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Temple of Set Satanism FAQ

To: alt.satanism
Subject: Re: Temple of Set Satanism FAQ
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 19:40:17 GMT

In article ,
> : Mikey Aquino refuses to recognize the unambiguous fact that the Church of
> : Satan has made a big splash as atheistic Satanism (he claims the CoS was
> : theistic until he left in 75). To this end, he not only fabricates recent
> : history, but refuses to accept historical evidence of similar groups.
> I'll look carefully at anybody's documentation.  I'm not prejudiced.  Yet.
> But so far, I've been most impressed by the seriousness and scholarship of
> the ToS people who have taken the time to debate me in public and private
> forums.
> What can I say.  I *like* people who can answer me with real historical
> references, with authors and dates, and who actually read books and do
> some research on occult topics.  I don't care very much if they are
> religious fanatics if they are still capable of debating me intelligently
> and offering real, solid, constructive and helpful information.

I can understand that: here are some helpful citations
and references re. the 1975 "Great Schism" which led to
the founding of the Temple of Set.

In the June 1976 *Scroll of Set,* in an article entitled
"The Year One," Michael Aquino said:

* * * * *
"What makes these accomplishments all the more impressive is the fact
that the Temple is still relatively small in size. At this time last
year the mailing list of the Church of Satan contained about 350 names,
of which about 100 were either complimentary memberships or non-member
subscriptions to the "Cloven Hoof." Only the 250 regular members were
told about the Temple of Set, and then only about fifty of them were
accepted into the Temple as qualified initiates. The entire process of
notification, information, application and selection took about the
first four or five months, and since then we have grown by about 30
additional initiates. This is due in large part to our refusal to
advertise, employ sensational-type publicity, or otherwise seek members
by any "mass" process. We believe that each new Setian should be
introduced to the Temple on an individual basis. Thus the Temple will
grow relatively slowly, but the quality and interest of its initiates
will be high."
* * * * *

In other words: out of 250 regular members of the Church
of Satan, approximately 50 left to join the Temple of Set
according to Michael Aquino.

Fast-forward 12 years, to the July 1988 *Scroll of Set,*
where Aquino, reviewing the book *Satan Wants You* by
Arthur Lyons, says:

* * * *
"Page 126: Founding membership of the Temple of Set was about 100
ex-Church of Satan members, not 28. They came from all over the United
States and Canada, not just from New York, Washington, and Los Angeles."
* * * *

Now, perhaps I failed "new math" ... but it does seem
to me that 50 != 100: heck, I'd say it doesn't even
equal "about 100."

Aquino's "Church of Satan" book includes resignation letters
from 12 individuals -- Aquino, four III* members, five II* members,
and two I* members.

Conclave I, in July of 1979, had 32 attendees.  Conclave II,
in July of 1980, had 31 attendees.  (Source; *Scroll of Set*).

In his reply to Peter Gilmore's "Pretenders to the
Throne," Michael Aquino claimed:

* * * *
The "handful" of Church members who also
resigned amounted to approximately half the
Church's entire regular membership at the time -
and, more significantly, included virtually all
of the Priesthood, Grotto Leaders, Regional
Agents, and other actively-involved individuals.
When the dust cleared, the only names left on
the C/S roster were those of the "silent
subscribers" at the I* level, two Masters IV*
(not counting the LaVey family chauffeur),
and 6 Priests & Priestesses III*. The two IV*s -
John Ferro and Charles Steenbarger - were both
family friends, and of the 6 III* Initiates only
one - Stuart Levine - tried for awhile to
function as an actual official. The Church of
Satan was dead.
* * * *

Now, correct me if I'm wrong... but 50 != 1/2 of 250.
(And may I also point out that the Church of Satan
seems quite alive and well for a "dead" organization).

The Temple of Set *is* a successful darkside/Thelemic
organization which has some interesting ideas.  It
*is not* the One True Real Church of Satan, nor is
it in any meaningful way a "successor" to the Church
of Satan... any more than Crowley's OTO is the
"successor" to the Plymouth Brotherhood in which Crowley
was raised.  Many Setians have since moved beyond this
silly "We're the REAL Church of Satan" schtick, and have
gone on to do their own thing... and do it well.  Alas,
Dr. Aquino has proven unable to do this.

Kevin Filan

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