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Introduction to Modern Satanism
By: Rick Rinker


A Brief Definition of Satanism
When most people think of Satanism, images of Demons, Sacrifices, and Animal mutilations usually come to mind. After all that is what the media, and your local church has spoon fed to the masses for years. Most people assume that Satanists embrace evil, aren’t capable of loving, and that Satanism is nothing more than inverse Christianity. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Satan by definition, it's true definition, is the Adversary, or the Opposition. We oppose the Status quo, and the closed minded herd mentality that fuels stupidity and ignorance like a social cancer. Instead we embrace Intellect, Objectivism, Individuality, and Rational self interest.

You are the only person who has control over your life, no "God" will make your life better for you. It is much like Santa Claus, we are told as children that if you don't believe in him you will be punished by not getting any presents. Religions of all kinds work in much the same way, with the exception of Satanism. We do not believe in things we cannot see, and yes that includes "Satan." Why should we, that is not rational.

I'm sure you are asking yourself, "Then why the name Satanism?" The answer is quite simple. Throughout history all religions have only preached obedience and faith while Individuality, and rational thought has been condemned and called “evil”. It wasn't that long ago that the Churches attempted to ban books that provoke thought, and make people think for themselves instead of buying into the church scams and guilt trips. Satanism is quite the opposite, hence the term "Adversary" (The definition of Satan)


A Crash Course History of Modern Satanism
The Origin of Satanism is traced back thousands of years in various false forms. In some literature Satanism is regarded as a literal worship of various Demons and Deity’s, other times it shows up as Witchcraft where practitioners make pacts with Satan and are thus granted their powers. Yet in other forms, Satanism is akin to Voodoo, and even ancient Pagans were regarded as Satanists who again were given powers by “Satan.” Nearly all of these cases are incorrect and had nothing to do with the true term “Satan” or Modern Satanism.

Modern Satanism can only be traced back to 1966 when Anton LaVey shaved his head, performed a ritual and declared the formation of the “Church of Satan.” The religion (or anti-religion if you will) was composed as an answer to organized western religion and culture’s repression of natural instincts and desires.

Major influences of the Satanic Philosophy are as follows:

• The Magick of Aleister Crowley, and the works of the Abbey of Thelema.

• The Cynical anti-theistic viewpoints and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche

• The Objectivism philosophy of Ayn Rand

• The Comical and Social viewpoint of people like P.T. Barnum

• The brutal reality of Ragnard Redbeard’s writings.

Prior to LaVey forming the Church of Satan, LaVey in the early to mid sixties would hold Midnight Masses at his Victorian home in the San Francisco’s Richmond District. It would attract many high profile figures from the San Francisco area which made LaVey somewhat of a local legend. This is what caused LaVey to start the “Satanic Church” later renamed the “Church of Satan” (often referred to “CoS” for short).

In 1969 LaVey wrote the Satanic Bible which would prove to be the bedrock for modern Satanism. To date it has sold nearly 1,000,000 copies world wide and has been translated into several languages.

The Church of Satan thrived vigorously in the late sixties and early seventies attracting many celebrities including Sammy Davis Jr., and Jayne Mansfield to name a few.

In 1975 many changes occurred within the CoS, LaVey had done away with the Grotto system. A network of sub-churches setup across the country. Some structural re-organization had also been done.

It was at this time that Michael Aquino, member of the Church of Satan, broke away from the Church and formed his “Temple of Set.” Aquino maintained that LaVey had changed his stance from believing in an actual Satan to referring to it as more of a relative term. LaVey claimed that he had always referred to Satan as a “Dark force of Nature” rather than an actual deity.

Between 1970 and 1992 LaVey had written three other books. The Compleat Witch (Re-released as “The Satanic Witch), The Satanic Rituals, and The Devil’s Notebook.

During this period in the ‘80’s there was a wave of Satanic panic as many talk shows, news media, and various papers across the country began reporting on Satanic Serial Killers, and Groups of Satanists that were opening day care centers, molesting, and sacrificing children. This sparked an FBI investigation which concluded that there was no such activity taking place.

Just after the release of the Devil’s Notebook in 1992 LaVey made a film entitled “Speak of the Devil” It was a documentary about the Anton LaVey, the history of Satanism, and the Church of Satan. It seemed to revive the Satanic movement a little but not nearly as much as it was in 1996.

A musician by the name of Marilyn Manson release an album entitled “Antichrist Superstar” which fueled a pop-culture trend of Goth teenagers proclaiming to be Satanists. Many of these children were nothing more than alienated teens who were simply rebelling against religion, and their parents.

This created a surge of attention for LaVey and the Church of Satan. A revitalized church had sky rocketing membership applications and a renewed interest in Satanism. Ironically in the midst of the Goth culture phenomenon LaVey would die of heart failure in his home on the night of Oct. 29, 1997.



The Aftermath of LaVey’s Death

Not surprisingly the death of LaVey created a frenzy in and outside of the Satanic community. Detractors came out from rocks to demystify, or debunk nearly all parts of LaVey’s personal and private life, and of course the Church of Satan itself.

Karla LaVey (Anton’s eldest daughter) and Blanche Barton (LaVey’s Biographer, and mother of his Son) had agreed to run the Church together as co-High Priestess’s. It was just after this agreement that Blanche produced a handwritten will and claimed that Church, LaVey’s personal property, and all rights to LaVey’s writings were the sole property of Blanche, and LaVey’s youngest Son Xerxes.

Karla had contested the will citing a Doctors statement that LaVey was heavily medicated and had just come out of a death experience when he was coerced to write the Will. The Will was later invalidated and an agreement was made.

Feeling that her fathers personal items were more important than the organization itself Karla agreed to let Blanche have the “Organization known as Church of Satan” in return LaVey’s three children were to equally divide his personal belongings, and the rights to his works.

During this time Blanche and clergy of the Church had began a vicious campaign against Karla claiming she had not contributed to the Church, and went through long periods of not speaking to her father.

In reality Karla LaVey had gone on numerous lecture tours at University’s regarding Satanism. Appeared on countless television talk shows and radio interviews, promoting the Church, her father’s work, and the philosophy itself. She was even featured on the Cover of Brazil’s most popular magazine giving an interview on the Satanism, and the Occult.

Karla then decided to form the “First Satanic Church” in 1999, an identical organization to her fathers old Church in order to carry on the family tradition. Her church is operating out of San Francisco just as her father had run the Church of Satan.

Blanche currently resides in San Diego, California where the Church of Satan is run mostly online, while still maintaining the P.O. Box in San Francisco.

A large number of new Satanic Churches have popped up since the death of LaVey in 1997. Most of them internet based and lacking any real substance. That just seems to be par for the course these days.


A Word about Satanism Today

Satanism has always been about being an individual, it therefore makes sense that regardless of organizational politics the primary focus should be on the individual. It has become a bit cliche yet it still hold true that you do not have to join any organization to be a Satanist. Only you can determine where you want to go in life.

In closing I would like to say that Satanism is the Bedrock philosophy of human existence. It is the philosophy that is your primer paint before you put several layers of other paints on the wall. It is the first stepping stone in life's journey for infinite knowledge. In the long run it's really what keeps you grounded and your head out of the clouds.


Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:02 am
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i don't think most of this belongs in the "philosophy" forum.








if only we had one called "proselytizing".

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Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:26 pm
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So what I gather is, the main reason anyone would claim to be a satanist is so that they can go around saying "I'm a Satanist. Look at me!"


Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:45 pm
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That poorly cited, banal article nearly made me laugh out loud. It shows that without LaVey, the Organization is going the way of most other large, non-Christian religious groups (i.e. Reformed Druids of N. America, New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn, Feraferia, Gardnerians*); given to infighting and break-off sects. It also invalidates any power and fear the title of "Satanist" might possess by trying to convince the reader (and I might guess the writer himself) that any questioning, intellectual impulses anyone might ever have can be attributed to the "Dark Force of Nature"--blanket titled as Satanism. It's disrespectful to the history of the development of the religion--it contains rituals and ceremonies, yes it's a religion--to broaden its definition in a sorry attempt to justify it as part of human nature. Thanks for the laugh, octoman.

*List formed from chapters in <i>Drawing Down the Moon</i> by Margot Adler, revised edition, C. 1986

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Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:57 pm
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What I always got from LaVey was the idea that you are your own, unapologetic master. There is little of what one could call religion or spirituality in the Satanic Bible, and more philosophy than anything. He had a few good ideas in that, and I always liked his concept of the power of forgotten things. However, now that he is gone, what humor there was in his Church has been replaced by the fritterings of fourth-rate hacks, who couldn't even fake LaVey's carny barker shtick. If you get anything from LaVey, let it be that following, or associating with, the imitators in his Church is a waste of your time. That is much better suited for pathetic teenagers who want to shock their classmates and parents.


Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:20 pm
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GodCoversHisEyes wrote:
I pretty much regard anyone who thinks they have had communication with a diety or an alien species as a severely mentally ill individual.


I regard anyone who thinks ants are erecting temples in their honor to be a severely mental individual. I enjoy frying them with a magnifying glass, but I have no God complex about it while I'm doing it. They're just ants, and I enjoy the crackle.

I recently watched a special exploring Satanism. The Church of Satan, specifically. It was quite interesting... It explains that much of the ceremony and dress-up stuff is designed to mock Christian religions and other organized faiths, and is essentially meaningless. I did get a kick out of these fat guys with goatees and capes holding up cups and saying scary stuff with their 'mean face' on. I found myself wanting to give those guys wedgies and steal their lunch money for some reason.

~Ether

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Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:04 am
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Ether wrote:
GodCoversHisEyes wrote:
I pretty much regard anyone who thinks they have had communication with a diety or an alien species as a severely mentally ill individual.


I regard anyone who thinks ants are erecting temples in their honor to be a severely mental individual.

?? If you're talking about me (since I brought up the ants in the first place), the ants were an analogy for people who think there's an omnipotent, omniscient entity out there who, in defiance of common sense, actually gives a crap what they do.

Like the faithful devout ant who builds a temple in My honor hoping I won't stomp him like I did his cohort yesterday. In actual fact, I didn't stomp his cohort on purpose to punish him for something (most certainly not for his lack of homage to Me!), I accidentally (and completely obliviously) happened to step where he was, while walking to My car.

But of course there will always be self-important, arrogant ants out there who think they know My will. And other ants who think it's folly to dismiss those other ants' claims. Even though the claims are ridiculous. And completely wrong.


If I may steal a Heinlein quote from Wodurid's LJ post, this says it more succinctly:
The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.” - Robert A. Heinlein

--Rob "has been waiting 3½ weeks for an opportunity to use the word 'succinct'" Kemmetmueller


Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:31 pm
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rskm1 wrote:
[?? If you're talking about me (since I brought up the ants in the first place), the ants were an analogy for people who think there's an omnipotent, omniscient entity out there who, in defiance of common sense, actually gives a crap what they do.

Like the faithful devout ant who builds a temple in My honor hoping I won't stomp him like I did his cohort yesterday. In actual fact, I didn't stomp his cohort on purpose to punish him for something (most certainly not for his lack of homage to Me!), I accidentally (and completely obliviously) happened to step where he was, while walking to My car.

But of course there will always be self-important, arrogant ants out there who think they know My will. And other ants who think it's folly to dismiss those other ants' claims. Even though the claims are ridiculous. And completely wrong.


If I may steal a Heinlein quote from Wodurid's LJ post, this says it more succinctly:
The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.” - Robert A. Heinlein

--Rob "has been waiting 3½ weeks for an opportunity to use the word 'succinct'" Kemmetmueller



That's an awesome quote- thanks for sharing it!

And no, I wasn't talking about you. I just have a very dry sense of humor- the comment wasn't directed at anyone in particular.

BUT, since you brought up the ants being an analogy.... it's kind of a bad one. I mean, the power ratio between you and ants is nothing like the ratio between us and the notion of God. You didn't create the ants, nor are you responsible for their existance. You do not posess the ability to wipe out all of them at once, nor can you even communicate with them.

~Ether

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Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:40 pm
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Ether wrote:
BUT, since you brought up the ants being an analogy.... it's kind of a bad one. I mean, the power ratio between you and ants is nothing like the ratio between us and the notion of God. You didn't create the ants, nor are you responsible for their existance. You do not posess the ability to wipe out all of them at once, nor can you even communicate with them.

Bzzt. The ACTUAL power I have over the ants is completely inconsequential... the only important part of the analogy is the power that the ants THINK I have over them.

I don't have to create any ants-- they just need to spin some ridiculous yarns about how I created them, scribe them into a Holy Book, and then sloppily translate it between a few different ant dialects.

I could've replaced "Me" in the analogy with "Ether's magnifying glass", and it'd still be a perfectly good analogy. But I'm just way cooler, so it's an even better analogy. Plus I get to capitalize all the pronouns that reference Myself.


Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:56 pm
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rskm1 wrote:
Ether wrote:
BUT, since you brought up the ants being an analogy.... it's kind of a bad one. I mean, the power ratio between you and ants is nothing like the ratio between us and the notion of God. You didn't create the ants, nor are you responsible for their existance. You do not posess the ability to wipe out all of them at once, nor can you even communicate with them.

Bzzt. The ACTUAL power I have over the ants is completely inconsequential... the only important part of the analogy is the power that the ants THINK I have over them.

I don't have to create any ants-- they just need to spin some ridiculous yarns about how I created them, scribe them into a Holy Book, and then sloppily translate it between a few different ant dialects.

I could've replaced "Me" in the analogy with "Ether's magnifying glass", and it'd still be a perfectly good analogy. But I'm just way cooler, so it's an even better analogy. Plus I get to capitalize all the pronouns that reference Myself.


Hey I like capitalizing things as much as the next guy, but it still doesn't make it work. I mean, whatever really... I'm over it to be honest... but if we're being picky your analogy is nonsense. First off, ants don't 'think' about anything. They have no intelligent thoughts whatsoever because they lack the mental capacity for higher thinking (the kind required to spin yarns about what an awesome god you are, write Holy Books, or use language muchless translate it). The other flaw is that you are tangible. Even if your ants were capable of reading, writing, creativity, etc. they would be able to see you. You would actually exist for real. Actually, the more I think about it the more I want Pixar to make a movie about you ruling over ant subjects.

~Ether

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Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:55 am
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an individual ant is incapable of thought, but hives of termites and ants show problem solving ability, and even structural changes in hive building technology that can almost be attributed to "cultural" variations.

hive brains are creepy.

kinda like mormons.

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Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:23 am
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Ether wrote:
but if we're being picky your analogy is nonsense. First off, ants don't 'think' about anything. They have no intelligent thoughts whatsoever because they lack the mental capacity for higher thinking

...and as such, compared to them, *I* am analogous to an omniscient, omnipotent deity (as far as the ants "know" or are equipped to "discuss").

Hence, the analogy.

What's the definition of "analogy" in your world?


Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:01 pm
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Ether wrote:
Actually, the more I think about it the more I want Pixar to make a movie about you ruling over ant subjects.

It'd be a bad idea for them to compete head-to-head with Warner Bros' upcoming movie about Ether's magnifying glass.


Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:13 pm
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rskm1 wrote:
Ether wrote:
Actually, the more I think about it the more I want Pixar to make a movie about you ruling over ant subjects.

It'd be a bad idea for them to compete head-to-head with Warner Bros' upcoming movie about Ether's magnifying glass.


Wow, that's so funny... they actually DID make a movie about it. Well, not Pixar, but WB... I had no idea. Looks good though, I'll definitely see it. Thanks for the link!

~Ether

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Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:21 pm
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It probably will sound so simple, but I witnessed something like that. Imagine that some person wanted something and prayed all the time to get it. They go to church every Sunday and praise God. They know every word for the prayer. A lot of the people use God like an emergency service. Well, the time goes by and of course nothing happens and they are disappointed. So that person gets angry with God and thinks “If I worship the Satan or Devil that definitely would help me”. Usually there is disappointment again.

Or, there can be some other reasons.

Just my 2 cents.


Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:11 am
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which is actually worse, a satanist or an atheist?


Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:34 am
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A Satanist bases his/her faith around a fictional character and a selfish ideal. An Atheist recognizes fact.

No contest.


Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:09 pm
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