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Category Archives: Modern Satanism

Concert Review: Spinal Taps Derek Smalls Revives Mock-Rock at the Wiltern – Variety

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 3:45 am

Spinal Tap reunited this week, after a good number of years apart. Unfortunately, it was to settle a collective lawsuit against Universal Music. Apart from saying Gimme Some Money to a corporate nemesis, it looks unlikely the three principals will be sharing a stage again any time soon and so the duty of providing Tap musical-comedy to the faithful audience that would ask How could I leave this behind? has fallen to Derek Smalls, who, with handlebar mustache intact and natural hair color less so, headlined L.A.s Wiltern Wednesday night with a mix of his new solo material and a handful of classic faux-classics.

If Mssrs. Tufnel and St. Hubbins are apparently no longer interested in gummin the gash, as it were, Smalls was there to fill the population gap at the Wiltern with a multitude of guest stars, live or on video, and a lavish, beautifully arranged and conducted 48-piece orchestra, overdressed in every conceivable sense for the occasion. At the Wiltern (which Smalls described as being a fine hall despite having been named after a fictitious bird), many fine lines were traversed and obliterated not least of all the one that separates low comedy from even lower comedy but the Tap faithful could finally feel clever, not stupid, for having assembled to celebrate the John Entwistle of the band.

How low can you goapplies in all sorts of ways the bawdiness, the bass fetishism, the gruff character voice. Well, not an affectation, in Entwistles historic case, and there were probably reasons why he was never a touring monster apart from the Who, including that no one probably thought that it would be a good idea to shout out requests for him to sing Baba O Reilly as well as Boris the Spider. Harry Shearer, the Mr. Burns behind these sideburns, solved that vocal problem by not applying his guttural vocal tones to Sex Farm Woman, et al., but assigning guests to sing the numbers originally sung by Michael McKean and Christopher Guest. Billy Idol got two, Heavy Duty and Hellhole (or two and a half, as he also contributed to the climactic Big Bottom), while house band members Keith England and Judith Owen led the way the other three Tap numbers. That still left plenty for Smalls/Shearer to do, vocally, on the 11 new songs, and in lengthy monologues that offered big glimpses into a small mindset.

CREDIT: Rob Shanahan

Idol was not the only idol to take part in the proceedings. Guitarist Waddy Wachtel (well, hes a matinee idol to us) joined in on several numbers, Steve Lukather ripped the audience some new ones with his own shredding, Dweezil Zappa showed up to reprise his speed-metal solo contribution to the recent albums MRI, and Paul Shaffer put in an appearance, not as Artie Fufkin, for better or worse, but as his pianist self. Other celebrities from the 2018 album Smalls Change made taped appearances on the big video screen, billed as live via satellite, including Steve Vai, Donald Fagen (looking seriously spooky in a hoodie as he sang the erectile hook Willie dont lose that lumber), Jane Lynch (as a shrewish ex-wife or girlfriend in She Puts the Bitch in Obituary) and Rick Wakeman (live from his old castle in Newcastle). Modern click tracks are a marvelous thing, as Wakemans recorded keyboard soloing during When Men Did Rock blended seamlessly with the real-live soloing of house guitarist Marc Bonilla.

Having so many taped contributions might have been annoying in a real concert (and frequently is, given how many legit gigs actually have recorded celebrity duet parts on a big screen nowadays) but its less so at what is essentially a sketch comedy show first and musical event secondarily albeit, when youve got contributors like Lukather and a full orchestra on hand, a very close second). The use of video made for punchlines as well as piped-in Vai. For Stonehenge, a supposed satellite feed from the titular side turned out to be several minutes of dim footage of a fog bank in the middle of the night an okay gag. Better was the use of the satellite for the new song Gummin the Gash. Its become a bit of a clich now for rockers of a certain age to perform with symphony orchestras, Smalls said, so were going to turn it up one. Tonight this will be a two-orchestra synchronized performance, because up in the middle of the night in Budapest, Hungary, where I believe they do have lights on, unlike Stonehenge, please welcome the Hungarian Studio Orchestra. But Gummin is by far the crudest song on the recent Smalls album a combination of geriatric and sexual references we probably cant reasonably describe in a family publication and so the joke, a good one, was that the female members of the Budapest orchestra all get up and walk out en masse once they start hearing the lyrics of the song.

With apologies to Shearer, the best number of the night was the one he was entirely off-stage for. Since hes married to the woman who was in the spotlight for the song, he might not mind the slight so much. This particular version of Spinal Taps Sex Farm Woman was performed, in a bravura turn, by gifted mimic Judith Owen as Dame Notting Leica an unmistakable ringer for Dame Shirley Bassey at her brassiest, with the 48-piece Hollywood Chamber Orchestra playing what was unmistakably a perfectly arranged pastiche of John Barrys James Bond themes. That Sex Farm Woman is not an obvious candidate to be turned into an homage to Goldfinger or Diamonds Are Forever, but was so perfectly, made you wonder whether maybe any song could be successfully turned into a Bond theme, if the arranging is being done by CJ Vanston (Shearers music director and the nights likely MVP).

Owen also excelled earlier in the role of Arriana Uniboobulos, a hefty-chested soprano on loan from the Pasadena Opera, reviving the aria part on the latest records title track a ballad that has Smalls explaining why his bandmates abandonment left him alone in carrying their black banner.

Speaking of opera, surtitles were projected onto the overhead screen along with visuals for a majority of the numbers, lest audience members unfamiliar with the Smalls Change albums lyrics strain too much to translate Smalls more guttural singing into English. That was a relief, for catching all the gags in a night where theres one laden literally into every couplet, even if it did sometimes have the effect of letting your eye catch the rhyming punchline a moment before the ear did. If your suspicion is that the Spinal Tap aesthetic is a one-joke one that mustve worn out its welcome by now, Shearer established that there may be an unlimited number of comedic subgenres that can still be squeezed out of the main vain/clueless/deteriorating rocker one. Probably not a lot of mock-rock songs to date have combined the themes of boomer vanity and Satanism as adeptly as Shearer does in Hell Toupee probably the recent records line-for-line funniest song, augmented in concert by a constant display of graphic images of the devil in moptops and rugs.

On a purely musical level, Hell Toupee is not much to speak of; its a song where Shearer may have been so proud of his couplets, he sacrificed the tune for them in the process. But with that said, there were plenty of other moments that did carry a significant charge just as rockers, like the contradictorily head-banging MRI, or the prog-gier When Men Did Rock. These songs provide a good excuse for those of us who have a secret, ancient love for hard rock shredding but wouldnt normally go near it with a 10-foot pole in 2019 to re-engage, with meta levels of irony or lack of irony were probably better off not worrying about as Shearer lets Vai, Lukather, Wachtel and Bonilla do their thing. And then there was the honest majesty of the orchestra, truly a case of throwing pearls before swine.

Or maybe pearls before inflated phalluses is more like it, as the set-closing Big Bottom had a large-scale version of that songs flesh torpedo drifting down from the balcony to the stage for the finale, a la Roger Waters pig on the wing. At this point, the show truly bottomed out in every way, and here, theres really no possible way to position that as an insult.

When Spinal Tap first parodied this stuff in the early 80s, they were satirizing what nearly counted as a dominant strain of the punk-avoidant rock n roll culture; now that brand of rock is remembered more via the spoof, probably, than the original thing. But with even more rarefied forms of rock on the wane in the 2010s, we may someday be at the point where future generations approach This is Spinal Tap not so much as satire as a complete science-fiction. At the Wiltern, anyway, with Shearer offering what seemed suspiciously like an affectionate farewell to the entire genre in When Men Did Rock, the audience could laugh at and embrace its waning power before the whole charade comes to be viewed by bewildered post-millennials as 11: A Space Odyssey.

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Curro pupil speaks: ‘Stop the satanic panic, art is meant to provoke thought’ – News24

Posted: October 27, 2019 at 3:16 pm

The KwaZulu-Natal Grantleigh Curro pupil who produced the artwork that a pastor considered to be "demonic" has explained that his pieces are "the furthest thing from so-called satanism".

In a statement, the young artist, who has not been named, disagreed with the way Pastor Andrew Anderson depicted the work in a choked-up recording in which he feels that "Jesus is being crucified again".

"It has come to my attention that a non-consensual recording of my matric art exhibition has been leaked and gone viral on social media," the pupil said.

"It is because of the magnitude of the resultant controversy that I, the artist, am releasing this statement.

"The artworks in this exhibition explore the commercialisation of contemporary organised religion as well as the monetary exploitation of the faithful by greedy individuals who hide behind the disguise of a church or similar pious institution.

"They discuss [through the appropriation of religious imagery] how contemporary religion has become superficial.

"Instead of connecting with one's faith on a deep, seemingly meaningful level and actually having the guts to ask metaphysical questions, many simply consume their religion in the same fashion as they would any other product [hence the use of Ronald McDonald as a symbol for the infection of faith with consumer culture], and it is because of this that they become vulnerable to manipulation at the hands of those who use their office as a religious leader to further their own lives instead of bringing about positive change in the world."

Symbol of abuse and misuse

The appearance of Ronald McDonald, the McDonald's clown, does not act as a "defamation of anyone's personal messiah", but as a symbol of the abuse and misuse.

"I do not care what people believe, I simply want to highlight potential risks in how they believe it. For in a society dominated by an idea-driven culture, the contents of your mind are perhaps the most important and exploitable."

The artist asked whether, in a country stricken with poverty and glaring inequalities "who can take those religious leaders who rake in millions of rand of income on a regular basis seriously?"

The statement continues: "Who can honestly say that it is right for certain religious leaders to have gotten away with robbing those who trust them most and not repaying society? Televangelism, church-sponsored merchandise and even charging a fee for attendance are all minor examples of the ways in which one contributes to the modern day business of religion."

The drawings take the compositions of classical, religious paintings and insert symbols of capitalism in them to communicate this sentiment.

The Creation of Adam, Alba Madonna, The Last Supper, The Dead Christ Mourned (The Three Maries) and The Last Judgement were cited as compositions appropriated.

Designed to provoke thought

"However unsettling the imagery may seem, it is designed to provoke thought - to make the viewer question whether they are subject to merciless exploitation or are truly cognisant of what and how they believe.

" Questions of rationality and irrationality, good and evil as well as an introspective reflection on my own metaphysical beliefs are all discussions pursued in my art and are sadly things forgotten and ignored by those too scared by the honesty and power of artistic expression to see my work for what it is - a dissection of contemporary faith."

The artist said that his art was a far cry from the "satanic panic" as some people claimed it to be.

"It does not come from a place of malice nor does it necessarily reflect the views of my school.

"Christianity, Scientology, Islam or any one of the multiple thousands of other religions that exist - I really could not care what any one person believes [nor should anyone] but what I do care about is fairness and the sanctity of the human mind.

"Therefore, it is for that reason that I denounce the completely unfounded claims made against my art on social media and advise that before anyone speaks, that they perhaps think.

"I cannot damage that which has already been shattered."

On Tuesday, Anderson called for a protest at the school over the work and said he could feel a demonic presence around the exhibition.

'My God is no clown'

"My God is no clown," said an upset Anderson in a video that was circulated widely.

He was particularly upset by the pupils' interpretation of the religious paintings and art, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, in which Jesus was portrayed as a clown and dollar signs were on a lintel behind him, and strips of the Bible's book of Chronicles worked on to a sculpture.

On Wednesday, the Ballito Apostolic Faith Mission pastor said the exhibition had been taken down, following a meeting with the school, which pleased him. The school would not confirm or deny this.

Anderson said there were two things he was aiming for: That the school admitted it pushed the boundary and crossed its ethos of "to God be the Glory"; and that it made a statement that this would never happen again.

In a statement on Wednesday, the school apologised for offending anybody.

"Curro extends an unreserved apology to all those community members who have been affected and offended by the artwork in question.

"It said that following an internal investigation, Curro determined that the duty of care and guidance offered to the learner did not always adequately address the underlying issues and potential implications of producing a visual art piece, the content of which was controversial and likely to stir emotive responses.

"It is also important that art is subjective and open to interpretation; art encourages people to voice an opinion, either for or against the work in question," it stated.

The school "reaffirmed" its commitment to the constitutional right of every individual with respect to their religious belief, race or ethnicity, gender orientation.

It would actively include this as part of their ongoing good practice as an institution of learning and to rigorously avoid any action that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

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Creepy countdown the 20 scariest horror movies of all time – NNY360

Posted: at 3:16 pm

Horror movies have changed dramatically over the decades to keep up with ever-evolving audiences. Some of the old classics, while still artful and entertaining, no longer have the power to shock. Others, however, have stood the test of time.

What makes a movie scary? Some would say its the jump-scare the boo! moment that jolts you out of your seat. Others might point to a particularly ghastly monster or a preponderance of gore. And whos to say whats more terrifying a ghost, a creature or a plain old murderer? Much of what jangles your nerves depends on the fears you bring into the theater.

The best horror movies find a sweet spot: A primal, universal terror made vivid by skillful filmmaking. That formula will surely never age. Here, just in time for Halloween, are 20 of the scariest movies of all time:

20. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009)

This no-budget indie about a possessed McMansion helped kick off the current horror craze. Slamming doors and flickering lights and not much else make this a yelp-out-loud treat.

19. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)

The movie that gave us the blade-fingered Freddy Krueger (and the film debut of Johnny Depp) looks a little dated now, but director Wes Cravens blend of dreams and reality still has the power to unsettle.

18. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

The zombie genre starts with George Romeros ghoulish, gory classic. AMCs The Walking Dead may have more splatter, but this one really stares into the existential abyss.

17. ROSEMARYS BABY (1968)

Roman Polanskis film about a pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) who gets snookered into Satanism is a slow-building chiller, but the climactic payoff is one of the best youll ever see.

Jordan Peeles story of a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) meeting his white girlfriends parents is essentially a race-based version of The Stepford Wives. It works best as satirical commentary but has enough wig-out moments to earn a place on this list.

Five college kids find an audiotape that releases demons in this sophomore feature from Sam Raimi. Its freaky great fun thanks to clever camerawork, a sly sense of humor and a star turn from Bruce Campbell.

This knockoff of The Exorcist met with mixed reviews but is now considered an iconic horror film in its own right. Harvey Stevens is unforgettable as Damien, a literal demon child, while several top-shelf actors (Gregory Peck, Lee Remick) play the unfortunate adults around him.

13. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)

Three filmmakers enter a Maryland forest to investigate a local myth. Assembled from their found footage, The Blair Witch Project uses virtually nothing but weird noises and shaky camerawork by the actors themselves to create an atmosphere of deep-reaching terror.

12. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)

Hoopers low-budget shocker about cannibals preying on hippies was the perfect mid-70s horror film, a grisly stew of Manson mythology and redneckphobia. Not for the faint of heart.

One of two Tobe Hooper films on this list, Poltergeist has been almost as widely imitated as Psycho or Halloween. (Theres some controversy about whether producer Steven Spielberg really directed it.) This is the movie that made an entire generation afraid to watch television.

Steven Spielbergs masterpiece about an outsize shark may not pack the scares-per-minute of other films on this list. Its part horror movie, part adventure epic. But for white-knuckle suspense plus several nasty surprises Jaws is tough to beat.

John Carpenters remake of the 1951 classic about a creature discovered in Antarctica is a screamingly great horror flick, full of gore, goo and flamethrowers. The ace cast includes Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and Keith David.

This sneak attack of a movie begins straightforwardly enough with a Japanese widower looking for a younger lover. The harrowing second half no spoilers must be seen to believed. Directed by Takashi Miike.

Ari Asters story of an artist (Toni Collette) ensnared by a cult may be too intense for some. Critics raved, but freaked-out audiences gave it a rare D+ CinemaScore. Youve been warned.

6. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

Jonathan Demmes modern classic is still the only horror film to win the Oscar for best picture. Anthony Hopkins sinister and highly quotable Hannibal Lecter is the cinematic serial killer by which all others are now judged.

Alfred Hitchcocks most famous film may not jolt audiences the way it once did. But its still a terrific shocker, from Anthony Perkins unnerving performance as the ultimate mamas boy to the lightbulb-swinging climax.

John Carpenter terrorized middle America with this simple but effective tale about a serial killer stalking suburban teenagers. Even today, Halloween feels like your worst nightmare: a home invasion perpetrated by a semi-supernatural being. Jamie Lee Curtis makes her big-screen debut as terrorized babysitter Laurie Strode.

Director Ridley Scott admitted that Alien was basically Jaws in space. Nevertheless, thanks to a groundbreakingly hideous space creature (designed by illustrator H.R. Geiger) and a tough-as-nails Sigourney Weaver as the last survivor on a doomed craft, Scotts movie remains the first word in modern sci-fi horror.

Audiences reportedly fainted and vomited during screenings of William Friedkins film about a little girl possessed by a demon (Linda Blair, in a head-spinning, Oscar-nominated turn). Hype aside, this is still an absolute hair-raiser, especially the later editions that restored the eye-popping spider-walk scene.

When it comes to imitators, Stanley Kubricks The Shining, based on Stephen Kings 1977 novel, stands alone. Nobody has ever re-created a hotel quite like the Overlook, nor has anyone equaled Jack Nicholsons unhinged performance as a father gone mad. Its a monolith of terror, undiminished even after nearly 40 years.

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What does it mean to be a modern witch? 3 real-life witches share their experiences – Vogue India

Posted: October 23, 2019 at 9:43 am

Navigating pop culture with a pointed hat and a sharp cackle, the witch is an elusive figure of power and mystery. Portrayed as notorious child haters (see Roald Dahls The Witches) and for their love of evil (look no further than the Wayward Sisters in Shakespeares Macbeth), as much as for their knowledge and ability to create and heal (cue Harry Potter), witches have always reflected the zeitgeist. Whether that be societys feelings towards womenoften ill feeling, especially towards those with poweror the collectives relationship to ritual and magick. The modern witch, however, has emboldened herself with a fierce feminism that defies definition; she does not exist in the black or white spaces, but in the grey. Todays witch isnt good or bad, she just is.

Witchcraft exists in the liminal. Like the archetype of the witch, it is always shapeshifting, neither here nor there, never quite fitting in a box. Its best defined as an age-old spiritual path rooted in the cycles of the earth and the seasons, in the cycles of the cosmos and in the cycles of the self. Its entrenched in personal empowerment and impacted by the culture that each witch is surrounded by. The beauty of magick is that its most effective and potent when its deeply personal.

My journey with the craft indirectly began with my parents. My father, a reform rabbi, and my mother, from the Jewish community in Mexico City, both encouraged my obsession with the spiritual from a young age. My father has always fostered my curiosity of the unknown and religion, while my mother shared practices like yoga, crystal healing, mindfulness and meditation with me since I was a toddler. But, when I discovered witchcraft at the age of 11, they thought it was a phase; the stigma around what witchcraft meant was still heavy, many considered it evil, especially in the Bible Belt where I grew up. Thirteen years later and a lot has changed. Witchcraft and magick have once again entered the zeitgeist, with more and more people discovering the positives of the practice, based around ideas of connection, communion with nature and love.

My personal practice means being devoted to the Divine Feminine; working with sex magick by using orgasms to raise energy for a desired intention; working with the cycles of the moon and seasons; and using a daily meditation practice alongside tarot, breath-work, therapy, energy healing and ritual to find empowerment in the everyday. It also means seeing myselfand my power to healas part of the collective consciousness.

The nuances of witchcraft are different for every witch. So, for an insight into the craft the world over, three women from Mexico, Japan and Arizona share why its one of the most inclusive practices of our times.

Bere Parra is a freelance communication consultant helping clients with copywriting, social media and community management. Parras magick contains multitudes: her witchcraft is rooted in devotion to the self, in Satanism and in honouring the divine rebel. My personal brand of magick and witchcraft incorporates principles from LaVeyan Satanism, Luciferianism and some Wiccan traditions. I also often work with the powers of the moon and with the aid of [goddess] Lilith, depending on the matter at hand, explains Parra.

Parras magick stems from a matriarchal lineage of healers. Her great grandmother was a witch, a curandera (a traditional folk healer) from Oaxaca in southern Mexico, who people in the community would turn to when they needed healing in matters of the body and spirit. This passed down to Parra and her mother, who incorporate their own magical rituals and practices into their day-to-day lives. And while Mexico is steeped in Catholicism, magick is often a heavy part of the culture as well. Mexicans are open, unique and contradictory, Parra adds. We dont like to follow the rules too closely. Even if theyre Catholic, many follow astrology, or consult the tarot, or visit brujas [those who specialise in witchcraft] for limpias [cleansings].

Being a Satanist in Mexico, however, is still taboo, since many people around the world have misconceptions about what the practice entails. Satanism is about individuality, at its very core. Its about subversion and rebellion, about being bold and daring enough to be original and to walk to the beat of your own drum. We do not worship the devilits a lot more rich and complex than that, Parra explains. LaVeyan Satanists dont worship any deity, as they are atheists. Theistic Satanists, like myself, will engage in different rituals or practices that do involve worshipping, but not all of us adhere to a specific canon.

Madoka is a virtual and augmented-reality researcher, whose spiritual and personal artistic practice combine as she explores witchcraft, divination and shamanism. Based between Tokyo and Los Angeles, her work dissects the differences between the two cultures and the fusion of feminism and witchcraft in the US. Madokas experience with witchcraft began after a friend showed her Aleister Crowleys Thoth tarot cards. As an animator and artist, she became instantly hooked by the hallucinatory beauty and archetypes of the cards; a year later and she wears the title of witch with pride. Im very interested in the culture of the US west coast, and studied witchcraft with [California-based] feminist activist Starhawk in San Francisco in 2018, says Madoka. I practice a lot of ritual and spells, vision quests, invocations and I meditate every day. She also works with many kinds of eastern and western divination, including the I Ching (ancient Chinese text), tarot, feng shui and Four Pillars of Destiny (Chinese fortune telling).

While witchcraft is a predominant part of the culture of the US, and steeped into the energy of Mexico, it takes on a different tone in Japan where the majority of the population is polytheist. Witch culture in LA is very big compared to Japan, but the biggest difference is that witches are not counter-culture in Japan, since Christianity is not the majority [there]. Paganism and Buddhists are the majority, which is probably why its hard to find those who identify as a witch, Madoka explains. Japanese people believe that there are eight million deities in the world. Stone, wood, soil, seas, rivers everything is a deity. Its normal thinking for us.

Taylor Cordova spends her days immersed in magick. The artist and art historian moonlights as an art teacher for an elementary school, and runs an online shop called The Flowerchild Bruja. This is where she sells crystals and handmade herbal smoke sticks made with sacred plants such as rose, lavender and mugwort, used to energetically cleanse a space. My personal practice involves a lot of communion with the spirit of Gaia [the Mother Earth goddess]. Altar work and cultivation of sacred space is one way I love to connect with spirit and practice my devotion, Cordova explains. She also engages in other rituals rooted in the mysticism of the divine feminine. Sex magick and working with my menstrual blood are some of the more taboo practices I engage in, but honestly it all depends on what feels right at the time. Spirit communicates what kind of work is most beneficial in that moment, she adds.

Growing up in the desert has been an integral part of Cordovas journey with her craft. The mountains, specifically the South Mountain Park and Preserve, have initiated her deeper into this ancient wisdom. As an Afro-Latina witch, Cordovas culture intermingles with the wisdom of the desert in myriad ways. My culture dictates every step I take. Its in the way I use my hands, its in the way I cast spells with my hips, its in my voice and in the way I pray. Each of my cultures are present in the way I offer my devotion. The Sonoran Desert, the south Phoenix community I was born and raised in, and my African ancestry are super-relevant factors in my practice, but they happen to be very nuanced and so beautifully blended together, that its hard to dictate all the ways in which my practice is shaped by my culture.

Halloweenor Samhain for those who observe the Pagan Wheel of the Yearis the New Year for witches, and the perfect time to start exploring magick. However, one can walk this path whenever they feel ready, no matter where they are. Its always the season of the witch, and everyone is welcome.

Gabriela Herstik is a Los Angeles-based writer, witch and author of two books Craft: How to be a Modern Witch (2018) and the forthcoming Bewitching the Elements: Finding Empowerment through Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit (2020)

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Judas Priests Rob Halford: The metal community has always been inclusive, yet weve been kicked around like a football over the years – NME.com

Posted: at 9:43 am

Rob Halford loves Christmas almost as much as he loves metal. To mark the release of his second festive solo collection, 'Celestial', he talks to James McMahon about home improvements, National Coming Out Day and why he "fucking loves" Christmas trees

Its 2pm in Phoenix, Arizona, when we call Rob Halford, longterm singer of heavy metal greats Judas Priest.

Halford joined the West Bromwich band in 1973, fronted the group as they tore through an unparalleled run of classic albums throughout the 80s (the best known of which, sixth record, British Steel, turns 40 next year), before leaving the group in 1992 and reinventing himself as an industrial metal solo artist. He reunited with Priest 11 years later, and has remained there ever since. Rob Halford is a man his fans call The Metal God with no irony whatsoever its a justified moniker.

Ive got to head down to London this Christmas, says the 68-year-old, when we inform him where NME is calling from. Ive got to go to the American Embassy to renew my visa. He laughs. I hate getting my visa renewed. Last time I was at the Embassy I was waiting for three hours. Everyone came and went until I was the only person left in the room. Im sat there for ages holding my ticket like Im in bloody Argos or something, and then I realise that nobody else is there. This woman comes over and says, What are you doing here? Were closed now. Theyd totally forgotten I was there. It got sorted out, but what a carry on

Was there not a part of you that thought, This is no way to treat The Metal God? we ask. He laughs again.

I didnt feel much like The Metal God waiting in that room

Earlier this month, Halford released an album called Celestial, his second Christmas-themed record (the first being 2009s Winter Songs), which features heavy metal arrangements of the likes of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Deck The Halls, as well as four new original songs (of which the song Donner And Blitzen is an absolute jam). Its a true family affair. Halfords brother Nigel plays drums, nephew Alex (son of Judas Priests Ian Hill) the bass, while his sister Sue plays the sleigh bells. Guitars come courtesy of Robert Jones and Jon Blakely. And why? Because Rob Halford is The Metal God, thats why. But also because as well learn the iconic singer thinks Christmas in the modern age can teach the world a host of valuable lessons.

But first, some heavy metal home improvement

Hello Rob. What are you up to today?

Im at the house in Phoenix. Im trying to get some work done on the house, but Ive just learned about the existence of the hillside committee. I dont know who these people are, but there I was working, and some people came round and said, You need to stop. I asked why, and they said, what youre doing hasnt been approved by the hillside committee. I mean, who the fucking hell are the hillside committee?

They sound like some kind of residents collective?

I think so. I live in an area of Phoenix called Paradise Valley and theyre a bit funny around here. Its certainly not the kind of place where youll pop around to your neighbours to borrow a cup of sugar. Im drowning in bureaucracy! I own the house. I own the land. And still I cant do what I want to do. Ive lived here since 1984. Its not like Im trying to build a great big fucking pink palace. Im just trying to plan for floods because we get these great big monsoons. Im not sure Im The Metal God would wash around here. Everyone here is a bit, dont you know who I am? What can I say? Im from the Midlands. We dont think like that and we certainly dont say it.

I hope you resolve your differences with the hillside committee. Right, lets talk about Christmas

Oh, I love Christmas. I look forward to that time of year all year. The older I get, the more it means to me. I think theres probably a bit of mortality creeping in there, but I just think its a fantastic time to reflect about what really matters to you. I love Christmas trees. I fucking love them! Ive got far too many. I just like dressing them up and theres a great heavy metal soundtrack to do it to. Theres my friend Ronnie [James Dio and his 2008 cover of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen], Lemmy [and his cover of Chuck Berrys Run Run Rudolph] This Christmas Ill be spoiling my grandniece to death. Shes only one, but Ill be getting her a bazillion Christmas gifts.

Have you started on your Christmas shopping yet?

Im a procrastinator. I always leave these things until the last minute. Basically, although I gave up drinking and drugs a long time ago now, Im always on the hunt for new addictions. Mine is currently Amazon Prime. Ill be on my phone at two in the morning when I cant sleep just buying shit I dont need. Ill be like, Oooh, I need a new pair of scissors! Stuff turns up a few days later and Ive always forgotten what Ive bought. Im always confused about why there are so many boxes

I read about how religion became a part of your life after you got clean and sober in 1986. How important is the religious aspect of Christmas to you?

Im just into the basics really. Try to be a good person, treat others as youd like to be treated that stuff was instilled in me as a kid. Im not much for labels, but I think theres a big difference between religion and spirituality. I think this time of year is especially important because of whats happening in the world right now. I think music, more than anything really, is a respite its one of the reasons why I got my friends and family together to make Celestial. The shit thats going down in America right now is ridiculous, not that its much better at home with Brexit. The world is so complicated right now.

If you dont mind me asking, whats it like being a famous gay man living in America as the country seemingly lunges further and further towards the conservative right?

Im so pleased youve asked me that question, because today [October 11th] is National Coming Out Day here in the States. I mean, I didnt know that until I logged into my Instagram this morning and everyone was telling me that. There was a thing on my Instagram feed from the MTV Studios in 1998 where I said for the first time that I was a gay guy. Obviously I nicked it and re-edited it a bit and put it on my own feed It was wonderful watching the comments coming in. Anyone with social media has to be prepared for negative comments, but some of the stuff people were saying was so beautiful. There was real love and understanding there

But

But dont get me started on the Christian right pushing the LGBTQ community under the bus. Theyre passing laws here where if youre gay you can lose your job, based on whether the people who run a company follow a religion that doesnt accept people like us. Its horrible. America is supposed to be the worlds leading superpower and some of this stuff is medieval. Its not a country where you feel especially safe, and I do think I feel less safe now. You are aware that by walking down the supermarket you might get shot. But I try not to let that stuff intrude on my life. The politicians, the media, they want you to be scared and I refuse to be.

Isnt it ironic that for all the shit heavy metal has got over the years accusations of Satanism and the corruption of youth and so on that heres one of the most famous names in heavy metal talking about peace and love while the world burns all around him?

Oh, totally! The metal community has always been inclusive and yet weve been kicked around like a football over the years. It just makes us stronger though. I genuinely believe that metal is the strongest component of rock n roll. Its still growing only today I was listening to a new band I really like from my old stomping ground in the Midlands; theyre called Wolf Jaw and theyre great. Metal will always be there. Well always be loud! Well always be proud!

You announced last year that youre writing an autobiography. How is that coming on?

Its going great. Im having a good time with it and Im working with some good people who are helping draw the stories out of me. Thats the thing with being clean and sober and being open about your sexuality. Its all laid out. Theres nothing to be afraid of

Damn straight. To wrap things up, how is your old mate Ozzy doing? He hasnt been well and the tour that Judas Priest are doing with him keeps getting put back

I only know what the world knows. Sharon [Osbourne] rang our office recently and told us how hard everyone was working to support him and help him get better. But were totally committed to doing these shows when he is. I think that tour is going to be really important when it happens. Ozzy is a UK national treasure and between the two of us we were at the beginning of this thing we love called heavy metal. He just needs to get well. Can you tell everyone reading this piece that they need to send Ozzy their love?

Celestial by Rob Halford With Family & Friends is out now

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Judas Priests Rob Halford: The metal community has always been inclusive, yet weve been kicked around like a football over the years - NME.com

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The 20 scariest horror movies of all time – The Columbus Dispatch

Posted: October 20, 2019 at 9:53 pm

Horror movies have changed dramatically over the decades to keep up with ever-evolving audiences. Some of the old classics, while still artful and entertaining, no longer have the power to shock. Others, however, have stood the test of time.

What makes a movie scary? Some would say its the jump-scare the boo! moment that jolts you out of your seat. Others might point to a particularly ghastly monster or a preponderance of gore.

The best horror movies find a sweet spot: A primal, universal terror made vivid by skillful filmmaking. That formula will surely never age. Here, just in time for Halloween, are 20 of the scariest movies of all time:

20. Paranormal Activity (2009): This no-budget indie about a possessed McMansion helped kick off the current horror craze. Slamming doors and flickering lights and not much else make this a yelp-out-loud treat.

19. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The movie that gave us the blade-fingered Freddy Krueger (and the film debut of Johnny Depp) looks a little dated now, but director Wes Cravens blend of dreams and reality still has the power to unsettle.

18. Night of the Living Dead (1968): The zombie genre starts with George Romeros ghoulish, gory classic. AMCs The Walking Dead may have more splatter, but this one really stares into the existential abyss.

17. Rosemarys Baby (1968): Roman Polanskis film about a pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) who gets snookered into Satanism is a slow-building chiller, but the climactic payoff is one of the best you will ever see.

16. Get Out (2017): Jordan Peeles story of a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) meeting his white girlfriends parents is essentially a race-based version of The Stepford Wives. It works best as satirical commentary, but it has enough wig-out moments to earn a place on this list.

15. The Evil Dead (1981): Five college kids find an audiotape that releases demons in this sophomore feature from Sam Raimi. Its freaky great fun thanks to clever camerawork, a sly sense of humor and a star turn from Bruce Campbell.

14. The Omen (1976): This knockoff of The Exorcist met with mixed reviews but is now considered an iconic horror film in its own right. Harvey Stevens is unforgettable as Damien, a literal demon child, while several top-shelf actors (Gregory Peck, Lee Remick) play the unfortunate adults around him.

13. The Blair Witch Project (1999): Three filmmakers enter a Maryland forest to investigate a local myth. Assembled from their found footage, The Blair Witch Project uses virtually nothing but weird noises and shaky camerawork by the actors themselves to create an atmosphere of deep-reaching terror.

12. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): Tobe Hoopers low-budget shocker about cannibals preying on hippies was the perfect mid-70s horror film, a grisly stew of Manson mythology and redneckphobia. Not for the faint of heart.

11. Poltergeist (1982): One of the two Hooper films on this list, Poltergeist has been almost as widely imitated as Psycho or Halloween. This is the movie that made an entire generation afraid to watch television.

10. Jaws (1975): Steven Spielbergs masterpiece about an outsize shark may not pack the scares-per-minute of other films on this list. Its part horror movie, part adventure epic. But for white-knuckle suspense plus several nasty surprises Jaws is tough to beat.

9. The Thing (1982): John Carpenters remake of the 1951 classic about a creature discovered in Antarctica is a screamingly great horror flick, full of gore, goo and flamethrowers. The ace cast includes Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and Keith David.

8. Audition (1999): This sneak attack of a movie begins straightforwardly enough with a Japanese widower looking for a younger lover. The harrowing second half no spoilers must be seen to be believed. Directed by Takashi Miike.

7. Hereditary (2018): Ari Asters story of an artist (Toni Collette) ensnared by a cult may be too intense for some. Critics raved, but freaked-out audiences gave it a rare D+ CinemaScore. Youve been warned.

6. The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Jonathan Demmes modern classic is still the only horror film to win the Oscar for best picture. Anthony Hopkins sinister and highly quotable Hannibal Lecter is the cinematic serial killer by which all others are now judged.

5. Psycho (1960): Alfred Hitchcocks most famous film may not jolt audiences the way it once did. But its still a terrific shocker, from Anthony Perkins unnerving performance as the ultimate mamas boy to the lightbulb-swinging climax.

4. Halloween (1978): John Carpenter terrorized middle America with this simple but effective tale about a serial killer stalking suburban teenagers. Even today, Halloween feels like your worst nightmare: a home invasion perpetrated by a semi-supernatural being. Jamie Lee Curtis makes her big-screen debut as terrorized babysitter Laurie Strode.

3. Alien (1979): Director Ridley Scott admitted that Alien was basically Jaws in space. Nevertheless, thanks to a groundbreakingly hideous space creature and a tough-as-nails Sigourney Weaver as the last survivor on a doomed craft, Scotts movie remains the first word in modern sci-fi horror.

2. The Exorcist (1973): Audiences reportedly fainted and vomited during screenings of William Friedkins film about a little girl possessed by a demon (Linda Blair, in a head-spinning, Oscar-nominated turn). This is still an absolute hair-raiser, especially the later editions that restored the eye-popping spider-walk scene.

1. The Shining (1980): Stanley Kubricks The Shining, based on Stephen Kings 1977 novel, stands alone. Nobody has ever re-created a hotel quite like the Overlook, nor has anyone equaled Jack Nicholsons unhinged performance as a father gone mad. Its a monolith of terror, undiminished even after nearly 40 years. Tune in at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on AMC to relive the horror.

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What are the 20 scariest horror movies of all time? – Peoria Journal Star

Posted: at 9:53 pm

Horror movies have changed dramatically over the decades to keep up with ever-evolving audiences. Some of the old classics, while still artful and entertaining, no longer have the power to shock. Others, however, have stood the test of time.

What makes a movie scary? Some would say it's the jump-scare the "boo!" moment that jolts you out of your seat. Others might point to a particularly ghastly monster or a preponderance of gore. And who's to say what's more terrifying a ghost, a creature or a plain old murderer? Much of what jangles your nerves depends on the fears you bring into the theater.

The best horror movies find a sweet spot: A primal, universal terror made vivid by skillful filmmaking. That formula will surely never age. Here, just in time for Halloween, are 20 of the scariest movies of all time:

20. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009) This no-budget indie about a possessed McMansion helped kick off the current horror craze. Slamming doors and flickering lights and not much else make this a yelp-out-loud treat.

19. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) The movie that gave us the blade-fingered Freddy Krueger (and the film debut of Johnny Depp) looks a little dated now, but director Wes Craven's blend of dreams and reality still has the power to unsettle.

18. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) The zombie genre starts with George Romero's ghoulish, gory classic. AMC's "The Walking Dead" may have more splatter, but this one really stares into the existential abyss.

17. ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) Roman Polanski's film about a pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) who gets snookered into Satanism is a slow-building chiller, but the climactic payoff is one of the best you'll ever see.

16. GET OUT (2017) Jordan Peele's story of a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) meeting his white girlfriend's parents is essentially a race-based version of "The Stepford Wives." It works best as satirical commentary but has enough wig-out moments to earn a place on this list.

15. THE EVIL DEAD (1981) Five college kids find an audiotape that releases demons in this sophomore feature from Sam Raimi. It's freaky great fun thanks to clever camerawork, a sly sense of humor and a star turn from Bruce Campbell.

14. THE OMEN (1976) This knockoff of "The Exorcist" met with mixed reviews but is now considered an iconic horror film in its own right. Harvey Stevens is unforgettable as Damien, a literal demon child, while several top-shelf actors (Gregory Peck, Lee Remick) play the unfortunate adults around him.

13. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999) Three filmmakers enter a Maryland forest to investigate a local myth. Assembled from their "found" footage, "The Blair Witch Project" uses virtually nothing but weird noises and shaky camerawork by the actors themselves to create an atmosphere of deep-reaching terror.

12. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) Hooper's low-budget shocker about cannibals preying on hippies was the perfect mid-'70s horror film, a grisly stew of Manson mythology and redneckphobia. Not for the faint of heart.

11. POLTERGEIST (1982) One of two Tobe Hooper films on this list, "Poltergeist" has been almost as widely imitated as "Psycho" or "Halloween." (There's some controversy about whether producer Steven Spielberg "really" directed it.) This is the movie that made an entire generation afraid to watch television.

10. JAWS (1975) Steven Spielberg's masterpiece about an outsize shark may not pack the scares-per-minute of other films on this list. It's part horror movie, part adventure epic. But for white-knuckle suspense plus several nasty surprises "Jaws" is tough to beat.

9. THE THING (1982) John Carpenter's remake of the 1951 classic about a creature discovered in Antarctica is a screamingly great horror flick, full of gore, goo and flamethrowers. The ace cast includes Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and Keith David.

8. AUDITION (1999) This sneak attack of a movie begins straightforwardly enough with a Japanese widower looking for a younger lover. The harrowing second half no spoilers must be seen to believed. Directed by Takashi Miike.

7. HEREDITARY (2018) Ari Aster's story of an artist (Toni Collette) ensnared by a cult may be too intense for some. Critics raved, but freaked-out audiences gave it a rare D+ CinemaScore. You've been warned.

6. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Jonathan Demme's modern classic is still the only horror film to win the Oscar for best picture. Anthony Hopkins' sinister and highly quotable Hannibal Lecter is the cinematic serial killer by which all others are now judged.

5. PSYCHO (1960) Alfred Hitchcock's most famous film may not jolt audiences the way it once did. But it's still a terrific shocker, from Anthony Perkins' unnerving performance as the ultimate mama's boy to the lightbulb-swinging climax.

4. HALLOWEEN (1978) John Carpenter terrorized middle America with this simple but effective tale about a serial killer stalking suburban teenagers. Even today, "Halloween" feels like your worst nightmare: a home invasion perpetrated by a semi-supernatural being. Jamie Lee Curtis makes her big-screen debut as terrorized babysitter Laurie Strode.

3. ALIEN (1979) Director Ridley Scott admitted that "Alien" was basically "Jaws in space." Nevertheless, thanks to a groundbreakingly hideous space creature (designed by illustrator H.R. Geiger) and a tough-as-nails Sigourney Weaver as the last survivor on a doomed craft, Scott's movie remains the first word in modern sci-fi horror.

2. THE EXORCIST (1973) Audiences reportedly fainted and vomited during screenings of William Friedkin's film about a little girl possessed by a demon (Linda Blair, in a head-spinning, Oscar-nominated turn). Hype aside, this is still an absolute hair-raiser, especially the later editions that restored the eye-popping "spider-walk" scene.

1. THE SHINING (1980) When it comes to imitators, Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining," based on Stephen King's 1977 novel, stands alone. Nobody has ever re-created a hotel quite like the Overlook, nor has anyone equaled Jack Nicholson's unhinged performance as a father gone mad. It's a monolith of terror, undiminished even after nearly 40 years.

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I’m a founder of the Satanic Temple. Don’t blame Satan for white supremacy. – Washington Post

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:54 am

By Lucien Greaves By Lucien Greaves August 23 Lucien Greaves is co-founder of and spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, an international nontheistic religious organization advocating for secularism and scientific rationalism.

Soon after the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville this month, religious leaders and pious politicians began the usual drudgery of fitting the events into their preferred narratives.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) seized the opportunity to rail against secularism, declaring that the whole thing was but a symptom of a rampant evil that has been allowed to freely permeate public schools unmitigated by the moral corrective of compulsory Bible study.Some Christian leaders, such as Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., said little about the actual events in Charlottesville, but praised President Trumps bold and truthful statement at his news conferencethree days after the protest, which claimed many sides were to blame and that all sides harbored some very fine people. American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer blamed Democrats.

But the consensus among Christian leaders was that Satan was at fault. As Evangelist Franklin Graham put it: Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in Charlottesville. Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts. Satan is behind it all. Premier Christianity, a popular news and culture blog from a Christian perspective, condemned both white supremacy and Trumps equivocating response to it as Satanic. Similarly, Morgan Guyton, director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola universities in New Orleans, saw in Charlottesville a manifestation of Satans power. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, denounced white supremacy as Satanism and devil-worship.

[The man who organized the Charlottesville rally is in hiding and too toxic for the alt-right]

As the co-founder of and spokesman for the Satanic Temple, Im naturally irritated by such comments. To many casual observers, there seems to be a tendency to view condemnations of white supremacy as Satanism as a triumph of progressive thought among prominent U.S. Christians. But such language is not harmless. It lets mainstream religions off the hook for some of the darker periods of American history, despite the deep connections between slavery and Christian theology. These leaders invocation of the eternal adversary as a scapegoat comes with darker implicit assumptions that should be confronted and rejected outright.

I identify nontheistically with a Miltonic Satan that defies all subjugation, exalts scientific inquiry and promotes Humanistic, pluralistic values. The Satan of Modern Satanism is a metaphorical icon for Enlightenment values. Satanism adopts a mythological backdrop that we feel is more befitting to modern culture than the monarchical, feudalistic, theocratic superstitions of old. The Satanic Temple, far from endorsing crass nationalistic tribalism, actively fights for individual sovereignty and secular values.

In allowing the colloquial use of Satanic to stand unopposed as a blanket term to describe all that is reprehensible and morally corrupt, one also tacitly affirms the implied opposite, that Christianity defines all that is just and morally sound. Correcting this assumption is more than a matter of embittered punitive nitpicking; its a matter of maintaining fidelity to historical facts so that we might more appropriately confront the dire issues of the present. Its a matter of undermining the destructive certainty of moral authority held by the superstitious.

[Only white people can save themselves from racism and white supremacism]

Slavery in the United States was traditionally and rather credibly, from a theological perspective justified on scriptural grounds. The Ku Klux Klan is as much a religious Protestant sect as the Taliban or al-Qaeda are Muslim. The doctrine of the Christian Identity movement, with its spurious scholarship and militant apocalyptic urgency, forms the ideological backdrop of virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements in the United States, the Anti-Defamation League writes.

Allowing Christian leaders to merely disown Protestant radicalization by fiat absolves them of having to confront the problem. Its one thing to disagree with the scriptural interpretation of a movement; its another to deny that the movement had any foundations in scriptural interpretations at all. Facing the problem of Protestant racism from within means acknowledging its existence and dedicating a certain amount of energy to maintaining a nonracist church, not merely claiming thatsuch elements exist only when politically convenient.

Its well past time we stopped allowing religious authorities to pretend that their doctrines have guided the rights revolution, when in reality, far too many of them traditionally stalled and crippled it. Without a moments introspection, we find American Christian religious leaders claiming the glory of the 1960s civil rights movement while simultaneously fighting to prevent and undo any advances in rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. As if theyve never been wrong, and failing to be corrected by those who know better, they carry on acting as if right is not defined by that which is equitable, increases happiness, or reduces suffering, but rather is defined by (their interpretations of) what is stated as such in their archaic, yet allegedly infallible, laws.

[White people think racism is getting worse. Against white people.]

Blaming Satan for any misdeeds, real or imagined, has never been a victimless crime. Moores words are the very stuff of witch hunts inspired by a guilty desire to purge ones own sins in a conflagration of the scapegoated other. In fact, Trumps own conspiracy scapegoating, his cozy relationship with deranged paranoia-mongers and his near unanimous support among evangelicals have all unquestionably contributed to the increasing flagrance of the racist right. Blaming Satanism for Charlottesville only adds fuel to the growing flames of conspiracist unreason while shifting responsibility from where it properly belongs.

Finally, it must be said that nothing could be more antithetical to modern nontheistic Satanism than racist ideologies. We embrace a large diversity of individuals from a wide spectrum of political and cultural backgrounds, but were all unified by our respect for individual rights and pluralism. It is axiomatic within Satanism that individuals must be judged for their own actions and for their own merits. To unfavorably relegate individuals into arbitrary categories, or to take credit for the achievements of another based upon a shared classification, is to defy the very foundational principles of our ethics. We simply have no place for simple-minded supremacist, nationalist ideologues, and its impossible to interpret our tenets otherwise.

Ironically, much of what Moore and other preachers of superstition claim to know about Satanism is derived froma mythology constructed from libels against minority out-groups by Christian majorities. Pagans and Jews were early victims of violent purges, their practices deemed Satanic and intolerable. Native Americans and black slaves were often suspected and accused of Satanic activity in Early America. The vision for a Christian Nation, persistently fought for by evangelical theocrats, with its refusal to accept cultural diversity, holds that there is but one right way to live our lives, one lifestyle for all households, only one acceptable religious outlook that should be dictated to the nation at large, one god for one people. Is it really so mysterious that some among them might decide theres a right race as well?

If were going to confront the violence in Charlottesville in any constructive manner, were going to have to do better than the Devil made them do it.

Read more:

As a psychiatrist, I diagnose mental illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession.

What the Pizzagate conspiracy theory borrows from a bogus satanic sex panic of the 1980s

The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy

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Wash Post column cheers Satan, jeers Christians – WND.com

Posted: at 3:54 am

WASHINGTON The venerated journalistic institution the Washington Post, which recently adopted the slogan Democracy Dies in Darkness, published acolumn Wednesday by a spokesman for the Prince of Darkness whoblamed Christianity for slavery and white supremacism.

The op-ed by Lucien Greaves, both a defense of satanism and an attack on Christianity, was headlinedIm a founder of the Satanic Temple. Dont blame Satan for white supremacy.

Although slavery was historically practiced by virtually every culture in the world and only stopped by Christians, Greaves revives the argument that blames it on Christians.

In the op-ed, the self-described co-founder of the Satanic Temple:

Greaves begins his piece by taking exception to what he terms a consensus among Christian leaders was that Satan was at fault for the violence and death in the melee between far-right protesters and far-left counter protesters earlier this month in Charlottesville.

Evangelist Franklin Graham had shamed politicians trying to push blame on President Trump.

Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts. Satan is behind it all, Graham said.

Greaves said he was naturally irritated by such comments because such language is not harmless.

It lets mainstream religions off the hook for some of the darker periods of American history, despite the deep connections between slavery and Christian theology, he said.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple

However, while asserting that slavery in the U.S. was often justified on scriptural grounds, Greaves failed to mention it was Christians who were responsible for ending slavery.

This is one of Satans oldest tricks, asserted pastor Carl Gallups, bestselling author of WND Books When the Lion Roars and The Magic Man in the Sky.

He still uses it so prolifically because it still works so well. It is the tactic of blaming others for that which you are actually, and so obviously, the guilty one, the pastor told WND.

He continued:While it is true that all manner of evil has been carried out in the name of Christianity and the Christian church, the fact of the matter remains neither the teachings of Jesus, the contextual Word of God, or the conduct and practice of true born-again Christians support slavery, white supremacism, or acts of abject terrorism and violence. The exact opposite is the truth.

Indeed, it was Christian activists who ledthe pre-Civil War abolitionist movement in America, as well as the campaign across the Atlantic led by parliamentarian William Wilberforce that brought an end to the slave trade in Britain in 1807.

Also unmentioned by the satanist was the Catholic Churchs long history of opposing slavery, including Pope Benedict XIVs condemnation of it in 1741, Pope Piuss demand for the end of the slave trade in 1815,Pope Gregorys condemnation of the slave trade in 1839 and the same by Pope Leo in 1888.

William Wilberforce (1759-1833) English politician, philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade

Greaves painted satanism as an enlightened and modern culture, as opposed to the monarchical, feudalistic, theocratic superstitions of old.

Calling modern satanism a metaphorical icon for Enlightenment values, Greaves maintained it actively fights for individual sovereignty and secular values and exalts scientific inquiry and promotes humanistic, pluralistic values.

However, even though such Enlightenment philosophers as Montesquieu and Rousseau did attack slavery in principle, Greaves neglects to mention it was only Christian groups that did the organizing and work that actually ended slavery.

Although most Christians in the mid 1700s did accept slavery as a fact of life, that changed entirely on both sides of the Atlantic in just one generation, thanks solely to Christian activism.

The abolitionist movement began in America when Quakers officially renounced slavery in 1754. By the 1770s, they were joined by evangelicals, Methodists and Presbyterians.

It became a mass movement in 1787 when the British Abolition Committee was established.

Abolitionists boycotted goods from slave plantations in the Caribbean, including up to 400,000 Britons who stopped buying rum and sugar.

According to a scholarly paper on the end of the slave trade by professor John Coffey of the University of Leicester, it was the Quakers and the evangelicals who were primarily responsible for the formation of the abolitionist movement, by building a broad coalition that included Whig and Tory politicians, Enlightenment rationalists, Romantic poets and sympathetic journalists.

In addition to attempting to blame slavery on Christians, the satanist Greaves also blamed all modern-day white supremacy in America on something the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, calls the Christian Identity movement.

However, Greaves neglected to mention the ADL characterizes the group as a small, fringe cult of conspiratorial racists and anti-Semites whose adherents believe that white people of European descent are the descendants of the Lost Tribes of ancient Israel.

From the information provided by the ADL, the Christian Identity movement is not supported by any mainstream or prominent Christian leaders, groups or denominations.

Nonetheless, Greaves blames slavery on Protestant radicalization.

Spanish Conquistadors stopped the Aztec practice of using slaves for human sacrifice

He claimed, The Ku Klux Klan is as much a religious Protestant sect as the Taliban or al-Qaeda are Muslim.

Greaves said allowing Christian leaders to merely disown Protestant radicalization by fiat absolves them of having to confront the problem of slavery.

However, history shows slavery was actually abolished by those same Protestants the satanist blames, as outlined by Coffey.

What we are witnessing, Gallups told WND, in this ridiculous rant by a co-founder of the Satanic Temple is the spirit of Satan himself who is the father of all lies, deception, and wickedness and is also called the accuser of the brethren.

There could not be a more poignant illustration of this fact than this particular Washington Post article, the pastor observed.

History also refutes Greaves intimation that slavery was somehow a uniquely Christian institution and survived though the ages only because of its support.

As Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out (in the video at the top of this story) on Aug. 15, following the violence in Charlottesville:

Up until 150 years ago when a group of brave Americans fought and died to finally put an end to it, slavery was the rule, rather than the exception around the world. And had been for thousands of years, sadly. Plato owned slaves, so did Muhammad, peace be upon him. Many African tribes held slaves and sold them. The Aztecs did, too. Before he liberated Latin American, Simon Bolivar owned slaves.

Plato, iconic philosopher and slave-owner

Slave-holding was so common among the North American Indians that the Cherokee brought their slaves with them on the Trail of Tears. And it wasnt something they learned from European settlers. Indians were holding and trading slaves when Christopher Columbus arrived. And, by the way, he owned slaves, too. None of this is a defense of the atrocity of human bondage. It is an atrocity. The point, however, is that if we are going to judge the past by the standards of the present, if we are going to reduce a persons life to the single worst thing he ever participated in, we had better be prepared for the consequences of that. And heres why: 41 of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence held slaves. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, had a plantation full of slaves. George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights also owned slaves, unfortunately. But does that make what they wrote illegitimate?

Gallups somberly reflected on the Washington Postcolumn, telling WND, The fact that a mainstream media publication has now aided the Satanic Temples distorted message to go worldwide is also an indication of the biblically prophesied demonic outpouring of the last days just before the return of Jesus Christ.

The pastor then shared in detail, just how and why he found the opinion pieceso timely:

This entire article, and the convoluted bluster that it aides in promoting, reminds me of the passage in Revelation that appears to speak of the times in which we are now living: Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.

Two thousand years ago, these words were prophesied in the book of Revelation concerning the last days: Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring those who keep Gods commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

The context of that passage defines the woman as a returned Israel. The rest of her offspring are obviously those who are born again Christians. Now ask yourself, who is it that Satan is most viciously attacking in these prophetic days?

It is none other than the prophetically revenant nation of Israel as well as born again believers and the true church of Jesus Christ, worldwide.

The article by Lucien Greaves does not surprise me in the least. Indeed, Satans time is short and quickly closing in. But, Ive read the end of The Book. I know who wins; and its not Satan or his minions.

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Wash Post column cheers Satan, jeers Christians - WND.com

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The Devil’s Cradle: The Story of Finnish Black Metal – The Gauntlet

Posted: at 3:54 am

The Devil's Cradle: The Story of Finnish Black Metal is the definitive history of one of the most uncompromising music scenes in the world: Finnish black metal. Based on over 50 interviews conducted by Helsinki-based journalist Tero Ikheimonen between 2014 and 2017, the book unravels the story of Finnish black metal from the late 1980s to modern times.

"Countless of books have been written about black metal over the years, but every time, the Finnish scene has remained merely a side note," says Ikheimonen. "It's an atrocity, since Finland has created some of the world's most renown underground black metal since the beginning; I wanted to fix that. This book is made for the maniacs all over the world."

To be released by Svart Publishing on November 1st, The Devil's Cradle features such bands as Beherit, Impaled Nazarene, Barathrum, Archgoat, Azazel, Diaboli, Darkwoods My Betrothed, Horna, Vornat, Thy Serpent, Wanderer, Urn, Black Dawn, And Oceans, Musta Surma, Alghazanth, Azaghal, Warloghe, Behexen, Clandestine Blaze, Satanic Warmaster, Ride for Revenge, Goatmoon, IC Rex, Charnel Winds, Cosmic Church, Saturnian Mist, Rienaus, and Abyssion among others.

"It was important for me to base the book on the experiences of true underground spirits - black metal musicians, zine authors, and tape traders," Ikheimonen says. "Many stories are told for the first time. I wanted to focus on the music, but not forget the darker side of black metal - all the violence, death, and destruction that have ravaged the Finnish scene. It was crucial to include the spiritual and psychological side of black metal, too. Satanism with all its different notions and the occult are present throughout the book."

The Devil's Cradle was first published in Finnish in September 2016 by Svart Publishing (titled Pirunkehto). The English translation features all the original content and two additional chapters. This edition will encompass 500+ pages and be presented in a hard cover. Chapter excerpts will be periodically revealed HERE.

MORE INFO: HERE!

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The Devil's Cradle: The Story of Finnish Black Metal - The Gauntlet

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