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Frequently Asked Questions about Satanism

Subject: Frequently Asked Questions about Satanism
	by Matt G. Paradise 			[reformatted by nocTifer]

	Since I've become a Grotto Master for the Church of Satan, 
	one of my appointed capacities is that of media representative.
	Since then, I've been answering more questions than ever, 
	as well as doing this publication, a component in my representation
	of Satanism. I'd like to approach some of the more popular 
	(and maybe not as popular) questions that I've run into, put them
	on paper, and save myself some repeated breath. 

	Questions marked with [X] are taken from part one of an interview 
	I did with a publication called The Black Virgin Mary Coloring 
	Book and [the rest] are 1996 BVMCB, used with kind permission. 
	(Some of these questions and responses have been edited for space 
	conservation and for the sake of not being redundant.)


(X) 	Question: "What is the difference between Satanism and devil worship?"

	"Satanism and devil worship are two distinctly different animals. 
	Devil worship is what it is: the worship of an external deity, 
	much as it could be labeled inverse Xtianity.  The Satan in 
	Satanism is an archetype, one many know by name and is relative 
	to the culture. Some Satanists choose different aspects of this 
	archetype, depending on geography or just plain aesthetics, 
	but the same characteristics still hold true. It would make 
	little sense for us to claim to embody the archetypal qualities 
	of Satan (rebellion, rational self-interest, carnality, etc.) 
	on one hand, and then attempt to worship an anthropomorphic 
	Satan on the other. Devil worshipers need to be subjugated, 
	ask for it by their own actions. The Satanist finds such 
	unproductive and one-sided activities to be draining and 
	useless (not to mention hypocritical). Much of this is aptly 
	mentioned in The Satanic Bible and the other books I've listed 
	at this publication's end."

(X)	Question: "Do you find most of the membership of the CoS to be 
		   'Xtian refugees' or do they come from all sorts of

     	"Surely, I couldn't speak for all Satanists, but I would assume 
	that many, particularly older Satanists who grew up in an era 
	when Xtianity was taken a bit more seriously, had some sort of 
	Xtian indoctrination in their childhoods.

     	Oftentimes, teens will approach Satanism as a reaction to their 
	growing disdain for Xtianity, and I think that's an honest and 
	healthy step, speaking from experience. However, once a Satanist 
	(a true Satanist, and not some drugged-out devil-worshiping 
	metalhead with a penchant for feline slaughter) grows up a bit 
	and experiences some of the outside world, Satanism becomes a 
	lot more than a game of shock-the-sheep and the Satanist applies 

	himself/herself to attain goals and engage in meaningful pursuits. 
	I wouldn't use the phrase "Xtian refugees" to describe the 
	situation mentioned above, simply because there is an implied 
	idea of victimization riding shotgun with it, and victim is a 
	label no Satanist cares to wear - mainly because it's 
	unproductive as well as being antithetical to pure Satanic 

	Statement: "Anton LaVey is merely ripping off Nietzsche."

	"When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or 
	taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in 
	the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey 
	writes seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, it is 
	augmented with modern circumstances, his own thoughts, and is 
	analogous to our philosophy. Seeing that Satanism is a work 
	in progress, something like science meets philosophy, we are 
	fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with 
	them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we 
	didn't, who else would?) Same thing scientists, doctors, 
	psychologists, and many other professionals do. Nothing would 
	get done if individuals merely went along with established 
	thought and never added to it. It's evolution, pure and simple."

     	Statement: "The Church of Satan charges application fees for 
		    membership and further involvement and accepts 
		    money from people. Sounds like your garden-variety 
		    tent-show evangelist scam."

	"First off, you are probably confusing two different terms. 
	The Church of Satan is an organization. Satanism is a religion. 
	Since we are one of the few (if not, one of the ONLY) religions 
	whose organized body REJECTS the tax exempt status other 
	religions cling to, the CoS accepts money to keep it moving, 
	and we pay BACK into the economic system. ("Responsibility to 
	the responsible.") Also, there seem to be a couple presuppositions 
	hiding under your statement. The first is that we should feel 
	"bad" or "humble" about money. Why? We are Satanists. Most of us
     	appreciate success in one form or another and, in business, we 
	know that money often enough helps this along. We lay our cards 
	on the table and have no problem with it. If a credible Satanist 
	pays into the CoS, he or she does this in support, and does it 
	knowingly because he or she is wise, like all good Satanists are. 
	If your average ignoramus throws money at the CoS, the 
	organization is happy to take that, too. But, it is the idiot, 
	not the CoS, who should be held responsible because, quite frankly, 
	we didn't rush up to his house with Uzis, drag him to the ATM, 
	and make him empty out his account for us. You don't even have 
	to be a member of the CoS to be a Satanist, so no money is 
	required, unlike that required by others for tithes, collection 
	plates, and holy corn meal. (The monetary fee, by extension, 
	also keeps out most of the trend chasers, the occultniks, and the 
	terrorists. We don't want them and we won't put up with them.) 

	The second presupposition lies in your penchant for equating us 
	with the model of religion which Xtianity ostensibly portrays.
     	It has been adequately stated and PROVEN that Satanism is not 
	inverse Xtianity. It's an old point. Tell the Judeo-Xtian 
	churches to pay THEIR taxes and see what they say. The 
	differences are enormous."

     	Question: "Why do many Satanists wear black?"

     	"I'm glad you said 'many' instead of 'all,' because the latter 
	simply isn't true. It is true that I prefer the color black in 
	my wardrobe choice, although other Satanists will have their 
	own personal reasons for their personal choices.  (Sound like 
	real life to anyone?) It is a choice. I find it pleasing, 
	uniform, and void of so many of the popular culture icons
     	the herd adorn themselves with. The only thing that my personal 
	choice of the color has to do with my Satanic self involves 
	those three things mentioned in the previous sentence. For me, 
	it also means that I don't have to waste mental energy and 
	valuable time striving to match everything, because I'd rather 
	use that time for more useful and productive activities. It's 
	a cultivated look with many personal advantages too numerous 
	to completely name. Does this really bother you so much?"

(X)	Question: "There is a mistrust in mankind's ability to govern 
		   himself that a lot of faiths have. There are a lot 
		   of disapproving parental gods. Why should humans 
		   have the choice to do what they want? Can Man be 
		   trusted? Were humans ever meant to be free and 

	"I don't think it's a question of whether or not humans should 
	have a choice to do what they want because if a human being 
	really and truly wishes to commit an action, no matter how 
	atrocious or morally-incorrect, the deed is done and that's 
	that. There's a strong reality that every human is a 
	potential menace; obviously, that's why we have police,
     	courts, and prisons. Man as a collective unit cannot be 
	trusted as each person is subject to individual assessment. 
	In a related sense, Satanists tend to live a very pragmatic 
	life, leaving moralism to those weak souls who are, quite 
	honestly, better off being chained down to an oppressive dogma 
	and not getting in everyone else's hair. (Of course, this 
	point only accounts for the innocuous follower types and not 
	the abortion clinic bombers and other members of the lunatic 
	fringe.) I truly feel that some people really crave slavery, 
	and they profoundly need it, practically beg for it in the 
	guise of a god, a drug, a bad relationship, etc; and others 
	live their lives in search of true personal freedom and 
	intellectual advancement, many of whom are Satanists."

     	Statement: "I don't agree with your philosophies, therefore, 
		    I will condemn your religion."

	"Go ahead. It's your ignorant prerogative. But, it does seem 
	to me that, by stating that, you really can't deal with what 
	other people do unless you can get involved in it. If you are 
	such a herd-dependent and weak individual, you would 
	undoubtedly make a ridiculous excuse for a Satanist. I can't 
	give you anything to fill the void in your life, and neither 
	can Satanism. If you are sour on life, don't blame it on me 
	or my religion. Why do you pay so much attention to Satanism 
	if you don't care? Because, for some unwarranted reason, 
	you've convinced yourself that you do. What a waste of 
	good emotion."

(X)	Question: "I cannot anticipate what would be clear and unclear 
		   to most regarding the 'Eleven Satanic Rules of the
     		   Earth,' so I will ask you to clarify some things for 
		   me personally. In #5, what is the Mating Signal? 
		   How do you give it and know it was given?  Does 'she 
		   said no, but I know what she really meant' ever 
		   arise as a problem in defining it? Does the CoS have 
		   clear-cut stances on casual sex, monogamy, 
		   contraception and abortion?"

	"Well, considering that you and I are two distinctly different 
	human beings, what works for me might not work for you.  In 
	other words, the definition of the mating signal will vary 
	according to combination of participants, situation, and other 
	subjective criteria. Depending on these, the mating signal may 
	be repeated "sexy" looks thrown your way, or it might have to 
	be the other person literally saying, "Hey, would you like to 
	fuck?" The proof's in the pudding, to be cliche and, yes, when 
	someone says "no," they generally mean it. There are no instant 
	cure-all answers in Satanism, our very philosophy harshly 
	discourages such non-thought and what I would call "the easy way 
	out" as an excuse, but with awareness and reason, we fare pretty 
	damn well for ourselves. As for the CoS having policies on 
	casual sex, monogamy, etc, those aforementioned are all choices, 
	open to each individual Satanist. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the
	Earth, although aptly beneficial for non-Satanists to heed, were 
	scripted for a Satanic audience, one that has the whole context 
	in mind."

	Statement: "I tried Satanism, but it did nothing for me."

	"And, I suspect that you believe that a model airplane builds 
	itself. Satanism didn't disappoint you, you disappointed 
	yourself and can't face the blame you deserve. You don't 
	improve your Satanism, you improve yourself.  That's the 
	giant point you missed through all of that hard searching 
	for easy answers in a book. Why not go back to Xtianity. 
	They'll tell you what to do with your life and you won't 
	even have to think."

(X)	Question: "Regarding the 10th Satanic Rule of the Earth, 
		   how does the CoS feel about mass market killing 
		   (the meat industry). These people are not 
		   killing for their food, there is always a 
		   wasted surplus. Are they breaking this rule?
		   Today in this country we will obviously not 
		   starve if we don't "bring down the buffalo," 
		   so should people continue to kill animals 
		   for this purpose?"

	"Satanists feel that the killing of an animal, outside of 
	self-defense or the need for food, is grossly irresponsible. 
	Many Satanists I know are avid animal lovers, including 
	myself and Anton LaVey and, in most cases, we find our pets 
	to be infinitely more interesting and vital beings than 
	most of the human mess around us. The reality is that nature 
	has assigned different animals to serve different purposes: 
	cats and dogs don't have enough meat, probably taste pretty 
	bad, and function better alive than dead as companions, 
	security, hunting partners, etc; as opposed to cows, sheep 
	and the like, who are generally herd animals, have no natural 
	defense and little if any independent thinking skills, taste 
	good, and are considered cattle by their physical and mental 
	realities. (Otherwise, they wouldn't be the preferred menu 
	choice for the other beasts of the fields.) Obviously, meat 
	is a staple food, so the killing of animals for this purpose
	is inherently no different than what happens in nature, 
	although the procedure seems sanitized in people's eyes 
	because it's done behind closed doors; killing by proxy, if 
	you will. I do agree that the methods employed are a bit cruel 
	and unnecessary and, if a more considerate method could take 
	its place, I'd certainly be in favor of it. As for wasted 
	surplus, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the meat 
	industry and, perhaps, calls for some regulatory legislation."

	Statement: "I really want to join the Church of Satan... 
		    I mean, A LOT! I want to be a Priest and be one 
		    of you. I want magical powers and a direct 
		    phone-line to Satan."

	"Go away."

	Question: "To apply the name of Satan to this church, implies 
		   a connection to the Bible. What is the stance of 
		   the CoS on these popular tales and predictions? 
		   Who is Christ to the CoS?"

	"We take the name Satan in concept only. Any other connection 
	is thrust upon us by anxious, ignorant, and/or misinformed 
	people. The archetype itself, by whatever name is appropriate, 
	is far older than Xtianity or Judaism, and it was these 
	religions that, in order to gain a foothold in the world, 
	decided to destroy and bastardize the "pagan gods."  Satan has 
	generally been the character who has challenged sterile thought, 
	encouraged indulgence, rebelled against slavery, and truly 
	represented human nature and all that the mundane world offers. 
	By extension, instead of worshiping Satan, we emulate him. The 
	Xtian bible was probably one of the greatest pieces of propaganda 
	(with Mein Kampf running a close second) in world history but, 
	quite frankly, a scientifically, philosophically, and 
	technologically advanced civilization should logically cease to 
	have a need for such outmoded parables and slave ethics. But, 
	seeing as insecurity never goes out of style, those in need seek 
	their babysitters in whatever avenue is acceptable; in LaVey's 
	words, a "privileged lie." Many Satanists also view the Xtian 
	bible as examples of mankind's hypocrisy, incompetence, and
     	spinelessness. Jesus Christ is the paradigm for these qualities. 
	How can anyone with human insight and reasonable logic skills 
	accept the phrase "the meek shall inherit the Earth" without 
	laughing?  History certainly doesn't support this assertion. 

	From my experience, many people who call themselves Xtians are 
	so merely by convenience and not so much by a rational decision, 
	if rationale is possible. It's a truly insecure philosophy that 
	demands its tenets to be installed in humans from early 
	childhood, because if it was introduced for the first time to 
	adults, many would raise their eyebrow in suspicion and disgust. 
	Many Xtians I've met haven't even read their bible (at least, not 
	critically), but keep the book on their coffee table to appear 
	"righteous." And, some just skip the sanguine parts. Many of them 
	really seem to get off on their religion, the self-righteousness 
	feeds their impoverished egos. As trivial as it seems, it's a 
	glaring metaphor for Xtianity in general, an amass of 
	contradictions, and almost Freudian."

	Question: "As a representative for Satanism, you do interviews 
		   and lectures. Isn't this preaching? And, doesn't this
		   violate your rule of not giving your opinions unless 

	"Of course this isn't preaching and it doesn't go against the 
	First Satanic Rule of the Earth. If you open a magazine, turn 
	on your radio, or click on your television and see an interview 
	with a Satanist, you've reached a point where you will either 
	not read or look at it, or you will. If you choose the latter, 
	you have consigned yourself to the information and, by your 
	own actions, have given your non-verbal consent to receive such 
	information about our religion.  If you attend a lecture, you 
	have even more so welcomed yourself to our "opinions." No one 
	coerced you to attend or read or watch or listen. Assuming 
	that Satanism can be preached is to assume that anyone can be a 
	Satanist, which is grossly false. We know this and wouldn't 
	bother proselytizing like other religions. It would waste our 
	time and we'd have to care, which we don't."

	Question: "Regarding the 11th Satanic Rule of the Earth, 
		   please define "destroy." It is a very strong word 
		   to misplace.  Does this mean to literally "kill?" 
		   For example if a woman overcomes a man who is 
		   trying to rape her, will she break this rule if 
		   she does not kill him?"

	"Killing isn't the only way to destroy an assailant or enemy. 
	You can humiliate the person, get them fired, etc, ad 
	infinitum, depending on your capacity for sadism. To say that 
	Satanism tells a person to kill is ridiculous, and merely
	offers a human being yet another scapegoat for his actions, 
	a very un-Satanic behavior. If a person chooses to murder
	another human being, he or she must be prepared to deal with 
	the consequences, and not complain about them once they come 
	down (i.e., the 8th Satanic Rule of the Earth). To me, killing 
	an enemy would be boring and ineffective, unless it was in 
	self-defense. It is far more satisfying and appropriate to 
	keep them alive and suffering."


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