Satanism and Self-Love
Sect of the Horned God Member
Growing up in a Protestant home, with a grandmother who was very devout in her beliefs (I will never forget her warning me about the “Dogans”), I will always remember the guilt that followed me around as a child. There was guilt attached to everything. Don’t do this because you’ll go to Hell, don’t do that because it’s a sin. I wasn’t allowed to own a Marilyn Manson CD until I was 18, because my mother watched a segment on the news that showed him ripping up a bible onstage. (Thanks to Napster and the wonders of the internet, that didn’t deter me from getting my black-polished claws on a copy of “Smells Like Children.”)
Guilt placed on a child is very damaging, especially on those who already have a predisposition to be anxious and depressed, like I was. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 16-going-on-17, but the pressure to conform and the guilt of being unable to leaves a lasting impression. I like to akin it to Dexter’s Dark Passenger. That little mocking, condescending, nagging voice that cuts you and reinforces your feeling of insignificancy. “God doesn’t love little girls who don’t listen to their mother.” “Suicidal thoughts mean you’re not right with Christ. Pray on it.”
Eventually, some part shuts down, shuts off. Life greyed over, I fell more into my listlessness and my apathy, and blamed myself. That indifference lent itself to alcohol and substance abuse and cutting. I tried to talk to a couple of friends about this, and in return I received an indignant speech about how if I killed myself, I’d go to Hell. Adults around me were just as indignant and unhelpful.
Feeling separate from my friends, I spent many long nights on the internet. I don’t remember how exactly I stumbled upon Anton LaVey. This was before the days of Google, so who’s to say? I ended up on the Church of Satan website, and I devoured the entire thing from entrance page to fine print.
I had never heard or encountered anything quite like it. Getting my hands on the Satanic Bible was a bit tricky… living in the Bible Belt of BC, I couldn’t just walk into the library or the local bookstore and ask for it. One of my best friends at the time lived in Mississauga, and she sent me a copy she had found in a shop.
I always call the reading of The Satanic Bible my “first act of self-love.” Through reading The Satanic Bible, I came to understand that the reason I was so miserable, the reason that I was struggling was because I was in denial of pretty much everything – my nature, my happiness, exercising my true potential and becoming the best version of myself. I allowed the guilt imposed on me to control me, and the moment I realized that and accepted it, I was free of it.
The Satanic philosophy allowed me to take control of my life, and empowered me to open up my eyes and live fully. Applying this philosophy to my life has given me success and happiness, and I feel vital and alive. I am not a LaVeyan, but I like to think that LaVey opened the door and booted my ass through it. Did Satanism save my life? Absolutely not. It gave me the tools and the knowledge to save myself.