Sam Vaknin read my post (and has a few corrections)!


I feel silly and a little childish being so impressed by this, but Mr. Vaknin himself commented on yesterday’s article and also said there were a few corrections to be made. I made the changes to that post, but I also thought this warranted a brand new post. There is some information I neglected to include in the article, which includes a video (one of many on his Youtube channel), a rebuttal on his website, and a IMDB review of “I, Psychopath” that paints Vaknin as a psychopathic monster but at least an HONEST monster–while painting Ian Walker, the director, as a dishonest, unethical monster who misrepresented Vaknin’s credentials and character by using clever editing.

Comment from Sam Vaknin:
Thank you for this honest take on “I, Psychopath”. Just several minor corrections: (1) I have twice diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (in 1986 and in 1995); (2) My book was first published in 1997; (3) The PDF version available on my Website comprises only EXCERPTS; (4) I have commented on “I, Psychopath” here: I find Shmezl’s review of the film to most accurately reflect my opinion of it: Thank you again. Sam

Thanks for the update! 🙂 — Lucky Otter


ETA: I found Shmezl’s IMDB review of “I, Psychopath” and will repost what he says here. He doesn’t seem to have many positive things to say about Vaknin, but I guess Vaknin approves of being classified this way, because it makes him the big bad psychopathic narcissist he believes he is (and maybe he really is!) Schmezl doesn’t seem to hold the film’s director, Ian Walker, in very high regard either. Perhaps both of them are raging narcissists, and that probably isn’t too far from the truth, because Vaknin and Walker seemed to dislike each other intensely in the film. When two narcissists are put together, they almost always can’t stand each other. Neither will allow themselves to be used as “narcissistic supply,” unless one of the narcissists is stronger and overtakes the weaker one. But they will still hate each other.

Can’t trust the director
Author: Shemzl from Israel

24 March 2010
Sam Vaknin, the subject of this documentary, we are told, has a high IQ (185!!!), a sense of humor, an irresistible charm, a fake doctorate, and a submissive-codependent doll of a wife. I saw no sign of the first three. Sam is nothing short of loathsome, with a reptilian quality that would send shivers down any normal spine. He is a sadistic and robotically methodical verbal thug who exalts in his handiwork as he reduces everyone around him to stammering nervous wrecks. His wife, Lydia, is a tragic, heart-wrenching, truly lovable figure. What she sees in this physically and spiritually repulsive putrid shell of a human being is beyond me. The moments with her were the strongest in the movie and Walker made a bad call of not pivoting the film around her demure presence. >I hope she doesn’t get her wish and have kids with Vaknin. She and her children deserve far better.

But I harbor grave suspicions regarding the director of this “gem”, Ian Walker. Clearly, there is no love lost between him and his protagonist, Vaknin. Equally clearly, we cannot trust him to be truthful and to avoid the kind of editing that borders on misleading the viewer.

Consider Sam’s allegedly forged academic degree. Whatever his shortcomings and repugnant traits, Sam is brutally and unflinchingly and invariably and unfailingly honest about himself, his disorder, and what a monster he is. Why would he lie about an irrelevant and minor topic like his academic degree? Throughout the film and in its closing 2 minutes Sam protests that he had attended a full-fledged university with campus, faculty and students; that he had submitted a doctoral dissertation (indeed, it can be found in the Library of Congress!); and that he has had to defend it. Walker than plucks a sentence out of context and adds it artificially to Vaknin’s previous protestations to create the (patently false!) impression that Vaknin admits to having a fake doctorate!!!

Or, consider this: Walker meticulously documents Vaknin’s abusive raging outbursts. On many occasions, it is crystal-clear that Vaknin is reacting to off-camera taunting and ill-treatment by Walker. Walker even admits in his PR material to having “poked this snake with a stick”. The film’s logo is an image of Walker decapitating Vaknin! But Walker never shows us what he did to Vaknin – only what Vaknin did to him, ostensibly unprovoked. Walker uses clever, one-sided editing to achieve a highly unethical result: a misrepresentation of what happened, for sure!

This is what I mean when I say that I cannot trust the seethingly hateful, resentful, and envious Walker to be an impartial guide to Vaknin’s circumstances, conduct, and psyche.

Shouldn’t documentary filmmakers harbor at least a modicum of sympathy and compassion in order to avoid the voyeuristic pornography that most exposes become? Walker failed to skirt this particular trap. Hence 7 stars instead of 10.

26 thoughts on “Sam Vaknin read my post (and has a few corrections)!

  1. Oh that’s not to minimize your post. Sorry, I realized after posting it might sound that way. I read another one of your movie reviews and found myself rather envious. My reviews of movies usually add up to “It was good” or “Meh, I’ve seen better.” Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, no, I didn’t take it that way. In fact, your comment made me laugh and he probably was searching for himself and came across my post. I bet he spends all his free time combing the internets looking for himself. From his comments and rebuttal, I’m thinking the man really is a narcissist albeit a somewhat charming one (well, most of them are charming haha). I bet he’d be flattered to know I’ve changed my mind from thinking he might not be a narcissist to thinking he most likely is one! Sam, are you reading this? 😉


  2. Impressive as well he should I got his Kindle edition of his book because of your post. You did him a favor. Your blog must really be travelling or being a narcissist he probably googled his name!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, I’ve read his books, and honestly, call me shallow but I really don’t care if he has a wimpy wife or if he’s an asshole, or even if he has an authentic degree. I read the book because I was trying to figure out the person I was in a relationship with, and Vaknin’s book helped me. TONS. One thing, though, that I had a problem with was that everything was written about the MALIGNANT narcissist and not everything quite lined up with my significant other – but then, I found out there is a second type, a BENIGN narcissist. So the whole world makes sense now – it was like, discovering that the earth was actually round. Everything just kind of fell into place & made sense. The trouble with having narcissists in your life is that (unlike Vaknin) most of them refuse treatment. Everyone else in the world needs treatment, not them. So, folks like me in a relationship with them are left floundering with a whole lot of “wtfs”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your insightful comments. Vaknin hasn’t really accepted treatment per se, just psychological evaluations to prove that he’s the malignant narcissist and psychopath he insists he is. I agree he doesn’t really address benign narcissism (and there is such a thing) . Benign narcissists are full of themselves, arrogant and probably vain, but have no desire to hurt others or use others to get their own way. They can act like assholes, but are not lacking a conscience and do have some empathy. I suppose he doesnt address the benign form of narcissism because he’s only concerned with his own brand of malignant narcissism (though I do have my doubts still that he’s a malignant narcissist–based on his honesty and his insight, and willingness to help victims overcome psychopathic abuse). He’s highly intelligent, and perhaps that intelligence has given him the ability to overcome some of the more malignant effects of narcissism. Like I said, he’s an enigma, and while definitely fitting the profile in most ways, in some important ways he’s an anomaly. I do think he’s written one of the best and most insightful books about narcissism out there, and since I don’t know him personally or have to deal with him on that level, I don’t really give a rat’s ass if he’s a complete asshat in his personal life. He’s done victims a narcissism a huge service.


      • JMO of course but what is his intent? My illiterate mother is the queen of gaslighting and can have anyone on her side believing her and everyone else is crazy. A well educated MN ….well maybe more so.

        I haven’t read his books yet so I can’t say much but I did read on another site that the book is much too self-serving and defends the MN in general. Can’t remember the source though. And in my opinion gas-lighting is an enigma.

        You know, I just don’t trust anyone. I once had a church pastor gaslight the whole congregation unknowingly. He had us all hating eachother through his sermons. I just don’t take these people seriously, they always seem to have an angle.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m still pondering what his intent is. I’m almost obsessed with what his motives are for wanting to help victims since wanting to help others is diametically opposed to what MN’s do. He has insight enough to know how dangerous he (and people like him) are. I have read parts of his books (PDF version) and just ordered the paperback from amazon which must be a huge tome because of it’s price. But he’s very verbose, I can tell that from what I have read on his site so it doesn’t surprise me it’s a big book. If anyone knows what makes a narcissist tick, it’s a narcissist writing about it, so I have to read the whole thing. I’m sure his motives in writing such books must be self-serving, maybe for the fame and money–but he’sgot credibility too because of the respect he’s received from both professionals and others in the narcissistic abuse community and a lot of people say his writings helped them a lot, so idk…it’s so weird.


        • I don’t mind if his books are self-serving to make money. Me, I would write a book to make money. I don’t know he’s narcissistic for myself, have to see him for myself. I don’t know about his doctor’s evaluations, they don’t do anything for me.

          But I have learned the best way to tell if a narc is lying. A narc is always lying. Always. Never to be trusted. How he creates the angles of lying might require a scientific analysis beyond my abilities. So I just go by always they are lying. i can build a house on shaky ground, it might look good. For me, its keep it simple, they are lying.

          I hope I’m not being too crass. I’m just learning and angry, guess it shows. I’m not trying to offend you 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • You didn’t offend me at all. It’s true that narcissists are always lying and you can’t trust a thing they say. The closest they get to truth is half-truths (which leave out information). They lie even when there’s no reason to. It’s like a game to them.

            As for Vaknin, I don’t care about his “qualifications.” I just got his tome in the mail (omg it’s HUGE!) but I’ll be able to make a better judgment after I read his whole book. One thing Vaknin doesn’t do is lie about narcissism and him being a narc is more than enough qualification for me. It will be an interesting read and then I’ll review it. (I’ve only read portions of the PDF version)


  4. Oh and Joan, I would totally write a book to make money. Hell, at some point I want to make money from this blog. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Obviously money isn’t the reason I write this blog (since I don’t get any from it) but I sure wouldn’t mind ditching my day job and getting paid to do this!


    • I watched on of his videos tonight and learned that if the narcissist doesn’t involve himself with the public in some ways, it will lead to a much bigger psychosis; it will increase his psychopathy, he will become even worse. So my thought is that he is using his own desire to talk about himself as a way to involve himself in the world, a way to force himself to interact with people, thus setting up a stopgap and preventing a further slide into psychosis. He has already admitted that he has very few sadistic tendencies and in that way he has lucked out bc it could be worse.


      • That’s intereresting, Joan. I hadn’t heard about that (I may read it in his book though). He doesn’t strike me as a bad person and all and maybe there is a part of him that really wants to be a good person and wants to help people–which would mean that he’s not lacking empathy. He may be a low spectrum narcissist, or has a disorder that mimics narcissism in certain ways (such as Aspergers?) Or perhaps due to his high intelligence, he has more insight than most narcissists of normal intellect and realizes the benefits of being engaged in a positive way with the world. I just don’t know. But it’s fascinating.


        • God, he must be getting so much narcissistic supply if he’s reading how much we’re all talking about him here. That is if he’s a narcissist. I keep flip flopping on the issue–is he, or isn’t he? He’s certain he is.


  5. He certainly is a fascinating individual. If he’s introspective enough to realize that he is a genuine narcissist and/or is fully capable of psychologically dissecting them, he’s sharp enough to realize that he found himself a VERY unique money/narcissistic supply source and he’d be disadvantaging himself by not being completely frank. People seem to pounce on him for for any. little. thing. and he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by telling the truth. Every time he does he gains more credibility. I don’t care what his motives (or credentials) are, his insights have been priceless to me.

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