Character Assassination Definition

Character assassination is an attempt to tarnish [or destroy] a person’s reputation. It may involve exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. It is a form of defamation and can be a form of ad hominem argument.*

The Irreversible Effects

For living individuals targeted by character assassination attempts, this may result in being rejected by his community, family, or members of his or her living or work environment. Such acts are often difficult to reverse or rectify, and the process is likened to a literal assassination of a human life. The damage sustained can last a lifetime or, for historical figures, for many centuries after their death.

Maliciously Deceptive Defamation

In practice, character assassination may involve doublespeak, spreading of rumors, innuendo or deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject’s morals, integrity, and reputation. It may involve spinning information that is technically true, but that is presented in a misleading manner or is presented without the necessary context. For example, it might be said that a person refused to pay any income tax during a specific year, without saying that no tax was actually owed due to the person having no income that year, or if a person was sacked from a firm, even though they may have been made redundant rather than actually fired. Source:


*in simple terms, an “ad hominem argument” is when someone attacks your character instead of the point you try to make.

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  1. The Sociopath that was in my life had me followed as well. (It) knew where I was when I was not around. I found this out much later by the way he was acting. Or being in the career I was in at the time, we had GPS avalible for cell phones or cars. GPS is eazy to buy for cars. I think Sociopaths are very paranoid and they think people are out to get them. I went through the rumer my self, which I didn’t know at the time. At the end, nothing could be fixed.

  2. Re: Jim.
    Apologies for the late reply. Encounters with the disciples still happen to me from time-to-time. I was in my car a week ago and as I turned a corner another car approached me from my side. My husband was with me at the time but as usual he saw nothing.
    It turned out to be one of the perps in her own car. She looked straight at me and gave me the characteristic evil sneer or look of complete ‘disgust.’

    One day these people’s faces will snarl up and they won’t be able to get get them back to normal.

    These perpetrators just go on-and-on, forever. They have been so completely brainwashed – I would say hypnotised – they have got to the point where the behaviour has become programmed into them. Only psychopaths can do that to people, control their minds to that extent. No normal human being is capable of that level of control over someone else. That’s why I think that a lot of cults are run by psychos. They know how to snatch people’s minds/souls away from them.

    Re: Dave.
    It changes you forever. I can never trust anyone ever again. When I go out I now have to cross the road when I see someone coming.

    I should move away, but I can’t convince my husband of what has been happening. They try things on even when I am with him. I could be forgiven for thinking that I am living in a lunatic asylum when I wake in the morning. This is not a sane society I am afraid.

  3. Susan, It is hard to convince people who don’t know about Sociopaths. I tried to exlain just a little bit of my experence and I am told ( people don’t do that or just get over it ). I remember when I didn’t know about Sociopaths, I was young and had my whole life in front of me. I was left with nothing. Try not to show you fear if you can. I think that’s what Sociopaths like. But that is just my opinion. I was afraid to and still am at at times, just because he is filled with hate, greed, envy. That’s one reason why I can’t go back just for a day or two and see that part of the State I was in.

  4. Re; Dave.

    I think in my case the sociopath is just as likely to be a woman. People need to be made more aware of this.

    I have met quite a few seemingly narcissistic/sociopathic women throughout my life. It might be because I have worked with women much more than with men. I question the official stastistics that say there are more male psychopaths than female ones. The stastistics might be wrong.

    We always seem to place psychopaths in the male category as ‘he’ but there is another side to the coin and that remains hidden away. I can give my own reasons for why this might be.

    The first is that people might feel more inclined to be ‘protective’ towards a female sociopath and so they cover for her if she does anything bad.

    A second reason is that she may be much more devious and underhanded with her techniques than her male counterparts, making her far more dangerous. For example, she may resort to psychological violence rather than physical, or get someone else who is stronger to carry out the physical stuff for her.

    Another reason is that virtually no studies have been done into female psychopathy, making such women practically invisible in society. Next to nothing is known about the disorder in women.

    Another reason could be that society as a whole is simply in denial about women psychopaths, and can’t come to terms in the same way with it.

    I am not trying to play the feminist card, but I do think it remains very diffiicult to identify a woman as a sociopath, even if she is one, for all those reasons.

  5. Susan,
    You could be correct on that. I am still learning about Sociopaths I think. The only reason I found out is by chance, when I was reading about con men and putting (Its) behavior together and digging around in my mind of what I went through. I couldn’t believe it. After the meny books I have read and the web sites I went on, after three years, I still have a hard time about. But now I know what (it) is. I believe also, the general population hasn’t a clue really.

  6. Re Dave: I have read loads of info online about sociopathy, but no books -isn’t that awful, lol. Must get down to reading at least a couple of books on the subject.

    Thomas Sheridon, who is one such author on the subject has videos up on Youtube and I’ve listened to a few of them. He suggested that psychopaths have a purpose in the world, and that is to ‘help’ the rest of us to evolve spiritually.
    I used to buy into that theory, but now I tend to reject it for the several reasons.

    Such an idea would make many victims angry. For one thing I can’t see how such suffering ‘improves’ anyone? I don’t think it has improved me in the slightest; on the contrary, it has made me less trusting and more cynical towards other people: a sad fact but it has changed me and not necessarily for the best, although I think it quite possibly HAS made me more understanding towards victims.

    Sheridon’s theory is based on the premise that suffering is good for you. But suffering lies and character assassination by a psycho? Is that ‘good’ for the victim? Is it good for the victim when lots of people don’t talk to them anymore; when their neighbours shun them; when their ability to find friendship or employment is compromised? I have serious doubts about that.
    Of course maybe it depends on the ‘type’ of suffering, but I wouldn’t give any credence to psychopaths at all. Psychopaths and their followers are a cancer in society, that is all; they do nothing to improve the world.

    I think we would have a vastly better world if we did not have this evil social problem in our midst.

  7. Evolve spiritually, really! How? My spirit and my life was fine. (its) spirit needed work. I forgot (it) does not have one. And who is this Sheridon person, and what is that persons E-mail. I would like to tell what trama I live with. I am fourty two, with out a home, a career, had to move, all because I was a better person than (it). I learned nothing from what happend to me except for their is the anti-christ and they are The Sociopath. Not only did (it) take ten years of my life but the rest of it as well! Oh, I did learn about Life games and the desruction that it caused me, good for me. I am still venting.

  8. Re: Dave.

    Thomas Sheridon’s videos can be found on Youtube. Some of what he says certainly is interesting, but there are other ideas of his that I find highly questionable.

    Sheridon has said that he thinks psychopaths may have a purpose in the world, that is, to bring about the process of evolution in true human beings, albeit unwittingly on the part of the psychopath. He only states this as a possibility, but it is an idea I can no longer buy into.
    I don’t think the experience has done anything at all to help me to ‘evolve’ in any way. How can lies, deceptions and hate campaigns help a victim to evolve or ‘grow?’

    I think one thing it has done for me is to increase my understanding in some ways, even if it is only the realisation that society has a very evil and dark underbelly, a pathological side if you will.

    But I cannot see where I am better as a person. I am less trusting, more cynical, and now a virtual social phobic. That’s why I am on the forums talking to others. I can go out but I am always looking over my shoulder, and I often feel threatened.

    Some evolution!

  9. Susan, I agree with you too and feel the way you do. I have my up days and my down day,like I have said before. We must try not to let them beet us. One of the reason is we do it for ourselfs and the people who do care for us. And I do believe they try to rub their thaughts onto us. They are less trusting and cynical. My Socioapth projected often. Now I know this! I wish I learned all of this before.

  10. I had been exposed to a sociopaths malice in a coffee shop and freaked out and threw my paper cup down and ran…He counter acted and filed a false report on me…then went to a college admin who he was personally affiliated with and got her to abuse me through the college process, defamed and suspended. He somehow got a sheriff to false a report.

    I have the evidence of an officer J calling me at 5:56 and another sheriff report exposing what that officer J said and was told by me on the report. The report was timed at 4:45…, officer j did not even call yet…so much more phony docments…. I was falsey charged but never arrested, thank goodness and was never actually charged. I faught it. the sociopath used military for cred and worked in the ada office too….They usually try to get their enemies close (the law).

  11. It is also possible that he lied to the other dsheriff he went to and harrassed them too. I never bought into his reasoning for being an imposter of a priest and living a lie but ghetting a guarenteed way of living. I kept asking him how he could do such a thing and he started getting smug and then just went from glib to hostile with repeated unsubstantiated accusations, a very aggravated demeanor…

    They often will research you and find out what will scafre, discust, or cause you alarm and harrassd you with it untikl you react and then they can fi,le a false report or try to defame you with your being victimized, by them playing a victim. This sociopath went to facebook first and his followers bought his story and gave him ideas, then he went to sheriffs. Sociopaths often need followers to buy their pathologies and that is their confidence to act or ideas on how to be a victim and play the part.

  12. It is also possible that he lied to the other many sheriffs he went to and harrassed them too. I never bought into his reasoning for being an imposter of a priest and living a lie but getting a guarenteed way of living. I also questione dhow he could have a medical claim with military for a specific bone injury when he is out attending and participating in fighting events and practice. I kept asking him how he could do such a thing and he started getting smug and then just went from glib to hostile with repeated unsubstantiated accusations, a very aggravated demeanor…getting close in my face.

    They often will research you and find out what will scare, discust, or cause you alarm (he some how knew I was alone all day most of the time and other things he found out to, I was not aware of) and harrassd you with it until you react and then they can file a false report or try to defame you with your being victimized, by them playing a victim. This sociopath went to facebook first and his followers bought his story and gave him ideas, then he went to sheriffs. Sociopaths often need followers to buy their pathologies and that is their confidence to act or ideas on how to be a victim and play the part.

  13. *in simple terms, an “ad hominem argument” is when someone attacks your character instead of the point you try to make.

    Larry and all,

    This year has been a very trying one. Lost my mother in January. Lost my brother in November. BUT …. on the up side, we have had four major court battles with sociopath sibling (actually Narcissist sibilng – no heart no soul no concious) AND we won ALL of them!

    The last one was three orders of protection to rotect myself, my son and one sibling from the Narcissist threats. Took an hour and a half in court but at the end of the Judge’s long speech two of us were granted our protection orders!

    The Narcissist sibling has gone 48 years and never been caught in anything illegal or imoral that she’s done. THIS TIME she got caught and she set her own trap and caught herself! The narcissist sibling caled my daughter to the witness stand to testify in the narcissist behalf. When my daughter stated that it was her who busted up my sister’s hope chest she made in high school, the Judge asked her why she did that. My daughter said, ‘why not”, the Judge asked again ‘WHY would you do that?’ My daughter looked across the court room at the narcissist for an answer and good aunt narcissist said, ‘tell the truth.’ My daughter stated, ‘I did it because my suant wanted it doen and it was too ig a job for her and I didn’t want her hurting herself.’ The Judge said, ‘you may step down I do not need to hear another word, I’m ready to make my ruling.’

    The judge granted two orders of protection for myself and my sister, my son did not get an order of protection. These orders of protection are for one year and are renewable. The narcissist faces 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine if found to be in violation of the protection order.

    The narcissist said to the Judge, ‘I don’t understand, I have a beneficiary deed, a will and a warranty deed giving me all of mother’s property so I can do with it what I want.’ The judge leaned across his bench and shook his finger in her face and stated, ‘ YOU think you’ve been real slick and not gotten your hands diryt actually doing anything but your last witness gave me everyting I needed to give these people their protection orders, YOU caused that hope chest to be busted up for the soul purpose of hurting these people and THAT was done with mallus. If you do not know what was wrong in busting up the hope chest, I have some serious concerns about you!’

    We go for a Judges Judgement on who owns the house, the narcissist or another sibling, in January. Then on to file suits for defermation of MY character, my sister’s charachter, and elder abuse.

    I read some articles on line written by Sam Vaknin on the Vendictive Narcissist. Good reading and has shed new light in this dark corner of the world. Well worth your time and energy!


  14. That’s great news for you, your son and sibling, Blacksheep. It lets us know that justice can be served. My sister is on the ohter side of the country where I am, and in many way I’m very grateful. But in the case of making a case, getting an attorney there, expense, etc., I’m a bit envious.

    I’d have to go after my brother, first, as he is the executor of my parents trust. Because he’s a CPA, he convinced them that they should make him (brother the dishonest) the executor. It was previously my brother-in-law (an attorney) but he and my sister divorced after I lost both my parents. I still believe my brother-in-law would have not been dishonest.

    But kudos to you!

  15. I’d prefer to remain anonymous on this one, if that is okay.

    [Editor's note: I assume that everyone remains anonymous on this site. Please always use a fake first name and don't include your last name. Anonymity is the rule.]

    I’ve come across a few sociopaths in my lifetime, and like most, have been damaged more than I realized, and only learned later on just exactly what a sociopath is, and how common they are in this world.

    The worst one is my aunt. Growing up, she was the “cool” aunt that was “so nice” and would shower us kids with gifts and money when she came to visit. She’d also fawn us with attention and compliments. That’s her thing…so sickening sweet at first, and only those closest to her experience her true self and the abuse that she perpetrates. As a teen, I went to spend a week or two at a time during the summer with her and her family, and when I was 20 years old, I moved in with them for a few years. Again, she was nice at first, but it didn’t take long until the mask came off….usually, when the other family members were not around, was when her treatment of me was the worst.

    I could not begin to explain the level and amount of manipulation and fakeness with this person…I think it would take 10 web pages to explain, lol. But she basically used me as a slave to do her housework, and would then tell her husband that she did it all when he came home from work. She used me sort of like a play doll…dragging me to every stupid store or event regardless of whether or not I was interested in it. When I finally decided to tell her I didn’t want to go to these places, the abuse increased 3 fold. She’d call me all sorts of names that could not come close to applying, and would even hit me at times. Only once or twice did I swing back, to which she quickly squawked “I’m going to tell your uncle that you hit me!”

    I could go on for hours writing of a thousand nasty deeds this woman has committed, but let’s just say, that she has managed to drive everyone of her relatives away in her life just because of her BS, with the exception of her two adult sons who still live with her, and will most likely, stay there until she dies. Her husband left her more than 5 years ago, and she tells everyone he only left her because she is overweight…biggest lie ever, but it seems she thinks when she repeats something often enough, it will effectively make it true in the minds of those who should know better. Truth is, she has been overweight for a long as I can remember, even when I was a kid….why would he stay with her all of those years if it was really about her weight? Oh, that’s right…because it’s a lie. More like, he finally got fed up with the increasing abuse, control and manipulation. She’d constantly accuse him of cheating if he came home from work 2 minutes late. She’d take all of his money and go on wild spending sprees on the most outrageous crap. She controlled him 24/7. He was not allowed to do anything other than work, and come home. He never went out, and didn’t have any friends or hobbies outside the home.

    When I married and left her home, she still tried her best to control and abuse me, but when I cut ties with her for awhile, she moved on to her next target…her husband. She did control and abuse him for years, but it increased when she needed a new central target. It seems these people will mess with a lot of people, but they seem to favor focusing a lot of energy on one victim at a time.

    Now that he has been gone, the abuse, control and manipulation has increased with her sons. I’ve been in contact with her on and off through these years, and I’ve witnessed her use fear, guilt, material rewards, and other tools to keep them from leaving her. These “kids” are now in their 30′s and they’ve never left home, never started a family of their own. They don’t have any friends nearby. The few they had moved on with their lives, made their own way in life. They don’t have jobs, and they are all successfully “living off the system” even though I know full well there is nothing wrong with them worth getting assistance. My aunt, the sociopath, even told me years back that she was trying to come up with a way to collect SSI, meaning, faking something…and then giggled about it. I wanted to barf. She has since succeeded in this goal, and now it seems she’s convinced them to get themselves “diagnosed” with something as well, as they seem to survive up there, spending up a storm and keeping up with bills , all while not having jobs.

    At least the one son seems to sense things are wrong, and takes notice of some of the things she does. He shows signs of wanting out, but he’s weak against her ways….whatever she says, he goes along with. When he was interested in going back to college, she talked him out of it citing that he will be lonely and it’s “dangerous” out there near the cities. Then he repeated exactly what she said and I knew, I’d probably not be able to break through this mental hold she has on him. She’s convinced him to be afraid of the world, which he was not so much when he was younger, but now he is. She’s convinced both of them that it’s better to stay living at home, and she’s made them dependent on her. These two, at 30 years of age, have never used a stove top, an oven, a vacuum, washer or dryer, etc. She’s done nothing to prepare them for the real world, and for a long time, I wondered why not…now I know, it was all intentional. She never had plans for them to leave.

    At least the one still talks to me and comes to visit my family. The other son doesn’t bother with us, and during one my last arguments with her, she fed him a bunch of lies that he decided “he didn’t know who to believe, yet he was ready to believe her anyway, and threw some insults my way”. It hurt, but now, I’m over it. The way I see it, there is a certain culpability with the people who go along with the sociopaths. Although it may be easy for an sociopath to lie, it’s up to the listener to decide if they will believe a one sided story without at the very least, talking with the other person, getting the facts, and then determining what they believe. This idea that people believe the lies and don’t tell the victim what is said, only tells me that there is something about their character as well that is just as questionable as the character, or lack thereof, of the sociopath. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t think I’m worthy of being granted 5 minutes to give my side of a story, then you aren’t worthy of my time, my energy, or a place in my life.

    I’m not only convinced that she is a full-on sociopath, but she also shows many of the signs of the often related disorder…HPD – Histrionic Personality Disorder. She uses a lot of dramatics at the drop of a hat, especially when an argument isn’t going her way. She’s sucking the life out of her sons…this one life they have to live, and they may or may not realize it until it’s far too late. All because she needs someone to control, and doesn’t want to be alone. It’s the epitome of selfishness. No mother wants to see her kids leave, but as mothers, we know it’s a part of life and growing up. We prepare them for life, and let them make their own way because we love them and we know, that each of us is given our own life to live. A mother’s love is not selfish…it’s selfless. This is not about love for her, as I get the strong feeling she doesn’t really love them at all. This woman is far beyond selfish. She’s just outright disgusting.

  16. Anon,

    Very said for the live’s of your two cousins. It sounds as if they’ve been brainwashed since they were young. They need to get into counseling so as to try to save the rest of their lives.

  17. I work with a woman who has character assassinated me, I hate her with a passion, she fits all of the traits here of a sociopath.
    I’m an easy target, I fit the victim before and after. After giving up, not getting upset about it and simply not caring how she has turned the office against me, I feel so much better in myself.

    She is so manipulative and gets aggressive when challanged by me, which I just do for sport just to see her shout and get aggressive because she wants everything on her terms and hates being challenged.

    She doesnt scare me anymore, I just think she is dead inside, horrible woman,

    Everyone in work is scared of her but they pander to her too, they all want to keep on her good side in spite of all the nasty things she does to people.

    I knew she had some kind of disorder but I think I can safely say she is a sociopath if I compare her to the traits listed here. Its a relief to know what she is, everyone kisses up to her so much, i thought I was going mad.
    I won’t leave though, I can’t find another job and I won’t give her the satisfaction of seeing me leave because of her.

  18. This is exactly what my sister is doing to me! !! I accidentally and inadvertently exposed her as an arsonist by repeating some rumors I heard to my mother last January. My sister started her destroying campaign in march when she learned of the information that I had told my mother.

    All I can think now is that those rumors were actually true. She is definitely trying to assassinate my character with my family and anyone who will listen to her manipulations. Sociopaths are very dangerous and I now see her for who she really is. My blinders are off. I just don’t how to get other to see her manipulations. I will keep my distance from now on.

  19. And I will stand true in who I know that I am, not in who my sister is inaccurately saying that I am…thank god I have the Good Lord in my life :)

  20. Hi Sandra,

    I wish I could provide words of wisdom, but being in a position such as you are now, I fought the battles, and lost the war. No one in my extended family will even speak with me, and sadly, that includes my two daughters. My son did not go down that path. Since I was banished from the family, and my son stayed at my side, he’s also been banished.

    Nothing like I ever expected. Everything was “normal” until my two girls got into their teen years and changed drastically. My older sister could be the poster child for Psychopathy, and while I’m there, so could my ex-wife.

    Become invisible. Get to your closest family members and tell them the truth. Unfortunately, that is not easy if your sister got to them first. It’s amazing how gullible people can be, especially family members believing in hearsay.

    My oldest aunt, in here 80s, won’t even speak to me. You will have an uphill battle, but take it a day at a time.

  21. At this point I feel like no one in my family will listen to me. And what’s more I feel if they are so easily manipulated and turned off of me then do I really want them back in my life? They listen to someone’s version who I don’t ever even speak to and take that as how I am verbatim? It is truly disheartening to say the least.

  22. You state some difficult options, but they are the ones that I have taken. Except for my son, I’ve come to accept that I have no other family.

    The very worst began when my dad died, and my sister abducted my mom. Laughingly, on the phone, she told me I would never speak with my mom again.

    I did talk to her when she was in the hospital, but I never saw her again. She died one year after my dad.

  23. Sandra,

    Get tough, I know it is hard, very hard, but these people in your family must be ignorant and lack self worth to be conned by this charlatan, a large majority of my family does not speak to me because the SP I have left has pulled the wool over their eyes!

    They may have been looking for an excuse and now they have one. I don’t want to associate myself with those spineless fools. It hurt in the beginning but I am strong, I have learned and I know who loves and cares for me, I do communicate with 3 members in my family and that is just fine with me! Wait till he gets done using them haha lmao!

  24. I think she was able to con them because she is the one who sees them and talks to them on a regular almost daily basis, as she never left home like most adults do. I live a distance away and have always kept my distance from much of my immediate family due to their dysfunction anyway.

    But, it still baffles my mind to listen to one person’s negative talk of another and to just plainly believe it. She has gotten my father, her husband, my niece to all not respond to my email and to drop me on Facebook. I think she did this so that I could not repeat the info I told me mother. Because I fear it is now true, possibly.

    I’m shocked people can be so easily manipulated. I am not going to go around trying to prove who I really am to people who insist I am what she says that I am, even though she never sees me or talks to me. And apparently has a hidden agenda adding to her supposed “opinion” of me.