Church of Satan Sigil of Baphomet

Planned Parenthood Panic?

On Saturday, August 22, Christian groups protested in front of Planned Parenthood clinics across the United Sates whom they’ve accused of abetting the illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit. One group of activists milked this situation for media attention with a theatrical stunt opposing the protestors, resulting in them being deemed black-robed devil worshippers by journalists who did not grasp the intent of their symbolism. Anti-abortion activists previously infiltrated Planned Parenthood locations to film employees and clients and edited their comments together as a means for whipping-up a nationwide campaign to curtail funding for this organization which in their own words promotes “a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning.” Additionally they point out that they are “America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. Our skilled health care professionals are dedicated to offering men, women, and teens high-quality, affordable medical care.” For those with a realistic view of human behavior, their mission is one that fulfills many needs.

Planned parenthood denies these accusations. It should be noted that mechanisms for supplying fetal tissue for medical research have long been in place, since it serves to assist researchers in working towards cures for eye diseases, muscular dystrophy and diabetes, amongst other maladies. The science is not yet in place for using adult stem cells in these studies, but that is being sought as it seems even more promising for establishing methods that could assist millions of people suffering from diseases. One must wonder whether folks who would deny fetal tissue for research would avail themselves of cures which arose from such studies for illnesses they themselves might have?

Opponents of abortion and birth control seem to support the “every sperm is sacred” thinking so aptly lampooned by Monty Python in their film The Meaning of Life. Because of their frenzied passion for preserving the existence of zygotes, we’ve witnessed anti-abortionists harassing women who sought help at Planned Parenthood health centers and, from their extremists, the murder of doctors who perform abortions and even the bombing of clinics offering women safe and sanitary abortions. These people who absurdly call themselves “pro-life” include fanatics who are willing to extinguish the lives of adult human beings with whom they disagree in favor of unborn potential lives. And they think that their God supports such actions. These days one might more accurately recognize this as a form of theism-generated terrorism.

It would be far more in line with their stated principles to raise funds for organizations meant to care for unwanted children and pay for their feeding, clothing, upbringing, and education until they can be adopted by families who would look after them until they can become autonomous, self-supporting members of society. Of course, the costs involved in such efforts would be astronomical. And we must bear in mind that when the Roman Catholic Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Ireland ran a “Home” for unwed mothers and their children from 1925 to 1961, that those women were essentially forced into indentured servitude and many of their children died of neglect and malnutrition, as 800 children’s skeletons dumped in a cistern have proven. So with that track record, one cannot trust these so-called “lovers of life.” Their contemporaries take the easy (and cheaper) route, bullying women to bear children they are reluctant to raise who may eventually be put up for adoption or simply shuffled from foster home to foster home. Somewhat better than starvation and burial in a sewer, certainly. Far better, for many reasons, to teach and encourage contraception.

The philosophy of the Church of Satan supports medical research as we Satanists do not believe in an afterlife and consider our vital existence to be of paramount importance—we’d like to live long and healthy lives. Our philosophy advocates responsible freedom of sexual activity amongst consenting adults, meaning that Satanists who chose to engage in sex would be mindful of preventing sexually transmitted diseases and would employ contraception should procreative sexual acts be enjoyed when pregnancy was not the intended goal. Here in the 21st century there is no mystery about the biology surrounding human sexuality and thus the readily available contraception is expected to be utilized by our adherents. If contraception is not at hand, Satanists are sexual connoisseurs who know that there are many forms of erotic pleasure that don’t result in pregnancy.

Our fundamental principle of being completely responsible for our actions dictates that for Satanists all parenthood should be planned, an endeavor taken up when the intended parents have determined that they are both emotionally and financially able to handle the task of raising one or more children—and that would include adopted children as well as one’s biological offspring. For children under the care of Satanist parents, educating them towards being intelligent participants in the social contract of the societies in which we live would also include communicating accurate information about human biology as part of their general education.

Satanists find that in a world wherein religions often wish to keep children and young adults ignorant about the consequences of sexual activity, thus resulting in unplanned pregnancies, that supporting an organization like Planned Parenthood becomes an important consideration. Since many people in our society do not share our commitment to forethought and responsibility, many Satanists support sex education in public schools as worthwhile to combat religion-imposed ignorance. We understand that organizations such as Planned Parenthood can provide additional worthwhile services to young people in need of education, counseling and contraception as well as point them to clinics where safe abortions might be obtained when needed. While Satanists and their offspring should be savvy enough not to be bringing unwanted children into the world, we can see that we are a minority in a society wherein lack of knowledge and irresponsibility has lead to many pregnancies and births, producing infants who don’t have the support from their progenitors needed to grow to their full potential as individuals.

In the wake of these Christian actions regarding the accusations against Planned Parenthood, we’ve noted a disturbing instance in which a web site for The Lepanto Institute, purporting to be “dedicated to the defense of the Catholic Church against assaults from without as well as from within,” has published an interview with a man claiming to be an “ex-satanist” who states that he was involved in performing abortions intended as sacrifices to The Devil, whom he clearly believes to exist. We immediately recognize this as a revival of the bogus tales spread by evangelical Christians during the 80s-90s in what we call “The Satanic Panic.” Long debunked as fraud and urban legend, the concept that a global conspiracy of devil worshippers endorsed by Satan himself with adherents performing heinous crimes is clearly fictional. Back then it was embraced by many, especially since these fraudulent claims were accepted unquestioningly by journalists and talk show hosts both nationally and locally in the US and the UK. I spent many hours opposing such nonsense on radio and television back then. In this piece, which is crafted as a regurgitation of stories told by evangelist (and “comedian”) Mike Warnke in his 1978 book The Satan Seller, “Zachary King” claims that after playing Dungeons and Dragons and being a fan of Star Wars and Star Trek that he joined the “World Church of Satan” and attained the rank of “High Wizard,” doing spells for celebrities and the wealthy. Of course this is a laughable, implausible fantasy, but such drivel has been embraced in the past. Warnke’s book sold well amongst those wanting to believe in this fiction and “King” claims he’s writing a book which may serve to generate income for him from today’s gullible readers.

Now, we Satanists won’t fall for this bunk, particularly since we are mindful of Satanic Sin number 7: “Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies—Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something new and different, when in reality it’s something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package.” But others likely won’t be so perceptive and may swallow this stale story whole. At this point there are others outside of Satanism who will also rise to point out such tales to be false, but I do find it perturbing that such a complete resurrection of Warnke’s nonsense is now being offered by a group with dubious credentials. Both web site and interview resemble the parodistic articles found on The Onion. As the faithful attack aspects of society that prevent them from imposing their beliefs on others, they offer fantasy to frighten people into obedience. That’s always been their modus operandi, so we’re not fooled, and there are now more who stand with us as skeptics and freethinkers. We’ll be watching to see who falls for the scam this time around.

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore

Pertinent Links:

Planned Parenthood

Bon Secours Nuns in Tuam, Ireland

The Lepanto Institute

Mike Warnke

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life