Unadulterated Arrogance: Autopsy of the Narcissistic Parental Alienator
DAVID M. SUMMERS and COLLETTE C. SUMMERS
Oldsmar, Florida, USA
This article guides professionals to recognize and gain insight of the inner dynamics and profile of the narcissist and the chronic parental alienator. It covers and exposes the commonalities of both their modus operandi and characteristics.
Parental Alienation stems from intolerance, denigration, prejudice, and deep-seated dysfunction. In like manner, narcissistic abuse is caused by malignant self love and unadulterated arrogance.
The deception of the Narcissistic Parental Alienator (NPA) is a cruel act. It often has many players on different stages that corrode the soul. The NPA is one who systematically deceives and turns their own children into little abuser proxies. Narcissists lie, manipulate, and speak in mixed messages. They cannot part with their illusions, and if their illusions are gone, they may still exist, but they have ceased to live.
All too often mental health and legal professionals and judges do not listen to the target parent and they are fooled or tolerate NPAs out of faith, trust and a sense of fairness. The NPA’s deceit and defiance must be recognized and seen for what it is. Evaluators, courts, and therapists, at that point, should consider this danger directly and act swiftly. The quote by Fran ̧cois de la Rochefoucauld; “The most deceitful persons spend their lives in blaming deceit, so as to use it on some great occasion to promote some great interest,” is strikingly similar to the conception of a divorce or custody dispute among NPAs, within the context of this topic.
It is discouragingly common to see how few people are not shocked by deceit and how many are shocked by honesty. Educating, exposure, accountability, and resolve are the threads of the tapestry of this article on what these authors have coined the “Narcissistic Parental Alienator.”
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Twenty-five hundred years ago, Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu authored Art of War—the oldest military “how to” treatise on deception. Tzu candidly recommended: “In war, practice the art of deception and you will succeed,”
(Cantrell, 2003, p. 29). Such a tactic has become a norm in litigious divorce and custody wars. A commonality between a narcissist and parental alienators is that they both use a deceptive code of conduct.
To uncover their deceptive code of conduct and speech, the writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, the fourteenth-century Italian diplomat can also provide unique insight. His fame as a political philosopher is best known for “the end justifies the means.” Cunning, ruthlessness, subordinating morals, and privilege for personal goals is a core theme with both Machiavelli and Tzu.
The power of Machiavelli’s statement: “The only solution is to overpower the emotions of the enemy, as no enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution” (Machiavelli, 1521), runs maliciously inside the sordid mind of the narcissist and often parental alienators.
In harmony with these ancient writings, the fundamental principal links,commonalities, and characteristics of the narcissist and the parental alienator’s complexion follow the politically correct mantra “if the target parent does not have a problem, then create one for them.” Hence, we have combined these characteristics and used the term narcissistic parental alienator or NPA.
In every divorce, alienation can occur to some extent; but for the purposes of this article, we are referring to stage three, or severely alienated children and the chronic and willful alienator. In protracted divorce or custody cases, NPAs often desire to “divide and conquer” by drawing in as many third parties as possible to be “witnesses” in order to collectively lay blame on the target parent for committing any alleged abuse. As a master of spin, the NPA often proves exceptionally adept at delegating blame. If something is worked out, then by virtue, it was their idea. If it does not fulfill their needs to their liking, it was somebody else’s fault.
As ruthless as Machiavelli’s and Tzu’s works appear to the faint of heart, the only way to uncover chicanery is to wait until there is enough evidence gathered to reveal revengeful motives without question, thus quashing any false and damaging allegations and actions with precision and articulation.
In severe parental alienation cases, the NPA (who may be the custodial parent) frequently outright refuses the target parent any access to information or the child(ren). The purpose is twofold—obviously to sever the parent-child(ren) bond, while simultaneously stopping the target parent from gathering evidence of alienation and innocence of any false allegations.
The child who is severely alienated can be prepped to sound very convincing to anyone who is not aware of the real evidence or what goes on behind the scenes.