Clerical Disclaimer: Evidence suggests that I am most likely to be a male who has been in the ministry for at least 25 years (Friberg & Laaser, 1998). Most commonly I will be someone who is considered reasonably successful by global standards, but you must be very careful… I actually have a combination of narcissism, sexual compulsion, and a massive need for affirmation. Oh, unless you look very closely, you would not notice this, as I hide behind false humility (Francis & Baldo, 1998, Steinke, 1989; Grenze & Bell, 2001). Long before I will lie to you, I have lied to myself for so long, that I am unable to discern truth anymore.
Fine Print: Kindly be forewarned that if ever I and my deeds are exposed, I will invent new lies that many will believe. I am a purveyor of the TRUTH; that lends me credibility that you as my future victim do not have. Your faith, your mental health, your marriage, your, hope, your health, and your reputation may be shattered. You are a small sacrifice for the good of my gospel.
It is likely that I will take your heart by the hand and lead you with some or all of the following statements in a rather predictable sequence. Kindly remember that I hold the spiritual power over you and I will wield it with Cunning, Calculated Compassion. If you watch closely, you are likely to find these secret and seductive statements coming from my lips or fingertips.
“I knew from the moment that I met you, that there was something very special about you. I had set my sights on you from the moment you walked through the door.” Samantha’s Story
“I can hear from God and He gives me discernment to know you better than you even know yourself.” – Darrell
“May I trust you with a secret? I am lonely, always serving others, you are such a comfort to me.” Lori’s Story
“You healed me (from the wounds inflicted by my wife having an affair). I’m in danger of worshipping you” (I will say these things.) – Patty
“God is doing a special move, a move of love. And unfortunately, many will reject the love of God.” – Michelle
“God knows your past, present, and future,” (I will use this to rationalize my boundary violations and imply that God accepts and make allowances for my actions. I will even parallel my behavior with you to the biblical story of David and Bathsheba to rationalize my exploitation as an “affair” instead of the abuse of power and betrayal of trust that it is – this is biblical, after all.) – Patty
“I will tell you that we have a special father-daughter relationship. Most people would not understand how we can have such a pure, close relationship. I will be concerned for your health and the potential of cancer; I do not want you to die. (I will speak this with tears brimming.) I will want to prepare you for marriage. I will tell you that I love you…” and “I will (convince you, claim and profess) that I want to help you heal from your childhood sexual abuse…” (These are just some of the seductive statements I will use to set you up to give me easy access to your life and body. It won’t be love and it will not heal. It will however effectively break down barriers and make you feel that I want your good.) Oh, I will assure you that you are my best friend, playing on your loyalty.) I know that is one of your best virtues. You see, I am an unusual man, with strong moral virtue. Your ‘mother’ [my wife] is struggling, it is not the best time to share with her about our relationship. There is nothing we cannot work out between us. There will be no need for you to talk to anyone else. You will be the daughter I always dreamed of and never had.” (These are some of the many things I will whisper to you to keep you in a naive, isolated place.) – Janell
“I have never found anyone who I could pray with as easily as you. We fit together perfectly. Like we were made for each other…” (later I will use this as a segway into our sexual relationship that I have been planning all along.) – Anonymous
“You are so open to the love of God! So many come to church, sit in the back and leave because they fear intimacy – but YOU don’t.” (I will say this to affirm that which is good in you and draw you to myself.) – Michelle
“To keep you silent, I will use guilt. I will tell you that my future wife ‘didn’t deserve to know’ about my secret behavior with you because it would hurt her (and your husband, though I will have little concern for you.) I will also tell you that a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ would be harmed if I were exposed.” – Patty
“Your love of God makes you so… ‘spiritually” attractive.” (When I say this I emphasize attractive and look at you intensely) – Kimberly
“Whew, love covers a multitude of sins!” (I will say this apologetically for statements that I have previously made about my desires. This will be sure to confuse you.) – Michelle
“I can help you, this relationship will be redemptive for us both.” Mary Jo’s Story
“Come here and sit with me; your closeness takes my pain away and brings me such joy. It’s good, and it’s called pleasuring, no one needs to know.” – Anonymous
“I have fallen in love with you; you will eventually see that you have fallen in love with me.” Samantha’s Story
“You have a lust issue and I’m the only one who can help you with that. We are best friends. You love me.” (I will tell you what you think – you will think my thoughts.) – Darrell
“God gave me a dream that your husband would get a gun and shoot me. He’s dangerous!(Please note, I will say this to scare you from telling your husband about my advances) – Michelle
“I will use your God-given attributes to praise you, I will flatter you, with my words. This will disarm you, this will draw you to me, you will come to trust me. I will use my disability to make you feel like I am a safe person. Once I get you to input your phone number into my cellphone, I will whisper seductively in your ear. Now I will phone you very often – and I will. ” – Tatiana
“I will warn you that every single person you know is in some sort of sin, especially lust, and therefore you should stay away from them. I will “discern” something sinful about each of your friends or family.” (Please note this is a time tested tactic I will use to successfully isolate you). – Tiffany
“You are such a special person. God has a call on your life that only I could develop. If you leave this ministry, you will leave my blessing behind; and you NEED my blessing.” – Tiffany
“That which is most masculine in me wants that which is most feminine in you.” Lori’s Story
“I feel like I can bear my intimate marriage issues and divulge my private sexual struggles with you. You see… I view porn – it’s every mans battle you know. You are the only ‘mature’ person I can share this with. You are my closest friend. This may seem strange to you, but f you question me, I will rebuke you and called an “immature Christian” or “too religious” to handle “real topics.” – Tiffany
“You are the light in my very dull life. You keep me going!” “I’ve had thoughts of suicide in the past but you have breathed new life into me.” “I have never loved anyone as much as I love you! I have put in my request with the Lord and asked Him for you!” – Michelle
“I understand your childhood abuse, I have been there too.” Kimberly’s Story
“By giving to me sexually, you are empowering me to minister to others.” (Friberg & Laser, 1998)
“I see that we are so very much alike, you and I. We are spiritual lovers… ” Carolyn’s Story
“This will always be our secret.” Chris’s Story
Clerical Conclusion: My actions can be loosely described as “elite deviance,” which is either illegal or unethical acts committed by people like me, who hold the highest strata of society. This is so convenient, as I have little or no risk of being exposed (Shupe, 2007). In the event that I haven’t managed to coerce your conscience in keeping my seduction a secret, I urge you to remember that I represent the Good Shepherd and herds of sheep view me with awe (J.N. Poling, 2005) I will be believed – my carefully curated lies will be accepted as truth. I will do all I can to protect my kingdom… ahem, excuse me – I mean protect the Kingdom of God.