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#31925 - 11/18/09 08:36 PM Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist?
Morbid Rex Offline

Registered: 01/29/09
Posts: 130
Is it really necessary in order to be one? When I first decided to take Satanism seriously (as in, completely destroy the Christian values that had been placed on me since I was a child), I scowered the internet for as much information as I could and read The Satanic Bible until the main points were completely absorbed. But I couldn't help but feel the constant self-label of a Satanist was limiting, as I felt it put me into a box a little. If Satan is something thats truly inside of you as a symbolic label and psychological aspect as your being, then it is something that is a part of you, thats as indistinguishable from your being as how many fingers and toes you have.

Thus, is the label really necessary?
Do I dare disturb the universe

Satanism! The only scientifically proven religion.

#31930 - 11/18/09 08:51 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: Morbid Rex]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2513
Are you asking if a Satanist would still be a Satanist even if they didn't apply the label to themself? I think the answer to that question is an obvious yes. It is what you do and how you carry yourself etc. that makes you a Satanist. Not the label you apply to yourself. If you like fuck little kids that makes you a pedophile, regardless of whether or not you identify yourself as one. On the flip-side of that just calling yourself Lawrence of Arabia doesn't make it so.

If you feel the label is limiting then you should probably remove the label. I've always felt that the only limitations in ones life are the ones they impose on themselves.

Is the label necessary? Probably not. But people like to give names to things they identify with.
No gods. No masters.

#31932 - 11/18/09 09:06 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Nemesis Offline
senior member

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Indeed, how else would we be able to join groups on Facebook?

The only time labels matter is when they're wrapped around a bottle of Jack Daniel's. Their purpose is to differentiate one thing from another. Being a Satanist means A) You're not a Christian, B) You're not Muslim, C) You're not________, etc.

Take it as far as you want, or don't take it at all. Plenty of people on this board don't use the term "Satanic" to define them or their philosophies, and we haven't kicked them to the curb.
Nothing is sacred.

#31940 - 11/19/09 01:21 AM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: Nemesis]
Satansfarm Offline

Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 352
Loc: america
Sometimes, I feel uncomfortable with the term "satanist" . For many people it means heavy metal music, neo nazis, devil worship,
marilyn manson, ad nauseum. I have studied many forms of magic, and I find Anton LaVey's formula from the Satanic Bible to be most effective. I continue to study just about anything I can find, from the Temple of Set to John Allee and his First Church of Satan. I find the grimoires of various witches in the local bookstore to be fascinating and useful. I do identify rather strongly with Dr. LaVey, so I have called myself a Satanist many times. I am getting a little tired of having to explain myself to people who really don't matter to me much anyway. Last time someone asked me about the Baphomet banner on my wall, I told him, "I trace my family origins back to the Templar Knights".
The templars have a shady enough past to confuse just about anyone. I like this.

#31961 - 11/19/09 12:26 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: Nemesis]
ballbreaker Offline

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I think you're on the ball here Nem.

This isn't exactly controversial, but perhaps self-identification as a Satanist is rare because an increasing number of folk tend to ignore the 'ritual' aspect of it, 'Satan' does not carry with it much significance nowadays?

#31965 - 11/19/09 01:41 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: ballbreaker]
Room 101 Offline

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Scotland
I suppose the only reason that I identify as a “Satanist” is that it’s the belief system that most closely matches my mind set, opinions and general attitude toward life.

Admittedly I do regard myself as a Satanist, but not for the names sake. If the same core beliefs and attitudes were summated by a different name, say “Aggressive Atheist”, then I would class myself as that.

The fact of the matter is that labels can serve a purpose, but they don’t define you. At the end of the day it’s what’s between your ears that defines you as a person, Satanist or other.

Edited by Room 101 (11/19/09 01:45 PM)
Edit Reason: Fat hands
"Nothing is your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull." - George Orwell (1984)

#31968 - 11/19/09 03:20 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: Morbid Rex]
Dimitri Offline

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3412
Thus, is the label really necessary?

Labels are good when you know how to use them properly.
As for instance, I use the label of Atheist when residing with people who are religious. It sums up quite clearly what my views about the possible existence of a deity are.

I use the label of scientist when having discussions with 'collagues', fellow-students and other people who join in during a discussion.

The label Satanist is only used when I'm too tired to explain my broad view on things. After all, Satanism is a philosophy a person identifies his way of living with. The reason I tend to avoid the label is because of the misconceptions which still float around in this world, giving it a certain limitation while it actually is limitless.

A person doesn't need to self-identify as a Satanist to be one.
Satanism involves a certain way of living and thinking, (IMO) a natural way of living and thinking. A normal person can have certain Satanic virtues, even be more 'Satanic' then some old-timers within the philosophy, and yet not identify himself as such. Even so the person might even shun the label despite the correlations his views and way of living contain with the philosophy.
Ut vivat, crescat et floreat

#32265 - 11/26/09 07:50 AM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: Dimitri]
William Wright Offline
active member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 924
Loc: Nashville
Although I have no problem with others who might label me a Satanist, I generally think of myself as above labels. I am whatever I choose to be at any given time. Most people know me as a husband, father, friend or coworker. Perfectly fine labels. Others may think of me as an idiot. That's their opinion, and they're entitled to it.

If I were to label myself, it would be as a Self or a Seeker. Self signifies that I am the center of my universe (a Satanic concept, of course). Seeker reminds me that my task is to seek out those things that can make my life better and use them to my benefit. I employ labels to the extent that they serve my interests.

#32266 - 11/26/09 10:40 AM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist [Re: William Wright]
FlameReborn Offline

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 36
labels are neither good nor bad to me, it just depends on how other people see them or if they have a tendency to deify labels.

I don't get into the complex mentality that either I am labeled or above labels. Either way, I feel that I end up labeling myself as someone who is above labels or a process of identification via labels.

Psychologically, labels help us to identify what someone is or what they represent. For Instance, a Satanist represents the the tenants of Anton LaVey's philosophy held by the Church of Satan. Now, if a sanctimonious ignorant Christian comes along and screams and claims that you murder children and sacrifice them to demons and carve pentagrams into your innocent torture victims. (<---- all that SRA bullshit from the 80's Satanic Panic.) They are deifying labels or manipulating them.Quite frankly, because of stupid religious people I am not gonna stop utilizing labels to a certain extent.


Edited by FlameReborn (11/26/09 10:43 AM)

#32274 - 11/26/09 02:12 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist [Re: Morbid Rex]
Michael A.Aquino Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2721
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
“A Vision of Lucifer”
- by Michael A. Aquino VI°
The Scroll of Set, July 1995

In Scroll #XXI-1 I brought up the question of the Temple of Set’s relationship to “Satan/ Satanism”, past/present/future, and invited Setians to send me their opinions. Possibly a consensus would emerge around the time of the Set-XVI Conclave (at this writing about two months away).

To briefly re-summarize the issue:

On one hand we have the Temple of Set’s own 20-year tradition of considering itself not only the legitimate successor to the 1966-75 authentic Church of Satan, but also the sponsor of much magical research clearly inspired by the most sublime and ecstatic visions of the Judæo-Christian ArchDæmon. After the fashion of history’s great Satanist artists, poets, and writers - Milton, Baudelaire, Shaw, Twain, C.A. Smith, et al. - the Temple of Set has carried this flag forward into a new era of appreciation and creativity. It is a history of attainment and accomplishment of which we can be rightfully proud.

On the other hand profane society continues to dissolve back into religious barbarism, with primitive, fundamentalist “cartoon Christianity” becoming both more prevalent and more militant all the time - at least in the United States and, if we read the signals from other countries accurately, in many of them as well. Such brutish Christianity knows nothing and cares nothing about any vision or interpretation of Satan except as something “evil” to be instantly hated and to be suppressed and destroyed in any way possible. Whether we like it or not/whether it is “fair” or not, such barbarism and its propaganda systems vastly outweigh any positive definition we may have advocated for “Satan” or “Satanism” since 1966.

Fundamentalist Christianity [or Islam] sees the universe in a simple juxtaposition of “good” (God) and “evil” (Satan). The point here is that such people cannot consider a “Satan” to be anything but “evil”, because he is by definition opposed or contrasted to what is “good”. Trying to argue them into considering that Satan might have some good, creative, positive points is thus a waste of time.

To fundamentalists, moreover, anything not “of God” is “of the Devil”. The farther away from their Bible-based understanding of God/Jesus it seems to be, the worse it is - but even the milder “transgressions” are on the “bad” side of the fence. Thus the new generation of fundamentalists considers Mormons, Scientologists, Hare Krishnas, Masons, Jews, Wiccans, Rosicrucians, Thelemites, etc. all just as “Satanic” as avowed Satanists.

Nor is avowed-Satanism anything resembling a unified camp in the 1990s. From 1966 to 1975 there was only the Church of Satan. There were a few minor, incidental competitors, such as the Process, but none of them came anywhere close to the Church as a standard-bearer.

From 1975 to ca. 1990 “Satan”-based Satanism did not exist. Anton LaVey’s continuing operation had shrunk to a very-infrequently-appearing Cloven Hoof for a small circle of sycophants. The Temple of Set treated “Satanism” largely as a more primitive approximation of what had since become the Setian philosophy, and used Satanic symbolism only incidentally and occasionally for its artistic and dramatic value.

The late 1980s brought the international “Satanic scare”, which, ironically, resulted in the resurgence of a kind of “fundamentalist Satanism” among the more rebellious and antisocial youth elements. LaVey’s controllers have been able to exploit this wave commercially to some extent, but the anarchistic nature of this neo-movement clearly stops short of acknowledging him anything like the “Black Pope” he was in the 66-75 Age of Satan. He has become pre-mortem, like Aleister Crowley post-mortem, a kind of plaything for pop-occultists to brandish as they wish, in support of whatever emotional whim may flatter or entertain them.

Where the Temple of Set is concerned, the bottom line is that we have no absolute control over the definition or use of “Satan” or “Satanism” either in conventional Judæo-Christian society or in the “occult subculture”. Whatever relative influence we have is almost negligible in the J/C world and increasingly compartmentalized in the OS due to our aristocratic insistence on “High Satanism” as the only authentic Satanism. Today’s pop-occult kids and LaVey-fan clubbers consider the Temple irritatingly stuffy in this regard. They want their “Satanism” to be a simple, instantly-gratifying no-brainer, requiring nothing beyond a flip through the Satanic Bible and an “I wannit!” yell. Any attempt to teach them is pointless; they became “Satanists” precisely because they have no self-discipline for the effort of learning.

After listening to comments from many of you, and pondering the matter further myself, I conclude that there is unfortunately going to be no button-push solution for this situation. Profane fundamentalism will continue to consider the Temple of Set “Satanic” no matter what we say, or how painstakingly we attempt to explain ourselves in a non-J/C frame of reference. The social forces that will prevent such fundamentalism from translating its hatred into active persecution are much larger than anything over which we have direct control: influences like the Jewish lobby, the ACLU, and whatever laws remain in support of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Let us understand that we are riding the coattails of such influences rather than commanding them; far from resenting this, we should appreciate our fortune in being in this position.

How this social contest will be resolved in the long term I cannot tell at this time. These are very large-scale, slow-moving socio/political forces. The wise course for the Temple of Set is to “keep a clear eye” and adjust itself to changing conditions much as a surfer rides a wave, wasting as little of our energy as possible on King Canute-style “gestures of defiance” which ultimately have no significant impact on the megatrends in question. We are going to have to be something of a “jiujitsu religion”, not a “boxer in the ring”, in this regard.

 Originally Posted By: M.A.A., The Dark Side (1977)
“Ben, would you tell me more about the Jedi?” said Luke Skywalker, fingering the lightsaber grip at his side. “Who are they? What do they do? And how can I become one?”

The old man, who had been dozing in his seat across from Luke, blinked and sat up. “The - Jedi,” he said. “They are gone now. Massacred by the Republic in its decadence and paranoia ... No, that’s not entirely fair; they also brought it on themselves by their refusal to see the reality of their situation. Only I remain, I fear. And, of course, Darth Vader.”

“Who is this Darth Vader you keep talking about?” asked Luke.

“You’ll know soon enough,” said Kenobi drily, “but one thing at a time. You’re curious about the Jedi. Well. There are three types of knowledge, Luke. First there is knowledge acquired through experience, as in the case of the craftsman. Secondly there is knowledge acquired through study, as in the case of the scholar. Finally there is knowledge acquired through Initiation, and this is the special province of the Jedi Order.

“Initiation does not teach you to know or do anything in particular. It is rather a process of awakening certain latent sensitivities within rare individuals. These sensitivities enable the Jedi to see situations and events around him with a clarity and objectivity unknown to non-Jedis. Thus he is able to impress his Will upon situations in a manner that is as effective as it is subtle. This Jedi characteristic, mysterious as it is to others, has resulted in our being suspect to those in positions of social power - and objects of fear to those of lesser intelligence. You are a little afraid of me yourself, are you not?”

Luke grinned and nodded.

“Good,” said Kenobi. “I would hate to think I am losing my touch. Now the knowledge of the Jedi requires two factors. The Initiation process is one factor; it is the deliberate sensitizing of the individual to the abilities that lie within his - or her - consciousness. This Initiation may be encouraged and to some extent guided by others, but it is essentially a personal, private experience. At the Citadel of the Jedi we spoke not of ‘training’ Jedi, but rather of Recognizing their levels of Initiation.”

“What’s the other factor?” said Luke.

“The other factor,” answered Kenobi, “is the raw material. Not everyone can respond to Initiation, or respond to it at comparable levels. Nor is the capacity for Initiation tied to the ability to acquire knowledge of the other two kinds, though of course a Jedi with such knowledge is all the more effective. In certain individuals - beings of all races and species throughout the galaxy - there is ... the ‘Force’, as we generally call it. It is the raw material that, when refined through Initiation, enables the Jedi to effect change in accordance with his Will.”

“What sort of change?” said Luke. “And why should a Jedi want to change anything?”

“The Jedi’s commitment is to change as something desirable in itself,” answered Kenobi, “but of course there are value judgments involved. There is nothing to be gained by influencing a peaceful, progressive society to disintegrate into war, for example. But a peaceful society which fails to progress may benefit in the long run from a destabilizing shock. The art of the Jedi lies in the ability to estimate when and if a change in the existing situation will stimulate positive evolution.

“As for how: The answer is that the most wide-reaching changes may be set in motion through a single, isolated decision or action. At its height the Jedi Order numbered in the thousands, but such a number was miniscule against the entire population of the Republic. The strength of the Jedi lay in their ability to set processes in motion, not necessarily to force those same processes to conclusion.” ...

And what about the pop-occult “Satanists” and the LaVey-revivalists?

After observing them for some time, including with the aid of computer Internet newsgroups and echoes, I cannot squeeze them into a homogenous stereotype. Some are spoiled brats with no more understanding or appreciation of Satanism than another ring through their lip or a tattoo on their ass. Others, as LaVey, are mere commercial profiteers selling snake-oil to suckers. Still others, like Wagner’s Parsifal, are sincere seekers after something which as yet they cannot define, flailing around in the underbrush of philosophical and metaphysical jungles. These may or may not find their way to the Grail Castle of the Temple of Set; if they do, they may or may not like what they find there. The sensible thing is simply to allow the Temple to be “findable”, and not to worry overmuch about the flailers otherwise. Ultimately their quests are their own to pursue, and eventually they will find whatever is within their competence to seem satisfying to them.

Many years ago I became seriously interested in Satan after reading Milton’s Paradise Lost. What a magnificent, tragic being Lucifer/Satan was! He had reached out against impossible odds, had endured unimaginable torment, not for any lesser goals but simply, purely, to affirm his independent will and existence. The ineffable beauty and singularity of this vision enthralled me as it did Milton himself, who could not help making Satan the hero of his epic. As Shaw, “I promised him my soul, and swore an oath that I would stand up for him in this world and stand by him in the next.” To me “Satanism” could be nothing less than an active affirmation of this oath in its most dignified and sublime sense. That is how I saw the potential and future of the Church of Satan - and, for that matter, the old Anton LaVey at his greatest.

What the North Solstice X Working did was not to change this oath and this vision, but to lift them clean out of whatever conceptual limitations Judæo-Christian language and imagery had placed upon them. The Bright Light went from being diffused to clear, the Thought from vague to coherent.

Nevertheless seeing with two eyes (Setian) is just as taboo in the Country of the Blind as is seeing with one eye (Satanist). It is the act of sight per se that they cannot understand nor accept, hence must destroy to ensure that everyone is “sane” and “normal”. The Clear Eye of the Setian must be exercised carefully and cautiously; and such wisdom as it imparts must be “downphrased” into simpler terms that the Blind can understand and accept.

“Satan” and “Satanism” will continue to be subjective terms, which anyone may use in an almost limitless kaleidoscope of meanings. The wise Setian will not seek to control these meanings for others, but rather to understand them personally in a way that unlocks their secrets and ennobles the soul “in this world and in the next”.

 Originally Posted By: Clark Ashton Smith, "A Vision of Lucifer"
And straight I knew him for the mystic one
That is the brother, born of human dream,
Of man rebellious at an unknown rod;
The mind’s ideal, and the spirit’s sun;
A column of clear flame, in lands extreme,
Set opposite the darkness that is God.

#32287 - 11/26/09 09:14 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Fabiano Offline

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
Is it necessary to self-identify as a Satanist for being a Satanist ?

This question makes me think to some vicious circle, to the snake biting his tail. How could someone label himself as an X without being able to define what is X ?

For instance, (I intentionally oversimplify for sake of clarity) one could define a Xian as someone believing that Jesus is the son of God. Based on this definition, he can label itself as a Xian or not.
Off course, someone else could define a Xian in another way (e.g. believing that Jesus is God), label himself as a Xian (or not) on that base.
Issues arise when one tries to label others. Saying to a Xian he’s not a Xian will probably irritate him more than saying he’s stupid.
From this derives all the petty battles between people claiming for the label definition ownership.

But let’s not be confused by what the opponents say, these battles are not for the sake of the "noble" seeking of truth but a struggle for power; as Nietzsche said « All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.»

These struggles for power arise naturally not only in churches but also in other labelled groups like political parties. For instance, (probably not the best example but the only I found) the Chinese’s could say Russians communism failed because it was not true communism, thus luring a little bit more sheeps self-identifying as communists, strengthening the bondage they have on their herd and attracting more sheeps.
Bigger the herd is, more powerful the shepherd is !

Satanism is not an exception : schisms arise and several churches fight for the Satanism label, always giving as pretext seeking the truth (true Satanism in this case) for what is actually a struggle for power.

This first point clarified, I come back to the initial question which boils down to the definition of « true Satanism ». It’s a subject already discussed on this forum months ago and sometimes with passion (and that passion probably arise from a (conscious or unconscious) struggle for (virtual ?) power).

My own conclusion of all these debates is close to what Nem says
Being a Satanist means A) You're not a Christian, B) You're not Muslim, C) You're not________, etc.
That’s why I prefer to label myself as unspeakable (or "unlabelable") rather than Satanist. Off course I’ll not hesitate to label myself as a Satanist in case it’s in favour of my interest.
And I admit I’ve been lured by the shining label when entering here, being irritated of not being recognised as a Satanist.

During the debate, many say that « one is born Satanist and cannot become a Satanist » expressing the fact that it’s a matter of one’s nature. I see a parallel with what Kenobi in Michael’s post calls « the raw material necessary to the Initiation »

But notice how the same notions can also be found in Xianity : it is said that only God knows who will be saved, that the name of the justs are already written on a tree… The Holy Church is then defined as the set of the justs, the set of the « true Xians ».

In consequence, true Xianity is as indefinable as true Satanism and no matter what you do you can’t change anything : you’re born as a goat or as a sheep. In that sense Satanism and Xianity share the same point of view !

It’s not easy to know oneself, it’s not easy to know if you’re a goat or a sheep. Mr Crowley expressed this in a beautiful way : « I was in the death struggle with self: God and Satan fought for my soul those three long hours. God conquered — now I have only one doubt left — which of the twain was God? »

Finally, the label one use for self-identification is a matter of magick. You’re what you think and amongst these thoughts, how you see yourself is a determinant factor for what you’ll be tomorrow.

Being one’s own God is being capable of escaping from any little box. True freedom is freedom of the mind. From that point, one is not afraid anymore to be trapped in a box as he knows he has the power to escape. He can think beyond concepts, he can apprehend reality without concepts.
He can choose to be a sheep or a goat. He defeated both God and Satan and now owns his soul !

#32301 - 11/27/09 02:58 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist [Re: Fabiano]
ballbreaker Offline

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Fabiano
True freedom is freedom of the mind. From that point, one is not afraid anymore to be trapped in a box as he knows he has the power to escape. He can think beyond concepts, he can apprehend reality without concepts.

Two questions: 1) what does 'freedom of the mind' mean, and is it possible (based on whatever your def. is), and 2) what are the implications of a 'freedom' that has no basis in materiality, i.e. is confined to mental feel-good thought.

I'm not staging a confrontation here, but what you have to say is interesting. This 'power to escape' mental cages seems difficult, insofar as the context our thought is situated in appears inescapable. Sorry for the vageuness, I'd like to comment more on this when I have some time.

#32866 - 12/13/09 03:24 PM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist [Re: ballbreaker]
Fabiano Offline

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
Sorry for being short, I've few time...

1. Freedom of mind is the opposite of mind slavery. It's close to Satanic concept of self delusion. I've seen disciples of Mandarom believig their Guru explaining he "destroyed thousands of spacial vessels last night". Their mind was shaped by their guru and they couldn't escape of it. I also saw here hard materaialists trapped in this self-enclosed model denying free will, seeing spirit as just an illusion created by the brain,...
This is tipically what is called promissory materialism in philosophy (K. Popper, etc).
When Neal Grossman asks to a hard materialist "What would be needed, except living yourself a NDE (Near Death Experiment), for convincing you that it's real" and he's answered "Even if I would live a NDE, I would rather conclude that it's an hallucination than believing that my mind can exist independantly from my brain", it's a waste of time to argue. This mind cannot escape from the model... It's just like faith... in materialism ;-)

2. The implication of a freedom which has no basis in materiality is, according to me, a hint that meteriality cannot render the totality of reality...

In conclusion I would say that freedom of mind is open-midness. The ability to accept considering facts or even clues which goas against your own position/model of reality rather than discarding them a-priori.

I'll finsish by saying that there was a time when physicists were saing that physics was complete. The only 2 "minor" things still to be explained was the radiation of a black body and the Michelson-Morley experiment.
Rather than being explained by the model, these two little things lead to a complete revision of physic leading to quantic physic....

Nothing is eternal, even the materialst model ;-)

 Originally Posted By: Chico Marx
Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes ?

#34645 - 01/27/10 06:03 AM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: Morbid Rex]
Baron dHolbach Offline

Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Morbid Rex
Thus, is the label really necessary?

The consensus answer on this thread is (unsurprisingly) no it isn't and of course in the broadest black and white sense I agree. The Satanist born and self-made is on a path that begins well before the Satan symbol is internalized and in fact may be on a path that never intersects with The Satanic Bible or anything else that might lead to internalization of that particular symbol. Still, along the way I think there will inevitably be analogous and relevant self-identifications made, and these will be meaningful milestones, even if each successive one is eventually discarded, or even if multiple ones are held in parallel without any perceived need to discard any or to select one over any of the others.

The Satanist born and self-made may, along the way, self-identify as Nietzschean, let's say, or Thelemist, or Objectivist, or Setian, or something less obvious. Hell, after reading Robert E. Howard, one might self-identify as Cimmerian, a mindset that resonates very nicely with Satanism. Or, after reading something way out of left field, like, say, The RA Material: An Ancient Astronaut Speaks, one might respond to the book in a completely opposite way to what was intended by the author, and self-identify as a Service to Self oriented entity.

I did several of those things, even the perhaps bizarre last one. I never self-identified as Thelemist, and I only toyed with self-identifying as Setian, and yes, even as Cimmerian. But regardless which ones I had picked along the way, I would argue that throughout my growth process I was a Satanist born and gradually being self-made.

The baboon is the soul of man.

#34658 - 01/27/10 10:52 AM Re: Is It Necessary To Self-Identify As A Satanist? [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
TheInsane Offline

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 356
I can see how someone could be labeled as Satanic if that person acted and had values closely linked to the values that Satanism has (this is over-simplified of course since there are numerous different interpretations on what Satanism actually is).

I hold the same position as Swedish academic writer Per Faxneld in his book on pre-LaVeyan Satanism (called Mörkrets Apostlar) where his definition of Satanism is basic but the best I have heard of so far. It basically says that "Satanism is a religion or philosophy that celebrates Satan in a prominent position".

This means that to be a Satanist one must not only act according to satanic ethics, morals or guidelines but also that the same person has to connect this to the character of Satan in one way or another.

This definition leaves alot out since it doesn't say exactly what Satan is or what Satan represents but my take on it is that Satanism is any belief system (or alike) that bases its foundations on what the practitioner identifies as satanic qualities and thus connects to the real or mythological or symbolical figure of Satan. I do think a matter of self-recognition in the term is necessary because at the same time I believe there are very few people who hold a satanic philosophy and realizes that it is based on the character of Satan that doesn't call themselves Satanists. I don't think we can call a person a Satanist if he or she has never heard of the religion or even the term before.

I don't think the pedophile argument holds up since it is quite clear as to what that means. I.e. it has one clear definition (“a psychological disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children”). Satanism really doesn't and its a label that can be used in various ways and has been used in a lot of ways before, during and after Anton LaVey.

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