Russian Ark – Русский ковчег Movie Review

The full movie may be watched here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B73twU6KjWHvT3Z4WnRuQWFsM28/view

Works on the google chrome browser, not sure about other browsers. Or you may download the entire 1080p version with English subtitles (by clicking on the upper right hand corner, down arrow). A cinematic masterpiece!

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS; All of Russian History, in One Glittery, Unbroken Take

Published: September 28, 2002

”Russian Ark” is a magnificent conjuring act, an eerie historical mirage evoked in a single sweeping wave of the hand by Alexander Sokurov. The 96-minute film, shot in high-definition video in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, consists of one continuous, uninterrupted take. Thanks to recent technological innovation, it is the longest unbroken shot in the history of film. As the Steadicam operated by Tilman Büttner (the German cinematographer of ”Run Lola Run”) floats through the museum’s galleries and rooms, a cast of 2,000 actors and extras act out random, whimsical moments of Russian imperial history that dissolve into one other like chapters of a dream.

Mr. Sokurov, who has always been drawn to historical subjects, has said that he wanted to capture ”the flow of time” in a pure cinematic language that suggests ”a single breath.” And that’s what ”Russian Ark” accomplishes as it drops in on Russian monarchs from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and catches them living their lives unaware that they’re being observed. These keyhole flashes from the past evoke a sense of history that is at once intimate and distanced, and ultimately sad: so much life, so much beauty, swallowed in the mists of time.

”Russian Ark” is a ghost story set in the Hermitage, the museum that is the pride of St. Petersburg and the repository — the ark, if you will — of more Russian history and culture than any other place. Among its components are the Winter Palace (the former residence of the Russian czars) and sections devoted to Russian history and to the life and work of Alexander Pushkin. It also houses more than three million artifacts, including world-class collections of painting, sculptures, prints, drawings and archaeological finds.

The film is narrated in a thoughtful murmur by a contemporary artist who awakens to find himself lost in the 1800’s amid a jostling crowd pouring through a side entrance of the Hermitage. As he follows the flow, he catches sight of another out-of-place figure, the Marquis (Sergey Dreiden), a frizzy-haired 19th-century French diplomat dressed in black and the only person to acknowledge his presence. As the two strays wander through the galleries, they carry on a sporadic dialogue in which the Frenchman continually snipes at Russian culture for being pretentious, overly theatrical and more imitative of Europe than truly European.

Along the way they chance on upon Peter the Great beating one of his generals, and Catherine the Great breaking away from a rehearsal of her own play to search frantically for a place to relieve herself. The Marquis encounters the present-day director of the museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, and complains to him about the odor of formaldehyde. The Marquis, who has an uncanny sense of smell, also enjoys pressing his nose to an epic canvas to savor the smell of pigment. Later, he is shown around a gallery by a blind ”angel” who discourses on the iconography of a Van Dyck painting and on the artist’s relationship with Rubens.

In another, darker time warp, the Marquis strays through the wrong door and finds himself in a chilly outdoor workshop amid drifting snow, and listens dumbfounded to a description of 20th-century horrors that have yet to take place. The companions stray into an interminable ceremony in which the grandson of the Persian Shah, flanked by emissaries, formally apologizes to Nicholas I for the murder of Russian diplomats in Tehran.

The movie, which the New York Film Festival is showing this afternoon at Alice Tully Hall (it is to open commercially in December), culminates in what may well be the ne plus ultra of period cinematic pomp: a re-creation of the last great royal ball held at the Hermitage under Czar Nicholas II in 1913, shortly before the Bolshevik revolution. To the strains of Glinka, hundreds of glitteringly attired courtiers dance the mazurka to a live symphony orchestra (conducted by Valery Gergiev), then make their way down the grand staircase. By this time, the Marquis’s snobbery has dissipated, and when the time comes to leave, he is so enchanted that he chooses to remain in this opulent dreamland.

This ultimate display of wealth and privilege is so heady it would be easy to infer that Mr. Sokurov harbors a lingering nostalgia for the pre-revolutionary era of czars and serfs. But this extraordinary sequence even more powerfully evokes the historical blindness of an entitled elite blissfully oblivious to the fact that it is standing in quicksand that is about to give.

RUSSIAN ARK

Directed by Alexander Sokurov; written (in Russian, with English subtitles) by Anatoly Nikiforov and Mr. Sokurov; director of photography, Tilman Büttner; music by Sergey Yevtuschenko; production designers, Yelena Zhukova and Natalia Kochergina; produced by Andrey Deryabin, Jens Meurer and Karsten Stöter; released by Wellspring. Running time: 96 minutes. This film is not rated. Shown with a 15-minute short, Michael Bates’s ”Projectionist” today at 3 p.m. at Alice Tully Hall, 165 West 65th Street, Lincoln Center, as part of the 40th New York Film Festival.

WITH: Sergey Dreiden (the Marquis), Maria Kuznetsova (Catherine the Great), Leonid Mozgovoy (the Spy), Mikhail Piotrovsky (himself) and David Giorgobiani (Orbeli).

 

 

Very few scenes in ANY movie are scenes that “in themselves” have a self-contained point; the whole point of a “scene” is that it is part of a larger whole.
And the ‘larger whole’ of Russian Ark is not to self-aggrandize/spotlight the director, but rather is (at least) two-fold:
#1 — a presentation of the shift of moods and attitudes over 300 years of Russian history (particularly with regard to Russia’s self-image in relation to Europe)
#2 — a meditation on the nature of history itself, specifically as a *temporal* process.

Even had it used typical editing techniques, the film would have presented theme #1 very powerfully — in large part due to the dialogue between the two time travellers, to their semi-invisibility, and to the film’s great insight that anyone who studies history is (just like those two men) a kind of disoriented time traveller.

Regarding theme #2 — history and temporality — the form and the content of the film converge perfectly. For, the form of the film (the single continuous take) is essential for communicating the content of the film’s ideas on the nature of history: history in its reality is not what most history books present it to be, namely, a series of isolated incidents marked by definite cuts in between (cuts made by some invisible authorial mind). Rather, the course of human history is a continuous flow experienced from a first-person perspective and with no edits, a flow which (as good historians know) is extremely difficult to cut into distinct periods without great oversimplification.

Finally, as the form of the film reveals, especially in the brilliant closing scenes, we the observers are unavoidably *a part* of this continuous flow of history, simply as human beings. We are ourselves floating in the current of history (in our Arks), with no director to order our journey with edits and cuts, and without a clear sense of where we’re going or how to make sense of it all. We humans make history but history also makes us, and trying to grasp the details of what this means is — as it was for the time travellers floating from room to room and century to century — a task both disorienting and exhilarating.

The numerous tactics that narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths use to manipulate and silence you

Source: https://www.sott.net/article/348999-The-numerous-tactics-that-narcissists-sociopaths-and-psychopaths-use-to-manipulate-and-silence-you

Toxic people such as malignant narcissists, psychopaths and those with antisocial traits engage in maladaptive behaviors in relationships that ultimately exploit, demean and hurt their intimate partners, family members and friends. They use a plethora of diversionary tactics that distort the reality of their victims and deflect responsibility. Although those who are not narcissistic can employ these tactics as well, abusive narcissists use these to an excessive extent in an effort to escape accountability for their actions.

Here are the 20 diversionary tactics toxic people use to silence and degrade you.

1. Gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that can be described in different variations of three words: “That didn’t happen,” “You imagined it,” and “Are you crazy?” Gaslighting is perhaps one of the most insidious manipulative tactics out there because it works to distort and erode your sense of reality; it eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment.

When a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath gaslights you, you may be prone to gaslighting yourself as a way to reconcile the cognitive dissonance that might arise. Two conflicting beliefs battle it out: is this person right or can I trust what I experienced? A manipulative person will convince you that the former is an inevitable truth while the latter is a sign of dysfunction on your end.

In order to resist gaslighting, it’s important to ground yourself in your own reality – sometimes writing things down as they happened, telling a friend or reiterating your experience to a support network can help to counteract the gaslighting effect. The power of having a validating community is that it can redirect you from the distorted reality of a malignant person and back to your own inner guidance.

2. Projection.

One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.

While we all engage in projection to some extent, according to Narcissistic Personality clinical expert Dr. Martinez-Lewi, the projections of a narcissist are often psychologically abusive. Rather than acknowledge their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, malignant narcissists and sociopaths opt to dump their own traits on their unsuspecting suspects in a way that is painful and excessively cruel. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.

For example, a person who engages in pathological lying may accuse their partner of fibbing; a needy spouse may call their husband “clingy” in an attempt to depict them as the one who is dependent; a rude employee may call their boss ineffective in an effort to escape the truth about their own productivity.

Narcissistic abusers love to play the “blameshifting game.” Objectives of the game: they win, you lose, and you or the world at large is blamed for everything that’s wrong with them. This way, you get to babysit their fragile ego while you’re thrust into a sea of self-doubt. Fun, right?

Solution? Don’t “project” your own sense of compassion or empathy onto a toxic person and don’t own any of the toxic person’s projections either. As manipulation expert and author Dr. George Simon (2010) notes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing, projecting our own conscience and value system onto others has the potential consequence of being met with further exploitation.

Narcissists on the extreme end of the spectrum usually have no interest in self-insight or change. It’s important to cut ties and end interactions with toxic people as soon as possible so you can get centered in your own reality and validate your own identity. You don’t have to live in someone else’s cesspool of dysfunction.

3. Nonsensical conversations from hell.

If you think you’re going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness.

Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gaslighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.

Spend even ten minutes arguing with a toxic narcissist and you’ll find yourself wondering how the argument even began at all. You simply disagreed with them about their absurd claim that the sky is red and now your entire childhood, family, friends, career and lifestyle choices have come under attack. That is because your disagreement picked at their false belief that they are omnipotent and omniscient, resulting in a narcissistic injury.

Remember: toxic people don’t argue with you, they essentially argue with themselves and you become privy to their long, draining monologues. They thrive off the drama and they live for it. Each and every time you attempt to provide a point that counters their ridiculous assertions, you feed them supply. Don’t feed the narcissists supply – rather, supply yourself with the confirmation that their abusive behavior is the problem, not you. Cut the interaction short as soon as you anticipate it escalating and use your energy on some self-care instead.

4. Blanket statements and generalizations.

Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to. Better yet, why not put a label on you that dismisses your perspective altogether?

On a larger scale, generalizations and blanket statements invalidate experiences that don’t fit in the unsupported assumptions, schemas and stereotypes of society; they are also used to maintain the status quo. This form of digression exaggerates one perspective to the point where a social justice issue can become completely obscured. For example, rape accusations against well-liked figures are often met with the reminder that there are false reports of rape that occur. While those do occur, they are rare, and in this case, the actions of one become labeled the behavior of the majority while the specific report itself remains unaddressed.

These everyday microaggressions also happen in toxic relationships. If you bring up to a narcissistic abuser that their behavior is unacceptable for example, they will often make blanket generalizations about your hypersensitivity or make a generalization such as, “You are never satisfied,” or “You’re always too sensitive” rather than addressing the real issues at hand. It’s possible that you are oversensitive at times, but it is also possible that the abuser is also insensitive and cruel the majority of the time.

Comment: In this case the term ‘microaggressions’ would seem to be used appropriately!

Hold onto your truth and resist generalizing statements by realizing that they are in fact forms of black and white illogical thinking. Toxic people wielding blanket statements do not represent the full richness of experience – they represent the limited one of their singular experience and overinflated sense of self.

5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity.

In the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath, your differing opinions, legitimate emotions and lived experiences get translated into character flaws and evidence of your irrationality.

Narcissists weave tall tales to reframe what you’re actually saying as a way to make your opinions look absurd or heinous. Let’s say you bring up the fact that you’re unhappy with the way a toxic friend is speaking to you. In response, he or she may put words in your mouth, saying, “Oh, so now you’re perfect?” or “So I am a bad person, huh?” when you’ve done nothing but express your feelings. This enables them to invalidate your right to have thoughts and emotions about their inappropriate behavior and instills in you a sense of guilt when you attempt to establish boundaries.

This is also a popular form of diversion and cognitive distortion that is known as “mind reading.” Toxic people often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully. They act accordingly based on their own delusions and fallacies and make no apologies for the harm they cause as a result. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic – even before you’ve gotten the chance to call them out on their behavior – and this also serves as a form of preemptive defense.

Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blameshift and digress from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.

6. Nitpicking and moving the goal posts.

The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to nitpick, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Abusive narcissists and sociopaths employ a logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts” in order to ensure that they have every reason to be perpetually dissatisfied with you. This is when, even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof.

Do you have a successful career? The narcissist will then start to pick on why you aren’t a multi-millionaire yet. Did you already fulfill their need to be excessively catered to? Now it’s time to prove that you can also remain “independent.” The goal posts will perpetually change and may not even be related to each other; they don’t have any other point besides making you vie for the narcissist’s approval and validation.

By raising the expectations higher and higher each time or switching them completely, highly manipulative and toxic people are able to instill in you a pervasive sense of unworthiness and of never feeling quite “enough.” By pointing out one irrelevant fact or one thing you did wrong and developing a hyperfocus on it, narcissists get to divert from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over any flaws or weaknesses instead. They get you thinking about the next expectation of theirs you’re going to have to meet – until eventually you’ve bent over backwards trying to fulfill their every need – only to realize it didn’t change the horrific way they treated you.

Don’t get sucked into nitpicking and changing goal posts – if someone chooses to rehash an irrelevant point over and over again to the point where they aren’t acknowledging the work you’ve done to validate your point or satisfy them, their motive isn’t to better understand. It’s to further provoke you into feeling as if you have to constantly prove yourself. Validate and approve of yourself. Know that you are enough and you don’t have to be made to feel constantly deficient or unworthy in some way.

7. Changing the subject to evade accountability.

This type of tactic is what I like to call the “What about me?” syndrome. It is a literal digression from the actual topic that works to redirect attention to a different issue altogether. Narcissists don’t want you to be on the topic of holding them accountable for anything, so they will reroute discussions to benefit them. Complaining about their neglectful parenting? They’ll point out a mistake you committed seven years ago. This type of diversion has no limits in terms of time or subject content, and often begins with a sentence like “What about the time when…”

On a macrolevel, these diversions work to derail discussions that challenge the status quo. A discussion about gay rights, for example, may be derailed quickly by someone who brings in another social justice issue just to distract people from the main argument.

As Tara Moss, author of Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, notes, specificity is needed in order to resolve and address issues appropriately – that doesn’t mean that the issues that are being brought up don’t matter, it just means that the specific time and place may not be the best context to discuss them.

Don’t be derailed – if someone pulls a switcheroo on you, you can exercise what I call the “broken record” method and continue stating the facts without giving in to their distractions. Redirect their redirection by saying, “That’s not what I am talking about. Let’s stay focused on the real issue.” If they’re not interested, disengage and spend your energy on something more constructive – like not having a debate with someone who has the mental age of a toddler.

8. Covert and overt threats.

Narcissistic abusers and otherwise toxic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. They are prone to making unreasonable demands on others – while punishing you for not living up to their impossible to reach expectations.

Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instill fear in you about the consequences of disagreeing or complying with their demands. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.

If someone’s reaction to you setting boundaries or having a differing opinion from your own is to threaten you into submission, whether it’s a thinly veiled threat or an overt admission of what they plan to do, this is a red flag of someone who has a high degree of entitlement and has no plans of compromising. Take threats seriously and show the narcissist you mean business; document threats and report them whenever possible and legally feasible.

9. Name-calling.

Narcissists preemptively blow anything they perceive as a threat to their superiority out of proportion. In their world, only they can ever be right and anyone who dares to say otherwise creates a narcissistic injury that results in narcissistic rage. As Mark Goulston, M.D. asserts, narcissistic rage does not result from low self-esteem but rather a high sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority.

The lowest of the low resort to narcissistic rage in the form of name-calling when they can’t think of a better way to manipulate your opinion or micromanage your emotions. Name-calling is a quick and easy way to put you down, degrade you and insult your intelligence, appearance or behavior while invalidating your right to be a separate person with a right to his or her perspective.

Name-calling can also be used to criticize your beliefs, opinions and insights. A well-researched perspective or informed opinion suddenly becomes “silly” or “idiotic” in the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath who feels threatened by it and cannot make a respectful, convincing rebuttal. Rather than target your argument, they target you as a person and seek to undermine your credibility and intelligence in any way they possibly can. It’s important to end any interaction that consists of name-calling and communicate that you won’t tolerate it. Don’t internalize it: realize that they are resorting to name-calling because they are deficient in higher level methods.

10. Destructive conditioning.

Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.

Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise toxic people do this because they wish to divert attention back to themselves and how you’re going to please them. If there is anything outside of them that may threaten their control over your life, they seek to destroy it. They need to be the center of attention at all times. In the idealization phase, you were once the center of a narcissist’s world – now the narcissist becomes the center of yours.

Narcissists are also naturally pathologically envious and don’t want anything to come in between them and their influence over you. Your happiness represents everything they feel they cannot have in their emotionally shallow lives. After all, if you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides the toxic person, what’s to keep you from leaving them? To toxic people, a little conditioning can go a long way to keep you walking on eggshells and falling just short of your big dreams.

11. Smear campaigns and stalking.

When toxic types can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you; they play the martyr while you’re labeled the toxic one. A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person. They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.

Some smear campaigns can even work to pit two people or two groups against each other. A victim in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded.

Toxic people will gossip behind your back (and in front of your face), slander you to your loved ones or their loved ones, create stories that depict you as the aggressor while they play the victim, and claim that you engaged in the same behaviors that they are afraid you will accuse them of engaging in. They will also methodically, covertly and deliberately abuse you so they can use your reactions as a way to prove that they are the so-called “victims” of your abuse.

The best way to handle a smear campaign is to stay mindful of your reactions and stick to the facts. This is especially pertinent for high-conflict divorces with narcissists who may use your reactions to their provocations against you. Document any form of harassment, cyberbullying or stalking incidents and always speak to your narcissist through a lawyer whenever possible. You may wish to take legal action if you feel the stalking and harassment is getting out of control; finding a lawyer who is well-versed in Narcissistic Personality Disorder is crucial if that’s the case. Your character and integrity will speak for itself when the narcissist’s false mask begins to slip.

12. Love-bombing and devaluation.

Toxic people put you through an idealization phase until you’re sufficiently hooked and invested in beginning a friendship or relationship with you. Then, they begin to devalue you while insulting the very things they admired in the first place. Another variation of this is when a toxic individual puts you on a pedestal while aggressively devaluing and attacking someone else who threatens their sense of superiority.

Narcissistic abusers do this all the time – they devalue their exes to their new partners, and eventually the new partner starts to receive the same sort of mistreatment as the narcissist’s ex-partner. Ultimately what will happen is that you will also be on the receiving end of the same abuse. You will one day be the ex-partner they degrade to their new source of supply. You just don’t know it yet. That’s why it’s important to stay mindful of the love-bombing technique whenever you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the saccharine sweetness a narcissist subjects you to.

As life coach Wendy Powell suggests, slowing things down with people you suspect may be toxic is an important way of combating the love-bombing technique. Be wary of the fact that how a person treats or speaks about someone else could potentially translate into the way they will treat you in the future.

13. Preemptive defense.

When someone stresses the fact that they are a “nice guy” or girl, that you should “trust them” right away or emphasizes their credibility without any provocation from you whatsoever, be wary.

Toxic and abusive people overstate their ability to be kind and compassionate. They often tell you that you should “trust” them without first building a solid foundation of trust. They may “perform” a high level of sympathy and empathy at the beginning of your relationship to dupe you, only to unveil their false mask later on. When you see their false mask begins to slip periodically during the devaluation phase of the abuse cycle, the true self is revealed to be terrifyingly cold, callous and contemptuous.

Genuinely nice people rarely have to persistently show off their positive qualities – they exude their warmth more than they talk about it and they know that actions speak volumes more than mere words. They know that trust and respect is a two-way street that requires reciprocity, not repetition.

To counter a preemptive defense, reevaluate why a person may be emphasizing their good qualities. Is it because they think you don’t trust them, or because they know you shouldn’t? Trust actions more than empty words and see how someone’s actions communicate who they are, not who they say they are.

14. Triangulation.

Bringing in the opinion, perspective or suggested threat of another person into the dynamic of an interaction is known as “triangulation.” Often used to validate the toxic person’s abuse while invalidating the victim’s reactions to abuse, triangulation can also work to manufacture love triangles that leave you feeling unhinged and insecure.

Malignant narcissists love to triangulate their significant other with strangers, co-workers, ex-partners, friends and even family members in order to evoke jealousy and uncertainty in you. They also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.

This is a diversionary tactic meant to pull your attention away from their abusive behavior and into a false image of them as a desirable, sought after person. It also leaves you questioning yourself – if Mary did agree with Tom, doesn’t that mean that you must be wrong? The truth is, narcissists love to “report back” falsehoods about others say about you, when in fact, they are the ones smearing you.

To resist triangulation tactics, realize that whoever the narcissist is triangulating with is also being triangulated by your relationship with the narcissist as well. Everyone is essentially being played by this one person. Reverse “triangulate” the narcissist by gaining support from a third party that is not under the narcissist’s influence – and also by seeking your own validation.

15. Bait and feign innocence.

Toxic individuals lure you into a false sense of security simply to have a platform to showcase their cruelty. Baiting you into a mindless, chaotic argument can escalate into a showdown rather quickly with someone who doesn’t know the meaning of respect. A simple disagreement may bait you into responding politely initially, until it becomes clear that the person has a malicious motive of tearing you down.

By “baiting” you with a seemingly innocuous comment disguised as a rational one, they can then begin to play with you. Remember: narcissistic abusers have learned about your insecurities, the unsettling catchphrases that interrupt your confidence, and the disturbing topics that reenact your wounds – and they use this knowledge maliciously to provoke you. After you’ve fallen for it, hook line and sinker, they’ll stand back and innocently ask whether you’re “okay” and talk about how they didn’t “mean” to agitate you. This faux innocence works to catch you off guard and make you believe that they truly didn’t intend to hurt you, until it happens so often you can’t deny the reality of their malice any longer.

It helps to realize when you’re being baited so you can avoid engaging altogether. Provocative statements, name-calling, hurtful accusations or unsupported generalizations, for example, are common baiting tactics. Your gut instinct can also tell you when you’re being baited – if you feel “off” about a certain comment and continue to feel this way even after it has been expanded on, that’s a sign you may need to take some space to reevaluate the situation before choosing to respond.

16. Boundary testing and hoovering.

Narcissists, sociopaths and otherwise toxic people continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope. That’s why survivors of emotional as well as physical abuse often experience even more severe incidents of abuse each and every time they go back to their abusers.

Abusers tend to “hoover” their victims back in with sweet promises, fake remorse and empty words of how they are going to change, only to abuse their victims even more horrifically. In the abuser’s sick mind, this boundary testing serves as a punishment for standing up to the abuse and also for going back to it. When narcissists try to press the emotional reset button, reinforce your boundaries even more strongly rather than backtracking on them.

Remember – highly manipulative people don’t respond to empathy or compassion. They respond to consequences.

17. Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes.

Covert narcissists enjoy making malicious remarks at your expense. These are usually dressed up as “just jokes” so that they can get away with saying appalling things while still maintaining an innocent, cool demeanor. Yet any time you are outraged at an insensitive, harsh remark, you are accused of having no sense of humor. This is a tactic frequently used in verbal abuse.

The contemptuous smirk and sadistic gleam in their eyes gives it away, however – like a predator that plays with its food, a toxic person gains pleasure from hurting you and being able to get away with it. After all, it’s just a joke, right? Wrong. It’s a way to gaslight you into thinking their abuse is a joke – a way to divert from their cruelty and onto your perceived sensitivity. It is important that when this happens, you stand up for yourself and make it clear that you won’t tolerate this type of behavior.

Calling out manipulative people on their covert put-downs may result in further gaslighting from the abuser but maintain your stance that their behavior is not okay and end the interaction immediately if you have to.

18. Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone.

Belittling and degrading a person is a toxic person’s forte and their tone of voice is only one tool in their toolbox. Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but narcissists use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. If you in any way react to it, you must be “too sensitive.”

Forget that the toxic person constantly has temper tantrums every time their big bad ego is faced with realistic feedback – the victim is the hypersensitive one, apparently. So long as you’re treated like a child and constantly challenged for expressing yourself, you’ll start to develop a sense of hypervigilance about voicing your thoughts and opinions without reprimand. This self-censorship enables the abuser to put in less work in silencing you, because you begin to silence yourself.

Whenever you are met with a condescending demeanor or tone, call it out firmly and assertively. You don’t deserve to be spoken down to like a child – nor should you ever silence yourself to meet the expectation of someone else’s superiority complex.

19. Shaming.

“You should be ashamed of yourself” is a favorite saying of toxic people. Though it can be used by someone who is non-toxic, in the realm of the narcissist or sociopath, shaming is an effective method that targets any behavior or belief that might challenge a toxic person’s power. It can also be used to destroy and whittle away at a victim’s self-esteem: if a victim dares to be proud of something, shaming the victim for that specific trait, quality or accomplishment can serve to diminish their sense of self and stifle any pride they may have.

Malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths enjoy using your own wounds against you – so they will even shame you about any abuse or injustice you’ve suffered in your lifetime as a way to retraumatize you. Were you a childhood abuse survivor? A malignant narcissist or sociopath will claim that you must’ve done something to deserve it, or brag about their own happy childhood as a way to make you feel deficient and unworthy. What better way to injure you, after all, than to pick at the original wound? As surgeons of madness, they seek to exacerbate wounds, not help heal them.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a toxic person, avoid revealing any of your vulnerabilities or past traumas. Until they’ve proven their character to you, there is no point disclosing information that could be potentially used against you.

20. Control.

Most importantly, toxic abusers love to maintain control in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions.

That’s why abusive narcissists and sociopaths manufacture situations of conflict out of thin air to keep you feeling off center and off balanced. That’s why they chronically engage in disagreements about irrelevant things and rage over perceived slights. That’s why they emotionally withdraw, only to re-idealize you once they start to lose control. That’s why they vacillate between their false self and their true self, so you never get a sense of psychological safety or certainty about who your partner truly is.

The more power they have over your emotions, the less likely you’ll trust your own reality and the truth about the abuse you’re enduring. Knowing the manipulative tactics and how they work to erode your sense of self can arm you with the knowledge of what you’re facing and at the very least, develop a plan to regain control over your own life and away from toxic people.

Shahida Arabi is the author of the book POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse, available here.

Hacker News: Webroot ‘mistakenly’ flags Windows as Malware and Facebook as Phishing site

webroot-antivirus

Popular antivirus service Webroot mistakenly flagged core Windows system files as malicious and even started temporarily removing some of the legit files, trashing user computers around the world.

The havoc caused after the company released a bad update on April 24, which was pulled after approximately 15 minutes. But that still hasn’t stopped some PCs from receiving it, causing serious issues for not just individuals, but also companies and organizations relying on the software.

Webroot even Blocked Facebook

Webroot

According to the reports by many customers on social media and Webroot’s forum, hundreds and even thousands of systems were broken down after antivirus software flagged hundreds of benign files needed to run Windows and apps that run on top of the operating system.

The faulty update even caused the antivirus to incorrectly block access to Facebook after flagging the social network service as a phishing website, preventing users from accessing the social network.

“Webroot has not been breached and customers are not at risk,” the company said on its online forum. “Legitimate malicious files are being identified and blocked as normal.”

What all went Wrong?

The buggy update caused Webroot anti-virus service to detect legitimate Windows files, including those signed by Microsoft, as W32.Trojan.Gen files – generic malware, in other words.

This behavior, eventually, moved critical Windows system files essential to the operating system’s effective functioning into quarantine, making them unavailable to Windows and rendering hundreds of thousands of computers unstable.

Even files associated with some of the applications had also been flagged as malicious and quarantined.

Webroot is Working on a Universal Fix

Webroot, which claims to have over 30 million customers last year, has suggested fixes for those using the Home edition and Business edition of its anti-virus software.

The company’s technical team also moved quickly and pushed a fix for the Facebook issue last night, according to the post on the company’s forum.

However, the company has yet to provide a definitive fix for its entire affected user base. The company confirms that it’s “currently working on this universal solution now,” but did not say when it would arrive.

What Affected Users should do

Meanwhile, the company has provided workarounds to restore files and prevent its antivirus from re-detecting the same Windows files as W32.Trojan.Gen, though it is only useful for home edition users and not for managed services providers (MSPs).

However, one user on Webroot’s forum is reporting that uninstalling Webroot, then restoring quarantined files from a backup drive, and then re-installing Webroot believes in fixing the issue.

Swati - Hacking News
Technical Writer, Security Blogger and IT Analyst. She is a Technology Enthusiast with a keen eye on the Cyberspace and other tech related developments.

William Shatner targeted by vaccine bullies in vicious campaign to silence tweets about autism

Image: William Shatner targeted by vaccine bullies in vicious campaign to silence tweets about autism

(Natural News) Vaccine industry zealots believe in destroying the freedom to think. Their actions — and especially the actions of sociopathic medical violence pushers like Dr. David Gorski — reflect the kind of destruction of knowledge we’ve all witnessed throughout history when evil regimes burned books in order to control the official narrative. (Dr. Gorski is a high-level editor at Wikipedia and writes all the entries involving vaccines, chemotherapy and cancer surgery, blocking all dissenting facts or information he doesn’t like.)

There is no question whatsoever that vaccines cause widespread harm and death — see this revelation about the UK government paying out tens of millions in damages after hundreds of children were brain damaged by the swine flu vaccine — yet this simple, irrefutable fact is not even allowed to be debated today due to the coordinated, pharma-funded effort to absolutely destroy any person who even asks a simple question about vaccine safety or vaccine ingredients.

As a simple demonstration, witness this GreenMedInfo.com article describing a vaccine science study that found a 212% increase in infant mortality among infants who received DTP vaccines vs. those who didn’t. As this article reveals, some vaccines actually harm or kill far more babies than they save. Yet this very idea is ridiculed as “anti-science” by religious science fundamentalists, even when the conclusion is precisely backed by peer-reviewed, published science.

Note: We’ve just launched a new website called Natural News Reference that lists the ingredients for over 60 popular vaccines. Go there now to search for vaccine insert sheet ingredients lists and see for yourself what vaccines are really made of.

The coordinated effort to smear William Shatner for daring to tweet the truth about vaccine zealot David Gorski

As a perfect example of the silencing of dissent (and the complete abandonment of scientific debate on the vaccine issue), consider the fact that legendary actor William Shatner recently tweeted a link to the TruthWiki.org website’s profile of rabid vaccine zealot Dr. David Gorski, one of the vaccine industry’s most malicious attack dogs who routinely slanders the Health Ranger and Natural News with wholly fabricated smears rooted in his own mental instability. (See Shatner’s link below.)

Dr. Gorski, a breast cancer surgeon who preys upon black women in the Detroit area and is a colleague of Dr. Farid Fata, a cancer fraudster who was arrested by the feds, indicted for massive medical fraud, and is now serving 20+ years in federal prison. They both worked in the same facility, and Dr. David Gorski has been reported to the FBI for possible conspiracy involvement in criminal schemes involving medical malpractice and the high-profit maiming of innocent women for profit.

When Shatner tweeted the URL to TruthWiki.org, which exposes the astonishing history of deceit, distortions and abandonment of medical ethics by Dr. Gorski, he was roundly blasted by the coordinated efforts of the vaccine establishment, which incessantly seeks to silence all dissent:

Vaccine zealot David Gorski then begged all his friends to attack William Shatner, claiming he should have quoted Wikipedia instead of Truthwiki, but he neglected to tell William Shatner that David Gorski is the author of the Wikipedia page on David Gorski. He’s a high-ranking Wikipedia editor and oversees the coordinated smearing of all those who question the safety of vaccine ingredients. Shatner isn’t even opposed to vaccines, but was immediately labeled an “anti-vaxxer” by the vaccine brigade, which seeks to silence all those who question vaccines or who even dare to publicize issues surrounding autism: (for the record, Shatner fully supports immunizations, yet even a “whiff” of supporting the autism community got him slandered by the vaccine zealots)

In response, David Gorski begged his friends to pen a defamatory article about William Shatner at SLATE, the rabid anti-science, Left-wing smear rag funded by George Soros, the liberty-hating globalist. SLATE also attacked the Health Ranger in another attempt to try to discredit real science that questions vaccine disinfo:

In response, William Shatner tweeted out several Natural News URLs documenting the real story on David Gorski, daring to stand up and question the intimidation tactics of Gorski and the vaccine zealots. Here’s one of Shatner’s live tweets:

Tweet William Shatner to thank him for questioning the vaccine bullies and their coordinated intimidation tactics

Now you’re getting a real sense of the level of intense bullying, censorship and intimidation wielded by SLATE, the vaccine zealots and incredibly dangerous, psychotic individuals like Dr. David Gorski (who controls much of the vaccine disinformation on on Wikipedia). Those people have more in common with radical Jahid than legitimate scientific debate.

Please send William Shatner a kind tweet at his twitter account to thank him for refusing to be bullied by the vaccine zealots:

His Twitter account is: https://twitter.com/WilliamShatner

(Be aware that Shatner was not attempting to wade into the vaccine debate. He was merely attempting to originally tweet out support for autism awareness. What he discovered, however, was the cesspool of vaccine Jihad intimidation and bullying tactics.)

Bottom line: Vaccine skepticism is rational; vaccine zealots are dangerous villains

Above all, remember that vaccine skepticism is rooted in rational thinking and genuine science. Many vaccine ingredients — such as mercury, aluminum, MSG and formaldehyde — are undisputed as known neurotoxins. The CDC confirms that some vaccines include ingredients such as diseased African Green Monkey kidney cells, and aborted human fetal tissue is also commonly used in many vaccines, including the chickenpox vaccine.

This video animation explains how vaccine are really made, and efforts have already been made to try to BAN this video from the internet:

Stay informed. Stay vigilant. Refuse to be bullied by the sociopathic vaccine zealotswhose actions resemble Jihad more than science.

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