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

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  562 ratings  ·  58 reviews
The legendary bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, whose books have sold over 14 million copies, reveals the amazing true story of his work as an exorcist -- kept secret for more than twenty-five years -- in two profoundly human stories of satanic possession.In the tradition of his million-copy bestseller "People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Huma ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Free Press (first published 2005)
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3.80  · 
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 ·  562 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Very, very fascinating. I'm not a huge believer in Satan, but this opened my mind a little on the subject of possession.

My favorite parts:

"I gave examples from my clinical practice of how love was not wholly a thought or feeling. I told of how that very evening there would be some man sitting at a bar in the local village, crying into his beer and sputtering to the bartender how much he loved his wife and children while at the same time he was wasting his family's money and depriving them of hi
Feb 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
I feel a little unfair rating this book, since I'm apparently not anywhere near the intended audience. Peck is not going to convince anyone who doesn't already believe in actual demons and in Satan as an entity, and even those who believe in such things might find that this book stretches their credulity.

This book, as near as I can figure, expands upon two situations mentioned in Peck's earlier work, People of the Lie, where he encountered women in his psychiatric practice who he believed to be
S.L. Saboviec
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This discussion delves further into the details of the book than most of my reviews because I have some issues with the ethical behavior of the author of this book.

Though some might feel that a book recounting exorcisms is written on shaky foundation, I believe in the supernatural and, more specifically, the existence of evil spirits we call “demons.” I am not, however, a Christian, so I bring my own opinions to the reading of these stories, which is the impetus for this review. I believe that e
Aug 08, 2011 added it
Umm, very interesting. I think when I think of demon possession I am just so used to the "charismatic" responses of being "violent" that it's what I expected with this book, and though they were forceful in dealing with demons it showed me a different way of dealing with possession I never saw before.

It was an interesting read for sure, and it showed me the journey of one man who went from 99% sure there was no devil, to realizing 100% there is a devil from a psychiatrist's point of view. Very
Benjamin Stahl
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those Aroused By Richard Dawkins
After First Reading

This was a fantastic book. Peck is the first person to give us a proper account of exorcisms which is intelligently explained, completely and utterly convincing, and pretty damned scary. As a psychiatrist, he details his daunting experiences with two particular patients who claim to be possessed by a demonic entity. Using his expertise and medical knowledge, he is neither biased nor at all ignorant in his dealings with this controversial subject. I won't say if he is successfu
Anne Hawn Smith
This is an extremely interesting book. The author, Dr. Scott Peck, is a well known psychiatrist and author. In his practice, he has seen situations in which modern medical thought is not sufficient to explain what is the problem for some of his patients. In People of the Lie he presented a number of situations in which either the patients or their family exhibited behavior that that was evil and yet they didn't suffer from a known mental illness. This book goes beyond those earlier stories to i ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In this book, the author definitely hits a road less traveled (pun intended). Peck talks about how he became interested in the possibility of demonic possession (he was quite skeptical at first), his relations with the controversial Malachi Martin, and two patients he believes were demonically possessed. The book doesn't involve over-the-top "Exorcist" type of things. However, it is disturbing and creepy in parts. Jersey, Peck's first patient, is a twenty something who is severely neglecting he ...more
David Mackey
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, psychology
M. Scott Peck fascinates me. A psychiatrist who wrote widely acclaimed books (such as The Road Less Traveled) who struggled with a number of personal demons (alcohol, nicotine, amorous affairs), who professed Christianity which at some times seems quite liberal but at other moments almost evangelical/charismatic in its nature.

In this book he discusses his start as an unbeliever in demonic spirits, his attempt to test the matter scientifically, and his eventual decision that the demonic does exis
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
I need to just step away from the crazy.
Worst book I've read on the subject. Ever. Really bad. No stars.
Matt Evans
Jul 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Not as good as Road Less Traveled or People of the Lie, but still very, very interesting. What we have here is the transcript of two (or three, I forget) exorcisms. Demons show up. I remember that one of the demons expressed awe or wonderment at the fact that we're able to live in such vulnerable circumstances. (The earth is a tear drop circling a furnace, when you think about it.) Also, the demon's were under very strict regimentation. For any you Screwtape readers out there, this all will ring ...more
Linda Lipko
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating look at two cases of Demonic Possession as witnessed by psychiatrist M. Scott Peck.

Blending science and religion, Peck emphatically states that possession is real and also rare.

In both cases where he assisted with the exorcism, there was a definite time in the life of the client when they made a choice to allow evil to overtake them and there then was a choice that had to be made to accept love and light.

While the subject matter is dramatic, Peck did not embellish or shock
Jul 19, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: abandoned
A therapist making a child feel at all responsible for her molestation? Making someone watch 32 hours of their own exorcism afterward? Sound ridiculous? After reading the first third of this book, I felt like lighting it on fire.

I don't know the former Dr. (?) Peck, but I couldn't help but feel his sadism shines in this work.

I really think this book will end up in my DNF file. This is the first time I've felt sickened and genuinely angry while reading a book in some time.
David Ward
Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption by M. Scott Peck (Free Press 2005) (265.94). The author, who is an actual psychiatrist, believes that he has met the devil face to face. This book is two accounts of his work as an exorcist in cases of demonic possession. I'll bet that wherever he went to med school kind of keeps this on the down low, huh? My rating: 4/10, finished 2006.
Jan 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing

Fascinating book about exorcism. Engrossing, readable, and , if you are at all curious about this subject, Peck is rational, lucid and conversational in his speculation and investigation of what the heck the devil is.
Angela Lay
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion-related
Very intriguing! Couldn't put it down...until it got dark.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2006
when I give this book 3 stars, I mean it is an entertaining read, particularly for someone with a mental health background. It's full of bullshit, but it's entertaining bullshit.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
A very singular outlook on a very complex issue. One has to be careful looking into the abyss.
Fran Friel
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A creepy, well-written and compelling read. Left me mildly disturbed.
Nathan Albright
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2019
I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is a pretty terrifying read.  For some reason, I have read a fair amount of books that deal with the problem of demonology [1], and this book adds yet another volume to that genre that I am familiar.  Before finding this book in my local library's system, I was unaware that the author had written about his own involvement in exorcisms, which, to put it very mildly, is on the far edge of psychological practice.  Despite having begun his exorcism practice- ...more
Nancy Thormann
This is not the best book I've read by Dr. Peck If you believe in demonic possession then this book provides that extra piece of evidence you're looking for. For me, the jury's still out. I'm not convinced one way or the other after reading this book.

I'm not quite sure what Edgar Cayce has to do with demonic possession. I started reading his books when I was 12. I didn't read them all in one go, but I did read my first Edgar Cayce book when I was 12. I've read them all since then - one book each
Ramona Wetzel
Jun 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Deeply Disappointing

Although very well written and dramatic, the author has attempted to scientifically explain the demonic. His arrogance and need to take credit for any healing is appalling; the patients most certainly will never be rid of the demonic. He has good intentions. I am curious why the author, not a Catholic or a Catholic priest, or a duly authorized representative of the Catholic church would have the hubris to employ The Roman Ritual of Exorcism when he obviously isn't qualified.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the seventh of dr. Pecks books read. Sadly he is no longer with us, but has found the truth of what he believed. I found him totally honest and humble here. He said he could convince no one, but told what he lived. I believe him.
Stephen M. Theriault
Awesome explanation of possession, and exorcism and some insight on evil.

If you don't believe there is true evil or a Lucifer in the world, you will think twice after finishing this masterpiece
Carlos Eduardo  Chies

Good, worth the read with you care for psychiatry and the spiritual world. A good companion to Hostage of the devil!
I found this book to be both interesting and quite troubling. I discovered it quite by accident as I was looking for a copy of Malachi Martin’s, “Hostage to the Devil.” I suppose what troubled me the most is a modern western psychiatrist acknowledging the reality of demonic possession and the need for ritualized expulsion or exorcism. The title suggested, at the very least, the fecund smell of superstition. It certainly is not worthy of someone who has an MD after their name.

Albeit the late Dr.
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'll admit that I have a fascination with scholarly books on exorcism and abnormal psych. I like to read them from the skeptic's or the scholar's point of view, because they're going to approach and document the entire process differently than someone who approaches it from a purely religious standpoint. I appreciate that he started out from the position that he was trying to prove that there wasn't a devil and there is no such thing as possession, and became convinced otherwise. I think he talk ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
M. Scott Peck is a very readable writer. All of his books are page turners. I love his unique outlook. Most of the time, I am in total agreement with his thoughts. However, I don't agree with all of Peck's religious beliefs, and wonder if the events outlined in this book might have been interpreted differently by another psychiatrist.
Interpretation is of course, subjective. For instance, I am from Maine, where there are no earthquakes. My friend and I were in California together and experience
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Do you believe in the devil? This was a good book! I have read Peck's "Road Traveled" books which are excellent in my opinion. I look forward to reading "People of the Lie." I bring up this other books because I believe they provide some proof to others that he is no quack. I already have a strong faith in God & to me, if you believe in God, then you believe in evil. This proved to me that the devil does possess people & that it can happen to anyone who is abandoned or evilly manipulated ...more
Jackie Cook
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you watch paranormal shows and the like, you're used to seeing violent exorcisms and anything resembling "The Exorcist." This book shows an entirely different look, and made me realize that much more evil exists than I thought. The credibility of this book is helped by the fact that it is written a by a psychiatrist who, at the beginning, had no belief in the devil. I have also read his other books not related to evil and thoroughly enjoyed them.

If you have any interest in this subject, I wo
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Dr. Peck was born on May 22, 1936 in New York City, the younger of two sons to David Warner Peck, a prominent lawyer and jurist, and his wife Elizabeth Saville. He married Lily Ho in 1959, and they had three children.

Dr. Peck received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1958, and his M.D. degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1963. From 1963 unti
“ascertain, Jersey had no knowledge of demonology. At this point, all I could do was tell her and her family that I was very uncertain about the case, and that, after I got home, I would be” 0 likes
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