Brad had pried out the fireplace insert, taken down light fixtures, and generally dismantled and removed everything that could possibly be carried away. Lightbulbs, fireplace screens, towel racks, Sara could not imagine what use he had for them; no, Brad was simply leaving his signature.

Rule, Ann. Dead by sunset (p. 360). Simon & Schuster, Inc. Kindle Edition

Revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists – RASNs leave a trail of destruction and sometimes even literal murder (like Brad Cunningham). But the same spirit of cruel vengeance is in all of them. Driven by the mindset of entitlement to control and power, they use their evil tactics to force their targeted victim to submit…or else.

This spirit of vengeance is what impels so many domestic abusers to engage in those endless child custody battles. They know that the children are precious to the abuse victim and thus become instruments by which to continue the abuse and “punishment.” Abusers typically do not truly care about the children, though they will loudly express their “love” for them.

Of course there are countless other ways to inflict vengeance on their victim. “I am going to show you what happens when you don’t obey me.” There are financial tactics, cruelty to a beloved pet, vandalism of property, false accusations, court proceedings, efforts to sabotage the victim’s career, lies meant to alienate friends and family….and on and on the arsenal goes. All driven by “how dare you defy me!”

RASNs wear a disguise – especially if their chosen venue of operation is that of religion. These wolves in wool wear the guise of the most eminent “saint” in the church. But that disguise will be seen to slip whenever someone goes against them, or is even perceived as going against them. This is why so many local churches are actually enslaved to one or two wicked people. The Apostle John had to deal with it:

3Jn 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

Watch for this spirit of vengeance. When you see it, you know you are dealing with a Diotrephes. Like their father the devil, RASNs demand power and control and work tirelessly to punish anyone who will not bow down to them.