There is a wealth of material on the internet, relating to spiritual abuse.

Google searching terms such as 'spiritual abuse', 'narcissism in the pulpit', 'unhealthy church', 'narcissistic pastor', 'cult-like church', all yield informative web sites and blogs which will confirm whether or not your church system is healthy.

Reading round the subject is a vital part of understanding your situation, clarifying the issues, staying sane and forming a strategy whether you are still in the church, making a decision to leave, or if you have already left and want to reach a place of healing and peace more quickly.

Among the sites I have found particularly helpful are:

Pure Provender: This is a great place to start your search. Lots of useful information, questions to ask, signs to look for, blog links. It describes itself as a 'clearing house of sources on spiritual abuse and cult-like practices in groups or churches'.

Under Much Grace: Resources for recovery from spiritual abuse. A huge site, consisting of blog posts, many of them in depth and scholarly about every conceivable aspect of spiritual abuse. There are a large number of links to follow up, suggested reading list and even a page on how to navigate the site, which itself contains a large number of articles and videos.

Scapegoating: An excellent, in-depth treatment of spiritual abuse, including insightful descriptions of all the 'players in the game'. You may recognize yourself here!

Church Exiters: An outstanding and for me, a much needed resource to help in the recovery process. Dr Barb Orlowski writes with compassion, on the basis of understanding gained from her doctoral research into the problems of disenfranchised believers. Her book Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness is a must read, along with the classic, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen. Barb has a 26 question Survey which contributes to her ever growing file on this subject. This is well worth completing and will help you crystallize your thoughts on your present experience.

Spiritual Sounding Board: One of many blogs on the internet offering a voice to victims of abuse and discussion of the issues. This one is run by Julie Anne. She was recently sued by the pastor of her former church to the tune of $500 000 (she won!) This is a great place to hear others' experiences and join in discussion. You could well find that others are helped as you share your experience and you will find a non-judgemental and sympathetic ear.

The Bruderhof's First Law...: A predominant characteristic of abusive churches is the 'no-talk' rule. This article shows how it was used in a puritanical, separatist, Christian community and exposes how Scripture can be misused to impose shame on those who dare to question authority and to insulate leaders from accountability.

The Heresy of Mind Control: Stephen offers an excellent book, available for purchase or downloadable as an e-book with voluntary donation, which catalogues techniques of control used in cult-like groups and by 'wolves in sheep's clothing. Reading this book, I recognized several strategies used by my ex-pastor.

Eight Ways to Identify Religious Brainwashing: A short summary and explanation of Lifton's 'Eight Criteria for Thought Reform'. Discusses the standard methods used to bring about control in any totalist environment.

Battered Sheep: Van Robison writes from his perspective as a non-church-goer and yet with his faith in Jesus Christ intact. He has experience of the Pentecostal, Charismatic, 'big meeting' scene and shares valuable insights from that position. There are many useful articles and links on this site.