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To: alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc,alt.pagan
From: (nocTifer)
Subject: (Z) Re: Satanism
Date: 29 Apr 1998 18:37:55 -0400

49980427 aa2 Hail Satan!

Kerry Delf :
# > # Nor was LaVey in any position to define what Satanism is and 
# > # who is and is not a real Satanist....
# > are there such positions?
Kerry Delf :
# Not in my opinion, though many seem to believe there are.  *IMO*, one 
# can define Satanism for oneself, but that definition has no bearing 
# on others' definitions, practices, or beliefs.
I agree with this strongly, AND I also think that one of the
repercussions of this is that some will at least try to give the
*impression* that they speak for more than merely themselves.  I
think that this is the herd-influencing behavior for which
Satanists and de facto Satanists for ages have become known.

that is, you and I may not accept their attempted definitions,
but the GULLIBLE, the IMPRESSIONABLE, who are keen to follow, to
emulate, to conform, to join, etc., THEY will be swayed by the
power of the speaker and the skill of the rhetoric.  this is why
Adolf Hitler should be studied and understood (his ability to
inspire the dissatisfied herd at an opportune time).

and it is, to me, the RESULTS (the 'fruits' if you like) of the
individual's activities and expressions which *truly* identify
them as Satanist, howevermuch they may espouse what is and what
is not, who is and who is not.  if people *believe* them, then
they have what is ascribed to that Jesus fiction as 'authority',
and they may wield it from whatever position they have in society.

now given the above I think that Anton LaVey PLACED himself in a
position from which he could persuade of the definitions of what
Satanism should include.  he, like Luther and other important
religious rebels, used PROPAGANDA to achieve an opposition to
the dominant mentality, and succeeded by virtue of publishing
(the royalties are entirely a side-issue) his _Satanic Bible_
(excellently plagiarizing and ripping off others) the shift
from the perspective of Christian slander and nightmare to the 
prevalent perception among many self-identified *Satanists* 
that his was the 'true and only' type of Satanism.

that these people come from predominantly Christian backgrounds
predisposes them to take 'Bible' and 'Church' as fundamental
signals of what religion is "supposed to be".  choosing these
icons as identifiers was IMPORTANT in placing LaVey in the role
the New Authority.  it doesn't matter that what he said was not
persuasive among people like you and I!  we're *Satanists*.  

the primary target of LaVey's rhetoric was and continues to be 
the herds of humans who would follow him, who would take what
he espoused and begin to believe and obey, just as all good
religious and nationalists are trained to do from a young age.

as I see it, this is one of the ways to break this cycle of
"education" -- demonstrating what kinds of fabulous lies can be
foisted on the gullible and willing public using the technology
of media and imagination that are abused every day by politicians
and the religious.  it is an ADMIRABLE form of deception, as I
see it, especially where one doesn't do anything but put over
huge hoaxes on them.  someday some of them may wake up to it. it
may even stimulate counter-forces, innoculating against the herd

where I see the value in TJantsang's propaganda is how *far* it
goes in attempting the same type of flimflam.  she's got her own
DRONE SQUAD for Mastema's sake!  sure, occasionally they get
disillusioned around the edges and reject her massive missives,
but I don't see her abusing the influence other than drawing some
attention and encouraging greater confusion of academia and
the philosophic enterprise.  those who can see such shinanigans
ignore her.  those who fall under her spell become part of her
entourage for a brief period and then move on, perhaps the wiser.

# those who blindly follow, considering one form the one and only
# Satanism(tm), *are* herd creatures.  

and they deserve to be intensely deceived using very obvious,
horrendous methods that results in them looking all the more
idiotic and self-defeating!  let them follow!  let them become
lemmings, putting toilet seats upon their heads, taking the
very opposite for what is Satanism, making themselves totally
visible for the cattle they are.  those who lead them are indeed
Satanists, instructing through wily flim-flam the very weakness
the previous generation has seen fit to inculcate.

it is much like breaking a dog or other animal of some weakness
in behavior.  if you trick them enough using more and more
painful means then they will become immune to the feint,
gradually developing resistance to what the traditional cultures
still do not understand led to the problems they have opposed
(e.g. the foolish repression on information about controversial
political and religious ideas and groups within Germany and a
variety of 'Christian' counties).

# > #, baby-raping devil worship....
# > *satanism* (the projection of dualist repressives) *is* this.
# > and this is off of which Satanism has played for ages.
# ...Satanism has been, or has been seen as being, composed of 
# or involving such practices, but this is not the only (or even, 
# at this point, the *dominant*, in actual practice as opposed to
# public belief) extant form of Satanism. 

at the risk of belaboring my point beyond endurance, I want to
again emphasize that there are TWO objects of description here
which appear to have very important roles in Western religious

	a) the blood libel condemnation attributed to a variety
	   of targetted minority religious ("satanism")

and     b) the undertaken martyric religious paths emphasizing
	   personal liberty and freedom of religious expression,
	   thought, and behavior at the possible expense of
	   ignorant persecution ("Satanism")

the blood libel, from what I can tell, has really never been
a part of Satanism, and this is some of the value emphacized
by CoSatanists when supporting individual sovereignty of human
children (I feel they do not go far enough with respect to that
of other species and misplace preservation for what should be an 
emphasis on volition in matters like suicide and psychoactives).

however, the blood libel envelope (language, imagery, etc.) HAS
become a very important part of Satanism as it is twisted and
used as a frightening mask hiding a laughing, satisfied and
liberated individualist and hedonist, demonstrating through
abuse that 'authority systems' can be and are abused quite easily.

# ...despite the abominable stupidity of the masses, *some*, at 
# least, have the ability to rise above mediocrity and ignorance.  

let them in fact rise above it, then!  the rest will become the
tools of their betters and deserve being wholly misled.

# It is perhaps because of this (or
# perhaps only because I have a life-long tendency to express my
# disagreement with statements I consider idiotic or misinformed) that,
# along with attempts at education which (IMO) may serve to inform 
# others enough to make *my* life a bit easier, I frequently counter 
# OneTrueWayist claims where I encounter them.

and to you we are indebted because of it!  I would only say in response
to watch out with your methods, for at times you sound like you want
to be followed in precisely the same way as those to whom you object.

your focus on "education" implies to me (though you might not intend 
this) that there is a Correct Perspective which you have seen fit to
defend against the Wrong People, and that you are hellbent (so to
speak) on making sure that the herd doesn't believe the Wrong Thing.

I say the herd is BEST to believe the EXACTLY WRONG THING, especially
as this is so absurd that it begins to conflict with their day to
day experience.  what better a fulcrum to sever the tendency toward
somnambulism and the giving up of independence to their slave-gods?
if we believe instead that WE have the Correct Perspective and will
instil this somehow, aren't we now after the precise response
(being believed abjectly) that we are speaking against?  it is one
thing to argue cogently in matters of logic, inspiring critical
analysis, self-reflection, and an examination of the facts, but it
is quite another to say 'this thing is true and I am telling you
this truth, so believe it because it is so' without some internal
mechanism within the message that inspires doubt, doubt and more
glorious DOUBT!  better when we use this propagandism we are trying 
to get them to believe six impossible things before breakfast!  (it
will then have the effect of, between the lines, saying: "wake up!
wake up!  you are swallowing whole what people are telling you!
how far can I get away with this before you will see that you are
a hopeless mark and deserve to be driven off of a cliff?")

# ...It is possible that I have at times failed to make clear the 
# diversity of belief encompassed under the rubrik "Satanism."
# (Whoops -- BAD non-P.C. Kerry!)

no no no, 'Satanism' only has ONE SINGULAR REFERENT, and this is
clearly pointed toward (not ever described) by the variety of us
who go about manifesting it.  belief is directly *counter* to
Satanism, as it excludes doubt (that marvellous goat!) and begins
a cycle of dependency.  no, the epitome of Satanism is FREEDOM
from belief, utterly.  if you don't believe this, then you simply
aren't a Satanist! ;>
# > ...please explain what "worshiping yourself" includes....

# ...Definition of "self-worship" may vary from individual to 
# individual....

I think that it is a front for vacancy, a sham put up to scare the 
anti-egotists into fleeing in terror.  I don't remember seeing in 
the CoSatanist community and materials of Satanism generally a 
convincing description of what "self-worship" *could* include.
more often I've heard "worship" deprecated and opposed, a type
of admirable atheism substituting for any kind of religiosity.

in its place I would insert "self-reverence", getting away from
the facetiousness of "Satanic Churches", "Satanic Bibles", and
"Satanic Messiahs" (heh, have we seen that last yet?  just you
wait, I am hot on its trail! ;>).  'self-reverence' promotes a
healthy value of personae, character, and that mask which we
use to interact with other personalities.  too often in religion
this "ego" or "jiva" or "atman" or whatever they want to call
it is condemned as an evil, never highly regarded for the 
beautiful tool it is except possibly by insightful psychologists 
such as Jung and a variety of transpersonals.

perhaps an obvious part of "self-reverence" would be a reverence
of that which pre-Christian peoples seemed to understand at least
in part -- the value and indulgence of the body, mind, and spirit
in that which provides and recompenses *PLEASURE*.  if joy and
enjoyment are not a large portion of life, even under conditions
of austerity, severe challenge and suffering, then it is a waste 
and may as well be cast aside via suicide, prevented with sodomy 
and abortion if support for it cannot be provided.

# > # > an innate contradiction in the term "Satanic organization", 

# ...I'd be interested in hearing your proposed counterargument 
# to the claim that "Satanic organization" is an oxymoron. 

I think you said alot about it already.  'organization' need not
require conformity to any standard.  it could constitute a club,
or perhaps a body of people having similarities of interest in
the pursuit of a simple purpose (say, opposing stupidity and
promoting the value of diversity and rebellion).

individualists can get behind anarchic organizations, and this,
contrary to uninformed objections, is no self-contradiction (it
is only the domination and rule which is rejected by anarchists
as the term is literally meant -- organizations need not require
either such rulership or conformity to extensive standards for 
continued membership, and the Church of Satan sets a good example
by encouraging diversity of bombasticness and radicalism).

re 'Satanism' and its character/limitations:  
# ...I choose not to define the term;  there are certain common 
# elements of all forms I am aware of (including the use of or 
# focus on an image, deity, or personality style associated with 
# Satan, and an emphasis on power, esp. individual power), 

I really appreciate your attempt to be *descriptive* (rather than
*definitive*) here.  I agree with you that in terms of significance,
it makes a great deal of sense to consider the commonalities of what
is associated (by Satanists, not blood libellers) with the term, and
what you suggest above would appear to be potential base-lines.

now what I find admirable about such approaches at self-examination
is that we are 1) not trying to define, and 2) reflecting a
condition that already exists within most all religions (that is,
however much warring groups may decide that they are the final
arbiters of what constitutes the religion of their choice, they
inevitably diversify based on their preferences, putting into
perspective the propagandist character of previous assertions).

Satanists have achieved satire like this for a very long time.  I 
was reading _La Bas_ recently, by Huysmans (its jacket describes 
it as "the classic of satanism", with which I agree), and in a 
few hundred pages it seems to have, while ostensibly providing an
apology for and in fact describing the history of the blood libel 
within the Roman Catholic Church (especially surrounding its 
'Black Mass'), including an engaging biography of Gilles de Rais, 
manages to provide a criticism of Christianity and its various 
heresies!  how beautiful that such a text contains the memes in 
germ to lead the 'faithful' out of their self-imposed prisons!

# It is when we begin defining Satanism as ultimately hyper-
# individualistic that the oxymoron is created.  While my 
# own Satanism is highly individualistic, I do not believe 
# that such is *always* the case.

yes, in which case 'Satanism' begins to take on the meaning 'not
a part of any organized body of people'.
# > does not nonmembership contain more freedom in the sense of not 
# > having to concern oneself with whether one wishes to remain a 
# > member by virtue of holding to the inevitable moralistic demands? 
# > you advocate for such things yourself by your criticism of TJ and AS. 
# For WHAT things, exactly?  

for moralistic restraint on the part of expressions by these people
(Jantsang, Schlesinger) in association with the church in order to
retain their membership.  that they are allowed to say the most
ridiculous and unfounded of things is a testimony to the freedom
alloted the membership (and, apparently, priestly) class.

# > are you sure that the typical equation of "choice" with "freedom"
# > (a la de Toqueville) which has seized so many Americans is not at
# > work here in descriptions of Satanism and their "granted freedoms"?

the notion that de Toqueville espoused as I recall is that Americans
substitute the inferior 'choice' for the superior 'freedom', and
thereby compromise ourselves and our power.  now instead of a
freedom to do the utmost except as proscribed by law we are offered
a choice amongst acceptable alternatives (say, which as I can best
remember within his critique of American democracy, having a 'choice'
between the representatives from two dominant political parties
rather than the freedom to elect to office anyone who we feel is

the best I can come up in regards joining an organization as having
a relation to freedom is if there is some obstacle *imposed by the
organization itself* which is lifted to members (e.g. if the members
decided that they would construct an elite whereby they would only
communicate with other members, then membership confers 'freedom' to
enter into the communication) or that joining is *itself* a
demonstration of an exercise of freedom (by virtue of the fact that
one has the opportunity to join such a controversial group at all).

re joining the Church of Satan or orgs like it:
# ...people like myself will never be attracted to such an 
# organization, which seems, in my estimation, to be nothing but 
# an empty shell.  

perhaps it would require coming to see that the membership was 
itself composed of those whom one respected and with whom one 
wish to ally (from what you have said this does not appear to
be the case for you -- I am personally not aware of the depth
and breadth of character to found within the CoS, though I have
occasionally seen glimpses).

# I feel no need to be "legitimized" by a shiny membership card, 
# or to associate myself with individuals I find repugnant in 
# order to add my name to the roster of official AntiChrists.  

my impression is that not all members are so legitimized, nor are
all members "official antichrists".  indeed, I think it would be
quite funny to see a whole band of Christians join up!  

# Such an organization would be worthwhile largely only to 
# individuals *I* would consider sheep.  

I can't personally make the jump from 'membership' to 'sheep',
though I could justify it if there were in place stringent filters
for beliefs and malleability.  some of the individuals who are
in the Church of Satan with whom I have had the pleasure of
communicating don't appear to resemble the sheep mentality, but
I have not had a broad experience.  certainly a review of 
Usenet newsgroups does not constitute a fair evaluative sample.

re TJ:
# > she says what is "Satanism", even speaking 'as a Priestess of 
# > the Church', and foments a greater and greater confusion of 
# > matters than has ever before existed (the Father of Lies smiles).
# ...Jantsang is more hindrance than help to the CoS....  Jantsang's 
# claims include that she is the voice of LaVeyan Satanism, and that 
# nothing she says is in any conflict with anything LaVey ever said 
# or believed.  

what would she say instead in order to become "a help" to the CoS?
LaVey, like many religious and political leaders, has contradicted
*himself* upon occasion, and probably changed his mind about a few
things while he was at it.  isn't it funny how public speakers may
be held to a ridiculous standard of consistency if one of the 
things that they are supporting is diversity of thought?

my impression is that LaVey's methods were propagandist and
facetious, pointing out for those who have eyes to see the weakness
of the 'information' and 'education' channels he intentionally used
to promote himself in shameless self-aggrandizement.  he had to
walk the line between being believable and including just the right
measure of creative crap.  those who are familiar with the language
he was drawing from can plainly see the confidence game afoot, and
those who can't will be taken in as the marks of Satanism, perfectly
believing that they, the Chosen Ones, are completely independent!
it reminds me of high school: "let's all nonconform together!"

# Why do YOU think LaVey never clamped down on this...?

I never met the man and didn't have insight into his private affairs.
my impression is that few did, despite his expression and possible
availability to publicity.  I could only launch wild guesses.

perhaps he was of the mind that 'any press is good press', and that,
generally, it didn't matter what people within the organization
said abroad as long as he was consistently viewed as the final
authority (regardless of whether he in fact was such).

perhaps he respected the crafty co-option of academic tones and the
profession of authority which TJ sometimes presents.  perhaps he
didn't truly think that Satanism per se could be defined with
precision, and that his expressions were important guiding tools
by which Leviathan might assault the edifice of puritanism and
the social institution of Christian power that is putrefying
before our eyes.

perhaps he never took TJ seriously and was content that she was
fomenting confusion and a diversity of opinion that attempted at
least to *appear* in conformity to his expression and authority.
perhaps he realized that this type of diversity is contained
within most religions and that they generally profit from
accepting such diversity within limitations that may extend to 
the point where they begin to assault their very mother church.

for all I know he may never have even bothered to *read* TJ's
materials, content to understand that she supported him and
instead spent his time doing what he LIKED (whatever this was, at
least playing his organ and, at times, entertaining guests).

all of these options would seem to me quite respectable positions
from which to accept any dissonance which may exist.
blessed beast!
nocTifer:  ---
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