because I've been told the person likely to prey on people will do these bizarre things to get them and their potential protectors to stop pointing out red flag behavior. The insiders would end up shaming each other into silence about his "polishing the shaft" behavior and that will make them less likely to react to the next red flag they see. Predators know how to purposely set off "false" danger alarms to deafen you. It's a form of grooming, but it's aimed at making sure he's surrounded by the least skeptical people, then further deafening those people to danger alarms.
So, I don't see him as not knowing what he's doing. I see him purposely grooming his congregation to put up with or ignore whatever abuse he dishes out.
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