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questions re. satanism

To: alt.satanism
From: (Blackjack)
Subject: Re: questions re. satanism
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 17:42:06 GMT (CuriousPhl) wrote:

>I am doing research on Satanism for a class I'm currently taking, and the
>reading I have done so far (primarily on the internet) has brought up a
>few questions.  All responses are welcomed.
>1.  I've gotten the impression that the Satanists are not very active in
>trying to recruit new members, but other writings indicate that Satanism
>is a growing movement.
>     a.  Are Satanist churches concerned or interested in their membership
>levels, and are there any efforts to increase the number of Satanists?

By in large, no.  The general opinion seems to be that those who are
prone toward satanic thought will find there own way.

>     b.   Satanism seems to be a religion rooted in the individual -- do
>you care whether others join the movement or not?

Again, no.  The Church of Satan and the Temple of Set are both very
picky about who they actually let get involved.  Though CoS will take
your $100, anyway, I think.

>2.  What does Satanism offer the individual that they couldn't gain by
>trying to improve themselves through non-spiritual means (by reading,
>taking classes, therapy, etc.)?  How do you feel it helps you personally?

Well, CoS isn't exactly what I would call "spiritual", though ToS and
some other groups are moreso.  The basic idea is to give a focus to
the imaginiation, an empowering set of imagery and such.  I doubt most
satainsts would say that the same thing couldn't be achieved though
other, more mundane means, but simply find satanism more effective,
evocative, or aesthetically pleasing.

>3.  Many religions are attractive because they offer hope to people who
>are disadvantaged or because they explain large mysteries (how the earth
>was created, what happens after death, etc.).  Do you feel that Satanism
>fulfills either of these functions, or are there other major areas that
>Satanism addresses?

Satanism really doesn't address these kinds of mysteries.  It is more
focussed on the mysteries of the human mind and the power of the
individual to creat his or her own destiny.  The ToS works extensivly,
I believe, on trying to understand the nature of consciousness, but
his is a far cry from the vulgar cosmogony you're thinking of.

>4.  What is the organizational structure of Satanist churches (my
>impressions so far are that they are somewhat loosely structured)?

This varies widely.  The ToS has a complex system of levels that I
don't pretend to understand.  The CoS seems to be organized into
grottoes (small groups) and larger temples, but I don't know the

>  What
>roles do different members have?  What are leaders in the church called
>(priest, magister)?

Again, this varies.  I know that CoS uses the titles you mention, but
I don't know the hierarchy.

>5.  To what extent is belief in magic and the supernatural fundamental to
>Satanism?  Do most Satanists practice magic?

CoS really doesn't seem to believe in the supernatural at all.  That
doesn't mean they don't believe in things other than that which has
been enumerated by science, but simply that this is all part of
nature.  They don't believe in the literal existance of god and
demons, no.

ToS believes in the literal existance of Set, but in a manner very
differant than the conventional western idea of godhood.  I'm fuzzy on
all of this, but again, I don't think they think is ti supernatural,
but simply an aspect of nature heretofor unexplored.

Now Magick, Magick is a whole can of worms.  Magick, IMHO, need not be
supernatural.  It is simply to process by which one brings about
changes in reality in conformance with ones will.  A good example of
magic is how Howard Levey, organ player, became Anton LaVey, Black
Pope and former lion tamer.  Regardless of how historically accurate
the character that Anton LaVey presents himself as is, he has made it

Another, more freigtening example, is how Ronald Reagan, half-senile
washed-up actor became President Ronald Reagan, the gretest president
of the century and savior of democracy.

Many satanists use rituals drawn fromthe western amgickal tradition as
a menas of focussing their wills to create change.  It works for many.
That doesn't mean it's supernatural.

>6.  Do Satanists follow any laws or guidelines (something analagous to the
>10 Commandments in Judaism and Christianity)?

There are various fun lists of aphorisms like the "9 Satanic
Statements," but these are mostly suggestions.  Satanists are amoral,
and don't believe in any right or wrong way of doing things.  They
are, however, aware that all actions have consequences.  Things like
the Satanic Bible are mostly suggestions as to which actions will reap
the best consequences.

>7.  What is your attitude toward the (Christian) Bible?  It seems like
>Satanists agree with some of the facts (the existence of God and Lucifer,
>for example) but not the overall message.

Most satanists do NOT believe in gods, be it YHVH or Susanoo-o.  The
ToS does, kinda, but again, that's a WHOLE differant kind of belief
that what you mean.

Simply put, satanists do NOT accept the judeo-chirstian cosmology in
pretty much any respect. 

As for the book itself, many have read it and rejected it for various
reasons.  I, personally, am a bible scholar.  I find it a fascinating
compilation of mythology and history.  I do not find it, however, to
be true.

>8.  Do any Satanist groups exist on college campuses or high schools?

I suppose so.  All my college had was Discordians.

>9.  What is your role personally in the Satanist church, or is is it more
>of a casual interest than an official role or responsibility?

I'm not really a satanist.  Satanic ideas have influenced my thinking,
and I still wear my baphomet bolo-tie, but by in large, I'm just a
nasty atheist.  I might consider sending my $100 in to the CoS should
I ever have it to spare, just for the cool card.


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