Religious Abuse

There is a number of ways people abuse or can be abused. Most individuals think of physical, mental and sexual abuse but not many talk about religious abuse. Some people consider themselves truly blessed and connected with God. Some can share that connection in a “loving” way, while others can use it to further damage other people’s connection with God or with themselves.

Christine Hammond wrote a short article about “15 Narcissistic Religious Abuse Tactics” on PsychCentral. The main points to remember about this is: “It is not the type of belief but rather how the faith is used that makes it abusive” and “Your faith is far too precious to be destroyed by a narcissist. Don’t let them steal your joy.”

Here are the highlights of her article:

  1. Interestingly, only the narcissist is the judge and jury of who belongs on which side. Your opinion is insignificant.
  2. Then the narcissist makes fun of, belittles, and shows prejudice towards other beliefs.
  3. They prefer isolation and insist you do the same while condemning others who don’t.
  4. Next, the narcissist requires that you completely adopt their point of view. There is no room for differing opinions. No free will.
  5. You are not free to question their authority and any attempt to do so is met with spiritual, physical, and/or verbal discipline
  6. Even the slightest hint of challenging their façade is met with quick and cruel reprimands.
  7. To further intimidate, the narcissist labels people who don’t comply with their beliefs as disobedient, rebellious, lacking faith, demons, or enemies of the faith.
  8. They demand perfection and happiness at all times. Religious activities such as attending church have extreme demands, excessive expectations, and rigidity.
  9. Strict adherence to their rules and regulations are commanded with absolute statements about insignificant issues such as hair color or style.
  10. To further segregate, the narcissist uses secrecy or withholds information to a few select worthy individuals
  11. Questioning the narcissist is worse than questioning the religion. Blind obedience to the narcissist is expected.
  12. The narcissist frequently uses their religious position of authority to connive for their own personal benefit which is often financial.
  13. For the narcissist, the end justifies the means. They may engage in criminal misconduct or cover up the transgressions of others in the name of their religion.
  14. To complete the isolation, estrangement from extended family members and friends outside of the religion is mandatory.
  15. It is not unusual for you to question you faith and even abandon it due to the sadistic behavior.

You don’t have to be subject to religious abuse. Study these steps and refuse to be part of any organization that encourages this behavior.

Click here to read Hammond’s article.

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