Announcement: “The Judas Syndrome” Now Available at Amazon

Quite a while back, I was approached by an editor at a publisher that serves the Christian faith community to write a book about why so many people these days, including Christians, seem to do such awful things sometimes.  The editor was familiar with my writings on character issues and I was honored to have been approached.  But for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is knowing that health concerns would necessarily preclude me from undertaking such a major writing project, I initially declined the offer.  But thanks to abundance of information I’d accumulated over the years and stored on my computer, and with a lot of expert assistance from the editor and her team, we were able to put together not just another book on character but a testament to the power of genuine faith to save us from our baser selves and transform our lives.    And last week, The Judas Syndrome became available for advance ordering (official publication date is Feb 1, 2013) at

Initially, I was not too thrilled with the title assigned to the book.  But the senior editor’s final choice was infinitely less cumbersome and wordy than the alternatives I was originally leaning toward, and admittedly, a lot catchier.   And it has relevance to  the core themes of the book.  With a kiss, Judas betrayed his friend as well as his own lack of faith in history’s most distinctive advocate for love and righteousness.   Similarly, even decent God-fearing folks and professed Christians betray their own lack of faith when they behave in irresponsible and unkindly ways toward their neighbors.

So, I beg the readers’ indulgence for this brief diversion from the series of articles I’ve been posting to announce this new and first of a kind for me book, and encourage those who might be so inclined to order it as well as review it on Amazon.  The Judas Syndrome is my way of sharing some of the powerful lessons I’ve learned about the nature and power of faith.  And if it touches hearts or helps others to improve their lives in any manner similar to that of my other two books, and if it enjoys anything close to the great word-of-mouth publicity they’ve enjoyed, I will indeed be once again abundantly blessed and forever grateful.

46 thoughts on “Announcement: “The Judas Syndrome” Now Available at Amazon

  1. Dear Dr Simon,

    Just ordered my copy of Judas Syndrome and am so excited to read it. So loved your Wolves in Sheeps Clothing book years ago. God Bless You and Your Ministry and Readers.


  2. I am going to keep an open mind, because I love your two other books . . They are positively groundbreaking, and so incredibly helpful in understanding personality disorders. I’m (obviously) not a fan of faith (of any kind), and have no idea who Judas is (or was) . . but I’m sure I’ll know very well after I read your book.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words about my work, Sarah. While you may not have a formal religious belief system, everyone has a set of core beliefs. And I cannot separate either my own character attributes or the principles I advocate from my core beliefs. And those beliefs actually go a lot deeper than the formal faith I practice, which I regard as more metaphor and vehicle than dogma. And I speak to this in the book. So, despite the possibility you might find it not to your liking, I hope you find some value in the truths I think I’ve come to learn and try to share through the examples in the book.

      1. isnt it unwise to advise anyone one that a person with a personality disorder can change? isnt it now known that the brain of such a person is wired differently?

        1. There are so many misconceptions when it comes to personality and personality disorders that it simply amazes me. By definition, personality itself is an enduring, ingrained, and stable pattern of responding, and a personality disorder is a personality pattern that is grossly dysfunctional and resistant to change. And yes, there are several studies that have suggested that the “wiring” of SOME aspects of SOME personality characteristics (especially in the cases of psychopathy and OCPD) is operationally different (in other words, the brain’s neuronal circuitry doesn’t operate like it does in “normal” brains) and may in fact be different from birth. I’ve written extensively about all of this (and my most comprehensive explanations about the factors involved in personality formation can be found in my second book, Character Disturbance), even since the time when, in the absence of the science that now supports that position, it was considered heresy. And I’ve long taken issue with the old prevailing notions that tended to discount the role of biologically-based and hard to modify personality predispositions. But not all personality disturbances or disorders are equal and while it’s certainly fair to say that individuals with personality disorders are resistant to change (in some cases, heavily resistant) it’s also a complete misrepresentation of the science to suggest that all personality disorders are due to innate “wiring” abnormalities and are completely impossible to modify.

          All of my writings make the point that far too many victims of certain kinds of disordered characters have allowed themselves to be further victimized entertaining false hopes about possible change in their relationship partners. So I understand your sentiment here. That said, I’ve spent my whole professional career not only empowering one-time victims with new knowledge, perspective, and tools, but also using state-of-the-art techniques to affect change in some of the more disturbed characters. “Can” does not mean “likely to.” Most humans have the capacity for change. Few are so hard-wired in such a way that the capacity is simply not there. So the real issue is whether someone, is acting in their own best interest when they hold out unreasonable and unwarranted hope that their abusive relationship partner will change when that partner has neither the resources nor the motivation to change. That’s the real issue. And I would never advise someone to hold out such hope in such a circumstance.

          This topic is getting so much play lately that I’m simply going to have to address it in a series of posts on personality and personality/character disorders.

          Thanks for the question.

  3. So glad you wrote the book. I have followed and embraced your materials but ss a Christian, I have found it hard to engage any of my faith-based friends. This is exactly the type of book I need as it draws from a Biblical character we are familiar with and uses it to illustrate character disturbances (‘abusiveness’ is my frank term for it) that we don’t recognize, and end up condoning.

    With a kiss, Judas betrays his friend for monetary gain. Then cries tears of remorse when there is some understanding of what he had done. But ultimately, nothing changes. It’s still all about him. Sounds like some disordered people I know.

    Can’t wait to get a hold of the book.

  4. I am 2/3 done with The Judas Syndrome. I’m about to get swamped with some things so may not finish it for another month (darn!) so I wanted to say that, so far, IT IS FANTASTIC. For anyone looking for more detailed examples of real-life scenarios with impaired characters (I find these most helpful) this book has lots. For anyone looking to make the challenging connection between character, human behavior, and faith, this is an excellent read. LOVE THE BOOK. Dr. Simon, my work is important, my family is important, my friends are important, it’s all important but none of it, absolutely none of it can be meaningful without an understanding of where we stand in this world and who is really in charge. Thank you for really pushing people (well me, at least) to examine all that, confront my own weaknesses and shortcomings, and feel more courage, strength and peace than ever before. Ironically I thought I already had all that:)

    1. Thank you so much, Linda, for the kind words. And the fact that you indicate that I met my objectives in writing the book simply makes my day!

      And lest I be remiss, let me add a big “thank you” to the several others who have sent along their kind remarks about the new book. You’ve all warmed my heart. And to those who have indicated they will post their reviews on Amazon as well, a well-deserved double thank you. My work has always depended upon solid word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews. And I couldn’t be more grateful or pleased.

  5. OMG! I remember Dr. Simon posting about coming out of the Book in February!!! Amongst many reasons I have been looking forward to coming of this year, one of them was the book on Faith!!! Thank you soo much!!! I ordered it immediately!!! Can’t wait to read!!! You are Awesome!!!

    1. Thanks for the enthusiastic sight-unseen endorsement! I certainly hope you enjoy it. It’s been out 15 days today and got its first review on Amazon just 6 days ago. The publisher and I want only word-of-mouth to market this book. So, if you like it, I hope you’ll consider writing one, too.

  6. It seems someone else has also taken the handle J. Good thing Dr Simon can see our emails, so he doesn’t confuse who is who. Then again, you never know who already happens to have the same handle.
    I also happened to order Judas Syndrome weeks ago in a local bookstore. Looking forward to read it.

    1. Update: My order arrived some time ago. Read the book. Going to read it again. Times for testing the faith are yet to come for me. I have to digest this. Thank you, Dr Simon, for creating this book!

      1. Thank you! I’m so edified by the response to date and sincerely hope that the book’s message succeeds in touching hearts in the manner I sought to do. And if you feel inclined to post a review on Amazon, I’ll be ever so grateful.

        1. I am going to need to develop faith for times to come. I’m more used to thinking of things quickly and in general terms, so here’s some challenge for myself to think in a different way.

  7. Review written! LOVED the book! Need to read it again to digest some more things- then put some new “take-aways” directly into practice. We all have so much work to do, don’t we!? BTW, love how you ended the book. I agree with J- you are awesome!

  8. My review postede and apparently I am “Jeannie” on amazon reviews. So much for being accountable for what I say and do:) I have a feeling that getting my name changed to Linda is going to be an Amazon challenge but I will try!

  9. Hello Dr. Simon,

    I just purchased ‘The Judas Syndrome’ from Amazon after exploring ‘Look Inside This Book’ and finding it immediately captivating. But alas, my free ride courtesy of Amazon, ended abruptly just as Philip began preying on Nan’s conscientious nature. Looks like I’m going to have to wait it out until the Slow Post arrives, book in hand.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Simon, I have a question for you, and I’ll get to it in a moment but, first, a little background.

    I’ve read about people like Philip in other works. Philip sounds like someone with NPD – Narcissistic Personality Disorder. For such people, “It’s all about me, me, ME!” I even dated someone like that once, to my loss. She lived in a Ghetto of One situated at the exact Centre of Universe – one of her own making and who, at the moment, is its sole occupant. Thank goodness. Such people are frequently portrayed in other works much as Philip is in yours: no room anyone greater than themselves, forestalling any chance of relinquishing of control to that Greater Person. They are legends in their own minds and who often view others pretty much as inferiors who exist for the sole purpose of admiring them, meeting their whims/wants/needs, giving them exclusive attention ALL the time because, after all, they’re entitled to it, are they not? (from their POV).

    I broke off a friendship with someone recently whose behaviour puzzled me for the longest time, and it is about this that I’d like to ask you.

    Rather than elevating herself in her own eyes sort of like what your character Philip does, she deprecated herself. Where Philip might say, “I’m on top of my game,” she would say, “I’m at the bottom of the heap.” Where Philip might say, “I’m dashingly handsome,” my friend *actually* said “How could you possibly like me because I’m so G–D ugly!”

    Yet, no matter what I said to encourage her, she always managed somehow to short-circuit the positive and insist that her case was hopeless. She was too old to change. It was too late to change. Every excuse in the book. And then she would interject the same sort of self-deprecating remarks as before. For the longest time I assumed that learning a new and different outlook on life and the world was just too scary for her to contemplate. Two and a half years later she was telling me how awful she was: how ugly, stupid, how she failed her kids and, finally, the clincher: a veiled suicide threat. It came suddenly, out of context and completely Out of the Blue: “I don’t know who’s going to take care of my kids.”


    “Alright, that sure sounds like a thinly-veiled suicide threat to me, because the only reason you would have to be concerned about is if you’re thinking about being dead. Are you? Is that a suicide threat? Is that what you’re telling me? You’re wondering who is going to take care of your kids because…you are planning to be dead? As in, ‘Deliberately?'”

    “No, I was just wondering who is going to take care of my kids.”

    “Yes, I know. It’s the Why Are You Saying This that I’m asking about.”

    “Oh, I’m just feeling a bit depressed.”

    “Well, depression is certainly a pre-requisite for suicide and so, ‘a bit depressed’ means, ‘Read about me in the Obits tomorrow, won’t you?’ That you are thinking of topping yourself? Is that what ‘a bit depressed’ means?”

    “I’m sorry I brought it up because I’ve obviously made you upset. I’m fine, really!”

    “Yes, I’m upset. But now you’re ‘fine’?”

    “Yes, I’m fine. Get over it!”

    She hadn’t been contemplating suicide at all. It was just a ruse, a bid for attention and it suddenly occurred to me that so was the rest. This whole two-and-a-half year ‘thing’ she had with self-deprecation, putting herself at any opportunity and now, this Over-the-Top bid for attention via veiled-but-bogus-suicide-threat, was all just a ruse to keep the focus on her. That’s what narcissists do, yes?

    And so my question: is this also symptomatic of Narcissism in the sense that “a photographic negative is *also* an image,” because, if you invert all her negatives to positives, you’ve got pretty much what sounds like a classic narc.

    Is this *also* Narcissism, cause, Doc, it sure looks like it.

    Our ‘friendship’ ended finally when I asked her about the other times, abou the self-put-downs and so forth. When I asked, she refused to communicate with me further.

    Jig’s up?

    Take care, Doc. Can’t wait to get your new book and read it!

    1. I hope you are able to glean some helpful things from The Judas Syndrome.

      It seems like you have a fairly good intuition for some of the manipulation that was going on within your relationship. And while I can’t respond directly on this forum to specific questions about anyone’s particular circumstances, suffice it to say that narcissism is almost always a part of the picture when it comes to disturbances of character and manipulative relationships. Now, making the diagnosis of NPD is an entirely different matter. And as you may know, not only do my books point out some inherent flaws in our historical conceptualizations about personality and personality disorders, some interesting and very controversial changes with respect to NPD will also be forthcoming in the new diagnostic manual to be release very shortly. Suffice it to say also that some of the manipulation tactics and other problematic behaviors you reference above are common in personality/character disturbances other than NPD as well. And many poorly put together or “borderline” personalities have prominent narcissistic features but their ill health stretches far beyond mere narcissism.

  10. “…some interesting and very controversial changes with respect to NPD will also be forthcoming in the new diagnostic manual to be release very shortly…”
    This would be the DSM-V, yes?
    Some time ago I was reading on a forum I once belonged to that they were intentionally omitting NPD from the DSM-V as a separate disorder and everyone was wondering “Why? So many people seem to have it these days (we all being armchair experts who can diagnose others through a telescope – you know the type! 🙂 I quipped, “Therein lies the answer: NPD is now so common it’s considered the norm, and so any mentions of it in the forthcoming DSM-V would be found in the Index under N, for Normal.” 🙂

    1. That’s not quite why they’re planning to eliminate the NPD dx as a distinct syndrome, but close. Narcissism is common to a variety of personality dysfunctions, and is just one of the many “dimensions” of personality the new classification system wants to highlight. But the bottom line is that the diagnostic scheme, while improving in some ways, is basically still a mess. Suffice it to say, as I say in all my books, character disturbance is the phenomenon of our age and in some respects, the “new normal.”

    2. Heh… I heard some mischievous wagging tongues suggesting that there are quite a few narcissists among those who have the power to decide what goes into the manual. 😉

        1. Perhaps a new paradigm should/could be invented concerning power. That is, giving power to someone, who has no confidence in themselves and their skills is going to spell disaster as much as giving power to someone without measuring what they really are like deep down.

      1. Unfortunately the narcissists are the ones who WANT the power, need the power and go after the power.

        Well, another counselor down the drain. She wants me to do CBT and is pushing me to be further along than I am. She clearly does not understand the shell shock aftermath time frame in recovering from one of these entanglements.
        Dr. Simon……Do you have any “type” of therapist that you recommend when one is trying to recover from being run over, forwards and backwards, repeat, by one of these monsters? Please keep in mind my pFAS dx? I can’t find therapists who have much familiarity with that aspect of my dismal mental/ emotional picture either. I’m loosing hope Im afraid and don’t want to turn into some reclusive crazy cat lady!! Mayday!!

        1. I’ve turned into a reclusive cat lady, and it ain’t so bad. Fact is, am having a ball. Crazy, nah. Left that one behind with the CAs. 😉

          1. Oh Vera……I only have one cat And I don’t want anymore, LOL!!! How many do you have to have to be officially diagnosed as a crazy cat lady, btw?
            I just can’t get over the impact this has had on me.
            Oh, by the way……I bought and read the eBook, Women Who Love Psychopaths and it was VERY good. it really helps me to take this whole thing less personally. I am certain that anyone this man becomes involved with will face the same exact outcome because he ain’t changing. So now,,,,,on top of being a bankrupt, 4 times married and divorced, alcoholic who is almost 50 years old and living in his mothers basement, he can add “Spath” to his online dating profile. What a catch!!! LOLOLOL What is WRONG with me?? This should be a slam dunk to walk away from but it’s not!! The above mentioned book explains why and it sure rang true for me.

          2. oh, did I mention that he is a very selfish lover and may be unemployed soon?? LOL

          3. Last summer I had 11! That’s cuz three abandoned cats moved in to add to the two I have, and one had 5 kittens, plus I am feeding a stray. Yikes! I am down to 5 now. So… you tell me. I have a neighbor who has 17.

            I think you get dxed as a crazy cat lady when your house starts to stink. No, I mean stinks permanently. Too much!

            So anyways, why do ya keep playing patty cake with this sorry character? You got kiddies together? I never got preggers with mine… a blessing in disguise.

          1. Thanks J, I just don’t know…..I think I need reparented. Nurtured in a structured way kind of? uhh I’m sure I’m depressed. and I’m in menopause. and my now x is more than likely a CA!! It’s just too much at once.
            It really IS about finding a good match with the therapist, a personality fit. This woman was a bulldozer which does not work for me at all !

        2. Many therapists pay too little attention to the “B” component of CBT. And the most basic principle of all is reinforcement for healthy behavior. When a client is engaged in CBT, rather than feel “pushed,” they should feel “rewarded” for every positive (no matter how small) step they take toward recovery and empowerment. As a result, they should feel “attracted” to the process, even when the process involves some uncomfortable aspects.

          There’s always an “art” to employing CBT principles tactfully. Indeed, as Eric Fromm points out, there is an art to loving. And not all therapists are accomplished “artists.”

          All that said, recovery and empowerment for a person who’s been victimized by a disturbed character and doesn’t have significant character issues of their own, is more a matter of resolve and commitment than the therapist chosen as the “vehicle” to help accomplish that task. And that resolve and commitment can be significantly delayed in the aftermath of the trauma of being in a toxic relationship. That’s why slow, steady, encouragement and lots of reinforcement for all the little efforts is so important.

          1. Thank you Dr. Simon…..Im SURE I have some character issues of my own, I cant help but think I must given my childhood. This therapist however seemed very pushy and I had only had six sessions with her. I would think that there would be, at least I need there to be, a trust established. AND some understanding on her part that I’m very much still in the grieving period of all of this. Still suffering from the shock of the reality (whatever that is) . She was actually accusing me of passive aggressive behavior with him today and doesn’t even know the ongoing background and dynamics of the situation i was talking about. She kept interrupting me and that is a real problem for me because of my focus issues and how hard it is for me to get back on track with a story or thought when it is interrupted. I left her office feeling unheard and not understood and pushed to be somewhere I wasn’t ready to be. WHile I understand that CBT is somewhat confrontational and designed to look at your thought patterns, I also see that my mind and emotions are still reeling(sp) from this whole mess.
            I am very focussed on understanding these types of people so I don’t end up in another mess like this again……and NEED to gather enough information about him, by experience, to KNOW in my heart that I am better off without him in my life and that there is very little chance he will ever be anyone different than who he is.
            Maybe it seems like obsession to her but my mind need to understand something before it can let go of it. I don’t know…it just left a very bad taste in my mouth. I need a more nurturing environment. My whole childhood was ALL about being someone different than who I was with no regard for the impact it had on me. She really got defensive because I was getting frustrated with her interruptions which usually leads me into melt down or shut down mode. She just went on and on and on and her words were bouncing all over my brain and i can’t function like that, it just shuts me down. Sensory overload. Uhhhhhh….it was horrible.
            Thank you again Dr. Simon. I’m really hoping to find SOMEONE who can help me get through this. I’ve read so much about the FAS brain and tendency to perseverate,,,,so many things that I see that I do!! I need a therapist who can understand FAS and the way it plays into my issues but I’m not having much luck at all. It very discouraging.

          2. Puddle, your reply came in just before I’d finished an important edit to my earlier response. While commitment and resolve are the most fundamental keys to growth in therapy in the absence of character issues, one also has to be emotionally “prepared” for the work. This means having sufficient time and “working through” of the trauma of the toxic relationship. And depending on the nature of the relationship as well as other complicating factors, that trauma can be quite significant. Once again, however, the artful CBT therapist will be careful to pace the work as well as to mindfully reinforce even the smallest of personal growth steps, establishing a relationship of trust and understanding. But a prerequisite for this is not only intellectually “understanding” and having empathy for the victim’s trauma, but also having solid knowledge of the nature of character disturbance and the damage significantly disturbed characters can inflict. To put it simply, when it comes to seeking help from a therapist, if they don’t “get them” (i.e. really understand disturbed characters), they probably won’t “get you” (i.e. appreciate what you’ve been through, what might have made you vulnerable, etc.). And if they don’t get you, they probably won’t know how to pace and guide their work with you. Yes, CBT is more confrontational, but there’s a time, a place, and a way for everything, including the confrontation necessary in CBT.

            BTW, look for tomorrow’s article on the emotional aftermath of a toxic relationship, including doubt, shame, mistrust, blame, and even “paranoia.”

          3. About the last part, the “paranoia” -part, Dr Simon, is it about people freshly out of toxic, abusive relationships believing they are paranoid or is there also a distinction between legit mistrust and true paranoia? I’m aware you might already have that done over with and my question might thus be unnecessary, but this is one small thing I feel is necessary to clarify for many. After all, there are moments, when mistrust is justified or more than justified and there are instances, when someone seems to get paranoid over trivial matters. While I do recognize more clearly when mistrust is legitimate, I have a feeling people in general need a bit of clarification as to where the limit of true paranoia and understandable mistrust lies.

  11. Oh Dr. Simon…..You are the greatest. Thank you so much for taking the time with this and validating where I’m at with this. This is the second therapist who has pushed me to stop thinking and focusing on him. They have told me that I need to be focusing on ME and what I can do differently to prevent this in the future and make myself less vulnerable to a Spath. I “get” that, i’m not an idiot….well maybe a little, LOL! But in simple terms, there is a time and a place for everything and right now I’m in an emotional blender. This relationship meant more to me than anything in my life ever has. That is an exaggeration in a lot of ways but it’s also true in a lot of ways.
    He was my man, or so I thought…… I thought about a lot of things…..and he dropped me on my head with no regard and dribbled me down the court. And he still wants to pick up the ball again and shoot some hoops!!!
    I am VERY vulnerable to men like this…..I just don’t “get it” when the time is right to get it. I KNOW what a red flag looks like but my mind just can’t connect the red flag with the person and the potential results. It’s like too much info and I end up just going with it. Well, it doesn’t take long for me to bond….picture fast drying supper glue, LOL!! That’s me….Im a bonder!
    I have this same problem with multiple choice questions!!!! I will vacillate forever until i just go with and answer to get it over with!!
    Anyhow, I offered her to borrow the Women Who Love Psychopaths book but she refused. I have your books as well but on my kindle reading app. I need to get your books physical copies so I can lend them out at times.
    Thanks again Dr Simon, I look forward to reading your next article.

    1. Yes, Dr. Simon……a small growth step for me was reading the book i mentioned. I can feel a change in me from that, and from reading all of your articles and the comments. It has really helped me to take his behavior less personally which has also enabled me to take a more detached attitude,,,,,which has helped me react less and to just observe. In the mean time, I’m making wiser decisions. He asked me out for dinner last week and I declined. I know he is drinking and I do not want to interact with him because of it. His thought processes are all over the place and don’t make sense…….kind of word salady. So, I’ve watched how his mind works in his emails and it has been good boundary learning for me!!

  12. Received my copy today. As non-American, non-Christian, I will just need to replace word “Christ” with “God” and everything should be good. 🙂 By the way, one of my favorite and recommended book is Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, another excellent book with Christian background that teaches importance of moderation and humility in a humorous and satirical setting.
    Already finished In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbances, and several of the blogs here. In Sheep’s Clothing is among very few books that broadened my perspective by leaps and bounds, and I have already read it 2-3 times. It is something that is worth gifting to friends as and when required!

    1. Finished reading now. It was equally good and easy to read as other two books. Will be posting reviews on 2 website that I follow. Back to reading blogs now. 🙂

      It took me second reading to get the points on “how to catch the Judas inside us”. It is all there in short 3 page chapter “Beliefs and Behaviors”. I’m posting quotes related to same.
      – The heart’s true convictions are always revealed not by what we say but by what we do.
      – What we do is the truest reflection of what we believe.
      – … those who are in trouble to examine their true beliefs, to be honest with themselves about their intentions, and to make a concerted effort to change both their dysfunctional beliefs and behaviours.

      Reading above statements and agreeing is much easier than truly able to follow them. I guess it takes a true belief in something higher than us, to be able to understand oneself, to see past the games we play with self. 🙁

  13. Finished reading now. It was equally good and easy to read as other two books. Will be posting reviews on 2 website that I follow. Back to reading blogs now. 🙂

    It took me second reading to get the points on “how to catch the Judas inside us”. It is all there in short 3 page chapter “Beliefs and Behaviors”. I’m posting quotes related to same.
    – The heart’s true convictions are always revealed not by what we say but by what we do.
    – What we do is the truest reflection of what we believe.
    – … those who are in trouble to examine their true beliefs, to be honest with themselves about their intentions, and to make a concerted effort to change both their dysfunctional beliefs and behaviours.

    Reading above statements and agreeing is much easier than truly able to follow them. I guess it takes a true belief in something higher than us, to be able to understand oneself, to see past the games we play with self. 🙁

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