—Magus Peter H. Gilmore
Happy Birthday Magus Gilmore!
Please join us in celebrating Magus Gilmore’s highest holiday today, as we appreciate the man who has been guiding the Church of Satan as our High Priest for 13 years. His efforts to communicate the principles of our philosophy worldwide have fostered an ever-growing respect for Satanism amongst those with intelligence and a secular turn of mind. If you have not read his book, The Satanic Scriptures, now is a fine time to explore the essays and rituals contained therein (available in seven languages). A selection of his topical writings can be found here. You might also enjoy some of his music which can be downloaded for free here (more will be coming soon!). And his personal blog dealing with film and music can be found here.
If you feel inclined to send a token of your appreciation, Magus Gilmore has an Amazon.com list of items he would enjoy. Since he is an aficionado of Godzilla—which you’ll discover when reading his blog—he also has an Amazon list of Godzilla items as well.
If you click on the image above you can view The Satanic High Mass which was performed on 6/6/06, which includes his Infernal blessing upon the members of the Church of Satan.
We raise our glasses in a toast to our Magus:
"Long life and joy in abundance!"
Hail Magus Gilmore! Hail Satan!
Magus Gilmore on NPR’s Interfaith Voices
Magus Gilmore comments briefly on why the Church of Satan does not support placing religious monuments in public spaces. This is condensed from a longer conversation.
Magister Nemo: The Seventh Tower of Satan
An mp3 recorded audio program
For many years Satanists have asked how to perform ritual magic when they lacked a suitable place with sufficient privacy to do so effectively.
The purpose of this program is to enable you to merely close your eyes and in the privacy of your own mind enter into a private location of your own creation where you can do everything you could do in a physical ritual chamber and actually much, much more.
The Invisible War: Black Dragon Division
Prometheus unleashes his latest creation The Invisible War: Black Dragon Division. This is the second full-length album by The Invisible War. Taking up where Ego=God left, the listener is treated to an empowering blend of dark and bombastic electronic music with a militarist component. Allow your imagination to explore the timeless depths of the dark forces of nature!
Laughing Best—Humorists Take On Satanism
Over the past five decades Satanism as formulated by Anton Szandor LaVey has been filtering into the consciousness of the general populace. When the Church of Satan burst into the global media in 1966, something new had been added to the contemporary zeitgeist—knowledge that there were people who embraced Satan as a positive figure of liberty and individualism in an above-ground organization. Inevitably, having gotten wider notice, those who use humor to comment upon human activities found new fodder in the ideas and aesthetics projected by Dr. LaVey, especially after the documentary Satanis: The Devil’s Mass was released. We Satanists seem to have “arrived,” as mockery of Satanism and Satanists has become part of the landscape of humorists. There are even Satanists who are comedians. Sammy Davis Jr., who was one of our Warlocks for a time, produced a pilot for a TV series called Poor Devil in which he was a mod, bumbling emissary of Lucifer (played by Christopher Lee) tasked with snaring Jack Klugman’s soul. The Church of Satan is even mentioned while Klugman is trying to look it up in a phonebook! Dr. LaVey himself enjoyed this funny portrayal, but Sammy’s best expression of Satanic élan can be found in his song "I’m Not Anyone." It captures the emotional core of our philosophy.
You might recall Mike Judge who wrote and directed Idiocracy, an incisive and prophetic social critique that is treasured by many Satanists. He recently created a comedy series, Silicon Valley, which mocks those trying to make it in the techno-centric culture of today. One of the lead characters, Gilfoyle, terms himself a “LaVeyan Satanist with theistic tendencies”—something we find silly on its own. He sports tattoos of an inverted cross on one arm and a goat head within a pentagram on the other. In episode 6, he and his curvy girlfriend attend a Satanic baptism during which a red-headed chubby fellow strips down for an enactment which paraphrases from Dr. LaVey’s ritual while the zaftig nude altar gal stands behind him wearing a goat mask. An altered rendition of our Baphomet sigil hangs on the wall along with a poster of the Rider-Waite Devil tarot card. The celebrant wears a chintzy Halloween cape and the participants dine, post baptism, on chicken from a chain known for its Christian owner’s biases but which supposedly serves fine tasting fowl. I must admit that at times here at the central office that we’ve been treated to images from those interested in Satanism which are not far off from the scene depicted. It brought us quite a few chuckles, to be sure.
But this is nothing new as comedians have previously come to Satanism for material. MAD TV had a sketch wherein the mention of Xmas had been banned in an aggressively secular office which included Satanists who were “the computer guys.” The brilliant Kids in the Hall troupe had a recurring skit titled “The Pit of Ultimate Darkness.” In this we enjoyed Sir Simon Milligan, a crappy hypnotist and devotee of the Devil who dresses in a spiffy smoking jacket, black shirt and ascot. He is assisted by his sassy “man servant,” Hecubus, garbed in black tights with dark circles under his eyes and a bowl haircut. During each installment, they vied for the honor of being called “Evil” for rather petty villainies. Satan appeared to approve of the show at the end of one episode and himself played a guitar duel with a young musician in another sketch. That seemed to set the tone for the delightful later Tenacious D film, The Pick of Destiny. The Devil and Satanism were humorously utilized on their TV show as well. On Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ Mr. Show series, Satanism materialized several times. In one sketch they posited what it might be like if devil worshippers behaved like evangelical Christians, so they performed an episode of the “Hail Satan Network” that is hilarious for us. In another sketch, Odenkirk played Anders Levant, leader of the First Church of Satan, Reformed who has decided to embrace ecumenicism and ally with the Roman Catholic Church so that together they can work to stop people from taking The Devil too lightly. Finally, David Cross—an outspoken atheist—provided narration for a Little Lulu cartoon wherein an angel and devil each appear on her shoulders. The new spoken text quite accurately explains what Satanism is and points out the efforts to censor it as hate mongering. Simply brilliant!
Over the past year, some folks apparently have been pretending to be Satanists so as to get media attention for their rather adolescent “activist” stunts. Satanists see right through this scam as we’ve witnessed some pretty ludicrous shenanigans from those claiming to be Satanists over the years. When a fellow in horns—with an adopted moniker fit for a 1970s hair dresser—tea-bags a tombstone while some “goth” rejects swap spit on the grave, it seems to us to be a parody of Satanism rather than a representation of some actual philosophical or religious organization. Researching the few people behind this, one soon learns that when planning how to market this act they had to decide whether being devil worshippers or atheists might get them more attention. Likely this is sketch comedy as activism. As we-who-do-not-forget-past-orthodoxies know, the media pundits are perpetually gullible and eager to transmit anything that titillates them, so these pranksters receive publicity without being questioned. Currently, all you need is a press release and “journalists” are off and running. But such doings are also not new.
In France during the late 1800s a man writing under the pen name of Léo Taxil decided to mock Freemasonry (which had expelled him) as well as the Roman catholic Church’s opposition to it. He wrote a four volume “study” of Freemasonry which claimed the adoration of Lucifer was part of their beliefs. In a later book, The Devil in the Nineteenth Century, he created a character named Diana Vaughan who had claimed to have recently converted to Catholicism thus being freed to chronicle her former Infernal doings in the Palladian Order—essentially Freemasonry as Luciferianism. His writings sold very well, bringing in much income. The media ate it up and completely believed the wild tales published in these books, which were filled with faked supporting documents. Most Catholic writers used this as evidence to bolster their disdain for Freemasonry since it suited their agenda. Some things never change.
Taxil finally decided it had gone far enough and held a “Meet Diana Vaughan” press conference on April19, 1897 where he admitted it was all a fraud, laughing all the way to the bank. He later opened a restaurant with some of the proceeds which had some Satanically themed decor. It should be noted that at the time there were no organized Satanists to refute such tall tales. A.E. Waite had disputed Taxil’s claims and you’ll find the whole fascinating story covered in his Devil-Worship in France which includes his follow-up, Diana Vaughan and the Question of Modern Palladism. Freemasonry is still smeared with Taxil’s lies as the ignorant continue to buy into this hoary hoax. The lesson here: some pranks continue to fool stupid people over a century after they have been debunked. Remember, there are always a lot of dummies out there.
As we are in the early years of the 21st century and nearing our fiftieth anniversary, we note that Satanism is once again very much a “hot topic.” Contributing to this is our well known organization that has adherents worldwide and a growing body of literature written by actual Satanists and some conscientious scholars, not just those who want to wag a finger at us. Dr. LaVey mentioned that a sense of humor was essential for every Satanist’s arsenal of abilities to be wielded when dealing with the world around us, so we are not offended by those who make light of us. They bring us laughter when their humor parodies actual aspects of our philosophy and aesthetics. Some of our members are comedians and they too poke fun at “the feared religion” and its adherents. Ultimately, anyone of intelligence can easily access our materials and learn what we do stand for, and some of them might find that they share our valuing of liberty, pride and self-determination. Or they might just listen to our Sammy as he nails it in his inspirational carnal tune. The gullible will not get the jokes—rubes will be rubes—but we’re here in the Church of Satan to let those with smarts and curiosity in on our answer to the human situation, which brings us vital existence, abundant joy, and a hell of a lot of fun!
I encourage you to take the time to follow the links to the sketches in the essay above. They are both funny and ground-breaking regarding Satanism’s position in society.
As Sir Simon Milligan has said, “Embrace the puppies of purgatory!”
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore
HELLE IS BACK
- New pieces include Witch Tania’s fascinating look at the health and fitness approaches of various Satanists from around the world and their paths and motivations in striving for vitality. Featuring Magister David M. Harris, Reverend Adam P. Campbell and more.
- An interview with Church of Satan Witch Zaftig, discussing her in-depth studies into Satanism.
- Magistra Waytz dives into the ‘Natatorium’ to answer Helle’s Deep End and Shallow End questions.
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Debunking Myths about Satanism on Canadian Z Talk Radio
Tonight at 7pm (United States Pacific Standard Time) Reverend Corvis Nocturnum and David Lingbloom will be debunking myths surrounding Satanism and the Church of Satan, as well as offering insights into media and politically-related issues highlighting pseudo-Satanism.
To listen, just go to http://ztalkradio.com and it should start playing automatically (the audio menu is located at the bottom of the linked page).
BLACK MASS MEDIA
Historically, black masses have served to give the oppressed a feeling of power (however false that might be) by mocking the reigning religious institution. The Satanic Mass by H.T.F. Rhodes covers the topic quite well. Accounts in decadent literature as well as in court documents recording confessions extracted under torture chronicle a pageant of vile acts meant to denigrate Christianity, and practically they tended to debase those performing them. Unless one’s personal fetishes involve sipping excretions and bestiality, as well as the mutilation of aborted fetuses and using consecrated wafers for sexual arousal, most modern rational folk would not be inclined towards such “celebrations.” Earlier testimonies of accused witches and heretics compiled by Christian prosecutors functioned as inspiration for later messes noir. The film HÄXAN (1922) depicts the sabbat deviltry in fairly graphic detail.
Anton LaVey sagely observed that since Christianity has lost its control of the state, then mocking its rites (which in themselves are distortions of earlier pagan ceremonies) is now pointless and in his time he thought that a contemporary version of a black mass should poke fun at things being championed in society at-large. It could, he said, include crushing an LSD-laced sugar cube underfoot and deriding then popular counter-culture figures like Timothy Leary. Today, a properly-focused black mass might mock trending celebrities (since their cult is the present’s major pop-religion) and parody widely-viewed shows such as “Game of Thrones.” With the ephemeral nature of what currently holds the minimalist attention span of today’s Internet-absorbed drones, what is relevant one hour would be passé the next making it difficult to have up-to-date targets. Times, they are a changin’—rapidly.
Some self-proclaimed “satanists” supposedly planned to do a recreation of a historical black mass in a Harvard pub under the auspices of a student organization for “educational purposes.” Their true motives might be discerned since this upcoming event was publicized widely beyond the locals who could attend, thus purposely arousing much harrumphing from Christians associated with that campus. Of course, any well-staged attempt of that ceremony should include some fairly foul displays, though these could be faked with proper theatrical means if the performers had the talent and an effects budget. From their past productions, one imagines the actual presentation would more likely have been a lackluster spouting of tried and true blasphemies in Latin (thus obscured to most) before someone decided who would be the recipient in the game of “hide the wafer.” It was guaranteed by the promoters to be unconsecrated, as they didn’t really want to be, you know, blasphemous. In truth, there’s more authentic Satanic celebration of life’s passions going on in most pubs on a nightly basis than some stilted recitation of an outdated black mass would have provided.
The would-be performers behind this evidently planned to stir-up a brouhaha and the resultant cancellation of the event got more press (their real goal) than the probably shabby performance would have. This bunch has proven through similar actions that solely seeking media attention via frat-boy calibre stunts is their stock-in-trade. There is no actual Satanism being presented, but it is used as window dressing to rile the gullible. The local Christians, true to form, brought pressure to bear and had the venue withdrawn, showing their ecumenical thinking had limits. Surprise!—not. They perceived the proffered pageant as being a form of “hate speech” against their cherished doctrines. In a sense, a historical black mass does fulfill that definition, and as such could be employed by an actual modern Satanist as a type of purgative psychodrama if he or she had personally felt persecuted by Christians. One wonders if a proposed reenactment, for “educational purposes only,” of an NSDAP rally or Ku Klux Klan cross-lighting might have roused even more outrage—and attending reporters? I suspect that Nazis and southern-fried racists still trump Satan on the popular scale of “Evil.” They really exist.
I find it deplorable that many journalists leap to broadcast this and similar Satan-themed trivia. They did so with the false claims of Miranda Barbour, who murdered a victim lured via Craig’s List with her husband’s assistance. That crime did not get much press until she claimed to be a “satanic cultist” and serial killer. Her father told The Daily News that Barbour “isn’t a psychopath—just a heroin junkie looking for attention.” He cautioned, “Believe very little of what Miranda says. She has a long history of extreme manipulation and dishonesty.” Rather than first determining the plausibility of this disturbed murderess’s tales, her unchallenged lies were disseminated world-wide, giving her the center ring that she desired. Should sensationalism overrule sensibility? A radical Islamic sect in Nigeria has threatened selling hundreds of hostage teen-aged girls into slavery, yet some aborted barroom shenanigans can get a spotlight.
Perhaps these tempests in a piss pot are just easier to hawk, since they serve as modern freak shows that, for the most part, only require titillation or tut-tutting as a response? On the other hand, those girls in Africa are being treated monstrously with their lives used as bargaining chips and the government that should be protecting them is failing to resolve this horrendous crime against innocent victims. There should be a continued international outcry along with appropriate assistance, if the populace of the world considers this religiously-inspired abuse of young innocents to be something that should be halted. This story of human peril and cruelty requires action being taken to bring it to a just conclusion, and perhaps putting the onus on an audience might be considered importuning by those who decide what is aired. That this is happening in a third world country might also be a factor. The horror at Sandy Hook wherein 26 people died was deemed a national trauma and the usual types quickly began lobbying for anti-gun legislation—as if that ever prevented such abominations. Imagine what would happen if over 200 girls were to be kidnapped by slavers from an American public school. However, news stories flash-permeate the media, then fade into obscurity with alarming swiftness and the memories of the masses are practically non-functional. Continued fresh fodder for temporary excitement is the rule of the game. If the media did not clutter its “news” feeds with insignificant incidents and instead dealt with events whose consequences merit concern, then this age of “infotainment” might begin to wither, heralding a return to the higher standards of general reportage once in practice that I recall from my youth. I know the human animal, so I do not expect that to happen anytime soon.
It is interesting to note that, as I mentioned above, the purpose of the historic black mass was to arouse a sense of liberation from undeserved oppression, yet here the precise opposite has happened. The performers can now mime indignance at being barred from a space that is privately held, whose uses are up to the owners, and can play the “victim card,” hardly a posture that is typically embraced by actual Satanists. Those inspired by the Luciferian pride which comes from frequently successful endeavors are loathe to present themselves as losers. The Church of Satan’s own 6/6/06 Satanic High Mass was a private event which was covered by worldwide media and embraced by the atheist-owned venue. We challenged theism and superstition before a global audience in a positive Satanic rite that celebrated the essence of Satanism, which is not in any sense a faith. And our private affair in the UK Hellfire caves was most dramatic and fulfilling for all concerned, though we have not shared footage from that beyond the attendees. The Church of Satan’s fiftieth anniversary is upcoming and should there be a commemorative gathering, that too will be invitation-only and later shared with outsiders—if we deem them worthy. Satanism is elitist and exclusivity is a practice we uphold. The media may not be readily welcomed into our masses, black or otherwise, for we selfishly may decide to keep such heady experiences amongst our own.
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore