Tuesday, July 26, 2011

He's Not a Psychologist, But He Plays one on the Internet.

Here's a longwinded diatribe on Barack Obama's (supposed) mental health.  I reprint it here for sake of completeness.  But, readers who value their own sanity will probably just skim it, and move on to the history of this (ahem) interesting bit of viral email.

Take the time and read this important message...

  ----- Israeli Psychologist on Obama 
Be sure to read all the way to the end. 
Dr. Sam Vaknin is an Israeli psychologist. Interesting view on our president. Dr. Vaknin has written extensively about narcissism. 
Dr. Vaknin States "I must confess I was impressed by Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident -- a wholesome presidential package. I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words. Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such quasi "religious" impact on so many people. 
The fact that Obama is a total incognito with Zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects." 
Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love believes "Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist." Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens. Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest friends suggest that the man is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). 
Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was also a narcissist. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time. All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers. They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom. 
When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it is too late. One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse "Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations,"says Vaknin. "Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant two years old. Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia, a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. "She died of cancer in 1995." 
One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents. Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and does not deserve their attention. 
If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or another, he has no interest in it. The "present" vote is a safe vote. No one can criticize him if things go wrong. Those issues are unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him a lot longer than expected and at the end it evolved into, guess what? His own autobiography! Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race relations, for which he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing about his most sublime self. He entitled the book "Dreams from My Father". 
Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still a nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Why would he waste his precious time and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself? 
Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience. This is evident from Obama's lack of interest in his own brother who lives on only one dollar per month.. A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in Hawaii, and who raised nearly half a billion dollars for his campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the plight of his own brother. Why? Because, his brother cannot be used for his ascent to power. A narcissist cares for no one but himself.This election was like no other in the history of America . The issues were insignificant compared to what is at stake. What can be more dangerous than having a man bereft of conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world? 
I hate to sound alarmist, but one is a fool if one is not alarmed. Many politicians are narcissists. They pose no threat to others. They are simply self serving and selfish. Obama evidences symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or a Bill Clinton for example. To him reality and fantasy are intertwined. 
This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw. 
Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and even intelligent. It is this disguise that makes them treacherous. Today the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama. But this man could put an end to their party. The great majority of blacks voted for Obama. Only a fool does not know that their support for him is racially driven. This is racism, pure and simple. 
The downside of this is that if Obama turns out to be the disaster I predict, he will cause widespread resentment among the whites. The blacks are unlikely to give up their support of their man. Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting. They will dig their heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama's detractors of racism. This will cause a backlash among the whites. The white supremacists will take advantage of the discontent and they will receive widespread support. I predict that in less than four years, racial tensions will increase to levels never seen since the turbulent 1960's.Obama will set the clock back decades. America is the bastion of freedom. The peace of the world depends on the strength of America , and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory of rogue nations. It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists, and virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect of their man in the White House. 
America is on the verge of destruction. There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president.

The origin of this email is interesting, to say the very least.  Snopes attributes this email to a web posting by Ali Sina.  Although Mr. Sina's writings are prefaced by requests to be cited for his original work, I find very few differences between what Mr. Sina has to say, and what Mr. Vaknin has publicly said during interviews.

They both seem to make the same incoherent arguments, and come to the same conclusion:  That President Obama is mentally ill, and that Joseph Biden should relieve him of duty under the 25th ammendment.  Hallmarks of the recent recent campaigns by perennial presidential candidate, Lyndon LaRouche.  (See the caption under the photo of page 45 of the Vaknin interview.)

Do you find yourself agreeing with Lyndon LaRouche?  Perhaps you'll agree with more of his theories.  Including:

  • Adolf Hitler was put into power by the British monarchy.  (And I'm sure that the bombing of London was just a little quarrel amongst friends?)
  • The Beatles were created as a British psychological-operations unit.
  • Henry Kissinger served two terms as acting president of the United States, and created government programs for genocide under the auspices of the National Security Council and State Department.
  • Judaism never existed before Christianity.
  • "A journalist not on someone's intelligence-service pad is the rarest of all species, perhaps as rare as the Dodo."
  • "From its beginnings under Quaker-linked Attorney General J. Mitchell Palmer, the FBI was intended to become a political 'Gestapo,' serving the interests of foreign supranational powers dedicated to subverting and taking over the United States."
So, you can see why the "argument" for Barack Obama's insanity, itself, seems like insane prattle.  Because there's a lot more of it where Lyndon LaRouche came from.

Okay, maybe Lyndon LaRouche isn't the most reliable source of facts.  But our email author says that Sam Vaknin is a world-respected psychologist and expert on narcissism.


First of all, in order to call yourself a "psychologist", in any clinical sense of the word, you must complete an accredited Ph.D. program in Psychology, as well as an accredited internship.

According to Sam Vaknin's resume, he attended "nine semesters in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa".  Over 8 years.  His resume does not mention anything about completing a bachelor's degree.

Pacific Western University gave him a Ph.D. in Philosophy.  Which is interesting - because the business activities he cites in his resume brought him nowhere near California.  Pacific Western University is not an accredited institution (several citations here).  And in a film documentary, he outright admits that the diploma is fraudulent.

As for his "extensive writings on narcissism"?  He did self-publish a book.  It's no longer in print.  If you're really motivated, he'll sell you an electronic copy of all of his writings on narcissism, for the low, low price of $79.90.

Meanwhile, according to a search on Google Scholar, his book has been cited by 44 authors since it's publication in 1999.  Only three of these citations are from peer-reviewed psychological journals, and these, in turn, have been cited by less than 5 authors each.  This is shockingly few, compared to more recognized experts in personality disorder treatment.

Okay, maybe he's not a world-recognized authority on the diagnosis and treatment of "psychopathic narcissists".  Could he still be right?

Well, first of all, he doesn't use standard diagnostic criteria.  He uses his own.

And, if you watch the documentary about Mr. Vaknin, he repeatedly diagnoses himself as being a psychopathic narcissist.  I'm not sure about his diagnosis - but he does openly talk about his past convictions for fraud, as well as engaging in a business model of providing bogus "psychological treatment" to "people who've been victimzed."

Oh, and in his documentary, he also says that one of history's great psychopathic narcissists is - Jesus Christ.

The official diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder (synonymous with "psychopathic personality") are published here.

And, unless you're a rabid anti-Christian or anti-religion freak... I doubt you'll think he qualifies.

Okay.  I've beaten him up enough.