What's The Deal With Michelle Remembers?
The Book That Started A Witch Hunt

Published in 1980, the book Michelle Remembers allegedly describes the recovered memories of a cult abuse survivor. The book's contents were used to justify the witch hunt known as the Satanic Panic. Many of its claims are very similar to what modern conspiracy theorists claim is going on, as well as claims made in witch literature of the early modern period such as the Malleus Maleficarum.

It claimed the existence of a worldwide Satanic cult, and basically proposed that Catholicism was under Satanic attack, and only the Catholic Church could free people from the power of Satan. It was not the first book claiming the existence of a Satanic cult (Mike Warnke's long-discredited book The Satan Seller had been published eight years prior in 1972), but it's considered to be the book that played the biggest role in setting off the widespread panic.

The book's contents were later discredited when investigators discovered that there was simply nothing to substantiate any of Michelle's claims - just the opposite, in fact. There was no evidence that Michelle had disappeared from school during the time the events supposedly took place, and a location she claimed was used for a Satanic ritual would have been far too small to accommodate such a thing.

In my opinion, though, such discrediting should have never been necessary in the first place. Much of what the book describes is so absurd that no one who uses even an ounce of critical thinking could possibly believe in it. And yet, apparently there were so many people who just really wanted to believe in the myth that this book was selling that they simply threw all common sense to the wind - just as many people did during Europe's early modern witch hunts, and just as many people are doing now with QAnon.

In this article, I'm going to give an overview of what's in the book, as well as the conditions the contents of the book were produced in, and hopefully demonstrate why absolutely none of it can be trusted - and more broadly, why contemporary claims of massive abusive Satanic cults cannot be trusted, either.

First uploaded: November 20, 2021. Last updated: December 7, 2021.

Table of Contents

So who is Michelle, exactly?

Michelle was the middle child of Virginia and Jack Proby. According to the book, her parents' marriage not a happy one, as her father would physically abuse her mother and would occasionally disappear for weeks at a time. Only when her father was gone, the book claims, did her mother treat Michelle with affection and warmth. The book also says that Michelle's parents had hoped she would be a boy, and that she had overheard them talking about this. Michelle's family lived at 2078 Newton Street, Victoria, a location you can see for yourself here. Michelle's childhood home is neither particularly large nor isolated, making it an unlikely candidate for an evil cult to conduct many of the things claimed in the book without someone noticing something.

The book claims that Michelle had no real religious upbringing. However, her father disputed this in a 1990 article, stating that her mother brought Michelle and her two sisters to church every Sunday, and that the three of them were confirmed together. Worth noting, the book does not mention Michelle's sisters, Tertia and Charyl, at all. In fact, the book records Michelle as saying that she has no siblings.

The book says that her mother died of cancer when Michelle was fourteen. She was placed in the care of her grandfather, who sent her to a Catholic boarding school. It also says that Michelle felt alienated and out of place. The book tells us that her grandfather died just a few months later, and that before the year was out her remaining two grandparents passed away.

The book tells us that Michelle was alone after that point, with the implication that she looked after herself. Considering that the age of majority in British Columbia is 19, I suspect something here is being omitted.

Michelle majored in psychology in college, and came to understand that as a child who had grown up in a dysfunctional family, she was at risk for falling into the same patterns. Not wishing to repeat the cycle of trauma upon her future children, Michelle reached out to Doctor Lawrence Pazder for help. It was around this point that she became engaged to her first husband, Doug Smith.

Pazder treated Michelle for awhile, and then the pair parted ways.

Michelle at some point married Doug Smith, and Michelle became pregnant in 1976. However, she suffered a miscarriage that necessicated hospitalization. Worse still, the doctor unknowingly placed her into the ward where her mother had died, causing Michelle to suffer a panic attack believing that she would die.

Michelle suffered heavy bleeding, and her doctor worried that her condition was psychologically exacerbated. With Michelle's urging, the doctor reached out and contacted Pazder, and the pair of them began regular sessions together. For awhile everything was fairly normal, but Michelle still felt like she had something to say that she just couldn't get out. During one session, the book says, Michelle spontaneously slipped into a trance state and began screaming for over twenty minutes. At this point, she began speaking in the voice of a child and started telling Pazder about the abuse she allegedly faced at the hands of a Satanic cult.

So what does the book claim happened to Michelle?

The book purports to describe a series of events that took place over fourteen months. Allegedly, Michelle was the center focus of a strangely elaborate Satanic working that was ultimately meant to break down her self-esteem, induce feelings of guilt and shame, and thereby get her to join the cult.

Now, if you're familiar with cult recruitment methods and brainwashing techniques, you'll know that subjecting people to a series of weird, frightening rituals is not the way things are done. When you get right down to it, cults generally use the same manipulation and control techniques as any run-of-the-mill abuser. They often begin by love-bombing the victim, making the victim feel as if the outside world can't be trusted, getting them to cut off ties with outsiders, and making the victim feel lost and worthless without the cult's guidance. They make victims feel as if they have to go along with what they're told, or else they're spiritually or morally defective.

The thing is, the book acts as if the abuse is the recruitment method. However, in real cults, the abuse generally begins after the victim has been recruited and committed themselves to the cult. It's the same as any abusive relationship; the abuser puts on their best front in order to hook you in, and once they have you they drop the act and start bullying you instead.

The events the book describes are often surreal and dreamlike. Things often just happen for no coherent reason, important details occasionally just fall out of the narrative, and event sequences sometimes just don't line up or the timeline just doesn't make sense. Michelle often describes sights and events that are extremely unlikely to just plain impossible. She also frequently just knows things for no discernible reason, just as you often do in dreams.

Now, the book frequently describes many gory and otherwise disturbing details, often involving things like animal abuse, dead babies, and human waste. The rituals are often extremely violent in a number of ways. Since I don't want this article to be too disturbing, I'm going to try and skim over these details as much as possible and instead try to focus on what's surreal and implausible. However, I won't always be able to avoid the disturbing stuff, so be forewarned.

Early in the book, Michelle claims that she was forced through a ritual in which she was laid atop a bureau dresser amidst a semicircle of lit candles. Now, even if Michelle was a fairly small child, you'd still need a pretty big bureau to pull this off. Additionally, it's hard to imagine how they could have laid Michelle onto the top of the bureau without accidentally bumping into one of the candles and burning themselves, or worse, setting the whole house on fire.

After the ritual, the cultists leave Michelle laying on the dresser, still surrounded by lit candles. One must wonder why anyone, Satanists or no, would leave a small child in such close proximity to so many lit candles. Michelle says that she got up, blew out the candles, and went into another room, where she saw what we can probably interpret as some kind of post-ritual party going on.

Michelle sees her mother sitting on a chair, and sees a "lump" under her mother's calf-length skirt. In her panicked, confused state, Michelle grabs a bottle and begins beating the "lump." For whatever reason, the other cultists suddenly grab bottles and join in. It turns out that the "lump" was actually a woman, and she dies from the bottle-beating. There's no rhyme or reason for this; it just... happens.

Sometime later, the cult's leader (or co-leader, as the case might be), a man named Malachi, places Michelle in a car next to the dead woman and stages a car accident that Michelle barely survives. From this, we can infer that the cult wants Michelle dead. And yet, they don't carry through with it despite having every opportunity to do so.

The book says that she was hospitalized after the car crash. Michelle says that the hospital walls were draped in white cloth. While hospitals sometimes make use of curtains as dividers, they don't drape the actual walls with them. She claims that two men in black suits come up and ask her "what happened?", and don't press further when she simply keeps quiet.

Michelle was apparently so badly injured in the car crash that she required an oxygen tent and blood transfusions, but yet she was somehow able to get up off the bed and make an escape attempt. Two doctors catch her and tie her wrists to the bedposts, which hospital beds aren't really known for having. (One must also wonder why the doctors didn't simply give her a sedative, and why she wasn't sedated already.)

Later she claims that her mother brings her a box containing a doll with a broken neck and poked-out eyes, and claims that beneath the doll was her pet budgie, albeit dead, rotting, and crawling with insects. Michelle specifically dates this event to New Year's Eve, which means that any insects would be well in hibernation.

Desperate to get out of the hospital, Michelle pretends she's doing better than she really is. A nurse, who is actually one of the cultists (and probably the co-leader next to Malachi) takes Michelle over to an abandoned house and locks her in the celler, where she is deprived of food and water for four days. Partway through, the "celler" later spontaneously turns into a richly-furnished sitting room.

The nurse eventually takes Michelle to another house, where she is starved, deprived of sleep, and subjected to numerous cruel and gory rituals for over two weeks.

A starved, exhausted child with scorched lungs and fractured bones being exposed to biohazardous materials every day in the wintertime really should have developed a serious infection at some point. (Not to mention, constant use of blood, gore, and human waste is how you give the whole cult serious infections. You'd think a nurse would know better!)

At a later point, Michelle "remembers" being kept inside a wood-and-wire cage along with a bunch of snakes, a harmless variety she remembers seeing in the garden. This being Victoria, British Columbia, a very likely candidate would be a common garter snake. Supposedly, the wire mesh is large enough that the cultists can reach through and pinch her to keep her awake, suggesting your standard sized chicken wire. Yet somehow, the snakes do not escape.

Michelle claims that while she was in the cage, a demonically possessed woman came over to her and very literally underwent a physical demonic transformation in which she had a monstrous face and a long tongue that turned out to be a snake. Michelle claims that the woman's head actually spun around, and that later on she vomited on her. The similarities here to The Exorcist, which came out just a few years ago in 1973, are striking.

Michelle claims that the cult eventually locks her inside an effigy of Satan. She is forced to sit on top of a step stool, the bottom of the effigy is filled with red liquid, and for some reason the snakes are inside. Later Michelle claims that she grabbed the snakes and shoved them out through the effigy's eyeholes, and that by simply wishing to be outside of the effigy, she just popped outside of it.

Despite apparently being kept inside a wood-and-wire cage and then the the effigy for days, Michelle somehow has enough strength to go run around, grab ritual objects, and throw them into the fire. Eventually the cult catches her, and puts her back into the effigy. Except this time they tie her to the stepladder. Eventually, a swarm of red spiders crawl out of the liquid and crawl all over Michelle. Not only are most spider species non-social (often to the point of being quite willing to eat each other) and therefore do not swarm together, but if you put a bunch of spiders into liquid of any kind, they would simply drown.

Later on, the cult has a doctor sew horns and a tail onto Michelle's body, whereupon they place her back in the effigy for several days. First of all, you can't just randomly graft things onto people and just leave it at that, because in most cases the immune system will reject it. Secondly, a child who had been given any kind of surgery while also being starved and kept in filthy conditions would almost certainly develop a serious, if not deadly infection.

Later on Michelle claims she ripped the horns and tail off, which caused bleeding. Apparently, they don't treat her injuries at all. Realistically, these injuries should have become seriously infected under the conditions Michelle was placed under. And yet, they never do.

Michelle is taken into a room where the doctor who sewed the tail and horns onto Michelle's body proceeds to cut apart a number of corpses stolen from caskets. Michelle claims that the floor becomes bloody as a result. However, corpses in caskets wouldn't even have blood, as blood is drained from bodies during the embalming process. I think it's fair to say that just as the possessed woman spinning her head and vomiting on Michelle was likely inspired by The Exorcist, this was likely inspired by Frankenstein.

The doctor goes on to sew various body parts into a single body together ala Frankenstein, and even uses electricity to apparently animate it. Even if we allow that electricity applied to a dead body can make its muscles contract and thereby cause movement, a body simply stitched together like this one would not have properly attached muscles, nerves, tendons, and bones, and so would not be able to move in the manner Michelle describes.

At various points in the book, Michelle describes an imaginary friend who sometimes speaks to her and encourages her. The imaginary friend looks exactly like Michelle, except that she's clean and properly dressed. Eventually, the cult somehow captures, tortures, and dismembers Michelle's imaginary friend. Pazder tries to rationalize this as a real child they murdered, and the book suggests that the cult knew about Michelle's imaginary friend because they overheard her talking to her. However, this doesn't explain how they knew what her imaginary friend looked like. While the cult does seem to have some demonic powers, they are absolutely not depicted as mind readers.

Later, the book goes on to describe the alleged 81-day ritual of the Feast of the Beast. Held only once every 27 years, the Feast of the Beast is supposed to be a demonic perversion or inversion of the Catholic Mass. And this is where the book goes from trippy to just... downright goofy.

Satan literally, physically manifests himself, and does things like shoot fire out of his fingertips and eyes, and shoot X-shaped beams from his hands. Supposedly he literally, physically grabs Michelle's body with his tail, and when he walks across the floor he leaves burning footprints. Oh, and he speaks in rhyming couplets. According to the book, Father Guy Marveille learned in Church history that Satan speaks in rhymes, and claims that if you look up Satan in a theological dictionary it will tell you that he's known for rhyming. I actually checked a bunch of online Catholic dictionaries to see what they had to say about Satan, and literally none of them mention anything about rhyming. I did, however, find a poem by CS Lewis titled Satan Speaks, which is written in rhyming couplets.

Later in the ritual, Satan goes up to the stone altar with "flames running up and down his back." A red cloth magically materializes on the altar. A "monstrous spider" walks over the cloth for some reason, and somehow there is a vampire bat sitting on it.

So first of all, a vampire bat is not an animal you can just keep as a pet; vampire bats have to drink a ridiculous amount of blood to get enough nutrients, and they can't live outside a tropical climate.

Secondly, there is no spider species that actually matches the description the book gives. The ones that come the closest are found in the genus Latrodectus, which includes black widows and redbacks. However, these spiders are not especially large. There are also a few red and black tarantulas, but none of these species actually have red markings on their backs.

We could just say that maybe Satan just materialized these animals into existence just as he did the altar cloth, but either way this story has strayed completely outside of the realm of reality.

The cultists bring a child over to Satan to sacrifice, and he does so messily and gorily. I have to say that this part of the narrative really gets my goat because... why exactly is Michelle so precious that Jesus, Mary, and Michael step in to save her, but this other kid is allowed to get the grindhouse treatment?

Thirteen women also set thirteen bundles on the altar, and Satan shoots fire out of his hands to burn them all.

Michelle claims that Satan could project 3D images to illustrate what he was saying, and claimed that he could project his voice coming from four different directions, each one saying a different message.

Later, Satan proclaims that Okinawa, Persia, Iran, and Russia will come together to attack Rome, followed by the rest of the world. This is an extremely odd thing to claim. For one thing, Okinawa isn't a country, but rather a prefecture of Japan. Secondly, Persia and Iran are the same country. And of course, there's literally no reason for Japan, Iran, and Russia to gang up on Rome aside from sounding foreign and scary to a Catholic woman from British Columbia.

(Quick aside, I find it hilarious that the narrative calls Satan "the Beast" and claims he's targeting Rome, when in the actual Book of Revelation, the first beast is Rome.)

At one point, Michelle watches cult initiates cut off their middle fingers at the first knuckle. It seems strange that she never mentioned, say, Malachi or the nurse missing their middle fingers before this point. One would also think that people would notice if there were a large number of people missing their middle fingers in Victoria, or anywhere an evil Satanic cult is supposed to exist.

The Feast of the Beast also involves a ritual involving a bunch of bones. Satan "counts" them, and it's at this point that we learn that Satan only performs multiplication instead of addition because the plus symbol looks like a Christian cross. Michelle steals a bone, which the Archangel Michael blesses for some reason. She digs a hole and buries it. Yes, she allegedly does this while suffering from extreme malnutrition and other physical tortures with no tools whatsoever.

Later, the red altar cloth is suddenly white for some reason. The book offers no explanation or rationalization for this.

Eventually, Jesus gives the bone back to Michelle, and it seems to act as some kind of protective amulet, shielding her from Satan's evil somehow. (I believe in this instance the bone would be what Catholics consider a third-class relic.)

Then Mary comes in, reassures Michelle, and basically tells her that they're going to put her memories of the Satanic cult in a "safe place." Michelle says that she doesn't want to live with her mom, but Mary basically tells her that she has to live with her, though she doesn't have to be like her.

I have to say this: if the spirit of the Virgin Mary really is somewhere out there, I really, really hope that she isn't advocating for little kids to stay with their abusers. That's completely inexcusable, and just disgusting.

It all wraps up with Michelle's mother collecting her, and Michelle falling asleep thinking of bunnies, grass, and little lambs. Afterward, the adult Michelle speculates that the time she thought she was recovering from the measles was actually time she spent recovering from the cult's abuse.

One last note I want to make, the book claims that the Feast of the Beast lasted 81 days. However, the events Michelle described couldn't have possibly filled out that span of time. It would have been a long ritual, sure. But the ritual's activity probably couldn't have filled more than a single day. The 81-day ritual was apparently attended by numerous people from all over the world in addition to the other cultists, and one must wonder how so many adults with day jobs managed to take off nearly three months without anyone noticing.

What I have described above is not an exhaustive list of everything the book claims happened; there's a lot more weird nonsense in the book I didn't cover. However, hopefully it will highlight just how absurd this book really is, and show how the book never should have been taken seriously, let alone taken as evidence of an evil Satanic conspiracy.

How did Dr. Pazder handle the case?

To say that Dr. Lawrence Pazder mishandled the case would be an understatement. Pazder displayed a severe lack of professionalism and critical thought throughout the entire book. I'll try to sum it up.

Pazder actually shared his personal speculations on the cult's motives and history with Michelle. Whether he meant to or not, this means he was functionally implanting suggestions into her, thereby assisting her in the creation of false memories that would serve to confirm the narrative that he himself was inventing.

Pazder frequently justified and rationalized many of the things Michelle described. For example, he decided that the "men in black suits" were "policemen," even though Michelle did not say "policemen." He also provided Michelle with motives for the actions she described taking instead of trying to let her remember and figure things out for herself.

Michelle frequently sought out physical comfort from Pazder, which he indulged with the excuse that he came from a family where physical contact was normal. He did not encourage her to seek this kind of comfort from her own husband.

Pazder accepted a number of gifts from Michelle, including a macrame piece, a tea cozy, and a house plant, and placed them in his office. Various sources I've been able to find suggest that accepting gifts from clients isn't always wrong, but it's one of those things where caution must be used lest it create a conflict of interest, or enable an unhealthy dynamic between patient and therapist. In light of their relationship as a whole, I think Pazder's acceptance of Michelle's gifts is definitely a cause for concern.

Pazder spent an extraordinary amount of time with Michelle in sessions, up to six hours a day. The time he spent with Michelle distanced him from his own wife and their four children, and likewise distanced Michelle from her own husband.

At one point, Pazder actually recorded a passage from a book describing friendship, which he left in his office for Michelle to listen to. (Pazder was often late to meetings.) The passage describes a level of emotional intimacy that is absolutely inappropriate for a therapist and pretty much makes it clear that Pazder thought of Michelle as his soulmate.

Pazder and Michelle apparently attended church together on a number of occasions.

In late June of 1975, Michelle actually straight-up told Pazder that she no longer wanted to continue "remembering." Pazder immediately concluded that this was because the Satanic cult had "used sophisticated techniques of psychological manipulation" to keep Michelle from talking, and - yes, this is the very word the book used - commanded her to continue.

On one page, Pazder actually addresses Michelle as "my love" during a therapy sesssion.

With all of this in mind, it's very difficult to read Dr. Lawrence Pazder as anything but a predator taking advantage of a vulnerable woman with a poor sense of boundaries, and exploiting her trauma for the sake of his own professional advancement. Pazder makes his own motives very clear in the book - he says, and I quote, "I thought that a major contribution to the psychiatric literature would surely come out of it." Basically, he wanted something he could write about and publish, and he made damn sure he got it.

The way Pazder acts throughout much of this is just so strange that I'm honestly not sure how much he actually believed in Michelle's "memories." Despite supposedly believing in this massive abusive cult, it doesn't seem to ever occur to him to reach out to law enforcement in any meaningful way; instead, he gets in contact with members of the Church, and eventually goes to the Vatican with it. He also strategically edits passages about the second beast from Revelation 13 to make it sound like they match up with Michelle's alleged encounter with Satan.

There's a part in the book where Pazder confidently asserts that the abuse was being perpetrated by the Church of Satan, and claims that the Church of Satan is a worldwide organization that predates the Christian Church. In reality, the actual Church of Satan was established in 1966 by Anton LaVey, who didn't even believe in Satan as a literal entity. And while the Church of Satan does have rituals, none of them involve child abuse. (If you're really curious about what they involve, you can find a copy of The Satanic Rituals. Just be forewarned that the content is not appropriate for children.) Any claim of a Satanic Church or congregation before this point is nothing more than Christian conspiracy theory and fearmongering - in other words, Pazder is simply repeating the same kind of rhetoric used in Europe's early modern witch hunts as if it's fact.

At one point the book says that Pazder reached out to a couple of hospitals, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The book claims that the RMCP destroys records older than five years if no charges have been laid, and the DMV destroys all records after five years. He also claimed that the hospitals he contacted destroyed records after a certain period. While I wasn't able to verify the RMCP and the DMV's policies on this, I was able to find out that in British Columbia, hospitals keep records on patients for a minimum of sixteen years if adults, or sixteen years from the date they become adults. The age of majority in British Columbia is 19, and Michelle was only 27 when she began her sessions. Maybe laws were different in the 1970s, but this does make me question whether Pazder actually tried to reach out to these places, or if this is another case of fabricating and distorting facts.

Finally, Pazder was just plain racist. He often compared events that Michelle described to various things he claims to have seen or heard about in West Africa, even when they obviously had nothing to do with each other. For example, he compared a ritual in which the cultists poked Michelle's body with sticks to divination with kola nuts. Not only are kola nuts not sticks, but no divination even took place. Nonetheless, Pazder is quite happy to demonize West African traditions and imply a connection between them and the Satanic cult that allegedly abused Michelle.

In short, Pazder was an irresponsible and dishonest sleazebag from start to finish.

What's more, Michelle Smith and Dr. Lawrence Pazder actually divorced their spouses after the book was written and married each other, which is not only indicative of how unhealthy and unprofessional their relationship was as patient and doctor, but is really quite something considering how hard their book pushes Catholicism as the one true faith.

So what actually happened to Michelle?

In my opinion, Pazder was so obsessed with his hypothesis of repressed memories of a Satanic conspiracy that he completely missed or perhaps even chose to overlook the obvious: that Michelle was not "remembering" so much as experiencing vivid nightmarelike states driven by relatively mundane (though still impactful) forms of trauma.

When we remember that this whole thing was set off by a horrible miscarriage, the continual presence of gore and the bodies of dead infants makes a lot of sense. When we remember how her parents were said to have treated and spoke to her, then it makes sense that she would feel unwanted and rejected, something which would only be compounded by losing her mother and having her father run off at the age of fourteen.

When we remember that Michelle was enrolled in a Catholic school at the age of fourteen, the images of cultists as women in black cloaks makes sense. When we remember Jack Proby's violent outbursts, a lot of their wanton cruelty makes sense. When we remember that Michelle had been hospitalized at various points in her life, the hospital-related imagery makes sense.

It's also possible that Michelle was traumatized in other ways that the book does not explore. We know that the book leaves out some pretty big details. For example, according to the 1990 article, Michelle witnessed a fatal car crash, saw the mutilated body of a woman on the road, and was so shocked and terrified that she couldn't stop screaming. And while the book paints Michelle up as nonreligious up until halfway through the book, she was apparently brought up Catholic since childhood; when we remember that Catholic guilt is a thing, Michelle's excessive sense of being polluted or defiled makes a lot of sense.

It's possible that Michelle may have been traumatized in other other ways. I have my own speculations as to what may have happened, but I'm not going to share them here. Suffice it to say that with as much detail as the book omits in order to push Pazder's pet narrative, there's probably a lot more that we're not being told about.

There's even hints that some of Michelle's "memories" were influenced by relatively mundane things. For example, shortly before Michelle describes being locked in a wood-and-wire cage, we learn that she and her husband had been keeping chickens. As it is, chicken coops are typically made of wood and wire. Michelle "remembered" Satan counting bones during the Feast of the Beast ritual; as it was, Michelle's bones were aching at the time from the cold November weather. It's just not hard to trace this stuff to her mundane reality at all.

Closing thoughts

I hope this article has helped shed some insight into the mythology of conspiracy theory and has helped you contextualize where and how groups such as QAnon get their beliefs. I also hope that it helps demonstrate that trance states, hypnotic or otherwise, are not reliable ways of accessing repressed or lost memories, and that such "memories" rank right up there with spectral evidence in terms of things that should be taken as serious evidence of anything.

I do want to say, however, that just because Satanic ritual abuse isn't real, doesn't mean children aren't tortured and mistreated every day. Autistic children are subjected to the traumatizing practice of ABA, and the Judge Rotenberg Center has been torturing disabled children for years. Immigrant children are still being detained in cages. Many Evangelicals advocate brutal beatings to discipline children, and sexual abuse runs rampant in Evangelical churches.

I also have to say that many of the things that supposedly happened to Michelle make me think of what actually happened to Anneliese Michel (warning for disturbing photos and descriptions of religious torture) the year before Michelle began her sessions with Dr. Pazder. Believed by her parents to be demonically possessed, the young woman was subjected to no less than 67 exorcisms over ten months that severely injured her body. Eventually, she perished of dehydration, malnutrition, and pneumonia. In my opinion, Anneliese Michel's case is another nail in the lid of this coffin. What made Michelle so special that Mary, Jesus, and Michael all swooped in to save her, but this young woman was allowed to suffer such a horrific fate?

I hope you found this article informative and learned something from it, because getting through this book was not easy. It's always infuriating when people try to take advantage of our natural instincts to protect young children to sell hateful garbage, and it's even worse when they succeed in starting a moral panic that harms countless innocent people. And seeing people fall for the same nonsense over and over is... it's disheartening, to say the least.

If you appreciated this work, please share it with your friends and on your social media, and consider supporting me on Patreon or wishlist. I'll be including links to sources and other relevant information down below, so you can check those out if you want, too.

Other Pages You Might Like:

Relax, It's Not The Mark of the Beast!
What Conspiracy Theorists & Bad "Psychics" Have In Common
Some Observations On Conspiracy Propaganda
Sketchy Spiritualities & Shady Pseudohistories: What People Need To Know
A Beginner's Guide To Spotting Cranky Websites & Culty Groups

External Resources

Michelle Remembers: The Debunking of a Myth
Michelle Remembers - Criticism and Debunking
We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s by Richard Beck

The destructive conspiracy theory that Victoria unleashed upon the world
‘Michelle Remembers’: The genesis of the SRA myth
Michelle Remembers and the Satanic Panic
"Michelle Remembers," SRA and the Historical Roots of QAnon.

You're Wrong About: Quarantine Book Club: “Michelle Remembers” (Week 1)
You're Wrong About: Quarantine Book Club: “Michelle Remembers” (Week 2)
You're Wrong About: Quarantine Book Club: “Michelle Remembers” (Week 3)
You're Wrong About: Quarantine Book Club: “Michelle Remembers” (Week 4)
You're Wrong About: Quarantine Book Club: “Michelle Remembers” (Week 5)

Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults
The Satanic Panic arose from abortion politics
Satanic Ritual Abuse - Skeptic's Dictionary
What Fueled the Child Sex Abuse Scandal That Never Was?
America's Satanic Panic Returns — This Time Through QAnon

Scientists Implant and Then Reverse False Memories in People
What science tells us about false and repressed memories

The Witch Trials and the Rise of Modernity and Capitalism - Sylvia Federici - Caliban and the Witch
Witches Witch-Hunting and Magic in Early-Modern Europe (FIA Lecture)
Witchcraft - Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of Witches - History and Analysis of the Inquisition

Go Back
Go to a random page!