Some leaders in religious organizations have destroyed churches of all sizes and denominations through theft, chicanery, embezzlement, sexual affairs, lying, and in extreme cases, leading their followers into mass suicide. Parishioners are left devastated and disillusioned, wondering if they were deceived all along or if something happened along the way.
Although some of these leaders haven’t eliminated their congregations (wiping them out entirely and shutting down the entire church), they have left a trail of destruction, both damaging to the organization itself and to those who put their trust and faith in someone who conned them.
- Why would a person devoted to the work of God (or some named higher power) do something so wrong?
- How could so many people be misled?
- How did the elders, deacons, and other hiring decision-makers make such a consequential mistake?
The science of personality theory has advanced dramatically in recent years, shedding new light on the inner working of those in leadership positions within religious organizations, who are perceived as having lives of service and humility. In this book, professional counselor Todd Grande applies personality theory to over a dozen of the most notorious church killers in modern U.S. history, unraveling the mystery surrounding the events that led to the organization’s demise.
Dr. Grande delves into the thought processes, behaviors, and emotions of these leaders, analyzing common personality traits as well as environmental factors such as childhood stressors and even certain kinds of injury. Empirically supported principles create a framework that offers new insight into why people do what they do, how the organizations they once led ended tragically, and how it could have been different.