Last week I spoke to a Lovefraud reader who, like most of us, had a terrible run-in with a sociopath. She’d learned the hard way about these human predators, and wanted to warn others about them. She was thinking about making a YouTube video, and asked what I thought of the idea.
Although I applaud this reader’s desire to educate the public, I think it’s very difficult for one person with one YouTube video to raise awareness about sociopaths. Back in 2009, it was estimated that there were 120 million videos on YouTube. According to YouTube’s fact sheet, 24 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute. It’s easy to get lost among all that content.
Still, I agree with the woman’s objective—that’s why I founded Lovefraud.com. That’s why I wrote my book, Love Fraud — How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan.
I believe that raising awareness of sociopaths is one of the best things we can do to improve our world. Sociopaths are probably responsible for most of the ills in our society: crime, violence, neglect, abuse. Sociopaths with political power start wars. Sociopaths with economic power exploit workers, defile the environment, ruin companies and defraud customers and shareholders. Sociopathic parents cause untold pain for their children. Sociopaths who portray themselves as religious leaders cause incredible spiritual damage. The ways in which they wreak havoc appear to be limitless.
We know this, because we’ve lived it. But millions of other people are still clueless, which means they are ripe to be victimized. To solve the problem, like-minded people need to work together.
When I launched Lovefraud in 2005, my goal was to educate people about sociopaths so they could avoid being ripped off financially, like I was. Since then, however, I’ve learned from all of you that the problem of sociopaths is much bigger than I originally realized. I learned about the travesties that go on in family courts. I learned about victims suffering from PTSD, and murder by suicide.
It’s time to shine a bright light on this disorder. These people are causing way too much pain.
Today, I am asking you to join this effort.
I have a lot of goals for Lovefraud. Here are some of them:
1. More books. Based on what I hear from you, I have a list of about 20 books that need to be written. One that I’d like to start soon is about the signs that you’re dating a sociopath. Next is a book about recovering from a sociopath. Much of what needs to be said is already in Lovefraud Blog articles and comments. It just needs to be packaged in an easily accessible way.
2. High school education program. Dr. Liane Leedom and I are laying the groundwork for a program to be offered in high schools. It will have two components. We will present programs to high school students on sociopaths, including information on bullying and dating violence. We anticipate that after hearing our information, some students will realize that they are involved in situations like we describe. So we’ll also educate guidance counselors and staff about what to do if students approach them with problems.
3. Charitable foundation. Sociopaths routinely wipe out their victims financially. I’ve seen so many heartbreaking stories on Lovefraud, and, from time to time, readers wanting to take up a collection to help. I agree. We should do this. But it needs to be done carefully, with a way to make sure that requests for assistance are legitimate. After all, sociopaths live by the pity play, and the ultimate despicable irony would be donations from Lovefraud members going to support con artists.
4. Professional development. Unfortunately, many therapists, lawyers, judges and other professionals who deal with the fallout from sociopaths do not understand what is really happening. Countless readers have told me that they’ve gone for counseling, and the counselor had no idea of what they were talking about. After her experience, Dr. Liane Leedom felt that her training about sociopaths was inadequate, and she attended some of the best medical schools in the nation.
5. Con artist database. Readers are always asking to post information about the sociopaths who victimized them, hoping to prevent others from being conned. I want to do this. In my opinion, exposure is the only approach in dealing with sociopaths that really works. I’ve heard from quite a few people who have Googled someone they were involved with, found them profiled on our True Lovefraud Stories, and ended the relationship. Lovefraud needs a con artist database. This initiative, however, will be expensive, and I’m not sure which will cost more—the technology or the legal fees.
Lovefraud to the Next Level
So how, exactly, will Lovefraud accomplish these goals? The keys are awareness and sustainability.
Awareness means getting the word out: Sociopaths exist. Here are the warning signs. If you see them, get out.
You can help build awareness on a grassroots level, and in upcoming articles, I’ll tell you how.
Sustainability means making Lovefraud financially viable—right now, it is not. Funding Lovefraud has cost my wonderful new husband, Terry Kelly, and me about $85,000. As you all know, my sociopathic ex wiped me out, and I’m still not out of the financial woods, so coming up with that money was difficult. Terry and I believe in Lovefraud, so we did it. But we can’t keep doing it.
If you want to help keep Lovefraud going, the fastest and easiest way to do it is to buy a copy of my book in the Lovefraud Store.
This post launches a new series called, “Lovefraud to the Next Level.” In upcoming articles, I’ll ask you to join me in raising awareness, in educating the public, in helping victims become survivors. I want Lovefraud to become more than a website. I want it to become a movement.
There’s so much to do. Please join me in taking Lovefraud to the Next Level.