"There's a reason narcissists don't learn from mistakes and that's because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one." -Jeffrey Kluger
At sometime around the age of ten, I recall opening a newspaper and reading a story about a father who murdered his wife and family. I recall no other details of the story, which is to say that the idea itself was too incomprehensible to me to form a mental scaffolding for the facts surrounding the case. A decade or so later, it occurred to me that I'd seen several such stories over the years. We might dismiss such behavior with, "Out of billions of people, some horrific stuff happens," but some behavioral patterns, repeated time and again, warrant attention. This is the stuff of nightmares. These are lives destroyed.
Feb 20, 2002 (NY Post) Man murders family, starts new life, eventually caught.
Mar 16, 2002 (Lawrence Journal-World) Father kills wife and four children after filing for bankruptcy.
Dec 10, 2002 (Washington Post) Fairfax man admits to killing parents and brother.
Apr 8, 2003, (Kitsap Sun) Christian Longo admits to strangling wife and child to death.
Sep 23, 2021 (Daily Mail) Father kills wife, two children. Finances overstretched. Bragged about the unseen Porsche in the garage.
We might also dismiss this as the work of psychopaths, who exist in some small proportion in society, and perhaps that does describe a handful of such cases. But the primary problem is narcissism. The empathy is there, but it is misdirected.
If you're wondering why I searched a past date range to find a few such stories, that's primarily because my first search without a date range is littered with pages of the same story repeated in numerous new outlets (why even have so many news outlets?) that seems to make it appear that only a QAnon could suffer from mental illness. Intentional search manipulation? If you dare scan search ranges, you'll find such narcissistic murderous parents come from all walks of life from the elites through the upper class to the middle class to the impoverished. Anyone can construct a perceptual hall of mirrors, or one can be constructed for them—some trap with a carrot and a stick.
I searched specifically for stories about fathers first because men are more likely to take such a "burn it to the ground" path of direct destruction. Sadly, it happens with some mothers, too.
Echo and Narcissus by Nicolas Poussin
We're All in This Together, and It's All Your Fault
"No game designer ever went wrong by overestimating the narcissism of their players." -Will Wright
Some narcissists are the quiet, covert type. Others seek to actively engage others in their reflection so that their own reflection cannot suffer (change) directly. It's that arrangement of the hall of mirrors that inhibits self-reflection, which would be personally existential to the narcissist. It would feel like suffering death.
The United States of America is one of the most misunderstood entities in the universe. Perhaps it was the most noble experiment of an era. The founders recognized the tyranny not simply of a crazy king, but of corporations that reversed Europe's progress in abolishing slavery, bypassing all community judgment and responsibility in the process. Free of legal constraints, the Kunlangeta who rose to the top of these East India and West India Companies took divide and rule approaches everywhere around the world. They would bribe one prince with excess power or wealth to join in an attack on another, then subjugate the losers of battle in civilization after civilization. Having slaves cultivate opium is one way to protect the bank's silver while trading for silk, tea, and jade. Every time news of the exploits of the Dutch East India Company appeared in the newspapers, it was scandalous. But what could anyone do about it aside from not letting their babies grow up to be Kunlangeta?
For decades after the founding of the U.S., large corporations were difficult to charter. The founders were wary of unchecked accumulation of capital in ungovernable corporate structures. But eventually the corporations took over, starting with the banks, but not before a more symmetric economic ethic grew the economic body into a giant the likes of which the world had never known. By the time the Federal Reserve was established in 1913, enough institutions were infected with self-justifying narcissism along with the parasitic Malthusian mind virus that Moloch's America was well underway.
This megalithic corporate parasite that fills the economic body of society is simply a conglomeration of the most talented Kunlangeta. It is their will, and the mind virus is its defense. When times get tough for the withering host, the mind virus instructs the increasingly narcissistic societal Mandarins to tell people that the world will collapse because of them rather than from the parasite. That defines the status of the Mandarin entirely, and that status is withheld given any true display of self-awareness. This way the host's immune system attacks its own body rather than the parasite.
The process involves several steps. It begins with educational brainwashing en route to producing Moloch's Mandarin shell. That makes, for instance, tens of trillions of dollars in theft and consumption easier to manage.
"Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure---one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." -David Rockefeller
Being entirely honest, I hope and expect that the world matures into a functional community. But I believe that such a community of communities remains dysfunctionally unhealthy in the status quo precisely due to the parasitic "leadership" currently perverting all functional institutions that would aid in cooperative living, which would be more sustainable and less polluting by definition of lack of the parasite. Healthy community includes governance and a social immune system, but that's an organic process, not one of top down control from positions that are easily identified as the largest possible honey pots for predator parasites.
The purpose of the Malthusian mind virus is to keep the people in a mental fog while the parasites feed. The narcissistic parent---a role taken by the parasites---tells their children (serfs), "I love you," even as they torture them. For a child, there is no worse form of torture.
The Gaslit Path of Expectations
"Narcissism has more in common with self-hatred than with self-admiration." -Christopher Lasch
Is this what fighting for the crumbs looks like?
Is that Hillary's body double that keeps Bill distracted? Never mind…
Prior to the mortgage bond crisis, when the bankers could puppet the Mandarins in a seemingly never ending party of Aristocratic narcissism, somebody would have filled the Opinion section with aspirational imagery, baiting further growth of the parasite.
What went wrong?
The sabotaged growth of money and status that defines the narcissistic supply on which the Mandarins feed is running out. Eric Weinstein calls it embedded growth obligations (EGOs).
"I Just Can't Feed You, Anymore"
For the moment, the Mandarins still enjoy soup, salad, and wine along with their main course. But the Giffen goods are starting to taste bland to everybody else.
Of course they mix up capitalism and corporatism. Or however you want to distinguish the concepts. That's by design. Where does that leave us?
The Marxist Vaccine
"Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides." -Andre Malraux
Maybe it's just fine if you get sick and die.
There is no doubt that the Marxist vaccine can kill some parasites. The problem is that it so often destroys the health of the host, and the parasites just learn to escape the effects.
Or, the parasite survives in a sick host. Tortured people fork primarily along two paths: they break mentally and embody the narcissistic abuser (running the gulags, the secret police, or just enjoying the power to murder), or they resist the Ovidian metamorphosis, committing to a costly and risky path of separation from the body of the largely infected society. Some survivors reproduce.
Destroying History to Cover the Tracks
"It is especially painful when narcissists suffer memory loss because they are losing parts of the person they love most." -David Brooks
Back to the narcissistic, murderous parent. The problem is that they're precommitted to the lie. Even if they somehow find their way through the maze to a path of self-reflection that would allow for them to turn that around, they are financially connected to the body Moloch whom they serve first or face starvation. Since the parent cannot handle the failure, the only option that remains in their world is to rid themselves of the children. It's easier for everyone if they're all fully dehumanized first.
Addendum: Somebody wrote a poem about this piece, so I have to share it:
I think I need to read this a second, third then fourth time. Wow. He packed a lot into this one.
Love your writing. Thanks.