Malignant Narcissists... Only god can judge me...

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by LightInTheDarkestNight, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. LightInTheDarkestNight

    LightInTheDarkestNight Well-Known Member

    Narcissism Part 2

    Malignant Narcissism: Excerpts from M. Scott Peck's People of the Lie

    After Steve and I left the Geftakys ministry in March, 1990, we dug into George's teaching, his character and his abusive behavior. We wrote articles about it over the years, based on the facts we had at the time. But after George's excommunication from the Fullerton Assembly in January, 2003, it became evident to us that things were a lot worse than we had ever thought. The revelations of his immorality and the cover-up of David's domestic violence were shocking.

    People of the LieGeorge's behavior since then of complete denial and scornful impunity, and the devastation we have seen in people's lives, bring to mind parallels with The People of the Lie, a study of malignant narcissism by Dr. M. Scott Peck. In the course of his career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Peck encountered several clients whose malignant narcissism didn't quite fit the categories of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In People of the Lie he looks in depth at the characteristics of these individuals.

    Although a professing Christian, Peck's purpose is not to present a biblical study of evil. Rather, he proposes evil as a diagnosis of pathology for these people. His concept of evil clarifies the nature of malignant narcissism and offers a useful paradigm for understanding George Geftakys and other abusive leaders. Here are quotations from the book, organized under the main characteristics of the people Dr. Peck calls "evil".

    Refusal to acknowledge sin
    Self-Image of perfection
    Intolerance of criticism
    Disguise and pretense
    Intellectual deviousness
    Unsubmitted will
    Coercion and control of others
    Lack of empathy
    Symbiotic relationship
    Evil in families

    The Narcissist: Refusal to acknowledge sin

    It is necessary that we first draw the distinction between evil and ordinary sin. It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people...The central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.p 69

    If evil people cannot be defined by the illegality of their deeds or the magnitude of their sins, then how are we to define them? The answer is by the consistency of their sins. While usually subtle, their destructiveness is remarkably consistent. This is because those who have "crossed over the line" are characterized by their absolute refusal to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness.p 71

    The evil hate the light--the light of goodness that shows them up, the light of scrutiny that exposes them, the light of truth that penetrates their deception.p 179 Rather than blissfully lacking a sense of morality, like the sociopath, they are continually engaged in sweeping the evidence of their evil under the rug of their own consciousness.p 76

    The poor in spirit do not commit evil. Evil is not committed by people who feel uncertain about their righteousness, who question their own motives, who worry about betraying themselves. The evil in this world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisees of our own day, the self-righteous who think they are without sin because they are unwilling to suffer the discomfort of significant self-examination.

    Unpleasant though it may be, the sense of personal sin is precisely that which keeps our sin from getting out of hand. It is quite painful at times, but it is a very great blessing because it is our one and only effective safeguard against our own proclivity for evil. p 71-72
    The Narcissist: Self Image of Perfection

    Utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, [the evil] are unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity. They worry about this a great deal. They are acutely sensitive to social norms and what others might think of them. Outwardly [they] seem to live lives that are above reproach. The words "image." "appearance," and "outwardly" are crucial to understanding the morality of the evil.p 75
    The Narcissist: Excessive intolerance of criticism

    In Martin Buber's words, the malignantly narcissistic insist upon "affirmation independent of all findings." p 80 Self-criticism is a call to personality change...The evil are pathologically attached to the status quo of their personalities, which in their narcissism they consciously regard as perfect. I think it is quite possible that the evil may perceive even a small degree of change in their beloved selves as representing total annihilation. p 74
    The Narcissist: Scapegoating

    [Evil is] the use of power to destroy the spiritual growth of others for the purpose of defending and preserving the integrity of our own sick selves. In short, it is scapegoating. 119 A predominant characteristic...of the behavior of those I call evil is scapegoating. Because in their hearts they consider themselves above reproach, they must lash out at any one who does reproach them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection. p 73

    Since the evil, deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world's fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad.

    They project their own evil onto the world. They never think of themselves as evil; on the other hand, they consequently see much evil in others...Evil, then, is most often committed in order to scapegoat, and the people I label as evil are chronic scapegoaters....The evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. p 73-74
    The Narcissist: Disguise and pretense

    While they seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their "goodness" is all on a level of pretense. It is, in effect, a lie. That is why they are the "people of the lie". The wickedness of the evil is not committed directly, but indirectly as a part of this cover-up process. p 76

    Those who are evil are masters of disguise; they are not apt to wittingly disclose their true colors--either to others or to themselves. p 104 Because they are such experts at disguise, it is seldom possible to pinpoint the maliciousness of the evil. The disguise is usually impenetrable p 76....Naturally, since it is designed to hide its opposite, the pretense chosen by the evil is most commonly the pretense of love. p 106
    The Narcissist: Intellectual deviousness

    [A] reaction that the evil frequently engender in us is confusion. Describing an encounter with an evil person, one woman wrote, it was "as if I'd suddenly lost my ability to think"....This reaction is quite appropriate. Lies confuse. The evil are "the people of the lie", deceiving others as they also build layer upon layer of self-deception.

    I know now that one of the characteristics of evil is its desire to confuse. p 179
    The Narcissist: Greed

    [The evil] are, in my experience, remarkably greedy people. Thus, they are cheap. p 72.
    The Narcissist: Unsubmitted will

    If the central defect of the evil is not one of conscience, then where does it reside? The essential psychological problem of human evil, I believe is a particular variety of narcissism....The particular brand of narcissism that characterizes evil people seems to be one that particularly afflicts the will. p 80

    Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will. All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal....They believe in what is true rather than what they would like to be true.

    In summary, to a greater or lesser degree, all mentally healthy individuals submit themselves to the demands of their own conscience. Not so the evil, however....They are men and women of obviously strong will, determined to have their own way. p 78 Such people literally live "in a world of their own" in which the self reigns supreme. p 162
    The Narcissist: Coercion and control of others

    [Evil is] the exercise of political power--that is, the imposition of one's will upon others by overt or covert coercion--in order to avoid...spiritual growth...Because their willfulness is so extraordinary--and always accompanied by a lust for power--I suspect that the evil are more likely than most to politically aggrandize themselves.....There is a remarkable power in the manner in which they attempt to control others.p 78

    [In describing one of his patients, Peck says] Charlene's desire to make a conquest of utterly control our relationship, knew no bounds. It seemed to be a desire for power purely for its own sake. p 176 She wanted the reigns in her hands every moment. p 158
    The Narcissist: Lack of empathy

    Theirs is a brand of narcissism so total that they seem to lack, in whole or in part, the capacity for empathy...Their narcissism makes the evil dangerous not only because it motivates them to scapegoat others but also because it deprives them of the restraint that results from empathy and respect for others.

    In addition to the fact that the evil need victims to sacrifice to their narcissism, their narcissism permits them to ignore the humanity of their victims as well....The blindness of the narcissist to others can extend even beyond a lack of empathy; narcissists may not "see" others at all.

    There are boundaries to the individual soul. And in our dealings with each other we generally respect these boundaries. It is characteristic of--and prerequisite for--mental health both that our own ego boundaries should be clear and that we should clearly recognize the boundaries of others. We must know where we end and others begin. p 136-137
    The Narcissist: Symbiotic relationship

    Another form of devastation that narcissistic intrusiveness can create is the symbiotic relationship. "Symbiosis"--as we use the term in psychiatry--is not a mutually beneficial state of interdependence. Instead it refers to a mutually parasitic and destructive coupling. In the symbiotic relationship neither partner will separate from the other even though it would obviously be beneficial to each if they could. p 137

    I doubt that it is possible for two utterly evil people to live together in the close quarters of a sustained marriage. They would be too destructive for the necessary cooperation....In every evil couple, if we could examine them closely enough, I image we would find one partner at least slightly in thrall to the other. p 119 For adults to be the victims of evil, they too must be powerless to escape....They may be powerless by virtue of their own failure of courage....bound by chains of laziness and dependency. p 119-120
    Evil in families

    It is my experience that evil seems to run in families. p 80 If evil were easy to recognize, identify and manage, there would be no need for this book. But the fact of the matter is that it is the most difficult of all things with which to cope. p 130 [Evil] will contaminate or otherwise destroy a person who remains too long in its presence. p 65

    The evil deny the suffering of their guilt--the painful awareness of their sin, inadequacy, and imperfection--by casting their pain onto the other through projection and scapegoating. They themselves may not suffer, but those around them do. The evil cause suffering. The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society. p 123-124

    It happens then, that the children of evil parents enter adulthood with very significant psychiatric disturbances. ....It is doubtful that some can be wholly healed of their scars from having had to live in close quarters with evil without correctly naming the source of their problems.

    To come to terms with evil in one's parentage is perhaps the most difficult and painful psychological task a human being can be called on to face. Most fail and so remain its victims. Those who fully succeed in developing the necessary searing vision are those who are able to name it. p 130

    Azar Nafisi, an Iranian professor of literature, teaching now at Johns Hopkins University recently book, Reading Lolita in Tehran. It is about the years she lived in Iran under the regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini. She tells how she held onto her identity and kept critical thinking alive by forming a group of her women students to study great works of modern literature together. She says:

    A stern Ayatollah, a blind and improbable philosopher king, had decided to impose his dream on a country and a people and to re-create us in his own myopic vision. So he had formulated an ideal of me as a Muslim woman, as a Muslim woman teacher, and wanted me to look, act and in short live according to that ideal1.

    Modern fiction brings out the evil in domestic lives, ordinary relations, people like you and me...Evil in [Jane] Austen, as in most great fiction, lies in the inability to 'see' others, hence to empathize with them. What is frightening is that this blindness can exist in the best of well as the worst....We are all capable of...imposing our visions and desires on others.2

    George and Betty Geftakys similarly created the Assembly to embody their vision--a "heavenly vision" of the perfect New Testament church, a candlestick of pure gold. George constantly reminded us and instructed us about this "heavenly vision" in his Bible studies, seminars and publications.
    The Narcissist's Perfect Self-Image

    But there was another factor at work in the Assembly. Not only was there an ideal, it was driven by George Geftakys' extreme narcissism.

    One of the characteristics of narcissism is insistence on a perfect image. George's self-image of perfection is apparent in many and diverse ways. His braggadocio and his vanity are obvious expressions. But on a deeper lever, he often brags, "I haven't sinned in weeks", or "months". On at least one occasion he told someone, "I haven't sinned in 10 years."

    I submit that George and Betty envisioned and created the Assembly to be a projection of Georges' self-image of perfection. It was a church built "according to the heavenly pattern" that expressed the mind of God, to prove their goodness and superior spirituality.

    They made sure their Assemblies included all the activities of normal Christianity - prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, witnessing, outreach, fellowship. Everything was more and better than other churches. Everything was supported by Bible verses. The many standard hymns of the faith buttressed the impression that everything was orthodox. It all looked wonderful, a dream church.
    The Narcissistic Drama

    But essentially it was a fantasy, a drama, produced and directed by George and Betty, to enact their fantasy that he was a great man of God. George played the lead role, of course, but the drama was largely played out by the supporting cast of sincere people with whom he surrounded himself. We were George's disguise of godliness. As Azar Nafisi says, "We had become the figment of someone else's dreams."
    A Miniature Sick Society

    We experienced a terrible downside to this charade. The production wore us out and poisoned us, causing severe sickness of soul, and even of body for some. George's doctrines of "the Testimony" and "the Inheritance" made us willing to attempt a perfect performance. His misapplied teaching on "going the way of the cross" ensured that we kept on performing, to our spiritual and emotional and physical and financial and relational detriment.

    This was the malignancy of his narcissism. He sacrificed our well-being to enact his narcissistic fantasy, to perpetuate his guise of godliness. Peck says of the evil, in People of the Lie, "They cause suffering. The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society."3
  2. LightInTheDarkestNight

    LightInTheDarkestNight Well-Known Member

    I was scapegoated by malignant narcissists... I embodied their shadow because of mistakes I made when I was 13-17... Then I grew up... I've made so many mistakes over the past few years despite having much better intentions and empathy then I had when I was younger...

    I honestly don't give a fuck that my enemies think of me so horribly. It is their ignorance and malignant narcissism. As long as I understand the psychology of things that's all that matters to me.

    For example Hell's Angels Bikers often think of themselves as Self Righteous People who just want to be left alone. Yet will have no qualms about murdering a father of a young child and leaving a kid to grow up without a dad or selling drugs which gets in the hands of 12 to 13 year olds who's brains are still growing for at least 10 more years. They have no sense of sin themselves, thus they are malignant narcissists.

    Strangely some of the worlds greatest people were scapegoats in their time, Jesus for example.

    In this cruel world live in it's actually a very fine line between being a "normal" and being an evil person. Most gang members grow up as normal kids and for whatever reason they feel the need to belong to an ingroup and often join a gang for that sense of belonging.

    Everyone has good and bad in them... Normal people rarely act on a whim and do the right thing and become a hero while the same can be said for normal people joining in on someone being attacked,bullied or at the very least looking the other way. This is know is the bannity of evil when describing one nazi war criminal because he was so seemingly normal.. The former being the bannity of heroism..

    I hate how my mistakes have hurt people, but at the same time I doubt many if any of the people who have hurt me feel any guilt... To those who feel guilt but will never read this, thank you and I'm sorry for my mistakes as well

    My experience in life has given me insight into the way people are, and to be honest this world is so messed up, I'm not sure if their is an afterlife but if there is it has to be better than this.

    Now to end things off with a joke I was watching the comedy channel and this comedian said people tell him don't judge, his response "fuck you don't take away my hobby". haha