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Psychopathic link to Climate Denial

By Brian Morris

State and federal politicians are generally quite bright – although we can all write a list of those who are anything but! And it’s true that many MPs and senators have similar attributes to the classic CEO.

She/he is:

“… a strategic thinker who can master the details. A tireless worker with incredible focus and problem-solving skills. They are well-liked by employees, but also able to make and execute unpopular decisions. Above all, they have exceptional communication skills to convey a vision to any audience.”

It’s a direct quote from Forbes, the prestigious century-old business magazine, which then went on to say:

“…(but) they are also chameleons, able to disguise their ruthlessness and antisocial behaviour under the veneer of charm and eloquence.” And further:Up to 12 per cent of CEOs exhibit these psychopathic traits … much more than the 1 per cent found in the general population, and more in line with the 15 per cent found in prisons.”

Forbes’ article was headlined The Psychopathic CEO. But this CEO analysis fits equally with career politicians, senior public servants, executives within mainstream media, and religious hierarchies. While the negative “chameleon” attributes may not be universal they are clearly associated with positions of power and influence.


How many of our politicians have similar psychopathic traits?

It’s not difficult to compile a catalogue of MPs over recent decades. Indeed, the Rationalist Society, in their July 26 RSA Daily, suggest politicians should be psychologically tested, “to weed out the sociopaths and psychopaths.

What a brilliant idea! Is it time to mount a public campaign to cajole all political parties to psych-test their candidates before endorsement? Or will they continue to put more chameleons into parliament, with their penchant to lie, cheat, and defraud? Think Robodebt, endless funding rorts, and Morrison’s 5 ministries.

But why stop with a psych test? Surely it needs to be coupled with a basic science test – simply, “does the candidate accept that Homo sapiens evolved from a common primate ancestor, over several million years?”

It’s a binary answer; yes or no? And this is not a “religious test” – it is based wholly on science and does not contravene Section 116 of the Constitution. Voters would finally have a chance to know whether their candidate believed in human evolution or creationism – and the anti-social problems that arise if she/he is a creationist.


Climate denial is linked closely with religious conservatism

The devoutly religious believe in both Creationism and the Apocalypse. For evangelical Christians this comes from the first Book of Genesis, through to the Book of Revelation – the final book of the New Testament (not Old).

Fundamentalists have no concern for the climate crisis as Revelation tells them the world will be “consumed by fire.” This includes politicians, media personalities, and influencers who say “what crisis? It’s all a myth.”

But deluded fundamentalists put all progressive social policy is at risk, not just action to save the planet on climate, and the global pollution of land, sea, and air. They also strive to overturn same-sex marriage, VAD (voluntary assisted dying) and to again outlaw abortion – empowered by the US Supreme Court on Roe vs Wade.

Australia is not immune to the bizarre agenda exported by America’s Christian Far Right – the Seven Mountains movement (7M) – which openly urges followers to infiltrate and dominate the seven pillars of society. That is; government, finance, education, media, the arts, churches, and the family. The Guardian profiles Kimberly Horne who stood for the Nationals in 2022, saying she wanted “God’s kingdom to penetrate the political mountain.”


That says it all: “God’s kingdom to penetrate the political mountain”!

Is it then so outrageous to suggest a psych and science test for political candidates? Do we really want more “chameleons” in parliament – the fundamentalists who genuinely believe in the Apocalypse and Rapture – and the 7M mountaineers who want their brand of Christianity to dominate and control all of society?

From the outset it has been clear that the psychopathic traits detailed in the Forbes article can easily apply beyond corporate CEOs to include politicians and senior executives in the public service, media and churches.


Politicians culpable in the rise of private religious schools

Australia is now ranked 4th highest within the OECD for “social apartheid”, according to an OECD report. It’s the result of a political obsession with private religious education. The system is socially divisive, and the move away from secular public education has escalated since the 1960s.

It was Robert Menzies who substantially increased funding to Catholic schools, to politically wedge the Labor Party during their split with the DLP. And it’s an illusion to believe private schools cost less than public education.

Almost 40 per cent of kids now attend private schools, segregating them by class, wealth, and religion. While public schools flounder financially, the private sector is over-funded and extravagantly over-resourced – with rowing tanks, wellness centres and archery fields, according to The Guardian. And religious indoctrination is mandatory.

At what point will politicians be held accountable for dividing society in this way – and facilitating an education system that promotes supernatural beliefs impervious to the climate catastrophe we’re now experiencing?


State Education Ministers also fail to curb the teaching of Creationism in public schools

NSW education minister, Prue Car, has refused to take responsibility for evangelical organisations which provide unqualified ‘teachers’ to indoctrinate public school students with stories of “god’s creation” – with scientific evidence of human evolution openly repudiated.

The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) continues to expose what’s being taught, and in this article they publish Prue Car’s reply to their letter which asks some pointed questions. Labor supports SRE (Special Religious Education) and they pass responsibility for the myths being taught over to the Christian agency. Once again, Dracula is running the blood bank.

Queensland’s public schools are no different – with creationism as standard policy! An article in RSA’s Rationale magazine covers in great detail some of the bizarre material used by evangelical teachers.

Education specialist Dr Jennifer Bleazby explains how religious indoctrination encourages children to accept information at face value, without question, and without supporting evidence. They are sold on the simple myth of all biblical stories being “the word of god”. It sets up science denialism and opens a path to conspiracy beliefs.

So, our politicians of unknown religious pedigree – and with a doubtful psychopathic quantum – continue to allow the nation’s children to be inculcated with religious ideas which are patently anti-social and anti-scientific.

Really, is it any wonder that we’re struggling to find the political drive and commitment to finally come to grips with the catastrophic problems that threaten the viability of this planet? Only the evangelists are smiling – they have the Rapture to look forward to! But only in their own deluded psychopathic minds, that is!


Brian Morris is a former Journalist and Public Relations professional and the author of Sacred to Secular, a critically acclaimed analysis of Christianity, its origins and the harm that it does. You can read more about him here.



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  1. Ken

    Another excellent article Brian.

  2. Phil Pryor

    Good information here, and it should (will it?) make everyone think, if all read it. A fixation on the end result, bottom line, final decision, last pose and the Big Face on show makes many “leaders” unreliable in matters of ethics, morals, decency, fairness, justice. While researching aspects of educational psychology long ago, I recall one study suggesting “mild schizophrenics”, (so named) were about one third of prison populations, although only a very small part of society generally. What about the “lonely leader” making decisions which may affect so many. I call leaders executive murderers if their policies, behaviours, decisions and orders lead to death. It is said that the USA and its “leaders” have presided over a death toll of over four millions since the Twin Towers vengeful troubles, in other nations and with so many innocent children in the lists. For me there should be no school, subsidised especially, out of god belief, for there is no god out of Mecca, Rome, Canterbury Cathedral, Tel Aviv, Delhi, Beijing, Wall St., the Pentagon, Trump’s undies, Putin’s Dacha, Bucknm Palace, ANYWHERE, and a good look throught the world’s best telescopes and microscopes show that, nothing beyond what can be SEEN. Superstition reinforces utter self fixated greedy stupidity.

  3. Michael

    Very good piece—thank you!

    There’s a book by Martha Stout I read some years ago, called “The Sociopath Next Door”, that talks about these creatures. She estimated that 4-6 % of the population is clinically sociopathic. That’s around 320-400 million, given total Earth population now.

  4. Canguro

    It seems nothing has changed in any essential way for humans since the dawning centuries of the first millennium post the supposed time of Christ’s presence on the planet… if by change we mean a steady progression towards enlightenment, understanding, tolerance & fairness and placing the primacy of mature emotional and intelligent behaviour at the forefront of all interactions – whether inter or intrarelational with our own or other species both sentient & non – we’re still club-bearing thugs willing to resort to violence as a first-order reaction or response, we still cheat & steal & lie in order to protect our miserably ignorant selves, we still harbour and nurse and feed & encourage primitive systems of belief that would all wilt and evaporate under the searchlight of rigorous enquiry, and we privilege ourselves unjustly with the title Homo sapiens… hah!

    As the planetary systems flounder under the massive assault launched by this so-called wise species, despite Brian’s clarion call for a bit of common sense in the selection of public officials and for the abolition of the anachronistic and utterly unhelpful promulgation of fantasy tales from a book written some 1,800 years ago thereabouts – whether it contains esoteric knowledge of incalculable value or not is not the point, particularly when it is aimed at children & teenagers and generally delivered by dolts who couldn’t parse the difference between a root vegetable and a fruit – it seems way beyond time to start to take these asymptotic urges for improved policies a bit more seriously. Will they though? I’m not optimistic.

  5. Douglas Pritchard

    Or do we all subconsciously allow these “politicians” to take the reins because they are all dismal scientists?
    They are pretty unlikely to interupt our headlong plunge into oblivion permitting air conditioning, air travel, the plastic world, fossil fuel exploration, cloud data storage,and all the things that we “could not live without”.
    Instead we will reword the constitution, discuss at length trans, womens rights, and how th curtains will fade with more sun.
    Heaven forbid that we should have someone in charge with scientific training, and common sense.
    Brian, can you rewrite in praise of our dullards?

  6. Harry Lime

    Brian, our pollies are a pea hearted lot (except when prosecuting their own, or their donors case).Scared shitless of offending the monied class, or the rage of the Micks.We could never expect the Lying Nasty Party to shoot down their voter base,but we might have expected Labor to have a go,but alas,they have morphed into more of the same with a nicer tone of voice.Climate change,for a glaring example.Nothings going to change for the better until nearly all of our current major party politicians are dead or in gaol.
    Since politics became an alternative career for failed lawyers,business people and other assorted chancers,things have gone to shit.
    Have a nice day.

  7. Clakka

    Did it take nearly two millennia for it to be said, “There may as well be science”, and consequently, “There may as well be God”?

    The abyss liked its lips as evangelist religion was enfranchised by politics, money and corporatisation. Charlatans, flunkies, haters, cowards and ignoramuses accumulated en mass. Over a couple of generations spreading as a pestilence to pandemic proportions.

    Science and epistemology pissed on by psychopathic politicians. Shameless craven bean-counting turds.

    Indeed, run the tests and ditch the turds. Get religion out of the affairs of state. And outlaw private schools (as in Finland).

    If only!

  8. Andrew Smith

    Good article, and an interesting point that can be parsed through, much more is ‘Climate denial is linked closely with religious conservatism’, chicken or the egg?

    One would suggest that Christian or religious observance is not the issue, but how too many conservative and/or Evangelical Christians avoid or deny science, and analysis, hence becoming missionaries to be used by the right ‘freedom’ loving libertarian oligarchs, to vote the right way and promote talking preordained points.

    Australian right has been trying to emulate the US GOP support architecture, and like the UK & Europe, we are secular and thankfully don’t do Christianity, let alone extreme forms (actually declining in the US, possibly explains why they become noisier?).

    According to Anne Nelson in ‘Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right’:

    ‘In 1981, emboldened by Ronald Reagan’s election, a group of some fifty Republican operatives, evangelicals, oil barons, and gun lobbyists met in a Washington suburb to coordinate their attack on civil liberties and the social safety net. These men and women called their coalition the Council for National Policy. Over four decades, this elite club has become a strategic nerve center for channeling money and mobilizing votes behind the scenes. Its secretive membership rolls represent a high-powered roster of fundamentalists, oligarchs, and their allies…..’

    In other circles it’s known as part of the broad ‘Koch Network’ and like the UK, Australia has the imported US elements including Murdoch media a la Fox, Evangelical Christianity, hard right & white nativist faux environmentalism of Tanton Network; ageing electoral demographics and the pseudo experts at Koch ‘Atlas’ Network think tanks promoting climate science denial, low taxes, low regulation, small government and overall, opaque RW party funding and support.

    Strongly linked to the ethical and moral bypasses that too many of the right in the media, grifting and politics now assume in their tactics and strategies ‘whatever it takes’. Curiously, but unsurprisingly, many of these politicised Anglo nativist Christian authoritarians have had indirect links to Putin’s Russia via proxies such as WCF, Hungary etc……

  9. John Lord

    Excellent read. Thanks.

  10. wam

    My grandchild’s middle school science teacher is a creationist who emphasise evolution is only a theory. I have not said anything because offending a christian has long term disadvantages and this middle school is also a senior school. Freedom of religion is a just law but it should not be freedom to practice secretly, without question. The beliefs and practices of a religion should be common knowledge and politicians and public servants should be able to be questioned on any belief of any religion.
    As for my particular windmill, no climate has changed. When and if there is a climate change we can adapt and live. For christian deniers, the second coming and the accompanying world destruction is the dominant belief with the dooms day climate activists not on the same page and not real..

  11. Douglas Pritchard

    Tonight on television I was reliably informed of a particular species of prehistoric creature that had survived 2 Global mass Extinctions.
    Which made me think that this could be simply the latest one looming up.
    But I am assuming that the creature evolving from the primeval slime, and being able to withstand these threats did not have the benefit of one of the many Gods, we seem to recognize.
    Our comfort zone will not be compromised, and there are limits to how much abuse this planet will tolerate, so being a believer can , at least , soften the brutal truth of the situation for some.

  12. Zathras

    There’s a strange cognitive dissonance from many when it comes to the idea of climate change.

    They can’t accept that dumping billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere for a century and a half could have any effect on the planet yet they willingly slip, slop and slap on their sunscreen because they readily accept that fifty years of spraying aerosol cans has punched a hole in the ozone layer.

    It’s a bit like being unwilling to acknowledge the apology to aborigines because they weren’t personally responsible for the actions of others yet puff out their chests on ANZAC Day as if they somehow share in the sacrifices made by others.

    Even during a global pandemic there’s something odd about ignoring science but taking medical advice from used furniture salesmen, grifters and media celebrities.

    In the end it’s about being addicted to outrage plus the reassuring pyschological aspects of conspiracies and the idea that we would let the environment simply die because it’s not financially viable to do otherwise is no longer a surprise to me.

  13. wam

    Are you talking about greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect?
    This should not be confused with climate?

  14. Zathras


    The term “Greenhouse Effect” goes back to before 1900 and describes the warming effect of certain gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere which in turn will change the global climate and various prediction were made decades ago and are now becoming evident.
    The term was later renamed to Global Warming and more recently to Climate Change.
    It’s really the same thing but the names moved from the cause to the result..

  15. Pingback: Opinion: Psychopathic link to Climate Denial - Plain Reason

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