Talk:Narcissistic personality disorder/Archive 1

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REVISION OF 13/12/05 at 8:40

New, peer-reviwed, text

The text I just submitted was approved for publication at the time by Nupedia's Psychology Editor (a professor of abnormal psychology) and was peer reviewed. It now constitutes the introductory chapter to my book on the disorder ("Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited") and I grant Wikipedia copyright permission to reproduce it and treat it as its own content in any and all ways.

I am very interested in any feedback, ideas, comments, or corrections. I hope to learn more through the collaborative effort here. Samvak 16:06, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

It's just typical of the hypocrite you are Vaknin (according to your own admission), of your illusions of grandeur and the npd/sociopath character of yours, that you would litter this article with link after link to your sites, msn groups, courses etc. etc. until someone comes up and cleans this up, and then you would re-edit it anonymously again, and again, repluging your sites, only to appear at last out of the shadows using your name claiming you are "interested" to "learn more" and make this a collaborative effort... If it weren't so pathetically obvious, it would be nauseting...And peer reviewed mind you doesn't mean some psychology professor gave the oks to have it at some encyclopedia.

You still have not explained what is actually wrong with the article. If you cannot tell us that, and feel the need to resort to personal attacks you should not be editing this talkpage. JFW | T@lk 05:16, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

There is a basic misunderstanding here. I did NOT want to post the article or anything else to Wikipedia. I was very reluctant. It took a lot of convincing by Jfdwolff to get me to do it. The article was reviewed not only by a professor of abnormal psychology - but by an editorial board comprised of scholars in the mental health field. It was peer reviewed and approved for publication, which is more than I can say about 90% of the articles in Wikipedia. BTW, many of the assertions in the article stand in contrast to my own views!Samvak 19:37, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


How sweet, the "shrinking and blushing narcissist", dragged reluctantly to the altar of personal publicity.

However, it is hardly relevant to the challenge made by the poster of overloading the article with self promotion through the medium of links to sites either directly or effectively controlled by yourself.

Would you care to name the professor of abnormal psychology who reviewed your article so that we may form our own opinions of his credentials?

After which perhaps you would do us the great courtesy of identifying the "editorial board" you refer to, for a similar purpose? edited - 12 December 2005 ] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs), who cares? It's Wikipedia. Everyone is an expert. The peers reviewing it include you. But it was reviewed by Nupedia's psychology team, apparently. Your oppositions seem to be aimed at Vaknin rather than at his work, and I urge you to focus on the article and not on the author. JFW | T@lk 22:53, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

[JFW there is always a point where so many questions are raised that you must also "consider the source", in assessing a body of work.

Though my area of expertise is, indeed, more concerned with the dysfunction surrounding Sam Vaknin, than with NPD itself I have now researched and made several, relatively minor, adjustments to the text of the article, including restoring the DSM Criteria to their original, unembellished form, which, to me, is the only form in which they should be presented as DSM criteria at all. While the changes are subtle, minor, and, as yet, incomplete, as my time is limited and I do not intend to change anything without thoroughly verifying the change first, I think you will find that a shift in emphasis is already apparent.

This, in itself, will begin to "show not tell" what is wrong with the article - 12 December 2005]

I see you've been busy. Not a problem, but don't forget to WP:CITE. JFW | T@lk 08:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Compromise regarding External Links

JFW, most of the text of the article is copied, verbatim, with permission, from Sam Vaknin's page and book. You can check it out here - compare the article to this:

In view of this fact, think it is only fair to leave one single link to his Web site in the External Links.

In the External Links you left a link to Joanna Ashmun's (great) Web site. Fine. But Vaknin is at least as entitled to this as Joanna Ashmun. Both of them are not mental health professionals - but Vaknin contributed the text of the article and is recognized as an authority on narcissism (see the discussion area of this article under External Links below).

So, I suggest we maintain in the External Links section one link to each resource: Vaknin, Ashmun, MentalHealth, and Femfree.

You also removed links to Web sites that have nothing to do with Vaknin and are great resources. I restored one of them (Femfree's). Hope this is OK with you. If not, let's talk on this page. OTE 22:07, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

[Femfree's Site is, in fact part of a peculiar, unhealthy, and often highly abusive Vaknin orientated cult, where any challenge or alternative view is ruthlessly excluded, and everything distorted in favor of the opinions of Sam Vaknin (Who is, after all, only a financial consultant and layman at best.)

I really DO think it should be considered to be at least one of Sam Vaknin's Sites, if not something rather worse, and replaced by this forum, which is run by Richard Grossman, who is a PHD psychologist who has actually taught at Harvard Med School, IMHO in terms of validity there is really no comparison: edited 12th December 2005 ]

There is no link to Femfree's fantastic forum in the article. All's the pity, in my view. Grossman's excellent Web site is great - but not about NPD. It deals not only with pathological narcissism but with many other issues under the collective title of what he calls "voicelessness". Samvak 16:06, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

["Femfree's fantastic forum"? What an excellent choice of words, if we take *fantastic* to be meant in it's most literal and negative form.

Otherwise, to coin a phrase "Well he WOULD say that, wouldn't he?"

Fact remains that real, vulnerable victims are frequently recruited and then revictimised by Femfree in Sam Vaknin's name, on her boards, and he is fully aware of this.

As for the rest, though NPD may well not be the primary focus of Richard Grossman's board, I rather suspect he deals with it more accurately and impartially than any of the Sam Vaknin related forums - edited 12th December 2005 ] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

See my comment above. Is there actually something wrong with the article? JFW | T@lk 22:53, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Narcisistic Personality Disorder page

Good start at the Narcisistic Personality Disorder page. But it needs major wikification. Is this according to DSM-IV? In general, we should get rid of the pasive voice and replace it with more informative content. Is this disorder recognized by all psychiatrists? Clinical psychologists? Only some psychologists? Slrubenstein


Thanks, Slrubenstein. Yes, as the article states, the criteria reflect the latest Text Revision of the DSM (DSM IV-TR, 2000). NPD is a personality disorder and an official diagnosis of the DSM. I am the author of a textbook on this disorder ("Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"). Take care!

The concept of narcissistic defense is used but not defined/explained. I linked it to Defence mechanism but it should also be made explicit in the article itself what it is that narcissism serves to defend against. -- 02:54, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Case Histories

I added the following:

In June 2005, Brian Blackwell was convicted of the manslaughter of his parents, Sydney and Jacqueline. A team of psychiatrists who were called in to analyse him all agreed that Blackwell he had a narcissistic personality disorder.

It was subsequently though that one individual patient should receive encyclopedia coverage. Personally I find it enlightening to hear about an individual that has the disorder in the quesitonm and the fact that he is one indivudual patient is down the rarity of the disorder. I didn't feel as through the disorder was commonplace and i'd picked one person out of tens of thousands, more than this fairly unique case had come up and I had highlighted it.

  • I don't know of any notable Narcissists myself who have been formally diagnosed (except possibly Sam Vaknin, of the Malignant Self Love book and website; he's diagnosed, but may or may not be considered "notable"), but there have been many contemporary and historical figures who are thought to have NPD: Herod Agrippa, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Charles Manson, Howard Stern, Michael Moore, and so forth. (The last two could be good examples of how Narcissists aren't necessarily criminally violent.) It might be helpful and/or appropriate to include Blackwell and Vankin as diagnosed cases, and then list the projected cases with references (I only know of Moore's offhand, and can barely remember where I saw Hitler and Stalin, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find at least most of these). BobGreenwade 18:23, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

External Links

The entire articles is copied, with permission, from Sam Vaknin's book/page:

The link to the source of the article must remain. The other links we can discuss.

While this is not supposed to be a links directory, I find it somewhat one-sided that 5 of the 6 original external links are to Sam Vaknin's sites. Please even it out a bit. There is more out there.
Only 3 of the 7 links listed are (somehow) connected to Vaknin. The other 4 have nothing to do with Vaknin. Quit spamming. This is not a Web directory - it is an encyclopedia.
Actually,,,, and are all very closely connected with Vaknin, if not run/owned by him.

The links should stay out if all of them point at the same site/group/POV. JFW | T@lk 20:42, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

It looks like a few of them are just syndicating the same articles.
They are not. There's this guy who holds some grudge against Vaknin, whoever this Vaknin is. He is trying to spam the article with his own links and is pi**ed off that he cannot.

I checked the links one by one and what he says about Vaknin is not true. This group, for example: has nothing to do with Vaknin (they just quote him, as do most other narcissism web sites that I saw). It is run by a woman calling herself FEMFREE. This group was edited by Vaknin a while back - but now has nothing to do with Vaknin. And so on.

If you click on the articles on they all say, "Author: Sam Vaknin". I randomly clicked on 20 from the past year and they were all the same author. These articles are also on and and seem to be the same site, so why are they both linked?
Yeah, it doesn't really make sense to link to the same site twice. But for suite101, are you sure they're *all* by Vaknin & syndicated? That sounds a little hard to believe. (Dude, the history says we have the same IP address. Do you go to the U too? We should get together sometime and talk.) (TlhInganHom 18:13, 17 November 2005 (UTC))
Hmm, the only recent Vaknin stuff I see on the msn site is the weekly case studies, which - I don't know? It looks like he might be posting them there originally and then copying them elsewhere, but it's hard to tell since the sites are so messy. Either way, does it really matter that much? Probably not. (TlhInganHom 17:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC))

I don't really care about Vaknin whoever he is. So on a diff. note, why doesn't the article link to more academic NPD resources, similar to ones here: ? With the exception of (and possibly, it doesn't look like the links (or the ones the other guy was spamming) have a professional/academic background.

Joanna Ashmun is not a mental health professional - this is merely her personal views in her web site. See her disclaimer:

This material is offered for comfort and solace to people who've had bad (or merely weird) experiences with narcissists. If you're looking for ammunition to attack someone, please look elsewhere. If you're looking for a diagnosis, you'll need to consult a psychiatrist. If you're looking for help with your term paper, go here.I've written entirely from my own experience and personal interest; I'm not a therapist or counselor, have no relevant credentials, and can't refer you to lawyers. -- Joanna Ashmun

Vaknin is also not a mental health professional, though he seems to be certified by Brainbench in Counselling Techniques (with a very high mark):

I checked this Brainbench out. They are an online certification agency. Anyone and everyone can access their Web site and take their tests. BUT, the tests are very difficult, time limited, and you still have to PASS the tests to get a certificate! And they have a very impressive roster of clients:

"By partnering with Brainbench, 6 million members have advanced their skills and their careers, and over 4,000 businesses have found better ways to screen and select candidates, track and develop employee skills, and differentiate employees to current and prospective clients.

Corporate clients include numerous members of the Fortune 500, various U.S. Government agencies, and several universities and colleges.

Brainbench is ISO 9001:2000 certified! We are the first online testing company to obtain this accomplishment for its test development process."

So, i wouldn't say that Vaknin is NOT a mental health professional - though he himself says so in a disclaimer on his Web site, probably for legal reasons.

Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited". I hopped over to the book on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Must hand it to him: the media and many mental health profesionals seem to think that he is a leading authority on narcissism. See this random selection I googled:


New York Times

The Washington Post

USA Today

New York Post

"Sam Vaknin is the world’s leading expert on narcissism."

Tim Hall, New York Press, Volume 16, Issue 7 - February 12, 2003

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

"Vaknin’s a respected expert on malignant narcissists ... He set about to know everything there is about the psychopathic narcissist."

Ian Walker, ABC Radio National Background Briefing, July 18, 2004

The Infinite Mind radio program

United Press International (UPI)

Cal Thomas column

Toronto Sun

CanWest News service and Newspapers Network

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Yeah, he's done a really good job at shedding light on the condition. I don't think that that book is as strong as some of the other articles he's written, however, which do provide a really good insight into the way he (and presumably most Narcissists) think. And at the same time, I have run accross a few forums where some of his ideas are in question, as well as whether he unintentionally blurs the boundaries between Anti-Social PD and Narcissistic PD, as he is not a mental health professional. In this context, however, I guess that's just semantics. (TlhInganHom 19:00, 17 November 2005 (UTC))

Regarding **narcissistic defense is used but not defined/explained.** From what I can gather it is phrased in a way that is vague and misleads the reader to conclude it refers to "Criminal" Defenses. When you look closely it seems to infer that the "Defenses" are Social and psychological personality traits of the individual. A good example would be easily made by saying that the affliction causes the afflicted to "Defend" their "Normalcy". A form of denial if you will...Like the saying goes..."Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd."...Annie Besant.. Or is the latter not absurd but a case of NPD??

I think four links is plenty - the article is not very long. Perhaps a recent systematic review on therapeutic modalities would be a valuable reference. If this is a copyvio from Vaknin's page, can we not edit the content to make it original? JFW | T@lk 16:12, 28 November 2005 (UTC)


I'm now getting messages from both Vaknin and all others. I would like to hear what the exact contentious point is here. Just Sam "dominating the discussion" is a rather hollow argument. For all I care, he may the world expert on NPD. I would therefore like to hear from each of you (preferably with a login name) what the problem is. Only then can I begin to consider mediating.

Perhaps we should simultaneously have a look at narcissism, a very heavy page completely copied from Sam's site and possibly in need of some cleanup. Please let me know what you think. JFW | T@lk 21:32, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm. Just because I have read pretty close to every NPD site I could find online, I have a few critical links about Mr. Vaknin that may help? Lord knows it's easy to find things praising him online; his network is extensive. Anyway, here you go:
I should think that these links are as credible as Vaknin's own word, which dominates the NPD community, as their authors have comperable (or more credible) credintials to Vaknin. However, it's the internet. Who knows? Either way, I hope that helps you in figuring out what's going on here. It certainly looks like a mess. (TlhInganHom 03:50, 10 December 2005 (UTC))

The version that Vaknin has posted meets requirements for Wikipedia articles (WP:NPOV/WP:CITE etc). It was approved in that form by the Nupedia editorial team for psychology articles, which does mean something in my view. I do sense some antipathy to his work, but unless the actual criticisms are enumerated here it will be very hard to actually address them one by one. Just because one author has written a lot about NPD does not mean one can criticise his work in a blanket fashion. JFW | T@lk 12:05, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Looking at this discussion, I could see someone having an issue, however, with the wiki entry linking mainly to his work and his support groups. By all means, link to his work -- it's commonplace for NPD sites to link to him all over the place -- and keep his link at the top, but I think it's perfectly reasonable to leave as the only link to him since he links to pretty much EVERYTHING else concerning his work from that site. And especially as the credibility of some of his earlier work seems to be in question. Plus it's just common sense insane to ask someone with severe NPD (who's not in treatment) for help in dealing with someone else with NPD, which is something that I think a lot of people figure out the hard way, and probably contributes to some of that antipathy. (TlhInganHom 13:51, 11 December 2005 (UTC))
P.S. After reading this page again, I can explain some of the aversion to femfree's group. Vaknin is active there (he posts his weekly "case studies" there personally) and it seems like he's almost idolized by a lot of members (and mods). As in, if you post something in that support forum that goes contrary to Vaknin's ideas, or question his work in any way, you are banned. Same thing goes for all of Vaknin's support groups, which makes some people raise an eyebrow. The group does host some really, really useful articles though, notably "Projection: a glimpse into hell" and "the smear campaign of the abuser" (Ok, those are my favorites, lol). So it's sort of a double-edged sword. Ok... I swear I'm done now. (TlhInganHom 14:00, 11 December 2005 (UTC))

But all this has little to do with this article but with Vaknin's activities online. Do you have one single criticism on the article as it is now? You are free to add links to unaffiliated sites. I would particularly value pages from professional societies, and references to scientific studies on risk factors and therapeutic interventions. Failing that, please desist from turning this page into a Sam Vaknin witchhunt. This is undeserved and irrelevant to the Wikipedia article. JFW | T@lk 17:00, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Very true. I don't have any criticisms perosnally. A friend of mine who watches wiki to a disturbing degree told me about this discussion so I figured I'd try to make sense of it. Anyway, It's not like there aren't other SV witch hunts out there ;-) Getting back to the topic, let's see... It's hard to find purely academic links about NPD online. The only ones that come to mind are (which has a well-documented literary/academic bibliography), (article from the apa), (article from Contempory Psychoanalysis, volume 26, #3,) and possibly Then there's which talks about the affect of NPD on families, though I am not sure about the academic background of it. If/when I come across any more, I'll post them here. (TlhInganHom 19:54, 11 December 2005 (UTC))
TlhInganHom - you maintain your own web site on narcissism, dedicated entirely to an anti-Vaknin crusade:

I find it very dishonest of you not to disclose your anti-Vaknin bias here and to pretend to be objective.

Regarding the Web sites you recommend:

Not an academic Web site by any stretch of the word. Personal Web site mainatained by an Enneagram afficionado. Very narrow, single-minded, non-conventional (rejected by the orthodoxy) approach to the diagnosis of personality disorders, utterly uninformed by current knowledge of psychology.

Mirror of the MentalHealth link already in the References section of the article.

The other two links your recommend deal with specific issues. They are not overviews of NPD. Additionally, the Open Site entry in the References section of the article links to ALL the articles you recommend (which is probably where you obtained them in the first place).

Aye, I do maintain a website, but it's not dedicated entirely to anti-vaknin "crusade" by any means. (That would be far too flattering to someone who feeds on attention like he says he does, lol!) It's just a regular support group, but with links to information both inside and outside of Vaknin's network. Reguarding the information I present about the man, I try not to make it anti-Vaknin so much as Vaknin awareness. I believe that his writing is valuable but I question some of his methods and encourage others to be objective in looking at his work as well. See this thread for what I mean: especially the dialauge involving Kathy K, who authors the "What makes Narcissists Tick" website. That's why I link to Positive information about him as well as negative. ( Note that I also link to vaknin-backed support groups. It's important for people to make their own choices in their healing, and they should be able to see *all* their choices.
Regarding, You are right about the information. Really what I like about it is that it actually cites actual referances, which is super-rare on npd sites -- most sites just make generalizations without backing anything up with any research. The other links, I didn't know they were on the open directory? People send stuff to me or I find it on google. My bad. I looked on the internet mental health NPD page for the mirrored information, but their "treatment" link seems to be broken. Does it work for anybody else?
P.S. it wouldn't kill you to sign your name. I like to know who's making assumptions about me. (TlhInganHom 16:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC))
TlhInganHom, I don't like to call people liars, so let's put it gently: your response is comprised of egregiously inaccurate information. Your Web site does not contain a single link to Vaknin's NARCISSISM pages. Instead you link to two obscure pages on his Web site which have nothing to do with narcissism (his CV and his free books!!!). If you are even-handed (nice joke, this), why don't you link to either of these pages, where Vaknin deals with narcissism? or Additionally, your home page alone contains 16 links (that I counted) to anti-Vaknin Web sites and to anti-Vaknin threads on other Web sites. When you sign your real name, I will mine, so get off you high moral horse, you are fooling no one. You tried to spam the article with no less than 7 links to your own resources and failed. Hence your beef.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
You are referring us to this thread: where you call Vaknin's work "crap" and expect us to believe that you are objective?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
First of all, I did not try to spam all those links. I actually got a couple resources from the stuff that was attempted to be added, and added them to my npd page. (weird that that was helpful.)
Since you're counting links, I only count 12 links that are openly anti-vaknin. Some of them go to different pages on the same website. I also have 12 links that praise vaknin and/or use him as a primary resource with a link to his site (13 if you count wiki) plus another one up for consideration on the group page right now. I linked to his blogger page because he has three seperate blogs about NPD, so it's just easier to link to the blogger page rather than to them individually. I think you're right about linking to his rather than linking to his free e-books. I originally linked to the books for the free exerpts of his book and the NPD quotes book directly, which I figured would be helpful since his book is the most sighted NPD resource of his. Maybe not? I'll be the first to admit that I don't always have the best foresight for putting this stuff together objectively -- especially considering my experiances with vaknin's support groups -- which is why I am constantly asking the members of the support group for feedback and what should be changed. If nobody says anything, I leave it like so.
Please don't quote me out of context. I said some of his stuff is self-serving crap and questionable, right after saying that he is intelligent and has some interesting ideas. That thread also goes on to discuss how Vaknin is a valuable resource for NPD, but we shouldn't accept everything he says without criticism.
What do you mean sign my real name? Ok, my real name is Hal. It says so on my website and in pretty much internet profile I own. Furthermore, tlhInganHom is the handle that I use on every website everywhere. I'm hardly being anonymous.
Anyway, most of this has pretty much nothing to do with the wiki article. Maybe you could continue this with me through email? ( I would be especially interested in constructive critisism on my npd page. Honestly I don't get very much of it. (TlhInganHom 19:41, 12 December 2005 (UTC))

Tlhinganhom's grudge

TlhInganHom was banned from all my online narcissism-related groups due to severe and repeated misbehavior. Hence his grudge and his repeated attempts to defame me and to vandalize whatever he can of my work. Samvak 16:06, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

[That is your side of the story, now I should like to know TlhInganHom's before forming a judgement.

I will also state that it has been proved to me, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you have made other, similar assertions before where there was not even a shred of truth to your claims.

I have also observed even the most polite and objective of challenges to your *idealogy* being treated as though they were "severe and repeated misbehaviour" resulting in deletions and then bans from all your online narcissism-related groups (could you specify how many of these groups there are and where they may be either found, or avoided, according to personal taste?). Indeed, I believe you state yourself that "the narcissist" (eg you) will become paranoid and perceive himself the target of grudges and conspiracies if his "false self" is in any way challenged. If we take your work seriously, why should we believe that you are any different? - 12 December 2005]

If true, than he is abusing Wikipedia. Admins and mods, take note!{Unsigned|}}

This admin has taken note. So far that user has not damaged anything and is ready for open discussion. Shall we not go ad hominem here, people? JFW | T@lk 19:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)