What do I mean by fake Satanists? I mean those who advertise themselves as Satanists but in reality do not espouse the Satanic philosophy or ideology. This could be those who simply pretend be Satanists in order to sound cool, but it could also be those who identify themselves as Satanists while simultaneously backing authoritarian ideology or have nothing to do with the philosophy of Satanism.
Most Satanists, regardless of their position on the existence of Satan, regard Satan as representing individualism. This isn’t exclusively in the form of Church of Satan teachings, which espouse that while Satan doesn’t actually exist, he is a powerful symbol of individualism and personal pleasure. Many theistic Satanists view Satan as encouraging individualism, freedom of thought, and raising oneself up, though they value the achievement of this through magic. The Temple of Set, which views Set as the dark lord behind Satan, espouses enlightened individualism in the form of the concept of Xeper. However, there are some organizations and/or individuals who claim to identify with Satanism but whose philosophy has nothing to do with Satanism.
For instance, Boyd Rice is associated with the Church of Satan, which is known for espousing an individualist philosophy, but has a Social Darwinist outlook and is the founder of an organization called the Abraxas Foundation, which promotes this outlook along with authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and elitism. This, I believe, contradicts the Satanic philosophy of individualism, thus I deny the legitimacy of Boyd Rice’s organization. There’s also the Joy of Satan, which is an organization that believes Satan is actually a creator god called Enki, who is believed to be an alien. They believe Satan/Enki is the creator god who wanted man to reach perfection and they tend to campaign against Christian oppression of paganism and the occult. Problem is, they’re Neo-Nazis. And if we know anything about Nazism, we know that it is certainly incompatible with Satanism, for the same reasons the Abraxas Foundation is not real Satanism. There’s even a “Satanic” group that tries to blend Satanism with communist ideology. To be honest, neither communism nor fascism are worthy of the Satanic mantle, for they reject freedom and individualism.
Personally, I classify myself as an independent Satanist. This means that I espouse the essential philosophy of Satanism, while not affiliating with any organizations. I feel it’s less restrictive this way, after all a Satanist should not restrict themselves to a doctrine the way a Christian subjugates him/herself to the doctrine of the church. Anyways, as an independent Satanist, I feel I must deny the legitimacy of those who pretend to be Satanists, of those who claim to be Satanists but do not understand the philosophy, and of those who claim the Satanic mantle but whose ideology is very much the opposite of what Satanism is about. I encourage that other Satanists trust in their good judgement and not be taken in by those who pretend to be Satanists.
It should be noted, however, that the diversity of opinion across Satanic groups could be interpreted as a manifestation of the individualism represented by Satan. Still, I don’t feel we should let posers and authoritarians get away with thinking they are worthy of the Satanic mantle.