An Incarnational Apologetic
By John Smulo
The primary objective of this thesis is to develop a Christian apologetic that is appropriate to modern day Satanism. In order to accomplish this, we will divide the thesis into three main sections. Firstly, we will outline a brief history of Satanism, ending in a short description of the beliefs of modern Satanism. Secondly, we will include a brief outline of the main apologetic approaches that have been used by Christians to respond to Satanism. Due to its formative influence in shaping the Christian understanding of Satanism, the testimonial model of apologetics will be analyzed and critiqued in this section. Thirdly, in light of the deficiency of existing apologetic models to Satanism, we will seek to develop what is termed an incarnational apologetic model to Satanism. This apologetic approach has been used by the author to interact with LaVeyan Satanists and other forms of Satanism that have been influenced by Anton LaVey.1
A Brief History of Satanism.
Satanism has never been a unified movement. During approximately the last five-hundred years there have been various forms or expressions of Satanism that have appeared. Drury and Tillett suggest that there are two main categories of Satanism, which they have termed traditional Satanism and secular Satanism.2 Traditional Satanism often refers to the worship of the Satan of the Christian Bible and the inversion of Christian practices. As Melton writes,
Traditionally Satanism has been associated with a variety of practices which parody Roman Catholic Christianity. The major ritual is the black mass, the essence of which is the profaning of the central acts of worship, and might include the repeating of the Lords Prayer backwards, the use of a host which has been dyed black, the slaughter of an animal (usually a cat or dog) to parody the crucifixion, or the rape of a woman upon the altar. The climax of the worship is the invocation of Satan for the working of malevolent magic.3
However, Melton qualifies this description by noting,
This form of Satanism, as a parody of Catholicism, appeared in the fifteenth century as the construct of the Inquisition in preparation for its move against witchcraft, which was redefined as Satanism.4
When seeking to provide even a brief history of Satanism, difficulties immediately arise. It appears that much of the historical material that we have in this regard is based on sensational accounts that make truth difficult to discern from fiction.5 Since most of the accounts of traditional Satanism are sensationalized or, as Melton stated, created for self-serving purposes by the Christian church, it appears that the type of Satanism that involves worship of the Christian Satan, ritual abuse, and a parody of especially Roman Catholicism, is much rarer during any time in history than has commonly been assumed.6 Furthermore, as we will note later, the belief that modern Satanists are involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) as part of their belief system has been thoroughly discredited.
Strictly speaking, what Drury and Tillett have referred to as secular Satanism has its historical origins in Anton LaVey and the founding of the Church of Satan in 1966. Those involved in LaVeyan Satanism, and most other forms of Satanism today do not believe in a literal Satan, nor do they worship anyone, other than, perhaps, themselves.7 Unfortunately, as will be shown below, Christian apologists have often failed to make the distinction between secular and traditional Satanism.
Even though modern Satanism explicitly begins in 1966 with LaVey, it appears that one can trace examples of Satanist prototypes in several earlier historical persons. Since we have space for only the briefest treatments of a history of Satanism, we will center our discussion on three important forerunners who are linked together by the phrase Do What Thou Wilt.8 This phrase, which many secular Satanists utilize, succinctly expresses their belief system.
A Brief Background of Historical Satanic Prototypes: Pre-1966AD.
Francois Rabelais (1483-1553) was a Franciscan and subsequently Benedictine French priest who is best known for his voluminous writings centered on the characters Gargantua and Pantagruel.9 In this work, Rabelais creates a fictional place called the Abbey of Theléme, which was to be an anti-monastery.10 Rather than vows of abstinence and poverty, men and women in this monastery could be married, rich, and live at liberty.11 Rabelais writes,
In their rule was only this clause: DO WHAT YOU WILL [FAY CE QUE VOULDRAS], because people who are free, well born, well bred, moving in honorable social circles, have by nature an instinct and goad which always impels them to virtuous deeds and holds them back from vice, which they called honor. These people, when by vile subjection and constraint they are oppressed and enslaved, turn aside this noble affection by which they freely tended toward virtue, to throw off and infringe this yoke of servitude: for we always undertake forbidden things and covet that which is denied us.12
The Thelemites, as Rabelais called them, certainly werent Satanists in that they worshipped a literal or metaphorical Satan. Rather, in their historical context, their one rule proved to be anti-Christianity and anti-conventional morality. They believed that it was unnecessary to be governed by the church, and purposefully lived in an opposite manner to monks.
Sir Francis Dashwood (1708-1781) founded The Order of the Friars of St Francis of Wycombe. Though there is relatively little known about the Order, it appears that some of what they did parodied the Christian religion.13 This is shown in part by Dashwoods name for his order, inasmuch as it parodies the Saint Francis. Their meeting place was an Elizabethan manor house at Medmenham by the Thames, which served as their mock abbey. Do what thou wilt, was carved above the doorway of the Orders meeting place.14
Aleister Crowley is without doubt the most notorious figure to adopt the phrase Do what thou wilt. Following Rabelais, Crowley founded what this time was a literal Abbey of Thelema.15 Crowley taught his Thelemites, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will.16
A Brief History of Satanism: 1966 until Present.
Though some of the practices and beliefs of the figures we mentioned were adopted by Satanists, much of them were not. However, they are representative of several of the ideals that secular Satanists have adopted, especially their anti-Christianity and anti-morality sentiments.17 Below we will look at what can explicitly be defined as the modern history of Satanism.
Anton LaVey and The Church of Satan.
Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997) is undoubtedly the central figure in the history of Satanism. LaVey founded the Church of Satan on Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966. The church was located at LaVeys home in San Francisco, California, known as the Black House.18 LaVeys church received rapid notoriety initially due to the widespread publicity of a Satanic wedding, baptism, and funeral, all conducted by LaVey in 1967.19 Satanism continued to enjoy growth due to the success of LaVeys writings, particularly The Satanic Bible.20 Peter Gilmore serves as the current High Priest of the Church of Satan.
Other Satanic organizations were spawned from individuals formerly involved in the Church of Satan. Michael Aquinos Temple of Set, and Lord Egans First Church of Satan, are the most notable. To them, we now turn.
Michael Aquino and the Temple of Set.
The Temple of Set was started in California in 1975 by former Church of Satan member and U.S. Army officer, Michael Aquino. Aquino, who was the editor of the Church of Satans newsletter, The Cloven Hoof, became disillusioned along with many other members largely due to LaVeys hypocrisy in making all higher degrees of initiation in the church contingent on contributions of cash, real estate, or valuable art objects.21 On June 21, 1975, Aquino summoned the Prince of Darkness in a ritual that resulted in an automatic writing entitled the Book of Coming Forth by Night.22 During this revelation, Aquino said that the ancient Egyptian deity Set appeared to him and informed him of his true name. The Temple of Set continues today with Don Webb as its High Priest. 23
Lord Egan and The First Church of Satan.
Lord Egan (John Dewey Allee) is the High Priest of the First Church of Satan, which he founded on October 31, 1996. At the age of nineteen, Egan left Christianity and joined the Church of Satan in 1970. Egan left what he calls the Satanic scene for a time only to return to a new generation of LaVeyan Satanists who had become, in his opinion, something less than what they were originally. Egan writes, I founded the First Church of Satan as an attempt to recapture our early legacy and reintroduce free thought Satanism.24
Basic Beliefs of Modern Satanism.
Satanism has grown and evolved both numerically and in diversity since LaVey founded the Church of Satan. Satanism is not monolithic, however there are certain core beliefs that are generally held by most Satanists. Below we will explore these beliefs and identify the main differences.
As previously mentioned, secular Satanists do not believe in a literal being called Satan, but rather view Satan as an archetype representative of the ideals of Satanism.25 When asked why he chose Satan as the name for the entity he believed in, one prominent Satanist responded,
Its a very potent, shocking termLaVey was right about that. But, as I got older I realised Satan was the perfect term because He embodies ideas of freedom and individuality you dont find in other concepts of religion or God. Satan represents liberty in its utmost form. Theres no guilt involved in being who you are, standing up for what you believe in, even if it is contradictory to social mores.26
From the authors interaction with secular Satanists, there has been clear evidence of a contemptuous dismissal of traditional Satanists for being devil-worshippers. Don Webb, High Priest of The Temple of Set states, We have no "religious" interest in the figure of Satan, and indeed we do not worship Setworshipping instead only our own potential.27
The word Satan for LaVeyan and most other Satanists is used metaphorically to represent Satanic ideals such as antinomianism, anti-herd mentality, rational self-interest, and indulgence. This is shown in LaVeys Nine Satanic Statements. They are:
Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
Satan represents man as 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!
Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!28
Regardless of whether one is a LaVeyan, free thought, Setian, or traditional Satanist, these ideals are among the core principles of Satanism. In section three several of these ideals will be analyzed and challenged.
Apologetic Models to Satanism.
Upon examination of evangelical literature to new religious movements generally, certain apologetic styles become apparent. Philip Johnson has observed that evangelicals have used several apologetic styles to respond to the New Age. They include: heresy-rationalist apologetics, end-times prophecy, spiritual warfare, personal testimonies, and cultural apologetics.29 Johnsons article is helpful in distinguishing the different approaches that evangelicals have used to interact with not only New Age, but competing religious movements in general. In regard to Satanism, the personal testimonies and spiritual warfare models have especially been used.30 The heresy-rationalist model has been used less often, but by some prominent apologists.31 The end-times prophecy32 and especially cultural model have been used less often.33 Due to space limitations, we can only focus on one model. However, it needs to be noted that there are serious difficulties with each of these models. In general they suffer from a lack of reliance on primary source material, a naïve reliance on sensationalized testimonies, a misunderstanding of Satanism, and an apparent unwillingness to interact with Satanists themselves. Because of its particular influence within evangelical circles, we will explore what is here called the testimonial model.
Responding to the apostle Peters challenge to Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15), many have presented their testimony of converting from Satanism to Christianity. Some of the better-known proponents of the testimonial model include Rebecca Brown34 and Lauren Stratford.35 Both of these persons have reached near celebrity status within evangelical circles. However, none has achieved the popularity or influence that Mike Warnke has. Warnke has become well known through his best-selling autobiography, The Satan Seller, as well as through his popular stand up comedy routines.36
Warnke claims to have met Anton LaVey at a San Francisco Satanism conference. Warnke recalls,
There was one noteworthy moment at this conference, however; my encounter with Anton LaVey. He was pushing his Church of Satan which was only a Rosemarys Baby at the time. I was not impressed with LaVey; I detected a certain phoniness about him, but I admired his showmanship and decided I would show LaVey and his cronies that Mike Warnke could put on quite a show, too, and be one-up on the evil, even if my style was different from his.37
This encounter implies that Warnke understood Satanism as believed by LaVey, and that Satanism was a term that described something mutual between the two. However, a comparison of LaVeyan Satanism, as propounded by LaVeys writings and the Church of Satan, shows several important differences. For example, LaVey clearly is not a traditional Satanist. He does not worship or believe in a literal Satan. Furthermore, LaVey is clearly against breaking the law, or any type of SRA. LaVey also makes a clear distinction between modern witchcraft and Satanism. Warnkes Satanism, as will be shown below, is the opposite in every one of these respects.
From the outset, this raises serious difficulties with Warnkes approach. Because Warnke claims to be giving first hand testimony in The Satan Seller about his involvement in Satanism, and hence, Satanism itself, the major discrepancies we will demonstrate put into question the validity of using anything Warnke has said in apologetic interaction with LaVeyan Satanists at the very least. Further difficulties arise when we realize that the adherents of most other apologetic models to Satanism have relied on Warnke to understand Satanism. Of course, Warnke isnt completely at fault. If apologists writing on Satanism would have researched their subject responsiblynamely, sought to understand Satanism from primary rather than secondary source material, and interacted with Satanists themselvesWarnkes lack of truthfulness might have been exposed literally decades earlier.38
Because of Warnkes continued influence, we will devote the bulk of our assessment of the testimonial model to him. Before critiquing Warnke and the testimonial model, we will let Warnke speak for himself.
Hertenstein and Trott exaggerate little when they assert, A generation of Christians learned what they knew of Satanism and the occult from The Satan Seller.39 Warnke allegedly led a 1,500 member Satanic group called The Brotherhood. According to Rebecca Brown and others who wrote about firsthand accounts of Satanism were at one time or another involved with the same group. Speaking of ex-Satanist Elaines involvement in The Brotherhood, she writes,
This is the same cult written about in Hal Lindseys book, Satan Is Alive And Well On Planet Earth, and in Mike Warnekes [sic] book, The Satan Seller. It is also the U.S. counterpart of the group in England written about in the book Freed From Witchcraft, by Doreen Irvine.40
Because of the widespread influence Warnkes teaching on Satanism has had, it is important that we look at exactly what his description of Satanic beliefs and practices consist of.
For Warnke and others who were a part of the 1,500 member satanic group he claimed to have led, the experience of becoming a Satanist involved two main actions. First, one repeated words of commitment to Satan. The result being that one submitted their soul to the custody and care of his Highness of Darkness, Satan, Master of the World.41 Second, this involved a ritual where another Satanist made an incision into an artery on the initiates right arm to draw blood. The blood was then caught in an eyecup. Using ones own blood, the initiate was then instructed to dip a quill into his blood and sign his new name in a book that was large, black, and bound with leather. It contained other names that were written in blood that had given their soul to Satan.42 As is shown from the above description, Satanists needed to be completely dedicated to the service of Satan. Some Satanists had missing fingers because they had sacrificed them to Satan.43 Warnke himself claims to have taken off the finger of one who desired to offer it to Satan. Immediately afterwards Warnke offered the mans finger back to him in order to taste a bit of his own flesh.44
From Warnkes experience, the practice of Satanism involves a multitude of illegal activities, including what has been termed Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA).45 This may include sacrificing cats and dogs,46 as well as gang rape. Warnke recounts one such instance when he says,
What I was really thinkingaccording to the Book, were supposed to use an unwilling virgin. Were not doing it. Lets kidnap a broad and go through the fertility scene the right way. You knowlay her on the altar and take turns.47
Crimes are also committed as Satanists involve themselves in active recruiting for Satanism. Satanists are to use any means possible to attract others to Satanism, including using sex and drugs.48 In whatever manner necessary, The idea was to get Satans message across in a way that would appeal to young sophisticated malcontents.49 Warnke would later claim that crime and occult involvement are closely connected. After renouncing Satanism for Christianity, one reporter asked Warnke, What would you say about the Manson murders? He responded,
Well, the main point there is that lots of crimes are committed as a result of occult involvement, and people should report to the police if they see someone going around wearing human bones as jewelry, or if theres a group meeting under the full moon.50
Satanism is also about gaining progressive amounts of power. Warnke claims he was one of the three high priests, or Master Counselors, of the Brotherhood. This meant that he would have all the alcohol, women, and life or death control over a whole legion of people that he wanted.51 Warnke also claimed that he was able to put a hex on buildings and burn them down if he chose.52
Apart from ones personal power, Satanists have power over demons whose destructive force is harnessed for evil purposes. As Warnke states,
In our ceremonies, we called on demons to do almost everything a persons Satanic-oriented mind could dream up. We had control of a Satanic power, although often demons themselves do their own destructive deeds without our help in directing them.53
Involvement with demons could also prove deadly. If one didnt perform a satanic ritual correctly that involved summoning demons, the demons were known to murder the participants.54
Warnkes Satanism and Christianity.
When Warnke was a high priest in Satanism he was given the freedom to change satanic rituals. He writes,
I appropriated some ideas from the Catholic church. Much of their ritual still impressed me, and now that I had a chance to pervert it, I was going to do it. Part of our code was to pervert hallowed Christian tradition deliberately and viciously.55
Warnkes Satanism closely parallels Christian beliefs in several areas. For example, the Satan that those around Warnke worshipped appears to be the Satan of the Christian Bible.56 The Satanic understanding of demons is also very similar to that of Christians in general. Warnke explains,
As members of the Brotherhood, we probably understood demons better than most people, because we used them to accomplish our evil deeds. Demons are Satans helpers, fallen angels who were expelled with him from heaven. They are an invisible presence. You cannot see them, but you soon know they are there. There are legions of demons. No one knows how many.57
Warnkes Satanism also resembles Christian practices and terminology. Worshippers would offer their souls to the Lord Satan.58 They addressed each other such as brother.59 Satanists who got together had fellowship. They were involved in prayer to Satan and sought his blessing and approval.60 One would do Satans bidding or do the business of Satan.61 They would bless his name and ask his help.62 Part of ones experience in becoming a Satanist involved repeating words that were spoken by another and then repeated by the one becoming a Satanist to show their commitment to Satan. Warnke tells of this experience on the night that he became a Satanist, which involved one Satanist giving him the words to speak in a manner that is similar to the Christian practice at an altar call during an evangelistic event. He writes,
He cleared his throat and continued, Repeat after me: I, known here as Judas, do hereby and now, forever and a day, submit my soul to the custody and care of his Highness of Darkness, Satan, Master of the World. He started over more slowly and had me repeat each phrase after him.63
Warnkes Satanism and Witchcraft.
At other times, Warnkes Satanism appears similar to Witchcraft. In part, this is because for Warnke, Witchcraft is essentially the same as Satanism. Warnke got involved in Satan worship, which appears to be synonymous with the witchcraft scene through sex parties.64 Similarly, learning about Satanism is synonymous with learning witchcraft.65 In order to get to the top of the satanic group he was a part of, Warnke says that he chose to intensify his studies of witchcraft and magic.66
The language that Warnke uses in speaking of those he knew who worshipped Satan is similar to that used by Witches, or as Witches commonly refer to themselves today, Wiccans. For example, they were part of a coven67 and read from the book The Great Mother68. They used the phrase, As I will, so mote it be.69 There was an initiation into the group that took place on the full moon.70 They gathered at a circle.71 At one of the meetings a member of the group was described as bowing to the east, sweeping up a sword and saying a blessing before walking around the altar.72
Yet at other times, Warnke appears to speak of Satanism and Witchcraft as two different things. For example, when he describes himself confessing his sins and becoming a Christian, he says, I knelt there for about two hours, turning all my sins over to Godnaming each sin that I could remember. I prayed about witchcraft. I prayed about Satanism.73
Positive Aspects of the Testimonial Model.
Giving ones testimony is an important tool for the apologist. Below we will look at the positive aspects of the Testimonial Model.
It has proven to be an effective evangelistic tool.
Many people have come to faith through hearing others give their testimony, including the testimony of Mike Warnke. Warnke has proven not only to be a successful comedian, but also evangelist.74
It has encouraged Christians in their faith.
Christians have rightly been concerned and curious about Satanism and Satan. Through the testimonies of people such as Warnke, Rebecca Brown, Lauren Stratford, and others, Christians have been reassured that God can work even in the most evil of people, and bring them to faith.
Negative Aspects of the Testimonial Model.
The strengths of the testimonial model are not vitiated by its negative aspects. However, they do need to be reexamined in light of them.
Naïve Acceptance of Testimony.
In their revealing exposé on Mike Warnke entitled, Selling Satan: The Tragic History of Mike Warnke, Mike Hertenstein and Jon Trott uncovered evidence that proved that virtually all Warnkes autobiographical details, from the time he was a young child through his adult years were untrue.75 From family to close friends who knew him best throughout his life, one theme in their interviews was consistent: Warnke had lied about the aspects of his life that had endeared him to thousands of fans.
Those who went to college with Warnke and knew him best, supposedly during the time when he was a Satanic High Priest, were convinced that he lied about this. The Warnke they knew was a very different person, and was part of a group that enjoyed telling tall tales with each other. Phyliss Catalano, one of those who observed the stories that Warnke and friends would tell each other said, I used to sit there and be embarrassed because Id think, How could somebody that young have done all these things? Hed done everything. And everything he told with a straight face.76 Another of Warnkes college classmates was Lois Eckenrod. The two were dating within the first two months of school, and by Christmas of 1965 were engaged to be married. It appears that Lois became Louisa in The Satan Seller.77 She testified of Warnke, I used to catch him in lies all the time, stories that didnt jibe. I didnt want to believe that it wasnt possible for him to have done everything. I didnt want to believe that he was crazy.78 Referring to the time period when Warnke claims he was a Satanic High Priest, Lois states, If he said he was a Satanist between September of 1965 to June of 1966, hes lying. How could I not know my boyfriend was into Satanism?79 This was the crucial bit of evidence that was to crumble Warnkes claims. There simply wasnt enough time for Warnke to have been involved in all of the things he claimed to be involved in. Through the use of the few dates that they could pin down, Hertenstein and Trott were able to show that it would have been impossible for Warnke to do everything that he had claimed to do.
Other important evidence came from one of Warnkes ex-wives, Sue, and others who knew him well. Hertenstein and Trott write,
Then Sue expressed doubts of her own about Mikes satanic testimony. She told Kaiser that Mike had done extensive research on the occult in preparation for writing The Satan Seller, visiting local libraries and searching out other sources of information. Why, Sue wondered aloud, would he have had to do that if hed actually been a Satanist? Wendi also remembered being told by Sue that Mike had enlisted his wifes help in writing the book.80
Warnke responded in several ways to the charges made against him. Firstly, Warnke claimed that he had answered all of his critics. He stated,
When this all came out, I answered all the allegations, and no one was satisfied. Now, the next time I respond Im going to level my big guns on everybody, and Im not going to quit shooting until I blow them all out of the water. Theyre going to be very, very sorry.81
Unfortunately, this was further untruthfulness on Warnkes part. He never answered the allegations made against him. Secondly, rather than responding to the specific accusations made against him, Warnkes strategy was simply to claim that such people were merely Christians in disguise, but in reality members of a extremely dangerous Satanic cult who were seeking to destroy his ministry. In an interview with Christianity Today, Mike and Rose Warnke said,
Cornerstone magazine is part of an extremely powerful and influential satanic cult, as are Christian Research Institute (CRI) in Southern California and authors Bob and Gretchen Passantino and their Costa Mesa, Californiabased ministry, Answers in Action.82
Thirdly, in a vague concession to his satanic enemies, Warnke conceded that some of the allegations made against him are essentially true.83 He also admitted that the Satanic group that he claimed in The Satan Seller to have been the leader of never existed. In their Christianity Today interview, Mike and Rose claimed that there were actually only 13 people in the coven. According to Mike, eight of them are now dead and he is unaware where the other five are. Yet as if desiring to hold on to the old lie, Rose added that, There were 1,500 people who knew about the coven and who supported it in one way or another, but the true coven only contained 13 members.84 Though he has had some setbacks as a result of the Hertenstein and Trott exposé, Warnke has continued his ministry, which Christians have persisted to support.85
Even though Warnkes claims to be a Satanist have been discredited, the accuracy of his portrayal of the beliefs and practices of Satanism are yet to be adequately challenged. Indeed, even Hertenstein and Trott spend little space in debunking Warnkes description of Satanism. For the most part, their research, while valuable, is lacking at a crucial point. Specifically, they fail to address that Warnkes testimony is proven false, not only because of time frame and testimony discrepancies as evidenced from those who knew him throughout his life, but also because his description of LaVeyan Satanism has nothing to do with Satanism as believed and practiced by LaVeyan Satanists themselves. To put it another way, Warnke is proven fraudulent because his description of LaVeyan Satanism is in complete contradiction with what LaVeyan Satanists themselves believe. Indeed, one would have difficulty finding a form of Satanism during any time in history that matched Warnkes description.
Furthermore, Warnkes Satanism appears to have more in common with aspects of Christianity, as well as aspects of Witchcraft, than it does contemporary Satanism. The subject of Witchcraft is not directly related to Satanism, but is brought up here because it is important to note that Warnke frequently confuses Witchcraft with Satanism. In all likelihood, Warnke received most of his knowledge about Witchcraft while researching and putting together what he has called the Anti-Occult Witchmobile. He writes, My superior, Dr. Francis Johnson, let me take some leave in January, 1972, to design and build the worlds first Anti-Occult Witchmobile display for a San Diego evangelist.86 It appears that Warnke has confused aspects of traditional Satanism with LaVeyan Satanism, something that would never have happened if, as he claimed, he was familiar with LaVey and the Church of Satan. Warnkes parallels between Satanism and Christianity also seem connected to an importation of Christian terminology and concepts from his experience of Christianity, which he imposed on Satanism.
Naïve Acceptance of SRA Claims.
In response to the charge that Warnke lied about his testimony, concerned Christians may ask, But why should we take the word of Satanists concerning what Satanism is about? Even though Warnke may have made up his story, we still know that Satanists are by definition Satan worshippers and involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse and other criminal activities. The difficulty with this line of reasoning is that there is no conclusive evidence that Satanists are involved in illegal activities as a practice of their religion. Satanists hold that citizens should obey the laws of the country in which they live. Furthermore, as we mentioned, Christians must remember that it is only a minority of Satanists that believe in a literal devil. Since persons such as Mike Warnke who have claimed otherwise have repeatedly been exposed as fraudulent, we should rely on primary source material written by Satanists in forming our understanding of what Satanists believe and practice.87 Furthermore, since the so-called Satanic Scare of the 1980s, there have been many ample refutations of the belief in SRA claims by capable researchers.88 Christians, as persons who testify to follow the One who called himself the Truth, can do no less than give true testimony about the beliefs and practices of adherents of other religions. Speculation, guessing, and the repeating of misinformation from those who have given an untrue witness is tantamount to giving an untrue witness ourselves.
Leaves the Possibility Open for Abuse.
As demonstrated in exposés on persons such as Mike Warnke, Rebecca Brown89 and Lauren Stratford,90 those who desire to exploit trusting listeners are all too able with the testimonial model.91 Yet it needs to be noted that this is only the case if individuals are unwilling to look at the evidenceor lack thereofbacking such fantastic claims. Hertenstein and Trotts observation is apt: There seemed no limit to what Christian audiences were willing to acceptas long as the main character gave his heart to Jesus in the end.92
Can be Used to Undermine Christianity.
James Lewis surveyed 140 Satanists in order to come up with a demographic and ideological profile of modern day Satanists. One of his results was that a statistically average Satanist was raised Christian.93 The authors interaction with a comparable number of Satanists in Internet e-groups has brought about the same observation as Lewis. When it comes to Satanism, there appears to be more former Christians who have a testimony to tell about why they left Christianity for Satanism than is true of the opposite. Since it would be illogical to conclude from this evidence that a Satanists testimony is therefore superior, it needs to be conceded that the testimonial model fulfils only a partial apologetic role.
The testimonial model has much to commend for itself. Personal experience is often a powerful apologetic tool that can be used in addition to giving supplemental evidence for the Christian faith as required. However, as has been consistently demonstrated by adherents of this model, the temptation is great for misusing this tool. Undoubtedly, as the truth has been uncovered, many who trusted the testimony of Warnke, Stratford, and Brown, have been deeply disillusioned and hurt. To date, the testimonial model has failed to interact apologetically with Satanism in a manner that is beneficial, much less based on an interaction with real Satanism. It will only be when Christians work towards a more appropriate apologetic model tailored to modern day Satanism as it represents itself, that Satanists will be convinced of the claims of Christianity. Towards this end, we focus our attention in section three.
Toward an Incarnational Apologetic to Satanism.
Harold Netland notes that many Christian leaders in the non-Western world dismiss apologetics as irrelevant more readily than most subjects because the subjects raised answer questions that are being asked by Westerners alone. Netland argues for a culture-specific, contextualized apologetic.94 We agree that this is necessary, but note that as the West itself is no longer culturally or religiously monolithicand indeed, never wasapologists need to adapt themselves to subcultures within the larger culture.
We believe that the most adequate model of apologetics to fulfill this demand is what has been termed the incarnational model of apologetics.95 It must be emphasized from the outset that Christs incarnation was a unique and unrepeatable historical event. The expression incarnational apologetic refers to the incarnational apologists task of entering inside the non-Christians context to provide an apologia of Christianity in relevant terms.96 In our context, the apologist enters the framework of Satanism and communicates the Christian Gospel in a manner that is appropriate to Satanic culture.
Incarnational apologetics has both a biblical and missiological foundation. The biblical basis for this model is most apparent in Pauls example of becoming like others to communicate the Gospel to them (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) and especially his interaction with those at the Areopagus (Acts 17:16-34). The missiological basis for the model is based in the practices of missionaries over the centuries. As Clifford and Johnson write in the context of incarnational mission,
Down the centuries, missionaries have sought to understand the cosmology, cuisine, culture and customs of those people they wanted to reach with the gospel. Classically, missionaries have joined the tribe and communicated the gospel in culturally meaningful ways.97
The following apologetic is roughly broken up in two sections. The first half (3.1-3.4) of the apologetic seeks to provide a basis for common ground and effective entry points for the Christian apologist to Satanism. The second half (3.5-3.6.2) provides two representative issues that Christians should critique within Satanism. We note that the first section is largely a positive interaction with Satanism, whereas the second section includes what may be perceived, at least in part, as a negative critique. A holistic incarnational apologetic needs to encompass both aspects and respond to rejoinders that arise.
Because this is a first attempt at such an apologetic, the author acknowledges that what is set out below may need to be reworked in the future in light of any relevant evidence of change within Satanism. Due to space limitations it will certainly need to be expanded, therefore the material will offer an example based on the authors personal experience of interacting apologetically with Satanists on a regular basis, as well as identifying crucial issues that Christians need to address as raised through writings by Satanists.
Christians Giving False Witness to Satanism.
A Christian apologetic to Satanism needs to begin by confessing and asking forgiveness from Satanists for the leading role of Christians in giving false witness to Satanism. As was demonstrated earlier, Christians have not relied on primary source material in seeking to understand what Satanists believe. Furthermore, Christians have often not believed those who informed them that they have misunderstood their beliefs.98
Christians also need to repair the damage they have caused by giving false witness about the practices of Satanists, especially the false Christian claim that Satanists are involved in SRA. Whereas Christians have been quick to point out that Satanists are involved in ritual murder, in reality it has been Christians who have been guilty for such atrocities as the Crusades,99 the Inquisition,100 and the Witch Trials.101 Whereas Christians have repeatedly stated that Satanists are involved in ritual rape,102 it has been Christian pastors who have made the headlines concerning affairs with prostitutes and sexual abuse103; whereas Christians have alleged that Satanists are involved with Satanic ritual child abuse,104 it has been Catholic priests who have regularly made the news with accusations of pedophilia.105 What the evidence points to is that Satanists have falsely been charged by Christians with the abuses that they have themselves been guilty of.
Finally, Christians, and especially ministers who are quick to promote a widespread SRA conspiracy before objectively looking into the evidence, or lack thereof, would do well to heed LaVeys warning. He states,
People are tired of the noise. They grow tired of the hysteria. We couldnt have planned it any better. When the Satanic hysteria gets to the point of absurdity, people start questioning the whole line of crap. It will eventually get so no one believes anything Christian ministers say anymore.106
It is our fear that this prophecy has in part already been realized. Thus we contend that a Christian apologia to Satanism needs to begin by making right what has been wrong.
Satanist to the Satanists.
For Jewish believers of the day, Pauls modelling of becoming like non-Jewish people to win non-Jewish people (1 Corinthians 9:21) would have been a scandalous suggestion. Because it is out of our frame of reference, Christians today dont think twice about this statement. However, to suggest that in being consistent with this biblical principle, we need to learn what it means to be a Satanist to the Satanists is similarly scandalous. Yet to withdraw from this challenge because it makes us uncomfortable would be irresponsible. Below we will seek to develop a theoretical basis for being a Satanist to the Satanists.
Jesus, Nietzsche, and Satanic Ideals.
On a popular level, Satanism and Christianity are perceived to be opposite in every respect. Though there are many obvious differences between the two, it is our contention that there are some important areas where there is common ground. This is particularly the case when one examines Satanisms ideals, especially those derived from Nietzsche, and the person of Jesus.
It is clear that Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) has been an especially influential source in Satanic thought.107 For example, Nietzsches criticism of the herd morality in Satanism becomes a critique of the herd mentality.108 Rather than being blind followers, Satanists free themselves from the herd. Similarly, Nietzsche believes, Every superior human being will instinctively aspire after a secret citadel where he is set free from the crowd, the many, the majority.109 This superior human being for Nietzsche is most clearly delineated in his idea of the overman or superman.110 Following Nietzsches thought, Satanists view themselves as powerful individuals. Nietzsche knew that not everyone could hear what he had to say. It was only the Higher Men who could. Such individuals are superior to the herd that believes all individuals are equal. For example, Nietzsche writes,
You Higher Men, learn this from me: In the market-place no one believes in Higher Men. And if you want to speak there, very well, do so! But the mob blink and say: We are all equal. You Higher Menthus the mob blinkthere are no Higher Men, we are all equal, man is but man, before Godwe are all equal! Before God! But now this God has died. And let us not be equal before the mob. You are Higher Men, depart from the market-place!111
Satanism borrows from Nietzsche in this regard and views itself as a religion for the elite.112 Satanism is thus a religion for those who have broken away from the herd.
Even these few examples of where Satanism borrowed from Nietzsche become significant when we realize that it appears that Nietzsche was influenced at least to some extent by Jesus, and followed him in some of his teachings. As Peterson writes, In the synoptic Gospels, the earliest extant writings we posses, Jesus and Nietzsche often parallel each other, teaching similar doctrines.113 Since Jesus predates Nietzsche by nearly two millennia, it appears that where Nietzsche parallels Jesus he was influenced by his thought.
Though this could be said of few other persons, when it came to Jesus, Nietzsche was largely positive towards him. For example, Nietzsche writes,
One could, with some freedom of expression, call Jesus a free spirithe cares nothing for what is fixed: the word killeth, everything fixed killeth. The concept, the experience life in the only form he knows it is opposed to any kind of word, formula, law, faith, dogma.114
For Nietzsche, free spirits were those who rose out of the constructs of the herd. Its important to note that Nietzsche felt that the Christian Church went in the opposite direction of Jesus. Where Jesus was a free spirit, the Church encouraged a herd mentality. Nietzsche holds that the Church was constructed out of the Gospels antithesis. He writes,
That mankind should fall on its knees before the opposite of what was the origin, the meaning, the right of the Gospel, that it should have sanctified in the concept Church precisely what the bringer of glad tidings regarded as beneath him, behind himone seeks in vain a grander form of world-historical irony.115
There are several areas where Nietzsche follows Jesus teaching. However, it is necessary to first place Jesus in the context of Judaism. Here we see that Jesus was a powerful individual who opposed the herd mentality. Jesus repeatedly lived outside the boundaries of the context he lived in, often discounting fervently held social and religious customs (Mark 2:1-12, 7:1-15). As Peterson notes, Jesus, like Nietzsche, had very little regard for the priests and their rule. The gospels are full of the taunts and criticisms of the Pharisees, the priests of Judaism.116
Next, we see that Jesus stressed the individual would need to come out of the herd to become who they were meant to be. This wasnt something that everyone could do. Though Jesus spoke to the masses, like Nietzsche, he knew that not everyone would be able to hear what he was saying. The cost to those who did was leaving the herd and making the informed decision to be Jesus disciples. Similarly, Nietzsche tells his disciples that they would have to think through what it means to follow his teaching.117
The idea of the overman in Nietzsche is shown in the individual who strives to live, to push forward and overcome.118 Though we would be going too far to assert that Nietzsche based this idea on Jesus, it is nevertheless apparent that it is ultimately fulfilled in him. This is shown clearly in his life, death, and especially resurrection. Peterson asks,
What of the Resurrection? Well, if one accepts that life does not end in death then returning to this world after the event that separates us from whatever comes after for the love of ones companions, would be the ultimate act of will, of power, of striving, indeed it would be the act of an overman.119
As we have shown, contrary to popular belief, Satanism and Christianity arent mutually exclusive. To at least some extent, through Nietzsche, Satanism has relied onand implicitly shown its support ofChristian ideals as lived out in the person of Jesus. Building on this foundation, we can now more clearly explore what it means to follow Pauls principle of, in our context, being a Satanist to the Satanists.
Left-Hand Christian Philosopher.
In an email addressed to the author on the First Church of Satan e-group, Thom Potter wrote,
John to tell you, I feel that you may be a Left-handed (Thinks for the self, regardless of what peer pressure is applied; focuses on personal development; takes responsibility for the self) philosopher, which I believe the majority of us on this list are.120
In this definition of the Left-handed philosopher, the author believes there is a basic foundation for living out an incarnational apologetic to Satanists. Below we will briefly explore some of these terms.
It is difficult to know the precise origin of the metaphorical use of the term Left-hand. Satanists often refer to Satanism and some occult religions as Left-hand path(s) (LHP), and their adherents as Left-hand philosophers. Other religions, such as Christianity and Wicca, are referred to as Right-hand path(s) (RHP). The use of this term in Tantra certainly predates its use in Satanism. However, the term LHP is used in a different sense in this context. Tantra practitioner Dinu Roman writes,
Tantra is also called Vama Marga, i.e. The Left Hand Path, due to the fact that women, who are of lunar influence, negative polarity or the left, play an essential role in this Science.121
Wild believes that Helena Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, was influential in the promotion of the term. He writes,
These self-denying paths are labelled the Right Hand Paths - a term that has its origins in the work of Blavatsky, who labelled magical practices that she liked as Right-Hand Path, and those she disliked as "immoral" as Left-Hand Path. Occultists after her picked up this habit, especially Crowley, who helped the word come into general 'occult subculture' use. The term is probably derived from Indo-European Tantric practices, which have filtered into the modern Western folklore survivals, an example is left as 'sinister' in heraldry (and handwriting).122
This interpretation is likely. Though another possible origin of the terms could be found in Matthews Gospel, where Jesus speaks of placing the sheep (followers of Christ) at his right hand, and the goats (those who didnt follow Christ) at his left hand (Matthew 25:33). In spite of the difficulty of locating the origin of the term LHP, its meaning in our context is clear as defined above.
An important quality of the Left-hand philosopher is that she or he thinks for the self in spite of what peer pressure is applied. In other words, the Left-hand philosopher pushes against the herd and comes to their own conclusions.
Herd conformity is one of LaVeys Nine Satanic Sins. He writes,
Its all right to conform to a persons wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.123
Its important to note that there is nothing in LaVeys statement here that is in and of itself contrary to being a disciple of Jesus. Conforming to Jesus does ultimately benefit individuals. Jesus is not an impersonal entity, but personal. He does not dictate to anyone, but offers individuals the free choice to make an informed decision to follow him. The key here is indeed to choose the master Jesus wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.
Some may object to this by pointing to biblical passages that refer to Christians as sheep in the sense of blind followers. However, though the word sheep is used metaphorically in a variety of contexts in the Christian Bible, none of them have anything to do with being unconditional followers.124 The Bereans also provide an example in the Christian Scriptures of those who didnt follow the herd in believing the Gospel, but examined the evidence first before coming to a decision (Acts 17:10-12). Satanism provokes us to re-examine our heritage in this regard.
The Left-hand philosopher is also one who focuses on personal development. Though this is not the place to develop what personal development in this context would incorporate, it would include such things as sanctification, broadening ones knowledge, and following Jesus and Pauls example of living incarnationally.
What term would such a person be referred to with? We believe that it would not be inappropriate for a Christian apologetically interacting with Satanists to refer to themselves as a Christian Satanist.125 In relation to this expression, it is important to remember that Satanism and Satan are metaphorical terms relating to Left-hand ideals. Hence Satan is used in this context only metaphorically and not literally. However, we understand that some Christians may have difficultly with this term. A second expression that we find acceptable is Left-hand Christian Philosopher. It encapsulates the idea of being a Satanist to the Satanist and remains incarnational.
A Left-hand Christian philosopher will seek to be incarnational, however this does not exclude a negative critique where appropriate. This follows Christs example of living incarnationally as a Jewish person, yet critiquing Judaism when necessary (Matthew 15:1-9; 23; John 2:14-16). In our discussion here in regard to hypocrisy, and below on Indulgence and Satanism we will seek to demonstrate two examples where this is necessary.126
In the third of LaVeys Nine Satanic Statements, he writes, Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!127 When LaVey speaks of hypocritical self-deceit he is especially referring to hypocrisy within the Christian church. In several passages in The Satanic Bible, LaVey speaks of personally witnessing such hypocrisy. For example, LaVey writes,
I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday night theyd be back at the carnival or some other place of indulgence. I knew then that the Christian church thrives on hypocrisy, and that mans carnal nature will out no matter how much it is purged or scourged by any white-light religion.128
LaVey notes that Christians confess their sins in order to clear their conscience. Yet once their conscience is clear they merely feel free to go out and commit the same sin again. Satanists, however, are different:
When a Satanist commits a wrong, he realizes that it is natural to make a mistakeand if he is truly sorry about what he has done, he will learn from it and take care not to do the same thing again. If he is not honestly sorry about what he has done, and knows he will do the same thing over and over, he has no business confessing and asking forgiveness in the first place.129
What should the Christian response be to LaVeys charge of hypocrisy within the Christian church? Admission. LaVey perceptively notes that Christians often do sin, ask Gods forgiveness, feel their conscience clearedand start the cycle of sin once again without sincere repentance.
Hypocrisy and LaVeys Biography.
However, the dialogue between Satanists and Christians need not stop with the admission by Christians that they are guilty of hypocrisy. Satanists, too, are guilty of hypocrisy. LaVey himself is representative of this.130
According to Burton Wolfe, who wrote a biography of LaVey called The Devils Avenger,131
All of LaVeys background seemed to prepare him for his role. He is the descendant of Georgian, Roumanian, and Alsatian grandparents, including a gypsy grandmother who passed on to him the legends of vampires and witches in her native Transylvania.132
In spite of the fact that these and other biographical details are well-circulated, it appears that virtually all of the information that LaVey and those close to him have documented are mere myths.133 LaVey has not merely silently allowed others to repeat inaccurate details about him, he himself largely created this false persona in The Satanic Bible and in personal interviews.
In a well-documented article by one of LaVeys daughters, Zeena LaVey, and Satanist Nikolas Schreck, entitled Anton LaVey: Legend and Reality, virtually all of the oft-repeated details about LaVey were shown to be fictitious.134 The truth about LaVeys background is rarely published. For example, according to Lawrence Wrights profile of LaVey, he was born with partly Jewish parentage with the name Howard Stanton Levey.135 Autobiographical details from LaVey, such as his supposed time playing second oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, running away from home and being employed as a seventeen-year-old lion tamer with the Clyde Beatty Circus, and other such claims have been discredited with evidence that has yet to be refuted.136 However, this does not mean that no one has sought to bring such claims into disrepute. For example, according to the current High Priest of the Church of Satan Peter Gilmore,
Zeena, along with her companion Barry Nikolas Schreck Dubin, wanted to ease Dr LaVey into retirement so that they could assume his position. Neither was suited for this role, and Dr LaVey was quite firmly in control. So when their efforts failed, they made a big show out of departing the corrupt Church of Satan and leaving the United States behind for Fortress Europa.137
Whether or not this was the case is open for debate. However, what is clear is that Zeena and Nikolas motivation for making public the myths behind LaVeys self-created persona does not in itself provide a case against the accuracy of their information. The lack of adequate refutation of such details by the Church of Satan or anyone else is telling.
As was noted above, LaVey pointed out that he observed the hypocrisy of Christians pretending to be one person on Saturday night and another on Sunday morning. However, the struggle of Christians to live out ethical ideals is not completely foreign to LaVey. Parallel to Howard Stanton Leveys creation of the name Anton Szandor LaVey, was the fabrication of a matching fictional character. One begins to wonder whether LaVey ever observed the hypocrisy of the Christians he described in the first place, or if like the rest of his story bound life, he merely created it out of his active imagination.
Hypocrisy and Plagiarism.
LaVeys hypocrisy extended further than disseminating fictional autobiographical details. It also extended to what he is most well-known for, The Satanic Bible. Upon close inspection, it is clear that LaVey did not have many unique ideas in his writing of The Satanic Bible. He relied heavily on the ideas of a handful of authors who went before him, notably Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Aleister Crowley.138 It should be said, however, that while LaVey wasnt an original thinker, he should be given credit for his creative synthesis of the thought of others into what has become the most influential statement of modern Satanism.
One other source that LaVey leaned heavily on is an author that went by the alias Ragnar Redbeard.139 In The Satanic Bible, LaVey wrote a chapter entitled, The Book of Satan. However, upon the authors comparison between this chapter and portions of Redbeards 1896 work entitled, Might is Right, it is clear that without so much as a footnote or bibliographic reference that LaVey plagiarized a significant portion of Redbeard.140
Though there are much longer sections that LaVey plagiarized, due to space considerations we will here compare only a few examples of the shorter passages.141
I. Redbeard: Behold the crucifix, what does it symbolize? Pallid incompetence hanging on a tree.142
LaVey: Behold the crucifix; what does it symbolize? Pallid incompetence hanging on a tree.143
II. Redbeard: Love one another you say is the supreme law, but what power made it so?Upon what rational authority does the Gospel of Love rest?144
LaVey: Love one another it has been said is the supreme law, but what power made it so? Upon what rational authority does the gospel of love rest?145
III. Redbeard: Can the torn and bloody victim love the blood-splashed jaws that rend it limb from limb? Are we not all predatory animals by instinct? If humans ceased wholly from preying upon each other, could they continue to exist?146
LaVey: Can the torn and bloody victim love the blood-splashed jaws that rend him limb from limb? Are we not all predatory animals by instinct? If humans ceased wholly from preying upon each other, could they continue to exist?147
IV. Redbeard: Love your enemies and do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you is the despicable philosophy of the spaniel that rolls upon its back when kicked.148
LaVey: Love your enemies and do good to them that hate and use youis this not the despicable philosophy of the spaniel that rolls upon its back when kicked?149
LaVey wrote the introduction to a later edition of Might is Right.150 In an interview with LaVey a question regarding the book arose. LaVey downplayed the seriousness of his plagiarism. In his words,
Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard is probably one of the most inflammatory books ever written, so who better to write an introduction? It was only natural that I excerpted a few pages of it for The Satanic Bible.151
LaVey went on to note, The book has been so indelibly linked with me, it was felt that any new edition should have my name on it.152 However, the question of why the book had been indelibly linked to him oddly was not brought up.
Though LaVey justly charges that many Christians are guilty of hypocrisy, LaVey falls short himself. The sixth of LaVey's Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth says, "Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved."153 Unfortunately, when it came to writing The Satanic Bible, LaVey hypocritically fell short of following his own rules.
Satanism and Indulgence.
The first of LaVeys Nine Satanic Statements is, Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!154 Within Satanism, indulgence is understood to be a natural and healthy means toward personal enjoyment and well-being. Social, and particularly Christian influences, have been viewed as primary inhibitors to the expression of the human tendency towards indulgence. Satanism is claimed to provide a corrective to this. LaVey writes,
For centuries, magnificent structures of stone, concrete, mortar, and steel have been devoted to mans abstinence. It is high time that human beings stopped fighting themselves, and devoted their time to building temples designed for mans indulgences.155
LaVey believes that Christianity has caused human beings to seek atonement for behavior that they should have never felt guilty about in the first place. Once again, the religion of Satanism provides the corrective. He writes,
For two thousand years man has done penance for something he never should have had to feel guilty about in the first place. We are tired of denying ourselves the pleasures of life which we deserve. Today, as always, man needs to enjoy himself here and now, instead of waiting for his rewards in heaven. So, why not have a religion based on indulgence? Certainly it is consistent with the nature of the beast.156
Rather than denying oneself of greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust, and sloth, LaVey holds that people should indulge in them. Satanism advocates indulging in each of these sins as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.157 If individuals indulge in natural desires they will be a completely satisfied person. If they dont, they will develop frustrations that can be personally and socially harmful. As LaVey writes,
When a person has no proper release for his desires they rapidly build up and become compulsions. If everyone had a particular time and place for the purpose of periodically indulging in their personal desires, without fear of embarrassment or reproach, they would be sufficiently released to lead unfrustrated lives in the everyday world.158
Indulgence and Christianity.
There is no doubt that Christianity has been associated with abstinence rather than indulgence, especially when it comes to sex. Augustine, for example, whose view of sex was influential for centuries, taught that it would be a matter of praise if a married couple refused to have sex with each other.159
Unfortunately, the prominence of Augustine and others who have held similar views has led to the inaccurate belief on a popular level that Christianity is anti-sex. However, even a cursory glimpse of the book Song of Songs in the Christian Bible shows something quite different. Here we find two lovers who are passionate about their sexual relationship, and there is no hint that the pleasure they derive from one another should be anything other than celebrated.
Another extreme within Christianity has been an overemphasis on asceticism. Chadwick refers to some of the milder forms of asceticism that have been practiced when he observes that some ascetics slept on rough pallets, flagellated themselves, or walked barefoot in winter.160 Once again, such cases have created a distorted stereotype of the Christian life. Referring to no less of a central Christian figure than Jesus himself, Loren Wilkinson rightly notes,
Jesus was no ascetic, but joined in the pleasures of food and work and wine to the extent that his critics called him a wine-drinker and a glutton. Indeed, His first miracle seems to sanctify the principle of pleasure: He heightened the delight of a long wedding party by changing water into wine.161
Indulgence, Pleasure, and Christianity.
Since Satanists affirm indulgence as an ideal primarily because of its pleasure value, we will here explore pleasure especially as it relates to Christianity. Contrary to the view of many Satanists, and apparently quite a few Christians, Christianity is pro-pleasure. Christianity affirms that human beings were created to enjoy life as it is lived out in relationship with the Creator, living, and non-living creation.
However, the subject of pleasure itself raises its own questions and difficulties. Wilkinson perceptively notes that one of the difficulties humans experience with pleasure is found in their insatiable desire for it. Humans seem to be built for something they cannot experience. Every pleasure we seek is perhaps a quest for that ultimate pleasure hinted at in our moments of deepest longing.162 The Satanic ideal of indulgence points to the need for personal fulfillment that at best is only ever partially completed in the life of an individual. In part, this is because the pleasure that indulgence creates merely lasts for finite periods of time. For most, this will create frustration and a sense of longing for a source of pleasure that is enduring.
This difficulty was raised at least as early as Epicurus (341-270 B.C.).163 Epicurus stressed that persons needed to discern the consequences that their actions, including actions that were initially pleasurable, would have on them long-term. He writes, No pleasure is a bad thing in itself: but means which produce some pleasures bring with them disturbances many times greater than the pleasures.164 In other words, pleasure is not bad in itself, but certain actions that cause momentary pleasure may cause mental and/or physical pain over a period of time that is much worse than the initial pleasure.165 The wise individual will thus approach indulgence and pleasure with caution.
Epicurus provides a helpful corrective to Satanisms view of indulgence. The pleasure that indulgence provides, whether physical or mental, is not an end in itself. Nor is it ultimately fulfilling in itself. However, the question still remains as to why there is, in LaVeys words, a universal trait amongst humankind toward indulgence, toward pleasure?166 Why is it that the longing for pleasure, the longing for completion, the longing for wholeness, is virtually innate in humanity? We believe that the answer is best answered within a Christian framework. Christianity answers why human beings have such a high capacity for pleasure by showing that humankind was made for pleasure by God who invented pleasure.167 Trying to find lasting pleasure apart from the Creator of pleasure will only lead to frustration and pain.
LaVey saw there must be a new representative of justicenot some oppressive, patriarchal, white-bearded God but a new human advocate. Someone who wasnt removed from us and shrouded in divinity, but who understood the torments of being human, who shared our own passions and foibles yet was somehow wiser and stronger.168
The Left-hand Christian philosopher, we believe, provides the ideal way forward in apologetically interacting with Satanism. Acting as Christs advocate, the Left-handed philosopher will be enabled to point to the fulfillment of LaVeys desire for Someone who wasnt removed from us and shrouded in divinity, but who understood the torments of being human, who shared our own passions and foibles yet was somehow wiser and stronger in Jesus Christ. Through the incarnation, Jesus demonstrated his humanity and by his death and resurrection demonstrated his divinity.169 Through incarnating into the world of the Satanist, the Left-hand Christian philosopher is in a strategic position to apologetically defend and communicate the Christian faith to adherents of Satanism.
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1 Though the first section will interact with other forms of Satanism than LaVeyan, it is important to note that when we use the term Satanism in sections two and three, we are exclusively referring to LaVeyan Satanism, or forms of Satanism that have parallel beliefs.
2 Nevill Drury and Gregory Tillett, Other Temples, Other Gods (Sydney: Methuen, 1980), 101. The term traditional Satanism is common in the literature. We note that sections two and three of the thesis exclusively interact with secular Satanists. The whole of this thesis focuses on Western culture alone, and doesnt seek to explore other possible forms of Satanism outside of this context.
3 J. Gordon Melton, Satanism in Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America (New York: Garland, 1992), 108.
5 For example, in regard to the infamous Hell-Fire Club(s), OGrady writes, There have been many lurid stories about the Hell-Fire Club and its Black Masses, and several other similar societies are known to have sprung up in imitation of it. But there is little accurate information as to what actually went on at any of these meetings. Joan OGrady, The Prince of Darkness (Longmead: Element, 1989), 91.
6 In a recent survey of Satanists, Lewis has confirmed that those who believe in a literal Satan continue to be a minority today. James R. Lewis, Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile in Marburg Journal of Religion, http://www.uni-marburg.de/religionswissenschaft/journal/mjr/lewis2.html. Accessed 24/9/01.
7 High Priest Lord Egan of the First Church of Satan writes, Satanists are strongly opposed to devil worship and hierarchal systems which seek to enslave the spirit. Lord Egan, Arent Satanists devil worshippers? in http://www.churchofsatan.org/faq.html#devil. Accessed 21/11/01.
8 This expression originates with Augustines comments on a homily on 1 John 4:8. Augustine wrote, Love, and do what thou wilt. Augustine, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of The Christian Church, Edited by Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1956), 504. Ashe notes that this term has been decontextualized by later persons expressing an anti-moral tradition. Geoffrey Ashe, The Hell-Fire Clubs: A History of Anti-Morality (Gloucestershire: Sutton, 2000), v-vi. Cf. David Bentley-Taylor, Augustine: Wayward Genius (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1980), 177.
9 Francois Rabelais, The Complete Works of Francois Rabelais, translated by Donald M. Frame (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1991). Our discussion centers around Book 1, The Very Horrific Life of the Great Gargantua, Father of Pantagruel, 116-127.
10 Ashe, 19.
11 Rabelais, 116-117.
12 Ibid., 126. Brackets in original.
13 Ashe, 126-132.
14 Gareth J. Medway, Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of Satanism (New York: New York University Press, 2001), 81.
15 On Crowleys Abbey of Thelema, see Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley (New York: St. Martins Press, 2000), 278-309. Crowley claimed that Rabelais had foreseen the future arrival of himself in his Gargantua. Ibid., 126.
16 Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1976), 50.
17 Our use of these terms doesnt necessarily apply atheism or amorality, but rather a rejection of the need to conform to religion or cultures definition of what is right to believe in or practice.
18 It was demolished on October 17, 2001.
19 Blanche Barton, The Church of Satan (New York, New York: Hells Kitchen, 1990), 15, 17-23. Cf. Blanche Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey (Venice, California: Feral House, 1992), 91.
20 Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible (New York, New York: Avon, 1969); The Satanic Witch (Venice, California: Feral House, 1989); The Satanic Rituals (New York, New York: Avon, 1972); The Devils Notebook (Venice, California: Feral House, 1992); Satan Speaks! (Venice, California: Feral House, 1998).
21 Nevill Drury, The History of Magic in the Modern Age: A Quest for Personal Transformation (London: Constable, 2000), 195-196; Cf. Medway, 21-22.
22 Michael A. Aquino, Book of Coming Forth by Night: Analysis and Commentary (San Francisco: The Temple of Set, 1975).
23 For more on the Temple of Set see Drury, 195-210.
24 Lord Egan. Personal email to author. October 29, 2001. Egan writes, Satanist are free thinkers, moving forward spiritually through self-exploration and spiritual stimulation. Egan, Arent Satanists devil worshippers?.
25 The history of Satan has been explored cross-culturally by historian Jeffrey Burton Russell in five seminal volumes. Volume five is largely a compilation of the previous four. See Jeffrey Burton Russell, The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1977); Satan: The Early Christian Tradition (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1981); Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1984); Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1986); The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1988).
26 Paul Douglas Valentine quoted in Gavin Baddeley, Lucifer Rising: A Book of Sin, Devil Worship and Rock nRoll (London: Plexus, 1999), 163.
28 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 25.
29 Philip Johnson, The Aquarian Age and Apologetics in Lutheran Theological Journal, Volume 34, Number 2, 2000, 51-60. Cf. Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson, Jesus and the Gods of the New Age (Oxford, England: Lion, 2001), 23-26. It is important to note, that the models as described in Johnsons article and below, are partially superficial in the sense that many evangelicals adhere to a combination of one or more models in apologetically interacting with other religions. Johnson has not been the only one to attempt classifying responses to religious movements into models. Massimo Introvigne, for example, makes a distinction between the secular or anti-cult model and religious or counter-cult models. These groups then receive a sub-typology that distinguishes between rationalist and post-rationalist brands of anti-cult and counter-cult movements. The strength of Introvignes article is that it helpfully discusses the presuppositions underlying both secular and religious models. Massimo Introvigne, Anti-Cult and Counter-Cult Movements in Italy in Anti-Cult Movements in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Edited by Anson Shupe and David G. Bromley (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994), 171-197. However, Johnsons models are relied on below because we believe they most helpfully articulate the basic differences within evangelical apologetic styles to other religions, including Satanism.
30 For the testimonial model see below. For our purposes we refer to the literature that has had an impact on the spiritual warfare model as it relates to Satanism particularly. We include some literature that critiques main adherents, as well as on Dissociative Identity Disorder in relation to spiritual warfare and Satanism as Spiritual Warfare proponents often bring this up in relation to SRA. See: Clinton E. Arnold, 3 Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997; Mark I. Bubeck, The Adversary (Chicago, Illinois: Moody, 1975); Mark I. Bubeck, Overcoming the Adversary (Chicago, Illinois: Moody, 1984); Mark I. Bubeck, The Rise of Fallen Angels (Chicago, Illinois: 1995); James G. Friesen, Uncovering the Mysteries of MPD: Its Shocking Origins, Its Surprising Cure (San Bernardino, California: Heres Life Publishers, 1991); Robert A. Guelich, Spiritual Warfare: Jesus, Paul and Peretti in PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring 1991: 33-64; Paul G. Hiebert, R. Daniel Shaw, and Tite Tiénou, Understanding Folk Religion: A Christian Response to Popular Beliefs and Practices (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1999), 269, 273-278; Paul G. Hiebert, Anthropological Reflections on Missiological Issues (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1994), 203-215; Bob Larson, Larsons Book of Spiritual Warfare (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 1999; James R. Lewis, Works of Darkness: Occult Fascination in the Novels of Frank E. Peretti in Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, (ed.) James R. Lewis (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1996: 339-350; Mark R. McMinn, Dissociative Identity Disorder in Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, Second Edition, (Editors) David G. Benner and Peter C. Hill (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1999: 357-359; Edward F. Murphy, The Handbook of Spiritual Warfare (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 1992); Dan O'Neill, "The Supernatural World of Frank Peretti" in Charisma and Christian Life, May 1989, 48-52; Frank E. Peretti, This Present Darkness (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1986); Franke E. Peretti, Piercing the Darkness (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1989); Robin D. Perrin and Les Parrott III, Memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Truth Behind the Panic in Christianity Today, June 21, 1993: 18-23; Christopher H. Rosik, The Misdiagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder by Christian Counselors: Vulnerabilities and Safeguards in Journal of Psychology and Theology, 1995, Vol. 23, No. 2: 75-88; Jon Trott, Interview with Sherrill Mulhern in Cornerstonemag.com, http://cornerstonemag.com/features/iss096/mulhern.htm. Accessed 10/7/2001; Jon Trott, Bob Larsons Ministry Under Scrutiny in Cornerstonemag.com, http://www.cornerstonemag.com/features/iss100/larson.htm. Accessed 2/7/01; C. Peter Wagner, Warfare Prayer: How to Seek Gods Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom (Ventura, Californ
ia: Regal Books, 1992); E. James Wilder, The Red Dragon Cast Down: A Redemptive Response to the Occult and Satanism (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 1999.
31 Prominent proponents of this model include: Bruce G. Frederickson, Satanism (St. Louis: Concordia, 1995) [Frederickson could fit in the spiritual warfare model]; Craig S. Hawkins, The Many Faces of Satanism in Christian Research Institute Journal, http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0014a.html. Accessed 14/10/00; Jerry Johnston, Satanism: Christianity Reversed in Misguiding Lights?, Edited by Stephen M. Miller (Kansas City, Missouri: Beacon Hill, 1991), 112-121; Walter Martin, Satanism on the Rise in Christian Research Newsletter, http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-nwsl/web/crn0013a.html. Accessed 14/10/00; Leon McBeth, Strange New Religions (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman, 1977); Bob and Gretchen Passantino, Satanism (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan); Bob and Gretchen Passantino, When the Devil Dares Your Kids (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant, 1991); Ted Peters, Satanism: Bunk or Blasphemy? in Theology Today, Vol. 51, No. 3, October 1994: 381-393; Ted Schwarz and Duane Empey, Satanism (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1988).
32 As Johnson notes, this model is closely tied to conspiracy theories. Johnson, Aquarian Age and Apologetics, 54-55. Hal Lindsey and Carole C. Carlson, Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1972); G. Richard Fisher, Doomsday Postponed: The Todd Takeover That Didnt Take in The Journal of Pastoral Practice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1979: 99-103; Edward E. Plowman, The Legend(s) of John Todd in Christianity Today, February 2, 1979: 38-40, 42 [Todd could also fit into the Testimonial Model]. Introvigne observes that when some of the movements against a widespread and mysterious cult conspiracy start regulating their life based on this set of beliefs they become a marginal group, devoted to and identified by persuasions regarded by the majority as bizarre and even deviant; they becomein their own sense of the wordcults. Introvigne, 178.
33 The only known example is Os Guinness, The Dust of Death (Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 303-314.
34 Rebecca Brown, He Came to Set the Captives Free (Chino, California: Chick Publications, 1986); Rebecca Brown, Prepare for War (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1992).
35 Lauren Stratford, Satans Underground (Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, 1988).
36 Mike Warnke, The Satan Seller (Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos, 1972). The book sold, by the authors own reckoning, three million copies in twenty years. Mike Hertenstein and Jon Trott, Selling Satan: The Tragic History of Mike Warnke (Chicago, Illinois: Cornerstone Press, 1993), 3.
37 Warnke, 102. In an interview with Hertenstein and Trott, LaVey completely denied any contact at this conference or any other time with Warnke. Hertenstein and Trott, 424.
38 Reliance on Warnke is shown in either explicit affirmation by direct quoting for support, or implicit affirmation in bibliographies. For example, see Brown, He Came To Set The Captives Free, 30; Bill Evenhouse, Sects and Cults with Non-Christian Roots (Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1990), 103; Friesen, 291; Stratford, 157.
39 Hertenstein and Trott, 3.
40 Brown, He Came To Set The Captives Free, 30.
41 Warnke, 42.
42 Ibid., 43.
44 Ibid., 101.
45 According to Perrin and Parrott, psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder coined the term satanic ritual abuse in a 1980 paper he presented at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Perrin and Parrott, 20. Padzer is best known for the book he co-authored with Michelle Smith. The book chronicles how Michelle, with the aid of her therapist, Padzer, slowly remembered how her mother had her involved in a satanic cult from the age of five. The story became a catalyst for the satanic scare of the 1980s. See Bill Ellis, Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2000), 62, 115-116. Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder, Michelle Remembers (New York, Pocket, 1981).
46 Warnke, 100-101, 104-105.
47 Ibid., 109.
48 Ibid., 49-55.
49 Ibid., 98.
50 Ibid., 205.
51 Ibid., 57.
52 Ibid., 74-75.
53 Ibid., 68.
54 Ibid., 67-68.
55 Ibid., 66.
56 Ibid., 32.
57 Ibid., 68.
58 Ibid., 33.
59 Ibid., 39, 40, 46.
60 Ibid., 40.
61 Ibid., 42.
64 Ibid., 27-31.
65 Ibid., 66.
66 Ibid., 44.
67 Ibid., 33, 40, 45.
68 Ibid., 33. Ellis believes that the reference presumably refers to the Erich Neumanns The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype (1955). Ellis, 296, n. 18.
69 Warnke, 34, 42.
70 Ibid., 35-36.
71 Ibid., 33, 40.
72 Ibid., 40.
73 Ibid., 130.
75 Hertenstein and Trott.
76 Ibid., 59.
77 Ibid., 36.
78 Ibid., 61.
80 Ibid., 12.
81 Perucci Ferraiuolo, Warnke Calls Critics Satanists in Christianity Today, November 9, 1992, 52.
82 Ibid., 49. Cf. Richard Abanes and Paul Carden, Warnke Ministries Hurt By ExposeSatanic Plot Alleged in Christian Research Journal, Fall 1992, 6.
83 Warnke allowed a council of ministers to review his life and ministry due to Hertenstein and Trotts expose on him. For the proceedings and updates see Tribunal Board Hearing, http://www.mikewarnke.org/packetindex.html. Accessed 23/11/01.
84 Ferraiuolo, 52.
85 It should be noted that some outside of Christianity have found renewed respect for evangelical Christians as a result of Hertenstein and Trotts expose. Peter Huston, writing a book review on Selling Satan for the Skeptical Inquirer, had this to say about the impact of the book on him personally, Many skeptics often find such evangelical Christianity objectionable. Personally, I did not find this to be the case as I read Selling Satan. In fact, it increased my respect for those who profess such beliefs. Peter Huston, Washed Up, Sold Out, and Spreading Hysteria in Skeptical Inquirer, January 1995, http://www.csicop.org/si/9501/satan.html. Accessed 16/7/2001.
86 Warnke, 198.
87 Anton LaVey writes, There are sound and logical reasons why the Satanists could not perform such sacrifices. Man, the animal, is the godhead to the Satanist. The purest form of carnal existence reposes in the bodies of animals and human children who have not grown old enough to deny themselves their natural desires. They can perceive things that the average adult human can never hope to. Therefore, the Satanist holds these beings in a sacred regard, knowing he can learn much from these natural magicians of the world. LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 89. Similarly, Church of Satan Reverend Marilyn Manson writes that what nearly everyone in his life had misunderstood about Satanism was that it is not about ritual sacrifices, digging up graves and worshipping the devil. The devil doesnt exist. Satanism is about worshipping yourself, because you are responsible for your own good and evil. Marilyn Manson and Neil Strauss, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell (New York: NY: HarperPerennial, 1998), 164.
88 See for example, James T. Richardson, Joel Best, and David G. Bromley (editors), The Satanism Scare (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991); Ellis; Medway.
89 For critiques uncovering the truthfulness of Browns testimony see G. Richard Fisher, Paul R. Blizard, and M. Kurt Goedelman, Drugs, Demons, and Delusions: The Amazing Saga of Rebecca and Elaine in The Quarterly Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, October-December 1989: 5-16; Paul R. Blizard, G. Richard Fisher, and M. Kurt Goedelman, The Saga Continues: The Further Adventures of Rebecca Brown, MD in The Quarterly Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, April-June 1991:1, 9-12; John Baskette, The Bizarre Case of Dr. Rebecca Brown in Answers in Action, 1994. http://www.answers.org/satan/brown.html. Accessed 31/3/01.
90 For critiques exposing the untruthfulness of Lauren Stratfords testimony see Bob Passantino, Gretchen Passantino, and Jon Trott, Satans Sideshow: The True Lauren Stratford Story in Cornerstonemag.com, 1999. http://www.cornerstonemag.com/features/iss090/sideshow.htm. Accessed 6/4/01. Bob Passantino, Gretchen Passantino, and Jon Trott, Lauren Stratford: From Satanic Ritual Abuse to Jewish Holocaust Survivor in Cornerstone.mag, 1999.
91 This includes financial exploitation. The ninth of LaVeys Nine Satanic Statement says, Satan has been the best friend the Church has had, as He has kept it in business all these years. While this is an exaggeration, it is clear that Warnke has used Satan and Satanism for financial gain. Though we dont have more recent figures, in 1991 Warnke Ministries paid Warnke a salary of $US303, 840.00 and his then wife, Rose, $US291, 840.00. Hertenstein and Trott, 329. Barton writes, Religious parasites who spread Satanophobia are making a living playing off of that natural fear, and both children and their parents are suffering because of it. Once again, the Ninth Satanic Statement is proven truer than ever. Barton, The Church of Satan, 112.
92 Hertenstein and Trott, Selling Satan, 174.
93 James R. Lewis, Who Serves Satan?
94 Harold Netland, Toward Contextualized Apologetics in Missiology, Volume 16, Number 3, July 1988, 289-290.
95 To the best of our knowledge, there is no existing example of an incarnational apologetic to Satanism. However, for a few examples of the incarnational model of apologetics as directed toward other religions see: Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson, Jesus and the Gods of the New Age (Oxford, England: Lion, 2001); John Drane, Ross Clifford, and Philip Johnson, Beyond Prediction: The Tarot and Your Spirituality (Oxford, England: Lion, 2001); H. L. Richardson, Following Jesus in the Hindu Context (Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 1998).
96 For the incarnation was not and is not primarily a doctrine. It was and is an event. It was a life lived, and it is a life to be lived. Alan Neely, Incarnational Mission in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, (Gen. Ed.) A. Scott Moreau, (Assoc. Ed.) Harold Netland and Charles Van Engen (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), 474. Cf. In the narrow sense incarnation refers to the initial event in which the eternal Word became flesh, the beginning of his first advent to earth. In a broader sense incarnation may refer to the entire experience of human life into which he entered, including the facts of his resurrection and his ascension with his human nature to heaven. Gordon R. Lewis and Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology, Volume 2 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1990), 278-279. Cf. also Bob Garrett, The Gospels and Acts: Jesus the Missionary and His Missionary Followers in Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions, Edited by John Mark Terry, Ebbie Smith, and Justice Anderson (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman, 1998), 64.
97 Clifford and Johnson, 26. On the foundation of incarnational mission see Ibid., 26-31. See also David J. Hesselgrave and Edward Rommen, Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models (Pasadena, California: William Carey, 2000); Don Richardson, Eternity in their Hearts (Ventura, California: Regal, 1981); Don Richardson, Peace Child (Ventura, California: Regal, 1974).
98 This has been the authors consistent experience while researching this thesis. However, see also Russ Wises response to being corrected in Russ Wise, Satanism Has Nothing to Do With Satan!, http://www.probe.org/docs/e-satanism,html. Accessed 9/5/01. For the article Wise was corrected on see: Russ Wise, Satanism: The World of the Occult, http://www.probe.org/docs/satanism/html. Accessed 9/5/01. LaVey has pointed out the inherent errors in seeking to learn about Satanism from Christians or other experts on Satanism in his sometimes less than sensitive manner. He states, How can they have more authority about Satanism than the adherents themselves? You wouldnt have asked Hitler about the joys of Hanukkah. Barton, The Church of Satan, 77.
99 Louise and Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades (London: Edward Arnold, 1981).
100 Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Crucified Jew: Twenty Centuries of Anti-Semitism (London, England: Fount, 1992), 77-88.
101 For historical documents relating to the Witch Trials see Witchcraft in Salem Village, http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/. Accessed 31/10/01; John Warwick Montgomery, The Law Above the Law (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 1975), 58-83.
102 LaVey says, Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth (1967), http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages.Eleven.html. Accessed 19/10/01.
104 One of LaVeys Eleven Rules of the Earth is Do not harm little children. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth.
106 Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 208.
108 The Christian, for Nietzsche, is the domestic animal, the herd animal, the sick animal man. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist in Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist (London, England: Penguin, 1968), 128. As Robinson notes, for Nietzsche, Christianity is a herd morality that attracts and produces people who are pessimistic and timid. Dave Robinson, Nietzsche and Postmodernism (Duxford, Cambridge: Icon, 1999), 26. In regard to Satanism, Herd conformity is one of LaVeys Nine Satanic Sins, and a repeated critique that Satanists have of Christians. Anton Szandor LaVey, The Nine Satanic Sins (1987), http://churchofsatan.com/Pages/Sins.html. Accessed 11/4/01.
109 Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (London, England: Penguin, 1990), 57.
110 Thiele writes that for Nietzsche, Greatness is the nearing of perfection; the overman is the ideal of human being. He fosters the emergence of greatness. Leslie Paul Thiele, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul: A Study of Heroic Individualism (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990), 184.
111 Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (London, England: Penguin, 1969), 297.
112 LaVey saw Satanism developing two circles, an elitist group which I always intended my church to be, and the faddists who are becoming Satanists because its the thing to do. Barton, The Church of Satan, 26. Barton states, Instead of proliferation of the weak, LaVey went so far as to say we must breed our new race of Satanists. Were interested inpreserving [sic] and improving our genetic integrity Its certainly extremism, but we arent against Jews, Blacks, Whites were against all insensitive, death-loving people. Barton, The Church of Satan, 81-82. Cf. Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 212.
114 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist, 156.
115 Ibid., 160.
117 Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is (London, England: Penguin, 1979), 6.
118 This idea has, but by no means needs to, been used for evil. Cf. It is well known that National Socialism claimed to find its roots in the doctrines of the Übermensch, the will to power, in Nietzsches apparent validation of cruelty, in his pronouncements on greatness and destiny. Tracy B. Strong, Nietzsches Political Misappropriation in The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, Edited by Bernd Magnus and Kathleen M. Higgins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 130.
122 Leon D. Wild, An Introduction to the Left Hand Path, http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/chad/208/oit/lhpzin.htm. Accessed 29/10/01.
123 LaVey, The Nine Satanic Sins.
124 David H. Johnson, Shepherd, Sheep in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Edited by Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight. Consulting Editor, I. Howard Marshall (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 751-754.
125 LaVey uses the term Christian Satanist. But its in the context of describing those who claim to be Satanists but in reality are not. Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 204; Cf. Barton, The Church of Satan, 70-71.
126 Other obvious areas that need to be critiqued include Satanism in relation to vengeance, conscience, guilt, and rational self-interest. Due to space restraints we reluctantly limit ourselves to these two topics.
127 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 25.
128 Ibid., introduction. Cf. Barton, The Church of Satan , 38.
129 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 41.
130 We have already noted that there was a large exodus of members from the Church of Satan in 1975 due to what they saw as LaVeys hypocrisy in stating in the churchs newsletter that in the future all higher degrees would be available for contributions in cash, real estate, or valuable art objects. Drury, 195-196; Cf. Medway, 21-22.
131 Burton H. Wolfe, The Devils Avenger: A Biography of Anton Szandor LaVey (New York: Pyramid Books, 1974).
132 Burton H. Wolfe in LaVey, The Satanic Bible, introduction.
133 For examples of other sources that repeat the same largely inaccurate biographical details, cf. Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 15-16; Barton, The Church of Satan, 35-38; Drury, 190-192; Schwarz and Empey, Satanism, 72-82.
134 Zeena LaVey and Nikolas Schreck, Anton LaVey: Legend and Reality, http://www.churchofsatan.org/aslv.html (February 2, 1998). Accessed March 1, 2001. For further confirmation of this cf. Lawrence Wright, Its Not Easy Being Evil in a World Thats Gone to Hell in Rolling Stone. September 5, 1991: 63-68, 105-16. Cf. also Joe Abrams, The Church of Satan, http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/satanism/churchof.html. Accessed 17/11/01.
135 Baddeley, 214. Referring to the influence that Sir Basil Zaharoff had on LaVey, Barton writes, LaVeys grandson, born in 1978, was named Stanton Zaharoff in his honor. Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 24. When referring to LaVeys grandsons first name, Barton says that he was named after a character in William Lindsay Greshams novel Nightmare Alley. Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 42. What Barton fails to mention in both instances is that Stanton was Anton LaVeys middle birth name. Because Barton was LaVeys live in lover and here the author of his authorized biography, this failure to dispute the myth is significant.
136 LaVey and Schreck.
137 Peter Gilmore as quoted in Baddeley, Lucifer 226.
138 Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1943); Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York, New York: Signet, 1957); Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness (New York, New York: Signet, 1964). LaVey stated that his religion was just Ayn Rands philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added. LaVey as cited in Ellis, 180. For one Satanists appraisal of Rands philosophy, objectivism, in relation to Satanism see Nemo, Satanism and Objectivism, http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/SatObj.html. Accessed 9/5/01. On Nietzsche and Crowley see above.
139 There is debate over who Redbeard actually was. Most likely he was a New Zealander named Arthur Desmond (1842-1918). Anonymous, Arthur DesmondRagnar Redbeard and Might Is Right in Radical Tradition: An Australasian History Page, http://takver.com/history/desmonda.htm. Accessed 25/6/2001. Some, including LaVey, believe the author was Jack London (1876-1916). Shane and Amy Bugbee, The Doctor is in. http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/MFInterview.html. Accessed 13/10/2001. Still others believe that there were two distinct authors of Might is Right. Katja Lanes preface in Ragnar Redbeard, Might is Right (St. Maries, Idaho: Fourteen Word Press, 1999), x-xi.
141 For longer comparisons of passages that LaVey plagiarized see: Redbeard, 1-2 and LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 30; Redbeard, 21 and LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 33; Redbeard, 34, 36 and LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 34-35.
142 Redbeard, xx.
143 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 31.
144 Redbeard, 20.
145 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 32.
146 Redbeard, 20.
147 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 32-33.
148 Redbeard, 20.
149 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 33.
150 Ragnar Redbeard, Might is Right (Bensinville, IL: Michael Hunt, 1996).
151 Anton LaVey as quoted in Bugbee and Bugbee.
152 Anton LaVey as quoted in Ibid.
153 LaVey, The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth. In LaVeys authorized biography, Barton says that LaVey attacks most savagely those who ride on his coattails, or who steal his ideas, all the while pretending at originality or innovationwith, at best, a begrudging acknowledgement of their inspirations very existence. Barton, The Secret Life of a Satanist, 222. LaVeys hypocrisy here speaks for itself. Similarly, Barton speaks of those who obviously drew from LaVeys philosophy, but routinely give not so much credit as a notation in their bibliography. Ibid., 14. However, most of LaVeys books, including The Satanic Bible, dont even have a bibliography.
154 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 25.
155 Ibid., 53-54.
156 Ibid., 54. Similarly, Nietzsche, who LaVey relies on in many respects, writes, Hatred of mind, of pride, courage, freedom, libertinage of mind is Christian; hatred of the senses, of the joy of the senses, of joy in general is Christian. Nietzsche, The Antichrist, 143.
157 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 46.
158 Ibid., 81.
159 Augustine, The Good Marriage in Augustine, Treatises on Marriage and Other Subjects, Translated by Charles T. Wilcox (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1955), 12. For a helpful discussion of Augustines views on sex and gender see John M. Rist, Augustine: Ancient Thought Baptized (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 112-121.
160 Henry Chadwick, The Ascetic Ideal in the History of the Church in Monks, Hermits and the Ascetic Tradition, Edited by W. J. Sheils (Oxford: Ecclesiastical History Society, 1985), 15.
161 Loren Wilkinson, The Problem of Pleasure in Christianity for the Tough Minded, Edited by John Warwick Montgomery (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 1973), 190.
162 Ibid., 191.
163 Epicurus is often mistakenly associated with an Epicureanism that is synonymous with hedonism. This appears to be an error as old as Epicurus. Though not a Epicurean, Cicero speaks for Epicureans when he writes, Now I will explain what pleasure is and what it is like, to remove any misunderstandings which inexperienced people may have and to help them to understand how serious, self-controlled, and stern our doctrine is, though it is commonly held to be hedonistic, slack, and soft. Epicurus, The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia, Translated and edited by Brad Inwood and Lloyd P. Gershon (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994), 60.
164 Epicurus, Principal Doctrines in Epicurus, Epicurus: The Extant Remains, Translated by Cyril Bailey (Oxford: Clarendon, 1926), 97.
165 Cf. Stanley J. Grenz, The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics (Leicester, England: Apollos, 1997), 79.
166 LaVey, The Satanic Bible, 53-54.
167 Wilkinson, 191.
168 Barton, The Church of Satan, 5.
169 On the resurrection from an apologetic standpoint, see Gerd Ludemann and William Lane Craig, Jesus Resurrection: Fact or Figment? A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 2000); Ross Clifford, Leading Lawyers Case for the Resurrection (Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute for Law, Theology, and Public Policy, 1996); Gary R. Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1980).