The Church of Satan? Progressive?

A rather fascinating article from The Guardian caught my attention, titled “Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool”. And by fascinating I mean this was just a puff piece. The article in question goes on about how the Church of Satan suddenly got hip and cool in the eyes of progressive commentators because some imbuing of left-wing radicalism into the Satanic zeitgeist (by the way, please no), and lamenting the fact that Chelsea Clinton isn’t a Satanist. I don’t see why that last part is a problem: the last thing Satanism needs is the Clintons tarnishing its image.

And a strange puff piece indeed. As you’ll see in the link I’ve left at the end of the post, most of the article deals less with the Church of Satan and more with a Los Angeles Times article (which I will also leave a link to at the end of the post). The LA Times article in question makes the case that  ̶a̶ ̶b̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶y̶ ̶C̶a̶l̶i̶f̶o̶r̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶p̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶  a new breed of Satanists are channeling their affinity for the dark side towards progressive political causes to unite against Donald Trump.

Yep, it’s more bourgeois left-wing political activism with a layer of pop occultism on top. Just like last year, when you had “witches” casting “spells” against Trump and then nothing came of it other than they looked ridiculous.

Essentially, these people buy into the idea that the world is going to hell, that American life is never-ending chaos, and that, because of this premise, they’ve decided to mix Satanism with feminism. They earnestly believe that without a sense of magical community centered around their version of Satanism, you’d have the rise of groups such as The Proud Boys (Gavin McInnes’ no-fap PUA brigade), and they, seemingly without any sense of irony or  self-awareness, describe the fact that people have those groups as “black magic”. It’s so bizarre to hear that complaint when that’s what you’re into. I mean, the idea of just people forming social clubs as a form of magic is stretching, hard, but even if it’s true, why are you complaining? Is it good when you have black magic, but not when they have it? For me but not for thee, is it? They also talk about how one of their main advantages is being more well-versed in Internet culture, which is ironic because, anything, the anti-leftist political circles seem more savvy than they are in Internet culture because of their skill in making irreverent memes – the right arguably helped a President get elected through memes for shit’s sake. And then later on, the article goes on about how it’s all connected to African belief systems like Voodoo (which have nothing to do with Satanism) and how, predictably, The Satanic Temple is promoting inclusivity in Satanism and that sort of thing. I must say, for a bunch of spiritual rebels they certainly are very politically correct. But we’ll get to that later on. And to say that the new direction is more feminist than nihilist is rather accurate: there’s really nothing intrinsically nihilistic about it, because the progressive movement is, fundamentally, one that vies for its own brand of meaning, however vapid it may be.

But I see no sign that this current has anything to do with the Church of Satan. In fact, the funny part is how in the LA Times article they actually acknowledge that supporters of the Church of Satan believe in resisting liberal pieties as well as Christian ones, referring back to LaVey’s opposition to the hippie movement. So The Guardian went and promoted the Church of Satan as being more feminist, based on an article where they outright say The Church of Satan is still against liberal and progressive orthodoxy. The Guardian article just goes on to extoll the virtues of autistically responding to everyone casually using the phrase “satanic” in a manner not consistent with their beliefs. Funny, I’ve seen them accuse all Christians of being pedophiles just because a bunch of Christian priests came out to defend Roy Moore, who was accused of child molestation during the Alabama special election. I wonder, is that just a part of their “laconic” wit? Because to me it sounds like the take of a bitter teenager who still unironically listens to Antichrist Superstar and thinks he’s got religion all figured out. And the way they quote the FAQ section is rather pretentious. They seem to be under the delusion that the universe being indifferent to humans and values being subjective doesn’t apply to their own brand of progressivism as well: as in, surely it’s just as meaningless as Christianity? But hey, self-serving leftists rarely have that consistency about them.

What I find really, almost insultingly hilarious, is when at the end it says that “Satanism’s latest mutation is something else, a contrarian uprising against a patriarchal world order that deserves its comeuppance”, which gives you a very good idea that these people have no idea what contrarianism is. Feminist progressivism? Contrarian? Well I mean it has to be, that’s why in my country you have an entire political party embracing the zeitgeist. No, two! Labour is now thoroughly progressive in its socialism, and the so-called Conservative Party are actively in the business of diversity hiring with their most recent cabinet reshuffle. I mean it’s definitely contrarian, because you see so many Hollywood celebrities virtue signal about equality. Yeah, that’s what contrarianism is: going with the flow!

Whereas, here’s what Anton LaVey had to say about his conception of the “modern Black Mass” in The Satanic Bible:

Any ceremony considered a black mass must effectively shock and outrage, as this seems to be the measure of its success. In the Middle Ages, blaspheming the holy church was shocking. Now, however, the Church does not present the awesome image it did during the inquisition. The traditional black mass is no longer the outrageous spectacle to the dilettante or renegade priest that it once was. If the Satanist wishes to create a ritual to blaspheme an accepted institution, for the purpose of psychodrama, he is careful to choose one that is not in vogue to parody. Thus, he is truly stepping on a sacred cow. A black mass, today, would consist of the blaspheming of such “sacred” topics as Eastern mysticism, psychiatry, the psychedelic movement, ultra- liberalism, etc. Patriotism would be championed, drugs and their gurus would be defiled, cultural militants would be deified, and the decadence of ecclesiastical theologies might even be given a Satanic boost.

It amazes me how no Satanist movement that I have seen seems to be interested in tapping into this, because the simple fact is that we don’t live in the 1980s anymore. Even in America, the age of people like Bob Larson or Pat Robertson is long over. There’s still Satanic Ritual Abuse themed conspiracy theories spread around today, but it’s not the media phenomenon that it was until the early 1990’s. And despite the left’s fears in the wake of Trump getting elected, we see no signs of theocracy in the United States. If anything, despite the government being in the hands of the GOP, the zeitgeist of the wider establishment seems to be against him (including most media outlets). The idea that anyone’s being contrarian by embracing progressivism is dubious at best, and incredibly deluded at worst. It’s disappointing that there are no Satanists out there, that I know of, who are exploiting things like the reactionary movement as a form of rebellion against contemporary culture. Whatever your opinions on them, you can’t deny that they are at the opposite end of the establishment political zeitgeist, and exploiting the energies of such movements would play right into the kind of thing LaVey was talking about. But nope. If the LA Times and The Guardian are to be believed, it seems that modern Satanism is looking to embrace an ideology that, frankly, oozes with not just conformism and moral purity, but also (that’s right, I’ll say it) Christian universalism.

I fear that this will lead to the loss of a chaotic, rebellious edge that was classically associated with the Satanist movement, and if that happens, then I think it will be the end. Satanism’s primary impact and appeal came from the fact that it was rebellious towards the establishment, it placed the individual in opposition to outside social forces and institutions aligned against it, intent on corralling it into conformity in opposition to its will, and dared the individual to think for himself, treat these ideas with derision and mockery, and laugh at those stupid to embrace such hollow dogmas. But whereas in the 60’s it was Christianity and the hippie movement, and in the 80’s it was fundamentalist Christianity, in the 2010s, the popular zeitgeist is progressivism. You can be fired for publicly expressing ideas contrary to progressive ideology, that alone should be enough of a reason to channel rebellious intent against it. But instead a new breed of Satanists are embracing it. This will undo the original spirit of Satanism, rob of its chaotic, rebellious vitality, and turn it into just another whiny progressive movement based on what is, ultimately, feminist emotional porn. It would be sad to see such a defiant movement fall like this.


Link to the Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2018/jan/08/chelsea-clinton-church-satan-got-cool

Link to the Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-satanism-music-20180105-story.html

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Witchcraft (so-called anyway) + radical feminism/social justice = autistic screeching

Remember back in 2015 when a group of Mexican witches (or Brujas) tried to hex Donald Trump in order to try and stop him from getting elected or something like that? Apparently there are American witches that are intent on “resisting” Donald Trump. Of course, I say witches, but it’s not evident that these are people who have studied witchcraft or the occult for a long period of time, and much like The Satanic Temple they appear to be political activists who are using spiritual systems as a costume for their existing political agenda. Just looking at the head image I see what looks like a typical Tumblr rad-fem or social justice warrior, not a genuine devotee of the witchy arts. All of the other images in the article give me the same impression: trendy trustafarian hipsters using witchcraft as a costume for their own lame political activism.

Here’s an extract I found rather interesting:

A fantastic 2015 feature at Vice profiled how LGBTQ youth have found sanctity within their witch communities in the face of society’s failure to create spaces for them.

So, basically, LGBT people go to left-wing witchcraft communities because they want them to provide a safe space. Times like this I feel like they would not last long in an path of authentic Satanic, or Luciferian, philosophy. We don’t care about safe spaces, and we don’t believe that society should be obliged to create “spaces” for you, whether you are gay or not. We don’t want you to just be comfortable with who you are, or what you think you are. I’d say we think you should be happy with who you are, but we also want you to grow and become more than that. That is the way found in the spiritual paths that comprise the Left Hand Path. If you want your own space, just make one for yourself, or go and live somewhere with people who are more like you.

There’s also this emotional porn in the article about how witches have always lived in the margins of society. And I’m sure they have, but I doubt that today’s trust fund baby generation of Tumblr witches are as marginalized in the modern West as they think they are. I, as a Satanist/Luciferian, am aware that people like me are in a position where we aren’t exactly considered normal. I even go so far as to think that I have to hide it from people sometimes, particularly potential employers. But am I going to create some kind of victimology about with myself and other Satanists at the center of it? Make some big deal about how I’m a victim because I’m non-conforming in some way? Fuck no! Because I know that it would achieve nothing for myself or other people beyond infantilizing myself and violating my own personal values, and possibly reduce my social standing as well if we successfully move toward an age where making a victim of yourself is no longer trendy or fashionable.

And let me tell you something Catie Keck: THAT is how you survive. You survive by adapting, growing stronger IN SPITE of your present trevails and conditions before you have any hope of changing them, and surpassing yourself as an individual because of it. Survival doesn’t mean you getting to say “I will survive” or “I shall overcome” in some pretentious fluffy bunny bullshit or pursuing some witless and futile effort to change the outcome of an election. And that is why I think these Tumblr witches will never achieve their goals.

At some point the article talks about a group called W.I.T.C.H., which is an acronym for, I shit you not, Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell. Cringe-worthy name aside, this group is actually a feminist and women’s liberation movement activist group which happens to use what it calls witchcraft as part of its activism. For them, this manifests in such ways as performing “hexes” on Wall Street. W.I.T.C.H. has actually been active since 1968, and far from being the 1960’s equivalent of The Hellfire Club, they were a socialist feminist movement dedicated opposing both “the patriarchy” and capitalism. They believed that capitalism and “patriarchy” were essentially two heads of the hydra, and so they allied with a wide range of left-wing causes with the aim of removing capitalism in order to remove “patriarchy” and capitalism and usher in their preferred kind of social change. Their understanding of witchcraft is another point worth talking about. For them, all you need in order to be a witch is to consider yourself a witch. That’s it. You don’t have to study at all, you just have to be a woman who calls herself a witch, perhaps also a woman who’s on board with the whole socialist feminist witchcraft thing. And according to an article from (of all places) VICE, most members didn’t even practice or study witchcraft, despite that the group uses witchcraft as an emblem. In many ways this reminds me of how The Satanic Temple uses Satanism as an emblem, but really they’re just a bunch of atheist activists who push for liberal progressive ideology (albeit sometimes doing so in a positive manner, such as pursuing actual liberal ideals and doing fundraisers for charity) and dress it up in a kind of Satanic philosophy that is significantly detached from the kind of philosophy found in, say, The Satanic Bible. Oh but that’s not all, apparently W.I.T.C.H. were among the many feminists who espoused the claim that the death toll from the “burning times” (the Neopagan term for the European witch hunts) was 9 million, whereas scholars put the highest figure at about 100,000.

There’s not much more to say other than the other examples put forward are feminist witches and Wiccans who actually believe that they live in a world that only allows straight white men to attain political power, and they believe that witchcraft can change the fact that Donald Trump is now the President. I have to say, if a bunch of witches in Mexico couldn’t do anything to change the course of the US election, what makes them think a bunch of self-described queer, feminist and socialist witches, who from the looks of it just think of witchcraft and occultism as something that you don’t have to study at all and can just use as political activism, what makes them think that these delusional self-described “witches” can do anything?


Link to the Bustle article: https://www.bustle.com/p/what-witches-can-teach-us-about-fighting-back-against-trump-30574

The black sheep of art and entertainment

Throughout the history of the video games industry, there have been many instances where the industry has been unfairly vilified or looked upon with suspicion or disapproval, and where its consumers are also unfairly vilified or looked upon with suspicion or disapproval. The video game industry has been around for well over 40 years, but only relatively recently have video games become more widely accepted.

In the 1980’s, video games were seen as market that only appealed to children. This is just one reason why Nintendo in 1985 had to market their Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES) and its peripherals (like R.O.B.) as toys rather than as games systems. The other reason was the notorious games market crash that happened in 1983, which caused games to be viewed as commercially non-viable and most stores were unwilling to carry games systems until the NES became as successful as it did. The perception that games were played only by children continued to be perpetuated until at least the mid-to-late 1990 when it was clear that the industry was catering to a more mature audience, or an audience that has grown out of the games produced by, say, Nintendo when they were younger. Even before the 1980’s though, when games as a general medium tended to be associated with controversy over violence, there was an arcade game released by Exidy in 1976 called Death Race, which became controversial because the object of the game is to run over “monsters” that flee the vehicle and scream when hit. Then in the 1990’s, games like Night Trap and Mortal Kombat became the centre of hysteria over violent video game content. As the decade drew to a close people began to blame video games for the Columbine Massacre because the media reported that the perpetrators of the massacre played Doom and created death match maps that supposedly resembled Columbine High School, and people have been trying to video games for violent crime ever since – of course, their attempts are in spite of the significant reduction in violent crime that coincided with the rise of people playing video games, along with the general lack of evidence that video games cause violent crime in the first place. Not to mention, the media never got bored of a chance to paint gamers as psychopaths, such as in the controversy that surrounded Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 over the airport level. There was plenty of whipped up hysteria over violence in video games and usually it came from social conservatives.

When video games weren’t accused of making you violent, they were accused of being bad for your health. Back in 2009, the British government released a poster which insinuated that video games were the main cause of obesity and that children who play video games may die early by playing video games. This poster was released as part of the government’s Change4Life campaign which was, surprise surprise, their attempt to tackle obesity. Not only that, but the poster referred to playing video games as basically doing nothing. Apart from the premise just being inaccurate and misleading, what was really egregious this campaign was that this poster was released at a time when the video game industry was responsible for boosting the economy during a time of recession. And in general, this and similar accusations are generally based on the stereotype of gamers as fat nerds who don’t have a life.

And more recently, when games weren’t accused of causing violent crime or being bad for your health, they were accused of being misogynist, and their consumers were accused of being savage, racist, sexist and generally backwards. It’s significant that around this time we started to see the gaming press being infiltrated by feminist ideologues. This combined with the revelation in 2014 that Zoe Quinn, the creator of a text-based choose your own adventure book style game called Depression Quest, had sex with gaming journalists, apparently in order to get her game promoted, led to the online revolt known as Gamergate, and the controversy that ensued. Those who supported Gamergate did so because they were tired of what they saw as corruption, cronyism and a lack of journalistic ethics within the gaming press, along with its collusion with feminists like Anita Sarkeesian who were basically out to convince the press that gamers were sexist and misogynistic in order to advance their own agenda. But the mainstream media – even the gaming press – dismissed Gamergate as a hate mob concerned primarily with harassing women, even though only a few Gamergate supporters were actually guilty of doing so. As a result, there were now those who shunned gamers collectively and denouncing them as backwards individuals, thus effectively siding with the feminists and the mainstream media narrative.

A visual illustration showing exactly how things have changed for gamers.

There’s a certain aspect of this mistrust and ignorance that extends to game designers. Not many people understand game design as a discipline, people still tend to ask “what do you actually do?”. This is illustrated by Scott Rogers in his book Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design:

Let’s talk about making video games. To most people, making a video game is a mystery. The average party conversation goes like this:

“So you program video games? Is it hard to write all that code?”

No. I said I design video games.

“Oh, so you draw the characters? That must be fun.”

No, I don’t draw them. That’s what an artist does.

“I don’t get it. If you don’t code the games or draw the games what do you do?”

Apparently nothing.

At this point in the conversation, I tell the person that games are made by elves. (Sometimes it’s just easier to tell someone a fantasy than explain what I do for a living.)

–  Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design(page 28) by Scott Rogers

Also, when we were having our talk about what to expect of the third year, we were introduced to the third year space and the lecturers had to explain a few things about the space. We were encouraged to put content on the walls such as concept artwork and research, but we were warned about putting up anything that was too violent on the walls because of the possibility that such imagery would be noticed by passersby (some of whom are apparently women in their 50’s) and by the lecturers’ boss, which would mean that the lecturers have to fight for the right to keep that space for us third year game design students. You have no idea how lucky the third year students are to basically have their own space where they can just work on their projects, and apparently there are people who would do anything to take that from the game design course, and any thing that convinces them that games students don’t deserve that space is enough to make them feel that they can take it.

To be honest, regarding my university, I feel like there’s envy coming into play. The game design course I study under is a course where you can potentially learn a wide pool of skills. You need to know not just how to make a nice 3D model, but how to do it efficiently, up to standard and in a way that you can get your computer-generated asset to actually work in the game engine. You need to know how to rig the characters you make for your games. You need to know how to animate them. You need to know how the game engine works so that you can import your assets into the game, or if you’re going to actually manage the content in engine in order to make it work as a cohesive whole. You need to be able to communicate effectively with the rest of a given team, and even how to operate as a team – which also means you’re going to have to balance working with others with your own individuality. You have to figure out how to tell a good story, design good characters, and design levels. You to learn how to organize and plan effectively, because good game design really needs good planning. You might even have to learn skills involving leadership and even entrepreneurship. You learn and grow as a designer and as a person.

This is a course that offers several skills, some of which can be transferable in that you might find a way to use them outside of game design, and our course is apparently home to some of the hardest working students in my university. So if you’re a game designer or game design student and someone asks you “what do you do?”, you may actually have to respond with “what don’t we do?”. Some art and design courses are, by contrast, geared towards more specific areas of work, which may offer less skills.. The animation students, from what I understand, are just learning 3D animation, possibly geared towards the film industry. Then you have photography students who do, well, photography in an artistic context. Fine art students make visual art under a nebulous category that includes painting, sculpture, and everything else. Illustration and graphic design students, to be fair, actually might have a number of profitable jobs going for them, with graphic design students finding work in advertising for major companies and illustration students designing covers and illustrations for books (sometimes children’s books) and magazines. Then you have the glass art people who seem to me like they spend their days making stained glass windows and other stuff that exists mainly for show. I could go on. The way I understand it, other art and design students may have less options open to them because there are quite the few art courses where you’re basically just an art student without much transferable skills. And from what I hear from my course’s program director, there are students from other courses who complain that they don’t have what we game design students have.

In our course, we’re the black sheep of arts courses probably because what we are working on is not purely artistic and passive media, we are very much learning how to make entertainment. Video games are not a purely artistic medium, like a painting, a sculpture or generally anything passive. Video games are a medium of entertainment fundamentally defined by interactivity and whose primary goal is not artistic consumption but simple enjoyment by a player. There is certainly artistic and intellectual merit that can be found in video games, but it’s important realize that fun and entertainment – and functionality I might add –  come first when designing the game. In other words, we’re an art and design course that isn’t purely about making “art”, so we’re looked upon a little differently by people of other art and design courses. Again, at least that’s going from the program director. And I’ll tell you what, I am glad and also pretty lucky to be studying under the tutelage of lecturers at my university who understand video games as they are and clearly appreciate the medium accordingly. Going back to Gamergate, it seems that other academics did not understand this, and wanted video games to serve a role that it might not need to serve by turning it into a more “artistic” or even social medium. It should come as no surprise that these academics were rejected by actual gamers. But for this, they have been vilified by those same academics and their allies in the mainstream media.

To me, it’s telling that games and game design students have had this reputation of being the black sheep in culture, even as video games are already accepted in the mainstream and have been for years now. It’s also telling that video games give people what they might want in a very powerful way, and in turn provide happiness and entertainment to people in a powerful and direct way. It just feels like there are individuals and interests who are very much against such a thing.

Feminism is ridiculous

Let’s set something straight first. I’m not against gender equality, I’m against feminism as an ideology, which doesn’t actually stand for gender equality.

My immediate first problem with feminism is their vilification of pornography. They think it’s inherently violent, espouses male superiority, glorifies sexual abuse, portrays women as disgusting, portrays sexual violence as normal, harms and commodifies women, and is anything other than fantasy. This is easily proven nonsense if you look at it from a rational perspective. Also, I take it feminists have never heard of pornography that featured men performing sexual acts on each other rather than women.

Second, feminism bastardizes paganism. Personally, I find feminist-oriented paganism to be very repulsive. It makes paganism far too feminine, and places too much emphasis of the goddess or divine female principle. Some feminists even claim that matriarchal religion was the original religion until patriarchy came along. Such a claim is nonsense if you consider that in the old days, male and female were sacred. In the past, both male and female deities, and the divine principles of male and female, were honored, so the idea of an ancient matriarchal religion being the original religion is stupid.

Third, it enforces heinous false gender stereotypes. In the feminist worldview, men are evil creatures and their ways are based on domination, coercion, cruelty, and aggression, and so is their sexuality. This is complete crap. Those traits can exist, not just in men, but in women too, but that is only one side of human nature. Feminists also completely ignore how shallow, competitive, and cruel women can be. Both genders are selfish and self-oriented, that is human nature.

Fourth, as I said before, they don’t actually value gender equality. They’re only interested in “tearing down the patriarchy”, and value the superiority of the female gender over the male gender. Anyone who calls that equality is a fucking lunatic. This in turn makes them hypocrites, since they often speak of inequality against women.

And lastly, feminism is out to turn women into victims, even if they aren’t. In the feminist worldview, women are victims, so the ideology of feminism seeks to make women feel as victims, and men as ogres. Feminism claims to be for strong, independent women, but in reality it is all about how women are supposedly victims of men.

To sum it all up, feminism is just another gender tyranny that seeks to demean men and promote sexism, and it makes me sick.