By Ali Sina
Thanks to Gramfan with an introductory footnote from Dr Bulldog
(This page is better viewed with theÂ Mozille Firefox browser)
I must confess I did not like Senator Barack Hussein Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident â€“ a good package. It is so instinctive for most peole to want to see blacks succeed. It is as if all humanity is carrying a collective guilt for what the ancestors of blacks endured. However, I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. Â His posture and his body language were loader than his empty words.
It is surreal to see the level of hysteria in his admirers. This phenomenon is unprecedented in American politics. Â Women scream and swoon during his speeches.Â They yell and shout to Obama, “I love you.”Â Never George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt. Martin Luther King Jr. or Ronald Reagan aroused so much raw emotions.Â Despite their achievements, none of them was raised to the rank of Messiah. The Illinois senator has no history of service to the country. He has done nothing outstanding except giving promises of change and hyping his audience with hope. It’s only his words, not his achievements that is causing this much uproar.
When cheering for someone turns into adulation, something is wrong. Eexcessive adulation is indicative of personality cult. The cult of personality is often created when the general population is discontent. A charismatic leader can seize the opportunity and project himself as an agent of change and a revolutionary leader. Often, people, tired of the status quo, do not have the patience to examine the nature of the proposed change. All they want is change. During 1979, when the Iranians were tired of the dictatorial regime of the late Shah, they embraced Khomeini, not because they wanted Islam, but because he promised them change. The word in the street was, “anything is better than the Shah.” They found their error when it was too late. Â Â
Khomeini promised there would be separation between religion and state. He lied and they did not care to look into his past to see whether he actually meant what he said. Had they done that they would have seen that he always believed in caliphate and the rule of Islam. Â People gobbled everything he told them uncritically.Â TheyÂ wantedÂ to believe and therefore closed their eyes so they don’t see what they did not want to see. Eyes welled when he spoke. Masses poured into the streets by the millions, screamed and shouted to greet him. People kissed his pictures. Some saw his portrait reflected on the Moon.Â
Listening to Obama … it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch Khomeini, how he would excite the crowd and they’d come to their feet and scream and yell.
I was amused to hear a listener calling Fox News Radio’sÂ Tom Sullivan Show, (Feb 11)Â and saying: “Listening to Obama … it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch those deals with Hitler, how he would excite the crowd and they’d come to their feet and scream and yell.”Â (Â Videos of Hitler’s speeches are available on Youtube.Â They are worth a look.)
Equating anyone to Hitler by highlighting the similarities between the two is a logical fallacy.Â This fallacy, known asÂ reductio ad HitlerumÂ is a variety of both questionable cause and association fallacy. I believe it is wrong to trivialize the holocaust and the horrors of Nazism by comparing our opponents to Hitler.
However, Hitler, prior to coming to power had not killed anyone. He was insane, but few could see that. Far from it, he was seen as a gifted man and hailed as the savior of Germany. He was admired throughout the world.Â He appealed to the masses of people â€“ the working class and particularly to women, and did not just inspire them, he “elevated” them. Thousands rallied to listen to his passionate speeches. He gave them promises of change and instilled in them hope.Â They shed tears when he spoke. Women fainted during his speeches. To Germans, he was not a politician, but a demigod, a messiah. They envisioned him as truly a magical figure of majestic wisdom and glory. They worshiped him. They surrendered their wills to him. He restored their national pride. He projected himself as their savior. He ran on the platform of change and hope. Change he delivered all right, but hopes he shattered.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
I think it is fair to say that the Illinois senator puts the same passion in his speeches that Hitler used to put in his, and he evokes similar raw emotions in his audience. This much we can agree. Okay, we can also agree that both Hitler and Charlie Chaplin wore square moustaches. So what?
The Cult of Personality
How Obama sees himself.
There are other disturbing similarities. Like Hitler and Khomeini, Obama also likes to create a cult of personality around himself. Wherever a large number of a population is discontent, a charismatic leader can seize the opportunity and present himself as the agent of change. He can create a cult of Personality by associating himself with the idea of change. He convinces everyone that things are terrible and a drastic change is needed. He then casts himself as the only person who can deliver this revolutionary transformation that everyone is waiting for. He portrays himself as a benevolent guide, the only one who cares about people and their needs and can pull them out of their alleged misery. Â
These revolutionary leaders need foes. They exaggerate the problems. They make everything look gloomy. They lie, cheat and slander their opponents while casting themselves as the saviors of the nation. Hitler chose the Jews to blame for everything that was wrong in Germany. Khomeini made the Shah and his westernization plans his scapegoats. Obama has chosen President George W. Bush to smear. He can rally people around himself, as long as he can instill in them the dislike of Bush and equate his rival, McCain to him.Â Sigmund Freud wrote, “It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness”(Civilization and Its Discontents).
AÂ cult of personality isÂ excessive adulation, admiration and exaltation of a charismatic leader, often with unproven merits or achievements. It is similar to hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders.
An unequivocal expression of delusional gradiosity
Let us read a few of the comments Obama’s fans have made about him. Their unbounded adulation of this totally unknown figure is proof of my claim.
Jon Robin BaitzÂ is the creator of the ABC series “Brothers & Sisters.” He writes:
Today we saw and heard a preview of our brightest possible American future in Senator Barack Obama’s glorious speech. This, then, is what it means to be presidential. To be moral. To have a real center. To speak honestly, from the heart, for the benefit of all. If there was any doubt about what we have missed in the anti-intellectual, ruthlessly incurious Bush years, and even the slippery Clinton ones, those doubts were laid to rest by Barack Obama’s magisterial speech today. A speech in which he distanced himself from a flawed father figure, Reverend Wright, and did so with almost Shakespearian dignity and honor.
For twenty years Obama was part of Jeremiah Wright’s racist church and listened to all the hate which that man spewed against the Jews and the “rich White America.” Obama did not object to any of those hateful comments and even donated $20,000 dollars to his Trinity United Church of Christ. Â Baitz is willing to overlook all that and, mesmerized by Obama’s speeches, she embraces a man who up until yesterday supported the racist views of his spiritual mentor. She calls Obama’s speech “glorious,” and concludes he is honest and moral. Â How did she come to that hasty conclusion? There is no evidence of that except her “gut feeling.” That observation is subjective. We have not seen any evidence of Obama’s honesty yet. On the contrary, he has been caught with a litany lies.
Clearly Sen. Obama has a charming effect on his audience, who after listening to him are so moved that they willingly give up their reason and follow their hearts. Let’s see how Baitz adulates Obama to the point of worship.
Barack Obama’s speech, perhaps one of the most important in modern political history pushed us as a people to move beyond race and gender, beyond Democrat and Republican, beyond politics and into reviving the spirit of the nation itself. To talk, to talk at home, at work, at the dinner table. To really finally talk. What a great day, and where else in the world but in the United States? Today I am very proud to be an American.
Remembering the reaction of Iranians to Khomeini’s speeches, this is all deja vu for me.
There is an old adage that says, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell who you are.” Don’t the quality of Obama’s friends and associates tell us about the man? Â Shouldn’t we look in the his history of this man to acertain his truthfulness? Â Â One characteristic of cult of personality is that people become ready to close their eyes. They find excuses and rationalize the sins of their leader.
Another Obama worshipper isÂ Ezra Klein.Â He is an associate editor atÂ The American Prospect. Klein wrote:
Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. TheyÂ elevate.Â They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of wordÂ overÂ flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I’ve heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.
Obama is not seen by his admirers as a politician but as something holy. Klein says “He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of wordÂ overÂ flesh.” Â The truth is that Obama is nothing but words! What is scary is that so many smart people are willing to fall for his empty words. Interestingly the sameÂ Ezra Klein had earlier said:
Obama is a cipher, an easy repository for the hopes and dreams of liberals everywhere…But if Obama avoided being battle-tested in 2004 by the grace of God, it’s his own timidity that has kept his name clean since. Given his national profile and formidable political talents, he could have been a potent spokesman for Democratic causes in the Senate.Â Instead, he has refused to expend his political or personal capital on a single controversial issue, preferring to offer anodyne pieces of legislation and sign on to the popular efforts of others…Indeed, Obama is that oddest of all creatures: a leader who’s never led. There are no courageous, lonely crusades to his name, or supremely unlikely electoral battles beneath his belt. He won election running basically unopposed, and then refused to open himself to attack by making a controversial but correct issue his own.”
Quite a shift I would say. What did exactly Obama do, for Klein to change his views so drastically? Nothing! Obama has won this man’s heart only by the power of his mesmerizing words. Â he is making his conquests, through the sheer power of his oratory. That is how Hitler won the hearts of the Germans.Â As Obama’s life story show, his words don’t have any bearing on reality.Â Words are powerful, but when they are not backed by any substance they are empty rhetoric.
Todd Gitlin, is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University.Â He is another worshipper of Obama. This is what he says about his leader.
This speech was a triumph on so many levels, does one dare hope it will turn the trick for hordes of parsing skeptics and listeners whose eyes did not water? First, Obama took the high road, which is also the long and demanding road. He refused to “move on” with a cursory acknowledgment that “mistakes were made.” He did not acknowledge. He preached and he reasoned.”
Let us pause here and examine what this professor of journalism and sociology says. Obama was a close friend of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and listened to his racist sermons for twenty years. Wright is a man who has intense hatred for the Jews, for Whites and for America.Â Â This clip shows some of his remarks made from the pulpit. Here is a gleaning from his sermons: Â
- We [The White controlled America] have supported state terrorism against Palestinians and Black South Africans … Because of the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back to our own home front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.
- No, no, no! Not God bless America. God damn America. That is in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America.
- Government lied about Pearl Harbor. They knew that Japanese are going to attack.
- They [Government]Â purposelyÂ infected African-American men withÂ syphilis!
- What is going on in White America, U.S. of KKK?
- Black men turning on Black men? That is fighting the wrong enemy. You both are primary targets in an oppressive society that sees both of you as a dangerous threat.
- What we [America] is doing is the same thing Al Qaida is doing, under a different flag.
- Oh I am so glad, that I got a God who knows what it is to be a poor Black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by and run by rich White people.
- Yes, 911 happened to us, and so did slavery happen to us. Yes the World Trade Center happened to us, and so did White supremacy happen to us.
- “Barack knows what it means to be a Black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich White people.”
When all these came to light, at first the Illinois senator denied having heard them.Â That excuse was not believable. Wright was Obama’s spiritual mentor and the most influential man in his life. And yet he expects us to believe he listened to his sermons for 20 years but did not pay attention to what he was saying? So he changed his position and admitted to having heard them, but he categorically condemned them. Obama went one step further. He did not just condemn the racist remarks of his Pastor, but he preached and he sermonized how bad are those comments.Â Now, this requires some audacity that only a narcissist can muster. Instead of apologizing and recognizing his error, Obama turned the table and preached to others.
How can we understand this? The man himself is the sinner but instead of acknowledging his sins, he preaches to others about the vices of those sins.Â The answer can be found in the description of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Â Narcissists will never admit being wrong. They are always one step ahead of you.
Those who remember Rev. Jimmy Swaggart know that he was one of the most popular and successful televangelists of all times. During the 1980s, he had millions of fans all over the world. He mesmerized his audience. He was more than a rock star, he was a phenomenon.Â Swaggart was a preacher of “morality.” He was so against promiscuity and unlawful sex that he went after two other televangelist magnates, Marvin Gorman and Jimmy Baker, exposed their adultery and brought their empires down.
However, what narcissists preach and what they do are two different things. Soon after exposing Gorman’s adultery, Swaggart himself was pictured with a prostitute in a motel room. Â He was banned from giving sermons for three months. But he could not stay away from the church that provided him with adulation and the people who fed his narcissistic need. He said, “If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell.” Â So he returned to the pulpit and after shedding a few crocodile tears of repentance, he went right on preaching morality, chastising adultery and sermoning to others, how THEY should live a chaste life.
This requires audacity. How one who has been caught with a prostitute, literally with his pants down, could have the cheek to preach to others about the very thing he is guilty of? NPD provides the answer to both Swaggart and Obama’s responses, when caught red handed. Â The narcissist will not apologize for his own sins; he will go on preaching to you about the evilness of those sins.Â If Professor Gitlin had read a book or two on narcissism, he would have not been hoodwinked by Obama’s preaching about racial harmony after being caught with his proverbial pants down in his racist church. Giltin is not alone; millions of Americans have fallen for this narcissist’s mind games.
Prof. Gitlin continues:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
“The Reverend Jeremiah Wright,” he [Obama]said, “had spoken in an ‘incendiary’ manner,” but Obama offered himself as the man who rises from flames and invites you to rise from your own. He took a grievous embarrassment and moved his lesson to the plane ofÂ prophecy. Talk about hope; talk about audacity. Tears came to my eyes. I don’t think I’m especially hard-hearted, but I cannot think of another time when the speech of a presidential candidate watered me up.
It is amazing to see to what extent people are willing to go to eulogize another human being.Â It is this excess that constitutes the cult of personality. The difference between admiration and cult of personality is in the degree of adulation. Â IsÂ it not fair to say that Obama has the same effect on his fans that Hitler, Khomeini or other famous demagogues such as Joseph Stalin or Mao Ze Dong had? Â I am not equating Obama to those mass murderers. Obama has not killed anyone (at least not yet). I am only comparing their effects on their audience, particularly prior to their rise to power.
Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such a quasi “religious” impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming.
Obama’s speeches are grandiose. They are other worldly. He may talk about the war in Iraq, taxes or social security. It does not matter how mundane is the subject, he makes them sound transcendental and his audience is moved to tears. His worshippers do not go to listen to his plans. He has yet to offer any that is workable and different. They go to bask in his glory, to get high. Obama presents himself as someone with a unique vision and grasp of the entire problems affecting, not just the nation but the world, a pretense that is incomensurate with his track record. When in a meeting with House Democrats waxing lyrical about his trip to Europe, he concluded, “this is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for.” The world is waiting for Obama, according to Obama. In one of his rallies he reiterated this delusion of grandiosity and said,Â “We are the one we’ve been waiting for.”Â This sentence is logically absurd. What actually Obama wanted to say, which he masked with fake modesty is “I am the one the world has been waiting for.”
There is nothing more dangerous than the cult of personality.Â When you fall for someone to this extent that Obama’s followers have fallen for him, you surrender your reason and individuality to him willingly. When millions of people surrender their hearts and their minds to one person the result can be catastrophic. This is what happened in Germany with Hitler, in China with Mao, in the Soviet Union with Stalin, in Cuba with Castro, in Iran with Khomeini, and so and on so forth. Today, we think these men were monsters, but that was not what millions of their worshiper thought. Those people loved them.Â Dictators can’t dictate, unless peole are willing to be dictated.Â
Here is what Wikipedia says about Cult of Personality:Â
“AÂ cult of personalityÂ orÂ personality cultÂ arises when a country’s leader uses mass media to create a heroic public image through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships but can be found in some democracies.
“A cult of personality is similar to general hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders. However, the term may be applied by analogy to refer to adulation of non-political leaders.”
Who is Obama?
Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects. Barack Obama is a narcissist. Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love, also believes,Â “Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist.”
Vakinin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens.Â After recognizing that diagnosing someone without lengthy tests and personal interviews is not accurate, Vaknin says that Obama’s language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
Vaknin explains: “Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types [cerebral and somatic] equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven.”Â These were the very traits that distinguished Hitler and Khomeini. Many of these traits can be seen in Obama. As for his ruthlessness, we have no idea. Narcissist need power to show their ruthlessness. However, considering the fact that he neglected his own half brother, George Obama, who lives on one dollar per month in Kenya, we can’t vouch for Obama’s empathy or say he is a caring person. Â
What is Narcissism?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissism as a personality disorder thatÂ “revolve around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement. Often individuals feel overly important and will exaggerate achievements and will accept, and often demand, praise and admiration despite worthy achievements.”Â
The third and fourth editions of theÂ Diagnostic and Statistical ManualÂ (DSM) of 1980 and 1994 and the European ICD-10 describe NPD in similar language:Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts.Â Â FiveÂ (or more) of the following criteria must be met:
- Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion
- Is firmly convinced that he is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special,Â unique, or high-status people (or institutions)
- Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation, or failing that, wishes to be feared and notorious (narcissistic supply)
- Feels entitled.Â Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment.Â Demands automatic and full compliance with his expectations
- Is “interpersonally exploitative” i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends
- Is devoid of empathy.Â Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others
- Is constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her
- Is arrogant, has haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted
Obama inebriated with the fantasy of unlimited success.
Pathological narcissism, is not akin to typical narcissismâ€”someone with a hedonistic or self-centered sense of self â€”but rather someone with a very weak sense of self. Obama’s narcissism is pathological.
Narcissists are skillful, relentless and driven. They seek power. That is the whole purpose of their existence. Power for them is the elixir of life.Â Those who know about NPD can’t help but notice it in Obama’s posture, the tone of his voice, his demeanor and particularly his grandiose claims and unscripted adlibs.
Narcissim has degrees. When it is extreme it shows in the posture and the way the narcissist walks and talks. Obama’s posture, exudes haughtiness. He is all puffery. Compare his posture to those of Hitler, Stalin and Saddam.
According to Vaknin, Obama displays the following behaviors, which are among the hallmarks of pathological narcissism:Â
– Subtly misrepresents facts and expediently and opportunistically shifts positions, views, opinions, and “ideals” (e.g., about campaign finance, re-districting). These flip-flops do not cause him overt distress and are ego-syntonic (he feels justified in acting this way). Alternatively, reuses to commit to a standpoint and, in the process, evidences a lack of empathy.
Ignores data that conflict with his fantasy world, or with his inflated and grandiose self-image. This has to do with magical thinking. Obama already sees himself as president because he is firmly convinced that his dreams, thoughts, and wishes affect reality. Additionally, he denies the gap between his fantasies and his modest or limited real-life achievements (for instance, in 12 years of academic career, he did’t publish a single scholarly paper or book).
– Feels that he is above the law.
– Talks about himself in the 3rd person singluar or uses the regal “we” and craves to be the exclusive center of attention, even adulation
– Has a messianic-cosmic vision of himself and his life and his “mission”.
– Sets ever more complex rules in a convoluted world of grandiose fantasies with its own language (jargon)
– Displays false modesty and unctuous “folksiness” but is unable to sustain these behaviors (the persona, or mask) for long. It slips and the true Obama is revealed: haughty, aloof, distant, and disdainful of simple folk and their lives.
– Sublimates aggression and holds grudges.
– Behaves as an eternal adolescent (e.g., his choice of language, youthful image he projects, demands indulgence and feels entitled to special treatment, even though his objective accomplishments do not justify it).
Obama sublimates aggression. Can he be trusted as the leader of the free world?
Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People’s Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was also a narcissist. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time. All these people had a tremendous influence over their fanciers. They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers’ souls, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom. Â
One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse. “Obama’s early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations,” says Vaknin. “Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then, his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia: a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995.”
In Vaknin’s words, “Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial: the perpetrators could be dysfunctional or absent parents, teachers, other adults, or peers.”
If we look into the childhood of all narcissists, we can see that invariably they were abused. Saddam was born to a widow who after losing her husband and her 12 year old son was so distressed that she attempted suicide. Before his birth, she would pull out clumps of her hair and pummel her pregnant abdomen with her fists. Saddam Hussein in his own official biography recounts his unhappy childhood. Hitler was the son of a very abusive man who would beat him regularly. From Saddam to Osama, to Hitler, to Stalin, to Khomeini, to Mao and to Kim Jong Ill, it is wounded childhood that causes NPD. Obama’s chaotic childhood and his continuous struggle to find hisÂ identityÂ make him a prime candidate for NPD.Â
Narcissists have only one issue: They want power and will do and say anything to get it. Their words mean nothing to them. They do not intend to keep them. They look into your eyes and swear on a stack of Bibles that they are not going to do something when that is exactly what they intend to do.Â They break their promises when it suits them and annul their treaties when they can get away with it. Â TheyÂ lie,Â andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie,Â andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie, andlie, andÂ lie, andÂ lie.
Narcissists are pathological liars.Â They lie even to themselves. Ironically, they are the first to believe their own lies. When normal people lie, they show the sign of distress. Narcissists don’t. They can pass any polygraph test with flying colors. It is this conviction that fools people around them making them believe in their truthfulness and sincerity. In a twisted way they are sincere because, although they are conscience that they are not truthful, they believe in their own lies. Â This is difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain, but for a narcissist fantasy and reality are intertwined. The narcissist’s delusional thoughts of grandiosity are real to him. Â
Obama absorbed in reveries of omnipotence
Germans are not particularly an evil race. They are no better or worse than any other nation. And yet, despite their advanced culture and civility they committed the most hideous crime in modern history. They murdered up to ten million people, because these unfortunate souls did not meet their standard of “ethnic purity.” Hitler did not kill anyone; the Germans did.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
So the question is: What made these smart and highly civilized people commit such horrendous acts of savagery?
According to Vaknin, “The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies.”
Is America a narcissistic society?Â Â Vaknin believesÂ “Pathological narcissism is a ubiquitous phenomenon because every human being – regardless of the nature of his society and culture – develops healthy self esteem early in life [which he calls healthy narcissism]. Â Healthy narcissism is rendered pathological by abuse – and abuse, alas, is a universal human behavior. By “abuse” we mean any refusal to acknowledge the emerging boundaries of the individual – smothering, doting, and excessive expectations – are as abusive as beating and incest.”
The emergence of so many cults in America is proof that America is not an exception to the norm. If demagogue narcissists, like Jim Jones, David Koresh or Jimmy Swaggart can find a fertile ground in America, why not one with a political message? Â Â
Narcissists are manipulative and extremely resourceful. They know how to the play their game, and how to get what they want, by using others. Obama is the least experienced senator among the Democrats. His political views are the most foolish of them all. He opposed the surge in Iraq and he was wrong. He thinks the solution to terrorism is to sit with terrorist states without precondition and negotiate with them. When Russia invaded Georgia, all this genius did was to urge both sides to “exert restraint”. Everything this man has said so far reveals his ignorance in economical, political and military matters. Despite that, this junior senator has managed to rally the seasoned senators of the Democratic Party around himself and, not withstanding his ineptitude, he has emerged as the leader de facto of his party and their presidential candidate.
This is a remarkable feat. One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service.Â The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents.
Anyone can be fooled by narcissists.Â Just as experienced and smart senators of the Democratic Party have surrendered to the charisma of Obama, a man who is inferior to them all in every sense; many members of the media also have fallen for his charm hook, line and sinker.Â The American media is soft on Obama, but extremely harsh and deceitfully unfair on Governor Palin. The “rich White Americans,” the very people he despised for twenty years are swooning for him. The Jews whom he opposed all his life are backing him. They are opening their wallets and supporting his campaign in an unprecedented way. He has managed to charm even the kennedys. Ted Kennedy, the lion in the Winter, passed the Kennedy mantle unto Obama. That was hugely symbolic.; As for the great Clintons he made them submissive and obedient. And for whatever reason, incomprehensible to me, they are playing his game. Think about it. Obama is a cipher. In reality, he is nobody. And yet, thanks to his overbearing display of authority, the very mask that he is wearing to hide his devalued and injured self, he has overwhelmed all the giants of the Democratic party. Cults are full of very smart people who have fallen prey to very sick needy people.
Could all this phenomenal support and unbounded adulation erupt into violence?Â All the abuses and killings in Nazi Germani were done by the Germans, ordinary people who loved Hitler and believed in the glorious tomorrow that he was promising them. Hitler was insane, but those who did his bidding were not. Despite being smart, they did not hesitate to fulfill their fuehrer’s wishes and commit the most heinous crimes. Â The same thing happened in Iran. Ordinary people, once under the spell of Khomeini, acted like beasts. This is what happens when sane people follow insane people.
Could the same happen in America? Â Why not? Look how millions of people literally worship Obama. With some people I cannot even talk about Obama. They cannot tolerate any criticism of him. They get angry and, not only they want to end the conversation but threaten to end our friendship. I am familiar with this kind of religious devotion to a person. The reaction that I get from Obama worshippers is similar to that of Muslims when their prophet is criticized. They are even prone to insult you. See how they overlook Obama’s blatant lies and are willing to forgive his major sins such as racism. Â Note how the mainstream media bends the rules, twists the facts, exaggerates Obama’s little virtues, absolves his sins, and even lies to sell him to the public. Compare the royal treatment that the liberal press has given to Obama to how unfairly they treat Governor Palin, how they smear her character and belittle her experience and achievement. ABC’s Charlie Gibson’s interview with Governor Palin was a stain on journalistic integrity. Is it more important that Palin has not traveled the world and has not shaken hands with heads of states, or the fact that Obama has lied so many times?Â Under what pretext should an ordinary citizen visit heads of foreign states? The question itself is preposterous.
While not shaking hands with foreign heads of states does not disqualify one to run for any office,Â The Logan ActÂ (est. 1799) makes it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.
That is exactly what Obama did during his trip to Iraq, a charge thatÂ Obama’s national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi confirmed,Â while trying to deny it. She said, “In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a ‘Strategic Framework Agreement’ governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office.”
This is high treason. Â Ordinary citizens have no right to enter into negotiations with foreign countries without authorization from the Government. Obama tells the Iraqis not to let the American soldiers go, so he can call them in January supposedly when he is the president and claim victory for himself. Â Will Mr. Gibson or anyone in the liberal media question Obama for this crime?
Gibson’s questions were tricky. He asked the Governor, Â “what do you think of Bush’s doctrine,” and then, instead of explaining himself, he insisted that his interviewee define what he meant. Â After letting the Governor look puzzled, Gibson explained what he understands by Bush Doctrine, which according to him is preemptive strike.Â
Assuming this is a “Bush doctrine,” is it his only doctrine? Isn’t being pro life also a Bush doctrine? Isn’t Christianity or creationism a Bush doctrine? Bush believes in a multitude of things. How can one know what Gibson has in mind? Do you see the trickery?Â
Many members of the media have been hoodwinked by the charm of the rising fuehrer. They have become his extensions, act deceitfully and dishonestly to make their beloved leader’s rise to power a reality. Â
How can smart people let themselves be manipulated by a psychopath to such an extent that they become quasi zombies? Recall what the smart Germans did under the spell of Hitler. Bear in mind what the Soviets did under the influence of Stalin. Consider what the Japanese did during WWII when they believed in the divinity of their emperor. Evoke how the Chinese Red Guard massacred millions of their own countrymen when they were blinded by their love for Mao and his faux notion of equality. Look at the Islamic terrorists. Can’t we say the same about them? Isn’t Islamic savagery the result of Muslims’ uncritical devotion to a long deceased narcissist? If you don’t know what I am talking about, I invite you to read my book,Understanding Muhammad.Â When sane people fall for the lies of an insane man they act insanely.
No one is born a terrorist.Â Terrorists are ordinary people who do the bidding of a pathological narcissist whom they love and worship as their liberator. They are so enamored with him that they stop thinking and act like automatons. Â To prove their love and devotion they can commit murder and even suicide. They can kill their own children, as the followers of Jim Jones did in Guyana. The narcissist encourages all of this behavior because it fuels his need for power. It reassures him that he is loved. Â Did you hear the song played during the Democratic convention?Â It said, “This is the church.” And who do you think is the head of that church?Â Americans are as fallible and as gullible as everyone else. It is foolhardy to say “it won’t happen to us.” Just as today, Obama’s supporters happily engage in intellectual dishonesty, deceitful reporting, and even hooliganism, I predict they will soon, merrily commit the same crimes other nations committed under the spell of their narcissistic leaders. Â
The Sick Symbiosis
Narcissists need their narcissistic supply to fuel their narcissism. They get it through adulation from people around them. These people are often also needy people. They are known as co-dependants. The narcissist and his co-dependent therefore, form a sick symbiosis in which both benefit. Let me give you one example to explain this mechanism.
David Sirota is aÂ nationally syndicated newspaper columnist.Â In December 2006, in an article entitledÂ “The Ridiculousness & Danger That Is Obama ’08”Â Sirota lambasted the Democrats who wanted Obama, an incognito junior senator, to run for presidency.
Sometimes, you really just have to sit back and laugh at the ridiculousness of the celebrity-obsessed political culture we now live in.” wrote Sirota in his column. “Take thisÂ Chicago Sun-Times article by Lynn SweetÂ in which she predicts Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D) will run for president. She goes through what he has to do to prepare for his run, and this is the one that just makes you chuckle: “Develop signature legislative initiatives: Once the Democrats control Congress come January, there’s a chance to pass legislation. Watch for Obama to focus on alternative energy measures, health care and ethics reform legislation that stalled earlier this year.”
Think about it. The national media is swooning over Obama, begging him to run for president. Yet, at the same time, they are implicitly acknowledging that he has actually not “developed significant legislative initiatives.” In other words, we are to simply accept that the Obama for President wave has absolutely nothing to do with anything that the man HAS DONE and further, that whenever he does decide to use his enormous political capital to do something, it is all in pursuit of the White House – not any actual sense of DOING SOMETHING for the people who elected him to the Senate.
I don’t blame Obama for not having accomplished much – he’s been in the Senate for two years. AsÂ I wrote in the Nation, the main concern about him is that he doesn’t actually seem to ASPIRE to anything outside of the Washington power structure (other than maybe running for another higher office), and doesn’t seem to be interested in challenging the status quo in any fundamental way. Using his senate career as a guide, it suggests that any presidential run by him is about him, his speaking ability and his fawned over talent for “connecting” (whatever the hell that means).”Â (Read the rest of Sirota’s comment in his own blog.)
I could not say it better. Sirota understood the problem with Obama. He realized that not only this man has zero experience; he is actually a power hungry charlatan that aspires to noting other than running for another higher office. He then expressed his outrage at the fellow Democrats who tried to make a leader out of this quack. Â
These Democrats laid all their hopes on Obama. They were captivated by his charm. They could not see that this man is wearing a mask of authority to cover his inner feeling of insecurity; that he is a fraud, a narcissist. When approached,Â Obama at first confessed to his inexperience,Â but the sycophants in the Democratic Party, were so desperate to find a charismatic leader that they could not let go of their prize. It does not take much to persuade a narcissist that he can do anything. Â He is already convinced that he is smarter and better that everyone else. So, despite his own confession of lack of experience, Obama could not resist the temptation.
To nurture his narcissism, the narcissist needs narcissistic supply. It is always people around the narcissist who provide that supply and encourage him in his psychosis. If it were not for Khadijah who reassured her husband that his hallucinations were not demonic, as he had thought, but divine intimations, Muhammad may never have started his prophetic career.Â It was she who encouraged him to launch a new religion, instead of calling an exorcist.
This is called co-dependency. The co-dependent, who also suffers from low self esteem, seeks his or her grandeur and narcissistic supply in the greatness of a narcissist of whom she seeks to become a part.
According to Wikipedia, “a ‘codependent’ is loosely defined as someone who exhibits too much, and often inappropriate, caring for persons who depend on him or her. A ‘codependent’ is one side of a relationship between mutually needy people. The dependent, or obviously needy party(s) may have emotional, physical, financial difficulties, or addictions they seemingly are unable to surmount. The “codependent” party exhibits behavior which controls, makes excuses for, pities, and takes other actions to perpetuate the obviously needy party’s condition, because of their desire to be needed and fear of doing anything that would change the relationship.”
The Democrats were desperately in need of a charismatic leader. They saw their hope in a needy man, a narcissist who portrayed himself as self assured, eloquent and authoritative and had sex appeal. It was love at first sight and they set on to polish him as their candidate.Â In this relationship the Democratic Party became the co-dependant of the narcissist Obama. They needed someone to shine so they can bask in his splendor. And Obama needed them to fulfill his delusions of grandiosity. This is how codependency works. It is a sick symbiosis of two needy parties. Behind every successful narcissist, there is always a co-dependent. Â
When the co-dependent and the narcissist team-up the result can be catastrophic. Now we haveÂ folie Ã deux.Â The delusional belief of the narcissist about himself is transmitted and shared by another needy, but ostensibly smart person. Â The codependent validates and encourages the narcissist’s delusion. As the result, the narcissist becomes bolder, more assertive, more authoritative and more confident. The partnership of the narcissist and the codependent dons their delusion with the mantle of credibility. The codependent will then do everything to persuade others as well. The narcissist’s cause is himself. The codependent will champion that cause. By recruiting others, they find validation for their own belief about the narcissist. Soon theÂ folie Ã deuxÂ becomesÂ folie Ã trois, thenÂ folie Ã quatre, and when you are a presidential candidate and are followed by a hoard of journalists and cameramen, before you blink there will beÂ folie Ã plusieursÂ (madness of many). Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome asÂ shared psychotic disorder.Â Â Â
Like gasoline being poured on a fire, the sycophants around the narcissist provide him with an abundance of narcissistic fuel to feed upon. Â The unbounded adulations poured at his feet further reinforce and escalate the unique and divine self-image of the narcissist. The larger the narcissistic fuel supply becomes, the more inflated becomes his ego, and the more firmly set in his own mind becomes the conviction of his own invincibility and superiority over other men. The narcissist reaches a stage that he will claim to be a revolutionary leader, an agent of change and renascence, an instrument of God, even a messenger or prophet of God. Â Just as a fire can grow infinitely large as long as it receives its fuel, there is no limit to the delusional belief of a narcissist. When millions of people yell and scream and shout “I love you,” an ordinary narcissist is prone to believe that he is God. Â If the narcissist happens to be a person with power and authority, in a position of high leadership commanding armies and weapons of mass destruction, the result too often leads to the horrific slaughter of millions of innocent souls in the gulag, gas chambers, or killing fields.
Unbounded adulation reconfirms the narcissist that he is right and that anyone who disagrees with him is evil and therefore it is just to punish him. Narcissists do not understand the concept of the Golden Rule. Right is what benefits them and wrong is what harms them. So they fight for their own interest and are convinced that this is justice. Human rights and human lives are important only to the extent that they meet their narcissistic needs. Â They are wortheless, and can be disposed of, if they don’t. Â
Ayatollah Montazeri, the man who was originally chosen to succeed Khomeini, recalled when Khomeini ordered the execution of 3000 youths who were captured during a demonstration against the regime. He protested and Khomeini angrily told him, “I will respond for my actions in the Day of Judgment.”Â Khomeini was a man of God. However, as a narcissist, he was convinced that because he was a superior being and a chosen one, a delusional belief that was reconfirmed by millions of people when they cheered for him, anyone who opposed him was opposing God and therefore by killing them he was doing the maker of the universe a favor.
There is no cure for narcissism. However, deprived of adulation, the disorder will remain dormant. The narcissist, without the narcissistic supply, may become grumpy and complain that the world does not understand them or appreciate their importance. They will continue to cheat and lie when they can get away with it, but the damage that they can cause is not earth shattering. However, when a narcissist becomes the focus of unlimited narcissistic supply, where millions of people scream at his feet, he goes insane.
As narcissism maturates, the narcissist becomes more demanding for respect and compliance and more intolerant of criticism. He becomes paranoid, and divides the world into “us” vs. “them,” and friends vs. foes. He casts himself as victim and instills in his minions the distrust of the “others”.
The narcissist’s anger and intolerance is projected on his servile followers who also become angry and intolerant of criticism of their leader. Remember the sick symbiosis between the narcissist and his codependents? The followers get their narcissistic supply by elevating the status of their leader.Â The greater he looks, the better they feel. They see their glory is his glory. Conversely, when the narcissist is criticized, his followers become offended. They take those criticisms personally and their instinct of self defense is triggered. They will become vigilantes and will silence their critics through intimidation, threats and violence (like calling those who disagree with Obama, racists).
Sirota was no fool. He saw what is wrong with Obama and was right on the money when he described him. But, as I have repeated many times, narcissists are gifted manipulators. Sirota is an influential man. Obama needed his support and called him.
It’s not every day that God calls your cell phone,”Â wrote Sirota, sarcastically speaking of Obama,Â ‘This is Barack Obama.’ Thinking it was a good friend playing a joke, I said I didn’t believe him. But no, the voice insisted with a laugh, it was Illinois Senator Barack Obama, otherwise known in cult-of-personality political circles as a deity, a rising Democratic star or, as George W. Bush recently called him, “the pope.”
Narcissists are relentless and very convincing. They tell you exactly what you want to hear. They are full of promises. Their talent to manipulate is phenomenal. Well, not this time! Sirota apparently was not ready to sell his conscience (at least not yet) and endorse a man whoÂ according to himÂ did not “aspire to anything outside of the Washington power structure (other than maybe running for another higher office.)”
This is the kind of patriots America needs â€“ men of integrity and conscience. Â Where does David Sirota stand today?Â Errr!… Amm!… Why do you want to know? Â Â Emm!… How can I put it?Â Mr. Sirota…, Errr!…, Ah! Yes! Mr. Sirota has had an epiphany – a Pauline sort of experience. Â As he neared Damas. Oopps!Â I mean Denver, on his journey to the Democratic Convention, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice on his cell phone say to him, “David, David, why do you persecute me?”Â “Who are you, Lord?” David asked. “I am Barack, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” That is how David Sirota became a believer of Obama. He stopped blaspheming his Lord by calling him inept and opportunist. Â Guess what? He has evenÂ defended Jeremiah Wright. Â Â Hallelujah!Â Surely “God” (the emerging one) can transform the hearts of his enemies. Â
Narcissists have an almost surreal power to manipulate others. They can literally charm their adversaries and turn them into cheerful scullion, who will even thank them for giving them the privilege to slave for them.
You see! The narcissist and the codependent need each other. Many members of the Democratic Party may know what Sirota knows, but they need Obama. They have to keep the appearances (think Hillary).Â Â
Narcissists are amoral. They consider themselves to be above the law. Once in power, they will try to strengthen their hold by surrounding themselves with equally amoral people. A good example of what we should expect in Obama’s administration is the infamousÂ NAFTA gateÂ scandal. Â This is what happened:
A senior member of the Obama campaign called the Canadian government to say that “when Sen. Obama talks about opting out of the free trade deal, the Canadian government shouldn’t be worried; that it is just campaign rhetoric and shouldn’t be taken seriously.”
Isn’t it amazing? Obama tells the Ohio voters, who are unhappy with NAFTA that he is going to kill it, when actually he does not mean to do any such thing. For a narcissist, end justify means. He feels warranted to lie and deceive in order to accomplish what he has to accomplish.
This story was denied by Obama, but confirmed twice by sources at the highest level of the Canadian government. This is how a narcissist operates. Obama will lie to Americans and he will surround himself with equally unethical people. With a Congress controlled by Democrats, nothing will stop him from abusing his power. Â
The Cause of the Narcissist
The cause of the narcissist is himself. Everything else is a tool, a stepping stone for the narcissist to ascend to power. Â Narcissists don’t have any ideology. They champion the cause that has a better chance of making their ascent to power easier.
VakninÂ writes:Â “Narcissists use anything they can lay their hands on in the pursuit of narcissistic supply.Â If God, creed, church, faith, and institutionalized religion can provide them with narcissistic supply, they will become devout.Â They will abandon religion if it can’t.”
Therefore, the question whether Obama is a Muslim or a Christian, whether he is pro Palestine, asÂ he has been all his lifeÂ or whether he is pro Israel, whether he is a black supremacist or an agent of racial harmony, are moot. Obama is anything you want him to be and situation dictates.Â He takes the side that is more expedient to his cause.Â To communists he is a comrade, to Islamists he is their man, to Palestinian fighters he is their hope and to the Jews he is a staunch Zionist. The narcissist’s creed is himself. Everything else is negotiable.
Obama will do and say anything as long as it suits him. He will embrace any cause, will align himself with anyone, and will shift his position wherever the wind blows.Â Narcissists are chameleons.
Obama voted “present” in the Senate most of the time, (130 times to be precise) not because they were too difficult decisions, as Rudy Giuliani said at the GOP convention, but because those issues were not relevant to his cause.
Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do not deserve their attention. If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or another, he has no interest in it. The “present” vote is a safe vote. No one can criticize him if things go wrong. Why should he implicate himself in issues that may become controversial when they don’t help him personally? Â Those issues are unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.
Obama’s election as the first black president of theÂ Harvard Law ReviewÂ led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. The book took him a lot longer than expected and at the end it devolved into…, guess what? Â His own autobiography! Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race relations, for which, he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing about his most sublime self. He entitled the bookÂ Dreams from My FatherÂ .
Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Why would a he waste his precious time and his genius, writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself? Â
Narcissists are magical thinkers. They live in a world of fantasy; fantasies of grandiosity and unlimited power. But they are convinced that those fantasies will become reality because they are special and destined for greatness. Â That is why Obama already sees himself as president and acts presidential. The very fact that he travelled abroad and visited with several heads of states is another sign of this man delusions of grandiosity. He is not representing the government. Under what pretext he visited those heads of states and entered into negotiations with them?
Vaknin explains, “Bragging and false autobiography â€“ The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘myself’, and ‘mine’. He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative â€“ but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so.”
Narcissists Are Dangerous.
Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm they lack conscience. This is evident from Obama’s lack of interest inÂ his own brother who lives on only one dollar per month. Â A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in Hawaii, and who has raised nearly half a billion dollars for his campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the plight of his own brother. Why? Because, his brother cannot be used for his ascent to power. A narcissist cares for no one but himself.
Compare this to what the McCains did. They brought a child from Bangladesh with facial deformities – a little girl with no chance for a normal life â€“ and with plastic surgery restored her beauty and adopted her as their daughter.Â Millions of ordinary people, who are not even wealthy, have adopted children of total strangers in third world countries and give about a dollar a day for their education and upbringing.
Narcissists can be very generous, but never without an ulterior motive. They are generous when their display of generosity is noticed and elevates them in the eyes of others.Â Obama donated $20,000 to his racist and anti-Semitic church, but neglected his brother who could get some education and live a lot better if only he had one dollar per day.
Narcissism is all about image.Â Vaknin says, “The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field â€“ yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist’s self-proclaimed omniscience.”
Obama’s gaffes on history and world affairs are proof of that. He said if elected president he would “immediately call the president of Mexico[and ] theÂ president of Canada, to try to amend NAFTA.” Canada does not have a president.
Narcissists have a profound sense ofÂ call as they believe that they have a “special purpose” or a “high calling.” In his autobiography Hitler wrote, “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”Â Politics and religion offer irresistible lure for the narcissist.
And this is whatÂ Obama said about his “calling:”Â “Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me,”Â he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ.Â “I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth.”
At leastÂ one mental health professional believesÂ that about 6% of Americans are pathological narcissists. Â This percentage in countries where child abuse is more prevalent is a lot higher. Â Although all narcissists are cunning, and bereft of conscience, not all of them have the wits to rise to power. A narcissist with smarts can be dangerous.Â
Hitler was smart, and so is Obama. Â Hitler would not have become the monster that he became had he not risen to power and had he not received so much narcissistic fodder to feed on. One man who saw Khomeini prior to rising to power recalled he would gently push flies out of his window, but would not kill them. The same man massacred tens of thousands of Iranians. Â It is power that brings madness out of the narcissist.
America is at a crucial moment of its history. I cannot think of any disaster greater than putting a pathological narcissist in control of the world’s most powerful military machine.
Narcissists are empty in substance but full on promises. Obama has not proposed a single concrete workable plan, but he has raised the hopes and expectations of millions of people with his promises. Â The glorious tomorrow that he offers is no more real than the Styrofoam Greek columns that adorned his image during his acceptance speech.
Vaknin says, “The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments, His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime – the narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office – it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. “earth shattering” and “revolutionary” scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.”
The narcissist who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite – is highly unlikely to use violence at first.”
The pacific mask crumblesÂ when the narcissist has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, the prime sources of his narcissistic supply – have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, the narcissist strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. “The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)”, “they don’t really know what they are doing”, “following a rude awakening, they will revert to form”, etc.
When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail – the narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized – is now discarded with contempt and hatred.
This election is like no other in the history of America. The issues are insignificant compared to what is at stake. Â What can be more dangerous than having a man bereft of conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world?
I hate to sound alarmist, but one must be a fool if one is not alarmed. Many politicians are narcissists. They pose no threat to others. They are simply self serving and selfish. Obama evinces symptoms ofÂ pathologicalÂ narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Nixon or a Clinton, for example. To him reality and fantasy are intertwined. This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw. Â Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and even intelligent. It is this disguise that makes them dangerous.
Vaknin says, “When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry at themselves for having failed to see through the narcissist earlier on.”Â
Today the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama. But this man could put an end to their party. The great majority of blacks have also decided to vote for Obama. Only a fool does not know that their support for him is racially driven. Â Brendan Farrington, reported, evidence indicates that some black Republicans are switching parties to vote for Obama. He wrote, “Florida has 81,512 more black Democrats compared to a loss of 784 black Republicans; Louisiana has 34,325 more black Democrats, while the number of black Republicans dropped by 907; North Carolina has 92,356 more black Democrats and 2,850 fewer black Republicans. The only three states that track voting registration by party and race show black Republican registration dropping slightly since the beginning of the year.”
Let us call a spade a spade. This is racism, pure and simple. The truth is that while everyone carries a misconceived collective guilt towards the blacks for wrongs done centuries ago by a bygone people to a bygone people, the blacks carry a collective rancor, enmity or vendetta towards non-blacks and to this day want to “stand up” to the whiteman. They are stuck in 19 century.
The downside of this is that if Obama turns to be the disaster I predict, he will cause widespread resentment among the whites. The blacks are unlikely to give up their support of their man. Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting. They will dig their heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama’s detractors of racism. This will cause a backlash among the whites.Â The white supremacists will take advantage of the discontent and they will receive widespread support. I predict that in less than four years, racial tensions will increase to levels never seen since the turbulent 1960s. Obama will set the clock back decades.
America is the bastion of freedom. The peace of the world depends on the strength of America, and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory of rogue nations. It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of destruction. There is no other insanity greater than putting a pathological narcissist in the White House.
When a narcissist is running for the highest office in the world, the stakes cannot be higher.Â Did it matter what were Hitler’s views on abortion, economy, environment, education, old age pension, gay rights, social security, jobs or housing?Â With Hitler, the only thing that really mattered was his mental sanity.
I urge all Americans to make this a pivotal issue in this electoral campaign. Time is running out. Please spread the word. Talk about it with your coworkers, friends and relatives. Invite everyone in your address book to sign this petition. Publish it in your blog. Write about it. This is the most vital issue. If a presidential candidate is mentally unfit, nothing else matters. If you are an Obama fan, please sign too, so you can vote with confidence that the man you are putting in the White House is not going to be your nightmare. Â
Therefore, I am starting a petition, asking everyone to demand that all presidential and vice-presidential candidates in this election submit to mental health examinations prior to Election Day. I beg Senator McCain and Governor Palin to volunteer for this test and make it a campaign issue. I am sure Senator Biden will also have no objection with such a test personally, even though he may object to it becasue of the fear that Obama may not pass. These three candidates have been in the public eye and have shown their sanity.Â Sen. Obama is the wildcard. If he has nothing to hide, there is nothing for him to fear. His supporters must also press him to submmit to this test which, should he pass, would immensely help his cause.Â However, should he snub the test, Â the voters would take note. Please sign the petition and ask others to do the same.
PleaseÂ Sign the Petition
Ali Sina is the author ofÂ Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography of Allah’s ProphetÂ and the founder ofÂ Faith Freedom International, the movement of ex-Muslims created to warn the world of the danger of Islam and to help Muslims leave it and embrace the rest of mankind in amity. Â
Â© Copyright: Permission is granted to reprint and distribute this article in its entirety or in part.
Okay, I will admit that the following scholarly article is loooooong by no stretch of the imagination.Â But, I started reading it and just couldn’t stop!
It perfectly expresses and explains that gut-feeling of apprehension we as Americans have when it comes to the Obamessiah.Â In short, it confirms that we are not just being paranoid.
First, a little background aboutÂ Ali Sina – the author of this article:
Ali Sina is an ex-Muslim from Iran and the author of “Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet.”Â Also, he is the founder of “Faith Freedom International,” a movement of ex-Muslims created to warn the world of the danger of Islam and to help other apostates from Islam.
That being said, please read this article when you have a good chunk of time to digest its content.Â You won’t be disappointed – unless you are an Obamite Leftard (which, in case you haven’t noticed,Â is now my newest favorite buzzword of the day).
When you are done reading it, please make copies and email it to ALL of your friends.Â Also, be sure to sign the petition at the end of the article.
Update:Â I have included a text file, sans the photos and links, for you to download by rightÂ CLICKING HEREÂ and using the “Save as” option.
Barack Obama – Narcissist or Merely Narcissistic?
Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist. Granted, only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But, in the absence of access to Barack Obama, one has to rely on his overt performance and on testimonies by his closest, nearest and dearest.
Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven.
Perhaps it is time to require each candidate to high office in the USA to submit to a rigorous physical and mental checkup with the results made public.
I. Upbringing and Childhood
Obama’s early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations. Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then, his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia: a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995.
Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial: the perpetrators could be dysfunctional or absent parents, teachers, other adults, or peers.
II. Behavior Patterns
* Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);Â
* Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;Â
* Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);Â
* Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation â€“ or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);Â
* Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;Â
* Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;Â
* Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;Â
* Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;Â
* Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.Â
Narcissism is a defense mechanism whose role is to deflect hurt and trauma from the victim’s “True Self” into a “False Self” which is omnipotent, invulnerable, and omniscient. This False Self is then used by the narcissist to garner narcissistic supply from his human environment. Narcissistic supply is any form of attention, both positive and negative and it is instrumental in the regulation of the narcissist’s labile sense of self-worth.
Perhaps the most immediately evident trait of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is their vulnerability to criticism and disagreement. Subject to negative input, real or imagined, even to a mild rebuke, a constructive suggestion, or an offer to help, they feel injured, humiliated and empty and they react with disdain (devaluation), rage, and defiance.
From my book “Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited”:
“To avoid such intolerable pain, some patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) socially withdraw and feign false modesty and humility to mask their underlying grandiosity. Dysthymic and depressive disorders are common reactions to isolation and feelings of shame and inadequacy.”
Due to their lack of empathy, disregard for others, exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, and constant need for attention (narcissistic supply), narcissists are rarely able to maintain functional and healthy interpersonal relationships.
Many narcissists are over-achievers and ambitious. Some of them are even talented and skilled. But they are incapable of team work because they cannot tolerate setbacks. They are easily frustrated and demoralized and are unable to cope with disagreement and criticism. Though some narcissists have meteoric and inspiring careers, in the long-run, all of them find it difficult to maintain long-term professional achievements and the respect and appreciation of their peers. The narcissist’s fantastic grandiosity, frequently coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically incommensurate with his or her real accomplishments (the “grandiosity gap”).
An important distinction is between cerebral and somatic narcissists. The cerebrals derive their Narcissistic Supply from their intelligence or academic achievements and the somatics derive their Narcissistic Supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and romantic or physical “conquests”.
Another crucial division within the ranks of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is between the classic variety (those who meet five of the nine diagnostic criteria included in the DSM), and the compensatory kind (their narcissism compensates for deep-set feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth).
Obama displays the following behaviors, which are among the hallmarks of pathological narcissism:
* Subtly misrepresents facts and expediently and opportunistically shifts positions, views, opinions, and “ideals” (e.g., about campaign finance, re-districting). These flip-flops do not cause him overt distress and are ego-syntonic (he feels justified in acting this way). Alternatively, reuses to commit to a standpoint and, in the process, evidences a lack of empathy.
Ignores data that conflict with his fantasy world, or with his inflated and grandiose self-image. This has to do with magical thinking. Obama already sees himself as president because he is firmly convinced that his dreams, thoughts, and wishes affect reality. Additionally, he denies the gap between his fantasies and his modest or limited real-life achievements (for instance, in 12 years of academic career, he hasn’t published a single scholarly paper or book).
– Feels that he is above the law, incl. and especially his own laws.
– Talks about himself in the 3rd person singluar or uses the regal “we” and craves to be the exclsuive center of attention, even adulation
– Have a messianic-cosmic vision of himself and his life and his “mission”.
– Sets ever more complex rules in a convoluted world of grandiose fantasies with its own language (jargon)
– Displays false modesty and unctuous “folksiness” but unable to sustain these behaviors (the persona, or mask) for long. It slips and the true Obama is revealed: haughty, aloof, distant, and disdainful of simple folk and their lives.
– Sublimates aggression and holds grudges.
– Behaves as an eternal adolescent (e.g., his choice of language, youthful image he projects, demands indulgence and feels entitled to special treatment, even though his objective accomplishments do not justify it).
III. Body Language
Many complain of the incredible deceptive powers of the narcissist. They find themselves involved with narcissists (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover their true character. Shocked by the later revelation, they mourn their inability to separate from the narcissist and their gullibility.
Narcissists are an elusive breed, hard to spot, harder to pinpoint, impossible to capture. Even an experienced mental health diagnostician with unmitigated access to the record and to the person examined would find it fiendishly difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether someone suffers from a full fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder â€“ or merely possesses narcissistic traits, a narcissistic style, a personality structure (“character”), or a narcissistic “overlay” superimposed on another mental health problem.
Moreover, it is important to distinguish between traits and behavior patterns that are independent of the patient’s cultural-social context (i.e., which are inherent, or idiosyncratic) â€“ and reactive patterns, or conformity to cultural and social morals and norms. Reactions to severe life crises or circumstances are also often characterized by transient pathological narcissism, for instance (Ronningstam and Gunderson, 1996). But such reactions do not a narcissist make.
When a person belongs to a society or culture that has often been described as narcissistic by scholars (such as Theodore Millon) and social thinkers (e.g., Christopher Lasch) â€“ how much of his behavior can be attributed to his milieu and which of his traits are really his?
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder is rigorously defined in the DSM IV-TR with a set of strict criteria and differential diagnoses.
Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptative strategy (“healthy narcissism”). It is considered pathological in the clinical sense only when it becomes a rigid personality structure replete with a series of primitive defence mechanisms (such as splitting, projection, projective identification, or intellectualization) â€“ and when it leads to dysfunctions in one or more areas of the patient’s life.
Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct.
When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry at themselves for having they failed to see through the narcissist earlier on.
But the narcissist does emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals (“presenting symptoms”) even in a first or casual encounter. Compare the following list to Barack Obama’s body language during his paublic appearances.
“Haughty” body language â€“ The narcissist adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is “territorial”).
The narcissist takes part in social interactions â€“ even mere banter â€“ condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux “magnanimity and largesse”. But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the “observer”, or the “lone wolf”.
Entitlement markers â€“ The narcissist immediately asks for “special treatment” of some kind. Not to wait his turn, to have a longer or a shorter therapeutic session, to talk directly to authority figures (and not to their assistants or secretaries), to be granted special payment terms, to enjoy custom tailored arrangements – or to get served first.
The narcissist is the one who â€“ vocally and demonstratively â€“ demands the undivided attention of the head waiter in a restaurant, or monopolizes the hostess, or latches on to celebrities in a party. The narcissist reacts with rage and indignantly when denied his wishes and if treated equally with others whom he deems inferior.
Idealization or devaluation â€“ The narcissist instantly idealizes or devalues his interlocutor. This depends on how the narcissist appraises the potential his converser has as a Narcissistic Supply Source. The narcissist flatters, adores, admires and applauds the “target” in an embarrassingly exaggerated and profuse manner â€“ or sulks, abuses, and humiliates her.
Narcissists are polite only in the presence of a potential Supply Source. But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly-veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment.
The “membership” posture â€“ The narcissist always tries to “belong”. Yet, at the very same time, he maintains his stance as an outsider. The narcissist seeks to be admired for his ability to integrate and ingratiate himself without investing the efforts commensurate with such an undertaking.
For instance: if the narcissist talks to a psychologist, the narcissist first states emphatically that he never studied psychology. He then proceeds to make seemingly effortless use of obscure professional terms, thus demonstrating that he mastered the discipline all the same, as an autodidact â€“ which proves that he is exceptionally intelligent or introspective.
In general, the narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field â€“ yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist’s self-proclaimed omniscience.
Bragging and false autobiography â€“ The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with “I”, “my”, “myself”, and “mine”. He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative â€“ but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so.
The narcissist’s biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements â€“ incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the narcissist lies or his fantasies are easily discernible. He always name-drops and appropriates other people’s experiences and accomplishments.
Emotion-free language â€“ The narcissist likes to talk about himself and only about himself. He is not interested in others or what they have to say, unless they constitute potential Sources of Supply and in order to obtain said supply. He acts bored, disdainful, even angry, if he feels that they are intruding on his precious time and, thus, abusing him.
In general, the narcissist is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits â€“ unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can publicly dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a narcissist without repercussions, providing the discourse is not “emotionally tinted”.
If asked to relate directly to his emotions, the narcissist intellectualizes, rationalizes, speaks about himself in the third person and in a detached “scientific” tone or composes a narrative with a fictitious character in it, suspiciously autobiographical. Narcissists like to refer to themselves in mechanical terms, as efficient automata or machines.
Seriousness and sense of intrusion and coercion â€“ The narcissist is dead serious about himself. He may possess a subtle, wry, and riotous sense of humor, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The narcissist regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global. If a scientist â€“ he is always in the throes of revolutionizing science. If a journalist â€“ he is in the middle of the greatest story ever. If a novelist – he is on his way to a Booker or Nobel prize.
This self-misperception is not amenable to light-headedness or self-effacement. The narcissist is easily hurt and insulted (narcissistic injury). Even the most innocuous remarks or acts are interpreted by him as belittling, intruding, or coercive. His time is more valuable than others’ â€“ therefore, it cannot be wasted on unimportant matters such as mere banter or going out for a walk.
Any suggested help, advice, or concerned inquiry are immediately cast by the narcissist as intentional humiliation, implying that the narcissist is in need of help and counsel and, thus, imperfect and less than omnipotent. Any attempt to set an agenda is, to the narcissist, an intimidating act of enslavement. In this sense, the narcissist is both schizoid and paranoid and often entertains ideas of reference.
These â€“ the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the constricted sense of humor, the unequal treatment and the paranoia â€“ render the narcissist a social misfit. The narcissist is able to provoke in his milieu, in his casual acquaintances, even in his psychotherapist, the strongest, most avid and furious hatred and revulsion. To his shock, indignation and consternation, he invariably induces in others unbridled aggression.
He is perceived to be asocial at best and, often, antisocial. This, perhaps, is the strongest presenting symptom. One feels ill at ease in the presence of a narcissist for no apparent reason. No matter how charming, intelligent, thought provoking, outgoing, easy going and social the narcissist is â€“ he fails to secure the sympathy of others, a sympathy he is never ready, willing, or able to reciprocate.
IV. Narcissistic and psychopathic Leaders
The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies.
The malignant narcissist invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and this is further exacerbated by the trappings of power. The narcissist’s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience are supported by real life authority and the narcissist’s predilection to surround himself with obsequious sycophants.
The narcissist’s personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as “victims of persecution”.
The narcissistic leader fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, mythology. The leader is this religion’s ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.
The narcissistic leader is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people – or humanity at large – should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, the narcissistic leader became a distorted version of Nietzsche’s “superman”.
But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.
In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things “natural” – or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to as “nature” is not natural at all.
The narcissistic leader invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial – though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols – not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.
In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.
Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism – and the cult’s leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.
Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the “old ways” – against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.
Minorities or “others” – often arbitrarily selected – constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is “wrong”. They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are “decadent”, they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin … They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenceless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.
This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm – together with Stalin – as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.
The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime – the narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office – it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. “Earth shattering” and “revolutionary” scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.
It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of the narcissist. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform with the narcissistic narrative.
Thus, a narcissist who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite – is highly unlikely to use violence at first.
The pacific mask crumbles when the narcissist has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, the prime sources of his narcissistic supply – have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, the narcissist strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. “The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)”, “they don’t really know what they are doing”, “following a rude awakening, they will revert to form”, etc.
When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail – the narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized – is now discarded with contempt and hatred.
This primitive defense mechanism is called “splitting”. To the narcissist, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. A narcissistic leader is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc.
The “small people”, the “rank and file”, the “loyal soldiers” of the narcissist – his flock, his nation, his employees – they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated – is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of the narcissist. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.
|Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain – How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.
Visit Sam’s Web site atÂ http://samvak.tripod.comÂ