Editorial for Issue #133 of THE CLOVEN HOOF
With the Church of Satan’s 50th birthday soon upon us, now is a good time to review what we’ve accomplished and where best to concentrate our resources over the next ten years or so. Anton LaVey’s influence on popular culture is well established. Music, fashion and the arts, various self-help paths, the growing acceptance of pagan and magical pursuits, and the recent rise of atheism have all been enlivened by the energies released in 1966. What could there possibly be left to do?
Let’s review the Five Point Program which Dr. LaVey set forth in the late 1980’s as our plan of action. Points four and five are the development and promotion of humanoids, and of total environments. Scientists and techno-geeks are doing a bang-up job in these departments, developing exceedingly realistic artificial human companions, both of the Real Doll and virtual Facebook-friend variety. There has also been great progress made in creating total environments—commercial ventures like Disneyland and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter abound, while any number of other permanent and faire-type periodic re-enactments allow for total immersion. We have virtual worlds galore to explore in the form of video games, many now outpacing movie sales. Movies and television series are becoming more enveloping, the bigger the budgets get. As in ancient Rome, we have more than enough entertainments to distract us. However, when we get to point two, we’re suffering a bit of a social lag, preventing any widespread movement toward taxation of all churches. That will change as Christianity and other theistic religions are recognized as the for-profit businesses they’ve always been. With more government social programs taking over the charitable work that used to be some justification for churches’ tax exempt status, and other corporations being taxed and regulated at such rates they can’t even survive, churches’ privileged position will become more and more of an irritation.
is to identify and pursue
your own happiness.”
That leaves us with two important points in LaVey’s plan very much in need of manifesting as soon as possible. Number one is “stratification” and is emphasized by our founding High Priest as, “the point on which the other four goals ultimately rest.” It advocates allowing people to sink or swim according to their own talents and abilities, instead of being protected from the consequences of their own incompetence. “If a person is ethical, productive, sensitive and knows how to conduct himself among human beings, fine; if he’s a destructive, amoral parasite, he should be dealt with quickly and cruelly.” We haven’t achieved this yet. Because of the continuing cult of victimization, many incompetent, malefic beings are contentedly sucking enormous resources from our munificent government, sending us all into obscene debt, threatening the financial and social stability of our nation. As we keep working to enlighten, the compulsion to care for the PC appointed undeserving “victims” will dissipate like a cloud of unreason, leeches will be recognized for what they are and eradicated.
The third point, return to the Law of the Jungle, involves securing true justice within the justice system. There has evolved an attitude of Christian forgiveness, reflected in light sentences for even the most heinous crimes. Satanic imperatives demand justice—blind and unyielding. If one is convicted of, or better yet confesses to, a brutal, unconscionable act of violence against another being, and there is no doubt of the validity of the conviction, one should be summarily taken out and shot. This system of endless appeals in which years pass with no resolution gives no peace to the family of those taken, nor to the perpetrator who knows he or she should rightly be executed. The person we execute is no longer the person who committed the crime. How could he be? Decades of contemplation and repentance have passed. But it was the younger self who committed the crime, and it is that younger self who destroyed a mother, sister, child, wife—someone depended on by others, someone deeply missed. On the other hand, our courts are choked with crimes of vice—drugs, especially—which should be legalized, regulated and taxed, removing the rewards we are granting criminals in the form of high prices. The greed and lawlessness now causing the streets of America’s cities to run with blood are shameful. The nations whose economies depend on satisfying our appetite for illicit, mind-numbing pleasures are suffering immeasurable losses, of life, security, productivity—but their leaders often only pay lip service to enforcing drug laws, as they desire the income from America and Europe, no matter the cost to their own citizens. We cannot dictate what happens in other countries but we have the power to decriminalize drugs so exporters’ profits evaporate.
The Law of the Jungle also requires, as with stratification, that an individual suffer the consequences of his actions—for good and ill. Instead of praising achievement and wealth, we’ve developed an unhealthy attitude of scapegoating, blaming any number of people and/or entities for failings in life, leading the unfit to thrive at the expense of the successful. One of the reasons LaVey called his philosophy Satanism was to alert us to the ease with which religionists and other socially accepted types demonize The Others (by whatever name) as a convenient excuse for failure. Your parents, your boss, the Jews, the government, global warming, rich people, white people, black people, Big Brother, Twinkies…. Many American citizens tend to overlook one element in this complex equation (as do Satanists who practice selective reading): Responsibility to the responsible. If you want freedom, you have to own the consequences, in magic or in democracy. It takes responsible judgment to act for the good of the whole, to see cooperative citizenship as working toward your own ultimate safety and satisfaction, when wielding a sword, a pen, a shovel or showing up to vote.
Our job as the Church of Satan is:
1) To continue to clarify Anton LaVey’s philosophy, making sure it doesn’t become diluted or altered with the passage of time and the inevitable progress of technology,
2) To continue to test and apply Satanic principles of Greater and Lesser Magic in order to further manifest the Dark Lord’s Will upon this Earth and discover what innovations will be conjured forth, and
3) To make certain Satanism is understood enough by the general populace so Satanists are not harassed, incarcerated or eradicated simply for being innovative, if perhaps eccentric, freethinkers and heretics.
Your job as a Satanist is to identify and pursue your own happiness. What other religion will tell you that? You don’t have to tithe, give charitable donations, love your fellow man or turn the other cheek. You just need to apply your brains and strength to making your part of the world—your backyard—a more satisfying retreat for yourself and those you cherish. From that basic selfishness has arisen all the evolutionary success in nature and all scientific achievements of man. Seek pleasure, avoid pain, and be efficient. Those are the three recognized imperatives of all living beings. They are all you need. Manifest them.
I will close with Anton LaVey’s reflections he wrote at the ten-year point of our existence: “To those of you who were with me in the beginning when the show got on the road, and to you who have since become a part of us in mind, body or act of just plain orneriness, I am grateful for your support. ‘Evil’ is still ‘Live’ spelled backwards, and if evil we be live we will. Living well is still the best revenge against all adversity. Love, laugh, fancy, create, innovate, reap and revel—as Satanists—in this best of all worlds, World without end. Remember, the first 99 years are always the toughest. Rege Satanas!”
Magistra Blanche Barton