Is Your Spouse or Pastor a Serial Bully?

This information blew my mind. It describes my ex-husband so precisely, it’s just spooky. I’ve known quite a few pastors who fit this description as well.

Please note, this is not a gender-specific problem. The gender of a serial bully can be female or male. This applies in marriage – the bully could be a wife rather than a husband. It also applies in church leadership. The female serial bully may be a Sunday School teacher, pastor in some churches, elder/deacon/board member, women’s leader, etc.

The serial bully:

  • is a *convincing,* *practised liar* and when called to account,
    will make up anything spontaneously to fit their needs at that moment
  • has a *Jekyll and Hyde nature* – is vile, vicious and vindictive
    in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses;
    no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive
    nature – only the current target of the serial bully’s aggression
    sees both sides; whilst the Jekyll side is described as “charming”
    and convincing enough to deceive personnel, management and a
    tribunal, the Hyde side is frequently described as “evil”; Hyde is
    the real person, Jekyll is an act
  • excels at *deception* and should never be underestimated in their
    capacity to deceive
  • uses excessive *charm* and is always plausible and convincing when
    peers, superiors or others are present (charm can be used to
    deceive as well as to cover for lack of empathy)
  • is *glib, shallow and superficial* with plenty of fine words and
    lots of form – but there’s no substance
  • is possessed of an *exceptional verbal facility* and will
    outmanoeuvre most people in verbal interaction, especially at
    times of conflict
  • is often described as *smooth*, *slippery, slimy, ingratiating,
    fawning, toadying, obsequious, sycophantic*
  • relies on *mimicry, repetition* and *regurgitation* to convince
    others that he or she is both a “normal” human being and a tough
    dynamic manager, as in extolling the virtues of the latest
    management fads and pouring forth the accompanying jargon
  • is unusually skilled in *being able to anticipate what people want
    to hear* and then saying it plausibly
  • *cannot be trusted or relied upon*
  • *fails to fulfil commitments*
  • is *emotionally retarded* with an *arrested level of emotional
    development*; whilst language and intellect may appear to be that
    of an adult, the bully displays the emotional age of a five-year-old
  • is *emotionally immature* and *emotionally untrustworthy*
  • exhibits *unusual and inappropriate attitudes to sexual matters,
    sexual behaviour and bodily functions*; underneath the charming
    exterior there are often suspicions or hints of sex discrimination
    and sexual harassment, perhaps also sexual dysfunction, sexual
    inadequacy, sexual perversion, sexual violence or sexual abuse
  • in a relationship, is *incapable of initiating or sustaining
  • *holds deep prejudices* (eg against the opposite gender, people of
    a different sexual orientation, other cultures and religious
    beliefs, foreigners, etc – prejudiced people are unvaryingly
    unimaginative) but goes to great lengths to keep this prejudicial
    aspect of their personality secret
  • is *self-opinionated* and displays *arrogance*, *audacity, a
    superior sense of entitlement* and sense of *invulnerability* and
  • has a deep-seated *contempt of clients* in contrast to his or her
    professed compassion
  • is a *control freak* and has a *compulsive need to control*
    everyone and everything you say, do, think and believe; for
    example, will launch an immediate personal attack attempting to
    restrict what you are permitted to say if you start talking
    knowledgeably about psychopathic personality or antisocial
    personality disorder
    in their presence –
    but aggressively maintains the right to talk (usually
    unknowledgeably) about anything they choose
    ; serial bullies
    despise anyone who enables others to see through their deception
    and their mask of sanity
  • displays a *compulsive need to criticise* whilst simultaneously
    *refusing to value*, praise and acknowledge others, their
    achievements, or their existence
  • *shows a lack of joined-up thinking* with conversation that
    doesn’t flow and arguments that don’t hold water
  • *flits from topic to topic* so that you come away feeling you’ve
    never had a proper conversation
  • *refuses to be specific* and *never gives a straight answer*
  • is *evasive* and has a Houdini-like ability to *escape
  • *undermines* and *destroys* anyone who the bully perceives to be
    an adversary, a potential threat, or who can see through the
    bully’s mask
  • is *adept at creating conflict *between those who would otherwise
    collate incriminating information about them
  • is *quick to discredit and neutralise* anyone who can talk
    knowledgeably about antisocial or sociopathic behaviors
  • may pursue a *vindictive vendetta* against anyone who dares to
    held them accountable, perhaps using others’ resources and
    contemptuous of the damage caused to other people and
    organisations in pursuance of the vendetta
  • is also *quick to belittle, undermine, denigrate and discredit*
    anyone who calls, attempts to call, or might call the bully to
  • *gains gratification from denying people what they are entitled to*
  • is *highly manipulative*, especially of people’s perceptions and
    emotions (eg guilt)
  • *poisons peoples’ minds* by manipulating their perceptions
  • when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of
    others, responds with *impatience, irritability and aggression*
  • *is arrogant, haughty, high-handed*, and *a know-all*
  • often has an overwhelming, unhealthy and narcissistic
    need to portray themselves as a wonderful, kind, caring and
    compassionate person
    *, in contrast to their behaviour and
    treatment of others; the bully sees nothing wrong with their
    behavior and chooses to remain oblivious to the discrepancy
    between how they like to be seen and how they are seen by others
  • is *spiritually dead* although may loudly profess some religious
    belief or affiliation
  • is *mean-spirited*, *officious*, and often *unbelievably petty*
  • is *mean, stingy*, and *financially untrustworthy*
  • is *greedy, selfish, *a *parasite *and an *emotional vampire*
  • is *always a taker *and *never a giver* [Note from Danni: On this one I would say, never a giver unless there is a hidden motive of manipulation to gain.]
  • is convinced of their *superiority* and has an *overbearing belief
    in their qualities of leadership* but cannot distinguish between
    leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, co-operation,
    trust, integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness,
    aggression, manipulation, distrust, deceitfulness)
  • often *fraudulently claims* qualifications, experience, titles,
    entitlements or affiliations which are ambiguous, misleading, or
  • often *misses the semantic meaning of language*, misinterprets
    what is said, sometimes wrongly thinking that comments of a
    satirical, ironic or general negative nature apply to him or herself
  • *knows the words but not the song*
  • is *constantly imposing on others a false reality* made up of
    distortion and fabrication
  • sometimes *displays a seemingly limitless demonic energy*
    especially when engaged in attention-seeking activities or evasion
    of accountability and is often a *committeeaholic* or apparent

Pastor Jose Campoverde Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Pastor Jose Campoverde has been arrested on suspicion of molesting four girls in his church in Anaheim, CA. According to the linked article, Campoverde is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail on suspicion of lewd conduct with a minor, sexual battery, child annoyance and false imprisonment.

It is my hope that if anyone affected by this case should find this blog, you can find some help and additional insight about dealing with the issue of alleged sexual abuse in the church in the articles in the right sidebar of this site and under the Church Abuse tab.

Church Volunteer Angelo Serrano Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Church volunteer Angelo Serrano was arrested for suspected sexual abuse against a 10-year-old boy. He has been charged with one count of first degree sexual abuse.

It is my hope that if anyone affected by this case should find this blog, you can find some help and additional insight about dealing with the issue of alleged sexual abuse in the church in the articles in the right sidebar of this site and under the Church Abuse tab.

Pastor Jessica Banks Sentenced for Child Abuse

Southern California pastor Jessica Banks was sentenced to life in state prison last Friday for abusing her five adopted daughters, who were beaten daily, fed spoiled food and hidden in a garage.

According to the linked article Jessica Banks, 65, of Moreno Vally was sentenced to 36 years and 8 months in prison along with two consecutive terms of 15 years to life. Superior Court Judge Richard Hanscom in Riverside described it as the worst abuse case he had seen.

However, the Moreno Valley woman denied any wrongdoing and her attorney said an appeal was planned.

It is my hope that if anyone affected by this case should find this blog, you can find some help and additional insight about dealing with the issue of clergy abuse in the articles in the right sidebar of this site and under the Church Abuse tab.

Former Youth Pastor John Picard Sentenced for Sex Abuse

Former youth pastor John Picard was sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexual battery, with no possibility of parole. According to the linked article, Picard was convicted on all 42 counts of sexual battery at the end of a six-day trial. The former youth pastor used coercion to form sexual relationships with six female parishioners.

It is my hope that if anyone affected by this case should find this blog, you can find some help and additional insight dealing with the issue of clergy sex abuse in the articles in the right sidebar of this site and under the Church Abuse tab.

Church Youth Director Bradley Boda Charged with Sex Abuse

Church youth director and volunteer Bradley Boda has been charged on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault on a child, two counts of unlawful sexual contact, two counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, three counts of enticement of a child, and two counts of indecent exposure. According to the linked article, police believe Boda used his positions as church youth director and volunteer at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Longmont, CO to sexually assault boys as young as 11.

It is my hope that if anyone affected by this case should find this blog, you can find some help and additional insight about dealing with allegations of clergy sex abuse in the articles in the right sidebar of this site and under the Church Abuse tab.

Are You Interested in Upgrades to the Site?

I has occurred to me that it might be a good idea to share with you some of the things I would like to add to this site, to better serve you. The reason these things haven’t happened yet is simply an issue of funding. So I’m presenting them to you to see what you think.

The first thing I would like to add is a dedicated phone number for this work. Occasionally I talk on the phone to those who have written in. I would like to be able to do that on a regular basis. However, I cannot put my personal phone number on the internet. That means only a very few end up being able to take advantage of this potential.

I feel that being able to talk on the phone is far more effective than dialoging by e-mail. There is SOOOOOO much more I would like to be able to say and communicate, that I just can’t do with the restrictions of writing an e-mail. Also, it would be my preference to be able to pray directly with every person who contacts me. That can’t happen by e-mail. I pray for you all frequently, but it would be better to be able to pray with you — both to be able to be available at the time you need it, and so that you can be encouraged directly. Knowing in a vague way that I do pray is just not the same.

The second thing I would like to add is a toll-free number for that dedicated phone so that those who do not have unlimited long distance service on their phones can freely pick up the phone and give me a call. Part B to this would be to add international toll free service.

The next thing I would like to add to the site is podcasting. I have more material that I want to communicate than there are hours in the day. Literally, I probably have a good two years worth of writing material in my “must write” pile, if I were even able to write full time. But much of it would actually be better communicated — and more easily communicated — verbally by the medium of podcasting.

It has been suggested to me that people would also like video-casting. One thing I would like to be able to do, whether by video or audio (but most preferable would be video for this purpose), is a regular Bible study. I have a huge desire to do a series on Living without Distress, which I know would be a blessing to virtually everyone who regularly reads here. However, knowing the cost restrictions in adding these, I haven’t even looked into them. They may also not be cost prohibitive, but they are so far down the line I haven’t gone that far.

I also plan to add a monthly e-newsletter strictly for supporters of this ministry. If I am able to add podcasting, I have also thought of doing a special monthly podcast just for supporters. Supporters will receive a partners’ newsletter each month by e-mail with material that has not been published on the blog and previews of upcoming articles before the rest of the world sees them.

The fly in the ointment is financial. I am a single mom attempting to survive on child support alone. I am in school full-time, full-time mom (my ex lives out of state and has visitation every other weekend), and the rest of my time, outside of working in church ministry, is consumed in this work. Between writing articles, researching, communicating through the comments, answering e-mail, and helping people on the phone I generally spend hours a day here. This leaves no room for adding a job. This is something I wrestled with God about for quite awhile. But He ultimately affirmed to me that this work is most important.

Needless to say, child support doesn’t cover the bases. LOL! And I am unable to add any of these features I would like have to be able to better help you. However, if several people were willing to give a small amount each month, these would all be possible. None of them are very expensive individually.

Here are some estimates:

Dedicated phone – $35/mo
Toll-free phone number – $25/mo (This depends on call volume; the next higher plan is $50 per month. It also does not include international calls. Plans including international calls are higher. And, yes, people from all around the world contact me through this site.)
Podcasting — approx. $50-$150 at a rough estimate for equipment; the variable is the quality of equipment and I would prefer to use quality equipment to ensure that the sound quality is high. At this point it is still possible to find free hosting for podcasts
Video function — ??? I haven’t researched this one, since it is several steps out

What do you think? Let me know. If you would like to partner with this work, check out the details for making donations.