Wednesday, October 19, 2011

People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

Written by: M. Scott Peck, MD

First line: This is a dangerous book.

Why you should read this book: The central thesis of this work proposes a new diagnostic category of neurosis, in which evil should be considered a subset of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Using a small number of case studies, the author describes individuals who, due to extreme selfishness, lack of self-examination, and some other, inexplicable delight in irritating other people, literally suck the life and liveliness out of those around them. The narrative also includes a discussion of the author’s personal experience with Satan, as witnessed in two successful exorcisms, along with a look at group evil, as seen in the Mylai Massacre, and offers a short summary of what such a diagnosis would mean for psychological professionals at large.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: Even the most open-minded secular reader is likely to experience intense skepticism throughout the chapter on exorcism, which tends to diminish some of the argument.

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