I may not have been perfectly well-mannered in all my recent posts, but I've been fair. I have not called Kelley names for the sake of insulting her. I have criticized her based on my knowledge of personality disorders. It's always unpleasant to deal with ego-disturbed individuals once you've gotten on their bad side. They will do anything to knock you down, to insult you, to discredit you. Because they're so often extremely charming-- some of the most charming people you'll ever run across-- they have a way of working the crowd against the individual who tries to call them out on their cruelty and dishonesty. Because they *fully* believe whatever absurdities they utter, they can be incredibly persuasive liars. These people do an incredible amount of damage to society. Take, for instance, my mom. I love my mom. But she did a horrible thing to me. She abandoned me when I was five, leaving me to be brought up with an alcoholic father so insanely abusive that she ran for her life from him. Yet she left me behind! After that I saw her twice a year. For some reason I worshiped her till my teens. Then, around age 25, I got really angry. After a couple years, in a calm state, I wrote her a letter asking why did what she did. She came up with every excuse you could imagine. She seemed incapable of recognizing that she had simply done something truly awful. Finally, one day while researching Narcissistic PD, I glanced through some of the related disorders, and when I looked down the list of symptoms for Histrionic Personality Disorder, there she was. Hi Mom! The point of all this is that the disturbed ego is capable of far more evil than the normal ego. If you absolutely cannot see that what you're doing is wrong, then you'll just do it again, and again, without ever feeling remorse. Many people with PD's were abused as children. If you were traumatized in early childhood, by your mid-twenties you will probably develop one of three kinds of mental illness: addictive, affective, or PD. The difference between being clinically depressed and being ego-disturbed is that the former experiences the suffering fully, while the latter cannot cope with the trauma and represses it. Unfortunately, it comes out in terrible ways. Instead of feeling your own pain, everyone in your life has to feel it, particularly your children. Meanwhile, if you're a victim of one of these scary monsters, NO ONE WILL BELIEVE YOU. They're so damn "beautiful," people figure *you* must be the crazy one. As the psychiatrist M. Scott Peck pointed out (in his book, People of the Lie) if it weren't for the personality disorder, it's simply inconceivable that we would ever have developed the concept of human evil. Though he was focusing specifically on Narcissistic PD, it applies to all ten disorders, all of which boil down to the same ego disturbance, the same capacity to project reality based on desire and fear rather than simply perceiving it. While we all have egos, and we all engage in delusion to a degree, when the ego is disturbed, the distortions in perception become not only pervasive but cemented into place. Moreover, the individual undergoes a "loss of specific insight," i.e. becomes unable to rationally introspect. People with PD's virtually never admit they have the disorder. (Borderline PD is the only exception. There are Borderline support groups all over the country. The only person who ever told me she had a PD was a case of Borderline.)
There's a well-written website devoted to Narcissistic Personality Disorder and its victims. As you pass through the pages, gradually it dawns on you that this is extremely serious and must not ever be swept under the rug, no matter how unpleasant it might be to deal with it head on like this. (Everyone who reads this will likely recognize people they've known in the past.)
Aside from the abolition of capitalism, widespread knowledge of ego disorder, in all its forms, is the single best thing we can do to reduce evil and suffering in the world.
Btw, some people are particularly vulnerable to the charms of these people. You and I, unfortunately, both fall in that category.