Transcribe your podcast

I'm trying to replicate what I miss about grad school. That's what you've been doing from day one. That's been clear.


But to with greater and greater degrees of brains in this. Welcome to You're Wrong about the podcast that scratches on old books until a bunch of spiders come out.


I really like how we got there. I really like that one. We did it. Can you tell us the meaning of that metaphor for people who haven't been following the spider dream? No type in the story so far.


Nobody should be listening to this unless they've listened to the first three episodes. I'm not going to do a detailed recap, because if you're coming in at this point, something has gone technologically wrong with your telephone and you've clicked on the wrong podcast.


So go back to Episode one and find out what the spider thing.


It's because you're coming in at part four of a book club about a Satanic Panic paperback.


And I cannot begin to summarize the insanity that has gone on in this book so far.


Can we tell people who we are? At least I am Michael Hobbs. I'm a reporter for the Huffington Post.


I'm Sarah Marshall. I'm working on a book about the satanic panic. And we are on Patriot Act at on dotcoms. You're wrong about and lots of other places. And it's quarantined. So it's also chill if that's not something you want to do right now.


Happy Team are working. And today we're doing part four of our exploration of Michelle Remembers.


Mm hmm. Mike, I would like to summarize in terms of what has been interesting to you so far, when you think about the I mean, we've only covered a hundred and twenty nine pages of text and feels like we've been it feels like this book has already been like four hundred pages long.


And you know what I was thinking?


I think there's like an interesting, like nesting doll phenomenon here of unease, because I think it would be very easy to read this book and I don't know what the sort of debunking were like, but you could easily debunk this book with being like, here's this woman who is making up all of these visions and she's the one that started the satanic panic.


But to me, I feel like the real ethical problem is there's this weird compounding structure where what she did I actually find somewhat understandable where she's responding to this coaching from her doctor. And what her doctor did is a hundred times worse because he's basically using his professional credentials to amplify these statements that she's making and to reinforce them in her mind. And then the publisher of the book is 100 times more unethical than Dr. Pasteur.


Michelle made some bad decisions, but Thomas Cochrane ultimately made the worst decision to publish this book, to massage it in the way that he did, because it's written HeLa Dan Brown Ugly and to publish it as nonfiction and be really, really, really insistent that no, no, we know it sounds bananas, but it happened exactly as described.


That's super unethical.


I think the publisher's note is more wishy washy than that. He's like I believe Michelle believes it. I believe she is sincere. And I can't imagine it not being true if she seems so sincere.


So, you know, and so you think he's kind of trying to have it both ways?


I do, yeah. You read this book and you're like, yes, a publisher signed off on this. Like, this was given the imprint of a lot of authority. And you look at it and you're like, yes, that's terrible that all this power was leveraged behind this very strange sort of collection of therapeutic notes, but also like social workers and cops and a lot of other people read this and we're like, OK, I believe this happened.


And then you're like, how much responsibility do we give to the individual in all this? And of course, that's not an equation that you can ever work out or make sense of. But there's so much responsibility to go around, I guess is the point that this is a pact that society made with itself.


Right, like women at the time were coming forward with claims of sexual harassment or like my boss made me have sex with him to keep my job and be like, yeah, right. And then Michelle comes forward with this completely whack job story.


And we're like, yeah, that sounds like Bible facts. That sounds like it happened exactly as she says.


And now that you're saying it, can you hear why that actually does make sense? No, I don't listen to myself.


What OK, so like to use and not totally contemporary example, but when Anita Hill testifies about what Clarence Thomas did when he was her boss, that's uncomfortable because he's been selected as a Supreme Court justice and he's as good a sworn in. And so she has to say has to be torn apart and she has to be torn apart because she is implicating someone who society has chosen as useful or authoritative or necessary in some way, whereas you're implicating these imaginary Satanists who are everywhere.


I know where no one has to look at themselves and think, oh, this revolution is going to come for me. Right.


It's a fundamentally like punching down phenomenon, right. Where it's going to be like daycare workers and imprisoning people for a long. Periods of time, it's not going to be like the CEO of this company and it's going to come after people who are outcasts because of their sexuality is because they're poor, because they're, quote, trashy, like it's right. It's going to come for people who already have kind of legal preexisting conditions and that way.


But it's an interesting sort of trajectory of the phrase believe women, because we've always been able to believe women as long as they're talking about someone powerless. If it gives us an excuse to crack down, we're like, yeah, yeah, women never lie. It's fine. Yes.


But in the minute they come forward about somebody who we like or somebody who we trust or somebody who has power, we're like, oh, isn't she like, yeah, that's women betraying their role as being useful to the patriarchy because of course the carceral state is a big, important part of the patriarchy and women, especially white women, are useful to that.


If we can have people incarcerated in our name and we've said patriarchy and carceral state already only a few minutes, it usually takes us like an hour to get there.


We're going to get some one star reviews out of this, the feminist pervert and the homosexual. Keep talking about this stuff. Thank you for those.


I appreciate those. So let's get into the book. Let's talk about Summercamp first. Actually, who do you like?


Where else can this metaphore go? So many places. It's fun.


I mean, your day. My day was really good.


I got stung by a bee ten times and I used sunscreen in my hair because I thought that because it had the same consistency as hair gel, I could use it as hair gel. Those are both stories that actually happened to me at summer camp.


Oh, I was a really smart, really precocious kid. OK, well, please bring us up to speed on the last we heard of Michelle and Dr. Pasteur, basically like she's already she's already described extreme things happening.


She's already scrubbed, killing kittens. She's already described dead baby stuff. And my primary curiosity is like, where else can these tortures go? Because she's already gone to the climax, like Thanos already has the glove.


Oh, it's it's going to get weirder, I feel like. Yeah. To continue that metaphor, it's like Thanos has the glove and then we come back for an end game. And the director of End Game is David Lynch.


Oh gosh.


We've reached the phase in the book where chapters will just start like Medivation now, like we're just in the repressed memory. And so this chapter starts. The nurse had underestimated Michelle's resistance for the last time. And so we have basically more of Michelle alone with this nurse figure who's kind of the main recurring character of the visions.


She's I think of her as like the Sheryl Sandberg. If Malachi is Mark Zuckerberg, then the nurse ladies like the number two.


Well, I'm going to see her like that from now on. Yeah. Lean in, Michelle. So we got another story where she's taken again to the graveyard and put into a grave. And we're told she stood quietly for a few moments. She barely heard the first muffled thud. Then she heard another and another. They seem to be dropping things into the grave, but she didn't know what. Then something hit her on its way down. It didn't hurt.


Now, two of them came down and hit her at the same time as she threw up her hands to brush them away, it suddenly came to her. They were dead kittens.


Oh, God, it's so silly. Yeah, right.


Yeah. I wonder if Dr. Pasdar is ever like. I don't know, Michelle. These are pretty repetitive.


Also, like, maybe she doesn't want it to become like the scarier or worse. And so she's like more kittens, a greater quantity of kittens.


So once again, she's put on a stone slab and she looks down and she sees a dead baby lying between her legs, which they apparently want her to believe that she has given birth to. OK, and previously we've been told that Michelle has found a cross and is hiding it to keep yourself safe with, like an Salem's Lot. Oh, OK. Screaming hysterically Michelle took away and leaped off the stone slab. The cross was still under the mattress and now she brought it out for the first time.


She held it up high and the room went wild. Everyone was shouting angrily again. She was disrupting their ceremony. Michelle hold it tight in her hands. And even Malakai, the red man, couldn't get it away from her. Then he seemed to change his mind and dragged her his fist around her fingers. Back to the front, back to the slab where the baby lay.


So she's she's now pulling from like Dracula that like they're afraid of crucifixes. And Malachi is now red.


Yeah, he's painted red for the ceremony. Oh, OK. Yeah.


I mean, I apologize. I haven't been listening closely at my clinic.


How have you not how are you not able to intuit what's going on. That's the only thing Michelle still had the cross in her hands and she thought it was safe because she was holding it, Malikai couldn't take it from her. Then he raised his fist, raising her arms along with it and drove the base of the cross down upon the body of the baby. And Michelle says, I can't stand it anymore. I don't know what to do. Oh, please, please.


I don't know how to get out.


So she now coming out of the vision and she's like, don't you believe me? Don't you believe me?


Well, I don't even know if we're meant to understand that she's talking to him or if this is supposed to still be in the vision or what, because we're not told what he thinks. This is what these people are good at, missing nuance. True. You're going to really love the opening, the chapter 15. Oh, no. Lawrence Pasdar had a knack for one of his friends affectionately termed creative tardiness. There were so many people crowding in on his life colleagues, patients, family members, friends, co members of the many committees.


He found himself agreeing to serve on that. There was always a call or an impromptu visit to the Leehom subtext.


He's such a terrific person, so busy and important that it makes him late divans.


This is just such a weirdly, it's an we don't need any of this. I don't know why we're getting, you know, and yet we are. It's so boring. And again, I'm like, oh, this isn't about torture. I'm so excited.


It's like all the characterization. This book is just a series of humble braggs, his openness. And more than that, his commitment is such that fending off interruptions did not come naturally to him. Oh, my God. Colleagues, patients, family, friends, they all learn to accept the fact this energetic and altogether engaging man, important in all their lives, was unlikely to appear at the designated moment. Oh my God.


It was best to allow fifteen or twenty minutes, perhaps half an hour.


And then the tall life fellow with the high grade polished cheekbones and the warm white smile when I'm writing in his expression, a mixture of sheepishness and self amusement.


Lawrence, we know you wrote this.


Michelle, therefore, was not surprised the doctor pastor was absent when she came for her appointment that day in early spring. And then he's late and then he comes in and then they have a conversation. And it's not relevant that he's late.


And I don't know why we needed all of that, but that's what we got. I mean, this is the kind of thing that if someone else was writing this about him, we would be like, all right, that's a little thing.


And action. If I wrote that about myself, like Sarah Marshall was late as hell all the time everyone loved, she was cool.


So anyway, Dr. Pouncer is lively late, but he does make it to work, and I don't think I can go on. She said when they had entered the office and closed the door, I had this terrible sense of foreboding. I mean, it's really frightening. Is there something really horrible is about to happen? I mean, I have the strongest feeling that I should talk to a priest.


Oh, so they're finally going to bring somebody else into this. They're finally going to tell someone else about these visions and about the satanic cults that are in Victoria.


Yes. And so Dr. Passthrough says, what about Father Leo, who is the kind of priest who wears turtlenecks? Oh, God. Who they've consulted previously about their thoughts about cults. Dr. PAD's was like, great, let's call Father Leo. And Father Leo says that he's free and come over in an hour. And then Dr. Pasteur spoke of another matter. You were kind enough. He began to let me discuss this work with my wife. Dr. Pasteur had been anxious to have his wife comprehend something of the nature of this extraordinary endeavor.


What I know people, according to the missing Mrs. Pasteur, shows up.


And although he's pretending he was eager to tell his wife about this, he's like touching foreheads with this other woman and spending hours talking about her childhood.


What would you give to be a fly on the wall in the past or household in nineteen seventy seven because of the secrecy mandated by the doctor patient relationship? However, he could not have spoken about the case, even to his own wife. Oh my God.


Without Michelle's permission, because he cares so much about the doctor patient relationship and upholding the code of ethics of his profession.


Very ethical guy by the book passed.


I tried to tell you something about the nature of your remembering, Dr. Pasteur continued. I told her that you were totally reliving a childhood experience and that it was very stressful and that afterward it took time to integrate the information that had come out. Michelle did not reply. Dr. Pasdar began to feel that he had perhaps made another mistake and telling Michelle about the mistake he had made and telling his wife he 100 percent told his wife that the patient he was spending all this time with was like an 80 year old man named Morton.


That he did not tell his wife that he's with is like 27 year old with a delicate mouth who like going through some stuff.


I am willing to believe that he told that he tried to be like, listen. This is pastor whose first name has not been mentioned in the book so far. I know that this patient is taking up a lot of time, but she's been tortured by bona fide Satanists. And I can imagine his wife being like, what? Yeah.


Are you kidding? Nice try, Larry. This is the third time this has happened.


And then we got when Father Leo arrived wearing is customary turtleneck, jeans and boots. They tell him that what Michelle has been recovering in her memory seems, according to Dr. Pasdar, very definitely anti Christian. It sounds a lot like Satanism to us, father. We have had listened silently, spellbound.


It's also great that, like, if you're describing your memory of someone else in a conversation you had with them, like years ago, you can be like Father Leo was spellbound and it's like, was he at any time like I am spellbound.


As Michael Hobbs described the lack of bike lanes in Seattle, Washington, his boyfriend was spellbound.


I don't know.


We don't presume to say whether or not this should be of concern to the church. Dr. Pastor went on, We're telling you about it on the chance that it is not, for fuck's sake, and that we need your help. This is an extraordinary thing.


Again, power. The church also could have been like, sorry, this just doesn't sound plausible to us. We know that the Church of Satan was only founded 15 years ago. And this isn't really something like despite its appearance in the Victorian the local newspaper, we don't actually think that these kinds of things were active in the 1950s based on our information could have done that.


Right. And maybe they did, because also the church is depicted pretty vaguely in this, like Michelle and Dr. Pasdar keep meeting people within the Catholic Church or like, oh, that sounds very worrying. I am concerned. And then there's not like a lot of concrete action. So you can also imagine all these interactions being, you know, priests or whatever, being like. Oh, sure. Right.


It's like when your friend says, like, you got to watch the show on Hulu and you're like, yeah, I'm going to check that out.


Matt LeBlanc is in it. And then your friend writes in their diary, and it's like Michael was spellbound when I described the Matt LeBlanc show to him.


And so he says that he can say a mass for them. And Michelle says, I'd like that very much. But what I feel the need of a really strong need is for a prayer or something, some words to make people safe.


What she's worried about, Dr. Pastrick said, and as I'm hearing this, I'm picturing him like with his leg hand on her shoulder, like that's just my mental image or on the small of her back or what she's worried about, Dr. Pasdar said, is if something evil had a grip on her or on someone else, could you do anything about it?


That's what the right of exorcism is, Foglio replied to drive out, even though.


So this is where we're going with this, OK? Yeah, we're we're bringing we're bringing in some exorcism.


As readers will recall from our exorcism episode, exorcisms became very popular, like bubble tea after the release of the movie. So I guess the church would be in the wave of requests for this kind of thing.


Yeah, I think this is at a time when, unfortunately, priests are going through a period of not just Catholics, but people of all backgrounds deciding that they or someone they know needs an exorcism. And I feel like a lot of priests in North America are having to have this conversation and be like, OK, I don't think that's necessary. But like maybe we can do some other religious stuff that's less dramatic. Right. Michel says to Father Leo, I seem to need to hear words.


I want to have not just general words, but also specific words, words that were made to deal with this sort of thing. I would give anything if I could have those words in my mind when I go back down there, I wouldn't be so terrified then. I don't know how to tell you, except that I know this is what I mean. She stopped her lips quivering. I know I've got to go back down there if I'm going to be free of my memories, but I just don't dare go back down unless I'm a little bit protected.


But so the idea is that she needs this like elven amulet to keep her safe when she goes under.


I completely sympathize with Michelle at this point. I got to say, because she's like she's in this locked in this thing with Dr. Pastor, where regardless of things have turned romantic or not, even if this were just a totally non cuddly doctor patient relationship, it would still be inappropriate and bad for her at this point because she doesn't have any power in this relationship. And he's like, no, got to keep reliving it. Got to believe me. Yeah.


And this is a dynamic we see replicated in so many similar cases, especially throughout the ensuing decade. And we already know that Dr. Pastor has a lot of power over her interpersonally, it seems. Yeah. And what is she going to do? You know, I mean, can you imagine? It's like being like actually, I think we need to stop.


Right. And it's not clear when this is going to be over. Right. Which to me is what makes this book compelling, because at this point you're like, how is Michelle going to get out of this? Exactly like that's the real story.


It's not like what happened back there and how do we recover it? It's like, how is Michelle going to escape this torture session?


Yeah. So Dr. Pazira has another doctor chat with Dr. Andrew Gillespie, who was Michelle's pediatrician when she was a child, Googling.


He's finally Googling, we're told Dr. Gillespie's offices were just two floors above in the same building he had. Dr. Pasteur had had a certain subliminal difficulty in getting himself to contact Dr. Gillespie. Was it Dr. Post or wondered that he was afraid Dr. Gillespie might not tell him what he expected to hear or that he might? Dr. Gillespie did remember the child and her family, even though it was 20 years ago. He remembered Michelle's having had a tonsillectomy and he remembered something about a car accident.


Parentheses Dr. Pastrick, his heart missed a beat. Oh, a car accident that had taken place just as she'd reach school age. Dr. Paster asked if the child had been hospitalized. Yes, said Dr. Gillespie, he believed so. Dr. Pastrick sat stunned. He released alongside the car accident the hospital just when Michelle said they had happened.


The least implausible parts of the story he's seeing as confirmation of the most implausible parts.


He's like, no, the. Yeah, there you go. The lump was there, too.


I'm sure this is like someone arguing that the events depicted in The Lion King are literally true because like, you know, there are lions in Africa.


I mean, like breathe a huge sigh of relief. And you're like, oh, my God, it all happened. Simba, move fast.


The whole thing I knew in the next several days, Dr. Pasteur continued his inquiries.


And then came a letter from Dr. Gillespie. At your request, I'm trying to recall this patient. I recall seeing her on two or three occasions. I wondered about the mother's ability to cope. She was a kindly but rather ineffectual woman, somewhat overweight. What? I don't know.


Fuck that. Why is that relevant? What the fuck? I don't know. I don't know.


Unbelievable. I mean, not surprising, but fuck these people.


So then they have their excuse, which father says this isn't an exorcism. It's not even a ceremony. I'm just reading you some words I don't even have any vestments on. What do you like to hear? Some of the rite of exorcism? Oh, God, not really, actually.


But gosh, I don't think I have a lot of choice in this part for me.


Wicked, everlasting fire. You are the prince of Homicides, author of Incest Hedeman of all sacrifice, master of all evil arts, doctor of all heresies, inventor of all indecency. Go out there for impious one, go out, sell one, go out with all your treachery.


So it's just a series of sick burns on Satan. That's the whole right.


I mean there's more to it. But that part I think is actually is kind of a list of superlatives of like how awesome Satan is in a way like when they have a special about a serial killer.


You're like the most prolific serial killer in America.


Yes. Like a like what are we getting at?


The author of Incest sounds like he like cleaned it or something.


That sounds like he had a best seller in the seventies. That's what that sounds like. Thank you, Sidney Sheldon. That was really something Dr. Pepper said huskily.


Please make a Google doc of all the adverbs in this book, it's hard to imagine that anything could ever stand up against it. I hope not. Michelle said she felt almost nauseous, for she knew that now she would have to return to the round room and it's hers.


It's hard because like so many people are going to suffer because of her and she is suffering so much. Yeah, anyway. But on Ash Wednesday, Michelle comes in and finds that her doctor is tardy again, but that she has been instructed to press play on the tape recorder in his office. When she comes in for their session. She settled down on the couch to listen. Dr. Pasture's voice entered the room. Michelle, I want to share something with you, something on friendship, written four hundred years ago by a man named Montane.


It is not an actual social hospitable or sexual. It is not the feeling of children for parents or vice versa. It is not brotherly love. It is not the love for a female. It is beyond all my reasoning and beyond all that. I can specifically say some inexplicable power of destiny that brought about our union. Such friendship has no model but itself and can only be compared to itself.


It is one soul with two bodies. The tape turned silently. Michelle went back to the beginning and listened again. She just finished when Dr. Pasteur came in. How did you like that? He asked. When I read it last night, I had to share it with you. It's really. Yes, isn't it? Michelle agreed. I know I'm not supposed to be touching my face right now, but like I'm just cradling my eyeballs in both my pulse, what the fuck is this?


How do you feel about all that, Michael? Hmm? I mean, when, like a man and a woman who are clearly physically attracted to each other start waxing poetic about their friendship, it's like only a matter of time.


And so it is for all these reasons and even more that here we encounter one of the centerpieces of the book, The Cage of Snakes. Is that exactly what it sounds like? Yes, it is a cage full of snakes.


The world was closing in on her for a long time. The roundworm had been the only space she was allowed except for short trips in the car. Now her world was even more claustrophobic, no bigger than a wooden wire cage. Michelle felt bereft. It was as if she had never had a father or a mother, as if she had never lived a normal life of sleeping and eating and playing there with only the cage. And it became Michelle's entire world.


She should have started with this. She should have gone snakes, kittens, dead babies. Because now I'm like, this is just a step down from what we've already seen.


How are you? Do you feel like Michelle is like a show runner now? Like she's writing for twenty four and you're like, yeah. Jack Bauer's daughter has already been attacked by a cougar once. It's like not really exciting the second time.


Yes. She doesn't have a whole writer's room. She's just a lonely Canadian woman doing her best.




To me, you know, reading this to prep for this episode for the first time I was just like this is the therapy. She's describing the therapy like, I don't know, this is a guess. But like, my gut response at this moment is like she's describing herself in a series of smaller and smaller little prisons and it keeps getting worse. There's no hope of escape or keeps being less hope of escape. It keeps being more painful. And she's describing feeling like she had never lived a normal life, which is like what this quote remembering is taking from her.


Yeah, it's at this point in the book, but like the trauma that she describes while undergoing the therapy really starts to seem to be about the therapy in a way that neither she nor Pasdar realize, apparently.


And so we have the cage of snakes and then the lady from Vancouver arrives who is a new character and the lady from Vancouver is possessed. And so Michelle describes Shetty as a corner of the cage as her bathroom. And she made a crucifix for herself by pulling out strands of her hair and creating them together and then putting poop on it to harden it.


So she had a crucifix to protect herself with. OK, very summer camp, summer camp.


And also where they getting these snakes? What types of snakes are they?


They're like little black garden snakes. We are told that they're not poisonous snakes.


That's a huge step down from dead big. Michelle, I really think you need I don't know.


I think a little kid forced to stay awake for days on end. Standing up in a cage of snakes is like P.W. type material, garter snakes to even bigger snakes.


They're cute.


Yeah, I was one of those kids who was always trying to catch garter snakes in the yard. Yeah, me too. Yeah. Yeah, because they're great.


I know they're really neat. All right. So she's in the snakes. She's peeing. She's made a crucifix which works great against snakes.


Michelle came up from her memories and cried for a long time. Doctor Pastor rubbed her forehead while Michelle cried, then asked if she would like to come along while he attended Ash Wednesday services. What?


He's inviting her to church with him, though. I love how when I read to you the parts of this book that were allegedly interesting and when it was published, you're like, Yeah, yeah, skip ahead. More talks are fine. And when I get to like and then I went to church, you're like, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow right down.


It just a further violation of professional ethics.


You know, it's funny at this point, like so much bad stuff has happened already. I'm like, you have take her church, right? And it says, The repeated theme of ashes to ashes, dust to dust arouse bad memories. And she felt none of the peace that acceptance of death was meant to bring. But it was over quickly. An hour later, she and Dr. Pasdar were on the road back to Fort Royal Medical Center. Oh, OK.


We're back to the ritual. There's chanting the possessed woman dances. And then this part is really gross and kind of the worst sexual abuse thing we're going to hear.


I feel, although it's again, it's like magic, sexual abuse. So basically what Michelle says is that the lady from Vancouver who has a snake like tongue comes over and kisses her once again inappropriately. And then Michelle looks down and sees a snake appearing to crawl out of her vagina. God says, I think she's put a snake all the way through me, OK? And then we're told that this ends. And then Michelle is brought up to the statue where Malachi is.


And then we got Malachi turned to a table and revealed another dead baby. To me, this book can really just be called another dead baby. There's a third dead baby. You're like, OK. Also, I mean, I think the snake coming out of the vagina thing is somewhat important because it's the first thing that has happened to Michelle in one of these memories that is physically impossible, like locked in a cage of snakes, killing kittens theoretically could have happened.


Snakes don't like a snake, cannot go through your body in that way. So we've gone from things that are wildly implausible to things that are impossible. And again, should have been a red flag for any outside observer to be like this is not how vaginas work and things are going to get more and more impossible as we conclude.


This is also a turning point. That night, Michelle and Dr. Paster work until after 11:00, talking about the things that seems to stress her most. For the first time, Michelle had telephoned Doug and asked him to come pick her up.


That is some cock shit like can you pick me up from my therapist's office who I'm, like, spending all this time with and then pour fucking Doug has to drive down there in the Prius and pick her up in the middle of the night.


I would love to just read a book called Doug Remembers.


I would pay so much money for that.


But while they're waiting for Doug, Dr. Pastor, pour some tea for Michelle and says, my mother sent me her old missile. It covers nineteen fifty four in nineteen fifty five. And then he shows her that he's found that in nineteen fifty five and nineteen seventy seven. Ash Wednesday, Easter, the Ascension, the Pentecost, Corpus Christi and the first Sunday of Advent have the same dates twenty two years apart, which lends credence to their theories that Michele is living back day for day.


What happened back then.


Therefore snakes can come out of your vagina without you knowing it.


Yes, he says. It's also interesting because it helps us to understand that these people seem to move opposite from the church at Christmas, instead of a joyous birth, they arranged a death. And for Ash Wednesday, when the church reminds us of our physical mortality, their focus, the twisted is on life and children see. And then he points out the dates. And what are you going to say? Like, yes, I see it. I see those dates.


Most religions are not invented entirely to, like, own another religion.


I'm not aware of any real religions in the world that have that structure, like fuck the Buddhists. We're going to be all about desiring things like that's not I don't know of any of those.


And also that the point is like darkness and death and slaughter and pain. And you're like so out of the sadness and joy, pain like, do they not like to do fun things?


When Doug arrived, Doctor Pastor told him how much Michelle had gone through in the session. Doug helped her into the car and they started for home. He asked no questions.


So as the reader, I feel like I'm supposed to be like God, Doug, he's just not helpful enough. I know it.


Right after he met her fucking doctor, they he finally sees the tennis coach in person and then he drives home in silence, like what is really going on in this scene.


Great short story is stuck driving Michelle home at 11:00 p.m. It just such a flex, dude.


Like here's your wife back, Doug. Well, OK.


Now here is my favorite chapter, chapter eighteen, because we got a lengthy break from the torture and we get to read relive Michelle's letter to Dr. Pasteur about their special relationship. Oh, no. And they they read it and they're like, let's put this in the book. The second grade. I cannot emphasize enough that all of the things we're reading here are here because of human choices. Michelle is remembering had become relentless.


She and Dr. Parsa were working daily without rest. But one day while she was remembering the five year old, Michelle told him, I don't think there's a sign anymore. I haven't seen any for so long. That day he decided it was essential to take a break. Michelle pack them a lunch, and they drove to the top of a small mountain near fetus lake. The wildflowers were blooming and Michelle thought the trillions looked like a flock of little nuns flying low over the ground at home again that night, Michelle wrote Dr.


Pastoral Letter. I didn't quite understand when he started to talk, but the more we talked, the more it grew reflecting. Now, it doesn't surprise me that we talked of what we did because the pure and innocent things in the world were all around us like arrows pointing to the truth. I'm not reading this whole thing. I'm looking for another part you like.


The only way they could have reached me was to love me, but they can't love. So I couldn't be what they wanted me to be. Evil can't exist where there's love. That's what they were trying to destroy. OK, love is the opposite of hate and evil. Love opposes hate and evil. As long as love exists, the others can't.


Oh, it just like Christian boilerplate. It's just like oh it's just like every tedious sermon that I heard growing up. It's just like evil is evil and good as good and defeating. Evil requires you to be good, and that's it, and it's simplistic and nobody good ever does anything. Evil and evil is this thing that's really easy to identify. And all you have to do is shine the light of good on it and it disappears forever. This is the kind of morality that is behind like 99 percent of moral panics like Laura Dern talking about the Robins and Blue Velvet.


I have an allergic reaction to this shit because I grew up with it. But other people, it might not trigger other people the same way.


I'm just like, fuck these people, fuck these people, fuck these people fucking over and over again because you feel like the rhetoric is just so, like, ridiculous and tiresome and not connected to anything real.




It's like it's it's the rhetoric of people that have no interest in how the world works. Is that why you're a journalist?


Yeah, it's a very to me, a very harmful and very binary way of thinking. And yet my interest in this passage, I guess, is more rooted in the fact that I feel like she's just talking about her doctor past her feelings the whole time.


And I quote, The lying evil can't exist where there is love.


And I feel like that's kind of instructive. She could be being like evil can't exist where there is love, right? Got to love me. Right.


It just reads like a love letter to me being in love with someone who's, like, actively harming you, which is again, the kind of thing that the kind of morality I grew up with is incapable of recognizing because he's not evil.


So how can he be carrying out harm if his intentions aren't evil? Exactly. Which this whole podcast series, this whole show is like a an answer to.


This is what we do here.


So once again, we have absolutely no transition between that letter and Michelle being stuck inside of a statue of Satan again. And now we get a new character. He was very tall and he held himself erect the way soldiers do. His eyes were a pale blue, his hair a sort of dark gray. And he had a receding hairline. He had terrible skin, all pitied and the sharpest nose Michelle had ever seen. He was called the Doctor Ootes.


Dolph Lundgren. Oh, finally.


Well, the nose thing, this is a little tenuous. But I also feel as someone who spends a lot of time looking for antisemitic dog whistles and satanic panic material, that this is one of those. Oh, we are as the satanic panic progresses, going to get more and more overt claims about this being in some way a Jewish conspiracy. Oh, which certainly fits with the fact that Gentiles have been persecuting Jews based on the accusation that they kill babies.


Her sanctuary is, if not millennia. Right. So we're introduced to this doctor character, and I bet you're going to be able to guess what's happening here. Cloaked strangers assisted as the doctor approached Michelle and did something to her head. She couldn't see what he was doing, but she felt a searing pain at the base of her spine.


Is this the thing you told me about at the beginning where he's attaching horns to her head? Yeah. So she's given horns and a tail. She's got a tail, too. Yeah, tail shows a tail.


So it'd be great if Hesder was like Michelle just going to stop you there. Just want to call two floors up and ask your doctor did the horns and a tail at some point because that seems like more important to double check than the car crash.


That feels like something her pediatrician would have heard about.


I also feel like this is like the part of Inception where things are just getting really like wobbly and falling over and stuff because, you know, in the beginning it was like Michelle remembered this and then she wasn't sure how she got to the graveyard. And that was a little weird. But anyway, and then it continued and now it because we're just cutting around. We're just cutting between scenes. Yeah. It's just like cut. And then they a big fire in a corner of the round room next to the fire.


They assemble the whole collection of crosses, paper ones, wooden ones, crosses made of dead Holly Nelsa. They had another dead baby. They nailed its little hands and feet to a big wooden cross and safe from the fire.


Look, I know it's like fourth dead baby, I think have a new thing. It's just it's so over the top, you know, it's like a John Waters.


They have a ritualized earth.


They've already used this metaphor. Again, she's like really running out of storylines. And then she whips out the Bible that she's been hiding and rips pages out of it and through pages and Malachi's face. And she just kind of starts attacking them and she actually attempts to stand up for herself. Hell, yeah, Michelle. And then they got a bunch of sticks and they chase her back into the snake cage. They get her back in there. It was a very long time that night after Michelle had surfaced, before she could bring herself to talk to Dr.


Pasteur. She was pale, limp, exhausted. He made tea so much tan this book. He made tea and held the mug to her lips while he supported her head. Take a Paikiasothy, he said, you'll feel better. Just a sip. OK, sure.


And so they decided that she's going to be baptized. Oh, and so on June twenty fourth. Dr. Pasturing, Michelle, go to the church and while they're there, I love this part so much. So they sitting there and Dr. Pastor says, did you see that the sacristy light went way down? Maybe it's burning out, Michelle replied, glancing over at it. And then she tensed. What's that? She exclaimed in a loud whisper. A few feet away was a small wooden bench.


Neither of them had ever noticed it in the church before, and they would have. It was very out of place. And the simple modern decor can those symbols, Michelle said. And Dr. Pastor, looking closer, saw that the bench was carved with ornate designs. His heart skipped a beat. They were precisely the symbols Michelle had described as being sewn on the clothes of the inhabitants of the round room.


Oh, they never say what kind of symbols they are. They're just the same. That's all we're going to get. Right. I also love the idea of a Catholic church having simple modern decor.


And so they show it to the priest and he says, oh, my God, what is that doing in here? How did that get here? I know those symbols. We'll get rid of it right away. He snatched up the bank and holding it at arm's length, quickly transported it from the church to the grass outside. What should we do with it? Dr. Pastor asked. I can tell you what we'll do with it, Father Guy said.


We'll burn it.


I wanted him to break it over his knees. So bad. Fuck this big vein with Fat Man.


I mean, that would honestly be like the twelfth least believable thing in this book.


So why not in preparation? Dr. Pastor and Father Guy knocked the banks apart. Oh, Michelle said. And the others looked at her inquiringly. Don't you see there are thirteen pieces?


It's like, why get greedy, Michelle?


We've already agreed that there's a bank with Satanist symbols on it and the Catholic Church like do we have to add how many pieces it's in?


Like your case seems strong enough based on this other thing you've made up.


Like just tone it down, Michelle. Not everything has to be on Brand.


And then as they're getting ready to start the fire, doctor pastor said, can you hold on just a couple of minutes? I want to get my camera. Dr. Pasdar, during his time as a physician in West Africa. Oh, no, I've become fascinated with African ceremonies and had taken countless photos of them. Many ceremonies involve the burning of juju, little dolls and amulets, Houston black magic and replacing them with a cross. Oh, my God.


This is a way of trying to get rid of the animistic beliefs among West Africans and the spirits of the jungle.


What is he talking about? Burning the religious objects of West Africans?


Yeah, they get glossed right over that. They're like, yeah, I've seen these fires before when we, like, destroyed the talisman of people's religion to try to get them to embrace Christ like a super chill thing to do to other people's religious beliefs, like just burn their sacred object.


I mean, we're not the bad guys. It's impossible.


Michelle was baptized four days later and then the day after Michelle is baptized, Doctor Pastor picks up his prints and film from the photo lab. He looks at them and there was father sprinkling holy water on the fire and there was the fire itself, those eerie leaping flames. But in the background, what was that? That figure beyond the fire? It seemed to be dressed in a long flowing gown and there was a glow around the head.


Dr. Pazner showed me the photographs when she arrived at his office that afternoon. She smiled at the picture of product by sprinkling holy water, and she gasped when she came to the first photograph with the misty figure in the background. They took the pictures to Father Guy. He studied them silently. His mother, quite an old woman who lived with him, picked them up and looked at them. She stopped at a photo of the figure. Yes, she said, after a time.


That's Mary with the child. What the fuck?


Yes, it's the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary is in the picture. Wait, really? Yeah. Like the toast? Yes, like the toast.


I mean, to be fair, she appears she's known for appearing in random places. That's kind of her thing. That's her thing. So she's putting in an appearance.


Are the pictures included in the book? Oh, yeah. I want to see them. You can show it to me. So I'll read you the description. Dr. Pasteur, an experienced photographer, took these three extraordinary photos. They seem to show that as Father Guy left love the service, a glowing presence appeared beyond him, move slowly across the grass, behind the fire and came to Michelle's side. So we're actually looking for this little kind of faint white, really grayish kind of smoky presence.


Oh, that thing. Yeah. Oh, yeah.


It's just like a little it's just like a little wisp of smoke. I guess that's like kind of in the shape of like Casper or something. Oh yeah. There it is. Yeah. OK, it's like a wisp of smoke.


I don't know if it's smoke but like I think there's a lot of possibilities here.


You mean other than the fact that other than the Virgin Mary, I think things like alternate hypotheses available to us. Chapter twenty on June 30th, which is like two days after her baptism, Michelle called Dr. Pasteur. For the past two days. She said she's been afflicted by strange, distressing urges. She felt a repeated impulse to get in the car and drive somewhere she didn't know where. And then an hour later, she abruptly arrived at his office without an appointment.


Very upset. I don't want to continue this remembering, she said. I'm not going to do it anymore. Oh, good. I wish I didn't even have a time. If I could tear out my tongue, I'd never have to talk again.


Book over. So, OK, let's do like doctor paths or choose your own adventure. You've been doing this therapy with your clients, right? And now for the second time, she's showed up now, not even for an appointment, just like randomly and is like we can't do this anymore. Like, I would rather cut my own tongue out than continue describing these things. What do you do?


First of all, I think about my home life, my terrible wife, who never calls me live, my horrible children.


Do you think they're like lying in bed and he's like, please call me live. And she's like, no.


Yeah. I mean, she's the goose that laid the golden egg. He's convinced that he is doing this extremely important, extremely innovative psychological work that no one has ever done before.


He thinks he is on this journey and she is the instrument of his journey.


And so if she bows out, it's like writing a long form magazine article and all of a sudden your main source is like, I don't want to do this anymore.


Like you have every incentive to cajole them into continuing.


I was going to say it's like riding a horse who's like, I am played out. I can't go on. And you're like, no, you're my horse. You have to do it.


So given what we know about his execrable ethics so far, I'm sure that he pressures her into continuing by being like you were so innocent and you're so beautiful. And let me stroke your cheek while I tell you how important this is.


I'm sure he does all those things. And he also, you know, because the stakes are mounting and she's once again like, please, let's stop. He whips out a new tactic. Oh, so Dr. Pasteur knew that the Satanists had used sophisticated techniques of psychological manipulation to try to inhibit Michel, not merely to make her forget, but if she should remember to make her not tell.


It was undoubtably this extreme difficulty that she was reflecting in her refusal to continue.


Well played, Dr. Pasdar. The reason she's not coming forward is because the Satanists brainwashed her into not wanting to talk about it.


Bishop to Kingsbrook seven. I don't know if that's a real chess thing. It sounds real. And perhaps there was more to it than that. A dreadful memory was coming up. He sensed undoubtedly the unbearably horrible memory that had impelled Michelle to seek spiritual armor from the church.


The climax, such mind control techniques had unbelievable power. He knew Africa.


He had so no cure at all.


If a person believed he or she, the dolls could be used to make that person roll over and die.


I like how in his world view, Satanism. Is real, but also voodoo is real. It's really a grab bag. Yeah. Again, we're getting an Indiana Jones kind of a universe here where, like all religions are real right now. Pastor told Michelle that it was desperately important that she not yield to the Satanist suggestions. And then he did something he very rarely did with a patient made out with a comment. He commanded her to continue.


Oh, the next day, after a two week hiatus, they resumed their sessions.


This book was published. This book was read by millions of people and no one raised a red flag. Like it's kind of weird to force a patient to continue with therapy that is harming them.


Uh huh. And where they're like, I need to stop. I hate this. I would rather tear out my tongue than keep describing these things. And you're like, nope, you have to. I'm I commit.


What does it mean for an adult to command another adult. Right. To do something that's not read?


And also there's like a monetary thing happening, too, because we know that he's still being paid by her. Yeah, she's paying him for this. Like, my hairdresser doesn't get to do that. Like Nomic, you really need a haircut. You have to come back in two weeks. Like, that's not how these relationships are supposed to work.


I mean, also, you might remember from our multiple personality disorder episode that something very similar happened with Dr. Cornelia Wilbur and the woman who inspired the book. Sybil, do you remember this? Yeah.


That didn't she move in with her doctor eventually like this became the central relationship of her life? Yeah. Yeah.


But also that there was specifically a point when she came to her after they had started doing this therapy based on the idea that Shirley had alters, that she had these alternate personalities that she would slip into without realizing it, she would lose time and stuff like that.


And she wrote this letter to Dr. Wilbur that she gave to her in great distress and was like, I'm going to level with you. I don't have multiple personalities. It's not something that I have no control over. But like, I did it once. And you thought it was really interesting and you gave me all this positive reinforcement and just I have to stop. I have to put a stop to this. Like, this isn't good for me.


Like, you know, she's the one with no power and she's the one who's doing the courageous thing. Yeah. And Dr. Wilbur reads it, and it's like you didn't write this. One of your alters wrote this. This is proof that we're getting too close to the truth and we have to continue. Like in both cases, it's like the fact that you're telling me to stop means that I have to continue. I don't think I have to verbalize what that feels very similar to.


Right. Right. No means more hypnosis. Right.


And it's not even like the lack of evidence is evidence. It's like I'm telling you, I'm the one producing the evidence and I am no longer comfortable with the process by which I am producing the evidence.


And you're saying that is further evidence that you're telling the truth?


Yeah. Which is, again, setting the tone for the way that therapists and social workers are going to deal with patients for the coming years. It's like this is all setting the template, right?


It's a bad template because basically what is the scenario under which I, a doctor would say, you know what, let's drop this right? Like, you can't stop the process. You can't tell me you were lying. You can't tell me that this is harming you.


None of those things are sufficient for us to end it. So what will end it? Right.


Like, she would basically have to like she and Doug would have to, like, pack up their car and in the night. And like, she does not seem to be fond enough of Doug. I know. For that to happen. Yeah.


Like, there's no way out of it. It's like when someone won't let you break up with them. Right. But they're your therapist.


It's bad.


Like, this is a horror movie. This is like how the scariest thing about Rosemary's Baby is not the sadness, but the fact that it takes place in a time in America where women were kept in the dark completely about what was going on with them medically, about their own pregnancies, and that we're living in this world where it's totally plausible that she would have no control and get no information about anything pertaining to her own body. And her husband and her nosy neighbors are like totally taking charge of her life.


Like it's the same thing she has. No, she can't stop this.


It's a little bit like, you know, the Tuskegee experiments famously, were they infected with syphilis and basically gave them no treatment? Like to see what happened? I mean, we need to do an episode on this eventually. But one of the most chilling details about that is that the results of those studies were being published in medical journals for decades. It was like, here's what's happening with the black guys. We infected with syphilis.


Like this one went crazy. Yeah, that's interesting. And people read these medical journals, they were just like, huh. Interesting update. Thanks, Bob. And it's the same thing here. It's like people are just reading this book like, oh, OK. I guess she was forced to go along with her therapy that she clearly wasn't comfortable with anymore because of the way the Satanist programmed her.


It's like, well, these Satanists really were crafty. And that's the moral of this story. Right?


I think you read it and you're like, wow, this experiment done on this woman. Taught me so much useful data about Satanism, and it's like, I don't know if that's right. So this is a good place to wrap up because we have reached another crucial moment in the story where Michelle is actively trying to get out.


Yes, full on coersion. This is like the part in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre where you escape the house full of cannibals and you get to the barbecue joint down the road and surprise.


I like this kind of pattern. We've ended up and where we're reading the book and kind of the opposite way that it's supposed to be read where we're supposed to be feeling like Michelle's in the snake cage. Michelle stuck in the effigy with the pieces of another dead baby. How is she going to escape these Satanists and write the story? As I'm reading it, it's like, how is she going to escape this torturous therapy that she's gone and that doctor pastor will not let her escape?


And how is Sarah's return to graduate school going to go now? I just want to keep reading books to you.


So. Yeah. So we will see you next week. And don't get too sunburned.