Tomorrow begins year LVIII, Anno Satanas.
We live in a time of social upheaval. Global economies are in spasms, kept in drastic flux by an ongoing aggressive war which has again raised the specter of possible military nuclear detonations. This chaos has provided an open season for authoritarian power grabs. While Christianity had played the role of a domesticated belief system—their most widespread denominations were not actively involved in crushing the pluralism of contemporary times—we can clearly see that the Dominionists amongst them have been working diligently to seize political power towards the end of legislating their beliefs as law—other perspectives being damned as the work of Infernal forces.
This is not a time for complacency, if one values individual liberty over theistic hegemony. The theocrats are active and finding allies, and their faith convinces them that they have the right to oppress others as quite literally they believe their deity supports their ambitions. True believers in mythical deities who hold political power are always dangerous—they do not accept alternative views as having any validity, but instead as an arrogant affront to their “sincerely held beliefs.”
Like the fictional Borg, these deadly theists consider resistance to be futile, but I have confidence that the many people who have tasted autonomy and self-determination may prove to be their undoing. History has shown that oppressive regimes generate those who refuse to be crushed. Some might give their lives in pursuit of establishing freedom for their survivors. Defying totalitarian systems takes bravery and commitment, and that spark has been fanned again and again when consequences are dire. I know that Satanists and fellow secularists, as well as those of various faiths who embrace plurality as desirable, will combat the toxicity that is looming.
Beethoven was known as an advocate of personal liberty and his music often encodes struggle and triumph over oppressive forces. He was an admirer of Goethe, and he gladly accepted a commission to write an overture and incidental music for a performance of Goethe’s play EGMONT, based on an actual historic figure. Lamoral, Count of Egmont (1522-1568), resisted Spanish religious oppression in The Netherlands and was beheaded for his heresy. His death helped spark a national uprising that lead to the independence of The Netherlands. This dramatic overture condenses the action and philosophy of the play’s message, of a struggle that leads to victory. So, the Egmont Overture, premiered in 1810, has served as an inspirational work since it was first performed, having been employed as the unofficial anthem of the Hungarian uprising of 1956, wherein Soviet domination was challenged.
Here’s a fine performance by Kurt Masur and the Gewandhaus Orchestra that I trust will ignite your own sensibilities towards the preservation of autonomy, reason, and free thinking. Maestro Masur’s music making assisted the mass demonstrations of the “peaceful revolution” that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the GDR, so this commemorative performance is apt for the themes explored in this message for today.
We’ve added an update to our FAQ regarding US Veterans who wish to have a Sigil of Baphomet on their tombstones, should they achieve burial in a national military cemetery. Our Magister Merciless, himself a veteran, has provided a methodology which fellow veterans might find useful if they share this goal.
From our Black House—in what we call The Witchcraft District here in the Haunted Hudson Valley—to your comfy and secure domiciles, High Priestess Nadramia and I offer our blessings to all of you, the energizing individuals whose pursuit of vital existence will never be stifled. You inspire us with your abundant achievements, a cadre who resist the commonplace, who eschew the docility of so many who submit to the reign of mediocrity.
As is our tradition, we raise our glasses to our kind—Satanists, fellow secularists, freethinkers, and all advocates of the best qualities of our species—marking the dawning of a New Year of vigor, productivity, and prosperity:
“Here’s to champagne for our real friends, and real pain for our sham friends!”
Joy to the flesh—forever!
Shemhamforash! Hail Satan!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore