The narcissist has a wide array of tools and techniques at their disposal for using narcissistic abuse to control and manipulate their victim(s). By far one of the most powerful forms of narcissistic abuse that a narcissist may utilize is character assassination.
Character assassination is not only a violation of basic human rights but it can be incredibly destructive and devastating for the victim and is considered to be no different whatsoever to actual assassination in a court of law in many countries. Character assassination relies on mainly using defamation (or slander) to destroy the victim's reputation. However, when a narcissist carries out character assassination they develop what could be considered to be a full-blown distortion campaign in order to target their victim.
Narcissists mix subtle lies with truths and spread rumors among people who know the victim (usually family and friends) and they do so by recruiting their unconscious army of pawns (or flying monkeys). Because the lies are so subtle and have been mixed with truths (making them half-truths), the narcissist's flying monkeys are more likely to believe them and each one of them goes and tells another person, who then tells another person who tells another person and lies and rumors soon begin to spread. This can also often result in Chinese Whispers.
Suddenly, the narcissist begins to seem like the victim expertly playing the part as things progress and people's opinions of the victim begin to change. The victim knows intuitively that something is wrong and that something is going on. It becomes obvious, although at first they may not realize that the narcissist is the true source of the distortion. Eventually, the lies and rumors may begin to surface and the victim may become aware of them but usually it's too late. People have already been primed to believe what they've been told. Another large part of the problem is that if some of the narcissist's pawns realize what's been going on, they may begin to feel guilty and will use similar tactics in order to cover up their own actions.
The more a victim attempts to expose the true actions of the narcissist, or their army of pawns, the stronger and more powerful their attempts at character assassination become and the more they destroy their victim's reputation. They leave the victim with no other choice but to allow the lies and rumors to circulate or they will only continue to make things worse.
[ Image: Gaffey at Pixabay - Public Domain - https://pixabay.com/en/anonymous-studio-figure-photography-657195/ ]