Congdon and Lattes – 1980
I have been horrendously busy with school and haven’t had the opportunity to update this blog, but I feel that this post will make up for my absence. I’m reviewing a Satanic classic; Michelle Remembers. Packed full of horrendous scenes of murder, enemas, cannibalism, and perverse diabolic rituals, this is the book that kicked off the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 80s. It tells the story of Michelle, a woman from Victoria BC who at the age of 27 began to uncover repressed memories of Satanic abuse that she had suffered 22 years earlier. It’s a fascinating piece of writing for several different reasons, and I have quite a lot to say about it.
So, the basic premise of the book is that as a child, this woman, Michelle, suffered such horrendous abuse at the hands of a coven of Satanists that she entirely repressed all memories relating to it. When she becomes an adult, she has a nightmare and goes to tell her psychiatrist about it. The pair become convinced that the nightmare means something, and through a kind of self-induced hypnosis that is never properly explained, Michelle summons forth her 5 year old self who proceeds to give a first hand account of the part of Michelle’s life that she herself was completely unaware of.
A real pair of plonkers. Take a good minute there to really look into the eyes of that utter imbecile. That common, stupid-looking woman believed that Jesus Christ and Lucifer personally did battle over her soul.
According to the child version of Michelle, her mother started taking Michelle to Satanic rituals when she was very small. At one of the first ceremonies, Michelle is anally fingered and frigged and forced to watch her mother engage in an orgy. Michelle gets upset when she sees a woman between her mother’s legs, so she hits her mother’s licker with a bottle. Everyone else in the room sees this happening and joins in on the fun. The saucy lesbian is stabbed to death in front of the child while she is still underneath the woman that she has been pleasuring. Not the worst way to go, I guess…
After Michelle has rudely attacked her lover, the mother abandons her naughty child and leaves her with the Satanists. I’ll be honest here; they’re not very good babysitters. They fill Michelle’s bumhole with water and then make her squirt-squirrel her sphincter’s plentiful bounty onto a Bible. They bury her alive. They kill a bunch of cute kittens in front of her. They cut up quite a few dead babies and mash some of them into Michelle’s face. They rape the child and make a snake go into her fanny. They introduce her to another child, allow them to make friends, and then they cut the other child’s head off and tell Michelle to put the body back together like a jigsaw puzzle. They bury her alive again, this time in a grave with a bunch of live cats. They make her eat part of a burnt corpse. They also cut two holes in her scalp and try to sew on a pair of horns onto her head. All in all, they’re not very nice to her.
Child abuse is literally the least funny thing in the world, and I would not jest about these events if they had ever actually happened. Michelle Smith you see, is a lying piece of trash who made up the whole thing.
An internet search will provide you with countless reasons to believe that this book is absolute nonsense, but I’ll just mention a few of the more salient points. Michelle Smith’s real name was Michelle Proby. Lawrence Pazder’s real name was Lawrence Pazder. Why did Michelle use a fake name if Pazder was using his real one? Well, it was probably to hide some of the evidence that proves that she was full of shit. Michelle had two sisters you see, one older and one younger, and neither of them are ever mentioned in the book, nor have they ever corroborated her story. Michelle’s father claimed that he could personally discredit every sentence in the book. He said, “It was the worst pack of lies a little girl could ever make up. The book took me four months to read, and I cried all the time. I kept saying to myself: ‘Dear God, how could anyone do this to their dead mother?’” He said of his late wife, “There never was a woman on this earth who worked harder for her daughters. There was no hanky panky or devil-worshipping.” He also said that he took Michelle to church every Sunday despite the fact that Michelle claims never to have had a religious upbringing.
One of the first memories Michelle unveils is of one of the Satanists, a man named Malachi, putting her into a corpse infested car and driving it into a wall. The Satanist was trying to make it look as if the corpse had died in the crash (whereas in “reality” this was the corpse of the woman whom Michelle attacked for sucking on her mother’s juicy pussy.) Victoria is a small city; a car crash in Victoria in the 1950s would definitely have made it into the local papers. Surprisingly enough though, no account of any such incident was ever published. Could it be that it never happened? Yes. Definitely.
Michelle was supposed to have been satanically, ritually abused over the course of about a year. One of the rituals she describes is said to have lasted between 80-90 days. Somebody had the good sense to check the attendance records at the school Michelle was supposed to be attending at the time. Guess what; Michelle Proby never missed any significant amount of time from school. Either the teachers were in on the Satanism or Michelle was full of shit.
In some of my favourite parts of the book, Michelle describes how she is taken to Ross Bay Cemetery and buried alive in an old grave. She describes the woman who is with her pulling the top off the grave and lowering her down into the earth. The only problem with this is that the lids of the graves in that cemetery are solid fucking rock and far too heavy for a single person to lift. If Michelle is truly stupid enough to believe that this nonsense happened, I really hope her delusions are vivid and terrifying. I hope she could smell the corpse.
Michelle imagining herself in her rightful place. Hopefully she is underground at this stage.
The other claims about Victoria are pretty silly too. She describes how all of the many Satanists cut off the middle finger from their left hand. You’d think that this trend might be noticed in a small city of 50,000 people. Also, surely somebody noticed all of the dead babies that were going missing. It seems like somebody is smushing up a dead baby every ten minutes in this crazy book. The authors’ only textual evidence of the Satanic problem in Victoria comes from a newspaper article called Witchcraft in Victoria from 1977. The article is about a series of claims from a drug addicted, delusional, evangelical christian named Len Olsen who was eventually sued for his lies. Here is a cool video featuring the guy about whom he made the slanderous claims.
Are Michelle’s claims really that outlandish? It is possible that a dangerous cult was operating in Victoria at the time; after all, there are sickos everywhere. Well, if Michelle had only told that part of the story, I really doubt that people would have gotten as worked up about this book. The thing is, Michelle goes on to claim that Lucifer himself begins to attend the rituals that she is privy to. We are not talking some meddlesome demon here, we are talking Prince of Hell, the Arch-Fiend, Satan, THE DEVIL HIMSELF. Michelle ‘the imbecile’ Smith wants us to believe that the Fallen Angel Lucifer took the time to travel from Hell to Victoria to participate in a ritual in which he would personally rough up a 5 year old girl.
Not only that, but Michelle is only able to escape because Mary, the virgin mother of Christ, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the only son of god, show up to save her. This, stupid, under-achieving, plain little fart of a woman wants people to believe that Christ and Lucifer came to earth to personally do battle for her soul. Jesus and Mary, who couldn’t bother their holes coming down to stop the holocaust, decided that they had better travel to earth to come to the aid of an ugly little cur with no personality.
See the blur behind the flame? The fools who wrote this book would have you believe that that is the virgin Mary.
Now, if I was going to write a book to inspire moral panic and public outrage, I would do a little research to make my claims seem believable, but Michelle and Lawrence decided not to bother. It shows. Michelle’s description of satanism is unfounded, illogical and incredibly silly. The rituals of the cartoony ‘satanists’ in this book make absolutely no sense; the basic idea behind them seems to be ‘do whatever is wrong’. This is very clearly the satanism of a person who knows absolutely nothing of the subject. A Dennis Wheately novel, this is not. Perhaps the worst part of the book is the persistent rhyming speech that Michelle attributes to Satan. According to her, the Dark Lord can only speak in rhyming couplets. His chapter-long speeches are truly excruciating to get through. I think one of them reads;
My name is Satan, my Kingdom is Hell,
I will hurt your arm, oh little Michelle,
Swear allegiance to me, and poop on this book,
for if you say no, your ass I shall fuck.
Ok, so I obviously wrote that. But I have just read back over some of the actual rhymes in the book, and I have to say that mine is far less silly. Why would the Devil be limited to speak in rhymes? That doesn’t make any sense Michelle, you stupid piece of garbage.
These are Michelle’s drawings of the Devil. Depending on his moods, he would either take the form of an owl with a tail, a fraggle, or a two-legged lizard dog
At several points, Pazder actually refers to the perpetrators here as members of the Church of Satan. Apparently Anton Lavey threatened him with legal action to get him to withdraw these claims, but they’re still in my copy of the book.
Doesn’t the cover of this edition make it look less like a book about satanic rituals and more like a romance novel about a really boring woman who falls in love with her psychiatrist and tries to give him everything he wants even if it means sacrificing her own dignity? Well, actually…
One of the odd features of this book is that although it was written by the protagonists, it is told in the third person. The narrative perspective makes the book feel like a novel and thus makes it a more tolerable read, but it also adds a lair of buttock-clenching cringiness. Pazder is first introduced in the text as “A handsome man in his early forties,…warm, manly, soft-spoken”, and when Michelle first appears, she is described as “A pretty young woman of twenty-seven, with a heart-shaped face, a delicate mouth, and bountiful brown curls”. Now either they wrote those descriptions of themselves, or they wrote those descriptions of each other. Anyone who would talk of themselves in that manner is a cunt, and anyone who would write about another person in that manner is looking for the shag.
As the narrative unfolds, Michelle and Lawrence get closer and closer. She goes to see him more and more frequently, and he starts holding her hands and maintaining physical contact with her during their sessions. Michelle grows distant from her husband, and Lawrence starts holding things back from his wife. The authors try to present their blossoming relationship as something pure, positive, and misunderstood, but in reality, these two degenerates were beginning a depraved affair that centered on Michelle’s repulsive sexual fantasies. Pazder would sit on the couch with one arm around Michelle as she spewed forth her disgusting fantasies about paedophilia, scat-play, and sadomasochism. I am not even exaggerating; that is literally what happened between the two of them. Michelle Pazder was an unhinged sexual deviant, and Lawrence Pazder, a man posing as a psychiatrist, took advantage of the patient in his care for the satiation of his own vile desires. His leading questions and her dependency and desire to please lead to their corrupt bond becoming stronger and stronger. Although it is not mentioned in the text, the pair eventually defied the catholic faith of which they were once so proud by divorcing their spouses and marrying each other. Imagine the sex talk on their wedding night. Ewwwwwwwwww.
Speaking of marriage, my wife and I were in Victoria recently, and we paid a short visit to Ross Bay Cemetery where much of the book is set. I wanted to see if I could find an entrance to the Satanic Lair that the lads had made, but I didn’t have much luck. However, I did see lots of cool tombstones and decrepit graves.
Some messed up things have actually happened at Ross Bay since the publication of this book. It has suffered a fair bit of vandalism, and has become notorious among heavy metallers due to the alleged actions of a particularly naughty black metal band. While I am all for desecration of hallowed ground, it seems a bit of a shame that people would mess up one of the few interesting historic sites in B.C. If you’re ever in Victoria, the cemetery is an awesome place to go for a stroll.
Below, and in the first image of this post, is the Pooley Angel. This statue was spray-painted blue at one stage and is commonly referred to as the Blue Angel of Ross Bay. Apparently tears can be seen running down its face on the night of a full moon.
I recently reviewed Communion by Whitley Strieber, and if you read that review, you will notice that like Michelle, I make fun of ol’ Whit-Strieb for having things shoved up his dirt-box. You may also notice that I didn’t get quite as worked up over the stupid story that he told after regressive hypnotherapy. That’s because Whitley Striber’s equally silly story didn’t end up ruining people’s lives. There are lots of nutty books out there, but Michelle Remembers had a tremendously negative effect on society in the early 1980s. The authors appeared on Oprah and became celebrities, Pazder became known as the leading authority on Satanic Ritual Abuse, and innocent people were publicly and unfairly accused of child abuse. The only good thing to come from the author’s irresponsible perversion is the over-the-top 1980s Satanic Heavy Metal that their book inspired. Fundamentalist christians are a pain in the ass, but these two pieces of shit weren’t even particularly devout. (As mentioned above, they divorced their partners and remarried, a mortal sin in the Catholic faith.) They were a pair of attention seeking scumbags who weren’t concerned with how their perverse fantasies might affect the lives of others. I know that Pazder is dead, but we can only hope that Michelle is too.
I hated the authors, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you’ve made it through this review, you’ll probably enjoy it too. Reading it will make you want to listen to Slayer and spit at a priest.
HAIL SATAN 666!!!