There are not many things these days, or even in the past, that get people more worked up then thinking about Satanists. If you know, or even suspect someone worships Satan, then your opinion of them immediately changes. I mean you were thinking they seemed nice enough, but no, it turns out that they worship the Devil. They probably gather at midnight for depraved parties and the occasional human sacrifice too, right?
Well, probably not. Satanists are undoubtedly a group that likes pushing people’s buttons and are a bit attention seeking- they do follow Satan after all, what did you expect them to be like? But for the most part, Satanists are people that just value being treated as individuals above all else, although one has to admit they show it in a silly way. I mean, Satan? Really?
What follows is a list of facts that you may not know about Satanists. The most popular Satanic group is still the Church of Satan, but there are many other groups out there too. This is not going to be a lesson on Satan, the big, scary, dark lord Lucifer, or whatever you want to call him. Rather this is about all of the people out there that follow the teaching of the many Satanic “Churches” scattered about. Some of them are super scary and are into death metal, while others are totally into Minecraft, of all things. But the one thing they do all have in common is that they are Satanists. Here then, are 15 things you did not know about Satanists.
15. The Official Church Of Satan Was Started By Anton Lavey
If there ever was someone who advanced the cause of Satanists and brought them out into the mainstream it was Anton LaVey. He was basically a hipster in San Francisco before he started the Church of Satan in 1966. The church is dedicated to “the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence.” If you follow that and it resonates with you, then hey, you might be a Satanist. LaVey became quite famous and was actually a celebrity of sorts, who would appear on talk shows of the day. The Church of Satan has remained the biggest Satanic church of them all, although many smaller churches consider them to just be showmen and posers.
14. They Only Believe In Killing for Self Defense
One of the biggest things that people get wrong about Satanists is their view on violence. While many people think that Satanists spend their days and nights plotting the next moment they can kidnap a virgin and murder her, the reality is much different. The Church of Satan preaches that the only time an animal should be killed is for nutritional purposes, and that the only time a human should be killed is in self defense. The issue, as it always is around Satanists, is free will. Satanists believe that we pretty much should be able to do anything we want to do, as long as we don’t mess with anyone else. Of course if you do mess with a Satanist, then all bets are off, as they tend to preach coming back pretty hard at people who attack them.
13. There Are Many Different Groups That Worship Satan
The Church of Satan is just one group of practicing Satanists. According to the Encyclopedia Satanica (yes, there is such a thing), there are at least 16 groups that practice Satanism. Some of them include: the Church of Leviathan, Church of Satanic Brotherhood, Cult of Cthulhu, Cultus Diabolus, Magistry of the Black Goat, Magnum Opus Coven, Modern Church of Satan, and The Temple of Set. All of these have the same basic principle, but they all are practicing Satanists in very different ways. So, you know, if you need a good group to belong to go check out one of these! Sometimes it just takes a while to find the right Satanists to work with, you know. Of course there are almost certainly many more groups that practice Satanism that are not so out in the open.
12. The Church Of Satan Is Still The Most Well Known
As I have said, the Church of Satan is still the big dog on the block. The Church of Satan website says “Our founder established as policy that we should never give out a precise count of our members as that would allow people to quantify us. He felt that if our numbers were judged to be too large, people might find us threatening. If too small, that might be used as a reason to dismiss our philosophy.” So in other words, they won’t tell us how many members they have. While it is still the most popular, a lot of the splinter groups think that they are a bit hokey, and that they mostly exist for profit as people have to pay a $200 fee so they can have a cool “Church of Satan” membership card. Although, now that I think of it, that does sound pretty awesome.
11. The Satanic Temple Is Getting More Popular
Next on the list is the Satanic Temple, which is gaining traction with the more young and hip out there; they even have been in the national news a lot lately because of their social justice work around abortion issues and same sex marriage. It says on their website “The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice. As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate in public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights.” So if you need to find some rational Satanists, you know who to call.
10. The Greatest Sin Is To Be Stupid
There are nine Satanic Sins according to the Church of Satan, some of them are “Lack of Perspective,” “Herd Conformity,” and “Pretentiousness.” But the biggest sin of all is “Stupidity.” They say that it is “The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told.” I can get down with that- up to a point, at least. Most of our modern religions have moral stances as to what are considered sins, whereas the Church of Satan says that is a much bigger sin if you are just plain stupid then if you do something that society considers wrong.
9. A Lot Of Killers Blame Satan
Over the years there have been a whole slew of killers that have blamed Satan for their deeds or have said that they were told to do something awful by Satan. Of course this is kind of a chicken or an egg kind of thing. What do I mean by that, you ask? Well, imagine you had just done something super horrible. Wouldn’t it make you feel a bit better to say you had a reason for doing it? And what better reason is there than “Satan told me to?” A lot of other people who blame Satan for murders are simply mentally ill. One of the biggest Satan blamers was Richard Ramirez, also known as the “Nightstalker,” who was a serial killer out of California. But was he killing people because of Satan, or because he was sadistic and crazy? I would guess the latter.
8. The Belief System Is Not Nearly As Scary As It Sounds
The beliefs of Satanists are not nearly as freaky as one would believe. Check out this tenet of the Satanic Temple: “One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.” Or how about this: “People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.” Wait a minute, are these Satanic beliefs or am I being lectured by my grandmother? While the tenets of the Satanic Temple are not the same as all Satanic groups, there is one common thread. They are all about individualism and not doing anything that might harm anyone else, as long as they are left alone to do what they want to do.
7. The Satanic Bible Has Sold Over 1 Million Copies
The Satanic Bible was written by Anton LaVey, and is the most important and best selling book when it comes to Satanism. It has sold over a million copies and it still sells quite well today. A lot of folks have claimed that LaVey plagiarized bits of it, and that his philosophies were mostly borrowed, but to this day it is still the cool book to have if you want to impress your creepy friends or freak out your parents. It is also the number one book, both in occultism and in reference, on Amazon. So you may make fun of Anton LaVey and you may make fun of the Church of Satan, but did you write a book in 1969 that is still selling like crazy today? No? I didn’t think so. If you buy now you can still get yours in the stocking of a family member by Christmas.
6. The Church Of Satan Totally Digs Robots
Yeah, I knew this one would kind of surprise you. Here I was kind of making them seem kind of normal and then I had to bring this up. LaVey was totally into sex robots. Here is what they have to say: “Satanists advocate a new industry, the development and promotion of artificial human companions. These humanoids will be constructed to be as realistic as possible, and available to anyone who can afford one.” Okay, come on. Here you are trying to be all cool and Satan-like, and then you have to come out and say how into sex robots you are? On reading this Satanists seem much less like people you have to be scared of and much more like a bunch of geeks playing Minecraft. Which is probably much closer to the truth.
5. Not All Satanic Bands Are Metal
While most people think of Satanists as nothing but heavy metal fans, the fact is there are all all sorts of musicians who follow the path of Satan who are into everything from classical, to punk, to emo. One of these bands is the punk band The Quintessentials, who said in an interview “Satanism, which promotes individuality, self-sufficiency, pride, and not blindly bowing to herd conformity, has a lot in common with the ideals of early Punk from the late 1970s and early ’80s–and being a fan of that music, it only seemed right to put the two together.” Right, because what is more punk rock than being into Satan? Well, other than skateboarding. Satan and skateboarding- those two things totally go hand in hand.
4. They Believe That Humans Are Responsible For Their Own Lives
The big thing about Satanists, if you haven’t gathered, is that they are all about individualism. Most would say that they don’t even worship Satan, that the whole thing is just a front for them to practice what they really care about, which is to do what they want to do, as long as they don’t harm anyone else. They really are kind of like Libertarians, except with better hair. While you may think they are people covered in blood and chanting weird things, the reality of it is they are, for the most part anyway, just a bunch of people that like to do things their way, and calling themselves Satanists just keeps out the normals. While this might not sound like the best way to increase membership numbers, I honestly don’t think they care a whole hell of a lot… Did you see what I did there?
3. Satanists In Norway Went A Little Too Far
There was a scene back in the ’90s in Norway that was related to Black Metal; much of the lyrics were based in Satanism. These guys were not playing around. As this piece says: “What made Black Metal so exceptional wasn’t just the speed and thrash of the music, the violence of the lyrics or the amount of corpse-paint that its death-obsessed members wore, but rather the number of real corpses and smoldering churches that the movement left behind.” This is no joke; for quite a while a bunch of Satanic metal heads were going around in Norway burning churches, and even murdering a few people. It makes one long for the good old mellow, sex robot-loving Church of Satan that we have in the USA.
2. It Is Estimated There Are Around 100,000 Satanists In The World
Just how many Satanists are there in this big world or ours? This is a tough number to figure out, for two reasons. First of all, there are a lot of different groups that identify as followers of Satan so it would be difficult to actually know how many people are in all of them. Second, a lot of people that follow Satan don’t exactly make that public. It isn’t like your boss is going to say to you “Hey Joey, what are you doing after work today?” and you respond “Well, me and some of my friends are going to go worship Satan!” There were estimates that there were around 50,000 Satanists in the world in 1990, and there are guesses that those numbers may have doubled, but at this point there is no way to tell what the numbers actually are.
1. The Satanic Panic Wasn’t Real
From the 1980s all the way through the late ’90s, a lot of people were freaking out about people doing all sorts of horrible things that had to do with Satanic ritual abuse. Allegations of Satanic ritual abuse were pretty much just what they sounded like and involved reports of physical and sexual abuse of people in the context of occult or Satanic rituals. Some of these were supposed to involve children. A lot of people were accused of doing awful things, and a lot of media all over the world fell all over themselves reporting about it, but when it came right down to it, hardly anything was proven. Which goes to show just one thing. If you are going to go around and worship the devil, people are going to wind up talking about you, and most of what they say is not going to be true.