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Hoax and Reality: The Bizarre World of Multiple Personality Disorder Paperback – October 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-1568218540 ISBN-10: 1568218540 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.; 1 edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568218540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568218540
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,076,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on April 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Frankly, given how old the book is I'm surprised it is still on sale. In it Piper acknowledges the existence of multiple personalities but calls it MPD rather than Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which it was renamed to several years before the book's release.
The title 'Hoax and Reality' is clearly insensitive and offensive to those with the disorder and the phrase 'bizarre world' is also offensive when applied to mental health. Why would Piper himself use such a title for a disorder that he fully acknowledges does exist, and so why intentionally distress those people?
The image on the front cover of the goat is presumably some odd satanic reference and looks best intended for a sensationalist book rather than a piece of work to be taken seriously.

Many further studies and research have shown that DID cannot be created by hypnosis, suggestion, attention-seeking patients or unethical therapists. What has been shown is that DID is not very quick to diagnose and affects approximately 1% of the population (about as many as schziophrenia). The lack of scientific fact and basis for many of his opinions and assumptions is clear when you read this, and also probably the reason the book is so short.

Given that Piper acknowledges the fact the DID genuinely exists in a non-iatrogenic form it is curious that all his publications on the topic avoid discussing treatment options.

This is a surprisingly short book and very poor.
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Let me first establish that I read the book in its entirety and I know the author. I probably wouldn't have written a review of the book had it not been for the existing reviews. Under most circumstances I treat music and literature the same, not everyone is going to have an appreciation of any given genre and so let the personal opinions fall where the may.

There were a few implications regarding his credentials. He is and has been a well certified doctor of medicine and psychiatrist for many decades. This book was written sometime ago and so the idea that the DSMV label has changed being held against the author is nonsensical. The criticism regarding the length of the book, well, since when is that the measure of a work. The Tao of Pooh is even shorter but it lives in critical acclaim. While I am writing this review I am eating a waffle and it is delicious. I found many of the statements intended to chastise the book as relevant as my waffle remark. (It was delicious by the way)

To the, in fact issue, the book. This book is written for the average lay person. It is in no way intended to be akin to a doctoral thesis. Dr. Piper makes it very clear in this offering his principle issue is not with the existence or non-existence itself but with the lack of consistent definitive diagnostic criteria. He makes and supports this point throughout the book; including one claim that the absence of symptoms was in itself a symptom. Dr. Piper argues in order to diagnose and/or distinguish one pathology from another that there must be a set of symptoms which are clearly defined attached to it. For example, there are many types of hemorrhagic fever. They are not all Ebola. There are particular symptoms which differentiate Ebola from Lassa, Yellow Fever and Marburg.
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22 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am currently reading the book, Hoax & Reality, and I can't thank the author enough for telling the truth of this phenomena. I recently had the opportunity to write an article about this issue, but had to turn the article down because I didn't believe in it and couldn't write an article favoring it when I didn't believe it existed (except as August Piper, Jr., says, very rarely). I even interviewed someone who claims to have D.I.D. (M.P.D.), and after more than three hours talking to this person, I still didn't believe it! Too many things just don't add up. I am so glad someone has applied true science, common sense and honesty to the phenomena and that this brave author has decided to take a stand. How wonderful to find someone who has the authority (Piper is an M.D.) to back up what I have believed for so long! Thank you, August Piper, Jr., M.D.!
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Healy on October 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this thought-provoking, highly readable book, August Piper does NOT deny the existence of multiple personality personality disorder. In fact, he argues that the condition is all too prevalent -- but in many cases seems to be brought on and/or exacerbated by certain therapists whose convictions and practices approach those of a religious cult. (The author cites one theorist who uses the term "oppressive supernatural states disorder," and more than one who recommend treatment by exorcism.) Many of Dr. Piper's fellow-psychiatrists (MDs, as opposed to We-Don't-Know-WHATs) support his conclusions, as does a respectable body of broad research and individual case studies. The important contribution of "Hoax and Reality" is its clear explication, for the benefit of lay readers, of a fascinating controversy.
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