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Article ID: 4349
Age Group: Adult
Posted: July 8th. 2002
Michelle Remembers 
by Kerr Cuhulain
Warnke's book The Satan Seller gave people masquerading as "survivors" of Satanic ritual abuse the basic ideas needed to create their stories of Satanic cults. One further book was needed to give them the ideas about human sacrifice and torture. That book was Michelle Remembers by Lawrence and Michelle Pazder. Michelle Remembers is supposed to be the story of Dr. Pazder's patient Michelle, who is now his wife. It purports to be an account of Michelle's abuse at the hands of multi-generational Satanists as a child. Many people have since used this book as "proof" that abuse by Satanic cult groups is real and wide spread. But as you are about to see, this book is poorly written fiction.
Dr. Lawrence Pazder obtained his MD from the University of Alberta in 1961. He received a diploma in tropical medicine from the University of Liverpool in 1962. In 1968 he received a specialist certificate in psychiatry and his diploma in psychological medicine for McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. In 1971 he was made a fellow of Canada's Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He practised medicine in West Africa and has been chairman of the Mental Health Committee of the Health Planning Council for British Columbia. He was a member of the staff of two Victoria, BC hospitals: Royal Jubilee and Victoria General. He is in a private practice with four other psychiatrists in Victoria. Lawrence is a devout Catholic.
In his book, Michelle Remembers, Pazder says that Michelle was born to parents who wanted a boy and were disappointed with a female child. He admits to assigning the parents the pseudonyms of "Eric and Jessica Harding" and even gives Jessica a pseudonym for a maiden name: "Gilbert". He describes their relationship as follows:
"Her parent's marriage was a stormy one. There were nights when her father erupted in drunken rages and beat her mother. Michelle used to cower in her bed, frightened that he might kill her mother, feeling that she had to stop him, knowing that she could not. There were long periods when he disappeared from the scene, and Michelle welcomed those times."
Pazder tells us that Jessica died of cancer when Michelle was fourteen and that her father disappeared. Jessica's father became her guardian and sent her away to a Catholic Boarding School. Pazder assigns Jessica's father a pseudonym too: "Cyrus Gilbert".
Why all the pseudonyms? If this all really happened and all these parties are deceased, what is there to be gained by protecting their identities? Michelle's married name of Smith is mentioned, but not her maiden name. This, of course, makes it more difficult for those interested in checking out the story to find the truth. But not impossible.
Michelle's maiden name is Proby. She was born on September 27, 1949. The truth is that Michelle has two sisters: One older sister named Tertia and a younger one named Charyl. If the events described by Pazder really happened, then these two would certainly have known about it. In fact, one would have expected them to have been victims of the same sort of abuse. Yet they are not mentioned in Michelle Remembers at all.
Pazder also doesn't tell you in the book that Michelle's father remarried. His second wife, Emily Jane (Jean) Proby, died in 1991.
Michelle Remembers begins with a statement by Pope Paul VI dated November 15, 1972:
"Evil is an effective agent, a living spiritual being, perverted and perverting. A terrible reality. One of the greatest needs is defence from the evil which is called the Devil.
"The question of the Devil and the influence he can exert on individual persons as well as on communities, whole societies, or events, is very important. It should be studied again."
This is followed by a statement dated 77-9-28 by Remi De Roo, Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria:
"The Church is well aware of the existence of mysterious and evil forces in the world. Each person who has had an experience of evil imagines Satan in a slightly different way, but nobody knows precisely what this force of evil looks like.
"I do not question that for Michelle this experience was real. In time we will know how much of it can be validated. It will require prolonged and careful study. In such mysterious matters, hasty conclusions could prove unwise.
"It may well be that for people today, to hear this message coming from a five-year-old child is of particular importance."
This second statement by De Roo is very carefully worded. Note that he doesn't come out and say that he believes her. Instead he says "for Michelle this experience was real". It is hard to dispute this. De Roo assures the reader that in time we will see how much of this story can be validated.
A note from the publisher (Thomas B Congdon, Jr.) dated April 22, 1980, which follows gives Dr Pazder's credentials and then states:
"Two experienced interviewers journeyed to Victoria and talked to Dr. Pazder's colleagues, to the priests and the bishop who became involved in the case, to doctors who treated Michelle Smith when she was a child, to relatives and friends. From local newspaper, clergy, and police sources they learned that reports of Satanism in Victoria are not infrequent and that Satanism has apparently existed there for many years... It is nearly unthinkable that the protracted agony they record could have been fabricated... Along with Dr. Pazder and the Church officials who know her so well, I believe that Michelle is not a hysteric, not even a neurotic. She seems as clear as a glass of well water. She appears to be one of those rare people, like Joan of Arc and Bernadette, whose authority and authenticity are such that they can tell you things that would otherwise be laughable-yet you do not laugh, you do not dismiss or forget."
It is true that reports of Satanism are not infrequent in Victoria. What they don't tell you is that verification of such reports is rare. The message of Pazder's publisher Congdon is a common theme in books of this sort: Believe it because the victim appears to be sincere and their story sounds plausible. Therefore it must be true, even though we haven't any evidence. Like De Roo, I do not question that Michelle believes it. But her believing it does not make it true.
Michelle became Dr. Pazder's patient in the summer of 1976. At this time she was married to a construction worker, Doug Smith. At one point Michelle suddenly announced to Dr. Pazder that there was something bothering her, but she could not remember what it was. Pazder felt that "During her therapy, he had been impressed with the unusual detail and consistency of her childhood memories. They had traced all the threads and unravelled all the knots. How could they have missed a matter of such apparent consequence?"
How indeed. In the fourteen months that followed Michelle began to "disclose" an incredible story of Satanic ritual abuse, culminating in the appearance of Satan himself. Later, Pazder says that Michelle's disclosures were "relentlessly genuine". Pazder's argument here seems to be that if parts of the story can be verified, then the whole thing must be true. Any investigator can tell you that an experienced con will add as many elements of the truth as possible to their story, hoping that you will arrive at the same conclusion as Pazder.
The first thing that Michelle described to Pazder was a ritual which she alleges occurred when she was a five year old child. She says that "possibly thirteen" people were present. A robed priest holds her by the neck and crotch and repeatedly points her towards different cardinal points of the compass. He then flips her in somersaults over and over again. Michelle then says that they laid her down and anointed her with some sticky, foul smelling substance. The priestess then takes a collection of coloured sticks, raps them on the floor, and then drops them, closely examining the pattern they make. She then takes the sticks and inserts them one by one in Michelle's rectum. They lay Michelle naked on an altar set up on a bureau in a semi circle of candles. Michelle then says that they made a line down the center of her face with a knife and then painted half of her face red and half of her face white. She describes them as moaning like they had stomach aches. Abruptly they all leave the room.
The a vertical line allegedly drawn on Michelle's face with a knife would have presumably left a visible scar, but we will see later how Michelle gets around this problem. Michelle "remembers" that the priest who is doing this is named "Malachi". I have no idea where she got this name from. It is a Hebrew name which means "messenger of Jehovah", which seems a very unlikely name for a Satanist. It is also the name of a very short book of the Bible, written by a minor prophet for which the book is named in which Jehovah speaks out against his followers whom he feels have not shown him proper respect.
Pazder had practised medicine in Africa, his practice having been in Nigeria. Following this disclosure Dr Pazder recalls from his experiences in Africa "that the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria (among others) used cola-bean pods in a fashion similar to the way these people appeared to use sticks: to predict. He sensed that this might have been what they were trying to do with Michelle."
Pazder later makes several other comparisons between Michelle's story and Yoruban ceremonies. This all gives the impression that Pazder is quite knowledgable about African religious practices and even the occult generally. As Michelle has never been to Africa, either Pazder is interpreting what she is saying in reference to his African experiences, or Michelle's story has been influenced by Pazder's experiences.
Let us consider the first possiblility: Take Pazder's reference to the sticks being dropped by the priestess: There happens to be a common divination system utilizing sticks that is common enough that Michelle could easily have heard of it: I Ching. This is a Chinese system in which sticks are cast and the resulting patterns, called hexagrams, are read. You can find books on I Ching in most popular book stores. This system seems much closer to what Pazder is describing. Yet Pazder specifically compares this "stick system" described by Michelle to a Yoruban divination system involving "cola bean pods". No mention is made of I Ching. Nor is I Ching the only system involving reading patterns made by objects scattered at random. Geomancy, the interpretation of patterns made by dropping handfuls of earth, is another common western example.
The Yoruban system that Pazder is attempting to describe is a system named for a Yoruban mythological figure named Obi, who was turned into a palm nut by the creator, Olofi, for his arrogance and pride. In this system the nut is separated into four pieces that are cast and the patterns thus formed read. In the New World, where Yoruban beliefs were synchretized with Catholicism to form a new religion called Santeria (literally "Saints"), this system is known as "Darle coco al santo" (Literally "give coconut to the saint"). Four pieces of coconut, called "obi" are substituted for the palm nut or kola nut used in Yoruban systems and read in the same fashion. The system does not involve later insertion of the pieces into bodily orifices, and the pieces used do not resemble sticks. Furthermore Pazder either does not mention or is unaware that the Yorubans had two other systems of divination: One is the Table of Ifa, also known as Opon Ifa. This uses a round wooden tray, which usually has a rim carved with various African figures, often representations of the diety Orunla. The babalawo (priest) sprinkles a powder called "yefa" or "eyerosun" on the tray and then draws a series of vertical lines in the powder with an irofa (deer horn) and interprets the pattern according to a series of versicles known as oddu. Another is called Erindinlogun, known in Santeria as Diloggun or Los Caracoles. This is a seashell divination system, using a set of eighteen seashells (cowrie shells). Each deity or orisha possesses its own set of twenty one cowrie shells, which are kept in a special container. Sixteen of these twenty one shells are employed in Erindiloggun. Eighteen shells are removed from the container and two (the addele) are kept aside. The remaining sixteen shells are dropped on a small carpet (estera) and the patterns (oddu) thus created interpreted. Non initiates are only allowed to use twelve caracoles.
As you can see, none of these Yoruban methods involves sticks. Obviously divination systems involving the casting of objects are relatively common, so the connection between Michelle's description and African practices is not as strong as Pazder suggests. In fact it becomes obvious that Pazder's knowledge of "the occult" generally and African practices in particular must be less extensive than his book makes it out to be.Pazder is presenting himself as an authority on African tribal religious ceremonies on the basis of his having seen and filmed a few. While this is certainly a valid beginning, it is a far cry from being an authority.
As you will shortly see, Pazder's comparisons with West African rituals are spread out throughout the entire book. Elsewhere he makes another comparison when he states: "In West Africa, in a number of regions, it was considered important to eat the flesh of another person." Later still, he says that "In Africa he had seen the influence of Juju dolls; if a person believed in juju, the dolls would be used to make that person roll over and die, on the spot, without any other intervention." The obvious inference here is that African religious ceremonies generally and the ceremonies of the Yoruban tribe in Nigeria specifically are Satanic, which is ridiculous.
Now let us consider the second possiblility: That Michelle's disclosures were influenced by Pazder. Pazder later states that he "had built up a very extensive collection of photographs of [African] ceremonies, planning someday to use them in some sort of transcultural study. Pazder claims that he had "never discussed his sojourns in Africa [with Michelle]; he'd never told her of the strange things that he'd seen. They'd never discussed his religious beliefs." Later still, Pazder comments in a footnote on Michelle's telling him that she was kept in a cage by stating : "Hearing about the cage, Dr Pazder was reminded of the dreaded Ekpe Society of West Africa. Kidnapped children were raised by its members in small, low cages like animals. These 'leopard children' could not stand but ran on all fours. Their teeth were filed to points, and they were used as assassins. Of course, Dr. Pazder never told Michelle about the correspondences he sometimes saw between her experiences and the things he had studied."
However, people who knew Pazder tell a different story. They report that Lawrence used to enjoy telling stories of the African ceremonies he had seen to guests and friends. He reportedly told these stories repeatedly. If this is true, then it seems likely that Michelle heard many of these stories. I am told that Pazder had several African masks and that he had home movies of West African ceremonies. It is possible that these were shown to Michelle by Lawrence at some point. As we examine Pazder and Michelle's story we will see that it does not correspond with any Satanic rituals reported in earlier literature, whether fictional or factual. But you will see time and time again how Pazder compares it to the West African rituals that he remembers from his African work.
Returning to Michelle's disclosures: Michelle describes a police officer appearing at the door investigating a noise complaint during one of these bizarre Satanic rituals. Michelle claims that one of the participants convinces him at the door that it is just a party that had "become a little boisterous" and promised to quieten things down.
Immediately after this, Michelle relates how "men and women were participating in some sort of struggle, thrashing around against each other as if they were animals. The men had 'knives' protruding from their bodies and seemed to be using them on the others. Some wore pained expressions on their faces and were groaning". Some of the people were reportedly naked. Michelle says she saw her mother lying with a large lump under her skirt. Michelle picked up a bottle and hysterically smashed at the lump. Suddenly all of the others joined in and the lump became "all bloody". Later Michelle states that her mother's skirt lifted and she saw that the "lump" had shoes on. Michelle then reports that she took the blood on her hands and ran about the room making marks on everyone with the blood. Michelle does not describe the marks, but gestured with her hands to show Pazder. Seeing her gesture, Pazder interpreted it as Michelle making the sign of the cross. He told this to Michelle, who immediately agreed with what he said. Michelle is obviously taking the cue from Pazder and telling him what he expects and wants to hear.
Pazder's interpretation of this ceremony was that "...whoever these people were and whatever they were doing-ritual sex, apparently-they seemed to be moving toward some sort of controlled, deliberate frenzy..." This is another example of Dr. Pazder developing the story from Michelle's cues.
Next we find Michelle stating that "Malachi" and her mother took her for a drive in the car with "the lump", which turned out to be the body of a dead woman. Michelle describes how they took her mother's clothes and dressed the body. Obviously this victim must be a fully grown adult woman, as she is dressed in Jessica's clothes. Remember how Michelle initially described the lump as being under Jessica's skirt? It is hard to believe that a fully grown woman with shoes on was entirely concealed in this fashion.
Michelle then reports that they then loaded the body into the front seat of a car and took the car to a deserted stretch of road on the Malahat Highway outside of Victoria. Malachi then starts the car rolling toward a rock wall and jumps out, leaving Michelle in the car with the body. The car supposedly caught on fire and firemen rescued Michelle from the fire. Michelle claims that she saw Malachi at the accident after the firemen pulled her out. She says that she heard Malachi telling the firemen that the accident occurred because Michelle had put her hands over his eyes. Michelle states that she thought that she remembered this accident occurred around Christmas of 1955.
The problem I have with this story is that the injuries sustained by the victim in the car would not have been consistent with what might have been sustained in such an accident, something that the coroner surely would have picked up on. No explanation is given as to why Malachi, who was allegedly in this vehicle, apparently suffered no injuries at all. Surely the coroner would have found this suspicious as well. Pazder later states that by the time that Michelle made her disclosures, the police records of the accident had been destroyed due to their age, so he was unable to use them to corroborate Michelle's story. His only evidence is a testimonial by Dr. Andrew Gillespie, Michelle's old paediatrician.
Gillespie told Pazder that he remembered "something about a car accident... that had taken place just as she had reached school age." Later, in Appendix 2, we find a letter by Gillespie stating that Michelle was admitted to hospital on 2 or 3 occasions for "poison ingestion" and that she had been hospitalized as the result of "smoke inhalation" as a result of a car accident. However, he admits that her records were lost and he was recalling these events from 24 years ago from his memory.
This testimonial doesn't really mean much. Michelle could have worked an actual accident and poisonings into her story, and Gillespie isn't able to give us any further details to confirm Michelle's description of it. The additional inference here is that the "poison ingestions" were the result of the Satanists, but it could as easily have been failed suicide attempts. Gillespie doesn't tell us what kind of poisons were involved and makes no mention of anyone else being killed in the accident. Pazder reports that the hospitals all destroyed their old files, making Gillespie's recollection impossible to confirm.
What Pazder says about the police and hospital records having been destroyed due to their age is true. But he has overlooked something: It is still possible to check the newspapers of the day in library archives for reports of accidents of this sort. The papers of this era were reporting far less serious accidents than the type described by Michelle. One would naturally suspect that this accident could then be found by searching through the Victoria newspapers of the day. But although other fatal accidents are reported in these papers, there is no mention of any accident that resembles the one described by Michelle.
At this point Michelle states to Pazder: "Okay, all these things that I'm... these words... they're all connected, they all flashed together in my mind at the same time. And it sounds to me like witches... I was thinking that if these people were witches, it somehow explains the things that happened to me, all the awful things." Michelle then tells Pazder that she wants to go to see a Catholic priest with him, saying: "Witches are against the Church, and maybe Catholics aren't supposed to have anything to do with them." Michelle is using the term "witch" here in the sense that it was used during the Inquisition: As a synonym for Satanist. Her assumptions appear to be based on popular literature of the sort distributed by Satanic Conspiracy myth supporters. Professional doctors don't see their patients outside the office, even to go to church. It isn't considered to be a professional relationship. Yet Pazder concedes to Michelle's request and takes her to the Catholic church. It becomes obvious that Pazder spends more and more time outside the office with Michelle in a non professional context.
Later Michelle describes how, while in the hospital after the alleged accident on "New Year's Eve", a nurse who was in the cult brought her a dead budgie (bird) and a doll with it's eyes poked out and then gave Michelle an enema. This doll resembles the African juju dolls about which Pazder was so fond of telling stories. Furthermore, hospitals are very tidy, clean places with very few hiding places for dead birds and juju dolls. I wonder that no hospital staff saw these things and questioned them. It doesn't take long for a dead bird to begin to smell, and this the hospital staff would notice very quickly.
Pazder states: "It later became clear that Malachi, the nurse, and the others were using a calendar year that differed from the ordinary. It appears possible that their New Year's Day was the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month- that is, January 13." It doesn't take much intelligence to figure out that if these Satanists used a calendar with thirteen months, then each year the date of New Year's would be different. Pazder tries to explain this away later in the book by saying that the "Satanic method of counting is inclusive, so what commonly would be twenty-seven years is twenty eight by their reckoning". In fact January 13 is the New Year's Day in the old Julian calendar and observances such as wassailing are still performed in some parts of Britain on this day. It is also the date of the Norse Midvintersblot ("mid winter's offering"), also known as Tiugunde Day in Old England and sacred to Tiu, an ancient Teutonic God that ruled the year. It is also a day sacred to Saint Hilary. None of these customs is Satanic. No other calendar purporting to list dates of Satanic activity that I have collected in the past 2 decades of studying Satanic myths lists January 13. Satanists don't observe New Years day as a holiday.
At the beginning of chapter ten, Michelle tells Pazder that she had heard on a local radio station about an article in the Victorian newspaper that told of "Black magic" in Victoria. Pazder reproduces this article in Appendix 1 of his book. It is an article by Paul Jeune entitled "'Witchcraft in City' Claim". It describes the claims of evangelist, Len Olsen about Lion Serpent Sun (Mark Fedoruk). Olsen, a Pentecostal Preacher now in charge of Vancouver, B.C.'s, "Christian Teen Challenge", appeared in 1984 on the talk show "100 Huntley Street" with televangelist host David Mainse. On this show Olsen announced that Satanists attempted to sacrifice him and his wife Sheila in 1972 at a Satanic ritual held by a man named Mark Fedoruk in Victoria, BC. Olsen claimed that this incident caused his conversion to Christianity.
Unfortunately for Olsen, Fedoruk (who had since changed his name to Lion Serpent Sun) caught the program and sued Olsen, Mainse and 100 Huntley St, because at the time he was practising his own variation of Wicca, a Pagan religion not related to Satanism. He has since become a self professed Gnostic Bishop.
100 Huntley Street settled out of court with Lion Serpent Sun for an undisclosed sum, a fact which Pazder does not inform us of. Mainse and Olsen took the case to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In the end the jury rejected Olsen's allegations about attempted sacrifices and the judge ordered both Mainse and Olsen to pay Sun $10,000 each. Mainse subsequently appealed the outcome but the appeal was denied. No further mention of Olsen, the civil suit or its outcome are made by Pazder.
Michelle next describes how the cult members made her eat some foul substance consisting of the ashes of the woman killed earlier. How they obtained her ashes is not explained. Next they took her to the Ross Bay Cemetery. There they opened a crypt and pushed her into it, closing it and leaving her for a while. Then she is taken out, stripped naked and taken to a mausoleum, where a female cult member dressed in black holds her "like a baby" Michelle describes the woman as "meowing, like a cat". Next all the women, dressed in black, are "meowing and dancing funny, like cats". The cult member holding Michelle makes her crawl out from between her legs in what is described by Dr. Pazder as a rebirth ceremony, after which the woman claims that Michelle is her child. They then give her a dead cat and make her put it in the grave that she was in earlier. Michelle says that the cat was alive and "crying" in the car earlier, but then became quiet before she was first put into the grave. No mention is made of the cat being ritually sacrificed, as one might expect. They apparently just killed it and later gave it to her. Her mother, who Michelle says was at the ritual, told Michelle that she was no longer her daughter.
Again, no previous recorded Satanic ceremony, fictional or otherwise, describes anything like Michelle's account. But the West African Ekpe ceremony described by Pazder has its participants mimicking cats in a similar fashion to this one. Pazder has a photo of a mausoleum in the Ross Bay cemetery in the book, with a caption that states: "In this mausoleum, members of the Church of Satan performed a ritual in which they attempted, unsuccessfully, to give Michelle a "rebirth into evil". If they had identified this positively as the mausoleum in question and this cult was involved in human sacrifice, you'd think that they would have had the police check it for forensic evidence. They do not.
Later Michelle is taken aside by the "nurse" and made to cut the eyes out of photographs of people with a razor blade. Michelle says that she used to cut her own arm instead of the pictures. The nurse read to her from a book "which contained a picture of a man with red hair and a red beard". She is then tricked by the "nurse" into defecating on a Bible and a crucifix. Once again, repeated slashing of her arms would have left scars to confirm her story. You will see later how Michelle creates an incredible story to explain the dissappearance of these scars. The bit about red haired people appears to be a reference to a book on demonology like the the Malleus Malificarum, the Dominican manual used by the Inquisition to identify witches.
Michelle then describes being taken to a circular stone ritual room with a dirt floor. She describes someone playing the organ, so there must either have been an organ or a stereo system there. This round room has a "round bed" in the middle covered with sheets made of "satin, marked with the same thirteen pointed symbol as the cloth that had covered the dresser that first night." Michelle steals the soiled Bible and crucifix and hides them under the mattress of this bed. The nurse takes severed fingers and uses them to smear blood all over a white statue of the Devil, which Michelle says the cult members referred to as "Lucifer and... the Prince of Darkness". All of the participants bring in white kittens, which they then dismember. The cult members then pick Michelle up and point her towards the cardinal directions again. Michelle says that this happened on thirteen consecutive nights. At the last ritual Michelle is told that "You belong to the Devil". Michelle then describes the people as doing a cat dance again, this time carrying cats by the napes of their necks in their mouths, later tearing the cats apart with their teeth. The cult members then lay Michelle on the altar and dismember a baby over her. Michelle throws up at the height of the ceremony, ruining it and making the cult members angry.
There is no known symbol of Satanism that has thirteen points. It is also very unusual for a statue of Satan to be white. Here again we see Michelle's inclusion of cat mimicry in the ritual, a characteristic suspiciously familiar to the Ekpe Society rituals in Africa witnessed by Pazder. In a footnote Pazder states: After much discussion, it became clear...that live babies were not used in these ceremonies; they were most likely premature fetuses or stillborn babies, possibly stolen from Hospitals". Pazder provides nothing to corroborate his assumption. Some of the hospitals to which Pazder referred would be Catholic hospitals which would not have any aborted fetuses in the first place, because they don't do abortions. But that is a mute point when you consider that hospitals don't just keep stillborn babies lying around in storerooms. The parents have them buried or cremated just like any death in the family. There would be questions asked it these things disappeared. The same thing goes for mortuaries and morgues. All bodies are accounted for, or the police are called in.
Pazder and Michelle discuss this latest series of disclosures and Michelle asks him: "Who could they be? It's hard to believe that people could carry on like that right here in Victoria." Pazder replies: "The only group I know about that fits your description is the Church of Satan... There's a lot of psychiatric literature about them. Most people think they're strictly Dark Ages, but the fact is, the Church of Satan is a worldwide organization. It's actually older than the Christian church. And one of the areas where they're known to be active is the Pacific Northwest." Michelle reacts in surprise: "My God. You mean, like Satanists?" This looks like a case of very bad acting to me. Michelle has told him that the cult members had a statue that they called the Devil, Lucifer and the Prince of Darkness and had mentioned the involvement of "witches." I find it very hard to believe that she hadn't already figured it out from this herself. It looks as if she is fishing for this information from Pazder. He gives it to her, including his belief in the international Satanic conspiracy myth, and his belief that Satanism is older than Christianity (a neat trick, considering it was the Church who invented the concept). Michelle confirms my suspicions a few sentences later when she tells Pazder: "Of course, they don't do it every day. Their timing is very important, you know, I've been looking at the calendar a lot lately and I realized that Sunday is very important to them. They have their big meetings every second Sunday, starting at 11 P.M. Saturday night. It all has something to do with certain special days in the Christian Church..." A moment ago she acted surprised when Pazder told her his suspicions that the cult members were Satanists. Now she is lecturing him about Satanic ritual scheduling.
Pazder subsequently decided that certain dates in 1954 and 1955 corresponded to the dates that Michelle was recalled memories on in 1976/77. It was because of this deduction by Dr. Pazder that he determined Michelle's age during the events she described to be five years of age. His basis for deciding this was that he assumed that Michelle was remembering particularly significant rituals on the anniversary of their occurrence and that he noticed that the dates on which she recalled significant events corresponded with the dates of Catholic festivals. The Catholic festivals involved were: Ash Wednesday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Corpus Christi and the First Sunday of Advent. Dr. Pazder looked back through old Catholic Missals and discovered that the dates of Catholic festivals in 1954/55 correspond to the dates of Catholic festivals in 1976/77. None of these dates are celebrated by Satanists. Later I will show that Pazder's assumptions about these dates are false, but for now I ask the reader to bear with me and keep this assumption by Pazder in mind.
Michelle next says that the cult punished her for ruining the ritual by showing her pictures of dead people, and feeding her soup with bugs in it. At night they picked her up and pointed her toward the points of the compass and one night they took her back to the cemetery and threw her back into the grave, throwing a lot of dead cats in with her. Michelle describes herself as screaming, but we are expected to believe that nobody in the neighbourhood of the cemetery (it is situated next to a subdivision) heard. Michelle then claims to have been taken in the car and driven to a part of the city where they parked the car. As chance would have it her mother was right there, strolling down the street. They then supposedly tortured Michelle in the car. Strangely enough, no one in that neighbourhood noticed this event either.
Finally they dress Michelle in a red dress and take her back to the circular ritual room, where they point her at the cardinal points again. After this they throw her on the altar and a man dressed in red disrobes her and then himself, and then lies on top of her. When he gets up she sees a dead baby between her legs. Michelle jumps off the altar and retrieves the cross that she had hidden under the mattress earlier and holds it up. This upsets everybody, and Malachi grabs her and forces her to stab the baby with the crucifix. The cult members then rub her with gore from the baby.
First of all a child of five would probably not have known enough to use a crucifix in this fashion. The same goes for the Bible: A child may have known it was a book used by Christians but it is not likely that a five year old would have realized what particular significance it would have to Satanists. Pazder alleges that Michelle would have realized that the Bible and crucifix were important because the cult members made her defecate on it, but even if this were true, this would not have led Michelle to believe that they would be afraid of it, anymore than a child being toilet- trained could frighten people with a potty seat. We are expected to believe that Michelle intuitively knew that the crucifix would scare the cult members or that somehow God unconsciously passed this information on to her. She is obviously telling this story with a Christian slant picked up in later years, or perhaps told to make a favourable impression on a Catholic doctor. You will note that whenever their story seems a bit flimsy, they explain it by miraculous events such as this. Perhaps they think that no one would question such "holy" intervention. Finally we are expected to believe that a large crucifix, which seems to me to be a relatively blunt instrument, was used by an emaciated five year old to "stab" a baby. Not very plausible.
Michelle at this point says that she can't go on with the disclosures without seeing a priest. Pazder takes her to see Father Leo at the local Catholic church and they ask him to do an exorcism. Leo hunts around for one and eventually reads it to them. This is ordinarily a procedure performed for someone who is possessed, a claim that none of them are making here, so why would the Catholic church perform it?
Michelle next discloses that she was kept naked in a chicken wire cage by the cult members. She describes them as chanting in relays over this cage. She says that she was not allowed to leave the cage and had to relieve herself in a corner. She also states that "The floor of the cage was covered with snakes, dozens of them." The cult members did not let her sleep, repeatedly poking and pinching her. Nor did they let her eat.
How does one keep snakes in a chicken wire cage? If she wasn't fed for days and days, why didn't she starve?
Michelle next tells Dr. Pazder that a lady from Vancouver who is possessed comes to visit the cult. Michelle's description of her is summed up by her as follows: "She drools a lot and her head starts to go all funny and spins around."
Michelle's description of the "possessed" lady from Vancouver is identical to the behaviour of actress Linda Blair in the movie "The Exorcist". This popular movie, based on a book by William Peter Blatty, was released in 1973, years before Michelle began to make these disclosures. It was based on Roman Catholic folklore and mythology which was assembled by Blatty, which fits perfectly into the Catholic backgrounds of Dr. Pazder and Michelle.
Michelle then says that the cult members take her out of the cage and the "possessed" lady from Vancouver sticks her tongue in Michelle's mouth and puts snakes on her. Then they cut up a fetus and rub this all over Michelle. Then they imprison her inside the white statue of Satan, which turns out to be hollow. Michelle describes herself as sitting on a step ladder inside this effigy. They put the dead baby and snakes in there with her.
Even given the fact that Michelle is supposedly a five year old child at the time, a statue large enough to contain a child sitting on a step ladder must necessarily be enormous. Surely the manufacture and transportation to site of an effigy this size would have come to somebody's attention. The idea that adults who have nothing better to do than torture Michelle twenty-four hours a day seems ridiculous. It sounds more and more like the wild imaginings of a woman desperate for attention. It certainly got Pazder's attention.
Following this disclosure Dr. Pazder takes Michelle to Ash Wednesday services at the Catholic Church. On the way back they catch a CBC broadcast of Pope Paul VI's Ash Wednesday message: "The world is under the power of Satan. We must do everything we can in our individual lives and through prayer to fight him." The book continues: "They looked at each other. As isolated as Michelle felt, it was good to know that the struggle was real, that she and Dr. Pazder were not alone." The Pope here isn't talking about Michelle's disclosures, but they are taking it as a sign that Michelle's stories are true.
Michelle next describes a ceremony where she is still imprisoned inside the statue. The cult members bring children to celebrate with them. Michelle somehow gets out of the statue, making the "possessed" woman mad, who throws Michelle on the bed and vomits on her. Michelle is put back into the statue and the cult members fill it with little red spiders. She manages to blank all of this out of her mind and wakes up in a room where a man described as a doctor straps her to a wooden wheel and spins her around. She is taken back to this room several times and the "doctor" makes her swallow things that make her feel bad. The doctor then sews little horns onto her head and a tail onto her backside.
Surely if a cult this size had so many obviously willing children involved there would be a lot of reports of very antisocial Satanic elementary school children in Victoria, but there aren't any to be found. I wonder how it is that they expect us to believe that this behaviour is common place and that Michelle somehow is singled out to be the personal messenger of Jesus, as we will shortly see. I will comment on the horns and tail story in a moment.
Michelle finally claims that at Easter the cult put her back in the statue. She sees them burning home-made crosses and nailing a baby to a cross, breaking its bones. They then take Michelle out and put her in some sort of "red thing" from which they later pull her in another ritual rebirth. She gets angry rips off the horns and tail that they allegedly sewed onto her. She reaches under the mattress of the round bed and pulls out the Bible that she had hidden there. Malachi and the "possessed" lady get upset and herd her back into the cage. All of the cult members file by and spit on her.
Surely surgically implanting horns and a tail, followed by Michelle ripping them off would have left scars? Surely when Michelle pulled a cross out from under the mattress earlier, someone might have checked to see if there was anything else hidden under there? If Michelle's story was true and they were trying to create a child of Satan, surely they would have given up on this uncooperative child in favour of one of the other supposedly numerous children that they brought to the earlier ritual? Why would they waste so much time and effort on Michelle? How could people allegedly controlling the world for centuries be so stupid to be outwitted by a five year old? How can they be "taking over the world" when they are spending all their time torturing Michelle?
After this "disclosure" Pazder takes Michelle back to the church where Remi DeRoo says a Mass for them. Later Michelle tells Father Merville that she "wanted to become Catholic". Merville agrees to this and they make an appointment for Michelle to be baptized into the Catholic Church on June 28, 1977.
On June 24, Michelle and Dr. Pazder attend Mass at the church together and find a "small wooden bench" which conveniently bears what Pazder describes as the exact symbols that Michelle had said was on the cloaks of the cult members. They bring the bench to the attention of the priest, Father Guy Merville, who exclaims that he knows these symbols, the inference being that they are Satanic, although he does not say this. Oddly, Pazder does not describe what these symbols are in the text. However, one of Pazder's photographs of the bench appears in the book. It shows the bench in silhouette after they had lit it on fire to destroy it. This photo shows that the back of the seat was made to look like a head with ram's horns. The caption of this photo announces that it is a "wooden emblem of the Horns of Death- ancient symbol of Satan...". The image of this bench will reoccur later in Michelle's account.
It is true that many Christians associate the goat with the Devil, who is often described in Christian literature as having goat attributes. When Satan is first described in the Bible he is actually described as having serpent attributes, rather than those of a goat. One of the influences that may have influenced the change from reptilian to goat qualities may have been Leviticus 16:20 in the Bible: "An when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of the man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him into a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness". According to Barbara Walker, "In Israel the sins of the tribes were ceremonially loaded onto the head of the scapegoat who represented the god Azazel, 'Messenger of the Lord', who took them away each Day of Atonement. The Prefix scape meant 'the Azazel-goat' in the original language. The Horned God Azazel was actually a divine redemer who took human sins upon himself and atoned for them by his exile and/or death". Another influence was the existence in many Pagan religions of nature deities that have horns or antlers. The Church may have given the Devil goat attributes to more easily identify him with these Pagan deities. However, ram's horns have many other symbolic interpretations that are not Satanic.
Michelle then reports that they took the bench outside and broke it apart. Michelle points out to them that they have broken it into thirteen pieces, which is supposed to be significant, but could just as easily have been deliberate. Pazder runs off to get his camera. When he returns they make a bonfire of the bench. Pazder claims that it burns with the odour of "burning human flesh".
(Continued... Click HERE for page II)
| ABOUT... |
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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