LESSONS IN EVIL, LESSONS FROM THE LIGHT by Gail Carr Feldman

LESSONS IN EVIL, LESSONS FROM THE LIGHT

A True Story of Satanic Abuse and Spiritual Healing
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A shallow account of how Feldman (Psychology/University of New Mexico) cured a victim of satanic sex abuse through hypnosis and New Age methods. Feldman has a new patient, ``Barbara,'' who can't enjoy sex, feels fat, and would like to commit suicide. After convincing Barbara that her problem is childhood sex abuse, Feldman hypnotizes her, and the patient--as well as the reader--is funneled into a tedious Theater of Cruelty. When Barbara says that she feels dirty, for instance, Feldman puts her under, and the woman remembers a cult ritual in which she had to stay in a dark hole for five days. During her next session, Barbara says that she can't stand the color white, and Feldman's probing reveals that, as a girl, Barbara was forced to wear all white while the cult put a snake into her vagina. More memories follow- -of infanticide and cannibalism; multiple forced fellatio; coprophilia; castrations; children in cages; the removal and devouring of beating hearts--all relived on the page in a tortuous crawl until Feldman gets so upset with the abuse of Barbara by her father and his cult that she berates her own husband: ``What are you going to do about this male abuse of power...the least you could is join a men's group!'' Help for the author comes when a New Ager regresses her to a past life. Impressed, Feldman regresses Barbara into one of her past lives, from which the patient returns symptom-free--no anxiety or tenseness, no smoking or drinking--and able to have sex with her husband five days a week. ``Isn't it amazing how your outlook changes when you've experienced eternity?'' Feldman and Barbara chuckle together. A dull and unconvincing rendering that has no place on the bookshelf next to Georges Bataille, J. K. Huysmans, or even Arthur Lyons (Satan Wants You, 1988).

Pub Date: July 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-517-58877-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993