humour, music, life, sociology. friendly agnostic.

Satanic Panic

Posted by spritzophrenia on January 9, 2010

For those new to Spritzophrenia, I often include music with a blog post. Today’s soundtrack (below) is by current black metal band Gorgoroth, who have the distinction of one of the few openly gay members in a metal band – unless this is yet more publicity. I find black metal’s shouty-screamy chaos kinda exciting. A love of extreme metal is not a requirement for being a Satanist, ex-circus organist and founder of the Church of Satan Anton LaVey liked pretty cheesey stuff, along with the occasional atonal or majestic orchestral pieces he prescribed for his rituals.

As you might expect for a religion that prides itself on being adversarial, Satanism’s had plenty of controversy both internal and external.

Satanic symbol

It seems Rebecca Brown who published widely debunked Satanic panic books is still around and doing the christian talk circuit where she can, according to Bartholomew’s Notes:

Brown has all kinds of bizarre advice about how to resist demonic attacks – for instance, in Prepare for War we learn that vegetarianism is a Satanic plot, because meat protein offers protection. Her lurid tales were comprehensively debunked in an article entitled “Drugs, Demons and Delusions: The ‘Amazing’ Saga of Rebecca Brown”, by G. Richard Fisher, Paul R. Blizard and M. Kurt Goedelman, which can be read here; a further essay of interest can be seen here.

This reminds me of the excellent exposé of fake satanist Mike Warnke in the 90s done by Cornerstone Magazine. One of the things I love about this piece is that it was written by christian journalists when other christians at the time were swallowing Warnke’s story hook, line and sinker. Apparently not all christians were gullible.

Some time ago I read Michael Aquino’s history of the Church of Satan 1966-1975 (PDF, 10mb). I’m currently reading his work on the Temple of Set, a group that split from Anton La Vey’s church. They too, were not immune from schism:

Left Hand Path institutions often have a history of confrontations between individualist practitioners of different worldviews. The Temple of Set is no exception. High Priest Don Webb stepped down, and, on 9 September 2002, was succeeded by High Priestess Zeena Schreck. Six weeks after the Helsinki Conclave (September 2002), Zeena, Magister Aaron Besson, Magister Nikolas Schreck, and Magister Michael Kelly all resigned on 8 November 2002. Four Priests – Alfred Rodriguez, Kevin Rockhill, Jared Davison and Richard Gavin – also resigned. Temple of Set sources have claimed that eighteen Initiates have resigned while others have estimated the number at closer to sixty (including several Orders, Elements, and members of the Adept and Setian degrees). (Quoting Disinformation)

I also found Anton LaVey: Legend and Reality interesting. It’s hosted on yet another rival “church of satan” site, by someone who appears to be a disaffected ex-member. It claims that the church never had more than a few hundred followers, and repeats the now well-known claim that large parts of The Satanic Bible were plagiarised from other works, including Ayn Rand’s.

The infighting seems to be familiar territory, compared to the myriad splits among other religious groups and denominations, and even atheist groups. What do you think? Is it human nature to split and disagree?

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Gogoroth | Incipit Satan (live). Enjoy the theatricality of their show; is it just me or does their audience seem indifferent?

6 Responses to “Satanic Panic”

  1. Finding a niche is what organisms do. Splitting and disagreeing is part of that, no?
    Hey, if you make your links open in another window, I can listen to the music and read your post.
    Though I would have had to turn that yelling off !

    • I hadn’t thought of the splitting thing of organisms. Although that’s more at the cell level than the discrete individuals (eg wolf pack) level?

      Heh. I did wonder whether that was the best music, but it’s one of the few groups who claim to actually be Satanists as opposed to many who use it for gimmickry. I thought of Wagner, or other music that La Vey liked to use in his rituals. However, I’ll probably be posting more about Satanism so there’s plenty more chance for music.

      Thanks for your comments 🙂

  2. Cool, I will be listening

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