How to Identify Spiritual Abuse, Gaslighting, and Narcissism | Ep 85

with John Verner, Retired Pastor, Author, Cult of Christianity Podcaster

TRIGGER ALERT! This article talks about the extremist of hate under the cloak of Christianity. Not ALL christians. And we do talk about current affairs and “politics” and religion.”

It’s soooo juicy! And today we jam about the unpopular topic of Christianity being a cult. Today I share a conversation with John Verner, Author and Podcast Host of The Cult of Christianity, on the podcast, and my take aways.

“Churches can be really narcissistic because they have power, and an answer for the the broken person’s problems.” 

John Verner

— –  John Verner, Empath & The Narcissist podcast Ep. 85 (listen below)

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Empath and Narcissist podcast

Here are some key takeaways:

We all have pieces of narcissistic tendencies

“I think churches can be really narcissistic because they’ve never had to care for other people because they’ve been powerful. In conjunction, a lot of the people who go to church are very broken and very vulnerable; and have been in really tough spots.

And the church is giving them a way out. A solution, that is frankly easier than just living your life. And so the lack of empathy comes from a lack of practicing. Because empathy is a practice. It’s not a God given gift that you can just turn on or turn off. It takes a lot of work to be very empathetic and I can personally attest that when I was a Christian, I was not a very empathetic person.

I was borderline sociopathic tendencies with how I was treating my spouse. I was gaslighting them, and doing stuff like that. And it’s very easy in those environments to justify the mistreatment as tough love inspired by God. And I think that’s how it happens.” — John Verner

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Be mindful of the sound bites you receive and identify with. Empaths have innate gift of empathy, but more than likely you were conditioned to be highly empathetic for survivial. In order to not fall prey to a narcissistic solution to your problems, make sure you are unearthing things in your shadow and you are sitting with it. Look at yourself in the mirror and recognize sometimes the mirror is the narcissist right in front of your face. Who’s mirroring all of this hidden stuff to you. 

They are mirroring all of those holes that you’re lacking in your emotional intelligence and self development. 

LOVE is NOT Obedience

Open your eyes to the Narcissists Game
Open your eyes to see that they are stringing you

When you operate out of a belief system directly from an ancient text that women should obey their husbands, this sets up strain and emotional abuse in a marriage. This rigid category of right or wrong is toxic. 

It is toxic and oppressive narrative that “In order to be right. I must make myself less.” That is also part of the doctrine, die to yourself and pay service to the cross. 

And the concept you have to be willing to die for something that’s uncertain, is a huge demand of people.

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The Religion abuses power

Religous Abuse: Any attempt to exert power and control over someone using religion, faith, or beliefs can be spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse can happen within a religious organization or a personal relationship. Spiritual abuse is not limited to one religion, denomination, or group of people.

Photo by Daniele Franchi on Unsplash

The culture of one and only way to Heaven breeds arrogance. Even if it doesn’t start there, eventually it becomes that. Because the ability to save people from hell is intrinsically tied to your spiritual worth. This puts a strain on marriages, parent to child, sibling, and all relationships. 

Empathy ends up meaning finding ways to trick people into thinking you love. Without loving them in a way that disobeys the dogma that you believe. And all of this is you just hope they make it to heaven. IF that’s the only way to love someone, then that is manipulative.

Narcs and sociopath are still human. Can you empathize with them? 

Most unconscious narcissists don’t want other people to suffer, they just dont care or see they are suffering. And since most Narcissists are resistant to therapy, they will never remove the plank from their own eye. 

You can’t love or have empathy for the narcissist without boundaries.

John Verner

You will need to put up protections from covert narcissists who believe in this strict dogma. But, if you stop talking to the other side, both sides get worse and don’t get better. 

“Love them, but Take no shit. I’m not expecting you to hate me, I’m expecting you to not know you are hating me.”

John Verner

In conclusion when you make a good human being, a God, bad things happen.

Release your unconscious stuck energy, idea, and will with the Emotion Code. I’m doing it, it’s incredible. Visit 

And remember. Always keep your unique light shining.

Follow & share your thoughts~

Raven Scott

Before you go!

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On Oct 30 I have the honor of speaking and leading a mini meditation at the Trauma 2 Triumph Summit. How to Overcome Narcissistic Abuse and Heal.

Our goal is to impact over 100,000 mean nd women to become completely free form narcissistic abuse.

This summit features coaches, speakers, podcast hosts, authors, spiritual teachers, along with two top self-aware narcissist.

Email me to sign up for your complimentary ticket to attend the Virtual Summit on Oct. 30 9 am. -12 pm PST HERE.

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John Verner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Exposition, with an interdisciplinary in Literature, from Moody Bible Institute. He was one of two recipients of the MBI Homiletical Jury Award for outstanding preaching in 2016. He has experience as a youth pastor, pastoral intern, academic journal editor, and guest speaker. 

In 2019, he published my first book as a first step in addressing the subtle issues of this complex system. He hosts a podcast that continues that work under the same title, “The Cult of Christianity”

Check out his podcast

Learn more about John
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Raven Scott

Raven Scott is an Ambassador of gain your sparkle back after narcissist abuse and Coach helping empaths heal from their black sheep wound through her transformational program. 

As an international author, narcissist abuse recovering coach, Podcast host of Empath & Narcissist and creator of Embracing your Black Sheep Program she is dispelling  the  narcissist power one soul at a time. 

Raven Scott is providing women, who are feeling lost and alone in their journey, a community to kick ass as we become empowered together while healing from childhood trauma, abusive relationships, or plain old life, and awaken to rewrite our karmic story. Through astrology, self care, human design, & intuition.
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Published by Raven Scott Nguyen

Raven Scott Nguyen is a passionate advocate for self-empowerment and authentic living, dedicated to helping individuals break free from the chains of narcissistic abuse. With a profound understanding of the human psyche and a deep commitment to personal growth, Raven is the author of "Empath & The Narcissist: Overcoming Gaslighting and Manipulation." This groundbreaking book offers a transformative roadmap for survivors of narcissistic abuse, guiding them towards a life filled with happiness and authenticity healing PTSD, and Trauma from abuse. Drawing from extensive knowledge of Human Design, energy healing, and empathic abilities, Raven is also the author of "Empath's Guide to Rising Strong" a powerful guide that delves into the intricacies of Human Design to help empaths harness their unique energies for self-empowerment and healing. As an empath who has journeyed through the depths of narcissistic abuse, Raven is deeply committed to empowering fellow empaths on their healing journey. With a profound understanding of the emotional landscapes empaths navigate. Raven is the host and producer of "Empaths Rising: Healing with Human Design" This podcast serves as a beacon of hope and transformation, offering practical guidance and insights for those seeking to reclaim their lives and live authentically. Raven is a passionate advocate for shadow work, self-care Moon rituals, and Human Design, and is dedicated to guiding individuals towards a life of self-empowerment and inner peace. With a compassionate heart and a wealth of knowledge, Raven continues to inspire and uplift others on their path to healing and self-discovery through her blog at

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