Zealots: welcome to the new narcissist | Rebecca Jane column

There is a topic that has blazed the way through the mental health industry over the last few years.

By Rebecca Jane
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 11:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 11:42 pm

The common buzz word, thrown around like the new Chanel purse going swiftly out of fashion – narcissist.

Our levels of education have risen over the years, a high degree of people are now acutely tuned to the destructive and painful patterns of a narcissist...but there’s a new kid on the block.

Zealots. The next level in narcissism.

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Rebecca Jane

Zealot – a person who has very strong opinions about something, and tries to make other people have them too.

A true believer in what they are doing, they are blind to all reality.

Some zealots so passionately believe in what they’re doing, they’ll do anything to get there.

Those people can be the creators of a light bulb, or a rocket ship! There’s miracles and magic in zealots, but there’s destruction, fraud and trauma too. In business, and pleasure.

The new Netflix drama Inventing Anna, features a polarising character / socialite in New York who deceived people out of millions.

Then, we have the next level! Welcome to Elizabeth Holmes. The woman who claimed to give America blood tests in one hour, processing in a machine she ‘invented’. Making them so affordable and reachable that death could be delayed for years.

When her vision was a load of nonsense, Elizabeth deflected all blame away from herself, entirely blaming the people she employed and everything, bar herself and the fictional reality she created.

A true zealot derives from a narcissist. A person so caught up in their own distorted reality, delusions of grandeur and self importance, they don’t know how to accept responsibility or consequences of their actions.

Elizabeth was caught out. Hook, line and sinker. Her vision and product was a lie. The machine was developed by someone else, and it was so flawed they barely used it. It gave false results, telling people they had terminal cancer when they were absolutely fine.

Under intense media and commercial fire, she stopped at nothing and refused to crawl back under her rock. Any normal person would have not dared to show their face again, but Elizabeth did the opposite.

She stood on a stage, full of medical professionals and finally delved inside the flawed machine she had desperately protected, at all costs.

Even when caught out in her lie, she thought she could pull the wool even further over people's eyes. Serial liars, cheats and fraudsters have a pattern of behaviour.

We call it ‘rob Peter, and pay Paul’. Where you’re told a portion of the truth to buy a degree of trust and authenticity. ‘Elizabeth wouldn’t dare stand on this stage, in front of so many professionals and outright lie’. ‘If the machine was useless, she wouldn’t dare explain it, she would be hiding away forever more’.

Wrong, she was calling the bluff of everyone in the audience.

Her whole being and existence pivoted on one idea. Elizabeth Holmes fought to the death to keep her delusion alive.

I’ve always found it incredibly sad when such genius minds become deluded. There is genius and vision in there, truly, they are gifted people. But their illness of being a zealot does not allow them to live a truthful and wholesome existence.

£900,000,0000 of the money Theranos raised was spent on producing a distorted reality of a severely unwell person.

£300,000,000 was spent on legal fees, defending her delusions.

Such incredible amounts of money can only be considered a criminal act. Nearly one billion pounds, wasted.

‘We’ll fail 10,000 times if we have to, but we’ll figure it out on the 10,001st.’

The final words of Elizabeth Holmes, who will forever be found chasing her distorted reality dream… now, from behind bars