Satanists: Wikis


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The downward-pointing pentagram is often used to represent Satanism.

Satanism comprises a number of related beliefs and social phenomena. They share the feature of symbolism, veneration or admiration of Satan (or similar figures). Generally, those Satanists who believe in the Judeo-Christian concept of Satan are linked into the belief system of today's Judeo-Christian religion, as they believe in the same theology presented in the Hebrew bible. Satan, also called Lucifer in many Christian religions, first appeared in the Hebrew Bible and was an Angel who challenged the religious faith of humans and the rule of Yahweh. In the Book of Job he is called "the Satan" (meaning "the accuser") and acted as the prosecutor in God's court. A character named "Satan" was described as the cosmic enemy of the Lord and temptor of Jesus within many of the Gospels of early Christians. It was further developed in scope and power as the bringer of Armageddon and Apocalypse as featured within the Book of Revelation. Religions inspired by these texts (Jews, Christians and Muslims) typically regarded Satan as an adversary or enemy, but extensive popular redactions and recompositions of biblical tales inserted its presence and influence into every aspect of adversarial role back to the Creation and Fall. By Christians and Muslims especially, the figure of Satan was treated variously as a rebellious or jealous competitor to human beings, to Jesus, or to the Lord, and characterized as a fallen angel or demon ruling the penitential Underworld, chained in a deep pit, wandering the planet vying for souls or providing the impetus for all worldly travesty. At points during the development of the Christian religion, Satan became its outspoken enemy, and this served the interests of all those who would use this to their advantage, inclusive of those who fashioned or recomposed the mythos of Satanism. Additionally, particularly after the European Enlightenment, some works, such as Paradise Lost, were taken up by Romantics and described as presenting the Biblical Satan as an allegory representing a crisis of faith, individualism, free will, wisdom and enlightenment. Those works actually featuring Satan as a heroic character are fewer in number but do exist: George Bernard Shaw and Mark Twain being two authors whose works include this prior to the pen being taken up by religious Satanists.

Anti-witchcraft laws such as the British Witchcraft Act 1735 (not repealed until 1951), reflected public sentiment against witchcraft and Satanism. Although Religious Satanism began in 1966 with the founding of the Church of Satan, there was also a late seventeenth century French moral panic against alleged satanism during the Poison Affair (1675-1682), which occurred during the reign of Louis XIV and dealt with accusations of widespread poisonings, infanticide and forgery, presided over by an alleged satanic social network, which had no actual substance but reflected the aforementioned pre-Enlightenment popular religious anxieties [1]

Modern Satanist groups (those which appeared after the 1960s) are widely diverse, but two major trends which can be seen are Theistic Satanism and Atheistic Satanism. Theistic Satanists venerate Satan as a supernatural deity. In contrast, Atheistic Satanists[2] consider themselves atheists and regard Satan as merely symbolic of certain human traits. This categorization of Satanism (which could be categorized in other ways, for example "Traditional" versus "Modern"), is not necessarily adopted by Satanists themselves, who usually would not specify which type of Satanism they adhere to. Some Satanists believe in God in the sense of a Prime Mover but, like Atheistic Satanists, still worship themselves, due to the deist belief that God plays no part in mortal lives.

Despite heavy criticism from other religious groups, there are signs that Satanism has become more socially accepted. For instance, Satanism is now allowed in the Royal Navy of the British Armed Forces, despite much opposition from Christians,[3] [4] [5] and, in 2005, the Supreme Court debated over protecting the religious rights of prison inmates after a lawsuit challenging the issue was filed to them. [6] [7]


Theistic Satanism

Part of the seal of Lucifer from the Grimorium Verum, used as a symbol of Satan by some Satanists

Theistic Satanism (also known as Spiritual or Traditional Satanism) is the worship or reverence of Satan as a deity. It comprises several viewpoints, and typically includes a belief in magic, which is manipulated through various rituals. It may also include the usage of meditation and self expansion. Traditional Satanists will often find inspiration from older sources, such the 1862 book Satanism and Witchcraft.



Luciferianism can be understood best as a belief system or intellectual creed that venerates the essential and inherent characteristics that are affixed and commonly given to Lucifer.

Luciferianism is forever identified by some people as an auxiliary creed or movement of Satanism, due to the common identification of Lucifer with Satan or other of its wide-called names . Some Luciferians accept this identification and/or consider Lucifer as the light bearer and illuminated aspect of Satan, giving them the name of Satanists and the right to bear the title. Others reject it, giving the argument that Lucifer is a more positive and easy-going ideal than Satan. They are inspired by the ancient myths of Egypt, Rome and Greece, Gnosticism and traditional Western occultism.


Palladists is a name for an alleged Theistic Satanism society or member of that society. The name Palladian comes from Pallas and refers to wisdom and learning. It is of no relation to the palladian style of Andrea Palladio.

Atheistic/Deistic Satanism

LaVeyan Satanism

Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 and his writings were the foundation of LaVeyan Satanism.

LaVeyan Satanism is a religion founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey. Its teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and "eye for an eye" morality. Unlike Theistic Satanists, LaVeyan Satanists are atheists and agnostics who regard Satan as a symbol of man's inherent nature.[8] According to, LaVeyan Satanism is a "small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges responsibly, exhibit kindness to their friends, and attack their enemies".[9] Its beliefs were first detailed in The Satanic Bible and it is overseen by the Church of Satan.

Symbolic Satanism

Symbolic Satanism[10][11] (sometimes called Modern Satanism) is the observance and practice of Satanic religious beliefs, philosophies, customs and rituals.[12] In this interpretation of Satanism, the Satanist does not worship Satan in the theistic sense, but is an adversary to all spiritual creeds and religions, espousing hedonism, materialism, Randian Objectivism, antinomianism, rational egoism, suitheism, individualism, Nietzschean and some Crowleyan philosophy and anti-theism.

Casual or adolescent satanism

In this context, adolescents use satanic symbols like the inverted pentagram, the trappings of the black mass, or demonic imagery to provide the impression of satanism [13]. This is a liminal experience, intended to shock susceptible individuals and does not necessarily imply actual interest, or even belief, in the rites, symbolism, and philosophies of the various forms of satanist religious practice cited above [14]


The Church of Satan

The Church of Satan is an organization dedicated to the acceptance of the carnal self, as articulated in The Satanic Bible, written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey.

First Satanic Church

The First Satanic Church was re-founded on October 31, 1999 by Karla LaVey to carry on the legacy of her father, Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible. On Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, Anton LaVey founded the "The Satanic Church" (which he would later rename "Church of Satan"). After his death in 1997 the Church of Satan was taken over by a new administration and its headquarters was moved to New York.

LaVey's daughter, the High Priestess Karla LaVey, felt this to be a disservice to her father's legacy. Ms. LaVey re-founded the Satanic Church and continues to run it out of San Francisco, California, much in the same way as her father had run the organization when he was alive.

Temple of Set

The Temple of Set is an initiatory occult society claiming to be the world's leading left-hand path religious organization. It was established in 1975 by Michael A. Aquino and certain members of the priesthood of the Church of Satan,[15] who left because of administrative and philosophical disagreements. The philosophy of the Temple of Set may be summed up as "enlightened individualism" – enhancement and improvement of oneself by personal education, experiment, and initiation. This process is necessarily different and distinctive for each individual. Some people who are not members of the Temple of Set find spiritual inspiration in the Egyptian god Set, and may share some beliefs with the organization. The belief system in general is referred to as Setianism.

Setianism, in theory, is similar to theistic Satanism. The principle adored deity of Setianism is the ancient Egyptian god Set, or Seth, the god of adversary. Set supposedly is the Dark Lord behind the Hebrew entity Satan. Set is worshipped by his followers through the ritual of the Black Flame.

Order of Nine Angles

The Order of Nine Angles (ONA) is a purported secretive Satanist organization which has been mentioned in books detailing fascist Satanism. They were initially formed in the United Kingdom and rose to public note during the 1980s and 1990s. Presently, the ONA is organized around clandestine cells (which it calls traditional nexions)[16] and around what it calls sinister tribes[17][18].

Before modern Satanism

Historically, primarily in Christian European civilization over the centuries, but also in Muslim countries (for example, the Yezidis), some people or groups have been specifically described as worshipping Satan or the Devil, or of being devoted to the work of Satan. The widespread preponderance of these groups in European cultures is in part connected with the importance and meaning of Satan within Christianity. When viewing the historical development of the phenomenon of Satanism in the list below, it becomes evident that, while the earlier Christian examples may reflect the goals of the Catholic Church to overcome pagans and heretics (or to dispose of opponents, as was the case with Urbain Grandier), the later examples (at least from the time of de Sade onwards) clearly express an open hatred, to the point of sacrilege and blasphemy in some cases, towards Christianity, and the Roman Catholic Church in particular.

Some of the main personalities and groups that have stood out over the centuries, are:

In the Middle East

The Yezidis, a minority religion of the Middle East who worship the Melek Taus, are often referred to as Satan worshippers by some sectors of the dominant Muslim religion.[19]

In Christian cultures

  • Pagans celebrating Pan, Athena, Moloch, Odin, Perkunas or other Pagan deities are often claimed by the Catholic Church to be worshipping the Devil and his minions.[20]
  • Witches (claimed by the Catholic Church to be servants of the Devil), resulting in the Witch trials in Early Modern Europe.[20]
  • Gilles de Rais (1400s, France).[20]
  • Johann Georg Faust (1500s, Germany)[20]. Many instructions, in German and in Latin, for making a pact with the Devil were attributed to him. These were collected and published in Germany in a few of the volumes of Das Kloster (1845-1849).
  • Urbain Grandier (1600s, France). Although set up by the Catholic Church, a very famous document, in Latin, of a pact with the Devil which he allegedly wrote, has been preserved.[20]
  • People involved in the Poison affair, such as Catherine Deshayes and Etienne Guibourg (1600s, France). The documentation from their trial is the principal Medieval source for information on the Black Mass.[21][22]
  • The Marquis de Sade (1700s, France), described by some authors as being devoted to Satanism.[23] His works graphically described blasphemy against the Catholic Church, such as an orgy resembling a Black Mass conducted by Pope Pius VI in the Vatican (in his novel Juliette ).
  • In 1865 the anti-Vatican Italian poet Giosuè Carducci, published his poem praising Satan as the god of reason and expressing hatred towards Christianity, Inno a Satana ("Hymn to Satan"). (Carducci's poem contains both Italian declinations of Satan: Satana and Satani).
  • Many adherents of the Decadent movement, such as the Polish author Stanisław Przybyszewski, the Belgian artist Félicien Rops, and the French poet Charles Baudelaire (who published his poem, Les Litanies de Satan, "The Litanies of Satan" in 1857) either called themselves Satanists, or created overtly satanist artwork and literature.[24]
  • Some French movements widely described as being Satanist by French writers of the time (Late 1800s to early 1900s). The most well-known description available in English, is the 1891 novel Là-Bas, by Joris-Karl Huysmans. However, there were numerous other well-known personalities in France which were related to the circles Huysmans describes, such as Joseph-Antoine Boullan, Stanislas de Guaita, Henri Antoine Jules-Bois, and Joséphin Péladan, who either wrote about Satanism in France, or were accused of being Satanists themselves.[25][26]
  • Freemasonry was described as being Satanist, also in France at the same time, by the elaborate, completely discredited Taxil hoax[27]. It is true, however, that some personalities popularly associated with Satanism during that time (such as Félicien Rops), were also Freemasons.
  • At least two Satanic (or "Luciferian") sects existed in France in the 1930s. One was led by Maria de Naglowska, and had rituals dedicated to Satan and Lucifer.[28] Another, led by a former Catholic priest, celebrated an inversion of the Latin Mass (a "Luciferian Mass"), which included the phrase "In nomine Domini Dei nostri Satanae Luciferi Excelsi" (a phrase which would re-appear 30 years later in Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible).[29]
  • The Ophite Cultus Satanas ("the Ophite Cult of Satan"), a group founded in Ohio in 1948, said they worshipped the Ophite serpent, which they called Satanas (Satan).

Relationship to popular music

Heavy metal music has often been connected with Satanism, in part to the lyrical content of several bands and their frequent use of imagery often tied to left hand path beliefs (such as the upside-down pentagram). More often than not, such musicians say they do not believe in legitimate Satanic ideology and often profess to being atheists, agnostics, or religious skeptics, in some instances, followers of right hand path religions, while using that which appears to be "Satanic" for entertainment purposes and shock value[30]

Glen Benton, vocalist and bassist of the band Deicide, once openly claimed to be a practitioner of Theistic Satanism, and has spoken publicly on numerous occasions to profess staunch anti-Christian sentiment. Norwegian black metal artists such as Euronymous from Mayhem and Infernus from Gorgoroth have also identified themselves as Satanists and actively promoted their beliefs.[31] Numerous burnings of churches that covered parts of Norway in the early 1990s were also attributed to youths involved in the black metal movement, which included people claiming to have theistic Satanic beliefs and strong "anti-LaVeyan" attitudes.[32] However, the legitimacy of such actions as Satanic endeavors, rather than simply rebellious actions done for publicity, is something that has been doubted by even those who contribute to the genre.[33]

In the popular media, the singer Rihanna was rumoured to use satanic symbolism in her videos, images, and music. Such symbolism was rumoured to include the Eye of Horus, backmasking and subliminal messages. These allegations have been denied by the singer.[34]

See also


  1. ^ Anne Somerset: The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV: New York: St Martins Press: 2003 :
  2. ^ Flowers, Stephen (1997). Lords of the Left-hand Path. Runa-Raven Press. ISBN 1-885972-08-3. 
  3. ^ Royal Navy to allow devil worship CNN
  4. ^ Carter, Helen. The devil and the deep blue sea: Navy gives blessing to sailor Satanist. The Guardian
  5. ^ Navy approves first ever Satanist BBC News
  6. ^ Inmates Who Follow Satanism and Wicca Find Unlikely Ally
  7. ^ Before high court: law that allows for religious rights
  8. ^ LaVey, Anton (1969). The Satanic Bible. Avon. p. 40. : "It is a common misconception that the Satanist does not believe in God...To the Satanist, "God" - by whatever name he is called, or by no name at all - is seen as a balancing factor..."
  9. ^ Satanism
  10. ^ Darkside Collective Ministry International
  11. ^ Modern Satanism
  12. ^ A'al, Jashan. Satanic Denominations - Modern Satanism
  13. ^ Bob and Gretchen Passantino: Satanism: Grand Rapids: Zondervan: 1995
  14. ^ Anthony Moriarty: The Psychology of Adolescent Satanism: New York: Praeger: 1992
  15. ^ Aquino, Michael (2002) (PDF). Church of Satan. San Francisco: Temple of Set. 
  16. ^ FAQ About ONA
  17. ^ Angular Momentum: from Traditional to Progressive Satanism in the Order of Nine Angles
  18. ^ Sinister Tribes Of The ONA
  19. ^ “The Devil Worshipers of the Middle East : Their Beliefs & Sacred Books” Holmes Pub Group LLC (December 1993) ISBN 1558182314 ISBN 978-1558182318
  20. ^ a b c d e Robbins, Rossell Hope, The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, 1959.
  21. ^ Extensively described in: Zacharias, Gerhard, Der dunkle Gott: Satanskult und Schwarze Messe, München (1964).
  22. ^ Original sources: Ravaisson, François Archives de la Bastille (Paris, 1866-1884, volumes IV, V, VI, VII)
  23. ^ Dr. Iwan Bloch, Marquis de Sade: His Life and Work, 1899: "The Marquis de Sade gave evidence in his novels of being a fanatic Satanist."
  24. ^ Jullian, Philippe, Esthétes et Magiciens, 1969; Dreamers of Decadence, 1971.
  25. ^ Bois, Jules, Le Satanisme et la Magie - avec une étude de J.-K. Huysmans, Paris, 1895.
  26. ^ Huysmans, J.-K., Là-Bas, 1891
  27. ^ Waite, A.E., Devil Worship in France, 1896.
  28. ^ Medway, Gareth, Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of Satanism, 2001, page 18.
  29. ^ Messe Luciférienne, in Pierre Geyraud, Les Petites Églises de Paris, 1937.
  30. ^ Baddeley, Gavin. Raising Hell!: The Book of Satan and Rock 'n' Roll
  31. ^ Garry Sharpe-Young (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide. 
  32. ^ Grude, Torstein (Director). (January 1 1998). Satan rir Media. [motion picture]. Norway: Grude, Torstein. 
  33. ^ Ihsahn Interview
  34. ^ Tiffany Evans Claims Rihanna & Others Satanists; Slams “Russian Roulette;” Rihanna’s Devilish HistoryFriday, October 23, 2009, Editorial Staff

Further reading

  • Michelet, Jules (1862). Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition. ISBN 978-0806500591.  Considered the first modern work to discuss Satanism.
  • Cavendish, Richard (1967). The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages. ISBN 978-0399500350.  Summary of the history of Witchcraft, Satanism, and Devil Worship in the last part of the book.
  • Passantino, Bob and Gretchen: Satanism: Grand Rapids: Zondervan: 1995.
  • Zacharias, Gerhard (1980). The Satanic Cult. ISBN 978-0041330083.  Translated from the 1964 German edition by Christine Trollope.
  • Wlodek, Nikodem (2004). Satans Raw. 
  • Medway, Gareth (2001). Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of Satanism. ISBN 978-0814756454. 
  • Noctulius, Emperor (2007). the path to satan. 
  • Chornyisyn, Mykhailo (2009). Hail Satan: A collection of Satanic verse by Mykhailo Chornyisyn illustrated by M.B.. ISBN 978-0557064892. 

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun


  1. Plural form of Satanist.



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