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People of the Lie
November 16, 2010
12:00 am
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September 24, 2010
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by M. Scott Peck

Page 69: "The
central defect of 'the evil' is not the sin but the refusal to
acknowledge it. More often than not these people will be looked at
as solid citizens. How can that be? How can they be evil and not
designated as criminals? The key word is "designated". They are
criminals in that they commit "crimes" against life and liveliness.
But except in rare instances- such as in the case of Hitler when
they might achieve extraordinary degrees of political power that
remove them from ordinary restraints, their "crimes are so subtle
and covert that they cannot clearly be designated as crimes. The
theme of hiding and covertness will occur again and again
throughout the rest of this book. It is the basis for the title
"People of the Lie"."

Page 70 "Evil
deeds do not make an evil person. Otherwise we would all be evil.
If evil people cannot be defined by the illegality of their deeds
or the magnitude of their sins, then how are we to define them? The
answer is by the consistency of their sins. While usually subtle,
their destructiveness is remarkably consistent. This is because
those who have "crossed over the line" are characterized by their
absolute refusal to tolerate the sense of their own

Page 72 "The poor
in spirit do not commit evil. Evil is not committed by people who
feel uncertain about their righteousness, who question their own
motives, who worry about betraying themselves. The evil of this
world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisee's of
our own day, the self-righteous who think they are without sin
because they are unwilling to suffer the discomfort of significant
self-examination. It is out of their failure to put themselves on
trial that their evil arises. They are, in my experience remarkably
greedy people."

Page 73 "A
predominant characteristic of the behavior that I call evil is
scapegoating. Because in their hearts they consider themselves
above reproach, they must lash out at anyone who does reproach
them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of

Page 74 "Since
they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad.
They project their own evil onto the world. The evil attack others
instead of facing their own failures. Spiritual growth requires the
acknowledgment of one's own need to grow. If we cannot make that
acknowledgment, we have no option except to attempt to eradicate
the evidence of our imperfection. Strangely enough, evil people are
often destructive because they are attempting to destroy evil. The
problem is that they misplace the locus of the evil. Instead of
destroying others they should be destroying the sickness within

Page 75 "Utterly
dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, they are
unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of
moral purity. They are acutely sensitive to social norms and what
others might think of them. They seem to live lives that are above
reproach. The words "image", "appearance" and "outwardly" are
crucial to understanding the morality of 'the evil'. While they
lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear
good. Their goodness is all on a level of pretense. It is in effect
a lie. Actually the lie is designed not so much to deceive others
as to deceive themselves. We lie only when we are attempting to
cover up something we know to be illicit. At one and the same time
'the evil' are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid
the awareness. We become evil by attempting to hide from ourselves.
The wickedness of 'the evil' is not committed directly, but
indirectly as a part of this cover-up process. Evil originates not
in the absence of guilt but in the effort to escape it.

It often happens
then that 'the evil' may be recognized by its very disguise.
Because they are such experts at disguise, it is seldom possible to
pinpoint the maliciousness of 'the evil'. The disguise is usually

Page 77 "They are
not pain avoiders or lazy people in general. To the contrary, they
are likely to exert themselves more than most in their continuing
effort to obtain and maintain an image of respectability. They may
willingly, even eagerly, undergo great hardships in their search
for status. It is only one particular pain they cannot tolerate:
the pain of their own conscience, the pain of realization of their
own sinfulness and imperfection.

The evil are the
last people to ever go to a psychotherapist. The evil hate the
light- the light of goodness that shows them up, the light of
scrutiny that exposes them, the light of truth that penetrates
their deception. "

Page 78 "They are
men and women of obviously strong will, determined to have their
own way. There is a remarkable power in the manner in which they
attempt to control others."

Page 104 "Those
who are evil are masters of disguise; they are not apt to wittingly
disclose their true colors - either to others or to themselves. It
is not without reason that the serpent is renowned for his
subtlety. We therefore cannot pass judgment on a person for a
single act. Instead judgment must be made on the basis of a whole
pattern of acts as well as their manner and style."

Page 121 "We are
accustomed to feel pity and sympathy for those who are ill, but the
emotions that 'the evil' invoke in us are anger and disgust, if not
actual hate. It is the unwillingness to suffer emotional pain that
usually lies at the very root of emotional illness. Those who fully
experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be
infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain,
complacent, and self-satisfied."

Page 124 "Think of
the psychic energy required for the continued maintenance of the
pretense so characteristic of 'the evil'! They perhaps direct at
least as much energy into their devious rationalizations and
destructive compensations as the healthies do into loving behavior.
Why? What possesses them, drives them? Basically, it is fear. They
are terrified that the pretense will break down and they will be
exposed to the world and to themselves. They are continually
frightened that they will come face to face with their own evil. Of
all emotions, fear is the most painful. Regardless of how well they
attempt to appear calm and collected in their daily dealings, 'the
evil' live their lives in fear."

Page 129 "Evil
people would be distinguished by these traits:

a) Consistent
destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite

b) Excessive,
albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of
narcissistic injury

c) Pronounced
concern with a public image and self-image of respectability,
contributing to a stability of lifestyle but also to
pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful

D) intellectual
deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild
schizophreniclike disturbance of thinking at times of

Page 130 "But
there is another vital reason to correctly name evil: the healing
of its victims. The fact of the matter is that evil is one of the
most difficult things to cope with."

Page 255 "How are
we to take Christ's admonition to " judge not lest you be judged"
and still label someone as evil? If you see something wrong don't
you try to correct it? Was Hitler OK? Was Jim Jones OK? Were the
medical experiments on Jews OK? There is such a thing as an excess
of sympathy, an excess of tolerance, an excess of permissiveness.
The fact of the matter is that we cannot lead decent lives without
making judgments; general and moral judgments in particular. Christ
did not enjoin us to refrain from ever judging. What he went on to
say in the next four verses is that we should judge ourselves
before we judge others, not that we should not judge at all. We are
to purify ourselves before judging others.

This is where 'the
evil' fail. It is the self-criticism they avoid."


November 16, 2010
12:00 am
Forum Posts: 193
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I have this book,
and have read it cover to cover. It is very good. I would
definitely recommend it. It's a real eye-opener.

What I think is
really fascinating about Dr. Peck is that he integrates psychology
and religion, and does it successfully.

One of the other
reasons why I stopped going to my church is because I am a Master's
level psychology student. The people I know at church, especially
the ones who are "high" up in the church do not like to discuss
psychology. Psychology causes us to question things, and they do
not like to be questioned.

This was my
experience, I am not bashing religion, because I am still a
believer. However, whenever I questioned something either in the
Bible or was told to me by a church member, I was accused of
"questioning my faith" or "turning away from God", when I was
merely trying to get a better understanding of things.

Because religion
is based on faith, and sometimes blind faith, and psychology is
based on science, there is always going to be a

I had other issues
about church, due to my spiritual abilities. I was accused of being
possessed. But that is a whole other story.

November 17, 2010
12:00 am
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Hope you're doing
okay? Still suffering emotionally from that last episode with your
ex/wife-to- be/abuser?

Interesting stuff
from Dr. Peck,I must say. Seems to hit the nail on the head with
his observations regarding evil people.

religion with science. Now that would be a real feat. Oil &
water come to mind. An insoluble mix.

Basically, it's a
classic case of denial for the evil doers. Refusal to accept
criticism and a record of consistantly pointing fingers/scapegating
& refusal to accept their part in their wrong doings. Must be
hell to have to expend the energy required to forever work at
covering up their own misdeeds.

Sounds pretty
insighful & worth a read if nothing else, when I've

Thanks for the
info. Sheds some more light on those type of evil

Be well


I like your
approach to region & that you've found your own way to
reconcile the two - 'religion & physology' if only in your own
mind. I knew that you had a decent head on your

The fact that you
have a masters in psychology comes as no surprize. Your responses
are relatively cerebral yet sensibly tempered. Glad that it sounds
as though you've succesfully found some middle ground there between
science & religion.

All the best to
you. Appreciated your input here.




So, your been
labelled 'possessed'? Haha! A typical reponse from the die hard
religious/supersticious types. Care to endulge us on that
'possessed' judgement cast upon you by the church?

I like you as you.
It would appear that you're merely being authentic & there is
NOTHING wrong with that.

All the best to
you, China. I think you're a good soul.



November 17, 2010
12:00 am
Golden Horseshoe.ca
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September 24, 2010
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never read or heard of that book but I'm glad u posted it

It makes me think
about myself and what I've experienced with others when i Bringing
into focus elements of organizations and society that make it clear
we all live within an unjust power paradigm.

I look around and
those who are in power shouldn't be, those who are disrespected and
tortured shouldn't be, and those who survive horrible upbringings,
become what they feared and despised is one of the largest
travesties of humanity.

What elaborate
psychological design for a labyrinth of pain?

Just by reading
the few quotes my conscience feels somewhat restful. ;0)

I'll have to look
up more of this book later. Off to work.

Hi CC, and China!
Be Well!

November 17, 2010
12:00 am
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liked this part of the book that you copied "they are unceasingly
engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity".
This could be why lovefraud.com listed people who pursue careers
such as "clergy" members as a career that attracts

November 17, 2010
12:00 am
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chinadoll, you brought up valid points about religion. One of
my favorite sayings is still "question authority".

November 17, 2010
12:00 am
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Thanks CC (and MsG and puptent) for your kind words.

CraigCo, the
reason why people at my church have accused me of being possessed
is because I am able to do things that they do not understand. I am
empathic...which means that I am able to sense what another person
is feeling and I am able to feel their feelings. This is much
different than empathizing. It's kind of hard to explain. It's more
than having the feeling of being in their shoes, it is actually
being in their shoes. Instead of saying, "I can understand how you
feel," it is more like "I feel what you feel."

Like, if someone
is feeling pain, I will feel pain. If they feel stress, I will feel
it. I had the experience once of feeling like someone punched me in
the chest, but there was no one there. Later, I found out that one
of my friends had gotten punched in the chest during an argument,
and told me about it afterward. If I am really tuned into someone,
I will live their experience. It can get very draining.

If I am around a
toxic person, I will get light-headed and my body will start to
feel hot, like I am burning up. I am also clairvoyant and
clairsentient, which means I can see things and sense things before
they happen. Like having a gut instinct X 1000.

I have told people
at church that when I meditate, I hear God speaking to me. I
sometimes pray, but then sometimes I will speak out loud to Him,
and wait for an answer. I had an elder's wife tell me that it was
not God speaking to me, but the Devil. Another friend told me that
she was just mad, because God does not speak to her. She did have
this attitude with me, like "what makes you think you are so
special that you would actually think that God would speak to you?"
She didn't actually say it, but I sensed it from her.

All I can say is
that when I have conversations with Him, things happen. This is not
to say that I threaten anyone in any way, but for an example, if
some does some really wrong things to me, like cheating me or
hurting someone close to me, I will just say, "God, you saw what
they did, and it's not right. The person has to know that it's not
right. You can't cheat people and hurt them." And then the person
will end up having some type of drama suddenly. Coincidence? I
would rather see it as natural consequences. I am able to sense
when people are lying, I do not listen to their words, I sense
their intentions. I never accuse them of lying, I will say
something like, " I find that hard to believe," which makes them
try to justify their lie and rationalize it even more, until the
lie is quite obvious. Not much gets past me anymore.

Of course, my
spiritual abilities conflict with psychology, because they are not
tangible, and cannot be empirically measured. So, at school, I keep
this to myself. I just use the abilities in my studies where I find
the need. They really help when trying to read someone. Or
interviewing someone, and they are refusing to talk. I will then
sense them.

It does freak
people out, so I am careful. A lot of times, my boyfriend will
start to tell me something, especially if it is about something he
is feeling, and I will say, "I know." Or, he will be feeling
anxious about something, but will be trying to keep it to himself,
and I will say out loud, "What are you anxious about?" or, "you
don't need to be feeling anxious right now, there's nothing to
worry about."

It hasn't caused
him to run away yet, but I have "spooked" him a couple of

Watch an episode
of Star Trek, especially Spock, if you want to see an Empath in

puptent, I am also
an Indigo, which causes me to question everything. I have studied a
great deal about sociopaths and psychopaths. My ex-husband is a
true psychopath, so I can say that I had a very good teacher. One
thing I have learned is that if you allow yourself not to be taken
in by a person's title, whether they are a doctor, a lawyer, a
minister, and you see them for what they really are, you will be
less likely to be cast under their "spell". If you tell yourself,
this person is a "(fill in the blank)", he/she could not possibly
be a con artist/ a liar/a cheat, you will be fooled.

Most psychopaths
and sociopaths are very clever. I do not interchange the terms
because they are very different. To me, a psychopath is more
dangerous. Both are able to go for years harming people undetected,
but the sociopath is not as organized. Sociopaths are more
impulsive and make mistakes that get them caught. Think of Jeffrey

Empathic people
are drawn to psychopaths unknowingly, since the psychopaths are
able to mimic feelings to make it appear that they are
compassionate. In reality, they do not have a true conscience to
have any compassion. I have learned the signs to not get caught in
another web. I almost lost my life in the process, but I know I was
protected. I know there is a reason I am still here, one of which
is to educate people about evil people. I had to come face-to-face
with evil in order to see it for what it is.

Also, dark is
attracted to light. Because psychopaths and sociopaths are
emotional vampires, they find people of light to prey upon to take
their energy. Have you ever felt a person just constantly sucking
the life out of you? The person has no life force, and is stealing
your energy because they have none. If you ever feel incredibly
drained when you are around someone, he or she is most likely an
emotional vampire. They don't always do it intentionally, they just
need your energy to survive.

November 17, 2010
12:00 am
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There is some
research indicating that psychopathy and sociopathy are different

In my opinion
thugh, a narcissist is a psychopath who is really interested in
their image, a sociapath is a psychopath who gets

November 17, 2010
12:00 am
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chinadoll, I have noticed that people such as myself who have
been born into situations where they do not feel safe and secure
have a higher tendency to develop hyper-vigilance. This causes us
to develop a sixth sense. I could not agree more with your
statement about not being fooled by someones title or into thinking
that doctors, lawyers and ministers could not possibly be
sociopaths especially since it has been proven that certain
occupations attract sociopaths more than others. What you said is
really important information.

November 20, 2010
12:00 am
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is weird!

I had not read
this thread before and because of what is happening to me today (on
support side thread - "Feeling trust/safety 1st time - tapping into
evil"... Found out about this book - and now - here is the

I'm in a bad place
ya'll. If you're interested, you can go on the other

November 22, 2010
12:00 am
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WONDERFUL book! So much truth and yes I think we do develop
that sixth sense puptent, very much so.

November 23, 2010
12:00 am
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excerpt from a performance that merits a watch:

November 23, 2010
12:00 am
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BAREFOOTGIRL, those of us who did not have the protection of a
family growing up rely on our 6th sense for survival.

November 23, 2010
12:00 am
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believe that...I also believe many of us have that but lose that
ability if we fall into the traps and thinking of conditioning of
what society tells us to believe and think too.

November 23, 2010
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BAREFOOTGIRL, we have to take ownership of our life as much as
possible. Anytime we involve others it is taking a risk. Takes a
lot of effort to deprogram our self.

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