***************************There is an interesting point of religious doctrine on this that has been largely forgotten since the Middle Ages. It is that evil lurks beneath a beautiful exterior. In the vernacular today, we say that Beauty runs skin deep. We see this principle reflected in medieval paintings of the fall of the bad angels. They aren't depicted as ugly demons; they are depicted as beautiful spirits indistinguishable outwardly from the good angels. In other words, malevolence disguises itself with sanctimony.
It's easy to see why. No one wants others to see them as bad. Moreover, that's the kiss of death to a predator, because it's like a repellant that warns potential prey to mistrust and stay away from him. Indeed, if you were a malignant narcissist, what would be your biggest fear?
Exposure, right? You're like a vampire to whom the light of day is lethal. Your greatest fear would be the same as that of any hungry, stalking predator -- exposure.
You'd live in constant fear of people finding out what you are beneath your sheep's clothing, that you go around spreading the most heinous lies about anyone who has a better reputation than you, that the happiness and success of others galls you and makes you set about destroying it, that you just use people for your aggrandizement in a manner that damages them and then just throw them away, that cruelly abusing and bullying people makes you feel high and mighty so that you can't resist a chance to make someone bend over for it or kick someone when they're down, that you want to take away anything others have that you don't have. You'd live in constant fear of others learning the shocking truth about your past exploits. You'd live in constant fear of people getting a whiff of the spirit in which such things are done -- the spirit inside you.
Because you're a destroyer. And no easy prey would venture within a mile of you if they knew what's inside you, would they? Because nothing can cover the smell of the spirit in which such things are done. A whiff of that spirit gives people the Big Chill. They abhor it. Even the most hardened criminals are above doing things as sickening as the things you do.
So, though there is such a thing as an out-of-the-closet narcissist (one who needn't and doesn't hide how bad he is and may even show it off to terrorize those at his mercy), far more often than not, people with NPD take great pains to make sure they have an angel-face and a reputation to match. (Exceptions are those narcissists seeking negative attention in lieu of the other kind.)
Their image is precisely the negative of their true selves. In other words, the false image they create dis-simulates their true self. What Makes Narcissists Tick, pgs. 32-33 by Kathy Krajco.
***************************I decided to reprint this section of her book because the verse in John 3:19-20 has been in my thoughts lately. Her statements above are related:
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.So today's dose of truth and reality is this: Evil must mask itself with good in order for it to make a living. Evil must hide itself by hiding the truth of who and what they are. Therefore, full truth (light) is anathema to evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
You know this is true. You've tried to bring just a smidgen of truth to the table with the narcissist and you saw the hissing, spitting and reviling it invoked. The extreme reaction is the narcissist's attempt to get you to drop the holy water before he gets burned. That is not the moment to fumble or drop the truth. Thrust that stake deep into his heart and then put him in the ground. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Evil is an absence of truth which is why it must attach itself to some semblance of truth in order to exist. Evil is parasitic. It cannot stand alone. Pure lies don't sell. It is the truth that the lie attaches itself to that makes the lie attractive...or at least palatable. The lies of evil need to attach to goodness and truth in order to successfully hide in plain sight. Potential victims must not be warned off by the horrific sight and smell of their villainy. Even though the narcissist despises truth they are dependent on a certain amount of it in order to survive. I tell you this so you are not surprised by the mixture of truth amongst the big lies. Don't throw out truth just because an evil narcissist used it to his own ends either. Keep the baby...throw out the bath water.
Very rarely does evil completely expose itself and rarely is it completely exposed by someone else to everyone else. Knowing this, quit expecting evil to be readily apparent to everyone. Stop being surprised when the malignant spirit manages to successfully hide itself with a great pretense of goodness. Stop expecting evil to expose itself when he has no self-interest in doing so. Never expect evil to play fairly. Expect the greatest villains to hide behind the most impressive shows of sanctimony. You don't have to be religious to be sanctimonious, by the way. Don't make that mistake in logic. Sanctimony is hypocrisy ... and anyone can be a hypocrite whether or not they are a religionist.
“Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.” Francois de La Rochefoucauld