Why are we easy marks? Because victims find it hard for anyone in their lives to understand what it means to be on the receiving end of that barbaric craziness. In addition, most of the information tends to centre around the pathologies themselves and not about the impact on the abused. I am not aware of any comprehensive literature on the net regarding the effects on victims and their lives, and ways to healing.
Hence, we are sitting ducks.
I've written exhaustively about the effects of toxic groups and toxic personalities on myself and others in Sites to Avoid. If you're surfing online for answers to your experience, it means you are very desperate to find information that clarifies, explains, and validates what you are going through. Not only are you desperate, but also extremely vulnerable. You've been kept off balance and disoriented for a long time. No doubt you have been emotionally and mentally abused as well. There is almost no one to turn to. No one to explain it to you. You're pretty well open to anyone and anything that gives you some sense of understanding and relief.
In the case of toxic groups and personalities, victims suffer further abuse and are pathologised. It's a great place for psychological predators. On the net, anyone can be anything and tell any sort of story. They can play victim so they can victimise you further. People with any sort of background can set up a site and if they play their cards right, or better yet, if they are in marketing, advertising, can parlay their sob stories and "insight" by taking it to the next level- a playground swarming with the walking wounded.
The internet is now flooded with victims of narcissists preying on other victims for material gain. As if their experience and insight allow them to speak with authority and some professional veneer to the degree that they can advise people for big bucks.
They come with various self-described titles, Life Coach, Spiritual Counselor/Advisor, fake degrees/diplomas, degrees/diplomas with no relation to mental health, etc.
They create websites and forums on which they advertise one-on-one "counselling" over the net or phone, and/or write and sell books.
Invariably these books are self-published, often in creative ways. E-books, for example, are so convenient for making money. They can be nakedly self-published, or published through a vanity press (where you pay them money to publish your book), or set up their own press/publishing company, or are realised through some small, obscure company that happily solicits manuscripts hoping to make some money. If it's in a book, it should be legitimate and authoritative, right?
And then all one needs to do is spam various sites and emails and Amazon and other online booksellers with positive reviews. Amazon, for example, sells self-published books all the time, in effect giving the books a veneer of legitimacy.
When you surf the net looking for "expert" help ask yourself these questions:
1. What is their background?
2. What are they selling?
3. Why are you entrusting your life to a perfect stranger?
A Sucker Born Every Minute
You have got to question the motives of anyone who parlays their victimhood into big bucks on the net. It's too easy for them. I personally don't want to place my life and sanity in the hands of a person who picked the net to sell their "help". And they answer to no professional or literary body, or code of ethics; they are not liable for anything.