I think we all got "suckered in" for different reasons up to a point, but one thing we must have all had in common was a faulty bullshit detector. I know it's hard and painful for some of us to admit this, but like Roger above, I know I was naive. I always had a tendency to be naive - people used to tell me this pre-K. I always used to see the best in people and found it hard to see devious intentions when other people could see them as clear as day.
I remember once being continually hassled for money by a very appealing no-hoper. I kept giving him money, thinking I was helping him to get sorted out. Then someone told me he had told them what a soft touch I was.... I was so angry I went straight and told him what I'd heard and how he could just **** off right out of my life. And he did. So I could be angry in the end but only when I had the concrete evidence, otherwise I'd keep believing the best.
Same way, it never, ever occurred to me that M could be anything less than. well. you know....until I heard about the Jagdeo thing. It came as such a shock that M could act with anything less than total integrity. But then everything else began to fit into place - the money, the cars, the lot. Somehow I'd been able to rationalise it all away until the Jagdeo thing, which was an anomaly too far. We all have our credibility limit and that was mine. The people still left must somehow be able to stretch their credibility even further; perhaps their need to keep believing is just impossibly strong. I also think that what your life amounts to has some bearing on this. If you know you could emotionally survive without M, because your life is quite fulfilling in other ways - workwise and familywise or whatever, then you may well be more prepared to look the Jagdeo allegations sqarely in the face. Otherwise (subconsciously) you may just think it not worth your while, so you turn away or blank it out with the usual mental gymnastics - the same ones we used to use to justify the money and the cars, when all our non-premie friends and associates saw it in the first instant. Or they just instinctively didn't like his face.
Which brings me back to the first question - what was it in us that trusted him and fell in love with him, when most other people saw a fake instantly?
Oh yes, a faulty bullshit detector.
So what gives you a faulty bullshit detector? Now that would be a suitable subject for analysis...