Jun 04 2012

Disagreements over Satan

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A friend was curious to know who Alejandro Jodorowsky was, so I took the documentary La Constellation Jodorowsky over yesterday, so she could watch it, and see why I’m interested in him (didn’t want to hit her with El Topo and The Holy Mountain right away). I also took the disinformation series with me, because she’s recently discovered Howard Bloom, and I thought she might like to see the interview with him, as well as the stuff about radionics, and Paul Laffoley. We ended up watching a few of the other segments, including the rather amusing (to me, anyway) segment about Satanism.

What I find amusing about this segment, is the dichotomy between what people like Former FBI Special Agent Gunderson (who was interviewed for the segment) seems to believe Satanism is, and the reality of the slightly normal to slightly dysfunctional Satanists who were interviewed for the piece. The two are simply incompatible. My friend, however, did not find the humor in it. After watching the Montauk Project segments, and the CIA Mind Controlled Sex Slave segments, I found out that my friend is also a bit of a fan of David Icke (of the “space reptiles are actually controlling earth” fame). She takes these things rather seriously, and does believe, it would seem, in the idea of Satanic cults abducting children, sacrificing them, SRA, vast global networks of Satanic child-pornographers, and the like (despite books like Satanic Panic and Satan’s Silence). While I think the stuff makes entertaining reading, I’ve also had most of it debunked to my satisfaction. I do like to read the stuff, however, because I like to keep an eye on “what’s going on”, since sometimes my own interests could probably be misconstrued, and I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person.

I didn’t think much of our differences on the subject, other than to think that perhaps we have differences on the subject.

Until it reared its ugly head again today.

Apparently, one of the kids (she’s 19, so forgive me) in the Thursday class we were both auditing came up to my friend last week (I hadn’t attended class last week), and asked my friend out of the blue if I was “into Satanism”. This kid was also in my Sufism class, and is also in my History of Consciousness class. My friend (let’s call her “C”) told her that she didn’t believe I was, but that I had an interest in the occult. When C told me about this today, I started laughing, which apparently unsettled her. She didn’t like that I was amused by any affiliation of me with Satanism. I jokingly suggested that I’ll have to figure out something spooky to wear to class tomorrow night, and that it was a pity I no longer had my “Church of Satan Youth Group” t-shirt.

This really weirded her out. “I can’t believe you’d own something like that.”

“Well, I don’t have it anymore. It got lost in one of my moves. I do have a shirt with a bunch of skulls on it, however. Maybe I could just wear that.”

“I can’t believe you own such things! How can you associate with people who are into Satanism??”

So we got into an argument about Satanism. I told her I had a few friends in the CoS. This upset her even more. Apparently I shouldn’t be associating with such people. So, from there the argument devolved into what is and isn’t “Satanic” or “Satanism”. I’d asked her if she’d ever read LaVey, and maybe not surprisingly, she hasn’t, and was rather upset that I had.

(At this point, I’d like to apologize to the Setians, Thelemites, Chaotes, etc. out there reading, I saw no need to expand the argument outwards to include you).

I suggested she might be surprised at the similarities I’d found between LaVey and Carl Jung, in terms of Satanic philosophy, and Individuation (I’ve written a paper on the subject). I also provided her with some historical background on the origins and philosophies of the CoS, but then got accused of changing the subject, somehow. I also tried to explain the difference between bored kids in small towns with nothing better to do than torture animals and pretending to be evil, and what she and others perceive as some sort of global underground network of child traffickers, where blue-eyed blond children fetch the highest price.

Not interested. She believes it’s more adults than kids, and that they’re far more organized.

In addition, it got weird, because at one point, she asserted that anyone who associates with Satanism is inherently “evil”, but then also asserted that people who commit evil acts somehow “know” their acts are evil, yet become trapped by this evil, and are helpless and unable to stop. I will agree with this to a point, but I would also suggest that this may not always be the case. I may consider many of the acts of George Bush to be “evil”, but I don’t believe he does. I think he believes he’s doing the work of “good”.

“What about the crusades?” I asked. Do you mean to tell me that they didn’t believe they were doing “good”, by killing Muslims, and heretics?

This got very needlessly drawn out and complex. The gist of what I’m annoyed with, I think, is that for someone who claims to have an open mind, and who regularly takes it upon herself to chastise others for not having similarly “open” minds, to come out and criticize something she (admittedly) knows nothing about, irritates me to no end. To somehow find me “guilty” for my association with known Satanists is her decision to make.

But she knows of my interest in the occult, and to somehow think that it’s all “pretty” is immature and naive. At this point, I wonder if it’s even worth my time trying to put together a guest lecture for this class of hers that I helped design. Perhaps she would be better off with someone less “evil” than myself. I wouldn’t want to somehow infect everyone with my Satanic Psychic Cooties.

There’s a quote I’d like to refer her to. It’s on my info page.

“There are only two courses open to logic; one can either accept the universe as it is, face every fact frankly and fearlessly, and make one’s soul immune to the influence of any invasion; or abolish the whole thing by administering soporifics to the spirit…The pious pretence that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing. Its overshadowing formlessness obsesses the mind. The way to beat an enemy is to define him clearly, to analyse and measure him. Once an idea is intelligently grasped, it ceases to threaten the mind with the terrors of the unknown.” 

But given the source of the quote (Aleister Crowley), I don’t expect she’d be interested in hearing it.

One thing I’ve learned, is that it’s impossible to paint the reality in black and white. She has reminded me of this on occasion too, when I’ve gotten particularly fixated on something. I’ve listened. I’ve re-assessed. I’ve adjusted where appropriate. This, in a way, is a good reminder for me that it’s still possible to have hidden prejudices.

I’m not saying “embrace Satanism.”

That’s everyone’s choice to make, individually.

(I thought about joining the CoS for a while, but then decided it wasn’t for me).

But at least make it an informed choice. Read something, and then disagree with it.

Otherwise, how are you different than people who burn books?

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