Obsessions, risk-taking, and insanity.

Jan 2021
Southern California
Issei Sagawa is known as the “Godfather of Cannibalism”. In 1981 Issei shot and killed Renée Hartevelt. He had lured her into his apartment in Paris on the presumption of teaching him German where he shot her, had sex with the dead corpse, and then ate her body. The video is gruesome so watch at your own digression.

In the video, Issei describes his first awareness of sexual attraction and desire as a child for females. He states he also felt the desire to eat the girls. We can very clearly see how Issei's brain associated the classification of desire with the desire for food. We all know that our imagination can prompt emotional signaling and can also blend emotional signaling that produces its own niche state that can either enhance the quality to like(pursue) the state or de-emphasize it. Also, Issei is not the only human being that has blended the notion of sex, beauty, and the notion of something delicious to eat. I've had a few girlfriends state, at least when I was younger, “I could just eat you.”.

But Issei's desires went into a direction of obsession where the very thought of how wrong it was made the idea of literally eating an attractive female stronger. These fantasies went unchecked so without any social feedback to correct the notion of taking such a fantasy too seriously never happened. It never happened because Issei knew it was wrong and dare not disclose his secret fantasy for fear of being ridiculed or scorned by peers and family.

The sad outcome of this story is Issei got away with it! He was deemed insane and later extradited to Japan where he was set free. Not only was Issei set free but he went on to write books, where one actually becomes a best seller, and he even dated beautiful girls and lived a pleasant life.

Now was Issei insane? Probably not since Issei knew what he was wrong but decided to take on the risks. The sexual cannibalistic fantasies motivated Issei to re-calculate the risks of getting caught where he finally deduced he could get away with it. But that is how humans evolved where predatory strategies favor those who take great risks. So Issei is not insane but is actually a fit biological specimen that has taken a behavioral path that is unreasonable to our cultural standards.

Cannibalism is common amongst early human tribal societies and even practiced very recently in certain tribal societies that exist today. The rationalization of cannibalism in most societies is the desire to absorb some spirit of the victim. It can be something a family shares when a loved one passes away or be an assault to steal something from someone.

The issues of Issei and the diagnosis by western psychiatry demonstrate that such disciplines of brain and mind are lacking a primary perspective. That is humanity is an animal and all behaviors regardless of culture should resolve to the efficacy of the behavior as an adaptation to the environment. Even when the behavior results in death it has an efficacy of population control. By not punishing Issei society doesn't get the feedback that those who disobey important rules are punished. If anything Issej's diagnosis motivates murders to seek an insanity plea. You see, it just adjusts the calculus of mitigating risk. Let me re-emphasize that criminal punishment is to re-enforce rules to society, not so much as to correct the behavior of the individual that committed the act. Animals will correct misbehavior but if the act is of a level of great threat animals will kill or exile the misbehaving animal from society.

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Aug 2021
Texas, USA
So we have a conundrum in western societies, where our penal system is theoretically set up as a system of rehabilitation, not punishment. In the old days of punishment prisoners worked prison farms, made objects to sell, and were basically able to be somewhat self sustaining. Now that we have thrown away the idea of punishment and embraced the concept of reform our prison systems have become a parasite of our society which tax payers support but the reformation process does not seem to produce any higher numbers of reformed criminals than the old days of punishment (but real hard numbers are difficult to come by for some reason) Since the 1960s or so in the western world we have seen policies relaxing punishment and even portraying the criminal as the victim (they are just a product of their environment, while time served for any given crime has been decreasing. I am not sure what the answer to the criminal justice system is, but it will have to be a multi faceted approach which includes education, training, motivation, and many other aspects of life. And most of all, of course, society can not change someone who does not want to change. That is why we have such revolving doors in not only our corrctive systems, but our rehavblitation systems as well.