The smear campaign has been called the trademark of the sociopath, but it is not only sociopaths who exhibit this extraordinarily malicious behavior. Although the author links the distortion campaign to BPD, borderline personality disorder, it is also a characteristic of people who better fit the diagnostic criteria of other personality disorders; narcissistic, histrionic, and anti-social or psychopathic. The bottom line is that it is not “normal” to set out to harm others. Anyone who degrades to such behaviors is either personality disordered or a recruit with weak character, a minion.
The article, and the comments that follow, provide an excellent read about personality disordered vindictiveness, the susceptibility of bystanders, the inability of courts and other authorities to recognize the malign behaviors, and the devastating consequences for both the individual being targeted and others in his/her proximity; especially the children in custody cases.
Note: The terms vilification campaign, smear campaign, and distortion campaign are used synonymously.
Written by: Rob
One of the classic behaviors of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder is the vilification campaign. The target is the person against whom the perpetrator Borderline conducts the vilification. The intent is to destroy the target’s reputation and thereby destroy the target’s relationships with family and friends, employers, co-workers, doctors, teachers, therapists, and others. The intent may even be to force the target to leave the community, put the target in prison, or even kill the target. As with so many things involving Borderlines and their typical inability to understand or respect boundaries, there really are no limits. They will use basically any means available to them to cause damage to their target, including denigration, endless disparaging remarks, fabrication, false accusations, and even teaching others (including their children!) to lie on their behalf as part of their vilification campaign.
- Smear Campaign Tactics
- The Smear Campaign—Trademark of the Sociopath
- A Typical Smear Tactic
- Slander Tactics
- The Pathological Liar
- Sociopaths recruit minions
- Flying Monkeys
The sociopath is a high level con who manages to dupe people so thoroughly that his/her fans will persecute, silence, and ostracize a victim who complains about mistreatment. These people are in denial and they will reject information that doesn’t correspond to their highly favorable perception of the sociopath. The victim’s accounts of abuse will upset them, and may anger them. By defending an influential sociopath and abusing his/her target by proxy, the followers prove their loyalty and hope to win favor while getting closer to the influential sociopath they are instinctively attracted to.
Gail Meyers writes:
A narcissistic personality disordered mother has flying monkeys. This is a term taken from The Wizard of Oz, where the flying monkeys do the bidding of the Wicked Witch. The flying monkeys may be your neighbor, church members, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmother, grandfather, nieces, nephews, etc. These people do the narcissist’s dirty work and often pour their own abuse on the scapegoat.
I spent years of my life trying to show various flying monkeys the truth. It virtually never worked, not once in the twenty or so years I kept trying to “clear the air” or to finally be understood. They do not understand because they do not want to understand. Many are willfully ignorant and blind to the situation. There is not some magical phrase and method you have not yet discovered that is suddenly going to cause these people to stand up for the truth.
What I have realized is the flying monkeys generally have their own reasons for behaving the way they do. Some may truly do it out of ignorance, truly fooled for years by the narcissist. However, it is my experience that most flying monkeys have weak characters.
November 10, 2017
Dr. George Simon
Relational aggression (or relational violence) generally refers to all the forceful ways a person might try to assert power or dominance in a relationship. But these days, many use the term to describe attempts to damage someone’s social standing or wreck a good relationship they enjoy. In any case, this kind of behavior destroys. It serves only to bring its perpetrator a sense of power or importance. And it stems from the aggressor’s lack of empathy.
Two Main Types of Aggression
Aggression can be of two main types: overt or covert. Someone is overtly aggressive when they make no bones about what they’re doing. Maybe they simply want to hurt you. But they might also want to get something from you. Perhaps they want to take advantage or have power over you. Whatever the case, they mean to aggress and don’t try to hide it.
Covert-aggressors operate differently. They don’t want to be seen for who they are or what they’re doing. The relational aggression they engage in is subtle, underhanded, or even concealed. So, you barely realize what they’ve been up to until the damage is already done. This is the kind of aggression that underlies most interpersonal manipulation. Moreover, it occurs quite frequently. So, many years ago I felt compelled to write a book about it.
Covert Aggression in the Social Arena
In our times, relational aggression has taken on some interesting new dimensions. Covert aggressors can damage your social standing or your relationships in some very sneaky ways. They can put out false information about you on the internet. They can spread nasty rumors and lies. Or they might defame you on social media. A skilled covert operator can even use surrogates to do their dirty work. That way, they leave no “fingerprints” and can convincingly deny their evildoing. Young persons are particularly vulnerable to this kind of behavior. But no one is immune.
Why do these relational aggressors do what they do? We used to think that they came from a fearful, insecure place. But we’ve learned better. Some folks simply lack empathy. They care only about themselves. Sometimes, all they want is a sense of power. Other times, they might merely be seeking amusement – at your expense. And in the coming weeks I’ll be saying more about why these behaviors are so prevalent nowadays.
Character Disturbance has entered its third major printing. As always, thanks for your support and recommendation of my books.
Visit Dr. Simon’s blog: drgeorgesimon.com
US Catholic orphanage sex abuse victim still feels pain 70 years later.
Posted on Nov 9, 2016 in Feature
By Michael O’Keeffe
When “Don” told the priest who ran St. Michael’s Home for Children on Staten Island that one of his employees had molested him repeatedly over the previous two years, the clergyman gave the boy a lecture about damaging another man’s reputation. Then he told Don to report to the employee who allegedly sexually abused him for his punishment.
Psychopaths blame their victims for what happened and have no concern about the consequences.
The mocking and controlling behavior of the psychopathic mind is motivated by a sense of entitlement and a claim for submission. It’s a power trip. The submission brings them feelings of excitement and superiority. They enjoy what they consider to be a game of destroying people. It’s amusing to them.
Don’t miss this excellent article:
Evil people are often busy building for themselves various fronts for disguise to further their ambitions. “They are likely to exert themselves more than most in their enduring effort to obtain and maintain an image of high respectability.” Evil does not reveal itself as the bad. Evil will very rarely expose itself to public light. It must hide. And it almost always hides under the pretext of something virtuous.
In fact, rather than hiding in the shadows dressed in black, it disguises itself in uniforms of holy men or suits and charitable organizations, which allow it to deceive us into thinking it’s our savior. This enables it to cause far greater damage. Continue reading…
See also: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A strategy common to all abusers is called DARVO.
Deny the abuse, Attack the victim, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender.
This is roughly how it can be done (ad absurdum for emphasis):
You are stupid.
Are you accusing me of being stupid!?
You are accusing me of making accusations!
…but what you said was rude and untrue.
More accusations! And you are calling me a rude liar!
Why did you call me ‘stupid’?
You are harassing me.
I want an explanation. Was it something
I told you to leave me alone! Stop harassing me! Look, everyone, I am being victimized by that evil person for no reason!
Do you recognize this scenario?
Please leave a comment and share your story!
- Denial and DARVO (SalemWitchHunt.wordpress.com)
- DARVO (changingminds.org)
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Narcissists Provoke People,
Then Blame Them
- Baiting & Bashing (PsychopathResistance.com)
- Stonewalling or The Silent Treatment (SalemWitchHunt.wordpress.com)
- The 5 Senses of Abuse (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Being Manipulated By A Pro … The Narcissist (nakiafleming.wordpress.com)
• • •
Legal and Moral Considerations
Isn’t it wrong to expose someone by name—even if they did cause harm?
If you are asking this question, you should also ask yourself if it is right for an abuser to get away with hurting people. Concealing an abuser’s identity is protecting them from consequences for their actions and enables them to continue preying on unsuspecting victims.
Isn’t it against the law to publish the name of an abuser?
No, it isn’t. The rule is simple: just stick to the truth. You may also publish their picture on the Internet as long as you own the copyright. Still, caution is advisable. You should be able to verify all of your statements that even remotely could be construed as defamatory. Refrain completely from insults and name-calling.
A bully may threaten to sue you for libel to intimidate you, but in reality, a defamation lawsuit would not be in their interests because their own actions would then be fully exposed and scrutinized in court. Also, the burden of proof is on the party claiming libel. They don’t have a case unless they can prove that what you published is both defamatory and false. A lawsuit can take many years and become very costly, too.
You will become a threat
You are not at fault if the truth about an abuser’s behavior damages their reputation. From a bully’s egocentrically warped point of view and sense of entitlement; everything is your fault. Count on being accused of slander, libel, and probably all sorts of other crimes if you speak up. They may be scary in their denial; playing the victim role and acting out indignation, hurling accusations, and vilifying you while manipulating other people to turn against you and support their vengeful schemes. It’s all a game to them. A self-righteous, hateful, and remorseless schemer can cause you a lot of harm—but they don’t have the law on their side.
Consider the consequences
No one has the right to abuse you, and you are always entitled to defend yourself and to speak about what was done to you. However, it is up to you to decide what to do. You’ll need to examine all aspects of your situation and weigh your values against an estimated cost in personal suffering for asserting them. Read about cases similar to your own for valuable insights and warnings to heed, and educate yourself about psychopathy and libel laws to gain confidence and make a better informed decision. Most importantly, consider all possible consequences of ‘going public,’ especially danger to the life and well being of yourself and your loved ones.
More info: Exposing an Abuser
From No Psychos, No Druggies, No Stooges:
Michael’s problems started, according to his mother, around age 3, shortly after his brother Allan was born. At the time, she said, Michael was mostly just acting “like a brat,” but his behavior soon escalated to throwing tantrums during which he would scream and shriek inconsolably. These weren’t ordinary toddler’s fits. “It wasn’t, ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I’m frustrated’ — the normal things kids do,” Anne remembered. “His behavior was really out there. And it would happen for hours and hours each day, no matter what we did.” For several years, Michael screamed every time his parents told him to put on his shoes or perform other ordinary tasks, like retrieving one of his toys from the living room. “Going somewhere, staying somewhere — anything would set him off,” Miguel said. These furies lasted well beyond toddlerhood. At 8, Michael would still fly into a rage when Anne or Miguel tried to get him ready for school, punching the wall and kicking holes in the door. Left unwatched, he would cut up his trousers with scissors or methodically pull his hair out. He would also vent his anger by slamming the toilet seat down again and again until it broke.
When Anne and Miguel first took Michael to see a therapist, he was given a diagnosis of “firstborn syndrome”: acting out because he resented his new sibling. While both parents acknowledged that Michael was deeply hostile to the new baby, sibling rivalry didn’t seem sufficient to explain his consistently extreme behavior.
By the time he turned 5, Michael had developed an uncanny ability to switch from full-blown anger to moments of pure rationality or calculated charm — a facility that Anne describes as deeply unsettling. “You never know when you’re going to see a proper emotion,” she said. She recalled one argument, over a homework assignment, when Michael shrieked and wept as she tried to reason with him. “I said: ‘Michael, remember the brainstorming we did yesterday? All you have to do is take your thoughts from that and turn them into sentences, and you’re done!’ He’s still screaming bloody murder, so I say, ‘Michael, I thought we brainstormed so we could avoid all this drama today.’ He stopped dead, in the middle of the screaming, turned to me and said in this flat, adult voice, ‘Well, you didn’t think that through very clearly then, did you?’ ”
“Often these monstrous individuals are initially charming, displaying false empathy to the point that even when their victims instinct senses danger they ignore this feeling as irrational. These people have a natural talent for manipulation and are self-absorbed individuals with no conscience or feeling for others and for whom rules have no meaning. These depraved manipulators can appear unstoppable. Their non physical violence against innocent victims appears to be planned, purposeful and emotionless. Any attempt at reason will fail as these people appear to operate outside the code that governs normal, rational behaviour towards others.”
- Fighting the Workplace Bully
- Why Workplace Bullies Thrive: The Bystander Effect
- Denying, Discounting, and Dismissing Abuse
- When the Boss is a Psychopath
- $460 Billion Per Year—The Cost of Psychopathy
Bullying isn’t a problem isolated to kids and teenagers. It’s an issue that spans every age demographic, but as the population ages, it’s becoming an increasingly common problem among senior citizens—particularly those living in communal living settings such as assisted living or independent living.
August 22, 2010 · by Lorna Tedder ·
Real empaths feel too much. Real narcissists don’t seem to feel anything, or at least not in regard to others’ feelings. Showing your vulnerable side to a narcissist in an attempt to explain how his or her behavior might be hurtful will just invite more abuse.
Whereas the narcissist doesn’t connect well or much with others, the empath connects too much. The empath literally feels what someone else feels, whether it’s strong emotion or physical pain.
Continue reading The Relationship between Empaths and Narcissists.
Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern in mind, but in reality it’s to achieve an ulterior motive.
Favorite weapons of manipulators are: guilt, complaining, comparing, lying, denying (including excuses and rationalizations), feigning ignorance, or innocence (the “Who me?” defense), blame, bribery, undermining, mind games, assumptions, “foot-in-the-door,” reversals, emotional blackmail, evasiveness, forgetting, fake concern, sympathy, apologies, flattery, and gifts and favors.
eBook (PDF) 287 pages
Unlike people who are trying to influence others, manipulators work with unfair means to get what they want. They do not respect the personal rights of their victims. They work with hidden agendas and deliberately use dishonest tricks like faulty reasoning, coercion, blackmail, and lying as they attempt to assert control. Manipulation is about suiting the manipulator’s advantage or purpose only, often at the expense of others.
It’s often difficult to recognize manipulation. After all, would we allow ourselves to be manipulated if we are aware that it is happening? This book explains the tricks manipulators use and teaches you how to best defend and protect yourself.
By Dean Amory
Available in PDF Format
People who suffer from low self-esteem are at risk of getting stuck in relationships where they’re being controlled; becoming the unwitting targets of individuals with personality disorders that propel them to behave in a manipulative way.
Being manipulated is a highly stressful experience. It is unpleasant, demeaning, and disturbing.
Every time you comply, capitulate, cave in, or otherwise satisfy your manipulator’s wishes and purposes, you reinforce the toxic cycle that is compromising your self-esteem, co-opting your values, and corroding your emotional wiring.
This book was written for people who are targeted, exploited, and controlled by manipulators.
See also: Manipulation Tactics
When most people hear the word “abuse,” they naturally conjure up images of broken bones, black eyes, and bruises. But in truth, physical violence comprises the vast minority of abusive behaviors in any relationship. The overwhelming types of abuses are those that are difficult to recognize: verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, and spiritual. Because no outward signs of mistreatment exist, these types of abuses usually go unnoticed, especially by the woman experiencing them. In particular, abusive comments often lead a woman in any unhealthy relationship to distrust her own reality and good sense.
But He Never Hit Me: The Devastating Cost of Non-Physical Abuse to Girls and Women exposes the truth about these destructive behaviors and also reveals the red flags of a potentially abusive relationship. Women can explore their own background information to understand what led them to these men, the shocking costs that non-physically threatening relationships have on every part of their life, and ways in which they can make changes toward a more positive, healthy, and rewarding future. Imperative for women of all ages, from teens through senior citizens, But He Never Hit Me joins and aligns a large and supportive community of women dedicated to healthy, rewarding relationships.
Inflicted Suicide As A Result of Abuse
It goes unrecognized but it exists. It exists on an extremely covert level. It happens behind the scenes without anyone even being aware of what the problem is; the real problem. No evidence of it is left behind and no-one has ever been convicted of it, yet in reality, what I will label “covert psychological murder” is very real and remains dangerous and unrecognized—virtually undiscovered.
By the author:
Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior
Letters From Those Abused and Afraid disruptedphysician.com
They are cowards who lack the ability to work out problems in a reasoned, adult manner.
They need a fan club of followers and admirers who support their evil deeds, “flying monkeys” to persecute their targets, and/or technology to hide behind.
The adult bully’s personality pathology is characterized by a lack of empathy, craving for power, manipulativeness, and deceptiveness. Bullies feel entitled to use others as they wish and they derive sadistic pleasure from the harm they cause.
Why doesn’t she just leave? Here’s why.
Do you think you can’t leave your abusive partner? Do you feel hopeless when you return to a relationship filled with pain? Or, do you dwell on your toxic ex and struggle to stay away? Then you may be caught in a carefully crafted trauma bond – but you don’t need to be Houdini to escape.
Traumatic bonding is a hit with abusers, because it helps him to maintain much-needed control. It helps him keep you where he wants you: tethered to him and his soul-destroying behaviour. But, the bond isn’t as iron-clad as he imagines. Here’s FIVE things he hopes you don’t know about traumatic-bonding, and how to shake off the shackles.
1. What is trauma bonding?
Traumatic-bonding is an intense attachment to your abuser. It happens when you feel emotionally and physically dependent upon a dominant partner – who dishes out abuse and rewards…
View original post 875 more words
You may be wondering if he’s a sociopath.
Here is a list of 20 signs to help…
Why is it so easy for an abuser to get away with it and so difficult for an abuse victim to be heard?
The typical serial bully is a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde personality type (male or female) who has put considerable effort into establishing and maintaining a respectable and credible public persona. Bystanders may believe they know him well, that he is a genuinely righteous person, and that he couldn’t possibly be capable of the malicious behavior he is accused of. Unable (and probably unwilling) to imagine that they have been deceived, their logical conclusion is that the accuser is the antagonist, acting out inexplicable malevolence. With derogatory implications about his target’s mental state, lack of character, or foul motives, the abuser fuels this role reversal. Feigning moral indignation and playing the part of the victim, he encourages supporters to see the real victim, who is attempting to be heard, as the abusive one.
Dr. Vaknin explains: “Even the victim’s relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.”
“Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties, it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey’s acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, lability, or a mental health problem.”
Dr. Sam Vaknin, Narcissism by Proxy
Three cognitive strategies have been identified for when people deny, discount, or dismiss occurrences of abuse and for turning away from effective steps to stop it and hold abusers accountable:
Reflexively dismissing all evidence as questionable, incomplete, misleading, false, or in some other way inadequate.
Using euphemism, abstraction, and other linguistic transformations to hide the abuse.
Turning away: ‘I’m not involved,’ ‘There is nothing I can do about it,’ ‘I have no authority, jurisdiction, power, or influence,’ ‘This is no concern of mine,’ etc.
Publication Date: December 31, 2014
True Stories Written by Survivors of Domestic Violence, Rape and Fraud: Exposing Sociopaths in Our Midst
Not everyone moves from a place of care and respect for themselves and others, because not everyone has (1) a conscience; (2) the ability to feel remorse; and (3) the ability to tap into affective empathy–the type of empathy that allows one to see and feel a situation from another’s perspective. People lacking these qualities are referred to as sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists. They exist everywhere in society, including our homes where their toxic and parasitic lifestyles are destroying families, children and communities every single day.
This collection of 33 true stories from across the globe written by survivors of toxic and abusive relationships sets out to expose the unchallenged pathological personalities and behaviors of psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. Read more…
See also Victims of Psychopaths: True Stories
“One of the very difficult things to deal with after being the victim of a Narcissist is that most people will not want to believe what happened to you, even if they saw it with their own eyes!”
Sociopathic abuse can be most insidious. The abuser takes precautions so that there are no witnesses or hard evidence. He’ll tell others that he is being victimized and that the real victim’s reactions to his abuse are unprovoked and malicious or “irrational.” Destroying his target while attracting the attention he craves is a game to the sociopath; one he enjoys and plays with confidence. A “normal” person is easy prey to a skilled and experienced manipulator lacking a moral conscience.
“[They] count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our own failings. That’s what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations then sit back and watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle.”
The seasoned abuser is also highly selective. He will target people who are self-conscious and reluctant to draw attention to themselves. Like predators in the animal world who concentrate their efforts on prey that is separate from the herd, he is likely to choose someone who is a loner or with weak social connections; someone who is clearly vulnerable.
See also: Narcissistic Rage
In The Lies of Sarah Palin, Geoffrey Dunn provides the first full-scale and in-depth political biography of the controversial Republican vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska.
They’ve spent decades acquiring and refining a skill set they most likely first learned on the playground. Studies have shown that childhood bullies often grow up to become adult bullies.
These “adults” have developed ingenious ways to cover their tracks while making their targets look bad. Methods of tormenting are also more sophisticated. The direct in-your-face approach won’t work in a professional or social setting, so they indulge in underhanded maneuvers and hit-and-run assaults.
Adult bullying is particularly insidious. It is often only the targeted individual who knows it is happening. If he tells someone else about it, he is apt to be met with disbelief and possibly also labeled as the troublemaker. The sociopath has planned the whole scheme and has it well rigged with virtual trip wires. The target’s reaction to the abuse becomes additional ammunition for the abuser, who uses it to manipulate bystanders to side with him and to inflict more harm and distress onto his target.