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#32604 - 12/06/09 10:37 PM Re: BTW Maw, my friend and critic. [Re: ]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: MatthewJ1

How can one have a Church of Satan?

Is it to be a more or less tightly knit group of grottos which are publicly known in some sense; headed by a well qualified, well trained and committed priesthood, with a central grotto and high priest, who somehow co-ordinates national activity and/or policy from a distance?

Or is it submerged with a hidden priesthood and no grottos or else secret grottos, with a high priest, who insists that one gain tangible results in the real world, rather than being focused on full-time church membership?

Can real world results and a full-time church membership and involvement be possible, or rather could one make a sort of career out of being a member of the Priesthood of Mendes?


At times, The Church of Satan has been a bit of each of these things, but it's not so easy to tie it down. It's a bit like trying to nail jello to a wall. It defies being one thing to everyone, and that's pretty much by design.

The Church of Satan requires nothing from its membership insofar as attendance goes, or participation at all, if all one desires is simply to affiliate with the Church for personal reasons. If they DO choose to become an active member of a group, then that can be pursued as one sees fit.

There have been times when the Grotto system was very active, and there have been times when it's been out of favor. One problem with "church sponsored" grottos is that the Church can become painted with a rather broad brush, colored by the activities of the individual grotto for good or ill. If, for instance, a grotto becomes a conduit for illegal activities, that reflects upon the Church of Satan and can cause the church as a whole to become scrutinized for the acts of an individual grotto. It's no wonder that there's a reluctance to form franchises under the auspices of The Church of Satan.

Even in the 70's when I ran The Melek Taus Chapel, we were on our own, as far as operations went. Central did appreciate reading news reports of our achievements when we were written up for things that were interesting, like the baptism of a child of members, etc. If we had been caught dealing dope (never would have happened), we knew that the first words out of Central would be "Melek Taus Chapel who?"

People also seem to equate the Satanic Priesthood with the Christian priests who minister to their flocks. This is not the case. Satanic Priests have no "pastoral duties." A Priest of Satan's focus is on the furthering of Church goals. Sometimes this can lead to personal opportunities as well, but there's no "misistering to the flock." I've known a few priests who've involved themselves in the lives of the members of their groups, but it's not a requirement. I never would have been involved in my group member's lives. It tends to run counter to the idea of being responsible for one's own actions, and really, I had a life of my own outside of the Chapel.

There's really no correlation between a "christian" church and The Church of Satan, although there has always been talk of the vision of "pitchforks and pentagrams replacing crosses on steeples. Maybe on the pleasure domes.
_________________________
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#32608 - 12/07/09 01:52 AM Re: BTW Maw, my friend and critic. [Re: ]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2524
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MatthewJ1
How can one have a Church of Satan?

Is it to be a more or less tightly knit group of grottos which are publicly known in some sense; headed by a well qualified, well trained and committed priesthood, with a central grotto and high priest, who somehow co-ordinates national activity and/or policy from a distance?

This was the original idea during 1970-75 (the period when the Church expanded beyond simply a San Francisco operation at the LaVeys' home).

No Christian or other pre-existing institution was used as a model. The original idea, as discussed in the Church's 1968 handout on "Requirements for the Satanic Clergy" (A#8 of The Church of Satan), was to train and ordain Ministers and Priests. The essential distinction of the latter was that they would be empowered and expected to create and head branches of the Church outside of SF. [This was prior to the degree system, which was instituted in 1970. That system formalized the Priesthood as the III° and eliminated the office of Minister, which in 1971 would be replaced by that of Regional Agent (not a degree, and held until 1975 by either II°s or III°s - cf. COS A#27).]

Thus the original 1970 Grottos were all the creations of Priests/Priestesses: Charles Steenbarger's Plutonian in Denver, Wayne West's Babylon in Detroit, and my Nineveh in Louisville.

Within a year it became apparent that some of the more prominent II°s around the country were attracting local groups of interested, and affiliating, individuals. The LaVeys therefore decided to authorize Grottos under II° as well as III° Grotto Leaders.

Many of these Grottos functioned quite smoothly and commendably, but others [as recounted in COS] were short-lived. This preempted the LaVeys', and my, and other III°+s' time & tranquillity. Anton visualized himself as Satan's representative on Earth, not as a babysitter.

At first we tried to address this by developing and distributing the "Grotto Administration Manual" (COS A#48). This was respected by nicely-functioning Grottos and ignored by the problem ones. Which by 1974 led to Anton's decision to institute extensive probationary periods for would-be Grottos before formally chartering them. This was the state of affairs in 1975, when there were still quite a few nice Grottos around; the problem ones were disallowed pretty quickly.

As for the Priesthood of Mendes III°, it continued to develop and formalize its identity during this same period. The original 1968-70 examination (discussed briefly in COS p. 74-6) was soon considered to be too "narrow" for what a true Satanic Priesthood should encompass, so in 1973 the LaVeys asked me to redo it (p. 322). This resulted in the "Letter of III° Nomination" (A#89), which Anton approved and was sent out by him to all prospective III°s 1973-75.

This was the state of affairs when in May 1975 Anton made his decision to deformalize both the Grotto system and the degree system. Henceforth all such terms would be simply at his whim, with no relevance to a higher, impersonal, or sacred standard (as, for example, enunciated in the Satanic Baptismal Rite (COS A#20) or the III° Ceremony of Ordination (COS A#65))

 Quote:
Or is it submerged with a hidden priesthood and no grottos or else secret grottos, with a high priest, who insists that one gain tangible results in the real world, rather than being focused on full-time church membership?

This is of course the position that Anton took after 1975, in which the "Church of Satan" was simply the sum-total of his friends and fans, "Satan" merely a metaphor of convenience for his fetishes, and titles such as "Priest" and "Magister" nothing more than marks of vague personal favor. I doubt that Jake, for instance, ever undertook a curriculum of formal study or examination for any degree, or was expected to handle "field" responsibilities away from the premises of 6114. [Which isn't to cast aspersions on either his personal integrity or his selfless efforts around/within 6114, or whatever/wherever his Melek Taus Chapel.*]

 Originally Posted By: *
Prior to 1975 "chapel" was a rarely-used, unofficial term to describe groups of members too small or irregularly-functioning to qualify even as provisional Grottos. Examples: Priestess Margaret Wendall's San Jose Bubastis Chapel of the Santa Cruz Karnak Grotto, or Warlock William Murray's Carpathia Chapel in Winnemucca, Nevada.

I might add that this post-1975 situation was obviously not evident to a number of persons who subsequently joined the "Church" on the assumption that it was still the functioning, sincere organization it had been previously. Many of these eventually found their way to the Temple of Set "sadder but wiser"; others just quit in disillusionment or disgust, or simply faded away without bothering.

 Quote:
Can real world results and a full-time church membership and involvement be possible, or rather could one make a sort of career out of being a member of the Priesthood of Mendes?

As should be clear from the COS documents, profane education, accomplishment, and experience were all considered to be relevant factors in any initiatory degree evaluation. The test of a Black Magician is not just what he knows, but what he does with it, and with what judgment, artistry, and of course success. But underlying all of this, and both intrinsic and essential to it, was a commitment to Satan as the genius and origin of this discretionary consciousness in all sentient beings. That is why the original, authentic Church of Satan was the Church of Satan, and not merely a club of ASLV admirers and emulators.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#32621 - 12/07/09 08:03 AM Re: Jesuit grading and testing system [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
I did indeed take the examination for elevation to the II* for the Church of Satan and served as an Agent as well. (Of course, since I was granted the II° without the knowledge of Dr. Aquino, my status there and as an Agent was obviously of inferior quality.) The duties of an Agent were to accept new members, should they wish to do so, to serve as a go-between to Central and, if they desired, to form and operate groups, such as the Melek Taus Chapel, in which those members and other members of the Church of Satan might participate.

As I have said before, any further elevation I may have received within the Church was granted to me by Dr. LaVey himself, as indeed was his option, for services rendered to the Church of Satan. No, I didn't BUY them with cash or goods. I was an NCO in the military. The amount of cash that I could be expected to come up with to "bribe my way" into a Priesthood would be laughable. I suppose buying Dr. LaVey a burger at the Jack In The Box on Lombard might have been considered a bribe, but I had to eat anyway. Besides, Basil Ratbone (LaVey's pet gray rat) shared my fries. I NEVER saw anything that would indicate that others were funneling cash or goods to the Church or the LaVeys either.

One thing that we did hear a lot was that there was a feeling of "as above, so below," and that since the Priests and Magisters represented the Church of Satan to the outside world, it would be ludicrous to simply hand out degrees of elevation based solely on an examination. The reason, I'm sure you know people that can pass a test with flying colors, but can't apply the knowledge to "save their souls." There are Mensans who are living in their mother's basements at 40 and have never held a job, there are PhDs in Physics who are stocking shelves because they can't make it in their field, there are military men who are passed up the ranks by virtue of testing and time in grade that can't make it in the field, officers who climb socially to that magical grade of Major and sit out their 20... why would The Church of Satan wish to cast its lot with someone who was such a shining example of success? At least while I was in the conversations, there was a feeling that one should show what they could do with what they had learned. A professional who contributed to his specialty outside of the Church indicated that his contributions within the Church as an elevated member could be expected to be commensurate with that elevated degree. I see nothing wrong with that at all.

Yes, post 1975, the Church of Satan functioned without the permission of Dr. Aquino. Dr. LaVey was a sad and broken man and cried constantly because Dr. Aquino was no longer there. There were constant problems arising because Dr. Aquino wasn't there and therefore people had to run to for aid and assistance in a world in which they were scarcely able to cope. In fact, we had such a hard time taking down all of the statues and laudatory plaques that had been erected in honor of Dr. Aquino that from 1975 until Dr. LaVey's death, we had to devote thousands of manhours to simply patching the holes in the Black House walls where they had stood and hung.

But that's why our Witches wore short skirts.
_________________________
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#32636 - 12/07/09 08:56 PM Re: BTW Maw, my friend and critic. [Re: Jake999]
Gemini Offline
pledge


Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 Originally Posted By: Jake999
 Originally Posted By: GillesdeRais


Once it is realized that Satanism only means the following of a few simple ideas and concepts, apparently first offered by Satan, and NOT the actual following of and worshipping of Satan as the new God, it is finally made clear that Satanism places the individual at the center of the universe, to look at things from a purely personal point of view ("how does THAT affect ME?") while religions with a deity will all place their God at the center of the universe and make all serve the God. It is the pureness and simpleness of this point of view that will often trigger the decision to become a Satanist ... but it was the erroneous and incomplete explanations of Satan offered by the Bible that started the process of discovery leading to the decision to become a Satanist.

While most religions clearly state the need for a God, and offer their God as the true one, Satanism asks if a God is really needed, and if we can get by without one, by just being the best and the most that we can be ... it asks if you would rather be an obidient pet sheep to a dominant God, or would you rather rule yourself ... and this is what appeals to those who make the choice ...


If I'm going to keep it real as a Satanist and as an individual, I have to give credit where credit is due and tell you that this was the most succinct and insightful paragraph and a half that I have read on the boards in a long time. Kudos to you Gilles.


I'm going to have to go ahead and second that. If you can't understand Satanism after reading that, you're probably never going to.
_________________________
http://www.soundcloud.com/onewingedangel

-Gemini

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#32643 - 12/08/09 02:17 AM Re: Jesuit grading and testing system [Re: Jake999]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2524
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Jake999
I did indeed take the examination for elevation to the II* for the Church of Satan and served as an Agent as well. (Of course, since I was granted the II° without the knowledge of Dr. Aquino, my status there and as an Agent was obviously of inferior quality.) The duties of an Agent were to accept new members, should they wish to do so, to serve as a go-between to Central and, if they desired, to form and operate groups, such as the Melek Taus Chapel, in which those members and other members of the Church of Satan might participate.

As previously, I do not question either your sincerity or your administrative capabilities in the least.

 Quote:
As I have said before, any further elevation I may have received within the Church was granted to me by Dr. LaVey himself, as indeed was his option, for services rendered to the Church of Satan. No, I didn't BUY them with cash or goods.

The irony of Anton's decision to sell the Satanic degrees, as documented in COS, is that they had such prestige and glamor as they did precisely because of the accomplishments and reputation of those ladies and gentlemen around the country who had earned and manifested them in the previous nine years. Once all these departed in 1975, Anton's ability to sell them on the backs of our legacy evaporated along with us. With whom thereafter would a newly-designated "Priest" or "Magister" interact as peers and colleagues? The answer to that is self-evident over the subsequent years.

 Quote:
I NEVER saw anything that would indicate that others were funneling cash or goods to the Church or the LaVeys either.

Nor should you have. The 8th Article of the Church of Satan's 1971 incorporation states:

 Originally Posted By: COS A#156
Eighth: The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to charitable and religious purposes and no part of the net income or assets of this organization shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private persons. Upon dissolution or winding up of the corporation, its assets, remaining after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities of this corporation shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and religious purposes, and which has established its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Nevertheless in Diane's subsequent palimony suit and Anton's consequent bankruptcy, both of them stated that they had treated the Church as a "business partnership", which in bankruptcy court testimony Anton amended to "sole proprietorship". If you did not handle the Church's bank accounts, you were out of the loop in that respect.

 Quote:
A professional who contributed to his specialty outside of the Church indicated that his contributions within the Church as an elevated member could be expected to be commensurate with that elevated degree. I see nothing wrong with that at all.

Contributions of talent, influence, and reflected prestige were always welcomed and appreciated by the Church. But until 1975 they were never confused with nor "rewarded" by the initiatory degree system. In 1973, for instance, I presented Sammy Davis, Jr. the white Baphomet of an [honorary] Warlock II° onstage at the Circle Star (!) Theater because that's where we agreed his recognition by the Church was merited. [Indeed, as few realized and we never disclosed, Sammy had had a longtime interest in the Black Arts and was more than casually skilled in them.]

 Quote:
Yes, post 1975, the Church of Satan functioned without the permission of Dr. Aquino ...

Cute, but that is not the issue at all. The real question is whether it continued to acknowledge Satan as its source and patron, hence could consequently be properly called a church of same. And that answer is quite clearly, and historically/factually, no.

Analyses of the changing nature of activities at 6114 California Street are just that: descriptions and evaluations of time-periods and the ideas/events therein. There is no point in getting angry about any of this, any more than about whether atheists should simply and properly be called atheists. In one of the Church of Satan's more charming original rituals, "The Madness of Andelsprutz" (COS A#4), the asylum inmate deemed the most insane, hence suited for release to the outside world, was given [among other tools] "a magnifying glass to detect imperfections ... and a can of black spray paint to instantly cover up inconvenient imperfections". Q.E.D.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#32649 - 12/08/09 08:19 AM Re: Jesuit grading and testing system [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
I know well of Andelsprutz. Was it hard for you to get the spray paint off? I would think that it would clash with your uniform.

You keep assuming that people are getting angry while sounding like little more than that woman (or man) that we've all had who broke off from us for some reason, and then spent the rest of their lives trying to tell the world what bastards we were for jilting THEM. Get over it.

If you spent as much time trying to build up The Temple of Set and you have trying to negate The Church of Satan, the Temple of Set might actually be preeminent in the minds of those seeking initiation into darker side, rather than as having the asterisk of "formed by a former member of The Church of Satan." Again, get over it. YOU left the Church of Satan. YOU formed the Temple of Set. Your posts and constant carping only show the sad inner workings of a man who seems to be incapable of just moving on and "reigning in hell."

Sorry, but that's the way it looks, and this from a man who's always said that he respected you for at least believing enough in yourself to move on when you disagreed with the organization. Seems like I was wrong about you.

And this is not to denigrate you or lessen your achievements over the decades. Those around here who seem to think that being Satanic is in getting stoned and behaving like morons should be hanging on your every word, but it seems that almost every post you make seems to smack of a personal agenda or self promotion. Sad, when there is a lot people COULD be learning from you.
_________________________
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#32654 - 12/08/09 02:08 PM Re: Jesuit grading and testing system [Re: Jake999]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2524
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Jake999
I know well of Andelsprutz. Was it hard for you to get the spray paint off? I would think that it would clash with your uniform.

You keep assuming that people are getting angry while sounding like little more than that woman (or man) that we've all had who broke off from us for some reason, and then spent the rest of their lives trying to tell the world what bastards we were for jilting THEM. Get over it.

I am comfortable letting readers decide for themselves which one of us is being defensive and insulting.

Where the Church of Satan and Anton LaVey are concerned, I have always [and not just here] tried to be factual and objective. In my experience, most have understood and appreciated that. Some who have personal agendæ or who bought unquestioningly into Anton's/sycophants' post-1975 revisionism have not. I can't help that, but I don't think I should fall silent concerning the truth just for their illusions and comfort.

 Quote:
If you spent as much time trying to build up The Temple of Set and you have trying to negate The Church of Satan, the Temple of Set might actually be preeminent in the minds of those seeking initiation into darker side, rather than as having the asterisk of "formed by a former member of The Church of Satan."

Actually the Temple of Set is doing just fine, thank you: since 1975 tens of thousands of present and former Setians who have enjoyed it, an enormous amount of Temple/Order/Pylon literature, ongoing annual international, national & regional conclaves, and several Internet resources and forums. I retired as High Priest of Set in 1996 and am also very pleased that I am not only "unnecessary" but that in all areas of its interest the Temple has long since evolved substantially beyond my expertise. I don't discuss it here because it is Setian, not Satanic; although I have answered the occasional question where pertinent.

 Quote:
Again, get over it. YOU left the Church of Satan. YOU formed the Temple of Set. Your posts and constant carping only show the sad inner workings of a man who seems to be incapable of just moving on and "reigning in hell."

Sorry, but that's the way it looks, and this from a man who's always said that he respected you for at least believing enough in yourself to move on when you disagreed with the organization. Seems like I was wrong about you.

Well, once again I am content to let readers judge for themselves as to whether my historical posts here about the Church and Anton amount to "carping", or rather to an honest attempt to set the record straight where I have the background, credentials, and experience to do so. Just as obviously, readers are welcome to take or leave my comments; I don't sit up nights worrying about it.

Why did I write COS, and why do I continue to talk about it and Anton? Because, as I discussed in the book, I think that it and he are too important and consequential to be relegated to the mists of the past, or to be remembered only as cheap, phony aberrations. It was a good institution built by many good, honorable, and bright people; and he was a good, decent, kind, and brilliant man. If you think that everything he did, and those around him did in the name of the "Church" after 1975 continue to substantiate that, that's up to you, Densley, Gilmore, et al. to argue.

I will tell you something else. Do you think that I enjoyed anything about the 1975 disintegration of the Church? Or Anton's fall from being the High Priest of Satan to what one national magazine later dismissed as a "junkyard intellectual"? I was his senior lieutenant and [in his words] "Devil-Son". I loved him as much as my own father, and Diane as much as my own sister. I would unhesitatingly have stopped a bullet for him anytime. I took the stand that I did in 1975 because I was a Priest of Satan, period. So if you want to sneer about my motives or emotions either then or now, you can kiss my ass.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#32656 - 12/08/09 03:02 PM Re: Jesuit grading and testing system [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino

I will tell you something else. Do you think that I enjoyed anything about the 1975 disintegration of the Church? Or Anton's fall from being the High Priest of Satan to what one national magazine later dismissed as a "junkyard intellectual"? I was his senior lieutenant and [in his words] "Devil-Son". I loved him as much as my own father, and Diane as much as my own sister. I would unhesitatingly have stopped a bullet for him anytime. I took the stand that I did in 1975 because I was a Priest of Satan, period. So if you want to sneer about my motives or emotions either then or now, you can kiss my ass.


The problem I have is that you seem to think you have some kind of lock on that feeling about LaVey and that post 1975, anyone involved with the Church of Satan was some sycophantic idiot that was just along for the ride. I can easily echo your emotion considering LaVey, although I was fond of Lady Diane, I had less contact with her. I too had feelings for him that surpassed those I had for my father. I too would have taken that bullet. And make no mistake. If he had told me he wanted one delivered, I would have gladly done it. So, as far as ass kissing goes, pucker up.

And I dealt with Densley first hand. I could see what she was as a manipulator and a disaster waiting to happen. Had I been in the position to stay and try to protect Dr. LaVey and The Church, I would have. All I could do is tell him, "Watch her, Boss" before had to do my duty for my country on another assignment overseas. And that eats away at me to this day. That's a prime reason I'm a pitbull when it comes to the man that I would have died for.

To have someone say that we were nothing post 1975 IS insulting. If you can't understand that, I can't help you. But you're right. People can read. And the ones that would think any less of Dr. LaVey are people I don't need.

Another quick factoid... I am no supporter of Densley (Barton), Gilmore, or any of their clique. I am a supporter of LaVey and HIS vision for the Church of Satan. Like the presidency under Bush, I can only hope that one day people will come to their senses.
_________________________
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#32657 - 12/08/09 03:13 PM Re: Jesuit grading and testing system [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
[ I was his senior lieutenant and [in his words] "Devil-Son".


On a lighter note, he told me I was his "Luca Brasi".

http://www.joker.si/images/clank/2144_510.jpg
_________________________
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#32658 - 12/08/09 04:16 PM Church of Satan Perspectives [Re: Jake999]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2524
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Jake999
The problem I have is that you seem to think you have some kind of lock on that feeling about LaVey and that post 1975, anyone involved with the Church of Satan was some sycophantic idiot that was just along for the ride.

I believe that I have stated here several times that I have seen no reason to question either your sincerity or competence as an associate/assistant of Anton's, or, for that matter, your affection for Anton & Diane as individuals.

As to whether the Church of Satan existed as such beyond the mere exploitation of its name past 1975, you are, as I have also said, more than welcome to contend that if you wish.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#32667 - 12/08/09 05:55 PM Fiddler's Green [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2524
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MawhrinSkel
Can we not agree that our personal opinions of Satanism / CoS are based on our own, subjective experiences?

Actually I think that Jake and I would respect & enjoy one another's company & conversation - maybe after a hotfoot apiece just for the hell of it.

I am also aware that my religious convictions may occasionally seem extreme, if not meant to be abrasively so.

 Originally Posted By: H.P. Lovecraft, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
There seemed to lurk in Joseph Curwen's bearing some cryptic, sardonic arrogance, as if he had come to find all human beings dull through having moved among stranger and more potent entities.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#32681 - 12/08/09 07:59 PM Re: Fiddler's Green [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



To Dr. Aquino.

I personally believe that tendering your resignation to the LaVey’s must have been one of the hardest things you have had to do. I can feel it when I read your book.

Did Dr. LaVey, the Church and the Priesthood of Mendes have a real infernal mandate or not? This seems to be the central question for me. If there was a real infernal mandate then the actions taken in relation to the 1975 crisis seem reasonable to me.

Unfortunately I cannot answer this question, regarding a real infernal mandate, as I was not there.

Just from looking through the enormous amount of material you have provided in your book, it seems to me, that there was a consistent message coming out of the Church in the early to mid 1970’s, via interviews and articles.

Then we have ‘Quo Vadis,’ published in the Hoof in July/August 1974 with its rather startling content.

Then in September 1974 there is the release of the ‘Phase Four’ document.

I feel that something is up here, but I can’t figure out all the angles. I am trying to figure out Dr. LaVey’s thinking here, the reasoning behind Phase Four.

I can understand his critique of a huddling membership and his concern over the performance of grottos and the way the grottos may reflect on the Church, but I feel that there is something else here, which I can’t put a finger on.

To Jake

Thanks very kindly for the information you have provided. There’s no substitute for learning from people who were actually there.

The CoS has to be one of the most interesting institutions I personally have come across.

Your mention of Magistra Barton and her agendas really drew my attention!

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#32708 - 12/09/09 12:23 AM Alternate Futures [Re: ]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2524
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MatthewJ1
... I feel that something is up here, but I can’t figure out all the angles. I am trying to figure out Dr. LaVey’s thinking here, the reasoning behind Phase Four.

I can understand his critique of a huddling membership and his concern over the performance of grottos and the way the grottos may reflect on the Church, but I feel that there is something else here, which I can’t put a finger on.

The simplest, and probably most accurate answer is that throughout its decade the Church of Satan was always a spontaneously, often comically haphazard "work in progress", not a neatly-preprogrammed package. Anton started it with the idea that it would be a local San Francisco group meeting in his home. Suddenly it was a nationwide phenomenon, and neither he nor Diane had any experience with an extended organization, or any idea what an "institutional" Church of Satan could/should be. He also felt it crucial to maintain his "Black Pope" image, which required his appearing to be, so to speak, in "absolute Black Magical control of everything".

The more the national membership grew and interacted in interGrotto and then regional conclave activities, along with a blizzard of local, Regional Agent, etc. newsletters, the less the Church resembled an SS marching formation and the more it resembled a herd of cats. The "Phase 4" announcement was Anton's effort to put the toothpaste back in the tube, which by 1974 was already too late. Even if Anton had never decided to sell the degrees, the Church was clearly heading towards a decision point concerning its structural future. It would either need to develop into a truly decentralized organization in which the High Priest became more of a chief executive than an autocrat, or it would dismantle every organized, structural extension and implode back into a 6114 existence with unstructured member-at-large affiliations in a "Movement" mythology.

Had the Church taken the organizational/decentral route, I think it would probably have evolved into something structurally very much like the Temple of Set, though whether it would have sustained its also-rapidly-constricting Judæo-Christian imagery is also questionable. Even in its earliest days, as exemplified by the multicultural "daemons" listed in the SB, the Church was extending far beyond the old, stereotypical J/C scarecrow-Satan.

It's somewhere between great fun and barfmeout to imagine some of the directions in which the C/S might have gone. Anton was an extrovert and a showman like Walt Disney; visualize a Satanic theme park or perhaps a Satanic Vegas resort. Satanic variations on the Playboy Clubs, with horned & barbed-tailed hostesses? [In the '60s Anton was envisioning not just local churches with tridents instead of crosses atop their steeples, but "Pleasure Domes" a la Kenneth Anger in case local Satanists felt like dropping in for an occasional Bacchanale.] By the 1970s Satan & Satanism were fast becoming perfectly community-acceptable terms, sort of on the most exotic extreme of New-Ageism. It was understandable to the average person both in philosophy and in imagery.

[None of this was/is remotely possible with the Temple of Set. From the moment of its founding it [& I as HP] were adamantly anti-media, and remained so until forced into public dialogue by the 1980s' "Satanic panic". Set is generally unknown outside of Egyptology, and Setian philosophy is very complex & abstract. And of course we never bothered with real estate; when we felt the need for Egyptian atmosphere in an international conclave, we just booked the Luxor.]
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#32711 - 12/09/09 01:33 AM Re: Alternate Futures [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Thanks very much Dr. Aquino for all this information regarding Dr. LaVey and the CoS.

He and his organisation are remarkable in my view.

I definitely have to sit down and go through your book again.

I have to admit I am a bit of a philosophical ham. Whether I am any good at it is questionable, but I do love the subject of philosophy.

When you say that Setian philosophy is complex and abstract that tends to tempt me to study it.

I tend to like complex information.

I have already downloaded a copy of your book on the TOS and will read it when I can.

There is so much to read and so little time.

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#32716 - 12/09/09 05:46 AM Re: Church of Satan Perspectives [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
stalker


Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
I think there are as Maw stated personal differences here.

I look at the CoS, as having 3 phases:
Aquino's years
Jake's years
and the Gilmore years.

You guys have more in common than not, below is the short version:

You were both members of the CoS when it's leadership meant something.

When it was respected, or at the very least made sense.

Your personal relationships, and the knowledge that you both have to share with those of us here is a gift.

You both share a military background, and understand things in regards to personal honour, and who you would fight for.

You both are not happy with what the CoS has evolved into.

BIG NEWS FLASH
Most members here are not happy with what the CoS has evolved into with the Gilmore era.

A bunch of the members here think the current CoS under Gilmore sucks, is a joke, and were banned or just said NO to it.

I think it would help, if you guys just look at it that way.
Your individual time periods, outlooks, and experiences are so different but yet so much the same.

I am thankful that you BOTH choose to talk about and discuss your experiences, and knowledge with all of us here.

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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