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Gossip by Charles Haigh-Wood (1854–1927)

Gossip is "idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others."[1] King Solomon wrote that people who spread slander are fools (Proverbs 10:18). Often envy and jealousy are causes of gossip and it is directed at high fliers within organizations.[2]

According to Insight Therapy gossipers gossip due to:

To feel superior. Many people who are insecure about themselves find temporary relief in judging others. Knowing something that others don't can feel empowering, and sometimes, that's all an uncertain gossiper needs. But, it can also make you appear untrustworthy.

They have a sadistic personality. Emotional sadism- someone who comes off as harsh, aggressive, intimidating, or demeaning is rooted in gossip. This type of character enjoys knowing that someone else is experiencing pain or misfortune, delighted that it's not happening to them.

They’re bored. When people can't generate exciting discussions based on knowledge or ideas, gossip can arouse people's interest.

Anxiety. Anxious people are more likely to spread rumors and partake in gossip, according to research. And since uncertainty or feeling out of control is significant in anxiety, gossiping can make someone get that sense of control back.[3]

Problems with gossip

King Solomon wrote that people who spread slander are fools (Proverbs 10:18).

Leviticus 19:16:"Do not go about spreading slander among your people."

Gossip is widely considered to be morally or ethically wrong or sinful to the extent it:

  • damages the reputation of the object of the gossip
  • perpetrates or encourages injustice or lack of charity towards others
  • wastes time and distracts from productive endeavors

Sources of gossip

Leading publications of gossip include the National Enquirer. Wikipedia® is a leading purveyor of gossip on the internet, routinely abusing its founder's claim that it is "a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality" by allowing disproportionately large numbers of pages that contain such content.

Gossip in Religion

According to some interpretations, gossip is prohibited by God in the Ten Commandments. This can be extrapolated from Commandment 9 "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.". Satan manifests in Hollywood such as Entertainment Tonight and liberal media through its insidious gossip, ad hominem and slander such as is seen in tabloids, yellow journalism and journalistic malpractice.

Saint Nektarios of Aegina and gossip

See also: Saint Nektarios of Aegina and Greek Orthodox Church

Saint Nektarios of Aegina is one of the most renowned Greek saints. He is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and was officially recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961. He lead a life of love, holiness, charity and humility and was greatly love by the people.[4]

According to St. Nectarios Church:

But the love and admiration of the people for him turned to his disadvantage. Because of his holy virtues, because of the spotless life that he led, because of his holy sermons, and because of all those things which made him stand out, immediately malice arose among his colleagues who were also Metropolitans of the See of Alexandria, and amongst the bishops and higher clergy. They did not like St. Nectarios because he was different from them. For this reason they slandered him to the Patriarch, Sophronios, saying that the holy Father had his eye upon the Patriarchal Throne, because he had this "false show of piety," as they called it. They did not want to recognize his true virtue and unmatched spiritual beauty. Instead they said that all his virtue was only a show so that he would be considered holy by the people. He was accused of using his popularity with the people to dethrone the Patriarch. Since our Holy Father was truly so popular with the people, the Patriarch was easily convinced that he was in danger. For if the people rose up, truly Nectarios would have much power. Little did they know the true worth of the man. Little did they understand that he was not a proud man, and not ambitious, as they were, for positions and for power and for glory. The Saint made no attempt to justify himself but placed all his hope in the promise of Christ who has said: Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matt. 5:11).[5]

Greek icon of Saint Nektarios of Aegina

Gossip in Buddhism

In Buddhist morality, the Five Precepts, which are required to receive as a formal oath or vow in order to be a Buddhist (unlike many liberals who call themselves Buddhists while ignoring morality), specifically forbid gossip or "divisive speech" in the Fourth Precept which also forbids lying, lewd or lascivious speech (profanity), and harsh speech.

See also

External links


  1. http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gossip
  2. Oh no They Didn’t! Dishing the Dirt on Office Gossip Stemming from Envy and Jealousy
  3. Why People Gossip and How You Can Cope, Insight Therapy
  4. The Life of St. Nectarios, St. Nectarios Church website
  5. The Life of St. Nectarios, St. Nectarios Church website