Look carefully at this. Apply Girard’s mimetic theory to testimonies or stories of conversion, we are given (I think) a really useful ruler to judge their legitimacy. (Note that I’m not necessarily talking about an initial salvation conversion here, though it could be):
…there is no story at all of our participation in creation, according to the flexible paradigm of the heavenly story, which is not what is usually called a story of conversion.
By a story of conversion I don’t mean one of those accounts of how I was bound by this or that vice, had an overpowering experience, and have now managed to leave it all behind me – though such changes are by no means to be belittled when they happen. However, they are incidents, and not stories.
Someone can give up doing something held a vice only to turn into a persecutor of those who lack his same moral fiber.
That is not a Christian conversion.
Authentic converts always write a story of their discovery of mercy, which means that they learn to create mercy, and not despite, for others.
-Raising Abel: The Recovery of the Eschatological Imagination, p. 92
Do you turn from your vice only to beat with a stick everyone else with the same struggle? I have done this, even if my spite was only in my thoughts, I’m sure it bled through to my relationships. For what it’s worth, this pretty much excludes all theological conversions that are followed by a “cage phase”. True repentance must be followed by a new-found capacity for mercy, not an enhanced self-righteousness.