Marty Rathbun’s Personality Assessment Revisited

I published this article on August 20, 2010. It makes sense if you also keep in mind the information published on this blog about Marty Rathbun having received ECTs in 1956.

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Thought you would find this of interest. I had a friend who is a high profile professional body language analysis reader who I ask to give me his assessment of Marty Rathbun’s “The Shack” video from May 2010. The assessment is limited as Rathbun was not directly interviewed, however, I found it enlightening enough.

“The individual [Marty Rathbun] appears to have a number of characteristics that are consistent with narcissism.  His features of this appear to include: an exaggerated sense of personal importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of success, brilliance and power, a belief that he is special and unique and can only be understood by and associate with other special or high status individuals or groups, a sense of entitlement, a willingness to take advantage and use others for his own ends, a deficit in empathy when it comes to the feelings and needs of others, and an overall underlying arrogance.   Such individuals feel they are better than others, entitled to special treatment, and feel that others should cater to and be used by them since they are so important.  When frustrated or when feeling attacked, such individuals usually lash out devaluing and demeaning, in their attempt to re-establish their feelings of superiority.

“Rathbun is oriented towards the external when it comes to validation, personal worth, comfort, and justifying negative events that happen in his life (blaming rather than accepting responsibility).  How people are perceiving him, and what makes him feel good are heavily weighted to such outside factors.  There is a paranoid flavor to his perceptions, but ultimately, driving that dynamic is the grandiose sense of self-importance, as the sense that one is important enough to be persecuted is driven by a narcissistic dynamic.  One of the more noteworthy themes in this man’s life is the enjoyment and importance he derives over being in a war; that is, in conflict with important others.  This is his apparent forum to demonstrate his superiority and specialness.  It is noted that when one “war” ended, he was propelled into an apparent personal crisis.  Thus, in his case, he may require conflict and battle with others to demonstrate to his real or imagined constituency of admirers or subjects that he is valued, as well as to demonstrate his personal worth and uniqueness to himself.

“Of note, is the unstable family history, particularly with his mother who was institutionalized repeatedly, had apparent chemical dependency issues, and committed suicide when the subject was five years old (per provided coroners report).  Such events are profoundly impactful on personality development, not to mention the genetic loading for chemical dependency vulnerability.  The subject not only has the genetic loading for chemical dependency, but apparently has engaged in problematic drinking on a number of occasions, culminating in an arrest last month (July).  The use of alcohol as a maladaptive coping tool is another manifestation of his external orientation; that is, using outside influences to soothe and deal with his internal conflicts.  When stressed and overwhelmed, it is one of the solutions he seeks.

“Given Rathbun’s need to be in conflict and at war with an important enemy to fuel his ego and prove himself, it would appear that personal attacks by anyone, serve only to give him what he wants and needs: a war to fight and the prove he is an important person worthy of persecution.

“There is some likelihood that Rathbun might escalate his complaints and other behaviors to attempt to draw others into the conflict. This is his lifeblood – he thrives on it and its removal would likely precipitate a personal crisis. To not be in conflict or at war is something that this type of person can not do without.”

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