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[Satanism; Was] Nemo's MFMFAQ

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: (mordred)
Subject: [Satanism; Was] Re: Nemo's MFMFAQ
Date: 11 Jan 1995 08:47:07 GMT

[from alt.satanism:]

A little over a week ago,  wrote
Re: Nemo's MFMFAQ
 > Nemo's MFMFAQ (My Four Most Frequently Asked Questions).
 > A1: Satan, like all gods, demons, angels, spirits, elves, ghosts
 > and the Easter Bunny, is a fictitional, mythological invention
 > from the mind of man.  
 > A2: Satanism is the formalized religion based upon *The Satanic
 > Bible* first published in 1969.
The word "Satanism" existed before CoS, and its primary meaning in
most people's minds is STILL "the worship of Satan" -- as evidenced
by the fact that your "Four" (count 'em, five) "Most Frequently
Asked Questions" are still so frequently asked.
 > Like Theradeva Buddhism, the religion of Satanism denies the
 > existence of any external objective gods or other fantastic
 > supernatural entities and strives to assist members to outgrow
 > the psychological detriments which arise from the belief in such
 > non-existent entities (such as reduced self-esteem and reduced
 > personal autonomy).
Actually, _The_Satanic_Bible_ did _NOT_ deny "the existence of any
external objective gods".  On p.90:
    It is a popular misconception that the Satanist does not
    believe in God.  [...]  To the Satanist "God" -- by whatever
    name he is called, or no name at all -- is seen as the
    balancing factor in nature, and not as being concerned with
    suffering.  This powerful force which permeates and balances
    the universe is far too impersonal to care about the happiness
    or misery of flesh-and-blood creatures on the ball of dirt upon
    which we live.
Elsewhere in _The_Satanic_Bible_, in Burton H. Wolfe's introduction
(p.13), Satan is characterized as "a dark, hidden force in nature
responsible for the workings of earthly affairs, a force for which
neither religion nor science had any explanation."
Thus, at the time of publication of _The_Satanic_Bible_, it would
appear that LaVey not only believed (or at least claimed to believe)
in God and Satan but had a rather _mystical_ interpretation of them,
much like what little I know of Taoism.  However, _The_Satanic_
_Bible_'s form of mysticism, unlike most "white light" mysticism,
need not cloud one's perception of material reality.  It doesn't
claim that the universe automatically dispenses human justice (e.g.
the "Threefold Law"), nor does it advocate surrender of one's
individuality to either "God" or "Satan", nor does it regard either
"God" or "Satan" as _anthropomorphic_ deities whom one must obey or
strive to _please_.
I personally tend to agree with this view as expressed in the _SB_.
 > The character of Satan, a mythological invention, possesses
 > several admirable qualities not the least of which is an
 > unwillingness to worship God (or, by extension, other
 > supernatural entitites).  Thus, Satanists emulate the fictional
 > Satan, rather than worship him.  If Satan *did* exist, it is
 > quite obvious that he would hold in disdain those who would
 > attempt to worship or obey him.  Satan represents the ultimate
 > rebel and prideful individualist.  Traditionally Satan went to
 > war against God because he would *not* worship God or anyone
 > else.  Thus, like his mythological namesake, the Satanist rejects
 > all external god-worship or obediance and refuses to bow before
 > anything or anyone.
Let's look at the meaning of the word "worship", a word which raises
many LaVey-style Satanists' hackles for the reason you explained
above.  Since I don't believe in Satan as an anthropomorphic being
with humanlike emotions, it wouldn't make sense for me to "worship"
Satan in the sense of trying to flatter or otherwise please him. 
However, I do "worship" the Dark Force in Nature in the sense of
regarding it with a deep feeling of wonder and awe.
"Prideful individualism" is only one aspect of my own idea of
Satanism.  Another aspect, even more important, is my deep, lifelong
_love_ of a kind of dark energy/entity that I have felt the presence
of all my life, but was never quite able to connect with until I
identified it as "Satan" four years ago.
It's my impression that _some_ of today's Satanists share my _love_
of the Dark Force, but others do not.  I am interested in networking
only with those who do.  I am not interested in those who are one-
sidedly motivated by hatred and/or a desire to look scary.  I'm not
saying that hatred doesn't have its place, or that scaring people
can't be a useful tool, but I'm not interested in people for whom
these are their _primary_ motives for being attracted to Satanism. 
I don't enjoy the company of people who have a chip on their
shoulder, or who are endlessly trying to play head games. 
Therefore, to distinguish _my_ kind of Satanist from the others, I
proudly call myself a Satan "worshipper" -- which is also a way of
thumbing my nose at what has become Satanism's version of political
I see two Q3's, hence a total of five questions.
 > Beyond the level of realizing the non-existence of all
 > supernatural entities, Satanism advocates that the individual
 > identify the traditional role played by God (the supreme being in
 > one's life) and assume that role for oneself.  Thus, Satanism
 > could parody the first of the Hebrew Ten Commandments as, ""You
 > are the Lord, Your God.  You shall have no other gods before
 > thee."
What exactly do you mean by calling yourself a "god"?  I'm all in
favor of rational self-interest, but calling oneself a "god" seems
quite frankly a bit ridiculous to me.  Perhaps this idea is
productive for _some_ people, but to me it seems more likely to
result in delusions of grandeur (or, as LaVey would say,
"pretentiousness" and "counterproductive pride").  And,
unfortunately, Satanism seems to attract lots of people with
delusions of grandeur.
 > Satanism advocates *doubt* instead of belief or faith.  In short,
 > in carnival lingo, Satanism is not for the "marks."
It seems to me that LaVeyite dogmatism is for those "marks" who like
to think of themselves as oh-so-clever.  The very idea of a "Bible"
is contrary to both the individualism and the skepticism that are
supposedly central to LaVey Satanism.  Apparently, we are supposed
to doubt everything EXCEPT the Infallible Word of Anton.  My point
here is not to put down _The_Satanic_Bible_, which does contain
quite a few valuable insights.  But the way some CoS folks rally
around LaVey's writings is awfully herdlike.  If you're truly an
independent thinker, don't you disagree with LaVey on at least _ONE_
of the many topics he has written about, however much you may
respect him in general?  In another post, you wrote that "Men of
power always lie to their followers" -- and, since you apparently
think of LaVey as a "man of power", it stands to reason that he
would be no exception. 
 > A4:  The firm and unyielding position of the Church of Satan is
 > that *The Satanic Bible* defines in no uncertain terms what
 > Satanism is and isn't.  Before its publication there were only
 > the ephemeral claims of underground groups who did not publically
 > declare and effectively disseminate their personal views.  Today,
 > *The Satanic Bible* (along with several companion texts such as
 > *The Satanic Rituals*,  *The Satanic Witch*, *The Church of
 > Satan*, and others) has been in continuous publication in major
 > bookstores worldwide for over twenty-five years.
 > *The Satanic Bible* is the touchstone for declaring and defining
 > Satanism to the world for a quarter century and dwarfs into
 > nonexistence any alternative views by force of mass
 > communication.  History is written by the victors and the "war"
 > over defining Satanism was won years ago through the overpowering
 > success of the international distribution of this book available
 > even to this day!   
No, your "war" (a stupid war to begin with) is FAR from "won". 
About the only major categories of people CoS has succeeded in
convincing to accept your definitions are (besides your own members)
occultists and organized atheists/humanists, both of which groups
can be easily reached by people with alternative views -- ESPECIALLY
by people who come across as more intelligent and more sincere than
In some sectors of the occult scene, the Temple of Set -- not CoS --
has been regarded as the pre-eminent representative of "Satanism"
for quite a few years -- even though ToS has refused thus far to
publish books for the general public.  And when _I_ show up on
occult BBS forums, one of the reactions I typically get from the
more intelligent participants is:  "Wow, I can't believe I'm finally
talking to a Satanist who MAKES SENSE for a change!"
 > Finally, those groups who align themselves with Satanism while
 > espousing personal deviant beliefs (such as a firm belief in an
 > objective Devil) are tolerated and even encouraged by the Church
 > of Satan if they do not attempt to undermine Satanism itself. 
 > Even the most ignorant person who has the guts to shake his fist
 > and declare himself a Satanist, is encouraged by the Church of
 > Satan.  That gesture of defiance against the god-believers of the
 > world places that person in essential alignment with the
 > fundamentals of Satanism.  It is the first step and, perhaps, the
 > most important step!
 > It is those individuals or groups who will *attack* the
 > fundamentals of Satanism and attempt to infiltrate and undermine
 > its principles which we do and will continue to oppose.  
I'm not sure I understand the distinction you're making here.  Are
you saying you "tolerate and even encourage" people of "deviant"
beliefs as long as we don't disagree with you _IN_PUBLIC_??? 
Anyhow, I find it very curious to see an "individualist" using the
word "deviant" in a non-ironic sense.
 > We will only have to wait until you finally live long enough to
 > perhaps someday realize that *The Satanic Bible* is the
 > internationally accepted Bible of Satanism.  (That is, after
 > all, why it's called the *Bible*).
When will _YOU_ finally live long enough to perhaps someday realize
that, in most people's minds, the word "Satanism" still means and
always will mean "the worship of Satan"?  The way that LaVeyans have
tried to claim the word "Satanism" as their intellectual property is
as silly as (and less widely known than) Wiccan attempts to
monopolize the word "witch".
 > On the day you come to realize that every word you have ever
 > spoken or written to oppose us is less in number than the number
 > of our Bibles that were read for the first time by a curious mind
 > in a single month, when you realize that by sheer force of
 > numbers of membership and published works that your every effort
 > to subvert or redefine Satanism has been wasted effort
It is only a matter of time before someone else besides LaVey writes
another book on Satanism that sells reasonably well too.  The fact
that no one else has done so proves only that Satanism hasn't yet
been able to attract very many intelligent, articulate people who
are willing to defend it publicly.  So much for CoS's claims of
being so almighty influential.
Do you really think that the majority of people who read LaVey take
him seriously?  As a friend of mine remarked upon seeing LaVey's
picture, "Get a wig!"  It's my impresssion that, to most intelligent
people, LaVey comes across as someone whose main aim is to look
spooky and get attention.
Thus, it's far from impossible for a sufficiently intelligent and
articulate person to supplant LaVey as the premier representative of
"Satanism", at least in the eyes of the intelligentsia, if one is
willing to make the effort.  If, for example, Michael Aquino ever
decides finally to write a book for the general public, I am sure it
would sell _quite_ well.
Diane Vera

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