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Satanism Overview

Discussion in 'Satanism DIR' started by Rex, Apr 26, 2004.

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  1. Rex

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    Satanism Overview


    Satanism is a religion involving either the worship of Satan, or some other supreme evil being, or the directing of one's life based on inspirations gained from study of the archetype of Satan. The earliest recorded instance of the word is in "A confutation of a booke (by Bp. Jewel) intituled An apologie of the Church of England", by Thomas Harding (1565):

    ll, ii, 42 b, "Meaning the time when Luther first brinced to Germanie the poisoned cuppe of his heresies, blasphemies, and Satanismes."
    The above quote is using the word to describe Martin Luther's teachings, although Luther himself would have denied either worshipping Satan or being inspired by the study of Satan.
    There are various kinds of Satanists in modern society:

    Rebellious Satanists, typically rebelling against Christianity or modern society, with a traditionally Christian view of Satanism.
    Philosophical Satanists, also known as Modern Satanists, who do not worship any Satan or demon or devil, but instead who find inspiration in the study of various "dark" gods and spirits and myths, or the archetype of Satan. Autotheism or Suitheism (self-deification) is upheld by many Modern Satanists.


    Religious Satanists, also known as Traditional Satanists, who do believe in some Prince of Darkness (a more generic name than Satan), and who worship or otherwise work to fashion their lives based on their ideas concerning the Prince of Darkness.


    Satanic cultists are members of a fictional worldwide conspiracy, which supposedly engages in human sacrifice and Satanic ritual abuse.


    Rebellious Satanism
    Rebellious Satanists frequently adopt the Christian dogma that Satan and Satanists are inherently evil, and therefore illegal activities within those groups are common. Most who study Satanism in modern society disregard rebellious Satanists as relatively unimportant.

    Rebellious Satanists can often be found carrying or owning books by Anton Szandor LaVey, but more often than not they are only slightly familiar with the philosophical contents of the books. They are more swayed by writings and legends of literary Satanism, or by writings decrying the hypothetical worst of Satanism written by evangelical or fundamentalist Christian authors.

    These generally are the Satanists that appear in police reports or newspapers from time to time. Their statements (when any are reported) always make it clear that their concept of Satan is definitely Christian, rather than that of the latter two groups above. These rebellious Satanists sometimes gather in small groups (almost always fewer than a dozen), and are sometimes solitary (not part of any group).

    This group is usually referred to as devil-worshippers by other Satanic groups, usually justified by the fact that rebellious Satanists do not really belong to the Left-Hand Path, and thus do not deserve the title.


    Philosophical Satanism


    Sometimes philosophical Satanism is called "modern Satanism". This terminology presumes that religious Satanism is much older than philosophical Satanism, a claim many do not accept, pointing to the lack of any groups that actually called themselves Satanists prior to the creation of the Church of Satan. It is for this reason that the Church of Satan and its supporters refuse to recognize the claim of any other religions to the name "Satanism" and refer to the latter as "pseudo-Satanists." Philosophical Satanists tend to be law abiding.

    The largest or most visible organized group of Philosophical Satanists appears to be the Church of Satan, founded by Anton Szandor LaVey. Their philosophies can be found in LaVey's book, The Satanic Bible. Following LaVey's death, the group has gone through some turmoil and reorganization. Note that while members of the Church of Satan would consider themselves philosophical, and many of them are atheists, many outsiders (i.e. religion researchers) classify them as religious Satanists (even though many of them are aware that members of the Church don't believe in a literal Satan or any other deity). The practice of magic classifies them as religious, at least according to some definitions of religion. However, not all philosophical Satanic groups practice magic.


    Religious Satanism

    Religious Satanists believe in some Prince of Darkness and worship or otherwise work to fashion their lives based on their ideas concerning said Prince. Religious Satanists tend to be law abiding. Sometimes religious Satanism is called traditional Satanism or theistic Satanism.

    The largest or most visible organized group of Religious Satanists appears to be the Temple of Set, organized by Michael Aquino from members of the Church of Satan who left that Church in 1975. The Temple of Set claims to believe in the existence of Set, the ancient Egyptian god, as the primal Prince of Darkness.

    For a list of other Religious (theistic) Satanist groups and resources, see this page: <a href="http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/dvera/other.html" target="_blank">http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/dvera/other.html</a>


    Satanic Cults


    Main article: Satanic ritual abuse
    The existence of large networks of organized Satanists involved in illegal activities, murder, and child abuse is occasionally claimed, often by fundamental religious movements. Those claims have never been substantiated and are widely believed to be false. See conspiracy theories.


    Other groups

    In various Gnostic sects, the Serpent was praised as the giver of knowledge, sometimes also Satan with references to his name of Lucifer or "the light-bringer". Some Gnostics claimed that the being imagined as God by Christians and Jews, by the Gnostics known as the Demiurge, was in fact Satan. To some early Gnostic sects were attributed horrible acts (the Borborites and the followers of Carpocrates especially), along with instructions to commit all kind of evil acts to free themselves from the pains of this world, but such accounts are not generally credible, as they were mostly part of rhetorical attacks against these groups by such heresiological writers as Irenaeus.

    See also Process Church, Yezidis for groups that have been called Satanist but do not accept that label.


    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org</a>
     
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