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Feet Of Clay

The Power and Charisma of Gurus

How do gurus get their power? Gurus are extraordinary individuals who attract fanatical followers and wield incredible and at times destructive control over them.

In this remarkable study, Anthony Storr, the acclaimed author of Solitude and Music and the Mind, examines why we are so enthralled with these dogmatic figures who satisfy our need for certainty.

Taking as his examples such diverse figures as Jesus, Sigmund Freud, Ignatius Loyola, and David Koresh, Storr traces the typical patterns—often involving psychotic illness—that shape the guru’s development, and reveals how certain gurus become monsters while others become spiritual beacons.

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Anthony Storr was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an Emeritus Fellow of Green College, Oxford. He was the author of numerous books, including The Integrity of the Personality, The Dynamics of Creation, The Essential Jung, and The Art of Psychotherapy. Dr. Storr died in 2001.

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