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Satanist/NeoPagan War

To: alt.pagan,alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.religion.all-worlds,talk.religion.misc
From: (nocTifer)
Subject: Re: Satanist/NeoPagan War
Date: 26 Jun 1996 22:18:59 -0700

49960626 AA1

Werner Arend :
|(1) Is there a real commitment to spiritual growth, or is that person
|    calling him/herself "Satanist", "Witch", "Magus" or whatever because
|    it's "cool", or is it a way for that person for personal aggrandizement?

unless I desire to differentiate between someone who will be allowed
to participate within my own social group (coven), then it is entirely
none of my business whether or not they have a 'real commitment to
spiritual growth'.   it is this type of evaluation which perpetuates
the condemnation and name-calling.  some who go by the labels we find
valuable will no doubt pursue them for different ends.  this has always
been the case and no amount of attempt to identify 'the charlatons' will
assist.  it will only turn into another Inquisition.

|(2) Does that person attempt to live what he/she believes? I don't require
|    the 100%-correct-lifestyle (I'm not dogmatic), but there should be some
|    evidence. I would question the commitment of a person who, for example,
|    has a habit of throwing cigarette butts to the ground, or 
|    frequently doesn't clean up after a picnic in the forest.

again, from a standpoint of personal association this type of evaluation
is great.  as a means of determining WHO SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT USE THE
IDENTIFICATION MONIKER, it is an error as I see it.

'Neopagan' is a classification category describing a variety of religious
persuasions, some of which may well not be consistent with one another in
terms of practical format or doctrinal preference.  what appears to 
correlate amongst Neopagans (not as a defining quality to determine who
shall be ABLE to be considered members, but that which seems to be rather
consistent amongst the throng) are these three things:

			1) a valuation of freedom of religion

			2) a tendency toward eclectic and at times
			   polytheist syncretism

			3) a focus on ecology and "nature-worship"

a few other popular items include a fondness for the Northern European
heritage and gods, the usage of arguably recent rite-forms which derive
from Rosicrucian and other masonic ceremonialists, a predominance of 
feminists and goddess-worshippers, a fascination with science and
hedonism, and a vivid imagination.

|...for example, a single public statement made by a member of a 
|German pagan organization that even remotely reeks of Nazism ...

I think it is fascinating that both the "Satanist" and "Neopagan"
cultures both integrate aspects of National Socialism (especially
Hitlerian or alternative 'Nazism') and that these are controversial
within each community (or the whole, if you see them as somehow
co-resident).  not only is the fact that there are those who would
find Nazism attractive common to both (which I maintain is evidence
for the assertion that both Neopagans and Satanists are manifesta-
tations of the Great Martyrdom Cult), but other members of the
communities of which they are part exclaim against them!

|would inflict political damage that organization would take years to 
|recover from. 

compare this with the argument that 'Satanists should not be allowed
to associate with Neopagans because their largely anti-Christian
practices and antagonistic ways would ruin the developing religious
reputation of Neopaganism, from which it may take years to recover'.

both are based on fallacies and generalizations which may or may not
be difficult to disprove.  I'm not sure why there should be any sort
of 'political or economic litmus test' amongst Neopagans, be that 
Capitalist, Communist, Green, Republican, Neonazi or Pacifist.

it seems to me that the ACTIONS of the individuals taken within the
community are more importantly focussed-upon than whatever their
private political, economic OR RELIGIOUS LABELS might include (i.e. 
whether Satanist, Christian, or Neofractional-Bobist).

|people feeding public prejudice in the name of an organization whose 
|majority does not agree.  Alright, you can expel that person, but 
|at that point the damage has been done.

what damage?  that you allow (oo, skahwee myoosik pleez) 'Satanists'
into your midst?!  why do I hear the Church Lady in the background?

|...I do not like it if people claim a kinship to me that I don't feel. 

I really respect this and suggest that you utilize your imagination
to think up a Label for yourself which will not be misundestood or
applied to people in awkward or ambiguous or uncontrolled ways.  the
Asatruar occasionally do this, based on tribal and ancestral lines.
the Freemasons occasionally do this, based on biological gender.
various other groups such as the KKK likely do this also based on
political views and melanin quotient.

there is nothing wrong with defining who is a member of your clutch,
but if you want that clutch to be 'Neopagan', then I'm afraid that
generalized term (along with 'Pagan') has been used too often and by
too many to really ferret out your desired subgroup.

|...that person could get angry and express his opinion that because we're
|kin, we *must* feel positive about each other....

then it becomes not hir association but hir ACTIONS which are objectionable.

|...that's what I feel the Satanists are doing. 

there are Satanists who are coming to your door (rite/coven/whatever) 
and asking you to accept them and their ways (based on what they actually
show to you) and if you don't they get mad at you and tell you you MUST
accept them for who they are??  I'd tell them to get the fuck out of the
house/rite/whatever and don't come back.  Neopagan or no Neopagan, there
comes a time when rudeness such as this should be put down.

identification and self-labelling has absolutely nothing to do with it.

|...I can be friends with the Satanists as long as they don't insist that 
|I have to believe there is no difference. 

control of your beliefs is a violation of your sanctity as a person.  if
you are saying something about THEM as people then perhaps they truly do
have a point in objecting to your generalizations and conceptions (you
may well be mistaken as to what their ways include), but requiring that
you change your mind is simply silly.  they can demonstrate this to you
themselves over time if they think your ideas are incorrect.

|I have my perception and they have theirs. Let the difference stand!

with this I agree completely!  hail to the differences of opinion!  only
when you begin impacting others through the practical results of your
opinion would I raise objection, and this in public spaces or within
shared community.  i.e. if you started making special rules for self-
identified 'Satanists' rather than merely identifying your values and
what you want to have at your gatherings, then I think you may go too
far in your 'perceptions' and take it into bigotry.
Ensure my response - CC public replies to email    
(emailed replies may be posted)  check:

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