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More than one Satanism

To: alt.satanism
From: "Luciferi Goldfish" 
Subject: Re: More than one Satanism
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 15:18:32 GMT

"THOTH"  wrote

> As far as I know, there is only one kind of Satanism.

I refer you to the OCRT website:

> However, in recent times, on the internet, I keep
> running across people spouting that they are
> "Traditional Satanists", "Modern Satanists", etc.

I tend to refer to my practice as "Modern Satanism" or "LaVeyan Satanism"
because it allows me to distinguish my practices and beliefs from those of
older Satanic/Devil-Worshipping groups (and there have almost certainly been
Devil-Worshipping groups and Satanic cults and sects as long as there has
been a "devil" or "satan").  Satanism _as_we_know_it_ and as it is practiced
today is a relatively new phenomenon.  A mid-1960's in California
phenomenon, in fact.

> With all due respect, they all seem, to me, to
> be occultists that like to call themselves
> Satanists and memorize a lot of useless "Magick"
> ideas, while not having full comprehension of
> what Satanic philosophy is.

Satanism, to me, is modular.  There is a core philosophy and belief.  This
practiced on it's own is Satanism.  On the other hand, Satanism isn't
mutually exclusive with other philosophical elements, occult practices, etc.
because Satanism revolves around development of Self.  It's like any other
tool with that objective.

Let me give you an example.  I'm a member of the CoS and have been a
Satanist for about 3 years.  I'm also an avid amateur student of philosophy
and religion.  Sometimes, I'll find elements of philosophies and religions
that appeal, and are not mutually exclusive with Satanism.  Zen meditation,
or certain Taoist principles are great examples.  I can integrate these
things into my practice with the understanding that they are not Satanism.
On the other hand, they are pleasing additions to my life that allow me to
experiment with and hone my understanding of who I am.

> What I want to know is, since when has
> there been more that one kind of Satanism?
> The open religion of Satanism was defined by
> LaVey in 1966.

It depends on your definition of Satanism.  I tend to agree with OCRT, but
I'm sort of an open-minded, bleeding heart liberal type.  If we'd like
Satanism in the modern age, it started in 1966.  Remember, though, there
have always been faiths and philosophies based on similar principles,
variations on Satan, devils, and whatnot.

If you're looking for variations on post 1966 Satanism, the FSC is the most
convincing arguement, and they practice basically the same thing as the CoS
(from what I can tell on the outside).  The OCRT lumps the ToS and FCoS in
as well, and they're both really pretty different in that they're both more
mystically oriented than the CoS.

It's a lot like "How many types of Christianity are there?"  Do the
Catholics count?  What about the Jehovah's Witnesses?  Branch Dravidians?

> LaVey was the first to say what is and is not
> Satanism with The Satanic Bible and the
> formation of the Church of Satan.

I suspect the words "Satanism" and "Satanic" were bandied about quite a lot
more than that.  There were black masses of various types in Europe before
the colonies were founded.  There were Hellifre clubs.  While these in and
of themselves may not have been Satanism per se, it's hard to imagine
something hadn't been worked out by someone before 1966.  Just ONE of
anything is statistically improbable.

On the other hand, LaVey did distill what he thought Satanism was (and
should be) and made it an open religion (instead of what it probably was in
the middle ages).  It strikes me that anyone could have done this.  It also
strikes me that there were likely devil-worshipping or Satanic groups extant
at the time LaVey wrote TSB.  What LaVey did is (re)define Satanism as we
know it.  He got the ball rolling.  He opened it up to people, took it out
of a cult context.

> . . .that their philosophy would not have
> been called Satanism had it not been for
> LaVey.  Any thoughts on this?

I disagree on this last point.  I'm sure that people had philosophies they
called "Satanic" before LaVey.  I just don't think it would be as common,
open, or defined.

Luciferi Goldfish

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