Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THE SATANIC BIBLE
 
On Walpurgisnacht 1966, the late Anton Szandor LaVey formed his notorious Church of Satan. He played the organ at Christian meetings when he was in his teens and he decided that the Christian religion is a parasite fed by lies and hypocrisy. He became a police-photographer and decided that there was no caring God and that the true moral law was to be strong and have a good time on earth.

Eventually, he founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco. His The Satanic Bible was published in 1969. Tragic Hollywood star, Jayne Mansfield was a member.

His book laying out the philosophy of Satanism, The Satanic Bible, became a bestseller.

In his introduction to the first book of The Satanic Bible, the Book of Satan, LaVey calls Christian love a sham because Christians condemn the Devil even though without him they wouldn't be able to frighten people into supporting Christianity (page 29). This is wrong.

The love your enemies doctrine is declared to be a call for people to let others abuse them (Satan 3:6). Critics would say you can love your enemies and do good to them without giving them further ammunition. LaVey says the enemies will respond to your kindness by laughing at you. But they only harm themselves by showing their black hearts. People who love you can laugh at your kindness to them. Does that mean you ought to let them die when you can save them?

In the Book of Satan we read that the person who turns the other cheek is a cowardly dog (3:8). Actually, much of what is called weakness is really courage for turning the other cheek can lead to greater suffering for you.

Satan 3:9 permits a person to take revenge a hundred times over on a person who wrongs them. It says that this will earn you respect. Fear does not breed respect but artificial grudging respect.

The chapter, Some Evidence of a New Satanic Age, recommends the seven deadly sins of greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth.

It says that envy is wanting the same things as others have. It is not. It is wanting to get them from them.

It says that buying something you want to look well in is the sin of pride. This is right only if you want to look better than anybody else to put them down. The book errs though in not stating that that is what pride is. It simply says that looking nice in itself is the sin of pride and that is a mistake. It's pride but not bad pride.

It says that all commit the seven deadly sins so all must go to Hell. But there are people who do not. People who are dying cannot commit the sins and often repent of them.

The chapter explains why La Vey’s system is called Satanism and not humanism or something. He explains that he cannot call it anything but Satanism for it contains dogma and ritual. But humanism does contain dogma. And humanism can and does have ritual. Humanists have a rite of marriage. Why LaVey chose to worship a Devil he said was just a symbol and start a Satanic Church is puzzling. Why did he appropriate the label Satanist? Such an appellation could only bring senseless disrepute on him and his followers. It ensures that most people will not give what he has to say much of a hearing. So why? Why is no mystery. What it was, was a blunder

LaVey ridicules the notion of unselfish magic being white magic and selfish magic being black magic because magic is just magic. He believed in rites for the destruction of an enemy - selfish rites. And he believed in rites for healing a friend - unselfish rites. If there is selfish and unselfish magic there could indeed be black and white magic.

He declares that the goat is associated with Satan because the Bible makes this connection with the scapegoat. In the Law of Moses hands were laid on a goat and it was sent away to symbolise sins going away from the people. There is nothing in the Bible that says the goat pictures Satan even though Jesus called the evil dead goats. Satan is a fallen angel not a fallen animal.

On page 61 we read that it is unnecessary to make a pact with Satan or to sell your soul to become a Satanist. Yet LaVey claimed that one must accept and nurture one’s selfish and dark side to become a Satanist and that Satan is God, the force that causes this dark side of the coin. One has to sell one’s soul in the sense that one has to become reconciled to the Devil’s nature. Sin is a pact with the Devil. It is saying, “I renounce God and I choose to follow Satan. I hope that Satan will reward my sin by giving me pleasure”. Even the pact that has the form of signing a contract in blood only has value in so far as it is sinful. So, it is sin that counts. The Christians who kick up a storm about people not burning their pacts to end the contract are just being fools. Or do they want to cover up that they have made their pacts with Lucifer too?

Page 62 says that Satan is called the prince of darkness by Satanists because religion accuses him of being the Lord of the darkness of evil. If atheists call Jesus something unprintable that does not mean that Christians may do the same!

LaVey cites Genesis 38 as a condemnation of onanism or masturbation. The chapter actually condemns birth control. Most say it condemns Onan for not trying to have children for his dead brother and taking steps to avoid fathering but that cannot be right. The text says that Onan was killed for the sin of spilling his seed on the ground. Those who say it was because the seed was not used to get children for his brother are wrong for that law about making babies in your brother’s name did not appear as divinely sanctioned until Moses’ day. If birth control is wrong that does not mean that masturbation is wrong. The first could be wrong for trying to thwart the chance of having children despite performing the act of life which does not occur in the second.

Page 90 advises one to kill by black magic the evil or mentally disturbed person who harms you. Most people find this evil and stupid. The person who says we must understand such people is condemned for abetting a cancer in society. But it is the way society handles criminals that does that and not the criminal or the persons who try to reform them. If criminals are not stopped whose fault is it if they are a cancer for they are not likely to stop themselves.

LaVey could have studied better to excise the errors and make improvements for he had long enough to do it. The errors of The Satanic Bible are still in the current editions. No doubt, the Church did magic to guide and inspire him and give him flashes of genius. More proof again that there is no power in invoking Satan or in Satanic magic.
 
The belief that Satanic Magic has the most efficacy is fed by Christianity which preaches that Satan is God’s most powerful rival and since there is nobody else the Christian has to turn to Satan to get forbidden favours. Christianity leads to Satanism especially when it likes to focus in on the badness in us which is telling us we are followers of Satan anyway and might as well be more open about it. One of Christianity's party lines is that the pagan religion of Wicca or witchcraft is what leads to Satanism. These pagans don’t even believe in Satan! La Vey’s brand of Satanism is tolerable but the Christian kind that turns to the spirit of evil is lethal and has led to babies being cut up on altars. If Wicca leads to the Church of Satan (remember I am being hypothetical) then Christianity leads to worse.


BOOKS CONSULTED
 
ANATOMY OF WITCHCRAFT, Peter Haining, Tandem Books, London, 1974
AT THE HEART OF DARKNESS, John Parker, Pan, London, 1993
BIZARRE BELIEFS, Simon Hoggart and Mike Hutchinson, Richard Cohen Books, London, 1995
INSIDE THE SUPERNATURAL, Jean Ritchie, Fontana, London, 1992
LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE, Aleister Crowley, Castle Books, New Jersey, 1991
MALLEUS SATANI, The Hammer of Satan, Suzanne Ruthven, Ignotus Press, London, 1994
MARTIAL ARTS, Mike R Taylor, Diasozo Trust, Kent, 1983
MIRACLES OR MAGIC? Andre Kole and Karl Janssen, Harvest House, Oregon, 1987
MYSTERIES, Colin Wilson, Grafton, London, 1979
PAGANISM AND THE OCCULT, Kevin Logan, Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne, 1988
POWER OF THE WITCH, Laurie Cabot with Tom Cowan, Arkana, Penguin, London, 1992
POWERS OF DARKNESS POWERS OF LIGHT, John Cornwell, Penguin, London 1992
PSYCHIC SELF-DEFENCE, Dion Fortune Aquarian London, 1988
SATANISM, Bob and Gretchen Passantino, GP Publisher Services with Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995
SCIENCE AND THE PARANORMAL, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
SECRETS OF THE AMAZING KRESKIN, Kreskin, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, Texas 1991
SPELLS AND HOW THEY WORK, Janet and Stewart Farrar, Phoenix Publishing Inc Washington, 1990
SPIRITUALISM JB Norris, The Christadelphian, Birmingham
TEST YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS, Susan Blackmore, Thorsons, London, 1995
THE AMAZING WORLD OF KRESKIN, Kreskin, Coronet, London, 1974
THE BLACK ART, Rollo Ahmed, Senate, London, 1994
THE BOOK OF MEDIUMS, Allan Kardec, Weiser, York Beach, Maine 1994
THE CHALLENGING COUNTERFEIT, Raphael Gasson, Logos Books, Bridge Publishing Inc, New Jersey, 1985
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF FORTUNE, Blaketon Hall, Exeter, 1988
THE DEVIL HIDES OUT, David Marshall, Autumn House, Grantham, 1991
THE HIDDEN POWER, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
THE POLTERGEIST EXPERIENCE, D Scott Rogo, Penguin, Middlesex, 1979
THE REAL EXORCISTS, Leslie Watkins, Futura, London, 1983
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969
THE SATANIC WITCH Anton Szandor LaVey, Feral House, Portland, Oregon, 1989
THE SCEPTICAL OCCULTIST, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
THE SCIENCE OF THE X-FILES, Michael White, Legend Books, London, 1996
THE SILVA MIND CONTROL METHOD, Jose Silva and Philip Miele, Harper-Collins, London, 1993
THE SUPERNATURAL A-Z. James Randi, Headline, London, 1995
THE TAO OF PHYSICS, Fritjof Capra, Flamingo, London, 1992
THE UNICORN IN THE SANCTUARY, Randy England, TAN Books, Illinois, 1991
THE WORDSWORTH DICTIONARY OF THE OCCULT, Andre Nataf Wordsworth Reference, Herts 1994
UNDERSTANDING THE NEW AGE, Russell Chandler, Word UK, Reading, 1988  
WHAT IS THE NEW AGE? Michael Cole, Jim Graham, Tony Higton and David Lewis, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1991
WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997