Judas

One reason that the number thirteen is considered an unlucky number is that Judas was the thirteenth person to arrive at the Last Supper. The side trip he had taken to betray Jesus made him run late for the event. Several of the other members of the group wanted the epithet, but Jameson gave it to Nicholas Marks on the grounds of his constant tardiness to their gatherings.

Judas was born in Westchester, New York. Son of a Wall Street investment banker and a trophy wife, he attended and was subsequently barred from all of the best schools in the northeast United States. Threats of being cut off and payments large enough to get him to restrain his extracurriculars and to get critical administration members to look another way led to diplomas from two ivy league institutions.

An arranged, at least from the inside, marriage with a young woman from one of the other leading families, cemented his social standing. A lifetime in rarefied air gave her no illusions about her role in the marriage. Unvoiced stipulations were agreed to, and a bargain was struck. Only the appearance of fidelity and morality were required.

The plan continued with an executive vice president slot in his father’s company. That was where Judas really hit his stride. His ability to manipulate others and make baldfaced lies were backed up by some of the most powerful businesses, law firms, and business media purveyors in the world. The latter were so starved for information for their 24 hour news cycles that they reported anything he gave them as fact. Accuracy was irrelevant. By the time it became important a new story had crashed on the shore.

He was untouchable. He lost tens of millions but made hundreds. The firm’s lawyers kept him from running afoul of the SEC and the army of analysts made sure the promises he spouted were backed up or pared back to what was legal and profitable. He was happy to let the little people do the work. It gave him more time to play.

It is hard to say if obscenely wealthy psychopaths have it easier than less well off ones. On the face of it, their resources would allow them to keep their need for stimulation satisfied. Enough money allowed you any experience you wanted. Parasitism wasn’t an issue, and their promiscuity could be satisfied or hushed up.

Even to the rich, there are things that are off limits, but the line is blurred. Judas found he couldn’t tell, nor did he care, the difference between the women who would object to his advances, bringing distracting attention from the authorities, and those who would not. A percentage of the former could be bought off cheaply, some more expensively, and others had to be pressured, sometimes financially, sometimes physically.

That was his favorite part. That was his opportunity to win. When you can buy something willingly given, you haven’t won. It was just a trade. But when you can force the person into taking a pittance for something they would have never sold in the first place, you demonstrate your power.

His tenth secretary, he went through three a year, was a good example. The married ones always presented more of a challenge, and she was pretty enough to ping his radar. A course of flattery led to financial intimidation after he found out her husband worked for the same company, albeit at a much lower level. Submit or you’re both out of a job. She eventually did, but regretted it openly to him later.

This situation was what made the corporate psychopath so much of a danger to society. A company that makes millions in profits will protect the person responsible as long as it doesn’t cost them an excessive amount. The company will consider payouts to victims merely as part of the psychopath’s compensation package. When that individual is being groomed for leadership, there is not even a question.

A human resources VP, who’s job depended on protecting the boss’s son, called the secretary into a conference room. He convinced her it was in her best interest to drop the complaint she had filed against Judas. The two sides agreed on a transfer to an executive in a different division and a sizable increase in pay to keep the entire affair under the table. She had kept it from her husband in an effort to protect the marriage, a situation Judas was aware of and counting on.

The next day the lawyers delivered the papers for him to sign, and he balked. He refused to sign unless the raise was decreased by eighty five percent, and struck the stipulation that she would be further rewarded if he made the affair public, while leaving in the clause that would punish her for doing the same thing. The secretary, over a barrel but still being offered a way out, took the deal.

Judas wasn’t done with her though. The week after she left his office, the secretary had been replaced by a single woman who, although extremely efficient, was considered by Judas to be unattractive. Robbing him of his eye candy infuriated Judas, and he made plans to leak information about the affair to the secretary’s husband. His attention was diverted at the last moment when he received a call from a psychology professor who had read an in depth profile of him in a business journal and wanted to talk to him.

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