Tag Archives: peer support

Demisexuality: Just When You Thought They’d Run Out Of Imagination

Always keen to put a new label on perfectly natural aspects  of being human, progressives have come up with a term for those who associate sex with an emotional connection, feeling attracted to others only after getting to know them.

It’s almost like arguing that the inclination towards mindless sex is the norm and involving one’s intellect or emotions places a person within a sexual minority. In fact, they seem to be arguing that by always involving the brain it is not pure attraction, but a half-assed one. And yes, I am aware that this theory refers to instincts only and not to any resulting behaviour.

Regardless, placing a watermark on perfectly understandable variations in human instincts is absurd; it is yet another strain of the identity politics fever spreading through the west faster than the plague.

First of all, men and women experience attraction differently, men being more visually-oriented and more quickly aroused. While admitting some people might only experience it at a physical level,  attraction generally involves a variety of factors for both sexes, such as the vibe a person emits, which is directly linked with their personality. Picturing oneself in a sexual situation naturally entails perceiving the possibility of a connection, of a positive and pleasant interaction. It’s difficult to picture that with someone who is incredibly smug, for instance.

Just as attraction decreases for intellectual or emotional reasons in some people (let’s take the response to a great looking guy with a lovely swastika tattoo), in others it increases as they bond with their friends or partners. There is nothing strange about that. The attempt to quantify something so vague as the way people respond to each other, given the complex nature of every individual’s life, is a pointless one.

Having cleared that aspect, other progressive concepts pop out of the woodwork  to confront dissenters, namely the allies of the demisexual community and their activism.

Can someone explain to me why being slightly different than others – again, a very normal expression of diversity to date – requires resources, allies, support and activism? Where exactly is the problem in these individuals’ lives? How are they being oppressed, as to require others to stand up for them in an organised manner?

“Coming out as demisexual” sounds incredibly ridiculous. While coming out as gay or bisexual makes sense before your family sees you kissing Bob instead of Jenny, what in the world is the point of explaining the ins and outs of your arousal to your relatives and friends? Whose business is it except your own how soon into the relationship you get a hard on in your partner’s company? The next thing you know, you’ll feel inclined to describe your favourite positions at the dinner table. You might even feel morally obligated, as to not deprive others of the needful education you can impart, and yourself of the imperious need to express every facet of your personality.

“Children usually figure out who they’re attracted to at an early age, even if they don’t want to act on it just yet, and children as young as 10 may have crushes and experience sexual attraction.If a child is not too young to adopt heterosexual as a label, then they’re not too young to adopt demisexual.” (same source)

Can I just say this is absolutely fucked up? First of all, people don’t adopt heterosexual as a label; most only come across it when finding out about other categories. Secondly, this “demisexual” label would presumably come as a result of someone analysing how they have felt for years; you can’t possibly expect a child to have enough experience to embrace that. The mere fact that attraction involves bonding implies they have had such bonds in the past and have reacted in the same manner; that certainly does not apply to children. In most cases I trust the teenager identifying as such may be a late developer, excessively shy, inhibited by the opposite sex etc. None of that is weird and needs to be permanent.

“Also note that asexuality is recognized as valid in the DSM-V, the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic tool.” (same source)

Recognised as valid in the DSM…? And that’s a good thing? “Valid” is a positive word. “Disorder” isn’t.

Speaking of legitimacy. Apparently, this is how the term was first created. By a member of an asexuality-based forum, in 2006, to be made popular in 2008 by another forum member, both referring to their personal experiences. Ever since, it has apparently remained in the community. Hence there really is no science behind it. None at all.

“Demisexuals are not actively persecuted on the same level as gays and lesbians…”

You cannot talk about the persecution of a group which was recently invented/ perpetuated by lobbyists in need of something to do. There is no such thing as a legitimate group, formed and oppressed based on how soon or they want to have sex with their partners. Who knows or cares about that part of an individual’s life? Even if the label had some real basis, these people would not be publicly identifiable, in order to claim any kind of oppression.

The only way for others to EVER know one identifies as demisexual is for them to advertise it themselves. Again, letting others know about being gay or lesbian has the purpose of being able to display affection in public, possibly get married etc. It is important for others to accept that, in the context of it being in their faces constantly. Whereas the existence and frequency of one’s sex acts will not, therefore making the announcement redundant.

The only certainty is that the trend of creating new labels won’t stop anytime soon, by the looks of it.

Later Edit

It makes sense to continue this post with the rebuttal of a video posted by someone who, without identifying as demisexual, argues for the legitimacy of the term, as well as the unkindness of those who dispute it, out of some presumed reactionary stubbornness.

If I may, I’ll respond to some direct quotes from the video:

What I hear when people talk like this is that they want to limit other people’s ability to communicate (…)

This claim suggests that by disputing it, some want to (or can) actively stop interested parties from using  it, discussing it as much as they please among themselves and putting out whatever  information they deem correct about it. However, expressing a negative opinion is nowhere near wanting to censor the initial one. The person in question might have said  that this terminology should not be officially adopted, akin to the truckloads of other Tumblr-isms. Moreover, it seems it is the creator of the video who wishes to silence skeptics by presenting their skepticism as direct aggression.

What I hear instead is the skewed impression SJWs have regarding their ability to communicate freely. It seems it is common for them to think that when their theories or claims are met with invalidation, they are effectively being silenced. Therefore, the only way for them to serenely carry out their activism is for everyone to agree (or at least not vocally disagree) with their stance.

No matter how little is has anything to do with them, certain types of people see or hear a word they don’t understand, like “demisexual”, immediately squawk about its uselessness and somehow spin over to screaming “you’re not oppressed” and “you think you’re a special snowflake.”

Issuing such an accusation entails understanding, at least partially, what proponents of this label mean by it. One cannot claim the approach comes out of nowhere; equally, one cannot claim, unless they are disingenuous, that there isn’t a full blown epidemic of artificial labels in the name of which youngsters claim to be oppressed beyond their level of endurance. It’s mostly hysterical millennials latching on to these labels, pronouns and demands for special treatment.

When you say demisexual people don’t need a word because they’re not oppressed, you’re suggesting the only reason to name an experience is to claim special rights.

Again, it is disingenuous to argue that there is no precedent motivating that assertion. It’s not just any type of experience, but the claim to have identified yet another sexual orientation, besides those which it actually makes sense to differentiate. Unfortunately, once established and vocal, sexual minorities tend to be very aggressive in terms of lobbying.

When you’re saying that demisexual people are using a label because they wanna seem special, you’re suggesting that their orientation is about you and about getting attention from you.(…) Very self-centred of you, isn’t it?

I’d love to hear about their need to involve the community at large into their business in the first place, if neither privilege (special rights) seeking nor attention seeking is involved. Their orientation certainly is not about me/ us/ people who do not identify as such; however, the public dialogue involves both sides. And obviously, they initiated this dialogue. There are many groups out there based on a shared trait, which don’t feel the need to “educate” the entire world about their private habits.

So why would you invent a muddy motive to take away the legitimacy of their desire to connect? And if it so eats at your guts that they might get attention for it, why don’t you stop giving it to them?

Why do people bother to engage in such discussions instead of living their lives peacefully? This is frequent SJW rhetoric, which sounds reasonable enough, except it ignores reality and the precedent set many times before.

Live and let live does not work with groups which attain sexual minority status. That’s why they engage in activism in the first place. I’m not saying everyone identifying as one category or another is bent on becoming obnoxious and vindictive – however, we have seen organisations demanding that people or companies be punished for invalidating attitudes. And we have seen them succeed, ruining businesses and careers.

Even if you ignore the whole conversation, if you don’t get in anybody’s way, sooner or later they are likely to get in your way regardless. That’s how some places ended up with laws imposing draconian fines for “misgendering” a trans person or generally offending a thin-skinned one. Which is annoying enough when genuine minorities are involved – imagine being persecuted on behalf of an imaginary one.

Here is the definition of sexual orientation; it refers specifically to the sex of the people one is attracted to, not to any side issues such as special circumstances, behaviour, romanticism, attachment etc.

noun

1.

one’s natural preference in sexual partners; predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality. (source)

Again – why would this group, with the modest expectation of being left alone, need activism and allies? The word “ally” is used to describe a sympathetic person advocating the cause of a certain minority; why would advocacy be needed if there was no intention of going down the same path as other groups have before? Moreover, there is talk of “demisexual pride” and its symbols. Again, this is a comparison to gay pride, which has an aspect of rebellion to it, as gay people did face persecution in the west and still do in other parts of the world, where all these made up orientations are not a thing and probably won’t be anytime soon. As for demisexuality, in the context of no past, present or foreseeable persecution, I don’t see the need for all that.

If it’s normal, it can still have a name to describe that specific experience.

If it’s normal, then it is also very frequent, therefore the discussion will attract many people to the group.This activism entails proselitising  to draw in naive, inexperienced teens, Tumblr types, who tend to collect these labels the way my generation collected sports figurines. When their nature will no longer conform to the self-imposed stereotype, they will become confused.

The people adopting this label as a result of proselytism will sabotage themselves by “coming out as demisexuals” to prospective partners. Which is like holding up a sign saying I’m not attracted to you; I might be in a few months or a few years, if I really, really like you. 

There’s a big difference between abstinence by choice and telling someone straight out that you’re not attracted to them.Guess how many will stick around, if they’re not part of some weird sect, or “on the spectrum” themselves. Which is only bound to make these people feel marginalised.

 

 

Multiples, Transabled And Otherkin: Welcome To The 21st Century

 

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Imagine what the world would be like if everyone was constantly on LSD. Right now, a substantial part of the SJW generation seems to have had its drinks spiked (while on a binge).

Sensible people have long considered it a dismal idea to encourage everyone to think they actually are whatever they want to be identified as, eliminating limitations imposed by reality. There are still questions regarding the day those who think they are Jesus or Napoleon will be vindicated by general validation. In this post, I joked that gender fluid people sounded like they had multiple personality disorder.

Little did I know.

There actually is a community of folks referring to themselves as “plural” or “multiples”, who consider something resembling schizophrenia as their perfectly natural state. The way they describe it, one cannot tell it apart from  a pathologically fragmented identity, possibly hearing voices as well.

The other… entities populating their minds are referred to as “headmates” and the whole thing is seen as merely a different way of existing. There are, of course, dozens of problems with that. As this analysis details, they seem to be trivialising, if not glamourising, what may indeed be a serious condition (unless they are making it up in order to be different, but honestly, who would do that and risk being hospitalised).

There is a jargon associated with this condition personality type as well; for instance, when one of the “headmates” is “fronting”, it means they are coming forward for a discussion or taking over (I’m not sure which).

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Some people still think the slippery slope of identity politics is an exaggeration – in spite of our planet boasting a growing community of Otherkin, who believe to be a mixture of human and non-human beings, the non-human ranging from animals (a dog or a wolf is common) to made-up entities such as unicorns, angels, dragons and elves. I understand those who identify as animals call themselves “Therians”.

Surprisingly, no one has claimed yet – to my knowledge anyway – to be the missing link in the chain of human evolution.

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Some also argue it’s preposterous to claim leftist education is by itself responsible for these fables – however, most who display this aberrant thinking, on the internet anyway, are young and impressionable (usually teenagers) acting out on social media.

It seems the “wild side” of this generation has left Marilyn Manson behind, the black nail polish, the upside-down crosses and wrist-slashing music. Now they just think they’re dogs. So much better.

There was a story somewhere by a young lady who was confident enough to tell her boss that she was partially a wolf and while at work she was behaving oddly because she was “shifting”. The result of that was very predictable (she shifted from employed to unemployed, and of course she felt discriminated against). What ever goes through someone’s mind when they expect that to be taken seriously by people in the real world? I’m not trying to be insensitive; they are obviously troubled and look for a fantasy to take refuge in.

When seeing people with extreme body modifications in order to resemble animals (who are by now famous), one is obviously puzzled but still respects them as a fringe phenomenon, an oddity – yet don’t fancy their sons and daughters undergoing socially impairing, irreversible mutilations on a whim.

There are voices claiming the connection to an animal is spiritual and those who imagine that these people want to lick their balls  are just ignorant. Yet as much as I try, I cannot understand how identifying with an inferior species is somehow special; it’s like downgrading your brain by hundreds of thousands of years. There was a time when being called an animal was an insult.

The jokes must be cracking though. Hey darling, did you hear about the Otherkin? Half-human, half-animal. Like harpies. That would explain your mother.

On a serious note, some people (kids in particular) are enamoured with this concept of coming out of the closet; there are so many tutorials on the internet on how to tell your family that you’re “different”, which most times (I’m sure) is a disappointing experience, bound to confirm that your family couldn’t care less about you since they’re not supporting you in your transition to a Canadian beaver. It has clearly become a fad.

In terms of legal reforms, here’s a tight opening to squeeze into for fans of bestiality, no pun intended. If you want to fuck a goat, just pretend that at heart you are a goat as well. You’re trans-species (the term actually exists). If that becomes common enough, why should society keep you from consummating your natural love?

Unlike those special snowflakes who attach artificial tails to the back of their trousers (for whom it’s Halloween every single day), some people wish they could lose their perfectly functioning limbs or physical abilities. Referred to as “transabled”, they are yet another “trans” category wishing (and hoping) to transition to disabled. Yes, that’s right, this happens whilst others struggle with their disabilities and are striving to overcome the difficulties of life, which is the ultimate insult. There was a lady who got a psychologist to pour bleach in her eyes so she could become blind. For most people who are able to see, being blind is an absolutely terrifying prospect.

Others want their arms or legs amputated – fair enough, hands can be arranged if they just go to Yemen and steal a bike, but supposedly it wouldn’t be very pleasant. Though some of the methods they use (crushing their limbs with concrete blocks, cutting them off with chainsaws etc) are not very pleasant themselves.

The most extraordinary thing is that unlike other types of mentally distressed individuals, they are starting to be taken seriously, even by some doctors, as I understand. Which says it all regarding the hold leftist propaganda has manage to attain.

Turning against conventions and the rigid, hypocritical society has a point when it evolves organically; these people claim to do so while unaware that their “revolution” is a product of social engineering, on a mass scale.

A revolutionary act today is declaring yourself simply male or female, with no other proclivities or curiosities, starting a family before you’re 35, getting married without a prenup and trying to save your marriage instead of running to a tabloid with your duck-face poses and sappy story of emotional neglect. A revolutionary act is turning the TV off for good, instead of watching so much fiction you end up believing you’re a vampire or an extraterrestrial warlord.

In any case, if you have any questions on human nature, you can always turn to Tumblr, where you can be exhaustively educated by thirteen-year-olds. Just don’t tell them to bite you. They might.

 

 

What Is NOT Gaslighting

By now, many people are familiar with this notion, especially if they have an interest in unhealthy interpersonal dynamics. A brief article explaining gaslighting can be found here. First of all, a few ideas are worth noting (though doing so might seem superfluous):

  • -It is inflicted on a victim by an abuser who believes to be superior;
  • -It is a consistent technique ( it’s used more than once);
  • -It is always deliberate (planned, organised in cold blood);
  • -It is meant to cause actual suffering (confusion, self doubt, low self confidence etc).

After encountering this term in a variety of inappropriate situations – its use being meant to accuse someone of foul intentions – there are some observations to make regarding what is – only in my view of course – not gaslighting.

  1. Someone trying to convince you of their opinion (yes, I know how stupid that sounds). A couple of times I’ve seen this artifice used on PF, along the lines of:

You want me to see this event your way, not mine, therefore you are trying to make me replace my version of reality with yours, therefore you are gaslighting me.

Which is of course an eerie, cult-like stretch, caused by a person automatically analysing the world through the lens of psychopathic behaviour – a lens most people do not use on a daily basis. One often has a different perspective and imparts it ingenuously, debating others; most people understand that; it’s only to the paranoid that a different opinion can seem a devious attempt to blur their sense of reality.

From everyone is entitled to an opinion it suddenly becomes  telling me that my view/ my perception is not accurate is abusive.  Which practically means they’re always right and contradicting them is a direct attack on their well-being.

2. Most fleeting conversations (online or not).

With an emphasis on ”fleeting”. Although presumably there are those who enjoy genuinely screwing with the minds of others for the fun of it (as opposed to simply trolling), jumping to bite the jugular of every recently met person for “gaslighting you” is not a healthy reaction.

Gaslighting is known to have a purpose; there is a clear intention behind it; it’s difficult to associate it with a few words exchanged by people who will most likely never meet again (unless criminal intention is present, as those involved in crime have to act fast). Otherwise, for a person to suspect this intensity or interest from a complete stranger, their ego must be quite inflated.

3. A poor way of making excuses.

Yes, someone might say, for lack of inspiration, “I didn’t say that”,”maybe you heard me wrong” or “that’s not what I meant”, while awkwardly avoiding eye contact. Some people are worse than others at apologising (that takes some balls) or even admitting guilt, or might try to cover for others, protect your feelings by not repeating an insult etc. When caught red handed, they might just say something stupid, such as this never happened. Which is not a laudable thing to do and obviously would trigger people who were actually gaslighted in the past.

Does that automatically make a person  a psychopath? Of course not. If it’s an isolated event, it means nothing at all. If it happens repeatedly, then it is a problem – however, if that’s the only thing to go on, I’d still reflect on it before jumping to conclusions.

4. People who lie compulsively out of anxiety.

The only instance in which I can find a valid excuse for repeated lying is when it comes from people who have developed this as a defence mechanism, after a long time (usually years) of suffering serious consequences whenever things went wrong, they made a mistake or they risked angering/ upsetting someone else. These people lie very naturally to pacify a situation, hiding negative aspects others would have liked to know about. The reaction they get when their lies are uncovered is worse than the one they would’ve received for simply making a mistake. But in a way I can sympathise with the chronic fear of attracting other people’s anger.

In a way it’s comparable to what children do. Since gaslighting is based on control and deviousness, not anxiety, it doesn’t apply here.

5. People who don’t pay attention.

Everyone’s met the type who is a bit self-absorbed and has rosy sunglasses on, meaning they minimise and brush off your sincere concerns as if they didn’t matter (and no, I’m not one for writing this post or any others which deal with these complicated issues).

I’m sure you just imagined it! I’m sure everything’s fine! Everything works out in the end! 

Of course they do it in order to keep things comfortable and keep talking about their own preoccupations, without bothering with yours. I’m not saying these people are worth maintaining a close relationship with or confiding in – obviously not – but that doesn’t mean their attitude is devious and seeks to undermine your confidence. It’s just complacent and ignorant. They also do that to protect their own view of the world, of a family, a community, an institution etc. Basically, it’s all about them, not about invalidating or worse, destroying you.

Most people are not out to abuse others – gaslighting is a cruel, premeditated and sustained  form of abuse, just like psychopathy is a chilling disorder, not to be pinned on every selfish asshole.

Later Edit

Nowadays, every other progressive has been harmed by a narcissist or psychopath, has been the victim of oppression and is suffering from PTSD, requiring trigger warnings whenever they are exposed to unfamiliar information. Next on the agenda, half of them will soon claim they are being  or have been gaslighted (probably more since the straws they cling to are so diverse).

Unfortunately, analyses such as this one are not unnecessary, since misinformation is already spilling out of the poisoned well of the victimhood culture, with feminism at the centre of it. This feminist website (which as a whole is possibly the richest source of unadulterated bullshit I’ve come across so far), seeks to take the false victim complex into the mainstream in every possible way.

This particular article, “10 Things I’ve Learned About Gaslighting As An Abuse Tactic”, is precisely the type of  generalisation I was referring to at the beginning of the blog post.

Far from wanting to invalidate the author’s experience, my honest opinion is that here, gaslighting is presented as a common method of overpowering someone using an emotional bond, by which a person gets another to see things their way, and undermines their confidence as a result, whether they intended to or not. There is nothing in the article to suggest maliciousness or duplicity from the supposed abuser.

Direct quotes are essential (the fair use notice is displayed on the homepage).

1. Gaslighting Doesn’t Have to Be Deliberate

(…)Unfortunately, the first definition I looked up was woefully inadequate. Gaslighting does not require deliberate plotting. Gaslighting only requires a belief that it is acceptable to overwrite another person’s reality.

The rest just happens organically when a person who holds that belief feels threatened. We learn how to control and manipulate each other very naturally.

First of all, the fundamental aspect of defining and identifying gaslighting is the clear intention of causing someone to lose their mental balance and self-confidence, manifesting systematically and in cold blood, inflicting as much harm as possible. It is the method through which pathological types gain control over others, with no remorse whatsoever, sometimes resulting in their victims committing suicide.

Muddying the waters to blur the logical differentiation of this technique from ordinary lying, spontaneous excuse making and even expressing a different perspective is very detrimental, as the real meaning of the word is lost, resulting in an excess of zeal and hysteria wherever this diluted information spreads.

Clear intention, calculation, persistence and cold blood are essential elements to identify in order to make an accurate assessment. Gaslighting must by definition be deliberate.

The author of this piece claims the generally used definition is inaccurate, instead of pondering her own decision to use this specific word. Which is what progressives often do – instead of finding their place in the world, they want to make the entire world adapt to them. With no disrespect to her experience, when a concept does not suit someone, what they do is let go of it and find anther one – or why not, invent it. What they don’t normally do is re-engineer that  concept to suit them specifically, claiming that everyone using it previously was going about it all wrong.

Another red flag is using a situation which is charged with emotions and subjectivity – an argument between romantic partners (which almost by default involves accusations), adding that the “gaslighting” was spontaneous and not deliberate; combined, these aspects become very suspicious. One should consider the following aspects:

  • Whether lies were definitely told, with the partner definitely being aware they were lying; the contentions made may very well be the partner’s honest opinion;
  • Whether the contentions were commonly made or just a one off;
  • Whether the partner simply had an emotional outburst, even if they went a bit overboard;
  • What their composure was and if they seemed to take pleasure in winding up their target (arrogance and delight usually become apparent in these situations).

Of course I’m no expert but this is all just common sense. The key issue is that this technique cannot be identified from an isolated incident or from the mere existence of two conflicting perspectives. Deceit (deliberate, repeated lying) and malicious intentions both have to be involved – lying once in order to cover something up does not count.

“Gaslighting only requires a belief that it is acceptable to overwrite another person’s reality”.  I’ve seen this happen with parents and children, indeed, yet the purpose was shitty excuse making (counting on children’s short memory and volatile perceptions to deny they had done something). Therefore this is an interesting nuance, though more of a cowardly thing to do and not intended to destroy a child’s self-confidence.

You can see it in the media constantly.

For instance, every time an obvious hate crime is portrayed as an isolated case of mental illness, this is gaslighting. The media is saying to you, What you know to be true is not true.

The media does gaslight people all the time, no doubt about it, on behalf of an establishment seeking to confuse them constantly, to the point that they no longer know what is going on around them. Alan Watt gives a good example with the contradictory conclusions of  studies, published from time to time, bamboozling those who read them. For instance, today coffee prolongs your life, tomorrow it gives you cancer, the day after tomorrow it is presented as a miraculous cure for some other disease.

However, the example the author chooses is not relevant, as it claims a presumed hate crime should cause a hysterical reaction and not be treated as an isolated incident. Why presumed? Well, when a person forming part of a minority of any kind is attacked (conservatives excluded), the media, followed by a choir of progressive activists, tends to simply assume that “hate” was involved, even before the actual motive is established. Violence can erupt in a multitude of situations and it is idiotic to simply assume, each and every single time.

But now if you abuse your partner, you’re usually considered to be a bad person. So what do you do, with all the beliefs that would lead you to violence, if violence is no longer an acceptable option?

You use manipulation, and you use gaslighting.

Here it is simply assumed that if these forms of abuse both involve control and a power imbalance, one is a suitable replacement for the other. However, causing someone to fear you is not the same as causing them to think they are insane. Moreover, while gaslighting is premeditated, violence is, more often than not, mindless and momentary. Also, violence is commonly used by the run-of-the-mill asshole, whereas gaslighting is a calculated and sophisticated technique employed by devious minds. Comparing the two implies gaslighting is very common and can be used by just anybody, which in turn implies that the world is full of heartless, devious people (basically psychos), fully capable of this level of evil. And since this is a feminist blog, guess which sex the psychos would predominantly belong to.

A gaslighter doesn’t simply need to be right. They also need for you to believe that they are right.

The whole point is getting their victim to believe a lie – it’s not that they think they are right to begin with; they know full well they are lying. This quote reinforces my initial suspicion that the author ignores this fact, which reduces the technique to someone convincing someone else of their perspective, which the other party (presumed victim) thinks is invalid or which later proves objectively invalid.

The description of the “three stages of gaslighting” is too long to paste here; you can find it by clicking the link above. Yet again, it describes a common argument in a romantic relationship, with no apparent, demonstrable conniving involved. The short version:

1.You argue for hours, without resolution. You argue over things that shouldn’t be up for debate  – your feelings, your opinions, your experience of the world.(…)2. Winning the argument now has one objective :  proving that you’re still good, kind, and worthwhile. (…) 3. You consider their point of view as normal. You start to lose your ability to make your own judgements. You become consumed with understanding them and seeing their perspective. You live with and obsess over every criticism, trying to solve it.

Just a few observations:

  • -One’s feelings and opinions are subjective; they are not absolutes and are always up for debate.
  • -Gaslighting deals with distorting one’s perception of reality, usually by reframing events or conversations, denying them or making them up, aiming to make the other  think they are confused or crazy. Feelings and opinions have nothing to do with this.
  • -The fact that someone eventually convinces their partner of their perspective does not mean that they are deliberately lying – or even mistaking, for that matter, and gives no indication of trying to drive the partner crazy.

By accusing someone of gaslighting you, you are basically accusing them of being a monster. Not every hurtful or difficult relationship involves that and not every insecure, hypersensitive,  overly loving or overly tolerant person drained by arguments is being subjected to an actual form of mind control.

Once again, this is the result of confusing feelings and opinions with actual reality, which opens the door for any argument to be seen as gaslighting, trivialising this notion.

Another article, this time written by a professional, gives three peculiar examples:

  • -A woman is left abruptly at the bus stop by her date (recently met), who prefers the metro and then calls later to justify his strange gesture.
  • -A woman complains to her boss about her assignments and is told she is stressed and sensitive; this keeps happening overtime.
  • -A woman develops anxiety over the fear that she doesn’t care enough about her husband, as he often criticises her for not paying attention to details (such as going to the right store at the right time to get him the right kind of salmon).

Call me crazy, no pun intended, but I do not see any deliberate attempts to make any of these women doubt their sanity. The first case involves a second date and an impatient and tactless prick; it is unclear what he thought he would achieve by dumping her at the bus stop. In the second scenario, the woman is aware of the injustice; she does work harder but nowhere does it say that she feels confused or crazy. And in the third one, she develops this unease because she lets him get away with being so demanding in the first place, taking his shallow reproaches to heart. However, nothing suggests he is being deceptive or that he wants to destroy her self-confidence; he is probably just exploitative and thinks he’ll gain some advantage out of making her feel guilty over trifles.

The list of signs is a long one, describing the targeted person’s feelings. Taken separately, none is a clear indication of being gaslighted, and adjoined, they paint a picture of an unhappy individual in an unhappy relationship, facing anxiety issues and low confidence, possibly depression. And yet there is no mention of actual inconsistencies in this person’s daily reality, of the facts which do not match between their memory and that of their abuser, of this person thinking they might have lost the plot or might be lied to on a constant basis. Someone going through a depression affecting their relationship might apply these filters and end up thinking they are the victim of a deliberate attack on their sanity.

Many comments I read agreed the examples were quite poor; however there were also others, such as this one:

“I recently found the term and its meaning. I was in a relationship (my ex husband) who was a classic gaslighter. I have been divorced from him for almost 20 years. However, a work situation, too bizarre to discuss here, has led to gaslighting on the job more than once, and by extension into the community thanks to ex colleagues. Your description, however, also describes my current relationship with certain family members. I have been feeling that things were not right in the home for some time, and I know this is also an extension of the workplace issue. Very nosy nervy backstabbers. What a great article.”

It becomes apparent that due to such vague criteria, some people end up believing they are being targeted in this manner by multiple individuals (much like others identify “narcs” at every street corner). On a large scale, this leads to a lot of misinformation being circulated.

Recovery Forums – A Tool Against The Family

For those of us of the opinion that the family as a concept is being pounded on with a battering ram, it’s easy to see how the ever-expanding identification of abuse (especially emotional) is aiding this ”progressive” quest. After years of observing this phenomenon, its role in isolating individuals within society is becoming clear.

Besides the fact that their gains are sometimes financial – for example, forums which charge for membership or sell a lot of improvised material – they are, even if not admittedly, part of the crusade to  elevate one’s transitory feelings to the rank of absolute truths, which is a typical SJW attitude.

Eager to capitalise on grief and confusion, these groups resemble ambulance chasers, mastering the art of convincing people to see victimhood in murky situations, in order to cash in on the profits. 

Akin to talented divorce lawyers, they strongly encourage exaggerating the harm one has experienced through rejection, emotional unavailability, instability, lack of support, criticism etc – thus making it easy for those who are momentarily displeased with a significant other to think they  should consider cutting contact altogether.

A few examples of the fallout of wrongfully identifying a significant other as a sociopath, psychopath or narcissist:

  • People going through a difficult time in a viable relationship or marriage can freak out and give up, to later regret it.
  • Break-ups and divorces can escalate into a huge mess, with children being particularly affected by a parent’s suspicion that their ex  is disordered, which can escalate into hysteria.
  • Parents can end up alienating children from their former spouses, to later realise the mistake, as well as extended family.
  • Adults can disassociate from their parents or siblings due to grievances they’ve kept hidden for years, suddenly convinced they are dealing with something more serious.
  • Teenagers can be – very easily – persuaded that the difficult relationships they have with family members (who often fail to provide emotional support at an optimal level) are in fact abusive.
  • Impressionable young people in general can start seeing disordered types everywhere and have an even more difficult time integrating into society.

To complete the process of isolation, another list of attitudes pushed by these groups as healthy, conducive towards healing.

  • Spending one’s precious energy overanalysing every word, gaze or gesture they receive on a daily basis, in order to identify hidden intentions (and finding oneself accurately described in the DSM as a result).
  • Blaming one’s upbringing almost exclusively for the decisions taken in real time.
  • Demonising any friends who show difficult behaviour and eliminating them from one’s life straight away.
  • Once out of  a romantic relationship, ossifying  selection criteria which make sure one will run scared of most potential partners.
  • Living with a pervasive sense of danger in relation to the outside world.
  • Unearthing mistakes made years ago by others, which are no longer relevant (excluding serious maltreatment which affects a person for life).
  • Identifying as a victimised empath to the point of muddying one’s sense of responsibility in everyday life and absolving oneself of all blame for one’s troubles, regardless of their nature or importance.

This is not only prevalent in romantic relationships, which are the prime target nowadays, our culture inviting people to wallow in dissatisfaction and constantly scrutinise their partners for the smallest clue of wrongdoing. It is reaching far beyond, as many start to analyse their past, sticking labels on those who raised them, in a bid to rid themselves of negative influences. As someone who has partaken in this hysteria, seeing it as a personal quest at the time, I can safely argue it has become a fad, and a dangerous one at that.

There is a positive way of going about changing toxic attitudes one has inherited from previous generations; that is part of self-improvement and a noble goal. The catch is trying, to one’s best ability, to understand those attitudes in their original context, instead of judging previous generations by today’s standards, in  Maoist fashion, eager to write off any wisdom passed on by them. As usual, balance is the key to everything.

People have grievances, from the mundane to long term issues which need addressed. Leaving them to fester in the basement of unacknowledged needs or frustrations can make them seem insurmountable; at times they rise to the surface like an overflowing septic tank, bringing a person into a state of crisis. This is not necessarily, in real time, the fault of those who share their life, though it might feel or appear that way – hence separation is not necessarily a solution to anything.

For abuse recovery communities, knowing just what buttons to push at just the right time is guaranteed to reel in some potential believers.

In this bid, they discourage forgiveness, open-mindedness and empathy, feeding one’s need for validation right away, before even having enough data regarding each case. Evidently, this does a major disfavour to those who are simply mistaking and would benefit from objective advice (though it is difficult to be objective with so little insight, which is why I’m against seeking advice on the internet on such complex, delicate matters). Rage and bitterness are parasites of the mind; they end up consuming their hosts.

No one on the internet is able to understand your exact situation. It’s impossible. Even if you wrote a novel for them to read, you still wouldn’t be able to paint the entire picture – let alone in a few paragraphs posted anonymously.

What they do is look for buzzwords which trigger them and identify with your feelings, without accurately understanding the cause (which might be unknown to you as well). It’s not you inviting them into your reality; it’s them dragging you into theirs.

They start by encouraging you to refer to yourself as a survivor of abuse. This label becomes part of your identity and, depending on how consumed you are by it, it can take over. For those who still post daily about ”their P’s”, some of whom exited the stage years ago, the label ”survivor” has doubtlessly become their identity. How toxic is that? If you were a woman who divorced Bob  five years ago, when asked to introduce yourself, you would not say, ad infinitum,  I’m Bob’s ex-wife or I’m the one Bob stood up at the altar or I’m the one Bob’s mother always hated. It’s the same thing; defining yourself by what you meant to someone else or what that person did to you.

That takes away from your  real identity, from your energy and vitality, not to mention optimism and confidence.

Last but not least, one has to consider that calling a loved one a psychopath or narcissist, especially publicly or over a prolonged period of time, can end up in a permanent rupture, which wouldn’t necessarily happen with other insults or grievances. It’s a very strong statement to make and should not be made lightly, especially at the nudge of an internet community.

The internet might seem like an immediate source of relief and comfort when we are dissatisfied with those closest to us; at times we end up using it in this sense for trivial reasons. It’s far too easy nowadays to air one’s underpants for all to see, only to regret it later. But at the end of the day, it’s those same people we collaborate with day in and day out; when it comes right down to it, we have them and they have us, through thick and thin (genuine cases excluded, of course).

The thought that we can get a balanced perspective on our intimate problems from complete strangers is a mirage, an illusion, as the only ones able to solve them are those who are directly involved.

 

Psychopath-Free-For-All on Your Private Data

If you’re thinking about joining Psychopath Free because it’s such a safe community, please read this and save yourself a very likely headache.

By far the most vicious, arrogant and irrational description of the use of private info, the PF policy has been embellished several times, each time giving staff more prerogatives to misuse your information and abuse your trust.

Out of the ten rules put before prospective new members, only one refers to their implicit acknowledgement that they will inform authorities if you post about committing suicide. The rules never mention their discretionary sharing of your information with the owners or administrators of other websites to check out members they think show suspicious behaviour. But another forum page, referring to ”trolls”, indicates this is common practice:

I want to assure you that there were reasons beyond what other forum members saw or knew about, so some may have appeared to be unjustified, but they were not. Harassing other members through private messages, numerous complaints from people sent to us privately, known trouble-makers from other sites who pretend to be someone else using a different alias, people who have a reputation from other forums of trying to intentionally discredit those websites and the people running them, and people who are here merely for the purposes of “researching” the rest of us without our permission. Others have asked to be removed for personal reasons. We take security very seriously here, and we will not allow trolls, psychopaths, or people with a hidden agenda to try and derail what we are doing here and upset or re-traumatize the members.

What they are basically saying is they routinely try to find matching profiles of trouble makers and collaborate with other sites in this detective work.

But how would they find them in a time-effective way? If you’re a troll and you’re posting under a different alias, you probably made up a different story as well. Not that they would have time to remember the stories posted by tens of thousands of people. So how do they determine if you were ever active on those specific sites they collaborate with?

Simples, as Alexander the meerkat would say. Mere logic tells me they must use data which is very relevant and easily comparable, such as one’s IP and location – shared with third parties without that person’s knowledge or permission. If even aliases differ, there’s simply no other way to verify a match than these details.

When they register on a forum people often think the provision of data sharing only applies to authorities and will be used in exceptional situations. Most don’t register with any intention of being malicious so they think it will never apply to them. That is not the case with PF  – what they do is arrogant and dangerous; not to mention paranoid. It borders on stalking; it exceeds the common sense limits forum administrators are generally known to have.

In my view, they are seeking to play out the same scenario time and time again – that of finding people with ASPD and removing them from their entourage, as well as claiming to protect others from them. It’s a never-ending game they play and they seek out cannon fodder to keep it going. That’s how the admin gleefully admits he would rather receive ten potentially false reports in one day than receive none. Each report gives him a chance to play detective and invade the privacy of a most likely innocent person.

They will actually try to determine if you’re a psychopath just because you contradicted them or insulted them or their ”mission”.  This is the level and true character of the people you are looking to for advice on how to handle your relationships with others.

Wait, it gets even better.  Perhaps you’ve noticed a few threads about cults on the forum and feel safe in your assumption that staff denounce such groups and their practices.

Unbeknownst to some members, especially new ones, the security of the forum was entrusted to a doomsday cult known as  Cassiopaea, its leaders claiming to channel space aliens. One has to trust the realism and good judgement of these people, right…? This cult is known to organise really vicious smear campaigns against public figures or ex-members who pose an image threat to their financial – pardon me, spiritual – mission.

While they rake your trash hoping to find some dirt, they hypocritically insist you don’t reveal too much on the forum about yourself (details which could help others identify you), for you own protection. This would almost be funny if it weren’t so disgusting.

Now for some heart-warming stuff in defence of those who have been victimised by deranged individuals:

”We are here to heal, not to argue. I will not tolerate the disrespect or ridicule of another member. This is the one moment when I will stop being friendly and immediately suggest a ban – no survivor deserves more of this garbage after what we’ve been through. ” Peace

”Here at PF we have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior. Call me a nazi communist fascist dictator, I don’t give a crap. We are all very well versed to the methods of manipulators who shift blame, minimize feelings, and mock others. ” Peace

”In case anyone wonders why we deal with trolls and other frauds strongly: they detract from the real comments of members who are here for sincere reasons. No contact with imposters! ” Victoria

Hence, if you call someone an imposter in public, dismissing or minimising their experience of abuse, you are banned immediately.

But if you do so in private, by reporting them and putting the PF Stasi on their backside, you are congratulated for helping to keep the community safe, even if your target turns out to be genuine. Your act of falsely accusing that person is no different in either situation, yet the outcome is.

How’s that for a mind fuck?

Remember all this is coming from self-proclaimed advocates of the defamed, who so deeply ”feel” for those who are targeted by smear campaigns and dismissed as crazy. Who so ”understand” what it’s like for someone in control to tarnish one’s image before a large group.

UPDATE

There’s a three year old thread I’ve only come across now; priceless in terms of the sheer hypocrisy. The emphasis on point 3 is mine.

“Dear Friends on PF:

The following announcement comes from a great suggestion by DawnG. As you know, PsychopathFree is a community for people to heal from relationships with a psychopath, and we are all here to support one another, start our own personal recovery and to learn.

This is a place to meet amazing people from all over the world who also share lessons and happiness that comes as recovery progress and as we maintain NC.

Most important for us all is to maintain your own privacy and safety, as well as to communicate with each other in a respectful manner. We wish to remind you that PsychopathFree welcomes people with different backgrounds, age and experiences – we expect from members to be sensitive to each other stories and opinions.

However, due to the content nature of PsychopathFree, at times there are impostors, mentally imbalanced people, fakes, troublemakers, and predators who come to register as well. The Administrators do their best to remove these people from the forum, but there are things that you might want to keep in mind in order to perseve your own safety and peace of mind.

In this community you always have a right to:

1. Say “no” to any requests, suggestions, or whatever you might come across, publicly or privately, that make you feel uncomfortable.

2. Not answer a private message or a friend request. Beginning today, we will be changing the default PM setting to “Receive Messages from Contacts and Moderators Only”. You may also turn off Private Messaging altogether, if that is your preference. If you are 100% comfortable dealing with unsolicited PM’s from any member, you may return to the old “Receive All Messages” option. These can all be found in the User Control Panel

3. Not give out your name or other identifying information to anyone, including the Administrators. This includes your country of origin, revealing story specifics, email/Facebook contact information, pictures of yourself, and workplace details. You are free to share any this information with anyone whom you have taken the time to deem trustworthy and non-threatening.

In addition, we would like to ask that you never post pictures of the psychopath you had relationship with, because this place is about your own personal healing and we would like you to stay focused on yourself. This is not a place for revealing and exposing.

If you are unsure about another member for ANY reason, feel free to ask or alert an Administrator by private message, or by reporting a post/PM. We have never judged any queries or concerns regarding safety. Your comments will always remain anonymous and we will appreciate it.

We hope that we can all participate in making this a safe place for everyone.

Have a good PsychopathFree day!”

This is Peace’s post, right after the one mentioned above (emphasis also mine):

“Thank you, MorningAfter – this is perfect! We really needed an expansion to the whole “Trolls on PF” topic. There are a lot of people who aren’t trolls but still make others feel uncomfortable. Private messages are a great friend-building tool, but they’re also a sneaky way for people to circumvent admins and other safety-conscious members.

Member safety will always be the top priority here. There is absolutely no place for trolls, drama queens, data-gatherers, manipulators, and pseudo experts. We crack down hard on these, because that’s what keeps the PF member base safe & uniquely pleasant.”

Notice that they fit into all these categories themselves, aside from trolls (as they obviously can’t troll their own website).

Is that so then? You have the right to deny them information – when in fact they take it behind your back without asking, going much further than one would ever imagine when registering?

The fact that they left this post up is proof that they’re actually lying to members (not that it hadn’t been established already). It’s no longer omission or an ambiguous situation – it’s plain lying.

Lifeline or Mental Trap: Can You Afford to Gamble?

We spend our lives hoping to encounter at least a handful of people who truly understand us in an age of fast-paced living, of the self-absorbed who treat us superficially, dismiss our feelings and ignore us when we are emotionally frail. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find our ideal community with just a few clicks? If we could find acceptance, reciprocity and unconditional support, as well as valuable guidance for our social problems? A meme of ancestral wisdom says that if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

We find these communities when our need for support is so pressing that we often jump right in, taking them at face value and sharing our intimacy. They often seem to have answers to our deepest problems; they guide us in such a firm manner we assume they must know better.  We take their advice, making radical decisions about our relationships  – to later realise their knowledge was mere improvisation, their moral high ground was hypocritical and their empathy non-existent.

As  a disclaimer, this is solely my opinion, as a person who has sought comfort in online advice for various emotional and motivational issues. It is based on careful observation, honest introspection and the similar experiences of others. Also, I am not arguing there aren’t genuine communities based on abuse recovery, run by professional and empathetic people.

My focus is on the following aspects which come with forming part of  recovery groups run by wannabe life coaches for people who believe to be targets of disordered individuals (I’m trying to word this carefully).

  • A very limiting paradigm;
  • Black and white thinking;
  • A distraction from introspection;
  • The danger of a hysterical and paranoid approach towards others;
  • Toxic group dynamics echoing a cult atmosphere;
  • Replacing an abuser’s mental hold with that of the group;
  • Playing a part in other people’s game of status and recognition;
  • Suppressing one’s critical thinking to fit in;
  • Radical decisions one might regret;
  • Additional damage after putting one’s trust and privacy into the hands of the wrong people;
  • Ad hominem attacks from staff members (it has been known to happen).

We live in a world where duplicity can be found at every turn; TV programs about scams abound and we are generally worried about others misrepresenting their intentions. We are now wary of spiritual imposters as well.

The moral fraud of self-help is still virgin territory to many of us; the huge membership of these forums appears to give them validity. However, many of the recorded members were there temporarily; many were banned or left when realising the group dynamics. And the handful of devotees who have lasted for years are not necessarily better off.

When analysing what goes on there with a calm and rational mind, as opposed to their initial vulnerability, one cannot help but see how twisted the whole scene is and how different from what staff members promote.

Quite a few people who registered on forums like Psychopath Free, The Path Forward and Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (which no longer exists but was very popular in its time) describe the same heavy atmosphere, which leads to the conclusion that toxic recovery forums are fairly common. They typically mention the following:

  • A loving, non-judgemental facade, hiding a web of gossip and paranoia;
  • Financial interests (by pushing books, CDs, counselling sessions etc which are of no use to the member and refusing to refund, in spite of a refund policy; by charging for  membership and banning people for no reason);
  • The false comfort of a support network, taken away in an instant through absurd bans;
  • Administrators and moderators on a power trip, displaying the same behaviour as the disordered people they demonise;
  • Emotional damage as a result of being duped into trusting the group.

Although these sites do not claim staff members are educated in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, recovery from trauma etc., the abundance of material they put out gives an air of authority to the untrained eye and lures people in, only to notice an establishment run by immature, petty tyrants hunting others down for imagined offences. They refer to themselves and each other as experts in these fields, even if they admit their lack of actual training. And for many new members that is enough.

The crux of the matter is one’s chance of mistaking a difficult relationship, especially during a break-up, with a full-blown encounter with a psychopath or narcissist, meant to – as they put it on PF – destroy them as a human being.

My observation is that cruel behaviour is often caused by selfishness and insensitivity, which may be temporary or repairable. There are limits of course and no one can doubt the dysfunctional nature of a person who, let’s say, tortures animals, habitually beats up their family members, stalks and threatens others etc. But many of the traits found in the ”spot the psycho” list are common among normal people, at least temporarily.

If one is trying to establish someone they know is disordered and they are steering towards confirmation, their brains will fish out the worst episodes in said relationship and will find the very instances which tick the boxes, even if there were few serious ones over a decade.

Yes, decent people are capable of rotten behaviour in certain circumstances. No one, if judged solely by their list of mistakes, would be seen in a positive light.

If you are steering in that direction, to start with, it is essential to make sure you are as objective as possible.

Being angry, in despair over the break-up, bitter, strongly disappointed etc will definitely influence your capacity to analyse matters. The same for being bored with the relationship, wanting something new  and seeking justification etc. The same with being depressed and the problems in your relationship being a marginal cause in your depression. Also, be extremely cautious if you are on psychotropics or a user of any substance which can influence you at a psychological or emotional level. Also, be extremely careful if there is any chance you might be sleep deprived or exhausted by an overly demanding lifestyle (that can result in other people’s mistakes or bad attitudes being blown out of proportion).

I honestly believe, and I am not alone by far, that true encounters with psychopaths are far more rare than these forums claim. They want you to see psychopaths around every corner and become dependant on their way of thinking, which is based on paranoia.

Members will encourage each other in that direction not only out of the mere assumption the person claiming to have met a psychopath is right in their assessment, but in order to validate their own experience as well. They will see matching aspects which may be coincidental and will apply the label. When they have spent enough time doing so, surely it becomes second nature to think they have enough expertise.

Here’s a thought regarding the similar experiences members share.

When you are baffled by the similarities and say ”well, he/she must be a psychopath, look at all these stories”, you are going by the assumption the people being discussed there are genuinely disordered. You can’t possibly know that. Hence there is a 50-50 chance you and the others are participating in mass hysteria.

The truth is most people registering on such sites are very confused. They are looking to others for answers regarding matters only they know well enough to issue such strong judgements on. 

Once they are part of such a community, they feel peer pressure just like in any other; it’s very strange but true – the need to not seem chaotic makes some of them persist on that path (that’s how many people end up staying in cults!). Adding to that the self-professed expertise of the group’s leaders. When a person starts experiencing doubts and is confident they have made a mistake by labelling another as disordered, instead of closing that window and deleting the bookmark, they turn to the group for advice, assuming they know best.

And the group will always say one thing, and one thing alone.

Sometimes it may be good advice, and sometimes it may be destructive. But rest assured it will not be custom tailored. On such forums, one size fits all. Which is why you want to avoid them.

Psychopath Free: Behind the Mask of Empathy

As the self-proclaimed largest forum for victims of narcissistic, psychopathic and sociopathic abuse, PF sees a handful of new registrations daily, as more people suspect they are enmeshed with disordered types. Their doors are wide open; registration is easy; it only takes a few minutes.

At first glance, you are greeted by an amazing uniformity of opinion; you tell yourself it’s because they’re all so sensitive, so considerate towards each other (the reality being you can find yourself labelled a troll for breathing out the wrong amount of CO2; long time members have learned not to ever disagree with the status quo).

You stumble in there as if you’d found an oasis in the desert; you cannot believe how lucky you are to have come across so many people with a similar experience. Encouraged by the general eagerness to discuss painful memories, you start sharing yours almost immediately, thinking you have found the most open, honest group ever.

Above all, you assume they know you are hurt and confused, in need of support, as they claim to have designed the website for people like you. You assume they will treat you as such; that they will always be considerate.

Unfortunately, they promote themselves in a completely false manner, drawing naive and vulnerable people into their game of delusional paranoia.

While you see members liking each other’s posts by the dozen, sending “hugs” and behaving like good old friends, always willing to lend an ear, some lend an ear so well they hear what you’re not even saying, as shown here:

reporting

Reporting Sketchy Members

Just wanted to write a quick notice about the safety culture we want to cultivate here.

If you ever have any suspicions about a member, our policy is “better reported than not”. A huge part of the healing process is learning to trust your intuition. Here at PF, just like everywhere else in life, you are going to continue to encounter toxic people.

You should never brush aside your gut feeling about someone, as that’s how we end up “dancing the dance”, when really the person should just be shown the door. So please if you ever feel uneasy about a member, do not hesitate to use our reporting features to tell us. Because if you’re feeling suspicious, the odds are you’re not alone.

You will never be punished or judged for reporting someone who turns out to be genuine. We take all reports seriously. Mistakes happen, although I honestly have never seen this. Member reports are usually 100% on board with our own suspicions. Please understand that safety is always being assessed here, even if it’s not visible. Even if you see a thread going on where you can’t believe the member hasn’t been banned yet. Trust me, they are on our radar.

There are several ways to report a member. Please use them:

Under every post, you will see a little triangle with an exclamation point. This reports the specific post and member, completely unknown to them. The reference to the post will also help us pinpoint any specific things they said.

The Contact Form here: http://psychopathfree.com/sendmessage.php – Check “Troll Suspect” for the category, and it will be looked at immediately. Using this method, you can also log out and report anonymously. It is helpful to have any specific post references if you do this. Again, remember that you will never be judged for reports, but I do understand the desire for anonymity when it comes to security.

PMing an administrator. If you have a good friendship with an admin, please feel free to send along a personal message. It will be brought to the team either anonymously or with your endorsement, whatever you ask for. The process will always be dealt with in the same way

I really hope this helps to encourage an open-door philosophy when it comes to trolls. You are not crazy”

That’s right. You actually read that. On a support forum claiming to be the world leader in its field.

Members are encouraged to report each other on a “gut feeling”, without any proof their target has broken a single rule – which is probably unprecedented on any serious forum. That is how people are targeted and closely watched without having shown any maliciousness whatsoever.

Indeed, you are not crazy, but you are definitely an asshole if you engage in his sort of practice, as any false accuser is.

It is unacceptable for any bona fide person to become fodder for older members’ exercise of good intuition and be subjected to the abstract version of a vivisection while knowing nothing about it.

Under that veneer of safety and brotherhood lie several layers of obsessive distrust, which come before any concern of treating people fairly – not to mention being careful with someone who is emotionally frail.

In case you think the admin’s intentions should be given the benefit of the doubt and might be in the lines of being overprotective, here’s another gem:

People with ulterior motives & agendas can be hard to spot, but there are signs – for example, they do not seem to actually care about the well-being of other members, and instead come across as a bit fake, self-centered, and emotionally disconnected. You will notice EVERY topic always comes back to a lengthy, exhausting story about “My P”, even if the topic has nothing to do with them.

Trust your gut, always. Most of us already learned this lesson the hard way.

And use the report button! There’s one at the bottom of every PM, as well as posts (the little triangle with !). It’s SO fast & easy, and automatically shoots an email to every Admin so we can review it immediately, even if we are not on PF (which is more common for me now that I’m at work). There is absolutely zero penalty or grudge for a false red flag. It takes two seconds to review them, and I would rather get 10 in a day than 0. Reports are GOOD. We do our best to keep up, but with 20,000+ posts, we need to rely on our your intuition as well.

And yet another gem

I would also like to thank the administrators and moderators who work around the clock to keep this site so safe, secure, and free from drama/gurus/know-it-alls/predators. I see the members of this team as gatekeepers, absorbing the daily poison, lies, manipulation, and lunacy, in order to maintain the peaceful harmony that we all get to wake up to each morning. To give you an idea of just how hard they work, there are more security reports from the past three months, than there are threads in The Cafe since 2011. They don’t just clean things up, they are responsible for setting and maintaining the amazing atmosphere that I have come to love so much here on PF. These people never give up, and they never ask for any sort of recognition. So I would like to recognize them now, because this forum would be nothing without them.

Yes, you read that also. Your eyes are not playing some twisted trick on you.

This is on a thread celebrating the forum’s great success. The emphasis belongs to the admin, who is so proud of the humongous number of reports, most of which were obviously false, since they still have a community there. More reports in three months than threads on a sub-forum in two years. And he boasts about it; he finds it wonderful that his forum is the online version of North Korea. And then he claims other people have control issues.

Back to this quote:

I see the members of this team as gatekeepers, absorbing the daily poison, lies, manipulation, and lunacy, in order to maintain the peaceful harmony that we all get to wake up to each morning. (…) they are responsible for setting and maintaining the amazing atmosphere that I have come to love so much here on PF.

Have you ever read anything more insane? An “amazing atmosphere” actively dominated by security reports? A “peaceful harmony” and simultaneously, daily poison, manipulation, lunacy? Daily? It reminds me of Scientology’s leader, who reportedly thinks Scientology is amazing while 75% of the people in it are rotten.

Imagine you are a distraught person seeking company and advice, and while you continue to pour your heart out to these people, your witch trial is going on behind your back. You have an anointed bunch with the above-shown insight into human behaviour (way below sea level, as you can plainly see) trying to determine if you:

  • Seem to care too little about the wellbeing of others;
  • Seem to care too much about the wellbeing of others (contacting them directly is a no-no and for new members all communication must be public, or it can easily be labelled harassment; personal questions should also be avoided);
  • Post too much about your problem (which means you are self-centred);
  • Post too little about your problem (maybe you have an ulterior motive for being there, such as studying others);
  • Post too little (they are always suspicious of members with a very small post count);
  • Post too much (they tell you that you are flooding);
  • Seem emotionally detached;
  • Seem too emotionally involved in what is being posted (you’re coming on too strong and that is suspicious).

And so forth.

They actually think they have the ability to get inside your head and read emotions you are not expressing, or the lack thereof. That is how delusional and irrational they are.

Does anyone else find it sick that he would rather get piles of false reports than get none, and he encourages reporting so enthusiastically (almost frantically), which is guaranteed to make targets out of innocent people? Is there any doubt at all regarding what new members really get themselves into?

You are guilty until proven innocent and those who accuse you are always unaccountable, to the point of not having to reveal their online identities when they emit their accusations. As their target, you will not be given a warning – as in stop trusting us as we don’t trust you, an explanation or an apology.

Sometimes, members are banned without an apparent reason and cannot figure out why, since they were never confronted by staff; they are perplexed, having had no idea anything was wrong. They never had a chance to clear others’ doubts, defend themselves or leave peacefully of their own accord, after deleting their information.

Apparently, staff members don’t feel they need to confront you or be transparent in any way; they list you as a potential troll on a mere suspicion and block you immediately, as if your mere presence on the website for an added hour to allow a discussion posed some sort of danger to them. That is the sheer level of their paranoia.

I trust hardly anyone would register if those announcements were added to the forum rules, or better yet, to their plethora of promotional materials, which read like exquisite corporate PR.

Usually though, one is banned for some laughable trifle no sane adult would find threatening from another – after having poured their heart out before them as one would before a close friend or therapist, for days, weeks or many months.

I lack the vocabulary to properly word how duplicitous, insensitive and disgusting that is. Not to mention unprofessional.

This Amazon review of the book and forum is very telling, as are the comments former members have posted there.

It is then – and often, unfortunately, only then – that wronged members take to the internet to investigate this so-called support group which shows no ethics, no transparency, no fairness and little sanity when targeting someone. They look for a different space online to tell their story. Alternatively, they register again or email for an explanation. They want closure and a chance to express their completely understandable frustration.

 Congratulations! They are now officially a troll.

 You see, in their minds, the road from an abuse victim in need to a troll who is frothing at the mouth with venom and envy towards their fine establishment can be a very short one. Trolls are fair game for vicious attacks on their character and misuse of the information they entrusted the blessed “recovery forum” with.

 A person who has gone through the motions I described above is then insulted again to read threads where the admin boasts about “keeping the creeps out” and “not taking their BS” and “keeping a peaceful and loving atmosphere”, as well as refusing to delete people’s very sensitive information because they were labelled as such.

Didn’t I hear someone say psychopaths deliberately provoke intense emotional reactions in normal people, only to ridicule them before others by calling them crazy and hysterical…? Oh yes, it was them.

 The only place where paranoia, unfounded reporting, control and swift discarding equal love and support is a cult. Which is exactly what they resemble.

    If you somehow come across this blog, chances are you are familiar with all the above, so please feel free to post your thoughts and experiences. My intention is to not censor anything. However, please try not to refer to the personal lives of the people involved in that forum, to stay on the safe and decent side. There is plenty to be discussed regarding the forum itself and its policies.