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INTERVIEW Narcissists, Psychopaths Are Among Us! (with MIKE CROSS)

Uploaded 1/29/2014, approx. 29 minute read

Hello.

Hello, there. Mr. Vaknin. Yes, hello, Mike.

Call me Sam, please. Huh? Hello, Mike. Call me Sam. That's much shorter.

What was that? I couldn't hear you.

Can you hear me now?

Yes, I can hear you perfectly now.

I said, hello, Mike. Please call me Sam rather than Mr. Vaknin because Sam is much shorter.

Oh, that's perfectly fine with me, Sam. Okay.


Now, I'd like to introduce you to my audience that you are the author of Malignant Self-Love, and you're also the star of the documentary I-Cycopath.

Yes, I have written, among others, Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited about 16 years ago. It is in its ninth edition, published a few months ago.

I have featured in I-Cycopath, but that's only the one of several documentaries that I featured in.

I value much more egomaniac by Channel 4, written on Channel 4.

Can people find that on the internet?

Yeah, by now they can, yeah. Excellent.

I encourage people to check up on those because they're really fascinating explorations there of psychopathy and narcissism and so forth.

I'll convey your compliments to the directors. Excellent.

Hey, the thing is, I'll just start off here. I've written a novel series called Freedom from Conscience, and I have a lot of readers who get really confused that they really have an easy time falling in love with the main character who's a female psychopath. They think that they have this image of, oh, psychopath has to be like this person dripping of evil, and there's no way that a normal person could fall for someone in a romantic or even an admiration of a psychopath. Could you start out with basically maybe dispelling some of the preconceptions people have in which the Hollywood preconception?

How can you know if your best friend, your new lover, or your favorite college professor is actually a psychopath? What are the telling signs?

Well, just to clarify, psychopath and sociopath are colloquial terms. The clinical term is antisocial, antisocial personality disorder, which gives us a clue as to what drives the psychopath. It is a disdain and deeply held contempt towards conventions, mores, and social norms. It is a total lack of emotion-driven empathy.

The psychopath, according to my work, at least, does possess empathy, but I call it cold empathy. It is the empathy of a scientist scrutinizing or investigating insects.

The psychopath and the narcissist, and today the distinction between psychopath and narcissist has largely faded away. They are considered to be on a spectrum of disorders in the New Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5.

So from now on, when I say psychopath, I also mean the psychopathic narcissist, the malignant narcissist. So these types of people regard other people as tools, instruments of gratification, extensions of themselves, beneficial sources of narcissistic supply, or money, or power, or anything else a narcissist is on a quest for.

How do you identify them? If they are good at what they do, they shorten the long of it.

You cannot, because they give a brilliant thespian imitation of a properly functioning, fully equipped, full-fledged, emotionally resonating human being.

Yet, do not kid yourself. They are not. They are hollow shells. They are in many respects the closest thing we can get on earth to an alien, an extraterrestrial, because they completely lack the emotional apparatus, the emotional gadgetry that renders us human. If they are bad at what they do, and many of them are, many of them are not that skilled, or that adept at being psychopath, or being narcissist, you will see glimpses of their narcissism and psychopathy even in the first meeting.

So if they're interested in you, they are too interested in you. They are focused. They are like a laser beam. If they want to extract something from you, they will go about it pretty obviously. If they feign interest in what you have to say, and they always do, feign interest in what you have to say, and how you feel, and where you're going, and your preferences, and wishes, and priorities, and past history, and so on, then the feigned interest will flicker from time to time like a black and white television screen.

So the facade crumbles when the narcissist and psychopath are not that good at what they're doing, or not that interested in their target.

You have to pay attention to these tiny, sublimated, subtle signs. But they are subtle, even with the worst of psychopaths and narcissists, worst in the sense of unskilled.

These signs are subtle, because narcissists and psychopaths from early childhood on have learned to manipulate their environment in order to survive. And this is something they do very, very well.

And this is exactly the problem. The psychopath is next door. And yes, you're right. It's not a serial, a blood dripping serial killer. This is the tiniest, tiniest minority of psychopaths.

And usually, these are actually sexual sadists, not psychopaths. So the psychopaths are functional.

They're all around you. They gravitate towards positions of authority, and positions of provenance and celebrity. They are your next door. They are the clergy, they are the police, they are in show business, they're in politics. They are, as I said, your next door neighbor.

It's a dangerous situation because they're infantry.


How does a psychopath see the world?

I mean, most of us, when we see someone hurting emotionally or physically, we get that empathy of feeling that pain, as Bill Clinton would say, haphillia pain.

The thing is, how do they see people who are hurting?

They seem to be very good actors and actresses to be able to pretend like they care, but do they really?

No, no, of course they don't. Other people's pain is the psychopath's opportunity.

It's a trick in the armor. It's a vulnerability.

Psychopaths and narcissistic and psychopathic narcissists scan their environment for such people. They home in on such people. They're like cruise missiles.

The best comparison would be to a predator.

Narcissists and psychopaths are predators and you and perfect people, normal people, are the prey. We hunt you down, we devour you, and we cast away the carcasses what's left.

It's a predator and prey situation.

Now, the narcissist holds such people, weak people, emotional people, people in need, people hurting, people in pain, holds them in contempt. He regards these things as weaknesses.

The psychopaths hold them in contempt, but also abuses and leverages these things to his benefit.

The difference between narcissists, the big difference between narcissists and psychopaths is that the narcissist is after narcissistic supply. That's a very fancy term for attention.

Narcissists need attention. Attention, if the attention is positive in the form of adulation, admiration, all for the better. But if not, then being feared is equally okay.

Psychopaths are much more practical down to earth. They are after usually material benefits, such as money or power. They seek earthly rewards while the narcissist needs and consumes constantly attention, extracts attention from people in order to maintain a very fragile sense of self-worth.

So the psychodynamics of these two types may be different, but their tactics, the way they see the world is identical. People are a rich mineral vein to be extracted, to be worked upon. People are kind of raw material and they should be used and abused to derive the benefits of the narcissist and psychopaths are sick.

Now, if you allow me, I've spent the last 16 years arguing that both narcissists and psychopaths do possess empathy and that narcissists and psychopaths are not evil.

Now these are very contentious claims. When I say that they possess empathy, all I mean is that they are able to put themselves in other people's shoes.

Otherwise, had they not been able to do so, they would not have been able to manipulate and to exploit other people.

In order to con someone, in order to defraud someone, in order to manipulate someone, you need to understand them perfectly. You need to put yourself in their shoes. You need to realize what makes them sick.

So I coined the term cold empathy. It is empathy which is devoid of emotions.

Usually, when a normal person empathizes, there is an emotional reaction. Exactly as you said, when you see someone in pain, you hurt. You are in pain as well. When you see someone in need, you want to give.

Your impulse is to give, to ameliorate the pain.

But not so the narcissists and psychopaths. They are capable of empathizing, but only in order to fully understand their prey and then to pounce on it.

Secondly, they are not evil. They are not evil because they do not premeditate. They do not derive pleasure from inflicting pain as the sadist does. They simply are. They are as evil as viruses. They are as evil as twisters, tornadoes. They are as evil because they are, not because they choose to be.

And indeed, in narcissism and in psychopathy, there is no choice. It is crucial to understand that these people do not have a choice but to be narcissists and psychopaths.

Hence, the total failure of all treatment modalities, all psychotherapies to tackle narcissism and psychopathy. You can change someone's behavior, you can modify it, but you can never change who someone is, what someone is, someone's quiddity, someone's essence.

So essentially when someone's kind of a, I don't know, this model, if you do have a psychopath or sociopath who has committed a series of crimes, the idea of rehabilitation, to where they will feel the pain of their victims, is essentially a myth. You can't do it.

Well, use the term preposterous and self-serving. Why is it self-serving?

Because there's a whole industry and it's no longer a cottage industry of self-serving psychiatrists and psychologists and psychotherapists and social workers who pretend and lie about the fact that narcissists and psychopaths are incurable. They claim that they can cure or heal narcissists and psychopaths.

Why they do that? Because they're, you know, because of money. They're getting money. They're getting money from the families of narcissists and psychopaths, from their victims. They're getting family from governments. They're getting research grants. There's a lot of money sloshing around.

If you read the more honest part of literature and if you talk to these mental health professionals in closed sessions where they feel comfortable and they reveal themselves as they really are, they're true colors, they tell you that narcissism and psychopaths are hopeless, completely hopeless. There's nothing to do about it because narcissism and psychopathy are all pervasive personality disorders.

Notice the terms all pervasive and personality. We are not dealing with a quirk. We are not dealing with a feature. We're not dealing with a specific behavior. We're not even with an addiction. We are dealing with the entirety of, of the personality, each and every single cell of the personality, each dimension, each behavior, each function and dysfunction.

And it starts in early childhood and progresses well, well into adulthood.

So to claim that there is any modality that can cope with the vastness of narcissism and psychopathy and reverse them at age 40 or 50 when these people usually have found out is, what to tell you, disingenuous or just, shall we say, you know, it's a fraud in effect.

Okay.

And Sam, if you have a child, let's say, I mean, obviously there may be listeners who are wondering, well, what if you have a child who displays some of these traits of psychopathy, isn't it possible that you could still instill things like a code of ethics in these children to where they, when they get older, they won't prey on people in the same kind of bloodthirsty way. They may at least have a sense of this is the way I should do something versus shouldn't.

I personally resent the pathologization and medicalization of childhood and adolescence.

Adolescents are narcissists almost by definition. They need to be, they need to be self-centered, egodystonic, they need to like empathy. They need these things as totally healthy phases of development towards adulthood. They need to separate themselves from their parents. They need to venture out to the world. They need to develop a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence and so forth.

So they are, you know, normally contented and concentrated on their own needs and priorities and wishes and to the exclusion of others.

And it's totally healthy.

Actually, the first time narcissism had been discussed in the night in 1914, 1915 by the likes of Freud and others, they suggested that there is a thing called healthy narcissism. And that there is a stage called primary narcissism, which without which development isdysfunctional.

So we all have a modicum of narcissism. It is pronounced and prominent in childhood and early adolescence as it should be.

There are children who suffer from something called conduct disorder. These are children who torture animals or I don't know, you know, this kind of children.

The children featured in horror films, in slasher films, the kind that skulks and lurks in the corners, in dark corners and, and watches everyone, observes everyone coldly and then goes out and tortures a cat.

These children do exist and the likelihood of altering their behavior, let alone instilling in them, any ethical code is again very close to zero.

These children, studies have shown the background to their behavior or misbehavior and so on and so forth is not only family or upbringing. It has to do with some genetic component.

So antisocial personality disorder known colloquially as psychopathy or the type of psychopathy advocated by Rob and studied by Robert Heyer at the time. It seems to be hereditary. There seems to be some genetic components, but coming back to your question, no, I think once manifested it's a lost cause. Nevermind at which age.

Hey, you've made, you've had some interviews in which you've dealt with political leaders and narcissism and so forth. Would you say it's more dangerous to have a major political leader who is a psychopath or who is a narcissist?

That's an excellent question. And in dozens of interviews, I've never been asked this one.

So let me, let me give it a thought for a split second, but while I do, let me tell you that it's dangerous to have a narcissist or a psychopath in your life.

And, and people like presidents, president of the United States or some of the country's prime minister or a police officer in the station, in the precinct next to you, or your clergy or the clergy in the church next to you, or your children's teacher, anyone who is, who has access to your life and has the ability to influence it via process of decision-making and who is a narcissist and psychopath or psychopath isa danger.

So of course, a politician is a direct and, and, and clear danger to, to everyone, to everyone in the country where the politician is prominent and makes decisions.


Now, as to your question, I think I would prefer to see a psychopath in charge than a narcissist.

And the reason is that psychopaths are programmable. Given a clear set of rewards, given a clear set of benefits, power, money, incentives, they are manipulable or they are at least containable and they are very predictable.

So you asked me about an ethical code before in the previous question, given the right set of incentives, a psychopath can be highly ethical.

Actually, many of them profess to be ethical. They are preachers or philosophers of morality or public intellectuals.

So, and, why are they, why do they attain and sustain the high moral ground?

Because it pays.

So you can bribe a psychopath. You can predict a psychopath. You can manipulate a psychopath. You can do that with a narcissist because the narcissist's underlying motivation is both irrational. It is a fluctuating sense of self-worth and unpredictable completely.

Narcissists are completely unpredictable. They go through cycles of decompensation, disintegration, reintegration, reaching out for the world and then withdrawing. And these cycles are driven by inner dynamics, not outer dynamics. They are driven by a complex and largely unpredictable, chaotic, random, stochastic interaction or settle interactions within the narcissist's psyche.

The narcissist consumes narcissistic supply relentlessly and compulsively by forcing people to pay him attention precisely because he is inside, he is chaotic and disorganized. He needs this energy. He's an energy vampire. He sucks energy. He needs this external energy to maintain the precarious inner molecular balance of his personality.

The psychopath is much more organized, clear, predictable, manipulable and amenable to negotiation and reason.

Not so the narcissist in this sense, exactly as the famous scholar Otto Kernberg had suggested, narcissists are borderline psychopaths, sorry, psychotics. Narcissists are on the border of psychotics, border of Neverland. They are detained and survive via grandiose fantasies. They are not in touch with reality for a very large part of their lives.

Psychopaths to a narcissist in the White House, for instance.


Okay. It seems like the traits that are associated with psychopathy, the idea of- Hello, Mike.

Yes?

Mike, you have drifted away. Can you sort of try again?

Okay. Sorry about that.

This is a phone connection.

The traits such as superficial charm, easily bored, seems like they need a lot of stimulation, the ability to be able to analyze a situation and then come out on top. These seem to be traits that would be, if I were a political consultant and I was trying to find someone to run for Congress or for a parliament of any European nation, it seems like I would really be gravitating towards getting someone like that because they seem to be like born winners in that sense.

Well, there is the school, the distorted, the horror school that says that narcissists and psychopaths are the next iteration of humanity. I don't know if you've seen the science fiction series, the 4400. 4400 is- Sorry?

A couple of them, yes.

A couple of episodes, yeah. 4400 is a four season science fiction series where people are abducted and then returned to earth with special abilities. And owing to their special abilities, they take over the world.

Some people say that narcissists and psychopaths are born to win, that they are optimized machines, that they are the next iteration, that they are artificial intelligence, they are a form of aliens, but they will prevail, they will take over the earth and so on and so forth.

Admittedly, in many respects, psychopaths are optimized to end up on top, and they do. Narcissists less so.

As I just said, narcissists are far more irrational. They are divorced from reality. They are unpredictable. Their internal organization is much more chaotic and disorganized. They are much more dysfunctional than the psychopath and so on.

So narcissists usually rise to the top, but then self-destruct. They self-destruct, and if we have the misfortune of having a narcissist in position of authority, they destroy everyone else around them.

The perfect example would be, of course, Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin have been remote diagnosed by Eric Fromm, a psychoanalyst, as people with narcissistic personality disorder.

The psychopath is much more stable. Psychopaths are much more stable. They are able to plan. They are able to implement long-term programs, and they are able to pursue long-term goals.

The conventional wisdom is that psychopaths are not able to plan long-term. They self-destruct and so on.

But I think here there is a serious confusion, even within scholarly literature, between narcissism and psychopathy.

Narcissists, psychopathic narcissists, are unable to have a stable life in one respect or another. They are the ones who self-destruct. They are the ones who are not a real risk until they reach the top.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are pernicious. They are insidious. They are subtle. They are very patient. They are great actors. They have clear and present goals. They pursue these goals relentlessly, ruthlessly, and compulsively. They abuse and exploit absolutely everyone around them, their own children, if need be, in order to achieve these goals.

Their gratification is above everything else. They regard other people as tools, instruments, representations, avatars, functions, symbols. They can't relate to other people in any meaningful sense. And they have the narcissistic traits of arrogance or haughtiness. They believe themselves superior. They believe other people weak, contemptible, and inferior.

The danger lies exactly in this, that the psychopath works his way, warms his way, through the living body, until it reaches the brain and takes over it.

The narcissist is a body snatcher. The psychopath, I'm sorry, is a body snatcher.

The narcissist, on the other hand, from time to time, becomes quite obvious because the narcissist is the compensator. He breaks down.

Okay. You're still there, Sam?

Sure.

Okay. The phone cuts out once in a while, but I got your last statement.

You've made comments about some political leaders in the United States.

Do you have any that you would like to – that you just kind of would say, I would keep an eye on this individual because they seem to show these sorts of traits or, you know, is that something you'd be comfortable doing?

In July 2008, having watched several videos of the then candidate, Obama, he wasn't a president yet. He hadn't been elected. I suggested in an article that he may possess narcissistic traits or potentially be a full-fledged narcissist. I never thought that Obama is a psychopath, regrettably. I think the danger in Obama is that he's a narcissist, not a psychopath.

As I just said, narcissists are far less predictable, far less amenable to the give and take of politics, far more disorganized and chaotic, and thereby far more likely to self-destruct and other destruct.

So having seen these – having watched these videos, I rang the alarm. I said, you know, this guy may be narcissistic or a full-fledged narcissist.

That was July 2008. I spent the next two years, 2008, 2010, granting interviews inevitably mainly to the right-wing media, the conservative media in the United States, in which I ventured to make predictions as to Obama's future behavior if my diagnosis is – a remote diagnosis is real.

Now, to add an immediate disclaimer, remotely diagnosing someone with narcissistic personality disorder without having the benefit of structurally interviewing them, administering psychological tests, observing them for long periods of time in controlled environments, is not serious. That should never be done, perhaps with one exception, when the person is about to attain inordinate power.

So I have published this disclaimer within the text, but I still thought it's beneficial to warn, to sound the alarm, which I did.

And then the next two years, I gave interviews and this and that, and I made a series of predictions about President Obama. I am led to believe that it is the accepted view, or the common view today, at least among the Internet community, that many of my predictions had regrettably come true.

Now, that the predictions came true does not necessarily mean that my analysis of Obama's personality is true. But, you know, it's an interesting coincidence. If he is a narcissist, narcissist self-destruct, that is inevitable. All of them do it.

Faced with stress, faced with strain, faced with deficient narcissistic supply, they implode, and then they explode. They wreak havoc and destruction upon everyone around them, and themselves, and especially themselves. They do it publicly because the very process of destruction or self-destruction is meant to attract attention, to restore the balance by extracting narcissistic supply.

But there's a huge price to pay when the person doing this is the president of the United States.

This remains yet to be seen, whether it will end this way in office, like Richard Nixon, let's say, or afterwards, hopefully afterwards. And he's the only politician in the United States I've characterized as narcissistic, although many of them would qualify. But let me tell you why I thought, why I was led to this conclusion.

When I started to watch the videos, I immediately noticed a series of classical markers of narcissism. For instance, there is something called pronoun density. Pronoun density is simply how many times one uses the words, I, mine, my, you know, as first person pronouns. And there is a sort of distribution of these verbs, adverbs and pronouns. There is a distribution of these grammatical and syntactical structures in a typical normal, healthy speech.

The narcissist uses I, my, mine, much, much more, and much more frequently than a normal person. And that was the first thing I noticed with Obama. I have watched a total of close to 1000 hours of Obama. And his pronoun density is dozens of times higher than normal. Dozens, in many speeches, it reaches 60 times more than normal speech. He uses the words I, my and mine, 60 times more than a normal person in some highly specific speeches, admittedly, on average, he uses I, my and mine, five times more than a normal person.

So this is a telltale sign. He has the body language, which is very typical of a narcissist. You know, the visionary tilt of the head, the withdrawal of the body there and so on.

We have a series of markers described, you know, body language of narcissists.

So this visual and audio clues, cues were the first to attract my attention.

But then I went much deeper and analyzed his childhood. They had a chaotic childhood, dysfunctional childhood with dysfunctional parents. He was shuttled back and forth between cultures and civilizations and continents and countries. And so on, which is very typical of a narcissist. Most narcissists have a dysfunctional childhood, a problematic childhood in a dysfunctional household. Even more so in the early 1960s, when he was born, and even more so with his background as half black.

So later I went much deeper. And today, five or six years later, I am more convinced than ever that he is a narcissist. Even I would say full fledged narcissist. The danger is immense. People don't count. I don't think people really grasp what it means. Danger is simply immense if I'm right. I may be wrong, of course, I'm often wrong. But if I'm right, the danger is immense.

But if I'm right, the danger is beyond description, because this man holds the world in his palm. It's not a mayor of a city. It's not a councilman. It's the president of the United States, the president of the world, in fact.

Oh, that's really interesting that I'd hope people would look up information and look up some of your previous videos on narcissism then.


Lastly, what I'd like to ask is, do you believe that since you're talking about cold empathy, I love that term cold empathy, that a psychopath, I'll just go, I'm gonna concentrate on psychopaths here now, turn attention to them.

Can a psychopath still have love and loyalty to, for instance, their husband, wife, and children, but yet still lack any of that empathy for other people around them?

Now, are they able to switch on the emotion of love for those who, fulfill their lives, who are really close to them?

No one is close to a psychopath and there is no emotion to switch.

That's the short and the long of it.

They are able to convince themselves. They are able to lie to themselves. They are able to deceive themselves into believing that they harbor love or affection or compassion towards a specific individual.

But this usually also goes hand in hand with the amounts of benefits they can extract from that individual.

So if the psychopath is married, he would convince himself that he loves his wife, but only for as long as she fulfills a purpose, only for as long as she functions, only for as long as she collaborates in his plans, his long-term goalsand so on, only as long as she is, at work.

But then as she loses her utility, she gets sick, for instance, she's unable or unwilling to further collaborate with a narcissist, with a psychopath. The moment she does it, this so-called love switches off.

So the kind of a conditional thing, and it's not really love, although many psychopaths convince themselves, tell themselves that they do love their children and their parents and their wife and so on.

Experience, vast experience by now.

Psychopathy has been studied much longer than narcissism, and it has been first seriously described 150 years ago. So there's a vast literature.

Experience shows that psychopaths, emotions are feigned constructs, collaborations that the psychopath needs to believe in, in order to convince those around him that he is genuine, that it's real, and that it's lasting.

It is none of the three.

Okay.


And lastly, I just want to get back to that one point you brought up, and that is, if, if, psychopaths are almostdesigned to win, at least in the sense that they are very driven and our society places such a high level of importance on winning.

And if we assume that the psychopath is the one who in romantic relationships and so forth will come out the victor, is that the reason why maybe psychopathy might be the next, well, I've heard some people say the next stage of evolution, that they have an advantage over those people whoare highly empathetic.

Give me an example. I've heard some people say, well, I really care about the world and the planet, so I'm not going to have children. Whereas I would think that someone who was the opposite of that wouldn't care. And so therefore they might be actually more likely to have more children and therefore pass on these genes.

What do you think about that?

As I said, there is a school of people who believe that, that psychopathy and narcissism are the next iteration, the next evolutionary stage or phase. I think the truth is more prosaic.

The truth is more prosaic. Our civilization is narcissistic and verges on psychopathic. It is a civilization that rewards ambition, rewards winning, rewards a lack of scruples in some industries, for instance, the financial industry and politics, rewards worthlessness, re we're a relentlessness, even compulsiveness, and so on and so forth. We have constructed, especially over the last 200 years, we have constructed the culture, society, a civilization known as the West, um, that is now taking over the rest of the globe, eliminating and eradicating other cultures, civilizations, and societies in Africa, in Asia, and even in Europe. So Western civilization, which started in the United Kingdom, migrated to the United States, is narcissistic and is psychopathic. And normally it would prefer, it would give preferential treatment and, and, and more opportunities to people who conform to its values and to its prompts and to its social cues and so on.

So whenever there's a narcissistic or psychopathic society, narcissistic and psychopathic people are on top.

Are we to say that all societies and civilizations henceforth will be narcissistic and psychopathic? I don't think so.

Nazi Germany has been a psychopathic society and a psychopath rose to, well, actually a narcissist rose to the top. That's Hitler. And he surrounded himself with psychopaths. So the ruling elite in, in Germany between 1933 and 1945 had been narcissists, composed of, comprised of narcissists and psychopaths.

But then Nazi Germany crumbled and now Germany is a normal society. So psychopaths and narcissists do not rise to the top.

To cut a very long answer short, I do not think we are talking about the next stage of evolution or a next stage of, I don't know what. I think simply in certain times in history, in specific civilizations, cultures, and societies, narcissists and psychopaths have an advantage in that they conform to the prevailing and dominant value systems, anomic, anomic value systems. And there they have the advantage and the upper hand, because they are the pure and perfect reification and embodiment of the civilization in which they operate.

But then civilizations ebb and flow, wax and wane. One day you have a psychopathic civilization. The next thing you know, there's a very empathic civilization. And in an empathic civilization, your narcissists and psychopaths are going to be the lower level of society. They're going to be trampled upon. They're going to be imprisoned or turned away or ignored.

So I'm far more optimistic in this sense. So I don't think we're all going to turn into narcissists and psychopaths.

I do think, however, that the West is an evil and malicious construct. I do think that Western values have given rise to a type of human arrangements, human community that will inevitably self-destruct in great agony. I believe that the West has become malignant and is a form of spiritual, political, philosophical, moral and ethical cancer on humanity.

And yes, when we have this kind of illusion, when we have this kind of illness, all encompassing, all pervasive, all permeating, scum, like narcissists and psychopaths, rise to the top and lead us in all fields of life. And they become the mirror, the dark mirror that we're faced with.

Wow. Well, that is something I hope people will contemplate there when they're thinking about the future of, well, not just the West, but of the world in general.

Sam, I'm really, really, really grateful for you volunteering your time and sharing your very insightful and valuable perspective. Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me. And I encourage people to look up Sam Vaknin. Check out his book, Malignant Self-Love, and his website and some of the documentaries that are out there.

Yes, I have a YouTube channel. It's Sam Vaknin, my name, without period or anything. So there are 300 videos there about psychopathy and narcissism. People might find this of interest as well.

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, anyway, our time is up. So I thank you and I thank our listening audience for tuning in to Unlock the Door Radio. And I hope you tune in again next week for another challenging experience. Thank you again, Sam. Thank you for having me again. Have a nice weekend.

Yeah, you too. Bye now. ###

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of demon possession and its relation to narcissism. He explores the historical and linguistic context of demon possession, comparing it to the vocabulary used in psychiatry. He delves into the psychological traits and behaviors associated with demon possession, drawing parallels to narcissism, psychopathy, and borderline personality disorder. Additionally, he examines the impact of brain injuries on personality disorders and the role of the false self in the narcissist's psyche.


Narcissism, Demonic Possession as Morality Plays

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses demon possession and its similarities to narcissism, as well as the concept of possession in different religions and cultures. He argues that pathological narcissism is the source of all personality disorders and that narcissists and psychopaths lack empathy and emotions, making them not human in any sense of the word. Vaknin also discusses the false self in narcissists and how it becomes dominant, leading to a loss of identity. He also talks about the structural abnormalities in the brains of individuals with narcissistic personality disorder and the therapist's role in reconstructing a functional self.


Narcissist=Insane? You, Envy, Withdrawal, Loner Narcissist

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the "lone wolf narcissist" and its connection to schizoid personality disorder. He delves into the psychological and societal factors contributing to this phenomenon, emphasizing the impact of modern life on individualism and social interactions. Vaknin also explores the relationship between narcissism and schizoid tendencies, shedding light on the complexities of these personality disorders.


My Name is Sam Vaknin: Narcissists, Psychopaths, Abuse

Sam Vaknin discusses the prevalence of narcissists and psychopaths in society, their manipulative and dangerous nature, and the importance of recognizing and coping with them. He emphasizes the unique and pervasive nature of narcissistic abuse, and the necessity of implementing a comprehensive "no-contact" strategy to protect oneself from it.


Narcissist Needs to Break Your Spirit (Narcabuse TV on IGTV)

Sam Vaknin discusses his personal journey with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), his role in developing the language and understanding of narcissism, and the impact of his work on society. He explains that in 1995, he invented a new language to describe the internal dynamics of narcissism due to a lack of existing literature or terminology. Vaknin's work has been pioneering in the field, and he has coined many terms that are widely used today. He also discusses the difference between narcissistic style, narcissistic personality disorder, and malignant narcissism, as well as the societal trends that have led to an increase in narcissistic behaviors, especially among the young. Vaknin emphasizes the importance of no contact as the only effective strategy for escaping the damaging effects of a relationship with a narcissist or psychopath. He also touches on various topics such as victimhood, boundaries, addiction, triangulation, gaslighting, and self-destruction.


Narcopath Leaders Took Over the World (4th International conference on Addiction Research & Therapy)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the rise of narcissistic and psychopathic leaders, who embody the pathologies of their societies and cultures. These leaders foster a personality cult and often justify their actions through a sense of entitlement and grandiose fantasies. As their regimes come to an end, they often lash out at their own people, leading to a massive complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Vaknin argues that many nations have chosen prosperity over democracy, leading to authoritarian regimes that provide stability and security in exchange for citizens giving up certain freedoms.


Manipulate the Narcissist and Live to Tell About It? (Lecture in Budapest)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the manipulation of narcissists, the prevalence of narcissistic traits in society, and the impact of aggression on children. He emphasizes that the only effective way to deal with a narcissist is to go no contact, as staying in contact can lead to adopting narcissistic behaviors oneself. He notes that narcissism is on a spectrum, with healthy narcissism at one end and narcissistic personality disorder at the other. Vaknin also observes that narcissism and psychopathy are becoming more socially accepted and even encouraged in certain contexts. He mentions that narcissists can recognize each other but not psychopaths, and that psychopaths prey on narcissists. Lastly, he discusses the impact of aggression on children, stating that witnessing or experiencing physical or sexual aggression can lead to destructive or self-destructive behavior, while verbal aggression tends to perpetuate verbal abuse within the family structure.


Narcissist Needs You to Fail Him, Let Go (with Azam Ali)

In this conversation, Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of narcissistic abuse and the dynamics of narcissistic relationships. He explains the narcissist's need for existence and the victim's hunger for love and intimacy, highlighting the irreconcilable nature of these two needs. He also emphasizes the importance of insight and empathy in understanding oneself and others.


Narcissistic Autoerotic Dating (Talk with Genevieve DiNatale)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various topics in this series of transcripts, including narcissism, psychopathy, gender roles, and online dating. He explains that narcissism has a genetic component and can be caused by any breach of boundaries that denies the child separation from parental figures. He also talks about the sadomasochistic tendencies of narcissists and how they create self-justifying narratives. Additionally, he discusses the decline in sexual activity and childbirth rates in the younger generation, which he attributes to atomization, self-isolation, and technological empowerment. Finally, he talks about the phenomenon of online dating and social media infidelity, stating that men and women have different motivations for being on dating apps, and most interactions are for self-validation, entertainment, and filling time.


Our World is One Big Trauma (with Symone Fairchild, EyeOnDV)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various topics in this transcript, including cluster B personality disorders, the power of social media platforms, trauma, unsatisfactory sex and intimacy, and the concept of personality. He argues that society incentivizes abuse and narcissism, and that we need to change society to prevent the rise of personality disorders. Vaknin also criticizes social media platforms for spreading evil and poison to children. He talks about how abuse can interfere with a victim's ability to work and how dissociation is becoming more common as a defense mechanism against environmental trauma. Finally, Vaknin goes on an anti-American rant, stating that America is a narcissistic society and that it exports toxicity all around the world.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
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