The notion of Satanism as an organized religion only entered the public mind with the antics of Anton Szandor Lavey and his “Church of Satan” in the 1960s. Fittingly for his background as a circus performer and amateur psychologist, Lavey turned Satanism into a media circus, where ritual and black magick was nothing more than “psychodrama”, and an actual being called “Satan” did not even exist. Thus began the great heresy called “Modern Satanism” or “Atheistic Satanism”, which subverted traditional Satanism by removing its whole metaphysical basis – the belief in Satan. In its place, Lavey offered a hodgepodge of modern secular ideas borrowed from the likes of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ragnar Redbeard and P.T. Barnum.
If the essence of the Satanic is moral and cultural inversion, then Lavey’s Satanism was indeed Satanic, for it did invert the values of traditional Satanism, while at the same time turning the New Age hippie ethos of that era on its head. But after Lavey, Satanism became a pose, a lifestyle and a marketing scheme more than a spiritual path. Lavey himself soon realized the fraud he had created, and in 1975 he gave up on his Church and decided to cash in on the sales of books, trinkets and Church memberships for the remainder of his rather inconsequential life.
The bottom line is that an ideology calling itself “Satanism” that doesn’t believe in Satan, the Antichrist, Yahweh, Hell or demons, doesn’t practice real black magick, embraces the rationalism and materialism of the Enlightenment cult, and doesn’t have an agenda beyond “sex, drugs and rock and roll”, is for us not Satanism at all. Rather, it is heretical pseudo-Satanism – a counterfeit which the Temple of Satan strongly opposes. While we give Anton Lavey due credit for his sense of style, his boldness and his psychological and social insights that at times bordered on the prophetic, ultimately his project failed because it denied the very source of all Satanic power: Lord Satan Himself.
The modern subversion of Satanism has gotten even more grotesque with the recent appearance of the so-called “Satanic Temple”. This organization, which neither believes in Satan nor has a temple, seeks to remove even the Nietzschean, irrationalist, social Darwinist aspects of LaVey’s ideology and turn Satanists into little more than social justice warriors in gothic drag. Nothing could be less Satanic than these pitiful creatures, practicing their sanitized, PC, corporate-approved pseudo-Satanism, who would flee in terror were they to encounter someone with the menace and diabolical spirit of a real Satanist.
It is amusing to imagine one of these ‘activist’ Satanic Temple media whores out ‘teabagging’ the gravestones of ‘homophobes’ in the American South for the cameras, when a burly backwoods Devil worshipper jumps out of the bushes with a bowie knife, puts it to the soft throat of the “Satanic Templar” and says: “You wanna know Satan boy? Here’s your Satan faggot! Squeeeeal!” To complete the delicious scene, the hillbilly then drags the violated and humiliated “Satanist” back to a grove in a nearby swamp, ties him to a tree, summons his whole diabolist clan, and they proceed to show the city boy what real old-school Satanists do to heretics who defile the name of Satan by trying to be ‘social justice warriors’ in His name. Satanic justice, indeed!