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Morgan Scott Peck (May 23, 1936 – September 25, 2005) was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.Human evil is distinct from spiritual evil. Peck eventually accepted that spiritual evil and the devil actually exist after he participated in exorcisms headed by a practicing exorcist. On this issue of spiritual evil I have no comment. However, I have long accepted Peck's description of human evil, especially as it appears in families and victimizes children. I will not fully detail his description, leaving that synopsis for the Wiki article to express. The Wiki article was written carefully by someone familiar with Peck's work.
Peck's works combined his experiences from his private psychiatric practice, with a distinctly religious point of view. In his second book, People of the Lie, he wrote, "After many years of vague identification with Buddhist and Islamic mysticism, I ultimately made a firm Christian commitment – signified by my non-denominational baptism on the ninth of March 1980..." Peck claimed that people who are evil attack others rather than face their own failures.
Peck discusses human evil in his book People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, and also in a chapter of The Road Less Traveled. Peck characterizes human evil as a malignant type of self-righteousness in which there is an active rather than passive refusal to tolerate imperfection (sin) and its consequent guilt. This syndrome results in a projection of evil onto selected specific innocent victims (often children), which is the paradoxical mechanism by which the People of the Lie commit their evil. Peck argues that these people are the most difficult of all to deal with, and extremely hard to identify.