Holy Narcissist


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.

14 thoughts on “Holy Narcissist

  1. Emma says:

    Hello HG,

    I have some questions about NPD and faith / religion.

    The narcissist I was involved with came from a Christian background, the parents being very into bible study groups, church charity stuff etc. I believe he did not know about the concept of NPD but he was certainly aware of his behavior and the manipulations he was deploying. I have always wondered how he internally reconciled his abusive behavior, the lying and cheating, with the moral code of his faith.

    I know several clergy whom I believe to be narcissists, they have no awareness whatsoever of the glaring discrepancy between what they preach and their own behavior. Their narcissism conveniently blinds them but I think the aware narcissist must find some way to internally reconcile his behavior with the moral code of his faith right?

    I would like to ask you some questions to further my understanding, I hope you can help with shedding some light on this subject.

    1-Have you been raised within a faith?

    2- Do you believe in the existence of a higher power? I mean other than yourself.

    3- If you do believe, how do you reconcile your abusive behavior with the moral code of that higher power/ your faith? Do you fear retribution in that regard? If you don’t believe, could you make an educated guess how someone like my former narcissists would internally rationalize things?

    4- If you have been raised within a certain faith and if you do not believe in the existence of a higher power anymore, I am assuming you must have come to reject the faith of your upbringing at some point. If that is indeed the case, how, why and when did it happen?

    5- Do you believe in an afterlife, some form of continuity or do you believe death ends all?

    6- I believe Mother Teresa was a narcissist, would you agree?

    Thank you in advance.


    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Emma,

      1. Yes.
      2. Only when it suits me too.
      3. I do not fear retribution. When you die that’s it.
      4. When I saw the rampant hypocrisy of those who peddle having moral authority when they are abusers. Further, no higher power came to my rescue when I was being abused. I came to my rescue.
      5. See above.
      6. I agree.

      As for internal moral reconciliation, I suppose this happens in a sense but it is not a conscious one. There is a reconciliation, the narcissism achieves that, but the narcissist has no conscious reconciliation because either
      a. They just do not see what they have done or are doing as “wrong”
      b. The understand society sees it as wrong but there is a valid reason, a justification for it which overrides any moral penalty (or indeed legal one).

      1. Emma says:

        Thank you HG, your answers are very helpful and confirm my intuitions.

        So if I understand it correctly, the moral code / society says: though shall not lie and cheat, the narcissist does it anyway, in the case of an aware narcissist, he even knows he does it, but he does not see it as something wrong because he feels he has a valid reason for doing, namely to meet his own needs, which is always primary. Correct?

        Regarding point 4, I agree, witnessing rampant hypocrisy does indeed cure one out of a believe system. Do you remember at what age you saw through the hypocrisy?

        You sure did came to your own rescue HG and you have been most successful at surviving the horrors of your past. It is an immense achievement you can be really proud of. I just wish for you that you could also be free.


        1. HG Tudor says:

          Your understanding is correct and you are welcome.

          I do not recall a precise age.

          Thank you. I am free, I do as I please.

          1. Emma says:

            Thank you for the confirmation HG. I guess I am starting to understand the mechanism, but really understanding it is still difficult. From my point of view, there is no reconciliation, there is no internal integrity, the only governing principle that seems to rule the narcissist is the need for fuel. I recognize the truth of it but still find it difficult to wrap my head around it.

            By the way, also good to have Mother Teresa confirmed by the authority. Just mind blowing how she preached her whole life about the love of God and the love of Jesus all the while confessing in her dairies she never experienced any of it. That is some high level faking and emulation.

            Regarding being free, yes, doing as you please is indeed freedom. In your statement however you seem to leave out the most important part: You do as you please in order to get fuel. That is not the same thing. There is no freedom in addiction. You are an intelligent man. I think you do understand.


  2. Witch says:

    It makes perfect sense that narcissists would be attracted to a position of power, where they will be venerated by loyal followers whom they are free to praise, punish and triangulate as they wish. Many smaller cults are also started by narcissists. Aleister Crowley was a narcissist. Funnily enough when I did a tarot reading on my ex narc, the card that represents aleister Crowley came up as his card.

  3. Chihuahuamum says:

    Hi HG…i was watching a polygamy reality series last night and wondered if youd consider doing a write up on the flds leader jeff warrens who is in prison. He is clearly a religious narcissist!

  4. EmP says:

    Hi HG, do you think Pope Francis ‘the smiling granddad’ is a narcissist?
    And what about his predecessors, Benedict and John Paul?
    Just wondering…thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have not analysed them EmP so cannot state with sufficient accuracy.

      1. EmP says:

        Understood, thanks!

  5. Thriving says:

    I would have to leave that one, don’t think I could ever fight (and win) against a Holy Narcissist! Wow! Eye opening read. Thank u!

  6. enso says:

    I see it exactly the way you described it above.
    I have got two questions:
    1 the “ordinary” “holy narcissist” –
    is he self-aware?
    2 What are his weaknesses?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. What do you mean by ordinary? Most narcissists do not know what they are.
      2. Reliance on fuel, the ability to be wounded, potentially poor control of ignited fury (depends on the relevant school of narcissist).

    2. ava101 says:

      enso, my father had certainly no self awareness at all.
      My mother is “holy” when it suits her. So, God knows about her awareness. But I suspect she truly is convinced to be better than other people.
      Doubt their God given place / position above you and you will see their weaknesses …

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