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itself and the reader of the text. That is to say that reading of a text is not a one-way process- while the text may influence the reader, the reader’s own experience influences the way in which the text is received, which may or may not be how the author intended it to be received. There is a similar dynamic involved when it comes to examining Satanism and like the difference between ‘porn’ and ‘erotica’, ‘Satanism’ is also a kind of Rorschach test of the individual- both those of describe themselves as Satanist as well as those who come into contact with ‘Satanism’. Satanism is a complex term to delineate, and even among Satanists there are almost as many understandings of Satanism as Christians have of Christianity- and, like Christianity, Satanists can display extreme judgementalism as to what does or does not constitute ‘real Satanism’. To the world at large and for most of the last two millennia Satanism functioned as a catch-all term encompassing moral and religious fear- that which an evangelicallyminded person hates or fears the most becomes Satanic in inspiration and to some people, especially conservative Christians (and Muslims), Satanism serves an explanatory role in describing what is wrong with the world and especially those behaviours and trends which are described as corrupting1. To many supporters of Senator Joseph McCarthy, Communism was fundamentally Satanic in nature; its success in any part of the world shows the active intervention of Satan and his minions and its creation the result of an active conspiracy2. The relationship between a moral panic and the imputation of Satanic influences was a relationship which Arthur Millar reflected on in his 1952 play, The Crucible. However, Satan is not just a Christian concern, he is a spiritual multi-nationalist. Among Islamicists the West in general, and the United States and George Bush in particular, fulfil the role of infernally inspired tormenter and source of all that’s wrong and unclean with the world3. Satan has a busy schedule, it would appear- which is not surprising as there is allegedly no rest for the wicked. Even among non-evangelical (and even at times nonreligious) sections of the community the negative connotation of Satanism can still stir
Jimmy Swaggart “Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact....Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory” The Evangelist, January 1988 ; Pat Robinson, “How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy moneychangers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?”, The New World Order, (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1991) p. 227 ; Jerry Falwall "We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today”; Joyce Mayer, “[The notion of separating church and state with such policies as disallowing prayer in public schools] is a deception from Satan” (Associated Press: October 12, 2002) 2 Thomas Aiello, ‘Constructing “Godless Communism”: Religion, Politics, and Popular Culture, 19541960’ in Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900-present), 4/1, 2005 3 Hassan Nasrallah “[The US is] ‘the Great Satan’ – that is to say: deceitful, corrupting, false”, ‘AntiAmerican Statements by Senior Members of Hezbollah’ at http://www.intelligence.org.il/eng/bu/hizbullah/pb/app13.htm (cited 1 February, 2007); the Ayatollah Khomeini mentioned the ‘Satanic plots of the major colonialists and exploiters” in his Last Will and Testament (http://www.wandea.org.pl/khomeini-pdf/ruhullah-musavi-khomeini.pdf (cited 5 February, 2007)
deep feelings of fear and resentment4. Satanism, as a concept, transcends strict religious interpretation and can intrude into the secular world as a bugbear, projecting beyond the limits of normal religiosity5. While ‘Satanism’ is a familiar concept in other parts of the world, most noticeably in the Middle East and Africa, it is the West which has most fully and consciously embraced the concept as a self-identity; a positive and adopted affirmation of faith rather than a negative and imposed (at times fatally so) identity. As such, central to the understanding of Satanism in the West is its relationship to Christianity, and more particularly normative Christianity and the wider social values and codes which have a symbiotic relationship with normative Christianity. While some contemporary ‘dialogians’ (diabolical theologians) have sought to define a Satanism free from reference to Biblical referents, most noticeably the Temple of Set’s Egyptian motif and the Order of Nine Angles paganised Satanism6, historically and popularly modern Satanism evolved as a reaction against Christianity. While some early sects of Christians, particularly among the Gnostics, adopted beliefs which could be called essentially Satanic (the imputation of malevolent motives to the God of the Old Testament, for instance7) Satanism (or the fear of Satanism) did not become a major social force until the Reformation. Bernard Hamilton, in Religion in the Medieval West comments that
Medieval people undoubtedly regarded the devil and his legions as a source of power, but they did not apostatize from the Christian faith in order to worship Lucifer in the place of God…the trappings of modern Satanist ritual cannot be traced earlier than the seventeenth century and had no place in the medieval world8
A sentiment echoed by Norman Cohen
There is in fact no serious evidence for the existence of Devil-worshippers anywhere in medieval Europe. One can go further: there is serious evidence to the contrary. Very few inquisitors claimed to come across these devil worshippers, and most of those few are known to be fanatical amateurs…9
As a movement of concern within European Christendom, Satanism was not widely acknowledged as a significant matter until the Reformation. For some 400 years prior to
A personal illustration: In early 2005 I was going out with a young lady whose mother was firmly North of England, working class and non-religious. I was introduced as someone with a scholarly interest in New Religious Movements and in particular neo-Paganism. As our relationship started to finish up the mother asked the daughter in all seriousness if I had “cast a Satanic spell” on her, which was a surprising illustration of how deep the fears of Satanism can run. And just for the record, no I didn’t. 5 Most iconically in recent times was the child abuse ‘Satanic Panic’ of the 1980s and 1990s, which is dealt with elsewhere in this thesis
For the Gnostic dimension, see Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1; Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies; Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion (London, Routledge, 1992); Bernard McGinn, The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century, (New York, Crossroad, 1992); Brian F. Copernhaver (ed) Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p.199. 8 London, Edward Arnold, 1986. p167 9 Europe’s Inner Demons: The Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom (London: Pimlico, 1993), p.78
the Reformation, the Church and State took a rather low key approach to Satanism, even as it began to show increasing alarm over the use of magic. In 1376 the “inquisitor of the kingdom of Aragon”, Nicolau Eymeric, poses the question as to whether a magician is a heretic and thus subject to the inquisition or not. His response was that any magic that utilizes the summoning of demons is heretical, but at no time does he mention Satan or any Satan-figure in his discussion10. A significant change in the understanding of Satanism occurred with the Reformation. Diabolism was no longer about the old-style magic, in which subjugated demons were summoned in lonely towers and laboratories and bound by the will of a magus and the holy names of God; now Satan was an uncontrollable, tangable social force, imperilling the souls of entire kingdoms. Satan was evoked by Catholic and Protestant alike as being the spiritual bankroller of the other side and was personified as the Pope, Luther, the Holy Roman Emperor or any number of other leading figures. As the divisions deepened and the wars became more bitter, Satan became more powerful and a very real agent of opposition to God’s will11. ‘Satanism’, ‘witchcraft’ and ‘heresy’ became synonymous as Catholics burnt Protestants (who were obviously in league with the Devil because they renounced God’s word) as witches (who were heretics in league with the Devil and thus obviously Protestants) while Protestants burnt Catholics (who were obviously in league with the Devil because they renounced God’s word) as witches (who were heretics in league with the Devil and thus obviously Catholics)12. The Reformation conflating of witchcraft, Satanism and magic persisted into modern times and is still influential today, forming the basis of uninformed understandings, speculations or fears concerning witchcraft, Satanism and magic, much to the annoyance of neo-Pagans who struggle to differentiate themselves from Satanists13. As the 17th century gave way to the 18th century the conception of ‘Satanic’ continued to develop. One notable development as a direct consequence of the Reformation was the development of a distinctive Catholic Satanism and a distinctive Protestant Satanism. Following the principles of the Satanism being a spiritual Rorschach test, Catholic authors tended to follow the traditionally ritualistic concerns of Catholicism and wrote on Satanism in terms of various blasphemous rites and ceremonies, most famously the Black Mass in which the Lords Prayer is said backwards, an upside down crucifix is used along
‘Directorium inquisitorun’ in Witchcraft in Europe 400:700: A Documentary History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), pp. 120-127. Similar texts of the time also bear out a similar lack of even the mention of Satan (as opposed to various numerous and largely nameless devils). By way of further example, the condemnation of sorcery issued by the Theological Faculty of the University of Paris in 1398 condemned sorcery in 27 points (plus a preamble), but again no mention was made of Satan at all. (ibid pp.127-132) 11 Joseph Klaits, Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch Hunts (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1985) pp.60-61 12 One of the classic works on the subject is H.R. Trevor Roper’s The European Witch-Craze of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (London: Penguin, 1969) 13 Diane Purkiss, The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth Century Representations (London: Routledge, 1996) p.31; Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason, The Complete Idiot’s guide to Wicca and Witchcraft (Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2000), p.15; Vivianne Crowley, The Natural Magician: Practical Techniques for Empowerment (London: Michael Joseph, 2003), p.262; Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopaedia of Witches and Witchcraft (New York: Facts on File, 1989), p. 307
with stolen communion wafers and a naked woman as an altar14. Cannibalism was apparently optional but orgies were near compulsory. Protestant concerns tended to focus more on the one-to-one intimacy of spiritual dangers rather than the ‘Repertory theatre’ tradition of Catholicised Satanism, a legacy of which is the modern evangelical Protestant emphasis on exorcism and the linking of Freemasonry, humanism, monetary reform, chain letters, feminism and the New World Government as part of a Satanic conspiracy15. By the mid 20th century, Satanism had undergone two vivifying phases. The first was the English and French occult revival of the latter part of the 19th Century, and in particular a degree of popularity among fin de sicle decadents in France, spurred on by the publication of La-Bas by J.K. Huysman, possibly the most famous and certainly the most influential novelisation of Satanism and the Black Mass, and The Temple of Satan, an expose by two occultists, Oswald Wirth and Stanislas de Guaita, who infiltrated The Society for the Repatriation of Souls, a Satanic Church on the grand scale, complete with an Abbe as a founder, Black Masses, a former nun as ‘high priestess’, orgies and alleged human sacrifice of infants16. The second vivifying phase was that engendered by Aleister Crowley(1875- 1947), the self-proclaimed ‘Great Beast 666’ and the tabloid acclaimed ‘wickedest man in the world’17. Crowley was a complex and multifaceted figure and while he identified with the Great Beast of Revelations, once sacrificed a toad to Satan and called for the destruction of Christianity, Crowley did not consider himself a Satanist in any real sense except as a public persona. However, given his infamy, along with some very real accomplishments (such as mountaineering in Tibet and trekking through Burma and China during the 1910s) and an impeccable occult pedigree (member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the most famous and influential occult society, author of a number of works on magic which are still acknowledged as classics in the genre, and correspondent with most of the important names in the occult world from the 1880s till his death in 1946) he provided a role model for generations of occultists who embraced, or certainly did not shy away from, activities which have been traditionally associated with blasphemous inversions of religion. The great gift of Crowley was, however, using blasphemy as a path of liberation or transcendence away from constraining, constricting and unthinking societally enforced habit patterns. This became the fundamental idea which inspired a new generation of Satanists- that society enforced what were essentially unnatural and unthinking behavioral patterns on individuals which stultified their reasoning and repressed their True Self. By challenging social patterns of behaviour (especially the consequences of religious orthodoxy) one can understand and free oneself from its ‘negative’ hold18. Satanism became therapy.
Nevill Drury and Gregory Tillett, Other Temples, Other Gods: The Occult in Australia (Sydney: Methuen, 1980) p.101 15 Bill Subritzky, How to Cast Out Demons and Break Curses (Auckland: Dove Ministries, 1991); 16 Stanislas de Guaita, The Snake of Genesis: Satan’s Temple Prague 1996 (reprint and translation of Le Serpent de la Genèse: Le Temple de Satan (1891) 17 For biographic details see Francis King, The Magical World of Aleister Crowley (London: Arrow, 1977); Susan Roberts, The Magician of the Golden Dawn ( Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1978) 18 Another personal illustration: In 2001 I met some Satanists who were essentially espousing this doctrine and by way of illustration of the hold religion has on individuals they asked me if I was in any way a Christian. I replied no. Then they bought out a Bible and said if I wasn’t a Christian then it would be no problem for me to burn the Bible. I declined on the grounds that burning any book is a personal anathema to me, which is absolutely true but what I didn’t admit at the time was that my reluctance was indeed heightened by the fact it was a Bible, despite my lack of Christianity.
In 1964 Anton Szandor LaVey became the next great influential figure in Modern Satanism, effectively becoming the ‘founder’ of modern Satanism and responsible for its development as a sophisticated and comparatively public philosophy/religion. LaVey founded the Church of Satan (CoS) in San Francisco on April 30, Walpurgisnacht, 1966 and through the church articulated his understanding of what it means to be Satanic 19. One distinctive, and influential, feature of LaVey’s Satanism was the premise that the secular-scientific world-view was the correct one and that religious world-views are wrong and to be eschewed. As such ‘Satan’, as a real individualized figure, does not exist and that supernatural powers are simply natural laws as yet undiscovered20. Closely allied with this was the embracing of Libertarianism in the mould of Ayn Rand, so much so that LaVey’s ‘credo’, the ‘Nine Satanic Statements’ was modelled on passages from Rand’s Atlas Shrugged21. This placed LaVey in a curious political position in regards to many members of the CoS, and society in general, as the late 1960s ushered in the era of flower-power and hippydom22. As youth culture moved to the left, LaVey was moving to the right and flirting with the trappings of Nazism and the Ku Klux Klan 23. While LaVey did not acknowledge Rand’s influence in the Nine Satanic Statements in the Satanic Bible, he did express his debt to her elsewhere, describing the Church of Satan as being ‘just Ann Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added24. Another unacknowledged work that LaVey cribbed to form the Book of Fire: The Infernal Diatribe (the prologue to the Satanic Bible) was Might is Right, a 1896 paean to survival of the fittest and strongman politics by ‘Ragnar Redbeard, the nom d’plume of New Zealander Arthur Desmond25. The Church of Satan is the reference point of almost all modern articulations of Satanism, which are either an adaptation of, or a reaction against, LaVey’s fundamental principles.
LaVey famously said in the introduction to his Satanic Bible(New York: Avon, 1969) that founding the church enabled him to “follow the magical formula of one part outrage to nine parts social respectability that is needed for success” 20 LaVey, p.49 21 James R. Lewis, ‘Diabolical Authority: Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible and the Satanist ‘Tradition’ in Marburg Journal of Religion, 7/1 2002, p8 22 Lewis, p.9-10 23 Bill Ellis, Satanism, New Religions, and the Media (Lexington, University of Kentucky Press, 2000), p. 172. Also see Phillip Bonewits, Real Magic (London: Sphere Books, 1971), p.114. Bonewits (more commonly known by his middle name, Isaac) was a member of the Church of Satan between 1968-c.1970 before he resigned/was expelled. Bonewits went on to become one of the influential, and original, figures in the American neo-Pagan scene, constructing a number of typologies which are still in use- the most important of which are on classifications of types of modern paganism and on cultic behaviour within neoPaganism. He is also a graduate of the University of California at Berkley with a Bachelors of Arts in Magic and Thaumaturgy (see the Foreword to Real Magic). Something to suggest to the Vice-Chancellor perhaps. 24 Ellis, p.180 25 Lewis, p.8; Ragnar Redbeard (Arthur Desmond), Might is Right; or, The Survival of the Fittest (London: W.J. Robins, 1910). According to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Desmond was a Hawkes Bay cattle drover who entered politics as a radical reformer, defended Te Kooti politically, recorded Maori oral traditions, was a trade unionist and an editor of the radical newspaper The Tribune (Auckland). He was said to have died in Mexico in 1914, Palestine in 1918 or 1920 or alive and running a bookshop in Chicago in the 1920s. Of some interest is that Might is Right has recently (1999) been reprinted by 14 Words Press, a neo-Nazi neo-Pagan publishing concern that prints David Lane and Woltansvolk material (among others).
LaVey codifies his philosophy in the Nine Satanic Statements, the Eleven Satanic Rules and the Nine Satanic Sins26. Briefly stated, the basic tenants are: Man’s individual will-to-power. Adapting Nietzschian concepts, LaVey taught that life is a struggle and that it is up to the individual to enforce his or her own meaning onto the world. This meaning is an individualized and as such conformity is a form of soul rot as the individual is borrowing meanings to life from outside ones own experiences and desires. As a result, there is a high degree of stress on individualism and ego-centralism and gratification within the CoS. However, this egoism, while obviously permitting permissivism, is also the governor against dissolution. While it may be good to revel in a degree of debauchery, self destructive behaviour, such as drug use, alcohol abuse and serious crimes, are to be avoided because the cost to the individual far outweighs the benefits. LaVey drew heavily on the Nietzscherian concept of the ubermensch as the idealized Satanist. Self gratification. Indulging in the traditional seven deadly sins is encouraged from a Satanic perspective as “they all lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification” 27. The sense of gratification is at the centre of the Satanic ethical system, especially since LaVeyian Satanism does not teach a life-after-death doctrine so all pleasure must be enjoyed in this life-time or be lost forever28. Similarly, because death is “the great abstinence”, concern must be for ones self first and “only if a person’s ego is sufficiently fulfilled, can he be kind and complementary to others, without robbing himself of self respect” and while selfish, Satanism is “controlled selfishness”29. Because of the fundamentally atheistic nature of LaVey’s philosophy (Satan “merely represents a force of nature…invented by the formulators of every religion on the face of the earth”30) as well as its inculcation of egoism (the most holy day in a Satanists year is his or her own birthday31), the Satanist is also encouraged to eschew all gods and the function of God should be fulfilled or played out by the Satanist themselves. Ritual and worship, therefore, are directed inward with the goal of illuminating and glorifying the Satanist’s inner as well as outer self, to ‘feel the sinews of Satan moving his flesh’32. The close identification of an individual with a deity is a traditional magical technique, sometimes known as theurgy. LaVey’s theurgy has the spin that the deity with which one identifies with and is ‘possessed’ by is one of the adherents own creation. They are not limited to conforming to or adopting stereotypes of the traditional gods, they are inventing and exploring new paths, even to the point of adopting film noire characters as archetypes33. Satanism becomes a path of self transformation by the deliberate and conscious crafting of a modus vivendi. Responsibility.
Appended as Appendix LaVey, p.46 28 LaVey, p.92 29 LaVey, pp.51, 91, 96 30 LaVey, p.62 31 LaVey, p.96 32 LaVey, p. 45. 33 Barton, p.60, 86
The corollary of living an egocentric life is that a person must take 100% responsibility for all actions and outcomes. To say that you are a fully independent being and then blame your lack of success on outside factors is not being a self actualized figure, it is to be a delusional being. The Satanic Golden Rule. The Satanic Golden Rule is that of Lex talionis, retribution-“do unto others as they do unto you”34. While the law is most obviously applied to smiting those that strike you, it also means respect and compassion to those who deserve it- but only to those who deserve it35. If all of humanity can be divided into those that a Satanist respects, those whom are held in contempt and the overwhelmingly vast majority that have no contact with the Satanist, the unknown majority are owed nothing (in contrast with Christianity, in which the Christian is admonished to act charitably to all mankind), the contemptibles are owed destruction while only those that are respected have any call on the Satanist’s affections- and only then if the Satanist feels if its deserved at the time. LaVey felt that too much strength was wasted on supporting those who were nothing but burdens and dead weights, both on an individual level as well as across wider society. Dead weights only hold you back, so to realise ambition the dead weights must be removed36. Man, the animal. One of the most important ramifications of the adoption of a fundamentally materialist philosophy was the espousal of the idea that Darwinism was fundamentally right, man is “only another form of animal” with “no ultimate morality other than the law of the jungle and no purpose other than the survival of the fittest”37. This mean ‘natural’ human emotions such as lust, anger, hate, love and so on, were natural and not to be repressed or denied expression- that was the province of those ‘who preferred to wear hair shirts rather than…silk ones”38. It was also an espousal of social Darwinism and, effectively, a cast and eugenic system39. As a unified system, the CoS was envisioned as a kind of liberation therapy, encouraging its adherents to break away from stultifying social moral/ethical/behavioral (though, ultimately, self imposed) constructs. LaVey himself said that Satanism “fills the void between religion and psychotherapy”40. As such, the story of Satan’s (or Lucifer’s) rebellion against God obtains a pivotal archetypal significance, and the conceptual background of the CoS owes as much to Milton’s “better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven” as it does to Rand’s “morality demands the sacrifice of your self interest and of your mind”41.
LaVey, p.51 LaVey, p.64 36 LaVey, pp.75-76 37 Lewis, p.4; LaVey p.83
34 35 38
Blanche Barton The Church of Satan (San Francisco: Hell's Kitchen Productions, 1990), p.62 LaVey, p.5 41 John Milton, Paradise Lost. Ed. Merritt Y. Hughes (New York : Odyssey Press, 1962). bk1 ln.263; Atlas Shrugged (New York: Random House) p.936
As the CoS grew in popularity, helped along by tabloid sensationalism, shameless selfpromotion and a celebrity membership including Sammy Davis Jr. and Jayne Mansfield as much as by its philosophic and religious merits, an inevitable re-interpretation and critique of CoS doctrine was made by other Satanists. Such critiques were made on three broad grounds. First was on administration and structural grounds- the way the CoS was organized and run. Of particular significance was when LaVey disbanded the ‘grotto system’ of CoS lodges in the mid 1970s, which upset traditionalists and dabblers alike and for a while fired resentment against the Church as a whole42. The second was the CoS’s atheistic stance. The idea that Satan was an invented and almost cartoon-like character did not sit well with many members and they sought to reinterpret CoS doctrine in the light of the existence of a real Satanic figure or figures. The third major critique was that the CoS’s emphases on self-fulfillment was ultimately a shallow, purile and counter-productive doctrine. While the Satanic Bible did admonish that indulgence must be coupled with discipline and that compulsive indulgence was an anathema, critics felt this was honoured more in the breach than the observance and that the CoS and the majority of its membership refused to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, beliefs and lives on the grounds that they are only following their desires. Furthermore, CoS members were said to be lacking depth, sincerity and the true Satanic spirit43. As Satanic groups and ideologies proliferated, researchers started to develop a taxonomy of types of Satanic groups. While no standard taxonomy has come into universal acceptance, a suggested taxonomy would recognise five basic types of Satanists in two different classes44. The two classes are atheistic (which follow up the CoS doctrine that Satan is a literary archetype and lacks objective existence. The role of Satan is fulfilled by the Satanist him or herself) and theistic (which, obviously, believes that there is some kind of objective existence of a Satan-like figure). The five types are Organised Satanism, that is Satanists that belong to some kind of organization or who identify themselves primarily in terms of belong to an organization. Generational, or traditional, Satanism. These Satanists are either bought up in a family that have practiced Satanism for a number of generations as a family practice, or alternatively belong to groups or organisations which have continually existed and
James R. Lewis, ‘Who Serves Satan: A Demographic and Ideological Profile’ in Marburg Journal of Religion 6/2 (2001); Blanche Barton, ‘The Church of Satan: A Brief History’ at http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/CShistory7LR.html (accessed on 9 February 2007)
Examples of other taxonomies are Lanning/FBI report (youth subculture/dabblers/traditional) at http://www.religioustolerance.org/fbi_08.htm (accessed 9 February 2007); Dawn Perlmutter, ‘Skandalon 2001: The Religious Practices of Modern Satanists and Terrorists’ in Anthropoetics 7/2 (2001/2002); Randy Lippert, ‘The Construction of Satanism as a Social Problem in Canada’ in Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie 15/4 (1990),p. 423. A good treatment of the varieties of theistic Satanism from a ideological, rather than organisational, perspective can be found at Diane Vera, The varieties of theistic ("traditional") Satanism, http://www.theisticsatanism.com/varieties/index.html (accessed 7 Febuary 2007).
operated for about fifty or more years (as a rule of thumb- or at least existed prior to LaVeyian Satanism). In common with similar claims in neo-Pagan circles, claims of a generational tradition are usually met with scepticism and, by the very nature of an underground religious tradition, next to impossible to prove or disprove. Solitary Satanists. Satanists who do not belong to any membership but operate either by themselves or with a small and informal network. Such Satanists tend to be less bound by doctrine and more eclectic in scope, though many are more fringe or ‘hard-core’ in their adherance. Shock Satanist. Someone who adopts and identifies the trappings of (usually) an extreme for of Satanism for shock or commercial value and with little or no real understanding of the philosophical or religious underpinnings of their ‘faith’. Disenfranchised teens and heavy metal bands are the most visible expressions of this kind of Satanism but also included would be Aleister Crowley, despite his complex and influential spiritual beliefs. Criminal Satanism. Serious crimes, such as murder, rape, torture, arson, committed by individuals who claim an infernal mandate for their actions and who would otherwise more than likely fall into the shock-Satanist category.
Organised Generational Solitary Shock Criminal
Theistic Atheistic Order of the Left Hand Church of Satan Path, Temple of Set Order of Nine Angles, ‘family traditions’, Yezidis (Kurdish tribe)45 Marylyn Manson46 Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez
Like many other Satanic groups, the Order came to both reflect and react against LaVeyian Satanism, but it is in areas which the Order diverged from the Church of Satan which are the most significant. The Order’s philosophy was profoundly influenced by the English based Order of Nine Angles, and much material that was included in the Orders instruction and teaching were verbatim (and acknowledged) reprints of ONA material.
Josiah W. Gibbs, ‘Melek Taus of the Yezidis’ in Journal of the American Oriental Society 3 (1853) pp.502-03 46 Interview with Anthony DeCurtis (Beliefnet), 2001 at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/78/story_7870_3.html (accessed 10 Dec 2006).
Appendix The nine Satanic statements (Blanche Barton The Church of Satan (San Francisco: Hell's Kitchen Productions, 1990) pp.62-64) 1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence! 2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams! 3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit! 4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates! 5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek! 6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires! 7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all! 8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification! 9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years! Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth (ibid pp.85-86) 1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked. 2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them. 3. When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there. 4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy. 5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. 6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved. 7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself. 9. Do not harm little children. 10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food. 11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him. Nine Satanic Sins (ibid pp. 65-67) 1. Stupidity -- The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism.... The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid. 2. Pretentiousness -- Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic [deceit and manipulation].... 3. Solipsism -- ...Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as they do unto you.".... 4. Self-deceit -- ...Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it's fun, and with awareness. But that's not self-deceit! 5. Herd-Conformity -- ...It's all right to conform to a person's wishes, if it ultimately benefits you....The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many. 6. Lack of Perspective -- You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence.... Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints -- know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world. 7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies -- ... this is of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something "new" and "different" when in reality it's something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
8. Counterproductive Pride -- ... Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm sorry. I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow," then do it. 9. Lack of Aesthetics -- ...an "eye" for ... beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It's not what's supposed to be pleasing -- it's what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.
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