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What Do Satanists Believe In?


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Ian Topham
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I once knew an investigator who looked into Satantic Child Abuse, a subject matter I have never been involved in nor have any wish to be. It is a matter for Social Services, not paranormal investigators.

He did say that he had spoken to some Satanists and discussed their beliefs. He told me that they considered Satan as Earths manager under God. Satan offered the Earth to Christ, how could he do this if it wasn't his to offer. Now if your in an organisation you don't just go to the top man or Company Director, you would go through your line manager. Therefore to get to God they go through Satan, Earth Deapartment Manager.

I know I haven't described it very well and I hope I haven't trod any belief systems here. Is this right, it it a fair basic assessment of Satantic doctrine?

Mauro
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What Do Satanists Believe In?

On the matter I cannot recommend the two following books highly enough:
"Speak of the Devil" by Jean La Fontaine
"Lure of the Sinister" by Gareth Medway

Professor La Fontaine tried to get to the bottom of the whole Satanic abuse matter and found it out, not unsurpringsly, to be a vast fraud. While child abuse is very real, "satanic cults" have nothing to do with it. It has often more to do with overzealous social workers, mentally disturbed parents and American satanic abuse literature.
Mister Medway is a "pagan" (he belongs to The Fellowship of Isis) who used his occult connections to write down an history of Satanism, including a large section on alleged satanic crimes. His book is magnificently written and it's a very good read indeed.

I probed personally the belief of the two largest "satanic" cults, the Church of Satan and the Temple of Seth (founded by Colonel Aquino, a former Church of Satan member) and I found them to be quite confused and, to be honest, quite boring. They are all about "ego" and "empowering oneself": they do not seem to include blood sacrifices, profanations or anything remotely illegal. I think that if someone joined either of them hoping for trasgressions, sex and drugs, he/she would be quite disappointed. In fact apart from the "Satan" name and the use of satanic images and paraphernalia they do not differ that much from many other occult sects. Proof is that ever since the charismatic Church of Satan founder, Anton LaVey, died, they have been steadily shrinking in numbers.

If you really want to become dazed and confused (sorry for the pun) you need to read either "The Satanic Bible" by LaVey or "The Book of Coming Forth by Night" by Aquino.
LaVey always mantained that he wrote by book all by himself because he believed ritualistic magic to be "too Christian" while Aquino claimed the book was given to him by Satan himself (through automatic writing), who wanted to be known by his true name of Set from then on.
Both cults have always been extremely law-abiding: LaVey always forbade his followers even the pettiest crime and set the example himself. Despite his "Satanic" looks and flamboyant personality the only time he was summoned in court was an hearing related to his divorce. Aquino, while serving in the US Army, was not so lucky. He was accused (together with his wife and other high ranking officers) to be part of a child-molesting circle practicing Satanic rituals in an Army daycare center. He got lucky since the main accuser was soon discovered to be a mentally-disturbed woman and his superiors always stood by him. Others (like the McMartin family) have not been so lucky.
Apart from these men and their followers, who take Satanism seriously and religiously, there are other smaller cults, like the British based Order of the Nine Angles, many "freelance" Satanists and many more dabblers.
Their beliefs are many and varied: men like LaVey and Aquino take Satan to be a way through which the "ego" can be flattened and empowered. Others strive to find a way to summon demons and either make a covenant with them or bend them to do their biddings through ritualistic magic. Others still think that the Christian God is the "bad guy" while Satan is the "good guy" and carry out a parody of Christianity. Others still (mainly dabblers) embrace a very superficial form of Satanism for its "shock" value. They dress in black, draw "666" and "Hail Satan!" on the walls, they pretend to listen to Black Metal, talk about "burning churches" and "holding rituals" etc. According to a few occultists I've heard "casual" or "weekend" Satanists are by far the most dangerous of the lot.
All in all Satanism is not an homogenous phenomenon and there isn't a common doctrine. Even inside organizations like the Church of Satan many believers hold very personal views which do not reflect the official doctrine.

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"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Ian Topham
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What Do Satanists Believe In?

Thanks Mauro I’ll try to get hold of some of those books. I have looked into Wicca, Druidism, adhoc systems and the Qabbalah, putting quite a nice library on the subjects together, but never really gave Satanism any notice. As you say it would appear there is no real central doctrine and there are a lot of groups doing their own thing.

Mauro
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What Do Satanists Believe In?

As I said both the Satanic Bible and Aquino's book are weird in the extreme, so weird in fact that I would recommend them only to somebody who needs to the source material.
I had a look at LaFontaine's and Medway's books and they've become bloody expensive (you don't want to know how much my Vallee and Heuvelmans collection is priced nowaday...).
Medway's book is highly recommended and well worth the high price attached. Lafontaine's book is good but strongly recommended only to someone wishing to dwell into the Satanic abuse theme.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Urisk
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What Do Satanists Believe In?

As far as I'm aware, the simplest explanation of Satanism isn't worshiping the devil, but taking control of your own life instead of entrusting it to the faith of a higher deity. Seems more like some sort of humanistic cult rather than any association with a big red dude with pointy tail and horns.

I think it's romanticised in literature and the media, but really they're getting mixed up with true occult cults such as those of Yog Sothoth and the Cult of Dagon (at least most prevalent on the N. E. coast of America)

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Agricola
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There was a good documentary

There was a good documentary on a year or two ago focussing on the Orkney incident and contained some good interview with Fontaine - certainly an interesting insight into over zealous social workers, small communities and auto-suggestion. From what I remember, there was some good theories which could have been applied to abductees who were regressed. Think it was on BBC2 or possible C4.

steve_ash
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 Fascinating analysis

 Fascinating analysis, I know Gareth and have heard a couple of his talks on this. I'd concur with everything Mauro said about Le Vey and Aquino, who are basically the Ayn Rands of the Occult world. As a lover of labels however I'd apply to them the term I've occassionally heard used, 'Neo-Satanists'. The Church of Satan seems to be the secular branch and the Temple of Set the occult branch (in that they practise magic more and actually believe in Satan as some egoic manifestation that they wrongly term Set). But I agree there is great diversity within these groups which sometimes diverts significantly from their founders views.

I think Traditional Satanists can be similarly classified, with good existing terms for each one,
 
the Classical Satanist, is in reality the anti-Christian, historically they have been defrocked or rejected priests, Catholics who suddenly reject their faith due to some disillussioning event, or the rebellious children of pious Christian parents . Its form is usually a simple inversion of Catholicism and 'blasphemous rites' . In practise it appears to be an excuse for some repressed people to get their rocks off, and usually just seems comical to most observers. A few may be pathological but most are probably harmless (despite sensational tales of horror that occassionally get circulated). Some people believe Montague Summers, the writer on the Black Mass and Vampirism was a secret Classical Satanist, (whom Dennis Wheatley once met and was inspired by)  with some evidence, and so his books have become essential reading, along with the similarly comical Marquis de Sade,  for what might be termed Gothic Satanists of a variety of hues (most often in the harmlessly, ritualised context of certain kinky subcultures best not mentioned!).                                                                                                                                            
In many ways the Neo-Satanists could be seen as a 'Rational Humanist' offshoot of the Classical Satanist, in the same way Secular Humanists are an offshoot of Christianity, and the Gothic Satanist a parody of Classical Satanism, in a world where the original form is rarely taken seriously anymore.                                  
 
(There are entertaining conspiracy theories that Classical Satanists even exist in the Vatican amongst 'corrupt churchmen', often based on the 'novels' of ex Jesuit Malachi Martin. But this seems to be just a peculiar variety of the more familar theories of right wing and fundamentalist fantasists in search of meaning in the face of religious and clerical  trends they oppose).

the Luciferian is really the best term for a Gnostic Satanist, these are the ones who believe God is evil and Lucifer, the rebel angel is therefore good. These are hardly Satanists in the popular sense, as they are essentially benign Gnostics who have adopted a Luciferian mythos, often by virtue of Gothic Romantic tastes. The works of the likes of Baudelaire would be essential reading here. I'd recommend the chapter on this in Gary Lachman's 'A Dark Muse' as a good intro (he also covers some of the more sensational medieval tales of Classical Satanists).

Devil Worship is often seen as a form of Satanism, but judging from those I've spoken to in Witchcraft circles they are closer to dual faith Pagans, and so this might be better called Satanic Witchcraft.  Their belief is similar to that outlined by Ian above, which is really just a matter of accepting the Christian slander that  the 'horned god' was the Devil in the way other slurs are recuperated by minority groups and creating a combined Pagan-Christian theology. Its ethics seem idiosyncratic to each individual practioner.

Diabolism is a better term sometime used for those who work with Grimoires and make magical pacts with demons for personal gain. Satan makes an appearance here solely as the chairman of the board.

'Shook Satanism' is really just an adolescent life styleism at best and at worst a rationalisation of pathology. I wouldn't class it as a sect at all, in the sense that the others can be, merely a set of ideas taken off the peg.

Of course like all classifications thats all no doubt a simplification as its certainly true these sects are aware of each other and adopt each others ideas in the melting pot of Satanism.

I agree with Mauro that most of this seems quite boring. 

 

  
 

steve_ash
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 Though as a member of

 Though as a member of Esoteric Order of Dagon myself, I'd like to dissociate it from any Satanic or Black Magic connections! Its more a form of Chaos Magic than anything else.

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Ian Topham
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I know the Esoteric Order of

I know the Esoteric Order of Dagon isn't anything to do with Satanism :).  I did pick up one of their booklets once which included a ritual for summoning Cthulhu.  I take it they are heavily influenced by the works of Lovecraft.

Englishpsychic
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Re: What Do Satanists Believe In?

 As far as I know, the reputation of the Satanists have been wrecked by Christians. Satanism originated as a natural protest against Christian atrocities against human kind. The Satanists believe in the power of the human soul. They believe in the dignity of the self. They love themselves and the biggest festival for any Satanist is his/her own birthday. 

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jordanbenidict
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Re: What Do Satanists Believe In?

i have studied wicca beliefs and greek mythology i may only be 11 but i know alot about the paranormal enough probably to write three books druidism i think is a very mystic religion.

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