what drives a con artist, and how do they (temporarily) “succeed” in their cons?
what drives a con artist, and how do they (temporarily) “succeed” in their cons?
I might be one of the best/worst encounters a con artist/sociopath could have in his lifetime (for the sake of this blog, I will use “he” in this paragraph, but I am referring to either gender, male or female). I might be the best because he can sense my open heart, my unconditional caring and understanding (obviously! – I am a healer), and any past personal injuries I’ve incurred would be a match/compliment to his sick behavior (similar to how a dog can sense a tornado before it happens). he would consider me an excellent target because he would mistake my kindness for weakness. he would overlook the intelligence and intuition as well as fire for justice that lurks behind the qualities he is drawn to. I might be his worst encounter, because whilst I am sensitive and caring and giving and always give the benefit of the doubt to anyone I meet, I am equally balanced and quick-witted with intuition, analysis, experience and a serious moral code – which means that not only will I not stick around, but that I will inform others he may harm. to date, I have met three “severe” con artists. I will use the term severe because in each case they were thieves, pathological liars about things that no sane person would lie about, were either in trouble with the law or about to be in trouble with the law, and had VERY intelligent people around them convinced that they were sane, even upstanding humans.
the most important thing to note about a con artist is that it is NOT the actual con that they are pulling off that excites them, but rather FOOLING and “one-upping” very intelligent people around them. because they do operate at a very high threshold of intelligence and intellect, they are indeed quick to assess their prey quicker than their prey might notice. however, all prey have an initial – even if brief – gut feeling about these con artists. which is then quickly pushed down. I know I had a major gut feeling in each instance. the reasons for pushing the gut feeling down, I will outline here later. the con gets off on tricking, manipulating, maneuvering and winning over people who have substantial things to offer; reputation, money, time & energy, contacts & friends and so forth. the con feels exhilarated and accomplished just being around those of a high-caliber. to him, it DEFINES him. he gets high off of pulling strings and puppeteering people – it feels like crack to him. it is an addiction. and since a con has no sense of self, he will define himself by his ability to win over people of authority, respect, honor and achievement. he fills in the blanks of his soul with the qualities possessed by others. his only “talent”, if you will, is his skill at fooling others.
I can not make it clear enough as to how clever a con can be, and the type of person he can reel in. these are not dumb people. many of them have ivy league degrees, work in law enforcement, psychology and so forth. think of some of the greatest cons of all time, and look at those they have sucked under their tides. if you have been conned or realize you are being conned, do NOT take yourself for a fool. remember: this is the ONLY thing that a con is successful at — lying to someone, fooling someone, and getting them to believe him! the greater the challenge, and the more “important” or respected the person that the con is able to fool, the greater the HIGH he receives. have a look at some of the most infamous cons of all time: https://www.cracked.com/article_15892_the-5-ballsiest-con-artists-all-time.html
when it comes to business, a con will usually choose people who also have some ego. this can be difficult to admit to ourselves if we have actually been sucked in by a con. it is hard to look at our own ego drive which includes feeling important, accomplished, recognized and so on. a con will promise or allude to all of those things, which can feel like a big high to the typical overachiever or person who wants to do something “big” with their life. a con will often never stay in one place for too long; he will travel from place to place to place – usually to “borrow” money and to not stick around long enough for people to catch on to his character. a con will never get personal regarding their emotions. they will not share feelings, they will not talk about past difficult times in their childhood, and they will not reveal anything that they believe could “expose” them – even though a con is ALWAYS exposed, eventually. a con will spend a lot of time “on the road”, meeting new innocent people to suck in and bring on board their next “brilliant idea” – which, by the way, will also ALWAYS be a rip-off of something someone else has already done or is doing. a con lacks the ONE THING that they so desperately want: uniqueness. they fear that they may be bland, boring, regular, just like everyone else, overlooked…that particular fear is just to big for them to deal with. but the truth is, they are empty shells who exist only to feed off of other people. their ideas are never original, and they will copy a model of something that another person has already done… except use it for bad – to extort money and possibilities from other people. initially, if we are involved with a con, their idea might look lucrative and positive – they might even give us money or do us some favor that “appears” to be in our best interest. this is how they suck us in. all the while, however, they are making a sandwich with all of the fixings but without the meat/center. they are building the facade that we will buy into if we don’t ask for or demand certain things. when we finally do ask for or demand certain things, the con will quickly turn on us as he has been exposed.
I’ll start with a story of one of my personal past experiences. when I first launched my healing practice in a public fashion (or as I like to refer to it, “coming out of the closet to the public”), I had an office. I met a legitimate doctor who asked me to join his “wellness center” close by to my office at that time, and that I did not have to pay rent. within our very first few minutes of meeting, I asked him for his full name so that I could tune into him. I said “you are ruthless. some might say dangerous and you stop at nothing to get what you want”. I even sensed trouble with the law. somehow, I wanted to believe that the opportunity to work closely with a medical doctor and facilitate change within the alternative medicine arena was still there and that maybe he was a really good person. after all, his “best friend” was also a highly regarded medical doctor (who I found out was completely in love with him, even though she was married — to another doctor — with two children. the typical magnetic pull of a skilled con man), and his other “best friend” was equally applauded on paper. in addition, I actually felt very awake, alive and positive around this person. it is now that I realize that many cons are enigmatic, or have a quality that excites other people. it is an intangible quality. long story short, after I moved into this doctor’s office (NOT FULLY, I might add — I kept my other office “just in case”), I noticed odd behavior. I suspected drugs, alcoholic behavior, escorts and odd business practices. prior to my full-blown suspicions, he convinced me to begin a “startup” business with him and had me running around like a squirrel. after all, I believed I “owed” it to him for letting me take occasional sessions at his office. he also had me running around to get the two rooms in the office rented out (which I later learned, he NEVER paid rent on! he would later be evicted) and collect first, last and security from people. thankfully no one bit. and I couldn’t figure out why, but the Universe was saving both me and the prospective tenants from heartache. with the start-up business – which, by the way is the biggest red flag of a con – I felt that he had no intent to actually execute it, and no plan in place. all he was going to do was collect money and hit the road, with some VERY clever excuses as to how/why. I felt confused on a daily basis, and I could never get a CLEAR answer as to what the business actually was or how it would really work. my questions made him ANGRY. he attempted to further divert and distract me, just to keep me around for a little bit longer…even a few more minutes would have satisfied his sickness. one day, something “just clicked” – it was about six weeks into knowing him. I realized that my only way out of this was to just leave and never contact him again. VERY important to note is that many cons are psychic. whether they know it or not. in line with that was this doctor’s immediate sense of my abandoning him, and he began contacting me endlessly. when I went to the authorities, I found out that he had a rap sheet as long as Santa’s Christmas list. he had been arrested for a group insurance scam, his license had been suspended earlier in his career for writing himself prescriptions, and the authorities made it very clear to contact them if I were ever to hear from him again. I never looked back, but I did gain a valuable lesson. part of me also felt that he really cared about me as a person – this could be wishful thinking, of course, but I believe that I might have been the only person to ever show him unconditional love in his life. but he was just too screwed up. thankfully, there was no romantic attraction or connection with him, which would have otherwise potentially gravely affected me.
it is VERY important to note that a con will stop at NOTHING to continue their cons. cons are sick humans. they may go to jail 100 times and STILL keep going with their stories. a con does not have the ability to live in reality. that said, their “perseverance” toward a goal may seem very alluring and valid. this is why it is so important to STOP trying to figure them out in their entirety – this is how they suck people in, because they will never, ever make logical sense to a rational person, and many rational people stick around trying to “fully understand” them. that won’t ever happen. a con would rather die than be exposed for who they truly are. this ruthless quality is what makes a con different from a more simple, moderately manipulative individual.
another common quality associated with con artists is their dysfunctional dating/sex life. since they can NOT connect intimately or emotionally, they will choose unavailable situations at all times. they will choose “long-distance” relationships (during which they are free to binge on hookers and online affairs of all varieties), or engage with women who sell sex for a living. they are often addicted to sex, as well, as it produces the same high that conning people does. again, because they are unable to connect emotionally, their closest bet to a feeling of true connection is achieved through very unhealthy/toxic means.
the way a con artist “succeeds” — which is always temporary, by the way — in their cons, is by gathering several or more people who have upstanding reputations and playing them off against one another. if I, for example, see that con man Joe has a “strong” relationship with someone I admire or look up to, I am far more likely to engage in business or friendship with this person. cons USE big names and associations with others to plan and execute their acts. this is how people get sucked in. every. single. time. in my prior example, I was sucked in by his medical degree and seemingly harmless offer. in other cases, I have been temporarily sucked in by the wonderful people who a con has been able to surround himself with. this is the meat and potatoes of any con.
I could go for miles and miles about my experiences with these people, and my experience in treating those who have BEEN the victims of a con! just when I think I have heard it all, I encounter another person who I think there is no WAY that such and such could have happened to them. the biggest derailment for someone who is being conned is their own ego and embarrassment over the situation. I can speak from experience. but thankfully, my experience has taught me that even if I end up in that position again, which I have more than once, I will know quicker and better how to extract myself – and how to be an example for others! if you are the victim of a con, or at the center of a con, know that in your parting ways with the situation that others will eventually follow your lead. they may be working through their own inner belief systems which make it difficult to believe you, and rest assured that this is a skilled scam running. do not take it personally when it happens to you, or if you are the only person who can see the light of day around a con or a scam. earlier today I had a one hour conversation with an expert on con artistry, and each time I learn about this sad, vacant “craft”, I am more intrigued and amazed by it. which is exactly what a con artist wants — so long as they are able to pull off their scam.
there are three places a con artist/sociopath ends up: in jail, homeless, or in a mental institution.
the most difficult part of my encounters with cons has been my endless heartfelt compassion and care toward them. even after they reveal or expose themselves. I know they are sick or missing something, and instinctively I want to fix it. I want to show them love. and I want to show them that they are lovable. because everyone is lovable and deserves love, no matter their transgressions. I want so badly for them to know that it doesn’t have to be this way, that they are worth more than their drive to lie and scam. I want them to know that they DO have gifts, if only they would accept themselves and use those gifts for good. and I am also able to connect to any of their positive qualities in a way that they can not even see within themselves. I felt a bond with each of these people in the beginning. my heart has been broken in each instance, most of all because of the extreme lack of love or compassion they have for themselves – and their misused potential. they insist on being broken, and I can not fix it/them.
I am both grateful for and really feel for the cons who have crossed my path. it is not only my open heart etc that has drawn them in, but really the fact that I could be unconditional with them before their behavior and evidence of such broke ties. if only they could have used their “skills” for good! but then that would make them an innovative leader, and not the con that they are. thankfully I have never lost large sums of money, it has never gotten to the point where I have been involved in their business in a way that can hurt me or others, and I have never been romantically involved with a con (I am certain that is a lesson I will never have to learn). in each case I have experienced, a con has failed utterly in assessing me. ultimately, no matter how long it takes, a con will be revealed to anyone he is involved with. truth always floats.
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