Having just registered on the forum, there was a request to post a brief intro, and so here it goes.
I'm a married white guy in my late 30's living in the Southern U.S. A few weeks ago I read a very compelling essay by a person who identified herself as a "LaVeyan Satanist," and some of the things she said really struck a familiar chord in me. I decided to learn more.
I was brought up in the Southern Baptist Church -- well, I say "brought up," but when I was 14 I figured out how utterly full of shit those people are and I declared myself an atheist. Within a matter of weeks, my well-meaning parents had me in a well-meaning psychiatrist's office, fearing I had gone insane. Yeah, it was literally that bad. Those well-meaning parents and that well-meaning psychiatrist put me on well-meaning drugs that turned me into a well-meaning zombie, and turned my high school years into a drugged-out, sad, wasteful, well-meaning blur.
In my early 20's, I got off the drugs, moved out, and really began to take responsibility for my own life. I became interested in Wicca and other forms of Paganism, but after a couple of years I really began to feel like the Wiccans I knew were really just deluding themselves with a different brand of zealotry, all the while shaking their bony fingers and decrying "The Others, the Others!"
In my late 20's and early 30's, I began studying the various forms of Buddhism, even going so far as to move to Thailand for several years to learn "up close." While the Buddhists, especially the Theravadins, practice something that requires no faith to see the benefit of, they still have a lot of mythology that they allow to limit them. So it wasn't for me.
I remember hearing about the CoS when I was a kid in Sunday School, and how they were trying to "take over America" and "Overthrow the Government" and all this rot. Then as a Wiccan, I was warned to stay away from the "left hand paths" and that Satanists were in for a rude awakening with the karma from their black magick and "worship of evil." Of course, back then I didn't bother to do my own due diligence and find out for myself what the CoS and Satanists *really* believe. That was my mistake, and I sincerely regret it.
So I read this essay and I found myself saying "Damn right!" to nearly every point she made. When she said that she was a "LaVeyan Satanist," I had the same knee-jerk reaction I expect a lot of people do. But I decided that the best remedy for ignorance is knowledge, and so I found my way to the CoS website and started at the top.
People talk about that moment of being thunderstruck to realize that they're telling your story -- well, now I have a firsthand experience of that. It's a little exhilarating, actually.
I bought a used copy of TSB and have only begun reading. But what a beginning! You guys have really been given a bad rap, but then again, I guess "they" have a vested interest in giving you one, don't they. I have a lot of reading and learning to do, but this seems so familiar and so right, I want more!
So a hearty Hell-o to all of you! I doubt I'll post much, I tend to like to take in a lot of info before drawing conclusions nowadays, so I plan on doing a lot of lurking, if you'll allow me.
I find myself having an odd moment of trepidation, as I know that I'm about to say for the first time:
Hail The Doctor, and Hail to each of You!