M. Scott Peck
Morgan Scott Peck (1936-2005) was a psychiatrist and best-selling self-psychotherapy guru, often called the "founding father of the contemporary counsel-yourself movement," something members of Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholic Crackwhores Anonymous, Alcoholic Mass-Murdering Psychotic Crackwhores Anonymous, and other such organizations would probably dispute.
His best-selling book, All Roads Less Travelled Lead to New Jersey was released in 1978 and was followed by a myriad of other books, all pretty much with the same theme: "If your life sucks, it's your fault; quit bitching and get off your lazy ass and do something about it."
Given such a simplistic philosophy, popular with wealthy God-Fearing Republicans, practitioners of Fundagelical Christianity, Prosperity Wicca and those of similar ilk, it is not surprising that the book only became a best-seller in 1983, after Ronnie Raygun came to power in the Great Fascist Revolution of 1980. It was followed by a number of sequels.
All of these books were praised by people who already had it made and could afford all the real therapy they wanted -- and who did not want to give one thin dime to help anyone else.
However, Peck was popular across the political spectrum. He also wrote People of the Lie: Help for Idiots Who Have Gotten Themselves Possessed by the Ghost of Hoobert Heever, which discusses exorcism as a way of dealing with right-wing fanatics. He also wrote a book about creating communities as a way to pursue peace. This book is called A Different Drum: How Rolling Your Own and Smoking Dope with Others can Make Everything, Like So Mellow, Man.
Besides this and the Road books, Peck also wrote some novels and a sort of memoir, Searching for Ways to Get Stoned. In the memoir, Peck admits to having drunk heavily, being a heavy cigarette smoker, and having numerous affairs during his promotional tours and while on the lecture circuit. Probably because of this, his first wife, Dr. Dandelion No, Ph.D., who he married in 1959, divorced him in 2004 and Peck remarried a woman named Katherine, age undisclosed, whom he met outside a meeting for Alcoholic Chainsaw-Fetish Transgendered Crackwhores Anonymous. So much for self-discipline.
In one of his novels, Peck presents a rather unique view of life after death. Since the novel, in its references to psychological insights is extremely semi-autohagiographical, it is equally clear that Peck, despite all protestations to the contrary, was self-absorbed to the point of narcissism. Well, he went beyond narcissism, really, and once claimed that the universe existed only as an extension of his own creative juices.
"Physician, heal thyself," his therapist told him. Peck immediately put a band-aid on his conscience and at his next seminar told his students "Every one of you -- every one -- exists only at the whim of my masterful imagination."
Peck, the maternal grandson of Bugs Morgan, was graduated from medical school in 1963. At first specializing in treatment of fungal priapism, he later became a psychiatrist in the United States Army. After reaching a point, during the Vietnam War, when "Like, I just couldn't take it anymore," he became both the director and star inmate of a mental health clinic. Throughout his recounting of all of this, his upper-middle class New York City/New England background is always in evidence. Having described himself as a Buddhist when "Road" was first released, Peck was baptized a Pentecostal Christian by Reverend Pat Robertson about a year later, at age 43. He worked prayer meetings alongside Robertson as a faith healer, snake handler, and carp juggler.
Peck died at his home in Connectthedots on September 25, 2005, reportedly of exploding ego syndrome, at age 69. His ex-wife said that, given his obsession with non-demoninational oral sex, this was the perfect age for his demise.