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Satanist/NeoPagan War

To: alt.pagan,alt.satanism,alt.magick,alt.religion.all-worlds
From: Werner Arend 
Subject: Re: Satanist/NeoPagan War
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 15:10:26 +0200

On 14 Jun 1996, Xina wrote:

> world'.  But this is another issue for another time right now I will 
> address the issue of Paganism accepting the right of SOME Satanic sects 
> to be identified as Pagan also.  (Didnt you read that post I put up on 
> the Sinister Tradition?) and .  Personally I think its wonderful that you 
> correspond with others from outside the country (qualified please as 
> Contiental US).  Its also nice to have the majority of those folks agree 
> with you, or as you 'seem' to be implying, agreeing that Satanism is the 
> big bad monster of Paganism that real and "legitimate" Pagans want noting 
> to do with.  My Frater and I  have experienced quite the opposite of what 
> you are implying.  Most (even Xians) are more accepting and open minded 
> about accepting the idea of a Dark Pagan sect that predates all the 
> church/inquisition nastiness.  It is this later need to clearly place 
> lines of demarcation so as to clearly differentiate themselves from what 
> the Church held up as evil that we run into problems.  
> I felt the right to  insult.  It may have been a mistaken notion in *all* 
> cases, but for the most part I find far too many U.S. Neo-Pagans and 
> Wiccans to be as much in a holier-than-thou mindset than thier (outside 
> the US border) counterparts.  There is little to seperate their brand of 
> religious fundamentalism from those of the fanatical Xians.  I find the 
> repressiveness of the dominant society for the most part an insult.  I 
> find this lack of understanding and comadeering anything for the 
> instantaneous feel-good-live-in -the-now-anything-for-a-buck outrageously 
> insulting. Personallhy,  I find a country where law enforcement on a 
> reservation still finds it necessary to shoot at 16 year olds for a tail 
> light being out insulting.  I find this whole Idea of non-tolerance for 
> the belief systems of others without an attempt to understand it 
> insulting.  I didnt insult myself...I insulted your assumption of what 
> you *think*  I am...which you dont have the first idea about. And I 
> will continue to insult mediocrity and complacency in the strongest 
> language possible.

If you ask, *most* pagans would acknowledge a dark side to their 
religion, some of them even embracing that dark side more than the "light".
But that's not the issue here. There's a collection of belief systems 
that is named "Neo-pagan", and there's an unspoken agreement that the 
term cannot be defined in a dogmatic way. The result is that it is 
difficult for Neo-pagans to dissassociate themselves from groups they do 
not want to associate with, because they cannot legitimately do so on 
grounds of the difference in their belief systems. Still, if they are to 
be identified as a separate group, Neo-pagans MUST disassociate 
themselves from SOME people. That can only be done in a way most of the 
participants would acknowledge as legitimate - perhaps by a vote. So, if 
MOST Neo-pagans agree that Satanism is no kind of Neo-paganism, then 
effectively it is not, regardless of what the Satanists say - and there 
seems to be a majority who thinks just that. It's simple: if you want 
into a community, *they* decide and not you...
Still, that is no reason not associate with Satanists on the ground of 
common interests - as in defending the non-Christian religions from 
attacks made by the fundamentalists. While there is no right to *enforce* 
solidarity by anyone, it would be better for all of us if there *were*.
But the Satanists have no right to pry their way into the Neo-pagan 
movement if it doesn't want them, even if there are similarities in the 
belief systems, because, as I've pointed out, belief system arguments 
don't help at all! So the real question is why many Neo-pagans do not 
want to associate with Satanists - and I think there is a very simple 
answer to that.
Even if there was a large percentage of silimar concepts in the 
belief-systems of Satanism and Neo-paganism, still many people would 
reject Satanism because they respond emotionally to the *term* 
"Satanism", they do not *want* "Satanism" (the term, not the real thing).
The term "Satanism" has a Christian ring to it. This is history, and 
not changed easily. I think there would be much more acceptance of the 
Satanists if they chose to call themselves, say, "Setians". For my part,
at least, this is true. Mr.Scratch and others can be right on the 
intellectual plane, but that doesn't make any difference at all, because 
religion is not only about reason.
You complain about non-tolerance for other's belief systems. Now, it's 
anyones right to define his or her own belief system, and it's his or her 
right not to be discriminated against because of that belief system, but 
only in secular society. On the spiritual plane, there simply are some 
people I want nothing to do with (for example the Nazi brand of Asatru - 
there are quite a few of them), because the world they would construct 
out of their belief system is not a world I could tolerate. If we could 
tolerate everything, nothing of what we believe would have any meaning at 

Werner Arend 

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