In his essay "The Third Side: The Uncomfortable Alternative" (Satan Speaks, Feral House, 1998), Magus Anton Szandor LaVey shatters the commonly-held notion that there are "two sides to every issue," and defines the Satanic perspective as the Third Side. It is from this pespective that our articulate members will present to you their individual commentary on current events, media, politics, and culture.
For centuries mankind has formed clandestine cabals sharing arcane lore and forbidden rites. At times the uninitiated have glimpsed the secrets shared by captains of industry, back-room dealers, and men of science fueled by forward-thinking philosophies. We now fling wide those concealing curtains to bring you expressions of Satanic thought. Welcome to Third Side Intelligence.
You will find the most recent posts from our official Third Side Intelligence feed, found at news.churchofsatan.com/tagged/third-side-intelligence, below. We are displaying them here for your ease of reviewing our current media briefs, without leaving our churchofsatan.com website.
Posted on Monday July 31, 2017
High Priest Peter H. Gilmore Comments on John Oliver’s Alex...
The fact that Jones dons a blue sports jacket and a Rolex, which he equates with the values of human prosperity and empowerment — actual Satanic values — to infiltrate and expose us is laughable.
We certainly appreciate bespoke suits and finely crafted accessories, but Jones is going to need more than those trinkets to “enter our world.” Fundamentalist Christian hucksters like Jones always prey on the fears of their followers by providing scapegoats, so we aren’t surprised that he preaches an anti-life morality to personally profit off those gullible enough to buy into his irrational conspiracy theories.
Tormenting the parents of the Sandy Hook victims gets no kudos from us, for as Satanists we seek justice, which means punishing actual criminals and not using such tragedies as a means for promoting fantasies about non-existent conspiracies.
Posted on Friday July 21, 2017
Speak of the Devil Third Side IntelligenceHigher Education &...
Monday, July 24th / 8pm MST
Speak of the Devil presents Third Side Intelligence. Reverend Campbell is being joined by Witches Troj and Zaftig to discuss higher education and debt. Between predatory lenders and accessibility to higher education, does it benefit a population in the long term? Is the exorbitant cost of higher education creating a closed loop of classism? Even if you attend higher education, and are now buried in debt, will you realistically be able to pay it off, or find a job with a high enough salary to make a realistic dent in it?
Posted on Friday July 07, 2017
Hobby Lobby & ISIS Sitting in a Tree… Theists wanting...
Hobby Lobby & ISIS Sitting in a Tree…
Theists wanting to control what those around them may do is not a new thing, nor does any religion have an monopoly on that behavior. Openly call it Sharia or thinly veil it as Religious Freedom, the motivation and goal is the same—using whatever power you have at your disposal to force those around you to comply with your religion’s beliefs. One need look no further than at the bloody history of Christianity’s fractious denominations or at the replies we receive on Twitter to know that—if they thought they could get away with it—directing violence at people not sharing their beliefs would fast be on the menu. Hell, you can look at recent domestic terrorist attacks in the US and see that many of the faithful don’t even care if they can get away with it. But, as groups who think they have God-given blessings, they grab for any available form of dominance whenever they can to assert their righteousness.
Christian extremists think of themselves as polar opposites and antagonists to Islamic extremists—and that conflict goes back to The Crusades, when Europeans invaded the Middle East, ostensibly to protect their Christian heritage. The mercenary soldiers looted art and artifacts and stole land from the local Muslim infidels, raping and pillaging with the support of their clerics. And of course there were Islamic invaders of Europe who did the same thing to those they overwhelmed. We know these theists are all cut from the same cloth and that this proposed separation is only about particular holy books, not methodology.
Anyone who has been watching this space knows Hobby Lobby as the Christian-owned company that fought in court for the right to avoid paying for some insurance-covered employee health benefits due to “deeply held religious beliefs.” More interestingly, they’re back in the news for smuggling ancient Iraqi artifacts into the US. They claim an interest in amassing such things to bolster their belief in their scriptures. Now that they’ve been caught, Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a sizable fine and will forfeit all the artifacts to their nation of origin which has many applauding that justice has been done. Yet that ignores a crucial piece of this story—from whom were they purchasing these looted artifacts in the first place?
That’s not really a question so much as a way of revealing an answer that we already know. They were in all likelihood buying them from ISIS. The Islamic State ransacking of historical sites is well documented, as is their destruction of historically important art and architectural landmarks. What’s also known is that they also sell-off anything they can to help fund their other terrorist operations. Following that math to it’s logical conclusion results in the extremist Christians at Hobby Lobby directly financially contributing to ISIS coffers. That forms of theism mutually hostile towards one another collude here is shocking to the naive but unsurprising to objective observers as these believers have all often shown their willingness to compromise supposedly “deeply-held” ethics if it means furthering their broader agendas. Sadly, this behavior is standard practice for the oh so publicly pious and we expect many would find it disgusting and in the case of supporting terrorism, an act of treason.
As Satanists, we are not surprised to see these religious extremists in bed with each other. But we do not endorse that these practices should continue, as they lead to ongoing subjugation of non-believers. We do not differentiate between which book of fables or which imaginary celestial friend is used to justify whatever form of oppression is being forced on others. We object to all theism-based social control, legally backed or otherwise. And we recognize these opportunistic hypocrites for what they are, and continue to stand in opposition, advocating for a truly secular society in which all are held accountable for their actions.
—Reverend Joel Ethan
Posted on Monday July 03, 2017
Satanism is Americanism! Then and NowOn this upcoming...
Satanism is Americanism! Then and Now
On this upcoming Independence Day some of us will look back at these words by our founder Anton LaVey and reflect on what’s changed and what remains the same. After being confronted with the factions vying for influence over our society, many conservatives have unfortunately chosen God over The Flag, betraying the clear secularism of our Founding Fathers. Our nation again finds itself in a struggle between partisan extremes from which I trust a new clear-thinking generation will arise to cut through and find a Third Side, embracing and continuing the progress we’ve made towards individual freedom while questioning hypocritical religious morality.
—Reverend M. Hunter
To sum up our political doctrine: Satanism IS Americanism in its purest form, with only the outdated moral codes altered to fit the times, and with recognition of the fact that only if man’s most basic instincts are satisfied can a nation receive his best. When it becomes common knowledge that we do not advocate or even approve of denial or desecration of such sacred American traditions as home, family, patriotism, personal pride, etc., but instead champion these things, our one-time opponents in “The Establishment” will not have a leg to stand on.
Actually, in view of the vast numbers of religious leaders defending and expounding the extreme liberal philosophy of the hippie or drug culture, conservative organizations will (and already do) find Satanism far more compatible with their doctrines than they now think it to be. I feel rather sorry for (but, I must admit, amused, by) the poor old “dyed-in-the-wool” conservative who considers The Flag and God to be inseparable institutions, because the “New Christianity” is composed of the drug-befuddled wretches they find totally reprehensible. It looks as though one is going to be forced to choose between God and The Flag, or else become part of a dying society. I realize most would think me far too optimistic, but I can simply see the change coming.
I think back just five short years ago, when I formally founded the Church. How many theologians were admitting to the irrationality and inconsistencies of their religions? Practically none! And once the stern, unyielding Christian Churches have admitted their errors, they might as well admit to defeat.
It is in young people such as yourself—proud walkers of the Left-Hand Path—whom I place my faith for the future of this, our fair land. America shall, indeed, have a bright future, once she has “weathered the storm” of those two opposing factions who respectively hate and love her, but would see her torn asunder in order to prove their respective points.
Love for one’s country must be shown in much the same way as love for another person. We must be able to see her faults and work towards changing them, without robbing her of all pride and dignity in the process. On the other hand, we must not blindly accept her faults and constantly make excuses for her, for that is not love—it is infatuation!
—Anton Szandor LaVey
(1971, from his column “Letters from the Devil”)
On Third Side Intelligence our articulate members present to you their individual commentary on current events, media, politics, and culture. Their views and opinions are their own and may not reflect those of other members of the Church of Satan.
Posted on Sunday June 18, 2017
HERE WE GO AGAIN? “Satanic” Graffiti in Amityville This morning...
HERE WE GO AGAIN?
“Satanic” Graffiti in Amityville
This morning I awoke to news stories proclaiming that three churches located in North Amityville in Suffolk County on Long Island were vandalized with SATANIC GRAFFITI. Apparently, some time Saturday night, a vandal scrawled on the external walls of the Amityville Full Gospel Tabernacle, the Shaw Temple AME Zion Church, and the Zion Gospel Church, all close to one another. Oddly, none of the major news reports, which include ABC’s Eyewitness News account, show any of the graffiti. However, it was explained in other reports that the offending graffiti was painted over before the Sunday morning services. I did find one image posted online in the past few hours of an upright pentagram in a circle painted on a set of double doors. The footage shown on ABC, including an interview with Pastor Willard Price of the Zion Gospel church, includes an image of doors that may be from the same building, but the graffiti had already been overpainted. The report states that the police are calling this “satanic graffiti” and that it is being investigated as a hate crime.
During my search for additional images of this so-called “satanic graffiti,” I discovered a report that there had been another vandalism incident five days ago in East Meadow Long Island—roughly ten miles west of last night’s crime—which was being labelled the same way. CBS News reported that the New Covenant Church of East Meadow was vandalized with “satanic worship symbols.” Their pastor, Rob Taormina, states in an interview that “if somebody came and painted your house up with satanic symbols I think you’d be disturbed, too, ‘cause you don’t know who they are and you [don’t] know if they’d come back.” In this case, a glass vestibule door was smashed as well.
I’ve long been a consultant for law enforcement, assisting during investigations of crimes using unusual symbols, and I’ve not yet been called in on either of the incidents mentioned above. However, upon examining the news story images, what stands out to me immediately is that in both towns a form of pentagram was drawn which has one point up. This is not a symbol used in either Satanism or Devil worship—where two-point-up pentagrams are employed—but is found in the neo-pagan religion of Wicca in its various forms. The East Meadow images show inverted crosses and the word “Satin” which shows that the writer is either illiterate, or into shiny fabric. Also the words “DEVIL, WITCH, SPELL, CURSED” as well as a “frowning face” emoji are crudely inscribed.
Now, if the criminal doing this vandalism was actually knowledgable about Satanism or Devil worship, then I think the pentagrams would be the proper sort, not the neo-pagan version we see here. Also the incorrect spelling of “Satan” and simply the use of terms popularly associated with witchcraft lead me to think that the person who did this is most likely a Christian who is going by fairly typical misprisions regarding these non-Christian religions. This hateful person wanted the people attending these churches to feel that this crime was done by an adherent of Satanism, Devil worship or some form of witchcraft involving reverence for The Devil—like you see in horror films or in those books published by evangelical Christians which spread grave misinformation about non-Christian religions.
This sort of thing was common during the years of the “Satanic Panic” back in the 80s-90s, wherein similar graffiti—often accompanied by “666” and symbols used by various anti-Christian metal bands—was found on building walls and under bridges and so on. Back then, such things were likely done by metal fans who shared the anti-Christian biases of the bands they followed or by disaffected youths dabbling in the sort of “satanism” they saw being depicted by the media as a form of rebellion. We deal with the meaning of 666 and other symbols on our web site.
These two recent incidents look more to me like they were done by a Christian who wants people to think that somebody associated with a religion employing these symbols has a grudge against these churches. It is clear to me that, whether Christian or not, the perpetrator is ignorant of Satanism, Wicca, and Devil worship. Whatever hatred is in the mind of this criminal, the deed was done by someone who is not an adherent of Satanism, Devil worship or Wicca, and simply wants to blame their own anger on these other religions while terrorizing the congregations of these churches.
Even when vandals do use symbols that reflect Satanism, since we have a philosophy that does not condone criminal actions it should be clear that anyone committing such crimes is not a Satanist, or if self-identified as such is acting in a manner contrary to our belief system. This article from 2008 covers this topic rather well.
Considering the past lunatic obsession with a manufactured conspiracy of predatory “satanists” out to get people, it is incumbent upon both law enforcement and the media not to jump to unwarranted conclusions by proclaiming this is “satanic graffiti” when Satanism is not its source. The Church of Satan is a 50 year old, legally incorporated religious organization with members worldwide who abhor this sort of crime. We’ve been through one hysteria—begun by evangelical Christians and taken up by misinformed law enforcement agencies and sensationalist media outlets—that caused harm to many innocent people. We do not want to see that madness rising again, abetted by uninformed or biased forensic analysis and reportage. I trust that this vandal will be apprehended via diligent police work based on an accurate grasp of the deeds done and receive due punishment for these crimes.
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore
North Amityville Coverage:
East Meadow Coverage:
‘If You’re Setting Fire To Churches, You Are Certainly An A**hole, But You’re No Satanist’ —Interview from 2008 debunking church vandalism as being Satanic.
Posted on Monday June 12, 2017
Speak of the Devil Presents Third Side Intelligence:Russia &...
with Magister David Harris & Reverend Darren Deicide
Tuesday, June 13th, 8pm MST
Speak of the Devil Presents Third Side Intelligence. In this first episode of TSI, Reverend Campbell will be joined by Magister David Harris, Darren Deicide and special guest Patrick DeMarko. We will be discussing Russia & Trump’s Campaign, covering the left and right’s perspectives and moving beyond them to Third Side Intelligence’s Satanic Third Side perspective.
—Reverend Adam Campbell
Posted on Friday June 02, 2017
Allow Us To Compliment Your New Clothes A commentary on public...
Allow Us To Compliment Your New Clothes
A commentary on public bias and reactions
We Satanists are observers of the human condition and have grown used to seeing people applying their own biases and politics to unrelated topics, obfuscating a clear perception of the issues as they are shoehorned into preconceived, ill-fitting paradigms. To combat such distortion, we advocate a “third side” perspective—challenging the widely accepted notion that there are two sides to every story. Recent events have provided a somewhat perfect hellstorm of examples that are worth further exploration: US President Trump’s Saudi Orb visit and the image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding Trump’s fake severed head. Headlines in competing political arenas suggested the Church of Satan quickly denounced both Trump and Griffin. These are calculated controversial soundbites that quickly spread far and wide, but neither is entirely accurate.
Let’s take the photo of President Trump along with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The optics on this photo shoot are questionable to begin with and it’s difficult to understand what the president’s press team expected to come of it. Very shortly after it was published people on social media started suggesting it was some kind of Satanic ritual. In general, we deal with inquiries on a case by case basis, but when we see untruths taking hold in the public mindset we often need to make a broad statement of clarification. This is why, on Twitter, we commented that this was not a Satanic ritual. Our words are clear and direct, and yet what followed was several days of stories about how “even the Church of Satan wants nothing to do with Trump.” Of course our publicly accessible policy on politics makes it clear that as an organization we’d never take such a position, in this case many on the left couldn’t resist that narrative and ran with it unchecked.
A week later, images of Kathy Griffin holding what appeared to be President Trump’s bloody, severed head were published online by the photographer Tyler Shields. These were obviously intentionally confrontational images, and they received the expected shock and outrage from the public. And while there is a valid argument to be made that purposely adversarial comedy could be considered Satanic, we’re fairly certain that when people started calling the images Satanic, that isn’t what they meant. When conservative author Mike Cernovich likened Satanism to ISIS we felt the need to correct him. We asked him to keep us out of it, and he responded that this was a fair request. However after that he posted that we disavowed Kathy Griffin and his right leaning audience ran with the “even Satanists are disgusted by Kathy Griffin!” narrative. Of course that was inaccurate and easily debunked by some brief reading, but it seem facts play very little role here. Other press jumped on it as well and even stories that got most of the details correct still ran with outrageous and false headlines.
Our actual position is much less controversial—in both cases these people should be able to do whatever they want. Comedians should be able to make any joke no matter how tasteless, without concern for who will or won’t find it funny; Presidents should be able to fondle glowing orbs to their hearts’ content—and all should be prepared to deal with the consequences of those actions. They are playing to a global audience, so clearly reactions will vary from mild to extreme, from support to revulsion. As Satanists, we strongly advocate individual freedom of speech and personal responsibility. The two go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t provide a lot of ammo for partisan attacks, so that story doesn’t get passed along in our highly factionalized society.
This is amusing to us, because within the span of a week both the left and the right took much glee in severing an imaginary alliance. In both cases, people were delighted to imagine that the object of their outrage was somehow associated with us, and because they had crossed some invisible line we were now distancing ourselves from them. They laughed at their targets. We laughed at them. After all, our philosophy goes beyond simple right/left dichotomies.
Some may ask why we even care? In 1967 our founder Anton LaVey noted on the Joe Pyne show that before the Church of Satan no one had come forth to defend the idea of Satan, to stand up for the adversarial position. The concept of Satan had been employed entirely by the righteous as a means to condemn others. Religious historians agree that there was no longstanding tradition of Satanism before LaVey codified and defined it in 1966. Since it’s foundation, Satanism has been an atheistic religion, purposely named to immediately weed out the reactionary people who make gut judgments on face value. Abrahamic religions, Christianity specifically, are built on a foundation of deity worship and often people brought up in those faiths have a hard time understanding anything outside of their narrow worldview. But in the same way that Hinduism isn’t the worship of Hindu, Buddhism isn’t the worship of Buddha, Taoism isn’t the worship of the Tao, Shinto isn’t the worship of Shins or Toes, Satanism isn’t the worship of Satan. It takes literally seconds of research to learn this, but as is typical of people holding an ideological hammer, everything they see looks like a nail.
So we keep watch, chime in when we can, and continue to find humor in others’ willful ignorance. We watch the pendulum swing back and forth over decades as fears wane or grow, causing people to either embrace freedom or throttle it in search of security. We keep our sense of humor honed for it is essential when dealing with our ongoing efforts towards understanding the behavior of the beast called man.
—Reverend Joel Ethan
Posted on Thursday February 02, 2017
Freedom of Speech Suppressed in Berkeley Last night Breitbart...
Last night Breitbart Senior Editor Milo Yiannopoulos was forced to cancel a scheduled presentation at UC Berkeley and be evacuated as rioters violently attacked attendees, set fire to the campus, and destroyed public and private property. Regardless of how you feel about his views or the tone of his presentations, as Satanists we should be wary of this rising tide of violence against freedom of expression and speech.
We recognize that our own views and philosophical works are not of the masses and can be easily taken out of context and used as justification for persecution. During the Satanic Panic we were called every derogatory term under the sun, from child & animal killers to neo-fascists, regardless of our actual stances on respect for children and animals and upholding individualism and evaluating peers by “merit not inherit”.
Just as Satanists wouldn’t burn books—we read them and intelligently critique their content—when speakers are offered a platform, whether they are controversial or popular, there are civilized ways to offer discourse, criticism and alternative perspectives. Examining ideas is central to our philosophy, so that we can rationally select which to embrace and which to reject. To quote Stefan Molyneux: “Those who make conversations impossible, make escalation inevitable.”
—Reverend M. Hunter
Posted on Tuesday November 29, 2016
One Satanic Panic was Enough—Debunking Ted Gunderson and...
One Satanic Panic was Enough—Debunking Ted Gunderson and #Pizzagate
If you want to look really stupid, just try linking Satanism to this #pizzagate nonsense.
This old video of Ted Gunderson has resurfaced and people who live in a “post-fact” world are passing it on as some kind of smoking gun. Luckily for the non-brain dead among us this has been well documented as a load of crap. Ted Gunderson of course, was a total tinfoil hat lunatic and embarrassment to the FBI, whom the SPLC described as someone who “never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t believe.”
In the video circulating, Gunderson talks of links between the Illuminati, pedophilia and Satanism. This is as based in reality as his belief that aliens flew UFO’s to earth to give US Government the cure to Down Syndrome but the government is withholding it from people as a form of population control. If only that was a joke—it’s not.
Let’s run down the list:
Illuminati? No. The only documented Illuminati that has ever existed, ceased to do so in the late 1700’s.
Pedophilia? No. Not only is harming children specifically forbidden in our 11 Satanic Rules of the Earth, but also, while Satanism has always explicitly condoned all forms of sexual expression, it has always been only to those interactions between consenting adults. When it comes to pedophilia, the Roman Catholic Church has spent vast sums of money protecting pedophile priests and made continued long-term efforts covering up their crimes while allowing continued abuse of children under their supervision. The Christians must own that one and this continued deflection is as transparent as their holy water—and just as useless.
As to Gunderson’s overall schtick, that’s been debunked repeatedly. Here’s the full FBI files from the investigations into all of Gunderson’s abuse and kidnapping claims showing they were completely baseless and not a single victim could ever be identified. Shock TV host Geraldo Rivera, who trumpeted much of this madness, even later recanted and apologized for helping it, noting that it was all obviously fabricated and that he was terribly wrong.
That was in 1995. So, if today—more than 20 years later—you believe and parrot any of these fallacies you are broadcasting to the world that you are not only a simpleton, but a gullible idiot as well.
—Reverend Joel Ethan
Posted on Tuesday November 15, 2016
Full Disclosure: On the internet, there’s a sucker born every...
Most people today know this—the feeling evoked when watching someone make a fool out of themselves while just sitting back to watch the whole thing play out as it’s so amusing. We the audience know there’s a trap, but the fall guy walks right into it. That’s why shows like Candid Camera were so popular in their day, and why clips from similar Japanese prank shows rack up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. It’s harmless fun and everyone laughs at the end about how silly the whole thing was—and are thankful the joke wasn’t on them.
Recently we were contacted by a local publication in Boulder, CO called The Rooster and asked for our perspective on a few issues. We responded, as we always do, pointing them to our website where we’ve taken the time and effort to detail our positions and answer many frequently asked questions. They assured us (twice, in fact) that they’d read the articles to which we’d supplied links and asked to speak with someone to get a few specific quotes which we happily coordinated. In our conversations, they told us they’d already been in contact with The Satanic Temple, so we knew the game was afoot! And in the tradition of those unlucky folks on Candid Camera, walking right into a trap for everyone else’s amusement, The Rooster did not disappoint. You too can join in the fun by reading their piece Membership in satanic churches soars in Trump’s America. Unfortunately for our red feathered friends, we’re not sure they’ve been let in on the joke yet. Hopefully this isn’t too embarrassing.
Continue on to the official Third Side Intelligence feed of the Church of Satan at news.churchofsatan.com/tagged/third-side-intelligence.