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Wade Mullen on How to Spot Spiritual Abuse

By October 8, 2023November 14th, 2023No Comments

Wade Mullen on How to Spot Spiritual Abuse

Julie Roys: Restore Chicago Conference

Jeremiah 5: 26-28 describes men whose “houses are full of deceit” and who “set traps” to ensnare other human beings to benefit themselves. They are utterly unconcerned for others.

Utilizing his doctoral research on how over 500 evangelical churches “managed people’s impressions in the wake of an image-threatening event,” he describes the patterns of strategies most frequently used to deceive and ensnare.

Mullen enables us to identify potential warning signs of abuse, but his specific hope is that understanding these patterns will be especially helpful to those who have suffered abuse in churches because “an important step to recovery is acquiring the ability to make sense of what happened to you.”

Overview of video with timestamps

4:00  Description of his doctoral research into over 500 evangelical churches

5:05  Goal: To help people see the patterns. The ability to make sense of what happened to you is an important step in recovery.

6:04  Biblical description of spiritual abuse: deception and the image of a trap

8:27  Entrapment through 4 types of charm (ingratiation): flattery, gifts, helps, and alliances.

14:56  Entrapment through strategies that dismantle their victim’s internal and external worlds: public humiliation, eroding a person’s sense of agency, disrupting prior relationship, isolation

26:47  The key role the community plays in supporting an abusive leader and joining the dismantling the victim

32:15  Strategies used by abusers when they are exposed: they take on the role of the victim, denial, excusing self, using an “apology” as a white flag to get the scrutiny to stop, self-promotion

38:00  Recovery for the victim