Tracy's Reviews > People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck
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's review
Sep 19, 2008

it was amazing

It's been a while since I read this book, but I thought it was very strong and insightful.

It explores the nature of narcissism and the people who inflict it on you.

Again, this sounds paranoid! But, people who do care about others can be hurt terribly by people who can only see the world from their own point of view.

Peck explains how people like this function, how to identify them, and he gives narratives about narcissists he has dealt with to help underscore the types of behavior that they commit. The narratives, are, of course, the easiest to remember - like the parents whose oldest son committed suicide. A year after his death, they gave their youngest son the gun the boy used to kill himself. They couldn't understand why that youngest son became depressed.

They couldn't because, as narcissists, they only thing they can understand is their own world, their own experiences, their own cares. They do not and will never truly empathize with another person, and there is -- surprisingly -- no saving them. There is no point in working with them; we must simply understand that they are incapable of anything besides feeling all and only what they feel.

Peck's descriptions of these people is different from what I expected. His chapter on exorcisms was strange for me, but I saw his point - it helped illuminate how people do care about what they do and about others even in the midst of evil.

This book helped me be able to identify people who could hurt me, and I appreciate that a great deal.
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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason this sounds very much like the person (the birth father) we're dealing with...
he is only able to see the locus of his current need or desire and nothing else enters into his sphere of vision...not even his own history...

he doesn't care about anything, not the mother of his three children, not the children themselves...
pathological narcissism is a very likely theory...

i'm sorry this issue is such a problem for you...
you deserve so much better...

Tracy That's kind of you! Yes, I have had more than a good share of narcissists to deal with - and at a tender age! I wish there were a way to spare children from folks like this. They are crazy-making in a strange way. It's hard to put a finger on because one is so young. Yet the neurosis is there. There is a good example of such parents in I heart Huckabees. I really feel for the young child and wish you guys could take over!

Mary Growing up with a narcissist has got to be the worst. I have seen first hand the damage they do to their children. At the same time I have found these same children have become remarkably compassionate, empathetic, responsible adults. It's a true trial by fire. Thankfully you survived all the crazy making

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