Michael's Satanism FAQ.
This was first written in about 1995. I add to it occasionally. The last
change was on 2004.12.19.
Someone suggested that I write a Frequently Asked Questions page
on "Satanism". I have collected a few questions together and answered
them from my point of view. If you read and understand this you will
realise that writing a generic "Satanism FAQ" is impossible. I have
been as honest as I am willing to be in this. I admit, I have not
explained some things fully because I don't feel the urge to. I have
not told any outright lies though.
I shall no doubt be slated for doing this, both by Satanists and
non-Satanists but I don't care.
Although later I will claim
that Satanism has little to do with religion, it is always easiest to
start with the Bible and the arch-angel Lucifer. At this point it is easier
to assume that God exists and the Bible has some degree of truth to it.
Lucifer was, in angel terms, next to God. God is infallible and would
not have created a "broken angel" and so, it seems that Lucifer was
the closest God had to a peer when it came to chummy philosophical
chats over a cup of tea. Lucifer didn't always agree with God and in
a more famous argument thought that God was a bit off, giving man
everything he wanted and treating them like pets and should, perhaps,
be given "free will". Eventually, Lucifer offered man (or in this case,
woman) free will and the human race was cast out of Eden to live their
own free lives. In this case, the bringer of light showed man the light.
- So go on then, what is Satanist?
The word "Satan" is a descriptive term, it is not Lucifer's name. It means
"accusor". Interestingly, you won't find any bad references to Lucifer
in the bible. Lucifer as a devil rather than an accusor is an invention
of the middle ages when it was convenient to have something to pin blame
onto. A "Satanist" in the pure sense is simply someone who won't
automatically accept something because it's the way it always has been,
a "Satanist" in the pure sense is someone who will have a strong
belief in free will, a "Satanist" in the accepted sense is someone who
believes in their personal freedom to do pretty much anything they want to.
The Vatican used to employ a professional Satanist, the
"Advocatus Diaboli" or Devil's Advocate. It is their job to
represent the prosecution against the Pope in claims of Sainthood.
Interestingly, the current Pope, John Paul II, abolished that office
which has been around since 1587 and has created more
Instant-Saints than any Pope since the 16th Century including (very
controversially) Mother Theresa.
Personally, I don't believe in God in the clear cut way the Bible
presents it. The Devil is a relatively modern invention, the bad guys in
biblical times were actually false gods, and there was never any hint that
the arch-angel Lucifer was false. Lucifer's only "crime" was to tell God he
was a bit of a control freak and to give man freedom. It is interesting to
note that God sent his son to earth to preach pretty much the same thing
and to repledge man's eternal freedom.
- Do you believe in God?
- Do you worship the Devil then?
I don't worship false Gods, I don't worship the arch-angel Lucifer. In
fact, I don't worship anything or anybody. I do respect Lucifer's
courage in speaking out against God but then it would seem, so did God.
Generally, I have found most of the Christians I have ever met to be
nice and fair people. By definiton, Christians believe in the
teachings of Jesus. There can be little doubt historically that Jesus
existed (Ok, I know there is actually very little real evidence that he
did but I am trying to be nice here), whether he was the son of God or
just an inspired leader and
speaker, is another matter though. Most of what Jesus said was all
generally sound stuff. He didn't like what was happening with the
church, he spoke out against it, he attacked the temples. He taught
freedom, he asked people to listen, to think and to understand. In
fact, everything Jesus did was perfectly in fitting with Satanistic
beliefs, he was himself an excellent example of a Satanist. True
Christians who have read the teachings of Jesus and understood them
for themselves are generally nice people and good friends. People
who call themselves Christians, and instead follow the warped teachings
of Paul who went on to found the Catholic church have a rather strange
(and often completely misguided) view of what Jesus was and did.
Aaaah, thank you. I started above by mentioning Paul and the start of
the Catholic Church. Jesus spoke out against the temples and the
established church so it seems strange to me that Paul would then go
and create it all again in Jesus' name. All Churches are about power
and control; the elders of the churches want to look after their
flocks, and, at the same time, fleece them for everything they can get.
A huge amount of bad has been done in the name of various churches but
this is not a "bad things the church has done" FAQ. How people can read
the teachings of Jesus and then believe that they are not worthy to talk
to God themselves, or that only the Pope is worthy to listen to God is
beyond me. Incidentally, I don't just have a downer on the Church of
Rome... Martin Luther is often hailed as the creator of the modern
church and the person who accused (that word again, notice) the Catholic
church of speaking crap. Luther was, however, as big a control freak as
any of the corrupt popes and when the Jews didn't come to join his church
as he expected, he started a vicious and renewed wave of anti-semitism
with articles like:
The Jews and their lies.
I don't think all churches are bad, but it's very hard to find ones
- Go on then, rant a little about "The Church".
The Church Of Satan is a wonderful organisation. It is quite a shame
LeVei is dead since he was a wonderful example of Satanism in action.
I am not sure of the exact figures, but for about $100 a year your
average screwed up teenager would not only get a really cool black
membership card with a red pentagram on it but they'd also get a set of
laws to live their life by and a group of people to identify with. He
must have made a fortune out of a need to belong, and good luck to him.
- What about Churches of Satan then?
There are churches of Satan that profess to teach ritual and will
tell a new Satanist how they should act. Personally, I can't see the
point, but then I have never been in one nor seen the need to be in one.
Bunkum! And it's all written in medieval gibberish too!
- Ok, what about Satanic ritual?
To be fair, like "Christian" ritual, a lot of true "Satanic" ritual
is merely there to reinforce various beliefs for the various churches
of different types of Satanic belief. Most other Satanistic ritual was
written by the people who used "Satanism and Devil Worship" as an
excuse to burn loads of old women, you can usually spot it because it
all tends to be based on Christian things with the word "God" replaced
with "Satan" or, simply the Christian stuff spoken backwards. If you are
into this sort of thing, the only ritual I have ever thought interesting
was "Das Tierdrama" which basically takes the congregation back to animal
roots and then shows them how man's evolution makes them more than
animals. Oddly enough, such quotes as "Not to kill without eating,
that is the law, are we not men?" seem a tad odd when it tends to be
man that kills without eating rather than animals. Maybe I just don't
understand this mass, which is highly likely.
No no, I shan't be wound up... I shall not rant on and on about Wiccans either.
There are far too many different types of Pagans to say anything sensible
on this matter but, since someone mentioned Wiccans anyway, all I have to
say is that to my mind, some can be far more biggoted and closed minded than
lots of Christians I have ever met. To make matters worse with most
Pagans in general, their music is often as unbelievably dire as the gods
they worship. And why do their gods
wear such awful clothes? At least Egyptian ones dress well! There see, I
didn't rant much, did I?
- Now don't rant, but what about Pagans?
Of course! Shoot the lot of them. Ok, ok... not all of them, but
face it, most normal people don't call themselves Atheists - Well
not most normal British people anyway, we prefer to sit safely on
the fence on such issues. Some Atheists tend to define their whole
being by the fact that they don't believe in God and then seem to
think that it is their job to ram this belief down your throat and
bore you senseless with loads of trivial crap about why there can't
be a God. It requires a great deal of devotion and belief to be
this sort of an Atheist in the same way as it takes a great deal
of devotion and belief to be a Born Again Christian.
Of course you dare! I shan't be too snide, honest. Crowley admitted
openley to writing much of his stuff to insult the intelligence of his
readers. As a poet, he made a very good member of the Plymouth Bretheren.
- Dare I ask... Crowley and Thelema?
Crowley is probably best known for "The Book of the Law". This book is
an excellent example of how the bible should have been written in that
firstly, it is incredibly short and secondly, the first "law" in the
book says that no-one should attempt to interpret this book for another
person (where would the church be if the Bible demanded that then?).
I suspect Crowley was a repressed mathematician, and this somewhat
effected his mental wellbeing. This is getting way out of the scope
of this FAQ though so go and look at
a Thelema FAQ
Thelemites believe the following things...
- Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
- Love is the law, love under will.
- Every man and every woman is a star.
I find nothing wrong with "Do what thou wilt" but personally, I have a
problem with the latter two. Maybe I should update my opinion of Crowley
to include the fact that deep down he was a big softy and a nice guy at
heart. One word of warning, never get into a discussion about numerology
with anyone who professes to be into Crowley.
Interesting question, and a hard one to answer. The obvious answer is
that Lucifer is quite a famous one, a less obvious answer, and one I
get ranted at for saying is that Jesus nearly also fits the bill of a
Satanist especially the strange ideas he had about us being sheep,
and his Father being a shepherd... When people start calling you sheep
you have to worry about their intentions. I guess it is perfectly
logical that Jesus would hold similar beliefs to Lucifer really though
when you think about it.
- Are there any famous Satanists?
On a more serious note, pretty much anyone who is famous for having
beliefs that went against the norm and was willing to speak out.
Leonardo Da Vinci fit this well though he was so scared of the death
penalty that his "speaking out" is still only recently coming to light.
There has been a lot of critical examination of his works with the aim of
showing he was deliberately speaking out against the church (see
especially Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince's book "The Templar
Revelation") but Da Vinci was still a brilliant scientist and hardly
any of his inventions and thoughts were overly compatible with the age.
In some ways, it is a shame that Leonardo lived under so much control
and in so much fear; the world may well have been very different if that
were not the case.
Gallaleio, Newton, Darwin, Livingstone and the Teletubbies all spring to
mind... On a more "negative" note PR wise, so do Rhodes, Hitler, Luther
Nope... You are right there but it is their right to believe that they
can enslave other people. This is where Satanism stops being quite so
nice and fluffy as libertariasm. Whilst Satanists believe firmly in
their own personal freedom they don't necessarialy believe in your
personal freedom. Without mincing words, and using medieval language
that can be taken in more than one way, Satanists believe basically
"Do what you want". Most Satanists have a deep seated contempt for
people they view as having no free will of their own and no particular
desire to help them. It has to be said that "love and respect for your
fellow man" is not a great fundamental of Satanism.
- Whooooah! Some of these people definately weren't known
for their beliefs in "personal freedom" were they?
Glad you asked. The simple answer is yes. The complicated bit is the
definition of "magic". Simply speaking, an act of magic is an act of
causing a change of state in something. I once saw an excellent article
on this somewhere but I have lost it.
Really simplifying things, if you do something directly to get a result
(like hitting someone, and making them fall down) then you have done an
act of lower magic. If you were to indirectly influence things around
you to cause someone else to hit the person and for them to fall down,
you would be performing higher magic, and the 3rd party would be a
"demon". Some people are good at "causing things to work out". Whether
they do it by direct means or some means you can't quite put your finger
on, they are still performing magic. Some people are really good at this
and should really be classed as quite powerful practitioners of the art
but a lot of them don't know they are doing it, or how they are doing it.
The mumbo jumbo of a lot of the "magical sects" is an attempt to define
means of performing this influence on the world, maybe it works, maybe
it doesn't but most of them look really silly. Carl Jung had a lot more
sense to say about this sort of thing anyway, as does the Kabbalah.
Incidentally... The mumbo-jumbo brigade will insist on mispelling the
word "magic" in an attempt to confuse things. They claim it is to
differentiate it from the art of the stage magician. Personally, I think
that good stage magicians are far better practitioners of magic than people
who dance naked around fires and wear dirty rags, but there you go!
This is a biggie...
Obviously, personal freedom is one of the major ones. I would
also say truth as well although I am an excellent liar so I can't use the
excuse that honesty is easier than lies. That story is something parents tell
kids, but it's a lie in itself, lying is almost always easier than telling
the truth and these honesty obsessed authority figures seem to have no
problems telling their kids about strange fat blokes in red suits who come
down the chimney delivering presents every Christmas.
- So what do you believe in?
Oooh, I have one... I believe in Fairies (and I don't spell it Faeries,
that seems to be like the Magic/Magick argument). People who believe in
fairies have a much easier life than the cynical buggers who don't. If
you don't believe me, try it sometime!
The symbols of Satanism are traditionally the inverted pentagram and the
inverted cross. They are both middle aged inventions but I can't see any
harm in a symbol so I opted for the inverted pentagram. I wear it mostly
to remind myself what I profess to believe in because sometimes, it's not
the easiest belief system in the world to keep.
- Why do you wear an inverted cross or an inverted pentagram?
I wear a small inverted
It was made for me, in white gold, by
Lionel Pepper. I had another one before but I gave it away.
I don't own a ring with pentagrams on it (actually, I do, but only as a
joke!). I don't own one of those huge 1 foot wide pentagrams you can
buy from Goth shops. I don't have any pentagrams tattooed to my eyelids
or whatevever. I really can't see why Pagans have a tendency to wear all
of this crud but I guess it goes with their general lack of dress sense.
One thing I never really understand is why both Christians and Pagans
have this tendancy to wear their symbols outside their clothing. They
must take a special effort to untuck it, and keep it in the right place
because most of them are on quite small chains. Very strange!
The answer to this one depends on my mood. Sometimes the answer will be
that I object to the medieval re-definition of the word into something
bad; sometimes I will say that I merely want people to assume I am
something I am not, for a quiet life. In truth, I mainly use it because
it is the proper word for what I believe though sometimes, I will
qualify it by calling myself a "philosophical Satanist". Someone once
asked me "If it is a descriptive term, then why do you capitalise it?"
I never could think up a good answer to that.
- Why use the word "Satanist" when you know people will get the wrong idea?
Telling people you are a Satanist is quite useful if you want to filter
people. If they are biggoted, and closed minded, they will just go away,
if not, they won't care less and some will even ask you a bit more about
it. I am always intrigued though by how many people think I secretly
dance around bonfires on cold dirty moors stabbing chickens or babies
(I mean, apart from anything, I would use a nailgun!).
Smelly Pagans usually avoid me at parties. If that's not a good thing
then I dunno what is!
- What do you get out of it then?
Nope. This path is one you take yourself. I am not even going to tell
you where to start. If you are interested follow some of the links on
If you are really interested, ignore them because they are mostly crap.
- Are you going to try and convert me?
A few people have asked me this... They are a Christian organisation and
I tend to agree with what they say. Simple as that.
- Why do you have a "Responsibility in free speech" link on your page?
Not sure, I have never tried it. I think for it to work properly you'd
have to use it on people in black leather jackets, purple silk clothes
and an odour of patchoulli. You may want to flash your Church of Satan
membership card and add that you are looking for virgins to stab with
your dagger too to get the full effect.
- Is "Hi baby, I am a Satanist." a good chat up line?
I want a wee, mail them to me, and I shall see if any are worth entertaining.
- I want to ask some more questions.
No, you daft gobbin. It says at the top that it is still in the draft
and proofread stage. Whether it will ever get out of that and be
published is another matter.
That is really for me to know, and for you to decide. If you have read thus
far then you will have formed some opinions of your own anyway. As you
may realise, honesty to others isn't really something Satanists hold strong
to so it is highly likely that this whole FAQ is nothing more than a
tissue of lies. Whilst it may not appear obvious why I would lie, if you
accept Satanism as the worship of the Devil then you could also accept
that I am trying to make Satanism seem clean, honourable and nice in
order to lure people into a false sense of security whilst I twist their
minds and steal their children for midnight sacrifices.
Have a nice day.