When I read the following book review, I couldn’t help but think of my former esoteric spiritual community, and it brought up the thoughts I’ve shared below under “My Comments.”
Mulderfan, a blogger who is a daughter of narcissistic parents, writes: “REV. RENEE PITTELLI’S NEW BOOK: ‘BREAKING THE BONDS OF ADULT CHILD ABUSE, A Biblical Textbook on Abusive Narcissistic Families, How They Operate and How to Deal with Them’ will soon be available. It promises to be packed with more of Renee’s practical and down to earth advice on how to deal with our narcissistic parents and family members. Renee’s advice is especially useful when you’re dealing with a narcissist who hides behind so-called Christian values to justify their abuse.”
Check out the full synopsis at: Breaking The Bonds Of Adult Child Abuse: A Biblical Textbook On Abusive Narcissistic Families, How They Operate, And How To Deal With Them, by Sister Renee Pittelli.
ADULT CHILD ABUSE:
*The Only Form of Abuse still tolerated, accepted and condoned in our society.
*The Only Form Of Abuse in which it is considered okay for a competent adult to be controlled, exploited, or damaged by someone else.
*The Only Form of Abuse in which the victim is expected to continue suffering indefinitely, criticized for trying to protect herself, judged for escaping from her abuser, and openly discouraged from standing up for herself, talking about it, or revealing the abuse to others.
*Where do folks get the idea that Christians have to be meek and mild, silently enduring mistreatment, tolerating anything anybody else does, and timidly standing by while abusers trample all over them and other innocent victims? Since when is it a sin to take a stand and speak out against evil?
*This is what our abusers want us to believe, and it is nothing but misconceptions and lies. Do you know that God wants us to confront people who do evil? That he tells us to have nothing further to do with those who will not listen to rebuke? That there is no biblical requirement to forgive the unrepentant?
Spiritual Narcissism is a particularly virulent and stubborn form of Narcissism.
My past experience is that not only do Christians exhibit this annoying tendency, but many of those who consider themselves religious and/or spiritual, including dervishes, students of Buddhism, Zen, Wiccans, Kabbalah, etc. Not only that, but many metaphysical and New Thought aspirants display such traits as well. See, Pathological Narcissism: a Moral and Spiritual Disorder (instead of “Personality Disorder”). I think it is an excellent if informal hypothesis and worth exploring.
I want to clearly state that I had very good spiritual teachers (a total of 4 over a period of 33 years, not including one particular male in the eastern longitudes of the continental U.S.). I was very fortunate in that regard and I am very thankful to those who took me under their wing, as I was not a diligent student much of the time. Too much deeply buried grief and trauma. Too much shyness and self-consciousness, and low self-esteem.
I have no beef with my former teachers except that many — too many — malignant and more benign narcissists were given pass after pass after pass by their teachers and others in the community in the name of “spirituality,” “forgiveness,” “overlooking the fault of another” or some other reason — not least, simply being a part of “The In Crowd.”
If the truth were openly known, I think it’s very likely that my former teachers and many other teachers in general agonize over the Malignant Spiritual Narcissism in many of their students and fellow leaders/guides. Many of these people cause serious ethical, legal and even criminal problems. There are three cases that I know of in my own former community alone.
However, it’s not just the illegal and criminal incidents with which I take issue. It’s the grandiose, arrogant, dismissive, over-the-top behavior on the part of so many that makes me cringe when I look back at that era of my life. Fortunately there were many good times and positive experiences to somewhat balance that out.
(The asterisked material above was taken from the full synopsis at the link provided.)