ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

So, You've Got Bugs

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

“The devil has been going out of his way to give us bugs,” believes Cailean Terence. “All forms of religious studies acknowledge demons in some form or another,” he adds. “They are our No. 1 enemy” and “inspire us to sin.”

In So, You’ve Got Bugs, Terence is forthcoming about the demons or “bugs” that caused his marriage to fall apart in 1999. He found no solace through prayer, which he likens to “an adult person going to their aged parents and saying to them they don’t want to be responsible for their own souls anymore,” or through psychological counseling, which he dismisses as something that “doesn’t really solve the problem but only subdues it for a while.” So how did he free himself of his demons? By falling on his face and demanding that the evil spirits leave him.

Terence believes his self-exorcism saved both his mortal body and his immortal soul. His book, however, is not a religious tract. While a believer in the word of God and its healing power, the author is soured on organized religion. Churches use “the ‘guilt trip’ to keep their congregations in tow,” he notes, saying it “felt like they were selling me an insurance policy.” Although a Christian for many years, the South African author says he has moved on “to a more esoteric and philosophical viewpoint.”

Terence names fifteen “demons” that plague the modern world, including the “booze bug,” “hate bug,” and “lying bug.” He believes that they are caused by a “true demon or a free spirit from a deceased person” that comes to nest inside each of us.

While the author is forthcoming about his own experiences and beliefs, his work is not well organized. He has not divided the book into chapters, and while there are many subheads (some in bold, some not), the topics are presented in seemingly random order. There is no table of contents or index to guide the reader.

There is an interesting fifteen-page section with the names of angels and demons and what they represent—for example, Zachriel, the “angel who governs memories,” and Cresil, the “demon of impurity and laziness.” While the author mentions that he compiled his list from religious texts, he does not link the names to specific sources.

There are no footnotes, and the closest thing to a bibliography is a list of quotations from the Bible. When Terence does offer outside sources to support his views, they are all from Wikipedia, from which he lifts multiple paragraphs that fill up a page or sometimes more. A good editor might have explained that Wikipedia is not considered a trusted source but is merely a starting point for research.

While his book lacks organization, structure, and supporting evidence, the author should be applauded for his courage in opening up his heart. So, You’ve Got Bugs is one man’s heartfelt confession of his sins and an honest effort to help others find the solace and relief that he has found in battling his inner demons.

Mark McLaughlin