Friday, March 29, 2013

The Cultured Thug

I recently discovered Tumblr, and found it really useful for the things I want to do as a blogger.

Hand in hand with a wordpress account, it seems to be a lot more effective as a general tool for socializing, and I can share the odd tidbit of strangeness in between longer essays without making them entirely different posts altogether.

If you have liked anything I do in the past, I would highly recommend following me there.

For a direct link to my recent essay.

Please keep in mind that this new site, much like Rotting Earth, has absolutely nothing to do with Satanism especially in light of some of the things I have been expressing here. It doesn't mean that the topic won't come up from time to time, but certainly, it will be an outside perspective when it does.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Sum Up

This bit by Jonathan Bowden perfectly describes my own views on religiosity at this time. There is a great appeal in religion historically, though if someone were to ask my what my "faith" was today, I would have no choice to answer, at the very least, "I am agnostic" for a lack of a better description. Some might argue that Satanism should realistically fit the bill since it recognizes the need for dogma, but the sort of temporary suspension of disbelief, and the return to an atheistic viewpoint thereafter is something I find to be disconnected and personally impossible to engage in. I know I am exhausting this topic thoroughly, but the truth is, Satanism was a part of my life for the better part of six or seven years, so I have been putting a lot of thought into this.

"Religion doesn't exist"

Speaking of Satanism, I wanted to talk quickly about something else before I go too far off on a tangent away from the aim of this blog - whatever it might be at this point, although I know it isn't to spread my own brand of political idealism or wax about philosophy.

The intellectual laziness that often results in people adopting a secular viewpoint is just as dangerous for the modern world as the unwavering devotion of many to outdated organized religion. I use the term outdated in a very limited way; the structural nature of Roman Catholicism, and of different Christian sects are not the sort of thing I could ever find myself buying into. I have talked a bit about faith, and how spirituality of one kind or another was the reason I decided to leave the Church of Satan, but the root of this doesn't lie in personal spiritual awakening, rather a growing frustration with the utterly simplistic reactionary view many hold which lead them to "alternative" paths such as Satanism to begin with.

In my opinion, Satanism exists to appeal to only an extremely rare sort of individual. It could almost be said that it is truly a religion for one man alone; the late Anton Szandor LaVey, who established it in the first place. That is because it is a fiercely individualistic perspective, and that is why the Church of Satan is very strict on the notion that it is not a "grab bag" religion of any kind; it is meant for an extremely specific sort of individual, and as such, is entirely elitist and exclusionary.

It is almost ironic, therefore, that it should be a philosophy which is so straight forward and easy to digest. The Satanic Bible is pithy; most profess to reading through it in a day or so, and it is not a book open to any interpretation. Apart from the tongue-in-cheek approach, and the heavy reliance on colorful language to express certain ideas, The Satanic Bible can be understood in a cursory overview by all but the most simplistic. Only those who are actively looking for it to be deeply esoteric will mistake fact for fiction, or will become confused about topics such as Greater Magic, and ultimately be led to forums or the CoS webpage itself for clarification on these issues.

Many will eventually come to understand what is being said. Some will not. It is beyond their understanding, most likely, which makes them even more pathetic specimens for quite literally not being able to follow straightforward, simple instructions. These are the sorts of people the CoS wants to filter out.

And yet, in our current society of religious backlash, the adoption of atheistic and agnostic tendencies by the simple minded in lieu of any research or real work, Satanism becomes attractive precisely because of the filters it uses; the imagery of Satan, the sigil of Baphomet, and Redbeard-infused fury found within the pages of the tiny paperback itself. It has attracted swarms of would-be "Satanists" who are often little more than victims of the current counter-culture, and not really interested in the mantra that "Satanism demands study, not worship" except for purely egotistical reasons; they want to feel like they have done their homework, when most of them will barely read The Satanic Bible itself, let alone the rest of the essential canon by Anton LaVey.

They will all have the same story, echoed from the forward by the current High Priest Peter H. Gilmore. They will claim that it acted as a mirror, reflecting what they are back at them exactly. The difference between them and Mr. Gilmore, is that he was a man who already spent an inordinate amount of time in the arts, music, and no doubt, absorbing knowledge from many other sources apart from The Satanic Bible in order to understand the roots of LaVey's work, and to comprehend why LaVey reached the conclusions he did both philosophically, and from an esoteric perspective concerning his own concept of Satanic magic. It seems almost unfair to have anything less than a deep background of understanding in all matters before penetrating the pages of The Satanic Bible; such understanding is crucial in making a decision to adopt such a narrow, specific label, and it was a mistake I was guilty of also.

My point here is that while I understand peoples need to forge a path for themselves, many of them are doing the exact opposite. I have heard this before, but it was even more amusing coming from a friend who, in a conversation with a couple of lazy, apathetic dullards about religion, they both proclaimed their own atheistic tendencies, proceeding to say that "Religion doesn't exist." She tried to correct their simple yet bumbling error, explaining to them that religion does indeed exist, but that they simply do not hold any beliefs, but even after laying it out clearly in simple language, they still said she was "wrong" and proceeded to start talking about how the "bible was bullshit" and all sorts of slack-jawed, anti-intellectual nonsense that you see repeated on a daily basis by people who truly have no right to be doing so.

Atheism or even nihilism are not inherently "wrong" per se; but the willingness now of the masses to eat them up is a prospect I find totally frightening for several reasons. Essentially, people who are far better off being God-fearing slaves are now believing that life has no intrinsic meaning, and adopting a sense of individualism that they don't deserve. Some of them are trying, rather gutlessly, to take ideas as Satanism unto themselves without having any kind of knowledge of where it came from, or what it really means because they are far too lazy to do the work to reach those same conclusions themselves. If it can't be absorbed in one paperback, or an internet F.A.Q. it isn't for them, and that is precisely why it isn't for them, but why they will go ahead and try to take it anyways.

Atheism and many related viewpoints have now become an easy way out for many people; one that requires no more than a couple of YouTube videos to adopt, one that doesn't require an endless lifetime of hard work and study; the true path to any kind of real, personal enlightenment. People now will scoff at the idea of any kind of esoterism simply based on the fact that the idea of anything spiritual scares the shit of them; they are so terrified by the prospect of any kind of higher existence because they know they have fucked up. They know they live lives of hedonism and self abuse, immoral and unethical (simply in the terms of having no morals and ethics at all because, again, they are too lazy to make any attempt to determine their own values) that atheism is an excuse to do what they want completely guilt free without any fear of reprisal.

Satanism, as interesting as it is, should be far more of a fringe practice than it now is. It's simply too good for the simple masses, and because of my great respect for the hierarchy running the organization, and the philosophy itself, the only thing I am glad about is that the Church of Satan is probably bringing in a decent handful of bills from morons who will be called out for their bullshit before they have a chance to do too much damage. Some of them will inevitably hang out in copycat forums or with losers like Paul Douglas Valentine, and won't be a blemish on the face of the CoS.

That is the state of things. So incredibly poor that many a good thing will be ruined. While atheism and nihilism were once seen as virtues, they are now lowest common denominator beliefs adopted by the intellectually lazy, and gobbled up in quotable tidbits. Organized religion is so severely dated that any kind of spirituality is now viewed by these people as some kind of kryptonite, even if there are many alternative faiths that don't rely on heavy fees, group prejudice, and other sorts of fear mongering bully tactics. Just because you grew up oppressed by a Catholic regime does not mean that any and all things spiritual are inherently bad; it might mean Catholicism is, or that your parents were shitheads for imposing it on you, but the world has an incredibly rich history of religiosity waiting to be discovered.

I think there is value in exploring these ideas, even if no kind of faith is ever adopted. Simply shutting ones brain down, switching the blinders on and saying "nope, I don't believe in nothing" based on a cursory reading of "The God Delusion" that your coffee shop compadres suggested to you seems like the laziest possible path one can take, and is one done out of total fear and ignorance; the same kind that these folks would criticize the deeply religious for.

That being said, if after a lifetime of study you have determined that there is nothing, so be it. But the spiritual journey, which starts in the books and shouldn't end until you are in your last moments of life, shouldn't be ignored. Like many good books, it's the journey itself, and not the final conclusion.

I don't believe in anything, and there is a chance I never will. But I would find it morally unethical to take any other path at this point, or adopt any label, without first doing some serious homework.

Perhaps I will eventually be led back to where I started. I don't really care a this point. All I know is that, for honesty's sake alone, I cannot use a label without a deep understanding of it, and where it came from. And I cannot lie and call myself an "atheist" a "nihilist" or even a "Satanist" without having a rich knowledge of religiosity and spirituality from a historical perspective, which is not something that can be done in a day.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thoughts on Satanism

I am choosing to post this both here and on my older "stomping ground" since it will be mostly relevant to whatever remaining fragment of an audience I have that still visits my blogs (which I am assuming is somewhere in the arena of "none", but you can never be too sure.) Since people who read me are generally funneled in from Satannet, which is the only place I "advertise" with a small signature below my rarely used profile, I figured it pertinent to clear up my views - for no other reason than to make it clear for anyone who has visited before solely on the basis that I am a member of the Church of Satan that they no longer have a reason to "check in" if they aren't interested in what little content I produce here.

That being said...

Just recently, after about six years of affiliation, I decided that I no longer fit with the ranks of the Church of Satan. It was a decision not made hastily - unlike my decision to join originally which was fueled by my "angry young man" syndrome and angst - and it is one I have put a lot of thought into.

I have had a few meaningful collaberations, and many a great online conversation with other Satanists during that time, but my involvement was very limited otherwise. I had no desire to apply for active membership, feeling I had nothing to contribute at the time, and I still feel that way. And although I don't disagree with too many key points that the philosophy of Satanism expounds, there is enough of a shift in my viewpoint that I no longer feel totally in line with the philosophy. And for me, honesty is the best policy; I refuse to adopt an identity moniker that I am not 100 percent in cohesion with.

Some of the common misunderstandings with new members arise from this desire to "fit in" to the program despite key differences of opinion, and the end result is usually them finding their way out the door through their own action or the action of the hierarchy when it becomes pretty clear that they don't fit the bill. I completely agree with this meritocratic approach, and I think this must be one of the frustrating jobs of the hierarchy; to constantly push against the onslaught of hipster followers who are so excited by the initial idea of adopting such a forbidden title for themselves that they actually forget to read any of the core material or canon involved before signing their papers and sending in their membership fees.

If you can't agree totally with something, you cannot consider it a part of your identity. If labels are what you seek, you had better be sure they describe you completely. But that is neither here nor there. I have made my decision, and it is an honest one because of this belief.

So where do I disagree? Where is it that I find Satanism to be completely irreconcilable with my own personal worldview, and what prompted me to decide that it wasn't, ultimately, for me?

It boils down to one simple thing; atheism. Whatever atheistic tendencies I have had in the past have been swept under the rug recently for various reasons. This is not an admission of new found faith, either; more a realization that I find the "self worship" of the CoS to be repugnant, and one of the greatest contributing factors to the first phase ego inflation so many new members go into; one that they find liberating, for reasons I fully understand, but which never really applied to me.

Satanism is interesting precisely because it is not a simple inversion of Christian beliefs, not devil worship of any kind. Despite it's fairly clear seperation from this, many seem to be attracted to the CoS due to some kind of religious persecution in their lives, which is something I have never really experienced. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have never once felt myself criticized for my distinctly anti-religious (more specifically, anti-religious establishment) qualities, so I have no real reason to feel any sort of disdain or rebellion against religiosity. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, I find super liberal atheism and related anti-religious bullying to be a lot more irritating for whatever reason, probably due to my belief that humanity is largely in decline, and this kind of humanist "liberation" is at least partly to blame.

I am anti-religious establishment. The Church of Satan excluded, but my growing distaste for materialism and self-centric egotism that has been growing over the past few months has all but excluded me from eligibility in that establishment, in my personal opinion.

Politically or otherwise, it's important to remember that the Church of Satan has no bearing or requirement for political affiliation. I definitely hold some more radical right wing viewpoints than I did even a year ago, but this is irrelevant to my shift in philosophical perspective as far as the Church of Satan is concerned. The differences in my opinion are very small; but they are still differences. And I think it would be dishonest to ignore them and try to continue fitting into a mold that is no longer comfortable. I no longer feel comfortable or proud calling myself a Satanist, and as such, the label is now of no use to me, and has to be shed. The initial thrill of the forbidden has all but completely dissipated, and since my own personal views are kept fiercely well guarded, including my affiliation, being a card holding member no longer has any personal benefit for me; and it certainly doesn't benefit the CoS to have me as a member in any way, either.

It's pretty simple. I just felt like writing about it because despite my difference in opinion, I actually find the CoS, and Satanism, to be a pretty interesting cabal of people, not to mention a fascinating and incredibly bold philosophy. While it may not be one that is for me any longer, I would definitely not be adversed to talking about it in the future; albeit from an outsiders perspective, one that I think would actually be rare in comparison to a lot of the all-for/all-against viewpoints out there concerning Satanism. Very few people on the outside really "get it", and I'm sure a lot of folks who were on the inside who have since changed their minds were never really in it to begin with, and are now lashing out with tongue and keyboard against the organization that "wronged" them so, a result entirely of their own idiocy and lack of understanding.

I no longer consider myself a Satanist; but I definitely consider myself a "fan", as it were, of Satanism. It is one organization I will certainly continue to follow from a purely observational perspective, even though I no longer personally identify with its values.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


What a surprise! A subhuman piece of degenerate shit shouting "God is Great" while simultaneously hurting one of "God's" creatures. These people should be wiped off the face of the Earth.