Holy Narcissist

holy

The holy narcissist is one of the especially effective members of the narcissistic brethren. The attraction of religion but moreover being a member of the clergy carries with it considerable advantages for those of our kind who manage to install themselves within organised religion.

The holy narcissist is nigh on impeachable. What better authority can there be for always being right, always having the high ground and always being revered than as an instrument of God? The holy narcissist has the supreme power in his corner and a book full of phrases and sentences that he can turn to in support of his wisdom. He is here to do good work and by virtue of his position he is assumed to be truthful, kind, compassionate and empathic. The holy narcissist has one of the most effective facades one might hope to see amongst our kind. His is not a façade which has to be worked at through the careful application of community works, diligent industry at work and all round good guy in the neighbourhood. No, the holy narcissist has centuries of instilled goodness to drape around him in an impenetrable cloak of goodness. He has saints and apostles marching behind him, archangels hovering above him, charitable works to point to, the salvation of the sick, the poor and the needy, all woven into this vast façade.

Once he joins the clergy he can avail himself of this façade in an instant. There is no steady and incremental accumulation of the veneer of respectability like the rest of our kind but instead it is akin to placing a cloak around himself and immediately he has a façade and not just a façade, but perhaps the ultimate façade on which to rely.

He is the embodiment of goodness, God’s word flows through him and as such he can act with unquestionable authority. He has zealots ready to support him and to shout down the heretics. Even though organised religion may not wield the power that it once did, one would be foolish to underestimate its effect still. Even those who do not believe and readily bait and insult those who do, are likely to think twice before attacking a man of the cloth. They wear God’s armour and the indoctrination of people, even those who have rejected the notion of such a being, means they would hesitate before launching some kind of attack against a member of the clergy. I have seen it happen. Those who are vociferous in all other aspects still show a deference to that dog collar.

A position in religion appeals greatly to our kind. You are blessed with an instant authority. You have scriptures, texts and readings which are used as a form of law to castigate mortal man and thus allow the holy narcissist to maintain superiority. There are grand and ornate ceremonies which the holy narcissist is the centre of. He dresses differently from the simplicity of the Catholic black which distinguished from others in the community to the papal splendour of the man (almost) at the top. Decadence, shiny and glittering decadence abounds and he even is able to stand at preach at his fellow man and woman. How does he do so? From the elevated position of the pulpit. Proof, if proof were needed that he is greater than those around him and finds himself part way between heaven and earth.

Where confession plays a part he is able to absorb the sins of his worshippers. The narcissist always needs to know and of course knowledge is power. Being privy to the foibles, sins and vulnerabilities of someone on the other side of that screen (who is of course readily known) vests considerable power in the holy narcissist. He is able to scold and upbraid and is thanked for doing so. He doles out devaluation on a daily basis and is met with the grateful thanks of those who seek absolution.

Should you offend him you are not just discarded but you are banished, made a pariah and few can smear you so darkly as one who apparently operates from the side of light. Step out of line with the holy narcissist and see how quickly the community is mobilised against you. You are snubbed at church (if you dare to appear) and this tarring and feathering leaks out into the community as a whole as the holy narcissist does not just have a coterie but he has a congregation. He does not just have Lieutenants, he has vergers and sextons, he has bishops and archbishops who will close ranks and turn their backs on those who speak ill of one of their own.

Try to speak out and expose the holy narcissist and he will describe you as ‘troubled’ and that he will pray for you, further advancing how filled with goodness he is and there must be something seriously wrong and deviant with you if you are resorting to making accusations against  man of the cloth.

The holy narcissist has a position of considerable privilege. An ancient and powerful institution which resolutely supports him, the commanding word of God to dispense, the impressive façade and always the capacity to exploit a person’s fear of their own mortality. As it has been stated before, there were no atheists in the trenches. When the chips are down you either call out to God or your mother, usually both. When you know that despite all appearances, a person still has that need to call on a higher power when they are in fear, this places you in a powerful position.

This position comes with many benefits but the most attractive of all is the congregation. A loyal, devout conclave of fuel. Those who attend services, hold coffee mornings, raise collections, operate soup kitchens and so forth are the foot soldiers of empathy. They are inherently good people who care, who are honest and decent and they wish to exhibit their goodness through good acts and deeds. How they respond and light up when the holy narcissist moves amongst them thanking them for their endeavours. Their faces turn to the holy narcissist, rapt with delight, fuel gushing for them as the holy narcissist sweeps through his worshippers, drinking deep of their admiration, their love and their compassion. It is these people who are doing the dirty work, standing in the cold shaking a collecting tin, feeding down and outs in the less desirable areas of the city and walking mile upon mile to gather donations for the charity shop or food parcels. The holy narcissist will tap into this collective goodness and bolt it on to his façade. He will front the mission’s work, the output as he receives the earnest thanks of the disadvantaged and yet more fuel.

This congregation will round on transgressors, they will offer up delicious fuel as a host of secondary sources which has the holy narcissist positively drenched in the positive fuel. With firebrand enthusiasm, the holy preacher will set his sights on those who apparently do evil and will contentedly draw their ire and the associated negative fuel. He is unswayed. The Big Man has his back and with that it is ever onwards Christian soldiers. No matter what form this religion might take, there will always be holy narcissists in their numbers. There is so much that appeals and accords with the narcissist that organised religion will always attract our kind. The ready availability of unquestionable moral authority which is plated and welded to the narcissistic mind set of superiority, omnipotence and grandiosity makes for a heady concoction indeed. Many struggle to escape the clutches of a holy narcissist and if they do not comply, they are hammered into submission by one of the master strokes of organised religion, the concept of guilt.

Empathic individuals are burdened by guilt and with a book full of quotations that support this construct, the holy narcissist has a field day as he exploits this inherent trait of those who he deals with. You must never question him but you must question yourself because you are prone to sin, you are weighed down by guilt and therefore it is always your fault. It is manna from heaven for the narcissist. Everything about organised religion either elevates him or provides him with a set of tools and methods for keeping his congregation and worshippers submissive, appreciative and loyal. He is able to call on near total dedication and loyalty and if the occasional member strays out of line he has the means and the clerical muscle to either bring them back under his control or banish them into the wilderness. Exerting such control and being able to reap the fuel rewards demonstrates how supine his congregation becomes when it is in the hands of the holy narcissist.

No wonder it is referred to as his flock.

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44 thoughts on “Holy Narcissist”

  1. Would you mind writing an article on the altruistic narcissist? I find this type really difficult for survivors because in between stages/discards they appear SO loving, caring and empathetic (i.e. Massages, loving acts, help with career goals, household duties). It essentially creates confusion and dependency that is disguised as compassion and remorse for the horrible times.

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      1. Jday,
        I have not heard of such a thing…..I will Google.
        HG,
        Hmmmm….yes should prove an interesting read. Would this not just be a respite back to the golden period? Or is this actually a category for narcissism?

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      2. It could be ABB dependent on the context. This sits alongside the Masochistic Narcissist (not in the sexual sense) but linked to the idea of control. I shall be writing about both.

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      3. I’m interested to read your take. In an effort to learn more, I did google. I laughed bc one of the traits is that the N will loudly proclaim what wonderful deeds they’ve done while cutting down their target. I know people like that. Rebuttal from that is who needs to proclaim their good deeds…that isn’t altruistic. Credit to Google Search.

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    1. Yes, I’m interested in knowing what you have to say about this type of Narcissist too. Thanks for the suggestion, Jday! 🙂

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  2. This was stated perfectly. As I read I kept thinking that you had read my childhood diary. Thanks very much for bringing this group into the discussion. Best.

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  3. Hi HG Tudor ☺You are speaking truth here about these kind of people but they are religious people not true Christians who humbly follow their God and Saviour Jesus Christ and live by the Bible. They are like the Pharisees of the Old. They don’t know God nor follow God’s commandments .. even Jesus had problems with such people .. Sad anyways. .😊 Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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    1. Carmenirlanda, maybe the Pharisees were the original narcs! Pharisee is a very good description for my Holy Narc. I guess it goes back to the scripture that there is nothing new under the son. Just think, Jesus actually warned us about narcs!

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  4. I’m curious about other types of spirituality/religion. My ex, after I discovered the “first” affair (first I knew about – I know), went on this big spiritual quest and became a “Buddhist” but in name only really. He talked the talk and went to meditation classes every week, occasional one day retreat, meditated most days, had a shrine etc. but blind Freddy could see that he wasn’t authentic.

    As soon as I kicked him out he stopped it all.

    What was the point of all that? Oh wait… Fuel?

    But was it positive and admiring and deferential fuel from impressed onlookers and me? Was it also the engineering of a shield that framed him as fallen man come good?

    Probably just answered my own question yes? Too good a teacher HG.

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  5. Oh this really interested me HG.

    I came from a very religious home. I realised from quite a young age that the church was not as it seemed. As a young teen I point blank refused to keep going. My mother thought ‘I’ was the epitome of all evil and gave me the silent treatment for months. How can anyone even do that ??

    On another note (think I may have told this one before but it makes me laugh so I’ll say it again).

    When my sister’s (also an N married to a pure P) son was christened as a baby, the cleric put holy water on him. And he literally screamed the place down, my husband whispered in my ear, “It’s hurting him, it’s hurting him”.

    He is now much older and has been diagnosed with ‘ODD’ which is the precursor to conduct disorder, the precursor to being a full blown N or P.

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  6. My narcissistic father used to be a baptist pastor and my mother believes till this day that he was enlightened. While I recall exactly one occasion where he acrually read scripture and that was when my mother made him to read to us *lol*.
    I met my ex- narcissist at a spritual occult group ()in the tradition of the golden dawn). Same thing. As you write: I made it extra easy for him because I foolishly automatically assumed that hewas honest, spiritual, and interested in the welfare of mankind.
    Anyways, it would be an interesting read if you could write something on narcissistic groups / organisations / companies and also about narcissists in groups (when there are several in the same group and their behavior is widely accepted if not looked up to).
    I think there are groups and companies which act and treat their members in a narcissistic way by their rules and conduct. And I believe many religious groups are that way. Especially also where there are worships of gurus. I travelled all the way to india just to experience the same kind of holy narcissistic behavior by my meditation teacher. Heard worse things from others.
    Thank you.

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      1. Thank you! 🙂 Looking forward to that.
        Your insight has been tremendously helpful to me so far.
        It is spooky how my ex-narc is exactly in every way you describe.
        But also my involvement (or aquaintance) with narcs in groups involved with animal rights and veganism, and companies with a false inflated image, fake references, treating people working for them in icecold, manipulative, and discarding fashion.

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  7. HG, have u personally encountered a narcissistic clergy person? If so, how does that influence your relationship with that pastor or church community? Are u jealous of the fuel the pastor extracts? Do u have or desire to have an important position within your church? This leads to another question I’ve been wondering about…how do Ns manage to play nice together? For example, on the job, in the community? Is there a hierarchy that develops ? Do u avoid one another?

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    1. Hello No Narcs, yes I have. I do not desire an important position within my church but I naturally would relish the fuel that is provided by a willing and admiring congregation.
      We don’t necessarily play nice, Lesser and Mid-Range do not know what they are and do not recognise our kind, thus they will behave in similar ways to the way they interact with non-narcissist with some differences as identified in the articles When Narcissists Collide Pts One and Two.

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  8. HG! 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿 On point! I believe that Narc Pastors have truly not given their lives to Christ because of their fake self. To be a true Christian/ religious you have accept Christ and believe that he is the son of God… but if you are fake and not true to yourself you truly can’t say you’re a Christian….. that’s me ranting on…. HG! Some fuel for you! I give you a full tank….👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿 Thx Love…

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  9. Perfection and spot on. The narc in my life is a minister and is a complete fake. It is the perfect profession for a narc because it renders them untouchable.
    Thank you, HG for this article. I have purchased 6 of your books and read them. I plan to read them all. Luckily, I am the narcs supervisor. I just finished revenge last night. We are off work for two weeks and I plan to be prepared when returning. I had already successfully implemented no contact (as much as possible). I gave him new job responsibilities (of less importance) and requiring accountability(which he has never had). He has been fired from multiple churches before obtaining a secular job.
    Again…thank you for your articles and books. I am a true empath and was at rock bottom and barely functioning about six months ago. I have come a long way, baby!

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    1. Thank you Shesheb I appreciate you letting me know and I am pleased that you have found my work of use to you. You sound to me like you are seizing the power.

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  10. Yep to another written masterpiece. Another reason I won’t go to church. Even when I made my first confession, I knew something was fishy. I could tell the priest’s voice. I mumbled something about saying the fuck word and was given penance of 10 our fathers. Lol. It didn’t work, obviously.

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  11. This is why I don’t believe in religion, all I see is a man made version to be worship.
    Soon after my discard I was in a discussion with a man that at first I wonder if it was you HG, yet he would tell me just enough and I would go research myself and then come back and we would discuss what I found. He pretty much told me you won’t learn anything if you don’t do the work. True statement. He had a talent for pissing people off, yet he was right in what he was saying. I came to respect this man.
    Lol this man lives in the U.K., and no I know it’s not you now.
    I grew up in a family of narcissist and then was married off into another family, yet it was the Christian man that hurt me the deepest.
    It was the lies I told myself that actually hurt me, not him. I won’t blame another for the choices I make knowing darn well I was playing with fire.

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  12. I grew up in the Catholic Church and when I had kids I took my daughter to CCD classes and when she was in eighth grade and getting ready to make her confirmation I walked out of a meeting for the preparations and never went back. They were hypocritical. I got the riot act for not attending every Sunday and not giving enough of my time. I thought how can they treat people like that after they sit and preach to people how to be kind and accepting. I didn’t want to be around that anymore.
    My preschool has classrooms inside a Christian church and I have observed many types there. There is soooo much drama and like Jaded says there is so much fakery there too. I just found out that one of the elders who just left was trying to get my boss to recruit me for a threesome. UNBELIEVABLE to me.
    And at my school Christmas program a few weeks ago I noticed a man walking around. I didn’t know if he was parent or what but kept watching him. I don’t reach out and just talk to anyone anymore. He watched me and I felt uncomfortable with his eyes following me. After the program I went to talk to the teacher I work with and she was talking to him. He asked how long I had worked with her and I then realized he was the new boss. He bragged about how he ran a million dollar company and how he could eat all the cookies and not gain weight. He went on and on and I got that feeling. I will stay far away from him. He has an agenda. That church is full of people with an agenda. And you are right when you go against the pastor or the higher up they can get rid of you by smearing you. I just saw that too first hand. The got rid of one of the teachers and the youth pastor. No evidence and it was made to look like they were horrible people.

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  13. HG, this is the best description of my ex-narc yet! The only difference is that we are not Catholic, we are evangelical Christians. We changed churches a few times. Each time he became a powerful leader somehow. Sometimes worship leader, sometimes deacon, etc. When he asked for divorce, he made sure to talk to all the church leaders behind my back. If anyone is contemplating leaving a religious narc, they need to do their homework in here first. I wish I had. I think it is possible to minimize damage to yourself and your kids if it is done with knowledge and careful planning. Again thank you HG for all of the knowledge. My 13 year old son is benefiting greatly because now that I have understanding, I am no longer an emotional mess, and we are having a lot of fun together again!! For others out there with a holy narc…You can regain your life back. Don’t loose hope.

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  14. It is sad, there are more sheep following man then what or who they believe they follow.
    He called them sheepeople when alone.
    God and the devil, cant have one with out the other.

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  15. Since reading your articles, HG, I’m learning that my oldest brother is a Narc (Greater), along with my mother (Victim) and my middle brother (Lesser). I used to think I was closest with my oldest brother until he started preaching to me to forgive and forget all the crap my middle brother had put me through growing up. I must note that my oldest brother used to consider himself an Atheist, until his late 20’s, when he did a complete 180 and started attending church, faithfully, and becoming a Deacon of the Catholic church. I asked him what made him all of a sudden change his mind and decide the Catholic church (we were raised Catholic, but never attended) was the true church for him. He told me, while meditating, he saw his life before he was born, and the men he saw surrounding him were all dressed like Catholic priests. He also said, he saw himself (as a spirit) pleading with them not to make him come to earth because it was an evil place to live. He said, no matter how much he didn’t want to come here, “the priests” told him he had no choice, there was work he needed to do. I thought it all sounded far fetched, but whatever, I accepted his answer. When we reached our mid 30’s, he called me one day telling me I needed to be the bigger person and forgive my middle brother for all he had done to me over the years. No matter how much I tried expressing to him that I had been the bigger person my entire life, overlooking the abuse committed towards me, he still kept persisting that I forgive him and stop living in the past. I told him, if the past wasn’t still my present, I could forgive and move on, but once my middle brother decided it was okay to go off on my daughter that was when I drew the line. So, because my oldest brother kept pressuring me into forgiveness, I finally said, “if it’s so easy to forgive and forget, why don’t you forgive our dad for leaving when you were four years old” and that’s when he hung up the phone and we’ve haven’t spoken since. I have no plans of ever contacting him because, the way I see it, if he can’t practice what he preaches then there is no place for him in my life. I think it’s really interesting how he can counsel others within the church, yet he has nothing to do with me, my brother (the one he tried forcing me to forgive) or my mom. He tries making contact, through texting, with my kids, but I just see it as his way of hoovering now. Granted, we’ve had a f**ked up family our entire lives, but for someone to take the position he has within the church and not be “the bigger person” then, to me, he is far from ever being God like and he’s probably really disappointing those priests who forced him to come to this evil place.

    Thanks again, HG, for another great article!!!

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  16. Oh, and when I was going through my own personal hell with the ex-MN, and my older brother knew about it from my mom, where was his Christ like help then? The way I see it, HG, is you’re the only one I see as being Christ like by graciously helping me and others of my kind. May God Bless You and Your Soul!!!

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  17. My narc is religious. He doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex. Yet he had sex with me, telling me he loved me. Afterwards, he said it’s a sin and that we need to stop. I later find his profile on a casual sex website. HG, why would he tell me it’s s sin but then engage in casual sex with pple he meets online? Thank you.

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  18. Lol – I am a member of one of those old conservative Hymn singing churches, like Anglican, Methodist, etc.

    I love going to Church, singing hymns, listening to choirs and good preaching, but there are many times when I choose to just stay at home and don’t attend service…why?

    The Church is crawling with Narcs – all three types, but I think mainly the Mid-range and Greater Narcs. They really do shine in the Church setting, and if you are an empath, you are doomed from the word go.

    If you are a female empath,esp. if you sort of look educated and successful, your Narc females will seek you out for friendships and fellowship – even females who are much older or younger than you. I was shocked by this… I now create a simple neither-here-nor-there look for church, I don’t want to stand out and be noticed, but they still pick me out. It’s exhausting.

    Add to it the fact that I grew up in a very toxic Christian family, with a violent raging father and a manipulative mother. Did I mention she’s a church elder, and that all my 4 Narc siblings serve in the church in one way or the other? I don’t know how I turned out to be an empath – but I know that I am as co-dependant as they as they come. (But, I am an educated co-dependant / empath. I now run away from Narcs, literally. lol. Sniff them out and avoid them like the devil himself).

    If you are a young female – beware the sexual predator. You may just find yourself having multiple affairs in the church.

    I think I now totally understand why people who’ve had nasty experiences in the church prefer to listen to preachings at home, instead of going physically to the church. Not that televangelists aren’t on the Narc spectrum – but at least you are not in physical contact with the congregation, reducing the risk of being targeted by a ‘holy frenemy.’

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