membership not protecting content

Membership plugin premium is not protecting my content.

Here’s what I did under the “Public” level (Stranger level)

I only want the public to see about 8 pages.

I have about 120 posts with 20 categories that I want private.

To make everything private this is what I did:

I selected all categories under the “negative” area, so none of them should be public.

I selected all posts as “negative.”

I selected 1 page under the “negative” section.

I hid one menu item (this was the only thing that worked.)

I created a free public account and added it to the options area under “strangers” setting.

I activated the Public level.

I activated membership plugin.

The posts were still visible so I made them all private (instead of “published” in WP). I kept one “published” so I could experiment.

Nothing is working.

To troubleshoot I deactivated all of my plugins except wp membership. This didn’t help.

Any ideas on how to fix this or why it is not working?

I have a shared HostGator plan with all the right php and mysql levels.

Do I need to activate multiuser for this to work? I’m using WP 3.1.2 and am an experienced web designer with moderate programming skills…and still I have no idea what’s wrong.

I’d love to use this plugin if I can get it to work. Any help is greatly appreciated.