SMEAR CAMPAIGNS: THE NARCISSIST MUST MAINTAIN CONTROL
When a narcissist can no longer control a victim, he or she must maintain a sense of dominance by controlling how others perceive these individuals. This is often accomplished by initiating smear campaigns. The purpose here is two-fold.
Injury was inflicted when the victim finally summoned the courage to leave, so in the mind of a narcissist, revenge must be sought. The narcissist will do everything in his or her power to destroy the happiness and well-being of victims who’ve left if they refuse to come back for the final discard (even if they’ve already returned to be discarded and are now on their own, likely without anything). A victim is never entirely disconnected from the narcissist, whether this means the person is still physically or mentally tied to the abuser. The narcissist must make certain that the abuse continues, even if indirectly. Therefore, the abuser will tell tall-tales to any mutual connections who will listen and ensure anyone new who walks into the narcissist’s life believes the victim is crazy. (Note: New victims will likely be kept separate from the old, unable to reach out, so the narcissist can maintain these falsities.)
The narcissist needs to ensure his or her true self is not revealed to anyone “on the outside” or is protected from any potential new partners for as long as possible. In order to do so, the narcissist will initiate a smear campaign, involving anyone and everyone in the victim’s social and professional circles — really, anyone who will listen— in an attempt to convince these individuals the victim is a terrible person. Some common tactics used by narcissists are convincing authorities the victim is abusive, an unfit parent, has committed a crime, etc.; convincing family members and friends the victim has been abusive and needs mental help, is an addict/alcoholic, is hiding things from them, has talked negatively about them, etc.; convincing employers the victim is stealing, handling personal affairs on the company’s time, has voiced hating his or her position, etc.
A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person. They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.
Among the things most experts agree on is that narcissists never go quietly into the night; they do not simply disappear but instead practice the scorched-earth policy, leaving nothing but the burned wreckage of relationships and reputations. Winning is all for the narcissist, as is never taking responsibility when things go south.
The smear campaign is one of the oldest narcissistic tricks in the book. The narcissist will use our defensive reaction as proof that we are exactly as he describes. This is what he is counting on. This is, in fact, a narcissist’s end game throughout the entire relationship. Smear campaigns are a method of damage control that narcissists implement when they know they have been found out. A common smear campaign might involve portraying the former victim as some sort of crazy, bipolar, addict, alcoholic, unstable, good digger, thief, cheater, or bad parent. By creating a series of lies, exaggerations, half-truths, suspicions and false allegations about the victim’s behavior these serve to undermine the victim’s credibility and sanity.
To get you where it really hurts, they target any person available to them who matters to you. No one and nothing are off limits to the narcissist. This encompasses your family members, all friends both mutual and non-mutual, employer and/or co-workers, and members of communities to which you belong (e.g.: church, volunteering organizations, sporting teams etc.).
This process is never accomplished by a single person, though. The smear campaign requires a mob of minions or flying monkeys to carry the distorted and destructive messages to finish the job that the Narcissist started. The Narcissist can just sit back and enjoy the show while the minions commit an atrocity that basically destroys the target/victim’s integrity. It is an insane attack that completely dehumanizes a good person for no earthly reason other than the Narcissist carrying out their abusive agenda so they can move on unscathed and unexposed.
Many, if not all Narcissists completely get away with their psychological terrorism and they basically murder their targets self-esteem, mind, soul AND their integrity with their backstabbing and ‘smear campaign.’ Be it the bullying, slander, or abuse, things that should be prosecutable offenses and they do this all of their lives. So just how do they get away with it all without any consequences AND why do people believe them?
WELL, first off because the Narcissist KNOWS that they are creating outrageous and dehumanizing acts against people and humanity – they also think up ways to avoid the consequences, especially because of what they fear the most – EXPOSURE of who they are and what they do! Funny how this works – they do not care in the least bit as far as how they damage people, but they make sure that NOBODY is ever wise to their actions – BUT that describes a personality disordered person – toxic, chaotic, unstable and abusive.
A Narcissist uses targeted confusion, lies and manipulation with backstabbing and that smear campaign OR divide and conquer – this also helps divert the attention away from the Narcissist who is the culprit. SO THE BIG PLAN – that shrewd Narcissist destroys the victim’s credibility well in advance, so they are ten steps ahead of the game by destroying the victim’s integrity well before they abandon them – it makes ‘getting away’ easier for the Narcissist. They are by far NOT geniuses, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you want to get away with something like abusing someone, you first launch an effective pre-emptive attack on their character, so that nobody will believe the target/victim when the truth finally starts emerging that they (target/victim) was abused.
Here is the formula for the Narcissist to be successful at this – abuse and then accuse your target/victim of the very atrocity they (the Narcissist) has committed and BOOM you are on top of your game to escape the exposure. They have been backstabbing/smearing us behind our backs from the very first day that we met them – but we were very distracted by the ‘love bombing’ and growing trust with this creature OR just us being a normal and empathic human being that opened up our hearts and giving our TRUST to them implicitly. Meanwhile that dark Narcissistic creature was gathering up information to use against us when they needed it and building up their minions, flying monkeys or Narcissistic support soldiers.
The disordered Narcissist commits moral mayhem by destroying the victim’s reputation and credibility, so that nobody will believe the target/victim when they start to tell the truth. Truthfully this description of mayhem that the Narcissist used to destroy the target/victim’s integrity is purely projection, so the Narcissist gets a bonus by dumping their demons onto us as well! Thus with the Narcissist this preemptive back-stabbing and smear campaign, allows the Narcissist to reduce the target/victim to such a vulnerable and helpless state that it compounds the abuse at the highest level by accusing the target/victim of being the abuser as well. Remember that the Narcissist used the ‘familiarity’ of knowing us personally to ‘be in the know’ about many of our situations and that familiarity will yield semi-valid but distorted ‘personal’ information and connections to events and other people. In other words, their smear campaign will be laced with small bits and pieces of a distorted truth that listeners can relate to. So there you have it – the Narcissist carries out their abuse to fruition with their ‘smear campaign’ after they have discarded their victim and that gives them the protection to run off unscathed.
FLYING MONKEYS: THE NARCISSIST’S TOOLS FOR THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN
First of all flying monkeys are also known as the:
- extension of the narcissist
- campaign managers
They’re out there recruiting other people, kind of in a way like religious people might knock on your door and try to recruit you into their religion. They’re trying to convert you into the religion of the narcissist, which is reality by the narcissist. So the role of these flying monkeys is first of all abuse by proxy.
Abuse by proxy is when the narcissist gets other people to abuse you. That way the narcissist gets to abuse you but through these people. They’ll reject you, they’ll make you feel not good enough, they’ll shame you, maybe they’ll put you in a bad situation, they’ll tell you that you’re crazy, things like that. This way the narcissist looks like the one that’s clean. They’re not involved.
The flying monkeys are also used to spread rumors and gossip. This is one of their most prevalent roles. They are addicted to gossip. Usually these people go around and spread rumors and gossip that they heard. Flying monkeys do the narcissist’s bidding. That’s what the smear campaign is, is they’ll do whatever the narcissist wants. The narcissist wants them to go out and talk badly about you and spread lies about you or the narcissist wants them to outright abuse you or to make you feel like you don’t belong. Or maybe they invite you to a place where they know something horrible is gonna happen for you and you’re not going to be comfortable there, those sorts of things.
Flying monkeys make the narcissist feel like they’re important and special. They help the narcissist feel like they’re grandiose, like they have high status, like they’re famous or a celebrity, which is what the narcissist wants to feel. Narcissists often have a whole entourage around them just like a celebrity needs an entourage in order to feel secure about themselves.
How does the narcissist recruit flying monkeys against the target?
Typically what they’ll do is they’ll go out around town or your community or however you knew this person, maybe even your office. Maybe it’s a romance in an office or maybe it’s a boss or a co-worker. They go around and tell everyone that you’re the abusive one or that you’re crazy. They’re usually going to play one of those two things.
Essentially they’re going to project and say that you’re the abusive one meaning you are doing all the things that they were doing to abuse you. Maybe they even call your family members and they try to convert your family members into their reality or maybe this is even happening within your family. Abusers love to call you crazy when you figure out what’s going on because they have to discredit you. If they don’t go around telling people that you’re crazy, they might believe you. When the narcissist tells you that you’re crazy that should set off an alarm bell for you to recognize it’s a smear campaign. That that’s a clue, that the narcissist is going to do the smear campaign.
They’re also going to play the role that they’re just “concerned” about you. Women narcissists do this more often than men. They’re “concerned” about your health and reveal information that was none of anybody’s business, something that you didn’t want out there.
It’s an incredible betrayal when they reveal something that really happened to you or it’s a total lie and they’re making something up just to pretend that they’re concerned about you and your health. Essentially the narcissist spins this web of a false reality and casts it out among this group of people. Then people subscribe to that reality. It’s like they become engulfed into that web of a false reality that they think is very real because the narcissist appears so convincing with an enormous amount of energy and emotion about the topic. It really seems like it could be true to a certain point, especially to people who just don’t know. But the people who are subscribing and fully knowing, the toxic, who are partaking in this because they’re getting something out of it, they will gladly subscribe to that reality even if they know that it’s a false reality.
Why does the narcissist use flying monkeys?
First of all they like to discredit the witness. They like to discredit you so that you don’t reveal your truth or so that maybe you’ll just be so ashamed and terrified that you won’t say anything, instead you’ll just swallow it all. Sometimes the narcissists will come up with flying monkeys even if you didn’t even have a relationship with this person. Maybe you just innocently walked into a new job and this person just started targeting you. Maybe they instantly had a jealous competition over your talents, your abilities, your position, your alliances or something like that. Or maybe it’s because somebody likes you who doesn’t like them and they want the favor that person. Any kind of jealous competition can stoke up this kind of situation where narcissists will grab some flying monkeys or create flying monkeys in order to go against you. The narcissist doesn’t have to get their hands dirty abusing you because they can recruit all these other people to do that work for themselves.
And finally, they’re going to use mobbing against you so that you feel alone and unsure of your reality. When it’s one person against one person that gaslighting can be really challenging. When it’s a whole group of people who are subscribing to that reality, and then you, you’re going to feel really alone. You’re going to really be tempted to doubt yourself and your perception of reality. The flying monkeys can be a very powerful ally for the narcissist.
The smear campaign is devastating. Dealing with flying monkeys is horrible. I’m sure there are a lot of people who have committed suicide because there was a whole group of people against them and they just felt so invalidated, so alone, so deeply doubting of themselves that they couldn’t find a reason to go on. They didn’t find a way out, they didn’t even know what was happening. It can be that serious.
Narcissists aim to destroy your credibility and terrorize you into silence.
Narcissists use ‘Degrading Themes’ to terrorize the target causing them constant stress and anxiety. A Degrading Theme is a form of psychological harassment that stigmatizes the victim and destroys their reputation. The objective is to make the target a social outcast by deliberately spreading lies and distortions to individuals in their personal and professional environment.
To effectively assassinate the target’s character they operate under the guise of bogus police investigations and use statements and quotes from individuals who are paid to set-up the target. They even invest considerable effort in manipulating circumstances and staging scenarios to make the victim appear as a the narcissist wants the target to be seen.
Labels, like “stalker or crazy” are most often used because it is considered by society to be easily understandable and a heinous crime. This accusation easily mobilizes people against the target. Anyone who cares about the narcissist or about the crime the victim is accused of become eager participants in harassment skits directed towards you. It’s an accusation that can easily destroy your career and alienate you from your family and friends.
Likewise other labels easily motivate individuals to bully a target. Narcissists spread rumors throughout various communities that you are anti-‘whatever’ and need to be taught a lesson. This is a time tested strategy that has been used for centuries. Empires have been built on it. It’s called ‘Divide and Conquer’. It’s not unusual for a target to be harassed by several groups at the same time.
The narcissists feed each accomplice lies, adapting them to the stereotypes associated with each group. Again, to be most effective, they will use individuals belonging to each respective ethnicity who are paid, bribed or blackmailed into spreading false evidence and making false statements to condemn you.
Smear Campaigns are extremely harmful, and effective, when executed properly. Often the accusations are spread among the target’s neighbors who participate in driving the victim out of town. Most frequently the rumors follow the target into their new community only for the cycle of harassment to begin again. Degrading Themes are favored by harassers for the ‘Catch 22’ it imposes on the victim. Many targets shy away from talking about the psychological abuse or defending themselves due to fear of further humiliation and stigmatization. They are put in a situation where talking about the harassment contributes to spreading the rumors and lies being told about them.
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