For Year 50 Anno Satanas we have relaunched The Black Flame as part of the news feed. As you see below, The Black Flame is comprised of articles regarding the application of Satanism and its principles. Our members are encouraged to submit pieces that offer what they've learned in their pursuit of their myriad indulgences. Practical wisdom, words to the wise, recipes, things worth pursuing, places of interest and even tips on how to move the world according to one's will. The Odditorium heading may include thoughtful reviews of music, literature, theatre, films and anything else that has brought pleasure. Within the articles of The Black Flame, Satanists will share what they've discovered in their ongoing journey of personal bliss.
Speak of the Devil – Reverend Campbell Interviews Magister...
Speak of the Devil – Reverend Campbell Interviews Magister Robert Lang
I have, on occasion, had the privilege of collaborating with like-minded Satanists, and through the course of those interactions I have learned that those of substance do not typically have the time to commit to an active online life. They are either too busy actually living their lives, or their contempt for the denizens of those virtual prisons holds no interest for them. One cannot hope to achieve his goals, or to manifest his desires if compulsively congratulating other social media thralls, after all.
The Church of Satan is defined by its members. In over 50 years it has attracted many different types. Some Satanists affiliate themselves with the Church of Satan and live their lives as productive members of society, with no one the wiser. Other Satanists join to make waves, attempting to draw the attention of the Alien Elite by seeking mutual admiration. Then there are those Satanists who join the organization and, through the natural course of realizing their passions and motivations, are recognized as superior human beings—individuals who, when they make a mistake, learn from it. They are individuals whose reputations precede them and who are known by their actions, even if not witnessed first hand.
As a content creator it can be a challenge to connect with Satanists of substance. If they are like you, you may never have the opportunity for an encounter. Often these Satanists will only join you if they believe you will not only provide a professional outlet for the discussion, but also ensure you are not wasting their valuable time. I have the distinct pleasure of bringing you my discussion with one such Satanist. From his contributions to now legendary Satanic publications, to his performance in Satanic Rituals and Ceremonies, my guest tonight has demonstrated his authority as a potent Satanic Magician time and time again. So it is my distinct pleasure to present to you, my interview with Magister Robert Lang. Enjoy!
RC: Magister Lang, it is a pleasure to speak with you. I suppose we should start from the beginning. Would you tell me a little about yourself?
ML: I have been a CoS member for at least 35 years now. I am an artist working in several mediums, a writer, editor and budding musician/singer as well as a character actor in some underground radio dramas.
RC: I was not familiar with the scope of all of your projects, can you elaborate on your music and acting work?
ML: Sure! The music is at the moment just for fun and I would never profess to be a professional musician. As you know, Magister Sass and I collaborated on the The Black House: A Tribute to Anton S. LaVey album years back for the soundscape ‘Death Rune’ which was a curse projected on particular individuals at the time. I collaborated with the very talented Warlock Eric Ouellet for a side project called Infidels of Iblis. The song 'Vlad the Just Petitions You’ was the result of that. The words are lifted from an early essay by myself depicting Vlad the Impaler having risen from the dead and giving a speech to a modern audience. It is a spoken-word piece with me trying to sound like Vlad. Eric wrote and performed the music. The song was submitted and accepted to a Heathen Harvest compilation but we later pulled it in favor of a future Church of Satan compilation that Reverend Raul Antony may release some day.
Because of that song I was asked to play a part in a radio drama released by a friend of mine on Broken Sea Audio Productions entitled Sword of the Crimson Tatters. I may do more of those.
It’s fun trying to judge which intonation, emotion and inflection to use without the other actors present. I simply read the script and recorded 3 versions of each line. The producer would then choose the best version that would go into the finished recording. What I am doing now is simply practice for a future secret project which would be improper to speak of at this point.
RC: Improper? Now I’m truly curious! However, I respect your wish for secrecy. Aside from the super secret project that is the only thing I want to know about at this point, what are a couple of your most proud accomplishments thus far?
ML: I would have to say that my proudest accomplishment was realized at the Church of Satan’s 50th Anniversary conclave. I had so many people come up to me, talking about how some of my work had influenced them to become who they are today, how they looked forward to a new issue of the Black Pun-kin (a Satanic magazine I put out), or a piece of art I created or film I was featured in (6-6-06 and Inside the Church of Satan). These comments were inspiring to me also as the wonderful people who shared this with me were of such high quality, talent and intellect that I felt proud all my hard work in the past helped to influence these people to become who they are today. It seemed so worth it all of a sudden. It was like, WOW! Made me feel awesome!
RC: Can I ask you about the Black Pun-kin? When was that released, and will it be available in any form again?
ML: I think it came out in XXIX A.S. Some of that material may come out as a compilation or as part of a book. Unfortunately, all of that stuff will need to be re-typed by hand as one of my Great Danes spilled water on my Mac Book where all the files resided. Looking into trying to recover that stuff somehow. Damn!
RC: Ah yes, the joys of our pets and children. When I was in college my toddler son hit the power button on my computer, erasing a project I had been working on. I lost the whole piece, so I feel your pain. Let me ask you about the 6-6-06 ritual. Was it challenging to get into the ritual headspace with the size of the ritual production and that vast audience present?
ML: No, not at all. We had rehearsed over and over again. Once every word and action was set perfectly to memory, the confidence obtained made everything flow so perfectly once it began. To tell you the truth, the only time I even really saw the audience was when I was doing the incense burner walk and during The Benediction of the Cthulhu phallus sequence. The moment where I am directly talking to the other Satanists in the room, when I made true eye contact with certain friends there, that was one of my personally favorite moments. I loved the Fatwa part as well. I found out the next day that at that very moment in the ritual Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was bombed and killed. I had in mind another text for my curse on the fanatics, but we changed it in order to make the curse seem all encompassing.
RC: With the documentaryInside the Church of Satan, did you have any reservations going into or coming out of the project? Did it end up as you had hoped it would?
ML: Absolutely, most especially using that stupid green night vision that they insisted upon using. I spent days working on the aesthetic for that rite only to have it ruined because somebody had the idea that “paranormal” activity might be caught on camera. You always have reservations with these things and the most important one to us was security. Fortunately that was respected, and the end product. although not having high production values, gives the Church of Satan a pretty fair shake for outsiders. There was the odd bit of poking fun at us, but that is to be expected by folks who are not of our persuasion. We can take it.
RC: How did you first discover Satanism?
ML: I discovered Satanism at the age of 13 (go figure). I think I was mostly influenced towards my darker side by watching old HAMMER films with Christopher Lee as Dracula. That is where I first saw the Baphomet and was exposed to the idea of Black Magic. Eventually I walked into a Coles bookstore and saw a copy of The Satanic Bible with the Sigil of Baphomet sitting there in the Occult section. I picked it up and was immediately aesthetically charged by the front cover and the evil looking man on the back cover. I proudly marched up to the front with my forbidden tome and placed it on the counter. The woman at the cash register asked me if my parents knew I was buying this and I said “YES, they do indeed.” Reading it was like looking into a mirror and all of a sudden what had been disorganized in my mind due to a Christian upbringing seemed all of a sudden reorganized again. "This makes sense,” I said to myself. “This describes who I am.”
RC: How did you perceive Satanism and the Church of Satan? What attracted you to it?
ML: I perceived both as something remotely dark and beautiful, a romantic marriage of forbidden knowledge and earthly delights. It was like coming home.
RC: Do you still feel that poetic connection to both?
ML: Absolutely, it’s something that never goes away. The Black Flame only expands and burns larger as we move through life. The more we learn, the more we experience the deeper into it we BURN!
RC: How did you see other Satanists? Can you tell us about your experience with Grottos?
ML: I was alone for at least a decade where my only contact with other Satanists being in the print form of The Black Flame.
My first contact with a real Satanist was with Magus Maestro Peter H. Gilmore and Magister Michael Rose through snail mail by submitting work to Rose’s From the Pit and The Black Flame. Eventually Peter put us in contact with some Canadian members—Witch Marguerite Thompson (whose funeral I officiated at years ago) and Warlock Rick Jaggard, two early members of the Church of Satan with whom we started our own un-official Grotto, The Infernal Garrison. It was unofficial simply because at that time there was no Grotto system. Through that vehicle we made even more contacts around the world, as well conducting interviews and answering questions for many magazines including Playboy and authors writing books on alternative religions like J.C. Hallman and others. I suppose by the time the official Grotto system came back we had had enough of the work that is involved in running an organization. We had by then our own little cabal of people in close proximity to one another and streamlined our focus on being Church of Satan media reps instead.
RC: What did you draw on as inspiration when planning to officiate the funeral?
ML: That was the first time the Satanic Funeral was ever performed. Peter had written it for this occasion, to mark the passing of our dear friend Witch Marguerite Thompson. It was her last request on her death bed.
RC: There is something to be said about the connection Satanists can make with each other. Do you think Satanism connects individuals as friends more than life experiences or is it not a factor in lasting connections in your opinion?
ML: It is both. Certainly experiencing the camaraderie of like minded individuals and building friendships is a special thing. However, it is the life experience shared with them that makes it precious and when all of a sudden one of those people goes bat shit crazy, it hurts all the more. I would never befriend someone just because they are a Satanist. They have to truly resonate with me.
RC: Going back to your first connection with the Maestro, submitting your work to The Black Flame, or even performing a ritual with him, what was it like working with him?
ML: HP Gilmore always has a way of making you feel comfortable in ritual or in any project. He has a great way of suggesting changes to your approach while still complimenting your strengths. No matter how good you think you are at something there is always a way of making it better. His guidance at the Hellfire Caves ritual rehearsals were a prime example of this. He would take centre stage at the centre of the room like some Master Yogi, tell us what he thought of what we were doing wrong and then took up the director’s gauntlet and began doing so. Without his direction that ritual could have been so much less than the great magical experience it ended up being.
RC: I have heard rumors of a now infamous phallus incident. Would you be willing to share your knowledge of this?
ML: That was hilarious, but not so hilarious if you did not know what happened as we waited back in the catacombs getting ready to perform our parts in the ritual. They are laughing at us I thought. What could have gone wrong? As it turned out, the two foot long glow-in-the-dark giant phallus designed to literally GWAR the audience with fake semen had broken during Priestess Fifi Labonne’s exuberant attempt to spray the congregants. As she swung it, the thing broke in half and went flying across the room, striking the gong in perfect timing. As it turned out, cock #1 had been dripped upon from the chalk walls and had lost its ability to keep a hard on. In perfect ritual form, Magistra DeMagis very ceremoniously recovered it and presented it back to Priestess LaBonne who continued her benediction with the now very bobbly shaft. We did however consider that there was a possibility of it breaking, so earlier on during prop constructing and rehearsals, we had constructed a backup cock. But we did not bring it.
We actually really forgot about it. Months later it was discovered in Reverend Entity’s hot water heater closet where we put it to dry. It was like the Fungi from Yuggoth at that point. As for the phallus that broke, I think it’s still there, so if you ever visit the Hellfire Caves, you might come across this historic artifact.
Funny that John Wilkes (a prominent member of The Hellfire Club) who wrote, The Essay on Woman used a cock with wings on the frontispiece of that book.
The ritual achieved what we intended—to revive the thriving spirit of those great people that used to haunt that place for fun, frolic and collaboration.
Francis Dashwood, Benjamin Franklin, William Hogarth, Paul Whitehead, John Wilkes, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, Robert Vansittart, Thomas Potter, Francis Duffield, Edward Thompson, Lord Chesterfield and others…here’s a cheer to some true iconoclasts and lovers of life. Hail Satan!
RC: Are there any memorable experiences you’ve had as a media rep you would like to share? What was your least favorite experience as well?
ML: The fun one was the Spring Rite which is on the CoS website with Colonel Akula as Pan. Lots of fake blood, masks and debauchery. Magister Rose wrote that one. The Hellfire Caves rite was also amazing! Having the crew there filming it was cool and the after-ritual impromptu rite in the main ritual chamber of the Hellfire Club was a very fond memory. I look forward to that ritual footage making an appearance. Some of it was shown at the CoS 50th salon presentation by Magister Harris.
The Spring Rite was also the most disappointing one, as well as the coffee table book with photography of different religious ceremonies that never came to fruition. We had a blast though taking the photos. Everything was very over-the-top as it always is during our rites.
RC: In your time as a member of the Church of Satan, what was communication between the organization and other Satanists like?
ML: Communication was one of those things you really looked forward too. Snail mail demanded patience which is something you do not see much of these days. A typical response to a letter could often take months, however when you did get a response it was usually a very beefy letter.
Looking forward to a new magazine like Not Like Most (Matt Paradise), From The Pit (Michael Rose) The Raven (Neil Smith) or The Cloven Hoof and The Black Flame was like hitting the Jackpot when you went to your P.O. Box. These were things you kept and cherished. Nowadays things are too easy and the value of the materials has cheapened due to ease of communication. There is good to that as well, it’s just less inspiring to me.
RC: I always felt like the art of writing a letter was very ritualized for me. The process of thinking about what you are going to write before putting pen to paper took consideration, discipline and an appreciation for the written word. Not to mention the cathartic experience of receiving the response letter. Do you think the decline of the art of writing a letter has any connection with the inability for some to focus or clearly convey a thought? Like a muscle that’s not exercised becomes atrophied?
ML: LoL! Just joking. Absolutely, one hundred percent with you on this one. Writing a thoughtful letter, the act of putting it in the mail and the patience and anticipation of receiving a response are core values of ritual that should be held dear. Though it is very nice being able to contact my friends at the drop of a hat, there is definitely something missing—the magic, I’d say.
RC: Do you think the lack of an Internet helped or hindered early Satanism and why?
ML: It helped develop strong leaders who were patient and passionate about what they were doing which laid a strong foundation for our organization. Because things were so hard to obtain we all worked that much harder to put out a quality product. A communication was like gold, the gift of a new Baphomet medallion was a big deal. Things were harder to obtain and therefore there was more value placed upon such things. Today you can get anything at the wave of your hand. Granted, I like that, but the mentality is different. Patience is VIRTUALLY non existent.
RC: I see what you did there. Do you think the pervasiveness of 'Satanic’ merchandise is a gift or curse? With overabundance comes mediocrity, I think.
ML: It’s a curse. I would say especially for the business person as things are not so desperately sought after. If there’s too much of it then it’s never going away therefore the consumer delays at purchasing things because it can be had at any time.
It does not increase with value over time either. Like my Wolf-Hook Rune ring for example. Many wrote me asking me to start making them again, then when iSatanist makes them available for half the price I was selling them for then hardly anyone wants one. So if you want one, get them while you can folks.
RC: When the internet became pervasive, and you saw sites like SatanNet pop up, where there could be in-time communication between Satanists and fan boys, did you see it as a positive or negative form of communication?
ML: Both negative and positive. Positive in the fact that we could get our information out there and fight misinformation. Negative in the fact that any little piece of shit could start up their own pseudo organization and cause shit being their own self-styled Grand Poohba of pseudo-satanic drivel. This creates confusion to an ever-lazy media not willing to do proper research. Now everyone can make a big noise.
RC: We have all had embarrassing or shameful interactions in social media, it’s what clues us into the true negative human interaction this medium encourages. Is there any interaction that informed you about the ugly face of social media.
ML: Yes, I’ve been guilty of taking the bait at times. I remember a certain interaction with a certain grandson of somebody that I wish had not happened. I was defending my friends who I consider family and therefore in doing so I used what may have been confidential information to bitch slap the asshole. I regret doing that, but I do not feel sorry for the harm it caused him. Like I said earlier, I am very passionate about the people I came up with in the organization. When someone attacks them, they are attacking me.
RC: I think what’s important about those types of interactions is learning what caused your reaction, and evaluating what you could have done differently. This is a lesson I learned many times over. What is your philosophy for interacting with detractors or trolls now?
ML: Let them eat STATIC!
RC: Was there any other turning point you can identify that caused you to shy away from the hourly social media interaction that seems to be applauded in our culture?
ML: I spent too much time being out there as a representative—way too out there. I changed careers, and in order to do that I had to step back from the spotlight and be pragmatic. I decided that a lot of it was a waste of my time and that I could be spending that time on things that really matter. There’s plenty of others willing to step up to the plate. The turning point was after Inside the Church of Satan came out. Too much energy put into it with little or no return as a final product.
RC: Do you think there can be an effect on Satanists or Satanism through the constant interaction of social media?
ML: Yes, you are not doing anything productive. You should be constantly interactive with real life. Social media should be something you do with a morning coffee, to wake up.
RC: Why do you think social media is so popular amongst those who claim to champion real life?
ML: It’s because they usually have no life.
RC: I can’t argue with you there. What do you think is the biggest downfall of most Satanists nowadays?
ML: Social media. The inability to recognize the skill and time it takes to create something valuable due to its ease of access now.
RC: What is the single most important Satanic principle(s) Satanists should continually keep in mind?
ML: The best advice you will ever get in my opinion was from Anton LaVey. “Dare to keep company with those smarter and more accomplished than yourself, then see what happens.”
RC: What is next for you, are there any new projects or goals you would like to share?
ML: I am interested in making music these days as it is something I have not challenged myself enough on—and getting back into my painting again.
RC: Thank you for your time, I would like to ask, without a hint of irony, if there is anywhere you would like to direct the readers to connect with you online or to learn more?
ML: I am FreyjaFru on Facebook and Magister Lang on Twitter where Donald lives.
Hail Satan! —Reverend Campbell
Note: Photos used with permission, given to Magister Lang. Article photo, Magus Gilmore in Lotus position and profile photo of Magister Lang were taken at the Hellfire Altar by Diana DeMagis. Inside the Church of Satan photos used with permission Joshua Warren. Nude altar still from 6-6-06. The photographer for Pan and myself for Inside the COS is C. Eric Scott. Magister Lang standing beside the Nude Altar was taken by Bob Johnson. Latex backed nude Altar was taken my Bob Johnson for an issue of Old Nick Magazine.
Hello Carl. Thank you for taking the time to give an interview
to Der Rabe.
As a starter, how would you explain
Satanism to someone who comes again and again with the same old arguments like
child molestation, animal sacrifice, and church burnings, to name but a few? It
is after all difficult to make it clear to these bigoted humans and also to the
media that this is bollocks.
think the main thing to do is point to the web site of the Church of Satan,
where everything is so clearly stated. And, in extension, to LaVey’s own
writings. If the people in question are intelligent enough to do that, then
maybe A) nothing needs to be explained by you, or B) an interesting conversation
How did you personally arrive at this
my teens I felt attracted to Nietzsche but also to a magical approach to life.
Of course, Aleister Crowley pops up immediately with his Thelemic philosophy.
And LaVey. So that’s what happened. I read a lot of books, and resonated with
some of these writers and ideas. LaVey and his Satanism was one of these things
I found invaluable, giving credence to both psychological and magical facets of
the human mind, and connected to a Nietzschean philosophy.
We know each other for quite some time now
and I do know that you personally got to meet Anton Szandor LaVey. How did you meet him and what person was
was fascinated by LaVey and his Church and had read all of his writings. At the
same time I was also obsessed with American pop culture, including movie stars
like Jayne Mansfield. Given that she knew LaVey, I was inspired to write a song
called Sweet Jayne, which I recorded with my band at the time: White
Stains. I sent him the record and he wrote a really nice letter back, and
making me a member at the same time. Then I went over to San Francisco to see
him several times. He was an amazingly intelligent and humorous man who led a
very interesting life. He was also supportive of what I was doing in terms of
my own writing and publishing, and that initial inspiration has never really
faded away for me.
You are not only a musician and a
filmmaker but you also write and publish books. Your new book “California
Infernal“ was published
recently. A wonderful collection of photographs of LaVey and Jayne Mansfield. How
did you get to make this project and what does it mean to you?
was like a ”full circle” experience. My original inspiration (meaning LaVey’s
relationship with Jayne Mansfield) and that record led to my meeting LaVey.
This was in 1987/88. In 2013 or thereabouts a Swedish collector, Alf Wahlgren,
showed me his collection of photographer Walter Fischer’s prints and negatives.
And they were all of LaVey and Jayne, and also the early days of the Church. I
was thrown back into the original inspiration and it was really fun. We decided
to make a book, and that became California Infernal. That gave me a
chance to tell that old story again, and also to have LaVey’s old friend
Kenneth Anger write a short memento-text. It really became an amazing book!
As you know, Der Rabe is a German speaking
outpost for the Church of Satan. What is your opinion in general on the understanding of Satanism in German
speaking countries? Do you see any differences when one considers that
the founder of modern day Satanism and the Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey, lived in America?
to answer. The philosophy of indulgence and life enhancement with inclusions of
ritual is of course universally applicable. LaVey wove in sources from many
parts of the world to create an ultra-pragmatic and applicable method. And of
course the information should be available in different languages and cultures.
So Der Rabe is an inevitable manifestation of that need.
Do you think that Satanism and the
understanding for its philosophy have changed after LaVey’s death, considering
that one has to keep up with the times?
or groups always encounter many difficulties after a strong leader has passed.
But I’m happy to say that the Church of Satan seems stronger than ever before.
The publishing of new canonical books (Gilmore, Johnson et al) is a sign of
health and a movement forward. I think that general understanding and tolerance
of the Church has increased greatly. It’s all in the presentation, isn’t it?
Is occultism and Satanism similar to surrealism and realism? Or how do you
connect to the occult part of the philosophy, if such a thing does exist after
the Church has declared a secular and atheist stance, there is still an
open-minded attitude towards occult technologies and methods. It all lies with
the individual; to what degree he or she wants to include occult methods or
mind-frames. The hocus pocus is not at all necessary. On a personal level, I
integrate ritual and have a belief in “supra-causal” methods for affecting
changes in life. But that’s me.
Photo Copyright from Vanessa Sinclaire
I would like to address an actual subject.
The cruelty we encounter today with war and terrorism in God’s name is hardly
imaginable. I want to mention that this drama repeats itself in history again
and again and what is considered normal in some Muslim circles is not different
from how Christians acted during the crusades. What do you think how this is
going to develop and how Europe will look like in the future?
certainly seems like an increased polarity is happening, in the US and Europe.
I find this very unfortunate because it simplifies the game considerably and
thereby decreases the potential for creative pragmatism and a genuine appreciation
of individualism and liberty – two seminal Satanic qualities. Action now merely
triggers reaction, and when people and cultures are afraid, this process goes
spiral. I’m a strong believer in cultural heterogeneity, and the monotheistic
mind-frame always brings a weak “monoculture” (Christian, Muslim, Jewish etc).
Unenlightened monotheism is to blame for basically everything that’s going
wrong today, and it even endangers the planet as such. If I were in charge, I’d
make sure that people keep their religion at home. It should be banned in
public places and dialogues. If people in public offices are publicly devout
within any form of monotheism, they should be fired. It’s especially sad that
Christianity, which is the weakest form of these three evils, is allowed to
permeate political life, like it apparently is in the US. Applying a Christian
matrix on anything is a guaranteed path to rapid failure.
Finally, what are your plans for the
future? Do you have any new projects we can be looking forward to?
doing my best at trying to enjoy life to the maximum, and I’m pretty good at
that now. So I write, make music and films, and also publish books that
interest and inspire me (and hopefully others), like The Fenris Wolf
series. So the future basically means more of that: life enhancement via
culture. It’s great now and also will be in the future!
Thank you for your time and all the best
for the future!
After the completion of his ninth symphony in 2011, Philip Glass felt that he needed to complete a tenth to avoid the “curse” of not getting past nine numbered and completed symphonies alleged to have dogged composers writing after Beethoven and his mighty nine. Of course that is simply a myth and many composers of symphonies move past nine without any problem. The idea may have been originally promulgated by Gustav Mahler. He resisted calling Das Lied von der Erde—a song-based symphony—his ninth, and then he died in the process of working on his tenth (which received a splendid completion by musicologist Deryck Cooke), seemingly confirming his superstition.
So, Glass swiftly completed a tenth symphony in six weeks before the January 2012 premiere of his ninth on his 75th birthday. This work is based on an expanded orchestration of an earlier occasion piece from 2008, Los paisajes del rio, which was written to accompany fireworks for the 2008 Expo Zaragoza. The symphony is thus a bit lighter and more programmatic than its two very dense and abstract predecessors which had departed from the text based symphonies 5-7. With that conceptual barrier out of the way, there was now a freedom to write more symphonies in their own time.
Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know. All that you require is your intuition. - High Aldwin; Willow, 1988
I found myself paralyzed. I was physically and emotionally paralyzed with marvel as I watched the M1A1 Abrams tank fire it’s first round downrange and the atmosphere itself react. I could see the soundwaves of the burst as it rippled out from the cannon, spreading in all directions through space-time. Passing by and crashing against everything around it. Moving everything lacking the strength to resist its inertia. I was paralyzed because I had seen this before. It was a familiar though otherworldly experience that flashed in front of my eyes, as memories tend to do when the right chord is struck.
Life of Agony’s River Runs Red album was blaring on my stereo. It was dark despite the candles I had lit and placed around my room. This was my first custom Satanic Ritual, a form of a Satanic Baptism that I needed in that moment. My parents kicked me out of the house months earlier. My father who I had just reconnected with, rebuked and rejected me for being a Satanist, for being me! I was invited to stay with a few friends in their roach infested duplex that butted up against the railroad tracks. Every few hours a train would remind you of your misery as it screamed by. It had taken weeks to paint the life sized four crowned princes on my west facing wall. This was my only true family.
Some people want to sell their soul to the Devil for earthly delights. I wanted to stand with them. I already saw my future, and it was something I could achieve on my own, but to open the gates of Hell itself and be greeted as a brother and friend, well that was everything to me. After the album ended, I turned on J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The organ pierced through me. The atmosphere reacted to the music. It was as if the smoke from the candles and the music together were the key needed to open a rift in space-time itself, and in that moment, standing naked with lines of blood running down my arms and chest, paint and blood staining my fingers, I could feel the music course through me, I could see the sound as it hit my body and rippled away. I closed my eyes, reciting the Invocation to Satan with my back to my painting and the gates opened. I stepped back until I passed the threshold and stopped as I stood beside my brothers, the only family that I would know for years that would truly accept me for who I was, not in spite of it. It was that moment that I knew I was a Satanic Warlock.
I had always been driven to the concepts of magic. I collected tomes that purported to instruct you in it’s mastery and mysteries. I quickly discovered perspective and personal experience seemed to be the end result of it all. That is, until I read The Satanic Bible. Satanic Magic was more than just your personal experience or your own shift in perspective. It is, as defined by Anton Szandor LaVey:
“The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable.”
This seemed both an impossible probability and a thrilling possibility. I had lived with the ideas of magic for so long, and had been burnt by my gullibility and ignorance to the reality of nature so many times, that I couldn’t accept the definition at face value. There was no internet at this time, and I had no contact with other Satanists to ask questions, so my only option was to experiment.
I would spend three years practicing Lesser and Greater Magic with success after success before I joined the Church of Satan and four years before I would interact with other Satanists to any degree. I was stunned when I discovered that some Satanists who claim to have Lesser Magic success or mastery didn’t even practice or believe in Greater Magic! I didn’t, and if I am being honest, still don’t understand how you can be a Satanist, practice half of Satanic Magic and completely disregard the other half of it. And that is when I realised that most Satanists I had met, didn’t see it as Satanic Magic that contained two categories that complemented and informed each other; rather, they saw it as Satanic Greater Magic unto itself and Satanic Lesser Magic unto itself.
This was such a foreign way of thinking to me, as I saw everything in Satanic philosophy, everything in The Satanic Bible being built on and informing each other. There were no isolated principles, essays or ideas. I understand that every Satanist is different, and that the only thing every Satanist is connected by is the religion as outlined in The Satanic Bible, but this is half of that book! Half of the text that defines the religion they claimed to see themselves in, was ignored or outright rejected. While this confounds me to this day, I accept that while we all perceive reality differently (my Drill Sergeant would say “Perception is 9/10 of Reality”), it’s their understanding of Satanic Magic, the individual’s lack of success, confidence or willingness to fail or experiment that drives this disbelief or rejection.
While I cannot address the latter, I can and will address the former. The Satanic Bible is broken into four books. Each representing both a natural element and a Crowned Prince of Hell. The third book is called (Earth) -Book of Belial- The Mastery of the Earth. It is here where Satanic Magic is defined in the first chapter titled Theory and Practice of Satanic Magic (Definition and Purpose of Lesser and Greater Magic). Satanic Magic is “the change in situations or events in accordance with one will…” It is after this that LaVey defined the two categories of Satanic Magic, Lesser and Greater. Greater Magic’s main function is to “isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.” Lesser Magic “consists of the wile and guile obtained through various devices and contrived situations, which when utilized, can create ‘change, in accordance with one’s will.’”
Did you catch that? Satanic Magic is defined by “The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will…” and the only category of Satanic Magic that addresses that directly is Lesser Magic! This is the exact opposite understanding of the majority of Satanists I have met who champion Greater Magic. So this raises a question: Did they read The Satanic Bible? I am sure they have, but there are many Satanists online and offline that try and switch the definitions of Greater and Lesser to fit the discussion or their understanding. Hell, I have even found myself doing this!
If we are to properly understand the complexities of Satanic Magic, I do not believe we can reject half of it outright. But more, we must accept and understand its categories definitions, purposes and uses. I will briefly discuss both categories but before I do we must meet on this singular understanding: Greater Magic is not receptive to intellectual deconstruction. That is the arena of Lesser Magic. This is at it’s core the single most important point of confusion for detractors or the dismissive. This will be explained further but for now, let’s start with the Special Forces of Satanic Magic, Lesser Magic.
I call it the Special Forces of Satanic Magic because you rarely see it in action, and it is absolutely precise and effective. This is the ‘on the ground’ form of Satanic magic. Lesser Magic is expressed generally in two ways as outlined in The Satanic Bible: Fascination, Glamour. Lesser Magic can help you blend in or stand out in a crowd. It can turn a stranger into a lover or a lover into a stranger.
The single most important skill in successfully performing Lesser Magic is confidence. Confidence is born out of an understanding of oneself and experience. This is the key to unlocking your true potential as a Satanic Warlock. You cannot expect to alter yourself for your target if you do not know what you need to alter, or how far you are removed from your desired transformation.
Once you have confidence within yourself, you need to master the LOOK. As The Satanic Bible states:
“To manipulate a person, you must first be able to attract and hold his attention.”
The LOOK isn’t just in reference to you gazing at and holding the gaze from your target, it is also how YOU look. Every Satanist knows personal aesthetics are an integral way of expressing yourself, but it needs to be interesting to your target(s) as well. LaVey outlined three categories of mastering the LOOK through Sex, Sentiment or Wonder. I will not go into detail with each, as it is brilliantly outlined in The Satanic Bible. I will say that we all fall into one or more of these categories, depending on how we wish to be perceived.
Recognizing your humanity, man is just an animal after all, is essential to Lesser Magic. We are carnal and emotional creatures. If you want to be remembered, if you want to make an emotional impact you must direct your wiles to all of the senses. Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and Sound. We have discussed sight, let’s move on to smell. LaVey discusses this in detail. I will only add that though we can entice and inspire with odor, it is far too easy to go overboard and offend. If that is not your intention, you must take care, and experiment with the strength of any odor you use. The sweet smell of strawberries in your hair may draw your target in, but prolonged exposure to its intensity can quickly turn the moment sour.
Taste is the companion to smell. They don’t always need to live in harmony, many successful cooks can tell you the juxtaposition of flavors is just as exciting as a fully formed singular flavor. But as with odor, it can be just as offensive if your technique is lacking. Every woman I have tasted, is different. And every part of them, tastes differently. It can be exciting to explore a body, allowing your taste to guide you, but we must allow our targets the same experience. As humans we react to different tastes and they inform our perception. Salty sweat can be enticing if it is from hard work or exercise but not if it’s from your brining in a hot car during a commute. Your perception of an individual informs your interpretation of their tastes as well. If a gorgeous woman tastes bitter between her thighs she will begin to look less attractive to you. However if a homely girl is salty sweet, you will begin to see her true inner beauty! I will close this discussion point by saying if you use a perfume or cologne to enhance your smell, it may be offensive to taste, so bear that in mind as you apply that scent.
I am a tactile animal, and there are few sensations I love more than feeling a woman’s pubic hair on my skin as I slide down her, exploring her tastes. I am driven mad by the sensation of a stiffened nipple on my palm. Gently sliding my fingers down the small of a woman’s back and feeling her curves grow into an ample behind. Your skin will be explored and you will explore others so you need to take care of it! Grooming yourself to a degree can be inviting, but too much, it can turn you into an inhuman mannequin. Smooth skin is exciting, and the gritty tuft of hair around your groin can be dirty-good. As a magician, you must know what your target prefers, and groom or moisturize appropriately. A note about makeup: This can help enhance or completely mask your natural looks. Never wear so much as to prevent someone from exploring your skin with their mouth or hands. There are few things worse than returning from a kiss and being caked in her base. Ironically, a little lipstick on your lips can actually be quite enticing.
We have natural sounds that we may not be aware of. The whistle in your nose if it is not clear. The breathing through your mouth if it is open. Being in control of your bodily sounds can give you that extra leg up on a target. But the sounds are not always emanating from your natural body. It could be fabric rubbing against itself or a squeak in a shoe. Environmental sounds are a consideration as well. The sound of a train in the distance can be romantic, but right next to you and it’s offensive. Atmospheric music is great, but if you want to get close and move, perhaps a live show would be better. Being in control is great, but we also must be able to roll with the accidents. An ill timed fart or burp can be embarrassing or a moment of natural humor. It is up to you to decide which. Our mouths make sounds as do our other parts when being explored, as with everything in Satanism, you cannot take those sounds too seriously as to ruin a moment or experience.
There are many other devices and environmental factors that fall outside of this discussions focus. We must master ourself before we can attempt to master others. If you want to be effective in you life, you must be the master of it. Every Satanist should continually use Lesser Magic as it is our first line of action in making the change we desire manifest itself.
There is no scientific formula for Greater Magic Ritual success, this is a purely emotional pursuit. Further points of confusion to this end for Greater Magic lie in its definition and purpose. The sole point of conducting Greater Magic Rituals is to come to some form of resolution, be it Lust, Compassion or Destruction. The means to that end is detailed in its definition “… isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.”
If the way to meet success of a ritual is to convert your energy into a transmitted force, certainly there is some formula right? If I am creating a force, is that force not making change in the world as stated in the Satanic Magic definition? If we are not supposed to intellectualize the act, why perform it at all? If my created force is not the change agent to my desires, why is it defined as such?
The aforementioned questions are THE problem. Greater Magic is purely an emotional act. That’s it. It’s never meant to be analysed. The act of breaking it down defeats the purpose! If you read the second chapter in the Book of Belial: The Three Types of Satanic Ritual, LaVey clearly outlines the intended use and effects of each. But there is a common theme throughout…. The target is the one doing everything, not you! This is of course assuming you are targeting someone else. If you are the target, you would naturally be the one reacting. How do you know if your force effects the target? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you got out, what you needed to get out. If you see success, recognize it within yourself. If you don’t see success, stop looking for it! You should’ve moved past it after the ritual. It’s not about effecting others as much as it is about effecting yourself. If you want to make immediate and recognizable change, use Lesser Magic.
The Greater Magic Ritual space is referred to as a decompression chamber. It is here where you generate, direct and unleash those emotional energies LaVey was speaking to. There should be a satisfying cathartic experience at the end. You should have decompressed yourself of the emotions that have been hindering you in life. This is not to say some truly magical experiences cannot be had in the Ritual Chamber. We don’t suspend our disbelief within for nothing. Because this is a purely emotional experience, and our brains have a funny way of reacting to stimuli, we can have those truly magical moments without having to examine or explain them. In the same way that I had spoken to my deceased friend from years before, walked through a portal in space time to the very gates of Hell and stood with the four crowned princes, I have called upon demons to mercy kill a friends suffering father. Each experience was as real for me in that moment as typing these words are now. If perception truly is 9/10 of reality, we have near absolute control over our reality.
It is this perspective that has guided me in life, and allowed me to master it and those around me. It has informed how I experience life in general. It is how I can watch the explosive energy of a tank and connect it with a ritual experience from years before. The power is the same, as it comes from the same source. Man. We created machines, and we create our experiences. It is our imagination that inspires and informs both, and both have the capacity to destroy everything in its path. I do not see Greater Magic Ritual as an end, or final act. Rather, I see it as a tool. I can use it to help or hinder, to give love or to destroy. It is as much a part of my life as my profession, as both are expressions of my deepest passions.The best part is, I don’t have to explain any of it. It just is. I accept it for what it is and what it does, and whether anyone else accepts or rejects my experiences is irrelevant.
I know this can be frustrating to understand, especially when you read or hear about other’s Greater Magic Successes. But you must stay focused on your life, your successes, your happiness. Before you enter your Ritual Chamber, ask yourself: Why are you performing a ritual? What do YOU need to get out of it? Is a Greater Magic Ritual the best method of obtaining it? The answers will be different every time, and on occasion may lead to the use of Lesser over Greater Magic. There is no snake oil or cure all in life, and Satanic Magic certainly isn’t meant to be either. It is simply a tool that when used wisely, can help you navigate through the life you have chosen to lead.
None of this is to say a Satanist must perform, consider or acknowledge Greater Magic. It has been stated many times by the Administration that it is up to the individual, but until you have picked-up and tested the tool, you can’t be certain that it won’t be of use. I wanted to address this because I have received many confused questions from individuals over the years and I believe my perspective gained through experience may be worth consideration. I highly recommend you read and re-read The Satanic Bible yourself, and whatever understanding you come to, I trust that you might learn to both enjoy and respect Satanic Magic as an essential tool for every Satanist as I do. Hail Satan!
Many a street preacher has screamed “God Hates Fags” to pedestrians. Homosexuals and gender outlaws have been the scapegoats of religionists both moderate and extreme, and for thousands of years. As always men make God in their own image, rather than the reverse. It turns out he’s viciously petty and has a stake in the private ongoings of everyone, both great and inconsequential. I think it’s time for the symbolic response that “Satan Loves Queers.” It’s appropriately antagonistic, since many deviants have been compelled to argue within the confines of pious moral trappings. They’ve masked themselves in liberalized religion, they’ve whitewashed their relationships and sexual practices, and they place all their bets on whatever argument appeases their assailants. Enough is enough. “Satan Loves Queers” may be tongue-in-cheek, an antagonistic retort, but it’s also accurate. Satanism has treated queers of all sorts more favorably than any other organized religion, and since its very inception.
From time to time there have been essays, articles, and key passages from Satanists on subjects ranging from homosexuality to asexuality to gender non-conformity. Some of those passages are explicit dogma, such as The Satanic Bible’s direct recognition of these human conditions as perfectly natural regardless of how statistically deviant. The Church of Satan itself supports the legalization of same sex marriage and welcomes gender minorities into its membership and hierarchy. Though few if any Satanic texts have expressly celebrated just how goddamn full of queer rainbows the religion of Satanism, and the Church of Satan, have always been. Should that be necessary? It shouldn’t. It ought to be obvious that Satan loves queers and Baphomet is anatomically correct—tits, cock, and all. It’s been made clear, but nonetheless requires a hammer over the head. Dull critics and misguided wannabes love to misrepresent Satanism as a socially regressive ideology. Why? Because the religious movement of Satanism has dissected and even applauded the merits of family, self-respect, and traditional gender roles. More accurately, it has discussed theories of application rather than making moralistic proclamations on whose crotch is best. For some, not discussing a subject with seething hostility is enough to signal an unshakable bias.
Both textually and institutionally we welcome gender and sexual minorities into our “Infernal Empire,” which itself is always well decorated. Anton LaVey may have said “…conservative organizations will (and already do) find Satanism far more compatible with their doctrines than they now think it to be,” though let’s be realistic. It rings true, but large swaths of cultural conservatism are regressive through-and-through. Satanism is not. Especially in the case of gender and sexual minorities. Any movement or individual making an honest appraisal of Satanism will find more clemency for queers than even liberal parties were willing to support. Only recently have establishment liberal politicians and mainstream feminists taken sexual and gender liberation seriously. While the population at large either affirmed or skirted the myth that homosexuals were pedophiles, one and all, Satanism had already settled the question—half a century prior. Satanism has been ahead of the curve on questions of civil rights despite not adhering to conventional morality on the subject. Being a religion of the flesh, dedicated to the carnal nature of human beings as they really are, it would’ve never made sense for Satanism to ostracize anyone for consensual sexual activity and all the expression it might entail.
This isn’t an example of a Satanic Witch polishing her “Good Guy Badge,” showing off a collection of minorities and soliciting the affections of any movement. This outlook is a built-in feature. It simply couldn’t be otherwise. Satanism isn’t a morally restrictive creed where false and laughably ridiculous values are assigned to innocuous personal behaviors. We don’t take part in the control freak’s all-too-serious demand to “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Exactly the opposite, the Satanist tends to have one of two stances on other people’s consensual private lives. The Satanist may be apathetic, which is usually the case. At other times the Satanist might applaud those living the Satanic way. The Satanic way means kicking abstinence and counterproductive compulsions to the curb, preferring to actualize the most potent and authentic parts of ourselves. Unnecessary frustration isn’t Satanic and so unreasonable limitations on gender expression and sexual gratification aren’t Satanic.
Satan loves queers. There’s no preference for what type of queers. They are gay men, whether they be femme, butch, top or bottom, bear or twink. Some of them are sashaying their way to cocktail hour. Some of them are brooding over their ultra-masculinity like Spartans in mating season. There is no principle against dousing yourself in glitter and dancing to diva music at the gay bar, incessantly referring to oneself as A Massive Homo. It’s your own self-interest at play when finding your niche. It’s your job to find the mode of expression most befitting your personality.
Lesbians are welcome, and how. Lipstick or diesel, bisexual girls with asymmetrical hairstyles of all hues, pillow princesses or female-on-female dominatrices. Some emblazon the word “feminist” across their identities, marking that paradigm as an essential part of their analysis of the world. Others don’t, at all. My personal favorite is that special type of woman we call “soft-butch.” That type is near and dear to my heart. “Strap-on” is the watchword of my lifestyle and it’s all unquestionably Satanic. The rainbow banner hangs proudly in my home.
Whatever our lifestyle or orientation, we might be getting tied up, slapped, called a bitch and zapped with a violet wand. Or not. We could be swingers. Everyday 24/7 power exchange could be our thing. Either way, the Satanist isn’t invested in cleaning up the act and wailing that “we’re just like you.” Maybe we’re so different our households are alien planets in comparison. Perhaps the dynamics of our relationships don’t mirror those of your average heterosexual couple. It’s no problem for us.
By virtue of popular bigotry, transsexuals and other gender non-conformists are lumped in with sexual minorities, despite these categories having little to do with sexual orientation. Indulgence is indulgence. If gratification can be found in medical transition, private cross-dressing or role-reversal as fetishistic activities, if it’s found in drag performance, or in fashion and grooming habits that blur the lines between masculine and feminine, then these avenues of personal enrichment warrant encouragement rather than derision. The bewildered masses look on, ass cheeks clinched so tight they could turn coal into diamonds, trying to peg gender diversity as either sinful or mentally ill. Naturally, the Satanic attitude is these so-called sins lead to personal gratification. Go for it. Likewise, mental illness means instability and not peculiarity. The prevalence of gender diversity in today’s popular discourse is a positive outcome, despite all sensationalism to the contrary. It couldn’t be more pleasing to see this age of fire continue to play out, where individuals are freer than ever to enjoy themselves as they see fit. Ultimately this is what we’re seeing unfold in today’s march towards gender diversity, despite certain potholes along that road.
It’s important to spell out this list of perceived “deviants” and signify their abundant presence within Satanism. And it is abundant, make no mistake. Anecdotally, Satanism appears to encompass more gender and sexual minorities per capita than any other organized religion. That’s my impression from years of knowing and networking with other Satanists. Though exactly how queer Satanism happens to be isn’t the point. The point is that Satanism naturally contains sexual and gender liberation as a key component. What’s more, it functions far differently than many groups or ideologies purporting to have sexual and gender emancipation as core values.
How so? Because, again, Satanism is not a morally restrictive creed where laughably ridiculous values are assigned to innocuous personal behaviors. The individual isn’t seen as belonging to a group or to a higher value. Instead, individuals belong to themselves alone.
The sassy cocktail drinking homosexual isn’t held up as an example of all that’s repellent about the so-called Gay Lifestyle. His quirks may be unappealing to some but that distaste is not a moral value. His flamboyance isn’t avoided, swept under the rainbow rug at all costs, because it amounts to bad public relations for homosexuals who desperately seek mainstream approval as Manly Men with a capital M. Likewise, the masculine homosexual doesn’t have a sequined boot planted in his face. How and why he fancies all things stereotypically masculine isn’t up for debate or demoralization in favor of strengthening some collective queer identity.
The lipstick lesbian and the High Femme transsexual woman, such as yours truly, are not scolded for having “internalized misogyny” or “reinforcing female stereotypes” for embracing what’s most arousing and accurate to them. Instead, these types are encouraged to leverage their hyper-feminine sensibilities towards the ends befitting a Satanic Witch. Likewise, the butch woman isn’t harped upon as being a castrating, man hating, shrill bitch, unless of course she’s proven herself exactly that. Her short cropped hair and button down shirts don’t symbolize the blight of radical feminism run amok in the western world. She belongs to herself.
Satanic principles of personal liberation function in decidedly different ways from the norm. The status quo is to hold the individual as hostage for the sake of the group and its ideological or cultural purity. In traditional religion and socially conservative societies this means enforcement of a strict binary between male or female, heterosexual or deceased. As Christianity’s power and influence dwindles we’ve found that control freaks need no religion to play schoolyard bully. Armed with neither crucifix nor flag, millions of psychotic malcontents still froth with hatred at the sight of anyone living happy productive lives without “traditional values.” On the flipside, in the LGBT world there exists an unfortunate proclivity to cast individuals, and all of their behaviors, in the role of ambassador to the straight world. An unfortunate but predictable political response to being thrust into perpetual battle with authorities both great and pissant. Expected to abandon their own desires and proclivities, like martyr masochists, to appease the insensible and hypocritical piety of the masses, the result is a fractured psyche and an insatiable leech upon all enthusiasm. Resentment towards transsexuals and other non-conformists tends to run high, skittishly begging for scraps of legitimacy. Campy or strikingly provocative homo-eroticism are treated as leprosy, for the cause. Ironically, for the cause of liberating them from restrictive and baseless social norms. It’s documented history.
Or in other cases the individual is forbidden from appearing to reinforce long celebrated lifestyles and expressions, instructed to give no quarter to the straight world. There’s a habit to cast any perpetrator as a vile counter-revolutionary against a sexless and genderless utopian nightmare. Lesbians have nuclear showdowns over the ethics of using dildos, transsexuals charge one another with treason for appearing all too feminine, and bisexuals are both nonexistent and untrustworthy at once. A gay man without a penchant for diva techno and effete fashion sensibilities are Uncle Toms shucking and jiving for Massa Heterosexual. Whatever the case, abstinence or compulsion are being favored above indulgence and rational self-interest. That state of affairs is detestable to the Satanic eye. We don’t cower before “the cause.” No amount of books, articles, and lectures informing us how we should express our sexuality and gender will sway us. We’re not so flimsy. We don’t need to be told how to be real men, or real gay men, or politically convenient transsexuals, or straight as an arrow. In Satanism morality takes a backseat to pragmatism and self-interest.
In Satanism, the intersections of orientation and gender expression are not weaponized against the individual but rather weaponized for the individual. First you have to pinpoint your most honest and unfettered self. Second you have to put in the real work, which is studying and applying the carnal principles that give you—the honest-to-goodness you—mastery over this world. Satanic liberation means more than being oneself, it means making yourself useful—to you! And it has nothing to do with solidarity, herd behavior, group-think, or living up to impossible standards of purity; except insofar as these things must be understood as well.
It should be obvious to those who critically examine both Satanism and the Church of Satan that, again, deviance is abundant among our tribe. Though there is room for misinterpretation by would-be Satanists and critics alike. Facets of gender and sexual liberation have been criticized by Satanic writers, Anton LaVey included. Myself included. This comes as no surprise since Satanism climbed out of the monstrous womb of the 1960s counter-culture. The Satanic Bible was published amid second wave feminism—which isn’t devoid of valuable insight—and its distillations into flower children hippies. Their dictates were directly lampooned by The Satanic Bible and, later on, The Satanic Witch. Then as now, honest self-awareness was garbage while either conformity or empty-posturing ruled the day. A woman couldn’t be liberated if she hadn’t fucked at least a dozen greasy hippies in the back of a Volkswagen van. Better yet if she was fucking her guru. The same applied to men, whether gay or straight. Conversely, other factions branded the heterosexual woman as a loser who betrayed the dianic sisterhood of perpetual menstruation. Only political lesbianism would do. Sex with other women whether she liked it or not, or at least abstinence from cock, were deemed “liberation” for both woman and womankind. Little room existed for the individual to sort out their own needs on their own terms. And such is still the case in one form or another.
In the 1960s cultural cesspool we saw the fall of iconic forms of masculinity and femininity into modern day devils. Conventional appearances and manners could be traced, like so much Jewish blood quantum, way back to patriarchal invention. Embracing them became the most undignified betrayal. Never mind the “choice” so celebrated by cultural liberalism. The elaborate finery of yesteryear fell out of favor and the unisex pantsuit made a hostile attempt on our sex lives. To a man like Anton LaVey it must have looked like a whole species of peacocks ripping out their feathers in writhing agony; all for the sake of bald, well-plucked equality. Satanism stands in sharp contrast, offering genuine empowerment instead of fraudulent morality. The pantsuit is an option but it’s not totalitarian. We have options and we study them intently. For this we sometimes bare the mantle of regressive and we sometimes appear inviting to the regressive themselves.
But hardly. Satanic thinkers have been cutthroat (and imperfect) in critiquing the feminization of men and the masculinization of women at the hands of meddlesome ideology. And indeed, culturally mandated androgyny has earned plenty a Satanist’s ire. This has extended to the straight world and how queer communities function. They’ve sometimes been imperfect in their language, dubbing one negative quality or another masculine or feminine. Discourse evolves. Setting the record straight, the critique has forever been aimed at the herd conformity involved. It hasn’t been the morality of being either feminine or masculine, flamboyant or reserved, femme or butch. If a man is feminized because of popular morality then he’s not emasculated because he’s feminine, he’s emasculated because he’s a weak willed consumerist with a gutless personality. Same goes for his inability to hold his own in matters of sex and love. He’s not feminine at all. The Satanic woman packs heat but could kill with high heels, which includes our transsexual women. The pusillanimous “metrosexual” couldn’t speak up with more than a whine. He could only be so lucky to embody those classic feminine virtues of fortitude, nurturing, and elegance, or the ice cold rage women are known for. In the same vein, if a woman can’t turn off the feminist squawk-box for all of five minutes then she’s not masculine, she ain’t butch, she’s just a miserable asshole. She’s let someone else’s narrative whip her into endless discomfort. If she’s throwing her nicest dress in the garbage because of political convenience, out of misplaced loyalty to an abstract tribe of women, then she’s a coward and a moron. Her combat boots and blue hair have nothing to do with it.
Never has it been a Satanic principle that gender has a required dress code or androgyny itself is toxic waste. As a result, transgender and transsexual people aren’t verboten in Satanism. Have you seen how the most brutal royalty in past times used to dress? Drag queens would flat out lose the game of RuPaul’s Drag Race to them. Further, it has never been the Satanic contention that gay or transsexual people are inferior to or less authentic than their heterosexual or cisgender counterparts. If modern manifestations of gender diversity are critiqued it’s because some people, lacking in genuine identities of their own, crib notes from genuine transsexuals and interesting gender benders for the purpose of appearing more special, more unique, like some sort of “special snowflake.” The same can be said of those who poorly imitate genuine article Satanists. In both cases a Satanist would be wasting their time trying to sort these people out. This quickly devolves into unnecessary bickering and madhouse bullying. Flatly, it’s not our job to police every culture and sub-culture out there—which is something the normals haven’t yet figured out. Another millennia perhaps? It is enough to advise would-be Satanists there are qualities and values more pressing than gender presentation and sexual orientation. After all, Satanists are invested in themselves and not the herd.
These are facts. If it has to be a hammer over the head then so be it, here’s the hammer: real transphobia, homophobia, and genuine misogyny are unsatanic. Context clues can tell the difference. The Satanic perspective is more far-seeing than all that. They’re the trademark of people who both misunderstand and fear carnal reality. We can throw misandry in there for good measure, since this kind of insufferable bigotry is in vogue and largely unexamined in the mainstream. If that makes Satanism inconvenient for you, then find somewhere else to peddle your horseshit. On the other hand, if Satanism’s lack of political correctness ruins your appetite then I’m afraid you’ll be in bad company. We have the grill if you’ve got the sacred cow, so come on down. Either way, Satanism doesn’t distort the peculiar but otherwise harmless private lives of individuals into dire questions of moral stability. We don’t pretend that a pair of panties or a blow job can threaten the support struts of civilization itself. We don’t admonish the blond vixen who lusts for male attention, herself the subject of scorn in sex-negative feminist books like Female Chauvinist Pigs. Women who choose a lifestyle quite the opposite of our blond vixen, or transsexual women, are not threats to traditional manliness. For sure, one would think the muscle of such a man could weather the fleeting storms of popular opinion, itself being more appearance than substance. His insecurity in the face of freedom is more a threat to his perceived manliness. Everywhere we look we see personal preference rendered into convenient caricatures by career propagandists. It’s highly effective, since politicizing private lives is the quickest route to controversy.
In my estimate the whole ordeal of contemporary society’s culture war regarding gender and sexual minorities could stand to be more Satanic. Less emphasis on moral outrage would be preferable. It’s time to drop notion that having one sexual orientation rather than another, or existing as one gender or another, can be a moral question at all. Marriage is not a question of national security. Gender confirmation surgeries are not devious conspiracies. Individuals belong to themselves and for themselves. Their gender identities and bedroom activities don’t imply one political creed over another, no philosophy over another. Neither do they imply a specific value. Oral sex doesn’t make someone an ambassador for one group or another, beholden to any given public relations program. Appearing conventional is not regressive and being deviant isn’t special—and vice versa.
The Satanist will use sexuality and gender to their own ends. They shirk accountability to anyone that seeks to control, mold, or otherwise guide the trajectory of their personal lives according to a collective will. They sort out what works for them and they stand for themselves. As always, the Satanic third side perspective finds itself watching from the outside with a raised eyebrow. The whole world’s a stage, it’s always improv hour and the actors are desperately looking for a script.
Over the past 10 years synthwave has transformed from a small niche genre that raised eye brows in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive to record labels such as Blood Music pulling millions of views on YouTube and fans of the smash-hit Netflix show Stranger Things clamoring for a soundtrack vinyl treatment.
Heavily inspired by new wave, 1980′s films, soundtracks, and video games, the genre developed a retro-futuristic aesthetic found in projects such as
Perturbator (Black Flame Interview), Carpenter Brut, Power Glove, Com Truise, and more. Among these artists a ghost haunts the genre, pulling more heavily from classic slasher films, Satanic literature, and bass rich contemporary electronic music. His upcoming album, “Non Paradisi”, is described as “a loose musical adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” concerning Lucifer’s fall from Heaven and ensuing ascent from the Lake of Fire”. At the end of the month Gost will launch an international tour in the United State and Europe, with shows already selling out. I’ve had the pleasure to talk to the man behind this infernal project and discuss some of his influences, Satanism & the Church of Satan, horror films and the throw-back horror trend, Stranger Things, his new album, and his brand new music video, all from a Satanic perspective. Enjoy!
As Satanists we embrace the power of symbols, mythologies, and archetypes that capture abstract ideas, emotions, and our understanding of the universe. Many Satanic artists create their own personas that they develop through their art. Can you give our readers a brief summary of the symbolism and mythology behind your character, Gost?
Gost is the physical vessel for the demon(s) known as Baalberith, the bringer of death, purveyor of truth, prince of Hell and the demon who guides men towards blasphemy. His mission is to spread the dark gospel of the master light bringer through this human form of music and perversion. Obliging human kind with dignity and the recognition of the dignity given.
The thing that brought you to my attention was your use of Anton LaVey’s Black House for your self-titled release. In previous interviews you mentioned that your attraction to Satanism and Satanic imagery was primarily a reaction against the Christian society around you growing up. Over time, has it become something more meaningful to you? Have you read LaVey’s work?
Yes, what started as a stone cast towards anti-theism has very much become a way of life and general philosophy personally… I have read The Satanic Bible, yes.
And what was your reaction to reading LaVey? What inspired you to include the photo of the Black House (Church of Satan headquarters) on your release? It seems to me that it was a nod to your influences.
I enjoy reading LaVey very much. Aside from the image itself being very striking, I align Gost quite closely with the ceremonial aspects that the Church of Satan uses. More than a nod, more like a giant flag!
Based on your Reddit AMA you stated that you are an atheist that understands and appreciates the power of religion and myths. Is that correct?
Yes, this is correct however, Gost allows me to employ some of the parts of Satanism that I like into the art.
I know other journalists are either spooked or just have a passing interest in your use of Satanic imagery. Do you think being published here on The Black Flame is a way of “giving the devil his due”? In private you said being published here is a dream come true for you, would you say that is an acknowledgement of the Church of Satan's influence on your work?
In a sense, yes, this interview and the project as a whole is for the glory of the devil. I do not mind at all! It is an honor to be aligned with the Church of Satan in any way!
As I noted in my interview with
Perturbator, I believe there’s something innately Satanic in horror-themed synthwave music. Creating new environments, new symbols and mythologies, and using the power of the past are all important to Satanism, and the pentagrams are fun too! I think there’s a dark current flowing through three artists in particular: yourself, Perturbator, and Carpenter Brut… something you’re tapping into maybe without knowing it. Do you feel like the three of you are operating on similar aesthetic, creative, and musical wavelengths? In what ways would you say you stand out?
We are all close personally and artistically. Synthwave has brought us together on a personal level and it just so happens we all come from very similar backgrounds musically as well. We all naturally and separately create a similar aesthetic and enjoy some of the same themes but it has been purely coincidental… I have been told that I am the darkest and the heaviest of the three which is something I completely agree with. Respectively though, we are all quite different in my opinion.
Let’s talk music. I understand you’re influenced by Justice, which I can hear in your use of fat, distorted synth pads. It gives your flavor of synthwave a more electric guitar sound. In some ways I hear a more modern EDM/Dance influence than a straight throwback Tangerine Dream sound. Was this the intention or just how it ended up?
I am definitely hugely influenced by Justice, Tangerine Dream and modern EDM. I think if any of these three influences in particular stands out more than another it is merely the personal experience and opinion of the listener. For me I take elements of many influences when I am writing for Gost. I am also constantly trying to evoke new or different influence in hopes of growing as an artist.
Some of my favorite tracks of yours are ones which have vocals, including Without A Trace which features Hayley Stewart from Dead Astronauts and Don’t Panic from your collaboration with Dedderz (such a high energy track, it’s my go-to when I’m at the gym). How did you come about working with Hayley Stewart and Dedderz?
With Hayley, Perturbator had already worked with her and I liked what she did with him so I had Perturbator put us in contact. Hayley is amazing to work with! Her tracks always come back polished and ready to plug into the track with very little extra work from me. Dedderz contacted me to re-work Don’t Panic. They gave me several tracks to choose from and Don’t Panic was the obvious choice for me because of the energy in the vocals themselves. Definitely happy with the end result of working with Dedderz.
What are your thoughts on remixing, both remixing others and people remixing you? Is there anything you’d like to hear done with your music?
Personally, I can be a bit tentative to work with people because in general
I do not enjoy collaborating very much. As long as the original song
is something I feel I can work with and I am allowed to do what I want
with my version I enjoy re-working others tracks. Perturbator (Link)and Dance
With The Dead (Link) have done remixes for Gost and I was really happy with
their work. All I want to hear in a remix of my work is a solid effort
I’ll make you a noise/harsh industrial remix.
For sure! Just let me know what song you’d like to remix!
I understand you’re a fan of classic slasher horror films like Nightmare on Elm Street and the work of John Carpenter. Are you a fan of any modern horror films? Along with retro-influenced synthwave there have been throwback horror films that have been trying to capture the visual and soundtrack elements of the late 70’s and 80’s. Have you seen these films and what are your thoughts on modern movies going back to the past?
Yes. I really enjoyed the new Evil Dead, Starry Eyes, The House of The Devil, We Are Still Here, House of 1000 Corpses, and It Follows to name a few. Personally I have no problem with artists of any medium conjuring the past for use in modern work. I do, however, think there is a fine line between using the past as an influence to create something new and ripping the past without attempting to add something new and fresh.
I have like three times through already! Great series and I can’t wait for the sequel. The soundtrack has created a new buzz but it was definitely not the soundtrack alone. Without the incredible work of everyone involved in the series we wouldn’t even be talking about the soundtrack. So well done all around!
What can you tell us about your new upcoming album, “Non Paradisi”? Any surprises or new developments in your sound that we can look forward to?
I can tell you this album is much more of a journey into hell than Behemoth ever was. It is a much more thought out play through. There are heavy tracks indeed but I took my time in places much more on Non Paradisi than I did with Behemoth. Coupled with the artwork this album is a much deeper experience in my opinion. There are some more ambitious sound attempts on Non Paradisi for sure. I am ready for everyone to walk through hell with me on this one!
How was it working with Valenberg on the new video? Did you have any
input on the story or concept?
Valenberg is an amazing artist. He is very open to working with others to achieve the best end result possible, which is so rare. I communicated with Valenberg through Blood Music during the process of the Arise video. Blood Music was extremely hands on with the video (co-directed) and I added to or approved many of the concepts and imagery.
How would you describe the narrative in the video? Seems like a variation on Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is outstanding.
Yes it is exactly that! The video picks up as the war in heaven has ended and Lucifer is cast out of heaven into the lake of fire. We changed things up a bit by casting Gost (Baal) as the right hand of Lucifer. In our version, Gost is instrumental in helping Lucifer rise from the lake of fire and triumphantly claim his new throne without the unjust hand of God controlling his every move.
It seems like Blood Music has become a nexus of dark synthwave culture, bringing together musicians such as yourself, visual artist Førtifem who created your upcoming album art, and director Daniel Schwartz who directed the video for Maleficarum. How did you come about to work with Blood Music? Has this inspired you to expand on the universe of Gost/Baalberith?
I became aware of Blood Music through them working with Perturbator. Perturbator pushed me to contact and work with Blood Music from the beginning. Blood Music has been exponential in my ability to make Gost available on a worldwide scale. My ambition for the universe of Gost was always there but without Blood Music I would be nowhere near where I am today.
Among your latest news is your upcoming tour in support of your new album. Your Helsinki show with Perturbator sold out in record time, congrats! What can fans expect from your live performances this time around?
You can expect a lot of energy as always. My set this go around is much longer than the last tour and I will be playing quite a bit of older material as well as some of the new record as well. I do have a few surprises planned here and there but for that people will just have to wait and see.
I think your Gost character would do great as a comic book or even video game like Splatterhouse. Thought about doing more with your project outside of music?
There have actually been talks of a comic yes but unfortunately nothing has panned out quite yet… I am not opposed to such a thing as long as the the artist and writer are completely on-board to stay true to the character.
What are you currently listening to right now?
I’ve had the newest Lorn release on repeat as well as the newest White
Lung album. Perturbator introduced me to The Devil’s Blood on our last
tour together and it’s become a staple as well!
Thank you for your time! Send my regards to James Perturbator and have a blast on your tour! Hail Satan!
Of course! Thanks and I will say hello to James! Hail Satan!