One year ago today, I decided once and for all that I am a Satanist.
I was traveling up the California coast on vacation and doing some serious soul searching. I'd been an atheist for almost two years and read The Satanic Bible, but I wasn't sure what I really believed in.
Then, on the morning of June 1st, 2008, I stopped in a used bookstore along the way. There, something very unusual happened. I saw that they had an abundance of copies of one book: Anthem
by Ayn Rand. The piles of this one title were huge. I remembered reading somewhere that it was a good book but I couldn't remember where. The owner of the store, noticing my interest, told me he had way too many copies and I could have one for whatever price I wanted. I decided I couldn't go wrong and grabbed one for a nickel or so.
At first I was skeptical of the book. I'd heard Rand was dogmatic and I didn't feel like nailing another dogma in my head after trying virtually every major religion. But something drew me to the book still. I kept putting it away then pulling it back out.
Then, I remembered where I'd read the recommendation: The Church of Satan
website. Intrigued, I opened it up.
I read the entire book in one sitting, on the way to San Diego. My heart rushed over and over at different parts of the short novel. At times, I laughed with joy at the ideas contained within.
When I was done, I was so overjoyed that I pulled out a paper and pen and copied the last two chapters of the book word by word, just so I could feel them resonate with me again.
I stopped for the night in a town along the way. There, I went in a Borders to use the restroom. On the way out however I noticed a small pile of books on a table just outside the restroom, where someone had been sitting. It was as though someone put them there for me to find. They were: Satan Speaks, The Satanic Rituals and Lucifer Rising.
I sat down and started looking through them. I'd never read any of them before and I soon found myself frantically copying down notes from them- "Look up Boyd Rice," "Anton LaVey called 'Doktor'," etc. I started reading "Sound Retreat" and pretty soon, the employees were telling me they had to close up for the night.
As I left for the hotel, I suddenly understood what I had to do.
On a lonely beach outside San Diego, I did an improvised Satanic baptism on myself. I used the last two chapters of Anthem and lines from the original ritual as my liturgy, all whispered in case anyone walked by. Then, I went into the waves and sand for the "baptism."
I was overwhelmed with joy. I finally knew what I was.
I was a Satanist.
It was the best day of my life.