This post is one of my most often visited posts, yet has relatively few comments. Any other real world experiences to share?
First of all blackmail is always a contest of wills. Often reverse blackmail is possible — ‘carry out your threat and I’ll have you arrested’ or “you think you couldn’t be identified in that picture?” To have the blackmailer on tape would be very useful, use a cellphone or a discreet tape recorder. I am not a lawyer, but I believe a tape of even a “your secret is safe with me” or a joking (but not really) threat would still carry weight in court. Implied threats would be more problematical but worth noting.
Could a blackmail threat be subliminal? Subliminal extortion is certainly possible. If one loans too much money to a sociopath, there is a stress to keep loaning money lest the earlier amounts never be paid back. (But of course, they almost never will be – one has to wake up and stop throwing good money after bad.)
But back to blackmail. I don’t know what this searcher’s situation is, my experience involved what I assumed to be sexual blackmail taking place in a workplace.
Blackmail of course relies on the cooperation of the victim who is counted on to have as much interest in not going to the police as the blackmailer does. For the sociopath this makes it almost a perfect crime, a crime without consequence to the perp. Further if the sociopath can blackmail others into doing his dirty work, slander or murder etc., he’s protected on these additional crimes. The victim needs to understand that blackmail is rarely a onetime thing, the victim is really entering into a criminal compact with the blackmailer that can last for years.
You do not want to be blackmailed. You may start by feeling ‘this is insane.’ But as the years go by the insanity becomes a way of life. If it’s in a job situation, leave, asap — the situation is not manageable.
Depending on how tough of a strategy you wish to use, you might want to file harassment or even stalking charges against the blackmailer. You might also want to check your local laws and get a concealed carry permit (but don’t threaten the sociopathic blackmailer directly, just let the word out). Regarding a concealed carry I would suggest never threatening a sociopath with a gun. The sociopath will sense, before you know yourself, whether you have the will and intent to use it. That’s their prime ability, reading others’ emotional states.
Let me add a couple searches here.
what is reverse blackmail?
Blackmail always presents the opportunity of reverse blackmail, namely, ‘if you do what you threaten, then I’ll have you jailed for blackmail, your choice.’ It’s an ‘out cooling’ strategy. You can’t pull it off if you are playing however. You need to really believe you can do it, so practice etc. Otherwise a sociopath will see right through the attempt. The reverse blackmail has to be true to your personality, you might chose humor and joking.
does blackmail lead to further blackmail?
Absolutely, often a lifetime of blackmail. Sometimes it seems someone will accede to a blackmail demand as a way to preserve their world and their life as they know it — but then the blackmailer will essentially move in and take over their life. No sociopath will ever be bound by a promise of ‘do this and then you’re free.’ That’s why it is worth fighting the initial blackmail attempt tooth and nail (reverse blackmail, building a harassment case, getting a concealed carry permit, etc.).
will a sociopath carry out a blackmail threat?
I think they would be extremely cautious about doing so. The whole advantage of a successful blackmail is that the perpetrator is not exposed to any danger, the victim in effect becomes his accomplice.