We must have been ‘daft’ to fall for the con

Mary Turner Thomson, who lives in the United Kingdom, was one of the first people that I knew of who wrote a book to tell her story of being conned by a sociopath. The perpetrator was Will Allen Jordan, an American who claimed he was madly in love with Mary, claimed he couldn’t have children and claimed to be a CIA agent. All lies.

I’ve collected some unbelievable and frightening tales of deceit, manipulation, and betrayal. I can say with confidence that Will Allen Jordan ranks as one of the most dangerous sociopaths I’ve ever heard of. With his brainwashing skills and his ability to fabricate “proof,” I think he could convince anyone of anything.

Here’s the True Lovefraud Stories profile of Will Jordan:

Convicted sex offender and bigamist deported from the UK, returns to New Jersey

Mary’s book was originally called The Other Mrs. Jordan, because her malicious hubby was actually married to two different women, and maintaining two separate families, at the same time. The book was later reissued with a new title, The Bigamist.

Here’s my original review of the book:

Book Review: The Other Mrs. Jordan

Mary tells an incredible story. And for some readers, it is just too incredible.

Feeling crushed

I received an email from Mary the other day with the subject line “Feeling crushed.” Here’s what she wrote:

My publishers put my book ”˜The Bigamist’ on Kindle in the US for a crazy price of 89 cents.  As a result it has sold quite a few.  The trouble is that as there are a lot of people buying it for the cheap price there are a lot of people writing reviews who don’t understand what the victims really go through.  The latest review is extraordinary — see a bit of it below: —

“… I found it eye-opening and informative but at the same time I found it almost impossible to feel any kind of empathy for this daft, gullible woman. I’m sorry but anyone that stupid for that long is just asking to be taken for a ride ”¦ it’s just plain sad. And to liken it to the abuse suffered by rape and molestation victims in terms of not being ashamed to speak up ”¦ pfft ”¦ there is no choice in rape or molestation, whereas the author did have a choice and more or less allowed herself to be a victim ”¦ and that IS shameworthy.”

I have always said that the victims of this kind of crime should not be made to feel ashamed. I admire the first victims of rape and child molestation that stood up to be counted against the social stigma, making it possible for others to come forward and stand up as well without shame – many of the people who have written to me, with messages of support, agree with me. This reviewer disagrees and thinks we SHOULD be ashamed. Can we get some of the Lovefraud readers to comment on his review?  I want to personally tell him what I think but can’t.  It is idiots like him that keep allowing this to happen and makes people hide away so that the abuse continues.  For the first time in years I feel really crushed.

Scathing reviews of Love Fraud

The same thing happened to me. My first book, Love Fraud How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan, tells the story of how I was seduced by, and almost destroyed by, my ex-husband, James Montgomery. Most of the reviews on Amazon.com are good. But several are really scathing.

For example, here’s part of what a person by the name of Jessa Larson wrote (complete with her original typos):

She decided to take a chance with James, believing due to his charm and influence, that this indeed was the man who would fill the void she felt inside. Donna’s life goes downhill for many years after that. James turns out to be a manipulative man full of lies and deceit. He has great dreams and aspirations as well as a seemingly endless list of accomplishments and goals. He sounds excellent on paper and seems to be quite the impressive man. I believe the first giant red flag pops up right about here. After 2 days of meeting, James had announced that he was head over heels in love with Donna. 3 days later, he proposes. Within a month of knowing each other, Donna dishes out approximatly $35,000 dollars to a man she barely knows and she marries the guy. She continues ignoring red flag after red flag as the relationship continues. He has more accomplishments written down on paper than I believe is possibly for 98% of the population to have completed in such little time. His claims to fame seem proposterous since if you even began to look further into it, you’d find that is name is not associated with ANY of the companies he’s listed. And if he WAS with those companies, wouldn’t he have quite the income or at least a lot of money in savings somehwere? Also, at this pointf NONE of his goals and investments have come thru whatsoever. This is just the beginning of things I can’t figure out why someone wouldn’t notice even a LITTLE bit of what has to be false.

Here’s what I’ve discovered: People who have tangled with sociopaths understand what Mary and I are talking about. They find our stories to be validating, because they’ve experienced the same thing. They feel like we are talking directly to them.

People who have not tangled with sociopaths think we’re “daft.”

Why they don’t get it

So why is this? Mary and I are both good writers. In fact, I intentionally included a lot of detail in telling my story to make it as real as I possibly could. I’ve been criticized for that—some people consider the detail to be “boring.” But my goal was to paint a complete picture of the experience, so people would “get it.”

Why, in some cases, did my efforts fall short? I think there are three reasons.

First of all, the readers, when they pick up the books, already know the outcomes. My book is called Love Fraud and Mary’s book is called The Bigamist. Readers know we are writing about con men. So yes, when you know you’re reading about con men, the red flags are obvious.

But as we were living the experiences, Mary and I did not know that we were dealing with con men.  So even though we were aware that things were amiss—I knew James Montgomery was lying to me—neither one of us ever imagined that we’d come across someone who would intentionally scam us.

Secondly, I believe the written word simply cannot do justice to the experience of sociopathic manipulation. Linguists and anthropologists have determined that 65% to 90% of the meaning in human communication is nonverbal—tone of voice, body language, facial expressions. That means in written communication—whether it’s online or in a book—65% to 90% of the meaning is missing.

I think the keys to sociopathic influence are their “energy” and “presence.” I have yet to find the words to adequately describe the magnetic, charismatic and convincing way that James Montgomery presented himself, a presentation that made me believe he loved me and he would accomplish everything that he promised. I do think, however, that his behavior could be replicated by a skilled actor. I hope that someday a producer will want to make the Love Fraud movie, because then I may finally be able to convey what it was really like.

Finally, as I said earlier, readers who have not experienced a sociopath simply cannot identify with the manipulation, self-doubt and brainwashing that go on in these encounters. Perhaps they are naturally suspicious and non-trusting enough to keep sociopaths at bay. More likely, they’ve just been lucky. But for whatever reason, they’ve avoided involvements with sociopaths, and assume that anyone who admits to being duped is stupid.

Please comment

Anyway, Mary Turner Thomson and I wrote books in the hopes that our willingness to stand up and tell the truth would help people avoid being scammed like we were. Or if it’s already too late for that, we hope our books help people recover from the experience. So it’s unnerving to be trashed by people who obviously don’t get what we’re talking about.

Lovefraud readers get it. So we’d really appreciate it if you would post a comment in support of our books.

Here are our books on Amazon.com. Just click the “customer reviews” links to see what has been written.

The Bigamist  (look for the review by “Blitzen prancer” on February 4, 2012)

Love Fraud

You need to be an Amazon customer in order to post a review or comment, but you do not need to have purchased these books from Amazon. Here’s what to do:

How to post a review

Mary and I have started the conversation. As more of us tell our stories, I hope the world will wake up to the danger of sociopaths.

Comment on this article

51 Comments on "We must have been ‘daft’ to fall for the con"

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Thank you, Ox Drover. This is exactly what I am doing right now. Watching from far away but ready to come in if needed. BTW, as soon as I show up in their lives, her husband starts abusing her emotionally as a way of telling her to get rid of me! Although she cannot kick me out of the house when I visit (I am very careful this time, not to give her an “excuse” to fulfill his wishes!) I know that he is abusing her because I can sense her emotional distraught. This is why I do not visit her anymore or even call her. But this time, I had managed to keep my relationship with her intact so I can show up in her house anytime I want to, knowing that the tragedy is not over yet. My guess is that as soon as she stops working, he will ditch her for a younger woman and have her sign off everything to him if she does not lose her mind before that.
Recently, I have managed to get my nephew (he is 25) to see him as the psychopath that he is. My nephew stayed with my sister (she is being his aunt) but the psychopath managed to almost break the guy down! Knowing that he would be doing this, I showed up, and gave my nephew all the secrets that I learned about psychopaths. My nephew managed to pull himself together and left the house after finding a job. But that was quite an experience for my nephew as he could not make sense of anything that was happening to him! I knew that my sister’s husband wanted not only to get rid of her nephew but also to cause a rift between him and his aunt so I instructed my nephew not to respond to all of the provocations of this psychopath. Although the psychopath managed to get my sister to kick her nephew out of the house despite the fact that my nephew never gave her an excuse to do so, the psychopath failed in causing a rift between my nephew and his aunt. As you are well aware, psychopaths isolate their victims so they only see the world through their eyes only.
My nephew saw clearly that his aunt was not acting rationally but only after I explained to him that it was only because her husband is a psychopath and had to introduce him to a new type of people that he never imagined could exist! That was not easy as my nephew could not believe me at first and thought any rational person should be able to figure this out and his aunt should be able to question her husband acts such as when her husband hid his mails, destroyed them, or even open them and give them to him opened a few weeks after their arrival! After extensive work with my nephew, I had finally managed to convince him that with psychopaths, your only option is to run!!

Thank you, 20years,
Psychopaths are a difficult subject to deal with because, as I said earlier, if you do not experience them first hand and manage to survive their harm, you can never believe their power. This is why some people do not sympathize with the victims of psychopaths thinking that it is easy to figure them out. I myself, sometimes, think my sister deserves what is happening to her when I see how unwilling she is to see the truth! If I know this much about psychopaths and still feel this sometimes toward my sister, what do you expect from those who never discovered a psychopath?

So many years have passed for me… I am not as much of a crusader as I once was. You know, wanting to grab someone and shake them awake: “don’t you get it!!!!??!!!”

But that doesn’t mean I don’t care.

I think my understanding of boundaries is continuing to evolve.

The process of raising three children has contributed to this, for me. I have thought about my role as their mother, and I guess I’ve always thought… the younger they are, the more I will work hard to be extremely involved in “shaping” them (which I now see as misguided, but that’s what I was thinking when they were little). But as they are all approaching college age, I guess I figured they need to be able to navigate the world on their own, without me. So I always wanted to prepare them.

And also, they spend time alone with their spath dad, and I can’t be there to protect them anymore from him and his crazymaking ways and lack of supervising them. So, early on I decided to do whatever I could to teach them personal safety (around electricity, around open water, out in public places, etc.). Because I knew he would not do these normal parental things.

At this point… I’m a lot more able to allow people to just be themselves, live their own lives, not get into debates with them over whether or not *I* think they are living their lives the way *I* think they should. Because they aren’t living my life, either. I’m not living theirs.

This is a more freeing and peaceful perspective, that I have now. Still a work in progress, but basically I just remind myself, “whose life is it?”

Also… with my 20 years of unpleasant spath experience, enough time has elapsed that I am now able to look back at a lot of it and see that I have learned Great Lessons from it, and honestly I am thankful for the experience. Not that it was fun. But I think this difficult life (which is not as difficult as many people’s lives, comparatively) has taught me a lot about self, others, spirit, compassion, etc. All good things.

And I am not sure I would be as happy and peaceful as I am now, had I not gone through all of that.

That is just to say… I think people are on whatever path they are on, and sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is to just be our shining selves around them and help them when they ask us to. But otherwise, just kind of be present without meddling.

Gotta run to work, look forward to reading above posts tonite. But in the meantime I would like to recommend, ” Vital Lies, Simple Truths” by Daniel Goleman. It explores in detail the process of denial and how and why our brains are wired to see what we want to see and bury the rest. Very eye opening, well researched and an interesting read. Helps us understand our own and others insistence on seeing things to fit our comfort zone, rather than as they are. Cheers, LF’ers

Funny really I have accepted the community losing, friend losing experience of not being believed, but then the man whose adoration showed me my ex husband was a spath turned out to be NPD. Took me 20 years to spot the first one and four years to spot the second, you’d think I must be a slow learner if you didn’t know I have a PhD in Psychology!! Nice, empathic, genuine people in love assume their lover is the same, they know their own faults and drawbacks and give the forgiveness and understanding they would like for themselves. The just world assumption of the unexperienced is one of our hardest battles to win in this war.

I admit to not having read through all of the comments here yet, but the part about the negative comments because of the mirroring of that persons own shortcomings and being too close in relations certainly hits home with me.

I have felt the reppurcussions of seeing the truth thru the veil of lies and misconceptions. Knowing about the mask
and knowing others are aware of their part in all of it. My FIL is guilty as hell of this very thing. To point out that his son has a problem would be admitting to his having failed to notice and get some kind of help. His profession dwells in this and deals with it daily. It would be admitting his own failures and nobody as ‘highly regarded’ as he is can possibly do that or be wrong…

So they live in the land of denial, overlooking the beaches of whoops, we f%cked up big! But if they close their eyes to all of it, they are invisible. It never happened that way and just hush honey, we will pay for it and things will be all right.

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