Satanism is the New Pink

Recent news stories have me convinced that we’re entering yet another satanic panic…while at the same time entering yet another occult revival. It may not seem odd for these similarly-themed events to occur simultaneously, but unfortunately for those of who are actual practitioners, scholars, or open-minded cultural observers familiar with new religious movements (including neo-paganism, modern pagan witchcraft, Wicca, druidry, Asatru, etc.) the vast majority of people reading about it won’t comprehend or even care about picayunish distinctions such as, you know, what we actually believe, or do.

And when I say “we” I mean you, too, if you’re a witch, pagan, Wiccan, Druid, Heathen, goddess worshipper, tree hugger, dirt-worshipper, etc., you’re implicated in all this, because either you’re going to be associated with the kinds of people who commit these crimes, or you’re going to be suspected of being capable of committing such crimes yourself. Because people are stupid, and suspicious, and quick to accuse, and, lately, more and more willing to dispense vigilante justice.

This past month there have been a surprising number of news headlines mentioning crimes associated with Beezlebub by one of his many names. There are horses in Scotland whose manes are being chopped off, and it’s said to be connected to Satanic worship. There are people blaming their murderous rampages on Satan. There are churches being vandalized (like this one in Alabama, and this one in Arkansas), and amid the arson and destruction there are occult symbols associated with Satan worship. If that’s not enough, there are also television shows in the works that are the Hollywood equivalent of occult dabbling, and pop singers using satanic imagery to promote their music. So that’s not gonna help.

Come on, we think. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as satanic cults. The church vandalism, horrible though it is, seems to be the work of bored, destructive teenagers. Or bored, destructive adults, but clearly they’re people whose desire to destroy houses of worship overshadows their love and worship of the Dark Lord. If they were real Satanists, they’d most likely be at home chanting and holding rituals. But the widely-held stereotypes surrounding Satanists (helped along by the sensationalism of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey) don’t help to make them seem harmless.Obviously different people have different ideas on what constitutes Satanism.

The occult revival of the late 1960s notwithstanding, there seems to exist a periodic need in this fair country to become enamored of satanism every decade and a half, give or take.  In the 1980s, there were daycare centers reportedly run by devil-worshipping pedophiles, and an evil network of child-killing Satanists taking over America. In the 1990s, there were teenagers accused of worshipping Satan and getting up to no good in their otherwise extremely-dull rural communities (note to self: research the correlation between teenagers’ occult dabbling and general lack of stuff to do where they live), who sometimes ended up accused and convicted of horrific crimes. Also in the 1990s: one unassuming little movie exploited the growing popularity of Wicca and jump-started a whole generation of teenage girls who wanted to become witches. In the 2000s, a wildfire best-selling series of young adult novels about witches inspired book burnings and library censorship, lest our youth be corrupted (reading is fundamental, unless you’re a Fundamentalist, apparently).

In short, this societal obsession is nothing we haven’t seen before. The question is, why on earth does this shit keep happening? And what can we do about it?

One thought I am having: it does us no good to assume every sensational, poorly-informed news story about the occult is somehow intended to “make witches/Wiccans look bad.” There is a systemic problem in this country whereby conservative, extreme religious views (Christian ones) are pitted against any variety of religious experience that is not centered upon Jesus or the Bible. Despite a widespread increase in secularism in America, religious conservatives wish to instigate a war on any spiritual path that seems at odds with Evangelical or Pentecostal Christianity. And one of the first lines of defense in protecting our religious freedoms is to become as articulate, well-informed and educated as we can about the history of our own beliefs and traditions, and that includes the history of the modern occult revival.

Yes. I am saying we need to do our homework. And I don’t want to hear any grumbling.



"Your a disgrace to both your sex and the craft' if you were outed burning ..."

Hillary Clinton is Not a Witch…or ..."
"I get tired of the stereotype witch that's always portrayed in movies. It's old, tiresome ..."

Why Real Witches Are Going to ..."
"I'm curious to see this--partly because when I saw the trailer, the reproduction of 1970s ..."

Why Real Witches Are Going to ..."
"Thanks for your comments; I hope to have the interview ready by tomorrow. I am ..."

Why Real Witches Are Going to ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Indeed you should, this blog is nothing short of ignorant.  Sorry to disappoint you, but there are Satanic Cults, I run one.  And, Satanists are not love, light and lollipops…In fact, some of them do some of the shitty things people would like to ‘hide’ from the public eye as if it doesn’t happen.  To include ritual sacrifice and murder.  Wake up America, you’ve been snowed.

    •  ooh! Spooky! Can you cite court cases? Name names? Or are you just trying to sound tough?

      • I certainly can, and worked with Occult Investigator Don Rimmer here in Virginia Beach.   There is no need for me to ‘sound tough’, what are you in grade school?

        •  Then why haven’t you? Cite your sources.

          And from court cases. Not “professional occult investigators.”

          • Court cases for what?

          •  Ritual sacrifice and murder committed by Satanists. You made the claim. back it up with credible sources.

    • Well, Sin Jones, I am sorry to say I am now obligated to track down your address via your internet ID and send the police to your house. Have a nice day. Hail Satan!

      • Have I broken a law?  Committed a crime?  The reality is these things do occur, it’s not fabrication.  That was my point.  Having a Satanic Cult is not a crime in this country, just in case you didn’t know.  

        •  Well, it’s fabrication when you can’t prove it.

          • What is it that I’m supposed to prove to you?  I am real. I am a Satanist.  I run a cult.  See website source provided.

          •  You’re confused. I’m asking for a court case.

          • A court case for what?  

      • Let me know when you do, I’ll make an extra plate for them.  

    • Obvious troll is obvious.

      • No trolling is required, I’m simply replying to the content.  Isn’t that what readers do?  Comment on the article?

    • happydog

       That’s some funny stuff right there. You “run one,” do you? My my, I’m so frightened, do tell.

      • In what manner was my comment intended to be frightening?

        • PegAloi

          You referred to running a satanic cult, and to their activities including ritual sacrifice and murder. You’re obviously posting these things to be intimidating.

          • PegAloi

            As well, if you post any more insulting comments they will be deleted and you will be blocked.

          • I have not insulted you, I am commenting on your piece written.  I am however being treated poorly on this blog when all I have done is commented on the piece, discussing the content.  Why are you discussing me?

          • Excuse me?  I stated no such thing. I stated that there are unfavorable incidents that do occur, that it is a real thing, and not wholly fabricated. I did not in any manner state that “I” was committing crime.  Not did I comment to any affect in an intimidating manner.  In fact, I’m a bit taken back by the responses to me here.  

            I do run a Satanic cult.  There is nothing criminal about running a Satanic cult.  

          • PegAloi

            You called my blog “ignorant”–did you expect a POSITIVE response?

          • Your piece is full of ignorance, I did not call you ignorant.  Perhaps you should read these comments with a clearer head.

          • PegAloi

            You are not intelligent enough to try and defend your insults by pleading “semantics.”

          • Excuse me?  Now you are insulting my intelligence.  Perhaps you should read my initial comment once more.  You obviously have failed to comprehend it.

            At not time did I discuss your person. I am discussing the blog content.

          • PegAloi

            I never said you called me ignorant; insulting the content of my blog is equally insulting. Again, your attempt to argue semantics is not working.

  • *grumble* MORE homework…. I’m studying to be Pagan clergy and you want to add more homework…..

    • Nicole Youngman

       Eh, just skim a couple of chapters of Jeffrey Victor’s _Satanic Panic_ half an hour before the exam, and then write a looooooooong essay about the one or two things from it that you remember well enough to get mostly right, and you’ll probably squeak through ok with a B. Works for my students most of the time, anyway. 😉

    • What’s pagan clergy?  

  • Ckane

    It doesn’t seem that odd that there’d be a statistical correlary between increased occult activity and societal preoccupation w/ Satanism.

    Increased activity= more visibility= more oppurtunities for people who don’t know the difference between satanism and nature based spiritual paths to become afraid (because many folks fear what they don’t know)While things are improving, nature based spiritual paths continue to have a PR problem. Since there’s not enough info getting out into the mainstream, they get their info from Hollywood by default, and Hollywood is not in the business of educationg, but rather of telling an exciting story….Folks not only need to do their homework. They need to get up in front of the class and give a report. Lots of them come to think of it….

  • I think the next moral panic, or perhaps more accurately the moral panic already underway but we aren’t paying attention to, is against Santeria, Palo, Santa Muerte, and related beliefs.

  • happydog

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, when I saw “Satanism is the new Pink,” I thought, “Wait, Pink is a Satanist?” This probably testifies to how pop culture damaged I am more than anything else.

    He died this year, but you can feel free to look into his background, and his work regarding ‘Satanic’ related crimes reported with court cases behind them.

    •  You seem confused as to what a court case is.

      • Based on your responses I provided a link to Don Rimer.  There are crimes committed by individuals and often associated with groups.  I don’t know what you are asking for specifically.  I understand what a court case is, what I don’t understand is why you are asking for a court case for a cult, when individuals were found guilty of crimes.  Each person is tried as an individual, not a group.  My comment was to convey that Satanism isn’t just a ‘hipster’ culture.  It is full of groups and individuals.  Crimes do occur, and are considered to be ‘occult’ related when investigated.  This is why I sent you the link to Don’s obituary.  Not to just show him to be a real person, but a summery of his work.  There is plenty to be found when searching for individual crimes, and many of which were considered to be ‘Satanic cult’ related.  I can probably dig up a link for an incident that occurred in 2010 in Pope, VA.  I’ll have to dig it up.  I did comment that you are free to do your own research.  I provided you with a lead.

        This isn’t the same thing as the debunking of the Satanic Panic or the findings of the FBI Report (aka the Lanning Report) on SRA.  

        Satanic ‘cults’ do exist.  In fact, there are hundreds of adherents in Theistic Satanism alone.   

        An associate of mine runs this site:, he also appeared on the History Channel’s Nostradamus Effect: Satan’s Army special for a quick clip (see: GM Blackwood).

        I am addressing the specific comment you made in which you state they don’t exist.  This was shared on my facebook page, and I am commenting as a Satanist.  When I stated I run a cult, I meant that.  I am clarifying that Satanists are real people, who often commit crimes.  To include murder, assault, and ritual sacrifice.  It’s not just limited to the United States.  It doesn’t mean that “I” am a criminal having stated it.  You can look me up, I’m a public person.

        Perhaps instead of giving advice, you should take a little of your own and do your homework.

        I mean cases arise in the news all the time, but we are tasked to substantiate them.
        Don Rimer worked on this case, as one example off the top of my head.  I’ll root around for some others. 

        •  PaganSpace is not a reliable source of news.

          You still have not cited a court case involving a Satanic murder.

    • You should run with a better class of people.

  • Ogre5_23

    The best way to handle the uneducated and unenlightenable is at times the worst way possible  an impromtto beat down…… but then again I’m an Ogre’

  • Balor_the_huntress

    Wow Peg, your ignorance is really showing. Hurry, you need to catch up to the rest of the ignorant sheep before you get left behind!

    • PegAloi

      Rude comments from trolls will not be tolerated on this blog.

      • As far as I can tell, this is  not a troll.  This is a person reading this blog from Facebook which find your piece full of ignorance as I have.  This is a critical comment, not a trolling comment.  It’s directly related to the content on this public piece.

        • PegAloi

          You are also a troll and treading on thin ice.

          • How am I trolling?  I am commenting on the blog and the replies made directly to me.  Have you checked my website?  My facebook?  I have provided you with the citations of my very real Satanism, and my very real cult. I did not at any time state that “I” committed murder, or any crime.  You are misrepresenting what I stated.  

          • The ‘trolling’ comment was a confirmed associate of mine who read this blog on my facebook.  She was not trolling. She commented on the blog you wrote.

          • PegAloi

            You’re being insulting. You need to back off and leave this thread or I will block you.

  • Perhaps she does not the meaning of “Cult”. 

  • Threeravenscircle

    I’m curious to know what court cases have to do with the fact cults are very real and very alive in the United States as well as in other parts of the world? That’s like saying there are no covens… yet, I’ve ran one successfully for 7 years and have been a practicing witch for more than 15. 

    What also strikes me as funny is why everyone suddenly began an attack on a commenter simply because she stated that she leads a cult? That somehow that statement became a perceived threat when she was no more than stating, “It’s alive and well, I run one”… (I’m paraphrasing). That tells me that you’ve just tripped over your own uneducated feet. 
    It’s not that I don’t appreciate the effort the blogger went through to warn us that we need to be our guard, but it’s also a little insulting. I’ve been practicing a long time, I’m pretty sure I’ve done all the homework necessary to get to where I am… not only that, but almost 40 years of living in modern society has prepared me to watch over my shoulder… for muggers, rapists, murders, cheating husbands and even Christians bent on persecuting me because COEXIST is the new Anti-Christ, apparently. 
    The amount of ignorance today is criminal and it doesn’t just lie in the non-pagan sector of society. It lies right here in our midst with posts of people threatening to call the cops because someone declares themselves a satanist. Why not just set the cross on your shoulder, march all the way to VA and persecute her yourself? It sounds to me that the only one throwing threats around here is that person. 
    Put up or shut up, people. 

    • PegAloi

      First of all, I am not “warning” anyone about satanists (certainly not against self-styled uninformed satanists like our troll here). I am commenting upon the media’s tendency to lump all occult-related crimes into a generalized category of belief systems including paganism, Wicca and witchcraft.

      As for the police comment, that was intended to be humorous, since “Sin” obviously was trying to seem all mysterious and spooky and scary by claiming to lead a Satanic cult and be involved in “ritual sacrifice and murder.” And further said “Wake up America” which implies that somehow everyone reading these words must be blind to what is “really” going on. So when someone puts themselves out there as mysterious and spooky and scary and insinuates being involved in murder and sacrifice, well, it seems they are suggesting they engage in criminal behavior, and that, in my opinion, should be responded to with a visit from law enforcement.

      • You are misrepresenting what I stated.  I am not a troll.  I am a real person.  I am commenting on the comment of this blog.  

      • There is nothing scary or spooky about leading a cult.  Is there something scary or spooky has running a Coven or a Grotto?  You read into the name Cult like it is a negative thing, as programmed by the media.  Would you consider a cult that strives to improve each one of its members as harmful?  Sin Jones leads such a cult. 

        • PegAloi

          I am well aware of the vicissitudes and subtleties of the word “cult.” My concern is the way in which “Sin Jones” insinuates she is in league with those who commit murder and ritual sacrifice, and then tries to distance herself from her comments which are obviously intended to inflame and intimidate. It is trolling of the most obvious and pathetic sort.

          • I didn’t insinuate it, I stated it blatantly that by title alone we are often associated with those that commit crimes.  It happens.  Equally, pagans commit crimes.  I can defer you to a number of FBI files on convicted sex offenders who were once part of the local pagan community here.  If your key aim is to educate, then you should lead your readers onto a true path of learning.  Being pagan does not make you immune to such associates, just as “I” am not immune to such associations.  

      • Threeravenscircle

        A. I never stated you were warning anyone about Satanism… that’s out of your own deluded corner of your brain that’s pissed off because someone objected to your uneducated droll….
        B. I read all the comments. I didn’t see where Sin was attempting to sound mysterious or spooky or scary… and I never saw where Sin said that the cult Sin leads is involved in ritual sacrifice or murder. C. People who write public blogs that appear on public forums are always subject to having their blogs challenged. I suggest you grow a thicker skin. D. Your knowledge of Satanism is clearly lacking. I’m not a Satanist… it’s not my path, but I know better than to assume that every Satanist that claims to lead a cult must automatically practice ritual sacrifice and murder. Every path has it’s weirdos and it’s crazies. Two years ago a woman claiming to be Wiccan stabbed her boyfriend to death with her athame and claimed she was sacrificing him… does that mean that all Wiccan’s are subject to stabbing their spouses? Or the Christian serial killers who bomb abortion clinics in the name of Jesus? Are all Christians preemptive killers? This is the problem with paganism today. We’ve gotten just as judgmental against different paths of practice as any Christian based sect has. It all boils down to tolerance. Tolerance and not jumping the gun the minute someone states, “You’re wrong and this is why you’re wrong.”

      • Shawna

        I don’t see anything spooky or scary about her posts or her, frankly. What is spooky and scary is you threatening to call the police on her because she runs a cult.  

        • PegAloi

          It was not a threat, it was a joke in response to her rather humorously-transparent narcissistic “Look at me, I’m a real satanist!” commentary. My “Hail Satan” comment at the end should have made that obvious. 

      • Rose

        SIN never claimed to be involved in any criminal activity. She is just acknowledging that there are criminal elements within Satanism. 

  • Krshort18

    So, if people disagree with you , you delete their comments and threaten them? Dang, you really are a tolerant and enlightened pagan!!  All bow to your hineyness!

  • I have blocked trolls on this post, and will block any further trolls on this post. If necessary I will shut down comments.

    • PegAloi

      Thank you, Star. I was just attempting to do the same.

  • icedgreentea

    Ooh, I love the she-devil pic!  Sexual, womanly and unashamed.  Beautiful! 

  • underscorebilly

    This blog still sucks. Jussayin