How to Recognize a Narcissist


I spent twenty-five years of my grownup life in a cult, below the affect of a narcissistic sociopath. You could suspect your partner, member of the family, or boss is a narcissist; or you’ll have niggling doubts about your non secular or political leaders and end up in a difficult set of circumstances, questioning why and the way you bought concerned or how to untangle your self from the narcissist’s net of deceit and management. You are removed from alone.

The following are frivolously edited excerpts from my newly launched e-book, The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders; How My Years in a Notorious Cult Parallel Today’s Cultural Mania. This is a story about 150 women and men insulated inside our personal small, clandestine neighborhood. We referred to as ourselves the Buddha-field. One member, Will Allen, even made a film about us, referred to as Holy Hell. After twenty-some years it got here to gentle that the instructor was sexually abusing lots of the members. What a shock! It’s a story as previous as civilization: Narcissistic chief turns neighborhood of idealistic followers into a cult. 

It took me years to acknowledge and escape the psychological jail of cult life. In the writing of this e-book, I set out on a journey to discover these questions: How might I’ve believed this man? How might I’ve made the ethical compromises I did, and for therefore lengthy? How might I’ve failed to acknowledge a basic narcissist? I’ve since learn extensively about cult thoughts management, propaganda strategies, the pathology of narcissists and sociopaths, and the innate human urge to belong. All sources, scholarly and in any other case, level to one conclusion: Narcissists and their followers function on a continually bolstered message of perceived “specialness.” Narcissism calls for to be fed; and when fed it grows, ultimately subsuming followers in a poisonous tidal wave that forces them to sink or swim for freedom.  

How can we acknowledge once we are below the spell of a narcissist? The elementary frequent trait of a cult chief, or of narcissists basically, is that they imagine they’re superior people who needs to be listened to, obeyed, and envied. Almost all cult leaders are pathological, even sociopathic, narcissists. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th version (DSM-V), the usual utilized by psychological well being professionals. The DSM-V describes narcissism and sociopathy as follows:

Narcissistic character dysfunction is a pervasive sample of grandiosity (in fantasy or habits), want for admiration. . . .  Exploitation, Entitlement, Empathy-Impairment. 

Antisocial character dysfunction (sociopathy) is a pervasive sample of disregard for and violation of the rights of others. 

Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Includes Psychopathy [which is] outlined as a lack of empathy, not simply empathy-impairment.  

Examples of malignant narcissism are all too frequent amongst immediately’s well-known and not-so-famous. The italicized passages previous the examples under come from the DSM-V. As you learn the descriptions, you might be reminded of somebody you already know.

Narcissists typically fraudulently declare {qualifications}, expertise, titles, entitlements or affiliations that are ambiguous, deceptive, or bogus. Narcissists excel at deception and may by no means be underestimated of their capability to deceive.

The instructor to whom I used to be as soon as devoted had many names all through the years: Michel, Andreas, Dorothy, Cindy, Bob, Jeff, and Puff (as within the magic dragon). I child you not. He in all probability had a few extra names after he fled to Hawaii, however his actual identify was Jaime Gomez, LOL, hardly a becoming identify for a way he considered himself. His remaining choice was “RayJi,” which accurately means God King, so from right here on I’ll name him—Jaime Gomez.

Narcissists are nice con artists. Think about it. They are so good that they reach deluding themselves. Jaime was a full fraud and a cheat in each facet. A complete con! He plagiarized all the things from the beginning. He even had disciples do the learning and write his dissertation for his Religious Doctorate, so he might get a certificates as a spiritual pastor. He would write notes and underline nice quotes from many Indian masters and saints, write a script, memorize it (even the jokes), and use them in his Săt Săngs (educating periods), as if they only blossomed from his eminent knowledge. He used low-cost parlor methods, spies, and informants to facilitate his magical, psychic predictions and public disclosures of individuals’s secrets and techniques that made him look omniscient. 

Similarly, famend narcissist Donald Trump paid somebody to take his SATs, and his sister did his homework. He masqueraded as a publicist to brag about himself within the press, simply as Benito Mussolini, a journalist, typically wrote his personal propaganda. Trump had no expertise in authorities; he constructed his whole candidacy upon the notion that as a result of he’s wealthy, he should even be sensible and due to this fact certified to be President of the United States. All these buildings with Trump’s identify on them created the phantasm that he has a huge empire of actual property; however the secret to his asset mirage was to license his model. The solely actual property he owned in lots of these buildings was the gold letters on the face. Adolf Hitler wasn’t a nice statesman, both; he was an out-of-work artist. He failed the entrance examination of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and he was rejected twice by the institute. 

Narcissists are convincing, practiced liars and when referred to as to account, will make up something to spontaneously match their wants at that second. They are extremely manipulative, particularly of individuals’s perceptions and feelings. They are evasive and have a Houdini-like skill to escape accountability. 

Narcissists have one objective, and that’s to serve themselves and their insatiable urge for food for self-aggrandizement, by no matter means potential, with no regard to ethics. One could sometimes discover these people chosen as CEOs on company boards. They’re expert at self-promotion and shine in job interviews—assured and charismatic. Then, as soon as they’re in energy, we discover out who they are surely—conceited and entitled. Instead of being assured, they’re merely impulsive. They lack empathy and exploit others with out compunction. Donald Trump has routinely evaded accountability in his enterprise dealings for many years by settling lawsuits or submitting countersuits and blaming others when accused.

Besides pathological mendacity and deception, mythmaking is a frequent narcissist attribute. Lies and outlandish tales assist construct a bigger-than-life persona. Jaime touted that he went into the cosmos for 3 days and acquired a message that he wanted to change the identify of the meditation strategies he stole from Prem Pal Singh Rawat, aka Maharajji. Newspapers printed exaggerated tales by which Mussolini wasn’t in any respect drained after threshing for 4 hours and described myths of his victories in boat races. Vladimir Putin goes face to face with tigers, and even bears fear him. Narendra Modi fearlessly rescues crocodiles. Saddam Hussein had a film made about how he walked a thousand miles from Syria to Egypt with a bullet in his leg, after his alleged heroic assassination of Abd al-Karīm Qāsim, the Iraqi prime minister. 

Narcissists use extreme attraction and are at all times believable and convincing when friends, superiors or others are current (attraction can be utilized to deceive in addition to to cowl for lack of empathy).

In the start, Jaime was simply a seed of what he would ultimately turn into. He was humorous and appeared to be smart, sort, and otherworldly. We trusted him and allowed him to push us past our boundaries to be weak and open. Cult chief Jim Jones, who led over 900 of his followers to their dying within the Peoples Temple Massacre, was recognized to be extraordinarily likable and charismatic. Even although Mussolini had fierce critics amongst American journalists and political commentators, within the Nineteen Twenties a big selection of highly effective people and mainstream media publicly voiced their enthusiastic admiration for his type and persona, pitching him as a robust male chief with a nationalistic model of efficient governance. Fidel Castro, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all had magnetic personalities. How many occasions have we seen Donald Trump as a maniacal idiot at his rallies? Yet many have mentioned, after assembly him one on one, “You know, he’s really a nice guy!” It’s all theater to a narcissist. Sociopaths have a completely different character for each encounter. Especially in entrance of a digital camera or a crowd.

Narcissistic sociopaths are sadistic and toy together with your devotion to them. Your welfare and wellbeing are irrelevant.

Out of utmost insecurity, malignant narcissists should persuade themselves they’re superior; thus, their means to their objective haven’t any limits or moral boundaries. Even realizing what they’re doing, they could not care due to their lack of empathy for anybody else, and since they’re emotional sadists. And it actually helps when their followers assist their notion of superiority. The malignant narcissist will do no matter it takes to feed their insatiable ego. They decide their followers’ needs and fears and capitalize on them. The skill to compartmentalize is a ability exhibited by many narcissistic sociopaths. Jaime was a chameleon; he would turn into no matter you wanted him to be. Some narcissistic sociopaths prey on delicate, empathic people; others simply prey on the impressionable or the emotionally broken. Many of us within the Buddha-field had a childlike innocence and gullibility about us. The extra honest, humble, and fewer formidable we strived to be, working towards our non secular ideas, the better it was for this intelligent narcissistic sociopath to manipulate us for his personal achieve and pleasure. 

One of the extraordinary traits of a narcissist is the flexibility to at all times flip the tables on you. They flip-flop from benevolent one minute to malevolent the following. They do no matter works for them on the time, however they are going to by no means take accountability for something. If you dare confront them on their dangerous habits, they are going to at all times flip it again on you. 

The following is a chilling description of a narcissist from the Narcissism Book of Quotes: A Selection of Quotes from the Collective Wisdom of Over 12,000 Individual Discussions by Sam Vaknin: 

Does he want to hurt you? Well, now, that would imply that he thinks of you as a human being—a narcissist doesn’t. What he wants is to secure supply. If he cannot do it by means of flattery, he will do it by means of cruelty. The goal is to get you to give him what he wants. He doesn’t especially care which method he uses, so long as he finds one that works. I know that sounds cold. It is cold. That is the mind of a narcissist. Cold and devoid of empathy. Because he lacks empathy, he probably doesn’t know or care if he hurts you, unless he’s using bullying as a technique for extracting narcissist supply from you. Even then, he couldn’t care less what that does to you, apart from eliciting the desired response. If it makes him feel better about himself to belittle you, he will do that, but the ultimate goal isn’t to make you feel bad, the goal is to perpetuate the myth of his own perfection and simultaneously control you. If by hurting you it gets you in check, makes you take on his failings as your own, and makes you work twice as hard for his approval, it’s a bonus for him. If he doesn’t need to employ cruelty in order to accomplish either of the above goals, he won’t. It’s that simple.” 

They crave affection and admiration from others and have a Jekyll and Hyde nature—will be vile, vicious and vindictive in personal, however harmless and charming in entrance of witnesses; no-one can (or needs to) imagine this particular person has a vindictive nature—solely the present goal sees either side.

Jaime was typically a tyrannical maniac behind closed doorways. In a match of rage, he would scream at his entourage and stick with it like a spoiled youngster whereas within the privateness of dwelling or in his automotive on the best way to an occasion, then step out in excellent stillness like an angel descending from heaven. Occasionally I witnessed him yelling at a dancer in his ballet class, and when he noticed that I used to be watching, he would wink at me, as if he wasn’t severe—simply giving a disciple a educating. One time, followers had to change the place of recent couches as a result of he walked by and bumped one nook, then began screaming at individuals. He advised them they wanted to carry the previous couches again, as a result of he couldn’t be bumped. “Are you trying to kill me?” he yelled. 

Narcissists possess an distinctive verbal facility and can outmaneuver most individuals in verbal interplay, particularly at occasions of battle, they’re unusually expert in having the ability to anticipate what individuals need to hear after which saying it plausibly.

After listening to the story in regards to the sofa, I confronted him about this, and he defined he was simply creating eventualities so individuals might have an outlet to specific their love and devotion.

 Originally, Jaime would say “connect to God’s love,” however in a few years it grew to become “connect to MY love.” I and a few elders had been confused about this new decree. I requested him about it. He mentioned, “Well, Radhia, some people, not you (he knew better, so he knew how to play me), need a living example of God, that they can see, hear, and touch. I am just being that for them.” He significantly thought of it a sacrifice. In essence, narcissists need others to worship them. Many mix gaslighting to get others to submit to them. In a huge means, these exterior facades turn into pivotal components of their false identities, changing the actual and insecure self.

Narcissists are management freaks and have a compulsive want to management everybody and all the things you say, do, assume and imagine; for instance, will launch an instantaneous private assault trying to limit what you’re permitted to say in case you begin speaking knowledgeably of their presence—however aggressively maintains the suitable to speak (normally unknowledgeably) about something they select.

Narcissists imagine they’re untouchable, inhabitants of a particular actuality, one parallel to ours however by no means met. Outrageous habits is the narcissist’s hallmark. Every narcissistic authoritarian should management their model—their picture inside the society—so as to preserve absolute allegiance. They can not seem to be something lower than infallible. (Narcissists can’t be losers!) The extra energy they’ve, the extra ruthless they turn into in the direction of anybody who could undermine their credibility. I’ve typically heard of this attribute in celebrities, company executives, and politicians, particularly narcissistic dictators. They ignore skilled recommendation and deal with those that differ with contempt and hostility, whereas demanding absolute loyalty. Trump, for instance, is thought to demand an oath of loyalty from anybody he hires or appoints to a place. He considers himself an authority on all topics and ignores briefings from specialists in each discipline—from navy operations, although he by no means served within the navy, to immunology and virology (assume Dr. Fauci). The checklist of officers and specialists he employed after which fired is startlingly prolonged.

Similarly, Jaime hated anybody taking consideration away from him. He couldn’t tolerate anybody showing smarter or extra gifted than he was. My father was a lawyer; thus, I used to be extra acquainted and related with the authorized system, so Jaime typically selected me to seek the advice of with personal detectives and legal professionals on his behalf. After I consulted with the legal professionals and knowledgeable him, he would speak to the group at school in regards to the standing of the scenario and completely make shit up. I’d then respectfully right him. Colossal mistake! He would yell at me, publicly humiliate me, and inform me to cease being such a know-it-all. 

Narcissists show a compulsive want to criticize while concurrently refusing to worth, reward and acknowledge others, their achievements, or their existence.

Occasionally, when he wished to do a new ballet, Jaime would search for concepts. One Christmas, I designed a stage set I assumed can be a grand theme for a ballet. Having labored for W.E.D (Disney’s theme park division), I used to be adept at making fashions, and I made him a very detailed, hand-painted, multi-paneled miniature. He checked out it, mentioned “Hmmph!,” then waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. A minion took it and walked away. I later discovered it within the trash. If it wasn’t his concept, it was not solely nugatory, however he would make a level to demean or dismiss you. Sometimes individuals would do or make beautiful issues for him, and Jaime would eye it and say, “That’s pretty—pretty ugly.” Everyone would snicker and assume he was simply taking part in—and even exhibiting us a lesson—by modeling the other of what one would anticipate any respectable human being to say. Now I notice he meant it. But all of us simply shrugged it off as a result of nobody might think about anybody might be that brazen, that nasty—notably somebody we regarded to for non secular steerage. He should have been joking, proper? Nope! 

Narcissists typically exhibit uncommon and inappropriate attitudes to sexual issues, sexual habits and bodily capabilities; beneath the charming exterior there are sometimes suspicions or hints of intercourse discrimination and sexual harassment, maybe additionally sexual dysfunction, sexual inadequacy, sexual perversion, sexual violence or sexual abuse.  

Like sexual vampires, narcissists typically use intercourse to satiate their lust for final energy. Their weak and fragile ego craves management past regular boundaries or needs. And when denied, they flip vicious and harmful. The instance of Harvey Weinstein comes to thoughts—a serial intercourse abuser who evaded accountability for many years. Once, whereas conducting a “therapy” session with a very handsome heterosexual man, Jaime requested him if he’d ever had intercourse with a man. He had the younger man work on getting over any inhibitions relating to gay intercourse whereas below hypnosis. Like with many others, he recommended within the session that this man take his garments off, to recover from his shyness. The younger man advised me he knew what Jaime was making an attempt to do and wasn’t having any a part of it. 

Narcissists undermine and destroy anybody who they understand to be an adversary, a potential menace, or who can see by way of their masks. Adept at creating battle between those that would in any other case collate incriminating details about them. They are additionally fast to belittle, undermine, denigrate and discredit anybody who calls, makes an attempt to name, or may name them to account.

After the person left the session, Jaime referred to as all of his pals and advised them to watch out. He mentioned, “This guy tried to come on to me, and although I refused, everyone should know he will lie about it and say I, your ‘master,’ tried to seduce him.” Your harmless, pious, celibate grasp. In one other parallel instance, Trump is dealing with a defamation go well with within the New York State Supreme Court, filed towards him by the journalist E. Jean Carroll, who wrote that “Mr. Trump raped her in 1996 in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in New York.” He has vehemently denied the allegations, calling Carroll a liar who was simply drumming up publicity with the intention of promoting her e-book. 

There are so many examples of the damaging results of narcissistic habits in our private relationships, societal interactions, and management positions I might write a e-book on it. Wait, I simply did. But it’s vital to perceive that the narcissist and their followers have a suggestions loop. Everyone has a little narcissism in us. It solely turns into a pathological, malignant illness when fed. Experts say that not like many different illnesses, narcissism is incurable as a result of the narcissist won’t ever see that they’ve a downside. It’s at all times everybody else. So it’s up to us to acknowledge and defend ourselves by avoiding the narcissist wherever potential; withdrawing our fealty; or ravenous their insatiable urge for food for self-aggrandizement. We should not anticipate or watch for them to change. They by no means will; and the extra we feed them and allow them to get away with it, the extra harmful and highly effective they turn into. 

For extra data go to my web site www.radhiagleis.com 

This visitor publish was authored by Radhia Gleis

Author Radhia Gleis is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, CCN, MEd. biochemical analyst and educator for over 33 years. She has appeared as a featured visitor on quite a few radio and tv reveals together with Fox News, Austin. She hosted The Health Revolution and Let’s Get Healthy on Talk 1370 AM, KLBJ, and The Wellness Connection podcast on Voice America. She was the host and govt producer of three YouTube sequence: Wake up America; How the Body Works; and The Natural Way. She was featured within the internationally seen film, Holy Hell, which was broadcast on CNN and named certainly one of Sundance Film Festival’s and Netflix’s high 10 documentaries. It can now be seen on Amazon Prime.

The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders is out there on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  



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