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Essay/Term paper: Definition for satanism

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Religion

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Definition For Satanism

Most religions like Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam have well defined
meanings on exception is Satanism. Most people have their own definition for

Some people feel that non-Christian religions and all Christian
denominations other than their own are forms of Satanism. This would imply that
all Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, and Jews. In fact at least 75% of the world's
population would be Satanists.

Others feel that all religions other than Judaism or Christianity are
inspired by Satan and thus are forms of Satanism. This would still leave the
vast majority of people in the world being Satanists.

Large numbers of people feel that a wide variety of unrelated, benign
religions (such as Santeria and other Caribbean religions, Druidism, New Age,
Wicca, ect.) are forms of Satanism.

Such definitions create great confusion. The following are recommended
terms and descriptions for four essentially unrelated religions that have been
called Satanism.

The first is Religious Satanism, This faith includes the recognition of
Satan either as a deity or as a principle. Three main denominations exist: the
Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, and the Church of Satanic Liberation. Other
short lived Satanic groups currently exist and have existed in the recent past.
According to Statistic Canada, the 1991 census found 335 Canadians who
identified themselves as Satanists. The actual Number is probably significantly
larger. A United States Department of the Army pamphlet #165-13 "RELIGIOUS
CHAPLAINS" (1978 - April) estimated that there were 10 to 20 thousand members of
the Church of Satan in the United States. Accurate data is impossible to
estimate, since the largest group (The Church of Satan) does not release its
membership totals.

It is important to realize that the Satan they recognize has few if any
point s of similarity with the Christian concept of Satan. The Satanists'
concept of Satan is pre-Christian, and derived from the Pagan image of power,
virility, sexuality and sensuality. To most Satanists, Satan is a force of
nature, not a living quasi-deity. Their Satan has nothing to do with Hell,
demons, pitchforks or profound evil.

The image of Satanism spawned by Christianity is called Gothic Satanism.
It is an imaginary and profoundly evil religion that was invented during the
late Middle Ages. Concepts included ritual killing of children, selling their
soul to the devil, breaking crucifixes, conducting black masses, ect. It has
never existed in the past, and does not exist today, except in the imagination
of the public.

Another form of Satanism is Teen Satanism: A syncretistic religion which
is a blend of Religious Satanism, Gothic Satanism, ceremonial magick, and any
other useful sources of ritual that they can find. It is practiced by
rebellious teenagers or young adults - typically for a short interval. They
probably number in the tens or hundreds of thousands at any one time in North
America. An exact estimate is impossible to obtain, since they are totally
devoid of any central organization. They occasionally engage in minor criminal
activities such as vandalizing cemeteries and graffiti involving Satanic symbols.
In rare instances, a few have been known to sacrifice animals.

Other types of Satanism: Occasionally, serial murderers will claim to
be Satanists in order to justify their horrendous activities. Police
investigation reveals that they know little about the religion. A small
percentage of child molesters will abuse children in a Satanic setting as a
means of controlling the victims. The molesters are not actual Satanists; they
are simply using the facade of Satanism to further their criminal acts. Some
heavy metal rock bands pretend to be associated with Satanism. Their main
reason is to gain notoriety in order to sell more records. These tree forms of
quasi-Satanic groups will not be dealt with any further in this report

Modern Satanism is generally (though mistakenly) regarded as a creation
of Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947). Aleister was in fact a very prominent
ceremonial magician who based his rituals largely upon Judeo-Christian
principles. He was raised in a Plymouth Brethren family, but developed an early
dislike of organized Christianity. After university, he joined the Order of the
Golden Dawn, which practiced magick (ceremonial magic) based on: The Kaballah
(or Cabbalahl), a Jewish mystical tradition, Rosicrucianism (a mystical blend of
alchemy, Hinduism, and Judaism), Free masonry ( a men's fraternal organization),
and Theosophy (a Gnostic tradition believing in a common thread that links all

He was later kicked out of the Golden Dawn and later joined the
Ordo Templi Orients (OTO) , which blended ceremonial magick, sex magick, and
Freemasonry. Crowley reveled in notoriety, billing himself as the Wickedest Man
in the World and the Great Beast 666 of Revelation. He is alleged in to have
committed at least one animal sacrifice, experimented with many illegal drugs
and engaged in countless sexual orgies. It is not known how much of this
actually happened, and how much is imaginary and created to satisfy his
insatiable desire for publicity. His prime aim was to contact his Holy Guardian
Angel Aiwaz. He did not consider himself a Satanist. He was a prolific writer
on magick. Many Satanists have incorporated portions of his books into their
own rituals. Many authors and TV personalities have stated that Crowley was the
first Satanist, even though evidence points to the contrary.

Modern Satanism really begins with Anton Szandor La Vey (1930 - ??). On
Walpurgisnacht, April 30 1966 (I Anno Satanas) he created of the Church of Satan.
Anton drew on his previous experience as a lion tamer and side show barker, and
on his readings into psychology, magick, ect., and wrote the Satanic Bible in
1969. This was followed by The Compleat Witch (1970) (later republished as The
Satanic Witch) and The Satanic Rituals (1972). These are essentially the only
available books which accurately describe Satanism. There have been enormous
numbers of books about Satanism written by Fundamentalist or other Evangelical
Christians. However, they are usually filled with misinformation derived from
the Witch burning times in Europe (circa 1450 - 1792) rather than from any
present or past reality.

In 1975, one of La Vey's followers, Michael Aquino left the Church after
a disagreement, and organized the Temple of Set. This form of religious Satanism
recognize a pre-Satanic deity, the Egyptian god Set as an entity which stands
separate apart from the forces of the natural universe. He was typically
portrayed as a man witch the head of an animal (perhaps a hyena). Set was
copied by the Chaldeans who called him Had or Hadit; this later became Shaitan,
and still later the Satan of Christianity.

At the core of the Church of Satan are the nine Satanic Statements,
written by Anton La Vey. In abridged form they state that Satan represents:

1. indulgence, not abstinence 2. vital existence, not spiritual pipe dreams, 3.
undefiled wisdom, not hypocritical self-deceit 4. kindness to those deserving
of it, not love wasted on ingrates 5. vengeance, not turning the other cheek 6
responsibility to the responsible, instead for concern for psychic vampires 8.
gratification of all of ones desires 9. the best friend tat the Christian
Church has had has he has kept it in business for centuries

The Temple of Set is based on its own 21 Satanic points, which have much
in common with the Satanic Church, but many differences too.

I) Respect not pity or weakness, for they are a disease which makes the strong
sick. II) Test always your strength, for therein lies success. III) Seek
happiness in victory - but never in peace. IV) Enjoy a short rest, better than
a long. V) Come as a reaper, for thus will sow. VI)Never love anything so much
you cannot see it die. VII) Build not upon sand but upon rock, and build not
for today or yesterday but for all time. VIII) Strive ever for more, for
conquest is never done. IX) Die rather Submit. X) Forge not works of are but
swords of death, for therein lies great art. XI) Learn to raise yourself above
yourself so you can triumph over all. XII) The blood of the living makes good
fertilizer for the seeds of the new. XIII) He who stands atop the highest
pyramid of skulls can see the furthest. XIV) Discard not love but treat it as
an impostor, but ever be just. XV) All that is great is built upon sorrow. XVI)
Strive not only forwards, but upwards for greatness lies in the highest. XVII)
Come as a fresh strong wind that breaks yet also creates. XVIII) Let love of
life be a goal but let your highest goal be greatness. XIX) Nothing is
beautiful except man: but most beautiful of all is woman. XX) Reject all
illusion and lies, for they hinder the strong. XXI) What does not kill makes

More of El Vey's theology contains the following concepts: Heaven and
Hell do not exist, Satan is unrelated to the modern concept of the Christian
devil. They look upon him as a god who represents the carnal, earthy, and
mundane aspects of life, Satan is not a being, it is a force of nature, Ritual
killing is not allowed, blood drawn from a victim is useless, victims are killed
symbolically not actually; human life is held in sacred regard.

The highest of all Satanic holidays is the birthday of the Satanist,
Walpurgustnacht (April 30). Holidays of less importance are Halloween (October
31), Solstices of June and December, and Equinoxes in March and September.

Local groups of Satanists are usually called grottos or temples, They
correspond to Christian congregations and Wiccan covens. Their rituals do not
include Black Mass (a parody of Roman Catholic sirvices) actually there are few,
if any elements which ridicule or invert the beliefs or practices of
Christianity or of any other religion.

As you may see, society and the Christian Church have made many believe
in the misconception that all Satanists are evil and the Satanic Church is a
vile organization bent on destroying Christianity and perverting the world, when
actually it is just a religion that, to a point practices religious toleration,
and doesn't present a threat to you or anyone else.

By doing this report, I would like to state that in no way do I condone
Satanism, nor am I a member of the Church of Satan. I just wanted to point out
some misconceptions that many have about Satanism, and I hope I didn't offend
anyone by doing this report.


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