It isn’t that mysterious. They’re both pathological narcissists.
The most revealing thing is the bullying behavior, specifically in response to being found out. Normal people do not behave this way, but it’s the first resort of pathological narcissists. Yet it only applies when the person or persons who discover them are amenable to being bullied. In the mind of the narcissist this is anyone who is below them in the pecking order.
For Armstrong this was very easy to do. As a world famous athlete, legend and folk hero his status was almost unimaginably high, thus he could shout down, sue, intimidate and otherwise smear almost any of his detractors, branding them as liars even as he knows that he is the liar and not them. As his story shows, high status alone will enable someone to succeed at this faux bold tactic for a surprisingly long time. People are invested in their heroes, and reluctant to believe the emperor has no clothes.
But, you know, facts are stubborn things.
One distinction between Moran and Armstrong that should be noted: Armstrong’s pathology, while on a much grander scale in terms of notoriety, is so much less destructive. He’s not imprisoning people and branding them criminals, for example. His pathological behavior is defensive, not offensive.
By virtue of his office Tom Moran, on the other hand, unleashed the power of the state to harm others in his quest for narcissistic supply. Being incredibly self-interested and self-absorbed (as pathological narcissists are), of course, these “others” do not really exist for him in any meaningful way. Oddly, it really doesn’t matter to him how much harm he has caused others, and will not matter unless and until there is some consequence to him. Just as Armstrong would have gone on forever unless or until higher ups began denting his armor and revoking his awards, so Moran will continue until some consequence is visited upon him. At that point there may be faux lamentations or faux contrition just as Armstrong has demonstrated in his Oprah confessional. But what’s driving it is not a genuine appreciation for the wrong done, but rather an increasingly desperate effort to preserve the narcissistic self image.
A lot of criminals are like this. It’s all about them.
By the time I appeared before the Livingston County grand jury on October 13, 2004 Moran had been peddling the mendacious narrative that “Sephora was the driver”, unchallenged, for nine months, and had just gone out on the limb of presenting it to the grand jury a week earlier. Although he had not been found out personally at that point, his lie had been.
But only by me. So far.
So he reacted the way a narcissist does when unexpectedly confronted by an adversary perceived as lesser status: he began verbally bullying me, and when that didn’t work because I forcefully brushed him off, he threatened to beat me up.
In a way that should be astonishing but unfortunately is not, the powers that be ratified Moran’s pathological behavior and attacked me, mimicking Moran’s narcissism perfectly. This is one of the reasons it became necessary for me to persist the way I have. A lawyer cannot permit the whole system to become a pathological menace on his watch: rewarding lying, cheating and criminal behavior while it punishes true accomplishment, personal integrity and innocence. Inversions of reality of that magnitude must be opposed. To the death, if necessary.
If the trend to pathological narcissism isn’t checked in the justice system how can it be checked in the wider society? See the problem?
Lawyers have a lot of responsibility, don’t they?