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Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory Paperback – April 25, 1995

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This shocking cautionary tale focuses on the bizarre case of Paul Ingram, a Washington State deputy sheriff, Republican county leader and Pentecostal who was accused by his daughters Ericka and Julie of sexual abuse and of belonging to a satanic cult that allegedly included other sheriff's department members and that engaged in orgies and ritual sadistic abuse. Ingram confessed to having repeated sex with both daughters, and also to impregnating Julie at 15 and taking her to have an abortion. He subsequently retracted these statements, maintaining that all of his "recovered memories" were fantasies produced under pressure. Because he pleaded guilty to rape charges in 1989, he is serving a 20-year prison sentence. Yet months of investigation produced no physical evidence that any sex crimes or satanic practices ever took place, reports Wright, who leans strongly to the view that Ericka and Julie's own "recovered memories" were sheer fantasy. This suspenseful account of a controversial case, most of which appeared in the New Yorker , pleads for greater skepticism and caution in dealing with sex-abuse charges based on recovered memories.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In 1988, the case of Paul Ingram, a Washington state deputy sheriff accused of extensive child abuse and participation in Satanic ritual, made headlines across the country. Exploring the fates of the participants in the case, this book examines the recovered memory phenomenon (i.e., the retrieval of previously forgotten traumatic events) and the societal circumstances that have led, Wright believes, to mass hysteria similar to the Salem witch trials. While not a required purchase, this book serves as a fascinating case study to accompany other recent books that explores the same phenomenon, such as Lenore Terr's Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found ( LJ 1/94) and Robyn M. Dawes's House of Cards: The Collapse of Modern Psychotherapy ( LJ 3/1/94). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/93.
- Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 25, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679755829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679755821
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By P. Mann VINE VOICE on February 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Remembering Satan" is an account of one of the more prominent and tragic cases of alleged child abuse and satanic ritual abuse (SRA). Author Lawrence Wright makes it clear that he does not believe the majority of the allegations, and how could he? What started as "mere" allegations of sexual abuse soon developed into allegations of a widespread satanic cult that included many members of the investigating police force, lawyers, judges, and many others.
The allegations started when Ericka and Julie Ingram accused their father, Paul Ingram, of molesting them. Paul Ingram was a deputy sheriff and deeply religious man in Olympia, Washington. He soon admitted to the allegations and began naming others as participants in all manner of rapes, orgies, and satanic rituals. The problem with the case, though, was that the allegations kept growing. Soon the alleged participants were talking about photographs, sacrifices of animals and human babies, and much more--none of which could be verified by any physical evidence. Further, the stories were often contradictory or patently false.
Wright attempts to combine in a relatively slim volume the successful prosecution of Paul Ingram (who confessed), the destruction of a family and the lives of many others, and the hysteria surrounding the search for satanic cults. He locates these events within the larger context of repressed memories and the television talk-show dominated landscape of 1980s' America. There are problems in this approach as the subject matter seems to be one that cannot be captured in the book's approximately 200 pages, but Wright does an extraordinary job in presenting the material he has chosen to include.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Tim Smith on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
An unbelievable, tragic, "stanger than fiction" account of two daughters' allegations of sexual abuse by their deputy sheriff father. The subsequent interrogations, in which suggestions of satanism were made, resulted in confessions to Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). In a trance, Paul Ingram implicated fellow deputies, family members and friends who allegedly participated in atrocious, despicable acts of murder, rape, sexual abuse and dismemberment.
Evetually the charges against everyone implicated were dropped except for Paul Ingram. Tragically, this highly suggestible man was persuaded by apparantly honest interrogators to confess to crimes uncorroborated by any other evidence. His guilty plea resulted in a 20 year prison term.
Lawrence Wright, a journalist and recent author of his first work of fiction, God's Favorite, presented this provocative and controversial case in what initially read like a bad novel. However, it became personally fascinating and educational as he introduced the psychological concepts of repression, recovered memories, suggestibility, hypnosis, trance and trauma.
This case is but one example of the False Memory Syndrome. It by no means dismisses the existence and seriousness of incest and sexual abuse. It does however, call for caution by well-trained and experienced professionals in both the judicial and mental health fields when working with repressed and recovered memories.
This book is an excellent starting point for anyone intrigued by human behavior, the complexities of the human mind and the legal/ethical repercussions involving recovered memory phenomena.
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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful By C. Bresnahan on July 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I use the case of Paul Ingram, intelligently reconstructed in Lawrence Wright's _Remembering Satan_, in a university class I teach on the history of magic and witchcraft in early modern Europe. The case helps my students to see how innocent people can be coerced, cajoled, and arm-twisted into confessing to horrendous, even incredible crimes. Paul Ingram's case parallels almost perfectly the witchcraft confessions of the 16th-17th centuries, even though many of those confessions were elicited through torture (though others, particularly those in England and New England, were not). Ingram, a law officer himself, 'knew' the stereotypes - now discredited - of so-called recovered memory and of so-called satanic ritual abuse. A devout born-again Christian, he believed, and was egged on by his pastor and other born-again advisers, that the devil could have possessed him and prevented his being able to remember that he had allegedly committed horrific crimes with other satanists - including murder and rape. These assumptions reflect those of the age of the European witchhunts, when intellectual elites - professors, theologians, popes, princes, and lawyers - defined and then prosecuted alleged diabolical witches, for whose alleged deeds and cults we have not one shred of historical evidence.

Experts - academics, professional counselors, and law-enforcement officials - have proven that no large, organized satanic cults exist in contemporary America. They point out that more murderers claim that God told them to kill than claim that Satan told them to kill. There are no credible cases of satanic ritual abuse along the lines alleged in _Remembering Satan_.
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