The Polymathic Psychopath

I recently stumbled across a colleagues ex partners website.  They are a psychopathic malignant narcissist who doesn't pay maintenance for any of their children and is on the run from the authorities.  They left my colleague with thousands of pounds worth of debt and then reinvented themselves in another state by setting up a new business.

What was interesting was on their website they call themselves polymathic.  Both of us were shocked when were saw the ultra impressive website offering a wide range of services.  To the outside observer, I.e. anyone who didn't know this person they seemed highly knowledgeable with a very good track record.

There was no mention of the fact that they got fired from their previous job and that they had been unable to sustain jobs in the past which is why they had accumulated so much debt.  So in search of answers we went to the lovely wikipedia and found out what Polymathic meant. 

Their definition is this:

A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, "having learned much") is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today's standards.

The common term Renaissance man is used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields

Very impressive I am sure you will agree, however when it comes to the psychopath its all about the mask and giving selective information so that the victim is unlikely to see through the thinly veiled disguise.

I was however heartened when I scrolled down a bit further and found this comment:

A different term for the secondary meaning of polymath is Renaissance man. When someone is called a Renaissance man today, it is meant that he does not have only broad interests or a superficial knowledge of several fields, but rather that his knowledge is profound and often that he also has proficiency or accomplishments in at least some of these fields and in some cases even at a level comparable to the proficiency or the accomplishments of an expert.

It further goes on to say

“A more colloquial term for such a person would be a jack of all trades, though this often refers to skill and not necessarily knowledge. The term "jack of all trades" also occasionally has negative connotation (see, for instance, jack of all trades, master of none); such a person may be labelled as a dilettante, while "polymath" typically has a positive connotation. “

Its interesting that someone with his track record would use such an interesting choice of words to promote his website. A normal person might admit to having a lot of knowledge but pertain to having ADD or Attention deficit disorder which too has a negative connotation.

There's an expression which says when something is too good to be true it normally is.  What is more  interesting is that psychopaths hide behind a mask but in other ways they are clearly telling you who they.  In this man's case its barely disguised under the grandiose label of the polymathic.  Its a well known fact that psychopaths will knowlingly withhold information, lie and exaggerate their credentials qualifications and achievements in the hope that people with look beyond the mask and not check them out.

Since the psychopath is unlikely to put Jack of all trades - master of none in their CV or on their website and always wants to be seen in a good light.  Its often useful when seeking out people who you wish to do business with that you look further than the gloss and veneer of the impressive sounding words and use your intuition and do background checks because it doesn't take a genius or polymath to figure them out ;)