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Setian Philosophy, Satanism

To: alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc
From: (nocTifer)
Subject: Setian Philosophy, Satanism (was Re: YOU HATE AQUINO )
Date: 5 May 1997 16:24:23 -0700

49970505 AA1  Hail Satan!  NULatix!

Mr. Aquino (Xeper) quotes three personal correspondence with Mr. Willson.
I am both inquiring further below and archiving text for future reference.

(1) (Adam D. Willson):
#> the original quote by LaVey as to give the readers of 
#> alt.satanism the context behind the statement.... Redbeard's work). (Xeper) apparently references his _Church of Satan_:
# ...Anton's first two lines in that section are: "My evidence indicates
# that Jack London wrote _MIR_. If he didn't, he thought enough of it
# to transcribe it."....

[NOTE: MIR-> "Might is Right", 
		within the TOKUS 'Smackers' Compilation at: ]

thank you for making this very clear.  I didn't see the original posts.

#> Don't you think equivocating Setianism & Satanism as being one in 
#> the same is unfair?  For one thing most Satanists aren't members 
#> of the T/S, for another many of those find the philosophies of 
#> LaVeyan Satanism & Setianism to be opposed on many key doctrines.
# I think {and have said this many times} that Satanism is a Judaeo/Christian
# corruption/degeneration of the Setian philosophy {I don't call it 
# "Setianism"}.

VERY interesting.  thank you for making this clear also.  'Setianism'
is now an apparent bygone term in your lexicon.  so could you point
to the exact point where the Judeochristians got hold of Setian
philosophy materials and changed these, historically?  I have seldom
heard such a distinct and specific claim made as relates Setian ideas
and modern Western religion.  from what do you draw your historical 
basis for your Setian philosphy?  thanks.

# Persons who limit themselves to the anti-J/C iconography & mythology of
# Satanism thereby limit the universe in which they move: This was a lesson
# we learned in the original 66-75 Church.

I think there is a LOT of value in this argument, and it is probably the
reason that many Satanists draw from outside the Judeochristian religious
paradigm and artwork in order to bolster their religious vehicle (as from
the Romantic poets, for example, even from Milton, whom Christians liked,
though I find too tragic).

# The Temple of Set considers itself the sacred vehicle of the Prince of
# Darkness, not "just one of many clubs with an interest in Satanism 
# themes". 

and so what does 'the Prince of Darkness' include?  Mr. Webb has 
indicated that there is no historical connection between Set
and Satan.  the rudimentary research I have heretofore conducted 
(Russell, The Devil) indicates something similar, though this should 
be no surprise given his attitude toward modern Satanism and the 
Temple of Set (I'll get into that later in another post).  

what type of mythotypal methodology are you using to discern what
entities are and are not part of the Prince of Darkness' tradition?
is Ahriman, for example, part of this?

# ...the Temple of Set ...considers this religion to be exclusively 
# under its trust and guardianship. The Church of Satan took a
# similar position 1966-75.

I'm losing you, Mr. Aquino.  if it is a religion, what is it called?
you are calling it 'Satanism'?  or 'Setianism'?  

# Clearly this is not going to prevent nonSetians from claiming to be
# Satanists, or other groups (like the post-75 "Church of Satan") 
# from claiming to be Satanic.

I still see the 'Setian'/'Satanist' linguistic in your text.  perhaps
you are only recently coming to this idea?  I remember previously you
were considering very carefully whether Setians were Satanists at all.

Mr. Webb appears to be saying that 'Setians and Satanists 
(distinguishing the two) have common interests and objects of focus
as regards Set and Satan (esp. as they are rebels against injustice,
a development Promethean within Shelley's _Prometheus Unbound_ and 
the works of many others).

# ...we consider "being Setian/Satanic" a function of the *individual* 
# and not of a mass/organization....

I got that impression from CoSatanist texts also (that 'Satanism' is
not a function of membership).

#>  divine commandment theory (Infernal Mandate),
# The "Infernal Mandate" dates at least from Anton LaVey's own claim of it
# in his "Phase IV Message" (9/27/74), which he authored under his "John
# Kincaid" pseudonym: "When the High Priest accepted the Infernal Mandate
# to assume his office ...", and abundantly previous to that in personal
# conversation - to say nothing of formal rituals in which he presided. In
# In a 1991 interview I asked Mr. Edward Webber (founding member of the
# CoS, mentioned in the 1968 film _Satanis_): "Since 1975 Anton LaVey has
# insisted that he never believed in the existence of an actual Devil or
# Satan - that 'Satan' was only a symbol of metaphor. Was this true when 
# you knew him?" Weber: "Not at all. He was quite definite that he did 
# believe in Satan.  This was exactly what made the concept of a Church 
# of Satan so fascinating."

so it appears that (no surprise, perhaps) LaVey's ideas on Satan have
changed over time.  thank you for making this clear.  I have noticed a
tendency for many expositors of religious and anti-religious organizations
to revise their ideations and sometimes to project these into past so as
to promote an illusion of their historical consistency.  perhaps this
relates to the title 'Father of Lies'. :>  

#> Most of what the T/S has _taken_ originated with the C/S 
#> (or at least what originally started out with during the 
#> formatory period of the T/S).
# When the Temple of Set was founded, we considered it then, as now, to be
# the legitimate continuation/evolution of the 1966-75 Church of Satan.

this has been made clear countless times and I'm sure that Mr. Willson
has heard the same from you or others.  like the many other 
factionalizing religious, you and the other CoSatanists differ in your 
interpretation of your Infernal Mandate and its relationship to your 
Religious Identity.  thanks for explaining.

# ...the best features of the old Church, including reviving many (such 
# as the InterCommunication Roster)....

could you say more about what this ICR is?

# ...added plenty of new features that the Church never had....

great!  if you would like to say something more about what these are,
it would be appreciated.


gs08adw@panther.Gsu.EDU (Adam D. Willson)
#>  So he does leave open the possibility of London _transcribing_ it.
# For which there is no evidence to date either.

and that is different than AUTHORING IT.

#> your post ...shows that London _probably_ did not write it....

until we have evidence other than LaVey's word on the matter, I shall
omit further discussion on this topic from my own posts. ;>

[lots of snippage]

[apparently over the last 2000 years:]
# Within this climate many of the aspects of Set are symbolized in religious
# imagery by the *positive* attributes of the J/C Satan. While Judaism,
# Christianity, and Islam created their "Satan" distortion of the Set _neter_
# of ancient Egypt in order to fashion an "evil scarecrow" to intimidate and
# control their societies, 

what convinces you that they did not actually believe in Satan themselves?

# they could not help endowing "Satan" with such Setian attributes as 
# independence, creativity, honesty, artistry, and intellectual genius 
# - as these *same* attributes, except in severely controlled
# and approved forms, are "sins against God" in J/C/I cultures.

my understanding (though minimal) is that most Jews and Muslims
do not attribute Satan the qualities you mention.  some Christians,
and a great many atheists (whether optimist, or some other variation,
such as the natural mystics like Blake) appear to have attributed the
qualities you mention to Satan, but these were not within the Western
religious traditions you mentioned.  could you provide examples?

# Therefore many persons of Setian disposition and potential first 
# become aware of their true nature through an unusual interest in 
# and attraction to "Satan" and Satanic imagery. Hence it is 
# sometimes necessary to use the "Satanic" metaphor to initially 
# communicate with J/C-socialized individuals concerning the Setian
# interests and capabilities they are otherwise incapable of expressing.

and you are claiming that Set was the ONLY deity upon which the
Judeochristian tradition has based its anti-god?  are you aware
of no other deities associated with the origins of the Christian
Devil?  I ask because of your previous comments about historical
influences.  what you say makes a great deal of sense to me.  it
also strikes me that you have different motivations than others
who may have been at similar enterprise with differing understanding.

# Once such persons understand a little more what they are actually 
# awakening in themselves, they are more easily able to recognize 
# and jettison the entire cage of J/C reference-points, then enter 
# a much larger universe of thought & being as Setians.

I see, so you are making possible the conversion of Satanists (as 
they might self-identify) to Setian philosophy by virtue of your 
understanding of its psychospiritual reflection in the character of
the Christian anti-god.  correct me if I err, please.

#> Satanism being derivative from Setianism, the burden of proof is
#> on the ToS to back up this assertion.
# More precisely: a crude corruption and distant echo of the original 
# Setian philosophy. 

do you have a reading list as far as historical associations you are
making wrt Set/Seth/Sutekh/whatever you'd like to call him/it/this _neter_?
my studies thus far indicate little evidence to support you, so I presume
you would recommend we be skeptical, reviewing your sources prior to
presuming your expressions are accurate, yes?

# If a person will not take the time & invest the effort to affiliate 
# at the "mutual evaluation" Setian I* level, however, we see no 
# responsibility to spoon-feed him anything.

I hope you are not here including academic sources on your more outlandish
claims.  it would be nice to see where you're drawing your backing.

[omitting Mr. Willson's awkward terminological usage surrounding 'Satanism']

#> Sacred office? The decision was/is Dr. LaVey's, he decided who he 
#> wanted to represent the C/S, & being his organization it's his 
#> right to say what counts as valuable contributions to that organization.
# In that case he would not have been Satan's High Priest, but his own; and
# the name of the organization should have been the "Church of Anton", not
# Satan.

it does appear at present that the LaVeyan CoSatanists associate with an
interpretation of 'Satan' which makes such 'priesthood' not a function
of any particular deity, but defined as a state of consciousness or
maturity, in some measure similar to what I have seen of occult orders,
though usually associated AFTER the fact, having been demonstrated to
those who hand such titles out (presumably Mr. LaVey, and thus his
standards and the applicability of them will range according to his
perceptiveness).  this also appears similar to your own expressions,
though perhaps the medium of assessment is different.

# Nor was the Priesthood of Mendes ever previously conferred on the 
# basis of "valuable contributions to that organization", but 
# *exclusively* according to the evident initiatory being of the 
# individual as a true consecrated Priest or Priestess of the 
# Prince of Darkness. Gifts and contributions to the Church,
# or to the LaVeys personally, had *never* been confused with the
# Priesthood, or with any other degree-decision. And there were 
# plenty of such gifts over the years. Those who gave them would 
# have been extremely taken aback had they been given a "priesthood" 
# as a "thank you".

I think it was well-disclosed in several published documents that
Mr. LaVey *changed his policy on this* (regardless of whether he had,
as he likes to claim, it in mind all along).  we now understand that
the method of conferment and even the *meaning* of 'priesthood'
between the LaVeyan and Setian CoSatanists are different.  thanks.

# Edward Webber has a long and fascinating career as a P/R agent, which is
# how he first encountered Anton & Diane. He's the one who arranged to
# formalize the Church of Satan from the informal "Magic Circle" which Anton
# was conducting pre-66, the one who introduced Anton to Jayne Mansfield,
# and so on. There is a long and detailed interview with him in _COS_.

# There is ...a difference between Fundamentalist creationism and the Setian
# hypothesis that our _psyche_ *alone* is non-natural. This concept of the
# non-natural, immortal soul, _psyche_, or _ba_ dates back to the great
# initiates of antiquity. Indeed the Egyptian analysis of this is far more
# complex than even the _ba_, as Magus Don Webb has pointed out in his 
# research.
thanks for the information and references.  I leave them in for archiving.

# All of which says that there is nothing in place like the ICR at all, 
# but that this cover-story [apparently S.I.N.] fools people who join 
# into thinking that there is, and that if they don't see any sign of 
# it, it must be because of their own inadequacy somehow.

again, please say something about the function of the ICR, thanks.

#> Do you think that the influence was direct or indirect? Why not other pre
#> & non J/C/I cultures? Why Setianism? Offhand I could pick up a few
#> religions that would've been easy dead ringers for Satan other than
#> Setianism.
# Both. The topic of cross-fertilization of ancient religions is again vast.
# For an interesting discussion of the roots of J/C, cf. John Romer,
# _Testament: The Bible and History_ (NY: Henry Holt, 1988). There
# is also a superb companion videocassette series, but rather pricey.

I'll presume this a response to my request for sources on Set unless I
hear otherwise, thanks.

# Necessarily _COS_ is a personal memoir insofar as it contains material
# that passed in front of my eyes. Nevertheless you must remember during 
# the 1971-75 period in particular - the time of the Church's expansion 
# beyond the San Francisco group to a national organization - I was 
# pretty much the clearing-house for all of the intercommunication. 
# Anton & Diane had no background in that kind of thing, while I had 
# many years' experience administering widespread nonprofit 
# organizations. People tended to contact me first, or at least cc 
# me on reports, letters of import, etc.
# This is not to say that the LaVeys did nothing. As _COS_ also 
# evidences, they were very actively interested and involved with the 
# development of the Church, standards for the degrees & Priesthood, etc.... 

# ...the Satan of the Priesthood and Church of Satan, ...was the acme 
# of virtue in its highest sense. What was the _Satanic Bible_ if not 
# a condemnation, satire, and expose' of the viciousness and hypocrisy 
# of non-Satanic institutions and behavior? It is a philosophical
# laxative, if you will. After it has had its effect, the challenge is to
# build the new: the virtuous and nonhypocritical - in its place, and 
# *that* was what the Church of Satan was all about ... and that is 
# what it has continued to be in its metamorphosis into the Temple 
# of Set in 1975, frankly.

so it does seem that you have an entirely different perception of Satan, 
not just that of the Judeochristian faiths, not that of the LaVeyan
CoSatanists, but your own Setian CoSatanist ideals.  if these are any
different than those you ascribe to Set, I'd love to hear about them.

# To see Satan as we saw him, I might refer you to Milton's _Paradise 
# Lost_, wherein he is precisely that noble figure who, impatient 
# with the imperfections of Heaven, chose the rocky road to build 
# something different and better, even with all the odds stacked 
# against him. Epics like that, like Blake, etc.  are supposedly from 
# the premise that Satan is, or becomes, "evil". Yet what he *really* 
# is and represents shines through the tarnish anyway.

I'm unsure if many would ascribe the characterization of 'noble
figure' to Milton's Satan: one who parodies the God, engages
incestuous relations with his daughter, Sin, thereby generating
Death, their child, who rapes her and progenates a monstrous
brood.  I don't know why we'd consider him noble while refusing
to admit his utter powerlessness when pitted against Milton's
Father and Son (let alone Adam).  I find it difficult, with but
a brief glance at this work, to really take its Satan as
heroic in any but the most superficial way.  majestic maybe,
tragic certainly.

# As in the Temple of Set, the Priesthood of Mendes was *essentially* 
# an initiatory state of being, not a job description. One's actions 
# as a Priest were indeed important, and certainly reflected 
# contributions to other Satanists and the Church generally - but the 
# cart was never placed before the horse.

thanks for your reflections.  if any know something historical about
'Mendes', how and why Levi and others have related this to a goat,
and thereafter to Baphomet, please explain.

re: Infernal Mandate
#> I think the key is about meaning. So what if he used the word, 
#> what did he mean by it?
# The term derived from the ancient Chinese "Mandate of Heaven", which
# indicated whether the sitting Emperor was indeed sanctioned for his
# office.  This was decided in a very logical way by how the dynasty 
# and the empire appeared to be faring under his guidance.
# The Egyptian (and many other ancient societies) had a similar 
# principle, which in medieval times was stood on its head as the 
# "divine right of kings" (which supposedly meant that even creeps 
# should be allowed to stay in office).

thanks again.  archived. (nocTifer) 

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