A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Demons Thrash When They are Exposed – And so do Abusers

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.


[August 17, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.”  (Mark 9:25-26  ESV)

Just as darkness hates light, so the devil despises and even fears exposure. Truth exposes his lies and strips away his disguise. You see it here. Jesus calls the evil spirit out, exposes him, expels him, and forbids him to return. The result? The demon cries out, convulses the victim “terribly” and leaves.

Now, I do not know if I have ever really dealt with someone who has such a demon, but I can tell you that I have seen this “thrashing” business in wicked people when they are exposed. One in particular became extremely agitated when he knew his disguise was exposed, thrashed around on the couch he was sitting on, stood up, sat down, stood up again, paced around the room. Apparently it is quite traumatic for these wicked ones, who are used to traumatizing others, to be spotlighted themselves.

More typically, perhaps, abusers, as most all of you have seen, react with varying degrees of agitation when exposed, ranging from raging to, in some cases, even attempted or actual murder and then their own suicide. They step up their attacks and even more energetically pursue their favorite abuser tactics. Oh, they make it all look like (as best they can) that THEY are the poor, pitiable victim, but in fact what is happening is that they realize that their secret evil is being called out and it throws them into a fit. An evil and I suppose sometimes even demonic, fearful frenzy. Most people of course do not understand what is really going on and end up pitying the poor fellow.

But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him.  (Mark 1:25-26  ESV)

and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.  (Mark 5:12-13  ESV)

I wonder. How many cases of abusers hiding in the church will turn out to be, when we see with perfect clarity on that great Day when Christ comes, demonic? This of course is not to be seen as some excuse for the abuser – “the devil made me do it” kind of thing. No. But the devilish origin of these wicked children of darkness may well explain why we see them thrashing around and raging in a panic when the light of truth is put on them.

One final thought. In the biblical cases of demon possession, Christ delivered the victim from the demon by casting the evil spirit out. The Gadarene demoniac, for example, was said to be “clothed and in his right mind” to the amazement of the people. But abusers, particularly the kind of abuser who parades as an eminent saintly Christian, is apparently beyond such deliverance. So that perhaps we might say, he IS an evil spirit? (I am theorizing here and thinking out loud, not stating definite proven facts). HE is the one to be cast away from victims.

I am not certain of these things, but I do know that like a demon, the typical “Christian” abuser will thrash and “have a fit” when the light of Christ comes his way. We should train ourselves to recognize that kind of behavior for what it really is, or we just might find ourselves apologizing to the devil and trying to comfort the poor man. As some author wrote, to paraphrase, “I am not certain that I have ever met the devil, but I am sure that if I ever do I will feel quite sorry for him.”

[August 17, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 17, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]



  1. Dale Ingraham @ Speaking Truth In Love Ministries
  2. DancingRain

    Thank you, Jeff, for this post. This got me thinking. My husband has moved us frequently to different areas of town, churches, or different small groups over the years. There always seemed to be a legitimate reason. However, looking back, he can only seem to keep his mask on in front of others for so long. I think it becomes too much work for him. So all of these moves also come on the heels of someone pointing out some of his behavior. And then there is the great effort of trying to make the whistle-blower feel sorry for him (I guess he is unsuccessful in this), and so we make a switch. My gut tells me that the real reason is because of he doesn’t want the spotlight on him, and to be exposed. There is “wriggling in his chair” so to speak.

  3. Believer

    Yes they are demonic. I am almost positive I have lived and experienced first hand Matthew 12:43-45. After about fifteen confusing, painful years of neglect and sporadic overt abuse, along with dysfunctional alcohol use, I gave my stbx an ultimatum regarding alcohol. After some back and forth he ended up picking me and gave up the alcohol. For a whole year we finally had a real measure of LIFE–I thought I had the man (I thought) I’d married back–it was like it was when we were dating (he took up daily drinking on the honeymoon). Love and joy seemed possible; it was a blessed year.

    And then I kid you not, suddenly, on [exact date redacted], I noticed he was having wild shifts in affect (and he was always shifting moods those first 15 years). I became alarmed. I asked him what was going on, during an “up” period, “why are you so happy right now?” (Only an hour or two previously he had been oddly morose.) He chirped back, “I’m just trying to be happy right now.” This from a man who never tried ever one bit to shift his mood or attitude for anyone’s sake. And there was no reason for him to “try” to be happy right then. I felt sick inside. I said “that’s not true.” He immediately said something else that wasn’t true. It was an obvious lie, and I easily proved it. From this point forward, Every. Single. Time. He opened his mouth a lie came out. He always was forced to admit it, when I pointed out the obvious falsehood. But he said it didn’t mean anything, because he wasn’t planning on lying it just came out. “I just habitually say things that aren’t exactly accurate,” he said. I was floored. He was bizarrely nonchalant; he couldn’t have been less concerned. He even noted “yeah, it’s kind of funny isn’t it. Just the other day my secretary asked if she could schedule an appointment for me at lunch and I said no I have a lunch date. But I didn’t. I don’t know why I said that.” And this didn’t concern him in the slightest, it was just a curiosity. I felt so sick. From this day forward, he lied every time he spoke. It rolled off his tongue so naturally. Like it was his native language.

    I don’t want to get into the next few months. But I entered a horror that I know was demon-orchestrated. The destruction that this man caused to me, our children, and himself in the next few months was more than all the damage he did in the first fifteen years, which was significant. But it was minor compared to what he did now. I feel quite sure he the human being hadn’t planned any of it, didn’t necessarily want it. But he did give in to it. He did make choices, he did embrace evil and reject righteousness, willfully. I think he lost his soul. Now when he talks about God he seems demented, totally cut off from truth and reality.

    There are many more horrifying details I could share. I saw the face of evil. I had seen it before, and even fought with it during a prior separation. But back then, I won, with the sword of truth, and this time I lost. I was soundly defeated, no destroyed, no incinerated. I feel like I need my memory erased, I am so full of horror and terror at what I have experienced. I don’t think I’ll ever recover or be consoled in this life. I really don’t understand why God does it but I realize He lets evil and demons have a field day on earth. Children, babies, raped and tortured, sometimes for years and years, and God allows it. He could stop it but He allows it. This is very hard. Pretty sure Satan’s minions doing their best to get me to agree with them that God is not good. I will never agree with them. But still, I grieve over what God allows.

    • Thank you, Believer, for this vivid testimony!

  4. Starlight

    Thank you Jeff, this is a key characteristic of my ex, I began to notice this ‘thrashing’ over time. He would come to church with me and I became very aware that he could not focus or sit still. I think being there was tormenting for him.

    He continued to choose to do evil to me and my children from my first marriage but the thrashing was a key give away, the way he has chosen to live did affect him at a soul level and that seems to be the manifestation of the incongruous life he lived. It is a lack of inner peace.

    It seems like he was getting away with all manner of immorality and lying, raging, anger out bursts, stealing, trickery … but the trashing was the manifestation of his tortured soul that became increasingly obvious to me through our marriage.

    You cannot know it or understand it until you have lived with it!! A few months after we separated after much searching of scripture and pleading and crying out to God, a heavy oppression, a demonic thing left.

    The thrashing is evidence of the demonic for sure and it is so sad that he carries it with him and our child is continuing to be exposed.

    The lightness and freedom I have experienced since separating are amazing, light and darkness do not mix, it is like oil and water. Neither is comfortable or at home in the presence of the other and the darkness strives to avoid the light!
    The legal ramifications for me and our child continue to be difficult but I know freedom is coming there too!

    • Your comment reminded me of the time I took my atheist father to church. The gospel was preached truly that night. And Dad squirmed on his chair, swearing under his breath. He was a man who never normally squirmed: a confident man who behaved with probity and respect in his place of leadership in the community.

      I love my Dad. He was a wonderful father in so many ways. (saying this so you know I’m not mentioning his squirming to dig the knife into him)

      He is no longer in the land of the living, and I have no confidence that he repented at the last moment.

  5. Daffodil

    Sputtering anger, puzzling outbursts against me in public, yep. Shame on me, I didn’t make him my god, and he resented my love for Jesus, so I truly think you’re onto something here, Jeff. Freemasonry in his family line, so an open door to the curses, and why I prayed to break them in him.

    • Hi Daffodil, I know that many ‘deliverance ministries’ recommend praying to break the curses of Freemasonry, but when one is praying for another adult who is neither asking for nor assenting to the prayer and who is not wanting to be set free from darkness, I doubt that prayer would be of much effect.

      • Daffodil

        It may not be effective, true, but I pray nonetheless knowing God is beyond time and space, and I know his heart is to set prisoners free. I read a good prayer out of the Lord’s prayer, Father, grant that my abuser may come to hallow your name and do your Kingdom work and will as the angels in Heaven do, freely from a reverent heart out of adoration. The one thing I know it does is keep my own heart free from bitterness and filled with compassion. Thanks, Barbara.

      • Hi Daffodil, I had to change your screen name and remove the link to your blog before publishing your comment. It seems that when you are commenting, those two things will either have to be changed manually by you before you submit the comment or changed by us. But our moderators are not perfect so we can’t promise to change them before we publish your comments.

        I suggest you create a new WordPress ID just to comment on this blog, and call yourself Daffodil on that ID and give no public link to a website connected to you, on your profile at that ID. That is one way of fixing the problem.

        The other way is to go to your current WordPress ID and remove the publicly visible URL from your profile and change your name on that profile. But that may not suit you.

      • Daffodil

        I’ll have to eliminate my blog address. Thanks, Barbara.

  6. Lily

    There were a few times when I saw such evil in his eyes that I was afraid. Like something switched. I’ve seen other women write about a ‘serpentine’ look as well.
    Another time, at a counseling session, curling up in a fetal position and mumbling in two different voices.

    • One survivor told me her husband curled up in a fetal position under the pew at church, muttering in a voice that was not his own.

  7. Yet

    I have often used the analogy of a live active wire. Every time I cut an idol that is my husband’s or a place that has deep seated power over me I feel as though I have climbed a utility pole and with all my might cut an electrical wire that has deeply embedded itself into my person. As it falls it thrashes about and I have to hold on tight because where it will thrash or where it will calm down is unknown. So this post reminds me of these moments. Thank you for putting scripture to my visual verbiage.

    • twbtc

      Hi Yet,

      Thank you for your comment and Welcome to the blog!

      We like to encourage new commenters to read our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for staying safe when commenting on the blog.

      Again, Welcome!

    • Hi, Yet,
      Just letting you know that we have a post explaining why we don’t always publish comments that recommend resources. We only recommend resources if we (the blog admins) have checked them out and believe they are very good for domestic abuse situations. Quite often a resource (book, website, teacher, etc.) may have been a bit helpful for an abuse victim, but the resource also contains unbiblical teaching in some areas, or says things that would subtly blame victims or lead them into greater danger. We have a pretty high bar for the resources we recommend.

      You might like to check out our Hall of Blind Guides – Resources that Will Not Help (and may harm) Abuse Victims.

    • I really like the analogy of cutting a live wire. Thanks!

  8. Mary

    Hi, love the article! My husband’s lies, covert abuse, badgering went on for 30+ years until I finally snapped.. I was convinced I was the CRAZY ONE!! When he would talk to me face to face, his top lip would curl up with what looked like a snarl, showing his hatred towards me..all the while threatening me that if I continue w/this separation, he would crush me…then says, “Oh, I would never hurt you!!??”
    I have been separated for almost a year now and haven’t been happier… painful process, but soooo worth it!!

  9. NeedingJustice

    I need justice my abuser is [has] now turned my own family against me they believe I’m attention seeking by exposing the abuse but that’s not the case it’s helping me and others cope with the effects to stop it happening to someone else.

  10. Finding Answers

    From my experiences with my abusers, the demonic showed in the cold, calculating, watchfulness of the eyes – examining a butterfly squirm on the end of a pin.

    Perhaps the manifestations people observe reflect the major characteristics of their abuser(s).

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