M.Scott Peck and Sam Vaknin disagree on whether narcissists are evil.


Is it evil to belittle, denigrate, scapegoat, and make fun of someone until they are demoralized, subjugated, and  traumatized?  Is the verbal and emotional abuser who keeps his victim in suspense and fear an evil  person?  Is the person with the need to control others evil?

According to M. Scott Peck, M.D,  psychiatrist and author of The People of The Lie, the answer is yes.

According to Peck, most of us view a situation in light of how we are affected by it and only as an afterthought do we stop to consider how it might affect others involved;  we do eventually consider the viewpoint of the other.

Not so those who are evil. Theirs is a brand of narcissism so total that they seem to lack this capacity for  empathy…. We can see then, that their narcissism makes the evil dangerous not only because it motivates them to scapegoat others, but  also because it deprives them of the restraint that results from empathy and  respect for others….The evil need victims to sacrifice to their narcissism, their narcissism permits them to ignore the humanity of their victims as well. ..The blindness of the narcissist  to others can extend beyond a lack of empathy; narcissists  may not “see” others at all.


Stopping The Narcissist and Concept of Evil

If you have ever lived in quiet desperation fearing the release of  age from the narcissist, then decided to stop the abuse, you have been the victim of a campaign designed to destroy you.  It is as systematic and well thought out as that of any battle plan of war.

Sam Vaknin disagrees:

As opposed to what Scott Peck says, narcissists are not evil – they lack the intention to cause harm. They are simply indifferent, callous and careless in their conduct and in their treatment of their fellow humans.

I read this and recognize the narcissism in the words.  Because Sam is a narcissist, he can say “simply indifferent”. Sam does not see that indifference is not simple.  The results of indifference, callousness and carelessness are destructive and malignant.  In a talk he gave at the White House, Elie Wiesel, concentration camp survivor and philosopher, says that from anger and hatred we can often make a difference, but to be indifferent is evil.

Using the argument that by definition evil people have no choice in their actions (even if it harms them, they will choose the morally wrong act) Vaknin argues that narcissists will act with malevolence only if it benefits them, but not if they are harmed.  Does this prove narcissists are not evil? or does it show us they are smarter? or maybe we cannot partition evil into “partly evil” as we cannot be ‘very unique’ or ‘a little pregnant’?

Vaknin addresses this in a question at the crux of this discussion: are the words good and evil, used as opposites, appropriate for describing behavior of a narcissist? Or is there a continuum and we do not have a rich enough diversity of language to describe the moral condition of the narcissist?  It would not be the first time language has acted as barrier to thought.

Scott Peck describes for us the characteristics of the personality disorder that encompasses evil:

    • consistent destructive scapegoating, often subtle
    • excessive, usually covert intolerance to criticism
    • pronounced concern with public image, denial of vengeful motives
    • intellectual deviousness with likelihood of mild schizoid disturbance

Children and Evil

(the child living in the midst of evil) can emotionally survive only by a massive fortification of its psyche. While….essential for survival through childhood, they distort and compromise its life as an adult….Children of evil parents enter adulthood with very significant psychiatric disturbances. To come to terms with evil in one’s parentage is perhaps the most difficult and painful psychological task a human being can be called on to face. Most fail and remain its victims. Those who succeed in developing the necessary searing vision are those who can name it.  “To come to terms” means to “arrive at the name.”

Surviving Evil

Evil then must be named but doing so can be enormously frightening.  It means that some must do battle with a destructive psychological (not supernatural) force.

The ones most in need of help are those that choose or must stay with a narcissist, or those that divorce them.  Divorce a narcissist and you will find every characteristic magnified and enlarged.  Divorce a narcissist with a narcissistic lawyer and you are the victim of a reign of terror.

It does not have to be divorce, it could be any lawsuit or other such campaign. It is the opposition, the challenge to the narcissist’s world view and the need to control that unleashes the campaign to destroy.

There were no examples in Dr. Peck’s book that appeared  to be as evil as what I have seen. I have seen evil that has torn a child from normality, taken the voice of the child so he could not speak and impaled such jolts of evil that the child would awake in terror screaming. “They’re throwing javelins at me, oh, the pain, the pain” and clutch his heart and chest in agony and fall into a coma like sleep for hours.

Evil leaves its mark at the cellular level. There is a physiology to evil. Cells are imprinted at the moment  terror engulfs us.  Brain cells are destroyed by stress and facing evil is neverending stress.  The body never leaves flight or fight mode.  Children silently suffer the slings and arrows of the narcissistic  parent who is unable to care.  What happens to the child is of no concern to the narcissist, he must prevail no matter the cost. The child as collateral damage is unimportant.  Winning is everything.

Can you survive the evil and the abuse?   Yes, though it won’t be easy.  Stay with the narcissist and you may be damaged.  Some can leave and they are changed –  stronger, wounded, wiser,  educated in the techniques of disengaging and mindfulness.  A journey, deep and dangerous  has been made by those who have been companions with “the people of the lie.”

Do you need to talk more about the narcissist in your life? Having trouble with your divorce? Need to reclaim control away from your narcissist?  Visit our page of consultations and books to discover your options.

Ann Bradley


  1. I think evil is a human construct to make an opposite for the idea of good and if you think of scale with good on one end and evil on the other end….it seems the line between good and evil blurs and even more so if you only take parts of a person and add it to the scale. For example, Sally is very giving and shares everything…she is almost all good on the scale, but she is also a very jealous person….she is almost evil on the scale.
    If there is true evil, it would be a rare event. For I believe that humans are neither good or evil, but are on a different level of personal awareness and awareness that the world stretches beyond just themselves. As a young child, they do not understand that there is a world beyond themselves and so they appear very selfish, indifferent and tempermental. We would never call a 4 year old evil because we understand their stage of development and that all children at this age are pretty much the same. Perhaps the narcissistic or evil adult stopped developing at this critical age and never acquired a world beyond themselves. We seem them as evil, but to them they are not trying to be evil. They are instead just acting as they feel entitled to. They have no insight into what they are doing and it would be equally as difficult to make a 4 year old see that they are indifferent and selfish.
    I think in order to be evil, you have to understand what evil is and have a desire or a wish to be evil…..to understand and be cognizant that what you are doing is evil. If you do not have self awareness or insight into your own behaviour and do not feel in anyway you are evil and may even believe you are a victim instead of an abuser, I do not think we can say this person is evil.

  2. I believe both men’s perspective have merit.

    I married twice, both incredible narcissists. (married my mother, really, both times!)

    #1 knew he was the “vainest man in the world.” That name given by his first wife, he used to think it was both funny and true. He isn’t evil so much as selfish, self-centered and controlling. He DID, finally, have an epiphany about how he treated me and why. He really was deeply sorry, but his determined route to self-destruction (and aversion to actually working) sure didn’t bring me back to him, his abuse was physical and verbal. He did know how to apologize and there were times he made attempts to control himself. He failed because he is a weak, angry, self-centered man.

    #2 hub, Well, this quote describes him to a T:” Not so those who are evil. Theirs is a brand of narcissism so total that they seem to lack this capacity for empathy…. We can see then, that their narcissism makes the evil dangerous not only because it motivates them to scapegoat others, but also because it deprives them of the restraint that results from empathy and respect for others….The evil need victims to sacrifice to their narcissism, their narcissism permits them to ignore the humanity of their victims as well. ..The blindness of the narcissist to others can extend beyond a lack of empathy; narcissists may not “see” others at all. ” #2 is truly, unrelenting, and viciously evil. ZREO empathy…altho he had a scare with bladder cancer early in our marriage (none found) when I was found with a mass in my uterus, and both symptoms and a sonogram indicated (possibly stage 4) uterine cancer, his explosive reaction was, “Yer making too much of this, I am NOT giving up my (annual, 3 week) vacation for a scrape, and if you have cancer, there’s not a damned thing I can do about it anyway.”

    #2 only sees people who can advance him, mostly financially, but boost his ego, as well. He has used our two children unmercifully, as well, of course me. He juggles 3 women at a time (not including his wives/steady)but can tell the most outrageous lies to each, and about each. Emotionally abusive, emotionally manipulative, and without real emotion (other than rage) he is a superb actor, being able to go from brave undercover agent to tears to the police (who I had to call to get into my own home!) for “finding her, omigod, everyone has been so worried! You have to stop disappearing like this, Baby, I was called in from the field, I was conducting a covert operation, for the Department of Homeland Security, the neighbors hadn’t seen her for months, they thought the place was abandoned, because of this crazy woman who I love, but I love my country more, I had to divorce her!” to self effacing and downplaying his enormous contribution to the National Security of our beloved country, wiping another tear from his eye “started working for the Feds when I was in ‘Nam, Special Forces, can’t tell you what I did or do now, either. Wouldn’t, if I could, still have nightmares,” to a concerned homeowner, “Look, officers, I have renters coming in in two days, let’s get this situation under control, shall we?” All this within 4 minutes….

    for the record…he never was in Special Forces, ‘Nam, nor did he divorce me, I did him and boy is he still angry about it. Still claims he’s married, works under cover with the CIA, and his poor beknighted chicks, who think they are going out with a short, fat James Bond married to a crazy woman who “has never known what I do for a living, her craziness would jeopardize our national Security. My job is my cover, my cell phone is classified, I can call you, but you must NEVER call me” still, after being apart for 9 years and divorced for 3, track me down, and demand I let him go…His lovely, truly a nice person, 4 year relationship steady, (who does know what he does) quite well off, is being heavily pressured to buy him a house, far away from all her family and friends….just like he did with me…

    Our Second child made a serious attempt at suicide, and his enraged phone call to me, “I can’t afford this bill, stupid bitch can’t do anything right, not even commit suicide right.” First Child (both are in their early 20’s), is a marvelous, but still neurotic, Daddy Issues, success, within the pro sports field. He has never forgiven his (wonderful! terrific woman) daughter from his first marriage for never dating and marrying a well known sports figure from their upper MidWest hometown, he’s figgering our daughter is gonna make him famous! (I already made him rich, and because he’s a narcissist, he’s purty well blown thru the money in 3 years). He blames me and our #2 daughter for #2 not being a PERFECT SON. She was his last chance for a PERFECT SON (his only son is a very high functioning, independent asperger’s) and she and I blew it.

    He blames his short stature for never having been a success in anything (despite his claim to me he was a wonderful success in radio “but my wife took all my money.”)

    However, at the ripe old age of 70, (and several cosmetic surgeries) he has found a modicum of success with his acting abilities…he works as a spokesperson, part time, for a Federal agency. As one daughter said to me, “He shoulda done this 30 years ago, Mama, he’s the total center of attention, gets to travel, be on tv and radio, and get paid for acting sincere, about stuff he really doesn’t give a crap.”

    “Vaknin argues that narcissists will act with malevolence only if it benefits them and not harms them.” #2 hub acted/acts malevolently to me, in creepy, and stalker ways, and he has crossed lines that now, with strength that I’ve had to muster, shall harm him. But he’s such a narcissist, he doesn’t believe I can act on protecting myself at all, that the police are so conned, I won’t win.

    It takes tremendous strength to finally fight back, and one cannot while living with one, evil, or not. Therapists, especially female therapists, are useless with dealing with a male, emotional abuser, narcissist, the acting abilities of one are so tremendous, and feed the therapists ego, especially if the narcissist can muster tears and snot running down the face and chin!

    Both Peck and Vankin are correct, but whether a narcissist is evil or just an emotionally stunted person, depends on the individual and how he affects those closest to him, and how he chooses friends, and how fast he makes enemies(even only in his own head). And whether he is caught and called out, or not…..by their fruits, you shall know them.

    • “You are wrong”? Woah, overload, overload! That is quite an extensive and compelling argument. Care to elaborate on that masterful piece of ÜBER knowledgable writing? Pretty please, Holly Carol? You’ve left me intrigued and wanting for more, more, more!

      BTW: I think, in all sincerity (not a hint of jocular sarcasm), that Lucy’s writing provided a fair and knowledge/experience based reply to the differences in thought of Peck and Vaknin. Giving you particular insight is that Peck is a non-narci, Vaknin a narci (Lucy & her former husband respectively). Lucy is more than qualified to comment on the subject. And Lucy has me thinking about evil vs. emotionally stunted based on the impact the narcissists behavior has on the kind of impact their behavior has people in their lives.

      Also, I find that reading and replying to essays, commemts, excerpts, articles etc. regarding narcissism, sociopathy, borderline personally disorder, abuse, trauma bonding etc.. Serve not only as a means to think through the subjects, but to reflect on my own life and, human behavior, and to delve DEEPER into the subjects (both the persons and topics). It can be quite cathartic. And, of course educational. I find, too, that people’s shared experiences are invaluable. Affecting both my mind and my heart.

  3. Evil has a feel to it, an aura. When I’m in its presence, I experience anomie, mild disorientation, and creepiness. Malignant narcissists are evil. Yes, they are. They like to terrorize others, and break every rule in the world. They think they are gods. Of course, since none of us are gods, it’s easy to get very insecure when we come up against proof we’re not perfect. Uh-oh! The narcissist will swing into action to demean and denigrate any threat to their false sense of entitlement. Pride comes before the Fall-ie. Lucifer, a proud creature.
    They are amoral. Mentally, they know when they are doing wrong. Emotionally, they couldn’t care less. Indifference is the opposite of Love, not Hate, as many think. A possibility is that they are so darn evil that the Love they feel comes out upside down, as Hate. Only someone who really touches us can arouse the passion of Hate. Now, maybe
    some con artist comes along who destroys aspects of our lives and families, so that arouses Hatred. Anyone, incl. MN’s can feel hate because of this. In addition, being as the MN is pure evil, they could experience an admirable, talented, superior person who others would admire and like, with Hatred, because that person threatens their sense of being the god of their environment. Precisely because they like the person so much, they realize that person’s threat to King or Queen of the Mountain, and of course, we know what will happen to that person, don’t we?

  4. The true definition of evil in relation to people hurting people is this: To do harm to another human being on a grand scale.

    Not all narcissists are evil and not all narcissists do harm on a grand scale (although this could be debated).

    As the grandest victim of narcissists you will ever find I do not think narcisssits are evil in character-although an argument could be made that all those who are evil of character have highly narcissistic traits.

    Narcissists however are completely devoid of character and by this I mean maturity and consciousness and therefore conscience of matter. To narcissists most of the time their outside is their inside,they are shallow because they are protecting their inner emptiness and lack of character that is threatened by anyone with character.

    I see narcissists as human tornadoes-empty inside and if you get in their way they will hurt or destroy you and there is no reasoning with them because they are simple forces of nature created by “hot air” (human capability for ego and arrogance,which can protect weakness,fear,and vulnerability) and pressure (they feel pressure to conform in order to feel secure and fit in. They are like children who don’t know themselves, have never been secure and don’t know how to grow up because they are living in a world pretending to be adults and the world rewards them. They think when they pretend to be something they are not. They are not “adults” – people who can treat others with respect – -because they are so busy taking care of the image they created in order to feel better and feel less anxiety and depression by gaining people’s attention and love. No one tells them they can’t do that and doing such things is the only way they can live in denial of their fear and emptiness. Ironically they feel they are evil-they feel within them bad about themselves,because they don’t know how to be a “responsible” human which is one who is in control of THEMSELVES (not their superficial “selves” that makes money,supports themselves,and lives up to societies expectations and/or desires but their INNER SELVES who FEEL and then act or don’t act based on some moral understanding—the narcissist acts to remain in denial and use other’s attention to boost their low self esteem and inferiority complex (and their inherent paranoia because to them everyone IS after them and this is their reality so they act based on paranoia and fear instead of trust as a normal person would).

    Once they take you into their vortex of emptiness by convincing you that they are something they are not (mostly by MIRRORING your love and acceptance of them ON THE SURFACE until you actually need them to act as they pretend to be) you in essence become NO THING because you are really just a THING they use to reflect off of in order to gain you as a person (not your love,but your attention and willingness to be USED by them through their control in order to give them attention whenever they want—the LOVE you give them isn’t even what they want which is why they never seem afraid of losing it or ever return it in the same true way that you give it–they just want your attention and to MOLD you into a thing that they can use to maintain their false image of themselves as some THING that is ACCEPTED and AGGRANDIZED (given power and love) by others–they use you for the power you give them by accepting them,loving them,and giving them attention and opportunity to control and use you. They love you for being a thing,which is just what they are–but the love can never be equal or even returned to you because in order for them to use you as a thing to maintain the IMAGE of what they are they must always be the one in control and they must always keep you not only as a thing but as a thing with NOTHING or NO THING of value because they need to have all the value in their minds. Because as empty things of illusion with no actual human value and instead just illusion they only take in order to take more and they only love or give in order to gain control which they can use to destroy you if needed whenever necessary–even though ironically unbeknownst to them they have already destroyed you the minute you believed the illusion of their character because everything after that was a lie used to keep you and to keep you from being YOU and keep you from being FREE. In essence they murder you the moment they set eyes on you and then they just desire to keep your hollow dead body around to use and minipulate for their own use and entertainment (NOT your true value) in order to make THEIR ILLUSION of themselves “REAL” in their paranoid, twisted, and delusional minds.
    What needs to happen is their delusions need to be SHATTERED but because these delusions are inside them and they do everything to keep these delusions active–because their delusions ARE their character and “humanity” (sic) in their minds–simply using FORCE against them alone will not work and will not “cure” them. What they need is to be forced to face themselves and to take responsibility but they also need support ONCE their true characterless self comes out (I’m not sure there is a cure,barring their own pain from being abandoned causing them to feel pain and then over time if they were to bravely explore themselves and be willing to suffer as the human they really are they might gain the experience to self emulate and take responsibility for their own feelings and thus begin to have morals–but my belief is that NO ONE-and especially one who is actively being used by the narcissist which would be anyone that trusts them or is in a real relationship with them,could ever cure them. Because the only reason they are in a relationship with anyone is to maintain their ADDICTION to their false self which convers up their empty and worthless real self. The only way you can help a narcissist is to recognize what they truly are (not who,because they are not a who but a what)–you can have empathy for them but allowng them to hurt you means another day that they will believe they are some thing thatthey are not and they will go on convering up their true selves. No one can fall in love with a narcissist,you can only fall in love with the false image they present to you ,through mirroring your responsible love but never delivering any of that love back to you WHEN you need it and when YOU need to be in control of YOU or of other things (not people,though in a REAL relationship even among children people give up some control over themselves but the narcissist gives up none that is IMPORTANT to him which is why he or she GROUSES about everything silently or loudly because everything is HIS or HERS in their mind including YOU the THING they won in their minds (they can’t see you as a human being,they don’t consciously think of you as a thing but they are things of ther own creation so you are as well and can be nothing else ever——until and unless they recognize their own emptyness and lack of character and morality and work to become something of THEIR OWN character and then apologize to you profusely FOR being themselves and all the things they have done specifically and non specifically—you probably know they narcissits hate to apologize and really never see anything wrong with their behavior and THIS is why–because they don’t see what they LACK a true character filled with humanity and morality. All characters that are empty are criminal in nature as they all USE the superficial world in order to build a false character with which they control and gain from the world.

    Some narcissists are evil due to the choices they make in relation to other people. The irony is that it’s mostly a matter of circumstance that end up deciding or determining whether a narcissist is evil. That is if the world and the situations the narcissist comes across and places themselves in (and the people) turn out the way the narcissist wants or don’t dissapoint the narcissist and keep giving them the attention the narcissist wants (not needs in a truly human sense as the narcissist wants attention in order to keep being NOT human and to remain being a consuming and empty characterless thing)–i.e. are able to be manipulated by the narcissist to their satisfaction (which IS impossible to a “perfect degree” as what they want is to TAKE from GIVING people without of course being able to give anything REAL and of value that is not an illusion and therefore a LIE) –THEN the narcissist will not “hurt” by NEGLECTING of your humanity (which the narcissist can’t help and isn’t even conscious of most of the time as THEIR morality is just an act and when you NEED them to be moral and give YOU attention they literally CAN’T because unbeknownst to even them to a large degree their whole personality and person is an ACT–and simply a series of manipulations of and lies to others and of situations in order to maintain the delusional image of themselves and to stay addicted to others “love” which to their EMPTY hearts and minds-character-is ONLY ATTENTION (why “stalkers” want your attention more than your love,because to them and all narcissists attention is love because love requires TWO people and for BOTH to have character).

    • 3 basic things that are common to the *truly* narcissistic:
      1) They never do any work. Really. They are lazy as all hell.
      2) They are deeply, deeply unhappy. There is no point worrying about whether or not they are happy, because they never are. They refuse to be cheered up.
      3) They creep one out!!!!! with their obsessional behaviours. My mum never used to call me from 1 month to the next and all of a sudden she is trying to creep back into my good books again because she p*ssed my aunt off. Apparently my mother sees my cousin as the golden child – she has no interest in my work at all. Though to some degree my aunt and mum are as bad as each other I have a feeling my aunt thought my mum’s attitude towards me, and this obsession with my cousin, and also this feeding off the problems my aunt had, rather weird, and must have become thoughtful. My mother is still trying to play games with her and has experienced scant reaction for the past month. My mother was also excluded from a social gathering in the neighbourhood – although mind you the two old trouts responsible for it were just as bad – but again she was desperately playing games trying to get a reaction from them, whereas if you were a healthy narcissist, you wouldn’t care. She loves trying to save face and pretend she is nice and make some noise for the sake of it, but people grow tired of someone who’s only ever around in order to get attention for nothing in particular.
      Now she is trying to work on me again but in the interim I have changed. I no longer give a sh*t about what anybody else thinks. I haven’t the time for starters, and when she comes out with something negative I reply with something positive, or when she comes out with something stupid, I come out with something sensible. In fact, there’s a type of person that is so self confident and grounded and sensible that the narcissist knows they’ll have a hard time playing games with them, because this sensible person won’t have the time to play along, or the time of day to give them. That leaves them feeling really, really stuck.

  5. The solution if you are a victim of a narcissist is to understand what they are and to build your own character and strength by protecting yourself from being hurt in whatever way possible. Unfortunately the narcissist may have and probably has gotten you ADDICTED to his attention and lies (just like he is addicted to YOUR attention and his own lies) by turning you into a “thing” that denies your own feelings in favor of his (because he denies your feelings,since he can’t feel them as his “self” is an image and to be pathologically focused on himself or really on creating his own image—-hence the obsessive need to control and manipulate others and everything else as an image cannot be believed especially by him,if everything around him doesn’t fit into the lies,stories,and the image he sees and wants to see). He or she creates an addict in you by the denial of your feelings and the projection ONTO you of the IMAGE of you that THEY want which is an image of EMPTYNESS and of you NOT EXISTING because they need and want you to be the projected image that they create in their minds at the SAME TIME that they want you to be the THING that they “fell in love with” or “care about” (want to use to give them attention). And it is this destruction of you and at the same time this DEMAND that you be what they want to see in their minds,which drives you crazy and makes you give IN to them because at least then you will have ATTENTION—this is how they were created by a superficial society and seperate and superficial family and the lack of freedom of themselves that they suffered as children. Cruelty and rewards,in the hands of the irresponsible or the insane (those without moral understanding or consciousness of their own person or character)–creates narcissists who are paranoid and pathologically fear being nothing–thus they fit in society very well at least on a superficial level,but really these are children who were not raised and not allowed to grow up because they were neglected,controlled,and spoiled all at the same time. Society individually and as a group needs to focus on being PERSONALLY conscious and responsible,and on respecting all people big and small which can only come from exploring OURSELVES instead of the EMPTY superficial world which is seperated from ourselves. The end of religion is what has made this problem come to be so large. But religion was always a system of power and superstition made up of people just like all other parts of society. We need to create ourselves and to create a society of human values which we all are capable of seperately and together. We all need freedom instead of being addicted to comfortable superstitions of religious POWER or personal POWER. Truth is not in power,it is in acceptance and responsibility.

    • Me, I appreciate your comments in your previous post. My mother created her own insular world and played goddess in it for over fifty years. Her main social contacts are her several children. She never had girlfriends. She wouldn’t be caught dead in the regular company of other females. She never dated after she divorced my father. She says had to make her own interesting people. Meaning her kids. She trained us to serve her needs. She crushed her scapegoats and elevated those who please her.

      She hated religion. In my late teens I picked up a Bible and read to judge not lest you be judged. The words “judge not” changed me. All I had ever known was her absolute power to punish and reward us. So when I read “judge not” it totally rocked my world. My whole life, I had listened to her talk down those she didn’t like. Including me. I didn’t want to be like that. The words “judge not” went against everything she enjoyed. Here were words telling me there was another standard of living. After that I questioned her system. I began to survive instead of just existing. And paid a huge price for my independence.

      The abuse of power in the name of God is a horrible thing. It can be used to beat others into submission or coerce them to give up their money to overly wealthy tv personalities, etc… That’s not good! But the personal faith a person finds can be of great benefit to them. I think that is worth mentioning.

  6. Evil is well defined by the lack of empathy even when confronted with the outcome of the action. …know not what they do… until they know and don’t have the capacity/desire to care or change. In Christianity its called denying the Holy Spirit. Denying the opportunity for improvement, change, salvation, what have you… If you don’t stay narcissistic, then you are not a narcissist and you therefore cannot be evil as defined. Narcissism and deep psychopathic/hedonistic/sociopathic tendencies are not exclusive. They enjoy each others company quite often. I was raised by one, so I speak from the well worn corners of my soul. Thank God I have a good wife and wonderful Grandparent who embedded what I needed to survive the damage, although with a life that admittedly has been stunted by my late to develop sense of self-worth.

  7. My mother is a full blown narcissist and you will never be able to convince me they are not evil. When I was attacked and raped at 14 her response to me was it happens get over it.

    She has no heart unless it is to pretend for another one of her lies or scams. They are unable to see the child as an individual and the mental, emotional and sometimes physical abuse trashes your life while your young and trying to build one. They put you in unsafe situations and then blame you if something happens. Nothing they say can ever be believed. They blame you or others for everything never taking responsibility for their behavior. As soon as you get two steps ahead they sabotage you until you have to start over. Personally I don’t care if it is done on purpose or not. If it harms others enough to alter their lives it is evil.

    • well said! my mom was a narcissist too. i love how you just cut straight to the heart of their habits and to the heart of how ultimately narcissists it’s not worth the bother understanding them, just recognize the situation for what it is and get the hell out. i guess i don’t have anything to say, other than for all i’ve read on the subject your entry was such a great cliff note to the whole experience, the bravery to just say it simply and directly was appreciated :)

  8. It is very, very interesting to read your comments, those of you who post here. I only wish you gave more details about how being “trapped” with a narcissist affected you, and/or how you recovered from its effects. Thanks!

  9. Narcissists ARE evil. It’s not a question of debate. Any expert who doesn’t see this clearly is not an expert. Sam Vaknin is downright wrong on not just this, but on other things about Ns.

    Narcissists are PSYCHOPATHS. These are synonyms, and I don’t care about what you read on wikipedia or on most blogs. They are psychopaths, and they are the worst kind of psychopaths.

    Also, it is a MYTH that Narcissists need confirmation or anything like that. Narcissism has nothing to do with pride, or ego. They don’t have an ego, they are NOT selfish, the only thing they want is the other person to suffer. They are not human beings, you’ll see that once you understand what Narcissistic Supply is and how they operate in their head.

  10. Fearless you are correct.

    A Malignant Narc damn near destroyed me. He got off on torturing me … mind games and physical abuse. He was a pathological liar! He lured me into his trap by faking a persona then BOOM!!

    Recovery has been slow I was in such severe shock … it took time to figure out what I had been involved with. I know for a fact he is aware of what he is and he chooses to be that way. Sick, twisted monster … showed no remorse and has no conscience. I will not go into detail but MY GOD it was hell on earth for me. He sold me a dream and then ruined my life!

    He had the flat affect …. no facial expressions at all … never saw him smile or laugh. A seriously scary zombie like man with a gross smirk and a predatory stare!

    They are very dangerous …. never override your instincts (I did this as I was going through a massive life change and therefore vulnerable) these creatures will sniff you out so be aware! I just knew something was off about this guy.

    Turns out he was a bona fide Psycho a Malignant Narc …the same thing IMO.
    If you encounter one …JUST RUN THE HELL AWAY!!!

  11. Of course Sam Vaknin denies the obvious (that narcs are evil), since he admits to being a narcissist, he would then be forced to admit the truth, which is that he is evil. Narcs hate the whole truth. They use truth mixed with lies to give themselves credibility.

  12. Kudos to Sam Vaknin for exploring his favorite subject, himself. There is a great deal to learn from Dr. Vaknin. Because he himself is not his favorite subject. We have no empirical data to prove or disprove that his favorite subject is whatever it need be to support his hidden agenda. The brilliance to capitalize on the current public hysteria to identify a narcissist, so he may afford to pursue his Ph D.
    What does it matter to parse ego, personality, good, evil, anger and empathy? The ability to parse out such universal dualism is a fundamental narcissistic coping mechanism known as “‘splitting”.
    The narcissist cannot be trusted. He cannot synthesize the fact that good and evil exist in one person.

  13. To conclude, the narcissist is a master of self-design. The lessons here include dialectical reason and moral ambiguity.

  14. Malignant narcissists have an awareness of right and wrong by their many efforts to conceal their bad deeds. Narcissists have an over-active mindset of ill will, evil intent, malevolence toward others because of the pervasive pattern of their concealing behaviors. That’s why they all wear a mask. Do not waste your life believing the narcissist has good intentions or that “not all narcissists are bad.” To the contrary: narcs are intent on having it ALL…which consistently translates into evil outcomes for you. Even if you happen to be one of their mindless minions or dupes, you will eventually fall into the narcissist’s ditch. Statement of fact: the narcissist is EVIL. They are not poor souls who are always intending good only to have the outcome consistently end up bad for others. No, Their intent is pure malignant. Evil. They know what is good and right and choose to do the opposite. Not only that but they get HIGH off hurting others and doing wrong. Only when their behavior is liable to reflect poorly on them in public or group situations (they are also cowards) will they appear to do a good thing. But the intentions underneath are always all about them getting it all, not just materially but psychologically and spiritually speaking.. In the dark with their vulnerable victims they reveal the truth of who they really are….evil incarnate. If you’ve been in the dark with one of these creatures of the night then you know I have stated the truth about their evil characters.
    Deny this truth at your own risk.

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