Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal

Richard Gallagher. HarperOne, $27.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-287647-8
Psychiatrist Gallagher combines experiences from his practice and from witnessing exorcisms with academic interpretations of exorcism accounts in this beguiling memoir. Putting his “professional qualifications on the line,” to write the book, Gallagher, a devout Catholic, recounts how he first became interested in “psychosomatic medicine” after his brother claimed to be healed of various physical ailments by a witch in France. The author first observed possession firsthand after an American Catholic priest asked Gallagher to evaluate a patient in a psychiatric hospital who described her condition as “demonic oppression.” True demonic oppression and possession, Gallagher contends, are rare and feature several distinctive attributes—superhuman strength, aversion to sacred objects, and “speaking foreign languages or possessing hidden knowledge.” Gallagher details cases, five of which he gives a personal account, like that of Anneliese Michel, who received a Catholic exorcism in Germany in 1975, and his engagement in the early 1990s with the hair-raising Satanic priestess “Julia” who “was never delivered from her demonic presence.” A lack of verifiable empirical evidence about any of the cases covered, however, will fail to convince skeptics and critics. Regardless, Gallagher’s piquant accounts should appeal to believers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/08/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-287646-1
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