I came across an interesting couple of pages in Andrew Lobaczewski’s book Political Ponerology, two pages under the heading “Spellbinders.” I wrote a name by the heading, and I am betting that when I get to the end of this brief blog post, most of you will think of someone other than the name I wrote.
“Spellbinders are generally the carriers of various pathological factors, some characteropathies*, and some inherited anomalies. …
“Spellbinders are characterized by pathological egotism. Such a person is forced by some internal causes to make an early choice between two possibilities: the first is forcing other people to think and experience things in a manner similar to his own; the second is a feeling of being lonely and different, a pathological misfit in social life.”
“Triumphant repression of self-critical or unpleasant concepts from the field of consciousness gradually gives rise to the phenomena of conversive thinking, or paralogistics*, paramoralisms*, and the use of reversion blockades. They stream so profusely from the mind and mouth of the spellbinder that they flood the average person’s mind. Everything becomes subordinated to the spellbinder’s over-compensatory condition that they are exceptional, sometimes even messianic. An ideology emerges from this conviction, true in part, whose value is supposedly superior. However, if we analyze the exact functions of such an ideology in the spellbinder’s personality, we perceive that it is nothing other than a means of self-charming, useful for repressing those tormenting self-critical associations into the subconscious. The ideology’s instrumental role in influencing other people also serves the spellbinder’s needs. …
The spellbinder places on the high moral plane anyone who has succumbed to his influence and incorporated the experiential method he imposes.… Such activity is always necessarily characterized by the inability to foresee its final results, something obvious from the psychological point of view because substratum contains pathological phenomena, and both spellbinding and self-charming make it impossible to perceive reality accurately to foresee results logically. …
It is a characteristic phenomenon that a high IQ generally helps a person to be more immune to spellbinding activities only to a moderate degree. Actual differences in the formation of human attitudes to the influence of such activities should be attributed to other properties of human nature. The most decisive factor consuming a critical attitude is a good basic intelligence, which conditions our perception of psychological reality. We can also observe how a spellbinder’s activities “husk out” amenable individuals with an astonishing regularity. [Original emphasis]
I think, if you read those passages carefully, you’ll begin to sense the person I am talking about, especially the devoted, almost subservient following, and the word “messianic.” Spellbinders tend to develop a cult following, albeit small and relatively non-influential.
Have you figured out the name I wrote next to the heading for these two very interesting pages? If not, go beneath the fold for the big reveal.
Ayn Rand. Gotcha.
*These are terms unique to Lobaczewski’s field, which he calls “ponerology,” or the study of evil in politics. Use of “para” before the words means the opposite, that “paramorality” is an imposed sense of morality on an immoral situation, such as justifying child abuse. “Characterpathy” appears to me to be a milder form of psychopathy.
4 thoughts on “Spellbinders”
Actually, I was thinking of Guyassphere, but Ayn Rand works too.
I thought most who read the text would assume MM, but the following words made me think of Rand:
Rand invented a philosophy she called objectivism, and typically she and her followers could not see it through or see the damage that would result if implemented. Also in line with that paragraph, she viewed romantic love as non-existent, and did some of the most tedious dialogue in human history when her characters, Reardon and Taggart ended up in the sack. They could not even give each other a decent screw without long paragraphs about how they had no feelings and were just bargaining and acting in self interest.
The quotes you provided line up pretty well with the few megalomaniacs I’ve known personally, and whom I often think of when I try to understand how the people who run the world can live with themselves. Luckily, the megalomaniacs in my life are all losers who put tremendous energy into winning petty battles in their quests for glory–creating mind-boggling chaos and misery along the way–but, because they’re not as smart as they think they are, and they don’t have the wealth of resources and the advice of top strategic planners that the Davos crowd has, my personal megalomaniacs always lose their wars. In fact, I was close friends with one of them for many years when I was young and naive. I was spellbound. But even then, I thought that if my friend actually SUCCEEDED in his life goals and became the powerful, important person he wanted to be, he’d have been a monster.
Hard to top Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.