Self-published author and avid reader living in the UK. Former victim and now a researcher of narcissistic abuse.
The narcissist has a wide array of tools and techniques at their disposal for using narcissistic abuse to control and manipulate their victim(s).
By far one of the most powerful forms of narcissistic abuse that a narcissist may utilize is character assassination.
Character assassination is not only a violation of basic human rights but it can be incredibly destructive and devastating for the victim and is considered to be no different whatsoever to actual assassination in a court of law in many countries.
Character assassination relies on mainly using defamation (or slander) to destroy the victim's reputation. However, when a narcissist carries out character assassination they develop what could be considered to be a full-blown distortion campaign in order to target their victim.
Narcissists mix subtle lies with truths and spread rumors among people who know the victim (usually family and friends) and they do so by recruiting their unconscious army of pawns (or flying monkeys).
Because the lies are so subtle and have been mixed with truths (making them half-truths), the narcissist's flying monkeys are more likely to believe them and each one of them goes and tells another person, who then tells another person who tells another person and lies and rumors soon begin to spread. This can also often result in Chinese Whispers.
Suddenly, the narcissist begins to seem like the victim expertly playing the part as things progress and people's opinions of the victim begin to change.
The victim knows intuitively that something is wrong and that something is going on. It becomes obvious, although at first they may not realize that the narcissist is the true source of the distortion.
Eventually, the lies and rumors may begin to surface and the victim may become aware of them but usually it's too late. People have already been primed to believe what they've been told.
Another large part of the problem is that if some of the narcissist's pawns realize what's been going on, they may begin to feel guilty and will use similar tactics in order to cover up their own actions.
The more a victim attempts to expose the true actions of the narcissist, or their army of pawns, the stronger and more powerful their attempts at character assassination become and the more they destroy their victim's reputation.
They will leave the victim with no other choice but to allow the lies and rumors to circulate or they will only continue to make things worse.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Marc Hubs
Mackenzie Colin on March 29, 2020:
The article brings to light a good point, it is the "half truths" that are told and people will take that as the whole truth. Character assasination: interesting about pointing out how in some other counties it is considered as an actually assassination. Does it help curtail people in those countries from doing slander and defamation of character?
Due to my brother, mother and their flying monkeys ( my sister and dad) they have alienated me from my neice and nephew and aunts/ uncles and cousins because the second my brother finds out I am in contact with them he tells lies saying I am bipolar, unstable well, I don't have bipolar and have been my whole life mentally stable till his complete destruction of me in 2017. I havent spoke with any relatives in 40 years. I am lonely and isolated from this because the more I defended myself and pointed out the facts of what they were doing was wrong....BOOM, Annilation of my existence. I was ostracized and ignored by my family and people I knew in a blink of an eye and the ferocity of the smear campaign and defamation of character was in full swing.
Lana Hurst on March 03, 2020:
Jusy to add another deminsion to the pain and confusion, add parental alienation via triangulation with your child who also probably has Asperger's syndrome! How on earth do you fight this?! Folks I believe, at least in my case, it was planned from the minute he was born. And now my adult child will not speak to me. These people have to have some evil in them. Just old fashioned meanness which they delight in.
Marc Hubs (author) from United Kingdom on January 29, 2020:
Indeed it can be hard to accept at first that a person you love and who you think loves you is the source of the lies and rumours being spread. Victims usually believe it's other people at first, it can be hard getting your head around the fact it's someone so close to you.
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on January 15, 2020:
Oh gosh, how true. And these many years later, I feel like a fool for being afraid of the narcissist because I thought he would ruin the good reputation I'd worked for so hard all my life. I didn't realize that other people, my friends especially, had his number and his name, not mine, was mud. It is this scare tactic that helps the narcissist to succeed.