Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Problem with the Church of Satan

 Please note that this article is directed against the administration and organizational structure of the Church of Satan, not the individuals who are merely members!

I am indeed a Satanist- I believe the philosophy behind the movement to be essentially sound- to indulge and to neither bother anyone nor allow yourself to be bothered.

That being said there are some wild differences of opinion which I hold, especially with members of the actual Church of Satan, which at this point might as well just be a house-of-cards scam organization designed simply to make money, without giving anything back to the community of Satanists who joined it.


Anton LaVey: Scam Artist


For Starters, the book that LaVey made his money off of, and built his entire church around, was never original to begin with- it's a somewhat altered (but still semi-plagiaristic) version of the early 1900s tract "Might is Right" by Ragnar Redbeard. I have read both works- in many cases the Satanic Bible essentially copies entire paragraphs which Anton likely found enthralling enough to include. Most Laveyyan Satanists don't even know that the Satanic Bible they likely bought off Amazon for 50 dollars is available in a free pdf format in its original form, because the original tract is old enough not to be copyrighted.

Peter Gilmore: Chucklehead in chief


Arguably even worse is "high" priest Gilmore who currently runs the Church of Satan like a crack addict might run a meth lab (that is to say, badly.) Continuing LaVey's traditon of misleading young folks who join the organization in an attempt to find some deep meaning within the church, but then end up paying 200 dollars for a little red paper card, only to find the organization offers very little beyond the card that lets you shock your christian friends when you show it to them. You could print this same card out for 30 cents at your library and it'd be the same thing.

Boyd Rice


I'll give Boyd Rice a slight pass- after all unlike LaVey or Gilmore he's at least original enough to develop new ways to shock and displease the fundamentalist christians who irk all reasonable people- and I will admit a lot of his music is quite good- Boyd gets additional brownie points for pointing out a few years ago that people should just do what they want and not necessarily pay the big bucks to join the CoS (something which must have displeased the ever slimy Gilmore.) That being said, he's still an arrogant SOB.

Public Relations gone wrong: Peggy Nadramia


Perhaps the worst of all is the person the Church of Satan decided to put at the helm of answering emails and other correspondence- Peggy Nadramia- whose attitude towards innocent questions and queries online (and I have tried contacting the CoS several times for perfectly legitimate reasons) leaves much to be desired. People asking questions on their website will be greeted with the same palpable friendliness that's usually reserved for loan sharks who take their client to the back alley while holding a baseball bat.

As a result of the mess that is the modern CoS, I have essentially begun to regard them as a mosquito incessantly buzzing around my ear as well as the ears of others who are trying to remake Satanism as something more than a silly little scam to grab the money of teenagers and college students: Ask yourself this; if the primary goal of Satanism is to liberate oneself and use your rational mind, why would you allow yourself to be suckered into spending 200 dollars to join their little club, which offers you absolutely nothing, when you can just as easily become an independent Satanist for free- AND you won't have this gang of idiots rambling to you every time you ask a question. Some of us think Satanism can be something more than a way for a few idiots to make enough money to sit around drinking beer all day. You DO realize these folks probably laugh at every person who buys membership?

18 comments:

  1. Would you say LaVey did anything beneficial for Satanism?
    -H. Black

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  2. The only thing Anton LaVey did that was good was actually coin the term Satanism in a modern, atheistic sense, and adapted an early 1900s book to a more modern audience.

    However it would have been easy for any antitheistic individual to have done what Anton LaVey did.

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  3. He isn't as special as the fanatics make him seem.

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  4. As someone who corresponded quite extensively with LaVey back in the 1990s, I can assure you he had nothing but disdain for Gilmore and Nadramia, and would certainly never have approved of them claiming "high priesthood" or any such titles. LaVey's only contact with Gilmore was using the latter's underground zine, The Black Flame, as an advertising forum. The only legitimate continuation of LaVey's original CoS, according to his own wishes, is the First Satanic Church headed by his daughter, Karla, in San Francisco. It is worth noting that Gilmore and company, while continuing the prattle on about superior Satanic genetics, have no connection with either of Lavey's adult children (Karla and Zeena) or his grandson (Stanton).

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    Replies
    1. Yes I figured it was likely considering the internal strife within the CoS. I have spoken extensively with his daughter Zeena actually.

      Gilmore is a goofus- Anton LaVey may have been a showman/conman, but at least he had some musical talent and the ability to screw with people- Rice also as I mentioned gets a pass for at least having musical talent, and although I can't remember the source, it seems a while back he basically told people not to bother with organizations like the CoS and to do whatever they want.

      I have had contact with the First Satanic Church- while I disagree still with some of their tenets, they do seem more reasonable, however I have somewhat left the label "Satanist" behind myself and now lean more towards paganism and general occultism.

      Nadramia is hilarious though, her responses to legitimate email queries usually involved many insults, which since she is their public relations may explain the slow degradation of the CoS.

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  7. Boyd Rice also gets points for recently having formally renounced the CoS in its current form on his website and declaring it "dead".

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  8. If you want to read his statement it's in his News section. Scroll about halfway down.

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