Skip to content

Emancipate Your Mind: 077: Spiritual Elitism and the Self-Righteous Narcissist

If you were raised in a high demand religion that prized unquestioning obedience even if it harmed you or someone you cared about, believed that your faith was “the one truth”, and that taught you that your purpose was to convince or save others from the errors of their ways, you were likely groomed to embrace many self-righteous narcissistic traits. You were likely also surrounded by and even parented by others with these traits.

In this episode, we discuss how to recognize this subset of narcissism, how self-righteous narcissism develops, how fundamentalist religions encourage the development of these traits, why people with these traits might have seemed attractive to us at one point, and how we can begin to give ourselves space to heal.



“Love Bombed By a Self-Righteous Narcissist”, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, January 16, 2022

“Religious Narcissists”, Dr. Les Carter, September 13, 2018

“Barack Obama Challenges ‘Woke’ Culture”– BBC World News, October 30, 2019

“Religious Fundamentalism Could be Associated With Increased Sensitivity to Errors”,, Eric W. Dolan, April 30, 2018

“The Science of Spiritual Narcissism”, Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, January 11, 2021

“9 Characteristics of Spiritual Elitism, Narcissism of a Different Variety”, Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC, PsychCentral, June 30, 2018


Come join the Emancipate Yourself Facebook group for more discussion about the podcast and random thoughts that pop up while Iā€™m researching or in the shower.


Want to support our work and keep these resources available to all who want or need them? Consider making a tax-deductible donation at


2 thoughts on “Emancipate Your Mind: 077: Spiritual Elitism and the Self-Righteous Narcissist”

  1. Hi Teri
    Thank you for your podcast – I came to it via Mormon Discussions. I really enjoyed listening to your thoughts and suggestions. Very helpful and very open. I will be looking inwards and outwards from a better place. I will be passing it on to friends and relatives.

    Would you advise about making donations from the UK.

    (As you invited negative would you please mind not using the term ‘Karen’ and please when you encounter it call it out for what it is – entitled behaviour. I have a friend called Karen and understandably she is feeling extremely othered by this shaming term. It jarred with me esp. given the subject matter. It did not diminish from your wider message and I repeat how helpful I found your thoughts. )

    1. Daisy, Thank you for calling me out about using the term ‘Karen’. You are right. That would feel extremely othering and shaming if your name is Karen. I will refrain from using that term in the future. As for making donations from the UK, I am not entirely sure how that would work. Let me talk to the directors of Mormon Discussions and see if they have insight about that.
      šŸ™‚ Teri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *