Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption

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9780743254670: Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption
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The best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled reveals his more than twenty-five-year work as a psychiatrist and exorcist, discussing his early skepticism about the integration of psychiatry and religion, two of his most significant cases, and his beliefs about free will and the forces of evil. 75,000 first printing.

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Review:

When M. Scott Peck wrote People of the Lie in 1983 he offered readers a fascinating glimpse into the human face of evil. His spiritual/psychological profile of people who were narcissistic as well as evil was especially disturbing because so many of us have faced relatives, co-workers, and even spouses with this destructive combination. However, one of his most chilling chapters in that book was titled "Of Possession and Exorcism," in which he explored an even more sinister form of evil—the possibility that the devil and smaller demonic spirits could entrench themselves into a human’s soul. That chapter briefly described two clients who Peck believed were possessed by the devil. Ultimately he performed an exorcism with each client.

In Glimpses of the Devil, Peck returns to this dark and controversial chapter, expanding upon his beliefs in demonic possession. Like many science-educated professionals, Peck was a skeptic when it came to believing in the devil. But here he gives readers the complete story of his conversion as well as a full account of the two clinical cases that made him a believer as well as an exorcist. Because he videotaped the exorcisms, the dialog and scene work is stunningly authentic and convincing.

Some have criticized this discussion as disappointingly dry. One might argue that Peck’s restraint when it comes to dramatics and sensationalism is this book’s strength. Peck’s mission is not to entertain, but rather to request a more expansive discussion of evil, so that science entertains the possibility of the devil and demonic entities. He also hopes that we will begin a serious discussion of interventions against demonic possession that aren’t limited to the restraints of the Catholic Church.

Fans of Peck may also discover an unexpected gift within this controversial discussion. Peck is now an elder. Once a best-selling icon, he is aging into humbleness, comfortably admitting his mistakes and arrogance when it came to those early exorcisms. This softness and humility seem to elevate his authority, and we can only hope that he will offer more books from this voice in the years to come. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

M. Scott Peck's publishing history reflects his own evolution as a serious and widely acclaimed writer, thinker, psychiatrist, and spiritual guide. Since his groundbreaking bestseller, The Road Less Traveled, was first published in 1978, his insatiable intellectual curiosity has taken him in various new directions with virtually each new book: the subject of healing human evil in People of the Lie (1982), where he first briefly discussed exorcism and possession; the creative experience of community in The Different Drum (1987); the role of civility in personal relationships and society in A World Waiting to Be Born (1993); an examination of the complexities of life and the paradoxical nature of belief in Further Along the Road Less Traveled (1993); and an exploration of the medical, ethical, and spiritual issues of euthanasia in Denial of the Soul (1999); as well as a novel, a children's book, and other works. A graduate of both Harvard University and Case Western Reserve, Dr. Peck served in the Army Medical Corps before maintaining a private practice in psychiatry. For the last twenty years, he has devoted much of his time and financial resources to the work of the Foundation for Community Encouragement, a nonprofit organization that he helped found in 1984. Dr. Peck lives in Connecticut.

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