIAL.

        Narcissistic and Entitled to Everything! Does Gen Y Have Too Much Self-Esteem?
        Gen Y – people born in the 1980s-1990s – are the TROPHY KIDS.

        One of the fundamental tenets of liberal philosophy is that self esteem is more important than anything else. This is what leads to getting awards for “participation” and schools giving students a C for trying even though they really failed.

        When these kids grow up they will compete against other children who were taught that the best person wins and the kids who think “participation = winning” will lose badly. At that point, their self-esteem will be wounded and they won’t understand why they can’t just get a “honorable mention” trophy.

        In the 1980s world of child rearing, the catchword was “self-esteem.” Unconditional love and being valued “just because you’re you!” was the prevailing philosophy. In practice, it involved constantly praising children, not criticizing them under any circumstances, emphasizing feelings, and not recognizing one child’s achievements as superior to another’s. At the end of a season, every player “won” a trophy. Instead of just one “student of the month,” schools named dozens. Some colleges and universities do not want to have quizzes or exams, they disguise them as self-assessment or knowledge-check. Because failing a test or exam is bad for one’s self-esteem.

        The result of these child-rearing practices has been a measurable increase in narcissism and a generation that has a deeply embedded sense of entitlement.

        Elliot is not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of people (especially 22 year olds) like him today. But these narcissism and entitlement are not what caused him to be a mass murderer.

    • Unfortunately, your opinion in this matter is flawed. If you personally took the time to read the manifesto, you would see how parenting styles dramatically affected Elliot. He stateds in his manifesto that he always got things his way while staying with his mother. He hated his step-mother because she disciplined him. Elliot would call his mother crying after anything happened…. Like girls did not pay him any attention… he cries all night and then calls him mother and father and cries to them. When a grown, young adult is calling his parents crying… over a blond girl not looking at him. It means his parents made it ok. SilentBlogger… it is a long manifesto… but if you read it, you will conclude as the author of this article did. This was my conclusion after reading the manifesto… the parents did not do a good job… aside the step mother… instead of teaching him about life and emotions… they bought him whatever he wanted. They spoiled him.

  5. Blaming the parents seems a little naive in this case and the assumptions made in the upbringing and parenting of the child annoying and alarmist…I feel we have to be much more careful and thorough in our analysis of such situations, however horrifying, in our line of work.

    • You can use the word “blame” if you would like. On the other hand, parents are responsible to an extent for the upbringing of their children. In this case, the parents dropped the ball on many occations. If you read the manifesto, Elliot lived the “American Dream”. He lived a lavish life as provided by his parents. His parents took him to counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists… so we say they did all they could? I think not. If the mother and father were on the same page as teh step mother, Elliot would have turned out a different young man. But he lacked discipline, remained emotionally young (8 years old) yet got everything he wanted that his parents could provide. Why on earth would his mother buy him a BMW? What did he do to deserve that? Why they send him so far away to school? It’s elliot’s fault for he made the descisions…. but his parents are accountable because they did not provided what he really needed and just gave him what he wanted.

    • I would just like to say that I think that majority of you are wrong. I just finished reading is 140 page manifesto. This kid never had a real childhood, he was moved around wayyyyyy too much for a kid. Once he settled in, he was ripped apart from any type of security he felt, friends he enjoyed, family too. His father never showed him the respect of teaching him how to be a man and how to deal with life. Period. I’m sure you noticed if you did read his 140 page manifesto, as a kid his father met someone else so quickly and Rodger was in question as to why he found someone so quickly. His father didn’t not slowly introduce him to this “new” woman in life. He turned his back on him, allowed some strange woman to abuse him while he was a child, without any regard as to how this would affect him. Soumaya obviously despised Rodger, so she treated him like shit and his friends that he thought were friends befriended him and did things behind his back, this kid had no one to turn too. Not a “true” person to accept him for who he was…..”ever”. This whole facade of him being envious towards women and men was in truth his way of hating his father and being envious and jealous of him. That man is a moron, he never had a real life with his son. It was always about his career, not giving any thought to how his son is really doing. There was no father son relationship, Rodger had very feminine attributes because he was raised around only women. He was an intelligent kid, and I still feel that his father is the reason this all happened. This kid moved as many times as I have when I lived on my own at 16, that is not a normal way to live, it is very frustrating and confusing. Your life gets turned upside down. You think he was obsessed???? Yes he was, cause everything that was in his grasp was taken away from him in such a short time…..every time. Sometimes a degree my friends doesn’t mean that you are intelligent enough to actually read between the lines. Your street smarts and your experience will show you what was really going on in his head. This kid had no love growing up. Period. He was searching for that special someone to fill that void and boy he found out a bit way too much in such a short time. That is a lot to take in for such a short lived person. Open your eyes… between the lines. Stop being so damned SMART and try to use some Common sense….and that goes for all of you book worms who think your intelligent enough to understand this boy.

      • I think you have a really good point here and I agree with everything you said.

        The real problem is yes, he did not receive any “true” love and the parents, instead of taking the time to be present with the child and really learn about what the child needs, just decided their ambitions were more important and to indulge him in his material needs to “shut him up” in a sense. It’s a lot harder to spend the time to discipline a child than to just give in, buy a BMW and call that “love” (especially when you are super rich like they are).

        So in a sense, you and the author of this article point out different aspects of their flawed parenting, but I think they manifest from the same root cause – they just didn’t care about the child enough.

      • everything that you said about Elliot Rodgers makes so much sense I believe his parents especially his father did not treat him right he didn’t have any male bonding like a father and son should have and those horrible friends and young teenagers that bullied him and didn’t give him a chance they should have payed the price but the guilty get away with everything and the victim always pays the price where is the justice in that.

  6. The article raises and explores an important variable in reducing “pathology ” in the continuum of behavior ,by assessing and directing an apropriate balance of authority and supportive acceptance in parenting .
    The more likely factor in this case which is less amenable to parenting influence with significant outcomes is a personality disorder such as paranoid ,narcissistic , antisocial or psychopathic types. In these cases the indulgent aproach in parenting would indeed have questionable positive outcomes without insight work ;but not would an authoritive aproach .
    In this case , also a delusional complex or psychotic premier of state were likely

    J brown

  7. The article raises and explores an important variable in reducing “pathology ” in the continuum of human personality/behavior ,by assessing and directing an apropriate balance of authority and supportive acceptance in parenting .
    Any type of parenting style without insight development has a minimal
    Influence .
    The more likely factor in this case which is less amenable to parenting influence with significant outcomes is a personality disorder such as paranoid ,narcissistic , antisocial or psychopathic types. In these cases the indulgent aproach in parenting would indeed have questionable positive outcomes without insight development on the part of a child ;but neither would an authoritive aproach .
    In this case , also ,a delusional complex or psychotic premorbid state were likely evolving/existent .
    J brown

  8. Eliott’s life was very unstable from an early age – he attended many different schools, had several different nannies, his parents divorced, they moved often, his father wasn’t around much of the time, and his step mother was cruel and abusive. We must consider the current trend of modern parents’ self indulgent “my needs first” style of parenting. Yes, kids are indulged with lots of things, and a quick pat on the back, but no one is there to discuss the complexities and difficulties of growing up.

    • Sorry, but stating Elliot’s step-mother as being ‘cruel and abusive’ is just downright wrong and unfair. Yes I can see how she might’ve seemed so to the mind of a spoilt & undisciplined boy non-accepting of ‘outsider’ authority. BUT in reality, from his own writings, she actually seems nothing of the sort. In fact it’s quite obvious that said step-mother was actually one of the very few that at least attempted to discipline or tried to help correct his problematic behaviour & ultra-shy demeanour. … (I mean, just look at how much more well adjusted his step-brother seems to be turning out – speaks volumes, no !??)

  9. This was the best written, informative, common sense article I have read on the issue. To understand and change behavior is key. What a great piece to share with young parents to stress the need to set realistic expectations with young children. Thank You!

    • Respectfully disagree. This article is dangerous and the thinking behind it is quite distorted.

      • Hi Abatha G, Since you’ve said virtually nothing here, can you validate your comment with some viable information or even your thoughts? Come on, give it a stab. Sorry, give it a shot – sorry again, give it a try. Deep inside, you may have something interesting to say.

  10. I lived for a while with a woman who had a college aged son. She was obsessed with building his “self esteem”. Even at the age of 20, he was effusively praised by his mother for doing normal things, like taking a bath — “Oh son, you washed your hair! I am so proud of you.” I was not allowed to disagree with anything he said.

    He was a creepy, self-absorbed narcissist who objectified women and mutilated himself — cut and burned himself. Just having him around was very disturbing.

    Relationship ended, partially because of his behavior.

  11. Although Dr. Thompson makes some good points about the damage that overly indulgent parents can sometimes cause to their children, I do not believe that was the cause of Elliot Rodger’s breakdown and ensuing violence. Unfortunately Dr. Thompson’s stance could be harmful if used in therapy.

    The lack of empathy and resulting profound loneliness that some people with Asperger’s experience can lead to psychosis if it is not somehow ameliorated, ideally with the help of therapy and medication. Also, Aspergers and bipolar seem to often come together in the same person. I really think this is what happened with Elliott Rodger.

    The position that Dr. Thompson holds can actually be harmful to someone like Rodger or family members trying to help, if a therapist believes bad parenting to be the root cause of the patient’s problems. It takes therapy in the wrong direction. Given the limited amount of time a therapist and young patient are likely to have, this diversion could be at least a waste of time, and at worst, a tragedy that could have been prevented.

    The disorders that can turn into violent psychosis often have a strong neurological (and often genetic) component and that should be addressed first and foremost. Rodger had been prescribed an anti-psychotic, Risperdal, but either stopped taking it or never took it, probably because he did not accept the diagnosis that indicated the need for it.

    The whole tragedy of this is that it probably could have been prevented. Although Rodger’s family life could have been better, many of the parenting strategies are very typical of parents of Aspergers, due to the problems of emotional regulation, faulty thinking, and empathy deficit that kids with Asperger’s often struggle with. It is very hard to reach them and ease the extreme discomfort they experience in relationships, thus it is very natural for family members to work to accomodate them. Another reason to get at least one family member on board with the patient’s therapy.

    • Wells aid and I totally agree. In my opinion, this article represents its own form of faulty thinking.

    • I know it has been said but have you considered his sexual orientation? Many people in his video’s comments have expressed this opinion.

      Would be interesting if there were any materials on how his family perceived and reacted to unconventional sexual orientations.

      Perhaps he could not come in terms with his own orientation and used nameless faceless women as substitute.

  12. Thank you for this. It seemed so painfully obvious. The entitlement, the outrage, the grandiose statements, the parents rushing to fix things every time he was having a whinny day as an adult. I do wonder if genes or the prefrontal cortex doesn’t hold a small puzzle piece in some cases.

  13. The author makes some big assumptions about how the parents raised this kid. First of all the parents were divorced and don’t appear to have coordinated the parenting style. Rodger went back and forth between the homes that changed frequently both the actual home and how much time he spent with each parent. When he was at his father’s he appears to have spent much time with a babysitter or a hostile step-mother. There is another person- his sister who was raised in a similar environment and she is pretty normal.
    I don’t absolve the parents of any responsibility but I challenge anyone who thinks they would have done a better job. There are many elements that created this situation- childproofing a house is not one of them.

  14. To assert that “overindulgence” is the reason Elliot became a mass murderer is absurd. Plenty of children grow up with a strong sense of entitlement and do not grow up to become homicidal. No. Rodger Elliot brain – and perhaps his very soul – was defective. The way he received and processed information was severely flawed.

    • Totally agree, to blame overindulgence amongst all the possible factors that can influence development shows just how little understanding people have about mental problems. It must also be hard on his parents – they are extremely distressed right now and the last thing they need is to read about how their parenting caused the disaster.

      How about the fact that Elliot was conceived while his mother was taking a contraceptive pill… a toxic pill which should by all accounts kill the fetus, but he managed to survive? As expected, this is never mentioned as a possible factor in articles like this one. (And I’m not blaming the parents since the effects of toxic medication are hidden all too well by corporate interests… they even managed to hide the fact that the pill causes abortion as opposed to preventing conception to occur, because you know, what would the Church say.)

      This might actually be a similar case to that of Jeffrey Dahmer, a monstrous killer who also had loving parents and no abuse, but whose mother took up to 26 different medications during his pregnancy. At least his father was an intelligent man and wrote about this as a possible cause for his son’s problems.

  15. Speaking as a layman, not a psychologist, I think the author makes some very good points. However, I do not think the parenting style of Elliot Rodger’s parents would have made much difference in the outcome. Maybe some, but not a lot. In reading his manifesto, it is OBVIOUS that he has some sort of developmental or possibly neurologic probblem early on. Specifically, when he mentions that he was unable to swing himself on the swing set and his father had to push him (I think this was around age 4 or 5). This is possibly an early sign of a neuro dysfunction. He also was shorter than most of his classmates, again some potential biological maturational problem or defect. If indulgent parenting was the problem here, his sister Georgia would also have grown up to be a spree killer. She did not. Perhaps we need to look not only at parenting, but male genetic propensity to these disorders. I note the “french toast tempter tantrum” example given by the author involves a male child. It would be interesting to know if males outnumber females in the author’s practice and if so, that perhaps is where science needs to start deep investigations, the DNA, the biochemistry of the male brain. After all, there’s very few cases of female spree shooters or overt female violence at all (although it is on the rise and possibly to due to the indulgent parenting model). We absolutely DO have a major problem with indulgent parenting in this country, but the question was, how much of it played into Elliot Rodger’s problems and how much of it was totally irrelevant to what he did. I believe, as a lay person, that he was ill from the start. It was the psychiatric professionals who really dropped the ball and didn’t intervene to get him hospitalized and on close, intense monitoring.

  16. The author’s argument is plausible, even if many other factors are obscured, and this is disturbing because it indicts so many of our now ingrained assumptions about parenting and healthy development. But the author also failed to mention the deeper structure of narcissism and what is perhaps the central reason the conflict between overindulgence at home and conflict in the outside world of peers and authority figures can have such drastic results. Narcissism is not driven by feeling oneself to be all-important and perfect. Underneath whatever conscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that communicate this grandiosity is a deeper overwhelming sense of emptiness and unlovability. Narcissism is a perverse strategy that hides the real vulnerability to oneself and others by displaying its opposite. It is critical that we as a culture understand this dynamic, though we may never acknowledge it because part of the function of it is to preserve existent social functioning, however unhealthy. Narcissism, as a pathogy (not primary narcissism, a basic stage of early development), develops and increases when the root inner conflict is not brought to light in relationship—crucially, into relationships that are stable and nurturing enough so that a person can experience frustration, conflict, and even initial rejection and yet find that the other has not left or withdrawn love and protection. This is what allows a person to endure frustration and develop a positive sense of self rooted in honest, interdependent relationship with others. This process is what overindulgent parenting fails to provide, so that when a child goes out into the world they cannot experience frustration as something other that fundamental rejection. The result is unbearable shame—too much to feel consciously and in isolation—which is what nobody seems to be acknowledging as the root emotional source of Eliot’s grandiosity, rage, and violence. And overindulgence is not as innocent as it might seem. It is at root dishonest and selfish, a pattern of withholding loving authority to protect against the parent having to bear anxiety and conflict. That is not to demonize or even blame his parents or make Eliot into a victim. He made choices about which direction to go with his struggles and what final awful action to take. But he was certainly, if unwittingly, encouraged in that direction by multiple factors, from parenting failures to unstable life situations to privileged-culture pressures to pop culture messages to particular relationship tragedies the real significance of which will probably remain obscured.
    I appreciate the author’s assessment and I believe it pushes us to acknowledge major problems in our culture that are deeply embedded in our most basic assumptions and ideals. I hope we will be spurred by grief to deal with them, rather than denying them by simplistic reasoning and scapegoating, which allow us to feel in control and self-righteously vengeful.

  17. Working primarily with children, teens and their families, I’m always very disturbed about mass shootings, particularly in the schools. I concur with the author of this reflection, as I work daily with overindulged children and teens all the time, one or two every week. As rage filled as they are (clearly due to rejection trying to be that little prince in the real world), there is still something that stops them from enacting their violent fantasies. So there is another piece to the puzzle here, and I suspect that Rodger’s also had some of the structural brain pathology seen in scans of psychopaths, or sociopathic people. For me, that’s the real question. Not the millions of overly permissive, overly indulged (think Kanye West) adult children out there, but the missing factor that stops them from realizing their hatred. I was recently reading about Kip Kinkle, school shooter in OR who killed two and wounded about thirty five I think, and it sounds to me like he had a very similar upbringing, anxious, shaming parenting (controlling child with the consequence of “not hurting or disappointing us”), with little to no discipline (the far edge of the continuum). I still wonder what the other factors are with school shooters.

    • To me the answer is simple. Choise is what differentiates the one who decides to kill and the others. How they internalize life, society… He cried more in his 22 years of life than 10 people will probably cry in their life time. That crying came from deep within… and it lead to anger… he made the choice to be evil and justified it to himself.

  18. You’re totally wrong. Elliot was a eurasian male growing up in a white society unable to fully accept him, especially white women. I read his manifesto, and as a eurasian myself, can identify with what he felt. Being eurasian is like an itch you can never scratch, I can see why it drove him to rage.

    • Eurasian? Come on. Every minority group can make the same claim. The night Elliot got beat up and broke his ankle, he was upset because a blond girl was socializing with a full blood ASIAN…. In the end, it’s about accepting one’s self. Self-actualization. Get comfortable in your skin. Accept that people normaly like what they are used to. Accept that if white woman don’t accept you for what ever reasons… that is up to them… Some times you must set goals that are attainable. Eurasian… if you read the manifesto, there are some people who did not even know that he was eurasian…

      • You’re right, it is about self acceptance but that’s easier said than done. I agree, people generally prefer what they are familiar with. Fair enough, no argument. But where does this leave people like Elliot and me? We don’t have a peer group, no one is naturally bias towards eurasians. At least other ethnic groups have some natural belonging.

  19. As long as everybody’s bringing up the issues that are the most interesting to them in this comment section, what was up with all those rapists and killers and entitled narcissistic sexual harassers born in the first 80-odd years of the 20th century?

  20. So what was up with all those rapists and killers and entitled narcissistic sexual harassers born before 1990?

  21. I really think this is an absurd interpretation of these violent acts. Blaming the indulgent mother and the child-affirming household is an insult to the intelligence of all. This article is disturbing for sounding intelligent and well0informed while the basis for it is full of irrational assumptions and a lack of understanding of causality. I was raised in a child-affirming household by amazing parents who rejected your 1950s ideal and this joyous home was also full of empathy, respect, kindness, and love. Elliot Rodger distorted thinking and lack of empathy has nothing to do with a mom who you assume would be the type to let him eat ice cream for breakfast. How nonsensical. Rodger was able to make a pseudo=intelligent case for his actions based on distorted rationalizations, just as you are doing here. By all accounts, he did not even approach women, but remained silent and aloof with the disturbed belief that he would and should be seen as a god. These delusions of grandeur coupled with is pathological introversion are classic signs of psychosis, not the product of child-centered upbringing. How disgusting, to blame the parents whose parenting style you know little about anyway.

    • May i add that you would know very little about Elliot’s parents parenting style as well unless you know the family personally too. If that’s the case, I take back my words. What may have worked successfully for your upbringing may unfortunately have the opposite effect on another person. A person with a severe mental disorder can definitely become a successful one in life and positively contribute to the world. But another in the same situation can end up in an institution his/her whole life. The author of this article is merely giving his case based on his experience with say 100 patients. There are more than 7 billion of us, he cannot account for all that and i am pretty sure neither of us can too.

    • Elliot’s psychosis may not be ‘the product of child-centered upbringing’, but it may still be the result of faulty upbringing. I grew up with mental illness and I have experienced the kind of upbringing that creates schizophrenia. Just do a Google search for ‘borderline personality disorder mother’ to understand what I mean.

  22. Great article. I totaly agree that the parents (aside from the step mother) played an imence role in the Elliot tragedy. ASB, there have always been these types of parents who entitle their children… the author is simply stating that it has become a general norm in our society. It’s crazy how certain people just can’t find it in them to be accountable… take responsibility… Self actualization whould be a mandatory course in highschool and college. All this aside, in the end it falls on the individual. yes the parents played a detrimental role. Nonetheless, Elilot is the one who made the choices. YOu can never predict which one of these individuals will commit such evil crimes because… at the end of the day… it boils down to choise… hence we can only apply the laws of probability…. which will always be skewed by the fact that choice…. in short… this can be depicted in the movie – minority report. (you can never really know who will make that evil choice)

  23. OK, this is an issue I tend to avoid discussing online because so many people have their pet theory and get mad if you even agree with it partially but think there were other factors involved. I’ll make several points in list form to keep my thoughts as organized as possible.

    (1). To reiterate, I believe that an event like Rodger’s killings is a sort of “perfect storm” of many influences and innate tendencies (some of which might be fairly harmless or at least manageable on their own) that come together to create something rare and horrible.

    (2.) The issue the author raises of his indulged, entitled lifestyle is a good one up to a point. With the exception of a few standard vices and a love of collecting books, I live a fairly restrained, simple life and prefer it that way.

    So when people talk about how Rodger had noting to complain about because of fancy clothes and cars, etc., I tend to roll my eyes and think ‘beyond a certain point, possessions do little to increase happiness or relieve unhappiness.’

    But I have to realize that this is my philosophy, not that of young people in wealthy, permissive environments. He may well have deeply loved these luxuries and thought that they made him very special.

    I admit that I didn’t think of the permissive approach to discipline, if that was in fact how he was raised. It is easy now for me to see how being a “prince” at home and a relative nobody in the outside world can cause problems, as in the case studies mentioned in the article and comments.

    However, we can’t reduce a parent’s parenting style to simple labels. Some parents (and I’m not talking about his in particular, just the general principle) shower their kids with gifts but abuse them.

    Some are ridiculously inconsistent, tolerating outrages and dishing out severe punishment for minor mischief. Others provide the best of everything except their own love and warmth. But anyway, there are plenty of issues beyond his parents’ alleged failings.

    (2.) Mental Illness.
    Sorry, but it is scarcely such an absurd notion that he was mentally ill. I’ve been through very serious depression and beneath all of the insufferable sexist, classist and sometimes racist language in his book, I recognized deep, all pervasive despair.

    Consider this. If he had exhibited the same profound dissatisfaction with his life and “only” intended to kill himself, he would have been hospitalized. Suicidal despair is just as much of a theme in his writings as hatred of others.

    His day of vengeance fantasies ended with suicide even in the written plan. He could grant himself the power to murder scores of people in multiple locations, drive like a stunt driver, and evade the police as long as it took to kill what sounded like it would have to be several hundred people.

    But even in this world where he was a god, he couldn’t imagine living. It’s your fantasy of omnipotence, I thought when I read a large section of his memoir. But the fantasy you is still miserable.

    I’ll also note that according to news reports I’ve seen he was prescribed anti-psychotic medicine which he didn’t

    (3) Asperger’s
    While this condition doesn’t cause violence, it can impair social functioning and is associated wit a lack of empathy. This article talks about how he may have been rejected by his peers because of his arrogant, entitled behavior leading to an escalation of the tactics (allegedly) used to control his parents, which would lead to even worse rejection.

    This is a good theory, actually. But a person with impaired social skills and a difficulty guessing what others are feeling and how they are likely to respond can also lead experience rejection because of this condition.

    Someone with an autism spectrum disorder, a mental illness or both can simply come across as odd and offputting to others. For instance, when I’m going through depression, I move and speak very slowly, speak in a dead monotone and have either a blank, lifeless expression or an angry one.

    Honest friends have explained this to me, and I am grateful as it explains a lot about how people have reacted to me over the years when I was going through a hard time.

    Suppose he seemed kind of “off” to others and really couldn’t make very good connections. Then let’s say, he doesn’t know why. He sees a handsome, nicely groomed and dressed young man (in my opinion) when he looks in the mirror. He sees people his age having a good time and easily mixing with one another and wonders what’s going on.

  24. Having Asperger’s myself I can see how Elliot Rodger became so desperate. That’s not to say that I’d go out and commit mass murder, but I do understand how he got to that point.
    There have been more times than I can count in my life where I feel as though I’m following every social etiquette there is to follow, only to be rejected, teased, or told off. The frustration and loneliness of literally having no one in life (my parents aren’t supportive in the least so Elliot had an advantage there) coupled with a very intense, at times tangible inner-world, and compounded with innate intelligence, can be unbearable.
    I learned 4 languages fluently within 5 years, graduated college with a 4.0, and was inducted into MENSA… on the flip side, I was working part time at a gas station, nearly starving and going to food banks to survive, had no one to call if my car broke down or some other emergency came up, and was $100,000 in debt. Then I got fired from my humble job as a gas station attendant, then from a warehouse job, then a pharmacy position, and yet again from a general cleaning position…(repeat times 20 before the age of 24). Now lets add to the above cycle of despair that my three friends in life, my distant family, and even complete strangers who just happened to overhear conversations with my three friends about the job losses, were adamant that I was, “So smart. You’re better off without the job, you’ll find something better suited for someone of your intelligence”. This just added pressure and worsening depression to the situation.
    The isolation and despair (whether because of an inability to keep even the most mundane of jobs or relationship failures/perpetual virginity) creates such a festering emotional pain, that you begin to live in a fantasy world. His world became more and more real as his pain grew, as did mine. The difference I think that matters is that I found my husband. He didn’t think of me as a failure, he didn’t add undo pressure to my floundering attempts at employment, he pulled me back from the brink of insanity and suicide. If a similar occurrence could have relieved Elliot’s inner pain is something we’ll never know, but I do think that Asperger’s Syndrome played a big role in his ultimate outcome. If not the disorder itself, the consequences of the extreme isolation it can cause, any added outside conflict was just proverbial fuel to the fire.

    • I have asperger’s to. It’s not the asperger itself that plays a role. It’s because of the way people treat someone with asperger’s because he’s different. I hate people saying that aspies have no empathy. While the “normal” people who reject aspies and treat them like shit are actually the ones without empathy.

  25. David Gustaf Thompson, you are so RIGHT ON with your comments on the psychology of Elliot Rodger. Elliot Rodger himself detailed the matters of his life and paints an easy picture to understand through his own words. It’s so simple to understand. Perhaps Elliot felt he could somehow help others by leaving such a candid, revealing and lengthy letter – it takes most of the guesswork out of his intentions and how he was formed to do this horrific thing.

  26. This article is the exact reason why there will always be young mass murderers. The therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists do not know the real reason behind mass murder.

    Here is the summary of this case and his manuscript.
    All this case is about a biracial kid trying to fit in in the “elite” taller well-built beautiful world of White men and White blonde women for which he thought he belonged. When he was 9 years old and younger, it did not matter. Everything was a level playing field. Children just played together. Those were the happy and blissful times of his life for him. He could run around naked with another White girl who was also naked. It was nothing. No one was picky. Then as he was growing up, people noticed he was different and did not fit in their world, so he was bullied and rejected. After HS, he was still trying to fit into their world, but he still got beat up for it. So he lost trust in humanity because he got beat up every time he tried to fit in that world. He tried hard to be like them with expensive clothing, materials, cars, etc. so he can be accepted into their world. But by the time he was desperately trying to fit in, he was continually being mentally damaged by the previous bullying and the people could see it with his impulsive behavior and social ineptness. He started to have HATE instilled in him caused by being rejected which caused him to have a self-defeating personality disorder which people saw. He did stupid things to get himself beat up. Remember that all his childhood friends described him as “odd”. In fact, some of them are even saying they were not really close friends with him. To feel rejected and be bullied for 10 years will have an effect on the mental being of a person eventually. Being from the Trophy generation of narcissistic, entitled, spoiled kids born in the 1990s did not help him mentally either. Having symptoms of Asperger’s did not help with proper socialization either.

    Elliot is like a short Mexican Migrant Worker (odd person) trying to fit in at a party with the tall beautiful well-built White men and women. The people at the party will shun the short Mexican Migrant Worker, bully and beat him up so he would leave. That is all his life story is all about in a nutshell and the way people treated him and beat him up drove him crazy, so he lost trust in humanity.

    When a mass murderer feels NO HOPE in life and in humanity, then the tendency is to leave the earth with the BIG BANG. The mass murderer does not care about HUMANITY anymore. His thinking is that “Since I was not allowed to fit in with this society and my future had been taken away, then I will take your future away and kill everyone because I do not want everyone to have any future either.”

    His constant rejection made him mentally ill. Therefore, the more you try to commit a mentally ill person in an INSTITUTION, the more violent he will get because he knows for sure that he has NO FUTURE. You see the double-edged sword there. So the lesson of the day is: do not make them mentally ill in the first place. Be nice to everyone. Be nice and accept the odd people and the loners into your world.

    • From what I read he was the aggressor, not the other way around. It sounds like people didn’t want to hang around him as he got older, because he was an obnoxious brat.

      • Search Google IMAGES for “Who was Elliot Rodger? Peter Rodger, Chin Rodger, Family tree, biography – Mary Cummins” then click on the class picture of Elliot. He was the shortest student about an average of 1 foot shorter than the rest of the classmates including the girls. Not only was he short, he was shy and quiet, had anxiety and was the “odd” person with Asperger’s qualities. Asperger’s people tend to show arrogance without knowing it and when they get hurt by a person emotionally, they do not get over it even after many years. That is part of their social ineptness.

        People commit mass murder then kill themselves because they feel that they do not “fit in” in this world or the world they want to be in. And to make the mass murderer feel that they do not ‘Fit In”, they would have felt rejected, bullied or got beaten up. All of these women-hating, aggressive moves and narcissistic PD are just the manifestations of the mental illness that culminated from being bullied and being rejected. Those are not the cause of the mass murder.

        So what is the solution? Be nice to everyone. Teach your children tolerance, integrated interaction and be nice to everyone including the “odd” people.

        I encounter young adults in school who are consumed with hate and vengeance. I know they are trying to P me off on purpose. Yes, I dream of beating them up. But I am not buying it. I return it with kindness and understanding. Then they try to explain their behavior and I listen to them. They change their demeanor. So, I was not intolerant of their “odd” interaction with me. I tried to understand it and they opened up. I was amazed at how the way I interacted to be understanding of their plight affected their demeanor.

        Remember, whenever you bully, reject or beat up a person, you are contributing to that person’s growing mental illness.

        So, Elliot and the mass murderers are a product of our society. They need to be understood, welcomed since they were younger, not rejected, bullied, or beat up.

        Therefore, stop bullying, beating up, rejecting anyone, because I do not want to get shot or get killed by the person you bullied, rejected or beaten up.

    • What people do not understand is that bullying begins at home. This understanding is missing because nuclear families usually enjoy great privacy while presenting an image of normality to the world. Children rarely talk about unnatural relationships to parents because they have no standard of normality except what their parents provide, they feel loyalty to their parents, or they think nothing can be done about their unhappy home life except break up the family.

      • Yes. The school bully learns to bully from home. Parents may be teaching kids inadvertently to be bullies.

        Majority of the mass murderers at school were victims of bullies.

        Whenever I read about the background of the mass murderer, it always include stories of being bullied and getting rejected by peers. At that point, I already know what happened, spiral downward effect towards mental illness. That mental illness will always lead to hate of HUMANITY, being a total outcast, and the feeling they deserve more than they are getting from this world.

        Research Brief: Childhood Bullying Linked to Adult Psychiatric Disorders. June 3, 2013. By: Chelsea Perugini, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

        Duke University professors recently published research that shows the degree to which bullying can affect someone’s mental health.

        Authors Copeland, Wolke, Angold, and Costello discovered that victims of childhood bullying have a higher risk of developing mental health problems later in life. The study followed more than 1,000 youth, starting at the ages of 9, 11, and 13. The youth were interviewed each year until they turned 16. Follow-up interviews were then conducted into adulthood.

        Results of the study showed bullying elevated the rate of mental health problems. Some of the key findings were: Youth who bullied were at risk for antisocial personality disorder. The link between bullying and mental illness is very real. Bullying is a serious problem for all involved and can have a lasting impact on someone’s entire life.

        Not all people are the same. One may be ultra-sensitive to being bullied and others may rise from it. You can have 4 children and 3 are okay and 1 is a trouble-maker. 3 are bad in math and 1 is a genius in math. 3 are outgoing and 1 is shy in the same family. One may be shy because he is suffering from Asperger’s syndrome or being different. Have you ever heard of “Check your privileges”?

  27. Parenting may have played a role in his extreme sense of entitlement, but I think a bigger issue isn’t addressed and that is the culture/environment that he was immersed.

    It’s not just that he had to have what he wanted, but that what he wanted were things that he viewed as crucial to living a normal and or respectable life. He was immersed in a world where status was everything and money was the biggest factor in self worth.

    The glaring issue here is that Elliot’s view of the world was very much in line with that which modern capitalistic America teaches and promotes. I suspect his perspective was derived primarily from television. It’s no secret that the ethics and morals promoted by mainstream media sources on average, are more and more dark as time goes by; especially media targeting youth. People are getting greedier, more selfish, and irresponsible.

    Getting what one wants at the expense of others is has become something which is portrayed as cool in his sources of understanding. In his world, and the world that is advertised to his demographic, respect is something to be earned with force, or bought.

    The very dark perspectives that are thrust upon youth in the modern world by sources such as TV and video games, if not counteracted by parental or other teaching, is a bad recipe, and one that has a cyclical effect.

  28. I agrees with the “perfect storm” idea. Multiple factors drove Elliot Rodger:

    1) extremely sensitive from young age – cried on many occasions, such as being dropped off at school.
    2) extremely prone to social anxiety exacerbated by being …
    3) short and weak, and perhaps uncoordinated. There is plenty of evidence from the manifesto on this.
    4) Eurasian (in modern-day LA, this is more a problem in his mind than in reality)
    5) extremely withdrawn, related to 2), virtually never spoke to a woman
    6) extremely envious
    7) extremely obsessive
    8) was moved around a lot by distracted parents, raised in superficial Hollywood culture, wanted to do better than his father by getting a blond woman (his father’s wives are dark haired).
    9) BUT maybe wanted/expected humiliation as suggested by his excessive focus on tall blonde women
    10) his parents divorced at the worst possible time for a child – age 7-8
    11) he consumed a lot of violent video games and movies

    Less than half of these factors are environmental. The severity of factors 1), 2), 5), 6), and 7) is essentially mental illness. He seemed to have these traits from the beginning, but they got worse over time.

  29. One possibility I’ve not heard anyone consider is that someone did something really messed up to Rodger as a small child that factored significantly in his pathology (along with may other things, of course).

    If the stats are correct that 1 in 7 boys fall prey to sexual abuse, it’s not so far-fetched to speculate he could have been among them. True, there has been no indication of such either in his memoir or from other sources, but these things often go undisclosed, undiscovered, or hushed up.

    It should also be said that just because Rodger, Dahmer, et al weren’t abused by their parents doesn’t mean they weren’t abused.

  30. Why did you moderate my post? Please do me the courtesy of explaining.

  31. There is a gorilla hiding in plain sight that never gets talked about. No, I’m not talking Med side effects;a valid though little talked about issue,that’s gaining some alt media traction. I’m referring to the fact,that; not being able to get sex for a male,is a more painful deprivation today, than It ever could have been in history. people of all ages are having sex, in and around real life environments, and on the internet. the need, desire, and pressure to perform is huge. we’re not kind to males that aren’t sexually /socially viable[when have we ever been?] the difference today,is that we can see sex all around us on the WEB,and the porn that was accessible to a relative few not that long ago,is a click of a mouse away,today. there is no hiding from the constant reminder, that sex is not part of ones life,or if it is, its minimally functional at best. this is an intractable problem,and too huge to tackle. i think that that’s part of the reason,we don’t talk about it. we’re not going to change the hearts of society,nor are we going to make every male sexually viable. i’m not saying that porn is the problem;i’m saying, that when sex is easy to obtain for so many,the one’s that don’t get it, feel that much more left out and brutally alienated. porn,then just becomes a constant mocker, to their isolated predicament and station in life. there is more to all of this than simply “indulgent” parents. it’s a part of the equation,but by no means all. male sexual frustration,is the big elephant that we’re just not going to talk about. it’s much too scary…

    • Excellent point! It would also be interesting to know to what extent Rodger had been taunted for his plight, which wold have reinforced his sense of alienation. On the other hand, I do think society could have a change of heart, though it might take a long time.

  32. I have read the manifesto in its entirety and have also watched all the videos. I think the explanation given in the above article is quite perceptive. I have seen examples in my own life of children who have been brought up indulgently and have then acted in an anti-social, tyrannical way. To be fair, I think other factors probably contributed to the Day of Retribution–for instance, Asperger’s Syndrome. But that doesn’t detract from the quality of the perceptions in this article.

  33. I just do not accept that over-indulgent parents could make someone so disturbed, irrational and anti social. I know what it is like to be Elliot because I was like him at his age, while my brother was even more damaged and has been in and out of mental hospital since the age of 16. He is stable now, but the authorities and my mother accept that he will never work again or get married. To be become so damaged the child has to be constantly subjected to humiliation and rejection by a parent or caretaker. This is what led to Elliot’s chronic depression, loneliness and low self esteem. In my experience such people often express hatred for one or both parents that is entirely justified. The world usually does not know what really goes on in families and seems baffled when apparently faultless parents create a monster. What they don’t see is the fits of the rage, the bitter recriminations, the threats and insults and the unjustified physical punishments. A child in this environment is being just as badly damaged as if he was being raped.

    • Elliot never mentioned being constantly subjected to humiliation and rejection by parents or caretakers. Don’t invent stories. His parents had him on playdates when he was younger which proved that they were concerned with his social skills. You are one of those who have the “Blame my parents” excuse for my whole being thing. Unless your parents raped you and beat you up for not reason at all, then that is a problem. But parents need to discipline their children, but if the child never listens to the parents (strong-willed child), then the child is shaping the behavior of parents. For example, if you do not do your chores and share responsibility in the house, your parents tell you nicely at first and the second time and you do not listen, then you are shaping your parents to YELL at you so you do your chores. So the next time, you have shaped your parents to SHOUT all the time because you never followed through when they requested it nicely at first.

      He was being rejected by peers since 4th grade when students start to find out who is the elite and who is not. His childhood before 4th grade was perfect and bliss because peers did not care who was cool or not.

      He felt rejected by society (especially the White society to which he felt he belonged). The White society to him is his world. The last words he shouted with the group of people who beat him up was “I will kill all of you. Then I will kill myself.” Even if he was socially inept with interacting with people, do the people really need to beat him up to a pulp. Could someone ask, “Hey Dude, what is your problem? You have had too much to drink.” I can see these elite partiers encountering a homeless man with a mental issue trying to push people and this man tries to come back to pick up his bag but he gets beat up to a pulp. Society taught Elliot to be violent and hate humanity because they were intolerant of his odd behavior. Unless you have Asperger’s, you can be the most HANDSOME dude in the crowd but if you suffer from Asperger’s then people will think you are creepy and weird, and that is what appeared to happen in Elliot’s case. He was just very socially inept possibly due to Asperger’s. And the constant rejection, bullying and being beat up made him mentally ill which led to hating humanity. He kept saying the world looks beautiful but the humanity that lives in this world rejected him because as you can see in his videos, he acted odd and showed symptoms of Asperger’s (such as arrogance, holding grudges for a long time and lack of understanding of social cues.)

      Even Monette Moio, the girl who bullied him and started all of his mental illness said that he was odd.

      • As a layperson I’m very confused by a few things. You ended your response by Blaming Monette Moio for “starting all this mental illness.” That seems rather cruel and unjustified. From reading Elliot Rodgers “twisted life” it seems to me that he wasn’t a very nice person himself. He was classist and racist, and never satisfied. He had friends, but because they were nerdy it wasn’t good enough. He was obsessed with tall, blonde, Caucasians.. Everyone else was less than to him. No one “made” him feel this way, it was his own perceptions. People who were darker, Mexicans, full blood Asians, were beneath him in his opinion….yet you seem to want to portray him as this poor little bully victim. He felt rejected, but if you read his writings he NEVER not one time asked a girl out, or introduced himself to a group. He expected people to flock to him and admire his greatness, when that didn’t happen he cried like a baby. You’re making him out to be the victim. Did you not read the parts where he admitted to assaulting people who had done NOTHING to him?! Throwing coffee on couples, throwing coffee on women, squirting people with orange juice, then attempting to push people off a ledge!!! And when he gets beat up, HE’s The VICTIM??? Sounds to me like he was a mean, narrow minded, selfish, arrogant, abusive little jerk, who was a victim in his own mind. Everyone he came across was a bulky? Or is it more logical that he was a jerk?

      • Guest, all evidence points to E.R. as the victimizer not the victim. It is not society’s obligation to tolerate obnoxious and abusive behavior from people even if they have a mental disorder. I wouldn’t have wanted to date him either, because he was an abusive, obnoxious jerk. He is 100% responsible for his own actions.

        It’s a really good thing that girls didn’t date him, or they would have ended up dead, too.

      • Hi Krissy:

        I am not blaming Monnette. Elliot was blaming her.

        QUOTE-UNQUOTE: In that manifesto, Elliot blamed his anger and hatred toward women on his grade school crush, Monette Moio. Monette Moio ‘teased and ridiculed’ Rodger after they met at school, sparking his vendetta against female kind, he claimed in his manifesto. Mr Moio, the father added that he and his daughter only remember Rodger as a ‘strange kid’. ‘He was weird then and he’s weird now,’ he said.

        Not all people are socially perfect like you. Therefore, you need to tolerate people who are socially inept or socially disabled because those people might be suffering from Asperger’s.

        Search Google for “Adult Asperger’s: The Relief of A Diagnosis By MARIE HARTWELL-WALKER, ED.D.” then read it.

        It is obvious that Elliot had symptoms of Asperger’s. I know good-looking people with Asperger’s. They act just like Elliot socially and in Rodger’s words, “I don’t understand why you’re so repulsed by me.” which screams he had Asperger’s. His arrogance, his laugh and the way he talked in his videos screamed Asperger’s.

        People with Asperger’s do not understand social cues. They are totally socially inept and impulsive. Therefore, the lesson of the day is to learn to TOLERATE people with Asperger’s and accept them into your world. Teach them, help them understand, do not reject them and do not beat them up. Don’t make them hate humanity.

      • You know, Claire. You may be so perfect now, but karma sucks. One day you will have a son or a grandson who has Asperger’s and you will wonder why your son or grandson is impulsive and socially inept. He might even kill you if you do not tolerate your own son or grandson and he grew to hate humanity because people like you just do not tolerate him and beat him up for something he really needs help with. Or even better, when you get older, you will suffer from mental illness that old people suffer such as depression, dementia and violence because of isolation and lack of human contact, then your own sons and daughters will not tolerate you either and will just throw you in the mental hospital slammer. A lot of old grumpy people are obnoxious jerks too because of their mental illness, so look forward to your future.

  34. From my experience, Dr. Thompson’s analysis is right on the money. My guess is that this view will gain credence as we hear more of the stories from people who knew or encountered Elliot Roger.

  35. Guest, his family representative has stated he was not diagnosed with Aspergers. Regardless, of the diagnosis it does not give anyone the right to abuse other people.

    For example, one of the neighbor kids was abusive and rude to children in my nieces’ neighborhood, don’t know if he has a diagnosis or not. None of the children want to play with him anymore, because they don’t like being treated badly. His mother who does not set any boundaries with the child and is creating a monster cannot understand why no one wants to play with him. A diagnosis does not give anyone the right to abuse people. If my sister encouraged my niece to play with the abusive child what is she teaching her own children? You have to tolerate abuse from the mean kid?

    E.R. is a guy who killed people in cold blood. I wouldn’t give any credit whatsoever to his claims of being bullied. There is no evidence he has ever taken any responsibility for any of his actions, so I wouldn’t have expected to do it in his manifesto either. When everyone else is the problem except for him, that’s your first clue.

    If he were simply a nice, odd young man then it would be different. But, he wasn’t. He was not a nice person. He threw coffee on innocent people. He tried to push women off a ledge. He sued his roommate over a candle. He bragged and bragged and bragged and bragged. People don’t like hanging around people who aren’t nice people. His roommates wanted to move out. How can you blame anyone who wouldn’t want to hang around someone like that?

    • Well….. Remember that MAN CAN BE THE MOST DANGEROUS WHEN HE FEELS LIKE A VICTIM. Therefore, do not BULLY and do NOT molest anyone. Because if you do, you are contributing to their mental illness.

      “‘One of Eric Harris’ last journal entries read: ‘I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don’t … say, “Well that’s your fault,” because it isn’t, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don’t let the weird-looking Eric KID come along.'”

      Are these the words of someone who feels like a bully or a victim?

      It says about Dylan Klebold: “Klebold, on the other hand, was anxious and lovelorn, summing up his life at one point in his journal as ‘the most miserable existence in the history of time.'”

      And: “Klebold also was paranoid. ‘I have always been hated, by everyone and everything,’ he wrote.”

      Are these descriptions of someone who feels like a bully or a victim?

      The article says: “The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Education Department soon began studying school shooters. In 2002, researchers presented their first findings: School shooters, they said, followed no set profile, but most were depressed and felt persecuted.”

      “Felt persecuted.” Bully feeling or victim feeling?

      How many shootings will it take before we learn that we are most dangerous not when we feel like bullies but when we feel like victims? Will we never learn?”

      FROM GALE Opposing Viewpoints

      ER was beaten up when he pushed people and after he came back to look for his sun glasses. They could have had a talk with him and told him that he was drunk. It is the culture of the Americans to beat up the odd people. It has been happening since slavery. Be nice to everyone. Do not contribute to someone’s mental illness in hating humanity.

      Claire, if you become mentally ill and you start throwing things at people in your nursing home, I give the staff of the nursing home an A-OK to BEAT YOU UP TO A PULP because your actions are horrible and that is the (White) American way. Each day, you will be beat up, rejected for the odd things you do until you hate humanity. Actually, I can easily have people and myself bully you every time you do something so you end up hating humanity also.

      We are ALL responsible. Why do you think the government provides FREE education to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? It is for the good of the society so that the illegal immigrants are educated and can get jobs. If they are uneducated, unskilled and can’t get jobs then they will rob us and kill people for money.

      Why do you think the government provides FREE emergency healthcare for ILLEGAL immigrants. Because it is better for them to be healthy than to spread disease to us. It is for the good of SOCIETY.

      And why is it important to treat “odd” people with respect, integrate with them and have them fit in with our diverse society. So they do not go into social isolation, develop mental illness, hate humanity, become mass murderers and end up killing you and I and innocent people.

      When you see an ODD person, the first thing on your mind should be, how can I prevent this person from hating humanity and feel like he/she belongs. Be nice to the odd people.

  36. Elliot rodgers and sebastian de souza sure look a lot alike. Coincidence (yeah, ok) that Simon Astaire knows both, and his son Milo is best friends with Sebastian de Souza. Wake up.

  37. Sometimes mental illness is so severe that it cannot be controlled. After skimming Rodger’s manifesto, I concluded that he had very worldly values and a somewhat unstable upbringing. He took himself very seriously, and was over-sensitive and deluded. Often such attitudes and behavioural problems can be brought under control with therapy, but Rodger was an extreme case. He could not cope, he believed things that were not true, and he saw things out of all proportion. He was offered medication and refused it. Yet it might have helped him to overcome his shyness, understand reality and not over-react. He was so jealous of his sister having a sex life and his brother being signed by a talent agency that he resolved to kill them. I hope that people suffering from mental illnesses and those around them realise the need to acknowledge that they need help in the form of counselling and medication, and that an improvement can take some time to achieve. Sometimes the need for medication can be lifelong. This is a sad, sad story, and I am really sorry for the victims and their families.

  38. I know I’m a little late on this debate about Elliot Rodger and the shooting at Isla Vista, California… but I just finished reading his Manifesto (more like an autobiography) and here is my analysis of the situation:

    The tragedy that happened in Isla Vista was a combination of a number of factors, not just one or two conditions: 1) was the fact that Elliot Rodger had a mental condition that would prevent him to make social contacts or friends, such as dissociative or avoidant personality (he himself says so… the only 2 o 3 friends that he ever had were childhood friends and later they abandoned him, and later in Isla Vista he could not make any new friends), and what than means of course is that is even harder to talk to the opposite sex.

    Factor number 2): He had a very high sex drive (again, he himself says so in his manifesto, he was always thinking about sex) that happens naturally at that age but the other problem or undoing was the fact that he was only into very beautiful blond girls, he was into 10s only… in general most guys would rank them first or very high on their list of women we find attractive but most of us found our place and know who we could and who we couldn’t possibly date, Rodger Elliot thought he really deserved the best, most beautiful kind of women.

    The third 3) issue at hand here is that he also may or may not suffer from Narcisistic personality, his manifesto is full of entries about how he is better than anyone else, how he is part royalty from England, and how he is the perfect gentleman who deserves all the girls in the world…. which is also a condition that stems from factor number 1) social isolation, if you read a psychology book you’ll find out that the most common result of social isolation is a sense of delusion of grandieur, meaning that when you are alone for too long in an urban setting you tend to believe that you are greater and better that anybody else, and since you don’t have any friends to tell you otherwise this condition exacerbates to the extreme, this happens from lack of human contact and social interaction… and finally…. factor number 4) Bullying… since he was a very young kid he was bullied by the most popular and bigger guys (in his manifesto he describes how they would take books and stuff from him and make him chase them but that he couldn’t keep up because of his weak physique).
    This last factor I believe is the main cause that this case turned from a typical scenario of a kid who doesn’t have friends and can’t get laid and became a mass shooting, the cause of this is that he would always see couples of the beautiful blond girls that he admire the most with the big, tall popular guys that he despised and hated the most because they would always bully him, and since his narcissistic personality would tell him that he was better than all of those guys dating hot blond girls, that would enrage him to the point that he would cry on his room for hours and hours on end (this happened countless times, according to his manifesto). That is the cause that he would blame the entire feminine genre for his sorrow and at the end, he decided to punish all the women (notice in his manifesto he never talk about shooting the guys) this shows you that he lack any sense of reality and he thought all the girls were to blame.

    Rodger Elliot’s manifesto is repetitive of instances where he goes out, sees a couple of a hot, blond girl with a tall, popular guy (the same type of guy that he despises for bullying him when he was younger) and he goes home and cries for hours. But my favorite moment in his entire Manifesto has to be when he goes to a party in Isla Vista surrounded by beautiful women and in a suddent act of rage, being that nobody would talk to him, he proceeds to attack them and tried to push them of the balcony, and when the guys around them punch him and beat him up, on his way home he wonders why not one of those beautiful girls offered to take care of him, look after him, and have sex with him to make him feel better… right after he tried to push this girls off the ledge!, that just goes to show you the extent of Rodger Elliot’s narcissistic, fantasy world full of hate and spite against women for not selecting him, a perfect gentlemen, as a boyfriend… is sad but is true.

    In conclusion: His manifesto is a very important piece of evidence because it contains everything that we need to know to decipher this tragedy, this four factors combine to cause a mass shooting, is a unique situation but, unfortunately, the same factors have been seen in other mass shootings, most importantly Bullying, 90% of the mass shootings in America have this factor in play, and is important that campaigns against it are put in play in every high-school and even pre-schools.

    Elliot Rodger case is to a certain extent, unique, because it shows us a world of people that no one thinks about, they go by the name of “incels” (involuntary celibates) which are people that for one reason or another (not just mentally but physically) can’t make significant connections with the opposite sex, or to put it bluntly… can’t get laid, and they all want it because of a high sex drive, most forums about incels talk about how a guy how is too skinny, too fat, too ugly, too weird, is ignored by beautiful women and how angry they get, I believe some of this people have narcissistic conditions because most of them talk about how they deserve beautiful girls and how they never talk to them, not one of them stops to think that maybe if they joined a gym, loose their hating attitude towards women or how if they just try to be nicer, women would talk to them more often… and for the record, very good looking women are not always looking for a perfect 10 in a guy, they;re the first ones to tell you, they just want a guy who is nice and make them laugh, being an incel is a self-perpetuating situation because they hate beautiful girls because they don’t talk to them and the girls won’t talk to them because incels are usually awkward or dismissive of women.

  39. It’s a shame that so many people think they can discredit a professional psychologist with their pet theories full of misspelled psychological terms and faulty reasoning.

    Elliot Rodger’s indulgent childhood wasn’t “imagined” or “extrapolated” in any way by Thompson; It’s right there in his manifesto. His mother spoiled him to the point of comforting him on the phone because a girl didn’t like him when he was in his twenties.

    His father didn’t care for him at all, he was busy banging his Moroccan trophy wife (who was probably still the best parenting figure he ever had) and making money off of his movies. He never got to develop any real friendships.

    And yeah, mental illness and/or aspergers did probably play an important role as well, but it’s too easy to blame everything on genetics just to pretend that indulgent parenting isn’t a “real” problem.

  40. I think his biggest problem was Envy. The “why should someone else have more than me” mentality that fueled the Occupy Wall Street movement. Envy is destructive and deadly.

  41. Sex starvation drives you mad. We are lucky that there are not more such mass shootings by young men.



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