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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Surfing With the Psychopath

There comes a time in most people’s lives when they are confronted with bullying. The fact is that there are a lot of people out there who are just not very nice. In fact probably about 3.6 percent of the adult American population has anti-social; personality disorder, according to These people are also referred to as sociopaths or psychopaths.

The defining traits of antisocial personality disorder are a disregard for the wellbeing of others, as well as a tendency to violate their rights. Some common characteristics of psychopaths include a tendency to:
  • engage in violent acts and fights
  • feel no guilt or remorse for his or her actions
  • have no concern for individual safety or the safety of others
  • lie or deceive consistently
  • regularly break the law
  • steal.
They are also typically angry, self-interested and arrogant. Even so, some sociopaths may seem charming or even flattering. Needless to say, the psychopath merely uses these social tools to manipulate people for selfish ends. (source)

Unfortunately psychopaths love power, and it is commonly stated that leadership and power roles are attractive to those with psychopathic tendencies. This means that there is a reasonable chance that the boss is quite literally “psycho”. While this won’t come as a surprise to many experienced workers, it is a sobering thought. As a rough estimate, probably 5-10-percent of bosses may have antisocial personality disorder.

What do you do when you find yourself in a position of subordination to a genuine bully? No doubt you will get many suggestions from friends or online sources. However my particular interest in this phenomenon is from the perspective of someone who is on a soul journey. I’ve used the term “champion of the soul” a few times recently, and here I am going to suggest some general principles which can help a person who is dealing with a real bully. My emphasis here is upon seeing the situation as a growth experience, and as stepping stone to greater empowerment. The following should be considered as the advice of someone who has had several experiences in the area, and who has attempted to apply spiritual principles to those situations. Feel free to make observations or distinctions in the comments section, below.

As an excellent exemplar, please allow me to refer to a tale which I outlined very briefly in my book Sage of Synchronicity - only in a little more detail here. This will help me explain the preferred processes in real-world terms. Unfortunately I cannot explain here the full process. That would really require direct exploration in a workshop or one-on-one counseling. Nonetheless, you will be able to get the essentials.

In 1996 I was a fairly naïve and shy 30 year old guy who had just landed his first job overseas.

I arrived in New Zealand from my native Australia with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The position I had obtained was as a humble English teacher at an international school near Wellington, on the North Island.

When I arrived at the office on the first day I got quite a shock. The head teacher of the English department, Janie, refused to talk to me. And I do mean that quite literally. Well, at first she said a few words as she showed me around, but after a day or two she simply decided that I wasn’t worth the effort of human communication.

Janie had just accepted the position of Head teacher, and at the age of 30, she was full of ambition and high hopes for the apartment. Too bad she was also a psychopath.

I had been selected by the principal for the job, in an interview that took place in Australia, and so (I assume) Janie had not been central to the decision making process. Perhaps it was for this reason that she decided that I was persona non gratia.

It was a real case of the cold shoulder. I would walk into the staffroom in the morning, say hello to her, and she would just ignore me. This made for a rather uncomfortable situation, given that there were only three teachers in the department, and she sat about two metres away from me!

Then it started to get scary. One day a male teacher came up to me, and said that a boy in Janie’s class had told him that she was mocking me in front of her students, including imitating the way I walked, talked and dressed.

This was way too much. There was a need for some more deliberate action. So I approached her in the school courtyard not long after, and gently but firmly told her what I had heard. She just shook her head and said she knew nothing about it.

The situation did not improve. One morning I awoke hearing the Aerosmith song Janie’s Got a Gun in my mind. I awake most mornings with words from songs in my head, a common expression of spiritual guidance for me. That day I knew something would be up at school. I entered the staffroom with a slight sense of dread, and walked over to my desk, where I found white envelope lying prominently right before me. I opened it, and found a two-page letter from Janie. It was quite literally a detailed list of inadequacies in my teaching. There were about 30 bullet points in total. No pedagogical leaf had been left unturned.

Janie arrived and made no attempt to talk to me, as usual. Eventually, when we had a moment alone, I asked her about the letter. I was far from impressed, and the tone of my voice must have registered that quite clearly. I asked her why she had not spoken to me if she felt there were problems with my teaching. She barely looked at me, and muttered something about expected standards, and walked away.

The next unfortunate event took place a little later, when I attended a staff meeting which Janie chaired. I had to leave the meeting a little early to attend to a duty. The next day a male teacher came up to me and said quite literally.

“You know that Janie’s got it in for you, don’t you?” He explained that as soon as I’d left the meeting she had begun to run me down in front of the other staff members.

Things were getting out of hand. Not only was the behavior disturbing, it was downright unprofessional. I spoke to her once more, and again she denied all allegations.

As I was already working on an inner process throughout this time, I realised that there was a major issue I had to work with. The situation had become a ‘drama’. This means that Janie and I had created an exchange of psychic energy. So beyond the real world action of trying to confront her, I was also working on an inner process.

I had by this time developed the ability to read consciousness fields, both my own and other people’s. As I channeled the consciousnessof the drama, I saw that the essence of it was that Janie was playing persecutor, and I the victim. She was bombarding me with some very aggressive messages about my lack of masculinity. “You are a weak man. You are pathetic. Who would ever want you? You are a loser.”

As I mentioned in my previous post, psychic messages are information projected unconsciously from one mind to another, with the purpose of manipulating and controlling the other person. (They typically mirror the judgments we have of other people, which is one reason why judging people can actually hurt them psychically). We all ‘message’ other people, and I am no exception. Janie was also energetically attacking my base chakra (a relatively common occurrence in male/female dramas). The base chakra is the foundation of male power, so it is a common target for psychic projections from women to men (the reverse is also true for male-female projections). Basically, she was castrating me. The message I was sending back to her was “You are crazy. You are witch! What the fuck is wrong with you, you hag!”

In fact I could go further into psychic projections, and show you some even darker stuff than that was occurring between us, but it would be a bit much for most readers. I think you get the general idea from what I write here.

Dramas don’t just happen. Remember, the essence of the law of attraction is that we attract what we are, not necessarily what we want. The drama between Janie and I reflected the soul issues of both of us. In my case, it was all about my issues with women, most notably my mother. My childhood had been dominated by the energy of my mother, who had major unresolved issues towards men herself. Many of her issues were to do with the expression of male sexuality. This in turn had been passed down from her father, who was a notorious wife beater and drunk. So when little Marcus came along into this world, he didn’t have much chance. He copped a real hiding. Then when he grew up to be a 30 year old man with a psychopathic female boss, those issues remained.

For a soul champion, when there is a drama it is often not enough to take action in the real world (although these actions are often necessary). It is also necessary to go within and connect with our wounded child, who is reenacting the dramas of childhood (and often past lives). This is precisely what I did in the case with Janie. Each time I felt the psychic well rising, I went to my bedroom, channeled the energy of the drama, then connected with the wounded child who was dragging me into the drama. By acknowledging my judgments towards Janie I was able to pull in my psychic energy, and by connecting with the wounded child who had been hurt by my mother, I was able to plug the ‘hole’ in my consciousness field via which Janie’s psychic energy was attacking me.

Eventually Janie got the idea that she wasn’t going to bully me. She then turned on the other teacher in the staffroom, Kate, a much older and more experienced educator. Janie began to bully Kate, and the result was that they ended up in a screaming match outside the staffroom one day. Kate then went into drama big time. There were many days when Kate ranted to me about Janie’s lack of sanity - whenever Janie was not around.

To cut a long story short, Janie got pregnant not long after, and took a year off work. When she came back both Kate and I resigned. We weren’t prepared to put up with that crap again!

Walking away is always an option. As they say in Hindu lore, when you meet the tiger on the path, simply step out of the way. I stayed for as long as I felt there was energy on remaining, and on learning the lessons that needed learning. Once that energy was gone, I got on my bike.

The drama with Janie ultimately empowered me. Not completely, but just a little. I had faced a female psychopath, and managed to stand in my power as a man – for the first time in my life. I had seen and felt my own pain at a deeper level, and reclaimed part of my soul. I had also dramatically improved my people skills, not to mention my psychic skills.

A champion of the soul is one who works simultaneously with both an inner and an outer process. When he finds himself in drama, he owns his psychic projections, and comes into a greater awareness of his ego, his biographical pain and soul issues. In short he works through some of his own karma, and comes closer to God.


  1. Great post, Marcus. I, too, worked with a woman who was very similar to this one. I also knew her socially. I think some people go from person to person using them as lightening rods for their anger. When one steps out of the way, as you did here, then they are replaced. I don't know if they are true psychopaths or just totally unconscious people, unaware of why they continue to need psychic whipping boys.

  2. Yes Nancy, it's debatable who is classified as a psychopath. I never asked Janie to take a test, so can't answer from a strictly empirical viewpoint! She may actually just have been quite narcissistic - or maybe even both. Either way, she had little regard for the well-being of others, and saw people as opportunities, or threats to her plans. One Australian TV programme I saw some time ago suggested that psychopaths were quite prevalent in positions of power in society - there was an interview by an Aussie psychologist who'd researched the subject - he concluded that 2% of males, and 0.5% of females were psychopathic.


  3. Thank you Marcus for an AWESOME post! In fact, I have been praying for months about my current situation at work, which this post actually addresses. I, too, have a female supervisor who is a bully. She has an incredibly nice side, which drew me in at first, but also a deeply rooted Obsessive-compulsive need to control other people. I've been searching for a better job for many months now, trying to get away from this unhealthy situation.

    Your example makes a lot of sense to me, because I definitely do feel attempts by others to emasculate me. I don't get along with a certain type of woman (the pushy bullying type), which my office has an overabundance of. Perhaps the reason why I haven't been able to move on is because I haven't learned my lesson. With your post, I found a new angle to try. Thank you for posting a personal example so I can see parallels in my own life and understand the concepts you have written about.

  4. Dear Sansego,

    I wish you well. I should tell you though, that I had done quite a bit of work in this area before my "drama" with Janie, and I had the counsel of spiritual teachers as I worked through the process.

    The inner child work that I refer to here is quite difficult, unless you have someone to work with. The same goes for channeling consciousness fields. Perhaps the simplest part would be to channel your own ego towards the female figure. You can do this by going somewhere private, imagining her being there, and just saying whatever you really feel like saying to her - warts and all! The key though, is not to identify with that voice, and to assume responsibility for it. Dialogue with it. Most of all, avoid blame and projection.

    I do describe this process in more detail in my book Sage of Synchronicity. If you really want to pursue this process, I suggest you get the book. I also do phone sessions with people, if you are interested.


  5. Marcus,

    Thanks for the tips. I'm definitely interested in buying your book. Its on amazon, right?

    I don't think I can afford a phone session, though. I'm mostly focused on finding a new job. The lady has her issues and I understand what they are. I just need to set psychic boundaries until the day I walk out of here.

    Can't wait to read your book, though.