The Family Children of God by insidersChildren of God Family International
Home Chat Boards Articles COG History COG Publications People Resources Search site map > chatboards > genX > archives > post #27215

This form of insanity

Posted by CB on June 04, 2006 at 13:19:51

In Reply to: Re: Page on Jim LaMattery posted by Oldtimer on June 03, 2006 at 23:00:45:

A popular definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, but thinking you'll get a different outcome each time."

I find it helpful to keep in mind that JLM has all the signs and symptoms of a serious mental illness known as narcissistic personality disorder. The fact that he has a poorly understood brain disease doesn't mean he isn't responsible for his behavior. People with NPD are prime candidates for criminal behavior because they lack empathy. Narcissists know right from wrong: They're right and everyone else is wrong! Despite the irrationality of this belief, it doesn't meet criteria for "not guilty by reason of insanity."

Over the time I've observed his behavior online, JLM's communication has become increasingly irrational and his defenses have grown absurdly bizaare to the point people just shake their heads in disbelief. A major theory about character pathologies like NPD is that there is a psychosis underlying the otherwise "reasonable" exterior of an otherwise sane person. "Psychosis" generally refers to a state of mind where the individual has lost touch with social reality as majority of human beings construct it and share it. In other words, the person is in their own world, and it is a very isolated and lonely place to be. Charismatic narcissists like Berg & Zerby were able to draw others into their bizaare social reality, which they created as a religious belief system and maintained as an alternative lifestyle.

When a person with NPD comes under enough stress, their reasoning capacity and grip on ordinary social realities become increasingly diminished. They are able to appear less and less "normal." Everything JLM says and does is about defending a mortally wounded sense of self (ego) from overwhelming feelings of shame that are so frightening (in his mind) that they threaten to annihilate him. This is why he doesn't listen and invents his own reality. At his very core inner state, he is terrified to the point of irrationality. The paradox of narcissism is that while everything appears to be externally all about the self, there is in fact a horrifying self-hatred underneath.

I wasn't sure how disabling JLM's condition is until I read the latest from Windy & Rixil. People with NPD can be highly functioning in their professional lives, even when their interpersonal affairs are a total disaster marked by crisis after crisis. If his business dealings with a family member are disreputable to the tune of $10K, his financial dealings with the rest of the world are no doubt in a similar state of affairs. This may account for the sense of desperation he demonstrates about going after TFI's "deep pockets" (Activated Ministries). In short, JLM's financial world very probably is crashing down around him.

JLM is not going to get the help he needs until he hits bottom (if then). In the meantime, he fights his demon in a mirror known as The Family.