To: Diane Vera Subject: Satanism You recently asked Jeff the Riffer in the Pagan echo whet

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

From: Charles Nemo To: Diane Vera Subject: Satanism You recently asked Jeff the Riffer in the Pagan echo whether it is necessary to be an asshole in order to be a Satanist. (I am *NOT* Mr. Riffer, nor am I you!) You apparently were offended by his statement that he was there to cause as much chaos as possible and/or by the fact that he posted some Slayer lyrics. You solicited my opinion on the matter. My initial reaction was that in many instances one would have to be an asshole to be a Satanist--at least where the sole motivation was childish rebellion. Having though about the subject a bit more, I can see virtually no circumstances where society might regard a Satanist favorably. Even the most innocuous form of Satanist--one who acts purely from self-interest without any trace of the theoretical violence often attributed to Satanists by rabid fundies--would be perceived as selfish by society and therefore ipso facto an asshole! Society's attitude toward less congenial Satanists goes without saying.... Charles Manson is an example of a so-called Satanist who arouses the most violent imaginable loathing in many people. Why? Here is a short (5'6"), illiterate (3rd grade education), unkempt and possibly mentally ill man who influenced a motley band of at most 30-40 people. Of course he is alleged to have masterminded the killing of several people, but that happens all the time without the attendant public horror. Are people envious of his demonstrated sexual magnetism? Perhaps. More likely is that people realize the truth of his statements that society has "projected" its evil onto him. People understand (at least subconsciously) the corruption of a nation that lets countless homeless families live in the most appalling degradation while spending billions on armaments, pet food and other foolish profligacies. They know in their hearts that their children indeed will be "coming right at them." People may not admit these things, but they know it in their hearts. Fundamentalism is a perfect vehicle for projection, since it labels all who are different or disagree as heretical or, even worse, "Satanic". Actually, a hardcore Satanist might not even call himself or herself such, since it is too easy to fall into the xtian mindset of what constitutes Satanism, thereby limiting the potential for one's self- development. Labeling also makes one an easier target for would-be inquisitors. It is even possible that a strong (and probably young) individualist might not even realize that he/she is a"Satanist" at heart.... From: Charles Nemo To: Diane Vera Msg #111, 12-Mar-91 05:22pm Subject: Re: The "Darker Side" Definitions of "hardcore Satanist", "a 'Satanist' at heart" and circumstances necessary for breakoff of a relationship are highly subjective and probably not worth discussing. Your point about the motivation of serial killers not being a profound mystery in view of American glorification of violence is valid in that it explains the existence of such people. What's surprising is that there are not thousands of such people instead of only dozens or hundreds. There many in fact BE thousands in the formative stages--as children or as adults who have had enough "crap" but not yet "matured". Study of the phenomenon is important, therefore, both to identify difficult people and help them, as well as to try to change conditions that cause the problem. In short, there may be a veritable tidal wave of epic societal distortions approaching, and an early warning system might be worthwhile. There are several excellent books on the subject if you're interested.... As one concrete example, I came across survey results in a recent issue of Industry Week indicating that more than 60% of middle management and first-line supervisors are fed up with their jobs. Imagine the impact of these disgruntled people of the even-more-helpless people they supervise, on their and their employees families (especially children), etc. American industry/religion/politics has failed its people badly, and the catastrophic consequences of recession/depression/ etc. are only beginning.... From: Diane Vera To: Charles Nemo Msg #170, 17-Mar-91 10:54pm Subject: Re: The "Darker Side" On March 12, you wrote: . CN > Your point about the motivation of serial killers not being a profound mystery in view of American glorification of violence is valid in that it explains the existence of such people. What's surprising is that there are not thousands of such people instead of only dozens or hundreds. There many in fact BE thousands in the formative stages--as children or as adults who have had enough "crap" but not yet "matured". Study of the phenomenon is important, therefore, both to identify difficult people and help them, as well as to try to change conditions that cause the problem. In short, there may be a veritable tidal wave of epic societal distortions approaching, and an early warning system might be worthwhile. There are several excellent books on the subject if you're interested.... . You're right. STUDY of the phenomenon is important. If I seemed to belittle the topic, I was reacting against the popular voyeuristic FASCINATION with "psycho killers", as in the sale of Jack the Ripper memorabilia - a fascination which may well be part of the problem. I should mention that "psycho killers" is a topic I'm particularly sensitive on, since (1) my sister was killed by one, (2) a cousin of mine might well *be* one if he weren't locked away in a mental institution (he tried to kill his parents once, and he still hears voices telling him to kill various people), and (3) somebody I once dated was rumored to be one, I later found out. . CN > As one concrete example, I came across survey results in a recent issue of Industry Week indicating that more than 60% of middle management and first-line supervisors are fed up with their jobs. Imagine the impact of these disgruntled people on the even-more- helpless people they supervise, on their and their employees' families (especially children), etc. . Yep. I can believe it! . CN > American industry/religion/politics has failed its people badly, and the catastrophic consequences of recession/depression/ etc. are only beginning....

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank