Jul 3, 2021

Malignant Narcissism as the Core Madness of the Cult Leader

Charles Zeiders and Peter Devlin
June 4, 2021

Learning Objectives: 
  • Utilize case vignettes to develop a profile of the malignant narcissist in cult leadership (MNL). 
  • Identify the four principal traits of malignant narcissism in leadership and associated features of this dangerous psychopathology. 
  • Articulate controversies surrounding the treatability of the MNL character. 
  • Identify the pathogenic features of the MNL in the context of his or her cult-like organization, and identify specific manipulative behaviors MNL’s and their confederates use to gain followers, ascend to power, and maintain socially destructive power.
  • Articulate clinically useful insight regarding MNL pathology concerning sexuality, traumatizing style, and their uncanny allure. 

Charles Zeiders, PsyD, is the T.S. Eliot Lecturer for Humanities and Spiritual Psychology, Reformed Episcopal Seminary in metropolitan Philadelphia. A clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Zeiders is Practice Director of CCT Associates of the Main Line. His books include The Clinical Christ, Faith, Forensics, and Firearms, and volumes of depth-psychological poetry. Dr.Zeiders is an expert in psychopathology. 

Peter Devlin, LGSW, is a psychotherapist at Capitol Hill Consortium for Counseling and Consultation in Washington, DC. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MSW from the University of Southern California. His research interests include personality disorders, trauma, and the psychology of power.

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