Credit for the proto-psychopath goes to Thomas Sheridan. I first read about it in his book ‘Puzzling People.’ It is an important part of the puzzle. He mainly talks about proto-psychopaths having been so badly reprogrammed that their conscience is effectively shut off. Their resulting behavior is indistinguishable from a psychopath. An empath would need to be under a continuous interactive reprogramming effort. As we know the metamind is constantly changing as it’s data changes. Add enough new data with no reprogramming and a conventional conscience will reform, possibly bringing with it terrible guilt in the face of psychopathic acts. They have been reprogrammed, probably with great effort and care, to eliminate or cancel out conscionable emotional effects. Proto-psychopaths are most likely to occur in a slavery or cult setting, where they are living with one or more psychopaths.
I suggest that there is a second form of emapth who can act like a psychopath, the meta-psychopath. They have an active conscience, but they look, can act and can function like a psychopath. Their metamind has been more or less completely resolved with their logical mind. While they still have emotional metadata and still have compulsory emotional recall, they know the source of all their emotions and are able to completely cancel out the distracting or possibly crippling effects of their emotional responses. In other words, this behavior is only possible if they know themself.
I’m inclined to think that there are several factors, possibly in concert, contributing to an empath becoming a meta-psychopath. I emphasize ‘becoming’ here because the metamind is fluid, changing emotional context with experience, and subsequently the meta-psychopaths ability to act as a psychopath devoid of outward conscionable reactions. Emotional resiliency(or emotional quotient), youthful exposure to psychopaths, life changing emotional events, or even planned conditioning may all play a factor.
Some adult examples of people who might be meta-psychopaths are spys, police, soldiers, politicians, or business leaders. People who can blend with psychopaths on the surface, working toward long term conscionable goals in secret. I use adults careers to create clear examples of the use of role, but career may not be directly related to how someone became a meta-psychopath.
Empathic children may pretend to be psychopaths as defensive tactic. While it’s doubtful they can be so worldly as to never be surprised by their own emotions, they pretend as if this is the case. It may be a sign that they are being exposed to an actual psychopath. Interestingly while this duplicitous posture may make them social failures or outcasts at a young age, they may later become a successful adult meta-psychopath, coming into a position do great good for their society as moral agent able to navigate psychopathic societies. Unfortunately their existence further clouds the landscape and provides a cover for psychopaths.