Ponerization, from ancient Greek poneros ("evil"), is a term created by Dr. Andrzej M. Łobaczewski as part of ponerology, the scientific study of macrosocial evil. Ponerization is the influence of pathological people on individuals and groups whereby they develop acceptance of pathological reasoning and other pathological characteristics.
On the individual scale it can be described as transpersonification, where people susceptible due to a psychological weakness or more severe pathology of their own assimilate the psychology of other pathological people. People not themselves characteropathic or psychopathic may be affected so as to lose the ability to distinguish between healthy and pathological actions and reasoning, accepting paramoralistic and paralogistic justifications and doctrines.
On the group scale it consists of either the formation of or the infection of a group with pathological people, resulting in a ponerogenic union (that is, a group that contributes to the formation and development of evil).
Primary ponerization (which gives rise to primary ponerogenic unions) involves the forming and development of a group where pathological individuals are active from the beginning. It creates groups that are overtly deviant as is the case with organized crime, and they are generally rejected by society.
Secondary ponerization (which gives rise to secondary ponerogenic unions) is the process where pathological individuals infiltrate a group of normal people and gradually take over its ideology and leadership for their own purposes. The group is eventually divided into two distinct parts – the pathological individuals that have risen to the top and the people below. Such a group, if circumstances are opportune for its leaders, may eventually come to power in society and transform it into a pathocracy.