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are Wiccans, Satanists?

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism
From: tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (tyagi mordred nagasiva)
Subject: Re: are Wiccans, Satanists?
Date: 4 Dec 1994 10:45:38 GMT

[from alt.pagan:]  wrote:
 > I have had some rather negative experiences in my life with
 > people calling me Satanic, and I dislike the suggestion
 > intensely.
Why were they calling you "Satanic"?  Were these people the type of
hard-core Christians who would confuse even Zen Buddhism with
"Satanism"?  Or were they just ordinary folks responding to your use
of words traditionally associated in the popular mind with "devil
worship" ("witch", "coven", "sabbat", etc.)?
 > Frankly, I think the part of the argument that bothers me the
 > most is that Neo-Pagans have spent 20 years getting some deserved
 > religious recognition, and we lose it when we're associated with
 > Satanism.
First of all, I agree that Neo-Paganism and Satanism are distinct
religious categories.  But they are part of the same "occult"
subculture and have had a mutual impact on each other's development. 
For example, many Wiccans now realize that Wicca is not "The Old
Religion", but rather a modern religion which drew much of its
inspiration from (among other sources) Margaret Murray's theories
about an alleged medieval "witch cult".  What's not so widely
acknowledged is that some of Margaret Murray's key ideas were, in
turn, derived from Jules Michelet's _La_Sorciere_, a 19th-century
work of literary Satanism.  (See _A_History_of_Witchcraft_ by J.B.
As for the public-relations issue, Neo-Pagans and other occultists
disowning Satanism is a little like the 1970-era feminists who
thought they had to disown lesbians to dispel the notion that all
feminists are lesbians, or like the gay activists who used to feel
embarrassed about transvestites.  Fortunately, most of the feminists
and gay activists soon realized that trying to disown their less
"respectable" constituents would only result in being divided and
Also, let me point out that Neo-Paganism, as a religious movement,
has been greatly _HELPED_ in its growth by the combination of
Wicca's "Satanic" associations and the fact that it isn't really
Satanism.  (Not all Neo-Pagans are Wiccans, but Wicca's publicity
has helped to put Neo-Paganism in general "on the map".)  Why has
Wicca used words like "coven" and "sabbat", when it could easily use
other, more respectable words?  Partly because, were it not for
Wicca's use of words and other trappings popularly associated with
"Satanism", Wiccan leaders wouldn't get interviewed by newspapers or
on TV nearly as often as they do, nor would their books have sold
nearly as well.  Wiccan spokespeople may complain that they get
interviewed only once a year, on Halloween; but most leaders of
small religious sects don't get interviewed at all, not even on
Halloween.  So, although Wiccans are justified in saying that Wicca
is not Satanism, the extreme queasiness that some Wiccans and other
Neo-Pagans display toward any association with Satanists whatsoever
is a bit hypocritical.
 > Religious persecution isn't pretty for anyone, but I for one have
 > had personal experience with some real knotheads who called
 > themselves Satanists.
What exactly do you mean by "knotheads"?  Also, what type of
Satanists were they?  There are many different kinds of Satanism.
 > I also recall living in Orange, California about 4-5 years back
 > when Levay's daughter (what's her name?) moved into Trabuco
 > Canyon, right next to Orange, and suddenly there was HUNDREDS of
 > cats and dogs found on their owner's front porch with the bellies
 > slit and their blood drained. I worked on the effort in
 > identifying the animals and forcing the county to retract their
 > statements about all of them being mauled by coyotes. I moved
 > away about 3 years ago, and I'm not sure if it's still happening,
 > but I saw a lot of those animals and they were NOT mauled by any
 > coyote.  I also heard some stories about people being approached
 > and attacked in the canyon by her followers, but I don't have any
 > facts.
Most modern forms of Satanism, including LaVey Satanism, do _NOT_
involve animal sacrifice of any kind, and certainly don't involve
killing other people's cats and dogs.  Nor do they involve attacking
humans except in retaliation.  See LaVey's _Satanic_Bible_.  Please
stop spreading slanderous rumors about the alleged activities of
Satanists.  (At least you're honest enough to admit you "don't have
any facts".)
What you describe sounds like the activities of a bunch of disturbed
teenagers, not serious Satanists.  _EVEN_IF_ there are a few people
who go around killing cats and dogs for some sincere though
misguided magical purpose, why would they want to attract attention
to their activities by leaving the animals on their owners' front
 > Point being that I haven't seen or experienced much about
 > Satanism that I would care to be associated with or truly label
 > a religion. But hey, you're welcome to prove me wrong - go for
 > it.
What are your criteria for deciding what you would "truly label a
Diane Vera

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