I believe I was a victim of workplace mobbing at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where I was employed as a paralegal from 1988 to 1991.
I suspect that the harassment ringleader, whoever he or she was, may have suffered from a specific form of narcissistic disorder that has been termed "malignant narcissism" by Otto Kernberg, M.D. and others.
What I find interesting is that I had earlier proposed a personality profile of the harassment ringleader (reproduced below) in which the trait of paranoia was embedded in the personality of a fundamentally narcissistically-disturbed individual. It's interesting that the so-called malignant narcissist features a paranoid trend according to Dr. Kernberg and others.
It may be that the identity of the harassment ringleader will forever remain an unsolved mystery!
1. Rumors are spread that the employee is homosexual.
2. The harassment is very subtle, so that if the victim complains he will appear to be paranoid.
Profile of the Harassment Ringleader
Based on the above two facts a comprehensive picture can be drawn of the harassment ring leader.
a. According to the American Psychiatric Association, spreading a rumor that someone else is homosexual is evidence of jealousy and envy and is to be considered in the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.
b. The ringleader suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder and is envious and jealous of the harassment victim.
c. The very purpose of the subtle harassment is to make the victim appear to be paranoid. This motivation has three purposes.
First, making the victim appear paranoid will undermine the victim's peer relations in his place of employment, thus tending to isolate the victim. (Spreading a rumor that the harassment victim is homosexual will also undermine the victim's peer relations in his place of employment, thus further tending to isolate the victim.)
Second, making the victim appear paranoid will undermine the victim employee's suitability as an employee with respect to the employer's managers.
Finally, there is a purely psychological motive. The attempt to make the victim appear to be paranoid is a projective identification of the ringleader's own paranoia. Interestingly, projective identification is a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder. Projective identification is an ego defense that is defined as the act of making another person appear to have personality characteristics that are disowned by the person engaging in projective identification.
d. The harassment ringleader is paranoid, as evidenced in his use of projective identification to make the victim appear to be paranoid. Paranoia, according to Freud and others, is a defense against unconscious homosexual pressures.
e. The harassment ringleader has strong unconscious homosexual pressures. This is evidenced by his paranoia, his use of projective identification to make the harassment victim appear paranoid, and his use of projective identification to make the harassment victim appear to be homosexual and his spreading a rumor that the harassment victim is homosexual.
f. The harassment ringleader is interpersonally exploitive. This is evidenced by his spreading a rumor that the harassment victim is homosexual, his attempt to make the harassment victim appear to be paranoid, and his use of the employee group to express his projective identifications. "Interpersonal exploitiveness" is a symptom of a narcissistic personality disorder.
g. The harassment ringleader is socially adept and popular and uses his social skills to manipulate other employees. But the harassment ringleader also has unconscious insecurities about his social skills, which is evidenced by his need to isolate the harassment victim and make the harassment victim appear to be socially maladroit (another example of projective identification).