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Identifying the Predator: Spiritual, Financial, and Sexual Abusers

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Identifying the Predator: Spiritual, Financial, and Sexual Abusers

There are common traits, common behaviors in human predators of all kinds. Spiritual scammers often operate the same way and use the same methods as other types of criminal con artists, batterers, and rapists. These different kinds of abuse often blend into each other.

A liar doesn’t just tell falsehoods/lies to strangers or only in certain situations. A liar routinely lies to everyone. In the same way, a spiritual fraud is not just a spiritual liar. He or she will always lie about other things as well.

Understanding these patterns of deceit among abusers and rapists gives us direct insight into the patterns of spiritual frauds. The following points are offered specifically about the patterns of physical abusers but the parallels to spiritual exploiters should be clear. The aim of this post is to help people in spotting frauds before they can do harm, and to help those who have been harmed find help.

1.   Abusers are charming and tend to be very skilled at social manipulation.
2.   They are skilled liars. They will also declare they are very honest and honorable but their actual actions will show otherwise.
3.   They are in control of their actions, not out-of-control. They do not harm everyone they meet. They are very careful to abuse people they feel confident they can get away with harming, such as wives/girlfriends, children, “apprentices,” or those they are “instructing” ceremonially. Substance abuse may increase their aggression but you should never accept being high/drunk as an excuse for their actions. They are far more in control of their actions than they let on and they also harm their victims when sober.
4.   They blame others for their behavior. “The abuser shifts responsibility for his actions away from himself and onto others, a shift that allows him to justify his abuse because the other person supposedly "caused" his behavior.” The fact is, abusing another person is a choice. It is the fault of no one but the abuser.
5.   While “friends” and acquaintances will be subjected to manipulation, lies and sometimes emotional abuse, usually only the abuser’s intimate partners and immediate family will see the monstrous side of them. Abusers are very invested in their public image, and will use acquaintances to lie for them and/or pass on their lies in their defense. They will spend a great deal of time lying to non-intimate “friends” to lay a false trail of misdirection and alibis. On the internet and in long-distance phone calls, it is particularly easy for abusers to construct a good front for their online friends who may never meet them in person.
6.   Abusers specialize in finding out your vulnerabilities. In the beginning they will tell you how special you are. They will encourage you to confess your fears and vulnerabilities, and they will make a good show of being vulnerable themselves (even though it is just an act and built on lies). They do this to make you emotionally dependent on them, and so later they can use these things to harm and manipulate you.
7.   They will seem too good to be true. And they are.

There is a common misconception that predators and abusers are easy to spot, that they display obvious signs of their predatory nature. While there are warning signs to look out for (linked below), predators have carefully tailored their disguises through their years of abusing others and getting away with it.

If predators weren’t skilled at convincing potential victims and supporters that they’re a nice guy (and those who commit physical abuse are overwhelmingly male), they wouldn’t be successful at what they do. They’ve learned how to fool and manipulate people. It’s their profession. If they weren’t good at fooling people, they would have moved on to some other way of making a living by now. By the time an abuser is middle-aged or elderly, they are very experienced at it; they are not going to change.

Abusive behavior usually starts after the victim has made an emotional, spiritual, and/or financial commitment to the predator. Abuse usually starts right after some milestone: moving in together, getting married, pregnancy, or the birth of the first child. With spiritual predators, it’s often once the victim has made a ceremonial commitment and/or given the predator a large amount of money. Once that investment on the part of the victim is there, the predator knows the victim will be hesitant to throw away all that time and effort they’ve invested in the relationship. By that point the abuser has probably also isolated the victim from other sources of support and information, and has made sure the victim sees them as the unquestionable source of the truth.

The vast majority of rapists don’t hang out in alleys to commit “stranger” rape. “Over 70% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows. Over 40% of sexual assaults occur in the victim's home and another 30% take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative.”

If you’ve been abused, there is help available. Once you know the patterns to look for, abusers are much easier to spot. Remember, if someone has harmed you, you can bet there are other victims out there. If everyone who has been abused speaks up, the world will change. Those who work the hotlines, who counsel victims of domestic violence and other forms of sexual and spiritual abuse, have heard it all before. They will recognize your story. They won't be shocked and you don't have to be ashamed. The patterns are all too common.

Web Resources

No Nonsense Self-Defense is an excellent site with many informative articles. Among them:
* Profile of a Rapist (or a stalker, or an abuser):
* Stalking/Domestic Violence:

Domestic Violence: In the Mind of the Abuser:

Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality:

Myths and Facts about Sexual Assault:
(“Myth: Women frequently "cry rape". Fact: The FBI reports that false accusations account for only 2% of all reported sexual assaults. This is no higher than false reports for any other crime.”)

Patterns of Emotional Abuse:

Be Alert To Common Traits of Stalkers:


* Why Does He DO That? - Inside the minds of angry and controlling men by Lundy Bancroft (This book identifies specific types of abusers and their M.O.s, though many abusers are of mixed types):
* The Anatomy of Motive by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker (Understanding criminal psychology, the reasons predators abuse, the types of victims they target, and why):
* Trauma and Recovery by Judith Hermann (Help recovering from PTSD, whether from combat in war or surviving domestic violence):

Phone and Internet Resources

* National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233):
* RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673):
* NIWRC: National Indigenous Women's Resource Center:
“Enhancing the safety of Native women and their children. Violence Against Native Women Is Not Traditional.”

* White Buffalo Calf Woman Society:
* Mending the Sacred Hoop, Technical Assistance Project:
* South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: 1-800-572-9196:
* Native Women's Society of the Great Plains: 1-605-455-2939 (not toll-free):
* Domestic Violence and Native Americans:

I hope you find this helpful. The resources listed above are unfortunately biased to the USA and English so it would be extremely helpful if people from other countries could also add resources in other languages.

Permission to re-post granted by the author.

I've added a couple more NDN resources to the end of the article.

I'd also like to emphasize that I'd love to see this re-posted anywhere it might do good. I give permission for re-printing it in full. It would be nice if re-posts linked back to this original thread and attributed it to NAFPS and RedRightHand but I'm more interested in getting info out there than getting credit for it.

Defend the Sacred:
Thanks for compiling all of this. I wish I had read it a year ago.

Though they are linked on a couple of the above sites, I'd like to add a direct link to White Buffalo Calf Woman Society. Their executive director, Tillie Black Bear, has been awarded The National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2009 Visionary Voice Award. Black Bear is considered a leading expert on violence against women and children.

Wow wish I have read this sooner............While I am not sure if I can email or repost this.... may I have send the link to others so they can read it and educated thierselves on this matter? thank you for the information.

Certainly you can send the link!


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