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CoSatanism, LaVey, GMC

To: (ZAZAS-L Satanist Elist)
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 02:15:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: (Z) CoSatanism, LaVey, GMC (was Anton Lavey)
From: (nocTifer)

49980331 aa2 Hail Satan!

# ( I'm french,so forgive me if there are many spelling mistakes in 
# this message)

no problem.  welcome.

#   I discovered satanism only a few months ago,by the reading of The 
# Satanic Bible,so I don't know a lot about the satanic "community".I 
# find Lavey's book very interesting:in fact I had the feeling to read 
# nothing new,the feeling that I've been living what Lavey describes 
# since my birth.

I think this is the purpose and activity of religious and philosophic
materials -- they reflect feelings we have deep within us when they
are well-written and provide us with further incentive to carry out
our designs.

# ...I just wanted to know if all satanists agree with Lavey's 
# conception of satanism,because when one read him it feels like he 
# created satanism.

no, not all Satanists agree with LaVey.  Anton Szandor LaVey was
the instigator for a certain type (often called 'modern') of 
Satanism (which I call 'CoSatanism' for 'Church of Satan(ism)'),
along with many others who joined the Church of Satan and assisted
in the activities taking place in the SF Bay Area and environs
during his lifetime (1930-1997).

his bombastic style and chutzpah sometimes lend the impression
if not the downright claim that he was the originator of Satanism
as an overt movement or organization.  indeed I have not seen
evidence that an organization called the 'Church of Satan' ever
existed before him, though authors such as Baskin do refer to
historic Satanists prior to 1967 (going back centuries). 

whether these are 'de facto' Satanists (not identifying as such
and just characterized this way by Baskin et al by virtue of
their foci and interests) is something I intend to discover and
hope others will comment upon within this email list for the
benefit of the Satanic community.

# He says that many people before him have worshiped Satan,but 
# he gives the label of Satanist only to the ones who follow 
# his statements.So what's your opinion?

LaVey's claims about previous worship of Satan are typically
ambiguous, as I recall, and if he does use the word 'worship'
I doubt that he really meant the kind of get-down-on-your-knees
adulation to statues or altars or priestly stand-ins that are
the common conception among Satanists for religious worship.  

instead I think LaVey, when speaking about historical precursors,
is really talking about comparably counter-cultural religious
movements, glorifying what is, to the predominant culture, the
Cosmic Antagonist.  I'm not aware that this has ever really
occurred outside cultural warfare in which two factions have
inverted-mirror cosmologies (e.g. the Indian vs. Persian notions
of the Devas vs. the Asuras).  even the Yezidis don't appear to
conceive of Iblis as the Cosmic Antagonist a la the Devil, 
though they may recognize His wrathful disposition.

LaVey himself does not claim to worship the Christian Satan,
firmly pitting himself against the Christian tradition's notions 
about that entity in a revisionist opposition (something I also
find valuable and have seen achieved among numerous Satanists).
instead he says that Satanism is "inverted" Christianity (within
_The Church of Satan_ at least), and by 'Christianity' he means
something quite specific (not the general religious tradition but
its worst aspects of personal disempowerment, duplicity and its
guilt-inducement racket).

his statements about what Satanism "is" appear to be intentional
propagandizements, attempting to steer what would become the
herd of Satanists aspiring to enter into the Bad Child mode of
adversarialism toward ends which would not be condemned by the
conventional culture (thus 'no killing animals or harming kids')
and yet maintaining the mantle of the condemnification scheme
that Christians and Muslims find valuable in oppressing minority
religious (thus 'Lesser and Great Black Magick').

those who take his screed to be *the* answers, defining the
entirety of Satanism, merely display their rejection of the
individualistic and personally-defined philosophy that LaVey
himself advocates, caught in a blinded sleepwalk in tune to
the Leader's rhetoric.  they become a testimony to the ability 
LaVey had to manipulate media and rebellious minds.

# I also would like to know what is happening to the CoS:I heard that 
# Lavey was dead,and that there is a conflict in Anton's family about 
# the Church.

generally discussion about the CoS is welcome here as long as it does
not degenerate into cult-warfare amongst factious orgSatanists.  the
founder of modern Satanism did in fact die late in 1997, and while
the Church of Satan has made public statements to the effect that
it is resolved in its organizational authorities, I have no official
connection to it and so cannot really comment.  some of my friends
are involved with the CoS and if they see fit to respond to you
here (in Zazas, hopefully at least cc'ing you if they just respond
to Usenet), I would welcome that.

#  I want also to tell you about Wicca(and I hope it interests you!) :I 
# went regulary in a wiccan room,where I spoke about satanism with them 
# (I said to them that I was a Dragon Priest).They have all told me 
# that satanism was "bad",that it was the wrong path.And that makes me 
# laugh:they complain that they are the target of false myths and 
# legends,that they suffer from Christians' prosecution,and they do 
# exactly the same with satanists:they don't try to understand us,they 
# only follow the public opinion:we are baby killers and ass kissers! 

it is something I have addressed in the past by categorizing the
entirety of the nouveaureligious as a system of cults within the
Hermetic tradition (even when they don't know it themselves),
and that a revisionist process of martyrdom takes place such that
'generations' exhibit differing responses to the rhetoric and
novelties within the shells of condemnatory political propaganda.

thus it is that the first Wiccan generations were knowingly
co-opting the condemnations of Christians (identifying as
'witches', forming 'covens', creating 'sabbats', etc.) and turning
it toward oppositional purposes in the establishment of religious
alternatives exemplifying the shadow of the culture in which they
were living.  subsequent Wiccans gradually lost this 'edge' and
began to instead identify *as* the victims of Christian oppression
with whom the first generation associated in similar language.

this is not unknown to modern Satanism either.  LaVey and others 
have intentionally used legendary fictions to prop up symbolism
and social structures.  'the Baphomet' and its supposed relation
to the Templar knights, connections to the Inquisitory 'witches',
creating 'black masses', the entire usage of 'Satan', and many
other aspects imply the clear intent to co-opt which Satanists 
are sure to eventually miss and take for historical continuity.
undoubtedly the co-option and forgetting are typical religious
tricks for keeping the herd in line.

# I really think like Lavey about Wicca:they are like Christians,
# they are sheeps, who pretend to make "white" magic but doesn't 
# see that magic has no color:it only depends of the use you make 
# of it.And they are hypocrit:I heard a witch saying that she used 
# her "white" magic to cause a man to break his leg!

one might valuably compare LaVey and CoSatanism: this 'black
magick' he describes (Lesser/Greater) doesn't include gross
infringement and coersion, animal and human sacrifice, the
sowing of dissent and evils reputedly associated with such
arcana.  does this make it 'false' and therefore hypocritical?

no, I think you are pointing to what LaVey called 'Goodguy Badges'
and how these are donned by the religious in order to justify bias
and cover over oppressive tactics without taking the heat for the
coersion.  it is the sanctimonious religious which Satanism seems
to oppose most strongly, and in this Wiccans sometimes join
Christians in trying to be 'morally superior'.

the terminology is going to get befuddled.  count on it.  language
is alive and part of that life is the reconstruction and re-use of
terms that have been applied in different ways by different people.
it is a tool which will be co-opted just like the ideas and texts
of religious traditions to achieve whatever ends the people have
at heart and regardless of how virtuous they might wish to seem.

# I do firmly believe that one must be honest with himself to get 
# magical success.

I agree strongly with this, though I do think that there are times
when even honesty with oneself does not allow one to see through
the dreamworks and illusions constructed within 'magical' rites.
it is so easy to ascend to power within imagination only and
thereafter pretend to have done so overtly.  all that is needed
beyond this is to convince others through what become lies and
shameless self-deceit.

# Finally:do you know where I can make contact with french satanists 
# on the Net?I'm a beginner and I know no other satanist. 
France has been an important SOURCE of (at least de facto) Satanism 
for many centuries.  I find it difficult to believe that there are 
no Satanists there presently.  it is possible that they are insular 
and find Americans droll and hypersensationalized (it would not 
surprise me :>).

# PS:feel free to answer in "zazas" mailin list. 

done, thanks for the permission to post publically.
blessed beast!
nocTifer:  ---
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