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People of the Lie [Paperback]

M. Scott Peck
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 1998
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.

Frequently Bought Together

People of the Lie + The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth + Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Towards Spiritual Growth
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.85

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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

M. Scott Peck, M.D. is the author of the New York Times best-seller The Road Less Traveled, with six million copies in print. His other books include Further Along the Road Less Traveled, The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, Meditations from the Road and Golf and the Spirit.

From AudioFile

Scott Peck is a psychiatrist turned author and lecturer. His name is a household word with the self-help crowd. In People of the Lie, Peck takes on the topic of evil. The"volume" cited is not an abridgment but a group of case studies from the first chapters of the book, along with commentary. The presentations are consistently well done. Peck reads with a soft, yet strong voice that is both self-assured and reassuring. D.W.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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GEORGE HAD ALWAYS BEEN a carefree person-or so he thought-until that afternoon in early October. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illumination the 2nd Time Around Jan. 9 2004
I remember picking this book up about 5 years ago and scanning through the first couple of chapters thinking to myself, "What is this guy talking about? I can't even fathom people that act like this." It just didn't ring true because my experience had not seen the likes of what he was trying to explain.
Fast forward 5 years later, and after going through a harrowing job experience with two people who could star in a movie representation of this book (which, come to think of it, has already been done in a film called SWIMMING WITH SHARKS in the character played by Kevin Spacey), I read it through in a single sitting. Peck so accurately diagnoses the "people of the lie" as being so self-absorbed and narcisistic that they continually make excuses about the abuse they heap upon other people, somehow turning every story 180 degrees in the opposite direction and always claiming victimization when the situation so clearly points to them as the perpetrator. It is a sad indictment of what must be a pandemic within institutions, as these folks clamor and cling to power, money and title oblivious to the human carnage left in the wake of their passing.
But even still, where our hearts are naturally inclined toward revenge, Peck cautions us, coaxing us toward pity for these wretched creatures. He suggests that whatever vile hellaciousness we could dream up as pay back should be tempered with the notion that these folks have consigned themselves to live in a hell of their own making (kind of like Annabella Sciorra in the movie, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME). The dark night of the soul sees their hearts scream out, "I hate you, you're nothing" when the worst some of us deal with is, "Ack... dumb mistake... oh well... keep going."
Bravo... this book rings true, even if it took a second reading. Context is everything!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Undermines its important message March 6 2003
Dr. Peck's concern with the reality of evil remains unheard in the mental health community a decade and a half after this book was published. He makes a strong case for the reality of evil, but undercuts it in two ways: His belief in evil spirits, and his confining evil to character pathology, and a specific one--narcissism--at that.
Why belief in evil spirits discredits him in the mental health community is obvious. This sort of superstition, which is not open to objective verification or experimental falsification, cannot be taken seriously by people committed (however fecklessly) to an ideal of scientific knowledge.
Confining evil to narcissism is problematic in a different way: It makes evil a sign of sickness, and historically one is not held responsible for what one does as a result of illness. Within the mental health community, pathological narcissism, which is acknowledged to be extremely destructive, is regarded as something to be cured, something for which one is no more morally culpable than one would be for blindness.
One need not be clinically narcissistic to objectify and use others. Perfectly healthy people can be evil. Failures of empathy, envy, and exploitation do not confine themselves to the psychiatrically challenged. Egoism, a moral failing, is not the same thing as narcissism, a pathlogical condition. By conflating the two, Peck made sure that the mental health community would fail to recognize the reality and horror of the former--and its role in fostering it--and also dismiss his contention that narcissism is a moral problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important look at the nature of evil June 2 2003
This is not the first book of M. Scott Peck's that I have read, but it was the most profound. It actually made me cry, as I realized, in reading it, the times in which I have been evil, the times in which my ex-husband has been (and continues to be) evil, and the way in which my dad, despite his many shortcomings, was not truly evil. We are not talking about demon-possessed evil -- though Peck does talk about that in his chapter on demon possession -- but rather about the garden-variety human evil, which I think plagues us all to some degree or another, but some of us are able to rise above our willfulness and narcissism to compassion and the ability to turn our wills over to the God of our understanding.

Peck also discusses the anatomy of group evil, and I found something he wrote eerily prophetic. Keeping in mind the book was published in 1983 (20 years ago), read these words: "Twenty years from now, when Vietnam has been largely forgotten, how easy it will be, with volunteers, to once again become involved in little foreign adventures. Such adventures will keep our military on its toes, provide it with real-life war games to test its prowess, and need not hurt or involve the average American citizen at all until it's too late" (p. 232). Granted, we were attacked, by Osama bin Ladin, but what did Iraq do to us? Can you say "prophet"?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading May 13 2004
I believe this book ought to be required reading for anyone who's considering becoming a parent, considering being born to a parent or a pair of them, contemplating being a brother, sister aunt or uncle or maybe having a wife, husband or friend.
The book is about power, manipulation, boundaries, lies and evil as they exist within ourselves and the people around us. They don't require that we believe in them to exist, but if we're able to recognize them for what they are it helps. Recognizing it doesn't make it easy, but it makes it possible.
Peck's premises mightn't be entirely correct, as some suggest. But whether it's 'evil' or merely something not evil that could get a job being evil if there was such an occupation, Peck's approach works.
I recommend this book for anyone who knows, loves, cares about and lives with the agonies of the phenomenon Peck calls 'evil'.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EYEOPENER
This book finally brings closer to the decades of asking why. So evil does exist, as a personal option, and that is why.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
This is one of the best books by Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled. In this book Peck examines the nature of evil in probing, incisive ways that may make the reader feel... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gary
4.0 out of 5 stars ok
When I read this 25 years ago it made an impact on me. Now, however I wonder why Dr Peck didn't recognize the psychopathic behaviour disorder in Charlene. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2010 by xcskierboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read
This book says. I think he narrowed it right on the spot and how such people can have a dramatic impact on others. Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2008 by Tom
1.0 out of 5 stars Sensationalistic
Although the book is full of disclaimers that attempt to let the author off the hook, the overall tone of Peck's writing lends itself well to paranoia and witch-hunting. Read more
Published on May 15 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed
The author writes from a mainstream Christian perspective, which is certainly legitimate. He describes certain case studies where the patients suffered from extreme narcissism. Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Pieter Uys
1.0 out of 5 stars Ouch!
Having read "The Road less traveled" - I was sure I'd love to read "People of the lie" but only later I realised that in this book M. Read more
Published on March 27 2004 by Kosovar
1.0 out of 5 stars Only a platform
I read this book, and right away could see the Dean for whom I had worked, he is truly an evil man. He is so wrapped up in himself, and will not listen to anything about other... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book.
Anyone and everyone who has issues with controlling or nasty people including parents, loved ones, friends or whomever, should read this book. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Theresa L. Rogers
3.0 out of 5 stars A Person who has worked very hard to take charge of her life
I read this book many years ago, along with a few of Peck's other books. I was obviously searching for something... Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by Mary M Sharkey
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