by Jake Block
“The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing and raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don’t want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don’t want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you. You know what I mean?”
— Penn Jillette
I get asked from time to time if I would have a drink or a smoke with someone or another, and while I can appreciate the offer and the intent behind it, the chances are that I will decline. It’s not that I have strong convictions against anyone drinking or smoking. I personally don’t really care much what people put into their bodies, legal or illegal. It’s their body, and so long as it does not affect me, and I am not expected to join them in their choice of indulgence, it’s really none of my concern. And occasionally, someone will get a smirk on their face and tell me that The Satanic Bible says, “Indulgence instead of abstinence.”
Well, you’ve got me there. It’s right there on page 81, in the section entitled, “Indulgence…Not Compulsion.” Now, if my friend had read beyond the bold print, he would have also seen the words, “Satanism encourages its followers to indulge in their natural desires. Only by doing so can you be a completely satisfied person with no frustrations which can be harmful to yourself and others around you.” My friend’s “natural desires” might be for strong drink, and the ingestion of tobacco and other smokable substances. That’s fine. But those are not MY “natural desires.”
Don’t get me wrong. I have had alcoholic drinks on occasion. I might have a beer or a glass of wine on a special occasion, but only after I have made certain that I will not have to take the risk of placing anyone else in jeopardy because of my indulgence. When, for instance, I traveled to California to meet with Thomas, Lisa, Darkfool and others, I did have a glass of wine with dinner at our hotel in San Francisco, but ONLY after I had secured my car keys in the room, and was certain that I would not have to drive anywhere. Sure, it was just one glass of white wine. But that’s not the point.
And when I last traveled to Kansas City with Devora Zada Moon, I did have a beer with her at a club, but I knew that I would be going nowhere for the next 4 to 6 hours. My car was in the parking lot and that was where it stayed. Now I know that a man of my weight at that time will have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 after one drink. If he drinks it over one hour, he will have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.003, and after two hours, he will have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.00. If anything had happened where I needed to be on the road before that time, I would have called a taxi, Uber, or some other conveyance. There is no conceivable way that I would ever be behind the wheel with alcohol or any other intoxicating substance in my system.
So, you see, I am not abstaining from alcohol or anything else. I choose not to indulge, and that choice is considered and long-learned. You see, my father was a mortician, and his business was also a member of the Ambulance system in East St. Louis, IL. It was one of my duties as apprentice and “the son of the owner,” to go on the ambulance runs to help load up the gurney and get the injured in the ambulance and to the hospital as quickly as possible. I saw first hand, at a young age, what could happen if someone drove in an impaired state, and the fates really didn’t care if he accidentally over imbibed, or if he was a raging alcoholic. Neither did the man we picked up after the fire department had disentangled his vehicle from around the tree he had slammed into at 80 miles per hour, nor did the woman who ran into the back of a car stopped in the road ahead of her. I’m sure she knew better to drink and drive while pregnant… but she did, and we picked up her lifeless body at the scene of the accident, as well as the baby she spontaneously aborted from the impact of the steering wheel violently impacting her stomach during the crash. And it didn’t matter to ME when a drunk hit and run driver clipped me late at night after he sideswiped a car on Kingshighway, and kept on going. And I never got the chance to ask my older brother. A drunk driver crashed into his car at the base of Edgemont Hill, breaking his neck and killing him instantly.
I’ve had the opportunity to “indulge” more times than I can remember as a young civilian, during my twenty years in the military, and again in all of the years since. It’s just not my thing. My indulgences tend to be a bit different; perhaps a fine dinner in an upscale restaurant, a few hands of blackjack in the casino and the warm embraces of my lover, long into the night. I don’t need or want to be intoxicated at times like this, and can enjoy the sensations and pleasures of the moment with a clear mind. These are things that I enjoy, without the need to be compelled to. And life is so much better when you do the things you want to do and leave the things you don’t behind.
So, I agree with Penn Jillette. I do have all of the drinks I want, and all of the drugs I want to take, and that amount is usually zero unless I can completely control the circumstances.
by Jake Block
The Law of the Forbidden, as given to us by Anton LaVey in The Compleat Witch, or What To Do When Virtue Fails (re-released as The Satanic Witch), can be a source of power for women, but also for men wise enough to understand that as a “law” it is universal, and can, with some adaptation, be used by both genders. The gist of it is that, “Nothing is as fascinating as that which is not meant to be seen,” or, as most of us have heard it explained, “Forbidden fruit tastes best.”
Think about it. The things that we are told “are not for us,” are the things that fuel our desires. From the earliest days of our childhood, the gifts for birthdays and holidays in their bright wrappings, we were told should not be seen until we were given permission, the magazines our fathers kept in their desk drawers were not for us, the drink of alcohol that we were told was off limits until we were of legal age to drink, the confidential performance reports our employers kept on us in the files kept in the bottom drawer… all things that we struggled with until curiosity finally got the better of us and we took a peek. It’s human nature, and a simple act of rebellion, coupled with the fear of being caught defying authority. We know we shouldn’t give in to our curiosity. We know the old saw, “Curiosity killed the cat,” but still we’re plagued by our curiosity.
Within the context of The Compleat Witch, LaVey tells the tale of a woman in a strip club, a patron, not a dancer or waitress, who was commanding the attention of men around her, even though the women working there were in various stages of undress, while she simply sat on her barstool and sipped her drink. With all of the openly displayed flesh in the club, why was she the object of attention for the men?
The woman’s appearance, anywhere else in town would be considered, attractive and fashionable, but here, in this place where the erotic and the openly sexual is the order of the day, she’s unique, an esthetic discrepancy, and an object of curious scrutiny. In contrast to the scantily clad women employed there, she was wearing a comparatively conservative outfit; a knee length pastel skirt and complimentary button down blouse, medium height heels and stockings. Her makeup was conservative, and she was wearing a touch of eye shadow, rouge and lipstick. Her nails were manicured, and she sat quietly, legs crossed, sipping a drink. Anyone seeing her might think of her as a woman just stopping in for a drink after work, or perhaps on a date with the man sitting next to her.
But still she commanded the attention of the men in this place. She was just an everyday woman, dressed for a day at work or a casual drink and dinner with friends. Other women might not even notice her, or if they did, might have something to say about her outfit, or of the attention she gleaned in this place. But what of the men, who she held in rapt attention? What did they see?
Well, for one thing, sitting there at the bar with her legs crossed has caused her skirt to ride up on her shapely legs, and they could see a bit more than perhaps she was aware. They could obviously see a little more leg… and looking at the underside of her legs, they could see some soft, tender skin where the top of her stocking ended, They could see the black reinforcement band at the top of her stockings, and a bit of her garter belt, petite and feminine, following it from where it clipped into place, and then the strap that disappeared under her skirt. And as they slowly scanned her lovely legs, from thigh to her feet, which were covered in fashionable heels, they were sure to notice a small run in her stocking, like a small arrow pointing upwards, to pleasures unseen, only to be imagined fondly.
Tracing her body upward, they definitely noticed that one of the buttons on her blouse had come undone, it was the third, directly over her bra, which they could now glimpse through the gap that was there. Soft, white, and with a touch of lace that almost called to be touched and enjoyed. They watched as her breasts rose and fell with her breathing. Rose and fell, breathing easily, occasionally shifting as she moved, or wiggled a bit if she laughed at a joke told by another patron. The top button at her throat was open, enhancing her neck, as one followed it up to her face and a mane of soft, lightly tousled hair. Her face was pleasant, with light makeup enhancing her features. Her lips were wet from the drink she had just taken, and a trace of her lipstick remained on the glass.
And for a moment, for these men, the strippers and waitresses faded into the background as they ogled this woman who knew not that she had become the star performer… or DID she? Was everything planned? Were the elements of her dress and even the minor, but tantalizing flaws contrivances to elicit the attention she desired. Certainly, each enticed these men to become entrapped by the Law of the Forbidden as, when they should have been engrossed in the openly sexual gyrations on the stage, they were transfixed by the “innocent” sensuality of the “everyday woman” who had become the star of the show.
Aiding her command of the situation was the natural, instinctive, compulsive power of their ECI… Erotic Crystalization Inertia. The ECI is the “set point” for each individual where their erotic interest is situationally keyed by visual, aural or tactile stimulation. Each of the men who became enraptured by the presence of this woman sitting in the club was responding instinctually to the “original sin” of his earliest erotic experience involving a woman. Perhaps it was the sight of a woman’s nylon clad legs, or perhaps the chance viewing of a woman’s breast via a similarly unbuttoned blouse. Man is a “visual animal,” and the visual aspect of ECI is perhaps the most easily triggered erotic hook. There are as many ways for the ECI to be concretized in the psyche as there are people on the planet. Of course, the effects of the alcohol they had consumed was a contributing factor, as well. Taken all together, it’s a potent and magical event.
And because of it all, we find the truth of the Law of the Forbidden, “Nothing is so fascinating as that which is not meant to be seen.”
The Law of the Forbidden has applications that go far beyond the romantic interactions between men and women. When anything is held with an air or mystery or secrecy surrounding it, people will be driven to explore it and to find the secrets of others that they can gain for themselves. The military thrives on secrets, and there is a term that applies. It’s “need to know.” Being nosy in the military can get you in a hell of a lot of trouble. Signs are everywhere. “TOP SECRET,” “CLASSIFIED,” and “EYES ONLY,” in offices and on printed cover sheets on documents remind us that there are things beyond our pay grade and scope of duty that we are not entitled to know for operational safety and security reasons.
There are places on military installations where a sign will be posted that reads: “RESTRICTED AREA. While on this installation all personnel and the property under their control are subject to search. USE OF DEADLY FORCE IS AUTHORIZED.” They are not just for show and dramatic effect. There are things that you may not see and you may not know. Rooms where confidential or secret conferences might be conducted have signs that might read, “WHAT YOU SEE HERE, WHAT YOU SAY HERE, WHEN YOU LEAVE HERE, LET IT STAY HERE.” Trust me. There are some places in the military where all that is needed for security is a simple red line and a small sign reading “Deadly Force Authorized.” Usually a steely-eyed security cop with a no nonsense attitude is there to enforce it.
Sometimes, you might want to know what’s beyond the barbed wire fences and locked doors, but trust me, the penalties for trying to find out can be very harsh. You would think that the severity of punishment would, therefore, be a deterrent, but curiosity, coupled with the forbidden fruit of national security, have been the downfall of many a young patriot. And let us not be deluded that it is a foible of manhood. It has been said that all men are voyeurs, but women can be equally voyeuristic, although it appears that voyeurism is a secondary ECI component with women, needing another significant hook, usually being sexual or emotional.
Now, don’t get the idea that The Law of the Forbidden applies only to strip bars and the voyeuristic tendencies of men and women, because if you know and understand this law, it can apply to many situations that we run into in life.
Remember: “Nothing is so fascinating as that which is not meant to be seen.” Here on the Left-Hand Path, individual effort and discovery is the name of the game. There are people who will guard their knowledge like it was the secret recipe for Coke. They see themselves as the gatekeepers to enlightenment, and feel that to get past them, you are going to have to put in the time, do the work, and pay your dues. The wisest are those who hint at the answers so that those who would learn from them can then follow the leads to clues in books and on the web that will lead to more and more pathways to knowledge, thereby encouraging the serious to explore and succeed, while at the same time frustrating and discouraging the lazy and insincere travelers along the Left-Hand Path, who most often fall by the wayside, never to be seen again.
In regard to the Law of the Forbidden, a glimpse of something “secret” can energize, whereas simple revealing of the prize and allowing it to be taken freely, simply encourages entitlement without effort and reward without justification. The glint of a speck of gold in the pan can turn a hobbyist into a serious prospector is search of the motherlode. It doesn’t matter what the secret, there is someone who wants to be in the know, and there is someone who, holding that secret, will do what they need to keep it hidden, with access only to the deserving few. Knowing this can put you in control.
The secrets we hold are gold. You can choose to give up a nugget or open the door to Fort Knox. The wisdom is in knowing when to do it.
by Jake Block
One of the more enigmatic phrases in Satanism is “Necessity Supreme.” In the 50 years that I have been actively involved in the philosophy, I’ve only seen it used twice, and both times as an element of ritual.
First, this passage from L’Air Epais, The Ceremony of the Stifling Air:
“And now at last authentic word I bring,
Witnessed by every dead and living thing;
Good tidings of great joy for you, for all:
There is no God; no fiend with names divine
Made us and tortures us; if we must pine,
It is to satiate no Being’s gall.
We bow down to the universal laws,
Which never had for man a special clause
Of cruelty or kindness, love or hate;
If toads and vultures are obscene to sight,
If tigers burn with beauty and with might,
Is it by favor or by wrath of fate?
All substance lives and struggles evermore
Through countless shapes continually at war,
By countless interactions interknit:
If one is born a certain day on earth,
All times and forces tended to that birth,
Not all the world could change or hinder it.
I find no hint throughout the Universe
Of good or ill, of blessing or of curse;
I find alone Necessity Supreme;
With infinite Mystery, abysmal, dark,
Unlighted even by the faintest spark,
For us the flitting shadows of a dream.
O Brothers of sad lives! they are so brief;
A few short years must bring us all relief:
Can we not bear these years of laboring breath?
But if you would not this poor life fulfill,
Lo, you are free to end it when you will,
Without the fear of waking after death.
How the moon triumphs through the endless nights!
How the stars throb and glitter as they wheel
Their thick processions of supernal lights
Around the blue vault obdurate as steel!
And men regard with passionate awe and yearning
The mighty marching and the golden burning,
And think the heavens respond to what they feel.”
— Excerpt from L’Air Epais, The Denunciation (Anton LaVey, The Satanic Rituals*)
* “The Denunciation” is actually part of a poem by the 19th Century poet James Thompson (1834-1882), used for its dark and brooding qualities depicting the loss of hope and depression. Thompson was, at this point, dealing with alcoholism and chronic depression at his home in Scotland where, in his isolation and downwards spiral, he began to doubt everything he had once held true, including, at last his deepest friendship with lifelong friends. It depicted his bleak pessimism in a dehumanized, uncaring urban environment. His poem, published before his death, was critically acclaimed, but could not alleviate his depression and lonely death.
To what then does the phrase Necessity Supreme refer? In a very real sense, it is what remains after all else one believes in or cares about is stripped away. It’s all one has left… the most basic and fundamental survival needs, relating to what in Latin is called “primordius,” the point at which all the organism needs to survive, i.e., air, water, food and warmth. It is the point at which everything else that, arguably, makes us “human” becomes luxury, and one is unconcerned with philosophy, emotions like love and hate, to concentrate only on the next breath, the next heartbeat to survive.
From the 19th Century to the 21st Century, some men and women find this same loss of belief as a “nihilistic primordium” when, questioning their place in the world and then, even the validity of the world they thought they knew, they find themselves just surviving until at last, one spark, faint and black, in the form of a philosophy or a friend, and sometimes both, ignites into a flame. Then, giving up just a small portion of the energy needed to survive, we nurture that flame with our own essence, a bit more every day, until it sustains us, even as we sustain it… The Black Flame of Satanism, our Necessity Supreme.
The words of Metallica come to mind and remind me of what is elemental and what is true, at least in my life:
“I never opened myself this way.
Life is ours, we live it our way.
All these words, I don’t just say,
And nothing else matters.
Trust I seek and I find in you.
Every day for us something new.
Open mind for a different view,
And nothing else matters”
— Nothing Else Matters (Hetfield/Ulrich)
Yes, and in the end, “I find alone Necessity Supreme.”
by Jake Block
“There is no heaven of glory bright, and no hell where sinners roast. Here and now is our day of torment! Here and now is our day of joy! Here and now is our opportunity! Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth!”
— The Satanic Bible: The Book of Satan (Anton LaVey)
For Satanists, this is a key statement, in that we are being told, in the earliest pages of The Satanic Bible, a cornerstone of the Satanic philosophy espoused by Anton LaVey, that we should disillusion ourselves of the (at that time) predominant view of the majority of religionists, that we are subject to the promise and threat of these mythical states after death, and whether we are rewarded or punished in the “afterlife,” to be determined by our earthly deeds and doings. We are further admonished to look to ourselves for our own success, as there is no supernatural deity to look to.
It is the establishment of a new order. It is the denial of those spiritual pipe dreams and mythological omnipotent beings that the ancients had invented to give meaning to the (at that time) unknowable questions of life and death. Before logic and science were known and used to look into worldly phenomena, it was far simpler for the ignorant to imagine the intervention of some atavistic, anthropomorphic being who held the fate of “childlike man” in the palm of his or her hand. Mankind learned to fear the flash of lightning and the clap of thunder not because they were the warning signs of a natural phenomenon that would, with gained understanding, be known as weather, but because they were indications of a god’s anger at some transgression that must be punished. Rumblings of an earthquake, now ascribed to the slippage of the great tectonic plates on which the landmasses sit, were gods of the earth frightening man and showing their displeasure. In the kingdoms of the Orient, it might be seen as a giant cosmic dragon on whose back the puny humans might have erected a village. The Chinese have a saying, “龙争虎斗 (lóng zhēng hǔ dòu): Literally “a fight between a dragon and a tiger”, it refers to a struggle between two similarly matched forces, which caused the land to buck and roll. Still, in the Orient, there are many gods, although their reality falls to the sentiment, “It is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.” (Ursula K. Le Guin)
The mature and healthy mind rejoices in the acquiring of knowledge and the refutation of flawed thinking and conjecture, in the face of fact based analysis of any explanation of phenomena that were heretofore explainable only in terms of that which is unexplainable in and of itself. When one’s mind has yet to achieve clarity of thought and logical discernment, the simplest explanations of phenomena can be accepted simply because they were the explanations accepted by those who have come before, and those too were accepted by those even further in one’s lineal history. With the passing of ages and the maturation of cultures and societies, one would think that such primitive thought would be pretty much eradicated by now. Unfortunately, this is not the case for some.
As much as people on the Left-Hand Path belittle and castigate those who follow faith-based religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc., for their belief, based on faith alone, that there is a god, or gods, controlling aspects of their life. Then naively, and hypocritically, they cite THEIR gods, demons, etc as controlling and personally accessible entities in their lives, be it Lucifer, Belial, Lilith, Satan or whatever god or demon they choose to name Just as there is not one whit of difference between what is euphemistically termed black or white magic, there is no difference between the belief in gods, no matter what side of an invisible line that they are on. An invisible friend is an invisible friend, and can only be based on personal faith that it exists and is involved in one’s life. And a hypocrite is a hypocrite. It’s as simple as that, and while I won’t call you out for it, neither will I be backing you when you do it. You cannot play the devil’s game and refuse the devil’s name, and neither can you deny the Christian’s name and then replicate his game.
LaVey was abundantly clear as to whether he, and the Church of Satan, considered Satan to have any validity as anything other than a symbol when, in 1973, he said, unequivocally, “Satan is to us a symbol, rather than an anthropomorphic being, although many members of the Church of Satan, who are mystically inclined, would prefer to think of Satan in a real, anthropomorphic way. Of course we do not discourage this because we realize that for many individuals, a picture — a well wrought picture — of their mentor or their tutelary divinity is very important for them to conceptualize, ritualistically. However, Satan, symbolically, is the teacher, the informer of the whys and the wherefores of the world.”
On the Satanic lane of the Left Hand Path, stratification is the name of the game, where not all things are created equal, and those who play that game as stand alone gods of their own creation, versus those who, every bit as much as the Christians they love to mock, squander their existence playing second fiddle to an invisible friend or god are, to my way of thinking, ahead on points.
In 1973, Anton LaVey participated in the production of a LP record with Nat Friedlander called “OCCULT EXPLOSION,” on which several popular occultists of the day were featured. This is a transcript of his segment. — Jake
“Satan is to us a symbol, rather than an anthropomorphic being, although many members of the Church of Satan, who are mystically inclined, would prefer to think of Satan in a real, anthropomorphic way. Of course we do not discourage this because we realize that for many individuals, a picture — a well wrought picture — of their mentor or their tutelary divinity is very important for them to conceptualize, ritualistically. However, Satan, symbolically, is the teacher, the informer of the whys and the wherefores of the world. And, in answer to those who would label us devil worshippers, or be very quick to assume us to be Satan worshippers, I must say that Satan demands study, not worship, in his truest symbology. We do not grovel, we do not get down on our knees, genuflect and worship Satan. We do not plead and do not implore that Satan give us what we wish. We feel that anyone who be blessed by a god of his choice is going to have to show that god that he is capable of taking care of the blessings that are received.
The Church of Satan is an organization which is comprised of Satanists who, because of their abilities and lifestyles, and I must stress this, lifestyles, reflect a higher than average human potential. Through this avenue, the Church of Satan, the Satanists will become the prototype for a more rational, certainly more finely tuned society.
The stress has been on nude altars. The nude altar is an integral part of the Satanic service, and with good reason. The nude altar reflects man’s fleshly heritage, the very earth, the mother, the womb from whence we came, and we feel there is nothing bawdy, there is nothing licentious, nothing lewd about the nude woman that is employed as an altar. We also feel that there is nothing wrong with bawdiness, licentiousness, or any type of sexual activity. We feel as though the ritual chamber is no place for either overtly or covertly and there is no need to be surreptitious in our ritual, where our sexual predilections are concerned.
Now, for centuries, churchmen and laymen have been defining the devil according to their needs, all the while playing the game of muzzling the enemy. They’ve been inventing the rules of how devils should behave; how Satan should behave, how worshippers should act, and they have been in an authoritative position to do so, because they are the men of god, they are the men of the church. Supposedly, they are the men who have been doing battle with this devil, and have been absolving their parishioners.
In this manner have they maintained a convenient means by which to escape the blame for their inadequacies and indiscretions. “The Devil made me do it,” has long been a stock alibi. Once it held, and held very firm. Now, fortunately for us, it has become ludicrous to say, “The Devil made me do it.” Yet many, while still laughing, play the old game of self deceit, blaming the devil in one way or another. So, the old game is still going on. This is made amply clear in, of all places, the world of the occult.
Witches, who held the devil’s name for centuries, now refute Satanism with a passion, employing it as “the other side of the fence,” which they are certainly not. All manner of occultists, from ESP researchers to to faith healers denounce Satanists as worthless, meaningless, dangerous, ad nauseum, but never is there to be found a positive adjective about Satanists. We Satanists only smile at such transparencies, because they are transparent opinions. Their motivations are most clear. It shows that even those who now claim emancipation from Inquisitors need devils themselves to make their art more palatable to others.
Ironically, the masters of the world have always been Satanists. The masters of magic have always practiced Satanic magic. That is, magic without the trappings of self deceit, because self deceit is always an inhibiting factor in the ultimate success of a magical rite. Great devil’s advocates of the past Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, Herbert Spencer, H.G. Wells, Shaw, Bierce, all of them. They were able to hold a looking glass up to man. But man, momentarily dealing in self deceit, upon reading the works of these people, could quickly avert his gaze and find solace in his spurious rule books.
The time for an organization of devils was not yet ready, when these devil’s advocates existed. For only a strong organized movement could force the mirror of self revealing before the world’s eyes and hold it there. And this is what we wish to do; hold that mirror up.
It is said that the most powerful thing in the world is an idea whose time has come around. The idea that the enemy might conceivably have something worthwhile to say is now with us. In fact, is that demon within each of us really an enemy as we have so long been taught, or will it be recognized as the guiding spirit of enlightenment that it really is? We must remember the word daemon does not imply evil, but simply a guiding spirit… a motivating spirit. Man must quit kidding himself. Only when he emancipates himself from dubious interpretations of good an evil, will he truly rise above them, beyond good an evil, realizing that these terms are probably the most relative terms in man’s existence.
When he can accept the long obscene name of Satan, and that is a dirty word, Satan. The occult world even seems to find it more so. When he can accept this name into his vocabulary as a sound to be honored, then he will be free. Until then, he will walk in fear of the very scapegoat he has created, and his potential guide will remain his nemesis. Satanism allows us to recognize and realize our own potential. This is what I would call “the balance factor,” to realize that man created equal, but each according to his own opportunity and natural ability, must make the most of what he has. But he must also realize that he cant force cards into his computer that will not be programmed, and will be rejected. And he must, as a Satanist, knowing this, realizing what his human potential is. Eventually, and here is one of the essential points of Satanism, attain his own godhead, in accordance with his own potential. Therefore, each man, each woman is a goddess, of Satanism, but must never make the mistake of assuming there may not be another god or goddess next door that may be a little stronger than he or she.
We feel that Satanism is a religion of life and I can’t understand why some of our detractors seem so repelled and compelled to establish Satanism as a religion of death, because nothing could be further from the truth. Satanism believes that we should live this life to the fullest and get every drop of enjoyment from this life. We believe this is the best of all known possible worlds. If there is another one, then it will be Satanists, or Satanically inspired scientists who find it. We feel that life is the great indulgence, and death is the great abstinence. I made this very clear in The Satanic Bible, and yet, there are many who still say that Satanism is death worship. So you might say that this is a gateway to new and more vigorous life for the individual who might be struggling under the burden of depression.
The greatest misconception about Satanists is the human sacrifice thing. They seem to overlook the fact that a curse can be thrown, without any blood being shed on the part of the magician, or the victim that the magician may choose. Satanists accept human life as a precious thing, albeit wasted on some individuals. Ad we feel that thee is nothing inherently wrong with anyone who just lives and allows others to live, according to their own dictates. But, nevertheless, curses have to be thrown. A curse is a symbolic act, which means that it gives vent to one’s anger, his emotions, and if it is directed properly toward the victim, the victim, then, suffers accordingly. This is the power of ceremonial magic.”
by Jake Block
So it looks like things are “reopening.”
One of the things that I have re-learned during the Covid 19 pandemic and “lockdown,” is that even if you are, like me, naturally reclusive to a degree, the mind does not like being compelled to lock down. It’s true, even if your natural inclination is to do so for your own protection, or in the normal maintenance of your need for privacy. Just the fact that someone, somewhere, somehow is exercising an element of control over your movements, IF you would want to move, is stress inducing. It’s akin to compelling a wolf, even if it is your pet, to restrict itself to a small luxury apartment. A cage is a cage, no matter how comfortable it is.
So it looks like things are “reopening.”
That, conceptually, is a good thing, but can be equally unpalatable if it is under compulsion, when someone, somewhere, somehow is telling you that THEY have decided that everything is safe now. “Go out now and be normal, because I am telling you that things are “normal,” and you should disregard the unchecked spread of the virus, the lowering, but still high body count day after day.” My counsel, admittedly based on nothing but what I plan on doing myself, is to feel safe ONLY when you actually feel safe in your own mind, based on what you see and know in your particular environment in real time. You (hopefully) have common sense. Use it.
Lockdown under compulsion can be comfortable, if you find that place of joy within you and use it to comfort the mind. If your place of joy is in music, art, cooking, blissful sex with someone who makes you feel joyful… this is the time to indulge. Indulge intelligently, indulge without compulsion… indulge because it is natural for you to do so, and you’ll find that Milton was right when he taught us that man can make a paradise out of Hell. But be aware as well, that man can also make a Hell out of paradise. It’s all common sense and the judicious employment of “free will.”
I think that Three Dog Night pointed the way in their song from 1968, written by Steve Winwood, “Heaven Is In Your Mind.”
“Ride on the swing
In and out of the bars,
Capturing moments of life in a jar,
Playing with children and
Acting like stars,
Guiding your vision to heaven,
And Heaven is in your mind.
Take extra care
Not to lose what you feel;
The apple you’re eating
Is simple and real.
Water the flowers
That grow at your heel.
Guiding your vision to heaven,
And heaven is in your mind.”
So it looks like things are “reopening.” I’ll join in when I’m ready.
by Jake Block
“Never thought I’d get to meet the devil;
Never thought I’d meet him face to face.
Heard he always worked alone,
That he seldom wrote or used the phone,
So I walked right up to meet him at his place.”
— Meet The Devil (Paul Williams)
This little ditty from The Phantom of the Paradise was playing in my head on the night I first met Anton LaVey. It was a cold night in San Francisco in December, and I was waiting outside of a house in the Potrero Hills area, where I had been instructed to be at 8PM. I had been a member of the Church of Satan for ten years, at this point, but I was still nervous and excited to be there and waiting. It was 8:25, and I was beginning to wonder if I had gone to the wrong address when a nondescript, white ford pulled up and a black-haired woman asked, “Are you Jake?”
I answered yes, and she said, “I’m Wanda Slattery. Dr. LaVey sent me to bring you in.” And we were off. I followed her through the streets of San Francisco as she weaved in and out of traffic. After about fifteen minutes, we pulled into two reserved parking places in the back of a large, dark brick hotel in the Van Ness area of the city. We went through the unmarked glass door and were in an upscale hotel with dark wood walls, tastefully decorated and warm. We emerged from a hallway and I caught a glimpse of a white Christmas tree with white lights in the lobby, and I chuckled. Wanda smiled and said, “Ironic, isn’t it?” I nodded as we got into the elevator and she pressed the button for the ninth floor. “This hotel is owned by a member of The Church,” she explained, “we have use of a suite to conduct business like this.” The elevator stopped on the ninth floor.
On the way to room 909, she informed me that when we entered, she would introduce me and then retire to the other room until needed. She opened the door using a key on her keychain, and not a hotel room key. I followed her inside the door, where it was silent and dark with only a few lamps illuminating the dark walls, living room and a conference room with a long walnut table with eight chairs. She removed her coat and folded it over the arm of a large leather sofa. “Jake, I’d like to introduce you to Anton Szandor LaVey.” I turned to see the tall, smiling figure who had appeared in the conference room. He was wearing a black shirt and jacket, black pants and shoes. Around his neck was his personal symbol, the silver inverted pentagram bisected with the lightning bolt.
We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Wanda asked if I we would like something to drink, and LaVey chose bourbon and I requested a glass of white wine. We sat at the conference table with LaVey taking a seat at the far end and i sat at the end closest to the door. Moments later, Wanda returned with our drinks and then settled down in the living room, taking up a steno pad and black ink pen. She was silent and her presence evaporated from my mind as I listened intently to this man I had come to respect more than any other I had known. He knew of me, and spoke of his enjoyment of things I had written over the past ten years of my association with The Church. We spoke of a mutual friend we shared in Reverend Pierre Raguet, and my working group The Melek Taus Chapel from 1973 – 1977. He remembered that as a young Agent that I had coordinated with other members who had remained loyal when, in 1975, Michael Aquino had left the group, later to form The Temple of Set. And then his eyes narrowed on mine.
He said, “I have one problem with you, in that you’re a career military member. I’ve had a member of the military as part of my staff before (Aquino), and at first, he was great. If I told him I would like him to do an essay on the color red, he could give me 5,000 words, annotated, proof read, and ready to print in The Cloven Hoof. Anything I needed administratively, he could provide. The problem is that he acted like he deserved a medal for everything he did.” I know he knew that I was aware of whom he was speaking, so I sat my drink down, thought for a moment an said, “Sir, the difference is that he is an officer, and I am an enlisted man, and even though we are both career military, enlisted men don’t expect or need to be rewarded for everything we do. Part of our job is to make the boss look good, and we know it.” He nodded. Wanda wrote.
And so it went on for over an hour, just a basic interview for someone to work on staff. Then, from outside, we heard the sound of a police siren as it passed the hotel and made its way further down Van Ness, fading as it went. “I’ve always loved that sound,” he said, “it brings with it the chance of mystery and adventure. My life can seem like and old film noir from a novel by Cornell Woolrich. His movies were always dark, saturnian affairs… atmospheric. He’s still alive, you know. His books and movies made him wealthy, but he lives in New York…” Shortly after that, the interview was over. He told me that he enjoyed meeting me, and would contact me after interviewing two more candidates. I assured him that I was ready and able to assist him if he needed me. We shook hands, and I thanked Wanda for her assistance, and I was out the door and on my way.
I drove through the night toward home, my mind filled with the events of the evening and the satisfaction of meeting the man whose book had made such an impact on my life. That feeling lasted three days with me, and I thought that, if my association with him and The Church goes no further, it was enough. Then, on the following Monday, I got a call, late in the evening. I answered the phone and a woman’s voice asked, “Is this Jake?” I told her that it was, and she said, “Be at the Black House at 8PM, Thursday. Welcome aboard,” and she hung up. Message received, and a new adventure in life had begun.
by Jake Block
THIS ESSAY CONTAINS INFORMATION OF A SEXUAL NATURE AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS.
La petite mort, the little death, is a metaphoric euphemism for orgasm. The phrase entered into English usage in around 1572 C.E., not specifically as a sexual reference, but in describing a “fainting fit,” or a “nervous spasm.” In the time since then, it has been used primarily (although not exclusively) as a sexual term to describe post orgasmic experiences that include a weakening of consciousness, weakness and erotic exhaustion.
“Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.”
— Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
The power of orgasm, both male and female, has been know for centuries. Sometimes it has been considered part of a mystical experience, a way of honoring “the gods” as a sacrifice of one’s vital bodily fluids in the male model, and the “holy vessel” for intimate, erotic coupling in the female model. Hindu Tantric sexual practices formulated over 5000 years ago still are in practice today, with formal and informal devotees around the world.
The western world has treated sex and orgasm in the rather pedestrian model of cause and effect, goal oriented, biological imperative, and in cold reality, it is. The typical male/female sexual dynamic is that the male pursues the female, seduces her, engages in sex for the average of three to five minutes, at the end of which the male ejaculates. The female might come to orgasm, but it’s not really necessary.
OK. That might work well for a teenagers (dating myself) in the back seat of a 1957 Chevy at the local drive in on Saturday night, but bears as much in common with a magical experience as a shotgun shack in the boondocks compares to a Tuscan villa. In the magical sense, orgasm is not the goal, but an event along a timeline that builds and extends to a greater and more intense conclusion that is both satisfying and exhausting in a way teens at the drive in could never comprehend.
Sex has been a component of magical operations for centuries, both as a veneration of the gods to insure fertility of females for the continuance of the species, but also the viability of crops to sustain the community, as in Dionysian and Bacchanalian orgiastic fertility rites. These primitive processes eventually evolved into organized and standardized magical rituals that incorporated sex and orgasm as vectors of power to achieve a desired outcome.
Some of these initiatory groups, such as the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) and Fraternatas Saturni linked participation in the sexually oriented rituals to those of a predetermined ranking within their organizations. While the OTO was well known for the inclusion of sexuality into their magical practices, the Fraternitas Saturni’s erotic rituals were limited in scope. For example, this described ritual was limited to those who had reached the 18°.
“The Five – M Rite
(As presented in the book FIRE AND ICE by S. Edred Flowers (p. 109 – 112 )
This rite is performed by male and female magicians who are bound together by a high level of erotic desire. The pair spend some time in sexual abstinence and in meditation before beginning the rite.
1) Preparation. The temple room is hun with black satin decorated with inverse silver pentagrams. The lodge apron worn during the ritual is black with a gold or red pentagram (reversed). If each of the participants holds the 18°, they wear the respective rings of the degree,
2) Entry. The pair enter the temple room and step within a circle, in the middle of which is a low stool. The male magician (magus) sits on the stool, while the female (medium) crouches between his out-spread legs.
3) Charging. A parchment upon which are inscribed the sigils of the psychogone which is to be invoked is laid on the floor between the “magus” and “medium.” This parchment is odically loaded by means of magnetic passes and rhythmic breathing techniques. This remains on the floor between the legs of the male.
4) Working. The female partner stands and lowers herself onto the erect penis of the male. They complete the act of ritual coitus with the male ejaculating into the vagina or the medium before her climax. After orgasm of the female, she stands and allows the sperm and the collected, magically charged sexual fluids to fall upon the parchment. This parchment then becomes the focus for the development of a psychogonic entity — the purpose of and will of which is directed by the magicians.
These four steps actually constitute only the later part of the complete “Five-M Rite.” Before partaking of this fifth “M” — Sanskrit maithuna (eros) — the magicians will have already partaken of the other four M’s”: mansa (meat), matsya (fiish), mudra (grain), and madya (wine or mead), in a ritual meal.
The aim of this operation is similar to that of several others practiced by the FS: to create living entities that will do the bidding of a magician. This is something quite different from calling upon spirits, angels, or daemons to work for the magician, in that the psycyogone is considered to have been created out of the magician’s own energies (or out of the combined male and female essences).
Another similar practice to create and astral entity or psychogone is called “Astral Procreation.” The ritual may be summarized as follows:
1) A make magician and a female medium enter a magical circle, closed by a pentagram and armed in the four cardinal points with four other inverse pentagrams. She lies face up on a bed or sofa. She is nude with her head toward the south.
2) The magician draws another inner magical circle around the medium and puts her into a deep, magnetic trance. (the original FS documents suggest that drugs — an incense made of hashish, for example — might be helpful!) It is also noted that the room temperature should be very high.
3) The magician sits (in the lotus asana) to the right of the medium. He draws a small magical circle in front of himself and sprinkles seven drops of wine or other alcoholic spirit into the middle of the circle. By means of visualization, breathing and mantric techniques (using the u-vowel), the magician should evoke the image of the psychogone in the small circle. In the circle before him he then places a piece of parchment upon which are inscribed the sigils of the entity to be created.
4) With the left hand the magician strokes the medium’s solar plexus (surya chakra), her heart region (anahata chakra), her sexual area (svadusthana chakra), and finally and most importantly, her spleen region (chandara chakra). As he does this he draws out odic force from each of these centers an directs it through his body from his left hand to his right hand, whic he is holding over the parchment in the small magical circle in front of him. This force is projected in a continuous stream into the parchment. This whole cycle is carried out from seven to nine times. This can be accompanied by singing of mantras corresponding to the entity to be created.
5) The medium is then awakened from her magnetic trance, and rises from her lying position. The magician sits on the edge of the bed or sofa with the circle and parchment between his legs. He pulls the medium toward him and onto his erect penis. They complete ritual coitus. The charged sexual fluids that flow from the vagina after the act are mixed with the alcoholic spirit and used to soak the parchment. Also, three drops of the magician’s blood, drawn from his Saturn (middle) finger, are added to the parchment.
6) The parchment is then dried over a brazier and the ceremony is closed.
A pendulum is used to determine the presence of relative strength of the psychogone inhabiting the parchment. On Mondays and Fridays, both “parents” of the entity may direct more odic force to the entity — feeding it and making it stronger. This increasing strength can be monitored with the pendulum.
The time during the full or waxing Moon are favorable for producing friendly and beneficial psychogones, while during the time of the new or waning Moon dangerous and malevolent entities can be engendered. Also, with regard to the character of these entities, it is noted that although it is largely a matter of the magician’s will to design, the basic character is also affected by the personality of the parents.”
In another example of sexual magic, coming to us from Aleister Crowley can be found in The Book of The Law (Liber AL vel Legis ) by Crowley in 1914 C.E.
“LIBER CDLI (451)
(The 15th Chapter of Liber CDXIV)
Of Eroto-comatose Lucidity (Liber CDXIV) De Arte Magica (Liber 414). Written c. 1914
The Candidate is made ready for the Ordeal by general athletic training, and by feasting. On the appointed day he is attended by one or more chosen and experienced attendants whose duty is (a) to exhaust him sexually by every known means (b) to rouse him sexually by every known means. Every device and artifice of the courtesan is to be employed, and every stimulant known to the physician. Nor should the attendants reck of danger, but hunt down ruthlessly their appointed prey.
The attendants will watch with assiduity for signs of waking; and the moment these occur, all stimulation must cease instantly, and the Candidate be allowed to fall again into sleep; but no sooner has this happened than the former practice is resumed. This alteration is to continue indefinitely until the Candidate is in a state which is neither sleep nor waking, and in which his Spirit, set free by perfect exhaustion of the body, and yet prevented from entering the City of Sleep, communes with the Most High and the Most Holy Lord God of its being, maker of heaven and earth.
The Ordeal terminates by failure—the occurance of sleep invincible— or by success, in which ultimate waking is followed by a final performance of the sexual act. The Initiate may then be allowed to sleep, or the practice may be renewed and persisted in until death ends all. The most favourable death is that occurring during the orgasm, and is called Mors Justi.
As it is written: Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like his!”
Two very different examples of sexuality and magic, but indicative of human individuality and the ability to use the mind and body as tools for the projection of will in a Greater Magical ritualization. Of course, these rituals can be used as is, or modified to reflect the sensibilities of those who would participate in them, reflecting those values and workings of their particular magical system.
AS ALWAYS, USE COMMON SENSE AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE TECHNIQUES WHEN ENGAGING IN SEX MAGIC OF ANY SORT.
by Jake Block
During times of crisis, such as this, it’s not uncommon to see some of the most vocal detractors of Christianity have a change of heart and “get right with Jesus.” For some reason, people seem to think that life threatening events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, plagues, quakes and tribulations of every manner and sort are somehow targeting them, specifically, even though they might be regional, national or worldwide calamities. Guilt can play heavily upon the minds of the weak and insecure.
Over my lifetime, there have been a few times when I’ve been threatened with the possibility of personal doom and even death. I’ve been ill, and thought that I might die, and I’ve been on two aircraft that stood a better than 50% chance of crashing, and there were times in war that it I thought that this might just be the day that my luck runs out. Being that I’ve never kept the fact that I am a Satanist a secret, there have always been those who felt that it was up to them to point out that I could have absolution for my “sins” or a better life, if I would just turn things over to Jesus. In each of these cases, I’ve never once had the urge to hedge my bets, just incase a roll of the dice came up snake-eyes.
While I was in the military, I was laid low by Malaria, that I had contracted when in Vietnam. I was hospitalized while in mid-hallucination, spiking a fever of 105°, and well on my way to the point where organ failure and death are definitely a concern. My wife got me to the hospital and had filled out my admission paperwork, upon which was the question, “Does the patient request a Chaplain?” Of course, she checked the “NO” option on the form. They told me it was touch and go for a while as they had to put me in an ice bath to lower my temperature, got me into isolation and put me on IV fluids and meds.
I slipped in and out of consciousness for the next several hours. My wife told me she was napping in the waiting room, when she heard a commotion coming from the room where I had been placed. She admitted to being amused when she saw the door burst open to see me shoving an obviously concerned Chaplain roughly out the door, while I yelled, “NO. I DON’T WANT YOU HERE! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!” The ward nurse got there just as I collapsed on the floor. I had apparently come to for a moment while the Chaplain had taken it upon himself to pray over me, and I had pulled the needles out of my arm and gone after him. I remembered nothing of the incident the next morning when my doctor smiled and said, “Sarge, I think you’re going to hell for sure, after last night!” For the rest of my time in the hospital, the Chaplain never bothered me again.
I suppose that the Malarial fever got the better of me and lowered my tolerance. Under normal circumstances if someone had confronted me with an offer to share their religion, I would either have just said, “No thank you,” or told them to mind their own business and do their job.
And this, I think, is my main problem with Christian Evangelicals, and those of their brainwashed ilk, like to descend on people when they are at a low point in their lives, so that they can offer them the “love and comfort of Jesus” schtick. Those who are in crisis are often susceptible to this tactic, and Evangelists never fail to make promises that life will always be better, if you only believe. Of course, you might have to wait until after you’re dead!
Two things that those of us on the Left-Hand Path need to know and remember is that “nature,” and “the universe” really don’t give a damn about us. Good things happen to both good and bad people, and bad things happen to everyone as well, and that, to put it bluntly, sometimes, “shit happens.” You can’t take it seriously unless it’s something that you had a hand in on an up close and personal level. The weather, the capriciousness of destiny, luck, kismet, or serendipity are simply ideas weighted to the positive or negative by the subjectivity of the human mind. What matters is how we handle the cards that are dealt.
Consider as well the idea of the influence and personal interactions into our world by gods, demons or angels. Consider with intellect and with dispassionate objectivity, because unless one can see and interact with beings in reality, rather than sense their “realness” in the gossamer fabric of belief, they are simply conditioned emotional reaction to circumstances. As such, they have no real power over us for good or for evil. These concepts are again human values transposed onto the constructed mythos used by ancient man to explain the unexplainable, due to man’s technical ignorance, intellectual ineffectiveness, and simple lack of experiential evidence to help him explain cause and effect relationships. The now simple relationship between thunder and lightning was at one time fearsome and used to indicate the displeasure of the gods for some action or inaction of man. Humorous to us today, the ancients lived in dread that their failure to adequately please the gods could bring down their thunderous wrath, and those who initially began to understand the weather driven relationship were wise enough to exploit that fear for their own purposes of power and profit.
Those who still cling to the belief in gods and/or devils controlling our lives in some personally interactive way can quite easily conclude that a god angry at humans, might well punish them with a virus in retribution. From there, it’s not a large step toward their considering that a specific group of people might be chosen for punishment. In the mind of the ignorant, this leads to elitist thinking then, that those who were stricken were for some reason inferior or less in favor in the eyes of the gods. So, they do what they can to “get right” with their god, lest they too be stricken. “Getting right,” unfortunately, often entails punishing those they believe are in their god’s disfavor unless they can convert those people to their god’s service, or eliminate them entirely from the earth. It surely must be “God’s will” that they should be gone.
Crisis or no, as rational human beings, we must retain control of our own destinies. As comforting as it might be to think that some benevolent god savior will always hold us gently in the palm of his or her hand, reality must be served. Our sovereignty and survival depends on our being able to have the ultimate power to control what we do in our own best interests. We can’t depend on the infallibility of some ancient deity, simply because some village in some ancient land decided that their sacrifices of sheep entrails might sway a god to their favor, or that the capriciousness of the blowing winds, dispersing a column of smoke from the sacrificial fire surely showed a god’s displeasure. Comforting as it might be to think that life is that simple, the complexities of the world as we know it clearly prove that wrong.
Beware of the mortal man who knows what his god is thinking, especially if his interpretation compels you to abide based on their interpretations. The reason I say this, is that their belief in their particular god or deity might be absolute, however their belief is in no way a mandate to compel anyone else to share in their belief or, quite frankly to even give a damn what the hell they believe at all.
Critical thinking in any circumstance is something that should be practiced at all times. If something doesn’t seem right to you, if there are too many loose ends, or if there is always some just a little too convenient reason for the discrepancies in someone’s working theory, then it’s the wise person who takes a step back from the brink and waits for more and better information, and indeed proof. Marvin Gaye said it best in his hit song, I Heard It Through the Grapevine.
“People say believe half of what you see, son,
And none of what you hear.”
It is said that Karl Marx once opined that “Religion is the opium of the people,” however this is a paraphrasing of his entire statement, which was (translated to English), “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” This can be found in his work, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. (1843)” This, to me is a more accurate description of the role that religion, with its anthropomorphizing, plays in the lives of believers. They serve as a numbing agent for most who are simply people struggling to survive and unable to understand that the burdens they bear are not personal; that all people have burdens, but learn to cope with them, rather than trusting their fate to the agents of their pantheons.
by Jake Block
“Empty vessels make the most sound.”
Andy Warhol’s statement, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” first appearing in a program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet, in Stockholm, Sweden has given hope to two generations of wannabes and “special flowers,” who crave the attention of the masses, but have little in the way of credible accomplishments to merit it. Granted, there were “special flowers and wannabes” before Warhol, but no one prior to that time had managed to paint the proper word picture quite so succinctly.
Had Andy Warhol lived until 1991 to see the advent of public internet, I think that even he would have been surprised at the prophetic nature of his comment, but less than impressed at the low bar that the internet set for fame. It soon became a place for the dregs of society to set up shop, with conspiracy theories, racist tropes and nonsensical rants evincing a dumbing down of society on a social networking level. Rather than becoming a tool for elevation and erudition, it became a melting pot of the illiterate and the unsophisticated, projecting an air of elitism.
And for those seeking something of consequence in their lives as they travel from page to page, they see the braggadocio of the internet heroes splashed on the walls of each page that they visit, big-assed memes that say nothing, supported by the sophomoric scrawling on walls that mean nothing to them, save the self-serving drivel they post. But, like the tags of orphan gangs in the ghettos and inner city turfs of the big cities around the world, they hint at importance, with nothing of substance to back the brag.
It’s always been clear to those of us who have paid attention to the way things actually work in this world that those with the least to say tend to say it the loudest. Politics, entertainment and the world of internet influencers demonstrate this concept much better than my poor few words could ever convey. The world has been conned into accepting the idea that truth and facts and reality mean nothing, when lies and “alternative realities” and artifice can entertain the masses. The masses will follow whomever can feed their bellies and keep them entertained. As it was in the glory days of the Roman Empire, so too is it today, in the empire of the plebeian “everyman.” To control the masses, all you need is bread and circus.
Anton LaVey spoke to this long ago, back in 1984, in the November/December issue of The Cloven Hoof, when he wrote:
“The most valuable commodity in the world is stimulation. If you can provide stimulation to others, you can succeed at whatever you wish. A person who is a stimulator is the exact opposite of a psychic vampire. A stimulator energizes. A psychic vampire depletes. It is often thought that some people thrive on misery. They don’t. They thrive on the stimulation that misery provides; it just so happens that misery serves as a welcome contrast to an otherwise boring existence.
Trendiness is seldom stimulating. Comfortable, yes, but not stimulating. Comfort can only run a second place to stimulation. Too much comfort leads to ennui. That’s why most people can only stand a limited amount of happiness. When their happiness becomes unbearable, they take to fighting among themselves in order to experience a break from monotony.
One who is praised for possessing “charisma” is simply one who is stimulating in a positive way. It is safe to say that a dull (un-stimulating) person will not be considered charismatic. Following this analysis, charisma is not necessarily a human quality. Indeed, it could easily be programmed into a robot (and has) who is infinitely more entertaining than those for whom it performs. Perhaps Dr. Frankenstein’s creation was “a modern Prometheus” in more ways than one. Considering the epimetheanism (*after-thinkers) of most humans, any Stimulator is ahead in the pack.
The fact that stimulation can be conferred by any number of non-human qualities shatters any delusion of “human values,” so dear to the human potentialists. A magnificent painting stimulates. So can a musical composition. Or a dead fly in a bowl of soup, because it is out of context. Likewise, a charismatic person is out of context to more pedestrian types surrounding him.
I’m not trying to say that a compelling conversationalist is like a dead fly in a bowl of soup; only that they are both out of context with their surroundings and therefore, stimulating.”
LaVey was a plain spoken man, not given very often to flowery speech and empty discourse. He had his “fifteen minutes of world fame,” and quite deservedly so. He spoke (and wrote) with the clarity of a man who had something of worth to say, and who wasn’t just “talking to hear his own head rattle,” as the “oldsters” used to say. I really wish there were a lot more men and women like him on the web today, but unfortunately, the more I see people prattling on and on, I’m reminded of an old southern saying about the preacher who “could talk and talk until he had something to say.”
I long ago gave up trying to protect people from themselves. If they want to listen to pseudoscience and the mysticism of theists offering supernaturalism and the comfortable mindlessness of it all, who the hell am I to waste valuable time in talking to walls? In 1939, Universal Pictures produced the film, You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man, starring W.C. Fields as “Larson E. Whipsnade.” In the film, Whipsnade says that his grandfather’s last words before they “sprung the trap,” (hanged him) were, “Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.”
LaVey spoke those same words to me one evening when I was talking about all of the gullible fools sending their hard earned money to support televangelists. They’ve stuck with me, and I’ve always thought it was a lesson well learned. There are no victims, only volunteers, and they’re eager to be taken by the hustlers in politics, in business scams and yes, in philosophy and religion. I’m of the belief that the best way to show up a scam artist, a charlatan or a mountebank is to let them talk. Sooner or later, they’ll out themselves.
Until that time, though, we have to wear our noise-canceling earphones to dull the drone of the empty vessels.