It appears that Malachi Martin was not the man he made himself out to be.
This is of the utmost importance because Martin's books played an important
role in stimulating the exorcism/satanism panic of the 1980s. M Scott Peck utilized Martin's material when writing his own contribution, People of the Lie
(Source: American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty by Michael Cuneo [www.google.com
Clerical Error: A True Story Robert Blair Kaiser
Robert Blair Kaiser dies at 84 on Holy Thursday
Condemned to a life in purgatory for falling prey to a sinner in the Vatican
Disguised as a Man: Malachai Martin and Me
The Devil You Know
he devil you know
Reviewed by RICHARD WOODS
Back in the 1970s, when possession and exorcism were the cinematic and fictional flavor of the era -- one that historian Martin Marty appropriately called “the silly season” -- it fell to my lot to conduct a pre-publication review of Malachi Martin’s sensational book Hostage to the Devil. I was allied in this with an internationally celebrated clinical psychologist. Working independently, our conclusion was the same: Martin’s five “cases” were fabrications of an inventive but disturbed mind, lacking all psychological, historical, theological and pastoral credibility.
Some time later, I interviewed Malachi Martin on television. A former priest, Martin had left the Jesuit order under cloudy conditions, to say the least. (The sordid details were described in Robert Blair Kaiser’s agonized 2002 memoir, Clerical Error: A True Story.) In person, I found Martin to be a clever, charming, engaging Irish rogue who evaded every effort to document the instances of possession he so graphically described. In the end, my earlier suspicion that Martin was a deeply disturbed individual was strongly reinforced.
A decade later, when M. Scott Peck’s second book, People of the Lie, was published, I was appalled to find that he, a newly committed Christian of a vaguely evangelical stripe, had accepted and endorsed Martin’s fictional ravings as accurate and instructive case studies. Now, 20 years later, Dr. Peck has returned to the topic of possession, still idolizing the late ex-Jesuit, who died in 1999, and to whom the popular psychiatrist not only dedicates Glimpses of the Devil but draws on exclusively for reference.
Insouciant in his ignorance of the real history of and the extensive literature on possession phenomena, Dr. Peck hails Martin as “the greatest expert on the subject of possession and exorcism in the English-speaking world” and “brilliant,” despite his own misgivings and warnings from colleagues that Martin was a sociopath. The psychiatrist’s resolute adulation of Martin is thus both disturbing and misleading. Despite Dr. Peck’s claim that he was the most famous exorcist in the world, Malachi Martin had no discernible training, expertise or even adequate knowledge of the history or ministry of exorcism in -- or out of -- the Catholic faith he once professed but which he bitterly turned against at the end of his unhappy life. Moreover, by Dr. Peck’s own frequent admission, Martin was a liar and manipulator.
Not surprisingly, Martin went on to write several novels as well as pseudo-histories such as The Jesuits and The Final Conclave. And it must be admitted that Martin had a gift for writing as he did for gab. But as a theologian and pastoral minister, Martin was a fraud. Dr. Peck’s choice of a mentor in regard to possession and exorcism is therefore a multiple disaster.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2016 09:42PM by corboy.