Remembering Satan

Remembering Satan

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by Lawrence Wright
     
 

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The shocking and controversial case of Paul Ingram - to all appearances a happily married husband and father of five - who was accused of sexual abuse by his two daughters, ages twenty-two and eighteen, is told in a book that raises profound questions about the phenomenon known as recovered memory. The story begins on a day in November 1988 as Ingram, a deputy sheriff… See more details below

Overview

The shocking and controversial case of Paul Ingram - to all appearances a happily married husband and father of five - who was accused of sexual abuse by his two daughters, ages twenty-two and eighteen, is told in a book that raises profound questions about the phenomenon known as recovered memory. The story begins on a day in November 1988 as Ingram, a deputy sheriff in Olympia, Washington, arrives at his office, is relieved of his gun and his badge, and is brought into an interrogation room where, in an atmosphere of gathering hysteria, he is questioned by his boss and two of his fellow officers. When Ingram says he has no memory of assaulting his daughters, the interrogators suggest that he is "in denial" and will feel much better if he can remember and get it off his chest. Over the next days and weeks, he, along with his daughters, and eventually his wife and two of his three sons, did exactly that. All of them "remembered" many instances, over a period of more than fifteen years, of sexual molestation and finally of abuse - even murder - connected to satanic rites, instances involving their entire family, some friends, and other members of the sheriff's department. As dozens of people became implicated, outside experts of every stripe - mental health professionals, the FBI, memory specialists, abuse counselors - were brought in, and the case attracted national attention. Remembering Satan grippingly relates what happened to Ingram, to his wife, to his daughters, and to the others engulfed by these events. It is also an examination of the recovered memory phenomenon, which seems to be surfacing everywhere - the retrieval years later of supposed traumatic events that lie buried in the subconscious. Ultimately the book explores what may be happening in people's memories and why it is happening now. Fascinating, unsettling, Remembering Satan penetrates a psychological mystery as it looks into the hidden ways the mind remembers. A cautionary tale for our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Apr.)
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.
From the Publisher
"A fantastic case reverberating with questions about the nature of memory itself.... A thoughtful and gripping book."

— The New York Times

"This is a cautionary tale of immense value, told with rare intelligence, restraint and compassion. Remembering Satan catapults Wright to the front rank of American journalists." — Newsweek

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679431558
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/29/1994
Pages:
205

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A fantastic case reverberating with questions about the nature of memory itself.... A thoughtful and gripping book."

— The New York Times

"This is a cautionary tale of immense value, told with rare intelligence, restraint and compassion. Remembering Satan catapults Wright to the front rank of American journalists." — Newsweek

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