True Satanism

I’ve heard enough about “real” and “true” Satanism lately that I’ve decided to share my thoughts on the matter. I find it somewhat amusing that, among different branches of a religious philosophy that claims to promote individuality and freedom of thought, there is so much passion for the establishment of an orthodoxy to which all members must fervently follow.

When considering the lingering effects of the Satanic Panic and the public’s general fear and distrust of all things Satanic, I can understand why many Satanists would want to promote some kind of standard to show that Satanists aren’t out to sacrifice everyone’s pets and cannibalize their children. It also makes sense that, when someone does something horrible in the name of Satan, other Satanists would want to distance themselves from the person and his or her behavior.

I can also understand those who, as a reaction to efforts to make Satanism more “palatable” to the masses, feel as though the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. There are good conversations to have about drawing the distinction between not being a serial-raping baby cannibal yet not being a sappy little goody-two-shoes.

Too bad the True Satanists out there aren’t having any of those conversations.

I’m talking about the Satanists who feel the need to call out others for being “pretentious,” then lock themselves away in their ritual chambers and presume to affect the universe with their magical powers. I’m not going to say that these people aren’t Satanists, thus avoiding the No True Scotsman fallacy, but I will say that for these people to call themselves “real” or “true” is a bit of a stretch, as their esoteric meanderings denote a distinct detachment from reality and truth. As I believe that my variation of Satanism helps me to deal with the real world as it truly exists, not as I would like to pretend that it is during my Harry Potter cosplay sessions, I feel like I at least practice a variation that is more real and true than theirs.

“True Satanist” is a title. How funny that those who seek to claim it are usually the first ones to decry the descriptive and functional titles of other Satanic organizations. If you’re going to claim that someone hasn’t “earned” a title yet call yourself a “True Satanist,” it would at least make sense for you to be somewhat interested in truth, reason, skepticism, and the elimination of, rather than the proliferation of, woo and bullshit.

Hail Truth! Hail Satan!

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John Buer

John Buer is the first ordained priest of the United Aspects of Satan and the community organizer for Atheistic Satanists of the Bible Belt.