Psychologie de Bazar: Pop Psychology Unravelled

A critical view of fake support groups and self-help gurus

Psychologie de Bazar

The initial purpose of this blog has been to provide  information about toxic abuse recovery forums, as well as a platform where former members can share their experiences. Whilst some recovery forums may well be genuinely helpful, especially when run by professionals, others are the playgrounds of arrogant types with many personality issues of their own.

Through skilled marketing campaigns, the teams behind them claim to offer unconditional support to people who believe they are targeted by sociopaths, psychopaths or narcissists. Besides offering a plethora of self-authored guides on spotting the above-mentioned and dealing with them, they lure thousands at their most vulnerable to pour out their intimate stories, to then behave in an immature, utterly irresponsible way towards them.

Every day, unsuspecting people going through a difficult time join such groups, only to have their information endangered, to be banned on a whim (while admins and moderators, publicly or privately, mock their traumas), labelled disruptive (or even disordered) and even targeted with ad hominem attacks.

Whilst online interactions can be stopped and forgotten, the impact on people’s real lives can be substantial, if they become trapped in the alternate reality created by such groups. The certainty they claim to provide is mere speculation and the advice they give is a one-size-fits all, regardless of every situation being unique.

My intention is not to attack any administrators, moderators or members on a personal level, but rather to describe their behaviour strictly in that context and the impact they can have on people who give them their trust. The atmosphere on these sites is very similar, from what former members describe – it revolves around paranoia, clique cohesion and the overall inner dynamics of a cult, especially when dealing with “outsiders”.

Also, my intention is not to stalk these establishments over months or years, as obsessed individuals would do *; however, things need to be said loud and clear; there needs to be a space for this particular type of experience. I have not found another one so far.

Hopefully it will have decent traffic and will be encountered by those who are unsure about registering, to give them an idea of how these communities really operate. Unfortunately, most people only research them after an unsavoury experience, while they take them at face value when they register.

*That didn’t really work out as planned, but still, it’s good to see that more and more people take an interest in this phenomenon.

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40 thoughts on “Psychologie de Bazar

  1. Thank you for doing this. Do you know if there would be any repercussions from sites / owners / authors such as Psychopathfree for anyone here who would speak out against what they are doing or share examples? What if the person was a former moderator with inside knowledge?


    1. To the best of my knowledge, there wouldn’t be, as free speech is protected in the US. Plus, such criticism exists elsewhere on the internet; the best example being the comments on Amazon; the discussion continues there. I’ve also read similar criticism of other websites, for instance on . I think one is safe enough if they stay away from false claims or exposing the private lives of the people involved, as in details which could help identify them in real life.

      Surely there is a limit to their viciousness, a limit imposed by tact; they can only go so far without scaring their members off.

      Otherwise, any present member would look at their tactics and think ”I could be next”.


      1. Thank you for that, Thomas.

        I actually wasn’t sure but then again they are based in the US and people there aren’t persecuted for offending others, if they tell the truth. Not yet, anyway.

        European countries are losing their minds, so to speak. Any unwanted approach or comment is seen as a crime, for being slightly bothersome. The word “criticism” becomes hollow of meaning when people can no longer express it.


  2. You talk a lot about Psychopathfree here, but no other forums, except links to specific sites and people without naming them outright. Why is that? I only ask as this update comes after I tried to post a lengthy review of 9 different sites / people on the internet who are leading the social justice warrior cyber movement on psychpathology — 2 of which are credentialed, reliable people and whom I do not represent or work for. My 9 reviews began with the biggest game out there all the way down to smaller sites and ending with reliable sources to show the lunacy of all of it.

    All of what I posted was directly, word for word, from 9 websites describing who they are, their credentials and how their site works and drives the meme. Psychopathfree was ONE of my reviews, and the most embarrassing if you read the leader’s bio and credentials that are published in the book and website. Nothing new was being shared except for the mega tech machine that runs it. If I would have instead focused on my 18 months at PF and spoke of specific treatment by administrators and moderators, the sick strategies and hurtful things they’ve done to people (as has been going on here the past few days with examples everywhere) then my post would have appeared?

    Your update, and not posting the content of my review, leads me to believe this blog is entirely for anyone burned by Psychopathfree.


    1. The reason I talked about Psychopath Free specifically is that I have not been on any other toxic forum of this type and want to avoid making assumptions without being able to personally verify them. So whilst I shared other people’s complaints about the sites, I can’t make any of my own, as I have no personal insight (sorry, I wrote interest).

      Sorry about the quick and superficial response; I’ll answer later when I can actually focus on what was posted.


      1. Thank you for your reply, and for posting my summary of the 9 sites. Even though I spend the majority of my time on PF (and am still active there yet mainly lurking), I visit all the other sites I’ve listed and have spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out what the hell is going on regarding the huge psychopath bandwagon movement. Those 9 seem to have the most traffic for whatever reason.

        This interests me because of my line of work, not because I’m obsessed with these people or sitting in my mother’s basement with nothing better to do. In a nutshell, I am a behaviorist and study patterns of behaviors for a living. The online movement provides me with lots of ‘data’ for a particular study I’m designing. The reason I wrote the summary, and mainly it’s just a brief synopsis of titles and credentials, was to show how ludicrous it is that people are making money off of others’ experiences while using their own as the springboard. Most of these sites are basically treating members in much the same way that the abusive person has over time. Since I do study human behavior, what I find very sad is how gullible and trusting humans are to complete strangers, and with their mental health at stake.

        I must say that I spend more time on certain sites than others, mainly because of the ease of navigating forums. PsychopathFree is the most user friendly, for example, and easiest to read and follow, and always full of drama. It’s the best example to-date of a toxic forum run wild!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. From what I’ve noticed, people who are too open and trusting tend to think it is only natural for others to respond in the same manner, whereas that only happens when one is lucky. On a large scale, with a large group of people, I am bold enough to say it never happens. In a large group people will be suspicious, nit-picking and will read other messages into what a person is saying. Exposing oneself on the internet is comparable to taking your clothes off on a busy street, in the middle of the day.

          Unfortunately circumstances such as severe depression make one care less (if at all) about the repercussions, as they often feel they have nothing to lose anyway. Add to that the ”bug” of overexposure the young generation has caught (or been infected with, more accurately) and you end up with people who no longer see the limit between public and private; a limit well known to humanity for thousands of years.


    2. OK, so I did get it right the first time; I apologise for your comment not being visible when you posted it, which led to the assumption that it hadn’t been approved on purpose. Comments have to be approved prior to becoming visible to filter out spam. A comment posted from a different time zone may take a few hours to be seen, if the person is commenting for the first time; all subsequent comments are approved automatically. There was no rudeness or hidden agenda behind the delay.

      Thank you again for the information.

      About the update, it came as a result of realising that the discussion is much more expansive. It’s great to interact with people sharing their views on recovery forums; however, in terms of writing other blog posts, there isn’t much else I can bring to that subject. The additional information is (and hopefully will keep) being brought by people who take the time to comment.


  3. Yes, Maria, I think you’ve done an excellent bit of work here in laying the foundation for what is going on regarding this campaign or movement. Obviously you know your stuff, and I can’t argue with any of what you have so succinctly laid out. Hopefully others who have been hurt by these forums, or who need a Wakeup call as to what is really going on behind the scenes and for what purposes, will find this site and take heed. There’s nothing left to do now accept wait for continued stories, and how sad is that, really?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really; all this is common sense though; most people can see when a certain view snowballs into hysteria. Hopefully all this talk about spreading awareness in schools (it’s funny how this word is used to describe denial, which is the exact opposite) is unrealistic.


    2. Research Guy,

      Hope you don’t mind me asking. I am going to have to write in code here because I will be referencing someone who is always on the lookout for online defamation. She is interested in psychopaths and currently lives in France. She has a following. You might know who I am mean. Have you researched her schtick?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wrote this awhile back for a forum about esoteric subjects. It’s about the inherent difficulties one can encounter online trying to get help or to disseminate information about psychopathy and the aftermath of being targeted.


    Frequenting a support group where all the administrators and mods are anonymous, (regardless of the practical reasons for maintaining anonymity) is like attending a masked ball. As their identities are veiled they can act with a certain amount of impunity.

    Some support forums do a decent job in spite of this. The administrators remember they are dealing with fellow human beings who possess a full panoply of emotions and attitudes. If they have a problem with a poster the mods address it thoroughly using the private message feature. They don’t cold shoulder, deny they are having a problem with the poster and then–when confronted– expel them from the forum.

    They don’t refer to the expelled poster as toxic, nor would they accuse her of ulterior motives. They would never conclude after an attack of this nature that they made the forum safer by expelling her.

    They do not dissect or post mortem the re-victim’s posts, after the fact, in a virtual kangaroo court. Nobody should be subject to this, particularly someone on a support forum for victims of abuse.

    People who have suffered any kind of trauma should think twice before seeking help online. The online realm can feel compellingly real– where people can be sincere or insincere, have depth of spirit and emotion and concern or anything and everything in between.

    The new forum member won’t necessarily glean an understanding of the state of mind of the forum controllers unless she trips some emotional wire. And when mods, admins have hyper-vigilance issues, you might not know when or how you are tripping wires.

    If you observe any of this kind of behavior and sycophantic fawning from a small tight circle of posters, towards the administrators or moderators, exercise caution. The forum may help you, but the potential is there for it to hurt you when you can least afford to be hurt.

    Ideally, those who have been through a psychopathic encounter which turned out to be tragically superficial need help from real people, in a real space, who are accountable for their actions. Failing that, an online forum presided over by a qualified unmasked professional who can be held accountable for her online behavior should be a minimal requirement. A professional therapist, familiar with group dynamics and traumatic stress can point out the tendency to over interpret and categorize too broadly, as it occurs. In other words knee jerk fundamentalist thinking or, ‘to a man with a hammer, every(one) looks like a nail,’ isn’t as much of an issue.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lisa — Psychopath Free does not advocate for psychiatric help. Quite the contrary. They speak ill of it and of medication management options for people who truly need help.

      What you shared here is spot on: “Ideally, those who have been through a psychopathic encounter which turned out to be tragically superficial need help from real people, in a real space, who are accountable for their actions. A professional therapist, familiar with group dynamics and traumatic stress can point out the tendency to over interpret and categorize too broadly, as it occurs.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right on the money with that evaluation… The other thing is that while everyone is masked and covered from head to toes, they invite you to get practically naked by sharing your intimacy, then turn around and collectively laugh at you, like in one of those twisted dreams you’re happy to wake up from.

    It’s basically a trap. A very efficient, well-oiled trap.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Maria,

      Happy to find this blog and astounded that my experience with PF forum is such a common one. It was a very unsettling experience to enter on to a forum with nothing but the best intentions and high regard for the mods and Peace, to end up being treated like I was a social deviant, a few short weeks later.

      I had no idea what I had done to raise their ire. I didn’t disagree with anybody’s point of view. There was no condescension on my part towards any members. I was well liked and my posts appreciated…a lot. A former moderator of PF who was hounded off the forum, suggested this might be the reason I was banned and I guess it might be true.

      I received high praise from other members fairly quickly and according to this fellow, that is what bugged them. I was respectful and friendly but must admit, I didn’t gush, genuflect nor bow down and kiss the mod’s or ‘Peace’s’ ass. I was friendly, courteous and had a high opinion of them. I’m sure that came through.

      It seemed to bother the mods that I described myself as being pretty much healed, though still a bit fragile. Also, that I was there to help, that I didn’t require help.

      I think now, the only reason they didn’t boot me off even sooner was because they were trying to figure out who I was. I told them, quite honestly, that I had to be very careful about revealing my identity, as my husband is a public figure. That must have set their gossip sensitive antennae twitching!

      Through recovery forums it is very easy for those who have been traumatized and are so inclined, to want to reenact the trauma from a position of power. They are in a perfect position to do this as moderators or administrators.

      As they ‘help’ you, they are sensitized to any comments or opinions that will afford them the opportunity to press the delete button on your person, on your being. In so doing they are re-traumatizing those who have already been cruelly and often discarded without warning, or closure. How is this ANY different than psychopathic abuse? Same dynamic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for sharing your story.

        Yes, it’s not the first time someone mentions their alarm bells going off when seeing a member whose posts are appreciated by others; an admin actually mentions that in a post regarding trolls, claiming some register to ”garner their own following”.

        As an adult, to me it looks like schoolyard jealousy, replacing the more mature desire to cooperate on equal terms and add to the common project as much as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi again,

    I like the gist of your blog here. You have created something of great value and the commentary from various posters, speaking out, is also very helpful.

    After I was targeted by a psychopath and wandering through the strange world of online recovery forums, I saw several patterns emerging. The worst one was the tendency towards fundamentalism.

    Dividing people into two camps; psychopaths and the rest of us, for example. The potential for social harm and a new ‘ism’ is huge. As you have described Maria, there is no room for, ‘maybe,’ or ‘can we look at this a little more closely,’ or reasoned CALM discussion.

    There is no middle ground, no doubt, no uncertainty. Some of this is typical and a stage most targets go through. The job of any recovery forum should not be to ‘validate,’ every person who joins the discussion, about whether they were abused by a psychopath, nor that they are surrounded by them in all of life’s avenues. Psychopathy is an untreatable disorder. It is the human spiritual embodiment of evil. Believing that a fairly large percentage of the population is irredeemably evil, is harmful to the psyche and spirit.

    A person doesn’t have to be a psychopath to do tremendous harm to somebody else. It is enough that the person was harmed and needs to talk about it.

    The problem with splitting black and white is all empathy stops for those who can be shoehorned into the ‘black box,’ and I am not just talking about P’s or jerks, but new members on forums who trip some emotional wire, they are unaware of. If enough people on a forum join in this exercise, a witch hunt mentality can easily ensue. The forum is a microcosm for the greater society

    People who think that they can create a Utopian society forged out of the bedrock of this kind of black and white thinking may think they would be surrounded by lovely people, looking to join others, basking in the adoration of one another. In fact, they would be entering a world that looked a lot like Liberia or Sierra Leone, or the show Survivor, where each member, one by one, would be voted off, for some minor infraction.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you find the blog helpful and fully agree that if they ran out of fresh fodder (disposable new members), they would start turning on each other until their communities would dissolve.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Something is definitely going on today – not sure what, but traffic has quadrupled over the last few hours, most of it through Facebook. Either many people are becoming interested or many people are getting pissed off; it’s one of the two. Or both. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Maria,

    I am happy and relieved your blog is getting so many hits.

    Clique-ish forums with irresponsible mods and administrators, intoxicated with a little power, might just have the tables turned on them.

    More disclosure from those who have been mistreated, deleted without proper warning and then had their lives scrutinized and information shared behind the scenes should speak up. This is NO way to treat those who have often already suffered so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. If there is one truism that springs to mind for me on reading this interesting analysis, it is that those who have been subjected to abuse are often prone to recreating in encounters with others in society that which they suffered from themselves. No one who has been through abuse should endeavour to help others before they have gone through sufficient therapy and/or an adequate period of restitution and return to normality. Our systems are full of people projecting their own stuff onto others and wanting to *help them* whilst affecting quite the reverse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Objectivity used to be valued; now it seems that it doesn’t matter anymore and people with an ax to grind can be trusted in situations where they are likely to be very biased, even if they’re not aware of it.


  10. A woman by the name of Alison Gunson Wyecaple from Herefordshire in the UK who runs a Facebook recovery forum, and is the founder of the Facebook group Children of Narcissistic Sociopathic Parents Support Group. She is also involved in bulldog beeding and competitions in England.

    In 2012, she published the real life names of all the women she disliked on her recovery forum to the same doomsday cult forum as part of some strange psychotic vendetta against these women. She then invited the cult leaders onto her group to act as security team in order to ‘warn’ the women who remained. Most of the women she ‘outed’ were involved in custody battles and other legal proceedings against their exs. The last thing they needed was outing and she used the doomsday’s cult forum to name them. It was a shocking and wicked spectacle. All this can be easily verified.

    She is thoroughly disturbed and dangerous individual for women seeking help and is also involved with psychopathfree. Any women on her groups are open season for her to publish their names publicly when she is having one of her psychotic episodes.

    Here is her Google + page

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is horrible.

      You’d think they would at least avoid such tactics to save face, as I trust hardly anyone on this planet would consider this a decent thing to do.

      But there’s nothing stopping these people from ‘pulling a Jim Jones’ at some point. Even if they ruin their reputation, the damage is done and they drag everyone else with them.

      Really disturbing.


  11. The New Guardian,

    Without mentioning any names, do you know how the hissy fit started? This is why it is so important not to share anything without carefully vetting the individual beforehand. I doubt this person is a professional, and help under conditions of anonymity, that are not honoured are very troubling.

    Someone should set up a central registry, a better business bureau, for people who are barely operating within the law.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Maria,

    Your blog is mentioned, and you are quoted in the May 4th edition of the “Vancouver Courier.” The opinion piece is titled, “Warning, this article may contain triggers.” You can view it online. Good on ‘ya! You’re having a positive impact! Several of my Aussie buddies are reading your blog now, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I apologise for the blog being so untidy so far and often written in a hurry, with those awful quotation marks using the wrong keys. To start with, I had no idea whether anyone would actually read it. Which is no excuse, but still. So I’m working on improving it at the moment.


    1. So tragical, so pointless. Sometimes I wish religion just evaaporated altogether.

      But that would be no guarantee of sick people stopping their delusions and attempts to control others.

      Society at large knows about the major tragedies such as Jonestown and Waco (though of course the people at Waco were actually murdered).

      But who knows just how many of these groups there are out there, with naive people getting sucked in. I don’t know why they don’t see the signs; why they don’t get out in good time.

      In Romania we had this group called MISA (maybe it still exists). I saw a news report once about two sisters who had joined. What they said was “our parents gave us everything but not once a single I love you”. I think that is their trick; emotion; hooking people up to some pretend emotion to substitute something they longed for. It must be.

      The author mentions people who would have gotten degrees an lived successful lives. And it’s not the first time I hear about people who are highly intelligent being sucked in by these abominable shysters. Scientology is (or was, anyway) full of such people with promising lives.

      Emotion and attachment must be what draws them.


  14. This blog is majorly fucking up technically. I’ve got entire paragraphs in my latest article not showing, for some reasons. The other day I couldn’t see avatars at all (not even mine). Perhaps the time has come to “go pro” and buy a domain to host this on. 🙂


    1. Your blog is based on wordpress, which is free software. No one at “wordpress” has a benefit, if you “go pro” – you get the same software, but you have to install it yourself and maintain it yourself. There’s no need, to pay money. If you discover problems here, check your theme. Maybe you use a theme, that has problems with the latest version of wordpress, because it is not maintained any more.

      Liked by 1 person

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