Perhaps only a man of such great generosity (look at all the blurbs he writes about others' books) could have written a volume as imaginative and daring and helpful as this one. Larry Dossey examines the harmful effects of negative prayers, wishes, curses, and hexes. While only five percent of Americans in a 1994 Gallup Poll admitted to having prayed for harm to come to others, this phenomenon exists "like an unnoticed hum" in the background of daily life. Dossey, who has written two books on the positive side of prayer, explores its dark side with commentary on condemnation of unbelievers, prayer muggings (for something that belongs to others), prayers in sports contests (for the opposition to go down in defeat), and bullying prayers (that restrict the choices and freedom of others).

Dossey concurs with the belief of primal peoples that thought and language have the power to shape reality and control events. Doctors can hex others by projecting pessimism about people's ability to heal themselves. Sick individuals can hex themselves with negative beliefs. In a powerful and convincing finale, Dossey examines some protections against the negative intentions of others including healing images and affirmations, humility, prayers, exorcism, and the power of love.