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People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil


People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil Cover

ISBN13: 9780684848594
ISBN10: 0684848597
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this absorbing and equally inspiring companion volume to his classic trilogy—The Road Less Traveled, Further Along the Road Less Traveled, and The Road Less Traveled and Beyond—Dr. M. Scott Peck brilliantly probes into the essence of human evil.

People who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. Peck demonstrates the havoc these people of the lie work in the lives of those around them. He presents, from vivid incidents encountered in his psychiatric practice, examples of evil in everyday life.

This book is by turns disturbing, fascinating, and altogether impossible to put down as it offers a strikingly original approach to the age-old problem of human evil.


"So compelling in its exploration of the human psyche, it's as hard to put down as a thriller...such a force of energy, intensity, and straightforwarness.

About the Author

M. Scott Peck's publishing history reflects his own evolution as a serious and widely acclaimed writer, thinker, psychiatrist, and spiritual guide. Since his groundbreaking bestseller, The Road Less Traveled, was first published in 1978, his insatiable intellectual curiosity took him in various new directions with virtually each new book: the subject of healing human evil in People of the Lie (1982), where he first briefly discussed exorcism and possession; the creative experience of community in The Different Drum (1987); the role of civility in personal relationships and society in A World Waiting to Be Born (1993); an examination of the complexities of life and the paradoxical nature of belief in Further Along the Road Less Traveled (1993); and an exploration of the medical, ethical, and spiritual issues of euthanasia in Denial of the Soul (1999); as well as a novel, a children's book, and other works. A graduate of both Harvard University and Case Western Reserve, Dr. Peck served in the Army Medical Corps before maintaining a private practice in psychiatry. For over twenty years, he devoted much of his time and financial resources to the work of the Foundation for Community Encouragement, a nonprofit organization that he helped found in 1984. He died in 2005 at the age of 69.

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Rachel Elaine, April 8, 2006 (view all comments by Rachel Elaine)
People Of The Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck, MD is a book I read several years ago but re-read it recently when a friend gave me a copy upon hearing how much I love Dr. Peck's writing.

M. Scott Peck's writing is perfection, in my opinion, not only for the words he uses but because of the thoughts and ideas behind those words. He is an unlimited thinker who has the habit of examining every angle of and answer to each question he dares to ask. At every turn of the page, Dr. Peck provokes one to think right along with him, making even complicated points easily accessible to understand. A psychiatrist/thinker who has long graduated beyond the walls of Harvard, M. Scott Peck pioneered the integration of the science of psychology and spirituality.

The thesis of "People Of The Lie" is that "evil can be defined as a specific form of mental illness and should be subject to at least the same intensity of scientific investigation that we would devote to some other major psychiatric disease." He believes human evil should be scientifically studied, diagnosed and treated just as schizophrenia or neurasthenia.

Among the chapters, Dr. Peck takes the reader to his psychiatric practice to meet a few of his patients and their families, giving a clinical description of an evil personality, as well as a journey to 1968 MyLai, province of South Vietnam, for a view of group evil in war-time as an example and discussion of the group/gang mentality.

The term and title "People Of The Lie" refers to the cover-up, pretense and lie of those who refuse to acknowledge their own imperfections, those who flee the light of self-exposure and the voice of their own conscience. Those who instead practice scapegoating, attacking and blaming others, projection, lack of empathy, and judging others, hoping their own flaws will seem less noticeable. In other words, people of the lie deceive and lie to themselves to avoid their true selves, which in turn deceives others. They point their finger at others first so that none can suspect them of a wrong-doing or weakness, believing an offensive attitude, in the guise of respectability, will prevent the need for defense.

This book's premise is summarized near its ending as Dr. Peck says there are profound reasons to suspect that traditional value-free science is no longer serving the needs of mankind. "The major threat to our survival no longer stem from nature without but from our own human nature within. It is our carelessness, our hostilities, our selfishness and pride and willful ignorance that endanger the world." ...A very interesting and timeless book indeed...
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Product Details

Peck, M. Scott
Peck, M. Scott
Peck, M. Scott
Touchstone Books
New York :
Good and evil
Psychology, pathological
Psychiatry and religion
Psychology and religion
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Self-Help : General
Edition Number:
2nd Touchstone ed.
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
January 1983
Grade Level:
8.25 x 5.31 in 7.77 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Crime » General

People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Touchstone Books - English 9780684848594 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "So compelling in its exploration of the human psyche, it's as hard to put down as a thriller...such a force of energy, intensity, and straightforwarness.
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