Seeking Justice: On Accountability and Transparency

Black Lives Matter march outside the Black House

Seeking Justice: On Accountability and Transparency

by Reverend Joel Ethan

Those familiar with Satanism, clearly articulated in decades of our literature, should understand our philosophy’s stance regarding the murder of an innocent man and the abuse of power currently being protested across the country—we find it appalling. We recognize the historical importance of recent events and, in the same way the Stonewall Uprising ignited societal change, we consider these actions will possibly lead to a more accountable system of justice.

In his 2019 Independence Day address, Magus Gilmore reflected on the then current state of our country noting that:

“When properly functioning, the American social system serves as an ongoing experiment advancing a progressive societal framework permitting individuals to control their own destinies. …Those who join us, our allies who cherish personal sovereignty, must grasp that maintaining the flame of freedom requires active vigilance. Acquiescence to those who would limit our autonomy, whether motivated by supernaturalist delusions or socio-political collectivism, will douse that precious fire.” 

Accountability, transparency, a free press… these are prerequisites for attaining justice.”

One needs look no further than the current protests to see that it is not functioning properly. Accountability, transparency, a free press…these are prerequisites for attaining justice. When law enforcement is not held accountable for their actions, when policies are not transparent, when journalists trying to keep the public informed are suppressed, there can be no justice for anyone. Without a functioning system of equitable laws, impartially applied, individual liberty quickly evaporates.

Racism, an anti-individualist, collectivist prejudice, has no place in Satanism. In a 1973 essay published in Fritscher’s Popular Witchcraft, our founder Anton LaVey detailed his long-time support of Civil Rights movements, stating unquestionably that “A man should be judged on his accomplishments, his kindness and consideration for others.” He addressed the issues of the day adding that “Martin Luther King was killed because he was an articulate gentleman... A man like that belongs on a pedestal.” Satanism was founded in part as a reaction to the “hippy” movement, which LaVey saw as ineffectual and unrealistic—he understood that an articulate gentleman opposing inherent social injustice is far more dangerous to the status quo.

The Church of Satan has always made it clear that a Satanist’s politics should be their own. We refuse to treat our membership like brainless sheep, in desperate need of a shepherd to guide them over every social rock and muddy political puddle. We don’t, as an organization, have to goad our members. They know Satanism champions freedom, individualism and personal satisfaction, that we celebrate the individual’s efforts to rise above circumstances. Otherwise, they would not have joined. While we recognize that there are social and political forces at work in society which hold back certain groups of people, that issue is one dealt with by concerned individuals in ways that are congruent with their own personal political stances. And our members are out there freely voicing their personal opinions on the events now causing turmoil across the globe.

Racism, an anti-individualist, collectivist prejudice, has no place in Satanism.”

As always, we encourage our members to examine facts and, via their own interests, to determine where they stand in this as in all issues, including taking no position at all, if they so choose. As equal opportunity misanthropes, we are under no delusion that all people must care about all things equally. Our “study, not worship” mantra allows us all to continually update our own personal list of interests, non-interests, concerns, and causes. Our membership can be found leading protests, as well as avoiding them all together. You’d likely never know their affiliation, as their decisions are made on their own, not at our organization’s direction, without posturing that they represent all Satanists. We have no interest in being martyrs, and as LaVey wrote in The Satanic Bible “The real Satanist is not quite so easily recognized as such.” We understand that moving the world can be far more effective when those being moved don’t know who is truly motivating their behavior.

Photo by Magistra Peggy Nadramia: Peaceful demonstrators pass by The Black House on June 2, 2020.


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