Satanism – Wikipedia

Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on the character of Satan.[1] 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 that they were behind events such as Protestantism and the French Revolution continued to be made in Christendom during the eighteenth to the twentieth century. 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 levelled at them.

Since the 19th century, various small religious groups have emerged that self-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.[2]

Contemporary religious Satanism is predominantly an American phenomenon, the ideas spreading elsewhere with the effects of globalization and the Internet.[3] The Internet spreads awareness of other Satanists, and is also the main battleground for Satanist disputes.[3] 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.[4][5]

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 levelled 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 levelled 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.

Preceded by some significant but isolated episodes in the 1970s, a great Satanism scare exploded in the 1980s in the United States and Canada and was subsequently exported towards England, Australia, and other countries. It was unprecedented in history. It surpassed even the results of Taxil’s propaganda, and has been compared with the most virulent periods of witch hunting. The scare started in 1980 and declined slowly between 1990… and 1994, when official British and American reports denied the real existence of ritual satanic crimes. Particularly outside the U.S. and U.K., however, its consequences are still felt today.

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 criminal religious groups had switched focus from Satanism to extremist Islam in 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 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 1765-83 and the French Revolution of 1789-99, 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 utilised 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 utilised 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 utilised 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.[110]

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. However, the legitimacy of such actions as Satanic endeavors, rather than simply rebellious actions done for publicity, is something that has been doubted by even some of those who contribute to the genre.[116] 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 utilised 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 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 utilised Satanic imagery, 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 Satanas 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”,[144] 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 being, where 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.”

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.[181] 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”[182] The term “Theistic Satanism” has been described as “oxymoronic” by the church and its High Priest.[183] 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,[184] 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 New York. The organization actively participates in public affairs that have manifested in several public political actions[185][186] and efforts at lobbying,[187] with a focus on the separation of church and state and using satire against Christian groups that it believes interfere with personal freedom.[187] 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 will 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.[190] Satan is thus used as a symbol representing “the eternal rebel” against arbitrary authority and social norms.[191][192]

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.[193] 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,[211] who left because of administrative and philosophical disagreements. ToS deliberately self-differentiates from CoS in several ways, most significantly in theology and sociology.[212] 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.[212]

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 humanity through the means of non-natural evolution the “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 was 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 Satanist 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 has 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 phenomenon 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 un-ethical, 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.[244][245][246] 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”.[247]

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.[248][249] 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.[250][251]

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Satanism – Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

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

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

The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy

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

F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | churchofsatan.com

Why do Satanists worship The Devil?

We dont. Satanists are atheists. We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions.

Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the God) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an I-Theist.

Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

No. We are atheists. The only people who perform sacrifices are those who believe in supernatural beings who would consider a sacrifice to be some form of payment for a request or form of worship. Since we do not believe in supernatural beings there is no reason for a Satanist to make a sacrifice of any sort.

Satanism has strong rules prohibiting sexual activity with children and non-human animals. In fact, if a Church of Satan member abuses children sexually or otherwise, his membership is automatically terminated without possibility for re-instatement. The Church of Satan also does not accept anyone who is not legally adult as an Active Member. In Satanism, sexual activity is only advocated between consenting adults.

No. Our ritual is basically a form of self-therapy and is most often done in private. The three basic rituals are presented in The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey and these do not demonstrate any type of abusive behavior.

There is no such thing. People who believe in some Devilish supernatural being and worship him are Devil-worshippers, not Satanists. Anton LaVey was the first to define Satanism as a philosophy, and it is an atheist perspective. Theistic Satanism is an oxymoronic term and thus absurd. In Satanism each individual is his or her own godthere is no room for any other god and that includes Satan, Lucifer, Cthulhu or whatever other name one might select or take from history or fiction.

When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, it is augmented with modern circumstances, as well as his own thoughts. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, an attempt for melding science with philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we didnt, who else would?) This is the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. Its evolution, pure and simple.

Do not e-mail us with questions before you have spent time reading through this FAQ as we will direct you to go back and read it.

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F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | churchofsatan.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nonetheless, Greaves blames slavery on Protestant radicalization.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plato, iconic philosopher and slave-owner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the article here:

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

Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy ‘Satanic’ – HuffPost

Over the weekend, the streets of Charlottesville filled with white supremacists and members of the alt-right movement bent on preserving a white culture and the white identity they feel to be under attack.

Their Unite the Right rally quickly devolved into violence as white supremacists clashed with counter-protestors, culminating in an attack by James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer. Fields drove a car through the crowds, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

What happened in Charlottesville, according to some Christians,is the fruit of a Satanic ideology that preaches racial segregation and white dominance. These Christians claim that Satan and not Christ, as some groups assert is behind the movement to preserve and protect white culture against the forces of liberalism, globalization and multiculturalism.

Franklin Graham, a preacher known for espousing bigoted views toward immigrants, Muslims and members of the LGBTQ community, was quick to say Satan was behind the events in Charlottesville, though he did not refer to white supremacists specifically. In a Facebook post Sunday evening, Graham defended President Donald Trumps handling of the violence, saying Satan alone is to blame.

Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts, the evangelist wrote. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. Hes the enemy of peace and unity.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Monday, prominent evangelical theologian Russell Moore expressed a similar read on what happened in Charlottesville.

White supremacy is Satanism, Moore asserted.Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

The Christian gospelasserts thatall nations derive from the same divine origins and that Jesus envisioned his own church as a force that would unite the globe, Moore argued.

White supremacy, he said, is fundamentally opposed to these biblical principles. And that should disturb Christians.

Moore described the Charlottesville protesters chanting ofblood and soil, a phrase inspired by Nazi ideology, as idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.

The Scripture defines this attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666, he continued. White supremacy does not merely attack our society (though it does) and the ideals of our nation (though it does); white supremacy attacks the image of Jesus Christ himself.

This was, after all, what the Nazis were after too.Adolf Hitler himself was antagonistic toward religion, noted J. Lee Grady, former editor of Christian magazine, Charisma.

A huge majority of Germans, under the spell of this spiritual deception, supported Nazi policies, wrote Grady in an article published Wednesday. It is no surprise that many Christians in the 1940s viewed Hitler as the Antichrist.

What should trouble Christians most right now, Moore argued, isnt just the racist underpinnings of the alt-right but the fact that many white supremacists seek to promote a separate, white existencein the name of Jesus Christ.

White supremacists and alt-right advocates tend to be united around a deep belief in white difference, if not superiority, and a desire for racial segregation. Most are also aligned in their abhorrence for Judaism. Membership in some of the groups, including Identity Evropa and the National Socialist Movement, is limited to individuals who are white and non-Semitic.

Though not categorically united around Christianity, many of the alt-right and white supremacist groups that gathered in Charlottesville weave Christian language into their statements of belief. Some, like the Ku Klux Klan, assert overt Christian allegiance. As one Klan member explained his interpretation of Christian scriptureto Ilia Caldern, a reporter who is black and an immigrant, the Bibles mandate to love thy neighbor applies only to thy people. In his case, he said, that means white people.

On its official website, the KKK draws a distinction between what it calls mainstream Christians and committed Christians. The former bow to liberal theology, which presents Jesus as a good man whosemost important message is that we are to love everybody. The latter, with whom the KKK identify, hold fast to the beliefthat homosexuality is a sin, race mixing is a sin, abortion is a sin and obedience to civil authority above that of Godly authority is idolatry.

Others groups, including the Nationalistic Front and the Traditionalist Workers Party, speak of unifying the traditional faiths of the European people. Under that umbrella fall most denominations of Christianity, as well as agnostics and folk religionists.

Some groups speak more generally about family values and a shared understanding of the centrality of faith.

In fact, its in these broader descriptions of the alt-right vision that influential Christian theologian Tim Keller sees the most pernicious threat of white supremacy.

In an op-ed published on The Gospel Coalition website Tuesday, Keller wrote: Twentieth-century fascist movements that made absolute values out of Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) … also claimed to champion traditional family values and moral virtues over against the decadence of relativistic modern culture.

These ideologiescould and can still appeal to people within American Christian circles today through online efforts toradicalize people who are disaffected by moral decline in society.

We need to make those in our circles impervious to this toxic teaching, Keller wrote, or, perhap in other words, protect them from Satan.

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Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy ‘Satanic’ – HuffPost

Court orders new trial in satanic sacrificial murder case RT America – Standard Republic (press release) (blog)

Kentuckys highest court has ordered a new trial in the infamous satanic killing case in which two men were convicted of sacrificing a 19-year-old woman and spent some 22 years in prison.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Kentucky vacated Jeffrey Dewayne Clark and Garr Keith Hardins convictions, ordering a new trial after DNA evidence from the 1992 murder was tested with modern technology.

The new DNA analysis showed the single hair found on Rhonda Sue Warford wasnt Hardins and the blood-stained rag found in Hardins room, wasnt from a sacrificial ritual, but rather from Hardin cutting himself on a chalices jagged edge.

This is such a glorious day, said Vickie Howser, Hardins sister, to AP. After 22 years, it is so about time for him to have a decent life. They took his life away from him for something he did not do.

Hardins girlfriend, Rhonda Sue Warford, was 19 when she left her home in Louisville after midnight on April 2, 1992. She was found dead 50 miles away in Meade County three days later with multiple stab wounds.

Hardin, and his close friend Clark, became the subject of the investigation after Warfords mother told police she believed the boys, and her daughter, were all involved in satanism.

READ MORE: Oklahoma woman fatally stabs daughter in throat with crucifix to rid Satan from her body

Other factors, like Hardins subsequent confession to the murder, and Clarks confession to helping Hardin move the body, were found to have little merit as they were given during parole hearings and were insincere and contrived admissions, which are induced solely by the yearning to be free.

Hardins attorney, Larry Simon, said he expected Meade County prosecutors to try the men a second time.

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Court orders new trial in satanic sacrificial murder case RT America – Standard Republic (press release) (blog)

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORE INFO: HERE!

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

Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right – Patheos (blog)

The following is a guest post by Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple.

Soon after the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville and while the President was, for the first time in his political career, carefully moderating his words against those whom he was expected to denounce opinionators began the usual drudgery of fitting the events into their preferred narratives, regardless of how square the circle. Conservative Sylvia Thompsondeclared thatthe entire fiasco had been staged by fascist leftists who had infiltrated the Unite the Right movement with Deep State operatives to sow racial animus.

Radio host Michael Savage took to Twitter toask the questionthat was on no single reasonable persons mind, WHO STARTED THE RIOTS IN VIRGINIA? IS THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER AN INSTIGATOR OF UNREST?

The groveling Christian apologist, conservative commentator, and insufferable little sh*t, Dinesh DSouza was also quick to somehow put the unlikely blame upon his political adversariestweeting, Maybe if Democrats admitted their 150 year history of bigotry & apologized for it this country can begin to heal its divide#Charlottesville

American Family radio host Bryan Fischer also took to Twitter toblame Democrats, offering a typical Fischerian historical revision, White nationalism is not conservative but far left. KKK was a Democrat organization, Hitler was a socialist.@CNNhttp://cnn.it/2vXGi0j

The Ku Klux Klan is, and always has been, an openly, explicitly, Protestant religious sect, which also made the Twitter comment of author and Corporate Strategist, Eric Garland, who attributed White Supremacy to Americas Satanic side both senseless and infuriating:

Evangelist FranklinGraham blamedthe Charlottesville violence on the removal of a Confederate memorial, as well as on Satan, Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in#Charlottesville, VA. Thats absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? [] Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts. Satan is behind it all.

Writing for the Washington Post, 14 August 2017, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention,described on his websiteas the moral and public policy agency of the nations largest Protestant denomination,further elaborateda position that white supremacy is Satanic.

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

It is the same old idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.The Scripture definesthis attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666. []

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

White supremacy angers Jesus of Nazareth. The question is: Does it anger his church?

As the co-founder of, and spokesperson for, The Satanic Temple, my irritation at such comments shouldnt be surprising. However, to the unaffiliated there seems to be a tendency to view Moores comments as a triumph of progression among prominent American Christians. He is clearly denouncing the terrorism of the White Supremacists and, while I may identify non-theistically with a Miltonic Satan that defies all subjugation, exalts scientific inquiry, and promotes Humanistic, pluralistic values, I must also recognize that there is a general colloquial understanding of Satanic as synonymous with evil, cruelty, and abject depravity. What Moore is really saying is that Christians, and Christian Churches, should be clearly opposed to the mindless tribal thuggery of White Nationalists and they should also be clear that no such philosophy enjoys any of their support. While it may be thoughtless to ignore that self-identified Satanists very actively fight for individual and civil rights, is it not a relatively small crime given the overall picture?

No. In fact, Moores characterization of the situation is no small offense and, I would argue, one should be at least as offended by Moores assertion that White Supremacy is Satanism as they may be over Dinesh DSouzas implication that the violence in Charlottesville can be blamed on the Democratic Party, or Michael Savages unsurprisingly asinine speculation that the Southern Poverty Law Center was involved. There is more at stake here than a semantic battle over who defines Satan. Moores article, and the various comments from Christian leaders seeking to attribute Charlottesville to Satan or Satanism are nothing short of their Declaration of Refusal to confront the Protestant roots of the American Racist Right. Further, their invocation of the eternal adversary as a scapegoat comes with darker implicit assumptions that should be confronted and rejected outright.

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

Slavery in the United States was traditionally andrather credibly, from a theological perspective justified on scriptural grounds. The Ku Klux Klan is as much areligious Protestant sectas the Taliban or Al-Qaeda are Muslim. The doctrine of theChristian IdentityMovement, with its spurious scholarship and militant apocalyptic urgency, forms the ideological backdrop of virtually allwhite supremacist and extreme anti-government movements in the United States. Allowing Christian leaders to merely disown Protestant radicalisation by fiat absolves them of having to confront the problem of radicalisation from amongst their own. Its one thing to disagree with the scriptural interpretation of a movement, its entirely another to deny that the movement had any foundations in scriptural interpretations at all. Facing the problem of Protestant racism from within means acknowledging its existence and dedicating a certain amount of energy tomaintaininga non-racist Church, not merely claiming that no such element exists only when politically convenient.

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

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

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

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

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

PS: I now have a Patreon if youd like to support my writing and podcasting.

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Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right – Patheos (blog)

Satanism – Wikipedia

Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on the character of Satan.[1] 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 that they were behind events such as Protestantism and the French Revolution continued to be made in Christendom during the eighteenth to the twentieth century. 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 levelled at them.

Since the 19th century, various small religious groups have emerged that self-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.[2]

Contemporary religious Satanism is predominantly an American phenomenon, the ideas spreading elsewhere with the effects of globalization and the Internet.[3] The Internet spreads awareness of other Satanists, and is also the main battleground for Satanist disputes.[3] 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.[4][5]

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 levelled 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 levelled 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.

Preceded by some significant but isolated episodes in the 1970s, a great Satanism scare exploded in the 1980s in the United States and Canada and was subsequently exported towards England, Australia, and other countries. It was unprecedented in history. It surpassed even the results of Taxil’s propaganda, and has been compared with the most virulent periods of witch hunting. The scare started in 1980 and declined slowly between 1990… and 1994, when official British and American reports denied the real existence of ritual satanic crimes. Particularly outside the U.S. and U.K., however, its consequences are still felt today.

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 criminal religious groups had switched focus from Satanism to extremist Islam in 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 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 1765-83 and the French Revolution of 1789-99, 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 utilised 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 utilised 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 utilised 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.[110]

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. However, the legitimacy of such actions as Satanic endeavors, rather than simply rebellious actions done for publicity, is something that has been doubted by even some of those who contribute to the genre.[116] 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 utilised 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 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 utilised Satanic imagery, 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 Satanas 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”,[144] 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 being, where 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.”

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.[181] 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”[182] The term “Theistic Satanism” has been described as “oxymoronic” by the church and its High Priest.[183] 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,[184] 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 New York. The organization actively participates in public affairs that have manifested in several public political actions[185][186] and efforts at lobbying,[187] with a focus on the separation of church and state and using satire against Christian groups that it believes interfere with personal freedom.[187] 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 will 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.[190] Satan is thus used as a symbol representing “the eternal rebel” against arbitrary authority and social norms.[191][192]

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.[193] 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,[211] who left because of administrative and philosophical disagreements. ToS deliberately self-differentiates from CoS in several ways, most significantly in theology and sociology.[212] 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.[212]

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 humanity through the means of non-natural evolution the “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 was 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 Satanist 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 has 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 phenomenon 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 un-ethical, 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.[244][245][246] 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”.[247]

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.[248][249] 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.[250][251]

Follow this link:

Satanism – Wikipedia

F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | churchofsatan.com

Why do Satanists worship The Devil?

We dont. Satanists are atheists. We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions.

Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the God) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an I-Theist.

Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

No. We are atheists. The only people who perform sacrifices are those who believe in supernatural beings who would consider a sacrifice to be some form of payment for a request or form of worship. Since we do not believe in supernatural beings there is no reason for a Satanist to make a sacrifice of any sort.

Satanism has strong rules prohibiting sexual activity with children and non-human animals. In fact, if a Church of Satan member abuses children sexually or otherwise, his membership is automatically terminated without possibility for re-instatement. The Church of Satan also does not accept anyone who is not legally adult as an Active Member. In Satanism, sexual activity is only advocated between consenting adults.

No. Our ritual is basically a form of self-therapy and is most often done in private. The three basic rituals are presented in The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey and these do not demonstrate any type of abusive behavior.

There is no such thing. People who believe in some Devilish supernatural being and worship him are Devil-worshippers, not Satanists. Anton LaVey was the first to define Satanism as a philosophy, and it is an atheist perspective. Theistic Satanism is an oxymoronic term and thus absurd. In Satanism each individual is his or her own godthere is no room for any other god and that includes Satan, Lucifer, Cthulhu or whatever other name one might select or take from history or fiction.

When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, it is augmented with modern circumstances, as well as his own thoughts. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, an attempt for melding science with philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we didnt, who else would?) This is the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. Its evolution, pure and simple.

Do not e-mail us with questions before you have spent time reading through this FAQ as we will direct you to go back and read it.

View post:

F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | churchofsatan.com

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

By Lucien Greaves By Lucien Greaves August 23 at 6:00 AM Lucien Greaves is co-founder of and spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, an international nontheistic religious organization advocating for secularism and scientific rationalism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

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

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

The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy

Read this article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evangelist Franklin Graham had shamed politicians trying to push blame on President Trump, and remarked: Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts. Satan is behind it all.

Greaves said he was naturally irritated by such comments because such language is not harmless. It lets mainstream religions off the hook for some of the darker periods of American history, despite the deep connections between slavery and Christian theology.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 29 July 1833) English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nonetheless, Greaves blames slavery on Protestant radicalization.

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

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

And that, Allowing Christian leaders to merely disown Protestant radicalization by fiat absolves them of having to confront the problem of slavery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plato, iconic philosopher and slave-owner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More:

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

Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right – Patheos (blog)

The following is a guest post by Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple.

Soon after the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville and while the President was, for the first time in his political career, carefully moderating his words against those whom he was expected to denounce opinionators began the usual drudgery of fitting the events into their preferred narratives, regardless of how square the circle. Conservative Sylvia Thompsondeclared thatthe entire fiasco had been staged by fascist leftists who had infiltrated the Unite the Right movement with Deep State operatives to sow racial animus.

Radio host Michael Savage took to Twitter toask the questionthat was on no single reasonable persons mind, WHO STARTED THE RIOTS IN VIRGINIA? IS THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER AN INSTIGATOR OF UNREST?

The groveling Christian apologist, conservative commentator, and insufferable little sh*t, Dinesh DSouza was also quick to somehow put the unlikely blame upon his political adversariestweeting, Maybe if Democrats admitted their 150 year history of bigotry & apologized for it this country can begin to heal its divide#Charlottesville

American Family radio host Bryan Fischer also took to Twitter toblame Democrats, offering a typical Fischerian historical revision, White nationalism is not conservative but far left. KKK was a Democrat organization, Hitler was a socialist.@CNNhttp://cnn.it/2vXGi0j

The Ku Klux Klan is, and always has been, an openly, explicitly, Protestant religious sect, which also made the Twitter comment of author and Corporate Strategist, Eric Garland, who attributed White Supremacy to Americas Satanic side both senseless and infuriating:

Evangelist FranklinGraham blamedthe Charlottesville violence on the removal of a Confederate memorial, as well as on Satan, Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in#Charlottesville, VA. Thats absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? [] Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts. Satan is behind it all.

Writing for the Washington Post, 14 August 2017, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention,described on his websiteas the moral and public policy agency of the nations largest Protestant denomination,further elaborateda position that white supremacy is Satanic.

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

It is the same old idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.The Scripture definesthis attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666. []

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

White supremacy angers Jesus of Nazareth. The question is: Does it anger his church?

As the co-founder of, and spokesperson for, The Satanic Temple, my irritation at such comments shouldnt be surprising. However, to the unaffiliated there seems to be a tendency to view Moores comments as a triumph of progression among prominent American Christians. He is clearly denouncing the terrorism of the White Supremacists and, while I may identify non-theistically with a Miltonic Satan that defies all subjugation, exalts scientific inquiry, and promotes Humanistic, pluralistic values, I must also recognize that there is a general colloquial understanding of Satanic as synonymous with evil, cruelty, and abject depravity. What Moore is really saying is that Christians, and Christian Churches, should be clearly opposed to the mindless tribal thuggery of White Nationalists and they should also be clear that no such philosophy enjoys any of their support. While it may be thoughtless to ignore that self-identified Satanists very actively fight for individual and civil rights, is it not a relatively small crime given the overall picture?

No. In fact, Moores characterization of the situation is no small offense and, I would argue, one should be at least as offended by Moores assertion that White Supremacy is Satanism as they may be over Dinesh DSouzas implication that the violence in Charlottesville can be blamed on the Democratic Party, or Michael Savages unsurprisingly asinine speculation that the Southern Poverty Law Center was involved. There is more at stake here than a semantic battle over who defines Satan. Moores article, and the various comments from Christian leaders seeking to attribute Charlottesville to Satan or Satanism are nothing short of their Declaration of Refusal to confront the Protestant roots of the American Racist Right. Further, their invocation of the eternal adversary as a scapegoat comes with darker implicit assumptions that should be confronted and rejected outright.

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

Slavery in the United States was traditionally andrather credibly, from a theological perspective justified on scriptural grounds. The Ku Klux Klan is as much areligious Protestant sectas the Taliban or Al-Qaeda are Muslim. The doctrine of theChristian IdentityMovement, with its spurious scholarship and militant apocalyptic urgency, forms the ideological backdrop of virtually allwhite supremacist and extreme anti-government movements in the United States. Allowing Christian leaders to merely disown Protestant radicalisation by fiat absolves them of having to confront the problem of radicalisation from amongst their own. Its one thing to disagree with the scriptural interpretation of a movement, its entirely another to deny that the movement had any foundations in scriptural interpretations at all. Facing the problem of Protestant racism from within means acknowledging its existence and dedicating a certain amount of energy tomaintaininga non-racist Church, not merely claiming that no such element exists only when politically convenient.

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

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

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

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

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

PS: I now have a Patreon if youd like to support my writing and podcasting.

More:

Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right – Patheos (blog)

A Brief But Very Informative History of How Fascists Infiltrated Punk … – Noisey

Alexander Reid Ross is a lecturer at Portland State University, the editor of ‘Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab,’ and the author of the new book, ‘Against the Fascist Creep’ (AK Press). His book traces today’s often-disguised forms of rightwing extremism through the decades and across the globe to show how infiltration is a conscious and clandestine program for neofascist groups that seek to co-opt and undermine both the mainstream and the new social movements of the left.

The fallout from the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville organized by open fascists has brought a renewed sense of urgency for the anti-racist and anti-fascist movement. Following the abortive rally, a neo-Nazi named James Alex Fields drove into a contingent of antifascists, murdering one and injuring 19. Fields was pictured at the rally among the fascist Vanguard America group, wearing their uniform of white polos and khaki pants and brandishing a shield with their logo of two fasces crossed in an X. This image appears to give us a clear understanding of what fascism looks like and where it can be opposed. However, fascist organizing is rarely so open or obvious. Fascist efforts to recruit and influence often take place under shades of ambiguity within subcultural spaces, for instance at shows, parties, in magazines, and online. There is a likelihood that many will either leave the alt-right or retreat back into such spaces to regain momentum.

For people who live across the country from Charlottesville, in Portland, Oregon, the August 12 slaying brought back sad memories of May 26, when a racially-motivated slashing by Jeremy Joseph Christian left two dead and one critically injured on public transit. News quickly emerged of Christian’s associations with recent alt-right linked protests, but he did not fit the typical white supremacist profilehe was into heavy metal, anarchy, and nihilism.

While Fields gives us the image of the clean-cut fascist from the Midwest, eager to bully others whom he deems weaker and capable of extreme acts of violence, it is important to remember that the alt-right emerged through a longer history of ongoing efforts by fascists to manipulate different cultures and their values, from conservative anti-interventionism to leftist anti-imperialism and even rock subcultures. In order to stop fascists from continuing to organize, subcultures must stand against not just those wearing white polo shirts and khakis but those who are used to the cover of ambiguity often afforded by the insular subcultural dynamics of belonging and in-group formation.

In the wake of the May 26 murders in Portland and the Charlottesville slaying on August 12, the alt-right must have no safe space, no place to hide, and no capacity to organize.

A glance at the photographs and videos from Saturday’s macabre display and the alt-right’s torch lit march through the University of Virginia that took place the previous evening reveals not just a renegade country club aesthetic, but an assortment of styles, from hipster mustaches and haircuts to hate rock band shirts and open skinheads wearing Blood & Honour merch. The alt-right has not attempted to replace such counter-cultural scenes as add onto them with new sectors of the population. In fact, the punk attitude and metal subcultures remain vital to the modern fascist movement.

When the punk and metal scenes came to prominence first in the 1970s, they encapsulated the feelings of working class people betrayed by conditions out of their control. Exploiting an economic downturn in the UK under a left-wing Labour government, fascists began organizing for a political party called the National Front but faced violent opposition from the left. A group of National Front members agreed on a “metapolitical” approach, intervening in subcultural milieus like punk and metal to turn them into breeding grounds for fascism. This approach, gleaned from a group of fascist ideologues known as the European New Right, would later form the bedrock of the alt-right’s ideology.

Taking inspiration from a network of “national revolutionary” terrorist cells structured like left-wing nuclei and inspired by the occult fascist, Julius Evola, this breakaway group founded the Official National Front and began actively working to recruit fascist skinheads as “political soldiers.” Their seminal point person in this regard, Ian Stuart Donaldson, fronted a band called Skrewdriver, which emerged with the gritty rock’ n’ roll of the Oi! punk scene in 1976. When leftists organized an annual concert called Rock Against Racism to build a grassroots movement against the National Front and fascist skinheads, Donaldson created a counter-event called Rock Against Communism and a distribution network called Blood & Honour, both of which continue to this day.

When leftists organized an annual concert called Rock Against Racism to build a grassroots movement against the National Front and fascist skinheads, Donaldson created a counter-event called Rock Against Communism and a distribution network called Blood & Honour, both of which continue to this day.

In the early 1980s, two members of a left-wing band that had played at Rock Against Racism moved to Germany disillusioned by the left, and joined the “third positionist” tendency of fascism (neither capitalism nor state communism but national socialism). What they created was a kind of avant-garde fascist aesthetic that could draw in those who recoiled at the drunken, boisterous presence of skinheads.

Taking ideas from both left and right while adopting Evola’s occult trappings “beyond” ideology, their new band, Death In June, produced a brooding, monotonous sound with often lugubrious lyrics evoking the ruins of civilization and the desire to rise, phoenix-like from the ashes. Soon, Death In June and associates developed a network of close-knit bands around the genre, “neofolk,” which was loosely connected to the National Front, as well as fascist think tanks like the Islands of the North Atlantic (IONA) and Transeuropa.

While Donaldson’s Blood & Honor distribution network helped spread the National Front and Nazi ideology through skinhead shows and parties around the world, neofolk bands and related noise and experimental artists like Boyd Rice and Michael Moynihan increasingly explored the counter-cultural allure of metapolitics, becoming involved in Satanism, paganism, and fascism. Dedicated musicians ensured that no milieu, excepting hate rock, could be exclusively claimed by fascists, but the struggle would be difficult and often violent.

In San Francisco, the fascist skinhead and avant-garde scenes converged with the American Front, which developed further ties to larger political assemblages from Australia to Belgium, Canada to Spain, France, and England in a new network that would take the name “European Liberation Front.” Many of these groups organized under “national-Bolshevik” ideas that the world should be organized into ethno-states in a federated ultranationalist version of the Soviet Union. It was the earliest issuance of an international fascist syndicate that would later come under the influence of Russian fascist Alexander Dugin and his “Eurasianist” philosophy, both of which are currently associated with the alt-right.

European Liberation Front organizers like Troy Southgate, formerly of the Official National Front, sought to exploit the anarchist ideology associated with punk and metal subcultures, as well as rebellious autonomous radical groups. Calling their syncretic ideological fusion “national-anarchism,” these fascists commandeered a Trotskyist strategy known as “entryism,” entering groups (particularly in the green movement) and either turning them toward their ideology or destroying them from within. In a fashion later taken up by the alt-right, fascists deployed leftist ideas against the left in order to conceal itself while eroding egalitarian and anarchist tendencies within subcultures that remained superficially anarchic. Denying fascists such entry points cuts a large and important base off from their organizing.

Through record labels like Resistance Records, Elegy Records, and Unholy Records, distribution enterprises like Rouge et Noir, and magazines like Requiem Gothique and Napalm Rock, fascists merged haterock and neofolk with anarchist and nihilist thought in order to convincingly carry their ideas and themes into subversive, though politically ambiguous, countercultures. Important themes included spiritual occultism and nihilism (as in, everything must be destroyed for truly nationalist life to begin anew), as well as a linking of localized ecology with the essence and spirit of the nation, often identified along “folkish” or tribal lines.

Fascists also fetishized the Aryan mythos and a return to paganism as naturally closer to the European folka tendency that became especially clear with their championing of Scandinavian black metal. Developed as a reaction to the glitzy hair metal and messy death metal bands of the 1980s, early Scandinavian black metal strove for brutality in music, emphasizing an austere aesthetic of blood, violence, and sacrificial rituals.

As black metal spread to the US and several groups aligned with Blood & Honour, a number of bands became increasingly open about white nationalism. After Burzum leader Varg Vikernes murdered a member of a rival band, Michael Moynihan co-authored Lords of Chaos to discuss black metal and satanism in what became the leading narrative of the black metal scene. Thus, many young people intrigued by the gruesome and brutal black metal scene found their introduction through a “heathen anarcho-fascist,” according to eminent scholar Mattias Gardell, feeding into a growing international network of specifically National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM) bands and fans.

The consequences for cross-over between fascist and anarchist ideas in subcultures can be severe. In May 2010, antifascists campaigning against the violent fascist skinhead network, Volksfront, were shocked when an antifascist activist named Luke V. Querner was shot by a fascist, leaving him paralyzed. Following the shooting, Rose City Antifa released an expos of two NSBM bands, Immortal Pride and Fanisk, that eerily cautioned, “subcultural settings are also being contested ideologically, a reality that we ignore at our own risk.”

According to comments on the Indymedia page, the Volksfront-connected group, Immortal Pride, admitted their fascism proudly, while Fanisk argued that their “transcendent” art had been misunderstood by vulgar, witch-hunting antifascists. Fanisk’s attempts to deflect allegations ran parallel to fascists’ attempts to translate their ideas into uncontroversial themes like “the right to difference,” which means apartheid style ethno-states, or “simultaneously being in favor of White Power, Yellow Power[, Black Power], and Red Power.”

Amid the controversy and fallout from both the shooting and subsequent expos, one Immortal Pride fan named Tom Christensen quietly announced on Stormfront his exploitation of the punk and black metal scene and gathering of information on antifascists:

“I used to be a big punk rocker in the music scene and there were some antis that ran around in the same scene. I was friends with a few I kept my beliefs to myself and would shut down any opinions the[y] expressed that seemed to have holes in them. It’s been fairly useful to know some of these people. I now know who all the major players are in the anti and SHARP [Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice] scene.”

He later asked Stormfront whether or not he should snitch out his antifascist associates. Christensen was discovered by Rose City Antifa and outed in a May 2013 alert, only after a series of regional grand jury indictments of anarchists that some speculate might have used information he handed over to the police. He also came to identify as “Trigger” Tom, suggesting perhaps that he had shot Querner in 2010. Whether or not those speculations are accurate, Christensen’s position within radical subcultures opened antifascists to crucial vulnerabilities. As recently as Tuesday, August 8, Christensen was arrested for stabbing someone at a Rancid/Dropkick Murphys show in Chicago.

To this day, fascist groups find shelter moving between politically ambiguous subcultures and fascist groups. Paul Waggener, the leader of a violent bioregionalist-fascist group, the Wolves of Vinland, which has chapters across the US, attempts to spread his ethno-separatist vision through both neofolk and black metal projects. Despite the fact that WoV Portland-area leader Jack Donovan calls himself an “anarcho-fascist” and has spoken at alt-right conferences, efforts by Rose City Antifa to expose this group and their local workings have met with resistance from nihilist apologists.

It was significant to many that Jeremy Christian identified his idea of a bioregionalist, whites-only homeland in the Pacific Northwest as “Vinland,” a term used not just by WoV but also by the now-defunct US chapter of the NSBM-linked fascist group, Heathen Front, headed by infamous Nazi, James Mason, whose work is published by “anarcho-fascist” Michael Moynihan.

Christian’s mixture of bioregionalism, racism, and metal also resonated with the leader of the Nazi group Northwest Front, Harold Covington, whose experience as a Nazi includes participating in planning the 1979 Greensboro Massacre and creating the Blood & Honour-linked UK fascist skinhead group Combat 18. Currently dedicated to entering the popular Cascadian bioregional movement and turning it toward fascism, Covington declared, “it does look like [Jeremy Christian] was one of ‘our’ many fringe characters[.]” Similar white nationalist groups exist around the neo-Confederate movement in the South.

The metal scene, punk, bioregionalism, and other interlinked subcultural milieus continue to provide a sense of belonging for those who need it, but often become insular and defensive when criticized from the outside. That insularity opens a vulnerability to the persistent efforts of fascist entryists. Nevertheless, opposition continues to grow from within as people become increasingly wise to the dangers posed by creeping fascism.

In the last few years, protests have grown outside of venues that host metal and neofolk bands that have been proven to be or are allegedly associated with fascism. Protests against Death in June have emerged from Portland to South Florida; a large group of people demonstrated against Graveland in Montreal, while Satanic Warmaster had to play a secret show in Glasgow, Blood and Sun gigs were called off in the Midwest, and Marduk was cancelled in Oakland and protested in Austin. Meanwhile, antifascist black metal bands like Ancst and Dawn Ray’d are gaining notoriety for their rejection of sexism and racism.

Despite some fans and journalists complaining about the free speech of musicians, judging by the increasing demonstrations, the metal scene is becoming increasingly conscious not only of the safety of its own members, but its role in either fanning the flames of a global fascist revival or helping to put them out.

Follow Alexander Reid Ross on Twitter.

More:

A Brief But Very Informative History of How Fascists Infiltrated Punk … – Noisey

Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy ‘Satanic’ – HuffPost

Over the weekend, the streets of Charlottesville filled with white supremacists and members of the alt-right movement bent on preserving a white culture and the white identity they feel to be under attack.

Their Unite the Right rally quickly devolved into violence as white supremacists clashed with counter-protestors, culminating in an attack by James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer. Fields drove a car through the crowds, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

What happened in Charlottesville, according to some Christians,is the fruit of a Satanic ideology that preaches racial segregation and white dominance. These Christians claim that Satan and not Christ, as some groups assert is behind the movement to preserve and protect white culture against the forces of liberalism, globalization and multiculturalism.

Franklin Graham, a preacher known for espousing bigoted views toward immigrants, Muslims and members of the LGBTQ community, was quick to say Satan was behind the events in Charlottesville, though he did not refer to white supremacists specifically. In a Facebook post Sunday evening, Graham defended President Donald Trumps handling of the violence, saying Satan alone is to blame.

Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts, the evangelist wrote. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. Hes the enemy of peace and unity.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Monday, prominent evangelical theologian Russell Moore expressed a similar read on what happened in Charlottesville.

White supremacy is Satanism, Moore asserted.Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

The Christian gospelasserts thatall nations derive from the same divine origins and that Jesus envisioned his own church as a force that would unite the globe, Moore argued.

White supremacy, he said, is fundamentally opposed to these biblical principles. And that should disturb Christians.

Moore described the Charlottesville protesters chanting ofblood and soil, a phrase inspired by Nazi ideology, as idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.

The Scripture defines this attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666, he continued. White supremacy does not merely attack our society (though it does) and the ideals of our nation (though it does); white supremacy attacks the image of Jesus Christ himself.

This was, after all, what the Nazis were after too.Adolf Hitler himself was antagonistic toward religion, noted J. Lee Grady, former editor of Christian magazine, Charisma.

A huge majority of Germans, under the spell of this spiritual deception, supported Nazi policies, wrote Grady in an article published Wednesday. It is no surprise that many Christians in the 1940s viewed Hitler as the Antichrist.

What should trouble Christians most right now, Moore argued, isnt just the racist underpinnings of the alt-right but the fact that many white supremacists seek to promote a separate, white existencein the name of Jesus Christ.

White supremacists and alt-right advocates tend to be united around a deep belief in white difference, if not superiority, and a desire for racial segregation. Most are also aligned in their abhorrence for Judaism. Membership in some of the groups, including Identity Evropa and the National Socialist Movement, is limited to individuals who are white and non-Semitic.

Though not categorically united around Christianity, many of the alt-right and white supremacist groups that gathered in Charlottesville weave Christian language into their statements of belief. Some, like the Ku Klux Klan, assert overt Christian allegiance. As one Klan member explained his interpretation of Christian scriptureto Ilia Caldern, a reporter who is black and an immigrant, the Bibles mandate to love thy neighbor applies only to thy people. In his case, he said, that means white people.

On its official website, the KKK draws a distinction between what it calls mainstream Christians and committed Christians. The former bow to liberal theology, which presents Jesus as a good man whosemost important message is that we are to love everybody. The latter, with whom the KKK identify, hold fast to the beliefthat homosexuality is a sin, race mixing is a sin, abortion is a sin and obedience to civil authority above that of Godly authority is idolatry.

Others groups, including the Nationalistic Front and the Traditionalist Workers Party, speak of unifying the traditional faiths of the European people. Under that umbrella fall most denominations of Christianity, as well as agnostics and folk religionists.

Some groups speak more generally about family values and a shared understanding of the centrality of faith.

In fact, its in these broader descriptions of the alt-right vision that influential Christian theologian Tim Keller sees the most pernicious threat of white supremacy.

In an op-ed published on The Gospel Coalition website Tuesday, Keller wrote: Twentieth-century fascist movements that made absolute values out of Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) … also claimed to champion traditional family values and moral virtues over against the decadence of relativistic modern culture.

These ideologiescould and can still appeal to people within American Christian circles today through online efforts toradicalize people who are disaffected by moral decline in society.

We need to make those in our circles impervious to this toxic teaching, Keller wrote, or, perhap in other words, protect them from Satan.

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Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy ‘Satanic’ – HuffPost

Satanism – Wikipedia

Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on the character of Satan.[1] 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 that they were behind events such as Protestantism and the French Revolution continued to be made in Christendom during the eighteenth to the twentieth century. 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 levelled at them.

Since the 19th century, various small religious groups have emerged that self-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.[2]

Contemporary religious Satanism is predominantly an American phenomenon, the ideas spreading elsewhere with the effects of globalization and the Internet.[3] The Internet spreads awareness of other Satanists, and is also the main battleground for Satanist disputes.[3] 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.[4][5]

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 levelled 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 levelled 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.

Preceded by some significant but isolated episodes in the 1970s, a great Satanism scare exploded in the 1980s in the United States and Canada and was subsequently exported towards England, Australia, and other countries. It was unprecedented in history. It surpassed even the results of Taxil’s propaganda, and has been compared with the most virulent periods of witch hunting. The scare started in 1980 and declined slowly between 1990… and 1994, when official British and American reports denied the real existence of ritual satanic crimes. Particularly outside the U.S. and U.K., however, its consequences are still felt today.

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 criminal religious groups had switched focus from Satanism to extremist Islam in 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 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 1765-83 and the French Revolution of 1789-99, 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 utilised 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 utilised 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 utilised 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.[110]

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. However, the legitimacy of such actions as Satanic endeavors, rather than simply rebellious actions done for publicity, is something that has been doubted by even some of those who contribute to the genre.[116] 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 utilised 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 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 utilised Satanic imagery, 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 Satanas 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”,[144] 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 being, where 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.”

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.[181] 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”[182] The term “Theistic Satanism” has been described as “oxymoronic” by the church and its High Priest.[183] 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,[184] 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 New York. The organization actively participates in public affairs that have manifested in several public political actions[185][186] and efforts at lobbying,[187] with a focus on the separation of church and state and using satire against Christian groups that it believes interfere with personal freedom.[187] 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 will 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.[190] Satan is thus used as a symbol representing “the eternal rebel” against arbitrary authority and social norms.[191][192]

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.[193] 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,[211] who left because of administrative and philosophical disagreements. ToS deliberately self-differentiates from CoS in several ways, most significantly in theology and sociology.[212] 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.[212]

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 humanity through the means of non-natural evolution the “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 was 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 Satanist 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 has 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 phenomenon 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 un-ethical, 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.[244][245][246] 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”.[247]

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.[248][249] 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.[250][251]

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Satanism – Wikipedia

F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | churchofsatan.com

Why do Satanists worship The Devil?

We dont. Satanists are atheists. We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions.

Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the God) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an I-Theist.

Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

No. We are atheists. The only people who perform sacrifices are those who believe in supernatural beings who would consider a sacrifice to be some form of payment for a request or form of worship. Since we do not believe in supernatural beings there is no reason for a Satanist to make a sacrifice of any sort.

Satanism has strong rules prohibiting sexual activity with children and non-human animals. In fact, if a Church of Satan member abuses children sexually or otherwise, his membership is automatically terminated without possibility for re-instatement. The Church of Satan also does not accept anyone who is not legally adult as an Active Member. In Satanism, sexual activity is only advocated between consenting adults.

No. Our ritual is basically a form of self-therapy and is most often done in private. The three basic rituals are presented in The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey and these do not demonstrate any type of abusive behavior.

There is no such thing. People who believe in some Devilish supernatural being and worship him are Devil-worshippers, not Satanists. Anton LaVey was the first to define Satanism as a philosophy, and it is an atheist perspective. Theistic Satanism is an oxymoronic term and thus absurd. In Satanism each individual is his or her own godthere is no room for any other god and that includes Satan, Lucifer, Cthulhu or whatever other name one might select or take from history or fiction.

When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, it is augmented with modern circumstances, as well as his own thoughts. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, an attempt for melding science with philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we didnt, who else would?) This is the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. Its evolution, pure and simple.

Do not e-mail us with questions before you have spent time reading through this FAQ as we will direct you to go back and read it.

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F.A.Q. Fundamental Beliefs | churchofsatan.com

Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy ‘Satanic’ – HuffPost

Over the weekend, the streets of Charlottesville filled with white supremacists and members of the alt-right movement bent on preserving a white culture and the white identity they feel to be under attack.

Their Unite the Right rally quickly devolved into violence as white supremacists clashed with counter-protestors, culminating in an attack by James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer. Fields drove a car through the crowds, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

What happened in Charlottesville, according to some Christians,is the fruit of a Satanic ideology that preaches racial segregation and white dominance. These Christians claim that Satan and not Christ, as some groups assert is behind the movement to preserve and protect white culture against the forces of liberalism, globalization and multiculturalism.

Franklin Graham, a preacher known for espousing bigoted views toward immigrants, Muslims and members of the LGBTQ community, was quick to say Satan was behind the events in Charlottesville, though he did not refer to white supremacists specifically. In a Facebook post Sunday evening, Graham defended President Donald Trumps handling of the violence, saying Satan alone is to blame.

Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts, the evangelist wrote. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. Hes the enemy of peace and unity.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Monday, prominent evangelical theologian Russell Moore expressed a similar read on what happened in Charlottesville.

White supremacy is Satanism, Moore asserted.Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

The Christian gospelasserts thatall nations derive from the same divine origins and that Jesus envisioned his own church as a force that would unite the globe, Moore argued.

White supremacy, he said, is fundamentally opposed to these biblical principles. And that should disturb Christians.

Moore described the Charlottesville protesters chanting ofblood and soil, a phrase inspired by Nazi ideology, as idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.

The Scripture defines this attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666, he continued. White supremacy does not merely attack our society (though it does) and the ideals of our nation (though it does); white supremacy attacks the image of Jesus Christ himself.

This was, after all, what the Nazis were after too.Adolf Hitler himself was antagonistic toward religion, noted J. Lee Grady, former editor of Christian magazine, Charisma.

A huge majority of Germans, under the spell of this spiritual deception, supported Nazi policies, wrote Grady in an article published Wednesday. It is no surprise that many Christians in the 1940s viewed Hitler as the Antichrist.

What should trouble Christians most right now, Moore argued, isnt just the racist underpinnings of the alt-right but the fact that many white supremacists seek to promote a separate, white existencein the name of Jesus Christ.

White supremacists and alt-right advocates tend to be united around a deep belief in white difference, if not superiority, and a desire for racial segregation. Most are also aligned in their abhorrence for Judaism. Membership in some of the groups, including Identity Evropa and the National Socialist Movement, is limited to individuals who are white and non-Semitic.

Though not categorically united around Christianity, many of the alt-right and white supremacist groups that gathered in Charlottesville weave Christian language into their statements of belief. Some, like the Ku Klux Klan, assert overt Christian allegiance. As one Klan member explained his interpretation of Christian scriptureto Ilia Caldern, a reporter who is black and an immigrant, the Bibles mandate to love thy neighbor applies only to thy people. In his case, he said, that means white people.

On its official website, the KKK draws a distinction between what it calls mainstream Christians and committed Christians. The former bow to liberal theology, which presents Jesus as a good man whosemost important message is that we are to love everybody. The latter, with whom the KKK identify, hold fast to the beliefthat homosexuality is a sin, race mixing is a sin, abortion is a sin and obedience to civil authority above that of Godly authority is idolatry.

Others groups, including the Nationalistic Front and the Traditionalist Workers Party, speak of unifying the traditional faiths of the European people. Under that umbrella fall most denominations of Christianity, as well as agnostics and folk religionists.

Some groups speak more generally about family values and a shared understanding of the centrality of faith.

In fact, its in these broader descriptions of the alt-right vision that influential Christian theologian Tim Keller sees the most pernicious threat of white supremacy.

In an op-ed published on The Gospel Coalition website Tuesday, Keller wrote: Twentieth-century fascist movements that made absolute values out of Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) … also claimed to champion traditional family values and moral virtues over against the decadence of relativistic modern culture.

These ideologiescould and can still appeal to people within American Christian circles today through online efforts toradicalize people who are disaffected by moral decline in society.

We need to make those in our circles impervious to this toxic teaching, Keller wrote, or, perhap in other words, protect them from Satan.

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Why Some Christians Are Calling White Supremacy ‘Satanic’ – HuffPost

Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right – Patheos (blog)

The following is a guest post by Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple.

Soon after the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville and while the President was, for the first time in his political career, carefully moderating his words against those whom he was expected to denounce opinionators began the usual drudgery of fitting the events into their preferred narratives, regardless of how square the circle. Conservative Sylvia Thompsondeclared thatthe entire fiasco had been staged by fascist leftists who had infiltrated the Unite the Right movement with Deep State operatives to sow racial animus.

Radio host Michael Savage took to Twitter toask the questionthat was on no single reasonable persons mind, WHO STARTED THE RIOTS IN VIRGINIA? IS THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER AN INSTIGATOR OF UNREST?

The groveling Christian apologist, conservative commentator, and insufferable little sh*t, Dinesh DSouza was also quick to somehow put the unlikely blame upon his political adversariestweeting, Maybe if Democrats admitted their 150 year history of bigotry & apologized for it this country can begin to heal its divide#Charlottesville

American Family radio host Bryan Fischer also took to Twitter toblame Democrats, offering a typical Fischerian historical revision, White nationalism is not conservative but far left. KKK was a Democrat organization, Hitler was a socialist.@CNNhttp://cnn.it/2vXGi0j

The Ku Klux Klan is, and always has been, an openly, explicitly, Protestant religious sect, which also made the Twitter comment of author and Corporate Strategist, Eric Garland, who attributed White Supremacy to Americas Satanic side both senseless and infuriating:

Evangelist FranklinGraham blamedthe Charlottesville violence on the removal of a Confederate memorial, as well as on Satan, Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in#Charlottesville, VA. Thats absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? [] Really, this boils down to evil in peoples hearts. Satan is behind it all.

Writing for the Washington Post, 14 August 2017, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention,described on his websiteas the moral and public policy agency of the nations largest Protestant denomination,further elaborateda position that white supremacy is Satanic.

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

It is the same old idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.The Scripture definesthis attempt at human self-exaltation with a number: 666. []

The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

White supremacy angers Jesus of Nazareth. The question is: Does it anger his church?

As the co-founder of, and spokesperson for, The Satanic Temple, my irritation at such comments shouldnt be surprising. However, to the unaffiliated there seems to be a tendency to view Moores comments as a triumph of progression among prominent American Christians. He is clearly denouncing the terrorism of the White Supremacists and, while I may identify non-theistically with a Miltonic Satan that defies all subjugation, exalts scientific inquiry, and promotes Humanistic, pluralistic values, I must also recognize that there is a general colloquial understanding of Satanic as synonymous with evil, cruelty, and abject depravity. What Moore is really saying is that Christians, and Christian Churches, should be clearly opposed to the mindless tribal thuggery of White Nationalists and they should also be clear that no such philosophy enjoys any of their support. While it may be thoughtless to ignore that self-identified Satanists very actively fight for individual and civil rights, is it not a relatively small crime given the overall picture?

No. In fact, Moores characterization of the situation is no small offense and, I would argue, one should be at least as offended by Moores assertion that White Supremacy is Satanism as they may be over Dinesh DSouzas implication that the violence in Charlottesville can be blamed on the Democratic Party, or Michael Savages unsurprisingly asinine speculation that the Southern Poverty Law Center was involved. There is more at stake here than a semantic battle over who defines Satan. Moores article, and the various comments from Christian leaders seeking to attribute Charlottesville to Satan or Satanism are nothing short of their Declaration of Refusal to confront the Protestant roots of the American Racist Right. Further, their invocation of the eternal adversary as a scapegoat comes with darker implicit assumptions that should be confronted and rejected outright.

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

Slavery in the United States was traditionally andrather credibly, from a theological perspective justified on scriptural grounds. The Ku Klux Klan is as much areligious Protestant sectas the Taliban or Al-Qaeda are Muslim. The doctrine of theChristian IdentityMovement, with its spurious scholarship and militant apocalyptic urgency, forms the ideological backdrop of virtually allwhite supremacist and extreme anti-government movements in the United States. Allowing Christian leaders to merely disown Protestant radicalisation by fiat absolves them of having to confront the problem of radicalisation from amongst their own. Its one thing to disagree with the scriptural interpretation of a movement, its entirely another to deny that the movement had any foundations in scriptural interpretations at all. Facing the problem of Protestant racism from within means acknowledging its existence and dedicating a certain amount of energy tomaintaininga non-racist Church, not merely claiming that no such element exists only when politically convenient.

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

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

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

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

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

PS: I now have a Patreon if youd like to support my writing and podcasting.

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Satanic Leader Calls Upon Christian America to Face Their Contribution to Racist Right – Patheos (blog)

We Asked Diehard Swedish Metalheads What They Consider to be ‘Metal’ – Noisey

This article originally appeared on Noisey Germany.

I used to play in a metal band as a tender, bright-eyed teen. Back in the day, my bandmates stopped me from buying a yellow hat at the last minute because it wasn’t metal. The question has never left me: What is metal and what isn’t? I recently went to the Swedish Gefle Metal Festival to finally get some answers to this question. During interviews with roughly 50 participants, I discoveredamong other thingsthat the majority of them agreed with my former bandmates: The color yellow is not metal.

By contrast, these festival goers had metal all over their faces: Roughly 66.6 percent of them sported a thick beard. I quickly realized how important and metal it is to know about, first and foremost, metal. But to also have a working understanding of metal-affiliated topics like religion, history, swords, death, dragons, and meat. If you can effectively trump another person’s knowledge of these topics, you get metal cred. While this may sound reminiscent of the hipster mentality, don’t be fooledmetal culture is stable, and doesn’t blow like a flag in the wind and reinvent itself every Wednesday.

The occasional pissing contest of expert knowledge is also pretty metal. But generally, these festival goers are endearing nerds with a slightly daunting faade who can survive with minimal intellectual and emotional stimulation. The music almost entirely satisfies those needs, but community is just as important in metal culture.

So, I stepped into this mysterious world of smoke, beer, blood, and guttural screams. Here’s what I found:

Satanism (34%) Nobody is as metal as Satan. He’s so often described as the driving force in so many different contexts throughout the genre that we can confidently deem him the greatest muse of all. The devil even has his own musical interval, the tritone.

Asatru/Neopaganism (30%) For those who aren’t as down with Satanism, Asatrualso known as Heathenry or Germanic Neopaganismprovides a nice alternative that perfectly aligns with conventional metal themes. After all, the Vikings were pagans, and their flowing hair, thick beards, and battle axes are unequivocally metal. Even the TV show, Vikings, was mentioned on several occasions. Amon Amarth, arguably the most well known Viking Metalers, were among the headliners at Gefle, so it’s safe to say there were some modern Vikings who participated in my study.

Atheism/Non-religious (17%) A decent percentage of participants don’t want metal to be defined by ideologies that just aren’t metal. After all, metal is metal and nothing else.

The Goat (30%) Goats have beards and hornsand, as it turns outare totally awesome metal singers. Eliphas Levis illustrated Baphomet as a sabbatic goat, and Aleister Crowley’s Baphomet of Levi became a central figure within the cosmology of Thelema. The Church of Satan later adopted the Sigil of Baphomet as its official symbol. Based on that objective criteria, that’s when the goat officially became metal. This also means that the Swedish city of Gvle, where the festival took place, is the most metal location in the countrymaybe even in the entire world, too. Gvle has constructed a giant straw goat every Christmas since 1966 and arsonists usually let the whole thing go up in flames every year. Giant, flaming goats are almost too metal, Sweden.

The Wolf (22%)The wolf came in second place, taking lead over the cat, the dachshund, and the sloth, who were all tied for third. The dog’s wild ancestor isn’t just popular in Viking metal and black metalhe also flees whenever he hears Creed’s music, which is a pretty damn metal move.

Any back-breaking trade, but especially forging/welding/construction work/etc. (39%) What’s more metal than heavy machinery, fire, and grime? Some people insisted it was more metal to play metal, but everyone knows that music, much like playing golf, is a paid hobby and not a real job.

Playing and/or listening to metal (37%) See? Like I said, a hobby.

Boozing (24%)Because every subculture enjoys getting plastered while listening to their favorite music. In this case, even metal is exceptionally unexceptional.

Classical music (30%)When Beethoven composed Symphony No. 5, he birthed the oldest and most traditional metal-riff. Edvard Grieg was also pretty metal, considering he set Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt to musicand that was about trolls. Additionally, classical musicians always seem to dress up like vampires from horror movies, drink red wine, and drain the life out of you by being simultaneously condescending and uninteresting. They subjugate themselves to a severe-looking ruler with an awe-inspiring stick and obsessively shred every day. Overall, high-grade metal. Strings and wind instruments like to be inserted in certain metal sub-genres and, once in a while, larger bands make the mistake of performing with an entire orchestra.

Alcohol (100%), specifically beer (88%) Do you see someone drinking beer? Is that person wearing camo shorts or a kilt with a black band t-shirt? Don’t hesitate: Salute them with your miniature pitchfork made of French fries to identify yourself as a fellow metalhead, and then headbang away. Maybe they’ll even invite you to drink with them.

Meat (63%)Blood, death, burning. Meat is nature’s metal. Even the simple act of eating is metal. As this Tumblr user explains, “Eating is so badass. I mean, you put something in a cavity where you smash it and destroy it with 32 protruding bones and then a meat tentacle pushes it into a pool of acid and after a few hours you absorb its essence and transform it into energy just wow.”

No fruit at all (41%) “Even the thought of describing fruit as being metal is wrong,” one pollster curtly replied when I asked which fruit was the most metal. Another one said, “Fruit has to do with God, and God is bad.” Someone else retorted, “I haven’t eaten any fruit since I was five years old.” Maybe this staunch rejection of fruit is somehow related to the aforementioned ideological freedom? Case in point: There’s such a thing as Fruitarianism.

Bananas (14%) This year, former bandmates of the Swedish band Ghost brought forth a lawsuit against the current frontman, Papa Emeritus. The court documents reveal that these sinister-looking masked performers are actually humans like the rest of us: The defamatory points of contention range from inadequate laundry facilities to rogue bananas (one member of the crew is allergic). If bananas have the power to destroy a band’s image, perhaps they also qualify as being metal.

Blood oranges (11%)Blood is obviously metal and, as fans and musicians alike know, the “orange grip” is one of the distinguishing features of the genre.

Black (77%) Yeah, we all saw it coming. Even people who consider Creed heavy metal think black is the most metal color. I really only wanted to see if other colors stood a chance. Yellow, for example. Red (12%) Red is metal because blood is metal. Further evidence of this: The red blood pigment hemoglobin is a metalloprotein.

Yellow (

None (68%) Political parties aren’t metal. Leif Pagrotsky (9%) When the Swedish social democrat and Minister of Culture, Leif Pagrotsky, went to see Dissection live in 2005, he became “Leffe” to his metal-loving compatriots. Since he’s only about 5’3″, a helpful circus artist put him on her shoulders so he could have a better view. To this day, he is an honorary member of a death metal study group in Linkping, and Leffe’s legend continues to live on in Gvle.

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We Asked Diehard Swedish Metalheads What They Consider to be ‘Metal’ – Noisey