Every movie has a resume; a summary of the basic premise, purpose and other tidbits of information along those lines. In other words, this page is UNSANE's resume & cover letter of sorts.
UNSANE is the first film in history to comprehensively document the growing Covert Narcissistic Abuse phenomenon by delving deeply into one victim's story, including how the tables were turned on the covert abuser. Many in the field of psychology consider Covert Abuse to be one of the most dangerous and destructive types of abuse in existence. It wipes out entire families. It permanently scars children. It wrecks lifelong relationships. It slowly murders a victim’s soul. And it can forever break the psyche of, even, mentally-tough people. In extreme cases, it can lead to false imprisonment, suicide, or even, murder. It’s hard to detect and there’s almost no way to beat it. Almost.
UNSANE isn’t just for covert narcissistic abuse victims, or lovers of good comebacks. The project includes a line of Screening, Training & Education Kits, a Learning Center on Covert Narcissistic Abuse and a Victim Resource Archive for those in the midst of this disorder, including police, judges, teachers, recovery groups, mental health practitioners, and families living through it.
In "docu-thriller" fashion, filmmaker, David Hooper recounts the discovery, confrontation and eventual unmasking of the devastating covert abuse campaign - that came close to “vaporizing his family” and which almost cost him his son, and his freedom. Almost.
The story has practical applications, including details of the unique solutions that “changed everything.” In the hopes of teaching others critical, field-tested information, the filmmaker bares all, from his own embarrassing mistakes, to the successful tactics and strategy used to finally convince the police and prosecutors they’d been unwitting pawns in a game of "weaponizing the courts"; a common tactic used by covert abusers, as nationally-acclaimed media legal analyst, Rebecca Zung, points out in the movie.
Poetic justice and a happy ending combine to offer hope and a proven battleplan for targets of this little-understood condition seeing worldwide hyper-growth. Based on the APA’s (American Psychiatric Association), DSM-5 (i.e. the Bible of Psychiatry), narcissistic abuse is destroying as many as 200 million people’s lives as we speak, often without the target’s understanding as to why, who or how.
Part documentary and part psychological-thriller, UNSANE is meant to educate, not just entertain. The timing of the film’s release puts it in good position to, potentially, spark a global tipping point, as police and legal authorities everywhere are recognizing and passing laws to address this growing phenomenon. Research funding is skyrocketing. And mainstream outlets are giving stories related to this disorder more coverage than ever before.
In March 2010 an old girlfriend reaches out to an old flame; a successful entrepreneur (and bachelor) living in a high-rise in downtown Chicago. She was from his "ones that got away" list. Two years later he's the father of a beloved one-year old son, with a family that included three kids from mom's first marriage.
The newly cobbled family of six, seeking a safe, wholesome place to raise all four kids, decide to move to the father's childhood hometown, a place his family has called home for close to a hundred years. It came with a built-in support system, and an established network of friendships, well-maintained over the prior two decades during frequent visits home to see his aging parents.
What should have been an exciting new chapter of life, instead turned into a multi-year nightmare that saw dozens of lifelong friendships wiped out, local reputation ruined, family members subjected to public, verbal attacks based on years of gaslighting and false rumors circulated through the community.
When the victim learned, in February 2019, after several years of abuse, that he'd be facing criminal charges based on multiple false police reports (which are dissected in the film), the difficult decision to go public with the story was made, knowing the fate of several lives would change forever. "The decision to tell this story versus keeping silent was much harder than one would expect, especially when you consider how some people would learn of the inadvertent role they'd played in furthering the abuse through the Covert Narcissist's manipulation," lamented the filmmaker, "especially because children were involved.
It wasn't until the Covert Narcissist escalated the attacks using the court system in an attempt to pry his son away from the victim's family, that the filmmaker realized keeping his mouth shut was causing more harm to his son than speaking up might cause. It was in that moment that the victim and his entire family realized no amount of love and forgiveness would make the attacks stop, so the decision was made to tell the story - as publicly as possible. In that moment, the UNSANE documentary film was born.
Over the next two years, the filmmaker talked to leading mental health experts around the world to ultimately blend the stunning personal story with scientific (and Biblical) data to help explain the dynamics this type of abuse has on people and society as a whole. As a result, UNSANE becomes the first major motion picture in history to confront and expose Covert Narcissistic Abuse directly, while providing a template of how to overcome it, which millions of other victims can draw from in their own struggles with this type of devastating abuse.
UNSANE: War on the Stunning Global Rise of the Jezebel Complex, is the story of how a father’s 7-year confrontation and eventual victory over covert narcissistic abuse, became the first film in history to fully document the dangers involved with Covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder (CNPD). The riveting human story woven with peer-reviewed psychiatric research data, biblical passages about the condition, and commentary from the world’s top legal and mental health experts, like Dr. Craig Malkin of Harvard Medical School, provides an unprecedented view into the dangerous psychology behind covert narcissistic abuse, which leads many unsuspecting victims into false incarceration, suicide, or even, murder - while the abuser "plays the victim" and is comforted.
Filmmaker, David Hooper, takes the audience along on his gripping multi-year research foray into conventional fields of psychology, including criminal, forensic, clinical, behavioral and neuropsychology. Unconventional sources also come into play, including biblical passages with similar, if not identical, profile descriptions to those developed via modern scientific research, albeit, using different terminology. The University of Michigan-educated filmmaker, in a desperate search for answers even crosses into spiritual realms, asking why biblical scholars suggest the covert abuse phenomenon is a fulfilled prophecy, predicting a "surge in lawlessness" along with “the love of many growing cold.” The emotionally-gripping story is buttressed with startling research data that begets one to ask if something deeper could be at work.
The story kicks off on the night a then-naive father learns he’s been accused of a terrible crime. The filmmaker narrates some of the story through real-life evidence slides - originally prepared for over a half dozen criminal & family court proceedings initiated by his covert attacker, who happens to be the mother of his son, presenting an extra layer of complication that many victims face in real life. Hooper dissects his own missteps as thoroughly as he documents the working dynamics of this type of abuse and its devastating impact, for which laws are being enacted all over the world, along with many, if not most U.S. States.
The first mention of a "vow"to make a film to document the covert harassment the whole family was suffering was made in writing on February 14, 2018, in the form of a sternly-worded letter, which the filmmaker shares in the movie. It was said in haste without a genuine intention to ever follow though on such a consequence.
Under "normal" circumstances there would be no movie because nothing should have gone wrong after February 2018. But, that's not what happened. Not even close. The unbelievable story of how UNSANE came to life would be hard to believe if it hadn't all been meticulously documented for all to see.
Even after the initial vow to tell his story in early 2018, the father of a young son trying to do the right thing planned to keep his (and his family's) 7-year battle with covert narcissistic abuse private. That plan changed on February 26, 2019, when it was learned he'd be on trial for a crime he didn't commit through probably false police reports and help from the Covert Abuser's main proxy (i.e. "The Flying Monkey") who also got caught lying to the police.
This staged criminal trial was, yet another, attack via proxy in a long line of attacks by the Covert's primary "Flying Monkey", a term used to describe people the Covert Abuser has manipulated into acting on the abuser's behalf. Although it wasn't written on any official document, the outcome of this trial would determine whether his son would be in his life, or his family's life. This crossed a line. Turning the other cheek on the ugly rumors started by the covert attacker, the deceit, lost relationships and fraud was one thing. This was another thing altogether.
This presented a very tricky situation. There are no manuals for this. All we know is this time, no cheek would be turned. This time, there would be a fight, or better put, a response. No, not one of lawsuits, revenge or finger-pointing. This was a fight against a notorious condition known well by victims and mental health experts, but essentially unknown to the general population, which contains millions of unsuspecting victims. In the end, the reasons to tell the story outweighed the reasons to keep silent about it. "As long as the story is going to be told, it may as well be done so that it can help millions of other victims in the same boat in which the filmmaker found himself.
The prior 7-year span begins with the new father as the unsuspecting target of a vicious covert abuse campaign, which many psychologists consider among the most dangerous types of abuse in existence, simply for the damage inflicted on the human psyche. "It's like murdering your soul," explains Lisa A Romano, a covert-abuse survivor who built a career as a counselor and thought leader in the field.
The first four years of the attack had the victim teetering on the brink of insanity. Anyone who's experienced covert abuse can identify with the uncharted "unsane" gray area north of Sane, and south of Insane, as the foundations of one's life are destroyed from within.
This story includes detailed breakdowns of the tactics, strategies & dynamics of covert abuse, from gaslighting to false allegations of serious crimes, and how to confront it successfully.
The story delves into the effects on real family members, lifelong friendships, support systems, finances, career, reputation and even, an innocent, young son in danger of losing access to his father, and his father's side of the family, should that pending criminal trial have gone the wrong way in the Spring of 2019.
Therefore, it wasn't the first vow made to the abuser that was fulfilled. It was the second vow; the vow to God, in which the filmmaker, desperate for a solution "vowed" he'd share the story publicly if God got him, his son, and his extended family out from under a seemingly no-win situation. "God did his part and now it's my responsibility to do my part," explained the filmmaker while movie was in production. "The second vow was the serious one, and I hope lots of other victims can learn from our experience."
No animals were harmed in the making of this film. But sadly we lost two computer monitors to severe trauma, and suffered damage to a wall in studio 2B (in the form of a fist-sized hole). Our top people are on it.
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