Editor’s note: The following essay was contributed to Lovefraud by Kenneth Royce at www.javelinpress.com. Ken discovered that a “friend” was a pathological liar, serial thief and con artist. “Though he made off with over $10,000 of my property in a very complicated scam,” Ken says, “it’s had the ironic benefit of outing him for the sociopath he is, and thus warning many other unsuspecting people.”
Autostereograms produce an illusion of depth using only a single image. The image is usually generated by computer, by repeating a narrow pattern from left to right. By decoupling eye convergence from focusing operations, a viewer is able to trick the brain into seeing a 3D scene.
How to see a 3D autostereogram
With your face about six inches from the image, look through it as though it were a window (and your trying to see something beyond it) and then move slowly back (keep the same beyond focus). You will see a 3D image come into view.
This is called “parallel viewing” because your eyes are unfocusing slightly (i.e., diverging towards parallel) as if seeing something beyond the 2D image. The muscles inside your eye that control the focusing lens relax. Various autostereograms are at www.vision3d.com.
The sociopath’s autostereogram
Sociopaths train the unsuspecting to see differently. They train us to see the autostereogram image of their story.
Of their lie.
The mind muscle that controls mental focus is coaxed into relaxing. In the hands of an experienced sociopath, we do this unknowingly. Their goal is for us to transpose reality (the flat 2D nature of their shallow lives) for a mirage (their fictitious 3D image of accomplishment, success, bravery, generosity, integrity, etc.).
We are taught to not only see their mirage, but transpose it for reality—and keep transposing it until we forget what the reality ever was. The more relaxed your focus, the more intense and real the mirage will become.
Another helpful parallel is that once you’ve seen a particular autostereogram several times, it is much quicker to see that image than any new autostereogram. You’ve conditioned your mind to expect what it has already seen, and you will almost instantly bypass the 2D for the 3D.
You now seek the lie. Over time, and without conscious effort, you will
routinely forsake reality for a mirage.
You can blink, or even close your eyes for several seconds, and not lose the mirage because…you’ve…retained…it…in…your…mind. Your focus has become so casually relaxed that you’ve lost focus altogether.
To act within this mirage as if it were reality will confuse your friends and family, and they will question your judgment, loyalty, and even sanity.
At that point, you are fully operating within the sociopath’s construct, a dreamworld created solely for his enjoyment and benefit. He controls the rules and pace of the game, and thus the outcome.
He takes. You give. He wins. You lose. That is the probable outcome, and you won’t figure out that you’ve even lost until long afterwards. It may take months or even years to fully realize the hugeness of the lie you lived in. Once you do, you will be ashamed at what you retrospectively see as your own foolish trust.
How do I avoid the sociopath’s mirage?
By knowing how it feels when your mind’s focus is being relaxed. It’s a brief odd sensation, like putting on somebody else’s glasses. If you comport yourself past that sensation, you will lose your own focus. Remember, “decoupling eye convergence from focusing operations” is the 3D trick.
This odd sensation is your B.S. detector, especially when they are acting.
The “Hey, wait a minute!” reaction is your subconscious trying to get your active attention that something is wrong, untruthful, contradictory, dangerous, or even evil. Whenever “something doesn’t add up”…trust it!
Whenever you feel it, immediately stop listening to the speaker, mentally step back and regain perspective. Instantly challenge the prima facie untruthful and exaggerated. Don’t be shy—cry Bullsh*t! Seek independent corroboration. Consult with his/her former friends, lovers, business partners, etc. Sociopaths usually have extremely bad credit.
Keep your eyes open. It is possible to spot them before they strike. Selective distrust is the parent of security.
Once you’ve confidently identified a likely sociopath, coolly disengage ALL contact, and quietly warn others to beware.
What if I’m already in the mirage? How do I get out?
The sociopath’s 3D lie can only be seen from only one vantage point—the one you’ve been slyly placed at (through trust and gullibility) and subsequently anchored to (through familiarity and loyalty). If you shift (even slightly) your perspective…the image will vanish.
Usually, somebody will say that one thing that finally jolts the return of your mental focus—if only momentarily. The mirage will then vanish, if only momentarily, and that is your chance to maintain your focus by piecing together the lies told to you.
These mirages are fragile things. They require constant vigilance by the sociopath to maintain the viewer’s limited perspective and relaxed focus. (This is the purpose of frequent pity-ploys. It is emotionally impossible to simultaneously pity yet suspect deceit. Your mind can do only one or the other.)
Escaping from the sociopath’s mirage and returning to reality is an uncomfortable process. It will take much time for your mind to reorient itself. This often engenders considerable confusion.
Time away from the sociopath can allow your mind to regain its focus, but usually that isn’t enough. You will need the surrogate focus of your friends and family who haven’t been fooled by the mirage. Give what they say (no matter how painful or embarrassing) a chance, and hear them out.
Contact others who have been conned by the same sociopath; you will validate each other and this is incredibly relieving and comforting. Soon, the mirage will no longer have any influence over you, and you’ll wonder how you ever believed it at all.
My hunch is that one’s opportunity of seeing through a sociopath is most keen at the very beginning. Once you’ve let your mind go “cross-eyed” in order to “see”/believe the lie, it’s too late. You’ve already reprogrammed your vision by then to see differently, which makes seeing the truth very difficult. A good jolt is usually required to “snap out of it,” but by then the damage has already been done.
The eyes see only what the mind has prepared itself to observe. “Hear hoof beats. Expect horses, not zebras,” as sci-fi author Robert Heinlein once wrote.
In short, people see clearly only at the very beginning, or at the very end—and very rarely during the middle.
You’ll avoid incalculable grief if you learn how to consistently see clearly from the beginning.
Common Law Copyright 2007, Kenneth Royce. All Rights Reserved.