Post details: MANIPULATION 101


Permalink 02:08:48 am, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Trent, 1147 words   English (US)


"Agree quickly with your adversary" (Matt. 5:25)

If you have had any debates on discussion forums, then the chances are that you have had someone try to manipulate you, unless the person that was debating against you was careful not to use this unethical means.

Does this sound familiar: "Do you want to be put on ignore?" Or how about old reliable: "You are going to hell if you don't agree with me."

So how does this work, and how can it be fought without employing more unethical means?

Manipulation is used like leverage to move the otherwise unmovable.

I work in construction material sales. We supply concrete contractors, so that means that our two most popular items are post-tension cables and steel. Most of the time we have to deliver the stuff to job-sites, and one day we were shorthanded on drivers and one of them got hurt, so I delivered twelve tons of steel for him. That day, I learned about leverage.

The problem with delivering is getting the cables and steel off the truck with a pry bar. Steel is bundled by the ton (2000 lbs.) and each cable bundle is coated with grease. That means that the whole truck has a layer of grease on it. And I soon found out that the truck was too slippery to have any leverage. Everything that I pushed against would slip, and it took nearly an hour of back breaking work to move the bundle only a couple of feet. This is the principal of a "fulcrum" because a fulcrum gives you a immovable surface from which to pry the heavy object. I needed a fulcrum to move the steel. This is the principle of manipulation: people that manipulate you are looking to find something to pry against.

If someone wants to manipulate you, then the person that is moving you, needs only to find your fulcrum. And they will keep trying it until they find it.

What are the fulcrums on which you let people pry? Reputation? Image? Comfort? Money? Esteem? Power? Admiration? Security? Superiority? Strength?

As long as you retain those things that seem so important, than it is your will to keep them will allow anyone with the desire to manipulate, to manipulate you to do almost anything. Retaining those things provides the fulcrum. Releasing those things prevents a fulcrum. Whether you escape manipulation or be manipulated largely depends on how you let people control you by hanging on to reputation, comfort and the like.

I had a gang of manipulative thugs attempt to manipulate me recently. I will hit the highlights because this is a perfect example.

The first thing that happened was name calling, looking for the fulcrum of reputation. I was portrayed as inferior as an attempt to see if my lust for superiority would make it easy for them to condemn me. I was told that I "play word games," and "muddy the water" etc. But, they were just softening me up for some of the nastier implications - "new age" peddler (an attempt to push against a pious pride,) "distorter/diluter of the truth" (to wreck a lust for esteem or admiration), I was told that "your words imply that you are playing for the wrong team" (an attempt to destroy a need for companionship/kinship,) then it was implied that I was "bought and sold" (an attempt to imply push against a projecting of strength,) then I was told that I would be "judged" (trying to pry against an assumed need for security.) But, even at this stage they were just getting warm.

You know when I was trying to pry some of the steel off the truck, some people saw my efforts and each unsuccessful try meant that I would try harder next time. I knew it could be done, but I just needed to find the trick that would make it possible. After all, we do this every day. As I struggle with my pry bar and the Houston heat, some workers offered to help but it was still too heavy.

Likewise, in this case manipulators always double their efforts and get help from fellows that have an interest in seeing you manipulated also.

Later I found the secret, there was a chain that held the rack on the truck and the pry-bar would fit into the links on the chain and then the steel became easy as pie to move. I could do it with one hand, and before it was impossible even for a group of guys to do it. I found my fulcrum in the chain and now I had leverage.

Back at the discussion thread, that is what they were looking for in me - a fulcrum - something that I would hang on to so that they could move me and manipulate me. At this point it became a challenge. The point of the whole exercise was now, just to see if it could be done. So, how have I greased the fulcrum and kept them from moving me?

I don't disagree with them. If they call me stupid; are they really wrong? I am unstable. I never said that I was faithful. I won't try to tell them that I am strong, or secure, or worthy of admiration. In fact, I want to discuss my weaknesses as long as they want to, and even offered to open a thread to discuss how f***ed up I am. What is funny is that as soon as I mention anything now, they see it as an opportunity to pry on me. I mentioned that a Christian is someone that can be seen by their fruits, so sense then they have been gossiping and slandering my "fruits," and how I need to repent. See how it works? But, I could put this to rest at any time. How? I could just say, "I never claimed to have good fruits, so I accept your evaluation." That would teach them to prying on "fruits" doesn't work. This is what happened about part-way through the (still growing) thread, and they didn't mention "good fruit" for a while, but have returned to it. I'll probably have to add a little grease to frustrate it once again.

Well, I hope that you don't take all of this as a "how to manipulate" thread. This is how to use prudence to see right through manipulation. Usually we feel it is happening, and seldom are we thoughtful of how or why it is happening. But, it is wrong in every case. Jesus was not manipulative, nor did He invoke any unethical means. Non-Christians feel this manipulation from people that claim Christ with their mouth and they know that something is wrong. Don't be fooled by manipulative, pious, mean spirited, hyper-religious types. Life is too short to live for the approval of critical manipulative busybodies.

Trackback address for this post:

Comments, Trackbacks, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Pam [Member]
Lawheads come in many forms and forgive them Father for they know not what they do and keep me in your rest that their judgements and words don't hurt me and I retaliate outside the bounds of reason and also not know what I do.

The fruit produced in your life, little brother is not of you, it is of the Spirit that lives in you. Judgemental manipulators can hurt your flesh but they have no power against the Spirit.

Permalink 06/08/06 @ 10:51
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
Thank you for reminding me that my real self is found only when I look to where the Spirit resides ... my innermost being. Nothing else is worth clinging to. And with that I gladly surrender my flesh to be destroyed, and for others to tear chunks of it off of me ... Then all that remains is what is truly authentically me. My life is hidden in Him.

Permalink 06/08/06 @ 14:09
Comment from: caucazhin [Visitor]
The person who never stands for something will fall 4 anything!!"30 something Woes to the scribes and pharisees""Woe unto those who call good evil and evil good" GALATIANS 1
Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to (pervert the gospel of Christ)."GAY MARRIAGE ISN"T A SIN because knowones under the law anymore" 8)But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9)As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
10)Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Permalink 06/08/06 @ 17:05
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
Thank you, brother, Caucazhin.

We are not adequate to stand for the Truth .. but He is adequate to stand for us. And without Him we are nothing.

I do not want it said of me that I stood for Jesus. Rather that Jesus carried this weakling, and made Him adequate to partake of the Kingdom and able to stand (not for Him) but BEfore Him on the day of the Lord.

Ripening for the harvest,
Permalink 06/08/06 @ 23:56
Comment from: Princess_isa [Visitor]
Ur still judging others and encouraging your buds to do the same. You just gave them the limus test and told them to have no time for these " hyper religiou lawheads " Ur still making the lawheads lepors and telling others you have no time for them. In fact, Jesus has all eternitys time for them. How about go and lovingly entreat them...and help them escape the law " ? Trent, you are quite different off line in private than you are on here. You also are still talking about how poor trent is such a victim and all those others are out to get you. When will you JUST confess your own sins... ?
Permalink 06/09/06 @ 00:31
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
Shira (aka "princess Aman" or "princess_isa_of_spicez" or "Princess Isa" or "Holy Spirits prophet"),

Yes I am judging, but not as the world judges.
1 Corinthians 2:15
"The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:"

I wrote this article in 2001, but I only coined the word "LawHead" within the last year. Odd that you read so much into this article.
However, if legalism has bound one of my siblings, I will do harm to the chains that bind them so that they may go free!

You asked:[[[When will you JUST confess your own sins... ?]]]
Look around, I do this regularly. In fact in one single article I confessed to be everything on this list:
a faker
a cheat
and pitiful

... and that was only one article.
The question is not when will I confess ... the question is why is it so important to you?
I think we can all guess.

Still ripening for the harvest,
Permalink 06/09/06 @ 03:34
Comment from: lois [Visitor]
Help me understand trent why you call yourself so many names? I know that I am a weak vessel and He is my strength, Life, love etc...I thought that there was now no condemntation for those in Christ Jesus and we ARE the righeousness of God in Him. Are you really such a worm?
Permalink 06/09/06 @ 14:03
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
Hello Lois!

"""If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness."""
"""I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses."""
"""Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.""" - Paul the apostle

Three passages all pointing to the to the same thing.
But, you are probably interested in the post to which I refered above and the context therein.
Check out this article for the context:

Please write back to let me know what you think, and if I helped answer your question.

Ripening for the harvest,
Permalink 06/09/06 @ 22:55
Comment from: terry fuller [Visitor]
I tend to agree with Lois. Boasting in the cross, gives life and light to it,s hearers as well as to the one from which the baosting comes.

Yes, Paul did say that he would boast in his weakness......I take this to mean his spirit had learned to rejoice in his weakness because he had come to understand that his weakness was a catalist for Christ,s power and strenghth.
Permalink 05/22/08 @ 01:09

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be displayed on this site.
Your URL will be displayed.
Allowed XHTML tags: <p, ul, ol, li, dl, dt, dd, address, blockquote, ins, del, span, bdo, br, em, strong, dfn, code, samp, kdb, var, cite, abbr, acronym, q, sub, sup, tt, i, b, big, small>
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Set cookies for name, email & url)

I serve , the Lord.

Please enter the name of the Lord (the Risen One) into the entry area BEFORE clicking on the Send comment button.

Hint: the version of the name is the English version, not the Hebrew way to say His name. All letters are uppercase. Rhymes with "freeze us."

Blog All

Automatically aggregates all posts from all other blogs. This allows you to easily track everything that is posted on this system. You can hide this blog from the public by unchecking 'Include in public blog list' in the blogs admin.

July 2013
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
<<  <   >  >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        


this site  web    



Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by