Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Studies conducted on the effects of demonic stalking and bullying

Apparently, the trauma one suffers from encounters with the paranormal has been studied before, and a synopsis of such studies was posted online. This topic is not just relevant to me, but to everyone in the Northern Bay Area of California who have been subjected to violence, terror, and bullying in general by the demons that have dominated their lives for so many years.

These people seem to have forgotten what is "okay," and what is "not okay." It would also seem they don't know how to express what it is they find about demons "not okay," so I've provided this to help them articulate the very types of behavior they should protest against.

Anyway, stalking and bullying is the action most commonly used to induce trauma in a demon-targeted individual, as well as the "anger management rituals" performed on me by the demons at various times.
NOTE | This is was one of the declared goals of the Voices Demons, which is described more fully in Mad as Hell: Demon-induced trauma likely to blame for PTSD (see also 
Voices Demons announce specifics of plan to cause insanity).
And, in fact, the trauma has reached such proportions as to induce PTSD, for which a treatment plan was recently assessed by a psychiatrist:
Psychogical Treatment Assessment Plan

Here's what www.bullyonline.org has to say about trauma and the paranormal:

Trauma and the paranormal

"The purpose of trauma is to help us find, and then achieve, our purpose in life"

(Tim Field)

Trauma and paranormal experiences often go hand in hand, with one triggering the other. Abduction or a close encounter will often result in trauma, whilst trauma from a mundane terrestrial cause (eg accident, violence, bullying and harassment) often leads to paranormal experiences such as precognition, telepathy and sometimes a UFO experience.

The collective symptoms of trauma often add up to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. Almost anybody can suffer PTSD although it appears that those most likely to experience trauma are people who are sensitive, empathic, caring, honest, trustworthy, imaginative, artistic and creative. PTSD is a real condition, not imagined; PTSD is a psychiatric injury, not a mental illness. The differences between mental illness and psychiatric injury are listed at the bottom of my PTSD page.

Experiencing paranormal activity as a result of trauma (particularly if you've not had paranormal experiences before) may initially increase the trauma, especially if denial escalates. Those who already perceive your psychiatric injury as a mental illness are likely to take your disclosure of paranormal activity as confirmation that you really are on your way to the funny farm.

The causes of trauma have three things in common:
  • an external cause - you cannot traumatize yourself, something or someone has to do it to you (this factor is important in cases of negligence and personal injury); suddenness or unexpectedness are key components
  • violation - your body and/or mind are violated by an unexpected and unwelcome intrusion; with many forms of trauma the violation is of a sexual nature (eg harassment, rape, a violent partner, sexual abuse, abduction, etc)
  • loss of control - the experience is unexpected, overwhelming and beyond your control (and would be beyond the control of most people)
The effects of trauma are surprisingly commonplace, and many people suffering "stress" (from whatever cause - including the workplace) will find they are experiencing some (probably most) of the symptoms of trauma. These include:
  • bewilderment and confusion, an inability to understand what is happening or why it happened
  • a strong sense of denial, an inability to convince yourself that the experience was real; your denial is reinforced by the denial of those around you and especially of people in authority
  • irritability, short-temperedness, sudden intense anger and occasional violent outbursts
  • hyperawareness, an acute sense of time passing, the seasons changing, distances when travelling
  • an enhanced environmental awareness, a greater respect for the natural world, a feeling of "wanting to save the planet"
  • hypervigilance, which feels like but is not paranoia, and which may be (sometimes deliberately) mislabelled as paranoia by those around you
  • sleep problems including nightmares and waking early
  • flashbacks and replays which you are unable to switch off
  • impaired memory, forgetfulness, memory which is intermittent, especially of day-to-day trivial things
  • inability to concentrate
  • exaggerated startle response
  • panic attacks, feelings of nervousness and anxiety, excessive sweating, trembling, palpitations
  • hypersensitivity - almost every action or remark is perceived as critical or threatening, even when you know it isn't
  • a deep sense of betrayal
  • obsessiveness - the experience takes over your life, you can't get it out of your mind
  • joint and muscle pains with no obvious cause
  • depression (reactive, not endogenous)
  • excessive shame, embarrassment and guilt
  • undue fear
  • low self-esteem and low self-confidence
  • a deep sense of unworthiness, undeservingness and and non-entitlement
  • physical numbness, especially in fingers, toes and lips
  • emotional numbness, anhedonia, an inability to feel love or joy
  • detachment, avoidance of anything that reminds you of the experience
  • physical and mental paralysis at any reminder of the experience
One of the most common causes of trauma is bullying, which includes all forms of psychological violence, harassment and emotional abuse. My experience and research suggests that at least half the population are bullied (click here to identify the bullying in your life), either at work or at school, or by a partner or family member, or by people in authority, or by neighbours. Bullying causes prolonged negative stress which ultimately results in trauma. For more information on how stress causes ill health, see the injury to health page. For more information on the effects of trauma, including the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for PTSD, see the PTSD page.

Interest in the paranormal and extraterrestrials has grown steadily over the last two decades. Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET - The Extraterrestrial have become classics. Chris Carter's long-running series X-files starring FBI agents Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Fox Mulder has enthralled a new generation - as well as older generations. Star Trek (Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise) and Stargate have made travel to distant planets and contact with alien races a part of normal everyday life. Ray Santilli's Alien Autopsy created enormous interest although its authenticity is in doubt. Maybe it doesn't matter whether the alien autopsy is genuine - perhaps the purpose is to raise awareness, educate and prepare so that a forthcoming revelation will not panic the planet.

The US government continues to sequester land around Groom Lake air base in Area 51 in Nevada. Stories of captured flying saucers abound, with the possibility that the stealth program uses reverse-engineered UFO technology. The rumor of Roswell refuses to go away. It's likely that the B-2 stealth plane's successor (often referred to as Aurora) is already operational, and may have been since 1991. It's also likely that the the successor to Aurora is also flying.

It's estimated that as many as 2 million Americans believe they have experienced an alien abduction. The pioneering work of Dr John E Mack (Abduction: human encounters with aliens, Simon & Schuster, 1994, ISBN 0-671-85194-2) and Whitley Strieber (CommunionTransformation et al) has opened our eye to the possibility that the physical world which dominates our lives may be only a part of our existence. Gifted individuals may, knowingly or unknowingly, be part of a greater plan which our denial mechanisms have hitherto prevented us perceiving. John Mack's book challenges our earth-bound paradigms of normality (that our three-dimensional world view is all that there is). Whether you're interested in the UFO phenomenon or not, his book offers an excellent study of trauma and its consequences for the individual.

An academic study of how people come to terms with and recover from trauma with special emphasis on subsequent spiritual growth and development is contained in Trauma and transformation: growing in the aftermath of suffering (Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, Sage, 1996).

Bully OnLine identifies bullying as a common form of psychological violence which is a major cause of stress and trauma; bullying is also identified as the underlying behaviour of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, conflict and violence, as well as the current limiting factor for human evolution.

The serial bully:
  • is a convincing, practised liar and when called to account, will make up anything spontaneously to fit their needs at that moment
  • has a Jekyll and Hyde nature - is vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature - only the current target of the serial bully's aggression sees both sides; whilst the Jekyll side is described as "charming" and convincing enough to deceive personnel, management and a tribunal, the Hyde side is frequently described as "evil"; Hyde is the real person, Jekyll is an act
  • excels at deception and should never be underestimated in their capacity to deceive
  • uses excessive charm and is always plausible and convincing when peers, superiors or others are present (charm can be used to deceive as well as to cover for lack of empathy)
  • is glib, shallow and superficial with plenty of fine words and lots of form - but there's no substance
  • is possessed of an exceptional verbal facility and will outmanoeuvre most people in verbal interaction, especially at times of conflict
  • is often described as smoothslippery, slimy, ingratiating, fawning, toadying, obsequious, sycophantic
  • relies on mimicry, repetition and regurgitation to convince others that he or she is both a "normal" human being and a tough dynamic manager, as in extolling the virtues of the latest management fads and pouring forth the accompanying jargon
  • is unusually skilled in being able to anticipate what people want to hear and then saying it plausibly
  • cannot be trusted or relied upon
  • fails to fulfil commitments
  • is emotionally retarded with an arrested level of emotional development; whilst language and intellect may appear to be that of an adult, the bully displays the emotional age of a five-year-old
  • is emotionally immature and emotionally untrustworthy
  • exhibits unusual and inappropriate attitudes to sexual matters, sexual behaviour and bodily functions; underneath the charming exterior there are often suspicions or hints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, perhaps also sexual dysfunction, sexual inadequacy, sexual perversion, sexual violence or sexual abuse
  • in a relationship, is incapable of initiating or sustaining intimacy
  • holds deep prejudices (eg against the opposite gender, people of a different sexual orientation, other cultures and religious beliefs, foreigners, etc - prejudiced people are unvaryingly unimaginative) but goes to great lengths to keep this prejudicial aspect of their personality secret
  • is self-opinionated and displays arroganceaudacity, a superior sense of entitlement and sense of invulnerability and untouchability
  • has a deep-seated contempt of clients in contrast to his or her professed compassion
  • is a control freak and has a compulsive need to control everyone and everything you say, do, think and believe; for example, will launch an immediate personal attack attempting to restrict what you are permitted to say if you start talking knowledgeably about psychopathic personality or antisocial personality disorder in their presence - but aggressively maintains the right to talk (usually unknowledgeably) about anything they choose; serial bullies despise anyone who enables others to see through their deception and their mask of sanity
  • displays a compulsive need to criticise whilst simultaneously refusing to value, praise and acknowledge others, their achievements, or their existence
  • shows a lack of joined-up thinking with conversation that doesn't flow and arguments that don't hold water
  • flits from topic to topic so that you come away feeling you've never had a proper conversation
  • refuses to be specific and never gives a straight answer
  • is evasive and has a Houdini-like ability to escape accountability
  • undermines and destroys anyone who the bully perceives to be an adversary, a potential threat, or who can see through the bully's mask
  • is adept at creating conflict between those who would otherwise collate incriminating information about them
  • is quick to discredit and neutralise anyone who can talk knowledgeably about antisocial or sociopathic behaviors
  • may pursue a vindictive vendetta against anyone who dares to held them accountable, perhaps using others' resources and contemptuous of the damage caused to other people and organisations in pursuance of the vendetta
  • is also quick to belittle, undermine, denigrate and discredit anyone who calls, attempts to call, or might call the bully to account
  • gains gratification from denying people what they are entitled to
  • is highly manipulative, especially of people's perceptions and emotions (eg guilt)
  • poisons peoples' minds by manipulating their perceptions
  • when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others, responds with impatience, irritability and aggression
  • is arrogant, haughty, high-handed, and a know-all
  • often has an overwhelming, unhealthy and narcissistic attention-seeking need to portray themselves as a wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person, in contrast to their behaviour and treatment of others; the bully sees nothing wrong with their behavior and chooses to remain oblivious to the discrepancy between how they like to be seen and how they are seen by others
  • is spiritually dead although may loudly profess some religious belief or affiliation
  • is mean-spiritedofficious, and often unbelievably petty
  • is mean, stingy, and financially untrustworthy
  • is greedy, selfish, parasite and an emotional vampire
  • is always a taker and never a giver
  • is convinced of their superiority and has an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, co-operation, trust, integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression, manipulation, distrust, deceitfulness)
  • often fraudulently claims qualifications, experience, titles, entitlements or affiliations which are ambiguous, misleading, or bogus
  • often misses the semantic meaning of language, misinterprets what is said, sometimes wrongly thinking that comments of a satirical, ironic or general negative nature apply to him or herself
  • knows the words but not the song
  • is constantly imposing on others a false reality made up of distortion and fabrication
  • sometimes displays a seemingly limitless demonic energy especially when engaged in attention-seeking activities or evasion of accountability and is often a committeeaholic or apparent workaholic
Responsibility
The serial bully appears to lack insight into his or her behaviour and seems to be oblivious to the crassness and inappropriateness thereof; however, it is more likely that the bully knows what they are doing but elects to switch off the moral and ethical considerations by which normal people are bound.

If the bully knows what they are doing, they are responsible for their behaviour and thus liable for its consequences to other people. If the bully doesn't know what they are doing, they should be suspended from duty on the grounds of diminished responsibility and the provisions of the Mental Health Act should apply.

Where are people bullied?
  • at work by their manager or co-workers or subordinates, or by their clients (bullying, workplace bullying, mobbing, work abuse, harassment, discrimination)
  • at home by their partner or parents or siblings or children (bullying, assault, domestic violence, abuse, verbal abuse)
  • at school (bullying, harassment, assault)
  • in the care of others, such as in hospital, convalescent homes, care homes, residential homes (bullying, harassment, assault)
  • in the armed forces (bullying, harassment, discrimination, assault)
  • by those in authority (harassment, abuse of power)
  • by neighbours and landlords (bullying, harassment)
  • by strangers (harassment, stalking, assault, sexual assault, rape, grievous bodily harm, murder)
How do I recognise a bully?
Most bullying is traceable to one person, male or female - bullying is not a gender issue. Bullies are often clever people (especially female bullies) but you can be clever too.
Who does this describe in your life?
  • Jekyll & Hyde nature - vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature - only the current target sees both sides
  • is a convincing, compulsive liar and when called to account, will make up anything spontaneously to fit their needs at that moment
  • uses lots of charm and is always plausible and convincing when peers, superiors or others are present; the motive of the charm is deception and its purpose is to compensate for lack of empathy
  • relies on mimicry to convince others that they are a "normal" human being but their words, writing and deeds are hollow, superficial and glib
  • displays a great deal of certitude and self-assuredness to mask their insecurity
  • excels at deception
  • exhibits unusual inappropriate attitudes to sexual matters or sexual behaviour; underneath the charming exterior there are often suspicions or intimations of sexual harassment, sex discrimination or sexual abuse (sometimes racial prejudice as well)
  • exhibits much controlling behaviour and is a control freak
  • displays a compulsive need to criticise whilst simultaneously refusing to acknowledge, value and praise others
  • when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others, responds with impatience, irritability and aggression
  • often has an overwhelming, unhealthy and narcissistic need to portray themselves as a wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person, in contrast to their behaviour and treatment of others; the bully is oblivious to the discrepancy between how they like to be seen (and believe they are seen), and how they are actually seen
  • has an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, trust and integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression, distrust and deceitfulness)
  • when called to account, immediately and aggressively denies everything, then counter-attacks with distorted or fabricated criticisms and allegations; if this is insufficient, quickly feigns victimhood, often by bursting into tears (the purpose is to avoid answering the question and thus evade accountability by manipulating others through the use of guilt)
  • is also ... aggressive, devious, manipulative, spiteful, vengeful, doesn't listen, can't sustain mature adult conversation, lacks a conscience, shows no remorse, is drawn to power, emotionally cold and flat, humourless, joyless, ungrateful, dysfunctional, disruptive, divisive, rigid and inflexible, selfish, insincere, insecure, immature and deeply inadequate, especially in interpersonal skills
I estimate one person in thirty has this behaviour profile. I describe them as having a disordered personality: an aggressive but intelligent individual who expresses their violence psychologically (constant criticism etc) rather than physically (assault). For the full profile, click here; to see and be able to recognise the four most common types of serial bully, click here.

What does bullying do to my health?
Bullying causes injury to health and makes you ill. How many of these symptoms do you have?
  • constant high levels of stress and anxiety
  • frequent illness such as viral infections especially flu and glandular fever, colds, coughs, chest, ear, nose and throat infections (stress plays havoc with your immune system)
  • aches and pains in the joints and muscles with no obvious cause; also back pain with no obvious cause and which won't go away or respond to treatment
  • headaches and migraines
  • tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue
  • sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early, waking up more tired than when you went to bed
  • flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness, can't get the bullying out of your mind
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete's foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
  • poor concentration, can't concentrate on anything for long
  • bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness, especially with trivial day-to-day things
  • sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations, panic attacks
  • tearfulness, bursting into tears regularly and over trivial things
  • uncharacteristic irritability and angry outbursts
  • hypervigilance (feels like but is not paranoia), being constantly on edge
  • hypersensitivity, fragility, isolation, withdrawal
  • reactive depression, a feeling of woebegoneness, lethargy, hopelessness, anger, futility and more
  • shattered self-confidence, low self-worth, low self-esteem, loss of self-love, etc
The common objective of these offenders is powercontroldomination and subjugation. What varies is the means by which these are pursued, ie the way in which violence is expressed. Most of the offenders in the list above commit criminal or arrestable offences; the serial bully commits mostly non-arrestable offences, for example:
  • negligence
  • incompetence
  • maladministration
  • neglect of duty
  • dereliction of duty
  • misappropriation of budgets
  • financial irregularities and fiddling the books
  • fiddling expenses
  • falsifying time sheets
  • pilfering
  • stealing, diverting, skimming, or "losing" clients' money and investments
  • embezzlement
  • fraud
  • deception
  • malpractice
  • misrepresentation
  • conspiracy (eg to obstruct or pervert the course of justice)
  • using the employer's resources to run their own business on the side
  • moonlighting for employer's clients or competitors
  • leaking information to people who should not be in possession of that information
  • awarding contracts to family and friends
  • failure to fulfil obligations
  • breaches of health and safety regulations
  • breaches of rules and regulations
  • breaches of codes of conduct
  • improper use of fraternal allegiances
  • indiscretions
  • impropriety
  • inappropriate sexual conduct
  • being the target of previous grievance and disciplinary action
  • being the target of previous legal action (unfair dismissal, harassment, personal injury, etc)
  • fraudulent qualifications and misleading or bogus claims of professional affiliation (check the bully's CV carefully) [More]
  • collusion
  • corruption
  • being sacked or asked to leave their previous job(s)
  • recruitment through nepotism or favouritism rather than ability
  • extra-marital affairs - see below
  • at home: poor credit rating, verbal abuse, domestic abuse, neglect, abandonment
Most cases of bullying involve a serial bully - one person to whom all the dysfunction can be traced. The serial bully has done this before, is doing it now - and will do it again. Investigation will reveal a string of predecessors who have either left unexpectedly or in suspicious circumstances, have taken early or ill-health retirement, have been unfairly dismissed, have been involved in disciplinary or legal action, or have had stress breakdowns. Serial bullies exploit the recent frenzy of downsizing and reorganisation to hinder recognition of the pattern of previous cases.

The serial bully in the workplace is often found in a job which is a position of power, has a high administrative or procedural content but little or no creative requirement, and which provides opportunities for demonstrating a "caring" or "leadership" nature.

Introduction to the serial bully
Embittered by an abusive upbringing, seething with resentment, irritated by others' failure to fulfil his or her superior sense of entitlement, and fuelled by anger resulting from rejection, the serial bully displays an obsessive, compulsive and self-gratifying urge to displace their uncontrolled aggression onto others whilst exhibiting an apparent lack of insight into their behavior and its effect on people around them.

Jealousy and envy motivate the bully to identify a competent and popular individual who is then controlled and subjugated through projection of the bully's own inadequacy and incompetence. When the target asserts their right not to be bullied, a paranoid fear of exposure compels the bully to perceive that person as a threat and hence neutralise and dispose of them as quickly as possible. Once a person has been eliminated there's an interval of between 2 days and 2 weeks before the bully chooses another target and the cycle starts again.

Detailed profile of the serial bully

The serial bully also:
  • is selfish and acts out of self-interest, self-aggrandisement and self-preservation at all times; everything can be traced back to the self - even the seemingly innocuous "How are you today?" translates to "Is there any comeback on me as to how you're feeling today?"
  • is insensitive, often callously indifferent to the needs of others, and especially when others are experiencing difficulty (vulnerability is a major stimulant to the serial bully)
  • is incapable of reciprocity, ie unable and unwilling to reciprocate any positive gesture
  • sees anyone attempting to be conciliatory as a sucker to be exploited
  • uses criticism, humiliation, etc in the guise of addressing shortfalls in performance - in reality, these are for control and subjugation, not for performance enhancement
  • appears to be intelligent but often performs poorly in academic or professional roles, despite appearances; the intelligence is focused exclusively on deviousness, cunning, scheming, manipulation, evasiveness, deceptiveness, quick-wittedness, craftiness, self-centredness, etc
  • may be passive aggressive, blowing hot and cold, superficially cooperative but motivated by retribution, stubborn, uncoachable, use their intelligence to excuse and justify their behaviour, and they detest anyone more competent than themselves - which is most people
  • is unable to maintain confidentiality, often breaching it with misrepresentation, distortion and fabrication
  • distorts, twists, concocts and fabricates criticisms and allegations, and abuses the disciplinary procedures - again, for control and subjugation, not for performance enhancement
  • uses gossip, back-stabbing or spreads rumours to undermine, discredit and isolate
  • is untrustworthy and unable to trust others - this partly explains the compulsion for excessive monitoring
  • is drawn to positions of power and abuses that power
  • alters the employer's procedures to make it difficult or impossible for others to hold the bully accountable using those procedures
  • is autocratic and dictatorial, often using phrases like "you shouldn't..." or "you ought to..."
  • may appear superficially competent and professional at their job, but behind the facade is inadequate, inept, poor at their job, often incompetent; survives only by plagiarising other people's work, and being carried by those they bully
  • wraps himself or herself in a flag or tradition and usurps others' objectives, thereby nurturing compliance, reverence, deference, endorsement and obeisance; however, such veneration and allegiance is divisive, being a corruption for personal power which exhibits itself through the establishment of a clique, coterie, cabal, faction, or gang
  • is a divisive and disruptive influence, their departments are dysfunctional and inefficient, and their behavior prevents staff from performing their duties
  • is unusually susceptible to minor slights or perceived slights and bears grudges which may be acted on years later when the transgressor can be denied promotion or downsized in the bully's "reorganisation"
  • gains gratification from provoking people into emotional or irrational responses but is quick to claim provocation by others when challenged
  • has a short-term focus and often cannot think or plan ahead more than 24 hours
  • appears to have a short, selective memory and often cannot or will not remember what they said, did, or committed to more than 24 hours ago - but is always able to remember your faults, often from years ago
  • the serial bully seems to live in a bubble of the present and when challenged will spontaneously make things up; the bully genuinely seems to believe the fabrication; from a psychiatric viewpoint this could be called confabulation; from a moral viewpoint, it's called lying
  • is often like a child who has never grown up
  • exhibits immature behaviour and poor manners
  • has poor communication skills, poor interpersonal skills, poor social skills
  • often misses social cues
  • has poor language skills, and uses almost exclusively negative language with few or no positive words; is often limited to parroting fad phrases and regurgitating the latest management jargon
  • has poorly-defined moral and ethical boundaries
  • acts out of gratification and self-interest only, often using and hiding behind the employer
  • extrovert bullies tend to be shouters and screamers, are highly visible, and bully from the front
  • extrovert bullies can be charismatic and seem to be able to bewitch people into following and supporting them
  • introvert bullies - the most dangerous types - tend to sit in the background and recruit others to do the bullying for them - when dealing with this type of bullying, identify the arch-bully in the background and focus single-mindedly on that person - the others will melt away
  • is a killjoy, a wet blanket, is unreceptive and finds fault with or pours scorn on other people's ideas and suggestions, but may regurgitate them later claiming to be the originator
  • often has a hatred of a sector of society, eg ethnic minorities, disabled people, etc
  • often has a hatred of certain professional groups, eg psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors, therapists
  • is unimaginative and lacks the skills of creativity and innovation
  • rarely has any ideas of his or her own; tends to regurgitate what others (especially superiors) say rather than use own thinking
  • is a plagiarist, steals other people's work - and the credit for it
  • has a writing style that is disjointed, lacks flow and consistency, tends to make contradictory statements, and has the feel of a young teenager trying to write like a grown-up (apologies to teenagers)
  • often uses false praise or praise which is inappropriate to the circumstances; this is partly to make the bully feel good, partly for the benefit of witnesses, partly poor judgement, partly immaturity, and partly for control and subjugation to throw their target off guard
  • is unable and unwilling to value others and their contributions and achievements; is often scornful
  • shows discrepancy in valuing tasks, deliberately devaluing the work and achievements of others; when the bully does a certain job, it's onerous, difficult and the bully needs lots of recognition; when their target does the same job it's trivial, of little or no value, not worth mentioning
  • is ungrateful and rarely (if ever) says "thank you" or "well done" (except, perhaps, if impressionable witnesses are present)
  • is frequently sarcastic, especially in contexts where sarcasm is inappropriate and unprofessional
  • is unable to assess the importance of events and tasks, often making an unnecessary fuss over trivia whilst ignoring important or urgent things
  • exhibits duplicity and hypocrisy, eg says one thing one day and denies it the next
  • often has an overwhelming (and unhealthy) need to feel recognised and wanted
  • is fastidious, often has an unhealthy obsession with cleanliness or orderliness
  • is insincere and false
  • has never learnt the skills of and has little concept of empathy; may use charm and mimicry to compensate
  • attempts at empathy are superficial, amateur, often inappropriate or inappropriately high, and based on mimicry rather than genuine concern - and are for the purpose of making the bully look and feel good, especially in front of witnesses
  • when required to show empathy, eg someone is in distress or needs help, responds either with impatience and aggression (if no-one else is present), or with a fulsome and effusive attempt at empathy (if witnesses are present)
  • is unwilling to apologise for mistakes, except occasionally when witnesses are present, then the apology is fulsome, artificial, and inappropriate - but sufficiently convincing for peers and superiors
  • is quick to blame others
  • is uncharacteristically fulsome and effusive, especially in front of witnesses - but hollow and insincere
  • is devious and manipulative (especially female bullies)
  • is spiteful and vengeful (ditto)
  • uses aggression almost exclusively but claims to be assertive (assertiveness is about recognising and respecting the rights of oneself and others)
  • has unpredictable mood swings, blows hot and cold, often suddenly and without warning
  • is inconsistent in their judgement, often overruling, ignoring or denying what they said previously
  • is inflexible and unable to evaluate options and alternatives
  • is unforgiving and often seizes on and exploits others' mistakes or perceived mistakes
  • is financially irresponsible and often has a bad credit rating
  • has a cavalier attitude to Health and Safety
  • is quick to anger and often has an unpredictable temper
  • can be unpredictably and disarmingly pleasant, especially when you are unmasking them in front others - this plays on people's sympathies and is a use of guilt for manipulation and control
  • is often humourless and emotionally flat; attempts at humour are often shallow and superficial
  • is insecure and sees others as a threat; the threat seems to comprise a fear of exposure of inadequacy, and often borders on paranoia; the individual may have a paranoid personality
  • is uncommunicative and uncooperative, and is evasive when asked for information (eg by subordinates)
  • for communication, often relies excessively or exclusively on memos, emails, yellow stickies, or third parties and other strategies for avoiding face-to-face contact
  • has no listening skills, ignores and overrules you; it can be like talking to a brick wall
  • displays inappropriate and hostile body language
  • makes inappropriate eye contact, either too little (or none at all) or too much (staring)
  • often reported as having an evil stare, sometimes with eyes that appear black rather than coloured
  • is unable to sustain a mature adult conversation (you may only realise this in retrospect)
  • sees people as objects (in the same way that child sex abusers and rapists see their targets as objects for their gratification)
  • often displays interpersonal behavior that is ill-advised, especially with a sexual overtone, eg invasion of intimate zone, gestures or comments which include inappropriate sexual references or innuendo, being inappropriately intimate with clients, being too friendly too soon, etc
  • is incapable of intimacy
  • lacks a conscience and shows no remorse
  • displays excessive and rigid adherence to procedures, rules, regulations etc, usually as a cover for lack of creativity; their work is largely bureaucratic in nature and obedience of orders from above is a priority
  • finds ritual important and comforting, and frequently indulges in ritual and ritualistic activity
  • often forms or joins lots of committees to look busy and important but never achieves anything of significance or value
  • when called upon to exercise judgement, relies on and insists on rigid adherence to procedures and rules (this is an abdication of responsibility and an admission of inability to manage)
  • gains gratification from bullying people by imposing rules, regulations, laws etc and insisting on adherence thereto, regardless of their relevance or efficacy
  • often exhibits a psychopathic personality, the main features of which are:
  • an unwillingness to conform to the rules of society: thinks that rules, regulations, procedures and the law do not apply to them - but insists that others adhere rigidly
  • an inability to tolerate minor frustrations
  • a tendency to act impulsively, recklessly and randomly
  • an inability to form stable relationships (the bully's private life is usually a mess)
  • an inability or unwillingness to learn from past experience, however unpleasant - this "learning blindness" is a key feature of the serial bully and differentiates the serial bully from the unwitting bully; this inability to learn seems to be concentrated in the area of interpersonal, social, communication and behavioural skills; closer inspection suggests that the bully does learn from experience, but only how be more secretive and how to be more skilled at evading accountability
Other adjectives to describe the serial bully include cunning, conniving, scheming, calculating, cruel, sadistic, ruthless, treacherous, premeditated, exploitative, pernicious, malevolent, obnoxious, opportunist, unconcerned, etc.

The lack of interpersonal, social, and empathic skills are reminiscent of autism; the serial bully relies almost entirely on rules, procedures, aggression, denial and mimicry to hide their lack of people skills. Psychopaths and sociopaths are often excellent actors and mimics.

Most people with this profile are incompetent at their job and the bullying is intended to hide this incompetence. However, a few recent cases suggest that some serial bullies (especially the quiet ones):
  • are good at carrying out rule-based or procedurally-oriented jobs which require no free thinking or imagination; these people fall down when required to step outside this role, eg dealing with people
  • (especially males) excel in one area of work (usually scientific in nature) and may be regarded as the leading authority in their field but are lacking in almost every other respect, especially in interpersonal skills (this is reminiscent of savant syndrome); they also tend to be physically aggressive and may have a reputation for sexual harassment
Serial bully types
Attention-Seeker | Wannabe | Guru | Sociopath
The profile above covers the most commonly-reported behaviours of serial bullies. From casework I've been able to identify four primary types of serial bully:

The Attention-Seeker
Motivation: to be the centre of attention
Mindset: control freak, manipulation, narcissism
Malice: medium to high; when held accountable, very high
  • emotionally immature
  • selectively friendly - is sickly sweet to some people, rude and offhand to others, and ignores the rest
  • is cold and aggressive towards anyone who sees them for what they really are or exposes their strategies for gaining attention
  • overfriendly with their new target, especially in the initial stages of a new working relationship
  • overhelpful, ditto
  • overgenerous, ditto
  • manipulative of people's perceptions, but in an amateur and childish manner
  • manipulative with guilt, ditto
  • sycophantic, fawning, toadying
  • uses flattery to keep a person in authority on side
  • everything is a drama, usually a poor-me drama
  • prefers not to solve problems in own life so that they can be used and re-used for gaining sympathy and attention
  • capitalises on issues and uses them as a soapbox for gaining attention
  • exploits others' suffering and grief as a vehicle for gaining attention
  • misappropriates others' statements, eg anything which can be misconstrued as politically incorrect, for control and attention-seeking
  • excusitis, makes excuses for everything
  • shows a lot of indignation, especially when challenged
  • lots of self-pity
  • often as miserable as sin, apart from carefully constructed moments of charm when in the act of deceiving
  • demanding of others
  • easily provoked
  • feigns victimhood when held accountable, usually by bursting into tears or claiming they're the one being bullied and harassed
  • presents as a false victim when outwitted
  • may feign exclusion, isolation or persecution
  • malicious
  • constantly tries and will do almost anything to be in the spotlight
  • includes Munchausen Syndrome
  • the focus of their life is to be the centre of attention
The Wannabe
Motivation: craves respect for being competent and professional despite lacking in competence and professionalism
Mindset: deceptive
Malice: low to medium; when held accountable, medium to high
  • similar to the attention-seeker
  • is one of life's chronic underperformers and is best described as ineffectual in everything
  • craves undeserved respect and attention and will go to considerable lengths to acquire them
  • hangs around the fringes of a profession
  • not professionally qualified but claims they are a professional because they sit next to a professional or work alongside or near or in the midst of professionals, or provide services to professionals
  • lacks the ability, competence and professionalism to be a qualified professional
  • wants so much to be seen as competent professional person but is unable and unwilling to put in the work to achieve this
  • is unable and unwilling to apply knowledge gained from experience but instead devotes time and effort to improving skills of deception, manipulation, false claim, denial and projection
  • may have been rejected by their chosen profession for lack of competence
  • is spiteful towards and despises anyone who is qualified in the profession from which the bully has been excluded by virtue of lack of competence
  • is likely to be vilifying the profession they want to belong to or which they're claiming to be part of or which they are claiming to represent
  • displays a deep-seated envy and jealousy of the professionals that he or she works alongside or claims to serve
  • harbours a bitter resentment, grudge, distaste and contempt for the professionals that he or she works alongside or claims to serve
  • is likely to be criticising, condemning, disadvantaging and causing detriment to the professionals he or she works alongside or claims to serve
  • may seek positions of power over the professionals he or she works alongside or claims to serve, perhaps to facilitate a compulsion to criticise, condemn, disadvantage and cause detriment
  • is irresistibly drawn to organisations, roles and positions which offer the wannabe power and control over the professionals s/he despises (eg inspection regimes, approval roles, regulatory bodies, ticksheet compliance schemes, political correctness police, trade union official, etc) - and is often described as a talentless jobsworth
  • when in a position of power associates with and makes alliances with or surrounds him or herself with clones, drones, minions, fellow wannabes, sycophants and brown-nosers
  • instinctively objects to any suggestion of change, reform, improvement, progress or evolution, but has no viable or positive alternatives of their own
  • opposes every idea, suggestion, opinion, contribution or reform on principle but has no original, positive, constructive ideas or contributions of his or her own
  • is likely to plagiarise and steal others' ideas which are then put forward as their own
  • may place undue emphasis or reliance on an old, minor or irrelevant qualification to bolster their claim of belonging to or deserving to belong to a profession
  • may claim ambiguous or misleading or bogus or fraudulent qualifications, associations and experience
  • displays a superior sense of entitlement because they associate with or serve higher performers
  • emotionally immature
  • controlling
  • easily provoked
  • when challenged is adept at rewriting history to portray themselves as competent, professional and successful, regardless of multiple witnesses and overwhelming evidence to the contrary
  • quickly and loudly feigns victimhood when exposed and held accountable, often repeatedly and loudly accusing the person holding them accountable of being a bully
  • when held accountable makes conflicting and contradictory threats and demands (eg demands apology but orders the other person not to communicate with them)
  • when held accountable makes lots of loud but empty threats (eg of legal action such as libel, slander, defamation etc)
  • only carries out threats of legal action when in the presence of a superior serial bully, especially a sociopath type
  • may indulge their jealousy and envy of professionals or those they claim to serve by pursuing vindictive vendettas, sometimes with the help of a superior serial bully, especially a sociopath type
  • is easily manipulated and controlled by a superior serial bully
  • female wannabes may be arch bullies (some people might call them puppetmasters or queen bees)
  • may surround herself with drones of the opposite sex
  • may exploit some perceived vulnerability in self to ensure drone loyalty
  • gives the appearance of loyalty to drones but will discard them when they've served their purpose
  • is likely to have affairs to gain power, status or position
The Guru
Motivation: task focused
Mindset: confusion, inability to understand how others think and feel
Malice: zero to low; when held accountable, low to medium (it's often the absence of malice that identifies a guru type of serial bully) but could be medium to high if narcissistic or psychopathic traits are present
  • often successful in their narrow field of expertise
  • regarded as an expert
  • valued by the employer because s/he brings in the money, status etc
  • ruthlessly pursues objectives regardless of the cost
  • ruthless determination to succeed
  • can be successful over the medium term in their field
  • task focused
  • zero people skills
  • control freak
  • mainly but not exclusively male
  • often has a favourite who receives extra attention but who is expected to reciprocate with sycophancy
  • favours, protects and promotes non-threatening sycophants whilst marginalizing and hindering the advancement of those with higher levels of competence, especially in people skills
  • apt to betray those formerly favoured, especially when the favoured person starts to show independence of thought or action, or starts to receive more attention or become more popular than their mentor
  • a male Guru in a position of power may exhibit inappropriate sexual conduct
  • gauche, aggressive and unpleasant but not evil
  • may not be overtly attention-seeking but dislikes those around them getting more attention than they're getting, or getting attention which doesn't include the bully
  • selfish, self-centred, self-opinionated, dogmatic and thoughtless and with a tendency to pontificate
  • apt to throw temper tantrums when things don't go well or can't get their own way
  • emotionally immature, perhaps emotionless, sometimes cold and frigid
  • convincingly intellectualises feelings to compensate for emotional immaturity
  • intelligent (often highly) but lacks common sense
  • is happy to lie to suit own purposes
  • can have a rigid routine
  • does not accept responsibility for their own behavior
  • blames others for own inadequacies
  • refuses to recognise that they could have any shortcomings of their own
  • does not live in the present
  • usually extremely neat (for example, desk is always clear)
  • organized (sometimes overly)
  • tempts fate but always gets away with it
  • has stereotypical ideas about gender roles (though this may not be expressed consciously)
  • makes assumptions about others' thoughts
  • does not follow social rules, for example may display bad table manners in public
  • appears unable and unwilling to engage in and sustain small talk
  • seems unaware of the nature and purpose of rapport
  • seems to exhibit some symptoms similar to autism, although autistic people tend to be shy, introspective and lack manipulative skills and are usually the targets of bullying, not the perpetrators (it's unknown whether there might be a common cause or whether the similarities are just a superficial coincidence) [more on autism]
  • appears unable to read people and their thoughts and especially feelings
  • when held accountable exhibits genuine confusion as to why their behaviour is inappropriate
  • in cases where malice is low or absent the person my be regarded as somewhat avuncular or mildly jovial or charismatic in nature
  • likes the appearance of normalcy but rejects responsibilities of relationships
  • is unable to comprehend or meet the emotional needs of others
  • often puts work and duty above everything, including relationships
  • makes power plays, for example leaves the room when someone is speaking, or pretends not to hear and constantly asking a person to repeat what they just said, etc
  • doesn't share information about self (thoughts, insights, etc) and is not open to receiving this type of information from others (allegedly knows it all already)
  • secretive
  • possessive of objects and sometimes people
  • may view people as objects (this enables controlling behaviour of other people)
  • thinks of self as superior and above the law / rules / regulations etc (these only apply to other people)
  • uses denial as a defence mechanism
  • there are likely to be problems with succession
The Socialised Psychopath or Sociopath
Also known as the corporate psychopath, workplace psychopath, industrial psychopath and administrative psychopath.
Motivation: power, gratification, personal gain, survival
Mindset: manipulation, deception, evil
Malice: high to very high; when held accountable, off the scale
  • Jekyll & Hyde personality
  • always charming and beguilingly plausible, especially to those who are capable of protecting or enhancing the sociopath's position
  • excels at deception (this must never be underestimated, but always is)
  • excels at evasion of accountability
  • is extremely and successfully manipulative of people's perceptions and emotions (eg guilt and anger)
  • silver-tongued, has an extreme verbal facility and can outwit anybody (including a top barrister) in verbal conflict
  • will often engineer himself or herself into a position of authority as gatekeeper of the organisation and thus the person through whom all information must flow, and the person to whom all requests for services must be referred - which he or she then takes delight in denying
  • is adept at offering weak and inadequate people the positions of power, control, security, influence or respect that they crave but who lack the necessary competencies to achieve - such people are unaware that their consequent dependence on the sociopath makes them permanent manipulatees, pawns and expendable agents of harassment
  • identifies those essential to the sociopath's survival and manipulates their perceptions them by making them feel special and thus obligated to reciprocate with support and protection
  • manipulates others into making fools of themselves in situations where they cannot back down or from which they cannot withdraw - these people become increasingly susceptible to further manipulation and are then trapped as pawns in the sociopath's game
  • is likely to be surrounded by people who, having been subjected to control, manipulation and punishment by the sociopath, look wretched and who start to exhibit behaviour best described as disordered, dysfunctional, sullen, aggressive, defensive, hostile, retaliatory, counterproductive or cult-like and for whom disbelief, disavowal and denial are instinctive responses
  • creates an environment where levels of denial are so great that those involved are oblivious of the foolishness and self-evident absurdity of their denials when presented with the facts, with the result that non-involved observers are led to question whether such levels of denial merit psychiatric intervention
  • is contemptuous of disrepute to their organisation and of collateral damage and of the destructive consequences for all direct and indirect parties 
  • is always surrounded by and leaves behind a trail of dysfunctional organisations, destroyed businesses, ruined careers, stress breakdowns and unexplained suicides
  • despite a trail of devastation to individuals, organisations, families and communities, the actions of a socialised psychopath may go undetected or unrecognised for years
  • a history of conducting frivolous, vexatious and malicious legal actions, especially (but not exclusively) against anyone who can recognise the sociopath for what he is
  • only after the sociopath is exposed and relieved of position, or they move on, can the full depth of their destructive behaviour be fathomed and the consequences calculated
  • is skilled at identifying, undermining, discrediting, neutralising and destroying anyone who can see through the sociopath's mask of sanity
  • at all times restricts the actions and rights of others (especially those holding the sociopath accountable) whilst aggressively protecting his or her right to do anything without being hampered by social norms or legal requirements
  • pursues endless vindictive vendettas against anyone perceived as a threat or who attempts, knowingly or unknowingly, to identify or reveal or expose the sociopath, or who makes efforts to hold the sociopath accountable
  • is adept at appropriating rules, regulations, procedures and law to manipulate, control and punish accusers regardless of relevance, logic, facts or consequences
  • persists in and pursues vindictive vendettas using self-evidently false evidence or information, even after this is brought to the attention of the sociopath
  • will often manipulate minor bullies of the Wannabe type (who on their own might or would not merit the label 'serial bully') into acting as agents of harassment and as unwitting or unwilling conductors of vendettas
  • is adept at placing people in situations where the sociopath can tap into each person's instinctive urge to retaliate in order to use them as his or her instruments or agents of harassment
  • gains gratification from provoking others into engaging in adversarial conflict
  • once conflict has been initiated, the sociopath gains increased gratification by exploiting human beings' instinctive need to retaliate - this is achieved by encouraging and escalating peoples' adversarial conflicts into mutually assured destruction
  • revels in the gratification gained from seeing or causing other people's distress
  • when faced with accountability or unwelcome attention which might lead to others discerning the sociopath's true nature, responds with repeated and escalating attempts to control, manipulate and punish
  • is adept at reflecting all accusations and attempts at accountability back onto their accusers
  • is adept at creating conflict between those who would otherwise pool negative information about the sociopath
  • has no limits on his or her vindictiveness
  • the need to control, manipulate and punish develops into an obsession with many of the hallmarks of an addiction
  • is skilled at mimicry and can plausibly and spontaneously regurgitate all the latest management jargon
  • exhibits minimal professional skill level and competency
  • exploits his or her intelligence to excel at talentless mediocrity
  • is always identifying the behaviours and strategies to which other people respond with the desired effect
  • is able to anticipate and credibly say what people want to hear
  • is easily able to win people over before betraying them or deceiving them or ripping them off
  • easily manipulates and bewitches an immature or naive or vulnerable or emotionally needy person to be their spokesperson or agent of aggression
  • exploits anyone who has a vulnerability
  • is pushy and extremely persuasive
  • is sexually inadequate and sexually abusive
  • is likely to protect anyone accused of or suspected of sexual abuse of pedophile activity, and will frustrate or obstruct investigations into that person
  • maybe associating with, or actively involved in, abuse or pedophile activity
  • has no emotions, no emotional processing capability and no ability to understand other's emotions
  • is incapable of understanding, initiating or sustaining intimacy
  • the male sociopath has often convinced a string of women to feel they are in love with him and despite being treated abominably they blindly continue to be loyal to him and minister willingly to his every demand
  • may start projects with apparent enthusiasm and energy but quickly loses interest
  • frequently takes unnecessary and uncalculated risks but takes no account of consequences
  • is reckless and untrustworthy with money
  • is likely to be illegally diverting or siphoning off significant sums of money to his or her own budget, project, account or cause
  • is unreliable and untrustworthy in every facet of life
  • is likely to be leaking confidential information or secrets to third parties
  • is likely to have committed or be committing criminal or near-criminal offences, eg fraud, embezzlement, deception
  • is likely to have committed or be committing breaches of harassment and discrimination law, employment law, contract law, etc
  • disregards rules, regulations, Health and Safety requirements, professional standards, codes of conduct and legal requirements, etc
  • cannot comprehend the deeper semantic meaning of language and is thus unable to understand or appreciate metaphor, hyperbole, irony, satire etc (these elicit either zero response or a hostile response)
  • likes, seeks, enjoys and relies on procedure, ritual and ritualistic practices
  • through arrogant overconfidence takes increasingly risky chances and eventually overplays their hand or makes a mistake which leads to the sociopath revealing him or herself
  • exhibits parasitical behaviour, takes everything and gives nothing
  • grabs headline credit for minimal, flukey or other peoples' success whilst surviving off the backs of manipulatees who are exclusively blamed for all failures
  • rarely blinks, may have stary scary eyes that cut right through you, or may avoid eye contact completely
  • is callous, cold and calculating
  • is devious, clever and cunning
  • is ruthless in the extreme
  • regards people as objects and playthings to be discarded when surplus to requirements
  • displays zero empathy
  • completely without conscience, remorse and guilt
  • malicious and evil
Power over people
The serial bully is able to exert a hold over people for a variety of reasons.

Targets are disempowered such that they become dependent on the bully to allow them to get through each day without their life being made hell.

The serial bully is often able to bewitch an emotionally needy colleague into supporting them; this person then becomes the bully's spokesperson and advocate. How people can be so easily and repeatedly taken in by the bully's glib charm, Jekyll and Hyde nature, and constant lying is a mystery. Psychopaths are especially adept at conning people in this manner.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD)
The serial bully exhibits behaviours similar to or congruent with the diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
The serial bully exhibits behaviours similar to or congruent with the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD)
The serial bully exhibits behaviours similar to or congruent with the diagnostic criteria for Paranoid Personality Disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder
Some visitors to Bully OnLine have suggested that the bullies in their lives exhibit characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder
See http://www.toad.net/~arcturus/dd/ddhome.htm

Personality Disorders
There's more on Personality Disorders at http://www.toad.net/~arcturus/dd/ourdesk.htm
Avoiding acceptance of responsibility - denial, counterattack and feigning victimhood
The serial bully is an adult on the outside but a child on the inside; he or she is like a child who has never grown up. One suspects that the bully is emotionally retarded and has a level of emotional development equivalent to a five-year-old, or less. The bully wants to enjoy the benefits of living in the adult world, but is unable and unwilling to accept the responsibilities that go with enjoying the benefits of the adult world. In short, the bully has never learnt to accept responsibility for their behaviour.
When called to account for the way they have chosen to behave, the bully instinctively exhibits this recognisable behavioural response:
a) Denial: the bully denies everything. Variations include Trivialization ("This is so trivial it's not worth talking about...") and the Fresh Start tactic ("I don't know why you're so intent on dwelling on the past" and "Look, what's past is past, I'll overlook your behaviour and we'll start afresh") - this is an abdication of responsibility by the bully and an attempt to divert and distract attention by using false conciliation. Imagine if this line of defence were available to all criminals ("Look I know I've just murdered 12 people but that's all in the past, we can't change the past, let's put it behind us, concentrate on the future so we can all get on with our lives" - this would do wonders for prison overcrowding).

b) Retaliation: the bully counterattacks. The bully quickly and seamlessly follows the denial with an aggressive counter-attack of counter-criticism or counter-allegation, often based on distortion or fabrication. Lying, deception, duplicity, hypocrisy and blame are the hallmarks of this stage. The purpose is to avoid answering the question and thus avoid accepting responsibility for their behaviour. Often the target is tempted - or coerced - into giving another long explanation to prove the bully's allegation false; by the time the explanation is complete, everybody has forgotten the original question.
Both a) and b) are delivered with aggression in the guise of assertiveness; in fact there is no assertiveness (which is about recognising and respecting the rights of oneself and others) at all. Note that explanation - of the original question - is conspicuous by its absence.
c) Feigning victimhood: in the unlikely event of denial and counter-attack being insufficient, the bully feigns victimhood or feigns persecutionby manipulating people through their emotions, especially guilt. This commonly takes the form of bursting into tears, which most people cannot handle. Variations include indulgent self-pity, feigning indignation, pretending to be "devastated", claiming they're the one being bullied or harassed, claiming to be "deeply offended", melodrama, martyrdom ("If it wasn't for me...") and a poor-me drama ("You don't know how hard it is for me ... blah blah blah ..." and "I'm the one who always has to...""You think you're having a hard time ...""I'm the one being bullied..."). Other tactics include manipulating people's perceptions to portray themselves as the injured party and the target as the villain of the piece. Or presenting as a false victim. Sometimes the bully will suddenly claim to be suffering "stress" and go off on long-term sick leave, although no-one can quite establish why. Alleged ill-health can also be a useful vehicle for gaining attention and sympathy. For suggestions on how to counter this see the advice on the FAQ page.
By using this response, the bully is able to avoid answering the question and thus avoid accepting responsibility for what they have said or done. It is a pattern of behaviour learnt by about the age of 3; most children learn or are taught to grow out of this, but some are not and by adulthood, this avoidance technique has been practised to perfection.

A further advantage of the denial/counter-attack/feigning victimhood strategy is that it acts as a provocation. The target, who may have taken months to reach this stage, sees their tormentor getting away with it and is provoked into an angry and emotional outburst after which the bully says simply "There, I told you s/he was like that". Anger is one of the mechanisms by which bullies (and all abusers) control their targets. By tapping in to and obtaining an inappropriate release of pent-up anger the bully plays their master stroke and casts their victim as villain.

When called to account for the way they have chosen to behave, mature adults do not respond by bursting into tears. If you're dealing with a serial bully who has just exhibited this avoidance tactic, sit passively and draw attention to the pattern of behaviour they've just exhibited, and then the purpose of the tactic. Then ask for an answer to the question.

Bullies also rely on the denial of others and the fact that when their target reports the abuse they will be disbelieved ("are your sure this is really going on?", "I find it hard to believe - are you sure you're not imagining it?"). Frequently targets are asked why they didn't report the abuse before, and they will usually reply "because I didn't think anyone would believe me." Sadly they are often right in this assessment. Because of the Jekyll & Hyde nature, compulsive lying, and plausibility, no-one can - or wants - to believe it. Click here for a detailed explanation of the target's reluctance to report abuse.

Denial features in most cases of sexual assault, as in the case of Paul Hickson, the UK Olympic swimming coach who sexually assaulted and raped teenage girls in his care over a period of 20 years or more. When his victims were asked why they didn't report the abuse, most replied "Because I didn't think anyone would believe me". Abusers confidently, indeed arrogantly, rely on this belief, often aggressively inculcating (instilling) the belief ("No-one will ever believe you") just after the sexual assault when their victim is in a distressed state. Targets of bullying in the workplace often come up against the same attitudes by management when they report a bullying colleague. In a workplace environment, the bully usually recruits one or two colleagues (sometimes one is a sleeping partner - see Affairs below) who will back up the bully's denial when called to account.

Reflection
Serial bullies harbour a particular hatred of anyone who can articulate their behaviour profile, either verbally or in writing - as on this page - in a manner which helps other people see through their deception and their mask of deceit. The usual instinctive response is to launch a bitter personal attack on the person's credentials, lack of qualifications, and right to talk about personality disorders, psychopathic personality etc, whilst preserving their right to talk about anything they choose - all the while adding nothing to the debate themselves.

Serial bullies hate to see themselves and their behaviour reflected as if they are looking into a mirror.

Projection
Bullies project their inadequacies, shortcomings, behaviours etc on to other people to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it (learning about oneself can be painful), and to distract and divert attention away from themselves and their inadequacies. Projection is achieved through blame, criticism and allegation; once you realise this, every criticism, allegation etc that the bully makes about their target is actually an admission or revelation about themselves. This knowledge can be used to perceive the bully's own misdemeanours; for instance, when the allegations are of financial or sexual impropriety, it is likely that the bully has committed these acts; when the bully makes an allegation of abuse (such allegations tend to be vague and non-specific), it is likely to be the bully who has committed the abuse. When the bully makes allegations of, say, "cowardice" or "negative attitude" it is the bully who is a coward or has a negative attitude.

In these circumstances, the bully has to understand that if specious and insubstantive allegations are made, the bully will also be investigated.

When the symptoms of psychiatric injury become apparent to others, most bullies will play the Mental Health Trap, claiming their target is "mentally ill" or "mentally unstable" or has a "mental health problem". It is more likely that this allegation is a projection of the bully's own mental health problems. If this trap is being used on you, assert "projection" as a defence against disciplinary action or as part of your legal proceedings.

It is a key identifying feature of a person with a personality disorder or psychopathic personality that, when called to account, they will accuse the person who is unmasking them of being the one with the personality disorder or psychopathic personality from which they (the bully) suffer.

Affairs
Of over 10,000 cases of bullying reported to Bully OnLine and the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line, in at least half the cases, the bully is having an affair with another member of staff. The affair has little to do with friendship, and a lot to do with strategic alliance in pursuit of power, control, domination and subjugation. In a further quarter of cases, there's often a suspected affair, and in the remaining quarter, there is often a relationship with another member of staff based not so much on sexual attraction but on a mutual admiration for the way each other behaves.

If the bully is a female in a junior position, she finds a weak male in a senior position (this is usually not difficult) - for example the President, Chief Executive, any Senior Executive, Finance Director, Personnel Director, or Departmental Director, etc - then gains patronage, protection and reward (eg promotion) by traditional methods. Once promotion is gained, the female calculates who can give her the next promotion; if the first male cannot, he is ditched and another adopted. The males are unlikely to admit this is happening or has happened.

If the bully is a male in a senior position, he is often sleeping with a secretary or office administrator, as this is where he gets his information and where he spreads his disinformation. Sometimes the female junior can be identified by her reward, eg being the only person allowed to hold the keys of the stock cupboard (everyone has to grovel to her if they want a new pen), or being put in charge of the office in the bully's absence when there are others who are senior to her who would make more appropriate deputies.

Most serial bullies have unhappy and unsatisfactory private lives which are characterised by a string of broken relationships. If you are the current target of a serial bully and taking legal action, a little digging into the bully's past, including their personal life, will usually unearth some unsavoury facts that the bully would prefer not to be made public. In some cases, serial bullies have been found to have criminal convictions for fraud, or to have been compelled to attend therapy or counselling for their habit of compulsive lying, or they might have a record of domestic violence. Under normal circumstances making these facts part of the proceedings might be considered unethical; however, if you're the target of a serial bully, the circumstances are not normal.

Validity of testimony
Because of the serial bully's Jekyll and Hyde nature, compulsive lying, charm and plausibility, the validity of this person's testimony cannot be relied on in disciplinary proceedings, appeal hearings, and under oath at tribunal and in court. Emphasise this when taking action.

Mediation with this type of individual is inappropriate. Serial bullies regard mediation (and arbitration, conciliation, negotiation etc) as appeasement, which they ruthlessly exploit; it allows them to give the impression in public that they are negotiating and being conciliatory, whilst in private they continue the bullying. The lesson of the twentieth century is that you do not appease aggressors.

The disordered thinking processes of the criminal / antisocial mind are succinctly described in Stanton E Samenow's book Straight talk about criminals.

For example:
"Certain people who I term non-arrestable criminals behave criminally towards others , but they are sufficiently fearful [and knowledgeable of the law - TF] so that they do not commit major crimes. We all know them: individuals who shamelessly use others to gain advantage for themselves. Having little empathy, they single-mindedly pursue their objectives and have little remorse for the injuries they inflict. If others take them to task, they become indignant and self-righteous and blame circumstances. Such people share much in common with the person who makes crime a way of life. Although they may not have broken the law, they nonetheless victimize others."

(Chapter 8, The criminal mind exists independent of particular laws, culture or customs)

In Samenow's 1984 book Inside the criminal mind he uses this description:

"Some criminals are smooth rather than contentious, ingratiating rather than surly, devious rather than intimidating. They pretend to be interested in what others say. Appearing to invite suggestions, they inwardly dismiss each idea without considering its merits. They seem to take criticism in stride but ignore it and spitefully make mental note of who the critic was. They misuse authority and betray trust but are not blatant about doing so. With the criminal at the helm, employee morale deteriorates. His method of operation sooner or later discourages others from proposing innovative ideas and developing creative solutions."

(Chapter 6, Work and the criminal)

Stalker types
Intimate partner: this stalker, the most common type, is a partner or more usually an ex-partner who can't and wont accept that a relationship has come to an end. They can't let go.

Vengeful stalker: this is the most dangerous type whose mission is to get even and/or take revenge. Mostly male, he has a grudge and he's going to do something about it. The vengeful stalker may never have met his victim, who may be a politician, council official, boss, organisation, etc.

Delusional stalker: this one has a history of mental illness which may include schizophrenia or manic depression. The schizophrenic stalker may have stopped taking his or her medication and now lives in a fantasy world composed of part reality and part delusion which he or she is unable to differentiate. If they're not careful, targets of the delusional stalker are likely to be sucked in to this fantasy world and start to have doubts about their own sanity, especially if the stalker is intelligent, and intermittently and seamlessly lucid and "normal".

Erotomaniac: this stalker is also delusional and mentally ill and believes he or she is in love with you and will have created an entire relationship in their head.

Variations
Harasser stalker: some stalker types like to be the centre of attention and may have an attention-seeking personality disorder; they may not be stalkers in the strict sense of the word but repeatedly pester anyone (especially anyone who is kind, vulnerable or inexperienced) who might be persuaded to pay them attention. If they exhibit symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome they may select a victim who they stalk by fabricating claims of harassment by this person against themselves. Click here for more on attention-seeker personality types.

Cyberstalkers and love rats: again, these may not be stalkers in the strict sense of the word but they have many similar characteristics. Cyber stalkers and love rats surf the web with the intention of starting relationships and may have several simultaneous relationships. The targets of a cyber stalker may know little about the person they are talking to (other than what they've convincingly been fed) and be unaware of a trail of other targets past and present. [BBC News Online item]

Troll. The Troll's purpose is to be given more credibility than (s)he deserves, and to suck people into useless, pointless, never-ending, emotionally-draining, ranting discussions full of verbal loops and "word labyrinths", playing people against each other, hurting their feelings, and wasting their time and emotional energy. [More on Trolls]

It's common for stalkers to exhibit characteristics of more than one of these stalking types.

Warning signs
These are the signs to be alert to:
  • expects you to spend all of your time with him/her or inform him/her of your whereabouts
  • refuses to accept "no" for an answer
  • isolates you from your friends and/or family
  • puts you down in front of your family or friends
  • sends frequent unsolicited or unwelcome gifts
  • makes offers of unsolicited help
  • excessive niceness in the early stages
  • use of guilt to manipulate your feelings or to force you into courses of action you feel unhappy with
  • extreme jealousy
  • frequent loss of temper
  • abuse of alcohol and/or drugs
  • following you wherever you go
  • threats
  • physical or verbal abuse
  • damage or destruction to your property
  • talks about violence or is fascinated with themes of violence
  • makes your family or friends feel scared or uneasy

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