Taken from the book Overcoming the Spirit of Narcissism by Patricia King
THE NATURE OF DECEPTION
When you are deceived you do not know it; that is the nature of it. Deception is different from rebellion. If you were to rebel, you would know what is right yet deliberately choose to do what is wrong. When deceived, you actually believe you are right. Deception creates blind spots in your perception so that you cannot actually see the truth. What you believe feels like the truth when you are deceived. Narcissism is rooted in deception. In the myth, when Narcissus looked into the reflection he actually believed with full conviction that it was a true being he could love. It was not true, so he died believing the lie. This is the nature of deception.
The best safeguard against deception is a good accountability team around you. People who love you enough to speak the truth to you are great gifts. Narcissus had those around him who tried to comfort him but not those who spoke the truth. I love accountability. I listen and submit to the input from my accountability relationships. This is a safeguard against deception. Unfortunately, I know some who have put accountability teams around them but when confrontation came, they dissolved the members who disagreed with them. They then surrounded themselves with “yes men.”
The outcome was disastrous as they continued to grow in deception rather than truth. They put the original team around them for appearance sake only and not for functionality. In such cases, others in their sphere of influence are affected and infected by the deception also. This type of action in response to confrontation is actually a symptom of a spirit of narcissism at work, and it potentially fuels the spirit’s influence in addition to increasing its hold on those who succumb to its deception.