While this Encyclical Letter is still the review of Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America by Arthur Lyons that it was originally intended to be, I feel the need to expand upon the subject here - to speak of Satanism and of the hysteria, as well as the media which employs this hysteria to control the public in an Orwellian fashion for the sake of the almighty dollar.
I found this to be a very worthwhile book to have and read and it is a shame that its lurid cover, black with a ghostly Anton LaVey staring at you, the title in large blood-red letters, is not attracting more buyers. The book itself is not lurid. It is a very rational look at Satanism and more importantly, the hysteria that some believe could very well lead to modern witchhunts and a new but equally destructive inquisition. This is perhaps the reason for the low sales of the book. It is rational - reasonable. Generally speaking, sensationalistic garbage and trash sells best. The "writers" ranting and raving about a worldwide satanic conspiracy are making the big bucks. Their books, as illogical and irrational as they are, as full of lies, slanders and gross, provable inaccuracies, are selling like the proverbial hotcakes. This says something about the general public - its gross ignorance in these matters, its apparent disregard for the truth, its bad taste in literature and its almost desperate addiction to entertainment, distraction at any cost.
Don't get me wrong. I love humanity. I am generally optimistic about the future of humanity. However, knowing the potential of the human mind, it is a very discouraging thing to see how that potential is often ignored and undeveloped. I want the very best for the children of God, yet, imagine for a moment that God is an anthropormorphic being "up there" looking down upon his children. Imagine how very disappointed he must be to see most of us still as controlled by primitive superstition as our prehistoric ancestors were. So many of us still believe in an irrational dualistic universe of absolutes, as if there could be more than one absolute, afraid of our own shadows and violently opposed to our brothers and sisters because their skin is a little darker or lighter than ours or because their religious expressions seem strange to us. All things considered, would it be any surprise if "Our Father" had decided to abandon his children?
Well ... God is not an anthropomorphic being looking down upon us from some lofty cloud-city in space and "he" ["she" or "it" if you prefer] is no more capable of abandoning us than we are capable of escaping ourselves, and that is for the very reason that "There is no God but Man" - emphasis on the word "there" and with the understanding that "man" implies all of humankind, i.e. both sexes.
Before reviewing the book's general thrust, let us look at a couple of peripheral matters.
Throughout the book, Satan Wants You, "Satanism" and "witchcraft", the former always capitalized, the letter never, are horribly confused. There is talk of Satanism and its "witches", its "covens" and its "sabbats". Never once is a differentiation made between Satanism and the Craft. Probably the two are confused in Mr. Lyons' mind, and he would no doubt blame it on the literature at his disposal. Yet if he were the "journalist" he has been called, and a good one, the differences between Satanism and the Old Religion would be clear, despite the confused literature of such writers as the late Reverend Montague Summers and the deliberately confused books of Anton Szandor LaVey and those writings of his protégé Michael Aquino.
Satanism is not the religion that some claim it to be. Satanism is not even an anti-religion. Satanism is a cult of ego-gratification, often at the expense of others. Satanism is not and never has been a true Way on the Path of the Wise. The Path of the Wise is the course of evolution and Satanism is a means of devolution. Satanism, especially as it exists today, which is a relatively new phenomenon despite its apparent antecedents, is actually the bastard child of the Judeo-Christian culture and religions. If anyone is to blame for the existence of Satanism it is the Judeo-Christian culture with its overabundance of absurdly restrictive, irrational and unnatural laws and commandments, its plethora of illogical rules and regulations that go against everything that is natural in humanity and in nature itself - a culture that cannot come to terms with reality. Satanism is, in part at least, a reaction - an overreaction - to the multitude of restrictions upon natural and healthy human desires and appetites Judaism and Christianity have placed upon society in an attempt to control its behavior and dominate every man, woman and child's thoughts and actions. This is, however, no excuse for Satanism. There is no excuse, no good excuse, for overreaction and radicalism from one extreme to the other. One is just as bad as the other, for one is just as irrational and unbalanced as the other, and thus equally destructive to society as a whole.
Witchcraft, on the other hand, is a religion. While it has evolved and changed somewhat over the many centuries of its existence, the Craft of the Wise remains essentially the same as it has always been. Wicca is a rural religion by nature. The word "pagan", like "heathen", did not originally mean "godless", but instead it comes from the Latin language and means "rural" or "of the country". However, in today's cities you will find numerous practitioners of Wicca, a simplistic and uncomplicated religion still true to its pagan origins. Unlike Satanism which is a cult of ego-gratification, the Craft is and always has been more concerned for the community as a whole, often at the expense of any one person's desires which might run contrary to the welfare of the community. Whereas Satanism is a reaction to Judeo-Christian restrictions, the Craft is a pre-Christian religion. It is not an anti-Christian religion, although one could well understand bad feelings towards the so-called "Catholic" Church during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, as well as why many Wiccans today may have a slight prejudice against modern day Christianity, many of whose followers act in most unchristlike ways to socially persecute not only the followers of Wicca, but even other Christians because their interpretation of the Bible is a little different.
Mr. Lyons' blurring of the two, Satanism and Witchcraft, is an unforgivable faux pas on his part, a disservice to his readers and a bad mark against him as a journalist.
Likewise, Mr. Lyons shows poor journalistic technique in dealing with the subject of Our Father Aleister Crowley. [No, I am not elevating A.C. to the position of a supreme god with the term "Our Father", used earlier in another context. It is an affectatious phrase I employ for a number of reasons which include a little tongue-in-cheek and as a term of honour and respect for this man who was vilified during his life and is still, over four decades after his death, crassly and libellously slandered.] Naturally we will go into greater detail here since this is an extenuation of a Thelemic publication - perhaps one of the very few genuine Thelemic publications in existence at this time in history.
Mr. Lyons started off well, such as on page 77 where he wrote
"...Aleister Crowley, an English author, poet, adventurer, and mountain climber, whose scandalous reputation endures to this day.
Often mislabeled a Satanist by the press..."
Right off Mr. Lyons establishes the fact that Crowley was not a Satanist and we can applaud him for that. Although in a very few places Crowley did refer to himself as a "Satanist" [no capitalization] he was simply employing a bit of typical tongue-in-cheek. The word "Satan" [HaSatan in Hebrew and Satanas in Greek] means "adversary", as in a court of law, and by referring to himself, only a handful of times without special emphasis, as a "satanist" Crowley was implying that he was an adversary of the Victorianism of his day and the unnatural restrictions of the Judeo-Christian culture, as well as, and perhaps most especially, the fanatical interpretation of Christianity of his own family and the community of Plymouth Brethren that he was raised in. As for Satanism the pseudo-religion, A.C. did not even think it something worth serious consideration, recognizing such childish acts of rebellion as the Black Mass to be idiotic, immature and disrespectful. Disrespectful? You think it odd that the Beast 666 would consider a parody of the Christian mass disrespectful? The fact of the matter is, the mass itself predates Christianity, the symbolic consuming [or consumation] of the God is as ancient as humankind, and what Crowley objected to was not the mass, nor the teachings of the Master Jesus, but the way in which the organized religion of Christianity perverted the mass and those teachings that Crowley respected, that all sincere students and followers of the esoteric path respect as a means of God Realization.
On page 78 Mr. Lyons wrote that
"Crowley considered himself too refined a sorcerer to dabble with such crude ceremonies as the Black Mass."
Again we might applaud Mr. Lyons, yet we question his use of the term "sorcerer" as that, excuse the pun, conjures images of a "black magician" who has made a pact with the Devil - the Judeo-Christian Devil that neither Crowley nor any other sincere student of the esoteric believes in or accepts.
Page 78: "Crowley's conceptions of the sexual act were more empirical than either of these views ["Kabbalism" and "Tantrism"], for in sex he saw a means of harnessing internal and external power."
Page 79: "Crowley's aim, however, was spiritual enlightenment. He sought to achieve total identification with the godhead, to invoke the god so that it actually took possession of his consciousness."
Very generally those statements are correct as the main purpose of harnessing this psycho-erotic energy should be the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, i.e. the realization of the True Self, the Roman Genius, the Greek Daemon ["god, goddess; fate, lot, destiny", i.e. the True Will or purpose for existing], or what one would generally call God Realization - to real-ize that "There is no God but Man", that God is not to be found without but rather within the core of our very being, never apart from us. What I may disagree with in the statement on page 78 is the word "empirical". According to good old Webster, empirical means "1. relying or based solely on experiments or experience" - we have no problem with that, however - "2. relying or based on practical experience without reference to scientific principles" - we do have a problem with that definition. Crowley based everything he did upon scientific principles and attempted to employ the scientific method in every act of experimental magick. He was not always successful, and often the scientific method broke down during the course of an opus, but anyone who has tried to remember baseball scores while having sexual intercourse knows how easy it is to become lost in the moment!
Also on page 79 Lyons writes that "Crowley thus bastardized both these forms of sexual magic" and we can see that the author does not understand the subject upon which he is speaking. Crowley was bastardizing nothing. He was trying to develop a more coherent, concise and effective form of "sexual magick" based upon the ancient principles while eliminating the clutter of useless dogma. He was improving upon the practice of magick, or perhaps more accurately, trying to return to the basics of magick which had been submerged in the muck of moralistic poppycock and personal preferences. There is still a great need for further research into this form of magick and I for one shall carry on that work even though it may at times seem like the severest of penal servitude ... alas ...
On page 80 Mr. Lyons misquotes Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX [The Book of the Law], to wit: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law", failing to capitalize the L in "law", and "Every man and woman is a star", forgetting the second "every" in the verse. However, there are numerous minor mistakes throughout the book that we can just dismiss here as being too small to bother over in this limited space.
On page 81, in reference to the first [albeit questionably successful] Abbey of Thelema on the island of Sicily, Mr. Lyons wrote "that he began to revive barbaric rites" which is not quite true as he was merely experimenting with ancient practices to find the good and useful in them and then extract this from the useless nonsense. He was not trying to revive anything in the normal sense of the word.
Mr. Lyons also wrote on this page that
"The new 'religion' failed to sweep the world, and the gospel of Crowleyanity suffered a further setback when Mussolini expelled the group from Italy, after one of the abbey's male members died following a ritual in which he drank the blood of a distempered cat."
Here we go again! The same old tired, sensationalistic garbage that a man like Mr. Lyons should know better than to repeat. After all, throughout his book Satan Wants You the author is speaking out against the media's sensationalism, poor journalism and the spreading of "urban legends", and here he is guilty of the very same things! I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Mr. Lyons face to face here in Pittsburgh, and when I brought up the abbey incident regarding Raoul Loveday's death [briefly and then dismissing it as a counterproductive topic at that particular time] Mr. Lyons waved off the subject implying that he had heard so many versions of the story that he did not himself know what to believe and so he wrote what he wrote with the idea that the truth does not really matter. Well, he was dead wrong. The truth always matters.
The "new 'religion'", i.e. Thelema, did not fail to sweep the world and it was not, is not, called "Crowleyanity" as here and elsewhere Mr. Lyons likes to imply. May we remind Mr. Lyons of a historical fact? Christianity, for example, as an organized religion, did not even begin until about one hundred years after the death of Jesus the Nazarene - and then it quickly began to mutate, the early church fathers twisting and perverting the original teachings. Aleister Crowley died on December 1st of 1947 era vulgari, not even half a century ago, and since history has a tendency to repeat itself we suggest that Mr. Lyons wait another sixty years or so to judge whether Thelema failed or not! [Hopefully, with the work of Newaeon, Thelema will not be perverted. We should learn from history so as not to be condemned to repeat past mistakes.] Furthermore, Crowley never seriously referred to Thelema as "Crowleyanity". That term was coined by one of A.C.'s well-meaning disciples and Crowley himself only employed it in a few instances to poke fun at himself and that which he was devoted to. Crowley understood the mistakes of the early Christian church and he tried very hard not to repeat those errors. He never tried to set himself up as a man-god or a god, as back-stabbing perverters of the truth like John Symonds have falsely claimed, and instead he insisted that every man and woman devote him- and herself to that unique and individual aspect of God within themselves, worshipping no man, not even himself, as the Supreme God that we are all aspects, expressions and manifestations of. Is it any surprise, then, that we find on page 187 John Symonds' piece of trash, The Great Beast, as one of Mr. Lyons' source books? For more information on this horrendous piece of rubbish see TNN IV.6, V.1, 3, 4 and 5, The Sword of Horus. [Or the Sword of Horus section of this web site. -ED]
Mr. Lyons repeats the story that "Mussolini expelled the group [including A.C.] from Italy." The obvious implication is that the specific reason was the death of Loveday and generally that A.C. and company were so awful that even a monstrous dictator like Benito Mussolini could not tolerate them. Let's get real folks. Mussolini was unquestionably responsible for much more than the death of one man that to him probably meant nothing. Furthermore, Mussolini was a bloody dictator, and A.C. and his associates were considered to be a secret society, and it is natural for dictators to break up secret societies that may possibly be covertly subversive to the dictatorial regime and expel its members [or worse!] who might, for all the dictator knows, be planning the overthrow of that regime. Also Crowley was receiving a great deal of attention from the crass tabloids of his day and all of that attention on Italy from the press naturally made the dictator uncomfortable as he was trying to build something that most of the free world would oppose. That, my friends, is the real reason Aleister Crowley and the members of the first Abbey of Thelema were expelled from Sicily. Yet instead of exercising common sense and reason, even men like Mr. Lyons insist upon generalizing and employing sensationalistic garbage to try and sell their books. Mr. Lyons, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
As for the death of Raoul Loveday, the implication is that he died from drinking "the blood of a distempered cat" and that since Crowley was in charge of things he was ultimately to blame for the death. We refer the reader to a book entitled Tiger-Woman: My Story by Betty May, the artists' model who was at the time married to Raoul Loveday and who accompanied the young man to the abbey and stayed with him there. Her account is firsthand and while she personally did not like Aleister Crowley, which lends further weight to her words, she felt it necessary in her book [originally published in 1929 E.V. and republished more recently by Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd. and Cedric Chivers Ltd.] to set the record straight. I will belabor the point a bit with a long quotation:
"For a time I was convinced that Raoul had been poisoned by the blood of Mischette. [The ill-fated feline.] But when he got steadily worse and a doctor was summoned I found out that he was suffering from enteric,"
an intestinal disease; enteric fever being typhoid fever, caused by a bacillus and acquired through drinking infected milk, water, etc.,
"a not uncommon disease in those parts. It was then that I remembered how he had almost certainly caught this disease. One day the Mystic [as she referred to Crowley throughout the book] had told Raoul and me to go off for an expedition together. He was in one of his kindly moods and he said Raoul needed some relaxation. He suggested that we should go to a marvelous monastery about thirteen miles off, where the monks would entertain us with food. But he warned us of one thing, which was on no account to touch any water."
Betty May went on to tell of their walk and how, despite Crowley's warning and her own warnings and refusal to drink water from a spring, Raoul drank the apparently drinkable water. She went on to write:
"Anyway, I am certain that this is how Raoul caught the disease. He was at once given the right treatment, but no improvement was effected, and he sank fast."
So let us dump this slanderous rubbish that Mr. Lyons has repeated in the cosmic trash can and forget it. Betty May, who did not like Crowley personally, who was the wife of the ill-fated man and who was the best source of firsthand information we can ever hope for, not only tells us in her book that Crowley was not responsible for Raoul's death, but that if Raoul had heeded Crowley's warnings he would not have died in Sicily at such an early age. There is an important lesson in this in regards to the words of Aleister Crowley.
You would think that a journalist like Mr. Lyons would not ignore an accessible source of information in search of accuracy. However, in speaking briefly with Mr. Lyons and bringing this subject up, mentioning Betty May's book, he pooh poohed it telling me that he had heard from someone else that Crowley had written Tiger-Woman under Betty May's name to cover the true facts of Raoul's death. Incredible! As if Crowley would have felt the need to write a hundred and eighty-three page book, going into great detail about Betty May's life, just to cover something up that with a careless witticism, which would have been more his style, he would have dismissed. Aside from this he was far too busy to produce the book since things were growing more complicated at the abbey and he was hard at work upon a very complex book that many may rightly call his magnum opus, Magick in Theory and Practice. What it all boils down to is this: Mr. Lyons got confused and lazy. He could not distinguish between the various stories he was hearing from self-proclaimed experts and individuals still trying to slander the name and memory of Aleister Crowley, and he was just too darn lazy to further investigate or even think about a matter that he felt was not important enough to be accurate about as it had nothing to do with the main trust of his book. The saddest thing of all is that this is the attitude of far too many journalists these days who are too eager to get their story out, too eager to make it sensational, and who are not sufficiently concerned about the truth, accuracy, and their responsibility to history and society.
Mr. Arthur Lyons burdens his otherwise worthwhile book with such things as these inaccuracies and more regarding Aleister Crowley, and the bad thing about this is that since we can point them out one might find good reason to question his accuracy in the matter of the book's primary subject: Satanism. Exercising poor journalistic practices, Mr. Lyons undermines his work and gives the Satanists the opportunity to kick the hell out of the book, giving readers cause to distrust his conclusions. And I hate this. I really hate this. Carelessness and moronic behavior from the opposition can make even a Satanist look good by comparison.
Despite Mr. Lyons' attitudes regarding Crowley, I applaud his book. I think it is a very necessary book at this time in history. When I spoke with him after a local television talk show that he was on, we had a pleasant albeit brief conversation and we agreed upon a great many things in regard to Satanism, the hysteria and the media, and he remarked with a large smile that he was pleased to meet someone like me who did not agree with him upon the subject of Crowley and yet who did not feel the need to convert him to a set of ideas he was not prepared to accept. I suspect that it was the first time he met a real Thelemite.
For the record: there is a vast difference between Satanism and Thelema. Satanism is a cult of ego-gratification and a childish, extremist reaction to and rebellion against unnaturally restrictive Judeo-Christian religious and moral codes. Thelema, on the other hand, is devoted to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, that is to say, the realization of the Supraconscious Mind, being the unification of the conscious and subconscious aspects of mind, and to this end, after one has developed a sound, well-balanced self-image, the ego is "annihilated". That is to say, instead of believing one's centre to be the ego and catering to its petty desires, one realizes one's true centre, the H.G.A., True Self, et al, this Supraconscious Self, the God Within [Daemon] if you will, and the accomplishment of Its Will on earth as an expression of existence. "Cult" or "religion", choose to call it what word you will, but first study the meanings of those words in the dictionary as well as an etymological dictionary. Thelema is a viable, rational, logical way of life, albeit its sound and healthy philosophy is couched in quaintly mystical terms.
A Satanist is a wandering, directionless star [often a burnt-out star] conflicting with the regular orbits of other stars in the universe of being, following every whim, whereas a Thelemite is one who seeks and follows his or her specific orbit or course in life, bringing greater order to the scheme of things, coming into no unnecessary conflict with other stars following their orbits. The purpose of Satanism is purely selfish ego-gratification with no concern for order and thus it causes disorder and disharmony in society, while the purpose of Thelema is to bring order to society as well as harmony by helping people to discover that for which they are best suited and happiest doing. For example, the person born to be a physician is helped to realize his Will and become a physician, instead of living out his life as a short-order cook, or it may be the other way around, thus giving society a happier person who will operate more effectively and beneficially within society, for the good of all.
Satan is a concept that Thelemites, Wiccans and all serious students of the esoteric arts and sciences considers repugnant, irrational, and consequently rejects. The idea of an absolutely evil anti-god is purely the creation of the Judeo-Christian culture and religions [apparently based upon Zoroastrian ideas]. If, as we all believe, God is absolute, how can there be an absolute evil that is not God? How can God be absolute and yet not be hate, or war, or disease and pestilence - not this and not that? To claim that God is absolute but not this, that, or the other thing is to make an irrational contradiction. If indeed God is absolute, as we all believe, then God is as much hate as he is love, as much disease as he is the cure for disease and perfect health. He/She/It is everything including masculine, feminine and neuter! To say that God is all things, absolute and limitless, and then to go on to point out the things that are not God is one of the most idiotic aspects of the dualistic concept of existence. If all is God, if indeed God is absolute, then there can be no absolutely evil entity called the Devil or Satan. At best such an entity [really only a concept that is grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted by Jews, Christians and Satanists alike!] is not an absolute, but a relative aspect of That which we are all aspects or manifestations of - GOD. If God is absolute there can be no other ultimate reality than God for there can only be one absolute and not two or more.
Interestingly enough, while many Jews and especially undereducated Christians accept the concept of the Devil, Satan, as an individual anti-godlike anthropomorphic reality, most Satanists, most "devil worshippers" [Aquino excluded as he seems to have nightly chats with his good buddy Satan who he claims prefers to be called Set] do not believe in a literal Devil. Instead they view Satan as an ideal to emulate, the essence of their own nature, their primal urges which they, atavistically, cater to with very little regard for the wants and needs of others, and, despite Aquino's pretty words, they are not at all concerned with the evolution of humanity.
And by the way, labels like Atheist, Monotheist and Polytheist can be awfully misleading. Let us take the Thelemite for an example, realizing that it may not be all that much different for Wiccans and others. Pointing to the godforms of Hadit, Nuit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, who is essentially only half of the concept Heru-Ra-Ha, the other half being Hoor-paar-kraat, one might say that the Thelemite is a polytheist, a worshipper of many gods. However, the Thelemite realizes that all godforms are only aspects of Very God, God the absolute, and so we might wish to label the Thelemite a monotheist at this point, a worshipper of one god, albeit under many forms. [Is the Christian who believes in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost a polytheist, I wonder, or a monotheist?] Yet the Thelemite says "There is no God", and the temptation is to then label him or her an atheist, one who does not believe in the existence of a supreme being and who believes that there is a rational, scientific explanation for everything. Confusing? Not in the least! God is Not. That is, God is not to be found only without oneself in some airy fairy super multidimensional plane called heaven. God is not a separate, individual, anthropomorphic being outside of ourselves for we are all aspects and manifestations of God, expressions of God's being, God Itself. All we have to do is to realize this, that is, to achieve our full potential and in so doing discover that there is no such thing as the supernatural for all things that exist in nature, however incredible they may seem in the darkness of ignorance and inexperience, must be and are natural and can be explained in scientific terms once they are properly understood, revealed and no longer occult ["hidden"]. To this end certain difficult to understand forces are designated as gods and goddesses, these forces all being aspects of the absolute force we call God, and through meditative and magical methods we seek to understand and deal with these forces, these gods and goddesses. There is no true difference between magick and science. The difference is only apparent because of terminology, the terms of science being no less mysterious than those of magick. The apparent difference between the two is made to seem real by the idiocies of charlatans - charlatan scientists as well as phony occultists. And so, considering the three categories above mentioned, it seems that the Thelemite, and many another student of the esoteric, is perhaps best described as atheopolymonotheistic - if one insists upon senseless, one-dimensional labels.
As for my personal view of Satanism: I strongly object to Satanism primarily because it is a cult of ego-gratification which is contrary to every genuine Way of the Path of the Wise, and thus it leads people away from the True Path of "God Realization". I also object to the way Satanism rudely steals from every conceivable and legitimate religious, esoteric and philosophical system, unskillfully mixes these stolen concepts together, further twists and perverts the ideas for petty, personal reasons, and ends up misrepresenting just about every religious, esoteric and philosophical system that exists.
As for Satanists themselves: I have met and otherwise encountered a large number of them over the past two decades of my career and in every case I have found them to be unlikable, egotistical, very often harboring feelings of insecurity and inferiority which they try to disguise with a false superiority complex, and basically, generally, I have discovered that Satanists are rude little children and pathetic creatures - wretched little spoiled brats who need a good spanking. However, I have met very few who, while they talk a "bad" game, actually have the guts [fortunately for the rest of us] to play the game for real.
Almost every Satanist I have encountered is a pompous little bag of wind, hinting at dark powers and satanic alliances, trying to put the fear of the Devil in people that they really, deep down inside, feel inferior to, fear and so despise, while in fact they are nothing more than petty little bullies who will back down quickly when confronted by a confident, self-assured person. They talk a great deal but seldom actually do anything but prance around in their affectatious costumes and satanic jewelry. Instead of fearing the Satanist you should realize that you may have more reason to fear the Bible-thumping moralist, pseudo-Christian fanatic, fundamentalist and evangelist.
I will not quote further from Satan Wants You. The book is primarily opposed to the satanic hysteria and how it is being used, while the author himself hardly seems to be sympathetic towards Satanism, and the gist of it can be gathered from the following. Besides, I encourage every sincere student of the esoteric and concerned person to buy and read this book - taking into account that it is gravely faulted in regards to Crowley and Witchcraft. Oh well ... nothing's perfect!
It is currently the fashion - and it amounts to little more than that - to blame everything, the disenchantment with outdated established religions and so forth, upon a worldwide satanic conspiracy. Bills have been sent to Congress, wisely not passed, that would have labeled anything that was not a traditional "Christian" religion "satanic" - absurd since the concept of Satan familiar to most people is basically Christian in origin, held to be a fact by so-called Christians alone! There are groups like the Cult Awareness Network [who get away with kidnapping]; police officers appearing on television talk shows ranting and raving about occult crimes, satanic crimes. Televangelists are having a field day - and why not? Wild talk of satanic activity focuses people's attention on the occult and away from their own glaring indiscretions! - and all over the place people are popping up, claiming to have been members of "satanic covens", who have since reformed, found Jesus Christ, and are raking in the bucks and building a following by appearing on television.
And the media loves it! There is nothing like a good sensationalistic story to sell magazines, build up newspaper circulation, boost television news and talk show ratings, and bring in those bucks! Talk of satanic conspiracies, satanic cults, along with sacrificial murders and child molestation is terrific stuff - the stuff of which large financial dreams are realized.
I worked for a major newspaper for four years almost directly after graduating from high school with the idea in mind that I would go into journalism as a realistic compromise while pursuing a career as a novelist. Then I saw what journalism usually added up to and just when the newspaper was willing to pay my way to a journalism degree I got fed up and literally walked out of the press building. Truth and accuracy mean very little to newspapers these days - although please remember I am speaking in general terms as I cannot possibly know the degree of integrity or lack thereof of every newspaper in the country. Newspapers are run not by newspapermen and women, but by businessmen, corporations, and the primary concern of every corporation is profit. Whatever sells is sold, and since there seem to be so few newspapers with real integrity it is easy to get away with journalism that is not much better than the supermarket tabloid junk that is believed only by morons - and it is scary to discover how well those tabloids are doing! Anyway, while working for the newspaper I had debates with various writers about what the so-called "occult" is really all about - to no avail. I studied through the newspaper clippings in the "morgue", the "dead news" library, and while I found a plethora of articles on Witches and Witchcraft, for instance, I discovered that not one of them, not a single bloody one of many, had had anything whatsoever to do with the real Craft and not one single person interviewed, given mention in a newspaper and so advertised by that newspaper, had been a genuine initiated follower of the Wiccan religion. That is, of all the many "witches" interviewed by the press not one of them had been legitimate, thus the paper was guilty of spreading disinformation, making the Reagan administration seem honest by comparison, and misleading the public right into the arms of many of these crass charlatans, some of which were not as harmless as most idiot occultists are. I had always been led to believe, before experience taught me otherwise, that newspapers practiced "responsible journalism", that they relayed the truth, printed only provable facts, and sought to accurately inform and thus educate the general public. And there I was in the middle of a major newspaper discovering that the reality is often quite the opposite of the ideal. Very discouraging.
One Halloween an article had been done on Witchcraft and a certain local "witch" had been interviewed that I later had the dubious pleasure to meet. The article came complete with her dressed in black, with a pointed wide-brimmed hat, stirring a large cauldron with a broom. No doubt the newspaper thought it was "amusing". The lady, as it turns out, knew nothing more about the Craft than was printed in Hans Holzer's The Truth About Witchcraft, which was inaccurate in many instances partly because many of the genuine Witches that Holzer had interviewed, having lost respect for the man, fed him misinformation, pulling his leg. This pseudo-witch had never been initiated into the Craft, and as it is with all religions, if you are not ritualistically initiated [reborn, baptized, whatever] you are not a member of that religious organization. Furthermore, in the name of Witchcraft and completely contrary to what the Craft is all about, this woman that the press had literally advertised was meddling in the relationships of married couples and wrecking those marriages left and right.
Most recently a young writer for this newspaper who must have bats in his belfry [there is in that cliché a means by which he may identify himself] wrote an article about the Craft and the "coven" that he wrote about was a loose collection of idiotic losers in the occult community, typical crass occultists with little real knowledge and no real experience whatsoever. Most of the people there had met for the first time, few of them talked a good deal with one another and rarely did any of them even try to perform rituals together. None of them were initiated into the Craft and some had actually been brushed off by legitimate Wiccan covens. One of the women, a very large, unwashed creature with a troll of a child and a raving lunatic of a husband who is superstitiously opposed to anything occult and who has the wild idea that others find his rotund wife desirable and wish to undress her [the mere thought makes me want to puke] was present. The leader of the pseudo-coven is an equally large, unwashed, unkempt fellow who has a certificate in hypnotism on his wall while he admitted to me that he never finished the course, and who, the rotund woman already mentioned and others claim, tries to hypnotize women so that he can undress them. He also has a fixation on a "spiritual guide" that he calls by the Goddess name Inanna, claiming that she is the Goddess herself talking to him upon a regular basis, and who amounts to nothing more than an obsessive fixation created out of sexual fantasy and frustration. It was reported in the newspaper that the "magic circle" of their ritual was drawn with a crystal [crystals can do anything these days, don't you know!] and was later plunged into the cup to represent the Great Rite. Both I and a genuine Wiccan High Priestess wrote to the author of the idiotic article and pointed out the numerous errors that proved that these people were not only charlatans but also that they really know next to nothing about the Craft. Aside from the fact that the circle may be drawn with wand, sword or dagger [athame], it was absurd to represent the Great Rite by plunging a crystal into the cup [chalice] since the rite is essentially a sexual rite, almost always symbolic only these days, between the Priest and Priestess representing the Horned Solar God and the Moon Goddess, and the replacement of the crystal for the athame was inane since the cup is a female symbol and so too is crystal. At best they were symbolizing an act of lesbianism rather than creation! Yet, needless to say, nothing went into print to correct the original story that misinformed the newspaper's paying customers who most certainly are not getting what they are paying for if they expect the paper to contain factual news.
The kind of thing that happens after charlatans like this are advertised by the press - and they are advertised whether their names are used in the paper or not - is that people are led directly to the particular charlatans written about, or they are at least given a great deal of misleading and incorrect information upon which they later form conclusions, wrong conclusions, falling into the hands of other charlatans. People, uneducated or miseducated, are taken in by charlatans. Some lose only their self-respect when they finally realize that they have been taken in. Some lose money [some literally lose the shirt right off their backs!] and in extreme cases some may even lose loved ones or life itself. Then, of course, the very same newspapers will report upon the "satanic cult" and the horrors of the occult in general, and never take any responsibility for what happened although they added to the ignorance of the general public and advertised the charlatans in the first place.
Some years after leaving the newspaper in disgust over this and more mundane examples of destructive pseudo-journalism, I saw Halloween coming around the corner again. Samhain [Halloween] is a very magical time of the year for me during which I delight in the weather, the painted leaves and the sounds of The Sorcerer's Apprentice playing in my mind. I remembered the Halloween article with the phony "witch" at her cauldron and thought that perhaps if the newspaper was given a choice it might choose something dealing with the truth. I wrote a little article about the psychological rationale behind the use of the "magical weapons" - wand, cup, sword, dagger, pantacle and so on - and donated it to the newspaper. It was passed around from one person to another as is usual, and while the paper would print stories advertising charlatans and misinforming their readers they rejected the article I had given to them. Okay. The rejection itself did not bother me. I am a writer. Rejection from publishers is a way of life. I provided them with a self-addressed stamped envelope for the article's return as a matter of course. Getting the piece back I saw scrawled along the top of page one the usual "F.Y.I." and also written over the title was "It could be amusing". Amusing? Not informative? Not educational? The whole attitude of the press was summed up there. If it amuses, if it entertains, they might consider printing it - but do not expect the press to print the boring truth that might educate, even if written with a touch of wit to amuse. Besides, showing that the dreaded occult may actually be based upon very sound, rational principles would have been against newspaper policy. At all costs they must not allow anything occult to appear to be what it actually is in essence - logical, rational and even practical.
I have been studying television talk shows recently and found myself in the audience of a local one. I was very impressive in my conservative suit and tie, looking for all the world like a very down-to-earth businessman, sane and rational [thus a threat to the talk show host who poses as a free-thinking open-minded man but is anything but that], and my intention was to point out, briefly, an error or two in Satan Wants You but then to stand behind the book and back up Arthur Lyons, the only advertised guest on the show. Big surprise. I was intentionally kept from speaking and the only way I could have spoken would have been to be rude and interruptive, get cut off, escorted out of the tudio by a guard after a quick commercial break, and then be the butt of a oke when the show went back on the air. As a representative of Thelema I had no reasonable alternative but to keep quiet and let things go as they were going - badly.
First a woman was brought on, a very worn-out, terribly undereducated woman, and she claimed to have been fooled for the past thirteen years [if true, what a bloody moron!] and tricked into joining a satanic cult. During this time, she claimed, she had sacrificed her wn child on an altar in honor of Satan. Think about that one for a minute. She is claiming on television that she murdered her child and yet she is free to appear on television talk shows for profit [and gosh, wouldn't it be a surprise if a book supposedly written by her soon ppeared in bookstores], and she is not incarcerated or institutionalized for life! Excuse me, but while most people interested in the occult seem to have an understandably low opinion of our legal system and law enforcement agencies, I simply cannot believe that things could be that bad, allowing such things to happen. I tend to think that the legal system works better than most occultists believe and that most law enforcement agencies and officers are more rational and sincere than they are given credit for being. Although, mind you, I too have had my share of bad experiences with the law. No, I was never arrested and never spent a minute behind bars, but there were times when I questioned the worth of a police department. For instance, I once saw a black-and-white [that dates it!] drive right by me, only about five or six feet away, not moving fast, neither sirens nor lights on, while I was in clear sight, a backbrace on having suffered a fall that broke my back, being physically attacked by three punks. The officers had to have seen the whole thing [unless they were bloody blind!] and yet they could not have cared in the least. I was in no position to play Bruce Lee, so with my usual wit [I ripped the whole front of the leader's pants out!] I got out of that one and had a great time with the experience as a whole, and while I think very little of the two police officers who drove by [and who were lucky I could not see the number of their cruiser] I do not condemn an entire law enforcement system because of a couple of bad apples.
Anyway, the lady goes on and on and on boringly, with a great deal of emotional force because of the whole subject of child abuse, molestation and sacrifice. She speaks irrationally stating that all Satanists are perverts. Fine. Perhaps she is right. With my distaste for Satanism I am certainly inclined to think the same thing. However, the statement is irrational as she cannot possibly have met all Satanists, therefore how can she know that all Satanists are perverts? She also went on with the same old dualistic nonsense that, if you think about it, shows a great deal of disrespect for God, saying that if you do not believe in God you are with the Devil. By God she of course meant the Christian concept of God and the superstitiously deified "Jesus Christ". [Having read other things by me you will know that I have a very high opinion of Jesus the Nazarene, more so than most occultists can understand, especially since my first allegiance is to the infamous and completely misunderstood Antichrist, the east 666!] This woman was given more than half of the one-hour program then another woman was brought in who claims to work with children that have been satanically molested and who adds nothing of real worth to the program but tends to make the first woman's improbable story seem more believable. Then and only then, the program more than half over, Arthur Lyons is brought out and he is given very little actual time to say nything of worth. Mr. Lyons actually did quite well under the ircumstances - and half the time he was trying to say something rational and important there was a man standing beside him, wearing a headset, just out of camera range, making all kinds of wild motions with his hands indicating that Lyons had to stop speaking, in the middle of an important point, putting a great deal of pressure on him to hurry up and shut up.
And there was G.M.Kelly in the audience. While waiting with others to be admitted into the studio, I attracted a great deal of attention. I checked my fly about a dozen times because I really could not imagine that conservative little old me, standing or sitting about quietly, could attract so much attention. One lady tugged on my sleeve and asked if I was a guest on the program. As we were finally, after a long uncomfortable wait, ushered into the studio, an attractive lady came up to me, asked if I had something to contribute to the program and then moved people about to make sure I was sitting on an end seat so that the show's host could easily reach me with the microphone. Folks, it surprised the hell out of me but I was very calm, collected, well rehearsed, and would have knocked 'em dead. I suppose the Arian in me was made to be in front of television cameras, and on doubt the very fact that I was so damned impressive, rational looking, obviously possessing a great deal of self-control threatened the hell out of the host. Plus there was the fact that I had reserved my seat under the assumption that one had to, and upon hearing that a certain G.M.Kelly, editor of The Newaeon Newsletter, was going to be in the studio audience it was no great leap in logic to assume that the host [his charming lady co-host having little or no control over things it seemed] quickly checked with the only logical source of information that might tell him something about me. Yep. You guessed it. It would be no surprise to learn that he had contacted the very newspaper I once worked for and have since been at odds with over their poor journalistic practices in regards to "occult" subjects. My fault. I should have realized that the host of the program was a bigoted petty tyrant with no regard for the truth. I have observed him before treating his guests, claiming to be representatives of the occult community, always charlatans and crackpots, by the way, with disrespect that despite themselves they did not deserve. He would make faces for the camera while his lovely co-host interviewed or if the other person [such as a certain trance channeler] closed his or her eyes. I should have remembered that this was, after all, the media, and so not a friend of truth, honesty and fair play, but an enemy, and perhaps I should have simply walked in as John Q. Public and then stood up. There is a lesson to learn there, folks - learn it!
During the first break, about fifteen minutes into the show, the only person on the set with the host being the first woman with her improbable story [one of several making the talk show circuit, by the way], the host asked if anyone had questions for her. What questions? Questioning her at that time, without having first had prior warning that she would be there so that her story could be checked out, would have been useless. No one, including myself, saw any sense in bothering. That was the only time during the entire program, during the many commercial breaks, that questions were solicited. The only time. There was, however, in the audience, one man who teaches a course in ancient religions or some such thing at a local community college, called in by the host, sitting in the front row and given a clip-on microphone, to say a few lukewarm things in favor of Mr. Lyons' book to make it seem like the show was playing fair, but the truth of the matter was he was a simple plant, a smoke screen, with the emotional impact of a bowl of cold oatmeal. Towards the very end the host asked a young exchange student at the other end of the set, who could not even deal with the English language, what he thought. Why? Because he was safe. With the same lack of impact he agreed with Mr. Lyons' book that the whole satanic conspiracy thing is blown way out of proportion. How could these dead fish possibly have the same emotional impact as this poor poor woman who was fooled - for thirteen years! - into a life of satanic drug addiction and the ritual murder of her own child?
Several times I tried to get the hosts' attention, just short of standing up and screaming at the top of my lungs "Hey jerk! You are trying too hard not to see me and you are as obvious as hell!" but it was useless. I was being a gentleman and he was taking advantage of that fact. He will no doubt claim that he did not see me, that he did not know I had anything to say, but the fact of the matter is almost everyone in the studio audience kept looking at me, expecting me to speak, interested in what I might say, and if he did not see me and was not aware that I had something to say he was the only one in the entire studio that did not know! Trouble was I would have added considerable weight to Mr. Lyons' claims, worked against the phony story we were hearing from the so-called ex-Satanist, and perhaps upstaged the host for the three minutes I needed. That would have been a cardinal sin! And when I saw the way things were going in favor of the woman and against Mr. Lyons I was prepared to forget about the inaccuracies in Satan Wants You, prepared even to forget about the injustices therein concerning Crowley, and prepared to back up Mr. Lyons and the voice of reason all the way.
Okay. Now let's get real. Recently Michael Aquino's house was raided and he was suspected in a case of child molestation. The charges were dropped. I have seen occult publications wherein this was reported with the cry of religious persecution [while to me it looked like a straight case of suspected child molestation], fanatically raving that if he is taken down we will all be next. Well, my friends, that is as much bullshit from the occultists as is the bullshit we get from the media and the fundamentalist pseudo-Christians. There is, of course, always that possibility, but I tend to have a great deal more faith in the Constitution of the United States, the country's law makers and law enforcers. I have even offered my services to Allegheny County District Attorney Robert E. Colville in a letter dated August 25th, 1987 E.V., inviting him to first investigate me if he was uncertain about my haracter.
In the case of Michael Aquino, there is the testimony of at least one child and other indications that he and his wife Lilith Sinclair [aka Pat Wise according to Mr. Lyons] may indeed be guilty although the charges have been dropped. There is reason to believe that the U. S. Army is covering up for him because they have a new 2.3 million dollar daycare center at stake as well as their reputation. You see, Aquino is a Lt. Col. in the army who has been given access to sensitive material, and as you know, the brass covers its ass. Aquino has since been restationed in St. Louis. Why? Really ... why? However, at this point we cannot be sure of anything and what my opinion of the matter is, after all, is only my personal opinion. In my opinion, if Aquino is not guilty of the child molestation charges I feel sure that he is guilty of many other things, and [there's a good natured smile on my face right now] I do hope that they catch him and put his kester away for a long time so that no one has to put up with his nonsense again. I am not, as you know, one of Michael Aquino's biggest fans.
However, Michael Aquino is only one of many Satanists in the occult community. While he believes that he looks like the actor Sam Neill I am of the opinion that he looks more like a comically satanic Truman Capote without the literary talent - or perhaps a satanic Pillsbury doughboy. No offense intended to the Pillsbury company. He is, after all, inconsequential when one is looking at the big picture. [Does Aquino really have "666" tattooed under his absurd pseudo-hairline? Who knows? Furthermore, who cares? Thinking that he looks like the actor in the third film of the Omen trilogy, combing his hair forward and plastering it down to give the impression of a widow's peak, it is more than likely that he has "666" tattooed on his head, misrepresenting that sacred solar number so often mislabeled the number of the Devil despite the lack of scriptural confirmation. Again ... who bloody cares what a goofball who boasts of an I.Q. that he shows no evidence of says or does in the long run?]
The fashion today is to claim that children are being abducted, abused, molested and sacrificed to Satan by a worldwide, well organized satanic cult that is plotting the domination of the world. Great stuff for novels! Love it! Yet as is usually the case, it is quite improbable and impractical in reality. No doubt there are I>some, a few, Satanists and self-styled, self-proclaimed Satanists who have simply read LaVey's Satanic Bible and decided that a Satanist would be a grand thing to be and give them a glorious reason to act out their most primitive anti-social behavior - who have and will abduct children for purposes of molestation, abuse, kiddy porn, and even sacrificial murder. It would be unreasonable to think that this sort of thing never happened at all. Likewise it is unreasonable to think that it happens all the time while evidence to prove it almost never turns up, even with all of the media and police attention today. Trust me: most Satanists are simply not that clever. Most of the Satanists I have met cannot outwit a nitwit let alone the various police forces and the FBI [newspaper reporters maybe], and to think that they could is being quite disrespectful of our law enforcement agencies and a gross insult to them which they may sometimes but generally do not deserve. They usually do their best, for the most part, under very bad circumstances in a society geared to help the criminals more than anything else, protected by "pabulum puking liberals" as Morton Downey Jr. would say [doesn't that guy just grate on your nerves!], who are more concerned with civil rights than with victim's rights - or so it often seems.
No doubt a very small minority of Satanists and pseudo-Satanists are guilty of child molestation and even human sacrifice, but there are just as many, if not more, supposedly "good Christians", often using the Bible as their authority in these matters, who are also guilty of such crimes. Do we, on nationwide television, slander all Christians because of the sick acts of a handful of perverts who just happen to accept the Bible as the sole word of God? No. Yet if one occultist [who thus proves him- or herself not to be a sincere student of the esoteric] gets caught in any crime whatsoever the whole of the occult community including every sincere law-abiding student of the esoteric is quickly labeled a Satanist and a criminal by the media.
The fact of the matter is that the number of children abducted every year is much smaller than the alarmists and modern day inquisitors want us to believe. They bandy about an astronomical figure that really accounts for every reported missing child since day one of the computer file and imply that that is the number of children reported missing in one year alone. If what they said were true the nation would be unpopulated within perhaps a decade! Many of those children later turn up, having simply run away from home, and their return is not reported to the police so their names remain in the computer files. Many are found, alive or dead, and their names due to clerical ineptitude, are also left in the files. Most that are found dead, or found to have been molested and abused, were molested by teachers or relatives if not someone else who themselves were raised to be "good Christians", although you will never hear a general condemnation of Christianity as a result of it. Only a very small minority of our children are kidnapped and molested by Satanists, and most of these so-called Satanists turn out to be whacked out junkies or perverse Christians using Satan as the scapegoat that "he" almost always turns out to be - an excuse for very bad anti-social behavior.
It may be necessary to here note that I for one would probably call the police into a matter of child abuse and molestation that I might discover after I took my pound of flesh from the molester, whether he called himself a Satanist, a Christian or a Thelemite - especially if he called himself a Thelemite! - and he would be singing soprano for the rest of his unnatural life. Likewise, every sincere student of the esoteric that I know, and that is a lot of people folks, most of whom have a family of their own and are very down-to-earth, rational, sometimes downright boring people, have a similar attitude in regards to child abuse and molestation, kidnapping and murder. You think the undamentalists as law makers and law enforcers are tough? Imagine what Pagans would be like in Congress and on the police force! We have a very highly developed respect for life and the rights of the innocent and one good Pagan in the police department, seeing life carelessly wasted and innocent children and adults preyed upon, would end up making Dirty Harry look like a wimp!
Finally let us deal with this worldwide satanic conspiracy thing.
I for one would love to see Satanists eradicated. If there was a spray you could buy to sterilize and eliminate them as you would roaches I would feel inclined to buy it. But let's get real here.
Most Satanists, in my experience, are prancing egotists, bags of hot air, inferior people made that way by themselves feeling inferior and pretending to be superior in an attempt to either conceal their inferiority complex or compensate for it. The only thing we have to fear from most Satanists is possibly being bored by their rhetoric. As for the large membership numbers of satanic groups - forget them. atanists, as well as occultists in general, have a habit of inflating the true number of their cult members [we will avoid using the word "lying" here] so that their group and of course they themselves sound more important. On top of this, cut their number down to about half to come closer to the truth and you then find that the vast majority of these "members" are really only subscribers to some occult satanic rag. They pay a little money, receive the newsletter, maybe read it through, and that is the extent of their involvement in Satanism. Rituals and ceremonies are too much trouble for most of them to go through, and seldom do these "members" meet one another even upon a social level. Human sacrifice ... well ... blood is a messy thing and most of these people are never likely to live out any of their fantasies, preferring to live out their lives in a safe fantasy world where they can escape from reality. Fear Satanists? They love it when you do, but if you do you are probably more inferior than they are. Although remember, there is always a small percentage that you should be wary of, and in my opinion they should all be avoided as one would avoid treading in manure.
For years we have also heard a lot of nonsense about how occult books and interests inevitably lead to possession, drug abuse and murder. Right. And smoking pot will inevitably lead to heroin, and guns kill, and rock 'n roll will lead straight to hell, and so on, and so on. More crimes, horrendous, insane crimes, have been committed in the name of God by Bible-totting fanatics than were ever committed in the name of Satan, and more lunatics have killed, abused children, and committed other crimes using the Bible as their authorization to do so than anything else.
Yet, for instance, if my home were raided today [and boy would I have great fun in court if that happened!] I would no doubt be labeled a Satanist because in my library can be found Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals, and the sword laying atop my home altar, before my Stele of Revealing, would be confiscated and tested for traces of blood, despite the fact that this symbol of reason and analysis is never used to shed blood. Ignored would be my Judeo-Christian Bibles, The Book of Mormon, the Buddhist and Taoist scriptures, as well as the works on Theosophy, Egyptology, and my many novels including The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis. Ignored would be the realistic rose that lays over my sword on the altar to symbolize the idea that compassion and love should always temper warfare and reason, and the figure of the Goddess of Love in the hilt of the sword would probably be ignored as well.
Toys as well as heavy metal music are being called "occult" and "satanic" and blamed for the aggressive anti-social behavior of adolescents. Adults are always looking for a scapegoat, a way to shirk their responsibility for the way things are in the world. Adolescents will always rebel against the established order of things, have always rebelled, and God love them all for it! And they have an effect. They do accomplish things. Look even to our language. Back in the sixties you would have only heard hippies and flower children using phrases like "ripped off" and now you hear little old ladies and politicians using such phrases. Rebellion, so long as it harms no one, is healthy - much more healthy than apathy - and instead of trying to blame it on the Devil, parents and other adults should stop and listen to what their children, our children, are trying to say and perhaps see in ourselves the inflexible one-sided attitudes that are the true source of society's problems. Yesterday it was rock 'n roll that was the Devil's music and today it is heavy metal. Tomorrow ... who knows? ... but by then heavy metal will have either worn itself out or become acceptable. As for the "occultic" symbology of heavy metal music - talk with the kids and discover that the vast majority of them do not know what it means, do not care and certainly do not take any of it seriously. It upsets adults and that is all that usually means anything to them. The few who go overboard would have gone overboard anyway, using one vehicle or another, perhaps using the Bible and Jesus Christ as their reason for shooting up, molesting and murdering younger children, and so forth. There will always be confused, sick, anti-social human beings and there will always be a form into which they can fit their anti-social and basically self-destructive behavior. That is an inescapable fact. The only way we can decrease the anti-social elements in society and correct matters is not through social persecution or scapegoat mentality, but by facing the truth about ourselves, correcting our own faults, removing the unrealistic, unnatural restrictive laws from the books, deregulate an overly regulated society, and better educate the general populace. A plethora of "Thou shalt nots" can do nothing but inspire rebellion. Forcefully telling a kid not to smoke pot is more than likely going to encourage an otherwise disinterested youth to become interested in tasting the forbidden fruit.
Toy guns, as an example, are constantly blamed for aggressive behavior in children. Get rid of the toy guns and you get rid of the aggressive behavior we are told by fanatics who cannot face themselves and take responsibility for their children. You know what happens when you take a toy gun away from a kid? He cocks his thumb, points his finger and says "Bang!" What's the solution to that? Cut off the child's hand to curb his aggressive behavior? Well ... that just might work! Or it may just create a larger problem and a truly anti-social human being.
Get rid of the Smurfs because Papa Smurf practices magic and that's a bad influence upon children. Forget the fact that tales of monsters and magic have been a part of childhood since children were first born upon this planet. Remove all "occultic" toys like "the Visionaries" from the toy stores and you will keep children from developing an interest in the occult as well as aggressive behavior. Get real!
When I was a kid, because most of today's fantastic toys were not available, I and my many friends made some of our toys. Many of these toys were later "invented" and marketed by others. Some of the toys we invented will never be put on the market [with a little luck!], such as the flame-throwing tanks which actually shot out a long stream of gasoline-fed flames. When we played army we had very strict rules and were serious about it. We were the Cecil B. DeMilles of playtime! With M80s we destroyed many a tank and airplane. Yet not only did we never hurt ourselves or anything else, but we did not grow up to be anti-social lunatics. One of my friends was born again while another became a Mormon and I, a follower of the Beast 666, am probably the most "christlike" of all - the only one, for instance, who could have easily killed an assailant at one time but instead chose to literally turn the other cheek. And if we had not had toy soldiers [by the hundreds!] we would have probably done what our parents did and copped mom's clothespins and pretended that they were GIs and Nazis!
Unhealthy? Not in the least. What a kid is doing when he imagines great unbeatable enemies and monsters which he then pretends to face and defeat is good psychodrama. That child is symbolizing his many fears, natural fears in a world full of intimidating giants and incomprehensible things, and then teaches himself to face and fight those things he fears as well as fear itself. What could be more healthy than facing one's fears? Yet parents, admittedly doing a difficult job that they were never properly prepared for, tend to shirk their responsibility, failing to see the true source of their problems, eagerly look for a scapegoat, and take away from children the very means at their disposal of confronting their fears and venting their natural anger and frustration in a world not of their creation. The result of depriving children of their means of dealing with fear, anger and frustration would be an even more maladjusted society than we have at present. Let the alarmists, the fanatics, the pseudo-Christians [distinct from the sincere followers of the teachings of Jesus the Nazarene] and so on have their way, and things can only get worse.
I am a supreme conservationist. I loathe waste of any kind. Therefore I would not spend so much time, energy and money to produce and distribute this Encyclical Letter unless I, a very level-headed, rational, down-to-earth person, felt that there was a great need for these words. While I do not believe that a new inquisition could be initiated, that the U. S. could turn into a totalitarian police state, I do see a great deal of damage being done with the current hysteria and the media's Orwellian manipulation of the public for the sole purpose of financial success. It is retarding the growth of our society and slowing down spiritual and intellectual evolution.
Satanic conspiracies? Nonsense. The very idea of a bunch of massive egos, each thinking him- and herself better than anyone else, organizing is absurd. Even small satanic cults cannot stay together for long as their egos are in a constant state of conflict. Where did Aquino come from? He broke away from LaVey's group because his ego did not agree with LaVey's ego. Even occultists with sincerely high motives and ideals cannot long stand together.
There is a list being circulated in the law enforcement community of occult groups that they say are possibly involved in satanic and criminal activities. Many of the groups listed, to begin with, have long since ceased to exist. And, yes folks, even Newaeon is listed. Incredible. Our True Will is symbolized by Atu VIII of the tarot which is called Adjustment and Justice. I myself am one of the most law-abiding individuals imaginable. I do not smoke [loathe cigarettes]. I do not do drugs and often speak out rationally against drug abuse and dependence. I only drink a little to be sociable under certain circumstances and much prefer chocolate milkshakes and lemonade. I have even become very selective about the lady friends in my life, not so much out of fear of AIDS [although this is a reasonable concern even for the non-drug heterosexual community], but simply because I have sowed my wild oats over and over again and I am just too busy to involve myself in superficial, albeit pleasant, relationships. Besides, I have always been monogamous by nature. At the age of nine I was writing, showing an interest in the occult [unusual seeming considering my family] and I often dreamed of having a wife and kids - the wife at that time being modeled after Mary Tyler Moore as she was on the old Dick Van Dyke Show. I can guarantee you that I am far more moral, even in the eyes of Christendom, than most of today's televangelists! Anyway ... this list is simply idiotic. Few of the groups are actually satanic and most of them reject Satanism as strongly as the Judeo-Christian religions. Most of these occult organizations are nothing more than a handful of people who talk amongst themselves about esoteric matters and perhaps publish a short-term ill-produced little occult rag that maybe has a readership of fifty people. More than a few of these organizations are nothing more than a single person in a cheap little apartment, often living in a fantasy world and harming no one but perhaps themselves by not facing reality. Yet this list is passed around, everyone is supposed to fear these people, the police are supposed to waste valuable manpower, time and tax-payers' money investigating these people. Of course if we all concentrate our attention upon these people we just may fail to notice the glaring faults of the Judeo-Christian religions and culture which have become so old and brittle, so overburdened with unrealistic and unnatural rules and regulations that even tell us what is and what is not sanctioned by God in the privacy of our bedrooms, between two consenting adults. Not only is manpower, time and money wasted on the investigation of these occultists, but there is the danger that after numerous investigations turning up nothing worse than a little pot smoking, the police may become bored and disinterested and the next investigation may be conducted in a careless, sloppy manner, and that may be the one time in many that the suspect is actually guilty, but gets away with murder, maybe literally, because of all of the false alarms the police had previously been forced to respond to.
Let us sum up this extremely verbose Encyclical Letter that will be a financial nightmare to publish and again encourage you to read Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America by Arthur Lyons, with the reminder that he erred greatly in the peripheral matters of Aleister Crowley and Witchcraft, while treating Satanism quite reasonably and with a more than fair amount of accuracy. And finally, regarding children, hysteria, Satanism, the occult and all: GET REAL.
P.S. At rock concerts adolescents in the audience often make the "sign of the horns" with their hands: 1st and 4th fingers up, middle two folded over the palm, thumb sometimes folded over the middle fingers and sometimes held straight out. Supposedly this shows their adherence to Satanism. Mr. Lyons during his television appearance said that "Nobody knows what it means". That is not true, although perhaps many of the kids do not know the meaning and do it only because it is the thing to do. With the thumb out it is a sign language abbreviation being the letters I, L and Y, and it means "I love you." Very "satanic"...
[Encyclical Letter, Autumn Equinox 1988 E.V.]
DECEMBER 1999 E.V. NOTE: Soon after the program with the satanic theme on which Mr. Lyons appeared the talk show was cancelled. The charming female co-host has since been working as a news anchor while the obnoxious male host acts as a "weatherman".
The newspaper I used to work for, The Pittsburgh Press, is now long gone, having finally done itself in over a continual strife between management and employees.
And I am still going strong.
As for newspaper reporters in general: there has been some improvement, some reporters trying as best as they can to accurately report on matters such as Santeria, Witchcraft and Thelema - although I still think it is constitutionally impossible for a newspaper reporter to accurately related the facts - and I think that those of us socially responsible enough to speak out during the height of the Satanic Panic should congratulate ourselves for having had a beneficial effect. However, I suggest that we never let up. Superstitious ignorance is a basic component of the human psyche and we must always keep it in check with reason, logic and the truth.