Last week the Lovefraud Blog reported that Phil Haberman, who recently received an other-than-honorable discharge from the military and failed in his quest to get a Purple Heart, is currently online looking for love. Haberman’s MySpace.com profile says he was hurt in Iraq and he’s still in the reserves—just a few of his bogus claims.
The Las Vegas Review Journal included Haberman in a recent article about men who wear military medals that they didn’t earn. Glenn Campbell, author of the Family Court Chronicles blog in Las Vegas, sees nothing wrong stolen valor. “Let the boys play,” he writes.
Campbell expressed his views on the Review Journal article in a commentary called Cads on Parade (scroll down to 3/26/06). “Our position is, let people be whoever they want: Purple Heart veteran, Emperor of Spain, alien ambassador from the star Draconis,” he writes. “As long as they play their role with grace and aren’t hurting others, why does it matter?”
Haberman, of course, cost his ex-wife about $40,000 and ruined her credit. She recently filed identity theft charges against him. Haberman also defrauded another woman of $5,000—he was found guilty in small claims court. And he fathered a child with a different woman—she wants nothing to do with him.
Blame the women
And who is at fault? According to Campbell, the women.
“You can’t have a bogus hero without somebody willing to accept his claims at face value because it serves their own somewhat devious emotional needs,” Campbell writes. “Here’s some news for you, ladies: Men sometimes lie to women to get what they want. (We’re ashamed of that element of our gender, but no one can deny it.) If you fail to detect a compulsive liar in spite of the creepy vibes he inevitably gives off, then it’s really your problem, not his.”
It’s obvious that this man has never dealt with a sociopath. Or if he has, he didn’t know it.
Sociopaths in action
Sociopaths usually appear to be the picture of sincerity. They are glib, charming and frequently offer to help. When closing in on a victim, their most common approach is the pity play—appealing to the victim’s sympathies, good nature and willingness to give people a chance.
Sociopaths rarely give off “creepy vibes.” If they do, it’s only for a moment, and then they quickly have a plausible explanation for any inconsistency the victim detected.
And then there’s the matter of scale. Women are accustomed to men who lie to get laid. Usually the lies are limited to “I’m single” and “I’ll call you.” When a man proposes marriage and actually go through with it—well, that’s usually a signal that the guy is serious. But it’s a signal that can’t be trusted when he is a sociopath, which the woman discovers far too late.
Unfortunately, Campbell’s blame-the-victim attitude is a typical reaction. The damage and destruction sociopaths inflict is traumatic enough. But then instead of receiving support, the victims face criticism and ridicule from family, friends—and ill-informed commentators.