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Satanism and Western Religion

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism,alt.religion.wicca,alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc,alt.religion.christian,alt.vampire,alt.vampyre,alt.gothic,alt.horror.cthulhu,alt.necronomicon,alt.alien.visitors,alt.sociology
From: (Lupo LeBoucher)
Subject: Re: Satanism and Western Religion (and alt.satanism FAQ)
Date: 13 Dec 1995 11:53:53 -0600

Note the trimmed newsgroup line.

In article <4ago5r$>,
Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin  wrote:
> (ny'rl'toth'p/TOKUS) wrote:
>>kaliyuga [alt.magick taken out of Header as irrelevant to subject matter]
>>Mr. Scratch (
>>|> I know that saying Satanist=Christians is a rather convenient bugaboo for 
>>|> those Pagans who are uncomfortable with their presence.
>> (Matthew R. Sheahan) writes:
>>|i think it's more in the line of an attempt to demonize them.  this
>>|seems to me tremendously amusing.
>>	This is correct.  A precise exegetical study of the texts
>>	of Satanism is in order, I gather.  Failing this (I have
>>	only begun such a review), it would seem that an overview
>>	of the cult as it progresses through history, as a comparison
>>	among those contributing to the forum, would be valuable.
>I think that a division is proper.  But then, I see four separate
>things, two of which are marginally related and the others totally
>unrelated to those two or to each other, all called "Satanism".
>(1) Christian-parody.  When the properly-ordained Christian priest
>puts his normal garb on inside-out, hangs the cross upside down,
>recites the Latin Mass backward, and spits on the host before giving
>communion, I cannot consider it to be anything other than Christian.

Historically, these actions were closely associated with strong survivals
of pagan "Horned God" worship. These are not just errors or propaganda on 
the part of the inquisitors, but well corroborated with what we know of 
pagan folklore and practices. There are also strong associations with 
certain gnostic heresies, such as the Cathars, which could not be 
ordinarily considered christian as such. One must consider the historical 
and sociological context in which these "Black Masses" took place.
See HTF Rhodes "The Satanic Mass" among others for references along
these lines.

You are also probably not making a strong enough distinction between
a religious _ceremony_ or _ritual_ and the religion itself. One could not 
make the assertion that Catholicism is entirely defined my the rite of 
baptism, as they have many rites. Modern Satanists may use the goofy 
"black mass" as you describe for one or another community purpose.

>On the other hand, I cannot consider it to be a truly religious

In the case of the Cathars and other gnostics, and considering the 
circumstances in which they took place, even the gross charicatures you 
mentioned could be considered religious ceremonies.

>A parody, a mockery, or a protest of some kind, perhaps,
>but not religious per se.  It has no meaning in itself -- it has
>meaning only as the contrary of something else.  Therefore it affirms
>nothing spiritual, it only denies.

Watch that dualism... Denying spiritual forces can certainly be a religious
experience, whether it is a Baptist shouting "get thee behind me Satan!" or
a Satanist priest performing an act of ritual denial of whatever spiritual
current disturbs him (the functionalist definition of a Black Mass) -both
are very much religious acts in the proper context.

>(2) Christian-offshoot.  There are actual several varieties of this.
>I have met some people who, having read the Bible, seriously believe
>that it is significantly true -- when understood in the light of "the
>victors write the history books".  They believe that the entity
>usually termed Satan is actually the creator and proper lord of this
>world, and that the entity sometimes named Jehovah is trying to steal
>it.  This is but one of many varieties of Bible-based, religious,

While I think you are onto something, I defy you to produce a historical 
or present day example of a Satanist who bases his religion on the 
christian bible.
If there are, as you say, "many varieties" which do so, it should not be 
difficult for you to come up with an example.
Gnosticism, as far as I know, is not based on the christian bible, though 
it may use parts of it as supporting text.

>  I would also consider them to be Christian.

Your prerogative. I consider them imaginary until evidence to the contrary.

>(3) Pagan.  I frankly have no clue why the Temple of Set is considered
>Satanic, let alone why it claims to be Satanic.  This makes about as
>much sense to me as claiming that Christianity is an offshoot of
>Gardnerian Wicca. 

No, but it does make about as much sense as claiming that Gardnerian 
Wicca is an offshoot of thelema or christianity ;).
Historically, the Temple of Set claims to be an offshoot of the Church of 
Satan, and in fact claims to be the "authentic" Church of Satan. The Rev 
Dr Lt Col Mike Aquino recieving a "sinister mandate" from Set, who also 
claims to be Satan, who also claims to be Aiwaz, but would now like to be 
called Set; thank you very much.
They often make protestations that they are trying to "rid themselves of all
judeo-christian archetypes" -thus loosing the "Satanist" label, but they 
seem rather unable to make the switch. No doubt Setianetics  doesn't have 
the image recognition or marketability of the label Satanism.

> But, start discussing Satanism and there's a good
>chance that a devotee of the Temple will pop up to make the claim and
>explain Temple beliefs.  There are some others in the same situation.

Who are the others, praytell?

The alt.satanism FAQ has a wider spectrum (hopefully more accurate) of 
different varieties of Satanists. Note this is an old version; many FTP 
sites are out of date.


[faq deleted for storage purposes - tn]

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