In case you missed it, Brad Sargent said this in his latest post on spiritual abuse…
Might I suggest that the point of power-plays is to turn church life into a churning saga that thereby keeps that ever-important supply of endorphins flowing to the power addict and the others?
Is it possible that we have become neurochemically addicted to the systems of abuse and the melodrama that keeps them – and perhaps us – perpetually going?
“What is drama, after all,” Alfred Hitchcock said, “but life with the dull bits cut out?”
One of the things that really struck me after our encounter with spiritual abuse was the illusion of importance shared by everyone involved in that particular system. Outside of that system, all of the politics and power plays were irrelevant to life and society. The only teeth the power and control had was people’s desire for inclusion and involvement in the group.
The senior leader was king of his playground, the big fish in his pond, and the wizard pulling the levers behind the curtain. But all of the drama that he created was only relevant in that sphere. At one point, I realized that the “apostle” actually created drama for the purpose of having to come in and “rescue” the situation.
As people leave a toxic church, the drama continues for them in whatever relational fallout they experience. However, beyond that, they are free from being subject to the control of the false importance of the toxic system. Submission to the control of the imaginary drama and all of the false importance that is attached to that is what holds those who remain within the toxic system.
Brad also said this in his post…
Addiction to power is like porn … it leads to an imaginary story controlling our lives and others. In both, we objectify people, dehumanizing them to the status of props in our own melodramatic “Story of Me.”
We become their invincible masters, whether through aggression or submission, dissociation or seduction. And they become some meaningless but necessary extras whose only role is to let us manipulate them in whatever distinct ways ensure that we receive increasingly stronger and longer doses of our all-important, most-preferred, and well-deserved brain biochemicals that offer us ongoing ecstasy.
The power we hold over them subordinates their story to ours, removing them from the possibility of fulfilling their own providential story with a plotline in which they are their own main character and in which we should play a supporting role. But that’s worth it for the pleasure of our own endorphin-enhanced story …
I am not saying it is easy, but it is usually a good idea to opt out of participating in a power trip.