It has been a busy media month in Satanism, so I have been fairly busy doing that thing I do. Between the ridiculous situation in Durham, and the noise filtering from Chicago regarding a custody battle, I am seeing a few trends I'd like to address.
The thing is, while researching answers and issues, I discovered a veritable treasure trove of old and new stuff from devil worshipers---some of it even attacking me and my stance on their existence, which is I suppose understandable. After all, my stance is that they don't deserve to exist, but exist they do. They have even become euphemistically savvy! They no longer refer to themselves as devil worshipers or even Satanists (for which we Satanists can be truly grateful,) but now: Theistic Satanists. It is just like the creationists calling their beliefs Intelligent Design.
These devil worshipers of course can call themselves anything they want. There is no legal monopoly on words, even if there should be. I can hope all I want that given the disdain they show Anton LaVey and his creation of a legitimate religious system called "Satanism" that they'd demonstrate a tad more imagination, but evidently imagination isn't their strong suit. So instead of coming up with something new, or even something that appropriately describes their beliefs they co-opt the name of something they hate and whip out a thesaurus, and BINGO! WHAM! Theistic Satanism is born.
Unlike real Satanism, which was created in 1966 and stands alone as religion, TS has, in fact, existed for a good long time. As long as man has had some almighty monotheistic god-form, that form has had a nemesis, and those pissed at God have put their money on that nemesis. More than any Satanist could ever be Devil worshippers are clearly reactionary. They obviously believe that there is a God, there is a Devil, and they are supporting the Devil.
No silly metaphors or psychological archetypes for them! They want the full on Hollywood version of an anti-god. They want all the things said in church on Sunday to be true. I swear. If you doubt check out some internet stuff on either Theistic or (more embarrassing, yet) Traditional Satanism you'll see that if anything I am under-stating the point. What you will find is every one of the worst stereotypes of occultists you could imagine as they happily express their acceptance of everything from animal sacrifice to demonic possession. If it wasn't so bloody retarded it might be funny.
Of course, I don't get it. One of the major attractions of Satanism to me was the very lack of all supernatural beings/entities/god-forms etc...I understood the psychological impact of using archetypes to define states of being without ever needing those archetypes to be real. Most of all I found the lack of "worship," which to me is nothing more than getting on your knees and kissing someone's ass, extremely appealing. So, I really have issues with comprehending why anyone would worship anything, let alone a god-form dependant upon the mythology they claim to have turned against. Begging is begging, even if you call it prayer or worship. These "traditionalists" are the equivalent of religious pan-handlers.
In the past I have always referred to these holdovers from the 80's as Christian Heretics. After all, they believe all the same crap as Christians. They seem to think there is real Hell and they want to go there. They think Satan is real and they can sell their souls to him. They evidently accept Revelations in the Bible. The only thing that separates them from their Christian counter-parts is who's side they are on. That is too fine a distinction for me. If you take two football fans, but each roots for a different team--is either one any less a football fan? Nope.
Now, if they called themselves anything that didn't end with the word "Satanists" none of this would be my business at all.
But they do. And, as I pointed out before, since they hate the Church of Satan, dismiss The Satanic Bible, and flagrantly break the rules of both Satanism and the laws of man, I can only assume they use that word to attempt to legitimize themselves to others. In short, they don't want to endure the work and earn the accomplishment that Dr. LaVey did when he created a new religion. They want to take the name and use it as a short-cut to establish themselves as something other than heretical Christian devil worshippers.
Instead, what they are actually doing is fucking it up for Satanists. They are creating a sub-culture that steals just enough from LaVey & the CoS that it is that much harder for us to separate ourselves from them in the public eye. It is no longer possible to use the blanket "...but those weren't Satanists" response to reporters questions about crime without mega-qualifiers. Their thievery has done what they hoped--it has allowed them to be recognized as Satanists, even though we all know they are no such thing.
I know of one of these heretical high priests who reads my stuff and mentions me as a bad Satanist every chance he gets. I know of another who plies alt.satanism with diatribes about how his lord, Satan, will be punishing the Church of Satan for being atheists. A woman in the movement goes behind me on every forum or blog I post/comment on and feels the need to point out that the Church of Satan has a limited view of what a Satanist is, and therefore my commentary on how Satanists could not have committed whatever crime I am discussing, is dubious! Great! I guess she'd be happier if I somehow acknowledged TS existence and accept that now certain kinds of Satanists could've committed the crime! Jesus fucking Christ!
It seems to me that if I created a new religion I'd want to give it a bright shiny new name, but I suppose if I sought to be the most boring of stereotypes, I'd steal the name of those I disagree with, and then live up to every cliché' the herd could come up with.
Host of Radio Free Satan's Confessions of a Wicked Witch, Church of Satan clergy, with expertise in alternative & occult religions specializing in media representation, education, and practical magics for preferred clients. Founder, Producer & Executive Arbiter of the annual Wicked Witch of the Year Award
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Satanism VS. TS (Heretical Devil Worshipers)
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I don't like you how paint all theistic satanists by the same brush. As you've said elsewhere:
"...And just like Christians get to define themselves, so do Satanists..."
I'm a theistic satanist and I define my beliefs a tad different than you define my beliefs.
I don't know what interactions you've had with others who define themselves as TS. I, for one, do not have any problems with the CoS, its leadership, its members as a whole, Anton LaVey, or LaVey's books. I own all of them, they introduced me to satanism and I'm grateful for that.
Despite some of my disagreements with what you've said, I love the way you have said it. Kudos!
I genuinely appreciate your comment. I will grant you that if I had the pleasure of "meeting" more TS folks who demonstrate the civility, humor, and respect to Anton LaVey that you have, my attitude would possibly be different. Regardless, the hall mark of a Satanist is individualism, and you seem quite an interesting one. Thanks, again.
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