To get things kicked off, Trident Antifa will be posting a few articles on the Church of Satan in the coming days.
Although the Church of Satan isn’t an organizing political entity, it should still be on the antifascist radar. Even though the organization is over 50 years old, there is still a lot of confusion, ignorance, and downright lies about what it represents. It should be made clear what the Church of Satan and Satanism are and they should be critiqued for the actual positions they hold instead of straw-manned. The Church of Satan is not a front for fascism or white supremacy and Satanism is not devil worship. Instead, they espouse an ideology of “vital existence”. The concern here is with the organization’s lazy permittance of and complicity in some members’ fascist and far-right leanings. Any organization or institution that allows these ideas in their ranks and also gives them a platform should be subjected to vitriolic criticism and ultimately be annihilated.
What are the Church of Satan and Satanism?
The Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey. After his death, it was taken over by Peter Gilmore and Peggy Nadramia. It exists to represent and defend Satanism as defined in The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Scriptures. The organization consists of a hierarchical structure with its Active Members being of various degrees: 1st-degree Satanist, 2nd-degree witch/warlock, 3rd-degree priest/priestess (also referred to as reverend), 4th-degree magister/magistra, 5th-degree magus/maga.
Satanism is an atheistic ideology using Satan as a symbol for rebellion, iconoclasm, and liberation from “spiritual” religions and herd constraints that would stifle man’s carnal existence in this life. Satanism is a life philosophy that champions “vital existence” and indulgence (not compulsion) and does not recognize or concern itself with notions of the supernatural or an afterlife. It is squarely about living in the here and now and getting the most out of this life. It is a religion of the flesh and natural instincts and is at odds with religions and ideologies that aim to subjugate people under their rule and conformity to an arbitrary and restrictive morality, such as in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Satanism espouses life-affirmation, while these religions and ideologies espouse life-denial.
The Problem With the Church of Satan
The Church of Satan depicts itself as an apolitical entity whose members choose their politics freely in accordance with their needs. This includes members who identify and sympathize with the alt-right and fascism. The organization puts forth the argument that it is apolitical because it doesn’t in any official manner endorse any political party or candidate and that its membership spans the political spectrum, from far-left communists to far-right fascists, and liberals and centrists in between. But in practice, the organization breaches any claim to being apolitical.
The organization runs a news feed on its social media accounts and on its website. It can be seen by a quick search that in numerous cases it has endorsed and promoted, effectively platforming, posts that include podcasts with fascists, and one, in particular, featuring fascist political candidate Augustus Sol Invictus in a Heathen Harvest episode (the post on the Church of Satan’s news feed seems to have recently been taken down, but the post dates back to 2015 and it remained up no problem for 3 years). The host of the show is a Church of Satan Reverend named Raul Antony. But the Church of Satan claims to be apolitical; but the problem is that you can in no real way be apolitical while in an official capacity post links to sites and podcasts in which the hosts or guests embrace fascism. That is by definition a political endorsement.
The Church of Satan draws the ire of this article in a twofold manner: 1. because of its clear, hypocritical, and dishonest ways of platforming fascist ideas, and 2. because of its lazy and repugnant tolerance of its membership being far-right, alt-right, and fascist. The organization has not made any statement or policy barring people who are fascists or fascist sympathizers, and when questioned on its complicity in allowing literal nazis in their ranks it either remains silent or wholeheartedly deflects the question and the church’s responsibility, which is hypocritical and ironic because the Church of Satan prides itself on championing responsibility to the responsible. Moreover, fascism itself is not incongruent with Satanism. In fact, there is canonical evidence via The Satanic Scriptures in the essay The Fascism Question that supports this claim. We will be taking a look at this essay in the coming days.
Additionally, the Church of Satan regularly (again, in an official capacity) promotes posts for The Accusation Party, a podcast that focuses on an anti-SJW, anti-feminist, anti-antifa, pro-free speech, alt-right narrative. The Accusation Party frequently makes strawman arguments against its flawed and dishonest notions of social justice, safe spaces, and antifascism. It puts forth toxic ideas of intolerance and is dead-set against inclusion and equality. Although The Accusation Party may not necessarily be fascist per se, it consistently perpetuates the talking points of the alt-right. It is in practice an alt-right podcast whether it wants to admit it or not. It is entirely bigoted, ignorant, and dishonest while being absolutely wrong about absolutely everything. What is striking about this is that the Church of Satan prides itself on being as accurate and researched as possible, putting forth an air of credibility; but it actively links to pages that outright spew disinformation, having no concern at all for truth. This reveals a repugnant character. If the Church of Satan really is apolitical and it does not condone fascism or disinformation, why can the moderators just not be bothered to research and investigate the content they are promoting?
Since it has been demonstrated that the Church of Satan has no problem with literal nazis in their ranks, that they platform fascist ideas and outright disinformation, and that they have taken no initiative to distance themselves from fascism or bar fascists from their organization, it is now shown to be the morally bankrupt institution that it is.