Modern Satanism | Spiral Nature Magazine

Modern Satanism is probably the widest-spread of the Satanic denominations, and also the biggest bone of contention amongst the others. Modernists do not worship Satan as a god or deity; theistically, they are atheists. They believe in neither a god nor a devil, nor spirits and supernatural beings. Needless to say, it is usually not the Modernists who appear on Jerry Springer or get featured in the headlines of the local newspapers. The main argument over the Modernists is that, if they are in truth atheistic, why even bother using the name Satan? Why not just call yourself atheists or humanists or secular humanists, et al., instead of dragging in the name of a Christian boogeyman? Obviously I cant answer this for them, but the section Why Satan? on the Foundations page may shed some light on the various reasons which exist.

There are, as I see it, primarily three flavours of Modern Satanism: Naturalist, Psychologic, and Symbolic. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive:

The Naturalists view Satan as the natural force of the universe, the underlying current of nature. The power which makes trees grow, earthquakes shatter, stars form and die.all these, the raw energy of What Is, is Satan. As such it has no good or bad side in and of itself; it is everything. But, it is not intelligent or self-aware. Just like electricity or wind power, it exists without consciousness, but may be tapped by the conscious user (magician). This is the basis of Modern Satanic magick: that by training oneself to tap into this force Satan one may subtly warp reality into a form more advantageous to ones desires. However, it is not an external godhead or force which enables you to accomplish this; it is the force of your own willpower and emotions, exerting a draw on the Satan, attracting it to you so that you can mold it into a more suitable shape.

The Psychologic viewpoint centres around Satan as being the primordial side of the human psyche which the majority of humanity seeks to control and eliminate, instead of accepting and utilizing. The Freudian id, the Jungian shadow, the animal within these are perhaps the best parallels to the Satanic self which the Psychological view of Modern Satanism desires to seek out and liberate.

There is a great tendency by non-Satanists to reflect on this particular viewpoint and come to a conclusion that developing ones Satanic self is tantamount to reverting to childhood akin to an infants gimme gimme gimme mine mine mine outlook on life. While some may think this, it is my personal belief and the belief of most Satanists I have met that truly coming to terms with ones inner self, coming to terms with both the proper civilized part and the unruly animal part, is infinitely harder than shoving a piece of yourself in a closet and pretending that it does not exist.

The Symbolists view Satan as a mental/mythic archetype, as the Adversary or the Light-bringer. As such, the figure of Satan as an anthropomorphic being is completely fictional: he does not exist as such. However, the mental conception of the figure draws us to him. We identify with him, respect him, admire him, even as a fictional character. The archetype or mythic figure embodies a lot of what Symbolists consider important and good qualities. Some of them may include pride, independence, free-will, intelligence, knowledge, truthfulness, and ambition. The exact list will vary on who you ask. The qualities of the archetype may be draw from various sources, such as the Christian Bible, Miltons Paradise Lost, the Apocrypha, The Satanic Bible, and personal experience or thought. For some, the admirable qualities may include destruction, cruelty, hatred it truly depends on what the individual Satanist sees as desirable and undesirable, or as admirable and inadmirable. Again, he Symbolists do not worship Satan-Lucifer, or acknowledge his literal existence, but view him as a mythic figure much like Peter Pan, Uncle Sam, Zeus, or King Midas.

Finally, no discussion of Modern Satanism would be complete without discussing the LaVeyan Satanists (Church of Satan).

LaVeyan Satanism was founded in the 1960s by Anton Szandor LaVey. It is without a doubt the most well-known of the Satanic denominations, and is the only one (as far as I am aware) with federally recognized religious status. Officially, it is known as the Church of Satan, and is head quartered in San Francisco. Anton LaVey passed away in late October of 1997, at which time leadership of the Church passed into the hands of Blanche Barton (a long-time associate of LaVey). Although at one time Karla LaVey (LaVeys daughter) was participating as a co-High-Priestess, she has since split from the Church of Satan over ideological differences. She is now the acting High Priestess of the First Satanic Church (founded Oct 31st, 1999), which claims to be a resurgence of Satanic ideals closer to the spirit of her fathers original teachings.

Although it is true that Satanism existed before him, LaVey can be said to be (with relative authority) the father of Modern Satanism. Before LaVey went public with his new Church, and with his many works on Satanic philosophy (The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, The Devils Notebook), Satanism was an underground, disorganized, and chaotic religion. Since the formation of the Church of Satan, information has become much more readily available and people had, for the first time, a sense of Satanic identity and organization.

The core philosophy of the Church of Satan is that of indulgence; of living ones life to the utmost of intellectual and material/carnal fulfilment. This includes fulfilling all of ones desires, so long as it does not involve the unwilling (children and animals are classed as unwilling). If fulfilment of these desires comes from illegal actions, so be it but the Satanist must be prepared to pay for any actions which he or she performs (the doctrine of personal responsibility).

Lastly, we come to the point of semantics. LaVeyan Satanists generally contend that they are the real Satanists, and that without LaVey none of Modern Satanism would be possible, as it was LaVey who opened up the doors to Satanism in the 1960s. Satan-worshippers or Devil-worshippers, they tend to regard as foolish and trapped in Christian behavioural patterns (turning to a god or otherworldly force). Similarly, Traditionalists (those who worship Satan as a spiritual or divine being), tend to call the LaVeyans pseudo-Satanists or pretenders, claiming that they are just atheists who use the name Satanist for shock value and capitalistic gain.

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Modern Satanism | Spiral Nature Magazine

The Evolution of Modern Satanism in the United States – Time

This weekend, hundreds of adherents and observers flocked to a Detroit warehouse to witness the unveiling of a statue erected on behalf of the Satanic Temple. As organizer Jex Blackmore told TIME, the Satanic Temple isnt quite a religious organization, but rather a group of people who prioritize human logic. One of the meanings of the monument, Blackmore added, is to celebrate a reconciliation of oppositesparticularly in relation to the public display of monuments of other faiths.

But, though the new statue has earned the Satanic Temple a fresh round of attention, Satanism has a long tradition.

In the early 1970s, interest in the occult in American culture was so high that TIME devoted a cover story to the topic, and a large portion of it was focused on Satanism. As the story pointed out, the idea of the Devil is an ancient one, predating the Old Testaments coinage of Satan. The early days of Christianity saw the development of a theology about Satan, and an increase of his agency and power in religious stories. Narratives outside the biblical canon expanded that characterization; by the 13th century, Satan was seen to be mighty (and popular) enough to be worthy of condemnation.

Some of the confessions [in the Inquisition age] must have been sheer defiance: faced with a ruling establishment that was sanctified by the church, a resentful peasantry followed the only image of rebellion they knewSatan, TIME posited. The satanic messiah became especially appealing in times of despair, such as the era of the plague known as the Black Death. Real or imagined, the pact with the Devil may have been the last bad hope for safety in a world fallen out of joint.

Perhaps for that reason, the Christian Churchs efforts to root out Satanism were not entirely successful. The French aristocracy under Louis XIV was titillated by tales of nude demonic ritual, and the prim and proper Victorian period saw a spike in interest too.

But the existence of Satanists as an organized, public group in the United States is a much newer phenomenon, much of which can be largely traced to one man: Anton Szandor La Vey, author of 1969s The Satanic Bible. La Vey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 in San Francisco. As TIME explained in 1972, La Veys organization was not the scary Satanism of religious imagination:

La Veys church and its branches might well be called the unitarian wing of the occult. The members invest themselves with some of the most flamboyant trappings of occultism, but magic for them is mostly psychodrama or plain old carnival hokum. They invoke Satan not as a supernatural being, but as a symbol of mans self-gratifying ego, which is what they really worship. They look down on those who actually believe in the supernatural, evil or otherwise.

La Veys church is organized, incorporated and protected under the laws of California. La Vey, 42, stopped giving out membership figures when his followers, who are grouped in local grottoes, reached a total of 10,000. The most striking thing about the members of the Church of Satan (one of whom is shown on TIMES cover) is that instead of being exotic, they are almost banal in their normality. Their most insidious contribution to evil is their resolute commitment to mans animal nature, stripped of any spiritual dimension or thought of self-sacrifice. There is no reach, in Brownings famous terms only grasp. Under the guise of eschewing hypocrisy, they actively pursue the materialistic values of the affluent societywithout any twinge of conscience to suggest there might be something more.

Though the 1960s and 70s saw the introduction of several other concepts called Satanismfrom actual religious belief, to a credo used to justify criminalitythe Church of Satan did not fade away. In 1978, the U.S. Army even included the group in the manual of Religious Requirements and Practices delivered to its hundreds of chaplains. (TIME mentioned that the manual explained that Church of Satan devotees might need candles, a bell, a chalice, elixir, a sword, a gong, parchment and a model phallus,' but that chaplains would not be expected to supply those materials.) Though La Vey died in 1997, the organization he founded continues without him.

The brand of Satanism on display in Detroit was of a different sort: political Satanism, a more recent innovation. Those activists are associated with the Satanic Temple, a New York-based group that has spent the last few years publicly offering alternatives to more mainstream displays of religiosity. The Satanic Temple sees Satan as a Paradise Lost-inflected metaphor who represents skepticism and the ability to challenge authority. A spokesperson for the Church of Satan told TIME in 2013, for a story highlighting the differences between the two groups, that the newer organization was focused on politically oriented stunts that had cribbed their philosophy from the more established group. Meanwhile, the Satanic Temple said that its aim was, in cases where religion had been inserted into the public sphere, to ensure that its view of the world is included. If the Detroit attendance figures are any indication, theyve succeeded.

The continued existence of two organizations that claim Satanism for two different functions highlights a point made by John M. Kincaid, the Church of Satans minister of information in the mid-1970s: though it may take a variety of forms, interest in mystery and rebellion is timeless. The need to believe, he wrote to TIME in 1974, is as dominant a factor in this so-called enlightened age of ours as it has ever beenwhich means those who are skeptical are present and accounted for too.

Read the full story from 1972, here in the TIME Vault: A Substitute Religion

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Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com.

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The Satanic Temple Has The Best Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic Yet – HillReporter.com

The coronavirus pandemic has affected literally every aspect of American life.

Everything that we have taken for granted has shut down, people are going stir crazy, conspiracy theories and fake cures are running rampant, and things that once seemed impossible are becoming routine.

One thing many people have not mentioned much of, however, is religion. As churches go online and away from in-person meetings, one offbeat religion has a message for everyone: The Satanic Temple.

Lucien Greaves, the co-Founder and spokesperson of the merry band of modern Satanists, has released a statement regarding the current situation. He reminded everyone of the religions very first tenet, which reads, One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.

In the meantime, Greaves axed all meetings for Satanic Temple chapters until further notice and prepared to go virtual. He urged social distancing, and thought of all kinds of fun ways to have fun and support one another during this difficult time.

The last bit of Mr. Greaves statement is perhaps the best:

For those upset and saddened at this unexpected turn of events, I promise you, at the end of this there is a massive Satanic celebration to be had, and we will come through this stronger, and more deeply committed, as a community and global Satanic family.

Love,

Lucien Greaves

And that is what Satanism is all about. Fun, love, celebration, true religious freedom, and the celebration of life. Worry not coronavirus will not keep the Satanists away.

Featured image credit: Mark Schierbecker/Wikimedia

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Adulting in the Beyond | Review of Extra Ordinary – Washington Examiner

Extra Ordinary (dir. Mike Ahern & Edna Loughman. 93 minutes. R)

If, as a general rule, horror movies lose their appeal as you grow up, horror comedies tend to get better for the same reason that so many horror movies become horror comedies as you grow up. Horror makes you say, This cant be happening. Adulthood makes you say, Yeah, but it is, and find a way to laugh in the face of doom and soldier on. Extra Ordinary, written and directed by Irish duo Mike Ahern and Edna Loughman, captures this paradigm and bleeds it dry for laughs.

The archetypal horror-comedy hero Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters, Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, Ash Williams in Army of Darkness is too exhausted to be terrified, too disenchanted to be, well, enchanted. He meets unspeakable evil with a one-liner and a shrug (and it's always a he). Extra Ordinary takes this formula and gives it a feminine (feminist?) twist: Our protagonist is Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins), a middle-aged, small-town drivers ed instructor who lives alone and subsists on takeout. Who could be world-wearier than that?

To look at, Rose is very ordinary indeed, but she possesses paranormal abilities known as talents, the banality of the term spoofing both The Shining and the bogus terms of art encountered in ghost-hunting TV shows. (Later in the film, a gloating will turn out to be precisely the supernatural phenomenon it sounds like: a goat, floating.) Rose can, like her deceased father, see, interact with, and yes, bust ghosts, but she has sworn never to do so again.

To the limited extent that Extra Ordinary is about anything other than ghoulish fantasy, emetic sight gags, and deadpan dialogue, it is about midlife disappointment, regret, and squandered talent. For Rose, all of the above hinge on her father, the paranormal expert Vincent Dooley (Risteard Cooper), whom we see in VHS clips of his hilariously low-budget TV show, Investigating the Extraordinary. Rose was responsible for his death, guilty of dadslaughter, as she calls it.

Rose is also lonely, as befits someone who mainly communes with the dead, until a blandly attractive widower named Martin Martin (Barry Ward) comes to her for driving instruction. He knows full well how to drive. Hes just heard it whispered that Rose could help someone with his problem: a wife who routinely commits domestic violence from beyond the grave. He needs an exorcist.

Roses desire to refuse the job is complicated by the sinister machinations of Christian Winter (Will Forte), a has-been rock musician bent on sacrificing a virgin to enable a comeback, and his wife, Claudia (Loves Claudia ODoherty). These two give the best comic performances of Extra Ordinary. Forte veers wildly and without warning between campy irritability and delirious fits of shrieking and cackling. Christians 70s mustache, his vaguely Carnaby Street clothing, and his lone Top 40 hit, Cosmic Woman, are perfectly suited to his tacky diabolism he reminds one of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who famously died in a house once owned by Aleister Crowley.

And because fans of Love are so used to seeing ODoherty play clueless and overeager, its delightfully jarring to see her play Claudia, an ersatz Lady Macbeth who connives at getting free Chinese delivery and who keeps asking of the sacrificial virgin, Cant we just kill the bitch? (Not yet: The virgin must die beneath a blood moon.)

When Christians intended victim is accidentally and prematurely blown up while levitating above a pentagram, a gory gag that clashes nicely with the films essential sweetness, he needs to locate a new virgin. He settles on Martins daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman). This leads Rose and Martin into the films madcap-race-against-time component, which involves a series of hasty exorcisms, the copious vomiting of ectoplasm, and some versatile performances by Ward, who is pressed into being temporarily possessed by a half-dozen or so ghosts.

How all this resolves itself might not be hard for a dyed-in-blood horror fan to guess. Suffice to say it relies on the horror clich of the difficulty of finding a genuine virgin, which has been used in films such as The Wicker Man, Andy Warhols Dracula, Once Bitten, What We Do in the Shadows, and Jennifers Body. In this case, the reveal is a final piece of character development that gives Extra Ordinary what passes, in the circumstances, for an emotional spine.

Its worth stressing what a nostalgia trip this film is. It has a meticulously 80s feel, with an understated but ominous synth-heavy soundtrack reminiscent of Goblin, the prog-rock band that scored many of horror maestro Dario Argentos films, and cheesy quick cuts, including an inspired montage of every character (including a sinister bird) screaming in succession. The appearance of the Evil One is an intentionally goofy special effect that recalls the original Ghostbusters, a movie Rose hasnt seen or heard of this films sly way of denying its biggest influence. Extra Ordinary is most creative in the recurring clips of Vincent Dooleys TV show, complete with the noise and garbled audio of a degraded VHS tape. Children of the '80s will understand.

Adulthood is hard, even if you arent gifted with the talents, and the hardest thing about it is becoming the person youre supposed to be. Its a banal message, sure, but its enough of a message to keep audiences invested in Roses preposterous plight. Extra Ordinary is also a pleasure in its burlesque of satanism and the unhinged power hunger behind so much modern ambition. Christian and Claudia Winter may be willing to sell their souls for a cheap kind of fame and fortune. Rose, who stands in for the best of us, is satisfied with friends, family, cultivating her excellences, and (this being a horror movie, after all) getting laid.

Stefan Beck is a writer living in Hudson, New York.

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Adulting in the Beyond | Review of Extra Ordinary - Washington Examiner

Satanism – Founders, Philosophies & Branches – HISTORY

Contents

Satanism is a modern, largely non-theistic religion based on literary, artistic and philosophical interpretations of the central figure of evil. It wasnt until the 1960s that an official Satanic church was formed by Anton LaVey.

Prior to the 20th Century, Satanism did not exist as a real organized religion but was commonly claimed as real by Christian churches. These claims surfaced particularly when persecuting other religious groups during events like the Inquisition, various witch hysterias in Europe and Colonial America and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s.

The Christian figure of Satan is viewed as a horned, red, demonic human figure with a pointy tail and sometimes hooves. To Christians, sinners are sent to his domainhellafter death. Hell is described as an underground world dominated by fire and Sadistic demons under Satans command.

Satans first appearance wasnt in Christianity. He began as the Zoroastrian Devil figure of Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, which opposed the Zoroastrian creator god and tempted humans. Satan is later portrayed in Jewish Kabbalism, which presents him as a demon who lives in a demonic realm.

The name Satan first appeared in the Book of Numbers in the Bible, used as a term describing defiance. The character of Satan is featured in the Book of Job as an accusing angel. In the apocryphal Book of Enoch, written in the first century B.C., Satan is a member of the Watchers, a group of fallen angels.

Later established as a nemesis of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, the final book of the Bible, Revelations, depicts him as the ultimate evil. Its the Christian figure of Satan that Satanism directly references.

In his 14th-century poem Inferno, Dante captured centuries of Christian belief by portraying Satan as an evil monster. But the Romantics of the 17th century recast him as an admirable and magnetic rebel, an anti-hero defying Gods authoritarianism. John Miltons epic 1667 poem Paradise Lost is the pivotal text for establishing this interpretation in creative works. William Godwins 1793 treatise An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice later gave Miltons depiction political legitimacy.

The most enduring Satanic symbol was created by occult author liphas Lvi. Lvi describes him as the horned goat deity Baphomet, in his 1854 book Dogme et Rituel, which linked Baphomet with Satan.

Probably a French misinterpretation of Muhammed, Baphomet was the deity the Knights Templar were accused of worshipping in trials in the 14th century.

Baphomet, a Pagan deity revived in the 19th century as a figure of occultism and Satanism.

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The last half of the 19th century saw a resurgence in the view of Satan as anti-hero. This was thanks to works like Italian poet Giosu Carduccis anti-papal Hymn To Satan and William Blakes illustrations for Paradise Lost in 1888.

In his own book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Blake presented Satan as a messiah. Around the same time, Theosophical Society founder Madame Blavatsky wrote about Satan as a commendable insurgent offering humans wisdom.

Artists in the Decadent movement like Flicien Rops placed Satanic imagery in paintings, influenced by writers like Baudelaire and Poe. Satan was also employed in writings from socialist leaders like Mikhail Bakunin and Karl Marx.

Polish author Stanisaw Przybyszewski wrote two books about Satan in 1897, one fiction and one non-fiction. Przybyszewskis Satan was an anarchist with a comprehensive philosophy that was similar to modern Satanism. Przybyszewskis young acolytes called themselves Satans Kinder.

Legendary occultist Aleister Crowley viewed Satan symbolically. His 1913 poem A Hymn to Lucifer celebrated the Devil as the provider of soul and rebellion to the universe. Crowleys ideas were influential in Satanism.

One offshoot from Crowleys crowd was the German group Fraternitas Saturni in 1926. Its founder Gregor A. Gregorius wrote Satanische Magie, which borrowed heavily from the Romantics and adopted Satan within the groups astrological system. Fraternitas Saturni still exists and Gregorius writing has been used in Satanist practice.

Sometime between 1957 and 1960, Anton Lavey, a former carnival worker and musician, held night classes in the occult. Regular attendees eventually formed the Church of Satan.

These sessions were mostly discussion-based but on April 30, 1966, the group formalized as the Church of Satan and the meetings became more ritual-based, incorporating theatrics, costuming and music. Lavey became known as the Black Pope.

The Churchs early recruiting efforts included the short-lived Topless Witches Revue nightclub show, featuring Susan Atkins, who would later join the Manson Family.

Anton Lavey, of the First Satanic Church, performing a satanic ceremony, 1970.

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Laveys Satanic Bible was published in 1969, bringing together Laveys personal mix of black magic and occult concepts, secular philosophy and rationalism and anti-Christian ridicule into essays stressing human autonomy and self-determination in the face of an indifferent universe. The Satanic Bible gave the church a national reputation and served as a strong vehicle for its significant growth.

Ohio barber and part-time spiritual medium Herbert Sloan claimed in 1969 that he started the first Satanist organization, the Our Lady of Endor Coven of the Ophite Cultus Sathanas, in 1948. Sloane described his group as focused on the metaphysical aspects of Satan and offered service, communion and coffee and donuts socializing afterward. To compete with Laveys offerings, he added naked women to the meetings.

The Order of Nine Angles formed in England in the 1970s to practice an occult-focused Satanism and the more recent Joy of Satan which wraps UFO conspiracies and anti-Semitism into their Satanism.

As the Church of Satan grew in size, internal rifts developed, leading some members split off to start their own branches.

One expelled church member, Wayne West, formed the First Occultic Church of Man in 1971. Newsletter editor Michael Aquino left to form the Temple of Set in 1975, and plenty others followed. As proof of Satanisms growth, the U.S. Army included the faith in its manual for chaplains Religious Requirements and Practices beginning in 1978.

The next decade brought in newer denominations like the Luciferian Children of Satan, founded by Marco Dimitri in Italy in 1982. Dimitri was convicted of child abuse but was later cleared.

Later Satanic groups include the Order of the Left-Hand Path, a New Zealand group founded in1990 that mixed Satanism with Nietzschean philosophy, and the Satanic Reds. The Satanic Reds formed in 1997 in New York, and combined Satanism with socialism and Lovecraftian conceptsa subgenre of horror fiction.

The 1980s Satanic Panic saw Christian fundamentalists push the idea that Satanic cults were systematically abusing children in rituals and committing widespread murder, and successfully convince the general public through sensational news coverage. Christian groups typically misrepresented the Churchs beliefs and practices in order to fabricate a real-world villain behind the conspiracy for the media.

Serial killer Richard Ramirez, when finally captured in 1985, claimed to be a Satanist, employing Satanic symbolism to his look and claiming to know Lavey, adding fuel to the fire of the panic. Lavey claimed they had briefly met in the streets in the 1970s, but Ramirez had never set foot in the church.

The panic escalated, with Satanic Ritual Abuse becoming a standard aspect of high profile cases like the McMartin School in California. These criminal cases featured a consistent lack of evidence and alleged coercion on the part of child psychologists pushing the conspiracy theory. The zeal of the fundamentalists led to few if any investigations or prosecutions of actual Satanists. Most of the victims of the frenzy were other Christians.

The Church of Satan weathered the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 90s, with Lavey keeping a calm and low profile despite media attention. But the group faced challenges after Laveys death in 1997. Leadership went to Laveys partner Blanche Barton after a legal battle with his children. In 2001 Barton appointed author and Church member Peter H. Gilmore as high priest and his wife, church administrator Peggy Nadramia, as high priestess. Gilmores controversial claims that Church of Satan members were the only true Satanists led to a new wave of exoduses that saw departing church members creating their own offshoots.

Former Order of the Nine Angles member and heavy metal musician Michael Ford formed the Greater Church of Lucifer in 2013, opening the first public Satanic Temple in Houston two years later. The GCL follows many LaVeyan principles with touches of the occult and has chapters in other countries.

The most successful result of church divisions is The Satanic Temple. It first gained attention in 2013 with a satirical rally against Florida Governor Rick Scott, but grew into a more organized group quickly.

Cofounders Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry characterized the Temples creation as a reaction to the Church of Satans inability to manifest itself into a real-world relevant organization.

Calling itself a non-theistic religion embracing the Devil as a symbolic form of rebellion in the tradition of Milton, the Temple devoted itself to political action focused on the separation of church and state, religious equality and reproductive rights.

The Satanic Temple gained notoriety through two attempts to have a statue of Baphomet legally placed on two state capitol groundsOklahoma in 2015 and in Arkansas in 2018in reaction to government-sanctioned 10 Commandments monuments.

The Temple launched a physical location in Salem, Massachusetts, in 2016 and was recognized as a religion by the U.S. government in 2019, receiving tax-free status. It has grown to include about 20 temples across North America and was the focus of Penny Lanes acclaimed 2019 documentary, Hail Satan? which is credited for giving Satanism its highest profile yet.

The Invention of Satanism by Asbjorn Dyrendal, James R. Lewis and Jesper Aa. Petersen, published by Oxford University Press, 2016.

Satanism: A Social History by Massimo Introvigne, published by Brill, 2016.

The New Satanism: Less Lucifer, More Politics by Josh Sanburn, Time Magazine, Dec. 10, 2013.

A satanic idol goes to the Arkansas Capitol building by Avi Selk, Washington Post, August 17, 2018.

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Satanism - Founders, Philosophies & Branches - HISTORY

Types of Satanism and Their Beliefs – learnreligions.com

Today there are many branches of Satanism, in fact, modern Satanism is best considered an umbrella term for a wide variety of sets of beliefs and practices. The different belief systems reject western moral laws, replacing them with a combination of a positive self-image and a decided lack of conformity.

Satanic sects share three characteristics in common: An interest in magic, played out as psychodrama or mystical events; the creation of a community which defines the roles of membership as somewhere between people who share a mystical pursuit to those who live according to set of religious tenets; and a philosophy that thrives on non-conformity.

Satanist themselves range from individuals who simply follow a self-centered philosophy. to organized groups with meeting houses and scheduled events. There are many Satanist groups, the best known of which are the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set. They embrace a low level of hierarchical leadership and a loosely agreed-upon and widely varied set of religious practices and beliefs.

Satanists say they follow left-hand paths, life ways which unlike Wicca and Christianity are focused on self-determination and the power of the self, rather than submitting to a superior force. While many Satanists do believe in a supernatural being, they see their relationship with that being as more of a partnership than a mastery of a god over a subject.

Below you will find listed three main styles of Satanist practicesReactive, Theistic, and Rationalistic Satanismand afterwards a sample of what are dozens of smaller sects which follow idiosyncratic pathways to enlightenment.

In the 1960s, a highly secularized and atheistic type of Satanism arose under the direction of American author and occultist Anton Szandor LaVey. LaVey created the "Satanic Bible," which remains the most readily available text on the Satanic religion. He also formed the Church of Satan, which is by far the most well-known and most public Satanic organization.

LaVeyan Satanism is atheistic. According to LaVey, neither God nor Satan are actual beings; the only "god" in LaVeyan Satanism is the Satanist himself. Instead, Satan is a symbol representing the qualities embraced by Satanists. Invoking the name of Satan and other infernal names is a practical tool in Satanic ritual, placing one's focus and will upon those qualities.

In Rationalistic Satanism, extreme human emotion must be channeled and controlled rather than suppressed and shamed; this Satanism believes the seven "deadly sins' should be considered actions which lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.

Satanism as defined by LaVey is a celebration of the self. It encourages people to seek their own truths, indulge in desires without fear of societal taboos, and perfect the self.

In 1974, Michael Aquino, a member of the hierarchy of the Church of Satan, and Lilith Sinclair, a group leader ("grotto master") from New Jersey, broke away from the Church of Satan on philosophical grounds and formed the splinter group Temple of Set.

In the resulting theistic Satanism, practitioners recognize the existence of one or more supernatural beings. The major god, viewed as a father or older brother, is often called Satan, but some groups identify the leader as a version of the ancient Egyptian god Set. Set is a spiritual entity, based on the ancient Egyptian notion of xeper, translated as "self-improvement" or "self-creation."

Regardless of the being or beings in charge, none of them resemble the Christian Satan. Instead, they are beings which have the same general qualities as the symbolic Satan: sexuality, pleasure, strength, and rebellion against Western mores.

Among the minor sects is Luciferianism, whose adherents see it as a separate branch of Satanism which combines elements of rational and theistic forms. It islargelya theistic branch, although there are some who see Satan (called Lucifer) as symbolic rather than an actual being.

Luciferians use the term "Lucifer" in its literal sense: the name means "light bringer" in Latin. Rather than being a figure of challenge, rebellion, and sensuality, Lucifer is seen as a creature of enlightenment, the one who brings light out of the darkness. Practitioners embrace the seeking of knowledge, delving into the darkness of mystery, and coming out better for it. They stress the balance of light and dark and that each depends upon the other.

While Satanism revels in physical existence and Christianity focuses more on spirituality, Luciferians see their religion as one that seeks a balance of both, that human existence is an intersection of the two.

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Types of Satanism and Their Beliefs - learnreligions.com

Grimmfest 2020: Screen Classic Horror Movies as Part of Their Horror Legends Season – ScreenAnarchy

Our friends at Grimmfest have announced a very cool series of All-Dayers, single days devoted to horror cinema pioneers and trailblazers.

In the back half of this new year the festival will pay tribute to Tobe Hooper, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter and Wes Craven. Each All-Dayers will include choice selections from each filmmakers filmography.

And right now they are hosting a social media competition to win an amazing Grimmfest horror movie goodie bag and 2 x passes for our first event, TOBE HOOPER ALL-DAYER.

See all the films from each day and find the link to the Tobe Hooper contest below.

In 2020, Grimmfest and Horror Channel pays tribute to four Legends of Horror, in the suitably elegant, art-deco surroundings of Stockport Plaza. Experience classics of the genre in suitably grand, elegant style, in the most beautiful Picture Palace in the region.

Join us through 2020 for some classic horror movies from four of the truly great directors, Tobe Hooper (9/2/20), David Cronenberg (8/3/20), John Carpenter (9/5/20) and Wes Craven (5/7/20). 16 movies in total over 4 special day events.

All events start at 1.00pm prompt!

TOBE HOOPER SUNDAY 9/2/20

No matter where youre going its the wrong place. Tobe Hooper.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (18 Cert)

Described as an exercise in the pornography of terror by James Ferman, former head of the BBFC, it was recently added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in 1981.

POLTERGEIST (114 mins) (15 Cert)

Theyre heeeeerrrre! Spielberg tries his hand at horror, but is smart enough to enlist Hooper to direct.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (18 Cert)

Leatherface is back. And this time hes got Dennis Hopper to answer to.

SALEMS LOT (180 mins) (15 Cert)

Nosferatu in Small Town America, in Hoopers classic adaptation of Stephen Kings novel.

DAVID CRONENBERG - SUNDAY 8/3/20

Everybodys a mad scientist, and life is their lab. Were all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos. David Cronenberg.

RABID (15 Cert)

In the wake of the Soska Twins recent remake, a chance to revisit the stark, bleak original; the film in which Marilyn Chambers truly is insatiable.

VIDEODROME (18 Cert)

Long live the new flesh! Remember the whole video nasties hysteria of the 1980s? Fear of what exposure to such things might be doing to the young? It could have been a lot worse.

THE FLY (18 Cert)

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. I dont know why. Perhaps shell die One of the genres greatest ever love stories. Yes, seriously.

CRASH (18 Cert)

Cronenbergs cinematic reimagining of J.G Ballards novel was described as beyond the bounds of depravity by critic Alexander Walker. The perfect combination of filmmaker and source material, in other words.

JOHN CARPENTER - SATURDAY 9/5/20

In France, Im an auteur, in Germany a filmmaker, in England a genre film director, in the USA a bum! John Carpenter.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS (15 Cert)

Carpenters homage to Nigel Kneales Quatermass series. With added satanism. And Alice Cooper.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (15 Cert)

Every 70s martial arts movie you ever loved put into a blender, and then thrown at Kurt Russell. Who comes out fighting.

THEY LIVE (18 Cert)

Rowdy Roddy Piper is all out of chewing gum. Those alien invaders had better watch out. The perfect combination of poltical satire and all-in wrestling.

IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (15 Cert)

Gods not supposed to be a hack horror writer. But lets face it, that would actually explain a lot

WES CRAVEN - SUNDAY 5/7/20

Wes Craven reinvented horror at least four times. Most directors dont even manage it once. Kim Newman.

THE HILLS HAVE EYES (18 Cert)

Family values in conflict; a stark and brutal confrontation between civilisation and savagery in which the lines between the two become increasingly blurred.

SCREAM (18 Cert)

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Grimmfest 2020: Screen Classic Horror Movies as Part of Their Horror Legends Season - ScreenAnarchy

A Modern Witch’s Guide to Paris: Where to Find the Occult and Esoteric – Frenchly

Despite the fact that Halloween is long gone, witch season never ends, a subject The New York Times recently delved into in an article, When Did Everybody Become A Witch? But Paris has a long history of fascination with the occult, particularly in its Belle poque heyday, and there are still a few places in the city rife with witchiness and wonder. Here are some of our favorites.

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La Maison de la Radiesthsie, or House of Divination, is the oldest (and one of the last) esoteric stores in Paris. You can buy wands, pendulums, and divination rods, starting in a reasonable 10 range, and working up into the designer realm. 22 Rue Godot de Mauroy, 75009

And of course, theres nothing better, when youre in the mood, than a good ol fashioned haunted house. Le Manoir de Paris has been putting up its trademark Legends of Paris show for almost a decade, featuring all kinds of creepy and gruesome characters from Pariss history. Keep an eye out for special events like their annual Halloween show, and a performance called Dark Night that occurs every Friday the 13th. 18 Rue de Paradis, 75010

A bookstore that refers to itself as a Librairie sotrique, Arc en Ciel is a place for anyone who needs an non-ironic crystal ball or tarot cards. Among the books, find anything on topics ranging from reiki and aromatherapy to yoga and plant care. They host workshops, seminars, and meet-ups for those inclined towards the spiritual and the occult. 3 Rue Jean-Mac, 75011

Brsilophile in Passage Jouffroy is a great place to find any kind of rare or exotic crystals you need to perform whatever witchcraft youve learned from your reading at Arc en Ciel. Loose beads, precious stones, and even an esoteric crystal collection should cover anything youre looking for, from rose quartz to tourmaline. 40 Passage Jouffroy, 75009

You might recognize the Church of Saint-Merri, because it sits right beside the Stravinsky fountain, and one of the more famous murals of the Marais. But this medieval church got some surprising sprucing up in the mid-1800s, when a Baphomet was carved above the entranceway. The demonic figure is heavily used in Satanism, and among the Knights Templar, and its accompaniment by a prominently-placed stained glass depiction of a pentagram makes this one curious church. 76 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004

For one-of-a-kind trinkets, statement pieces, and magic charms, try the office of Xenia Rybina, a Parisian witch, illustrator, and fashion designer come to France by way of Russia. Everything is witchcraft around [us] Rybina says in an interview with Messy Nessy Chic at her home/workshop in Paris, which she lovingly refers to as her coven. And with a snake named Seraphim and a cat named Lucifer, its easy to believe that everything is witchcraft around Xenia Rybina, whose berets embroidered with eyes and tiny, exquisite spider dolls have an effect at once whimsical and uncanny. Xenias work will soon be available in her e-shop. In the meantime, shes selling items via Instagram (DM her for prices).

Hidden in a backstreet of Montmartre, in front of the Hotel Particulier Montmartre (one of the most exclusive boutique hotels in the city), is a lumpy hunk of rock called the Rocher de la Sorcire, or Witchs Rock. The rock, and the entire passage, was named for the old woman who lived in the house, called la soucire, or the dowser. (In case youre wondering, a dowser is someone who uses a divination rod.) No one quite knows where it came from, but some believe it might still have some powerful magic inside. Passage de la Sorcire, 75018

Though the interior has been refurbished into a modern restaurant, the exterior of the Auberge Nicolas Flamel is the same simple stone facade that was built to be an inn in 1407 by Nicolas Flamel and his wife. This makes it the oldest stone building in Paris, a pretty impressive feat in such a well-preserved city. If the name Nicolas Flamel rings a bell, you might recognize it from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. Both in the book and in real life, Flamel, probably the most recognizable name in the history of alchemy, was famous for allegedly creating a Philosphers stone, which had powers such as transforming ordinary metals into gold. 51 Rue de Montmorency, 75003

Featured image: Stock Photosfrom Vera Petruk / Shutterstock

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A Modern Witch's Guide to Paris: Where to Find the Occult and Esoteric - Frenchly

The best movies of 2019 that you haven’t seen – The Guardian

Beanpole

This quite extraordinary film from the 28-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov was a prize-winner in Cannes; in the UK it had three showings at the London film festival and then went straight to the streaming platform Mubi. Everyone should see it. The inspiration is The Unwomanly Face Of War, the 1985 oral history of Soviet womens wartime experiences by Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich. In the shabby, traumatised city of Leningrad after the war in 1945, two women have survived: a tall, unworldly young woman nicknamed Beanpole and her friend Masha. The two women have a bond of friendship relating to the little boy, Pashka, that Beanpole looks after, and this becomes the keystone of a terrible, shared tragedy. A harrowing, vital movie. PB

A rare modern film based on an epic poem, Swedish directors Pella Kgerman and Hugo Liljas first feature film Aniara begins as a sci-fi adventure and ends up an exploration of chaos, despair and cultural collapse. A transport ship moving wealthy evacuees of an increasingly uninhabitable Earth gets thrown off course on the way to a Martian colony. The cruise liner, replete with arcades and a psychotropic sense-memory evocation room, is self-sustaining, so survives as a generation ship. Help is always just around the corner, as are the numerous conspiracy theories damaging morale. As time grows infinite, new social structures emerge, some of which are technologically advanced, others more primitive. Ill just come out and say the words interplanetary sex cults. The film doubles down on weirdness, leaving no narrative corridor unexplored. High Life and Ad Astra both found their audiences this year, but this movie, far superior, unfortunately slipped into a black hole. JH

A man goes to a nightclub, spots a fetching stranger sporting a leather getup, and scurries off with him for a casual shag in a side room where the masked figure then murders the guy by spiked dildo. So begins an erotic slasher with a clear sense of humor about itself, counterbalanced with serious considerations for the Aids epidemic and the ostracizing of the gay, porn and gay-porn communities. A serial killer stalks the French blue-movie industry in 1979, targeting the stable of performers employed by producer Anne (Vanessa Paradis), who has some unresolved issues of her own with her ex-girlfriend and current editor Los (Kate Moran). As they jointly work through production on the film they title Homocidal and the body count continues to rise, director Yann Gonzalez stages ravishingly, ripely carnal set pieces at the intersection of fear and desire, a nexus at which the films milieu of decadent queer indulgence has been comfortably situated. CB

While the premise of Penny Lanes brilliant documentary Hail Satan? initially appears to be pure sensationalism the use of black masses to counter white supremacy as the film unfolds, the story becomes both stranger and more uplifting. Lane introduces the devilishly good work of the Satanic Temple, a growing group of activists who are challenging the encroaching overlap between church and state through the use of satanic imagery. So, if a government building in Arkansas erects a Christian monument on its grounds, the Temple campaigns for its own religious symbol to be built nearby: a 10ft statue of Baphomet. The theory is closer to satire than satanism, but theres a deeply felt sincerity to the Temples work also. That goes further than its defence of democracy its there in its embrace of diversity and a pretty impeccable set of moral values. Not all heroes wear capes; some of them wear horns as well. PH

Were living through a climate emergency; its fitting then, that Canadian film-maker Brett Story has made a film about the apocalypse. Borrowing its format from Chris Markers Le Joli Mai, which examined Paris in 1962, shortly after the Algerian war, The Hottest August is set in New York circa 2017, during its hottest summer on record, eloquently drawing poetic links between the islands rising temperature and the political tensions bubbling between its residents. Her vital critique of the way late capitalism is mutating both the planet and the values of the people inhabiting it invokes Karl Marx, Annie Dillard and Zadie Smith but the experience of watching is more visceral than cerebral, conjuring a genuine (and genuinely terrifying) sense of creeping, paralysing dread. An alien soundscape designed by Ernst Karel of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab helps to create further a feeling of futurelessness. SH

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is the charming, elegiac tale of Jimmie Fails, a man trying to hold on to a San Francisco that no longer exists. Living across the water in Oakland, Jimmie dreams of a lost era when his family lived in a beautiful Victorian house in San Francisco, long before the tech industry changed the city into something colder, more manufactured, and less like home. Jimmie travels across the east bay every day and stealthily maintains the exterior of the house, mourning the fact the affluent white couple who moved in are allowing it to fall in disarray.

Joe Talbots first feature film is many things. Its an eccentric buddy comedy, on par in color and tonality with Wes Andersons works. Its a near-documentary, in its look at gang culture, gentrification, and the damaging effects of toxic masculinity. But ultimately, its a portrait of a break-up, showing how ones heart can be tethered to a place that ultimately does not love you back. Its a film that deserved more attention than it got, and should definitely be required viewing for anyone whos moved to San Francisco in pursuit of the American dream. GS

Theres a scene in Midnight Traveler, a documentary by Emelie Mahdavian, that has stuck with me probably more than any other this year: Hassan Fazili, forced out by the Taliban and deep into his familys journey from Afghanistan to Europe one he, his wife Fatima, and two daughters consistently film on their mobile phones recounts a story of personal terror in voiceover. The screen is full of landscapes and undramatic footage; Hassan doesnt need to show you the story to get its impact. In fact, filming his familys pain, what once felt like an act of artistic resilience, now feels ethically queasy. His meditation on the ethics of filming, of prioritizing the screen instead of the people in front of you, is one of the many surprising, deeply empathetic layers to this low-fi documentary that subverts any tropes in coverage of the migrants story.

The film, stitched together by Mahdavian using the familys cellphone footage and collected via a messenger over the Fazilis two-plus year journey, communicates a much-covered crisis in bracing honesty by putting the story of a familys formative years first. Its cadre of small, relatable moments singing in the kitchen, playing in the snow, a playful marriage quarrel make Midnight Traveler quietly revelatory. The Fazilis are buffeted by their circumstances but not defined by them; at every turn, it prizes experience and honesty over seeking sympathy. Few films have given me the illusion of understanding anothers journey this year more than Midnight Traveler; few films show more power in the quiet moments. AH

Graham Norton aside, Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren didnt do a lot of press for The Good Liar. It hasnt made a lot of money and it isnt figuring in the awards conversation. All of these are a pity, because its not just very well made, its also supremely entertaining one of few films Ive seen in recent years where I really wanted to know what happens next.

The pair meet on a genteel dating site. Shes a wealthy widow; hes a conman whos scented his next big score, and is faking it as a moderately hobbling old buffer. So far, so enjoyable. But the plot loops are more elaborate than that premise suggests; the stakes higher, the history rather more freighted. Around the halfway point you dont start wondering who is really scamming who; you start doubting almost everything youve seen before.

This isnt a knowing homage like Knives Out nor a glossily postmodern box of secrets, like Pain and Glory. Its just a straight-down-the-line thriller, built on a nest of twists, perched on shifting sands. It wont especially make you cry or laugh, or think differently about the world. But it completely commands your attention. For two hours, everything else is irrelevant. And sometimes thats enough. CS

Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke has for some time now been making brilliantly acute fables of modern China: a huge country undergoing a dislocating upheaval while still not fully recovered from the last one. His films tend to be oblique in intent, partly to enhance the ambiguous nature of their conclusions, but also useful in that in contrast to contemporaries such as Lou Ye Jia is not seen as a threat by censors.

Well, Ash Is the Purest White is a remarkable film: elliptical and not exactly user-friendly, but building with a granite-like power that profiles the chaotic birth of the communist-capitalist era at the turn of the millennium. Jia, appropriately, turns to the gangster-movie format to tell his story, at least at first. A local hoodlum, or jianghu, named Bin, gets the sniff of power in the grimy industrial town of Datong after his boss is murdered; his girlfriend Qiao is fiercely loyal but ready to disengage with the gang life. When Bin overreaches himself in a street fight with opposing goons, Qiao fires off a pistol and takes the rap and the prison sentence for Bin.

Ash Is the Purest White then heads into less conventional territory. After she gets out, Qiao realises Bin has moved away from Datong and abandoned her, and she tries to confront him. But the relationship, it seems, is beyond repair; her fortitude and fidelity of no account. Scrapping to survive in Chinas new era, she falls in briefly with a man who claims to be chasing UFOs and even appears to have some sort of extra-terrestrial vision herself. Bin, incapacitated by a stroke, returns to Datong, but their relationship is no happier in the long run.

As Peter Bradshaw says, this is a gripping parable for the vanity of human wishes; for all Qiaos commitment to burning as brightly and fiercely as the white volcanic ash she sees on a far-off mountain-top, its her fate to endure disappointment and dismay. And that, I think, is something we can all relate to. AP

There was an avalanche of festive films this year, seemingly more than ever with Netflix following in the footsteps of Lifetime and Hallmark by releasing a stockings worth of similarly low-budget and low-entertainment Christmas melodramas. But buried underneath the yellow snow, there was a finely wrapped gift, a surprising little gem that delivered a familiar assortment of ingredients but in strangely irresistible packaging. Crudely referred to as a teen Love Actually, Let It Snow focuses on a young, diverse ensemble and their romantic misadventures leading up to the big day. There are precisely zero surprises along the way but theres a wealth of chemistry between the charming cast and director Luke Snellin rises above the platform to craft a film that actually looks like it could be released in cinemas, rather than premiering on your smartphone. I was pleasantly surprised by Let It Snow, especially in comparison to the big-budget theatrical inanity of Emma Thompsons incompetent Last Christmas, and unlike that film, I can see myself unwrapping this one again next year. BL

Originally posted here:

The best movies of 2019 that you haven't seen - The Guardian

Catholic Exorcist Warns of Rise in ‘Aggressive Satanism’ Among Young People – Newsweek

Exorcist Father Francois Dermine for the Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo in Italy said the problems of society can be blamed on a rise in "aggressive Satanism" in an article in Crux.

Dermine said young people can be especially affected by demonic energies because of secularism, imagery in video games and a lack of role models.

"Secularization leaves a void," Dermine said. "Young people do not have anything to satisfy their spiritual and profound needs. They are thirsting for something, and the Church is not attractive anymore."

Dermine called the involvement of young people in a culture that celebrates the demonic a "Satanist mentality," saying that those who are engaged with that culture "can become evil themselves very easily."

Young people are in greater danger according to Dermine because of the instability of modern families.

"Education of young people is poorer and poorer," Dermine said. "Couples are collapsing. Children are left alone; they are destabilized, and they don't have any defenses."

"If [children] have received love in their own families, it would be much more difficult to follow these kinds of ideologies," Dermine continued. "It would be much more difficult to penetrate their minds. If the adult world does not offer alternatives, it is more difficult for younger generations to adopt a stable way of life."

Violence in the world can also be blamed on Satanism which Dermine sees as a "concrete risk."

"We must not underestimate this," Dermine said, "because violence among young people is becoming more and more diffused. A violent mentality is very dangerous for our society, very, very dangerous. Our society risks collapse if it continues like this."

Dermine has been an exorcist for the Catholic Church for over 25 years, even giving lectures on exorcism, a practice Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple has called "backward" and "harmful."

"Where Christianity is involved, even flagrantly and directly, it will be entirely ignored," wrote Greaves on Patheos in November. "This double-standard is so culturally-entrenched as to go often unnoticed even by those who recognize its injustice once pointed out."

"If any other religious identity in the West, outside of Christianity, openly practiced rituals of such simple-minded magical thinking with even half the rate of death attributed to exorcism," Greaves continued, "there would be a full-scale panic, with an outcry to ban the practice, as well as the religion that sanctioned it."

In an email to Newsweek, Greaves repudiated Father Dermine's statements.

"Even for a man who believes himself a type of wizard who combats invisible monsters, the exorcist's comments related to the alleged threat that Satanism poses to children shows a remarkable and unrepentant willful ignorance of the horrific recent history of child abuse accrued by the morally bankrupt Church he represents," Greaves wrote.

"Seemingly fully aware that the Modern Satanism he decries is non-theistic in nature, and characteristically divorced from reality, he suggests that superstitious tribalism is the cure, rather than the cause, of all contemporary woes. In reality, it seems apparent that our social problems will never be resolved by self-professed claimants to a divine and unquestionable Truth, but that we would all do better to cultivate social norms that celebrate pluralism, mutual respect, and accountability."

"If indeed such values be virtuous," Greaves concluded, "then The Satanic Temple is unquestionably more moral than the Catholic Church."

While the Catholic church allegedly does not keep records on how many exorcisms are performed, the Vatican has recently opened up its yearly training program, the Course on Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation, to practitioners of all Christian denominations.

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Catholic Exorcist Warns of Rise in 'Aggressive Satanism' Among Young People - Newsweek

Pagan Community Notes: Restricted access to Stonehenge during Solstice, Waverly Fitzgerald crosses, 44000-year-old cave painting, and more! – The Wild…

Stonehenge

WILTSHIRE, England Druid Stuart Hannington of Tottenham says that closing of Byway 12, a gravel road near the stones will deter Pagans from attending the annual event.

Hannington says that those who hoped to gather nearby and use Byway 12 for access cannot.

Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Councils highways chief, said: We want people to enjoy the event and every year close Byway 12 for the safe, managed, open access so everyone can enjoy the solstice safely. Both Byway 11 and 12 are closed from December 18 through December 23.

While The Mirror reports that 400 people who intended to camp in the field near the Byway are upset at the restricted access, its unclear whether camping has ever been allowed in the recent past. The English Heritage group which manages Stonehenge clearly states on its website that camping is not allowed on or near the site.

The exact local time of the Winter Solstice is 4:19 am but public access to the stones does not begin until 7:45 am, provided it is light enough to safely navigate the path and runs until 10:00 am.

Attendance is estimated to be around 5,000 people. Those who plan to visit the site for the observance are encouraged to use Stonehenge Solstice car sharing and bus services, as parking is very limited.

For those who opt to stay home, they can watch a live broadcast of Stonehenge on Periscope.

* * *

[First State Satanists logo]

The First State Satanists identify as non-theistic modern satanic group, reject supernaturalism and instead advocate for positive change in our corporeal world in the areas of religious plurality, bodily autonomy, and equal rights for all people. Members strive to educate themselves and others about modern Satanism, politics, and science and promote charitable works within their communities. They also list themselves as a Friends of The Satanic Temple group.

Earlier this year, the town banned unattended displays on The Circle due to safety concerns, which affected the nativity scene normally put up by a local church.

In response to the towns decision another group, the Good Ole Boy Foundation, coordinated with local churches and received a permit from the town to present a live nativity scene each night from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, beginning on December 11th and running through December 24. The event has been canceled for December 16th due to inclement weather.

The First State Satanists plan to hold a candlelight vigil to observe the Winter Solstice from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on The Circle on Sunday, December 22. On the groups event page they invite fellow faithless friends and all those who support our countrys religious freedoms to join them in celebrating pluralism, religious diversity, and equal rights during this holiday season.

A spokesperson for the Good Ole Boy Foundation says they are aware of The First State Satanists vigil, and acknowledges that other groups with differing views have a right to express those views in a public space.

* * *

Crossings of the Veil

Last Friday evening, December 13, Waverly Fitzgerald lost her battle with cancer.

Fitzgerald was based in Seattle and wrote both fiction and non-fiction, though many Pagans may remember her for her work on The Beltane Papers with Helen Farias. Fitzgerald became editor of the Beltane Papers in 1994 after Farias death and continued in that role until 1998 when she resigned to focus more on her writing and teaching.

Fitzgerald was a noted folklorist and published several books of interest to Pagans: Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life, and several books that focused on the crafts and customs and rituals surrounding Pagan celebrations, most notably:Celebrating Spring Equinox andCelebrating Summer Solstice.Her writing also was featured in the publications Sagewoman and Gnosis.

She taught classes online, and for Hugo House in Seattle, and also offered correspondence courses through her site, School of the Seasons. In 2014 she opened her own publishing company, Rat City Publishing.

She is noted by others for being kind, talented, and generousespecially in the aid she provided to many writers, both aspiring and well-established, with her wellspring of knowledge.

What is remembered, lives.

In other news:

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Tarot of the Celtic Fairies by Mark McElroy, artwork by Eldar Minibaev, and published by Lo Scarabeo

Card: Two (2) of Cauldrons (cups)

The week ahead offers opportunities for new connections or partnerships. The ability to empathize may figure prominently. Conversely, relationships that do not serve or hold any real potential, may dissolve or fall away.

Decks generously provided byAsheville Raven & Crone.

The rest is here:

Pagan Community Notes: Restricted access to Stonehenge during Solstice, Waverly Fitzgerald crosses, 44000-year-old cave painting, and more! - The Wild...

Are these the 20 scariest horror movies of all time? – TheSpec.com

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 humour and a star turn from Bruce Campbell.

14. THE OMEN (1976) This knock-off 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 flame-throwers. 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 equalled Jack Nicholson's unhinged performance as a father gone mad. It's a monolith of terror, undiminished even after nearly 40 years.

Excerpt from:

Are these the 20 scariest horror movies of all time? - TheSpec.com

40 Scariest Halloween Movies of All Time – Best Classic Horror Movies – Esquire

Ever since movies like Get Out and Hereditary hit big, weve seen a superhero-like amount of horror films hit theatersand, thanks to streaming services like Shudder, about a centurys worth of cult gems dug up from the grave. Its a lot to sort through, so we rounded up 40 of the spookiest options for you to this Halloween season. Fair warning: When I watched one of the movies on this list (George Romeros Martin) for the first time, my buddy passed out in the first five minutes and an ambulance showed up. So proceed with caution.

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After her estranged mother dies, Annie (Toni Collette) begins to notice some peculiar activity around her house. After another shocking tragedy, Annie begins to spiral out of control. Is there a supernatural force attempting to manipulate her family, or is it all in her head?

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A family (led by John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) silently navigate a post-apocalyptic world, stalked at every turn by monsters that hunt their prey with a supercharged sense of hearing. Although the family of survivalists have so far managed to avoid the extraterrestrial hunters, the fractures within their own relationships may lead to their downfall. You will spend this entire movie on the edge of your seat.

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In Jennifer Kent's gothic Australian thriller, a young widow is burdened with her troubled six-year-old son. But it only gets worse for the beleaguered mother when the titular character of her son's picture bookthe tall, top hat-wearing spook named the Babadookbegins to creep beyond the pages of his book and wreaks havoc on the mother and son.

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Six adventurous women go into the dark depths of an unmapped cave in North Carolina, hoping for a fun trek through the darkness. But their mountain vacation is disrupted when they discover that they aren't the only ones in the cave, which also happens to be full of flesh-eating humanoid monsters who hunt them women down.

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Annie thinks she's found a nice guy in her new boyfriend, but after they have sex, he reveals that he's being stalked with an unnamed evilwhich will now hunt her down until she can pass "it" onto the next person she sleeps with. The moody, retro-inspired horror film is a modern classic with an unsettling, unimaginable monster that our heroine must outsmart.

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A young black photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) joins his girlfriend (Allison Williams) for a visit to her suspicious, Obama-supporting parents' home and discovers that they can't be trusted in Jordan Peele's Oscar-winning modern masterpiece. In Esquire, Stephen Thrasher called the film, "The Best Movie Ever Made About American Slavery."

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It's hard to pull off a children-from-hell movie, which makes it all the more remarkable how beautifully this Austrian thriller unspools the mystery of twin boys (who for some unknown reason are always wearing matching tank tops) and their mother whose face is disguised in bandages and may not be their mother.

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In the very literally titled French art-horror classic, a famous and unhinged surgeon kidnaps beautiful women and tries to transplant their faces onto his daughter who is, yes, missing a face.

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Wes Craven was one of a few masters of horror who plumbed the depths of America's Vietnam War-era cultural divides in this grimy, arty thriller about two teenage girls who encounter escaped prisoners in the big cityand how the tables get violently turned.

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In the most disturbing allegory for childbearing gone wrong, Mia Farrow's Rosemary becomes increasingly panicked about her painful pregnancy and the mysterious neighbors in a building with a history of Satanism. The great Ruth Gordon won an Oscar for her role as Rosemary's fiendishly quirky neighbor, who isn't as sweet as she seems.

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Samantha, a broke college student struggling to pay her rent, picks up a babysitting job from a weird couple named the Ulmans. Things get even more strange when Samantha learns that her charge is not a child, but in fact Mr. Ulman's ailing mother. Foolishly ignoring her intuition, Samantha's gig turns into a night from hell when she realizes the Ulmans have some particularly devious plans for her.

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Nearly four decades after its release, The Exorcist is still the scariest movie ever madeand features one of the most terrifying movie villains in Regan MacNeil, an innocent 12-year-old girl possessed by a demonic force. William Friedkin's Oscar-nominated film was pretty much the first prestige horror movie, with incredible performances, heavy thematic material, and game-changing scares.

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Donnie Darko which gave us a taste of how great (and weird) Jake Gyllenhall could befollows Donnie as his cliche teenage-social-outcast problems somehow accrue interdimensional stakes. Its a perfect scary-movie blend: A troubled teen, memorable monster, all set during the Halloween season.

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It created the modern zombie genre, and its fondness for sociopolitical echoes. But even more than that legacy, George A. Romero's low-budget black-and-white original proved that you don't need money to create a horror classic; you just need braiiiiiiiins.

Compass International Pictures

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John Carpenter's bogeyman slasher nightmare spawned a legion of inferior sequels that couldn't diminish the ominous power of his original, about a psychopath who returns to his hometown years later to don a misshaped William Shatner mask and stalk Jamie Lee Curtis.

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Arguably the scariest film of all time, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's bestseller generates terror from its meticulous filmmaking. And, courtesy of Jack Nicholson's turn as a murderous paterfamilias, it also features the most memorable horror-movie performance in the past few decades.

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The story of a child molester who returns from the dead to prey upon his killers' children in dreams, Wes Craven's seminal shocker recognizes that you're never more vulnerable than when asleepa fact that naturally set up countless scares for one of the biggest horror franchises in film history

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Its sequel may boast grander man-vs.-beast action, but Ridley Scott's gorgeous 1979 outer-space saga about a group of astronauts battling against a malevolent extraterrestrial is still the franchise's most deeply frightening installment.

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Ignore all the remakes, remake sequels, and remake prequels, and stick with Tobe Hooper's original 1974 grindhouser, about a slightly unhinged hippie-hating family with a house notable for its giant meet hooks, human bone furniture, and slammable slaughterhouse metal doors.

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A cautionary tale about the perils of stealing from your bossand, also, about staying at roadside motels run by mamma's boys. Alfred Hitchcock originated the surprise first-act murder of the star with the story of a woman (Janet Leigh) on the run who is way too accepting of a dark-haired stranger's (Anthony Perkins) generosity.

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The only thing scarier than facing off against a hideous intergalactic monster is facing off against one that has the ability to shape-shift into human forma who's-the-creature scenario that director John Carpenter employs for intense suspense (with some great, gross special effects).

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Japanese director Takeshi Miike is infamous for pushing the boundaries of good taste, though he's rarely delivered more extreme tension than with this 1999 film about a man who discovers that dating can be a deadly affair.

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A young outcast boy meets, and falls in love with, a young immortal bloodsucker in this superb 1980-set Swedish vampire romance from Tomas Alfredson, which climaxes with an unforgettable pool sequence.

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Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-ho's 2006 film is a fantastic, Spielbergian tale of a South Korean family under siege from an extraordinary foenamely, a giant sea monster created from toxic dumping.

Empire International Pictures

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Michael Rooker is a serial killer whose crimes don't warrant much attention from the powers that be in John McNaughton's cold, clinical, harrowing character study (partly based on real events).

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Brian De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's novel is an unbearably disturbing portrait of youthful alienation and fury, with one of the genre's most unforgettable fire-and-brimstone endings.

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A couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) grieving from the death of their daughter become convinced that she's trying to contact them from beyond the grave in Nicolas Roeg's profoundly unnerving thriller. You'll never look at little girls in red coats the same way again.

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The movie that for a brief time in the early aughts made everyone afraid of their TV. Naomi Watts plays a journalist investigating why people keep dying from watching a certain video tape. And just like all of the best scary movies, it's got a creepy kid.

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When The Blair With Project originally came out in 1999, people didn't know whether it was real or fiction. Advertised as "found video footage," it tells the story of three students who travel to a small town to investigate a murder, and eventually get terrorized in the woods.

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Sam Raimi's 2009 horror film is the perfect example of unspeakable horror and gross-out humor. Alison Lohman plays a bank loan officer who turns down an elderly woman's request for an extension on her mortgage payment. The woman retaliates in witchy ways, placing a curse on her new enemy and promising an untimely death.

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A nine-year-old Russian girl adopted by a kind American couple (played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard), Esther begins to act out in dangerous ways: bullying her new brother as well as kids at school, murdering a nun, and trying to seduce her new adopted father. It doesn't take one long to realize that maybe this kid is not all she seems.

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If youre Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagino, how do you follow up one of the most memorable love stories of the 2010s? By making one of its best horror films. His remake of Dario Argentos 1977 classic puts Dakota Johnson in the leading role as an American dancer auditioning at a world-famous dance academy in Berlin (where, spoiler, the dance instructors arent just dance instructors!).

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Before James Gunn hit it big with Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy, he was making weird-as-hell genre flickslike the Michael Rooker and Elizabeth Banks-led Slither. Yes, theres a comedic bent to the movie, which takes place in a small town that an alien organism begins to terrorize, but its body horror elements will leave a slug-sized stamp on your brain.

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In Robert Eggerss feature directorial debut, a Puritan family in colonial New England move to a farm outside of their Plymouth colony, where they encounter all kinds of crazy supernatural shit in its surrounding forest. Come for the period-piece colonial throwback, stay for the scary goats.

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If youre unfamiliar with the story, which is based on a Stephen King novel, It follows a group of children battling against an ancient, supernatural clown named Pennywise. Of course, the 1990, Tim Curry-led It miniseries will always be a classicbut Pennywise was just begging for 21st Century, big-budget CGI effects. The giant clown in that projector scene? Tentacles swinging from Pennywises mouth? Good luck sleeping.

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Even though this horror-world OG is nearly 100 (!) years old, this story of Count Orloks hosting of Thomas Hutter still delivers the goods. Yeah, old scary movies like this tend to look a little campy in modern times, but Noseferatus creepy mug, shadowy photography, and a timely message about xenophobia hold up today.

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Body-snatching plots will always be unnervingand Philip Kaufmans remake of the 1956 original nails exactly why that is. The incredible cast of Jeff Goldblum, Donald Sutherland, and Leonard Nimoy star in the film, where San Franciscos citizens start acting a little weirdand Goldblums character is tasked with finding out the cause.

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I would imagine its hard to make a cannibal movie, let alone one thats not a gross-out mess or a campy write-off. Raw, which tracks a vegetarian starting her first semester at veterinary schoolwhere, woah, she gets a taste for flesh. It sounds simple, but Raws built-in suspense (how far is she willing to go?) and art-film vibe makes it worth the watch.

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For a breathless 90 minutes of Stephen Lang in prime form, check out Dont BreatheFede lvarezs breathless horror-thriller. The movie follows three robbers who try to steal $300,000 of cash from a house in an abandoned Detroit neighborhoodwhich happens to be owned by blind Gulf War Veteran, Norman Nordtrom (Lang).

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Master of moving between genres, Steven Soderbergs shot at horror is just as great as the rest of his filmography. Unsane stars Claire Foy as Sawyer Valentini, who is tricked into a 24-hour stay at a secretive psych ward.

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40 Scariest Halloween Movies of All Time - Best Classic Horror Movies - Esquire

Satanism – Wikipedia

Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on Satan. Contemporary religious practice of Satanism began with the founding of the Church of Satan in 1966, although a few historical precedents exist. Prior to the public practice, Satanism existed primarily as an accusation by various Christian groups toward perceived ideological opponents, rather than a self-identity. Satanism, and the concept of Satan, has also been used by artists and entertainers for symbolic expression.

Accusations that various groups have been practicing Satanism have been made throughout much of Christian history. During the Middle Ages, the Inquisition attached to the Roman Catholic Church alleged that various heretical Christian sects and groups, such as the Knights Templar and the Cathars, performed secret Satanic rituals. In the subsequent Early Modern period, belief in a widespread Satanic conspiracy of witches resulted in mass trials of alleged witches across Europe and the North American colonies. Accusations that Satanic conspiracies were active, and behind events such as Protestantism (and conversely, the Protestant claim that the Pope was the Antichrist) and the French Revolution continued to be made in Christendom during the eighteenth to the twentieth century. The idea of a vast Satanic conspiracy reached new heights with the influential Taxil hoax of France in the 1890s, which claimed that Freemasonry worshiped Satan, Lucifer, and Baphomet in their rituals. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Satanic ritual abuse hysteria spread through the United States and United Kingdom, amid fears that groups of Satanists were regularly sexually abusing and murdering children in their rites. In most of these cases, there is no corroborating evidence that any of those accused of Satanism were actually practitioners of a Satanic religion or guilty of the allegations leveled at them.

Since the 19th century, various small religious groups have emerged that identify as Satanists or use Satanic iconography. Satanist groups that appeared after the 1960s are widely diverse, but two major trends are theistic Satanism and atheistic Satanism. Theistic Satanists venerate Satan as a supernatural deity, viewing him not as omnipotent but rather as a patriarch. In contrast, atheistic Satanists regard Satan as merely a symbol of certain human traits.[1]

Contemporary religious Satanism is predominantly an American phenomenon, the ideas spreading elsewhere with the effects of globalization and the Internet.[2] The Internet spreads awareness of other Satanists, and is also the main battleground for Satanist disputes.[2] Satanism started to reach Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s, in time with the fall of the Soviet Union, and most noticeably in Poland and Lithuania, predominantly Roman Catholic countries.[3][4]

In their study of Satanism, the religious studies scholars Asbjrn Dyrendal, James R. Lewis, and Jesper Aa. Petersen stated that the term Satanism "has a history of being a designation made by people against those whom they dislike; it is a term used for 'othering'". The concept of Satanism is an invention of Christianity, for it relies upon the figure of Satan, a character deriving from Christian mythology.

Elsewhere, Petersen noted that "Satanism as something others do is very different from Satanism as a self-designation".Eugene Gallagher noted that, as commonly used, Satanism was usually "a polemical, not a descriptive term".

The word "Satan" was not originally a proper name but rather an ordinary noun meaning "the adversary"; in this context it appears at several points in the Old Testament. For instance, in the Book of Samuel, David is presented as the satan ("adversary") of the Philistines, while in the Book of Numbers the term appears as a verb, when God sent an angel to satan ("to oppose") Balaam. Prior to the composition of the New Testament, the idea developed within Jewish communities that Satan was the name of an angel who had rebelled against God and had been cast out of Heaven along with his followers; this account would be incorporated into contemporary texts like the Book of Enoch. This Satan was then featured in parts of the New Testament, where he was presented as a figure who tempted humans to commit sin; in the Book of Matthew and the Book of Luke, he attempted to tempt Jesus of Nazareth as the latter fasted in the wilderness.

The word "Satanism" was adopted into English from the French satanisme. The terms "Satanism" and "Satanist" are first recorded as appearing in the English and French languages during the sixteenth century, when they were used by Christian groups to attack other, rival Christian groups. In a Roman Catholic tract of 1565, the author condemns the "heresies, blasphemies, and sathanismes [sic]" of the Protestants. In an Anglican work of 1559, Anabaptists and other Protestant sects are condemned as "swarmes of Satanistes [sic]". As used in this manner, the term "Satanism" was not used to claim that people literally worshipped Satan, but rather presented the view that through deviating from what the speaker or writer regarded as the true variant of Christianity, they were regarded as being essentially in league with the Devil. During the nineteenth century, the term "Satanism" began to be used to describe those considered to lead a broadly immoral lifestyle, and it was only in the late nineteenth century that it came to be applied in English to individuals who were believed to consciously and deliberately venerate Satan. This latter meaning had appeared earlier in the Swedish language; the Lutheran Bishop Laurentius Paulinus Gothus had described devil-worshipping sorcerers as Sathanister in his Ethica Christiana, produced between 1615 and 1630.

Historical and anthropological research suggests that nearly all societies have developed the idea of a sinister and anti-human force that can hide itself within society. This commonly involves a belief in witches, a group of individuals who invert the norms of their society and seek to harm their community, for instance by engaging in incest, murder, and cannibalism. Allegations of witchcraft may have different causes and serve different functions within a society. For instance, they may serve to uphold social norms, to heighten the tension in existing conflicts between individuals, or to scapegoat certain individuals for various social problems.

Another contributing factor to the idea of Satanism is the concept that there is an agent of misfortune and evil who operates on a cosmic scale, something usually associated with a strong form of ethical dualism that divides the world clearly into forces of good and forces of evil. The earliest such entity known is Angra Mainyu, a figure that appears in the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. This concept was also embraced by Judaism and early Christianity, and although it was soon marginalised within Jewish thought, it gained increasing importance within early Christian understandings of the cosmos. While the early Christian idea of the Devil was not well developed, it gradually adapted and expanded through the creation of folklore, art, theological treatises, and morality tales, thus providing the character with a range of extra-Biblical associations.

As Christianity expanded throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, it came into contact with a variety of other religions, which it regarded as "pagan". Christian theologians claimed that the gods and goddesses venerated by these "pagans" were not genuine divinities, but were actually demons. However, they did not believe that "pagans" were deliberately devil-worshippers, instead claiming that they were simply misguided. In Christian iconography, the Devil and demons were given the physical traits of figures from Classical mythology such as the god Pan, fauns, and satyrs.

Those Christian groups regarded as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church were treated differently, with theologians arguing that they were deliberately worshipping the Devil. This was accompanied by claims that such individuals engaged in incestuous sexual orgies, murdered infants, and committed acts of cannibalism, all stock accusations that had previously been leveled at Christians themselves in the Roman Empire.The first recorded example of such an accusation being made within Western Christianity took place in Toulouse in 1022, when two clerics were tried for allegedly venerating a demon. Throughout the middle ages, this accusation would be applied to a wide range of Christian heretical groups, including the Paulicians, Bogomils, Cathars, Waldensians, and the Hussites. The Knights Templar were accused of worshipping an idol known as Baphomet, with Lucifer having appeared at their meetings in the form of a cat. As well as these Christian groups, these claims were also made about Europe's Jewish community. In the thirteenth century, there were also references made to a group of "Luciferians" led by a woman named Lucardis which hoped to see Satan rule in Heaven. References to this group continued into the fourteenth century, although historians studying the allegations concur that these Luciferians were likely a fictitious invention.

Within Christian thought, the idea developed that certain individuals could make a pact with Satan. This may have emerged after observing that pacts with gods and goddesses played a role in various pre-Christian belief systems, or that such pacts were also made as part of the Christian cult of saints. Another possibility is that it derives from a misunderstanding of Augustine of Hippo's condemnation of augury in his On the Christian Doctrine, written in the late fourth century. Here, he stated that people who consulted augurs were entering "quasi pacts" (covenants) with demons. The idea of the diabolical pact made with demons was popularised across Europe in the story of Faust, likely based in part on the real life Johann Georg Faust.

As the late medieval gave way to the early modern period, European Christendom experienced a schism between the established Roman Catholic Church and the breakaway Protestant movement. In the ensuing Reformation and Counter-Reformation, both Catholics and Protestants accused each other of deliberately being in league with Satan. It was in this context that the terms "Satanist" and "Satanism" emerged.

The early modern period also saw fear of Satanists reach its "historical apogee" in the form of the witch trials of the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. This came about as the accusations which had been leveled at medieval heretics, among them that of devil-worship, were applied to the pre-existing idea of the witch, or practitioner of malevolent magic. The idea of a conspiracy of Satanic witches was developed by educated elites, although the concept of malevolent witchcraft was a widespread part of popular belief and folkloric ideas about the night witch, the wild hunt, and the dance of the fairies were incorporated into it. The earliest trials took place in Northern Italy and France, before spreading it out to other areas of Europe and to Britain's North American colonies, being carried out by the legal authorities in both Catholic and Protestant regions.Between 30,000 and 50,000 individuals were executed as accused Satanic witches.Most historians agree that the majority of those persecuted in these witch trials were innocent of any involvement in Devil worship. However, in their summary of the evidence for the trials, the historians Geoffrey Scarre and John Callow thought it "without doubt" that some of those accused in the trials had been guilty of employing magic in an attempt to harm their enemies, and were thus genuinely guilty of witchcraft.

In seventeenth-century Sweden, a number of highway robbers and other outlaws living in the forests informed judges that they venerated Satan because he provided more practical assistance than God.The historian of religion Massimo Introvigne regarded these practices as "folkloric Satanism".

During the eighteenth century, gentleman's social clubs became increasingly prominent in Britain and Ireland, among the most secretive of which were the Hellfire Clubs, which were first reported in the 1720s. The most famous of these groups was the Order of the Knights of Saints Francis, which was founded circa 1750 by the aristocrat Sir Francis Dashwood and which assembled first at his estate at West Wycombe and later in Medmenham Abbey. A number of contemporary press sources portrayed these as gatherings of atheist rakes where Christianity was mocked and toasts were made to the Devil. Beyond these sensationalist accounts, which may not be accurate portrayals of actual events, little is known about the activities of the Hellfire Clubs. Introvigne suggested that they may have engaged in a form of "playful Satanism" in which Satan was invoked "to show a daring contempt for conventional morality" by individuals who neither believed in his literal existence nor wanted to pay homage to him.

The French Revolution of 1789 dealt a blow to the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church in parts of Europe, and soon a number of Catholic authors began making claims that it had been masterminded by a conspiratorial group of Satanists. Among the first to do so was French Catholic priest Jean-Baptiste Fiard, who publicly claimed that a wide range of individuals, from the Jacobins to tarot card readers, were part of a Satanic conspiracy. Fiard's ideas were furthered by Alexis-Vincent-Charles Berbiguier, who devoted a lengthy book to this conspiracy theory; he claimed that Satanists had supernatural powers allowing them to curse people and to shapeshift into both cats and fleas. Although most of his contemporaries regarded Berbiguier as mad, his ideas gained credence among many occultists, including Stanislas de Guaita, a Cabalist who used them for the basis of his book, The Temple of Satan.

In the early 20th century, the British novelist Dennis Wheatley produced a range of influential novels in which his protagonists battled Satanic groups. At the same time, non-fiction authors like Montague Summers and Rollo Ahmed published books claiming that Satanic groups practicing black magic were still active across the world, although they provided no evidence that this was the case. During the 1950s, various British tabloid newspapers repeated such claims, largely basing their accounts on the allegations of one woman, Sarah Jackson, who claimed to have been a member of such a group. In 1973, the British Christian Doreen Irvine published From Witchcraft to Christ, in which she claimed to have been a member of a Satanic group that gave her supernatural powers, such as the ability to levitate, before she escaped and embraced Christianity.In the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, various Christian preachersthe most famous being Mike Warnke in his 1972 book The Satan-Sellerclaimed that they had been members of Satanic groups who carried out sex rituals and animal sacrifices before discovering Christianity. According to Gareth Medway in his historical examination of Satanism, these stories were "a series of inventions by insecure people and hack writers, each one based on a previous story, exaggerated a little more each time".

Other publications made allegations of Satanism against historical figures. The 1970s saw the publication of the Romanian Protestant preacher Richard Wurmbrand's book in which he arguedwithout corroborating evidencethat the socio-political theorist Karl Marx had been a Satanist.

At the end of the twentieth century, a moral panic developed around claims regarding a Devil-worshipping cult that made use of sexual abuse, murder, and cannibalism in its rituals, with children being among its victims. Initially, the alleged perpetrators of such crimes were labelled "witches", although the term "Satanist" was soon adopted as a favoured alternative, and the phenomenon itself came to be called "the Satanism Scare". Promoters of the claims alleged that there was a conspiracy of organised Satanists who occupied prominent positions throughout society, from the police to politicians, and that they had been powerful enough to cover up their crimes.

Sociologist of religion Massimo Introvigne, 2016

One of the primary sources for the scare was Michelle Remembers, a 1980 book by the Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder in which he detailed what he claimed were the repressed memories of his patient (and wife) Michelle Smith. Smith had claimed that as a child she had been abused by her family in Satanic rituals in which babies were sacrificed and Satan himself appeared. In 1983, allegations were made that the McMartin familyowners of a preschool in Californiawere guilty of sexually abusing the children in their care during Satanic rituals. The allegations resulted in a lengthy and expensive trial, in which all of the accused would eventually be cleared. The publicity generated by the case resulted in similar allegations being made in various other parts of the United States.

A prominent aspect of the Satanic Scare was the claim by those in the developing "anti-Satanism" movement that any child's claim about Satanic ritual abuse must be true, because children would not lie. Although some involved in the anti-Satanism movement were from Jewish and secular backgrounds, a central part was played by fundamentalist and evangelical forms of Christianity, in particular Pentecostalism, with Christian groups holding conferences and producing books and videotapes to promote belief in the conspiracy. Various figures in law enforcement also came to be promoters of the conspiracy theory, with such "cult cops" holding various conferences to promote it. The scare was later imported to the United Kingdom through visiting evangelicals and became popular among some of the country's social workers, resulting in a range of accusations and trials across Britain.

The Satanic ritual abuse hysteria died down between 1990 and 1994. In the late 1980s, the Satanic Scare had lost its impetus following increasing scepticism about such allegations, and a number of those who had been convicted of perpetrating Satanic ritual abuse saw their convictions overturned.In 1990, an agent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ken Lanning, revealed that he had investigated 300 allegations of Satanic ritual abuse and found no evidence for Satanism or ritualistic activity in any of them. In the UK, the Department of Health commissioned the anthropologist Jean La Fontaine to examine the allegations of SRA. She noted that while approximately half did reveal evidence of genuine sexual abuse of children, none revealed any evidence that Satanist groups had been involved or that any murders had taken place. She noted three examples in which lone individuals engaged in child molestation had created a ritual performance to facilitate their sexual acts, with the intent of frightening their victims and justifying their actions, but that none of these child molestors were involved in wider Satanist groups. By the 21st century, hysteria about Satanism has waned in most Western countries, although allegations of Satanic ritual abuse continued to surface in parts of continental Europe and Latin America.

From the late seventeenth through to the nineteenth century, the character of Satan was increasingly rendered unimportant in Western philosophy and ignored in Christian theology, while in folklore he came to be seen as a foolish rather than a menacing figure. The development of new values in the Age of Enlightenmentin particular those of reason and individualismcontributed to a shift in how many Europeans viewed Satan. In this context, a number of individuals took Satan out of the traditional Christian narrative and reread and reinterpreted him in light of their own time and their own interests, in turn generating new and different portraits of Satan.

The shifting view of Satan owes many of its origins to John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), in which Satan features as the protagonist. Milton was a Puritan and had never intended for his depiction of Satan to be a sympathetic one. However, in portraying Satan as a victim of his own pride who rebelled against God he humanized him and also allowed him to be interpreted as a rebel against tyranny. This was how Milton's Satan was understood by later readers like the publisher Joseph Johnson, and the anarchist philosopher William Godwin, who reflected it in his 1793 book Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. Paradise Lost gained a wide readership in the eighteenth century, both in Britain and in continental Europe, where it had been translated into French by Voltaire. Milton thus became "a central character in rewriting Satanism" and would be viewed by many later religious Satanists as a "de facto Satanist".

The nineteenth century saw the emergence of what has been termed "literary Satanism" or "romantic Satanism". According to Van Luijk, this cannot be seen as a "coherent movement with a single voice, but rather as a post factum identified group of sometimes widely divergent authors among whom a similar theme is found". For the literary Satanists, Satan was depicted as a benevolent and sometimes heroic figure, with these more sympathetic portrayals proliferating in the art and poetry of many romanticist and decadent figures. For these individuals, Satanism was not a religious belief or ritual activity, but rather a "strategic use of a symbol and a character as part of artistic and political expression".

Among the romanticist poets to adopt this view of Satan was the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who had been influenced by Milton. In his poem Laon and Cythna, Shelley praised the "Serpent", a reference to Satan, as a force for good in the universe.Another was Shelley's fellow British poet Lord Byron, who included Satanic themes in his 1821 play Cain, which was a dramatization of the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. These more positive portrayals also developed in France; one example was the 1823 work Eloa by Alfred de Vigny. Satan was also adopted by the French poet Victor Hugo, who made the character's fall from Heaven a central aspect of his La Fin de Satan, in which he outlined his own cosmogony.Although the likes of Shelley and Byron promoted a positive image of Satan in their work, there is no evidence that any of them performed religious rites to venerate him, and thus it is problematic to regard them as religious Satanists.

Radical left-wing political ideas had been spread by the American Revolution of 176583 and the French Revolution of 178999, and the figure of Satan, who was interpreted as having rebelled against the tyranny imposed by God, was an appealing one for many of the radical leftists of the period. For them, Satan was "a symbol for the struggle against tyranny, injustice, and oppression... a mythical figure of rebellion for an age of revolutions, a larger-than-life individual for an age of individualism, a free thinker in an age struggling for free thought". The French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who was a staunch critic of Christianity, embraced Satan as a symbol of liberty in several of his writings. Another prominent 19th century anarchist, the Russian Mikhail Bakunin, similarly described the figure of Satan as "the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds" in his book God and the State. These ideas likely inspired the American feminist activist Moses Harman to name his anarchist periodical Lucifer the Lightbearer. The idea of this "Leftist Satan" declined during the twentieth century, although it was used on occasion by authorities within the Soviet Union, who portrayed Satan as a symbol of freedom and equality.

During the 1960s and 1970s, several rock bandsnamely the American Coven and the British Black Widowemployed the imagery of Satanism and witchcraft in their work. References to Satan also appeared in the work of those rock bands which were pioneering the heavy metal genre in Britain during the 1970s. Black Sabbath for instance made mention of Satan in their lyrics, although several of the band's members were practicing Christians and other lyrics affirmed the power of the Christian God over Satan. In the 1980s, greater use of Satanic imagery was made by heavy metal bands like Slayer, Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction. Bands active in the subgenre of death metalamong them Deicide, Morbid Angel, and Entombedalso adopted Satanic imagery, combining it with other morbid and dark imagery, such as that of zombies and serial killers.

Satanism would come to be more closely associated with the subgenre of black metal, in which it was foregrounded over the other themes that had been used in death metal. A number of black metal performers incorporated self-injury into their act, framing this as a manifestation of Satanic devotion. The first black metal band, Venom, proclaimed themselves to be Satanists, although this was more an act of provocation than an expression of genuine devotion to the Devil. Satanic themes were also used by the black metal bands Bathory and Hellhammer. However, the first black metal act to more seriously adopt Satanism was Mercyful Fate, whose vocalist, King Diamond, joined the Church of Satan. More often than not musicians associating themselves with black metal say they do not believe in legitimate Satanic ideology and often profess to being atheists, agnostics, or religious skeptics.[109]

In contrast to King Diamond, various black metal Satanists sought to distance themselves from LaVeyan Satanism, for instance by referring to their beliefs as "devil worship". These individuals regarded Satan as a literal entity, and in contrast to LaVey's views, they associated Satanism with criminality, suicide, and terror. For them, Christianity was regarded as a plague which required eradication. Many of these individualssuch as Varg Vikernes and Euronymouswere Norwegian, and influenced by the strong anti-Christian views of this milieu, between 1992 and 1996 around fifty Norwegian churches were destroyed in arson attacks. Within the black metal scene, a number of musicians later replaced Satanic themes with those deriving from Heathenry, a form of modern Paganism.

Rather than being one single form of religious Satanism, there are instead multiple different religious Satanisms, each with different ideas about what being a Satanist entails. The historian of religion Ruben van Luijk used a "working definition" in which Satanism was regarded as "the intentional, religiously motivated veneration of Satan".

Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen believed that it was not a single movement, but rather a milieu. They and others have nevertheless referred to it as a new religious movement. They believed that there was a family resemblance that united all of the varying groups in this milieu, and that most of them were self religions. They argued that there were a set of features that were common to the groups in this Satanic milieu: these were the positive use of the term "Satanist" as a designation, an emphasis on individualism, a genealogy that connects them to other Satanic groups, a transgressive and antinomian stance, a self-perception as an elite, and an embrace of values such as pride, self-reliance, and productive non-conformity.

Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen argued that the groups within the Satanic milieu could be divided into three groups: reactive Satanists, rationalist Satanists, and esoteric Satanists. They saw reactive Satanism as encompassing "popular Satanism, inverted Christianity, and symbolic rebellion" and noted that it situates itself in opposition to society while at the same time conforming to society's perspective of evil. Rationalist Satanism is used to describe the trend in the Satanic milieu which is atheistic, sceptical, materialistic, and epicurean. Esoteric Satanism instead applied to those forms which are theistic and draw upon ideas from other forms of Western esotericism, Modern Paganism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

The first person to promote a Satanic philosophy was the Pole Stanislaw Przybyszewski, who promoted a Social Darwinian ideology.

The use of the term "Lucifer" was also taken up by the French ceremonial magician Eliphas Levi, who has been described as a "Romantic Satanist". During his younger days, Levi used "Lucifer" in much the same manner as the literary romantics. As he moved toward a more politically conservative outlook in later life, he retained the use of the term, but instead applied it as to what he believed was a morally neutral facet of the Absolute. In his book Dogma and Ritual of High Magic, published in two volumes between 1854 and 1856, Levi offered the symbol of Baphomet. He claimed that this was a figure who had been worshipped by the Knights Templar.According to Introvigne, this image gave "the Satanists their most popular symbol ever".

Levi was not the only occultist who wanted to use the term "Lucifer" without adopting the term "Satan" in a similar way. The early Theosophical Society held to the view that "Lucifer" was a force that aided humanity's awakening to its own spiritual nature. In keeping with this view, the Society began production of a journal titled Lucifer.

"Satan" was also used within the esoteric system propounded by the Danish occultist Carl William Hansen, who used the pen name "Ben Kadosh". Hansen was involved in a variety of esoteric groups, including Martinism, Freemasonry, and the Ordo Templi Orientis, drawing on ideas from various groups to establish his own philosophy. In one pamphlet, he provided a "Luciferian" interpretation of Freemasonry. Kadosh's work left little influence outside of Denmark.

Both during his life and after it, the British occultist Aleister Crowley has been widely described as a Satanist, usually by detractors. Crowley stated he did not consider himself a Satanist, nor did he worship Satan, as he did not accept the Christian world view in which Satan was believed to exist. He nevertheless used imagery considered satanic, for instance by describing himself as "the Beast 666" and referring to the Whore of Babylon in his work, while in later life he sent "Antichristmas cards" to his friends. Dyrendel, Lewis, and Petersen noted that despite the fact that Crowley was not a Satanist, he "in many ways embodies the pre-Satanist esoteric discourse on Satan and Satanism through his lifestyle and his philosophy", with his "image and thought" becoming an "important influence" on the later development of religious Satanism.

In 1928 the Fraternitas Saturni (FS) was established in Germany; its founder, Eugen Grosche, published Satanische Magie ("Satanic Magic") that same year. The group connected Satan to Saturn, claiming that the planet related to the Sun in the same manner that Lucifer relates to the human world.

In 1932 an esoteric group known as the Brotherhood of the Golden Arrow was established in Paris, France by Maria de Naglowska, a Russian occultist who had fled to France following the Russian Revolution. She promoted a theology centred on what she called the Third Term of the Trinity consisting of Father, Son, and Sex, the latter of which she deemed to be most important. Her early disciples, who underwent what she called "Satanic Initiations", included models and art students recruited from bohemian circles. The Golden Arrow disbanded after Naglowska abandoned it in 1936. According to Introvigne, hers was "a quite complicated Satanism, built on a complex philosophical vision of the world, of which little would survive its initiator".

In 1969 a Satanic group based in Toledo, Ohio, part of the United States, came to public attention. Called the Our Lady of Endor Coven, it was led by a man named Herbert Sloane, who described his Satanic tradition as the Ophite Cultus Sathanas and alleged that it had been established in the 1940s. The group offered a Gnostic interpretation of the world in which the creator God was regarded as evil and the Biblical Serpent presented as a force for good who had delivered salvation to humanity in the Garden of Eden. Sloane's claims that his group had a 1940s origin remain unproven; it may be that he falsely claimed older origins for his group to make it appear older than Anton LaVey's Church of Satan, which had been established in 1966.

None of these groups had any real impact on the emergence of the later Satanic milieu in the 1960s.

Anton LaVey, who has been referred to as "The Father of Satanism",[142] synthesized his religion through the establishment of the Church of Satan in 1966 and the publication of The Satanic Bible in 1969. LaVey's teachings promoted "indulgence", "vital existence", "undefiled wisdom", "kindness to those who deserve it", "responsibility to the responsible" and an "eye for an eye" code of ethics, while shunning "abstinence" based on guilt, "spirituality", "unconditional love", "pacifism", "equality", "herd mentality" and "scapegoating". In LaVey's view, the Satanist is a carnal, physical and pragmatic beingand enjoyment of physical existence and an undiluted view of this-worldly truth are promoted as the core values of Satanism, propagating a naturalistic worldview that sees mankind as animals existing in an amoral universe.

LaVey believed that the ideal Satanist should be individualistic and non-conformist, rejecting what he called the "colorless existence" that mainstream society sought to impose on those living within it. He praised the human ego for encouraging an individual's pride, self-respect, and self-realization and accordingly believed in satisfying the ego's desires. He expressed the view that self-indulgence was a desirable trait, and that hate and aggression were not wrong or undesirable emotions but that they were necessary and advantageous for survival. Accordingly, he praised the seven deadly sins as virtues which were beneficial for the individual. The anthropologist Jean La Fontaine highlighted an article that appeared in The Black Flame, in which one writer described "a true Satanic society" as one in which the population consists of "free-spirited, well-armed, fully-conscious, self-disciplined individuals, who will neither need nor tolerate any external entity 'protecting' them or telling them what they can and cannot do."

The sociologist James R. Lewis noted that "LaVey was directly responsible for the genesis of Satanism as a serious religious (as opposed to a purely literary) movement". Scholars agree that there is no reliably documented case of Satanic continuity prior to the founding of the Church of Satan. It was the first organized church in modern times to be devoted to the figure of Satan, and according to Faxneld and Petersen, the Church represented "the first public, highly visible, and long-lasting organization which propounded a coherent satanic discourse". LaVey's book, The Satanic Bible, has been described as the most important document to influence contemporary Satanism. The book contains the core principles of Satanism, and is considered the foundation of its philosophy and dogma. Petersen noted that it is "in many ways the central text of the Satanic milieu", with Lap similarly testifying to its dominant position within the wider Satanic movement. David G. Bromley calls it "iconoclastic" and "the best-known and most influential statement of Satanic theology." Eugene V. Gallagher says that Satanists use LaVey's writings "as lenses through which they view themselves, their group, and the cosmos." He also states: "With a clear-eyed appreciation of true human nature, a love of ritual and pageantry, and a flair for mockery, LaVey's Satanic Bible promulgated a gospel of self-indulgence that, he argued, anyone who dispassionately considered the facts would embrace."

A number of religious studies scholars have described LaVey's Satanism as a form of "self-religion" or "self-spirituality", with religious studies scholar Amina Olander Lap arguing that it should be seen as being both part of the "prosperity wing" of the self-spirituality New Age movement and a form of the Human Potential Movement. The anthropologist Jean La Fontaine described it as having "both elitist and anarchist elements", also citing one occult bookshop owner who referred to the Church's approach as "anarchistic hedonism". In The Invention of Satanism, Dyrendal and Petersen theorized that LaVey viewed his religion as "an antinomian self-religion for productive misfits, with a cynically carnivalesque take on life, and no supernaturalism". The sociologist of religion James R. Lewis even described LaVeyan Satanism as "a blend of Epicureanism and Ayn Rand's philosophy, flavored with a pinch of ritual magic." The historian of religion Mattias Gardell described LaVey's as "a rational ideology of egoistic hedonism and self-preservation", while Nevill Drury characterised LaVeyan Satanism as "a religion of self-indulgence". It has also been described as an "institutionalism of Machiavellian self-interest".

Prominent Church leader Blanche Barton described Satanism as "an alignment, a lifestyle". LaVey and the Church espoused the view that "Satanists are born, not made"; that they are outsiders by their nature, living as they see fit, who are self-realized in a religion which appeals to the would-be Satanist's nature, leading them to realize they are Satanists through finding a belief system that is in line with their own perspective and lifestyle. Adherents to the philosophy have described Satanism as a non-spiritual religion of the flesh, or "...the world's first carnal religion". LaVey used Christianity as a negative mirror for his new faith, with LaVeyan Satanism rejecting the basic principles and theology of Christian belief. It views Christianity alongside other major religions, and philosophies such as humanism and liberal democracy as a largely negative force on humanity; LaVeyan Satanists perceive Christianity as a lie which promotes idealism, self-denigration, herd behavior, and irrationality. LaVeyans view their religion as a force for redressing this balance by encouraging materialism, egoism, stratification, carnality, atheism, and social Darwinism. LaVey's Satanism was particularly critical of what it understands as Christianity's denial of humanity's animal nature, and it instead calls for the celebration of, and indulgence in, these desires. In doing so, it places an emphasis on the carnal rather than the spiritual.

Practitioners do not believe that Satan literally exists and do not worship him. Instead, Satan is viewed as a positive archetype embracing the Hebrew root of the word "Satan" as "adversary", who represents pride, carnality, and enlightenment, and of a cosmos which Satanists perceive to be motivated by a "dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things". The Devil is embraced as a symbol of defiance against the Abrahamic faiths which LaVey criticized for what he saw as the suppression of humanity's natural instincts. Moreover, Satan also serves as a metaphorical external projection of the individual's godhood. LaVey espoused the view that "god" is a creation of man, rather than man being a creation of "god". In his book, The Satanic Bible, the Satanist's view of god is described as the Satanist's true "self"a projection of his or her own personalitynot an external deity. Satan is used as a representation of personal liberty and individualism.

LaVey explained that the gods worshiped by other religions are also projections of man's true self. He argues that man's unwillingness to accept his own ego has caused him to externalize these gods so as to avoid the feeling of narcissism that would accompany self-worship. The current High Priest of the Church of Satan, Peter H. Gilmore, further expounds that "...Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates [...] Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshiped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will.[179] The Church of Satan has chosen Satan as its primary symbol because in Hebrew it means adversary, opposer, one to accuse or question. We see ourselves as being these Satans; the adversaries, opposers and accusers of all spiritual belief systems that would try to hamper enjoyment of our life as a human being."[180] The term "Theistic Satanism" has been described as "oxymoronic" by the church and its High Priest.[181] The Church of Satan rejects the legitimacy of any other organizations who claim to be Satanists, dubbing them reverse-Christians, pseudo-Satanists or Devil worshipers, atheistic or otherwise,[182] and maintains a purist approach to Satanism as expounded by LaVey.

After LaVey's death in 1997, the Church of Satan was taken over by a new administration and its headquarters were moved to New York. LaVey's daughter, the High Priestess Karla LaVey, felt this to be a disservice to her father's legacy. The First Satanic Church was re-founded on October 31, 1999 by Karla LaVey to carry on the legacy of her father. She continues to run it out of San Francisco, California.

The Satanic Temple is an American religious and political activist organization based in Salem, Massachusetts. The organization actively participates in public affairs that have manifested in several public political actions[183][184] and efforts at lobbying,[185] with a focus on the separation of church and state and using satire against Christian groups that it believes interfere with personal freedom.[185] According to Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen, the group were "rationalist, political pranksters". Their pranks are designed to highlight religious hypocrisy and advance the cause of secularism. In one of their actions, they performed a "Pink Mass" over the grave of the mother of the evangelical Christian and prominent anti-LGBT preacher Fred Phelps; the Temple claimed that the mass converted the spirit of Phelps' mother into a lesbian.

The Satanic Temple does not believe in a supernatural Satan, as they believe that this encourages superstition that would keep them from being "malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world". The Temple uses the literary Satan as metaphor to construct a cultural narrative which promotes pragmatic skepticism, rational reciprocity, personal autonomy, and curiosity.[188] Satan is thus used as a symbol representing "the eternal rebel" against arbitrary authority and social norms.[189][190]

Theistic Satanism (also known as traditional Satanism, Spiritual Satanism or Devil worship) is a form of Satanism with the primary belief that Satan is an actual deity or force to revere or worship.[191] Other characteristics of theistic Satanism may include a belief in magic, which is manipulated through ritual, although that is not a defining criterion, and theistic Satanists may focus solely on devotion.

Luciferianism can be understood best as a belief system or intellectual creed that venerates the essential and inherent characteristics that are affixed and commonly given to Lucifer. Luciferianism is often identified as an auxiliary creed or movement of Satanism, due to the common identification of Lucifer with Satan. Some Luciferians accept this identification and/or consider Lucifer as the "light bearer" and illuminated aspect of Satan, giving them the name of Satanists and the right to bear the title. Others reject it, giving the argument that Lucifer is a more positive and easy-going ideal than Satan. They are inspired by the ancient myths of Egypt, Rome and Greece, Gnosticism and traditional Western occultism.

According to the group's own claims, the Order of Nine Angles was established in Shropshire, Western England during the late 1960s, when a Grand Mistress united a number of ancient pagan groups active in the area.This account states that when the Order's Grand Mistress migrated to Australia, a man known as "Anton Long" took over as the new Grand Master. From 1976 onward he authored an array of texts for the tradition, codifying and extending its teachings, mythos, and structure.Various academics have argued that Long is the pseudonym of British neo-Nazi activist David Myatt, an allegation that Myatt has denied.The ONA arose to public attention in the early 1980s, spreading its message through magazine articles over the following two decades. In 2000, it established a presence on the internet, later adopting social media to promote its message.

The ONA is a secretive organization, and lacks any central administration, instead operating as a network of allied Satanic practitioners, which it terms the "kollective". It consists largely of autonomous cells known as "nexions". The majority of these are located in Britain, Ireland, and Germany, although others are located elsewhere in Europe, and in Russia, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, and the United States.

The ONA describe their occultism as "Traditional Satanism". The ONA's writings encourage human sacrifice, referring to their victims as opfers. According to the Order's teachings, such opfers must demonstrate character faults that mark them out as being worthy of death, and accordingly the ONA insists that children must never be victims. No ONA cell have admitted to carrying out a sacrifice in a ritualised manner, but rather Order members have joined the police and military in order to carry out such killings. Faxneld described the Order as "a dangerous and extreme form of Satanism", while religious studies scholar Graham Harvey claimed that the ONA fit the stereotype of the Satanist "better than other groups" by embracing "deeply shocking" and illegal acts.

The Temple of Set is an initiatory occult society claiming to be the world's leading left-hand path religious organization. It was established in 1975 by Michael A. Aquino and certain members of the priesthood of the Church of Satan,[209] who left because of administrative and philosophical disagreements. ToS deliberately self-differentiates from CoS in several ways, most significantly in theology and sociology.[210] The philosophy of the Temple of Set may be summed up as "enlightened individualism"enhancement and improvement of oneself by personal education, experiment and initiation. This process is necessarily different and distinctive for each individual. The members do not agree on whether Set is "real" or not, and they're not expected to.[210]

The Temple presents the view that the name Satan was originally a corruption of the name Set. The Temple teaches that Set is a real entity, the only real god in existence, with all others created by the human imagination. Set is described as having given humanitythrough the means of non-natural evolutionthe "Black Flame" or the "Gift of Set", a questioning intellect which sets the species apart from other animals. While Setians are expected to revere Set, they do not worship him. Central to Setian philosophy is the human individual, with self-deification presented as the ultimate goal.

In 2005 Petersen noted that academic estimates for the Temple's membership varied from between 300 and 500, and Granholm suggested that in 2007 the Temple contained circa 200 members.

Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen used the term "reactive Satanism" to describe one form of modern religious Satanism. They described this as an adolescent and anti-social means of rebelling in a Christian society, by which an individual transgresses cultural boundaries. They believed that there were two tendencies within reactive Satanism: one, "Satanic tourism", was characterised by the brief period of time in which an individual was involved, while the other, the "Satanic quest", was typified by a longer and deeper involvement.

The researcher Gareth Medway noted that in 1995 he encountered a British woman who stated that she had been a practicing Satanist during her teenage years. She had grown up in a small mining village, and had come to believe that she had psychic powers. After hearing about Satanism in some library books, she declared herself a Satanist and formulated a belief that Satan was the true god. After her teenage years she abandoned Satanism and became a chaos magickian.

Some reactive Satanists are teenagers or mentally disturbed individuals who have engaged in criminal activities. During the 1980s and 1990s, several groups of teenagers were apprehended after sacrificing animals and vandalising both churches and graveyards with Satanic imagery. Introvigne expressed the view that these incidents were "more a product of juvenile deviance and marginalization than Satanism". In a few cases the crimes of these reactive Satanists have included murder. In 1970, two separate groups of teenagersone led by Stanley Baker in Big Sur and the other by Steven Hurd in Los Angeleskilled a total of three people and consumed parts of their corpses in what they later claimed were sacrifices devoted to Satan. In 1984, a U.S. group called the Knights of the Black Circle killed one of its own members, Gary Lauwers, over a disagreement regarding the group's illegal drug dealing; group members later related that Lauwers' death was a sacrifice to Satan.The American serial killer Richard Ramirez for instance claimed that he was a Satanist; during his 1980s killing spree he left an inverted pentagram at the scene of each murder and at his trial called out "Hail Satan!"

Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen observed that from surveys of Satanists conducted in the early 21st century, it was clear that the Satanic milieu was "heavily dominated by young males". They nevertheless noted that census data from New Zealand suggested that there may be a growing proportion of women becoming Satanists. In comprising more men than women, Satanism differs from most other religious communities, including most new religious communities. Most Satanists came to their religion through reading, either online or books, rather than through being introduced to it through personal contacts. Many practitioners do not claim that they converted to Satanism, but rather state that they were born that way, and only later in life confirmed that Satanism served as an appropriate label for their pre-existing worldviews. Others have stated that they had experiences with supernatural phenomena that led them to embracing Satanism. A number reported feelings of anger at the hypocrisy of many practicing Christians and expressed the view that the monotheistic Gods of Christianity and other religions are unethical, citing issues such as the problem of evil. For some practitioners, Satanism gave a sense of hope, including for those who had been physically and sexually abused.

The surveys revealed that atheistic Satanists appeared to be in the majority, although the numbers of theistic Satanists appeared to grow over time. Beliefs in the afterlife varied, although the most popular afterlife views were reincarnation and the idea that consciousness survives bodily death. The surveys also demonstrated that most recorded Satanists practiced magic, although there were differing opinions as to whether magical acts operated according to etheric laws or whether the effect of magic was purely psychological. A number described performing cursing, in most cases as a form of vigilante justice.Most practitioners conduct their religious observances in a solitary manner, and never or rarely meet fellow Satanists for rituals. Rather, the primary interaction that takes place between Satanists is online, on websites or via email.From their survey data, Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen noted that the average length of involvement in the Satanic milieu was seven years. A Satanist's involvement in the movement tends to peak in the early twenties and drops off sharply in their thirties. A small proportion retain their allegiance to the religion into their elder years. When asked about their political views, the largest proportion of Satanists identified as apolitical or non-aligned, while only a small percentage identified as conservative despite the conservative views of prominent Satanists like LaVey and Marilyn Manson. A small minority of Satanists expressed support for the far right; conversely, over two-thirds expressed negative or extremely negative views about Nazism and neo-Nazism.

In 2004 it was claimed that Satanism was allowed in the Royal Navy of the British Armed Forces, despite opposition from Christians.[242][243][244] In 2016, under a Freedom of Information request, the Navy Command Headquarters stated that "we do not recognise satanism as a formal religion, and will not grant facilities or make specific time available for individual 'worship'."[245]

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States debated in the case of Cutter v. Wilkinson over protecting minority religious rights of prison inmates after a lawsuit challenging the issue was filed to them.[246][247] The court ruled that facilities that accept federal funds cannot deny prisoners accommodations that are necessary to engage in activities for the practice of their own religious beliefs.[248][249]

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Satanism - Wikipedia

Theistic Satanism – Wikipedia

Theistic Satanism or spiritual Satanism is an umbrella term for religious beliefs that consider Satan as an objectively existing supernatural being or force worthy of supplication, with whom individuals may contact, convene and even praise, rather than him being just an archetype, symbol or idea as in LaVeyan Satanism.[2][3] The individual belief systems under this umbrella are practiced by loosely affiliated or independent groups and cabals. Another characteristic of Theistic Satanism is the use of ceremonial magic.[4]

The history of theistic Satanism, as an existing spiritual path practiced by people, is obscured by a number of groups accused of being devil-worshippers who asserted that they were not, such as in the witch trials in Early Modern Europe. Most actual theistic Satanist religions exist in relatively new models and ideologies, many of which claim to be independent of the Abrahamic religions.[5]

The internet has increased awareness of different beliefs among Satanists, and has led to more diverse groups, but Satanism has always been a pluralistic and decentralised religion.[6] Scholars outside Satanism have sought to study it by categorizing forms of it according to whether they are theistic or atheistic,[7] and referred to the practice of working with a literal Satan as theistic or "traditional" Satanism.[2] It is generally a prerequisite to being considered a theistic Satanist that the Satanist accept a theological and metaphysical canon involving one or more god(s) who are either Satan in the strictest, Abrahamic sense, or a concept of Satan that incorporates gods from other religions (usually pre-Christian), such as Ahriman or Enki.[8]

Many theistic Satanists believe their own individualized concept based on pieces of all these diverse conceptions of Satan, according to their inclination and spiritual guidance, rather than only believe in one suggested interpretation. Some may choose to live out the myths and stereotypes, but Christianity is not always the primary frame of reference for theistic Satanists.[9] Their religion may be based on dark pagan, left hand path, black magic, and occult traditions. Theistic Satanists who base their faith on Christian ideas about Satan may be referred to as reverse Christians by other Satanists, often in a pejorative fashion.[10] However, those labeled by some as reverse Christians may see their concept of Satan as undiluted or sanitized. They worship a stricter interpretation of Satan: that of the Satan featured in the Christian Bible.[11] This is not, however, shared by a majority of theistic Satanists. Wiccans may consider most Satanism to be reverse Christianity,[12] and the head of the atheistic Church of Satan, Peter H. Gilmore, considers devil worship to be a Christian heresy, that is, a divergent form of Christianity.[13] The diversity of individual beliefs within theistic Satanism, while being a cause for intense debates within the religion, is also often seen as a reflection of Satan, who encourages individualism.[14]

In Luciferianism, Michael W. Ford, author and founder of The Order of Phosphorus, Black Order of the Dragon and later co-founder of the Assembly of Light Bearers, presents both a Theistic and Atheistic approach to Luciferianism, all centered in the foundation of the 11 Luciferian Points of Power,[15] the core of the philosophy. Theistic Luciferianism is considered a individualistic, personal spirituality which is established via initiation and validation of the Adversarial philosophy. Luciferians, if Theistic, do not accept the submission of 'worship' yet rather a unique and subjective type of Apotheosis via the energies of perceived deities, spirits and demons.

A notable group that outwardly considers themselves to be traditional Satanists is the Order of Nine Angles.[16] This group became controversial and was mentioned in the press and in books, because they promoted human sacrifice.[17] The O9A believes that Satan is one of two 'acausal' eternal beings, the other one being Baphomet, and that Satan is male and Baphomet is female.

A group with very different ideology to the ONA is the Satanic Reds, whose Satanism has a communist element.[18] However, they are not theistic Satanist in the manner of believing in Satan as a god with a personality, but believe in dark deism,[19] the belief that Satan is a presence in nature. The First Church of Satan believe the philosophy propounded by Anton LaVey himself was deism or panentheism but is propounded as atheism by the leaders of the Church of Satan in order to distance themselves from what they see as pseudo-Satanists.[20]

One other group is the Temple of the Black Light, formerly known as the Misanthropic Luciferian Order prior to 2007. The group espouses a philosophy known as Chaosophy. Chaosophy asserts that the world that we live in, and the universe that it lives in, all exists within the realm known as Cosmos. Cosmos is made of three spatial dimensions and one linear time dimension. Cosmos rarely ever changes and is a materialistic realm. Another realm that exists is known as Chaos. Chaos exists outside of the Cosmos and is made of infinite dimensions and unlike the Cosmos, it is always changing. Members of the TotBL believe that the realm of Chaos is ruled over by 11 dark gods, the highest of them being Satan, and all of said gods are considered manifestations of a higher being. This higher being is known as Azerate, the Dragon Mother, and is all of the 11 gods united as one. The TotBL believes that Azerate will resurrect one day and destroy the Cosmos and let Chaos consume everything. The group has been connected to the Swedish black/death metal band Dissection, particularly its front man Jon Ndtveidt.[4] Ndtveidt was introduced to the group at an early stage.[21] The lyrics on the band's third album, Reinkaos, are all about beliefs of the Temple of the Black Light.[22] Ndtveidt committed suicide in 2006.[23][24]

Theistic Luciferian groups are particularly inspired by Lucifer (from the Latin for bearer of light), who they may or may not equate with Satan. While some theologians believe the Son of the Dawn, Lucifer, and other names were actually used to refer to contemporary political figures, such as a Babylonian King, rather than a single spiritual entity[25][26] (although on the surface the Bible explicitly refers to the King of Tyrus), those that believe it refers to Satan infer that by implication it also applies to the fall of Satan.[27]

Some writers equate the veneration of Set by the Temple of Set to theistic Satanism.[2] However, the Temple of Set do not identify as theistic Satanists. They believe the Egyptian deity Set is the real Dark Lord behind the name Satan, of whom Satan is just a caricature. Their practices primarily center on self-development. Within the temple of Set, the Black Flame is the individual's god-like core which is a kindred spirit to Set, and they seek to develop. In theistic Satanism, the Black Flame is knowledge which was given to humanity by Satan, who is a being independent of the Satanist himself[28] and which he can dispense to the Satanist who seeks knowledge.[29]

Some groups are mistaken by scholars for Theistic Satanists, such as the First Church of Satan.[29] However, the founder of the FCoS considers what he calls "devil-worship" to often be a symptom of psychosis.[30] Other groups such as the 600 Club,[6] are accepting of all types of Satanist, as are the Sinagogue of Satan, which aims for the ultimate destruction of religions, paradoxically including itself, and encourages not self-indulgence, but self-expression balanced by social responsibility.[31][32][33]

The diversity of beliefs amongst Satanists, and the theistic nature of some Satanists, was seen in a survey in 1995. Some spoke of seeing Satan not as someone dangerous to those who seek or worship him, but as someone that could be approached as a friend. Some refer to him as Father, though some other theistic Satanists consider that to be confused or excessively subservient.[34] Satan is also portrayed as a father to his daughter, Sin, by Milton in Paradise Lost.

Seeking knowledge is seen by some theistic Satanists as being important to Satan, due to Satan being equated with the serpent in Genesis, which encouraged mankind to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.[35] Some perceive Satan as Eliphas Levi's conception of Baphomet a hermaphroditic bestower of knowledge (gnosis). Some Satanic groups, such as Luciferians, also seek to gain greater gnosis.[4] Some of such Satanists, such as the former Ophite Cultus Satanas, equate Yahweh with the demiurge of Gnosticism, and Satan with the transcendent being beyond.[4]

Self-development is important to theistic Satanists. This is due to the Satanists' idea of Satan, who is seen to encourage individuality and freedom of thought, and the quest to raise one's self up despite resistance, through means such as magic and initiative. They believe Satan wants a more equal relationship with his followers than the Abrahamic God does with his. From a theistic Satanist perspective, the Abrahamic religions (chiefly Christianity) do not define good or evil in terms of benefit or harm to humanity, but rather on the submission to or rebellion against God.[36] Some Satanists seek to remove any means by which they are controlled or repressed by others and forced to follow the herd, and reject non-governmental authoritarianism.[37]

As Satan in the Old Testament tests people, theistic Satanists may believe that Satan sends them tests in life in order to develop them as individuals. They value taking responsibility for oneself. Despite the emphasis on self-development, some theistic Satanists believe that there is a will of Satan for the world and for their own lives. They may promise to help bring about the will of Satan,[38] and seek to gain insight about it through prayer, study, or magic. In the Bible, a being called 'the prince of this world' is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4:4, which Christians typically equate with Satan.[39] Some Satanists therefore think that Satan can help them meet their worldly needs and desires if they pray or work magic. They would also have to do what they could in everyday life to achieve their goals, however.

Theistic Satanists may try not to project an image that reflects negatively on their religion as a whole and reinforces stereotypes, such as promoting Nazism, abuse, or crime.[37] However, some groups, such as the Order of Nine Angles, criticize the emphasis on promoting a good image for Satanism; the ONA described LaVeyan Satanism as "weak, deluded and American form of 'sham-Satanic groups, the poseurs'",[40] and ONA member Stephen Brown claimed that "the Temple of Set seems intent only on creating a 'good public impression', with promoting an 'image'".[41] The order emphasises that its way "is and is meant to be dangerous"[42] and "[g]enuine Satanists are dangerous people to know; associating with them is a risk".[43] Similarly, the Temple of the Black Light has criticized the Church of Satan, and has stated that the Temple of Set is "trying to make Setianism and the ruler of darkness, Set, into something accepted and harmless, this way attempting to become a 'big' religion, accepted and acknowledged by the rest of the Judaeo-Christian society".[4] The TotBL rejects Christianity, Judaism and Islam as "the opposite of everything that strengthens the spirit and is only good for killing what little that is beautiful, noble and honorable in this filthy world".[4]

There is argument among Satanists over animal sacrifice, with most groups seeing it as both unnecessary and putting Satanism in a bad light, and distancing themselves from the few groups that practice it[which?], such as the Temple of the Black Light.[44]

Theistic Satanism often involves a religious commitment, rather than being simply an occult practice based on dabbling or transient enjoyment of the rituals and magic involved.[45][46] Practitioners may choose to perform a self-dedication rite, although there are arguments over whether it is best to do this at the beginning of their time as a theistic Satanist, or once they have been practicing for some time.[47]

The worship of Satan was a frequent charge against those charged in the witch trials in Early Modern Europe and other witch-hunts such as the Salem witch trials. Worship of Satan was claimed to take place at the Witches' Sabbath.[48] The charge of Satan worship has also been made against groups or individuals regarded with suspicion, such as the Knights Templar, or minority religions.[49] In the case of the Knights Templar, the Templars' writings mentioned the word 'Baphomet', which was a French corruption of the name 'Mohammed' (the prophet of the people who the Templars fought against), and that 'Baphomet' was falsely portrayed as a demon by the people who accused the Templars.

It is not known to what extent accusations of groups worshiping Satan in the time of the witch trials identified people who did consider themselves Satanists, rather than being the result of religious superstition or mass hysteria, or charges made against individuals suffering from mental illness. Confessions are unreliable, particularly as they were usually obtained under torture.[50] However, scholar Jeffrey Burton Russell, Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Santa Barbara, has made extensive arguments in his book Witchcraft in the Middle Ages[51] that not all witch trial records can be dismissed and that there is in fact evidence linking witchcraft to gnostic heresies. Russell comes to this conclusion after having studied the source documents themselves. Individuals involved in the Affair of the Poisons were accused of Satanism and witchcraft.

Historically, Satanist was a pejorative term for those with opinions that differed from predominant religious or moral beliefs.[52] Paul Tuitean believes the idea of acts of reverse Christianity was created by the Inquisition,[53] but George Bataille believes that inversions of Christian rituals such as the Mass may have existed prior to the descriptions of them which were obtained through the witchcraft trials.[54]

In the 18th century various kinds of popular Satanic literature began to be produced in France, including some well-known grimoires with instructions for making a pact with the Devil. Most notable are the Grimorium Verum and The Grand Grimoire. The Marquis de Sade describes defiling crucifixes and other holy objects, and in his novel Justine he gives a fictional account of the Black Mass,[55] although Ronald Hayman has said Sade's need for blasphemy was an emotional reaction and rebellion from which Sademoved on, seeking to develop a more reasoned atheistic philosophy.[56]In the 19th century, Eliphas Levi published his French books of the occult, and in 1855 produced his well-known drawing of the Baphomet which continues to be used by some Satanists today. That Baphomet drawing is the basis of the sigil of Baphomet, which was first adopted by the non-theistic Satanist group called the Church of Satan.[57]

Finally, in 1891, Joris-Karl Huysmans published his Satanic novel, L-bas, which included a detailed description of a Black Mass which he may have known firsthand was being performed in Paris at the time,[58] or the account may have been based on the masses carried out by tienne Guibourg, rather than by Huysmans attending himself.[59] Quotations from Huysmans' Black Mass are also used in some Satanic rituals to this day, since it is one of the few sources that purports to describe the words used in a Black Mass. The type of Satanism described in L-bas suggests that prayers are said to the Devil, hosts are stolen from the Catholic Church, and sexual acts are combined with Roman Catholic altar objects and rituals, to produce a variety of Satanism which exalts the Devil and degrades the God of Christianity by inverting Roman Catholic rites. George Bataille claims that Huysman's description of the Black Mass is indisputably authentic.[54] Not all theistic Satanists today routinely perform the Black Mass, possibly because the Mass is not a part of modern evangelical Christianity in Protestant countries[60] and so not such an unintentional influence on Satanist practices in those countries.

The earliest verifiable theistic Satanist group was a small group called the Ophite Cultus Satanas, which was created in Ohio in 1948. The Ophite Cultus Satanas was inspired by the ancient Ophite sect of Gnosticism, and the Horned God of Wicca. The group was dependent upon its founder and leader, and therefore dissolved after his death in 1975.

Michael Aquino published a rare 1970 text of a Church of Satan Black Mass, the Missa Solemnis, in his book The Church of Satan,[61] and Anton LaVey included a different Church of Satan Black Mass, the Messe Noire, in his 1972 book The Satanic Rituals. LaVey's books on Satanism, which began in the 1960s, were for a long time the few available which advertised themselves as being Satanic, although others detailed the history of witchcraft and Satanism, such as The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish published in 1967 and the classic French work Satanism and Witchcraft, by Jules Michelet. Anton LaVey specifically denounced "devil worshippers" and the idea of praying to Satan.

Although non-theistic LaVey Satanism had been popular since the publication of The Satanic Bible in 1969, theistic Satanism did not start to gain any popularity until the emergence of the Order of Nine Angles in western England, and its publication of The Black Book of Satan in 1984.[62] The next theistic Satanist group to be created was the Misanthropic Luciferian Order, which was created in Sweden in 1995. The MLO incorporated elements from the Order of Nine Angles, the Illuminates of Thanateros and Qliphothic Kabbalah.

As a moral panic in the 1980s and the 1990s, there were multiple allegations of sexual abuse and/or sacrifice of children or non-consenting adults in the context of Satanic rituals in what has come to be known as the Satanic Panic.[63] Allegations included the existence of large networks of organized Satanists involved in illegal activities such as murder, child pornography and prostitution. In the United States, the Kern County child abuse cases, McMartin preschool trial and the West Memphis cases were widely reported. One case took place in Jordan, Minnesota, in which children made allegations of the manufacture of child pornography, ritualistic animal sacrifice, coprophagia, urophagia and infanticide, at which point the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was alerted. Twenty-four adults were arrested and charged with acts of sexual abuse, child pornography and other crimes claimed to be related to Satanic ritual abuse; three went to trial, two were acquitted and one convicted. Supreme Court Justice Scalia noted in a discussion of the case that "[t]here is no doubt that some sexual abuse took place in Jordan; but there is no reason to believe it was as widespread as charged", and cited the repeated, coercive techniques used by the investigators as damaging to the investigation.[64]

These iconic cases were launched after children were repeatedly and coercively interrogated by social workers, resulting in false allegations of child sexual abuse. No evidence was ever found to support any of the allegations of Satanism or ritual abuse, but the panic resulted in numerous wrongful prosecutions.[citation needed]

John Allee, the creator of the LaVeyan website called First Church of Satan,[65] equates some of the "violent fringe" of Satanism with "Devil worshipers" and "reverse Christians". He believes they possibly suffer from a form of psychosis.[66] Between 1992 and 1996, some militant neo-pagans who were participants in the Norwegian black metal scene, such as Varg Vikernes,[67] committed over fifty arsons of Christian churches in and around Oslo as a retaliatory action against Christianity in Norway, but such church-burnings were widely attributed to Satanists.[68]

Some studies of crimes have also looked at the theological perspective of those who commit religious or ritualized crime.[69] Criminals who explain their crimes by claiming to be Satanists have been said by sociologists to be "pseudo-Satanists",[45] and attempts to link Satanism to crime have been seen by theistic Satanists as scaremongering.[70]

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Theistic Satanism - Wikipedia

The Occult and Satanism in America – The American TFP

Few Americans took notice that in the last U.S. census of 2010, witchcraft had become the fourth largest religion in the United States. As shocking as that may be, Satanism has become just as popular. So says Zachary King, one of the most renowned former Satanists who converted to the Catholic Church, in an interview he gave to Crusade Magazine.

Does the Devil Exist?

When we speak of the occult and Satanism, many readers may have the impression that we are talking about the fabled bogeyman. The bogeyman is in everyones nightmares, but it doesnt really exist. According to a Gallup poll in 2003, only 70% of Catholics believe in the existence of the devil, which is only 2% higher than the average American.

Most Catholics do believe that the devil exists, but is largely absent from their lives. Or perhaps, for our peace of mind, we would like to think he is only distantly involved. Some would rather not talk about it. After all, one of the maxims of the American way of life is Live and let live. Let the devil be and hopefully, with a wing but no prayer, he will leave us be.

In a four-hour interview with former Satanist Zachary King, a lot was revealed about the activities and growing popularity of Satanism in America. The interview also showed that children are at a high risk of getting involved in the occult and how much the world is becoming more accepting of the devil. Far from sleeping, the devil has been awake and quite active.

Zachary King, a former Satanist high wizard, converted to Catholicism in 2008.

A Former Satanist Converts

Zachary King converted to the Catholic Church in 2008. His conversion story, which involves the miraculous medal, is a fantastic story in itself, but it is not the focus of this article. He was a former Satanist who reached the degree of high wizard in the World Church of Satan. A high wizard is hand selected by the top leaders. If a satanic high priest is more or less equivalent to a Catholic priest, a high wizard is more or less equivalent to a mystic saint. In this position, he traveled extensively to perform satanic rituals for politicians, CEOs, TV producers and artists. His more than twenty-six years of deep involvement in Satanism has given him insight into this secretive world.

A Blurry Line

The occult and Satanism are nothing new. Many times the distinction between the two is blurred even by authorities who have studied both, since, by their very nature, both deal with the devil, though occultists may not always perceive it as such. This is evident in the book written by Mr. Luis Solimeo and Mr. Gustavo Solimeo, Angels and Demons. Mr. King himself first dabbled in the occult before being recruited into Satanism.

Defining the Occult

The occult is as old as the first temptation in the Garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve to become like God by merely eating a fruit. Mr. James R. Lewis, the second most prolific writer on the occult, has a long list of occult movements which includes Wicca, Druids, Voodoo, Brujeria/Santeria, the garden variety of New Age religions, astrologers, psychic readers, spirit mediums, among other less known sects. The terms witchcraft and the occult are synonymous. Occultism can be defined as the movement of people who believe in harnessing the power of spirits or nature through the use of herbs, crystals, amulets, incantations, symbols and spells for either good or bad effect.

The practice of the occult has always been popular and public throughout history. We see the practice in different forms like the priests of the Pharaoh whom Moses fought, Simon the Magus whom Saint Peter confronted, or the druids Saint Patrick challenged. Occultism was universally prevalent in pre-Christian times.

Ever since Saint Michael the Archangel expelled the fallen angels from heaven, they seek to destroy Gods creation by turning man away from God to the point of worshiping Satan himself, the ultimate enemy of God.

Defining Satanism

Satanism can be considered as ancient as the revolt of Lucifer and his angels against God. The former light bearer, as the name Lucifer signifies, deceived a third of the heavenly host and led a revolt against God. There are many variations of Satanism according to Alfred E. Waite, the most published authority on the occult and Satanism. In his book, Devil Worship in France, he defines Satanism as the movement of people who imitate the fallen angels and declare allegiance to Lucifer as a form of defiance to God.

Whereas the occult is an indirect, albeit sometimes unsuspecting, worship of the devil, Satanism is its unabashed counterpart. As Mr. King noted, the occult dabbles with the power of the devil many times not knowing it. Satanists, on the other hand, he continues, embrace it fully and openly.

The presence of Satanism has not been as obvious as that of the occult throughout history. All the gods of the gentiles are devils (Ps. 96:5), say the Scriptures. However, Satanism, per se, is the open worship of the devil, and, as such, if it did exist as a movement, was completely secretive in the past.

The Shift in the Soul of Western and Christian Man

The practice of the occult began to diminish markedly as Christianity spread, especially in the lands where it took root. Superstitions were replaced by the true Faith. Pagan rituals were replaced by prayers and the sacraments. The paranormal activities worked by invoking spirits were replaced by miracles wrought by novenas, prayers and devotion to Mary, the angels and the saints. Miracles abounded during the Middle Ages, a period when saints, imbibed by a true Christian spirit, walked the land.

Something changed in the lands where Christianity once flourished. Today, the influence of the Christian faith is much diminished in society. The appeal of witchcraft and, consequently, devil worship returned.

Bishop Fulton Sheen made the saying popular that the greatest trick the devil played on mankind was to make us believe he doesnt exist. The trick seems to have changed. The devil is now playing a new and improved trick on mankind.

The Resurgence of the Occult and Satanism

According to the above-mentioned 2010 census, there are more people involved in the occult in America than there are Muslims or Jehovahs Witness. Compare this to polls in 1980 when the people who affiliated themselves with the occult were so statistically small, no specific data was assigned to them. They were grouped with Muslims, Buddhists, Unitarians, and others, which altogether was only 2% of Americans.

The tally of the number of Satanists is harder to come by. According to Zachary King, his conservative estimate is about 4 million in the United States and about 10 million worldwide.

One reason why its impossible to have hard figures on the number of Satanists in America is because of the secrecy. The Church of Satan, founded by Anton La Vey, was the first of its kind to officially establish itself as a non-profit religious organization with the U.S. government on September 20, 1971 in California.

The Church of Satan ironically professes to be atheistic. In their belief system, the only god is oneself. The only sacraments are to pleasure oneself in any way imaginable. The only commandment is to do whatever makes you happy. Curiously, however, in their private rituals, they constantly invoke Satans name.

A symptom of the dechristianization of society can be seen in the multiple controversies and lawsuits against the erection of monuments to the Ten Commandments which occur in cities all across America.

The Black Mass

Perhaps another mark of their increased popularity is the controversy they have generated in the news lately. The Satanists especially have been demanding public acceptance by trying to distribute books about the devil to school kids, putting up a public monument of Satan in Oklahoma City or setting up a holiday satanic display next to a nativity scene in the Florida state capitol.

The greatest controversy in 2014 was regarding the satanic black mass. On May 12, 2014, Harvard University scheduled a reenactment of a black mass. It was canceled by the school due to overwhelming protests. It would have been the first black mass offered to the public in the world.

In September of 2014, a satanic black mass was performed in Oklahoma Citys Civic Center where the admission was opened to the general public. In that sense, it was the first public satanic black mass celebrated in history. It was a public act in a public venue offered to the general public. It was the first time in history that Satan could be worshipped in broad daylight before the whole world. Previously, all satanic activities were done as privately as possible, in basements or in rooms with covered windows, and in the middle of the night.

Shockingly, Zachary King notes that a black mass is much more common than people think. Many high priests will perform it every night starting at midnight, the witching hour, and conclude at 3:00 a.m., the inverse time of Our Lord Jesus Christs death on the cross.

What is a satanic black mass? Mr. Alfred E. Waite, author of Devil Worship in France (1886), described it as a ritual based on the Catholic Mass. It is not based on Jewish or Muslim services, nor Buddhist or Hindu rituals, not even Protestant services.

The following is a list of rituals done in a satanic black mass compiled from the writings of Mr. Waite and confirmed by Mr. King.

Just as the Holy Mass is celebrated on top of an altar containing a relic of a martyr, Satanists perform theirs on top of an undressed woman of ill repute. Just as we humble ourselves repeatedly invoking Gods mercy, they offer their acts of constant revolt in imitation of the devil. Just as Jesus is offered as a sacrifice, they offer human or animal sacrifices. Just as we lift our hearts and minds to God asking His presence, Satanists repeatedly implore and demand the presence of demons. Just as we fill our naves with sacred music and chants, they fill theirs with weird music, a gong sounding every time the name of Satan is invoked. Just as we direct our prayers to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and saints, they direct theirs to Satan, the demons in hell and the damned souls in hell, especially those who committed particularly heinous sins on earth, like Cain and Judas. In addition, Mr. King added that he even witnessed some Satanists pray the rosary completely in reverse, starting from the last word, Amen, and ending with Hail.

Litmus Test: the Sacrilege with Consecrated Hosts

Here is the worst part and what seems to be the main point of their ritual. Just as we receive Holy Communion, believing the consecrated host to be the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and are encouraged to offer acts of faith, adoration, love, thanksgiving, reparation and petition, the Satanists, too, receive communion. Real Satanists insist on using a real consecrated host. They then spit Our Lord on the ground, trample all over Him, all the while screaming blasphemies and profanities at Him.

In his book, Alfred E. Waite writes that in order to form a partnership with the lost angels one must please Satan. Since Christ is the enemy of Satan, the sorcerer must outrage Christ, especially in His sacraments. Because of this they insist on using a consecrated host and they obtain this by stealing It.

A priest in France wrote last year about a former Satanist who claimed he could tell a consecrated host from an unconsecrated one. This convert claimed that if you put a consecrated host on a table along with ten unconsecrated ones, he could pick out the consecrated one without hesitation. When the priest asked how that was possible since there is no physical difference, the former Satanist said he could do this because of the intense hatred he felt towards that one species.

Although not all pro-abortionists are Satanists, the connection between abortion and Satanism is not surprising. During satanic rituals, aborted babies are offered as human sacrifices to the devil.

Satanism and Abortion

Another shocking aspect of a black mass is the use of abortion. A common image used to portray abortion is that of the false god Moloch whose statues mouth is shaped like a burning furnace where babies are thrown in as a sacrifice.

Done completely under the protection of the law, satanic high priests today will assist in an abortion and offer the killing of the baby to the devil. Lawyers are consulted to make sure everything is done according to the law. In addition, many high priests dedicate all the abortions in the world to the devil every night during the witching hour.

Explaining the Shift in the Soul of Western and Christian Man

How did this shift happen? How can society today accept or be indifferent to such heinous acts?

In his masterful book, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio Corra de Oliveira analyzes the modern-day crisis and explains the changes in the soul of Western and Christian man.

Prof. Corra de Oliveira explains how society was transformed in five stages. The historical reference point of his analysis is the High Medieval Ages when the Gospel of Christ pervaded all of culture and society. During this time, the practice of the occult existed, but it was extremely unpopular and it was never public.

Plinio Corra de Oliveira, author of Revolution and Counter-Revolution, prognosticated that the Fifth Revolution would be the Satanic Revolution. This revolutionary process attempts to reverse the fruit of Our Lords death on the Cross, namely Christian civilization.

The first changes started with humanism and Protestantism in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. We see during that time the resurgence of the Greek and Roman deities. As Prof. Corra de Oliveira says, The thirst for earthly pleasures became a burning desire. Diversions became more and more frequent and sumptuous, increasingly engrossing men Hearts began to shy away from the love of sacrifice, from true devotion to the Cross, and from the aspiration to sanctity and eternal life. He called this the First Revolution.

The Second Revolution is the French Revolution. In this period we see the proclamation of the goddess of reason. Mr. Waite noted the growth of popularity of the occult and devil worship during this period.

The Third Revolution is the Communist Revolution. Though communism never promoted witchcraft and devil worship, it tried to abolish religion and establish materialism. In all the nations where the errors of communism spread, as predicted by Our Lady at Fatima, the role of God diminished and the role of atheistic materialism increased.

The Fourth Revolution, as defined by Prof. Corra de Oliveira, is the Cultural Revolution. During this phase we begin to see the rise of New Age religions and the occult.All the previous four stages progressed towards one finality: the end of Western and Christian civilization.

What shifted in the soul of Western and Christian man is the influence of Jesus Christ and His cross in the hearts of modern men. The whole revolutionary process attempts to reverse the fruit of Our Lords death on the cross which inspired and is the foundation for Christian civilization. We now live in a civilization where more and more Christian values are being eroded and persecuted, and anti-Christian values are being promoted.

Before the author of Revolution and Counter-Revolution died in 1995, he prognosticated that the Fifth Revolution would be the Satanic Revolution.

Hope in Face of the Advancing Satanic Revolution

Within the context of the struggle with the devil, sometimes we are tempted to think that God is an equal opportunity employer. God set an enmity between the woman and the serpent in the book of Genesis. There is a competition between the two factions. Sometimes we have the impression that God abides by the rule of fair play. There are rules in this competition and both sides are given equal opportunity to make their play. Or, so, some may think.

TFP Members in TFP Ceremonial Habits carry a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during the 2009 Public Square Rosary Rally in New York City.

This is not the case. There is no parity between the devil and Our Lady. She was given a super abundance of graces, supernatural gifts and spiritual qualities. She is superior in every spiritual sense to the devil. She has proven this to us again and again.

This is one of the reasons why The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property always makes the effort to spread devotion to her Immaculate Heart through our America Needs Fatima campaign. It is also one of the main reasons why we promote the Public Square Rosary Rallies every year. Even as the occult and Satanism grow in popularity and Christianity is increasingly being persecuted, we are confident in the fulfillment of her prophecy at Fatima that her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Where is the hope in face of the resurgence of the occult and the coming Fifth Revolution, the Satanic Revolution? Even though the media and Hollywood do not give it much notice, the signs of Our Ladys actions are out there.

A big sign is the 12,269 Public Square Rosary Rallies held in 2014. Crowds from 10 to 500 gathered in public squares all across the country praying the rosary for the conversion of America. This movement has grown from 2,000 rallies to over 12,000 within less than ten years. This is a big sign that Our Lady is active.

Another sign is the increasingly warm reception given to America Needs Fatima Custodians who take replicas of the most famous statue of Our Lady of Fatima to homes around the country. About 2,000 talks were scheduled in 2014. America Needs Fatima members host the statue in their homes, inviting family, friends, neighbors, parishioners and, sometimes, complete strangers for a presentation about the prophecies of Our Lady of Fatima and how to pray a rosary. Here, too, we see the Blessed Virgin Mary very active.

Other signs of hope are the conversions. Zachary King converted in 2008 by an extraordinary grace from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. He and his wife now spend their time giving talks about the dangers of the occult and Satanism. His main devotions now are to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady.

Another prominent convert is Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926) who became a model of piety. At his conversion from Satanism, he dedicated the rest of his life to expiating for his sins. At one point, he was tormented by doubts that the devil still owned his soul and that nothing he could do would save him from that.

Our Lady of the Apocalypse chains the old serpent who is the devil and Satan. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. Gen. 3:15

At the height of this temptation, he heard in his ear a promise that said, One who propagates my rosary shall be saved. From then on, his mission became clear: to spread devotion to the Holy Rosary. He restored a painting of The Virgin of the Rosary which became the focus of this devotion in the region of Pompei. The church that houses this painting was raised to a minor basilica.

My Hope With This Article

I pray that this article acts as a warning siren to America. It is not meant to be sensational. It is meant to warn America that the storm is here. The Satanic Revolution, the fifth and final stage of the process of the Revolution, is here and attracting a following. We need to be aware of its dangers. We need to be spiritually prepared for it as best we can.

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I pray that America does not forget the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this onslaught. As Mary said at Fatima, to convert the world, God wants to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart.

Continued here:

The Occult and Satanism in America - The American TFP

We are using witchcraft, Satanism and magic confesses …

some Prophets are stopped from having sex with their wives, they have sex with a snake

Coming in the wake of self-acclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiris stunts that he has called miracles, Malawian Prophet Trevor Kautsire made a rare confession on modern day Prophecy.

Prophet Kautsire (right) with host Brian Banda

In an interview on one Malawian television talkshow that was followed by Malawi24, Prophet Kautsire made the chilling claims that modern day Prophets are not using the power of the Holy Spirit to perform their so-called miracles.

I was in South Africa and I met the who-is-who of the gospel, what they told me is heart-breaking, said Kautsire.

He disclosed that when he was in South Africa he was told of rituals that he had to perform if he were to become a renowned Prophet. Kautsire disclosed that the ritual involved sacrifices that included the killing of family members or church members.

I am speaking this from experience, some Prophets have had to sacrifice their church members to gain fame. You have heard of people dying in places of worship, it is because they are using the people as sacrifices, said Kautsire, a comment which commentators said was referring to the Nigerian teleprophet TB Joshua at whose church over a hundred people died.

Kautsire further said that it was easy to decipher fake Prophets because they do miracles for no important reason.

A miracle is supposed to meet a need, however when a Prophet does a miracle that does not meet any need there is no reason to believe that Prophet, he said. Commentators have thought that he was apparently referring to Bushiri who has been in the news for the walk-in-the air stunt which does nothing to glorify the name of the Lord.

He said that Prophets are using magic, witchcraft and Satanism to perform miracles.

There are some who are told to keep a worm and keep feeding it, the worm grows into a snake and when it comes to that stage where it is a snake, it brings them money. The catch is that one should never sleep with their wife but the snake, said Kautsire disclosing the secrets in the dark world of Prophecy.

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Modern Paganism – Wikipedia

Modern Paganism, also known as Contemporary Paganism and Neopaganism, is a collective term for new religious movements influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Although they do share similarities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse, and no single set of beliefs, practices or texts are shared by them all. Most academics studying the phenomenon have treated it as a movement of different religions, whereas a minority instead characterise it as a single religion into which different Pagan faiths fit as denominations. Not all members of faiths or beliefs regarded as Neopagan self-identify as "Pagan".

Adherents rely on pre-Christian, folkloric and ethnographic sources to a variety of degrees; many follow a spirituality which they accept as being entirely modern, while others attempt to reconstruct or revive indigenous, ethnic religions as found in historical and folkloric sources as accurately as possible.[4] Academic research has placed the Pagan movement along a spectrum, with Eclecticism on one end and Polytheistic Reconstructionism on the other. Polytheism, animism and pantheism are common features in Pagan theology. Rituals take place in both public and in private domestic settings.

The Pagan relationship with Christianity is often strained. Contemporary Paganism has sometimes been associated with the New Age movement, with scholars highlighting both similarities and differences. From the 1990s onwards, scholars studying the modern Pagan movement have established the academic field of Pagan studies.

There is "considerable disagreement as to the precise definition and proper usage" of the term "modern Paganism".Even within the academic field of Pagan studies, there is no consensus regarding how contemporary Paganism can best be defined. Most scholars describe modern Paganism as a broad array of different religions rather than a singular religion in itself. The category of modern Paganism could be compared to the categories of Abrahamic religion and Dharmic religion in its structure. A second, less common definition found within Pagan studies where it has been promoted by the religious studies scholars Michael F. Strmiska and Graham Harvey characterises modern Paganism as a singular religion, into which groups like Wicca, Druidry, and Heathenry fit as denominations. This perspective has been critiqued, given the lack of core commonalities in issues such as theology, cosmology, ethics, afterlife, holy days, or ritual practices within the Pagan movement.

Contemporary Paganism has been defined as "a collection of modern religious, spiritual, and magical traditions that are self-consciously inspired by the pre-Judaic, pre-Christian, and pre-Islamic belief systems of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East." Thus, the view has been expressed that although "a highly diverse phenomenon", there is nevertheless "an identifiable common element" running through the Pagan movement. Strmiska similarly described Paganism as a movement "dedicated to reviving the polytheistic, nature-worshipping pagan religions of pre-Christian Europe and adapting them for the use of people in modern societies." The religious studies scholar Wouter Hanegraaff charactised Paganism as encompassing "all those modern movements which are, first, based on the conviction that what Christianity has traditionally denounced as idolatry and superstition actually represents/represented a profound and meaningful religious worldview and, secondly, that a religious practice based on this worldview can and should be revitalized in our modern world."

Discussing the relationship between the different Pagan religions, religious studies scholars Kaarina Aitamurto and Scott Simpson stated that they were "like siblings who have taken different paths in life but still retain many visible similarities".However, while viewing different forms of Paganism as distinct religions in their own right, there has been much "cross-fertilization" between these different faiths. Accordingly, many groups have exerted an influence on, and in turn have been influenced by, other Pagan religions, thus making clear-cut distinctions between them more difficult for religious studies scholars to make.The various Pagan religions have been academically classified as new religious movements, with the anthropologist Kathryn Rountree describing Paganism as a whole as a "new religious phenomenon".A number of academics, particularly in North America, have considered modern Paganism to be a form of nature religion.

Some practitioners eschew the term "Pagan" altogether, choosing not to define themselves as such, but rather under the more specific name of their religion, like Heathen or Wiccan. This is because the term "Pagan" has its origins in Christian terminology, which the Pagans wish to avoid. Some favor the term "ethnic religion" over "Paganism" for instance the World Pagan Congress, founded in 1998, soon renamed itself the European Congress of Ethnic Religions enjoying that term's association with the Greek ethnos and the academic field of ethnology. Within linguistically Slavic areas of Europe, the term "Native Faith" is often favored as a synonym for Paganism, being rendered as Ridnovirstvo in Ukrainian, Rodnoverie in Russian, and Rodzimowierstwo in Polish. Alternately, many practitioners within these regions view "Native Faith" as a category that exists within modern Paganism but which does not encompass all Pagan religions. Other terms sometimes favored by Pagans are "traditional religion", "indigenous religion", "nativist religion", and "reconstructionism".

Various Pagans including those like Michael York and Prudence Jones who are active in Pagan studies have argued that, due to similarities in their respective spiritual world-views, the modern Pagan movement can be treated as part of the same global phenomenon as both pre-Christian religion, living indigenous religions, and world religions like Hinduism, Shinto, and Afro-American religions. Further, they have suggested that all of these could be defined under the banner of "paganism" or "Paganism". This approach has been received critically by many specialists in religious studies. Critics have pointing out that such claims would cause problems for analytic scholarship by categorising together belief systems with very significant differences, further noting that the term would instead serve modern Pagan interests by giving the movement the appearance of being far larger on the world stage.Doyle White stated that those modern religions which drew upon the pre-Christian belief systems of other parts of the world, such as Sub-Saharan Africa or the Americas, could not be seen as part of the contemporary Pagan movement, which was "fundamentally Eurocentric" in its focus. Similarly, Strmiska stressed that modern Paganism should not be conflated with the belief systems of the world's indigenous peoples because the latter lived within the context of colonialism and its legacy, and that while some Pagan worldviews bore similarities to those of indigenous communities, they each stemmed from "different cultural, linguistic, and historical backgrounds."

Many scholars have favored the use of "Neopaganism" to describe this phenomenon, with the prefix "neo-" serving to clearly distinguish the modern religions from their ancient, pre-Christian counterparts. Some Pagan practitioners also prefer "Neopaganism", believing that the prefix conveys the reformed nature of the religion, including for instance its rejection of superstition and animal sacrifice. Conversely, most Pagans do not use the word "Neopagan", with some expressing disapproval of it, arguing that the term "neo" offensively disconnects them from what they perceive as their pre-Christian forebears. Accordingly, to avoid causing offense many scholars in the English-speaking world have begun using the prefixes "modern" or "contemporary" rather than "neo". Several academics operating in Pagan studies, such as Ronald Hutton and Sabina Magliocco, have emphasized the use of the upper-case "Paganism" to distinguish the modern movement from the lower-case "paganism", a term which is commonly used for pre-Christian belief systems. In 2015, Rountree stated that this lower case/upper case division was "now [the] convention" in Pagan studies.

The term "neo-pagan" was coined in the 19th century in reference to Renaissance and Romanticist Hellenophile classical revivalism.[] By the mid-1930s the term "Neopagan" was being applied to new religious movements like Jakob Wilhelm Hauer's German Faith Movement and Jan Stachniuk's Polish Zadruga, usually by outsiders and often in a pejorative sense.Pagan as a self-designation appeared in 1964 and 1965, in the publications of the Witchcraft Research Association; at that time, the term was in use by revivalist Witches in the United States and the United Kingdom, but unconnected to the broader, counter-culture Pagan movement. The modern popularisation of the terms pagan and neopagan, as they are currently understood, is largely traced to Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, co-founder of the 1st Neo-Pagan Church of All Worlds who, beginning in 1967 with the early issues of Green Egg, used both terms for the growing movement. This usage has been common since the pagan revival in the 1970s.

According to Strmiska, the reappropriation of the term "pagan" by modern Pagans served as "a deliberate act of defiance" against "traditional, Christian-dominated society", allowing them to use it as a source of "pride and power". In this, he compared it to the gay liberation movement's reappropriation of the term "queer", which had formerly been used only as a term of homophobic abuse. He suggested that part of the term's appeal resided in the fact that a large proportion of Pagan converts were raised in Christian families, and that by embracing the term "pagan" a word long used in reference to that which was "rejected and reviled by Christian authorities" these converts are summarizing "in a single word his or her definitive break" from Christianity. He further suggested that the term "pagan" had been made appealing through its depiction in romanticist and European nationalist literature from the 19th century, where it had been imbued with "a certain mystery and allure". A third point raised by Strmiska was that by embracing the word "pagan", modern Pagans are defying past religious intolerance in order to honor the pre-Christian peoples of Europe and emphasize these societies' cultural and artistic achievements.

For some Pagan groups, ethnicity is central to their religion, and they often restrict membership to those who are of the same ethnic group as themselves. Critics of this position have described this exclusionary approach as a form of racism. Alternately, other Pagan groups allow individuals of any ethnicity to join them, expressing the view that the gods and goddesses of a particular region can call anyone to their worship. Sometimes such individuals express the view that they feel a particular affinity for the pre-Christian belief systems of a particular region with which they have no ethnic link because they themselves are the reincarnation of an individual from that society.There is a greater focus on ethnicity within the Pagan movements of continental Europe in contrast to those in North America and the British Isles. Such ethnic Paganisms have varyingly been seen as responses to concerns regarding foreign colonizing ideologies, globalization, cosmopolitanism, and anxieties about cultural erosion.Ethnically restricted groups will face challenges to their attitudes as Eastern and Northern Europe become increasingly ethnically diverse through migration and inter-marriage.

Although acknowledging that it was "a highly simplified model", Aitamurto and Simpson commented that there was "some truth" to the claim that leftist-oriented forms of Paganism were prevalent in North America and the British Isles, whereas rightist-oriented forms of Paganism were prevalent in Central and Eastern Europe. They noted that in these latter regions, Pagan groups placed an emphasis on "the centrality of the nation, the ethnic group, or the tribe".Rountree stated that it was wrong to assume that "expressions of Paganism can be categorized straight-forwardly according to region", although acknowledged that some regional trends were visible, such as the impact of Catholicism on Paganism in Southern Europe.

"We might say that Reconstructionist Pagans romanticize the past, while Eclectic Pagans idealize the future. In the first case, there is a deeply felt need to connect with the past as a source of spiritual strength and wisdom; in the second case, there is the idealistic hope that a spirituality of nature can be gleaned from ancient sources and shared with all humanity."

Religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska

Another division within modern Paganism rests on differing attitudes to the source material surrounding pre-Christian belief systems. Strmiska notes that Pagan groups can be "divided along a continuum: at one end are those that aim to reconstruct the ancient religious traditions of a particular ethnic group or a linguistic or geographic area to the highest degree possible; at the other end are those that freely blend traditions of different areas, peoples, and time periods."Strmiska argues that these two poles could be termed reconstructionism and eclecticism, respectively. Reconstructionists do not altogether reject innovation in their interpretation and adaptation of the source material, however they do believe that the source material conveys greater authenticity and thus should be emphasized. They often follow scholarly debates about the nature of such pre-Christian religions, and some reconstructionists are themselves scholars. Eclectic Pagans, conversely, seek general inspiration from the pre-Christian past, and do not attempt to recreate past rites or traditions with specific attention to detail.

On the reconstructionist side can be placed those movements which often favour the designation "Native Faith", including Romuva, Heathenry, and Hellenism. On the eclectic side has been placed Wicca, Thelema, Adonism, Druidry, the Goddess Movement, Discordianism, the cult of Antinous and the Radical Faeries.Strmiska also suggests that this division could be seen as being based on "discourses of identity", with reconstructionists emphasizing a deep-rooted sense of place and people, and eclectics embracing a universality and openness toward humanity and the Earth.

Strmiska nevertheless notes that this reconstructionist-eclectic division is "neither as absolute nor as straightforward as it might appear". He cites the example of Dievturba, a form of reconstructionist Paganism that seeks to revive the pre-Christian religion of the Latvian people, by noting that it exhibits eclectic tendencies by adopting a monotheistic focus and ceremonial structure from Lutheranism. Similarly, while examining neo-shamanism among the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia, Siv Ellen Kraft highlights that despite the religion being reconstructionist in intent, it is highly eclectic in the manner in which it has adopted elements from shamanic traditions in other parts of the world.In discussing Asatro a form of Heathenry based in Denmark Matthew Amster notes that it did not fit clearly within such a framework, because while seeking a reconstructionist form of historical accuracy, Asatro nevertheless strongly eschewed the emphasis on ethnicity that is common to other reconstructionist groups. While Wicca is identified as an eclectic form of Paganism, Strmiska also notes that some Wiccans have moved in a more reconstructionist direction by focusing on a particular ethnic and cultural link, thus developing such variants as Norse Wicca and Celtic Wicca.Concern has also been expressed regarding the utility of the term "reconstructionism" when dealing with Paganisms in Central and Eastern Europe, because in many of the languages of these regions, equivalents of the term "reconstructionism" such as the Czech Historick rekonstrukce and Lithuanian Istorin rekonstrukcija are already used to define the secular hobby of historical re-enactment.

Some Pagans distinguish their beliefs and practices as a form of religious naturalism, embracing a naturalistic worldview.[51] This grouping includes Humanistic Pagans and Atheopagans. Many of these naturalistic Pagans aim for an explicitly nature-centered or ecocentric practice.[52]

"Modern Pagans are reviving, reconstructing, and reimagining religious traditions of the past that were suppressed for a very long time, even to the point of being almost totally obliterated... Thus, with only a few possible exceptions, today's Pagans cannot claim to be continuing religious traditions handed down in an unbroken line from ancient times to the present. They are modern people with a great reverence for the spirituality of the past, making a new religion a modern Paganism from the remnants of the past, which they interpret, adapt, and modify according to modern ways of thinking."

Religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska

Although inspired by the pre-Christian belief systems of the past, modern Paganism is not the same phenomenon as these lost traditions and in many respects differs from them considerably. Strmiska stresses that modern Paganism is a "new", "modern" religious movement, even if some of its "content" derive from ancient sources. Contemporary Paganism as practiced in the United States in the 1990s has been described as "a synthesis of historical inspiration and present-day creativity".[54]

Eclectic Paganism takes an undogmatic religious stance, and therefore potentially see no one as having authority to deem a source apocryphal. Contemporary paganism has therefore been prone to fakelore, especially in recent years as information and misinformation alike have been spread on the Internet and in print media. A number of Wiccan, pagan and even some Traditionalist or Tribalist groups have a history of Grandmother Stories typically involving initiation by a Grandmother, Grandfather, or other elderly relative who is said to have instructed them in the secret, millennia-old traditions of their ancestors. As this secret wisdom can almost always be traced to recent sources, tellers of these stories have often later admitted they made them up.[56] Strmiska asserts that contemporary paganism could be viewed as a part of the "much larger phenomenon" of efforts to revive "traditional, indigenous, or native religions" that were occurring across the globe.[]

Beliefs and practices vary widely among different Pagan groups; however, there are a series of core principles common to most, if not all, forms of modern paganism. The English academic Graham Harvey noted that Pagans "rarely indulge in theology".

One principle of the Pagan movement is polytheism, the belief in and veneration of multiple gods and/or goddesses.Within the Pagan movement, there can be found many deities, both male and female, who have various associations and embody forces of nature, aspects of culture, and facets of human psychology. These deities are typically depicted in human form, and are viewed as having human faults. They are therefore not seen as perfect, but rather are venerated as being wise and powerful. Pagans feel that this understanding of the gods reflected the dynamics of life on Earth, allowing for the expression of humour.

One view in the Pagan community is that these polytheistic deities are not viewed as literal entities, but as Jungian archetypes or other psychological constructs that exist in the human psyche. Others adopt the belief that the deities have both a psychological and external existence. Many Pagans believe adoption of a polytheistic world-view would be beneficial for western society replacing the dominant monotheism they see as innately repressive. In fact, many American neopagans first came to their adopted faiths because it allowed a greater freedom, diversity, and tolerance of worship among the community. This pluralistic perspective has helped the varied factions of modern Paganism exist in relative harmony. Most Pagans adopt an ethos of "unity in diversity" regarding their religious beliefs.

It is its inclusion of female deity which distinguishes Pagan religions from their Abrahamic counterparts.In Wicca, male and female deities are typically balanced out in a form of duotheism.Many East Asian philosophies equate weakness with femininity and strength with masculinity; this is not the prevailing attitude in paganism and Wicca. Among many Pagans, there is a strong desire to incorporate the female aspects of the divine in their worship and within their lives, which can partially explain the attitude which sometimes manifests as the veneration of women.[]

There are exceptions to polytheism in Paganism, as seen for instance in the form of Ukrainian Paganism promoted by Lev Sylenko, which is devoted to a monotheistic veneration of the god Dazhbog. As noted above, Pagans with naturalistic worldviews may not believe in or work with deities at all.

Pagan religions commonly exhibit a metaphysical concept of an underlying order that pervades the universe, such as the concept of harmonia embraced by Hellenists and that of Wyrd found in Heathenry.

A key part of most Pagan worldviews is the holistic concept of a universe that is interconnected. This is connected with a belief in either pantheism or panentheism. In both beliefs divinity and the material and/or spiritual universe are one. For pagans, pantheism means that "divinity is inseparable from nature and that deity is immanent in nature".

Dennis D. Carpenter noted that the belief in a pantheistic or panentheistic deity has led to the idea of interconnectedness playing a key part in pagans' worldviews. The prominent Reclaiming priestess Starhawk related that a core part of goddess-centred pagan witchcraft was "the understanding that all being is interrelated, that we are all linked with the cosmos as parts of one living organism. What affects one of us affects us all."

Another pivotal belief in the contemporary Pagan movement is that of animism. This has been interpreted in two distinct ways among the Pagan community. First, it can refer to a belief that everything in the universe is imbued with a life force or spiritual energy.[] In contrast, some contemporary Pagans believe that there are specific spirits that inhabit various features in the natural world, and that these can be actively communicated with. Some Pagans have reported experiencing communication with spirits dwelling in rocks, plants, trees and animals, as well as power animals or animal spirits who can act as spiritual helpers or guides.

Animism was also a concept common to many pre-Christian European religions, and in adopting it, contemporary Pagans are attempting to "reenter the primeval worldview" and participate in a view of cosmology "that is not possible for most Westerners after childhood".

Such views have also led many pagans to revere the planet Earth as Mother Earth, who is often referred to as Gaia after the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth.

Pagan ritual can take place in both a public and private setting.Contemporary Pagan ritual is typically geared towards "facilitating altered states of awareness or shifting mind-sets". In order to induce such altered states of consciousness, pagans utilize such elements as drumming, visualization, chanting, singing, dancing, and meditation. American folklorist Sabina Magliocco came to the conclusion, based upon her ethnographic fieldwork in California that certain Pagan beliefs "arise from what they experience during religious ecstasy".

Sociologist Margot Adler highlighted how several Pagan groups, like the Reformed Druids of North America and the Erisian movement incorporate a great deal of play in their rituals rather than having them be completely serious and somber. She noted that there are those who would argue that "the Pagan community is one of the only spiritual communities that is exploring humor, joy, abandonment, even silliness and outrageousness as valid parts of spiritual experience".

Domestic worship typically takes place in the home and is carried out by either an individual or family group. It typically involves offerings including bread, cake, flowers, fruit, milk, beer, or wine being given to images of deities, often accompanied with prayers and songs and the lighting of candles and incense.Common Pagan devotional practices have thus been compared to similar practices in Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity, but contrasted with that in Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam.Although animal sacrifice was a common part of pre-Christian ritual in Europe, it is rarely practiced in contemporary Paganism.

Paganism's public rituals are generally calendrical, although the pre-Christian festivals that Pagans use as a basis varied across Europe. Nevertheless, common to almost all Pagan religions is an emphasis on an agricultural cycle and respect for the dead. Common Pagan festivals include those marking the summer solstice and winter solstice as well as the start of spring and the harvest. In Wicca, a Wheel of the Year has been developed which typically involves eight seasonal festivals.

The belief in magical rituals and spells is held by a "significant number" of contemporary Pagans. Among those who believe in magic, there are a variety of different views as to what magic is. Many Neopagans adhere to the definition provided by Aleister Crowley, founder of Thelema, who defined magick[sic] as "the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will". Also accepted by many is the related definition purported by ceremonial magician Dion Fortune, who declared "magic is the art and science of changing consciousness according to the Will".

Among those who practice magic are Wiccans, those who identify as Neopagan Witches, and practitioners of some forms of revivalist Neo-druidism, the rituals of whom are at least partially based upon those of ceremonial magic and freemasonry.

Great God! I'd rather beA Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;Or hear old Triton blow his wreathd horn.

William Wordsworth, "The World Is Too Much with Us", lines 9-14

The origins of modern Paganism lie in the romanticist and national liberation movements that developed in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. The publications of studies into European folk customs and culture by scholars like Johann Gottfried Herder and Jacob Grimm resulted in a wider interest in these subjects and a growth in cultural self-consciousness. At the time, it was commonly believed that almost all such folk customs were survivals from the pre-Christian period.These attitudes would also be exported to North America by European immigrants in these centuries.

The Romantic movement of the 18th century led to the re-discovery of Old Gaelic and Old Norse literature and poetry. The 19th century saw a surge of interest in Germanic paganism with the Viking revival in Victorian Britain[] and Scandinavia. In Germany the Vlkisch movement was in full swing. These pagan currents coincided with Romanticist interest in folklore and occultism, the widespread emergence of pagan themes in popular literature, and the rise of nationalism.

Religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska

The rise of modern Paganism was aided by the decline in Christianity throughout many parts of Europe and North America, as well as by the concomitant decline in enforced religious conformity and greater freedom of religion that developed, allowing people to explore a wider range of spiritual options and form religious organisations that could operate free from legal persecution.

Historian Ronald Hutton has argued that many of the motifs of 20th century neo-Paganism may be traced back to utopian, mystical counter-cultures of the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods, via the works of amateur folklorists, popular authors, poets, political radicals and alternative lifestylers.

Prior to the spread of the 20th-century neopagan movement, a notable instance of self-identified paganism was in Sioux writer Zitkala-sa's essay "Why I Am A Pagan". Published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1902, the Native American activist and writer outlined her rejection of Christianity (referred to as "the new superstition") in favor of a harmony with nature embodied by the Great Spirit. She further recounted her mother's abandonment of Sioux religion and the unsuccessful attempts of a "native preacher" to get her to attend the village church.[87]

In the 1920s Margaret Murray theorized that a Witchcraft religion existed underground and in secret, and had survived through the witchcraft prosecutions that had been enacted by the ecclesiastical and secular courts. Most historians now reject Murray's theory, as she based it partially upon the similarities of the accounts given by those accused of witchcraft; such similarity is now thought to actually derive from there having been a standard set of questions laid out in the witch-hunting manuals used by interrogators.

The 1960s and 1970s saw a resurgence in Neodruidism as well as the rise of Germanic neopaganism and satr in the United States and in Iceland. In the 1970s, Wicca was notably influenced by feminism, leading to the creation of an eclectic, Goddess-worshipping movement known as Dianic Wicca. The 1979 publication of Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon and Starhawk's The Spiral Dance opened a new chapter in public awareness of paganism.With the growth and spread of large, pagan gatherings and festivals in the 1980s, public varieties of Wicca continued to further diversify into additional, eclectic sub-denominations, often heavily influenced by the New Age and counter-culture movements. These open, unstructured or loosely structured traditions contrast with British Traditional Wicca, which emphasizes secrecy and initiatory lineage.

The 1980s and 1990s also saw an increasing interest in serious academic research and reconstructionist pagan traditions. The establishment and growth of the Internet in the 1990s brought rapid growth to these, and other pagan movements. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, freedom of religion was legally established across Russia and Eastern Europe, allowing for the growth in both Christian and non-Christian religions, among them Paganism.

Goddess Spirituality, which is also known as the Goddess movement, is a Pagan religion in which a singular, monotheistic Goddess is given predominance. Designed primarily for women, Goddess Spirituality revolves around the sacredness of the female form, and of aspects of women's lives that have been traditionally neglected in western society, such as menstruation, sexuality and maternity.

Adherents of the Goddess Spirituality movement typically envision a history of the world that is different from traditional narratives about the past, emphasising the role of women rather than that of men. According to this view, human society was formerly a matriarchy, with communities being egalitarian, pacifistic and focused on the worship of the Goddess, and was subsequently overthrown by violent patriarchal hordes - usually Indo-European pastoralists, who worshipped male sky gods and who continued to rule through the form of Abrahamic Religions, specifically Christianity in the West. Adherents look for elements of this mythological history in "theological, anthropological, archaeological, historical, folkloric and hagiographic writings".

Heathenism, also known as Germanic Neopaganism, refers to a series of contemporary Pagan traditions that are based upon the historical religions, culture and literature of Germanic-speaking Europe. Heathenry is spread out across north-western Europe, and also North America and Australasia, where the descendants of historic Germanic-speaking people now live.

Many Heathen groups adopt variants of Norse mythology as a basis to their beliefs, conceiving of the Earth as being situated on a great world tree called Yggdrasil. Heathens believe in multiple polytheistic deities, all adopted from historical Germanic mythologies. The majority of Heathens are polytheistic realists, believing that the deities are real entities, while others view them as Jungian archetypes.

Neo-Druidism forms the second largest pagan religion after Wicca, and like Wicca in turn shows significant heterogeneity.[citation needed] It draws several beliefs and inspirations from the Druids, the priest caste of the ancient pagan Celts. With the first Druid Order founded as early as 1717, the history of Neo-Druidism reaches back to the earliest origins of modern paganism. The Ancient Order of Druids founded in 1781 had many aspects of freemasonry, and have practiced rituals at Stonehenge since 1905. The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids was established in 1964 by Ross Nichols. In the United States, the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) was founded in 1912,[97] the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA) was established in 1963 and r nDraocht Fin (ADF) in 1983 by Isaac Bonewits.

Since the 1960s and 70s, paganism and the then emergent counter-culture, New Age, and hippie movements experienced a degree of cross pollination. Reconstructionism rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. The majority of pagans are not committed to a single defined tradition, but understand paganism as encompassing a wide range of non-institutionalized spirituality, as promoted by the Church of All Worlds, the Feri Tradition and other movements. Notably, Wicca in the United States since the 1970s has largely moved away from its Gardnerian roots and diversified into eclectic variants.

Paganism generally emphasizes the sanctity of the Earth and Nature. Pagans often feel a duty to protect the Earth through activism, and support causes such as rainforest protection, organic farming, permaculture, animal rights and so on. Some pagans are influenced by Animist traditions of the indigenous Native Americans and Africans and other indigenous or shamanic traditions.

Eco-paganism and Eco-magic, which are offshoots of direct action environmental groups, have a strong emphasis on fairy imagery and a belief in the possibility of intercession by the fae (fairies, pixies, gnomes, elves, and other spirits of nature and the Otherworlds).[]

Some Unitarian Universalists are eclectic pagans. Unitarian Universalists look for spiritual inspiration in a wide variety of religious beliefs. The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, or CUUPs, encourages their member chapters to "use practices familiar to members who attend for worship services but not to follow only one tradition of paganism".[99]

In 1925, the Czech esotericist Franz Sttler founded a pagan religion known as Adonism, devoted to the ancient Greek god Adonis, whom Sttler equated with the Christian Satan, and which purported that the end of the world would come in the year 2000. Adonism largely died out in the 1930s, but remained an influence on the German occult scene.

In the western world, distinct forms of paganism have been developed by and for members of the LGBT community. This is often considered necessary, as many neopagan beliefs ascribe to heterosexual, binarist fundamentals, such as "masculine" and "feminine" energy and venerating fertility. While this foundation is prominent among many varieties of neopagan belief, there are some indications that the neopagan community is changing to a more LGBTQ-inclusive environment over time.[101]

Many variants of Wicca have attracted LGBTQ people, for instance, the theologian Jone Salomonsen noted that there was an unusually high number of LGBTQ, and particularly bisexual individuals, within the Reclaiming tradition of San Francisco when she was doing her fieldwork there in the 1980s and 1990s. Margot Adler noted how there were many pagan groups whose practices revolved around the inclusion and celebration of male homosexuality, such as the Minoan Brotherhood, a Wiccan group that combines the iconography from ancient Minoan religion with a Wiccan theology and an emphasis on men-loving-men, the faith of Antinous, and the eclectic pagan group known as the Radical Faeries. When Adler asked one gay pagan what the pagan community offered members of the LGBT community, the reply was "A place to belong. Community. Acceptance. And a way to connect with all kinds of people, gay, bi, straight, celibate, transgender, in a way that is hard to do in the greater society."

Many neopagan beliefs have LGBTQ controversy related to them, especially transgender controversy. One such variant is Dianic Wicca. A feminist, female-only variant of Wicca, some individuals, such a cisgender lesbians thrive in Dianic covens. However, Dianic belief only regards assigned gender and excludes transgender women. This has been denounced as transphobia and trans-exclusionary radical feminism.[104][105] Trans exclusion can be found in Alexandrian Wicca as well, whose founder paints trans individuals as melancholy people who should seek other beliefs due to the Alexandrian focus on reproduction.[106]

In contrast to the eclectic traditions, Polytheistic Reconstructionists practice culturally specific, ethnic traditions, basing their practices on the surviving folklore, traditional songs and prayers, as well as reconstructions from the historical record. Thus, Hellenic, Roman, Kemetic, Celtic, Germanic, Guanche, Baltic and Slavic Reconstructionists aim for the preservation and revival of historical practices and beliefs of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, the Celts, the Germanic peoples, the Guanche people, the Balts and the Slavs, respectively.[][][]

Wicca is the largest form of modern Paganism, as well as the best known form, and the most extensively studied by academics.

The scholar of religious studies Graham Harvey noted that a poem known as the Charge of the Goddess remains central to the liturgy of most Wiccan groups. Originally written by Wiccan High Priestess Doreen Valiente in the mid-1950s, Harvey noted that the recitation of the Charge in the midst of ritual allows Wiccans to gain wisdom and experience deity in "the ordinary things in life".

The historian Ronald Hutton identified a wide variety of different sources that influenced the development of Wicca. These included ceremonial magic, folk magic, Romanticist literature, Freemasonry, and the historical theories of the English archaeologist Margaret Murray. The figure at the forefront of the burgeoning Wiccan movement was the English esotericist Gerald Gardner, who claimed to have been initiated by the New Forest coven in 1939. Gardner claimed that the religion that he discovered was a modern survival of the old Witch-Cult described in the works of Murray, which had originated in the pre-Christian paganism of Europe. He claimed it was revealed to him by a coven of witches in the New Forest area of southern England. Various forms of Wicca have since evolved or been adapted from Gardner's British Traditional Wicca or Gardnerian Wicca such as Alexandrian Wicca. Other forms loosely based on Gardner's teachings are Faery Wicca, Kemetic Wicca, Judeo-Paganism or jewitchery, Dianic Wicca or feminist Wicca which emphasizes the divine feminine, often creating women-only or lesbian-only groups.[] In the academic community wicca has also been interpreted as having close affinities with process philosophy.[110]

In the 1990s, Wiccan beliefs and practices were used as a partial basis for a number of U.S. films and television series, such as The Craft, Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, leading to a dramatic upsurge in teenagers and young adults becoming interested and involved in the religion.

Beit Asherah (the house of the Goddess Asherah) was one of the first Neopagan synagogues, founded in the early 1990s by Stephanie Fox, Steven Posch, and Magenta Griffiths (Lady Magenta). Magenta Griffiths is High Priestess of the Beit Asherah coven, and a former board member of the Covenant of the Goddess.[]

The Chuvash people, a Turkic ethnic group, native to an area stretching from the Volga Region to Siberia, have experienced a Pagan revival since the fall of the Soviet Union, under the name Vattisen Yaly (Chuvash: , Tradition of the Old).[114]

Vattisen Yaly could be categorised as a peculiar form of Tengrism, a related revivalist movement of Central Asian traditional religion, however it differs significantly from it: the Chuvash being a heavily Fennicised and Slavified ethnicity (they were also never fully Islamised, contrarywise to most of other Turks), and having had exchanges also with other Indo-European ethnicities,[115] their religion shows many similarities with Finnic and Slavic Paganisms; moreover, the revival of "Vattisen Yaly" in recent decades has occurred following Neopagan patterns.[116] Thus it should be more carefully categorised as a Neopagan religion. Today the followers of the Chuvash Traditional Religion are called "the true Chuvash".[114] Their main god is Tura, a deity comparable to the Estonian Taara, the Germanic Thunraz and the pan-Turkic Tengri.[115]

Establishing precise figures on Paganism is difficult. Due to the secrecy and fear of persecution still prevalent among Pagans, limited numbers are willing to openly be counted. The decentralised nature of Paganism and sheer number of solitary practitioners further complicates matters. Nevertheless, there is a slow growing body of data on the subject. Combined statistics from Western nations put Pagans well over one million worldwide.

A study by Ronald Hutton compared a number of different sources (including membership lists of major UK organizations, attendance at major events, subscriptions to magazines, etc.) and used standard models for extrapolating likely numbers. This estimate accounted for multiple membership overlaps as well as the number of adherents represented by each attendee of a pagan gathering. Hutton estimated that there are 250,000 neopagan adherents in the United Kingdom, roughly equivalent to the national Hindu community.

A smaller number is suggested by the results of the 2001 Census, in which a question about religious affiliation was asked for the first time. Respondents were able to write in an affiliation not covered by the checklist of common religions, and a total of 42,262 people from England, Scotland and Wales declared themselves to be Pagans by this method. These figures were not released as a matter of course by the Office for National Statistics, but were released after an application by the Pagan Federation of Scotland.[] This is more than many well known traditions such as Rastafarian, Bah' and Zoroastrian groups, but fewer than the big six of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism. It is also fewer than the adherents of Jediism, whose campaign made them the fourth largest religion after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.[]

The 2001 UK Census figures did not allow an accurate breakdown of traditions within the Pagan heading, as a campaign by the Pagan Federation before the census encouraged Wiccans, Heathens, Druids and others all to use the same write-in term 'Pagan' in order to maximise the numbers reported. The 2011 census however made it possible to describe oneself as Pagan-Wiccan, Pagan-Druid and so on. The figures for England and Wales showed 80,153 describing themselves as Pagan (or some subgroup thereof.) The largest subgroup was Wicca, with 11,766 adherents.[] The overall numbers of people self-reporting as Pagan rose between 2001 and 2011. In 2001 about seven people per 10,000 UK respondents were pagan; in 2011 the number (based on the England and Wales population) was 14.3 people per 10,000 respondents.

Census figures in Ireland do not provide a breakdown of religions outside of the major Christian denominations and other major world religions. A total of 22,497 people stated Other Religion in the 2006 census; and a rough estimate is that there were 2,0003,000 practicing pagans in Ireland in 2009. Numerous pagan groups primarily Wiccan and Druidic exist in Ireland though none is officially recognised by the Government. Irish Paganism is often strongly concerned with issues of place and language.[]

Canada does not provide extremely detailed records of religious adherence. Its statistics service only collects limited religious information each decade. At the 2001 census, there were a recorded 21080 Pagans in Canada.[][][bettersourceneeded]

The United States government does not directly collect religious information. As a result such information is provided by religious institutions and other third-party statistical organisations.[] Based on the most recent survey by the Pew Forum on religion, there are over one million Pagans estimated to be living in the United States. Up to 0.4% of respondents answered "Pagan" or "Wiccan" when polled.

According to Helen A. Berger's 1995 survey, "The Pagan Census", most American Pagans are middle class, educated, and live in urban/suburban areas on East and West coasts.

In the 2011 Australian census, 32083 respondents identified as Pagan. Out of 21507717 recorded Australians,[] they compose approximately 0.15% of the population. The Australian Bureau of Statistics classifies Paganism as an affiliation under which several sub-classifications may optionally be specified. This includes animism, nature religion, Druidism, pantheism, and Witchcraft. As a result, fairly detailed breakdowns of Pagan respondents are available.[]

In 2006, there were at least 6804 (1.64) Pagans among New Zealand's population of approximately 4 million. Respondents were given the option to select one or more religious affiliations.

Based upon her study of the pagan community in the United States, the sociologist Margot Adler noted that it is rare for Pagan groups to proselytize in order to gain new converts to their faiths. Instead, she argued that "in most cases", converts first become interested in the movement through "word of mouth, a discussion between friends, a lecture, a book, an article or a Web site". She went on to put forward the idea that this typically confirmed "some original, private experience, so that the most common experience of those who have named themselves pagan is something like 'I finally found a group that has the same religious perceptions I always had'". A practicing Wiccan herself, Adler used her own conversion to paganism as a case study, remarking that as a child she had taken a great interest in the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, and had performed her own devised rituals in dedication to them. When she eventually came across the Wiccan religion many years later, she then found that it confirmed her earlier childhood experiences, and that "I never converted in the accepted sense. I simply accepted, reaffirmed, and extended a very old experience."

Folklorist Sabina Magliocco supported this idea, noting that a great many of those Californian Pagans whom she interviewed claimed that they had been greatly interested in mythology and folklore as children, imagining a world of "enchanted nature and magical transformations, filled with lords and ladies, witches and wizards, and humble but often wise peasants". Magliocco noted that it was this world that pagans "strive to re-create in some measure". Further support for Adler's idea came from American Wiccan priestess Judy Harrow, who noted that among her comrades, there was a feeling that "you don't become pagan, you discover that you always were". They have also been supported by Pagan studies scholar Graham Harvey.

Many pagans in North America encounter the movement through their involvement in other hobbies; particularly popular with U.S. Pagans are "golden age"-type pastimes such as the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Star Trek fandom, Doctor Who fandom and comic book fandom. Other manners in which many North American pagans have got involved with the movement are through political and/or ecological activism, such as "vegetarian groups, health food stores" or feminist university courses.

Adler went on to note that from those she interviewed and surveyed in the U.S., she could identify a number of common factors that led to people getting involved in Paganism: the beauty, vision and imagination that was found within their beliefs and rituals, a sense of intellectual satisfaction and personal growth that they imparted, their support for environmentalism and/or feminism, and a sense of freedom.

Based upon her work in the United States, Adler found that the pagan movement was "very diverse" in its class and ethnic background. She went on to remark that she had encountered pagans in jobs that ranged from "fireman to PhD chemist" but that the one thing that she thought made them into an "elite" was as avid readers, something that she found to be very common within the pagan community despite the fact that avid readers constituted less than 20% of the general population of the United States at the time. Magliocco came to a somewhat different conclusion based upon her ethnographic research of pagans in California, remarking that the majority were "white, middle-class, well-educated urbanites" but that they were united in finding "artistic inspiration" within "folk and indigenous spiritual traditions".

The sociologist Regina Oboler examined the role of gender in the U.S. Pagan community, arguing that although the movement had been constant in its support for the equality of men and women ever since its foundation, there was still an essentialist view of gender engrained within it, with female deities being accorded traditional western feminine traits and male deities being similarly accorded what western society saw as masculine traits.

"Neopagan practices highlight the centrality of the relationship between humans and nature and reinvent religions of the past, while New Agers are more interested in transforming individual consciousness and shaping the future."

Religious studies scholar Sarah Pike.

An issue of academic debate has been regarding the connection between the New Age movement and contemporary Paganism, or Neo-Paganism. Religious studies scholar Sarah Pike asserted that there was a "significant overlap" between the two religious movements, while Aidan A. Kelly stated that Paganism "parallels the New Age movement in some ways, differs sharply from it in others, and overlaps it in some minor ways". Ethan Doyle White stated that while the Pagan and New Age movements "do share commonalities and overlap", they were nevertheless "largely distinct phenomena."Hanegraaff suggested that whereas various forms of contemporary Paganism were not part of the New Age movement particularly those who pre-dated the movement other Pagan religions and practices could be identified as New Age. Various differences between the two movements have been highlighted; the New Age movement focuses on an improved future, whereas the focus of Paganism is on the pre-Christian past. Similarly, the New Age movement typically propounds a universalist message which sees all religions as fundamentally the same, whereas Paganism stresses the difference between monotheistic religions and those embracing a polytheistic or animistic theology. Further, the New Age movement shows little interest in magic and witchcraft, which are conversely core interests of many Pagan religions, such as Wicca.

Many Pagans have sought to distance themselves from the New Age movement, even using "New Age" as an insult within their community, while conversely many involved in the New Age have expressed criticism of Paganism for emphasizing the material world over the spiritual.Many Pagans have expressed criticism of the high fees charged by New Age teachers, something not typically present in the Pagan movement.

In Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives Michael F. Strmiska writes that "in Pagan magazines, websites, and Internet discussion venues, Christianity is frequently denounced as an antinatural, antifemale, sexually and culturally repressive, guilt-ridden, and authoritarian religion that has fostered intolerance, hypocrisy, and persecution throughout the world." Further, there is a deep belief that Christianity and Paganism are fundamentally opposing belief systems. This animosity is flamed by the ancient Christian oppression of pre-Christian religion as well as the ongoing Christian oppression of Pagans. Many Pagans have expressed frustration that Christian authorities have never apologized for the cultural genocide and religious persecution of Europe's pre-Christian belief systems, particularly following the Roman Catholic Church's apology for past anti-semitism in its A Reflection on the Shoah. They also express disapproval of Christianity's continued missionary efforts around the globe at the expense of indigenous and other polytheistic faiths.

Some Christian theologians view modern Paganism as a movement that cannot be tolerated but must be fought and defeated. Various Christian authors have published books attacking modern Paganism.Such Christian critics have regularly equated Paganism with Satanism, something which has been furthered by the portrayal of the former in some mainstream media. In areas such as the U.S. Bible Belt where conservative Christian dominance is strong, Pagans have faced continued religious persecution. For instance, Strmiska highlighted instances in both the U.S. and U.K. in which school teachers were fired when their employers discovered that they were Pagan.

Accordingly, many Pagans keep their religious adherence a secret, seeking to avoid such discrimination.

The earliest academic studies of contemporary Paganism were published in the late 1970s and 1980s by scholars like Margot Adler, Marcello Truzzi and Tanya Luhrmann, although it would not be until the 1990s that the actual multidisciplinary academic field of Pagan studies properly developed, pioneered by academics such as Graham Harvey and Chas S. Clifton. Increasing academic interest in Paganism has been attributed to the new religious movement's increasing public visibility, as it began interacting with the interfaith movement and holding large public celebrations at sites like Stonehenge.

The first international academic conference on the subject of Pagan studies was held at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, North-East England in 1993. It was organised by two British religious studies scholars, Graham Harvey and Charlotte Hardman. In April 1996 a larger conference dealing with contemporary Paganism took place at Ambleside in the Lake District. Organised by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Lancaster, North-West England, it was entitled "Nature Religion Today: Western Paganism, Shamanism and Esotericism in the 1990s", and led to the publication of an academic anthology, entitled Nature Religion Today: Paganism in the Modern World. In 2004, the first peer-reviewed, academic journal devoted to Pagan studies began publication. The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies was edited by Clifton, while the academic publishers AltaMira Press began release of the Pagan Studies Series.[] From 2008 onward, conferences have been held bringing together scholars specialising in the study of Paganism in Central and Eastern Europe.

The relationship between Pagan studies scholars and some practising Pagans has at times been strained. The Australian academic and practising Pagan Caroline Jane Tully argues that many Pagans can react negatively to new scholarship regarding historical pre-Christian societies, believing that it is a threat to the structure of their beliefs and to their "sense of identity". She furthermore argues that some of those dissatisfied Pagans lashed out against academics as a result, particularly on the Internet.

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Posted: September 12th, 2018 | Author: baeldraca | Filed under: Heretical Texts, Howard Stanton Levey, Inner ONA, Labyrinthos Mythologicus, O9A, Order of Nine Angles, Order of the Nine Angles, Satanic Heresy, The Sinister Tradition, The Sinisterly Numinous Tradition | Tags: Anti-O9A Propaganda, Anton LaVey, Anton Long, Inner O9A, Labyrinthos Mythologicus, Left Hand Path, Magian, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, Satanism, Seven Fold Way, The Sinister Tradition, The Sinisterly-Numinous Tradition | Comments Off on Anti-O9A Propaganda Exposed

Anti-O9A Propaganda Exposed (pdf)

Since the Order of Nine Angles (O9A, ONA) publicly and controversially emerged on the Occult scene in the 1980s with its affirmation that human sacrifice was part of traditional Satanism, and with its Mass Of Heresy in praise of Hitler many self-professed modern satanists (who follow the modern materialistic, law-abiding, satanism developed by Howard Stanton Levey, aka Anton LaVey) and many self-professed followers of the modern, kabbalah indebted, Left Hand Path invented by the likes of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Aquinos Temple of Set, have spread propaganda and lies about the O9A.

For the fact is that the O9A presented a dangerous and extreme form of Satanism {1} and directly challenged both the modern materialistic satanism developed by Levey and the modern, kabbalah indebted, Left Hand Path with its Hebrew Otz Chim.

Thus it is not surprising that the anti-O9A crowd, following or indebted to or inspired by Levey-type satanism or following or indebted to or inspired by a kabbalah indebted Left Hand Path would spread such propaganda and lies about the O9A.

For O9A folk were in all but name modern Occult heretics, given their promotion of National Socialism, given their holocaust denial, given their affirmation of the necessity of human sacrifice; given their tough physical challenges such as spending at least three months living alone in the wilderness; and given their practical Insight Roles lasting around a year whose sinister-numinous options included being an assassin or a burglar or a monk or a medic or a police officer.

O9A folk were also heretical in terms of their Occult philosophy, promoting a septenary system in place of the accepted Hebrew Otz Chim with its ten-fold sephera (a Hebrew system used by all non-o9a modern Occultists) and claiming that their septenary system represented the genuine Western Occult tradition and pre-dated the Hebrew Otz Chim by centuries.

We present here a few of the most popular propaganda statements made, and lies spread, about the O9A by the anti-O9A crowd, together with the heretical reality which debunks each of those propaganda statements and lies.

Traditional And Modern: The Two Types Of Satanism

There are basically two types of Satanism: (i) the modern American type manufactured and propagated by Howard Stanton Levey better known under his aliases of Anton LaVey and Anton Szandor LaVey and (ii) the traditional Satanism as manifest in the Occult philosophy and the praxis of the Order of Nine Angles (O9A, ONA) as developed and expounded by the pseudonymous Anton Long which is widely believed to be {1}{2} a pseudonym used by the neo-nazi extremist, and theoretician of terror {3}, David Myatt.

The Satanism Of Levey

The modern Satanism of Levey is based on the premise that Satan is a symbol of the carnal, the selfish, the egoistic, nature of human beings, with satanism understood as manifesting the raison dtres of might is right, of lex talionis, and of the individualistic ideas expressed in Ayn Rands Objectivism {4}.

This type of Satanism promotes the total satisfaction of the ego {5} and obeying the law of the land {6}.

The Satanism Of Anton Long

The traditional Satanism of Anton Long is based on the scholarly premise that as described in the O9A text The Geryne of Satan {7} (i) hasatan the satan refers (in the Septuagint) to the chief adversary (of the so-called chosen ones) and to the chief schemer against those who regard themselves as the chosen people of God/Jehovah, and (ii) a satan historically (in the Septuagint) refers to someone who is an adversary of and who thus is pejoratively regarded (by those so opposed) as scheming, as plotting against those who regard themselves as the chosen people of God/Jehovah.

Thus, for the O9A, a satanist is someone who is heretically opposed to those who believe they are the chosen people of God/Jehovah, with O9A satanism understood as an antinomian amoral, heretical means to such exeatic personal experiences as shape and evolve an individuals character and understanding. {8}{9}.

The contrast between the Satanism manufactured and propagated by Howard Stanton Levey and the Satanism developed and expounded by Anton Long is perhaps best illustrated by comparing their respective lives and their respective writings, for one would expect their respective types of Satanism to be reflected in their own lives and in their writings.

A Contrast Of Lives

The life of Howard Stanton Levey consisted of conducting carnivalesque and sometimes fetishistic satanic rituals while dressed like Mephistopheles in some amateur production of Marlowes Faust; selling membership in his showmanry Church of Satan while telling members to obey the law; pontificating and giving lectures about his type of satanism; giving interviews to journalists; hosting parties for hedonists and Hollywood-types, and boasting about his past.

Levey, for instance, boasted that as a seventeen year old he worked in the Beatty circus and handled lions and tigers, although circus records from that time showed that no one named Levey or LaVey worked for them. He boasted that he had worked as a photographer for the San Francisco police department although they had no record of anyone called Levey or LaVey working for them.

Levey boasted that he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, and yet again there is no documentary evidence to substantiate his claim. He boasted that he worked in a burlesque theatre called Mayan and met Marilyn Monroe there whom he claimed worked as a striptease artiste although the owner of the theatre at the time Paul Valentine denied it was a burlesque theatre, stated Levey never worked there, with there also being no documentary evidence that Monroe worked there as a striptease artiste.

Levey boasted that he enrolled on a criminology course at the City College in San Francisco although the college had no record of his enrolment under his real name, Levey, or under the La Vey alias he often used.

Thus the life of Howard Stanton Levey does indeed exemplify his type of Satanism: hedonistic, egoistic, boastful, materialistic, and showmanry. In common parlance: all mouth and trousers.

In contrast to Levey, Anton Long aka David Myatt is a principal proponent of contemporary neo-Nazi ideology and theoretician of revolution {10}, was the mentor who drove someone to kill three people {11}, who before and after 9/11 publicly praised bin Laden and al Qaeda, called the 9/11 attacks acts of heroism and urged the killing of Jews {12}, who preached race war and terrorism {13}, who wrote a detailed step-by-step guide for terrorist insurrection with advice on assassination targets, rationale for bombing and sabotage campaigns, and rules of engagement {14}, who travelled and spoke in several Arab countries about Jihad {15}, who was a bodyguard of Englands principle neo-nazi activist, Colin Jordan {16}, who took over the leadership of the violent neo-nazi group Combat 18 when its previous leader was jailed for murder {17}, who is an example of the axis between right-wing extremists and Islamists {17}, who is a Martial Arts expert {18}, who was imprisoned twice for violent offences in connection with his neo-nazi activism {17}, and who in 1998 was arrested for conspiracy to murder and for other offences {14}{19}.

The life of Myatt does indeed exemplify O9A Satanism: actually or potentially harmful, destructive, pernicious, baleful, misleading, deadly; bad in moral character; malevolent, offensive, sly; and hard and difficult. In common parlance: extremist, violent, and terrorist.

A Contrast Of Writings

The sources used by Howard Levey evident in his much-vaunted satanic bible and in his letters are populist interpretations of the likes of Nietzsche and Ayn Rand, populist books about psychology, with the anonymous polemic titled Might Is Right much plagiarized. Since Levey could not read Ancient Greek, Latin, and Arabic, when writing about Satan, Iblis (Shaitan) and the medieval grimoire tradition of magic(k) that derived from such earlier Arabic works as Ghayat al-akim and also from some medieval Latin esoteric texts such as those of Marsilio Ficino Levey had no knowledge of such primary sources and had to rely on populist books and the interpretations and interpolations of others. Thus in his understanding of the Biblical Satan he had to rely on translations, unable as he was to read the Greek of the Septuagint.

Such sources and populist interpretations are also much in evidence in texts written by Aquino, who according to his own account {20} aided and contributed to the production of Leveys satanic bible and his satanic rituals books. Like Levey, Aquino could not read Ancient Greek, Latin, and Arabic, and also used populist summaries of philosophies and weltanschauungen, ancient and modern. Thus, in his The Crystal Tablet of Set, populist summaries of philosophies and weltanschauungen, ancient and modern, precede a quite minimalist and vague presentation of satanist and/or of Temple of Set ideas. Thus, a chapter on ethics consists of 12 pages of populist summaries of the likes of Plato, Hegel, Marx, et al, followed by a meagre few paragraphs concerning good and evil in an occult context, and which paragraphs merely present rather cliched personal opinions, such as that there is thus no easy answer to the question of whether a given magical act is good or evil and that it is up to the magician to determine what judgments by which judges will be important. As befits such pseudo-intellectualism, the references in such texts are often to populist works (such as The Social Contract by Robert Ardrey) just as quotations from such people as Plato are invariably in translations, not by Aquino, but by someone else.

Thus the writings of Howard Stanton Levey and those of Aquino, his helper do indeed exemplify the type of Satanism found in The Church Of Satan: populist, plagiaristic, reliant on the interpretations and interpolations of others, and unoriginal. In common parlance: plebeian, mundane.

In complete contrast, Myatt has fluency in the classical languages (Greek and Latin), as well as Arabic and possibly Persian, [and is] possessed of a gifted intellect and apparently a polymath, {21} and thus can read primary esoteric, classical, and alchemical sources, and the Greek texts of the Septuagint (the Old Testament) and the New Testament, in their original language. Thus when Anton Long writes in the O9A text The Geryne of Satan about Satan he does so based on a scholarly knowledge of the Greek text of the Old Testament.

In addition, when Myatt in contrast to both Levey and Aquino writes of ethics and about good and evil in, for example, chapter IV Questions of Good, Evil, Honour, and God of his 2013 book Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos, he provides passages in Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic, along with his own translations. Similarly, when discussing ethics in his recent book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, Myatt provides the relevant Greek texts (such as from the Gospel of John) and his own translations.

Thus the O9A writings of Anton Long do indeed exemplify O9A Satanism: intellectually and historically based {22}, scholarly, original. In common parlance: a cut above the rest.

Conclusion

The contrast between the life and writings of Howard Levey and Anton Long could not be more stark.

Levey was a showman, a dilettante, a plagiarist, a charlatan, and a mundane.

Anton Long, however, was a practical a hands-on extremist and Faustian man as well as an intellectual, a scholar, a martial arts expert {18}, emblematic of the modern syncretism of radical ideologies {23}, and well-described as an extremely violent, intelligent, dark, and complex individual {24} who undertook a global odyssey which took him on extended stays in the Middle East and East Asia, accompanied by studies of religions ranging from Christianity to Islam in the Western tradition and Taoism and Buddhism in the Eastern path. In the course of this Siddhartha-like search for truth, Myatt sampled the life of the monastery in both its Christian and Buddhist forms. {25}.

Which global odyssey formed only part of his fifty year quest his personal hermetic anados () {26} along the Seven Fold (Sinisterly-Numinous) Way of the O9A culminating in his discovery of Lapis Philosophicus {27} and thence the living of the life of a reclusive Mage, and thus a modern example of the ancient Rounwytha tradition, whose perceiveration is of the nameless, wordless, unity beyond our mortal, abstract, ideations of sinister and numinous, of Left Hand Path and Right Hand Path, and also and importantly of time. For it is our ideation of time with its assumption of a possible temporal progression, via various temporary causal forms, toward something better or more advanced or more perfect (in personal or supra-personal terms) that underlies the magian/patriarchal/masculous approach that has dominated, and still dominates, Western occultism and esotericism in general, fundamental to which is a hubriatic egoism: the illusion that is the individual will. {28}

Such is the modern heresy of the O9A which esoterically and exoterically contradicts the modern Satanism of Levey based as the Satanism of Levey is on the premise that Satan is a symbol for plebeians, and thus of the carnal, the selfish, the egoistic, the mundane, nature of human beings.

In stark contrast, the Satanism of the O9A is of a Faustian, a Promethean, and life-long endeavor to defy all ideations, all causal forms, and reach out to personally and in practical ways experience and learn from both the sinister and the numinous and to thus discover Lapis Philosophicus.

T.W.S. NexionJuly 2018 ev

This is a revised and enlarged extract from an article first published in May 2018 ev.

{1} Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2003). Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity. New York University Press.

{2} Senholt, Jacob C. (2013). Secret Identities in the Sinister Tradition: Political Esotericism and the Convergence of Radical Islam, Satanism, and National Socialism in the Order of Nine Angles. The Devils Party: Satanism in Modernity. Per Faxneld and Jesper Aagaard Petersen (editors). Oxford University Press. pp. 250274.

{3} Theoretician of Terror, Searchlight, July 2000.

{4} According to Levey, his satanism is Ayn Rand with trappings, qv. K. Klein, The Washington Post, May 10, 1970: The Witches Are Back and So Are Satanists.

{5} Categorizing Modern Satanism, in The Devils Party: Satanism in Modernity, Oxford University Press, 2012, p.92.

{6} The Black Pope and the Church of Satan, in The Devils Party: Satanism in Modernity, Oxford University Press, 2012, p.80.

{7} The text The Geryne of Satan is available from https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/geryne-of-satan/

{8} The Place Of Satanism in the Order of Nine Angles, in The Joy Of The Sinister: The Traditional Satanism Of The Order Of Nine Angles. e-text, 2015. Available at https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/joy-of-the-sinister.pdf

{9} Pathei-Mathos and The Initiatory Occult Quest, in The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles. e-text, 2016. Available at https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/the-esoteric-hermeticism-of-the-order-of-nine-angles/

{10} Michael, George. The New Media and the Rise of Exhortatory Terrorism. Strategic Studies Quarterly (United States Air Force), Volume 7 Issue 1, Spring 2013.

{11} Sunday Mercury, July 9, 2000.

{12} Simon Wiesenthal Center: Response, Summer 2003, Vol 24, #2.

{13} Searchlight, July 2000.

{14} Whine, Michael. Cyberspace: A New Medium for Communication, Command and Control by Extremists, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 22, Issue 3. Taylor & Francis. 1999.

{15} Mark Weitzmann, Anti-Semitism and Terrorism, in Dienel, Hans-Liudger (editor), Terrorism and the Internet: Threats, Target Groups, Deradicalisation Strategies. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, vol. 67. IOS Press, 2010. pp.16-17.

{16} Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. Hitlers Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo-Nazism, NYU Press, 2000, p.215

{17} Michael, George. (2006) The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right. University Press of Kansas, p. 142ff.

{18} Right here, right now, The Observer newspaper, February 9, 2003.

{19} Vacca, John R. Computer Forensics: Computer Crime Scene Investigation, Charles River Media, 2005, p.420.

{20} See, for example, his two volume book The Church Of Satan, published in 2013, which documents the history of Leveys Church of Satan.

{21} Monette, Connell. Mysticism in the 21st Century, Sirius Academic Press, 2013. pp. 85-122.

{22} qv. (i) The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles. e-text, 2016. Available at https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/the-esoteric-hermeticism-of-the-order-of-nine-angles/ and (ii) https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/western-paganism-and-hermeticism/

{23} Perdue, Jon B. The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism. Potomac Books, 2012. p.70-71.

{24} Raine, Susan. The Devils Party (Book review). Religion, Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2014, pp. 529-533.

{25} Kaplan, Jeffrey. Encyclopedia of white power: a sourcebook on the radical racist right. Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. p. 216ff; p.512f

{26} In regard to the hermetic anados, qv. Myatts translation of and commentary on the Poemandres tractate of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum, included in Myatt, David, Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates, 2017, ISBN 978-1976452369.

{27} qv. https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/the-enigmatic-truth/

{28} https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/the-rounwytha-way/

Related:

A Modern MysteriumThe Enigma of David Myatt And Anton Long(pdf)

Republished here are some items concerning the nine angles and/or which place the term nine angles into the correct esoteric perspective.

The first item whose full title is Notes Concerning The Term Nine Angles As Used By The Occult Group The Order of Nine Angles is in four parts and was issued in 2013 ev. Part One is an extract from a September 2013 ev debate on an Occult internet forum. Part Two contains three screen-shots from a 2011 ev debate between Aquino, of the Temple of Set, and a person associated with the Order of Nine Angles. Part Three is an extract from Myatts commentary on the Greek text of the Divine Pymander, a text dating from the second/third century CE . Part Four is an extract from A Glossary of ONA Terms, v.3.07.

The second item More Notes On The Nine Angles is the most recent (2018 ev) and places the screenshots of Part Two of the first item into context, containing as it does further extracts from that 2011 ev thread on an Occult forum.

The third and the fourth items are parts one and two of Concerning The Meaning of The Nine Angles: A Collection of Texts, issued in 120 yf and 121 yf respectively, that is in 2009 ev and 2010 ev. Part One consists of a polemic text (Ingrowing Angles, or How Not to Name Thee Nine Angles Thingy, written in 2009 ev) and two esoteric texts, The Order of Nine Angles in Historical, and Esoteric, Context, and The Nine Angles Just One More Causal Symbology. Part Two consists of one esoteric text, The Nine Angles Beyond The Causal Continuum, issued in 121 yf, and concerns the angles as causal-acausal dimensions, which differ from causal dimensions in that they are alchemical and thus presence or can presence Life.

The fifth item, The Five-Dimensional Sorcery of the Seventh Way, written in 116 yf (2005 ev) concerns the nine angles in the context of sorcery.

The sixth item, Debunking The Chaos: Sorcery and the Esoteric Nature of The Acausal, written in 122 yf, concerns sorcery as a living alchemy, and is a companion to the fifth item.

The seventh item, The Star Game: Further Notes Regarding The Esoteric Form, written in 121 yf, provides some practical notes regarding constructing and playing The Star Game.

The items thus reveal how the nine angles can be understood both exoterically and esoterically, as well as how they can be understood both in terms of practical sorcery (such as The Star Game, or the various forms of the Rite Of Nine Angles) and in terms of the esoteric philosophy of the O9A.

However, as noted in many of the texts, in the simplest sense the nine angles of the O9A are the nine combinations of the three fundamental alchemical elements Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt, whose transformations over the seven boards of the O9A Star Game represent the septenary Tree of Wyrd and thus the nexion which is our psyche.

Notes Concerning The Term Nine Angles

More Notes On The Nine Angles

Nine Angles: A Collection of Texts, Part One

Nine Angles: A Collection of Texts, Part Two

The Five-Dimensional Sorcery of the Seventh Way

Debunking The Chaos

The Star Game: Further Notes

Related:

Star Game Overview

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The Satanic Bible – Wikipedia

The Satanic Bible is a collection of essays, observations, and rituals published by Anton LaVey in 1969. It is the central religious text of LaVeyan Satanism, and is considered the foundation of its philosophy and dogma. It has been described as the most important document to influence contemporary Satanism. Though The Satanic Bible is not considered to be sacred scripture in the way that the Christian Bible is to Christianity, LaVeyan Satanists regard it as an authoritative text as it is a contemporary text that has attained for them scriptural status. It extols the virtues of exploring one's own nature and instincts. Believers have been described as "atheistic Satanists" because they believe that God is not an external entity, but rather something that each person creates as a projection of his or her own personalitya benevolent and stabilizing force in his or her life. There have been thirty printings of The Satanic Bible, through which it has sold over a million copies.

The Satanic Bible is composed of four books: The Book of Satan, The Book of Lucifer, The Book of Belial, and The Book of Leviathan. The Book of Satan challenges the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, and promotes Epicureanism. The Book of Lucifer holds most of the philosophy in The Satanic Bible, with twelve chapters discussing topics such as indulgence, love, hate, and sex. LaVey also uses the book to dispel rumors surrounding the religion. In The Book of Belial, LaVey details rituals and magic. He discusses the required mindset and focus for performing a ritual, and provides instructions for three rituals: those for sex, compassion, or destruction. The Book of Leviathan provides four invocations for Satan, lust, compassion, and destruction. It also lists the nineteen Enochian Keys (adapted from John Dee's Enochian keys), provided both in Enochian and in English translation.

There have been both positive and negative reactions to The Satanic Bible. It has been described as "razor-sharp" and "influential". Criticism of The Satanic Bible stems both from qualms over LaVey's writing and disapproval of the content itself. LaVey has been criticized for plagiarizing sections, and accusations have been made that his philosophies are largely borrowed. The Satanic Bible has been heavily condemned as dangerous, particularly to adolescents. Attempts have been made to ban the book in schools, public libraries, and prisons, though these attempts are somewhat rare.

There are multiple stories of the birth of The Satanic Bible. In the introduction to the 2005present edition, High Priest Peter H. Gilmore describes LaVey as having compiled The Satanic Bible on his own from monographs he had written about the Church of Satan and its rituals. Gilmore lists a number of people who influenced LaVey's writings: Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, H. L. Mencken, the members of the carnival with whom LaVey had supposedly worked in his youth, P. T. Barnum, Mark Twain, John Milton, and Lord Byron.

LaVey's estranged daughter Zeena Schreck, in an expos about both her father's religion and past, attributes the birth of The Satanic Bible to a suggestion by Peter Mayer, a publisher for Avon. According to Schreck, Mayer proposed that LaVey author a Satanic Bible to draw from the popularity of the 1968 horror film Rosemary's Baby, which had caused a recent rise in public interest in both Satanism and other occult practices.[24] Schreck states that, aided by Diane Hegarty, LaVey compiled a number of writings he had already been distributing: an introduction to Satanism, a number of short essays, a guide to ritual magic, and articles he had previously published in The Cloven Hoof, a Church of Satan newsletter.

Either to meet length requirements set by the publisher or out of agreement with the ideas, LaVey and Hegarty borrowed heavily from writings by other authors. These included a social Darwinist book published in 1890 entitled Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard, as well as Dee's Enochian keys from Aleister Crowley's The Equinox, modified to replace references to Christianity with those to Satan. Some accuse LaVey of paraphrasing the Nine Satanic Statements from Rand's Atlas Shrugged without acknowledgement, though others maintain that LaVey was simply drawing inspiration from the novel. LaVey later affirmed the connection with Rand's ideas by stating that LaVeyan Satanism was "just Ayn Rand's philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added".

Originally published in paperback by Avon in 1969, The Satanic Bible has had thirty printings and has never gone out of print. A hardcover edition was published by University Books that same year but has now been out of print for decades.[31] In 2015, William Morrow published a new hardcover edition of the book combined in a single volume with its companion work, The Satanic Rituals, and marketed under a special arrangement by Rabid Crow Arts and Graphics.[32] The main content has not changed throughout the editions, although the dedication was removed after several printings and the introduction has changed several times. The Sigil of Baphomet has been printed on the cover since the original publication. The Satanic Bible has sold over one million copies since its initial release. It has also been translated into Danish, Swedish, German, Spanish, Finnish and Turkish.

Though it is no longer included in current printings of The Satanic Bible, early printings included an extensive dedication to various people whom LaVey recognized as influences. LaVey's primary dedication was to Bernardino Nogara (misprinted as "Logara"), Karl Haushofer, Grigori Rasputin, Basil Zaharoff, Alessandro Cagliostro, Barnabas, Ragnar Redbeard, William Mortensen, Hans Brick, Max Reinhardt, Orrin Klapp, Fritz Lang, Friedrich Nietzsche, W. C. Fields, P. T. Barnum, Hans Poelzig, Reginald Marsh, Wilhelm Reich, and Mark Twain. The secondary dedication named Howard Hughes, James Moody, Marcello Truzzi, AdrianClaude Frazier, Marilyn Monroe, Wesley Mather, William Lindsay Gresham, Hugo Zacchini, Jayne Mansfield, Frederick Goerner, C. Huntley, Nathanael West, Horatio Alger Jr., Robert E. Howard, George Orwell, H. P. Lovecraft, Tuesday Weld, H. G. Wells, Sister Marie Koven, Harry Houdini, Togare (LaVey's pet lion), and the Nine Unknown Men from The Nine Unknown.

Throughout the various printings of The Satanic Bible, it has included introductions by various authors. The first edition (in print from 1969 to 1972) included an excerpt from an article by Burton H. Wolfe, an investigative journalist and biographer of LaVey, entitled "The Church that Worships Satan". Wolfe provides an extensive biography of LaVey and a history of the Church of Satan. He mentions Rosemary's Baby as contributing to the popularity of Satanism, though he does not claim LaVeyan Satanism to have directly influenced its creation. From 1972 until 1976, the introduction to The Satanic Bible was a piece by Michael A. Aquino, who later went on to found the Temple of Set with a number of members of the Church of Satan. He gives a detailed analysis of the Satanic philosophies, and dispels myths about LaVeyan Satanism. He explains that it is not "devil worship", and that LaVeyan Satanists in fact reject the worship of external gods completely. He too provides a brief background on LaVey, explaining how LaVey brought some of the knowledge he had acquired while working with the circus to his religion. Wolfe again wrote the introduction for the 1976 to 2005 editions of The Satanic Bible. It included some of the same content as the 1969 version, with an expanded biography of LaVey and more information on the various conflicts between other religions and LaVeyan Satanism. Since 2005, The Satanic Bible has contained an introduction written by Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan. In this introduction, he discusses his discovery of LaVeyan Satanism and his relationship with LaVey. He then goes on to provide a detailed biography of LaVey and addresses allegations that LaVey falsified much of the story of his own past. The introduction also provides a history of The Satanic Bible itself, as well as that of two other books by LaVey: The Satanic Witch and The Satanic Rituals.

LaVey explains his reasons for writing The Satanic Bible in a short preface. He speaks skeptically about volumes written by other authors on the subject of magic, dismissing them as "nothing more than sanctimonious fraud" and "volumes of hoary misinformation and false prophecy". He complains that other authors do no more than confuse the subject. He mocks those who spend large amounts of money on attempts to follow rituals and learn about the magic shared in other occult books. He also notes that many of the existing writings on Satanic magic and ideology were created by "right-hand path" authors. He tells that The Satanic Bible contains both truth and fantasy, and declares, "What you see may not always please you, but you will see!"

The prologue to The Satanic Bible begins by discussing the concept of gods, good and evil, and human nature. It includes the Nine Satanic Statements:

The Nine Satanic Statements outline the basic ideology of LaVeyan Satanism, and have become some of the guiding principles of LaVeyan Satanism. They also served as a template for later publications by LaVey, such as his 1987 "Nine Satanic Sins". Ayn Rand's influence on LaVeyan Satanism is apparent in the Nine Satanic Statements, leading some, namely Nikolas Schreck, to assert that the Statements are simply unacknowledged paraphrase of Rand's thoughts. These accusations have been disproved, however.

Much of the first book of The Satanic Bible is taken from parts of Redbeard's Might Is Right, edited to remove racism, antisemitism, and misogyny. It challenges both the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, advocating instead a tooth-for-tooth philosophy. LaVey, through Redbeard, strongly advocates social Darwinism, saying, "Death to the weakling, wealth to the strong!" Humans are identified as instinctually predatory, and "lust and carnal desire" are singled out as part of humans' intrinsic nature. The Book of Satan suggests a hedonistic outlook, saying, "I break away from all conventions that do not lead to my earthly happiness." Indulgence is endorsed, and readers are encouraged to make the most of their lives. It criticizes both law and religious principles, instead suggesting doing only what makes one happy and successful. LaVey continues to denounce other religions, and he rails against what he considers to be arbitrary definitions of "good" and "evil". Religion is criticized as a man-made construct, and the reader is urged to question everything and destroy any lies that he or she uncovers. Long-standing lies that are believed to be irrefutable truths are identified as the most dangerous. The last part of The Book of Satan is an adaptation of the Christian Beatitudes, changed to reflect the principles of LaVeyan Satanism.

The Book of Lucifer contains the majority of the philosophy of The Satanic Bible. It details how Christianity has taught that God is good and Satan is evil, and presents an alternate view. It describes that the concept of Satan, used synonymously with "God", is different for each LaVeyan Satanist, but that to all it represents a good and steadying force in his or her life. Believers have been called "atheistic Satanists" because of this lack of belief in external gods, but others identify as antitheistic. Satan is seen to LaVeyan Satanists not as "an anthropomorphic being with cloven hooves, a barbed tail, and horns", but as a force of nature that has only been described as evil by other religions. Satan is viewed as a metaphor or a symbol, not as a being to be worshipped.

LaVey rejects the idea of prayer, instead urging Satanists to take action to fix a situation instead of asking for a solution. The seven deadly sins are advocated, on the basis that they all lead to personal pleasure. He says that Satanism is a form of "controlled selfishness", in the sense that doing something to help another will in turn make one happy. The Golden Rule is again mentioned, and LaVey suggests altering it from "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" to "Do unto others as they do unto you" so that if someone is treated poorly, he or she can respond viciously. The Book of Lucifer also contains a list of "The Four Crown Princes of Hell" (Satan, Lucifer, Belial, and Leviathan) and of seventy-seven "Infernal Names", representations of Satan from various cultures and religions. They are the names that, according to LaVey, are most useful in Satanic rituals.

The Book of Lucifer contains a long chapter titled "Satanic Sex", discussing Satanism's view on sexual activity as well as misconceptions surrounding these views. He denies the belief that sex is the most important element in LaVeyan Satanism, and that participation in orgies or other promiscuous behavior is forced. He explains that sexual freedom is encouraged, but only in the sense that believers should be free to explore their own sexualities as they please, without harming others. Along with the rumors regarding Satanic views on sex, LaVey also addresses those about animal and human sacrifice. He explains that the only time a LaVeyan Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be to accomplish two goals: to "release the magician's wrath" as he or she performed a curse, and to kill someone who deserved to die. He considers the action of hurting another person a request to be destroyed, and explains that the Satanist is morally required to grant this request in the form of a curse. LaVey also says that a Satanist would never sacrifice a baby or an animal, as they are pure carnal beings and considered to be sacred. In The Book of Lucifer, LaVey outlines LaVeyan Satanism's views on death. He explains that one who has lived a full life will dread death, and that this is the way it should be. He also does not agree with the idea of reincarnation. He encourages a strong will to live, comparing it to animals' instincts to fight viciously for their lives. Suicide is discouraged except in cases of euthanasia, where it would end extreme suffering. Because the Satanist is considered his or her own god, birthdays are celebrated as the most important holidays. Following one's birthday in importance are Walpurgisnacht and Halloween. Solstices and equinoxes are also celebrated.

The third book of The Satanic Bible describes rituals and magic. According to Joshua Gunn, these are adapted from books of ritual magic such as Crowley's Magick: Elementary Theory. The Satanic Rituals, published by LaVey in 1972, outlines the rituals more precisely, and contains the entire text of the Black Mass. LaVey begins The Book of Belial by defining magic as "The change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable." He explains that some of the rituals are simply applied psychology or science, but that some contain parts with no scientific basis.

LaVey explains that, in order to control a person, one must first attract his or her attention. He gives three qualities that can be employed for this purpose: sex appeal, sentiment (cuteness or innocence), and wonder. He also advocates the use of odor. In the Book of Belial, he discusses three types of rituals: those for sex, compassion, and destruction. Sex rituals work to entice another person; compassion rituals work to improve health, intelligence, success, and so on; destruction rituals work to destroy another person. LaVey advocates finding others with whom to practice Satanic rituals in order to reaffirm one's faith and avoid antisocial behavior. He particularly advocates group participation for destruction rituals, as compassion and sex rituals are more private in nature. LaVey goes on to list the key components to successful ritual: desire, timing, imagery, direction, and "The Balance Factor" (awareness of one's own limitations). Details for the various Satanic rituals are explained in The Book of Belial, and lists of necessary objects (such as clothing, altars, and the symbol of Baphomet) are given.

The final book of The Satanic Bible emphasizes the importance of spoken word and emotion to effective magic. An "Invocation to Satan" as well as three invocations for the three types of ritual are given. The "Invocation to Satan" commands the dark forces to grant power to the summoner, and lists the Infernal names for use in the invocation. The "Invocation employed towards the conjuration of lust" is used for attracting the attentions of another. Both male and female versions of the invocation are provided. The "Invocation employed towards the conjuration of destruction" commands the dark forces to destroy the subject of the invocation. The "Invocation employed towards the conjuration of compassion" requests protection, health, strength, and the destruction of anything ailing the subject of the invocation. The rest of The Book of Leviathan is composed of the Enochian Keys, which LaVey adapted from Dee's original work. They are given in Enochian and also translated into English. LaVey provides a brief introduction that credits Dee and explains some of the history behind the Enochian Keys and language. He maintains that the translations provided are an "unvarnishing" of the translations performed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the 1800s, but others accuse LaVey of simply changing references to Christianity with those to Satan.

The Satanic Bible often uses the terms "God" and "Satan" interchangeably, except when referring to the concepts of these as viewed by other religions. LaVey also occasionally uses the term "God" to refer to other religions' views of God, and "Satan" or synonyms to refer to the idea of god as interpreted by LaVeyan Satanism, as when he writes, "When all religious faith in lies has waned, it is because man has become closer to himself and farther from 'God'; closer to the 'Devil.'" Throughout The Satanic Bible, the LaVeyan Satanist's view of god is described as the Satanist's true "self"a projection of his or her own personalitynot an external deity. Satan is used as a representation of personal liberty and individualism. Satan is also used as a metaphor for the ideas connected with the early Christian view of Satan or the serpent: wise, defiant, questioning, and free-thinking. LaVey discusses this extensively in The Book of Lucifer, explaining that the gods worshipped by other religions are also projections of man's true self. He argues that man's unwillingness to accept his own ego has caused him to externalize these gods so as to avoid the feeling of narcissism that would accompany self-worship.

If man insists on externalizing his true self in the form of "God," then why fear his true self, in fearing "God,"why praise his true self in praising "God,"why remain externalized from "God" in order to engage in ritual and religious ceremony in his name?Man needs ritual and dogma, but no law states that an externalized god is necessary in order to engage in ritual and ceremony performed in a god's name! Could it be that when he closes the gap between himself and his "God" he sees the demon of pride creeping forththat very embodiment of Lucifer appearing in his midst?

Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible, pp. 4445

Though at some points LaVey refers to Satan as a physical being, this is intended to encourage the Satanist's "rational self-interest."

Many of the ideas in The Satanic Bible are shaped around a secular, scientific view of the world. However, some of these ideas continue beyond present-day secularism by implying that various occult forces are not supernatural, but rather thus far undiscovered by science. These forces are said to be manipulable by the practitioner of LaVeyan Satanism, a trait of the religion that has been compared with Christian Science and Scientology.

James Lewis argues that scientific themes are so prevalent in The Satanic Bible because LaVey was appealing to the authority of science to legitimize Satanism as a religion.

Social Darwinism and the concept of "human nature" are ideas that are prevalent throughout The Satanic Bible. LaVey describes Satanism as "a religion based on the universal traits of man," and humans are described throughout as inherently carnal and animalistic. Each of the seven deadly sins is described as part of human's natural instinct, and are thus advocated. Social Darwinism is particularly noticeable in The Book of Satan, where LaVey plagiarizes portions of Redbeard's Might Is Right, though it also appears throughout in references to man's inherent strength and instinct for self-preservation. LaVeyan Satanism has been described as "institutionalism of Machiavellian self-interest" because of many of these themes.

The Satanic Bible is recognized as one of the key texts of modern Satanism. The Church of Satan requires that people accept "LaVey's principles" before becoming members of the church. Many other Satanist groups and individual Satanists who are not part of the Church of Satan also recognize LaVey's work as influential. Many Satanists attribute their conversions or discoveries of Satanism to The Satanic Bible, with 20% of respondents to a survey by James Lewis mentioning The Satanic Bible directly as influencing their conversion.In Gilmore's introduction, he lists a number of novels and films supposedly influenced by The Satanic Bible and LaVeyan Satanism. These include the novels Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin and Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber, as well as films such as Rosemary's Baby, The Devil's Rain, The Car, and Dr. Dracula. Others have lauded The Satanic Bible as heavily influential on metal and rock bands such as Black Sabbath, Venom, King Diamond, and Marilyn Manson.

Richard Metzger describes The Satanic Bible as "a razor-sharp, no-bullshit primer in natural and supernatural law." David G. Bromley calls it "iconoclastic" and "the best-known and most influential statement of Satanic theology." Eugene V. Gallagher says that Satanists use LaVey's writings "as lenses through which they view themselves, their group, and the cosmos." He also states: "With a clear-eyed appreciation of true human nature, a love of ritual and pageantry, and a flair for mockery, LaVey's Satanic Bible promulgated a gospel of self-indulgence that, he argued, anyone who dispassionately considered the facts would embrace." The philosophy it presents has been described as "strident libertarianism" and "an obvious distillation of ideas common among members of the United States counter-culture in the 1960s." Joshua Gunn argues that the significance of The Satanic Bible as an occult item owes to its status as a "totem or a fetishized object in popular culture", not the philosophy contained within. He argues that many erroneously categorize the content of The Satanic Bible as evil and depraved from the minimalist, dark cover design (composed of a purple Sigil of Baphomet and white text on the front, and a photo of LaVey superimposed over the Sigil of Baphomet on the back), the verbose, overblown style of the text, and the presence of the word "Satan" in the title. Contrary to this belief, he says, the philosophy presented by LaVey is "neither offensive nor surprising."

Zeena Schreck has criticized The Satanic Bible as a financial endeavor suggested by Avon publisher, Mayer. She maintains that it contains large amounts of falsified information about LaVey's past, and that much of the book is plagiarized from Redbeard's Might Is Right, Dee's Enochian Keys, and Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Chris Mathews, in Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture, describes The Satanic Bible as "hastily prepared" and cynical. Both Mathews and a 1971 article in Newsweek compare the ideologies presented in The Satanic Bible to Nazism: containing "unremitting focus on social elitism, appeals to force, and scorn for egalitarian principles". Israel Regardie criticized LaVey's alteration of the Enochian Keys in The Book of Leviathan as stupid and of lower quality than the original Keys.

The Satanic Bible has also received a large amount of criticism from people and organizations who find its content to be dangerous. Much of this criticism came during the period of "Satanic panic," when Satanic ritual abuse was feared to be epidemic. Much of this media coverage, however, has been denounced as "uncritical and sensationalized." Tom Harpur condemns the book as "blasphemous" and "socially seditious," and blames it for causing an increase in gruesome violence, ritual abuse, and other obscene acts. Critics have also accused The Satanic Bible of encouraging violence and murder, particularly in young people considered to be impressionable. Dawn Perlmutter criticizes it for providing adolescents with bad messages and messages that can be easily misinterpreted. Possession of The Satanic Bible has been used by some studies to identify adolescents who are antisocial, and some warn that possession of the book is a warning sign of emotional issues. The Council on Mind Abuse took a very negative view of The Satanic Bible. Former Executive Director Rob Tucker warned parents to look for The Satanic Bible in their children's bedrooms, saying, "You have to help the child fight this obsession like any other addiction" and "It's like giving drugs to a kid who is already on the edge." Attempts to ban the book from schools and public libraries have been made in various places around the world, and bans or limitations on the book in prisons have been repeatedly challenged in court. However, opposition to The Satanic Bible has rarely led to its removal; these bans are rare. The book was banned in South Africa from 1973 to 1993.[107]

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The Satanic Bible - Wikipedia