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Hostage to the Devil - Reissue: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans Paperback – Jan 6 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reissue edition (Jan. 6 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006065337X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060653378
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“Martin is above all serious. He is not speaking about madness, about illusions or the irrational, but about the real beyond all reason.... He presents exorcism as ... a titanic clash of wills that threatens the lives, the sanity, even the souls of all attending.” (Newsweek)

“Martin’s polished contemporary sense of traditional theology entices even the skeptical.... Stunningly pertinent ...Will set you thinking-and thinking-and thinking.” (Detroit News)

“The most shattering book on demonic possession isn’t fiction at all but Malachi Martin’s spellbinding work of interpretive reporting.” (New York (Sunday) Daily News)

“In the barrage of books on possession and exorcism, this is undoubtedly the most authoritative and convincing.” (The Washington Post Book Review)

“Malachi Martin ... was the greatest expert on the subject of possession and exorcism in the English speaking world.” (M. Scott Peck, M. D., author of Glimpses of the Devil)

Hostage to the Devil is the first and only textbook on the subject of possession and exorcism in modern times. It is the only work to describe the stages of exorcism and it is obviously based on an enormous amount of personal experience. ... a brilliant work.” (M. Scott Peck, M. D., author of Glimpses of the Devil)

From the Publisher

A chilling and highly convincing account of possession and exorcism in modern America, hailed by NBC Radio as "one of the most stirring books on the contemporary scene."

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Martin, an experienced exorcist, presents five full true-life accounts of demonic possession from the 1960s and 1970s. The book is made more interesting by the fact that each case has a different exorcist with his own personality, history, and flaws. (Martin's personal career as an exorcist was primarily in the 1940s and 1950s. He is apparently more of a consultant on such matters now.)
Interestingly, a Web site claims to quote from a Martin interview that, in his opinion, "Cases of possession and obsession have increased about 750% since the early 1970's." It is therefore doubly unfortunate that so many skeptical bishops have effectively forbidden the use of exorcism in their jurisdictions.
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Format: Paperback
This is truly a classic book on the subject of exorcism
from the Catholic perspective, but the truth is: Satan, the
Prince of Darkness, is much more subtle than generally
portrayed here. He [It: Evil] is very much active via
demonic elements which find access thru abuse, past pain,
and (especially) WRONG CHOICES in relation to forgiveness,
bitterness, and morality. Satan is also "The Accuser" and
"The Prosecuter" who is always looking for the opportunity
to slander and accuse GOD and His servants.
Dr.Martin's book is an eye-opener to those who never thought
of Evil as being both personal and a real force in the world
to be reckoned with. In the end, you will find that the only
real protection (and greater power) is Love, Faith, and the
atoning, all-powerful Blood of the Crucified Lamb.
"...and they over came him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb,
by the word of their testimony, AND THEY LOVED NOT THEIR
OWN LIVES UNTO DEATH." - Revelation 12:11
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Format: Paperback
Father Malachi Martin is an excellent writer who does his research very well. He is adept at interviewing people and really fleshing out the story in written form. He has done a fine job selecting some very intriguing and thought provoking stories of Possession. However I did notice while reading this book that I disagreed on some points that Father Malachi Martin made, very strongly in some cases. I will only go into couple here.
The first is that Exorcisms should never take very long. Jesus expelled demons very quickly and so did the Apostles. I know from reading other accounts of exorcisms done by Missionaries and from my Mother, an ordained Minister who has talked with some exorcists, that all you need to do, is say "In the name of Jesus begone." and the demon HAS to leave. If you are unsure whether the person is actually possessed than ask them to very clearly confess their faith in Jesus Christ and then bless them, telling the demon inside the person that the person belongs to Christ. If the person can do that they are simply not possessed. A Demon must respond to the name of Jesus. Here I must make a delineation, the name of Jesus by itself does not hold power, as in the letters of the name. Demons, as some do in the book, respond to the name even when the person spells it out, but that is out of their own stupidity and that the person doing so does know at some level that name means something the demon hates. There is also another demon in the book, Mister Natch, that does not respond simply to the name "Jesus". It even says it a couple times without any overtones of hate. This is because the demon had successfully distorted the name to mean nothing.
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By A Customer on Oct. 12 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this in high school, 18 years ago. To this day I get nightmares from Martin's accounts. After reading Hostage to the Devil, I laughed all the way through The Exorcist. During college, I studied English Lit, and Philosophy. At home, I got a steady dose of Catholic Theology from my parents who were steeped in Catholic Mysticsm, as well as Celtic lore from my father's side. I came into re-reading Martin with a different perspective than I had as a teenager, but was no less moved by the accounts. Whether you believe in Demonic Possession, which I do not, is somewhat irrelevant in my opinion. What Martin is dealing with is something that The Church as been wrestling with for 2000 years: The nature of true evil, and how it manifests itself.
I had a long discussion once with a Jesuit priest and scholar (who had experience in exorcisms) on the nature of exorcisms, and he often quoted Hostage to the Devil, but always qualified the book as "more of an examination of evil than giving the Devil his bona fides". Hostage to the Devil opened my eyes to thinking about the world in quite different ways 18 years ago, and it still resonates today as a book that transformed my Altar Boy theology into an adult's questioning of metaphysics. Of course, Kafka, and Dostoevsky did the same thing. The difference is that their novels were fictional. What Malachi Martin is writing about is ostensibly not. I too felt the accounts as dubious because of the lack of support, yet each time I read the book the questions that were raised dealt more with the nature of evil than the lack of journalistic acumen. Interestingly, The Exorcist was based on the actual diaries of a priest who took part in the exorcism of a young boy.
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