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Friday, October 20, 2017



Like much of America, I’ve been watching the Harvey Weinstein scandal unfold, appalled but not surprised. More than 40 women have now accused the famous and powerful movie producer, whose films have won 81 Oscars, of sexual harassment and even rape.

The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded, fired him. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences threw him out. The Los Angeles police have opened an investigation.

Still, Hollywood has always been about starlets who want to make it big and powerful men who took advantage of them — that’s why everyone knows about the “casting couch.”

So I wondered — was Weinstein just a prolific user of the couch, or was he disordered?

The answer came in an article published by the New Yorker yesterday in which current and former employees of the Weinstein Company described their boss’s behavior. Although no one used the word, they described a raging psychopath.

Here’s how the article starts:
  • Harvey throttled someone.

  • Harvey called an employee a f*cking moron.

  • Harvey threw the shoes, the book, the phone, the eggs.

  • Harvey went to work with his shirt on inside-out and no one had the courage to tell him.

  •  If you f*cking say anything to him, the assistant said to the other assistant, I’m dead

  • Harvey would eat the fries off your plate, smash them in his face, and wash them down with a cigarette and a Diet Coke.

  • He belittled and berated: You can’t name three Frank Capra movies? What the f*ck are you even doing here? 

  • He was funny; he was grotesque, a boisterous, boorish, outrageous, gluttonous caricature of a man, a Hollywood type. A “man of appetites”; a philanderer; a cartoon beast, surrounded by beauties.
A group of employees submitted a statement to the New Yorker saying that they didn’t know how bad Weinstein was. Here’s how they described him:
  • a man with an infamous temper
  • manipulative
  • a womanizer with extramarital affairs
  • unbridled ambition
  • aggressive deal making
  • insatiable desire to win and get what he wanted
  • unabashed love for celebrity
So Harvey Weinstein may be more than a sexual predator. These are all examples of psychopathic behavior.

Harvey Weinstein’s former employees reckon with what they knew and what they didn’t, on NewYorker.com.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The sway sociopaths hold over their “minions” is hard to fathom

by O. N. Ward

The Tsunami Pounds Ashore
In spite of the adultery and Paul’s clear manipulation in getting me to move to Utah, which was clear to anyone who had two eyes and a brain, Paul’s family rallied around him. I’m sure the money he lavished on them did not hurt, and he likely reframed everything, finally revealing the “truth” about me. He had endured me long enough. Surely, they wanted him to finally be happy.

I had always enjoyed the time I spent with Paul’s mother, and she consistently presented herself as deeply religious and moral, so when Paul took Ella, I reached out to Ruth for help. I was not prepared for her response. She said she was sure Paul was doing what was best for the kids, that he would never do anything wrong or hurtful, and that I was just being melodramatic and would be laughing about this in no time. Knowing Daniel was distressed about Ella, Ruth sent Daniel a letter quoting advice from a famous sports coach that said he should never allow himself to be upset about anything for more than twenty-four hours. Ruth added that Daniel needed to show more respect for his father and his father’s decisions. She was sure Daniel was only angry with Paul because I was encouraging Daniel to feel that way. Worse, she told Daniel that, obviously, I did not value family the way Paul and Linda did.

Ruth’s behavior is another example of “cognitive dissonance” at work. How does a woman who takes great pride in her strong religious beliefs, goes to church every Sunday, and admonishes others for any lack of ethics or morality not even blink an eye at the amoral and hurtful behavior of her own son? How did she rationalize the inconsistency between her religious beliefs and Paul’s adultery and other hurtful behavior? Paul really deserves to be happy? Onna probably drove Paul away—what else was he supposed to do?

Daniel was hurt and incredulous. He wrote unrepeatable words on his grandmother’s letter. Paul sent me an email with a not so veiled threat that he would take me to court for slandering him to his family. Ruth and I never spoke again. Given Ruth’s choice to blind herself to her son’s behavior and to be insensitive and hurtful towards Daniel, I had no interest in continuing a relationship with her even without Paul’s threat.

I was furious at Jessica for her betrayal and for abandoning our relationship at a time when I desperately needed to maintain the close relationships in my life. Some nights my anger at her kept me awake. In a pique of frustration at 3:00 a.m. one sleepless night, I pounded my pillows, sobbing, and then threw each of them against the wall. It did not help. It just made me feel stupid, because I knew my fury was misplaced. I tried to view Jessica as the victim of a brilliant and well-funded sociopath. I had been fooled and manipulated by Paul for almost twenty years. It would be unfair to hold my teenage daughter to a higher standard.


(YWL's wife believed him.  Believes I am stalking him since college and that I made it all up.  I am sad for her.  One day she will find out everything - not just the tale he told her.)