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Remembering Satan


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About the Author

Lawrence Wright graduated from Tulane University and spent two years teaching at the American University i Cairo, Egypt. He is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a fellow at the Center of Law and Security at New York University School of Law. The author of five works of nonfiction -- City Children, Country Summer; Inthe New World; Saints and Sinners; Remembering Satan; and Twins -- he has also written a novel, God's Favorite, and was cowriter of the movie The Siege. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.


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

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

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

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

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