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Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:25 AM

Jim Jones & Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Part I

Last edited Mon Oct 14, 2019, 09:51 PM - Edit history (1)

By Professor Gary Maynard who teaches in the Sociology Department at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. His complete collection of writings for the jonestown report may be found here. He may be reached at Gary-Maynard@utc.edu .July, 2013. ~ Excerpts/Ed.

In this essay, I will examine whether or not Jim Jones was a narcissist by comparing his behavior and the eye-witness accounts of his followers and non-followers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) definition of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Even in a society like America, where you are rewarded if you are bold, talented and self-promoting, too much self-love and self-aggrandizement is seen as a negative personal trait and carries with it severe social sanctions for those who engage in this type of behavior (Lasch, 1979).

If left unchecked, narcissistic personality disorder can pose a serious and direct threat to all those around the narcissistic person. Most people in American society will tell you that they dislike or even hate narcissistic people and will work to cut ties with them. It this is how most people view narcissists, then why do good, smart people fail in love with, join organizations run by and assist dangerous, sociopathic narcissists, like Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong Il and Saddam Hussein?



- Jones (L) receives a Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award from Pastor Cecil Williams in 1977.

Many narcissists are talented, and others view them as special. This element of a narcissist actually having apparent talent makes it hard to convince those around the narcissist that this person is not what they seem and that underneath the talent and feigned empathy is a monster of attention and energy that wishes for nothing but complete and utter power and control over as many people and institutions as possible.

Of course, one logical outcome of this disorder – indeed, one which is necessary for narcissists to wreak the havoc that they do – is that they can’t do the damage to society and their social networks all by themselves. None of the narcissistic despots listed above could have done what they did in their lives without the help and support of others. This observation pertains to Jim Jones as well – he could not have done what he did by himself – but the real question I seek to answer is this: did Jim Jones suffer from narcissistic personality disorder? If so, how severe was it, and how did it progress as he aged?

How did he use his talent, charisma and early success in building the church to deceive people about his true nature and goals for the group? What lessons can we take away from Jonestown about being able to recognize narcissistic people and what damage they are capable of? If we are able to identify narcissists, can we neutralize the damage that they do to society and individuals?..
The DSM IV-TR lists nine characteristics that are used to diagnosis whether or not someone has narcissistic personality disorder. The patient must display five or more of these characteristics before they are considered to be impaired by the condition, and the more characteristics the patient displays, the more acute the disorder. The more acute the disorder and the more intense the symptoms are, the more dangerous and sociopathic the person will be or will become.

- The description of a narcissistic personality disorder is as follows: A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes (DSM IV-TR Axis II Cluster B).

I believe that Jim Jones displayed many if not all of these characteristics at one point in his life or another, and that there is ample evidence to demonstrate this. The first characteristic of narcissism is having a grandiose sense of self-importance, Jones clearly used his talents of speaking and preaching to show and display to others his superiority and self-importance. He told Hue Fortson and others in the group, “If you see me as your savior, I will be your savior...
https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29416

*MORE: "Jim Jones and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NDP) – Part II: Origins from Jim Jones’ early childhood and teen years," by Professor Gary Maynard, https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=34300

Wiki, Jim Jones, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones



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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:27 AM

1. when will trump and his cult take their ultimate trip???

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:33 AM

2. Based on this work I've learned how dangerous & deadly these

people can be, far more than I ever knew. Whew!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:39 AM

3. I was 7 when this happened. The images from the news are seared into my memory.

The Jonestown massacre was incredibly, profoundly disturbing. Jim Jones was a malignant narcissist as you indicate in your thoughtful post, and a predator, preying on the weak and vulnerable.

A lot of people don't realize that Rep. Jackie Speier was there on the ground and was shot several times. I am so glad that she is in Congress during this difficult and dangerous time.

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Response to GreenEyedLefty (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:48 AM

6. Jones was so very twisted, I learned so much from this 2- part

essay/analysis, esp. more about his difficult childhood.

Jackie Speier, what a remarkable, strong woman. A true survivor.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:42 AM

4. Trump sounds like Jim Jones when he reads from a teleprompter

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:42 AM

5. My Dad met him and said he was creeped out how Jones thought he was godlike

He said he had a an unmistakeable charisma about him and tried to manipulate people to do his bidding. When the Guyana massacre happened he was not surprised.

I see many Americans falling under the spell of MF45 like Jones and doing harm to others or themselves if MF45 orders it.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:50 AM

7. That's amazing, your dad was right on target. This kind is lethal, warning!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 11:31 AM

8. tRump is not only this but also a major sociopath.

Put the two together and you have one really fucked up crazy running the country.

https://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html
Profile of a Sociopath.

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