a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Org Satanism/Christianity )

To: alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan
From: (Kevin Filan)
Subject: Re: Org Satanism/Christianity (was Re: Shared Mythos (was Re: ...))
Date: 15 Jun 1996 19:22:45 -0400

In article ,
Balanone  wrote:

	*note* I'm going to snip the ToS/CoS questions.  I think the
ToS/CoS bickering has gotten a tiny bit old. The similarities/differences
between Setianism and Christianity are a more interesting topic, at least 
to me.  And so, while I _do_ have an opinion on the whole ToS/CoS fight 
(and I'm sure everyone here has heard it already), please forgive me for 
keeping it to myself.

	I want to emphasize this comment from my earlier post.

>r@p>    Here are some comparisons I would draw between Setianism and 
>r@p> Christianity.  (Note to Balanone and to everyone else:  I am _not_ 
>r@p> condemning Setianism out of hand by drawing these parallels ...
>r@p> merely  "calling a spade a spade" ... and I am _not_ equating
>r@p> Setianism with  "fundamentalist Christianity," a modern aberrant
>r@p> form of Christianity). 

	In the occult community, it seems to me that Christ has become 
the new Satan and Christianity the new "devil worship." As the early 
Christians declared the Pagan deities "demons" and accused their 
worshippers of all sorts of foul atrocities, so too do we scorn the 
"Pallid incompetence hanging on a tree."  The worst accusation 
which Pagans can bring against Satanists in an attempt to distance 
themselves is this; "They're not pagans, they're really Christians."  The 
classic Satanist accusation against Pagans (other than the ill-spelt 
"WIKANS ARE PUSSIES, SATAN RULEZ" crossposted to 30 or so newsgroups) is 
that their religion is merely "Christianity in drag."   

	And yet, of course, BOTH our religions and our worldviews show a 
strong Judeochristian slant! There's no way we could possibly avoid it, 
growing up as we have in a Judeochristian culture.  I'd also point out 
that the J/C tradition isn't entirely a bad thing.  Sure, it brought us 
the Inquisition.  It also brought us Gothic cathedrals, most of the major 
European universities, and a whole host of great writers and artists.  

	We could stick our heads in the sand, and say "no, no, NO, we 
have NOTHING in common with CHRISTIANS, NO NO NO!" Or we can examine the 
similarities and differences in our worldview, and act accordingly.

>You're an intelligent, educated, and creative person. Therefore you
>have the ability to draw comparisons between /any/ two movements.
>You should also therefore know that simply drawing comparisons does
>not demonstrate any point except perhaps by analogy.

	It can shed light on both religions, if it's done honestly.  If 
it's done in an attempt to smear either religion, it's probably not going 
to be very useful.  (I suppose I could draw "TEN PARALLELS BETWEEN WICCA 
AND NAZISM."  While it would probably be welcomed at many Fundie 
publications, I don't think it would be very helpful to a serious scholar 
of either Nazism or Wicca).  

>r@p>    1. Both Christianity and Setianism are strongly influenced by 
>r@p> Platonic philosophy.  This is seen in the common Setian definition
>r@p> of Set  as the "_Form_ of Isolate Intelligence" ... Form, of course,
>r@p> being a term  from Plato.
>Many modern movements are strongly influenced by Platonic
>philosophy. Setianism is more openly knowledgeable about this than
>most, and credits Plato frequently. But modern scientific philosophy is
>strongly Platonic, as is the modern democratic movement (at least
>within Republics, where the people would theoretically elect
>representatives they've determined are best able to lead the republic).

	I should have been more clear here; let's say that Setianism's 
interest in the concept of Platonic "Forms" (an idea which is not 
particularly influential in modern scientific philosophy, most of which 
is far more Aristotelian in nature) is very similar to Christianity's 
idea of the Higher Power ala the "First Cause" of Aquinas and the 
"Ontological God" of St. Anselm.  
	This may or may not be correct (I was never Recognized to the 
Third Degree), but I was led to believe that one of the defining 
characteristics of a Priest of Set was that he had a "direct experience" 
of Set.  This would be similar to Christian mysticism, true; one could 
also draw a comparison between Setianism and Sufi Islam.  A study of the 
similarities between various mystical traditions, including Setianism, 
could prove illuminating.  (Some Satanists reject mysticism out of hand; 
neither Balanone nor myself are among this group).

>Setians don't concern themselves at all with "man in his natural state"
>and don't consider that state as "needing redemption." There's nothing
>to redeem such man from. We don't expend any time, effort, nor
>attention at any general redemption, nor complaining about man's
>"natural" state.

	I will defer to you, as you are the residing expert on 
Setianism.  Still, don't you list Ouspensky's _Psychology of the Possible 
Evolution of Man_ as a TS-1 in your reading list?  (i.e. as one of the 
books which explain Setianism and which had a great influence on Setian 
philosophy).  That deals with man as "asleep" and needing to be made 
"awake" with the help of a "school?"

	Don't you attempt to emphasize your "separateness" and to 
remanifest as "the Highest of Life?"  (To use a quote from Aquino's 
interesting take on the "Enochian Keys").  If you accentuate the 
positive, don't you by definition have to "eliminate the negative."

	(Again: not picking on Setians in particular.  I'd say any 
Thelemic/Aquarian religion -- that is, any religion primarily concerned 
with the Self and Self-development -- would have to draw a distinction 
between the unenlightened man and the Higher Man).

>We focus on our individual states of being, whatever they are. Looking
>at myself, I see that there are many ways in which I can grow, in
>which I can become "better" than I am, using my own scale of
>judgment. I choose to become better than I am. This is Xeper.

	Again, the major difference between Christianity and Setianism.  
Christianity offers "redemption" through the intercession of Christ.  
Most (although not all) branches of Christianity explicitly _deny_ any 
connection between one's works and one's redemption.  Actions by God are  
required; actions by man are not.  

	Setianism, on the other hand, is explicit in stating that "Xeper" 
is a product of one's _works_.  The opposite of Xeper is presented as 
stagnation and sinking into the "inertia of Nuit."  (See Aquino's study 
of Crowley's _Book of the Law_).  

	I'm not sure if I'm disagreeing with you or not.  I _do_ think 
that Setianism has among its preconceptions the idea not only that man 
_can be_ better than he is as a result of _Xeper_, but that life without 
_xeper_ is unacceptable and something to be avoided.  If you want to say 
that that is not a distinction analogous to "Sinful" and "Saved," I 
suppose you can.  I would admit that it's not an exact comparison, but I 
do think "Xepering/Stagnant" is treated similarly to "Sinful/Saved" by 
many Setians.

>I thought you knew us better than that; I'd not have expected you to
>make such a simple error in comparison.

	Again, not so sure that I was making such an error.  See above.

(to be continued)

Kevin Filan

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races