The Myth of Community

by Jake Block

I don’t know if I’m amused or surprised when I see someone on line complain that they thought they would be welcomed by the “insert name here” community, but were disappointed at the response they have received.  I don’t know what they were expecting, or who they thought would welcome them with open arms, but they’ve apparently been led tp believe… or assumed… that there was actually some group of well-wishing, like-minded individuals gathered under the aegis of “Satanism” or “Left-Hand Path” or “Darksiders.”  If there IS, I have never found it, and I’ve been around since well before the start of the Internet.

“COMMUNITY/ ˈmyo͞onətē
noun (plural: communities)

1  A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common: the scientific community | Rhode Island’s Japanese community.

• a group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership: a community of nuns.

• a particular area or place considered together with its inhabitants: a rural community.

• a body of nations or states unified by common interests: [in names] : the European Community | the African Economic Community.

• (the community) the people of a district or country considered collectively, especially in the context of social values and responsibilities; society: preparing prisoners for life back in the community.

[as modifier] denoting a worker or resource designed to serve the people of a particular area: community health services.”

— Webster’s Dictionary

Satanism has never professed to be, or tried to be anything of a cohesive community.  During the fabled, yet failed, “grotto period,” the closest analogy would be a set of loosely connected groups, cults of personality, at best.  Even though they ostensibly fell under the umbrella of The Church of Satan, there was always internecine rivalries and strife, with the individual groups paying lip service to the Church of Satan as the “Central Grotto,” when in reality, they went their own way at the direction of the individual Grotto leadership.

The Left-Hand Path, whether we like it or not, is primarily a solitary journey occasionally bolstered through ad hoc alliances by marginally sympathetic individuals with specialized interest in a particular aspect or philosophy, somewhere along the way.  While they might give a nod in passing to a fellow traveler, mostly they will be highly insulated, and unless that fellow traveler has some small bit of original thought or wisdom to offer, they will reject them out of hand as somehow lesser in stature or somehow erred in philosophy.  Extremes become normalized, with those rejecting current culture STRONGLY rejecting it, and those who are seen as social justice warriors bending over backward to  find any reason for a greater inclusion and brotherhood even with those who reject them.

Those who blindly walk in the door and expect to be taken as equals swiftly find that left of center, one has to show their cards, and bluffing seldom works.  And lest one think that it’s a “newbie” thing, I have seen people have their ass handed to them who have been a presence for a long time on the web elsewhere, and then bring the unacceptable traits from elsewhere to their new home.  Also, one cannot expect a pass because they’ve been on the path longer than others.  People in the know have their bullshit detectors up and active, especially in places that take their pages seriously, and respect the hard work that they and others have done to maintain it.  There too, we see not “a community,” but a place to gather and share, so long as you respect the space.

The Sect of the Horned God could be seen as a “Gated Enclave” of sorts, but still it’s a grouping of individuals with individual thoughts and individual needs, coexisting in order to learn and communicate with others.  They come to this enclave because it has some of the amenities of a “community,” without the ghettoization that can occur when people choose to congregate in clusters, based on a facet of life, be it race, religion, philosophy or something else.  Here, we don’t really give a “rat’s ass” what you are.

What we have, being a gated enclave, is security and exclusivity, much like gated communities around the nation.  We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone that cannot abide by our policies and basic rules of conduct.  Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and others can be found here, so long as they don’t disturb the “wa” of others.  Wa is the Japanese concept of “harmony,” and can relate to harmony of environment and harmony of spirit.  While we work to maintain that sense of harmony, we are not a community in any real sense, and  we don’t hesitate to expel those who become problematic.

If you are in need of a “community” to accept you, you should really look toward something other than the Left-Hand Path.  To begin with, by its very nature, it values individuality, individual effort and individual achievement over that of a group.  Altruism, along the Left-Hand Path is generally seen as a misconception at best, so those wishing to organize some kind of universal love amongst the various groups and subgroups that form and dissolve as quickly as clouds in the summer skies should expect not only resistance, but overall rejection out of hand.  Loosely speaking, but nonetheless true, the Left-Hand Path is “every man for himself,” and let the lesser fall by the wayside.  As in all creatures, it’s survival of the fittest.

Now, for those who imagine Satanism or other Left-Hand Path organization to be some “Kumbaya” hootenanny of kind souls sitting around the campfire, this could be disturbing.  It needn’t be, as there are millions of people on the planet that would be more than happy to share their weenies and marshmallows with them, just under a different flag.  The community you seek simply isn’t valid, so instead of wasting your time and effort, you would be better served by finding a more compatible group in which you might indulge your need for “community.”

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