March 29, 2014

The Appropriation of "No Contact": When Narcissists use "No Contact" against YOU

Portrait of a Young Girl by Pietro Antonio Rotari

This article does not refer to legal No Contact OrdersFeel free to contribute your experiences whether writing about your No Contact Plan, or the narcissist's appropriation of No Contact against you. I'm saying a wee prayer before posting this article and hope my thoughts are received in the same spirit they are given. 

I was asked to write about narcissists appropriating No Contact. No Contact used to be rare advice. Now it's the standard answer on message boards and blogs, professional or layperson. A No Contact Movement has grown exponentially this past decade; however, cutting off relationship isn't always healthy distancing. Sometimes it's abuse. Beginning with an explanation of No Contact, I'll conclude with three ways narcissistic people have used No Contact to serve themselves. I believe "appropriation of No Contact" will be a worthy discussion because a lot of people are being hurt by a concept that was never intended to control, punish, or coerce.

No Contact is a method of last resort, protecting people from abusive relationships. It is not intended to be a punishment; it is not meant to break spirits through ostracism or implementation of The Silent Treatment. No Contact is not coercion, punishing people until they yield, repent or surrender. No Contact is not based in magical thinking: the wishful belief that absence makes hearts grow fonder. No Contact is based on the best of intentions: to help people restore their equilibrium and stop the escalation of abuse and/or violence. 

No Contact is an extreme method for cutting emotional ties to someone who treats you with contempt. Persistent invalidation will, over time, erode your self-esteem. No human being is immune to feeling worthless when they are consistently rejected, criticized, excluded, neglected, and scapegoated for blame. Reducing time spent with people who build themselves up by tearing others down, is self-protective.

Self-protection is the goal of No Contact.

Low and No Contact can be life-restoring, self-esteem building, self-empowering methods for stopping aggression and reducing destructive reactions. Low Contact may restore psychological well-being; however, we cannot heal wounds that bind when our wounds are persistently invalidated and disrespectedIn my experience, most people reluctantly choose No Contact after numerous attempts fail to create a mutually safe and loving relationship. After an initial break from the "upside-down narcissistic relationship", many people are able to neutralize their reactions to emotional and psychological triggers, resuming some degree of contact. Low and No Contact turn reality right-side-up again.

No and Low Contact
The Intent to Do No Harm

You are hard-wired to make and sustain connections. Successfully freeing yourself from destructive bonds may require a period of No Contact while restoring your equilibrium. My preference is reducing reactive patterns by increasing self-awareness and building resilience through Low Contact. BUT, maintaining Low Contact depends on the degree of hostility and contempt you are subjected to when interacting with the narcissist. The horror stories people have disclosed online and in-person, justify No Contact in-the-now and the-eternal-hereafters. Yet even in cases of obvious abuse, they feel guilty about ending the relationship! So please take exquisite care of yourself and have courage in making the right decision for you. Low or No Contact, each approach has its own challenges and opportunities for growth.
"After spending twelve months away from the drama, I attended our family reunion without crying or hiding in the bathroom. When my narcissistic brother said it was no surprise to him that I hadn't remarried, I asked him to pass the potatoes, please." 
My preference for Low Contact is not meant to invalidate anyone's decision to protect themselves with No Contact. No Contact kick-starts healthy recovery. Knowledgeable support is vital to long-term success. This means relying on therapists, family and friends to talk things through when fear, obligation and guilt (FOG) make your knees buckle. Supportive friends empathize, allowing you to work through magical thinking, anger, self-doubt, regret and sadness. They have a long-view of the ultimate goal instead of getting stuck in the muck of the moment. Be cautious of anyone who blames or rejects you for breaking No Contact. No Contact isn't a perfect plan; its a goal. Reneging on your commitments takes a toll on your self-esteem, so be sure you are prepared to stick with No Contact before announcing your independence.

Limiting contact with abusive people can transform powerlessness into healthy self-efficacy. Limited contact with abusive people can restore your self-respect. No Contact establishes a safe space for recognizing vulnerabilities and weaknesses, increasing self-awareness and fostering healing. (Judith Herman) People who've suffered relational trauma must establish a safe environment and for some dear souls that means: No Contact. Even from people they love.


No Contact has grown centipede feet since its inception, running away from its original intention protecting victims. This is a predictable scenario since narcissists identify as victims. Perpetually. They may stalk, cheat, plagiarize, abuse and betray people, yet consider themselves to be victims, their victimizing behaviors justified. Perpetually. Well, what can you expect from a disorder preventing accurate self-appraisal, inhibiting the capacity for self-reflection? If someone is unable to introspect and own their aggression, they will view people's defensive reactions as unpredictable and threatening. From the narcissist's point of view, people are attacking without any provocation on the narcissist's part. They believe they are defending themselves from aggressionSince pathological narcissism is defined by distorted perceptions, what narcissists see is not what is. Their provoking behavior is outside their awareness. This does not mean they aren't consciously aware of their aggressive tactics. They believe their aggressive tactics are warranted.

Appropriating Self-Help

When an idea is worthy of appropriation, narcissists write the books & lead the seminars 

The Alanon community restored my sanity and that's-no-lie. Focus on Yourself was Alanon's guideline for people suffering from a family member's addiction. It wasn't long before narcissists jumped on the bandwagon, justifying extreme selfishness as "focusing on themselves". Even the concept of codependency was co-opted. People with narcissistic disorders saw themselves as too giving, too generous, taken advantage of by freeloading others.

"Focusing on themselves" was a self-serving interpretation of a principle intended for other-serving people.

There are several reasons why No Contact has been appropriated by narcissists. For one thing, it's easier using No Contact if you never attached in the first place. If you were never emotionally invested in the relationship, it's easier to walk away. Narcissists also have a desire to punish those who fail them, criticize them, trigger their shame. On the surface, No Contact may appear to be warranted and people support narcissist's convincing claims; but beneath their pretense of self-protection is hostility, aggression, and varying degrees of sadism.

Pietro Antonio Rotari
When Narcissists Use No Contact Against YOU
The Intent to Harm

Being told a friend, family member or partner is using No Contact to protect themselves from YOU is confounding. Reality is turned upside-down when the narcissist refuses your phone calls, deletes your emails, bans you from their Facebook page. Through the grapevine, you're told the narcissist avoids office luncheons because you're there. She can't be the bridesmaid if you're the best man. He can't go to the neighborhood picnic since you volunteered to flip the burgers. Your entire social circle from Earth to Jupiter has been informed of this tragic predicament and people wonder how YOU managed to make someone's life so miserable they had to use No Contact (or take out a restraining order). You didn't seem to be a dangerous person but who in the blue hell knows who anybody really is behind closed doors? You have now, my friend, entered the surrealistic world of DARVO: Defend, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. DARVO is the terrain of the narcissistic personality which means the No Contact plan has switched from self-protection to the intention to harm.
"We had planned for you to go with us on the cruise and then Ted told Tom that he was afraid for his life because you were too crazy for cruises. We don't want you to feel badly because we really like you. We just felt Ted would be a better fit and besides, Ted said you were terrified of water---something to do with your abusive childhood, which we're so very sorry to hear about and never would have guessed. I hope you won't take this personally because we can still do lunch. Without Ted, of course."
At this point, the desire to defend ourselves and "set the record straight" often leads to over-sharing, the kinds of confessions that make us look guilty. Saying nothing ends up being our best defense, trusting the truth will eventually "out" and people will know we're not too crazy for cruises. Please know that you are not obligated to explain why the narcissist refuses contact. Just sigh deeply and say, "Isn't the weather nice today!" Change the subject. Don't take the bait. People love drama, so act as if you are nonplussed and buy movie tickets instead.

The truth is that you feel slightly crazy and even broken by No Contact allegations. The narcissist feels powerful and proud. You feel rejected and alone. The narcissist finds your replacement, even a "mob squad" of flying monkeys to tear you down. You are flooded with fear, obligation and guilt, the very human desire to maintain connections. The narcissist is inflated with self-righteous satisfaction because you are being punished for disrespecting them, or for whatever your offense might have been and that can change from day to day, one hour to the next.

The reason people are hurt by No Contact is because we have four basic needs, according to Kip Williams in Ostracism: the Power of Silence. If you grew up with narcissistic parents, you likely experienced The Silent Treatment, the cold shoulder, the "You do not exist" torture of living In Contact with people who use No Contact to control family members. Without warning, you are shunned until you have suffered sufficiently for your perceived sins, thus satisfying the need to punish. Suffering sufficiently means: breaking your spirit.
"Being cut off, cut loose, cut down, and cut dead is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to us. I argue that the simple act of being ignored simultaneously attacks four fundamental human needs. Our sense of connection and belonging is severed; the control we desire between our actions and outcomes is uncoupled; our self-esteem is shaken by feelings of shame, guilt or inferiority; and we feel like a ghost, observing what life would be like if we did not exist. [meaningful existence] " ~Williams (page 6)
No one in the narcissistic family knows how to resolve conflicts because feelings are not validated and recognized. Feelings are silenced, repressed, or used as facts and acted upon, irrationally. The narcissistic family cannot teach children how to resolve relational conflict because narcissists lack the social and emotional intelligence required for healthy resolutions. That means family members carry emotional dysfunction forward, invalidating others because that is all they know. Harming people by cutting off relationship is a learned behavior that can be unlearned.

I think it's important to include some background as to why children of narcissists (ACoNs) repeat dysfunctional behaviors in adult relationships, even using the Silent Treatment they hated so much as children. Without intervention of some kind (self-help is great), they operate on automatic pilot until experiencing a serious crisis. If they don't have a pathological disorder, a relationship crisis will encourage them to unlearn harmful behaviors because they care about their impact on others and desire relationship with them. If attempts to set limits and establish healthy boundaries are consistently trespassed or even ridiculed, they must assert their self-worth and focus on themselves, allowing others to do likewise.

Low or No Contact is a last resort after failing to resolve hurtful behaviors inherent to narcissistic relationships. There is no intent to harm others and it's usually a private decision.

In contrast, the narcissist's use of No Contact is a punishment granting complete control by blocking communication with perceived offenders. The intent is to harm.

Control, punishment and coercion are three goals of appropriated No Contact.

When No Contact is about Power and Control---not Love and Attachment 

1) When No Contact is a preemptive strike (Control)
Narcissists use No Contact to prove they were victimized. It's a precautionary defense against the perceived threat of exposure if and when you tell your side of the story. The fact that you are unlikely to tell people about the incident(s) won't occur to the narcissist who believes "others will do to them, what they would do to others". Contrary to their beliefs, most people are sensitive to the narcissist's pain, oftentimes refusing to talk with other people about the situation because they don't want to hurt the narcissist. Maybe our shame has something to do with that. It's never easy telling people you were abused. 
The preemptive strike might also be compared to the Smear Campaign. When your reputation is being undermined and you know it, even an innocuous glance feels like an accusation. Reputations are important to people. We want to be well thought of which is why Smear Campaigns posing as No Contact, are tactically effective. The public humiliation can drive people into behaving in ways that reinforce the narcissist's accusation that you are crazy. (crazy is a typical accusation) Once again, the narcissist's lack of self-awareness means their harassing behaviors are not recognized as contributory. And if they are tactically conscious, you must accept their sadistic intent. Enjoying the spectacle they've created is not normal. It can in no way be considered self-protection because the majority of people feel remorseful when seeing the harmful effect their behavior has on others. Even someone who "did us wrong." (Revenge is the narcissist's territory).
2) When No Contact is The Silent Treatment (Punishment)   
All you know when people pretend you don't exist is that you're wrong. You are a bad person. Your presence is irrelevant. You've been banished. You are not allowed to defend yourself or refute allegations. The Silent Treatment increases feelings of powerlessness because we have zero control over the situation. How can you make amends if you have no blessed idea why you were "ghosted" in the first place? Total exclusion maintains the narcissist's perceptions without contradiction and without resolution. If your voice has been silenced, there is no reason to doubt the narcissist's version of events. The intent is to punish you for offending the narcissist (or group). 
When people experience social rejection as torture, it's fair to say they're being punished. I think this form of No Contact can be defined as Relational aggression. The Silent Treatment posing as No Contact could be considered bullying since it also causes serious psychological distress (even suicide). I'm sure many of you have experienced this with narcissistic people. It is emotionally crippling beyond reason which is why I wasn't surprised to read this statement: "Social rejection has been established to cause psychological damage and has been categorized as torture." 
 3)  When No Contact is Getting Their Way (Coercion)  
This form of No Contact trains you through fear of rejection, to give narcissists whatever they want. After being cut off, you'll try harder the next time without realizing you're being conditioned to comply. Your anxiety increases because the relationship is not safe and you never know when you'll say or do something worthy of another No Contact Compliance Lesson. The more you are rejected by the narcissist, the harder you'll try to reinsert yourself in his/her life. 
You are hard-wired to make and sustain connections. You may even be obsessive about getting closure because you don't know why they went No Contact in the first place. Overtime, the unpredictability of doing something wrong and being punished, creates enough insecurity for people to "walk on eggshells" and (to the narcissist's advantage) become even more manageable, more controllable, more compliant.
Sickeningly, some websites instruct people to use No Contact to "get back a former lover". Well, game-playing is the stuff and nonsense of narcissistic personalities who have a ludic love-style (Campbell). Game-playing should be a Red Flag whether you are doing it yourself or someone else is doing it to you. The second red flag in this No Contact game is the sheer Machiavellianism taking advantage of the human need for love and connection. With Machiavellian personalities, the ends justify the means and that never sits well for trustworthy relationships. If someone is using No Contact to manipulate you into pleasing them, what kind of relationship do you think you're creating? Susan Elliott counsels, "Don't let yourself be bullied into being friends."    

A final word about No Contact as "shame management" 

Narcissists have low tolerance for criticism. They have limited self-awareness. They inflate self-esteem to maintain good feelings about themselves which means their self-esteem is fragile. Narcissistic people are easily shamed. They attack anyone who threatens the image they have of themselves. Close relationships are primed for shame management when people see through their pretenses. An easy example is infidelity. "No Contact as shame management" could be any wrongful behavior, but the majority of people deem fidelity to be a value. So let's go with a topic I'm sadly familiar with and wish I had known about narcissistic defenses at the time.

When the betraying narcissist reconciles with their spouse and family, they are reminded of their mistake, the infidelity. They are reminded of their ordinariness because infidelity ain't the road less traveled. They are reminded of their vulnerability to family member's power to forgive or reject. They have lost control. They feel annihilated without their Good Person Image eliciting admiration and respect. The resultant shame can be overwhelming to a degree most people can't fathom. This is how the family becomes a source of unbearable shame even if family members are repairing the damage, forgiving and forgetting. The family can get over the narcissist's wrongdoings; the narcissist can't.

When the false self is exposed through direct confrontation, the narcissist feels threatened. They feel as though they're under attack by people who see through their pretenses, see their weaknesses. While in this state of shame, the narcissist's perceptions are filtered through a lens of sheer panic. Losing the false self/image so carefully crafted to meet relationship needs, feels like an imminent death. This is one reason why people with no intent to do harm, are perceived to be life-threatening. Narcissist's sense of self is threatened when they are with people they betrayed, lied to, cheated or treated badly. They have lost the control they need to manage their narcissism.

Even though it's hard to bear when you are subjected to another level of crazy-making abuse: No Contact is a good thing. No Contact, even when the accusations are unwarranted and have little to no basis in reality, still reduces conflict. Because you are able to take responsibility for yourself and because you have the capacity to work through your emotional reactions, respect the narcissistic condition. Don't hold on. Don't seek closure. Don't try to be friends. Let Them Go. No Contact is a good thing. The truth of your character will not be permanently sullied by a smear campaign or silent treatment disguised as No Contact.

This will take time.

It gets easier over time.



Campbell et al. Does Self-Love Lead to Love for Others? A Story of Narcissistic Game Playing

Effects of ostracism are a health concern 2005. Medical News "Ostracism is more powerful now than ever because people have fewer strong family and friend support systems to fall back on."

Freyd, Jennifer. What is DARVO?

Herman, Judith. 1992 Trauma and Recovery (page 155)

Pain of ostracism can be deep, long lasting.  2011. Science Daily

 Narcissistic Game Playing by PlanetJan

Shunning on Wikipedia 

Williams, Kipling. D. 2001 Ostracism: The Power of Silence. The Guilford Press

Williams, Kipling on Vimeo (14:00 minutes)

March 20, 2014

Kevin Trudeau: My Wish is Judge Ronald Guzman's Command

The Fortune Teller by George de la Tour

Apparently Kevin Trudeau, creator of "Your Wish Is Your Command", has been thinking magnetic thoughts about prisons and orange zip jumpsuits. Just this week, Trudeau's vibrational brain frequencies delivered what he really wanted deep down inside his inner wisher: ten years in jail.

Now some folks say Judge Guzman's sentence is unfair; but holy hell people, this is quantum physics and you can't argue with the law (of attraction). This just in from ABC News: 
"Addressing the judge earlier in a 10-minute statement, Trudeau apologized and said he's become a changed man. He said he's meditated, prayed and read self-help books while locked up at Chicago's Correctional Center. "I have truly had a significant reawakening," said Trudeau, who was dressed in orange jail clothes. "If I ever do an infomercial again, I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies." 
Kevin's spiritual transformation and self-helped-mindfulness didn't mesmerize nor persuade Judge Guzman who, disbelieving Trudeau's bullshit-humility stated,
"Since his 20s, [Trudeau] has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain. Trudeau is deceitful to the very core." ~Judge Guzman
I considered posting Trudeau's picture on this blog and then decided to treat myself with loving-kindness. The pocket-picking painting titled Fortune Teller will have to capture Trudeau's conscience instead. There's a 20/20 John Stossel video about Trudeau at the bottom of my post and a link to Trudeau's impudent reaction. For people who've dealt with narcissists and anti-social personalities, Trudeau will keep you in stitches during his "word salad" dialog (you might throw shoes at John Stossel---depending where you peg him on the celebrity narcissism continuum). 

I know people love love LOVE Kevin Trudeau and praise him as a savior of American truth and liberty, fighting the good fight against the FDA and pharmaceutical industry. They adore him so much in fact, that they'd sell their souls to save his, or embarrass themselves in court. (see embedded quote below) That's how pathological people affect other people. We love 'em or hate them, depending on where we are in the process of being scammed.
"An elderly supporter suddenly stood in the front row of the audience and bellowed, “Judge, I am a former U.S. congressman!” before being ordered to sit down. Ed Foreman, 80, of Dallas, was ordered to leave the courtroom. He refused, and when security officers tried to stand Foreman up, he went limp and was eventually carried out as other spectators shouted in protest. 
“You are not entitled to disrupt the proceedings,” Guzman told the remaining audience members, some of whom sobbed loudly. “I urge you to simply keep quiet and listen.” ~Chicago Tribune
Trudeau recently posted on his Facebook page:
"[I] Had a great nights sleep after the sentencing! Mandela got 28 years, I was blessed to get only 10." ~Kevin Trudella Trudeau
When it comes to loving or hating these folks, don't overlook the impact of cognitive dissonance when people invest money in his books, newsletters and expensive club membership. The more money they invested, the more defensive they'll be, insisting their money was well spent. That is why the costs of Inner Sanctum memberships are high. Nobody wants to admit being conned 'cuz then they'd be a loser. Sometimes your ego just can't take another hit. 

I have waited years for just one Law of Attraction huckster to reap the rewards of their moral banktruptcy, hoping legal repercussions would reign back wannabee predation, rather than ending up in the slammer, too. I think justice for Trudeau will best be served if in addition to his ten-year sentence, he's fed a 500 calorie a day diet accompanied by daily injections of pig urine. If he complains about feeling sick after a month of lettuce and pig pee, he could have some herbal tea made from dandelion weeds picked fresh from the prison courtyard. Dandelions cure whatever ails you which is an amazing secret medical doctors don't want you to know. (Ssshhh...remember you heard it from me first. The added bonus to reading my blog is that it won't cost you $39.95 with an additional $39.95 for shipping and handling . It won't cost your self-respect either.)

You might wonder why I dislike this man so much, too. I'll tell you. About ten years ago, my relatively stable American life fell apart, as in a nuclear family explosion. The anxiety and fear of losing status and stability fosters an atypical desperation for miracles and saviors. When gurus make promises that seem a little too good to be true, our reasoning ain't as sharp as it used to be. It's not stupidity that makes us "marks". It's fear. In a state of panic we react instead of thinking clearly. I know what it means to be vulnerable and that is why it's important for society to protect one another from people who have no limits (i.e.: no limits on what they can justify doing to and taking from others).

The majority of the time we don't fall for schemes selling false hope. We reason carefully before signing our names to $150 dollar monthly newsletters. But if there's one chance in a bazillion we can cure our anxiety and stop the slip-slide into homelessness, we might be desperate enough to "suspend disbelief" and listen to (or read) their words enough times to charm ourselves. I had a difficult time grounding myself in a terrifying reality and thinking critically (some might question that even today). That is why hucksters like Trudeau are concerning. It's important to advocate for those who might be in the same place I was ten years ago rather than spouting arrogant cliches such as, "A sucker is born every minute."  

Several years ago, my family installed a new television in our kitchen cuz you know how fun it is to cook while watching the History channel---aliens, Nostradamus and apocalyptic stuff. Well, one afternoon during the recession when people were losing homes and jobs, I watched a program called "Your Wish Is Your Command." In the middle of chopping portabellas I had to stop cooking (you know it's serious when that happens) and sat myself at the table with a pen and notepad. I scribbled notes throughout Trudeau's infomercial lasting half an hour as I recall---long enough for people to "suspend their disbelief". With a straight face, Trudeau told people they'd be LOSERS if they didn't buy his products. "Do you want to be a loser?" he'd ask, "because anyone who loses out on this amazing deal IS a loser!"  And I'm thinking---hummm, who's the target audience here? People who are sitting at home watching afternoon TV and worrying about how long that home will be theirs to sit in? There wasn't a trace of duplicity in his words or his body movements which seemed to me, intentionally coordinated to reinforce his unquestionable integrity. There wasn't even a second of hesitation or guilt calling people "losers." He was as believable as the guy who convinced me to marry him. ;-P

Although I really hate prosperity being defined as materialistic gains, it's not against the law. On their own, most people choose friends over money, honesty over financial gain. But creating a community of wealth winners keeps people focused on "the sell", lessening community values and personal conscience. Maybe my opinion will offend people but it seems to me that people who get rich like Trudeau, make choices morally responsible people won't. Unless of course, they outsourced their conscience to a circle of winners.

What we do not need in an increasingly disconnected society, is more focus on individual rewards at the expense of community trust. Sure, people didn't lose as much money buying Trudeau's pie-in-sky products as they did losing retirement savings to white-collar-psychopaths. The thing that is worrisome about people like Trudeau (and there's an army of 'em marching towards prosperity) is that they view other human beings as "stepping stones" on the path to their unlimited success. If they can't see any limits in their futures, our legal system will have to show them.

It's true that far more serious financial crimes have been committed against the American people which might turn Trudeau into an easy scapegoat. He'll play the card of "the victim" because it attracts rescuers to come to his defense. Trudeau isn't a descendant of a wealthy political family shielding him from punitive legal action but to me, that makes hucksters like Trudeau even more problematic. People can't identify with our royal 1%. They can identify with someone like Trudeau who uses his high school diploma to insist he's "one of us".  He's not. The VAST majority of people would never make the choices Trudeau has made and continues to make.

I've edited this post to add an excerpt from James Randi's Educational website. A woman  named Cherry Theresa wrote an article about being "conned" by Trudeau when she was struggling with health issues:
"[Trudeau] emotionally sets up his readers that he’s on their side and is just as angry as they are about being mistreated. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”... It makes him seem like he is this fearless advocate who is willing to go to jail to spread the truth to the public. And I bought that hogwash completely. I equated him to civil rights leaders who technically broke laws and went to jail, but were doing the moral thing and history has shown what they did was right and very brave. Boy, do I feel stupid now. The things many of the civil rights leaders did were valid and the law was wrong. In Trudeau’s case, the laws are actually out there for good reason and for our protection, not to harm us. But I didn't realize that then." ~Cherry Theresa 

If you can stand watching another video, Kevin Trudeau responds to John Stossel HERE. As is to be expected with personality disorders, Trudeau attacks John Stossel for being evil, accusing Stossel of only doing the interview for the money. He says Stossel's investigation was A Scam because Stossel is in bed with pharmaceutical companies (and the dreadful FDA).

The video below is a sure-pick-you-up on a lonely afternoon in the kitchen when you need a good laugh about the Law of Attraction, Quantum Physics and "scientists" like Trudeau: 

And when you've finished with your science class for the day, reflect on Trudeau's admonition. "Money" he says, "is not a four-letter word." He counsels Christians to feel good about equating prosperity with $$$ cuz God wants prosperous Christians. Broke, poor Christians can't help anybody.
"Jesus wasn't broke." Trudeau says in the video. "He never wanted for anything. Jesus had a ministry and one of those guys was a treasurer. Remember---Judas was “the treasurer.” Poor people don’t need treasurers. [Jesus and his disciples] never wanted or had a lack of anything. Now Jesus didn't develop a net worth but in terms of his surroundings, if you look at scripture scripturally, he rode in on Palm Sunday on a donkey.  
Trudeau continues, "Now, to put it in perspective, most people think about donkeys as a lowly form of transportation, “Ohhh, he was on a d-o-n-k-e-y.” What you don’t know is that a donkey was the Rolls Royce of transportation at the time. It's like the Pope-Mobile. He wasn't riding in like a pauper; he was riding in like a KING. You’ll also notice when he was crucified, it’s said that they couldn't share his robe. Remember he had a cloak? It’s said that the Roman soldiers cast lots to see who would get the cloak. The word cloak refers to a one-piece garment. This is a mink coat at the time. A one-piece garment, a cloak, Nobody had that! It was too expensive! Here our poor Jesus, our p-a-u-p-e-r, was riding in on Palm Sunday in a Rolls Royce and wearing the most expensive piece of clothing at the time, a one-piece cloak which couldn't be SHARED." 
And now, I am truly speechless.

Hugs all,


Whirled Musings A fantastic blog writing about New Wage Gurus. You'll love Cosmic Connie whether you subscribe to "woo" or not.

Kevin Trudeau on Wikipedia  This page has an excellent synopsis of Trudeau's "legal troubles", a sign of anti-social personality disorder. He is not being prosecuted for writing misleading books which is protected by First Amendment Rights. He's being prosecuted for "thumbing his nose" at the court orders.

Cognitive Dissonance on Wikipedia "Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one's belief, the dissonance can result in restoring consonance through misperception, rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others."

Cherry Theresa's article, "How I was scammed by Kevin Trudeau"

March 05, 2014

Part Three: Cyber-Trolls and Trolling. "Just Doin' it for the Lulz!"

An Old Mountain Troll by John Bauer

Lulz: Internet slang defined as fun; amusement; humor; schadenfreude. For kicks. ~Wiktionary

"“Lulz” is how trolls keep score. A corruption of “LOL” or “laugh out loud,” “lulz” means the joy of disrupting another person’s emotional equilibrium. “Lulz is watching someone lose their mind at their computer 2,000 miles away while you chat with friends and laugh,” said one ex-troll who refused to disclose his legal identity." ~The Trolls Among Us 

"Studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling...Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism." Trolls Just Want To Have Fun (Buckels et al) Questions measuring personality traits were:
Sadistic Impulse Scale: Hurting people is exciting 
Narcissism: I've been compared to famous people 
Machiavellianism: It's not wise to tell your secret  
Psychopathy: Payback needs to be quick and easy
"Machiavellianism is (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). The relationship between sadism and trolling was the strongest, sadists appear to troll because they find it pleasurable. “Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun...and the Internet is their playground!”  Internet Trolls Really Are Horrible People

Trolls, Bullies, Harassment, Stalking  
"People troll because they enjoy causing distress in others on the Internet. This is different than cyber-bullying which uses information technology to harm or harass someone in a repeated, deliberate, and hostile manner. Trolls are just doin' it for the "lulz." ("Lulz" is a stupid way of saying, "laughs.") They just want to make others react so they can sit back and enjoy the ensuing chaos." A Troll Is as a Troll Does 
Some websites make arbitrary distinctions between trolls and bullies; between bullying and harassment. These distinctions aren't cut in stone because we're still coming up with words to best describe this Brave New cyber-World we've created. Cyberbullying is generally based on a power differential referring to adolescents, yet adult bullies use the pack mentality (power over) to threaten and harass other adults. Trolls are defined by their anonymity, yet people troll "friends" hoping to trigger their reactions. Whatever we choose to call trouble-makers, they have a sadistic disposition with fifty shades of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Perhaps sadism is more plainly seen in online interactions? The schadenfreude of written chest-beating may not be as easily forgotten as the smug grin of an everyday sadist.

In the Dark Tetrad study (Buckels et al), the pleasure of hurting people was attributed to psychopathy more than narcissism. The self-perception of superiority means narcissists are more likely to harass people or bully them, particularly after a narcissistic injury when they felt disrespected or insulted. If narcissists believe they were condescended to, or criticized in any way, they are driven to punish or eliminate the object diminishing their status. Narcissistic people are invested in sustaining their image, just as they are with in-person-relationships. So it's not that narcissists enjoy hurting people. It's a burden they must bear to be true to their superior self. < -----sarcasm

The psychopathic person is not emotionally invested in protecting his/her status, with the exception of a loosely-defined trolling community dedicated to out-performing one another. Trolls aren't concerned with maintaining the good guy image or being part of an "ordinary" community. In fact, they p-r-o-b-a-b-l-y prefer being seen as antisocial rebels, social outcasts, the bad boys of cyberspace who are willing to do what weak people can't. Since they don't care what people think and disdain common morality, they derive satisfaction from inflicting emotional pain. As the cliche goes: "If you can't join 'em, beat 'em". If you can't join 'em, destroy the group. "Do it for the lulz!"

Cyber-Trolls enjoy destroying community spirit, something they find worthy of mockery since they don't form emotional bonds. Troll's agentic traits are off-the-scale, creating a value set belittling love (if it even exists), disparaging grief (RIP Facebook trolling), deriding tenderness as weakness, laughing at people's pain. They justify humiliation as an object lesson for anyone dumb enough to care, weak enough to react, stupid enough to share.

Cyber-Trolls: Pointless and Disruptive 

The suggested distinction between trolls and cyber-bullies is that bullies are affiliated with their victim in some way. Trolls tend to be anonymous, fishing for passerby's attention and reactions. If their expedition is joined by fellow trolls, the one-upmanship can be awfully entertaining---depending on the website and the subject. (See the comment section HERE)

You can spot a troll when the comment section meanders into politics or religion bashing. People could be talking about the utility of potato pesticides and a troll will comment that if it weren't for George Bush or Christianity, we wouldn't have potato bugs. And then someone defends George and  Jesus and the whole place goes up in flames. Trolls push people's buttons causing reactions that makes respondents look foolish and emotional. The troll's pay-off is a rush of power, the perception of control, the joy of chaos when people are pitted against one another---defending the troll's right to free speech while abandoning the victim to his/her shame. After all, doesn't everyone know better than to take the troll's comments seriously? (Check out my resource section for a BBC video tracking Nimrod Severn posting hateful comments on memorial websites)

CyberBullies: Intentional and Malicious

"Perpetrator identities are usually clear and the intent is more straightforward" with bullies than the anonymous and pointless troll. (Buckels et al) Bullying implies a power differential so cyberbullying is a more accurate term for children and adolescents. Recent cases of cyberbullying describe teenager's sense of powerlessness when intimidated by shared photos and malicious rumors, ruining their reputations and isolating them from other people. Because teens are afraid parents will take away their internet privileges and devices, they may be less inclined to talk with family about what they're going through. Think carefully before eliminating access to the Internet. This is the world our children live in and we must think critically about protecting them. (See Resources)

Cyber-Harassment and Cyberstalking: Intimidation and Retaliation

"There is no universal legal definition of cyber-harassment, but it typically is defined as repeated, unsolicited, threatening behavior by a person or group using mobile or Internet technology with the intent to bother, terrify, intimidate, humiliate, threaten, harass or stalk someone else...Cyber-harassment and cyberstalking are often used synonymously to describe the actions of people who relentlessly pursue others online with the intention of frightening or embarrassing the victim.

"Sometimes a harasser intends to teach the victim a lesson or solicit information from him or her, and stalkers generally want revenge or attention. A stalker or harasser often will post comments to the victim that are intended to cause distress and will try to incite others to do the same. "~WiseGEEK

John Bauer
About Free Speech 

“The more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt.” (Buckels) 

Over the past decade, cyber-communications have transitioned from unregulated comments by trolls and bullies to heavily moderated websites. Several sites have eliminated comments on featured articles. Even YouTube, notorious for adolescent bugger-picking, allows users to disallow comments on uploaded videos. My belief in open communication has been repeatedly dashed by uncivil discourse bordering on hate speech. Social media sites have reflected similar concerns and taken necessary action to protect users from harassment and abuse.

When organizing the WoN Forum, our professed value was free speech. No deletions. No banning. Some people (a minority) didn't view free speech as a privilege and a group commitment. They saw our liberal policy as a challenge and opportunity: "Can we get CZ to ban us? Can we get our posts deleted?" THAT my friends, is the shit-stirrer mentality and it's why we have explicit rules and laws limiting people who can't limit themselves. That every group has a certain percentage of shit-stirrers is a fact. Use this fact to fill the gap between idealism and reality, something every idealist must come to grips with.

It didn't take long before my belief in free speech became the troll's freedom to silence others. Trolls reaped satisfaction (not remorse) when people were terrified. My job as a manager switched from facilitating free speech, to protecting people from other people's free speech, aka: verbal abuse. It's fair to say "there is no free speech without civility." 

With a huge increase in the number of blogs on the net today, individuals must make judgment calls between irritating comments expressing different, yet valid points of view; and irritating comments intended to antagonize and insult. Each blogger will have their own degree of tolerance for contentious communication depending on the subject matter and the environment (their readers). In the case of trauma and abuse communities, discernment is crucial because trolls:
1-Are unreasonable and hostile
2-Disdain common courtesy
3-Mock social responsibility
4-Lack remorse
5-Like being insulted
6-Feed on your anger
7-Create chaos, drama, and misery
8-Snicker when people self-destruct
9-See themselves as separate and superior
10-Hang out under bridges & eat nice people for breakfast
Trolls and bullies are drawn to any group where incivility garners maximum attention, inflating their sense of power, and upsetting a beautiful thing: group harmony. Trolls and bullies will use their anonymity to hurt and destroy while the majority of people use anonymity to discuss sensitive topics and protect people they care about. (Anonymity is problematic when it prevents trolls and bullies from suffering consequences for anti-social behavior.) It may seem odd to people that haven't used social media, for someone to be traumatized by an invisible, anonymous screen name posting invective messages in All Caps. But the fact is, and I can testify to it, cyber-harassment feels like emotional violence, destabilizing our psychological health. If hurtful comments are that deleterious to others, why do trolls write comments that shock, and frighten people?
"The only justification trolls have for their behavior is simply doing it for the “lulz,” or sadistic enjoyment at the expense of others." ~Do Not Feed the Trolls 
If people are fairly new to the Internet, they may not have encountered a troll. Trolling, described as "trolling the cyber-sea waiting for someone to bite", was commonplace on narcissism forums and blogs. Perhaps the sheer number of blogs and forums today has minimized trolling. Higher-tech forums have eliminated most, if not all of the trolling because site managers can block people; delete people; ban people, track their IPs. As individual bloggers and forum members, we can educate ourselves and disengage from the conversation BEFORE feeding trolls' egos---and losing a good chunk of our own.

There's another factor protecting people from sadistic people and that is the group itself. It may take years before group solidarity and trust is strong enough to thwart intentional chaos. People are learning ways to intervene before the situation escalates to mayhem. What may start out as trolling can suddenly switch to harassment when the victim reacts and people choose sides. Just like the Karpman Drama Triangle, there are three sides to every cyber-harassment or trolling-for-Lulz: The harasser; The victim; The bystander. 

Trolling, Cyber-harassment and bullying elevate feelings of isolation and shame, more so for victims of relational abuse, I think. When other people are witness to the conflict yet do nothing to intervene, the victim's sense of powerlessness and humiliation can be all-consuming. Traumatic memories surface, magnifying the present trauma beyond rationality. It may take several days before restoring their emotional equilibrium. It is so important for victims and scapegoats to confide in someone, even though their first instinct is to isolate and blame themselves. Talking to another person during the conflict offers perspective, validating the abuse and restoring the victim's integrity and personal efficacy.

People feel powerless, just as they did when they were children. But feeling powerless to resolve the situation is not merely a figment of their imagination! The truth is that there isn't much people can do to stop cyber-harassment once it's started, not at this point anyway. New laws are being considered because of the destructive impact harassment has on victims, including lethal consequences for children and adults. There is nothing funny about attacking people online unless of course, hurting people or watching others hurt people, is enjoyable.

John Bauer

"Trolls send abusive messages to anyone they take an instant and often irrational dislike to, are now as established on the online scene as they once were in fairy tales. "It is time, says the UK's Anti-Bullying Alliance to call a halt to a trend that is "gradually chipping away self-esteem. Cyberbullying increases isolation and impacts mental health more than other forms of bullying." ~Cyberbullies: how best to tackle online abuse?

Trolls and bullies are most effective before a group or individual gets his or her cyber-sea legs. That means new bloggers are particularly vulnerable to anonymous aggression. Like the woman who wrote about her boyfriend stalking her after she ended their relationship. A malicious troll sent this email, "I'M RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW. I  CAN SEE YOU!" 

She was so terrified she closed her window shades, locked her doors, and left the cybergroup. If she had been online for awhile, she'd have written, "Don't you have anything better to do? Like pick your nose or change your diaper?"

If she had been online for a l-o-n-g l-o-n-g time, she wouldn't have replied at all.

What should I do if I think I am being stalked or harassed online?

1- Tell the person harassing you in straight forward terms, "Leave me alone, stop harassing me. Do not contact me again." If you are in IM or chat, log off immediately and stay off-line for at least 24 hours. 
2- Do not reply to anything else the harasser says. No replies to emails, taunts or lies said about you. Do NOT REPLY! Harassment is a form of power over you. If you take that power away from the harasser and refuse to "play their game" then you have become empowered instead. You are now in charge! 
3- If the problem only exists in IM or chat, go off-line and completely change your online identity. This means changing your nickname and all the information you have listed in your profile. Everything must be changed! 
4- In the case of email harassment you need to contact the harasser's ISP (Internet Service Provider) and make a complaint. 
5- Stay out of problem chat rooms. 
6- Don't give out your online ID except to "very" trusted friends and tell them not to give it out to anyone else. 
7- Be certain all of your online profiles do not contain any personally identifying information about you, such as age, sex, address, phone number, school attended and teams you play on or where you work. 
8- Be sure logging is enable In your IM and chat clients. 
9- Keep all log files that pertain to the stalker for evidence. 
10- Keep all e-mails that originate from the harasser or stalker and any replies you sent for evidence. 
11- If you feel you or your family is in physical danger from this stalker, or the stalker knows where you live or has made physical threats against you- CALL YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR THE FBI IMMEDIATELY!

Philips, Witney. "LoLing at Tragedy: Facebook trolls, memorial pages and resistance to grief" (2011) Link

Buckels, E. E., et al. "Trolls just want to have fun." Personality and Individual Differences (2014). PDF Document
In two online studies (total N = 1215), respondents completed personality inventories and a survey of their Internet commenting styles. Overall, strong positive associations emerged among online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and troll identity, pointing to a common construct underlying the measures. Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.
Porter, S., et al. "Solidiers of Misfortune: An examination of the Dark Triad and the experience of schadenfreude." Personality and Individual Difference (2013) PDF Document
Abstract: "This study was the first to investigate the relation between Dark Triad personality traits and the experience of schadenfreude. Participants (N = 120) were assigned to one of three priming conditions: empathy, schadenfreude, or neutral. After reading a vignette priming one of the three emotional states, each participant was exposed to a photographic image showing an unfortunate event experienced by the individual described in the vignette. All participants were shown the same four images and completed an evaluation form about their subjective emotional reactions to each image. Further, their facial expression reactions to each image were video-recorded and coded for smile presence and intensity. Results indicated positive relationships between Dark Triad traits and both self-reported schadenfreude and objective smile intensity. Higher Dark Triad scores also were associated with self-reported increased schadenfreude in daily life and a propensity to seek out related stimuli."  
Online Bullying and Trolling. 4-page PDF Booklet 

Tips For Thwarting Cyberbullying, Cyber-harassment and Cyberstalking. 8-page PDF

"One in twenty online users deliberately engage in trolling, according to a new study that also identifies those users as having the classic traits of sadism, narcissism, psychopathy and Machievellianism."

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...