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#20093 - 01/09/04 11:13 PM Observations and questions about Satanism

I recently became exposed to Satanism after self-proclaimed Satanist had made a post on a general discussion message board I often read, asking what people think of Satanism. I followed a link from that thread to, browsed the site a bit (particularly the theory/practice section), formed a few conclusions based on my observations, and posted them accordingly on the aforementioned board. While my observations were not meant to offend, the Satanist who posted the original message apparently did take offense and responded in what struck me as a very immature manner, leaving my impressions disappointingly unaddressed. I'm posting the same observations here in hopes that someone with a bit more maturity will be willing to assist me in furthering my understanding of this religion.

The philosophy of Satanism expressed in the Nine Satanic Statements, Eleven Satanic Rules, and Nine Satanic Sins seem very well grounded in simple common sense, which is far more than can be said for most religions. However, the design theme of the website seems to indicate that the CoS works to cultivate an image of "Ooooh, look at us, we're dark and evil and scary," which strikes me as a bit silly and pretentious. While there is certainly a lot of wisdom in to be found here (I especially like "do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself"), I find it very difficult to take the religion seriously when as it's cloaked in such silliness.

Also, the frequent references to Satanists as an "Alien Elite" and non-Satanists as "The Herd" seems to indicate an "I'm right any anyone who holds a different viewpoint is inferior" attitude, which automatically sets off alarm bells in my head. As Albert Einstein once said, "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." I firmly believe that to be human is to have flawed perceptions, and thus no one person is qualified to judge the beliefs of another. To attempt to do so is the worst kind of pretension. Of course, most of the other religions of the world (or at least their followers) are equally guilty of this, but after my initially positive reaction to the philosophy presented on the site, I was disappointed to find that Satanism was apparently not an exception.

Again, it's important to note that I am not trying to offend anybody with my observations, I'm merely stating them clearly and honestly so that readers here can understand them and address them appropriately. Admittedly, I do see the CoS as a pretentious and silly organization, but my hope is that someone will take the time to explain to me how this is not the case, thus increasing my understanding and appreciation for this religion and its philosophy.

Of course, if I do get flamed to kingdom come, that'll tell me everything I need to know as well.

#20094 - 01/09/04 11:39 PM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10774
Loc: England
Well, Sir, first and foremost you need to read The Satanic Bible, which would lay the philosophy bare for you.

I don't think anyone would deny that they are human and suffer human foibles. It's how one deals with, and learns from the vast experience of living.

There is something which could be refered to as a "bullshit filter."

That is to say that some of the imagery serves to dispell the superstitious or pious idiots.

It could also be called a bit of fun.

Let's face it. We only get one shot at life; above all we should each make it fun.

Read The Satanic Bible - you'll much more easliy understand where people are coming from once you have done so.

It can be purchased from almost any good book shop (usually in the occult or new age section ) or you can get it from:

Church Of Satan Emporium
Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

#20095 - 01/09/04 11:42 PM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10146
However, the design theme of the website seems to indicate that the CoS works to cultivate an image of "Ooooh, look at us, we're dark and evil and scary," which strikes me as a bit silly and pretentious.

Since Satanism is in fact taking Satan as the primary symbol of our religion, it would rather make sense that it would be accompanied by some "dark" imagery, no? Actually, I don't see anything spooky about the CoS site. Its black on red, and has (surprise!) images of Satan and demons. Not to mention it uses lots of purple graphics...seems to me to be more of a regal scheme, but that's my opinion. Actually, isn't this just a matter of taste anyway? This is a bit like saying Satanism is probably for kids, because several members are in their early twenties. That is, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I firmly believe that to be human is to have flawed perceptions, and thus no one person is qualified to judge the beliefs of another. To attempt to do so is the worst kind of pretension.

The most obvious flaw in this logic is that it apparently stipulates that one must be flawless, or perfect, in order to judge another; without stating such, because that is a much harder statement to support. Why should you think so? I am not an expert on cars, but when one of mine breaks down I judge it to be either worthy of repair or worthy of the scrap heap. Despite my limited knowledge (a flaw in my knowledge of cars, so to speak), I am capable of making right decisions based on some experience. Therefore, since I do not view humans as intrinsically elevated above anything else in the world, I am also, with my imperfect knowledge of humans in general, and of individuals I would judge, able to make a right judgement when sufficient evidence presents itself.

For example, I readily judge those who commit criminal acts against other men. They may do the same to me someday, and based on my knowledge, I judge them fit to be punished. As for how this related to religion (as you brought up this example), based on my knowledge of other religions, and my knowledge of reality as opposed to spirituality, I judge that their religious beliefs include a lot of really stupid ideas, including some that I find dangerous to my own personal and social goals.

I would infer that you mean to think that Satanists are "anti-Christian" in the sense that we might actually put effort into countering this establishment. I don't really care to eliminate Christianity myself, at least in the religious sense. I do wish to see its influence on my society ended, as I deem it to be counter-productive. As an example, I would like to see laws banning "sodomy" lifted, and alter laws that only permit heterosexual, single-partner marraiges. There is no social reason for this structure, and it needs to be changed. Christians would not like this...hence the need to remove their social influence.

I am not trying to offend anybody with my observations

Would it matter if you were? Certainly not to me. I wasn't forced to read this in the first place (Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself), I was certainly not forced to reply to it, and further, even if you thought I was a real asshole, it wouldn't alter my life a bit. You are free to think I'm full of shit, but as I'm comfortable with myself, it shouldn't affect me at all should it?

However, I will say this: I strongly advise you read the Satanic Bible before making further posts here, or making further assessment of our religious tenets. The Church of Satan homepage is a primer, and largely consists of material best appreciated after the Satanic Bible, our basic text, has been read and understood.
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

#20096 - 01/10/04 12:07 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
C_D_McKinna Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/03/02
Posts: 777
Loc: San Diego, CA
Your concerns are relavant.

First, concerning the "sillyness" in which we cloak ourselves, you must understand that most people on this planet are very much intensely afraid of "evil."

Satanism use that fear as a filter. We do not wear our ritual robes at the local Denny's, or go parading about how "evil" we are. Yet at the same time, we definately don't want those who are "scared of the dark."

There is a title in the Satanic Bible that deals with your concerns. I strongly suggest that you read it. In a nutshell, dogma has it's place.

As far as "I'm right any anyone who holds a different viewpoint is inferior...." Right and wrong are not an issue in Satanism. If it works it works, if not, then do something else until you find something that does.

People can believe anything they want, but ultimately, unless those beliefs are producing results, they are irrelivant and useless. Satanism does without the believing and goes straight for the results. It is your life, and from your point of view, nothing else should be more important.

As Satanist, we are naturally different than those around us, thus the "alien." We also strive to make our lives, the very best we can possibly make them. Thus, the "elite."

Thats just how things are.

Believe Nothing, Test Everything

"Well done is better than well said"

- Benjamin Franklin

#20097 - 01/10/04 12:37 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism [Re: Hagen von Tronje]

You're probably right about the web design thing: It's entirely a matter to taste, and it's unrealistic to expect someone to come along and talk me out of my own opinion on matters of aesthetics. So we'll just let that one go.

On the topic of making judgments, I don't dispute that we all judge others, nor that it is wrong to do so. After all, my whole post was about my own personal judgments based on my initial observations of the CoS. My point, and admittedly this was not as clear in my first post as it should have been, was that our personal judgments may be wrong. Yes, we can make assessments based on current knowledge and past experience, but there is always the possiblily of error. I don't feel I'm qualified to say "I am 100% correct in my beliefs and if you disagree with me, you're an idiot," because I don't know that I'm 100% correct. In fact, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that we all believe some things that aren't true, in which case we are all equally idiots. The worlds "pot," "kettle," and "teflon" come to mind.

I felt it necessary to emphasize my wish to not offend after I did apparently offend the Satanist at the other message board I alluded to. She seemed to think that I was attacking her religion, when I was merely expressing my observations about it (which, of course, was exactly what she asked people for). I wanted to make sure it was understood here that no offense was meant, and both of the replies I've recieved so far have been considerably more mature than hers. I sincerely thank you for that.

As for reading the Satanic Bible, unless I come across a free copy, that's not likely any time soon. It's not that I'm uninterested, but being a broke, unemployed student, I can't justify spending money on something I see as silly and pretentious. That would be irresponsible, and I know how you people feel about matters of responsibility. I happen to feel the same way.

Edited by DinosaurKnight (01/10/04 12:42 AM)

#20098 - 01/10/04 01:09 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10146
I think it's a pretty safe assumption that we all believe some things that aren't true, in which case we are all equally idiots

Again, taking a reasonable idea way too far.

Sure, I probably hold as true a couple of things that aren't true; perhaps not even in a philosophical sense. I would imagine in a few decades some of the science I currently subscribe to will be overturned as false.

However, here is where I draw the line. I am not on the same level as the person who huffs gasoline, who drives 90 mph in the snow, who drinks himself to death, who cannot even manage to apply what skills he does have to make himself productive instead of a drain on society, whether he be a welfare recipient or a basement stoner. I am not "equally an idiot." Anyone else is free to compare themselves to the likes of these cretins, but I refrain from it.

In all seriousness, I don't think we're on the same page at all. I do see myself as superior, and I have good reason to think so. Results matter. I get results. I do think the world revolves around me, at least my world does. I don't expect others to likewise recognize me as a god unless I prove to them that it is an earned title. If you don't think I've earned it, you're welcome to whatever other gods want your adoration.

As for the Satanic BIble, its available new for under $7, and often found on eBay for a buck or two. If you really can't come up with a buck or two, or you really don't care that much...well, as I see, everyone has been respectful in answering your inquiry voluntarily; why not likewise show you can take the respectful option?
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

#20099 - 01/10/04 01:32 AM On judging....
Wile_E_Quixote Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 2493
Satanic judgement in a general way is not based on some arbitrary standards that someone has thought up. This isn't the flawed eugenics of the Nazis. Nature judges people worthy or not worthy by the process known as Natural Selection. This is what the Satanist uses as the ultimate judgement for a person's character. Whether they sink or swim out in the real world. Talk is cheap. Your actions provide your own Satanic judgement of worth.

#20100 - 01/10/04 02:00 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
Felstorm Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 1474
Loc: Minnesota.
After initially wanting to choke and retch and gasp at the stifling ignorance of this post, I figure you deserve a civilised response instead of the typical vitriol. You sound intelligent, but I don't like to make assumptions.

Number one. Not all people that claim to be Satanists and point at the CoS website, are Satanists. We know nothing of this female here, she may or may not be a Satanist. And not everyone that holds a card is a Satanist. And her activity of sticking her neck out and proclaiming that she is a Satanist was an act of stupidity on her part as far as I can tell. When one plays the martyr, one should expect to get burnt at the stake.

Here is a link to the CoS Chatroom Policy. With a little bit of reading between the lines, one could transfer those very same policies right on over to forums and bulletin boards.

CoS Chatroom policy.

>>I'm right any anyone who holds a different viewpoint is inferior" attitude, which automatically sets off alarm bells in my head.<<

Satanists ARE the Alien Elite because the members of the CoS got the goods to back it all up. Each and every Reverend and Preistess is in the position they are in because they went out and earned that respect in the Real World(tm). And for the majority of the Satanists on this board, they also have the goods to back up that title of "Alien Elite". It's arrogance that comes from actually being superior and not just acting superiour.

>>However, the design theme of the website seems to indicate that the CoS works to cultivate an image of "Ooooh, look at us, we're dark and evil and scary," which strikes me as a bit silly and pretentious.<<

Haven't much of a sense of humor, do you? It's "dark, evil, and scary" because it happens to project a particular mental image that scares away people that would waste the CoS's time and Satanists time. It's quite useful. Read The Satanic Bible and you might just come to realise the purpose behind all the "Satanic kitcsh".

>>I do see the CoS as a pretentious and silly organization<<

And I see you as a pseudo-intellectual that just skimmed the surface of Satanism and made a snap decision about it, and it's members. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for arguments sake.

I suspect you probably lost your little flame war, with that unidentified female Satanist on that other message board. If this is the reason. Don't waste our time. Satanists don't expect others to relate to us. Satanists don't even expect to relate to one another. And she was a fool for sticking her neck out. If she got it chopped off, she had it coming.

I sense an aura of superiority about you as well. You have come in here with an attitude of "These guys are just a joke so I'm gonna bait them and get flamed to prove a point." And to quote yourself "Of course, if I do get flamed to kingdom come, that'll tell me everything I need to know as well." That speaks volumes about your intentions here.

I stronly suspect that your mind is already made up about the CoS and Satanists. If this is the case, go away or we will follow those "Rules of the Earth" and treat you cruelly and without mercy.

On the otherhand. If you wish to learn something, spend the 8$ pittance to read what Dr. LaVey has to say. The least you can do is give the man a chance to tell you what Satanism is all about before going off half-cocked and making baseless generalisations about the organisation.

Edited by Felstorm (01/10/04 02:09 AM)
"Many people would sooner die than think - in fact, they do so." ~ Bertrand Russell

"ďLet the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.Ē ~ Nikola Tesla

Are You One of Us?

The Glorious Infernal Empire

#20101 - 01/10/04 02:14 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
Old_Pig Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3976
Loc: The Deep South
You are right, the aestethics and symbology used by Satanists is meant to say "Ooooh, look at us, we're dark and evil and scary"

And we indeed are!

But if your perception stops there, you are just looking at the surface. There is a lot more to us that the "spooky look"! Much more! But that you have to find for yourself, if your interest is genuine enough as to continue exploring our religion. A good start is to read The Satanic Bible.

Also, when you mention how silly all the "evil and scary" web design looks to you, you are missing one important element on the equation: Satanist's sense of humor!
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein

#20102 - 01/10/04 02:38 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism [Re: Hagen von Tronje]

Of course results matter, but I'm not talking about results, I'm talking about beliefs. I think that was made quite clear in my first post. Of course people who habitually engage in reckless, self-destructive behavior are idiots; I do not dispute that. I do not compare myself to the kinds of people you mentioned, and, dare I say it, I even tend to feel superior to them. But I'm not talking about them. Beliefs are the issue here, and saying that all people are idiots for believing things that aren't true is indeed a logical extention of saying one person is an idiot for believing things that aren't true. For the record, I don't believe either, I was merely trying to illustrate my point. People do have reasons for believing what they believe, and while I may not share those beliefs and may indeed find them ridiculous based on my own experiences, it's not my place to question their reasons. That would be a textbook definition of the word "pretension," which, of course, is one of the Satanic Sins. I've had the misfortune of running across people who actually believe they are the reincarnated spirits of dragons and elves and such. Ridiculous? I certainly think so. Stupid? Inferior? Well, they seemed just as competent to participate in society as anyone else, possibly more so than some people who hold beliefs that would be considered less ridiculous. So I would have to say no.

Of course, it's entirely possible that the perceptions which led me to these conclusions were false (which is why I made a post expressing these observations and requesting clarification in the first place), in which case we're essentially arguing semantics and are likely more in agreement than either of us currently realize. Making assessments of people based on results is common sense. Considering someone inferior for believing something one doesn't happen to believe is pretension.

Finally, yes, everyone here has been respectful in answering my inquiry, and quite obviously I do have an interest in learning more about Satanism (or else I wouldn't be here), but is it really disrespectful to put off spending what little money I have on something I don't need (and still have strong doubts about) until I'm in a more financially stable position? It's certainly on my list, and in fact has been since I first saw the website, but I'm not going to run out and buy it until I've found myself a job. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Edited by DinosaurKnight (01/10/04 02:57 AM)

#20103 - 01/10/04 03:26 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism [Re: Old_Pig]

Ah, so it is supposed to be funny. There was a part of me that suspected it might be. Having it confirmed significantly cuts down on the percieved pretention. You can't be pretensiously silly if you know you're being silly.

#20104 - 01/10/04 03:30 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
chumchwalla Offline

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 33
Actually, Dinosaur Knight you may want to try reading the "Devils Notebook" first. Especially the chapter "Let Me Entertain You." You may find it fitting and rather appropriate to this topic.



#20105 - 01/10/04 03:32 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
Stanton_Vetalas Offline

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 240
Loc: Teh 518
This is so rediculous.

The first thing I must say is that if you want to even pretend to be so interested in something you should AT LEAST read its most basic and important text. You don't say you're interested in learning about world issues and not read a news paper, you don't say your'e interested in Islam and not read the Qu'Ran. It's illogical and will lead the people who are involved with those things to think that you're nothing more than a simple waste of time (and so far that's exactly what you've proven to be).

What you need to do is stop trying to clarify who you think are idiots, and stop being one yourself. You hear the word Satanism, read a site that summarizes the ideas of an entire religion/philosophy, come here and pretend you are a natural born religious sophisto. And to top it all off you come with the prerequisite that we're all pretentious/silly, and hope that we flame the hell out of you so your precious little point can be proven.

A summarized view of an entire religion does not mean you now magically hold everything there is to know about it, AND all of its followers.

Read the bible, or let it go.

This is a point that has been driven under very deeply, but I'll say it here again--
They say Satanists are "born, and not made". If you were Satanist you would have realized it by now, and not come here criticizing. With that settled, I'll point out what was said before, we don't expect everyone to know or understand us, what we believe or why we believe it. So again I say, Let.It.Go.

Thank you for your time.

#20106 - 01/10/04 03:55 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
laksefisker Offline

Registered: 11/09/01
Posts: 1609
Loc: Norway
There is a difference between holding on to a belief because it is the logical extension of your past experiences and knowledge, and holding on to it because it is a crutch without which you would fall.

A banal example: if I believe some football team is going to win the match because the team in question has proven itself to be quite skillful while the opposing team has not, and another person believes the opposing team is going to win because he wouldn't cope with existence if he didn't, that would make Me superior to that other person. Simply because he needed his belief to function, while I didn't.

The same applies to religions as well. What separates Satanism from all other religions is that Satanism offers no crutch on which to support oneself. This is why Satanists are the Alien Elite. And by the way - just so you know - not all Satanists know that they are, in fact, Satanists. These are people who live according to Satanic philosophy, but don't know about it (or do, but choose not to take on the label). We call them de facto Satanists. There exists no official list on who these are thought to be, but frequently I hear names like Benjamin Franklin, George Carlin and others I don't remember right now mentioned.
"Power without wisdom is terrifying. Wisdom without power is pathetic." -- Jay Wiseman "You cannot enjoy success while dead." -- Colonel Akula Hail Satan!

#20107 - 01/10/04 04:07 AM Re: Observations and questions about Satanism
vrspectre Offline

Registered: 11/14/01
Posts: 1616
Loc: Portland area, OR USA
I canít speak for everyone here, just my own self.

You speak of beliefs.

There are a couple of things I would like to toss out for you.

You seem to be thinking that we sit in judgment of all other religions. We do not. We have simply found other people that happen to meet with our way of thinking and named ourselves. Satanism is just a word that denotes a group of people that happen to share a few good ideas. Other people have found this in other religions, hinduism, xianity, muslims. I personally could never fit myself into the mold that these religions demand of their followers. Just as many of their followers could never fit into the mold of Satanism. You see, every person is ďbornĒ with a certain way of viewing the world, a certain way of processing information inside of their minds, it is that nature the depicts what path of life they would be most happy with. If itís Satanism fine, but if itís not, then find what suits you the best and be the best at that. For some, the most Satanic thing they could do is become an xian, because that is where they best fit. Just as ďSatanists are born, not madeĒ so are xians, and muslims, and whateverelseisms.

Beliefs are exactly what is wrong with the world. People fight and kill for their beliefs (The Nazis WWII, The Great Crusades, etc.). They throw out all logic for the sake of their beliefs. They believe simply for the sake of believing. I feel foolish for quoting a movie, but whatever.

I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should be malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limits growth; new ideas can't generate. Life becomes stagnant. That was one thing the Man hated - still life. He wanted everyone to be as enthralled with living as He was. Ė Rufus Ė Dogma

When beliefs supplant your thoughts you have a problem, and that is what is wrong with most of the religions out there. They donít recognize this simple fact. Their beliefs are laid in stone, thousands and thousands of years ago, and they never change with the times.

The ďAlien Elite.Ē I am elite. I am better than everyone else out there, well most people at least. There are very few people who find their niche in life and live there. There are very few people who are free to be who they are. Most of the people in the world have their beliefs because they were told to have them. They donít think for themselves. They donít realize that there is some other place out there that would make them freer to be happy, instead they hold themselves to a set of standards they canít possibly meet and fake their joy in life and all itís wonders. Why do they do this? Because they are afraid. Afraid of stepping out into the real world and taking a risk. Changing your lifestyle to match your true nature is not an easy job, sometimes there is great pain in the removal of the unneeded crap. Life isnít supposed to be easy, but when you find out who you truly are the freedom you have is incredible and all the pain is worth it.

All of this I discovered while reading TSB (The Satanic Bible). Itís quite a good book and explains much more that I simply donít have time to cover tonight. If you canít afford it then check it out at the library. Most libraries have them, or ask your friends, chances are you know someone who owns a copy of it. I remember my poor college days $8 is what 4 meals right there are McDonalds.
god hates fags, but Satan is always HORNY. - Jack Malebranche

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