Magus Gilmore, Priestess Graham, Citizen Wylie, and myself have been dealing with this issue for almost a year.
This is my standard letter to the press each and every time they used the word Satanism in regards to this crime:
Ever since Lawrence Harris committed the most heinous and repulsive of all crimes, Satanists have endured a continual assault against our religion, both in the media and within the courtroom. As a result, and to prevent another decade long Satanic panic Satanists are asking responsible journalists to do their jobs properly and research Satanism prior to printing/reporting any further misinformation.
From the moment this crime was committed the Church of Satan found itself in the unenviable position of wanting to deal with Harris Satanically---meaning we want justice with no forgiveness for his horrific crimes, while in no way wanting to validate Harris' defense.
We are thoroughly frustrated that the most basic information about our religion and this case specifically is being ignored! The following are verifiable facts that have been ignored, either intentionally for the purpose of sensationalism, or through the ignorance and laziness of those reporting:
1. Harris was never a member of the Church of Satan.
2. Harris was not a Satanist.
3. There are no rituals in The Satanic Bible that require or even imply any form of living sacrifice.
4. There are no rituals/ceremonies in the entire canon of Satanic dogma that requires or even implies living sacrifice.
5. Satanism prohibits the harming of children and animals.
6. The Church of Satan does not endorse, and will terminate the membership of those who commit, criminal activity.
After 43 years as a legal, growing religion there are hundreds of other quotes and samples of our dogma that could be used here to substantiate our point, but surely these examples would seem worthy of mention when reporters are writing about this case. There certainly has been no shortage falsehoods printed as if they were fact!
Twenty years ago Satanists were forced to hide and were persecuted because a cottage industry sprung up where evangelists, unethical therapists, notoriety hungry authors and dubious journalists created a myth about sacrifices, breeders, and other completely untrue crimes attributed to Satanists/Satanism. The end result was thousands of NON_Satanists had their lives destroyed and many Satanists were forced underground. When the smoke cleared, with the FBI's Lanning Report, one would have thought humanity would have learned something. Instead journalists are swallowing the same lies with the same disregard for truth. We can only hope their refusal to do the most perfunctory research, won't again, destroy the lives of the innocent.
The Church of Satan's High Priest, Magus Peter Gilmore ushered in the age of Justice after 9/11. In that spirit the membership of the Church of Satan wants nothing more than to see Lawrence Harris pay dearly and brutally for his heinous and repugnant crime. One fact about the religion of Satanism that might be of interest is that Satanists do not do forgiveness, and Harris is worthy of no mercy. The same harshness however is not deserved by the many legally practicing Satanists who are being slandered and libeled each and every day.
The information is available and it is free. Surely it isn't too much to ask professional journalists to look at it before making statements that hurt the innocent.
Magistra Ygraine Mitchell
This is the addendum to that release:
ADDENDUM IN LIGHT OF VERDICT
- The Church of Satan is relieved to know that the false and derogatory defense Mr. Harris attempted to use to avoid his responsibility for his vicious crimes was met with sanity as evidenced by his rapid conviction.
- The Church of Satan's name has been dragged through the mud by both sides in this adversarial process, when all we wanted was justice our religion demands for the children our religion reveres.
- It is indeed sad that Mr. Harris cannot legally meet his end in the same way he forced those two innocent children to, but perhaps one day, in a Satanic world.............
Does it ever help? I don't know. For 28 years I have been essentially saying the same thing and yet there is always some new idiot or greedy televangelist who is dependent on Satanism as a scapegoat.
Thanks to all those who thought this mattered enough to get involved! I wish you could see the brilliant writing in the Affidavits that Magus Gilmore sent--it would make you proud of being in an organization that has such brilliance at the very top.
Magda Graham kept the entire hierarchy of the Church of Satan informed.
Citizen Dino/Wylie did so much research that I always wished he was prosecuting the case. He found information that shed an entirely different light on the case and would have, if the real prosecutor wasn't a lazy bigot, negated the need for Satanism to even be mentioned.
Anyway, friends, I am home from my surgery and while nowhere near 100% it feels damn good to sit in my grandfather's chair and speak to/with/for you all.