Home > Mallinak, Methodology, The Church > Church Discipline and the Psychopath

Church Discipline and the Psychopath

October 1, 2009

When we consider the number of auto mechanics who openly express their opinion about teachers and their classrooms, or the number of school teachers who shamelessly comment on the way the architects designed the school building, or the number of housewives who have something to say about the Sunday Sermon Series, then we should have no problem if a Pastor comments on an issue normally reserved for Professional Shrinks.

No, I am not a trained psychologist.  I’ve read books writteny by psychologists, particularly on predators and that sort of thing.  But reading an expert never made anyone an expert.  So, by no means should you consider this to be “expert” material.  Consider this post to be a small piece of pastoral advice for those who discover that a Psychopath is at work in their midst.

We’ve experienced this sort of thing firsthand.  It ain’t pretty, believe me.  Probably the most frustrating thing a Pastor will ever have to deal with is the Psychopath.  For, when the Psychopath has finished, the world goes topsy-turvy, the Pastor struggles to make heads or tails out of the situation, and the church finds itself groping in the dark for the truth.  Psychopaths have the unique ability to turn brother against brother, and somehow to be the only one who emerges from the pile unscathed.  Churches have split and Pastors been destroyed at the hands of a Psychopath.  And in the end, the only winner is the Psychopath himself.  Or so it seems.

The Psychopath: A Description

Psychopaths are liars, first and foremost.  But they are not just any kind of liars.  People lie for many reasons.  Often, people lie because they fear getting caught.  People lie in order to preserve their reputation or status.  Men sometimes lie in order to keep the peace (“No dear, that dress doesn’t make you look fat.”)  The lie might be a sin of omission (i.e., the husband who leaves out the next statement: “being fat makes you look fat.”)  Sometimes we lie because we are embarrassed about the truth.  Sometimes a lie is meant to do damage.  If we summarized all the motives for lying, they would fall under one of two heads: those lies told for self-preservation, and those lies told for malicious purposes, in order to cause harm.The Bible teaches us that the lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it.  Never is this more true than in the case of a Psychopath.

One reason that the Psychopath’s lies are so dangerous, and in the end so damaging, is because they lie without conscience.  “Normal” people will feel guilty about telling lies. In fact, we rely on their guilt to give them away when they lie.  But the Psychopath feels no guilt, no remorse, not even a twinge of conscience.  They lie as naturally as they breath.  To compound the issue, they get a thrill – Anna Salter called it “duping delight” – out of telling lies.  They lie in order to fool people, and they fool people, not necessarily because it gains them any real advantage, but because they enjoy fooling people.  It is pleasant to get away with things, and we find narrow escapes to be especially pleasant.  And the Psychopath finds a special thrill in telling lies — lies that you will believe.

The Psychopath uses two things against you in order to tell his lies: first, your confidence in yourself, and secondly, your confidence in humanity.  He uses your confidence in yourself against you first.  You believe that you can detect a lie.  You believe that you know, that you can tell when someone is lying to you.  You know all the signs of lying.  But he knows all those same signs as well, and he has learned to tell his lies without any of the body language, facial expressions, stammering, watery eyes, dry mouth, and so forth that you believe always accompany a lie.  He tells very believable lies, and tells them in ways that are undetectable.  And often, he tells lies that would require you to question his integrity in order to discover the lies.  He knows that you don’t want to do that.  He understands that if he can persuade you that he is not lying, even that he wouldn’t lie, then he can persuade you of what he is saying.  That is the first thing.

The Psychopath also uses your expectations against you.  You expect people to  tell you the truth, especially adults.  Society doesn’t work very well if we can’t expect people to tell the truth about the little things in life.  We just naturally expect that people will tell us the truth.  We are naturally trusting and charitable, giving people the benefit of the doubt.  The Psychopath knows this too, and takes full advantage of it.

You should understand that the Psychopath is first and foremost a confidence man.  He cons for the fun of it.  He gets a special pleasure out of duping those around him.  And since that has become the main event for him, there are several things that a Psychopath will almost always do.  First, he will almost always work his way into the good graces of the key people in the church.  Psychopaths carefully cultivate their relationships with pastoral leadership, as well as with key people in the church. 

Psychopaths are betrayers.  I had a friend in college (we’ll call him Chad) who bragged that he had something on every person in the college, and that if anyone ever tried to “turn him in,” he would unload the truck on them.  I saw him do it, too.  These were not empty words.  His “best friend” (and the reader should understand that a Psychopath doesn’t ever have a ‘best’ friend) happened to mention some concerns about him during a reference interview.  “Chad” did not get the job.  But in return, he did succeed in damaging that so-called ‘best friend’s’ reputation.  Chad told me later, and I now know that he intended for me to get the message as well, that if he goes down, he is taking everyone with him.  I watched him set people up, so that he could get dirt on them.  We picked up a friend from work to give him a ride home, and on the way home, Chad turned on some music that would get us all in trouble if we were caught.  If Chad could get our friend (and me) to listen without protest, then he had us.  As I think back now, Chad was setting me up as well.  We worked in the same place, and one day at the beginning of work, he asked me to turn on one of the TV’s in the shop for him.  When I turned it on, a pornagraphic video was playing… He of course had no idea how that happened.  And since our boss bragged about watching that sort of thing, Chad speculated that it must have been left on when the boss left the shop.  I think I know better now.  Chad always had something on you, but he always wanted something more. 

I haven’t seen or heard from Chad in many years, but I have no doubt that he has impressed many people, that he has made many very loyal friends, and that he has destroyed many lives.  And, quite possibly, churches too.

You see, Psychopaths cultivate very loyal followings on purpose.  At the end of the day, when the chickens come home to roost, and the piper comes around to collect his pay, the Psychopath must ensure that he wins the day.  He betrays whomever he must in order to come out ahead.  I saw a bumper sticker on a very nice convertible recently.  It said, “As a matter of fact, it is all about me.”  That is the Psychopath’s motto.  The Psychopath has just one loyalty, and that is to himself. 

The Psychopath’s gregariousness makes him easy to like, and hard not to trust implicitely.  What most people don’t understand is that this is a part of the game for him.  You are not a person or even a friend.  You are a challenge.  You are an opportunity.  You are a conquest, a competitor.  He wants a concession out of you.  Any small concession will do.  But he wants one.  And when he gets that concession, he knows that he can win with you.  You might consider that a strange way to look at friendship.  You are honest and straightforward, and when you extend yourself to someone, it is out of an honest desire to be a friend, to help that person, to be a blessing.  But not so with the Psychopath.  He will seem very genuine in all that he does, and from the surface, you really can’t see a difference in him.  But in reality, beneath all the kindness and sympathy, is a desire to prevail.  He wants you to trust him.  That is important.  The rest is only possible when he gains a little of your trust.

In her book Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, & Other Sex Offenders, Anna Salter makes a comparison between the Psychopath’s approach to life and friendship and the way a football player approaches a football game.   The opposing quarterback doesn’t feel bad that he tricked the defense.  That was his purpose.  When he scores, whether it is a five yard gain, a first down, or a touchdown, he accomplished his purpose, and this is a delight for him.  Most people don’t think this way, which is why they are so vulnerable to the onslaughts of a Psychopath.  For the most part, we want to do our part to help, and so we don’t view life as a competition.  We want to be a friend.  But to the Psychopath, life is all about competing and winning.  Friendship isn’t about friendship, it is about gaining the advantage.

When the Psychopath’s ways begin to catch up with him, that is when the real danger begins.  I doubt that there is any real research on this, but I would speculate that the majority of “church splits” have a Psychopath somewhere in the mix, probably as the ringleader, although never apparantly so.  And why is his leadership not always apparant?  One reason is that if the Psychopath can stir up the hot-heads in the church, then he doesn’t have to stick his own beloved neck out.  He can sit back, watch to see where the chips fall, and then take sides with the winners.  Anytime that the Psychopath can avoid exposure, he will.  He is the one who will play both sides of the fence as necessary.  The Pastor might even believe that the Psychopath is on his side, and at the same time, the opposition might also believe this same person to be on their side.  He will keep it that way as long as necessary. 

Dealing with the Psychopath: A Prescription

In dealing with a Psychopath, it is absolutely essential that the Pastor and the church follow Scripture scrupulously, and that they conduct themselves with true Christian maturity.  The Psychopath relies on the emotional aspects of friendship to win the day for him.  We had a Psychopath in our church a number of years ago.  I was amazed to find that even though church members knew what he had done — and he had done some truly horrible things — they still took his side and felt that the church was mistreating him.  Emotion won the day with those people.  But we must understand that the Psychopath expects this.  He preys on the emotions of people. 

This is why I stress the importance of dealing with such things in Christian maturity.  When a church exposes sin and disciplines that sin according to Scripture, it is not because that church dislikes the person.  For one thing, finding a church that will actually practice church discipline according to the Word of God is a challenge.  Not many churches still do what God says in this.  Churches don’t practice Scriptural church discipline in order to win friends and influence people.  You won’t find a chapter in the hottest new Church Growth Handbook entitled “Faithful Church Discipline.”  When a church deals with sin publicly in accordance with Scripture, it is a painful thing.  Mature Christians understand this. 

But that won’t keep the Psychopath from attempting to cloud the waters and stir up the mud from the bottom.  Having been through this sort of thing, the best recommendation that can be offered is for churches to teach through the passages on church discipline during the times when none is needed.  And a second recommendation would be to faithfully preach God’s Word — every part of it, so that your people will be accustomed to having the Bible dictate what our response should be. 

Probably the biggest difficulty in dealing with the Psychopath comes, not in exposing and rebuking the sin, but in how to deal with his repentance.  Pastors and churches must understand that in dealing with a Psychopath, you are dealing with a different kind of sinner.  I say that cautiously.  A sinner is a sinner is a sinner, as we all know.  And yet, in dealing with sinners, we still have a set of expectations about how they will respond to rebuke.  A hardened sinner will rebuff the rebuke and will continue in his sin.  That kind of sinner makes discipline very cut-and-dried.  A weak-willed sinner will repent and be genuinely sorry, but will slip and fall later.  In his case, patience will be necessary, along with a good accountablity program.  Some sinners, when rebuked, will repent and will return to that sin no more.  These are the cases that every pastor wishes were the rule rather than the exception. 

But the Psychopath does something that we might not have expected.  The Psychopath repents.  He repents immediately — as quickly as he is caught.  He repents in sackcloth and ashes.  And he doesn’t mean a word of it.  Not one of his tears comes from a sincere heart.  Repentence for him is a part of the game, and he delights in duping the pastor and church leadership once again. 

And that gives the godly pastor his greatest challenge.  He sees the Biblical commands to “restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.”  He understands that if his neighbor trespasses against him 70 times in a day, he is to forgive him 70 times that day.  But what do we do with the man who openly repents, and his repentence is an intentional lie? What then?

A Pastor-friend of mine contacted me a few years ago.  A man in his church was having an affair.  The Pastor rebuked the man and demanded that he separate from the woman.  At first the man refused, and the Pastor began the proceedings for church discipline.  At the last moment, the man called my Pastor friend to tell him that he had repented, and that he wanted to meet with the Pastor and deacons.  The Pastor and deacons drove over to his house and met with the man.  In tears, the man told the Pastor that he had sinned against God and against the church, told them how sorry he was, cried and sobbed and asked them to pray for him and help him.  The man told his Pastor and Deacons that he had separated from the woman, and promised to cut off all contact with her.  This Pastor prayed with the man, laid out the terms of discipline, and rejoiced as he departed.

Two weeks later, the woman called my Pastor friend and told him that on the night when this man was crying and confessing and repenting and forsaking, during all the time that he was doing this, that she had been at the house the entire time.  This man, the adulterer, had his cell phone turned on in his shirt pocket, and the woman sat in the back yard listening to the entire conversation.  When my Pastor friend and the deacons left the house, this woman confessed that she came back in the house and spent the night with this man once again before finally separating.

My Pastor friend wanted to know what he should do.  When he confronted the man about the lies he told, he immedietely acknowledged that he had in fact done this, and that it was wrong, and once again begged for forgiveness.  So, what now? 

We need to understand the difference between genuine, godly sorrrow that works repentance, and the sorrow of the world that works death.  And one of the first things we need to understand is that the sorrow of the world is not repentance at all, though it often masquerades as repentence.  True repentence can be identified easily enough — it is marked by a full and uncoerced confession of sin, by a volunteering of information that would not and sometimes could not be known otherwise.  The man who is truly repentent wants to come clean.  When a man only tells what he cannot escape telling, when he conceals what information he can conceal until he is forced to confess it, when he withholds information in order to enable himself to continue in his sin, that man is not truly repentent. 

In cases where there is not genuine repentence, the church has full authority to pursue discipline.  In the case of the Psychopath, the church must understand that they will be required to pursue that discipline in the face of withering opposition and vehement protests.  But they must remain firm.  The Bible has another name for the Psychopath.  The Bible calls it a “reprobate mind.”  The church cannot afford to keep such a person.

The Psychopath has the ability to destroy a church.  And in cases when the Psychopath fails to destroy the church, he will always leave a scar.  In order to deal with such a man, the church and particularly the Pastor will need a godly resolve, a fortitude, and a courageous spirit.  May God grant us discernment, wisdom, and boldness in such cases.


  1. October 3, 2009 at 6:21 am


    Thanks for writing. I wish I could have read something like this a number of years ago when I had a head-on run-in with one of these people. As you noted, when you are forced to seriously deal with one, it is always a memorable occasion.

    Here are my two favorite lines from the article:
    “Probably the biggest difficulty in dealing with the psychopath comes, not in exposing and rebuking the sin, but in how to deal with his repentance.”
    “when he withholds information in order to enable himself to continue in his sin, that man is not truly repentant.”

    As you know, psychologists have documented this type of behavior pretty thoroughly. One of the questions I have about it revolves around the fact that psychologists seem to believe that a psychopath cannot be “cured.” If we accept that idea, how does that fit into our theology?

  2. October 3, 2009 at 6:35 am

    As a missionary, I would imagine that somewhere between 3-5% of missionaries fit the description of a psychopath and that 5-10% of our missions dollars are funneled to and through these people.

    Perhaps one of the simplest and most effective ways for a missions board or sending church that doesn’t know their history to filter them out is to do a credit/background check. Another popular way of getting rid of them is catching them in tax frauds. Personally, I don’t think it is a bad idea to get a DNA sample for later checking against claimed illegitimate children.

  3. October 3, 2009 at 9:40 am


    You have obviously had some run-ins with these sorts of people. As far as your question goes, my answer would be that I believe them to be of a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28-32), and in that sense, I believe that God has “given them up.”

    Can they be “cured” (as in saved)? I believe that with God, all things are possible. Will they be saved? I don’t believe so. Not if God has given them up to a reprobate mind.

    I am very interested to hear your statistic concerning missionaries. I have long believed that there are some men who pursue a ministry either on the mission field or in evangelism in order to hide their sin and prosper at it. I will be interested to hear what some of our other missionaries who frequent this site have to say about that. If anything, my guess would be that you have grossly understated the percentage of psychopaths who are missionaries or evangelists. I would also say that background checks, DNA samples, and etc., will rarely expose a psychopath — that is part of the game for them. They keep their nose clean. The only true safeguard against these people is strong pastoral leadership and diligent local church oversight. I believe that what has enabled a very high percentage of psychopaths in the fields of evangelism and missionary work is our current system of deputation, many churches supporting a missionary and none really paying attention. What would flush them out more than anything would be a return to true local church missions — one missionary sent out and fully funded by one church. Then we have true accountability and biblical oversight.

    Nice to hear from you again, Luke.

    • October 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm


      My “statistic” is really an uneducated guess. I’m sticking with it though!! My feeling is that they are among some of the most “successful” missionaries, at least in the eyes of their supporters.

      You said, “The only true safeguard against these people is strong pastoral leadership and diligent local church oversight.” I agree that is important, but also wish to bring to memory just how difficult they are to deal with within a church where you see them from day to day. Distance could only complicate the matter. Also, there are psychopathic pastors too…

      In a previous comment I said, “Perhaps one of the simplest and most effective ways for a missions board or sending church that doesn’t know their history to filter them out is to do a credit/background check. Another popular way of getting rid of them is catching them in tax frauds. Personally, I don’t think it is a bad idea to get a DNA sample for later checking against claimed illegitimate children.”

      I was thinking more about using these measures to filter a potential missionary candidate. I would agree that although they may be “best practices (or not), they may be largely ineffectual although I can think of a case where any one of these implemented at the proper time, could possibly have prevented a disaster.

      You commented, “I believe that what has enabled a very high percentage of psychopaths in the fields of evangelism and missionary work is our current system of deputation, many churches supporting a missionary and none really paying attention. What would flush them out more than anything would be a return to true local church missions — one missionary sent out and fully funded by one church. Then we have true accountability and biblical oversight.”

      Uh, yeah. You mean the pastor who gets 50-100 prayer letters monthly doesn’t take the time to read them carefully, pray, and call to check up on those missionaries? It would only take about an hour and a half to two hours every weekday morning.

      In seriousness, no one can legitimately say that the implementation of our current system isn’t awful when well over 30% of our missions support goes towards raising money and mailing envelopes back and forth. Not to mention that instead of any pre-field training, we subject our missionaries to a routine that few sane men would ever do and cause them to get to the field exhausted and then criticize them when they can’t make it through their first term for health reasons. (Can someone please slap their forehead with me?)

      Although it isn’t pertinent to this discussions, I would point out that even if a church were to support a missionary fully, it does not necessarily negate the need for a missions board in every field although it certainly reduces it.

      In any event, my hope is that churches will start to move in a direction where they can eventually be supporting their missionaries for a reasonable amount – say maybe 5% of their support for a non-sending church. (roughly 5x the current average) For efficiency, sanity, and accountability, it would be a giant step in the right direction.

      For those churches that can fully fund their missionaries, more power to them. I would caution, however, that the complexities of missions travel and missions work are enormous.

      I will stop before this turns into a book. Have a good night and may the Lord bless you as you serve him.

      Keep posting.

    • October 5, 2009 at 4:42 am

      Brother Dave,

      How right you are about the “Psychopaths” in our churches and in the ministry as Luke pointed out.

      While as a “Local Church” guy, the concept of a church sending out a missionary, fully supported is very appealing to me, but I don’t see that happening in the Scriptures or in a practical sense, today.

      We have created a “beast” of a “Bible-College, Mission-Board, Deputation, Fully-funded insurance and retirement, emergency fund, support for mission board, supporting representatives of the mission board, giving special offerings at the end of the year to keep the mission board alive” system. The Psychopaths know how to play that game well.

      Just my thoughts – what a thought-provoking article!

  4. October 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Pastor Mallinak awesome post,

  5. October 6, 2009 at 12:33 pm


    It was very interesting. I didn’t even know it was up. I needed to push “refresh,” because every time I visited here it was my old article. I believe you are right. One thing you didn’t deal with that would have been interesting thoughts (I’m not complaining; it was long enough for sure) is how these people get in churches. I think you hint at it all over the place and then in your comments.

    I think that some of these that we call psychopaths are also demon possessed. That sounds crazy to people in the world, but I would think our readers know what I mean.

    I do believe that there is a gullibility for us sometimes in the ministry about what we’re dealing with. We have a tendency to think that anyone who comes our way is making a wise choice to associate with us and that it will turn out right because we have all the answers. There are far more variables than that, all of which scripture actually talks about. Jesus was different with people. It was as if He was attempting to scare people away. I’m not saying that we won’t get a psycho, they creep in unawares, as Jude says, but we would do better if we weren’t so easy on admission standards.


    Interesting comments on this with missionaries. And then I liked Dave’s follow up observations.

    And then Art, I think you did hit the nail on the head as far as this many psychos getting through the screening process. It has been in a sense made bureaucratic because of the barriers between the church and the board. A lot could be said there.

  6. October 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm


    I think the case of Simon Magus could be relevant here — the Bible doesn’t go into detail, but he most certainly had “bewitched” the people – which is the psychopath’s MO. It seems to me that we are charitable towards their profession, but when the false profession shines through, we rebuke harshly.

  7. Katy
    October 24, 2009 at 1:09 am

    My former pastor was psychopath. He deceived a woman he was counseling and she sued him, and the church, which ran him and his family out of town. She was a brave and courageous woman.

    • Joon Yoon
      August 15, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Was this Victor Kim? He is a sociopath on the run. They uncovered his mask and saw his true self and he ran. His wife was fine with him sleeping with other women.

  8. Tim
    February 4, 2010 at 7:54 am

    One thing a pastor could do to avoid being “duped” by a psychopath is to never be a “man-pleaser”, try never to be beholden to people, and he would probably do well to distrust someone who is too “confident” and “friendly”. We have some warnings about people like that in the Bible – like when Absalon showed kindness to the people of Israel at the gate to gain their favor to usurp his father’s throne.

  9. eralynn
    March 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I am currently dealing with a pastor who has given a psychopath the means to get out of prison and assault my life and harm a child in the process at no cost to the predator. This pastor was eliminated by the Assembly of God which I now highly respect for taking action but he remains a credentialled senior pastor of his own congregation and a psychologist on top of it. This is the scariest act I have witnessed in life. I am unsure if the pastor himself is a psychopath but feel he must be. I understand forgiveness. I immediately read Romans 1:28-32. I only see deceit in the name of the Lord in my situation. Many are driven away and many destroyed by these types being allowed to continue without being exposed. I don’t know what the Assembly of God could have done to let people know their position regarding this individual but once they are exposed should they possibly go on a list of some sort? Very vulnerable people put trust in this type and without any way of knowing who to be cautious of or the position of the church, all appear part of the deception. I only found out about him being outed by the Assembly of God as I am a private investigator and searched to understand what I was being given by God himself. I don’t believe most could know what I know.
    Changes need to be made. Just giving my 2 cents.

  10. March 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I have known a few pastors especially one pastor that was like you explain in this article. This is why I would never allow a person who has come out of Hyles Anderson College to pastor any church. We got a pastor that had attended that school and he was a real psychopath. This guy knew how to lie

  11. Kelli
    April 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I had an affair with a psychopath who claimed his wife was abusive to him. This was not a wise choice on my part. The man I had the affair with, was also apart of the church board for many years. He was quite prideful when voted in and never was concerned about our affair while portraying the loving husband/father/church leader role. The affair lasted nine years. I could no longer live with the lies and informed his wife of what was going on. She divorced him. IT wasn’t until after the divorce that everything he told me about her was the biggest of lies and untruths. He started dating other women, and left the church he attended with his wife. I was very happy that they supported her. She is very happy with her life now and I am still healing and recovering from the sin of this relationship, as well as his abuse. His wife endured many years of sustained, emotional, financial, sexual abuse, he used her as a cover and me for sex and thought nothing of sitting in church each Sunday with his wife and two children, amongst a congregation that didn’t have a clue. That’s how dangerous these people truly are. Dave thanks for your article. I understand that repentance is not possible as he did not repent for the sins in the marriage, nor the sins with me. I have since done so and am so glad I am returned to God. These people flourish in churches, with the weak and vulnerable. Their lies are so convincing and dupe even professionals. No one is immune to their games and thus the devastating consequences and they suffer no guilt or remorse whatsoever, in fact, most of them will tell you that THEY were the victims. He tells these lies to the next victims too. Without batting an eye.

  12. December 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Parenting can be the toughest job you\\\’ll ever have. Kids present new challenges continuously because they keep growing and changing, and the issues grow and change with them.

    As parents our most important job is to make sure our kids feel loved and valuable for who they are (not what they do). It\\\’s my biggest struggle, and my biggest joy all at once!

  13. val
    October 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you for even addressing psychopathy, as few Christians will acknowledge it even exists. Your friend Chad. I know a psychopath who did this same thing, got the “goods” on others. Every word uttered to a psychopath is nothing more than a deal he will play out later to use against that person. It may not even be true, but the psychopath will frame it up with just enough of the same words, to entrap the other person. John 8:44-45 “….for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” This is Jesus talking. Do we FORGET that Jesus dealt with every personality type and also let us know how to respond to them? Here he is telling them (and us) what these people are PLAINLY for all to see. Yet I NEVER here sermons on this except if they’re trying to make the rest of us feel guilty.

    Does anyone see how the world IS a lie? God slowly opened my eyes to the truth of this over the course of several years. I doubt anyone will believe me as I hardly believe it myself. I was raised by parents who are both psychopaths, and all my siblings are this way as well. I was extremely emotionally abused but didn’t even realize this until decades later. And in case your’e not familiar with this type of abuse, look up terms like gas-lighting, projection, mirroring, and also what adults who were shamed as children looks like. You may see that a child who is raised with this evil (with none to tell him or her the truth), would be completely destroyed. I went on to marry a psychopath as well, and gave birth to more. I was raised with the lie that we are all born the same (with a conscience) and figured that it was my fault and my responsibility to fix all that was wrong with them. Or that I was SOMEHOW part of the problem. We are blessed to now know that most of our personality is pre-set (by God) and we also have MRI’s that can be set up to see if one has a conscience. (There are some videos on Youtube that address this. I, Psychopath is the most popular.) See, I based all my major life decisions on this lie (that we’re all the same) and most churches perpetuate it. That if we give up for our family, in the end it works out. But see, I married a person who hates everyone but loves himself (as this is just how psychopaths are wired) and he KNEW what he was and he could see it in his children as well (I now know). But they not only don’t think that there’s anything WRONG with themselves, they think that they are SUPERIOR and special and so when we birth out offspring like them, they think that we are lucky. So I gave up my education and life for my family and I now know it was not for God at all. Yes, my heart was right and true, but because it was founded on a lie, in the end I was destroyed. My spouse revealed what he was when it was too late for me to help myself. He put us so far in debt, and I was so emotionally abused for so long, I have chronic health problems and severe PTSD. I have tried to get help but there is none to be had. Noboby believes that this is true and I so often wish that I was standing on the other side of this fence of wisdom, looking in, thinking like the outsiders, that SURELY I must have done something wrong in order to deserve this. No. It’s simply another one of the lies associated with this world. That it takes two to tango. The horrific thing is the way they are able to use your Godly gifts against you, and in the end turn them on you and have others think you are the opposite of what you are.

    We think we have come so far with psychology and talk therapy these days, but until we present psychopathy as an option, nobody will ever get to the root of the problem. We dance around it with passive-aggressive, narcissism and on and on but if we ruled out psychopathy FIRST, we’d be able to work backwards from there. But even when I figured out what was wrong, and my spouse admitted it, the therapist refused to believe me and instead attacked me. Someone pointed out one time that God is just and HELL IS JUST. The naive me of the past would never have thought of this. I would have been like Peter and tried to deny that Jesus needed to die by saying “NO!” But the wiser me sees that yes, God IS just, and hell IS just, and it is made for people who have no conscience.

    2 Tim 3:1-5 “1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” This is nothing more than a checklist for psychopathy. They fit every single description.

    I’m now just marking time until I die, as this is where my hope is. Wouldn’t it be sweet if this post acutally helped someone see the truth? I’ve found that it never does.

    • Mary
      July 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Oh Val, You have made me cry.. I feel your same pain, only I am 57 years old and have fallen victim to yet another 30+ year marriage with a psychopath with the pain of seeing my children being proselytized into becoming victims without conscience:psychopaths themselves..It is indeed hard to get out with your kids in tact. The pain that goes unaddressed and unnoticed by the church, because the psychopaths are so convincing.
      ( it is as if they took a 20 year course in acting and persuading) .. It is so unfair to the oppressed spouse victims, and truly a perversion of justice in Gods eyes for the people to turn a blind eye to such evil in the Church. For your comfort, please read the book written by pastor Jeff Crippen, called A Cry for Justice.. ( domestic abuse within the church) He knows where you are coming from, and is an advocate for this very cause. I will pray for you because it sounds like you have given up hope.. Please know that their are many others working on exposing this evil within the very doors of the church. I believe you my friend.

  14. October 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm


    This showed up in my email this evening. The post is quite obviously old, it’s still worth it’s weight in gold. I am administrator of a private face book page, as well as a writer for a blog about psychopaths. I hear every single word you typed. I believe it all. Your story is harrowing but not shared alone. There are MANY out there like you, like me who have suffered at the hands of these people. Your post provided MUCH comfort to me, particularly as it pertains to the scripture you have outlined.

    I think Jesus dealt with psychopaths constantly, and it was those that were that saw to His crucifixion, I believe. In real time, psychopaths want to see to the crucifixion of our very souls.

    I wish you MUCH continued healing.

  15. missy
    June 28, 2013 at 4:08 am

    We adopted a handicap teen girl that we were promised by a Christian hosting agency didn’t have RAD. We later found out from employees on the inside that the hosting agency lied. This girl is actually more than just RAD, but a psychopath. The Christian agency wrongly reported her history, making us trust their word with scriptures and speaking the Word. This girl is also handicap and uses that to her advantage as a psychopath. Her brian scan shows the right hemisphere is almost dead, hardly viable. She has no emotions or conscience. She is the typical psychopath,and since this article explains some of that, I won’t go into it. I stumbled across this because we are looking for help. We, as a family, fasted and prayed for many days before casting the demon of Jezebel out of her (in which the children on the other side of the house heard a woman scream that was not like a human scream, which made them run in fear and jump into each others arms). However, to our dismay, the girl confessed that she lied about giving her life to God, cares nothing about anything and did it for attention.So, it was no surprise when her condition worsened as the bible says it would. We have six other children who all have suffered from this girl’s abusive behaviors (terrible ptsd), after four years of having her in our home. We have tried to rehome with no success. I can’t find any institutions that will take her (none in my state or the state next to me). So, we are in a horrible situation. I am hoping to better understand if there is any hope of a child like her from an orphanage being able to give her life to the Lord. What does scripture say about this? What is a reprobate mind? Is a seared heart not able to surrender to the Lrod? Perhaps, there is someone who knows someone who would like to help her? Perhaps, there is something we can do differently?

  16. Miranda
    August 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Interesting article – I’ve come across these types many times in my life. I’ve been observing an evangelist who I believe is a psychopath – playing an evil game of manipulating people and lying again and again with no remorse. He even said, ‘I don’t lie’. Do these individuals actually believe the christian doctrine they preach, or are they only in it for the game of controlling people’s lives and getting easy money? Guilt would be the biggest emotion they play on?

  17. bill bill
    February 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    church discipline? missionary psychopaths? people, the only psychopath is the church member taking into there own hands the law, spreading untrue gossip and destroying members reputations and taking away all there dignity. this is the real problem. no truly good person wants to be apart of all the garbage that is a modern day wolf festival as found in most churches among the people who are there just to be psychopaths.

  18. Christian
    December 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Awesome and thank you. The following points are from the book, “Manufacturing Social Distress Psychopathy in Everyday Life,” published in 1997. It seems like it’s the older publications are more willing to accurately describe psychopathy, perhaps there was still the hope that it was a rare phenomenon. Oh contrare!

    -Psychopaths have unusually high thresholds for perceptual stimulation. Certainly, their overt behavior suggests that ONLY in situations of threat and danger do they feel truly alive. pg 45
    (And they also place others in these situations too and get a fix from the other persons fear)

    -At a poker table, psychopaths do not want to win; they want to cheat and get awya with it. That is, they want to turn the game into a new game, where they make the rules. pgs 45-46

    -Psychopaths are EXTREMELY sensitive to power relationships AND extremely interested in obtaining maximum power for themselves, but they seem hell-bent on using power for DESTRUCTIVE ends. pgs 46-47
    (John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”)

    -For psychopaths, power can be experienced ONLY in the context of victimization: If they are to be strong, someone else must pay. pg 47
    (Like the devil, they are always against everyone)

    -To a psychopath, someone who is weak demands to be exploited. pg 47
    (This shows them to be the opposite of God who considers weakness to be beautiful)

    -For the psychopath the demonic is a way of life. pg 48
    -Indeed, since like the devil psychopaths are inherently asocial, they are difficult to comprehend within the confines of ordinary human morality. From a theoretical point of view, the true psychopath, like Lucifer, goes beyond the categories if evil and sin; theologically, the true psychopath is incapable of forming any relationship to God or to humans. pg 48
    (Not to God, or wife or children or husband or boss)

    -Not feeling remorse, psychopaths enter the confessional, as they enter psychotherapy, only when it serves some other purpose, typically that of evading punishment. pg 49

    (The rest of the book was about the social structures that can encourage psychopathy but it wasn’t that great IMO to pay the price of the book.)

    The Bible is always a beautiful source for all truth and this includes the truth about psychopathy.
    – 2 Pet. 2:14 “Having eyes that are full of adultery* and sins that never end, as they seduce souls who are unstable and have a heart that is trained in greed, children of the curse.”
    -Romans 1:29-31 “As they are filled with every injustice and fornication, bitterness, wickedness, greed, envy, murder, contention, treachery and wicked reasoning, 30Murmuring, slander, and they are detestable to God, being insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil, lacking reason, who do not obey their parents, 31Because they have no stability, neither love, nor peace, nor compassion in them”

    If God has showen you the truth about psychopathy and therefore evil, you are much loved by him although it may not feel like it right now. If you know that there is no cure for it because it is a spiritual decision made by the psychopath, that God allowed them to make, you know that it’s beyond anything that we can do to intervene and in fact God tells us NOT to intervene but to have nothing to do with this person. 2 Tim 3:1-5

    And to end, a good prayer for yourself from the book of Psalms, one of King David’s:
    -Psalm 54:5 “Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.”

  19. Grace
    February 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I am prayerfully dealing with the issue of whether to go to the pastor of our small church with the fact that one of his close friends and trusted leaders in the church is a “P” who has targeted not only me but a another church and family member of his. Exposing this man will be ruinous and dangerous to all involved. How can we know God’s will in this and not go before Him!!???!!!

    • Frankie
      March 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

      There’s a great book that might help you. It’s titled, “A Cry for Justice,” by Jeff Crippen who also has some great audio sermons on sermonaudio.com. about abuse in the church. It’s nice to know that others are aware of this type of abuse and what to do about it.

  20. QuickLee
    August 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I am Senior at NYU and have been attending Remnant Presbyterian Church. Our pastor Victor Kim may be a Sociopath. RSD people have been talking about the weird looks they get from him. Some of the girls talk about this look with a spooky grin that he gives. The good thing is that he is gone. Pastor Victor Kim was caught in a 10 year affair. I have been obsessed to find out if he is a Sociopath. The topic of sociopath is very intriguing. Pastors must have love, but sociopaths are incapable of love. Shouldn’t people notice fairly quickly? I didn’t know victor kim, but would like to study his personality. This is such an interesting topic.

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