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20 Comments to
The Narcissist’s Fan Club (aka Flying Monkeys)

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  1. As a Catholic priest I find Dr. Stines comments about priests and narcissist extremely offensive and uninformed. I would question her experience of relation-
    ships to religion and priests if she truly believes what she has written. One
    would think someone of her education would first of all not generalize as she has.
    I have been a pastor for over 42 years and have seen the suffering in relation-
    ships and have some knowledge of how relationships work and personality disorders.
    Any pastor or priest who would respond as she claims we do would be an absolute
    idiot and at last observation we are not all absolute idiots.
    It sounds as though she has made a general condemnation of priests based on one
    or two experiences and perhaps she simply holds a great deal of anger for priests
    from and unfortunate incident.
    I advise victims of narcissists to seriously evaluate the relationship and think
    about an exist strategy. Sorry,doc,but you got that one wrong. Mothers-in-law
    I don’t know about.

    • I didn’t realize I had written anything specific about priests. My point wasn’t that any particular group of people enable narcissists, but my point was more that many people do. I have seen it first hand, from many sources. Of course not all leaders in the church, or counselors in general, are enablers, but many are. I just want to empower victims and/or targets of narcissistic abuse to learn how to trust themselves and be aware of this problem.

  2. Pastor,

    I agree that you shouldn’t take this personally. The message as I read it was simply an illustration of a person of trust, whatever their occupation. One of the narcissists in my life was a pastor, the other was my brother. The occupation of the flying monkeys are all over the “map”. As a person, if you area narcissist, stop. If you area victim,stop.

  3. By the way, this message set me free from my narcissist’s and monkeys. I never clearly understood narcissism until I read this. I read it every day. I will keep on doing this until I’m really free for good. I don’t want to invite any guilt monkeys.

  4. I find this article very accurate. I am the adult daughter of a narcissistic mother, but it has taken me over 40 yrs to figure it out. It is crazy-making until one can name it, step away, and set boundaries. Unfortunately, even therapists that I saw as a young adult never guessed what was going on, so I was the one medicated and in therapy for years.

    I finally met a therapist who specialized in trauma and it was a real revelation as to how the dynamics worked….all of the “flying monkies” who thought I was too sensitive or exaggerating. I set boundaries and finally have a whole crazy set of my mother’s communications to me in writing that show just how the gaslighting works. In the fallout, several relationships have suffered because many people cannot believe who my mother is and how she manipulates, but I know, and I am strong, and I survived.

  5. I’m listening! Thank you. I feel so alone. Help, please.

    • It gets easier once you realize that your narcissist has fans that belong to his/her fan club, a club that you need to remove yourself from. Once you stop caring what your narcissist thinks about you and you stop caring what his minions think about you, you become free. The best thing you can do to build your own sense of worth is to surround yourself with supportive people; people who love you just the way you are, and start valuing yourself. You become very strong when you can give up needing approval from others and start believing in your own worth. Have you ever listened to Kelly Clarkson’s song, Piece by Piece? She talks about her father and her husband in that song. Her father’s love has to be earned, but her husband put her together, “piece by piece” because he cares for her and never walks away. That is a powerful song that depicts the difference between narcissistic relationships and healthy relationships. Find some people in your life who will help put you back together piece by piece. I also heard a quote in church the other day; it was part of a song. The line was, “God doesn’t give us his heart in pieces.” Narcissists, if we’re lucky, might throw a tiny little crumb of their heart your way now and then, just to keep you guessing. Find people who are willing to give you their entire heart, not just a piece of it.

  6. It’s hard to find, loving supportive people when you lost your trust for humanity.
    I had trust issues to begin with. But, after narcissist relationship, i really have trust issues. I feel like people are turning on me slowly but, surely.

    If you stand up for yourself around a narcissist, they get offended. But, they feel like it’s perfectly justified that they smear a false image of you, not to mention hit, degrade, insult you on a regular basis. Really! That’s why they are so dangerous. Because of this lack of empathy for you and the delusion they have that You are hurting THEM. That makes for one screwed up crazy person.

  7. This happened to me after I reported a narcissistic physician for sexual misconduct at a large hospital and clinic (700+ physicians)in the state of Minnesota. This physician made flying monkeys out of everyone around him and twisted everyone against me so that they wouldn’t believe me if I told. I have a serious illness and he went on about how he couldn’t be there if I was hospitalized because I had reported him, when HE was the one who sexual abused me. He played the victim, but was the perpetrator. He is very bright, very slick, very much a narcissist and no one believed me when I did finally tell. This man is extremely well respected in the state of Minnesota. He directs the center where I was treated at as well as the center of the division above that. He serves on multiple boards of a foundation for the illness I have and speaks at their conferences. I tried to report him to this foundation and they believed him over me. He teaches at a University and speaks around the country about the illness I have. When I reported him to the hospital I was contacted by an attorney for the hospital who misrepresented herself on the phone and used the guise of an investigation to intimidate and harass me so I wouldn’t go forward with my complaint elsewhere. The State Medical Board did an interview with both he and I, but they just protect the physician. I was chosen and targeted by this narcissist for a reason and he did what he did knowing he could get himself out of a sticky situation if it arose and that I wouldn’t be believed. I want people to know my story and that this can and does happen.

  8. When I was in need of some support dealing with some transitions in my life, my pastor referred me to a member of the congregation that called herself a psychologist(she has some training to be a counsellor). Her treatment of me caused me to have ptsd which played right into her hand when she decided to discard me. The elders and pastors in the church turned a blind eye to this abuse even after I made a complaint against her professionally. This complaint resulted in her being on professional probation and having her practice supervised. She was found in neglect of eight points in her code of ethics. What happened after this was most difficult for me, everyone in my faith community has sided with her as she has spread vicious lies about me. I’m left without any support or friends. All this from someone with the education of a psychologist who has installed herself into a church community where it’s easy to wear a mask of sanity and make people into actors for her sick play. Truly damaging and disgusting. Beware, narcissists are everywhere and can be very good liars.

  9. My biggest problem is the non-denominational Christian community in which my narcissistic husband circulates. In our rural area, he’s floated from church to church, peacefully, throughout the years, so he knows many pastors and church-goers and they’ve known him for two or three decades. I’m new, however, only having ‘been around’ for a few years. So, of course they believe him. When he forced me to go to counseling so I would want an exorcism, our local Christian pastor only believed him, not me, and even harassed me on Facebook until I threatened to have him disbarred for harassment. Another pastor, whom I asked to pray for my husband, unfriended me on Facebook. For years, almost every time he starts to verbally attack me, he uses the church against me, saying that X number of pastors know how evil I am and won’t let me back in their church (not true, but truth never stops a narcissist from speaking).
    Yes, one of the very worst aspects of abuse is the lack of support and understanding in the churches. That has been my experience. Plus, they don’t seem to be the least bit interested in changing.

  10. My husband is a malignant narcissist who initiated a smear campaign to support the devalue stage, and also used it as a distraction to his exposed affair. He played me “crazy.” One of the women that he had had an affair with is well known, in a very small town, for sleeping with married men and/or any man for that matter. She acted like I was horning in on her relationship with my husband when I confronted the affair. My husband immediately played me crazy (which I know now that he had been working on his flying monkeys for a couple of years prior to the exposed affair) to friends and Pastor. Pastor Doug Burdette, Morning Star Church, Red Feather Lakes Colorado, immediately described the affair as a “misunderstanding” (discounting phone records, their reputations/history and an admission of having an inappropriate relationship by my husband) and he actively supported my husband. Burdette retaliated against me for not seeking his counsel and I was told that I had never formally joined the Church (kicked out) and he, his wife Timi and Terri Valenta continued to lie about me. Burdette has moved quickly to quash any discussion of the affair in the community while spreading false statements about me. Narcissists are notorious for infiltrating Churches and there are some sick Pastors out there. Blessing…I have a new Pastor, who is not evil and I have a new life, without a narcissist.

  11. Wow…the Flying Monkeys…I’ve never heard that term but boy did I experience that. The really weird thing is that after my narc husband did this with some people against me he later turned on these same people. I later realized the loss of their friendship was no loss when I realized the woman was a drunk narc herself.

    I have a best friend from before my marriage to him, who lives on the other side of the country, but we moved from the West Coast to Florida five years ago. We have been separated 3 years but kept going back and forth. I have depression and an autoimmune disease. I’ve been in the mental hospital 4 times during our marriage. I quit working when we married to care for 6 kids (blended marriage).

    So, now we are permanently separated and I will never go back to the toxic poison. The only reason I’m not completely destitute is a 401k from before our marriage, however I’m too sick to work, have no health insurance, and he left us with a foreclosed house (100% of the down payment came from me) and $500,000 in other debts including judgements against me because he took out credit cards in my name. He has income from social security, medicare medical insurance, and a pension. But I am now taking no money from him because that is one more way for him to manipulate me.

    I’ve come to terms and accepted the financial mess and realize that I share the blame due to my co-dependence, enabling and my severe abandonment/bag lady fears. And I’m accepting the things I cannot change. This is the reality of my life. But my struggle is having zero, zip, nada friends here. I have no support other then my therapist. I joined a church but haven’t been able to make one friend. I’m feel like I’m going to die but the worst thing is I almost wish I would just get some illness that will kill me quick. I love my kids so I would never kill myself for there sake. I’m only looking for girlfriends, because at age 58, I would never trust myself with a man again.

    • Wow, that’s quite a story! I hope you find yourself and get your power back. These people leave a lot of damage in their wake…

  12. While I understand the concept of a “Flying Monkey” – the nod to the Wicked Witch of the West and the army of agents she dispatches to enforce her policy – I think this is a superficial read of the people sucked into this circumstance. They are not animals or automatons. They are, in fact, additional victims. They, too, are having their realities manipulated, their rewards withheld, their faith betrayed, their relationships corrupted. And while we may not be able to inform all or any of those who have been unwittingly enlisted about the damage that comes, it does not give us the right to dismiss them as mere mindless functionaries. Are we not then just as guilty as the narcissist in relegating human beings to tools and weapons and objects and slaves and arguments to make our points? This smacks of carrying on the legacy; of embracing the very form of narcissism we are valiantly attempting to combat. And it just doesn’t seem healthy or productive to do that.

    • Great point

  13. I concur.

  14. Hello,

    I would like some simple advice. My life was nearly smashed to pieces by a narcissist who did an amazing job of makingme look like a monster. I don’t hang around with an entire group of people who i used to call freinds becuase it is too painful what the think about me. i recently went for lunch with an old pal from the era, and once again he told me i should have greater remorse for my actions, called the Narcisssist a victim and me the aggressor, talked about oppression of histrically marginalized people (the narc is a women) and i am so upset. he is totally fooled by her? I want to sen him long message and share the thousands of articles about a narcissist smear campaign, but everythin i read says don’t defend yourself.

    What should i do? should i send hi articles?

  15. It has taken me 18 months of learning to separate from my covert malignant Narcissist I’ve been married to for 13 years. I am 47 years old and I have a 13 year old son and 4.5 year old daughter. Both parents are deceased and my only support are my best friend and her husband who are both older and on disability and another friend who is like a grandmother to my kids but has health issues where she can’t really help caring much for my kids. I stayed at home with the kids the majority of my marriage and now trying to navigate how to work in between the kids school schedules without family to help babysit and how to protect my children’s minds from being so messed up by their narcissistic father. Can’t find hardly any information out here to help with guidance. I got a temporary protection order for emotional abuse but when it was time to get the 1 year one approved his attorney kept me from being able to use most of my information. How do we begin to prove this to protect our kids? It’s so sad that it appears that society wants it to escalate to physical/sexual before they care to help the victims even when the victims are children. My counselor had taught me to set boundaries but I had no clue of the sabotaging things around the house and vehicle and the evil that I would have to endure after erring boundaries. It became so bad my daughter was beginning to curse me and boss me around like she saw her dad doing and then began to have nightmares. I agree about the flying monkeys and I catch myself pitying them also because I know He is using them also but afraid to try to inform them because I know they will just believe him and think I’m crazier than he has already said. Such a hard situation to navigate. I pray constantly for help and having trouble sleeping worrying about my kids sagpfety when they are with him and how to navigate single parenthood with no family support.

  16. I’m dealing with this now. My narc and I are fighting and now he brings all of his friends and family over and I have to walk around knowing they think I’m a POS. His friend is my coworker and desrcibed what the Narc was saying about me and it was done in such a way to where it was “true” but taken totally out of context.


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