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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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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
* Others feel that all religions other than Judaism or
Christianity are inspired by Satan and are thus forms of
* 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
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
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
* 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
* 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
5. vengeance, not turning the other cheek
6. responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for
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
* Young women wear sexually suggestive clothing; older women
wear all black.
* All Satanists wear amulets with the symbol of Baphomet,
* 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
* 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
* 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
* Suicide is frowned upon.
* The Satanist needs no elaborate, detailed list of rules of
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
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
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
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
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
* 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
* 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
* 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
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
* 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
* baby breeding camps could not be successfully hidden for
* 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.
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.
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:
4. "Not Like Most" is a "publication of Satanism in Action."
They follow the traditions of the Church of Satan. See:
[ 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:
+ Other groups at:
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:
corrections were made by boboroshi from a post by boysatan.
copyright presumed the author's.