The Devil You Know
by Jake Block
I’m pretty much “out there.” When I meet someone, I’m not going to “put on airs.” I simply am what and who I am. No need to announce it to the world. There’s no reason for me to meet someone for the first time and say, “Hello there, I’m Jake Block and I’m a Satanist.” What would be the reason to do that? It’s not like I would invite someone I just met into the most intimate facets of my life. I’ve known people for 20 years who call me Mister, and that suits me just fine. I’ll show people what I want them to know when I want to, and not on someone else’s time line.
That said, if I want to let someone else into my life, I’m not the kind of guy who will sugar coat it. My friends see who I am, “warts and all,” as the saying goes. I won’t be any different with them in public than I am in private. Devora, for example, knows things about me that people who have known me for decades have no clue about. She has the status of friend and much more in my life, and I know that she’s not about to go “telling tales out of school.” I know her intimately as well, and there is an understanding that what’s private is private and just between us, so we grant each other access, within reason. And even there, we respect each others boundaries. We know each other, our good sides and our bad, and we’ve learned to accept and respect the totality, separate from any “quirks” we have as individuals. It works, and it’s worked for us for coming up on 30 years. Longer than most stay married, let alone stay friends.
I think that what we have in that regard is that we accept each other. We often stretch each other emotionally and intellectually, but we don’t try to impose change on one another. This is a failing I find in most people. If you let them into your life, they need to remold you in an image that they find acceptable… you stop being YOU and become an inferior reflection of what they want you to be. And if you exercise your personal right to free will and resist change and acquiescence to their will, they feel slighted… you aren’t returning the value to them that they feel their friendship is worth.
That’s not the way things work. I determine what I am willing to surrender in time, emotion and access and you decide if it’s enough to be friends. If you’re satisfied with the transaction, ok. But I have a say in this as well, and I’m going to get the best bargain that I can as well.
So here we are, all standing in our spaces and interacting with one another. Some of us are friends, certainly. Others of us are associates, and still others of us are acquaintances of one level or another. If you are an acquaintance, I’m not going to give you nearly access to me that I give my friends. For example, Devora knows that all she has to do is pop on my screen or pick up the phone and say, “Jake, this is what I need,” and I’m going to do whatever is in my power to meet her request for help. We don’t live “close,” but if she told me she needed me to help her out tomorrow, I would gas up the Town Car and be on the road tonight. Being a friend isn’t always easy. It often involves giving of oneself without thought of compensation or reimbursement of any sort. She can give me a hug and say, “Thanks, Jake,” and that’s all that’s expected.
Associates vary in degree of access to me and I to them, based on how long I have known them and what we have collaborated on in the past. For example, Anton Wolf, our Art Director and his lovely wife are both creators of exquisite works of art; graphics, sculptures, photographs… and if they would ever consider humble opinion or advise worthy, I would deem it an honor just to be considered. Same thing with Rhonda, Larry, Dimitri, Dark Fool, Maitiu, Torin… others as well. Any of these would have a much greater degree of access to me than “Joe Gore,” who read one of my essays and decided that I was his long lost brother from the life we lived on Atlantis as chicken bone crushers.
Now, there are people who are acquaintances to me on line, or even in real life. If one of them should show up in my email or a PM and say, “Jake, can you help me,” I might hear them out if it’s not something that is none of my business, like some on-line battle they have with someone else. I don’t get involved in the lives and loves of others. I don’t lend strangers money. I don’t just supply them with things I might be able to provide, like photographs, or books. Quite often, they want me to give them the skinny of something from my past regarding LaVey or some other luminary. Once in a while I might spin a yarn on line with The Sect of the Horned God, but I’m not an entertainer and I don’t do command performances. But if it’s something that they want my advice on, and I might have expertise or experience in dealing with it, I might give them my take on what they are going through, and they can be assured of my confidentiality. Am I going to be on the road tonight to help them out? Probably not.
You can “know me” and I can “know you” on several levels during our tenure as acquaintances, associates and friends along a long, gradient color bar of closeness in our personal networkings and associations. Some people will always be closer to me than others, and that’s not a sleight in any way. Some people just “get me,” and I “get them,” and we share values, goals or some other interpersonal bond that is just missing with another person I might interact with. I have very little to do with people who are assholes, shit disturbers or drunks or druggies. I’m sure they’re probably sterling ladies and gentlemen to other people, but we have very little in common, and are therefore people I can generally do without.
One other thing I think I could and should address is the “game player” who thinks that they might be able to use their wily ways to drive a wedge between people. Yeah… we who are friends know you, and we talk. We’re all much smarter than you give us credit for. Devora and I have had people think that they need to break us up for some reason. Some can be more stealthy than others, but you know, they’re wasting their time. Same with others on my “list.” If you’re my friend, you know it. and you would have no need to play games to get warm and fuzzy feelings from me.
But either way, you should know this “devil” well enough to understand that his world doesn’t involve games and game players. If that’s you, stay on the playground until you grow up. I tend to deal with adults.
The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God