Autodidact: self-taught

Nov
23
2012

Death Note

by V. L. Craven

Death Note

Title and author of book? Complete Death Note Black Edition written by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata

Genre? Manga. This is my first manga and I quite enjoyed it.

What led you to pick up this book? It’s about a person who can kill criminals without being caught and decides to make the world a better place in this way and how that person is considered a criminal. And it has a goth look to it.

Summarize the plot, but don’t give away the ending. It’s about a notebook that falls from the world of the gods of death. A human picks it up and learns that when he writes a name in it, the person dies. The notebook is accompanied by the god of death who owns it, a Shinigami, named Ryuk. (pronounced ryooku) who only the person who picked up the death notebook, Light Yagami, can see. Say hello, Ryuk.

Death Note

Hi.

Light knows that criminals dying left and right will provoke suspicions, including that of his father, a top police detective. Light is extremely intelligent and goes to great measures to avoid being caught, which involves pitting his considerable wits against several other geniuses.

What did you like most about the book? The speculation on the way the world would respond to someone topping all of the criminals read as realistic and was interesting. The quirks of the geniuses was fun.

What did you dislike about the book? We can see the thoughts of all of the characters and they think a lot . All of the thinking about their very complicated plans and what they think the others are thinking and planning can get confusing. Some of the rules of the book also seemed contrived rather than organic.

What did you think of the main character? He was extremely intelligent but completely heartless. He had absolutely no compunction about killing both his sister and father. In a way, it makes sense, as God doesn’t have a problem killing people, either, and Light wants to be Kira/God.

Share a favourite scene from the book.  The end had me at the edge of my seat, wondering who’s side everyone would take. The beginning also had several tense scenes where we’re learning how the book works and getting an idea of Light’s intelligence.

What about the ending? It made sense in terms of the narrative of the story but I was disappointed that the ‘good’ guys won, as I wanted . The very end, where Kira has become a god and has worshippers, as well as how it’s revealed by Ryuk that there is no heaven or hell and that when people die they’re just dead was great.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Other Thoughts?  Thoughts on the philosophies in the series. Kira’s principle’s are quite Satanic, in that he believes that people are allowed to pursue their own happiness as long as they don’t impinge on others’ rights to do so as well. He says, ‘It all boils down to those who interfere with people’s pursuit of happiness and those who do not….The right to be happy, that is something that everybody has equal claim to. But that is not something you get by harming, deceiving or even killing other people. To pursue your happiness without getting in the way of others, while respecting the rights of others; that is the way humans should lead their lives.’

This is an excellent example of Satanic philosophy, stated succinctly. Towards the end, when Light explains his philosophy, Near says ‘Nobody can tell what is right and what is wrong, what is righteous and what is evil. Even if there is a god and I had his teachings before me, I would think it through and decide if that was right or wrong myself…’ though Near is pitted against Kira, his feeling is also quite Satanic, as Satanists believe in knowing oneself and one’s personal philosophy rather than what others tell you.  This is also one of the overlaps with Buddhism, as the Buddha said, ‘Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.’ I’m still with Kira, obviously.

Bonus factoid: A friend of mine who speaks Japanese says the translation of the word ‘Note’ in ‘Death Note’ is actually the word for ‘notebook’, so it should be called ‘Death Notebook’.

Death Note

This clip is from the live action film. Shinigamis need apples in the way smokers need cigarettes.

Some bonus wallpapers:

Death Note

Death Note

Death Note

 

Oct
30
2012

Does This Surprise Anyone?

by V. L. Craven

Does This Surprise Anyone?

Apr
30
2012

Happy Walpurgisnacht!

by V. L. Craven

Happy Walpurgisnacht!

Feb
26
2012

Dreary Sacrilege

by V. L. Craven

This week the awesome blog Upon a Midnight Dreary posted about an art show at the Congregation Gallery in Los Angeles with a Sacrilege theme.

I particularly dig the skull piece at the top left of this photo:

Dreary Sacrilege

And I want these skeletons to dance at my funeral:

Other pieces I’d proudly hang in my house:

Dreary Sacrilege

Dreary Sacrilege

Dreary Sacrilege

Dreary Sacrilege

Aug
27
2011

The Full Spectrum

by V. L. Craven

The Full Spectrum

The Harry Potter books didn’t make me a Satanist. I’ve always viewed the world differently than my peers. Not better or worse, just different. There is some use in viewing the world as others do, but it’s also nice not to. Always a bit darker than others. Those things (Chas Addams,Tim Burton, E.A. Poe, etc) didn’t make me what I am, they appealed to me because I already was who I was. Not any more than a veterinarian becomes an animal lover because he’s a vet. He’s a vet because he loves animals.

The claims of Christian nutjobs that the HP phenomenon introduces vulnerable children to the dark side did arouse my curiosity about what ‘real’ Satanists believe. So I looked into it and discovered that, actually, I’d been a Satanist my entire life. Real Satanists would never harm a child or animal. They believe in the attempt at perfection of humanity–in being responsible for one’s own decisions. It has a great deal in common with Existentialism, a philosophy that optimists (the most frequently disappointed people in history) find depressing.

Satanists are quite straightforward people. We accept the darker side of human nature as being just that–natural to humans, we also appreciate the lighter side of humans–the ability to help one another. You cannot have one without the other. Ignoring either side deprives the observer of true appreciating the full capacity of the human spirit.

Those who fear the darker side of humanity fear the darkness within themselves. Rather than acknowledging it and choosing to be better than their baser urges simply because they are able to do so, they say they are doing so because a supernatural being says they should. Because a supernatural being threatens them with eternal punishment if they don’t strive for perfection.

Which is more desirable, choosing to be the person you want to be of your own volition, under your own personal belief in the human capacity for goodness, with the acknowledgement of the bad alongside the good, or being threatened into compliance?

Some people don’t see it as a threat, but as love. I always wonder about those peoples’ relationships with their parents. ‘I wouldn’t punish you so severely if I didn’t love you. If I didn’t know you were capable of being better than you are. Without me you’re nothing–I gave you the rules to live by, without which you’d have no more sense than an animal.’

Yes, humans are animals, but animals that have evolved by using common sense. The ones most likely to survive are the ones most willing to help their fellow animals, and, thereby, be helped by them in return. This is an amazing thing–the evolution of manners. Everything being created within one second–people being fully-formed instantaneously–is simplistic. Surely, a complex being would create complex creatures. But many seem to believe that a simplistic being, who sets black and white rules, created simplistic beings, that are purely good or purely evil.

Aug
22
2011

Ad Hominem Attacks

by V. L. Craven

I like dogs. Hitler liked dogs, too. Therefore I must be as reprehensible as Hitler.

That is an example of an ad hominem attack. Taking an aspect of a person’s personality and using that to denounce everything that person does/professes/thinks/believes. A particularly favourite accusation is, ‘Well, she’s a [Tory, Labour, Republican, Democrat] so you can’t believe anything she says.’ The ad hominem attack is the purview of those who have no legitimate argument against a person for whom they don’t care.

Anton LaVey is often the target of such attacks. No matter what his biography actually was, his philosophies and beliefs are still sound.

Ray Charles was a drug addict. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a womanizer. Gunter Grass was a Hitler Youth, etc, etc. Would you like to have your entire life judged by the least attractive aspect of your personality? Or would you like people to consider your entire contribution to the world?

Aug
13
2011

The Devil’s Mass

by V. L. Craven

I recently watched a documentary about Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan that was filmed in the late ’60s. It’s heavy on the hype and drama with which  LaVey surrounded himself, but it also shows how progressive the C o S was from the beginning. They talk about how they accept a wide-range of lifestyles and life philosophies. ‘Acceptance’ is the key word, here. They don’t believe in ‘tolerance’ because who wants to be tolerated?

For a group so demonized and reviled, they don’t actively despise anyone that doesn’t wish them physical harm.

Other groups that profess unconditional love for their fellow man tend not to practise what they preach, but Satanists are straightforward about their policies. You respect them, they respect you. You’re free to think what you’d like and live your life the way that’s natural for you.

Satanists have great respect for people that are true to themselves in the face of towering opposition. If Christianity speaks to you then be that, but allow other people to be true to themselves, as well.

Truth is truth no matter whose mouth it comes from. The truth is that the world would be a better place if people were allowed to be true to themselves.

Apr
08
2011

Devil Music

by V. L. Craven
Devil Music
Recently, I watched two documentaries about Norwegian Black Metal bands. Until the Light Takes Us and Satan Rides the Media.

I’m glad I watched them back to back. (The first one was an English documentary and all of the Norwegian and Swedish people spoke impeccable English. The Norwegians sounded almost American and the Swede sounded Scottish–Stirling.)

Until the Light Takes Us. Involved the big names in Norwegian Black Metal and how they were involved in church burnings (as a protest of Christianity destroying Scandinavian cultures), as well as the suicide and murder of two other people. The murder by one of the members of a band of another member.
This one was straight-forward documentary and was sympathetic to the members of the bands. It involved only interviews with Black Metal bands.

Devil Music

Satan Rides the Media. This was in Norwegian and had more interviews with media and ‘professionals’ than members of the bands involved in the church burnings and murder. This one was all about how Black Metal bands and their fans were a bunch of Satanists. In the first documentary, it was apparent that none of them were Satanists. Once the media began portraying them as such, copy-cat (kids, mostly) began setting fire to churches and leaving Satanic (or Satanistic, as the media called it) symbols. I suppose the fact that it was Christian churches burned the media decided they must be Satanic, but really they were just anti-Christian because the churches were often built on ancient Pagan ceremonial grounds. Some of the media recognized that there was no real evidence that the original guys were actually Satanists so they needed to tone that bit down. By then the damage had been done. One woman gave an interview saying that they’d sacrificed the baby she’d had at 15 and that they’d told her she should be honoured by this.
My absolute favourite part was that once the media decided Satanists were involved they decided they needed to speak to Christians because ‘they should know all about Satanism’.
Y-yeah… because when you want to know something about a group you want to ask the people who hate them most and have the most to gain from their downfall. It’s the reason you consult Neo-Nazis about Jewish religious rituals.

Can you hear my eyes rolling from where you are?

Apr
04
2011

Style Versus Substance

by V. L. Craven

After watching a couple of documentaries about Norwegian black metal (which is often erroneously associated with Satanism) I began listening to different types of metal (doom, black, death, etc). One of my friends, Meda, who is a connoisseur of metal, told me that black metal is often quite racist and anti-Semitic, which is an enormous turn-off. That’s not a big enough word, though. It’s unacceptable–I can’t listen to it, even though the lyrics are unintelligible.

One of my friends, shadowman explained how the bands get to the point of Nazism thusly, “Thematically, they’re often dealing with nature, and folk culture, and such (some subtypes more than others, black metal can blur into folk-metal sometimes), and while they don’t all take it in this direction, it can be easy to go from there… to some kind of Romantic Nationalism… to some kind of ‘blood-and-soil’ ideology…to some kind of fascism…which can get racialized i.e. Nazism, or something Nazi-esqe.”

Whilst knowing (and understanding) how it formed is interesting, I could never listen to black metal with those sorts of lyrics. In that instance, the substance overrides the style.

A music reviewer friend of mine Amanda Farrah made a salient point, as well: “look at david cameron, who claims the smiths are his favorite band. if ever there was a band who hated tories, it’s them. johnny marr is enraged by it. morrissey doesn’t even like it when non-vegetarians listen to his music, and called out david cameron for stag hunting . i suspect certain extremist metal musicians who believe what they write (as opposed to going for shock value) probably wouldn’t be down with nazi victims or their descendants [which applies to  friend  listening to the music. i’m sure there are lots of african american rappers who get pissed off at middle class white suburban kids misappropriating their culture. hell, for all i know, anyone who goes for violent imagery would hate it if a pacifist listened to their music. obviously in every case you have to either be missing the point, or choosing to ignore it. that must be frustrating to an artist, no matter how backwards his or her view.”

This is a point I hadn’t taken into account, but I recall Kurt Cobain once saying that he didn’t want homophobes and misogynists listen to his music or going to their shows. I’ve also heard of a stand up comedian (I can’t recall who is was) who started his show with virulently homophobic jokes and when several people walked out he said, ‘That usually gets rid of them.’

It makes sense that some artists don’t wish to appeal to those they dislike rather than trying to use their art to communicate their beliefs. The only people I wouldn’t want to read my writing would be those who can’t be civil.

This made me consider my tolerance for different types of media.

Hip hop is another area where substance versus style comes into play. I used to be capable of forgiving a lot if it was danceable, but I do usually reach a point where I can’t listen to the song anymore. (Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre’ is one.) I can deal with violent lyrics because that’s mostly macho posturing–I don’t think the artists are shooting people on a regular basis. Whereas, they have every opportunity to be flaming misogynists. They are encouraged to treat women like interchangeable objects and they, in turn, encourage others to treat women in that way. I’m at the point where if I feel like dancing, I find something that has lyrics that I don’t find offensive.

In a similar vein, style is more important than substance in that I can read a very well-written book with no plot (Hello, Pinkerton’s Sister by Peter Rushforth) but I am incapable of reading a badly-written, but rip-roaring plot. The only two exceptions to this are the Dexter books and Harry Potter. Dexter is my kind of guy and HP isn’t that badly written. And even then, the third Dexter book was just too poorly written for me to get through.

In terms of films, I can watch things that are pretty to look at but has a plot I can’t really follow, but I cannot watch films that have characters I despise. There are certain actors that can be brilliant in any p.o.s. (Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins) but I’m at the point where, if I can see them in something that’s brilliant across the board then why waste my time on something that’s 90% dreck? It’s not as though there’s not enough fantastic media in the world.

With TV shows, it’s more about atmosphere for me because I spend my TV time working in my notebooks so I don’t pay full attention to the show. Therefore, I like gritty British mystery shows like Wire in the Blood and Waking the Dead . I doubt I could tell you the plot of any episode once it was over, but I love having those on in the background. I also like lighter British mysteries like Midsomer Murders , Inspector Morse and Inspector Lyndley. (I think mysteries are the chief English export.) And these interest me so much more than U.S. crime/law and order shows. The writing and acting is on par with the U.K. shows, the only difference is atmosphere and tone.

Acknowledging these value systems has helped me accept others value systems as valid. I’ve been a die hard book snob for years whilst feeling that music snobs were pretentious, which isn’t at all hypocritical. I’ve been able to let go of that unproductive bigotry–one of my goals in life.

What do you focus on in media–substance or style?

Apr
02
2011

Disagreement is Unadulterated Evil

by V. L. Craven

The word ‘Satan’ is Hebrew for ‘adversary’ or ‘opposer’. There’s not really a concept of Hell or Satan in Judaism, so for them it only means someone who disagrees with one.

It’s fitting that Christianity and Islam have taken a word that only means, ‘holding a different opinion’, and turning it into pure evil. This is probably also why Jewish people aren’t as threatened by Satanists as Christians and Muslims. But of these groups are incredibly intolerant of differing opinions. No thinking, no questioning. Stop being a troublemaker, you Satanist!

This is probably also where we get the phrase, ‘Playing Devil’s Advocate,’ where a person intentionally provokes another person for the sole sake of rhetorical argument. Being asked challenging questions can help clarify one’s beliefs and philosophy. But some of the people who claim to be the most devout have the least tolerance for discussing their beliefs. If a person truly believes something then he or she shouldn’t be intimidated by sincere questions. They should already have the answers to anything question they could be asks, because, surely, if something brings you great joy and completes your life then you’ve considered your beliefs from every angle, right?

And if not, wouldn’t you be glad to examine your faith more fully? I completely understand not wanting to be condescended to, but if a person is only trying to understand your point of view then what’s the problem?

This is a sincere question–why is someone disagreeing with you so threatening? If your faith is strong then nothing another person could say should be able to shake that faith. I’ve put a great deal of thought into what I believe and why I believe it so I don’t find other people’s life philosophies to be threatening. But Satanists are much more frightening to Christians than vice versa.

Why?

Mar
11
2011

The Great Black Hope: The Satanic N00B

by V. L. Craven

This is, perhaps, my favourite bit from the Church of Satan website:

Let’s look at a typical example. Here’s Joe (it could just as easily be Jane) Schitz, a general loser whose age is between 15 and 29. He’s heard about Satanism from his favorite “let’s freak out the parents” rock star (like Marilyn Manson), and since he’s too lazy to go to the library to do research and too cheap to buy a book, he turns to the Internet. He surfs the web with a search engine of his choice and is confronted by hundreds of sites claiming to be giving valid information about Satanism. Since his image of Satanism includes (like his musical hero’s stage persona) public acclaim, wealth, sex, and notoriety, he is ill-equipped to deal with all this material, lacking any measure to discriminate the valid from the invalid. If he purchased and read The Satanic Bible or carefully read the essays and interviews on the Church of Satan’s official site, he’d begin to see what Satanism is really about. But that would be too much like work. Some of what he sees in this morass—imagery that might prove shocking to others, he likes. He thinks he’s found the passport to a position in the limelight. He compares his own humdrum existence with his perception of Satanism and suddenly wants to be a part of it. So, first off, he changes his name to some less-than-euphonious moniker like, Damien Anton Manson Dragon Azathoth the 23rd.

A brief aside: What is it with these people who feel the need to adopt these “spooky” names? If they really hate the name with which they have been gifted by their parents, why not change it to something more effective as many Hollywood actors and other “showbiz” types have done? Something simple and catchy, easy to remember, but impressive. Names like John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield. Or you might even look to character names from pulp fiction or classic literature to find an appellation more suitable to your personality. However, names that sound like they should be listed on a membership card for a Count Chocula fan club should be avoided like the plague, yet they abound in the ranks of Satanic poseurs. Stop looking through lists of demon names (especially if they are from role-playing or video games). Here’s a challenge: don’t change your name at all. If you’ve looked at history, most of the great names are simply known because the people who had them achieved memorable things. People remember names like Mozart, Einstein, Edison, and Galileo, not because these names had any prior “resonance,” but because of what these individuals created. So, do you have what it takes to stick with your own name and, through your own creativity, make it a name which future generations will use as a synonym with fame or notoriety?

Back to our newbie. He might then start dressing in bizarre outfits, inspired by his favorite musician’s stage show (forgetting the fact that he isn’t a rock star and he isn’t on stage). He might wear black lipstick or nail-polish, or even go so far as to get a piercing or a tattoo (what a rebel!). He’s now received the negative attention of family and friends, but since he wants to be a rebel, he feels this is a good beginning. Now to expand his horizons as there’s a whole world out there, waiting to be annoyed! So, he gets on his parents’ computer and signs up for a free website (an easy process that has predictably lead to the ever-expanding Internet dreck festival). Next, he uses that search engine again to look up Satanism so as to find his own kind, now that he thinks he’s a Satanist. What does he find? A plethora of others like himself! Must mean there’s a “community,” and he’s dying to be a big cheese in it. He’s his own God, isn’t he? He’s just got to show everyone else out there that he’s better than they are. So, he immediately begins to lift graphics from the sites he encounters, as well as any essays he thinks sound scary enough to enhance his reputation—only writings by the most famous names in Satanism will do. The very idea of copyrighted material and creators’ rights never enters his mind, particularly as he feels—by putting these graphics and texts on his site—that he is “helping” to support Satanism. Anybody who’d tell him otherwise must just be an old fuddy-duddy who just wants to rain on his parade—so screw them!

He is now determined to be the “Great Black Hope” of Satanism. He wants to evangelize people concerning his new-found identity (just because he’s unaware of the vast amount of representation that’s been done over the last 35 years by Church of Satan spokespersons must mean it just wasn’t very good—it couldn’t possibly mean he didn’t know how to do research).

Eventually, he runs across the official website of the Church of Satan. He finds it to be a gold mine of material to pilfer (and that he is stealing and thus violating the Satanic concept of “responsibility to the responsible” would never come to focus in what passes for his “thinking”).

Next, he decides that he’ll start a Satanic organization. Since he’s a God, how can he not be a leader? He’d never think of “following” someone with more intelligence and experience. That would make him seem “weak,” to admit that he doesn’t instantly know everything. Naturally he’s got to be the High Priest (move over Anton LaVey). Anyone who emails him and compliments his site becomes a member and if they kiss ass particularly well, they receive an instant Priesthood. After he’s been at this for a few weeks (if he’s patient), he finally decides that he’s going to approach the Church of Satan and propose an alliance, as he thinks he’s really become the leading force for keeping Satanism alive in the world. The poor old Church of Satan just better recognize this, lest it be left in his dust. So he sends an email, full of bluster and bravado, claiming he’s got a huge international organization (of which we’ve never heard, naturally), and a website (Satan save us!). He signs this portentous missive with his grand new name, appended to which are numerous titles such as “High Priest of the Universal Elite Legions.” One of our representatives reads this (and a dozen like it which came in that week) and then dutifully checks out the site, discovering (once its interminable download is over, as it is chock-full of crappy animations and soundfiles), that it is also full of stolen Church of Satan material (both copyrighted texts and graphics). Our representative then sends a formal email pointing out these blatant copyright violations and asks “High Priest Azathoth” to remove them, or else we’ll have to approach his service provider. This naturally enrages “HPA,” (How dare the Church of Satan stop him from becoming the world’s greatest Satanic leader?!). So he writes back, his response full of profanity and indignation—after all, his “Satanic Genius” has not been recognized. Our Church of Satan representative must then go through the tedious task of contacting HPA’s Internet service provider, quoting the guidelines for service of which HPA is in violation, and then monitoring the situation until that page has either removed all copyrighted materials, or is simply cancelled by the provider (the usual outcome).

Now, disgruntled Damien, thwarted in his bid to rule the world of Satanism, must start a campaign to re-assert himself in the “Satanic Community,” with the Church of Satan as his target (How dare they protect their material when I know how to use it better?!). He’ll email his cronies and they will try to invade chat rooms frequented by real Satanists, doing their best to prevent pleasurable discussions from taking place. That the “Ops” for these chat rooms kick and ban them only serves as a stimulant. They could make their own chat room in which they would be free to gather and discuss how rotten the Church of Satan is, but that never suffices. They desperately want recognition by real Satanists, and they’ll get it by being annoying, rather than trying to earn respect for any tangible achievements or simply engaging in intelligent discussion.

Of course, our would-be High Priest may eventually find something else to hold his interest. He might actually go out on a date, or find that he does have some kind of skill which he needs to practice (aside from being a royal asshole—the one skill which he’s perfected by now). But he may prolong his tenure in the “Satanic Community” if he stumbles into another kind of online group—a collection of like-small-minded losers, who have washed up on the shoals of the Internet, after their website-vessels have been sunk by the torpedoes of the mean old Church of Satan. Here is the haven wherein he’ll find fellow self-proclaimed “High Priests.” They are usually collected under the direction of a new “Magus” (even more pretentious and pompous then they are, hence he’s top of the shit heap). Here they will huddle together, fueled by their hatred for the fact that they couldn’t conquer the Satanic Universe as embodied in the Church of Satan and united in their envy of those who have earned positions therein. Now they have a peanut gallery to cheer them on, as they spew their illiterate vitriol (of particularly dilute vintage) against the real Satanists whom they might encounter. They will clutter Usenet as well as chat rooms with their pointless, moronic postings. Of course, when the time comes to sort out the pecking order amongst these “High Priests,” then the fur will fly and schisms will abound as they scratch out each other’s eyes fighting over ever-sillier titles. Eventually they will just leave Satanism behind altogether (if only this would happen with greater speed).

Feb
18
2011

Tissue Thin Line

by V. L. Craven

Several years ago, a musical based on The Jerry Springer Show was aired on British television. At the start, there was a disclaimer that the musical was chock full of obscenities and after every advert the disclaimer was repeated. Still, lorry loads of complaints were called in.

I’ve always been gobsmacked by people that seek out things which they know will be infuriating. Do people enjoy being cheesed off? Do they enjoy complaining? Do they not have enough strife in their lives?

If you know you’re going to be ticked, then you really have no reason to complain. It’s not being forced on you. It’s like going to a restaurant you hate and then griping about how bad the food is. Well, no kidding, Socrates.

I avoid things, places and people I know are only going to make me mad (in both senses of the word). Who needs the stress? The eighth Satanic rule of the Earth is: Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.

I also believe one shouldn’t complain about things over which they have no control, either. Whinging won’t change anything and the best course of action is to choose to react in the most productive way.

The conundrum is then, when is one avoiding something which will only serve to aggravate and when is one closing oneself off to other viewpoints?

The difference is that one person is saying, ‘I’ve examined my beliefs and they are right for me and do not wish to be irritated,’ whilst the other is saying, ‘My beliefs are right so I don’t need to listen to anyone else’s opinion.’

Though I am willing to listen to the views of others, if their opinion diverges from mine so drastically I become irritated I examine the root of that. If I feel that my views are legitimate to my philosophy (e.g. I’m not being a hypocrite or illogical)  I find no reason to continue with that vein of conversation. If that person’s views make sense to me I’m open to altering my opinions, as I believe everyone can learn and grow within their own philosophy, myself included.

It’s useful to examine one’s own philosophy by comparing and contrasting it to the beliefs of others, but I know myself well enough to recognise the line.

Jan
29
2011

Why use the word ‘Satanist’?

by V. L. Craven

I have followed the tenets of Satanism my entire life, unaware that there was a name for it; I was just being myself. I was perfectly happy with this, so why take up the name now since it frightens people?

I’ve always been a proponent of being true to oneself. This is my truth. How could I respect myself if I did not follow my own belief in self-awareness and honesty with oneself? Because it would threaten those who are not only afraid of the unknown but takes pride in that fear? Is their faith so tenuous that merely listening to another person’s opinion can threaten it? If your faith is true to you it will be true no matter what another person believes.

I am not responsible for the ignorance of others. That is their own undoing. Why should I appease those who would deny me my personal philosophy when it does them no harm?

Out of spite for those who would deny me my individuality because of fear of their own humanity I shall claim the name Satanist.

Jan
27
2011

The Basic Tenets of Satanism

by V. L. Craven

The Nine Satanic Statements
The Nine Satanic Statements outline what “Satan” represents in the Church of Satan:

  1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.
  2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.
  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit.
  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates.
  5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek.
  6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires.
  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development”, has become the most vicious animal of all.
  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.
  9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years.

The Nine Satanic Sins

  1. Stupidity
  2. Pretentiousness
  3. Solipsism
  4. Self-deceit
  5. Herd Conformity
  6. Lack of Perspective
  7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies
  8. Counterproductive Pride
  9. Lack of Aesthetics

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

  1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
  2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
  3. When in another’s lair, show them respect or else do not go there.
  4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat them cruelly and without mercy.
  5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
  6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and they cry out to be relieved.
  7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
  8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
  9. Do not harm little children.
  10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
  11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they don’t stop, destroy them.

From the Church of Satan website. Written by Anton LaVey.

Jan
26
2011

A Note About Other Religions

by V. L. Craven

In the upcoming weeks I’m going to be referring to other religions in relation to Satanism. I will try to always qualify my assertions by saying, ‘Some [religious practitioners] ‘, but if I do not I should like to state for the record that I am not referring to every single adherent of a particular religion. I am referring to those who lack critical thinking skills or who do not extend me the same courtesy I extend to them. I have no problem listening to another person’s personal philosophy or religious beliefs, as I am comfortable with my own. I do have a problem with people who assume that, because I do not hold the beliefs they do, I must be stupid or evil. I do not think those that disagree with me are ignorant or wrong–I assume that everyone has given their beliefs a great deal of thought and come to their own conclusions about what’s right for them.

People who think those who disagree with them are wrong feel justified in haranguing those others; they divide the world into Right/Wrong, therefore, if someone tries to explain a philosophy that differs from theirs they interpret that as us saying they’re wrong. And they do not feel they should extend the courtesy of listening to the person with a differing viewpoint, as anything they say is wrong.

My philosophy is that the world is made of jerks and not-jerks and everything else is window-dressing. Every group of people has both in their ranks. Non-jerks of any stripe are okay by me and I simply avoid the jerks. Life is too short to willingly subject oneself to those who exist solely to antagonise one.

Neither am I trying to antagonise the non-self-aware jerks. If you disagree with me then simply don’t come here. If you choose to read these posts then you can also choose to be civil. Intelligent discussion is welcome. The rants of the ignorant or name-calling will be disregarded.

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