What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn't realise how much they've been brainwashed.

Gaslighters typically use the following techniques: 

  1. They tell blatant lies.

  2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

  3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

  4. They wear you down over time.

  5. Their actions do not match their words.

  6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

  7. They know confusion weakens people.

  8. They project.

  9. They try to align people against you.

  10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

  11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

Gaslighting tends to happen very gradually in a relationship; in fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem like just a harmless misunderstanding at first.

Over time, however, these abusive behaviours continue, and a victim can become confused, anxious, isolated and depressed, while losing all sense of what is actually happening.

Then, the victim may start relying on the abusive partner more and more to define reality, which creates a very difficult situation to escape.

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter's trap.  No matter which way you look at it, gaslighting is a malicious act. It aims to degrade someone’s mind in such a way as to make them vulnerable to another’s control or suggestion.

It can only be described as a weapon because it causes so much psychological and emotional damage. It is a clear form of psychological abuse and a violation of the victim’s love and respect.

See 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting.

Types of Narcissists

While there is only one official diagnosis for narcissists, there are different "variants" of narcissism or different types of narcissists, and narcissism comes in varying degrees of severity.

A 2012 review of the research on narcissism identified several of these variants including grandiose narcissists, who seem to require excessive praise and attention, and vulnerable narcissists, who tend to have a lot of anxiety and need a lot of supportive attention. 

As mentioned in an earlier post, across the variants of narcissism - malignant narcissists are by far the most damaging.

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-recognize-a-narcissist-4164528

Reporting revenge porn to the police

If someone has shared a private sexual photograph or video of you without your consent you can report this to the police. In an emergency you can contact the police for assistance by dialling 999.

The police may be able to attend the scene of the incident to protect you from further abuse and arrest your abuser.

In non-emergencies you can contact the police by dialling 101. 

See the legal guide Reporting an offence to the police: a guide to criminal investigations which provides more information on reporting an offence to the police, providing a statement, and the police investigation process.

Remember to take screen shots or print hard copies of the abusive posts or messages to show to the police.

Your abuser may later delete their messages or posts so your screen shots may be very important evidence.

Great source of information on the topic: https://rightsofwomen.org.uk/

Spotting a malignant narcissist

Malignant narcissists can be highly manipulative, and they don't care who they hurt as long as they get their own way. They generally don’t care about the pain they cause others—or may even enjoy it and experience it as empowering—and will do what it takes to prevent themselves from loss, inconvenience, or failing to get what they want in any situation.

They see the world in black-and-white terms, including seeing others as either friend or foe. They seek to win at all costs and generally leave a great amount of pain, frustration, and even heartache in their wake. Among the variants of narcissism, however, malignant narcissists are by far the most damaging.

While there is only one official diagnosis for narcissists, there are different "variants" of narcissism or different types of narcissists, and narcissism comes in varying degrees of severity. A 2012 review of the research on narcissism identified several of these variants including grandiose narcissists, who seem to require excessive praise and attention, and vulnerable narcissists, who tend to have a lot of anxiety and need a lot of supportive attention. 

In fact, some experts see little difference between malignant narcissists and psychopaths in that both have a sadistic, antisocial streak, and very little empathy. There is often some paranoia involved with malignant narcissism as well. Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder, particularly malignant narcissists, generally:

  1. Care quite a bit about their appearance and can come across as quite charming

  2. Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it, and will discount any evidence that doesn't support their belief of their own superiority

  3. Exaggerate their own achievements and talents, even to the point of lying

  4. Are often preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

  5. Are highly manipulative

  6. Tend to project their bad behaviour onto others, meaning they may accuse you of the very behaviour they are conducting

  7. Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior

  8. Aren't opposed to taking advantage of others to get what they want

  9. Fail to see or value the needs and feelings of others

  10. Have no remorse for hurting others and rarely apologize unless it will benefit them in some way

  11. Insist on having the best of everything and believe that they deserve this

  12. Can’t handle criticism and lash out if they feel slighted in any way

  13. Have a poor sense of self and weak ability to regulate their feelings and actions

  14. Secretly feel insecure and have a week sense of self

If the description of a narcissist sounds familiar and has you concerned, this is probably a good thing. Knowing that you may be dealing with someone who could hurt you and having some concern for yourself in this situation can help you to protect yourself from the pain that a malignant narcissist can cause, at least to an extent.

Extract from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-recognize-a-narcissist-4164528

True vs False Repentance

According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Louw & Nida) the word repentance means, to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness. 

In repentance, a person is given a true sense of the heinous nature of sin and, hating it, they turn to God through Christ with the desire to part ways with it. It is a gift that God gives to us and true repentance leads to eternal life (2 Tim. 2:25).

False repentance is scary because it can trick us into thinking we’ve truly repented when, in reality, we’ve only found more crafty ways to hold on to our sin.

Why bring this up you ask … If you have ever changed your mind about anything, then you understand the basis of one of the most important spiritual principles in the Bible: repentance. When someone pretends to confess and turn away from sin, but in the depths of his heart means only to appease anger and escape consequences, it leaves in its wake an especially sensitive kind of confusion and pain.

Deep thinking for a Saturday morning eh? Not really.

The Hebrew Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, is often spoken of loosely as "Saturday" but in the Hebrew calendar a day begins at sunset and not at midnight so the timing seemed right.

The Fraud Triangle

One of the older and more basic concepts in fraud deterrence and detection is the “fraud triangle”; a phrase coined by the criminologist Donald R. Cressey in the 1950s. The three key elements in the fraud triangle are opportunity, motivation, and rationalization.

The opportunity to commit fraud is possible when people access to assets and information that allows them to both commit and conceal fraud.  

Motivation is a pressure or a “need” felt by the person who commits fraud. It might be a real financial or other type of need, such as high medical bills or debts. Or it could be a perceived financial need, such as a person who has a desire for material goods but not the means to get them. Motivators can also be nonfinancial. Addictions such as gambling and drugs may also motivate someone to commit fraud.

Lastly, people may rationalize this behaviour by determining that committing fraud is OK for a variety of reasons. For those who are generally dishonest, it’s probably easier to rationalize a fraud. For those with higher moral standards, it’s probably not so easy. They must convince themselves that fraud is OK with “excuses” for their behaviour.

A thief may convince himself that he is just “borrowing” money and will pay it back one day.

Others believe that they “deserve” to have money stolen because of bad acts against them.

All students of anti-fraud principles — whether in higher education or on the job —eventually learn about the seminal Fraud Triangle. We can find this diagram in fraud examination, accounting, auditing and marketing literature. The Fraud Triangle is universally accepted in almost every setting in which fraud is described or analysed.

Making off without payment or bilking

If someone stays at your hotel and deliberately leaves without paying this is a type of theft.

It is known as ‘making off without payment’ or 'bilking’.

Using West Midlands Police as an example, a helper guide online as to what actions can be taken depending on your circumstances: https://west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/leaving-hotel-without-paying

The output from one such test of the guide: Leaving a hotel without paying and there are witnesses … My situation is this has happened more than once … The person who did this I think I know who did this … Evidence wise - there is video footage or photos … My concerns are - this is affecting my mental or physical health.

If you are a witness or know someone who is then the Police need to know your / their details including name, address and telephone number. If this has happened more than once, please tell them when you report it to them. Please provide details of other times this has happened.

If you know the person or people who have done this, the Police will need you to tell them how you know them and why you think they are linked to the offence. If you have video or photographic evidence, make sure you download and save it, as this could be invaluable to the investigation.

If you choose to report this incident online (say, to the West Midlands Police) you can upload the evidence directly to them with your report. If there is enough evidence, officers may arrest and charge a suspect. The court will then decide whether the person is guilty, and if so, allocate a suitable sentence.  

A community resolution may also be considered.

Logbook Loans with Outstanding Finance

Logbook loans are loans secured on your vehicle, so the lender owns your vehicle until you pay the loan back. You can keep on using your vehicle as long as you repay the loan.

However, logbook loans are expensive and risky, and you should avoid them if you can.

You can normally borrow between £500 and £50,000, depending on how much your car is worth. Although some firms will only lend up to half of your car’s value. When you take out a logbook loan, you’ll usually be asked to hand over your vehicle’s logbook or vehicle registration document.

But even if you don’t, you’re still handing over ownership of the car until the loan is repaid.

Logbook loans are used only in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are not available in Scotland – if you’re offered a loan there, it’s likely to be a hire-purchase or a conditional sale, so check carefully what is involved and how it works.

You need to be the legal owner of the vehicle, usually with a value over £500 and with no finance outstanding on it.

If a car is bought on finance, such as a hire purchase (HP) or personal contract purchase (PCP) agreement, the vehicle legally belongs to the finance company until the agreement has been settled and all outstanding repayments have been made. Even if the logbook (V5 document) is registered in your name, it is the finance company that legally owns your vehicle, which is why you cannot usually get a logbook loan on a car you do not legally own.

This fact alone may stop a would-be criminal attempting to raise money from your own car albeit, a financed one.

Body-Worn Video 101

Common law provides the police with the authority to use Born-Worn Video (BWV) in the lawful execution of their duties, for the purpose of the prevention and detection of crime.

The operational use of body-worn video must be proportionate, legitimate and necessary.

Compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and Surveillance Camera Code of Practice ensures that the use of BWV is always proportionate, legitimate and necessary. Continuous, non-specific recording however is not permitted.

BWV devices may be used to gather digital video evidence across a wide range of operational policing situations. For example, BWV may help to support the CPS to achieve enhanced sentencing to prosecute hate crime or domestic abuse offenders.

Under normal circumstances, officers should not use BWV in private dwellings. However, if a user is present at an incident in a private dwelling and is there for a genuine policing purpose, they are entitled to make a BWV recording in the same way as they would record any other incident.

BWV may be used to capture the first account of victims and/or witnesses at an incident.

Users should seek the permission of a victim prior to recording serious crime victims and witnesses, or involving children or vulnerable adults, who may be eligible for special measures. BWV may be used to capture a first account, and witnesses may be permitted to review their account prior to making and signing any written statement.

The first account is principally about determining any action that is immediately necessary.

Officers should only ask such questions as necessary to:

  • establish if an offence has been committed

  • establish where it occurred and who was responsible

  • assess the current risk to the victim(s) and witness(es)

  • identify and prioritise areas of the investigation.

Such recordings do not replace the need for formal written statements from victims or witnesses, but they can be used as supporting evidence. When users are dealing with a vulnerable adult or a child (a person under 18) as a witness or victim, the initial contact/meeting should not be recorded on BWV without obtaining permission. At the start of any recording, the user should, where practicable, make a verbal announcement to indicate that the BWV equipment has been activated.

BWV may be used when dealing with priority victims (victims of most serious crime, persistently targeted victims and vulnerable or intimidated witnesses) with their consent. BWV material provides a reasonably complete record of what its user sees and hears at an incident.

Interesting read … extracts taken from the College of Policing guide on Body-Worn Video.

What is a notice of disassociation?

If you have shared finances with somebody in the past, they might show up on your credit record. If you don't want this to happen, you can apply for a notice of disassociation.

A notice of disassociation is something you can put on your credit report to let lenders know that you’re no longer financially associated with someone. You can get Equifax, Experian & TransUnion to add a notice of dissociation to your report by filling in a dispute form (of sorts).

You may not have heard of financial disassociation, but it can make a real difference to you if your current or ex-spouse or partner starts to incur a high level of debt.

Why?

Because it can affect your ability to get credit in the future too.

If your current or ex-partner or spouse has lots of debt, or they’re paying late, part-paying or missing payments out altogether, it doesn’t directly affect your credit score, but it is something that the new lender will look at. The lender may see this as a red flag and decide that lending you any more money is too risky.

Applying for disassociation is easy to do! This allows you to remove the link between you and your ex, so that their financial issues no longer affect your chances of getting credit. You can access the forms you require here:

Experian

Call credit

Equifax