This book contains a new analogy for dysfunctional and codependent groups of people: a medieval-style Toxic Court in which one person, the troubled but unpredictable Emperor, is the central figure. The Emperor, who might be male or female, uses aggressive or self-destructive behavior to manipulate, control, and punish others. But the antisocial behavior is perpetuated and enabled in different ways by the different types of people who appear in the Toxic Court.
The Toxic Court contains seven types of people besides the Emperor: the Peasant, the Concubine, the Pimp, the Profiteer, the Courtier, the Saint, and the Executioner. Each of these, like the Emperor, may be male or female. They have specific patterns of behavior that grow out of understandable survival strategies. But one of the unexpected consequences of their actions is that they unwittingly perpetuate and enable the Emperor's toxic behavior. This book looks at each of the seven enabling behavior patterns or archetypes. It also contains some practical advice about how to recognize and exit a Toxic Court.