I think that an elderly loved one is allowing himself to be taken for a ride by one of his church members--and not a leisurely ride in the country, either. I think there's a scam going on. I said, "elderly"--which means I'm not talking about a child who needs protection, or someone who hasn't had a history of choosing friends. I said "allowing", because I'm not talking about someone with a history of being gullible, naive, or desperate for companionship.
Some of the things I've heard my loved one say make me wonder why there is any interaction with the individual at all. I have, however, kept my mouth shut. People don't take too kindly to interference. No one wants to be the last one to know they've been hoodwinked. No one likes to find out that a friend never really was one, and that they're more interested in your check book balance than your well being. I kind of look at it in the light of the way Jesus picked his disciples. He knew they were knuckleheads, but he hung out with them anyway. Maybe my elderly loved one is trying to mentor the person. Maybe there's some pity. Who knows.
What is so amazing is that the unscrupulous person has tried relentlessly to befriend ME and others in my family. Relentlessly is an understatement. Why is my approval needed? Some of the behaviors I have witnessed, and the antics performed are simply weird and highly inappropriate. The level of familiarity is appalling. It's annoying to say the least. What I have seen and heard has left me with the most uneasy feeling of severe mistrust. Yep. I wouldn't trust the person as far as I can throw him. Ever been around someone who makes you want to run for the holy water, and you're not even Catholic? I can't say that I am frightened for my loved one, or myself, otherwise I would have offered my opinion by now--or called 911. I'm just puzzled as to why it is so important to my loved one that I approve of his friend, when the friend consistently behaves in a manner that ensures I'll keep my distance. Maybe that's the plan. The friend has successfully come between my loved one and a few others. Maybe that's the aim--to alienate everyone. I can honestly say that's not going to happen. If your relationship with someone is hampered by their relationship with someone else, perhaps it's YOUR relationship that needs the examination. People think they can drive wedges between you and others, but they can't--unless you allow it to happen. So when I encounter my loved one and the weirdo, I'm polite but cautious. People know when you have their number, and it makes them do even more bizarre things to try and get you off of the scent. Their biggest problem is that you SEE them--you have their number AND address, which makes you a liability.
People can be deceitful, manipulative and cunning to some--innocence, sweetness and light to others. You'll wear yourself out trying to figure out the why's of other people's personal and business relationships...You may recognize that something is horribly amiss, but denial is a difficult place to get out of. Some people are fully aware that the people int heir lives are up to no good, but for some reason, they need them. They have to have them around. There's a payoff. You wonder if there's mutual misbehaving. You wonder if there's some dirt that one has on the other which necessitates the relationship. There's a lot of things you wonder because the whole thing makes so little sense, but you don't obsess about it. In the back of your mind, though, you know a shoe is going to drop, and what you have suspected all along will come into the shining light.
Watching someone be taken advantage of is difficult. Knowing they are involved in any way with an unsavory individual boggles the mind--especially if they have a history of being discerning, and a decent judge of character. Don't be surprised if a campaign is launched for you to see the good in a situation where none exists. Don't be surprised if you are the object of anger and disappointment because you don't share someone's favorable opinion of the people in their lives. Don't let anyone push you into telling them something they don't really want to know. Sometimes your low opinion of the people in your friend or loved one's life is just the incentive they need to draw them closer. People will reveal themselves eventually. Once they do, reality is difficult to ignore. Mind your business, but keep your eyes open. Your friend or loved one may need you later. Be there--but not waiting to say an enthusiastic "I told you so". Remember, on occasion, you weren't always the brightest bulb in the lamp when it came to choosing friends, either.