Dangerous Cult Leaders - A 2012 Assessment

 
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09 September 2019 12:25
 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/spycatcher/201208/dangerous-cult-leaders

quotes from this article:

One of the questions that I am often asked by students of criminology and psychology is, how do you know when a cult leader is “evil” or “bad”? These of course are vague descriptors to some extent, but I also get the question, “When is a cult leader pathological or a danger to others?” This is a valid question in view of the historical record of suffering and hurt caused by various cult leaders around the world.

From my studies of cults and cult leaders during my time in the FBI, I learned early on that there are some things to look for that, at a minimum, say “caution, this individual is dangerous, and in all likelihood will cause harm to others.”

I can say that what stands out about these individuals is that they were or are all pathologically narcissistic. They all have or had an over-abundant belief that they were special, that they and they alone had the answers to problems, and that they had to be revered. They demanded perfect loyalty from followers, they overvalued themselves and devalued those around them, they were intolerant of criticism, and above all they did not like being questioned or challenged. And yet, in spite of these less than charming traits, they had no trouble attracting those who were willing to overlook these features.

These personality traits stand out as the first warning to those who would associate with them, but there are many others. Here is a collection of traits of cult leaders that give us hints as to their psychopathology. This list is not all-inclusive nor is it the final word on the subject; it is merely my personal collection based on studies and interviews that I conducted in my previous career.

If you know of a cult leader who has many of these traits there is a high probability that they are hurting those around them emotionally, psychologically, physically, spiritually, or financially. And of course this does not take into account the hurt that their loved ones will also experience.

Here are the typical traits of the pathological cult leader (from Dangerous Personalities) that you should watch for:

He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.

Demands blind, unquestioned obedience.

Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.

Has a sense of entitlement—expecting to be treated as special at all times.

Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.

Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.

Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.

Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.

Needs to be the center of attention and does things to distract others to ensure that he or she is being noticed, e.g., by arriving late, using exotic clothing, overdramatic speech, or by making theatrical entrances.

Has insisted on always having the best of anything (house, car, jewelry, clothes) even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities, or clothing.

Doesn’t seem to listen well to needs of others; communication is usually one-way, in the form of dictates.

 

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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09 September 2019 15:05
 

Are you sure this isn’t a psychological profile of Donald J. Trump?

Oh dear. I must have Trump Derangement Syndrome. Tsk, tsk.

[ Edited: 09 September 2019 15:08 by Cheshire Cat]
 
 
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10 September 2019 12:44
 
Cheshire Cat - 09 September 2019 03:05 PM

Are you sure this isn’t a psychological profile of Donald J. Trump?

Oh dear. I must have Trump Derangement Syndrome. Tsk, tsk.

Trump would need to manifest at least 6 of the traits listed in the OP in order to qualify as a cult leader.  More study before we point fingers?

 
 
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10 September 2019 13:05
 

I’m glad it was written in 2012, or someone would say that it was written with Trump in mind.  Looks like Trump gets 12 out of 12.  He wins!

 
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12 September 2019 11:54
 
EN - 10 September 2019 01:05 PM

I’m glad it was written in 2012, or someone would say that it was written with Trump in mind.  Looks like Trump gets 12 out of 12.  He wins!

Bolton must have risked eye contact.

 

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