Pseudo-Satanism and Satanic baby-killers

Since this morning’s flashback post featured an excerpt from Jeffrey S. Victor’s important and helpful book, Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Urban Legend, I thought we’d look at another passage from Victor that sheds light on another recent story in the news.

This is from Victor’s chapter on the supposed links between “Satanism and Teenage Crime,” from the sub-section discussing “Juvenile Delinquents Involved in Pseudo-Satanism”:

When people justify murder in terms of their personal Christian beliefs, we don’t attribute the cause to the Christian religion. Instead, we seek the causes of their aggression in their particular personality dispositions and group influences.

We must do the same when we learn about some vicious act of  aggression committed by a teenager who justifies what he or she has done by referring to some self-taught Satanist beliefs. It is misleading to focus too much attention on the excuse of Satanist beliefs, no matter how repulsive we may find them.

The ritual acts and group beliefs of these delinquents does not constitute a religion any more than do the ritual acts and group beliefs of teenage gang members, or than those of the Ku Klux Klan. Almost all teenagers who even profess to be Satanists lack any elaborate belief system focused upon Devil worship. Instead, they have fabricated a deviant ideology in order to: justify their underlying personality dispositions to express aggressive hostility; or justify rebellion from adult social restrictions; or obtain public notoriety. This is what I mean when I refer to teenagers as “pseudo-Satanist” delinquents rather than as “teenage Satanists.”

… The practice of Satanic black magic rituals doesn’t cause teenagers to engage in vandalism and animal mutilation. Instead, such activity is drawn from the same package of subjective meanings. Makeshift black magic rituals offer the excitement of getting away with socially tabooed, deviant behavior, assaulting the moral order of conventional society, and bonding adolescents together in a secret, forbidden activity. … If disapproving adults also take the magic rituals seriously, in either fear or anger, rather than ridicule them, those adults inadvertently reinforce the teenagers’ attraction to black magic.

… It is easy for a teenager to put together a concoction of “Satanic beliefs” from newspaper articles, from popular folklore, from horror movies, and even from what is learned in church about the Devil.

The story in the news that this relates to doesn’t involve juvenile delinquents, but rather it involves delinquent adults who preyed on juveniles — specifically the late, once-beloved BBC television personality and DJ Jimmy Savile. (Content note: That link, the article below, and the rest of this post include some upsetting discussion of the horrific allegations against Savile.)

Following Savile’s death in 2011, reports began to surface of Savile’s history of sexual abuse and the rape of children dating all the way back to 1955. More than 400 people have come forward saying they were abused by Savile.

In recent months, the tabloid press has also published a string of stories suggesting that Savile belonged to some kind of Satanic cult. This example — “Satanic Jimmy Savile Wore Devil Robes at Scarborough Sex Club” — is typical of the rest in its thin sourcing and the salacious tone suggesting that the paper hopes this is all true:

Paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile danced naked during Satanic sex rituals held in a creepy underground chamber, according to reports.

Disgraced Savile regularly visited a secret club in Whitby, Scarborough, to join in sex-based rituals around a flogging post, it was claimed.

The BBC star belonged to a convent of northern public figures, now deceased, who gathered in a venue called The Chamber — which had signs of the devil on the walls.

This is precisely the sort of thing Jeffrey Victor describes as “pseudo-Satanism” — a pose being struck in order to appear, and to feel, transgressive and rebellious. All of the stories of Savile’s purported “Satanism” describe just such a pose — the sort of stuff a lazy production designer might come up with for a “Satanic cult” film, a hodge-podge of pop-culture symbolism concocted from the news, from folklore, from the movies, and from religious instruction unwittingly based on all of the above.

It’s understandable that many people would want to believe that Savile was involved in some kind of a Satanic cult. Here was a man who was widely admired and respected, yet decades later the public learns that he was the worst sort of predator. If the allegations against Savile are true, then the evil that he did was real, vast, and enduring, but also senseless. It’s natural to want to make sense of senseless evil — to categorize it, classify it, and to come to terms with it in some way by attributing it directly to Satan and his minions.

So even though Jimmy Savile was a pseudo-Satanist and not really a member of some shadowy cult of devil-worshipers, I can understand why some people might prefer to think that he was. When we encounter inexplicable horrors, we want to be able to tell a story that can explain them.

But what I still find mystifying is why many, many people also seem attracted to stories that invent inexplicable horrors where none exist. That’s what happened in the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and in the culture-war politics it left in its wake. The British tabloid press is applying urban legends about Satanism in an attempt to come to grips with the very real evil perpetrated by a very real monster. But the Satanic Panic and its culture-war politics embrace those same legends in order to provide imaginary evils and imaginary monsters for them to engage in imaginary battles.

 

  • histrogeek

    Whenever these types of discussion roll around, I always wonder what “real” Satanism even is. The aboveground Satanist churches like LaVey all sound pretty similar to this, playing at transgressive, shocking behavior (though as far as I’ve ever heard they don’t cross lines the way Saville did). It’s just hard to distinguish what would be a “real” Satanist. Someone who does these things out of inner spiritual conviction despite personal queasiness? Someone who actually talks to demons, yet isn’t insane? Someone who joined the Satanist movement (whatever that is) but doesn’t show any signs of the social pathologies that are associated with it? Which leads to the obvious, does any such person exist?
    On some level I wonder how much it matters, outside of the taxonomic exercise. It’s like teens playing at Nazis. Some are genuinely racist and antisemitic. Some will grow out of it. Some just want to piss people off. Some just want an excuse to beat up people. In the end though, the rest of us only care about the difference if we need to control them.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Re: inventing horrors

    I think it’s the same drive that pushes them to scream persecution whenever someone looks at them funny. They’ve been warned their entire lives that the world has evil in it, and they have to be wary and be ready to stand against it. “You are the salt of the earth,” and all similar verses.

    But the planet really isn’t as bad as they would have believed it is. So when they manage to find something that could be a threat, they blow it out of proportion to justify their beliefs. See this example here, or how abortion becomes the murder of a fully human creature, or how gay marriage will bring about the downfall of America…Everyone here can think up plenty of examples. 

    Personally, I’m kind of shocked at some of the things they come up with. If you can detach from all the damage and bad it does and just look at them and the crap they come up with…That’s some impressive imagination. It makes one wonder what they could do with it if they were to try and write books, or make movies or whatever. 

    Edit: Someone needs to plan a sacrifice to the Disqus god. He is clearly upset. First he wants to turn all my text blue because I tried to quote Fred, and then he ate my spacing.

  • Foreigner

    Widely admired and respected? I can’t think many people were surprised when stories of Savile’s behaviour came out. The fact that they only came out after he died is possibly yet another indictment of our appalling libel laws.

  • LL

    It’s almost as if “Satan” is an easy scapegoat for all the evil people do, so that religion never need acknowledge its negative influence (in the case of religious adherents who do terrible things) or negligible positive influence (ie, its inability to dissuade anybody else from doing terrible things). 

  • Narcissus

    This is rather generous of you…
    The British tabloid press is applying urban legends about Satanism in an attempt to come to grips with the very real evil perpetrated by a very real monster.

    The more likely reason is that the tabloid wants to sell copies. Sensational satanic stories sell. Sure, the staff and writers of said tabloids may not want a world where important decisions on global matters are made by people who believe these things but there it is. Like everyone else, they are less concerned with what kind of world they are creating for the next lot as much as succeeding in whatever endeavor lays smack dab in front of them.

  • Makabit

    “But the planet really isn’t as bad as they would have believed it is. ”
    I’d say it’s much worse…just not for them.

  • Baby_Raptor

    This is indeed true, but it’s a result of the behavior we’re talking about here, at least in my opinion. 

    It’s a Catch 22–They think the planet is horrible and evil, and they end up doing horrible, evil things to try and stop their perceptions. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    “You are the salt of the earth,” and all similar verses.

    Something always bugged me about the salt-of-the-earth metaphor.  I thought that salting the earth was something that you do to reduce the fertility of the ground so that nothing could grow there?  To imply someone is salt-of-the-earth would therefor imply that they are obstructing growth and bringing down the environment around them.  

    That’s some impressive imagination. It makes one wonder what they could do with it if they were to try and write books, or make movies or whatever.

    Oh no, we have seen the results of that here every Friday.  How much worse do you think it would be if that were an entire industry?  

  • christopher_y

    On the Disqus issue, if you’re using Windows, whenever you want to copy/paste text from inside a comment thread, it’s advisable to right click and select “Paste as plain text”. 99% of the time this prevents the Disqus god from playing his unforeseeable tricks.

    On Savile I have nothing. Living in Britain, we’ve been force fed a diet of this stuff for months, and I’m just sick and depressed.  

  • Mrs Grimble

    These latest “Savile was a Satanist” claims all come from a well-known UK therapist named  Valerie Sinason, who specialises in recovered memory therapy and  has been pushing these type of stories for over 20 years.  She never misses a chance of publicity.
    What’s more worrying is the unchallenged assumption in all reports  that Savile was raping and molesting every child and young woman he came into contact with (so mush so that hundreds of alleged victims are preparing to sue his estate and the BBC).  There’s no doubt that he wasn’t “trouser-safe” (as a friend of mine rather memorably described another celebrity sex pest she had dealings with) but at least one woman has described how, when he started to grope her, she said a loud “No!” and he immediately backed off and apologised. And it seems rather surprising that he never appeared to father a child anywhere, at any time, despite his alleged rampant sexual proclivities. 
    In that way, he does seem to have come to personify Evil, at least in the British psyche.

  • Launcifer

    Also, there’s the fact that it’s in the Daily Express, wellspring of pretty much every ludicrous theory concerning the death of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. There’s no reason Fred would know that but, being English, that alone alone just sent my bullshit detector into overdrive.

  • AnonaMiss

    I beliiieve the ‘earth’ part of the phrase isn’t intended to be metaphorical. “You are to the earth as salt is to food” is I think the intended meaning.

    But I could be wrong.
    Something
    always bugged me about the salt-of-the-earth metaphor.  I thought that
    salting the earth was something that you do to reduce the fertility of
    the ground so that nothing could grow there?  To imply someone is
    salt-of-the-earth would therefor imply that they are obstructing growth
    and bringing down the environment around them. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/02/27/pseudo-satanism-and-satanic-baby-killers/#sthash.xAMt3Rlx.dpuf
    Something
    always bugged me about the salt-of-the-earth metaphor.  I thought that
    salting the earth was something that you do to reduce the fertility of
    the ground so that nothing could grow there?  To imply someone is
    salt-of-the-earth would therefor imply that they are obstructing growth
    and bringing down the environment around them. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/02/27/pseudo-satanism-and-satanic-baby-killers/#sthash.xAMt3Rlx.dpuf<

  • Damanoid

    For a second there I was seriously confused by that tabloid’s front page.

     “Oh, come on now!  Even with the lurid nature of these Satanic pedophile crimes, surely no one would be crass enough to distribute snake-oil in the form of a meter that claims to detect–  oh wait, they mean the walking distance measuring device.  Never mind.”

    … That IS what they mean, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Were I Satan* and I had people who wanted to do my will in opposition to the god of the people who are focused on fighting me, I’d have my followers go to schools and… learn.  I’d have them become doctors focused on fighting disease.  I’d have them become lawyers focusing on expanding civil rights.  The job of the evil day would be making this world objectively better suited to the goals of a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilled life for everybody.

    Why?  For the people so focused on opposing me, the evils of this world aren’t their kryptonite.  The goods of this world are.  I’ve been asked by many of this stripe of Christianist what I, as an atheist have faith in.  I have faith in the capacity of mankind to do good (that is good as I see it and not necessarily a faith in the choice to do so).  The response has been to bring up Hitler, Pol Pot, and other examples of human evil.

    Really, doing evil through doing good would be so much more effective.  Acts of evil as a means of defeating my opposition would be like unto battling Popeye by throwing massive amounts of spinach at him.

    Remember, for those who find claims of widespread satanic cults, it’s not just about making the world make sense, it’s about making the world make comically easy sense, both functionally and morally.

    *If that’s up for Democratic vote, then let it be said “Charles Scott for Satan.  Isn’t it time we had some good ideas for evil?”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Alternatively, paste text into Notepad first, then select all, copy, paste into Disqus box.

    Re: Savile and inventing horrors

    “Cavorting about naked” seems to have been ripped from some boilerplate fantasy book about what the author thinks Satanism is.

    I have no doubt that Savile did bad things. What I do doubt is the sensationalism surrounding the reports of said bad things.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll go that route next time. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     I’ve always understood “salt of the earth” to refer to something of value simply because salt, which sometimes comes from mines,  was a singularly valuable commodity for much of human history. It could just as easily have been “gold of the earth” or “diamonds of the earth.”

    (“Worth their salt” is another expression in the same vein*, as is the word “salary.”)

    * You see what I did there.

  • http://vovinyl.blogspot.com/ FangsFirst

    Weird. I thought surely someone might already have covered this.

    As the answer seems to be no:

    It’s just hard to distinguish what would be a “real” Satanist. Someone who does these things out of inner spiritual conviction despite personal queasiness?

    This is going to be rough, I haven’t spoken to the guy in…well, probably about five years.

    Anyway, I knew a Satanist when I was in high school–he wasn’t, he was a kiwi and ten years older than me, but hung around the same locale on the internet. Though he and his “ilk” liked me (they all invited me in to a mild ‘reunion’ at that time five years ago), they had no tolerance for my fellow “bratty” internet denizens, as they were all more interested in, if still trivial, largely “serious” conversation.

    He admitted his religion, but did not like discussing it because of all of the assumptions/stupid questions/etc. I got glimpses, and he liked me well enough¹ that he did talk to me for a time.

    There are rituals involved in his sect, but not in the sense we’d be most likely to think of them RE: “Satanism”. More like the kind you’d find in any religion. His was also a more religious than philosophical (cf. LaVey) bent, though that we didn’t talk much about. It was a spiritually-infused variant on the kind of might-as-largely-right philosophies (to oversimplify) that underlie the LaVey Church, but not based entirely on the same (ahem, stolen) writings.

    I didn’t gather a lot more than that, other than it was eye-roll inducing to get into most of the time, and he did actually take it very seriously.

    Which isn’t the greatest help in the world toward clarifying–except that the great majority of them haven’t got any more reason (Church of Satan, his sect, the close relatives he mentioned, etc) to feel “personal queasiness” than anyone religious does, in terms of the rituals/traditions involved.

    I wish I still had my ancient ICQ logs where we had these conversations…apparently I finally lost those though.

    ¹I’m going to be honest here and say, this is more a reflection of my shock than an attempt to force the issue. I have no idea why anyone likes me, with a very, very few exceptions, so I feel it’s important to note, somehow.

  • Jenny Islander

    But the salt of the earth reference isn’t about standing against evil.  It’s about watching our own behavior to make sure that we are setting a good example.  Do fundamentalists quote it as if it’s about looking for outsiders to point at?

  • P J Evans

     I think some of those go back at least to Victorian pr()n. (I’ve seen some. It was mostly, AFAICT, involved with deflowering virgins; otherwise it seemed to be about sinister monks doing things with young ladies.)

  • Jurgan

    Yes, but why do the stories sell copies?  Why do people want to buy magazines that claim Satanic inspiration for pedophilia?  Your question shifts the cause from the suppliers to the demanders, but I think the answer is the same.

  • Jurgan

    “Earth” here doesn’t refer to the ground, but the world of people we see.  Maybe “salt of the earth” could be better expressed as “the salt of humanity.”  The point is that salt is a seasoning that brings out the best flavors, and therefore the church is to bring out the best in the rest of humanity.

  • Robyrt

    You’re right – “salt of the earth” is referring to table salt, not only because it was useful and valuable, but because its effects are obvious. If the salt loses its taste, Jesus says, it is good for nothing; you are the salt of the earth.

  • Jurgan

    “So even though Jimmy Savile was a pseudo-Satanist and not really a member of some shadowy cult of devil-worshipers”

    Wait, he was a “pseudo-Satanist?”  So are you saying he really did participate in these bizarre Wicker Man style rituals?  Because even that, to me, stretches credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001112204188 Gabe Nichols

    For a look at how satanism specifically became such a focus for moral panic I highly recommend Bill Ellis’ work in “Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media” and “Lucifer Ascending: the Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture”  Ellis tracks how concerns with explicit devil worship came out of the Pentecostalist revival movements and were tailor made for media exploitation which then reinforced the community of true believers and provided openings for con artists.  He also looks at how legitimate folk traditions were appropriated for “satanic cults” to serve as proof of the enemies both the media and the Pentecostals needed to be real.

  • Stone_Monkey

    As per the comment from a fellow Brit above; this is the Express, who are the tabloid equivalent of the Daily Mail’s even more unapologetically hateful sibling. The Satanic Panic stuff is simply a way for them to make the the, already horrifying, Savile story appear even more lurid and horrible to their audience of lower-middle class xenophobes, Diana-idolaters and nimbyites… Like the “Hate Mail”, they only care about the eye-catching nature of the allegations and not about the real harm that was caused.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    Hello, everyone.  I know I haven’t been a part of this community for long, but I trust that my presence here is well enough established that none of you will think that I am a troll.  I also wish it known that I am nervous about posting this comment because I rarely speak so openly about my beliefs.  Nevertheless, I feel this is a “truth-to-power” moment, the power in this case being that of the majority opinion.  I ask you all for your patience.  Here goes.

    I am Soror Ayin.  And, I am a Satanist.

    I’ve noticed that when people want to know Satanism really is, they rarely ask a Satanist.  Well, we *can* be hard to find sometimes.   In any case if anyone is curious, I am here.

    Please note, I’ll be away from my computer for the rest of today and Thursday as well.  If anyone as anything they’d like to ask me, I’ll get back to you Friday.

  • Isabel C.

    What FangsFirst says.

    From what I know of actually-believing-Satanism, it’s largely about personal power and questioning what society says is good. I find it morally very suspect, and would probably be wary of anyone who practiced it, but that’s less to do with Satan and more because a great deal of it syncs up creepily with Ayn Rand. There are a couple useful bits in LaVey, and I can even see pointing out that some degree of selfishness is necessary in most human lives, but it goes way too far into the realm of get-yours-and-fuck-everyone-else.

    Also, LaVey’s views on women were Kind Of Unfortunate, if I recall correctly. I don’t know if other Satanist philosophies are similar. I do wish they’d stop using harmless and cute boa constrictors in an attempt to look sinister–and probably naming them “Wormwood” or something similarly doofy–but that’s a taste thing.

  • Makabit

    Boa constrictors? Not the first animal I would associate with the Devil. Too third-grader animal report-like.

  • JustoneK

    LaVeyan type?  I’d read that was the more modern type these days.

    And just from what Wikipedia says (and generally christian upbringing) the impression I get is it’s not terribly sustainable.

    The only Satanists I’ve never talked to personally were the fluffbunny angry teenager types in high school.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    But what I still find mystifying is why many, many people also seem attracted to stories that invent inexplicable horrors where none exist.

    Because they aren’t allowed to imagine things. Imo, there is a straight line between that and becoming completely deluded. Human beings have to imagine things. If told we’re not allowed to, we will anyway, and pretend to ourselves that it’s all true.

  • MaryKaye

    I will defer to Soror Ayin on first-hand knowledge, but I have known and respected a Satanist whose philosophy could be summed up as “Satan is the Jungian Shadow of religion.  You can’t become a full person until you have dealt with your shadow, and that is what I am doing.”

    He also gave me a quote which has influenced me greatly, namely:  [Pagans say that] “All the goddesses are one Goddess, including Eve, Mary, and Lilith; and all the gods are one God–except Jesus, Jehovah, and Satan.”  He felt this indicated spiritual blindness in (some) Pagans and I am inclined to agree.

    I have done ritual directed to the Devil of the Tarot.  We had set out to do every card in the Major Arcana, and there he was.  It was an alarming set of rituals but I learned a lot, both from embodying someone else’s Devil and from talking to my own. –This causes occasional awkwardness in Pagan circles when someone says “Of COURSE Pagans NEVER worship the devil or deal with him in ritual” and I have to say, well, um, I disagree.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Welcome.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hello!

    It will be wonderful if you stay around for a while. The more diverse perspectives we get, the better. :)

    No questions now, but I am sure that questions I didn’t even know I had will be answered over the course of your discussions of Satanism. :)

  • Consumer Unit 5012


    It’s a
    Catch 22–They think the planet is horrible and evil, and they end up
    doing horrible, evil things to try and stop their perceptions.  – See
    more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/02/27/pseudo-satanism-and-satanic-baby-killers/#sthash.DnkLnjPu.dpuf

    Yep. 
    “When a person goes to war against the Devil his enemy may not exist, the General giving him orders may not exist, but the casualties he creates will be real. ” — Hellboy @ Slacktivist
     
    (I hope this works.  Disqus is b0rked today…)

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    But what I still find mystifying is why many, many people also seem attracted to stories that invent inexplicable horrors where none exist. 
     
    You’ve explained it before, Fred.  Because it’s more exciting that way.
     
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2008/03/14/lb-martyr-envy/
     
    There are people out there who would rather believe in evil, supernatural forces than not.  In the specific context of the Satanic Panic, people who would rather believe that their little tots were victims of evil rituals by black-berobed Nicolae Carpathias, than have to come to terms with the fact that they and their kids live normal, non-epic lives…just like the vast majority of humanity.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I feel the same way you do about Satanism. “Do as you will” being the whole of the law is gross, but in practice, Satanists don’t seem statistically to hurt people any more than people of most other religions. And I have a certain amount of respect for the lack of hypocrisy, though none for the belief system itself. Like Ayn Rand, they seem to have decided if Christianity is bad, then we must believe exactly the opposite of everything Christianity teaches. Which I find both immature and far too attached to Christianity — like a teenager rebelling against the only thing they’ve ever known, rather than striking out and creating something new.

  • Fie

    That (“all the gods are one God–except Jesus, Jehovah, and Satan”) honestly smells more like a political cover-your-ass statement than an earnest religious assertion. I hear that and hear, “Yeah, we’re not going to get into a slapfight with Christians over this. Better things to do. Move on.”

    Eve, Mary and Lilith are a lot safer, in that sense, because no Christian would admit to actual direct worship without being open-minded about the whole thing in the first place.

    That all said, I have no useful or relevant experience with paganism.

  • http://vovinyl.blogspot.com/ FangsFirst

    I should clarify that the guy I knew/know was distinctly unimpressed (let’s be honest: antipathic) toward LaVeyan Satanism and similar schools of “Let’s Be Shocking”–at least, in his perception of them, that’s what they were.

    I don’t recall him being overtly Randian (or similar), though he and the other ‘elders’ of our little community, as I said, didn’t deign to grace our ridiculous, absurd, and often spammy presences (eventually, the admin gave them their own board–the “Network Convalescents”, it was called, as it was for the purposes of avoiding the rambunctious ‘children’ that the rest of us were). ¹

    Anyway, he emphasized the sheer variety of (all largely small) sects he was aware of, and I tended to defer to him on the subject, as he also had that ‘external’ knowledge of other, differing groups. I’d say, obviously, Soror can cover this.

    Glad to know there’s an actual Satanist here. I never felt like I could do the subject proper justice, but saw no one else was acknowledging actual ones, and felt someone ought.

    ¹Actually just found him googling around. That was stupendously un-difficult…

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    The mystery writer Val McDermid has said that Jacko Vance, a BBC presenter and serial rapist and murderer of adolescent girls, who features as the principal antagonist three of her novels, was inspired by Jimmy Savile – not because she had any direct knowledge of his crimes, but because she had once interviewed him and been creeped out so badly that she found it very easy to imagine him as the vicious sexual deviant that, as it turns out, he actually was.

  • The_L1985

     Hey now, there’s nothing wrong with cavorting about naked.  It makes days home alone more fun.

  • JustoneK

    It depends on how comfortable you are with your body, and your curtain choices.

  • The_L1985

    “The boa never discussed its religious beliefs or lack thereof with me.”

    I’m not sure why this is such a great sentence. It just is.

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    In fact, the h2g2 discussion on the subject was labelled “Jimmy Saville are you surprised?, which does reflect the fact that it seems many weren’t.
    TRiG.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I always wonder what “real” Satanism even is.

    Best guess, something like Yazidis but far less syncretic, instead sticking very close to a single religion (Christianity) but with the shift that Satan is presented as the good guy.
    Whether or not such a belief system has ever existed, I know not.

  • Narcissus

    Hey Jurgan. I don’t know what your experience is but mine is that no one I know reads these magazines or watches their TV equivalent. No one. Yet, these outlets are profitable and would, I’m sure, argue that they can prove their numbers go up when they run these kind of stories. Nothing profound here. 

    So the viewer must be watching with a detached sense of self. Like a fetish disavowal even. Zizek might say, ‘they do not know what they are doing but they are doing it!’

    Like Santa. They don’t believe in him but they keep up the charade for someone else, namely the children. I don’t believe this crap but someone else out there does and this allows me to enjoy the show, read the magazine but pretend its not effecting me

    But if every one acknowledges Santa isn’t real, how does modern Christmas manifest itself every year? The same way these mags fly off the shelf and the shows pull in the numbers, through the belief that I myself am not fooled. I only read it to see what the lesser humans, somewhere, out there, are fooled by. 

    The horror is that there is no other. The “they” out there is really just all of us. It is me. Until I just stop. 

    The only word I can think of to describe this scenario is ‘demonic’. ; )

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    If disapproving adults also take the magic rituals seriously, in either fear or anger, rather than ridicule them, those adults inadvertently reinforce the teenagers’ attraction to black magic.

    So, if your kid tries to shock you with faux-devil-worship, the best thing to do is show them this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZjZoJFTOoc

  • Baby_Raptor

    Hello, person I have not seen before! 

    I have no questions, but have a welcome hug and a cookie! 

  • stardreamer42

    I don’t find someone like Savile hard to explain at all. This is entitlement and greed run completely out of control, with a side of “other people only exist for my personal benefit and gratification”. In fact, very much like the attitudes of the people currently running the Republican Party, but on a personal rather than a financial level.  Why go digging for some vast Satanic conspiracy to explain what is sufficiently explained by human venality?

  • Hilary

    I vageuly remember, several years ago when I massively lurked on Beliefnet, a guy who proudly called himself a Satanist, in that Satan was the great bringer of knowledge, the ultimate questioner and antagonist to Yahweh.  He seemed proud and resolute, with a well thought out moral position that wasn’t about sacrificing kittens but challenging every thing of a god that sought to mindlessly control humans.  As long as he donated to the local food shelf and didn’t molest anybody, that didn’t bother me.  From what I got out of his talking about Satanism was basically a deep respect for human independance and responsibility.

    So SorerAyin, welcome and feel free to comment around.

    As for Savile, perhaps he wasn’t a devil so much as an angel wh0 sauntered vaugely downward?  Is anybody else on this thread a fan of ‘Good Omens?’

    Hilary


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