Another recurring phenomenon: individuals come onto the forum with issues based on their negative experience of one person they know or just met, or one small group of people calling themselves “satanic,” or because their seedy trailer park ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, a self-appointed “satanist,” dumped them – or whatever.

Invariably in the end the offending party is not even affiliated with the Church of Satan.

Here is the Problem:

ANYONE can go into a bookstore, buy copies of Dr. LaVey’s books, dress the part complete with Baphomet do-dads, parrot quotes, and act like an obnoxious moron. Instant “big shot.”

What I have never quite understood, because I have never experienced it personally, is the degree of insecurity in which a person does not feel confident in their own identity until a second party has explicitly recognized it.

How many people (not just naïve teenagers, but adults too) have you met who introduce themselves immediately asserting “I am a wiccan,” “I am a healer,” “I am a shaman,” or “I am a satanist?” – or are bedecked with t-shirts, slogans, logos, signs and symbols explicitly announcing their chosen identity prop.

I have never really understood this urge to inflict yourself and your self-imposed label on others, or the need for almost constant recognition and re-affirmation of your self-appointed label, and I believe it is at the root of many problems, including the most troublesome “side-effect” aspects of the need to congregate under the auspices of any religion or any other ideology. It is the most superficial and needy motivation, and usually the earmark of psychic vampires.

No wonder people are “reacting” negatively to you – you are an asshole! It is not because you are a “satanist” – it is because you are a fucking idiot! I wish I could take your Baphomet and Satanic Bible away from you and beat you with a stick!

There is no control over this. It is unfortunate, but such is life.

When I was a teenager, my first encounter with anyone claiming to be “satanic” consisted of a group of illiterate drugged-out bottom-dwellers, complete with home-made jailhouse-quality sewing-needle & ink tattoos, all working from one nicotine-soaked copy of The Satanic Bible. I only met them once, by accident, and interacted with them for less than thirty minutes. They rasped on, in their wheezing chain-smoker’s voices, about how this and that was “forbidden” by The Satanic Bible, etc. …Really stupid stuff.

Where are these losers now? Probably in county lockup, the cemetery, or various state-run drug/alcohol rehab centers. Where am I now? Who was the “real” Satanist?

The same goes for the other loser types who found organizations claiming to be “satanic.” Either they are manifestly not-Satanic in their worldview or ethos, or they have some destructive compulsions and still want to fly the colors. They invariably attract a cluster of like-minded losers seeking consolation in numbers because they could not cut the mustard with the real McCoy.

Again, There is no control over this. It is unfortunate, but such is life.

We live here. They are just passing through. Sorry to say, they usually leave a mess behind before they finally fade into oblivion.

Our consolation is that their castles are built on sand, and as the old Chinese saying goes; if you sit long enough on the banks of the river, you will see the corpses of your enemies float by. And this has happened time and time again.

Anyone encountering these pretender-types who cannot figure out for themselves that they have just met a self-appointed retard is not really worth consideration anyway.

Now on to Phase II of “the problem”:

Even if you encounter a legitimate representative of the Church of Satan, they should be equipped to answer most of your questions regarding Satanism or the Church of Satan (otherwise they would not have been appointed as a representative), it DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW that you will personally like or get along with the individual (or other individuals) affiliated with the Church of Satan. It also does not mean the person you dislike is not a "real" Satanist.

Occasionally “bad eggs” get through the system of controls, and occasionally people who were once strong affiliates betray themselves (and the Church of Satan in the process) by giving way to their own self-destructive or just plain stupid impulses. This happens with individuals in any context, however elite. The same could be said of Police, Doctors, or University Professors. It says more about human nature than it does about the Church of Satan.

A curious byproduct of strong personalities (and most Satanists have strong personalities): There are many people calling themselves “Satanists” who I personally find detestable, and some of them are worthy of the term Satanist for various reasons. There are some people affiliated with the Church of Satan who I find detestable. There are a few people who are (or were) officials of the Church of Satan who I find detestable. There are individuals affiliated and un-affiliated with the Church of Satan who probably find me detestable. But, if they have any intelligence at all, their personal dislike for me would not color their feelings about Satanism or the Church of Satan any more than my contempt for them colors my experience of the same.

If there is one point of this rambling post it is this: Do not base your knowledge of Satanism or the Church of Satan on your experience of one person, or one small group of people, especially if they are not formally affiliated.

The Church of Satan is unambiguous and up front about what it is and is not. All the information, including plans and agendas, are to be had in the published works and website of the Church of Satan. You either recognize it and say, “Yes, this is me” and run with it, or not.

If you are a Satanist and find something not to your taste “flying the black flag” – then do something better. That’s what Dr. LaVey meant when he said the Church of Satan is user-driven.

Some of the most interesting and exciting projects by affiliates of the Church of Satan have been within just the last few years. A lot of personal projects, that you don’t see in magazines or websites, only from knowing people or being in the members-only section are just as exciting and interesting as more high-profile efforts documented elsewhere. Our people are “walking the walk” – living full lives, creating total environments, achieving more gratifying goals than all the pretenders combined. If we know about each other at all it is because those of us having common interests take the time to compare notes or brainstorm better ideas. They are not eagerly looking around for approval, or throwing hissy-fits when their efforts are not noticed by others, because they are working for their own personal gratification. These are the people who catch the eye of the Church of Satan, because their efforts are self-motivated, self-interested, and thereby AUTHENTIC – not some desperate bid for attention.

…. Oops, there I go again, “coddling” the slow kids, providing more hints for the faux-satanists, would-be bluffers, and those who just don’t get it.

All the petty issues and weak identity conflicts are false-dilemmas of the misguided, the shit-disturbing efforts of parasites, psychic vampires, or perpetual window shoppers poking around trying to mitigate their terminal boredom and emptiness.

These comments pertain to interaction with people face-to-face, how much more so in the silly-ass fantasy-roleplaying world that is the Internet?

Live and Let Die.
"If I have to choose between defending the wolf or the dog, I choose the wolf, especially when he is bleeding." -- Jaques Verges
"I may have my faults, but being wrong ain't one of them." -- Jimmy Hoffa
"As for wars, well, there's only been 268 years out of the last 3421 in which there were no wars. So war, too, is in the normal course of events." -- Will Durant.
"Satanism is the worship of life, not a hypocritical, whitewashed vision of life, but life as it really is." -- Anton Szandor LaVey
“A membership ticket in this party does not confer genius on the holder.” -- Benito Mussolini