Understanding predators narcissistic behaviour can preempt danger, says the Guardian columnist Deborah Orr
Twenty people have now made allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Kevin Spacey, the majority from his time as the Old Vics artistic director. Fourteen of the allegations are so serious that complainants have been advised to go to the police.
Managers at the Old Vic say they are sorry they did not create an environment in which people felt they could speak out if they were receiving unwanted attention. This failure has been put down to a cult of personality around the actor.
Im not sure that our society quite understands how all-encompassing a cult of personality can be, or how tirelessly a person leading the cult of himself sifts and sorts and categorises every human being he comes into contact with in order to control hisenvironment.
Some current and former members of staff say that Spaceys behaviour was an open secret at the Old Vic. Others insist that revelations about Spaceys behaviour have been a complete shock to them. This isnt surprising.
Successful predators have an instinct for vulnerabilities in others, traits that they can manipulate. They sniff out shame, insecurity, self-consciousness, self-doubt, like pigs sniff out truffles. They know just as surely when a person is unlikely to accept their subjugations. These people are still useful though. They are the ones who will see model behaviour, a glossy presentation of respect, professionalism, friendship, that will further intimidate and isolate their designated victims.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us