This is a bit of a long read, but I hope it brings enjoyment to a select few.
Growing up, I was never drawn to anything remotely "demonic" or "evil", but rather held certain Nietzschean ideas that emphasized looking at herd conformity as a vice, and the continuous need to better yourself in the naturally stratified society which operates based on Social Darwinism.
Anything close to "magick" or "spirituality" was given my scorn, and I always disliked the main philosophy behind Christianity, but noticed that the anti-life and anti-human components of Christianity were not limited to that religion alone. It was found in new liberal movements or hippie culture, in where dependence on leaders to show you the way was seen as a good thing, and turning the other cheek and leeching via Nietzche's slave morality idea was rampant.
From there Ayn Rand's 1964 The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
as well as Objectivism became central parts of my life in the sense that I was excited and glad that other people felt the same way I did. However, I did not like that she dismissed all religious activity as useless. There is a psychological element to ritual, prayer, deities, Gods, and other spiritual things that obviously serve a mental need within the human animal to be happy, otherwise people wouldn't be so fanatic about rockstars, politicians, celebrities, or doing ritualistic things like getting married, celebrating birthdays, performing funerals, etc.
Then I read Marilyn Manson's autobiography and upon his positive nod to Anton LaVey and real Satanism, I decided to give the religion a chance and read The Satanic Bible
. Within it, I didn't find anything stupid having to do with animal sacrifices or magick mumbo wizard jumbo, but rather the gray line between psychology and religion.
The symbology within Satanism, including the infamous Sigil of Baphomet, did not seem anything different than Marilyn Manson utilizing the Cross of Lorraine, the stars and stripes on an American flag, or a sports mascot. Symbols, flags, slogans, have always been used by the human animal to represent a concept, whether it be in a corporation, war, sports team, etc.
From there on I found that a more accurate and specific label for myself is Satanist, because upholding the Milton or Ancient Hebrew definition of Satan encompassed a lot of ideas that represented things I already felt were right. Perhaps the symbol of Satan is no longer as relevant to society for a new ‹bermenschen creed as it was in 1966, but the philosophy and ideas inside The Satanic Bible have always been utilized by people who have brought society to a more Renaissance-like and secular level, and within the elite levels of the Church of Satan
are not kooks or losers, but people who have mastered life in all of its different levels: interpersonally, financially, health-based, and pretty much whatever you can think of.
Peter H. Gilmore has done an excellent job of continuing the aesthetic terrorism of Satanism, and the people who are among the religion are those who are not stupid, but rather embrace the philosophical aspects of the religion, whatever it be called.