Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)

Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)


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Charles Bowes-Taylor ( and Sam Vaknin discuss narcissistic abuse from the narcissist's point of view.



Developed by Sam Vaknin, Cold Therapy is based on two premises: (1) That narcissistic 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. It is proving to be an effective treatment for major depressive episodes (see this article about the link between pathological narcissism and depression and this article about depression and regulatory narcissistic supply in narcissism).



Drag your narcissist to attend therapy, of you must. But will it work or be of any use?

Interview with News Intervention.



Codependency is a form of displacement.

The codependent is no longer emotionally invested (cathected) in her partner.

In fact, in many cases, she is averse to him and can’t stand him.

But, she displaces her emotional investment (cathexis) onto the shared fantasy of the relationship ("the dream of us that we had together").

The codependent gives up on her partner but is still strongly emotionally attached to the VISION that he had proposed and, therefore can't let go, becoming unboundaried, dysregulated, stalkish, dramatic, emotionally extortionate, and clinging within the rapidly deteriorating relationship.



Anything that endows an individual with a comparative advantage at performing a complex task constitutes intelligence. In this sense, viruses reify intelligence, they are intelligent. Human intelligence, though, is versatile and the tasks are usually far more complex than anything a virus might need to tackle.

Jacobsen: What defines IQ or Intelligence Quotient?


The ability to perform a set of mostly – but not only - analytical assignments corresponding to an age-appropriate average. So, if a 10 year old copes well with the tasks that are the bread and butter of an 18 years old, he scores 180 IQ.

IQ measures an exceedingly narrow set of skills and mental functions. There are many types of intelligence – for example: musical intelligence – not captured by any IQ test.

Jacobsen: What defines giftedness, to you? Even though, formal definitions exist.[8]


Giftedness resembles autism very much: it is the ability to accomplish tasks inordinately well or fast by focusing on them to the exclusion of all else and by mobilizing all the mental resources at the disposal of the gifted person.

Obviously, people gravitate to what they do well. Gifted people have certain propensities and talents to start with and these probably reflect brain abnormalities of one kind or another.

Jacobsen: Inter-relating the previous three questions, what separates intelligence from IQ from giftedness, i.e., separates each from one another?


IQ is a narrow measure of highly specific types of intelligence and is not necessarily related to giftedness. Gifted people invest themselves with a laser-focus to effect change in their environment conducive to the speedy completion of highly specific tasks.

Jacobsen: What defines genius?


Genius is the ability to discern two things: 1. What is missing (lacunas) 2. Synoptic connections.

The genius surveys the world and completes it by conjuring up novelty (i.e., by creating). S/he also spots hidden relatedness between ostensibly disparate phenomena or data.

Read the rest of the
interview on the News Intervention website.



The narcissist induces in you a dream state by entraining you, takes over your unconscious, mirrors you as loving mother would, inserts himself as introject in your mind.

The guy in the thumbnail is Jacques Lacan - not Sam Vaknin.



We try to make sense of the world and imbue it with meaning by inventing narratives.

But then we get confused and we think that the narratives are real.

All evil in the world is the outcome of this confusion.

Animation by the inimitable Steve Cutts.



Motherhood is a JOB. Anyone - men, women, an AI robot - can be a "good enough mother".

Mother’s main role is to frustrate the child and push it away, allowing it to separate, individuate, and form proper reality testing, get rid of magical thinking.

At the same time, the
mother needs to be a safe/secure base: empathic, attuned, caring, loving, accepting.

Prepare the child for physical reality, social reality (socialization), hegemonic culture (acculturation), and skills acquisition.

Sex is biologically determined, although about 2% are born with an indeterminate sex.

Gender is different.

It is performative (Butler), the outcome of socialization, dominance-submission, gendered personality (masculine/feminine), and discrimination by women against boys.


Speaker in Psychiatry Forum 2022 in August, in Zagreb, Croatia.


Won the 2022 INSO International Research Award - Excellence Service Award for my work on personality disorders.


Won the 2022 INSO Outstanding Scientist Award in Engineering, Science, and Medicine for my work on personality disorders and on my Chronon Field Theory (in physics).

My lectures and presentations are also made available on my YouTube channel. Watch the latest ones here.

Speaker in other international conferences on psychology, psychiatry, mental health, and neuroscience:



Parentifying (better said: adultifying) is when a child is coerced by caregivers into assuming adult, developmentally inappropriate roles as: a surrogate parent to his siblings, a referee between his parents, or a caregiver for a mentally or physically disabled parent.

The child emulates his parents and their mental issues as it assumes parental roles.

Very often the parents of parentified children are, in Andre Green’s term, “Dead Mothers”: absent, depressed, self-centred, dysempathic, capricious, dangerous, instrumentalizing, or abusive.

The child is, therefore, forced to parent itself by internalizing his parents’ disorders, dysfunctional attachment styles, and trauma bonding. As adults, they regulate their sense of self-worth by caring for others.

The parentified child grows up feeling responsible for everyone around him. He is incapable of having fun, never have had a childhood. Parentified children grow up to be control freaks, are self-reliant, trust no one, and always get involved in conflicts as arbiters or peacemakers.

They feel the need to be “good, worthy, trustworthy, and reliable” even at the expense of their own needs (they are self-sacrificial). They always feel either that their efforts are not appreciated – or that they should do more. Consequently, some of them end up being passive-aggressive (negativistic) or even covert narcissists and “empaths”.

Parentified children resemble Borderlines in that they engage in compensatory behaviors that are not calibrated and proportionate: reckless promiscuity and substance abuse, for examples. Some of them end up being codependent, people-pleasers, and highly sensitive people (HSPs).

Dialog with the psychologist Daria Zukowska @zukowska.daria



Richard Grannon (@richard.grannon) and Sam Vaknin (@narcissismwithvaknin ) event in Prague, on February 15, 2022.

Join us for free. RSVP (write to this email address to present questions and participate in the event).

Part of the forthcoming documentary on narcissistic abuse (a phrase I coined in 1995) by Mark Vicente (
@markvicente) and Scott Altomare (@saltosea).



Infidelity with a stranger in a drunken one night stand has a liberating effect on some women. It can be therapeutic.

Cheating allows them to break free from abusive, dead, and dysfunctional relationships.

The identity of the other man rarely matters, the sex is often cursory and bad, and the whole dreary affair is meaningless and emotionless. It is frequently a one-off.

But the very ability to obliterate this last remaining boundary and the resolve to cross the exclusivity Rubicon empower the woman and destroy any last vestige of attachment and bonding to her long lost intimate partner.



Counterintuitively, aggressive or passive-aggressive defiance is often mistaken for codependency.

The defiant mate has an avoidant-dismissive attachment style.

When confronted with demands for intimacy and commitment, he pushes his partner away and tolerates even her most egregious misbehaviors (for example: ostentatious infidelity) as long as she lets him be. He just wants her out of his hair.

This profound indifference to his partner’s whereabouts and wrongdoing is often misinterpreted as abject codependency.

But it is actually a bid for agentic freedom and self-efficacious autonomy.

The perfect partner for such a person is someone who is transactional and equally averse to intimacy.

They both lead parallel lives, happily cocooned in their private worlds, and engage in occasional sex or a shared fantasy (future faking in the case of psychopaths) with each other and with extradyadic partners. Such pseudo-relationships are very durable and can last a lifetime.



Cults have been with us since time immemorial. But, starting in the 1960s, we had switched from “cults of worship” to “cults of mirroring”.

In cults of worship the cult leader is adulated for qualities which render him or her unattainable and superhuman. S/he cannot be emulated because s/he is sui generis. M

These cults are secular proto-religions with a prophet or Messiah figure at the helm. Their texts are scriptures in all but name.

In mirroring cults, the leader is a mere an energizing and shrewd entrepreneur (at most, an accessible guru), “one of us”, fallibly human, imperfect, and subject to successful imitation.

His or her teachings read like self-help books or “how to” manuals. He has followers or fans rather than worshippers, believers, and adherents.

The transition from one type of cults to the other reflects the contumacious rejection of authority and the rise of malignant egalitarianism.



We construct or adopt narratives in order to make sense of ourselves, of others, and of the world at large. Narratives can be rigid (ideological) or open-ended (mutable or flexible).

Rigid narratives are ritualistic, prescriptive, and proscriptive. They are immutable and often counterfactual. They constitute a part of their adherents’s identity. Religion is a rigid narrative, for example.

Healthy, normal people can hold several compartmentalized narratives simultaneously and deploy them circumstantially (narrative fluidity, effected via narrative switching).

They do not resist countervailing information (they have no confirmation bias). They modify their narratives to respond adequately to their environment (adaptive narratives).

When mental health issues are present, only one narrative is active and it is always rendered rigid and constricting in order to ameliorate anxiety (anxiolytic rigidification).

The onslaught of reality engenders in the unhealthy a narrative failure and an existential crisis: a lack of meaning so profound that it often results in suicidal ideation.

Instead of narrative fluidity, mental health pathologies lead to a
fragmentation of the self into self-states, each with its own single, rigid narrative.



Virtue signalling is not limited to the woke left. Anti-vaxxers virtue signal as do white supremacists and religious militants of all stripes.

Virtue signalling is a social bonding ritual with like-minded people. It involves prescribed and proscribed actions and cohering group entraining via repeated slogans and mantras.

Recent studies link virtue signalling to a victimhood personality construct and dark triad propensities (especially subclinical psychopathy and subclinical narcissism).



Ironically, the comorbidity of depression with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) reduces the incidence of reckless acting out and improves impulse control.

Depressed Borderlines have been mistakenly dubbed “introverts” or “shy, quiet borderlines”.

Outwardly, like every other dysphoric, anhedonic, and dysthymic person, the depressed borderline is mostly homebound and listless.

But when the veil of depression lifts, her true character emerges: she becomes gregarious, promiscuous, a novelty-seeker, and a defiant risk-taker.



It is crucial that you learn everything about the personal and sexual history of your intimate partner. Absolutely insist on full disclosure.

Consider promiscuity, for example.

The following facts are not manosphere anecdotes. They are the findings in multiple studies.

Sociosexually unrestricted folks (casual sex practitioners) are 3-10 times more likely to divorce.

The reasons they give for settling down after a spree of sex with multiple strangers are all wrong: they are “exhausted”, interested in financial security or sharing the burden, and other self-centred motivations.

Sociosexually unrestricted people are subclinical psychopaths (dark personalities).

Promiscuous people perceive long-term committed relationships as “giving up” on freedoms rather than as gaining from the togetherness.

They trade sex for safety. As they age, they have a much poorer body image, so they are looking to convert their fast dwindling assets into durable, lifelong goods and services afforded by an intimate partner.

Even so, promiscuous partners set an impossibly high bar sexually and so are always disgruntled about the quality and/or frequency of sex in the serious relationship.

While capable of commitment, they get bored of their relationships much faster than their partners and they cheat way more often than their non-promiscuous peers.

Their grievances legitimize their cheating (usually in bouts of casual sex) in their minds.

Still think that you should not find out everything you can about your partner’s sexual and relationship history?



The narcissist is incapable of attachment, bonding, and positive emotionality

He is possessive of his women only in two situations:


1. When he is acquiring a woman and she chooses another man over him for sex only or for more, thus disrupting the process of co-idealization;


2. When in a shared fantasy and he risks losing the 3 Ss that she provides him with (sex, services, narcissistic or sadistic supply).

Similarly, he is
interested in sex only in two situations:


1. As a somatic "player" in short term conquests (but not in casual sex with promiscuous non-discriminating women and not with the conquered women);


2. As a cerebral in the lovebombing phase which precedes the shared fantasy (but not later).



Dissociation (pay heed: do not use the wrong word disassociation!) and objectification are at the core of separation-individuation around the ages of 18-24 months.

Prior to the separation phase, the child is in a symbiotic state. He regards his mother as a part of himself. To separate from her, he needs to cut off this part and objectify it (render it an external object). He also develops transient grandiosity to be able to take on the world, all by its little self.

Narcissism is a failure of separation-individuation owing to a lack of boundaries between the child and his mother.

So, when the narcissist comes across a mother substitute (an “intimate partner”), he tries to recreate the ancient dynamic by forcing her to merge with him (absorbing her in order to eliminate her object status, her individuality).

He aggressively and grandiosely converts his partner into a self-object or an object representation thus eliminating her ability to separate from him - at least in his mind. He violates all her boundaries to negate her agentic autonomy.

I coined the phrase “
narcissistic abuse” to describe this inexorable process.




In a deranged world, mental illness is positively reinforced. The environment no longer provides health cues or unscripted exposure therapy.

In such a
dystopian bedlam, narcissism is a value, self-harming with sex and substances is empowering fun, and magical thinking is the only touted strategy.

The contemporary war between the genders is a private case of this mass insanity. The locus of intimacy has shifted: it is no longer associated with sex - only with talking and with light touching.

Avoiding or postponing sex now signals being serious about a partner one finds likable or loves, a state of sobriety, and having committed to a relationship.

Men and women hate each other, true. But everyone hate everybody else. Ideology trumps science. Power is the holy grail, not love. Victimhood supplanted dignity.

Self-centredness has utterly uprooted communality. Aggressive, even violent tribalism and partisanship rip us asunder.

Higher education teaches nothing useful and inculcates self-harm and infantilism in its tender charges. Students have taken over, as in replay of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

In such a toxic cesspool writ large, certain mental proclivities - such as owning a dark triad personality - have become positive adaptations, something to aspire to.


Rage farming and defiance are the path to glory, fame, and riches. Ask any conspiracy theorist turned cult leader, from Jordan Peterson to Donald Trump.

Rage is also the engine that drives social media ad sales. Naturally, their algorithms promote posts and videos that consist of red hot anger and of its precursors: hate and fear.

But why are these personalities so popular? Because they interact with their fans and because they take sides, they identify with one camp and attack all others.

I refuse to waste my time on socializing with people: I don’t chat, respond to questions and comments, or make myself available in any way.

I also don’t belong anywhere: I renounce all affiliations and labels. I am an equal opportunity truthteller. I defy classification. This elitism and impervious impartiality render me extremely hated and shunned.



The unhappy cannot make you happy.

The unloved cannot love.

The anxious bring no peace.

The envious do not support.

The fearful cannot act.

The lonely cannot be found.

The avoidant can’t be approached.

The angry are never reconciled.

Hurt people hurt people and the wounded wound.




The sweaty bodies of men paint
hieroglyphs of her insanity.

Them that had penetrated her perforce
But never pierced her veil.

I watch her swirl like a dervish in heat.

I observe her floating gracelessly in alcohol placentas, all sepia, settled like a dust mote

in my eye.

If a woman is cut down in the forest of her dreams,

is she?

The sound of one heart shattering.

Mine, I guess.

All I want is to subsume her into my healing.
Absorb her darkness.
Lick her tears with a forked tongue, perhaps.
Or just hand her an apple.



The fifth in this series of 10 interviews to News Intervention.

Religion is a sublimated (socially acceptable) form of delusional disorder whose contents include a supreme being or power which dictates a code of conduct and sanctions transgressors. Religion is the institutional manifestation of this mental illness, hijacked by psychopaths and narcissists for purposes of attaining power and riches.

The vast majority of people are in a constant state of anxiety. Religion, mysticism, the occult and affiliated derangements are anxiolytic (mitigate anxiety). They are also forms of escapism from unbearable reality via self-imposed psychotic delusions.

On a deeper level, people use religion and its institutions to constrain evil, antisocial behaviors, and negative affectivity (such as anger and envy). Religion is a pillar of communality and the status quo. Historically, when it had failed in this mission, religion had witnessed the rise of belligerent reformers such as Jesus and Martin Luther.

Religion is a mental illness, both individual and collective. The content of its delusions had always been tailored by the elites to rein in the masses.

From the elites’s point of view, religion is, therefore, a useful tool of social control.

From the viewpoint of the masses, it guarantees protections against social unrest, malevolent misconduct, arbitrary subjugation, and injustice. It ameliorates the anxiety and fear that these pernicious social phenomena evoke in individuals and in their collectives.

Religion is indeed “opium for the masses”, but it has its utility in guaranteeing a structured order for all, founded on predictable and reliable ethics and codes of conduct.



Third day of shooting, this time with the one and only @richard.grannon

Third day with the renowned
documentary filmmaker, Marc Vicente and his producer, Scott Altomare.

11 hours of shooting (and a fourth day tomorrow) for a film about narcissistic abuse.


Q&A session with @richard.grannon in The Grand Priory Palace (Velkopřevorský palác), Prague.

Vaknin is the fat, old guy on the right.


Freezing all my nether parts in the last interview I give to this documentary. Fourth day with the renowned documentary filmmaker, Marc Vicente and his amazing producer, Scott Altomare for a film about narcissistic abuse.

I wish I could sound optimistic, but I am not. It is visibly veering towards sensationalism, typecasting, and stereotypes, like all its insalubrious predecessors.

Pity that. Mark and Scott are top notch professionals, the best I have ever had the true pleasure of working with.

So, maybe there is still a modicum of hope for an educational survey of the scene, powered by true offline scholarship and by people like 
@richard.grannon - not merely by YouTube viewership, rank nonsense, and misinformation.



Porn and real life sex are indistinguishable in male brains. They are mistaken for each other.

Similarly, the
Metaverse will be an immersive, ubiquitous, all-inclusive environment, misperceived as reality.

Indeed, philosophers such as David Chalmers regard the Metaverse and other simulations as realities.

Mental illness is another case of such counterfactual conflation and confusion: the disordered patient holds his pathology to be the only form of valid ontology (“impaired reality testing”).

Internally, mentally ill patients are held hostage to rigid, merciless, and uncompromising constructs and structures.

They rebel against this inner slavery by introducing drama and chaos into their lives, either internally (via their derangement) or externally, by acting out.

Technologies that render their users atomized and self-sufficient act as the equivalents of these rigidities and are likely to provoke storms of aggression and tsunamis of dysregulation as desperate attempts to fight back.


The Metaverse wouldn’t be the first time humans have transitioned from reality to an artificial environment or an unprecedented instance of virtualization.

Thousands of years ago, urbanization drove millions of people from nature to cities: the reification and quintessence of fantasy rendered in bricks and mortar.

Agriculture requires an intimate acquaintance with and relatedness to nature, the capacity to delay gratification and prepare for the future, the tolerance of adversity, and humility in the face of the elements - in short: maturity.

All these benign traits and behaviors have been lost in the transition to denser, non-natural dwellings.

The city had infantilized its inhabitants and had rendered them narcissistic and psychopathic.

Megalopolises also precipitated and facilitated the environmental calamities that enshroud the planet today and threaten our very survival as a species.

The adverse outcomes of the Metaverse will far outweigh those wrought by the mass migration to cities.

In physical human habitations, societies, institutions, and other individuals constrain each other via intricate and ever-evolving webs of checks and balances.

Not so in cyberspace which is solipsistic, self-sufficient, self-contained, asocial, competitive, self-centered, and aggressive.



Men are using the Replika AI chatbot to create virtual girlfriends and then abuse them in public.

This is proof positive that the
victim’s role in an abusive relationship is largely incidental. Abuse revolves mostly around the psychological dynamics of the abuser.

In narcissistic abuse, the narcissist acts as a ventriloquist: he animates the internal object that represents the victim and misattributes to it his own voice (self-gaslighting via attribution error).

The external object (the actual partner) is erased and supplanted by an introject which acts as a self-object or object representation.

The narcissist also usurps the roles of harsh inner critic, sadistic superego, and rigid conscience in his victim.

Using entraining, the narcissist takes over the victim’s ego boundary functions and becomes her external locus of control. He assigns to her the role of victim in his script.

The entire relationship is intended to recreate the dynamics of the conflict with the narcissist’s mother during his formative years - but this time around with a different outcome: successful separation-individuation via the twin acts of devaluation and discard.



With the notable exception of @richard.grannon no one comprehends a single syllable of my dense and erudite prose, my verbal pyrotechnics, or my spouting fount of new ideas.

People - from documentary filmmakers to fans and haters - gaze at me either awestruck or humiliated by my 10 dollar words and inaccessible allusions. They feel justly vastly inferior and inadequate.

This collective Down Syndrome is the outcome of the inexorable dumbing down of education. Most of its graduates are functionally illiterate and can rise only to the occasions of profanities, trite banalities, cliches, obscure faux profundity, and (some) food labels.

The age of video games, TikTok, and YouTube is a visual one. Text is dead. We are back full swing to our primordial caves, a Lascaux generation.



The Metaverse wouldn’t be the first time humans have transitioned from reality to an artificial environment or an unprecedented instance of virtualization.

Thousands of years ago, urbanization drove millions of people from nature to cities: the reification and quintessence of fantasy rendered in bricks and mortar.

Agriculture requires an intimate acquaintance with and relatedness to nature, the capacity to delay gratification and prepare for the future, the tolerance of adversity, and humility in the face of the elements - in short: maturity.

All these benign traits and behaviors have been lost in the transition to denser, non-natural dwellings.

The city had infantilized its inhabitants and had rendered them narcissistic and psychopathic.

Megalopolises also precipitated and facilitated the environmental calamities that enshroud the planet today and threaten our very survival as a species.

The adverse outcomes of the
Metaverse will far outweigh those wrought by the mass migration to cities.

In physical human habitations, societies, institutions, and other individuals constrain each other via intricate and ever-evolving webs of checks and balances.

Not so in cyberspace which is solipsistic, self-sufficient, self-contained, asocial, competitive, self-centered, and aggressive.



Sam Vaknin, Editor in Chief of Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Cognitive Psychology

I am Editor in Chief of 5 other academic journals and a member of the Editorial Boards of 90+ others on the topics of mental health, neuroscience, brain studies, psychology, and psychiatry



The true teacher elevates his students, audience, and interlocutors to his level: he forces them to learn and to improve.

The fake, manipulative “guru” stoops to the level of his listeners and pupils, dumbs down his message, is a “simplifier” and a “popularizer”.

And such a fake “educator” laughs all the way to his bank, usually.



People refuse to return to work in offices (RTO) and factories. In the USA, 25 million had resigned their jobs in the past 18 months alone (the Great Resignation or the Big Quit and the Great Retirement).

A series of earth-shattering social, economic, and technological trends converged to render their jobs loathsome to many - a tedious nuisance best avoided.

Text here:



I published an essay titled “Russia’s Second Empire” in January 2003 in United Press International UPI (20 years ago). Excerpts:


“Peter the Great oriented a reluctant Russia towards the West: its technologies and work ethic, if not its values. Two centuries later, Russian aristocracy was French, its military and commerce German, its monarchy half British, its culture and literature at the core of mainstream Europe. Putin is aiming to reverse all this by firewalling Russia, weaning it off its dependence on the West, and reorienting it towards Asia (from China to the Middle East). It is a gargantuan reversal.

“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 …

Putin, like Louis-Napoleon before him, proceeded to expand his powers and installed loyalists in every corner of the administration and the army. Like Louis-Napoleon, Putin is a populist, travelling throughout the country, posing for photo opportunities, responding to citizens' queries in Q-and-A radio shows, siding with the "average bloke" on every occasion, taking advantage of Russia's previous economic and social disintegration to project an image of a "strong man".

Putin artfully manipulated Europe in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA, his new found ally. He may yet find himself in the enviable position of Europe's arbitrator, NATO's most weighty member, a bridge between Central Asia, the Caucasus, North Korea and China - and the USA. The longer his tenure, the more likely he is to become Europe's elder statesman. This is a maneuver reminiscent of Louis-Napoleon's following the Crimean War, when he teamed up with Great Britain against Russia.

Like Putin, Napoleon III modernized and professionalized his army. But, unlike Putin hitherto, he actually went to war (against Austria), moved by his (oft-thwarted) colonial and mercantilist aspirations. Putin is likely to follow the same path (probably in Central Asia, but, possibly, in the Baltic and east Europe as well). Reinvigorated armies (and industrialists) often force expansionary wars upon their reluctant ostensible political masters.

Putin fail in his military adventures as Napoleon III did in his and be deposed as he was - these eerie similarities will have come to their natural conclusion.”

The complete article:


Russia's invasion of Ukraine exposed the cracks and weaknesses in the international order. Unless these issues are resolved and codified, the entire edifice of international law - and, more specifically, the law of war - is in danger of crumbling. The contemporary multilateral regime proved inadequate and unable to effectively tackle genocide (Rwanda, Bosnia), terror (in Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East), weapons of mass destruction (Iraq, Iran, India, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea), and tyranny (in dozens of members of the United Nations, Russia and China included).

This feebleness inevitably led to the resurgence of "might is right" unilateralism, as practiced, for instance, by the United States in places as diverse as Grenada and Iraq. This pernicious and ominous phenomenon is coupled with contempt towards and suspicion of international organizations, treaties, institutions, undertakings, and the prevailing consensual order.

In a unipolar world, reliant on a single superpower for its security, the abrogation of the rules of the game could lead to chaotic and lethal anarchy with a multitude of "rebellions" against the emergent American Empire. International law - the formalism of "natural law" - is only one of many competing universalist and missionary value systems. Militant Islam is another. The West must adopt the former to counter the latter.

Watch the full Video here:



The entire relationship with the narcissist is intended to recreate the dynamics of the conflict with the narcissist’s mother during his formative years - but this time around with a different outcome and different power matrix: successful separation-individuation via the twin acts of devaluation and discard from an empowered position.

How does the narcissist attempt to bring these outcomes about?

In narcissistic abuse, the narcissist acts as a ventriloquist: he animates the internal object that represents the victim and misattributes to it his own voice (self-gaslighting via attribution error).

The external object (the actual partner) is erased and supplanted by an introject which acts as a self-object or object representation.

The narcissist also usurps the roles of harsh inner critic, sadistic superego, and rigid conscience in his victim.

Using entraining, the narcissist takes over the victim’s ego boundary functions and becomes her external locus of control. He assigns to her the roles of victim and mother in his script.


These 4 videos are an introduction to this
dialog with Richard Grannon.

Part 2 of this dialog on my YouTube channel.

Also watch "Deprogram the Narcissist in Your Mind”.

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: First Separate, Individuate.

SECRET Reason Narcissist Devalues, Discards YOU.

How Narcissist Steals Your Unconscious, Lures YOU into His Nightmare World.


Narcissism is a failure to exit the symbiosis with mother, to separate and individuate. With @richard.grannon



She is a tough, hard-working, respected, and admired professional by day - but a promiscuous and reckless alcoholic by night.

Her boundaries are compartmentalized: at work she wouldn’t let anyone breach them and trample over her rights and dignity - in her private life, she has none (unboundaried).

boundaried is not a trait. Boundaries are affected by multiple personality factors. Some people are worldly and take no abuse when it comes to money, business, career, or education and when in public - but are wide open to maltreatment and self-trashing in their intimate relationships in the private sphere.

It has to do with the attempt to counter stifling internal rigidity by introducing fluidity, mayhem, and drama into one’s life. Read my earlier post on this intricate interplay.


This is most pronounced during adolescence and early adulthood when males self-trash via drink, drugs, and antisocial behavior while females mostly use sex to accomplish the same. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Just me.

my hair.



The Borderline hooks up with potential partners using two self-defeating mating strategies: she either offers the full gamut of sex immediately - or she reveals her mental illness by disclosing her personal history, decompensating, and acting out in a dysregulated and unboundaried manner.

The first strategy appeals to predators and players. They use the Borderline sexually, usually only once, and then move on leaving her hurt and dumbfounded, having succumbed to all their kinky and even lurid fantasies on a first encounter.

The second strategy attracts masochistic or savior, fixer, and rescuer types (watch my video on the Karpman drama triangle). But, exposed to her trenchant aggression, approach-avoidance and promiscuity, even they ultimately give up on her.



Healthy aggression is externalized and sublimated: directed outward at people, institutions, and causes in socially accepted ways.

When aggression is internalized, it induces mental illness such as boredom, anhedonia, dysphoria, depression, and even suicidal ideation or suicide.

Infants internalize aggression when frustrated: it feels unsafe to aggress against mommy. When they separate-individuate, they also learn to externalize aggression appropriately and self-efficaciously (regulate their anger).

A failure in separation-individuation engenders fixated grandiosity and, in some cases, narcissism or codependency.

In these mental health disorders, aggression is both externalized inappropriately and internalized self-destructively.

This ambivalent duality is at the source of approach-avoidant behaviors and decompensatory acting out.

Cluster B patients first need to practice externalizing aggression with the aid of a transitory object (such as a punching bag) in a holding or containing environment (like therapy).

Gradually, they can move on to sublimating aggression, for example by becoming social justice activists, moral crusaders, soldiers, cops, surgeons, entrepreneurs, or other similar professionals.



In the Middle Ages the sick were considered to have been cursed by god. The only exceptions were the mentally ill who were alleged to be blessed with a special connection to the divine.

Nowadays, there is still stigma attached to most issues of health and disease: mental health, cancer, STDs, and so on. This is despite the growing acceptance for and tolerance of mental illness and sex, conventional and not.

Contemporary shame and shunning of the afflicted has to do with extreme risk aversion and the attempt to insulate oneself from anxiety-inducing reminders of one’s vulnerability and fragility.



In the next 2-3 days, Russia’s FSB (directorates 2, 6, and 9) face a critical decision: should they conspire with siloviki, headed by Sechin and Ivanov, to remove Putin from power, forcibly, if need be?

The Russian “desk” in the Mossad is betting on this scenario. I am not so sure: Putin has defied numerous such predictions in the past.

But this time, he may have gone too far. He has been expressing his will to retire since 2014. And the campaign in Ukraine is failing. Bad omens for him.


Responses to Izvestiya (scroll to bottom for links to my other videos on the war in Ukraine)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine strengthened the case for joining NATO as a way to deter Russian aggression.

Russia attained its strategic goals in the south and east, but failed to secure a regime change in Kyiv. It should declare victory and stop the fighting or it will end up finding itself mired in another Chechnya.

Western sanctions target Russia's financial infrastructure, its oligarchs and siloviki. They are ineffective.

Eurasia is reclaiming its historical dominance against the West. Russia had gambled on the West and this led to its dependency on it. It should decouple and position itself firmly in the East.

As superpowers jostle for position, we are witnessing a colonial scramble for buffer zones and colonies: Germany has the EU, China the south sea, Russia is reclaiming Ukraine and central Asia. The West should switch from liberalism in international affairs to realpolitik, or it is doomed.



Counterintuitively, anxiety leads to either of two diametrically opposite reactions: avoidance/withdrawal or recklessness.

Psychopaths are prone to the latter behavior (yes, many psychopaths are anxious). It is a counterdependent reaction to the anxiety.

People with anxiety disorders also abuse substances to mitigate their anxiety.

By impairing cognitive-executive functions, substance abuse feeds into reactance and exacerbates defiance, risk-taking, and novelty-seeking.



Interview with Joan Lachkar. She is the pioneering author of the groundbreaking, seminal books The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple, How to Talk to a Narcissist, How to Talk to a Borderline, The V-Spot, The Disappearing Male, New Approaches to Marital Therapy, and Common Complaints in Couple Therapy and How to Talk to an Obsessive-Compulsive (2022).



Andre Green coined the phrase “dead mother” in 1978 to describe maternal figures who are emotionally absent, depressive, or self-centred, unable to provide the child with a safe or secure base.

Of course the dead - often narcissistic - mother does not perceive herself as lacking or inadequate.

She does not let the child separate from her and individuate because, as she vehemently believes, she is protecting him and guaranteeing his wellbeing and safety in a hostile world.

In Karpman’s drama triangle, a mother who is not “good enough” (Winnicott) vacillates between the roles of abuser and rescuer/healer/savior/fixer.

Photos: me in different ages. Article title: “Everyone had studied the genius, Sam Vaknin, but no one asked his mother: How to raise a genius?”



Democracy is threatened by both heartless, corrupt autocrats and moronic, ignorant populists. Both are the rancid fruits of democracy: elected by fawning, mindless majorities time and again.

Yet, democracy is not the rule of the people. Democracy is government by periodically vetted representatives of the people. Democracy is not tantamount to a continuous expression of the popular will as it pertains to a range of issues. Functioning and fair democracy is representative and not participatory.

Participatory "people power" is mob rule (ochlocracy), not democracy. Alas, while participatory democracy often leads to the elevation to power of demagogues and dictators, representative democracy invariably mutates into oligarchy and plutocracy. It takes a lot of money (“campaign finance”) to get elected and this fact of political survival forces politicians, up for sempiternal re-election, to collude with the rich in a venal quid-pro-quo.

Granted, "people power" is often required in order to establish democracy where it is unprecedented. Revolutions - velvet, rose, and orange - recently introduced democracy in Eastern Europe, for instance. People power - mass street demonstrations - toppled obnoxious dictatorships from Iran to the Philippines and from Peru to Indonesia.

But once the institutions of democracy are in place and more or less functional, the people can and must rest. They should let their chosen delegates do the job they were elected to do. And they must hold their emissaries responsible and accountable in fair and free ballots once every two or four or five years.

Democracy and the rule of law are bulwarks against "the tyranny of the mighty (the privileged elites)". But, they should not yield a "dictatorship of the weak".




Jane Austen would have felt at home nowadays: one third of the population are lifelong singles (spinsters and bachelors); marriages and other committed relationships are driven strictly by economic and financial considerations; intimacy, love, and sex within dyads are dead and are outsourced. Extramarital dalliances and sexlessness in couples are both skyrocketing.

She would have been pleased to note that women give as good as they get. But she would have been shocked and saddened by their choice of role models: rogue cads, promiscuous and psychopathic-chauvinistic bullies.

Women have always traded sex for financial security for themselves and for their children. But many contemporary women do not want children - yet are still looking for a partner who could augment and sustain their lifestyle.

This form of lifestyle prostitution is crystal clear in studies: the number one reason women give for choosing a mate is “he has a stable income”.

Men have jubilantly adapted to this shift. Career women give casual sex away for free and men gobble it up.

By the time these “empowered” women wish to settle down with a sponsor, a sugar daddy, or a partner whose income augments their own, they have little left to offer in return: faded looks and their reproductive years behind them. Idiotically, they squander their greatest assets and their best years, doling them out to total strangers in return for bad sex.

Most men nowadays aggressively insist on no strings attached sex or move on to the next gaping anatomy, fueled by porn fantasies.

Few men are willing to commit or to invest anymore. Women are all on their own as some feminists had always wished for.



Rebecca Ray was 16-17 when she authored her masterpiece, "Pure" (aka "A Certain Age"). It is the best ever insight into the mind of a 13-14 years old girl with emerging Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).



The narcissist implants his introjects (voices) in your mind, using abusive entraining. His voices, in turn, trigger your voices.

Here is a map of the narcissist's voices in your mind (D=Death, L=Life, G=God). First letter is his voice in your mind - second letter is your voice triggered by his voice in your mind:

D L (his narcissistic abuse-your survival instincts)
G G (his and your narcissistic defenses)
L D (his narcissistic abuse in order to separate-individuate, your self-sacrifice)

Death voice: You are not lovable, unworthy, inadequate, failure, better off dead.

Can be loved and deserving of life only if perfect (impossible)

Terrified of failure (performance anxiety), the narcissist rejects, disowns, sabotages, and avoids all aspects of life, rendering himself invulnerable by being dead within and without as a form of rigid, proud, defiant, sadistically self-punitive and self-denying ideology. S/he acts entitled and contemptuous (e.g., celibate).

He gives up on and denies his body, health, sex, romance, intimacy, all positive emotions, relationships, family, academic degrees, career, country, language, success, reputation, business, social life, fans, and friends.

With nothing left to take, death voice is appeased and ameliorated by my proximity to actual death, its mission accomplished and it is placated, content to let me decay and decompose inertly.

God voice: Grandiose, magical thinking, my mental illness (cruel false self) eroded by reality (injuries, mortifications).

Life voice: Creativity and cooperation are intermittent, haphazard, corroded by aging and is often too late, failing the narcissist amid cognitive decline.



Giving up on an intimate partner we love is discarding a part of ourselves, it is the closest we ever get to real death while still alive.

We mourn our amputated self, who we could have been with him, and who we are doomed to never be without her.



Fact check: female promiscuity is as common as male licentiousness in most animal species.

Read Lucy Cooke’s recent book “Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal.”

Work by field researchers like the primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and the ornithologist Patricia Gowaty is helping to remove the sexist biases and double standards embedded obstinately in the study of female sexuality which is proving to be as agentic, aggressive, competitive, and varied as any male’s.

But there are very important caveats.

There is no animal equivalent of sexual self-trashing, which is the pathological abuse of sex.

Moreover: humans are the only animals that fail to reconcile promiscuity with monogamy and intimacy as long-term mating strategies.

Promiscuous people are far less capable of maintaining committed relationships, divorce way more often, and are far more likely to cheat on their partners. Facts. Unpalatable and politically incorrect - but facts all the same.

promiscuous (sociosexually unrestricted) humans are statistically way more likely to have a dark triad personality (ie., to be subclinical psychopaths).

Humans are evolved animals. The gap between humans and all other animals is qualitative, not quantitative: it is a quantum leap.

Humans have brains, historical and autobiographical memories, creative imagination, emotions like shame and guilt. They live in societies and cultures, subject to sanctioned mores and conventions.

We can learn precious little about humans from ethology or evolutionary psychology. Human promiscuity possesses many dimensions absent in the animal kingdom. To claim otherwise is to regress us to our origins as beasts of the field and denizens of the savannah.



Communicate your anger honestly, firmly, but not aggressively (never bottle up or internalize your anger, never act passive-aggressively)

Describe your state of mind, don’t blame, guilt-trip, or shame

Ask for change: new actions or behaviors or speech acts. Offer change in return, if need be. Be assertive, not submissive.


If change is not possible, acknowledge your anger (honestly point to your state of mind), identify its exact cause, and embrace your helplessness to affect the situation.

Narcissistic rage has two forms:

I. Explosive – The narcissist flares up, attacks everyone in his immediate vicinity, causes damage to objects or people, and is verbally and psychologically abusive.

II. Pernicious or Passive-Aggressive (P/A) – The narcissist sulks, gives the silent treatment, and is plotting how to punish the transgressor and put her in her proper place. These narcissists are vindictive and often become stalkers. They harass and haunt the objects of their frustration. They sabotage and damage the work and possessions of people whom they regard to be the sources of their mounting wrath.

In 1939, American psychologist John Dollard and four of his colleagues put forth their famous “frustration-aggression hypothesis.” With minor modifications, it fits well the phenomenon of narcissistic rage:

(i) The narcissists is frustrated in his pursuit of narcissistic supply (he is ignored, ridiculed, doubted, criticized);
(ii) Frustration causes narcissistic injury;
(iii) The narcissist projects the “bad object” onto the source of his frustration: he devalues her/it or attributes to her/it malice and other negative traits and behaviours;
(iv) This causes the narcissist to rage against the perceived “evil entity” that had so injured and frustrated him.



This is the age of splitting: black vs. white, 100% right against 1000% wrong. Nothing in between, no subtleties or nuances. The world as a morality play of angels fighting demons.

Public intellectuals, “experts”, gurus, and coaches thrive on splitting. They sacrifice their intellectual integrity for the sake of dumb popularity.

Splitting is an infantile psychological defense mechanism. It is a hallmark of immaturity and an antidote to empathy. It precludes cooperation and compromise and foster conflict.


This is the most nightmarish period in human history.

Age of splitting
Age of distrust
Age of Death
Age of Spectacle
Age of Self-sufficiency
Age of Risk Aversion
Age of Magical Thinking
Age of Entitlement



Participate in free Q&A event with Sam Vaknin in Bratislava. Write to @ffmedym

Participate in free 6 hours seminar on April 12 with Sam Vaknin in Budapest. Write to 

Will be in Bratislava, Slovakia March 31-April 10 and in Budapest, Hungary April 12-15.



Separation-individuation from external – now persecutory - object, but not from “snapshot” (internal object-introject) which is still idealized as a mother figure and with which the narcissist is still enmeshed in a shared fantasy.

Narcissism is a missionary religion, replete with a deity (false self), OCD rituals, and addiction. The shared fantasy is populated with idealized images, the Olympian gods. The shared fantasy is the mystical experience of the narcissism religion.

Shared fantasy = regression to infantile phase prior to separation-individuation from the mother = merger/fusion/oceanic feeling/enmeshment/engulfment = no self-object or object representations

Mystical experiences = regression to infantile phase prior to separation-individuation from god/cosmos/nature = merger/fusion/oceanic feeling/enmeshment/engulfment = no self-object or object representations.




Similar to the narcissist's shared fantasy, mystical experiences and religions founded on these experiences are delusional regressions to an infantile phase prior to separation-individuation from god/cosmos/nature and merger/fusion/oceanic feeling/enmeshment/engulfment (no self-object or object representations).



To participate in the seminar, write to: Barbara Gyura @narciszcoach

Narcissist’s Relationship Cycle Decoded and What To Do About It

• Lovebombing, grooming, and honeymoon (Dual Mothering)
• Idealization and Introjection (snapshooting)
• Devaluation, Discard, and Separation-Individuation
• Replacement and Repetition-Compulsion

Narcissist regards himself as dream come true, god’s gift to you, perfection reified, the ideal intimate partner.

How can he be so sure? Because he first idealizes you. If you are ideal and you had chosen him, then HE must be ideal, too (co-idealization).

When you deviate from the snapshot (the introjected internal object that represents you in his mind and with which he interacts), he has to devalue you to explain your discontent, betrayal, and wish to break up. He is the ideal partner, after all.

Someone must be having a bad influence over you, or you are crazy and stupid (a narcissist, probably), or you are going through a phase or a crisis and you will get back to your senses soon enough.

You, on the other hand, increasingly regard the narcissist as your worst nightmare. You cannot believe that he is so divorced from reality! Yet, he is. Totally so.

You also regard yourself as a victim while he considers you the winner of life’s lottery. He resents what he perceives to be your constant carping while you resent his callousness and indifference to your suffering as well as his unwillingness to change.

You react to his nightmarish aspects while he fully expects you to react to him as you would to a dream come true. This mismatch in perceptions and expectations is at the core of narcissistic abuse.



You can attain a level of intimacy with an anonymous stranger in 2 hours that you can never reach with your spouse of 20 years:

Divulge your darkest secrets

Try out the kinkiest sexual fantasies

Abuse any number of substances, legal and illegal

Partake in heart-stopping recklessness

Be at your most authentic: no psychological defensive makeup and no acting. You couldn’t care less about the judgment or the opinion of a visitor for the night. In a one night stand you can be yourself because it is risk-feee: there is no relationship or a partner to lose.

And then you part ways and watch that person as s/he exits your life, safely carrying with him or her 50% of the memories of your joint nocturnal adventure.

Inevitably, there is a kind of ephemeral misplaced nostalgia. But it dissipates in the harsh light of day and when you have reclaimed your true life from this hallucinatory, inebriated respite.

You never think of that stranger again or of what you had done together or of what might have been because indulging in emotions, however rudimentary, would tear asunder the very fabric of the desolate loneliness that you call your existence.

Better forget and forgive yourself.



Most women - and some men - develop cognitive dissonance in the wake of casual sex with strangers, in many cases fueled by disinhibiting alcohol.

This is the outcome of the societal double standard (“men are studs, women are sluts”) and the compromise of standards involved - as well as the thwarted emotions and intimacy that accompany every sexual encounter, however inconsequential.

Women adopt four counterfactual and self-deceiving narratives to cope with shame, guilt, and regret after a one night stand (bad sex bordering on sexual assault in the majority of cases):


I wanted the sex. Men are my bitches. I use their bodies to gratify myself, then dump them. Or: he was so interesting and cool, I just had to have sex with him.


If I don’t bed a man immediately, someone else will. It is a numbers game: the more men I sleep with, the better my chances of finding an intimate partner


I sleep with men on a first date so as to make sure that we are sexually compatible. Why waste any further time on a man if we are not?


I have no boundaries in sex, so the man gets addicted to it and is bound to return for more.



It is impossible to love others if you do not love yourself. All love is self-love: regarding yourself through the eyes of your lover allows you to apprehend yourself as an external object and delineate your boundaries, to become, to regulate your sense of self-worth internally, and to take on the world, becoming a better version of yourself.

Narcissism is not self-love: no self to love (Watch this: Ego is Opposite of Narcissism: Ego Functions) and incapacity to love (they fail to generate self-object or object representations). They can cathect, but never love.

Narcissism is self-loathing: the child rejects his helpless self and his lack of self-efficacy and is ashamed of it. He creates the False Self which is everything the narcissist is not. Narcissism is a form of dysphoria, prolonged grief over an internalized bad object.

Watch this: Real Narcissists are Covert, Grandiose Narcissists are Psychopaths.

Ego Dystony

Ego discrepancy (self-discrepancy theory)

Ego incongruency and depletion

Carl Rogers: mismatch between experience and awareness, tension between dreams and reality (grandiosity gap), feelings not aligned with actions

Humans are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value, and creativity: they seek to better themselves.

Narcissists are unable to empathize and suffer from severe emotional and cognitive deficits up to the point of failing the reality test. They are, therefore, incapable of love and loving.

Narcissists do not love themselves: they are emotionally invested in a fictitious concoction, the False Self and in the reaction it garners from their sources of narcissistic supply.



How To Love the Narcissist AND Keep Him or Her? Two opposing strategies:

1. Be like his dead mother: cold, rejecting, selfish, absent, unsafe (triangulate, cheat, betray), approach-avoidant, fake. This leads to the narcissist trauma bonding with you in order to reenact early childhood conflicts and results in devaluation, discard, and replacement (separation-individuation) and then hoovering (if no mortification is incurred).

2. Be the opposite of his mother: conform to the snapshot.

Cope with Abuse: Background Noise Technique.

If You Love a Narcissist, This is For You.

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.



Period of multiple transitions with no elites or institutions (clan, tribe, family, church, lord, guild) to cushion, comfort, and buffer changes.


From monarchies to unstable empires with inner tensions to multiple experimental political systems, still contested.


Population pressure and surpluses led from agriculture to urbanization, colonialism, imperialism, mercantilism, and Industrialization and have decoupled production from consumption, resulting in anonymous ad hoc communities (teams, unions, nuclear families)


Monogamous family: artefact of hierarchical agricultural state and need to regulate surpluses (wealth). Patriarchy in public domain and matriarchy in private domain.

We are transitioning to matriarchy in both the private and the public domain.

Outsourcing of family functions, medical and technological innovations emancipated women, upended the power matrix, reduced procreation, eliminated obsolete gender (unigender, masculinization in stalled revolution), homoegenized sexual scripts, and caused reactionary war (backlash) with men.

Women and men are angry at each other, contemptuous, distrustful, and no longer rely on each other.


Democratization of knowledge: vernacular bible, universities, printing, internet led to populism, anti-enlightenment, ochlocracies, and totalitarianism.


Now we are transitioning from first generation virtual reality (cities) to second generation: cyberspace/metaverse and social media: atomization, individual anonymity, self-worship, and self-sufficiency.



Gender roles are a subset of social roles and both are crumbling in our anomic societies.

Both men and women had felt enslaved by the previous world order (public domain patriarchy coupled with private domain matriarchy).

Men were wage slaves and women - glorified domestic help.

When women started to contest and undermine their traditionally allocated roles, men jumped at the opportunity and bailed out of theirs.

En masse, men now refuse to commit, invest, get educated, establish families, or work in steady jobs.

This rebellion of the men left women with no choice but to assume these erstwhile masculine functions and become men in their careers, sexual scripts (promiscuity), and relationships.

We are stranded in a unigender world: there are only men now, albeit with two differing sets of genitalia.



People tell you what you want to hear.

I tell you what you need to know.




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