Saturday, November 3, 2012

Separation of What?


In Orlando there are buses bringing folks to the election places called "Souls for Polls." Likewise there are a lot of ministers and lay people giving political information to their followers in a sort of intentionally (not) vague way, as to not actually endorse a specific candidate. For years the biggies, the Roman Catholics and the mainstream Baptists have not endorsed a specific candidate but have made it plain as paper that certain issues and one's support of them can be a one way ticket to H-E-double hockey sticks. Separating religion from politics in an election year is like parting conjoined twins without anesthesia.
That is not to imply that the left is any less affected. Neo Pagans and Wiccans have the not inconsiderable task of trying to find an empty spot on their bumper for another life-changing statement of who to support. Scaring the crap out of anyone with a vagina becomes a full time job, and threats of a mass exodus to Canada is repeated in chants in magic circles from Miami to Jacksonville. The anger at the right for pushing their political agenda from the pulpit, as valid as it is, does not reduce the irony of certain candidates names being burned on paper slips over cauldrons or used to raise cones of power.
We can't help it. Politics and religion have one thing in common. People don't choose the one they think is second best. One chooses their religion because they believe it is accurate and true. One chooses their representatives because they believe they are the same. No one says " I think Mr. X is the better candidate but I wanted something more mediocre." Similarly no one chooses to take Holy Communion if they think transubstantiation is cannibalism. People make a big show of being open minded, qualifying every word with "...it is just my humble opinion," and lots of "...I could be wrong,''s, but it is illogical to assume that they are choosing something that is less than their true and fervent belief.
The First Amendment is a bit of a sticky situation, really. The freedom of religion and the freedom of speech make for interesting bedfellows in an election year. Now, with the seeming acceptance of "Faith Based Initiatives" the waters are muddied even further. The government requests that churches offer help to those in need and provides to assist them in doing that. The caveat is usually that the Church has to use said funds to benefit all, regardless of religious affiliation, but it certainly begs the question of why a church is doing what the government is paying for? Isn't that a sort of tacit approval? 'an endorsement of the church being supported?
I know of only one legal Church that thumbs it's nose at such shenanigans. There may be more, I would welcome hearing that I am wrong, BUT, for now only The Church of Satan,
http://www.churchofsatan.com refuses tax exemption, collects no subsidies, asks no tithes, and in no way hints, suggests, implies, authorizes, demands, or wants it's members to support a specific candidate or issue.
“As has been said many times before, one’s politics are up to each individual member, and most of our members are political pragmatists. They support political candidates and movements whose goals reflect their own practical needs and desires. Our members span an amazing political spectrum, which includes but is not limited to: Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Reform Party members, Independents, Capitalists, Socialists, Communists, Stalinists, Leninists, Trotskyites, Maoists, Zionists, Monarchists, Fascists, Anarchists, and just about anything else you could possibly imagine. It is up to each member to apply Satanism and determine what political means will reach his/her ends, and they are each solely responsible for this decision. Freedom and responsibility—must be a novel concept for those who aren’t Satanists. We take it in stride. Members who demand conformity from other members to their particular political fetish are welcomed to depart.”
—High Priest Peter H. Gilmore,
from his essay “A Map for the Misdirected”
Is it really possible that the separation Jefferson wrote about in letter is echoed only in a Church that knows no gods, for a people who refuse to kneel? Can it really be that the most patriotic of us, during the election of our president are the most vilified of us all? History has shown us that it isn't just possible, it is the nature of America.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vampires....The Only Ones Worth a Fuck


     Very few locals here in Central Florida will ever be able to forget the crimes known as the Vampire Murders.  A group of teens led by an anti-social loser (raised by the kind of mother Casey Anthony might have emulated,) violently killed one of the kids’ parents.  Before, during and after, Rod Ferrell, brain trust extraordinaire, vapidly insisted he was a vampire and these bored kids from Eustis played along. 
     Last year another Florida Mensa candidate was in on a murder and again Vampirism was brought up.  Not only that, mind you.    Stephanie Pistey says she believes she's part vampire and part werewolf.
   In all fairness I should probably mention the Florida Christian who murdered someone he thought was a vampire in 2004.
     Long before Bram Stoker various cultures had adopted myths that involved blood drinking and those who do it.  Since Stoker you can’t swing an undead cat without hitting some human who has decided a love of Edwardian ruffles and nightlife makes them a Vampire.  Perhaps they do role playing games.  Maybe they dress beautifully and dance all night.  The vast majority is simply embracing an aesthetic and would not hurt a fly.  Others, sadly, have used the myth to hide in, and worse, to de-evolve in.
     The crimes above, however, were not committed by any genuine religious sect.  They were not even religious or ritual or occult crime.  For a crime to be ritualistic it has to have a ritual/religious purpose, it has to be performed in a religious setting or after a ritual to make the crime scene religious, and the commission of it should demonstrate the religion in question.  For instance, Rod Ferrell murdered Mr. Wendorff in his home while he was sleeping on the couch in front of the television.  There is/was no sacrifice of the couch potato ritual. There were no candles.  There was no full moon, or special holiday.  If this was a Vampire murder because Ferrell thought himself a Vampire then every other crime in the US would be a Christian crime by the same token.
     Yet for the last few decades the Goth movement has developed a Vampire subculture.  That subculture has embraced the dangerous pathology of cutting as a religious tenet.  They call themselves Sanguinarians.  A more appropriate namesake would be victims of Renfields Syndrome, named after Stoker’s bug eating sidekick.  With books by Rice, Brite, and now Meyer, with games like Vampire:  The Masquerade, being a vampire is about as cool as it gets for a kid interested in something other than cheerleading and football.  This can scare the Hell out of a parent.
     Luckily there is a genuine and healthy Vampire Religion.  The Temple of the Vampire has been providing an empowering and life affirming philosophy since 1989.  It is a legal religious organization, run by brilliant and unique people who:
“...believe the value of the individual is superior to that of any group or tribe or nation or species.
In everything we do, we believe in challenging the power of anything opposing individual freedom.
The way we do this is by empowering individuals to achieve independent control over their lives through wealth, health, personal power, and unlimited life extension.
We created a worldwide organization with proven methods for making this possible. For more than twenty years we have been active doing so.
The Temple embraces only those aspects of the Vampire mythos that include a love and respect for all life, physical immortality, individual elegance, proven wisdom, civilized behavior, worldly success, and personal happiness.
The Temple rejects those aspects of the Vampire mythos that are negative including any that are anti-life, anti-social, deathist, crude, gory, self-defeating, or criminal.”
From Temple of the Vampire

     The ToV encourages members to explore two sides of Vampire lifestyle which they term the Dayside and the Nightside.  The Dayside explores the more mundane, but completely necessary life achievements, as well as the traditional Vampire pursuit of immortality:
  1.  Physical immortality.
  2. Emergency survival.
  3. Physical health.
  4. Self-understanding.
  5. Communication skills
  6. Personal finance

Conversely, the more esoteric side to the ToV exists in the Nightside explorations:

“Our esoteric (Nightside) teachings are found in five consecutive books beginning with The Vampire Bible and do not require Temple membership but do require a Nightside Connection…The Nightside Connection enables you to tap into the wisdom, guidance, and skills of the truly advanced Vampire. This esoteric Connection is the source of power that makes the Temple completely unique…….Nightside Vampirism is not merely absorbing Lifeforce, the esoteric energy of life that all living things radiate. Vampirism is much more than just taking in more Lifeforce from others. That is a common ability.”
     The Temple offers members everything from an online message board to interact with Vampires all over the world, to some of the most widely recognized beautiful jewelry in the entire occult world. The ToV literature is powerful and vast.               
While active membership is reserved for those 18 and over, teens will find basic membership more than busy enough while waiting for that birthday.  The Temple of the Vampire encourages study over blind faith, learning over worship.
     Not merely satisfied to dress up and be gloomy the ToV emulates this creed:
I am a Vampire.
I worship my ego and I worship my life, for I am the only God that is.
I am proud that I am a predatory animal and I honor my animal instincts.
I exalt my rational mind and hold no belief that is in defiance of reason.
I recognize the difference between the worlds of truth and fantasy.
I acknowledge the fact that survival is the highest law.
I acknowledge the Powers of Darkness to be hidden natural laws
through which I work my magic.
I know that my beliefs in Ritual are fantasy but the magic is real,
and I respect and acknowledge the results of my magic.
I realize there is no heaven as there is no hell,
and I view death as the destroyer of life.
Therefore I will make the most of life here and now.
I am a Vampire.
Bow down before me.
     This column is about alternative religions, so those somehow offended by the notions of godless religions need only to open their minds and accept that they chose to read this fully aware of the meaning of the word ALTERNATIVE.  The ToV is a legal religious organization that makes the following demand of their potential members:  “…you promise to refrain from criminal activity, physical blood drinking, and discussing the Temple with the public.”  Equally important is the statement found repeatedly on ToV literature and on their website:  “Within lies fact and fancy, truth and metaphor. Discriminate with care.”  Now, that is the kind of religious honesty we could all use more often!
    These are the real thing.  These Vampires practice a philosophy and lifestyle that transcends silly costumes and bizarre dentistry.  These people can teach adherents magic, finances, survivalism (not the kind that requires a “compound” and a dislike for any particular race of people,) history, and the list goes on and on.  I have spent 32 years learning about the various religio/philosophic groups in this world, and so many are based on fictitious and/or mythological entities/archetypes.  Many come to the world of the Occult and alternatives due to falling in love with a particular mythos.  Sadly, if you actually follow these fictions to their mythological conclusion you will end up in jail, dead, or psychologically damaged.  The ToV has found the way to allow Vampires to live and thrive and grow and to do it all without regret on any level.
 How cool is that?
Please check out: www.VampireTemple.com
Anything in quotes in this article, unless otherwise stated, is copyright Temple of the Vampire, all rights reserved. Used with permission.  Likewise Temple Artwork & jewelry.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Busy Flipparoo Hunter, Sanguinary!

Don't panic.....

The proof of the danger of heretic christians (aka Satanafliparoos)

It may be fun to joke about the moronic idiots who do silly things in the name of some literal entity they call "Satan."  On the whole they fit a sort of quaint stereotype.  Black nail polish, mother's basement's, half-hearted cutting, and the conviction that a devil will show interest where a god definitely didn't seems to compel people to a degree of silly behavior that just provokes laughter.
But it isn't all shits and giggles.   There is an inherent danger in faith that grows exponentially when the faith is put in a symbol like Satan.  For those of us who embrace the self-responsibility and refusal to yield or kneel before others, it is hard to understand those who think in monotheistic/omnipotent terms.  It confuses us to imagine how believing in the total power of one being is any different from believing in the total power of another being?  Providing that being isn't you, does it really matter what color it wears, halo or horns, god or devil?
So then we see angry, confused people with all varying degrees and diagnosis of mental illness.  The two links above were provided by a wonderful CoS friend called Sanguinary.  Sanguinary has provided me with even more,and what I see is someone who, like me previously, watches diligently for mention of her religion in the media and is shocked and  disgusted that in 2012 anyone still buys this devil worship crap and thinks it has anything to do with the legal and responsible religion of Satanism.  These 'flipparoos are the cause.  They use our name with their Christian beliefs and heresy and confuse the mentally lazy ( ie. 8/10ths  of the human population.)
Thanks, Sanguinary.
                                                           

Friday, May 18, 2012

BRING ME FLIPPAROOS!

The last year or two have been relatively quiet here at Satanic Rants.  Maybe my ranter was broken or at least hibernating, or maybe I was going through my occasional periods of online agoraphobia. Regardless I have had far too much real life to spend much time dealing with the greater questions, issues, and serio-comedies that define online life.  And, as a Satanist, that is okay.  In fact, as a Satanist, the worst conceivable thing I could do would be to ignore my very real life and all its adjacent issues to fight for a cause, or do for the greater good, or any of the other rationalizations people make to explain why their families and life are n the crapper but by golly they made a "difference!"  Really?

For years I have been racking up college credits--tons more than required to graduate, just not the right ones to graduate.  I have enough classes in Literature, Psychology, Philosophy/Religion, History and Anthropology to have completed majors for Bachelors in each one.  What I haven't had is even one solid math class.  I have had to return to Junior College to take pre-college and entry level college maths to get my degrees.  Then, despite all these credits (well over even the stodgiest school's demands) I have had to do things like retake Engish 1!  Well, bitching didn't help, just hunkering down and facing the shit that truly scares me has.  I get one degree in December, and two more within a year of that.  If I hadn't gotten my ass wrapped up in educating the world and making a difference I probably would have faced this 25 years ago or so.  Nor is this about formal education---it is about getting what matters to ME, for me, by me.

And for all those nifty arcane and interesting classes that I breezed through with one A after another?  None of them have given me the feeling of accomplishment the C I got in Algebra did. I felt like I won the fucking Lotto!  I studied that utterly irrelevant crap forever, sweated and nightmared over it. So, instead of trying to teach pigs to sing, I taught myself how to learn.

Those who know me embrace the line from the play/film Steel Magnolia's  when one character says about the other "When it comes to suffering, she is right up there with Elizabeth Taylor."  Well, except for the dead part.  My personal life has certainly been void of dull moments.  But, in the last few years, that too, with work, compromise, acceptance and grace that comes not from god but from love (yeah, ok, a few surgeries and trips to court helped a bit, too :)), has passed into the past.

I'm not saying that things are perfect.  They aren't and in fact, like every human on the planet there are a few things that downright suck.  Life has no sense of fair play or righteous karma, despite what our white lighty friends might say.  I fully anticipate being shit on some more, as well as getting more roses, and spending a great deal of my time in between.  With my kids mostly grown now, however, this is MY time., and despite a nature that desperately  wants to expose and deny, decry and just plain degrade the Satanaflipparoos, debate the hypocritical Christians, and show others the extreme poetic beauty of TSB, TSS, The Church of Satan, nothing is more Satanic than me taking care of me.

Yet..in the old habits die hard category, I ask you, my faithful friends and readers, to assist me in keeping a toe in the puddle, as it were.  Find me flipparoos---real live Satanaflipparos, online, in the news, blogs, magazines...bring me your encounters, clippings, videos...I want to let the assholes speak for themselves...with some minor (!!??) editorializing on my part!  Satanic Rants can make a wickend comeback with your help!

For those unfamiliar:  A Satanaflipparoo MUST consider themselves Satanic/call themselves a Satanist.  They must display evidence of being in direct contradiction to the rules of the CoS or violate the tenets of TSB.  They can be merely funny, or in fact dangerous, but on the whole they are best described as Christian Heretics.

To get you started I bring you this complete nutbag:  Satanaflipparoo #1What do ya'll think?


So, either comment here, or send it to MagistraY@gmail.com

I look forward to doing the Satanic thing of having an indulgently wicked good time!  Y~