A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Another Badger, and a translation of his manipulative language

A man submitted a comment to our post Let’s Put This “But he hasn’t physically abused you” Nonsense to Rest Once and for All.  He seemed to be asking for help. We didn’t respond or publish his comment, and, I suppose in desperation, he emailed a sort of confessional (where he continues to blame his wife) and now told us he’s been using fake names to try to comment on the blog.

This post features the comment. As with my post Badgering Badgers, this post is intended to expose manipulative speech. If you are a pastor or professional seeking insight for dealing with an abuser who claims to be repentant, our Resources links, especially the Checklist for Repentance and the book A Cry For Justice [affiliate link*], might be very helpful to you. In an upcoming post, I will tell of repentance I have seen and how it helps me to spot the impostors.

The comment as submitted to this blog under the pseudonym “David Burello”

This story is so much like my own story that it is uncanny. There are a couple of things that are different though in my case.  I was abusive to my wife for most of our marriage. There were many things that we didn’t agree on, about our children, and dealing with our business that we ran together, and we argued quite a bit. We never really calmly discussed the issues and tried to come to a mutual agreement and it was very frustrating to me. She always wanted things her way and was very rarely wiling to compromise. During those arguments I was mean, and in trying to win the argument, I would say things that made her feel stupid and got very angry. It was all verbal, and never physical. And it was very rarely anything personally degrading, like talking about her being fat, or ugly, or not cleaning the house, or not making dinner. Still, it was wrong, and I know that now. I also never told her about all of the good things that she did, and the things that I loved about her. My counselors told me that I was a Big A** and had anger issues. At the only counseling session where the whole family attended, the counselor asked everyone who the Boss of the household was, and all the children pointed to my wife. Here is where there are differences with my story. My wife lived with my abuse for a long time, and I never knew how bad I made her feel, or did I even know that the way I was talking and behaving was wrong. She only told me how horrible she felt about two years ago. I suppose I had a hard time accepting how badly I treated her, but I did accept it, and apologized about a thousand times, and begged for forgiveness repeatedly. I started to go to counselors, and started reading books on anger management and on how to save our marriage. I asked her to go to counseling with me but she never would agree to go. We had our own Super Pastor, and I confessed my sins to him, and to God, and asked for help, and for forgiveness. I told her, and him that I would go to any counselor of her choice, either alone, or with her, to try to save my marriage, but she just wanted out. She was not interested in going to any counselors to try to save our marriage. I didn’t expect any instant results, but I did expect her to lighten up on me just a little and try to be a little nicer to me. She just wanted to leave, with my youngest son, and split up our family. During this time, she has read dozens of books about abuse, and how to leave an abusive husband. Every book she read, she then started labeling me with this illness, and that illness. And, she started following some very mean, and non Christian approaches, like ignoring me, shunning me, not contacting me, leaving the room when I entered, and things like that. My Super Pastor never told her that this was her fault, and he never told her that she had not been abused, but he did tell her that since I was willing to go to ANY Counselor of HER Choice, Not Him, and admitted that I was abusive, and felt bad and repented for what I had done, that counseling would be recommended, rather than separation or divorce at least for now. Anyway, I could go on, and I haven’t told all of the gory details, but this is my story in a nutshell, and how uncanny it is similar to this story. I have changed, and am continuing to work on myself with the help of God, friends, and counseling. I am not ready to give up the fight of my life, or my marriage of about 35 years, or my family just yet. Thank you for this story, and for listening to mine. I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions, or support.

My translation. Some paragraph breaks have been added for ease of reading.

“David’s” comment in black. My translation is in red. My comments are in purple italics. Links, as usual, are in orange.

This story is so much like my own story that it is uncanny. There are a couple of things that are different though in my case. Our case is special and the rules don’t apply to me. I was See how he makes this past tense? abusive to my wife for most of our marriage.

There were many things that we didn’t agree on, about our children, and dealing with our business that we ran together, Tapping. I [Ellie] am tapping to relieve my triggered PTSD at just the thought of running a business with X. That would be my own personalized Hell having to be with him all day every day with no reprieve. How did this woman survive? [Why tapping? see our post on EMDR and we argued I badgered quite a bit.

We never really calmly discussed She gave up trying to express herself because I can gas-light, project, and make her dizzy with my unceasing words with the best of them (but we’re special and I’m not like all those other bad abusers) the issues and tried to come to a mutual agreement and it was very frustrating to me. I wanted my way. I wanted a mind meld and darnit, she’s no Vulcan! Can you fix that?

She always wanted things her way and was very rarely wiling to compromise. No, wait, that’s me. There I go projecting again. Did you believe it? You should believe it because I’m special. During those arguments I was mean, and in trying to win the argument, I would say things that made her feel stupid and got very angry. And then she was terrified of me ALL THE TIME because she never knew what would set me off.

It was all verbal, and never physical. So I’m not like those REALLY bad abusers. And it was very rarely anything personally degrading, like talking about her being fat, or ugly, or not cleaning the house, or not making dinner. See? I just made her feel stupid, but not fat. I merely made her question her ability to think or make decisions without my input. So I’m better than the bad abusers. I’m special. Still, it was wrong, and I know that now. False humility.

I also never told her about all of the good things that she did, Because I couldn’t have her thinking she was as good as me and the things that I loved about her. Because you think you’re entitled to it. 

My counselors told me that I was a Big A** and had anger issues. They are perceptive. Can I get their number? At the only counseling session where the whole family attended, the counselor asked everyone who the Boss of the household was, and all the children pointed to my wife. See? She’s not powerless! She should share in the blame! Here is where there are differences with my story So the part where I’m REALLY special.

My wife lived with my abuse for a long time, and I never knew how bad I made her feel, or did I even know that the way I was talking and behaving was wrong. Because you were pretending to be a Christian. A true follower of Christ would’ve obeyed the Holy Spirit as He was urging him to forsake pride, anger, and selfishness. She only told me how horrible she felt about two years ago. I mean, I only paid attention to her attempts to get me to understand about two years ago. It’s not her job to police your behavior; it’s your job to submit to the Holy Spirit.

I suppose I had a hard time accepting how badly I treated her, Because I have been faking being a Christian for so long and my heart is stony. but I did accept it, and apologized about a thousand times, I SAID I WAS SORRY! Do I have to actually change too? and begged for forgiveness repeatedly.

I started to go to counselors, and started reading books on anger management and on how to save our marriage. I read every book I could get my hands on to try to learn how to keep my power. Wrong books. Read up on repentance, and how to protect the people you’ve spent decades terrorizing. Read about how to make them feel safe and how to respect their boundaries even if you don’t understand them.

I asked her to go to counseling with me but she never would agree to go. See how unforgiving she is? We had our own Super Pastor, and I confessed my sins to him, and to God, and asked for help, and for forgiveness. I told her, and him that I would go to any counselor of her choice, either alone, or with her, to try to save my marriage, but she just wanted out. Darn her boundaries! She is so bitter. She was not interested in going to any counselors to try to save our marriage. I mean, to give me my power back.

I didn’t expect any instant results, but I did expect her to lighten up on me just a little and try to be a little nicer to me. There it is. There’s the smoking gun. For me, it’s the complaining. When an abuser claims repentance but complains, even once, that he’s not getting a return on his “investment,” that’s the tip-off to me that this is all transactional, and there’s been no change of heart. Transactional people are operating from a works-based paradigm. Transformed people are operating from love of their Savior.

She just wanted to leave, with my youngest son, and split up our family. No, your abuse split up the family. During this time, she has read dozens of books about abuse, and how to leave an abusive husband. Every book she read, she then started labeling me with this illness, and that illness. Oh no! She’s figured out how I’ve been able to control and abuse all these years. Somebody put this genie back in the bottle or I’m gonna have to pay for what I’ve done!

And, she started following some very mean, and non Christian approaches, like ignoring me, shunning me, not contacting me, leaving the room when I entered, and things like that. You mean Gray Rock? [non US readers, see note below on spelling of Gray].  Godly believers in the Bible used Gray Rock It’s not mean or non-Christian. It’s a boundary and a repentant person would honor it.

My Super Pastor never told her that this was her fault, and he never told her that she had not been abused, but he did tell her that since I was willing to go to ANY Counselor of HER Choice, Not Him, and admitted that I was abusive, and felt bad and repented for what I had done, that counseling would be recommended, rather than separation or divorce at least for now. I’ve made him an ally. Won’t you help me too? Also note that he is inconsistent here. First he’s fussing about his superpastor, but now he’s quoting him in an effort to get his way. 

Anyway, I could go on, and I haven’t told all of the gory details, but this is my story in a nutshell, and how uncanny it is similar to this story. I have changed, and am continuing to work on myself with the help of God, friends, and counseling. I am not ready to give up the fight of my life, or my marriage of about 35 years, or my family just yet. Another smoking gun. Fight of your life, you say? You want that power and you’re willing to fight for it. By exercising coercive control of your wife, you ended your marriage. Your life should be devoted to making restitution while honoring boundaries, not trying to convince your targets to tolerate you.

Thank you for this story, and for listening to mine. I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions, or support.

My suggestion is to surrender to Christ and seek to honor Him in all you do. Make restitution to the people you’ve abused. And honor their boundaries. If divorce makes her feel safe, give her an amazing divorce and make her feel safe the whole time. Change. Really change because you love and honor Christ; not because you want to win “the fight of [your] life.” 

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ellie is now offering a private translation service. For more info email her at EllieCriesForJustice@gmail.com.

*Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link.

Note:  the color is spelled grAy in America, but grEy in England. Go figure! 

45 Comments

  1. Excellent translation. Probably you’ve said everything that needs to be said to this man; however, I feel compelled to say my own piece:

    Repentance means agreeing that what you did is bad and accepting that you deserve the consequence. 1 Tim 5:8 says “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Certainly abuse fits within this description of not providing for the members of your household, so this is how the scripture describes you: having denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever. Accept it. Believe it. And believe that there are real consequences for the destruction you have done to one of God’s children. You have earned a divorce. Not her. You.

    If you can truly see and accept that, you can see that your job now is to make yourself safe for her. That you can spend your effort not trying to win her back, but to make her life the best you can possible by keeping interactions safe and free from demands from you (because you seem to be placing a lot of demands on her now- expecting someone to trust again someone who has done such destruction is a LOT to demand).

    Yes, you are labeled by scripture as “worse than an unbeliever”. What can you do with that? You can accept the love and grace of Jesus and know that it is sufficient to cover even that transgression; that you don’t need the love of your wife to be free and whole. What you have destroyed in her, God will restore. What you have done to your own soul, God can restore if you repent. The marriage? Accept that it is gone, because it is highly unlikely it will ever be a safe place for your wife.

    Grace doesn’t mean you get to have your marriage back. Grace means you get the unending love of Jesus. If you demand more than that, then you truly do not understand the nature of what Jesus offers you.

    • Jen

      Amen! Thank you for sharing that Jeff!

    • Not Alone

      So well said and clear, JeffS. Thank you!

    • Ellie

      Great comment Jeff. Very well stated.

  2. I’ve been “that woman” and I know “that man” well. Amen to your commentary! E

  3. m.

    Thank you for that. My husband is doing this to me right now, and I needed the reminder that it is just another manipulation.

  4. Isaiah40:31

    I like reading these because it helps me continue to think clearly. My abuser is trying some of those tactics in his quest to gain allies. Seems the potential allies are quick to believe his lies of false repentance, and see me as unforgiving. Thankfully I do have true friends who are keeping setting me straight and are unwilling to see me return to the abuse (not that I would, but still it’s nice to know they wouldn’t let me).

  5. Stina

    There are so many parallels in this for me. Thank you.

    • Hi Stina, welcome to our little blog family 🙂

  6. Love the translation and thoughts, Ellie. Thank you.

  7. Still Reforming

    Oh my – I swear I thought this was my abuser writing. Up until a few personal details I that differed (gender of child) I was certain this was us. The similarities in pastoral counsel and separate marital counseling, as well as books read, behavioral responses in the home, and other things are uncanny! It’s really a head-scratcher how so many chosen behaviors among abusers are the same. Just uncanny.

  8. Still Reforming

    Btw, I just started a very good book on my Kindle that you may want to check out and possibly add to your resource list. “Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone With Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger.

  9. This is stellar. I love Ellie’s “translation” & “thoughts”. Soo good. I love the “gray rock”. “Gray rock” reminds me of the old commercial “never let ’em see you sweat”. Anna V used to say, “never reveal what makes you tick”. It is so true: become so boring, so mundane, so pedestrian, so calm, so……..normal (!) ….that they go elsewhere for their “drama fix”. Normal. Imagine that!? “Normal” is boring. Normal is healthy. Normal is the norm. Abuse is not. Normal is what the abuser does NOT want. But you can’t say that, at least not at first. You just have to live it out. The only problem is that it takes time….sometimes, a lot of time. And practice. (note: my abuser used to increase abuse when I instinctively did “normal”, when I refused to play the game, when I became a gray rock. Abusers always “dial it up a notch” when they sense they are losing their grip.) And it isn’t always practical, especially when you fear for your life. But….it DOES empower you, it might even “buy” you some time, in an “under the radar” kind of way. Be the rock. Know thy enemy, the badger. But be prepared, have an exit strategy. Rocks are strong. Badgers are bullies.

  10. MicroGal

    Oh, this is so timely. Like God showing me ( yet again) what an abusive man H is.

    Just last night, he tried to talk (get his way) to me about why he is justified in leaving our church (he is the victim, despite the church paying for 2 types of counseling, all the books for said counseling, and attempting to walk this path with him). He said he cannot lead our family spiritually if he isn’t being fed at church. Ahem, church is 1 day per week. What about the rest of the week that you aren’t leading our family? I finally had it and laid out the lies I have caught him in (oh no, he explained those away, too), the avoidance tactics he uses with men of the church (oh no, HE is the victim here) and how he cannot be trusted (but oh, he is SO repentant! Surely I must see the change…?!?) Then he proceeded to ask for The List (feel free to link to your post about the list!) and I said there is no way I am giving him a list, that The Lord will equip those he calls. He didn’t like that at all.

    Your timely post was so helpful to refute the lies and abuse and control he tries to wield.

    Eds. Note: Thanks, MicroGal. Here’s the link: He Wants a List and He’s Checking it Twice: But it Won’t do Any Good!

  11. Valerie

    Uggh…this brings back bad memories. You did a wonderful job in untwisting the twistedness. If you just read his commentary without the benefit of the proposed translation, it is one of those conversations that you walk away from scratching your head. Thoughts like: Is he really sorry? He seems to allude to it but then again he doesn’t seem sorry. Something seems “off”. I remember those conversations all too well. Abuser-eze language.

    Here are a few things that struck me as well. He starts off by talking about how his situation is similar (so similar its uncanny in fact). While we often as victims speak about how are situations are similar, when an abuser does this it is a whole different context. What I thought it smelled like is what author Gavin de Becker refers to as “forced teaming” (speaking in terms that shows they are “like” you so you feel a connection to them). Based on my exp with my husband how I saw the next sentence (where he refers to differences) is if something works for him he will say the situation is similar, but if it doesn’t work for him he leaves the door open to say it is different and doesn’t apply. Abusers love multiple choice and will work hard at leaving lots of doors and windows open.

    “We never calmly discussed”…smh. My husband would also throw in these carefully chosen adjectives in an attempt to prove that he was logical and emotionally intelligent. By using the word “calm” he is asserting that he knows the difference and that he values such a positive trait. My husband would use words and phrases like this and he would do it out of context or in a way I felt was manipulative since the words he used were not his normal way of speaking. Relationally/socially speaking his way of speaking could be likened to: “it don’t make no difference” but suddenly when it suited him he would say things like “it isn’t prudent right now”. Huh? I would look at him oddly at these times because I knew he was attempting to manipulate either me or whomever was listening.

    I believe he also shows his hand when he says “win the argument”. Um…this is a marriage, not corporate negotiations. Its not about “winning”…but to an abuser it is. I saw some other things but this is already lengthy so I’ll leave it at that. Thanks Ellie for sharing this!! I think this kind of thing really helps clear up the word salad abusers use.

    • Boy, do I relate to the part about how his language usage changes. My husband is a world-wide expert in his field, which revolves around public speaking. He is a master communicator, and has won prestigious awards for it. Yet his letters and emails to the kids and me are bizarrely written, confusing, meandering bits of tripe. My counselor and my pastor have been astonished at how weird they are, how hard to understand. Like Barbara’s post “The Bible DOES allow divorce for domestic abuse” says, confused people are easier to control. Ugh.

  12. “I suppose I had a hard time accepting how badly I treated her….. and begged for forgiveness repeatedly.” This is almost diagnostic of an abuser; “begging” for forgiveness, demanding forgiveness yet never repenting or admitting the abuse while playing the victim.

    “I started to go to counselors, and started reading books on anger management and on how to save our marriage.” So, in other words, the abuser is determined on saving the marriage from hell?? No, this is called “saving my reputation”.

    “I asked her to go to counseling with me but she never would agree to go.”
    Yeah–i got beat up big-time with this one; even the “super pastor” told my abuser he had “never seen anyone old a grudge” like me! The spiritual-blame-game continues…..

    “We had our own Super Pastor” Hmm, who might that be? Bill Gothard? Mark Driscoll? John Piper?????
    My abuser actually said, “Pastor X cannot help us anymore; he is too busy”. In other words: the abuser & allies have determined “game over” and expect me to cave in to the spiritual abuse of being the “unforgiving” one. I never expected “super-pastor” to be a “super-hero” or to “help” us. Super heroes are for kindergardeners and movie-goers. Good grief. Where is Jesus is all this????? Where is the Word, the Light, the Redeemer?????

    “and I confessed my sins to him (who?? to Jesus? Oh–silly me! You confessed to “super-pastor”! Well why not! You need an ally!! ) and to God, (oops–as an afterthought) and asked for help, and for forgiveness. I told her, and him [not God, but ‘super-pastor’] that I would go to any counselor of her choice, either alone, or with her, to try to save my marriage, but she just wanted out. She was not interested in going to any counselors to try to save our marriage.”
    Yeah, and your point is….what?? To save your abusive, pitiful, so-called “”marriage? Or, to save your reputation? Now, YOU are the poor pitiful victim?? The one with the “spiritual giant” reputation?? Pardon me while I make a whip and join Jesus in the Temple……

    “she split up our family”. Oh. My. Good. Grief. YOU split up our family…YOU, and YOU alone. And shame on all those who aligned with you and your money and your abuse and your lies and your character assassination and your pitiful, puritanical posturing. Pardon me while I puke.

    “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. Stay away from him”.

    Amen.

  13. rncsd

    The ‘gray rock’ has been my coping mechanism. I had no name for it. Other than saying to myself and to the counselor, “I can’t be intelligent around him”. Not natural for me as outside of the home there are many people, clients, who rely on my intelligence, advice. Gray rock. Strategy working for now.

  14. GEM: “You have earned a divorce. Not her. You.” by Jeff S

  15. Yeesh, I found myself starting to hyperventilate for a sec while reading this one. The details weren’t exactly the same, but I still had a brief moment when I, too, wondered if this was my abuser writing. (((shudder)))

    I simply cannot believe how these guys all sound alike! All walks of life, all levels of education, all types of “Christian” traditions, and they all seem to read the same instruction manual. Uncanny.

    • Ann

      Marah,

      I too wonder if this is my abuser writing, even thought he may have changed a few things so as to not out right identify himself.

      He says “I am not ready to give up the fight of my life, or my marriage of about 35 years, or my family just yet” — that “just yet” made me think he is positioning himself favorably to include financially before he pulls the plug. And the way he says “my marriage”, “my family” — to me rings, they are possessions to him.

    • Still Reforming

      Marah, This is why I wonder sometimes about demonic influence, because I have a really hard time understanding how else these different people from different walks of life and different education levels can all share the same CHOSEN tactics of abuse? Especially the subtle things like shunning, word-twisting, blame-shifting, lies and manipulation, secret-keeping, Jekyl-and-Hyde switcheroos, and on and on it goes. And also how they can ALL be so very good at presenting the exact opposite to others. I too thought this was my abuser writing in (in part also because I think he discovered this blog from a family computer, although I don’t know if he’s following it)

      I’m not trying to say there is demon possession of any of these men (and I know that’s covered in a different post here at this blog), but since we as Christians believe in and live under the influence of the Holy Spirit (as we submit to Him) once we are born again, it makes sense to me that the more the abuser lives and serves his flesh and if God gives him up unto himself, then demonic influences can all the more be present. The devil is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) and Satan goes about roaring like a lion (1 Peter 5:8) seeking whom he may devour.

      I just wonder about these things, especially since many, many of these men (for the most part) mock Christianity by imitating believers all the while scorning and accusing them. Sure sounds demonic to me. Again, not possessed, but influenced. Heavily.

  16. Jane

    I used to think it was his anger that was the problem. Until I read Lundy Bancroft’s book, Why Does He Do That? I learned from that book that abusive behaviors are all about entitlement, ownership, and control. Angry outbursts are just one of the weapons used. He didn’t need anger management because he could control it everywhere else. And the behavior I used to attribute to his lack of intelligence was “acting dumb” to keep me confused. That confusion kept me going in circles trying to find the exact words that would get him to understand. Now I know he won’t change because he doesn’t want to change. So after reading that book (plus many others) I feel completely at ease in proceeding with a divorce. This website has helped a lot too!

    Eds. IMPORTANT NOTE: While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns.

    • Not Too Late

      Jane, Sounds familiar.

      “Acting dumb” is just what the responsibility-avoidant person does. Projecting anger is another. Most of their behavior seems to boil down to evading responsibility.The very few who do change begin by accepting responsibility for their actions and taking responsibility for change.

  17. Anonymous

    Great job, Ellie!

    Notice how the pastor tried to help, and called him out for bad behavior, but being untrained in abuse, collaborated with him and unwittingly became an ally. Yuk – is he even aware of how he partnered with evil? How can you fight evil when you don’t resist evil, and instead, get exploited to partner with it?

  18. Annie

    Another suggestion: Consider what would convey respect in your wife’s eyes. Would she feel that you respected her wishes if you force contact on her, complain about her to your pastor and others, and insist on forgiveness?

    Next, identify where your attitude may have come from. You admit to past abuse. What kind of thinking led to a belief that it was OK to use abusive behavior? You say you never knew how bad you made her feel. Can you find the reasons behind this? You say you were mean and tried to win arguments. What’s behind that motive to win at any cost? You say you didn’t know the way you were talking was wrong. Why was there a difference in the level of behavior that was acceptable in your eyes and in her eyes? How would you know now what is “right” and “wrong”? If you haven’t done this, you really haven’t made the start to change, no matter how much you feel you have changed. And if you haven’t changed, she would be crazy to trust you. And finally, if you cared for her, you wouldn’t allow yourself near her.

  19. Wow! I thought you were writing about my ex husband. He did all of this and more.

    Because he knew the language, he was able to make allies of my entire church. Family too. The restraining order prevented him from contacting me directly, so he sent them in his stead. Their hope was to “get a win for Jesus” and save the marriage. They were so blind to the abuse. Oh how I wish I had your translation service available then!

    You’re right though, he wanted his power back. He never got it back from me. I’m free from him and those years of horrific abuse. I’ve moved on, found my strength, and life is good. Now that is a win for Jesus!!!

    [Eds: Screen name of commenter changed for her safety.]

  20. Brenda R

    Ellie,
    You are good at this. I hope Mr. Abuser reads your responses, not that he will agree with them or change, but at least see what the responses are. Parts of this remind me of the X. He is still trying to get me to “just be friends”. If we ever were friends, we wouldn’t be divorced. Gaining back their control is always at the fore front of all they do.

  21. Sunflower

    What about this?

    • Yes, that is another good example of manipulative language, by both Robert Morris and Mark Driscoll.

      For those who want more info on the saga of Mark Driscoll, you could go here
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/21/mark-driscoll-no-i-want-that-other-wise-counsel/
      and
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/19/mars-hill-church-board-of-elders-mark-driscoll-resigned-instead-of-enter-restoration-plan-to-deal/

      And probably Spiritual Sounding Board is covering it too, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to follow it all.

      • wow—Sunflower’s video & the links from Barbara are like “teaching tools” for “how to spot abusers/manipulators”. I noticed MD wasted no time in getting up on stage to get his narc supply replenished. It’s almost like watching an addict–he simply cannot resist the temptation to be idolized. Like Ellie wrote, he was “special”! He deserves to have his power back! “I said I was sorry! I’m healing! Leave me alone! Adore me!” There was absolutely no mention of those who were abused & defrauded, only about how he was the pitiful victim who is so entitled to a pulpit.

        Dave Orrison wrote beautifully about “Narcissistic Apologies” on his blog:

        In the center of the narcissistic apology is the offender saying, “I am hurting because of this.” The real apology sees the victim in the center and says, “You are hurting because of this.” The difference is empathy. Just like always, the narcissist doesn’t care about your pain, just his/her own.”

        Bingo.

        Then RM (the faithful ally) ran interference & minimized MD’s offenses to the point where a casual observer might think the poor guy was railroaded into giving up “his church”. Catch that? HIS church. HIS CHURCH?! Badger alert!! RM never mentions the victims, never mentions restitution, while he repeatedly says “don’t believe what you hear”; but Dave Orrison writes this:

        Understand that the purpose of the narcissistic apology is not to admit the offense and lessen your pain. The purpose of the narcissistic apology is to get you to shut up.

        It seems like the purpose of all abuse is to get us to shut up and accept it.

        I agree with Ellie: “My suggestion is to surrender to Christ and seek to honor Him in all you do. Make restitution to the people you’ve abused…..Change. Really change, because you love and honor Christ .” Amen.

        http://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/narcissistic-apologies-2/

      • Ellie

        I will attempt to translate Morris here. I will not translate Driscoll because I think most people can see that he’s trying to use his kids to make a pity play. I also believe that Morris’s power play here is very dangerous. I feel it’s important to evaluate his manipulative technique.

        Transcript of Robert Morris and Mark Driscoll from the Gateway Leadership + Worship Conference on the evening of Monday, October 20, 2014, as broadcast live via DayStar Television:

        Robert Morris:
        “Tonight’s been phenomenal. Would you agree? So far uh, we’re just getting started (applause). Part of our heart is that you’re refreshed in the presence of God, when you come. And I hope you, you were refreshed in his presence, uh, tonight. Uhm, I wanna before I uh introduce Steven, our our speaker tonight, I want to introduce you to a friend. A good friend of mine. And I’ve been um speaking with him for several months now. He’s going through uh a a difficulty that most of you’ve probably read about.

        “Um, I know the behind the scenes story. Uh, he was supposed to speak at our conference. Uh, it was publicized that we cancelled him; that’s not true, we did not cancel. I’m speaking of Mark Driscoll. We did not cancel him. He and I decided together uh that he was going to step out of ministry for a season and get some healing. Uh he asked me, ‘could I come to the conference and just attend’? And I thought that was very big of him. To just come and be ministered to and again I just want to say a couple things.

        “First of all, I want you to know that everything you read on the internet is not true (laughter, applause). And there are some pastors, myself included, and some others that you would know, that we’re speaking into his life and he’s listening. And uh, uh uh most of what you read is not true. Some of it is. He did make some mistakes.

        “Uh here’s what I figure. We’ve got two choices. One is we could crucify him (pause). But since someone’s already been crucified (hollering) for him (applause, hollering), the other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves, lest we are also tempted (applause). It is very sad that in the church we’re the only army that shoots at our wounded. And I want you to stop it. I really do. Thank you.

        “I’d like for you to show your love for him and for you to just welcome him. Mark would you stand up. This is Mark Driscoll. (Standing ovation, extended applause, hollering, whistling). (murmuring between MD and RM) (more applause, hollering, whistling)”

        Driscoll speaks.

        Robert Morris (begins 6:34):
        “Thank you, thank you for your graciousness very much and um, um., we’re grateful. Debbie and I’ve been able to spend some time with Mark and Grace and talking with them and uuhh, we were talking the night before he resigned and talking about that and um talking through the situation and you know he uh resigned the church he founded and pastored for 18 years. (draws breath) Uhm, he, he, you know, when I say he made some mistakes, he made some mistakes like he past — he preached ten to twelve years, 50 weeks a year. Sometimes six services a weekend. And uh it’s just not healthy and um, so I’m uh glad that uh he’s saying, ‘help me’. ‘Hel-help me learn uh to do it differently and do it better.’ And so I love him very, very much and um I’m I’m glad that he’s here. Uh you’re going to be blessed.

        “Uhm, tonight I was thinking though that uh we invited uh Mark and Steven to be at, a part of our conference and they both got bad media this year. Huh-huh-huh-uh-he, I uh-uh-huh-uhuh I just uh they’re buddies now. So huh-uh (laughter) Uh but uh but it is surprising how, how uh we believe so quickly something that we read, uh about a brother in Christ that we’ve never even met.”

        Here’s my translation:

        Translation in bold. My comments in italics. This is because I can’t figure out how to color code comments. Also, I would like the reader to make a mental note of every time Morris says “uh, um, or the like.” I think it’s his tell; the indicator that he’s mentally setting up a manipulative phrase. What do you think?

        Morris: I want to introduce you to a friend. He’s my friend. So he’s cool. He’s awesome by association. A good friend of mine. He’s my good friend and if you’re questioning him, you’re questioning me.

        And I’ve been um speaking with him for several months now. I am SuperPastor. My Super advice will fix him.

        He’s going through uh a a difficulty He’s a victim. that most of you’ve probably read about. Um, I know the behind the scenes story. I know more than you. Trust ME. Uh, he was supposed to speak at our conference. Uh, it was publicized that we cancelled him; that’s not true, we did not cancel. I see you’re using the passive voice there. Who publicized that? Zombies? Why are you just now correcting the zombies’ falsehood? I’m speaking of Mark Driscoll. We did not cancel him. He and I decided together uh that he was going to step out of ministry for a season and get some healing. It was our decision and it’s a good one. I advised him. He listens to me. That’s good. You should listen to me too.

        Uh he asked me, ‘could I come to the conference and just attend’? And I thought that was very big of him. See how humble he is? To just come and be ministered to and again I just want to say a couple things.

        First of all, I want you to know that everything you read on the internet is not true (laughter, applause). Don’t believe the internet. Believe ME. Even if you’re reading this on the internet. I know the answers. No need to look elsewhere or think for yourself. Just let me tell you what to do. Are Mark’s own words true? Can we look at his own words and observe the blame-shifting and lack of remorse for the damage he’s caused? Or do we only trust in you?

        And there are some pastors, myself included, and some others that you would know, that we’re speaking into his life and he’s listening. But not to Paul Tripp. And not to his elders. And not to his victims. And uh, uh uh most of what you read is not true. If you believe anyone other than ME approved news sources, you are gullible. Some of it is. But you’re not clever enough to sort that out. So just turn your brains off and trust me.

        He did make some mistakes. MISTAKES? That’s almost as bad as the ridiculous term “moral failure! It’s SIN. Call it “sin.” Stop minimizing. Just STOP IT.

        Uh here’s what I figure. We’ve got two choices. False dichotomy fallacy One is we could crucify him (pause). But since someone’s already been crucified (hollering) for him (applause, hollering), the other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves, lest we are also tempted (applause). No. There are more choices. You are choosing to harm him by pretending he’s fine. You could choose to love him and call him to repentance and not let up until he does.

        It is very sad that in the church we’re the only army that shoots at our wounded. If you continue to point out sin among my friends, you are a bad Christian. I am so very done with this dumb cliche. What if we don’t shoot the wounded Christians, but we do announce the presence of WOLVES among the sheep? What if we point out sin and call sinners to repentance and they are delivered from Hell? And I want you to stop it. I really do. Because if we stop it, that’s what makes things ok, Not if Mark repents, but if we stop pointing out that he hasn’t.

        Thank you. I’d like for you to show your love for him and for you to just welcome him. Mark would you stand up. This is Mark Driscoll.

        Driscoll uses his kids as human shields.

        Morris (begins 6:34):
        “Thank you, thank you for your graciousness very much and um, um, we’re grateful. He’s so humble. BELIEVE THAT HE’S HUMBLE.

        Debbie and I’ve been able to spend some time with Mark and Grace and talking with them and uuhh, we were talking the night before he resigned and talking about that and um talking through the situation It’s a situation, not sin. and you know he uh resigned the church he founded and pastored for 18 years. (draws breath) Uhm, he, he, you know, when I say he made some mistakes, he made some mistakes like he past- he preached ten to twelve years, 50 weeks a year. Sometimes six services a weekend. And uh it’s just not healthy and um, so I’m uh glad that uh he’s saying, ‘help me’. ‘Hel-help me learn uh to do it differently and do it better.” Gaslighting. He’s not saying “help me.” He’s saying I quit rather than submit to his elders help. GASLIGHTING!

        And so I love him very, very much and um I’m I’m glad that he’s here. Uh you’re going to be blessed. Uhm, tonight I was thinking though that uh we invited uh Mark and Steven to be at, a part of our conference and they both got bad media this year. They are victims of the media. Not of their own pride and arrogance. The media got them. Huh-huh-huh-uh-he, I uh-uh-huh-uhuh I just uh they’re buddies now. So huh-uh (laughter) Uh but uh but it is surprising how, how uh we believe so quickly something that we read, uh about a brother in Christ that we’ve never even met. You’re being conned if you believe anything but what I say. I know more than you. You aren’t qualified to read Mark’s own words or Mars Hill’s own words and judge for yourself. Just let me tell you what to think.

      • StandsWithAFist

        Nailed it again, Ellie. Thank you!

      • Thanks Ellie!

    • Sarah

      This was not spontaneous – this was planned. Just watch the body language and listen to the words. “Just attending” does not mean getting on stage.

  22. ExtoChiro

    Excellent article. Thank you. Marah, I understand your pain and confusion. My ex husband is the expert in his profession, traveling all over the world teaching. He brags about his wealth, power and fame. He buys property and lives in a million dollar home but claims he can’t afford to pay for their college. Again it’s all power and control.

    [Eds: some details disidentified]

  23. annette621

    This is awesome ! And a bird’s eye view in to a sesociopath and how they work.

  24. Wow, I had tears in my eyes reading that…..such loss and pain, and the worst part; that it was all under the guise of Christianity! I am in a really weird place right now, separated but in the same house. Ugh! All the niceties, compliments, helpfulness, non procrastinating, no arguing, no confrontation, no meanness at all. Where was all this for the last 30+ years? I think I was being a bit lulled into normalcy, but reading that just brought all of the reality back in a huge way. I really need a plan to get out!

    I have a friend, sort of a “Mom” figure and she tells me all the time not to speak of him in his true light, a Narcissist, or an abuser and says that he will change if I speak better of him and what I want him to be rather that what he has been in the past to me. I do realize our words have power, but it is too much for me to combat. She is trying to be positive in my life and she is a Godly woman and has compassion for me but, it is not what I need right now. I respect her, but it gets confusing and I have been/lived confused enough.

    I feel lost right now…..I need my Savior to pick me up and place me on higher ground so that I can see what He has for me…..

    • I have a friend, sort of a “Mom” figure and she tells me all the time not to speak of him in his true light, a Narcissist, or an abuser and says that he will change if I speak better of him and what I want him to be rather that what he has been in the past to me. I do realize our words have power, but it is too much for me to combat. She is trying to be positive in my life and she is a Godly woman and has compassion for me but, it is not what I need right now. I respect her, but it gets confusing and I have been/lived confused enough.

      She sounds like she’s preaching Word Of Faith doctrine to you. That sub-stream of ‘c’hristianity is IMO wrong and dangerous. It has more in common with magical thinking and mind control than it does with the true teaching of the Bible. It takes bible verses selectively and uses them to claim that we can create our own reality by the power of our thoughts and words. I believe you are right to reject her teaching in this respect.

    • Estelle

      Survivorthrivor2, my heart goes out to you….

      From your comment, it looks to me like your abuser has only changed his behaviour once you put boundaries in place by separating. Speaking nicely about him hasn’t done a thing in 30 years and I have my doubts if it ever will. Our Saviour said that the Truth will set us free. Please don’t hesitate to call it like you see it, however harsh the truth may sound to an outsider’s ear.

      • soldiergirl

        I know of one such elder person (an older sweet gentle seeming mom type) from the last church I attended.. In retrospect I now see that she became the pastors tool to try pressure me to giving him “another chance”, and do couples counseling with my abuser. It was a “cutting relationship” that I had with her, as it seemed like she understood and empathized with my suffering, but on the other hand she blindly followed the advice of the misled pastor as if he knew best.. She was very aware of my situation, and was even there during one of my abusers tirades. But it became clear that her allegiance was to follow the advise of the pastor..
        She continues to maintain a recognized position as a head elder in that church.

      • Estelle, thank you and yes, I agree and thanks for pointing that out about the boundaries in relation to the separation. I had placed them in the past for various reasons, but as you know, if you do that with an abuser, at some point you do pay! And I always did! But, NOT THIS TIME! Praise God!

  25. Sarah

    “and now told us he’s been using fake names to try to comment on the blog.”

    Translation: “See, the rules don’t apply to me because I know multiple ways to circumvent them AND I admit to doing so.”

    Enough said! Abuser always out themselves – just watch and listen for it!

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