A Guide to the Awesome Power of Satan

by Wade Baskin

A Review by G.M.Kelly

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Citadel Press, 1972 E.V.

Due to the hysteria over satanism today, which thankfully seems to be calming down, this book is enjoying a new life.  However, as is usual with such books, it is hardly an accurate guide.  For instance, page 95 speaks of Aleister Crowley.  He is called a "Scottish Satanist".

Point 1:  A.C. was not a satanist.  He was a Thelemite - you might say the first Thelemite.  And there is a vast difference between the ego-centric, ego-worshipping satanist who does whatever it takes to satisfy his false self, and the Thelemite who first seeks to balance and then to "annihilate" the ego or false self so that he or she may centre him- or herself within the True Self [Holy Guardian Angel, Daemon, Genius, et al] and accomplish the True Will, which is God's Will, and which very often means ignoring the petty desires of the ego.

Point 2:  A.C. was not Scottish.  He was English, born in Warwickshire, Leamington Spa.  When such simple, easily verified bits of information like this are given incorrectly, then how much more incorrect must the more complex matters be?

Well ... it also says that A.C. was the "founder of a cult violently opposed to Christianity."  Complex.  A.C. respected Jesus and his teachings, but modern "Christian" religions are generally not true to those simple teachings.  Furthermore, the "violent" Thelemic reaction to the perversion of the Nazarene's teachings is intellectual violence, in a manner of speaking, and not physical or emotional violence as the book's entry seems to imply.

"Crowley claimed to be a reincarnation of Edward Dee", the book claims.  He claimed to be the reincarnation of Edward Kelly, who was John Dee's associate.  And, "a Black Mass was administered at his grave", we are told, which is untrue.  He was cremated and in the chapel the Hymn to Pan and excerpts, for instance, from The Book of the Law were read.  The Black Mass is a deliberate perversion of the Catholic Mass, and it had never been performed by Crowley, for Crowley, or by any Thelemite, in honour of Crowley, who thought that the perversion of any sacred rite, whether he approved of the religion or not, is both silly and terribly rude.  Almost as silly and rude as Satanism: A Guide to the Awesome Power of Satan by Wade Baskin and rubbish of it's kind.

Love is the law, love under will.

Originally published in The Newaeon Newsletter, Volume VI, Number 3, July 1989 E.V.