Monday, July 2, 2012


I have done a lot a studying on the narcissistic personality.  It is fascinating to then compare how a corporation can also take on the characteristics of narcissist, as well.  How an organization begins, is how it continues, more often than not.

Psychiatrist Robert D. Anderson wrote a book on Joseph Smith, entitled, 'Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith'  In it, he makes the suggestion that Joseph Smith may have had a narcissistic personality disorder.

'Anderson draws upon the body of literature, especially the Book of Mormon, produced by observation, experiment, theory, and psychiatric experience in his attempt to understand the founder of Mormonism. He says that splitting, a fundamental of personality weakness, is a major psychological defense demonstrated by the prophet. Its most obvious manifestations are 1) the division of the world into polar opposites and 2) the lack of integration of the various parts of the patient's psyche. The individual may oscillate between two opposite positions. This behavior can be seen in the polarized opposites of the Nephite and Lamanite people depicted in the Book of Mormon, as well as in Smith's ability to present one face in public (such as denying polygamy) while simultaneously converting associates and new plural wives to the principle in private. The individual may also exhibit psychological reversal of attitudes toward particular persons, by switching instantly from compliments to vilification, or of oscillation in moral positions, yet not be troubled in the contradiction. Examples are the instantaneous conversions of Alma, Jr., Zeezrom and the whole Lamanite population in 30 BCE in the Book of Mormon. Another example was Smith's strong opposition to Masonry as a young man, followed by his later becoming a Mason himself and drawing on Masonic ritual for temple ceremonies.'

The narcissist spends his life desperately trying to return to that "eternal world of omnipotent perfection." He therefore creates an artificial, omnipotent self, whose fantasies compensate for the failures of the real world. In a vicious cycle, he consoles himself for his failures by retreating into his fantasies, which, while providing comfort, assure continued failure by preventing him from finding more effective ways to seek success. This pattern continues as a technique throughout life. If his family responds favorably to this false self, as Smith's family did, it will be enhanced.

Why, the question then needs to be asked, does a group of people follow a narcissist?  To glean radiant value from him.  People see the charismatic leader as having power and they project that power onto themselves through association.  When that leader also promises great reward through association, (eternal life, becoming a god, etc.) then they are willing to give up their wives (polyandry) their money (tithing and consecration) in order to become omnipotent.

They continue to do so today.

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