Recognizing and Resisting Global (Asymmetric) Psychopathy: Red Flags and Four Strategies

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


In two prior posts here and here I commented on spiritual asymmetric warfare and the original psychopath (read: Satan) behind the global ones running amok on terra firma. I highlighted our weapons as believers “in the spirit” as exemplified by Jesus in the desert when Satan wielded his best ordnance against the Word of God in the flesh Who nevertheless made swift work of him via the Word of God in the text.


Today’s comments, however, focus more on asymmetrical warfare on the world scene and more on how the level of malevolence spreading across the globe by those bent on creating chaos in order to conquer is similar to the behaviors of individuals who are mentally, spiritually, and/or psychologically disordered. There are numerous diagnoses but I will refer to them as psychopaths.

Anybody who has studied the ways of such people is familiar with certain characteristics of behavior known as the “red flags” of the disorder. I have long thought that the seeming exponential rise of rebellion, rage, deception, and danger in the world at large, these days, is comparable but on a global scale. See what you think.

And see if you think some of the ways professionals and survivors have learned to deflect and defeat trouble on an individual scale might help us deal on a global scale–even as prophecy will play out toward the final seven years of this era. I think they can. Not easy, though.


First, back to the definition of asymmetrical warfare as noted in my previous post: warfare in which opposing groups or nations have unequal military resources, and the weaker opponent uses unconventional weapons and tactics, (such) as terrorism, to exploit the vulnerabilities of the enemy.

What prompted this new commentary was a somewhat frantic conversation I listened to Online between a private investigator and a retired head of some form of CIA operations. They were detailing the danger we now face because of so many “battle fronts” coalescing at this time: cyber attacks;  psychological operations; very unstable people with access to nuclear bombs; lone-wolf terrorists; worse yet, known-wolf terrorists, worse because political correctness and naiveté have enabled them; the encroachment of hostile troops on many shores and so on.

Indeed, the world just now seems a cauldron of  fear, fake news, and foreign trouble spots that seem likely to boil over at any moment. Taking all this into consideration, I am again reminded of the red flags of psychopaths–and, this time, a few more practical ways to combat them as much as we can. First, knowledge:

–Psychopaths, local or global, use a variety of manipulative tactics: gaslighting, “word salad” responses, circular arguments, blame and shame shifting, guilt-goading, and whatever else they think might control and overcome their target. In other words, they operate on as many “fronts” as they think they must to gain control and/or silence the other.

–They often appear quite the opposite of  what they become when the inevitable assault begins, after they have conned their target(s) into agreement or submission through deception by charm (known as “love-bombing” on the list of red flags). They are all smiles and handshakes until…

–They word-smith, saying “up” when they really mean “down”; saying “peace and security” when they really mean to divide and conquer; claiming truth when they lie.

–Once they tire of the fake persona, their target catches on and begins to push back, or something else occurs to trigger the crackdown, the big guns come out and the “discard”  phase of a relationship with a disordered individual begins, as it is known in the world of psychopathy.

–The attempt to destroy in one way or another commences.

–They often use the element of surprise.

And do you know what works the best to soften up unwitting targets? The notions that one must “always give the benefit of the doubt”; “everybody is basically good”; “you can reason with everybody”; “it takes two to tango”;  “their manifesto isn’t really who they are, deep down”; and the like. More lies–but also naiveté on the part of those who desperately want to believe that such notions are true and all problems can be solved by reason and patience and truth, surely, right? Please? As the globe darkens and evil escalates and home and/or abroad…

In the meantime, behind the closed minds and hard hearts of individual and global psychopaths, Phase Three commences: The End by whatever takeover and/or destruction they conjure.


I know. Sounds pretty formidable and way out of the league of normal people to deal with. Yet, nations and individuals can and do overcome such evil (Yes, Virginia, there really is evil).

From the world of information on how to deal with singular or plural psychopaths, here are some recommended strategies for when it seems all else has failed or at least has come to a stand-still:

  1. Make preparations to leave or preparations to hunker down;
  2. Access support;
  3. Gray Rock” (become so boring–as dull as a gray rock–and speak only as needed so as to deflect as much conflict and anger as possible and to save much-needed energy for what comes ahead); and
  4. Establish No Contact with the individual or individuals, or as little contact as is possible. This will also help you conserve energy for the days to come.

NOTE: getting away from the danger, or drawing back as in “gray rocking” is not only important to hold conflict at bay it is also essential for conserving needed energy for creative problem solving.

There is much written about the effect of stress, whether the result of one-time or sustained events and conditions. My focus point just now is its effects on our ability to take the time and the gather the resources needed to study this “enemy” and to come up with effective solutions to offset the negative impact of stress as much as possible by keeping ourselves as much out of harm’s way as we can–not only physically but also mentally, psychologically, and spiritually.

We need to step back from only reacting. Why? during stress the body marshalls the needed hormones, replacing some with others until danger is passed and aligning still others for the fight or the flight. Thus, mental and physical activities operating under normal activities are put on a kind of “hold”. Many survivors of abuse relay how they didn’t have either the awareness, wherewithal, or just energy to even begin the process of escape and recovery until they had the time and safety once out of harm’s way.* At least until they stepped back from the natural inclination to merely react by gray-rocking, thus not only conserving energy but allowing for more time to develop a plan of pro-action…

As I listened to the interview that prompted today’s post, laced with angst as it was, where I could hear the big frustration and fatigue of the talkers, I wanted to reach through the airwaves and encourage them to step back, take a deep breath, do some research on the tactics of psychopaths (Rules for Radicals would be a good reference for the hopeful, world-conquering types) and don’t let the enemy wear you down! And do so soon.

All of this is less easy on that global scale, however, but consider:

If you understand that the “enemy” (him/her/them) will a) wreak as much havoc as they can, b) on as many “fronts” as they can, c) using whatever “weapons” they have at their disposal, and d) for as long as they can, and if you employ as many of the four strategies listed above as is possible, you will at least have some sense of control when so much seems so out of control by achieving a bit more calm when calm heads are essential, and maintaining a clearer mind–when clear minds are critical in order to deal with whatever comes.


What is the best option, however, no matter how much or little we can deal with what troubles the other, or the others, by trying to stay safe and sane?

I recommend sheltering “in the shadow of His Wings,” because God knows the end from the beginning and He is also working His plan, a good plan for all those who repent and receive salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. A good plan for anybody and everybody.

If you haven’t put your faith in Him yet, there is still time.

Now would be good as global war clouds gather and so-called “end times prophesies” align, one by one.


*For innumerable sites explaining this, do a key words search, “how stress affects the body in abusive relationships.” It is easy to expand this information to how it affects us when psychopaths attempt to–and do–take over nations and inflict their harm.

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On Abigail and Submission: The Much Greater Significance of Her Story–Gender Notwithstanding

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

It is no secret on my blog or among the people with whom I fellowship that when the topic of biblical heroes comes up, mine is Abigail, of 1 Samuel 25 fame. I have written about her specifically here and in other contexts in my devotionals and commentaries as well. Continue reading

Posted in Christian Women Topics, Devotionals, end times spiritual survival, most recent posts, salvation by grace, spiritual survival | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How Political Correctness Divides and Conquers

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

My brother recently brought this excerpt from a Wellesley College newspaper to my attention:

Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging… Continue reading

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“The Only Divorce in the Bible,” by Cindy Burrell

Today’s post, an article by friend, author, and fellow blogger Cindy Burrell, reveals an in-context, well-researched exposition of God’s Word on the topic of divorce rarely if ever taught in today’s Christian churches. I believe it reveals God’s true heart for those caught up in marriages where there is abuse in one or more of its myriad forms. I pray Cindy’s careful research that reinforces Jesus’ mission to “set captives free” will enlighten and help readers who stop by here, too. I encourage readers to share it in their own venues, and to forward it to church leadership. Continue reading

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Is It REALLY “God Talking” or Commanding? Three Ways To Know–and What Jesus Said

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


Note–the 3 verses below are taken from the Interlinear Bible, thus, the unfamiliar syntax  and (lack of) punctuation.

  1. For three there are bearing testimony in heaven the Father the Word and the Holy Spirit and these three one are (1 John 5:7 ).
  2. …but the fruit of the spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness (Galatians 5:22).
  3. But when comes the Helper whom I will send to  you from the Father the Spirit of truth who from the Father goes forth he will bear witness concerning me (John 15:26).

Continue reading

Posted in Commentaries, cult and occult, Discerning your "spiritual gut", encouragement in hard times, end times spiritual survival, most recent posts, salvation by grace, spiritual survival, spiritual transformation, survival tools | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Good Friday and Easter Message for You



Love, Jesus.



Image credit: Claire Beveridge Gumbs, used with permission.


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Sticks and Stones….Part 2

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

I thought the pictures, below, might suffice for a thousand more words (as in the idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words”) on the importance of communicating with positive messages and with kindness. Continue reading

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