Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    Bad Psychiatry and Bad Theology

    I do not know what was worse in Dr. Peck's management of the two cases in this book, the psychiatry or the theology. Frankly, I think his ego wrote checks his unfortunate clients were unable to cash. I have the rather uncommon background of being both a practicing psychiatrist with over 25 years experience and a candidate for the Anglican priesthood. I have seen a few properly done exorcisms and have also provided medical treatment and psychotherapy for individuals with problems similar to the two clients in this book. I could say a lot about the first case but will confine myself to asking the author why he thought his psychospiritual ministrations had accomplished a cure. The woman had delusions and heard voices before treatment so she was clearly psychotic. She continued to hear voices regularly afterwards so she merely ended up with a more functional psychosis. A person who has chronic auditory hallucinations is at high risk for a decompensation at any time. Why was she not placed on medication? The second woman was finally placed on some medication, sort of. After years of treating an unresponsive depression, Peck finally prescribed a very subtherapeutic dose of amitriptylene. And his spiritual ministrations were even more inept. The woman was a member of a sacramental church. Her psychiatrist should not have been sharing sips of wine and crackers with her in his office and calling it communion. I was hoping Dr. Peck had written a good book about the interface of the psychological and the spiritual. He did not. I do not know what was worse in Dr. Peck's management of the two cases in this book, the psychiatry or the theology. Frankly, I think his ego wrote checks his unfortunate clients were unable to cash. I have the rather uncommon background of being both a practicing psychiatrist with over 25 years experience and a candidate for the Anglican priesthood. I have seen a few properly done exorcisms and have also provided medical treatment and psychotherapy for individuals with problems similar to the two clients in this book. I could say a lot about the first case but will confine myself to asking the author why he thought his psychospiritual ministrations had accomplished a cure. The woman had delusions and heard voices before treatment so she was clearly psychotic. She continued to hear voices regularly afterwards so she merely ended up with a more functional psychosis. A person who has chronic auditory hallucinations is at high risk for a decompensation at any time. Why was she not placed on medication? The second woman was finally placed on some medication, sort of. After years of treating an unresponsive depression, Peck finally prescribed a very subtherapeutic dose of amitriptylene. And his spiritual ministrations were even more inept. The woman was a member of a sacramental church. Her psychiatrist should not have been sharing sips of wine and crackers with her in his office and calling it communion. I was hoping Dr. Peck had written a good book about the interface of the psychological and the spiritual. He did not. Thomas G. Shafer, MD

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    For an understanding of exorcism, I do highly recommend this book.

    I purchased this book after watching the film The Rite which is based on a true story. Seeing Dr. Peck's book I was morne than interestd in knowing how a clinician felt about exocism, given the fact that many non-believers relate to heads twisting and spitting green pea soup. Dr. Peck does a wonderful analysis of his personal experiences. A step of details lading to becoming an exocist. His personal accounts of Malachi Martin are not the same as you would read on some internet sites which indicated Dr. Peck loathed Malachi Martin. Throughout the book he recounts his dealings with Malachi Martin and although hesitant in the beginning of their relationship over time Dr. Peck comes to admire him. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and feel Dr. Peck is an objective writer of this subject.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Well worth reading

    I bought this book because I believe possession is possible, and I greatly respect Peck, having read three earlier books. Surprisingly, I now have even more hesitations about how to discern between possession and mental illness.
    In this book, I felt a lack of spiritual depth. Perhaps he just did not express it in his writing. I think I felt that a person needed to be an instrument of God, as opposed to taking it into his own human hands, even though calling on God's name. I also missed depth in the spiritual follow-up.
    In addition, I sensed a lack of humility. He never actually nailed the point that humility, or lack thereof, may have been an element in his exorcisms.
    On the positive side, I was intrigued with some of the characteristics of the people, the value of teamwork, and his categorization of evil forces. I think the book is a worthwhile read - in some cases a should-read - for clergy, spiritual directors, and psychologists

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2007

    A MUST READ BOOK

    This is the book about something that most of us ordinary people don't want to know. Now, the time has came when we must be strongly aware growing spiritual emptiness among all the peoples, and overvalued imortance of material possession. This book will open our eyes and souls to the real life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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