Michael Aquino is (apparently) dead

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.

An old photo of Michael Aquino alongside his wife Lilith Aquino

8 thoughts on “Michael Aquino is (apparently) dead

  1. “LIV” is a year, in Roman numerals. 1966 is considered to be “Year One” for the COS and TOS (as per the toast in ROSEMARY’S BABY), so add 54 to 66 and you get the Common Era year when he supposedly passed.

    600 Club Forums went down in 2020, just as the pandemic lockdown started.

    The conspiracy subculture might think anyone is a pedophile at any moment. Just read this morning that the latest suspect for doing that is homewares web merchant WAYFAIR. About 2 years ago, a former Priestess of Set accused the Aquinos online of running an INTERPLANETARY pedophile ring, but has since deleted the page. She had actually known Mike and Lilith personally when she lived in Cali, so obviously knows better. It’s all craziness, and says more about the accusers’ state of mental health than about any possible crimes.

    I feel compassion for those who feel a loss at his passing, but for me he died decades ago when he started ranting about quasi-Christian metaphysics. Maybe this was inevitable, since the earliest beginnings of Christianity were influenced as much by Greek and Egyptian paganism as they were by the Hebrews. Hopefully he is enjoying the hereafter with his two beloved teachers, Anton and Adolf.

    1. I’m sure there are many insane theories about interplanetary pedophile rings involving the Aquinos, all of them nonsense, but that’s not really opeative here. I don’t accuse Michael Aquino or any of his associates of being a pedophile. He may have tried to silence the ISP of someone who accused him of such, and that is shady business, but no evidence has emerged of any pedophilic activity on his part. The operative concern has always been the fact that Aquino’s death has been obfuscated by the Temple of Set, announcing his death on a page that was apparently known or seen only by long time Temple of Set members. There doesn’t seem to be good reason for this obfuscation.

      There’s also a major problem with your claim about the LIV date. You’ve established that Year One is 1966, LIV is 54, but if we add 54 to 1966, the result is 2020, so if I’m understanding correctly your date would be September 1st 2020. Which would be less than two months from now, meaning Aquino isn’t actually dead yet and the Temple of Set announced his death on that date for no apparent reason. I’m willing to grant that this was a simple mistake on your part.

      Your statement on the 600 Club is somewhat peculiar, not so much because of the apparent fact of the matter (I’m inclined to believe the site shut down recently because I was able to access it without any issues just last year) but because of the statement that they shut down right as the pandemic started. Of all the things that the pandemic has drastically impacted, I should surely think the ability to run a forum is not, particularly when spending your days sitting by a computer overseeing websites is a task highly well-suited to the expectations of staying indoors or maintaining social distancing.

      The last thing I find myself curious about is the claim about “quasi-Christian metaphysics”. If anything, based on what I’ve read of his most recent work he seems to emphasize a combination of Platonism and Egyptian polytheism, given a Satanic twist of course, while of course bastardizing the most salient point of Satanism (the idea that Man should not be dependent on divine revelation based on literal gods). Where exactly the “quasi-Christian” element comes from is beyond me, especially given he chides the Roman masses for not believing in his prelapserian elite mystery religions.

  2. Since I was never a TOS member or a friend of Aquino’s, I feel no surprise or concern about the actual (?) date of his passing being kept from the general public. I think it’s amazing how well all those who already knew managed to keep the secret for so many months. The reason could be anything, from being part of some spiritual practice relating to death to keeping the conspiracy kooks from bothering the family. Since I am not involved, I have no desire to know why. But that’s just me.

    No, my explanation of the date was clear. Unlike a person’s birth year, which is set at ZERO when calculating age, 1966 is YEAR ONE. So 1 should be subtracted from 2020 to get the year 2019.

    I didn’t say the disappearance had anything to do with the pandemic, except for the timing. I checked online, and in my state the “Shelter in Place” order took effect on March 23. As I recall, 600Club was gone on the Saturday before that, and has not returned. I, too, thought being off from work offered time to do site maintenance or whatever. When the forum was still missing after several weeks, I realized it might be a permanent closure. A lot of the topics can be read on the Wayback Machine through December 2019. There is nothing available on their servers for 2020.

    As someone who sat through religion classes every school day for 12 years attending Catholic Schools, I recognize a bunch of Aquino’s recent preaching. There is some different jargon, like “state of consciousness” in the place of “state of grace” (at the time of death), as an example. WASPs are “saved” (become immortal) by their belief. But RCs have the same kind of “fitness routines” to develop and strengthen the Soul as many other Mystery Schools. The TOS itself was founded on the basis of a revelation from a god. Or should I say THE god, since the TOSsers are monotheists?

    1. I don’t understand your lack of interest in the Temple of Set trying to conceal Aquino’s death. Do you not believe transparency in leadership to be particularly important in principle? Because that is the issue: a religious organization that appears to be keeping the nature and fate of its leadership secret from the masses. You would no doubt have an issue if it were one of the more mainstream religions but for some reason when it’s the Temple of Set the subject inspires apathy. Why?

      Your exact words on the date were “1966 is considered to be “Year One” for the COS and TOS (as per the toast in ROSEMARY’S BABY), so add 54 to 66 and you get the Common Era year when he supposedly passed”. 1966 would be the year that the Church of Satan was founded, so wouldn’t it be Year Zero? It seems to me like this is an attempt to backpeddle after your original calculation was found to be untenable because it would mean Aquino died two months away from now. But then this doesn’t even touch on the problem of why the Temple of Set would need to be so cryptic when they can just announce the date in a manner familiar to everyone, a question you seem to be uninterested in.

      If you read Michael Aquino’s ReVision of the Satanic Bible, you get a good picture of his doctrine, and I wouldn’t describe it as monotheistic, or particularly Christian. The demons serve the function of polytheistic gods from which serve as a source of divine revelation for humans. In fact he uses the term Neteru, meaning the gods (not the One God), to rather to the divine in his system. And this theme also ties back to Aquino’s support for the polytheistic religions that existed before Christianity, lamenting how the people were just too stupid to believe in the elite esoteric mystery religions. Simply having terms that sound a little bit like terms used in Christianity just doesn’t cut mustard. And what’s exactly wrong on principal with having spiritual fitness exercizes anyhow? Is the mere concept of lifting just Christianity?

  3. The TOS has NEVER been entirely transparent, and I think that is actually typical of religious groups. They have to file certain documents for their tax exempt status, and disclose their corporate officers; otherwise they have a lot of privacy. (Cf. the ONYX Tablet of Set) I have no interest in a religious organization that I could “join”, so I would present the same kind of “apathy” about any finger-waggle-worthy details that came to light about any of them. I introduced the subject of the FLDS and Warren Jeffs on alt.satanism because I found it entertaining. I’ve discussed the TOS concealing TBOCFBN text from First Degree members when that was happening in the same forum. I mentioned discrepancies between the early issues of the Scroll of Set and accounts of the TOS founding members in Aquino’s COS and TOS books on 600Club. There are more examples I could give. Concealing the date of MAA’s death isn’t like an episode of a true crime cable show where some high ranking TOSser put his corpse in a freezer. Obviously the news of his passing sparked a little interest for me, which was how I found your blog. It seems that most people who noted the event when it went public weeks ago have totally lost interest.

    I’m not back peddling about ROSEMARY’S BABY. 1966 is called “Year One” in the book and film. It appears that having your organization use dates that don’t mesh with the common calendar was just another of LaVey’s ideas of a “secret”. Like the reference to YANKEE ROSE. It’s all rather silly, in my view, once you know what the meanings are.

    The TOS founding document specifically references monotheism. I haven’t read the SB Revision, and probably won’t. (Won’t rule it out, either.) Your comments suggest that the SB Revision ties in with the long term project of Little Stevie Flowers/Thorsson writing books that strip the original IndoEuropean multi-faceted Divine (or polytheism) from Norse tradition (see NINE DOORS OF MIDGARD) and Zoroastrianism. Readers are left with Odin and the “Wise Lord”, with (maybe?) a bit of the same language Aquino used in the SB Revision: a bit of angelology/demonology to explain how the TOS isn’t actually another monotheism from the Eastern Mediterranean. I actually have no beef with the array of Christian sects because they are a window into the spiritual lives of our ancestors. But I do find the concept of humans as “fallen”, and/or metaphysically flabby, repellant. I think humans get metaphysical structure in the process of living, but the concept of getting better at anything as you get on in years is not a popular one. Of course I can only speak for myself. When I think back on the metaphysical ideas I had in my late teens/early 20s (circa 1970s), I have to laugh and wonder WTF was I thinking? The only thing I did right was getting involved with my late husband, Which is no mean feat since so many start down the path of messed-up relationships at that age, and never recover from it.

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  5. I feel shocked because i joined his FB page a few years ago i think i also didnt realize he was so old. I have noticed he made a few enemies. namely ignorant people with nothing better to do than to demean a dead man they never met in person.

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