Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Author: Jeff Crippen Page 1 of 75

RASNs and All Tyrants are Robbers

1Ki 21:1-3 Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. (2) And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” (3) But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”

You all probably know how this wicked affair turned out. With the scheming of Jezebel, Ahab had Naboth murdered and then seized the vineyard for himself.

Tyrants are thieves and robbers. And RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists) are tyrants. Power and control is what they are all about. They steal and seize what is not theirs to possess and they use all kinds of evil tactics to get it.

This is why we so often see economic abuse used by, for example, domestic abusers. They demand Naboth’s vineyard for themselves. They pursue legalized theft through the court system with the goal of stripping everything from their victim. Wherever there is an abuser, there is a tyrant and where there is a tyrant you can bet on it – there will be robbery. Seizure of goods which do not rightfully belong to them. Often those “goods” are the children.

When the RASN Demands that you Forgive

Dr. Les Carter posted this excellent video dealing with this issue – should you forgive a narcissist (abuser) when they tell you that you need to forgive them. Here is the link –

You Must Forgive Me

The Best Insight into Evil and the RASN I have Found

Here is a bit of a long quote from the book I have already mentioned – Ann Rule’s Dead by Sunset. It is the testimony of Dr. Ron Turco, a psychiatrist who specialized in constructing psychological profiles for law enforcement investigators. Here, he is giving testimony about making such a profile of Brad Cunningham who was charged (and ultimately convicted of) with his ex-wife’s brutal murder in 1986. NOTE: In my opinion (and I am right!) no one is qualified to be a pastor or counselor who has not carefully read Dead by Sunset or by some other means of study become proficient in understanding the things Turco is describing here. Brad Cunningham was and is (life term in Oregon State Penitentiary) a remarkably cruel malignant narcissist who was so diabolically “gifted” at charming his targets that one must wonder if the serpent from Eden was the source of these evil gifts.

Here then is the quote. Note carefully what Turco says about the true self and the false self and then how exposure of the true self energizes and drives the malignant narcissist to punish, destroy, and even murder anyone exposing what he/she really is.

“Outward appearances are not very helpful,” Turco said. “At least, in the everyday behavior observed by strangers. This is what we call a ‘false self.’ The individual projects an image of what he is really not. It’s only in the intimate situation that you find what he is really about. That’s the so-called true self that is hidden.” Turco cited Dr. Jeffrey McDonald, the Green Beret doctor convicted of killing his wife and small daughters, as an example of an individual who projected the false self. “His public image was exemplary,” he said. Shinn reminded Turco and the jury of Brad Cunningham’s many achievements— his athletic stardom, his intelligence, his business career where literally millions of dollars were under his control, his love relationships with any number of beautiful, successful women. “It’s totally contradictory that he could do something like this [ie, savagely murder his ex-wife],” the prosecutor remarked.

“Not at all,” Turco said. “The ‘I-5 Killer’ [Randy Woodfield] fits the profile you just gave of Mr. Cunningham. He was a football player, well liked, had lots of girlfriends, very smooth, very social.” “That’s [Randy] Woodfield?” “Yes. Ted Bundy is another person who would fit that category. . . . We did the profile of Mr. Woodfield in 1980– 81. . . . It’s not unusual. That’s a typical pattern. It’s one of the reasons why these people surreptitiously murder. Why not just get a divorce? Why not just leave town? But these people maintain a facade— an image. In order to do so, these people have to destroy someone who can show that they don’t meet that image. They’re destroying the ‘evidence,’ so to speak. That’s one of the reasons they always profess to be innocent. In a sense, they even believe . . . that they had the right to do what they did. . . . It’s a narcissistic presentation . . . malignant narcissism.”

Rule, Ann. Dead by Sunset (pp. 416-417). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

“Dead by Sunset’ (Ann Rule) Available in Kindle Right Now for $1.99

I recommended this great book recently and a friend told me today that it is available on Amazon Kindle for only $1.99. Also, it was suggested that I give a caution regarding some of the graphic portions of the book – it may be too triggering for some. This wicked man, Brad Cunningham, brutally murdered Cheryl Keeton and the descriptions of the crime scene are unsettling. Nevertheless, this book is a huge education in domestic abuse, psychopaths, malignant narcissists and all sorts of evil.

RASNs and their spirit of vengeance

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.

The Abuser’s Children are Just Property and Hostages

“Brad created an atmosphere of fear. They were obedient to the point that it was unnatural. They called him ‘Dad’— never ‘Daddy.’ Those kids were his possessions. Brad gets whatever he wants. He wanted children and he wanted boys. Those boys were like another Mercedes to him.”

Rule, Ann. Dead by Sunset (pp. 205-206). Simon & Schuster, Inc., Kindle Edition

That quote from Ann Rule’s book is about one of the most wicked abusers you could ever find. A psychopath. I HIGHLY recommend everyone read this book – Dead by Sunset. It is a textbook on abusers and a sober, sober warning about how these snakes deceive and cast their evil spell on victims. Brad Cunningham. He is in the Oregon State Penitentiary serving a life sentence and someday soon (he is 75 now) he is going to begin his eternal death sentence in hell. If you think those words are too harsh, you need an education in evil and Dead by Sunset will provide it.

But notice what Rule says here about Cunningham. It holds true of soooo many abusers. His children were his possessions, just like another Mercedes to him. Property to be owned. And in many cases that appears, IMO, to be how the law views children. Property.

And children are so often hostages held by the abuser. Held hostages to punish the abuser’s victim and to continue to control. “I will take the children from you unless….”.

So don’t ever think that an abuser cares at all about the children. He just uses them to control and punish his victim. And don’t get drawn into the falsehood of thinking that children are always better off with two parents. Nope. Not when one is an abuser.

So read Dead by Sunset. You will learn a lot, and one of those truths you will learn is – “if women and men would just obey God’s Law, if they would only refuse to be drawn into sexual immorality, if they would just say “no,” so MUCH grief and anguish would be avoided. I will write more on this in a later post.

Let’s Talk About Projection – Again

Here is a link to a new article at my Light for Dark Times blog. I wanted everyone to know it is there. Important topic:

Let’s Talk About Projection

You Were Lied to – RASNs Lie

Rom 3:13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”

This is one of those “where do we begin” subjects. Lying and deception are woven into the wicked person’s nature. Of course we all are guilty of telling lies at one time or another. But if we truly know Christ, the Holy Spirit in us will certainly bring us to repentance and we will hate our sin. Not so the RASN (reviler, abuser, sociopath, narcissist).

These kind of people lie as habit. They deceive just about every time they speak or act. They are of their father the devil, who is the father of lies. They are deceived themselves and they deceive.

The strange thing is that we are so often deceived by them. Many of you realize now that you were lied to for years and years. It took that long for you to see it. Why? Well, RASNs are really good at lying. They are very, very convincing. One reason for this is that they really have no conscience and that enables them to lie with, as we often say, “a straight face.” I am currently reading (for a second time) Ann Rule’s book “Dead by Sunset.” I highly recommend it as an education in the wiles of the wicked. Repeatedly the victims (one of whom was murdered) would confidently say, “I was just certain Brad was telling the truth. There was absolutely no sign of deception. No way did he kill his ex-wife.” But Brad did murder his poor ex-wife. He is in the Oregon State Prison right now, serving a life sentence.

RASNs malign their victims with lies and falsehoods. They work to turn family and friends against the target. “She is a drug addict. She is mean to the children. She is out to steal all my money.” And on and on and on it goes.

We have experienced this kind of thing many times over the years in our church. RASNs often parade as the finest Christians to be found on the planet. In they come, wearing their disguise – and it works for a time. Sometimes for a long, long time. But eventually there is a parting of the ways –

1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

And of course then come the lies. And most people believe them. These “most people” never come and ask, never seek the real story – they just believe the RASN. I know that is the experience of so many of you. The lies are accepted without question and you are maligned.

I wonder about that quite often. Why do people so readily believe the accusations of the wicked? Why don’t they check things out? Laziness? No doubt. But more often I think it is because the wicked are soooo deceiving, soooo convincing. I mean, even a serial killer can put on an act, making himself out to be the real victim, eliciting empathy from others.

In the case of a domestic abuser, the lies begin on day one of the marriage – and actually even before. A domestic abuser NEVER loved his/her spouse. Never. That’s a hard pill to swallow but when we start to understand this, we are on the road to freedom. RASNs use. They take. They destroy. And the one thing they do not do is – love. The whole thing is a sham, a facade front like those fake wooden “buildings” in western movies. Behind it is just – nothing. That is what a marriage to an abuser is.

Rom 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Another Look at Seventy times Seven

Mat 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (22) Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Many of you know that these words of the Lord Jesus to Peter have been twisted and misused by the wicked (RASN’s) to keep their victims in bondage to their abuse. “Now, you know that God requires you to forgive me. I said I’m sorry.” And his allies, often in the local church, pull the same card. Victims have often been chastised and even put out of churches because they refused to “let bygones be bygones.”

But these words are from the Lord Himself! His intent is surely not to justify and enable the wicked by commanding some kind of universal “forgiveness.” I find it very helpful in sorting these kind of things out to step back and take a look at the entire landscape before jumping into the particulars.

Consider – God Himself does not practice universal forgiveness. God does not forgive the majority of mankind. He sends them to hell. No doubt many of these will be loudly protesting “but we said we are sorry.” The Lord is not fooled by false repentance and superficial get out of hell free cards in the form of “I’m sorry.” God Himself does not forgive everyone. This is enough in itself to prove that whatever Jesus meant by the 70 times seven teaching, it cannot mean we must keep on forgiving the wicked even though they keep right on doing evil, then running back to the safe zone insisting that they cannot be tagged out.

What else does the landscape (context) of this scripture tell us? Well, notice the repeated use of the term “brother” here, and in the final “punch line” at the end of the parable Jesus used about the wicked, unforgiving servant:

Mat 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Peter’s initial question was “how often will my brother sin against me…?” They aren’t talking about just “someone” or “anyone.” The question is in regard to “my brother.” In other words, this is how it is to be in the kingdom of God. Not in the fully realized kingdom – in the new creation – but as the kingdom is now in this present world. We are citizens of Christ’s kingdom, but we are not yet glorified. We still battle with sin. We still sin against one another – against our brother.

In Christ’s kingdom now, we are brothers. Brethren. We are fellows in His kingdom. Fellow-servants. I need to quote Jesus’ parable in full here to explain this “brotherhood.” –

Mat 18:23-35 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. (24) When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. (25) And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.

(26) So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ (27) And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

(28) But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ (29) So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ (30) He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

(31) When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. (32) Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. (33) And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’

(34) And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. (35) So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

The Lord Jesus is VERY specific. “Brother. Fellow servant. The kingdom of heaven may be compared to….”. Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question and His instruction of 70 times seven is teaching for Christ’s church. For His people. For brothers and sisters in Christ. As was the case of the wicked, unforgiving servant, when someone who claims to be a Christian, a citizen of the kingdom, refuses to forgive an fellow Christian who has come sincerely seeking forgiveness, sincerely repenting, that unforgiving brother proves himself to be a counterfeit and (see Matthew 18) is put out of the church.

All of this is extremely important to get a firm hold on. Seventy times seven refers to real Christians, kingdom citizens, loving and forgiving one another. Jesus, in this passage, is not addressing the issue of forgiveness when the wicked hate us, abuse us, then come running up with an “I’m sorry, you are now required to forgive me and reconcile with me. If you don’t, God’s condemnation is upon you and He will not forgive you.”

Jesus never taught that when a RASN, and evil person, works their evil upon us, says they are sorry, then goes right ahead working that same evil, we are to dismiss their evil and never bring it up again. This is why local churches who discipline and even ex-communicate a victim of abuse are putting the wrong person out. The continued evil abuse practiced by the RASN demonstrates that their “repentance” is false. Their fruits betray who and what they really are.

How many will say to Me on that day….’but Lord, we said we were sorry.'”

Dogs and Souls? More Human than RASNs?

I have been reading a true story crime book by Ann Rule entitled Every Breath You Take. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to understand with more clarity the evil of the psychopath. In my opinion, RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists) share very similar spiritual DNA with the psychopath. I should make a trigger warning about the book if you choose to read it – Rule describes very accurately and in detail the tactics the psychopath uses to enslave and terrorize his victim – in this case his wife. Also, my opinion, young people ought to read this book (and another very much liked it by Rule called Dead by Sunset). Why should they read it? Because these are the true stories of poor young women who were very intelligent, but whose lives were ruined by being duped by Mr. Wonderful.

Now, back to dogs and souls. As I read about these RASNs, it strikes me that the dogs we have had over the years (Buster, Nikki, Brandy, Sasha, Sadie, and now Cinder and Mocha) all evidenced qualities that I do not think can be explained solely by regarding them as flesh and blood organic creatures who are the products of their physical makeup. Why do I say this? Because it is very plain that they demonstrate certain “human” qualities: love, loyalty, empathy, joy, courage and probably more.

Have you ever thought about this? [The point to which I am heading is – my dog friends have all been far more human than RASNs]. I have no evidence from Scripture that animals have souls – and there certainly is a gradient in the animal kingdom in this regard. I mean, I am not arguing that all animals display these qualities. But I am saying that at least, it seems clear to me, that dogs for example, do. I even have a theory – just a theory – that we are going to meet our pets in the new heavens and earth. But then, that’s not my primary discussion here.

My point is, Mr. or Mrs. RASN – my loyal, faithful dogs are more human than you. Just read the books by Ann Rule I recommend and you will see it. There is no joy, no love, no empathy, no loyalty, no courage, in Allen Blackthorne or the others of his ilk she tells us about. These RASNs are of the devil, and thus they are not really human. The devil is an evil spirit – thoroughly evil and unredeemable. Sub-human.

And I suppose that is what I wanted to say in this post. I want to say it to all RASNs – you are sub-human. You are way, way, way down the animal kingdom scale from our furry and faithful friends.

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