The Smear Campaign

The Smear Campaign


‘The smear campaign is an orchestrated series of lies and misinformation initiated by toxic people as a method of damage control in the event of them being exposed.’
Anne McCrea

Narcissists use a calculated (and effective) series of lies and gossip to deliberately bring their target down and make themselves look good.  Why? There can be many reasons such as you seeing them for who they really are, to discredit you should you decide to expose them, jealously, a relationship coming to an end, not giving the narcissist enough attention or a simple disagreement.  The target of a smear campaign often finds themselves isolated and / or ostracised by family and people who they once thought of as friends.

By the time the victim finds out about the back stabbing and betrayal, it’s too late, the damage has been done. No one believes them.  Their credibility has been undermined, their reputation assassinated.  The narcissist has painted a dark picture of their target and any denials only add fuel to the narcissist’s version of events.

The narcissist often starts a smear campaign long before a relationship comes to an end.  They plan ahead knowing that none of their relationships end well, so when that time comes, they have already persuaded friends and basically anyone who will listen to them, that their target is unstable. They lie, spread malicious gossip and twist the truth in an effort to destroy their victim’s reputation.  Abusers often use other people to do their dirty work for them.  They will use third parties to abuse their target.  Because this form of abuse is indirect, it results in them looking like an innocent party. Maintaining their image is paramount.  They’ve done this before and are well practised in manipulating and controlling people. Practice makes perfect and sadly they are often believed.

Smear campaigns are often initiated within the family unit.  The narcissist alienates their target from family members once again by lies and gossip.  The narcissist recruits family members, (who become enablers) to help ostracise their victim.

Anyone who is seen as a threat to a narcissistic personality within the workplace may be considered a target. Simply being more popular than the narcissist is enough to make you a target of a workplace smear campaign. The victim in these circumstances may find themselves being bullied, isolated or ostracised by their work colleagues.  They may find themselves being blamed for failures, poor performance or inadequacies, none of which they’re guilty of.

‘You may hear stories about me.  They’ll tell you what they want you to know, but they’ll leave out what they did.  There was a time that I was good to those people, but they don’t want you to know that.’

Make no mistake, the narcissist knows their target is a good person.  They know exactly how they are making their target feel by their betrayal.  They simply don’t care as long as they, themselves, come out of the situation smelling of roses.  Some will take great pleasure and feel a sense of power by simply knowing that they are the cause of another’s pain and emotional distress.  By their manipulation, they are in control of their target’s emotions and of their relationships with others.  They display absolutely no remorse or shame in the psychological harm and trauma that they cause to their victim, unless of course, they are caught.

What can you do about it?
If you have evidence of defamation of character through false accusations, seek legal advice.

Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

Slander is the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon

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24 thoughts on “The Smear Campaign

  1. I have lived this toxic life for 35 years on top of getting breast cancer 15 years ago and HE then hated me worse! After living in separate rooms and lives for several more years, one day in July 2012 he got in my face for the last time and screamed, if you are not the hell happy in MY home, get the hell out as soon as possible! I then decided to seek a high profile lawyer and “escaped this prison camp under Hitler’s rule”, without him knowing, with 18 people waiting for my call to roll in, we only had 3 and a half hours to load up and get to my tiny apt. HE freaked big time when he arrived home from work and this bitter ugly divorce took three and a half years to complete, but this “Narcisisis” will not leave me alone and has these grown daughters eating out of his hands, they are now their own” Narcissis” against me too, I never knew there is legal help and yet cannot afford another legal bill, as I severe with severe anxiety! How can I get a copy of this???

    1. My narcissist did that to me too! He refused to sleep in the same bed as me for several years and had asked for a divorce so many times we were legally separated according to a divorce lawyer due to all of this, for two entire years before I could get him out. I also had to set up a waiting intervention team because of his severe tantrums every times I would try to get him to leave, even though were weren’t even living as a couple anymore! We are nothing but objects to them, not people. The smear campaign started really early for me, he has this pattern of women having to move on while with him so they have someone to help get him out so he always though, right from the start, I was cheating on him with ANY man I talked to. I’ve lived in my city my whole life, I know a lot of people, both men and women, and it was just constant accusations and giving me a bad name…

  2. What kind of legal advice or what kind of action could be taken in regards to something like this happening in the work place?

    1. Sadly, most attorneys, if not all, will NOT assist you with this, as damages are almost impossible to prove.

      I know this for a fact; I have contacted over 15 attorneys with a similar situation, and they all tell me the same thing….even though it IS slander and defamation of character….the damage is what they tell me, is, almost impossible to prove.

      One attorney agreed to assist me, with $5,000 upfront, and no guarantee of success, and it likely would cost 2-3 times more than this initial fee to see the case from beginning to end.

      1. The person ruining me is the wife of a high powered defense attorney in my town. Well connected. Knows how to manipulate others into going along or they will be ruined also. These people are a mob. H. is involved with shooting indiscreet videos, giving them to the mob to view. Promoting that I willingly agreed after he taped my voice saying I would willingly video family events. He’s promoted that I am a prostitute all the while having an affair with the real one. He propositions every woman in the family. After spending a week in the hospital seriously ill, I overheard him tell one of his friends he was warehousing me in AZ. We lived like brother and sister than spouses. No, my brothers wouldn’t have treated me better. Heaven help me.

  3. I am a narcissist I use women to build my ego and then abuse them and move on to another one.

    I can not help it and I wondered if you knew anyone I could see about it as I seem to enjoy it.

    1. I think you are just looking for a audience to glote to, and i think you may have ran out of supply and maybe said to yourself great, I have a audience and will be able to remind them of their abuser . At this time I am just laughing at you as Im thinking how transparent . I do not believe people who commit these acts can’t help it . There is a place called a hospital and there are doctors their and obviously you have internet and you found your way here so i think you are capable of writing in your search bar where do i find help for narcisism and im pretty well sure there will be several pages of help lines and web sites and direction to get there.I feel bad for you if something happened to you as a child to create this in you feel bad for the child not the man . you are a grown man now and can take responsibility for your own actions and action s have consquences . If you want to help with your situation start first by apologizing to every women you ever done this to and never contact them again and tell them it wasnt there fault and accept blame for what you just admittely cause and let them have some closure in there life . then you can pray to God for forgiveness and go to a specialist that specializes in that field and work on you to be a better person and if you can;t cure it at least you deserve credit for trying to become better . And further more just so you know, I think people seem to like other people more for being nice then hurtful and abusive . I do not think you are a victim . I lived this horror at the hands of a narcissist , but im no victim . Im a survivor and Im happy being me and I was just fine as I was . I gave all i could give and was never enough . but it doesnt matter he didnt deserve it anyway because he wasnt worthy of receiving it . But I wont be bitter I have it all saved up for the one that do when that time comes . he will never get the satisfaction of being the last person I loved . I think its just a competitive game to narcissist they have to put someone below them to feel above them and whole as a person . You are the ones losing out, because you will never feel love or empathy . Your best day and fix is nothing compared to that and you will never attain it what a waste .And all you had to do was just stop pretending and be you and realize you are fine as you are and maybe ppl would like you just as you stop pretending .Life is not just one big party or see who is the biggest and the best its all the little things in between that count . OH and btw you didnt get under my skin either. Im just standing up in support for those who have not reached this level yet in there recovery but they will im sure of it .

  4. Trevor,
    If you wanted to do something about it, you could. Sadly many narcissists, as you point out, are well aware of what they are doing, but simply don’t care who they hurt as long as they, themselves, are not on the receiving end of a narcissistic injury. Admitting to your faults is half the battle as most narcissists rarely do. Treatment involves a lengthy period of therapy. If you really want to address the appalling behaviour to which you openly admit, visit your doctor who should be able to point you in the right direction. However, reading into your comment, I don’t think that’s a route you intend to follow. You say you enjoy abusing women. I wonder if you will enjoy it when each and every person you meet, sees you for exactly who you are, abandons you and you find yourself very much alone in life?

    1. Know the power of psilocybin to heal past traumas, I have often wondered, if used therapeutically, it would help narcissists at all?

  5. The comment about how narcissists begin plotting and manipulating behind your back before you’re even aware of it definitely happened to me. Long story…but.. after my brother’s second wife had the courage to up and leave him 2013, he spread so much malicious gossip and so many untruths about her that didn’t sit well with me. We live in different countries. We liked his wife (we also liked his first wife), and on a recent visit to see them we could see how he had begun to undermine her in every capacity so that she became a shadow of her former bright, bubbly self. She’s a smart woman and confided in us that she had begun to put things in place ready to make her departure. Her part in his life was over when she had been so useful to him in business, helped make him his millions, looked good on his arm, and now his two children by a previous marriage were ready to be brought into the business under a new structure when part of it was sold for millions. This was the death knell – she became “past her use-by date”. He was preparing to discard her. She left everything in the home after having a coffee with her sister who said she needed to leave – that night. She did leave when he was out one evening. This made him furious because he had always been the one to flick women off and always he seemed to relish in that. He often boasted about discarding women for all sorts of completely unfounded reasons to suit himself. This always made us feel very uncomfortable – but who were we to judge? He is such a “big wig” who must know his stuff, so we sort of accepted this is the way he behaved – it didn’t sit well with us though. We didn’t see him often, so it wasn’t like he was living close by. Obviously so much horrid stuff had been going on that we didn’t know about – thank goodness. Her leaving really riled him, he was shocked and put off balance completely – he had obviously planned to leave her – the tables were turned this time. That’s when the real smear campaign began against her – to everyone he could muster up to be his audience – he did this by text, by phone, in person, by email and by social media. Unfortunately my mother (who I now realise is also a narcissist), and my youngest sister (who I think is the “flying monkey” in all this) believed everything he told them about his wife. When I tried to say, but hey, …..they joined in the smear campaign and began plotting and manipulating behind my back. My brother is a multi-millionaire and very successful in business. His “friends” all lick his backside and grovel to gain/maintain his adoration. He loves it when they tell him how wonderful he is, how generous he is, what a lovely man he is – it makes me sick. Little do they know that they could well be his next project if they dare fall out of line. As I say, it is a long story but the upshot is that I no longer have contact with my mother and my sister (who I virtually brought up since she is 15 years younger than me) and her family of three daughters. He has spread many untruths throughout all our family and close family members that I didn’t support him in his separation. This is completely untrue – I phoned him, invited him to come to stay for some time out, emailed regularly etc. I’m not quite sure what “support” he means – believe him in entirity and accept he’s had no part in this? No way!! I’m now acutely aware and apprehensive when I am going about my normal business that I will bump into someone who, previously I had a reasonable relationship with – and they will view me as the horrible person in the family and the one who has caused all this drama. My husband says I shouldn’t feel like this – but I can’t help it. It has become instinctive now – it’s like I’m an insect with my antennae perked, alert and ready for confrontation. This is all so sick, so sad and so unnecessary. My sister and I had always got along really well, despite the age difference. She lives about 4 blocks away from me. Since I discovered my brother is a narcissist, I began looking into why I had such a detached relationship (despite my trying to please for ever) with my mother. She ticks so many boxes as that of a narcissist mother. Why did this take me 58 years to sort out? I pride myself on being an intelligent person, successful, in a long happy marriage with two grown children, with an education degree, now running a business – yet, I’ve been subjected to my mother’s narcissistic evils all my life. Funny how it all makes so much sense once you know. I always thought I was never enough, never doing enough for her, never attentive enough etc. When she yelled at me down the phone “Go to Hell” Oct 2014 after I had called her out on a lie she was telling others about my family, I put the phone down and felt the most incredible sense of relief. At last, she herself had given me permission to cut her off – she had been the one to tell me “Go to Hell”. That was the best thing ever. The relief was like a mountain being lifted off my shoulders. My life has been so much more guilt-free than when I was in contact with her. The fact that she’s 84 and now in a retirement village (moved there by the other two siblings) doesn’t even make me feel guilty anymore. If I even go down the track of thinking of re-uniting, my body reacts adversely – and I know it’s not a good thing to contemplate. It’s not how I thought the future would look, but it’s just different. There are a few good things to come out of this. One being that I have re-united with another sister who had been estranged from the whole family for about 12 years – I made the first move and we’re slowly building a new relationship in our late fifties. I now realise that the reason why I let the estrangement happen in the first place was that I was blindly loyal to my mother and youngest sister and took their side. I now know what my estranged sister has gone through all these years. Naturally I have put my hand up and said I know I had a big part in the estrangement and I was so sorry about this. I explained to her that’s how a narcissist mother works – divide and rule. She has just been diagnosed with cancer so I am pleased to be able to be some support to her at this difficult time, when she has none of her family (except her husband and grown children). I know I am blessed that she accepted me back in her life – I wouldn’t have blamed her if she said “no”. So it’s a “new future” I am building now, with my new relationship with my sister, and my own family. My own grown children have learned a great deal from this experience even though it hasn’t been very nice for them either. Thanks for letting me share.

    1. I am so impressed by your insightfulness… good on you for seeing the truth that is often so hard to see in the smoke and mirrors that is narcassism!

  6. cf;its scary how many people out there are portraying this personality defect. I ask my self why… is it because we live in a world of instant gratification and because we are not rich enough, poor enough, ugly enough, pretty enough …. we have to attack the person we love. I see this aspect in someone I thought I loved and I have to end this relationship as its breaking me apart. I am not heard, I am not seen and not valued to have a sensible input unless it suits him then I am the brightest star on the planet… while hes sucking the marrow from my brain…. once he owns the information ( and I mean own
    it) I am called disrespectful and stupid. its pretty much like a velvet boxing glove, there are no scars but the damage is done

  7. My sister decided last Christmas that she wanted me elimated from the family and wanted our mother to agree and support her. She recruited her husband and two daughters for support by blatantly lying about me to them. Interestingly enough, our mother saw straight through this (she’s 91 years old!) and completely refused to play. Quite the opposite, in fact she is so angry with my sister and her family, she wants nothing more to do with them. They are now trying to make nice with mom and act like it never happened, and have never apologized to her or me. Funny how the tables are turned. They wanted me eliminated from the family and they are the ones that are now eliminated. Karma is a wonderful thing!

    1. Oh that’s so good to hear. I’m going through something similar . In my case my late brother has turned my daughter against me. He once tried to convince me that I had mental health issues. Projection of course. After a lifetime of his inferences and insinuations, he died in February. Was this Karma? I felt soo o relieved , but my daughter still hasn’t woken up to this.

  8. I have narc mother who pointed a knife to me and my 8 months baby some years ago. She is totally covert narcissist, she is totally normal and victimized mother for others. As I told the knife fact to my daughters doctor, she asked my mother to go there talk to the doctor. I gave her the doctors appointment but I know that she will tell all her lies to him as if I am the problem. She will never change her psychopath ways. I fear the doctor will believe her she is very charming and devil. I fear her. She is malevolent and coward. The doctor is already manipulated by her friend who once went with me to the doctor and treated me as an irresponsible child!!! Her flying monkey and smear campaign left me isolated! What should I do?!!!

    1. I am finally getting rid of my narc. I have been married to it for 26 years and now thank GOD it will soon be over. She moved out of our bedroom about 3 years ago. Her smear campaign started to get worse when my brother passed away in December of 2015. Then in May when his son got killed it got even worse. I am not into incest or anything of that sort, but she went around our small community and tell everyone that would listen that I was cheating on her with my sister-in-law and her daughter-in-law. I am 56 years old and I do not Rob the cradle. It is just ridiculous b.s. and now even the police are starting to see me as the victim, and not the person that she painted this ugly picture of. I have been to jail twice over her lies. I have just about gotten over the HURT and tears. These narcs never want you to defend yourself. When I would ask, to discuss something pretty to talk to her, her comment was I just want to hear the sound of my voice. When I would get my quarterly statement of how her and the children would get from social security, she would tell the kids that I was worth more dead than alive.

  9. Whilst all the examples given here are for individual socio/psycho-paths, the descriptions also apply to corporate, group, institutional, coordinated abuses against targets. There is a communal narcissistic identity that revels in intellectual bullying, psychogames, abuses of power, disempowerment before character assassination, etc. Of course, none of the cowardly players accept an iota of responsibility for their contributions to the abuses, instead blaming ‘them’ – the group. As soon as the group behaviour is identified, along with the previously secret membership of the cadre, public accusations of conspiracy theorist and paranoia follow. Narcissism includes wilful cruelty, and in the group scenario attracts the psycho-sadists.

  10. My boyfriends ex is a narcissist! She first started with bashing him and once him and I started dating I was her next target and over a year later she is still bashing me as well as him! He has 4 kids with her so it’s not easy just to move on and have no contact! I went to the ppolice over her and they said there was nothing I could do about it because it’s freedom of speech! She puts in her kids heads not to like me so now I’m not aallowed around on the weekends he has them because if I am then she threatens to not send the kids again! The kids actions prove her words wrong though cause when I did go aaround they would act completely fine around me laughing playing everything! But I just wish him and I could learn how to do with her and get advice on how to win aagainst her in court as well!! She’s really taking a tool on these kids heads and mentally abusing them badly! But until then I am going to just stay away on his weekends to have them.

  11. I have a dear friend who is suffering the effects of a Narcissist’s manipulation. I want her to know that, whilst her family give her fantastic support, I too offer my most full deepest concern and love.
    Collectively and with the grace of all things that we hold dear, we shall overcome and win the day.
    Frank R

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