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Subject: the alt.satanism Frequently Asked Questions

This article was archived around: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 10:25:52 GMT

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Revised: 49990720 LOCATION http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astnmgp.9907 ______________________________________________________________________ Frequently Asked Questions about Satanism by Matt G. Paradise [reformatted by nocTifer] Since I've become a Grotto Master for the Church of Satan, one of my appointed capacities is that of media representative. Since then, I've been answering more questions than ever, as well as doing this publication, a component in my representation of Satanism. I'd like to approach some of the more popular (and maybe not as popular) questions that I've run into, put them on paper, and save myself some repeated breath. Questions marked with [X] are taken from part one of an interview I did with a publication called The Black Virgin Mary Coloring Book and [the rest] are 1996 BVMCB, used with kind permission. (Some of these questions and responses have been edited for space conservation and for the sake of not being redundant.) =================================================================== (X) Question: "What is the difference between Satanism and devil worship?" "Satanism and devil worship are two distinctly different animals. Devil worship is what it is: the worship of an external deity, much as it could be labeled inverse Xtianity. The Satan in Satanism is an archetype, one many know by name and is relative to the culture. Some Satanists choose different aspects of this archetype, depending on geography or just plain aesthetics, but the same characteristics still hold true. It would make little sense for us to claim to embody the archetypal qualities of Satan (rebellion, rational self-interest, carnality, etc.) on one hand, and then attempt to worship an anthropomorphic Satan on the other. Devil worshipers need to be subjugated, ask for it by their own actions. The Satanist finds such unproductive and one-sided activities to be draining and useless (not to mention hypocritical). Much of this is aptly mentioned in The Satanic Bible and the other books I've listed at this publication's end." (X) Question: "Do you find most of the membership of the CoS to be 'Xtian refugees' or do they come from all sorts of backgrounds?" "Surely, I couldn't speak for all Satanists, but I would assume that many, particularly older Satanists who grew up in an era when Xtianity was taken a bit more seriously, had some sort of Xtian indoctrination in their childhoods. Oftentimes, teens will approach Satanism as a reaction to their growing disdain for Xtianity, and I think that's an honest and healthy step, speaking from experience. However, once a Satanist (a true Satanist, and not some drugged-out devil-worshiping metalhead with a penchant for feline slaughter) grows up a bit and experiences some of the outside world, Satanism becomes a lot more than a game of shock-the-sheep and the Satanist applies himself/herself to attain goals and engage in meaningful pursuits. I wouldn't use the phrase "Xtian refugees" to describe the situation mentioned above, simply because there is an implied idea of victimization riding shotgun with it, and victim is a label no Satanist cares to wear - mainly because it's unproductive as well as being antithetical to pure Satanic philosophy." Statement: "Anton LaVey is merely ripping off Nietzsche." "When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, it is augmented with modern circumstances, his own thoughts, and is analogous to our philosophy. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, something like science meets philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we didn't, who else would?) Same thing scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals do. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. It's evolution, pure and simple." Statement: "The Church of Satan charges application fees for membership and further involvement and accepts money from people. Sounds like your garden-variety tent-show evangelist scam." "First off, you are probably confusing two different terms. The Church of Satan is an organization. Satanism is a religion. Since we are one of the few (if not, one of the ONLY) religions whose organized body REJECTS the tax exempt status other religions cling to, the CoS accepts money to keep it moving, and we pay BACK into the economic system. ("Responsibility to the responsible.") Also, there seem to be a couple presuppositions hiding under your statement. The first is that we should feel "bad" or "humble" about money. Why? We are Satanists. Most of us appreciate success in one form or another and, in business, we know that money often enough helps this along. We lay our cards on the table and have no problem with it. If a credible Satanist pays into the CoS, he or she does this in support, and does it knowingly because he or she is wise, like all good Satanists are. If your average ignoramus throws money at the CoS, the organization is happy to take that, too. But, it is the idiot, not the CoS, who should be held responsible because, quite frankly, we didn't rush up to his house with Uzis, drag him to the ATM, and make him empty out his account for us. You don't even have to be a member of the CoS to be a Satanist, so no money is required, unlike that required by others for tithes, collection plates, and holy corn meal. (The monetary fee, by extension, also keeps out most of the trend chasers, the occultniks, and the terrorists. We don't want them and we won't put up with them.) The second presupposition lies in your penchant for equating us with the model of religion which Xtianity ostensibly portrays. It has been adequately stated and PROVEN that Satanism is not inverse Xtianity. It's an old point. Tell the Judeo-Xtian churches to pay THEIR taxes and see what they say. The differences are enormous." Question: "Why do many Satanists wear black?" "I'm glad you said 'many' instead of 'all,' because the latter simply isn't true. It is true that I prefer the color black in my wardrobe choice, although other Satanists will have their own personal reasons for their personal choices. (Sound like real life to anyone?) It is a choice. I find it pleasing, uniform, and void of so many of the popular culture icons the herd adorn themselves with. The only thing that my personal choice of the color has to do with my Satanic self involves those three things mentioned in the previous sentence. For me, it also means that I don't have to waste mental energy and valuable time striving to match everything, because I'd rather use that time for more useful and productive activities. It's a cultivated look with many personal advantages too numerous to completely name. Does this really bother you so much?" (X) Question: "There is a mistrust in mankind's ability to govern himself that a lot of faiths have. There are a lot of disapproving parental gods. Why should humans have the choice to do what they want? Can Man be trusted? Were humans ever meant to be free and free-willed?" "I don't think it's a question of whether or not humans should have a choice to do what they want because if a human being really and truly wishes to commit an action, no matter how atrocious or morally-incorrect, the deed is done and that's that. There's a strong reality that every human is a potential menace; obviously, that's why we have police, courts, and prisons. Man as a collective unit cannot be trusted as each person is subject to individual assessment. In a related sense, Satanists tend to live a very pragmatic life, leaving moralism to those weak souls who are, quite honestly, better off being chained down to an oppressive dogma and not getting in everyone else's hair. (Of course, this point only accounts for the innocuous follower types and not the abortion clinic bombers and other members of the lunatic fringe.) I truly feel that some people really crave slavery, and they profoundly need it, practically beg for it in the guise of a god, a drug, a bad relationship, etc; and others live their lives in search of true personal freedom and intellectual advancement, many of whom are Satanists." Statement: "I don't agree with your philosophies, therefore, I will condemn your religion." "Go ahead. It's your ignorant prerogative. But, it does seem to me that, by stating that, you really can't deal with what other people do unless you can get involved in it. If you are such a herd-dependent and weak individual, you would undoubtedly make a ridiculous excuse for a Satanist. I can't give you anything to fill the void in your life, and neither can Satanism. If you are sour on life, don't blame it on me or my religion. Why do you pay so much attention to Satanism if you don't care? Because, for some unwarranted reason, you've convinced yourself that you do. What a waste of good emotion." (X) Question: "I cannot anticipate what would be clear and unclear to most regarding the 'Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth,' so I will ask you to clarify some things for me personally. In #5, what is the Mating Signal? How do you give it and know it was given? Does 'she said no, but I know what she really meant' ever arise as a problem in defining it? Does the CoS have clear-cut stances on casual sex, monogamy, contraception and abortion?" "Well, considering that you and I are two distinctly different human beings, what works for me might not work for you. In other words, the definition of the mating signal will vary according to combination of participants, situation, and other subjective criteria. Depending on these, the mating signal may be repeated "sexy" looks thrown your way, or it might have to be the other person literally saying, "Hey, would you like to fuck?" The proof's in the pudding, to be cliche and, yes, when someone says "no," they generally mean it. There are no instant cure-all answers in Satanism, our very philosophy harshly discourages such non-thought and what I would call "the easy way out" as an excuse, but with awareness and reason, we fare pretty damn well for ourselves. As for the CoS having policies on casual sex, monogamy, etc, those aforementioned are all choices, open to each individual Satanist. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, although aptly beneficial for non-Satanists to heed, were scripted for a Satanic audience, one that has the whole context in mind." Statement: "I tried Satanism, but it did nothing for me." "And, I suspect that you believe that a model airplane builds itself. Satanism didn't disappoint you, you disappointed yourself and can't face the blame you deserve. You don't improve your Satanism, you improve yourself. That's the giant point you missed through all of that hard searching for easy answers in a book. Why not go back to Xtianity. They'll tell you what to do with your life and you won't even have to think." (X) Question: "Regarding the 10th Satanic Rule of the Earth, how does the CoS feel about mass market killing (the meat industry). These people are not killing for their food, there is always a wasted surplus. Are they breaking this rule? Today in this country we will obviously not starve if we don't "bring down the buffalo," so should people continue to kill animals for this purpose?" "Satanists feel that the killing of an animal, outside of self-defense or the need for food, is grossly irresponsible. Many Satanists I know are avid animal lovers, including myself and Anton LaVey and, in most cases, we find our pets to be infinitely more interesting and vital beings than most of the human mess around us. The reality is that nature has assigned different animals to serve different purposes: cats and dogs don't have enough meat, probably taste pretty bad, and function better alive than dead as companions, security, hunting partners, etc; as opposed to cows, sheep and the like, who are generally herd animals, have no natural defense and little if any independent thinking skills, taste good, and are considered cattle by their physical and mental realities. (Otherwise, they wouldn't be the preferred menu choice for the other beasts of the fields.) Obviously, meat is a staple food, so the killing of animals for this purpose is inherently no different than what happens in nature, although the procedure seems sanitized in people's eyes because it's done behind closed doors; killing by proxy, if you will. I do agree that the methods employed are a bit cruel and unnecessary and, if a more considerate method could take its place, I'd certainly be in favor of it. As for wasted surplus, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the meat industry and, perhaps, calls for some regulatory legislation." Statement: "I really want to join the Church of Satan... I mean, A LOT! I want to be a Priest and be one of you. I want magical powers and a direct phone-line to Satan." "Go away." Question: "To apply the name of Satan to this church, implies a connection to the Bible. What is the stance of the CoS on these popular tales and predictions? Who is Christ to the CoS?" "We take the name Satan in concept only. Any other connection is thrust upon us by anxious, ignorant, and/or misinformed people. The archetype itself, by whatever name is appropriate, is far older than Xtianity or Judaism, and it was these religions that, in order to gain a foothold in the world, decided to destroy and bastardize the "pagan gods." Satan has generally been the character who has challenged sterile thought, encouraged indulgence, rebelled against slavery, and truly represented human nature and all that the mundane world offers. By extension, instead of worshiping Satan, we emulate him. The Xtian bible was probably one of the greatest pieces of propaganda (with Mein Kampf running a close second) in world history but, quite frankly, a scientifically, philosophically, and technologically advanced civilization should logically cease to have a need for such outmoded parables and slave ethics. But, seeing as insecurity never goes out of style, those in need seek their babysitters in whatever avenue is acceptable; in LaVey's words, a "privileged lie." Many Satanists also view the Xtian bible as examples of mankind's hypocrisy, incompetence, and spinelessness. Jesus Christ is the paradigm for these qualities. How can anyone with human insight and reasonable logic skills accept the phrase "the meek shall inherit the Earth" without laughing? History certainly doesn't support this assertion. From my experience, many people who call themselves Xtians are so merely by convenience and not so much by a rational decision, if rationale is possible. It's a truly insecure philosophy that demands its tenets to be installed in humans from early childhood, because if it was introduced for the first time to adults, many would raise their eyebrow in suspicion and disgust. Many Xtians I've met haven't even read their bible (at least, not critically), but keep the book on their coffee table to appear "righteous." And, some just skip the sanguine parts. Many of them really seem to get off on their religion, the self-righteousness feeds their impoverished egos. As trivial as it seems, it's a glaring metaphor for Xtianity in general, an amass of contradictions, and almost Freudian." Question: "As a representative for Satanism, you do interviews and lectures. Isn't this preaching? And, doesn't this violate your rule of not giving your opinions unless asked?" "Of course this isn't preaching and it doesn't go against the First Satanic Rule of the Earth. If you open a magazine, turn on your radio, or click on your television and see an interview with a Satanist, you've reached a point where you will either not read or look at it, or you will. If you choose the latter, you have consigned yourself to the information and, by your own actions, have given your non-verbal consent to receive such information about our religion. If you attend a lecture, you have even more so welcomed yourself to our "opinions." No one coerced you to attend or read or watch or listen. Assuming that Satanism can be preached is to assume that anyone can be a Satanist, which is grossly false. We know this and wouldn't bother proselytizing like other religions. It would waste our time and we'd have to care, which we don't." Question: "Regarding the 11th Satanic Rule of the Earth, please define "destroy." It is a very strong word to misplace. Does this mean to literally "kill?" For example if a woman overcomes a man who is trying to rape her, will she break this rule if she does not kill him?" "Killing isn't the only way to destroy an assailant or enemy. You can humiliate the person, get them fired, etc, ad infinitum, depending on your capacity for sadism. To say that Satanism tells a person to kill is ridiculous, and merely offers a human being yet another scapegoat for his actions, a very un-Satanic behavior. If a person chooses to murder another human being, he or she must be prepared to deal with the consequences, and not complain about them once they come down (i.e., the 8th Satanic Rule of the Earth). To me, killing an enemy would be boring and ineffective, unless it was in self-defense. It is far more satisfying and appropriate to keep them alive and suffering." EOF