Devils Among Us: The Satanic Temple in the Beehive State

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“I personally have received death threats, rape threats,” says Chalice Blythe, chapter head of The Satanic Temple’s (TST) Utah chapter. “There are people that take issue with the fact that I exist and am a Satanist.” It’s not easy being a Satanist anywhere, especially in the land of milk and honey, Utah.

In the dark, cool, brick-walled basement of The Beerhive, I’m sitting with true Satanists: Blythe, Aaron Shea and Autumn Rogers. Yet, this isn’t Rosemary’s Baby: The grins aren’t sinister, the laughter is kind and the horns are seemingly nowhere to be found. “I’m a software developer,” Rogers, a TST council member, says. “I’m building a modular synthesizer and a customized MIDI controller, and I play in three bands,” including Rogers’ solo project, 80KV. “I’m a former chef, now a line cook,” Shea, also a TST council member, says. “I’ve been a professional DJ for 20 years, [spinning as] DJ Reverend 23.” Though Blythe declines to state her profession, it is clear that she is an individual of vision and determination. This is a Satanism like I’ve never seen before: modern, receptive, down to earth.

The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic, non-supernatural religious organization founded by Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry. According to Blythe, TST began its first demonic stirrings in 2012 and officially established itself by 2014. During this time, TST formed chapters throughout the United States and Europe, standing out as a unique Satanic institution both in philosophy and practice. “[The Church of Satan (COS)] comes up a lot, because that is what people think of when they think of Satanism,” Blythe explains. But the differences between TST and COS, established in 1966, are striking. “The obvious difference is The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey [COS’s canonical text],” Shea says. “When you read it, it has a tendency to fade in and out of theism and atheism, while promoting and denying the supernatural.”

Instead of basing their religious system on the works of a prophet-like figure like LaVey, TST aligns their guiding principles to the personal qualities of the literary Satan, featured in Anatole France’s Revolt of the Angels and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This Satan is a character that exudes self-worth, wisdom and an inalienable sense of justice, points that are furthered in Greaves and Jarry’s Seven Tenets, which illustrate the importance of empathy, compassion and personal sovereignty, among other things. “To me, TST’s definition of Satanism is fairness, treating everyone fairly,” Shea says. And in this way, holding fairness as the ideal, “We feel like TST is the natural evolution or natural progression of LaVey Satanism,” Blythe says.

Blythe’s involvement with TST began in 2013, but soon after, “… TST put a moratorium on forming new chapters,” Blythe says. With no chapter nearby, Blythe took to TST’s online forums to meet other Satanists. There she began speaking with Greaves. “Through the forum, I made sure that he kept Utah in mind for when TST began forming new chapters,” Blythe says. This persistence paid off when, in early 2016, after an interview process and waiting period, Blythe again heard from Greaves, who congratulated her on becoming head of TST’s newest chapter. Thus, the devil found a home in Utah.

Blythe, Shea and Rogers now comprise the core of TST’s Utah chapter, which features some dozens of members and innumerable allies. “We have members that come from very different backgrounds and lead very different lives,” Blythe says. “I think the Satanic culture, in general, brings in a multitude of different personalities,” locally including cosplayers, metalheads, housewives, politicians, hippies and heathens.

Rogers suggests that, due to Utah’s dominant religious culture, many non-Mormons feel marginalized or rejected, and to some, Satanism becomes a natural fit. “I was raised LDS, and for most of my childhood, I didn’t even realize a person had religious options,” Rogers says. “When I was 14, I left the Mormon Church and didn’t think about religion much until I saw TST’s reproductive rights campaign.” This bit of social activism—activism that TST prides itself on—sparked Rogers’ curiosity. “I went to the TST website, read the Seven Tenets and said, ‘Well, shit … I didn’t know I was a Satanist!’” Rogers’ story, so similar to Blythe’s and Shea’s, seems representative of many conversion stories.

To further this spiritual reclamation, Blythe, Shea and Rogers fashioned an unbaptism ceremony. “It was our first big public event. It was on Pioneer Day,” Blythe says. Rogers explains that in the LDS Church, children as young as 8 can “choose” to be baptized, “but it is incredibly coercive,” Rogers says. “The idea of the unbaptism is a reclamation of your personal sovereignty, a demonstration of your ability to decide what is and isn’t moral.” The ceremony featured lighting participants on fire using a non-threatening flammable mixture, reciting empowering phrases and having an inverted cross drawn on the forehead. Blythe beams, “Everyone in attendance came up for the unbaptism. It was incredible.”

In the coming months, Blythe hopes to further the chapter’s social activism and community involvement by starting an After School Satan Club at Vista Elementary School. The club aims to provide a safe environment for children to explore a scientific, altruistic and rational view of humanity and the world. Leaving The Beerhive, I thought, If these are the devils among us, we’ve received angels indeed.

For more about the Utah chapter of The Satanic Temple (, email or find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  • BarryObama2014

    Liberal freaks

    • And this is an issue?

    • Zoe Ambrosine

      I’m actually a conservative, thanks. The “freak” part I won’t argue with, though.

    • Bible Belted Betty

      I’m actually a LIBERTARIAN, not a “liberal”. As to the “freak” part, no, I don’t open wide for a mouthful of JEEEEZUS nor do I worship a 2,000-year-old virgin carpenter who inseminated his own mother with himself as both father and son so as to sacrifice himself to himself. I don’t have a personal relationship with a Jewish zombie in a loincloth and a crown of thorns who never masturbated and died a 33-year-old male virgin. Now THAT is FREAKY!!!

  • Adam Campbell

    “I’m sitting with true Satanists”

    No, You are not. TST doesn’t even recognize the first and only document in history to define Satanism as a religion, The Satanic Bible. The TST are liberal activists stealing the ‘scary’ and ‘rebellious’ brand equity the CoS has built for 50 years to further their own agenda. It has nothing to do with Satanism. I would applaud them if they were honest and came up with their own name, standing on their own feel, you know, like adults. Instead they are the Shasta of Satanists.

    • Vivienne Greaves St Justin

      Yes, because nothing ever evolves. Particularly your religion. CoS continues to suffer from the impression that they are the only true Satanists thereby aligning themselves with every Abrahamic religion since the beginning of time. So glad your religion that emphasizes individuality demands conformity.

      • Adam Campbell

        There are a number of flaws in your reply.

        1. All evolutions of a religion share the founding document as the core of that religion. TST does not. It’s like calling yourselves Christians yet refusing to acknowledge the New Testament.

        2. The CoS are the only true Satanists. The CoS invented Satanism!

        3. The CoS is not, nor has it ever been aligned with abrahamic religions. You should educate yourself about the organization and religion you are riding the coat tails of.

        4. The CoS was created to define and defend Satanism. The only conformity required is the understanding of the religion Satanism. Everything else is up to the individual. Again, something you would know if you would simply educate yourself.

        • Petit_Lutin

          You guys invented Satanism? Like Columbus discovered America?
          Holy shit, can I get your autograph? You’re like, the coolest.
          Super cool. Too cool for school. Like, you must be waving away the paparazzi every day because you invented a really cool character.
          How difficult is it to go food shopping? I bet people follow you around, like, all the time asking for interviews and selfies with you.
          Imagine that, we’re talking to a real “true” Satanist right here!
          Can we meet up, maybe you can autograph something for my mom.

          • Vivienne Greaves St Justin

            Only when he’s shopping for chocolate ice cream. CoS must have invented that, too

    • Kane VonDoom

      Didn’t realize that the Church of Satan© had a monopoly on the definition and use of the Satan archetype.

    • Kane VonDoom

      Didn’t realize that the Church of Satan© had a monopoly on the definition and use of the Satan archetype. Thanks for making it clear that there is only one true path and dogma.

      • Adam Campbell

        The CoS doesn’t, just the religion called Satanism. I would have no problem at all with the TST if it was The Satan Temple, but they are taking an established religions name, stripping away everything that makes it that religion, and performing political stunts in the name of that religion.

        They are vanilla ice cream in a chocolate ice cream box.

        • Damien Ba’al

          I would also take the argument more seriously if there was a mythological character, that contributed to our modern concept of Satan that was more Randian in nature.

          If there was a demon, synonymous with Satan, who wore a fedora and vaped whIle reading Atlas Shrugged in his parents basement, I would see your point.

          • Alder Strauss

            “If there was a demon, synonymous with Satan, who wore a fedora and vaped whIle reading Atlas Shrugged in his parents basement, I would see your point.”

            That’s quickly becoming tired and baseless.
            You may want to read ‘The Secret Life of a Satanist’ to know where Satanism culminated from.
            It’s not all Rand (or Might is Right) and I’m sure you know that.

          • Damien Ba’al

            I just mentioned those because they are major components of the philosophy and they also do not tie into the mythological character of Satan in any way, or anything that went into our modern concept of Satan. That is why the example is used. That is the point I was making. I never said that is all it was.

            I didn’t mention hedonism, even though it is a big part of it too. That is because characters like Pan, who represent and personify that philosophy are very much a part of our modern concept of Satan. It wasn’t randomly tacked on. It very much makes sense that hedonism would be represented by the symbol of Satan, especially in any goat-like form.

            Ba’al and related gods became Beelzebub which is also part of our concept of Satan. That’s where the idea of the flies comes from, Ba’al Zebub, meaning The Lord of Flies.

            Therefore, I specifically mentioned a major part of the philosophy that can in no way be tied into this at all.

            In stark contrast, we have the Lucifer character, which seems to have many Humanist qualities, which are being objected to as they are counter to the Rand and Redbeard components of LaVey’s philosophy. This is even more true when including classic literature.

          • Alder Strauss

            To nitpick, the whole indulgence and not compulsion would be more akin to Epicureanism than hedonism, due to how hedonism seems to be a bit of an uncontrolled engine of excess consumption.

            I think a lot of misconceptions come in where, while Satanism itself is not Humanism, it does not state that Satanists cannot be philanthropic or humanistic.
            It’s actually mentioned in TSB:
            “Satanism represents a form of controlled selfishness. This does not mean that you never do anything for anyone else. If you do something to make someone for whom you car happy, his happiness will give you a sense of gratification.”

          • Damien Ba’al

            Yeah, you could call it Epicureanism, that’s valid and probably more how it is practiced.

            Some parts of The Satanic Bible can conflict with other parts. I think LaVey didn’t think that people would take it so literally, and be so pedantic in how they practice it. Sometimes I think he is kidding and seeing what he can get people to do and think, just because he found it funny. I’ve heard an interview where it sounds like LaVey is trying not to laugh as he makes certain statements. But now I’m going off on a tangent.

            But the main point I was making was parallels from the philosophy to the metaphorical figure symbolizing it. In my view, the philosophy has to be solid too. In my variation I try to give a short description on my view of moral philosophy. In The Satanic Bible, they are advocating Lex Talionis, which was the moral code in part of the Old Testament of the Bible.

            Of course it’s not like most LaVeyans actually go by Lex Talionis, and if they do they limit it to the verbal rather than the physical. The idea is still there though. Then of course if an issue of someone’s wrong-doing comes up, you get a bunch of dudebros being like “fuck yeah Lex Talionis mother fucker herp derp”. Oh how my eyes do roll. But anyway I think you know what I mean.

          • Alder Strauss

            Well, Lex Talionis is part of the pentagonal revisionism, which would be the most political thing advocated by the CoS.
            It’s what a overtly Satanic system most likely would look like.

            And, there is an eye for an eye approach in Satanism. But it needs to be responsibly done. You can’t be much of a Satanist behind bars, can you?

          • Damien Ba’al

            I just find that silly. Paying lip service to something so philosophically untenable, and then not doing it, because it doesn’t fly even in this rather barbaric society.

        • Petit_Lutin

          “You catholics are not true christians. We baptists/protestants/evangelicals are the only true christians.”

          Same game, different name, pal. Grow up, Adam. Put away the pizza rolls, get out of mommy’s basement, go meet some real life people, and get the fuck over yourself.

          • Adam Campbell

            Your argument is flawed, as all those denominations share a central belief in the founding religious document. TST does not share the established religious document of Satanism.

          • Xen

            You are very wrong. There are Christians who ignore the OT, there are some who dismiss the NT, the Book of Mormon is dismissed by everyone who isn’t LDS, then you have huge debates over different translations, which leads to different Christian sects having very different versions of “the word of god”. You have obviously never compare these texts or else you wouldn’t believe they are the same “founding religious document”.

          • Petit_Lutin

            No. We all read the Satanic Bible in high school and realized we were more advanced, which is what people do throughput the years – it’s called progression, it’s called evolution.
            Ever heard of The Process? Practicing Satanists in the 60s. You’re familiar with Crowley?
            How’s about Ea, the Babylonian Father of Light.
            You’re a simpleton. You and CoS are not the end-all be-all. Satanic worship has been found dating back as far as 15000 years. That’s theistic. Yes, Lavey “codified” Satanism, which means he found a way to write his own thoughts about something historical for money and fame that he could sell to people. The rest of you cellar dwellers do nothing but preach about how awesome your organization is, even though your organization hasn’t done one iota of anything of importance except talking about how amazing your founder was, and charging $200 for membership to say “I’m a member of the Church of Satan”

            So cool. Really.

          • Alder Strauss

            Wow. I was counting and I think you’ve gotten mostly all the clueless pseudo-CoS/LaVey detractor cliches down with a bit of historical inaccuracies sprinkled on top.
            I’d recommend you look into what religious scholars are saying on the matter of Satanism, devilish deities, etc. and not off of what Theistic “Satanism” forums regurgitate.

            Remember, they’re very much in the Christian mindset and will look into history for any validation that Satan actually exists. They won’t look into cultural attachments and later misnomers regarding those coveted figureheads.

          • Petit_Lutin

            Satanism forums? What is this, 1992? Who does forums anymore?
            I do thoroughly enjoy history, especially reading about all religions and their starts and their practices and their downfalls, from all cultures alive and well to some that have been defunct for centuries. Satanism, the invention of, the practices, the history, the codifying, all a part of that hobby. Check it out.

    • Damien Ba’al

      I don’t have any skin in this game, but I am amused by the compulsion of a certain faction of CoS members, to rehash an argument that is more than 40 years old. Yes, we know what you think. Whoopty-fucking-do! The problem is no one cares what you think. LaVey used an ancient fictional character to make his religion, which for some reason includes Objectivism of a the random things.

      Now other people make their own version with the same fictional character. It’s like using material from a public domain book. Everyone gets to do it. I think you should be aware of that given certain parts of the Satanic Bible.

      If you use a character that old and iconic as the basis of the name, don’t be surprised when others do too. You’re just asking to have this problem.

      • Adam Campbell

        You are misunderstanding the point, and central problem. There is a religion called Satanism, not Satan. Create whatever religion or movement you want with Satan. What we won’t accept is someone taking the religions name and redefining it, then acting like it’s an okay practice.

        If they really want to be original, stop using another religions name.

        It’s a really simple point… that we have been making for 50 years.

        • Damien Ba’al

          No, I understand. The problem is that everyone who doesn’t identify with CoS just makes there own. So while CoS doesn’t think there can be more than 1 Satanism, and that it is a singular unidentified thing, everyone else sees it as having different versions. A religion about Satan would be Satanism. That’s just how the language works. The two sides will never see eye to eye. They’ll just think CoS people are a bunch of dicks. That will be the only takeaway.

          • Adam Campbell

            You can be a Satanist without being a member of the CoS. IF you read TSB and identify with its contents. If instead, you change the religious philosophy and still call it Satanism, you are simply lying and NOT a Satanist.

            In the same way that you are not a Christian if you don’t believe in the New Testament.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Adam Campbell preaches to us unwashed sinners yet again, about his Judeo-Christian religion — wait, I mean totally the first Satanic concept ever to exist — that demands we must read another bible and “identify with its contents” in order to go to heaven — oh I mean, be authentic.

            I left your religious philosophy roughly a decade ago, back when they called it Christianity.

            Christians also swing their dicks around with that “not a real Christian” tripe. The very best part of your comment is when you recognise your similarity, and don’t see anything wrong with it.

          • Damien Ba’al

            Not even close to the same thing. The term “Satanism” was made up by the Catholic Church anyway. So all LaVey did was cobble together a philosophy around their pejorative term. That’s the reason the name suited his purpose at all. Self-identifying the it with it doesn’t give you any greater claim to it than anyone else. You go with who invented the term. So, we all have equal claim to it.

          • Alder Strauss

            We’re discussing the invention of the religion, not the term. So, we can discount that Catholic analogy right off the bat.

            “So all LaVey did was cobble together a philosophy around their pejorative term. ”
            Others before LaVey took the Satan figure and flipped it in a positive, inspirational way. That’s very antithetical to where the Catholic church was going with it.
            So, LaVey wasn’t the first to do that. BUT he was the first to make it into a religion.
            And that’s where we are now.

          • Damien Ba’al

            It’s very much about the term. They used it as a name to describe religious movements opposed to them. The word “Satan” does mean adversary, so it’s an appropriate use of the term. I am in opposition to them, so I take up the name. That’s the same thing LaVey did.

            In the 1960’s there was a big “Jesus Freak” movement that was a liberal hippie version of Christianity that went along with the church. So in opposing that, it kind of made sense for LaVey to add some of the elements he did. Things are very different now though.

            LaVey should have made up his own name for it instead of commandeering a very old term that already had a lot of meaning and history behind it.

          • Alder Strauss

            The difference is is that LaVey took a term that was thrown around without verifiable/concrete definition in association to a structure and made it a definition rooted in a specific structure.
            Call X, Y, Z, B, L, N, etc. Satanism because it’s against what you believe in makes the definition liquid. It doesn’t assume any form on its own.

            That’s the difference in dispute.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            So let me get this straight: it’s okay for LaVey to co-opt terms (and plagiarise authors verbatim), but not okay for anyone else to do it? Just as long as it’s given a bit more legitimacy?

          • Damien Ba’al

            I do understand that is your reasoning and you think that’s valid. I don’t think that matters though, as I explained in a different comment.

          • Alder Strauss

            “A religion about Satan would be Satanism. ”

            It could definitely have Satanic elements, but it wouldn’t necessarily be Satanism.
            Would you consider Joy of Satan Satanism?

          • Damien Ba’al

            They do seem a bit too conformist to fit a word that means “adversary” or “one who opposes”. I’m not really sure. They are a dangerous cult that incorporates Nazi beliefs though. “Hitlerism” might be more appropriate for them.

        • Shaftoe Qwghlm

          Who says it’s not an ok practice to take another religion’s name and redefine it? What do you base that assertion on?

        • Xen


          1560s, “satanic disposition,” from Satan + -ism.
          Applied 1820s-30s to the poetry of Byron, etc. Meaning “worship of
          Satan” dates from 1895, with reference to France, where it was said to
          be active at that time.

          • Adam Campbell

            Satanism as a word has existed, but there was no formal religion until the CoS.

          • Xen

            You previously argued that the CoS owns the term, brand recognition and all that, remember? Now you make the claim that you were only talking about the religion … and you don’t have proof for that claim, btw. The fact that the term has been around for a long time suggests the opposite actually.

          • Adam Campbell

            The formation of the Church of Satan and the publishing of The Satanic Bible are my proof. Where is yours to the contrary?

            Remember, you need to prove Satanism existed as a formal religion before 1966. Good Luck.

          • Xen

            Actually, the burden of proof would be on you, not me, since you guys are making that claim. You’d also have to define what exactly makes a religion “formal” and what made a religion “formal” a couple hundred years ago. Since you don’t know a lot about history – good luck.

          • Adam Campbell

            I gave you proof. You are making the assertion there was a religion called Satanism before 1966. If you know history so well, prove it.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Honestly speaking, I couldn’t care less if there was a religion called Satanism before 1966.

            I wouldn’t care if Satan himself had emerged from the depths below to anoint Anton as his chosen saviour and the sole elocutionist for the big guy’s thoughts.

            Nobody died and made you the arbiter of what’s Satanic and what isn’t. If I didn’t care for what the Satanic Temple offered, I would move on. Only a weak fool feels threatened by competition, which is why Catholic Popes have taken great care to eliminate or exclude theirs.

          • Alan

            Yes of course there was a religion called Satanism before 1966 and of course there were Satanists before then. Church of Satan is bollocks and Gilmore has made it a laughing stock. The gripe CoS has with TST isn’t about religion or name – it’s because CoS is irrelevant and TST only emphasises that.
            TST is more Satanic than CoS will ever be with TSB’s social darwinism, silly rituals, and elitism. Get over it!

          • Alder Strauss

            The word isn’t the issue. It’s when it’s attached to a religion is where the problems arise.

      • Alder Strauss

        At the end of the day the issue is this:
        Is what people call their practice compatible to something that had been set up with that already?

        The fact is is that the name Satan is not owned by the CoS or anyone else. No one here has ever claimed that.
        What Adam Campbell has been trying to say is that when people claim that their religion is also Satanism, they need to understand that they’re automatically putting it up against something that had been established as that.

        Satanism, unlike Christianity, is very clear on where its influences come from, what defines it, etc.
        LaVey never claimed that something from hell talked to him and inspired X and Y.
        If he had done that then many others could probably get away with calling their practice Satanism.

        So again, using Satan as an influential figure to create a religion is fine, but calling it something that already exists puts those emerging thereafter up to scrutiny against what’s already been established.
        And that’s the same with EVERY religion.

        • Damien Ba’al

          The concept of Satanism as a religion has been around for hundreds of years. It was a legend with no proper evidence of anyone actually practicing it, but people knew the concept. We’re still fighting against that concept. I don’t see this current situation as being any different. The existence of people do not negate the preexisting concept. The argument is very much conceptual in nature, as it is about ideas. LaVey did take the name of religion that was likely fictional, but the ideas were as solid as anything with actual practitioners. So, the only fictional part were the practitioners in the original concept.

          Ideas all compete with each other, as they should. That’s always been the way it goes. I think this argument will continue forever.

          • Alder Strauss

            I don’t recall seeing the Catholic church calling Jews a cult of Satanists, etc.
            I do know that those they saw as heretics would be painted as those in line with Satan.
            If there are some sources that you can provide that show the Catholic church calling these types actual practicing Satanists, I’d love to see them.
            However, that doesn’t state that just because the term was used as an accusatory term and a religion attachment was added, that makes an existing religion called Satanism before LaVey valid.
            Those people accused would have to call themselves Satanists while practicing a religion they call Satanism.

          • Damien Ba’al

            No, if you go all the way back to when there was opposition to the Jews, it was very intertwined with the politics of the Roman government. They usually referred to them as “atheists”.

            The demonized gods go back thousands of years, but that is long before the modern concept of Satan. The modern concept of Satan solidified more 16th century or early 17th. Then you are well into the 17th century before they are calling people Satanists, and that is the origin of the word “Satanism”, which you can easily look up.

            No one has been verified as having identified with it. It was part of accusing people of being in league with the devil and that sort of thing.

            Satanism was a religion of legend. People told stories about Satanists, and Satanism was about worshiping the devil. There is no evidence that anyone was in it though. It looks more like it was made up. It’s hard to be sure as it is hard to document something that is underground, but going by verifiable evidence, it does appear to be a fictional religion.

            In 1966 LaVey gives his religion that name. He didn’t invent the word though, like is the case with Scientology, for example. His actual philosophy had to be explained as a distinction to the religion of legend people were familiar with. That’s something we all do to this day. The Satanic Panic strengthened it, but the concept existed long before that.

            The CoS acknowledges that, but they say it doesn’t count because there is no proper evidence the religion was anything fiction. LaVey is the first to have it properly documented as being real, and so no one else gets to have a variation of Satanism, and they reject the concept of the “LaVeyan” modifier.

            Myself and many others don’t see it that way. Religion is a conceptualized set of ideas, so in that way the fictional religion is no different than if it had been real. Ironically, by creating his own conceptualization of it, and making it a real religion, LaVey demonstrated that this is something you can just do. It doesn’t matter if people think Satanism is worshiping the devil and all that, LaVey defined it in his way and made it into a real religion. Other people see what they are doing as no different.

            Now at the point we are at currently, we have more than 40 years of other organizations. I doubt the founding of the Temple of Set in 1975 was the first, but even if it was, that’s longer than a lot of people have been alive. So the concept of Satanism having variations has been well established in the minds of all but those who identify with the Church of Satan.

            I think this “Satanic milieu” as it is called, is here to stay, even if the CoS views them as pesky little gnats buzzing round their head. With mine, I at least talk about my way not being the only way, and it’s just what resonates with me. I think that’s true of a lot of people. Even members of the Church of Satan admit to having a personal philosophy that differs in many ways to the philosophy laid out by LaVey, which is the religion with which they identify. They do one thing as Satanists, and other things just as themselves. Some people just want their own type of Satanism, using the name by way of the central figure used as symbolism and metaphor.

            It’s subjective what counts and what doesn’t, so we’ll probably never settle it.

          • Alder Strauss

            “In 1966 LaVey gives his religion that name. He didn’t invent the word though, like is the case with Scientology, for example. His actual philosophy had to be explained as a distinction to the religion of legend people were familiar with. That’s something we all do to this day. The Satanic Panic strengthened it, but the concept existed long before that.”

            No one’s contesting that the word existed before LaVey. The issue is whether or not religions after LaVey calling themselves Satanism/ist are legitimate in comparison to the defining tenets of the religion Satanism.

            Scientology is a term used in association to a religion created by L. Ron Hubbard.
            So, if someone was to create a religion and call themselves Scientology, they’d have to compare their defining elements with Hubbard’s.

            One’s personal philosophy differing from each other doesn’t negate Satanism and the CoS as a founded, concrete philosophy and institution.
            The reference here is that some people are more charitable, others aren’t, different members have different political leanings, etc. than what LaVey liked in his life.
            LaVey loved gags, pranks, etc. Other members may hate it.
            He loved playing the keyboards. I have no real interest in them beyond an occasional dabbling, etc.

            “They do one thing as Satanists, and other things just as themselves.”
            It’s all on account of being a Satanist. A religion you choose to adhere to shouldn’t be cherry picked and should, instead, resonate with the whole self.

            “Some people just want their own type of Satanism, using the name by way of the central figure used as symbolism and metaphor.”
            People can use the figure of Satan as an inspiration in their religion, but when they call themselves by a name that’s been established, well, you know. I’ve stated it soooo many times already.

          • Damien Ba’al

            Yeah, that’s what the disagreement is about with most people. One side says that because LaVey was the first to make it a real religion that people self-identified with, it’s his and only he can use the name for a religion. The other side doesn’t think those qualifiers matter, and that because it is an old term for a legendary religion that may or may not have existed, it’s up for grabs and they can do the same thing LaVey did.

            Both sides would agree that no one else gets to use the name “Scientology” because it was made up by LRH and never existed prior to him coining it in the early 1950’s.

            I think that when coopting a preexisting name for one’s religion, you can have no reasonable expectation that people will change their understanding and usage of the word accordingly, or that no one else will do the exact same thing. That seems a very unreasonable expectation to have. I certainly don’t expect people to stop thinking it means devil worship. That’s what it has meant for hundreds of years, even if there were no actual people doing it. I also do not expect people not to make up their own variation, and even stated in my book something to that effect.

            I can’t think of another situation like Satanism. This may actually be unique. I can understand the CoS point of view on the matter. I’m just hoping that they can see why a lot of other people might find those expectations unreasonable.

        • Zoe Ambrosine

          Ayn Rand has more of a claim to LaVeyan Satanism than LaVey does; the religion is wallpaper over objectivism (something which was “established” before LaVey co-opted it and plagiarised Ragnar in order to be more controversial), not a separate and distinct philosophical entity.

          • Alder Strauss

            Read The Devil’s Avenger or the more readily available and less costly The Secret Life of a Satanist. That’ll debunk your statement about Rand.
            And I’ve already addressed and put to rest the Ragnar plagiarism claim.
            So, we’re done with entertaining that one.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Yes, I’d hate to repeat myself with the literal definition of plagiarism and mentions of how the late Ming the Merciless never gave the guy who wrote a good portion of his book enough credit.

            I’m even more aware of the ridiculous nonsense that the Church of Satan claims now. Thank you for that, since I was previously uniformed about the sorry state of your organisation

            Now that I know you pretend away flaws and problems and believe in Biblical fundamentalism or one isn’t a real Christian– wait, I mean Satanist… you know, I just don’t think your religion is the right fit for me. Thanks for the “stimulating” discourse. Oh hey, look at the time! I’ll have to let you go now, since I know the Church of Satan can be strict about masturbating to Anton’s cremains.

    • Shaftoe Qwghlm

      So Shasta is not legitimate soda? Don’t go spouting that in MI!

      • Zoe Ambrosine

        No kidding, them’s fighting words around these parts.

        Next thing you know, he’ll be bad mouthing Vernors.

    • Shaftoe Qwghlm

      You can make up your own criteria as much as you want, just recognize that they have no real bearing on how legitimate one religion is compared to another.

    • Reverend Seven

      The (TST) has done more in the name of Satan than all the coat tail riding worms who’ve done nothing in that regard for the better part of two decades now. They are a pretentious lot and their “Proud to be a CoS snob” shirt denotes as much. I happen to know what the CoS is guarding and why. Unfortunately their inaction has only made them irrelevant and less qualified to speak on the devils behalf and no matter how much they pander to the ignorant the end game shall still overtake them. Their derision is only telling to the those who truly know and gives one pause as to whom they are trying to convince of their legitimacy, everyone else or just themselves. ~ Rev-7

      • Alder Strauss

        You wrote:
        “The (TST) has done more in the name of Satan than all the coat tail riding worms who’ve done nothing in that regard for the better part of two decades now. ”

        The facts, should you have actually done research on your own instead of listening to other clueless detractors and parroting their ignorance:

        ” We had over five hours of “salon” presentations wherein our productive adherents shared their many ways of moving the world. Amongst those included were people involved in book publishing, music, ecological activism, sculptors, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, scholars of religion, and an ordained attorney presenting his successful efforts towards legal recognition of our Priesthood in his home state.”

        Note ecological activism and an attorney who (individually and personally; the right way for Satanists to do it) fought for recognition as a priest for his right to marry others in his very religious and conservative state.

        Also, here’s a book in which the proceeds go to help women who are victims of abuse:

        There are others who help out animals, etc.
        The reason why they are often not seen by the mass public is that they are doing it out of their own personal interests without attaching a religion to it. Because they don’t need to.
        TST creates a light of insincerity when it attaches religion to things that could be done without that association.
        Interesting angle, right?

        • Zoe Ambrosine

          Now that you mention it, it is interesting. I Googled the Tumblr post (ironic that someone who gets as ass-chapped as Peter has one of those for the Church, but I digress) you excerpted.

          Despite the “rare celebration,” it’s funny how Google Images has absolutely zero pictures of the Church of Satan’s 50 year conclave — nor does YouTube have any videos whatsoever I could find.

          The last such video was at the 40 Year High Mass, under which the video states that “Over 100 members of the Church of Satan coming from around the globe filled the theatre to capacity.”

          Wow, like a whole hundred people? That’s really something!

    • Zoe Ambrosine

      As someone who’s read most of LaVey’s books and is a member of the Satanic Temple, the Satanic Bible is a load of plagiarised nonsense for the most part (not too dissimilar to the Christian Bible in that respect).

      We’re talking the same fellow who said, “I give people Ayn Rand with trappings… just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” So if you want to be a true Satanic hipster, you can merely staple the nearest copy of Atlas Shrugged to Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right and some of Aleister Crowley’s works after they’ve been hacked to bits with a machete. Congrats, you just made your own copy of the Satanic Bible!

      Anton’s church died when he did, and no amount of saying “but we were here first!” will cover up for the fact that it’s been washed up for almost twenty years. LaVey’s strength was his dynamic personality and willingness to rebel against convention, something the moribund Church of Satan has failed to take notice of.

      • Adam Campbell

        It’s alive and well, but that’s an interesting talking point.

        You need to re-read TSB if you really believe your post.

        • Zoe Ambrosine

          While the Church of Satan refuses to give a head count on its members, the last amount we know of has it at 20,000 maximum in an Army document that dates back to 1978 (which would be twelve years after it was founded); the Satanic Temple has been on record as around double that now in the news (40,000), after two years of being founded. We know for a fact that the Church of Satan has been haemorrhaging members since Anton died, including his own daughter (who ran off to join the Temple of Set, before she ended up founding the Sethian Liberation Movement).

          In fact, let me quote his child for you:
          “Zeena’s crisis of faith reached its highpoint when she learned that most of her father’s self-created legend was based on lies and that many of his works were plagiarized.”

          So let me get this straight: your position is that the Satanic Bible is an original work? Because I can definitively prove it is plagiarised, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

          • Adam Campbell

            No. Anton LaVey was influenced by many people. He used what he liked and discarded what he didn’t like. Out of that, he formed a philosophy called Satanism. Created an organization to define and defend that religion. Then wrote a book defining the religion.

            You can read all about it here:

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Thank you for the laugh, since it’s like you’re proselytising with the link. What’s next, the use of missionaries when being a rebel alone won’t get the member counts up any longer? Will you go door to door with the Satanic Bible and preach about your lord and saviour, Anton LaVey?

            News flash: he wasn’t merely “influenced” — he plagiarised others, verbatim.

          • Adam Campbell

            Oh no, we don’t want you as a member, don’t think that for a minute. We don’t proselytize either, but then I think you know that.

          • Xen

            Since you are not the one collecting the $200 you are certainly not entitled to speak for those who do.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Conformity and a lack of critical thinking doesn’t attract people like me.

          • Alder Strauss

            You’re referring to ‘The Book of Satan’ where it has excerpts from ‘Might is Right.’
            In early printings of The Satanic Bible he mentions in those he thanks Ragnar Redbeard, whose might is right.
            Also, when copyrights aren’t updated and rights are let lapsed, works become public domain.
            So, there’s also that.
            That plagiarism claim can now be put to rest.
            Go forth, educated.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            You’re going to have to prove that one. I have never seen a single copy where he so much as mentioned the original author in a bibliography or a footnote, let alone gave him credit for writing a substantial portion of the Satanic Bible; as I’ve already mentioned, his own child (Zeena) even accused him of plagiarism. Furthermore, to excerpt

            [Works that are no longer protected by copyright, or never have been, are considered “public domain.” This means that you may freely borrow material from these works without fear of plagiarism, provided you make proper attributions.]

            Proper attributions which were never made.

            So it’s not even close to being put to rest. Go forth, educated.

          • Alder Strauss

            From Chapter 5 ‘Sources, Sects, and Scripture’ – The Book of Satan in The Satanic Bible by Eugene V. Gallagher (One of the contributors in this collection titled ‘The Devil’s Party’):
            “If LaVey is plagiarizing, and it is true that the most he ever did was mention Redbeard in the original extensive list of dedications that quickly disappeared from subsequent printings of The Satanic Bible (Aquino 2009a: 510), he is doing something different than simply claiming another’s work as his or even attempting to have an earlier work ‘speak for him.’ He has adapted the material from Might is Right to a new purpose, both consonant with and distinct from the purpose of the earlier text.”

            This quote is following to pages that dissect the purpose and presentation of The Book of Satan and how LaVey selected and quoted passages from Might is Right to illustrate the purpose of The Book of Satan. It goes on to state that he changed the wording around to make it less anti-Semitic, etc.
            So, even scholars are siding with the skepticism of using plagiarism to undermine the validity of LaVey’s works.

            Here are two photos showing that he mentions Redbeard and Might is Right in early editions of The Satanic Bible:


            If you have trouble seeing them, let me know.

            Also, just repeating Go forth, educated doesn’t really add validity to your point.
            It holds validity in my point because I delivered the goods and, in the deliverance of such goods actually adopted your reference as further reinforcement to mine, as LaVey has sourced his influences properly, even to nonbiased observers/researchers (religious scholars).

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            I was more borrowing your line to show my scorn for your pretentiousness and herd conformity. Which as you may recall, are a few of LaVey’s own Satanic sins. Allow me to refute you with the dictionary itself, which states that plagiarism is, “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.” (

            In your haste to prove me wrong, you have validated my correctness. Not only is that exactly what went on according to your cited scholar, but your first edition is NOT giving credit. That is at best a passing mention, with no real reason given as to why the author was even mentioned at all.

          • Alder Strauss

            The association in the names Might is Right and Redbeard is clear in its association to what’s contained therefrom in The Book of Satan.

            Credit is paying reference via a communication of information, the source of that information as a fore/afterthought in the culmination of the work.
            That’s what dedications, thanks and citations are for.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            That’s not even close to how you give an author credit — and the fact that he removed even that much in printings that follow is more than enough to prove his plagiarism.

            It’s rather like if he painted over the signature of a famous painting and signed it as “Anton LaVey” — he didn’t paint that work, but he’s more than happy to take credit as if he did.

          • Alder Strauss

            Since Avon is a major publishing company, their reasons for not having it included in future printings would be at the compliance and best interests of their legal/copyright department.

            The credit was given when the book was constructed. That shows due credit was provided and that’s that.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            For the last time, that is not how you give a person who you are taking material from — literally using someone else’s writing word for word — credit. It would be different if he included that part in his book as an, “Excerpt from Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right.” That’s not what he did.

            It is plagiarism, and you need to come to terms with that. He wasn’t an idiot, he knew better.

          • Alder Strauss

            “We know for a fact that the Church of Satan has been haemorrhaging members since Anton died…”

            Oh really. Can you produce the official membership numbers, showing trendlines showing a steady decline?

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            You know very well that I cannot produce “official” numbers, since Gilmore will never release that information in a desperate attempt to keep the Church of Satan relevant.

            Zeena has stated it was stagnant prior to her involvement. The Church of Satan is also spoken of in Contemporary Esotericism by Egil Asprem and Kennet Granholm:

            “Returning to clashes and ‘flame wars’, the conflict over the nature of modern Satanism and LaVey’s heritage in particular intensified after his death in 1997, culminating in a gradual exodus of disgruntled members from the Church of Satan in the early 2000’s as the leadership changed. Many of these members created websites and local networks, which in turn forced the Church of Satan to step up its Internet presence while still repeating trivialising rhetoric in cyberspace.”

          • Alder Strauss

            The Church of Satan is a representative body of the philosophy put forth by Anton LaVey. Each individual member who responsibly practices the philosophy he codified is keeping the Church of Satan relevant.
            Members come and go as they do. When something doesn’t work for a Satanist they decide what they want to do with that.
            You don’t need to be a member of the CoS to be considered a Satanist. The CoS has never stated otherwise and explicitly states that you don’t on their site.

            Also, if there were only 10 members of the CoS, it would still be as relevant as if there were 10,000.
            Remember, Satanism advocates quality over quantity.

            Zeena’s claims against her father have not been shown as being anything more than bunk.
            In Blanche Barton’s ‘The Secret Life of a Satanist (Revised Edition)’ she states that if LaVey were anything like Zeena had painted him to be, she wouldn’t have been with him.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            I suspect you must be trolling now, with the “quality” comment.

            All of your “quality” members already departed (I can tell because many are in TST), and Peter Gilmore is widely considered a joke to anyone Satanic outside your Church.

            I feel it bears reminding you that Blanche was the person who appointed Peter to his current position, and tried to pull that “hand written will” nonsense after Anton passed away. Given that she’s an established liar there, one might think you would have second thoughts about citing her works as if they’re authoritative over the word of children she was trying to cheat.

          • Alder Strauss

            You seem to have some kind of agenda against Gilmore and the CoS.
            Blanche was the one who was with LaVey the most in his later years. And other members of the CoS have spoken about the characters of his daughters.

            Were you there when LaVey signed the CoS over to Blanche?
            It sounds like you were.

            Besides that, why do you care so much about trying to invalidate an organization you feel (I’m sure) is defunct?
            I really don’t care what your opinions of it is. You should be looking at how the CoS is represented under Peter Gilmore now in comparison to how it was by LaVey if you really want to be taken seriously in your claims against the organization.

            And I wasn’t trolling with the quality.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            I didn’t give the Church of Satan so much as a passing thought despite reading Anton’s literature, until your buddy Adam decided to pipe in where his opinion wasn’t wanted.

            Now that you have my attention though, I’ve figured out where I stand with CoS.

            I’m already quite certain I don’t care for Blanche, who aimed to screw over any LaVey child that wasn’t hers and more likely received the Church of Satan in a settlement (that seemingly invalidated her hand-written will) because neither child wanted to have anything to do with him by his death. Karla was apparently successful in arguing that Anton, “was not of sound and disposing mind and was under the influence of medication,” because the concessions they received could not have been from an advantageous position for Blanche.

            Furthermore, Blanche and her “new Church of Satan” dropped the ball on retrieving LaVey’s Black House. Not only was it trashed after his passing (with “JESUS RULZ” on the mailbox), but it has since been demolished and there’s a bright pink duplex on the site these days.

            Blanche is still openly bad-mouthing both children through the Church of Satan’s official website (, which is tasteless by any span of the imagination. It makes it seem as if these positions are the official positions of the Church of Satan, and not merely her opinions as a terminally ill Anton’s final screw.

            So this is the “quality” person who runs things and installed Peter. Since I just now came by acquiring your Grotto Master’s Handbook (which is a secretive document that has been handed out to your chapter heads), I’m sure I’ll have lots more fun stuff to say about the Church of Satan when I’ve given it a good read. You were foolish to get my attention.

          • Alder Strauss

            Grottos are no longer in place in the CoS. I don’t know why you’d use that.
            I’m sure I know what you think about Peter.
            Based on answers you’ve given with other issues, they follow a very cliche track pattern with many other discussions I’ve had with CoS/LaVey/Gilmore detractors.

            And regarding all you’ve stated about Blanche and the CoS, it’s irrelevant to my point of stating that you’d need to compare how the CoS is run now instead of in the past.
            However, I have yet to see your response to that. You’re more concerned about bashing everyone in the CoS and bringing up past drama among family members that are irrelevant to the argument.
            Your immaturity is paramount and I won’t entertain you any longer.
            You’re done and so is this exchange.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            “Grottos are no longer in place in the CoS. I don’t know why you’d use that.”

            Now now, let’s not sell the ol’ Church of Satan short. I’d say it’s interesting reading, regardless of whether they are or not. Here’s an excerpt for you:

            “Satan does develop an intensely intimate relationship with each of his followers. You may not perceive it until you train yourself to sense it, but since you have achieved the position of Grotto Master, You have probably already been touched by it. He will remain with you until your breath leaves your body. And perhaps beyond… Bring forth from within your own diabolical soul the magic and majesty that is due our Dark Lord. Ceremonies and rituals should be bold, well-orchestrated and purposeful. This is how we honor our Gods.”

            So much for the CoS having been founded as an atheistic organisation.

            “…they follow a very cliche track pattern…”

            Yet you have never paused to ask yourself why everyone’s telling you the same thing.

            The Church of Satan’s leadership was who made the poor choice to air their family laundry online for everyone else to see, puppet; I’m not who did that. I was initially going to respect their privacy, up until I saw them talking shit about the other LaVey children under your banner.

            It seemed obvious what I felt about how the CoS brand is being run, but let me make myself abundantly clear: it’s a dog and pony show which is all talk and no action — featuring wildly self-important circus ringmasters to go with remarkably pretentious members — who are collectively parasitizing from a dead man, when he wasn’t altogether original to begin with.

            The Church of Satan is the religious equivalent of that stereotype about the doddering elderly hermit who’s bitching about the children being on his lawn, so that he can head back inside and reminisce about the good old days in his safe space.

            I’ll leave you with another excerpt: “We admire Satan and wish to gain his respect, therefore we act as he would – in defiance of anything or anyone who would demand our worship. It would be an insult to offer him unthinking worship.”

            Indeed, it would — and this counts for Anton LaVey and the Satanic Bible just as much as it does anything else. Get you gone, and feel free to cast some spells on me or something.

    • Meli Penfold

      Adam, the Church of Satan did not invent Satanism.

      Satanism was a word describing what was probably an urban myth for many centuries before LaVey was born.

  • Xen

    There are many different Satanic organizations out there with different beliefs and different practices. Yet, the only organization that gets attacked on a regular basis by self proclaimed “real Satanists” is TST. A difference in belief and practice can’t be the reason or else it would just be one of many targets … sour grapes anyone?

    Btw, is anyone else amused when self proclaimed intelligent people write “the TST”?

    • Adam Campbell

      Other pseudo-satanic groups do not conduct political activism as Satanists while refusing to recorgnise the founding document of the religion of Satanism.

      This is a very simple idea to understand.

      Why do you think TST wants to claim the religion of Satanism? Why didn’t they create their own religions name? It’s called brand recognition and borrowed equity.

      It makes sense that they would do it, it’s just sad when their antics are shown to be just that.

      • Xen

        Brand recognition? For what? A concept that has been around since the middle ages? Look, when I was a new Satanist I read LaVey and thought I knew what it was all about, I get it. But believe me, there’s a lot more literature out there and to really understand Satanism you need to understand history and the history of other religions too.

        • Adam Campbell

          I don’t believe, I’m a skeptic, you need to prove your assertions.

          I agree education is important, which is what this thread is all about.

          • Xen

            I need to prove the existence of more literature? Seriously kid? Google, Amazon … thanks for the laugh. Good night.

          • Adam Campbell

            Yes, this is what adults do when they make a claim.

          • Xen

            Since you have proven your adult claim that you really are too stupid to use Google you shall be rewarded: – start with Jesper Petersen’s stuff (that’s a serious advice, btw, he’s a scholar who specializes in researching Satanism).

        • Alder Strauss

          You are referring to what scholars who’ve poured over the concept of Satanism have called Romantic Satanism.
          That is in reference to those like Milton and others who have shown sympathy for the Devil.
          They never called themselves Satanists in a religious sense nor did they create and practice a religion called Satanism.
          For more about this read ‘The Devil’s Party.’

          A lot of people do get confused and tend to erroneously rely on the existence of the word Satanist/Satanism pre-LaVey, assuming that it is in reference to a religion. But it’s not.
          Now you have the facts.

      • Zoe Ambrosine

        1. Your implication that any other group is “pseudo-Satanic” isn’t just a matter of “sensible chuckling over this fool” level arrogance, but the kind of behaviour I expect from a Christian. You can garb yourself with crosses or inverted pentacles, but it doesn’t change that you’re cut from the same cloth.

        2. The concept of Satan worship far predates your founding document, and the few useful constructs he introduced to the mix have been carried forward and expanded upon now that he’s dust.

        3. We haven’t claimed anything I’m aware of, that occurred because your “brand” of Satanism has become limp-dicked and lacking in the balls that used to give it any edge. Your “one true faith” view is threatened, because you fear your own slow descent into obsolescence and irrelevance.

        • Adam Campbell

          1. I don’t wear crosses or inverted pentacles.
          2. You are right, but not the religion of Satanism.
          3. Now you’re just being mean. Certainly we can be adults about our disagreements.

          The reality is, we have dealt with pretenders for 50 years, and always come out on top. This is not because of what we do, it’s because the public sees through the pretenders lies and motivations.

          I’m simply educating the author on the false statement made.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Be civil with you? The same guy who’s preaching like a Christian about Satanic fundamentalism? You and your “authentic” Church of the Satanic Brand™ have become what LaVey claimed he was disgusted with about Christianity in the first place. I owe you no respect when you act like this.

            Let me remind you of some Satanic Bible here:
            “Satanism advocates practising a modified form of the Golden Rule. Our interpretation of
            this rule is: ‘Do unto others as they do unto you’; because if you ‘Do unto others as you
            would have them do unto you,’ and they, in turn, treat you badly, it goes against human
            nature to continue to treat them with consideration.”

            Here’s a bit more:
            “The Satanist respects Christianity for, at least, being consistent in its guilt-ridden philosophy, but can only feel contempt for the people who attempt to appear emancipated from guilt by joining a witchcraft group, and then practice the same basic philosophy as Christianity.”

            Ad-lib “Satanism” in there instead of witchcraft, and that’s what you’re doing now.

          • Alder Strauss

            You look a bit like you’re quoting TSB much like a Christian might quote scripture.
            Are you in danger of falling upon your own sword here?

            Your quote really doesn’t hold water to the point you’re trying to get across.
            The point here is that Satanism the religion was codified in 1966 and not before.
            While there were those who worshiped deities that appeared to be of Satan, no one ever approached it religiously before LaVey. He is the one who created a religion called Satanism and that is where people need to go to test and see if those calling themselves Satanists and practicing Satanism are actually compatible with the defining tenets that LaVey set forth.
            That’s it. There’s no other way around it.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            That was intentional on my part, since the Church of Satan’s members act like Christians do.

            I figured we might as well cite the Bible too, since we’re halfway there already.

            You’re incorrect yet again (big surprise). I would invite you to review The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity by Per Faxneld and Jesper Aagaard Petersen, where it goes over the fact that there were esoteric Satanic cults and individuals who approached it in religious terms before Anton LaVey (like Ben Kadosh — also known as Carl William Hansen — or Maria de Naglowska).

            Luciferianism and the traditions behind that and theistic Satanism far predate LaVeyan Satanism. Fraternitas Saturni was the first organisation there, not the Church of Satan.

            At best you can claim LaVey was the first to make an atheistic Satanism… and who cares?

          • Alder Strauss

            “I would invite you to review The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity by Per Faxneld and Jesper Aagaard Petersen, where it goes over the fact that there were esoteric Satanic cults and individuals who approached it in religious terms before Anton LaVey (like Ben Kadosh — also known as Carl William Hansen — or Maria de Naglowska).”

            From ‘The Devil’s Party’:
            Regarding Naglowska:
            “The ‘satanic temple’ (a term she [Nagloswka] herself used) briefly operated by Maria de Naglowska in 1930s Paris presents similar problems (the problems cited before being associated to the German 1920s esoteric order Fraternitas Saturni, who viewed Satan as an initiator but whose pronouncements in being significant enough to call the entire group Satanic has been put to scholarly question). Its aim was an integration of Satan and God, and ultimately God seems to have been more important to Naglowska (Hakl 2008: 465-474)”
            It goes on in the following paragraph to state:
            “None of these groups and individuals founded lasting satanic traditions.”

            In regards to Carl William Hansen:
            “The first person to construct an entire esoteric system, if a rather miniscule one, around Satan was the obscure Danish occultist Ben Kadosh (Carl William Hansen, 1872-1936). His satanic circle, if it was even realized in the manner he intended, was as tiny as a volume of his writings (Faxneld 2011).”

            “None of these groups and individuals founded lasting satanic traditions. Fraternitas Saturni still exists but seems to have toned down the satanic content almost entirely. This applies even more to the Theosophical Society. A small Scandinavian group today draws on Kadosh’s ideas, but this is a revival rather than a direct continuation (Faxneld 2011).”

            So, Kadosh’s intentions on whether or not it was overtly Satanic is still put up to question(“if it was even realized in the manner he intended”).
            We can’t speculate conclusively and therefore must go with what is known as undeniable fact. If evidence surfaces to the contrary, then it should be professionally considered.

            The Devil’s Party goes on in regards to religious Satanism here:
            In the essay ‘Sex, Science, and Liberty: The Resurrection of Satan in the Nineteenth-Century (this would include Kadosh’s time):
            “It has to be remembered, first of all, that Romantic Satanism is a term of the literary history, not of religious studies. There are no indications that any of the Romantic Satanists ever held religious rites to worship Satan. It is true that Victor Hugo was deeply immersed in spiritualism and had been inspired by ‘turning tables’ to compose his poem on Satan. Yet, it was the spirit of Jesus and Moses which had particularly instructed him to do so (Zumthor 1946: 1-62). Among the other Romantic Satanists, the only instance in which we find anything faintly resembling religious practices is with Shelley, who writes in one of his letters that he has raised an altar to the Great God Pan (Hutton 1999: 25). Although this might be a highly significant occurrences in itself, it hardly amounts to Satanism.”

            It goes on. But you get the idea.
            Luciferianism is not Satanism and the quotes above show what practices in association with Satanism are confined to.
            So, yes. I’ve read The Devil’s Party.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Yeah, but you weren’t making claims about “lasting Satanic traditions.” You were claiming Anton got there first, and now you’re trying to move the goalposts when you realise he didn’t.

          • Alder Strauss

            No goalpost moving.
            You may have missed this important part that I quoted.
            “Among the other Romantic Satanists, the only instance in which we find anything faintly resembling religious practices is with Shelley, who writes in one of his letters that he has raised an altar to the Great God Pan (Hutton 1999: 25).”
            This is what the lasting Satanic traditions is referring to.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Haha sorry, guess I must have! There’s that lack of caring again.

            Since your comments, I’ve seen an interview with Nikolas and Zeena (who were associated with Anton at the time) — as well as Karla’s First Satanic Church website, which reads:

            “Keep in mind that you do not have to join anything to be a ‘real’ Satanist.
            Do not let any institution or group convince you that you must be a ‘member’ in order
            to be a Satanist.”

            You’re free to define the Church of Satan as the “one true legitimate faith” as you please, but this discussion is over as far as I’m concerned. We’re going to have to agree to disagree. I’ve given Anton credit where it’s due, but his “brand” of Satanism isn’t the only one in town any longer. I’m going to keep calling myself exactly what I please, and correcting people if they associate Satanism as a whole with you or your church. Consider this your version of the Protestant Reformation, since you like to take after Christianity so much in your adherence to strict Biblical dogma.

          • Alder Strauss

            You really seem to be bent out of shape in pretty much all your responses to me. Seems like you care more than you’d admit.

            “Keep in mind that you do not have to join anything to be a ‘real’ Satanist. Do not let any institution or group convince you that you must be a ‘member’ in order to be a Satanist.”
            I agree. And so does the CoS. From their site:

            “Q: Why is there a membership fee?
            “A: You don’t have to join our organization to consider yourself a Satanist, you only need to recognize yourself in The Satanic Bible and live according to the tenets outlined therein.”

            Well, the CoS is the representative body of Satanism as defined by Anton LaVey. So, they aren’t really different things.

            “I’m going to keep calling myself exactly what I please, and correcting people if they associate Satanism as a whole with your church.”

            I encourage you to call yourself exactly as you please.
            And you can go on trying to correct people who associate the religion Satanism with the one who started it.
            Keep in mind, however, that the evidence stands as it does.

            “Consider this your Protestant Reformation, since you like to take after Christianity so much in your adherence to strict Biblical dogma.”

            Well, this is just getting tiring. If you call yourself a Wiccan, Buddhist, Christian, Satanist, etc., there are things that separate them from each other. So, if you call yourself a Wiccan, you need to adhere to what defines that.
            That in itself is not akin to acting like a Christian in the sense you’re illustrating. Following something blindly would be acting Christian.
            No one who adheres to the philosophy that I’ve met or interacted with (who actually gets it) just goes along with everything he says without thinking about it. That is fundamentally unsatanic.
            If that was the case then I wouldn’t bother with quotes outside The Satanic Bible or anything else LaVey wrote (which I have in referencing The Devil’s Party).

            If you call yourself something and that something already exists, then you need to weigh what you practice against what’s been established.
            That’s the approach in everything; religion, philosophy, quoting law, writing a story, etc.
            I can’t say it any simpler than that.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Many of us weighed what we’re doing against what’s been established, and we found LaVeyan Satanism wanting. I thought that’s painfully obvious enough, but apparently it isn’t.

            Speaking as someone who could major in philosophy rather than accounting, I’ve seen a good amount of LaVey’s brand of philosophy now — enough to tell you that it’s almost childish in its desire to sit on the fence about concepts like naturalism versus supernatural belief. You claim to be atheistic, yet there are passages like this in the ol’ Grotto Master’s Handbook:

            “Demons will enter you. If you are an unworthy Host, if you harbor secret fears or residual Christianity in any form, if you are frivolous in your intentions toward the Dark Side, they will scent it like a pack of wolves and bring you down mercilessly. Many a sorcerer or sorceress before you has fallen to ruin and destruction in this way, even after years of intimate contact with the Infernal Ones.”

            By the by, Warlock — I’d like to get more back from my taxes this year. I’ll even let you be my friend if you can get me enough of a bonus, but only for the last half of February.

          • Alder Strauss

            I looked at the source and am looking into confirming its validity.
            However, despite its flowery language, Section Six’s introduction promotes that Satan, The Dark Lord, etc. is all within the Satanist and that its speaking in metaphor:

            “As we discussed in Section Three, the power of Satanism lies just as much in its metaphorical strength as in its advocacy of uncompromising rationality. Some Satanists prefer to use the term “magic” instead of “spirituality” because magic is active; spirituality implies passivity. Whatever term you feel comfortable with, we are different from atheists or humanists. We use rituals and symbols, talismans and invocations to call forth the Dark Gods within us. We must speak in metaphors, not to be purposely obfuscating but for two valid reasons:
            1) It is the only language the Ones Without understand. They are like animals. They may not entirely understand the words we speak. What they understand are the vibrations of our language, our emotions and the thought-forms we use to focus Them.
            2) Because we, as Satanic Magicians, are pioneers exploring vast, uncharted territories, and only poetic language is able to reach into the furthest borderlands of our comprehension. Magic is alchemical physics. We live in a spiral galaxy, our genetic code is a helix. Perhaps our physics and our magic would work differently in another galaxy, but here, everything can be reduced to frequencies and waves (which are only spirals seen from a fixed, limited perspective). Everything is spirals, not direct recapitulations.
            Energy is never wasted. Acquired knowledge confers further individuation, and consequently more individual power. If the Satanist has “faith”, he has unshakable faith in the power of his own mind. The best of us are curious, imaginative, inventive, determined creatures, worthy of sincere admiration. All we have theorized about all our sciences may crumble tomorrow – but only because we could conjure forth the defiant courage necessary to smash everything we know in order to understand even more completely.”

            Regarding your taxes. I’m not a professional tax preparer.
            I’d say that, to save big, go ahead and look to what you can itemize and deduct. I don’t know if you are business owner, etc., so that’s the best advice I can give.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            The tax thing was meant as a joke; you know, funny ha ha.

            The handbook is genuine. We have quite a few ex-members of yours, remember?

            Neat story about Peter: One of our number knows an ex-Grotto Master of yours, and that came up while we were discussing the document. Seems he took it on himself to end most or all of the grottoes, despite the significant investment of time and money some masters put into them.

            What I’m saying is, you Church of Satan folks made your bed when Barton and Gilmore pulled half the shit they have. So it only seems sensible that the Church should lie in it while it dies.

          • Alder Strauss

            And how does any of this invalidate the CoS as a representative body of Satanism?
            I’ll give you a clue.
            It doesn’t. So, there’s no need for pointless accusations.
            Your childish dung flinging doesn’t invalidate anything I’ve posited in my arguments. If anything, it just makes me look a hell of a lot better.
            I haven’t attacked your chapter heads here or poked at Lucien Greaves. It’s not relevant in the exchange.
            Now that you’ve made my day, go off and make another’s. Based on my experience with you here, it won’t take much. Just put your fingers to the keyboard and press down.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Since you don’t seem to be getting the point, the Church of Satan invalidated itself. I’m not arguing that the Satanic Temple is likely your creation, because people like you were what gave it life.

            As Mike Carey said, “We make our own monsters, then fear them for what they show us about ourselves.” When you act high and mighty, don’t be surprised when life takes you down a peg.

            I learned that lesson in my 20’s, and it seems many of you have yet to figure it out.

          • Dave Plunkett

            All bent up and twisted!

          • Dave Plunkett

            Zone they do, and they will always associate Satanism with the CoS, I have said to others, I give you jesters one more year!

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            We appreciate your gracious gift of a year.

            The Church of Satan’s already dead, so we’ll have to really work at it to catch up.

          • John Shaw

            Try as you may. You will never be a Satanist. It’s just not for everyone.

            “There are Satanists and there are nuts!” – Anton LaVey

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            I don’t *want* to be a LaVeyan Satanist, so I’m fine with that (and you have my word that I’m never going to join the Church of Satan — objectivism + racism + social Darwinism is just about the most unattractive combination of philosophy around). You don’t have a claim to the general term any more than Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox do Christianity.

            Learn to history. This kind of attempt to claim said term has never worked for anyone, and only makes you look like an extremely pretentious douche.

          • John Shaw

            Zoe…it is apparent that you truly are ignorant. LaVey started Satanism – for the first time in history. Therefore, it is HE and HE ALONE that can define it. He did just that. If you would like to start your own religion, please go right ahead, but to go along with the herd of those who are trying to steal it, or repackage it and redeliver under different tenets only makes you guys look completely dumb.

            I’m glad you would not join the Church of Satan – it saves us the time of reviewing your application and deny it due to your lack of understanding of Satanism.

            Stop comparing Satanists (not TsT members) to Christians, Catholics and the like. Please compare TsT members to Christianity – they fit right in.

            Between me and you, I completely understand WHY you guys are envious and angry of Satanists – but trying to be something you’re not only proves our points further.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            “That plebeians have a capacity for swallowing-whole myriad concepts without factual basis is what makes them so easily manipulated. It is their inability to check the doled-out illusions against reality that allows this to continue. All that a would-be leader needs to do is to tell his intended followers that they are somehow special, ‘elect,’ unique, or superior, and they will gleefully accept these false compliments. The leader simply tells the flock that they are elite, and points out some manifest destiny of his own choosing, and the sheep sprint to the slaughter. Never underestimate people’s tendency to identify with something deemed superior by an authority figure in an attempt at self-elevation. Xenophobia is almost always the rule. Promoting the fear and denigration of alien societies serves leaders as an easy technique for herd unification.”

            —Peter Gilmore, literally describing puppets like you in the Satanic Scriptures

            I could say more, but… that kind of says everything already, doesn’t it? We have members that your High Priest screwed over without any provocation. Maybe when you’re not useful idiots to have around any longer, he’ll burn his bridges with you too. Then you will have to think for yourselves in a world where you have no further basis for your own perceived superiority.

            You should’ve followed Anton’s advice:
            “Too long have religionists been falling back on their bibles and rulebooks to prove or disprove, justify, condemn, or interpret. The Satanist realizes that man, and the action and reaction of the universe, is responsible for everything, and doesn’t mislead himself into thinking someone cares.”

          • Alder Strauss

            From one side of your mouth you dismiss Anton LaVey as a plagiarizer while out of the other side you validate him as a source by quoting a book he authored–The Satanic Bible.
            The very book, mind you, that you just claimed before was nothing but a rip off of Rand and Redbeard (something I debunked in comments long ago).

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            I said I’d read the book before I decided it wasn’t for me, if your reading comprehension was fully functional here. I’m dealing with Church of Satan members, so of course I decided to quote your Bible — the same as I would if I was debating Christians. You are the folks who place any legit value on that book however, not me. I studied the philosophy of Nietzsche long before I made my way to Anton LaVey, and he’s far less impressive after that.

            I have since found a quote by Anton, regarding Might is Right: “[Redbeard’s book] is probably one of the most inflammatory books ever written, so … it was only natural that I excerpted a few pages of it. … The book has been so indelibly linked with me, it was felt that any new edition should have my name on it.” This was apparently on Chris Matthews, and I might even be able to source it on video given time. Regardless, that explains why the credits were removed, thoroughly debunks your imagined “debunking” of his plagiarism and makes you look like the puppet I said you are.

            Edit: I might also note that your comment is not an adequate reply to mine. And yes, I did bother to scrape up a copy of the Satanic Scriptures to make sure Peter Gilmore said that.

          • Alder Strauss

            I see what happened there. The quote was cherry-picked by either you or this Chris Matthews to make it appear as though LaVey was claiming to state that Redbeard’s writing was his own or that he was commandeering it.

            The full quote, acknowledging that he was merely referring to writing the introduction:
            “1. What is Might Is Right? Why did you write the forward to the new printing of Might Is Right ?

            Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard is probably one of the most inflammatory books ever written, so who better to write an introduction? It was only natural that I excerpted a few pages of it for The Satanic Bible. The book has been so indelibly linked with me, it was felt that any new edition should have my name on it. I am pleased with the new printing. The afterward is befitting the impact the book had upon George Hawthorne, a reader already predisposed to that kind of presentation. The editor’s notes made my Ms. Lane astutely reveal aspects I had not considered. The possibility of two distinct authors, in light of my own observations, makes perfect sense, though I am not qualified to hazard a guess as to who the other might be.”

            This interview was conducted in 1997. So, even though after the early editions had [ALL] the dedications removed, LaVey was still referencing it to the source (Redbeard, Might Is Right).

            “Regardless, that explains why the credits were removed, thoroughly debunks your imagined “debunking” of his plagiarism and makes you look like the puppet I said you are.”

            The full quote I posted actually proves your position wrong and just reveals to everyone reading this your poor attempt at research.

            How and why those thanks were removed are between LaVey and the publishers. No one else.

            I suggest you do more thorough research and quit with the insults. I mean, they’re really just compounding your immaturity.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Even if the quote was incorrect (which I saw in the form I pasted it as and have to apologise there), you nonetheless missed the link and the literal definition of plagiarism still applies.

            1. There would be no Satanic Bible at all without the ideas and words of others.

            2. Sources were not credited after the first edition, whether you like that or not; this is a fact which you have admitted is the case, and are trying to pardon with excuses.

            3. You fail to realise that your own insistence on it being okay for him to use the ideas and words of others as he saw fit makes it equally okay for US to take HIS ideas and words as WE see fit.

            You are shooting your own bullshit arguments in the foot without even realising it.

            I tire of these circular semantics. He’s been given credit where credit is due as I said in another comment, and we do not owe him — or any of you — anything more than that.

            If you want to differentiate your Church of Satan from the Satanist mainstream (which would be a good idea due to theistic Satanism — which predates yours in concept — alone), nobody’s stopping you from doing that. Karla did that. Nikolas did that. Make your form of Satanism distinct if you want it to be special, and stop pretending it’s the only Satanism in town — it isn’t, and increasingly won’t be.

            Nobody has a problem with doing that but you, because your “Satanist purity” is a part of the “we’re special snowflakes” narrative. I cannot be bothered to further act as some kind of psychologist who’s working out the Church of Satan’s collective superiority complex.

            This is my final reply on this issue. I consider it settled, much as you do.

          • John Shaw

            That excerpt does speak of us, as we are neither plebeians, nor easily manipulated. You see, we are a mutual admiration society – composed of Individuals that truly do not need the Church of Satan to make us feel warm and fuzzy, but rather ARE the Church of Satan – enjoying our lives to the fullest, reveling in our successes and some times, we indulge in one another’s company. Real Satanists would not be the least bit affected by not having the Church of Satan or membership, if that situation ever arose. Those are the INDIVIDUALS that do their own thing and have their own lives to enjoy.

            Your “temple” is filled with those that have been excommunicated from the organization LaVey set forth by the religion he set forth, that has NO BRANCHES. You are like pigs – rolling around in the mud and shit of those of us above you. Its entertaining, but we never want to be near any of you for fear of getting shit on ourselves.

            You stated, “I could say more…”

            I wish you had, for you actually said nothing above that.

            As for your last paragraph which entirely consisted of a quote by LaVey (someone who you and your ilk keep quoting, but fail to comprehend) has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. your grasping at anything and everything only shows your ineptitude. Please stop quoting our Founder’s words for your unSatanic purposes.

            In all seriousness, if you would like to have your own religion, and since you are clearly practicing your own religion, why are you trying to take the name of Satanism, when it has already, and over and over again I might add, been codified, defined and packaged for all to see? Is it the S word that you guys just want to borrow for shock value?

            It just makes you guys look petty…but if the show fit! And you wear it so well!

            Hail Satan!

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            “That excerpt does speak of us…” Yes, it probably does.

            “…as we are neither plebeians, nor easily manipulated.”

            Most of the people who weren’t easily manipulated left the Church after Anton died for a reason (during which, if you bother to Google the situation, the Church of Satan was dragging ass on responding to anything involving giving them money and Peter denied there was a problem).

            What remains are people who want to use the Church of Satan to think they’re smugly superior to others, and that’s what Peter is on record as stating he’s fostering in others. Although by your own statement in return, you don’t need the Church of Satan in order to be Satanists — WHICH HAS BEEN MY POINT ALL ALONG IN THESE COMMENTS. THANK YOU.

            None of us do either, and that’s why we’re not participants in it. If you cannot respect our decisions to forego Anton LaVey in our own personal philosophies (although I have fully admitted he started atheistic Satanism in another comment), someone might think you could at the very least respect that we are exercising our individuality as free-thinking people.

            Giving him credit where credit’s due is all I owe Anton. I don’t owe him the general name of Satanism and I don’t owe his philosophy my allegiance because he slapped the name on it.

            Just like Christianity applies to many denominations as a whole, so too is Satanism going to apply to more denominations than the Church of Satan — the concept of Satanism will out-live LaVey’s shadow regardless of what you think, not die out with him. Being a fundamentalist and collectively dragging your feet while you deride people who would otherwise be your allies is only serving to retard any real progress for Satanism and aid the types of people that Anton hated the most.

            I hope you see my point now, John… I really do.

          • John Shaw

            I do not see your point in the least and you have also proven my points.

            Pretending to be superior by brushing off the very organization LaVey started and the religion codified by him only makes you look completely ignorant. The beauty of Satanism is that he created it in such a way to prevent ANY off-shoots or branches of Satanism. It simply IS what he has defined it as, and his Church. Period.

            I refuse to give you an ounce of respect when you disrespect yourself for disrespecting the very religion and organization started by the man you claim to be aligned with. It’s truly retarded, in the very least.

            “the concept of Satanism will outlive LaVey’s shadow…” – it’s impossible. He started it. That is like saying Scientology will outlive L. Ron Hubbard’s shadow – or Christianity will outlive Jesus’ shadow. Like I said, retarded.

            One of the many things Satanism will outlive is ridiculous and embarrassing “branches” of feeble-minded jokers who attempt to mimic the Church of Satan, Satanism, and Satanists as a whole.

            I do agree when you say, “it’s a waste of my time to be fighting with the Church of Satan” – that is completely true. You can’t fight it, so please stop wasting your time – and ours.

            Your lazy-eyed little friend Douglas will give up his tirade when he comes down from his temper tantrum for being thrown out on his ass. I can’t wait to see where that leaves the folly-ridden members such as yourself.

            You also stated, “We’re busy clashing with Christian puppets who want to end freedom of religion” – something Satanists would never do in the name of Satanism.


          • Zoe Ambrosine

            “I do not see your point in the least…”

            Yep, and that’s why I’m ignoring most of your masturbatory reply.

            You won’t prevent any off-shoots or branches; they’re already here (theistic Satanism — or Satan worship — was already there before LaVey), and there’ll be more as we go.

            Tough shit. Now feel free to fuck off, John.

          • John Shaw

            Typical response of someone standing in quicksand.

            It’s ok really…it’s cliche’ at this point.

            We don’t have to “prevent” off-shoots…we’ve been at this for 50 years so far – they usually prevent themselves. You’ll see soon enough. You can’t build a house on sand. You need a strong foundation, and these petty off-shoots do not have that.

            You can kindly fuck off, as well, Zoe Ambrosine Demonia Satanicus…

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            To sum up what Anton used to say about the media, you need members more than everyone outside your dwindling little circle jerk needs the Church of Satan. Without him (and I’ll be the first to say he was an extremely unique human being), it’s been run into the ground. You won’t find another person like him to run things (and the most promising individuals — like that Diabolus Rex fellow — have already left you), so you’ll be lucky if it makes another fifty.

            Thanks for the little title at the end. I was born the blackest sheep of my Christian family and a “devil” in human form long before most of you probably knew what LaVeyan Satanism was.

            Your negativity — all the hate, jealousy and so on — nourishes someone like me, and I welcome it. Keep it up, Church of Satan. These comments are the least limp-dicked you’ve been in years.

          • John Shaw


            “Your negativity — all the hate, jealousy and so on — nourishes someone like me, and I welcome it.”
            – No negativity…pretty positive that you guys are the laughing stock of late.
            – Don’t hate you…I love entertainment.
            – Jealousy? You would have to possess something worth being envious of. Your mimic of the Church of Satan and Satanism only proves this.
            – It’s apparent you welcome it. You can’t stop replying with another feeble stab at us. Like I said, you have NOTHING to stand on. We, however, have 50 years of a thriving religion under us, while you guys try to imitate and change it.

            Saying LaVeyan Satanism is ignorant. It’s like saying Christian Christian, or Muslim Muslim. I know this obvious fact escapes you and you try really hard to convince people of it, but the only Satanism is from LaVey. Deal with it.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            “…pretty positive that you guys are the laughing stock of late.”

            You must be joking. Have a look around, John. Satanism hasn’t received this much attention in years, and it’s not “laughing stock” kind of attention either — Christians feel the Satanic Temple is a real threat, far more so than the Church of Satan will ever be again.

            Activism is far more fearsome in our modern day, as compared to people who sit on their asses doing podcasts and conducting a LARPing session once in a blue moon.

            You haven’t been anything more than a laughing stock to Christians (who I might remind you, make up the bulk of our population) for a long time now. Here’s just a few of the comments I managed to find with some Googling (I had to sift, since you haven’t been relevant for decades):

            “The Church of Satan is the least threat to Christianity… HARDLY a threat to the cause of Christ.” — David J. Stewart,

            “When LaVey stopped publicising his adherents’ numbers he counted just 7,000 members in the US nationwide, and it seems likely that that was a high point.” — The Telegraph

            “This is one of the essential ironies of the Church of Satan: it is so eager to impress, with its theatrics and talk of secret members in high places, but it is both unable and unwilling to back it up—a fact the media exploited during the Panic, distorting the church’s influence to justify their coverage. … At this point in time, having a slightly pervy private life, or a slightly pervy social circle, with a little kink thrown in and a collection of spooky anthropological oddities, isn’t nearly as much of a big deal as it was back in the church’s heyday. The Church of Satan, the spectacular dark media darling of 1969, seems to have entered its twilight years.” — Alex Mar for The Believer

            “To whom it may concern,

            As it is widely known, Anton Szandor LaVey repeatedly expressed his sincere desire to me that his mantle as leader of the Church of Satan pass to me upon his death. In his estimation, I was the sole person qualified to carry his tradition into a new era. At the time I demurred, explaining that I was a loner and not a team player or a people person.

            Now I have changed my mind. After thirteen years of introspection, I have decided to step up to the plate and humbly accept the role bestowed upon me by my close friend and mentor. Why? Because remaining loyal to LaVey’s spirit and memory has come at the cost of distancing myself from the organization perpetuating itself in his name.

            At one time, the sycophants and functionaries at the forefront of the CoS may have been called apparatchiks or pencil pushers. Today they are bloggers, whose sole arena of combat is the internet. When they employ ‘satanic’ ideals, it’s in endless squabbles in cyberspace – rarely in real life or the real world. The LaVey I knew abhorred such types, and frequently told me as much.

            I am told that many in the Church of Satan were offended by my book NO, and particularly by my essay on individuality; which they perceived as a potshot taken at them. How very perceptive – it was exactly that! If Anton were alive to read the text, he’d agree wholeheartedly; and laugh his ass off. He often lamented to me that his ideas vis-à-vis individualism were misguided and that he’d in effect “given birth to a monster”; or that such ideas applied to a few rare souls and not to everyone with the price of admission.

            Consequently, my first official act as new leader and only truly ordained High Priest of the Church of Satan is to declare that the organization no longer exists. True LaVeyan Satanism only exists insofar as it is manifested in deeds – in life and living. Never in mere words. Elitism is self-defining, it is not a commodity that can be bought or sold for a few hundred dollars, or whatever the going rate is for a little, red membership card.

            In the future, LaVey’s ideas can only survive in so much as they constitute a living reality, and never as mere platitudes on the printed page or computer screen; and in the future, such ideas must be taken to the next level. They must be recognized as purely foundational. Not an end point, but a starting point. LaVey expressed as much to me when he appointed me Grand Master of The Order of the Trapezoid. Satanism is an initiation into the wisdom of materiality, and the trapezoid represents the mastering of materiality – the pyramid sans its keystone. It is a foundation and a beginning.

            In closing, I know my words will find resonance only amongst a rare few. That’s as it should be. I am not trying to ‘take over’ the internet orthodoxy currently known as the Church of Satan, nor would I want to. I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.

            I am simply telling you I am Anton LaVey’s handpicked replacement as High Priest. Do with that what you will. I will not ask you for money. I will not send you newsletters or post blogs. But I will never steer you wrong, nor ever disgrace the memory of my dear friend and mentor, Anton Szandor LaVey. He lives within each soul that manifests his ideas and worldview. He will remain forever dead to those who are content to pay mere lip service to them. For the former, a new era awaits; for the latter, an old error remains in play. Let the dead bury the dead – life is for the living.”

            — Boyd Rice, High Priest of Church of Satan

          • John Shaw

            I’m so happy you said that. My points proven once again. Hail Satan!

            Satanism advocated secularism. So we aren’t trying to be a threat to any other religion. Another obvious point missed by you tards.

            And please don’t quote Boiled Rice in some vain attempt to prove a point. That’s just plain old sad.

            You really don’t have words of your own do you? A religion of your own? NO. Guess not.

            Copy Boiled Rice. Copy LaVey. Copy the Church of Satan.

            Copy copy copy.


          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Boyd Rice is more legit a Satanist in his pinky finger, than you’ll ever be in your entire body.

            By the way: you should probably not be stupid enough to use your real name. Someone’s already doxed where you live, your companies’ information, and all related phone numbers.

          • John Shaw

            Nobody gives a shit about Rice.

            I’ve been using my real name online for well over 20 years now…hasn’t meant or changed a thing. If someone wants to talk to me, they can knock on my fuckin door – you included toughy! This is Arizona – if someone is stupid enough to kick up some dust around here, they deserve all they get. Your vague threats (mostly due to your frustration with losing all of these debates) means diddly. Have you gone and fucked yourself yet today?

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            *grins* I take it you haven’t been properly trolled by someone Anonymous-style yet, or you wouldn’t think handing out your private information is so peachy. It really doesn’t take much for anyone on the Internet to order you fifty pizzas or a hundred subscriptions to various magazines. They’re not going to come knock on your door. How long have you been on the Internet, pleb?

            Personally speaking, I wouldn’t waste my time looking to harm you or your family… but you may not always be so lucky with others. You were fully doxed on alt.freemasonry, and it hasn’t been around the bend to the nuttier Christians yet from what I can see.

            As a side note, don’t waste your time with the name I’m using. It’s no more real than my Facebook name, even if you had that. I thought it was cute how you poked fun at the Satanic Temple on your Facebook, likely in a group of folks using their real names too. “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups,” as the late George Carlin once said.

          • John Shaw

            Yet again, you assume too much. Like I said over 20 years online with nothing but people making cheap threats because they are frustrated, like yourself, and live in Mommy and Daddy’s basement and have orange dust on their private parts because they eat Cheetos right before spanking their monkeys.

            I don’t know what that is, so wrong guy…used to that too!

            This has been boring, so I am going to enjoy my life now…so feel free to get the last word in.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Indeed! I can tell you must be having a blast, when you need to validate your organisation’s dick size on the Internet to this extent. Your mistake in assuming I’m a millennial.

            Nice stereotype there, I might add — the youth are the lifeblood of anything, and your Facebook reads like a bunch of old fucks sitting around and jerking themselves to hating on the young.

            You have a peachy day now, John. You know where to find me when you want to make yourself feel important all over again. Maybe you can go “warlock” up some spirits — but metaphorically of course, because the Church of Satan is just too cool to believe in literal ones or something.

            You idiots have the pretentiousness of philosophy majors.

          • Dave Plunkett

            Just not true Zoe, besides if you feel that this is and has always been the history of the CoS why on earth would you even make this poor attempt at justifying your brand?

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            If you aren’t aware of Ragnar Redbeard being a racist author or LaVey’s hard-on for Ayn Rand, allow me to encourage you to do more reading and less commenting on the Internet. My summary is quite accurate as to the basis of LaVey’s philosophy, much of which he didn’t create.

            He was merely the fellow who pasted it all together and slapped Satan’s face on it.

          • Dave Plunkett

            Yes, I’m very aware of who Ragnar Redbeard was and Rand for that matter. Now you attack Peter Gilmore who is not part of this thread, and for good reason…he would have no time for the likes of you! Mr. Shaw and Mr. Campbell have done you a great service in explaining the basics, and yet you continue with finger pointing and make offensive remarks, give it a rest. The CoS will continue! And next time you pour milk over women’s heads think about the health services your denying woman who are attempting to get care, this is a prime example of why the CoS stays the ‘Hell out of politics.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            The likes of me would give you smug Church of Satan members who think you’re better than “pseudo-Satanists” an offensive gesture to go with my words in real life too, with both hands.

            Welcome to real nonconformity and rebellion, the kind Satan would approve of. I just joined the Satanic Temple not too long ago, but I’ve been doing this for far longer than that.

            If you want my respect, deserve my respect. Show me why you’re superior people, instead of telling me that you’re superior people. Otherwise, you’ll get nothing but scorn.

          • Dave Plunkett

            Go John!

          • Dave Plunkett

            Don’t bother Alder, she has no way understanding the difference between a choice in philosophy and running a circus. From drop-outs to pedophiles TST has it all under one roof. And if you ask really nice you can have a Chapter too, maybe you’ll find Zoe under the Big Top, yeah!

      • Bible Belted Betty

        Their “antics” are about keeping State and Church separate, something that the idiotic COS doesn’t give two shits about. TST is about TROLLING Christians when they don’t comprehend the importance of church/state separation. I live in the American Bible Belt and some of us don’t want to open wide for a mouthful of JEEEEEEZUS. We actually find the entire notion of a Dead-Guy-On-A-Stick who impregnated his own mother with himself, as both Father and Son, in order to sacrifice himself to himself, to be disgusting. We don’t want our laws written by overstuffed Southern Baptist preachers on Bud Light. We would rather have a SECULAR state and not one where other people’s kids are obligated to worship a 2,000-year-old virgin carpenter who never masturbated. TST has WON where the ACLU and the FFRF have FAILED to keep a SECULAR state.

        • Alder Strauss

          “Their “antics” are about keeping State and Church separate, something that the idiotic COS doesn’t give two shits about.”

          Well, let’s look at the facts.
          TST claims to be about church-state separation, yet they promote pluralism in their actions through wanting to include their ASS clubs, statues, prayers/invocations,etc. alongside religious presences their emulating while at the same time fighting against.
          If you make a stance about something, you have to keep consistent with it from the get-go. TST has not.

          Representatives (in particular the High Priest, Peter Gilmore) has stated that the CoS advocates separation of church and state. To this day I haven’t come across a member or representative of the CoS supporting secularism while having a “me too” mindset.

          Also, let the record show that TST hasn’t really succeeded in impeding what they’ve been fighting against. Statues have been moved, invocations were brought back, etc.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            Why am I not surprised that you’re too dull-witted to understand what the Satanic Temple is aiming to do by beating them at their own game? (Something which *has* produced results, despite your claims that it hasn’t… but you can think whatever you please.) That’s how erosion of separation between church and state is fought against: you use the system to force Christians to concede ground to their hated foes, until they want the system that enabled them to do so gone.

            It’s not like your organisation has come up with anything better, is it? What useful anything has the Church of Satan done to prevent their encroaching theocracy in the past twenty years? Sat around and fondled yourselves to your supposed “Satanic” legitimacy? Christians are active and militant, and they’d run roughshod over you and your ilk if they had any power whatsoever.

            Nobody here gives a shit what Peter Gilmore thinks but you.

          • Alder Strauss

            Your resorting to ad hominems only reinforces a white flag in these exchanges.
            I just showed how playing their own game hasn’t gotten anywhere.
            Also, the point is that you need to be consistent. TST should be claiming pluralism over separation of church and state.
            Also, Satanism was founded on a secular premise; not acknowledging the existence of deities. So, they’re also going against a fundamental principle in Satanic religion.
            Also, media recognition of campaigns and publicity stunts is not results. It’s simply stage time. Results is a permanent rescinding or an establishment of law in the favor of one’s campaign’s message.

            Unlike TST, the CoS and legitimate Satanism isn’t dependent on the existence of Christianity to survive.
            Christians depend on Satan, not the other way around.

            Please do your research on these matters.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            *rolls eyes*

            1. An ad hominem is using personal attacks in place of an argument, not personal attacks period. I’m honestly just getting sick of correcting you over and over. Use that shit between your ears that we call “a brain” and realise why nobody cares what the Church of Satan thinks already. You had your time when Anton was alive. It was done when Blanche got a hold of it.

            2. The Satanic Temple didn’t erode the separation of church and state, Christianity did (notice how our current activity is in order to undermine the progress they’ve made in that direction with the Good News Club v. Milford Supreme Court ruling). Therefore, forcing them to have to share their progress with Satanism has become a useful method of protesting that occurrence — the Church of Satan can claim it is for separation of church and state until it is blue in the face, but you don’t do anything functional to keep it that way. I cannot explain the situation in any simpler terms than this, so I can’t help you if it doesn’t sink in this time around.

            I’m not even going to bother with the remainder of your opinions. It reads like someone who’s bitter about being impotent. I’m sorry you can’t get your dick up any longer, but you might as well be playing for Team Jesus with all of your nay-saying and negativity about trying to keep our freedom of religion going. When you can even get as far as media recognition without seeming utterly pretentious and out of touch, give some of us a call and we’ll do lunch.

          • Alder Strauss

            “An ad hominem is using personal attacks in place of an argument, not personal attacks period.”
            I made the claim that the statue has been moved and that prayers/invocations have come back despite TST’s efforts to eliminate them by beating Christians at their own game.
            You didn’t combat that with sourced or cited evidence. You just went off with the insults.
            So, yes, my ad hominem statement is correct.

            “I’m honestly just getting sick of correcting you over and over.”
            Don’t worry. You aren’t.

            “The Satanic Temple didn’t erode the separation of church and state, Christianity did (notice how our current activity is in order to undermine the “progress” they have made in that direction with the Good News Club v. Milford Supreme Court ruling).”
            Well, you did in the fact that you have placed ASS clubs in public schools and that you’ve done invocations in state/government spheres. That action violates (and erodes) the separation of church and state. It also is what Christianity is doing.
            Do you notice that they’re fighting back even harder than they would be if one went by nonreligious means (litigation)?
            If you kick someone’s crutch out from under them, they’ll only hold onto it tighter.

            Don’t get me wrong, I support the stance you guys are taking in regards to getting religion out of state/government spaces. I just think there’s a better, more productive way to do it.
            And, guess what? It doesn’t even require Satanism in the first place to achieve that goal.

          • Zoe Ambrosine

            My own personal Satanism is none of your business, but I happen to share their goals at this time and have been seeing constructive progress out of the Satanic Temple.

            Even if the Satanic Temple doesn’t last, I’ll still be doing my own thing regardless.

            I don’t need to attach myself to an organisation to find legitimacy. You claim the Satanic Temple is doing that with Christianity, when you’re doing that with the Church of Satan.

      • DrumminD21311

        It’s the Protestant Reformation/Sunni-Shia Divide all over again. Oh the irony!!!!

    • MythUnderstood

      The TST temple.

    • Dave Plunkett

      The *gag* temple only gets “attacked” and trust me they know nothing about a media attack, is when they put themselves out there asking for rude comments and attacks. You come off acting the fools your going to be ridiculed, really, “attacked”? Where will the leadership be when a lawsuit is launched against them for violating others rights, yeah , I get the point …but really?

  • Great bunch of people! Check out our conversation with Chalice about the After-School Satan program.

    • Charlotte McFarland

      LOL, is this drivel the reason that the Utah chapter of TST closed due to “apathy”, then?

  • Alder Strauss

    “The obvious difference is The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey [COS’s canonical text],” Shea says. “When you read it, it has a tendency to fade in and out of theism and atheism, while promoting and denying the supernatural.”

    I wonder what her definition of “reading” is.
    If anyone’s read The Satanic Bible, they’d obviously see her claims as false.

    • Zoe Ambrosine

      She’s confusing atheism and naturalism; LaVey was an atheist, but definitely not a naturalist. He clearly believed in the supernatural just as whole-heartedly as Christians do, if his literature is any indication.

      • Alder Strauss

        No. He referred to it as psychodrama. I’ve never read anything of his mentioning that he claims it as supernatural. It may sound like that in some aspects. But the fantasy used in Greater Magic isn’t an actual belief in a supernatural being(s). It’s just suspense of disbelief. A very vivid play of imagination, etc.

        • Zoe Ambrosine

          “Symbolically, the victim is destroyed through the working of a hex or curse, which in turn leads to the physical, mental or emotional destruction of the ‘sacrifice’ in ways and means not attributable to the magician. The only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a twofold purpose; that being to release the magician’s wrath in the throwing of a curse.”

          Sure seems like a lack of belief in the supernatural to me!

  • Jacob Kirkland

    They’re not Satanists. Stop calling them something they’re not. Pseudosatanists is more accurate. Wannabes is a good term too.

    • Zoe Ambrosine

      You have a flair for your portrayal of being so butt-hurt in so few words.

      Take a look at the comments below. Nobody cares what you think is real or not.

      • Jacob Kirkland

        Ugh. Blocked. I don’t feel like reinventing the wheel and I don’t speak for the Church of Satan, only myself, and I hate being “associated” with pseudosatanists. It always ends up wasting 20 minutes while I have to painstakingly explain (in person) what pseudosatanists are and how they don’t qualify.

        • Zoe Ambrosine

          The pretentiousness is real.

  • John Shaw

    Silly kids acting like Satanists. They really need to start their own thing and stop trying to make our things theirs. It’s not working. They are the complete opposite of Satanic.

    • Zoe Ambrosine

      I went ahead and reconstructed this letter, since his website’s down these days. Please enjoy.

      • John Shaw

        Website is down because like you and your cohorts, he stands in quicksand.

        Take a deep breath!

        • Zoe Ambrosine

          I imagine the website’s down because he has better shit to do than sit around on the Internet and pretend he’s a somebody like you social rejects.

          • John Shaw

            You seem to be imagining a lot these days.