The Light of Nature

The term Lumen Naturae (which in Latin means “the light of nature”) appears in various texts written by the legendary psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, and its meaning points to a light that is contrasted with the light of revelation seen in traditional theology as a source of knowledge for Man. The Lumen Naturae is the light that shines imminently within all of matter (hence The Light of Nature), though it also seems to be a reference to the unconscious psyche. For Jung it is “whose strange and significant workings we can observe in the manifestations of the unconscious”. In this sense, the Lumen Naturae is one of those aspects of Jungian thought that, though it seems to not to be as talked about as often (not even by other Jungians), appears to be more central to Jungian thought and philosophy than it is given credit for, and it can be used as the bridge through Jungian philosophy to, situated within that realm, a doctrine that can postulate a doctrine of spiritual materialism that carries Jungian psychoanalytical philosophy and, I might say, a sort of Luciferian essence into a higher form in which, through Hellenic spiritual and philosophical influences among various other philosophical contours, it may attain a form that can assert itself in the present landscape – in other words, one where spiritual substance can be formulated in an atheistic context, outside of and in opposition to Christianity, in a manner where it attains depth, heritage and, from there, power, in the darkness of the Light of Nature. What darkness, you may ask? That is what you will find out over the course of this article.

A very lenghty and detailed exposition of the Lumen Naturae can be found in Volume 8 of Jung’s Collected Works, Alchemical Studies. It is here, in fact, that Jung lays out dichotomy between the Light of Nature and the Light of Revelation. In the process he introduces Paracelsus, the man from whom Jung gets his conception of the Lumen Naturae. For Jung, Paracelsus was a man who had two “mothers”, two substances from which he derived his thought and spirit; the Christian (specifically Catholic) church on the one hand, and Nature on the other:

To the mother in her highest form, Mater Ecclesia, he remained faithful all his life, despite the very free criticism he levelled at the ills of Christendom in that epoch. Nor did he succumb to the great temptation of that age, the Protestant schism, though he may well have had it in him to go over to the other camp. Conflict was deeply rooted in Paracelsus’s nature; indeed, it had to be so, for without a tension of opposites there is no energy, and whenever a volcano, such as he was, erupts, we shall not go wrong in supposing that water and fire have clashed together.

But although the Church remained a mother for Paracelsus all his life, he nevertheless had two mothers: the other was Mater Natura. And if the former was an absolute authority, so too was the latter. Even though he endeavoured to conceal the conflict between the two maternal spheres of influence, he was honest enough to admit its existence; indeed, he seems to have had a very good idea of what such a dilemma meant. Thus he says: “I also confess that I write like a pagan and yet am a Christian.” Accordingly he named the first five sections of his Paramirum de quinque entibus
morborum “Pagoya.” “Pagoyum” is one of his favourite neologisms, compounded of “paganum” and the Hebrew word “goyim.” He held that knowledge of the nature of diseases was pagan, since this knowledge came from the “light of nature” and not from revelation. “Magic,” he says, is “the preceptor and teacher of the physician,” who derives his knowledge from the lumen naturae. There can be no doubt the “light of nature” was a second, independent source of knowledge for Paracelsus. His closest pupil, Adam von Bodenstein, puts it like this: “The Spagyric has the things of nature not by authority, but by his own experience.” The concept of the lumen naturae may derive from the Occulta philosophia of Agrippa von Nettesheim (1533), who speaks of a luminositas sensus naturae that extends even to the four-footed beasts and enables them to foretell the future.

Paracelsus was definitely a Christian, of this there is no doubt, he even says “Christian knowledge is better than natural knowledge, and a prophet or an apostle better than an astronomer or a physician”, but he also confesses that he writes “like a pagan” and the reason for this seems to be that he considers the knowledge of the nature of diseases, essential to his practice as a physician, to be pagan in nature because it is knowledge of the world. The Light of Nature thus in the context of Paracelsus refers to knowledge of the physical universe, knowledge of nature, the knowledge held by scientists (such as astronomers) and physicians, while the Light of Revelation (which Paraselsus equated with the Holy Spirit) refers presumably to theology, or the knowledge of God, the “knowledge” held by prophets and apostles.

From Paracelsus, quoted within Alchemical Studies alongside more commentary from Jung, we get this description of the Light of Nature:

It is, therefore, also to be known that the auguries of the birds are caused by these innate spirits, as when cocks foretell future weather and peacocks the death of their master and other such things with their crowing. All this comes from the innate spirit and is the Light of Nature. Just as it is present in animals and is natural, so also it dwells within man and he brought it into the world with himself. He who is chaste is a good prophet, natural as the birds, and the prophecies of birds are not contrary to nature but are of nature. Each, then, according to his own state. These things which the birds announce can also be foretold in sleep, for it is the astral spirit which is the invisible body of nature. And it should be known that when a man prophesies, he does not speak from the Devil, not from Satan, and not from the Holy Spirit, but he speaks from the innate spirit of the invisible body which teaches Magiam and in which the Magus has his origin.

The light of nature comes from the Astrum: “Nothing can be in man unless it has been given to him by the Light of Nature, and what is in the Light of Nature has been brought by the stars.” The pagans still possessed the light of nature, “for to act in the Light of Nature and to rejoice in it is divine despite being mortal.” Before Christ came into the world, the world was still endowed with the light of nature, but in comparison with Christ this was a “lesser light.” “Therefore we should know that we have to interpret nature according to the spirit of nature, the Word of God according to the spirit of God, and the Devil according to his spirit also.” “He who knows nothing of these things is a gorged pig and will not leave room for instruction and experience.” The light of nature is the quinta essentia, extracted by God himself from the four elements, and dwelling “in our hearts.” It is enkindled by the Holy Spirit. The light of nature is an intuitive apprehension of the facts, a kind of illumination. It has two sources: a mortal and an immortal, which Paracelsus calls “angels.” “Man,” he says, “is also an angel and has all the latter’s qualities.” He has a natural light, but also a light outside the light of nature by which he can search out supernatural things. The relationship of this supernatural light to the light of revelation remains, however, obscure. Paracelsus seems to have held a peculiar trichotomous view in this respect.

There is a noticeable dualism in Paracelsus’ thought (or more or less what we are presented of it by Jung), a dualism concerning God and Nature. Such a dualism is further established when Jung refers to his writings in Philosophia Sagax, wherein he describes Man as “one part temporal, the other part eternal, and each part takes its light from God, both the temporal and the eternal, and there is nothing that does not have its origin in God”. This itself is not too dissimilar to the sort of dualism you usually see from the average Christian, but there is an intruiging undertone to what see of Paracelsus nonetheless. In theory, he positions the Light of Nature as lesser than the Holy Spirit, because in traditional Christianity Nature is framed as less valuable than God, its creator, but despite this traditional dualistic framing the Light of Nature has a special place in Paracelsus’ ontology on the grounds that it is essential to understand the natural world in the same vein as God’s word is to be understood via the spirit of God. Despite Paracelsus’ commitment to Christianity, this Light of Nature appears to be associated with paganism because for him the pagans “still possessed the Light of Nature” because they acted in the Light of Nature in its divine. This appears to mean that, for Paraclesus, the pagan view centered around nature and activity within it as the means of engaging with the sacred. This is perhaps the interpretation given by a Christian lens as to what constitutes paganism, given that medieval Christianity drew a line of separation between the world and the spirit, with spirit outside the world being the subject of Christian teaching and spiritual knowledge, so is to be treated in the context of that lens, but what this means is that the “pagan” impetus of the Light of Nature refers to the situation and engagement of knowledge with realm of Nature. Further it seems that, according to Jung at least, the Light of Nature may well have been the strongest theme in Paracelsus’ thinking, as Jung says:

The authenticity of one’s own experience of nature against the authority of tradition is a basic theme of Paracelsan thinking. On this principle he based his attack on the medical schools, and his pupils carried the revolution even further by attacking Aristotelian philosophy. It was an attitude that opened the way for the scientific investigation of nature and helped to emancipate natural science from the authority of tradition.

If Jung’s account of Paracelsus is accurate, then the Light of Nature can be treated, at least in context, as the spark of experiential authenticity, dervied from Nature and our species-being situated within it, which leads to a scepticism of authority and tradition and their tendency to obfuscate the truth of the world we live in. Within a materialist framework, this Light of Nature is the principal Light, and from there Nature becomes the principal source of light, knowledge and Being, and cannot be situated in any secondary domain, in any realm of “revelation”. It does not answer to the pacification offered by the constructed realm of ideated truth, whether from the church or from the “woke” authorities of the modern age, only to the truth itself within Nature. Indeed, despite his faith, Jung sees this Light of Nature in juxtaposition to his faith as the most important source of his creative energy, flowing from his natural and personal temperant of discontent, for this reason Jung cites Paracelsus as a Faustian figure, a prototype of a line that goes from Faust to Nietzsche, something that was only counterveiled by the pious maxim “I under God and God under me”.

Jung reasserts this assessment later on:

He was a well-intentioned, humble Christian. His ethics and his professed faith were Christian, but his most secret, deepest passion, his whole creative yearning, belonged to the lumen naturae, the divine spark buried in the darkness, whose sleep of death could not be vanquished even by the revelation of God’s son. The light from above made the darkness still darker; but the lumen naturae is the light of the darkness itself, which illuminates its own darkness, and this light the darkness comprehends. Therefore it turns blackness into brightness, burns away “all superfluities,” and leaves behind nothing but “faecem et scoriam et terram damnatam” (dross and scoriae and the rejected earth).

For Jung, this Light of Nature is a pagan feeling, on the grounds that it constitutes the veneration of the natural world, and its process of transformation:

Paracelsus, like all the philosophical alchemists, was seeking for something that would give him a hold on the dark, body-bound nature of man, on the soul which, intangibly interwoven with the world and with matter, appeared before itself in the terrifying form of strange, demoniacal figures and seemed to be the secret source of life-shortening diseases. The Church might exorcise demons and banish them, but that only alienated man from his own nature, which, unconscious of itself, had clothed itself in these spectral forms. Not separation of the natures but union of the natures was the goal of alchemy. From the time of Democritus its leitmotiv had been: “Nature rejoices in nature, nature conquers nature, nature rules over nature.” This principle is pagan in feeling and an expression of nature worship. Nature not only contains a process of transformation—it is itself transformation. It strives not for isolation but for union, for the wedding feast followed by death and rebirth. Paracelsus’s “exaltation in May” is this marriage, the “gamonymus” or hierosgamos of light and darkness in the shape of Sol and Luna. Here the opposites unite what the light from
above had sternly divided.

We also notice something peculiar in that we find, according to Jung, the Light of Nature is capable of embodying spirt as well as matter, thus in some ways providing a map by which to encapsulate even the supposedly extra-natural as, in fact, entirely within the natural, and thus all falls under Nature and therefore the Light of Nature becomes the true light of all. In this light, we see the Light of Nature as, more than only the skeptical light of natural consciousness, the spark of the unconscious, a light hidden within the unconscious of mankind, which animates the collective unconscious. Jung writes:

Nature is not matter only, she is also spirit. Were that not so, the only source of spirit would be human reason. It is the great achievement of Paracelsus to have elevated the “light of nature” to a principle and to have emphasized it in a far more fundamental way than his predecessor Agrippa. The lumen naturae is the natural spirit, whose strange and significant workings we can observe in the manifestations of the unconscious now that psychological research has come to realize that the unconscious is not just a “subconscious” appendage or the dustbin of consciousness, but is a largely autonomous psychic system for compensating the biases and aberrations of the conscious attitude, for the most part functionally, though it sometimes corrects them by force. Consciousness can, as we know, be led astray by naturalness as easily as by spirituality, this being the logical consequence of its freedom of choice. The unconscious is not limited only to the instinctual and reflex processes of the cortical centres; it also extends beyond consciousness and, with its symbols, anticipates future conscious processes. It is therefore quite as much a “supra-consciousness.”

So the Light of Nature then becomes more than just a metaphor for skeptical and naturalistic inquiry in a standard sense, but also something that lurks within the unconscious of human beings, perhaps even analogue to that often quoted aspect of Jung’s thought relating to the descent into darkness for the pursuit of knowledge and truth. The call to go into the underworld, then, takes on the character of the ontological inquiry into Nature, Nature not just in the outer sense, but in the dark recesses of the human psychological and psychorreal sphere, in which the hidden, perhaps even “occult”, currents of the mind and the world are to be discovered, and from which meaning is to be grasped, meaning of a kind that is not typically accessible in everyday life, and yet is perhaps immanent in life itself.

There is much more that can be said about this Light of Nature, however, outside of Jung himself. Indeed, many commentaries take note of the Lumen Naturae as reference to a source of knowledge couched in the natural world as opposed to revelation from God. From Georg Nicolaus’ C.G. Jung and Nikolai Berdyaev: Individuation and the Person: A Critical Comparison, we see the following:

The lumen naturae is a ‘second, independent source of knowledge’ set against the light of revelation, which is received through faith. It is ‘the quinta essentia, extracted by God himself from the four elements and “dwelling in our hearts” …The light of nature is an intuitive apprehension of the facts, a kind of illumination’. It is the highest treasure of nature, and has a twofold source: both a ‘mortal and an immortal’ one. It is the light of the scintilla animae, ‘the divine spark buried in the darkness’. The heart, where this divine spark is hidden, is also ‘the seat of the imagination’, so that the lumen naturae is the source of the alchemical vera imaginatio, the key to the opus.

As a ‘light in the darkness’ the lumen naturae is a source of true knowledge in the unconscious. Nature, too, has spirit within itself: ‘Nature is not matter only, she is also spirit. Were that not so, the only source of spirit would be human reason’. The lumen naturae in the unconscious is responsible for the fact that the unconscious is not only nature, but also a source of genuine spirituality which ‘anticipates in its symbols future conscious processes. It [the unconscious] is therefore quite as much a “supra-consciousness”.

The lumen naturae turns out to be a second source of ‘revelation’, one which dangerously competes with the supernatural ‘light of faith’ even though, according to Paracelsus, both lights in the end have the same source: ‘the unity of God’. In fact, as the ‘Enlightenment’ and the rise of modern science late showed, this union of the two lights is anything but unproblematic: the potential conflcit of the two lights goes to the heart of the problem of the ‘death of God’ in modernity.

Then from Marilyn Nagy’s Philosophical Issues in the Psychology of C. G. Jung: Portraits, Policies, Programs, and Practices, we see thus; for starters an assessment of Paracelsus that, ironically, positions the Christian Paracelsus one of the ancestors of the ancestors of the modern atheistic naturalist impetus regarding knowledge, God notwithsdanding of course:

The second problem for Paracelsus was the doctrine of revealed knowledge. We cannot accept things on faith, he said, just because someone else has told us it is so. We must look instead to Nature and to the truth which God has put there for us to read. “Pagoyum” was a favorite neologism, made up of “paganum” and the Hebrew word “goyim”. It meant that the truth is revealed not by authority or dogmatic faith but in nature herself, which is by contrast pagan. We can find the truth for ourselves.

The path to this knowledge is through direct personal experience. That meant getting away from rationalized theories and being with people in the world, listening to a story of a strange cure told at a wayside inn, observing not only the pathology but also the life circumstances of an ill woman.

More than that, thought Paracelsus, we must adopt the attitude of the naturalist, believing that Nature does indeed reveal the signs of God. We must not be skeptical, not “drown in work, abandoning research, saying it is beyond our understanding and thus failing to kindle the torch which will enlighten us.” Even in the face of our ignorance we must be obedient servants of this task. “As the light of Nature is like crumbs from the table of the Lord, for all the heathen to grasp, and has departed from Judah, so it behoves us not to give in, but to pick up the crumbs as long as they fall.

And then, on the Light of Nature itself and the means by which to acheive its realization in humans:

The method by which we obtain this knowledge and come to the light of nature has to do with coming into contact with a deeper level of our own natures which is connected to the larger processes of nature. For example, we know that scammonea purges, but this does not help us to understand the process itself. Just as there is a kind of science in a pear which teaches it how to be a pear and not an apple, so we should try to listen through the process of the scammonea. “When you overhear (‘ablauschen’) from the scammonea the knowledge which it possesses, it will be in you just as it is in the scammonea and you have acquired the experience as well as the knowledge. We find that place in ourselves which is in sympathetic correspondence with the principle of the external object, and we know it because we know ourselves. There is thus a much more direct, internal path to knowledge than objectivized processes of the rational mind.

We get a peculiar description of the lumen naturae in the notes for Carl Becker’s Asian and Jungian Views on Ethics:

In alchemical terms, lumen naturae is the “light of nature” as opposed to the numen of spiritual revelation. It is a sol invisibilis given to the individual, accessible through and identical with the “subtle” or “astral” body (ochema pneuma). It offers each individual “sufficient predestined light that he err not”. Phenomenologically, lumen naturae is experienced as scintillaes; sparks of the world soul scattered throughout the dark sea of night, germinal luminosities which are the seedbed of worlds to come (mundi futuri seminarium). This natural force, also described as an underworld fire, an ignis mercurialis, is synonymous with the pagan cosmos and aion.

Something to be mindful of is the “pagan cosmos” and the “pagan aion”. In pre-Christian Greece (the context we can assume is being referred to in this passage) Cosmos would refer to the order of the universe, and the very word simply means “world”, though can be interpreted to mean “universe” in the sense of the order of creation itself (for lack of a better word at least), though its Indo-European root word “konsmos” or “kems” means “to put in order”, thus Cosmos signifies the natural order of the world or the universe. Aion in Greek paganism refers to a god of time, more specifically time without limit, though he could also be taken as more of an abstract representation of time itself, as was the case in the Mithraic Mysteries, and the word Aion means “eternity” or “vital force”, thus signifying Aion as the vital force of infinite time. The connection made in this passage is that the Light of Nature is to be related with Cosmos and Aion and thus it is the light of the natural order of the universe and the bright flame of infinite time, or that at least is the inferrence we are to make. This broadens the concept of the Light of Nature significantly, though its association with the natural order (Cosmos) need not stretch it too far, insofar as it may, through identification with the natural order, signify immanent spiritual and intellectual awareness of Nature and its order, and from there the enlightenment that follows. The enlightenment, therefore, consists in the awakening of Man’s knowledge of Nature, and its relationship to Nature, and from there alignment with Nature – this can be rendered, from my perspective, in two senses; the first sense is the outer Nature, referring to the natural cosmos, its environment and more importantly its inner workings, while the second sense is the inner Nature, as in the Nature of all individual human beings, for which I would use the Chinese (or more specifically Taoist and neo-Confucian) concept of Ziran as an appellation, and the sum harmony of Man in relation to Nature is judged by his relation with both the Cosmos and with Ziran. The Light of Nature, then, could possibly be the spark that lights the way in this regard, leading humans away from artifice and rigid dogmas and towards independent and authentic existential inquiry and being in harmony with Nature in a holistic sense.

True to Jung’s assessment that the Light of Nature is a “pagan feeling”, there is a certain archetypal association established by Jung between the Light of Nature and a mythical figure from the pagan realm, namely Mercurius, the Roman form of the Greek god Hermes. It is safe assume the Mercurius that Jung speaks of in Alchemical Studies has more to do with alchemy (as the title suggests) than with paganism proper. Nonetheless, let’s have a look at Jung’s Mercurius. We can begin by highlighting his connection to the Light of Nature through alchemy:

The light hidden in nature and particularly in human nature likewise belongs to the stock of ancient alchemical ideas. Thus the “Tractatus Aristotelis” says: “See therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” The light of nature is indeed of great importance in alchemy. Just as, according to Paracelsus, it enlightens man as to the workings of nature and gives him an understanding of natural things “by cagastric magic” (per magiam cagastricam), so it is the aim of alchemy to beget this light in the shape of the filius philosophorum. An equally ancient treatise of Arabic provenance attributed to Hermes, the “Tractatus aureus,” says (Mercurius is speaking): “My light excels all other lights, and my goods are higher than all other goods. I beget the light, but the darkness too is of my nature. Nothing better or more worthy of veneration can come to pass in the world than the union of myself with my son.” In the “Dicta Belini” (Belinus is a pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana) Mercurius says: “I enlighten all that is mine, and I make the light manifest on the journey from my father Saturn.” “I make the days of the world eternal, and I illumine all lights with my light.” Another author says of the “chymical marriage” from which arises the filius philosophorum: “They embrace and the new light is begotten of them, which is like no other light in the whole world.”

Later on, Jung expands the connection between Mercurius and the Light of Nature through the connection between Mercurius and fire:

Many treatises define Mercurius simply as fire. He is ignis elementaris noster naturalis ignis certissimus, which again indicates his “philosophic” nature. The aqua mercurialis is even a divine fire. This fire is “highly vaporous” (vaporosus). Indeed, Mercurius is really the only fire in the whole procedure. He is an “invisible fire, working in secret.” One text says that the “heart” of Mercurius is at the North Pole and that he is like a fire (northern lights). He is, in fact, as another text says, “the universal and scintillating fire of the light of nature, which carries the heavenly spirit within it.” This passage is particularly important as it relates Mercurius to the lumen naturae, the source of mystical knowledge second only to the holy revelation of the Scriptures. Once more we catch a glimpse of the ancient role of Hermes as the god of revelation. Although the lumen naturae, as originally bestowed by God upon his creatures, is not by nature ungodly, its essence was nevertheless felt to be abysmal, since the ignis mercurialis was also connected with the fires of hell. It seems, however, that the alchemists did not understand hell, or its fire, as absolutely outside of God or opposed to him, but rather as an internal component of the deity, which must indeed be so if God is held to be a coincidentia oppositorum. The concept of an all-encompassing God must necessarily include his opposite. The coincidentia, of course, must not be too radical or too extreme, otherwise God would cancel himself out. The principle of the coincidence of opposites must therefore be completed by that of absolute opposition in order to attain full paradoxicality and hence psychological validity.

The mercurial fire is found in the “centre of the earth,” or dragon’s belly, in fluid form. Benedictus Figulus writes: “Visit the centre of the earth, there you will find the global fire.” Another treatise says that this fire is the “secret, infernal fire, the wonder of the world, the system of the higher powers in the lower.” Mercurius, the revelatory light of nature, is also hell-fire, which in some miraculous way is none other than a rearrangement of the heavenly, spiritual powers in the lower, chthonic world of matter, thought already in St. Paul’s time to be ruled by the devil. Hell-fire, the true energic principle of evil, appears here as the manifest counterpart of the spiritual and the good, and as essentially identical with it in substance. After that, it can surely cause no offence when another treatise says that the mercurial fire is the “fire in which God himself burns in divine love.” We are not deceiving ourselves if we feel in scattered remarks of this kind the breath of true mysticism.

Thus, Mercurius is directly identified with the Light of Nature as the light which not only contained within itself spirit associated with the divine but also a certain abysmal quality associated with the fire of Hell, thus in some ways containing spiritual light as well as darkness within itself, but is more importantly associated with some sort of spiritual revelation. The association with the chthonic realm beneath the earth is, in my view, rather consistent with the association of Hermes with the underworld. Chthonios was one of the epithets affixed to Hermes within the Greek cults, and as Hermes Chthonios the god was invoked in private rituals inteded for casting curses, binding spells and raising the spirits of the earth, as well as being honored in festivals of the dead. Hermes in general was often associated with the underworld due to his role as the guide of souls in the underworld, and was always worshipped as a chthonic deity for aspects relating to fertility (hence why he was often venerated in the form of a phallus). And indeed, that role of Hermes containing both heavenly light and infernal darkness is consistent with how Hermes was seen both as an infernal god of necromancy and a benevolent protector and shepherd of souls. Not to mention, for his connections to revelation, look no further than the Orphic Hymn to Chthonic Hermes, which calls him “divine revealer”. In this sense, Hermes, or rather Mercurius, becomes an emblem of chthonic revelation, the revelation of Nature, whose light comes not from above but from within itself, through its own darkness, its murky mist which is illuminated by Man, through its negative foundation in which we see the mutual and often contradictory struggle that turns the wheels of freedom and fate.

Before we get into what this means, I’d like to get into what this has to do with Lucifer specifically, considering I tagged this with Luciferianism. Jung, of course, interprets Lucifer in a negative light, similar to Satan in that he’s called the father of lies. If nothing else, Jung should probably know that Jesus was also called Lucifer, within the Bible. But more to the point, in Jung’s work Lucifer and Mercurius, not just in Alchemical Studies where Lucifer is framed as effectively a shadow side for Mercurius, but in Man and His Symbols we find that Mercurius and Lucifer are linked together:

Envy, lust, sensuality, lies, and all known vices are the negative, “dark ” aspect of the unconscious, which can manifest itself in two ways. In the positive sense, it appears as a “spirit of nature,” creatively animating man, things, and the world. It is the “chthonic spirit” that has been mentioned so often in this chapter. In the negative sense, the unconscious (that same spirit) manifests itself as a spirit of evil, as a drive to destroy.

As has already been pointed out, the alchemists personified this spirit as “the spirit Mercurius ” and called it, with good reason, Mercurius duplex (the two-faced, dual Mercurius). In the religious language of Christianity, it is called the devil. But, however improbable it may seem, the devil too has a dual aspect. In the positive sense, he appears as Lucifer—literally, the light-bringer.

What is the chthonic spirit? Jung wrote about it as the dark side of the God image, for which sexuality apparently is its most important expression (for which the connection to Mercurius makes sense given that Hermes was often worshipped as a phallus), and he often pointed to this chthonic spirit as a source of both danger and innovation – danger because of the negative aspects of the unconscious, and because of the danger of the submergence of that chthonic spirit, but also innovation because it is within the same realm that human creativity and spiritual revelation are found, not least through the archetypal journey to the underworld. Donald Kalsched, writing in The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defences of the Personal Spirit, remarks that Jung, despite his commentary on the development of Yahweh into a positive archetypal through the transition from Old Testament tyrant to New Testament shepherd as mediated through Job, always complained about Christianity handing Man’s chthonic spirit over to the Devil, to the realm of evil and the ego, rendering itself incomplete by casting out the chthonic element of the psyche, which for Kalsched lies at the root of his preference for alchemy to the point that he supposedly preferred Mercurius (or Mercurius Duplex) as the mediator of the Godhead instead of Jesus on the grounds that, unlike the Jesus we know today, Mercurius represented the complete union of opposites made possible by his chthonic nature. Exactly where Kalsched gets this assessment is not clear, and even a cursory analysis of Jungian psychology does not suggest it to be anti-Christian in content, not to mention we have reason to believe he despised what he called the “anti-Christian” culture of modernity. Nevertheless, like as Marx would do for Hegel, we can take key insights from Jung’s framework and use them to build a framework outside of Christianity, just that we cannot in the process of this assume things of Jung that are not true for Jung.

In any case, is there a mythic link between Mercurius and Lucifer that can be extrapolated? In the official canon of ancient Greece and Rome, most likely not, unless you make a loose link involving Nominos (the evening star) and Azizos (the morning star) who were identified with Hermes and Ares respectively and were worshipped, in their evening/morning star capacity, as heralds of the sun god Helios. Despite this there is some identification within the tradition of Luciferianism. Ben Kadosh, the eccentric father of Luciferianism, identified Lucifer with Hermes in Lucifer-Hiram through the Snake Principle, the principle of the serpent symbol, which he said belonged to Hermes-Mercurius, and described Hermes as one of the four shapes of the Lucifer (the other three shapes being the Moon or “a Moonintelligence”, Venus, and Jupiter). At first this seems outlandish, and it does indeed speak to the general loose connections that tend to be conjured up within occultism, but there was also a curious note in Asian and Jungian Views on Ethics which, although tangential to the Lumen Naturae, does touch on the relationship between Lucifer and the other gods of Greek paganism:

In Christian myth, Lucifer (literally “light-bearer”) became a rebel archangel whose fall from heaven was referred to in Isaiah 14, 42: “How thou art fallen, oh day-star, son of the morning.” This Old Testament passage, part of a polemic against the King of Babylon, was interpreted to mean that the chief of the angels who “kept not their estate” was named Lucifer before he fell, and thereafter Satan, the Adversary. This Lucifer was identified with Phosphoros and the Phosphoroi, pagan terms which referred both to the “morning and evening star” and to a particular shining or revealing quality associated with the gods prior to the Olympian cults. Thus, Hestia’s hearthfire, Hermes’ wayfinding, Artemis’ knowledge of the wilds, Hekate’s dark wisdom, Selene’s shining, Persephone’s underworld knowing, Pan’s spontaneity, and Aphrodite’s beauty were all a quality of “Phosphoros”. It was this identification that allowed Christian apologists to maintain with Augustine, that “Omnes dii genitum daemona/all the gods of the pagans are demons” and that these demons are the devil. Thus, they turned Lucifer into Sata, the adversary of Jahweh, the Old Testament God. Another often-used passage was Genesis 6 in which the “sons of God” who were set over men “fell” by copulating with “the daughters of men,” thus producing a race of demons. Those two were identified with the pagan Gods. All of those demons were seen to occupy themselves particularly with the divination and magic which was their “light”.

The identification of Phosphoros with countless gods from the ancient Greek world is sourced to Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher’s Lexikon der Grieschischen und Romischen Mythologie (or “Lexicon of Greek and Roman Mythology”). Sadly, however, I am unable to find a translation of it into English, so I couldn’t tell you what the German copy I did manage to find on the internet could tell you. If there’s anyone among my readership who can read and translate German, please get in touch so I can get a good look at what Roscher had to say about Phosphoros, particularly in relation to Hermes since there are no extant sources to Hermes (let alone Pan, Aphrodite, or Hestia) being given the Phosphoros epithet. One interesting lead it might present, however, is a either way of conceptualizing the Light of Nature which contains the abstract forms associated with the various gods (that is to say abstract ideas that correspond with hearthfire, wayfinding, knowledge of the wilds, dark wisdom, shining, underworld knowing, spontaneity and beauty), or just a separate conception of said abstract qualities that perhaps ties back to the Light of Nature. Either way, one can make parallels to the way Christianity sometimes took aspects of pagan mythos and, when they were not making demons of it, elevated aspects of it to the realm of abstract concepts relating to the divinity of God or the content of Christian salvation (for example, Christianity uses the Greek terms zoe and aion, which are associated with two gods from Greek myth, Dionysus and Aion respectively, to refer to their idea of eternal life in Heaven), which can be taken as way to compete with the heritage of Christianity, or just drawing lessons from it at a time where Christianity is still dominant in the Western world.

But, in totality, what have we established in regards to the Light of Nature? Admittedly, we seem to get a very broad and open-ended concept – the Light of Nature encompasses the skeptical intellect in alignment with Nature over dogma, the spark of the unconscious, the “fire of the underworld” which perhaps could be taken as the illumination of the unconscious, and even Jung’s prevailing conception of the “chthonic spirit” that underpins the unity of opposites. Jung’s analysis of Paracelsus’ intention is that the Light of Nature and the Light of God (the Lumen Dei) are to be taken as complimentary opposites, two separate means of attaining knowledge, sometimes even seen as co-existent in ideal circumstances. But, if we deal in a cosmos that is uncreated, whose order is thus self-emergent or self-arising (or Ziran), and whose basis is essentially fully materialistic in that the prima materia of the universe is matter-energy, where is the Father, where is the creator, and at that point if God is put in doubt where is the Lumen Dei? The Light of Nature is thus the Light that remains, and indeed always has been with us, whatever our illusions about ourselves would tell us otherwise, and it has been the spark by which we engage independently with and against the world around us, in alignment with Nature within and without, the source of existential authenticity once it becomes awakened. It is thus a latent relational construct that encompasses many psychorreal attributes, philosophical concepts and archetypal constructs, all of which fall back into the same theme in the end.

That is the Light in absence of any God that, I think, becomes the source of a much clearer concept of philosophical grounding than many other concepts that I have played with in the past. Indeed, it creates an anchor of spiritual engagement rooted in the premise that it is Nature and Man’s relationship to it that is the central locus of meaning rather than striving under a God in Heaven (whether it be Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu or any other), while building a meaningful, if anything, religious (if you choose such a word) base that does not require those Gods, because the Light of Nature operates on a basis that rejects their authority.

The Messenger Mercurius by Rosalind Whitman (date unknown)

The Satanic Temple’s Devil’s Advocate Scholarship program

The Satanic Temple recently announced a new college scholarship program Devil’s Advocate Scholarship, which is being offered to high school graduates of the current academic year in the US. The program aims to provide high school graduates who align with their ideology and philosophy a path to college and other educational pursuits. Co-founder Cevin Soling (a.k.a. Malcolm Jarry), himself an advocate for the abolition of public schools, lays out that the purpose of the program is “to reward those who embrace individualism, empathy, free-thought, and skepticism toward the oppressive institution they were forced to endure”. In other words, the scholarship aims to churn out a new class of college students, or other educated people, who will ideally (for Soling at least) work to dismantle the public education system and replace it with….as usual it’s not clear what the intended replacement is. In fact, this aim makes itself clear through one of the requirements; there are two questions a prospective applicant must answer satisfactorily in order to become eligible for the scholarship. The first question is “What initiatives have you undertaken that are consistent with TST’s tenets and mission?”, inquiring about the individual’s alignment with TST ideology and actions undertaken to fulfill it, while the second question asks the applicant to “discuss and describe in detail any one of the teachers who crushed your spirit, undermined your self-confidence, and made you hate every minute you were forced to be in school”, essentially asking the applicant to give a case study for why public school is bad, which almost makes me wonder why they want to get them into college in the first place.

Given that the ideology of The Satanic Temple, when you drill down to the core, is essentially liberal progressive operating under the visage of the Satan archetype, and especially given that you don’t need to be a member of The Satanic Temple to become enrolled onto their scholarship, further given that you don’t even need to be a Satanist to be in The Satanic Temple to start with, we can judge The Satanic Temple’s efforts as essentially to form another future crop of liberal-progressive ideologues, who serve not only the benign cause of the separation of church and state, but also many of the baleful progressive shibboleths the organization chooses to ally itself with, and most specifically ideologues who will serve to deconstruct the public education system, for the purpose of neither reforming it nor even really replacing it, since the program has no clear alternative vision for the very public education system it seeks to destroy. And for what purpose? Apparently just because going to school means you get bored and stressed. Well I’m sorry but that’s just not enough and it certainly is not a substitute for a comprehensive program of reform or reconstitution for the education system at large. Pumping out a new generation of radical liberal activists isn’t going to cure the alienation you’re trying to speak to. But then what can I expect when you only ultimately exist, insofar as your overall goals beyond your most celebrated causes are concerned, to further the cycle of bourgeois society on behalf of its progressive faction.

In good hands?

Baphomet stands opposite the Ten Commandments, at long last

I know it may seem abrupt, but I think I have to talk about this, because it seems like a notable positive development. The Satanic Temple’s statue of Satan, entitled Baphomet, has had quite a journey in its day. It was originally designed with the intention of standing opposed to the Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma State Capitol Building. But, after said monument was ordered to be removed, the statue found itself without a home, and in the end was placed at a private unveiling party held by The Satanic Temple in Michigan. For a while, I thought that was it, the closing chapter in the story of our delightful goat-headed friend. But it seems that’s not the case.

Last year, a new Ten Commandments monument was erected on the property of the Arkansas State Capitol buidling, just like what had been done with Oklahoma. The monument was destroyed by someone ramming his car into it not long after its placement, but it was replaced in April this year thanks to a fundraising campaign by one Jason Rapert – a Republican State Senator and the founder and president of an Evangelical Christian organization called Holy Ghost Ministries. This has predictably been met with opposition from The Satanic Temple, along with the ACLU and atheists and secularists in Arkansas, and in response to this development The Satanic Temple have decided to hold a rally, the Rally for the First Amendment, in front of the Arkansas State Capitol Building to protest this decision, bringing with them the famous statue of Satan they designed for Oklahoma. In the background of all this, The Satanic Temple are naturally also suing the government for the right to keep that statue there permanently, or at least for as long as the Ten Commandments monument remains.

This in a way is such a triumphant moment. After being denied its moment to stand opposite the symbols of Christianity, at long last, the Baphomet/Satan statue finds the opportunity to do exactly that. We’re finally seeing what we thought we were going to see about three years ago in Oklahoma. And, honestly, from what I’m seeing of this event, it actually does look glorious. I like the sight of that Satanic statue set against the State Capitol building from an aesthetic perspective, as well as political.

I expect this to be a productive effort too. My prediction here is that, just like last time, that Ten Commandments movement is being pulled from the State Capitol. We know already that Jason Rapert, and presumably his fellow Christians, will not stand for the Baphomet to have permanent residence on the property, and we can assume that Lucien Greaves and TST are going to push through with their suit. We can safely predict that, rather than allow the Satanic statue permanent residence, the government will ultimately remove the statue in order to please both TST’s demands for the government to uphold secularism and the Christian demands for Baphomet to just go away. Mark me when I say this is going to be a very cut and dry victory for The Satanic Temple.

Image courtesy of

Lucien Greaves responds to the Church of Satan, and it’s a lame response

So it appears that Douglas Misicko (might as well drop the formality of calling him Lucien Greaves) has responded to the article put out by the Church of Satan pertaining to certain facts regarding the Satanic Temple and its formation. This will be a point by point response to the article in question. As with the last post I will leave a link to the article at the end of the post. I will also leave a link to the Church of Satan’s article again at the end of the post as well as a show of good faith. Like last time, I must stress that this is going to be a long ass post, as is necessary to cover all of the main points, in fact, you’ll find that it’s even longer than the last post, so buckle up if you want to read this one.

Anyhow, without any foreplay, let’s do this.

Yesterday, the Church of Satan released a so-called “fact sheet” related to The Satanic Temple. While I typically don’t reply to the insults and laughable claims of exclusive authenticity put forward by the CoS, this fact-sheet is so egregiously cherry-picked, willfully misinformed, and outright false, that it demands correction. Most of the “facts” on the fact sheet seem to suggest that the author believes that because The Satanic Temple (TST) began with lower ambitions, and that because TST wasn’t originally conceived to be a centrally governed international religious organization, it somehow still isn’t, and the original concept must still be the “real” TST.

You seem like a capable mind reader, being able guess the author’s true intentions. Of course, not really, but don’t let that spoil you. But your ambitions were different, and I would argue they could well be described as “lower” than your current ambitions. What is a generic secular protest movement against George W Bush compared to a campaign to build an entire “religious” movement around a form of Satanism that doesn’t like the actual Satanism in order to take America by storm? That said, I’m not entirely sure where you get the idea that accusations are cherry-picked, willfully misinformed or outright false. The corroboration for these claims is out there and they’ve put it in the article.

In fact, we’ve been quite open in interviews regarding the origins of TST, and neither me nor TST’s other co-founder had the audacity to imagine in the beginning that TST could be what it is today. We wanted an active and relevant Satanism, one that would do exactly the things that TST are doing presently. We didn’t need an organization to tell us how to think, how to properly be “true” Satanists, or as a mere social club in which we could construct ourselves into the highest ranks of a false hierarchy. We wanted an organization that served a mission statement and pursued organizational goals. Of course, we didn’t have one, and the idea of constructing one from the ground up seemed a lofty delusion, but we had plenty of ideas of what such an organization would do.

As we will go on to explore later on in the article, the part about you wanting any kind of Satanism simply isn’t true. You’re using Satanism as a costume for your own ends, but you don’t even give a shit about the Satanic Bible enough to make it a core part of your teachings, much less insist that people who ascended the ranks of your organization know anything about it.

Also, you give people fancy titles like High Priest or Reverend in your organization, per Brian Werner’s testimony. You are in no position to complain about the evils of hierarchy. And constructing mission statements from the ground up is a lofty delusion now? There’s a politician out there who almost become Prime Minister in the Netherlands on the back of a one page manifesto. What’s your excuse?

Without membership and without any desire to recruit or convert, we imagined that we would demonstrate Satanic activism ourselves, putting small-scale campaigns to film, and that those films (or that film) would inspire others to fly the banner of The Satanic Temple and take up similar Satanic causes. The idea was that — with various competing concepts in Modern Satanism — TST would be a unifying umbrella without a central authority, that would be defined by its activism for secularism and against Satan Panic witch-hunts, for pluralism and against theocratic encroachments into the public square. We imagined TST would be more like Anonymous in its decentralized activities than anything resembling the international religious movement it’s become. But while TST changed, our deeply-held beliefs and identification as Satanists — which predated TST — never did.

That’s a funny of saying you went out of your way to make a satirical documentary for what was intended to be a fake religion, a fictitious Satanic cult modeled after theistic Satanist ideals rather than the dolled up atheism you call your current theology. You still seem to see your organization as focusing on political activism with political goals, and honestly, that you compare yourself to Anonymous is, for me at least, not to your credit (read: Anonymous is a joke).

And at this point he starts talking about the specific points raised in the article.

The “fact sheet” begins by saying “The Satanic Temple is a self described ‘Yes Men’ styled satire/activist group that uses satanic-themed imagery and language to get media and public attention.” Already, the piece flatly lies to its readers. The “Yes Men” parallel refers to an interview I did in Vice when I talked about the style of activism, but I was also very clear that we’re very much a religious organization with sincere beliefs, nor is the “use” of “satanic-themed imagery and language” a mere ploy “to get media and public attention.” As I said in the interview, “I believe that where reason fails to persuade, satire and mockery prevail. Whereas many religious groups seem to eschew humor, we embrace it.”

Well it’s not flatly lying to the readers, actually. You’re a culture jamming movement. You troll people or institutions that promote Christianity in a public capacity, and you openly admit to embracing satire as a means of activism. That’s why you’re comparable to the Yes Men. Because the two of you are, in spirit at least, doing the same thing.

The fact sheet then goes on to claim that we don’t have any deeply-held beliefs. This is a perplexing statement, clearly and provably untrue, that leads one to wonder if the author couldn’t be moved to check our website or various legal suits (argued, as they are, as a defense of our clearly stated deeply-held beliefs).

It’s one thing to throw what you think your beliefs are out there for all to see, but that on its own doesn’t mean much. Your actions are more important to the world than your arguments ever could be, which isn’t to say that you’ve never actually acted on your beliefs. You know what, that’s one credit I’ll give to you here. Fair play.

Then we get into “the facts”:


  1. In 2013, Spectacle Films ran ads looking to cast characters for a mockumentary about a fake religion, that film was to be titled “The Satanic Temple” — the casting director was listed as “Lucien Greaves.” [ | | |]


The first public appearance TST ever made was in a rally in support of Florida Governor Rick Scott as he signed a bill allowing for prayer in school. The cheering evangelists, we knew, would think twice if Satanists applauded their increased “liberty.” This, of course, was when we wanted to inspire Satanists to take on causes that would help preserve and expand their personal liberties, but we had no membership. While there was a casting call to try and populate the rally, the “fact sheet” flatly lies when it states that ads were ran “for a mockumentary about a fake religion.” Satanism was never treated as or regarded to be a “fake religion” by TST.

You had no membership but somehow had enough people to hold a mock rally “supporting” Rick Scott. Yeah, I’ll believe that. But seriously, when you say “Satanism was never treated as or regarded to be a “fake religion” by TST”, you’re being disingenuous. The fake religion isn’t Satanism. It’s the fictitious sect *of* Satanism that’s fake, or was at first. Or maybe the sect being fake was just an elaborate hoax as well. Satanism is not you people, you have to understand that.

By the way, this still doesn’t convince me that you’re not out to troll evangelical Christians, just saying. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, other than the fact that you’re being dishonest about it.

  1. Launched in 2013, The Satanic Temple’s (TST) website claimed to believe in and worship a literal Satan. The TST trademark filing contains documents that have these claims as well. [ |]

False. Under the original limited conception of TST, the activism was primary, not narrowly-defined concepts of what Satanism is imagined to be universally for all people. To that end, we didn’t put a fine point upon our beliefs, but in one segment of the website we spoke of our non-supernaturalism in theological terms. “God” is consigned to the supernatural, thus removed from the real world and outside of our area of belief and/or interest. Satan is emblematic of critical discourse and scientific exploration. By the logic of the CoS’s own “fact sheet” we could also conclude that Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible, which they take a fundamentalist pride in upholding as the one true definition of Satanism, is a decidedly theistic text for the abuse it heaps upon the character of “God.”

To quote the section of your website the article was talking about:

The Satanic Temple believes that God is supernatural and thus outside of the sphere of the physical. God’s perfection means that he cannot interact with the imperfect corporeal realm. Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind’s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning.

So God creating Satan to rule over the universe as his proxy with the compassion and wisdom of an angel is just a metaphor for critical discourse and scientific discourse, rather than basically a rehashing of Gnostic and Yazidi beliefs that exists to play into the role of a fictitious theistic sect? This sounds like an utterly post-hoc rationalization of a statement you put out 4 years ago as part of the act.

Also, by your logic, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, three of the Four Horsemen of New Atheism, are theists as well, on the grounds that they talk about the character of God as an utterly malignant and tyrannical personality. Is this really the point you intend to make? Anyone with an anti-theist sentiment is really a theist simply by dint of talking about God in a negative light, all because you don’t like that the Church of Satan put out a statement from your website that is decidedly theistic in character?

  1. TST Co-founder Malcolm Jarry (not his real name) has stated that TST was originally conceived as a backlash to US President Bush-era “religious protections.” []

Well, why not? In the George W. Bush era it became quite apparent that other religions needed to challenge Christian exceptionalism. It is unclear what this “fact” is attempting to establish. Again, an organization should serve an organizational purpose

So, just to be clear, you’re essentially admitting that’s what it is. You aren’t refuting anything here, in fact you’ve ceded this point to the Church of Satan. You basically admitted here that your original purpose was political activism.

  1. Now credited as co-founder and spokesperson, “Lucien Greaves” is in fact a character that has been played by several people, including an unnamed actor, Shane Bugbee and currently by Doug Mesner (not his real name). Shane Bugbee was paid by Spectacle Films for his work with TST. There is a yet unnamed 3rd TST co-founder. []

False. There is not a word of truth to this entire statement. Nobody has “played” Lucien Greaves. Lucien Greaves is a pseudonym I used, and still use, as it was hoped I could retain some protective layer of anonymity when challenging religious zealots who threaten harm and death upon me. Incidentally, “Anton LaVey,” too, was a pseudonym. There is no 3rd co-founder, Shane Bugbee never “played the role” of Lucien Greaves, nor was he ever paid for doing so. The only evidence of this that the “fact sheet” provides is a personal blog, leading one to wonder if the CoS will begin citing Satanic Panic “ritual abuse” paranoiacs in their desperation to discredit us. (They get there at point 9.)

This would be believable if you presented any concrete proof of that statement. Now it is true that the primary evidence for this claim is a personal blog, but where’s your proof exactly? Have you any proof that Shane is lying? Also, it is quite something that you compare just citing Shane’s personal blog to citing an SRA believer. It shows how low you value Shane’s word. And here I thought you were friends.

  1. In a 2013 Vice interview “Doug Mesner” says that TST is satire and states that it is “like a darker Yes Men.”  []


It’s amazing that the author of the “fact sheet” managed to bypass or fail to understand the entire surrounding text of the interview. It was as follows:


VICE: Is the Satanic Temple a satanic, or a satirical group?


Doug: That is a common question. I say why can’t it be both? We are coming from a solid philosophy that we absolutely believe in and adhere to. This is Satanism, and to us it couldn’t be called anything other than Satanism. However, our metaphor of Satan is a literary construct inspired by authors such as Anatole France and Milton—a rebel angel defiant of autocratic structure and concerned with the material world. Satanism as a rejection of superstitious supernaturalism. This Satan, of course, bears no resemblance to the embodiment of all cruelty, suffering, and negativity believed in by some apocalyptic segments of Judeo-Christian culture[emphasis added]. The word Satan has no inherent value. If one acts with compassion in the name of Satan, one has still acted with compassion. Our very presence as civic-minded socially responsible Satanists serves to satirize the ludicrous superstitious fears that the word Satan tends to evoke.


Reminds me of a darker version of the Yes Men.


Yes. Just as the Yes Men use very catching theatrical ploys to draw attention to a progressive agenda, we play upon people’s irrational fears in a way that hopefully causes them to reevaluate what they think they know, redefine arbitrary labels, and judge people for their concrete actions. I believe that where reason fails to persuade, satire and mockery prevail. Whereas many religious groups seem to eschew humor, we embrace it.

In the first part of the segment of the interview you quoted, you do indeed attempt to pass yourself off as a sincere form of Satanism. But as soon as Shane had you pegged as a Yes Men style group, you essentially admitted that, yes, you are employing the same satire as them and for political activism.

  1. In a 2014 Village Voice article “Malcolm Jerry” is outed as the filmmaker Cevin Soling, owner of Spectacle Films.  [].


There’s no point in this “fact” other than a low attempt at “doxxing.”

Except it’s not. Putting an article out that was already released 3 years ago with the name there is a strange form of revealing someone’s private information yourself (that’s what doxing is by the way, which he also doesn’t seem to know how to spell properly) if you ask me. More to the point he doesn’t seem to be refuting this point at all. Why doesn’t he just show how Malcolm Jarry isn’t actually Cevin Soling and that Shane Bugbee and the Church of Satan are lying instead of just attack the morality of the information being put in the article and going no further from there?

  1. Spectacle Films has documented most major TST public events. []


False. This isn’t true, nor does the citation support the claim. The idea for an activist film that would inspire grassroots identification with a non-centralized TST was abandoned very early in our history, after the Rick Scott rally, when we soon began organizing real adherents to our philosophy who wished to work directly with us in building the formidable institution we’ve become.

To your credit, Joel Ethan could have just put links to specific articles rather than just a link to search engine. But if you click the link you’d find that claim isn’t strictly true. Spectacle Films was there for your adopt-a-highway campaign, as well as the Pink Mass where you held a gay wedding over the grave site of Fred Phelp’s mother, not to mention the Rick Scott rally. These were pretty high profile events for your group.

  1. 10 years before TST, “Doug Mesner” produced illustrations for an edition of Might Is Right, published by Shane Bugbee (who was a Church of Satan member at the time) with an introduction by Anton LaVey, founder of the CoS, and afterword by Peter H. Gilmore, current High Priest of the CoS. Originally published in 1890, Might Is Right is cited and paraphrased in LaVey’s 1969 book The Satanic Bible, which is universally accepted by religious scholars as the founding document of the religion Satanism. In the following years “Mesner” would often appear on Radio Free Satan, an internet radio show closely connected to the CoS. [ | |]

It is really unclear why this “fact” is included, as it seems to contradict everything that the “fact sheet” itself attempts to establish, which prior to this point in the “fact sheet” seemed to be the notion that TST and myself have no real attachment to Satanism. What we see here is acknowledgment that long before TST I did, in fact, familiarize myself with a wide variety of Satanist identifiers. Was this just thrown in as a way to merely not ignore it, and in an effort to pretend that the author confronted any dissonance it may provoke?

To me it suggests that you did have an interest in Satanism at a certain point, but it is evident to me that, at a later point, you rejected Satanic philosophy because of its decided non-egalitarian outlook, which was influenced by Ragnar Redbeard. What they are acknowledging is not what you are, but what you used to be.

  1. The original TST website listed Neil Bricke as the founder. This was apparently a smear campaign that was removed a few months later, as Neil Bricke is actually the founder of SMART, who has had a longstanding public feud with “Doug Mesner,” an alias used since the mid 1990’s by Douglas Misicko. [ | | |]

Neil Brick claims to believe that he was a brain-washed Illuminati supersoldier who was abused by Satanists/the CIA/Freemasons only to completely “repress” the memories of those episodes and recall them later. This is the “fact sheet’s” source, and the CoS now seems to object to the very idea of this anti-Satanist’s alleged mistreatment.

How the hell is this a refutation of their claim? I get it. Neil Brick is an unreliable source. In fact, I talked about two articles you wrote in the last post I did to show how crazy Neil Brick and his SMART organization is, which I did to your credit to show that you are correct. But how the fuck does that make this particular claim incorrect? You didn’t address the veracity of the evidence in any way other than by saying he has terrible opinions. Imagine if someone like me rejected the claims in one of your sources solely on the grounds that it’s a left-wing rag like The Independent. You’d probably call me out for it, no? It seems to me that you can’t actually refute the claim being brought because you know it’s actually true. I mean you could have just said you did it as a joke or something to that effect and it wouldn’t be so bad.

  1. “The Satanic Temple” is a registered Trademark of United Federation of Churches LLC, which is listed as registered to Douglas Misicko, 519 Somerville Ave., No 288, Somerville, MA 02143-3238. Reason Alliance LTD is a religious non-profit also registered to Douglas Misicko at the same address. [ | | |]

It seems that some people, never entering into the real world battle for the protection of individual rights, advocating for Satanists, are not aware of the dangers of having one’s name and address published. Or, they merely try to “dox” those whom they feel are upstaging them.

Again, you aren’t being doxed in this instance. The links posted in their article consist only of information that is publicly available on the Internet. Joel Ethan didn’t steal your personal information out from under you or anything like that. If the Church of Satan did do that, I would actually be taking your side on this issue. But they didn’t. And again, you haven’t refuted a damn thing. All you’ve done is attack the claim on the grounds that you think it’s a morally bad claim. Almost as if you can’t actually show how the evidence being put forward is false.

  1. Reason Alliance LTD paid bills for, and provided 501c3 documentation in support of, TST’s After School Satan Club in Seattle, however their own website claims they do not believe religious organizations should be tax exempt. [ | | |]

This point seems to indicate that the author of the “fact sheet” is unaware of how organizations operate and the difference between a standard 501c3 and a religious tax exemption. In fact, we are an LLC with a 501c3 where donors can contribute. Some activities, such as running an after-school club, sometimes require the endorsement of a 501c3. Here again, the “fact sheet” uses bad citation, this time from an evangelical right wing watchdog group whose articles about TST’s After School Satan Club and its alleged “fast-tracking” by the IRS were debunked by both and Forbes. The Forbes article also describes the utility of the Reason Alliance, if the CoS is still confused regarding how active organizations operate.

Judicial Watch literally had the documentation for tax-exempt status on its website. The evidence was right in front of you. But once again you try to say that it’s a “bad source”, this time because it’s apparently a right-wing political group. You don’t seem to understand that, in this case, the “evangelical right wing” watchdog group is correct on the basis that they have the evidence. And you can’t even refute that they didn’t. You just dismiss Judicial Watch because of their political affiliations, but not before rationalizing your decision to apply for tax-exempt status, meanwhile, as CoS points out, you literally stated on the After School Satan website that you don’t believe organizations like yours should be tax-exempt. You believe yourselves to be a religious movement, and you believe that religious organizations should not be tax-exempt. Therefore, filing for tax exemption is hypocritical. It’s that simple.

  1. Original TST “High Priest” Brian Werner states in his 2014 resignation video that TST is a political organization that has nothing to do with Satanism. Werner claims the actual people behind TST have no interest in or connection with Satanism, a claim echoed by Bugbee. [ |]

False. Werner objected to the specific type of politicization he saw in TST, but he never denied that I’m Satanist. He also objected that there were some in TST who have no care at all about what the Satanic Bible by LaVey says (as it’s not in our canon), but Werner doesn’t believe the CoS to be a credible Satanic organization either. The CoS’s general worthlessness is also echoed by Bugbee who had his membership revoked by the CoS in 2006.

Doug, are you dense? The fact that you appointed people to the status of chapter heads (apparently without a vote by the way) who had no interest in the philosophy of The Satanic Bible, coupled with the fact you just admitted that The Satanic Bible is not in your canon is precisely what is meant when CoS says you have nothing to do with Satanism. Why would you let people ascend the organizational ranks who aren’t Satanists nor have any knowledge of Satanism, or admit people who aren’t even Satanists, unless you have fuck all to do with Satanism. The fact that Brian Werner and Shane Bugbee neither associate with nor support the Church of Satan does not change this fact. It’s almost whataboutery.

  1. TST spokespeople are on record saying you do not have to be a Satanist to join TST, you simply need to support their political efforts. []

False. It says, right there in the citation provided, that our After School Satan Club received numerous applications from would-be teachers for our clubs who were not self-identified Satanists, but deeply invested in helping us combat the encroachment of evangelicals into public schools.

That is the opposite of the claim being false. Not to mention, it says, right fucking there, from their own mouths “you don’t even need to be a Satanist to join The Satanic Temple”. The only way for the claim to be false, strictly speaking, is if it never actually says that anywhere in the blog post, and that’s just not true.

  1. The Oklahoma 10 Commandments monument case was won by ACLU representing two Christians opposed to the monument. TST and its Baphomet monument were not involved with the case, however they claimed victory publicly, an intentionally confusing narrative picked up by many media outlets. This tactic has become MO for the TST. []

This is a bizarre statement. We never claimed a victory of our own in court when the 10 Commandments came down, but we did celebrate a victory for the 1st Amendment. In fact, we coordinated our plans for a lawsuit and our messaging to the public during the OK 10 Commandments dispute with the ACLU. We’ll never know to what degree the State Supreme Court considered that any ruling for the 10 Commandments needed to be equally applied to our bid to erect Baphomet, but many reasonably feel it was certainly a consideration. It’s difficult to understand how this “narrative” confuses the CoS.

Except you did. You claimed the removal of the monument was a victory for you, even though all you did was generate media publicity. Unless you did any fighting in that case, you won nothing, and the ACLU has won nothing for you. It’s one thing to say you coordinated you plans for a lawsuit, but you know what would be even better? Showing that you actually went through the troubling of suing someone. But of course you can’t.

The “fact sheet” then summarizes by saying that I claim “no shared lineage with the Church of Satan, though he was publicly associated with many Church of Satan members and projects in the decade before The Satanic Temple launched.” This, too, is flatly and provably false. Even in the Vice piece that the “fact sheet” cherry-picks from I speak of LaVey as a starting point from which we evolved Satanism into a relevant and productive religious movement. I have spoken about this at length in many interviews, including a recent one with Haute Macabre (

It would be myopic to repeat to myself on this point, so I’ll just say that you can say all you like that you started from LaVey’s philosophy, but in reality you abandoned every aspect of it that did not align with your political goals. It is obvious to anyone who is familiar with the philosophy of Satanism, and in fact you admit that you consider LaVey’s original philosophy incompatible with your perspective. Also, in the interview you posted, you try to claim that Satanism is about equality. Only your belief system is. LaVey, by contrast, believed equality was a myth. One need only look at his Pentagonal Revisionism program to learn that. In fact, he believed that death is the closest that humans can get to any real equality, and even then he thought some people made better corpses than others.

We then see an unconvincing attempt to justify this petty and undignified public temper tantrum with the claim that “it’s important for an understanding of what is and what is not Satanism to be maintained. “The Satanic Panic” in the 1980s-90s is evidence of a willful distortion of this religion as the concept of a conspiracy of murderous ‘satanists’ was promoted primarily by evangelical Christians and taken-up by the media worldwide. Law enforcement debunked the claims of the evangelists but not before many people had become victims of false accusations of ritual child abuse, sacrifice, and kidnapping.”

Apparently, this “understanding” can only be gained by dogged insistence that only the website of the CoS defines Satanism. This is particularly infuriating as TST, unlike the CoS, has been actively fighting against the Satanic Panic which still exists, nor is it “promoted primarily by evangelical Christians.” One need only look at our Grey Faction campaign to recognize that actively fighting back against anti-Satanist propagandists is one of the primary functions of TST.

I will admit that the Church of Satan is notoriously dogmatic and obtuse on the issue of what Satanism is, believing that because they started Satanism they are the only people who can decide what Satanism is. But still, at least they, or rather Anton LaVey, gave us the basic tenets of Satanism that any Satanist, whether pro-CoS are not, atheist or theist, can agree upon as a matter of principle, for they are the backbone of everything we value. Your contributions to rationalism and skepticism will not change the fact that what you believe simply isn’t Satanic, you are just using Satanism as a costume for your activism. And you citing this in an attempt to get one over on the Church of Satan is pathetic, particularly given your taste for refuting their claims through moralfagging rather than presenting indisputable proof of them being false.

Also, I think you misread the “promoted primarily by evangelical Christians” part. They are saying that this is, at least historically speaking, the main source of the idea of SRA conspiracy theories, though I personally would include a media prone to sensationalism as another primary source.

As irritating as all this willful misrepresentation is, it also calls into question the CoS author’s understanding of the CoS’s own history. Some readers may find this article illuminating:

The article you quoted is a reminder of the complexities of LaVey’s own personal belief system. But, I think the argument could also be made that he might be metaphorical. He could be speaking of magical things, and he appears to take coincidences with some level of seriousness or enthusiasm, but, at least after 1975, he was pretty much an atheist.

On the whole, Douglas’ response was a response I find to be lacking in substance. It fails to address the evidence right in front of him, and he seems incapable of being straight about what seems to be evident about the past. The late rationalizations, moralfagging about publicly available information, and pearl-clutching over sources made this a frankly pathetic read in which I found myself losing patience for Douglas Misicko.

I brought up this point last time, but as a mild tangent I think it’s worth repeating as a closer: the fact that Tucker Carlson didn’t take the time to actually look at this shit before he talked to Misicko in either of the interviews he did with him makes me think he’s really not as clever as he’s made out to be. He, or whoever writes his notes, is surely capable of finding these pieces of information about Douglas, and he might well have used some of them to put him in a corner when he would be forced to give the game away. But he didn’t, and for that I will be eternally disappointed.

Lucien Greaves’ response to the Church of Satan:

The Church of Satan’s fact sheet:

A history of Satanic Temple shenanigans

Oh boy, have I got a treat for you. The Church of Satan released an article on their Twitter, a fact sheet about The Satanic Temple, written by Reverend Joel Ethan, outlining evidence for The Satanic Temple being a parody activist group, in their words, “a self described “Yes Men” styled satire/activist group that uses satanic-themed imagery and language to get media and public attention”. For those who perhaps don’t know what Ethan is talking about, the Yes Men are an activist group that impersonates high profile individuals, particularly the heads or spokespeople from major corporations, and creates fake, satirical websites to impersonate the web pages of individuals and/or corporations they dislike in order to raise awareness about various social issues that they’re concerned with.

What I intend to do with this post is explore the points raised by the Church of Satan in-depth, to explain the important details and why they add up. There’s fourteen points in the article so I will probably have to truncate my analysis for each of them. Either way this is going be another very long post, and I will leave the link to the article by Joel Ethan at the end of this post. By clicking that link, you can access all of Ethan’s sources for yourself and draw your own conclusion.

First, Ethan states that The Satanic Temple began as a film project, specifically as a fictitious Satanic cult set to appear in a mockumentary movie entitled, funny enough, The Satanic Temple, centering around “the nicest Satanic cult in the world”. There was apparently hoax involved surrounding The Satanic Temple’s alleged support for Florida Governor Rick Scott, which the Miami Herald revealed was essentially a publicity stunt, the true purpose of which has never been revealed by the group’s founder, Lucien Greaves, who himself was also the casting director for the movie. What’s interesting about this is that if you were to perform a search of The Satanic Temple’s Rick Scott rally on the Internet, you’ll find that this mock rally was reported by many mainstream news outlets as a bunch of Satanists seemingly expressing genuine support for Rick Scott’s “religious freedom” policies, when it was a stunt.

During this time, it appears the organization was also billed as having a belief in a literal Satan, to quote from their webpage from years ago:

The Satanic Temple believes that God is supernatural and thus outside of the sphere of the physical. God’s perfection means that he cannot interact with the imperfect corporeal realm. Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind’s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning.

Hail Satan!

You read this doctrine any way you want, but to my mind this does not necessarily suggest that Lucien Greaves intended the organization to be a theistic Satanist group. Remember that they started out as a satirical religion for a mockumentary. It’s reasonable to assume then that this statement of belief is not, in fact, a genuine statement of doctrine, but a part of the act. Curiously enough, however, among the documents contained within The Satanic Temple’s trademark filing, one of them makes, alongside this statement, the following statement:

The Satanist harbors reasonable agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. The cultural narratives through which we contextualize our lives must be malleable to conformity with our best scientific understandings of the material world… Those understandings, in turn, must never be so rigidly codified as to themselves be inflexible to advancements yet unknown. Thus, Satanism is an evolving religion, unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Belief must reconstruct itself to fact, not the other way around. This is the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, even (and especially) when to do so irretrievably dissipates blissful and comforting delusions of old. That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise.

Sound familiar? It sounds a lot more like The Satanic Temple we know today other than the belief in a literal Satan serving as Man’s conduit, on behalf of God no less, to the point of seeming like a contradiction, perhaps even a more sincere statement of belief that the former statement about God. In fact the first half of that statement can be found on the IndieGogo page for their Adopt-a-Highway campaign (which incidentally seems to have failed to reach its goal of $15,000).

Then there’s Malcolm Jarry, the co-founder. You might remember him from the post I wrote about him where I took him to task over the concept of “Jewish Satanism”. In a New York Times article dated to July 2015, Jarry states openly that the original idea for the movement was as a secular activist response to George W. Bush’s creation of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, a US government office created to support religious organizations. He envisioned The Satanic Temple not as a genuine expression of Satanic philosophy, albeit one at odds with the Church of Satan’s ideas to an extent, but as a protest movement against George W Bush’s religious conservatism, well before discussion about religious freedom was as big as it was in the 2010’s. He and Lucien had been planning for something like this for apparently a long time, presumably waiting for the opportunity to get started.

But there’s another interesting aspect to this story as well. It seems that the artist and former high priest of the Church of Satan Shane Bugbee appears to have exposed Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry back in 2014. Writing for VICE Magazine (ordinarily not my favorite source for journalism, let’s just say), Bugbee revealed that a man named Doug Mesner approached him at his home asking for a copy of a republished edition of Might Makes Right by Ragnar Redbeard, the very same book that he would later go on to denounce over its apparently racist content and from there complained about Anton LaVey’s views about social stratification, meritocracy and egalitarianism. How’s that for an irony? He later produced illustrations for the book and, in 2002, Shane Bugbee did a radio show with Doug where they discussed that very same book. Doug is also recounted by Bugbee as having been introduced to many intellectuals at Harvard University, some of whom he apparently later exposed as frauds. He also recounts of how he, apparently, would insult and harass alleged survivors of ritual abuse. Bugbee also revealed in a separate blog post that he was asked to take the role of someone named Lucien Greaves, implying that Lucien Greaves was, at the time, not a person so much as a persona or a character utilized by The Satanic Temple for their purposes, the role of whom was eventually taken on by Doug Mesner himself. As for Malcolm Jarry, according to Bugbee he is actually a man named Cevin Soling, who also happens to be the owner of Spectacle Films, the studio that was working on The Satanic Temple mockumentary and have also documented their adopt-a-highway campaign. Interestingly enough, simple searching for Cevin Soling will show you that the same man who owns Spectacle Studios is also an alternative rock musician and an advocate for the abolition of public schools, which he thinks are brainwashing American children, and got interviewed by Stephen Colbert about his film The War on Kids. He also identifies Cevin as one of two rich kids financing The Satanic Temple, the other being a man named David Guinan, who is apparently director at a company called Arise Media.

Going back to Mesner, it’s in the same VICE article authored by Shane Bugbee that Doug Mesner outright admitted to starting The Satanic Temple as a dark religious take on the Yes Men, as well as a “poison pill” in the debate over the proximity between church and state in America.

So far I’m getting a picture of how back in the early days of The Satanic Temple, and perhaps even well before its foundation, that this was not intended as a serious religious movement at all, but rather as a satirical political activist movement with clear political goals in mind. I must say, if only Tucker Carlson had actually done that amount of research into Lucien Greaves and The Satanic Temple before the two terrible interviews he did with Lucien Greaves, then maybe he would have actually got one over on Lucien Greaves instead of practically whining about how Satanism as a whole is not a real religion because he’s a Christian but hey; I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. Jarry also proves to be an interesting character. If Shane Bugbee is correct and Malcolm Jarry is indeed Cevin Soling, then from the outset this seems like a man who is strongly invested in social activism, and one of his main themes seems to be children and public education, and apparently gay marriage and abortion if the Times of Israel is anything to go by. So a very politically-minded, noticeably liberal and left-leaning political themes, which if you’ve ever looked into The Satanic Temple seems to be one of the main themes of the organization. What’s also fascinating is that, around 2013, you’ll notice that Doug is fairly chill about the fact that he’s not very serious about this and it’s actually just a satirical group, whereas in later years it almost looks like he and his cohorts are taking this project more seriously. So is it a case of do they believe their own hype now, or is this still part of an act, just that instead of being simply satirical they intend it as a much more serious political movement?

Now, the next thing brought up is the bizarre fact that the website for The Satanic Temple seemed originally to list the founder not as Doug Mesner/Lucien Greaves, but instead a man named Neil Brick, the head of an organization called SMART, which claims to publish information about stories of ritual abuse. Apparently Doug Mesner and Neil Brick had a falling out over the subject of ritual abuse. I’m guessing Doug put Neil’s name there as prank gesture? By the way, Neil Brick’s SMART organization seems to get into some interesting shit, at least according to Doug in his article on a website he runs called The Process Is. Just read this section from an article he wrote about them. This is from when he visited a SMART conference in 2009.

The S.M.A.R.T conferences are an opportunity for the victims of the satanic conspiracy to exchange their horrific tales, offer support to one another and, most importantly “just be believed”. Victims are encouraged to bring an accompanying “support person”, as much of the material covered in the 2-day series of talks is considered to be “triggering” (that is to say, it may cause flashbacks in the similarly traumatized).

Does that sound familiar? Because to me it sounds like an SJW conference about misogyny and rape. It sounds like Hillary Clinton and scores of modern feminists ranting about how people who tell you they were raped should just be automatically believed even in the absence of credible evidence. It sounds like the Alex Jones-inspired equivalent of a Tumblr convention. And here I was beginning to doubt horseshoe theory. Not to mention, What. the fuck. is this shit?

“We could all decide [Satanic Ritual Abuse] isn’t really true”, LaBrier announced, provoking no real discernible response from the crowd.  She admits that she could pass off her “recovered memories” as “hallucinations”.  But then, “the events [of the past] are not important to me anymore”.  Their only significance is in “what they mean to me in my evolution as a human being.”  Indeed, she will conform reality to her beliefs rather than the other way round.  As she recalls warning possible skeptics at a talk she delivered to an Indiana University class, “Don’t you ever question my reality!

You know I think I can see the problem Doug might have had with such a gaggle of conspiracy theorists. Particularly when, according an article he posted on the Daily Kos, he saw people rant about “using musical tones and quantum physics to open up portals into the spiritual realms”. Yeah, can’t imagine why Doug might think this guy’s nuts.

Moving on a step, the article next claims that The Satanic Temple is a registered trademark of the United Federation of Churches LLC, registered to Douglas Misicko, apparently the true identity of Doug Mesner (which would make Doug Mesner yet another pseudonym), who is apparently behind another group called Reason Alliance, a non-profit corporation that supports pretty much the same ideas as The Satanic Temple. In fact it looks to me like Reason Alliance might just be another extension of The Satanic Temple. This also seems to relate to the After School Satan project. While The Satanic Temple publicly claims that they believe that religious organizations should not be tax-exempt, they, via Reason Alliance, applied for tax-exempt status and successfully obtained it. Now that I know this, it strikes me how hypocritical Doug Menser and Malcolm Jarry are, going out of their way to apply for tax-exempt status while simultaneously saying they don’t believe religious organizations should be tax-exempt. Almost as if, like so many cliche American left-liberals, they don’t practice what they preach. Unless what they preach itself is only an act. Or maybe applying for the tax-exempt status itself was a prank, a way of impersonating a religious organization whilst simultaneously preaching against religion. Now maybe that’s giving Doug Mesner too much credit.

You may remember Brian Werner, former high priest of The Satanic Temple as well as the lead vocalist of a long-standing death metal band named Vital Remains. He resigned from the organization back in 2014, and he had quite a few complaints about them, which he explained in his video. He views the organization as hypocritical because while it ostensibly resents hierarchical order, in contrast to Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan who, at least in its early years, embraced meritocratic hierarchy, its leadership gave Werner the title of High Priest for his perceived merit within the organization and had no qualms with handing out titles like “reverend” to various individuals. I suppose this is all part of the act as well, surely? He also complained that the leader, Doug Mesner, was appointing chapter heads without a vote from anyone, one of them told him that he had never read The Satanic Bible or heard of Aleister Crowley, Michael Aquino or the Al Jilwah, a Yazidi holy text I recognize as a book held in high regard by some theistic Satanists. He stated that this person, along with several other individuals he recognizes as clowns unworthy of the Satanic mantle, only got into the organization because they were appointed by someone behind the scenes. He also expresses resentment and despondence over how, apparently, he and Doug were loyal friends during his membership of the Satanic Temple, they were seemingly like brothers, and how after the statue had been completed and Werner wanted to talk to Doug about what was going on, he didn’t try to address those concerns with him and instead had a lawyer do the talking for him. After this, he complains that while almost every Satanic movement agrees fundamentally, on some level, with the original tenets of The Satanic Bible – individual sovereignty, reverence of individual will and power, the strong shall rule the weak and the clever shall rule the strong, refusal to turn the other cheek when one is smited, opposition to psychic vampires, and control of one’s own destiny; the tenets he recognizes as being pretty much universal to all strands of Satanism (and like any true Satanist I agree with them as well) – he recognizes that The Satanic Temple doesn’t embody these ideals. Like I mentioned earlier, Doug shuns these ideals, because they are not compatible with his egalitarian leftist outlook.

What’s more, two spokespeople from The Satanic Temple were interviewed by one Lauryn Petrie on a blog called Broke Ass Stuart, and this is what they had to say about membership.

No. There’re two types of membership. Anybody can go to the national site at with a simple email address you scan sign up for the newsletter and become a member. And then there’re Chapter members, and that requires some responsibilities to be involved on some level. Every Chapter does that a little differently. No has to pay anything unless you want a card and a certificate. That costs $25, but by no means do you have to do that. If there’s a local chapter where you are, to join you do have to be accepted, but there’s no initiation or anything. You don’t even have to be a Satanist, you can just be a strong ally who believes in the political and secular actions without being super stoked about all the aesthetic aspects.

So according to them, you don’t have to be a Satanist, not even by Doug Menser’s idea of what Satanism is, in order to join The Satanic Temple. All you have to do is support their political causes. I think if Brain Werner had seen this, he would see this as further evidence of his conclusion that The Satanic Temple aren’t actually a Satanic organization.

Finally, you know all that business with the Ten Commandments monument, back when I actually kind of supported The Satanic Temple’s efforts to erode the influence of Christianity? Well Ethan, in his final point, points out that The Satanic Temple’s campaign to erect a Baphomet statue alongside the Ten Commandments were immaterial, and that they had nothing to do with the case. Instead, the ACLU, representing Christians who viewed the monuments presence as a means of political grandstanding over what, for them, is a sacred part of their religious faith. But after the ACLU won, The Satanic Temple publicly claimed victory for this whole thing, and people believed them. Why? Easy. Because The Satanic Temple generated publicity, they “started a conversation”, you might say, by doing precisely fuck all other than troll their political opponents. I say fuck all, because once you look at what the ACLU had to say, this wasn’t actually about The Satanic Temple’s grievances at all. They just shared the same views on the subject and took the credit.

And that’s all the points that Joel Ethan brought up. What’s funny is that really none of this is new information. It was out there, and the parody act that they did in 2012-13 was apparently known for quite some time, but apparently it didn’t occur to many people, certainly not to me at the time, and certainly not to the mainstream media – can’t say I blame them in retrospect, such facts would run counter to a narrative that was tied to a lot of publicity, controversy and therefore ratings. The Church of Satan seems to just be re-posting these facts, apparently simply to inform us all that this is the case. I can’t say I know if that’s true, I don’t know what their true motivations are for reposting the old information besides their obvious rivalry with The Satanic Temple. I have to say though, I am convinced more than ever that The Satanic Temple are atheists pretending to be Satanists, using Satanism as a costume for their own political goals, and I feel disappointed with myself for not knowing some of this information much sooner.

I am finished with this organization, not that I was ever a member. With all due respect to anyone reading, if anyone still believes that these people are real Satanists, when in fact they weren’t even genuine from the beginning, I can’t help you. I am more opposed to them than ever now, for I have come to realize that these people are outright charlatans and deceivers. They don’t care about Satanism, they don’t practice Satanism philosophically nor do they practice what they preach, they have never been Satanists, and worst of all they lie in order to advance their own goals. Ironically, all to fight lies and perceived tyranny.

The Church of Satan’s Fact Sheet on The Satanic Temple, via Reverend Joel Ethan:

Richard Dawkins is a hypocrite

Richard Dawkins criticizes religion a lot, it’s role in society, and that our children are so indoctrinated to believe, which I don’t mind. But the prominent atheist/overglorified douchebag is one to talk, for you see, he is trying to do the same.

In 2008, Dawkins announced that he would be retiring from his post at Oxford University to write a book aimed at children, trying to convince them not to believe in fairy tales or tales of magic, witchcraft, and wizardry because they are “anti-scientific”. I’m not sure if the 2011 The Magic of Reality is that book, but that is outside the point. Do you know how Dawkins’ antics translate to me? Indoctrinating kids into believing what someone else tells you.

Instead of Christian priests at sunday school indoctrinating kids to believe what it says in the Bible, we have Richard Dawkins trying to persuade children into dogmatic materialism, and I don’t see the difference. All I see is that double standard Dawkins has: he’ll criticize religion for mindlessly venerating some sacred dogma or some figurehead, while doing little other than preach science and evolution like religious gospels, promote dogmatic scientism, and spray Charles Darwin with praise.

He has no right criticizing indoctrination of any sort considering he is doing the same thing.

I’ve heard of a rumour saying that Dawkins didn’t actually resign from his post at Oxford University, but was canned for his increasing outlandishness and his tying of science, dogmatic materialism, and atheism together, which some other faculty members and outside scientists opposed, which would mean the book story is a cover to save both himself and the university from embarassment. But the truth of that rumour is a different story, though it would certainly explain a lot.

My problem with “New Atheism”

The Four Horsemen of New Atheism, apparently. Not nearly as badass as the other Four Horsemen.

Atheism simply means not believing in the existence of a god. That’s all there is to it. Unfortunatelty, not everyone understands it that way. In fact, very often, atheism gets lumped in with secularism, maltheism, naturalism, antireligion, the value of science and logic, and materialism. There’s even a bullshit belief that not believing in god makes you smarter, and that believing in god makes you stupid. This is the fault of what is only generously called “new atheism”.

These guys are responsible for the current of image of atheists, and they are complete posers. I don’t mind that they criticize morality of god, but it seems like they forgot they they’re supposed to be atheists, because for a brief moment it appears that they actually believe in the Christian God, just that they hate him. This is especially true of Christopher Hitchens (in fact, that’s what he’s most famous for). The difference between “new atheism” and actual atheism is that real atheism just says there’s no god and nothing else, while new atheists believe that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises”. That does not describe atheism. It describes antireligion.

To be fair on them, though, they may be both atheist and antireligious, but I have never seen their criticism of religion being treated as antireligious, which it actually is. All their antireligion and secular advocacy has been misguidedly lumped in with atheism. Why? Maybe because “new atheism” gets the most media attention, but that only comes from the fact that, most of the time, all they do is promote themselves and proselytize their views. Their books sell for millions of dollars and are considered best-sellers, and some of them make documentaries solely for the purpose of espousing their viewpoints, far from exposing the truth as they’d like you to think. Probably the king of new atheist promotion is Richard Dawkins, who, though good at criticizing Christianity, tends to be incredibly condescending towards religion in general and anyone who believes in anything that isn’t scientifically proven. His fame probably comes less from his outspoken advocacy of atheism and criticism of religion and superstition, and more from the fact that he’s had nine TV documentaries and several publications all promoting said views.

Pictured: a constantly self-promoting poser

I swear they’re no different to fundamentalist Christians or evangelists, in fact one could call them atheist evangelists. Why? Because they treat their own opinions, and science itself, as a gospel of truth. Now I’m opinionated and somewhat judgemental myself, but at least I’m not going around creating a secular religion for all to follow and making idiots of those who don’t. Even then, all that matters to me as that, in my eyes, they’re all posers.

What I also dislike is that, much like the dogmatic fundamentalist Christians, they miss the bigger picture. Life isn’t all about science and logic. In fact, there’s a lot about life science can never prove, and religion can’t prove either. Lots of times, life is about your own judgements. But for new atheist thinkers, science is a gospel and a secular religion, though they’ll never say that. The problem is when religious scientism and militant materialistic atheism become the atheism of the modern time, or, in other words, the “new atheism”.