SATANISM... WHAT THE DEVIL IS IT?

by Ed Havaich

 

Murder, desecrated and ransacked graves and crypts, self-mutila-

tion, and sexual abuse are among the activities that are grabbing

headlines by some who call themselves satanists. These attention

getting articles focus on the actions of individuals who are

carrying out bizarre rituals that have led to human sacrifices

that are shocking the media, community leaders, police, and the

clergy.

For example, the occult ritual torture and killing of 15 people

near Matamoros, Mexico (across the border from Brownsville,

Texas) seized the nation's attention earlier this year. (See PFO

Journal, July-Sept., 1989, pp. 3,11.) Television's Geraldo, along

with a host of news magazine programs continually focus attention

on the subject of ritual abuse.

The media has reported that crimes that once baffled police are

being approached from different angles as law enforcement agen-

cies are becoming more aware of satanic crimes. Detective Robert

Simandi, a 21-year police veteran and member of the Chicago

Police Department's gang crime unit says, "I think it's going to

be a growing problem as we go into the 90s." <1> Seminars to

teach police officers how to look for evidence of satanic activi-

ty are springing up all across the country.

Two of the more prominent proponents of contemporary Satanism

are the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set. The Church of

Satan was founded in San Francisco in 1966 by Anton Szandor La

Vey. Authors Josh McDowell and Don Stewart comment in their book,

Understanding The Occult: "La Vey is currently the High Priest of

the church, which espouses any type of sexual activity that

satisfies your needs, be it hetrosexuality, homosexuality, adul-

tery or faithfulness in marriage." (pg. 140)

The Temple of Set broke off from La Vey's Church of Satan during

the early-to-mid 1970s. <2> The General Information and Admis-

sions Policy of the organization claims it to be a return to

"magically and philosophical roots" which it sees as "prehistor-

ic, orginating in man's first apprehension that there is some-

thing different about the human race." The group is currently

headed by its founder, Dr. Michael A. Aquino.

Both the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set steadfastly deny

any connection with ritual abuse or with any other such criminal

activity.

The allure of the satanic groups seems to originate with the

need to fit in, to be part of an elite group or brotherhood. For

some, the attraction promised is the acquisition of power; for

others it is the capacity to shock and horrify parents and

friends, and others find it as an advancement from drugs and less

puissant occult activities.

Sean Sellers, a teen-ager currently on death row in Oklahoma for

the murder of his parents and a convenience store clerk, de-

scribed himself as "a self-proclaimed Satanist" who was an alien-

ated youth sufering from a deep sense of rejection. He claims

that at the age of 12, his involvment with the occult began with

the roll-playing game "Dungeons and Dragons." In 1983, after a

break-up with his girlfriend, he entered the world of drugs and

alcohol and dedicated his life to Satan. Today Sellers is outspo-

ken against his former way of life having found forgiveness in

the person of Christ. <3>

According to the Bethesda Psychealth Institute in Denver, Satan-

ists have generally been classified as highly intelligent indi-

viduals with low self-esteem. They usually are underachievers and

some of them have a fascination with death. Further observations

show them to be very creative, yet bored, with a passion for

magic. Satanism offers them a diversion. <4>

Some who are involved in satanic cults have been known to drink

blood, or a blood and urine combination sometimes mixed with

drugs, according to former occultists. Further, the mutilation of

animals is also common among them, as satanists believe to gain

power from these sacrifices.

The Black Mass, a vital rite of Satanism, is a declaration of

blatant blasphemy. There the symbols associated with the Chris-

tian church are taken and perverted by the participants. A nude

woman is used as an altar in a chamber draped in black. An up-

side-down cross may be visible and the Lord's Prayer is recited

backward. Although many other particulars could be revealed

concerning these proceedings it may be to graphic and offensive

for a general reading audience. In essence the Black Mass is a

repudiation of Christianity. It is ritualistic contempt.

Today one of the fastest selling books on college campuses and

mall book stores is La Vey's The Satanic Bible. La Vey is also

known as the "The Black Pope" and in some areas, his work is even

reported to outsell the Bible. <5>

What is The Satanic Bible? While most people certainly would not

have this publication as part of their library, still for others

it is an irresistible attraction to see what hidden secrets it

may hold. While the Church of Satan does not possess an official

doctrinal statement, The Satanic Bible list for adherents the

"Nine Satanic Statements." These nine statements apparently are

the very crux of Satanism, and read as follows:

"1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!

2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe

dreams!

3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical

self deceit!

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of

love wasted on ingrates!

5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other

cheek!

6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead

of concern for psychic vampires!

7. Satan represents man a just another animal, sometimes better,

more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because

of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has

become the most vicious animal of all!

8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead

to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he

has kept it in business all these years!" <6>

A few quotes from The Satanic Bible will further expound on the

intent of the book:

"The first book of the Satanic Bible is not an attempt to blas-

pheme as much as it is a statement of what might be termed

"diabolical indignation" <7>

"Love your enemies and do good to them that hate and use you is

this not the despicable philosophy of the spaniel that rolls upon

is back when kicked?... Hate your enemies with a whole heart, and

if an man smite you on one cheek, SMASH him on the other!; smite

him hip and thigh, for self-preservation is the highest law!...

He who turns the other cheek is a cowardly dog!" <8>

Satan is mentioned 49 times in the Bible. <9> Satan, who was

originally known as Lucifer, sinned against God, his crime was

wanting to usurp the very throne of God. "I will ascend above the

heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." Satan's

ultimate fate is includes being cast out of heaven and down to

Sheol. <10> As the Prince and power of the air he was there as

the initiator of the fall of man. Jesus meet him in the desert

and was tempted by Him as he quoting the scriptures in a twisted à 2Ð/

way.

From the very beginning Satan has opposed the work of God; his

opposition intensly continues today. Whether it be direct hard-

core satanism, seemingly beign practices as astrology and roll-

playing games, or in cults such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormo-

nism, Satan's goal is to hinder the proclamation of the Gospel of

Christ. With the capability of working lying wonders and the

appearance as an angel of light, his efforts are often sucessful.

Scripture reveals Satan as personal, proud, powerful, and wick-

ed. However, as Christians we can be very confident that greater

is He that is in us than he that is in the world. <11> Because of

Calvary, Satan is a defeated foe. We are further admonished not

to be glad that the devils are subject to us, but that our names

are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Endnotes:

1. Kansas City Times, March 26, 1988, "Satanic Crimes Increas-

ing? Police, Therapist Alarmed" by Melissa Berg.

2. Arthur Lyons, Satan Wants You, pg. 126.

3. ibid., pg. 10; Thomas W. Wedge, The Satan Hunter, pg. 33.

4. Woman's Day magazine, Nov. 22, 1988.

5. William J. Petersen, Those Curious New Cults, pg. 94.

6. Anton Szandor La Vey, The Satanic Bible, pg. 25.

7. idib., pg. 29.

8. ibid., pg. 33.

9. 1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6-9,12; 2:1-4,6-7; Psalm 109:6,

Zechariah 3:1-2; Matthew 4:10; 12:26; 16:23; Mark 1:13; 3:23,26;

4:15; 8:33; Luke 4:8; 10:18; 11:18; 13:16; 22:3,31; John 13:27;

Acts 5:3; 26:18; Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 7:5; 2 Corin-

thians 2:11; 11:14; 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Thessalonians

2:9; 1 Timothy 1:20; 5:15; Revelation 2:9,13,24; 3:9; 12:9;

20:2,7.10. Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18.11. 1 John 4:4.

(c) 1989, PFO - All rights reserved by Personal Freedom Out-

reach. Reproduction is prohibited except for portions intended

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permission, please contact: Personal Freedom Outreach, P.O. Box

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