Sister Wives star, Meri Brown, is riding a public wave of humiliation, after being conned by catfish scammer, Jackie Overton. Jackie as “Sam Cooper” wooed Meri and reeled her in, pouncing on a love-starved woman in an unstable lifestyle. Some people feel sympathy for Meri, viewing her as an unfairly discarded wife, who was lonely and vulnerable. Others can’t muster sympathy for a woman who continues to sell out for a TLC paycheck, rather than making her exit in the face of a twisted marriage failure.
What makes a person a target of a sociopath…a predator who feels no compassion for the bereaved, vulnerable, or innocent? While some believe that Kody’s move to divorce Meri and marry Robyn plunged Meri into an unfamiliar pit of despair, I would argue that the polygamist lifestyle itself creates a dangerous reality of loneliness and insecurity. After a little research, I discovered that these are two of the traits that attract sociopaths to their victims.
If a person is lonely, whether by a hollow love life, or by some sort of loss, they may as well be wearing a bullseye. Dr. Robert Hare, author of ‘Without Conscience’ says, “The callous use of the lonely is a trademark of sociopaths.” We have all heard Meri, Janelle, and Christine at least allude to loneliness within their “marriages.” These women spend much of their day-to day reality, partner-less, and alone. Meri was dumped, discarded, and replaced, and her love affair with Kody ended. Sociopaths also seek out the insecure. They hunt those who feel inadequate, overweight, unattractive, or have shaky self-esteem.
Viewers have seen all of these insecurities crop up in the Brown wives. Sociopaths also take aim at people who are trusting. Meri Brown was hooked and immersed in the romance within a matter a a weeks, after “Samuel” emerged, and edged into the sweet-talk. Brown exhibited an online naiveté that is staggering to me.
Dr. Hare writes, “Sociopaths have an uncanny ability to spot and use ‘nurturant’ women—that is, those who have a powerful need to help or mother others.” Does this describe Meri Brown? Any regular viewer knows the answer. Polygamists tend to multiply like rabbits, and mothering each other’s children appears to be the norm. Successful targets are also more attractive to sociopaths, simply because there is more to score. A cast spot on a longstanding, though messy, hit reality television show fits that bill. “Sam’s” barrage of released evidence screams of payback to an uncooperative victim, a tantrum from a scorned, con-artist lover. People who are solidly committed and trustworthy, also display virtues that sociopaths adore. Victims who play incautiously by the rules, often don’t see schizoids coming, until it’s too late.
How did “Sam” operate to play on Meri’s weaknesses? The voicemails reveal a disturbing pattern of needy demands, pleading for “Sam” to answer the phone, and give his subservient girlfriend attention. “Sam” habitually texted Meri, but resisted phone calls, not picking up Meri’s calls over and over. It appears that collecting voicemails was part of Overton’s alleged strategy, baiting Meri with provocative texts, then ignoring her calls. These are just a few samples pulled from dozens of calls.
Kody shifted his romantic focus from Meri to Robyn, and when Meri lost her legal leg up, it seemed to collapse her world. Overton, as “Samuel,” entered her online reality, and skillfully swept Meri away, listening, caring, and giving her the romantic attention that she so desperately craved to feed and mend her broken heart. After Overton had Meri solidly ensnared, she deliberately began to detach, knowing that Meri would panic, and reveal herself as pathetically desperate to hold onto the “love of her life.” The alleged goal would be to collect scandalous messages, photos, videos and voicemails to use against the image-sensitive Browns.
Meri’s decision to maintain her polygamous lifestyle, then to stay in an obviously miserable place in order to keep the network paychecks rolling in, made her an emotional sitting duck. The jig is up folks, and the state of Utah should take notice. Polygamy is bad for families, society, and the individual women and children. I believe that one day, Meri, Janelle, and Christine Brown, along with 18+ kids may all agree.