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From: locklin@titan.ucs.umass.edu (Lupo ) Path: jpunix!menudo.uh.edu!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!usc !cs.utexas.edu!not-for-mail Newsgroups: alt.satanism Subject: FAQ posting Organization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway Message-ID: <9302261825.AA10582@titan.ucs.umass.edu> Date: 26 Feb 1993 12:28:10 -0600 No changes lately. I must set up an automatic weekly posting routine soon... -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- THE ALT.SATANISM FAQ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- This file is for all new readers of alt.satanism. Many groups of a `controversial' nature have noticed that new readers often come up with the same questions, misstatements or misconceptions and post them to the net. The purpose of this file is to prevent continual restatement of previously debated-- often several times debated--topics. This isn't to say that these things are not subject to further debate. It is to say that these things *have* been considered by the readers here. If you have something significant to add to the debate on a particular topic then please do post. Contributors to date are: Semhaza (The Antichrist) Shaitaneth Baphomet (The Adversary) Lupo the Polish Butcher Frater (I) Nigris (666) -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Frequently Asked "Questions" of Alt.Satanism: 1. What is Satanism? 2. What is _The Satanic Bible_? 3. Are there other Satanic organizations? 4. Satan is a Christian God! You aren't Satanists, just nasty atheists! 5. Aren't Satanists ritualistic baby murderers? 6. Do Satanists have orgies? If so, where do I sign up? 7. What is Xian? COS? TOS? TSB? OT? NT? Do you say "Xian" rather than "Christian" in order to insult Christianity? 8. Have you considered the message of _The Bible_? 9. For the Christians among us: should you feel inclined to preach. You are all going to hell. Jesus saves! [As regards Christian evangelism, see also the alt.atheism FAQ.] 10. How can I get more information about Satanism? -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- 1. What is Satanism? At first glance this may look like a simple question to answer: "Go look it up in the dictionary." would seem to be straightforward enough. In fact, I'll do it for you: Satanism, n. 1. the worship of Satan or the powers of evil. 2. a travesty of Christian rites in which Satan is worshipped. 3. diabolical or satanic disposition, behavior, or actions. [from _Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language_, (c) 1989] Unfortunately it's not that easy. There is no one set of beliefs that comprise Satanism. Because there is no set of doctrines or scriptures agreed upon by a majority of Satanists, would-be practitioners must define their beliefs for themselves, based upon a minimum of shared information. The issue is further confused by the fact that, historically, most records of real or imagined Satanism have been made by Satanists' traditional enemies, Christians. However a few generalizations can be made: the average Satanist disagrees with much of Christianity, believes in no absolute moral code, and places emphasis on the individual and personal rights. If you think this sounds like Libertarianism, you're right; many Satanists consider themselves Libertarians or feel close to the party on social issues. There are several divisions one could make as to the belief systems of various "Satanic" groups. This (arbitrary) division is made more to outline some belief systems than to categorize groups. Most defy categorization. The Process Church, for example, is surely a gnostic group, but neither of the two listed fit the Process very well. 1. The Dabblers: adopt Satanic trappings for a brief period of time, usually for entertainment rather than serious purposes. Many modern youths fall into this category. 2. Churches of Satan: are patterned after the teachings of Anton LaVey. These groups believe in individualism, gratification of the ego, self-reliance and the ideal of the Neitzchean Superman. These groups use Magick as a tool for earthly power. They see Satan as the driving force behind achievment in mankind. The two main organizations in this category are Anton LaVey's Church of Satan and Michael Aquino's Temple of Set. The two groups differ philosophically and organizationally. 3. Gnostics: can be divided into two major categories 3a. Promethian Gnostics: Believe in a literal "Satan", but believe that the creator of the world (Jehovah) is the evil deity. Satan is seen as the "bringer of light"; a beneficient god. This is an old "heresy" seen in groups such as the Yezidis. 3b. Dark Gnostics: Worship the dark force in nature. These groups follow the whims of a capricious god, which most westerners would see as being "evil." There are a few historical christian heresies which would fall into this category. Kali worshippers could also be categorized here. 4. Secondary Satanists: follow a faith outside the Christian mainstream. Most would not consider themselves as being "Satanic" and strictly speaking should not be defined as satanists (as per se with some of the Gnostic groups), but the ignorant often categorize them as Satanists. Voodoun and Santiera could be grouped here, as could medeaval wicca (if it actually existed). 5. Hellfire Clubs: Were a phenomenon of the 18th century. The first of these was founded by the Duke of Wharton in the early 1700's. Most infamous was sir Francis Dashwood's Medmenham club (Often incorrectly called the hellfire club). Dashwood was a close freind of Benjamin Franklin, who may have been a member of this group. Franklin's description of the Medmeham club's secret chambers is one of the few we have, so his membership seems likely. In any case, Dashwood and Franklin co-authored the "Franklin Prayer Book" (often called the Book of Common Prayer) which is commonly used in america. Another famous member of the Medmanham club was the Earl of Sandwich, inventor of (guess what) the Sandwich. Hellfire clubs were exclusive groups dedicated to much political intrigue, partying, and some occasional occult activities. 2. What is _The Satanic Bible_? _The Satanic Bible_ is a book describing the philosophy of Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan. This organization holds the view that there is no higher god than oneself, and that one should worship accordingly. Life is the Great Indulgence and Death is the Great Abstinence, as there is no afterlife. The basic ideas of _The Satanic Bible_ are laid out in the Nine Satanic Statements: 1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence! 2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams! 3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit! 4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates! 5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek! 6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires! 7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better than, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all! 8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification! 9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years! _The Satanic Bible_ can be found (in America) in most chain bookstores in the New Age, Philosophy, or Religion sections. The Church of Satan can be contacted at: Church of Satan P.O. Box 210082 San Francisco, CA 94121 $100 will get you a lifetime membership. Contrary to popular opinion, the Church is not tax-exempt. It turned down tax-exemption (despite being eligible) on the grounds that a church is a business and should not receive preferential treatment. Some people question whether the term "Satanism" is appropriate for the Church's beliefs, due to its atheistic stance. Since the Church has been in existence for over 20 years its definition is probably here to stay, although it isn't the only definition. 3. Are there other Satanic organizations? Yes. The best-known and longest-lasting is the Temple of Set, founded by former Church of Satan member Michael Aquino. The Temple encourages members to apply Setian philosophy to their soul or psyche in the process of Xeper, which means "coming into being". The goal is for the individual to achieve self-actualization and divinity. The Temple operates in a more religious and supposedly more intellectual atmosphere than the Church of Satan. There is material on the Temple of Set archived in slopoke.mlb.semi.harris.com (as well as other files of interest to the occultist) and quartz.rutgers.edu [and BTW many "Satanists" & other such occultic rabble & flotsam can be found at the Divination Web (a MUCK based on the tree of life) seismo.soar.cs.cmu.edu 9393] The Temple of Set can be contacted at: Temple of Set P.O. Box 470307 San Francisco, CA 94147 4. Satan is a Christian God! You aren't Satanists, just nasty atheists! Most (probably all) religions have gods or demons that represent the principle of adversity: that which is forbidden by society. Satan is one among these, originally conceived by the Hebrews long before the birth of Jesus. The name first appears (in _The Bible_, at any rate) in the book of Job. Satan was a fallen angel, not a god, in the monotheistic religions of Christianity and Islam. "Satan" is understood by most Satanists in a context different than that of Christian theology. Satan is a powerful archetype, to the Euro-American Usenet majority at least, bringing to mind such things as sexuality, power, individualism and control over one's destiny. The Satanist can choose what s/he likes from the varied portrayals of Satan, and may add principles of adversity from other cultures as well. 5. Aren't Satanists ritualistic baby murderers? Some misleading reports exist about Satanists: they are organized into nationwide cults; they commit ritual murders on a grand scale; they raise their children with psychological disorders; they kidnap people for blood sacrifice; they organize day-care centers and abuse the children placed in their care. A whole class of books exists detailing the exploits of these Satanic groups. The problem with all these works is that they are fictional rather than truthful accounts. Much is claimed based on scanty evidence that would be better explained by another scenario. Claims of involvement with Satanism are made by patients under hypnosis (hypnotized subjects are notorious for their suggestibility and tendency to produce fictions). Other "former Satanists" distort the truth in search of attention and money. These sensationalists never go to the police regarding the criminal activities they allegedly took part in, which calls the veracity of their claims and the sincerity of their remorse into question. Evidence does not exist to support what is said to occur. If the number of murders said to be committed by Satanists was accurate, some bodies should have been found by now. While means have been suggested by which bodies could be concealed, it stretches the imagination to believe that every body has been successfully hidden thus. Evidence in other areas is similarly lacking. Individuals investigating suspected Satanic crimes misinterpret what they find to fit their expectations. The _Necronomicon_, published by Avon Books, is used as an authoritative guide to Satanic practices. Yet few Satanists take the book seriously in any way, and none follow it to the letter. This and other things lead some non-Satanists to see what simply is not there. The observant reader may note that there have been a few crimes linked to Satanism. In all cases the criminal(s) worked alone with no connections to other groups. Some cases have been publicized by the media as being related to Satanism when in fact they involve another religion, as in the Matamoros case. The lesson to be learned is that although a book may appear in the "Non-fiction" section of a bookstore, that doesn't make it so. 6. Do Satanists have orgies? If so, where do I sign up? Hmmm...I trust that some do, but I have been unable to locate any as of yet. 7. What is Xian? COS? TOS? TSB? Do you say "Xian" rather than "Christian" in order to insult Christianity? Some users in this and other newsgroups find themselves discussing Christianity frequently. In order to cut down on keystrokes they type "Xian" and "Xianity" rather than the longer versions. A few users may intend it partly as a slur, but most do it only for convenience. The abbreviation itself is far from insulting; it is accepted and used by many Christians including (I am told) the Pope. A few other abbreviations occur frequently in this newsgroup. They are normally defined in a conversation, but here they are for your convenience: COS = Church of Satan TOS = Temple of Set TSB = _The Satanic Bible_ OT = Old Testament NT = New Testament 8. Have you considered the message of _The Bible_? Yes. Most Satanists, along with most other members of Western cultures, are familiar with the teachings of Christianity and many have read _The Bible_ or part of it. They simply consider _The Bible_ to be false and disregard it much like Christians would disregard books which represent the foundation of another religion. Attempting to discuss Christianity will, in most cases, only get you flamed and not inform the Satanist of "something they didn't know". If you are still tempted to post about _The Bible_ because you feel that we may have missed an important point, I suggest you seek out and read the alt.atheism FAQ before proceeding. Many of its points are applicable to alt.satanism. 9. For the Christians among us: should you feel inclined to preach. You are all going to hell. Jesus saves! Quite often, members of fundamentalist Christian groups see fit to post various evangelical messages in alt.satanism. The reason for this is not clear. It has been suggested by various members of this net, who I shall lump under the convenient category of "Satanist," that the reason for this posturing is that many (perhaps most) Born-Again Christian types are closet masochists. It has also been suggested that Christians need to save a certain number of souls to get a good seat in paradise, similar in spirit to selling candy-bars or magazines to fund various extra-curricular activities in school. Presumably Satanist souls, being sold to the devil already, are worth more points. While these theories have some merit, considering the teachings of their (allegedly) chosen religion, an attempt should be made to be open-minded enough to see their side of things. Many Christians, when asked why they do this, respond something to the effect that it is charity, something they do out of the goodness of their hearts, out of concern for people etc. etc. Well, if the Christian is really concerned with people, why not preach to those who have not heard the message? Most "Satanists" are well acquainted with the messages of Christianity. They have been preached to ad infinitum, and are fed up with it. That is part of the reason they are Satanists instead of plain old agnostics. Many Satanists are angered by such posts, and justifiably so. Now consider this: You will never convert a Satanist over USENET. You either 1) are too infuriating; 2) look like a fool. There is NO logical reason to convert to Christianity. The only appeals are to the emotions, and as stated before they either look foolish or infuriating. Things like, "But Jesus LOVES you; he died for your sins!" or "Your soul is in danger!" are appeals to guilt and fear respectively; not reason. As most Satanists have chosen this path out of reason, these appeals will never work. As for those Satanists who are so for emotional reasons, their minds are as closed as that of the Born-again Christian. Perhaps, if indeed preaching is done for humanitarian, and not egotistical or masochistic reasons, your energies are better spent educating those who know little of your faith: those born atheistic, communists, buddhists etc. If, as suspected, your purposes are more egotistical (look reverend; I converted a Satanist!) forget it. There are no "lost souls," waiting to be found, in this community. For the masochistically inclined, we suggest self-flagellation. It costs less disk space, is probably more satisfying, and is certainly less offensive to the general public. Otherwise; GROWL! BOOGA BOOGA! HASTUR, ASTAROTH, LEVIATHAN ISHTAR!!!!!!!!! XILKA XILKA! BESA BESA! go away already... 10. How can I get more information about Satanism? Recommended Reading: _The Satanic Bible_, by Anton Szander LaVey, Avon Books, 1969. Presents the Satanic views and doctrines of the Church of Satan, along with an introduction to its rituals. _The Compleat Witch_ (the new edition is called _The Satanic Witch_), by Anton LaVey, Lancer Books, 1971. _The Satanic Rituals_, by Anton LaVey, University Books, 1972. More books discussing LaVey's brand of Satanism. _The Secret Life of a Satanist_ by Barton Blanche, Mondo Press. The authorized biography of Anton LaVey, and a basic guide to Satanic philosophy. _The Second Coming_, by Arthur Lyons, 1970 [out of print] A history of Satanism through the Middle Ages and the modern era. _Satan Wants You_, by Arthur Lyons, Mysterious Press (Warner), 1988. Presents an overview of Satanism and the history of Satan, plus an in-depth look at popular misconceptions. _ABRASAX #4_ A magazine published by the American Gnostic Church. Issue #4 is dedicated to Satan & satanic matters generally. They can be reached at: American Gnostic Church PO BOX 1219 Corpus Christi, TX, 78403-1219 (This is an old address--I have not checked yet.) _The Black Arts_, by Richard Cavendish, Perigee Books (Putnam), 1967. An objective introduction to magic, demonology, and classical views of Satanism. _Black Magic in Theory and Practice_, by Michael Aquino. _The Necronomicon_ [by the Mad Arab], Avon Books, 1977. Purported ritual book of great efficacy. Generally regarded as fiction interspersed with translations of Mesopotamian texts. Mileage may vary, depending on how seriously you take babble. _The Satan Seller_, Mike Warnke's imagination, Logos International, 1972. A Christian presents his alleged experiences in a Satanic cult before his conversion to Christianity. _Cornerstone_, Volume 21, number 98, "Selling Satan," Jon Trott & Mike Hertenstein, 1992. This gets *highest* recommendation. From a Christian magazine which does a great job of discrediting Mike Warnke's accounts mentioned in _The Satan Seller_ and elsewhere _Do What You Will_ by Geoffry Ashe A history of philosophers & groups who use this thelemic motto. Especially nice history of the "Hellfire Clubs" _Satanism: The Seduction of America's Youth_, Bob Larson, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989. The facts on the *conspiracy* now coming to a lonely town near you!!! (You're reading the FAQ, so it's already here!) _Paradise Lost_ by John Milton. An epic poem telling the tale of Lucifer from when he is thrown out of heaven, to the Fall of Adam and Eve. It makes Lucifer into a heroic figure, whilst God is made out to be a little vague and weak. _The Divine Comedy_ by Dante. Another epic poem in three parts (Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradisio) covering the author's pilgrimage through them. _The Prince of Darkness_ by Jeffrey Burton Russell, Cornell University Press, 1988. Historian's work on the history of Satan from earliest history through the twentieth century. A summary of a four-book series (The Devil, Satan, Lucifer, and Mephistopheles, by the same author) which may be too much reading for casual interest. _The Old Enemy_ by Neil Forsyth, Princeton University Press, 1987. Another history of Satan focusing on the Middle East and early Christianity. _La-Bas (Down There)_ by J. K. Huysmans (1891?) translated by Keene Wallace. Fiction novel of the occult and the black mass in late nineteenth century Paris. H. P. Lovecraft, collected works. Classic horror fiction that has served as inspiration for many Satanists. Frederick Neitzsche, various works Neitzschean philosophies form the core of Satanism. Much of the _Satanic Bible_ owes its philosophical and literary roots to works such as _Thus Spoke Zarastrutha_ and _The Anti-Christ_ by Neitzche. Michel Foucault, works Though not a direct influence on Satanic thought, Foucault's work extended and modernized that of Neitzsche, making it more applicable to the present day. He is also largely responsible for the "post-modern" philosophical movement. _The Occult_ by Colin Wilson An excellent objective introduction to the subject. _Cosmic Trigger_ by Robert A. Wilson This book describes various initiations and occult phenomena experienced by Mr. Wilson. _Apocalypse Culture_ collected by Adam Parfey. A shocking work, depicting the worldviews of various "fringe" sects and individuals, ranging from necrophiliacs to ultra-right wing Christians. _Snapping; America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change_ by Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman. An interesting work utilizing information theory in the study of sudden personality change as occurs in religious cults, and the "Born-Again" phenomenon. _Who Wrote the Bible?_, by Richard Elliott Friedman, Harper & Row, 1987. A biblical scholar attempts to answer the question of the title, and in the process comes up with some interesting reasons for events in _The Bible_ (why does Moses have horns? Why the scene with the golden calf?). An interesting read, and possibly amusing for the cynic. _The Dead Sea Scrolls_ There are many good books on this subject for those who need to debunk Christianity historically as well as philosophically. Among them: _Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible_ by Roland E. Murphy (a Roman Catholic at that) 1968 _A Crack in the Jar; What ancient Jewish Documents tell us about the New Testament_ by Niel Fujita (also a Christian scholar) 1986 _The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth_ by John Allegro (one of the original Dead Sea Scholars) 1984 Note than all of the above scholars are of the old school of scroll study. While all do a good job of debunking Christianity, the latest generation of scholarly works is even more damning. Following are a number of works recommended dealing with Satanism's links with crime, multiple personality disorder, etc. _The Satanism Scare_, ed. James T. Richardson, Joel Best, and David G. Bromley (NY: Aldine, 1991): 145-172. _Satan's Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult_, by William Simms Bainbridge, U of CA Press, 1978. _Battle for the Mind_, by William Sargent, Harper & Row, 1957. _In Pursuit Of Satan_, by Robert D. Hicks (Prometheus Books), _Satanism In America_, issued by the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion. "Occult Crime: A Law Enforcement Primer" [To obtain a copy of this report, write to California Office of Criminal Justice Planning 1130 K Street, Suite 300 Sacramento, CA 95814 (Phone: (916) 324-9100). Request the "Research Update, Special Edition, Winter 1989-1990, Volume 1, Number 6" issue. No mention is made of a donation, but it may be useful to inquire beforehand.]


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