To: All Dec-08-93 06:36:00 Subject: Satanism * Edited by Rick Vanderzwaag on 08-Dec-93 06:

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From: Rick Vanderzwaag To: All Dec-08-93 06:36:00 Subject: Satanism * Edited by Rick Vanderzwaag on 08-Dec-93 06:36 Throughout the many months that I have been carrying and reading this echo, I have carried on a number of discussion about Satanismm, and have indicated that I was in the process of collecting information on the subject, but did not feel at the time that I had enough information on hand to fully state an opinion on the subject. Having spent a number of months now compiling data, by talking to people (owners of occult shops in Toronto, New York, and L.A.) accessing BBS systems, and the Internet. Seeing that this is often a topic of discussion here, and many people (by my recollection) have made various claims that I have found difficult to accept, both from an Atheist's perspective on Satanism and those lovable fundies and their rediculous claims about what Satanism and the occult are all about, I figured that I might as well post some facts about the occult in order to set (no pun intended) the record straight about many things. The purpose in the following series of messages is to properly place "Satanism" in its proper context, and differentiate it from other occult groups which deny any association with Satanism at all. In regard to the former, it has been my recollection, based on the postings of a few people, that they deny certain facts about satanism which should be considered. In regard to the later, most fundies that I have seen are quick to criticize anyone in the occult movement as being "Satanists", and this too is something that should be clarified as well. Satanism: This is a very misused term. The majority of people that I have encountered associate the use of this term with Anton Szandor LaVey's Church of Satan, which has no theistic proclivities or beliefs whatsoever. Founded in 1966, the Church of Satan was a medium for studying the Black Arts which was predominately hedonistic and materialistic in nature. Satan, as a figure does not have any spiritual significance with this group, and its use in the name is mainly symbolic. The philosophical basis for much of LaVey's beliefs are to be found in the materialistic and hedonistic philosophy of Nietzsche, which looks to this life (as opposed to the after-life) and the creation of new values for the here and now. The association with Satanism is of course a natural one, primarily because one of the principle works that LaVey wrote was the Satanic Bible. It is a misnomer to assume that this has anything at all to do with Satan. Of course, in 1975, the Church of Satan lost its place as the principle meduim for "Satanism", after LaVey announced that all levels and grades were attainable by cash donation. Since 1975, the principle group that can be "rightfully" called "Satanists" is the Temple Of Set, founded by Dr. Michael Aquino after a consultation with the "Prince of Darkness." (Source: TSINF.SET available at or on the Internet) The Temple Of Set, which at this point in time, is the only Federally recognized institution (USA 1975, has tax exempt status, both federal and state recognition), and hence is the only group of "believers" that can be appropraitely labeled "Satanists". In 1975, after LaVey had made his announcement about the levels and grades being attainable by cash donation, the majority of the Priesthood rejected LaVey's greedy inclinations, and the Church of Satan entered a period where its staunchest proponents no longer saw it as a legitimate institution. At this point in time, "the senior Initiate, Dr. Michael Aquino, invoked the Prince of Darkness in quest of a new Mandate to preserve and enhance the more noble concepts which the Church Of Satan had conceived and outlined. That Mandate was given in the form of _The Book of Coming Forth by Night_ -a statement by that entity, in his most ancient semblance as Set, ordaining the Temple of Set of succeed the Church." (Ibid.) Temple Of Set: It is a _THEISTIC_ religion, having its foundations in the ancient Egyptian Religion (Priesthood of Set) which can be dated as 3200 BCE (Images of Set) and 5000 BCE (astrinomically based inscriptions). The ancient form of the religion (one of two worshipped in Egypt at the time, the other being the followers of HarWer or Horus the Elder) lasted for approximately 25 dynasties (till 700 BCE). It was disbanded by a new wave of Osirian percecution durring the XXV dynasty. Durring the XIX dynasty however, the characture (Hieroglyphic) was carried by the Hebrews into Isreal as Set-Hen, which was one of the god's formal titles, later refered to as Satan. "Set was one of the ealiest Egyptian dieties, a god of the night identified with the northern stars. In the earliest ages of Egypt, this Prince of Darkness was well regarded. One persistant token of this regard is the Tcham scepter, having the stylized head and tail of Set. The Tcham scepter is frequently found in portraits of other gods as a symbol of magical power." (Set in Egyptian Theology by Oz Tech available at on the Internet) Members of the Temple of Set "worship" Set in the affirmation of ones individualsim, the "Real You", or individual psyche. (Xeper) Those who follow this group recognize that the human psyche is something unique in the universe, and something to be preserved. Additionally, they seek the development of a "psychoecentric consciousness" which evolves according to the development of the Will, as in Nietzsche's Will to Will, Will to Power, as a process of "coming into being" or "becoming". (Xeper) proponents of this faith however are clearly to be recognized as "dedicated to the Prince of Darkness" or Set. Members of the Temple of Set are not to be confused with those who practice cannibalism, drugs, graverobbing, Church desecration or sexual violence, which is the typical "Hollywood" image of "Satanism", or those preached from the pulpets of most fundamentalist churches. Principal deities include Thoth, Bathoment, and of course Set. Aleister Crowley: Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley (1875-1947) joined the Isis-Urania Temple of the Golden Dawn in November of 1898, however he dropped out of the organization in 1904, and formed the Astrum Argenteum. The central beliefs here were patterned after the Rocsicrucian Black Arts, and the cerimonial magical philosophy of the Temple of the Golden Dawn, with a heavy emphasis on Kabbalah (Qabalah, cabala) practices, knowledge and communication with ones "guardian angel", and later the Masonic/sexual practices of the German Order of Oriental Templars and the Tantric Buddhists. His writings indicate a wide interest in maickal practices, which includes: 777, which is an important text on the Tables of Kabbalistic correspondences, Legis, or the Book of the Law, which is an important text on the Will, whose central theme was the Law of Thelema, "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" and the Love under will, in the unity of all in all. Book of the Law, which is probably his most important work, was written at the command of Horus, and his guardian angel (Aiwass), who he contacted with the help of his wife Rose, the daughter of Sir Gerald Kelly. Being as interested as he was in Kabbalah would certainly make him theistic, due to the predominance of God amonst this Jewish tradition (Kabbalah means tradition, or more specifically "oral tradition") and the emphasis placed on the divinity of the Torah, the study of which is to unlock the secrets of the creation. Other Kabbalists which Crowley had dealings with, were his close friend and associate E. A. Waite, and Samuel Liddel Mathers whose book "Kabbalah unveiled" was a translation of three texts from the Zohar. Additionally, Crowley himself held a belief in the existence of his own guardian angel, (Aiwass) and Horus (Possibly the same Horus mentioned in reference to Set) and encouraged his followers to do the same. Various anecdotal writings, by both Crowley himself, and those who were directly associated with him, indicate that on more than one occaision he summoned Demons, as in the 47 which he sent off to fight Mathers. Was Crowley a Satanist? No, probably not, although he himself expressed certain reservations about whether the magick that he was using was white or black. In order to clarify the fact that Crowley was not associatated with Satanism per se, I shall consider those groups which he affiliated himself with, i.e. Kabbalah and the Temple of the Golden Dawn, or those groups which turn to his writings, i.e. The Thelemic Order and the Temple of the Golden Dawn. Kabbalah: "The earliest documents associated with Kabbalah come from the period ~100 to ~1000 CE, and describe attempts of "Merkabah" mystics to penetrate the seven halls (Hekaloth) of creation in order to reach the Merkabah (throne-chariot) of God. These mystics appear to have used what would now be recognized as familiar methods of shamanism (fasting, repetitious chanting, prayer, posture) to enduce trance states in which they literally fought their way past terrible seals and guards to reach an exstatic state in which they "saw God"." (Kabbalah FAQ from Alt.magick (by Colin Low) to be found at on the Internet) Of principle importance to Kabbalists is the Divinity of the Torah who claim to possess an initiated understanding of it, its hidden meanings, and the divine power contained within it. In addition to this is that belief that by studying its texts, one can unlock the secrets of the creation. Furthermore, they place an emphasis on another aspect of the Jewish religion, that of prohecy. Kabbahalists believed that they were the inheritors of the practical techniques of the prophets of the Bible, which was handed down to them. Kabbahalists are not to be confused with Satanists, although many of their practices are associated with Satanism, prinicpally the study of numerology, linguistics, and magick. However, they are none-the-less to be considered theistic, as an esoteric branch of Judism. Temple of the Golden Dawn: "What is the Golden Dawn? To quote its "history lecture," (from Regardie's _Golden_Dawn_), "The Order of the G.D. [Golden Dawn] is an Hermetic Society whose members are taught the principles of Occult Science and the Magic of Hermes." Started in London in 1887 by three British Freemasons, Dr. William Robert Woodman (Magna Est Veritas Et Praevalehit), Dr. William Wynn Westcott (Sapere Aude), and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers ('S Rioghail Mo Dhream), the first Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Isis-Urania, began to admit Fratres and Sorores in 1888. For the next two decades, they generated a body of occult knowledge unparalleled to this day. Traditions as seemingly different as Chaos Magick and Gardnerian Wicca have roots in the Golden Dawn, and it has influenced scholars (e.g. A.E. Waite) and poets (e.g. W.B. Yeats) alike. The Golden Dawn "system of magic" is designed to educate the student of the esoteric in both practical matters of ritual and divination, and in abstract metaphysical ideas. The focus of the Golden Dawn material is primarily Western -- i.e. Judeo-Christian, Greek, and Egyptian -- but some Eastern ideas have crept in over the years. It is a "hierarchical" system, in that certain information is reserved for students who have passed beyond a certain point in their occult education." (Golden Dawn FAQ by Stepehn R. Crammer available at Those associated with the Temple of the Golden Dawn emphatically deny that it is a religion, although religious topics are frequently discussed, and a religous attitude is held by many of its followers. Additionally, they deny any association with Satanism/paganism, although Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, Greek Mythology, Celtic Mythology, and Egyptian mysticism all figure prominantly in their studies. Thelemic Order and the Temple of the Golden Dawn: This particular group, which is a blend of Thelema and the Temple of the Golden Dawn, also deny any involvment or association with Satanism. Their principle beliefs center around the Law of Love, Love under will, which unites all in all. The principle figure of worship here is Pan, or all. (Although this has a certain methological relationship to a follower of Dionysis) They follow many of the teachings of Crowley, such as the above law of love, taken from Crowley's Book of the Law, and Crowley's belief in the communication with ones guardian angel. (Thelema vs. Satanism by the Thelemic Order and the Temple of the Golden Dawn) Although what I have posted here does not include a consideration of neo-paganism, Wicca, or other pagan religions, of which most of you are familiar with, a follower of Crowley, Thelema, Kabbalah, or the Temple of the Golden Dawn cannot be considered properly a "Satanist", and most of these groups would deny any association with it. Satanism, in its true form, can only be considered, at this point in time, in relation to the Temple of Set, and not with the Church of Satan, which is Satanist in name only. The reasons for regarding the COS as illegitimate were covered in the first message. The consideration of Kabbalah, Thelemic order and the Temple of the Golden Dawn, Temple of the Golden Dawn were presented in order to show that Crowley had precious little to do with "Satanism" per se, and that those groups which refer to Crowley and his works deny any association to Satanism what-so-ever. To be sure, any proper initiate into any of these groups would immediately draw a distinction between "Satanism" and what they believe, and any true follower of the works of Crowley would also quickley recognize this fact. As I indicated at the beginning of this series, the assumption that Satanism has nothing to do with Satan is _WRONGFULLY_ based on the beliefs of the Church of Satan. The COS is about as legitimate as the fundamentalist's PTL (Jim and Tammy Bakker's program) network, or Jimmy Swagart and his crowd. If you want to talk about _legitimate_ _Satanists_, then you'll refer to the followers of the Temple of Set, which is clearly Theistic, and is clearly based on what "christians" call "Satan". (Biblical Satan was imported from Egypt durring the XIX dynasty under the hieroglyphic Set-hen) This claim is based on the literature distributed by the Temple of Set itself, and not based on some third party Christian fanatic's interpretation of it. They draw that analogy explicity in their information file, and it is not something that I have imposed here. The same figure is later cited as the "Prince of Darkness", by Dr. Michael Aquino himself, so don't bother misquoting what I have written here. I have been redundant on that one point, primarily because my recollection of some of these discussions centers around a numnber of people wrongfully criticizing everyone who has drawn that same analogy here, stating that they have been "Christianizing" or "fundi-izing" Satanism. If there is anyone that you need to take this issue up with, it is Dr. Michael Aquino himself, or the followers of the Temple of Set, and at least tell them not to make such claims in their own literature. As I have also indicated, the Temple of Set is the ***ONLY**** federally and state recognized institution of its kind, which is not true of the Church of Satan. I would suggest that you don't take my word alone for it, but that you access the Internet system, and download the files that I have listed here. pub/magick/ Information on Crowley, Kabbalah, Temple of Set, Thelema, Temple of the Golden Dawn, Orgone, Tantra, OTO (about 22 megs in all) pub/magick Information on Kabbalah, Thelema, Temple of the Golden Dawn, Crowley, Tantra, OTO, etc. FAQ's available here. (FAQ: Frequently asked questions) pub/finges/occult


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