“We are strict secularists and individualists and oppose having religion foisted on students via peer pressure or other coercive means.”
- High Priest Peter H. Gilmore
Hi there Neighbor,
Rarely a week goes by when I do not receive communication from individuals interested in the notion that there should be daycares (and even private schools) which are run and endorsed by, if not the Church of Satan, then Satanists of one kind or another. The justifications presented in support of such a thing are many and varied, from supporting “a true educational schemata of individualistic expression and inquiry” to “exclusive enrollment requirements designed strictly for secularly inclined families and their children.” Now while I understand the surface appeal to such an idea, I cannot help but cringe at the lack of perspective which pervades this very topic. I’ll not reach forth to pluck the low hanging fruit, recalling to the short memories of the forgetful a time not long ago when lives were destroyed on the words of coerced young children, evangelical zealots and an ignorantly obtuse public. I’ll not debate the changing of the times, most notably in countries where the socio-economical advances of Western Civilization hold sway. For all our technological advancements and philosophical enlightenments, humans are still very much ruled by the fear of that which goes bump in the night, whether real or imagined. I would simply remind you of Satanic Sin #7. For those requiring a refresher, please peruse the following articles before continuing; Satanism: The Feared Religion, Debunking Satanic Abuse & Satanic Panic Couple Exonerated.
The fact of the matter is that Satanic institutions of education (for any age child) simply aren’t needed, and the potential for tragedy to strike far outweighs the potential gain. Painting a bullseye on my children’s behinds and unduly stigmatizing them from a superstitious public is not a part of my parental agenda. There are plenty of groups and organizations with intent to subvert and derail the individuality of our children and create victims of them for their own profit and purposes. They certainly don’t need me — their protector and guardian — to be one of them. And just as it is our personal choice and prerogative to decide whether the world outside our adamantine walls is aware of our identification and affiliation, so too should this privilege be afforded to our young ones. Young ones which, if we are being wholly honest with ourselves, will most likely not be Satanists.
You read that right. For those of us who have made the conscientious and selfish choice to have children, there comes the eventual realization that most of them will likely not come to identify as Satanists. And as a Father, a Husband and a Warlock in the Church of Satan, I’ll fess up that it’s downright fine and dandy with me. There’s nothing wrong with our kids if they don’t come to align their personal perspectives with our own, and the sooner you get this glaring truth through your head, the sooner you can move on to helping your children with the things that really matter. This can include learning how to best utilize their interests and talents to secure a future which provides them with the security and wealth that they desire for a long, happy, and productive life—which in the years to follow may see them come to identify as an Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or even a Pastafarian. But again, most likely not a Satanist.
Ours is not a religion of indoctrination. The Church of Satan has never been one to publicly proselytize membership simply for the sake of generating numbers, the value of quality over quantity being ever present. We have ever held a stance of secularism, and I find that within the sphere of education, the separation of church and state stands as the primary bastion of hope for the hearts and minds of the innocent. By way of this—and insomuch as I view the religious indoctrination of children as a form of rape, Satanism by contrast has always worked within a paradigm of consent by/between adults. Animals and children by their very nature are unable to give consent, and thus we can debunk the myth of Satanic abuse, sacrifice and indoctrination in one fell swoop. We don’t do it. We never have. Just read the book.
But why not make a place that has not an ounce of Satanic overtone to it? An academy for science and reason? Some place where youngsters can run and play and breath fresh air, exempt from influences that should not concern them at their tender age! It could still be run by Satanists with educational degrees, coaches and professors — even the hierarchy could come in to do non-religious based workshops! What a grand idea!
Except it’s not. We’re not here to force-feed people or demand undeserved compassion. To expect that the loose knit cabal which comprises the membership of the Church of Satan, or even Satanists who choose not to affiliate publicly give a happy hoot and holler about your children and mine is solipsism at its worst. I hold no illusions that my children are my sole responsibility, and that there are Satanists among us who don’t care one wink about the future prospects of my children. I say this without an ounce of venom or malice, because not only is it pragmatic, it is infinitely more honest than you’ll find from many people who preach a Sunday sermon or tout a path of peace. A little shortsighted perhaps but that’s their prerogative. I chose to create a life (two lives, in my case) and until the time comes they are able to care for themselves, they are solely my responsibility and I am accountable for them. This includes, among other things, a practical education in how the world works. This is not meant to dissuade individuals who have designs to become educational directors from starting their own institutions, merely that it should not be done under the guise of some infernally sanctioned mandate. Satanism in and of itself is not an agenda. Besides, there are already plenty of secular and science oriented daycares for Little Devils, private/charter schools for Iron Youth and academies for Adolescent Asmodai. Every science fair is a Hail Satan. Every library a cache of hidden knowledge. STEM groups abound and focus groups on every subject in between are available outside of the general curriculum. The opportunities are there. A child need simply be encouraged to knock at the door, smile when greeted and politely inquire if they may partake of the knowledge within.
There is no need for a dedicated brick and mortar facility to champion science and reason from a Satanic perspective (a bit redundant really) for our way has always been far more surreptitious, the very early days of our religion notwithstanding. We walk among them, yet are not them. Whether the general public knows it or not, there are already Satanists who are in positions of instruction and influence over today’s youth. These individuals willingly choose to become teachers, professors, doctors, coaches, scout leaders and educators of every kind and degree. They find it worthwhile to teach the adults of tomorrow, encouraging them to find the ways in which they learn best and embolden them to ask that one defining question in all situations which is at the core of any Satanic mind: Why? I often say that while not everyone can be a Satanist, everyone can do with being a little more Satanic, and find there to be nothing nefarious in extolling every person’s right to inquire further and not take anything at face value. If there is a Satanic agenda in all of this, it is that we wish to support the creation of visionaries and innovators, not victims. There are no martyrs in Satanism.
As eloquent as many of us are in our capacity to orate, Satanism is not a religion of cheap words and aggrandizing speechcraft. It is a religion of action and production, of living and living well. We are our religion. We live it every day and we teach and lead by example. We are a school unto ourselves, a curriculum all our own and it is through this that we provide our youth with an observable education in pragmatic realism and vital existence. Every single one of us would still be a Satanist even if we did not have The Satanic Bible to give an identifying moniker to what we are and as such, we can still present and represent ourselves (and by extension our religion) without ever uttering a single S word.
We are all aware of the many organizations and associations which seek to hold sway over the youth of today with their posturing antics and grandstanding, promising inclusion and acceptance in exchange for acquiescence to their particular image and agenda. A group that demands you think a certain way, namely their own, is anything but Satanic. Organizations that label you in opposition to yourself, to the world and to the strength within you, are not your friend. No matter how good they make it seem to be a victim, martyr or scapegoat, it is never in your best interest to kowtow to these con artists and swindlers. Individuals on the other hand are where we most often find those defining moments of bolstering support, restful succor and undefiled wisdom. It is in the individual that we find ourselves securing a real Satanic education. That wise and kindly uncle, a bear of a man who sat with you one twilight and told you of his own youth, of how certain experiences opened his eyes to his true potential and made him the man he is today. The stern-but-encouraging librarian who challenged you to read a level or two above your grade, coaxing you onward to explore perspectives beyond those of your peers. A close friend who listened to you through the early morning hours as you struggled with the realization that you were something different, something more than the world wanted you to be. The worldly coach who helped you to realize that your particular talents lay outside the team based sport which your parental units required you to participate in. All of these people represent true catalysts for growth, something you’re not likely to find within the comforting confines of an echo chamber or the cocksure demands of a totalitarian figure. There is no need for a daycare or school of Satanic academia, because we already have one. It is all around us. We see it and hear it and feel it every day. The world is our classroom and it can instruct our children in its ways if only we remain strong and vigilant in our convictions to question everything, including ourselves. All too common is the lamentable sight of the masses attempting to find their self-worth through the acceptance of others. They serve as the example that a life lived for others is destined to fail if you don’t first live for yourself.
The standards to which we hold ourselves to and the expectations we have are not maintained and accomplished by compromising our values. There can be no bargain struck where our children are concerned. I view the concept of a Satanic School much the same way as I do a Christian one; woefully unnecessary and arrogantly intrusive at best. Water must be allowed to seek its own level and the journey of finding one's path regarding philosophy, faith (or lack thereof) and temperament is a purely personal one. To deprive an individual—especially a child, the right to make up their own damn mind is a travesty with which all too many of us are familiar. Human maturation is an undertaking fraught with countless tribulations, existing of hundreds of failures before a single triumph. Yet as much as it tugs at my heartstrings to see my children fail, it is tempered by the resounding jubilation I share with them when they succeed. And I know for them to be the indomitable and incredible individuals I know they can be, they must undergo this Promethean process of trial and error. Our world is not kind. Life can be cruel. You will make mistakes. Pain is inevitable. But the rewards for overcoming and adapting — in not joining a bandwagon, in not being a victim, in not believing what people present without evidence — are worth far more than any membership card, any badge of honor they can give you and all the cheers the world can muster.
The purpose of life is to be happy and that is all any parent should ever want for their children. This realization doesn’t come from behind a desk, cloistered within the walls of academia, listening to sagacious advice and historical storytelling. It is found through living life and living it well. In lazing about on a hot summer day, taking pride in refining a talent you enjoy, exacting revenge upon a hated foe, wooing a romantic interest, saving your money for something special and setting your sights on a station above your own. If it is true that we are born in sin (and who am I to dispute that?) and we revel in this great indulgence of existence we find ourselves in, well… I think our late founder put it best.
“If you're going to be a sinner, be the best sinner on the block.”
- Anton Szandor Lavey
Warlock Milton C. Cruver
Host of The Raising Hell Podcast