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Abuse by Authorities & Mentor Damage
Entanglements with Abusers Martyn Carruthers 2005

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Are you emotionally enmeshed with an authority?
Do you want to untangle your life and reclaim your freedom?

Were you Abused?

As you read this, you may become aware of disturbing facts.
Talk to friends about how damage by authorities may apply to your life.

Please don't make it worse ... avoid hasty conclusions or retribution.

Most abusers claim good intentions. Some may say that they want to help you reach spiritual goals. Some may say that they want to help you avoid suffering. Some may claim to help you by making decisions for you. But sooner or later, you will likely feel abused, manipulated or depressed - or worse, you may feel dependent on them.

Few if any religions, philosophies or cults have guidelines about how much authority their leaders have over their followers, and abuse by teachers, priests, therapists and gurus is common. (This includes financial abuse, e.g. fraud and exploitation by television evangelists, charity frauds, false gurus etc.)

Many people who have used popular or New age therapies, have told us that they felt fine for a time, and then felt worse. If they dissociated (cleared) their unpleasant feelings or emotions without learning about their feelings, they learned how to avoid their own body signals, and soon experience internal disconnection.

I became a therapist to help people, and I chose a modality that helped me
get rid of my negative emotions. Now, however, I feel like an empty shell -
my emotions were parts of ME ... please help me get them back!

Despair is to be without happiness or hope. Happiness requires a feeling of wellbeing and hope focuses on the future. Lasting happiness requires that you set appropriate goals and make quality decisions. (Past consequences can help you make better decisions.)

Assess Helping Professionals

Were you damaged by a therapist, trainer or spiritual advisor? Can you
recognize reliable coaches, supportive therapists or effective mentors?

Notice how potential mentors help other people. Does a potential mentor:

  • have good interpersonal skills
  • have quality personal relationships
  • provide feedback for better relationships
  • assess needs and desires
  • walk his or her own talk
  • show competence and caring
  • show acceptance and empathy
  • show trustworthy and credibility
  • show experience and support
  • show friendliness and knowledge

Is a potential mentor likely to help you:

  • evaluate your relationships and solve relationship problems?
  • recover identity loss - your lost qualities, expertise and skills?
  • end self-criticism and inner conflict, and help you recover integrity?
  • resolve mentor or therapy damage & find inspirational mentorship?
  • define your goals, manage your objections and plan for your success?
  • manage emotions from trauma and abuse, and rebuild your motivation?

Spiritual Abuse & Toxic Mentorship

Spiritual abuse occurs when people attempt to control or manipulate you to advance their own agendas, often using abstract words and vague ideals with little regard to your consequences. They may try to replace your personal responsibilities with a religious dogma, abstract philosophy or political agenda.

Many emotional issues are healthy reactions to unhealthy relationships!

One result is cult-like behavior. You become dependent or compliant. You believe and do things that you would previously avoid. You feel anxious if you do not follow orders. You feel anger towards people who disagree with you. You want to punish heretics!

Afterwards, you may not trust any authority. You may not recognize who supports you and who does not. You may dismiss potential mentors as charlatans; therapists as con-artists; and religious leaders as crooks. You may feel victimized and angry.

Since I entered the world of NLP, hypnotherapy and inspirational self-improvement,
my life has changed. I definitely don't like the changes, but I can't get out of them
because they were imprinted in me on an emotional level.

Such abuse rarely lasts forever and you can heal your imprints and wounds. As you heal mentor abuse, spiritual damage or worthless therapy, you can find healthier ways to express yourself and regain self-respect. We often help victims of abuse learn who to trust and how be trustworthy.

Commitment, Community & Friendship

Healthy relationships require healthy relationship skills. People with poor relationship skills often seek substitutes for parents, friends, partners and children.

I can't tell you how many times I was spiritually abused. I searched for a long time for
people of integrity who have the courage to admit when they don't have all the answers.
Your simple honesty meant the world to me.

Some people may pretend friendship to elicit information from you - which they later use to hurt you, manipulate you or sell you something. While politicians and salespeople are notorious for manipulative behavior, many other people may also try to influence or abuse you.

Authority Abuse & Relationship Bonds

Most children defer to their parents. Most students obey their teachers. Most employees comply with their managers. Most devotees worship their gurus. Relationship bonds affect all of life.

Many people will try to control your income, your vote or your behavior. Some will want your respect, or at least your recognition that they have power over you. Some people use peer pressure and guilt to enforce and reinforce your obedience.

If you try to make people do things - people who are not your children, students or employees - you may want to be seen as an authority. If you obsess about controlling people, you may depend on those people to depend on you (see codependence). No matter your intentions, if you try to replace their parents, teachers or employers ... perhaps you want to be perceived as some sort of guru.

You risk depending on the dependence of others. You may become codependent with people who cling to your dependence on them. And if you are successful, you can witness a cult forming ... a cult of you. (Many people diagnosed as psychotic seem to be in cults with only one member!)

We help people solve emotional and relationship problems

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Obsessions, Compliance & Spiritual Abusers

While you may not consider yourself to be a cult member - many intelligent, caring people find themselves creating webs of deception. All they need do is accept someone's ideas as revealed truth without checking the facts, or by ignoring the consequences of their own compliance.

If you justify your obsessions and convince yourself that you are somehow special or chosen, then some of the following are not only possible but likely.




Blame You blame others for your errors.
You want other people to pay for your mistakes.
You must endlessly prove yourself right.
You cannot forgive yourself - or others.
You are preoccupied with anger and judging.
Shame You want to hide mistakes. You want people to validate your life by following your advice. You justify and repeat mistakes
You only do what you are good at
You live a double life, hiding much of yourself
Dogma You want people to believe what you believe - and you believe that you should instruct or control them. You prefer philosophy to integrity
You avoid individual responsibility
You define happiness as obedience
Ideas You want to reduce your conflict. You want people to deny ideas or ignore opinions that differ to yours. You ignore your feelings and emotions
You feel threatened by different opinions
You become generally suspicious of people
Image You want to look good. Your facade is more important than your happiness. You manage your image to gain recognition, respect and perhaps money, but you lose contact with your sense of life and your happiness
Authority You want people to support your authority. You try to minimize their relationships outside your system. You obsess about other people's behavior, how their behavior reflects your authority, and how things look to people more powerful than you.
Money You want to own or control other people's money or possessions - for a greater good, of course. You know what everything costs, except for joy, happiness and integrity. You may be a thief - for your best good cause ... for yourself.

The word "spiritual" has many meanings. We help people change unpleasant emotions and solve relationship enmeshments.

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2005-2018 All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email