Book Review: The Unquiet Dead

I just finished reading another of Dr. Edith Fiore’s fascinating clinical case books The Unquiet Dead: A Psychologist Treats Spirit Possessionwhich was first published in 1987. The foreword is by Raymond A. Moody, Jr. M.D. This was really a frontier book of this kind, I mean, spirit depossession by a psychologist, not a “psychic”! – It’s funny though, when I say a “psychologist not a psychic”, it feels as if it gives more credibility as there’s “science” component in it; but does it really? Dr. Fiore’s spirit depossession work was based on hypnotism, up till today, a lot of people still think hypnotism makes no difference from woo-woo, not a real “science”.

Nevertheless, Edith Fiore does have a doctorate degree and that makes her more scientific than a lot of us.

I enjoyed reading the book very much. First foremost, this book is very entertaining, and well organized. It has six chapters for background introduction, 5 detailed case studies, followed by practical tools to detect and release lost souls on our own. It even provides protection script and ghostbusting scripts (one for “possessed” person and one for haunted house).

Now before I go on, one of the things I feel uncomfortable with is the term “possession”. I don’t quite think it’s right. If a person is possessed, by the definition of the word the person must be taken over by another entity, which was not the case with her patients. The entities attached themselves to the host body, causing the person mood sway, personality shift, over drink, unexplainable physical symptoms, strange behaviours, and in some cases, sexual orientation changes… But the entity has not taken over (I doubt if it ever can take over) the entire body. At least the person is still conscious enough to seek for clinical help. Therefore today’s terminology “Spirit Attachment” is much more accurate.

As a clinical hypnotherapist, I read this book after I stumbled upon a couple of spirit attachment cases myself in my practice. They led me to read all the books I could find on this subject, and The Unquiet Deadwas one of them. Some other books have been written after Dr. Fiore’s. I can imagine how courageous it must be for Dr. Fiore to write and publish this book.

Nowadays, when a client comes to my office saying things like “I’m not myself these days.” “It’s just not me!” “I don’t know what got into me.” or “I think I’m crazy.” It always rings a bell in my mind, but I won’t tell them my suspicions, which could serve as suggestions in itself, let alone the unnecessary disturbance it might cause and unacceptability for some individuals. Instead of me “diagnosing”, I always let their subconscious mind tell the stories – I know Dr. Fiore diagnosed and told her patients who was possessing them. This is actually another thing I find quite uncomfortable with reading the book. Reading through this book I couldn’t help but feel her clinical approach sometimes might be misleading. It always helps to hold all the suspicions until we are confirmed by a person’s subconscious mind, or the entity speaks itself in hypnosis.

In fact, some times it turned out the client is not attached by another entity, rather, it’s just an aspect of the client’s inner child who came out speaking. That said, this is a very enlightening book and I’m glad I have it in my library.

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