I would have to say that logic and reason led me to discover that there was a term for me, and it was Satanist, as described by Dr. LaVey. In general terms, I suppose I'm comfortable to say I discovered Satanism, but it would be more accurate to say that I discovered The Satanic Bible, LaVey's other works, and The Church of Satan. Satanism, in a way, was like my nose - it was always with me, but I didn't always know the word for it.

I wouldn't say that my attractions were always towards the "darker" things in life. My interests have been whatever I've found interesting. As a child, I found insects to be extremely interesting (still do) along with other reptiles and mammals that many fear. However, butterflies and their metamorphosis is incredibly interesting to me as well. I like what I like, and care not if it is traditionally "dark" or "cute and pretty".

In High School, I too wore black clothing, but primarily because it's not as easy to stain rather than some feeling that I was a "dark" individual. Black, after all, is a color that matches any fashion choice.

I didn't hate sports in school, and in fact found much benefit from competitions and physical fitness. I suppose I can say I was drawn more towards the ones where my personal performance wasn't dependent upon my fellow team mates, which is why I preferred track and cross country.

I was neither shunned nor extremely popular in school, and had a slew of friends, some closer than others. I can say, though, that of the friends I had, we were all thinkers and skeptics. Not all of them were Satanists (or any, from what I could tell) but I had good company with them, and it was productive.

All that being said, I discovered LaVey's work when I switched from reading fiction to primarily nonfiction. I enjoyed the work of Henry Rollins and his anecdotal stories, and when looking for the next Rollins book to read, saw Marilyn Manson's autobiography. I read through it, and found the portion on his meeting with LaVey to open up my curiousity. As a skeptic, I assumed his work would likely be that of just another religious nut, but pointed towards the dark side rather than the typical white light stuff. I picked up first "Satan Speaks" and was pleasantly surprised. Within his essays, I found whit, rationality, and a healthy middle finger.

Immediately, I purchased The Satanic Bible, and found that my own thoughts, feelings, and conclusions had previously been laid out and published in 1969. There was nothing I disagreed with, and instead, found philosophy I already was living with, and applications of it I had yet to entertain.

Since reading The Satanic Bible, it has been enjoyable to have a term more accurate than mere "atheist". It has also been a pleasure that, when meeting other Satanists (who know what they are) they are not a cliché of black clothing and depression (that's called "goth") but instead, vibrant individuals with much variety from one to the next.

The measure of a Satanist, I think, is not how "dark" their clothing is, nor how much people have shunned them. It's not whether they like or dislike sports, snakes, butterflies, or pancakes. It's that they think in unique, rational ways, are successfully avoiding misery in their lives, are productive and talented in their chosen fields of effort, and, of course, find themselves described in The Satanic Bible.
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"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
-Carl Sagan