Lovefraud.com reached a milestone last week—it’s been a year since the website was launched. An anniversary is always a good time for reflections and observations, so here are some of mine.
1. The destruction that sociopaths inflict on other lives is staggeringMy ex-husband, James Montgomery, defrauded me of more than $227,000, had affairs with at least six women during our two-year marriage, fathered a child with one of them and then committed bigamy. I thought that was bad.
But in the past year, more than 130 people have called and sent e-mails telling their stories, and many are far worse. People have told me of rampant fraud, child abuse, physical beatings and possible murders. The callous viciousness with which sociopaths destroy their targets is unbelievable.
2. The lack of awareness about sociopaths is widespread and dangerous
Many people equate sociopaths and psychopaths with wild-haired, beady-eyed killers like Charles Manson. In fact, when I recently sent out a press release about Lovefraud.com, Bios Magazine illustrated it with a photo of Jack Nicholson from the horror movie, The Shining.
Consequently, people are totally blindsided when they discover that the person they married, who looks nothing like Charles Manson or a raving Jack Nicholson, is a sociopath. “I never knew it was possible for people to be this evil,” is a comment I’ve heard many times.
3. The legal system is totally unprepared to deal with sociopaths
Although some are capable of it, most sociopaths do not commit murder. They just cruise along below the radar, defrauding people, defaulting on loans and credit cards, abandoning children and hurting people in ways the authorities can’t be bothered to prosecute. And sometimes, even when they do commit murder, they get away with it.
Family court judges are particularly clueless when it comes to dealing with sociopaths. They are often snowed by the “perfect father” or “perfect mother” act these people present in court, disregard evidence of the real emotional damage they do to children, and award them joint custody or unsupervised visitation. They also allow the predators to keep dragging their ex-spouses into court on false or frivolous issues, so the victims continue to bleed financially.
4. The media just don’t get it
When some sociopath does something that lands him or her on the front page or evening news, the media sensationalize the case like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. No one seems to realize that whatever the sociopath did is typical of people with this personality disorder.
And when reporters do understand that the perpetrator is a sociopath, their lawyers won’t let them say it. Everyone is afraid that mentioning the word sociopath, even as an opinion, is grounds for a lawsuit.
I am very grateful to everyone who has told me how my website has helped you. Lovefraud’s goal continues to be raising awareness of the danger of sociopaths. I hope to help you recognize and avoid them, because once you’re caught in their web of deceit, you’re on your own.
I thank everyone who has sent e-mail and comments over the past year, and I welcome your continued input.