Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal (Paperback)
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The world’s leading psychiatric authority on demonic possession delves into the hidden world of exorcisms and his own transformation from cynic to believer over the course of his twenty-five-year career.
Successful New York psychiatrist Richard Gallagher was skeptical yet intrigued when a hard-nosed, no-nonsense Catholic priest asked him to examine a woman for a possible exorcism. Meeting her, Gallagher was astonished. The woman’s behavior defied logic. In an instant, she could pinpoint a person’s secret weaknesses. She knew how individuals she’d never known had died, including Gallagher’s own mother, who passed away after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. She spoke fluently in multiple languages, including Latin—but only when she was in a trance.
This was not psychosis, Gallagher concluded. It was, in his scientific estimation, what could only be describe as paranormal ability. The woman wasn’t mentally disturbed—she was possessed. This remarkable case was the first of many that Gallagher would encounter. Sought after today by leaders of all faiths—ministers, priests, rabbis and imams, Gallagher has spent a quarter-century studying demonic activity and exorcisms throughout history and has witnessed more cases than any other psychiatrist in the world today.
In this eerie and enthralling book, Gallagher chronicles his most famous cases for the first time, including:
- A professional who claimed her spiritualist mother had “assigned” her a spirit who “turned on her.”
- A petite woman—”90 pounds soaking wet”—who threw a 200-pound Lutheran deacon across the room to the horror of onlookers in a church hall;
- And “Julia,” the so-called Satanic queen and self-described witch, who exhibited “the most harrowing” case, a “once-in-a-century” possession.
Going beyond horror movies and novels, Demonic Foes takes you deep into this hidden world, sharing in full details of these true-life tales of demonic possession.
About the Author
RICHARD E. GALLAGHER, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist, is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at New York Medical College and a faculty member of the Psychoanalytic Institute of Columbia University. He is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and winner of the Stinnecke Class Prize, a scholarship award in classical Latin and Greek. He trained as resident in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and is in private practice in Valhalla, New York.
Dr. Gallagher is the longest-standing American member of the International Association of Exorcists since its founding in the early 1990s. For a number of years, he served as scientific adviser on its governing council as the only layman and sole psychiatrist. He has also helped train major groups of exorcists in the United States in distinguishing possession cases and other diabolic attacks from medical and psychiatric pathology.
“A thought-provoking read sure to attract intrigued skeptics and believers alike.”