‘Flying Monkey’ is the term given to those agents and allies that collude with an abusive person. Their role is to continue carrying out tormenting the victim on their behalf. If it’s during the relationship, the abuser gets to abuse by proxy as it’s other people that are getting their hands dirty. If it’s after the relationship has ended or you’ve left that job or left that area, it’s a way of perpetuating the abuse. Again though, the abusers hands are clean as others are doing the work for them.
The term ‘flying monkey’ comes from the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. Like the creepy little critters in the movie who carry out the wicked witches bidding, these agents follow the abuser and carry out their will.
So why does the narcissist need allies?
First of all, regardless of what happened, narcissists believe the victim deserves everything that has been done, or is being done to them. Narcissists don’t accept any responsibility for their actions, but neither do they want to accept the consequences. They believe they are right, justified, entitled. It is always the victims fault, and in their world winning isn’t enough. They only win if they get to destroy the victim, their support network, self-esteem, reputation and anything else they can ruin.
Narcissists live in a make believe world, but they need others to believe in that world too. By recruiting followers, flying monkeys, they are creating a cult around themselves with them at the centre as the worshipful leader.
So they recruit others to do their work for them, people who collude with them, act as agents on their behalf. People who subscribe to their version of reality,
Also, because they control the information each agent gets, they get to control their reality, control them.
The more people they recruit to their cause, the more they believe themselves. They live in their own world of entitlement, self-righteousness and innocence.
Now the flying monkeys main role is to discredit the victim, or as I prefer to put it, descredit the witness. Those who saw them as they really are. The more agents they recruit, the more they get to triangulate the witness. Then the more the victim feels mobbed, and a lack validation. The more people who side with or believe the abuser, the more disempowered the victim feels.
Who do they recruit?
They recruit through contacting family members, friends, work colleagues. Sometimes even threaten the victim – ‘I’m going to tell them what you’re really like!’ – in other words, I’m going to tell them a version of you that is really not accurate at all but paints you in a bad light.
How do they recruit?
So the first tactic is subtlety. Sometimes they contact people, innocently – ‘I know you’re into tennis, golf, hiking, whatever, so am I, can we be friends?’, ‘Can show me how to…. etc’ . They comment or like peoples post on social media then send friend requests. It’s how they get a foot in the door. Then they begin a process of eroding the victims social or support network.
They may contact those close to the victim saying how worried they are about the victim. They heard that they’d started drinking, was in trouble at work, or had been prescribed anti depressant medication (which reinforces how mentally unsatable the victim must be). Or they’ll paint a picture of the abuse they suffered at the hands of the victim. They are fearful of what they might do next. They had to get a non molestation order against your friend, your colleague, your family member just to feel safe.
Narcissists gaslight in order to recruit. They lie, or embellish truth. It furthers the smear campaign against the victim. When in the relationship the victim found themselves being isolated, and this a way of continuing that. Remember, they are, or rather think they are accomplished actors, and who’s going to believe the victim when they’re struggling to articulate or make sense of what happened?
Different types of agent
Then there’s the willing recruit. There’s no real performance here. Those who are willing are usually just as malignant as the abuser. They enjoy the gossip, the distress and the drama so the abuser plays on that energy. ‘Look at the kick we get out of this – did you see him flounder? What can we do next?’ The abuser plays on that excitement to recruit and keep it going.
Then there’s the naive. The naive have nothing but the abuser’s side of the story. They believe the lies that the victim is the one in the wrong. They are fed selective, embellished or complete misinformation about the victim.
The naive may be recruited to try to win the victim back – ‘have you not seen how pained they are after what you did?’, ‘I don’t believe their like that at all, I saw them playing with a kitten’, ‘They’re really worried about your mental health, your drinking, who you’re running around with.’
The abuser uses this naivety by being selective over the information given -You’re reality is the one I give you. Remember, when you first met them, you were just as naive and taken in by the performance.
Lastly there’s recruiting the unwilling. They’re not so much recruited, but drafted. They do what they do either out of fear, (better be on the wrong side than the wrong end of this). The abuser uses to control and manipulate. ‘Give me what I want or you’re next!’
Or they use the unwilling person’s guilt and shame – give me what I want, I’ll die if you don’t. They’re hurting me, if you don’t help you’re just as bad.
All three are used to stalk, torment and discredit the victim on the abusers behalf. That’s all they’re for. If found out or uncovered the narcissist just washes their hands and has nothing to do with it. ‘It wasn’t me, it was them’.
So that’s how and why narcissists recruit they’re agents. How they get them to collude and how they use them differently.
Reality is, as much as they may believe themselves to special, unique and entitled, they are incredibly predicable.
Please check the three videos on Agents of the narcissist, the Flying Monkeys for the type of people they recruit and how to deal with them.
How and why narcissists recruit agents and the different roles they play
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