Hello, I noticed in your post you asked questions for those who have experience with Greater Magic. Magister Nemo is more than qualified to speak on the subject, but I did want to see if I can answer a few questions you had as well from my own experience. I hope you will find my reply to you beneficial.
I wonder if perhaps a place to start changing thinking is to tighten definitions of "pseudoscience" and "science," adding "fringe science" to describe fields who's claims are borderline--features too solid to dismiss, yet too apparitional to snapshot.
The scientific method is really quite simple.
1. You ask questions
2. Do background research.
3. Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment.
4. Analyze your data and draw a conclusion.
5. Communicate your results.
As Magister Nemo pointed out science is a method and not a position. When someone uses science as a position you are not dealing with science but rather the mind of the individual. Once the burden of proof has been met then it is up to the individual to either accept it or not. I do not mean mere belief neither. Because the Satanist is his own God he must have his own standards for truth. Furthermore truth is a subjective term and so not all will have the same standards.
The Satanic Scriptures.
Satanism rejects faith as a tool of cognition, and so Satanists who practice ritual must gather evidence that satisfies their standards of truth if they suspect that their rituals are having results outside of the chamber.
In the end a Satanist may experience results outside of their ritual chamber but even they can fall to the entrapment of cognitive dissonance. In my experience, the more often you get results along with the willingness to accept the results the easier it is to get over this mental hurdle. As with any scientific experiment some fall short of results and thus fall short on their conclusion. Just as there are some people greater at playing a musical instrument than others, so it is with performing Greater Magic.
Because magic is a skill you will find some incapable of this skill. Greater Magic requires an inner discipline and effort and over time becomes easier for those who have the inner desire for such. Anton LaVey talks about this in his chapter How to Be a Sorcerer
in Satan Speaks.
One does not "evolve" or "become" a magician.
Anton LaVey has always said that there is a personality type that is within the Magician. While all Satanists are not magicians some are. Anton LaVey developed Greater Magic for those who have this inborn natural desire to explore those very desires. There is a reason why The Magic
Circle existed as part of the Church's history.
There was the magic—and there was a workable philosophy to go along with it.
As Magus Gilmore said, the burden of proof is up to the individual for Satanic Ritual. His point is further emphasized in his essay Satanism: The Feared Religion.
Satanists do have experience of the super-normal in their practice of ritual or Greater Magic. This is a technique for influencing the outcome of human events to desired ends via reaching an extreme emotional state in the context of a ritual, sending forth a vision of what you want to occur (the Is To Be), which, if your levels of adrenaline are high enough, will permeate the unconscious minds of those you wish to influence, causing them to behave as you Will when the time is right. This does not mean that anything is possible, for it takes a great deal of energy to make a strong sending, and it is often difficult to influence events from the inertia of their present directions. Awareness of your abilities and what is possible to achieve is the hallmark of a successful Satanic magician.
Some are 20 watt light bulbs while others are 50 watt light bulbs. It all depends on the potential of the individual and the use of that potential to actually get results. This potential can be effected by how we view the world. If you enter Satanic Ritual with doubt then you have set a pre-judgement and there is no point in attempting a Satanic Ritual because your mind was already made up. You then have conflicting emotions which can and will seriously hinder your ritual.
I also wonder if perhaps some Satanists just start blurring Lesser and Greater Magic, and just confuse it with manipulation and mind games--which annoy everyone
While Lesser Magic is psychological warfare to directly influence behavior Greater Magic is psychological warfare in a more abstract sense. The definition of Greater Magic as used in The Satanic Bible
is: The change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable.
The Balance Factor as well as desire are 2 ingredients that can be increased through a built rapport with the person or situation you desire to change. For example if you have no job or previous experience and you perform a Satanic Ritual and apply for a job at a fortune 500 company chances of getting the job are null. So having some ground to stand on can get you to where you need to go. So I think that Lesser Magic can cross over into Greater Magic and sometimes the lines can be blurred. That is why the Balance Factor is so essential.
So for those who are curious about Satanic Ritual I would challenge them to drop their pre-judgements and be open to new experiences. I do not mean to accept magic based upon faith but rather drop the faith that it is not real.
I did this and in my experience I have gotten results.