Dr. Charles Zeiders, a Philadelphia based Clinical & Forensic Psychologist, has just published a breakthrough article in the international Journal of Christian Healing entitled “A Psychological Autopsy of a Malignant Narcissist in Church Leadership: A Composite Scenario with Discussion.” http://drzeiders.com/special-archives/home-2/
Based on clinical information brought to Dr. Zeiders’ attention during his 20 years as a Clinical Psychologist, as well as case material from church scandals reported in the press, his article exposes the problems of destructive narcissism in church leadership. Zeiders’ findings are that Malignant Narcissism among leaders is destructive to business and political organizations, but utterly catastrophic for faith-based institutions.
Malignantly Narcissistic leaders exhibit core narcissism, criminality, sadism, and paranoia. Such actors manifest irresistible charisma to individuals and groups who feel threatened in society. But once in receipt of affirmation, the Malignant Narcissist will become grandiose and consolidate power by teaching constituents whom to hate.
Under the delusion that legalities do not apply to them, the mad leader then embarks on a career of increasing criminality; this gives rise to detractors within and without the organization. The Malignant Narcissist then seeks to injure detractors and enjoys hurting them; this is sadism.
Eventually, the grandiosity of the mad leader leads to reckless decisions and creates so many enemies that downfall is inevitable. Fallout involves institutional ruin, disillusionment among followers, and damage to society.
Zeiders will present his findings to faith-based leaders in healthcare in Toronto in September at the 2016 International Conference of the Association of Christian Therapists (the theme of which is mercy, spirituality, and healthcare): http://www.actheals.org/site_page.cfm?pk_association_webpage_menu=2065&pk_association_webpage=8548
The outline of his Toronto Paper is as follows.
Paper: MALIGNANT NARCISSISM: PROFILING EVIL “SAINTS” AND LOOKING FOR MERCY
Presenter: Charles Zeiders, PsyD
The Malignant Narcissists is characterized by core narcissism, criminality, sadism, and paranoia. Significantly, a person with this disease of character may be uncannily charismatic and rise to a prominent position in church leadership. This workshop will profile the evil “saint” via case examples. Care will be taken to list early detection strategies and methods of healing those devastated by the negative ministry of the malignant narcissist. This workshop will expose the mad spiritual world of the malignant narcissist.
Malignant Narcissism pertains to the topic of mercy in that:
a) It is merciful to expend time, talent, and treasure to protect Christ’s flock from wolves;
b) It is merciful to protect Christ’s institutions from leaders whose self-idolatry would defame the credibility of the Christian project
c) It is merciful to consider how the grace of God promotes healing from notorious actors at the institutional, parish, and individual level.
d) It is merciful to love malignant leaders (especially when they have been disempowered) as a spiritual discipline to heal the total situation.
By:Charles Zeiders, PsyD is a clinical and forensic psychologist who practices in the greater Philadelphia area. He lectures in several graduate schools and provides forensic services to denominations and seminaries. He is author of The Clinical Christ and Wall Street Revolution and Other Poems. He provides very discrete consulting and coaching to leaders interested to excel in business cultures overwhelmed by narcissism-related problems. Zeiders may be reached at 610 653 0151 or [email protected] ; his practice website is www.drzeiders.com
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