Most religions like Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam have
well defined meanings on exception is Satanism. Most people
have their own definition for Satanism.
Some people feel that non-Christian religions and all
Christian denominations other than their own are forms of
Satanism. This would imply that all Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems,
and Jews. In fact at least 75% of the world's population would be
Others feel that all religions other than Judaism or
Christianity are inspired by Satan and thus are forms of Satanism.
This would still leave the vast majority of people in the world
Large numbers of people feel that a wide variety of unrelated,
benign religions (such as Santeria and other Caribbean religions,
Druidism, New Age, Wicca, ect.) are forms of Satanism.
Such definitions create great confusion. The following are
recommended terms and descriptions for four essentially unrelated
religions that have been called Satanism.
The first is Religious Satanism, This faith includes the
recognition of Satan either as a deity or as a principle. Three main
denominations exist: the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, and
the Church of Satanic Liberation. Other short lived Satanic groups
currently exist and have existed in the recent past. According to
Statistic Canada, the 1991 census found 335 Canadians who
identified themselves as Satanists. The actual Number is probably
A United States Department of the Army pamphlet #165-13
"RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS AND PRACTICES OF
CERTAIN SELECTED GROUPS - A HANDBOOK FOR
CHAPLAINS" (1978 - April) estimated that there were 10 to 20
thousand members of the Church of Satan in the United States.
Accurate data is impossible to estimate, since the largest group
(The Church of Satan) does not release its membership totals.
It is important to realize that the Satan they recognize has
few if any point s of similarity with the Christian concept of Satan.
The Satanists' concept of Satan is pre-Christian, and derived from
the Pagan image of power, virility, sexuality and sensuality. To
most Satanists, Satan is a force of nature, not a living quasi-deity.
Their Satan has nothing to do with Hell, demons, pitchforks or
The image of Satanism spawned by Christianity is called
Gothic Satanism. It is an imaginary and profoundly evil religion
that was invented during the late Middle Ages. Concepts included
ritual killing of children, selling their soul to the devil, breaking
crucifixes, conducting black masses, ect. It has never existed in
the past, and does not exist today, except in the imagination of the
Another form of Satanism is Teen Satanism: A syncretistic
religion which is a blend of Religious Satanism, Gothic Satanism,
ceremonial magick, and any other useful sources of ritual that they
can find. It is practiced by rebellious teenagers or young adults -
typically for a short interval. They probably number in the tens or
hundreds of thousands at any one time in North America. An
exact estimate is impossible to obtain, since they are totally devoid
of any central organization. They occasionally engage in minor
criminal activities such as vandalizing cemeteries and graffiti
involving Satanic symbols. In rare instances, a few have been
known to sacrifice animals.
Other types of Satanism: Occasionally, serial murderers will
claim to be Satanists in order to justify their horrendous activities.
Police investigation reveals that they know little about the religion.
A small percentage of child molesters will abuse children in a
Satanic setting as a means of controlling the victims. The
molesters are not actual Satanists; they are simply using the facade
of Satanism to further their criminal acts. Some heavy metal rock
bands pretend to be associated with Satanism. Their main reason
is to gain notoriety in order to sell more records. These tree forms
of quasi-Satanic groups will not be dealt with any further in this
Modern Satanism is generally (though mistakenly) regarded
as a creation of Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947). Aleister was in
fact a very prominent ceremonial magician who based his rituals
largely upon Judeo-Christian principles. He was raised in a
Plymouth Brethren family, but developed an early dislike of
organized Christianity. After university, he joined the Order of the
Golden Dawn, which practiced magick (ceremonial magic) based
on: The Kaballah (or Cabbalahl), a Jewish mystical tradition,
Rosicrucianism (a mystical blend of alchemy, Hinduism, and
Judaism), Free masonry ( a men's fraternal organization), and
Theosophy (a Gnostic tradition believing in a common thread that
links all religions).
He was later kicked out of the Golden Dawn and later
joined the Ordo Templi Orients (OTO) , which blended ceremonial
magick, sex magick, and Freemasonry. Crowley reveled in
notoriety, billing himself as the Wickedest Man in the World and
the Great Beast 666 of Revelation. He is alleged in to have
committed at least one animal sacrifice, experimented with many
illegal drugs and engaged in countless sexual orgies. It is not
known how much of this actually happened, and how much is
imaginary and created to satisfy his insatiable desire for publicity.
His prime aim was to contact his Holy Guardian Angel Aiwaz. He
did not consider himself a Satanist. He was a prolific writer on
magick. Many Satanists have incorporated portions of his books
into their own rituals. Many authors and TV personalities have
stated that Crowley was the first Satanist, even though evidence
points to the contrary.
Modern Satanism really begins with Anton Szandor La Vey
(1930 - ??). On Walpurgisnacht, April 30 1966 (I Anno Satanas)
he created of the Church of Satan. Anton drew on his previous
experience as a lion tamer and side show barker, and on his
readings into psychology, magick, ect., and wrote the Satanic
Bible in 1969. This was followed by The Compleat Witch (1970)
(later republished as The Satanic Witch) and The Satanic Rituals
(1972). These are essentially the only available books which
accurately describe Satanism. There have been enormous numbers
of books about Satanism written by Fundamentalist or other
Evangelical Christians. However, they are usually filled with
misinformation derived from the Witch burning times in Europe
(circa 1450 - 1792) rather than from any present or past reality.
In 1975, one of La Vey's followers, Michael Aquino left the
Church after a disagreement, and organized the Temple of Set.
This form of religious Satanism recognize a pre-Satanic deity, the
Egyptian god Set as an entity which stands separate apart from the
forces of the natural universe. He was typically portrayed as a
man witch the head of an animal (perhaps a hyena). Set was
copied by the Chaldeans who called him Had or Hadit; this later
became Shaitan, and still later the Satan of Christianity.
At the core of the Church of Satan are the nine Satanic
Statements, written by Anton La Vey. In abridged form they state
that Satan represents:
1. indulgence, not abstinence
2. vital existence, not spiritual pipe dreams,
3. undefiled wisdom, not hypocritical self-deceit
4. kindness to those deserving of it, not love wasted on ingrates
5. vengeance, not turning the other cheek
6 responsibility to the responsible, instead for concern for psychic
8. gratification of all of ones desires
9. the best friend tat the Christian Church has had has he has kept
it in business for centuries
The Temple of Set is based on its own 21 Satanic points,
which have much in common with the Satanic Church, but many
I) Respect not pity or weakness, for they are a disease which
makes the strong sick.
II) Test always your strength, for therein lies success.
III) Seek happiness in victory - but never in peace.
IV) Enjoy a short rest, better than a long.
V) Come as a reaper, for thus will sow.
VI)Never love anything so much you cannot see it die.
VII) Build not upon sand but upon rock, and build not for today
or yesterday but for all time.
VIII) Strive ever for more, for conquest is never done.
IX) Die rather Submit.
X) Forge not works of are but swords of death, for therein lies
XI) Learn to raise yourself above yourself so you can triumph over
XII) The blood of the living makes good fertilizer for the seeds of
XIII) He who stands atop the highest pyramid of skulls can see the
XIV) Discard not love but treat it as an impostor, but ever be just.
XV) All that is great is built upon sorrow.
XVI) Strive not only forwards, but upwards for greatness lies in
XVII) Come as a fresh strong wind that breaks yet also creates.
XVIII) Let love of life be a goal but let your highest goal be
XIX) Nothing is beautiful except man: but most beautiful of all is
XX) Reject all illusion and lies, for they hinder the strong.
XXI) What does not kill makes stronger.
More of El Vey's theology contains the following concepts:
Heaven and Hell do not exist, Satan is unrelated to the modern
concept of the Christian devil. They look upon him as a god who
represents the carnal, earthy, and mundane aspects of life, Satan is
not a being, it is a force of nature, Ritual killing is not allowed,
blood drawn from a victim is useless, victims are killed
symbolically not actually; human life is held in sacred regard.
The highest of all Satanic holidays is the birthday of the
Satanist, Walpurgustnacht (April 30). Holidays of less importance
are Halloween (October 31), Solstices of June and December, and
Equinoxes in March and September.
Local groups of Satanists are usually called grottos or
temples, They correspond to Christian congregations and Wiccan
covens. Their rituals do not include Black Mass (a parody of
Roman Catholic sirvices) actually there are few, if any elements
which ridicule or invert the beliefs or practices of Christianity or
of any other religion.
As you may see, society and the Christian Church have made
many believe in the misconception that all Satanists are evil and
the Satanic Church is a vile organization bent on destroying
Christianity and perverting the world, when actually it is just a
religion that, to a point practices religious toleration, and doesn't
present a threat to you or anyone else.
By doing this report, I would like to state that in no way do I
condone Satanism, nor am I a member of the Church of Satan. I
just wanted to point out some misconceptions that many have
about Satanism, and I hope I didn't offend anyone by doing this