Jordan Peterson gets burned hard

Whoa, you have to read this op-ed from a retired member of Jordan Peterson’s department at the University of Toronto — and not just a member, but his primary supporter in getting him hired and tenured, and who was good friends with him. Now it’s all regrets.

I thought long and hard before writing about Jordan, and I do not do this lightly. He has one of the most agile and creative minds I’ve ever known. He is a powerful orator. He is smart, passionate, engaging and compelling and can be thoughtful and kind.

I was once his strongest supporter.

That all changed with his rise to celebrity. I am alarmed by his now-questionable relationship to truth, intellectual integrity and common decency, which I had not seen before. His output is voluminous and filled with oversimplifications which obscure or misrepresent complex matters in the service of a message which is difficult to pin down. He can be very persuasive, and toys with facts and with people’s emotions. I believe he is a man with a mission. It is less clear what that mission is.

I am baffled by all the people who say things like that “He is a powerful orator”. I just don’t hear it — I find him meandering and pointless and weirdly distractable, but OK, I’m just going to have to recognize that some people are sympatico with his lecture style. Every teacher knows that there’s no such thing as a universal communication strategy.

But he really was a strong supporter, initially.

We did not share research interests but it was clear that his work was solid. My colleagues on the search committee were skeptical — they felt he was too eccentric — but somehow I prevailed. (Several committee members now remind me that they agreed to hire him because they were “tired of hearing me shout over them.”) I pushed for him because he was a divergent thinker, self-educated in the humanities, intellectually flamboyant, bold, energetic and confident, bordering on arrogant. I thought he would bring a new excitement, along with new ideas, to our department.

Been there, seen that. Contrary to the right-wing stereotypes of academia, we actually do look for different voices — someone with good credentials who is also enthusiastically radical will get some attention. We won’t necessarily hire them, unless there’s a strong advocate on the search committee, but yeah, that rings true. It’s also sometimes a colossal mistake.

He sat in on some of Peterson’s lectures. This also rings true.

He was a preacher more than a teacher.

We walk a tightrope in the classroom. I think it’s a good thing to be transparent about my biases, but I have to be careful to avoid strong rebukes of students’ ideas — my job is to give them the basics, get them thinking, and draw out their ideas in discussion. I am not the repository of all knowledge, I’m the guy who has read a lot and can steer the class in productive engagement with the material, I hope. That’s not Peterson’s style.

And then it gets weird.

Jordan exhibits a great range of emotional states, from anger and abusive speech to evangelical fierceness, ministerial solemnity and avuncular charm. It is misleading to come to quick conclusions about who he is, and potentially dangerous if you have seen only the good and thoughtful Jordan, and not seen the bad.

Shortly after Jordan’s rise to notoriety back in 2016, I emailed him to express my upset with his dishonesty and lack of intellectual and social integrity. He called in a conciliatory voice the next morning. I was reiterating my disappointment and upset when he interrupted me, saying more or less the following:

“You don’t understand. I am willing to lose everything, my home, my job etc., because I believe in this.” And then he said, with the intensity he is now famous for, “Bernie. Tammy had a dream, and sometimes her dreams are prophetic. She dreamed that it was five minutes to midnight.”

That was our last conversation. He was playing out the ideas that appeared in his first book. The social order is coming apart. We are on the edge of chaos. He is the prophet, and he would be the martyr. Jordan would be our saviour. I think he believes that.

He used to support him, but now he’s seeing serious problems with the man — problems that are probably key to his popularity, but also tell us what we ought to fear in this guy who is basically a religious fanatic on a mission from God.

What I am seeing now is a darker, angrier Jordan than the man I knew. In Karen Heller’s recent profile in the Washington Post he is candid about his long history of depression. Depression is an awful illness. It is a cognitive disorder that casts a dark shadow over everything. His view of life, as nasty and brutish, may very well not be an idea, but a description of his experience, which became for him the truth. But this next statement, from Heller’s article, is heartbreaking: “You have an evil heart — like the person next to you,” she quotes him as telling a sold-out crowd. “Kids are not innately good — and neither are you.” This from the loving and attentive father I knew? That makes no sense at all.

It could be his dark view of life, wherever it comes from, that the aggressive group of young men among his followers identify with. They may feel recognized, affirmed, justified and enabled. By validating them he does indeed save them, and little wonder they then fall into line enthusiastically, marching lockstep behind him. That is unnerving. The misogynistic attacks on the British broadcaster Cathy Newman, after she was humiliated and left speechless by Jordan in the infamous “gotcha moment” of their TV interview, were so numerous and vicious that Jordan asked his followers to back off. These devoted followers are notorious for attacking Jordan’s critics, but this was different. It was more persistent and more intense. That was not outrage in defence of their leader who needed none; she was the fallen victim and it was as if they had come in for the final kill. Jordan’s inflammatory understanding of male violence for which “the cure … is enforced monogamy” as reported by Nellie Bowles in the New York Times is shocking. This is upsetting and sad if you are, or were, Jordan’s friend. But it is also frightening.

Peterson is also getting scathing reviews of his skills as a therapist. Again, he’s not there to help people learn and become better — his goal is to bully people into accepting his dogma, or to pander to their beliefs if they’re already aligned.

Ugh. Just ugh. I can’t believe this fellow has such a zealous following, but then I’ve never understood how people can fall for Deepak Chopra, or Joel Osteen, or Donald Trump, either…but they do.


  1. says

    He can be very persuasive, and toys with facts and with people’s emotions.

    So, he’s a manipulative asshole at the very least.

    self-educated in the humanities

    That answers for a lot. He didn’t actually learn anything, he just drew conclusions he wanted.

    He was a preacher more than a teacher.

    Then he had, and has, no business teaching. Teachers are people who facilitate learning, spark the imagination, and guides in the quest to think for yourself.

    Jordan exhibits a great range of emotional states, from anger and abusive speech to evangelical fierceness, ministerial solemnity and avuncular charm.

    That hardly speaks of a person who is balanced. Mercurial moodiness like that would be most damaging in a school setting.

    “Bernie. Tammy had a dream, and sometimes her dreams are prophetic. She dreamed that it was five minutes to midnight.”

    He is the prophet, and he would be the martyr. Jordan would be our saviour.

    So, Peterson is a wannabe cult leader. The kind who would eventually want his followers to drink the kool-aid.

  2. says

    I was listening to a bit with him on the intelligence Squared podcast and it was pretty off – he kept getting evasive and hiding behind a smoke-screen of “this is my opinion” while complaining about post-modernism. And at one point, when challenged, he went full table-thump “I’m a psychologist! I’m a scientist!” You can imagine how hard I laughed. That clown has stepped up as if to serve as a poster-child for critiques of some of the worst aspects of Psychology.

    Frankly he sounds a bit to me like someone who has discovered amphetamines late in life.

  3. anthrosciguy says

    From the TO Star article: “Jordan is not part of the alt-right. He fits no mould.”

    Everything I’ve read regarding Jordan Peterson so far sounds virtually exactly like so many others, and he uses the same logical fallacies as every other pseudoscience pusher. I think he fits the mold precisely.

  4. hemidactylus says

    I’ve been trying to read his Maps of Meaning without thinking too much about recent events leading to his notoriety. It could have benefited from more chapter cuts. He tends to do the Gould thing and conflate morality and religion.

    From the book: ““Our systems of post-experimental thought and our systems of motivation and action therefore co-exist in paradoxical union. One is “up-to-date”; the other, archaic. One is scientific; the other, traditional, even superstitious. We have become atheistic in our description, but remain evidently religious—that is, moral—in our disposition. What we accept as true and how we act are no longer commensurate.”

    He contrasts the unbearable present with an idealized future through much of what I read so far. Schopenhauerian pessimist? He does seem to give credence to Hume’s gap so maybe parts of the book are worthwhile. But where Sam Harris emphasizes is to the exclusion of *sui generis* oughts, Peterson seems to ground his views mostly on value, as in truth is what is what has value per survival.

    Maybe not the same bias, but my recollection of one of Robert Kuhn’s interviews with John Leslie on Closer to Truth is that Leslie thinks value is fundamental to the universe.

  5. garnetstar says

    Does Peterson profess any religion? Just wondering. He has taken up this cause with religious fervor, as people have noted.

    But, just what exactly is his cause? It’s kind of a home-grown religion of, he needs to save the world (or, as he would say, The West) from…what? Everything that’s happened since 1950? That sort of messianic thinking can be characteristic of delusional disorders: is that the “change” that’s been seen in him?

    And yes, @3, I think he fits the alt-right mold exactly.

  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    What we accept as true and how we act are no longer commensurate.

    This is a beautiful find, thank you.

    It’s clear from the context you provided that he thinks this is both a bad thing and a rare thing. But in fact, this is the case in every social context where moral development (heck, practically any kind of development) takes place. Because here’s the thing: you have to identify a problem before you can solve it.

    Anywhere and everywhere, anywhen and everywhen a problem is identified but not yet solved,

    What we accept as true and how we act are no longer commensurate.

    A world in which that is no longer true is a world in which we have fixed all identified social problems and are no longer identifying new problems that we might try to fix. I remember all that crap about “after the revolution, the little streams of alcohol will come trickling down the rocks, and there will be a lake of stew and whiskey too.”

    What’s weird is that Jordan thinks that there was ever a time before the revolution when this was the case.

  7. kome says

    I find it easy to understand people who follow the likes of Chopra, Trump, Peterson, and the like. It’s cognitively efficient to have someone else do your thinking for you. It’s not unlike having a digital calendar remind you of your doctors’ appointments and meetings instead of relying on just your own memory. Structure and ritual are easy to follow, insofar as the structure and ritual conforms to your pre-existing wants and desires, regardless of how objectively destructive that structure or ritual is. Peterson – like Trump, and Joseph McCarthy before him, and Hitler before him, and countless other lesser or better known demagogues throughout history – offers simple solutions and algorithms for making life easily understandable, to make categorizing life into just two bins of “good” and “bad” easy. The important feature, though, being that absolutely none of the solutions or algorithms require the targeted audience to consider that they need to put forth even a little effort to change who they are or how they think for their lives to improve.

    It’s all off-loading. The thinking is off-loaded onto the glorious leader and the responsibilities and blame are off-loaded onto an undesirable target (Muslims, Jews, women who are promiscuous, women who are frigid, poor people, black people, gay people, trans people, immigrants, Hispanics, whatever). It makes for an easy life where the only two thoughts the targeted audience need ever have are “some day soon, leader said my boat will come in as long as I keep listening to him” (it’s always a him) and “everything will be better once (undesirables) get their act together.”

    That kind of life simply appeals to some not insignificant portion of the population (not coincidentally, the portion that tends to relentlessly support conservative and libertarian ideologies). And unlike the rest of the population, who themselves don’t find independent thinking to be a burdensome chore, the leaders’ faithful followers are perfectly willing to kill, indiscriminately if need be, to defend that thought-free, yet simple and easy to understand lifestyle.

  8. unclefrogy says

    this new insight offered by his former colleague is disappointing.
    I was hopping that he was so vague as a stratagem a manipulation to help him gain notoriety and sell more books and do speaking engagements in order to make lots of money and there by have a more comfortable retirement and old age after his years of working in academia.
    . It is disheartening that he now seems to actually believe this crap and worse yet he thinks he is on a mission to bring it all to us whether we want it or not.
    uncle frogy

  9. Muz says

    So much about this matches up to my impression of the Peterson philosophy it’s almost scary. I was not expecting to get this close to the mark from so far away. Not his views specifically but things he said about ‘truth and purpose’, the grappling with the essence of things, the dedication to his father in Maps of Meaning and all the rest of it reminded me very much of me when I was about 25. Looking into the philosophical abyss and feeling there has to be something there, that it’s ‘necessary’ for life and culture as we know it and I would redefine everything so there was a grand connection through time to unknowables that underpinned and explained all. Everything seemed impossible without it. (much of this experience coincided with consuming a lot of post structuralist philosophy too)

    It took a while to figure out that there doesn’t have to be some grand equation of life the universe and everything. It’s an acceptance of complexity, of procedurality (if that’s a word) in all things, from life to culture to consciousness, that I admit I can’t quite get my head around all the time, but it seems must be true.

    Enough about me. It did strike me that Peterson is a guy who had an extended ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ and never came out (as I guess so many monks of old must have done, or simply returned to square one). So he’s a preacher out to save the world. A prophet, if not a messiah. And I suspected he might be getting a push from his private life too. So his old sponsor coming out and basically confirming it all makes me somewhat agog. His fans would dismiss what I had to say about him and everyone always points out how smart he is and yet I was unimpressed. I did wonder if I was being arrogant or judgemental (still might be I suppose). He’s got a lot more credentials than me though. That’s undeniable. But here it is confirmed. Or at least supported. I don’t think he’s that awe inspiring because his thinking seems so much like me at 25. Which isn’t astoundingly clever, no matter how many books on Nazi Germany you’ve read.

  10. nomdeplume says

    The things that have turned him into a darling of the alt-right are the things that should have made him unsuccessful in a job interview for an academic post in any reputable university. The mea culpa from his sponsor doesn’t get him off the hook from creating this guy.

  11. paxoll says

    Wow, after listening to one of Petersons videos where he was talking about the raise of Hitler in Nazi Germany, I wrote that his fans must be dumb as rocks to not see him doing the exact same things he says Hitler did. Nice to see someone who knows him on a close personal basis validify my opinion from a 10 minute video.

  12. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    The mea culpa from his sponsor doesn’t get him off the hook from creating this guy.

    People change over time. It sounds like certain undesirable aspects of Peterson’s personality have been enhanced since that hiring decision, but it could easily have gone the other way, with Peterson’s rougher edges being smoothed out while desirable characteristics developed more. Or your wildest hopes might come true and his rougher edges might not be smoothed out and the desirable characteristics might develop and eventually you get a maverick with great research insights and teaching skills. That type of person might yield genuinely novel and highly useful hypotheses.

    I’m not someone that can adequately judge whether he’s qualified to be a professor of psychology at a prestigious university, and I certainly can’t judge whether he was at one point in the past.

    Besides, Peterson didn’t gain his fame by teaching at U of T. He gained his fame by being an asshole about pronouns and terribly, terribly wrong about bill C-16. He could have done that while being a professor of psychology at a no-name college.

    All of which is to say, maybe this sponsor made a bad call about hiring Peterson, maybe he made a reasonable call which turned out badly later. But for sure we can say that he’s not on the hook for “creating this guy”. Responsibility for creating his current persona and popularity rests with his fan boys and himself.

  13. says

    Crip Dyke:

    People change over time.

    Sure, they do. That’s not the case here though – see mine @ 1. His sponsor was fully aware of truly bad traits in Peterson, but he made excuses. I think there was quite a lot of self-delusion going on, and this person still doesn’t want to admit all this was present way back when, and is still making excuses. It’s not so much a “sorry!” as it is apologia. The sponsor knew Peterson was a manipulator. They knew about the scary mood changes, and more. They certainly knew Peterson was more interested in preaching than teaching, and still pushed for this guy to get the job, in spite of colleagues pointing out problems.

    I’m not someone that can adequately judge whether he’s qualified to be a professor of psychology at a prestigious university, and I certainly can’t judge whether he was at one point in the past.

    You may not, but I certainly fucking can. Just from the sponsor’s apologia, it’s quite clear that Peterson was not someone suitable to teaching. All those characteristics described scream delusions and abusive behaviour to me. Someone so volatile does not belong in a classroom. All of the sponsor’s colleagues seemed to have zero problems coming to that conclusion, but caved to the sponsor’s little love affair*, and hired Peterson to get some fucking peace.
    *Not meant in a physical way.

  14. consciousness razor says

    He gained his fame by being an asshole about pronouns and terribly, terribly wrong about bill C-16. He could have done that while being a professor of psychology at a no-name college.

    I doubt he would’ve gotten as much fame, if he were at a no-name college. Some would still be attracted to his brand of assholism (or Asshole Holism might be better), if they knew about it. But presumably, having a more high-profile position adds something and isn’t totally irrelevant. Nothing too complicated about this. Since he started out with more fame, he didn’t need to gain as much to end up where he is now.

    Anyway, it’s a little strange to talk about Schiff like he’s Dr. Frankenstein. He didn’t exactly create a monster here. He gave him a job first, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea, and only later did shit get extra weird. At least, the account from Schiff is that this was before Peterson’s (intellectual) death and transfiguration into the form we’re all familiar with.

    He probably should’ve seen some of it coming, given the warning signs…. But it’s still hard to say a reasonable person should’ve expected the worst. (Maybe this is only saying I hope it doesn’t get much worse.) Besides, Peterson still is responsible for his own behavior. People create themselves, if you want to put it that way, but it sounds too existentialist for my taste.

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    CD @12:

    Peterson didn’t gain his fame by teaching at U of T

    For years before his world fame, he was a fairly regular guest on Ontario’s public TV channel. That was his foot in the celeb door, and being a tenured prof at U of T with solid refs from Harvard probably played a huge role in getting those gigs.

  16. Simple Desultory Philip says

    i agree with unclefrogy @8 in that as wrong and bad as most of it is, i basically figured when i first encountered the guy’s thought that most of what peterson had to say was sort of half-baked disingenuousness at best and at worst was outright obfuscation in service of getting notoriety and selling some books and speaking gigs. a lot of people say inflammatory things for attention and don’t necessarily care where that attention comes from or even really give a shit what they have to say to get it. criticizing changing laws and societal norms surrounding gender is currently a great way to get a lot of people fired up and talking; and even though it’s not empirically true, many people really do buy into the old “any publicity is good publicity” line. i kind of figured that was peterson’s schtick, and in the toronto star article linked, the the author, despite characterizing him as “dangerous”, does indeed still give peterson the benefit of the doubt, talking about how maybe it’s possible he’s not entirely aware that he’s using the authoritarian tactics he ostensibly warns against. but it really seems probable from everything else in the article that peterson knows exactly what he’s doing – and there’s a link in there that i followed that cemented it for me. and that’s a big problem.

    i’m trying to articulate a thing here and i’m not sure if i’m going to succeed, but i’ll make the effort, and apologize if it’s muddy.

    as i see it, there is a level on which whether he believes what he says isn’t relevant, because intent isn’t magic and, like, for example, pretending to be a nazi to get accolades from nazis isn’t effectively any different than being an *actual* nazi, to the people being victimized by nazis. but there’s also the thing where a lot of people on the liberal side of the political/social spectrum are willing to engage with somebody’s shitty views if they think that person really IS being misunderstood, or is on the fence about something, or has absorbed some misinformation and hasn’t come to a completely solid conclusion and therefore might be *open to debate*. and that’s not necessarily bad! but peterson exploits the hell out of it; he’s intentionally using the sometimes naturally wishy-washy language of academic jargon and rambling digression and non-sequitur metaphor to keep people from *recognizing* that he’s a true believer so that they continue to attempt to engage with him in good faith and as though his ideas have real merit. and *that’s* what’s dangerous, really, because it lends his ideas an air of legitimacy that, say, richard pez-dispenser’s or milo yannylaurel’s don’t get.

    so with that in mind, back to the thing that i had not heard/read before, and that really, deeply pisses me off and convinced me absolutely that the guy is a completely untrustworthy snake who believes all the crap he spouts (but tries to wiggle out of with “i didn’t actually say that word for word” or “you just don’t get the context” or “but how can you disagree with something as obvious as ‘have good posture’!!” is this:

    he LIED about being a “member” of a first nations tribe, the Kwakwaka’wakw, and did so repeatedly, outright, unambiguously, and often (unsurprisingly) as a rebuttal to charges of racism. he KNEW he was mischaracterizing his relationship with indigenous identity to people who couldn’t be expected to know the nuance of it, and he did it anyway, over and over.

    this is the article (also linked in the original star article in the OP) that convinced me once and for all that jordan peterson is a lying liar who lies lyingly and *selfishly* – going so far as to exploit, exaggerate, and mischaracterize an *actual, significant and formal* relationship he has with a first nations friend and his family in order to score some cheap points online against journalists and other critics on the twitters. oh, and up until recently, to sell books, until too much scrutiny finally made him take the lie out of his bio. he deserves absolutely zero good faith from anybody serious ever again for the rest of his lying life.

    i spit in his general direction in the names of my proud, Pascua Yaqui great-grandmother Estefana, and her daughter Marian, and my father Jaime, and all our relatives, on and off the reservation. i mean, seriously, fuck that guy.

    if that’s the kind of person he is capable of being, to somebody who welcomed him in ceremony as a brother? the thought of him running for office is terrifying.

  17. Rob Grigjanis says

    re #15: My first exposure to the Peterson Pronoun Poppycock was on a TVOntario chat show, some years ago. The other two guests were trans folk who played the role of adults to Peterson’s petulant teenager. My guess is that this, when put on YouTube, resonated with the petulant teenager internet constituency, which seems to be around 90% of that population.

  18. raven says

    He has one of the most agile and creative minds I’ve ever known.

    No he doesn’t.
    Jordan Peterson hasn’t had an original thought in his entire life.
    Misogyny and racism are thousands of years old.

    Peterson is a conperson reflecting hate and bigotry back for big money.
    He is no different from Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, or Donald Trump.
    This is also thousands of years old.

  19. raven says

    PZ Myers:
    I can’t believe this fellow has such a zealous following, but then I’ve never understood how people can fall for Deepak Chopra, or Joel Osteen, or Donald Trump, either…but they do.

    Good question. Good point.
    Someone might know but I can’t answer that offhand.
    IIRC, Eric Hoffer long ago wrote a book about them, The True Believer.

    And also Charley Manson, Joseph Smith, Pol Pot, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Reverend Jim Jones of Jonestown, David Koresh, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Hitler, Stalin, Sam Harris, and a whole lot of other people.

    Following the wrong leaders blindly can be hazardous to your life and well being.
    And also hazardous to the society they are embedded in.
    Several of the horrible people leaders on my list above left a lot of dead bodies laying around.

    PS Bob Dylan said it long ago. Don’t follow leaders!!!

  20. says

    I usually don’t comment but I feel I need to for this particular topic. I read the entire article that PZ linked to and it made me sick to my stomach. I have been following Jordan Peterson’s antics for the past couple of months and I am becoming increasingly terrified of the man. At first, I suspected my overwhelming feeling of nausea was a bit overblown. The man is a clown after all. But at the same time I could not ignore the fact that he is clearly using the same authoritarian tactics that demagogues have used in the past. I tried to soothe myself with “well, at least he not a political figure, just a creepy snake oil salesman, much like Sam Harris.” Ugh. Unfortunately the author confirmed my worst fears. Peterson has an interest in politics. I would not put it past him to attempt a run. This sends a chill down my spine. What is happening? At the risk of invoking Godwin’s law, there is so much going on today that is strikingly similar to pre war Germany.

    What do you guys think? Am I being overreactive. Should I just laugh at this guy? He really scares the shit out of me. His “enforced monogamy” comment gave me visions of a handmaiden dystopia. The fact this guy is able to espouse debunked social Darwinist gibberish and only get mild pushback is insane to me. He is clearly a nut case but the MSM, for the most part, are giving him an open stage to rally up hate and misogyny.

  21. anchor says

    I thought just the other day that he reminds me of Charlton Heston as Moses. Confirmed.

  22. KG says

    That type of person might yield genuinely novel and highly useful hypotheses. Crip Dyke@12

    Not if they take Jung’s claptrap seriously. Indeed, Peterson’s attachment to that claptrap is closely connected to his bigotry and authoritarianism, which were fully present in Jung, alongside his tosh about the “collective unconscious” , “archetypes”, and “synchronicity”.

  23. rjlangley says

    Simple Desultory Philip@16

    Here is a Facebook post where Peterson claims to be a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw.

    When I first saw this post, I noted that there were loads of First Nations people in the comments calling him out. You’ll just have to take my word for that, though, as when I checked back a couple of weeks later those comments were gone, although the post had not been corrected.

    Silly me, I actually believed Peterson had enough integrity to let the criticisms stand, so I never screencapped the comments for posterity.

  24. says

    Yeah, I read that article myself (linked from Camestros’ Felapton’s blog).

    The impression I got is Peterson is actually something of a narcissist, which would account for things like the rejection of oversight (he actually got into an argument with the ethics review board at the University of Toronto, because they were saying he had to submit to review of the ethics of his research – something he thought was unnecessary, because he was the only person who was fit to judge that), the charisma (narcissists do tend to be charismatic), the self-righteousnes and the rather dodgy logic and thinking. The charisma explains a lot of how he managed to hook a good position at a prominent university, as well as the rest of the friendship there. It also explains how Schiff (and his family) fell off the radar when Peterson spotted an alternative niche to exploit. You read enough comments and stories from the ex-friends of narcissists, and what Schiff is saying starts sounding awfully familiar…