This is the third book written by M Scott Peck I have devoured. In this book, he takes on the issue of evil. He is a psychologist, so his approach is largely scientific, buttressed by his very strong Christian belief. But evil is something that psychology has never classified, nor tried to analyze.
It seems that he has found a few folks that would fall into this category during his many years as a counselor, but only one entered therapy. Typically these folks absolutely deny they have any problems, and my own description of these, would be "teflon" folks. They never get anything wrong. He describes a couple who had two sons. One suicided, using a 22 rifle. The very next Christmas they presented the very same rifle to the remaining younger son, as a present. They could not see that this was a dreadful thing to do, nor did they accept any responsibility for the serious depression he was experiencing. Instead they thought he might be a product of bad genes. They then consistently did not carry out the advice recommended, and did exactly the opposite of what the son asked for, but still wrote back to say "they had followed Scott's advice." Wow.
The only person that fitted the category of evil he ever had in therapy, was a female, who concealed her issues from him steadily for three years, and was determined to have a sexual relationship with him. Which was allied to the typical controlling behavior these folks exhibit, and their incredible mask concealed by lies. When she terminated the therapy, she demonstrated that she had willingly and deliberately avoiding sharing any of her real thoughts during all those years.
So, we have some folks who are evil, suffering from narcissism, determined to be utterly selfish, but concealing their evil by a web of lies.
Only when Scott ventures into the realm of demonic possession did I think he had bitten off too much. As he refuses to see "occult" as other than dangerous, neither he nor his colleagues were equipped to deal with the folks that they healed, and frankly it is astounding that they choose to believe the entities they discovered, when the whole book is about people of the lie. Naturally the entities say they are Satan, knowing that's a good word to strike fear into the hearts of Christians.
He also tackles group evil, using Mai lai and the Vietnam War. Its a tour de force there, and he really does explain how we become so evil when in groups.
If you are interested in evil, its a good book. But there are happier subjects. I can't say I have met folks that precisely fit, but at least one was extremely close to the classic "people of the lie". And now that I have researched another book, it seems the author is a people of the lie. Imagine writing a fictional book with a spiritual message and then making a living off the lie?
This forum is a short description/review of spiritual books. Its not meant to be in-depth.
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