The Confusion of Abuse: More Thoughts on the Fog
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Romans 1:24-25 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (25) because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Well, I am still working my way through M. Scott Peck’s book, People of the Lie. Certainly the Christian reader will find areas of disagreement with Peck, such as his acceptance of some classic Freudian theories, but nevertheless I am finding the book profitable. There are excellent insights into the nature of evil which are certainly beneficial to victims of abuse. Abusers are, indeed, people of the lie.
“Wherever there is evil, there’s a lie around…. Evil always has something to do with lies.” That is the kind of statement Peck makes that victims of abusers come to understand perhaps better than anyone else. Where there is evil, there is deception, fog, and confusion. Confusion that is rather amazing, as a matter of fact. This is why victims should not feel stupid or shameful just because it may have taken them years to sort the thing out. Peck, a trained psychiatrist, tells of cases he has had that required years of therapy sessions before he realized that he was dealing with a person who was — evil. Evil clouds itself in a lie.
One of the traits of a narcissistic person who is characterized by a mentality of entitlement can be chaos. This, coupled with the lies, adds even more confusion to those who have to deal with such people. Chaos can often masquerade as mere absent-mindedness, but in the case of many abusers it is really the product of total self-absorption. This is not harmless daydreaming. No, sin is a lover of self, and in the abuser, self-love finds its full fruition. This self-absorption causes the person to be wrapped up in his or her own little existence, giving no concern to the existence of others — or even to the physical world around them. One example Peck gives is that of a woman who regularly got lost when driving from point A to point B, though she was a very intelligent person. He finally sorted it out. She was so wrapped up in her self that she was not about to observe street signs or other directions. Not out of some kind of absent-mindedness, but because she was the chief being in her universe.
These kinds of people create a sphere of chaos around them. They are dangerous to work with. They misplace and lose things. They trash their possessions without a thought. And, worst of all, they trash the people who are close to them. All because their obsession with themselves results in no care or empathy for others.
As I heard it put so well recently, evil people are not mistaken. They are malevolent. We will be their victims until we begin to understand these things.