Because Anton LaVey has made Satanism so popular, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. If you’re new to the Realm of Darkness, suddenly feeling the fires of Satan burning within you, be warned: there are unethical individuals out there who will prey upon you, claim to teach you how to become a Great Black Magician overnight, who will promise instructional fellowship and activities with “True Masters,” who may claim unverifiable links with the Church of Satan or other such lineage. Save your money. Here’s a tip sheet to recognize pseudo- and anti-Satanic groups that have sprouted up since LaVey started the original Church of Satan.
- When someone claims to have a direct line of communication with Satan, watch out. Selling that kind of mysticism is exactly how Christianity has kept people enslaved in ignorance for centuries. It’s one of the things we’re fighting against.
- Look out for jargon and secrets to which only the “initiated” can be privy. Once you’re processed through the lengthy and strictly-enforced “degree” system, you’ll discover there are really no answers, just more gobbledygook. If they have something worthwhile to say, they’ll say it. If they don’t, they’ll pretend they do anyway.
- Check the copyright date. Much of the esoterica you may receive from supposed Masters as “wisdom” or “revelation” comes directly from Anton LaVey, The Church of Satan or our affiliates. Don’t accept the inducements you may receive as emanating from some great brain, when they most likely were cribbed from material released by us weeks, months or years ago. If mainstream writers crib material daily, it can be expected that occultnik hacks would be the first to do likewise. The difference between legit writers doing it and Daimon Oleaginous doing it is that the “Daimon” sprinkles his articles with sour-grapes attacks on the Church of Satan while stealing from us. That’s Christianity–tearing down the “other guys,” who don’t have the “true message.” It boils down to more parasitism; without us these ersatz Satanists would shrivel up and blow away.
- The most parasitic “Satanic” newsletters invariably contain a liberal dose of LaVey-baiting. Their editors’ masochistic requirements are exercised as “lively exchange.” Their mainstay is often the reprinting of any letter, pro or con, from anyone capable of grasping a writing implement or poking at a computer or typewriter key. When responding to such transparent tactics, it’s our policy to preface rebuttals with two acknowledgements: A) “I know you’re a masochist and delight in hostile banter,” and B) “Anything I write or say to you will keep you going for another six months.” The Satanic Bible advises us to “question all things”–but it helps to able to think, first.
- Most pseudo-Satanic groups are short-lived, running out of money, enthusiasm or suckers before too long. An easier game comes along and they’re off in a new direction.
- How do they deal with Anton LaVey and The Church of Satan? This is tricky–some current groups play the Christian game of handing out laurels with one hand while stabbing their progenitors in the back with the other. Others aren’t so subtle, boldly claiming to be the “true” or “evolved” Church of Satan. To make their rationale work, they must somehow convince you that the author of The Satanic Bible isn’t praticing pure Satanism and their brand is the straight stuff. Still others just ignore Anton LaVey altogether and hope you won’t notice.
- Be wary of the approach of “You probably aren’t smart enough to join us.” The only way you can prove them wrong is by joining! From the first material you get, you feel you have to prove and defend yourself. Don’t be fooled by big words, nice typing and/or fancy paper… and plenty of it. True Satanism builds the ego, it doesn’t tear it down.
- Beware of cults offering sex orgies and drugs, or killing animals in the name of Satan. As you well know, these are not part of Satanic practices. The leaders are copying the lame-brain spook stories from Geraldo and Oprah and obviously know less than you do. Use common sense. Don’t let someone take advantage of you for his or her own perversity; examine motives carefully.
- Some other groups to watch out for: A) Feminist, Wiccan-oriented, consciousness-raising groups who practice more male-bashing than magic; B) New Age groups that promote LaVeyan concepts, but shun the dreaded “S” word; C) Jargon-laden Christians masquerading as Satanists; D) Pen-pal or lonely hearts social groups pretending to be elitists performing powerful Satanic rituals.
All of the above are subject to bitch-fights, petty jealousies, and rivalries. They are safe havens for small-minded people trying to play head games, preferring the protection of groups rather than really working to apply what Anton LaVey wrote. This is not to say that all groups are counterproductive to Satanism as a movement; there are many which are productive, supportive branches of the Church of Satan. Like various divisions of the same army, these distinct Orders may emphasize one Satanic image over another, but they are all aligned, in communication and working toward the same goals. But you must be prepared to sort the truth from the misinformation. Don’t be fooled by self-declared “Masters,” whether they’re wearing white robes or black. They are attempting to misdirect and subvert whatever you’ve developed in the way of ego or identity. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Knowing this, if you choose to affiliate with any pseudo-Satanic or anti-Satanic groups, you may well find yourself dis-affiliated from the Church of Satan. Forewarned is forearmed.