* ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder,’ is a psychological term first used in 1971 by Dr. Heinz Kohut (1913-1981). It was recognised as the name for a form of pathological narcissism in ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1980.’ Narcissistic traits (where a person talks highly of himself/herself to eliminate feelings of worthlessness) are common in, and considered ‘normal’ to, human psychological development. When these traits become accentuated by a failure of the social environment and persist into adulthood, they can intensify to the level of a severe mental disorder. Severe and inflexible NPD is thought to effect less than 1% of the general adult population. It occurs more frequently in men than women. In simple terms, NPD is reality-denying, total self-worship born of its sufferers’ unconscious belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others. In order to shield themselves from the intolerable rejection and isolation which they unconsciously believe would follow if others recognised their defective nature, NPD sufferers go to almost any lengths to control others’ view of, and behaviour towards, them. NPD sufferers often choose partners, and raise children, who exhibit ‘co-narcissism’ (a co-dependent personality disorder like co-alcoholism). Co-narcissists organize themselves around the needs of others (to whom they feel responsible), they accept blame easily, are eager to please, defer to others’ opinions and fear being seen as selfish if they act assertively. NPD was observed, and apparently well-understood, in ancient times. Self-evidently, the term, ‘narcissism,’ comes from the allegorical myth of Narcissus, the beautiful Greek youth who falls in love with his own reflection.
As proof of the validity of the above statement, in March 2012, Allen Stanford (b. 1950), an undischarged bankrupt with a net-worth of zero, was convicted in a Texas court of 13 criminal charges including fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of an SEC investigation. This week, he was sentenced to 110 years in prison.
The financial press now universally reports Mr. Stanford as has having run a vast Ponzi scheme. Various professional commentators have lately criticized US regulators for not stopping him sooner. Yet, until relatively recently, Mr. Stanford was widely-acclaimed by the very-same mainstream media as 'the 205th richest person in the USA with a personal fortune of approximately $2.2 billions.' Mysteriously, for many years, no journalist seems to have looked beyond the end of his/her nose and asked Mr. Stanford any searching-questions about the actual source of his apparently limitless wealth.
Mr. Stanford was universally described as 'the head of the Stanford Financial Group' which was based in Houston Texas and which managed 'capital assets totalling billions of dollars for approximately 30 thousands clients in 136 countries on 6 continents.' In the adult world of quantifiable reality, 92% of these alleged 'assets' (more than $7 billions) now cannot be traced. However, it beggars belief that, until his arrest in 2009, no financial regulator ever bothered to look Allen Stanford in the eye, and ask him the one blindingly-obvious question which would have immediately unmasked him as yet another, absurd economic alchemist:
'What quantifiable evidence can you produce which would prove that your "Financial Group" has generated any significant revenue other than that deriving unlawfully from its own alleged "investors"?'
In 2009, it was reported that US federal law enforcement agencies (including the SEC) 'had Mr. Stanford's activities on their radar screens' for almost 10 years and that he had even been suspected of laundering drug money for Mexico's Gulf Cartel.
In 2010, it was reported that, whilst in custody awaiting trial, Mr. Stanford:
- had been beaten up by another prisoner resulting in a broken nose and concussion.
- had possibly suffered permanent brain, and spinal, damage
- had become addicted to anti-anxiety drugs.
Self-evidently, Mr. Stanford exhibits the diagnostic criteria of severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Classically, he has steadfastly pretended moral and intellectual authority, and he has gone to the most extraordinary lengths to prevent, and/or divert, investigation of his clandestine criminal enterprise and isolate himself from liability. He even acquired presidential-style helicopters and private jets. Indeed, Mr. Stanford still arrogantly refuses to accept that he has committed any crime and he has tried to blame his dramatic fall from grace on various other people, including associates and investigators.
Mr. Stanford later apologised to the England team for being 'over-friendly' with some of their wives and girlfriends during one of the matches.
In 2007, 'Stanford Financial Group' sponsored the 'Stanford St Jude Championship' (a prestigious American golfing event) the benefits of which go to the St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. After Stanford was unmasked, the Professional Golfers Association announced that they would be dropping their affiliation with the 'Stanford Financial Group.' However, funds from Stanford's fraud were also used to finance the 2007 film, 'The Ultimate Gift,' which promoted philanthropy in charitable health-care institutions.