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

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

by M. Scott Peck

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439167267
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 03/25/2009
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 296,705
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

M. Scott Peck, M.D. is the author of the New York Times best-seller The Road Less Traveled, with six million copies in print. His other books include Further Along the Road Less Traveled, The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, Meditations from the Road and Golf and the Spirit.

Read an Excerpt

Handle with Care

Satan is spirit, and spirit is mysterious. Some things can be said about it; most cannot. Those things that can be said, I have tried to say with clarity, but take them with a grain of salt. That is how I take them myself. If and when it seems I am speaking with excessive certainty, I hope you will remember that had I expressed all of my own reservations, much of the book would have been unreadable. My only alternative would have been to write nothing at all. But that, I believe, would have been the greater sin. These things need to be talked of.

Satan is evil spirit. "Evil" is a dangerous word. Speak it carefully -- full of care. It is not to be used lightly. Try your best to do no harm with it. Be gentle with yourself as well as others. Yet remember those three famous monkeys covering their eyes and ears and mouth: See no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil. I think the wise person who thought them up was trying to tell us they were stupid little monkeys, monkeys of denial.

The focus of this work has been Satan first, possession second, and only slightly on evil. Readers interested in the general phenomenon of evil should read my 1983 book, People of the Lie.

The pope recently directed that every Roman Catholic diocese should have a diocesan exorcist. People with a serious personal concern about possession in regard to themselves or others should seek out the exorcist in their diocese. How well trained or experienced that person might be I have no idea. Regrettably, on account of my health and retirement, I myself am no longer able to be of any assistance as a clinician or advisor except to the church. Remember that genuine possession is a very rare phenomenon. The diagnosis, like that of evil, is not one to be bandied about.

Copyright © 2005 by M. Scott Peck

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Glimpses of the Devil 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great account of a psychiatrist confronting evil as an exorcist. An unusual approach to dealing with mental disturbances and illness. I found it to be informative and stimulating
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating book. Peck was skeptical of the devil's existence, but after he began to work with the two patients in this book, he changed his mind and became a believer. This book won't convince all people, but it will definitely get more people thinking about the devil in the modern world. Readers of this book would also like "Jenna's Flaw," a novel about Satanism, demonic possession, and paranormal activity in the Midwest.
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