Born That Way
I suppose it’s time to tackle another thing that you hear a lot in Satanism: The idea that Satanists are born and not made.
Now, most people assume that this means that somehow, from the moment of conception, you are predestined to become a Satanist. This is not only misleading, but patently wrong and has never been the meaning behind LaVey’s statement that “If you are a Satanist, you were born that way.” In LaVey’s statement, he isn’t speaking on predestination, but on predisposition… two very different concepts.
Let me break it down for you this way. The way it works is exceedingly simple, and over thinking it and trying to mystify it only muddies the water. All people… you, me, the Pope, John the barber and even every one of those seven billion plus Chinese you hear tell about, are all born with genetic predispositions. There are some people who have a predisposition to understand music. Some have the innate ability to fathom the mysteries or math, or architecture or even genetics itself. Does this mean that these people will become musicians, mathematicians, or geneticists? Of course not. Having a predisposition is not predestination, but simply indicates that you will most probably find the study of these things easier, should you choose to go in that direction.
We also, as members of the human genome family, have predispositions for some pretty nasty things as well, from heart disease to cancer to specialized diseases from Tay-Sachs to Sickle Cell Anemia, various cancers, dwarfism, and in my case, specifically, the development of a genetic disorder called Polycythemia, which causes the bone marrow to somehow go into hyperdrive on the development of red blood cells, making the blood thicker and thicker as the amount within my body gets greater… at one point, I had almost 50% MORE blood than a human being is supposed to have in their bodies, which can lead to clotting, strokes, heart attacks and even gangrene of the internal organs as the blood becomes too thick to flow to the smaller supporting capillaries. It’s a genetic predisposition, or “genetic susceptibility” that all people with that potential mutation of the JAK 2 gene share. We share that genetic predisposition, but the condition itself is rare, because the vast majority of people DON’T develop it. Only a very few will develop the condition, based on yet undiscovered supporting conditions. The rest simply never know about it, and they never develop it.
So too it is with Satanism. Some people are born with the predisposition to “get it,” philosophically, and if exposed to the concepts and the supporting philosophies of Satanism, a certain number of the people with that predisposition might become Satanists, while the rest will not, or might develop an interest in it from an academic standpoint, but will not accept it as a personal philosophy. What might cause one to accept while another might not? This most likely breaks down into the old nature vs nurture argument, and in the end, it becomes an inscrutable paradox, like the chicken and the egg. In the end, all that matters is that it is, it happens, and we really don’t know why.
As with any genetic predisposition it’s a sliding scale of values and I personally think that it very much depends on one’s exposure to other concepts that also fall within their pre-dispositioning, and their involvement with them preempting their acceptance of Satanism as the primary interest. Here’s how you might look at it as a metaphoric trip down the river of life.
We, all of us with a predisposition to understand and accept Satanism as a philosophy get on a big paddle wheel steamer at the source of a long, slow moving river. The journey takes us to various cities along the river and as passengers on this ship, you can get off and explore as you will, but you need to be back on board before the ship moves on to another destination many miles downstream. So we genetic pre-Satanists start out our trip and soon, we come to a village called, ESPville, and some of us like the unique architecture and the ESPville Fair with its crafts and music and dancing and, well… the ship moves on without us. Those who don’t make it back to the boat simply live in ESPville and accept its customs and philosophies. They might still wonder what is further down the river, but they settle into a comfortable stasis.
More stops at Christville, Voodoo Village, Wiccatropolis and a hundred more places where we lose more and more passengers on our ship, who find that each of these stops, and a thousand more, capture their imagination and they feel at home with it, so they stay. They sometimes wonder what they missed by not continuing on the journey, but having put down roots, they see no real need to move on.
And eventually, the very, very few of us left on this lifelong tour reach the City of Satan, and we disembark and some of us stay. We find that the philosophies of this destination meet our emotional needs on some level that we may never quite fully understand, but we are happy to be here and stretch our legs. We indulge our senses and drink in the dark ambiance of this area of our consciousness. It becomes home so much that we don’t hear the warning blast from the ships whistle as it begins its departure, carrying still more intrepid souls further down river. To what? We might wonder, but even now, roots begin to take hold.
So, we are Satanists because we were born that way in the sense that we had the predisposition, emotionally and intellectually to accept Satanism to a greater degree than other options placed before us. But just as those many passengers who got off the ship before us, we too could have strayed, had we the same pre-dispositioning as them, bu Satanism caught our fancy, and we have decided to stay, at least for a season, because even amongst those of us who stayed in the City of Satan, next season’s ship will find room for them to move up or down stream, should they care to move on.
The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God