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Subject: the alt.satanism Frequently Asked Questions file

This article was archived around: 22 Sep 2009 02:10:45 GMT

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LOCATION http://www.arcane-archive.org/faqs/faq.astncrt.9907.php ______________________________________________________________________ Inverted Pentacle SATANISM ____________________________________________________________ What is a Satanist? Most names of religions (like Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, etc.) have well defined meanings. One exception is Satanism: * Some people feel that all non-Christian religions and all Christian denominations other than their own are forms of Satanism. This would imply that all Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims - in fact at least 75% of the world's population are Satanists. * Others feel that all religions other than Judaism or Christianity are inspired by Satan and are thus forms of Satanism. * Large numbers of people feel that a wide variety of unrelated, benign religions (such as Santeria and other Caribbean religions, Druids, New Age, Wicca, etc.) are forms of Satanism. Such definitions create great confusion. The following are recommended terms and descriptions for four essentially unrelated religions that have been called Satanism: 1. Religious Satanism: This faith includes the recognition of Satan, either as a deity or as a principle. Followers are usually serious adults, although a few are teenagers. Three main traditions exist: the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set and the Church of Satanic Liberation. Other short-lived Satanic groups currently exist and have existed in the recent past. According to Statistic Canada, the 1991 census found 335 Canadians who identified themselves as Satanists. The actual number is probably significantly larger. A US Department of the Army pamphlet #165-13 estimated that there were 10 to 20 thousand members of the Church of Satan in the US during the late 1970's. 1,7 Accurate data for this movement is impossible to estimate, since the largest group (the Church of Satan) does not release its membership totals. 2. It is important to realize that the Satan that they recognize has few if any points of similarity with the Christian concept of Satan. The Satanists' concept of Satan is pre-Christian, and derived from the Pagan image of power, virility, sexuality and sensuality. To most Satanists, Satan is a force of nature, not a living quasi-deity. Their Satan has nothing to do with Hell, demons, pitchforks and profound evil. They have occasionally engaged in a Black Mass for publicity purposes, in which the Roman Catholic Mass is ridiculed. But, otherwise, their rituals have no connection to Christian rituals. 3. Gothic Satanism: It is a largely imaginary, profoundly evil religion that was invented during the late Middle Ages. Concepts included ritual killing of children, selling their soul to the devil, breaking crucifixes, conducting black masses, etc. It has never existed in the past on any organized level, and does not exist today, except in the imagination of the public. It was an invention of the Christian Church. A very small number of anti-Christian believers do exist who have taken their rituals from Christian literature. They picked up the idea of the inverted cross symbol from anti-Satanic writings; they do worship Satan, etc. However, they do not commit criminal acts, and do not abuse other people. 4. Satanic Dabblers: A syncretistic religion which blend of elements taken from Religious Satanism, Gothic Satanism, ceremonial Magick, and any other useful sources of ritual that they can find. It is typically practiced by rebellious teenagers or young adults- typically for a short interval. They probably number in the tens or hundreds of thousands at any one time in North America. An exact estimate is impossible to obtain, since they are totally devoid of any central organization. They occasionally engage in minor criminal activities such as vandalizing cemeteries and graffiti involving Satanic symbols. In very rare instances, a few have been known to sacrifice animals. 5. Other types of Satanism: Occasionally, serial murderers will claim to be Satanists in order to justify their horrendous activities. Police investigation reveals that they know little about the religion. A small percentage of child molesters will abuse children in a Satanic setting as a means of controlling the victims. The molesters are not actual Satanists; they are simply using the facade of Satanism to further their criminal acts. Some heavy metal rock bands pretend to be associated with Satanism. Their main reason is to gain notoriety in order to sell more records. These three quasi-Satanic groups will not be dealt with further in this information sheet. -------------------------------------- Religious Satanism - Brief Description Religious Satanism (or Satanism) involves: * the recognition of the Christian devil, Satan in his original Pagan forms, or of the ancient Egyptian God Set, usually asr as a principle rather than a deity. * no worship of a recognized deity. Major emphasis is placed on the power and authority of the individual Satanist, rather than on a god. * the belief that "no redeemer liveth" - that each person is their own redeemer. * those Satanists who believe in Satan or Set as a living entity do not worship or demonstrate their faith in him (as, for example, Christians worship their God). * the belief that one should live out their lusts and desires, explore the "seven deadly sins" with enthusiasm. * many beliefs, practices and rules of behavior which are in conflict with traditional Christianity, and essentially all other religions. * a Baphomet symbol, which is a goat's head, drawn within an inverted pentagram (5-pointed star with one point downward and two up). A circle often surrounds it. * a second symbol which is an infinity sign (a figure 8 on its side). A Roman cross is placed on top with a second, longer cross piece added. * two main Satanic denominations, many smaller traditions, and many solitary practitioners who are unaffiliated with a Satanic organization. They total perhaps 20,000 adult followers in North America. ____________________________________________________________ Religious Satanism - Its Supposed Origin Modern Satanism is generally (though mistakenly) regarded as a creation of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Aleister was in fact a very prominent ceremonial magician who based his rituals partly upon Judeo-Christian principles. He was raised in a Plymouth Brethren family, but developed an early dislike of organized Christianity. After university, he joined the Order of the Golden Dawn, which practiced ceremonial magic based on: * the Kaballah (or Cabbalah, Cabala), a Jewish mystical tradition, * Rosicrucianism (a mystical blend of alchemy, Judaism, etc.), * Freemasonry (a men's fraternal organization), and * Theosophy (a Gnostic tradition believing in a common thread that links all religions). He resigned from the Golden Dawn and later was appointed chief of the British section of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), which blended ceremonial magic, sex Magick and Freemasonry. He later left the OTO and formed a schismatic branch of the order, based on the Law of Thelema. Crowley's story was picked up by two tabloid newspapers, which called him the Wickedest Man in the World and the Great Beast 666 of Revelation. It is from these "yellow presses" that opponents of Crowley have assembled his present-day reputation. He is alleged to have committed at least one animal sacrifice, experimented with many illegal drugs and engaged in some sexual orgies It is not known how much of this actually happened, and how much is imaginary and created to satisfy his insatiable desire for publicity. Nor is it known how much of the time he was serious, and when he was behaving with tongue in cheek. Crowley has been accused of many criminal activities; however, he was never arrested, charged, tried or convicted of any crime. His prime aim was to contact his Holy Guardian Angel Aiwaz . The religion The Law of Thelema is largely derived from his work. He is known to have practiced a great deal of consentual sex magic with a single partner in private. His goal was to recapture the ancient pagan and Gnostic Christian mysteries of the Middle and Near East, who incorporated sexual activity as part of their religious rituals. He was a prolific writer on Magick, a term that he created. Although he did not consider himself a Satanist, many Satanists have incorporated portions of his books into their own rituals. Many authors and TV personalities have stated that Crowley was the first Satanist, even though evidence points to the contrary. He passed through a Satanic phase, and did identify his guardian angel with Satan. But a number of literary greats such as Baudelaire, Byron, Shelley, etc. should more properly be regarded as the first Satanists, at the end of the 19th century. ____________________________________________________________ Religious Satanism - Its Real Origin and Organizations: Religious Satanists existed in the 1950's, both in the United States and the UK. But they were underground movements and little known to the public. Modern Satanism burst into mass consciousness on Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, (I Anno Satanas) when Anton Szandor LaVey (b. 1930). created the Church of Satan. 2 Anton drew on his previous experience as a lion tamer and sideshow barker, and on his readings into psychology, Magick etc. He wrote the Satanic Bible in 1969. This was followed by The Compleat Witch (1970) (later republished as The Satanic Witch) and The Satanic Rituals (1972). These are essentially the only readily available books on Satanism available in most bookstores. Many publications have written by other satanic groups. However, they are not in wide distribution. One normally has to discover them through specialist publications or Satanic Web sites. There have been enormous numbers of books about Satanism written by Fundamentalist or other Evangelical Christians. They are readily available through conservative Christian bookstores. However, they are usually filled with misinformation that is traceable back to the Witch burning times in Europe (circa 1450-1792 CE) rather than from any present or past reality. In 1975, one of LaVey's followers, Michael Aquino left the Church after a disagreement, and organized the Temple of Set.3 This form of religious Satanism is recognizes a pre-Satanic deity, the Egyptian God Set as an entity which stands separate and apart from the forces of the natural universe. He was typically portrayed as a man with the head of an animal (perhaps a hyena). Set was copied by the Chaldeans who called him Had or Hadit; this later became Shaitan, and still later the Satan of Christianity. A number of Satanic periodicals exist. 4,5 Many other Satanic traditions exist - largely in North America and Europe.6 ____________________________________________________________ The Church of Satan - Its Beliefs and Practices: We will deal with Anton LaVey's below. It remains the largest and most influential Satanic tradition. At the core of the Church of Satan are the nine Satanic Statements, written by Anton LaVey. In abridged form, they state that Satan represents: 1. indulgence, not abstinence 2. vital existence, not spiritual pipe dreams, 3. undefiled wisdom, not hypocritical self-deceit 4. kindness to those deserving of it, not love wasted on ingrates 5. vengeance, not turning the other cheek 6. responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires 7. man as just another animal - the most vicious of all 8. gratification of all ones desires 9. the best friend that the Christian Church has had as he has kept it in business for centuries LaVey's theology contain the following concepts: * People have created Gods in many forms; pick one that might be useful to you. * Heaven and hell do not exist. * Satan is unrelated to the modern (post 1400 AD) concept of the Christian devil. They look upon him as a God who represents the carnal, earthly, and mundane aspects of life. * Satan is not a being; he is a force of nature. * Ritual killing (of humans or animals) are not allowed. Blood drawn from a victim is useless. Victims are killed symbolically not actually. * Human life is held in sacred regard. * The highest of all Satanic holidays is the birthday of the Satanist. Of less importance are: + Walpurgisnacht (evening of April 30) and Halloween (evening of October 31), + Solstices in June and December, + Equinoxes in March and September, + Satanic Revels are held five to six weeks after each equinox and solstice * Black Masses (parodies of the Roman Catholic religious service) are not normally performed by Satanists (except perhaps for their entertainment or publicity value) LaVey's rituals and ceremonies contain the following concepts: * Names used include Satan, Lucifer, Belial and Leviathan. * Ceremonies are pageants, which are used to celebrate a person or element of faith. * Magick rituals consist of three types: 1. Sex magic (includes masturbation), 2. Healing or happiness ritual, and 3. Destruction ritual (may include sticking pins in a doll; drawing a picture or writing a description of the victim's death; delivering a soliloquy, etc.). Destruction rituals are best performed by a group. * Male Satanists wear full length black robes, with or without a hood. * Young women wear sexually suggestive clothing; older women wear all black. * All Satanists wear amulets with the symbol of Baphomet, described above * Altar: When the Satanic Bible was written (1969) a nude woman was customarily used as an altar, since Satanism is regarded as a religion of the flesh, not of the spirit. She reclined on an altar that was trapezoidal in shape, about 1 m high and 2 m long and placed against the West wall of the room. Her head pointed South. A live altar is now rarely used. * One white candle is placed to the right of the altar; it symbolizes the belief of Satanists in the hypocrisy of "White Magicians" and Wiccans because of the latter's insistence to do no harm to others. At least one black candle, representing the Powers of Darkness, is placed to the left of the altar. Additional black candles are oriented as needed to provide sufficient illumination. * The following tools are used: + A bell is rung nine times at the beginning and end of the ritual; the Satanic priest rotates counter-clockwise as he rings the bell + A chalice is ideally made of silver; it may not be formed of gold because that is a metal that Satanists believe that Wiccans use; LaVey's followers attempt to distance themselves as much as possible from Wicca. In fact, Wiccans use chalices made of various metals and other materials, including silver. + Other ritual tools include a gong, sword, elixir (usually wine), phallus, and parchment. They and the chalice and bell are placed on a small table near the altar. * The language used during magical ritual is Enochian, whose words variously sounds similar to Arabic, Hebrew or Latin. It was revealed to Dr. John Dee, court astrologer and metaphysician to Queen Elizabeth I, through his helper Edward Kelley. Kelley said that he was in contact with the Angels described in the Apocryphal book of Enoch. The Church of Satan's rules of behavior include: * Prayer is useless; it distracts people from useful activity * Enjoy indulgence instead of abstinence. Practice with joy all the seven deadly Christian sins (greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth) * If a man smites you on one cheek, smash him on the other. * Do onto others as they do onto you * Engage in sexual activity freely, in accordance with your needs (which may be best realized through monogamy, or by having sex with many others; through heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality; using sexual fetishes as you wish; by yourself or with one or more persons). Sexual activity must be between consenting adults. The ideal is a monogamous relationship based on compatibility and commitment. * Suicide is frowned upon. * The Satanist needs no elaborate, detailed list of rules of behavior. The Church of Satan is highly decentralized, believing that a strong central organization is not desirable. Each Satanist is expected to follow his/her own path. Some other Satanic groups have a strongly organized structure. Local groups of Satanists are usually called grottos or temples, They correspond to Christian congregations and Wiccan covens. Satanists feel that Wiccans are hypocrites. because the latter restrict their work to positive, healing activities. Satanists use Magick and other rituals to benefit themselves and their friends, but also use these same rituals to harm their enemies. They have incorporated some anti-Wiccan elements in their rituals. Satanists have been described as being violently anti-Christian in their beliefs and practices. Many authors, almost all conservative Christians, have described alleged Satanic rituals in which religious Satanists recite the Lord's Prayer backwards, or desecrate and use the host and wine that they have stolen from a cathedral. This is pure fiction that can be traced back to books written during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. Most Satanists' attitude towards Christianity and other world religions seems to be more of amusement and ridicule; their attitude towards Christians and other believers appears to be primarily pity. They do not single out Christianity, but criticize all other faiths. A minority of Satanic groups does take a strong anti-Christian stance; this is probably in response to persecution. -------------------------------------- Gothic Satanism - Its Origins Gothic Satanism was an invention of the Christian Church at the time of the Witch burnings. Christians believe that it existed then and was a great threat to the established order. Many Christians (particularly conservative ones) still believe this today. However, it is an imaginary religion that does not exist in reality. Throughout the 15th Century, there was a rising hysteria within the Christian Church about the perceived presence of Satan worshipers, who were seen as a destabilizing influence. The Witch burnings (sometimes called the burning times or the female holocaust) began. Two Dominican priests, Kramer and Sprenger wrote a book circa 1486 The Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches' Hammer) which became the main reference text for the genocide. They wrote that these Gothic Satanists: * are mostly women because they are more impressionable, more perfidious, more carnal, more vengeful, and (intellectually) more like children than are men. God, being male, has mostly preserved men from heresy; * kill, bewitch and induce plagues in animals; stop cows from giving milk; * cause impotence, sterility, abortions and miscarriages; * ride at night on broomsticks to sexual orgies; * drink the blood of unbaptised infants and devour them, or convert them into soup, or bake them in an oven; their bones are made into ritual instruments; * offer their children to demons; * kill or place curses on people by simply looking at them, saying a phrase, causing lightning to strike them, by blowing in their face, pushing pins into a wax doll made in the image of the victim, etc.; * beat, break, stab or step on a crucifix whenever they can. A second reference text was Guazzo's Compendium Maleficarum, which was written about 1620. He described how Satan worshipers: * ride through the air on the back of a goat or a staff * anoint themselves with magical oil and fly on their own * anoint themselves with a cream or make a certain sign, and immediately vanish; * appear to change shape from human to animal and back; * can change people and animals from male to female and back; * swear homage and obedience to Satan, and had their bodies branded with his mark; * rejoice, dance, eat and drink in the presence of Satan who appears at these celebrations in the form of a hideous and deformed black goat; * suffocated, pierced and killed their own infants, cut off their extremities and cooked their trunks. The inquisitors tortured suspects until they were willing to confess to anything in order to end the pain. So, of course, there is abundant testimony available in the court records as evidence. The last European victim of the "Burning Times" was burned at the stake in 1792, although the Church continued to exterminate heretics by burning in South America into the 1830's. Near the end of the "Burning Times", the concept of the Black Mass was added to the public's beliefs about Satanists. This was allegedly a parody on the Roman Catholic Mass. Urine and dirty water were substituted for wine; moldy bread or turnips were substituted for the host. The Mass was said in the local language (opposite to the Church's use of Latin). Texts were read backwards. The cross would be spat upon and broken. Infants would be sacrificed. Public beliefs about Gothic Satanism coalesced into a religion that was anti-Christian in every detail. ____________________________________________________________ Gothic Satanism - Today 500 years later, many people believe that Gothic Satanists remain a great threat. In the State of Utah, about 90% of adults believe in the existence of Satanic groups who abuse and kill infants. Satanists are no longer believed to fly through the air on broomsticks or instantaneously vanish. But the baby killing, selling ones soul to Satan, rituals involving a goat, breaking a cross or crucifix, even shape shifting between animal and human has been described by modern Fundamentalist or other Evangelical Christian authors. Many writers and seminar speakers may be completely unaware that most of their source material can be traced back to the texts used by the Renaissance Witch hunters. Outrageous claims have been made of 60,000 ritual killings a year in North America, and of baby breeding prisons where young women are kept continually pregnant so that their infants can be taken and sacrificed. The concept of Gothic Satanism as being thoroughly anti-Christian has remained intact for centuries. No criminal investigation in the past 300 years is known to have found hard evidence of Satanic Ritual Abuse (with the possible exception of a case in Greece during 1995). However, many Americans and Europeans believe that a highly organized, secret, internationally controlled network of Gothic Satanists exists. Tens of millions of Americans believe that it is a major social threat, even though no physical evidence of its existence has ever been found. Countless law officers have searched for this form of abuse for decades without success. The public's belief in Satanic Ritual Abuse is largely supported by thousands or tens of thousands of adults who have recovered what are believed to be false memories of abuse as a result of Recovered Memory Therapy. A second support for the belief occurred in the 1980's and early 1990's when many court cases were fought over what was believed to be ritual abuse in day care centers, pre-schools, baby-sitting services, church Sunday schools, etc. Young children disclosed stories of horrendous physical and sexual abuse. Much of it was ritual in nature. Hundreds of adults were convicted as perpetrators of MVMO (Multi-Victim, Multi-Offender) child abuse, and given long jail sentences. Research has since shown that the children's' memories were probably of events that never happened, but which arose as a result of faulty interview techniques, where repetitive and direct questioning was used. There are many indicators that Gothic Satanism does not exist: * essentially all beliefs and practices attributed to Gothic Satanism can be traced to Kramer and Sprenger's book, the Witches Hammer. * many books which are allegedly written by ex-Satanists have been shown to be frauds * no book by a Gothic Satanist describing their beliefs and rites, etc. has ever been written. If Gothic Satanists existed in any numbers, such books would exist and be in print. * baby breeding camps could not be successfully hidden for decades * various government studies and many hundreds of police investigations have failed to come up with hard evidence of human sacrifices or other Satanic crimes. A very small number of individuals have drawn on the vast amount of anti-Satanic literature written by Christian authors. They have created their own version of Gothic Satanism that does include an inverted Christian cross symbol, black masses, reciting Christian prayers backwards, etc. However, they seem to be isolated followers without any organization. And they do not engage in infant abuse, baby killing or any other criminal activities. Theirs is a religion that was inspired by and grew out of Christian literature. -------------------------------------- Satanic Dabblers There are tens or hundreds of thousands of rebellious young people in North America who briefly dabble in a form of Satanism. Their source material is often in the books by LaVey, perhaps supplemented by writings about Gothic Satanism by Evangelical or Fundamentalist Christian authors. Sometimes, they will also include elements from books on ceremonial Magick, Wicca or other Neo-pagan religions in their practices. These dabblers are responsible for Satanic graffiti, and (rarely) animal sacrifices. Some look upon Satanism as a method of rebelling against their parents' beliefs. Fortunately, it is usually a passing fad that they quickly outgrow. Satanic Dabblers have no connection with Religious Satanists. There is of course no connection between the teens and Gothic Satanists, because the latter do not exist. ____________________________________________________________ References 1. "Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups" Department of the Army, 1978-APR. The section on Satanism is available on line at: [now a dead link:] http://www.satansrealm.com/military/ 2. The Church of Satan has a home page at: [ http://www.churchofsatan.com -- thanks boysatan!] 3. The Temple of Set is at: http://www.xeper.org/pub/tos/index.html 4. "Not Like Most" is a "publication of Satanism in Action." They follow the traditions of the Church of Satan. See: http://users.aol.com/boysatan/ptp/nlm.htm [ http://www.purgingtalon.com/nlm -- thanks boysatan!] 5. "The Black Flame" is published by [ Hell's Kitchen Productions.... Info on The Black Flame can be found at churchofsatan.com. http://www.satannet.com is about to be retired by its webmaster, Rev. Ventrue. He is working on a new site (http://www.personalsatan.com) which may or may not be much like satannet. -- thanks boysatan!] 6. Home pages of individual Satanic groups (other than the well-established Church of Satan and Temple of Set), appear to have a half-life of about 6 months. It has proven impossible for us to maintain an up-to-date listing. Thus, we refer you to the Yahoo search engine listings: + Temple of Set at: http://www.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Religion/Faith s_and_Practices/Satanism/Temple_of_Set/ + Other groups at: http://www.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Religion/Faith s_and_Practices/Satanism/ 7. A FAQ list for the Church of Satan is at: [ http://members.chello.at/herbert.paulis/CoS-FAQ.html -- bobo] ---------------------------------------------------------------- This document was obtained from the following URL: http://web.canlink.com/ocrt/satanism.htm corrections were made by boboroshi from a post by boysatan. copyright presumed the author's. EOF 418