Ponerogenic association

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Excerpt below is from Andrew M. Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology:

We shall give the name "ponerogenic association" as referring to any group of people characterized by ponerogenic processes of above-average social intensity, wherein the carriers of various pathological factors function as inspirers, spellbinders, and leaders, and where a proper pathological social structure generates.
Smaller, less permanent associations may be called "groups" or "unions".
Such an association gives birth to evil which hurts other people as well as its own members. We could list various names ascribed to such organizations by linguistic tradition: gangs, criminal mobs, mafias, cliques, and coteries, which cunningly avoid collision with the law while seeking to gain their own advantage. Such unions frequently aspire to political power in order to impose their expedient legislation upon societies in the name of a suitably prepared ideology, deriving advantages in the form of disproportionate prosperity and the satisfaction of their craving for power.
A description and classification of such associations with a view of their numbers, goals, officially promulgated ideologies, and internal organizations would of course be scientifically valuable. Such a description, effected by a perceptive observer, could help a ponerologist determine some of the properties of such unions, which cannot be determined by means of natural conceptual language.
A description of this kind, however, ought not to cloak the more factual phenomena and psychological dependencies operating within these unions. Failure to heed this warning can easily cause such a sociological description to indicate properties which are of secondary importance, or even made "for show" to impress the uninitiated, thereby overshadowing the actual phenomena which decide the quality, role, and fate of the union. Particularly if such a description is colorful literature, it can furnish merely illusory or ersatz knowledge, thus rendering a naturalistic perception and causative comprehension of phenomena more difficult.
One phenomenon all ponerogenic groups and associations have in common is the fact that their members lose (or have already lost) the capacity to perceive pathological individuals as such, interpreting their behavior in a fascinated, heroic, or melodramatic ways. The opinions, ideas, and judgments of people carrying various psychological deficits are endowed with an importance at least equal to that of outstanding individuals among normal people.
The atrophy of natural critical faculties with respect to pathological individuals becomes an opening to their activities, and, at the same time, a criterion for recognizing the association in concern as ponerogenic. Let us call this the first criterion of ponerogenesis.
Another phenomenon all ponerogenic associations have in common is their statistically high concentration of individuals with various psychological anomalies. Their qualitative composition is crucially important in the formation of the entire union's character, activities, development, or extinction.
Groups dominated by various kinds of characteropathic individuals will develop relatively primitive activities, proving rather easy for a society of normal people to break. However, things are quite different when such unions are inspired by psychopathic individuals.

See also