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Narcissists False Self Primates, Perverts, Serpents, God

Uploaded 9/11/2020, approx. 55 minute read

When dealing with narcissists, what is more natural than to mention primates, perverts, vampires, the Garden of Eden, serpents, demons, and other totally natural phenomena?

And today this is exactly what we are going to do in this video.

You are in for a treat.

Books, stories, it is a corner cup of tea, and in this treasure box a lot is awaiting.


My name is Sam Vaknin, I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and I am a professor of psychology in a variety of academic establishments on several continents.

And if this sounds impressive, wait till you listen to the video.

And today we are going to start as promised with perverts.

And I refer you to the book Perf by author Jesse Bering.

It seems that in New England in the 1600s, the age of consent was 10. Yes, 10. And this continued well into the 1800s in several states in the United States.

So until the 1800s you could get married at the age of 10. But the population was much more concerned with, I am quoting, men secretly in league with the devil to impregnate barnyard animals.

Yes, you heard correctly, barnyard animals.

And the result of this illicit copulation, the malevolent offspring, was called prodigy.

Prodigies were the demonic malevolent children of men copulating with farm animals.

The guy responsible for this egregious abuse of the word prodigy was the prig with the G.

My classmate, Thomas Aquinas.

But wait a minute, those of you who know, who are in the know, wait a minute, you say Thomas Aquinas was a theologian and a religious philosopher in the 13th century.

You can't have been classmates. Wrong again. As you well know, vampires live forever. And I'm a bit older than I look.

And so I have tried everything. I've tried wooden stakes. I've tried silver bullets, been the dumbest, not working a little like the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines. They're not going to work. They're not going to work because the immune system doesn't recognise coronaviruses very well. It sucks when it comes to coronaviruses. It even collaborates with coronaviruses against the body.

I just proved to you that I'm much older than I look because my mind is meandering and I'm all over the place.

Back to the topic of acne.

Okay. It seems that the main preoccupation of the aforementioned classmate, Thomas Aquinas, was to prevent folks from having a good time.

In short, he was a typical religious person.

And he coined the term prodigy to refer to any hybrid creature sprung from the loins of another species, but born of human seed.

According to Aquinas, prodigies, prodigies could also be conceived through sex with atheists. Yes. If you have sex with an atheist, you are at huge risk of conceiving a prodigy.

Bestiality is a crime in many jurisdictions.

And I started with this to demonstrate to you the shifting sands of psychology, morality, theology, and philosophy.

Homosexuality used to be considered a mental illness, well into the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Prodigies were considered the outcomes of godless copulation.

So high intelligence was very suspect.

On the other hand, paranoid schizophrenics were considered to be prophets in communication with God.

Psychology is not a science, not historically, and not methodically.

It's more of a literary art form describing the shifting mores and the changing values and our beliefs about human nature.

Actually, Alfred Kinsey in 1948, in his famous studies of human sexuality, discovered that a whopping 50% of adolescents born and bred on farms, adolescent males, had sex with animals. One percent of the population on zoophiles, they prefer to have sex with animals than with human beings.

It's the exact equivalent of the prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder in the general population.

In 1642, there was a trial of a 16-year-old boy named Thomas Granger. Thomas Granger was another lesson, and he was indicted for taking indecent liberties with every conceivable animal. I'm quoting from the verdict, a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves, and a turkey. Don't ask. They even made a lineup of sheep, and he identified the sheep that he had had love affairs with. They were, of course, I'm quoting again from the verdict, killed before his face according to the law Leviticus chapter 20, verse 15. And then he himself was executed.

Yes, at that time, if you had the wrong sexual orientation, you had a very short life.

And so when we discuss narcissism, remember that there's a risk, there's a substantial risk, that we are actually dealing not with necessarily a demarcated, clear, clinical entity, not with a disease, not with a disorder, but with some kind of a passing fad, a fashion, a change in value system, a judgment, an opinion, or in short, what we call in psychology, a culture bound syndrome, an apparent syndrome that critically depend on societal and cultural mores, edicts, and strictures.

Okay, this is a general warning because we're going to discuss today the concept of false self.

False self is a modern concept. It was first proposed by Donald Winnicott, a pediatrician turned psychologist. But actually, it is a very long and varied history in mythology, in religion, we can explore some of these things.

But before we go there, currently, we believe the deceit of human psychology, the seat of cognitions and of emotions is in the brain. This has not always been the case. Up until very recently, actually up until the middle of the 19th century, this was not self evident. People seriously assumed that many mental functions took place in the guts, or in the heart, or in the liver.

And there were serious textbooks, allocating mental functions, and psychological processes to these organs. The brain was just one of many.

But today we have this medical hypothesis.

Essentially, it's a hypothesis that the brains are responsible for everything that we are for our identity, our memories, our thoughts, our emotions. Is this true? Possibly.

But recent discoveries are casting this in doubt.

For example, the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced not in the brain, actually, but in the guts. 90% of the production of the critical neurotransmitter, serotonin, the neurotransmitter that, for example, regulates mood, 90% of its production is in the intestines, not in the brain. And there's also a question whether the brain is really that indispensable.

And I'm quoting from the book Superminds. Superminds is a book about crowdsourcing and crowd thinking. But before that, I would like to quote from the book origin story, a big history of everything by the author, David Christian. And every Christian says, our brains are obviously a good thing, not necessarily, because they guzzle energy. Brains need up to 20 times as much energy as the equivalent amount of muscle tissue. In human bodies, the brain uses 16% of available energy, though it accounts for just 2% of the body's mass. And that's why, given the choice between brawn and brain, evolution has generally gone for more brawn and less brain. If you don't believe me, go to any neighborhood pub and you will see how right it is. Or join a MGTOW and red pillar group. And that's why there are so few, continuously author, that's why there are so few very brainy species. Some species are so disdainful of brains that they treat brains as an expendable luxury. Most bodybuilders are like that. There are species of sea slugs that have mini brains. When they are young, they use these mini brains as they voyage through the seas, looking for a perch from which they conceive food. Once they have found their perch, these sea slugs no longer need such an expensive piece of equipment.

So what they do, they eat their brains.

Reminds me of the narcissist, of course.

The author continues in his book, Origin Story, A Big History of Everything. The author is David Christian. And he continues to write, Primates are sociable because living in groups provides protection and support. The pressure to live in large groups increased in open and exposed terrain, such as the spreading grasslands and woodlands of a cooling world.

To live successfully with other members of your species, you have to keep track of the constantly changing relationship among family, friends and enemies. Who is up? Who is down? Who is friendly? Who is not? Who owes me favours? Who am I in debt to?

These are computational tasks, whose complexity increases exponentially as groups get larger.

If there are just three others, you can probably cope. If there are 50 or 100, the calculations are a lot trickier.

To live in groups, you also need some insight into the brains of others, it's known as empathy. Intuiting the thoughts and feelings of others may have been an important step towards consciousness, the enhanced awareness of what is happening in our own minds.

Close observation of private society shows that if you get these social calculations wrong, you will probably eat less well, be less well protected, get beaten up more often and lower your chances of being healthy and having healthy children.

So sociability, cooperation and brain power seem to have evolved together co-evolution in the history of primates.

Indeed, there seems to be a rough correlation between the size of primate groups and the size of their brains.

Apparently, many primate lineages were willing to pay one more entropy tax, the brain tax, if it allowed them to live in larger groups. So this is the second lesson of our video.


The first lesson is psychology is a bit of hype, it's a bit of a fag, it's a bit of a fashion. Don't be too impressed by psychologists' claims to be science. It is not. It's diagnostics. Everything is a bit of literature or a lot of literature, actually.

The second lesson, the brain had evolved mainly to cope with social functions, not with individual functions, but with social functions. The majority of animals actually don't have brains or they have very small brains. But these animals are not social animals. They live individually or their societies are very rudimentary.

The brain had evolved to cope with social cues, social interactions, social give and take, the social exchange. And this is exactly where narcissism is an epic fail, a total failure.

Narcissists don't necessarily fail as individuals.

Many narcissists are very self efficacious. Some of them become pillars of the society, chief executive officers or presidents of countries.

But narcissists always fail in social interactions. Even when they construct a team around them, the team implodes. When they have a family, they end up divorcing. When they establish companies and businesses, they end up bankrupt.

We don't have to look far. Narcissists are very bad at working, cohabiting, collaborating, co-opting, cooperating and especially reading other people.

The narcissist realizes that he knows that. So what he does, he conducts opinion polls. He crowdsources his mind. He outsources his ego functions. He vacates himself. He empties himself and he invites everyone around him to tell him who he is, what he should feel, what his mood should be.

This is called narcissistic supply. The narcissist is an incarnated, incarnated public opinion poll, a hive mind. It's a collage. It's a kaleidoscope. And this is exactly why the narcissist is hypervigilant. He's a seismograph. He spots the smallest, tiniest tremors in the ground. His ear is always to the ground like a glorified or glamorized North American, Native American. He's always alert because his inner environment is crucially dependent and is actually a derivative of his external environment. There is no boundary between the narcissist in and out. There's no external and internal. He internalizes external objects. The narcissist merges seamlessly with his environment, but not in a good way, not via socially acceptable means. He doesn't sublimate his drives and urges and so on. He merges with his environment by not existing, by absenting himself, especially emotionally, but also absenting himself cognitively. He has cognitive deficits such as grandiosity. His reality testing is impaired because he refuses to exist as a separate autonomous boundary entity within reality. He simply deludes himself in reality. He becomes a wave, a frequency, a cloud, a cloud of molecules.

And so this reminds me of the concept of crowdsourcing.

Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to and anyone can edit, is an example of crowdsourcing. It's when a multitude of people come together and create a single product.

The narcissist is such a product. He is a walking, talking Wikipedia. He is the confluence and congruence and merging and fusion of multiple people around him. He derives information, input, judgments, opinions, suggestions, and so on. He derives all these. He filters them through his grandiosity so that he shuts out and he represses and he ignores everything that runs, contract to his fantastic inflated self-image, but the rest he puts together.

And this collage, this togetherness is him. That's him. The narcissist is not self. He has not constellated self. He has an assembled self and it's not a self assembled self. It's taken from the outside and then assembled.

The narcissist, therefore, is a production line, simply a production line. The typical Boeing airplane has several tens of thousands of components and these components come from 70 or 80 countries around the world. And then Boeing, all Boeing does, it takes these components and it puts them together into an airplane. There's an assembly line, production line, and this is a good metaphor for the narcissist.


And so let's talk a bit about crowd sourcing.

And there's a book called Supermind. The author is Thomas Vaknin. The book describes crowd sourcing projects. The book says, when lots of non-experts vote on possible answers to a question, they often arrive at an answer that is just as good as one that an expert would give.

By the way, that's a shocking fact. If you take 100,000 totally ignorant people, totally ignorant, who know nothing about a specific question, the question could be in physics, in biology, in astrophysics, you name it, in history, in geopolitics, in any field. When you take 100,000 people who are utterly ignorant of the question, the topic of the question, the field within the question is asked, within which the question is asked. And you ask them the question, they get the answer right. And they get the answer right as frequently as an expert does. That's a fact.

And the book mentions a few such projects.

The Galaxy Zoo project, where crowds of people, tens of thousands of people classify galaxies. The Eyewire project, where people decipher neuronal pathways in brains, and they do it much better than experts.

And the Good Judgment project, led by Philip Tetlock at the University of Pennsylvania, this was part of a competition organized by the US intelligence community, intelligence, advanced research projects, activity, YALPA. It's a project common to all the intelligence community, NSA, CIA, and so on.

And so there's this project called Good Judgment. And in this project, people are asked to develop innovative methods for predicting answers to a wide range of questions about geopolitical events, and they keep getting it right. It's pretty amazing.

The narcissist seems to know this intuitively. The narcissist knows that the more people are involved, the bigger the number of people involved in providing him with input, with information, with feedback, with narcissistic supply, the more likely he is to get it right.

The problem is that the narcissist's definition of getting it right is not your definition.

Your definition of getting it right has to do with empathy.

You say to yourself, I'm going to talk to my best friend, I'm going to talk to a therapist, I'm going to talk to my clergyman, I'm going to talk to a priest, I'm going to talk to my grandma. And using their feedback, using their input, using their advice, their tips, their wisdom, their accumulated life experience, I'm going to get it right. And I'm going to get right in the sense that I'm going to get along better with people. I'm going to become socially more efficacious or self efficacious. I'm going to obtain more favorable outcomes within my social milieu, at work with my friends in my family.

That's how you empathic people define, define getting it right.

The narcissist is a totally different definition of getting it right.

When the narcissist says I'm going to get it right, the narcissist means I'm going to get an answer that supports and buttresses my grandiosity, that sits well with my fantastic inflated view of myself. I'm going to get an answer that is going to cement my self image.

In other words, the narcissist exercises something called confirmation bias.

But the narcissist fine tunes this self image and self perception by approaching as many people as he can and trying to recruit them to become sources of narcissistic supply.

And this is why I keep comparing narcissism to a missionary religion. It's like the Catholic missionaries who went to Africa and tried to convert the poor cannibalistic tribesmen or went to the Pacific or to Africa or to Asia and tried to convert the natives, the locals to Christianity.

It's the same with the narcissist. He tries to convert everyone around him to a source of supply, to provide him with information which will support his view of himself and of the world around him.

Not information that will allow him to better cope with reality. Not information that will allow him to become a better, more empathic person. Not information that will render him more helpful, more supportive, more agreeable, more fun to be with.

No, none of this. Information that will support his preordained, preconceived predetermined view of himself.


And this reminds me of a movie, The Beaver. In the film The Beaver, there's a character. The character is played, the protagonist is played by Mel Gibson. The character suffers from depression and he latches on to a tattered puppet. He has a puppet and it's very torn apart and everything. It's a very old puppet in the shape of a beaver. And he communicates exclusively through the puppet, through this doll, through this, you know, toy in effect. The beaver is everything that its ostensible master is not.

So the beaver is everything that Mel Gibson is not.

He is daring, he's creative, he's exuberant, he's omnipotent, he's omniscient, he's gregarious, resourceful, charismatic and charming. That's the toy, the beaver, the tattered puppet, not Mel Gibson who ostensibly owns the beaver. The beaver is also a good father, a good chief executive officer and good company all around. In short, the beaver is the reification, the physical manifestation of the protagonist's false self.

When Mel Gibson's wife, Jodie Foster, I can only dream, when his wife Jodie Foster controls him, having exposed his confabulations and having insisted that he must let go of the contraption, she tells him you must let go of the beaver. It's not healthy, it's making you sick. The beaver rages at her. He asserts the superiority, invincibility and brilliance. So when Jodie Foster tries to talk to Mel Gibson, it's the beaver who talks to her, the beaver responds to her, not Mel Gibson. And the beaver says I'm superior, I'm invincible, I'm brilliant, he rages, the beaver rages.

The depressive Walter is the Mel Gibson character. The true self is derided by the beaver, mocked as a dysfunctional wreck, utterly dependent on the former's ministrations and the interference the beaver runs on behalf of Walter.

The film ends unrealistically with Walter mutilating his body, literally, in order to rid himself of the domineering and all pervasive appendage, the beaver.

I'm saying unrealistically because narcissists never, never succeed in resuscitating the dilapidated and crushed and ossified and wounded true self.

The narcissist is his false self.

Walter is the beaver.

In real life, Walter should have been devoured and consumed by the beaver.

But then, of course, we would not have a typical syrupy, happy ending Hollywood movie, would we?

Both the true self and the false self depend on the gaze, the gaze of other people, depend on being seen. The false self relies on adulation, on attention, on narcissistic supply for the maintenance of the precarious, confabulated, fantastic grandiose and counterfactual narrative that is the narcissist persona, his mask, his public face.

So without people around, the narcissist fades and vanishes, like the alleged photographs of ghosts, without a constant flow of high quality input and feedback, without the adulating, admiring gaze, the narcissist crumbles like a house of cards, like a cloud of dust.

The narcissist resorts to a variety of dysfunctional, self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors and defense mechanisms to prevent this outcome.

So similarly and equally, the true self needs a loving gaze. The false self needs an admiring gaze, an adulating gaze. The true self needs a loving gaze to sustain itself.

Another person's love serves two purposes. It confirms the existence of the true self as a lovable object and lays the groundwork and facilities, the necessary and sufficient conditions of self-love.

You can't really love yourself if no one loves you. I can tell you from personal experience. It allows the true self to perceive the existence of a safe, safe base, loving and holding other.

Such insight is a very foundation of empathy.

So do the false self and the true self ever fight it out? Is it like David versus Goliath, good versus evil, the beaver versus Walter?

Well, no. Alas, they never do. The false self is concocted by the narcissist to fend off pain, to avoid hurt. It's a form of hurt aversion mechanism. It is a perfect, impenetrable, impermeable shield. It's a cocoon.

The false self rewards the narcissist by flaunting him with warm, fuzzy, exhilarating feelings. And it sustains the narcissist's delusions and fantasies.

The false self is the narcissist's dream come true. In other words, as far as the narcissist is concerned, the false self is adaptive. It's functional.

The narcissist is emotionally invested in the false self and he despises the true self for having failed to cope with the exigencies and vicissitudes of the narcissist's life.

So, kiddos and cadets, women and womenettes, the false self replaces the narcissist's true self, replaces it, substitutes for it. And it is intended to shield the narcissist from pain and hurt, the narcissistic injury and mortification.

And he does this by self-imputing omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, god-like attributes. The narcissist pretends that his false self is real and he demands that other people affirm this confabulation, confirm this lie. He wants other people to tell him, your false self is not false. It's real.

The false self reinterprets information in a flattering or socially acceptable light and also imitates and emulates normal emotions and empathy.

See, so many functions.

How can the narcissist get rid of the false self?

rid of the false self than you can get rid of your true self.

And so this is why many people compare narcissism to demon possession.

I have a whole video dedicated to this question about demon possession, medieval morality plays and so on and so forth.

But the phrase demon possession, you know, it was used in the middle ages. They didn't have psychology at that time.

So they didn't call it narcissistic personality disorder. They called it demon possession.

But they were describing the same phenomenon. They were describing the same clinical signs and symptoms. They were describing the same constellated syndrome. They didn't call it narcissism. They didn't call it a personality disorder. They didn't pretend to be scientists. They believed in God. Their language consisted of God, demons, devil. These were their language element, linguistic elements.

And they used the only language they had around, lying around, to describe what they had seen. And what they had seen was a bit alien, a lot abnormal out of the range of their typical pedestrian day to day quotidian experience. They didn't know how to cope with it. They didn't know how to describe it. It was so out of this world, so supernatural and paranormal in some ways, they called it demon possession.

You see, there's a concept in mysticism and the paranormal. It's called tulpa. Tulpa is a being or object, which is created by projecting spiritual and mental powers.

There was a movement called theosophy. It was very dark, it was very dominant in the 20th century, in the first half of the 20th century. And theosophy borrowed, as it borrowed many other things, it borrowed the concept of tulpa from Tibetan Buddhism. And in Tibetan, it's not called tulpa, it's called sturpa. Of course, sturpa in the transition to Western mysticism became tulpa.

At any rate, in Tibetan, it means emanation, manifestation. And it's a type of imaginary friend, actually. You will it into being. You have a very strong wish to have an imaginary friend, and then it comes into being. You manifest it, you make it happen.

And this imaginary friend, the tulpa, is sentient, it's intelligent, and it's relatively autonomous. And it has many, many features of the false sense.

There was a spiritualist, her name was Alexandra David Neill, and she claimed to have observed these practices in Tibet. And she described tulpas as magic formations generated by a powerful concentration of thought. She believed that tulpas have a mind of their own.

She said, once the tulpa is endowed with enough vitality to be capable of playing the part of a real being, it tends to free itself from its makers control.

This, say Tibetan occultist, happens nearly mechanically, just as the child, when his body is completed and able to live apart, leaves his mother's womb.

So, giving birth to the tulpa, or the tulpa, I prefer to call it tulpa, although the correct pronunciation is tulpa. I call it tulpa because in original Tibetan, it's closer to original Tibetan.

So, the tulpa is compared to a baby, to a newborn, it's a process of birth. And similarly, the narcissist gives birth to the false self.

The narcissist is a creator of the false self, and the mother of the false self.

Remember this when we come a bit later to the issue of feminine and masculine.

The narcissist is the mother, the false self is a baby, and it's a perfect baby. It's brilliant, it's omnipotent, it's omniscient. The narcissist gives birth to God.

And in this sense, narcissism is a bit Gnostic. Gnosticism describes a world with two deities. Gnosticism is not monotheistic. There is a demiurge, and there is God.

And in this parable, this metaphoric mythology, the narcissist is God, and he gives birth to a demiurge.

And so, there's one date he gives birth to another date. We'll come to all this a bit later.

The Western occult understanding of tarpa or turpa is therefore a kind of rewriting of modern psychological understanding of true and false self.

And in Western occultism, there's another concept called thought form.

Now, before they came up with the word thought form, there was another thing called ectoplasm. Ectoplasm was discredited. Ectoplasm was a term used in spiritualism. It was a substance or spiritual energy which was exteriorized, projected by spiritual mediums. It was coined in 1894.

There was a psychical researcher, Charles Richet. And Charles Richet coined the term ectoplasm. But ectoplasm was so abused by fraudsters and con artists that it was discarded and no one uses this term anymore. It's taboo.

Instead, spiritualists and occultists in the West, they use the word thought form. Thought form is actually a postmodern kind of rendition of the tarpa. Its thought forms are linked to Western philosophy, to magic, and so on.

There was an occultist by the name of William Walker Atkinson, and he wrote a book called The Human Aura. And he said that thought forms are ethereal objects emanating from the auras that surround people.

He said that people's thinking, people's thoughts, people's feelings, they can manifest, they can become external physical objects.

And he wrote another book called Clairvoyance and occult powers. And he said that experienced practitioners of the occult can produce thought forms willingly from their auras.

And it's a form of astral projection. And he said that when an experienced occultist uses his aura to willingly create a thought form, which is essentially a tarpa, these thought forms look like twins of the occultist.

So the person who is projecting is creating a projection that looks like him. And people with awakened astral senses, whatever that means, can see these projections.

So in modern Western occultism, when you create, when you materialize a thought form, you actually materialize your twin. You materialize yourself.

You see how close this is, how very, how there's an interface between this and the psychological perception of the false self.

Because the false self is the narcissist. And the thought form, the tarpa, is the occultist, is a twin of the occultist, looks like the occultist physically. And is the occultist in the sense that it's the mind of the occultist, mind of the practitioner, exteriorized, projected.

Theosophy, theosophist, Annie Besant, she wrote a book called Thought Forms, and she divided them into three classes.

She said this, there's a thought form in the shape of the person who created the thought form. There's a thought form which resembles objects or people and can become enslaved by nature spirits or by the dead.

And there are thought forms that represent inherent qualities from the astral or mental planes. And these thought forms can embody, for example, cognitions or emotions.

I am not teaching you spiritualism, of course, not a proponent of any of this. I regard all this as rank nonsense. But it's interesting to see how the same thinking, in a way, manifests in psychology, where there is a false self and a true self, and the narcissist who gives birth to the false self and so on.

And in occultism, in spiritualism, in Tibetan Buddhism, in all these fields, there's also a false self which the occultist or the practitioner can create willingly, and which embodies elements of the practitioner's mentality and psychology, emotions, recognitions, for example, and looks like him.

The false self is a kind of comfort or transitional object.

Now, the concept of comfort or transitional object was coined by who else? Donald Winnicott, the pediatrician turned psychologist, and was studied at length and in depth by Passman, P-A-S-M-A-N.

The comfort and transitional objects, these are objects that children use to transition from their mothers to reality.

It's very difficult to say goodbye to mother and hello to reality. Reality is less accommodating, less loving, less accepting, more demanding, more abrasive, more wounding. There's a lot more friction with reality than with mommy. You can manipulate mommy much more easily than you can reality, and for a very long time, you did not, as a baby, make a distinction between yourself and mommy. You were one and the same. There was a unitary object, mi-mommy, mommy-mi.

And so to break this object to this schism is a major trauma.

And the child transitions from mother to objects, from the primary object, which is mother, to other objects, transitions via a transitional object, or a comfort object.

And a teddy bear, for example, is a transitional or comfort object, a favorite blanket, even a song. These are transitional objects.

The child invests emotionally in the object as it had invested emotionally prior to that in the mother.

He transitions his emotions from the mother to the comfort object, which is an inanimate object, to other objects, other people.

Now with the narcissist, there is a fixation at this stage.

The narcissist transitions from the mother to his false self, and his false self becomes the comfort or transitional object.

But then he gets fixated, fixated. He can't move on. He can't continue. He can't relocate, transport his emotions and cognitions from the comfort, transitional object of the false self to other people. He remains stuck.

He remains stuck, and this is called fixation. He remains stuck in the transitional phase.

And Winnicott said that such people develop subjective omnipotence. Subjective omnipotence is what I call magical thinking.

He said that healthy people transition from mother who is a safe base, good enough mother is a safe base, not a dead mother, a good enough mother is a safe base.

So healthy people transition from a safe base to subjective omnipotence where they have magical thinking and they use this magical thinking with a transitional object like a teddy bear. And then they move this, they move from subjective omnipotence to objective reality.

What happens with the narcissist? He doesn't have a good enough mother. He has a dead mother. So he transitions post haste as fast as he can to a transitional comfort object, which is his false self.

But then he fails to transition from the false self to objective reality. He remains stuck. The false self is an anxiety reducing fantasy in the case of the narcissist. Because it's anxiety reducing, it's addictive. The narcissist doesn't dare in other words to exit the fantasy.

By the way, for you to understand, the phenomenon of getting fixated on a transitional comfort object is very widespread.

In a study made by Travelodge in the United Kingdom, 35% of British adults slept with teddy bears.

Mind you, this is the United Kingdom, the floating mental asylum of the world. Still 35% of adults sleeping with teddy bears.

Try women.

Okay. So this is one concept.


Second concept is imaginary frame.

Again, Parnass and another guy, another scholar by the name of Claussen. They started this issue of imaginary frame.

An imaginary frame is a fictional character, fictional character that comes to life.

And most children, especially creative children, imaginative children, curious children, intelligent children, they have an imaginary frame at some stage. Usually the imaginary frame comes together with a transitional or comfort object or a bit after that.

So there is another phase to the transition. Transitional object, imaginary frame, real frame.

But the narcissist gets fixated. And what happens is the false self becomes a combination of comfort object, transitional object, imaginary frame, fantasy, and interface with the world.

Unbeatable combo. It's like trifecta. You can't win against this. Nothing comes close to it. No internal construct, not the true self, not introjects of mama, mommy, not introjects of daddy, not nothing, not your teacher. No one can fight this. No one can fight this because the false self does everything for you.

It's like you would have a device which makes laundry, solves your taxes, prepares your tax returns and gives you sex. Would you ever get rid of such a device? Never. Probably you will get married to it if you're not already.

So this is the secret of the power of this false self.

And my narcissist find it close to impossible to get rid of it.

In cold therapy, we get rid of a false self and you should see the reactions.

So he said like the Asian.

So this leads me to Marie-Louise von Franz.

Marie-Louise von Franz was born in 1915 and died, unfortunately, in 1998. I'm saying unfortunately because she had a brilliant wife. And she studied mostly alchemy and fairy tales exactly like Bruno Bettelheim.

As opposed to Bruno Bettelheim, she was a real psychoanalyst. Bettelheim was a fraud.

But both of them had written amazing texts about fairy tales and the role of fairy tales in growing up. And she, in 1959 and 1960, she gave a series of lectures in the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich in Switzerland during the winter semester. And she collected these lectures in 1970, published a book, The Problem of the Poire Aetemus.

Magnificent book. I want to read to you a story from the book because the book contains many stories and refers to many books. It's a delight.

The book is strong through an amazing, brilliant, sparkling mind.

If I met this woman, I would have fallen in love with her. I'm sure of that. I'm not sure if she would have fallen in love with me, but I wouldn't have fallen in love with her. She had an amazing mind.

And so this is a story from her book about the Poire Aetemus.

I'm quoting.

I, says the author, I once read in the Neue Zücher Zeitung, a story told by a Hungarian officer. Before the First World War, this Hungarian officer was the only child of an aristocratic Hungarian family. And he was so lonely, having nobody to play with, that he had invented a brother whom he called Stepanek and imagined him as a very tough, red-haired little boy.

In his imagination, this little boy would do all the mischief that he had hoped or would have liked to do, but for which he didn't have the courage.

So as you see, this is the false self.

Yes, the false self is everything. The narcissist is not. The false self is perfect. The narcissist is taught by his parents that he's a bad defective object. The false self is brilliant. The narcissist is taught by his mother that he's stupid, ugly. The false self is omniscient, omnipotent, very much like the adults that surround the narcissist when he's a child, etc.

The false self is godlike in his attributes, while the narcissist is a nobody, he's helpless, he's trodden upon, trampled on, he's in pain, etc.

So the Hungarian officer created this red, little, tough, red-haired, mischievous, adventurous boy. In his fantasy, the author continues, in his fantasy, he lived mainly in imagining what his Stepanek would do when he went to school and found real friends, real comrades.

The figure of Stepanek faded and was forgotten. So this is a healthy transition to object relations.

And the book continues.

And then he says, and I'm just repeating the story, then he says that in the first world war, this Hungarian officer was shot and wounded. He fainted and came around after a time, bleeding and shivering and in a very bad state.

And then he saw a human figure bending over him, a red-haired man of 30. He thought it was somebody who had come to rescue him and he muttered, who are you? And the other person whispered, I'm Stepanek.

The next thing he remembered was that he was being taken care of in a hospital and slowly coming back to himself. He was very much puzzled about whether he had a hallucination, whether he had projected something onto the man who had brought him in, who perhaps had been a black-haired red crossman, who knows?

The Hungarian officer tried to follow up the problem. And so he asked the doctors and the personnel in the hospital how he had got there. But nobody knew. The nurse knew that he had been brought to the ward and that he had been found on a stretcher in the hospital courtyard. But nobody knew who had brought him there and could never find out.

The Hungarian officer said that he didn't want to theorize about it, but that those were the facts.

The author says in the book about the Puerat Aetevo, she says, I have a rational explanation.

As you see from the childhood story, Stepanek was the Hungarian officer's more ordinary and vital part, his inferior personality.

The red-haired fellow who dared to do all the things that the Hungarian officer as a child did not dare to do. He himself was rather an introverted, sensitive kind of boy. And I think it quite likely that in the war situation, in a half-dazed way, he managed to drag himself to the hospital and was therefore literally saved by his inner instinctive personality, Stepanek.

Then he broke down in the courtyard where he was found. His wound was not too bad.

This seems to be, to me, says the author, the only possible explanation.

The other possibilities that a man from the Lazarete had picked him up and that in his dazed condition, he had projected Stepanek onto this man. Nobody knows. And this is only to illustrate the fact, says the author, that the lonely child very often finds a companion in the unconscious other half and thereby experiences the unconscious through this other half.

But normally these shadow figures, the other side, are at this age projected onto other children who take over the role of the other.

It also shows the problem of a certain amount of dissociation, a dissociation of the personality, says the author. Exactly. I fully agree.

The false self is a dissociative process. It's a breakdown of the personality. It's a projection of the ego ideal, as Freud used to call it, of everything the narcissist wants to be as a child. Projection of this totality onto an invented person, a talpa, a kind of tulpa, a kind of thought form, a kind of demon.

I'm using languages from Tibetan Buddhism, language from the Middle Ages, to describe what Winnicott called the false self.

Growing up is becoming half.

Because when you're born, you have only the unconscious. And then you develop consciousness. As you develop consciousness, you break up. You become two. When you're born, you're one. You're unitary. You're unitary with the world, but you're also unitary with yourself. There's only the unconscious.

The process of growing up is the process of breaking up. The process of cleaving the conscious from the unconscious.


The authors continues.

When a human being first meets the unconscious in an autonomous form, either in childhood or, for instance, in the beginning of an analysis, psychoanalysis, we encounter the unconscious with what could best be called the other side.

In other words, this unconscious is the other side. In those early stages, says the author, the unconscious, the other side is personified in different forms.

The person first simply experiences that there is another side to the ego and its ordinary world. It is only after some time when the fact of a completely different part of the personality had been realized.

The fact that there is another inhabitant in our inner house, only when we learn to accept this, only then we slowly discern figures in the half darkness of the unconscious, such as that of the inferior man whom we might classify under the name of Jungian shadow and the figure of the heterosexual partner, which we might classify under the name of the Jungian anima, just to bring some order into the other side.

But in itself, as a reality, it is really the impact of the unknown part of the personality of the person.

You will find all over the world that the first meeting with the unconscious is often with such a person or personification.

It's a great way to describe the false self. The false self is the shadow.

Within the false self, there are moving parts.

And indeed, the process of narcissistic modification is when you come to accept and realize, as a narcissist, that there is a part of you that is not you, that the false self is actually not you.

Mortification is when for the first time in your life, as a narcissist, you break apart, you divorce the false self. It's no longer there to protect you. You become skinless, defenseless, totally vulnerable and open.

Narcissistic mortification is the process of enlightenment, of ownership, of coming to awareness that you are being controlled and manipulated by an external entity.

Yes, you as a narcissist had created this entity. Yes, you're the mother of this entity. Yes, you are the creator of this entity, but now it is your master and you are the slave.

The realization that there is truly an external locus of control, that your life is truly determined, not by you, and that there is even a you, a self, which is not the false self.

I can't tell you how cataclysmic and catastrophic this realization is.

No wonder of mortification is by far the most horrible experience for a narcissist.

In Persian, Gnostic, Manichaean traditions, when a person dies, he meets a young boy or a young girl, and he asks the young boy or girl, who are you? They say, I'm you. This young boy or girl, when a person dies, they are the selves, the halves in the beyond.

So every person in Persian, Gnostic and Manichaean traditions is another half. That half is in the beyond, in heaven, in afterlife, whatever you want to call it. And whatever you do here on earth affects your half in the beyond. That half is the repository of your deeds and misdeeds.

In many, many cultures in society, especially primitive cultures, the baby is considered only half the individual. The placenta is the other half, and the baby has a double. The double is located in the placenta.

So in many cultures, people drive the placenta and they wear it as a necklace, or they take the placenta and they bury it because there's someone in the placenta.

After death, you are reunited with your double, who is in the placenta. Adam was complete in heaven, but he was only half on earth.

And these are traditions known as the half-half one, half one traditions.

And so the false self, in a way, is Adam. It's delusional. It's fantastic. It's grandiose. It's Adam. It's masculine. It's unconscious because Gnosis doesn't realize that he has a false self. It's totally unconscious. And it's ignorant because Gnosis doesn't know that he has a false self, not knowing man's ignorance.

So the false self is masculine, unconscious, ignorant. It has impaired reality testing.

I'm saying that the false self is masculine because it's very chauvinistic. It's delusional, fantastic, grandiose, aggressive. Everything in the true self is not.

The false self is.

And so the true self is the opposite of the false self. The true self is Eve to the false self, Adam.

So the false self is Adam.

The true self is Eve.

The true self is feminine. It's conscious. It's woken.

The narcissist is raised by a devouring mother. He is not allowed to become a man.

So what he does, he becomes a woman. He becomes feminine. The mother doesn't allow the male narcissist to become a man.

So he becomes a woman and he gives birth. He compensates by giving birth to a man. He transports his virility, his masculinity into a new locus, an external locus, the false self.

The false self becomes the repository of his suppressed masculinity.

Narcissists are actually effeminate. Even when they are muscular and bodybuilders and wrestlers, they are effeminate in many, many respects. For example, they have labile moods. They have dysregulated emotions.

There's a close affinity between narcissism and many, many borderline features. Even psychopathy and psychopaths are essentially feminine.

But when you put the true self and the false self together, when you put masculinity and femininity together, what do you get?

You get perfection. You get oneness. You get a unitary entity. You get oneness. You get completeness.

In other words, you get a God-like state. God is whole. God is one. God is unitary and complete.

When you put the false self and true self together, you become God.

And indeed, the Bible says that man was created in the image of God. In Genesis 2, the narrative is the narrative of fall.

Man, Adam, was created as a clone of God. He was a God.

And God sanctioned the break, sanctioned in both ways. God also punished.

The break between conscious and unconscious, knowledge of good and evil, you know, God sanctioned it, prohibited it, and then punished for it.

God didn't want Adam to know everything, to know the difference between good and evil, and so on and so forth, because then he would really become totally God. He would become the competition.

So God forbade Adam from becoming self-aware. Adam was 100% in the unconscious.

Adam had no consciousness. He was not conscious. He was 100% unconscious.

And in this sense, Adam was infantile. He was a total baby, never growing up.

The knowledge of good and evil was brought on by the feminine.

You remember false self and true self?

The false self is masculine. It's regressive. It's infantile. It's ignorant. It's unconscious.

The true self is aware, is walking, is conscious, is feminine. The true self is feminine. It is femininity that brings knowledge of good and evil, self-awareness, consciousness to the human species.

But femininity cannot do this unless it collaborates with the serpent.

And the serpent is widely interpreted to be the devil.

It seems that self-awareness and consciousness and so on and so forth require the introduction of evil into the equation.

There is no consciousness, self-awareness, if femininity does not collaborate with evil.

It's a very peculiar way of looking at this.

Very peculiar way.

Do not eat from the tree of knowledge good and evil, says God. Do not become self-aware. Do not become conscious because the price you will pay is suffering. The price you will pay is introduction to evil. The price you will pay is internalization of evil because eating the fruit is internalizing evil.

The serpent gave the fruit to Adam via his feminine side.

And don't forget, Eve is Adam. Eve was taken from Adam's rib. Eve and Adam are one. They're the same organism divided in two parts.

So when Adam eats the fruit given to him by evil, by the devil, by Satan, by the serpent, he's actually internalizing evil.

And God says, I don't want you to internalize evil because I can't help it. If you internalize evil, you're going to suffer. God, who is patriarchal, of course, it's a patriarchal key text.

God wants us to remain largely unconscious, indeed, to this very day. 95% of all the bits, information bits in the environment are processed in the unconscious. Only 5% of input from the environment, only 5% are processed in the conscious level. 95% go directly to the unconscious.

To this very day, God is with us in this sense. He forces us to be 95% unconscious. God wants us to remain not self-aware, not conscious, ignorant, and no surprise there, masculine. But also 100% good with no trace of evil, no internalization and interjection of evil, no merging with evil.

Obey God, remain ignorant. That means bliss. It's bliss via dissociation. Disobey God, obey the serpent or Satan in Islamic tradition.

Realize the breaking yourself between conscious and unconscious. Become self-aware. Seek unity by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

Try to become God-like. Ye shall be as gods.

Do all these things. Suffering is a state of enlightenment, a state of consciousness, of self-awareness, of unity.

In other words, God is self-aware. God is conscious. God knows everything.

Therefore, God must be suffering.


I have another video on my other channel, Vaknin Musings. It's titled Embrace Nothingness. Help to Heal God. And I talk about it there.

I'm analyzing the Kabbalah text, how the Kabbalah views God.

Kabbalah views God essentially as a mentally ill suffering entity. And God needs humanity to cure him, to heal him, because God is in such a state of total and mitigated knowledge, enlightenment and unity. God is so self-aware, so aware that he must be suffering.

And it is this suffering that he wanted to protect us from. He didn't want us to suffer, but we fucked it up.

And this is the former. The Gnostic tradition said that the tree was actually positive or sacred. There were archons, archons who told Adam and Eve not to eat from the fruit. They lied to Adam and Eve. They claimed that they would die if they eat from the fruit.

But later in the story, there is an instructor. And this instructor is sent from the Pleroma by the eons to save humanity and to reveal Gnosis. It is a savior. And it is a savior because in the Gnostic tradition and Gnostic religion, this character, this figure, he tells Adam and Eve, the archons lied to you. If you eat the fruit, you're not going to die. On the contrary, if you eat the fruit, that's the way to salvation. And you have many Gnostic manuscripts. And they say that the origin of the world was in this interaction between the savior or the instructor in humanity.

I refer you to the secret book of John. And so Manichaeism, which was a bit of a variant of Gnosticism, extension of Gnosticism, tells these stories as well. And it says that Jesus was this instructor. He was this savior. There was an aspect of Jesus, a primordial aspect, which rendered him this kind of reincarnation, reification, or re-embodiment, or whatever you want to call it, of this instructor.

So Gnosticism again diverges from classic religious perception and from modern psychology.

Divergence. It says it's good to break the unitary state of mind. It's good to become self-aware. It's good to have conscious and unconscious.

But it also means that it's good to have a false self and a true self.

And so there is a lot of debate going on in theology, any theology, by the way. You can find it even in Islamic theology. You can find it in Jewish theology, Christian theology, Gnostic, Manichaean, even echoes in Buddhism, in Shinto, in Zen Buddhism.

I mean, there's this debate.

Is the unitary state really good? And if we break the unitary state, if we become self-aware, thereby developing consciousness and unconsciousness, when we do that, we become self-aware.

When we do this, is the inevitable price introduction to evil via the false self, via a false self? Is it not a price that is too high to pay? Is Gnosticism the inevitable consequence of becoming self-aware, of eating from the tree of knowledge, good and evil?

Ancient traditional conservative societies, they're based on reputation for social control. They're based on guilt and shame for individual control. You're supposed to interject social values and strictures and edicts and mores via processes of socialization and acculturation. And you're surrounded as a baby, as a child with socialization agents, starting with your parents and other caregivers.

Remember how we started the video? When we said that the main function of the brain is to help us in our social, in social, socially functioning. The main role of the brain is to facilitate our social function, is to help us get along and collaborate with other people.

So ancient traditional conservative societies also regarded social, the social is much more important than the individual.

What has been happening to us is we have transitioned from social, collaborative, cooperative, collective view of life and of psychology to an individual view of life, society and psychology.

We are in an age of malignant individualism. And in this age, the false self awareness, breaking the unity of our state of mind into conscious and unconscious, the very concept of conflict and dissonance. They're the pillars, not only of our understanding of the human soul and the psyche, but they're the pillars of the remedies that we offer.

For example, of psychotherapy, we mediate everything via concepts like conflict and dissonance and breaking and trauma. We understand our world, our internal world and our external world in terms of breakage, in terms of dissolution and disintegration, in terms of belligerence and fights and conflicts. Whenever we try to describe what's happening inside us, what's happening to others, what's happening between us and others, we resort to this language, this language of schism, of falling apart, of breaking up, of negotiating and bargaining, of winners and losers, of inner dissonance and outer reconciliation.

This was not the case until very recently. Until very recently when people dealt with these issues, they used society, the collective, the common good, empathy to describe what's happening to them and to others and to their relationships.

We no longer use this language. It's a great pity because it's a feminine language. It's a feminine language and it's a conscious language and it's a walk-in language which we had lost.

We had substituted the language of narcissism, the language of the false self. The false self, remember, is much better than the language of narcissism. The language of the false self, and the false self, remember, is masculine in the bad sense, toxically masculine, and it's also unconscious, it's also ignorant, and it's aggressive.

The personality, the very concept of personality which did not exist until a hundred years ago, shows you how far we have strayed, how far we have gone awry, because personality comes with the word from the word persona, and persona in ancient Greek means musk.

We have created a whole psychology based on the assumption that we have musks, we are musks, and we need musks, because musks allow for social interactions. Musks, lying, prevaricating, contributing, pretending, faking it, fake it till you make it.

Musks, the false self, facilitate survival. The false self has many functions, and the two most important ones are, it serves as a decoy, it attracts the fire, it is a proxy for the true self, it is tough as nails and can absorb any amount of pain, hurt, and negative emotions.

By inventing it, the child develops immunity to the indifference, manipulation, sadism, smothering, or exploitation, in short, to the abuse, inflicted on the child by his parents or by other objects in his life.

The false self is a cloak, invisibility cloak, protecting the child, rendering the child invisible and omnipotent at the same time, and it is misrepresented by the narcissist as his true self.

The narcissist is saying in effect, I am not who you think I am, I'm someone else, and this false self, therefore I deserve better, I'm entitled, I deserve painless, more considerate treatment from special people.

The false self is a contraption intended to alter other people's perceptions and behaviors and attitudes towards the narcissist.

These roles are crucial to survival and to proper psychological functioning of the narcissist.

The false self is by far more important to the narcissist than his dilapidated dysfunctional true self, and the true selves are not part of a continuum as the neo-Freudians postulate.

Healthy people don't have a false self which differs from its pathological equivalent in that it is more realistic and closer to the true self.

There's no such thing. Healthy people don't have a false self, end of story.

It is true that even healthy people have a mask, government, or they have a persona, Jung. It's true that they consciously present this mask and persona to the world, but these are not the same, this mask is not the same like the false self, because the false self is mostly unconscious, depends on outside feedback, it's compulsive.

The false self is an adaptive reaction to pathological circumstances, but its dynamics make it predominant.

The false self devours the psyche, devours the narcissist, it preys upon the true self, it cannibalizes the true self.

The false self prevents the efficient flexible functioning of the personality.

As a whole, it diminishes agency and self-efficacy.

That the narcissist possesses a prominent false self as well as a suppressed and dilapidated true self is common knowledge.

But how intertwined and inseparable are these two? Do they interact? How do they influence each other? What behaviors can be attributed squarely to one or the other of these protagonists? And does the false self assume traits and attributes of the true self in order to deceive the world?

Why are narcissists not prone to suicide?


The simple answer is that they had died a long time ago.

Narcissists are the true zombies of this world.

Many scholars and therapists try to grapple with the void at the core of the narcissist, this emptiness, these howling winds in the corridors.

Common view is that the remnants of the true self are so ossified, so shredded, so cowed into submission, so repressed, that for all practical purposes, the true self is dysfunctional and useless.

In treating the narcissist, therapists often try to construct and nurture a completely new healthy self, rather than build upon the distorted wreckage strewn across the narcissist's psyche in the form of the true self.

But what about the rare glimpses, the snippets, the flashbacks, the flashes of the true self, often reported by those who interact with the narcissist?

Many intimate partners will tell you, I was able to see the child in him, I was able to see his true self.

Pathological narcissism is frequently comorbid with other disorders. The narcissistic spectrum is made up of gradations and shades of narcissism.

Narcissistic traits or style or even personality or overlay, they attach to other disorders, comorbidity.

A person may well appear to be a full-fledged narcissist, may appear to be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, but actually is not.

In the strict psychiatric sense of the word, he is not.

In such people, the true self is still there and is sometimes observable.

In other words, when you see the true self, it's not a pure brain narcissist. It's not 100% an adulterated narcissist.

It's narcissism with something else.

In a full-fledged narcissist, the full self imitates the true self and it deploys two mechanisms to accomplish this.

Reinterpretation is the first mechanism. It causes the narcissist to reinterpret certain emotions and reactions in a flattering, socially acceptable light.

The narcissist may, for instance, interpret fear as compassion. He says, I'm not afraid, I'm compassionate.

If the narcissist heard someone that he fears, like an authority figure, he may feel bad afterwards and interpret his discomfort as empathy and compassion.

You see, I feel bad. To be afraid is humiliate, but to be compassionate and empathic is commendable and earns the narcissist social commendation and understanding.

Narcissistic supply.

And the second mechanism is emulation.

The narcissist is possessed of an uncanny ability to psychologically penetrate others, cold empathy. Of cold empathy, FLAT, and often this gift is abused and put in the service of the narcissist's control, frikery and sadism.

The narcissist uses this gift of empathy liberally to annihilate the natural defenses of his victims by faking empathy.

And this capacity is coupled with the narcissist's eerie ability to imitate emotions and their attendant behaviors, affect.

The narcissist possesses emotional resonance tables. He keeps records of every action, every reaction, every utterance, every consequence, every datum provided by other people regarding their state of mind and emotional makeup.

So he would observe and say, this person is sad, he's crying. So if someone he said he should cry, crying indicates sadness. There's this database, these tables.

And from these, he then constructs a set of formulas, which often result in impeccably accurate renditions of emotional behavior.

This can be enormously deceiving.

So you see, the false self has many functions, has many, many functions. And these functions haven't escaped the notice of people throughout the millennia.

People throughout the millennia recognize the false self, recognize narcissism. They just had different names for it. They had different names, different explanations, because they were using a different language.

We should not confuse linguistic elements with true insights. And definitely we should not confuse the figments of language with real clinical observable objective entities.

There's a lot to learn about narcissism. There's narcissism imbues and permeates even many religious tenets, many streams of thought, currents of thought and trends in philosophy, theology, anthropology, sociology.

Narcissism is a huge explanatory value. It's an organizing principle.

Reducing narcissism to six ways to torture a narcissist or 20 ways to take revenge on us. That's really primitive. It's a great pity if we were to caricature the narcissists.

If we were to do to the narcissist what the narcissist does to you, the narcissist reduces you.

He has a reductionist view. He treats you as a cardboard cutout, as an avatar, as a representation, as a symbol.

Don't do the same to the narcissist. It's wrong factually. It's not true. It's not real. And it's counterproductive.

For you to understand the narcissist deeply, thoroughly, and truly is a survival strategy.

The narcissists are all around and they're growing in numbers. And they're your boss. They're your president. They're your wife. They're your children.

You don't understand them. It's your peril.

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