Posts Tagged ‘satanic panic’

On the church after Anton LaVey

Dec
5
David Shankbone interviews Peter Gilmore on Church after Anton LaVey

David Shankbone: Does the Church of Satan have relationships with other churches?

Peter Gilmore: Not at all. We’re not ecumenical.

David Shankbone: It would seem there are pagans or humanist religions that follow your general philosophy.

Peter Gilmore: I wouldn’t say that. Most pagan religions are theistic on one level or another. They generally think their deities exist in some part. We don’t believe Satan exists as a deity. I think there are some pagans who may look at their Gods and Goddesses as archetypes only, and in that sense that would be closer to our position because you can look at the symbol of Satan as an archetype. But, we generally don’t feel we have any relation to any kind of religious organization.

David Shankbone: What is the membership numbers for the Church of Satan?

Peter Gilmore: We never give out numbers. The reason for that our founder came up with and I agree with him and keep to his policy: if people think there are too few of us, they tend to not want to take us seriously. If they think there are too many of us, they think we’re a threat. There was even a point back during the Satanic Panic in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when there was governmental legislation proposed to ban Satanism because they thought there were all these metal heads out there sacrificing babies, doing drugs and making child pornography. Of course, now we know, it was mostly people who were borderline Christian evangelists pretending, but then accusing their own family members and getting them put in jail, or acting as therapists and most of those people have been sued and properly censured since then.

David Shankbone: Has the church thrived after LaVey’s passing?

Peter Gilmore: It has. Partially because we are taking advantage of technology with the Internet and global media; our website gets hundreds of thousands of hits a day and literature keeps getting translated into many different languages the world over. My own book, The Satanic Scriptures, the hardcover came out in April and the paperback is coming out this month. I’ve already got five different languages coming out and I’m negotiating for others. We are thriving, we have many members.

David Shankbone: What is your book about?

Peter Gilmore: It’s a collection of my essays I’ve written over the past twenty years talking about Satanic philosophy, how it’s applied. I talk about music since I am by training a composer; I went to NYU. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s in music composition, mostly focusing on orchestral work. One conception in the book I wanted to dispel is the stereotype that Satanism is always associated with Metal and the cookie monster voice. That's Satanism? No.

David Shankbone: It’s not all Gene Loves Jezebel sounding.

Peter Gilmore: No. Satanic music is specific to each person. So to me, Satanic music is the symphony, which to me is the highest art form. So Beethoven, Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich — to me that’s some of the most Satanic music ever written because the architecture is there, the expressivity is there; the reflection on the human condition is all present and it’s not idealistic. It’s mostly questioning or showing what a human is capable of doing. And I love architecture. Cathedrals are wonderful. I have no hatred of those because they are put to religious use. They have symbols on them, but I know those are just symbols. I love skyscrapers too.

Dumb Ideas about saying Hail Satan

May
3
Reputation

Some of those who believe in backward masking, along with some fundamentalist Christians, believe messages such "Hail Satan" may subliminally inspire people to do evil, a view which may have received some reinforcement when the phrase was used as part of the vandalizing of churches, however its use then may have been the expression of a general anti-religious sentiment indicated by its use along with slogans such as "Think, don't Pray." Vandalism accompanying it may include the anarchy symbol or other slogans intended to shock, such as racial slurs. It may accompany symbols such as a swastika, pentagram or inverted cross. Such vandalism is usually by rebellious young people rather than Satanists, whose activities are not often criminal.

Rick Ross, whose work involves studying cults, referred to the murder trial of Scott Peterson, in which the defense made the claim that the killings were by a "Satanic cult" rather than the defendant. Ross called this a ridiculous manifestation of the Satanic panic, referred to it as a "Hail Satan Pass," similar to the Hail Mary pass in football, a desperate and unlikely attempt.

What are Satanic holidays?

Nov
24
Christian authors have written dozens of anti-Satanic books with lists of Satanic Ritual Days. According to the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, in some cases the authors appear to reference the works of other conservative Christian writers. Few people, and many satanists, appear to lack major direct knowledge of Satanism and all show a general lack of familiarization with the religion. In The Edge of Evil "Grand High Climax" is said to be a major holiday celebrated by Satanists on December 24. Evangelical Christian author Jerry Johnston says in this book that it is a celebration meant to juxtapose the Christian holiday of Christmas Eve, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated. However this goal to blaspheme is not always prevalent. He claims that Grand High Climax is traditionally celebrated with a Black Mass, followed by great excesses of food, drink, sex, and merriment, but a rite called "Grand High Climax", and the details of the activities involved, is not a rite acknowledged by all Satanic groups. It was once part of the Satanic panic and beliefs about the Witches' Sabbath. The most important holiday in Satanism is one's own birthday, as it is the birthdate of one's own god. This is a reminder that the Satanist, committed to true "vital existence", should consider himself (or herself) the most important person in his own life. LaVey recommends that a Satanist celebrate his own birthday in any way he chooses, with as much pomp and ceremony as he sees fit. The Satanic celebration of one's birthday can thus be seen as something of a "Black Mass", by redirecting to oneself the sanctimony and celebration typically reserved for the many "high holy days" commemorating the births of key gods or saints in other religions. Three Satanic holidays are named by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible but are not considered sacred. One among these holidays is Walpurgisnacht, which in addition to the occult significance the date carries, also marks the formation of the Church of Satan in the year 1966, or I A. S. (Anno Satanas, "In the year of Satan"). This date is commonly celebrated by Satanists with private or group rituals, and private parties or family celebrations to commemorate the foundation of the Church of Satan. LaVey also mentions the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and fall equinoxes as lesser holidays. These are likewise often celebrated by ritual or private party. However, they are sometimes also used to substitute popular holidays that Satanists wish to avoid imparting a Christian overtone to but still wish to celebrate in some form. Halloween is very commonly celebrated by Satanists, but typically there is far less occult significance attached to the date by Satanists than the public might imagine. Halloween is a popular date for both private and group ritual ceremonies, but also a popular date for Satanists to hold private parties for no other purpose than to enjoy the dark fun that is commonly celebrated on that date by the public at large. If anything, Satanists seem to take a sense of irony and humor in the holiday.[citation needed] Satanism does not specifically forbid the celebration of any holidays or festivals held by other cultures or even other religions. Entirely secular holidays are commonly celebrated by Satanists either for personal reasons or merely as an excuse to have a good time. It is not entirely uncommon for Satanists to even celebrate overtly Christian holidays such as Christmas, though the religious trappings are generally stripped from the holiday, secularizing it. Many Satanists, however, either transfer such holidays as Christmas to the Winter Solstice and either place a darker spin on it or secularize it entirely, or decline to celebrate such holidays altogether. Of recent note, June 6th, 2006 marked a Satanic High Mass in Hollywood, California by the Church of Satan. This celebration was by invitation only and limited to 100 attendees, and was held in large part to mock the superstitious fear of the date by the public. The date 06/06/06 does not hold special religious significance in Satanism, nor does the number 666. The event was documented, and many members of the Church of Satan were interviewed, by the BBC with permission.

Satanism: An interview with Church of Satan High Priest Peter Gilmore

Nov
15
On a windy October day in Central Park, Monday, November 5, 2007, Wikinews reporter David Shankbone sat down with the High Priest of the Church, Peter H. Gilmore, who has led LaVey's congregation of Satanists since his passing in 1997 (he became the High Priest in 2001). They discussed the beliefs of the Church, current events, LaVey's children and how Satanism applies to life and the world. In the 1980's and the 1990's there were multiple allegations of sexual abuse in the context of Satanic rituals that has come to be known as The Satanic Panic. In the United States, the Kern County abuse cases, McMartin trial and the West Memphis 3 cases garnered worldwide media coverage. One case took place in Jordan, Minnesota, where horrible allegations were made, at which point the Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted. Twenty-four adults were arrested and charged with acts of multiple crimes related to satanic ritual abuse; only three went to trial with two acquittals and one conviction. Supreme Court Justice Scalia noted in a discussion of the case, "[t]here is no doubt that some sexual abuse took place in Jordan; but there is no reason to believe it was as widespread as charged," and cited the repeated, coercive techniques used by the investigators as damaging to the investigation. One of the most visible Satanic organizations—though one that was never a suspect or charged in any of the Satanic Panic cases—is the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey. Members of the Church, such as Peter H. Gilmore, Peggy Nadramia, Boyd Rice, Adam Parfrey, Diabolos Rex, and musician King Diamond, were active in media appearances to refute allegations of criminal activity and the FBI would later issue an official report debunking the criminal conspiracy theories of this time. Gilmore feels Satanists are often misunderstood or misrepresented. LaVey's teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and "eye for an eye" morality, with influence from Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand; while its rituals and magic draw heavily from occultists such as Aleister Crowley. They do not worship—nor believe in—the Devil or a Christian notion of Satan. The word "Satan" comes from the Hebrew word for "adversary" and originated from the Abrahamic faiths, being traditionally applied to an angel. Church of Satan adherents see themselves as truth-seekers, adversaries and skeptics of the religious world around them.