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March 27, 2009
From Cassandra’s desk
One does not need to be a medical doctor to recognise that something is seriously amiss with Frank Bainimarama’s mental health.  And I mean seriously in every sense of the word!
But which mental illness could it be? We have seen him exhibit paranoia, anger, arrogance, stupidity, gross self-indulgence, vanity, criminal tendencies, bullying and total indifference to reality.
Now that’s one heck of a list, a sort of super psycho soup of symptoms, if you know what I mean.  So, where does one start to diagnose what they all add up to?
Well thanks to prompting by the brilliant Discombobulated Bubu (her posting of 16 June 2007) and a little research, your humble correspondent can now reveal the exact nature of the dictator’s illness. And be warned, it ain’t pretty.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV), which was published in 1994 by the American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC, no less, our Frank is suffering from malignant narcissism.
Now, wait for it, but as you will read below, our dreadful dictator would appear to be a classic case.
Yep, you guessed it, he fully meets ALL NINE criteria!  Here’s the list, correlated with recent examples of his behaviour
Criterion 1: Feelings of grandiosity and self-importance, exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements.
Dear readers, do you remember how Frank awarded himself the Order of Companion of Fiji (CF), which is our nation’s highest honour.  Now, if that’s not grandiosity, what in the heck is it?
Criterion 2: Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power, or omnipotence.
One could go on and on under this criterion, but suffice it to point out the as his nation crumbles about him, Frank doggedly sticks to his fantasy that with one wave of the People’s Charter we’ll all be transported overnight to a utopian Fiji.  Now, just how high does that rate in the fantasy stakes?
Criterion 3: Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high status people (or institutions).
We all know Frank never did, and never will, have the right to call himself a chief, yet not only does he treat the real chiefs with contempt, but he acts as if he was the most exalted chief of all.
Criterion 4: Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious.
Go no further than Frank’s simplistic notions of media reporting to cover off on this one.  If the media are not patting him on the head he gets his ghastly goons to put the frighteners on them.
Criterion 5: Feels entitled.  Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment.  Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations.
Your humble correspondent can think of exactly 184,740 reasons why Frank might fully satisfy this criterion!
Criterion 6: Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends.
One needs only to look at the number of honest, professional officers Frank deceived, bullied and undermined in the RFMF ahead of the coup and those he rewarded (including with promotion, illegal dollops of “back pay” and cushy jobs) post coup to appreciate the extent of his interpersonal exploitation.
Criterion 7: Devoid of empathy or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others.
How empathic is a leader who greedily and illegally helps himself to the national coffers while instructing the rest of us to tighten our belts and make major sacrifices for the nation?
Criterion 8: Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her.
The dictator’s obsession with a New Zealand High Commissioner’s guest of honour status at a rugby match (and the outcomes of that little episode) surely puts Frank bang smack in the middle of the frame.
Criterion 9: Arrogant, haughty behaviour or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.
Could our Frank be arrogant, haughty, prone to rages when frustrated of contradicted?  Surely not!
Well, the last time your humble correspondent looked Frank was most certainly ALL of those things, just as he fully meets all the other criteria listed above.
With brass bloody bells on!
13 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Manning permalink
    March 27, 2009 9:30 AM

    Quite possible that those behind this coup , recognised these traits in Frank , and used him and his mental state to their own advantage .

  2. ex Fiji tourist permalink
    March 27, 2009 11:56 AM

    Thank you Dr Cassandra!

  3. Ropate permalink
    March 28, 2009 12:13 AM

    Seems Malignant Nacissism is rather catchy in Fiji, because because the template fits almost all members of the IG Cabinet. Just think about it for a moment — the AG (most certainly), Minister for Health (definitely), former Finance Minister MP Chaudhry (without a doubt), Shaista? (mmm . . of course, dur!!!) . . . the list goes on

  4. Mark Manning permalink
    March 28, 2009 1:09 AM

    Has anyone considered the possibility that all involved in the coup are simply criminals full of criminal intent , and nothing more , nothing less ?
    If you think about it , were they insane , they wouldn’t be concerned nor aware of the possible consequences of their own individual actions , yet clearly , they are only too well aware .

  5. Jean d'Ark permalink
    March 28, 2009 3:27 AM

    Mark – maybe its a clique of opportunist crooks spear-headed by a fruit-loop!

    Interesting article about Hitler there too! Looks like mental/social imbalance is almost a pre-requisite for being a dictator!

  6. Fiji Democracy Now permalink
    March 28, 2009 7:49 AM

    Thanks Cassandra for another great read.

    And thanks for so very convincingly pinning down our dictator as someone who exhibits all the symptoms of a person in the grip of malignant narcissism.

    You have put Bainimarama in very good company.

    FDN did a quick Google, which revealed that Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler and Idi Amin have each been widely documented as having the same problem as Bainimarama.

    But what caught our eye was a statement by Dr Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., F.A.P.A., who is Director of the Personality Disorders Institute at The New York Presbyterian Hospital:

    “Malignant Narcissism (also known as Narcissistic supply) is a syndrome characterized by a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), antisocial features, paranoid traits, and ego-syntonic aggression. An absence of conscience, a psychological need for power, and a sense of importance (grandiosity) are often symptomatic of Malignant Narcissism.”

    We at FDN were amazed because “paranoid traits”, “aggression”, “absence of conscience”, “psychological need for power” and “sense of importance” are Frank Bainimarama down to a T.

    It made us wonder whether Dr Kernberg might not already have a doctor-patient relationship with our dictator.

    Don’t forget that Frank has made two trips to New York since his malignant narcissism became full blown back in December 2006!

  7. March 28, 2009 10:46 AM

    Thanks Cassandra, and the ever excellent Discombobulated Bubu. An excellent read. I should point out here that such observations should not be intended as a substitute for professional psychoanalysis. I’m sure that, if Vore ever fell onto a qualified psychiatrist’s couch, a professional analyst would uncover even more disturbing traits.
    We all know that he is unfit to rule for a lack of electoral mandate. We can surmise that he is also unfit to rule for lack of rationality.
    God bless Fiji

  8. EnufDictatorship permalink
    March 28, 2009 11:26 AM

    Further to this…it may well be that Vore has two heads.

    One he has this image and opinion of himself as the “saviour” with his Samy FACHA (farter charter) to support his self-righteous ideals of a ONE NATION FIJI and the other he has built his “alternate reality” where all the LIES, DISHONESTY, LACK OF EMPATHY, etc is crafted to be used WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS!!!!

    All these occurs because Vore is an ARROGANT-SORRY-SOD-OF-A-MAN!!!!

    And where will all this end for Vore? – as world and life history proves: AMOUNTS TOO NOTHING!!!!!

    I guess that is where my serenity lies while we all have to live with his madness for now!

    May God’s peace be upon us always!

  9. soro permalink
    March 28, 2009 10:49 PM

    Add to the pathetic Pycho mix, the all-encompassing (illegal) IMMUNITY decree, which Vore presumes will cover the thin veneer of his sorry sins ……. only a madman would make the assumption.

  10. Tim permalink
    March 29, 2009 9:36 AM

    At Soro: Helin Kluk! described him as a madman early on in the peice. Madman being a loose description for someone with a pschotic personality disorder. The Samoan PM has also recently stated the bleeding obvious, as have others. If Frank had any grip with reality, he’d not have missed several opportunities to ‘return to normalcy’.
    But Frank’s not alone – you couldn’t exactly describe Shaista, the AG, Teleni or a number of others as being in touch with reality.
    The thing is, the rest of the world (including P.I neighbours) all know the situation. Frank and the junta are still deluding themselves because no one has prompted them with a face saving way of backing down, and one that saves their pathetic asses. Till they see one they’re scared shitless. But meantime the psychosis and paranoia of Frank will be the death of him – fingers crossed

  11. March 30, 2009 3:39 AM

    At ED, that’s what we may call multiple personality disorder….my goodness, he has it all!

  12. Inosi Kama permalink
    March 31, 2009 3:24 AM

    I think you are right about being envious Cassandra. If there is one thing we all know about Frank Bainimarama it’s that he has always envied Qarase since he appointed him Interim Prime Minister.

    Qarase is well educated and has succeeded as a civil servant, as a businessman and as a leader. Frank was promoted only to cover up the Regimental Fund scandal of his predecessor. He’s a puppet and he knows it, which is why he carries on so much trying to play the big dictator.

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