Beware of the Sneaky Spiritual Narcissist - Terri Cole
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spiritual narcissist

Beware of the Sneaky Spiritual Narcissist

A few years ago I had an interaction with someone I considered a “spiritual leader” that left me feeling disillusioned and upset.

This person implied that if I were further along on my spiritual path that I would not be questioning the validity of what I considered to be their opinion, on a particular topic. In truth, I thought we were simply having a conversation and was shocked at their attempt to manipulate and embarrass me into submission. This was my first real encounter with what I have come to understand is a “spiritual narcissist.”
In today’s video, I will be sharing tips on how you can spot and AVOID these faux healing personalities or self-proclaimed spiritual leaders. This week’s Real Love Revolution video covers:

  • How to spot a spiritual narcissist
  • Traits of a spiritual narcissist
  • Why you should be your own leader
  • How to be mindful when seeking spiritual guidance


Spiritual narcissists are people who use what they claim to be superior knowledge or connection to the divine to dominate others. In reality, a spiritual narc is just your average, everyday narc who embeds themselves in a vulnerable community of seekers to have unlimited access to the narcissistic supply they need to live. Spiritual narcissists will talk the talk of how we are one big family but will employ any means necessary to keep you in line which might include making you feel less-than, embarrassing or bullying you. This is to retain control over you.

If you’re on a spiritual path, it’s important that you get really clear that no one has the magic answers for you. Look for leaders whose content resonates with you in a real way, but who aren’t trying to control you and don’t seem threatened by you. Spiritual narcissistic leaders want you to believe that they have the answers for you and they alone hold the key to your happiness or evolution. Avoid anyone who speaks as though they have cornered the market on “the truth.” Seek out leaders who share the wisdom of their own experience and who are willing to hold up a mirror so that you can see your own magic.

One way to identify this personality type is to observe if they use embarrassment or degradation as a means of control. If you are watching them give a talk and take questions do they subtly mock the person’s inquiry or make a joke at their expense? Do they bad mouth other leaders in the same space? Regular narcissistic traits are indicators as well, like self-preoccupation, claiming special status, exaggerating accomplishments and bragging.

Click below to download the full checklist of spiritual narcissistic traits and how to spot them so you can avoid them.

All narcissists need a narcissistic supply and will get it by finding and exploiting any perceived weakness. Be open, yet cautious. Do research online to see if there are complaints against this person and be mindful that there are people out there who are sick yet have many followers. There are also really amazing leaders too. In Danielle LaPorte’s amazing new book,White Hot Truth, she covers the topic of faux leaders beautifully and shares personal experiences of the varied spiritual narcissists she’s encountered on her life journey. If you have not grabbed a copy of White Hot Truth, do yourself a favor and do it now by clicking here (You’re welcome!)

Bottom line is that ultimately YOU must decide what is right and true for you. As Danielle would say, you must “Become your own guru.”
Drop me a comment here on the blog and let me know what resonated with you after watching the video above.
And ladies, if you haven’t yet joined the Real Love Revolution waiting list to gain immediate access to our private FB group and receive a bundle of FREE gifts from , please click here to join us!

Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing!
And as always, take care of YOU.

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Terri Cole
  • Natalie
    Posted at 14:03h, 19 June Reply

    Hi Terri,

    So good! Really resonated with me!

    Thank you!!

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 16:36h, 19 June Reply

      Hi Natalie, so glad you found this helpful! Thanks for watching!

  • Mickey
    Posted at 23:06h, 19 June Reply

    Wow! This has happened to me twice and I thought I did something wrong . It was very hard to not feel like I had no right to be upset. I am learning to trust myself .i so appreciate this affirmation to what I was feeling.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 10:40h, 23 June Reply

      I’m so happy you found this post helpful. Keep on trusting yourself, Mickey!

  • Stacey
    Posted at 15:16h, 20 June Reply

    Hi Terri,
    This is so spot on…. Thank you for putting this out there and thank you for all you do. I am just catching up with all of the information you’ve recently provided regarding narcissistic mothers, fathers, and spiritual “healers” now and I have experienced them all. I was always aware on some level that “something wasn’t right” and always eventually took steps to protect myself until finally putting an end to attracting or allowing these kinds of people in my life. Zero tolerance. I intentionally put an end to the pattern/cycle which was a very successful move on my part! 🙂 But I never had the correct label or full understanding of what I was experiencing until now THANK YOU!!! Oh my gosh this helps me put it ALL into perspective AND validate myself for all of the healthy choices I’ve made that at times were judged critically by friends and family. I’ve stood my ground and hallelujah – I WAS RIGHT all along!
    Thanks again Terri!!! You are Awesome!!!

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 23:16h, 16 July Reply

      You are so welcome! I am glad you are finding the videos helpful and so glad you are here. Keep up the great work 😉

  • Sheng
    Posted at 13:57h, 30 June Reply

    Thank you for creating this post! The title caught my attention because I’m currently seeking spiritual guidance from many spiritual leaders through podcasts and books. Danielle is definitely one of my favorites 🙂

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 12:05h, 16 July Reply

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found this helpful!

  • Priya
    Posted at 11:52h, 14 October Reply

    Well written and truthfully said. Great video. <3

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 22:13h, 17 October Reply

      Thanks for watching, Priya!

  • Marlo
    Posted at 09:15h, 22 December Reply

    Wow….this is scarey. As a woman and Roman Catholic I have never experienced this. Praise God. Priests do not abuse children. What took place was regular men got into the priesthood who were pedifiles. They then took advantage of their position. It is not the Ronan Catholic church persay. I hope that makes sense. Additionally, you made comments on people who influences you, however it still does not mean they are good for me, but works for you. Technically when you talk you talking about your own people that work for you. I am a bit confused by your recording. There are some things you say that I do understand hover some things to me are questionable. Thanks a bunch.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 00:01h, 23 December Reply

      Thanks for your comment. I am glad the video resonated and made you think. Thanks again!

  • Jacey
    Posted at 07:42h, 15 January Reply

    This video has been very comforting for me, thank you, after some confusing experiences with a (famous and much-loved) yoga teacher. I find it hard to trust anyone who is a spiritual “leader” because of the hypocrisy that I witnessed and experienced. In fact I have become somewhat allergic to “spirituality”. I tried to voice my discomfort – to the teacher and others in those yoga classes – because I wanted validation for my feelings. People that I confided in “reported back” to the teacher. The teacher told me she doesn’t feel safe around me, and kicked me out of her classes. There was no opportunity for open and honest dialogue. No compassion forgiveness etc. Her way or the highway. I carry such a big story in my heart but I cannot disclose it for fear of reprisals. I suspect that she tells people I’m a narcissist, because she puts that label on anyone who challenges her. Maybe I am? I just have to trust in my own integrity, and this video helps.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 20:05h, 12 February Reply

      I am so sorry you had that crappy experience. It really is painful when someone you trust betrays that trust. I had a similar experience with a trusted male therapist and it really rocked me but like you, I decided to learn from the experience and heal. Keep up the good work and please try not to carry around shame about this- there are trustworthy leaders out there. Thank you for being here and sharing with us xo (PS I think SHE is the narc not you, my friend )

  • Susannah Jane Usov
    Posted at 06:55h, 16 July Reply

    OMYGoodness…I am an empath, and there’s been someone out there in the Leadership world whom I have not been able to disconnect from…since he first saw me at one of his events back in 2000. Something really weird happened and I felt like I had been programmed..and continually the push to do his work and pay huge sums of money in the process which I didn’t do…My goodness for many years I tried to ignore and I did and then this energy kept attaching, I thought maybe it was me, but somehow I was also feeling that my energy was being directed….even in my dreamstate, I struggled and struggled and finally just went with it…but I notice that when a REAL connection from me to him is instigated – there’s nothing there – just smoke and mirrors and weird things happen like people pretending to be him who are just money scamming, and then I wonder – If its actually him and he is a really messed up person?
    Yeah he’s not my Guru – know what I mean?….Now after seeing you video its a wake up call…Thank you so much.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 14:41h, 16 July Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story here with us, Susannah! I am witnessing your process with so much compassion and so relieved the video resonated with you. No, he is not your guru. Now onto healing from this experience. Sending you so much protective energy 😉

  • Mon Amie
    Posted at 20:49h, 19 October Reply

    I don’t want to offend any Neale Donald Walsch fans but I feel that way about him. I read his Conversations With God books and watched several videos of him, and the feeling doesn’t change. I hoped as I became more familiar with his work, I’d realize something I hadn’t seen before but all I see are the points made in this article.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 20:36h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here with us!

  • Brady Mayo
    Posted at 15:56h, 16 January Reply

    Terri, great article. I found this because I was curious about this very topic. I wanted to know if there was some sort of correlation between seeking spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues and narcissism. I also see practices such as being slain in the spirit and staged healings as a clear sign of spiritual narcissism. I know that Bill Johnson at Bethel likes for his followers to line up and go through a “fire tunnel” in which Bill (the self proclaimed apostle) like to “impart” spiritual gifts on all his subjects that enter this tunnel. If you know of research about this particular topic please let me know.

  • Joe
    Posted at 14:30h, 27 February Reply

    I have been reading so much on narcissism and came across this! I didn’t realize this was a thing but it resonates very deep within me. I am an excellent judge of character and come to find out, an empath, so it’s very easy for me to see how someone is, even within writing. I knew there was something wrong with this spiritual “leader” when I first saw him on youtube. A friend wanted me to see him and I was turned off by him within a few seconds. I know he’s up to no good. Guess what a google search showed? Yep, you guessed it…many previous followers of his were woken up to his bs. He’s a scam and a con and is just wrong. I told my friend about it and they were not happy with me at all. Sorry, I have to go with my gut…even though they say I will go to hell if I don’t follow this guy’s teachings. Whatever. This helped a lot to confirm yet again what I feel. FYI it’s wayne levi price. Creepy con man. cult, i dare say. On a side note, I now feel that any noun can be put in front of the word narcissist to be true….musician narcissist, spiritual narcissist, attorney narcissist, etc. Thanks again!

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 10:33h, 01 March Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experience!

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