Seldom do I read a book that would pique my curiosity and make me feel empty if I ever put it down.
I believe it behooves me to write what I think about it to make sense of the book: Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal by Dr. Richard Gallagher.
I’ve wanted to write about this review for a long time.
Not only because I’ve always been interested in the paranormal world and but because I’m also interested in death.
Death is the inevitable future for every one of us and the paranormal because it is the eventual beginning for all of us.
The idea of the immortality of the soul and its awaiting judgment based on one’s actions in this world is enough for me to delve deeper into the nature of ones’ worldview.
But soon enough, I began to contemplate the existence of pain, misery, and ultimate evil.
Is evil just a phenomenon of consciousness, or is it a living and conscious character outside the realm of human consciousness?
Do evil spirits exist? If yes, how do they figure in the material world, and how do people deal with them?
I’ve read dozens of books on the phenomenon of exorcism and watched films on it as well.
But perhaps the most convincing of all the books that I’ve read it in this book by Dr. Richard Gallagher because he’s a witness coming from the vantage point of science.
A scientifically trained psychiatrist esteemed and well respected by his peers, willing to put his neck out and talk about the spirit world.
Something that is considered anathema by the scientific community and would invite outright ridicule from them.
Nonetheless, Dr. Richard Gallagher didn’t mince any words in explicitly describing what he witnessed.
The book comes from a highly regarded psychiatrist keeping tabs on his experience for the last 25 years. It becomes empirical enough that one has to contend with the implications of his findings way earnestly.
Dr. Richard Gallagher was astute in describing the difference between a psychological/mental disorder and symptoms of actual demonic possession.
The reader is forced to think that Dr. Richard Gallagher’s promulgations are either rational, irrational or at best arational.
Still, the way Dr. Richard Gallagher laid out his cases and his claims can never be denied nor ignored.
And that is what makes this book very interesting and perhaps one of the essential documents scientifically, psychologically, philosophically, and religiously.
The book has only one argument: Demons exist, and the material world is not everything. The implication that one can objectively establish with this book is the truth of the existence of the spiritual plane.
If true, the implications of this worldview would change the way one views the world.
Suddenly the spirit world makes sense as Dr. Richard Gallagher implies that the given has always been the existence of evil sentient spirit beings, unseen, powerful, and destructive. Only a sincere belief in God would give human beings a sliver of a fighting chance.
His book destroys all arguments in favor of scientific materialism and completely decimates the worldview of atheism.
And if that’s not enough, his book also poses a more significant challenge when it comes to the spiritual truths of the Christian faith.
This challenge is blatantly ignored by many intellectuals, academic institutions, and even political and judicial agencies.
The fear perhaps is that if what Dr. Gallagher wrote is true, everyone has to account for their values and spiritual truths.
But the greatest fear insofar as everyone is concerned is the fear of recognizing Christianity as the true religion and worldview.
I didn’t want the book to end; after reading 272 pages, I still wanted more.
But in so far as proving the existence of the spirit world, this book, with the backing of 25 years of psychiatric practice under the most stringent of conditions, has proven to be perhaps one of the most significant pieces of evidence on the power of God and the truth of Christianity.
The book is an excellent answer to Pascals Wager, which is commonly criticized with counterarguments such as the failure to prove the existence of God.
Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.). In contrast, if God does exist, he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid unlimited losses (an eternity in Hell).
But far from proving anything, the book gives a dire warning to anyone who reads it.
And that is, one should not risk believing that there is no God if only for the fact that the alternative is being with the ones who hated God.