Before I begin discussing Balloon Dad, Richard Heene, I want to state loud and clear that I am
NOT diagnosing his Psychological condition, nor am I doing any type of Therapy with him.
The reason I bring this up, is because a few years ago, a blogger , who went by the moniker
“dissent” obviously saw me throughout the media and ridiculously accused me of diagnosing
Britney Spears when Britney was going through her problems. The blogger’s allegations were
absolutely silly because as anyone knows, you can’t accurately diagnose anyone, unless you run a comprehensive battery of tests on them and see them up close and personal. But you can speculate.
As a Media Psychologist, who has also been formally trained as a Journalist, it is my duty to
present ALL the possibilities that could account for someone’s behavior. It is the responsible
thing to do to speculate on all aspects of their behavior that is analyzed. It is what ALL of my
fellow Media Psychologist colleagues do, especially those of us who appear regularly on the Nancy Grace show, (all of whom I respect and admire). We ALL give our POSSIBLE takes on the matter at hand. That is what we are there to do- to educate and inform the public.
But blogger, “dissent” I discovered, seemed in my view, to have an “axe to grind.”
Apparently, she couldn’t stand “Media Psychologists” and let that be known in her blogs. I wanted to correspond with “dissent” to intelligently express my point of view to what I
thought in my opinion, were her malicious and nasty comments and unfounded claims, but I
couldn’t do so. I couldn’t communicate with her directly because she was “anonymous”.
So, I used my body language analysis skills and discovered her identity from reading all of her
blogs and analyzing what she wrote in her own word. I found out her name (initials L.E.P.)
address (New York, but not Manhattan), family situation ( a husband and a son and a daughter), her gripes (Media Psychologists) , and what she does for a living , just from reading her blogs.
As it turns out, “dissent” was another Psychologist – not a Media Psychologist, like myself, but rather a Tourette Syndrome Psychologist, who’s motivation was definitely, in my opinion, was
nothing other than “professional jealousy.” My opinion regarding her “professional jealousy”
towards me was confirmed after L.E.P. apparently saw me on the Nancy Grace Show and wrote a blog under her moniker of ”dissent” trashing Body Language and calling it pseudoscience. Actually, body language is both an art and a science.
It couldn’t be that much of a pseudoscience as she claimed, since it was the science of my body language analysis skills and the art of how I do my analyses, that lead to my identifying L.E.P. as the anonymous blogger “dissent.”
To me, L.E.P. ‘s behavior seemed similar to the recently publicized case where a jealous
wannabe trashed a gorgeous Vogue model in her blogs by calling her a “skank” and who’s
identity was subsequently outed by Google. But I didn’t need Google to discover the identity of
“dissent”. I only needed my body language analysis skills.
So, to L.E. P. or “dissent” and to others who may have similar “axes to grind”, or who are “haters,” troublemakers, or who claim to know me when they in fact do not, let me assure you that whether not you like me or Media Psychologists in general, I am doing my duty in a very responsible manner. I am doing as I have been trained to do and have done for the past two
decades, ever since beginning as a Psychology Reporter at KABC Television in Los Angeles.
Now, about Balloon Dad, Richard Heene. There has been a lot of talk in the media from
people who know him “up close and personal” like comedienne Sunda Coonquist and others
that Richard may be Bipolar. They speak of his rapid mood swings and violent temper which
many people with Bipolar Syndrome may possibly have. We have all seen his violent temper on Wife Swap and in a video where he violently yelled at Mayumi. So, it is easy for people to
assume that he may be Bipolar.
But I wonder if another reason he behaves as he does may be due to other conditions.
People who know Balloon Dad up close and personal have also claimed he is a “ narcissist,”
thinks he’s better and more intelligent than everyone, and has an over inflated opinion of
himself. We have all observed his irresponsible behavior and seen his lack of remorse on
Famed Canadian psychologist, Dr. Robert Hare, developed a checklist called The
Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) which is a diagnostic tool of 20 traits
assessed by a scoring system used to rate a person’s psychopathic or antisocial
behaviors. They include :
1.glib and superficial charm,
2. grandiose (exaggeratedly high estimation of self),
3. need for stimulation,
4. pathological lying,
5. cunning and manipulativeness,
6. lack of remorse or guilt,
7. shallow affect(superficial emotional responsiveness),
8.callousness and lack of empathy,
10. poor behavioral controls
12. early behavior problems,
13. lack of realistic long-term goals
16.failure to accept responsibility for own actions,
17.many short-term marital relationships,
18.juvenile delinquency ,
19.revocation of conditional release, and
The degree of Psychopathy depends on how many of these traits one has. Dr. Hare’s Scale has been used by criminal law enforcement throughout the word. So I’m JUST
ASKING, what do you think? He certainly fits a lot of the criteria that Dr. Hare mentions,
on the list doesn’t he? It would be very interesting to see if they ran a battery of tests on Balloon Dad if and when he gets to jail that may give some insight as to what is his
Psychological state is and what his issues are. Even though there may be privacy issues and
we may very well find out about his psychological state because this evidence may be brought up in court during his trial, if indeed he has one.