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March 30, 2009

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It is common knowledge in clinical circles that the three professions most likely to attract narcissists are surgeons and actors, yes, but also pastors. Christianity's problem pastors are not so much a problem because of the pastors themselves but the congregations that supply them adulation and influence.

The narcissist has an awful choice. He can live in the desire for adulation that becomes his defense, or he can live in the great sense of insult and despair at the core of his being. It would take quite a supernatural act of healing to enable the narcissist to find another mode of being.

I agree with Cory. I think one unfortunate example of what he's talking about is the TV evangelism scandals of the 80s.
But it also happens on local church level as well.
Our families, churches, well-meaning friends, and society in general often try to discourage us from going into performing arts because of ego/narsicism issues, acting like performers have a monopoly on these problems (the same holds true for the homosexuality issue.)
But here's another one for you-politicians. And with the emphasis on charisma, as with what we saw in last year's ele-ctions, it's bound to get worse. It just reinforces a long held belief of mine that we, the voters, can be just as much part of the problem as the politicians themselves. Back in the 70s, the wife of one prominent senator sued him for divorce. In one interview, she commented how politicians' egos can be just as fragile as actors!
But I'm also going to add yet another profession that has been afflicted by this disease called narsicism-high finance!
Several articles in the papers recently pointed out that the world of banking suddenly became glamorous starting in the 80s; the MBA suddenly became the "it" degree to have.
But then we saw a cycle of scandals beginning with the "junk bond" antics of Milken & Boesky to the Enron, Fanny Mae, and Stanford scandals of today.
We are in one of the most overglamorized professions in the world. But I think a good argument can be made that when you overglamorize any profession-even the ministry-it inevitably creates the danger of people going into them for all the wrong reasons, tainting even people who are in them for the right ones. And sadly, it can also create an environment for narsicism.

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