#UNFIT: Malignant Narcissism comes to Washington D.C.
Definitive analysis of Trump by top US mental health experts. Science. Truth. Duty to Warn. We ALL have an interest in this discussion.
#UNFIT: Malignant Narcissism comes to Washington D.C.
Definitive analysis of Trump by top US mental health experts. Science. Truth. Duty to Warn. We ALL have an interest in this discussion.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, January 18 2019 3:20 AM UTC +00:00.
#UNFIT is a feature-length documentary film in which medical doctors and mental health professionals go on the record, for the record. (Finally!)
It's an eye-opening discussion, analysis, and science-based examination of the behavior, psyche, condition, and stability of President Donald Trump, which addresses the question many people are now asking:
"Is Donald Trump psychologically fit to be President?"
BY VIRTUE OF ITS FISCAL SPONSORSHIP through From The Heart Productions, Inc., pledges made to this campaign are tax-deductible, to the amount and extent allowable by law. See section on "fiscal sponsorship" - very bottom of page.
This film is NOT politically motivated; it does not advocate for any policy or take a stance on any matters of state. The film is also NOT intended to offer diagnoses aimed at recommending treatment. This film speaks only to the collective welfare of Americans. It's rooted in science, and espoused by doctors whose motivation is a Duty to Warn.
It's not overly technical. It's educational, while being edgy, easy to follow, and entertaining, so as to appeal to a broad audience.
#UNFIT is a collaboration between multiple Emmy Award-winning Director Dan Partland, longtime Producer Art Horan ("The Usual Suspects", etc.), and many of the nation's leading mental health professionals. All involved have agreed to check their personal political leanings at the door, believing there are more important things than politics.
The filmmakers have launched this Kickstarter to ensure that the film maintains its independence and impartiality. Help them deliver a truthful, necessary film that can become a serious and important part of our big-picture narrative. Please check out the Rewards.
Donald Trump suffers from malignant narcissism. It's bad, and it's getting worse.
#UNFIT interviews those experts most qualified to render opinions about mental health. Separately and together, they objectively address Trump’s mental state of mind. They don't agree on every conclusion. But they do concur that he suffers from a syndrome called malignant narcissism, which has been seen by our world before, sometimes with grave consequences. Evidence of its presence in Trump, and details of how it manifests will be provided with specific examples, relevant video footage, and chilling historical references.
Malignant narcissists are unpredictable and often unstable. Given the power of the U.S. Presidency, that's a clear and present danger to us all. The syndrome has 4 components:
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Anti-social behavior
The malignant narcissist is grandiose, with an inflated sense of accomplishment, and an excessive need for admiration. He is boastful, hypersensitive to criticism, arrogant, and envious. He is always ready to raise hostility levels, and uses deceit and manipulation. He transgresses social norms, and lacks moral conscience. He is preoccupied with perceived disloyalty, bearing grudges, quick to blame others, and prone to conspiracy theories. He is dehumanizing to people he perceives as weak, capable of taking glee in their misfortune.
#UNFIT will connect the dots. It will explain - in understandable language and with illustration - how and why malignant narcissism explains what Trump says and does.
Trump's behavior has - up until now - been described with labels that are either vague or espouse characteristics borne of his "beliefs"- "he's a jerk, he's a racist, he's a xenophobe" - but his behavior doesn't stem from those characteristics and beliefs. A malignant narcissist with decades of validation who rises to extreme power like Trump often no longer has any beliefs beyond himself. His behavior stems entirely from his disorder. You've heard Trump say and even fixate on things that seemed to work against his own best interests. That's the power of the disorder and the powerlessness of Trump to control it.
Our film will show that Donald Trump is now completely defined by this syndrome. It rules him. He does not show empathy when it is warranted because he CAN'T. He doesn't apologize or feel shame or contrition because he is UNABLE to. He has long harbored a fear of being exposed, and that fear has turned to dread. The next step is desperation.
In the short time since the midterm elections, his condition has grown more acute. He has lied, denied, and doubled down with increasing frequency - his misstatements and untruths are now approaching 6,000 and could be well over 10,000 by the end of his term! His grandiosity has continued to become more extreme, his hypomania more drastic. He projects constantly (as in the pot calling the kettle black). The results of the midterms have elevated the danger to us, because he fears more imminent danger to himself. Our societal risk will likely continue to increase proportional to the degree that things work against him. He will always push back because he HAS to. Bluster and bravado cover up his deep-seated fears and panic of exposure or failure. He will relentlessly divert and distract to regain control of the narrative, always prioritizing his personal preservation above all else.
Who among us can truthfully say what he might do in that pursuit? His perception is skewed. He often believes his own lies. He revels in being unpredictable. We would be wise to consider nothing to be off limits. Many professionals perceive this. It's time to recognize what he is, and move past vagueness and superficial labeling. This is verifiable science, not politically motivated, and we need to add this to the narrative.
Our doctors speak on the record because of a Duty to Warn, which requires a clinician who has reasonable grounds to believe that an individual might harm others to warn possible victims. They perceive a genuinely increased threat to our collective national health and safety. They believe, as we do, that it is critical for as many people as possible - left, right, or center - to finally hear professional medical opinions from those most qualified to render them. #UNFIT is an effort to educate, inform, and influence the public debate for our collective benefit.
Note: We all know narcissists, but Malignant Narcissism is different. It's been at the root of some of the most vicious inhumanity in all of history. A malignant narcissist when threatened makes decisions impulsively and walks a line between sanity and insanity.
Says Director Dan Partland: "We are a divided nation, like no other time in recent memory. We need to put that aside long enough to listen to professionals as to whether we may have a clear and present danger, one that we underestimate at our own peril. #UNFIT takes the discussion out of the realm of political policy and into the realm of psychological science. As dug in as we may be, we need to hear out the experts, then draw our own conclusions. "
Adds Producer Arthur Horan: "A fundamental element of democracy is its checks and balances. Narcissism combined with sociopathy is not only dangerous, it's a hallmark of the most extreme authoritarianism. We will find debatable points, but the overriding truth we must first agree upon, is that we are all interested parties who are all in this together."
Please support #UNFIT and help us produce an informative film. We will take steps to reach the broadest possible audience. Your pledge will help us remain independent.
We are all capable of empathy and humanity, and still one nation. Fear and divisiveness is the domain of the malignant narcissist. The message of this film is cautious, but hopeful.
#UNFIT focuses on the unusually alarming behavior patterns of our nation’s current Chief Executive, Donald Trump. The film explains his specific disorders, with examples, video, graphics, and historical context. It discusses and warns of potential consequences. The film peels back the personality-based allegations used to describe Donald Trump such as racist, fascist, misogynist, xenophobe, etc. and opines that theses "labels" - however accurate they may be - serve to rationalize and normalize him. But he is not normal.
Malignant narcissism defines him, ruling his behavior, explaining everything he says and does - including things that make his supporters and detractors alike scratch their heads. It explains his utter lack of shame, contrition, and empathy.
The film makes its case powerfully and completely:
- We interview mental health professionals, who discuss the disorder, and why they feel the danger is now exacerbated. They believe that for them to NOT warn the public at this juncture would be an abdication of professional responsibility.
- We interview politicians, journalists, and citizens on both sides of the proverbial aisle.
- We examine the historical impact of malignant narcissism when affecting world leaders.
- We meet with, and look at targeted victims of his ridicule, rage, and assault.
- We discuss and reveal the profound impact he has had on our culture (which some refer to as a "path of destruction"), and his disdain for the "rule of law."
- We dissect how and why he targets and attacks our venerated institutions, such as our intelligence community, free press, and most recently - our independent judiciary.
- We evaluate his constant perversion of truth and blurring of facts.
- We examine the role of the media, internet, social networks, and targeted disinformation.
- We do all the above in a visual and appropriately entertaining manner, to appeal to a large audience and maximize retention.
- In a riveting final discussion, our experts theorize on the phenomenon of his hardened base of supporters, how and why they dig in, deny, deflect, and otherwise mirror his actions, and why they link themselves to him seemingly above all else.
Here are some FAQ'S to more fully describe the film and why it's important:
- Why does he sometimes say and do things against his own self interests? He is addicted to his disorder and controlled by his addiction. The media has said he acts "instinctively". A more accurate explanation is that he acts "impulsively."
- Why has the medical community been so quiet until now? Because of The Goldwater Rule (please see below).
- Why can this film finally be made? Because of a Duty to Warn (please see below).
- What does all of this mean? The experts will opine as to what it means, for all of us. They agree on what drives him. Some see more risk than others. We hope viewers digest and decide what arguments they find compelling, and draw their own conclusions.
- What can happen from this film, and why is it important? It's important because it changes the narrative about Trump in two important ways. First, the specificity of his disorder is revealed, so we can supersede the superficial labels like "he's a racist", and move past the vague labels like "he's crazy." Second, because the explanation and analysis is a product of evidence and reasoning borne of science, it takes the discussion out of politics. A powerful and malicious syndrome governing the mind of the nation's most powerful man should transcend politics! This is why the film is urgently needed.
- Will any Trump supporters accede to the messages of this film? Let's not judge all Trump supporters by only those most vocal and militant on Facebook, or those who have embraced conspiracy in all things. A great many Trump supporters have degrees of curiosity, concerns, and even regret. Many of them will take the film's messages to heart.
“Certified lunatics are shut up because of their proneness to violence when their pretensions are questioned; the uncertified variety, if given the control of powerful armies can inflict death and disaster upon all sane men within their reach.” -- Bertrand Russell
“Trump has the ability to convince his brain that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.” - Tony Schwartz, journalist; author of The Art of the Deal
Psychology is a diverse discipline with boundless applications in everyday life. Theory is tested using scientific methods that include observation, experimentation and analysis. Psychologists study abnormal functioning. They commonly treat patients with mental and emotional problems. Our first point of note is that: Psychology is science.
"The birth of psychology was characterized by the use of systematic observation, measurement, and hypothesis-testing to understand human consciousness, experience, and - most important - aberrant behavior." -- Psychology Today
"We have to stop treating him like he has an unfortunate personality tick and start treating it like what it is: a serious, dangerous, mental illness." - Bill Maher
Our second point of note is: Malignant narcissism is bad. Does this sound like him or not?
- Narcissistic personality disorder makes him boastful and the center of his own universe.
- Antisocial behavior makes him lie, exploit, and violate rights, with no perspective, guilt, or remorse.
- Paranoia makes him peddle untruths and conspiracy theories, and behave recklessly.
- Sadism makes him attack the vulnerable, without shame, vilify those who oppose him, and gloat over the misfortune of others, without empathy.
He is lacking in conscience and behavioral regulation. He sees himself in the most grandiose scale, with inflated attributes. He has a propensity for seeing enemies in all disagreement. He has feelings of omnipotence, and an entitlement to power. He has hypomania - always in motion, frequently distractible, tweeting in the middle of night. He vocalizes most when he is threatened, when the opposite of what he says is often true.
"When Trump criticizes, he is projecting. He calls people liars because he is a liar. He talks about others being corrupt, because he is corrupt. All the criticizing is projecting." - John Legend
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." - Martin Luther King Jr.
In these divided times, it's easy to lose track of the fact that we are all in this together. You know that old friend of yours whose words and opinions make your blood boil on social networks? Pick up the phone and speak with him. You'll realize that one on one, he's still your friend. Our third point of note is: Politics is not everything.
"A lot has been said about politics; some of it complimentary, but most of it accurate." - Eric Idle
"Trump makes increasingly bizarre statements that are contradicted by irrefutable evidence to the contrary." - Bill Moyer
Our fourth point of note is: In this age of misinformation and disinformation, we need to work harder at rediscovering the truth. Truth does exist.
A recent expose in the New York Times revealed the degree to which Trump has lived a lifetime of lies. Though he has had some success, it's mostly the appearance of success. Perhaps his biggest true success was The Apprentice reality show. If you've ever felt that his presidency is a continuation of that reality show, you are not alone.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. But the truth shall always be the mortal enemy of that lie.” - Joseph Goebbels
"Those who offer such advice he perceives as contrary will increasingly be seen as actively subverting his best interests, as he understands them. He'll grow more defiant, more reckless, more anti-constitutional, and more dangerous." - David Frum
Our fifth point of note is: His fitness for office (given his disorder) should be our primary debate. Presidents with mental illness can be effective, and presidents without mental illness can be dangerous. The risk of a malignant narcissist wielding extensive power lies in the propensity for erratic judgment, impulsive behavior, and inability to handle a real crisis. He is also under investigation, and would do anything to obfuscate or be exonerated.
"Let me put a marker in the sand here. One hundred per cent of the people around him question his fitness for office."-- Michael Wolff
"Last year, I was one of 35 psychiatrists who signed a letter to the New York Times decrying the fact that among the plethora of op-ed columns expressing concern about the mental state of the president, the Goldwater Rule had blocked psychiatrists — the medical specialists with the most training to comment on that topic — from doing so. But the amicable consensus of appropriate parameters for public speech by psychiatrists has to come apart now that Trump is president." - Leonard L. Glass, M.D., Harvard Medical School;
The Goldwater Rule is the informal name given to Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association's Principles of Medical Ethics, which states that it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements. It is named after former U.S. Senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater (pictured).
"We are writing to express our grave concern regarding the mental stability of our President-Elect. His widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsiveness, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office." -- Professors of Psychiatry (many signatories) Nov 29, 2016
“Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.” - Anonymous Trump Senior Official, New York Times Op-Ed
VIDEO: featuring Dr. Michael Bader on Trump:
A duty to warn is a concept in law indicating that a party will be held liable for injuries caused to another, where they had the opportunity to warn the other of a hazard and failed to do so. In clinical psychology in the U.S., duty to warn requires a clinician who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person may be in imminent danger of harming himself or others, to warn the possible victims. There is much discussion and some dispute as to whether it applies here. That's why the doctors have been silent and we've refrained from referring to their analyses as a "diagnosis". But they've agreed to speak for the record for this film - for the greater good, and as a wake-up call to all of us, regardless of personal politics.
“If...the machine of government...is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” -- Henry David Thoreau
"Making art is an act of sharing. It is by definition, an invitation to others to leave their isolation and meet others on the same road as you. An artist without empathy is a sociopath." - Steven Holmes
Our final point of note: Here is something we can all do now. Malignant narcissists dislike the arts, because the arts promote creativity, expansion of the mind, and empathy, none of which they possess or are comfortable with. Whatever else you think of Donald Trump, recognize he has zero empathy, and try to imagine your friends and family behaving like that. Even if you like Donald Trump, don't be like him. Embrace empathy. Go to a museum, concert, or sporting event, or watch one on TV. And hug someone you care about.
"Mr. President - you have no empathy gene. You cannot see beyond your own self." - Sarah Silverman
This is an editorial from Dan Partland and Art Horan - the filmmakers and Project Creators:
"Documentary filmmakers try to shed light and truth on issues they may serve the common good. Getting the general public to recognize the 'imminent threat' of Trump’s psychological disorders requires a credible and powerful piece of communication. We do that here through a mental health community finally willing to speak out, and we commit to making the film easy to follow, visual, and entertaining.
Film is a most powerful medium. Just as An Inconvenient Truth significantly expanded and legitimized the conversation around climate change using science, #UNFIT will legitimize the conversation about the mental health of our most public figure, using science.
The airwaves and the public discourse has become full of noise. Trump is the chief noisemaker. But 'the Big Con' is becoming more transparent. His disorder progresses. An increasing percentage of his lies are blatantly disprovable. He is still surrounded by enablers in Congress, on Fox News, and in the blogosphere. We can expect that, perhaps. But we believe we are making a film that will actually reach some of his supporters.
It needs to be realized and spoken about that we have a President who is a malignant narcissist. It's important. Getting our message out to a wide community, adding this into the narrative - is crucial. This is America, not a Banana Republic. This is a democracy, not an autocracy. This is a country with checks and balances, and venerated independent institutions. The fact that they are under attack because of dysfunction, is not acceptable.
He runs the country like a reality show, the thing he understands best. We are being assaulted every day as he sidles up to dictatorial regimes and attacks Canada. We watch world leaders at the UN laugh at him. We see kids in cages. We hear vitriol daily. We read tweets borne of hate and hypomania. If we was a cop, we'd hope they take away his gun.
We're going to make a great film. Thanks for visiting and supporting our campaign.
Politics is not everything. Facts are not 'alternative'. There is such a thing as truth."
ABOUT THE REWARDS
- CAN YOU MIX AND MATCH? Yes. If there are Rewards you'd like in a certain combination or quantity that are not offered that way, no problem. Send a message, we'll work it out.
- DELIVERY DATES: The Rewards deliveries are approximate, and reflect a delivery date for the film's completion; we are very likely to fulfill the other Rewards a bit earlier.
- MAKING YOUR "CHOICES": All "options" involved in any Reward (t-shirt size, for example) will be made AFTER the campaign using the Kickstarter survey form.
- The Red Baseball Cap says #UNFIT on its face and is exactly what we see Trump wear.
- There are two choices of T-shirt, one is artistic, the other is a production staff shirt. You can choose either and we will show you the art, size, color options after the campaign.
- The Poster will be designed by a fan - whoever submits the best design. Winning design is credited (and paid). If you want to submit for this contest, click the small round image on the top left next to Doc Dance Productions, then click Contact Me. We will respond.
- The Hate Mail reward is uncensored. Adults only.
- On the Insider Special reward, the Trump U diploma - it's very cool - the U is for Unfit.
- You are In the Film reward is on a first come first served basis. Earliest selections appear earliest in the credits.
- Private Screenings - for the 10 person, we supply the location and reserve the right to combine multiple selections. For the 20 person, you select whether we supply the location or you host the screening.
MEET THE TEAM
DAN PARTLAND - Director & Producer
Dan is a Multi-Emmy winner of documentary and non-fiction TV, whose work includes series such as A&E’s Intervention, The Sixties on CNN, American Race with Charles Barkley for TNT, and Afflicted, a soon to be released Netflix series. Prior to his work in television, Partland’s work included landmark films of the independent cinema such as the feature documentary A Perfect Candidate along with Sundance winners Welcome to The Doll House and The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack.
ART HORAN - Producer
Art is a Creative & Business Executive, Executive Producer of Academy Award winner The Usual Suspects and Executive Consultant on Sundance Festival Winner, The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack. He is also an Executive Producer of Ring Girls for ESPN directed by academy award nominated Amy Berg, and Producer of the documentary film Hands of God.
THE DUTY TO WARN COALITION - Mental Health Experts; Dr. John Gartner - Consultants
The Duty To Warn Coalition is an association of mental health professionals and other concerned citizens who conclude and advocate that Donald Trump is psychologically unfit. It is comprised of mental health professionals from various fields including, but not limited to, psychiatry, psychology, medicine, public health, public policy, and social work. Dr. John Gartner - a founding member of Duty to Warn - graduated magna cum laude from Princeton, received his Ph.D in clinical psychology at U Mass, completed post-doctoral training at Cornell Medical School, and taught in the department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School for 28 years.
BUDGET, TIMELINE, & USE OF PROCEEDS
The official goal of this crowdfunding campaign is $54,500, which - along with other financial commitments - would allow us to complete the film with the crucial science, messaging, and video clips intact. The pie chart above represents the allocation of proceeds based upon achieving that target.
To produce this film to make it the best it can be, requires more. Every dollar counts.
In an ideal scenario, we would raise $200,000; this would obviously have a large positive effect on the production. It would allow us to license additional footage, add music and effects, expand the interviews, delve more into the "Trump supporter phenomenon", allocate funds for festivals and distribution, and of course provide stretch goals for backers.
The production will commence immediately upon conclusion of this campaign and continue into the Spring upon which post-production efforts would commence.
We came to Kickstarter to maintain independence, to serve no other masters, to rise above the political din, and reach and interact with a like-minded community that believes that together we can make a difference in how things play out.
If you've got questions, our team is pleased to respond. At the top of the page on the left there is a small round image - click that, then click CONTACT ME to send a message.
Risks and challenges
Making a full length feature film, documentary or otherwise, is a challenge for anyone, even for a major studio. It is a substantial endeavor, with many moving parts. Independent film producers have to especially be able to roll with the punches.
We have done our best to minimize risk partly because we are not starting from scratch. The science exists, the doctors are aboard, and we've started the process - raising and/or borrowing money, financing some of it from limited personal funds, thus reducing what is needed for this campaign. For this reason also, Rewards deliveries are set at June of 2019 - not that far away.
And then there's the obvious - this film is a mission, borne from a Duty to Warn, and we approach it with passion as to its timeliness and urgency.
The funds from KS will allow us to finish production, edit the film, and combined with other arranged funding, will allow us to cover important post-production elements that can really make a film special, visually and audibly.
Our scope of work, time frames, and budgets are reasonable. It's not our first rodeo, so to speak.
We say with total confidence - when this Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the film will be made; all rewards will be delivered fully and on a timely basis; and we thank you for supporting a film about a subject that needs to be told and explained, because we are all in this together.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter