Mainly because it costs money to run an organization. I don't know why some people have a problem comprehending that. Things like office supplies, printing costs, mailing costs, computers, internet access, travel expenses, etc. don't come for free.
Maybe you overlooked the fact that $200 buys you a lifetime
membership. I've been a member for over a dozen years; do the math. It's ridiculously cheap when compared to most other organizations. For example, a lifetime membership to Mensa or the NRA are each around $1,000.
What is wrong with offering a template on the website to download and print out and laminate yourself?
Plenty. There'd be no point in having an organization to represent Satanism (or anything else for that matter) if any stranger could print themselves a certificate of membership, without the organization knowing. Really, stop and think about this.
Why is registering as a Satanist necessary?
Joining isn't mandatory. Who told you otherwise?
Why are some members so dickheaded and averse to meeting non-members?
I'd say the majority of people in my life are not COS members, so this doesn't make any sense. Are you asking why some members might be reluctant to publicly meet up with some stranger from the internet who claims to be a Satanist?
I feel like there is an orwellian control over at the COS really counter-intuitive to what their philosophy is meant to be about.
What, exactly, is "Orwellian" or anti-Satanic about any of this?
Too many 'higher ups' constantly badger people, write, and bitch about what is or is not Satanism.
Is anyone tired of it?
I'm tired of people who DON'T know about Satanism, claiming what it is. I'm thankful that there is a specific organization that accurately represents my philosophies, and only allows select people to be media representatives.
Im just sick of it. I just want to meet like-minded people. It's not worth $200. I wish there was an alternative.
There are plenty of "alternatives" to "meeting like-minded people". You ARE on the internet, after all. But it's not really clear what exactly you're looking for.