Orlowski Resources

Dr. Barb Orlowski kindly offered these sites as helpful resources on spiritual abuse.


Spiritual Abuse Websites       Jan., 2011
The following sites are a blend of my initial list of websites that are still up and talking about spiritual abuse and those that I have added recently.   The following websites are not in alphabetical order.  I Googled ‘spiritual abuse’ and looked at well over 130 sites with articles to see who and what people were saying.  These are the best of the bunch.  I trust that it is helpful.   
Most websites have a general approach to provide information and warning about spiritual abuse.  Some websites are quite personal and deal with issues related to their specific church or group.  These provide insights into people’s lives and experience of spiritual abuse.  You can decide which ones are your personal favorites.                                                             
Dr. Barb Orlowski
Some pages have been omitted at Dr. Orlowski's request, so numbers are sometimes out of sequence.

1.      Church Exiters                                                           Dr. Barb Orlowski 
www.churchexiters.com

2.      Kingdom Grace                  See: Resources     Linda
http://kingdomgrace.wordpress.com/resource/

3.      Battered Sheep                                                           Paul Sue, Allan Mack
Batteredsheep.com

4.      Spiritual Abuse Recovery Resources              Dr. Jeff VanVonderen
http://www.spiritualabuse.com

5.     The National Assoc. of Christian Recovery    Dr. Dale Ryan
nacronline.com

6.      Recovery from Abuse                                      Dr. Dale Ryan
http://www.recoveryfromabuse.com/wordpress/?page_id=16

7.     What Really Matters                                         Anna
Setfree0408.blogspot.com

8.      Futurist Guy                                                     Brad Sargent
http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/recovery-from-spiritual-abuse-part-1-five-personal-lessons-from-my-surviving-toxic-leaders/

9.     Setting the Captives Free                                            Aida Carter
http://no-more-chains.blogspot.com
10.             VM Life Resources                                                         Wendy Duncan
http://www.dallascult.com/index.php?page_id=271

11.             Pure Provender                                                     Donna
pureprovender.blogspot.com

12.              Spiritual Abuse Awareness + Soul Liberty Faith        Lisa Bertolini
**Red Ribbon—Jan. Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month
 
13.              The Wartburg Watch                                           Darlene and Wanda
http://thewartburgwatch.com/2010/07/27/spiritual-abuse-common-characteristics/

14.              Spiritwatch.com                                         Rafael Martinez

15.              SpiritualAbuse.org                                              Lois Gibson

16.              ChurchAbuse.com                                    
http://www.churchabuse.com

17.              John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/2108.htm

18.              Apologetics Index
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/a04.html#articles


20.              Spiritual Abuse in the Church   Aust.      Pat Zukeran, David Henke
http://www.caic.org.au/zabusive.htm

22.              GeftakysAssembly.com                                       Brent T.

23.              International Cultic Studies Association            Dr. Michael Langone
http://www.icsahome.com


24.              Rick Ross Institute      Study of Cults, Controversial Groups, and Mvmts.
http://www.rickross.com

25.              Churchabusepoetrytherapy.com
http://www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com/letter.

26.              Wittenberg Gate                                                   Dory
http://www.wittenberggate.com/2006/08/advice_when_fac.html#comments

28.              The Barnabas Ministry                                       John Engler  (Audio)
http://www.barnabasministry.com

29.              Jamesfive19.com                                                 We survived abuse
http://jamesfive19.com/blog/?page_id=423#Other

30.              WordofFaithRecovery.net               The Word on the Word/Faith Mvmt

31.              Recoveries Anonymous                  
www.r-a.org

32.              Abusivelove.com                                                           Rick Doble

33.              Ministry From Two Poles                                             Andy Little
http://revandylittle.com/2009/07/03/scapegoating-spiritual-abuse-in-churches-part-1/


35.              HebrewChristians.com                               Touch not my anointed


37.              Ruby’s Emporium
http://www.rubysemporium.org/spiritual_abuse.html

38.              Under the Grace                                         Dr. Cindy Kunsman
http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com

39.              YouTube:  Spiritual Abuse                                 What is it?/Effects


41.              Mommy Life                                                        Barbara Curtis
http://mommylife.net/archives/spiritual_abuse/

44.              SpiritualAbuseSanctuary.blogspot.com             Scarlett

46.              Association of Former Pentecostals
http://ex-pentecostals.org/spiritualabuse.htm

47.              Rod Smith          “Ten Signs of Spiritual Abuse”
http://rodesmith.com/2009/02/09/ten-signs-of-spiritual-abuse/

48.              Wicked Shepherds                                     Spiritual Abuse Survey
http://www.wickedshepherds.com/SpiritualAbuseSurvey.html

49.              Daviswiki.org                                                       Clifton Burton








Child/Sexual/Women Abuse and Clergy Sexual Abuse Websites

1.  The Hope of Survivors       Clergy Sexual Abuse
http://www.thehopeofsurvivors.com/?gclid=CJHiyOPXpqYCFQRvbAodhFJHpA

2.  Emerging from Broken       Sexual Abuse                 Darlene Ouimet
http://emergingfrombroken.com

3.   The Missionary Myth                  MK Abuse            Vivian Palmer Harvey
http://www.missionarymyth.com

4.  Quivering Daughters                                                   Hillary McFarland
http://www.quiveringdaughters.com/2009/02/spiritual-abuse-in-family.html

5.  The Rave Project                                              Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark
http://www.theraveproject.com/index.php/rave/about-us/barbs_activities

6.  Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH)          http://www.peaceandsafety.com/home                 Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger

Women—The Effects of Spiritual Abuse on Women

http://recoveringfromspiritualabuse.wikispot.org/The_Effects_of_Spiritual_Abuse_on_Women                                            Richard Damiani

Women in Church Leadership

Christians for Biblical Equality
     www.cbeinternational.org

Strive to Enter                                                             Cheryl Schatz
http://strivetoenter.com/wim/category/spiritual-abuse


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What is Spiritual Abuse?

Spiritual abuse. It can happen in big churches and small. It can happen in churches that at first seem sound, biblical or healthy. Certain signatures define spiritual abuse: authoritarian leadership, claims that the group or leaders have a special calling or gifts, inability of leaders to handle criticism, harsh treatment of those who question or try to leave. These are just a few. Though the manifestation of abuse differs in externals, underneath are similar traits, repeated in abusive groups. Become familiar with spiritual abuse in a variety of churches and you will soon see how these leaders manipulate and control.

Are you covering for a spiritually abusive pastor?

What's happening to my church?

A message to culty group defenders

Cult Next Door posted this excellent response to those culty-group defenders -- who lambaste victims on blogs exposing spiritual abuse. These folks see nothing wrong with the abusive leader, defend the hurtful practices and blame the one exposing the tactics. They needle victims, and pile on blame. They excuse the harm of abusers, and belittle the pain of victims. Provender wishes every blog on spiritual abuse would have a little message like this for these folks.

Sometimes, they apologize

Every once in a while, church leaders in these situations apologize. A Florida blogger, FBCWatchdog, was kicked out of church and given trespass warning documents after being outed as a church blogger critic, and later was branded a "sociopath" by the pastor of his large, Florida church, in the local paper. The blogger eventually brought suit. After the ruling (and likely as part of the settlement), the pastor publicly apologized. There is much more to the story, but these are the highlights.

Using words to manipulate

It can be subtle, or it can hit you head on. When spiritual abusers are cornered, certain techniques crop up again and again. Here are some samples.

What does elitism have to do with spiritual abuse?

Does your church think it's special? What does it think of other churches? Elitism is a big sign your church or group could be spiritually dangerous. CLICK HERE for more

Misusing Scripture to Abuse

Check out The Cult Next Door's interview with Provender on twisting scriptures.

Stories of abuse and survival

Links to stories of spiritual abuse:

She had to choose between church or daughter

When he wanted to move out of state, the pastor of this Kansas UPC church said he'd be going "down, down, down."

This cult church made a virtual slave of one blogger -- 15 years of misery

What is it like to lose your son to a spiritually abusive church? One mother's story.

Her husband gave up law practice to give his all to church, and the whole family ended up shunned by order of the leadership.

Cruel stepfather is also pastor of a California "Bible-based" church (a Calvary Chapel). His children suffered beatings meted out by this pastor/stepdad. Church leaders would not disassociate themselves, only minimize and cover up the pastor/dad's violence.


This pastor said God gave instructions on how to roll and fold toilet paper properly. Soon the TP police were on the job Also, edicts on not smashing pennies!

They told her terrible things would happen if she left, and no other church would help her.


The man behind the curtain

Church blogger critic experiences wrath of abusers (including fake letter-of-resignation sent to employer) and major harassment with few attempts by church leaders to stop the abuse.

Caught in a Bible-based cult for 13 years

Holey coverups

Abusive voices remained in her head after she left the cultish group

A good blog on spiritual abuse, and some great links in the sidebar also.

This sad story includes 15 signs of abuse

This woman left the frying pan of one cult for the fire of another

Parents of woman who cut off baby's arms blame pastor 's influence for taking her to the edge

College senior trapped in abusive group for years finally escapes

Many, many stories mostly from UPC members

An SGM pastoral intern finds leaving isn't all that easy

When husband beat her after worship service, this mom sought help from church only to be abused further

Hedged in at her Canadian Baptist college, this young women had few places to turn, but managed to survive.

When humility is not humility

After divorcing for verbal abuse, this woman was disfellowshiped from a Baptist church with a message on a large screen in front of the church that read: CONDUCT UNBECOMING A CHILD OF GOD

His family chose the elders and shunned him

"Untouchable, unaccountable, unknowable, and alone"

Abusive pastor destroys congregation he was "called" to serve

Check main site

Make sure to check out the main Provender site

Contact Provender

If you have found an especially helpful site on spiritual abuse, please email Provender and we'll see about adding it. If you need to tell your story, you can also email Provender. We'll always keep your story confidential unless you wish to post it in the case studies section.

Also, if you notice broken links on this site, please contact Provender: Click Here

Featured link: The Web of Narcissism

Provender's guest posts

A Sense of Futility on Quivering Daughters blog

Spiritual Abuse is Hidden Trauma on The Cult Next Door blog


Are you covering your pastor's nakedness?

In Predators in the Pulpit, Chris Efinda discusses the covering nakedness doctrine. Enablers of spiritual abuse justify cover-ups of abusive pastors using this pseudo-scriptural approach. Efinda says that the spiritual "sons" of abusive leaders feel that hiding the wrongdoing of abusive pastors becomes a divine test of their own faithfulness. If you are acting as a go-between, or "filtering" what comes from your pastor and to make it seem more acceptable to others, are you trying to cover your pastor's nakedness? It's very likely.

Also see, Are You Covering for a Spiritually Abusive Pastor

A word from Ezekiel

The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them."

Ezekiel 34:1-6

A message to abusive pastors from Jeremiah 23

Woe to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD.

Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, says the LORD.

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, says the LORD. ...

For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, says the LORD.

... for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

Thus says the LORD of hosts, Do not listen to the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.

They say still to those who despise me, The LORD has said, You shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

...I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

...I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? says the LORD.

Is not my word like as a fire? says the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

Jeremiah 23

Tell your story

The Cult Next Door blog invites those who have been spiritually abused to tell their stories. This can be a healthy exercise for victims of abuse, especially those living under a "can't talk" rule.

Follow the leader, but with care

An editorial on how easy it is to fall into the trap of following dangerous leaders.

Search Here

To search Provender (or to see the latest additions to Provender), CLICK HERE

Order of Posts

I like to keep the list of helpful sites on Spiritual Abuse at or near the top because providing links to the best resources on this topic is the main purpose of this blog. If a post seems to disappear, you can usually find it below the first post.

Psalms for the Oppressed

A glimpse into life under the thumb of controlling church

Breaking the Chains: Overcoming the Spiritual Abuse of a False Gospel by Shari Howerton details life under the thumb of an oppressive church.

Spiritually abused woman needs prayer, help

How they use words to manipulate and abuse

Spiritual Abuse Quote of the Month

Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in order to promote learning the group's ideology or belief system and group-approved behaviors. Good behavior, demonstrating an understanding and acceptance of the group's beliefs, and compliance are rewarded while questioning, expressing doubts or criticizing are met with disapproval, redress and possible rejection. If one expresses a question, he or she is made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to be questioning...Approval comes from having the new member's behaviors and thought patterns conform to the models (members). Members' relationship with peers is threatened whenever they fail to learn or display new behaviors. Over time, the easy solution to the insecurity generated by the difficulties of learning the new system is to inhibit any display of doubts -- new recruits simply acquiesce, affirm and act as if they do understand and accept the new ideology. -- Step 5 of MargaretSinger's Six Conditions for Thought Reform, found on ICSA

Covering and Manipulation

Two sites I want to emphasize:
The site Covering and Authority ends up buried and hard to find because it was a late discovery, so I thought I'd make a handy sidebar link to this page on the concept of covering or theology of covering. This site includes many scriptural references refuting the idea of human responsibility for the sins and behavior of others.

Also, a Rest Ministries page on manipulation and spiritual abuse disappeared when Geocities closed its sites in October. Before it disappeared, I preserved part of it and now have it linked HERE. This site exposed, in vivid detail, techniques abusers use to get followers to do their bidding. Very insightful
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Additional resources

Dr. Barb Orlowski has provided these additional resources she came across in the course of her research. Thanks, Dr. Orlowski.

 

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