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#204071 - 11/23/06 03:20 PM Questions to Answer - PLEASE READ!
Julia Offline

Registered: 11/23/06
Posts: 1
I'm a college student working on an anthropological study on Satanism, I'm wondering if there's anyone that can help answer any of the following questions or maybe just have someone I can rely on for answers. I understand from the website - the Church of Satan - that this an exclusive group which protects their members from outsiders. I rather have someone here answer the questions rather than the 150+ sites of satanism I found online. Therefore, my questions are pretty simple and not personal whatsoever. If you can post back as soon as possible or email me back by removed - it would be great!

(1) I saw online that California is the top state of Satanism - Is that true? Are there more members from California? If so, can you give me a rough percentage or popuilation size
(2) What are the core values? Or is it the 11 statements and 9 sins?
(3) Are there any major traditions? And their symbols and meanings
(4) What are the challenges and adaptations members or this relgion face in America?
(5) Where there any major changes in this religion after it originated?
(6) Is there any tension riht now that may lead to any big changes?
(7) Does this religion have any taboos or superstition
(8) Do you have any form of punishment (other than revoking membership) that will happen if you break rules?
(9) I read that most of the members are mainly Caucasian, mid 20s-30s, and single - is that true?
(10) Is there families that attend the churches?
(11) Christian churches meet every Sunday, do Satanists have anything like that?
(12) And if they do meet every week, is it just a regular service like you would find in any religion?
(13) Rituals - I read that Halloween and the soltices are the major ones, are they any more rituals or important events that happen every year?

Thank you so much everybody!!
I really appreciate it

Edited by LeviathanXIII (11/23/06 04:40 PM)

#204073 - 11/23/06 04:42 PM Re: Questions to Answer - PLEASE READ! [Re: Julia]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10146
I've moved your post here and removed your email so that you will get informed, correct answers instead of a thousand emails of misinformation from passers-by. I assume that for an academic paper, you'll prefer that someone who knows what they are talking about answer the questions rather than just some random kid who logged on with an internet account. This forum is restricted to CoS officials.

I may answer some of them myself later in the evening.

Note to other moderators: Warlock Daark's post was made while the post was elsewhere, he is not in violation of the rules; I'll allow it to stand here anyway, as it is exactly correct.
"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."

#204074 - 11/23/06 07:48 PM Re: Questions to Answer - PLEASE READ! [Re: Julia]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10146
1) Unknown, not substantiated. The Church of Satan was founded in San Francisco in 1966 and there are a number of known public members in the S. California area, but as membership numbers and demographics are never released, this claim cannot possibly be substantiated. Certainly there are a great number of members outside California, and in fact the current headquarters is in New York.

2) Those documents are one source of our essential framework, but the entirety of The Satanic Bible should be considered vital to understanding our core values. They cannot be summarized in one statement, I'm afraid.

3) Sure, a Satanic culture has evolved and has led to a number of both major and minor traditions as you might expect. Major traditions include everything from celebration of Walpurgisnacht and one's birthday to wearing a Sigil of Baphomet to common sayings and greetings derived from the works of LaVey. There is also a common Satanic aesthetic, and many Satanists are known to make references to early 20th century culture, both because many of us appreciate it and also because it played such a significant role in Dr. LaVey's formation of his own aesthetic and Satanic philosophy.

4) Some of us prefer to keep our affiliation secret to avoid conflicts with persons who would not understand our chosen title. This isn't much of a challenge, however, and certainly a number of us are openly Satanic and they seem to get along fine. We shun the idea of being persecuted, and most of us consider America a free and pleasant place to live.

5) No, not to the religion. Following the death of Dr. LaVey, leadership of the church passed first to his widow and High Priestess, Blanche Barton, then to High Priest Peter Gilmore and High Priestess Peggy Nadramia a few years later. The transition was smooth and did not signify any change in church policy or dogma; administrative headquarters moved to New York following the inauguration of High Priest Gilmore, but this did not affect public church function.

6) None whatsoever. The Church of Satan has remained stable for over forty years, and there are no opposing factions or dissidents within the Church.

7) Satanism is diametrically opposed to superstition and finds it a point of ridicule in others. "Taboo" is perhaps an inappropriate term, but of course the Church of Satan does have rules, albeit rather easy ones to live by. Obedience to governmental laws would essentially sum up 99% of our own rules, on everything from violence to drug use. Legal activities are generally not taboo in Satanism.

8) Members who engage in illegal activies may be reported to authorities, and expulsion from the Church of Satan is a given. However, we do not make it our business to dispense punishment ourselves, that is a job for legal authority.

9) Again, difficult to substantiate as membership demographics are not released. I am familiar with the report you likely derive that information from, it was conducted via internet poll of all interested respondants and included a large number of persons who are not affiliated with the Church of Satan. Therefore, statistically it may be seen as flawed because it only represents those who bother to respond to internet polls. Given that "Caucasian, mid 20s-30s, and single" is a prime demographic of internet users in general, and older persons are known to use the internet far less frequently, I'd say the bias in this statistic is apparent. Based solely on personal experience, my answer to this is "No, the Church of Satan has a nearly equal number of female members as male, and a significant number of members over 35 years of age."

10) Not applicable, we don't have brick and mortar churches. However, there are families in which all immediate members are Satanists, and should you be wondering, yes, some members raise their children as Satanists.

11) See above. No.

12) See above. No.

13) Your information is flawed. One's own birthday is the chief holiday in a year, followed by Walpurgisnacht, a heathen holiday that marks the anniversary of the foundation of the Church of Satan. Halloween is celebrated, as are solstices and equinoxes, though these are considered secondary to the above holidays. Some Satanists opt to transfer common public holidays to other dates, such as Christmas to Winter Solstice (December 21st) and alter celebrations to remove any Christian elements, others prefer to celebrate them the traditional way, and some of course prefer to have nothing to do with such holidays. Holidays are optional in Satanism, not a matter of dogma. Rituals are commonly performed on these holidays, but again there is nothing to require that rituals be performed, holiday or otherwise.
"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."


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