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Political enablers of sociopaths

Lovefraud has been following the case of Vince Fumo, a former Pennsylvania state senator and Philadelphia power broker, who was found guilty of 137 counts of conspiracy, fraud, tax offenses and obstruction of justice. See:

Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fumo on trial for corruption

Finally, two sociopaths go to jail

In my opinion, this politician is a classic sociopath. Fumo lied, threatened, backstabbed and manipulated his way to power. He bullied big corporations into contributing millions of dollars to his favorite community organization, then treated its money as his personal ATM machine. He billed taxpayers for services such as having a private investigator follow his ex-girlfriend.

Fumo is due to be sentenced next week, and he could get 21 to 27 years. The guy is 66 years old and has heart problems, so if he gets the max, he could die in jail.

So what’s going on now? Hundreds of people have written letters to the judge asking for leniency. The governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, called Fumo “honest and forthright.” The former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala, who presided at Fumo’s second wedding, also vouched for him.

As I read the news coverage of the pleas for mercy in the newspaper this morning, I couldn’t help but think about Dr. Liane Leedom’s July 4th article, Enabling a sociopath is unpatriotic. Enabling a guy who abused the public trust—how much more unpatriotic can you get?

In opposing court papers, prosecutors point out that Fumo lied repeatedly on the witness stand. They cited 27 areas of “false testimony” and said he should be found guilty of perjury as well.

To read about the mercy/no mercy brouhaha in the Philadelphia Inquirer, click:

Dueling court papers praise, slam Fumo

While you’re at it, you may want to read about Fumo’s girlfriend. Over July 4th weekend, Fumo proposed. She said yes.

On the eve of prison, Fumo pops the question


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96 Comments on "Political enablers of sociopaths"

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Donna, will you consider sending a letter to the editor, raising the issue of sociopathy as a possible factor in this situation? High-profile cases like these are opportunities for public education about the S phenomenon.

In the event that you have tried this before, have you ever gotten a positive response from a newspaper where they were willing to print your letter? Did you get any responses?

passing is right – public education is the answer here… maybe this is an opportunity -?

There is tremendous ignorance among the general public (media included) regarding the subject of personality disorders, at least in my opinion.

When AIDS became an issue in the 80’s, everyone was ignorant about that as well. No one thought it could happen to them. But, as we became educated about the subject, we soon learned that we are ALL vulnerable.

I suspect the public discussion of sociopathy and other disorders will be another long, drawn-out learning process, if there even is one. Like AIDS, no one wants to believe/admit that they are vulnerable, OR that they have a disorder.
And then there’s that segment of society who is perfectly happy and content living in their own ignorance.

At least with AIDS, we can all get tested and say definitively either “positive” or “negative”. No such process for mental disorders.
That is going to be a problem, as far as I am concerned.

Just to clarify, I am NOT comparing personality disorders to AIDS.

I am just emphasizing how difficult it will be to educate the public on personality disorders. That’s all.

This is ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MANY that the general public (including the media) take the “ostrich” approach to psychopathic behavior.

This is on the level, I think, of offering “mercy” to the ffratracide because he is an “orpan”—so what if he spends the rest of his life in prison for his crimes? Is there some reason that an OLD criminal should not spend time in prison for his crimes because they were not convicted until he was old?

As far as the Judge and the others who are “vouching” for him, TO ME that means that THEY ALSO have no moral compass (at least lno MORAL OUTRAGE) at what he has done.

Looking back at my own life, and my enabling of my P-son who was a murderer, I can’t now see why I had no more MORAL OUTRAGE than I did. Why my focus was not more on him being a murderer, but was more on THE RUINATION OF HIS LIFE, rather than the snuffing out of HER life.

I think Rosa is right on about the “it won’t happen to me” stance of the public.

Donna, I hope your book causes a big stir and a media circus that will bring light to the subject, but unfortunately, I think it will take more than your book—not that I am belitting your book or your efforts, because you know I applaud your efforts and your wonderful work, for the FEW (percentage wise) people it has saved the lives of (and I am one of those) but I think the problem is SO HUGE and teh IGNORANCE SO PROFOUND that it will take a complete overturn of our society in order to educate people. Harder yet, to make them CARE on a personal level. Yea, I am somewhat cynical…..because like Rosa mentioned, HIV continues to spread because people (in general) don’t change their behaviiors, which allows HIV to spread. Another analogy would be illegal drug use, Meth, Heroin and so on, I don’t think there is a sinigle person who really believes it is GOOD FOR YOU, yet, people do it cause it “feels good” in spite of the risks that they can SEE around them of it wrecking the lives of others.

It infuriates me when people enable the “high level political” psychopaths, but at the same time, I have also been guilty of enabling my own little psychopathic monster, and my egg donor CONTINUES to do the same thing. (sigh, and shaking head here)

Donna

If anyone can pioneer this subject onto the national/international spotlight, you can.

Change is never easy, but nothing worth doing or having ever is.

Donna, Totally looking forward to your book and the good it will do. When looking at the links in Kathleen’s article, about NVC, the message as always is that happiness comes from engaging in activities that are giving and productive. So I must assume you are one very happy woman. “Happiness lies at the juncture of purpose and pleasure”. How very true.

On the political side, I am very a very active fan of geopolitics etc. and see many references to P/S/N’s in the blogosphere, often quite correctly labelled. One very gifted writer and observer of our times goes so far as calling it a ” global physcopathic syndicate”. Just in the last few days there is a hullaballo about an ex exec of Goldman Sachs stealing the computer software that Goldman uses to make $100 million a day in program trading. Yes $100 million- a day. Goldman, with apparently a straight face says in the wrong hands this program could be used to manipulate markets. In any event, without rambling, if you go down that rabbit hole and connect the dots between Wall St. and Government, especially in the light of over $13 trillion in new committments of funds ( Fed guarantees etc of taxpayer $$) for the very sharks that caused the current mess, one can only agree with the diagnosis. P’s are in the highest levels of power, in every facet of our society, and they enable each other.

We have a high profile case here were a theatre empressario has been convicted of major fraud over a long period. Lots of very appealing, famous and smart people are also asking the courts for leniency..as it happened, he produced their plays and made them rich and famous, or they had leading roles etc etc.

It seems to me that corruption has hit such epidemic proportions that it has become the norm…people shrug, as if to say, well that is how the game is played. It is shocking and disgusting, and sometimes I feel like integrity has gone the way of the DoDoBird.
Again thank you Donna, LoveFraud and all the LF’ers for giving us hope and solace, understanding, and the tools to help create change, personally and collectively. There is a new conciousness emerging on many levels, that I hope will bring us full circle. But first we have to know our enemy. It is after all only a mask, and underneath is an incredibly shallow and surprisingly insecure P.
TOWANDA

Donna and All,

Yesterday while listening to Talk of the Nation (NPR) a piece came on about Palin. Some guy wrote an article about her in Vanity Fair. During the interview with the author the interviewer talked about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and asked the author why he put this language in his article about Palin. The author said that he wrote about NPD because a lot of people are confused about Palin’s ‘illogical’ behaviors, her ignoring of facts in favor of her own rhetoric, and that he found that people he talked to about her started looking on the internet for ‘psychiatric’ reasons that might help explain her bizarre decision-making and behavior, and that NPD kept coming up in his research and interviews.

It’s not psychopathy, exactly, but at least a component– that is getting a little media coverage. I know I felt good hearing it, and people being willing to at least explore the possibilities.

Then they opened the line to callers and several people called from Alaska and described, in detail, N/P behaviors. I could tell the callers were doing their best NOT to label her, but were certainly articulate and intentional in painting an N/P picture.

I really look forward to the publication of your book. And I thank-you, with a full and grateful heart, for starting and maintaining this site.

A friend who is on the police force of a major city “swat” team recently tried to recruit my son D for that police force and for teh swat team. My son D was taking a course for his NRA firearms range master instructor recertification (I can’t remember the exact title of the course) but this man was teaching the course and my son’s target was 5 shots within the size of a dime. My son told him NO! in absolutly clear terms. The man then said, “when we have 25 police recruits and we ask ‘who wants to be on the swat team?’ and 24 hands go up and there is one guy in the back who hunkers down because he does NOT want to be on the swat team, THAT is the guy we want.”

I think political office ought to be the same way, anyone who WANTS POLITICAL OFFICE should be DISQUALIFIED! Anyone who wants to run for president, senator, governor etc. just about HAS TO BE NARCISSISTIC to one extent or another and WAAAAY too many of them are PSYCHOPATHIC as well.

Who would honestly say that someone who was “normal” would want the life of a senator, governor or president of the country? I sure as heck would not like to be in one of those offices, because it would TAKE YOUR LIFE—-sure it gives you power, control, narcissistic supply, money, etc. but I would not want to give up my personal freedom for those things—who would want to? OF COURSE, THE ANSWER IS AN N OR A P!

The problem with matching narcissistic, sociopathic or psychopathic behaviors to any specific politician, it seems to me, is that we can only see the negative in those on the opposing side. As a political liberal, I can agree wholeheartedly about Palin (Dubya too). Conservatives call Obama an S/P (some blogs that link to this very site echo that opinion.) Several posters here use Bill Clinton as an example of a sociopath.

It’s a touchy subject once it leaves the confines of our homes and personal relationships, huh?

My own thinking has gone past specific politicians to the very systems they serve. I believe unregulated capitalism–the corporatism that now threatens our very Constitutional foundations–is inherently psychopathic, and is ultimately destructive to humanity. Self-interest, pure self-interest, is ugly in individuals and in societies as well. Without the tempering agents of altruism, compassion, and concern for the less fortunate, our systems devolve from the high ideals that once animated them. They become institutionalized psychopathy. We got so low down on the scale during the Dubya years that we actually sanctioned torture. (Listen to me minimize it. We didn’t sanction it. We performed it. We recorded it. We found it amusing. Our leader bragged about it in his State of the Union address.)

Likewise, I believe patriarchy, as well as the traditional religious systems that promote it, is inherently psychopathic. The natural result is a system of owner/chattel, winner/loser, master/slave. We can dress it up as best we can, but the underlying rule of patriarchy is that men are superior to women and should be natural rulers over them. (With a nod to the gay posters here, let me add that patriarchy, in my opinion, also animates the top/bottom dynamic. Patriarchy demands there be no equals, no 50-50, no shared authority.) That way of thinking leads, quite literally, to the living hell that many of us here have experienced.

There’s a reason abuse victims are represented so well in families that adhere to traditional sex roles.

Anyone who rises very high in the political world is going to have a high degree of narcissism. Goes with the territory. Heck, I’d wager that most posters on LF have a high degree of narcissism. After all, each of us thinks we have something of merit to say. Something that might benefit specific individuals, or humanity in general.

It might spring from the patriarchal religion in which I was raised, but I find that “by their fruits shall ye know them” is still a pretty good way to distinguish the good tree from the poisonous one. Or, in survivor-speak, “actions, not words.”

We keep talking, writing, posting. We keep hoping. Maybe the liberals can point to the psychopathy of conservative leaders, and vice versa. With enough shared perspective, perhaps we can turn back from authoritarianism and greed. Maybe we can learn to understand one another and respect our differing points of view. Maybe we can reach a level of consciousness that makes other-directedness, selflessness, and love the default setting for humanity. Maybe not. But as the struggles continue, I’m happy to be in such good company here.

(Tood steps off soapbox. Tood feels strongly about these issues.)

(And a shout-out to eyeswideshut! I’m pretty sure we have another board in common.)

I just got done reading the article about Sarah Palin in my Vanity Fair subscription (yes, folks there IS “culture” in boondocks America!) and I was totally taken back by what a GREAT ARTICLE it was and it did address some of the “traits” that would be associated with a person with NPD that were noticed by various people in Palin’s personality and in her official and unofficial behavior and statements.

My favorite quote from the article was the following:

“Palin is unlike any other national figure in modern American life–neither Anna Nicole smith nor Margaret Chase Smith.”

The article is 11 pages long, including photographs and I highlighted so many sentences and paragraphs that made me roar with laughter and my friend, who was sitting at table with me as I read the article, mostly aloud, to her!

But I think that the same or worse could be said about almost any political candidate of state or national importance. I think NPD at the very least is the base requirement of anyione who would WANT to assume political high office. Thanks for bringing this wonderful article to my attention.

Tood, I also agree with your “by their fruits ye shall know them.” That is what is so disappointing to me when I see the POISON FRUIT CAKES being enabled by, and mercy asked for, by presumably “normal” people.

Tood, your thoughts match mine. I’ve alluded to some of these ideas in writing, but have never been able to get them down so clearly and succinctly.

I think our culture is at least narcissistic in its rampant consumism and, on a deeper level, probably psychopathic in its glorification of wealth and power. The “losers” in these races for perfectly triumphant lives are made invisible or blamed. And we keep building prisons, an increasing number of them run by profit-making companies.

As far as patriarchal values go, I don’t even want to start. Except the whole virgin-whore view of women the requires them to control their sexuality in ways that men do not, the focus on perfect face and body, and the continuing abusive disparities in professional credibility and pay are all evidence that, despite the so-called feminist revolution — the patriarchy is alive and well.

And we wonder where all these sociopaths are coming from.

Tood and All,

Gorgeous rant from your soapbox! I can’t discourse on this subject with much authority or intelligence, but you have given me much to think on and question. And have ‘bothered’ me just a little. But please don’t be offended, as I am going to try to articulate my bother. Let it will be an exercise for me. It needn’t have anything to ‘do’ with you, unless it is of interest.

I believe what you say is true about politicians/culture. That we live in a very n/p society. That our social structures are weighted toward oppression, control, deceit and illusion. That there is an epidemic of narcissism amoungst individuals, I have no doubt.

But I wonder at what place on the narcissism continuum (is there a continuum?) that it becomes malignant and not benevolent? Even talking about benevolent narcissism feels ‘wrong’ to me. As in: “Heck, I’d wager that most posters on LF have a high degree of narcissism.”

Certainly it would take a level of self-confidence, desire to speak out, to aid others, and to make connections through our words and understanding to be here on LF. But does that necessarily indicate a ‘high’ level of narcissism? I was raised by the highly narcissistic. They are not helping others, or trying to change the world. They are mostly controlling, hurting, manipulating, and criticising others. When they are not doing that, they are asleep. These are not folks with full-blown NPD, but they are pain in the asses, none-the-less. The ‘continuum’ at a point is useless.

I know we are here on LF to talk about psychopaths, and that they are the real badboys of the pd’d. But I cannot underestimate the ‘purely’ narcissistic (if there is such a thing) as just bothersome. And you are probably not saying what you have said to minimize the damage the truly narcissistic have on their environments. But I am bothered.

Is it the expert belief that nism, to a point, can be benign, and ultimately of benefit not only to those who possess it, but also to those they ‘serve’? As in: those of us here on LF may possess ‘high’ levels of nism–but we are trying to help others?

I guess I have a need for safety, honesty, and trust. And I don’t associate high levels of narcissism with any of these things. So ‘hearing’ the idea that any of us here on LF may be highly narcissistic makes me feel mad.

I rather think that those of us on LF who have much to say are more sound than the highly n, and that we may possess something which gives us the ability and desire to speak out. But I hate to equate that with nism, any more than my taking care of my own needs is me expressing my ‘inner’ psychopath. Meaning there is also ‘healthy’ psychopathology?

Though I understand the desire to place us all in the same soup of humanity, by drawing parallels between us and them, it makes my ‘inner’ schizophrenic a little paranoid.

OK, rant complete. Hope I made a modicum of sense.

Not to promote any one set of spiritual beliefs over any other– I’m not posting this for religious reasons — but to give an example of the caliber of leaders that are present in the world, and that we could elect, instead of n/ps. There are leaders who call for the best from themselves and from us. We might need night goggles and pickaxes to find ‘um, but there are some incredible people out there.

This is a quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; its in everyone. And as we let own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

–Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural Speech

Betty

Thanks for the reminder. I actually have this quote tacked to the inside one of my kitchen cupboards – been there so long, I haven’t actually taken on board the meaning lately.

The liberation from our own fear is possibly, in my opinion, our fasted route to healing ourselves. Anger, guilt etc, I think, are all underpinned by fear – the ‘what if’ syndrome.

I often think that people in power create fear in our culture to paralyse and, therefore, control. It’s so easy to feel this way and diminish one’s own power in the face of a problem being insurmountable. I personally don’t think it’s ‘narcissistic’ to have strong opinions and voice them, but what is often absent is ‘altruism’. In political/public life, we have to remember, that these people more often than not have ‘agendas’ for their own gain outside of the ‘social contract’.

slimone,

There’s a point in the recovery from the P experience wherein a victim becomes concerned that he/she might be the psychopath. We’re so tangled up in the P’s disordered thinking that we doubt our own sanity, and we wonder if the P’s projections about us might be true. I know I passed through this phase. Many of the posters here did as well; I remember reading about their doubts.

It seems to me that’s just the pendulum of our self-awareness swinging wildly about as we go through the crisis. At one end is pure psychopathy; at the other end is total self-abdegnation and possible suicide. Once the crisis of the P experience is past, we eventually slow the swinging pendulum, and it comes to rest at a place that demarcates our true personality (and if we’ve done enough work, our new true personality). I’m just saying that some of us here, I suspect, are a few inches off center on the narcissism scale. A few inches toward the high self-esteem side.

There’s no shame in that, I have learned through hard experience. A few inches in the other direction, and we’d be sort of people who say “I’m sorry” every few seconds. Who apologize for existing. And those are the sorts of people who make the best P victims. That’s the sort of person I once was.

Many of us had dysfunctional childhoods. Lord knows I did. I was trained to view ANY self-interest as bad. My narcissistic mother was careful to tamp down any burgeoning self-esteem I might have developed in my youth. I lived to serve others. The thought of doing something solely for myself was horrifying. I didn’t have a word for it at the time, but the concept of narcissism was just about the worst thing I could imagine.

Even since coming to LF, I’ve had to struggle with the idea that I, too, contain that dreaded personality ingredient, narcissism. It’s taken me a couple of years to get to a point where I can face my own narcissism, look at it without horror, and try to turn it toward some healthy result.

The textbooks and experts all say there is such a thing as healthy narcissism. Without it, we would be inanimate lumps of flesh. No “I” to function. No “I” to see. That’s all I’m saying.

Also, Betty’s Mandela quote seems to say exactly what I’m trying to say, with more poetry and beauty.

That’s the quote I have on the wall in front of my desk.

I don’t mind it if someone thinks I’m narcissistic. My experience is that kind of comment comes from two places. One is a person who feels no entitlement to take up their own space in the world (the kind of person I used to be) and is wondering why I do. And the other is from a person who is trying to gobble up my space and thinks they can do it by calling me names. It used to work. Now, I’m more inclined to cheerfully agree.

And then, of course, there are lovely people like Tood who recognize that healthy narcissism is good for us. And it is. Look at the joyous and creative self-involvement of children. If we could keep that at center of us, in the midst of the tugs and pulls of the world around us, there is very little that couldn’t become fun.

I’m pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish a project. The sky is blue, the birds are singing, and I’m going back to work now.

Kathy

Kathleen,

Good morning! Hope your project goes well. I meant to acknowledge your kind comments above, as well as Oxy’s reply, but got carried away with my reply to slimone. (I always pronounce that in my head like the name Simone, except with the L. Now I realize she’s a slim individual. Ha!)

Tood,

No, you had the name right the first time! It is Simone with an L. A nickname…but yes, because I am slim. Ha!

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand all you have written. I think I got caught up in the ‘high degree or level’ piece. In my mind I associate high level with ‘bad’ and some other level (god knows what level that would be?!) with ‘being a good person’. Very black and white, I realize. And I thought you were saying, and I guess you are but not in the way I was thinking, that there can be a high level of healthy narcissism.

I too have faced (still face) my own narcissistic needs. But I continue to tussle with them, and have not fully integrated them into a self-loving concept. I continue to carry that shame that you speak of.

There is something of a mind twister in there for me. Not sure what it is. But it is there.

And Kathy–given what I now understand let me be the first to say you are the BIGGEST narcissist on the board! But more to my way of ‘thinking’: I honor the level of self-respect, caring, and love that I see in you. If that is narcissism, then so be it.

slimone, oh good, because that’s how I imagined your name. But I thought of it as a sly lemon and I loved it.

That’s the funniest compliment I ever received. I think we’re actually “rehabilitating” narcissism. Making it a good thing instead of a bad thing. But we’re taking some liberties. Because poor Narcissus in mythology actually did fall so much in love with his own reflection in the water that he couldn’t love anyone else. And we don’t want that.

Just woke after a 14-hour recovery sleep. And look how many new people we have!

I was listening to my Arjuna Ardagh CD while I ran a few errands yesterday. He talked about in this new world, when we look to find the face of God around us, we’re going to find it in community. In the people who care about us.

It made me think about LoveFraud. How we care about each other, help and challenge each other to grow. And all without the slightest bit of structure or rules, except that we are careful of each other’s feelings. As an example of the quality of human nature, this is a pretty cool place.

And it’s also an example of the creation of a sociopath-free zone. It can be done.

Betty said:

to give an example of the caliber of leaders that are present in the world, and that we could elect, instead of n/ps. There are leaders who call for the best from themselves and from us.

While the quote you listed is certainly inspiring, those words were neither spoken nor written by Nelson Mandela: these words do not appear in the May 9, 1994 inaugural speech, the May 10, 1994 inaugural speech, or any of the other speeches, statements and writings by Mandela. The actual author of the quotation is Marianne Williamson, in her 1992 book, Return to Love (hardcover p. 165, paperback pp. 190-191).

Nevertheless, Nelson Mandela is an excellent, inspiring example of moral leadership. Any non-S would benefit from learning about his life and work.

Dear Passingthrough,

Thank you so very much for correcting Betty’s error in the author of this inspiring quotation and for so carefully citing the references for this. I am sure that Betty would not want to be wrong in attributing this inspiring quote to the wrong person. It is so kind of you to point out the correct reference in such an objective and accurate way.

Many times I have had things forwarded to me in an e mail which were not the actual quotes of the people that they were attributed to. Most of the time when I like the CONTENT of the quote I may forward them to someone I think would appreciate the sentiment of the quotation without me actually checking to make sure that every quote is actually by the person it is attributed to. It is comforting for me to know that there are people out there who will take the time and effort to run down the actual author of the quotes and to point out the error that any one of us might make.

In the spirit of LoveFraud I will assume that your correction of another poster’s unintentional error was not meant as a snide criticism, but rather intended to enlighten us all.

Todd, really enjoyed your posts. I think unhealthy narcissism includes, as Steve has blogged, the willingness to exploit a person or institution to do harm.

One therapist told me coping with someone is doing thing to help you both achieve your highest good. So I would feel comfortable flattering a narcissist to keep him from destroying another person or even himself or me.

Manipulating someone is doing things to help yourself against the highest good for the other person.So I would not feel comfortable flattering someone to get their money.

What the heck that has to do with anything, I’m not sure! But something about two different kinds of politicians. I view Obama as ethical and SECURE. Not exploitive. He will and does USE the media, but I don’t think to commit harm.

Thanks, JAH.

Regarding some of the issues that have come up in this thread:

I just started a new book last night: “The Narcissism Epidemic” by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell. Campbell also wrote “When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself.”

My first impression is that the authors are not going to agree with my contention that there is such as thing as “healthy narcissism.” No one in our culture needs a self-esteem boost, they say, except maybe Adult Children of Alcoholics. Everyone else needs a good dose of humility and quite possibly a swift kick in the keister. But as I noted, I just started the book. Maybe they’ll ease up.

So much of our communication here on the interwebs is limited by the medium, and we’re so easily misunderstood. If I use a word like “narcissism” to describe the concept in my head, how is the reader to know I mean “realistic, positive self-regard?” if the reader has only experienced the concept of “narcissism” as something like “unjustified egotism and unrestrained selfishness?” Add in the two-dimensional medium with no chance of interpreting facial expressions, voice inflection, and body language and you have a recipe for muddy communications.

Tood,

What? You can’t see my face? Well, I see yours. Big Sister is always watching…haha. I jest.

Yeah, I admit it. I had me a knee-jerk reaction to your statement about the LF tribe members having a “high degree of narcissism.”

I thought to myself…”I love you, Tood, but I cannot fathom how you formed this theory.”

What I have perceived is a dynamic of reciprocity: giving and sharing with no alterior motives except the educating of oneself and a celebration with kindred spirits.

By reading different posts from peeps the content, the rhythm, the consistency of goodness, benevolence in their writing assures me I’m spending time with awesome people.

I would relate the “high end of narcissism” with famous and talented actors/actresses. Those folks who are generally good, decent and loving people but who have been so adored, idolized, worshipped by the masses, constantly being told how awesome they are, that they actually start believing they are Gods/Goddesses. Entitled to that daily worship.

They develop huge egos, big fat heads. No longer accepting that they are flesh, bone and blood like the rest of us peons.

I mean, come on, their jobs are pretending to be other people, bad ones and good ones. Some of these actors seem to have taken on the characteristics of the pretend people they emulate. So bizarre to see that in action.

I think I would be content with being proclaimed a moderate narcissist. No polar opposite extremes, just smack dab right in the middle. I love me but I’m not IN love with me.

I will never again fall for the illusions of an aesthetically pleasing physical appearance. Even if that appearance is my own!…haha. (I kid again)

I hope that Betty’s comment, “There are leaders who call for the best from themselves and from us. We might need night goggles and pickaxes to find ’um, but there are some incredible people out there” doesn’t get lost in the correction of the quote by Marianne Williamson, but attributed to Nelson Mandela. “Mandela’s supposed usage of Williamson’s quote is nothing more than an urban myth, albeit a persistent one.” See: http://bolstablog.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/marianne/

Tood also mentioned the “agents of altruism, compassion, and concern for the less fortunate” with a question mark but I have known many politicians who are such agents. For example, I know that Norm Coleman of Minnesota is such a man. Yet he did not win the 8 month battle of the ballots. I know nothing of Al Franken except that he was a former commedian on Saturday Night Life — but I sure was disappointed that Norm got booted out!

Sometimes politicans get smeared by gossip of the masses — and the media! I think Sarah Palin is a good example of that!

I come from Palin’s same spiritual background and KNOW that the language to describe those beliefs are almost a separate language. Those in the know understand. Those who aren’t, don’t — in my opinion, anyway. Similar to trying to make others who have never experienced life with a NPS person, just can’t understand. Some things just need experience —

BTW, I think Marianne Williamson’s quote is powerful! I’ve read some of her other books and have liked her concepts. Her quote above is definitely worthy of being pasted on the back of cupboard doors and read often! Mine is taped on the door of my computer console.

Part of the problem in deciding what a “politician” or a “celebrity” IS is very much skewed by the way the MEDIA REPORTS the things they do or say.

I read that article in Vanity Fair recently about Sarah Palin and (assuming it is ture and not an outright lie) she did skew some of the things she said. The young man who is the father of her grand child, apparently LIVED WITH HER DAUGHTER IN HER HOME WITH HER KNOWLEDGE AND SLEPT IN THE SAME ROOM…which is of course NOT THE SPIN she put on the young girl’s pregnancy prior to the election.

Her political “dirty trick” to get rid of her brother in law (which is on a thread here on LF) is probably pretty correct, AND there is little doubt in my mind that the man is a “dirty dog” P (as the vanity Fair article pointed out that this man was a creep)

In interviews (after the election) with people who worked with Pailn in McCain’s group she did NOT come across as “Mrs. Nice Person” but as a very demanding and self centered and arrogant person. All of which proves, to me, that most people we see on the media-spin are not necessarily what they pretend to be when the cameras are rolling.

The political things that she “supported” or “didn’t support” seemed to change with the day and the temmperature, as well as her using her religiousity to paint herself as “All-American Mom”—personally, I don’t trust ANY person who wants to be president, or senator or Governor! We have seen WAAAAY too many examples of ourright psychopaths in office recently.

OxDrover:

I recognized that this quote inspired many people. In fact, when I was younger, a friend gave me a photocopy of those very words, with a script font and decorative border, to hang on my wall. On that photocopy, it said “Author unknown”, which saddened me. I still have that paper.

Now that we have the Internet, what better to do than to search for the actual author of the quote? Williamson deserves the credit for these inspiring words. Women are far too often denied their due credit for their accomplishments. People who were inspired by Williamson deserve the ability to seek out further inspiration in her other writings, and to thank her.

As far as why I posted the correction: I am a scientist. The search for truth is part of who I am.

Donna: I look forward to the book release. I hope it has the effect that we all long for. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to keep writing: blogging, newsletters, ‘zines, etc. We can have great effects within our local communities, even without the aid of inter/national media.

Passing Through, Thank you for your post.

Just for the record, I am an educator and I, too, search for the truth and try to teach it.

Blessings!

Just a comment to Oxy, don’t forget that magazines are a segment of the “media.” They are in business to sell their product, magazines.

I haven’t read the Vanity Fair article but I have an “insiders” view of the problems Palin had within the party. They may have been of the same party but they SMEARED her!

Passingthrough:

“Sometimes, it is more virtuious to be kind rather than right.”

You may attribuate this quote to me if you ever use it. Oxy

Passing Through:

“I am a scientist. The search for truth is part of who I am.”

I am only speaking for myself here, and I am not sure what type of scientist you are.

But for me, this website is more about the human condition than any sort of abstract science that deals with names, dates, who said what vs. who wrote what and when).

I am just here trying to work on MY OWN TRUTH, on my own journey, that’s all. It’s about feelings, emotions, healing, and helping others if/when I can.

Betty’s post was correct. She was quoting from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 speech. She never said he wrote the speech.

Since you are the one who likes to get technical and find the truth about these things, then I am sure you are aware that most of the great political leaders of the world do NOT write their own speeches.

Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan etc. all had their own speechwriters.

Even the greatest orator of our generation (my opinion), President Barack Obama, has quoted other people’s work in his speeches WITHOUT giving proper credit.

So, I guess I just don’t understand the urgent need to correct Betty’s post, that was never incorrect to begin with.

Rosa and Oxy, GREAT POSTS, thank you!

I do respeat that I hope that the correction did not detract TOO much from the other comments Betty made!!

There is some confusion on the internet whether Mandela actually spoke the words or not.

That just further proves my point. It does not matter.
The point Betty was trying to make in her post is still valid and true.

Dear Rosa,

Thank you, Rosa! You are so right when you say, may I quote you?

“But for me, this website is more about the human condition than any sort of abstract science that deals with names, dates, who said what vs. who wrote what and when).” [Rosa, July 14, 2009]

A friend of mine said yesterday as we were baking more squash casserole in my kitchen, (and I quote) “In the diplomatic corps, people are taught that to point out an error and to embarass the other person in so doing, is the worst of all ‘sins.’ ”

My grandfather used to say, you can say something that is TRUE in a KIND way, you can “tell a girl her face would STOP TIME, or you can say her face would STOP A CLOCK.”

We all know people that are the kind of people at a social function who point out the errors of others speech, their dress, their grammar, their table manners, etc. I always thought those people were trying to make theimselves “look superior” to the person whom they were pointing out the deficiencies of. Opps! I ended a sentence with a preposition. My bad! LOL

What impresses me the most about others is not how “right” they are, or how much “smarter than others” they are, but the humility of true greatness. That was one of the things I loved so much about my late husband was he was one of the smartest men I have ever known, but also one of the most humble, but his billiance shown like a full moon at night at any gathering he was at because of his humility and his kindness, rather than because he pointed out to others how smart he was. He was one of those rare individuals who was a master at several different fields of expertise, not just one or two.

I was priviledged to know several men of international prominence in their fields, some of whom got the recognition for their acheivements late in their lives, but because of their great humility as well as great accomplishments, those of us who knew them “back when” already knew what outstanding men they were….they were never ones to put themselves forward and say “I am sooo great, so smart, so accomplished” they simply were kind to others, did their jobs, and because they were so accomplished, their qualities, their smarts, all shown like the full moon!

My P-sperm donor was not one of these men to sit back and wait for others to notice his accomplishments, and his accomplishments were in some cases outstanding,but he was alweays so egotistical that he was afraid you might not notice that he was the “smartest man in the world”—and believe it or not, I have a newspaper article and several magazine articles about him where he ACTUALLY said that. Needless to say, he was such an egotistical bore that he was not admired by very many people—feared and disliked maybe, but never admired.

Most of the people on this site have had plenty to do with narcissistic personality disordered people, psychopaths, and other just plain arrogantly egocentric people who are anxious to put themselves forward in an obnoxious way to prove their own superiority over us lesser mortals. Maybe sone of those people are actually smarter than me, but when they point this out to me, it is not for the purpose of making me feel supported and cared about.

Love Fraud is for the purpose of supporting and encouraging people who have been victimized by the narcissists and the psychopaths, and I think that is the first order of business here. The last order of business as well. TOWANDA!

I think what passingthrough was communicating was that Marianne Williams, a wonderful inspirational writer, was the author of that quote. And that she deserves the credit for it.

Just as Oxy deserves the credit for the wonderful image of “sociopath by proxy.”

Mandela did not use that quote in his inauguration speech. William’s own website offers links to Mandela’s speeches to clear up this often-repeated error. (Which Betty is not alone in repeating. It’s one those “urban legend” things.)

None of this is to diminish Betty’s post, which was also wonderful. It’s just a correction. And I for one was glad to see it, because as a writer, I like to see other writer get credit for their work.

This is the second time passingthrough has shown up to correct some facts. And I have been grateful both times.

I understand that the tone of these posts may seem a bit peremptory, like passingthrough may sound like a bit of a know-it-all. But as someone who’s been guilty of the same thing (according to a lot of my friends when I offer to correct their facts), I also understand what that’s like too.

I know we tell our emotional truth here. And that’s the most important thing. But if passingthrough wants to serve as our fact checker on publicly available facts, it’s okay with me.

And I’d like to add that I, personally, haven’t had a problem with passingthrough’s tone. Or the content of the posts. But I understand that some other people do.

I just hate to see us flaming someone for correcting facts.

Yes, Kathleen, I am one of them. His first post gave me the first PTS shock I’d had in a long time. His arrogance and unkindly pointing out someone else’s error was IDENTICAL to that of my EX, a well-educated and intellect man — but I bonafide Narcissist Psychopath!

I apologize for “countering” you, Kathleen, but I feel very strongly that “correction” of errors could be done in a more kindly and sensitive way than PT has done.

Further, when the “correction” interrupts or detracts from the great comments of another’s post I find it inappropriate for this site.

This is my strong opinion. It may not be everyone’s.

KathleenHawk:

“I know we tell our emotional truth here. And that’s the most important thing.”

Has Passing Through told us his emotional truth? Did I miss it?
I have been looking for it, because I find this individual very interesting and intelligent.
What is their story, exactly? Victim of a sociopath? Scientist doing research?

I think it would help a lot of us relate if we knew some background info. The background info. that has been provided (thus far) has no emotional content or depth to it.

Personally, I am probably overly sensitive to fact-checkers. My sister-in-law is always correcting people on their errors. She has a polite, comfortable tone, too. But, her agenda is sinister. So naturally, I am skeptical.

It is just amazing how someone is always right there to point out our factual errors.
At the same time, has yet to offer any advice to the posters who come here seeking help.
If there has been any advice given, I have not seen it.

I too would hate to see someone flamed for being an arrogant know it all, PT has offered advice / given corrections here and in other threads. Personally I find his/her style of posting, somewhat pompous and strangely impersonal. ( I have seen no emotional truth – just arrogant attacks on other posters – sorry)

I would rather NOT have people put off posting here for fear of being fact/grammer/ spell checked!

I cant figure out why on earth is someone so keen to come here to put us all ‘straight’, yet seemingly unable to share any information about why they are here to save us from ignorance in the first place.

I remember once in a supermarket, trying to explain to the S/P that remarking on how attractive the shop girl he had just sleezed in front of me was, could be upsetting for me. That of course everyone is allowed to find whoever they damn well like attractive, but that in the interest of other’s feelings, its not always appropriate to go on and on about it even if it IS the TRUTH.

What a waste of breath it was. He made no adjustment to my expression that I didnt like it but continued in the same vein…with behaviour that made me feel bad.

I have myself, rubbed up folk here on LF the wrong way, and people have rubbed me up the wrong way… on those occasions, what has happend is either an apology or an adjustment in thinking or communicating on either side…

Explaining that to be kind is sometimes more virtuious than to be right takes me right back to the supermarket, and makes me wonder once again why an explanation of something so obvious is needed to someone so seemingly bright.

I admit I am having my buttons pushed by this style of posting, and that is MY issue, but I hope very much that PT will take on board that it is rubbing people up the wrong way… I would love to see a post from PT that didnt start with a quote from another poster then continue on to pointing out the flaws in it … I look forward to reading about your experiences and or work PT!:)

I have a friend who is an incorrigible pedant, and serial debator, I dont think he is a sociopath, he is a little selfish but has a ‘good heart’. I love him but in the past have found him exhausting. He has a million mile an hour mind, grew up in a family of over achievers, is very intelligent and has a touch of the OCD’s:) and sometimes he needs to be told to stop (after a few at a dinner party;) because it is just not helpful or turning into some kind of superiority of mind battle to the death.

waffle, waffle, waffle…:) I’m really rattling on today:)Forgive me LF-ers:)x

I understand, and I apologize if I sound a serial debater in this conversation. You’ve all explained the reasons for your discomfort really clearly. And I thank you for it. I particularly understand your concerns that passingthrough hasn’t shared his or her story, and so we have no way of knowing intentions or becoming comfortable with this person.

Maybe I’m less sensitive to this, because fact-checking is part of my professional life, and part of the life of pretty much everyone I deal with. If someone catches a factual error in my work, I’m grateful, because the misinformation can be costly and counterproductive. I don’t take it as criticism, just help.

But in this context, on LoveFraud, it may be beside the point. As a number of us have said.

And someone who just “passes through,” dropping corrections without participating in other ways, might seem as though he or she is assuming a position of authority that isn’t welcome. We’re okay with giving and getting advice from people we know are like us, and whose intentions we trust. But not from people whose intentions we don’t know.

KathleenHawk:

I totally understand where YOU are coming from. If you would have been the one to make these factual corrections, it would NOT be an issue, and I would NOT be having this conversation.

Once again, the person who could clear this up for us all has disappeared.
That’s another thing I’ve noticed. Whenever things get
heated or combative, this person is not available for comment.

That’s also another sensitive spot for me.

This person is not available for comment right now, even though he/she is at the root of this whole discussion.

In fact, they instigated it.

I would think that someone so eager to “set us all straight” would be on here trying to explain away our confusion.

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