Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein

The Dire Dangers of Narcissism

Though I’m professionally distant from today’s media luminaries, I have a particular personal interest in the current narcissistic spectacle du jour: I went to college and was friends with Harvey Weinstein nearly a half a century ago.

With an admixture of feelings, I watch the scandal unfold. I’m horrified and angry at what Weinstein is charged with perpetrating. I’m confused and saddened by my former friend’s behavior. Yet, I’m not surprised, given what I remember about Harvey when we were students. That’s not to say I could have predicted this. I don’t identify with interviewees solicited by journalists to tell what they knew of ignominious scoundrels before they committed their heinous acts. Harvey Weinstein—from first impression of him being grandiose, sycophantic, and magnanimously generous to the progression of his unstable and rampant ambitionwas intense, needy, insecure, ingratiating, and over-the-top in his endeavors.

I’m not invested in justifying or scourging Harvey. He’ll get whatever the consequences of his actions bring—spiritually and legally. I feel sorry for him, but ever more sorry for, and indignant about, the victims he is accused of abusing, exploiting, bullying, and oppressing. Such injustice must be vindicated—but that is not up to me. As a psychologist, my goal is to unravel and shed light upon the inner forces that develop into disastrous behavior. Since I consorted with Harvey and knew him well decades ago, I want to lay bare the seminal roots of an accused tyrant before he became one.

As a psychologist, I have something to contribute by explaining the wily dangers of narcissism, thus allowing potential victims to be informed and better protected. As an American citizen, I am alarmed and wary about the course and future of our country, our people and our principles. As a father, husband, and person with strengths and weaknesses who is desirous of healthy relationships, I, too, am vulnerable. Narcissism is an insidious monster, born of a needy and unstable ego that lurks for years, nursing its perceived wounds, until it explodes in aggressive and blind perpetrations. A healthy self-image must be nurtured. It can be achieved by hard work that includes the basis for self-respect and the practice of respect for others. Though the development of narcissism is neither predictable nor clearly delineated, certain factors may contribute to a self-aggrandizing ego and overbearing sense of entitlement:

  • a “silver-spoon” upbringing, where material things and excessively indulgent opportunities became integral elements in the family culture;
  • exposure to a series of traumas and humiliations;
  • use of embarrassment to modify childhood misbehavior;
  • employing self-flagellation to cope with insecurity; or simply
  • relying on an escapist fantasy and the transformative illusion of becoming a legend and hero in one’s mirror.

Though we may recoil from the exaggerated hubris of the narcissist, we should also be respectful and thankful for not traveling along such an isolating and destructive path. As my mother often said: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” To live a life of worthiness and honor, one must embrace gratitude and humility.

What Happened to You, Harvey Weinstein?
Do you remember me, Harvey? I know you’ve got a lot on your mind these days; but I’ll bet that if you heard my name, you’d say, “Mark… how the hell are you doing?” We go back a long way, Harvey, to some wild days at the University of Buffalo.

Remember the crowd? Janis Siegel (affectionately called Pumpkin), who went on to acclaim as a singer with Manhattan Transfer. And the creative and iconic Jay Beckenstein, jazz saxophonist with Spyrogyra.

Remember those all-nighters, the 4:00 AM greasy burgers at Your Host Restaurant? The anguished, drugged-out rants and discussions about the universe, who we were, and where we were going?

We grew up and went out in the world to different places. You were amazing, Harvey: intense, sycophantic, driven, disturbed, and needy. I identified with you—Jewish kids from New York, arrived in a blue collar city, ready to take over and show how much we knew and how things should be done.

You floundered, and then soared. It wasn’t long before you traded academics for an entrepreneurial path, on your way to becoming a juggernaut. You founded Harvey & Corky Productions, bringing big-name musical talent to downtown Buffalo. You soon rubbed shoulders with the top names and icons of our generation. It must have been intoxicating, far beyond the drugs that most used to reach for peace and imagined self-importance.

Throughout the years, I watched your movies and cheered you on. There goes Harvey Weinstein—I knew him in college; we were friends. I envied your success. From my intimate knowledge of your personality, I suspected that you were not happy or fulfilled. How could you be, never filling the immense void within you with something other than riches and accolades? Not to diminish your sweeping achievements. But you were so needy and insecure. How could anything the world had to offer be enough?

I wrote to you fifteen years ago, hoping to reconnect. But I never got a response.

Apparently, you tried to fill your deep inner void with surreptitious trysts, using your money and influence to sway and dominate young women—impressionable and aspiring beauties you used for your lustful and egotistical purposes. You used your money, power, and influence to lord it over people, to take advantage of them, and to coerce their silence. The chickens have come home to roost; the truth will not be hidden; you are exposed and in trouble.

It’s not for me to judge you Harvey. I just want to tell you something about women and men and power and accountability.

Females are not immune from deceit, hypocrisy, and the fleshly litany of sins. But females are to be protected and respected. They are “weaker” in some sense, but immensely more powerful than men in many respects. Our society inherently imposes on women mixed messages, psychological traumas, economic discrimination, and often the raw end of many deals. Our culture exalts and worships physical appeal, but quickly disregards and discards worthwhile human beings when their outward beauty fades. Ironically, we exalt and worship physical beauty, and yet we exploit it. The fleeting blooms of pulchritude and stardom leave women vulnerable and with undeserved dismissal or ostracism. Too many men strut their machismo, stricken with envy (and with the fantasy) that a woman can have sex any time she wants (whereas many men have to feel they must lure or seduce). Unfortunately, some men act out of this context to take advantage and force or exploit women. When the playing field becomes overly imbalanced, many women either withdraw into resentful passive aggressiveness—avoiding or manipulating intimacy—or act out with hostile projection—rejecting men or typecasting them as insensitive and only interested in exploitative sex. Though there’s plenty of blame to spread around, men bear the burden—historically, we have been at fault by dominating women and isolating them from full and equal participation in society.

With your overarching success, Harvey, you now have trouble (tsouris, in Yiddish) on a grand scale. My heart aches for you, and I pray for you.

I have some advice for you, Harvey, my dear old friend: it’s time for you to make amends, to acknowledge your wrongdoing, to seek forgiveness, and to make restitution—no holds barred. I know you must now resort to posturing for strategic legal reasons, but you are going to sacrifice a lot of money to pay for your mistakes. You can no longer “buy” people (and certainly not their silence). You will feel alone, and will be alone. You will have to give up the pretenses you have long abused to fill the abyss and mollify the gargantuan ego that hides the empty Harvey Weinstein.

Yet, there is someone valuable, tender, sensitive, worthwhile inside the blustering and offensive Harvey. This is an opportunity to find out who you really are, to change the offensiveness, and to develop into an honorable person.

God has used you, Harvey, and he is not done yet. Through these scandals, he is using you writ large to teach others; and he is bringing you to your knees in the hope that you will stay there and begin to acknowledge and worship him.

Truer riches await you, my friend, if you will only repent and ask for divine forgiveness and guidance. You must also seek forgiveness from the people you hurt, so many of them. It’s time to be open, sincere, and humble. You must unequivocally repent.

Years ago, you founded a big company—Miramax—named after your parents, Max and Miriam Weinstein. What would they think of their son now? I never knew Max or Miriam, but I am sure they always loved you. Why, Harvey, has it been so difficult for you to feel love?

The Harvey Weinstein I knew nearly half a century ago could never relax. He always had to prove something, to get more and show more. You were an intense and difficult person. But you were likable, Harvey, and you didn’t have to try so hard.

Narcissism Exposed

The term narcissism is taken from Greek mythology. Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope. He was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. He was drawn to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it (himself), not realizing it was merely an image.

Today, narcissism is a psychiatric diagnosis and considered a mental disorder. It is also often used disparagingly in common parlance and description. Narcissism involves extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, and has come to characterize a personality type. Narcissists think extremely highly of themselves and are often driven to seek validation of their worthiness and inflated self-opinion by soliciting and even demanding the approval of others. They delude themselves that their boorish machinations and manipulations of others testify to their own self-worth. Though they may be capable of compassion and empathy, narcissists are so preoccupied with their own selfish interests and with validating themselves that they typically ignore or do not consider or recognize others’ needs, even the people closest to them.

Narcissists’ classic “me-first” posture often leads them to resort to aggressive acts that allow them to dominate or “win,” regardless of the costs. They love and need to be the center of attention, often usurping the limelight, dominating conversations, and controlling situations and people to serve their own ends.

It is when they are challenged or confronted with reality that the true pathological character of narcissists flagrantly emerges. Narcissists’ fragile self-image and ego structure do not allow them to acknowledge the egregious nature of their self-importance. Thus, is it is rare for them to apologize or admit wrongdoing. Remorse and repentance for their offensive actions almost never occurs (think Trump).

Thus, narcissists often have a problem with reality-testing; that is, they can only perceive events and circumstances from the same perspective as others when such “reality” supports and buttresses themselves in a positive and flattering light. Unfortunately, this infrequently happens. Instead narcissists twist and distort reality to suit their own views, inevitably causing confusion, alienation, and damage to relationships and the integrity and well-being of others. They constantly use people in devious ways, and invariably deny their motives and the unpleasant effects upon others. Narcissists have confounding and appalling obsession to blame others for what they themselves have done. A psychological term for this is projection. This is denial at its craftiest, and it is infuriating (again, think Trump).

When dealing with and referring to people who thought too highly of themselves, a dear friend of mine use to quip. “I’d like to buy you for what you’re really worth, and sell you for what you think you’re worth.

We can shake our heads in disbelief or disgust at narcissism, and we can mock this condition with humor. However, don’t underestimate the dire danger of narcissism as the disorder affects all those who come into contact with the narcissist. Narcissists cannot have good relationships because they view others as opportunities to validate and gratify themselves. In psychoanalytic terms, they have poorly developed object relations. In plain language, this means that they cannot separate and distinguish between themselves and the legitimate perceptions, opinions, values, desires, and needs of others. What others experience (including hurt or neglect perpetrated by the narcissist) is blocked by the arrogant, center-stage prominence of the narcissist’s own needs.

Dealing With Narcissists

Because narcissists live in a bubble of self-absorption and denial, it’s very hard to break through their manipulations and defenses. Normal people (allowing for differences among individuals) have varying abilities to admit mistakes, acknowledge wrongdoing, apologize with sincerity, recognize their flaws and trespasses along with the negative impact upon others, and modify their behaviors to minimize the negative effects of selfishness. Not so with narcissists, as this is the core of their personality disorder.

It may be helpful to review the following guidelines in dealing with people you suspect of narcissism:

Expect self-centeredness and reality distortion

Because narcissists’ self-absorbed attitudes and responses are often provocative, it’s tempting to react with consternation, indignation, umbrage, and the like. However, if you keep your dismay and outrage to yourself, you’ll be in a better position to question the behaviors with a strategy of setting limits. Instead of expressing your emotional reactions to narcissistic self-centeredness, practice the strategies listed below.

Refrain from demonstrative emotional reactions

Tie responses to facts, evidence, and questions

When faced with narcissists’ bold claims, quietly question the bases for such statements. Or, just ignore them. For example, someone may proudly announce, “These people don’t know how to drive. I happen to be one of the best drivers on the road.” You could say, “ I guess so. But there is the issue of your three moving violations and numerous parking tickets.” Or, you could just let it go, and smirk to yourself.

Sometimes, simply questioning the basis for outrageous statements is enough to slow down the narcissist’s bluster. Remember Trump’s tirades about how he “knows more about Isis than any general in the military,” and his defiant complaint that he is “the victim of the greatest witch hunt in history”? There is no shutting down such an ego. However, one might ask, “Where did you acquire your military knowledge, and why were you not consulted and solicited before you became president?”

Please give us some details about the other witch hunts against which you compare your own alleged persecution.”

And don’t expect an intelligent and coherent response to your questions!

Preface accountability and confrontations with acknowledgment and legitimate praise

Narcissists perceive questions, challenges, and alternate opinions—even facts—as threats to and defamation of their integrity. Therefore, it’s helpful to preface and intersperse your messages of accountability with reasonable and relevant praise toward the person whom you’re trying to get to really listen to you. Even appealing to their putative sense of discernment and justice may get you farther along on your attempts to bring reality into the conversation.

When I deal with pie-in-the sky people who live inside dreams inflated by their own sense of self-worth and entitlement, I find it prudent to ask, “I understand that, given your abilities and track record (?!), you expect this to work out as you’ve favorably planned…, but because you are smart, have you formulated an alternative scenario and plan?”

Set boundaries and repeat if-then consequences as they pertain to the narcissist’s behaviors

Inevitably, narcissists repeatedly step on the toes of others. Their transgressions may be verbal and/or they may take vindictive actions (hello again, Mr. Trump). Their self-aggrandizement can make it hard to keep a straight face; or, their attitude of entitlement may carry implicit threats for noncompliance or resistance. (Harvey Weinstein got away with his egregious behavior in large part due to his political and economic influence, much of which he wielded against much less powerful women. When he ultimately confronted a woman who was formidable and courageous, she pulled the plug, and the dirty slimy water that had accumulated in the bathtub over the decades slurped down the drain. Harvey was left sitting naked and shivering in his own filth.)

Granted, it’s not for individuals to take on the President of the United States. But the collective violations and outrage are propelling Trump to his comeuppance. Kudos to the brave people who have spoken the truth and challenged Trump, even at risk to their own reputations and careers! That takes integrity, confidence, and courage!

And Harvey? My old friend, your bullying and predation have ironically transformed the zeitgeist. Your secret life of lust, aggression, and intimidation now exposed has caused trauma and harm—shame on you! However, the notoriety has caused a groundswell of indignation, objection, and cries for justice. You have become the agent of change, long overdue.

The message is clear: If you abuse or intimidate women, it will come to light and you will pay.

Solicit commitments, promises, and contracts in writing

Remember that, as part of their sense of entitlement, narcissists do not hesitate to change the rules—including their agreements, commitments, promises, and respect for others’ needs—when it suits their purposes. Therefore, it’s wise to make a habit of solidifying commitments and promises in writing, with dates and signatures if possible. Though the self-entitled may scoff and sneer at such requests, pretend you are prone to mistaking the details, since your memory might not be as good as theirs (!) and remind them of the pithy saying, Black and white on paper is a lot clearer than the gray matter of the brain.

In other words, play dumb, like a fox. The narcissist may pity you and indulge you.

At the very least, keep your own meticulous records with details of words, actions, and dates. E-mails and texts establish a continual, accessible, and practical audit trail, useful for holding the narcissist accountable, especially when deception and conflict arise.

Be prepared for breaches of trust, intimacy, and fidelity

Precautions and attentiveness notwithstanding, you cannot change the basic flawed character of the narcissist. That’s not to say that people don’t change. Life experience, traumas, pain, and consequences are all great teachers. They even teach to the seemingly robust and impregnable bravado of narcissists (and, at best, it takes awhile). In his own way and with his own timing, God chips away at the lives and consciences of the foolish and hurtful. At his own discretion, he causes miracles to happen.

But the very nature of narcissism attacks trust, empathy, and consideration. Don’t be surprised when the narcissist (repeatedly) violates boundaries, flaunts rules, and sabotages trust, intimacy, and even your own faith. Remain loving, but be cautious and be prepared. Your sensitivity and good intentions are no match for the power of narcissism. Engaging in an argument or a major adversarial battle with a narcissist can be akin to stepping into the ring with a mixed martial arts fighter. No holds are bared. Be prepared for the unexpected. Be on guard. Protect yourself at all times. Expect hyperbole, manipulated facts, concocted falsehoods, inconsistencies, and outrageous lies. It’s all part of the package.

Narcissism’s Dire Consequences

Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein are but two notorious narcissistic icons—caricatures writ large in a field of opportunism. Their transgressions leave us aghast, wondering how such egregious behavior could have escalated and continued.

Surely, someone like Weinstein, if indicted and convicted of a crime or crimes in a court of law, must be thwarted and punished. Trump is a much more complex matter involving political and constitutional issues that are still in the process of unfolding. However, the important take-home message is that there are many like them—young, old, male, female, prominent, less significant—who foist their attitudes and perpetrations upon the unsuspecting and vulnerable, the psychologically and experientially less sophisticated, and those with fewer defenses and resources.

Narcissists may be overtly offensive, or they may be furtive and wily—sheep in wolves’ clothing. In a culture that has inveterately promoted self-centeredness and a “me-first” value system, narcissists may seem to embody the cultural virtues, to blend in and prevail over the competition. But you will recognize them by their intransigence and lack of compassion for the basic welfare and psychological well-being of others. As legends in their own mirrors (or pools, as with the Greek Narcissus), they deem themselves the only ones who matter.

As a society, we should focus attention on identifying, dissuading, and modifying the development of narcissistic character. Respect for women—pervasive societal, legal, accommodating respect—is surely a good place to start. We are beginning to painfully learn those lessons.

But the battle against misogyny is not enough. Parents must teach their children that the world does not “owe” them. The government should provide more than minimal education and health care—service, schooling, and training that focuses on character development and resources for the ravages of character failure, including disorders of emotional bonding, anxiety, depression, trauma, and the depredations of addiction.

We need to return to God, individually and collectively. Each of us determines our own personal relationship with or abandonment of our Creator. Religion should not be forced. But spiritual living should be foundational and institutionally encouraged. The development of the soul and its conscience and compassion is incompatible with the “me-first” ethos that culturally reinforces narcissism.

When tragedy strikes, we become voracious Monday morning quarterbacks. We scrutinize the history of assassins and predators, looking for clues that should have exposed them earlier. However, social autopsies on misfits will not relieve us of the larger problem, nor will those efforts alone avert the perverse development of unhealthy, megalomaniac egos.

We must become a society, through and through, that values humility and teaches people, rank and file, to put others first. Against such a social norm, the Trumps and Weinsteins will identify themselves early as faulty people who need discipline, correction, and guidance to develop true and healthy self-love.

Narcissism may never be eliminated, for we are a prideful and sinful species. With regard to selfish insensitivity, some are given to robust excess, even to the point of outright cruelty. Recoil as we might from Trump and Weinstein, we should learn that we need to expose them earlier in order to prevent the devastating potential of narcissism from exerting its will.

Farewell to the Harvey I Knew

We can’t live in the past. The Harvey Weinstein I knew nearly a half century ago has gone his own way, as have I.

In college, you looked up to me, Harvey. In your desperate neediness, you couldn’t see through my pretense, my needing to appear hip and avant-garde. If I’d had your talents, Harvey, perhaps I would have gone much farther astray than I did. Money and fame eluded me, but I guess I was luckier than you. And life did not let me get away with what, in my insouciant arrogance and ambition, I secretly wanted to.

If we could have coffee, I’d share with you some of the ordeals that happened in my life, what I’ve learned and about the people who taught me. Despite many setbacks and traumas, I’ve been fortunate. I have loved and been loved. Women have been great teachers to me, some intimate, some maternal, and many have been platonic, wonderful influences. I have learned to respect women and to not take advantage of them. Except for my wife, I regard them as sisters, mothers, and daughters. I treat them with biblically directed protection, respect, and deference. I joke (respectfully) about the differences between men and women. I note with professional acumen the stereotypes that frequently characterize the brains and demeanors of the two sexes. I’ve written a book about this, too, aimed at improving harmony and satisfaction in marriage relationships.

With maturity, I have more confidence and less need to prove myself or be the center of attention. I’m more able to appreciate the difficulties women have in a male-dominated world. I’m grounded enough to speak up and to model for males how to respect, value, protect, and share equally with females.

With God’s help and the stringent sanctions of many people who knocked me off my self-constructed pedestal and put me in a proper place, I’ve tamed most of my narcissistic tendencies.

The Harvey Weinstein I knew has grown and devolved. Farewell naïve and callow college buddy. I still recognize you, Harvey; beneath the atrocities, there is a boy, now a man, desperate for satisfying love. I hope this is God’s way of teaching you how to find it.

— Mark Steinberg, Ph.D.

Joe Rogan Experience #1084 – Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray, author of “The Strange Death of Europe” which is out now, is an author, journalist, and political commentator. He is the founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion and is the associate director of the Henry Jackson Society and associate editor of The Spectator, a British magazine discussing culture and politics.

49:13
I was in discussion with a modern cleric
who’s a sort of reformist figure and
Meyer in some ways who in a discussion
about something said well you know also
Mohammed Prophet Muhammad peace be upon
him was was he took criticism in his
early he took criticism very very well
he never minded people criticizing him I
like that’s absolute crap that is real
crap I mean whatever else you say he
Muhammad not really good on this on the
criticism of himself
bit and I gave an example of a female
poet s who he had killed because she
criticized him
and this guy went
absolutely apeshit and refused to
continue and so on and because you gave
an actual because I gave historical
example from his own religious texts and
and in the end it was a pre-recording
day and the end the BBC were like it was
can you find another way of trying to
make the same point and you know and
that was what we had to do I mean I mean
another way of making the same point yet
rather than pointing out the historical
exact same that showed that Muhammad did
have a female poet killed yes you just
what other way would there be to make
that point that is hard but that’s the
ultimate way to make that
exactly which is by pointing to the
texts and the facts but you know I can
think of no other situation in which
somebody has veto rights like that yeah
in a normal discussion and it’s because
they were terrified of the retaliation
yes I mean I knew everyone in the
production box was like oh no what’s
Douglass done so how can we stop it
affecting us
what was his clerics response to that he
yeah he just he went yeah they’re a bit
nuts and wouldn’t continue unless I you
know wouldn’t say that
and so what did he deny that it was in
the tent oh yeah yeah I said I was
making it up and has a liar

I’m used to that but that that’s a crazy
thing for him to say when someone can
just read the text yeah but they have
they’re banking on nobody doing that
well no this day and age don’t bank on
that yeah this is this is one the
releasing things isn’t it because
although it’s true you can like suppress
a lot of this
you know we do live in an
age when basically anyone can google and
find texts
and they can destroy a time
did a billion people of read I’m not
sure they’ve read it but yeah well
possess it they don’t know how many
people you think read it how many really
think read the Bible like if you had a
like gasps there are number of
Christians in this country there are
those tests on that they’d sometimes to
the human society invaded a few years
ago asking very basic questions and self
professed Christians about their
knowledge of the texts and very few my
52:03
favorite is self professed Christians
52:05
with religious tattoos like hey man you
52:08
got to read the whole book like you are
52:12
literally showing on your skin right
52:15
that you didn’t read the whole book
52:16
didn’t pay attention don’t do that yeah
52:20
this is Leviticus is in Leviticus that’s
52:23
got the implications against writing
52:25
like you know if you read a little bitty
52:28
there’s a heck of a lot you can’t do if
52:29
you if you go down where are two pieces
52:32
of different cloth yes exactly
52:35
yeah Leviticus is a wonderful book it’s
52:37
going it’s very good for the mohair what
52:39
Leviticus wasn’t the one which was the
52:42
book where the guy called upon the
52:45
she-bear to kill
52:46
children who were mocking his baldness
52:49
do you know about that one my favorite
52:52
special on bald guy this guy was getting
52:56
mocked by children fucking kids and God
53:00
called upon a she-bear to come down and
53:04
tear apart these children who were
53:06
making fun of his bald head here uh-ohhh
53:09
lash and the two bear two kings yeah
53:13
look at that Wow
53:14
went up to pass if you were going to
53:17
intervene in human affairs for anything
53:18
this would be the time that’s got a step
53:20
in Jung kid young kids came out from the
53:27
city and mocked him and said to him go
53:29
up you bald head go up you bald head
53:32
which is very mild and when he looked
53:35
behind him and saw them he cursed them
53:38
in the name of the Lord all caps then
53:41
two female bears came out of the woods
53:43
and tore up 42 lads of their number and
53:47
he went from there to Mount Carmel it’s
53:49
like you know deal it’s over got it done
53:52
and that’s that’s yeah that’s my
53:55
favorite reading from Scripture was the
53:57
one at the end of one of the books that
53:59
come which one it was I was a chorus
54:01
when I was young I always made me laugh
54:03
there was a this did the destruction of
54:05
the city of Nineveh it really in it
54:07
finish is I think not any faces chapter
54:09
of the whole book it says you know and
54:10
and lo in that in that city were forty
54:14
thousand human souls that were destroyed
54:16
and had also some cattle cattle just by
54:22
disassociation some cattle bad cows
54:25
there are bad cows some of those cows
54:28
too but no the rather bald-headed one
54:31
that’s very that’s that’s a yeah that’s
54:34
a heck of a time to you know to tread
54:35
into human descent even an insult you
54:37
know all dead no your bald head is just
54:39
an accurate description the I mean that
54:41
is not an insult
54:42
if you like you ugly sloppy bald-headed
54:47
loser okay yeah then maybe God need to
54:49
step in and see some wolves to attack
54:51
you and vitamin D specify that they’re
54:55
female yeah yeah why is it female 32
54:58
number yeah 42 kids two bears for those
55:02
of subhead those are some bitch-ass kids
55:04
need to learn how to run that doesn’t
55:06
even make sense how the fuck those bears
55:07
even catch all 42 of those kids what
55:09
kind of kids are they raising over there
55:10
in Bethel they’re well they’re all
55:17
sitting around waiting their turn yeah I
55:18
mean trying out cuss words til one
55:21
causes the Bears to calm down you shaggy
55:26
bear that didn’t work you Shaggy’s mangy
55:29
dirty stinky bear head yeah there’s so
55:35
many of those stories that are so
55:36
strange but I’ve been I bet I bet that
55:38
that most if we were to go to the the
55:41
people who say that their questions in
55:43
the polls and ask him about we don’t
55:45
even need to go the baldhead bear right
55:47
I’ll catch them it is they don’t except
55:49
though most people don’t even bother
55:50
reading that cuz it’s just it’s almost
55:52
too crazy yeah but but but yeah the very
55:56
very little knowledge even about very
55:57
basic things you know even Commandments
56:02
and so on all right so that’s the case
56:04
with the religion that America and
56:06
Britain is known best with Christianity
56:08
so there’s no reason to assume that
56:09
that’s not the case with Islam as well
56:11
isn’t that just the case with people I
56:12
mean it seems to be the same thing that
56:13
we’re talking about with headlines
56:15
someone reads the headlines they don’t
56:16
bother reading into it and then they
56:17
accuse someone or something it’s almost
56:19
like with religion I’m a Christian and
56:21
I’m a Christian man oh really
56:22
please tell me about the Bible right
56:26
it’s um there’s something better I’ve
56:29
often thought this is one of the reasons
56:31
why there’s it’s possible to get a
56:33
certain fanaticism going within Muslim
56:35
communities on some issues to do with
mass for me is I think is to do with a
realization of this you said that this
was the case about our prophet I didn’t
know
there I he did what I had this all
my life with with arguing with Muslims
about things the they very rarely know
for the problems in their own tradition

and when you bring them up what he did
what like the Christians with the bald
ben and and this causes a really serious
problem for them because they are told
from the cradle that that they are
following a religion founded by the most
perfect man imaginable and if you
discover
that if you it’s like you know
no there’s no description of Helen of
Troy
in the ancient texts why does nobody
escribe Helen of Troy why didn’t nobody
say did you know she was a sort of this
beautiful blonde ringlets order it’s
because it actually catches on as a
theme because everyone makes Helen of
Troy their most beautiful woman if you
57:44
start to describe you me like I’m not
57:45
into redheads everyone would Helen of
57:51
Troy becomes a person upon you whom you
57:53
put all of those things and in the same
57:56
way Mohammed becomes if you say is the
57:58
perfect human being the people will just
58:00
throughout their lives put the kind of
58:01
things they think are perfect on to
58:03
Mohammed you must be very kind very
58:04
generous very caregiving and so on
58:06
so that if you then say well what about
58:09
when he then did this I think it just
58:12
causes an extra hurt this is something
58:15
they’ll have to get over of course
58:17
because I mean we can’t go away and not
58:20
rather identify these for these issues
58:22
but it causes in the short term an
58:25
enormous enormous pain I have a an
58:27
example I gave recently in a book of
58:29
them somebody I spent some time with
58:31
couple years ago an extraordinary man
58:33
called Morten storm he was a Danish
58:37
bikers a big in a biker gang and
58:40
in Denmark went to prison and in prison
58:43
about 2000 or so he converted not just
58:46
to Islam he converted to al-qaeda
58:48
basically he’s not a not a common person
58:50
in any way and he ended up being the
58:55
main go-to person for so our Lackey was
58:58
a head of al-qaeda in Yemen and in fact
59:01
was asked to give him up get a wife our
59:03
Lackey to supplement his wife collection
59:05
and a Morten storm a lot of things ended
59:09
up falling out with al Qaeda and ended
59:11
up working for the CIA and Danish
59:12
intelligence and ended up helping lead
59:14
them to our Lackey who was then droned
59:16
by Obama in 2011 or so anyhow I once
59:20
said to MotorStorm what was the moment
59:23
that made you get out of al-qaeda and he
59:27
has such a fascinating answer he because
59:28
he came out of al-qaeda and Islam at the
59:31
same moment he says what was happening
was he was sitting in his he was waiting
for a package when I’ll kind of drop off
to get then from him to our Lackey and
the the person carrying the package was
late and then really late and he was
sitting in his apartment somewhere in
Germany I think at that point and he was
so pissed off about this and he had a
laptop that was there on the table and
he thought basically how can i express
my pissed-off Ness with my al-qaeda
colleagues for wasting my time like this
so much and he went to Google and he
typed in contradictions in Islam and
began to read that was how he got out

Wow that’s what did him in some just
late he just started reading again they
told me this they never told me that I
never knew that
and that was so as I say
he’s a very very uncommon but but I
think that might be happening quite a
lot more than we know people just
googling things finding stuff out for
ourselves it’s the most dangerous
religion to leave because they kill
apostates they do yeah so what’s how is
he dealing with that well he lives in
hiding I mean wow
60:50
yeah yeah fancy may he read a book agent
60:54
storm two years ago one of the weirdest
60:59
conversation that I ever saw anybody
61:01
have with someone who was a believer was
61:04
Dawkins I think it was yeah was having a
61:08
conversation with someone in the asked
61:09
him point-blank whether or not he
61:10
believed that Mohammed split the moon oh
61:13
yes I think I know this was with a very
61:17
close enemy of mine called Mehdi Hassan
61:18
who worked for Al Jazeera and who
61:21
Richard Dawkins did a interview with and
61:23
I think he that’s why he fluffed
61:26
something earlier on Dork is he didn’t
61:29
take him on then he took him on on this
61:31
that’s wrong and I think that Sam said
61:34
yes yes yes and then it led to this
61:37
terrible problem which is a really
61:38
interesting interesting problem of our
61:40
era which is then dorking said I can’t
61:43
believe that somebody or said afterwards
61:44
I can’t believe that somebody could be a
61:45
working journalist and believe that you
61:47
know Mohammed Sloot a meal and a half
61:49
human horse right and of course I mean I
61:54
there’s a interesting point there yeah
61:57
but of course we do quite rightly allow
61:59
people to believe bizarre and insane
62:02
thing well sure exactly and if we
62:06
started saying you can’t have public
62:07
office of working journalism if you
62:08
profess to be of this particular faith
62:11
then we wouldn’t get any way we wouldn’t
62:12
have anyone left and how does the story
62:14
go Mohammed flew to the moon on a half
62:16
human horse yeah and split the moon with
62:18
a sword as I would yeah I counted they
62:20
could have then been attacked by female
62:23
bears but I can’t no I can’t
62:25
yes he it’s the night journey which is
62:28
central and how the moon get glued back
62:30
together again
62:31
is it back together it looks like it is
62:34
I haven’t looked close maybe I need to
62:37
pay more attention it’s just the the
62:41
fact that a per mile I believe this was
62:43
a few years ago let’s just say it was
62:45
2010 that this interview or that this
62:47
debate took place yes he was around then
62:50
eight years ago that someone would be
62:52
comfortable saying oh that they believe
62:55
that oh you see I got into a little
62:56
trouble Richard Dawkins got a bit
62:58
annoyed about me because I took the
63:01
mickey out of him for dodging the one
63:02
earlier in that what was the earlier one
63:04
he a great admirer of it as everyone is
63:09
sure but he he knows exactly where the
63:14
cliff edge is hmm and in that interview
63:17
he he was asked on al-jazeera by this
63:21
interviewer he read out the bit from The
63:25
God Delusion about you know as a great
63:27
bit of rhetoric about the most the God
63:30
who smokes God is something like the
63:31
most appalling narcissistic murderous
63:34
blob of our character in all of fiction
63:36
is a terrific piece of writing and the
63:39
interviewer says the Dawkins do you do
63:42
you stand by that as a description of
63:44
the Christian God Dawkins says yes this
63:46
is you stand by it does the description
63:48
of the Jewish God says yes and then he
63:49
says and would you say the same thing
63:50
about the Muslim God and I just knew
63:54
exactly what’s happening at Richard
63:55
Dawkins says um about the Muslim God I
63:58
didn’t know so much which he as I say he
64:02
thinks I shouldn’t rip him on this and
64:05
the thing was what I noticed was just I
64:07
just I know I completely felt he’s been
64:09
a very brave and brilliant writer and
64:12
thinker on these matters and nobody’s
64:13
done more in some ways but he I knew
64:17
exactly what was happening he was
64:19
staring right over the cliff edge and
64:20
somebody was behind him nudging yeah and
64:24
that if he had have said as it were live
64:27
on al Jazeera oh yes
64:29
Allah you know the total bastard then I
64:34
don’t know maybe yes maybe you’re then
64:38
in real trouble you know and so he
64:41
stepped back from the brink there and I
64:42
rather crudely perhaps took the mickey
64:44
out of him afters for it I said that it
64:46
was just that Richard Dawkins was
64:48
demonstrating a survival instinct of his
64:50
species but I I feel bad about it but it
64:54
is true it is true but we’ve all been
64:56
there to some extent and what was his
64:58
response to that though to my general
65:02
criticism he well he basically I think
65:07
he did take it on board in a way
65:10
so complex reasons but I know I know he
65:15
was also annoyed that I was where I
65:16
think he felt that I was doing that to
65:18
him then you do it right right and that
65:23
is very common in that I’ve had that a
65:25
lot in my life of in this particular
65:28
area of people trying to egg me over why
65:31
don’t you say that
65:32
mmm of course and and you know that
65:36
they’re the people who’ll be a million
65:38
miles behind me oh yeah they would their
65:40
ears plugged yeah I behind a wall I was
65:43
a very I was a very very visual aid of
65:45
it somebody who etches is a terrific
65:47
reformer in Islam that now and another
65:51
cleric who once described me he went to
65:53
fight for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan
65:54
and you know 30 years ago now and
65:57
described to me he’s not very fighting
65:59
li-like person but described how he did
66:01
actually sort of really rile them up to
66:02
sort of run over and get at the Soviets
66:04
and he’s like you know we’re all agreed
66:06
yes we’ll go yes and I go and he guys
66:13
guys and everyone else stayed in the
66:15
trench and I’ve always thought this is
66:17
exactly the experience of anyone in this
66:21
area what grabbed eyes is that there’s
66:23
inherent danger and this criticism even
66:25
that’s the discussion right now I’m sure
66:27
that people right now firing up their
66:29
webcams and writing blogs and tweeting
66:32
and getting upset about it yeah it’s any
66:35
rational discussion of that particular
66:37
subject you could kind of get away I
66:40
mean I get criticism from Christians but
66:44
it’s not scary right yes that is um
66:48
that’s that is a big difference of the
66:50
timing isn’t it right this is this is
66:52
something it’s just so important about
66:54
the new ones that almost never gets
66:56
added in but of course we all just
66:57
assumed it so we don’t think it’s worth
66:59
saying but we are aware that any
67:00
religion or thought like this could be
67:03
this dangerous at different phases yes
67:06
you know we might under wanted to be in
67:09
Spain in certain points in the last
67:12
millennium sure we might not have wanted
67:16
to be a Catholic descent to at certain
67:17
points or Protestant dissenters others
67:19
and so on and so forth we all know that
67:20
yes it’s just that at the moment that’s
67:23
pretty question
67:24
and and quiet and of course it’s less
67:27
quiet here than it is in my country one
67:30
can’t imagine the Anglican Church
67:31
becoming militant about anything at any
67:33
point soon you do have some angrier
67:37
types of Christian here than we have in
67:38
my country so it’s easy for me to think
67:40
they’re slightly less risky at some
67:44
point in the future than than you might
67:46
but but it’s just that we do recognize
67:48
this could happen elsewhere as well it’s
67:50
just at the moment it’s it’s it’s not
67:51
the Quakers they they really don’t send
67:57
me a death threat from one year to the
67:58
next right rather nice people there’s an
68:02
inherent danger of a retaliation from
68:06
people who are more radical Christian
68:10
that if this continues and if you see it
68:13
more and more of more and more attacks
68:16
from people of Muslim faith yes you
68:18
could possibly see a retaliation from
68:21
people especially in this country like
68:23
after 9/11 there was an extreme amount
68:26
of hate for Muslims and irrational hate
68:30
mostly which nothing directed at Sikhs
68:33
yes well there was a lot of that out of
68:35
ignorance they just didn’t they didn’t I
68:37
mean that was the most disturbing
68:39
because Sikhs are pretty interesting
68:41
people and the fact that they just
68:45
instantaneously with no information at
68:48
all no understanding out of complete
68:50
ignorance yeah attack them I I have a I
68:54
second no one in my gloominess about
68:56
some of the things that we’re going to
68:57
go through in Britain and Europe and
68:58
their coming years but I recently had a
69:02
reason to even more gloomy about one
69:04
aspect of it relating to this which is
69:05
this we had three big bad terrorist
69:10
attacks last year in the UK including
69:13
the Manchester Arena bomb 22 young
69:15
people were blown up on a Monday night
69:17
for going to hear ariana grande and
69:22
after the third of those attacks which
69:25
was on London Bridge went three people
69:28
who actually known the authorities as
69:30
they generally are slashed people’s
69:33
throats on the street and ran to borough
69:35
market as people were drinking and
69:36
stabbed people while shouting this is
69:39
for Allah after the third of those
69:41
attacks it was a fella is this really
69:45
just gonna keep happening what are we
69:48
gonna do about it and what can we do and
69:50
after the Manchester one in particular
69:51
there was this kind of thing of everyone
69:54
saying apart John Lennon’s Imagine there
69:56
was this hit don’t Lee don’t look back
69:58
in anger and these themes that say we
70:01
weren’t meant to think anything other
70:02
than that we weren’t meant to be angry
70:03
enemy and then then just terrible thing
70:09
happened from another direction
70:12
outside Finsbury Park mosque which the
70:15
muscular very troubled and bad history
70:18
in London a guy from Wales in a van
70:22
drives into the crowds as they’re
70:25
milling around outside the mosque kills
70:28
one man and injures a number of others
70:32
that guy by the way just show how
70:34
complex all this can get is he was tried
70:38
and guilty last month in the courts in
70:41
the UK he he had been his office he very
70:45
mentally deranged and had a history of
70:47
mental illness and all that sort of
70:48
thing as very often people do in these
70:50
situations but he he had watched the BBC
70:54
drama called three girls which is the
70:56
first time the BBC had really addressed
70:59
the issue of the Rotherham
71:01
Rochdale rape gangs that happened in the
71:04
last decade in the UK which is still a
71:05
saw that’s going on where about 1,500
71:07
girls in one town alone were basically
71:10
abused by gangs of Muslim mainly
71:15
Pakistani men and it’s a very very ugly
71:18
business partly because it was so awful
71:21
that nobody there that nobody at the
71:22
State at the police level and the arts
71:24
wanted to look into it and they are now
71:26
in the governing choir so they they
71:28
didn’t be looking to excel worried about
71:30
being called racist and there’s a Lama
71:31
phobic and so on the press did a lot of
71:33
not being interested in this as well
71:35
eventually after all these years the BBC
71:38
makes a documentary called three girls
71:40
about three of the girls who suffered
71:42
from these rape gangs and then a man in
71:45
Wales sees it and gets so enraged people
71:48
say at the local pub he was railing
71:49
against the bloody
71:50
limbs and all this sort of thing and
71:51
then he hires a van and drives in to
71:53
have a crowd of people outside a mask
71:55
and you have this awful feeling that the
72:00
BBC didn’t want to deal with the issue
72:02
that the program was about for years
72:04
because it was so awful and ugly and
72:08
sounded like something made up by some
72:10
kind of nativist racist you know it’s
72:12
had everything and then they do and then
72:17
it turns out remember the public sees it
72:19
and drives a van into a crowd yeah I
72:20
mean you know this this sort of couldn’t
72:23
get more complex and wait so and I
72:25
thought after that okay maybe maybe the
72:27
maybe the BBC were right maybe they
72:30
shouldn’t maybe they should cover up the
72:32
gang rape for 1500 girls maybe the
72:35
public can’t cope with it maybe they
72:37
will get into vans now as it happens I
72:39
know the British public I think fairly
72:41
well and I think that that guy in well
72:44
is a very very unusual figure I don’t
72:46
think it’s very common I don’t think
72:47
everyone’s going to do that I don’t
72:48
think we’re all like that wicked
72:50
Madeleine but I don’t know I mean I
72:54
don’t know for sure everywhere I don’t
72:56
know what the I don’t know what happened
72:58
in this country with various other
72:59
countries if there were three attacks
73:00
like that in quick succession I don’t
73:02
know but this is this is really it is
73:07
going to get complex it’s already
73:09
complex and the response to it’s complex
73:12
to how do you how do you if you if you
73:16
are a journalist if you are television
73:20
channel how do you report on this do you
73:22
think about the responsibility of
73:24
alerting someone to these actual real
73:27
atrocities that’s going to force them to
73:28
react on innocent people that did
73:30
nothing in front of this mosque that the
73:32
fact that these people in this mosque or
73:34
somehow or another connected to these
73:36
people that did these horrible crimes
73:37
just by virtue of the fact they’re in
73:38
the same religion that’s insane – yeah
73:41
it’s all insane I mean it seems to me
73:43
the only the only way through it is to
73:45
say first of all I mean I don’t I I
73:48
really American press all the time I
73:49
think that it’s it’s worse than the
73:50
British press in in in that
73:53
self-appointed role of believing its
73:54
task is to stand between the public and
73:57
the facts you know and sort of negotiate
73:59
between the to see what they think the
74:01
public can cope with or shouldn’t know
74:03
and
74:03
and feed them that the American press
74:07
seems to me to be rife with that that
74:09
temptation as ours is but it seems to be
74:12
the only way around this is to not not
74:14
give in to that and to try just to
74:16
publish the facts when they happen
74:18
because it’s just obviously seems to be
74:20
much work we always know in political
74:22
scandal what’s worst to cover up it’s
74:25
always the cover-up right and that that
74:27
may be the case with all this maybe
74:28
maybe the the argument for just the
74:31
papers explaining stuff that’s happened
74:33
is maybe that’s maybe that’s all they
74:38
can do and that it I could just say to
74:41
them it’d be a lot worse if you bottle
74:44
this up because otherwise people will
74:47
get the idea that there is some
74:48
conspiracy to cover over certain stories
74:51
and and they’ll be on to something in
74:53
fact if you think about the millions of
74:55
people that must have seen that the
74:57
story on the rape of fifteen hundred the
75:01
fact that only one person responded that
75:03
way right it’s a pretty extraordinary in
75:05
and of itself yes yes III would have and
75:07
I would have thought on some of this I
75:09
mean you know I don’t know again I mean
75:11
there are there are lots of examples one
75:14
could use but when something bad happens
75:17
like the Manchester Arena attack I’m
75:21
amazed in a way that people are so
75:23
decent I mean I’m so pleased they are
75:26
but they we really we don’t go out
75:29
looking for people to attack you know
75:31
that the public certainly Britain I can
75:33
that happy saying I think it’s a
75:34
monomeric the public we’re not really
75:36
lynch mobs waiting to be got going again
75:39
but the expectation that we are is the
75:42
only possibility of creating us in such
75:45
a way it’s only by treating us as if we
75:49
can’t deal with ugly things that go on
75:52
that you could see the situations where
75:55
you’ve again to see the situation in
75:56
which that all goes wrong in that
75:57
different way yeah I mean I don’t envy
76:03
their position especially trying to pick
76:05
up the ball from here yes with all the
76:08
history and all the terrible things
76:10
especially in England with so many
76:12
attacks over such a relatively short
76:14
period of time where there was a very
76:16
small hist
76:17
before yeah it seemed like this
76:19
immediate eruption of all these issues
76:21
yes and I mean the country in some ways
76:24
I wrote about my latest but most is
76:26
France where yes you the book comes out
76:29
in translation there in a couple of
76:30
months time very interested to see what
76:32
happens because France had of even I
76:36
mean we mention Charlie I’ve David that
76:38
eighteen months or so it had was just I
76:40
mean again we’d all sort of disappears
76:43
now every day’s got bad news of some
76:44
kind but you know to have a major
76:48
Western capital city with 130 people
76:50
killed in an evening with multiple
76:52
suicide bombings and people being gunned
76:54
down from mopeds as they’re sitting
76:56
outside a bar and you know another group
77:00
of people going into a rock concert and
77:02
and you know going through the disabled
77:04
section shooting everyone one by one in
77:06
the disabled section and gunning
77:07
everyone else down and catch him in the
77:09
lavatories and shooting him in there I
77:11
mean that that happened in one night
77:14
alone in Paris the Parisians didn’t
77:17
become you know they didn’t become
77:20
wicked terrible people anything but they
77:22
have I think these I think that the a
77:25
lot of these terrible events have
77:27
happened
77:27
they actually what happens is they sink
77:30
down to a lower level of our
77:32
consciousness so that we what actually
77:35
happens is we we we get over the
77:37
immediate thing quite fast but that
77:40
something that the foundational level
77:42
changes I had a case nobody really
77:44
wanted to linger on but there was one in
77:46
in November in the UK on Oxford Street
where because of course everyone does
after these attacks they always say you
know we will not be changed everyone
tries to sort of channel the spirit of
Churchill and all that sort of thing I
in Churchill hear me roar and and so on
and and actually the the facts are
otherwise in November on Oxford Street
there was a wall we know is that there
were two men who may have had some
disagreement on the platform of a tube
Trevor tube platform whatever happened
it was misunderstood by crowds and it
developed into a stampede out of the
tube station then all the way down
Oxford Street people were locked and
barricaded into the big department
78:26
stores a pop singer got Olly Murs
78:30
tweeted out his
78:31
million followers you know there are
78:33
shots of being fired I’m in the back
78:35
room of the store H&M; and there’s
78:37
something and other people claim that a
78:39
truck had gone down Oxford and mowing
78:42
people down they’ve seen bodies the
78:44
police said it was a major terrorist
78:45
event they were on top of an and the the
78:48
press were all you know running stories
78:50
turned out nothing happened nothing
78:53
happened the next day two men handed
78:55
themselves into a local police station
78:56
saying they thought they might have been
78:58
responsible for it but they were let off
78:59
without any charge what I’m saying is
79:02
they thought they might have been
79:03
responsible for it because they had been
79:04
in an argument that they’d had an
79:06
argument maybe they were they they won’t
79:07
say we’re responsible healthy but like
79:08
they were asking for information and
79:11
they will let go but my point is is that
79:14
is that we can simultaneously say we
79:18
will not be cowed and also actually be
79:21
at the stage where if you just hear a
79:23
bang yeah everyone goes running you you
79:26
don’t want to be the last person to
79:28
figure out what’s going on so as soon as
79:31
something you think is happening people
79:34
in this day and age when there’s just
79:35
this recent history of horrible things
79:38
happening over and over again in Orlando
79:40
here I mean there’s just so many of them
79:42
just instantaneously want to react and
79:46
then like in the Vegas shooting one of
79:48
the things that was very confusing about
79:50
the big Vegas shooting is people would
79:52
go into casinos they would flee from the
79:55
concert into casinos and then talk about
79:56
a shooter and then people would say
79:59
there’s an active shooter at Tropicana
80:01
there’s an advocate always happens
80:02
there’s always that’s why I never
80:04
believe immediate aftermath there’s
80:05
always a claim of other shooters there’s
80:07
always a claim of something that turns
80:08
out not everywhere they were there were
80:10
claiming their shooters all over the
80:12
city but there was no actual shooting in
80:14
these other casinos who was just reports
80:16
of active shooters that’s and by the way
80:20
if you’re interested I there’s a
80:23
fascinating thing about why this happens
80:25
and I wrote a book some years ago about
80:28
Bloody Sunday a terrible event in
80:30
Northern Ireland in 1972 and one of the
80:33
things I went through all the tests many
80:35
of everyone who one of the most
80:36
interesting things was the number of
80:38
people whose memories were just totally
80:40
different from what we know
happened and you know one of the
conclusions I came to was that there’s a
book by a Harvard professor but they
called the seven sins of memory about
this but one of the things that clearly
happens is after any very traumatic
event or very terrible event where
people are effectively in the situation
of a war zone when they were just
shopping or a concert a moment before is
that our memories immediately become
even more suggestible than they are
already and the most obvious thing of
suggestibility in these situations is
that the situation was was worse around
you and you came off better than you did
and that’s almost always the case the
shots that were quite quite a bit away
were very close you you you have to your
memory without knowing it we all do it
our memory tells us we behave better
than we did and that the threat was
worse because this is our over one of
our ways of coping I think mm-hmm
but but it’s a terrible thing obviously
with the I mean with these school
81:46
shootings and things that are going on
81:48
here at the moment I mean this is
81:49
obviously one of the things I watched
81:52
your podcasts the other day where you
81:53
were discussing this for the latest one
81:54
with the Florida and and I think you
81:58
know in a way bafflement
82:00
going on in this society about this is
82:02
understandable yeah the I mean it’s the
82:06
unimaginable horror of being involved in
82:09
that situation your mind is just not
82:10
prepared to cope with that I mean maybe
82:12
if you are a soldier and if you
82:13
experienced combat exactly and you know
82:15
how to stay calm and a firefight because
82:18
you’ve been at a bunch of them but for
82:19
the average person I mean it’s one of
82:21
the reasons why I witnessed testimony
82:24
it’s one of the worst pieces of evidence
82:25
you could ever get including I mean
82:27
about it about basically everything
82:29
about fistfights you know anything oh
82:32
yeah now we all have examples in our
82:33
lives of seeing you know friends who’ve
82:35
been through the same thing we know that
82:37
they’ve burned through the same thing
82:38
and yet they have two totally different
82:39
right so of course you know what
82:41
happened I mean that’s that’s a real
82:44
problem but now you have this thing here
82:46
where I mean some ways even worse than
82:48
we do of the search to notch it up for
82:52
your own political science yeah or
82:53
against the enemy yeah same thing with a
82:55
Twitter
82:56
the Twitter pointment that I mean this
82:58
this obscene glee that goes on after any
83:02
terrorist attack in Europe but I think
83:03
also here as well the attempt is to
83:05
immediately call it for the other side
83:08
or for your side or whatever and to try
83:12
to use terrible events as a way to
83:14
justify whatever your own team is yes I
83:19
have I find it amazing with a gun debate
83:21
here and I would find it amazing coming
83:24
from a different society on it but the
83:26
wages will not shit up for one side or
83:28
the other in it and it’s you’ve got a
83:32
real problem on it I’ve been watching a
83:34
lot of it from the perspective of the
83:36
gun owners NRA members and the people
83:40
that want to defend the idea of having
83:43
guns even of arming teachers and you’re
83:47
looking at their perspective on it and
83:48
their perspective on it is all about
83:50
their rights all about the Constitution
83:52
all about the bill of rights all about
83:54
protecting the second Amendment all
83:56
about its gun ownership being taken away
83:59
gun ownership under attack the NRA under
84:01
attack they’re coming after our guns and
84:03
this is this constant battle of ideas
84:05
it’s on Twitter not addressing the
84:08
actual issue I mean I’m sorry no it’s
84:12
watching this thing harming teachers
84:16
yeah that’s insane I mean this Samuel
84:18
Jackson had a great quote about it but
84:20
you mean it’s you know he put it on
84:23
Twitter like someone tell a motherfucker
84:25
who’s never been in a gun fight the
84:26
problems of arming a bunch of teachers
84:29
right yes somebody said someone’s been
84:31
in a gun fight please tell ya
84:33
motherfuckers somebody said somebody
84:35
said anyone who thinks is a good idea
84:36
giving teachers guns is clearly never
84:39
seen one try to use an overhead
84:40
projector ah yeah there’s there’s Samuel
84:42
Jackson look at that three hundred and
84:44
six thousand likes so you know was an
84:47
effective tweet check the number it was
84:52
only yeah you got three tweets it can’t
84:54
be true nobody likes yeah I I thought
84:57
there was a very pertinent one a few
84:58
years ago in New York on fifth when
85:00
somebody shot their colleague and
85:04
outside the office they came back his
85:07
disgruntled worker shot the colleague
85:08
and
85:09
locally there was some policemen around
85:11
the corner and they came out and started
85:13
firing at the guy who’d done it ended up
85:17
wounding about 11 pedestrian well you
85:19
would I mean I’m not saying by the way
85:22
we have we have our own problems but I
85:24
mean this is a big problem for American
85:25
what I kind of more guns and we have
85:27
people I mean I completely understand
85:31
why the Amendment exists and I think
85:35
it’s a very good idea for the time and I
85:38
think it’s a very understandable idea to
85:39
hold on to it now but but why can’t
85:43
people say for instance I mean we all
85:45
have abstract ideas we have to hold on
85:46
to but we and we all in our countries
85:48
have like weird things that other people
85:50
don’t understand that I think it’s odd
85:52
to have a hereditary constitutional
85:54
monarch for instance and right it is
85:57
weird
85:57
it’s a great way to put it it’s strange
85:59
and if you were starting from now you
86:01
might not do that but but clearly with
86:05
the gun ownership thing it is we are
86:08
willing to take bad things happening
86:12
quite often because we want to hold on
86:14
to the Second Amendment well the second
86:17
amendments been around forever the bad
86:18
things happening quite often is really
86:20
from Columbine on I mean there was a few
86:22
of them before there was the Austin
86:24
Texas but Tower shootings but it seems
86:28
to me I mean again I mean just it’s such
86:31
an obvious point and I don’t it sound
86:32
like it’s not he Britt his saying
86:34
something about America that’s not at
86:37
all welcome but it seems obvious that
86:38
you just you could do a lot more damage
86:41
with a semi-automatic rifle than you can
86:45
with a knife and most people we see this
86:48
in the terrorism as well there are
86:50
really committed terrorists who don’t
86:52
commit acts of violence unless they can
86:54
get hold of a the means to do it
86:57
because we often think well why don’t
86:58
you just like go out with a knife some
87:01
people do but most people actually want
87:04
to go out in that way and what they see
87:05
as being a blaze of glory right so they
87:09
like stopping them having the means of
87:12
getting that very easily seems to me
87:14
very obvious but that isn’t to say that
87:17
I mean of course I think you made a
87:18
point near the dam it’s like saying if
87:20
you say everyone who has a gun is part
87:22
of promises and
87:23
see not because it’s like saying
87:24
everyone who’s got a truck is about the
87:25
problem right but there is there are
87:27
obviously two things one is the
87:29
psychological and whatever the social
87:30
issues are that caused this to keep
87:32
happening and that that is obviously
87:34
very very important to try to get to the
87:36
root of but you can get to the root of
87:39
that or try to get through to that and
87:41
also recognize that people having access
87:43
to some of the weapons they have access
87:46
to in this country must be a part of the
87:49
problem it has to be and there also the
87:55
idea that you should just be able to go
87:59
out and buy a gun without really
88:01
understanding how a gun works at all
88:03
yeah and which is exactly how you do it
88:05
I got my first handgun license in 1994
88:08
that’s when I bought my first handgun I
88:10
just went and bought a handgun I did a
88:12
background check on me that’s it
88:14
I mean I went to the range they showed
88:15
me what the safety is pointed this put
88:17
the earphones on make sure you don’t
88:19
blow your is out bang bang bang and then
88:21
you leave with a gun I mean once your
88:23
background checks clear they find out
88:24
you’re not a criminal there’s not much
88:25
to it there’s a there’s a giant problem
88:29
with that if you want to drive an
88:32
automobile you have to show that you
88:34
understand the laws you have to
88:35
understand you have to sit with an
88:38
expert was to sit there a driving
88:39
instructor they have to go through it
88:41
with you they have to watch your
88:42
movements they have to watch you make
88:44
turns they have to wouldn’t wouldn’t you
88:47
imagine that it would be a good idea to
88:49
have some sort of a clinical evaluation
88:51
of a person that’s gonna gonna buy a gun
88:53
and here’s another thing there was an
88:56
article recently that was saying
88:58
contrary to popular belief most school
89:00
shootings are not committed by people
89:02
who are mentally ill well that’s a
89:04
fucking stupid thing to say you know why
89:06
because if you’re you’re committing a
89:08
school shooting but you’re mentally ill
89:09
okay period then on top of that what
89:13
they’re ignoring conveniently and this
89:15
is another headline thing psychiatric
89:17
medications right these people are
89:20
almost entirely on some form of
89:23
psychiatric medication whether it is
89:26
anti-anxiety pills
89:28
whether it’s antidepressants whether
89:29
they’re they’re all I’m not saying that
89:32
correlation equals causation I’m not
89:34
saying that but to say that
89:36
or not this is just a bullshit this is
89:38
clickbait headlines they’re mentally ill
89:40
100 percent 100 percent of them are
89:42
mentally ill there’s there’s a
89:44
conservative commentator in the UK
89:46
called Peter Hitchens who always makes a
89:48
point after Islamist terrorist attacks
89:50
in Europe that there’s a large number of
89:52
them as well as other types of attack
89:54
who seem to be on some kind of
89:55
medication yes and my point is always
89:58
I’m very very happy to have that
89:59
conversation I think we need to have
90:01
that conversation and we also have to
90:03
have the other parts of it as well
90:05
yes you’re right to say yeah I can’t see
90:08
why we can’t have all of this it’s the
90:10
same thing that we were talking about
90:11
earlier it’s these idea sports right
90:14
these Wars people don’t want to give up
90:17
their idea they don’t want to give up
90:18
any ground whatsoever on their second
90:21
Amendment rights whether it’s owning a
90:23
50 caliber fucking tank gun or whether
90:26
it’s having a gun for home safety or for
90:29
hunting they don’t want to give up
90:31
anything and they feel like it’s a
90:33
slippery slope the people that I follow
90:34
online that are tweeting about this on a
90:36
regular basis if you can go to a lot of
90:38
them like they’re making videos about it
90:41
Dana lash and Colin it is actually its
90:46
name is it’s not Collins Co Lyon Co Lyon
90:49
noir noi are he’s very very vocal about
90:53
and i’m reading all the stuff it’s like
90:54
all anyone’s taking into account is that
90:57
this idea that they’re coming after your
90:59
rights right and and emphasizing the
91:02
idea of a good person with a gun that
91:05
can protect people in these terrible
91:07
situations which can happen as well but
91:09
with what we have to address that’s not
91:11
we’re talking about we have to address
91:13
how the fuck do these crazy people get
91:15
guns why why are so many people on
91:18
mental health medications yeah well
91:20
that’s a huge huge I can’t understand we
91:23
always have this sort of wanting to have
91:25
the conversation about it but there’s
91:26
very little done on it that’s one thing
91:28
I’m very struck with we we have in all
91:31
our countries I miss slipped into a very
91:33
weird attitude towards this type of
91:35
medication yes very weird very just very
91:39
accepting of something that radically
91:41
alters the way your mind works I and
91:45
macaws there’s not an incentive drug
91:48
companies obviously don’t have an
91:49
incentive quite the
91:50
to look into it but it’s another example
91:53
of the the set of a set of things we
91:57
should be thinking about at the moment
91:58
and looking at which we just don’t
92:01
why don’t we because it’s sort of shut
92:03
down because we shut it down ourselves I
92:06
I think it’s just such a range of issues
92:09
this is the case with and it’s always
92:12
the same thing it’s always that if you
92:14
address the question difficult as it
92:16
might be you are attacking an individual
92:19
who might suffer from it yeah who might
92:21
be upset by us addressing the question I
92:24
mean I have a lot of suspicions about
92:27
all sorts of things I’m a very you know
92:29
skeptical person as it were about things
92:31
that I’m told so I’d like to look into
92:32
intending I’m amazed at the number of
92:35
things in our societies that we just
92:37
don’t discuss and they’re all the things
92:39
that we ought to be discussing issues
92:42
like mental health issues issues that
92:45
have to do with the social presumptions
92:47
that are going on left right in the
92:48
center at the moment where you’re not
92:50
meant to discuss things that have Puffs
92:53
anything else very very interesting and
92:54
very important and I just see it
92:59
everywhere this might by the way so this
93:02
is a slightly strange segue to make but
93:04
there was a fascinating one in in
93:07
Britain a couple of days ago a slightly
93:10
lighter subject but there was not that
93:12
much like that but there’s a diver in
93:16
the UK called Tom Daley who married a
93:17
screenwriter from Hollywood called
93:19
Dustin Lance Black and it was announced
93:21
a couple of weeks ago on Valentine’s Day
93:23
that they were having a baby and there
93:25
was a photograph of them holding a scan
93:27
they sent out on their Twitter of two
93:30
men who married who have ultrasounds
93:32
gear and all of the papers and the BBC
93:35
and Evan also report is saying Dustin
93:37
and Tom are having a baby and I mean I’m
93:42
gay and I’m I don’t think I’m homophobic
93:44
but I look this as a thing how someone
93:50
else involved I mean you know there’s a
93:52
joke yeah
93:53
gays a kind of Tim doesn’t mean we can’t
93:55
keep trying but I just glued his eyes
93:59
although nothing
94:01
in the articles about this tells me
94:03
anything I would like to know like I
94:06
know that they didn’t just have a roll
94:07
around and woke up in the morning and
94:08
one of them was preggers I know that and
94:10
I know that there has to be a woman
94:13
involved at some point we know this but
94:16
we are meant just like adapt okay great
94:20
cool
94:21
and it’s almost as if it’s set up so
94:23
that somebody says wait isn’t isn’t
94:27
isn’t a woman isn’t there a uterus so
94:31
that then everyone goes biggert right
94:39
and and of course somebody did somebody
94:43
from the Daily Mail wrote a column
94:45
saying come on to Dad’s isn’t a new
94:47
normal sort of thing and of course then
94:49
everyone piled in on that and all these
94:51
advertisers withdrew their advertising
94:55
literally literally until the day before
94:57
yesterday it was possible to say I don’t
95:00
think you guys can just like have sex
95:02
and make a child literally that was okay
95:05
until the day before yesterday and it’s
95:06
not okay today so what will not be okay
95:09
tomorrow and I just think I think and I
95:13
wrote about it and and maybe a couple
95:16
other people ended up doing it too but I
95:18
think that’s really interesting like a
95:20
lot of this answer I think it’s really
95:22
interesting about this that you are the
95:24
things that seem very obvious to us are
95:27
all the things you’re not meant to write
95:29
about almost as if they’re like booby
95:31
traps where you need to go off yeah and
95:33
and I just think why don’t more people
95:36
pile on in right um because we could
95:39
have a heck of a time and we might well
95:45
people don’t want to pile in on anything
95:47
revolve involving gender or sexuality
95:49
it’s too scary it’s a landmine field joe
95:54
they just name it is then walk in
95:56
especially as you said earlier people
95:58
with regular jobs yeah if you get called
96:00
out for being a racist or a homophobe or
96:02
anything along those lines you’re doomed
96:04
sure it’s some manat case anyone who
96:09
does have a voice
96:11
as a writer or speaker whatever
96:14
broadcaster I think has a
96:16
disproportionate duty to do so right to
96:19
do so I mean there’s no point in just
96:22
repeating those same new lies there’s a
96:26
disproportionate duty to try to break
96:28
them down yeah I come I’m one of my
96:30
favorite quotes that one from HL Mencken
96:31
who says you know that history was
96:32
always progressed by jolly fellows
96:34
heaving dead cats into sanctuaries and
96:37
going roistering down the highways of
96:39
the world and I just I I I wish that
96:44
there were more dead cat heavers it’s
96:51
not a bad job you can make a living
96:52
sometimes and and it’s it’s it’s one of
96:56
the only things worth doing if if we’re
96:58
all going to be told lies and expect it
97:00
to go along with them whether it’s about
97:02
terrorism or gay parenting or mental
97:07
health or anything else
97:07
whole set of them it’s a really
97:09
target-rich environment it is and I
97:12
think there’s more people doing that now
97:14
than ever before but it’s more people
97:17
like you and I who can kind of get away
97:19
with it yeah I don’t know what why do
97:21
you think you get away with it
97:22
me yeah cuz you can’t take me seriously
97:24
right I’m a cage fighting commentator
97:27
and a dirty comedian writing nobody’s
97:30
listening to me and taking me seriously
97:31
in that regard yeah book sort of it’s I
97:37
just first of all I’m a kind person I
97:43
think that helps like I’m not a mean
97:45
person right when I’m saying these
97:47
things I’m saying these things from I’m
97:48
going what what the fuck is this like
97:51
here was one that I thought was really
97:53
fascinating and this is one of the great
97:55
example of how strange we get on
97:59
subjects Caitlyn Jenner when when
98:02
Caitlyn Jenner transitioned that was the
98:05
primary thing that people talk about oh
98:07
my god she’s a woman now and it was
98:09
right after she had been spacing out
98:12
behind the wheel slammed into a woman
98:15
and pushed her into traffic and a
98:16
head-on collision and the woman died and
98:18
that was almost just completely
98:20
forgotten
98:20
yes completely forgotten yes not only
98:23
that she doesn’t believe in gay man
98:25
right like what your you have the wrong
98:30
spokesperson I mean you could not have a
98:33
more wrong spokesperson yeah but yet
98:36
ESPN and glamour Woman of the Year and
98:39
these all these different things and
98:41
athlete of the year yes wearing dresses
98:43
and fabulous and glam and let’s get your
98:45
chin shaved down right because that’s
98:47
who you really are who you really are is
98:49
not this person there now you got to you
98:52
got to shave your chin down it’s it’s
98:54
it’s big it goes right that thing about
98:56
the almost as if you’re being dead yes
98:58
you better discuss it I said this to Sam
99:01
Harris I got him into trouble just on
99:03
his podcast by saying this and he didn’t
99:05
attack me apparently he got a whole load
99:07
of transfer of accusations because of me
99:09
but I said to him I thought what was
99:12
happening was that we were being asked
99:14
not only to agree that Caitlyn Bruce
99:16
Jenner to become Caitlyn general the
99:17
Caitlyn Jenner was a woman but that but
99:20
that you had to find her yes Jenny you
99:26
were just and and I find those those
99:29
ones are just there was one the other is
99:30
a bit like that they gave her it’s like
99:33
I dare you you just you just try
99:35
pretending pretending that Tom and
99:37
dusting can’t happen and and it was the
99:41
same with those a little while ago
99:42
there’s a boy in Britain who was I kind
99:45
of whether he he wanted to turn up to
99:47
school in a dress he’s like nine years
99:48
old and I think there was a row I kind
99:50
of where the school said yes or no it
99:53
was a big thing and then it became her
99:54
way in on the behalf of the
99:55
nine-year-old trans kid lots of
99:59
questions to ask there yeah and and then
100:02
it became the the nine-year-old kid was
100:04
a was was a became a model for a fashion
100:08
shoot and then it’s like find the
100:12
nine-year-old boy who said he’s a girl
100:14
attractive and say it’s beautiful how
100:19
much more do you want to push people
100:21
like no they’re rewarding they’re like
100:24
like isn’t she lovely right what are you
100:30
doing to us I what are you trying to
100:34
make us agree to what what’s the cause
100:38
of
100:39
all of us you must have been talking
100:42
about this like what this is this
100:44
bizarre illogical conversation that
100:46
falls into these very convenient yeah
100:49
well cut grooves that you’re really not
100:52
allowed to slide the ideas arrived
100:54
what’s causing this I think it’s so many
100:59
things I one is one is that it’s
101:00
possible this is what happens when the
101:03
economics goes wrong I’ve got a feeling
101:06
the economics I mean is that if people’s
101:09
if people aren’t saying like wait it
101:11
increases in their living senses I mean
101:13
my generation I know I’m 38 by just
101:17
above this generation but the
101:18
generations ever so slightly below me is
101:21
becoming aware that France it won’t get
101:23
on the property ladder at all maybe
101:26
property ladder meaning owning a home
101:28
owning a home the things that their
101:30
parents generation got not easily by any
101:33
means but it wasn’t the wasn’t easy for
101:35
boomers but that that somehow they’re
101:40
going to have it harder than their
101:41
parents generation or might not enjoy
101:43
the living standards that their parents
101:45
generation enjoyed might be certainly in
101:48
Western Europe coming home it might be
101:50
occurring to them what do you do in
101:52
those search situations you’ve got to
101:56
have other things to to get worth from
101:58
if for instance you’re not going to own
102:01
a home until you’re 40 and at that point
102:04
if you’re a woman at your career you
102:05
need to have children but you can’t
102:06
afford to take the time off work and you
102:09
might not be able to start a family and
102:10
then you’re trying to start a family in
102:12
your 40s and it’s harder very hard and a
102:15
whole set of other things like that that
102:17
are definitely delayed for new
102:19
generation I think that it’s possible I
102:21
not saying certainly it’s it’s possible
102:24
it seems to me that that generation
102:25
might discover new gods and might want
102:30
to enforce the new rules just as avidly
102:33
as the old gods and and there is an
102:38
element of that going like I can’t
102:41
understand why otherwise every time I
102:43
talk about the things we talked about
102:46
there they would just continuously be
102:48
this very angry reaction not oh that’s
102:51
interesting you know I never thought I
102:52
know
102:53
I think probably like you now I mean
102:54
it’s quite hard to shock me it ought to
102:56
upset me you know that’s interesting you
103:00
know why do you think that but so why do
I always get this like we’ve got to stop
him other than that these are new
Commandments that we’re breaking hmm and
and white so and I mean they’re all sort
of connected aren’t they these things
yeah they’re all attempts to but they’re
all attempts to something like purity
which disturbs me we’re sort of if we
could just get everything in a row you
know you even hear that thing get in
your lane yeah that’s Oh get in your
lane
Oh do you think you are what’s my lane I
think I’ve said it a few times you know
but I mean but only people that needed
to stay in their Lane New York I’m
different New York Times yes as we disap
103:50
Lane over okay no I’m reading your times
103:52
the plane oh and and there’s a there’s a
103:54
question as you know agony aren’t we
103:57
call it what do you call self help
103:58
whatever advice column hmm this woman
104:00
says she was on the on the train a
104:04
couple days ago and there was a man who
104:06
came on with his girlfriend he was being
104:07
really abusive to her and it just kept
104:09
happening and he was really it was kind
104:10
of nasty brawler violence situation she
104:15
doesn’t know what to do other people the
104:16
care they’ll move away isn’t and she’s
104:18
and of course you can see what’s coming
104:19
the culmination of it is she says she
104:21
gets off the train and she wonders
104:23
whether she should have said something
104:24
but she says conscious of her white
104:26
privilege and these people were people
104:29
of color hmm and I am reading this I’m
104:33
thinking what you now now if you saw a
104:38
man of different skin pigmentation from
104:42
you abusing a woman of different skin
104:45
pigmentation from you the right thing is
104:48
not to defend the woman that seems like
104:50
a just a real justification for being a
104:53
coward yes
104:54
but but but I tend the advice was you
104:56
know you did sort of the right thing
104:57
maybe you should have spoken to an
104:58
official certainly but there was no kind
104:59
of so all this stuff all this weird get
105:02
in your lane no you know notes your
105:06
privilege you know way up your privilege
105:07
I mean that’s a good way to make society
105:09
have a nervous breakdown wake up you’re
105:11
privileged you know it’s privileged
105:12
scorecards I mean my god I am but but
105:16
all of these things seem to it’s almost
105:18
as if people think if we get the the the
105:21
lanes correct everything will be sorted
105:25
and here’s a problem is that that first
105:29
of all the means of doing this are just
105:31
hideous
105:32
I mean hideous they accentuate racial
105:35
difference they accentuate sexual and
105:37
gender difference they accentuate
105:39
everything else and the destination is
105:43
horrible it is not the Nirvana they
105:47
think that they’re creating mmm so this
105:50
is a really good moment to try to look
105:53
at some of this and to talk about it and
105:56
to think about as widely and as freely
105:58
as we can and yet and yet the effort is
106:02
to do the opposite I think your honor
106:04
something with the idea that this
106:05
radical progressive very restrictive
106:08
line of communication ideology that
106:11
we’re experiencing we’re talking about
106:13
it’s coming from a lot of people that
106:15
don’t have a religion yes they’re
106:17
atheists or they’re at the very least
106:19
agnostics modern progressives very
106:21
rarely religious yes and this mouse
106:25
before somebody who’s non-belief like
106:27
myself this is a painful thing to look
106:29
at but again we have to think about it
106:31
but that’s isn’t that an interesting
106:32
thing as well because you think of
106:34
yourself as being on a team with these
106:35
other atheists or agnostics see I don’t
106:38
but you don’t but I’m saying as an
106:40
atheist yourself you have to look at it
106:42
that way you’ve already lumped yourself
106:43
in with them yes III had speaking of
106:46
camps in the US a while ago and I spoke
106:48
to a guy who’s really really clever
106:50
skewed and he was a free thinker he said
106:54
he said the afters we were talking he
106:56
said you know he’d had some hideous
106:58
experience at a local free thinker
106:59
Society you know where everyone’s like
107:01
get in your lane and he was like I
107:03
thought that being among free thinkers
107:06
like the rest would all be good they no
107:08
no no they they’re free thinkers turn
107:11
out to be just as able to be blindfolded
107:13
if you know on certain things down when
107:18
you imagine is of course self proclaimed
107:20
freethinkers would be even more inclined
107:22
to adopt a rigid ideology they’re
107:25
proclaiming themselves to be a free
107:27
thinker and and it’s possible this comes
107:29
from that you know the the old Jaguar
107:33
sensors you know that the sensor knows
107:36
everything that the people are really
107:38
into and I spoke once to a band who was
107:42
on the British Board of Film
107:43
classification
107:44
he said all day watching really hardcore
107:46
pornography deciding what could be
107:47
legalized so that’s you must have a very
107:50
dark view of humanity it wasn’t justice
107:53
scalia’s interpretation of pornography I
107:56
don’t know how to describe it but I’ll
107:58
know it when I see it right exactly
108:00
like why aren’t you our fucking judge
108:02
and it may be it but it may be that
108:04
these people but a lot of conservatives
108:07
have this thing that one becomes rigid
108:09
about something because you’ve seen into
108:12
the abyss because you don’t know you
108:15
might and behave in a certain very
108:18
terrible way and so you you you want to
108:22
pull back from that chaos you want to
108:25
pull other people back as well it seems
108:27
to me that a lot of so-called free
108:28
thinkers self designated free fingers
108:30
may well have these glimpses and may
108:33
well think I don’t know what’s holding
108:35
this together and therefore might
108:39
precisely for that reason be
108:41
disproportionately rigid on almost any
108:44
new ideology that came along get in lane
108:47
yeah yeah I like this idea that this is
108:53
almost like a substitution for religion
108:55
it’s almost like there’s an inherent
108:57
need that we have because human beings
109:00
have operated under these patterns for
109:02
so long we can’t have this yeah yeah
109:10
it’s it’s interesting because the more
109:12
you like we found ways to mock it right
109:16
and one of the ways to mock it and I
109:17
think that that’s important and that
109:19
mockery although it seems trivial what
109:22
it does do is let people know how
109:24
ridiculous other people feel those ideas
109:26
are and then it makes them really they
109:29
don’t like being mocked the term social
109:31
justice warrior is wonderful for that
109:33
because it just makes you look like such
109:34
a fucking fool you know social justice
109:37
warrior yes like that I was a colleague
109:41
of mine a spectator in London called
109:43
a-rod little wrote a few years any any
109:45
man who says he’s a feminist clearly
109:47
just as seeking a shag for sure well I
109:51
mean it’s one thing to want equality but
109:54
to proudly state that you’re a feminist
109:57
is it’s almost yeah I have joked around
109:59
about it like I see what you’re doing
110:00
yeah you don’t run fast you can’t pick
110:03
things up there was must he liked to
110:04
fuck I get it somebody said is very
110:07
faulty in Britain they said they
110:10
described himself as an anti-racist
110:12
party and some comedian who said it
110:14
actually makes makes you think they
110:16
might be racist
110:17
we like saying you’re an anti pedophilia
110:21
children’s agency that’s hilarious
110:30
that’s so true it’s so true it’s a it’s
110:33
virtue signaling to the highest degree
110:34
it’s like you you’re putting up your
110:36
flag of moral superiority standing on
110:39
your high ground but it is it is it
110:40
obviously means a great deal to these
110:42
people but yeah but then the question is
110:44
just how to how to invite them not to
110:46
think like that
110:47
I think mockery mockery is one of the
110:49
best ways because it just lets them know
110:52
that other people think it’s
110:53
preposterous so it’s not achieving the
110:55
desired result the desired result is oh
110:57
look at this amazing person there’s
110:59
incredible progressive ways of thinking
111:01
not like oh look at this transparent
111:03
fuck who’s just trying to get laid
111:06
that’s that’s how a lot of us see it
111:09
yeah they don’t see that we see it that
111:11
way and some of them I mean it’s in a
111:14
lot of ways a lot of our behavior is its
111:18
experimental you know I mean people are
111:20
experimenting with various different
111:22
ways of gaining social preference points
111:26
well this is this is why I was saying if
111:29
people aren’t believers there are things
111:32
they can learn from religion and from
111:33
tradition mm-hmm
111:35
and I’ve always thought that the I’ve
111:38
always thought there’s one central
111:39
insight to the judeo-christian tradition
111:42
which I wish that the social justice
111:44
warriors bore in mind and that is that’s
111:46
the guy
111:47
Navid n’ and and and the the or can’t
111:51
recall the Crooked Timber of humanity
111:53
mm-hmm just just to recognize the
111:55
central truth which is in that tradition
111:57
and in others that that we’re not born
112:01
in this situation of Rousseau e’en
112:04
perfection or goodness quite quite
112:08
otherwise we are we are this very very
112:14
contorted being which is part which is
112:17
capable of incredible greatness and
112:20
beauty and kindness and forgiveness and
112:23
also capable of their opposites and
112:26
that’s and that it’s not it’s not that
112:28
you are one and other people are the
112:30
other but all of us all of us both all
112:35
the time and so there never is a victory
112:38
and there never is a win rather than
112:41
trying to deal with and restrain your
112:47
own worst impulses in the life that you
112:49
have and honestly express all the issues
112:53
that arrive while you’re trying to do
112:55
that absolutely and and trying to tell
112:59
the truth where you see it and and
113:01
giving voice to it and trying to I mean
113:04
you know this is just it’s just you so
113:06
clear to me that that if people if
113:08
people could realize this is a central
113:10
problem of the thing that you and I and
113:12
others all faces the the desire to claim
113:16
that the that somebody who disagrees on
113:18
an issue isn’t just of a disagreeing
113:22
mind but evil hmm and that in any you
113:27
know we have in Britain we are wracked
113:29
at the moment still by 18 months after a
113:32
single vote on a single matter of
113:34
governance we are still wracked by
113:35
really unpleasant politic from brexit
113:39
yeah
113:39
and I suspect it’s it’s not I hate the
113:41
overlap of the two but it’s probably
113:43
something like the Trump events here but
113:46
again and again you come back to the
113:48
same thing which is just instead of
113:49
thinking one side is entirely right and
113:52
the other entirely I didn’t say you give
113:53
up on objective fact or anything I’ve
113:55
been just consider that your opponent
113:57
might be approaching this with an honest
113:59
mode
114:00
I might have honest reasons for
114:03
disagreeing with you and in the absence
114:05
of that and with media just endlessly
114:07
feeding us whatever wood is we know our
114:09
own side happens to think in the absence
114:13
of that I just see our trenches in both
114:15
our countries just being dug deeper and
114:17
deeper until until there’s just no hope
114:19
of being able to even shout over the top
114:21
and be heard and one can only get to
114:25
that stage if if as I say you recognize
114:28
that it’s it’s it’s not a constant fight
114:32
against Nazis and you know I mean it’s
114:38
by the way and also never to forget that
114:41
the Nazis didn’t seem like the Nazis to
114:43
a lot of people when the Nazis were
114:44
being with Nazis but it’s just it’s just
114:48
not as easy as that no it’s not you know
114:52
but it’s it’s an easy way to demonize
114:54
the other side yeah it’s an easy way to
114:57
prop up your side it’s a it’s a cheap
114:59
trick it is but came back to where we
115:02
started
115:03
what if the cheap trick ends up having
115:05
some terrible consequence hmm of making
115:10
all of our defenses go down you know
115:18
well the both of you that I mean we
115:20
started the conversation off with that
115:22
Community Guidelines strike good lord
115:26
yeah this is this really is a very very
115:30
strange time very strange always was
115:33
Douglas thank you very much I really
115:35
really enjoyed this conversation I
115:37
really appreciate it and your book that
115:39
is out now is death of Europe it’s
115:42
called immigration identity Islam and
115:45
it’s variable if you can find any book
115:47
shops left minutes um you gotta get it
115:50
online you can get it online as well
115:52
there’s a few Barnes and Nobles out
115:53
there all right thank you Douglas Murray
115:55
ladies and gentlemen great pleasure
115:56
thank you
115:58
[Music]
116:02
[Applause]
116:07
[Music]
116:12

Are These Defense Mechanisms Preventing You From Being Productive?

Allow me to kick things off with a (perhaps embarrassing?) confession: The very thought of writing this piece seemed really intimidating to me.

I was concerned about creating something that was thorough and accurate, yet still made sense and was easy to read. Plus, I knew doing so meant that I’d be elbows-deep in a lot of heavy psychological research.

So, do you know what I did? Like the responsible adult that I am, I avoided this assignment for as long as I possibly could. I tackled a lot of other smaller (and easier) projects first: I cleaned out my inbox, I called my mom, and I even brushed my dog.

Needless to say, it doesn’t require much psychoanalysis to figure out my default defense mechanism: avoidance.

We all have this “anti-superpower” which does more harm than good at times. Finding out what yours is isn’t some sadistic exercise—pinpointing it can help you move past it. So, what’s yours? What behavior do you rely on to fend off feelings of anxiety and preserve your own ego? Not so sure? Well, let’s dig a bit deeper and find out.

But First…Why Do We Use Defense Mechanisms?

Defense mechanisms were first noted by Sigmund Freud, the famed founder of psychoanalysis. However, they were further developed and expanded on by his daughter, Anna Freud, via her notable research.

At their core, defense mechanisms are really self-serving. We all use them subconsciously in order to ward off and protect ourselves from negative thoughts or feelingssuch as anxiety or guilt.

Our defense mechanisms really kick into high gear during situations where we feel threatened. That doesn’t necessarily mean physically threatened—rather, these psychological strategies are prevalent in high-stress environments where we doubt our abilities and suddenly become hyper-aware of our own shortcomings. We go on the defensive in order to preserve our own egos.

Of course, defense mechanisms can crop up in all areas of your life. But they’re visibly prevalent in the workplace, where stress often runs rampant and there’s an overwhelming desire to put your best foot forward.

Here’s the thing: Defense mechanisms are normal, and we all use them to a certain degree. But, as the research explains, it’s when these behaviors are used to the extreme that things take a turn for the worse: toward obsessive and even neurotic tendencies.

How do you stop your own defense mechanism from becoming a bigger problem, especially in the workplace? The first step is to recognize which one you’re relying on. A quick search reveals that there are tons of different ones out there, so we’re breaking down just a few that are likely lurking right in your own office.

1. Avoidance

Mechanism Motto: I’m going to stay as far away from that stressful thing as possible.

Let’s start with my personal favorite. Whenever there’s something that you don’t want to deal with, it often seems easiest to just avoid it entirely.

Procrastination is the most common form of avoidance in the workplace (ahem, guilty as charged)—you keep yourself away from a potentially negative scenario by continuing to push it further down the line. However, avoidance in the workplace extends beyond your tasks and into your relationships as well.

For example, maybe you’ve been strategically planning your coffee refills so you don’t have to run into that colleague you had a disagreement with in the break room.

Here’s the major problem with avoidance: things don’t go away just because you ignore them. That assignment will still need to get done. That conflict with that co-worker will need to be resolved eventually.

And the real kicker? Things often get worse the longer that you avoid them. Not only does your deadline get closer or the tension with your colleague simmer, but the anticipation itself is torture and often makes you blow things out of proportion. The sheer dread leading up to the confrontation is a powerful (and stressful) emotion.

Science backs this up. In one study that involved 35 participants who received electric shocks, 70% of them opted to receive stronger shocks immediately, as opposed to less severe shocks later (simply because the anticipation would’ve been agonizing).

2. Denial

Mechanism Motto: There’s no way that’s going to happen.

Imagine that you and your team are working on a large project together. The deadline is closing in, and you still have a lot of work left to accomplish—so much, in fact, that several of your team members have expressed concerns about whether or not you’ll make it over the finish line.

Every time they show even a shred of doubt you quickly reply with a seemingly nonchalant, “Nah, I’m not worried. That’s not going to happen.” Sure, you could call that positive thinking. But really, it’s a defense mechanism we all know as denial.

Denial is more than just avoiding a potentially threatening thought or circumstance—it involves vehemently denying the fact that it even exists. There’s no way that your team could miss the deadline. It’s not even a possibility.

Of course, worst-case scenarios are possible (and that’s far easier to recognize when you aren’t in the thick of things). But this defense mechanism blinds you with optimism so that you can move forward without the burden of realistic expectations.

“There is an immutable fact about denial: it does not work long term,” writes Carl Alasko, Ph.D. in an article for Psychology Today. “Reality always wins. And when it does, the next step in the process is to blame, which shifts responsibility onto someone or something else.”

 

3. Rationalization

Mechanism Motto: That wasn’t my fault because…

Ah, the old blame game. That’s exactly where rationalization comes into play. With this defense mechanism, you come up with a bunch of “facts” that explain why a situation played out a certain way.

Let’s go back to our example of missing a deadline for your team project. Admitting that you didn’t get it done on time because you started too late can sting.

You know what’s way easier? To say that you missed that deadline because another team was late getting you what you needed. Or your computer crashed. Or someone drank all of the coffee again. Or all of the above. Taking an honest look at your own faults and acknowledging how you’ve contributed to your downfall is never easy.

“For many people, with sensitive egos, making excuses comes so easy that they never are truly aware of it,” explains Saul McLeod, a psychology researcher for the University of Manchester, in an article for Simply Psychology. “In other words, many of us are quite prepared to believe our lies.”

Research backs this up: In one study, 42 participants (half seniors and half millennials) were given a form with 102 questions asking them about what they did the previous day (i.e. “Did you press snooze on your alarm clock?”).

The researchers randomly chose half of the questions and told participants to lie in their answers to those questions. Forty-five minutes later, participants were instructed to answer all of the questions again—this time completely truthfully.

What they discovered was surprising: People (particularly those from the senior group) were more inclined to believe the false answer they had previously recorded. And what was even more shocking was that the electroencephalography (which monitored participants’ brain activity) data found that lying actually engaged the brain processes responsible for working memory.

Rationalization comes naturally to most of us, but it’s still not a healthy habit in the workplace—one study shows that it can even be contagious. And that’s bad news because research also shows that, on teams where blame becomes the norm, there’s less creativity and poorer performance.

4. Displacement

Mechanism Motto: I need to find an unsuspecting target for my negative emotions.

Your boss strolled into the office an hour late. That’s a transgression you could’ve ignored…had they not had the audacity to then call you into their office and give you a lecture on the importance of showing up to work on time.

Smoke is coming out of your ears, but you know that you can’t yell at your boss. You keep your cool, apologize (…for nothing), and then exit their office.

What happens next?

If you rely on displacement as a defense mechanism, anyone who crosses your path is going to wish they hadn’t. You may become unjustifiably angry with your direct reports, or even snap at your innocent colleagues. Put simply, you’ll channel all of your frustration and negative emotions into the totally wrong target, all because directing those feelings at your boss would’ve meant consequences for you.

You’re human and bad days are inevitable. However, the fact remains that it’s not a reliable coping strategy and will only do damage to your working relationships long-term.

“Naturally, this is a pretty ineffective defense mechanism, because while the anger finds a route for expression, its misapplication to other harmless people or objects will cause additional problems for most people,” writes John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Tear Down Your Walls: Can You Prevent Your Defense Mechanisms?

Remember, defense mechanisms are normal. And, when used occasionally, can actually help you. However, it’s when your defense mechanism becomes a repeated habit that you can sabotage yourself in the office.

I won’t sugarcoat it—stopping yourself from relying on these defense mechanisms is uncomfortable and challenging. It requires that you do the one thing you were hoping to avoid: allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

Like any other behavior, the first step in making a change is to recognize the problem. Analyze your thoughts, emotions, reactions, and exchanges at work to figure out which of the above defense mechanisms you’re using as a crutch.

Don’t see yourself in any of the above? There are plenty of other defense mechanisms out there, including:

  • Regression: Reverting to childlike behaviors (i.e. Michael Scott mimicking people when he’s aggravated).
  • Compartmentalization: Segregating different thoughts or portions of your life (i.e. shutting out any personal problems while you’re at work).
  • Projection: Assigning your own thoughts and emotions to others (i.e. mentioning that your colleague looks really nervous for her performance review when it’s, in fact, you who is anxious).
  • Undoing: Attempting to backpedal a negative behavior with a lot of positives (i.e. saying something rude to a co-worker and then showering him with compliments the rest of the afternoon).

Once you’ve identified what you’re using to preserve your own ego, it’s time to enlist some help so you don’t fall right back into old habits.

Find someone you trust on your team or in your office that can hold you accountable and identify when they see you putting your guard up. This should be someone who can, in the heat of the moment, direct your attention to the fact that you’re displacing your frustration or avoiding your to-do list.

It’s not a secret that accountability partners can work wonders. The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65% more likely to complete a goal after committing it to another person. So, if your goal is to change your behavior, you can expect a pretty decent success rate.

The Best Offense Is a Good Defense…Right?

This  sentiment holds true in sports, but not so much at work. Relying on any type of defense mechanism too much makes it all too easy to lose sight of the reality right in front of you.

Here’s the good news: You can do something about it.

After all, if I could finally force myself to sit down and write this article, I think you can overcome your own defense mechanism, too. That’s a fact that’s difficult to deny—even if denial happens to be your go-to choice of defense.

20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You

Here are the 20 diversionary tactics toxic people use to silence and degrade you.

1. Gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that can be described in different variations of three words: “That didn’t happen,” “You imagined it,” and “Are you crazy?” Gaslighting is perhaps one of the most insidious manipulative tactics out there because it works to distort and erode your sense of reality; it eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment.

.. In order to resist gaslighting, it’s important to ground yourself in your own reality – sometimes writing things down as they happened, telling a friend or reiterating your experience to a support network can help to counteract the gaslighting effect. The power of having a validating community is that it can redirect you from the distorted reality of a malignant person and back to your own inner guidance.

2. Projection.

One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.

.. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.

For example, a person who engages in pathological lying may accuse their partner of fibbing; a needy spouse may call their husband “clingy” in an attempt to depict them as the one who is dependent; a rude employee may call their boss ineffective in an effort to escape the truth about their own productivity.

.. Narcissists on the extreme end of the spectrum usually have no interest in self-insight or change. It’s important to cut ties and end interactions with toxic people as soon as possible so you can get centered in your own reality and validate your own identity.

.. 3. Nonsensical conversations from hell.

If you think you’re going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness.

Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gaslighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.

Spend even ten minutes arguing with a toxic narcissist and you’ll find yourself wondering how the argument even began at all. You simply disagreed with them about their absurd claim that the sky is red and now your entire childhood, family, friends, career and lifestyle choices have come under attack. That is because your disagreement picked at their false belief that they are omnipotent and omniscient, resulting in a narcissistic injury.

.. 4. Blanket statements and generalizations.

Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to.

5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity.

.. Let’s say you bring up the fact that you’re unhappy with the way a toxic friend is speaking to you. In response, he or she may put words in your mouth, saying, “Oh, so now you’re perfect?” or “So I am a bad person, huh?” when you’ve done nothing but express your feelings. This enables them to invalidate your right to have thoughts and emotions about their inappropriate behavior and instills in you a sense of guilt when you attempt to establish boundaries.

This is also a popular form of diversion and cognitive distortion that is known as “mind reading.” Toxic people often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully.

.. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic – even before you’ve gotten the chance to call them out on their behavior – and this also serves as a form of preemptive defense.

.. Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blameshift and digress from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.

6. Nitpicking and moving the goal posts.

The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to nitpick, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Abusive narcissists and sociopaths employ a logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts” in order to ensure that they have every reason to be perpetually dissatisfied with you. This is when, even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof.

.. The goal posts will perpetually change and may not even be related to each other; they don’t have any other point besides making you vie for the narcissist’s approval and validation.

.. By raising the expectations higher and higher each time or switching them completely, highly manipulative and toxic people are able to instill in you a pervasive sense of unworthiness and of never feeling quite “enough.” By pointing out one irrelevant fact or one thing you did wrong and developing a hyperfocus on it, narcissists get to divert from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over any flaws or weaknesses instead.

They get you thinking about the next expectation of theirs you’re going to have to meet – until eventually you’ve bent over backwards trying to fulfill their every need – only to realize it didn’t change the horrific way they treated you.

.. their motive isn’t to better understand. It’s to further provoke you into feeling as if you have to constantly prove yourself. Validate and approve of yourself. Know that you are enough and you don’t have to be made to feel constantly deficient or unworthy in some way.

..7. Changing the subject to evade accountability.

This type of tactic is what I like to call the “What about me?” syndrome. It is a literal digression from the actual topic that works to redirect attention to a different issue altogether. Narcissists don’t want you to be on the topic of holding them accountable for anything, so they will reroute discussions to benefit them. Complaining about their neglectful parenting? They’ll point out a mistake you committed seven years ago. This type of diversion has no limits in terms of time or subject content, and often begins with a sentence like “What about the time when…”

.. A discussion about gay rights, for example, may be derailed quickly by someone who brings in another social justice issue just to distract people from the main argument.

.. that doesn’t mean that the issues that are being brought up don’t matter, it just means that the specific time and place may not be the best context to discuss them.

.. Don’t be derailed – if someone pulls a switcheroo on you, you can exercise what I call the “broken record” method and continue stating the facts without giving in to their distractions. Redirect their redirection by saying, “That’s not what I am talking about. Let’s stay focused on the real issue.” If they’re not interested, disengage and spend your energy on something more constructive

.. 8. Covert and overt threats.

Narcissistic abusers and otherwise toxic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. They are prone to making unreasonable demands on others – while punishing you for not living up to their impossible to reach expectations.

.. Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instill fear in you about the consequences of disagreeing or complying with their demands. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.

If someone’s reaction to you setting boundaries or having a differing opinion from your own is to threaten you into submission, whether it’s a thinly veiled threat or an overt admission of what they plan to do, this is a red flag of someone who has a high degree of entitlement and has no plans of compromising. Take threats seriously and show the narcissist you mean business; document threats and report them whenever possible and legally feasible.

9. Name-calling.

Narcissists preemptively blow anything they perceive as a threat to their superiority out of proportion. In their world, only they can ever be right and anyone who dares to say otherwise creates a narcissistic injury that results in narcissistic rage. As Mark Goulston, M.D. asserts, narcissistic rage does not result from low self-esteem but rather a high sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority.

The lowest of the low resort to narcissistic rage in the form of name-calling when they can’t think of a better way to manipulate your opinion or micromanage your emotions. Name-calling is a quick and easy way to put you down, degrade you and insult your intelligence, appearance or behavior while invalidating your right to be a separate person with a right to his or her perspective.

Name-calling can also be used to criticize your beliefs, opinions and insights. A well-researched perspective or informed opinion suddenly becomes “silly” or “idiotic” in the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath who feels threatened by it and cannot make a respectful, convincing rebuttal.

Rather than target your argument, they target you as a person and seek to undermine your credibility and intelligence in any way they possibly can. It’s important to end any interaction that consists of name-calling and communicate that you won’t tolerate it. Don’t internalize it: realize that they are resorting to name-calling because they are deficient in higher level methods.

10. Destructive conditioning.

Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.

Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise toxic people do this because they wish to divert attention back to themselves and how you’re going to please them. If there is anything outside of them that may threaten their control over your life, they seek to destroy it. They need to be the center of attention at all times.

.. Narcissists are also naturally pathologically envious and don’t want anything to come in between them and their influence over you. Your happiness represents everything they feel they cannot have in their emotionally shallow lives. After all, if you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides the toxic person, what’s to keep you from leaving them?

.. 11. Smear campaigns and stalking.

When toxic types can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you; they play the martyr while you’re labeled the toxic one. A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person.

They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.

Some smear campaigns can even work to pit two people or two groups against each other. A victim in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded.

Toxic people will gossip behind your back (and in front of your face), slander you to your loved ones or their loved ones, create stories that depict you as the aggressor while they play the victim, and claim that you engaged in the same behaviors that they are afraid you will accuse them of engaging in. They will also methodically, covertly and deliberately abuse you so they can use your reactions as a way to prove that they are the so-called “victims” of your abuse.

The best way to handle a smear campaign is to stay mindful of your reactions and stick to the facts. This is especially pertinent for high-conflict divorces with narcissists who may use your reactions to their provocations against you. Document any form of harassment, cyberbullying or stalking incidents and always speak to your narcissist through a lawyer whenever possible.

.. Your character and integrity will speak for itself when the narcissist’s false mask begins to slip.

.. 12. Love-bombing and devaluation.

Narcissistic abusers do this all the time – they devalue their exes to their new partners, and eventually the new partner starts to receive the same sort of mistreatment as the narcissist’s ex-partner. Ultimately what will happen is that you will also be on the receiving end of the same abuse. You will one day be the ex-partner they degrade to their new source of supply. You just don’t know it yet. That’s why it’s important to stay mindful of the love-bombing technique whenever you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the saccharine sweetness a narcissist subjects you to.

..  slowing things down with people you suspect may be toxic is an important way of combating the love-bombing technique. Be wary of the fact that how a person treats or speaks about someone else could potentially translate into the way they will treat you in the future.

.. 13. Preemptive defense.

When someone stresses the fact that they are a “nice guy” or girl, that you should “trust them” right away or emphasizes their credibility without any provocation from you whatsoever, be wary.

Toxic and abusive people overstate their ability to be kind and compassionate. They often tell you that you should “trust” them without first building a solid foundation of trust. They may “perform” a high level of sympathy and empathy at the beginning of your relationship to dupe you, only to unveil their false mask later on. When you see their false mask begins to slip periodically during the devaluation phase of the abuse cycle, the true self is revealed to be terrifyingly cold, callous and contemptuous.

.. Genuinely nice people rarely have to persistently show off their positive qualities – they exude their warmth more than they talk about it and they know that actions speak volumes more than mere words.

.. To counter a preemptive defense, reevaluate why a person may be emphasizing their good qualities. Is it because they think you don’t trust them, or because they know you shouldn’t?

.. 14. Triangulation.

Bringing in the opinion, perspective or suggested threat of another person into the dynamic of an interaction is known as “triangulation.” Often used to validate the toxic person’s abuse while invalidating the victim’s reactions to abuse, triangulation can also work to manufacture love triangles that leave you feeling unhinged and insecure.

Malignant narcissists love to triangulate their significant other with strangers, co-workers, ex-partners, friends and even family members in order to evoke jealousy and uncertainty in you. They also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.

.. This is a diversionary tactic meant to pull your attention away from their abusive behavior and into a false image of them as a desirable, sought after person. It also leaves you questioning yourself – if Mary did agree with Tom, doesn’t that mean that you must be wrong? The truth is, narcissists love to “report back” falsehoods about others say about you, when in fact, they are the ones smearing you.

.. To resist triangulation tactics, realize that whoever the narcissist is triangulating with is also being triangulated by your relationship with the narcissist as well. Everyone is essentially being played by this one person. Reverse “triangulate” the narcissist by gaining support from a third party that is not under the narcissist’s influence – and also by seeking your own validation.

.. 15. Bait and feign innocence.

Toxic individuals lure you into a false sense of security simply to have a platform to showcase their cruelty. Baiting you into a mindless, chaotic argument can escalate into a showdown rather quickly with someone who doesn’t know the meaning of respect. A simple disagreement may bait you into responding politely initially, until it becomes clear that the person has a malicious motive of tearing you down.

.. Remember: narcissistic abusers have learned about your insecurities, the unsettling catchphrases that interrupt your confidence, and the disturbing topics that reenact your wounds – and they use this knowledge maliciously to provoke you.

After you’ve fallen for it, hook line and sinker, they’ll stand back and innocently ask whether you’re “okay” and talk about how they didn’t “mean” to agitate you. This faux innocence works to catch you off guard and make you believe that they truly didn’t intend to hurt you, until it happens so often you can’t deny the reality of their malice any longer.

  • .. Provocative statements,
  • name-calling,
  • hurtful accusations or
  • unsupported generalizations, for example,

are common baiting tactics.

16. Boundary testing and hoovering.

Narcissists, sociopaths and otherwise toxic people continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope.

That’s why survivors of emotional as well as physical abuse often experience even more severe incidents of abuse each and every time they go back to their abusers.

.. In the abuser’s sick mind, this boundary testing serves as a punishment for standing up to the abuse and also for being going back to it. When narcissists try to press the emotional reset button, reinforce your boundaries even more strongly rather than backtracking on them.

Remember – highly manipulative people don’t respond to empathy or compassion. They respond to consequences.

17. Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes.

Covert narcissists enjoy making malicious remarks at your expense. These are usually dressed up as “just jokes” so that they can get away with saying appalling things while still maintaining an innocent, cool demeanor. Yet any time you are outraged at an insensitive, harsh remark, you are accused of having no sense of humor. This is a tactic frequently used in verbal abuse.

The contemptuous smirk and sadistic gleam in their eyes gives it away, however – like a predator that plays with its food, a toxic person gains pleasure from hurting you and being able to get away with it. After all, it’s just a joke, right?

Wrong. It’s a way to gaslight you into thinking their abuse is a joke – a way to divert from their cruelty and onto your perceived sensitivity. It is important that when this happens, you stand up for yourself and make it clear that you won’t tolerate this type of behavior.

Calling out manipulative people on their covert put-downs may result in further gaslighting from the abuser but maintain your stance that their behavior is not okay and end the interaction immediately if you have to.

18. Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone.

Belittling and degrading a person is a toxic person’s forte and their tone of voice is only one tool in their toolbox. Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but narcissists use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. If you in any way react to it, you must be “too sensitive.”

Forget that the toxic person constantly has temper tantrums every time their big bad ego is faced with realistic feedback – the victim is the hypersensitive one, apparently.

.. So long as you’re treated like a child and constantly challenged for expressing yourself, you’ll start to develop a sense of hypervigilance about voicing your thoughts and opinions without reprimand. This self-censorship enables the abuser to put in less work in silencing you, because you begin to silence yourself.

19. Shaming.

“You should be ashamed of yourself” is a favorite saying of toxic people. Though it can be used by someone who is non-toxic, in the realm of the narcissist or sociopath, shaming is an effective method that targets any behavior or belief that might challenge a toxic person’s power. It can also be used to destroy and whittle away at a victim’s self-esteem: if a victim dares to be proud of something, shaming the victim for that specific trait, quality or accomplishment can serve to diminish their sense of self and stifle any pride they may have.

.. Malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths enjoy using your own wounds against you – so they will even shame you about any abuse or injustice you’ve suffered in your lifetime as a way to retraumatize you. Were you a childhood abuse survivor? A malignant narcissist or sociopath will claim that you must’ve done something to deserve it, or brag about their own happy childhood as a way to make you feel deficient and unworthy.

What better way to injure you, after all, than to pick at the original wound? As surgeons of madness, they seek to exacerbate wounds, not help heal them.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a toxic person, avoid revealing any of your vulnerabilities or past traumas. Until they’ve proven their character to you, there is no point disclosing information that could be potentially used against you.

20. Control.

Most importantly, toxic abusers love to maintain control in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions.

That’s why abusive narcissists and sociopaths manufacture situations of conflict out of thin air to keep you feeling off center and off balanced. That’s why they chronically engage in disagreements about irrelevant things and rage over perceived slights. That’s why they emotionally withdraw, only to re-idealize you once they start to lose control. That’s why they vacillate between their false self and their true self, so you never get a sense of psychological safety or certainty about who your partner truly is.