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Why Wolves Cry Gossip & Slander | Behaviors of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

If you find yourself toe to toe with a wolf in sheep's clothing, you've probably been accused of slander and/or gossip.


Wolves in sheep's clothing are what the world typically refers to as narcissists, the Bible refers to as wolves and dishonest people with insolent pride, and what you could also classify as cult leaders. Whatever you call them, one of their main weapons of manipulation against whistleblowers and truth-tellers who threaten their pristine image in the Christian Church today is crying gossip and slander.


Whether you've experienced this firsthand, are preparing to blow the whistle on a wolf, or are simply curious about this manipulative tactic commonly used by cult leaders and their flying monkeys, we want to help you.


When Wolves, Narcissists, & Cult Leaders Cry Gossip & Slander

Wolves in sheep's clothing often exhibit a pattern of manipulative behavior, seeking to protect their fragile egos and avoid taking responsibility for their abusive and sometimes even criminal actions. One common tactic employed by wolves is to accuse whistleblowers and truth-tellers of gossip and slander when faced with those actions.


Before I share some tips and tricks to help you defend yourself against this particular weapon of the wolf, let's explore the reasons behind this behavior and shed light on how wolves utilize claims of gossip and slander to evade accountability, truth, and exposure to the light.


The Wolf's Fragile Self-Image


Wolves, as narcissists, have an inflated sense of self-importance and, ironically, a fragile self-image too. Any criticism or accountability could threaten their carefully constructed facade of superiority and spiritual authority. By accusing those who threaten their fragile self-image of gossip and slander, wolves can deflect attention away from their own actions and maintain their self-perceived image of perfection.


The gossip and slander accusation not only works to protect their fragile self-image, but also as a red herring to distract you from the real problem, which is their abusive and harmful behavior. It's also untrue, given that slander is making false statements about someone and gossip is spreading false rumors or speaking negatively about someone on matters that are no one's business.


If a pastor, church/ministry leader, or any person of prominence and authority in the Christian Church is exhibiting red flags and behaviors of abuse or exploitation, telling the truth about it isn't slander, nor is it gossip. Wolves want to distract from and deflect the truth, however, and one reason for that is to protect their inflated and fragile self-image.


Distorting the Narrative & Playing the Victim

DARVO infographic

Wolves are skilled at manipulating the narrative to suit their needs. By crying gossip and slander, not only can they protect their fragile self-image by throwing this popular red herring at anyone that questions or threatens their mask, they can also distort the truth and cast doubt on the credibility of those who try to hold them accountable.


Crying slander and gossip is a tactic that allows wolves to control the narrative in a way that paints themselves as victims rather than perpetrators, and diverting attention from their own misconduct by casting a negative light on those who see them for who they really are. Ironically, sometimes while calling their critics gossips and slanders, wolves will even launch a smear campaign against whistleblowers, spreading gossip and slander against those who confront or question them in any way, which is itself slander and gossip.


Wolves often play the victim card to garner sympathy and deflect accountability. By claiming gossip and slander, they position themselves as innocent targets of malicious intent, further manipulating the perception of others. This victim mentality not only shields them from accountability but also allows them to garner support and validation from those who may be unaware of their manipulative behavior.


Gaslighting | The Wolf's Bread & Butter


Gaslight definition

Gaslighting is a common tactic employed by wolves/narcissists to undermine your perception of reality and manipulate you. By accusing whistleblowers of gossip and slander, wolves can also gaslight their accusers, making them question their own judgment and memory. This manipulation tactic further erodes the credibility of those seeking accountability, allowing the wolf to maintain control and avoid facing the consequences of their actions.


Common gaslighting statements might include:


"Is that really what happened?"

"I don't think you're remembering that accurately."

"That's not abusive. You're just being sensitive."


And then, of course:


"You're just a gossip and a slanderer."

Gaslighting is a tactic that can really disorient and confuse victims into doubting their actions, perceptions, and their understanding of real abuse that's happened. This pernicious tactic can be hard to recognize. If you confront someone for their abusive or criminal behavior, but after your interactions with them you start to doubt yourself, feel confused, or feel like maybe you're just misunderstanding things, plant yourself back into reality by reminding yourself of the facts.


Ask yourself these questions and take these actions to climb out of the wolf's gaslighting fog of confusion.


1. What happened and how do you know that's what happened? If you have texts, emails, video, or recorded audio surrounding what happened, go back and review them to remind yourself of real, tangible proof and documentation supporting the truth of what happened.


2. Is what you know happened abusive or unethical? How and why? Forget the smooth-talking of the person in question. Put their behavior in the most basic, simple language that you can. Wolves can manipulate the reality of what they've done to make it sound okay, or even good and righteous, but forget the mask they've put over their behavior and get to the heart of the matter. When you describe it in simple language, what did they do? Did they sexually assault you? Physically hurt you? Intimidate, bully, or coerce you into doing something you didn't feel comfortable doing? Threaten you? Harm you in some other way? Is what they did illegal?


The wolf wants you to question reality and your perception of it to cause confusion and self-doubt, so all you need to do to overcome this tactic is plant yourself firmly in reality. The chances you've observed something that didn't really happen and that it's not really that bad is a lot more unlikely than the possibility that the wolf actually did what you observed them doing.


Maintaining Power & Control | The Wolf's Meat & Potatoes


Ultimately, narcissistic wolves seek to maintain power and control over their environment, relationships, and anything else they possibly can. By accusing you of gossip and slander, they create a climate of fear, mistrust, and confusion which discourages others from speaking out against their behavior and keeps them in control. This tactic serves to reinforce their dominance and ensure they remain unchallenged, further enabling their manipulative tendencies and the power and control they hunger for.


To threaten the wolf's power and control, their grandiose but fragile self-image, and the deceptive mask they wear is to threaten what modern psychologists might call the narcissist's supply, and what we would call the wolf's meat and potatoes. The entire motive behind the wolf's tactic of crying slander and gossip is to make sure they have a steady stream of food coming their way, and that food is you, God's flock, the Body of Christ.


Final Thoughts | Dismantling the Wolf's Cries of Slander & Gossip


By crying slander and gossip, wolves can continue devouring the sheep without interruption and protect themselves from threats to their narcissistic supply. By diverting everyone's attention to the truth-tellers and whistleblowers, making them the abusers and the wolf the victim, and gaslighting anyone that might threaten their next meal, wolves maintain their power and control by protecting their deceptive mask.


So how do you defend yourself against this tactic? Or better yet, how can you dismantle it and overcome it for the purpose of exposing the wolf in sheep's clothing to protect their victims? Here are a few tips and tricks you should consider trying the next time you see a wolf in sheep's clothing crying slander and gossip.


1. Refute the Wolf's Gossip & Slander With the Truth | Blow the Whistle!

whistleblower

By firmly refuting the wolf's slanderous claims of slander and gossip against you, you can dismantle this tactic before it has time to take root and be effective for the wolf's benefit.


Return fire against wolf's slander by loudly and assertively presenting the facts with documentation and undeniable, verifiable proof. Slander is when you make false statements about someone to tarnish their image to others. By speaking the truth courageously, openly, and irrefutably, you dismantle the wolf's claim to slander and expose them as the real slanderer.


Additionally, recall and define gossip clearly to establish why exposing evil and abuse isn't gossip, because it's not. There is such a thing as gossip and it's definitely as bad as wolves claim, but exposing their works of darkness isn't gossip. Exposing church abuse and speaking the truth about the criminal and evil behaviors of wolves isn't gossip. The abusive, evil, fraudulent, and criminal behavior of wolves is everyone's business because it's exposure is for the purpose of protecting people from real harm.


The truth is all you need to demolish the wolf's cries of gossip and slander. They bark lies because they're threatened by and fear the truth. So shout it from the rooftops, church checkers. Blow the whistle because whistleblowers armed with the truth are what ultimately bring wolves down.


Side Note: Please take your safety and the safety of others into account. If you fear the wolf might harm you or others in response to you blowing the whistle, consider taking the truth to the authorities mentioned below first and/or instead of acting on your own.


2. Go to the Authorities


In their insolent pride and grandiose narcissism, wolves in sheep's clothing have a tendency to believe they're the ultimate authority in any given situation. When it comes to church abuse, pastors caught up in child abuse, sexual assault, money laundering, or any form of abuse, wolves believe they can simply ignore the allegations, slander you and gossip against you, and their word will be the final one on the matter.


The truth is the wolf is not the authority on how church abuse should be handled, nor should you treat them as such. Their authority is fraudulent, usurped from Christ, and very commonly fabricated by wolves for the purpose of enabling and insulating abusers. Don't waste time climbing the manufactured ladder of "church authority" that's designed to keep whistleblowers at bay. Go to the real authorities outside the manipulative and exploitative church system that enabled their abuse in the first place.


If a crime of any kind has occurred, call the appropriate authorities, whether that be the local police, the IRS, or the FBI. Abusive churches oftentimes establish systems of "accountability" within the church for the purpose of protecting and enabling abusers rather than protecting their victims. Don't bring the criminal behaviors of wolves to the wolves and their flying monkeys. It will never be addressed and the perpetrator(s) will never be held accountable.


Even if you're unsure of whether something you've witnessed or experienced personally is illegal, take your concerns to someone you trust. If the police, the IRS, or the FBI can't help you, consider reaching out to a private investigator or an organization like GRACE or the Trinity Foundation. Expose the abuse publicly by taking your experience and information to a Christian abuse advocate journalist or blogger like MinistryWatch, The Roys Report, the Wartburg Watch, or Check My Church. If you want to take legal action, try an attorney like Boz Tchividjian.


Whatever you do, if you see something, say something, church checkers. Stop feeding the wolves when they cry gossip and slander. Their tactics are manipulative and deceptive, but predictable and easily dismantled if you move with courage, truth, and discernment. There is a plethora of resources and support available to abuse victims both within the Christian Church and outside of it.


You are not alone and you don't need to get the wolf or their minions on your side to effect change against their abuse. Don't fear the wolf and don't let their abusive tactics trip you up.


Speak the truth, church checkers, and blow the whistle.


 


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