Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams

 

 

Me on Israeli TV 21 years ago. Life is a cruel master and a merciless mentor. By the time you have learned your lessons - you can no longer put them to good use.

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In 1995 I coined the phrase "narcissistic abuse" to describe the unique brand of abuse inflicted on victims by narcissists. One of the techniques of abuse I dubbed "gaslighting or ambient abuse". The Australian published an article titled: "Gaslighters and the Erosion of Self" You can read it here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/narcissisticabuse/conversations/messages/8674

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This is the original manuscript of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited". I wrote it in prison, in Hebrew, at night, by candlelight, standing and scribbling on my upper bunk in a barrack with 7 other men. I posted an English version online in 1997 and published the first edition in Prague two years later. http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html

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Lecture on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Was too technical and dry, definitely not one of my best. More about the topic here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/nm17.html

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No, not a horror movie. The corridor to my rented apartment in Krasnodar on a particularly bad day. The apartment itself is comfy and Ludmila the admin is as helpful and friendly as can be. My Mind Game stories are available here: http://samvak.tripod.com/sipurim.html

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Fredericka, my blind ageing goldfish (like master, like pet). Got her from my wife, Lidija, when we effectively separated for one year as she was renovating an apartment to render it our home. The handimen she was working with brought it to her in a truncated Coca-Cola plastic bottle "to keep your husband company so that he is not lonely". Wrote a story about her here: http://samvak.tripod.com/petsnail-en.html

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This Bambi is loved, protected, feels safe enough to fall asleep and let its guard down. It know that is accepted and understood, bathed as it is in the warmth of the underlying hands. And the man holding it will never let go, will never just walk away. His hands are a commitment to the Bambi. My poetry is here: http://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

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I am losing my Magic Unicorn. Forty years and forty nights to find her. But she is no one's. Not mine and no one else's. She is wild freedom reified. Some say she does not even exist. She touches and transforms and gallops away in misty grey. I miss her so already and she is not even gone yet.

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[IMAGE OF TEXT]  From my book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html

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Can anyone identify the object drawn on the whiteboard? No? No wonder. Either I am the world's worst sketcher - or I haven't had access to this kind of object in a great while. I will let you guess which. Videos about the narcissist's sexuality on my YouTube channel http//www.youtube.com/samvaknin

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Medical doctors falsify lab results and order unnecessary and sometimes injurious medical tests in order to extort money from gullible, scared, and hypochondriac patients. This is a global phenomenon - 200 BILLION USD in the USA alone! I initiated and participated in the healthcare committee of Macedonia headed by then Minister of Health (now Deputy Prime Minister) Bujar Osmani. Here is its interim report https://issuu.com/samvaknin/docs/health

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Interview with Milan Adzievski on a Macedonian TV station. Topic: Cryptocurrencies and the Financial Crisis. Milan, as always, with questions from left field. I, as always, know everything about everything (=narcissist). Some previous interviews we made are here: http://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings

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Interesting and courageous point of view. The Holocaust is a touchy subject. I received death threats on these 2 videos about Hitler, the Jews (I am a Jew!), and the Holocaust https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eIZv9QwoQVc and https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VjRwearNVII

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In Russia, "love" is measured by how many expensive gifts the woman extorts from her man. Relationships between men and women there are so hopelessly dysfunctional and antagonistic that the men have to bribe the women to stay with them. It is a part of the general culture of bribery and corruption in Russia. See my book on sex, monogamy, and relationships http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/sexmonogamy.pdf

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Hate and fear - the twin fuels of pathological narcissism of both individuals and collectives. A quote from my book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" (http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html)

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Narcissists are emotional cannibals. A quote from my book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" (http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html)

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There are no diagnostic HPV tests for MEN. All HPV "tests" for men are FAKE. Such tests are sold exclusively in poor countries to the gullible and ignorant population. The most prestigious private clinic in the USA, Mayo Clinic write: "The HPV test is available only to women; no HPV test yet exists to detect the virus in men." https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hpv-test/about/pac-20394355 About Mayo Clinic https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayo_Clinic

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Empathy has three components: reflexive-instinctual, cognitive, and emotional. Narcissists and psychopaths have only the first two (I coined the phrase: "cold empathy" to describe it). More about empathy - or lack thereof - in personality disorders: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/personalitydisorders68.html

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These are my new - brandname - shoes. My previous branded shoes - bought in Geneva - disintegrated within the year. My 250 euros belt purchased a year ago started falling apart in 6 months. All my 25 euros belts and shoes are intact years - even decades - later. Brands are the biggest forms of commercial fraud ever perpetrated. They are manufactured in poor countries often using inferior materials (despite claims to the contrary) and then sold as status symbols in societies that elevate conspicuous and ostentatious consumption to the level of a religion. The gullible and the vain pay 10 times the right price just to own - and show off - the "right" label. More about differential pricing http://samvak.tripod.com/pp151.html

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The Histrionic (woman or man with Histrionic Personality Disorder - HPD) does not like sex at all - she likes the POWER that her sexuality gives her over men. So when the man is hers, when she had won, conquered, mastered, and subjugated her man, she loses all sexual interest in him and begins to pay sexual attention to other men. She reframes her extinguished flame (discarded lover) and the now dead relationship or infatuation: instead of a much desired lover he is now a good friend, a sadistic enemy, or a much-needed interlude. My latest vid on the topic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9zoMG9Jzys

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"Sociopath" is not a mental health diagnosis. Neither is "psychopath". These are labels given - by the media and by an assortment of self-styled experts and scholars - to the extreme end of the spectrum of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Robert Hare, who spent all his career in the prison system, contributed more than anyone else to common misunderstandings and widespread misinformation regarding psychopathy. He also devised an idiotic and deeply flawed "test" for "psychopathy" - the PCL-R - that unfortunately caught on in corporate America and its typically ignorant media. Here is my critique of his "test": http://samvak.tripod.com/personalitydisorders11.html#pcl

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Only Switzerland has a real direct democracy. All other 104 “democracies” are actually PLUTOcracies (ruled by the moneyed elites). More here: http://samvak.tripod.com/democracy.html

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I am the quintessential wandering Jew (I hope I look somewhat better than this Nazi propaganda image). I haven't visited my homeland, met my family or any of my friends, or spoken my native tongue (Hebrew) since 1996. I have lived in 13 countries and worked in 53. I wrote this in 2001 and nothing has changed since then: http://samvak.tripod.com/narcissistroots.html

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Contemplating my lecture about "The Sexual Determinants of Personality" tomorrow and the day after, starting at 09:30 in Southern Federal University in Rostov on Don (Bolshaya Sadovaya street). More here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/sexgender.html

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The evening after (the lecture about sex in Southern Federal University). In Onegin Dacha, a regal restaurant in Rostov on Don.

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The lecture's topic: psychology is not a science and does not describe reality. It is a descriptive and taxonomic language and a literary art form. More here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/psychoanalysis.html

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Outside can be hell: snow and dirt and noise and worse. But when a woman flowers on your windowsill - all is well: she is happiness and love and life regained. Happy 8th of March to these magical wonder-filled fairies we call "women" and to the one special woman in every man's life.

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Thinking up clever answers for the comments on my Insta posts. The narcissist does not use language to communicate but to impress and subjugate: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal34.html

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Sherlock Holmes in an ultimate display of cold empathy (instinct and cognition but no emotion). Contrary to widely held views, Narcissists and Psychopaths may actually possess empathy. They may even be hyper-empathic, attuned to the minutest signals emitted by their victims and endowed with a penetrating "X-ray vision". They tend to abuse their empathic skills by employing them exclusively for personal gain, the extraction of narcissistic supply, or in the pursuit of antisocial and sadistic goals. They regard their ability to empathize as another weapon in their arsenal. There are two possible pathological reactions to childhood abuse and trauma: codependence and narcissism. They both involve fantasy as a defense mechanism: the codependent has a pretty realistic assessment of herself, but her view of others is fantastic; the narcissist’s self-image and self-perception are delusional and grandiose, but his penetrating view of others is bloodcurdlingly accurate.

I suggest to label the narcissist’s and psychopath's version of empathy: "cold empathy", akin to the "cold emotions" felt by psychopaths. The cognitive element of empathy is there, but not so its emotional correlate. It is, consequently, a barren, detached, and cerebral kind of intrusive gaze, devoid of compassion and a feeling of affinity with one's fellow humans.

More about cold empathy (typical of narcissists and psychopaths): http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/personalitydisorders68.html

The FULL VIDEO: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=utwenXbh9hA

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[TEXT IMAGE] In an interview I granted to American Thinker in March 2016 I suggested that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist. Since then this view went mainstream and became accepted wisdom. My texts on Trump, his personality, and his cult are available here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq19.html#trump

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Like every histrionic, she was flirtatious, voluptuous, obsessed with her looks, seductive, sultry, and irresistible. Like every borderline, she was labile, moody, terrified of abandonment, and somewhat delusional. Like every narcissist, she was grandiose. Like every psychopath, she was ruthless and callous. These "dramatic" cluster B personality disorders are frequently comorbid (diagnosed together in the same patient). She was a man's wettest dream and most horrifying nightmare, a withering addiction, an oasis of promise, and a fatal malediction. She was Marilyn Monroe. Read more about her psychology here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faqpd.html

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The first book ever written and published in Hebrew in 1987 on the topic of portfolio management. I proceeded to co-found a stock brokerage firm and co-own Israel Agriculture Bank. There I discovered mass corruption by several prominent politicians in power. I proceeded to sue them and ended up ... in prison. I learned my lesson: if you cannot join them, you will never beat them. A portion of the book's text is here: http://samvak.tripod.com/portfolio.html

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If your husband or boyfriend bullies you, he does not love you. Bullying and abuse can never coexist or go together. They are mutually exclusive because bullying ruins intimacy and engenders sex aversion - and there is no love without intimacy. If he bullies you and then buys you flowers for your birthday - it is not an act of love but a crude attempt to bribe you to not abandon him and thus collaborate in your own abuse. Throw these poisoned flowers back in his face. Do not succumb to intermittent reinforcement (hot and cold, approach and then avoidance, torture and then gestures of "love"). Of course, some women explicitly make the trade: they consent to being mistreated in return for a generous expense account. Such women say: "I'd rather be miserable in a Mercedes than happy on a bicycle." To each her own, I guess. More here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/intimacyabuse.html

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My poems http://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

They say, with a knowing smile: "If he is really a narcissist - how come he writes such beautiful poetry?". "Words are the sounds of emotions" - they add - "and he claims to have none". They are smug and comfortable in their well classified world, my doubters.

I use words as others use algebraic signs: with meticulousness, with caution, with the precision of the artisan. I sculpt in words. I stop. I tilt my head. I listen to the echoes. The tables of emotional resonance. The fine tuned reverberations of pain & love and fear. Air waves and photonic ricochets answered by chemicals secreted in my listeners and my readers.

I know beauty. I have always known it in the biblical sense, it was my passionate mistress. We made love. We procreated the cold children of my texts. I measured its aesthetics admiringly. But this is the mathematics of grammar. It was merely the undulating geometry of syntax.

Devoid of all emotions, I watch your reactions with the sated amusement of a Roman nobleman.

My world is painted in shadows of fear and sadness. Perhaps they are related - I fear the sadness. To avoid the overweening, sepia melancholy that lurks in the dark corners of my being - I deny my own emotions. I do so thoroughly, with the single-mindedness of a survivor. I persevere through dehumanization. I automate my processes. Gradually, parts of my flesh turn into metal and I stand there, exposed to sheering winds, as grandiose as my disorder.

I write poetry not because I need to. I write poetry to gain attention, to secure adulation, to fasten on to the reflection in the eyes of others that passes for my Ego. My words are fireworks, formulas of resonance, the periodic table of healing and abuse.

These are dark poems. A wasted landscape of pain ossified, of scarred remnants of emotions. There is no horror in abuse. The terror is in the endurance, in the dreamlike detachment from one's own existence that follows. People around me feel my surrealism. They back away, alienated, discomfited by the limpid placenta of my virtual reality. Now I am left alone and I write umbilical poems as others would converse.

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If you are self-loathing and self-destructive and self-punitive, you would want to stay in your sick relationship with a narcissist. Here are some tips:

FIVE DON'T DO'S – How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist

Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him;

Never offer him any intimacy;

Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his good looks, or by his success with women and so on);

Never remind him of life out there and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity;

Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence.

The TEN DO'S – How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You If you INSIST on Staying with Him

Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says and agree with it all. Don't believe a word of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.

Personally offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere else. Also be prepared to line up future Sources of Primary Narcissistic Supply for your narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you.

Be endlessly patient and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace. Act as “background noise”: ask no questions, never criticize or disagree, when addressed confine your response to the issues broached and do not introduce new topics into the conversation. In short: never initiate or be proactive – always react meekly, compliantly, and subserviently.
Be endlessly giving. This one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it proposition.

Be absolutely emotionally and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt.

Additional tips here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/npdtips.html

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For some people, love and pain are flip sides of the same tortured coin. Intimacy is an agony that leads to lustful ecstasy and to an orgy of self-annihilation. The woman in such couples loves with all her being, her quiddity and essence. When rebuffed, she turns into an untouchable, stone-faced, and cruel Madonna-mistress and an unspeakable whore. The man prostitutes her, shares her with other men because his arousal crucially subsists on her humiliation and degradation. They punish each other via sadistic sex and desired betrayal in a futile attempt to restore justice and sanity to an escalating spiral of obsession and abandonment anxiety. Their love becomes a dungeon, their bodied tools of mutual execution. As for me: I have experienced several such relationships. There is nothing that comes close to them in intensity and color. I felt exuberantly alive and profoundly entombed. Such affairs are exhilarating. But not for the fainthearted. Reviews of films with a psychological angle here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/film.html

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Today, Russians vote in "elections" to the Presidency. Don't hold your breath: they will overwhelmingly vote for Putin. In 2001, I published this essay worldwide via United Press International (UPI): http://samvak.tripod.com/putin.html

Here is an excerpt:

"The Second Empire is very reminiscent of Vladimir Putin's reign in post-Yeltsin Russia.

Like the French Second Empire, it follows a period of revolutions and counter-revolutions. It is not identified with any one class but does rely on the support of the middle class, the intelligentsia, the managers and industrialists, the security services, and the military.

Putin is authoritarian, but not revolutionary. His regime derives its legitimacy from parliamentary and presidential elections based on a neo-liberal model of government. It is socially conservative but seeks to modernize Russia's administration and economy. Yet, it manipulates the mass media and encourages a personality cult.

Disparate Youths

Like Napoleon III, Putin started off as president (he was shortly as prime minister under Yeltsin). Like him, he may be undone by a military defeat, probably in the Caucasus or Central Asia.

The formative years of Putin and Louis-Napoleon have little in common, though.

The former was a cosseted member of the establishment and witnessed, first hand, the disintegration of his country. Putin was a juvenile delinquent and a low-key KGB apparatchik. The KGB may have inspired, conspired in, or even instigated the transformation in Russian domestic affairs since the early 1980's - but to call it "revolutionary" would be to stretch the term.

Louis-Napoleon, on the other hand, was a true revolutionary. He narrowly escaped death at the hands of Austrian troops in a rebellion in Italy in 1831. His brother was not as lucky. Louis-Napoleon's claim to the throne of France (1832) was based on a half-baked ideology of imperial glory, concocted, disseminated and promoted by him. In 1836 and 1840 he even initiated (failed) coups d'etat. He was expelled even from neutral Switzerland and exiled to the USA. He spent six years in prison." Continued analysis here: http://samvak.tripod.com/putin.html

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It is amazing the hold that celebrities with severe personality disorders have over the public imagination. Their pathologies render them hypnotically charismatic. Princess Diana suffered from every cluster B personality disorder supplemented by mood and affect disorders, body dysmorphic disorder and more. She was a very sick woman. But underlying it all was Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Like both narcissists and psychopaths, borderlines are impulsive and reckless. Like histrionics, their sexual conduct is promiscuous, driven, and unsafe. Many borderlines binge eat, gamble, drive, and shop carelessly, and are substance abusers. Lack of impulse control and lability are joined with self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors, such as suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, gestures, or threats, and self-mutilation or self-injury.

The main dynamic in Borderline PD is abandonment anxiety. Like codependents, borderlines attempt to preempt or prevent abandonment (both real and imagined) by their nearest and dearest. They cling frantically and counterproductively to their partners, mates, spouses, friends, children, or even neighbors. This fierce attachment is coupled with idealization and then swift and merciless devaluation of the borderline's target.

Exactly like the narcissist, the borderline patient elicits constant narcissistic supply (attention, affirmation, adulation, approval) to regulate her gyrating sense of self-worth and her chaotic self-image, to shore up serious, marked, persistent, and ubiquitous deficits in self-esteem and Ego functions, and to counter the gnawing emptiness at her core.

Borderline Personality Disorder is often co-diagnosed (is comorbid) with mood and affect disorders. But all borderlines suffer from mood reactivity.

Borderlines shift dizzyingly between dysphoria (sadness or depression) and euphoria, manic self-confidence and paralyzing anxiety, irritability and indifference. This is reminiscent of the mood swings of Bipolar Disorder patients. But Borderlines are much angrier and more violent." More here: http://samvak.tripod.com/personalitydisorders18.html

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"The Last Tango in Paris" is a harrowing film about sex as a futile attempt to overcome loss and secure love. Like in reality, the man is more romantic: he is the one who falls in love and insists on emotional sharing and a relationship. The woman is the cruel huntress who executes him because he transgressed against the anonymity of their love-making.
I have had my share of anonymous sex and have had long sexual liaisons. One of these "relationships" lasted more than a year of constant, wild love-making exactly like in the movie. I felt not a trace or hint of emotion throughout. So I know that it is absolutely possible to share bodies without sharing minds. Intimacy is a choice - not an inevitable outcome of the exchange of bodily fluids.

But, hey, I am a narcissist, what do I know about emotions, attachment, and love? I am like a Martian writing his dissertation on Mankind. Not very likely to get it right.
Only studies show that I AM right. In the current hookup culture, emotional entanglements are assiduously avoided especially by young women. They want only sex - good sex if possible, any kind of sex if not. They gave up on fantasies of home and hearth and marital bliss because they do not regard their male peers as marriage material. There is contempt and hostility between the genders where attraction and love used to blossom. It is a sterile world. No wonder many women elect to remain childless.

And as for loss: Paul's wife commits suicide and the new love he had found shoots him dead. "Don't push you luck" - Bertolucci warns the viewers - "If you can at least fuck in this alienated world of ours, count your blessings and call it a day. Ambitions for love and intimacy can and will be lethal - even in Paris, the city of Love and Lovers. Like Romeo and Juliet we are all star-crossed and doomed to eternally search but never find. We can only consummate, orgasm and ejaculate". Or cum. Don't forget the butter next time!

Additional reviews of films with psychological angles here: http://samvak.tripod.com/film.html

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Body image disorder. Body dysphoria. We are all unhappy with our bodies: we are obese (too fat). Anorectic (too thin). Boobs are too small. Hips too wide. Lips too pronounced. Cheeks. Even vaginas (outer labia get in the way or not aesthetic). Diets. Gyms. Fitness training (and muscular trainers 😉). Plastic cosmetic surgeries (some of which go horribly wrong as in the photo). This is a new phenomenon. It started in the 1950s. Prior to that people just accepted their bodies as god-given and immutable.
Under the influence of fashion magazines, the media, the entertainment industry, and medical fads, women - now increasingly joined by men - started to hate their bodies and seek to divorce them by altering them beyond recognition.

The new ideal of feminine beauty was promulgated by homosexuals in the fashion and beauty industries. Inevitably, it resembled a flat-chested pubescent boy. Women were supposed to become Twiggies: thin, bosoms and asses suppressed, hair cropped.

But this is all part of a larger trend: our bodies have become superfluous. We do not need them anymore. We have outsourced most of the physical activities that have once been indispensable: from food production to sex and childbirth.

We are all being transformed into atomized brains in cyber jars. No bodies needed, thank you. Too much trouble, too much hassle, too much maintenance. Not enough pleasurable return on onerous investment.

More here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal31.html and http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal35.html

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Narcissists try to follow this sage advice in Proverbs: they elicit narcissistic supply from their sources. But when they fail to do so, they are not above bragging incessantly. They resort to egregious and aggressive self-promotion: they attest to their own superior traits, they embellish their alleged accomplishments, they lie about their education or acquired skills, they attribute to themselves superhuman qualities or powers. And they react with rage or even violence if you dare disagree with this self-promulgated self-assessment.

But there is another, more insidious technique: false modesty.

The "modesty" displayed by narcissists - especially covert, or inverted narcissists - is false. It is mostly and merely verbal. It is couched in flourishing phrases, emphasised to absurdity, repeated unnecessarily – usually to the point of causing gross inconvenience to the listener. The real aim of such behaviour and its subtext are exactly the opposite of common modesty.

False modesty is intended to either aggrandise the narcissist or to protect his grandiosity from scrutiny and possible erosion. Such modest outbursts precede inflated, grandiosity-laden statements made by the narcissist and pertaining to fields of human knowledge and activity in which he is sorely lacking.

The narcissist publicly chastises himself for being unfit, unworthy, lacking, not trained and not (formally) schooled, not objective, cognisant of his own shortcomings and vain. This way, if (or, rather, when) exposed he could always say: "But I told you so in the first place, haven't I?" False modesty is, thus an insurance policy. The narcissist "hedges his bets" by placing a side bet on his own fallibility, weakness, deficiencies and proneness to err.

Yet another function is to extract Narcissistic Supply from the listener. By contrasting his own self-deprecation with a brilliant, dazzling display of ingenuity, wit, intellect, knowledge, or beauty – the narcissist aims to secure an adoring, admiring, approving, or applauding protestation from his interlocutor.

Much more here: http://samvak.tripod.com/faq36.html

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As a young man I spent time gambling professionally in all the major casinos of Europe from Greece's mountaintops to the Spanish capital.

Gambling reveals and accentuates human nature like few other avocations. I have witnessed amazing events that few have ever seen. Depths of depravity and heights of generosity. Violence. Greed. Hope. Despair. Celebrities and hoi-polloi. Exuberance and terror.

Finally, I ineluctably came up with my own martingale: a gambling method. It largely worked and got me banned by these dens of iniquity for a while.

This book I wrote in my 20s. It is an exploration of all known games of chance and of my own modest contribution to defeating or at least ameliorating the casinoes's "avantage" over us, their suckers.

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Histrionics and psychopaths experience their needs and wishes as uncontrollable urges, akin to extreme hunger or thirst. It is a torture to deny these insatiable inner drives.

Though perfectly capable to control their impulses and delay gratification, histrionics and psychopaths choose not to do so for two reasons:

1. Pathological narcissism is a diagnostic-clinical dimension of all cluster B personality disorders.
Consequently, histrionics and psychopaths place a higher value and weight on their needs compared to the needs of others. They come first.
2. They lack empathy and, therefore, do not really grasp the hurt and pain they cause. Even when they do - they do not care. And even when they do care - they believe that they have a right to gratify their desires and fulfill their wishes no matter the cost to others. Histrionics may feel guilty and ego-dystonic (bad about themselves and their actions) - but it will not prevent them from misbehaving.

So when a histrionic feels the need for male attention and admiration, she will seek it without dedicating a single thought to the pain and hurt she may be inflicting on her nearest and dearest or on her male targets.

And when a psychopath wishes to secure money or power or sex he will go to any ruthless length and embark on any number of unconscionable and callous acts until he feels sated and gratified.

Histrionics and psychopaths are not evil. The pain, damage, harm, and hurt they invariably cause are rarely premeditated. They are like self-absorbed children or natural catastrophes replete with enormous collateral damage.

Are narcissists evil? http://samvak.tripod.com/journal65.html

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The narcissist forces his nearest and dearest, his colleagues and employees to lie to him, to be dishonest. Communicating openly and sincerely with the narcissist carries a high price tag.

There is no winning strategy with the narcissist. If you are honest and truthful with him, you are punished. If you are deceitful, you are equally penalized because the narcissist feels that you have tried to manipulate him with your lies and underestimated his intelligence.

Narcissists invariably react with narcissistic rage to narcissistic injury.

Narcissistic injury (or wound) is any threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof). The narcissist perceives every disagreement – let alone criticism – as nothing short of a threat. He reacts defensively. He becomes conspicuously indignant, aggressive and cold. He detaches emotionally for fear of yet another (narcissistic) injury. He devalues the person who made the disparaging remark, the critical comment, the unflattering observation, the innocuous joke at the narcissist's expense.

By holding the critic in contempt, by diminishing the stature of the discordant conversant – the narcissist minimises the impact of the disagreement or criticism on himself. This is a defence mechanism known as cognitive dissonance.

Like a trapped animal, the narcissist is forever on the lookout: was this comment meant to demean him? Was this utterance a deliberate attack? Gradually, his mind turns into a chaotic battlefield of paranoia and ideas of reference until he loses touch with reality and retreats to his own world of fantasised and unchallenged grandiosity.

When the disagreement or criticism or disapproval or approbation are public, though, the narcissist tends to regard them as Narcissistic Supply! Only when they are expressed in private – does the narcissist rage against them.

More here: http://samvak.tripod.com/faq73.html

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The narcissist masturbates with and in his partner's body. She is an inert object. He does things to her - never with her. He rarely bothers to ascertain her likes and dislikes. And because narcissists are misogynists, sex with the narcissist is frequently sadistic, painful, repulsive, and humiliating. The partner feels used if not abused. Many describe the encounters as "sick and perverted". Yet, counterfactually, the narcissist considers himself to be the world's greatest lover. Moreover: he coerces his unfortunate sexual partners to uphold this grandiose fantasy and its attendant delusions.

He is likely to enquire if he is the best lover the woman has ever had, how many times she climaxed, if she has had with him experiences she had never had with another man. Sex with the narcissist is akin to an anxiety producing 100 meters dash coupled with a reality TV quizz.

The partner would do well to lie and acquiesce, to tell the narcissist that his was the best sex she has ever had and that he is, by far, the most endowed, creative, and skilled of lovers. Narcissists do not take well to being contradicted, criticized, or disagreed with. Advice is not welcome. No equal partnership bladderdash here.
But the deception has to be subtle and convincing because if the narcissist finds out that he had been conned about his sexual prowess it constitutes severe narcissistic injury and produces narcissistic rage or even withdrawal.

More here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq29.html

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My article about Bolivar the narcissist provoked many readers: "Bolivar, Simon

Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) is a Latin American folk hero, revered for having been a revolutionary freedom fighter, a compassionate egalitarian and a successful politician. He is credited with the liberation from Spanish colonial yoke of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, a country named after him. Venezuela's new strongman, Hugo Chavez, renamed his country The Bolivarian republic of Venezuela to reflect the role of his "Bolivarian revolution". Yet, while alive, Bolivar was a much hated dictator and - at the beginning of his career - a military failure.

His aide and friend, Gen. Daniel O'Leary, an Irish soldier described him so: "His chest was narrow, his figure slender, his legs particularly thin. His skin was swarthy and rather coarse. His hands and feet were small …a woman might have envied them. His expression, when he was in good humor, was pleasant, but it became terrible when he was aroused. The change was unbelievable." Bolivar explained his motives: "I confess this (the coronation of Napoleon in 1804) made me think of my unhappy country and the glory which he would win who should liberate it"

And, later, after a victory against the Spaniards in 1819: "The triumphal arches, the flowers, the hymns, the acclamations, the wreaths offered and placed upon my head by the hands of lovely maidens, the fiestas, the thousand demonstrations of joy are the least of the gifts that I have received," he wrote. "The greatest and dearest to my heart are the tears, mingled with the rapture of happiness, in which I have been bathed and the embraces with which the multitude have all but crushed me." Venezuela became independent in 1811 and Bolivar, being a minor - though self-aggrandizing - political figure, had little to do with it. After his first major military defeat, in defending the coastal town of Puerto Cabello against royalist insurgents out to oust the newly independent Venezuela, he advocated the creation of a professional army (in the Cartagena Manifesto)." Continue: http://samvak.tripod.com/factoidb.html

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When I was 26, I purchased, together with other partners, the Israel Agriculture Bank. We discovered that senior government ministers (and former military heroes and commanders) borrowed money from the ailing institution and never bothered to repay it. So we took them to court. Needless to say who ended up in prison.

This is the first interview I granted immediately on my release on probation. In it, I am unrepentant, cocksure, defiant, contumacious, and more predatory than ever. The poor interviewer, Dan Margalit, is flabbergasted and bemused, like a deer caught in extraterrestrial headlights. Some women found this posture irresistible - others creepy.

Soon enough, structures in the deep state made sure that I lost a job I found with an Israeli satellite firm established by another ex-con whom I met in prison, Dov Raviv, the father of Israel's missile program.

I was hunted down wherever I went. The organs of the state made clear - always explicitly and often in writing - that it would be a bad idea to employ me or collaborate with me.

Finally, even I got the hint. I packed two giant suitcases and moved live in Macedonia.

My biography: http://samvak.tripod.com/cv.html

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The narcissist ages without mercy and without grace. His withered body and his overwrought mind betray him all at once. He stares with incredulity and rage at cruel mirrors. He refuses to accept his growing fallibility. He rebels against his decrepitude and mediocrity. Accustomed to being awe-inspiring and the recipient of adulation - the narcissist cannot countenance his social isolation and the pathetic figure that he cuts.

The narcissist suffers from mental progeria. Subject to childhood abuse, he ages prematurely and finds himself in a time warp, constantly in the throes of a midlife crisis. On the other hand, he is a puer aeternus, an eternal child: immature, sulking and pouting, unable to delay gratification, unwilling to commit or to assume adult roles and chores.

As a child prodigy, a sex symbol, a stud, a public intellectual, an actor, an idol - the narcissist was at the centre of attention, the eye of his personal twister, a black hole which sucked people's energy and resources dry and spat out with indifference their mutilated carcasses. No longer. With old age comes disillusionment. Old charms wear thin.

Having been exposed for what he is - a deceitful, treacherous, malignant egotist - the narcissist's old tricks now fail him. People are on their guard, their gullibility reduced. The narcissist - being the rigid, precariously balanced structure that he is - can't change. He reverts to old forms, re-adopts hoary habits, succumbs to erstwhile temptations. He is made a mockery by his accentuated denial of reality, by his obdurate refusal to grow up, an eternal, malformed child in the sagging body of a decaying man.

More about the pathetic, ageing narcissist: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal54.html

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The Lifestyle involves sexual acts performed by more than two participants whether in the same space, or separately. It is also known as “swinging”, “wife-, or spouse-swapping”, “wife-, or spouse-sharing”, “group sex” and, where multiple people interact with a single person, “gangbanging”. Swinging can be soft (engaging in sexual activity with one’s own intimate partner, but in the presence of others, including acts of candaulism), or hard (having sex not with one’s spouse or mate.) Threesomes (commonly male-female-male or MFM) are the most common configuration.

The psychological background to such unusual pursuits is not clear and has never been studied in depth. Still, thousands of online chats between active and wannabe adherents and fans in various forums reveal 10 psychodynamic strands:

1. Latent and overt bisexuality and homosexuality: both men and women (but especially women) adopt swinging as a way to sample same-sex experiences in a tolerant, at times anonymous, and permissive environment;

2. The Slut-Madonna Complex: to be sexually attracted to their spouses, some men need to “debase” and “humiliate” them by witnessing their “sluttish” conduct with others. These men find it difficult to have regular, intimate sex with women to whom they are emotionally attached and whose probity is beyond doubt. Sex is “dirty” and demeaning, so it should be mechanical, the preserve of whorish and promiscuous partners;

3. Voyeurism and exhibitionism are both rampant in and satisfied by swinging. Oftentimes, those who partake in the Lifestyle document their exploits on video and share photos and saucy verbal descriptions. Amateur porn and public sex (“dogging”) are fixtures of swinging;

SEVEN additional psychological reasons for swinging (go to the link and choose the "swinging" section in the text): http://samvak.tripod.com/pedophilia.html

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Cold Therapy Level 1 seminar in Rostov-on-Don April 12-14. Cold Therapy is a treatment for pathological narcissism and for depression.

Developed by Sam Vaknin, Cold Therapy is based on two premises: (1) That narcissistic and depressive disorders are actually forms of complex post-traumatic conditions; and (2) That narcissists are the outcomes of arrested development and attachment dysfunctions. Consequently, Cold Therapy borrows techniques from child psychology and from treatment modalities used to deal with PTSD.

Cold Therapy consists of the re-traumatization of the narcissistic client in a hostile, non-holding environment which resembles the ambience of the original trauma. The adult patient successfully tackles this second round of hurt and thus resolves early childhood conflicts and achieves closure rendering his now maladaptive narcissistic defenses redundant, unnecessary, and obsolete.

Cold Therapy makes use of proprietary techniques such as erasure (suppressing the client’s speech and free expression and gaining clinical information and insights from his reactions to being so stifled). Other techniques include: grandiosity reframing, guided imagery, negative iteration, other-scoring, happiness map, mirroring, escalation, role play, assimilative confabulation, hypervigilant referencing, and re-parenting.

Lecture notes: https://www.scribd.com/document/349440458/Cold-Therapy-Seminar-Level-1-Lecture-Notes

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[TEXT IMAGE] Here is a detailed guide on how to divorce a narcissist or a psychopath: courts, custody, property, stalking - what to do, how to behave, and what to expect.
Visit this link: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/5.html

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[TEXT IMAGE] There is no reliable information on covert narcissism online. None. It is all misinformed hype. "Covert" sounds good: sneaky, shifty, cunning. Unscrupulous YouTubers caught on to this mass psychosis and cynically and ignorantly leveraged the ominously-sounding clinical construct to garner views - and money.

This table was put together by Akhtar and Cooper in 1989. It summarizes the main traits and behaviors of the two cardinal types of narcissist: overt/grandiose vs. covert/shy.
And what about the inverted narcissist? the clinical subtype that I proposed back in 1999?

The Inverted Narcissist is a co-dependent who depends exclusively on narcissists (narcissist-co-dependent) ... To "qualify" as an inverted narcissist, you must CRAVE to be in a relationship with a narcissist, regardless of any abuse inflicted on you by him/her. You must ACTIVELY seek relationships with narcissists and ONLY with narcissists, no matter what your (bitter and traumatic) past experience has been. You must feel EMPTY and UNHAPPY in relationships with ANY OTHER kind of person. Only then, and if you satisfy the other diagnostic criteria of a Dependent Personality Disorder, can you be safely labelled an "inverted narcissist". Not all covert narcissists are inverted narcissists. But all inverted narcissists are covert (“shy”, “fragile”) narcissists. They are self-centred, sensitive, vulnerable, and defensive, or hostile, and paranoid. They harbour grandiose fantasies and have a strong sense of entitlement. They tend to exploit other, albeit stealthily and subtly. Covert narcissists are aware of their innate limitations and shortcomings and, therefore, constantly fret and stress over their inability to fulfil their unrealistic dreams and expectations. They avoid recognition, competition, and the limelight for fear of being exposed as frauds or failures.

Much more about codependents, covert and inverted narcissists here: http://samvak.tripod.com/faq66.html

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The most vulnerable members of society are children. They end up paying the ultimate price for genocide, ethnic cleansing, war, neglect, corruption, stupidity, and indifference. Child prostitutes, child fighters, child labor, child abuse, pedophilia, and the burnt carcasses of trapped and terrified children - the hallmarks and signposts of anomic, ossified, dysfunctional societies ruled by rapacious and inhuman or rather subhuman "elites".

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The bibliotherapist Bijal A. Shah recommends my book, "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisitdd" as the number 1 tome President Trump should peruse.

A bibliotherapist is a mental health professional or life coach who recommends books to facilitate personal healing.

Shah writes: "I chose this book based on President Trump’s inherent ‘’NPD’ or ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’. defined as ‘an enduring pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogant behaviour together with an overwhelming need for admiration and a lack of empathy for (and even exploitation of) others’. The author, Sam Vaknin, a lifelong NPD sufferer hits the nail on the head when describing the disorder and his experience, documenting it magnificently. On reading the book, Trump may feel that the book is about him. Connecting strongly with the author through his writing, he may get some insight and awareness into his own behaviour."

You do not have to be Trump to afford to purchase my book. Just go here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html

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The real femme fatale is an ingénue, an innocent child poised on the verge of decadent corruption. She is surrounded by salivating wolves and yet is the only true predator among them, hunting with the joy and abandon of a toddler in a toy shop.

The true femme fatale is never cunning or malicious - that would be off-putting. She is not mature, an adult, or an intellectual - that is boring. She is not a busty blonde - she is never vulgar.

Never mind what she wears, with or without makeup, just woke up, night or day - the femme fatale makes your heart leap out of its cage, thump and throb. She is an infarct in the flesh, in installments, and in slow motion. She is as ineluctable as death and as foreordained as self-destruction. And equally delectable.

Regardless of how she looks, the femme fatale is always the most beautiful and irresistibly seductive woman you will have ever seen. She is both sex and femininity reified.

But the true power of the femme fatale rests with her absentminded indifference to the consequences of her actions: a puerile psychopathy that is never malignant and always devastating.

She is selfish in the purest sense: she pursues her needs and wishes because she cannot do otherwise: she experiences them as overwhelming, intolerable urges and anxiety-inducing drives. She hurts even her loved ones because she has no other choice.

The true femme fatale is UTTERLY UNAWARE of her "fataleness" and of her unbridled power over men!

This obliviousness to her impact is irresistible: it makes her a relentless, ruthless, and callous huntress and an impersonal force of nature.

More about female narcissists: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq34.html

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This is the bullet-riddled body of Shabtai Kalmanovich, one of the two most vivacious men I have ever met (the other is Eli Ronen). In 1985, I was stationed in London. Together with my girlfriend, Sigal Bareket, I resided in a 5-storied mansion (34 Connaught Square, later purchased by Tony Blair). I had two butlers, a personal secretary, live-in maids. Having grown up in a slum, I was intoxicated with money and its accoutrements and status symbols.

I co-owned s firm (IPE) with all the protagonists of the infamous Iran-Contras affair that almost toppled POTUS Ronald Reagan: Ya'akov Nimrodi, Al Schwimmer, Elkana Gali, Ephraim Ilin and others.

I met Shabtai in 1985 when he knocked unannounced on my door. An amazing man: the quintessence of charm, a mane of black, oil-slicked hair framing a hawklike face, eyes imbued with fierce intelligence, tall, muscular, and (to women) irresistible.

He offered us a deal: we buy a private jet for President Momoh of Sierra Leone (where Kalmanovich operated the only bus company, "Liat") and in return get a concession for an island where we can bury nuclear and chemical waste from Germany.

I spent the next 2 incredible years with Shabtai in Africa and Germany. It was like an improbable story lifted straight out of "1001 Arabian Nights". At the end I lost every penny I had and Shabtai was arrested in London on trumped-up charges. It was only then that we all found out that this former advisor to Israeli PM Golda Meir was a senior KGB officer. He ended up doing time in a harsh Israeli prison.

Many aspects of my encounter with Shabtai are still highly classified by several governments, including my own. But I invariably remember him fondly: his creased smile, wry humor, imposing figure, astounding tales, and his hypnotic influence on women.

Wikileaks Global Intelligence Files: https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/54/5432785_re-fw-follow-up-.html

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As far as our economic and financial decisions are concerned, we all behave as though we are going to live forever and we all act under the constraint that goods and services are scarce and a zero-sum game ("I win, you lose"). Those of us who take these underlying, hidden assumptions to their extreme become frugal or even stingy.

Stingy individuals abstain from spending money even on essentials or when such spending is rational. They therefore undermine both their long-term wealth and their happiness.

The frugal save money by resorting to cheaper substitutes or, more rarely, by refraining from consumption where it is inessential (luxury). But both those pillars of economic thought - scarcity and immortality - are wrong.

Scarcity is the attribute of a "closed" economic universe. But it can be alleviated either by increasing the supply of goods and services (or of human beings) - or by improving the efficiency of the allocation of economic resources. Technology and innovation are supposed to achieve the former - rational governance, free trade, and free markets the latter.

Though aware of their finitude, most people behave as though they are going to live forever. Economic and social institutions are formed to last. People embark on long term projects and make enduring decisions - for instance, to invest money in stocks or bonds - even when they are very old.

Childless octogenarian inventors defend their fair share of royalties with youthful ferocity and tenacity. Businessmen amass superfluous wealth and collectors bid in auctions regardless of their age. We all - particularly economists - seem to deny the prospect of death.

Examples of this denial abound in the dismal science, economics.

More here: http://samvak.tripod.com/mortal.html and http://samvak.tripod.com/scarcity.html

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In the movie "Roman J. Israel, Esq.", the eponymous character, a savant civil rights lawyer, is savagely verbally abused by two women as "sexist and patronizing". His sin? He suggested that 2 men in the audience vacate their seats and, in an act of chivalry, offer them to the standing "ladies". Many #metoo claims of sexual harassment made by women in the West would be considered laudatory compliments in countries such as Russia. Women there regard such male macho gestures as proof positive of their own irresistibility. They are devastated when they are ignored by men. "Better inappropriate attention and behavior - then no attention at all", they exclaim. They expect the men in their lives - husbands and lovers, even one night stands or hookups - to defray all their costs, treat them to expensive restaurants, hotels, and trips and shower them with gifts. They are not shy about their precise wishes either.

I grew up, was educated and worked in many countries in the West. Women's Lib rendered women there more manly. Gender roles have blurred to the point of vanishing. Everyone is unisex.

In the West, women "go Dutch": they pay their share of the bills in restaurants, their rooms in hotels. They believe that only prostitutes let men pay their expenses and then fuck them. They reject gifts: only cheap whores expect, accept or even demand gifts after sex or in an affair. Even flowers in abundance are suspect and smarmy.

These women of the West would never dream of being the recipients of special treatment (opening doors and such). They are emancipated and equal to men in every way.

The women of the East regard the women of the West with disdain: as too masculine, too aggressive, tasteless, charmless, even repellent. "They are not women at all!" The women of the West regard the women of the East as glorified prostitutes, always on sale to the highest bidder, slaves in disguise, their tawdry and often vulgar femininity and sex a mere weapon.

I wrote this about the women of eastern and central Europe 20 years ago: http://samvak.tripod.com/pp70.html

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The funniest of books, "Three Men in a Boat", opens with one of the protagonists - a man, obviously - convincing himself that he is suffering from every affliction in a voluminous medical encyclopedia with one exception (a disorder of the womb). Hypochondriasis ("somatic symptom disorder" coupled with "illness anxiety disorder") is a combination of delusional disorder and the cognitive impairment known as "catastrophizing"

It comprises elements of delusion because never mind how many times the patient is reassured by medical authorities that he is healthy, he persists in his insistence that he is not. Never mind how symptom-free the hypochondriac is, she will conjure up some pain or malaise to support her narrative of imminent doom and decomposition. She is emotionally invested (cathexed) in her self-destruction, helplessness, and death.

The hypochondriac also catastrophizes: he regards even the slightest itch and the most minor glitch as a sure portent of his long overdue demise. She exaggerates to the point of comic inanity the daily vicissitudes of her utterly normal and hale body.

More here: http://samvak.tripod.com/journal31.html and http://samvak.tripod.com/journal35.html

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Is the right partner like-minded, a clone, a carbon copy? Common interests, same beliefs and values, similar history?

I beg to differ. I disagree. The right woman for me is unlike me. She should bring to our couple her differences with me. She should challenge and criticize and disagree with me - even risking at times my retaliatory immature rage and abuse.

My woman should push me out of my comfort zone. She should never be a mere echo. She should deflate my grandiosity, not enhance it. She should be my firm reality test and my trusted advisor - not my accomplice in a delusional shared psychosis.

My ideal woman is curious but never fawning. She compliments but does not idealize. She criticizes but does not devalue.

And of course my bambi woman is beautiful beyond words and intelligent in a natural, wholesome kind of way, and irresistibly stubborn and intolerably cute at times, even - actually, especially - when she is stubborn and petulant and infuriating (but never ornery and contrarian). Which she is very often!

My woman gives me life and is my world in the sense that she is a necessary but also a sufficient condition for my happiness. No reflection in the mirror or echo in a chamber can accomplish that. Only a true, vibrant, vivacious, ambitious, supportive, and transformative intimate partner who fosters my personal growth and evolution into ever higher forms of myself. Isn't this what love is all about?

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Fredericka, my blind ageing goldfish (like master, like pet) passed away last night, gently resting on the two mossy rocks she had long designated as her bed. I cried like a baby. Beloved pets have this capacity to render us children all over again.

We are childless, so my wife, Lidija, gave me Fredericka when we effectively separated for one year as she was renovating an apartment to render it our home. The handimen she was working with brought the button-sized fish to her in a truncated Coca-Cola plastic bottle "to keep your husband company so that he is not lonely". Ever since then my golden fish became a good friend to me. Despite her attention deficits and hyperactive ways, she really tried to listen attentively to what I had to say. She responded with emphatic "ba, ba, bas" whenever she disagreed with my ossified ways (or when she demanded food - which was always). She used my smartphone to correspond with Lidija: commiserating with her for having to suffer my presence and ornery personality, demanding attention, or just having a woman-to-woman chit-chat. In my long emotional and physical absences, Fredericka and Lidija became true mates.

Last evening, Lidija placed two table-cloth clad chairs in front of the aquarium to hide Fredericka's last moments from her view. When I informed Lidija that it is all over, she gasped and ran to her refuge, a small balcony at the back where she spends all her time with the birds and cats and lone dog of the neighborhood.

Then Lidija returned defeated, cheeks streaked with dried tears and said forlornly: "Now I am really all alone in the world". I wrote a story about Fredericka here: http://samvak.tripod.com/petsnail-en.html

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There are two possible pathological reactions to childhood abuse and trauma: codependence and narcissism. They both involve fantasy as a defense mechanism: the codependent has a pretty realistic assessment of herself, but her view of others is fantastic; the narcissist’s self-image and self-perception are delusional and grandiose, but his penetrating view of others is bloodcurdlingly accurate ("cold empathy"). Pathological narcissism is a form of addiction to narcissistic supply.

The narcissist is caught in a conundrum of his own making: on the one hand he considers himself superior and godlike. On the other hand, to maintain his inflated, grandiose, and fantastic sense of self-worth, the narcissist is abjectly and humiliatingly dependent on constant input from people whom he considers vastly inferior to him. He clings to them but hates and resents them and himself for his dependence. This leads to bouts of approach followed by avoidance, a repetition complex.

About codependency: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/personalitydisorders22.html

About narcissistic supply: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq76.html

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I adore children. Babies, toddlers, and even adolescents love me back unreservedly, enthusiastically, and wholeheartedly.

Being the narcissist that I am, it is a self-interested affection: It is addictively gratifying to teach, to be a guru and a sagacious, infallible guide. With children and teenagers everything I do and say is imbued with a sense of wonder and revelation: I am showing them the world and the way and they look up to me with awe. With the young I am always awesome. Adults often perceive me as repellent, pathetic, or pitiable.

But if the child is immune to my charms (I have yet to come across one, admittedly), if the child resists me and is ornery - my attitude darkens considerably. I then regard the child as a competitor for scarce narcissistic supply (attention, adulation). Moreover: I feel that the child is using his or her unfair advantages to deprive me of what is rightfully mine. Read about my state of mind when I am like that here: http://samvak.tripod.com/journal36.html

Philip Larkin, my favorite modern poet described best my inner experience, my inscape when children fail to cater to my grandiosity: "... I should be unhappy ... having to put up indefinitely with the company of other children, their noise, their nastiness, their boasting, their back-answers, their cruelty, their silliness ... The realization that it was not people I disliked but children was for me one of those celebrated moments of revelation ..." (Philip Larkin, Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982, Faber, 1983, p. 111) “Anybody who hates children and dogs can’t be all bad.” (Leo Rosten, introducing W.C. Fields at a dinner)

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People with severe dissociation (memory lapses and "lost time") are often misunderstood and perceived as liars.

Frequently they appear to be lying - but they are actually not prevaricating.

It is just that because of their extreme dissociation, these people have learned to NOT FORGET. They hoard memories, they never discard even the tiniest detail. They memorize dates and numerous trivial data as "handles", some things to hang on to in their hole-ridden minds.

Consequently, dissociative people often have CONTRADICTORY memories about the SAME OBJECT, EVENT, or PERSON AT THE SAME TIME!

A dissociative man can regard the same woman as irresistible AND as repulsive; the same building as prestigious and as decrepit; the same person as someone who makes him feel good and bad.

Such gaping discrepancies make dissociative people appear inconsistent and deceitful. But it is NOT LYING or deception! It is simply their archaeological memory: they maintain access to ALL the conflicting layers and strata AT ONCE.

But why would they have radically differing viewpoints about the same person, event, or object?

Precisely because of the way their struggle to maintain their unruly memory and cling to it. They never DELETE a memory because they CHERISH their memories like treasures. And they cherish their memories like treasures because they have SO FEW OF THEM. Where there is a troubling gap & their memory fails them, such patients CONFABULATE: they invent a plausible narrative or scenario that must - or may - have happened.

So, they never get rid of a memory, replace it with another, or modify it. They simply ADD to it another memory even if the 2 memories are diametrically opposed.

Dissociation is typical in Borderline Personality Disorder. Borderlines are LABILE. The changes in their internal states (cognitions, emotions, moods) are so abrupt and violent that they disrupt any personal continuity and sense of coherent identity. This discontinuity also makes them APPEAR to be lying - but they are not! They are just struggling with their fragmented memories and excruciating lability.

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Some relationships are characterized by a degree of laissez-faire and "freedom" that border on emotional absenteeism, neglect, and abandonment.

Both members of these couples lead separate lives, minding their own business. They rarely enquire about the other's whereabouts. DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell). The reason they grant each other such latitude is because one of them is a codependent with extreme abandonment anxiety - and the other a histrionic, compensatory narcissist, or, more rarely, borderline who wants to be dumped by her intimate partner.

When such a partner is dumped she feels good and relieved, even elated for 2 reasons:

1. It validates her view of herself as a bad and worthless object (usually the main message of the introjects - inner voices - of a sadistic-narcissistic mother or role models such as teacher or peers); and

2. It prevents intimacy. Such partners hate intimacy and fear it. Intimacy suffocates them. Being dumped puts an end to this threat.

So, they push their partners to dump them by being avoidant, passive-aggressive, plain aggressive, and verbally abusive.

If - no matter what they do and what they try - their partners keeps loving them, they feel deeply frustrated. They begin to hate the patient, loyal, and loving partner viscerally and wholeheartedly.

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AVOID AUSTRIAN AIRLINES if you possibly can.

Another horror experience with Austrian Airlines, the worst run and most chaotic European airline. Stinginess that borders on disgrace, operational glitches galore, a decrepit ageing fleet, insolent and brutal cabin crews, frequently cancelled or mysteriously non-existent flights, savagely exorbitant ticket prices and overworked ground crews. Customer service centers are rarely manned by dour and impudent clerks who are often incompetent.

The frequently antiquated craft are dirty, smelly, and disintegrating. Toilets out of commission are a common sight. The "business class" consists of a curtain moved back and forth among the rows according to demand.

Regrettably, this disastrous airlines has a virtual monopoly in the less savory parts of Europe where politicians are amenable to venality and worse. One can only guess why Austrian Airlines has no sorely needed competition in these benighted and godforsaken locales. Indeed the shabby and tawdry Austrian Airlines and its more forlorn destinations are a perfect fit: hopeless.

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Some relationships are characterized by a degree of laissez-faire and "freedom" that border on emotional absenteeism, neglect, and abandonment.

Both members of these couples lead separate lives, minding their own business. They rarely enquire about the other's whereabouts. DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell). The reason they grant each other such latitude is because one of them is a codependent with extreme abandonment anxiety - and the other a histrionic, compensatory narcissist, or, more rarely, borderline who wants to be dumped by her intimate partner.

When such a partner is dumped she feels good and relieved, even elated for 2 reasons:

1. It validates her view of herself as a bad and worthless object (usually the main message of the introjects - inner voices - of a sadistic-narcissistic mother or role models such as teacher or peers); and

2. It prevents intimacy. Such partners hate intimacy and fear it. Intimacy suffocates them. Being dumped puts an end to this threat.

So, they push their partners to dump them by being avoidant, passive-aggressive, plain aggressive, and verbally abusive.

If - no matter what they do and what they try - their partners keeps loving them, they feel deeply frustrated. They begin to hate the patient, loyal, and loving partner viscerally and wholeheartedly.

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I landed in Macedonia in 1996, fresh out of Israeli prison. At that time, it was a poor, landlocked country whose citizenry was rural or newly urban and ill-educated.

My first task was to find a woman to love and live with. Without a woman by my side I am paralyzed. The woman I love is the fuel in my tank AND the driver of my car. She is the one all and be all, the raison d'etre, and the primum movens. Lidija and I married 6 years later (it took her that long to succumb to my dubious charms). I then proceeded on a dual track: to make money and help to change the venal and incompetent regime of the time.

I opened a thriving corporate finance consultancy and became a media celebrity and an educator (I gave free lectures and lengthy seminars on economic and financial issues). One of the participants in my seminars caught my eye. We co-authored a book of dialogs on the Macedonian economy which made his name as an up and coming technocrat: Nikola Gruevski.

I had to flee the wrath of the regime to Prague and then to Moscow. In 1999, the opposition party won the elections. Nikola became Minister without portfolio and then, in rapid succession, Minister of Trade and Minister of Finance. He called me back to Macedonia where I served as Economic Advisor to the Government together with Ante Markovic, the last Prime Minister of Yugoslavia prior to its dismemberment.

This was only the beginning of a long and convoluted story yet to be recounted here in some other post. Nikola became head of the opposition party, the impossibly named VMRO-DPMNE and then Prime Minister. And that is when things started to get really complicated, when the rented apartment we had been living in suddenly burned down.

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The narcissist can get better, but rarely does he get well ("heal"). The reason is the narcissist's enormous life-long, irreplaceable and indispensable emotional investment (cathexis) in his disorder. It serves two critical functions, which together maintain the precariously balanced house of cards called the narcissist's personality. His disorder endows the narcissist with a sense of uniqueness, of "being special" - and it provides him with a rational explanation of his behaviour (an "alibi"). Most narcissists reject the notion or diagnosis that they are mentally disturbed. Absent powers of introspection and a total lack of self-awareness are part and parcel of the disorder. Pathological narcissism is founded on alloplastic defences - the firm conviction that the world or others are to blame for one's behaviour. The narcissist firmly believes that people around him should be held responsible for his reactions or have triggered them.

With such a state of mind so firmly entrenched, the narcissist is incapable of admitting that something is wrong with HIM.

But that is not to say that the narcissist does not experience his disorder.

He does. But he re-interprets this experience. He regards his dysfunctional behaviours - social, sexual, emotional, mental - as conclusive and irrefutable proof of his superiority, brilliance, distinction, prowess, might, or success. Rudeness to others is reinterpreted as efficiency. He considers himself to be the next step in the evolutionary ladder of humanity.

Abusive behaviours are cast as educational. Sexual absence as proof of preoccupation with higher functions. His rage is always just and a reaction to injustice or being misunderstood by intellectual dwarves.

Thus, paradoxically, the disorder becomes an integral and inseparable part of the narcissist's inflated self-esteem and vacuous grandiose fantasies.

More here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/narcissistlove.html

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In 1982, as I was living in Geneva, Switzerland, I endured one of my attacks of clinical depression.

Only 3 years before, I was a media celebrity in Israel. Even in Geneva I made inroads: I co-founded the unfortunately acronymed GLAS (Geneva Literary Society) which counted among its members luminaries such as Peter Ustinov, the actor and Peter Bailey, the photographer.

As the youthful vice president of the enormous NOGA-APROFIM group of companies (owned by the enigmatic Nessim Gaon), I befriended billionaires of all ages, from the 60+ years old Dudley Wright to the 20+ years old Azad Shivdasani. They both offered me lucrative multi-annual scholarships if I abandon the world of business and its trappings (the private jet - a story for another post). They encouraged me to revert to my roots as a scholar.

I applied to Harvard University and was turned down by no less than Robert Nozick himself - perhaps because in the oral interview I criticized his work scathingly.

In my despair I attempted to join the secretive and powerful Jesuit Order in Geneva. I am a non-practising Jew and had no compunction about converting to any expedient religion - I regarded all of them as variants on the same hogwash themes anyway.

I knew one of the Order's senior members who worked at the United Nations. I was inexorably attracted to the Order's emphases on acquiring multiple academic degrees and on teaching.

I was sent to Boston - incidentally, Harvard's domicile - and was again turned away when I confirmed that I haven't yet "found Jesus". The whole adventure concluded with the most incredible symbolic incident which I describe here in "My Affair with Jesus": http://samvak.tripod.com/jesus-en.html

Happy Easter, Orthodox (Pravoslav) Christians, wherever you are.

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Most common wisdom on the effects of divorce on children is wrong.

Children's emotional reactions to divorce dissipate within a maximum of 2 years. Only 15% continue to be distressed afterwards and into adulthood.

When the parents separate but do not divorce, the child adjusts even better, perhaps because there is hope that the parents will reconcile and the marriage will be restored.

The most severe long-term damages and traumas are incurred by children who grow up in conflict families where the marriage is hopelessly and irreparably dysfunctional.

The effects on children are particularly severe and long lasting when the parents constantly fight volubly, abusively, aggressively, and violently.

Such children grow up to be maladapted adults and experience difficulties in their own relationships

So, staying married "for the children's sake" ("parenting marriage") is an extremely bad idea and detrimental to the child. If the marriage is beyond salvage and there is no effective communication - the parents should DIVORCE exactly FOR THE CHILDREN'S SAKE.

Scientific American https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/

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Contrary to online popular online "information", most narcissists are self-aware.

Cognitive understanding of the disorder does not constitute a transforming INSIGHT though: it has no emotional correlate. The narcissist does not INTERNALIZE what he understands and learns about his disorder. This new gained knowledge does not become a motivating part of the narcissist. It remains an inert and indifferent piece of knowledge, with minor influence on the narcissist's psyche.

Moreover: the narcissist may grow aware of certain behaviors of his that are pathological, dysfunctional, or self-defeating. He may even label them as such. But he never grasps the psychodynamic significance of his conduct, the deeper layers of motivation, and the relentless and inexorable engine at the convoluted and tormented core of his being. So he may say: “I really like attention” or even, disparagingly or self-deprecatingly: “I am an attention whore”. But, he won’t be able to fully account for WHY it is that he is addicted to narcissistic supply and what role it plays in his psychology, interpersonal relationships, and life. The narcissist may realize, belatedly, that he is ticking – but never what makes him tick.

Sometimes, when the narcissist first learns about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), he really believes he could change (usually, following a period of vehement denial). He fervently wants to. This is especially true when his whole world is in shambles. Time in prison, a divorce, a bankruptcy, a death of a major source of narcissistic supply - are all transforming life crises. The narcissist admits to a problem only when abandoned, destitute, and devastated. He feels that he doesn't want any more of this. He wants to change. And there often are signs that he IS changing. And then it fades. He reverts to old form. The "progress" he had made evaporates virtually overnight. Many therapists refuse to treat narcissists because of the Sisyphean frustration involved.

More here: http://samvak.tripod.com/2.html

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In one of my gambling sprees I have witnessed an event that occurs once a century if at all.

Eli and I were regular patrons of the casinos in Deauville & Divonne, where we befriended the famous actor & unlucky card player Omar Sharif (of "Dr. Zhivago" fame). One day we went with Omar to watch the roulettes. A Saudi player was losing a fortune nonchalantly & off-handedly, surrounded by beautiful corpulent women, possibly his wives.

Then he started to gamble more methodically. He placed bets on specific numbers & lost. On whole rows - & lost. On half the board - and lost. Finally, he placed bets on ALL the numbers bar one. Mysteriously, that number came up. Clearly the roulette was being illegally manipulated with a brake.

Disgusted, having squandered the entire GDP of a small country, he left the table. On his way out, in the very last second, as the croupier was exclaiming "faites vos jeux, markes vos jeux", he threw his remaining assets on a single number - over a million USD (4-5 million of today). And that number came up!

Transfixed, we all - the Saudi included - stared with incredulous astonishment at the decelerating colorful wheel. The croupier froze, mouth agape. All games ceased. A hush descended.

A few seconds later, bulky security personnel converged on the Saudi and his entourage and surrounded him with a firewall of muscles.

The pit manager rushed outside the steaming room to alert the casino manager. The table was unlimited. The casino had to pay out in excess of 40 million USD (c. 200 million in today's money). After a tense interlude the manager arrived and handed the Saudi a check. The Saudi, warily eyeing the hostile setup departed hurriedly.

The manager & two assistants left and then returned carrying a black velvet sheet. Walking backward so as not to gaze at the benighted table, they flung the yarn over it. The table was "dead". It almost killed the casino. Now it was enshrouded funereally. The games resumed where they were interrupted. Only then did we realize that we were holding our collective breath.
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Another poetry prize: winner of the International Open Amateur Poetry Contest.

Here is a poem I wrote about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is replete with many references to the recounting of the crucifixion and resurrection in the four canonical gospels in the New Testament.

Happy Easter to all my Christian Orthodox/Pravoslav friends and loved ones wherever they are:

The Miracle of the Kisses

That night, the cock denied him thrice.
His mother and the whore downloaded him,
nails etched into his palms,
his thorny forehead glistening,
his body speared.
He wanted to revive unto their moisture.
But the nauseating scents of vinegar
and Roman legionnaires,
the dampness of the cave,
and then that final stone... His brain wide open,
supper digested
that was to have been his last.
He missed so his disciples,
the miracle of their kisses.
He was determined not to decompose.

Other poems I wrote: http://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

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Transubstantiation (metousiosis, metabole, and other names) is the Christian doctrine that the bread and wine in the sacrament of the Eucharist are mysteriously transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ - literally, not figuratively, not symbolically, not metaphorically - but IN REALITY.

Technically, therefore, every Eucharist is an act of cannibalism (if we accept that Jesus was a human being). Cannibalism (more precisely, anthropophagy) is an age-old tradition that, judging by a constant stream of flabbergasted news reports, is far from extinct. Much-debated indications exist that our Neanderthal, Proto-Neolithic, and Neolithic (Stone Age) predecessors were cannibals. Similarly contested claims were made with regards to the 12th century advanced Anasazi culture in the southwestern United States and the Minoans in Crete (today's Greece). The Britannica Encyclopedia (2005 edition) recounts how the "Binderwurs of central India ate their sick and aged in the belief that the act was pleasing to their goddess, Kali." Cannibalism may also have been common among followers of the Shaktism cults in India.

Other sources attribute cannibalism to the 16th century Imbangala in today's Angola and Congo, the Fang in Cameroon, the Mangbetu in Central Africa, the Ache in Paraguay, the Tonkawa in today's Texas, the Calusa in current day Florida, the Caddo and Iroquois confederacies of Indians in North America, the Cree in Canada, the Witoto, natives of Colombia and Peru, the Carib in the Lesser Antilles (whose distorted name - Canib - gave rise to the word "cannibalism"), to Maori tribes in today's New Zealand, and to various peoples in Sumatra (like the Batak). Wikipedia numbers among the practitioners of cannibalism the ancient Chinese, the Korowai tribe of southeastern Papua, the Fore tribe in New Guinea (and many other tribes in Melanesia), Aztecs, people of Yucatan, Purchas from Popayan, Colombia, denizens of the Marquesas Islands of Polynesia, and natives of captaincy of Sergipe in Brazil.

Much more here: http://samvak.tripod.com/cannibalism.html

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Asperger's Disorder (renamed in the DSM V Autistic Spectrum Disorder Level 1) is often misdiagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), though evident as early as age 3 (while pathological narcissism cannot be safely diagnosed prior to early adolescence). In both cases, the patient is self-centered & engrossed in a narrow range of interests & activities. Social and occupational interactions are severely hampered & conversational skills (the give and take of verbal intercourse) are primitive. The Asperger's patient body language - eye to eye gaze, body posture, facial expressions - is constricted and artificial, akin to the narcissist's. Nonverbal cues are virtually absent and their interpretation in others lacking.

Yet, the gulf between Asperger's and pathological narcissism is vast.

The narcissist switches between social agility and social impairment voluntarily. His social dysfunctioning is the outcome of conscious haughtiness and the reluctance to invest scarce mental energy in cultivating relationships with inferior and unworthy others. When confronted with potential Sources of Narcissistic Supply, however, the narcissist easily regains his social skills, his charm, and his gregariousness.

Many narcissists reach the highest rungs of their community, church, firm, or voluntary organization. Most of the time, they function flawlessly - though the inevitable blowups and the grating extortion of Narcissistic Supply usually put an end to the narcissist's career and social liaisons.

The Asperger's patient often wants to be accepted socially, to have friends, to marry, to be sexually active, and to sire offspring. He just doesn't have a clue how to go about it. His affect is limited. His initiative - for instance, to share his experiences with nearest and dearest or to engage in foreplay - is thwarted. His ability to divulge his emotions stilted. He is incapable or reciprocating and is largely unaware of the wishes, needs, and feelings of his interlocutors or counterparties.

Much more here: http://samvak.tripod.com/journal72.html