Heads Up!

From time to time someone comes on a blog like this to offer comments and “help” to others with motives that are not quite pure or safe.  Please be very careful of anyone who offers to do private email or make contact in person.  What better place for a narcissist to find victims than among those who have already shown their vulnerability?

There is someone now among us whose story is suspect, inconsistent with what is presented on other blogs, and a false story suggests a wrong motive.  I really cannot say more, but I do encourage you to be careful even of interactions here.  If I find that someone is abusing commenting privileges or trying to connect with others off-blog, I will block that person.

Yes, I wish this could be a completely safe place, but that is not the day in which we live, nor is that the nature of online community.  I am so grateful for those who are willing to comment and support others, and I wish I could do more to offer that safety.

That said, if you see something here that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to contact me.  If you would like to contact another commenter directly, send me a note and I will ask that person if they are willing.  Be careful how much identification you offer about yourself.  A full name, especially with mention of a town or occupation, is often all someone needs to find more information online.  We won’t all agree on things, but you should feel safe here.  If you don’t, please let me know.

As always, I am praying for all of you.

Dave

33 Comments

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33 responses to “Heads Up!

  1. Thank you Dave. As though we didn’t have enough grief from narcissists!

  2. Penny

    Thanks Pastor Dave for looking out for us. It means a lot. There were some recent comments that left me scratching my head, so I have a hunch…..BUT:
    Knowing many of us here are guilt-ridden & accustomed to being blamed & shamed I can only say I hope it wasn’t me. LOL
    Thanks for he “heads up”! 🙂

    • Oh , Penny, you’re too funny! You nailed my “first response” syndrome I hadn’t realized I had! I loved your classic “hope it wasn’t me” line. Likened to you and the disciples at the Last Supper I often have this “Is it me?” reaction, mentally rehashing my comments then quickly concluding “but what could I have said that was wrong?”

      So, Dave, do we break this pattern or take our unique mastery of humility as an unintentional gift from narcissists?

      If anything, this “Is it me?” trait keeps us current confessing sin and receiving forgiveness from God and others as we’re real comfortable with blame and pro-actively doing something about it.

      Thanks for caring for us, Dave. You handled this situation well.

      • Me, too, Penny and Gratefully Yours. My first thought when I read this post was “Oh No, did I say something wrong?” I guess you are right, this is likely to be a common reaction in those of us who have been scapegoats of narcissists. The narcs are so good at disowning all guilt by projecting it elsewhere.

        I didn’t even leave the “thanks for the heads up” response that I wanted to leave earlier, because I thought that might make me look like I’m guilty of something. At least, that’s what I imagined a narcissist might say. “Look, she is guilty and she’s trying to hide it.” Wow. Eye opening!

        Anyway, thanks so much, Pastor Dave, for the heads up!

      • LM

        Lol, I rarely comment, and yet did the same thing! Thanks for pointing out the silver lining of this “gift.”

    • Stephanie

      Oh, I thought the same thing. I was trying to remember if I’ve ever commented here and what I may have said. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  3. dombeckblog

    Thank you ❤

  4. Savedbygrace

    Thanks for writing this,Dave- I was feeling decidedly uncomfortable but not paying it too much attention, so it’s very validating that you direct our attention to this. Part of recovering from abuse is learning to ‘trust our gut’ and pay attention to that little voice/warning. The narc tries to distract and minimise or criticise so that we doubt ourselves.
    There is a good book on this called The gift of fear by Gavin de Becker.
    You have given us a timely ‘heads up’- thankyou.
    By the way- are you still contactable at the email address in the contact us tab? I have written there, but don’t know if it got through.

  5. mls

    These situations always leave me wondering if a narcissist knows they are a narcicissist. But that’s always my second thought, after, “was it me?” Except this time, because I havent been on here in so long.Been busy getting back in and out of the mess again. 😣

    • dombeckblog

      I wonder if they know what they are as well. But they have to know if and when they are lying, and why they are lying. They just don’t care. No conscience. They don’t care if they hurt others getting what they want and some are so sadistic that they do it just to hurt others because they enjoy the suffering of others. Everyone exhibits narcissistic characteristics now and again, but real narcissists lack empathy. Genuine empathy. They must know they don’t care about others. Right? Maybe the thought never crosses their mind. Seems like the only time they ever act like they care what others even think, let alone feel is when they are grooming them for abuse, “love bombing.” But it’s a lie and they justify it, and they certainly have a covert alibi should they get caught or called on it. Deliberate deception, with the aim to use and abuse others for personal gain is their agenda. They must know. On some level they must know. It’s what makes them so dangerous. They know.

      • Arendale

        Rest assured that s narcissist knows he/she is a narcissist. Okay, rewind a second. A narcissist knows that he/she is evil because they consciously think and plan evil, so they know. They may not know there’s a name for their ‘ailment’, but they are very aware that they are evil. If they didn’t know, they couldn’t delight in it and couldn’t delight in sadism. Narcissists only commit pre-meditated murders because they plan out the evil they do. A normal person does more manslaughter, so to speak, and a person who isn’t a narcissist but is narcissistic commits 2nd degree murders. Like every psychopath, every narcissist knows he/she is evil (or knows he/she enjoys evil); if they didn’t know, it would be impossible for them to 1.) plan or 2.) enjoy the evil that they do. I think it’s important for people who deal with narcissists to know they are purposely perpetrating evil with a conscious end in mind.

      • Sorry, but I don’t agree. The narcissist will not believe he/she is a narcissist, but may accept the designation as an item of pride. Nor would he think of himself as evil. Delighting in the pain of others does not mean someone is aware of the evil within them. In fact, most narcissists would say they do not delight in the pain of others, but believe that pain is justifiable for some narcissistic goal. And they simply do not care about the pain of others.

        Very few evil people see themselves as evil. They justify their actions in various ways, most of which will seem evil to us, but they do not think of themselves as evil. Instead, the narcissist would attribute evil to any other who would fail to meet expectations or dare to oppose his/her will.

        And very few narcissists commit murder, or even abuse physically. We have talked about that before. While you could make the case that murder is often a narcissistic act, as is physical abuse, most narcissists do not have the courage to do these things. They much prefer the torment of verbal abuse, for which they are not as easily held accountable.

        This comment is too strong and in error, in my opinion.

      • Arendale

        And that’s where language can’t be fully communicated in writing. The summary of what I said is that narcissists consciously plan out evil, therefore, they are aware that they are doing wrong. (I don’t want to focus on the different personalities that narcissists have, because they use this to make themselves believe that evil isn’t really evil since they can literally switch between personalities– like in what was once called multiple personality disorder– and therefore keep themselves from knowing what their ‘evil personality’ is up to. It’s very clever. But “God catches the wise in their craftiness” as happened with the narcissist I recently lived with. If a narcissist didn’t believe or know that he/she was indeed doing evil, then God could not hold them accountable or judge them. No matter how much evil a person does, God can only render judgment when the person is aware of the wrong they are doing.) Conscious planning means conscious awareness. Having a narcissistic personality among several personalities and being a narcissist at heart are different things. Moreover, the Bible agrees that a real narcissist is aware that he/she is [doing] evil: Jesus said that people who do evil avoid the light (exposure) because their deeds are evil, showing that one who hides his evil deeds knows they are evil; Jesus finished that those who are innocent, or those who believe they are doing good, come into the light and are not afraid of exposure. It’s probably important to distinguish a narcissistic person from a narcissist, because in the Bible God hates the narcissist or sees him/her as an abomination which means the person in fact is evil of their own free will. My dad is a narcissist and my cousin whom he uses a narcissistic person; there’s a difference between the two of them. By the way, if people are in error, it’s not the end of the world. I find that most of us are in error before we voice our opinions simply because we are often too conscious of how we come across to others and are trying too hard to stay proper to actually experience life and truth or God for that matter. I’d rather be in error and find the right way than pretend to always be proper and miss the way. I’m surrounded, as we all are, with the latter crowd of people who, though followers of ‘the God of Answers’ who says, “Whoever asks receives”, are still overflowing with questions and largely bereft of answers that bear lasting fruit. This definitely should not be the case among believers.

  6. Arendale

    Pastor Dave, you wrote:

    “There is someone now among us whose story is suspect, inconsistent with what is presented on other blogs, and a false story suggests a wrong motive.”

    My first thought, as I’ve read in some comments here and as is also some more people’s first thought, was, “Is he talking about me.” Someone rightly said below that that’s the automatic response of people who’ve been under a narcissist. If you have noticed this person, don’t you think it’s wise to tell everyone here who it is? That prevents suspicion and fear primarily and also gives people a greater level of discernment when dealing with a narcissist online.

    A friend of mine on facebook was blocked two days ago by a narcissist that I also know on facebook. He blocked her because she couldn’t (not wouldn’t but couldn’t) achieve a task he gave her. She sent me screenshots of some of their messenger conversations. The narcissist told her not to have anymore kids, how to eat, what to believe in the Bible (he’s SDA and follows the teachings of Ellen G. White and pushes those on her), and prevented her from going to college among other things. She’s felt suicidal since that time, wanting to die, and I’ve worn myself out trying to show her that he never cared about her and it’s not her fault. I’m facebook friends with this guy (hard to know people online) and messaged and asked him about it. Not knowing I already had his number (he harassed another of my friends in the States in the past), he said he’d lost work hours and rent money taking time to minister to my friend that he’d blocked off his friends list and that she’d done nothing but disrespect him in return (I know she couldn’t do that; she’s a mousy, quiet, and timid type of girl). I’ve reported him to the Christian forum admin of a facebook group he and I are in (he’s of course a trusted ‘Christian’ but this woman is a former victim of trusted high-profile men, VIPs and prime ministers in Australia and doesn’t gloss over the issue of trusted predators) and will be reporting him soon as possible to facebook for all the abusive things he said to her which she has saved on her messenger. This narcissist lives in Australia and planned to come out to the States just to visit this girl whom he’s been grooming to worship and need him as his wife does (long story). I say all this to say that I believe that people, especially vulnerable people, need to know when a wolf in sheep’s clothing is inside the camp. It’s not something that the Bible tells us to keep secret or to not disclose. Why don’t you share who this person (or persons) is so people will feel safer rather than suspicious more afraid.

    • Because I don’t have enough evidence to block the person yet, and I don’t want to make a hasty accusation. Instead, I want to caution everyone. This is consistent with what I have done before. If the need arises, I will not hesitate to block the person.

      At the same time, I will re-emphasize my concern that readers here should be extra cautious about corresponding off-blog. I have no desire to control this, just to protect. The person I am watching has made these connections on other blogs, using the same pseudonym, and presents a story quite different from that presented here. Remember that anyone can get on a computer at the library or wherever and pretend knowledge and empathy. That makes online conversations much more risky, I think. So be safe.

  7. Savedbygrace

    These situations always leave me wondering if a narcissist knows they are a narcicissist.

    My thoughts are it would vary from case to case. Some definitely yes- they are willful and knowing and don’t care.
    However I think sin easily deceives and the Ns I know believe their own lies to a great extent – especially if they are also claiming to be Christian as well. They are truly invested in presenting a certain image to the world and have lied so long and are so invested in ‘being right’ or possessing certain virtues that they sell the lie to themselves first and perhaps that’s why they are so ‘convincing’ to others

    Arendale -Pastor Dave has much wisdom to listen to rather than offer up an excuse:
    And that’s where language can’t be fully communicated in writing.

    I find it difficult that you include so many ‘authoritative’ statements in your long and circuitous posts. I would be more helped if your comments were to the point and have more epistemic humility about them. Most commenters you will observe stick to their own experience rather than giving heaps of ‘information’ or relating other peoples stories.

    With your third post- I believe you have missed the relational dynamic of this blog.. in my opinion, there is no need for ‘suspicion and fear’ as people who belong to this community know they can trust Pastor Dave and I for one have every confidence in him and the wisdom of his approach. I actually think he is modelling good things to us.

    • Arendale

      Thanks. Working through things here. Still a work in progress. I do like to share some bits of my experiences if they may help others. If they don’t help, it’s okay to say something about it. I’d like to say less actually; but thank God, I’m still learning.

    • Arendale

      I also like to have room to err. I actually like to err! Lol. But I find much to my dismay that it is often frowned on. It seems that so many people are far too proper to make any difference in our world. I find myself asking if this is the way that God made people to be or if it’s the way we often feel we are supposed to be. I take GREAT DELIGHT in erring and being in error! It gives me such freedom. There’s a saying that I heard for the first time in 2004 and haven’t seen again until several days ago (2016) on the road sign of a church:

      “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

      I live in Bellingham, Washington, a town that is owned by satanists (literally; there are other towns like this one in America). The satanists have infiltrated all the Christian churches and circles and push their agenda that sounds a lot like the real thing but isn’t on closer inspection. One of the main things that satanists here (and everywhere) push in Christian circles is for everyone to ‘be proper’ and that no one ever ‘disrespect the minister’. For this town (and others), it is because the satanists set up the leaders and need for all the Christians to not feel or think differently against what is actually their agenda. When I came here and visited the ministry at World Prayer Center, I came face to face with the hidden satanism here as I watched a young Christian confront the minister about some thing he did wrong. (Long story.) The minister answered by saying that all who ‘speak against’ him will suffer harm. I asked him to disregard the young one who ‘spoke against him’ and please tell those angels of harm to come and get me instead. This was to prove that he has no real authority here like people say he does (but he is a puppet for the satanists of this city). I have not suffered harm but good. Lol.

      People spoke against Jesus, the perfect One, and He didn’t complain; why are so many Christians in a huff when someone simply disagrees with a minister? Most Christians are defeated and shaking in their boots and hiding from the enemy and just getting by. Do you expect all of us to ‘stay in line’? If you don’t want to read my ‘circuitous’ whatever you called it, then don’t. But God calls no Christians to worship at the footstools of pastors or ministers or apostles. If I had a slave mindset and thought the president of the U.S. or anyone else was better or more valuable than me, then I could not be worthy anything to God, and I certainly would hate myself. As long as people aren’t hurting anyone, let them express themselves. I love people but won’t be ‘proper’ for anyone. With a world trying to press out freedom and individuality, let people be. Of course, I have no issue being booted from this blog either. If you will live life to the full, you must allow yourself to be imperfect and make mistakes, etc. You only live once. Live. I’m not waiting around for the fearful. I will live! Can I get an amen… or will I get the left boot of fellowship.

    • Arendale

      By the way, I add lots of info. because I like people to check up on it if they doubt what I’m saying. I add details for just that reason which is why I added stories about people I know and the satanist-owned city I live in. (You may call the info. unnecessary, but I’ll let Pastor Dave decide what is necessary; it isn’t flattering to speak for him.) I just needed to state that I’m not just writing because I want to write. I want people who want to “prove all things” to go ahead and do so with all the info. that I give. Look up Bellingham, WA or visit its churches and stay for at least two months; turn on your discernment, refrain from smiling to get along with the Christians all the time, and just look (and keep looking). The satanism that has this whole town in captivity will begin to surface, especially if you try to minister deliverance or freedom to one of the thousands of Christians who are captive to the satanists in this town. The real world sometimes is not fun; but I prefer to live in it than in my own preferred world where things are a-okay and Christians say, “Peace, peace” when there certainly is no peace.

      • Penny

        Arendale:
        As followers of Christ, we are not called to “err”, nor to delight in doing so. That is anathema! Our freedom is in Christ, not in erring. We are not to use the Word of God as a covering for error.
        We are called to study His Word, actively avoiing error, and teach HIS truth, not our version of it.
        Paul wrote to Timothy : “Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.” 2Tim 2:15
        In 1Tim, Paul’s exhortation was to
        “set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity.”
        Paul goes on the say: “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them…Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach.”
        Pastor Dave is very careful here to teach truth, to handle His Word with grace, patience & clarity, & also with great respect that it IS the Word of God, and not own own.
        I humbly suggest you do so also.

      • Arendale

        Thanks for your admonitions for me to teach the Message accurately and set an example for the believers which is by no means a small thing. Unfortunately for me, as for my own self, that is what God wants me to do and be for the believers around me– a somewhat scraggly bunch that needs genuine biblical teaching (not the 0% skim milk of the Word they get from the local churches which are only good to satan dead) and that needs to come to grasp the God-given identity, their reason, and their cause. I would prefer to not teach or talk if it was up to me. Listening is far better for me, even if a little selfishly I prefer listening, because in doing so you eat and eat and eat and are filled with spiritual food (and you learn more by listening than by talking too). Talking is far more work in my opinion; your breath (literally ‘spirit’) is expended when you talk, and I like to keep my spirit (energy) more than expending it. But the Lord says, “Teach!” And so I will by His Grace. But no more ‘good things’ about myself; here’s some error that I enjoyed tonight:

        I called my friend who doesn’t go to church because he’s aware that all the churches in Bellingham are dead and he wants to leave. (My other friend beat him to it and moved to Portland, OR, right next door, just two days ago to a church there, because he also noticed and said that all the Bellingham churches are dead and he wanted a spiritual mentor– which he found in a pastor in Portland– which is only a concept in Bellingham churches.) I told the friend still in this town that he must connect with some believers, evenif one at a time. I told him that I believed that something in him doesn’t really want to follow the Lord. Then he told me why he wasn’t connecting with the few believers that we both know about in this town. When he told me this, I saw that I was wrong; and I was GLAD! He does indeed want to connect with believers, but he’s lived here about the past eleven years and because of the satanic choke-hold that’s brought Death to these churches, he doesn’t trust Christians and can’t fathom that there are any real believers left here. I’m working to connect him to a few believers; but I was GLAD to be wrong about him. We don’t rejoice in being in error but in being human. I can’t and won’t stand those who pretend to be superhuman and unable to err. That’s the religious spirit that killed Jesus and hates God and all human beings (those who have it don’t know because they never look at their hearts and think they’re good people), and I want none of it.

        Now, however, by God’s Grace, as time goes by, I will be able to “set an example for the believers”, because as I can see all around me, Christians need examples and not just Bibles. We have too many professional pastors, specialist ministers, and experts in the Law/theology who are quick to preach and tell us all what to believe; but we don’t have many fathers (mentors) who will get right in there in the Sheep pens and the muck of the world and impart Life to all these broken people.

  8. Penny

    Arendale:
    If you believe God is telling you to teach, perhaps it’s time that you start your own blog.

    • Arendale

      Start my own blog, so I can have fawning and gullible admirers and followers? By God’s Grace and in His time, I’ll teach those who will lead, not apologize to those who only want to follow. As for the correct heart attitude of a godly leader and godly Christians when God also ministers through someone who we don’t follow, Moses’s magnanimity and his response to Joshua is pure gold and puts most modern Christians to shame:

      So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord , and he gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” Then Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord ’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel” (Num. 11:24‭-‬30, NKJV).

      Amen. Amen.

      • Arendale

        Now, back to the topic of the blog. Thanks.

      • Penny

        Arendale:
        So, those of us who found this blog, after much prayer & soul searching, seeking truth & clarity & wisdom, are now suddenly “fawning & gullible”? And you & you alone have the Spirit of the Lord?

        Not even Moses was that brazen.

        When Korah’s rebellion began (Numbers 16) Moses fell on his face, saying “The Lord will show who is His, and He (God) will bring him to Himself”.

        Moses pleaded with God, not with men.

        Likewise, Jude 8,9 tells us that when Michael the Archangel argued with the devil about the body of Moses:
        “he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”

        May He do the same to you.

        Selah~

      • Arendale

        My dad is a high-level occultist who, along with an undisclosed number of other occultists, has been trying to kill me for many years and recently admitted to my older brother to poisoning him for about the last fourteen years or so as well. I’ve been kept without a bruise. The minister called the ‘apostle of this region’ in Bellingham also invoked curses against me along with other pastors in this area because I stood up for someone who simply voiced disagreement with the minister and whom the minister wrongly rebuked and banned from the Light of the World Prayer Center. If you want to wish that the Lord will rebuke me, you’ll be added to a long line of people who wished this and that for but failed. “By the Grace of God, I am what I am.” God is the last person who would take issue with me. Now, why don’t you try to stick with the topic at hand as Pastor Dave has told us all to do and stop thinking that your wishes should be carried with success from you across to me.

  9. dombeckblog

    Good idea!

  10. Savedbygrace

    Hi all I was just browsing the archives when I came across an old post entitled -When Narcissists Argue, I found it so helpful to my present situation in dealing with an annoying narc that I thought I’d share as some of you may find it helpful too.. I especially liked the advice
    By refusing to argue, you disarm the narcissist.
    blessings to you all and thankyou so much Dave for this wonderful space for insight and support 🙂

  11. Thanks for the word of caution! Unfortunately, places for healing the wounded are also great places for predators. It is important to be cautious about connecting “offline” whether by email, messenger, or in person, with someone you meet in a healing online space. Even if the person is not disordered, they may not have healed enough to interact in a healthy way with someone else.

    I was hurt by someone who pursued a friendship with me off a site devoted to survivors of narcissistic abuse. We developed something of a pen pal relationship via email over the course of several months, and I thought we would eventually meet in person. Instead, I had to cut contact because she made personal attacks via email as a result of a shared devotional to which she took offense. I apologized, assured her I was not even a member of the preacher’s church, and let her know I had only shared the devotional message of that day because it seemed encouraging.

    I learned from that experience that hurting people can, and often do hurt others.

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