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Remembering Satan

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  532 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
In 1988 Ericka and Julie Ingram began making a series of accusations of sexual abuse against their father, Paul Ingram, who was a respected deputy sheriff in Olympia, Washington. At first the accusations were confined to molestations in their childhood, but they grew to include torture and rape as recently as the month before. At a time when reported incidents of "recovere ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published April 27th 2011 by Vintage (first published 1994)
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Laura Gurrin
Aug 26, 2016 Laura Gurrin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Very disturbing book about one of the many child-abuse-Satan-cult delusions, this one taking place in Olympia, WA. A local deputy sheriff is accused by his grown children of years of systematic and ritual abuse, everything from simple sexual abuse, to torture, forced abortion, and murder of babies. These accusations spread to include other members of the family, and of the community, and imply a secret Satanic cult operating for years under the noses of everyone in the city. Perhaps the most sho ...more
Angus McKeogh
Sep 29, 2016 Angus McKeogh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly entertaining just like Going Clear. This case is a bit dated (from the late 80s & 90s) but I do remember the strange hysteria of those times from my childhood. There was a whole era of radical, idiotic belief in massive amounts of satanic cult activity in the United States. All the daytime talk shows covered the topic. The medical establishment studied it. And this moronic case of lying and brainwashing essentially started it off. Ridiculous but so engaging. Mysterious and corny. ...more
Oct 03, 2009 Leonora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Some spoilers below*

This was a fascinating book about recovered memory syndrome. It's about two girls who accuse their father of horrific sexual abuse and also implicate others, including police officers. Their father is deputy sheriff. The accusations and trial wreaked havoc on the family and town.

The most fascinating thing is that the father confesses to the abuse even though he admits he doesn't remember it. In fact, others involved also believe the girls' accounts over their own memories.
Steve Duffy
Feb 23, 2014 Steve Duffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise, methodical examination of an utterly bizarre case, in which Wright goes a long way towards answering the question which must be in every reader's mind: why would a man voluntarily confess to committing the most heinous crimes against members of his own family, when there is no evidence to suggest he did anything of the sort? The answer, teased out in the course of the narrative, seems to lie at the heart of a complex of circumstances - the approach of the investigating authorities, th ...more
In Remembering Satan Lawrence Wright, as with his other book I've read, is able to conjure a time and place that for many of us is fraught with superficial preconceptions, in a fresh new way that illuminates not only the time and place, but broader issues that may bleed into our own times. The story of Paul Ingram is honestly the most unbelievable tale I've ever read. This is a true horror story.


Wright's ability to set the stage for his action in vivid, engaging terms is unrivaled in the w
I guess this could be classified as 'true crime' except from the looks of things there's nothing true about it. Very disturbing and sad recounting of the destruction of a family after two of the daughters accuse the father, and eventually the mother, and brothers, and a handful of other people, of molesting and abusing them as part of a satanic cult.
Lawrence Wright is a terrific writer and went on to other, superior books (The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Going Clear: Scientolo
Jun 09, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
at the heart of this account is mass hysteria, a phenomenon that brings warmth to my heart. it's a fascinating story and i'm only giving it three stars because the ending left something to be desired. i think perhaps it was written a little too soon after the events unfolded and therefore lacked a satisfying follow up to what became of everyone involved as well as a broader perspective on how this story fits into american culture. wright does a good job providing context for the story but i wish ...more
Nov 25, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Oh man, is this story insane or what.

In 1988, salt-of-the-earth deputy sheriff Paul Ingram of Olympia, Washington, is informed by his colleagues that he's been accused by his two daughters of abusing them. When confronted with this earth-shattering accusation, his response is not to adamantly deny it but to assume that his daughters are telling the truth, even though he has no memory of it. When investigators come back a bit later, Ingram has done some soul-searching and offers a qualified confe
Liam Guilar
Jan 31, 2013 Liam Guilar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you confess to the crime you don't remember committing, and the accusation is so horrible you can't believe you did it, it will help you to remember what you did.

Not some French surrealist film or an Outtake from '1984', but interview technique in a real investigation in the late 1980s. The case here is mired in assumptions about "Repressed Memory Syndrome" and a paranoid rabid fear in certain sections of the community of widespread Satanic Cults, fueled by amateur psychology ("you don't reme
Matt Goldberg
Jun 02, 2013 Matt Goldberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book about psychology, and reading this after The Looming Tower and Going Clear, I have a clear picture of Wright's interesting belief. Remembering Satan was definitely a page turner since the truth was so mercurial, and how confirmation bias and sympathy stopped the detectives from thinking critically about the presence of a satanic cult.

I will also say that Wright makes a bold movie (and not one I'm sure I entirely agree with) by asserting that Ericka and Julie Ingram has a Freu
Hannah Cook
Oct 06, 2015 Hannah Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Couldn't put it down and was basically on edge and anxious the whole time. Why do I read these things??? Anyway, as I'm sure I've said before, I love an expose of Freudian psychotherapists. And the whole thing was a fascinating look at how memory works and how people are so suggestible. Plus witch hunt-like hysteria. My hot topics. Also an excellent reminder of how people in authority are not necessarily an authority, so to speak, or even very smart. You'd think with all the books on ...more
I was waffling around on how to rate this book because there were definitely good things about it. I wouldn't say I learned nothing and I don't regret reading, but overall... nah. Which like, that's what the 2 rating exists for why am I waffling. Sigh I guess I'm just disappointed because I really wanted this book to be good. The frenzy of satanic abuse accusations in the 80s and 90s have been a subject of fascination for me for a long time and since I really liked the author's book about scient ...more
This is a single story of the damage that the repressed memory movement created. I say a single story, but there were many lives ruined by the case profiled in these pages. The most startling aspect of this story is the ease of which the person that was accused (by his daughters) was convinced that he must have been guilty and that he had also repressed all memory of it. A cautionary tale of what a slippery slope it can be to suspend critical thinking and logic. Once a thread starts to fray, it ...more
Aug 03, 2009 Bryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Atrocious editorial mistake, affirmed in the epliogue:

"In some cases, lengthy interviews have been compressed to be made more succinct, although, I believe, with no loss of context. If material is excerpted within a statement, the abridgment is indicated by an ellipsis. It is a convention of journalism ... "


Otherwise, the only widely available account of the Paul Ingram case in Olympia, WA, 1988.
Pedro Cabiya
Incredibly detailed account of a Salem-like hysteria in Buttfuck, USA. Would have been more mesmerized if it had been all real. Instead, I'm left horrified by simple minded Americans in small towns. I have a fleeting sensation that maybe I'm exaggerating... then I remember that Donald Trump is crushing everybody in the polls and the sensation leaves me. Never underestimate the power of the Podunks.
Sep 11, 2015 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the earlier books by the author of Going Clear, but it shows the underpinnings of his fascination with group think, the reliability of memory and the dangers associated with unfounded allegations. i found it very intriguing and the corollaries to the Salem Witch Trials and early work of Freud were spot on.
Mar 15, 2013 Sabra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at the Satanic panic of the 80's and 90's.

Our society seems prone to these hysterias. Witch trials, hidden Communist cells, the "gay agenda," weapons of mass destruction, Al Qaeda sleeper cells, President Obama as a Kenyan socialist determined to destroy America, the threat of sharia law.

Garret Christensen
Remember that entire decade-plus where America was obsessed with repressed "memories" of abuse at the hands of supposedly ubiquitous satanic cults? Sometimes I think my dog isn't very smart, but then I read something like this, and I remember humans aren't much better.

As usual, excellent writing by Lawrence Wright on a fascinating subject. Now to find a copy of Michelle Remembers.
May 30, 2013 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, horrifying, stupefying look at the consequences of "recovered" memories and the Satanic ritual child abuse scare on one family. A pretty light-weight take on the topic, but engagingly presented and delivered in Wright's typically cautious, even-handed style.
Appalling, sad story of how Christian fundamentalism, teenaged authority issues and a penny-dreadful paperback collided to ruin several careers and tear apart a family. It's scary too see the police and prosecutor in this case being so freaking credulous and, frankly, stupid.
Mar 02, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a chilling telling of a real example of 'Satanic Panic' and how it ruined the lives of an entire family as well as others. It's a modern day witch hunt fed by the scourge of 'repressed memories'. Lawrence Wright does an excellent job of mixing fact with thrilling prose.
Jun 28, 2013 Swhirsch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A simply fascinating account of a family caught up in some kind of mass psychosis ... A modern day version of the Salem witch trials and the devils of loudon .. Gripping!
Jun 17, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in college for a class on Trauma and Testimony. Really quite an interesting exploration into the world of false memories.
Feb 26, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic true-crime story (or is it really a 'true' crime?) about the whole Satanic ritual abuse phenomenon in the 80's. A gripping story and a fascinating look at the fallibility of human memory.
May 28, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Riveting and fascinating look at a case at the height of the Satanic-Ritual Abuse mania/hoax that swept the nation in the '80s and early '90s. Could not put it down.
Apr 13, 2015 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book my "WTF" shelf was created for.
Feb 18, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched and intriguing, if not incredibly dated (obviously).
Susanne Guirakhoo
Aug 12, 2012 Susanne Guirakhoo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting and disturbing how suggestion can alter memory - or what is thought to be a memory
Todd Martin
Jan 07, 2016 Todd Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The most common likely cause of cult-related memories may very well turn out to be a mutual deception between the patient and the therapist ... Once reinforced by the therapist, this belief system may become fixed and highly elaborated, sometimes with tragic consequences. In these cases the common denominator in the satanic ritual abuse phenomenon may very well turn out to be the therapists themselves.
- Dr. George K. Ganaway, On the Nature of Memories, Dissociation 5, no. 2 (June 1992)

Those who
Oct 27, 2016 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This highlights faulty police investigation and mass hysteria commingling for a completely bungled operation. While I do think that most people who claim they have been raped should be believed, this goes beyond such claims. Here, victims are coerced into memories - memories with no proof - in order to secure "evidence." The sequence of events is troubling & complicated, just as my reaction to this book is.

Having said that, the exploration of the socio-cultural confluence of events that gave
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There is more than one author with this name

Lawrence Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. He is a graduate of Tulane University, and for two years taught at the American University in Cairo in Egypt.

Wright graduated from Woodrow Wilson High
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