The facts and myths of Satanism

You know the Satanists… the dark robes, and ceremonies in which they sacrifice an animal or baby to their Dark Lord? The demonic power as they conjure up the fearsome demons to strike at their enemies?

Yeah Satanists get a kick out of those fictional movies too. 🙂

I’ve been doing a lot of researching into Wicca and Satanism recently.
Personally I find them about as similar as Buddhism and the NRA.

Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997)
Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997)
Photo by Nick Bougas
© Church of Satan (Used with permission)

Myth: Satanists worship the devil
Fact: Most Satanists are either Atheists or Agnostics. They hardly believe in God, much less a big red guy with a pitchfork. To a serious Satanist, Satan represents the concept of the pre-Christian Satan or even the earlier Egyptian concept of Set. He was “The Opposer”, “The being who questioned authority”, “Pride, virility, self-indulgence and strength”. He is the archetype of what they strive to be, what they were born to be. The only god they believe in is within themselves.

It’s Social Darwinism, in a sense. A practical view based on how the world really works. The belief that only the strong will (or should) survive. They believe in Lex Talionis (“Let the punishment fit the crime”). They expect to always be a minority, because they believe most of society has a “herd mentality” that lacks critical thinking and has been conditioned by media imagery and tradition to believe and accept things without ever questioning it.

I bought a copy of the Satanic Bible back in the 80’s. Of course someone from my church confiscated it. What little I read was basically the typical Atheist/Agnostic arguments against God’s existence. Truth be told, I was kind of disappointed as I was expecting to read some juicy stories about sacrifices, Black Magic, and sex rituals. I’m sure the person who confiscated my book saw the Sigil of Baphomet on the cover and decided that was all she needed to know.

Talk about “judging a book by its cover” !!!
Ironically that was the point Anton Szandor LaVey was trying to make the whole time. People will make their own decisions without checking out the facts.

First and foremost, LaVey was a showman. He knew what was running though his detractor’s heads and he gave it to them in spades. A Black Mass, the Pentagram, the robes, the works… What ever it took to keep the media’s eyes on him.

The man was a friggin’ genius!

He was an artist, a musician, a magician, and obviously a study of human nature. If I had a top ten list of people whom I admired… Anton LaVey would be somewhere in the upper half.

I see a lot of myself in him in his thinking, his background and his flair and panache for infamy. Neither of us care what other people think.

Myth: Satanists sacrifice animals (or babies), and subject children to Sexual Ritual Abuse
Fact: In the 11 Satanic Statements of the Earth (A fundamental staple of their doctrines), “Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.”, and “Do not harm little children”. Children are believed to be pure magicians, and the “highest form of life”. So that debunks that claim. There is also a statement that Members of the Church of Satan WILL be expelled for committing violent and illegal acts.

Perhaps you’re thinking of the “Satanic scare of the 80’s”, where a book called “Michelle Remembers” comes out, and suddenly victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse were coming out of the woodwork with “recovered memories” of the horrors they sufferred as children. The Wenatchee Witch Hunts were one of the most notorious…

Well, like many sensational front page stories of our time… the truth comes out months later, buried in a small paragraph on page 14 of the newspaper when everyone stops giving a crap. None of those cases turned out to be true. Investigators found no evidence, and the “science” of “Recovered Memory Therapy” turned out to be quackery in the form of post-hypnotic suggestion.

But the mindless herd will still cling to the front page stories as gospel truth.

According to ReligiousTolerance.Org, there are three types of Satanists:

  • Gothic Satanism, A figment of the 16th Century Church’s imagination and then a product of Hollywood. The stuff you see in the movies like “The Devil’s Rain”, which btw, Dr. LaVey was a technical advisor.
  • The Dabblers, aka “The Wannabes” who WILL commit some crimes, torture a defenseless animal and spraypaint a pentagram in the hopes of a “Devil made me do it” defense in court. They tend to know NOTHING about Satanism when interrogated
  • Members of the Church of Satan, a legally recognized religious organization, who by the way believes in “Responsibility for the Resonsible”; take responsibility for your own actions or suffer from your own stupidity.
  • Basically, if they’re not members of the Church of Satan… they ain’t Satanists!

    Wiccans are often mislabeled “Satanic” by people who don’t know any better. Their only similarity with real Satanism is that Satan has nothing to do with Wicca either.

    The Church of Satan Information Pack (pdf) is readily available for anyone to see what they’re really about. In the day and age of the internet there’s no excuse for ignorance and speading falsehoods because “this is what I heard about them…”

    When you get a grasp of the facts and purge your mind of the silly misconceptions about them worshipping the Prince of Darkness standing on a bloody altar in a grotto somewhere… you can then get a good belly laugh out of “Exposing Satanism“.

    (Warning: The second I see links to “Government Conspiracies” and the “New World Order“, my first reaction is… “HOO BOY! We got a LIVE one here!!!” 🙂 )


    But hey, don’t take my word for it… check the facts out for yourself.

  • Church of Satan: Official Site
  • Disinformation: Anton LaVey
  • Satanism 101
  • While I normally go where other gOdOfMiScHiEfS fear to tread, I have to admit, I was nervous as hell approaching the subject.

    But I realized it was my pre-conditioned unfounded fears instilled in me by years of church brainwashing and propaganda. Once I freed my mind, I found many of these Satanists to be very charming, intelligent, and down to earth people. We both share a “Nietzche-like” philosophy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve met Satanists in everyday life.

    It’s unlikely that I’d ever consider myself a Satanist though. Not because of them. I’m sure I will find myself agreeing with much of Dr. LaVey’s insights when my new Satanic Bible comes here from Amazon, perhaps apply a lot of his teachings and adapt it as my own.

    I just simply refuse to adhere to any label, and I pride myself on my individuality and doing things my way.

    Which, on a hilariously ironic note, is EXACTLY what I understand Satanism is all about! 🙂

    Eric Brooks

    Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.

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    About Eric Brooks

    Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.
    This entry was posted in Religion. Bookmark the permalink.
    • YankeeDyke

      Yup, yup, and yup…This is definitely something I l really like about you e! You acctually get your facts straight instead of just passing it off, like a lot of people tend to do…

      Satanists are really interesting…in fact, my best friend considers himself a Satanist to an extent….a lot of current teaching in some of the “traditions” of witchcraft (by traditions here I mean covens that offer training) lean on some of the Satanic teachings…

    • -=e=-

      Well, it’s not like LaVey invented the rituals, they were in the works of Crowley and other Pagan religions which he reportedly used Occam’s Razor to eliminate the less practical ones.

      His philosophy was nothing new. A lot of it was Nietzche and Ayn Rand, and I’m sure a lot of observation… but he provided a simple stepping stone for people to rewire their thinking.

      The greater/lesser magic stuff makes a lot of sense. I have this thing I call “Curse of the Warlock“, where if I’m worked up and angry enough at someone, something will happen to them in a hilariously ironic way. Can a person channel and harness enough biostatic and/or electromagentic (or even psychic) energy to cause an unexplainable change to their environment? Sure. That’s a Wiccan concept, Karma and the whole premise of Feung Shui.

    • Old Comedywriter

      That does it. I’m gonna have to sic the freethinkers on you now. Unless, of course, you repent all your previous repenting and repeat the following prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and to change the things I cannot accept.”

    • -=e=-

      OH NO! NOT THE FREETHINKERS®!!!!

      They’ll come here and anti-prosthetize, and start quoting other people’s work and pass it off as their “original” thought! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!!!! 🙂

    • YankeeDyke

      Ack! Freethinkers! Run away! Run away!

      *popping in her copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail*

    • Old Comedywriter

      You wrote:

      >OH NO! NOT THE FREETHINKERS®!!!! They’ll come here
      >and anti-prosthetize…

      Anti-prosthetize? Is that, like, beating you on the head with your own prosthetic arm? They’d probably do it, too…in the name of TRUTH!!!

    • Pandora

      Hey, just wanted to stop by and say hello…I stop writing the Succubus Story…lost of interest gain…damn…dunno wz up with me and loosin interest in writing…oh well…

      That is why I luv poetry…short and sweet..

      Anyways, hope all is well with you and your doing fine…take care

      ~Pandora~

    • Lee

      You gotta admire a man like LaVey. I’m actually leaning more toward Deism these days. I figure if it’s good enough for Thomas Paine… I’m finding it rather hard to let go of some of my Pagan pride, however, so I’ll probably straddle the fence for a while longer. Losing my mom and then my brother started me on the road to questioning religion all over again. Hell, let me be frank – I was questioning God. I think I’m over some of that, but it left my personal beliefs in shatters. So, here I go again

    • -=e=-

      I’m actually leaning more toward Deism these days

      How weird… so am I
      http://www.deism.org/faq.htm
      I like it… it’s the beliefs of the same people who made this country, and it’s “God without religion”

      Be strong Lee. The power you have to get through your hard times have been in you all along.

    • Bearcub, aka Steve Z

      Finally, someone getting it right about Satanism. The one thing that I got out of the Satanic Bible that the author (Eric) didn’t mention, was that Satanists become Satanists to help them get over the brainwashing the Christians have given them. Of course, it was about 25 years ago when I read the book. So, maybe I am a tad off.

    • LiftNw8

      Cudos Eric on putting some good information together to explain to some folks the differences. Its just to bad that some many people in the world are ignorant to the truth of things and all. Its people like you that help wake folks up.

    • -=e=-

      Anti-prosthetize? Is that, like, beating you on the head with your own prosthetic arm?

      Fiiiine… “prosthLetize”. ok, smartass? 🙂

      The one thing that I got out of the Satanic Bible that the author (Eric) didn’t mention, was that Satanists become Satanists to help them get over the brainwashing the Christians have given them.

      True, now that I’m re-reading it. It’s buried in the undertones because the prevalent theme when I write about religion is usually “Hey, learn to think for yourself!”, but I can see it from your point of view reading just this page.

      What I’ve goten about Satanism so far has been derived from websites. I’m still waiting for my new copy of the Satanic Bible, so I’ll know what I’m talking about when I talk about the soup and nuts of it. Plus I wanted to clear up the misconceptions about Satanism… there is a lot of fascinating stuff I learned since, some bogus copycat sites, and I’ll probably do a sequel, especially if Anton LaVey has some good points on changing the way you think. There’s good stuff on their website too.

      Best line was from their Magus Gilmore where he says “Don’t worry. We’re not after your children. We suspect they’re as hopelessly mediocre as their parents.” *HAHAHA!* I love it!

      Its just to bad that some many people in the world are ignorant to the truth of things and all. Its people like you that help wake folks up.

      Well, you know as well as I do how all these alternate religions are lumped together as “Satanic” by the Fundies. If we can show people that Satanism is ok (better yet, very empowering and liberating), they’ll approach all alternate religions with an open mind as well.

      Truth be told, I am sensing another Fundie Revival is coming… and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

    • Magister Nullius

      Very well presented article, Sir. Nicely researched, as well. And funny. Can’t beat a combination like that to capture and keep my attention. What more can I say except “Hail, Eric!”

      M~N~
      BBS Administrator
      Satanism 101