Friday, November 4, 2016

Bullies and Conmen

From day one - there has always been those who can only feel superior by shrinking up, dominating, or conning others. Though it is part and parcel of the fallen human condition, it is difficult for the normal mind to understand. 

These are those clever and determined folks who seem to have inborn instincts that guide them in how to choose their victim(s). Firstly, a bully/conman (not a gender specific term, btw) can smell gullibility on a potential mark and crafts his/her approach accordingly. Their skills are so refined they can easily wobble and weave around any and all resistance or  pointed questioning. Once captured in the bully/conman’s web of deceit all ability to ask probing questions is effectively bound up because fear sets in. 

Paralysis from fear is the bully/conman’s most powerful tool.

In a ‘feeling’ age, where critical thinking is overruled by less reliable emotions, bully/conmen are able to move more freely, unhampered. There is less resistance, for one thing, from those who are willing to believe everything at face value because otherwise one is accused of being a cynical skeptic. No one wants to be seen as cold and unfeeling in a ‘feeling’ age. Therefore more cons are possible now and as a result the feeling age morphs deeper and wider into a ‘lying age’ where discernment of truth becomes a waning skill. 

We have reached the stage where very few have been spared the experience of being duped by a bully/conman in some way or another. In the realm of politics whole demographics of people are duped daily by vague, good sounding promises and dazzlingly crafted excuses. Bully/conmen are everywhere now, questing to profit in one way or another from those who adhere to the culturally required guile and trusting nature.

Of all the many types of grifters, the bully/conman type I have spent years researching is, in many ways, the most clever and successful because he hides beneath the facade of Everyday Man. He isn’t a star and, in most cases, lives a somewhat reserved life, often as a ‘family man’.  No flash and dash, he operates better flying under the radar. In many cases he presents himself as something of a victim of cruel fate - always claiming to be on the receiving end of bad luck or malicious intent from others, effectively eliciting compassion and willingness to come to his/her aid from the very one he is targeting. 

But make no mistake, he is as dangerous as the most notorious criminal or political scam artist. In some ways even more so because his most valuable tool is not fear; it is shame. He expects that, once, or if, you are on to him, you will not take the steps necessary to out him - because you feel so dumb. How could you have let this person suck you in? How could you not see the signs? It’s embarrassing. You just want it to go away.

And so, over and over again, this kind of bully/conman does his/her thing, wrecks havoc, leaves destruction behind and then moves on, with little or no accountability. 

I have done many interviews with people who have been duped and conned in various ways. It’s become a life focus of study for me and will eventually be a book - maybe. I have found that people are willing to rant and vent and tell their stories, always varied but in many ways the same, but when push comes to shove, in the end, they fall back into the very same conclusion when pressed to take some kind of action - ‘oh, I don’t want to get involved’, or - ‘oh, it’s too much trouble to go after him’ - or her. 

I conclude what they really mean is that they just want to forget the whole thing so they don’t have to suffer the public sting and humiliation of having been fooled. Even if it means taking a financial hit or a life altering burden of financial destruction.

In every single case, regardless the differences, the one thing that is not duly noted by the victim is that, by allowing the bully/conman to go unchallenged, one is also allowing more people to be conned down the road. 

No doubt it often takes courage to take a stand and can sometimes be expensive to step up to the challenge of speaking out. Many a victim has discovered, amazingly, how the world often chooses to side with the bully/conman instead.  In some circumstances it can even be a bit dangerous. Thus, more often than not, the bully/conman gets away with his/her evil deeds because folks are already distressed and prefer to choose the less difficult path, take their lumps, lick their wounds, and count their lessons learned from having been bamboozled and then try to put it behind them. 

In effect, enabling the doer to do it again and again. 

This seems wrong on so many levels to me but I find it an uphill climb to make others see this as the inevitable result of doing nothing. A source of great frustration. 

For Him,



  1. Well said. Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

    Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
    And what does the Lord require of you
    But to do justly,
    To love mercy,
    And to walk humbly with your God?

  2. For encouragement in these dark days....

    Destined for Victory by Carter Conlon

    When King Jehoshaphat found himself surrounded by enemies, Scripture tells us, “[He] cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved [his enemies] to depart from him” (2 Chronicles 18:31).

    There was a cry in Jehoshaphat’s heart: “Oh, God, I have been listening to voices I should not have been listening to, and hanging around people who sapped my spiritual strength. God, one more time, would You allow me to live? Would You fight against my enemies and take me into a place of victory? Give me a voice to be able to lead your people again into righteousness!”

    And God caused Jehoshaphat’s enemies to depart from him.


    I foresee very difficult days ahead of us. But in the midst of that difficulty, I see multitudes —“Jehoshaphats” — from all over this country who have been sitting in the wrong place, finally getting up and saying, “I am going back to that place of strength and victory that was won for me on Calvary. I am going to bend my knee to the Lord, even if it means dropping my own plans and ambitions to find the will of the One who died for me.”


    Come what may, remember that we as the people of God are not destined for defeat. We are not destined to be overthrown like the smooth-talking prophets who do not know the heart of God.

    We are destined to live in victory
    We are destined to be more than conquerors through Christ
    And so it is time to lay down our plans and cry out to God again for our homes, our families, this generation, the future of our cities. It will not be a popular time to stand for God, but there will be a glorious touch of the Holy Spirit on those who have the sense to call out to God

    1. Amen! And AMEN!!!
      If God grants us a reprieve, we better use it wisely. No more complacency and compromise because judgment can come down like a load of bricks. God always keeps a remnant but that doesn't mean the remnant can't suffer.

  3. Amen Meema, we are called to suffer. Considering the direction our country is taking, this quote seems quite appropriate...

    “We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does not reckon with. But we are "harmless," and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are "sideliners" -- coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!”
    ~Jim Elliott

    1. Oh so true - scary true. I just posted this in Michele Morin's blog:

      I woke up around 3 am, which isn’t unusual. I tend to consider this a call to prayer time. Sometimes I know what to pray, sometimes I don’t so I just get quiet and praise Jesus leaving the prayer needed to the groans of the Holy Spirit that I do not understand.

      This time I prayed for mercy and I acknowledged that we don’t deserve it. But I respectfully pointed out that He is worthy, even if we aren’t, and if we had more time we might be able to step up.

      Here’s the response - If we are granted more time we better step up. No more compromise, no more complacency. No more back to same ole same ole. If we are given more time we better use it soberly and wisely.

      If time is up - hide in Christ - there is no other safe space.