I have been so lucky. For a over decade I decided to lay fairly low and as a result I was wrapped in the loving and strong arms of The Church of Satan. In addition to allowing me to stay despite my highly embarrassing presence, they elevated me and allowed me to continue the public relations work that means so much to me, and on my terms, as well. I made them a target for humiliation and they made me feel like I wasn't a pariah but a valued member. How could I ever be anything but grateful?
A few years back I was doing research and felt strongly that I could substantiate my position that the Church of Satan was the first actual Satanic church in history. Naturally there was no idea that others outside the CoS would agree, but that did not change the position. Very simply since prior to the formation of the Church of Satan there had never been, in all of history, a voluntary group of people who had joined for ritual and dogma who called themselves Satanists, Satanism therefore was codified and created by the Church of Satan. Occasionally someone brainy would argue those points with me from an academic/scholarly standpoint. Very occasionally. Rarely, even.
Much more often however the argument would be that this can't be right because I am saying/writing it and I:
1. 'am a battered woman (prior to 20020,
2. 'am a voluntarily battered woman who married badly twice (1981 1992),
3 'had my kids taken away for 5 months in 2002 for being married to and divorcing a pedophile,and the authorities needed to make sure all was stable after almost a decade of Hell,
4. 'had lost my wealthy show biz family to death and am no longer is wealthy,
5. 'don't care about my kids because I reported and helped convict my pedophile husband when she discovered his crimes--obviously she should have known because criminals always commit their sins in front of an audience. I also encouraged and was deeply content when the CoS proved their commitment to justice by expelling the criminal,
6. 'can't be a witch because out of 34 years of public participation in alternative/Pagan/Occult religions I had humiliation, abuse and pain for 8 of them,
7 'can't be a decent spokesperson/teacher/representative despite thousands of interviews, students, lectures, television and radio appearances and testifying as an expert witness as named by the state of Florida Attorney General as well as teaching in police academies to stop the harassment of ALL members of alternative religions-including those I disagree with-- because at times my personal life was in the crapper,
8. 'am a lousy example of Satanism/witchery/life because I was so worried that my daughter would suffer because of my mistakes and I had to do anything, including embarrass the Hell out of myself, to make sure my child would not lose 48,000 in scholarship money I lacked because I did not have $16,000 in the bank at that moment (no doubt all my accusers do,)
9. 'got fired from a mainstream online newspaper because I wrote something Satanic in the alternative religion column. I had the audacity to point out that Westboro Baptists are disgusting not in spite of but because of following the Holy Bible. My shitty writing was not the issue.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....yup. 'pretty fucking embarrassing. 'worse still--that isn't the half of it. 'Never a dull moment, and I spend a great deal of time wishing for dull moments.
In the last year I lost my Mom and my best friend, both on the heels of other stuff I mistakenly thought of as tragedies. My perspective changed. I can only be embarrassed if people find me interesting. I can only be humiliated if I hide in a corner and let others take from me the things that matter.
I was 17 years old when I first did PR/education to help those who walk a different path do so without getting hit by anything that can't comprehend the greatness of a country founded upon a notion of freedom of as well as from religion. I had been raised on stage and took my understanding of performance and the freedom my beatnik atheist parents gave me with the knowledge incessant reading and a family of Episcopal, Quakers, Catholics, and Jews provided. I saw alternative religions as the last allowed prejudice and in my gung ho naivete I thought I could fix it. Some days I still do.
So yes, D. Burke of today---most recent in a long line of mean people who want to stop my points by attacking me personally, you're too late. I have paid in tears and blood and loss for my mistakes. You can't out me when my whole life has been lived on TV, in magazines, in legal documents and online. All you and your ilk can do is prove that you can't use logic or reason to defeat my positions. You can only try to personally hurt a 50 year old woman who's life has been a whole lot of things, but NEVER, EVER boring.
6 years ago