Sanctuary for the Abused

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pathological Lying

by Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Since I’ve recently posted several articles about psychopaths and deception, I’d like to repost this earlier article from last year, which many of you may not have seen yet, about why psychopaths lie. As we’ve seen in the previous post, psychopaths lie pathologically to others about pretty much everything: their past, their present and their future. Whatever lies you discover about the psychopath in your life are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. Be prepared for the sinking of the Titanic. He could be telling you, or his family, that he has one kind of job while having another kind or being unemployed. He could be saying that he’s rich while being dirt poor. He could be preaching trust and fidelity to you while pursuing dozens of other women. He could be telling you that his partner is cold, frigid and uninterested in working on their relationship when he’s the one who neglects her, plays hot-cold games to manipulate her and does everything possible to violate her trust and undermine her confidence and well-being. He could be telling you that he’s looking for a job in your area, to be together, while leaving his options open and seeking employment all over the country, to separate you from your family and friends. He could be saying that he had no affairs while playing semantic games, since in his mind, all those other women were only friends with benefits. He could be telling you his ex cheated on him or left him, when he’s the one who cheated on every woman he’s ever been with, not just once, but innumerable times, and broke up with them after having used them. More ominously, he could be presenting himself as a decent person while secretly committing fraud, serial rape or even murder. What you don’t know about him, along with the false information he offers you, can and will hurt you. He’s got no friends, just people he uses and alibis for his lies. Lying feeds his underlying narcissism. Distorting other people’s perception of reality gives him the false sense of being smarter than them.

Since psychopaths wallow in seediness, cruelty and perversion, they enjoy not only lying, but also waving their lies under the noses of the people they dupe. They leave little trophies of their infidelities lying around, like a shampoo bottle or trinkets from their girlfriends. When they’re questioned about them by their partner, they get the additional thrill of offering a false explanation. You’ve no doubt heard of psychopathic serial killers who take objects from their victims, such as a bracelet, ring or a lock of hair, as “trophies,” to remind them of their criminal exploits. Signs of betrayal represent the sex addict’s little trophies. Such disordered individuals also enjoy living on the edge. Just as serial killers often play cat and mouse games with the media and the police, so philandering psychopaths play games of catch-me-if-you-can with their spouses and girlfriends. They may be sitting across from their wife on the computer and sending sexually explicit messages to a girlfriend, while claiming to be doing work or looking up some innocuous information. They may be in a hotel with a girlfriend while having a lengthy phone conversation with their wife. They may take a call from one girlfriend while being on a date with another and telling her that it’s a business call.

Psychopaths enjoy lying both because of the power it gives them over others and because of the risk of getting caught. The problem remains, of course, that the risk is always minimal and therefore never quite thrilling enough. To take a real risk in life, one has to value something or someone, so that one fears losing that thing or that person. Psychopaths can’t value anything but their immediate appetites and anyone but themselves. If they lose their jobs, there’s always another one just as good (even when there isn’t). If they lose their money, they can always mooch off or scam someone else. If they alienate their partner, there’s lots of other fish in the sea. Since the stakes are always so low for psychopaths, their thrills are also very fleeting.

Lying makes them feel more powerful and superior to others. Needless to say, in reality, engaging in deception and manipulation are not a sign of excess of intelligence. They’re a symptom of lack of character. Psychopathic dictators such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Ceausescu weren’t particularly bright individuals. They were just particularly manipulative, opportunistic and r uthless. But it’s no use trying to persuade a psychopath that he’s much less, rather than more, than the people he dupes. Once you see through his lack of character, his reactions also become transparent. When he gets away a lie, he feels a cheap thrill. When caught in a lie, he feels no shame. He simply covers it up with another lie or, when that’s not an option, blames you for his wrongdoing or accuses you of behaving in the same manner. Often, even when psychopaths believe that they’re telling the truth, they’re in fact lying. A psychopath can “sincerely” state that he’s being faithful to you right before his date with another woman. Psychopaths live in an Orwellian doublethink world. They believe the truth of the moment while actively seeking new opportunities. We might as well call it a “psychopath-think,” since such individuals have their own language.

For example, to a psychopathic seducer, 

Unless you learn to decipher the psychopathic code, you’re likely to be “lost in translation.” If I put my mind to it, I could write a whole dictionary of “psychopath-speak” and its translation into regular human language.

Every so-called “truth” psychopaths utter is momentary and contingent upon their immediate gratification. Since their feelings are shallow, so is their truth-value. If you add “for now” to their declarations of love, they may sometimes ring plausible. For instance, during the euphoric seduction phase, psychopaths may believe when they tell a girlfriend that they love her and want to spend the rest of their life with her. But their passion isn’t grounded in any empathy, love or commitment. Since the euphoric state of “being in love” comes and goes even during the course of a single day, so does the truth-value of their statement. One minute they might tell a girlfriend with genuine emotion that they love her and will always be faithful to her. The next hour they might be pursuing another woman, just for the heck of it, because they’re bored. 

While psychopaths scheme and manipulate a lot, they’re short-term, or tactical, schemers. They can’t see more than two steps ahead of their noses, to chase the next temporary pleasure. Tactics, or short-term maneuvers, prove to be far less effective than strategy, or long-term planning, however. Over the long-term, the lives of psychopaths usually unravel in a sequence of failed careers, sordid crimes and disastrous relationships. While this fact doesn’t particularly bother the psychopaths themselves, who live by a Dionysian hedonism, it bothers quite a lot everyone who comes into close contact with them.

To explain further why and how psychopaths lie so glibly and compulsively, I’ll rely upon Dr. Susan Forward‘s WHEN YOUR LOVER IS A LIAR.  Her book addresses all kinds of liars. However, she devotes one chapter in particular to psychopaths. She describes this group as the most dangerous and predatory kind of liars. She also confirms that they’re the only ones who are completely unchangeable. Psychopaths tell harmful lies, not mere white lies. The lies that harm us, either by omission or by commission, involve the intent to deceive. Forward defines a harmful lie as a “deliberate and conscious behavior that either misrepresents important facts or conceals and withholds them in order to keep you from knowing the truth about certain facets of your partner’s past, present, and, often, future.” (When your lover is a liar, 6) She goes on to explain that when a man lies about important matters related to his identity, actions and intentions, certain implications follow: 
1) he becomes the sole proprietor of the truth; 
2) he acquires control over events in his partner’s life; 
3) those he dupes lack important information that can drastically influence their lives; 
4) consequently, those he dupes can’t make major life decisions based on this information, including whether or not to stay with him, and 
5) most importantly, those he dupes don’t know who he really is. (16)

Psychopaths typically deny or minimize their deception once it’s discovered. This strategy, Forward maintains, constitutes a power game which has several negative implications for the person being duped: 
1) she didn’t see what she saw;
2) she didn’t hear what she heard; 
3) she doesn’t know what she found out; 
4) she’s exaggerating, imagining things or being paranoid; 
5) in holding the liar accountable for his deception, she’s the one creating problems in their relationship; 
6) she’s to blame for the deception or her partner’s misbehavior; 
7) other people, who are exposing the psychopath’s lies, are creating trouble in their relationship. (When your lover is a liar, 16

These techniques of denying and compounding the lies relate to “gaslighting.” They lead the victim to feel like she’s “going crazy” and imagining things that don’t exist or aren’t true. Gaslighting turns reality topsy-turvy. It replaces truth with falsehood. It also shifts the balance of power between the honest person and the liar. The liar takes charge of the relationship and of his honest partner’s perception of reality.

Given that, as we’ve seen so far, harmful lies constitute a power game, it’s not that surprising that psychopaths, who live to dominate and manipulate others, end up being the most irredeemable pathological liars of the human species. As mentioned, Forward devotes an entire chapter to psychopathic liars. By way of contrast to the rest of her book, which focuses on how to improve relationships tainted by deception, in this case she advises people to leave their psychopathic partners for good. She states,

“This chapter is about scorpions in human form, and continuous, remorseless lying is what they do. They lie to the women they’re with, and to just about everyone else. They cheat repeatedly on the women they’re married to, they steal from the woman they profess their love for. Their greatest thrill, their greatest high, is pulling the wool over the eyes of the women who love and trust them, and they do it without a moment of concern for their targets. This chapter is about the one kind of liar you must leave immediately. It is about sociopaths.” (When your lover is a liar, 66)

Forward goes on to explain that since psychopaths regard life as a power game, they suffer from an incurable addiction to deception as a way of life. All the experts on psychopathy and sociopathy state that such individuals lie even when the truth would make them look better or would sound more plausible. In addition, unlike normal human beings, psychopaths don’t change their deceitful ways. The simple and short explanation for why not is that they don’t want to change and aren’t even capable of changing. As we’ve seen, psychopaths lack the emotional and moral incentives that motivate normal people to improve themselves. No matter how much suffering they cause others and no matter how much they, themselves, get into trouble as a result of their lies, psychopaths remain pathological liars and frauds throughout their lives.

Forward breaks down the main reasons why psychopaths don’t change their ways: 
1) they don’t experience the pain and shame that motivates people to become honest;
2) they don’t play by the rules and thus they never feel that they’ve done something wrong; 
3) they lack the emotional depth to want to improve their character; 
4) in their relentless search for excitement, they live to break, not follow, moral and social rules; 
5) they believe that they’re superior to those they dupe. (When your lover is a liar, 71) I would add one more related point to this list: 
6) they believe that the rest of humanity is just like them, i.e., manipulative and deceitful, only less intelligent or less adept at it than they are.

Forward concludes that if anybody tells you a psychopath can become an honest, loyal and faithful individual, they’re lying to you. Which is also why the person most likely to tell someone such a lie is the psychopath himself: especially if he still has something to gain from his target.


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shared by Barbara at 12:08 AM



"1) he becomes the sole proprietor of the truth;
2) he acquires control over events in his partner’s life;
3) those he dupes lack important information that can drastically influence their lives;
4) consequently, those he dupes can’t make major life decisions based on this information, including whether or not to stay with him, and
5) most importantly, those he dupes don’t know who he really is."

So, how do you think those of us raised by psychopaths have been abused? THIS IS THE PERSON WHO'S WORLD WE WERE FORCED TO LIVE IN. A person who totally controlled us. Even if there was no formal "religion" involved, we were prisoners of a cult in every sense of the word. Our very world was created and dictated by a psychopath.

Someone else pointed out that psychopaths make mountians our of molehills and molehills out of mountians. This is SO TRUE! My husband put us so far into debt, so quickly, and I was trying frantically to save us, to stop the train wreek that was taking place and all he wanted to do was hold on to what he owned. Now, years later when we are still paying off debt that we didn't have to have, have no way to help the kids finacially, he only feels sorry for himself and has no understanding that HE ALONE CAUSED IT ALL! See, these psychopaths could make 8 million dollars a day and they have no concept that if they spend 10 million a day, they will be in debt. My husband thinks that if he makes ANY amount of money it is his to spend freely and it is unlimitied (in his mind). The horror show never ends. Even though he COGNITIVELY KNOWS math, it doesn't translate into reality.

There's an article in "Science Daily" titled "Psychopaths' Brains Wired to Seek Rewards, No Matter the Consequences." People, this is "nothing" more than a genetic trait but when we (society) are forced to PRETEND that psychopaths are the same as us, we are lied to and set up to become rape victims. With individuals with Down's Syndrome we are forewarned that they are different and we have different ways of dealing with them. We don't pretend that they have the same capabilities as others as this would really be abuse to try and force them to say, become an astrophysicist. Yet it's the same concept here. By forcing society to pretend psychopaths feel the human emotions of empathy, love, remorse, gratefullness when in fact they don't, is a form of abuse. These individuals brains aren't wired the same as ours. It's abuse for us as well as we are forced to pretend and forced to fill in the blanks.

For those people who may be inclined to feel sorry for a psychopath, (after all his brain is wired differently) consider something very important. Why is it that these people only hate, "feel" condesending disdain for others and love themselves and want to be worshipped? Why, since their brains don't process love, empathy etc. are they left with wanting to hurt others and manipulate and control? Why not just a robotic mentality that leaves them something like a lobotomy patient? Well, the Bible tells us in John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." And what if God knew before they were born that they would be against Him, against all really, and just gave us a physical representation of this? That they WANT to carry out their father the devil's desire. You know what, it's as good an explaination as any and this Bible verse PERFECTLY describes a psychopath. (Not wanting to believe evil is real, and comes in human for, doesn't make it go away but gives it free reign.) I'm very tired.

8:29 AM  

Well said anonymous....especially about the money. It is as if money truly does grow on trees to the psychopath. The high they can get from spending is crazy!!! I thought the psychopath is my life actually was taking drugs...he is but the drug is money.

12:18 AM  

I've written a story about how my ex and a social worker, worked together to separate me from my child because they were afraid my ability to help her would reflect poorly on them. It's about narcissism but I'm afraid to mention this in the blog.

No More Secrets and Lies
A true story about the extreme measures taken by Blue Earth County in Minnesota and the State of Minnesota to separate a child with a mental disability from the only person who was able to help her — her father.

Readers comments:

"I could not stop reading this man's posts- Personal, revealing and vulnerable. Thank you John Bosnan (sic) for sharing your struggles in the court system- an issue many fathers deal with." -- Remarkable Fathers on Facebook.

"Remarkable Personal Blog of a father's struggle with the family court system."

~ Dakota's Page~ Stand Up! For Fathers Equal Rights

"A story to be shared and read by Social Workers all over the world." -- Social Work site on Facebook.

4:47 PM  

This came at just the right time. I ended things almost a year ago, won't go into details, but the generalities are always the same, so I am sure you can imagine. I left the west coast last September to be near family for emotional support and out of fears that I would cave and take him back the next time he spun the Wheel of Unfortunates and my name came up again. "oh yeah she took me back time and time again, no matter how badly I devalued her before I left!"
On top of the lies and manipulations, he would rape me nearly every morning and I would wake to my" freeze" sympathetic nervous system response in terror and excuse it afterwards in order to rewrite my mental history. I have been in an intimate partner violence counseling program since I got here and I am waiting for my appointment on Wednesday to talk to my counselor about how I just found out that he's moving in with a woman with 3 kids and the anxiety and ptsd it's triggered in me. It started the whole cycle of self doubt and wondering if it was all in my head all over again. I have to remember he's a predator and this has helped me remember.
I was thinking about the idea of writing a psychopath to human translation and that made me laugh. It might actually be helpful to write one translating online dating profiles.
After the walls of illusion crumbled this last time, and many of the lies came out, I was directed (by one of his other victims I befriended - I am not surprised he's moving in with this one, because I cut off his supply to most of his harem lol... Go me!) to his Ok Cupid profile and was disgusted by it. On the surface it seemed "normal" but seeing it through the eyes of wisdom it was totally different. The way he answered the questions was specific and targeted. He only chose a small handful to answer and I am certain it wasn't by accident. He chose passion over stability, said yes he would date an obese woman (I was one of the thinner women he was with and I am a size 12) and he would be open to marriage with the right person (despite telling me and every other of the victims I talked to that he would never get married - but he didn't say that until the devalue phase, of course).
I haven't been reading stuff about psychopaths for months, since I have gotten my life back on track, but this setback drew me to it as a tool to remember to TRUST MYSELF. I am free and fortunate to have gotten out! So yeah, I might have missed a post where you illustrate signs to look for on a dating profile, but if it hasn't been covered, I highly suggest it. These guys love online dating because it makes targeting specific types (those susceptible to manipulation due to various factors like previous abuse) so much easier, as well as the ease of being able to track what they told who via written messaging.

5:54 PM  

I am married to the same type of man. It literally took me years to finally see exactly what I am married to. 20 yrs of misery & a DX of lung cancer.
I'm so disappointed in myself because I'm not slow by a long shot, but trusting and believe in change and people that have been abused change. I believed him hook line & sinker. For years I made excuses for his behavior. I even went thru a 5 yr prison sentence because I believed if nothing changes him, that would. He was the perfect husband for all of 90 days and he was off and running again. We have a daughter that started presenting with mental health issues at about 13. First I blamed it on our ages. We are older parents so I put it off on that. Then I met a doctor. She told me no way she believed this was genetic. I questioned him and he went crazy. No mental health in his family. Definitely mine. But I started talking to his family and bingo. Sure enough on his fathers side. Dad had mental health issues. His mother had been hospitalized for most of her adult life. I started taking a few mental health courses to try and understand what the hell was going on. I came across sociopath. He is classic text book. I was relieved at first. Finally I realized it isn't me. It really is him. Then I thought maybe I'm wrong...but no. In fact he is worse at 63 than he has ever been. His lies, destructive behavior, womanizing, gambling is worst than its ever been. He is a monster. I wanted to leave but now I'm in treatment. He refuses to leave. My life is a mess. Not to mention my daughter. She keeps seeking this story book dad and he is like a stranger in the home. Very emotional for her.
My advice. Run before 20 years sneaks up on you. Your children will be effected in the worst way. Its not worth it. My husband is a buyer. He actually pays for his lies, indiscretions. Its not worth it. My entire 20 yr relationship has been based on a lie. I loved someone who is INCAPABLE of love. They are master manipulators. Run.& Pray. Don't look back. How many treatments has he been to? NOT ONE. When I told him about my DX and told him I really need you now his response was nay you don't need me you need a doctor. RUN. If you can go. Go. We deserve better. I don't kno who made reference to the Bible verse, but they just may be on to something.

4:26 PM  

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