Ann Silvers, Counselor Counselor, Personal & Relationship Coach Ann Silvers, Gig Harbor Counselor

Spiritual Abuse


From “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church,” by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen:

"Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment."   p. 20

“Likewise, those in spiritual positions of authority can violate our trust. It's possible to become so determined to defend a spiritual place of authority, a doctrine or a way of doing things, that you wound and abuse anyone who questions, or disagrees, or doesn't "behave" spiritually the way you want them to. When your words and actions tear down another, or attack or weaken a person's standing as a Christian—to gratify you, your position or your beliefs, while at the same time weakening or harming another—that is spiritual abuse." p. 23

'In an abusive system, you are told that you are "the problem" for noticing the problem. That makes it hard to expose the abuse, even after you've left the system.' p. 49

When Religion Goes Bad Part 1

by Dale S. Ryan and Jeff VanVonderen

Spiritual Abuse

(article on John Mark Ministries website)