Jake Block

Born That Way

by Jake Block

 
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.

 

Ok… You’re A God… It Don’t Impress Me Much

by Jake Block

 “Oh-oo-oh, you think you’re special

Oh-oo-oh, you think you’re something else
Okay, so you’re a rocket scientist
That don’t impress me much”

 
“That Don’t Impress Me Much” — Shania Twain
 
You bought the book and you read the words, you figure that now you’ve decided that you’re a Satanist, and it doesn’t really matter if you are Theistic or Atheistic you are now a GOD.  LaVey said it.  You toss everything else he said out with the bathwater, but for some reason you GOT the words, “THE highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one’s own birth. This is in direct contradiction to the holy of holy days of other religions, which deify a particular god who has been created in an anthropomorphic form of their own image, thereby showing that the ego is not really buried.

 The Satanist feels: “Why not really be honest and if you are going to create a god in your image, why not create that god as yourself.” Every man is a god if he chooses to recognize himself as one.”

There it is on page 96 of THE SATANIC BIBLE, in black and white.  Well… it is if you bought the book.  For you “gods” who couldn’t afford the book, I’d just do a search on that PDF you stare at in the dark.    LaVey said it.  So it is written, so let it be done.  Never mind the fact that he was speaking metaphorically, and never mind that just because he wrote it and you read it does not magically confer upon you any specialty or rarified position in the world.  It doesn’t make you any better than anyone else.  If you were a high school drop out shoveling shit for minimum wage the day before you read the paragraph, you’re a god who is STILL a high school drop out and STILL shoveling shit for minimum wage the day after.  You can call yourself a god if you want to.  You can call yourself Napoleon Bonaparte too.  Just saying it doesn’t make it so, and when you’re shoveling that shit, barely making ends meet, and dependent upon others for your daily existence, being “a god” isn’t quite what it is cracked up to be now, is it?

 Look.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not slamming you because you’re not burning things up in your real world careers.  Some of you ARE, and that’s great.  I knew Anton LaVey personally, and well enough that in the nights there in the Black House when we would talk man to man, I could get a damned good understanding of his rhyme and reason.  Let me tell you what being your own god means.  It means being responsible for the creation of your own life and your own prosperity and well-being, beholden to no one.  It doesn’t mean you can do any damned thing you want in life, and it doesn’t mean that you are beyond the reach of the law.  It simply means you take responsibility to be the best that you can be… make your life the best that you can make it with your personal drive, motivation, creativity and brain power.  There are 25 Watt gods and 100 Watt gods.  Stratification applies to gods and mortals alike.  

 It’s a prideful thing to be a Satanist, to my way of thinking.  I’ve been one the better part of my life, and as that life begins its downhill run to the finish line, I still feel pride in my Satanism.  Justifiable pride is that cherry on top of your sundae that’s a foot tall and covered with nuts.  When you can look back at a life well lived and challenges met and bested, ever-striving, and striving still to be the best YOU that you can be, you’re able to meet any man or woman and look them in the eye with a stare that says, “I’m the REAL DEAL, and here’s my proof.”  But too many of us are like too many of those sheep we like to gloat over.  We wallow in “counter productive pride,” taking credit where none is due, simply skating through life, not striving, unless it’s for mediocrity, and then we applaud it like some Olympic laurel wreath around our heads.  “Then all thy bones shall say pridefully, “Who is like unto me?  Have I not been too strong for my adversaries?  Have I not delivered myself by my own brain and body?”  

 It’s about that time when the boss we hate at the job we hate bellows…”Ok, slackers, coffee break’s over.  Get back to work.  That shit ain’t gonna shovel itself!”  Life beckons, and realities must be recognized.

 Now, shoveling shit is an honest job, and if it’s YOUR job, you want to be the best shit shoveler in the lower 48 states.  I know I would, although I have never had a job shoveling shit… I’ve had a couple that some might say are arguably worse.  But the point is that we don’t delude ourselves that this is all we can be and all we will be… there are ways out.  Education, “working the shit out of a shit job” to move you up the ladder where you won’t BE shoveling shit, but putting  the shovel in the hands of someone who will, and even taking a risk and striking out in a whole new direction, starting afresh in a new career.  TAKING CONTROL of your life and your environment… taking personal responsibility to get to a place in life where you have a greater amount of clout and autonomy and the ability to make things happen as you would wish them to be, rather than reacting to the way things are thrust upon you.

 I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum.  I’ve been “as broke as the Ten Commandments,” and I’ve been flush enough to “fly first class and tip twenties.”  If you will indulge an old guy for a moment, let me tell you a few things that I have learned along the way.  Today is ALWAYS what you need to concentrate on, because that’s where opportunities are.  The past is over… forget about it and move on.  Keep your wits about you and watch for the opportunities and chances that others miss.  You may have to put yourself out and invest in time and education and “seed money” to pay for classes and things you need to help you gain that forward momentum in your life.  But what better way to invest than on yourself?  ALWAYS bet on yourself… but hedge that bet with ACTION.   And ok… this is going to sound counterintuitive for a Satanist, but remain humble but confident to others.  There is a difference between confidence and cockiness.  Confidence is ennobling.  People see you as in control and forward looking.  Cockiness demands challenge.  People will support and help a confident man succeed, and almost always root for the cocky man to fail.

And that’s important.  You may be “a god,” but until you have found a way to sustainable wealth and total self sufficiency, you will need the backing and help from others from time to time, and when they assist you, be gracious without being fawning or obsequious.  Be a gentleman or gentlewoman and accept that helping hand with a smile and a look in your eye that says, “Thanks, but I’ve got this now.”  And when you succeed, acknowledge the assistance of others.  It’s not ass kissing… it’s not lowering yourself.  It’s maintaining useful connections for the future.

 One last thing I would like you to think about is, people get their perceptions of you not so much from what they hear you say, although that is important, but from observable cues that will make your presentation, be it formal or informal, believable or indicative of someone selling a load of bull excrement.  If you loudly proclaim, “I am a Satanist and my own GOD… ” don’t do it standing in a welfare line, or wearing tatters.  Be ready AND ABLE to back up your claims of self determination and autonomy in the world we live in.  For example, I’m a passable photographer and artist of a sort, so you can bet your ass that if I tell people I can do something with my camera that requires no post-production in Photoshop, you can bet your ass that I will be able to back up my claims, or I’ll keep my mouth SHUT.  If you make claims that appear to be grandiose and untenable upon visual inspection, expect to be challenged.  Credibility is important, and “a god” needs to be able to put up or shut up, else you run the very real risk of being seen as simply another blowhard in a black shirt.

As a Satanist, you can be your own god, developing and maintaining your own alternative reality in which you have a greater element of control than the average Joe on the street.  The more financially flush you are helps, and having the intellectual chops to defend your rationale in such a declaration will help you.  But realize that while you might be “different” in your approach, you are not unique, as each individual on this planet can make the same claim to self sovereignty, carving out his or her own niche to hold and defend.  Be realistic, be intellectually honest and if you build your world on fact, rather than fantasy, a god you may be, even if only one of many.

 

Words of Power

by Jake Block

Abracadabra!  So Mote It Be!  It is Done!  And lest we forget, SHEMHAMFORASH!  The words of power in a magical sense are the catalyst for change that begins in the mind of the magician.  It’s been that way for centuries, and the words of power used by some of the legendary practitioners of magic in its many forms become legend and take on a life of their own.

But we also have words of power, you and I, and we wield them in the prosecution of our daily lives, their recognition prompting function, and that function causes change in accordance to our Will.  “Charge it,” we intone and without blinking an eye, the tradesmen who ply their wares, grant us our desires.   The utterance of the words “Super-size it,” will feed our bellies, and “Make it a double” will quench out thirsts.  “Fill ‘er up” gives mobility, and “Book it,” lodging for the night; “I do,” when asked, “do you?” brings us love for a season, these words, and many more from which to choose, are the province of all who speak the lingo.

These words of power bind us as a culture and as a community within the greater whole.  We share them without anger and without joy.  They simply are, and as long as I can remember, they always have been.  But these days, I find that other words are words of power that only a relatively few employ.  They KNOW the words, and I am sure that on some level, they know that these words of power can give them freedom and comfort and personal independence.  So why are they seemingly afraid to use them?  Perhaps fear of being left out, or worse, thrown out of the comfortable numbness of the herd.  It could be that they feel they don’t have the right to wield the power that these words convey, or that if they use them they may inflict irreparable damage to those around them or the bonds of familiarity with which they have become accustomed.  Are these new words of power that awesome in their potential?  Yes.  If used wisely and well, you will be surprised at the wonders they can do.

\OK.  You’ve all proven your worthiness to receive these new words of power, and I am certain that you can control when and where they will be deployed to give you the most benefit from their power.  So, repeat them after me.  Just a whisper at first, as they may cause a shock to your system.  The first of the new words of power are, “I don’t care.”

Just think of the power these words can give you when you are cornered by the resident complainer who will tell you everything that ails them, what new torments they must endure, and how they are being attacked from all sides by their sinister coworkers, bent upon their destruction.  You simply wait for them to take a breath and say, firmly and with the clearest enunciation, “I DON’T CARE.”  Liberating, isn’t it?

The next words of power that you need to learn come in handy when that special someone who wants you to hold forth on topics that will bolster their personal agendas, especially in front of people they think hold you in high regard, so that if you agree with them your friends will agree with them as well.  He might say, “You know, those damned (insert group here) are ruining our country by trying to buy into our neighborhood and make it another “Little (insert country name here)!  What do YOU think about THAT?”  Imagine the look on his face when you speak clearly and eloquently about the damned (insert group here).  You simply meet his gaze and say, “It’s none of my business!”

And when he insists that you should care and that it certainly IS your business, asking why you don’t care, further confound this shit disturbing cretin by saying yet more words of power…”It’s none of your business.”

Yet another tiresome type who will bother you to death with their constant touting of some product or service that is always vastly superior to that which you use or own.  “You should use a DELL computer,” they say, “You shouldn’t use that lame Macintosh,” or another “Gatesmobile” that they think is also inferior to their brand.  Or, they will tell you what car you should drive, what shirts you should wear, or what kind of dog will be your ideal companion.  Your words of power for this circumstance will make them tilt their heads sideways, and look at you like a dog seeing a “ghost.”

When someone else tells you what you should buy, ask them, “When can you give me the check?”  They will ask, “What check?”  You just answer with, “The one to buy that DELL computer.  If it’s that important to you that I use the kind of computer you say is right for me, then it’s only right that you should pay for it.”  One application of this treatment has been known to keep these trolls quiet for weeks.

Your last words of power for this lesson deal with those who assume you have nothing better to do than cater to their ever whim, giving freely of your time and effort, but never seeming to have the time or resources to reciprocate when the need arises.  You know the word, but for some reason are reluctant to deploy it.  Fear not, my friend, for it will set you free.  When asked for help or some other favor by this fair weather friend, the magical word, “NO” never fails to succeed.

So there you have it, my friends.  Learn these words of power and the world itself shall be your ritual chamber.  Your magic will be known throughout the land, and you shall be master of your domain!

 

Who ARE You?

by Jake Block

I was once asked by Michael Aquino during an online discussion where I challenged one of his claims about the Church of Satan not surviving after his departure to form The Temple of Set, with the words, “Who are you?  I’ve never heard of you.,” to which I responded, “Good.  That means I was doing my job.”

I sometimes get tickled when I see some of the Christian sites, and even some of the “satanic” ones, listing key Satanists on the web or in the real world.  I always smile when I see my name is not on the list, although I have been deeply involved in Satanism for over 40 years.  No, I was never the kind of guy to get on the TV talk shows of the 70s and 80s and yak about why we Satanists were not in some secret plot of kill and molest kids.  I was the kind of guy who wrote the script.  I never liked being in front of a camera.  I was the guy taking the pictures.  I seldom used my own name when writing in support of a project, not out of fear, but because in NOT doing so, I had greater leeway in what I could say, since being a military man with a Top Secret clearance places limitations on your freedom of speech that a civilian never has to worry about.

And I learned that it wasn’t always the man standing tall in front of the cameras that was actually getting things done on the practical, day-to-day levels in Satanism… or any other endeavor, for that matter… but those who were standing behind him, and doing things that made HIM look good for public (and group) consumption.  That’s the way of the world.  Not everyone needs to be or SHOULD be in the limelight.  If everyone is a star, the play has no supporting cast, and a star can’t BE a star without it.

I can’t quote you the actual statistics… they probably exist somewhere.  In the military we learned that “In the Civil War, there were almost 10 front-line combat troops for every support person in the rear.  In WWI, this ratio changed and there were 3 support troops for every 10 front line soldiers, and this held true more or less until the end of WWII.  By Vietnam, we had approximately 5 support troops for every front line soldier.”  Today’s technologically advanced military and long term, logistically challenging combat operations have swelled the number of support troops substantially.”

Support troops ARE soldiers and ARE front line soldiers, when needed.  But without them, the cooks, the doctors, the motor pool, the quartermasters, the analysts and a hundred other specialties and career fields, the front line soldier would soon find himself hungry, out of ammunition, sick, and possibly even dead.

Anton LaVey is widely credited with the development of Satanism in this common era, and yes, he was highly instrumental in that his vision, charisma and general force of will propelled the movement.  But I’m here to tell you that there were people supporting him every step of the way.  I was one of them, and while there weren’t many in the Black House, we had supporters around the world who were there when needed, providing materiel support, sometimes financial support, and even moral support for when things looked less than promising.  There were people running Grottoes, people running smaller groups, people writing articles and generally showing the colors… and people who never stood out, but did things in the background.

Who is more powerful?  The man who smiles for the camera and can give a good speech, or the speechwriter who knows what that man needs to say in order to be an effective communicator?  Who is more important, the waiter who brings you the delicious food, or the chef who spends years perfecting his craft, toiling away in the hot kitchen?  You could make an argument for either side, but they are both dependent upon the other for success.

So, when you see “leaders of the Satanic Movement” (whatever that actually IS), know there are people behind them.  People like me and people like you who provide  them with the things they need, from ideas to feedback on how things are going, to essays and articles written in such a way as to generate interest and provide momentum.  And yes, a couple of bucks here and there never hurts, because while we don’t see it out here in “the world,” no organization or movement operates without costs that must be paid.

And this is not to say you HAVE to be a part of any particular organization, or support any particular luminary along the line.  But should you choose to, just consider that it IS your choice, and the amount of support and the KIND of support you give is a personal decision.

There are times when we sometimes feel like just a cog in the machine of life, be it in business, in sports, in education and any other aspect of life as well.  But when you feel (and at times we ALL do) that what you are doing doesn’t matter, remember that you are providing support… a piece of the puzzle that perhaps no one else has.  And that seemingly insignificant piece MIGHT just be the key to victory.  Remember:

For Want Of A Nail — (Various Sources)

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

 

If I can provide that nail, I can help win the war.

 

Rituals of Revelation

by Jake Block

“They’re gonna teach you how to meditate

Read your horoscope, cheat your faith

And further more to hell with hate

Come on and get on board”

The Games People Play — Joe South

 

There used to be a party game we played as young adults.  Everyone would be gathered around in a circle and one person was asked to sit in the center of the circle.  This was usually a good looking woman with a killer body, and a sheet was draped over her, covering her completely.  The host would then say, “You are wearing something you don’t need.  Take it off.”

Most times, the person under the sheet would take off pieces of their clothing, trying to appease the crowd and end the game.  Shoes, blouse, skirt… it would all come off until all the person was wearing was the sheet, and then it dawned upon them that THE SHEET was the one thing they were wearing that they didn’t need… but now they DID need it, because in the end, it was all they had left.

Occasionally someone would immediately realize that the sheet was the thing they didn’t need, but most people were eager to please their host and give them what they thought that the host wanted, so the game would usually play out as described.  I’m sure we never thought about it at the time, but the sheet game could show us something about ourselves on a local scale and our society and culture as well, thinking globally.  It was a game in its simplest sense, but in  the greater sense, a ritual of revelation that taught us a lesson.  The best and most effective rituals almost always do.

As people, until we become self aware and autonomous in our thinking, we often take on the sheets that others place upon us, usually a product of their own insecurities or prejudices that they feel that we as friends or members of the society should take on ass well, sharing the burden and sharing our support.  We accept these sheets, one after another, because we want to fit in, to be a part of the fabric of our society and culture; not to feel out of step with all of the others around us.  If we took a moment to look at our situations, we would see that these sheets are every bit as irrelevant and almost as silly as the white sheet with blue flowers covering the “victim” in that party game.

We know we don’t really need to be lockstep with our neighbors on anything, but we often go along with their prejudices and their traditions because we don’t know what else to do.  We might justify it by calling it tradition, and while we don’t really believe in it… be it racial intolerance, political correctness, religion or any other cultural sheet. We play along to get along, and in doing so, we teach this same thing to our children.  Play along… don’t make waves.  We find ways to make the distasteful more palatable… we celebrate Christmas, but call it Yule, because well…you know.  We call ourselves Atheists, but spend the religious holidays in church with the relatives… for family unity, don’t you see?  And then we wonder why people don’t take us seriously.  We’re free thinkers, damn it.  We aren’t part of the herd!  But when it talks like a wolf and acts like a sheep, you can easily understand why there’s a lack of credibility.

We all need to play the sheet game where the stakes aren’t simply a little embarrassment over taking off all of our clothes in the middle of a party and having to do the walk of shame with that floral sheet wrapped tightly around us.  We should look at this as our ritual of revelation and see what it actually does reveal about us and the sheets we have taken on and can do without.  There certainly comes a cost for one’s freedom, and sometimes tossing off those sheets will mean that you have to pay a toll in friendships, relationships… maybe a bit of societal ostracism.  But when people see that you are willing to pay that toll to be who you truly are, you can look that most important critic in the mirror, eye to eye and say, truthfully, “Now I am free.”

Coming To Your Senses

by Jake Block

One night over coffee, a group of my friends and I were talking, and eventually the topic came around to death and just what we would actually miss if we died tomorrow.  There was nothing we could do about it.  We all die, and then we begin the “great abstinence,” and I thought about what it would be like to spend an eternity remembering what having five senses was like, and the things that excited them.

So we sat in silence listening to music, and thinking about each of our senses; sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.  We limited our musings to those five, as they are pretty much universally accepted.  We didn’t consider emotions we would miss or any metaphysical aspects of death, and limited the conversation to just these.

Needless to say, the lists we came up with were individualized, and told us something about the others in the group, and ourselves as well.  So think about it.  What one thing for each of your senses would you choose to be the one thing you could remember with crystal clarity during your own “great abstinence?”  Mine were:

Sight:  I thought about what I like to see, from the beauty of a sunset to the female form, to what I see inside my camera’s viewfinder before I press the button and take a shot.  But somehow, none of these spoke to me as something that would stimulate those senses forever.

I finally decided that I would like to see the view from my driver’s seat at night on a lonesome highway, with the blue dashboard lights glowing softly in the dark and seeing through the windshield, one set of tail lights, far off in the distance, always ahead and always beyond my reach.  It’s at these times in traveling that I have always felt the most comfortable, being on the journey, but never quite there.

Sound:  We live in a world of sounds, with some being harsh and grating upon our ears, like a jackhammer splitting concrete below our window as we try to sleep, and some as soothing to us as a cat purring or the sound of birds chirping in the trees outside.  I thought of the sound of a woman’s high heels clicking on the pavement or tiles as she comes into my arms… rhythmic and evocative, with the promise of an erotic and sensual night to come.

But my choice was the sound of Procol Harum doing “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”  The song was layered with musical textures and images that always set my mind in motion.  Eternity hearing it would not be that bad at all.

Taste:  A thousand foods, a thousand tastes… ambient tastes in the air… the taste of a woman’s warm skin; so many excellent choices.  Only one fit could fit the bill completely.  In the end, it came down to a choice of two:  Bourbon and Rock Salt Cooked Prime Rib or a fresh, hot cup of Columbian Supremo coffee.  

Most of the time, you will find me with a cup of coffee in my hand, and this choice was one that most people had figured for me.  An eternity without coffee?  I think I might have to pass.

Smell:  Jet fuel.  No question about it.  The smell of jet fuel wafting through the air is something that was with me in some of my most memorable adventures.  I came to associate it with going and doing and a touch of danger that I knew was inherent in the career I chose.  Soon that scent would lure me to another plane where my crew and I would load up and be on our way.  We never really knew what we could find when we got there, if we even knew where “THERE” was as we set out on our journey.  But we would handle it together.

Touch:  For me, this proved to be one of the more difficult of sensations, because i enjoy touching THINGS… anything that has a texture can stir my imagination and set my mind off in all kinds of wonderful directions.  I recall the feel of a cat’s fur, or gritty sandpaper or shaving cream.  I recall the feel of my lips touching those of another, first with softness and more firmly as passions rise.

Have you ever felt the silkiness of a woman’s thigh in a pair of sheer stockings?  It’s soft as hell and erotically charged with hopes and expectations.  But as your fingers reach the top of those stockings on your lover’s lovely legs, that instant when your fingers transition from the silken smoothness of nylon to the warm and softly giving texture of her flesh… that does it for me.   I could easily enjoy that as my sensation of touch during my “great abstinence.”

There are my choices.  They may or may not resonate with you, and that’s ok, because as individuals, we all have our own likes and dislikes, and none more profound as the ones that make us tick.  So when you’re lying in the darkness, perhaps drifting off to sleep, think of those things that you would miss and what you would choose as ultimate sensations to your five senses.  You might be surprised at what you come up with.

 

Blasphemy

by Jake Block

One thing that I have noticed about younger Satanists is that they seem to have a need to blaspheme.  You see all kinds of X rated or R rated pictures of religious leaders, naked nuns, pedophile priests… you name it.  They post them on boards where other Satanists congregate.  Perhaps that’s because they don’t stop to consider that the purpose of blasphemy in its most effective forms is to shock and infuriate, to intimidate and denigrate.  Posting such outrageous images on the Vatican home page, or on a social forum for the Young Christians of America might approach the desired effect, but posting the pictures on a Satanic or “Left Hand Path” forum is not only counterproductive, but very much “old hat,” in that we’ve all been there and done that… over and over again.

To be effective, blasphemy has to do things.  It has to be timely, it has to shock the senses, it has to be relevant, and it has to make the viewer think and consider.  Therefore, you should consider that if you want to get a message across, you have to know your audience.  A blasphemy for targeting, say PETA, might be a picture of fur wearing debutantes smiling and happy, with the caption FUR IS MY FRIEND.  That might get their blood boiling, but post that same meme in the Fur Fancier’s Forum and you’re preaching to the crowd.  Their response might well be, “Yeah… and your point is?”

A lot of fledgeling Satanists look to the Black Mass that was famously enacted by the young Church of Satan and figure that it has to be done to be a Satanist.  It’s in the book… “one MUST follow the book”… but they’re missing the point.  The reason that the Black Mass, more or less in its traditional format was chosen was that in 1966 – 1975 America, somatized by Christian propaganda and programming, it would be taken as an outrage by those who were in control as the religious power structure of the time.  Christianity held sway in America, so that was an appropriate target to blaspheme.  If Islam was in power, perhaps a ritualization issuing a fatwa against Mohammed might have been in order or, if Judaism was prominent, a joyful reenactment of life in the concentration camps of Germany, complete with Jewish kids with Easy Bake Ovens and Hitler mustaches might have raised some eyebrows.  The point is that in order to be effective the proper stimulus must be ruthlessly applied to the right audience.

Consider the same Black Mass today.  There would be some outrage, to be sure, but on a far less effective scale than in a time when Christianity controlled the lives of the vast majority of people.  Today, even the most devout of Christians pay lip service to their religion and most free-thinking people just couldn’t care less.  And let’s face it… the media of the age has portrayed blasphemies against this once supreme power in ways that would make your efforts seem amateurish by comparison, and they have done it over and over again for decades.  The overkill of media saturation has had a numbing effect on your intended audience… sort of like posting a picture of Jesus engaging in anal sex would have on the Church of Satan’s Letters to the Devil site.  Been there… done that… people lapse into the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) effect, seeing, but not registering.  The message goes “in one ear and out the other.”

Now… if you want to raise some Catholic (and other) hackles… try posting congratulatory notices on their pages praising the pedophile priests who got away with it, and link it to the organization as a whole and indict anyone who identifies as Catholic, supporting the church and its priesthood with donations and tithes as co-conspiritors.  Go one step further and brand parents who offer up their own children to be altar boys as panderers and enablers of child molestation.  But still… if your posted this blasphemy on an anti-Catholic site or a site that condemns the practice, you might get a chuckle, but not outrage or THOUGHT.

Now, a word about your target of choice.  Picking on Christians is tantamount to hunting cows with a high powered rifle and scope.  You come off like some psycho kicking a crippled kid while he struggles to get back into his wheelchair.  You have to choose an enemy with TEETH.  Someone or something that people fear or suspect that can affect them in their daily lives.  A good horror writer knows his audience and knows that the most terrifying of adversaries can be the common, mundane, every day things that one counts on for life.  When those things turn against you… you have reason to fear.  They have access to you.  You trust them… and life without them or where they can hurt you can be a living hell.

Now, lets take the example of the Westboro Baptist Church.  Blaspheming them is like shooting that cow, but doing it while a million other hunters are blasting away at the same time.  Do I like them?  No.  Do I think they should be protesting military funerals and those of gay people?  No.  But damn… they do such a fine job at blasphemizing themselves, how can you even hope to do anything more than spit in the ocean of contempt heaped upon them, which is exactly what they want.  It’s kept them in the news.  In this, there’s a kind of blasphemous effect in NOT blaspheming them.  Blasphemy doesn’t work well on popular targets.

This is key.  A devastating weapon used sparingly is a weapon used effectively.  This can easily be demonstrated in history.  The most devastating of military weapons is the nuclear option.  These weapons obliterate whole cities in the blink of an eye, with hundreds of thousands of casualties and deaths.  They are so effective that only one country (America) has ever used them and then, only twice.  The reason?  After that, they didn’t need to.  Just the threat of annihilation was enough, from that point on.  No one wanted to press their luck.  Other countries of power rushed to obtain their own nuclear weapons, but don’t use them because they simply need to have them to bask in the power that being a member of the “nuclear club” confers.  You get them so you don’t have to mess with every piss-ant little nation that wants to take you down… you have the hammer and they are the nail.

My British friends will remember The Blitz, during WWII and the German bombing of London and other cities.  At first it was terror from the skies.  People lived in fear of the droning engine that stopped and became a deadly bomb, or the V2 missile slamming unexpectedly in their midst.  But Hitler overused his hole card.  Soon it was played way too often and the British people began to expect it and took precautions, when they could, to mitigate the damage to life by retreating to the underground tubes of the subway systems.  Then instead of being fearful, they hunkered down and got angry… and then decided that there was no way they were going to allow some petty German tyrant to force them into submission.  The powerful weapon became almost impotent in the face of resolve.

So it is with blasphemies.  They work when applied sparingly, but use them too often and they just become something to be accepted as your normal way of fighting what you oppose, giving the weapon less of an effective impact and making a hero of your enemy when he fights against the bully.  Remember. “Blessed is the man who has a sprinkling of enemies, for they shall make him a hero.”  (A.S. LaVey — The Satanic Bible)  Unfocused, your enmity could be another’s salvation.

Once your enemy has you pegged, they can work on effective countermeasures to use against you.  They should never be lulled into a state of expectancy or acceptance.  They should know you’re out there, but when you strike against them, it should be fresh and effective, and they should never see you coming.  Blasphemy can be an effective tool if you treat it like any other form of communication, in that you study your audience, know their weaknesses and target your message to that audience in a calculated and targeted way.  But be aware that over use can backfire on you.  All weapons, be they physical or verbal are two edged swords.

 

Did You Hear The One About…

by Jake Block

I once read an article that angered me.  In the August, 1992 issue of The Pryor Report, Regina Barreca wrote on the offense of an “off color joke” to a woman.  It is Barreca’s contention that such jokes “often expresses, in masked form, hostility toward the listener.”  Now, I don’t know what Ms. Barecca’s credentials are.  She probably has more degrees than a thermometer.  I assume that she’s an intelligent woman…she wrote a book called “They Used To Call Me Snow White…But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor.”  But degrees don’t necessarily mean that you’re able to think…and a book doesn’t necessarily make you an expert.

Now, I collect jokes.  I enjoy a laugh as much as anybody, and I know that there are jokes that can get under anybody’s skin…if it’s thin enough.  There are jokes that are corny and there are jokes that are too bawdy for the younger set…not because they’re bad; because a youth might not understand a reference due to limited sexual experience.  But a joke is a joke is a joke.  Laugh and the world laughs with you, but cry and you cry alone.

It’s come to the point in society today that you can’t say anything without offending someone.  I remember when it used to be a compliment to tell a woman that she looked good.  Now it borders on sexual harassment.  Satanic women are expected to look good…translate: feminine, yet with an air of confidence that marks them as a force to be dealt with.  Who says a woman can’t “look sexy” and still have a brain?

The biggest joke played on women in the 20th Century has been the de-feminization of women in the name of the “feminist movement.”  While women of groups such as NOW advocate the right of all women to find employment in any field that they choose, how quickly they change their tune when a woman chooses a field that is not to their liking.

I watched one of the “tabloid TV” programs, and there was an “attractive” but stern-faced woman, flanked by the familiar NOW shields, lambasting women who would have the audacity to pose for pin-up calendars or become strippers.  The women in question countered that this is what they wanted to do.  No one was forcing them, and in fact, they were having fun and harming no one.  The NOW spokesman was adamant.  Women had no business allowing men to look at them.  To be honest, she had little to worry about.  An unattractive attitude tends to make for an unattractive individual.

I agree with NOW on many points…and I find that I am in contention with them on others.  But I believe that women (and men) do have the right to find employment in any field that interests them, so long as they have the ability to do that job.  If that means posing for a poster or being a stripper, more power to them, so long as they are happy and they apply themselves to their chosen field.  It really doesn’t matter in this life whether you’re a doctor or a trash collector, so long as you’re the best doctor or trash collector that you can be.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t change professions if you want.  I know a lovely woman  that worked her way through college as a stripper and now is a practicing psychologist with two (count ’em) offices in northern California.  Does she regret her “less than feminist employment?”  Quite the contrary.  She feels that she gained quite a bit from it in terms of “people skills.”  Aside from that, she paid for her college education and is beholden to no one for her life today.

Today, she’s a well respected member of the medical profession.  She dresses “sexy,” and turns heads when she walks by, and is seldom insulted if she garners an appreciative whistle.  She has the lithe body of a dancer and an IQ well into the “genius” range.  She feels good about herself and the life that she’s managed to build for herself.

Now, this is not to say that you have to be beautiful or sexy or even a dancer to be a success.  It’s in the attitude, pure and simple.  And if you have a good attitude, feel good about yourself and apply yourself to your chosen profession, you will be a success.  An attractive attitude makes for an attractive individual.

Given the choice of a “beautiful woman” with an “ice queen” attitude and any other woman with a ready smile and a sense of humor, I’ll take the latter.  If you like yourself, others will like you.  That has nothing to do with beauty, politics or wealth…it’s all ATTITUDE.

Too many of us walk around with a sour expression and feel that there’s just nothing to laugh at in life.  You’re born, you work and you die.  Well, just as there are plenty of things to be angry about in this life, there are plenty of things to bring us joy and plenty of things that are just plain funny.  All you have to do to find them is to relax.

Those who go through life with little or no sense of humor are pathetic in their wretchedness.  They find that they must drag others into their dour world of bitterness and genuinely detest those whose hearty laughter fills the air.  The saddest thing is that the only joy they gain from their lives is in the misery of others, and the only joy they give is in their passing.

The sharing of a joke can be a bonding mechanism for the teller and the listener.  It can provide insights into the psychological makeup of either…or both.  It can relieve tension, it can stimulate thought and conversation.  A joke can do many beneficial things.

Now, there must always be a butt of the joke…the schlimazel to the schlemiel.  Politicians and religious leaders make great butts because their pretentiousness and outward displays of pomposity already make them comic characters against the backdrop of world affairs.

Some of the funniest jokes, told by consummate comedians are self-deprecating jabs at one’s own foibles and eccentricities.  To find the humor in your own life and share it with others implies humanity and the ability to understand that even in the darkest of times, life can sometimes be humorous.

Even in times of tragedy and darkest catastrophe, people joke.  Jokes were told in the concentration camps of Germany and the “detention centers” of the United States.  Jokes are told by soldiers in the quieter moments of war, and at times when death stares them in the face.  I have even heard anecdotes cross the lips of those about to die.

I can associate with people who have no sense of humor, but I don’t think that I could ever “like” them.  I want to be able to see a person’s eyes light up with mirth from time to time and hear them chortle when something strikes their “funny bone.”

So when I read an article that equates my noble friend the joke with a weapon, I am angered.  But I am saddened as well for those who have no sense of humor or lost it for one reason or another.  Without the ability to laugh and to find humor in one’s life, one might as well be dead.

 

Entitled To Nothing

by Jake Block

The new guy gets hired on as a full time worker in any job, any where.  The first day on the job, he decides that someone is taking advantage of him, because he’s making $10.00 an hour making widgets, and Jim over there is getting $11.50 and Mike is getting almost $20.00!  And look at this.  They both have preferred parking and two more weeks vacation… and even more benefits!  This is wrong, decides our new guy.  I should get the same thing as everyone else.

To someone who has a sense of entitlement, it just wouldn’t matter that Jim is getting paid more because he has almost seven years on the job, and Mike has close to twenty.   And that also reflects in their perks and benefits.  Unfair?  They have the experience and loyalty to the company that brought them well deserved rewards.  The new guy is just going to have to prove his worth before he begins to see rewards but, if he works hard and contributes to the success of the company, surely they will come.

The phenomenon of those who feel they are entitled is nothing new, but the way we have coddled people into believing that everyone is a special little flower that deserves to have it all with as little effort as possible has spawned a generation that sees entitlement as normal.  The world owes them for simply being there, rather than earning the perks they covet in others.  They want the best of everything upon demand and, when they find out that this is not only impractical, but impossible, they bristle.  Who are YOU to deny ME?

Back in 1963 there was a song by the Kingston Trio called DESERT PETE, that told of a guy who was dying of thirst in the desert, and he came upon an old, dry pump.  Next to it was a jar with just a little water in it, and he was tempted to drink it… but he read the note attached.

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe
You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive.
Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet
Leave the bottle full for others, thank you kindly, Desert Pete.

Well I found that jar, and I tell ya nothin’ was ever prettier to my eye

And I was tempted strong to drink it, ‘cuz that pump looked mighty dry
But the note went on “Have faith my friend, there’s water down below;
You’ve got to give until you get I’m the one who ought to know”

Now, sure, the song can have some religious overtones with this talk of faith and belief, but it also teaches us a valuable lesson in life that each of us really needs to learn, lest we fall victim to the vanities of entitlement.  In every job and in every situation, you have to pay your dues before you get anything of value out of the endeavor.  That goes for a job, sports, even friendship.  Unless you are willing to put something of yourself into it, you might eventually get some reward for just hanging around, but the feeling of receiving it will be hollow and unsatisfying.  And you will scarcely see the respect that others who DO work to achieve, vs those who simply work for the check.

We see this in the right and left hand “path” that we’re on, where we see people who declare themselves to be a Witch or a Druid or a Shaman or a Satanist and they think that because they have read a book or two and declared themselves to be… you name it… they automatically become the recipient of all of the power and wisdom that everyone before them garnered from years and decades of study, practice and dedication.  I can’t begin to tell you how many 15 or 16 year old Magisters and High Priests I have encountered in my 50 years in Satanism, or how many “Lady this or thats”… Red Mages (whatever the hell they are), etc., who can scarcely spell the grand grimoires that claim to have mastered.  But they all want that respect and recognition that they feel they are entitled to because, well… they’ve got the book, so obviously, they’re qualified!

Take The Church of Satan, for example.  I used to tell people that if they called the Black House and got to talk to a Priest, it was an occasion.  If they talked to a Magister, it was a god damned holiday!  The reason is that titles weren’t just handed out.  You had to earn them and show your worth to the organization, and that had to go far beyond buying a black shirt and carrying The Satanic Bible around.  A person who simply read The Satanic Bible and decided that he was fully versed in all things Satanic would have been seen as a clown at best.  Practical application of satanism… getting somewhere in life… being “your own god,” in being responsible for your own actions and gaining more and more autonomy in the world “out there” because you were moving into positions of authority and becoming financially viable were prerequisites to being a power “IN HERE”.

Look.  There’s book learning, and there’s real learning… the kind you get from being punched in the face by a bigger and better boxer.  You eventually learn to bob and weave and dodge the fist coming toward you.  Experience can be a painful teacher, and if you ask anyone who has EARNED their successes and their respect from others, they all will have a story that will indicate the risks they’ve taken and the pains they have endured to get to where they are.  The DIFFERENCE, is that they don’t need to.  They seldom find the dolt who will question them and say, “Well why do you deserve so much?”  Their actions and their bearing usually answers that question before it is asked.  They have the confidence of experience.

The Second Lieutenant who comes into the military straight from the academy of his choice is a professional soldier by virtue of his degree and his Commission, which make him and officer and a gentleman.  THEORETICALLY, they can wage war, command troops and make life or death decisions with skills that would make Eisenhower or Patton blush at their own incompetence.  Well… theoretically… yeah.  But theory doesn’t show you what is going to happen the first time that a bullet whines past your head, or you are dodging incoming mortars or artillery shells and still trying to do your job.  A piece of paper only shows that you’ve been shown the theories, but character is shown in how you handle things in real life situations.  It’s the wise officer who looks for the weathered old NCO with a few scars on his face to bounce ideas off of… and isn’t offended when that war weathered veteran tells him where problems in his plans may lie.

Whether you get the corner office or a cubicle, you have to show your stuff before others will respect you and THEN things will indeed come your way.  Until then, talk little, listen much and don’t demand the things you have not earned.  Your day in the sun will come if you deserve it, but there is no free lunch in life.  You aren’t entitled to it.

Now go get me a cup of coffee.  Sorry… I couldn’t help myself.

War Games…

by Jake Block

I remember participating in one of the many war games in the military… an Operational Readiness Exercise… where you basically went to war with an invisible enemy.  You engaged it as if it were real, launching hundreds of troops and massive amounts of materiel in a deployment, just as if you were actually going out to confront this enemy and fight to the death.  There were long hours.  A “working day” was 36 hours long, and you worked building pallets of munitions, spare parts and food, loading aircraft with everything from field kitchens to tanks, marshaling the troops and getting them loaded on their planes and then grabbing your gear and getting on the plane with them.  Then, your ADVON Team was on its way to — where?   You seldom knew.  You just knew that in a short time, you would land and you would  have to unload this mess, this armada of twenty planes, and set up a forward airstrip, ready to receive the endless stream of planes to follow.  So, you slept for what seemed to be moments until the plane touched down at some southwestern desert location.  And you got to work.  Your thirty six hour shift was now half way done.

And that was the way it went for seven consecutive days.  Food when you could eat it on the run, water once in a while, and you would die for a cup of coffee.  And when you thought they couldn’t work you any harder, it was time to do it all again, but in your chemical warfare gear and gas mask in 110° temperatures.  Your four hour sleep periods were scarcely enough to keep you from hallucinating, but then, gratefully, you loaded the last plane and were preparing to go home.  “The war” was almost over, but then you and your crew are called to the aircraft just before loading and told, in all seriousness:  “Look guys, here’s the problem.  We are the last plane out of Dodge, and if we make it into the air in 30 minutes, we pass the ORE.  If not, we fail and we do it all over again in 3 months.”  Just as you began to breathe easy, the commander got serious.

“The plane has a SERIOUS problem.  There is a problem with the front landing gear, and the pilot tells me that it could be a sensor, but if it’s not… and we have no way of checking it here… there is a 60% chance that the plane will have to belly in when we reach Travis.”  He scanned our group and then answered the unspoken question…”No, this is not an exercise, this is real world.”  He waited for a moment to let that sink in and said, “OK.  We either go or we stay, and that’s YOUR choice.  If we go, we take that risk, but we will pass the ORE.  If we stay, we wait for a replacement plane to bring in the maintenance crew and we fail the ORE.  This is a serious decision, and I won’t hold it against you if you decide not to go.  Think a minute and…”

One by one, without saying a word, each member of the crew picked up their bags and threw them onto the aft ramp of the plane, then walked onto the giant C5 and began to strap them down.  We lifted off with 27 seconds to spare and flew from the desert to Travis AFB with the landing gear down, hoping it would function when we got there.  The drag was terrible, and the plane was buffeted badly during the 4 hours it took to get there.  But we slept when we could and then, the captain’s voice came across the speaker.

“Travis tower tells us that they have emergency equipment in place and we are number one for landing.  I am going to try to land the plane on its rear wheels and power it down the runway, keeping the nose up until the last moment.  If that works, we should be ok.  If it doesn’t and we have to belly in, (land with no wheels, sliding on the belly of the aircraft), all I can say is hang on tight, and when the plane comes to a stop, pop the emergency doors, get out and run like hell to at least 100 yards from the plane.  Now, make sure your seat belts are fastened.  We’re going in.”

The next 10 minutes lasted two hours.  It was as if everything was in slow motion as the plane landed, nose high, and slowly decelerated on the runway, finally, when the plane was almost stopped, lowering the nose of the plane.  A sigh of relief as the gear held and the plane was down.  We unloaded as calmly as we could and grabbed our gear as we exited the plane, nodding and smiling at the pilot who looked a lot younger than he sounded over the loudspeaker in the plane.  The red flashing lights of the emergency equipment were everywhere as we made our way through the dark to our wives and friends who were waiting for the plane to arrive.

There are times when there’s an easy way out, and there are times when, despite the danger, you do what you have to do.  This, I think, separates the wannabes from the real deal; those who simply do what they need to do to get by and those who do what they HAVE to do despite the risk, honoring their commitment to do what they set out to do.  No, there’s no extra pay in laying it on the line, maybe some measure of respect from those who wonder if they would have made the same choice, but the real payoff comes with that feeling inside when you know you faced the abyss without blinking.

Make no mistake about it.  “The Abyss” is there for us all, whether we work in retail or combat related jobs.  Sooner or later, you are going to face a crisis that will require you to put up or shut up.  It’s a time when all of the theories of how you are going to react meet head on with the stark realities of the situation at hand.  Some will rise to the occasion and some will falter.  Some who thought they would back down from a challenge will surprise themselves and take it on without blinking an eye, and some who felt that they could handle anything will crumble.  It’s life.  There is no sure thing, and especially when it comes to your philosophic, financial or physical survival.

Everything you do in life is in preparation for the day you will have to face that test of strength and inner fortitude.  The way you interact with others, the way you project yourself, and the way your character is molded by handling situations and learning from your mistakes all come into play.  If it happens… WHEN it happens… you’ll find out if you’ve been well trained and well seasoned to complete your tasks and emerge victorious.  Sometimes you’ll win, and sometimes you’ll lose, but that’s ok.  There are a lot of potential abysses in our lives.  Each will test you in one way or another.  It’ll be totally up to you as to how the adventure ends.

Life is like training for those war games we had in the military.  You might not be carrying weapons or facing death, but the tests will teach you a lot about yourself.

 

The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God

The Order of Pan
The Order of Cernunnos
The Order of Prometheus
The Order of Dionysis
The Order of Shiva

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