Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#36721 - 04/23/04 07:57 PM Who Serves Satan?
Ahab Offline


Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 25
Loc: Sweden
As far as I know few academics have studied modern Satanism objectively. James R. Lewis is the rare exception. He is well researched and well written. What is your impression of his essay?

Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile
"Abstract: In order to test conventional wisdom about modern Satanists, an online questionnaire was used to gather data from 140 respondents. Based on this data, a demographic and ideological profile was constructed which indicated that the statistically-average Satanist is an unmarried, white male in his mid-twenties with a few years of college. He became involved in Satanism through something he read in high school, and has been a self-identified Satanist for more than seven years. Raised Christian, he explored one non-Satanist religious group beyond the one in which he was raised before settling into Satanism. His view of Satan is some variety of non-theistic humanism and he practices magic. The length of average involvement and the often reflective responses to open-ended questions indicates that, far from being confined to adolescent rebels, many Satanists are reflective individuals who--despite the fact that youthful rebellion was usually a factor in the beginning--have come to appropriate Satanism as a mature religious option."

-Ahab

Top
#36722 - 04/23/04 08:58 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
It seems fair - noting of course (as he did) that his ability to collect data was somewhat lacking, since Satanists are de-centralized and do not all pay serious attention to the Internet. I know one Satanist in particular who often tells me she's rather computer challenged and only uses them when absolutely necessary. Personally, I take most polls with a grain of salt - but I think the statistics presented are similar to the reality of ONLINE Satanism. Just as a telephone poll really only measures people who are willing to respond to telephone polls - many of the older Satanists who are busy with familes and careers will not be adequately represented by such a poll.

Satanists who move beyond the 'first phase Satanism' (public youthful rebellion) generally like to keep a low profile, and that is consistent with the individualistic and practical nature of Satanism.

All in all, if the person who wrote this is not a Satanist - he has demonstrated a remarkable open-mindedness by publishing such a balanced report.

The title IS rather unfortunate, though.

Top
#36723 - 04/23/04 09:11 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Rev_Malebranche]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:

The title IS rather unfortunate, though.




I read it as ironic.

EDIT: Though I doubt he is a Satanist, if only judging from the things he says he assumed before he undertook the research for this paper. This indicates he does not consider himself to be involved in this movement. The article does suggest a strongly sympathetic approach, though.


Edited by reprobate (04/23/04 09:36 PM)
_________________________
reprobate

Top
#36724 - 04/23/04 09:29 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12982
Loc: The Solid State
I particularly enjoyed his rebuttal of Moriarty's claims.

(Funny how the man is named after Sherlock Holmes' foe?)

The fact that this perception of power obtained for him this sense of conviction, poise, and persuasion among his peers made all the difference in the world to him. He was totally immune to self-doubt, fear, or guilt.

Funny, and rather telling, how this Moriarty chap says this as if you're SUPPOSED to possess self-doubt, fear, and guilt if you're a "good" and "normal" person.
_________________________
"Gentlemen, the verdict is guilty, on all ten counts of first-degree stupidity. The penalty phase will now begin."--Divine, "Pink Flamingos."

"The strong rule the weak, and the cunning rule over all." HS!

Top
#36725 - 04/23/04 09:48 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
I'm kind of skeptical of his profile, if only because it looks more like a demographic breakdown of Satanists or LHP occultists who use computers. The method he chose for recruiting respondents is especially telling (emphasis mine):

Quote:

In order to test this hypothesis, I decided to collect basic demographic data on contemporary Satanists. To this end, I constructed a simple, 20-item questionnaire that could be answered in 5 or 10 minutes. I also included a few open-ended items which allowed respondents to expound their thoughts at greater length, if they felt so inclined. Through e-mail addresses posted on Satanist websites, I began sending out questionnaires in early August 2000. Also, several of the people I contacted for information on their organizations agreed to post the questionnaire on their respective websites. By the end of February 2001, I had received 140 responses, which I felt was adequate to use as the basis for constructing a preliminary profile. I also sent out a more ambitious, follow-up questionnaire to respondents who had expressed interest in participating in further research. I received several dozen thoughtful responses to the second mailing.


_________________________
reprobate

Top
#36726 - 04/23/04 10:06 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: reprobate]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
Oh, I read it as ironic as well. It's just unfortunate that most people don't have a very sophisticated sense of humor. Wit is lost on the general public.

I guarantee you that many will take it at face value.

I would generally assume that the writer is somewhat interested in Satanism or (as you said) sympathetic to it. Although, if you were presenting a serious report, and considered yourself a Satanist, you would still approach it from an 'outsider' perspective if you wanted to be taken seriously. If you present yourself as an insider - you are immediately suspected (for good reasons) of simply producing propaganda. I think a great deal of what we read is simply propaganda that's framed as being objective or scientific. Articles in that 'Religion and Freedom' zine you posted elsewhere, if published in say, USA Today or Time, would be read as objective - when clearly they are not.

In this case however, I tend to agree with you.

Of course, what IS really scientific when it comes to sociology or similar liberal arts. When you boil it down, it seems like everyone is doing persuasive writing - whipping up propaganda that suits their worldview. It should pretty much ALL be taken with a grain of salt, if you think about it.

Top
#36727 - 04/23/04 10:33 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Rev_Malebranche]
Mr_Atrox Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/16/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: Lycopolis
Quote:

It should pretty much ALL be taken with a grain of salt, if you think about it.



In my own opinion, this statement suits this particular essay well.
While he remained successfully objective throughout the majority of his writing, his inability to base his research on a more concrete footing ultimately undermines his conclusions.

Top
#36728 - 04/23/04 11:08 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Rev_Malebranche]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:

Of course, what IS really scientific when it comes to sociology or similar liuberal arts. When you boil it down, it seems like everyone is doing persuasive writing - whipping up propaganda that suits their worldview.




Just because it isn't science, doesn't mean it's propaganda.

On the whole, I think you're right. It's especially a problem in English-speaking countries, where the "publish or perish" attitude to professional advancement has tended to select for people rehashing their "pet" theories in as many permutations as they can think of, even if it means spinning their wheels. Dr. Lewis at least does not seem to have been doing that here!

As someone training for a career in the liberal arts and social sciences, I tend to gravitate to projects where I can be objective. One example of this would be developing a neglected notion in a past thinker's work based on close textual readings. Another would be some principled argument that I could boil down to a few key concepts and some straightforward principles. Of course, I don't like to deal with impressions or vague notions; but this paper is exactly about impressions.
_________________________
reprobate

Top
#36729 - 04/23/04 11:17 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
Citizen_Parker Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 217
Interesting. I fit the "idological profile" rather well. He's got me 80% pegged.

His research methods are rather limited, and in all seriousness can't hope to be recognized as strong science, but it's interesting nonetheless.
_________________________
Hail Satan!

Parker

Test Everything. Believe Nothing.

Top
#36730 - 04/24/04 12:49 AM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
Wonka Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/02/02
Posts: 638
Loc: The City of Red Lights
Something about custard pastries and carpentry comes to mind.
_________________________
Believe Nothing. Test Everything.

Top
#36731 - 04/24/04 08:30 AM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3961
Loc: The Deep South
140 interviewed people are too small a number to call the study "demographic".

I find interesting the profile doesn't describe me at all... But then again, I don't fit any profile.
_________________________
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


Top
#36732 - 04/24/04 12:35 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
Dan_Dread Offline


Registered: 10/08/03
Posts: 523
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

As far as I know few academics have studied modern Satanism objectively. James R. Lewis is the rare exception. He is well researched and well written. What is your impression of his essay?

Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile
"Abstract: In order to test conventional wisdom about modern Satanists, an online questionnaire was used to gather data from 140 respondents. Based on this data, a demographic and ideological profile was constructed which indicated that the statistically-average Satanist is an unmarried, white male in his mid-twenties with a few years of college. He became involved in Satanism through something he read in high school, and has been a self-identified Satanist for more than seven years. Raised Christian, he explored one non-Satanist religious group beyond the one in which he was raised before settling into Satanism. His view of Satan is some variety of non-theistic humanism and he practices magic. The length of average involvement and the often reflective responses to open-ended questions indicates that, far from being confined to adolescent rebels, many Satanists are reflective individuals who--despite the fact that youthful rebellion was usually a factor in the beginning--have come to appropriate Satanism as a mature religious option."

-Ahab



Average demographic white male...thats me.
Average age is 26...Im 27..
Average time 'living as Satanist' 8 years..Im workin on 10..
Average 2-3 years of college..I have 2...
Average Satanist is single...Well..at least I've managed to deviate a little! Im in a long term relationship.
All and all, rather creepy
_________________________
"One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike and yet it is the most precious thing we have." - Albert Einstein --------------------

Top
#36733 - 04/25/04 05:07 AM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Old_Pig]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Of course you fit a profile. The profile you happen to fit is that you seem to constantly feel the need to stand out and prove everyone and everything else wrong when they make any sort of statement that could be taken as towards you or as some sort of a threat towards you. Your need to be different and your efforts and "pride" and doing such very much stick you into a profile just one you cannot accept and will find a way to prove wrong no matter what it takes because somehow being "tied down" into a catagory isn't something you are strong enough to handle.

DatheR

Top
#36734 - 04/25/04 09:26 AM Re: Who Serves Satan?
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3961
Loc: The Deep South
Wow! You finally found an opportunity to launch a personal attack against me! Congratulations!!!!
_________________________
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


Top
#36735 - 04/26/04 12:05 PM Re: Who Serves Satan? [Re: Ahab]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11460
Loc: New England, USA
>>What is your impression of his essay?

I remember reading this a few years back. It seems like a decent effort, considering how limited resources are for a projectlike this. All in all, the majority of Satanists I know in real life do fall into the described demographic.

However, I have to wonder: how does this demographic really differ from other non-Satanist statistics? A "Xtian-raised, unmarried, white male in his mid-twenties with a few years of college" actually sounds like the average english-speaking webmaster in the year 2000, Satanist or not.
_________________________
Reverend Bill M.

http://www.devilsmischief.com: Carnal Comedy Clips, Netherworld Novelty Numbers,
New hour every week. Download the mp3 now!

http://www.aplaceformystuff.org: Tales of Combat Clutter and other Adventures

(Wenn du Google's ‹bersetzer verwendest, um diese Worte zu lesen, dann bist du ein Arschloch.)

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Forum Stats
11893 Members
73 Forums
43642 Topics
404167 Posts

Max Online: 197 @ 10/04/11 06:49 AM
Advertisements