Today I’ve been seeing Satanists on Facebook talk about Michael Aquino having passed away, and I was of the impression that he had recently died. Naturally curious, I inquired about this and was shown a link to a Temple of Set web page that announced his death. The way his death was announced seems rather cryptic at first, but as you read on it becomes clear what the Temple is attempting to communicate. Here is what they say:
Let it be known that on Sunday, September 1, LIV of the Aeon of Set, Ipsissimus Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D. Remanifested from his physical body. As he had let the world know, he had been experiencing declining health for several years. This period also saw a tremendous outpouring of written material, public interviews, and important correspondence within and beyond the Temple of Set.
Among those titles completed during this time was his trilogy MindWar, MindStar, and FindFar, covering his thought about the transformations of human conflict in order to better preserve human life, the transformations of the Self, and the long-range facing the world. In addition to this, he completed his Initiatory memoir, Temple of Set, and a more personal memoir Ghost Rides. He also left behind materials to encourage a deeper understanding and application of non-Setian Initiatory traditions in the form of IllumiAnX: Rosicrucianism Reawakened and The Satanic Bible: 50thAnniversary ReVision.
Ipsissimus Aquino’s thoughts on death have become more widely known with the publication of MindStar. The physical death of the body, or the khat to use the Egyptian term, acts as the loss of only one aspect of the greater complexities of the Self. The rest of the Self, particularly the akh, continues, both in this world through the influence set in motion while living, and beyond in a new exploration of the Unknown. In a sense, one enters into the realm of the neteru, where one’s Xeper guides and shapes what you may become.
We as human individuals, however, will experience considerable emotional and intellectual outpourings as the result of a loss like this. It is to be expected and honored that these experiences arise. Be mindful of how you chose to express these moments, and remember as much of an impact as Ipsissimus Aquino has had upon your life and Initiation, there are those for whom this is a far more personal, and private, loss.
Xeper – Become.
Hail Ra-En-Set, who Uttered the Eternal Word!
Hail Ipsissimus Michael A. Aquino!
The phrase “Remanifested from his physical body” in lieu of more familiar phrases such as “passed away” or words like “deceased” or “died” rather reminds me of Scientology, specifically in that when L Ron Hubbard died the Church of Scientology’s new leader, David Miscavige, referred to Hubbard’s death in terms of having “discarded” his physical body (as if by choice) in order to continue to do “research” in an “exterior state” (as in, outside of the corporeal realm). his death thereby representing not the end of his life but the “next step” of his research. Indeed, this missive from the Temple of Set presents a similar picture in that, per what seems to be Setian doctrine, after the demise of the physical body the Self in its totality continues to exist and act beyond the corporeal realm and continues its journey in the realm of the Neteru, thus continuing its self-transformation outside the body much as Miscavige would claim Hubbard was merely “continuing his research” after death. That having been said, however, it is nonetheless clear to anyone capable of reading between the lines that Aquino has died.
I could go on about the sort of man Michael Aquino was, and what he brought to the table. As a Church of Satan member he was certainly very committed to what he saw as the vision of Satanism, up until 1975 when he felt (I’d say not incorrectly) that Anton LaVey had betrayed this vision, and as the founder and leader of the Temple of Set he set forth his own individual vision of Satanism – which, as I’ve discussed in my review of his ReVision of the Satanic Bible, is a deeply flawed doctrine of Satanic idealism. He was also one of the most active users on the Satanist forum called the 600 Club, where he would frequently get into argumentative discussions with atheistic Satanists and others. What interests me more, however, is the secrecy which seems to surround his death.
The date given for Aquino’s death is “September 1st, LIV of the Aeon of Set”. We can clearly assume that Aquino died some time ago, possibly September of last year if I had to make an educated guess (unfortunately I’m not well-versed enough in the ways of the Temple of Set to tell you what “LIV” could mean). I’m told that the web page already existed on their website just that they did not publicize it and that you couldn’t just access it from their front page, presumably until recently. There’s also something I’ve heard about the 600 Club, the very same website that Aquino was active on, being inaccessible for a year, which may or may not be related to his death. In fact, I have attempted to visit 600 Club myself upon hearing this, and I find that I still cannot access them. The 600 Club appears to still be down. It begs the question: why didn’t the Temple of Set just announce that Michael Aquino was dead at or around the time of his actual death? If Aquino had died in September, why not let everyone know in September? Why make it so that, essentially, you might not have known unless you were in the Temple of Set or close to them? And of those people, why did they not spread the word? Why keep Aquino’s death a secret, particularly considering his importance to Satanism and many in the Left Hand Path community?
It’s so bizarre how much mystery tends to be involved. I remember, when I was getting into Satanism initially, I had heard about Michael Aquino and his exploits, and how, in those days, I could not be sure if he was still alive. Back then some people said he had died, but others said he was alive, and all I had to go on were some mysterious interviews he conducted on the internet and appearances in forums. Later on I found out that he had been giving spoken interviews on podcasts and that he was releasing a new book, the ReVision of the Satanic Bible that mentioned earlier, in 2018. Now I find that not only is he dead, but also that he’s been dead for some time now and most of us didn’t know it because the Temple of Set tried to keep it under wraps for no discernible reason. I suppose it wouldn’t be the first time they tried to do something like this, considering that Michael Aquino himself rather openly tried to sue the ISP of a random internet user for anonymously accusing him of being involved in child molestation charges for the purpose of shutting him down (a witless endeavor, considering you would have to do this for potentially thousands of people because the idea that Aquino was a pedophile is, although undoubtedly false, widely believed by certain communities).
Regardless, as much as I have a metric shitload of critical things to say about Michael Aquino, he was nonetheless a towering figure for the Satanist movement, and there are times when his influence could be felt even by those who did not identify with the Setian strain of Satanism and weren’t a part of the Temple of Set. For this reason, his death will be a profound loss for many Satanists, and will have undoubtedly had some effects on the leadership of the Temple of Set, who are surely looking for a new Ipsissimus.