Michelle Remembers: Fiction, not Fact

the book that helped to start the "ritual abuse" panic is not a true story


Ross Bay cemetery in Victoria, BC
The Harry Helmcken mausoleum is twenty paces from the spot this picture was taken.
In the book, little Michelle is placed inside the mausoleum as part of a re-birthing ceremony. There's a picture of the mausoleum in the book, but only the back is shown. Here is the front.

Neither the cemetery nor the Helmcken mausoleum are in an isolated spot. In fact, the mausoleum is clearly visible from the sidewalk at the main entrance to Ross Bay.

Graves in Ross Bay marked with cement curbs -- impossible to lift by hand. The curbs may have looked like lids to a child, but in fact the curbs go down into the ground.

Many of the graves are marked by curbs of stone or cement and some have stone, cement or bronze plaques laid into the curbs. The book Michelle Remembers claims that a woman single-handedly lifted the top of a grave so the child Michelle could be lowered inside. That's just not possible. The plaques are too heavy for one person to lift and the curbs go down into the ground, they are not "lids."

Michelle Remembers sparks a witch hunt

"The satanic investigation began with one child... who had been interviewed many times (over a ten month period) without ever mentioning anything about ritual abuse or "bad churches." But shortly after several Kern County (California) social workers returned from a training seminar that hyped devil worship as a major element in child molestation (the discredited "true" story of satanic abuse, Michelle Remembers, was offered up as training material), this girl began speaking of it during the now-familiar suggestive interviews that were standard practice at the time. In short order, other victims began spouting similar stories, never mentioned in earlier interviews. The kids were all placed in the same county shelter for abused children, where they were seen by the same therapist, who firmly believed a huge satanic conspiracy was afoot in Kern County... The resulting stories were remarkably similar: Children had been forced to drink blood, to eat human flesh, to submit sexually to monstrous characters in dark robes... Eighty-five more adults were ultimately implicated, and more than sixty children came to be identified as victims, with many taken from their families... "

-- Excerpt from Mean Justice by Edward Humes


A Visit to Ross Bay Cemetery 

click here to visit the official
Ross Bay Cemetery website

Ross Bay Cemetery in the city of Victoria, in the province of British Columbia, Canada, was created over a hundred and twenty five years ago (which makes it very old by Western Canadian standards).

According to the book, Michelle Remembers, a satanic coven met here in the 50's to practice their dark arts.

But as the picture above left clearly shows, the cemetery is not isolated, but is in a suburban area of Victoria. Some of the houses in the area clearly date from the turn of the century. One side of the cemetery faces the bay, the other three sides are surrounded by retail and residential.

Close up interior view of Helmcken Mausoleum

Victoria's Old Cemetery Society gives popular tours of Ross Bay Cemetery year round -- the Hallowe'en tours are especially popular.

The Car Crash That Never Was

In Michelle Remembers, the Victoria satanists go to no end of fuss and bother to put on a show for little Michelle. One of their first stunts was to put her in a car with a dead woman, and crash the car. The book mentions an approximate date and the exact spot for the crash. For their book, Satan's Silence, authors Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker had a researcher check the Victoria papers for any and all car crashes during the dates mentioned in Michelle Remembers. There was no such crash.

Michelle's Family and Family Friends Tell Journalists
Her Story Isn't True

English journalists investigate
Michelle Remembers

"This book is dangerous"

"I am speaking as a former "ritual abuse survivor" who has now disavowed all of my "repressed memories". This book is dangerous. And, I completely disagree with everyone who says "doesn't matter if it's fact or fiction"? Are you nuts?? People have had their lives ruined over allegations like this. This book played a major part in my "memories". My advice is that "ritual abuse survivors" need to find decent therapists."

-- excerpt from reader comments, Amazon website.

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