A Cry For Justice

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

The abuser accuses his allies when they abandon him: case study—Saeed Abedini’s FB rants

Saeed Abedini’s recent Facebook rants are typical of the language abusers use when their other tactics of abuse are ceasing to be effective and they believe they have no other way of regaining the upper hand. Have a look at these examples of Saeed Abedini’s Strange Online Behavior which Julie Anne Smith has gathered together and commented on at Spiritual Sounding Board.

Having looked at those examples of Saeed ranting, it seems to me that his tactics of ‘playing the Christian Nice Guy’ to recruit and maintain allies among people of influence are becoming ineffective. It appears that the noose is tightening in on him. I’m not sure how the noose is tightening, but I could make a fair guess because I’ve heard so many reports of how abusers behave.

When the abuser realizes he

  • may loose financial support
  • may have to fork out big $$
  • may lose contact with his kids or his visitation time may be greatly diminished
  • may be put in jail
  • may deported from the country
  • may have to pay substantial alimony
  • won’t be appointed to go on mission trips or given leadership positions any more
  • may be forced by the court to give a reasonable financial settlement to his ex-wife

— basically anything which will really sting him, or really poke a hole in his ability to con people, when those things are looming up and he can’t see a way out of the noose, he often doesn’t bother with the nice guy act any more.

Finally the abuser’s forked tongue is out there for all to see

The abuser starts to publicly accuse those who were once his allies but are no longer his allies. He makes these false accusations boldly and ferociously, without trying to restrain or hide his forked tongue.

The abuser’s primary victim has felt the lashings of his forked tongue for many years. But now the abuser’s forked tongue is being seen by all the bystanders as well.

And the influential bystanders, the pastors and celebrities who’d backed him up and propped him up, are probably quite aware of what he is doing  … but don’t hold your breath for those influential people to publicly announce “We were duped! We confess we were bonkers to have backed this man! Please forgive us!”

What is the abuser’s agenda at this point?

While the abuser’s machine-gun mouth is firing out false accusations not only at his ex-spouse but at his former allies, he is simultaneously depicting himself as the victim. He used to depict his primary victim as his persecutor. Now he depicts everyone who once supported him as his persecutors. This includes even those who once took the *neutral stance* but are now dropping that neutrality and actually giving him the cold shoulder.

He tries to bully everyone into believing that HE is the most persecuted saint in all the world. If he can bully his residue of allies to not listen to the people who are now treating him like a leper, if he can recruit more allies from the giant flock of foolish and naive sheep, then fewer bystanders will support his primary victim. That’s his agenda: he wants to keep his primary victim isolated and thus prolong her suffering and throw spanners in the works of her healing. And if he can punish a few of his former allies along the way, that’s all well and good. After all, in his mind he is totally right and anyone who thinks he is not right has to be punished for thinking that he is not right.

His agenda is revenge. He hates the fact that his primary victim has escaped him and got free from his clutches. And he wants to take revenge on her no matter what it takes. He is virtually obsessed with this payback agenda and he does really stupid things, like biting the hands of the people who were supporting him in the past.

That’s a pretty stupid act for an abuser: to attack the celebrities who had given him credibility with the masses. But in his profoundly distorted his mindset, he actually thinks it is a good and sensible and JUSTIFIED thing to do.

At this point, is the abuser becoming unhinged?

This is very important point I’m about to make, so grab your highlighter pens.

When an abusive man does this he is not becoming ‘unhinged’. Unhinged suggests ‘crazy’ or ‘mentally ill’. But the abuser has been this evil for a long long time already. The abuser has had this distorted mindset for years, probably decades … and he has usually got more evil over those years. The abusive man does not behave this way because is ‘crazy’ or ‘mentally ill’. The abusive man behaves this way because he has an ABUSE problem. His thinking and his beliefs are profoundly distorted and he has seared his conscience so he believes he is fully entitled to treat people this way. It’s just now showing to the public view. His wife has been subjected to this evil of his for years.

Remember, an abuser has an ABUSE problem. If he also has a mental illness, his mental illness will tend to make him a more dangerous abuser, but it won’t make him into an abuser. An abusive man who has a mental illness has two problems, an abuse problem, and a mental illness problem …. and if it’s a mental illness which can be effectively treated, and not all can, treating it will not fix his abuse problem. See our tag Mental Illness in Abusers.

The abuser is not ‘unhinged’ at this point or at any point. The abuser has been evil for years. “Evildoer” is a Biblical word. 

So let’s not say anything that recycles the myths that give abusers excuses. And let’s not use language that obfuscates the fact that abuser are evildoers.

Table based on Linda Coates & Alan Wade’s article “Language and Violence: Analysis of FourDiscursive Operations” r

 

And as we often say on this blog, we know that sometimes the abuser is female. It’s just too awkward to keep saying he/she & his/her; we wish the English language had a singular person pronoun that covered either sex without depicting individuals as androgynous.

****

Thank you to Dr Liam Goligher for reminding me recently about the word bonkers! In this sermon Liam said it is bonkers to believe that the Son is eternally in subordination to the Father.

For Further Reading:

He Speaks With Forked Tongue

How to Spot an Abuser Who Claims to be the Victim

How easy IS it to spot an abuser, when he is both Jekyll and Hyde?

The language of abusers who portray themselves as victims — Vagueness & Contraditions

“To every man an answer,” but if it’s an abused woman, let’s lance her! — This post gives an example of “word salad language” uttered by a pastor who was advising a victim of domestic abuse on the radio.

27 Comments

  1. Jessica

    This is SO good. I really enjoyed reading this.

  2. lonelywife07

    Wow! This is sooo true! My STBX has REALLY revealed who his TRUE self is now that I’m no longer covering for him and have exposed him!
    The same is true with Saeed…he hasn’t changed…he’s revealing his TRUE inner character, the abuser he’s always been!
    Thank you so much Barbara and Jeff for staying on this…it’s time that these high profile abusers are exposed for all the world to see!

  3. H

    I’ve been following this for a while as some of the situation parallels my own (and those Facebook rants sound so eerily familiar). Now I’m shocked anew by the fact that after claiming to be innocent and trying to make himself the victim, Saeed suddenly filed for divorce (without any biblical grounds, while remaining a “Christian”).

    Given his past behavior and an abuser’s tendency to control his victim and paint himself to be the victim, why would he do that? Is it a sign that he believes it’s just not going to work and he’s giving up? (Which I think would be a testament to the effectiveness of his wife’s boundary setting!) Do abusers tend to easily give up once it’s clear they won’t get what they want? I thought normally they would hold on as long as they can, full of delusion, being content to simply continue to frustrate their victims even if they can’t regain control over her.

    I’m wondering because my anti-husband just out of nowhere filed for divorce as well. I don’t think he knows how wonderful and full of God’s mercy this was to me, because if he knew, wouldn’t he withhold and force me to be the one to file just to make things harder for me? (That’s certainly what was happening up till now.)

    To me his actions were a sign of God’s mercy because my pastors don’t think I’m free to divorce or if I do, I should never remarry, but if HE divorces me, then I’m completely free. I disagree with them completely, but I was really struggling with the conflict with my pastors. I know my abuser was aware of the pastors’ position and he previously indicated he would make me be the one to divorce to punish me and for him to remain “innocent” in the matter. Then suddenly, it’s like I’m a toy he’s grown bored with, it’s time to cut his losses, and he files for divorce (though of course he’s still a “Christian”).

    What am I to think of this? Is there some new diabolical plot against me I’m not aware of yet, or has he found another victim so he wants me out of the way? I just can’t figure out what would be going on in his mind to prompt him to do that. Why in the world do abusers do what they do??

    • Hi H, I understand why you are wondering about the reason your husband suddenly filed for divorce when before he was so determined not to, in order to string you out…
      You asked:

      Do abusers tend to easily give up once it’s clear they won’t get what they want? I thought normally they would hold on as long as they can, full of delusion, being content to simply continue to frustrate their victims even if they can’t regain control over her.

      Sometimes they do, in my observation. They are never entirely predictable. Sometimes they change tack midstream because they get too lazy to pursue a tack they’d been taking before. Sometimes they seem to change tack just to disconcert their victim, to keep her on edge wondering why he has changed tack and what other tack he might suddenly take in the future, or whether he will just as suddenly switch back to his first tack…

      Perhaps he has a new girlfriend and wants to be able to tell her he is single, in order to entice her into getting serious with him. Perhaps God chose to simply change his mind so he would file for divorce — which as you say has been a merciful situation for you.
      Or perhaps your stb-ex was just being a ‘fool’ and dropped the ball for a change… the ball of torturing you by stringing you along in separation limbo… Who knows?

      Maybe he got the idea that if he filed for divorce he had a chance of getting a better financial settlement than if you were the one who filed. Sometimes abusers seem to get their legal advice from their mates in the pub, or from a relative who knows very little about the law, or from the guys on the Fathers Rights Groups sites who are mostly other abusive men…and who of course always are ‘experts’ on everything.

    • Anonymous

      Experience has taught me when abusers know we are on to them and their world is no longer neatly tied up in a package of secrecy, and things are being made public, and they can no longer “keep it together” we are of no further use to them. Their mind has already raced ahead, for another victim. They will discard us like a bag of trash.

      • Thanks for this, Anonymous! Your experience has taught you much wisdom!

    • My ex suddenly filed for divorce after doing everything he could for a very long time to keep me trapped. Without warning— or invitation of course— he came round one day and shouted across the yard, “If you don’t do something soon I’m going to get a divorce”. Then he immediately turned his back on me and left, without even saying what it was I had to do. I got the letter from his lawyer a couple of days later. It was all planned of course. He had another victim sorted out, and may well have been far advanced with actual wedding plans.

  4. Church Files Lawsuit to Determine Who Is Entitled to $200K Raised for Saeed Abedini’s Family
    – has just been published by The Christian Post. The article begins:

    A California church that raised nearly $200,000 to purchase a home for the family of Pastor Saeed Abedini while he was imprisoned for his faith in Iran in 2013 filed a lawsuit in order to settle a dispute over the money.

    Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, located in Yucca Valley, California, had raised the funds for Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two children who were living in Boise, Idaho. But matters became complicated following Abedini’s release from prison in January 2016 and the couple’s divorce proceedings.

    According to the lawsuit, the church claims that Abedini implicitly demanded that the funds be given to him. But given that he and his wife are now separated and that the church had collected donations to buy a house for Naghmeh and their children, the church says that “a substantial controversy exists concerning entitlement to the charitable donations.”

    “Plaintiff (Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel) cannot distribute the benefits because it cannot determine which of the competing claimants, if any, is entitled to the said funds,” the lawsuit states.

    • Anonymous

      Yep, things get messy when the abuser’s house of cards begin to collapse. My ex is continuing to lose financial support from many organizations/churches who for many years were lining his pockets for his ‘missionary’ work. The fog is lifting for some of his past supporters.

      Visible for many to now see is his thin veneer of righteousness along with his Mr. Christianity facade coming into question. His large-and-in-charge delusional made-up world of unreality seems to be slipping from his grasp.

      You just never know what their next move will be. They must work overtime to find new strategies for the same old cover-up. Or perhaps better said, the only thing that keeps them to the task is the task itself.

  5. Spiritual Sounding Board has just reported that TBN have ‘paused’ their relationship with Saeed Abedini because they didn’t like him speaking out against Franklin Graham.
    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/04/09/saeed-abedinis-strange-online-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-357074

    • NG

      Good. TBN is coming to their sense at least in this matter…

  6. JesusmyJoy

    I am so appreciate reading the articles and posts on this site. After the year we’ve had dealing with those we thought were our “Christian friends”, I am amazed by the continual insight and clarity that is revealed which relates directly to our own experience with those who mistreated their victim and duped us.

    • H

      Wow…. thanks Barbara for posting all these extra developments in the comments. It’s like watching a train wreck. Is it weird that I am seriously enjoying him being exposed as a greedy, selfish, self-important dude with his priorities all wrong? I mean, I’m not happy that he IS that way, for his family’s sake. That is a tragedy. But it’s wonderful that his true self is exposed. I’m probably projecting my own situation on to him… but oh, if only my own abuser could have such a public downfall! The truth comes out!

      • …oh, if only my own abuser could have such a public downfall!

        Yeah. But while most of our abusers haven’t had such a public downfall as Saeed Abedini, we can quietly feel a ‘neuronally mirrored’ feeling rather like what Naghmeh might feel one day about these developments…

        But I get the impression that because her divorce case is still to be finalised, Naghmeh’s probably not enjoying much of that sense of vindication yet, because she’s still in the thick of the legal process. And her quietness on social media may well relate to that. But if you’re reading this Naghmeh, be assured that we are supporting you in our thoughts and prayers. 🙂

  7. And here is what an Iranian Christian has just posted on SSB (link):

    Iranian Christian
    APRIL 12, 2017 @ 10:57 PM
    I apologize to our non-Iranian Christian brothers and sisters, and I just want to say Saeed does not represent the great work that God is doing among Iranian nation today.
    Iran is fastest growing Christian country and we owe it to the blood of martyrs like “Mehdi Dibaj” and “Haik Hovsepian Mehr” and many others who truly suffered ONLY for their faith.
    Sadly Saeed is not well-accepted in our Persian Christian community, since many who know him personally, know that he got himself into trouble wanting to end up in prison and become a hero.
    It is more of a cry for a platform, than a humble response to God’s call. Many Iranian pastors have tried to help him, but (just like his posts claim) he thinks of himself like Jesus or apostle Paul, and has not made himself accountable to anyone. his new mission seems to be “Exposing others and cleaning up the temple” with a “holy anger”. It breaks my heart that non-Iranians who have invested so much time in praying for him and his family, have to deal with this now. Only God can calm and humble a rebellious heart!

    • NG

      Thanks for this. It’s sad that Saeed has caused Iranian Christians to come under a questionable light, which is not fair towards them at all.
      Many, many Muslim background believers (whether Iranian, Arab, or any other origin) are humble, sincere, and willing to follow the Lord in loving other people.
      (take Nabeel Qureshi from Ravi Zacharias ministries, for example, currently battling cancer)

    • Misti

      I wonder, when non-Iranian churches sought to help Abedini, did they check with local churches about what had been done or offered already? It seems that a lot of headache could’ve been avoided if it hadn’t been assumed that non-Iranian churches necessarily had the best answer for his situation, that the local churches didn’t or couldn’t assist, themselves.

      Even so, as difficult as it is, the divorce laws here might well be a boon for his family. But the non-Iranian churches could well have recognized that rescue of his family as their target, rather than the inflating of the abuser’s pride. Doing so would’ve avoided so much headache.

  8. Anonymous

    By his own choosing, this wolf in sheep abuser Abedini has set himself up as an island unto himself; he will be accountable to NO ONE!! A VERY dangerous place to dwell.

    I was married to such a man and therefore had a front row seat to see his EVIL played out in ways that would leave me gasping for air. They take NO responsibility for their actions. The fault lies with everyone else but NEVER at their doorstep. And pastor Crippen nails it: those pretending to be religious ARE the most dangerous. Those of us who have escaped such a person, know the pure mercy of God’s amazing grace!!

    • NG

      Anonymous: Just today, I was thinking of the topic, and how I once met and was attracted to someone like that – very pious, good at preaching, knew the Bible inside out etc.. That person also was from a third world country and it came evident he was using his spirituality as means to advance his own ‘career’, to get recognition and position …
      Behind the facade was so much evil, hatred and contempt towards those he manipulated (Christians from wealthier nations, both East and West)..
      I was reminded of that when I read Naghmeh’s account how she met Saeed & was drawn to his strong preaching & witnessing ability. The same could have happened to me – thankfully, in my case, the person probably was ‘led’ to greener pastures, aka a more wealthy source of supply…
      Someone’s gifting means nothing, if the heart is cruel and cold. I learned my lesson, but it was tough… Aren’t we always taught to admire those who can preach, witness and teach the Word?! Seldom are there warnings about these wolves in sheeps clothing, who seek to impress Christian women praying for a godly husband.

      • Anonymous

        NG, does not take these predators long to figure out how to ‘work the system.’ They become quite skilled at sniffing out the rich and powerful to further advance their own evil agenda. And they know right where to look – they go after those who truly do love and serve the Lord.

        Because they seek power and control, THAT insatiable appetite is what fuels them and so they have plenty of reserve for what becomes their lifelong journey of duplicity and hypocrisy.

        Glad to hear you were spared in becoming prey for the Psalm 10 predator.

        We are learning! May we “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

  9. At our FB page Rick Friesen wrote this and I’m pasting it here because I think it was very good:

    I was just reading some of his garbage the other day. Typical rantings of an unhinged abuser exposed to show the emperor has no clothes. (Unhinged in the sense that sin has coused his mind and seared/depraved conscience to no longer be able properly discern reality. They have drunk the cool aid of their own self will and self deception.)

    • Anonymous

      John Gacy was a mass-murderer. He killed 40 or 50 young men. After he was convicted he was interviewed in prison. He was asked how he felt after he killed the first one. He said he was restless and troubled. He couldn’t sleep. He was asked how he felt after he killed the others. He said that he could often lie down and go to sleep beside the dead body of his victim. Therein lies the seared conscience of which Paul speaks.

      The Bible explains how a person’s conscience can actually go from being your prosecuting attorney to your defense attorney. That progression is lethal. Paul writes, “The requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” (Romans 2:15) This describes the process whereby man’s conscience stops accusing him, and actually begins defending his bad behavior.

  10. Anonymous

    Barbara, You’ve done a wonderful job of explaining the way that abusers act and speak. In his rant he uses the classic Christian-ese words and phrases that are typically accepted and perpetuated as biblical, but in the spirit in which they are used, actually turn them into anti-biblical rhetoric.

    Because so many abusers have used these same arguments in the past and have been “successful” in manipulating others with them, he has no idea how transparent and obvious he is to those of us awakened to the truth about an abusers-mindset. Thank you for following up and keeping us abreast of the latest information.

  11. Keeningforthedawn

    I’m a little late reading this (which, by the way is very well put together). I did visit Saeed’s Facebook page this afternoon, just to see for myself what was going on and being said. This April 15 post directly addresses the abuse “accusations” (as he calls them):

    Sounds like typical abuser damage control.

    • Bluest Eyes in Texas

      Interesting how Saeed’s grammar and syntax have suddenly improved in this Facebook post, compared to his recent comments.

  12. Anonymous

    Keeningforthedawn, Thank you so much for posting this here. I did what Saeed suggested and looked up what it means to have a “Jezebel Spirit.”

    The post on this ACFJ site: Jezebel as a picture of abuse, by Wendell

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