Society has been hoodwinked by men who abuse their female intimate partners (Don Hennessy series part 7)
The psychephiles who befriend women in order to abuse them in long-term relationships have hoodwinked us all.
Skilled offenders are clever enough to be ahead of all of us and to be able to orchestrate our responses at every turn. How He Gets Into Her Head by Don Hennessy, p 100 [affiliate link*])
The Bible talks about this very same thing —
The instruments of the rogue are evil;
he devises wicked schemes
to destroy the poor with lying words,
even when the needy speaks right. (Isaiah 32:7)
They [the wicked rogues] speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. (Jude 1:16b)
Don Hennessy says:
We [counselors and other professionals] have all failed our clients to the extent that we have failed to understand what is really going on. (How He Gets Into Her Head, 83)
The process of being groomed by a skilled offender will begin as soon as we meet him or take a phone call from him. (157)
As a society we have already been groomed into an attitude of tolerance and this tolerance is used by the abuser to justify his continued abuse. … His experience of us is such that he believes he can manipulate any agency or individual into accepting his position. (120)
He knows above all else that we as a community will accept part if not all of his explanation. (158)
One of the most powerful and commonly used tactics of skilled offenders is to get us to focus on what he describes as the difficult tactics of his partner. By doing so he hopes that we can find ourselves feeling sorry for anyone who would have to put up with such behaviours from a spouse.
If his listener is male or female he will emphasise the points he feels will most impress his audience. If his audience is high up on the hierarchy of power he may use our sense of rights and entitlements. If he is talking to a social worker or counselor he may emphasise his childhood experiences. As a man I have often been invited to acknowledge that I would probably do the same if I was married to his wife. He is expert at seeking sympathy from the listener. He will relate how all of these issues are used by the target woman to deprive him of the peace and contentment he both desires and deserves. (158-9)
While listening to these conversations we need to remind ourselves that all abusers lie a lot. They will always minimise and deny past behaviours. They will exaggerate or concoct appropriate childhood experiences. They will emphasise their partner’s weaknesses. They will create scenarios which are totally inaccurate. (159)
The Bible confirms what Hennessy says about these skilled offenders:
The mouth of the wicked conceals violence (Proverbs 10:11b)
They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves. (Psalm 94:4)
Hennessy says that even when women’s agencies receive funding to support female victims of domestic abuse, the skilled male offenders are relatively okay with that … because it keeps everyone’s eyes off what they are actually doing.
It is really in the best interests of the psychephile to promote and fund any response which avoids identifying his hidden tactics. It is also in his best interest to encourage us to develop responses to his crime that avoid holding him accountable. (100)
The skilled offender will distract us from his offending. He will not reveal his mind control tactics. (101)
He will encourage all of us to expend our energies in trying to understand him. Like all other sex offenders, the psychephile, the skilled offender, will deny his ultimate goal. This goal is the facility to have his sexual needs met without negotiation. (98)
While we are talking his language and playing his game he will continue to win. (100)
We need to acknowledge that our clients, ourselves and the wider community have been hoodwinked into the wrong discussion. (98)
Society’s response to the domestic abuser is inadequate
The majority of Christians know that one of the sins of Sodom was rapacious homosexuality. But far fewer Christians know that the city of Sodom was condemned for other sins as well:
This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)
The way our societies have responded to victims of domestic abuse is a powerful example of how our communities has replicated that sin of Sodom – the failure to help the poor and needy, especially the victims of intimate partner abuse.
It was more than likely that it was an abuser who first said it was only a slap. It was the system that decided that only a slap didn’t require an intervention. The people who wanted to help the woman tried to record the slap as part of a greater problem. It was the response of the support sector to document and present the repeated nature of these slaps in order to move the system from a position of indifference to one of action.
The whole community began to debate the physical aspects of the abuser’s behaviour. The debate became one of reciprocal physical violence. The language of violence, the description of its extent, the response of the target and the minimising of its effects informed our overall response.
This response was the one that was intended by the skilled offenders. As soon as they had distracted us, as soon as they had invited us onto their pitch, they knew that by and large they could beat us at their own game. (84)
Our judicial system has frequently excused the most abusive of behaviours because they were presented as the response to legitimate requests that were not met. (136)
Here are a few of the old mantras and ‘legitimate requests’ that are often used by men who abuse their wives to justify very abusive behaviors. Some of the mantras are particularly used by so-called Christians.
- “A man’s home is his castle.”
- “A man deserves his dinner on time.”
- “A wife should keep a clean and tidy house for her husband.”
- “A red-blooded man has the right to regular sex from his wife.”
- “Every child needs a father.”
- “A father has the right to see his kids.”
- “All sinners are the same. All of us are just as guilty as an abuser.”
- “Clergymen know how to interpret scripture correctly; clergymen’s wives and the other folks in the pews are not so good at interpreting scripture.”
- “The husband is priest in the home – a mediator of God to his wife and children.”
- “The Bible says a man is to ‘possess’ his wife, so a wife has no right to say no to sex.”
- “God hates divorce.”
- “Marriage displays God’s covenant-keeping love to the church. If a Christian seeks divorce, they are giving a bad witness to the world because they are not ‘displaying the gospel’.”
Under the banner of family values, abusive men have lobbied governments to make laws that lead to shared parenting as the usual outcome in divorce. At the same time, abusive men have worked very hard to distract society from paying attention to how unfair it is on the children for these men to abuse the children’s mothers.
Men who specialize in abusing their intimate female partners always sabotage the mother’s attempts to protect her kids and raise them as human beings of good character. Abusive men have sometimes been successful in getting full custody of their kids after divorce by convincing the courts to deem the protective mother as mentally unstable and thus an unfit parent. Particularly in the USA, the skilled offenders have managed to get family court and allied professionals to believe the junk science concept of “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS). See here and here for more info on PAS.
Abusive men have spread many myths about domestic abuse to distract society from the obvious moral truth that men who repeatedly and intentionally abuse their wives and children have forfeited their right to continue to claim their rights as husbands and fathers.
Those who seek my life lay snares for me;
And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction,
And they devise treachery all day long. (Psalm 38:12)
The psychephile is not afraid of our judicial system. He believes that he can establish a hierarchy of rights within the courts which will protect his sexual entitlement. (136)
The idea that Rape Crisis Centres and Domestic Violence Services serve a different population of women is one that is promoted by abusive men. (136)
The distinction between stranger rape and intimate rape serves the interests of the skilled offender. He will always want to separate himself from other abusers and he will never see himself as a rapist. (137)
I once presented a scenario to a group of judges at a seminar.
In the imaginary scene a woman was before the court looking for a barring order. She told the court that her husband had threatened to kill her every night before she went to sleep. What he had actually said was that she would end up floating in a canal just like a friend of hers who had drowned the previous year.
The woman was terrified.
The judges, based on their long experience of listening to skilled offenders, declined her application on the grounds that the offender probably didn’t mean what he said.
Their conclusion accurately reflected the explanation given by all skilled offenders when confronted with such a challenge. [e.g. “Your Honour, I don’t remember telling her she would end up with her dead body floating in the canal, but even I if I did say that to her, I didn’t really mean it.”]
Regrettably, the skilled offender almost always means what he says. He is so aware of the terror he can generate that he is always aiming his remarks at aspects of her life that cause her anxiety. (95)
Skilled offenders have infiltrated all our agencies and institutions
Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes. (Psalm 26:9-10)
Skilled offenders have infiltrated all our agencies and institutions. They are in governments and churches. They are among our legislators and civil servants. They are appointed as judges and senior policemen. They exploit their roles so that the idea that they might be psychephiles would be difficult to accept. These apparently good men are seldom sanctioned by the community. … As a society we need to accept that all the external good works are wasted if they come at the expense of the integrity of another person. (175)
The real achievement of skilled offenders is that they have managed to adapt their tactics to fit the culture of the society that we live in. Hierarchical institutions, both lay and clerical, profess a strong desire to treat men and women equally. Yet at every level of western society we find gender-based anomalies which guarantee that women as a class will always be treated as inferior. This guarantee is essential for the skilled offender as it reassures him that, even if he is occasionally challenged, the likelihood of him being sanctioned is extremely remote. It further reassures him that even if he is sanctioned, he can renew his abuse either with his current partner or a new partner. (101)
The possibility of the same skilled abuser being sanctioned twice is extremely remote. (101)
Because their agenda is to be in charge, if they are sanctioned once, they become ever more cautious about being exposed. Their desire to avoid exposure or sanction can make leaving a relationship with one of these men a time of high risk for the woman. An indication that the target woman might not be sexually available has led some of these men to murder the woman. (101)
We need to remind ourselves that all skilled offenders could kill. (102)
Even though there is a lot of money being spent the problem isn’t improving for women as a class. … There is no point in building refuges and support services and not sanctioning the man. … It’s very difficult because these men are often extremely accomplished actors and when you bring them before the services they actually groom the people in the services as well and they come out getting their own way.
(Men who abuse women ‘use the same tactics as pedophiles and I’ve never met one who wanted to change’, says author of How He Gets in her Head – Independent.ie)
We need to explore ways to redefine the problem. It may be far more effective to diagnose the issue if we can establish how the skilled offender operates. It may be of greater relevance if we can measure the problem in terms of its effects. It will be of invaluable service if we begin to talk about the real intention of the skilled abuser. If we are to begin to measure the effects of his behaviour, we will need to expand our research to help explain how a decent and capable young woman becomes a confused, frightened or angry woman. When we are close to accurately explaining this process we will be in a better position to talk to the next generation about how to avoid being in an abusive relationship. (99-100)
The idea of male sexual entitlement is shrouded in the myths of secular and religious thought about the survival of the species. Men have always put forward the fundamental position that their lust is justified in the noble task of generating offspring. [But]…the propagation of the species is a cooperative venture and must be shared by both male and female. … Sadly, many men behave in ways around their sexual entitlement that would not be acceptable in the animal kingdom. (120)
This sense of male superiority that permeates all our institutions is the breeding ground for much of the male entitlement that emerges in an abusive intimate relationship. (121)
We are no nearer achieving sexual justice for a large number of women in our communities than we were fifty years ago. We are no nearer holding skilled offenders to account than we were twenty years ago. We are no nearer challenging the priority of male sexual rights than we were a thousand years ago. (121)
The Bible confirms that this priority of male sexual rights has prevailed since time immemorial. The story of The Levite’s Concubine in the Bible illustrates how a male intimate abuser in ancient Israel recruited 400,000 male allies so he could avoid being sanctioned.
Sexual equality is the right of every woman in an intimate relationship. If we ignore or dismiss this right we ignore the soul of that woman. (121)
I will end this post by reminding us of some words of wisdom from the prophet Isaiah:
They trust in confusion and speak lies;
They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.
Their webs will not become clothing,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And an act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
They do not know the way of peace,
And there is no justice in their tracks;
They have made their paths crooked,
Whoever treads on them does not know peace.
Therefore justice is far from us,
And righteousness does not overtake us;
We hope for light, but behold, darkness,
For brightness, but we walk in gloom.
We grope along the wall like blind men,
We grope like those who have no eyes;
We stumble at midday as in the twilight,
Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.
If you are an atheist or agnostic reading this post, you may think you know all about Christianity and have rejected it all as a load of garbage. But there is strong likelihood that you have formed a view of Christianity from what pseudo-Christians have said and done. Some of the things pseudo-Christians have said and done have been lousy, and some have been absolutely horrendous and evil! I commend you for rejecting the false versions of Christianity. And I would like to invite you to examine what the Bible, God and Jesus have actually said. I encourage you to watch Religion is for fools — these YouTube videos are very easy to watch, I promise you.
Our Don Hennessy Digest lists all the posts in this series and gives biographical details of Don Hennessy.
Unless otherwise indicated, all indented quotes in this post are from Don Hennessy’s book How He Gets Into Her Head: The Mind of the Male Intimate Abuser [*Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link.] Emphasis in quotes has been added by me. We have added this book to our Gift Books Offer in which we offer to give certain books to cash-strapped victims.
Don Hennessy’s next book, Steps to Freedom, will be published very soon – on March the 1st, 2018. The publisher is Liberties Press, Dublin. Don says this book will be different from most ‘sympathy’ and ‘support’ books which rely on the target woman to protect herself. Instead it talks directly to the target woman while she is being controlled and hopes to give her the permission and the skills to protect her mind and her soul.