This is if you are lucky and your friends or parents do not immediately drag you off to a church for an emergency deliverance session.
Knowing this, we imagine you will be surprised to learn that this is actually the name of a church, a registered religious organisation.
Like other religious bodies, they also have their beliefs, doctrines and other things that make them different from others.
Here is what you need to know about the Church of Satan.
Let’s start with the name.
The name says Church of Satan while the members call themselves Satanists. Yet, they do not worship Satan. Shocker, right? This church is actually made of atheists who believe that they are their own “Gods,” and “deities” who “offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us — or that which we cherish — harm.”
The church was founded in 1966 by a man with a shaven head known as ‘The Black Pope.’
Years ago, a man named Anton Szandor LaVey got tired of the hypocrisy displayed by Christians and decided to establish an organisation that was anti-this. He describes this in his book, ‘The Satanic Bible.’
He writes, “On Saturday night I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the 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 they’d be back at The carnival or some other place of indulgence.
“I knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man’s carnal nature will out!”
Before this, he had already gotten involved in occultic things at the early age of 16 years old.
Reportedly, he also used to host night lectures on occult subjects, “witches workshops” and other classes for the “Magic Circle” in his black Victorian house during the late 1950s.
The “Magic Circle” was made of authors, artists, doctors, policemen, and more that were taught “various aspects of Satanism,” according to sociologist and early group affiliate, Randall Alfred.
Eventually, these classes combined with the hypocrisy LaVey saw in Christians led the establishment of The Church Of Satan on April 30, 1966.
On that night, known as Walpurgisnacht, the most important festival of the believers in witchcraft, a shaven head LaVey announced the formation of the church with these words, “Since worship of fleshly things produces pleasure,” he said, “there would then be a temple of glorious indulgence . . .”
He also proclaimed that night as the beginning of “the Year One”, Anno Satanas — the first year of the “Age of Satan”.
The establishment was followed by weekly Satanic rituals, a publicized Satanic marriage of Judith Case and journalist John Raymond, and the first publicly recorded Satanic baptism for his youngest daughter Zeena.
Eventually, many branches were established around the United States. They were called grottos. Many of his followers called LaVey “The Black Pope” before his death in 1997.
They perform magic not sacrifices.
Satanists perform what LaVey defined as greater and lesser magic. The former is a form of ritual practice that is used to focus one’s emotional energy while lesser magic is used to ‘bend someone or a situation to one’s will’. Many might consider this as demonic or occultic but to LaVey, magic is something that has not been discovered by science, not supernatural.
The use of illegal drugs is not accepted.
You would think that a religious group called Church of Satan would be about the high life, but this is not the case.
According to the church’s website, they do not condone illegal activities including drugs.
The founder’s ‘The Satanic Witch’ from 1970 reads, “Let me state categorically at this point that drugs are antithetical to the practice of magic, as they tend to disassociate the user from reality, even though he oftentimes thinks himself closer.”
The ‘Letters From the Devil’ publication on January 10, 1971, adds, “The official stand of the Church of Satan on the subject of drugs is vehement opposition! Asking me to provide you with drugs is like asking a hippie to give an eulogistic speech on the merits of big business.”
They are stupidity, pretentiousness, solipsism ( being self-centred or selfish), self-deceit, herd conformity, lack of perspective, forgetfulness of past orthodoxies, counterproductive pride, and lack of aesthetics. These are all cardinal sins, however, stupidity is regarded as the worst of them all.
The statements include indulgence instead of abstinence, undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit, kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates and vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!
Church of Satan has 11 rules.
Here are five of them:
If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
Do not harm little children.
Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
New members join by paying $225 ( N81,000) and filling out a registration statement.They have to be approved based on the person’s ability to answer a lengthy series of questions. If found worthy, this person gets a lifetime membership.
This can be terminated at any time by the ruling body of the Church of Satan made up by the High Priest, the High Priestess, and the Council of Nine.
There is a hierarchy for members; registered member (no degree), active member (first degree), witch/warlock (second degree), priestess/priest (third degree) and magistra/magister (fourth degree)
Church of Satan is very clear about where they stand on the subject of the devil. The fact that the term is their name does not change the fact that they do not believe in the existence of Satan.
High Priest Peter H. Gilmore once said, “My real feeling is that anybody who believes in supernatural entities on some level is insane. Whether they believe in the Devil or God, they are abdicating reason.