“Anything But That” by Barry Blitt



Oscar December 12, 2016 – Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog


The Cult of Trump


Can’t understand why a loved one would vote for Donald Trump? Let the experts who spend their lives studying cults help break it down.
America was watching, the world was watching, and Donald Trump needed everyone to understand just how dire the straits really were.


“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he proclaimed ominously as he officially accepted the Republican nomination for president at the party’s convention in Cleveland last month. It was a grim portrait of America, a once-great nation ravaged by terrorism, “poverty and violence” at home, “war and destruction” overseas.


The solution? Not God. Or patriotism. Or casting aside party loyalty to come together as a nation. No, politicians had rallied under those virtuous banners before, and where had it gotten us? Instead, the newly crowned nominee offered a more messianic promise: that Trump — and only Trump — can get things back on track.


That’s the moment, says Rick Alan Ross, America’s leading cult expert, when he realized Trumpism had striking similarities to the fanatical groups he studies.


Like many moderates in the party, Ross, the executive director of the Cult Education Institute and a lifelong Republican, had watched Trump’s rise with mounting distaste. But Trump’s rhetoric at the RNC — “I alone can fix it” — clicked the pieces into place. “That kind of pronouncement is typical of many cult leaders, who say that ‘my way is the only way, I am the only one,’” Ross says. “That was a very defining moment.”


When I called Ross, I cut right to the chase, asking, “Is Trump a cult leader?” I didn’t get more than a few words in for the next 20 minutes as he dove into the evidence: the nominee’s deep-rooted narcissism, his lack of transparency, many of his supporters’ blind, full-throttled adoration. A week later, he left me two voicemails outlining the warning signs of narcissistic personality disorder in the candidate, and a week after that, followed up with another batch of e-mails expounding on Trump’s similarities to the cults he studies. There was a lot to dig into.



The Cult of Trump. Source: GQ/Getty Images iStock



The New Republic

October 15, 2016


Donald Trump’s Campaign Has Become a Cult


Friday’s rally in Charlotte took Trumpism to a frightening new level.



By Jared Yates Sexton


The Trump campaign has turned into something new: a cult.


The fact hit me a few minutes after I entered the Charlotte Convention Center on Friday night and heard supporters openly blaming the women who’ve recently come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting them. The Trump faithful were more than ready to cut down anyone standing in their leader’s way.


“They’re gold diggers,” I heard an old woman say.


“Let’s call them what they are,” said a woman in a “Proud Deplorable” shirt. “They’re whores.”


Throughout the night there were similar strains of the same conversation. Everyone was in agreement that there was no veracity to the women’s claims, that it was just another dirty trick by “Crooked Hillary” to defeat Trump, a man so good, another woman explained, holding out her quaking hand, “It makes me shake to think they’d hurt a man like that.”


But the questioning of the women’s accounts didn’t stop at skepticism. In a cult, when confronted with conflicting evidence, it’s oftentimes necessary to go to extreme lengths to sustain the shared narrative. Here, in Charlotte, they were more than ready to go to those lengths.


One man noted to his friend that it was suspicious that Trump was accused of sexual improprieties just as former Fox News head Roger Ailes has been. “You reckon Fox is in on it?” he asked aloud.


But the most disgusting suspicion concerned the accusers’ attractiveness.


“Trump dates models,” a woman in a red-white-and-blue blouse said, “Did you see that woman?” she asked, referring to Jessica Leeds, who says Trump groped her on a plane in the 1980s. “You think he was so hard up?”


Trump has continued to feed that same narrative by mentioning how unattractive he finds the women. At a rally in Greensboro earlier on Friday, Trump referred to reporter Natasha Stoynoff’s claim that he assaulted her while she was interviewing him in 2005 for a profile in People magazine. “Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so, I don’t think so.”


Trump’s followers didn’t think so, either.


“Women say all the time they’ve been raped,” said a man in a Trump/Pence shirt. “They lie all the time.”




A cult is only as secure as they are willing to isolate themselves from the outside world, and Trump, who has called for a wall along the Mexican border to keep out others, is busy building a metaphorical wall to protect his followers from outsiders who might contradict his message.


“Maybe we should boycott that issue,” Trump said of the new issue of People that details Stoynoff’s claims.


The crowd not only cheered, but they slipped into their now-familiar chant: “Lock them up, lock them up, lock them up.”


The “lock her up” chant, usually reserved for Hillary Clinton, has grown to encompass anybody who threatens the Trump cult.


Last night it was his accusers.


Lock them up, lock them up.


The FBI who chose not to indict Clinton.


Lock them up, lock them up.


The dishonest media.


Lock them up, lock them up.


They were chanting it on the floor before he got there, throughout his speech, on the escalators as they rode their way out of the convention space, and then outside, in the faces of the protestors holding signs reading “Don’t Grab My Pussy,” a reference to Trump’s now-infamous admission of sexual assault.


“You might live in Fairytale Land,” one supporter told a female protestor, “but you aren’t a princess.”


There were confrontations everywhere. Arguments between white supporters and black protestors. Rapid-fire insults. A young man told a black protestor he “still wasn’t free” and that he should have some pride and “at least make the Democrats work for your vote.”


Things reached a fever pitch. A protestor was chased off, tears streaming down his face. “I don’t want to go to jail tonight,” he said, before dodging cars in the street.


“Don’t believe the polls!” the man who’d chased him screamed. “Polls are lies! They’re telling you lies! Polls are lies! Don’t believe the polls!”




is the author of American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People, forthcoming from Dutton/Penguin-Random House. Currently, he serves as an associate professor of writing at Georgia Southern University and is the co-host of The Muckrake Political Podcast.


Read More: Politics, Election 2016, Donald Trump, North Carolina



ABC News’ 20/20 Special Broadcast

November 12, 2016


Donald Trump’s Childhood | “The Making of a President”


Part 1


Donald Trump grew up in Queens, New York, and his father Fred was a millionaire real estate developer.


Donald Trump stunned the world and won the presidential election. After the historic election, Trump’s opponents and supporters are all asking: how did we get here?



Moyers & Company
April 15, 2014


The Deep State Hiding in Plain Sight


Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for 28 years, joins Bill Moyers to talk about what he calls Washington’s “Deep State,” in which elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. “It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion of our civil liberties and perpetual war,” Lofgren tells Moyers.



Why “Macho” Leadership Still Thrives


Authoritarian, narcissistic leaders are on the rise



By Ray Williams | April 4, 2016


Global economic uncertainty and the spike in terrorism has created a resurgence of the populist attraction to authoritarianism and male “macho” leaders. This trend is evident both in politics and in business.


Narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, and psychopathy have one thing in common: they are disorders whose primary personality trait is the obsession with control, domination of, and power over others, whether that is people, animals, the environment, systems, or organizations.


Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, argues “Traits that are common among psychopathic serial killers — a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others — are also shared by politicians and world leaders. Individuals, in other words, running not from the police, but for office.” Such a profile allows those who have these traits to do what they like when they like, completely unfazed by the social, moral or legal consequences of their actions.


In their book, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, argue while psychopaths may not be ideally suited for traditional work environments by virtue of a lack of desire to develop good interpersonal relationships, they have other abilities such as reading people and masterful influence and persuasion skills that can make them difficult to be seen as the psychopaths they are. According to their and others’ studies somewhere between 3-25% of executives could be assessed as psychopaths, a much higher figure than the general population figure of 1%.


Manifred Kets de Vries, a distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD has completed some research and published a paper on the subject. He calls the corporate psychopath the “SOB — Seductive Operational Bully” — or psychopath “lite.” SOBs don’t usually end up in jail or psychiatric hospital, but they do thrive in an organizational setting. SOBs can be found wherever power, status, or money is at stake, de Vries says: “They talk about themselves endlessly; they like to be in the limelight. In some ways they are like children, believing that they are the center of the universe, unable to recognize the needs and rights of others. They appear to be charming yet can be covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their ‘victims’ merely as targets and opportunities; like master and slave, they try to dominate and humiliate them. For them, the end always justifies the means.”


Populist authoritarianism can best be explained as a cultural backlash in Western societies against long-term, ongoing social change.


Over recent decades, the World Values Survey shows that Western societies have been getting gradually more liberal on many social issues, especially among the younger generation and well-educated middle class. That includes egalitarian attitudes toward sex roles, tolerance of fluid gender identities and LGBT rights, support for same-sex marriage, tolerance of diversity, and more secular values, as well as what political scientists call emancipative values, engagement in directly assertive forms of democratic participation, and cosmopolitan support for agencies of global governance. This long-term generational shift threatens many traditionalists’ cultural values. Less educated and older citizens fear becoming marginalized and left behind within their own counties. This fear spawns a desire for someone to take control.


In the United States, evidence from the World Values Survey perfectly illustrates the education gap in these types of cultural values. Well before Trump, a substantial and striking education gap can be observed in American approval of authoritarian leaders. The WVS asked whether Americans approved of “having a strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with congress or elections.” Most remarkably, by the most recent wave in 2011, almost half — 44 percent  —  of U.S. non-college graduates approved of having a strong leader unchecked by elections and Congress.


Many of today’s challenges are too complex to yield to the exercise of leadership alone. Even so, we are inclined to see the problems of the present in terms of crises and leaders. Our growing addiction to the narrative of crisis has gone hand in hand with an increasing veneration of leadership — a veneration that leaves us vulnerable to the false prophets, the smooth operators, the gangsters, and the demagogues who say they can save us . . .



When Bad Is Good:
Adopting the Psychopathic Lifestyle


The attitudes and behaviors of individuals with many psychopathic features are systemic, a natural and pervasive part of their general lifestyle. In a sense, they are what they are. However, there are others whose nature is less psychopathic than pragmatic; they adopt some of the trappings of a “psychopathic lifestyle” in order to succeed or excel at their work or profession. They are encouraged in this process by all sorts of pop-psych self-help books that promote a philosophy of aggressive greed, self-entitlement, and “looking out for number one.”


In his book What Would Machiavelli Do?, Stanley Bing, perhaps tongue in cheek, tells how to get what you want when you want it whether you deserve it or not. Without fear. Without emotion. Without finger-wagging morality. The following are some of his exhortations:


• Be cold-hearted: Replace decency and thoughtfulness with insensitivity and hardheartedness.


• Work hard to become bad: Most people aren’t naturally horrendous . . . but with work we can improve.


• Be narcissistic: View others solely as a function of your needs . . . You have enormous selfishness within you . . . Let it out.


• Be unpredictable: Very nice. Very mean. Big, big swings. Gigantic pleasure. Towering rage.


• Be ruthless: For your competitors and those who would bring you down. “Crush them. Hear their bones break, their windpipes snap.”


Of course, the more psychopathic one is, the easier it is to follow Bing’s road map to amoral personal and corporate success. For most of us, though, social brutality and predation are somewhat more difficult. Even if Bing’s book is viewed as a satire, it reads like a blueprint for a psychopath.


From Snakes in Suits, Chapter 3: What You See May Not Be What You See (pp. 42-43).



Machiavellian: Conduct or philosophy based on (or one who adopts) the cynical beliefs of Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) whose name (in popular perception) is synonymous with deception and duplicity in management and statecraft. Born in Florence (Italy), Machiavelli was its second chancellor and (in 1513) wrote the book The Prince that discusses ways in which the rulers of a nation state can gain and control power. Although The Prince contains some keen and practical insights into human behavior, it also displays a pessimistic view of human nature and condones opportunistic and unethical ways of manipulating people. One of its suggestions reads: “Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature.”



Psychology Today

September 21, 2013


Sex, Power, Money, and All of the Above


Who will win in the search for sex, power, and money?


By Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.


Freud may have believed that all humans are motivated by illicit motives, but research on the “Dark Triad” of personality suggests that some of us have stronger cravings than others. The Dark Triad refers to the set of three personality traits or personal dispositions generally recognized as undesirable – hence the term “dark.” 



Moyers & Company

April 18, 2014


What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know


Economist Paul Krugman explains how the United States is becoming an oligarchy – the very system our founders revolted against.



The Film Archives
October 3, 2017






Washington Post


Revealing the True Donald Trump: A Devastating Indictment of His Business & Life (2016)


Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power is a biography of Donald Trump, written by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher. More on the book:…


It was first published in 2016 in hardcover format by Scribner. It was released in ebook format that year and paperback format in 2017 under the title Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President. The book was a collaborative research project by The Washington Post, supervised by the newspaper’s editor Marty Baron and consisting of contributions from thirty-eight journalists, and two fact-checkers. Trump initially refused to be interviewed for the book, then relented, and subsequently raised the possibility of a libel lawsuit against the authors. After the book was completed, Trump urged his Twitter followers not to buy it.



Time cover - Evil



Essay | June 10, 1991




By Lance Morrow


     I think there should be a Dark Willard.
In the network’s studio in New York City, Dark Willard would recite the morning’s evil report. The map of the world behind him would be a multicolored Mercator projection. Some parts of the earth, where the overnight good prevailed, would glow with a bright transparency. But much of the map would be speckled and blotched. Over Third World and First World, over cities and plains and miserable islands would be smudges of evil, ragged blights, storm systems of massacre or famine, murders, black snows. Here and there, a genocide, a true abyss.
     “Homo homini lupus,” Dark Willard would remark. “That’s Latin, guys. Man is a wolf to man.”



National Geographic

August 16, 2017


What Science Tells Us About Good and Evil


After a killing and a violent neo-Nazi rally

in Charlottesville, the nation wrestles with

why we commit such unspeakable acts.



By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee


The horrific footage of a car plowing into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend—a purposeful attack that killed one person and injured many others—has sparked a national conversation about the roots of evil. The victim was protesting a rally by white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home,” tweeted Orrin Hatch, a Republican senator from Utah. Hostility and hatred have fueled unspeakable evil, including genocides such as the one engineered by Nazi Germany. But humankind also is capable of astonishing acts of kindness.


We at National Geographic have been working on a story about what science tells us about good and evil. Given last weekend’s events, we’ve decided to publish the story now. A version will also appear in a future issue of the magazine.



Is The Root of Evil … The Psychopathic Mind?


by Randall Clifford
May 30, 2012
from ActivistPost Website




April 29, 2013


Thomas Sheridan:

Consciousness Parasites

and Psychopathic Society


First published July 10, 2012


Thomas Sheridan on the origins and development of psychopaths as individuals, the psychopathic nature of the institutions and systems which underpin our society, and ultimately how we can and will break free from both and evolve towards a truly humane and empathic world.


Topics discussed include: What is a psychopath? What makes a psychopath? Can psychopaths be cured? Are psychopaths here for a reason? Indigenous societies and psychopaths, government, corporations and religion — the unholy trinity, the role of mainstream education and media in shaping society, the distortion and destruction of the feminine, superficiality of society and culture, false ideals of perfection, psychotherapy, psychology and the mass awakening of human consciousness.


Born in Dublin, Thomas is an internationally renowned artist, author, musician, public speaker and independent researcher. His illustrations have appeared on the covers of newsstand magazines, books and websites worldwide. He is best known as the author of the book Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath. He has recently published the follow-up to Puzzling People, entitled Defeated Demons: Freedom from Consciousness Parasites in Psychopathic Society, as well as the DVD “Breaking the Babylon Mind.” Thomas continues to write, broadcast and tour internationally, bringing his message of consciousness empowerment, creative intention and transcendence beyond the Psychopathic Control Grid to the world at large.



Psychology Today
July 19, 2017


Is It Narcissism or Sociopathy?


What is the nexus between narcissistic and antisocial personality?


By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D.


It is near impossible to speak meaningfully about pathological narcissism without acknowledging and discussing its close connection with the conscious or unconscious striving for power. (We all seek some sense of power and control in life, but the narcissistic personality is consumed, possessed and driven by this excessive need.) As is so commonly seen in APD, people who suffer (or more aptly, make others suffer) from NPD seek to assert power and control over others, albeit in somewhat more subtle ways. Nonetheless, this power drive can be quite compulsive and unrelenting, motivated by an unquenchable need to overcome profound feelings of powerlessness, stemming usually from childhood.


This pathological pursuit of power can be expressed in a broad spectrum of behaviors: from cruelly teasing or bullying a younger sibling, to inflicting physical suffering on insects or family pets, to the abduction, torture, sexual abuse, and sometimes horrific killing of innocent victims by psychopaths. When such individuals seek and successfully attain to positions of power in industry, academia or politics, the results can be catastrophic, since it is especially in the pathologically narcissistic and power-hungry person that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But this same ruthlessness, sadism, cruelty, and unbridled will to power is played out in the daily lives of petty psychopathic narcissists, wreaking havoc and causing suffering to all those within their smaller sphere of influence.





February 10, 2012 | by Lovefraud Reader


The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths


Editor’s note: At the request of readers, the Lovefraud member “Skylar” has contributed the following article.


When dealing with malignant narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, borderlines, drama queens, stalkers and other emotional vampires, it’s commonly advised that no response is the best response to unwanted attention. This is often true and No Contact (the avoidance of all communication) should be used whenever possible.




February 27, 2018


Lindsay Dodgson


Narcissists often recruit people called ‘apaths’ to help with their games – here’s why they’re dangerous:


People with Dark Tetrad personality traits — sadism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism — play games with their partners to break down their self-esteem. To succeed, they sometimes recruit helpers to help control and manipulate their partners. Apaths fit this role very well.


Shannon Thomas, author of Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse, told Business Insider an apath is someone who is apathetic to the harm in their social circle, particularly if someone is being manipulative, hurtful, or abusive. Their role, she said, is critical to the narcissist’s game.


“An apath is the wing-person to a narcissist and plays a key role in normalising the toxic individual and their harmful behaviors towards others,” she said. “A narcissist must have apaths in their life to keep the facade of social normalcy going. Apaths create the illusion that a narcissist has friends, is well-liked and can get along with everyone, except the target of abuse.”


Rather than standing up for the victim, or giving them support in the fact they are being mistreated, the apath will instead be completely indifferent to their suffering. When challenged, they come up with excuses and say things like “It’s not my battle,” or “well, they don’t treat me that way.”


By minding their own business, they are effectively being a pawn on the narcissist’s gameboard, making the victim believe they must be going crazy.


In some online forums, apaths are known as “flying monkeys,” like the Wicked Witch’s helpers in “The Wizard of Oz.” They do all the narcissist’s dirty work behind the scenes while the narcissist can sit back and watch.


“Many apaths are also hidden abusers themselves and they will cluster together in family and friend groups to keep each other’s secrets,” Thomas said. “Another type of apath believes it is better to join the abuser in their games than ever run the risk of becoming a future target of the narcissist.”



Defending Health, Life and Liberty


How to spot a sociopath – 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job


Friday, June 8, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles…)
Tags: sociopaths, cults, influence


One of the more offensive duties of being an investigative journalist is taking out the trash — exposing liars, fraudsters, con artists and scammers for the people they truly are. Each time we investigate a sociopath, we find that they always have a little cult group following of spellbound worshippers who consider that particular sociopath to be a “guru” or “prophet.”



The ABC of Sycophancy


Structural Conditions for the

Emergence of Dictators’

Cults of Personality


Dissertation presented to the faculty of the graduate school of The University of Texas at Austin.


By Adrian Teodor Popan | August 2015



The Atlantic

June 2016 Issue




Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity — a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency.


By Dan P. McAdams


In 2006, Donald Trump made plans to purchase the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen, Scotland, aiming to convert the dunes and grassland into a luxury golf resort. He and the estate’s owner, Tom Griffin, sat down to discuss the transaction at the Cock & Bull restaurant. Griffin recalls that Trump was a hard-nosed negotiator, reluctant to give in on even the tiniest details. But, as Michael D’Antonio writes in his recent biography of Trump, Never Enough, Griffin’s most vivid recollection of the evening pertains to the theatrics. It was as if the golden-haired guest sitting across the table were an actor playing a part on the London stage.


“It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump,” Griffin observed. There was something unreal about it.


The same feeling perplexed Mark Singer in the late 1990s when he was working on a profile of Trump for The New Yorker. Singer wondered what went through his mind when he was not playing the public role of Donald Trump. What are you thinking about, Singer asked him, when you are shaving in front of the mirror in the morning? Trump, Singer writes, appeared baffled. Hoping to uncover the man behind the actor’s mask, Singer tried a different tack:


“O.K., I guess I’m asking, do you consider yourself ideal company?”


“You really want to know what I consider ideal company?” Trump replied. “A total piece of ass.”





July 18, 2016


Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All


By Jane Mayer


“The Art of the Deal” made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz helped create that myth—and regrets it.



Tony Schwartz: The Truth About Trump | Oxford Union Q&A

November 4, 2016


“I wasn’t much older than most of you are today when I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’. At the time I told myself that doing it wasn’t that big a deal and wouldn’t have any enduring consequences. Ha. The truth is, that decision — the book and my association with Trump — has quietly haunted and dogged me for thirty years.”



Journeyman Pictures



Trump: What’s The Deal?


Donald Trump is one of the richest and most famous men in America, but on what foundation has his success been built? From accusations of harassment to repeated flirtations with bankruptcy, his very public business career has been one of artifice and intrigue; a Machiavellian performance played out before the American media. Originally produced in 1991, Donald Trump: What’s the Deal? investigates the unscrupulous reality behind this most public of figures.



January 17, 2017


Matt Taibbi Chronicles Election of “Billionaire Hedonist” Trump


As a new study by Oxfam finds the world’s eight richest men control as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity, the group says it is concerned that wealth inequality will continue to grow following the election of Donald Trump, whose Cabinet members have a combined wealth of nearly $11 billion. We look at the rise of Trump, and those joining his administration, with award-winning Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi. His new book comes out today, titled Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.



“Bad Reception” by Barry Blitt



“October Surprise” by Carter Goodrich



“Exposed” by Barry Blitt



New Scientist


Jan 20, 2017


Manipulative, dishonest and lacking in empathy – the traits that describe a psychopath aren’t particularly pleasant. But the idea that they are also fiendishly clever – as often portrayed in films and TV – isn’t quite true. In fact, in general, psychopaths seem to have below-average intelligence.


You have probably met a psychopath at some point in your life. They make up around 1 per cent of the population, says Brian Boutwell at St Louis University in Missouri. A person is classified as a psychopath if they achieve a certain score on a test of psychopathic traits, which include callousness, impulsiveness, aggression and a sense of grandiosity. “Not all psychopaths will break the law or hurt someone, but the odds of them doing so are higher,” says Boutwell.


Because many psychopaths are charming and manipulative, people have assumed they also have above-average intelligence, says Boutwell. Psychologists term this the “Hannibal Lecter myth”, referring to the fictional serial killer, cannibal and psychiatrist from the book and film The Silence of the Lambs.


But Boutwell wasn’t convinced. “Psychopaths are impulsive, have run-ins with the law and often get themselves hurt,” he says. “That led me to think they’re not overly intelligent.”


Not so smart

To investigate, Boutwell and his colleagues analysed the results of 187 published studies on intelligence and psychopathy. These papers included research on psychopaths in prison as well as those enjoying high-flying careers. They also included a range of measures of intelligence.


Overall, the team found no evidence that psychopaths were more intelligent than people who don’t have psychopathic traits. In fact, the relationship went the other way. The psychopaths, on average, scored significantly lower on intelligence tests. “I think the results will surprise a lot of people,” says Boutwell.


Matt DeLisi at Iowa State University hopes that the findings will help put the Hannibal Lecter myth to rest. “The character promulgated the notion that psychopaths were highly intelligent, and there were real offenders that embodied this, like Ted Bundy,” says DeLisi. “But I have interviewed thousands of offenders, some of which are very psychopathic, and I have found that the opposite is true.”



“Grounded” by Barry Blitt


“Thumbs Up” by Barry Blitt



BuzzFeed News
June 6, 2017




Kids Are Quoting Trump To Bully Their Classmates
And Teachers Don’t Know What To Do About It


BuzzFeed News reporters reviewed more than 50 reports of school bullying since the election and found that kids nationwide are using Trump’s words to taunt their classmates. If the president can say those things, why can’t they?




August 23, 2017


What Mental Health Experts Can Say About The Presidency



By Bandy X. Lee, M.D., Contributor

Co-authored by Dee Mosbacher, M.D., Ph.D. and Nanette Gartrell, M.D.


“Now that he has won the presidency, why wouldn’t he just ‘pivot’ and become more normal?” “Why would he say things in public that are destructive to him and the nation?” “Why stir things up unnecessarily?” “The chaos and incoherence are much worse than expected.”


These are some of the questions and concerns that have been raised about President Trump by persons who are untrained in how mental impairment can manifest. Indeed, the vast array of healthy human behaviors makes it difficult for the ordinary person to detect disability other than in the most obvious cases. Further, the more impaired the individual, the more likely he or she is to deny pathological behavior and insist that it is by choice. In our culture, mental impairment, unlike other medical illnesses, still connotes a moral failure — leading to its denial or use only in epithets. Yet it can afflict anyone, it is nonpartisan, and we can identify it through objective criteria.


The Goldwater rule, which specifies that psychiatrists cannot diagnose a public figure without a face-to-face evaluation, has contributed to the lack of discourse and education about Mr. Trump. An expansion of the rule by the American Psychiatric Association in March 2017 further compromised that possibility.




May 7, 2017


Duty to warn: Shrinks can’t say that Donald Trump

suffers from a mental disorder — but we can.


Mental health professionals are battling over the “Goldwater rule” — but the rest of us are not bound by it.


By Anna Lind-Guzick


President Donald Trump has a personality disorder that we’re not supposed to talk about, and that makes me furious. The Goldwater rule, an ethical norm from the 1960s that forbids psychiatrists and psychologists from diagnosing public figures they haven’t been able to evaluate in person, has gagged the most knowledgeable among us from speaking freely. A man with no impulse control and no chance of improvement is shooting his missiles all over, not to mention targeting vulnerable populations at home. The world is in a panic while the doctors worry that he’ll sue.


Beyond compounding the crisis of public ignorance, the moratorium is a reflection of the way professional norms are all too often wielded to protect predators and silence women. The media’s dispiriting willingness to roll over and let old white men dictate the boundaries of legitimate conversation and expertise has to end.


Trump benefits immeassurably from the Goldwater rule, which was put in place because Sen. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, sued a magazine called Fact, which solicited a diagnoses of him during the election campaign. Trump normally has to buy his victims’ silence himself, but this gift came for free. Since he will never allow an independent evaluation of his competence, the American Psychiatric Association and its members have kept quiet.



A collection of scholarly works about
individual liberty and free markets.


Lord Acton writes to Bishop Creighton in a series of letters concerning the moral problem of writing history about the Inquisition. Acton believes that the same moral standards should be applied to all men, political and religious leaders included, especially since, in his famous phrase, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (1887):


“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position, like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the gaoler to murder Mary, and William III ordered his Scots minister to extirpate a clan. Here are the greater names coupled with the greater crimes. You would spare these criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them, higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice; still more, still higher, for the sake of historical science.”


About this Quotation:


There is much more to these letters than just the occurrence of Acton’s most famous phrase that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The context is the question of how religious historians should handle the corrupt and even criminal behaviour of many Popes, and the appalling treatment of dissidents and heretics during the Inquisition. This leads Acton to talk about the universal nature of moral principles, the requirement for historians to use such principles in the assessment of historical figures, the tendency of these powerful historical figures to be “bad men”, and that it was the function of historians to “hang them” (whether he meant this literally of metaphorically is not clear). In the third letter to Creighton, Acton quotes with some approval a conversation he had with John Bright, one of the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League, who stated to him that “If the people knew what sort of men statesmen were, they would rise and hang the whole lot of them.”






“King Me” by Tim O’Brien



Psychology Today

January 22, 2017


11 Red Flags of Gaslighting in a Relationship


Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.


By Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D.


Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.


Typical gaslighting techniques include denying something when there’s proof, projecting onto others, and telling blatant lies.




December 8, 2017


I study liars for a living.

I’ve never seen one like President Trump.



By Bella Depaulo


I spent the first two decades of my career as a social scientist studying liars and their lies. I thought I had developed a sense of what to expect from them. Then along came President Donald Trump. His lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people’s.


In research beginning in the mid-1990s, when I was a professor at the University of Virginia, my colleagues and I asked 77 college students and 70 people from the nearby community to keep diaries of all the lies they told every day for a week. They handed them in to us with no names attached. We calculated participants’ rates of lying and categorised each lie as either self-serving (told to advantage the liar or protect the liar from embarrassment, blame or other undesired outcomes) or kind (told to advantage, flatter or protect someone else).


At The Washington Post, the Fact Checker feature has been tracking every false and misleading claim and flip-flop made by Trump this year. The inclusion of misleading statements and flip-flops is consistent with the definition of lying my colleagues and I gave to our participants: “A lie occurs any time you intentionally try to mislead someone.” In the case of Trump’s claims, though, it is possible to ascertain only whether they were false or misleading, and not what the president’s intentions were.


By telling so many lies, and so many that are mean-spirited, Trump is violating some of the most fundamental norms of human social interaction and human decency. Many of the rest of us, in turn, have abandoned a norm of our own – we no longer give Trump the benefit of the doubt that we usually give so readily.





What is a pathological liar?



The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law


Pathological Lying Revisited


By Charles C. Dike, Madelon Baranoski and Ezra E. H. Griffith


In this article, we revisit the concept of pathological lying and explore how it has been discussed in psychiatric literature.



PEOPLE OF THE LIE: The Hope for Healing Human Evil by M. Scott Peck, M.D., Simon and Shuster, 1983


From Chapter 2: A LIFE-AND-DEATH ISSUE (pp. 42-43)


It is a reflection of the enormous mystery of the subject that we do not have a generally accepted definition of evil. Yet in our hearts I think we all have some understanding of its nature. For the moment I can do no better than to heed my son, who, with the characteristic vision of eight-year-olds, explained simply, “Why, Daddy, evil is ‘live’ spelled backward.” Evil is in opposition to life. It is that which opposes the life force. It has, in short, to do with killing. Specifically, it has to do with murder – namely, unnecessary killing, killing that is not required for biological survival.


Let us not forget this. There are some who have written about evil so intellectually that it comes out sounding abstract to the point of irrelevancy. Murder is not abstract. Let us not forget that George was actually willing to sacrifice the very life of his own child.


When I say that evil has to do with killing, I do not mean to restrict myself to corporeal murder. Evil is also that which kills spirit. There are various essential attributes of life – particularly human life – such as sentience, mobility, awareness, growth, autonomy, will. It is possible to kill or attempt to kill one of these attributes without actually destroying the body. Thus we may “break” a horse or even a child without harming a hair on its head. Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this fact when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others – to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, to keep them in line. Distinguishing it from a “biophilic” person, one who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual, he demonstrated a “necrophilic character type,” whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity.*


Evil, then, for the moment, is that force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.



* Erich Fromm, The Heart of Man: Its Genius for Good and Evil (Harper & Row, 1964)







Part One – Oct. 25, 2017  |  Part Two – Nov. 1, 2017


FRONTLINE tells the inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the United States as an enemy — and why he decided to target an American election.




Opinion, Analysis, Essays

December 8, 2017


Is Donald Trump’s mental health becoming dangerous?

Medical experts weigh in.


Medicine is an equalizer, and the president

may find that he cannot outrun his own condition.



By Bandy X. Lee, Forensic psychiatrist, Yale School of Medicine


President Donald Trump’s temperament has always been a big part of his political brand. Depending on who you ask, he is either refreshingly frank or shockingly unpresidential. But increasingly, critics of the president have gone from criticizing his rhetoric to worrying about his mental fitness for office. His critics now include mental health professionals after several news stories, as well as the president’s own tweets, revealed Trump continues to believe in several thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories.


At no other time in U.S. history has a group of mental health professionals been so collectively concerned about a sitting president. This is not because he is an unusual person — his presentation is almost typical for a forensic psychiatrist like myself whose patients are mostly violence offenders — but it is highly unusual to find such a person in the office of presidency. For the U.S., it may be unprecedented; for many parts of the world where this has happened before, the outcome has been uniformly devastating.


A group of us put our concerns into a book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. That book became an instant New York Times bestseller. Within days, it was out of stock at the big outlets and sold out in bookstores around the country. One of the nation’s largest publishers could not keep up with the demand for weeks. Clearly, our concerns were resonating with the public.




drilling beneath the headlines


The Cult of Trump


The Oval Office has been turned into a circus sideshow.


March 31, 2018  |  POLITICS  | Don’t Be Trumped by Doppelgängers by Paul Morantz, May 26, 2017. Author of Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults (with Hal Lancaster) and From Miracle to Madness. 


In a few short months of campaigning and governing, the pride of Mar-a-Lago has seemingly wiped out the last vestiges of civility, honesty and common sense in presidential politics and turned the Oval Office into a Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey side show.


And yet, after all the lies, position flip-flops, erratic behavior, brazen conflicts of interest, childish, thin-skinned attacks on the media, offensive comments about minorities, women and the entire Middle East, not to mention the investigations into his curious relationship with Russia that has led us to the doorstep of impeachment, many of those who voted for him still maintain their unflagging support.


For the love of sanity, how is this possible?


I’ve been repeating that phrase for many months now, after each unconscionable act, events that would have torpedoed any other political campaign. And yet, here we are, on the precipice of calamity, with Trump eviscerating regulations that will loose the beasts of Wall Street and the energy industry, threatening to build a wall that will waste billions of dollars, spreading chaos in health and education, proposing massive cuts to programs that benefit the poor, and promising to shut down any program or agency that could protect us from climate change and environmental abuses. Do you remember the megalomaniacal general played by Sterling Hayden in Dr. Strangelove? Don’t look now, but he’s President and commander-in-chief, the man with his finger on the button. Isn’t that a sobering thought?




News & Politics

June 25, 2018


Is Donald Trump truly incompetent?

Not nearly as much as liberals hope.


Liberals keep underestimating Trump, but he’s been effective at enacting his racist agenda and trolling the left.


By Amanda Marcotte


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately it must be said: Donald Trump knows exactly what he’s doing.


To be clear, I’m not saying the man is a super-genius or even particularly intelligent. By most measures, Trump is likely of below-average intelligence. He’s incurious, half-literate and would almost certainly be flummoxed by a basic math problem or a grade-school reading comprehension test. He ran his business into bankruptcy multiple times because his sense of his own talents grossly outstripped what nature had given him. None of this is in dispute.


But when it comes to Trump’s true passion in life — being an abusive, bigoted bully and troll — he is highly competent and extremely successful. As I argue in my book, Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself, Trump’s voters elected him to do two things: 1) Impose his white supremacist vision on America and 2) Troll liberals into madness.


A year and a half into his presidency, we can say that by those measures, the Trump presidency has been a smashing success.


For some reason, there’s widespread resistance among progressives to the proposition that Trump might actually be competent, at least at the goals he set out to accomplish, i.e., liberal tears and white supremacy. New York Times reporters like Maggie Haberman keep portraying him as a dim-witted and lazy old man, not a person who has become an accomplished sadist after a lifetime of practice. Many liberals are eager to buy into that because the idea that the orange moron in the ill-fitting suit might actually be getting over on us is painful to accept.


So liberals keep chalking up certain horrors of the Trump administration to incompetence, when the likelier explanation is that Trump and his cronies are doing these things by design.




Photo by John Moore



The Gentle Souls Revolution

Five years in a little cult called “school”, oops, I mean “the study”



   The Trump Cult


If you can defend ripping kids from parents, you are in a cult.



In May, 2017, I posted this:

Gaslight, USA! Today’s

Trouncing – Your Healthcare. 


In the post, I quoted cultic studies guru, Robert J Lifton: cults see themselves as “ … agents ‘chosen’ to carry out the ‘mystical imperative’… which must supersede all  decency or immediate human welfare. Similarly, any thought or action which questions the motives of the higher purpose is considered … backward, selfish and petty in the face of the great overriding mission.”


Today, the Daily KOS posted this: Trumpism is a Cult. You may be interested in reading it. I suspect it will ring familiar.



“Yearning to Breathe Free” by Barry Blitt





The Trump Administration’s Family Values


The policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border was the purest distillation yet of what it means to be governed by a President with no moral center.


By Margaret Talbot

June 24, 2018






FRONTLINE investigates how President Trump turned immigration into a powerful political weapon that fueled division and violence. The documentary goes inside the efforts of three political insurgents to tap into populist anger, transform the Republican Party and crack down on immigration.



Baudolino Aulari


Useful Idiots: Part 2



Former KGB Agent, Yuri Bezmenov


Deception Was My Job


Warns America



Malcolm Nance


How Russia Is Destroying Democracy



Bill Press


The Case Against Trump



Ronan Farrow


War on Peace





Agents of Chaos

The attack on the 2016 election


Agents of Chaos, a two-part documentary from director Alex Gibney (HBO’s The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief) examines Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Featuring interviews with key players and experts, classified information leaked by inside sources, and more, the film disentangles the complex details of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and highlights the frightening vulnerabilities in America’s political process.


The film is a product of years of reporting. With never-before-seen footage inside the Russian troll farms, and videos unearthed from the Russian deep web, the film digs deep into Russia’s sophisticated plans to undermine democracy, raising the alarm for the American public, but also proving that these “agents of chaos” weren’t Russians alone; they were also key players in the United States who, through venality, corruption or circumstance, furthered Putin’s goals, with a vulnerable and unsuspecting American public as their target.



ABC News In-depth

June 17, 2018


Trump/Russia: Follow the money (1/3) 

Four Corners


It’s the story of the century: The US President and his connections to Russia.


In part one of this three-part series, Four Corners follows the money trail from New York to Moscow, tracking the ties between Donald Trump, his business empire and Russia. 



WhaleRiderDecember 20, 2020Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog


How “mind control” or “brainwashing” happens in the 21st century:


“If you bombard people (with lies or disinformation) in the present, few have time to dwell on the past.”



The Atlantic

July 2019


From book review by George Packer


Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined
What 1984 means today


No novel of the past century has had more influence than George Orwell’s 1984. The title, the adjectival form of the author’s last name, the vocabulary of the all-powerful Party that rules the superstate Oceania with the ideology of Ingsoc — doublethink, memory hole, unperson, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Thought Police, Room 101, Big Brother — they’ve all entered the English language as instantly recognizable signs of a nightmare future. It’s almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984. Throughout the Cold War, the novel found avid underground readers behind the Iron Curtain who wondered, How did he know?


It was also assigned reading for several generations of American high-school students. I first encountered 1984 in 10th-grade English class. Orwell’s novel was paired with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, whose hedonistic and pharmaceutical dystopia seemed more relevant to a California teenager in the 1970s than did the bleak sadism of Oceania. I was too young and historically ignorant to understand where 1984 came from and exactly what it was warning against. Neither the book nor its author stuck with me. In my 20s, I discovered Orwell’s essays and nonfiction books and reread them so many times that my copies started to disintegrate, but I didn’t go back to 1984. Since high school, I’d lived through another decade of the 20th century, including the calendar year of the title, and I assumed I already “knew” the book. It was too familiar to revisit.


So when I recently read the novel again, I wasn’t prepared for its power. You have to clear away what you think you know, all the terminology and iconography and cultural spin-offs, to grasp the original genius and lasting greatness of 1984. It is both a profound political essay and a shocking, heartbreaking work of art. And in the Trump era, it’s a best seller.



ABC News In-depth

July 29, 2019


The United States vs Julian Assange


In Part Two of its investigation into Julian Assange, Four Corners looks at Assange’s activities conducted during the nearly seven years he spent sheltering in the Ecuadorian Embassy.


In the 2016 race to the White House, presidential candidate Donald Trump took a shine to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, led by its Australian founder Julian Assange.


Trump revelled in the damage inflicted upon his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by a series of sensational leaks published by the site. Now, as President, Donald Trump has performed a spectacular flip, presiding over an administration determined to imprison the publisher of the leaks.


For Part One, Hero or Villain: The Prosecution of Julian Assange, click here:


Read more about this story here:



The Rape of The MIND: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing by Dr. Joost Meerloo, first published in 1956


From Chapter Six: Totalitaria and its Dictatorship


There actually exists such a thing as a technique of mass brainwashing. This technique can take root in a country if an inquisitor is strong and shrewd enough. He can make most of us his victims, albeit temporarily.


What in the structure of society has made man so vulnerable to these mass manipulations of the mind? This is a problem with tremendous implications, just as brainwashing is. In recent years we have grown more and more aware of human interdependence with all its difficulties and complications.


I am aware of the fact that investigation of the subject of mental coercion and thought control becomes less pleasant as time goes on. This is so because it may become more of a threat to us here and now, and our concern for China and Korea must yield to the more immediate needs at our own door. Can totalitarian tendencies take over here, and what social symptoms may lead to such phenomena? Stern reality confronts us with the universal mental battle between thought control (and its corollaries) and our standards of decency, personal strength, personal ideas, and a personal conscience with autonomy and dignity.


Future social scientists will be better able to describe the causes of the advent of totalitarian thinking and acting in man. We know that after wars and revolutions this mental deterioration more easily finds an opportunity to develop, helped by special psychopathic personalities who flourish on man’s misery and confusion. It is also true that the next generation spontaneously begins to correct the misdeeds of the previous one because the ruthless system has become too threatening to them.


My task, however, is to describe some symptoms of the totalitarian process (which implies deterioration of thinking and acting) as I have observed them in our own epoch, keeping in mind that the system is one of the most violent distortions of man’s consistent mental growth. No brainwashing is possible without totalitarian thinking.



Psychology Today

July 24, 2018


Trump Card Cults


The root cause of mass narcissism, sociopathy and gaslighting.


By Jeremy Sherman Ph.D.


Winter of ‘78: Jim Jones and his cult followers had just drunk their poison Kool-Aid in Guyana– 900 dead. And I was off to Guatemala with my spiritual commune to do poverty relief work. My family was worried.


They were also annoyed by what I had become, a know-it-all, confident that I could beat any challenge to my smug, all-knowing spiritual truths. I had fallen for the cult mindset, that heady sense that you hold all the cards, a high so self-aggrandizing that people are willing to drink the Kool-Aid.


Aid is the operative word. Though my commune was wholesome, I pretended it fool-proofed my life, like it had issued me a deck of trump cards to trump all challenges to my humble spiritual authority, the greatest aid any of us could ever crave.


Life is an anxious affair. We all fear failure and therefore might be tempted by the fake trump-card aid that cults provide – I once was lost but now I’m found instead of I once was lost and could be still.


Today we wonder whether the GOP has become the Trump cult. All cults are trump-card cults, issuing to members the same deck of fake get-out-of-fail-free cards. Cults don’t brainwash, they head swell. People throw all in to cults so they can keep all self-doubt out.






Trump vs. Biden


In the midst of the historic coronavirus pandemic, economic hardship and a reckoning over racism, this November Americans will decide who leads the nation for the next four years: President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden. Ahead of the 2020 election, FRONTLINE’s critically acclaimed series “The Choice” returns with interwoven investigative biographies of both men, focusing on how they have responded in moments of crisis.


In this 2-hour special from veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk and his team, hear from friends, family, colleagues and adversaries about the challenges that shaped Trump and Biden’s lives and could inform how they confront the crises facing the nation at this pivotal juncture.



Psychology Today

August 23, 2018


What Is Truth?


An overview of the philosophy of truth.


By Neel Burton M.D.



Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. –Thoreau


Today, God may be dying, but what about truth? Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trumps personal lawyer, claimed that “Truth isn’t truth,” while Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counsellor, presented the public with what she called “alternative facts.” Over in the U.K. in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, Michael Gove, then Minister of Justice and Lord Chancellor, opined that people “have had enough of experts.”


One way to understand truth is simply to look at its opposites, namely, lies and bullsh*t. The liar must track the truth in order to conceal it. In contrast, the bullsh*tter has no regard or sensitivity for the truth, or even for what his or her audience believes.



The New York Times

September 4, 2018


President Trump and his administration have been unsettled by Bob Woodward’s book, FEAR: Trump in The White House, which will be published next Tuesday. 


By Mark Landler and


WASHINGTON — President Trump so alarmed his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, during a discussion last January of the nuclear standoff with North Korea that an exasperated Mr. Mattis told colleagues “the president acted like — and had the understanding of — a ‘fifth or sixth grader.’”


At another moment, Mr. Trump’s aides became so worried about his judgment that Gary D. Cohn, then the chief economic adviser, took a letter from the president’s Oval Office desk authorizing the withdrawal of the United States from a trade agreement with South Korea. Mr. Trump, who had planned to sign the letter, never realized it was missing.


These anecdotes are in a sprawling, highly anticipated book by Bob Woodward that depicts the Trump White House as a byzantine, treacherous, often out-of-control operation — “crazytown,” in the words of the chief of staff, John F. Kelly — hostage to the whims of an impulsive, ill-informed and undisciplined president.




James Devlin



Nothing more than most people expected. Yet to read it from a world-renowned journalist of Bob Woodward’s caliber makes it all the more unsettling. The republicans are selling out America to get court picks. They well know Trump is insane, and yet are willing to play along with this lunacy of a presidency based upon lies so long as they get their agenda rammed through. That’s not politics, that’s shameful and morally and criminally corrupt.


Beware the insidious nature within.


“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” — Cicero



The Hollywood Reporter

September 5, 2018


Michael Moore Plays His Trump Card:
A New Movie, Modern Fascism and a 2020 Prediction



 By Gregg Kilday


He’s America’s most successful documentarian and one of the few on the left who predicted the 2016 election upset. Now, as Moore readies his anticipated polemic ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ for its Toronto film festival debut, he takes aim at Trump . . . and those actually responsible for the president’s rapid rise to power.


The first time Michael Moore encountered Donald Trump, the filmmaker uncharacteristically held his tongue. The two had been booked as guests in 1998 on Roseanne Barr’s afternoon talk show, The Roseanne Show, taping at New York’s Tavern on the Green. Trump’s The Art of the Deal had been published in 1987 while Moore had already earned a reputation as a cheeky provocateur out to puncture capitalism’s balloon with his 1989 doc Roger & Me, and so when Trump spotted Moore, he threatened to walk. One of the show’s producers pulled Moore aside: Could he convince the skittish real estate developer to stay? Agreeing to help, Moore introduced himself to Trump and promised he’d keep the chatter light. “We did the show. I did not bring up anything political, financial, anything that would have upset him,” Moore recalls, settling into a chair in the conference room of his Manhattan production offices on a recent late-August night. “It wasn’t until I saw him running for president that I realized I’d been played. That he got his way. And I thought, ‘Wow, he manipulated that whole situation. This guy is not stupid.’ Lesson learned.”



npr KQED


Author Joanne Freeman Looks At Congress’ Past Partisanship Issues in ‘Field Of Blood’



NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to Joanne Freeman about her new book The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War.




Nov. 13, 2018


Psychiatrist Justin Frank

on Trump’s “God complex”:

He is “erotically attached to violence”


Trump struggles against “fear of his inner chaos,”

and needs help


By Chauncey DeVega


. . . Donald Trump is an authoritarian in waiting who acts as though he believes himself to be God. How does he convince himself that the rules do not apply to him? What is the role of violence in Trump’s appeal and power? Is Trump responsible in some ways for the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and the other hate crimes and acts of violence which have taken place during his campaign and now presidency? What role does violence play in Donald Trump’s cult of personality? How do his apparent mental pathologies help him to manipulate his supporters and the American people at large?


In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with Dr. Justin Frank. This is our second conversation for Salon. He is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center and a physician with more than 40 years of experience in psychoanalysis. He is the author of the bestselling books Bush on the Couch and Obama on the Couch. His most recent book is Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.



With the recent elections and Trump’s behavior this past week, is there any indication that his solid support might be waning?


Bruce Spielbauer, Stood on the streets that day, studied it ever since.

Answered on Quora Nov 14, 2018


A significant portion of Trump’s solid support will never waver. (Especially the white supremacists, and the Evangelicals, and the 1% who support him for those tax cuts he gave to the rich and the corporations.) Those who follow him as a cult leader. They will never waver, no matter what.


The same thing was true with Nixon, and Watergate. Even after the whole world heard the “smoking gun tapes,” there were those who still stood by their criminal. I have a cousin, who is one of these. He argued at the time that “well, all politicians do it!” I last spoke to him three weeks ago, and he still maintains that same support for a known criminal.


Trump’s disapproval rating (in polls), though, is the figure to watch. It has been higher than any other president since modern polling began.


And, that has not changed, since the day he put his hand on some book and pretended to swear some oath, in January, of 2017.

(Sidenote — when Nixon resigned, the last polls taken a few days before, showed him at 24% approval rating. Almost one fourth of the nation did not care that he was a criminal. They still “approved” of their criminal. But, Nixon’s DISAPPROVAL rating was the second highest in polling history. The only president with a higher disapproval rating, was, of course, a guy by the name of Donald Trump.)



PART   I    II    III