Church of Satan Sigil of Baphomet


When self-proclaimed “satanists” commit heinous acts that grab headlines, journalists typically tend not to point out that their deeds are incongruent with our philosophy of Satanism—which we have accurately presented to the public for nearly 50 years—nor do they explain that there is no organization nor any philosophical literature that would support the committed crimes. We step up to make that point and it is then said that we are “distancing ourselves” from these criminals when in fact there is already a vast gulf between our philosophy and such behavior. It is not that we’ve embraced and then disowned these people—they never shared our beliefs.

When self-proclaimed Christians kill, reporters—many of whom may be nominal or even fervent Christians—are usually quick to point out that their doings are not congruent with Christian beliefs. This disregards the fact that many acts of violence can and have been justified over the past two thousand years by using Christian scriptures. Larry Steven McQuilliams, who went on a planned shooting rampage in Austin Texas, apparently supported views found in a book titled Vigilantes of Christendom, written by a white supremacist disciple of “Christian Identity." 

The majority of Christians surely do not have sympathy with the racist fantasies involved in that sect, but I think it important to note that the ideas motivating McQuilliams’ crimes come from a religious perspective that calls itself "Christian” which does have published literature supporting its views and active, practicing groups. Yet you’ll see that McQuilliams is labelled a terrorist and a religious extremist, and Christianity and its sacred texts are given a pass by the press. There is a parallel situation wherein Islamic fundamentalist groups such as Boko Haram and IS are delineated as being improper, terrorist distortions of Islam, but these groups have their writings and adherents.

In time, when more journalists and law enforcement officials as well as the aware members of the public come to understand what our Satanism represents, then reportage might begin to give our atheist, life-loving philosophy a respect currently accorded to most spiritual religions and not automatically assume that our beliefs condone criminal behavior. The devil-worshipping killers are not “Satanist extremists,” since Satanism’s principles do not support their actions, but they may be termed religious extremists since they are theists—believers in some demonic entity.  Whether a murderer finds inspiration to kill via believing in God or Satan, or any other supernatural entity, the take-away point for we secularists is that theist beliefs can foster dangerous actions, especially in those whose minds are ill-equipped to separate reality from fantasy. 

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore

Chief on Austin gunman: ‘Hate was in his heart.’

Police: Austin gunman had ties to religious extremism