Halloween 2020

Halloween 2020: Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid

We Satanists generally find Halloween to be a holiday that celebrates the outsider, the other, those who are not like most. It is on this night that the “normals” tend to explore their own quirks and inner-darknesses by wearing costumes that often reveal aspects of themselves typically hidden during the rest of the year. Since Satanism is an individualist religion, we embrace our oddness without stinting, for we don’t require the permission of a special day and night to be honest about our true nature. On this night, we enjoy watching the amateurs dare to try “being themselves,” whether those attempts are tentative or bold. But most of them don’t have our courage to be true to our own deepest selves. We Satanists are metaphorically members of the “Addams” clan, and thus we are recognized, and at times vilified, by the many folks who are not—the repressed, the xenophobic, the bigoted.

The beasts who arrogantly call themselves “Homo sapiens sapiens” are feral primates whose nature is tribal and ultimately hostile to any who are not identified as being “the same.” The only evidence we have of any sort of altruism is directed towards those who are considered part of the tribe—kith and kin. Anyone outside of that select group is seen as a competitive enemy to be fended-off, contained, and to be defeated by any means necessary. Any objective observer of past human history, present newsfeeds, and of documented human behavior will see this fact abundantly confirmed.

The extreme political polarization and rise of authoritarianism that is sweeping our globe affirms this observation. Yet there is one factor that unifies both extremes—the current widely-held belief that people have somehow attained the “right” NOT TO BE OFFENDED. As we know, rights do not exist in and of themselves. Rights are privileges baked into the social contract that are as ephemeral as the societies whose values are reflected in what are determined to be universal “rights” for the subject citizens. For decades, the Left has wielded the cudgel of “Political Correctness” to silence the voices of any dissenting ideologies. Educational institutions, which ideally should be places to examine a multiplicity of points of view so that one can then assemble one’s own with critical reasoning, have become bastions of intolerance. Most Satanists would consider this fear, that is expressed by the stifling of different thinking, to be revolting. Satanism is an outsider religion with a realist, pragmatic philosophy. It recognizes that, in order to survive and thrive, one must be aware of the societal currents in which the individual is enmeshed. To do that, exploring the major rivers as well as the minor tributaries is essential. That is now forbidden in far too many “houses of learning.”

Yet we find on the Right, the last battle front being waged by evangelicals in promulgating the idea that their “religious freedom” is a license to discriminate against other religious and irreligious schools of thought and behavior. They are now being aided by creeping legislation and the installation of judges who share their morality. Thus, their opposition to those whom they deem as pagans or heretics may be allowed, in some ways, to legally ostracize or otherwise impose some form of retribution towards them. When clerks refuse to do their job and give out the requisite paperwork to same sex couples for their legal marriage, Orwell would certainly understand the hideous irony in that bigotry being termed “freedom of religion.” With a new member of SCOTUS being confirmed whose philosophy includes a form of extremist Roman Catholicism, who has stated in an address to graduating students of Notre Dame Law School that she sees their mission in the legal profession to be “building the kingdom of God,” it is time for those of us in the United States who consider God to be a sad myth to be alarmed. 

The always-flourishing demonization of some outsider group is an essential aspect of human society. In Ancient Rome, the growing religion of Christianity was at first seen as promulgating evil—of working to destroy the values of the majority in their society and of cult-like behavior including cannibalism, child murder, and other unspeakable acts of sedition. The early Christians were persecuted, until their views eventually infected and conquered that empire. Once they gained the upper hand, pagan beliefs were then erased and eventually the Jews became their scapegoats. The Romans had also persecuted them, so a precedent had been set, but some Christians could define them as “Christ’s-killers” and the notorious propaganda document, THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, cemented the damnation of the Hebrews as they were defined as secretly working to undermine society through evil rituals of blood drinking and child sacrifice, as well as crafting an economic stranglehold over the world’s business endeavors. We all know how that culminated in the policies of the Third Reich, which indeed should not be forgiven, nor forgotten. And of course, the Jews were not the only ones imprisoned and exterminated by that government—communists, anarchists, and the non-straight in sexual orientation were included in those seen as worthy of extermination. See the recurring pattern?

During my early adult life, “The Satanic Panic” arose, wherein evangelical Christians and sensationalist media hosts promoted the false scenario that there was a widespread conspiracy of “satanists” out to breed babies or kidnap their pets for ritual sacrifice, to shatter society by abusing children and infiltrating the government to create a diabolical hegemony—a Hell on Earth that would see their beliefs expunged. You see, they perceive anything other than a dominion by those who revere Jesus as utter moral chaos to be fought against. I spent many hours doing media to debunk that madness and, ultimately, the facts won out over the fantasy that had spread like an urban legend. And that crazed obsession passed. Yet now we find the embers of that fantasy have been fanned into a spreading brushfire by those who have gone down the rabbit hole into believing that leading Democrats and their wealthy associates are Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run their cults from beneath pizza parlors, and that some mysterious prophet of the social media named Q will expose them and rouse the populace to violently eliminate these dreaded, unnatural conspirators. Once again, there is a clear pattern, history repeats itself in yet another dissonant variation, and we see the essential nature of our species to be not in the least motivated towards acceptance of diversity.

So, fellow Addamses, this is a time to be on-point and hyper aware. There’s a “Battle of the Bulge” in progress wherein those with “sincerely held religious beliefs” have launched a massive assault against progressive beachheads that have given legal protections for diversity in sexuality, gender, and self-determination. They fear you, and that fear justifies their contending against the liberties only relatively recently established. Remember these patterns, recall the nature of the beast—the villagers are gearing up to assault your castles with their torches ablaze and pitchforks sharpened. While the Addams folk in films have often ultimately charmed the hostile “muggles” who surround them, things are never that easy in reality. 

They are VERY afraid and recast our kind as boogeymen, and we must respond by being aware, being VERY aware, as to what is now in play, so that we can lift our drawbridges and drop our portcullises to wait out this spreading “Red Death” of hostile thinking, exacerbated by an actual pandemic. Hold fast, and use your intelligence in this landscape decimated by a viral plague that is both mental and physical. The counterstrike towards restoring liberty and equity shall be put into motion, but to do so we must survive the virulence of both a raging virus and the fearful “ideological peasantry” who have never truly tolerated we outsiders. 

We are not picayune Pollyannas who ignore this toxic tidal swell. We shall not go quietly; we shall not submit to bigotry and intolerance; we are not the ones using “offense” as an excuse to silence others. Let them speak and be held accountable for their narrow-mindedness. We shall resist those who would burn us on pyres, both literal and symbolic, who would condemn us to the prison of having lesser “rights” so as to salve the consciences of these terrified theists. Stay strong, dear friends and allies, and we can emerge victorious without having to pretend that we are not as we truly are—NOT like most of them. Your resolve will make them afraid—VERY afraid. So it is done!

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore