The Narcissist & God

Sam Vaknin: God is everything the narcissist ever wants to be — omnipotent, omniscent, omnipresent, admired, much discussed, and awe inspiring. God is the narcissist’s wet dream, his ultimate fantasy.

The narcissist idealizes and devalues authority figures. What greater authority figure is there than God? In the idealization phase, the narcissist tries to imitate authority figures. They cannot go wrong. The narcissist regards these authority figures as bigger than life, bold, brilliant, perfect… As the narcissist’s unrealistic expectations are inevitably deflated by reality, he begins to devalue his former idols. They are dumb, mediocre… The narcissist goes through the same cycle with his relationship with God…

Even when devaluation, disillusionment, and iconoclastic despair sets in, the narcissist continues to pretend to love God and to follow him. The narcissist maintains this deception because his continued adherence to God, proximity to God, confers on the narcissist authority… Clergy, politicians, intellectuals, all derive authority from their allegedly privileged relationship with God. Religious authority allows the narcissist to indulge his sadistic urges and to exercise his misogyny. Such a narcissist is likely to torment his followers, abuse them… He is looking for obedient and unquestioning slaves upon whom to exercise his capricious and wicked urges. He transforms innocent religious rituals into a cult. He preys on the gullible. His flock become his hostages. Religious authority secures for him narcissistic supply. He craves attention, adulation, affirmation, applause. His co-religionists, his audience, are transformed into a source of narcissistic supply. They obey his commands given in the name of God. They admire him because he’s close to God.

The bigger the narcissist’s enemy, the more grandiosely important the narcissist feels.

The narcissist forms a relationship with this overpowering entity to overpower others. The narcissist becomes God vicariously through his relationship with Him. He idealizes God, devalues God, and then abuses God. This is the classic narcissistic pattern.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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