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Posts Tagged ‘sociopaths

‘Weakest Link’? Sources Say Inmates Groom Staff at Breakout Prison by ALIZA NADI/ NBCnews.com

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http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/new-york-prison-escape/weakest-link-sources-say-inmates-groom-staff-breakout-prison-n373956?cid=eml_nmn_20150612

Inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility — where two killers broke out last week — looked for the “weakest links” among the staff in an effort to exploit them for preferential treatment and more, two sources familiar with that prison told NBC News.

A corrections department employee says the manipulation — called “grooming” — has become more of an issue than prison workers wanted to admit. And a former Clinton guard said any employee who showed compassion could become a target.

“It’s a long slow process, that unfortunately sometimes succeeds,” the corrections employee said of the situation at Clinton.

“Thankfully (it’s usually) only for minor things — extra recreation time, newspapers, food. Pretty innocuous stuff, but sometimes it doesn’t end there.”

Related: New York Prison Break Exposes Art of Inmate Con Games

Officials think grooming was taken to the extreme in recent months when inmate Richard Matt established a relationship with Joyce Mitchell, who works in the tailor shop at the lockup.

She had planned to be the getaway driver for Matt and fellow inmate David Sweat after they cut through the steel walls of their cell and crawled through a pipe — but then got cold feet and backed out, sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

Image: Joyce Mitchell
Joyce Mitchell via Facebook
The corrections source said that prison employees sometimes give up too much personal information about themselves — which is the first ingredient in a “recipe for disaster.”

“The right inmate can use that information … make them feel good, make them feel wanted and make them feel attractive when they don’t get the same from those closest to them,” the source said.

Once a staffer breaks the rules for an inmate, they are “owned,” the ex-guard said. If they don’t give in to escalating demands, the prisoner threatens to “rat them out” to authorities, putting their job and even their freedom in jeopardy.

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Will Joyce Mitchell be charged? Jeanine Pirro weighs in
“Inmates have time to study everybody, and figure out what tactic will work best with a certain individual,” Anthony Gangi, who trains corrections officers to protect against inmate manipulation and hosts an internet radio show called “Tier Talk,” told NBC News Thursday.

“They find a game that fits specifically for that person.”

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

June 12, 2015 at 9:06 pm

THE SOCIOPATH WILL ALWAYS ACCUSE YOU OF WHAT THEY ARE GUILTY OF THEMSELF

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The below article was originally posted on: dating a sociopath ( link below)

http://datingasociopath.com/2013/06/08/the-sociopath-will-always-accuse-you-of-what-they-are-guilty-of-themself/

Did you feel like you were going crazy? You were losing your mind? This is all part of the sociopath’s crazy making behaviour.
The sociopath will always accuse you of doing the very thing that they are guilty of themselves. They do this to deflect the attention from them.

Examples of this are

Accusing you of cheating
Accusing you of being dishonest or lying
Accusing you of talking about them
Accusing you of doing whatever it is that they are guilty of themselves
The sociopath has a bizarre ability to be able to make YOU feel guilty and feel like you have defend yourself… for things that he has done.

You see the sociopath, is actually fairly intelligent. He knows that whilst you are busy defending yourself, and proving your innocence, you will be confused, and will forget about the real issue, the truth that you are close to uncovering about the sociopath.

Bullshit Bingo

It’s all a game to the sociopath. Life is a game. With little inside themselves they spend most of their life playing stupid mind games.

Accusing you of things that they have done themselves, is something that they will do over and over again. The result for you, the victim is

Feeling confused
Feeling violated
Feeling misunderstood
Feeling unheard
Feeling guilty

Likely he will also say ‘everyone thinks, or says….’ – so you feel isolated too
Afterwards, after wasted hours, protesting your innocence, you think

How did that happen?

The truth is right there, you are relieved that the constant questions and accusations have stopped. There is peace again.

Once again, the sociopath has managed to manipulate the situation, and deflect blame back onto you. You have spent another few hours of your time, stressed, anxious and defending your corner.

You feel that yet again there was yet another problem that didn’t need to be there. Some other issue, that didn’t need to be there.

But for the sociopath, it isn’t like that. He is playing a game. Playing a game with your mind and your heart. There are two things that are important to the sociopath

Winning
Control</s
If you were to catch him out in a lie, he would neither win, or be in control. So he will do anything that he can do, to win the game, and control the game.

That is all that it is.

The sociopath probably doesn’t even realise the effect that this has on you. After all, he never thinks about your needs, and this is in terms of both good and bad things. He, like always is thinking about himself, not about you, your welfare or your needs.

It is all just a game. A stupid, mindless game. That could continue for the rest of your life if you let it.

Isn’t it time to move forward? To stop playing the stupid game with the sociopath, who could play forever. If you let him. The sociopath doesn’t feel too much, but he does feel satisfaction from

Winning
Being in control
Maybe right now it is time to stop playing the game. To finish the game. Stop playing. It is now time to focus on you. On your needs and your welfare. After all when you were with the sociopath, so much of your time and energy was wasted, defending yourself, and playing pointless mind games, nobody was taking care of your needs.

Endless stress and endless drama. that is the relationship with the sociopath. There comes a time, when the only thing to do, is to put in place no contact rules, stick to them, and focus on you, and loving yourself and creating your own beautiful world. A world where there isn’t someone constantly trying to pull you apart.

You deserve so much better 🙂

Copyright datingasociopath.com 2013

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

June 10, 2015 at 1:40 am

Flying Monkeys/ Tela- Sociopathlife

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This article was original posted on Sociopathlife.com ( link below)

http://sociopathlife.com/2015/06/08/flying-monkeys/

You have been searching the internet trying to figure out what the hell kind of person you have or are involved with. After reading for countless hours, you have determined that the person is a Narcissistic Sociopath. They have met the criteria LIST. You are a mental and emotional DISASTER. You wonder why you did not see the RED FLAGS. And how easily they are/were a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR!!!!

So while reading about the piece of shit person that has ruined your life, you come across words such as: GASLIGHTING, EVIL, FEMALE SOCIOPATH, NO CONTACT etc. This article is going to be about the words Flying Monkey’s.

A Flying Monkey in a Sociopaths life is a person or persons who do their dirty work. Once the Sociopath has totally discredited you to any and everyone who would listen, as well as the Flying Monkey(s), that person/person(s) then reports back to the Sociopath what you are doing in your life. Sometimes by direct contact, other times indirect contact. For instance, the Sociopath can have a best friend (we all know they have no friends), who could be a mutual friend of yours. That person~ now a Flying Monkey will let the Sociopath know they have seen you or spoken to you, and given a full report on what is happening in your life. Fucked up? YES!! They may even act as thought they believe everything you are saying about the Sociopath. Do not be fooled. They have been brainwashed and under the SOCIOPATH POSION. A parent will also use the children as Flying Monkey’s and turn them against you.

Why do Sociopaths have Flying Monkey’s? Because they know once they DISCARDED you, and totally SMEARED your name/character, they still have to have that control over you, even if they have moved onto a new person!!!! So this is where the Flying Monkey’s are essential to the Sociopath, to let them know EVERYTHING that is going on with you. If the Sociopath knows you are an emotional wreck, that feeds them!!! If the Sociopath knows they have mentally & emotionally abused you so much that you cannot move forward~ HUGE win for the Sociopath. If you allow the Sociopath to contact you over and over, break up, make up, break up, make up etc. score another HUGE win for the Sociopath, and……..success for the Flying Monkey’s in their life. Even the children. If they come back and say ‘mommy or daddy (_________)’, win for the Sociopath.

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Why does the Sociopath even care what you are doing once they have moved on? MOST DO NOT!!! The one’s that do, are because YOU are still feeding them, YOU are still allowing them to suck any happiness out. YOU are the one who cannot let go.

It is extremely imperative that you are aware of the Flying Monkey’s in the Sociopaths life. Be it family members, friends, co-workers, mutual friends etc. Be mindful of how you present yourself and what comes out of your mouth when dealing with the Flying Monkey’s, as it is certain everything is being reported back to the Sociopath. Which is therefore used as more ammunition against you. Be it emotional blackmail, parental alienation, financial hostage and so on.

getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. you have to let go at some point to move forward c.s. lewis

©SociopathLife.Com

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Sheriff Thomas Hodgson Shares Insight Into Aaron Hernandez/ CNN Video

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A.H’s arrogance during the trial was obvious to all. In the opinion of most, he is a narcissist who keeps his swagger by being a Master manipulator and by compartmentalizing.

He knows how to use his charm to get whatever he wants, and will never take responsibility for what he’s done. He creates his own reality (calls Jail a training camp)- Texbook.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who oversaw the jail where Aaron Hernandez was housed during his trial, shares insights into his time behind bars.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/04/17/ctn-sheriff-thomas-hodgson-bristol-county-aaron-hernandez-trial.cnn

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13 RULES FOR DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS IN EVERYDAY LIFE/ Martha Stout PHD

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This list was taken from “The Sociopath Next Door”, by Martha Stout, Ph.D

13 RULES FOR DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS IN EVERYDAY LIFE

1. The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience.

2. In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on—educator, doctor, leader, animal lover humanist, parent, child–go with your instincts. Your unfiltered impressions, though alarming and seemingly outlandish, may well help you out if you will let them. Your best self understands, without being told, that impressive and moral-sounding labels do not bestow conscience on anyone who did not have it to begin with.

3. When considering a new relationship of any kind, practice the Rule of Threes, regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he or she has. Make the Rule of Threes your personal policy. One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving though it may be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly. Do not give your money, your work, your secrets, or your affection to a three timer. Your valuable gifts will be wasted.

4. Question authority.

5. Suspect flattery.

6. If necessary redefine your concept of respect. Too often, we mistake fear for respect, and the more fearful we are of someone, the more we view him or her as deserving of our respect.

7. Do not join the game. Intrigue is a sociopath’s tool. Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psychoanalyze, or even banter with him. In addition to reducing yourself to his level, you would be distracting yourself from what is really important, WHICH IS TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

8. The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication. Sociopaths live completely outside of the social contract, and therefore to include them in relationships or other social arrangements is perilous.

9. Question your tendency to pity too easily. Respect should be reserved for the kind and morally courageous. It should be reserved for innocent people who are in genuine pain or who have fallen on misfortune.

10. Do not try to redeem the unredeamable. Second chances are for people who possess conscience. If you are dealing with a person who has no conscience, know how to swallow hard and cut your losses. The sociopath’s behavior is not your fault, not in any way whatsoever. It is also not your mission. Your mission is your own life.

11. Never agree, out of pit or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character. Other people deserve to warned more than sociopaths deserve to have you keep their secrets.

12. Defend your psyche. Do not allow someone without conscience, or even a string of such people, that humanity is a failure. Most human beings do possess conscience and are able to love.

13. Living well is the best revenge

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

March 11, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Sociopath Quote- Martha Stout

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PMAQuote#3-MarthaStoutDEVIL

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

January 21, 2015 at 9:56 am

Sociopath Quote-Martha Stout

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PMAINTL-QUOTE-Martha-Stout

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

January 21, 2015 at 9:48 am

Defense Against the Psychopath (Full length Version)

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Defense Against the Psychopath is a documentary excerpted from chapter one of the book; The Art of Urban Survival. by Stefan H. Verstappen. This book teaches people how to recognize and defend against our society’s most dangerous predators, psychopaths.

Empathic people are Natural Targets for Sociopaths – Protect Yourself/ Dr Jane and Tim McGregor Addiction Today

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Wed, 30 Oct 2013- sott.net

http://www.sott.net/article/268449-Empathic-people-are-natural-targets-for-sociopaths-protect-yourself

The empathy trap: therapists and counselors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients’ recovery – but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call “apaths”. The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it.

People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like “I was stupid”, “what was I thinking” of “I should’ve listened to my gut instinct”. But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath’s superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people.

On initial contact, a sociopath will often test other people’s empathy, so questions geared towards discovering if you are highly empathic or not should ring alarm bells. People with a highly empathic disposition are often targeted. Those with lower levels of empathy are often passed over, though they can be drawn in and used by sociopaths as part of their cruel entertainment.

Sociopaths make up 25% of the prison population, committing over twice as many aggressive acts as other criminals. The reoffending rate of sociopaths is about double that of other offenders, and for violent crimes it is triple.

But not all sociopaths are found in prison. There is the less-visible burden of sociopath-induced emotional trauma which, if left unchecked, can lead to anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chronically traumatized people often exhibit hyper-vigilant, anxious and agitated behavior, symptoms such as tension headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, abdominal pain, back pain, tremors and nausea.

Exposure to and interaction with a sociopath in childhood can leave lifelong scars. This can apply to people in therapy – and for those who in recovery trained as therapists, re-exposure as an adult can trigger old emotions and PTSD.

This article is not about sociopaths per se but about surviving the harm they cause.

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EVERYDAY SOCIOPATHS

Many sociopaths wreak havoc in a covert way, so that their underlying condition remains hidden for years. They can possess a superficial charm, and this diverts attention from disturbing aspects of their nature.

The following case history illustrates how people can be systematically targeted until they feel they can barely trust their own sense of reality – what we call “gaslighting”. Sociopathic abuse is targeted abuse. It can wreck lives. Victims can become survivors, but at huge cost.

At school, ‘James’ took a dislike to a classmate, ‘Sam’, who was sensitive and popular. He would mock him for auditioning for the school play or for getting upset over failing a test. The situation deteriorated when it became known that Sam’s parents were separating. Sam appeared to be taking it with fortitude, to the admiration of his peers. He also got attention and sympathy from the school staff, especially James’ favourite teacher: ie, the one he manipulated most easily.

James decided on a plan of covert bullying. He started a whispering campaign implying that Sam’s parents were not splitting up, that he had said they were in order to seek attention. Sadly, this was all too successful and over the next few days Sam was met with silence and verbal bullying from his hitherto-supportive classmates.

James continued his campaign, targeting Sam’s close friends over the next few days. They found themselves accused of misdemeanours such as sending offensive emails/texts. Then the ‘favourite’ teacher went on “leave with immediate effect” after accusations of assaulting a pupil. Where had the accusations come from? Guess.

This case shows how deliberately sociopaths, from a young age, can target others. Taking advantage of people’s credibility and goodwill, James exploited the situation. With a more perceptive head teacher, this sociopath might have been found out, but he knew who to manipulate and how far he could go.

SEE THE EMPEROR/EMPRESS’S CLOTHES

To deal with sociopaths effectively, you first need to open your eyes. In The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson, two weavers promise the emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are stupid and unfit for their positions.

When the emperor parades before his subjects, all the adults, not wishing to be seen in a negative light, pretend they can see the clothes. The only truthful person is a child who cries “But he isn’t wearing any clothes!”.

You, too, need to see sociopaths as they really are. We are conditioned to keep quiet, which often means turning a blind eye to or putting up with abuse.

The boy in the tale represents those who see the problem behavior for what it is and find the courage of their convictions to make a stand. Sight becomes insight, which turns into action. Awareness is the first step in limiting the negative effects of contact with a sociopath.

INTERACTIONS OF THE SOCIOPATH

Let’s look at what we term the Socio-Empath-Apath Triad, or Seat. Unremitting abuse of other people is an activity of the sociopath that stands out. To win their games, sociopaths enlist the help of hangers-on: apaths.

The apath. We call those who collude in the sport of the sociopath apathetic, or apaths. In this situation, it means a lack of concern or being indifferent to the targeted person.

We have highlighted the importance of seeing the problem for what it is via the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, which represents the collective denial and double standards which are often a feature of social life. The apath in this context is someone who is willing to be blind: ie, not to see that the emperor/empress is naked.

Apaths are an integral part of the sociopath’s arsenal and contribute to sociopathic abuse. Sociopaths have an uncanny knack of knowing who will assist them in bringing down the person they are targeting. It is not necessarily easy to identify an apath; in other circumstances, an apath can show ample empathy and concern for others – just not in this case. The one attribute an apath must have is a link to the target.

How apaths, who might otherwise be fair-minded people, become involved in such destructive business is not hard to understand, but it can be hard to accept. The main qualifying attribute is poor judgment resulting from lack of insight. They might be jealous of or angry at the target, and thus have something to gain from the evolving situation.

At other times, the apath might not want to see the ‘bad’ in someone, particularly if the sociopath is useful. Or they might choose not to see because they have enough on their plate and do not possess the wherewithal or moral courage to help the targeted person at that time. Usually, be it active or passive involvement, the apath’s conscience appears to fall asleep. It is this scenario that causes people blindly to follow leaders motivated only by self-interest.

Readers might know of Yale University professor Stanley Milgram’s experiments to test the human propensity to obey orders, as participants gave increasingly large electric shocks to subjects. Afterwards, he wrote an article, The Perils of Obedience: “Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process”.

Apaths are often fearful people. They are the ones most likely to go with the flow, to agree that the emperor/empress is wearing new clothes. They might also fail to perceive the threat: a danger is of no importance if you deny its existence.

An apath’s response to a sociopath’s call to arms can then result from a state of ‘learned helplessness’. Apaths behave defenselessly because they want to avoid unpleasant or harmful circumstances [including the sociopath turning on them]. Apathy is an avoidance strategy.

The empath. Often, the person targeted by the sociopath is an empath. Empaths are ordinary people who are highly perceptive and insightful and belong to the 40% of human beings who sense when something’s not right, who respond to their gut instinct. In The Emperor’s New Clothes, the empath is the boy who mentions the unmentionable: that there are no clothes.

In the 1990s, researchers suggested that there was a positive relationship between empathy and emotional intelligence. Since then, that term has been used interchangeably with emotional literacy.

What this means in practice is that empaths have the ability to understand their own emotions, to listen to other people and empathise with their emotions, to express emotions productively and to handle their emotions in such a way as to improve their personal power.

People are often attracted to empaths because of their compassionate nature. A particular attribute is that they are sensitive to the emotional distress of others. Conversely, they have trouble comprehending a closed mind and lack of compassion in others.

Very highly empathic people can find themselves helping others at the expense of their own needs, which can lead them to withdraw from the world at times.

It is odd. Most of us enjoy watching films and reading books about heroes who refuse to go along with the crowd, which suggests there is something admirable about people who make a bold stand.

But in real life, watching someone raise their head above the parapet often makes the rest of us feel queasy. Most – the 60% majority – prefer the easy life. It was interesting to discover, when doing the research for this book, how often people see empaths in problematical terms.

Empaths use their ability to emphasize and to boost theirs and others’ well being and safety. Problems arise for empaths, however, when there are apaths in the vicinity. Empaths can be brought down, distressed and forced into the position of the lone fighter by the inaction of more apathetic types round them.

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THE SOCIOPATHIC TRANSACTION

Often empaths are targeted by sociopaths because they pose the greatest threat. The empath is usually the first to detect that something is not right and express what s/he senses.

As a consequence, the empath is both the sociopath’s number one foe and a source of attraction; the empath’s responses and actions provide excellent entertainment for sociopaths, who use and abuse people for sport.

The world of the empath is not for the faint-hearted. In the context we are discussing, empaths often find themselves up against not only the sociopath but often a flock of apaths as well. Apaths are afforded pole position in the sociopath’s intrigues.

But this prime spot comes at a price for, in what we call the “sociopathic transaction”, the apath makes an unspoken Faustian pact with the sociopath, then passively or otherwise participates in the cruel sport.

SOCIOPATH-EMPATH-APATH TRIAD

The usual set-up goes like this: the empath is forced to make a stand on seeing the sociopath say or do something underhand. The empath challenges the sociopath, who straight away throws others off the scent and shifts the blame on to the empath. The empath becomes an object of abuse when the apath corroborates the sociopath’s perspective.

The situation usually ends badly for the empath and sometimes also for the apath, if their conscience returns to haunt them or they later become an object of abuse themselves. But, frustratingly, the sociopath often goes scot free.

Sociopaths rarely vary this tried-and-tested formula because it virtually guarantees them success.

Sociopaths draw in apaths by various means: flattery, bribery, disorienting them with lies. A sociopath will go to any lengths to win her game. The best way to illustrate the interplay, and the ease with which apaths are pulled in, is by another short story.

‘Steve and Robin’ were microbiologists at a prestigious university, collaborating on an important vaccine trial. The department head, Ben, hoped to gain substantially; success could see his status in his field rise and prove the catalyst for a glittering career.

His colleagues worked relentlessly collecting data, then Ben drafted a paper for submission to a respected journal. He decided that the outcome didn’t look tantalising, so falsified key results in order to present findings in the best light. On completing the draft, he sent the paper for comment to his colleagues. Steve replied by email that he was happy with the manuscript; he used the opportunity to suck up to his boss. But Robin was aghast, noting colossal errors. With great urgency, he rattled off an email to Ben.

Receiving no response to this or a phone call, Robin went to find Ben in person, discovering him in the cafeteria with Steve. But he was too late. Ben had poisoned Steve’s mind, saying that Robin had challenged him over the accuracy of the results, due to a longstanding grudge. Ben said he had to pull Robin up about his own work several months back. Steve was different, Ben implied. He intimated Steve would be on course for promotion “especially if we get this paper out and secure funding for the next-stage trials”.

By the time Ben joined them, Steve, though initially shocked, had been won over by Ben’s swift flattery and insinuations

Robin crossed the cafeteria to them. “Hi, you two got a moment?” Briefly there was an awkward silence. Steve exchanged a look with Ben, who gave a slight conspiratorial smile, now that the transaction was done and the sport under way. “Yes, we were just talking about the paper. By the way, I did see your email, but if you look at the paper thoroughly, I think you’ll find that everything is correct.” Steve replied with a smug look that “I’m with Ben on this one”. Robin was floored. “You can’t be serious? You’re happy for it to go off to be reviewed with all these serious errors? Our reputations will be left in ruins.”

He decided to make a stand. He asked for his name to be removed as a co-author but was exasperated to learn that it was sent off to the journal anyway. More frustratingly, it was published. Meanwhile, the workplace became a source of stress for Robin as he struggled to cope with the backlash from colleagues who saw his intervention as an attempt to sabotage their work. People avoided him and, when they did talk to him, the conversation was stilted.

Eventually Robin arranged a meeting with Ben to have it out once and for all. But Ben took control of the agenda. “Robin, I have to be honest with you, many of your colleagues are unhappy about the way you handled things and some have made complaints. They don’t trust you to conduct yourself professionally after you attempted to sabotage their hard work. Mercifully the reviewers saw what a fine trial we’d conducted and didn’t get wind of your attempted slur.

“We can’t afford to have a saboteur on the team. So I’ve discussed this with the dean and he agrees there is no future for you here, and there’s no other way to deal with this. You’ve got to go.”
Any phase of this story sound familiar?

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THE GASLIGHTING EFFECT

In the story above, the actions of Ben and Steve have a ‘gaslighting’ effect on Robin. Gaslighting is a systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality.

The syndrome gets its name from the play and films of the same name in which a murderer strives to make his wife doubt her sanity and get others to disbelieve her.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented in such a way as to make the target doubt his/her memory and perception. Psychologists call this “the sociopath’s dance”. It could involve denial or staging of strange events.

This is Machiavellian behaviour of the worst kind. And anyone can become a victim of the sociopath’s gaslighting moves: parent and child, in-laws, friends, groups of people including work colleagues.

Psychotherapist Christine Louise de Canonville describes different phases that the abuser leads the relationship through:
the idealisation stage, where the sociopath shows herself in the best possible light – but this phase is an illusion, to draw her target in
the devaluation stage begins gradually so the target is not alert to the sociopath’s transformation to being cold and unfeeling, but will begin to feel devalued at every turn; the more distressed the target becomes, the more the sociopath enjoys her power, and her abuse can become more extreme
the discarding stage – the target is reduced to an object to which the sociopath is indifferent, seeing the game as won; the sociopath rejects any connection, moving on to the next target.

Gaslighting does not happen all at once so, if you suspect in the early stages of a relationship that you are being gaslighted, you can protect yourself by walking away.

To learn more, including how to recover from exposure to a prolonged sociopathic transaction, buy The Empathy Trap: Understanding antisocial personalities by Dr Jane and Tim McGregor (Sheldon Press, ISBN 978-1847092762).

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5 reasons why we fall for con artists/ Lovefraud

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This article was originally posted on Lovefraud

5 reasons why we fall for con artists

Donna Anderson

We discover that our romantic partner is a complete and utter fake.

The proclamations of love, the stories of his or her past — nothing was true. All the money that our partner desperately needed — or promised would buy a life of luxury for the two of us — well, that evaporated into expensive and unnecessary toys, or a secret life with one or more other lovers (targets).

When it finally sinks in that we’ve been conned, the first question we ask of ourselves is, “How could I have been so stupid?”

Followed by, “Why didn’t I see this coming?”

Feeling like chumps, we come down really hard on ourselves. But we aren’t the only ones who are blind to the social predators living among us — our entire society is blind.

The fact that millions of sociopaths live among us is like a giant skeleton in the closet of the human race that nobody wants to talk about. This sets us up to be victimized.

Sociopathic con artists take advantage of this collective and individual blindness. With the skill that comes from practicing their craft from a very young age, they manipulate our empathy and emotions. They use us to accomplish their objectives du jour, whatever they may be.

So here’s why we end up in romantic relationships with sociopathic con artists:

Reason #1 – We don’t know sociopaths exist

Most people think sociopaths are all criminals and deranged serial killers — this isn’t necessarily true. Social predators live among us, and most of them never kill anyone. Still, these people have no heart, no conscience and no remorse.

The numbers are staggering. Lovefraud uses the term “sociopath” to cover all social predators — people who would be clinically diagnosed as being antisocial, psychopathic, narcissistic or borderline. If you add up the official estimates of people with these conditions, perhaps 12% of the population — 37 million people in the US — have personality disorders that make them unsuitable to be romantic partners.

And we, as a society, don’t know it.

Reason #2 – We believe people are basically the same

In the United States, from the time we are small children, we are bombarded with messages about fairness, equal opportunity, giving people a chance and tolerance. In school, we learn that we’re all created equal. In church, we learn that we’re all God’s children.

As a result, we believe all people are basically the same, there is good in everyone, and everyone just wants to be loved. Unfortunately, there is a segment of the population for which this simply is not true.

Sociopaths view the world as predators and prey — they are the predators, and everyone else is prey. They are not motivated by love; they are motivated by power and control. These people pursue romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation.

Reason #3 – Humans are lousy lie detectors

Research shows that people can identify a lie only 53% of the time — not much better than flipping a coin.

All those signs that are supposedly giveaways that someone is lying — like looking away, failing to make eye contact — well, they simply don’t apply when a sociopath is doing the lying.

Sociopaths are expert liars. They spend their whole lives lying. They feel entitled to lie. They lie for the fun of it. In fact, there’s a phenomenon called “duping delight” — sociopaths get a thrill out of staring right into their targets’ eyes and pulling the wool over them.

People who are not liars never see it coming.

Reason #4 – Sociopaths hijack the normal human bonding process

Trust is the glue that holds society together. Trust is so important to the human race that it is programmed into our biology.

A hormone called oxytocin is released in our brain and bloodstream whenever we feel intimacy — emotional or physical. Oxytocin then makes us feel calm, trusting and content, and alleviates fear and anxiety. Nature created this process to make people want to stay together to raise children.

When sociopaths target us for romantic relationships, they either spend a lot of time building what seems to be trust, or they rush us into emotional, physical or sexual intimacy. Either way, they get the oxytocin flowing in our brains, which makes us trust them. They keep piling on the intimacy, and we, to our detriment, keep trusting.

For more information, read Oxytocin, trust and why we fall for psychopaths, on Lovefraud.com.

Reason #5 – The betrayal bond makes it difficult to escape

Once the love bond is in place, the sociopath does things that create fear and anxiety in us — like cheating on us, or taking more and more money.

Contrary to what we might expect, instead of driving us away, this actually makes the bond we feel with the sociopath stronger. It becomes a betrayal bond — a powerful bond that we feel with someone who is destructive to us.

We want desperately to return to the heady experience of the beginning of our involvement, which was filled with what we believed was love and affection. We keep waiting for the sociopath to make the situation right.

But he or she never does. The exploitation continues.

Betrayal bonds are highly addictive and difficult to break. That’s why we stay in the relationship far longer than we should — until we can no longer escape the fact that we’ve been conned.

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