Spiritual Narcissism

A Transcribed Talk by Melanie Tonia Evans

“Welcome to Thriver TV, the place to break free from narcissistic abuse with quantum tools and understandings, and this topic today has been a confusing one for many people- those who have encountered a narcissist in religious or spiritual settings. And in today’s Thriver TV episode I’m going to explain to you what a spiritual narcissist is, what they do, how to spot them, and how we can heal from them. And even if you’ve ever been abused by spiritual narcissist, please know that there are people in this community who’ve encountered a sickened or beyond narcissist in their life, so this information is pretty important to know.

I remember personally when I met narcissist number one, I was so mesmerized by his spiritual slant which was his interest in red Indian artifacts and his seemingly spiritual beliefs and application to life and it was a huge draw card for me. Back then I thoroughly believed that if someone was spiritual it meant that they were a really good person and someone who could be trusted to treat others with care, honesty and respect. And I’m not the only one who thought this and who has been taken down by someone who is a spiritual narcissist. And I fell for it again with narcissist number two another supposed spiritual guy who was also into personal development. Okay so pause this video if this has happened to you too and scroll down and share with me there’s many of us out there that fell for this.

Since this time I’ve been connected into this community with many people who’ve been abused by spiritual or religious narcissists, ranging all the way from church ministers and worshippers who have incredible spiritual- scripture knowledge, through to Eastern and personal development gurus and an endless assortment of spiritual healers and followers. The moral to this story is twofold- narcissists can be found in any walk of life even those that seem to be positions of decent and spirituality or even holy purity, but just because someone is a practitioner of consciousness, religion, spirituality or healing does not necessarily mean that they are at their core, a healthy, safe or decent person. One of the Christian community members once said this about this topic “I think it’s very important to mention that the church is certainly not immune from narcissists and like all narcissists, the ones in the church create immense and excruciating pain and damage.” And what can be so confusing and painful is that the church’s process may be to pray for the relationship and the narcissistic person and stay connected to them…

I’ve met many people being abused by narcissists caught up in this bind of not feeling supported by the church to leave this person while systematically being abused, smeared and triangulated by the narcissist within the church structures.

I personally truly don’t believe God or any version that you believe to be a higher power condones abuse.

My Christian girlfriend had this to say about the same: “please know that God himself never demands anyone stay in abuse and he has in fact called us to live in peace- I Corinthians:7, which is the opposite of abuse.” If married to a spiritually abusive narcissist you are not bound as a marriage covenant has been destroyed through unrepentant abuse. Thankfully what I have observed as a result of Christian community members working with now, that there have been many abused by religious spouses, who have been able to break away from the abuser and fully heal as well as make amends with the church or find another church where they’ve been welcomed with open arms as a result of doing the inner work.

Why is it actually not unusual for narcissist to infiltrate positions such as religious leaders and prominent spiritual positions? It’s this- narcissist gravitate to positions of leadership whereby they have audiences or followers because this is where they can glean a narcissistic supply- the adoration and attention and acclaim that narcissist crave. This person may have a huge presence of congregation or devotees and be incredibly well-known in their field yet the private and the public persona don’t match. Additionally it’s human conditioning to trust and believe in our leaders, and because this person has the trust of people they may not just be abusing people in their private lives, they may also abuse their followers or clients in any number of ways. This can be easy for them to do undetected because often people seek spiritual relief because they’re vulnerable and spiritual leaders tend to be above reproach more than most people.

Spiritual abuse is incredibly insidious because when we believe that we’re in the hands of the divine, we’re so open and trusting almost with a childlike innocence, the brutality of the abuse can feel like we are a lamb led to a slaughter.

This is consistent whether this person is a parent, family member a love partner or your healer guru or preacher. When narcissists are very dangerous and use formidable weapons to abuse with is when spiritual or biblical verses are used and twisted into whatever argument is necessary for them to prove a point, reduce the victim, and gain superiority and control over them. One Christian community member shared there’s about this topic: “these people possess a toxic faith which is twisted and they engage in deep spiritual abuse, using the Bible as a weapon to control, hurt and shame, rather than to inspire and encourage. Twisting scriptures out of context is common, and using the Bible to silence by instilling fear and terror, are some of the methods. Religious and spiritual narcissists alike will tell you that they are right because they are spiritual and that you’re wrong because you are not at their level of spirituality in connection to God or the universe yet. Spiritual narcissists may also use spiritual jargon supposedly directly from God or the universe as a means to love bomb you- saying things like “I saw you in a dream where I was told that you were my soul mate and I had a vision and was told to pursue you because it’s God’s will for us to be together.” If we are mesmerized by this person supposed or real spiritual knowledge and skills and totally trusting of them, we may believe this to be true and think “divinity knows best,” and go along with this, even if our gut is squirming to the contrary inside us.

Ian from High Fidelity

Tim Robbins as “Ian” in the 2000 film High Fidelity in his role as a spiritual narcissist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA9gPtWDiww


The huge contradiction for a spiritual narcissist is that they may have incredible head knowledge about their religion or healing path- yet they don’t embody these things in their own life. They certainly don’t practice what they preach and can be incredibly righteous and even damning and highly judgmental of others, of course often as a projection of what they do themselves.

Ok so this is the thing, if you are suffering abuse from the spiritual narcissist- you have to start trusting your inner being rather than what an authority is telling you. This is the age of awakening where so many of us are empowering ourselves via our own inner being and information- that we can freely seek ourselves rather than what we’ve been told to believe. So many of us are doing this now, whether it be regarding health and diet, financial freedom, relationships, whatever it is- so many of the old paradigms are crumbling and they need to. I’m not saying that we should be throwing out religion or spirituality, I just really do believe that our inner being is our truest connection to God or whatever your version of a higher power is. So if you feel uneasy or if something feels wrong, back yourself, investigate and confront- and above all trust yourself. If you are in the presence of a spiritual or religious person where you feel shamed, abused or violated- this says it all it isn’t right or healthy for you.

This is the biblical verse about this: “watch out for false prophets they come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” which is a Matthew verse. That’s so so true like with all narcissistic abuse, it’s the inner transformational work on our wounds that allows us to survive and then thrive as we go forward after abuse. So if this relates to you or someone you love, the terrible trauma a spiritual abuse- don’t dismay. Because there is powerful healing and life after spiritual abuse available for you. The first step to access relief, clarity and healing can start by signing up to my free day recovery course which includes an invitation to a healing workshop with me where we start shifting your trauma out, a set of e-books and lots more. To access these just click the link at the top right of this video. And if you want to see more videos make sure you like and subscribe so you get notified as soon as each new one is released. And as always I look forward to responding to your comments and your questions- so until next time, keep smiling keep healing and keep thriving because there’s nothing else to do! Lots of love, bye bye.”



Blog Author’s Comment– Thankfully all of this harm and abuse under the guise of trusted traditions and religious people, is being brought to light globally, and the UN is getting involved with exposing the global clergy coverups. And, it’s certainly not only limited to Christians. We all need to be aware of those in position of power who are religious abusers, New Age gurus or anyone who justifies control, harm, abuse and exploitation as permissible, or covers for this conduct in themselves or others. We just can no longer use our social positions of trust or doctrine, to hurt others. I have been personally working for over a decade toward this cause to protect those like myself who have been harmed in these milieus. A new dawn toward real ethics, inner wisdom and genuine, benevolent spirituality is emerging, once we can shed these old ways.


or try the cached copy:


Vatican Image, Permission of Creative Commons

1 reply
  1. Dawn Boiani-Sandberg
    Dawn Boiani-Sandberg says:

    So many beloved friends have been hurt and betrayed by their gurus, teachers and sanghas, may we co-heal and awaken together, my heart to yours. 💕💕💕


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply