I know, right, like the worst, most disastrous crash you've ever had. I bet that it didn't result in an epidemic of wrongful convictions. Welcome to You're Wrong about the podcast that takes you to your depths, but doesn't coerce you into staying there. Yeah, because we're better than Dr. Pasteur, we have less power. Yes.
And we don't have any kind of a belt in judo. We're not his live. We're not his life.
That's true. 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 if you want to support the show, you can subscribe on Patreon or find us in lots of other places. Or you can not do that because times are weird and it's daunting.
Times are even weirder than usual. Let's put it that way. Yeah. And today we are continuing our discussion of Michelle remembers finishing, even concluding the exciting conclusion.
You are very excited to reach the conclusion. So which I find hilarious because I only subjected you to like 10 hours of talking about this book and I spent hundreds of hours thinking about it.
So welcome to my nightmare.
And I'm glad we could share this nightmare with all of our loyal listeners.
Yeah. Thank you for being in the nightmare with us. So, Mike, bring us up to speed. I know that we can't do that in an elaborate way, but I do feel like we've done four episodes. This is our final episode and we're going to reach the end of the story. And to me, the driving question right now is how does Michelle escape? And I would like you to elaborate on what that means.
Well, I think the big twist that we came to last episode was basically that she on some level is becoming less comfortable with this therapy.
And she deliberately asked, Dr. Pastor, can we please stop this? I would rather cut out my tongue than continue with this. And he basically said, no, no, you're not allowed to stop this because the Satanists have programmed you in some way that makes you want to stop. And so the fact that you don't like this is actually letting the Satanists win.
And so to be like the real heroes, we have to continue with this thing that is actually causing you harm.
Yeah, and she agrees. And the more you tell me to stop, the harder we have to go. Yeah. And what kinds of memories has she been allegedly recovering?
There's been some dead cats. There's been some dead babies. I really want to emphasize the significance of the dead babies because the satanic panic is going to be so much about dead babies. There are so many allegations it starts off with parents are concerned about the possibility of sexual abuse. People are hyper vigilant for signs of this, especially in daycare settings. Partly, some have argued, because women who are putting their children in daycare also felt significant guilt about being, quote, bad mothers by not taking care of their children all the time, maybe because they were working, maybe because they didn't want to parent with every one of their waking hours.
So suspicion is directed not at the household where by all logic, it mostly belongs, but at the daycare center and what start as suspicions of sexual abuse, especially with the kind of coercive interviewing that we see in McMartin and then in other cases that follow allegations of sexual abuse eventually lead to allegations of baby sacrificing a lot, for the most part pretty quickly, and especially after McMartin prosecutors figured out that they needed to just try people on the sexual abuse charges and ignore the satanic abuse allegations.
Even if the claims about satanic abuse were like very enmeshed with the sexual abuse claims. They were like, juries don't like the satanic abuse thing. It doesn't win trials. We're not trying on satanic abuse. They would kind of take it out from the prosecution narrative, which is interesting. So it's not like there were a ton of people going to prison for sacrificing babies. But like, this is a big theme. And I guess I find it so interesting that to me at least, it seems possible to trace that theme that defined so many lives and the ensuing decades.
Just maybe to Michelle, like, is this a Michelle thing? Is this like Michelle? Yeah. Had her own personal baggage and maybe the culture contributed to and Dr. Pasteur maybe steered her in ways that we don't know. But does this all started Michelle's brain, right.
Because she could have picked any outlandishly false thing to fabricate as part of these rituals. And the fact that she chose a dead baby sort of set the template for other people to choose the same thing.
I guess in the last installment, there was a baby that was stabbed with a crucifix on a stone. All right. And that actually really resonated with with people, it seems, because there's this theme in the literature about how to look for signs of satanic ritual abuse that, like children, will have been made to sacrifice babies, or I think they're sacrificing babies so they feel guilty, which is exactly what Michelle describes happening to her and exactly what Lawrence.
Pastor cooktop is a philosophy like the S.A. made you feel that you were sacrificing this baby so that you would feel guilty so that you would lose your ability to love.
And it can only be reawakened by a life psychiatrist who keeps you down in your depths, refusing to let you off until you're done, describing worse and worse and worse things like a pretzel.
Yes, I feel like you don't get that reference or you're like, let's move along, Sarah.
No, it's from American tail. I know. Do you not?
Do you know who Joseph Pretzel is? No. OK, he was, I believe, an Austrian gentleman who kept his daughter in a basement for like a couple decades and fathered children with her. I remember learning about it and for a long time I would just sit on a bus and look at every house we passed and be like, maybe that one has a regular old basement with a dungeon prisoner who's been there for 20 years. That was one of the things that made me start really thinking about how, like just a little house can conceal so many terrible things, which is like one of Dr.
Peasants' themes when he's like, I believe that this all happened. He's like, well, terrible things happen. People do terrible things. And it's like, yeah, I don't disagree with that because it is something more going on here. Right. So anyway, I hope you're all tucked in.
Oh, yeah. We have to do this first. Yes, I am. We've got the mosquito nets. I've got some reason nets under my pillow that you also don't know about.
Well, why is it that whenever we're establishing this, you're like this thing's happening that you also don't know about?
Because that was my experience of camp, because they were a church camp and everything had to go on underneath the knowledge of the camp counselors. I did that camp counselors.
OK, so let's let's let's roll with this. Let's imagine that. Yeah, we're at church camp or let's not say church camp. Yeah, right.
What sort of healthy snacks are you pulling out of your pillowcase to eat?
As I read this book to you, it's a lot of Starburst and I have a huge crush on one of the other male campers, but obviously I cannot tell him or anybody else about it. And he sells used cars in Las Vegas.
Now we're friends on Facebook.
OK, so Michelle begins her regression. She's starting to describe this medical experiment stuff. This is when this appears as a theme. They attach wires to dead people and make their bodies come. Michelle is strapped to a structure and we learned they came to the little room where the doctor had said horns and a tail on Michelle and passed through it to the room beyond. It was larger and the smell there was intensely bad. The room was very hot, and Michelle realized that the big brick structure in the corner of the room was an open heart.
She could see the flames, one bear light bulb hung from the ceiling.
And it's like, well, OK, I could tell me what you think I like about this description.
Like what? What do you find interesting about it?
It's not enough for them to be Satanists. They also have to be Satanists in all of their aesthetics. So, like, the CIA wouldn't have a lampshade. Yeah, it has to be like a bare light bulb.
Like every detail has to be suffused with evilness in a way that actual evil is not. Yeah.
And it's like and it wasn't a light fixture. It was a scary light.
And of course, it's like it's not a clean operating room, it's a stinky operating room and it's gross. And then it's like, well, where are we?
Lawrence Pasteur, I guess go look at like land records and be like how many structures in the metro area are zoned to have a basement surgery room slash pizza oven?
I was reading the other day a book.
It was kind of a love letter to TV movies of the seventies and eighties, which used to be like a significant part of network programming. Sybil was a TV movie. I think there was a time when it seemed like Michelle remembers could have become one, and they want to guess who Lawrence Pouncer wanted to play him.
Is it like Robert Redford or somebody know you're close, though, like that age group and that sort of moment in Hollywood? SCHAUDER Dustin Hoffman. No. Yeah.
Yeah, that's such a weird choice for him because he's so egotistical. You think he'd choose a heartthrob?
I think Dustin Hoffman is very charismatic and I think it's actually astute casting on Lawrence Pasteur's part. I think that imagine if this movie existed and Michelle will be played by Amy Irving or something.
And this is going to be like Michelle remembers, nineteen eighty two. Like, doesn't that feel like a real movie?
I'm actually amazed that it wasn't converted into a movie. I always kind of like assumed that it had been. Yeah, it's amazing that it was them and we will get to why later. But yeah I'm like take yourself on a little mini vacation. We're like this. This movie was made. It would have like a five point five rating on IMDB. Yeah.
And then horror blogs would be like this was only available on VHS for a long time. It doesn't hold together, but it has good moments like Dustin Hoffman would sell it.
Dustin Hoffman's high polished cheekbones and maybe actually the leg like an epidemic, wouldn't have been as bad because I bet a lot of people couldn't make it all the way through this book. But then they want to watch the movie on CBS and been like.
I don't think that happens. Well, yeah.
I mean, books don't become camp classics the way that movies do.
That's such a good point. When books hit the mainstream, like 80 percent of people talking about a book at any given time have not read it. Yeah, that's so true.
So people probably would have assumed that it was credible.
Right. And they wouldn't have read the final, you know, hundred and fifty pages, which is when we're really starting to cook with gas or in an open heart surgery.
Yes. I feel like in a way this book was like too famous, but not famous enough because I've never gotten to like Dustin Hoffman movie fame. Too many people would have been exposed to the story and wouldn't have seen it as a psychiatric text. Right. Right. But anyway, back to Michelle. You can see how I am also like taking a lot of tangents because I'm like I don't want to keep describing this child being tortured.
And yet that's the project I've chosen for myself. So let's get through it.
And then it's like the book just stops bothering, setting up scenes or introducing stuff for a while, and then we just start putting to different sections. It's like July 19th, Michelle and her depth's. I'm supposed to go to sleep, but I won't. This doctor is still there. He's making me sleepy. He has a light or something shiny. I'm supposed to look at it and he's saying things to me. He wants me to sleep. I'm afraid to sleep because then I'll die.
Do you understand what this is supposed to be like? No. She has to look at a shiny thing and then she'll go to sleep.
Oh, no. Hypnotherapy. Hypnosis. Yes. Again, this book does not say she's hypnotized. It is my personal theory that Dr. Pasteur might be putting her under hypnosis. But regardless, she's like in a highly vulnerable state with her therapist and he's like, tell me about the way the Satanist tortured you. And she's given him this buffet of dead kittens and dead babies and graves and all sorts of stuff. And finally, she's like, the Satanists are torturing me by putting me in a vulnerable state and doing therapist stuff.
And he's like, hmm, fascinating, right?
Totally unable to see the parallels.
This gets us into one of the eternal themes of like what do you do when you can tell that someone is just being really obtuse? Because, like, if he doesn't see it, then like, that's amazing. And I again, I don't think he would pretend to be that unable to notice anything.
I think like male cluelessness about what women are actually describing is not something that men in his position typically fake. Right. Like if you have ever read any Freud, it's like, no, the cluelessness is real.
OK, this is a really interesting moment. She's talking about, you know, just kind of a mélange of past fears. Her mom's walking away from her. Everyone else is walking away. She's afraid of there being bugs all over her. And then the Satanists are talking about her and she says they said I'd wasted almost the whole year for everyone. Everyone had other things to do. They'd all had to waste their time on me.
So the guilt is even now to the point where she's guilty for wasting the Satanists time.
Well, what I think about that is that this session, we are told, is in July of nineteen seventy seven, they have been doing this for almost a year. Yeah. So was their anniversary and she's afraid of having wasted the whole year for everyone.
There's tension there.
That to me sounds like it's possible that she's expressing like I made this up I think. Yeah. Like that's the thing that's happening. But I'm saying that's a possibility. And the guilt that she's expressing or I guess this feeling of like I'm wasting your time, like you think I am deserving of your time, but I'm not right, that that's one of the things that seems the most painful, this fear of abandonment. OK, and then something interesting happens relatively.
So we go back into a vision. She's expressing all this fear of of death and dying. I thought about that fire in the round room. It's a really creepy fire. And I remembered somebody in black. He was reading out of a book and the book was black. So the man is reading from the book. Dr. Pasteur wants to know more about what he's saying. And Michelle says, I don't understand the words. They're all put together.
Funny. So much turning, so much turning turn around and there's no more, and Dr. Pastor says, try to say it, Michelle straining to speak. I as this goes on for several lines, I'm not going to do it all. No, I know.
I mean, I know this incantation. It's turn around bright eyes. Every now and then I get a little bit lonely.
OK, but that song came out in nineteen eighty three, I believe, which I feel like is a plausible year for our imaginary Dustin Hoffman movie to come out. Can you. I'm also like kind of shazam ing for myself, an imaginary cultural memory where that song was like written for that movie. Sure feels like it has those themes, like they really are living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.
So, OK, you know what, Michel, unfortunately, tragically says, instead of a recitation of the lyrics to Total Eclipse of the Heart is she launches into verse and says, it's black, dead, white, everything is wrong way around. Everything's lost. Nothing's ever found.
Because to jump ahead a little bit, this poem is a premonition of the fact that Satan is going to speak only in poems.
Wait, what? You know, the last word of this book is literally Satanic Verses.
Poor Michelle staying up late, cramming for her therapy appointment the next day, thinking of like, what rhymes with Beelzebub.
There is a verse she starts with the first line ends with the word evil. And they're like and then it trailed off for some reason. And it's like maybe it's because it's really hard to rhyme the word equal.
It's like and then he wrote it with his beak quill.
So she's basically free styling on the couch cushions and oh my God, the meter doesn't line up.
And they're kind of awkward. But you're also like Michelle, you set up this huge challenge yourself and you followed through with it. And I can't criticize that. Really got chapter twenty one, the construction company Doug Smith worked for a day from a week at a resort hotel up island. It was when he and Michelle needed a chance to do nothing very complicated. All day long, the psychiatric sessions were not mentioned. It was as if they had become a forbidden topic.
Michelle, after getting back from her vacation with Zogu, which we do not hear a single other thing about a report heads back to the Fort Real Medical Center, and his colleague, Dr. Jim Patterson, is there and notices a strange look on her face. Michelle told him how hard the therapy had been and hinted that it had taken a toll on her private life, her friendships, even her marriage. Oh, my God. Yeah, total absorption in it.
And the extremely long hours she was devoting to it both seem to be distancing her somewhat from the people around her.
So it's like a cry for help.
Well said, Dr. Patterson, you know what they say therapy is a little like climbing a mountain. The struggle really comes just as you reach the top, you know you're near, but you can't quite see over it yet. Just keep on working the way you have been and suddenly you'll find that you're at the top of the mountain.
Just keep ruining your friendships and personal life and eventually you'll be bitter. This is why the fuck is the therapist telling her this? If somebody was saying this about like one of my colleagues. Yeah. Like there should be mechanisms to be like I think Dr. Pesters, like, really traumatizing one of his patients.
You may also find he went on that partly because of this work, you'll grow differently and the way you would have differently from the people around you, you might even grow away from some of them.
This is normal. And in the long run, as you meet new people, you'll have a better basis for friendship.
The fuck good to make new friends. This is the advice.
I love how this book, like also a spoiler, like we will not be told at any time in this book, but like Michelle and Doug realize that their marriage no longer served their needs and yeah. Moved on. It's like, no, none of that. It's just like we're told that Doug doesn't want to talk about the therapy. And then on the next page, when a doctor, pastors, colleagues implicitly is like, you might need to break up with Jack, and that's fine.
Yeah. He doesn't get you, Michelle.
And I'm reading it. There are moments like this where I'm like, just don't lie. Why do you have to lie? Yeah, come on. Let's just be like. And then Michelle made a choice for herself on purpose and wasn't just advised to ignore Doug by a doctor. Yeah. So you know how sometimes when you're watching a bad action movie, they have like a final fifteen minutes where they're like, let's just have a bunch of explosions and a bunch of different stuff happen all at once.
Yes. Do it. Yeah. We are approaching that part of this book. So Michelle's rash shows up and gets even worse. And Dr. Paster decides that this is a sign that her body has a lot to remember, or it's the stress. Of being trapped in this miserable therapeutic relationship, could it be that could it be anything other than a repressed memory struggling to get out of Iraq?
This chapter begins, quite honestly with the sentence. It was September 6th and everything was worse.
It's like we know, Michelle. We know. So they pick her up and point her again. We go back to the pointing. The child is being passed back and forth between the circles according to some predetermined and meaningful design. She was trying desperately to remember just how they were passing her because she was sure that they were locking her in, just as the doctor in the laboratory had tried to lock her in with his curse. The next time she spoke, her voice had changed.
It was heavier now, full of menace. Out of the fire, a man is born. It was as if Michelle were echoing another voice and he walks behind. The path is born, it turns out, the way it burns out, the way of destruction and decay. Her doctor, pastor, the should could not have been greater. Pretty delicate. Michelle was speaking in a deeper, harsher voice.
The tone was weighty, with menace unearthly, deadly.
Doctor Pastor found it maddening. He's finally as bored as we are.
They talk faster. Michelle, I got baseball tickets.
It's hard to rhyme everything you say. I mean, try it. Sarah, this book is way too long. I could better spend time. And so that she laughs is out of the satanic voice.
Thank God. And then at last, her head moved slightly. She began to speak. Her voice was still weak, but also mild. Unowned to pair unknown to pair a sent Santos free. Michelle was weeping soft tears as she repeated, unknown to parents, sent a screen over and over and over. He was baffled he could not understand this constant repetition. And in French he had been working with Michelle all this time and had never heard her speak.
French were both Canadian. Come on, I know it's not like this isn't like Florida. Is this supposed to be amazing in that, like the all are speaking in languages that the host never studied way like Michelle doesn't speak French.
How is this happening? It means of the Virgin Mary is doing it somehow or right thing.
It's like me being like don't Estoril Bibliotheque and something like he's fluent in Spanish. We had no idea.
You're like a con dios mio. criss-Cross Yes.
She began crying, but they were not sad tears. Dr. Pasteur could hear relief in her. Sobs Mama, Mama, Mama. Shizu fell to a mayor. Well, Mayor Avec Moi. So she's saying, Jesus, your mother with me. She's adopting the Virgin Mary as her mother figure, it sounds like. Oh, my God, he could not bring her back. Her voice did faint and distant, her eyes fast shut. She was not responding to the usual ways.
He helped her return from the past. She kept calling for help. It suddenly came to him that he must make spiritual contact with her if he was going to bring her back at all. And he prays her well.
Again, a normal therapeutic technique in most of the peer reviewed journal.
It's very strong Christian propaganda to write it, say we've been through so much that this feels pretty underwhelming. But it's like so he prays over her to make her better. Yeah. And then Dr. Pazin says, what about that other voice, that deep, deep voice? What was that? I don't know. He came out of the fire and he was awful looking, just awful. I can't tell you. And he had his tail around my neck.
Gee, I wonder who it could be.
It's like if I'm trying to tell you about a celebrity encounter I had, but like, I don't want to, like, name the person. So I'm like, boy, Mike, I'm feeling pretty White House down and about not being able to get together tonight.
But you will always be Magic Mike to me.
I hope it doesn't hail Caesar. Those are the first three Channing Tatum movies.
I can think it's like he's in a fire and he has a tail. Yeah. And she says and this is, I think, a great innovation, she says. And he had his tail around my neck. She raised her hand to her collar, my rash, she said, tilting her head. Oh, yes. It really hurts. Is it worse? Pretty bad, he replied. Do you see it or what's happening here?
She is implying that Satan wrapped his tail around her neck and that is what has been causing that rash this whole time.
Yes, that's why she has this rash. I'm going to show you the rash now. I'm going to turn on my camera for a second.
Again, the least implausible part of the story, like photo documentation, photo proof of the fact that Michelle had a rash means nothing.
Like it doesn't mean that Satan caused the rash.
No, my. It's meant to document satanic cause of the crash, actually. Well, I think you can read the caption, I'll show it to you.
Oh yeah, there's a rash on her. Like it's more like on her collarbone.
No, Mike, it's her neck.
Michelle experienced body memories of her ordeal whenever she relived the moments when Satan had his burning tail wrapped around her neck, a sharply defined rash appeared in the shape of the Spayd like tip of his tail.
Pretty convincing stuff.
Mike, what do you have to say to that rash? It's like me saying, like I'm a Buddhist and like Buddha is the one that, like, sent a bunch of mosquitoes to come and bite me. And it's like, look, I have mosquito bites and one of them is shaped like a symbol of the Buddha.
And it's like, see, OK, and here's now I have this up. I'm going to show you a couple other things.
So what the fuck is this?
It's like a little drawing. Can you decide?
I think this drawing is really cute, actually. It has like it looks like it has little Jo toenails, like it's supposed to have, like, talons, I think. But it just looks like it has really long nails.
Yeah. It looks like Hollow Knight. It's like a little sort of childlike, almost character drawn in very rudimentary pencil. It looks like one of the monsters from where the wild things are. It's like technically they're monsters, but they're not actually scary looking. They're like cute monsters. Like that's how her Satan looks like a monster.
And it's kind of like it has no mouth, but somehow maybe the way the eyes are drawn makes it look friendly and just like shy and like eyes cute Satan.
So that's one of the statements she drew and that was another. We have a couple of other. Yeah, there's two more. Oh OK.
There's one where he has like horns like a ram. So it's like a miniature Satan or like a doll sheep. Oh.
And there's like a four legged one that looks like a sort of combination of like a lizard and a dog with like an iguana tone.
Yeah. And he looks like a dog iguana. Like a dog iguana.
She keeps accidentally drawing. Satan is super cute.
So it's like I know this one looks kind of like a Tokyo monster. Yeah. It's like, what if Godzilla was like he had stubby little back legs.
Yeah. And the face of like air bud. Oh OK. So that's the rash. Dr. Pastor involuntarily shook his head. There was something new and astounding going on here. At the minimum, it was a vision with great psychological import at the maximum. Well at the maximum it was almost too much to think about.
The professional and him came to the fore and he resumed his questioning.
Oh, well, it's what has been occupying the professional in him at the AF for this entire time, the professional in him.
That's like me saying, like the NBA basketball player in his life.
Come on, where's the professional doctor? Puzder. So, yeah, we are given a vision of Michelle is in the basement. They are chanting and then Satan is there. And from the flames came the deep echoing voice. Slowly it spoke again in bizarre rhyme, out of dark and fire red comes a man of living dead. I only walk the earth at night. I only burn out the light.
There's a syllable and that's the last line. But that's OK. There is no mother.
I will always care. There's only me to burn and scare. There is no God who walks on the earth. There is no mother that gives birth.
The only light in the world to see is the light brought here by me. See you love it. You love the Satan poetry. You were like there's nothing for me in that black bag.
And then we got to say in poetry, although if he was really following Canadian regulations, he would then repeat it in French like they drew in airplane announcements.
That's why this is illegal. Yeah. And Satan's there's says a lot more poems. I'm only going to review very brief selections from them by the filler in this book.
It's like a 90s Aunt Bee album, like we've got to get to three hundred pages now, like just more through more poems.
They take up more space because of the line breaks just like. Yeah, pop in another thirty five poems. My God.
So here's a five stanza poem to page two hundred and sixty two and the final stanza goes Matthew, Mark, Luke and John burn in the fire and then you're gone. Their words were lies my children will see and the fire there where it dies. The only thing left burning true is the light that shows me to you. Oh God love.
What is going on there. Yeah it got lost. That's like fifty cent rhyming birthday with birthday.
Yeah. So Satan is like fifty cent. He's like it's good enough. It is good enough. Later when Michele's testimony was brought to the attention of Father Guy and other authorities experienced in these unusual areas, it was possible to deduce the design behind. A seemingly chaotic events, Michelle recounted that autumn, the 81 day ceremony that lasted from September 7th, nineteen fifty five until November twenty seven, the final day of the Christian churches liturgical year, Nice Satan suggested, was beginning a black mass called the Feast of the Beast.
All right. That takes place only once every twenty seven years. The next one is going to be in nineteen eighty two. Oh, and this book comes out in 1980. So that's quite the ticking clock. Yeah. OK, so Michelle starts this remembering the remembering escalates to animal killing. That baby sacrifice. I don't know. Everything just gets grosser and weirder. Scarier until it just has nowhere to go. And it's like yeah I feel like, you know, just something needs to happen where she isn't recounting another memory of another dead baby.
And at a certain point, Satan appears and whatever mixed use building this is in the Victoria, B.C. area.
I would also add that we're in this big round room and they have just all of these huge fires.
And I just wonder, how are they ventilating all this? I know magic, I guess.
What is Satan like? What is this ritual like? What is Satan start doing? So this appears to be like this big satanic conference where Satan appears. And here is like here is my plan for like until the early 80s. Basically, this is supposed to be happening in nineteen fifty five.
Here's everyone's lanyard and then we start to get this ritual of bones apparently stolen from reliquaries where there are all these bones that Satan is counting OK, and playing with. And he's also treating people to visions. He shows people a vision of hell. OK.
Oh and then after Michelle comes out of this remembering, she also tells Dr. Pastor that everyone who is present at this ritual has a missing finger.
They're all missing the middle finger of their left hand, another easily verifiable fact that people should have caught on to when this book came out. But OK, right.
Just the Satan. This can be anyone, but they are missing the middle finger of their left hands.
Yeah, OK, so here is what I feel is the natural and inevitable conclusion to the dead baby theme. So is strapon from the dark tunnel came the noise of marching feet, and soon a force of attendants surrounded the outer circle. This is like everyone's turning up to see Satan. Each was carrying what appeared at first to Michelle to be a pole, but then was identifiable as an up pointed pitchfork. And under each arm they carried that object as necessary to the proper performance of the black mass as bread and wine are to the Catholic mass.
Oh my God, the body of a baby. Oh God.
Who is the procurement director for this church?
One by one, the marketers of Satan, with extreme deference and kneeling before him, unloaded the little corpses and a pile of sweet little. And then Satan cuts out the dead babies and throws the pieces of dead baby to the Satanists. We are told that the Satanists are fighting for the pieces of dead baby. Oh, so that's that's how it goes with with the dead babies. It's very weird to me that we get a comparison to bread at Catholic Mass.
Yeah. The weird cell phone of Catholics being like the Satanist ritual was just like this thing we do. But and it's like, is your religion made more legit by the fact that you have these haters?
I honestly think that's the project. You're right. It's like she's so obsessed with me. Like it's the same.
It's the central thickness of this Catholicism as Regina George. Yes. People don't care enough about other people's religions to ape and mock them in this way because you care about another religion this much. You have to believe that religion is true. Right. It's like that old quote that everyone is an atheist. It's just some people have rejected every religion, but one that everyone's religion seems fake and weird to you.
So it doesn't make sense to be like Christianity is bullshit and I'm going to spend my entire life doing the exact opposite of it. You would only do that if you believe Christianity was true. And if you believe Christianity was true, you'd be a Christian. Rave's this is how you can tell this was concocted by Christians, right?
This is like why you always my quibble isn't overly logical child trying to watch horror movies because like watching Rosemary's Baby and being like, so you, you are Christians.
The Saints are the most of the Christians there are because they know that God is out there and Jesus was the son of God and everything like they are not questioning that even the tiniest bit. Right. OK, and then there's this weird, perfunctory chapter where Dr. Pastor arranges for Michelle to have an EEG and a skull x ray. I feel perhaps because there's a scene in The Exorcist where that kind of happens.
What are the results say if you just give me one of these? Fake ass like it was real all along, things like the rash. Yep, they accumulated a foot high stack of recordings during the session that afternoon when the neurologist studied them later, he found no abnormalities. Dr. Pasdar, however, felt there was an interesting correlation among Michele's REM rapid eye movements and the level of her remembering it should be studied further.
This is not the area of medicine that I have specialized in. Nonetheless, I will offer my completely uneducated thoughts.
Yeah, and he's like, no, I'm no expert, but I think that the experts might be wrong and there might be something here. But also, I can't affirmatively say that something is going on right as this book goes to press Chapter 30 day by day.
As October drew to an end, Michelle kept returning to her memories and picking up from where she left off the day before it was time for the ceremony at the eyes of the horns. Oh, my gosh. A ceremony in which Satan would say what he sees the opportunities for evil. Oh, I love that. It's the opportunities for evil. I love that Satan is like the traveling morale booster person and a company going all branches. And he's like, we can boost Sebring sales by 11 percent.
I've done it before. And you, Unicomp, he's got a briefcase full of steak knives with it. Yeah.
Michelle has another visitation from a mayor. Who's the Virgin Mary, right. That's what that's what they've decided to call the Virgin Mary.
OK, Satan notices the visitation and so he throws flame out of his fingers and says, how dare you interrupt the Feast of the Beast?
It is like a conference where someone's like, you know, I'm seeing a lot of people on their iPads right now. Isopropyl.
You know what?
I'm seeing a lot of people being visited by other religious figures right now. Yeah. And then we start getting your predictions. So this is the fall of nineteen seventy seven when Michelle is remembering and repeating Satan, saying Seventy-eight opens the gate.
Oh no. He's doing like Nostradamus. This is going to happen. Predictions.
My gate will be open, the year will be mine. That's the year of seventy eight. That's the year full of hate. Seventy nine goes down to the it's the time when the flames grow higher. If I turn them face to face, black against race, against race. When she comes back the next time we'll have to be like Satan. Kind of problematic phrasing.
Yeah. Maybe don't throw in the race stuff Michelle. Satan is canceled.
They don't even know what I'm about. By 1980, they won't even shout.
How about like by 1980 it will be a rout. I feel like that would have been more interesting.
Oh, that's pretty good. Yeah. It's also kind of doesn't work that well for the book because it is 1980. So like if you're reading this and you're like, oh crap. Like, yes, we're not even shouting anymore. Like Satan has already completed like two years of his prophecy without me even knowing what was going on. Like why couldn't this have been a magazine article?
I also love how even this book is like, yeah, that's Satan's poetry is not good because we got the description Michelle had.
Listen as carefully as she could. Day after day, while Satan ponderously the claim marang laying out a vast scheme of evil intentions concealed within the Dorival of crimes of Satan is terrible at poems because he is evil.
So either that or Pasdar put that in and the show is like, hey, I roadshow's. What do you mean ponderous?
And then after watching Satan open a portal to hell and back in a woman, then leap into it, which she does. OK, Michelle is visited by Saint Michael. Oh.
What did he do with his superpower. I don't know him.
He's a saint who's also an angel. And he tells her to remember that the Virgin Mary is holding your hand. OK, and then he was gone. That's a nice little cameo.
Also, how useful is a saint if he shows up and is like, hello, it's going to be OK.
Well, bye once again. Satan has all these bones and now he's like doing numerology for a while.
And so to me, the only interesting part of that is that he's emphasizing the number twenty eight and the book is speculating twenty eight. Is the gate the opening to the satanic future? Because it is every twenty eight years that Satan returns to Earth and because twenty eight is traditionally Satan's number now citation he divides four by four because four has always been a spiritually powerful proxy for seasons, four directions for eleven gospels, et cetera, et cetera. I don't really know about twenty eight being Satan's number generally, but I would say that that is the age that Michelle is in the year that she's having on.
These conversations, she just like free associating at this point, basically, Satan has 27 bones, that Michelle has the T bone because it's not on the ground and she picks it up and she holds it in her small fist. And now we're reaching the next phase of the final ceremony. There's always these transitions that it's like now it was time for this ceremony. And I thought we were already having a larger ceremony. Yes, this is smaller ceremony.
It's like the end of return of the king or like how many endings are we going to have?
St. Michael appears again. He blesses the bone and Michelle's hand. Thank you, Michael. And then she digs a hole and buries it and he says, Give me back the bone. That's mine. Then everything will be fine.
That doesn't even work. Just go back and get the bone. I will let you go back home. Oh, my God. I will not eat them, Sam. I am. I am. I will not eat them on a boat. I will not eat them with a goat.
There once was a boy from Nantucket like how many greatest hits are we going to get. Yeah.
And I just feel like when I think about how hard it is to get through this portion of the book, it's so hard and how I just feel this desperation to be done with this. Oh my God, I like how much desperation is Michelle feeling? We've talked quite a lot about how she's emerging from these memory sessions, feeling traumatized, crying uncontrollably. You know, her life seems to be kind of dissolving. I feel like she's trying to find a way to reach the end of this remembering and reach the conclusion to this story, because obviously she didn't die.
So she has to reach the end of a story where she lives, but where something climactic happens, I guess. Right, right. But then it's like if I were her, I would be like, OK, but like, if I if satanic abuse memory, stop pouring uncontrollably out of me. Well, Dr. Pazira, really great. Well, we're done. Yeah. I'm going to go back home to my wife and my four children and we're all going to go to church.
And you're not invited each time some worst thing happens to her, he's like, wow, I'm even more amazed by your goodness and your good soul and you're sick rhymes.
And it's like, do she have any faith in her and her lovability beyond victimhood? I don't know. You know, so it's like. Right. I don't know. I'm just impressed that she was was able to ever put an end to this therapy, because we also, you know, we see people who are essentially in the same trap, Michelle, as in the eighties who fall into this trap.
And this case goes on for years and years of them just being trapped in describing this and not knowing how to end the process. Yeah. And having to recover worse and worse and worse and just not being able to get out of that narrative. Right. And be like, I'm done. I've remembered everything. So what does Michelle do? Well, we also see that she is starting to again to try and not do it. So chapter thirty four, it's November twenty fifth of nineteen seventy seven.
She comes in and she's like, I don't feel like saying anything. Oh. Dr. Passthrough says perhaps you should just say something about how you been feeling the past few days, which I like. What a thought to talk about that during therapy.
Oh my God. He almost did something I don't want to. She was not being stubborn. And something seemed almost impossible to talk more of an effort than she felt capable of making.
She should have thought of this months ago. Just be like, I guess it doesn't work anymore.
It's been the coldest November that I remember. He said all that snow, it makes your bones hurt, Michelle said, almost under her breath. Your bones have really been hurting a lot, haven't they? You can hardly walk. And Iraqis are back. These past few days he reached over and took her left hand. They're coming back on this arm, especially on your elbow and your forearm. Oh, God. She made no response. Just sat quietly.
Thanks. She burst out. I can't talk anymore. I have nothing to say. It's like there's nowhere else. It's just a dead end. Nothing else is happening. He asked if you're just lying on the floor painted black and white because that was what they did at the end of the last session. Say today again, she was painted, she was painted black and then had a skeleton drawn on her with white paint. I know one thing he told her.
I know if you left in that place, you are going to be left in that feeling. You're in a place of total exhaustion and aloneness. I can't hear what you're saying without hearing where you are in the past. You I can't see us leaving everything where it is now. What the hell are you or for me or anyone. In fact, I can't accept that it's too serious. Oh, my God, you've put too much into it.
So again, he's doing this thing where it's like what dreams may come or something. It's like you're trapped in this vision or whatever. Like this is not how memory works.
It's like The Cell starring Jennifer Lopez God. And also she's showing reluctance and he's just pushing through it.
And it does not seem to be crossing his mind that her very real and repeated and. Your objections matter. Yeah, and you know, and I blame him, but I also blame the medical establishment because this is you know, Dr. Pasteur did not invent the culture in which he was trained and is practicing. And there are a lot of great therapists and there are a lot of great therapists at the time who genuinely cared about women and who are able to do something therapeutically useful for them.
And they were also a lot of therapists and a lot of doctors who took care of women and were like, I am the doctor and you are the patient and you don't know anything. And I know everything. Right. I'm smart. You're dumb, I'm big. Your little and all comes back to this Taliban.
And we're going to keep doing this thing that you hate that is harming you because I say it's best for you to continue and maybe I'm actively harming you.
Maybe I'm actively destroying your health. But for me to second guess, that would mean I would have to believe in a world where I could be wrong. And that's not acceptable to me. Dr. Paster says, I know it's hard to go there, but I can't accept that there's nowhere left to go. I can't accept that you are stuck, finished. There's no ending, no way out. I shouldn't have said anything. Michel was almost done. I was just trying to talk.
This is also like the least flattering.
The narrator is toward Michelle during this entire time.
He's like Michelle was almost sullen, like her. Yeah. Saintly demeanor was slightly not nice.
You can tell that, like he had more of a hand in writing this than she did, because throughout the book we don't get the same kinds of like Michelle, like her tendons were poking out of her athletic body as she laid on the carpet.
Like, we don't get the same kinds of descriptions of her that we get of him. We have her like disobeying his orders. And there's like there's subtle undermining of Michelle in the language in a way that it never does to Pastor Wright.
Yeah, all the description of his thought processes and decisions are like he was a very logical person. Yeah. Thought about all sides of this issue and come to the most reasonable conclusion. Yeah.
We never get inside of her head the way we get inside of his head, which is an interesting choice considering they're both writing the book well or considering that they're both credited with it or.
Yeah, they're both ostensibly writing the book because I also feel like Michelle could be an author of the book to the extent that she has produced this transcript. Right. Which is certainly a very painful and real act of authorship. Yeah. Yeah. And so eight hours later, Dr. Pasdar dictated a memorandum into the tape recorder. It is seven thirty now. We've been trying really, really hard all day to go back to the place. Michelle has not.
It's like a work slowdown. She's just like, yeah, I'll be there and I'll do it, but then she's just kind of like not participating in it.
I feel like it's just too painful for her. Yeah. And also, I guess the fact of, like, if she goes back in there, she's going to have to have a confrontation with Satan in which she for some reason doesn't kill her. And I feel like it's very hard to come up with any kind of a justification for that from a story perspective.
And while rhyming and rhyming, oh, my God, she's like the Jaguar Rogers of this whole thing, like everything Dr. Pozarevac has to do.
Bashforth and will remain.
And then she says, can I just write it down instead of telling him what the vision says? And he says, I'd like you to tell me. And then in the blink of an eye, she had taken that frightening plunge into the abyss. And then she just starts and she just keeps going, according to the book. And she describes being back in the round room and she's making the sign of the cross to scare the Satanists. And Satan still wants his body, still hasn't gotten his bone back.
So after some of this, he's like, give me my bone. You I still need it.
Do you have that Tupperware? Yeah. Oh, and then Jesus comes to. Oh, sure. But we know him as mama's son because apparently they thought it was over the top to say it was Jesus.
Oh, she's like then I saw like Jesus and he's like, oh, French. She's got some miracle. The petite Jesus. Oh wow.
Yeah. So I feel like she's and there's actually I want to digress a little bit. There is another repressed memory satanic ritual abuse book. It's called Lessons and Evil Lessons from the Light.
And basically it's about a therapist who starts seeing a patient. The patient comes and being like, yeah, like I want to enjoy sex with my husband. And I just did have a very abusive childhood. And I was sexually assaulted when I was a young child. And I remember it and it was really traumatic. And the therapist is like, let's look for repressed memories that are harming your ability to enjoy sex.
Right. Let's dig around in this box a little bit more.
And she also comes into therapy because she's feeling all this anger at her little daughter and she's afraid that she's going to become abusive and they start recovering what they believe to be repressed memories where the patient was abused sexually and in other very gruesome ways by family members who are part of an intergenerational satanic cult. And her life also disintegrated. She starts doing worse. And the way that they get out of this loop, this trauma loop, is that the therapist at one point goes to a conference that talks about past life regression hypnosis, and her patient undergoes the therapy and produces a memory of a past life where she, as a child, was chased out of the house by an abusive parent because she spilled something.
And this is shortly after she's become spectacularly angry at her daughter for spilling juice. And in the past life, she hid under a porch and died. And she decides that the parent who is responsible for her death was reincarnated as her daughter right now. Oh, did it fucking help?
That is the strangest thing. According to this book, it is extremely helpful. And I think it's also because she recovers a memory that allows her to forgive herself. And this past life therapy allows her to feel this intense love and compassion for her young self, as opposed to describing herself and watching herself being tortured over and over again. And I think that my mother and Saint Michael and Jesus are able to do the same things for Michelle. And I think that this is how she's able to get out of it is by bringing in these religious figures who love her and can tell her that she is worthy, which I think is what she's needing to be told.
But what's amazing about that is that it's Michelle doing the work of coming up with that.
Yes, Michelle, I to figure it out, she had to do therapy on her. Yes.
Because her therapist is so much more interested in his own intellectual prowess than her emotional experience that he's never going to be perceptive enough to be like what you actually need is a sense of forgiveness in which you actually need is some form of catharsis with reckoning, with the fact that your mother was not the greatest mother to you despite her early death, and that having a miscarriage or potentially more than one miscarriage is something you are blaming yourself for.
But he's not perceptive enough for that. So it's like it takes fucking 14 months and she has to finally come up with, like, well, I'm going to create some, like, saints on my shoulder rooting for me.
Yeah. And the Saints don't want me to suffer. And I'm not sure that you don't.
I mean, there's also the thing of I think it's impossible to separate the. A form of therapy that you undergo from the question of whether or not you believe it is people that swear by psychoanalysis, there's people that swear by CBT or whatever, you know, hypnosis, whatever it is.
But it's not clear to me that, like, the effect of the actual therapy is more important than the extent to which you believe it. Oh, yeah. If, you know, you do like Freudian superego stuff and that works, then like it works. And if you do acupuncture, it works. And if you do past life regression, it works. It's just Pasdar is so much less interested in what Michelle actually needs and she just kind of finds her way there essentially on her own, which is amazing.
Yeah. OK, so back to Satan in the bone. I know you're very excited to see how that resolves.
Satan is again so upset that he's like not even rhyming the beast. And rage plunged himself deeper into the fire across the chamber. Michelle thought she saw her mother. As Michelle watched, her mother fell to the ground. And from the spot on which she fell, there came a flash of light. Michelle realized that was where she had hidden the bone. Then she felt a hand on her head, and the torch was ineffably comforting. Look, set a voice.
Hasluck. There it was. My son and my son says, Hang on to this. She opens her hand and it's the fragment of bone. I've got the bone, she whispered to herself. The trophy had been taken and the war was over. The fire began to die out. She looked over at the beast she was watching from the fire, supervising as has attendants packed the altar implements. This makes me think of every convention I've been where it's like the last day, and I like starting to break down the tables stuff without the hordes turn their backs to the altar and began to trudge away as they went, sat in, rasp out to them.
His final charge, the time is ripe. The time is near the time of the beast.
The time of year is the time to come. The time to begin, the time to spread, to try to win.
The heart can't lose yet my man shows up and the Virgin Mary says, We'll put everything that you've seen and heard.
We'll put it in a safe place. We'll keep it safe. And so she's the Virgin Mary is the one. She is performing a miracle and locking her memories up so she can only access them. When she's old enough and strong enough and ready. She finds a kind, good life. Man Yeah.
Her recover them presents because she needs an in universe explanation for why this didn't come up earlier. So she's adding like a little magic box thing.
And the other thing that Michelle is doing that I think is answering the conundrum that she's been in is that she is turning Dr. Pasdar into part of the prophecy. Right. Because the Virgin Mary is like you have to find the ears to hear something later on.
Um, and we have to preserve these memories of the right people can help you to spread the word.
I feel like Michelle is doing the thing where it's like I have to leave this abusive relationship, but I have to leave it in a way that makes him think it was his idea. Yes, she is doing the work of preserving Dr. Pesters fucking ego that like he gets to be important. She knows that there's no way she's going to get out of this unless Pasdar gets to be the hero.
Yes, she needs the right good kind. Goudeau doing Catholic to help her in this holy war that she has been chosen to be a crucial part of, and that by extension, he has been chosen by the Virgin Mary and her kid to be part of also. I mean, this also makes me think of how it always annoys me when there's some, like, viral tweet or something. That's like women apologize too much in emails and they should all write emails like men where they're like really abrupt.
And my response to that is always a, I like being nice. And I don't think that it's entirely a bad thing just because women do it more often. And B, if women are inclined to be overly apologetic or self-effacing in communications with men generally and maybe especially in workplace communications, it is because we have been paying attention and we have learned that the way to get a male superior or even a coworker, basically any man you work with or near, sometimes the best way to get him to listen to your idea is to make him think it was his idea.
Yeah. If we are acting in a way that reflects the fact that we know that, then that's not ultimately our fault.
Right? Right. That is absolutely what Michelle is doing. Yeah. I mean, it's also noteworthy that she is now converted to Catholicism and she's now throwing in all these Catholic figures into her visions. Right. Because that also reinforces for him the fact that his religion is true, like she could have thrown in other mystical figures that saved her. Yeah.
She could have had a big Ganesh come in and do some. Something helpful that would be nice. Yes, and it's like he's plateaued on the fact that he is the chosen one for Michelle. Right.
And it's kind of like when Luke Skywalker figures out that, like, actually that Astro Mac Droid didn't end up on tattooing, like just by happenstance. He's like, oh, my God. The whole time. Right. I've always been the one who was meant to be the protagonist.
I also love the lack of self-awareness that he can't see any of this. Is there a chance she's doing this to flatter me? Doesn't fucking cross his mind.
And it's one thing to not notice what's going on as you're living it, but then to not notice things like as you're writing about them in book form. Yes. Yeah.
So is this kind of it like the visions just kind of peter out with, like, the bone thing kind of went nowhere, but like Virgin Mary kind of gave her the bone or whatever.
And it's interesting because, like, it doesn't appear that that did anything except annoy him. Yeah, it's unclear if this is affected, his ability to do anything. It's more just like Michelle wins again in this contest of. Yes, I guess.
And then everyone just kind of fills out and she's still in the room and like, that's basically it for the visions.
Yeah. The final version is Michelle is in this empty round room talking to the Virgin Mary, and they just get to have this little moment together, Michelle and Munmorah. And it's really it's it's really lovely, I think. And Mama takes her robe and does the classic mom thing of grabbing some of the dirt off of Michelle because no one has bathed or taken care of Michelle or done nice mom things for her. Right. The Virgin Mary is telling us and I'm really glad she's explaining this, because I would not have guessed it, that Michelle taking the bone and not being able to find it rattled him enough that he spilled more of his plans than he was intending to.
OK, Michelle says she doesn't want to go back to live with her mother. And Mama says you can live with her. You don't have to be what she is, which is like, thank you. That's I think, again, something that Michelle has been just wanna hear this entire time and rather than her therapist. Yes. Saying that she just had to get the Virgin Mary to say it.
She's telling it to herself like all of the other work she's done in this entire book. Yeah.
Jesus comes also, I'm sure. And he says, close your eyes for a while. Think about the bunnies and grass and little lambs. And he holds her hand. That's nice. We just cut to we're back in the consultation room and Michelle says, I don't have any more to say. That's all there is. And that was all the remembering was finished. So it's worth noting that, like Michelle has said this before, like she's done remembering apparently because Dr.
Pasdar agrees with her finally. And he's like, yeah, I'm satisfied with that. Right.
Only because he got the announcement that he wanted. And then we get an epilogue where we just have just a tiny bit of wrap up.
Had anyone noticed Michelle's absence from everyday life or time in the round room for eighty one days in the middle of a school year? She does not know that anyone questioned her about it after her return.
She cannot remember that anyone she can either confirm or deny it.
So this is totally this is Chongjin or the publisher being like this seems really implausible. So like, can you add some just like yada, yada, yada, about like, wouldn't somebody have noticed that she was gone? And so they add this like nobody asked because like nobody cared enough about Michelle called the Rockford Peaches because we got to cover some bases.
Did she ever again see any of the Satanists? She has no idea. Since Michelle as a child had no memory of the horrible things that had been done to her. She had no reason to be aware of such people. So this is smart. They're like, why would she be looking for Satan? Yeah, Mama locked away all these memories and gave her no reason to find suspicious the perhaps vast numbers of people in the area missing one finger on their left hand.
This is like the fake you at the end of the book. Like everything, the editors were like, hey, sorry, hang on.
Did she recognize the people with missing fingers then? She's like, Oh, no, because the Virgin Mary locked in their thing.
And then we got kind of a soliloquy from Michelle about what what seems to be at the heart of this or what seems to me to be at the heart of this, which is her relationship with her mother.
I think I figured out why inside out so much. I am in mourning. A part of me is dying. It's a part of me inside a part I had to have for years. It's the me who saw my mother as wonderful and loving me terribly, the part who worshipped my mom and saw me as the center of her world to me who had a mom to play with.
This is actually insightful. Yeah.
Oh, but now my body memories have killed my make believe and I just can't get away from it. My body has told me the reality and never again will I have Michelle with only happy memories. I have to be real no matter what the cost.
This this is the insight that she would have gotten within like three sessions. She had gone to a fucking female therapist like she had to do was go to like a real therapist.
Yeah, but we are told the remembering is no longer with her. She is a busy and cheerful person. She has faced her past and resolved her feelings about it. It is hard for her to forgive her mother, but she hopes her mother will be forgiven. Also not how therapy works. It's like she's done now and she's fine.
Yeah, this is like what we saw in the letter that she wrote to Dr. Pasteur. It's like that is bad and good is good. It's like you do therapy and then they fix you and then you're done and happy. Like, no, that's not how anything works. Totally. It's amazing that Pasdar is like, I guess allegedly a therapist and signed off on this. What therapist would be like.
Yep, that's what therapy does. Totally happy afterwards.
Like, I mean, there's a lot of this rhetoric, too. We talked about how in Sibylle, like the famous climax of that book, is that all of her alters integrated and she was better. Yeah. And then there's like the perennial issue of the fact that there are certain forms of knowledge and this is one of them where the shape of narrative that the publishing industry insists something has to take is just a shape that doesn't exist in that world.
Like there are no therapy narratives or someone's like all better at the end and they don't have any more problems for the rest of their life.
But like that was the way that Americans got to read about therapy because it was the profitable way to publish it. So you have this thing where you can see the industry mangling the truth of the subject matter that it's trying to represent.
It's also entrenching this myth that I think is very widespread and very pernicious that like whatever mental illness you have, whatever issues you're dealing with in your adult life, they have a cause.
And all you have to do in therapy, regardless of the form of therapy, is figure out the cause and then they'll be fixed.
And like you can cut it out like a tumor. Yeah. And I hate this idea that it's like the thing you do when you go to therapy is like you find the one thing which is like why you're sad and then you talk about it and you're not sad anymore. Like, yeah.
And like sadness is a boil that you like Lance and all this emotional pass comes out and go home.
You could have picked a less serious one for that. But yes, I'm sorry, but are we are we done with the book? Are we are we doing talking now? Are we doing I have thought.
Are you doing talking now. Yes. Let me read to you is the final page of the epilogue, because this is a book kind of giving us its mission statement. And so I guess once again, it's 1980, right. Imagine that you are like finishing this book that you made it all the way through somehow.
The seven Americans who did. Yes, very impressed.
And you're like, wow. What does Michelle want me to take away from this? Oh, no.
Is she going be raising awareness? Yeah.
Michelle hopes the book will alert people to the horror of hurting children, the possibility that another child is now being prepared for the next feast of the beast.
It is the time for it is very much on her mind. And yeah, that's the.
Oh, wait. And then I have the acknowledgements. Sorry.
Oh, where she thinks the Virgin Mary, she does not thank Satan to our families with much love.
I mean, obviously not to our families with divorces eventually.
What does that to Doug, particularly for his strength and support. I'm not questioning but trying to understand that some cold shit and to Michelle's mother, whom she still loves and to mama her helping her to know that, oh, God.
So that's the book that we have made it through this book.
Oh, God, thank God.
Oh, and you can tell people for the rest of your life that you have experienced, Michelle remembers. And they'll say, what's that? And they'll say, I don't want to talk about it.
Yeah, I think I think experience is a good word for it because they can read it because that implies some level of pleasure.
It's it's a lot it's it's I think it's it was much more enjoyable for me getting it through with you than it has ever been at any other time. So thank you. And I'm sorry.
I'm glad I'm glad one of us enjoyed this. So I guess it's time for Gerri's final thought about what this book is and what it means to us for now, because we are going to come back and another episode and talk about what I am going to try to figure out about what actually happened.
Yes, I'm so excited. But for now, let's focus on what we have been given by this book. Yes. If someone asked you what this book was about, what would you tell them?
Oh, for fuck's sake. I mean, that's a tricky question to answer, because they're sort of the ostensible story, which, of course, is a child being tortured by Satanists.
There's the story that we have projected onto it, which is that this is a woman who is suffering from trauma and eventually starts being traumatized by her own therapist and finds a way to escape. But then there's also the third explanation, which is that, I mean, she married this guy at the end. So in some ways, they both got exactly what they wanted, yeah, pastor got to feel like he was this fucking crowning genius therapist guy who discovered this thing, that it didn't even have a name at the time that he discovered it.
And she got the guy that she pretty clearly wanted from our reading of the text anyway. Yeah.
And I also think that this is getting into like a really uncomfortable area, which is that thing where there are relationships that are a positive thing in the context of someone's life, but that involve uncomfortable elements as far as the potential for actual consent is concerned. Like I feel like this is an issue that we also find ourselves confronting if we feel ourselves called upon to judge a relationship between two adults that began when one of them was quite young. I guess the only thing you can do in that situation is to be like, well, why do I think anyone needs me to decide what I think about any of this?
Right. We can kind of acknowledge stuff is troubling, but I think we can do that without deciding to pass judgment on the whole situation.
Right. But I think, like, I find it chill for me to be judge of this, because if somebody's going to put their relationship into the public realm as a model for other professionals, like I get to be kind of a dick about it.
And that's where judgment becomes relevant because it's like, OK, it's fine what you're doing in your own life. Like, that's not my business. But if you are trying to educate social workers and prosecutors using this text and this memoir of your confusing relationship as like something that we should do for the good of the children, yeah, that's where it becomes necessary to start trying to kind of debunk. Yeah. This story that you're selling.
I mean, how do you describe this book to people? Oh, my God. I describe it as the book that accidentally started the Satanic Panic, either by accidentally you're giving it some credit, which is interesting.
I am. And that's how I would describe it. And I'm curious about to what extent our listeners would agree with me, because my reading of it, as I say, it kind of is this equation. Dr. Pastor wants to believe he's heroic. He has to believe that he's waged in some kind of holy war, I think, in order to not feel completely terrible about leaving his wife and family for his patient, you know, which means that he's violating very sacred laws of his profession and his faith.
I mean, I was going to say it's interesting for a book that basically posits that Catholicism is straightforwardly true to then as an epilogue be like, oh, and both people left their marriages, which is not something that Catholics are like, super chill about that's not mentioned anywhere in this book, which is also something where you're like, OK, but like that's part of the narrative.
So the fact that we're not that readers weren't able to get that information is frustrating. I also think it's like, can you imagine reading this book and not picking up on that, though? Because, like, oh, my goodness.
Oh, I mean, yeah. Like, how would you describe the way that they're describing their relationship?
I can't even do it without bursting into song. Oh, it's pure like love.
It's like he's holding her hand. He's rubbing her arm.
It is very romance novel isn't a super duper romance novel. If it was like another form of therapy, you can imagine some like steamy bestseller about a therapist and a patient falling in love with each other over like the mystery that she solved or something like something secular as a little less fucked up than what she's describing.
What you're saying is that this is like a promising first draft. Yes. Because imagine if he had hypnotized her and, like, gotten her to remember all this extra stuff and, like, solved a cold case.
And then that could have been a Dustin Hoffman movie. That would have been very charming. That would've been great. But instead, we're living in a world where this was published as non-fiction and where it informed the next 40 years of legal reality in North America. Like, I cannot overstate this. I know I'm being repetitive, but like, you can't possibly blame Michelle or Dr. Pasteur or Thomas and the publisher or any single person who worked on this book for what happened, because, like, the scale of what it inspired is almost unimaginable.
Yeah. So I would say that I look at it as an equation where we have these two people who clearly need something and it seems like what they need is each other. And Dr. Pazira needs to feel needed and important and chosen love. And Michelle has to feel needed and valued and loved and accepted. And it feels like this not even an equation, let's say a chemical reaction. Let's say we have this reaction and then, poof, you know, they come to each other with these needs.
They generate the story. And then that story allows them to fuse and to to fall in love and. I love to each other at some point and then get married and have a life together and we can presume it's at least likely since they stayed married until Dr. Pasteurise death, that it was a good marriage. And the problem is that that reaction created that story and they presumably kind of moved on with their lives eventually. And we're focused on their marriage, on each other.
But the story still existed. Yeah. And the story sort of lumbered off across the border, you know, just like this. The golomb. Yes, exactly. That's what I was going to say.
And it showed up in Southern California and it showed up in Minnesota and it showed up in the Miami area and in North Carolina and just made its way around America. And Michelle and Dr. Pastor didn't intend that. But that's what happened then. I guess to the extent that there's a lesson to be learned here, it's about owning your emotions.
Because I feel and this is something we run into a lot and that we've been talking about a lot, this thing where like if you feel like I need this person, like I want to be with this person, like you can just acknowledge that you feel that way. And it's real and it matters because you feel it and your feelings matter and you don't have to be part of a holy war, know you can be weak and you can be tempted and you can still accept yourself as a human being.
And you don't need to be pardoned by any major religious figures. Yeah, and I just feel like here with these two people who wanted each other and who apparently have the ingredients for a good relationship and like, wouldn't it have been nicer if they had not gotten there this way?
Yeah, if they admit it, Jamba Juice. And just going to a normal date. But, yeah, next time we're going to we're going to talk about what really happened to the extent that we can figure that out.
You have no idea how excited I am. I'm so excited we're finally going back to real life. This is it. I think real life can never truly be grasped. But it's we're trying we're making a good faith effort.
And if it doesn't match up to your expectations, we can just make a TV movie about it. Yeah.