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Narcissist's Common Phrases Decoded: Narcissism to English Dictionary (Compilation+New Videos)

Uploaded 9/16/2023, approx. 1 hour 58 minute read

Okay, another creative, glorious weekend with the inevitable blue professor, Sam Vaknin.

And today we are going to construct together a dictionary, narcissism to English dictionary.

Now, if you go online, you can find a bazillion videos telling you what the narcissist means when they say one thing and what they don't mean when they say another thing.

This is not this kind of video.

Today what I'm going to do, I'm going to connect some of the most common phrases, stock phrases of the narcissist with the dynamics of the relationship.

So I'm going to map the narcissist utterances, the narcissist speech acts, the narcissist words and phrases with what's happening in the relationship with you.

Now, this is a compilation.

There are four parts.

The first part is what I've just described.

The second part has to do with victims.

It is the outcome of monitoring forums and support groups of victims of narcissistic abuse all over the internet for several years.

These are just my impressions. They are anecdotal.

And the third part is a video about the speech of the narcissist, the hidden structures, the coded messages in the narcissist's speech.

The fourth part is a general introduction to how the narcissist uses language in order to abuse and to accomplish other aims.


So a very rich smogasbord, a buffet of narcissism, language and speech.

And who the hell am I?

My name is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, the first book ever about narcissistic abuse. I am also a former visiting professor of psychology and currently on the faculty of CIAPS, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies.

Got it, kiddos and kiddets. Let us delve right in.

First of all, why is it that you find it so difficult to decipher what the narcissist really means? Why is it that you have no problem with other people? They say things and sometimes you see behind the facade of the cascade of words. Very often you decode other people's states of mind. You understand their hidden motivations, their agendas. You manage yourself well in a variety of environments and settings and circumstances. You don't have any problem reading between the lines. Why do you keep failing with the narcissist?

Because of the love bombing phase. In the love bombing phase of the shared fantasy, the narcissist introduces you to his dead inner child, the true self. It's the body of a child. It's the corpse of a child. And this child is tearful, cowering in the corner, shielding his eyes with his palms, quavering and shaking even though technically or clinically already dead. And this is heartbreaking. This is heart-rending, especially for women.

And the second thing the narcissist does, it puts you in touch with his bad objects. Bad objects, I'm sorry.

The introjects in his mind, the voices in his mind that hate him, deprecate him, attack him, put him down, humiliate him, shame him. This assemblage of voices that want him gone, they want to take him down, want him dead. These are enemies, internal enemies.

So when he introduces you simultaneously to the dead inner child, the true self and the bad objects, the voices that conspire against him, it induces in you a maternal reflexive bonding. You bond with the narcissist as a mother.

And this is not something you can control. You can't help with it. This is a reflex. It's instinctual. It's animalistic. It's primordial. It's atavistic. It's beyond, way beyond the veneer, the thin veneer of civilization and impulse control and ego and superego. Forget all this. This comes from the stem brain.

And so when the narcissist introduces you to his dead inner child, you become a mother instantaneously. And you pity the narcissist. You pity him for his crucible, for the predicament of having to endure the bad object inside himself.

And so this is a trap. This is a trap and it blinds you. It blinds you to the narcissist's real state of mind. It blinds you to the narcissist's stratagems, to the shared fantasy. It blinds you to the narcissist's egregious misconduct and abusive behavior. It blinds you like a mother.

You idealize the narcissist the way a mother idealizes her newborn. You want the narcissist to be happy. You love the narcissist. You care for the narcissist. You want to cocoon him. You want to cocoon him. You want to prevent him from enduring further pain and hurt.

And this is what a mother does.

And so you're not at liberty, nor are you capable anymore. You're incapacitated. You're unable to truly listen to what the narcissist is saying, not the words, the context, not the context, the meta text, the subtext, the hidden text, as opposed to the overt text.

Now, in this channel, there's a video about overt text versus hidden text. And I recommend that you watch it.

But the narcissist disables your ability to discern the former and exposes you only to the latter.

You develop what is called concrete thinking. It's a form of autistic. It's a form of autistic defense. You pay attention to what the narcissist is saying, not to why is he saying it. You ignore the motivations and attitudes and goals of the narcissist. And instead you take him at his word.

And this is known as the base rate fallacy, a variant of the base rate fallacy.


Okay, enough with the background.

What does the narcissist mean when he says the following seven sentences?

Number one, I love you.

I love you as a very common sentence.

Actually, narcissists keep replaying this sentence and repeating it from day one, from date one, from meeting number one.

Remember that the narcissist is incapable of positive emotions. He has no access to his own positive emotions because they carry with them a lot of hurt and a lot of shame from early childhood.

Love is pain.

So the narcissist avoids love.

So what does the narcissist mean when he says, I love you?

And does he truly believe it?

The answer is yes. The narcissist does believe that he's in love with you. He mislabels his true emotions, which are essentially a form of dependency.

Now remember, love bombing is the first phase in what I call the shared fantasy. The shared fantasy is based on work by Sander in 1989.

So the shared fantasy is coupled with a principle that I've discovered, the principle of dual mother.

The narcissist is trying to convert you into a mother and then establish with you a fantasy of mother-child.

Even if the narcissist is the dominant figure, even if he takes over all decision-making, even if he serves as your external regulator, he stabilizes your moods, regulates your emotions, it has nothing to do with it. He still perceives himself to be your child and you are his mother. It's a form of parentifying.

And so when he says, I love you, what he's actually saying is, I want you to become my mother. I want you to love me unconditionally. I want you to accept me regardless of my behaviors or misbehaviors. I want you to share my fantasy with me because reality is intolerable, unbearable, too painful. I want you to shield me and cocoon me and firewall me from my internal shame. I want you to tell me what I want to hear about myself. I want you to reflect to myself. I want you to reflect to me my glory, my grandiosity. I want you to be source of secondary supply. I want you to fulfill your roles, the four SS, sex, services, supply and safety. Above all, perhaps safety. I want you to allay and mitigate my anxieties, especially my abandonment anxiety, separation insecurity.

It's a list of needs and a list of expectations and a list of demands. It has nothing to do with love. It's about using you. You're an instrument.

The narcissist is instrumentalizing you when he says, "I love you." Love in the narcissist's mind is a conditioning mechanism. It's a way to ascertain your constant presence in his life.

The next sentence narcissists say a lot is, "You have changed. You're not the same." And there is a tinge of disappointment in their voice. A hue of disillusionment and disenchantment, you let them down.

What does a narcissist mean by that?

Well, remember coercive snapshotting.

The narcissist, when he first meets you and first he decides that you could be his intimate partner, he takes a snapshot of you. He creates a representation in his mind of you out there. Nasties are incapable of discerning and interacting with external objects. They convert all external objects into internal objects and that's what the narcissist does to you. He has converted you into an internal object.

And this internal object, the snapshot, the introject in clinical terms, is photoshopped. He idealizes you and then expects you to conform to the idealized snapshot. He expects you to never deviate and never diverge and never contradict and never disagree with and never conflict with the internal object, the avatar that represents you in his mind. He coerces you in multiple ways to conform to this idealized internal object.

And this is coercive snapshotting. He penalizes you if you dare to display agency and independence and personal autonomy and thereby deviate from the snapshot.

And this, of course, all this, of course, leads to devaluation and separation from you, which is the aim of the shared fantasy. It's all been about separating from you as a maternal figure, completing the separation and devaluation of early childhood that had failed with the original biological mother.

So when he says you have changed, this is in preparation for the devaluation and separation. This is the first phase in converting you into a persecatory object, an enemy, someone who threatens his internal stability, equilibrium and happiness.

He has failed to coerce you into becoming the snapshot.

So now he needs to get rid of you because you're a constant reminder of failure and you're a threat to the other internal objects.


The next sentence that narcissists are fond of repeating is I am. I am something. I am the most honest person I know, I'm a winner. I am very good at what I do, I am trustworthy. You can trust me. I am.

And there's like a gazillion endings to these sentences. I am. I am postulates the existence of a self. It is a form of self-reporting.

And yet the narcissist doesn't have a self. He doesn't have an ego.

The process of the formation of the ego and the constellation and integration of the self in early childhood up to early adolescence. This process has been disrupted by bad parenting in a very dysfunctional, unhappy family environment or the absence of a family altogether.

So this self-reporting is false, is fake. It is a desperate attempt by the narcissist to pretend that he or she exists.

But narcissists don't exist. Narcissism is about absence, not presence.

So when this one narcissist says I am, any sentence that starts with I am or I typically am is fallacious. It's misleading, not intentionally.

As again, the narcissist desperately attempts to first of all, first and foremost deceive himself. The narcissist's deceptive speech is first and foremost intended to self-regulate, to accomplish self-regulation. It's not about you because you don't exist.

Narcissist doesn't care about you. Everything is about him or her.

So I am is the kernel and the nucleus of grandiosity.

Grandiosity is a misperception of reality. It's what we call a cognitive distortion, coffe break.

And so when the narcissist says I am something, it's usually a self-aggrandizing, fantastic, inflating proposition. I am the most honest person I know, for example.

So this is the foundation of grandiosity.

And this is where the narcissist begins to divorce reality, which makes it extremely difficult for you to understand what he's saying, what he's truly saying, because it's not grounded in the world. It's not grounded in the universe as you know it. It's grounded in some phantasmagoria that is unfolding and unfurling in his demented mind.

Yes, narcissism is a severe mental illness.


The next sentence is they are, you are, talking about other people.

So the previous sentence was I am.

And the next sentence is you are or they are.

This is of course projection.

They are parts in the personality of the narcissist, in the disrupted self of the narcissist, in the self-states of the narcissist. Their portions, their segments, their figments, their elements, their components, their ingredients that the narcissist cannot tolerate. They are parts of the narcissist that the narcissist portions that the narcissist rejects because they challenge his self-perception, which is inflated and fantastic, or because they hamper his functioning.

So if the narcissist is weak, he's going to reject his weakness.

If he's homosexual, he's going to reject his sexual orientation.

If he is abusive, he's going to reject this knowledge that he's abusive and cruel and mean and sadistic.

If his self-image is a good person, he's going to reject these parts of himself.

If he misbehaved, he's going to reframe it. He's going to reject his misbehaving.

What does he do with all this trash? What does he do with all this self-negating garbage? What does he do with the parts of himself, the organs, the psychological organs that he cannot tolerate, that challenge him, that undermine him, that humiliate him, that shame him? What does he do with all these internal parts of himself?

Character traits, behaviors, predilections, proclivities, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, frailties, shortcomings, limitations, failures. What does he do with all this?

It's unbearable.

He takes these things and he throws them at you. He projects them onto you. He attributes them to you.

He's not weak. You're weak.

He's not being abusive. You're being abusive.

So this is known as projection.

When the narcissist starts a sentence with I am, this is grandiosity. When the narcissist starts a sentence with they are or you are, this is projection.

The next sentence somewhat tangentially associated with this previous two is this is wrong.

The narcissist has a set of rules, rigid rules that he had come up with.

He is a law unto himself, exactly like the psychopath, exactly like the psychopath.

The narcissist is contumacious and defiant. He rejects authority. He collaborates with teams. He is pro social, is much less criminalized than the psychopath.

But this is because he is a junkie. He's a drug addict. He needs to obtain and to secure a narcissistic supply from the environment, something the psychopath doesn't have to do.

But exactly like the psychopath, he holds people in utter unmitigated contempt and disdain.

And so he has this huge, huge tables of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, what is right, what is wrong, how people should behave and how they should not behave, how should he behave and how he should not behave, etc. Everything is rigidly dictated.

And so when he says this is wrong, he means to say this doesn't sit well or comply with my expectations, with the rules I have promulgated, with the environment I have engendered. When he says they are wrong or this is wrong, it means they're useless. They're inefficacious. They're oppositional. They're stupid. They are obstructive. They're passive aggressive.

No, wrong, when the last he says this is wrong, don't get it wrong. It's not about accepted morality. It's not about common, typical ethical standards. It's not a form of self-reclusion, self-legation, remorse and regret. It's not. It's like saying it's not going my way.

This is wrong means in narcissism speak, it's not going my way. This is right.

Wow, this is the way I want it to be.

So this is very psychopathic in effect.

It's a bit of antisocial type of speech.


The next very common phrase or phrases that narcissists use in daily discourse, daily intercourse, intercourse by the way is conversation.

Get your minds off the gutter.

So the typical sentence is, I don't remember having done that. I don't remember having said that. It doesn't sound like me at all. You must be wrong. The truth is this.

So when the narcissist says this, when the narcissist insists that he hasn't done something, hasn't said something, that there's no way he could have done or said these things because they don't sit well with who he is, with his self-perception or self-image.

It's not typical. I would have never said that. I would have never done that. I never lie. I never steal. I never plagiarize. I never do these things. I never sleep with other people's girlfriends or wives. I never do these things. It's not like me. I'm a good person. I'm an angel. I'm a victim.

Yeah.

I don't remember having done or said this.

And the truth is not this. This is the truth. This is because the narcissist dissociates.

And then he has memory gaps. He forgets things that he has said. He forgets things that he has done.

And to bridge over these memory gaps, he creates narratives, stories, fables.

And this is why it's known as confabulation.

The narcissist bridges over the memory gaps by inventing stories or confabulations which are reasonable, make sense, plausible, probable or likely.

He says, "I don't remember having done that, but probably I have done this. I don't remember having said that. You misunderstood me. I must have said this."

This doesn't sound like me at all. I think you're mistaken.

But I may have done this.

The truth is this.

You're getting it wrong. The truth is this.

These are all forms of compensatory confabulation, trying to overcome constant amnesia, endless amnesia, an amnesia that wipes out something like 80% to 90% of the narcissist's life.

When the narcissist is confronted with hard evidence of misdeeds, misbehavior, misconduct, hard evidence, receipts, recordings, things you can't deny, the narcissist would reframe them. He would create a meta-narrative, a hyper-story in which he will incorporate the hard evidence in a way that is self-vindicating, self-validating, self-justifying and supportive of the narcissist's grandiose, inflated and fantastic self-perception.

Finally, another very common sentence is, "If you refuse to do this, it means that you don't love me. It means that you're not my partner. It means that we are not in this together. It means that you want to abandon me. It means that you're betraying me. It means if you refuse to do this, it means this is a form of verbal abuse and an integral part of intermittent reinforcement, a control mechanism which conditions the victim, intimate partner in this case, or could be a friend, could be a business partner, could be a family member."

Everything I'm saying applies to all types of interpersonal relationships that the narcissist has.

So it's a form of conditioning you to not refuse because it's verbal abuse. It's penalizing. It's punitive.

So you want to avoid it. It creates in you the incentive to avoid this outcome.

And so you comply.

You become obedient. You become submissive. You begin to develop dissociation yourself.

Dissolutionism is contagious, as I keep saying.

The narcissist uses, leverages his disappointment and disenchantment and disillusionment with you as a weapon. He weaponizes them. He causes you to want to please him, to want to conform. You want peace. You want to avoid conflict. He renders you conflict averse.

And this sentence is one of the main instruments.


Now I spent the past two decades, actually historically, I'm the one who opened the first, opened owned and moderated the first six support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse. I was the first to describe narcissistic abuse in the 90s. And then I opened six support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse with well over 250,000 members. And I'm talking about the very beginning of the internet.

Ever since then, I've been monitoring the gradual degeneration and deterioration in the ethics, ethos, narratives in forums and support groups of victims of narcissistic abuse.

Now, let it be clear.

I have worked with hundreds of victims of narcissistic abuse as clients. I've been exposed to thousands in seminars and lectures and comment sections and so on.

And what I'm about to say in the next clip does not apply to all victims of narcissistic abuse.

Of course, most victims of narcissistic abuse just want to move on. They want to heal. They want to understand what has happened to them, but it doesn't become an obsession or a rumination. It's just a phase.

I'm talking about the hardcore group of self-declared, self-described victims of narcissistic abuse who are online in forums that are steeped in vicious sniping, lack of empathy, sadism, cruelty, vindictiveness that lead me to believe that these so-called victims and especially the so-called empaths communities are actually covert narcissists. They are professional victim.

What's happening there is competitive victimhood. It's a language. Victimhood is a language. It's a form of signaling, deceptive signaling very often. It's a form of signaling that is intended to elicit from other people concessions, benefits, special treatment.

So narcissists use victimhood. Victimhood is a language.

And that's why I'm including this clip, this short clip in this video.

So bear in mind, it applies only to a slice, the online vociferous malevolent slice of self-described victims of narcissistic abuse who I suspect extremely strongly based on literature, scholarly literature as well are actually not victims at all, but frustrated, collapsed, covert, in many cases, narcissists.

What do victims of narcissistic abuse really want?


But first, before I answer this question, what qualifies me to discuss it at all?

Well, I'm the guy who first described narcissistic abuse in the early nineties, coined almost all the language in use today. I've spent 20 years, 28 years studying narcissistic abuse. I've had the first website on narcissistic abuse, published the first book on narcissistic abuse and moderated and owned the first six support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse. And for 10 years, for 10 years until 2004, I've been the lone voice online until people discovered the money element, the money potential, and there was a flood of gold diggers.

So these are my qualifications.

I feel pretty comfortable to answer these questions.

What do victims of narcissistic abuse, especially those online want?

Here's what they want.

They want to be told that they are angels, that they have had no contribution to their predicament, that they are not responsible and should not be held responsible for their choices and decisions they've made, for their mate selection, that in general, they are blameless, guiltless, blemishless, impeccable and perfect, immaculate in effect.

They want to be told that the narcissist is demonic.

Narcissist is evil.

The narcissist is wicked, skimming, cunning, monstrous, reptilian, horrible, non-entity, that they have fallen prey to a supernatural force, that they have just been innocent bystanders who were swept away by a malevolent, malicious person.

They want to be told that narcissists are all bad and they are all good.

And this is a pathological, I repeat, defense mechanism known as splitting.

Who else does splitting?

Narcissists do, borderlines do.

Splitting is a hallmark of cluster B personality disorders.

Victims online, the vast majority of them, engage constantly in splitting.

I am all good. The narcissist is all bad. I am not responsible for anything that has happened. It's all the narcissist's fault. He is 100% to blame and so on.


The next thing victims of narcissists want is to learn how to destroy the narcissist, torture the narcissist, kill the narcissist, ruin the narcissist.

They are seething with vengeance and vindictiveness.

And if I've ever seen evil, this is it. This precisely is it.

The overwhelming wish to destroy another person's life is evil, period, regardless of who that other person is.

Well, except in cases where grave crimes have been committed and so on and so forth.

But generally, among normal people, among people in daily life, vengeance and vindictiveness of this caliber are indicative of serious mental health problems and a modicum of evil.

So this is also what they want to hear.


And there's a crop of coaches and self-styled experts with and without academic degrees who cater to these needs.

They cater to the victim's newfound victimhood status.

The victim's engaged in signaling. They signal to each other, "I'm a victim. I am entitled to special treatment because, oh, I'm so fragile and so vulnerable. And so damaged and so broken and so mistreated and so subjected to injustice that I now have rights. I now am entitled.

Entitlement is a hallmark of narcissism.

And these coaches and self-styled experts cater to this victimhood signaling, often deceptive signaling, by the way, manipulative signaling, competitive victimhood. It's a phenomenon recently described in literature.

And these coaches and self-styled experts, they tell victims what they want to hear and they laugh all the way to the bank and they make frequent trips to the bank.

Believe me.


One last thing.

What is it that victims don't want to do?

They do not want to learn. They do not want to study. They do not want to go deep. They do not want to understand what's wrong with the narcissist, of course, but also what is wrong with them. They do not want to soul search. They do not want to assume responsibility. They do not want to be held accountable. They do not want to acknowledge their contributions to what had happened to them. They do not want any of this. They want to be told, "You're all good. The narcissist is all bad. It's not your fault, none of it, you're victims."

And I will teach you how to get back at the narcissist, how to torture and destroy and ruin and take revenge on him.

That's what they want and that's what they are getting online.

Not a pretty picture, either with a narcissist or with other ostensible victims.

Hello, kiddos and kiddes.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm your favorite author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited and a professor of psychology.

And today we have a very interesting topic.

Narcissists of all stripes, overt narcissists, covert narcissists, somatics and cerebrons, narcissists who are passive aggressive and narcissists who are not all narcissists.

They use code. They use a cipher.

What you see, what you hear is not what you get.

And today I'm going to teach you to decipher the code, to decode the Narcissist Speech Act, to understand that he is not trying actually to communicate. He is trying to conceal and the various multifarious techniques that he uses in his attempt to manipulate you via this concealment.

It's very pernicious. It's very insidious. It's very subterranean. It's invisible to all other people.

And when you try to communicate this to others, family members, friends, your lawyer, your therapist, they think something's wrong with you because they can't see it for the life of them.

There's the text and there's the hidden text.

I've made another video on the difference between the manifest text, the difference between the master text and the difference between the hidden text.

When the Narcissist communicates with you, he's sending you a manifest text, but underneath it there's always an account, arcane, coded message, encrypted, and only you have the key. You and the Narcissist and nobody else.

So this is today's topic.


But before we go there, something critical it seems because it bothers a lot of you.

Why do I keep saying "love bombing" when I should say "love bombing"?

The correct pronunciation is of course "love bombing" not "love bombing".

The reason is my thick accent.

Thick accent is a serious curse.

Narcissism is a serious curse.

And I have both.

You can imagine where I am.

So at the beginning in my earlier videos I tried to use the correct pronunciation. I used to say "love bombing".

And people kept asking me "love bombing", "love booming", "love beaming".

I understood that something's wrong.

So I decided to mispronounce the word just to be in order to be understood.

And so now I'm saying "love bombing" to leave no place without. Apologies for my accent. I am not responsible for it, you know?


OK.

I would like to read to you two quotes, two comments posted on one of my videos.

And then we proceed to the topic.

Sunday wrote the following.

This is a quote at the beginning of the movie "American Psycho" based on the book by Brett Easton Ellis.

And so at the very beginning of the movie, Patrick Bateman, the psycho in the movie, says the following.

There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of obstruction.

But there is no real me. No real me. Only an entity. Something illusory.

And though I can hide by cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel the flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there.

Great quote about the inner empty schizoid core of narcissists and psychopaths.

M. Vaknin, Vaknin, whoever she is, had written a wonderful encapsulation of the borderline condition.

Here's what she had written.

Here's what she wrote.

I have BPD, borderline personality disorder, and you explain this very well.

When I go into psychopathy, I ignore people and plot into future revenge, and am comfortable being alone for months.

When I am grandiose, I switch into narcissism tendencies.

I feel empty.

No emotions left of my own.

I can't be alone.

I need validation to breathe.

I am not good with any sexual rejection.

I go into BPD rage.

My narcissism will not allow rejection.

When I go into my fragile BPD self, I am like a burn victim, filled to the top with empathy, and when it's not returned, I go back to psychopathic tendencies.

Then histrionic for attention, and then back to narcissism, because I can't accept that I'm simply not the best.

You may not be the best, but this is the best description of BPD I've ever come across, honestly.

Now, these are the self-states of BPD, you realize.

I encourage you to watch the videos on my channel regarding the various self-states in borderline personality disorder.


And now to the topic of today's video.

Not a minute too early, and it is speech.

When the narcissist communicates with you, there is what I call an envelope message, a manifest text, an overt text, and a hidden or coded message.

It's always two messages, always two, the envelope message and the hidden message.

It's exactly like a virus.

The virus is an envelope, and within the envelope there is the RNA.

There is the genetic material.

The genetic material is the coded message.

The virus needs a live cell to translate the coded message into new viruses, new proteins.

And the envelope carries the coded message into the live cell, in a way deceiving the live cell.

So the envelope of the narcissist's message is always reasonable, always flexible, always compromising, always socially acceptable, always commonsensical.

The narcissist's envelope message is something any reasonable, rational person would write.

Especially with impulse control, mature, adult, responsible, reliable.

This is the envelope message.

It conveys this image of the narcissist, the appearance of the narcissist.

It's an external facade.

But deep inside the envelope message, there is the viral genetic material.

There is the hidden or coded message which triggers you, pushes your buttons.

And the coded message is based on your shared past experiences with the narcissist.

On previous speech acts, it's like a train of thought or train of speech.

The message seems to be stand alone, seems to be self-sufficient, but actually the message is intimately connected to previous messages, previous exchanges, previous fights, previous arguments, previous disagreements, previous gaslighting, and previous manipulation.

So the message is intended to push your buttons in order to manipulate.

And it is based on information that only you and the narcissist share.

No one else.

This is privileged access information.

These are experiences you have had together when you were alone.

These are things he had told you and things you had told him that no one has ever become privy to.

So the hidden message uses several leverages, deploys several techniques.

And let's review them one by one.


The first technique is counterfactuality or non-facticity.

In other words, the hidden message assumes that you had agreed on something that you had never agreed upon.

The hidden message pretends that you have a compact, that you have a contract, that you have decided on a course of action, that you have concluded something, that there is a decision already made, that there is a choice already adopted.

But none of it is true. It's counterfactual. It's against the fact.

The hidden message implies that the big picture is totally agreed upon.

Now let's go to the details.

And that is, of course, an element of shared fantasy or shared psychosis.

So counterfactuality is the first technique.

The second technique is the victim stance, the victim language.

The narcissist always pretends to be the victim. He's actually not pretending. He truly believes that he had been victimized.

Victimhood provides him with moral justification for his misdeeds and misconduct on the one hand. And with social approbation and support, on the other hand, victimhood, in other words, is useful.

And so he maintains the victim stance and language well into his hidden messages.

And never mind what you say, and never mind what you do, and never mind how you behave. You will always be cast. You will always be described as the abuser. The abuser is your role in the hidden message.

And the narcissist insists ferociously, vehemently, on his victimhood position. He is a victim, and you will not deny him his victimhood. It's his comfort zone.

And he uses projective identification. Projective identification is when the hidden message pushes you, manipulates you into abusing the narcissist, elicits from you an abusive reaction.

The narcissist forces you to become an abuser, because when you're an abuser, he's a victim. And you're the villain. He has the moral upper hand.

So he needs you to be the abuser. He needs you to be the villain. He needs you to act narcissistically and psychopathically.

And indeed, most victims of complex trauma develop narcissistic, psychopathic, and borderline traits and behaviors. And these are reactive to the narcissist's constant messaging, constant signaling.

I'm a victim, you're an abuser. I'm a victim, you're an abuser. It's brainwashing.


The third technique is projection, because the narcissist's victimhood is imagined, it's confabulated.

The narcissist has to project his own traits and misbehaviors onto you.

The narcissist as a victim needs to feel that he is pure, unadulterated, innocent, honest, good, upright. Sanctimonious, self-righteous is the way to describe it. He is falsely modest if he is covert.

So the narcissist, he has pseudo humility. So the narcissist needs to believe that you are the opposite of all these things.

And what he does, he takes the traits and the behaviors that do not sit well with his state of victimhood and he projects them onto you.

And this encourages in you a feeling of ego destiny. You absorb these emanations, this miasma, these vapors from the narcissist.

This process is called entraining. The narcissist entrains you to become an abuser, to become a villainous character in his movie or in his theater production. And you adopt the role.

This process is called emergent roles within family system. This is the clinical term.

So you adopt the emergent role. You do become abusive, provocative, malicious, malevolent, impulsive, reckless, defiant, contumacious, hateful. You become everything the narcissist wants you to become.

And then you feel ashamed and you feel guilty.

The narcissist guilt trips you, soars in your mind the seeds of self-doubt.

Maybe he is right. Maybe I am the abuser. Maybe I am the narcissist.

The narcissist accomplishes this incredible feat of reversal of roles via his hidden messages.

His hidden messages contain the projection.

And then there is gaslighting via equivocation.

The narcissist never commits, never says yes or no. He says maybe or really or if you say so or I could have agreed that it's always equivocal. It's always ambiguous. It's always in the air. It's always a maybe.

And in this way, he challenges your reality testing. He makes you feel that you're crazy, that you're not grasping what's happening correctly. He rewrites history and he rewrites your mind in the process.

The hidden messages are usually very hostile. The more appropriate, proper, formal the message is, the more hostile it is.

This is passive aggression.

Passive aggression masquerades as civility and good manners and formality while underneath the surface there is enmity, hostility, hatred and the wish to destroy the recipient, the frustrating object.

So there's a lot of hostility and you pick up on it.

Your senses, your seismic senses via empathy, pick up on this hostility and it destabilizes you because being hated is an abnormal state and you kind of ask yourself, why am I hated? Is it justified in some way?

And it unsettles you, disbalances you, ruins your equilibrium and homeostasis and your view of the world is essentially benign place with good people.


The next technique is manipulativeness.

Manipulativeness and coercion via provocation.

The narcissist provokes you exactly into acting the way he wants you to act.

The narcissist is a puppet master and his hidden messages convert you into a marionette, into a puppet.

The narcissist, for example, ignores your input or your requests as though you had never spoken. He renders you invisible and transparent.

And feeling invisible and transparent is the worst fear in the human mind.

To not be seen is the most rudimentary, primordial and first terror in the baby's mind.

The baby needs to be seen by his mother just in order to survive.

Babies who are not seen are not fed. Babies who are not fed die to be seen as a survival strategy.

The narcissist, by ignoring things you say, by ignoring your requests, your wishes, your preferences, your priorities, your emotions, cognitions, by rendering you invisible by not seeing you as a strategy, threatens your survival, at least your mental survival.

The narcissist also malingers, procrastinates, delays, postpones endlessly, wears you down.

This is passive aggression. It's another technique borrowed from passive aggression.

He promises and he promises to promise and then he promises that his promises to promise were real promises and he is going to promise to promise you and then he promises you and it never happens. Nothing ever transpires. Nothing reaches conclusion or closure or result or outcome or anything.

It's like waiting through swamp. It's like you're swimming in jam. It's never, sooner or later it becomes quicksand and you drown in it, inexorably pulled down by his constant procrastination.

Some narcissists procrastinate because they're perfectionists. They insist on a perfect outcome.

But the majority of narcissists procrastinate in order to frustrate you. Their procrastination is actually a transformation of aggression.

The same thing with forgetfulness. Narcissists forget. They forget as a habit. They are professional forgetters. They forget what you had asked. They forget your requests. They forget arrangements and agreements. They forget promises. They keep forgetting dates and hours and times and schedules and everything.

Forgetting is another form of aggression together with procrastination and truancy.

The narcissist is absent physically or mentally, emotionally or both.

In most cases both.

He is truant. He makes sure to not be there in the most crucial moments when you really need his presence for something.

In order to decide something. In order to conclude something. In order to move on. In order to establish a schedule. In order to meet someone. In order to do business.

At the very crucial moment you can count on the narcissist's sudden inexplicable absence with some stupid excuse and neglect, forgetfulness, procrastination and truancy of the four horses of the narcissistic apocalypse.

They are intended to inflict upon you or mugged in to destroy you totally.

There is intentional inefficiency, stubbornness, pseudo stupidity, faking it. I didn't understand. I'm sorry. An outright sabotage.

When all these are passive aggressive techniques, the key to communicating with a narcissist effectively is to ignore the hidden message. To ignore all this. To not respond to the occult message. To the hidden message. To not allow the narcissist to push your buttons and triggers.

But some people find it very difficult to accomplish. Some people are still in the throes of the relationship with the narcissist or the narcissist still gets some hold over them via his introject, for example.

The narcissist is inside your head. Even when he's long gone physically, he's still inside your head. You can get yourself out of the narcissist but you cannot get the narcissist out of yourself.

So the best solution is to use professionals to communicate with the narcissist.

If you can help it, never ever communicate with the narcissist directly. Force him to communicate with your lawyers, with your accountants, with your best friend, with your family member, with your father, with someone. Force him to communicate with people who are oblivious to the hidden message.

You remember that the hidden message is based upon shared experiences, shared past, shared past, shared communication in the past.

And so people from the outside, outsiders, they simply don't support, they don't detect the hidden message. And so they're going to respond to the overt, open, reasonable, socially acceptable, commonsense, sensical, envelope message. And that's what you want.

You want to keep the communication surface on the surface. You do not want to go deep with the narcissist into the rabbit hole of his communications.

So if you refer the narcissist to other people who are constitutionally incapable of even detecting the hidden message, the communication will devolve into envelope communication, reverse communication, and you will not be triggered into actions that you're bound to regret later.

If at all possible, go no contact.

Any communication refer to an intermediary, to a buffer, to a firewall. And this buffer or firewall will ignore the hidden message and convey to you only the open one.

And so it's a filter.

The narcissist engages in something called palindromic speech.

The communication of narcissist is either inward facing, they verbalize their inner dialogues, conversing loud sometimes with themselves, with the audience as a mere foil to their stream of consciousness.

So this is the inward looking communication, or it could be outward facing.

When the narcissist communicates with himself, you are just an observer, you're an audience, he's bouncing thoughts off you. You're like a blank screen upon which he can project anything.

That's his inner communication actually. You're witnessing his inner communication.

And I repeat, some narcissists do it aloud. I mean, they verbalize it.

And then this outward facing communication, narcissists talk in order to impress their interlocutors, in order to evade actually providing information, to obfuscate vulnerabilities.

So what they do is they don't communicate, they impress, they manipulate, they obfuscate, they obscure, they evade.

Narcissist's arsenal.

Pay attention to several warning signs.

Number one, the use of indefinite pronouns and modifiers like this, or someone, or that.

When the narcissist does not specify, does not clarify any of the other parts of the speech, leaving the listener guessing as to what had occurred to whom, when, where, and why.

So indefinite pronouns and modifiers are a major sign of palindromic speech.

By the way, many self-styled experts and coaches and so on online, they use the phrase word salad. That salad is strictly limited to schizophrenics. Schizophrenics have something called disorganized speech, and this is a word salad.

Narcissists do not engage in word salad. No one actually engages in word salad except schizophrenics or people with psychotic disorders.

So it's a misuse of the phrase borrowed from clinical literature wrongly by ignorant people.


Number two, so we are not discussing warning signs when you listen to the narcissist or communicate with him verbally or in writing.

They're warning signs of palindromic speech.

Palindromic speech is the hidden message.

So number one, indefinite pronouns and modifiers.

Number two, if the narcissist is addressing an audience or you demand the truth and accountability from him, you can safely assume exaggeration, confabulation, reframing, and outright lying on his part. This is done partly also to cover up the narcissist's pervasive dissociation.

Number three, when the narcissist expostulates on his motivation for doing something or when he recounts what had happened, he is either wrong, reframing to justify his misbehavior or to restore ego, symptom, or he's just lying out of self-interest or he has dissociative gaps, amnesic gaps, and he's trying to bridge them with a confabulation. He tries to sell you on what makes sense rather than on the truth. If he doesn't know the truth, he will provide you with a plausible replacement, substitute, or alternative.

Do you remember alternative facts? If you keep reiterating the question, if you insist on an answer, if you insist on the truth, if you persist, he often contradicts himself and comes up with conflicting versions of the same events. Never trust what the narcissist says.

Do not let his gaslighting undermine your trust in your senses, your judgment, your observations, your memories, your identity, and your common sense.

Make sure that only what you see is what you get.

Observe the behaviors and reactions of the narcissist and everyone around the narcissist for clues as to what had really transpired. Don't let the narcissist club you on the head and don't wake up in his platonic cave of shadows of an alternative reality.

Spallendromic speech is any kind of statement about facts or inner mental states that intentionally, often or inadvertently, more rarely, creates confusion and disorientation in the listener.

Gaslighting, lying – these are examples of crass and malicious Spallendromic speech acts. Confabulation and illogical incoherent discourse – these are benign variants intended to breach dissociative gaps in memory or to buttress grandiosity.

Spallendromic speech makes use of various semantic devices.

Make close attention – when you talk to the narcissist, you need to be hyper-vigilant. You need to analyze any and every word, every phrase, every syntactical choice.

Why did he put the words in this order? Why did he choose to say something? Why did he choose to not say something?

That's the hidden text, the manifest text, the hidden text.

So you all the time on your toes, you all the time analyzing when you can't just take it for granted.

And the narcissist makes use of several semantic devices.

1. Referential shifts – referential shifts is when the words refer to one thing while appearing to be actually referencing another thing.

It seems that he's talking about A when actually he's talking about B. He means to talk about B, but he's talking about A because talking about A disguises his real intentions, opinions and judgments and manipulation with regards to B.

So this is referential shift.

Daben and Tondel – when he uses words or phrases which are open to two, sometimes mutually exclusive interpretations or meanings.

So the same word can mean this thing, can mean A or can mean B, but A and B can't be together. They're mutually exclusive. They contradict each other.

And yet he uses a word that can be interpreted in several ways or a phrase that can be interpreted in several ways.

This is double meaning.

The next one is contextual drift.

Conventional drift is when the narcissist subtly, subterraneanly, imperceptibly alters, changes the context of the conversation.

And by changing the context of the conversation, he changes the message and he changes the reality test.

He reframes the whole thing even as you are listening and you're not aware of it because he's very good at what he does.

So suddenly you find yourself discussing something you had no intention to discuss. And you ask yourself, how did I get here? That's contextual drift.

Next one is manipulative speech, goal-oriented utterances intended to impress or to accomplish aims not to communicate.

There is misattribution or attribution errors suggesting or preferring the wrong connections, the wrong links between alleged or ostensible motivations and intentions and actual actions.

So he interprets actions in terms of wrong motivations, wrong intentions.

And in this way, he deflects blame, for example, or he casts his own actions in the best possible light. Or he casts your actions in the worst possible light.

He assigns roles and he assigns roles by misinterpreting, very often deliberately, intentions and motivations.


Some narcissists, small minority, are paranoid.

So attribution errors are very common in paranoia and among conspiracy theories, they have a psychological trait called conspiracism.

The next semantic device used in palidromic speech and hidden messages is circumstantial mitigation, an external locus of control, a victim stance, events conspire, people collude to yield the misconduct.

And so he says, I misbehaved. What I did was wrong, but you're guilty. It's your fault. You pushed me to do it. Or circumstances made me do it. Or I couldn't help myself or something overcame, came over me.

So there's an external locus of control and there's a victim stance, events conspired, people colluded, and this gave rise to the misconduct. And he uprogates personal responsibility. He assumes the passive voice.

And finally, there's logical policies, simply a very famous example is post hoc, ergo paukter hoc. In other words, if A had followed A, it means that A had caused B, which is absolutely wrong. It could be, but it doesn't have to be.

Or correlation is causation, or reference to authority, or ad hominem attacks, and so on.

And he also uses logical malapropisms and policies to support his palindromic speech. And palindromic speech is efficacious. Affricacious because of the base rate cognitive bias.

The base rate cognitive bias states in one of its renditions that people automatically, fully believe 95% of what they are told, sight unseen. People don't bother to verify. They don't bother to cross check. They don't bother to confirm. In 95% of the cases, they just take it for granted. They assume that most people are good, well intentioned. They assume that most people are good, that the world is benign, that people are not evil and malevolent and malicious.

So they have a base rate cognitive bias. They accept.

And palindromic speech uses this vulnerability, this weakness, and that renders palindromic speech very efficacious. And palindromic speech mitigates the ineluctable hurt and pain associated with truth telling.

Honestly, no one likes to hear the truth. People hate truth tellers, which is why I'm hated. I'm kidding you not.

I think I'm hated because I'm a truth teller.

So people hate truth tellers.

And palindromic speech caters to this bias. I don't want to, I've made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts.

And so palindromic speech colludes with psychological defense mechanisms, such as denial. And with behaviors, such as reframing and avoidance, it is powerful, very powerful, psychodynamic allies inside you.

The narcissist co-ops, the narcissist works with, leverages your own psychological defenses. That's what makes the narcissist speech so irresistible, so hurtful, so accomplished.


There are two other obstructive speech patterns, the hypothetical speech pattern and the counterfactual speech pattern.

The narcissist borderline psychopath, they use hypothetical speech to test the waters, to see how their interlocutors would react to certain information.

So sentences like maybe or possibly or it could be that or I think that or I thought also, but wasn't sure, these are all forms of exploratory excursions.

The narcissist and borderline psychopath, they're testing the waters. How are you going to react if they were to convert these sentences into certainties? How would you take it badly if they say something?

So they say, maybe I should have done this, maybe you should have done this. Maybe it's kind of deniable, a plausible deniability. I said it, but it just said maybe, it's like someone insults you, humiliates you online and then at the end they write, just saying. So maybe X in the narcissist speech, maybe X means X had actually happened. This is the truth, but how do you feel about it? Maybe X, I'm testing.

Counterfactual speech is a lie or misinformation disguised as either a rhetorical question or a statement of settled and universally accepted fact. For example, maybe she flirted with me at the restaurant, but she didn't come to my room later that evening now, did she?

Well, that's a strong indicator that she did visit his room that night.

So this is counterfactual speech.

There are three types of manipulative speech.

Victim speech entitled demanding, dependent, transparent, whining, whining, grievances, grudges, that's victim speech. It's a manipulative type of speech.

Narcissists and borderlines engage in this speech a lot and so do narcissists.

Then there is child speech entitled demanding, dependent, transparent, manipulative, naive, immature, fantastic. Narcissists have this.

And then there is a psychopathic speech entitled envious, competitive, malicious, opaque, coded, dense and multilayered.

Let's discuss a bit lying and confabulation.

If their mouths are moving, they're lying. Histrionics, borderlines, psychopaths, narcissists, they move their mouth, they're lying. They lie all the time. Their lies may be goal oriented to secure money, to secure sex, to secure narcissistic supply or the presence of the intimate partner. The lies may be intended to regulate grandiosity or a labile sense of self worth to buttress a stance of victimhood or simply because the forbidden and the illicit and the risky are thrilling and novelty. And this is in case of serial cheaters who lie and deceive promiscuous attention addicted people and so on.

So when you communicate with these types, what they say is largely irrelevant. The only relevant information is why they had chosen to say what they had said.

So don't pay attention what they're saying. Ask yourself, why are they saying it?

The selection of lies, the choice of confabulations is revealing, telling and informative.

And the same applies in psychotherapy, by the way, the anomitic, the intake phase.

In the intake phase, most patients confabulate.

They offer narratives that are ego-syntonic, self-justifying.

So what the patient says is not nearly as important or crucial or edifying as to why the patient had chosen to say what the patient had said.

The choices they make in telling their stories are much more important than the stories.

Narcissists lecture. They never talk. They seek to impress. They never communicate. They ignore other people's input. They actively suppress such input rather than listen.

The narcissist is so invested, so immersed in extracting narcissistic supply from his interlocutors.

So concerned with dazzling them, with his brilliance or with his sexual irresistibility, the narcissist is oblivious to his body language, to his verbal cues, to his interjections, to events around him or to the environment at large.

It's a compulsion, obsessive.

The narcissist expostulates, hectares, pontificates, opines, defiance, edifies, rectifies, rants and raves and rumbles for hours on end, ceaselessly and breathlessly.

All of you have been exposed to the narcissist monologues, unending monologues like this lecture and always from a position of purpose, self-importance and verbose superiority and therefore authority.

Yeah.

People, his mum and mum audience find the narcissist exhibitionistic, delusional and coercive grandiosity so repellent, so off-putting that they shun his unilateral company altogether at the end.

That's why most narcissists are left alone. These people can't stand them anymore.

What about speech acts which are abusive?

What happens with the narcissist, psychopath, borderline, never mind, abuse speech, not only use speech but abuse speech?

There are three examples.

Let's start with big picture evasiveness.

It's my mini day. Let's start, oh, it's mini's day with me.

Let's start with big picture evasiveness.

Narcissists hate details. Narcissists are too self-important. The narcissist's life is too cosmically significant to be wasted on frivolous trivia and trifles.

Narcissists are above the fray of the quotidian, of the daily, of the pedestrian. They concern themselves only with strategy, never with tactics.

Narcissists lay out in sweeping synoptic terms the big picture. They leave it to lesser inferior mortals like you to fill out and fill in the yawning gaps and to iron out the glaring inconsistencies in the narcissist's big picture and her brain schemes.

Any attempt to involve the narcissist in the minutiae of decision-making and the give and take of human endeavor is perceived by the narcissist as coercion, a humiliating, ill-intentioned and deliberate challenge to his grandiose self-perception, his false self.

The narcissist's unwillingness to dirty his hands with the routine, the mundane virtually guarantee that his herbarine schemes, hastily laid plans, convoluted stratagems, guarantee that they will go awry, they will end in failure.

The narcissist's coercive delegation of tasks, the cascade of often contradictory instructions, the grandiosity, the aggressive superiority that characterizes expectations, his fantasies, his so-called planning, always allionate and infuriate his bosses, his underlings, his employees, his collaborators, his partners, his suppliers, his customers, his intimate partners.

Some narcissists end up acting all alone because of that.

And some of the victims of the narcissist, the recipients of his harunks and his hectoring and preaching and tirades and vitriol and diatribes, some of these victims end up acting passive aggressively, and spitefully undermining the joint enterprise.

Others, worn by the narcissist's aloofness and godlike detachment from reality simply give up on him.

They go through the motions robotically, awaiting the inevitable meltdown of the narcissist.

Then a second abusive speech act is alloplastic defenses and shifting the blame.

Narcissists are hypervigilant and consequently they misperceive rejection and insults everywhere.

Not being sexually desired, not occupying the center of attention, not garnering narcissistic supply, not being the alpha male in the room of the most intelligent person in the group, all these constitute grave narcissistic injuries to the false self.

The psychopath, as distinct from the narcissist, is goal oriented.

So he regards the very same rejections as mere obstacles, challenges to be overcome.

He says to himself, "I am not desired. I will render myself irresistible and I will make her jealous by triangulating or I will just move on to the next target. I am not the center of attention," says the psychopath.

"If I want to, I will make sure that I am."

And so on.

So both narcissists and psychopaths are competitive. They are both hell bent on winning and prevailing, but for different ends and reasons.

The narcissist's six narcissistic supply, the psychopath's six power, money, connections, position, sex, and so on.

The narcissist seeks to secure an uninterrupted flow, regulated flow of narcissistic supply.

The psychopath simply aims to accomplish and achieve goals.

Another facet shared by narcissists and psychopaths is their alloplastic defenses.

They are never fully responsible. They're never to blame. They're never guilty, accountable. Their misconduct is never their own. They don't own their misconduct.

Narcissists who cheat on their spouses, for instance, they're likely to say, "I was drunk. I was taken advantage of," or, "You made me do it," or, "I had no choice under the circumstances but to act the way I did."

The psychopath will use the theory of just desserts. The psychopath will say, "They deserve it. They had provoked me. They mistreated me. They acted stupidly, so they had it coming." Or, "I deserved it, so I took it." Or, "This is the way of the world and I had to do what I did just in order to survive."

A man has to do what a man has to do."

The third abusive speech act is much more famous.


I was the first to incorporate gaslighting into narcissistic abuse in 1995. Gaslighting preceded, of course, my work in 1995.

You have descriptions of gaslighting as early as 1968 using the term gaslighting.

But I was the first to introduce gaslighting into the discourse of narcissistic abuse when I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse.

So, passive-aggressive gaslighting is an abusive speech act. Nothing is more infuriating than the passive-aggressive evasiveness or gaslighting of the narcissist or psychopath.

It's like trying to hold onto a slimy goldfish. You can never catch. You can never kind of settle. There's no fixed point. Everything is in flux. Everything is kaleidoscopic. You can't get a straight answer. You can't get to the truth of what had happened, if anything had happened.

The narcissist and the psychopath denies that anything at all had happened.

Then he parades a kaleidoscopic array of protean contradictory versions of what may actually have happened or occurred. Then he minimizes the meaning of what finally he grudgingly acknowledges had transpired.

Throughout this teeth-extracting process, the narcissist implies that to dispute his claims or to doubt him is a sure sign of mental derangement and prove positive of an impaired reality testing or else it's malicious.

Having admitted wrongdoing, the narcissist axiologically refrains the transgression.

In other words, he misattributes it to some valuers.

He did nothing wrong in his book.

The values of the injured party are old-fashioned, possessive, plain irrational.

The other party is insanely jealous.

The narcissist's misconduct is common or accepted where he comes from.

It's a question of culture.

He could not have acted differently under the circumstances and constraints of the moment.

Isn't this understandable?

Why do you keep harping at it?

Can't we let go?

He had not remediated intention to act the way he did.

It just simply happened. It just happened because he was drunk.

Or high. Or stressed. Or angry. Or sad. Or disappointed. Or lonely. Or miserable. Or something.

So it's never his fault. Things happen to the narcissist. Or the psychopath. Or the borderline. Things happen to them.

They are the passive receptacles and recipients of fate, destiny, institutions, other people.

And finally, the narcissist shifts the blame.

A laplastic defense with an external locus of control.

He shifts the blame. He shifts the blame. You're guilty. He guilt-trips you.

The narcissist and psychopath was drunk, for example. Was high. He was forced into acting the way he did. He was co-opted. He got taken advantage of. He was raped. Or she was raped. He was taken by surprise. He was gallibly taken advantage of. He'd been abused. He's the victim.

And then there's the perennial.

It is all the victim's fault. It's all the fault of the party that was hurt. She made him do it. She misbehaved. She had abused him and provoked him and pushed him to misbehave, to misdeeds. To the brink of insanity, to the point of no return where he could no longer recognize himself. She drove him insane.

usurping the victim role is a sure far a sign that the narcissist or psychopath has done something truly rotten or truly dangerous.

When the narcissist goes out, goes all out on the offensive, you know that he did something really really bad.

Gaslighting by narcissists and psychopaths is surreal. It's disorienting. They lie reflexively with a straight face and without missing a bit.

The psychopath's prevarication frequently involves very convincing mimicry of other people's behaviors and effects. And this engenders an alternative, almost hallucinatory or nightmarish reality.

So I'll give you two simple rules.


Number one, the psychopath is never said, he's always mad. Not said, mad and sometimes bad. He's mad at you.

And number two, when the psychopath says "I'm bad" when he's ostensibly contrite and repentant, what he means to say is "I'm afraid. I'm afraid of the consequences of my action." Or "I'm pissed off that I was found out. I am very angry that I allowed myself to be caught, red-handed, infragantee."

So when the psychopath and the narcissist say "I'm bad, I'm sorry, it's my fault, I regret it, I'm remorseful," they don't mean this. They mean to say "Too bad, you found out."

As Hervé Lecluse wrote in his "Mustopist," the "Mask of Sanity," actions and behaviors are the psychopath's only true forms of communication. Actions and behaviors are the narcissist's language.

We should therefore pay attention exclusively to what the psychopath and the narcissist do and utterly ignore absolutely everything they say.

So why do we often believe and trust narcissists and borderlines and psychopaths when they tell us what had happened? Why do we fall for their lies?

Because they're not lies.

Psychopaths pre-varicate to secure goals.

Narcissists and borderlines rarely do.

Most commonly they confabulate.

Confabulation is a desperate attempt to bridge dissociative memory gaps, lost time, blackout, etc.

The narcissists and borderlines are desperate to make sense of a discontinuous, disjointed, fragmented world.

And to do this, they accomplish this.

They build these bridges by extrapolating from past experiences and creatively generating a fiction, a narrative as to what probably, plausibly might have happened in the missing hours or minutes or days.

Confabulating is intended to both restore identity continuity and cohesion and to hide the missing segments in the narcissist or borderlines' personal histories.

Confabulations effectively a form of false recall or false memories.

Confabulations are irresistibly convincing and alluringly reassuring because the narcissist or borderline honestly and firmly believe that they're true.

And confabulations have the power of memories and they appear to be objective and authentic.

They're always very likely, very plausible, even highly probable.

So they're easy to accept by all people, by all parties.

In many cases, there's a fourth reason.

The confabulation allows everyone involved to negate and efficaciously ignore a painful reality or an uncomfortable alternative scenario or set of facts.

We all, including the confabulator, want to believe the confabulation because it affords us comfort, secure, peace of mind.

Mouses and borderlines dissociate and then confabulate, ceaselessly.

It is easy to be drawn into their counterfactual alt-reality or universe.

The twilight zone of their inventive probabilities, the psychotic realm of their discontinuous existence.

Confirmation bias does the rest.

Having committed ourselves to the narcissist or borderline's version of events, having entered the alternative universe, we filter out, we suppress all countervailing information and contradictory or challenging facts or possibilities.


Now, I want to find out online, so bear with me for a minute.

I want to find online something I had written a while ago and read it to you because it's an example of what I'm saying.

And here's what I wrote.

Your wife doves up. She grabs a bottle of liquor, excited, and she rushes out the door at 9.30pm.

She says that she had been invited for a late dinner by a friendly couple.

Do you believe her?

Belief is not the same as trust.

Belief is purely cognitive, not emotional.

First, you have to care enough to scrutinize and contemplate the issue.

If the outcome is of no importance to you, the resource-efficient path of least resistance is to believe.

Next, the facts must align with the belief.

The facts cannot be blatantly counterfactual, contradict the belief.

If the facts match a possible benign interpretation, you're likely to adopt this interpretation in order to reduce dissonance and hurt owing to the deceit of your wife.

So you're likely to adopt confirmation bias.

If you wish or if you're forced to maintain the status quo the way things are, turning a blind eye self-deception is actually the only viable option.

And finally, awareness and even vigilance are inversely proportional to the extent of idealization, splitting, projection, reframing, and other defense mechanisms.

You are far more likely to believe your wife if you're still idealizing her.

For example, eyes wide shut are conducive to belief.

So this is an example of gaslighting and why we believe gaslighting in lies and confabulations.


I want to end with a general statement.

There's no reasoning with the mentally ill.

Mentally ill people cannot be reasoned with, cannot be analyzed with any rationality.

This is because mentally ill people are capable of harboring, opposing dissonance and contradictory cognitions and emotions at the same time.

This is called paradoxical thinking, hyper flexibility.

So the mentally ill person can at the same time believe two contradictory things, think two mutually exclusive things, feel ambivalently two conflicting emotions.

You can't.

Bateson called it the double bind, laying dubbed it the incompatible knot.

The speech acts and decisions of mentally ill people need to be deconstructed, not merely observed.

From the outside, people with psychiatric or psychological problems appear to be impulsive, erratic, labile, unpredictable, antisocial, dysregulated, dysempathic, dangerous, heartless, mendacious and egotistical.

But the truth is, mentally ill people are simply meandering along the conflicting paths of their psyche.

This fragmentation of the alienated self, this cathartic emotionally investing in internal rather than external objects, may have to do with what Giddens call ontological insecurity.

Even in patients with milder syndromes, such as personality disorders, there is a glaring absence of order, structure, continuity, cohesive identity, meaning, emotional stability, reducing anxiety, inconsistent positivity or negativity.

There's no consistency.

It's not the balance that matters, it's consistency.

And such epic fault lines, fracturing, fragmenting, impedes the evolution of a theory of mind.

A world life and a world view destroys logic itself, undermines it.

We base our perceptions, our understanding of other people, on intersubjectivity.

And we use empathy.

It's mentalization, a theory of mind, we place ourselves in other people's shoes.

But it is a speculative system, of course.

It is founded almost entirely on trust.

It is based on honest self-reporting by other people regarding their inner mental states.

It is based on correlations of these self-reports with observable actions and behaviors.

This honest self-reporting leads to discrepancies with observables and these engendered disorientation, anxiety, induced dysfunctional responses in us.

People with Cluster B personality disorders, dramatic, erratic.

These people consistently mislead, misrepresent their psychological self-states, their emotions, their cognitions, their self-reporting is fallacious.

This pre-varication has to do with identity disturbance, dissociative amnesia, contribulation and manipulative lying and gaslighting.

And consequently, it's hopeless.

There is no point in trying to grasp, analyze, comprehend, understand, contradict, predict these personalities.

These personalities do not possess a stable core and in many respects don't exist.

There is an empty schizoid core there.

There is emptiness, such negotiating with the void, such howling into deep space.

They are either subjected to and at the mercy of labile and dysregulated winds of their moods or emotions.

Or they are no longer with us, steeped in delusions of grandeur with fantastic landscapes, pseudo-psychotic, impaired reality testing.

And in many cases, they are simply lying through their teeth.

So why bother?

And every word I said here is the truth.

Maybe.


My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Serf Lava, Narcissism Revisited.

In the narcissist surrealistic world, even language is pathologized. It mutates into a weapon of self-defense, a verbal fortification, a medium without a message, replacing words with duplicitous and ambiguous vocables.

The narcissist, and often by contagion, is unfortunate victims. He doesn't talk. He does not communicate. He fends off. He hides and evades and avoids and disguises.

In the planet of capricious and arbitrary unpredictability that the narcissist inhabits, there are only shifting semantic and semiotic dunes.

The narcissist perfects the ability to say nothing in lengthy, Fidel Castro-like speeches. The narcissist's speech is impregnated and dense with first-person pronouns. I, me, my, mine. I call it pronoun density.

The ensuing convoluted sentences are arabesques of meaninglessness, acrobatics of evasion, lack of commitment elevated to an ideology.

The narcissist prefers to wait and see what waiting brings. It is the postponement of the inevitable that leads to the inevitability of postponement as a strategy of survival.

It is often impossible to really understand the narcissist. The evasive syntax fast deteriorates into ever more labyrinthine structures. The grammar is tortured to produce the verbal Doppler shifts, essential to disguise the source of the information, its distance from reality, the speed of its degeneration into rigid official versions.

The narcissist is completely incomprehensible most of the time. Buried under the lush flora and fauna of idioms without an end, the language erupts like some exotic skin rash, an autoimmune reaction to its infection and contamination by the narcissist.

Like vile weeds, the narcissist's language springs throughout, strangling with absent-minded persistence the ability to understand, to feel, to agree, to emote, to disagree, to debate, to present arguments, to compare notes, to learn, to teach.

The narcissist makes all these completely impossible because of his abuse of language.

The narcissist therefore never talk to others.

Rather they talk at others or they lecture them. They exchange subtexts. Camouflage wrapped by elaborate, florid texts. They read between the lines, spawning a multitude of private languages, prejudices, superstitions, conspiracy theories, rumors, phobias, and hysterias.

This is the world of the narcissist.

Paranoid, solipsistic, where communication is permitted only with oneself and the aim of language is to throw others off the scent or to obtain narcissistic supply, of course.

This maltreatment of language has profound implications.

Communication through unequivocal, unambiguous, information-rich, simple systems is such an integral and crucial part of our world that its absence is not postulated even in the remotest galaxies which grace the skies of science fiction.

In this sense, narcissists are nothing short of aliens, extraterrestrials.

It is not that they employ a different language, a code to be deciphered by a new Freud or a supercomputer. It is also not the outcome of upbringing or social-cultural background. It is the fact that language is put by narcissists to a different use, not to communicate, but to obscure, not to share, but to abstain, not to learn, but to defend and resist, not to reach out, but to persevere over less thanable monopolies, to disagree without incurring wrath, to criticize without commitment, to agree without appearing to do so.

Thus, an agreement with a narcissist is a vague expression of intent at a given moment rather than a clear listing of long-term, iron-classed, iron-caste, iron-clad and mutual commitments.

The rules that govern the narcissist universe are loophole incomprehensibles, open to interpretation so wide and so self-contradictory that it renders them meaningless.

The narcissist often hangs himself by his own verbose gordic knots, having stumbled through a minefield of logical fallacies and having endured self-inflicted inconsistencies.

English sentences hover in the air like vapor above a semantic swamp.

In the case of the inverted narcissist, who was suppressed and abused by overbearing caregivers, there is the strong urge not to offend.

Intimacy and interdependence are great, parental or peer pressure are irresistible and result in conformity and self-deprecation.

Creative tendencies, strongly repressed in the social pressure cooker, tame under the veneer of forced civility and violent politeness.

Constructive ambiguity, a non-committal "everyone is good and right," an atavistic variant of moral relativism, and tolerance bred of fear and contempt.

They are all at the service of this eternal vigilance against aggressive drives at the disposal of a never-ending, inner peacekeeping mission.

This is the inverted narcissist, a suppressed narcissist.


But with a classic narcissist, language is used cruelly and ruthlessly to ensnare one's enemies, to sow confusion and panic, to move others to emulate a narcissist (this is called "projective identification"), to leave the listeners in doubt, in hesitation, in paralysis, to gain control, to punish.

These are the uses of the language. Language is enslaved and forced to lie. The language is appropriate and expropriate.

It is considered to be a weapon, an asset, a piece of lethal property, a traitorous mistress to be gangrate into submission.

With cerebral narcissists, language is a lover.

The infatuation with its very sound leads to a pyrotechnic type of speech, sacrifices its meaning to its music.

Its speakers pay more attention to the composition than to the content.

They are swept by the language, intoxicated by its perfection, inebriated by the spiraling complexity of its forms.

Here language is an inflammatory process. It attacks the very tissues of the narcissist's relationships with artistic fierceness. It invades the healthy cells of rhythm and logic and communication of cool-headed argumentation and level-headed debate.

Language is a leading indicator of the psychological and institutional health of social units such as the family or the workplace.

Social capital can often be measured in cognitive and hence verbalingual terms.

To monitor the level of comprehensibility and lucidity of texts is to study the degree of sanity of family members, co-workers, friends, spouses, mates and colleagues.

There can exist no hail society without unambiguous speech, without clear communications, without the traffic of idioms and content that is an inseparable part of every social contract.

Our language determines how we perceive our world. It is our mind and our consciousness.

The narcissist in this respect is a great social menace, undermining language itself.

Welcome back.


This is the second lecture in the cycle, the Prophets of Narcissism.

It is intended for the psychology track of CIAPS, the Outreach Program, Center for International Advanced and Professional Studies.

This is not meant for Southern Federal University.

My name is Sam Vaknin, I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited and of course your professor of psychology.

So today we are going to discuss Louis Althusser.

The first video had dealt with an American thinker, Christopher Lasch, who was in every possible way the intellectual father of Jordan Peterson.

And today we are going to discuss Louis Althusser.

Louis Althusser is an amazing phenomenon and an amazing story.

With the exception of Nietzsche, no other madman had contributed so much to human sanity as had Louis Althusser.

And yes, he ended up in a mental asylum exactly like Friedrich Nietzsche.

It seems that we derive a lot of wisdom from totally crazy people, which bodes well for me.

Anyhow, Louis Althusser is mentioned twice in the Encyclopedia Britannica. And both cases, as someone's teacher, there could be no greater omission and oversight.

For two important decades, the 1960s and the 1970s, Louis Althusser was the eye at the core, at the center, of all the important cultural debates and storms.

Althusser fathered quite a few of these currents in modern intellectual history.

And this newly found obscurity forces me to summarize Althusser's work before I suggest a few minor modifications to it without due lack of modesty.


But let's start with reviewing his work.

Althusser says that society consists of what he calls "practices," economic practice, political practice, ideological practice.

And Althusser defines practice as "any process of transformation of a determinate product affected by a determinate human labor using determinate means of production."

Pretty straightforward.

Althusser the economic practice, the historically specific mode of production, transforms raw materials to finished products using human labor and other means of production, all organized within defined webs of interrelations, known as factories in many cases.

The political practice does the same. It uses social relations as the raw material.

And finally, ideology is the transformation of the way that a subject relates to his real-life conditions of existence.

This is, Althusser rejects the mechanistic worldview replete with bases and superstructures. It's a rejection, in effect, of the Marxist theorization of ideology. And it's pretty ironic that he's considered to be a post-Marxist or a kind of extension of Marxism.

He rejects Marxism. It's a rejection of the Hegelian fascist social totality. It is a dynamic, revealing, modern-day way of thinking and model of existence.

So in Althusser's intellectual world, the very existence and reproduction of the social base, not merely its expression. All these are dependent upon the social superstructure.

The superstructure is relatively autonomous, and ideology is a central part of it.

Althusser is arguably one of the two or three most important thinkers about ideology.

The economic structure is determinant, but another structure could be dominant, depending on the historical conjecture.

Determination – now called overdetermination, or discussative idea – determination specifies the form of economic production upon which the dominant practice depends and rests.

Let's put it otherwise.

The economic is determinant, not because the practices of the social formation – political practices, ideological practices – of the social formation's expressive epiphenomenon. It is determinant because it determines which of these practices, which of these expressions, becomes dominant.

In other words, the economic side, the economic practice, is the arbiter. Arbitrates, mediates, decides, channels both the practice of society and its expression.

And in this sense, of course, it is in some ways a continuation of Marx, but it's also a continuation of Adam Smith. It's not unique to Marx or to Hegel.


The next thing that Althusser says is that people relate to the conditions of existence through the practice of ideology.

They filter reality through ideology. Contradictions are smoothed over. Real problems are offered false, though seemingly true, solutions.

So ideology has a realistic dimension and a dimension of representations, like myths, concepts, ideas, images. There is harsh, conflicting reality, and there is the way that we represent reality to ourselves and to other people via ideology.

To achieve the above, ideology must not be seen to err. It must be perceived as infallible, error-free. And it must never remain speechless. Ideology must have something to say about everything.

Ideology therefore confronts and poses to itself only questions it can answer, only answerable questions and decidable statements.

Ideology therefore limits the space of discourse to realms of life, issues, topics, conundrums, dilemmas that it can offer an answer to.

And this answer is ipso facto deemed error-free, by definition, always true and correct.

This way ideology remains confined to a fabulous, legendary, contradiction-free domain.

It's a fable.

And it ignores all other questions. It ignores them altogether.

And Artuso introduced the concept of the problematic.

As he puts it, the problematic is the objective internal reference, the system of questions commanding the answers given.

Problematic is the question, set of questions that ideology poses to itself.

It determines which problems, the problematic determines which problems, which questions and answers are part of the game and which should be blacklisted and never as much as mentioned.

It is a structure of theory, ideology, framework and the repertoire of discourses which ultimately yield a text or a practice.

And all the rest is excluded.

Ideology therefore becomes, the problematic therefore becomes clear within the ideology.

It becomes clear that what is omitted, what is excluded, what is ignored, what is repressed and denied and suppressed is of no less importance than what is included in any text, in any discourse, in any debate, in any explanation, hermeneutic, exegetit principle.

So what we don't hear being discussed is as important as what we hear.

The problematic of the text relates to its historical context, what Artuso calls moment by incorporating both inclusions as well as omissions, presences as much as absences.

The problematic of the text fosters the generation of answers to posed questions and of defective answers to excluded questions.

As you're beginning to see it has a lot to do with narcissism.

Nastasism is an absence, an ideology and has its own problematic set of allowed questions, the permitted discourse.

According to Artuso, the task of scientific, for example, Marxist discourse, of Artusarian critical practice, the task of this is to deconstruct the problematic, to read through between the lines, to see through the ideology and evidence the real conditions of existence.

And this is what he calls symptomatic readings, or symptomatic reading of two texts.

Whenever you're confronted with a text, with an ideology, with propaganda, with a speech, with a piece of advertising, with a message, there's a hidden one.

Each text has a hidden text and in order to get to reality, to evince what's really happening, existence, you must have access to both texts, both texts and you must read them in a specific way, what Artuso calls symptomatic reading and possibly deconstruction, it's similarities.

So he says that symptomatic reading of the two texts divulges the undevolved event in the text that it reads.

So when you read the text symptomatically, you suddenly discover things that are not mentioned in the text and in the same movement relates to it a different text, present as a necessary absence in the first.

So when you're confronted with a message, a speech act, a statement, an appeal or day-to-day conversation, you must read it symptomatically, you must ask yourself what's missing?

What are the parts that are missing from the text?

And then when you do this, you discover a different text and that different text is a necessary absence.

It's exactly like, let's say, figure and background.

The background defines the figure, it's very critical, although the background is absence, is the absence of the figure, but it's still very critical to the figure.

Marx's reading, for example, of Adam Smith presupposes the existence of two texts and the measurement of the first against the second.

But what distinguishes this new reading from the old is the fact that in the new type of reading, the second text is articulated with the lapses in the first text.

Marx measures the problematic contained in the paradox of an answer which does not correspond to any questions posed.

What was there is contrasting the manifest text with a latent text, which is a result of the lapses, distortions, silences, absences, repressions, denial in the manifest text.

The latent text is the diary of the struggle of the unposed questions to be posed, to be answered, to be considered.

They want, I mean, these repressed speech acts, these repressed topics and questions, they want to erupt, they want to explode.

That's a fight between the true self and the false self in the narcissist.

The false self is the manifest text, the true self is the latent text.

Ideology says Aetouza is a practice with lived and material dimensions.

It has costumes, rituals, behavior patterns, ways of thinking.

The state employs ideological apparatuses, ISAs, to reproduce ideology through practices and through productions.

So the state uses organized religion, the education system, the family, organized politics, the media, the industries of culture.

Aetouza would have abhorred Jordan Peterson's message. He would have considered him a witting or unwitting tool of this Orwellian work.

All ideology says Aetouza has the function, which defines it, of constructing concrete individuals as subjects.

Suggest what?

The answer according to Aetouza, subject to the material practices of the ideology.

So the ideology takes people and converts them into homo-economics, for example, into consumers.

And this, the creation of the subjects, is done by the acts of hailing, or as Aetouza called it, interpolation.

Interpolation says, hey you, come over here. Hey you, come over here? That's interpolation.

These are acts of attracting attention, hailing, forcing individuals to generate meaning, interpretation, forcing them, coercing them to participate in the practice, economic practice, and the social practice.

And these theoretical tools were widely used to analyze, for example, the advertising and the cinema industries.

So the ideology of consumption, which is undeniably the most material of all practices, it uses advertising to transform individuals into subjects, into consumers.

It uses advertising to interpolate individuals, to hail them, to call them.

The advertisements attract attention. They force people to introduce meaning into the text and as a result to consume.

The most famous example is the use of "people like you buy this or that" in advertisements.

The reader or the viewer is interpolated both as an individual, people like you, and as a member of a group, people like you.

The individual occupies the empty, imaginary space of the "you" in the ad.

It's like chair work in therapy.

This is ideological misrecognition.


First, many others misrecognize themselves as that "you", any possibility in the real world.

And secondly, the misrecognized "you" exists only in the advertisement because it was created by the advertisement.

It has no real world correlate. It's a piece of fiction.

Social practices such as advertising, propaganda, cinema, culture and art, generally, religion, of course, they convert you into a piece of fiction. They impose on you a narrative, a text which is not you. And you're struggling to find meaning in this.

And when you're struggling to find meaning in this, you collude, you conspire with the text to subjugate you, to force you to practice in a certain way.

This is gaslighting, in effect, if you want to apply it to narcissism and psychopathy.

This is gaslighting.

The reader or viewer of the ad is transformed into the subject of and is subjected to the material practice of the ideology, consumption, for example.

It is not denying that Althusser was heavily influenced by Marx.

The dominant mode of production in his days, and even more so today, was capitalism.

The implied criticism of the material dimensions of ideological practices should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

Interpolated by the ideology of Marxism himself, Althusser generalized on his personal experience and described ideologies as infallible, omnipotent, ever successful.

Ideologists to Althusser were impeccably functioning machines, which can always be relied upon to reproduce subjects with all the habits and thought patterns required by the dominant mode of production.

That, of course, is manifestly untrue, especially after 1989, when we saw all systems crumbling, all ideologies crumbling, actually since the 1940s.

When Nazism crumbled, fascism crumbled, communism crumbled.

If anything, ideologies are the least successful ways of interpolating people.

Religion was much more successful.

And this is where Althusser fails.

But by dogmatism and more than a touch of paranoia, he neglects to treat two important questions.

His problematic maybe didn't allow.

I mean, the questions were excluded by his own problematic because ironically, his problematic, his theory, his work, it's a text.

It's also an ideology.

It also omits, represses, denies, ignores certain questions.

So the first question is, what do ideologies look for?

Why do they engage in their practice?

What is the ultimate goal of ideologies?

The second question is, what happens in a pluralistic, diverse environment, rich in competing ideologies?

Althusser stipulates the existence of two texts, manifest and hidden or latent.

The hidden text coexists with the open or manifest text, very much as a black figure defines the white background.

The background is also a figure.

And it is only arbitrarily the result of historical conditioning that we bestow a preferred status upon the figure, not the background.

The latent text can be extracted from the manifest text by listening to the absences, the lapses and the silences in the manifest text itself.

But what dictates these laws of extraction?

How do we know that the latent text that we expose is the right latent text?

Surely, there must exist a procedure of comparison, authentication and verification of the latent text.

Or is it a free-for-all?

If it is a free-for-all, we would all come with competing latent texts.

Because the universe of what's left out of an ideology is infinite.

A comparison of the resulting latent text to the manifest text from which it was extracted would be futile because it would be recursive, self-referential.

This is not even a process of iteration.

It is tautological.

There must exist.

A third muster text.

A privileged text.

Historically invariant, reliable, unequivocal, unambiguous, indifferent to interpretation frameworks, universally accessible, atemporal, non-spatial third text, which of course incorporates all possible texts, the manifest and all the latent texts.

The third text is complete in the sense that it includes both the manifest and the latent as adjusted.

Actually, it should include all the possible texts.

It should function as a complete library.

The historical moment will determine which of these texts will be manifest and which will be latent according to the needs of the mode of production and the various practices.

I agree with that.

Not all these texts will be conscious and accessible to the individual.

But such a third text would embody and dictate the rules of comparison between the manifest text itself and the complete text so as to derive the latent text.

Only through a comparison between a partial text and a complete text can the deficiencies of the partial text be exposed.

It makes its sense to reason.

A comparison between partial texts, the latent and the manifest, will yield no absolute or certain results.

And a comparison between the text and itself, as Authuza suggests to do, is absolutely meaningless.

It's tautology.

And this third text, what is it?

It's the human psyche.

It's psychology or if you wish, personality.

We constantly compare texts, texts that we come across, visual texts, I don't know, YouTube videos, written texts, other texts, behaviors around us, people around us are texts.

Our workplace is a form of text. Text is simply how things are organized to make meaning, to generate meaning.

So we constantly compare the texts that we come across to this third text, a copy of which we all carry with us and it's called being human.

We are unaware of most of the texts incorporated in this master text of ours. We are unaware of what it means to be human in the fullest sense of the word.

A lot of it is obscured by resistances, defense mechanisms, traumas, dissociation, etc.

When we are faced with a manifest text which is new to us, we first download the rules of comparison, the rules of engagement from our master text, from inside our heads.

We sift through the manifest text. We compare it to our own complete master text, our psychology, our personality and see which parts are missing.

And these constitute our idiosyncratic latent text.

The manifest text is universal. The latent text is individual.

Individual idiosyncratic, unique to each and every one of us.

The manifest text serves as a trigger which brings to our consciousness appropriate and relevant portions of our own third complete text.

It also generates the latent text that is unique to us and inside us.

If this sounds familiar, it's because it's a pattern of confronting the manifest text and comparing it with our master text and storing the results, latent text and manifest text that are brought to consciousness.

This pattern I repeat, confronting the manifest text, comparing the manifest text to our psychology which is the master text, the third text and then storing the results of the comparison, the latent text generated and the manifest text and both of them are now in consciousness.

This is used by mother nature itself.

Take for example DNA. DNA is a master third text. DNA includes all the genetic biological texts and Jung said it includes also collective unconscious, whatever that means.

So the DNA includes all the genetic biological texts ever written.

Some of these texts become manifest. We are the manifest text.

Most of these texts actually remains latent.

So a tiny minority of our genetic material is expressed. The rest is latent, hidden.

Any stimuli in the environment can provoke the third text, the DNA to generate its own hitherto latent other texts and make them manifest.

The same applies of course to computer applications.

Use a tiny minority of the functions of your software. The rest is latent but you can trigger it.

The third text therefore has an invariant nature. It includes all possible texts and yet it is changeable by interacting with manifest texts.

This contradiction is only apparent though. The third text does not change.

Only different parts of it are brought to our awareness as a result of the interaction with the manifest text.

So there's an ever kaleidoscopic, ever shifting river-like flux in our third text, in the complete text, where parts of it emerge into consciousness and become the manifest text.

Then they submerge and become a conscious or shadow. Then they emerge again and submerge and emerge into constant vortex, constant whirlpool, constant flow.

And so the third text as a totality never changes. It's immutable.

But which parts of it are manifest and which parts of it are latent?

This is determined by us and our environment, especially our environment.

And awareness is the lens, the projector, the flashlight, the torch which identifies the manifest text.

That is an excellent definition of consciousness.

We can also safely say that one does not need to be an Al-Tusarian critic or engage in scientific discourse to deconstruct a problematic.

Every reader of text, of any text, whenever you come across a text, a text would be another person, remember? Whenever you come across a text, you immediately and always deconstruct the text, the very act of reading, watching, talking, having sex, loving. These acts involve comparison with the third text which you are and inevitably lead to the generation of latent texts or your unique latent text.

And this is precisely why some interpolations actually fail. Ideologies are not fail-proof as Al-Tusar wanted to convince us.

Many interpolations fail. The subject deconstructs every message, even if he is not trained in critical practice, even if he doesn't know how to do symptomatic reading, he still does. It's reflexive, it's instinctual. The subject is interpolated or fails to be interpolated depending on what latent message, what latent text was generated through his comparison of the manifest text with his own third text.

Every person is a third text and the third text has an embedded engine, probably from birth what Kant may be called categories. I don't know, analytical categories, I'm not sure.

But there is an engine in the third text which every single person is. And this engine is slightly paranoid, slightly hypervigilant, slightly suspicious and tries to read between the lines of every manifest text.

So we generate latent text automatically, instinctually, and because a third text includes all possible texts, the subject is given to numerous competing interpolations offered by many ideologies, mostly at odds with each other.

The subject is in an environment of competing interpolations, especially in this day and age of information glut.

The failure of one interpolation normally means the success of another interpolation.

Someone else, some other manifest text whose interpolation is based on the latent text generated in comparison process.

So when you confront a text, a manifest text, you use your own third text to generate a latent text.

And if there's a match, you're interpolated. And sometimes you have a manifest text of your own, or you have a latent text generated by a mother text.

I mean, there are numerous possibilities here.

So I wouldn't be so linear like manifest text, interpolation, action.

I don't think it's true.

I think there are several other stages in manifest text, attempted interpolation.

Third text in the recipient, in the subject, the psychology of the subject, a generation of a latent text, comparison of the latent text to the manifest text.

And then if there's a match, interpolation works.

If not, then the subject exposes himself or herself to another interpolation, another ideology.

There's a competition going on.

The failure of one interpolation normally means the success of another interpolation, whose interpolation is based on the latent text generated in the comparison process, or on a manifest text of its own, or on a latent text generated by another text.

You see how many possibilities there are.

They are competing ideologies, even in the most severe authoritarian regimes, even in Nazi Germany.

In the Netherlands, the states use these mechanisms within the same social formations. And these mechanisms offer competing ideologies.

So you have the political party, you have the church, you have the family, you have the army, you have the media, you have the civilian regime, you have the bureaucracy, and they all compete because they all give you an ideology.

Ideology is a way to organize your access to reality, your perception, and to assume that interpolations are offered to the potential subjects successively and not in parallel.

This is not true. It defies experience. It's counterfactual. It simplifies the thought system, simplifies the theory, but it's nonsense.

We are exposed daily to hundreds of competing ideologies, many of them with latent text actually. They don't even come with manifest text.

They find that how, though, does not shed light on the why.

Advertising leads to the interpolation of the subject to affect the material practice of consumption.

Put it more simply, there is money here. There's money involved.

So you know, we understand this. We advertise to interpolate you to buy my product.

I get this.

But other ideologies propagated through organized religions, for example. Why do they do what they do?

The output of organized religion is prayer and a lot of money in the case of the Catholic Church for itself. So is this a reason? Could this be the material practice that they're looking for?

I don't know.

Prayer?

Seriously?

Money, prayer, the very ability to interpolate, are they representations of power over other human beings?

Is it all about power ultimately?

Are we all power crazy?

The business concern, the church, the political party, the family, the media, the culture industries, are they all looking for the same thing?

Influence, power, might?

Is this the only explanation of why we interpolate?

Absurdly, interpolation is used to secure one paramount thing, the ability to interpolate.

So interpolation is circular. We interpolate so that we have the power to interpolate.

Behind every material practice, there's a psychological practice very much as the third text, your own personality stands behind every text, latent and manifest.

The media could be different, especially social media. There's money involved, there's spiritual prowess, physical brutality, there's subtle messages, there's influence.

But everyone, even individuals in their private lives, everyone is looking to hail and to interpolate other people, to manipulate them, to succumb to material practices.

Social media is the greatest proof of this.

When we were given the choice, when we were given the opportunity, when we were provided the technology, we all started to produce texts, manifest texts, and we all tried to interpolate people to give us likes, to buy our products.

A short-sighted view would say that the businessman interpolates in order to make money, but the important question is, what ever for? What drives ideologies to establish material practices and to interpolate people to participate in these material practices, to become subjects?

Ultimately, the will to power.

Adlerian view, the will to power.

Frankl would have disagreed, he would have said it's the will to meaning.

Freud would have disagreed, he would have said the will to pleasure.

But meaning gives us power, at the very least over ourselves.

And pleasure is a manifestation of power, a derivative of power.

The wish to be able to interpolate is critical.

It is this cyclical nature of Atusus teachings, ideologies interpolate in order to be able to interpolate.

And then they become ideologies.

It is this dogmatic approach.

Things never fail.

I think these are the reasons that his brilliant observations were doomed to oblivion.

They simply have nothing to do with reality.

And so in Atusus' writings, the Marxist determination remains as over-determination.

This is a structured articulation of a number of contradictions and determinations between the practices.

This is very reminiscent of Freud's dream theory and of the concept of superposition in quantum mechanics.


The third text is not like the human psyche.

It is the human psyche.

The third text is the complete text.

It produces a latent text by interacting with the manifest texts.

There are as many third texts as there are sentient intelligent beings.

The completeness of the third text is only in relation to the individual whose psyche it is.

And so there can be no universal third text.

For reality out there, we have 7.7 billion third texts and they are all equally valid, but valid for one individual.

This is known in philosophy as the intersubjectivity problem.

It puts in grave doubt the very possibility for empathy.

My solution essentially is solipsistic.

We all live in bubbles of meaning.

Our problematics are idiosyncratic and really noncommunicable, hermetic.

There is no universal or global master text.

So we can never communicate truthfully or access the mind of another person.

Each individual has his or her own master text.

And this master text inevitably reflects his or her cultural, social values, histories, preferences, traumas, you name it.

Even dissociated material is relevant to you.

It is a part of the latent text.

Ideologies are complex, all pervasive, all encompassing, narratives.

The main role of ideologies is to reconcile and smooth over the gaps between observed reality and constructed reality.

Ideologies use numerous mechanisms to help us to collude in the suppression of ugly and uncomfortable truths or questions that cannot be answered.

Cognitive dissonance is often employed.

Ideology teaches the interpolated individual to reject as undesirable that which he or she cannot have or cannot understand.

Even if you secretly want to possess something, even if you want to understand but you can't, you will reject it.

You will reject it as bad, as evil.

Delusions are induced.

What you see with your own eyes, ideology tells you, is not real, is not true.

You are mistaken to believe your senses.

Delayed gratification is exalted.

Senses in this world, Peterson's suffering, they are rewarded in the hereafter or later in your own life.

And this is where both Lash and Atusa seamlessly merge into intellectual trends in the 21st century.


Okay, this was the second lecture in the cycle, the prophets of narcissism.

Stay tuned for the third, which will be coming next year.

Have a happy new year, all of you, despite having listened to this lecture. And we'll see each other hopefully in the flesh sometime next year.

Vaccine permitting and Atusa willing.

Okay.

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