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Understanding Spiritual Abuse

Understanding Spiritual Abuse

Many coming out of cults use the term "spiritual abuse". We have tried to shed a little light on this subject by comparing the characteristics of abusive men and the characteristics of cults.

Abusive Men



Have over-inflated egos and elevate themselves above their wives, feeling they are superior.


Has elevated itself over the flock and claim they alone are God's "anointed" a superior class of Christians.

Consider their beliefs and ideas to be the only ones.


The same. They allow no independent thinking.

Need to have power and exercise control over others


The same.

Use fear, guilt, threats, intimidation, coercion, degradation and isolation to control others.


The same.
Can never be questioned about anything The same.
Demand performance from all family members. It is never enough, and those abused can never measure up to the demands. The same.
There is always punishment for those who fail. The same.
Must have their own way, always. The same.
Have unreal expatiations of others, and place burdens on others that they themselves would never carry. The same.
Make others dependent on them so they can manipulate and control. They claim all are dependent upon their organization for eternal life, truth, the Holy Spirit and any relationship with God.
Never accepts the blame. Always places the blame on family members. Never takes responsibility for its prophetic and doctrinal errors. Blames the rank-and-file members.
Are all-important. Others are expendable, and their needs are not important, nor is what others must endure. The same.
Regard family members as stupid and needing guidance and direction for every detail of their lives. The same.
Have a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Can seem very nice at times, but other times commit diabolical acts. The same. Can be very nice at times, but question it and you will see the iron fist in the velvet glove.
Make promises they never fulfill. Exactly the same.

While spiritual abuse may be more extreme in certain groups, all are guilty of diabolical deeds against the sheep for whom Jesus died.

Here are the characteristics of the abused family member and the individual cult member.

Abused Wives and Children

Individual cult members

Have over-inflated guilt. The same.
Feel inferior, not worthy. Are told they are not worthy.
Has no power, no rights whatsoever. Has no "say" in the family. The same. Individual cult members have no rights, no "say".
Develop a desire for dominance and to be told what to do. The same.
Submit to abuse to maintain status quo, and keep family together. The same.
Become co-dependent and end up in denial that any abuse is taking place. The same.
Stay because: no place to go, fear, guilt, social stigma and rejection. The same.

All cults and legalistic religions "abuse" their followers. The Watchtower Society conceals "an iron fist in a velvet glove". They seem to be kind, soft as velvet, until their authority, beliefs, ideas, or the Watchtower itself is questioned. Then, the other personality, the "iron fist" emerges.

This is schizophrenia, manifesting completely different personalities. Just as individuals who suffer from  schizophrenia, the Society becomes impossible to reason with and has the ability to lie to advance their cause, as they did to the European Commission on Human Rights in the Bulgaria blood transfusion matter.

The Watchtower Society is also psychopathic, manifesting anti-social behavior by condemning and withdrawing from society and attacking anyone who questions them about anything.

I wish to thank Dan Hall for giving me permission to use information from his research for this article.

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