"Entertaining Satan": The
American Rite of Deviancy
Your conscience you must keep or it must be kept for you.
—GOVERNOR WINTHROP TO ANNE HUTCHINSON,
BEFORE THE COURT AT NEWTOWN, NOVEMBER 1637 1
[Witchcraft] was but a shadow, a nightmare: the nightmare of a religion, the shadow of a dogma. 2
A novel of a girl possessed of a terrifying power.
—FROM THE COVER OF STEPHEN KING'S CARRIE
We must first rid ourselves of the illusion that penalty is above all ... a means of reducing crime.
—FOUCAULT, DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH, P. 23-24
The captivity narrative and its many variants is an essentially Christian, perhaps even Protestant, genre. The form rehearses again and again a primary cultural agon—the ambiguity of being chosen, for better or worse, by a God whose affections to the righteous were as much a captivity as any bondage they had known before, because this God's love provoked an equally overwhelming terror. The complexities of the divine favor, however, are not new, as anyone familiar with the history of mysticism knows. Traffic with