For some reason or another I feel as if I have been transported back to Hebrew School. Back to when I was in 9th grade and in conformation class. I recall that I was part of a presentation to the younger students on cults.
My part of the presentation was what does a cult leader look like. My example at the time, and I did not know better, was that a cult leader looked like John Lennon. Golly, was I wrong.
We know now that a cult leader can look like or be anyone. He can be your next door neighbor, the manager at McDonald's or dressed in a well tailored suit and tie from Barney's.
So owe here decided to expand on the lesson given to little Jewish boys and girls back in 1978 and really delve into the traits of a cult leader. This list will come in handy in case you or a friend are might be being recruited or already under the auspices of a cult leader and do not know it. Print this list out and put it in your wallet just in case.
1.He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
2.Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.
3.Demands blind unquestioned obedience.
4.Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.
5.Has a sense of entitlement - expecting to be treated special at all times.
6.Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
7.Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.
8.Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others.
9.Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.
10.Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.
11.Needs to be the
center of attention and does things to distract others to insure that he
or she is being noticed by arriving late, using exotic clothing,
over dramatic speech, or by making theatrical entrances.
12.Doesn’t seem to listen well to needs of others, communication is usually one-way in the form of dictates.
13.Haughtiness, grandiosity, and the need to be controlling is part of his personality.
14.Behaves as though people are objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for personal gain.
15.When criticized he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.
16.Anyone who criticizes or questions him is called an “enemy.”
17.Refers to non-members or non-believers in him as “the enemy.”
18.Acts imperious at times, not wishing to know what others think or desire.
19.Believes himself to be omnipotent.
20.Has “magical” answers or solutions to problems.
21.Is superficially charming.
22.Habitually puts down others as inferior and only he is superior.
a certain coldness or aloofness about him that makes others worry about
who this person really is and or whether they really know him.
24.Is deeply offended when there are perceived signs of boredom, being ignored or of being slighted.
25.Treats others with contempt and arrogance.
26.Is constantly assessing for those who are a threat or those who revere him.
27.The word “I” dominates his conversations. He is oblivious to how often he references himself.
28.Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly - when he does he acts out with rage.
29.Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong nor does he apologize for his actions.
30.Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems.
31.Believes himself to be a deity or a chosen representative of a deity.
32.Rigid, unbending, or insensitive describes how this person thinks.
33.Has stated that he is “destined for greatness” or that he will be “martyred.”
34.Seems to be highly dependent of tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.
35.Uses sycophants to insure compliance from members or believers.
36.Sees self as “unstoppable” perhaps has even said so.
37.Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with himself – in fact sees himself as perfection or “blessed.”
There you have it. If you know of anyone with these traits or are yourself following someone with these traits it is not to late to leave. You can do it.
Later this week: Dr Hans von Schlaggel from Vienna, the director of the Institut für schweren psychiatrischen Erkrankungen, or in English, Institute of Severe Psychiatric Disorders will be back to blog about Narcissism. What is it and how do we spot it?