We’re getting back to basics as we use our 101st episode to review some Satanism 101 — with the benefit of a few years’ extra perspective.









Simone 0:00
Welcome to Black Mass Appeal, a podcast that brings modern Satanism to the masses. Today on Black Mass Appeal, we’re getting back to basics as we use our 101st episode to review some Satanism 101, with the benefit of a few years extra perspective. Also, Satanic Bay Area is getting ready again to count our blessings. And in the news, a priest is having some textbook issues with the Devil. Joining me today I’ve got Daniel.

Daniel 0:05
Hi, my name is Daniel. I’m an organizer for Satanic Bay Area and I’m a member of the Satanic Temple, and this is the first time I’ve ever had to repeat a class in my life. I don’t know what this is gonna be like. *Simone chuckles*

Simone 0:25
Also joining me is Tabitha.

Tabitha 0:27
Hey, this is Tabitha. I’m an administrator for Satanic Bay Area and I had to take algebra in summer school one time. Math is hard.

Simone 0:33
Yeah, I’m there but the grace of Satan go I. *Tabitha chuckles* Except I just spent my summers locked away in nerdy debate camp, so that was kind of by choice, which I don’t know what that says about me. Anyways, my name is Simone. I am an administrator for Satanic Bay Area and I already told my little story, so. Black Mass Appeal is a product of Satanic Bay Area and it is not associated with any other Satanic groups. This is a podcast for Satanists to discuss modern Satanism, its history, left leaning political activism, and how Satanism relates to current events and pop culture, or for people who want to learn more about modern Satanism, whether you’re a newbie or already involved in Satanic groups. And speaking of Satanic groups, what has Satanic Bay Area been up to lately, guys?

Daniel 1:06
Well, it’s summer once again, in case you hadn’t noticed somehow.

Simone 1:09
Ugh. It’s so hot. *Tabitha groans and Simone laughs*

Daniel 1:10
And that means this time we are getting ready for Pazuzu’s Blessing, one of our- I guess we can’t call it a tradition because we’ve only been able to do it once. We wanted to do it again last year, but we had to cancel, so it’ll be a tradition after this. After we repeat it from its 2019 premier. Pazuzu’s Blessing is one of our favorite black mass ritual gatherings, and we are holding it’s August 1, Sunday at Ocean View park in Albany, California. Albany is right there on the border with Berkeley, for those of you who can’t quite place where Albany, California might be. Same place we were a couple of years ago, actually, we figured it worked so well the first time, why not again.

Simone 1:31
Yeah, we’ve mentioned on the show before that, kind of, since we’re a newish organization and we’re still figuring out some things, we have these rituals that we’ve, kind of, adopted as being regular traditional rituals for our group, but we’ve only done them once before. *Tabitha giggles* And Pazuzu’s Blessings is one of those, because we had it in 2019 and it was *so* much fun. Really good turnout; really good time and we, of course, wanted to do it again in 2020, but, you know. So, even though this will only be our second time around doing it, it feels like an older tradition and we’ve been looking forward to it so, for so long. So yeah, very excited.

Simone 2:50
Tabitha, you wanna fill people in on what Pazuzu’s Blessing consists of if they were not listening in 2019?

Tabitha 3:10
Well, most of Pazuzu’s Blessing is us just talking about how awesome we are, which is, like, pretty exciting. I feel like, I feel like a lot of people need an excuse to be like, ‘hey, this is the thing I did and it was really good,’ and this is a perfect excuse for that. So, we get up there, we have a little bit of a ritual, or a little sermon sort of thing. People get up and say, ‘hey! This is what I did this year that I’m really proud of,’ and then we all hail them, and then they get a flower crown, and then at the end of it, we throw flowers all over the place. Did we throw flowers all over the place? *laughs*

Daniel 3:40
I feel like there were flowers all over the place last time; that can’t just have been my imagination. Yes, Pazuzu’s Blessing is an opportunity for us to acknowledge and celebrate personal milestones in our own lives. Sometimes, those can be things that are very big and very obvious. Some people are starting families, some people are starting new careers, some people are starting school or finishing school, or have some great projects that they have had in mind for a long time that they are finishing or nearing the end of, or just have something, have some really remarkable way their life has changed. Other people, you know, might have some more quiet and personal goals that they have hit, maybe just a really profound decision that they’ve come to, maybe something that they have resolved to do many times in their lives and only recently succeeded, or maybe they are resolving to do it now for the first time, maybe there is something that they have in the past really wanted, but have lacked the opportunity to do and so are embarking on that now. And that is really what Pazuzu’s Blessing is all about. We originally conceived of it as a counterbalance to the remembrance ritual we did in 2019, which is sort of a mourning occasion. This was instead a celebratory occasion, so we wanted to balance that out a little bit, and yeah, like Simone said, I feel like this one was a hit for us the first time around so fingers inverted crossed that we’re gonna pull it off again this time. Anyway, once again, mark your calendars. Sunday, August 1. Oceanview park in Albany. You can find details on Facebook, on our Google Calendar. Check out our other social medias as well, where we will be advertising, and, you know, if you are a Bay Area local and you’ve been looking for an opportunity to come meet some cool Satan-y people, this might be a good one. And of course, if you have joined us before, we are always happy to see you again.

Simone 5:24
Yeah, I always look forward to uh. ‘Me! Fuck Yeah!’ Because that’s kind of the tone of the event. *laughter*

Daniel 5:31
It’s a good vibe, yeah.

Tabitha 5:33
Also, last month, we made flower crowns for it, which is another, like, crafting event that I like a lot. It’s, it’s fun because I feel like anyone can really do it. Like, it’s not, it’s not one of those things where like, ‘oh, well, I’m not good at cross stitch or I’m not good at etc. Whatever you’re working on.’ This is just like, No. You just put flowers on some wire. *Simone chuckles* Put the wire together and make sure it’s roundish, and then you’re good. *laughter* So- and also, they look so good on people. We had such beautiful photos from the last one.

Simone 6:03
Everyone looks good in a flower crown.

Tabitha 6:05
It’s true.

Daniel 6:06
And speaking of ‘me, fuck yeah!’ *Simone laughs* I think- you know one of my favorite parts of our show? When listeners say cool stuff about us.

Tabitha 6:14

Daniel 6:14
And I think we’ve got some of that lined up for you right now, don’t we?

Simone 6:17
Indeed. So, time for listener reviews. And- said before- listener reviews, we appreciate anyone taking time to leave a review, no matter where it is. Traditionally, we’ve been reading from Apple Podcasts, but they- whoo! Man, from what I’ve heard, they have gone completely down the toilet in terms of that app’s usability, but people can still leave reviews there if it’s somewhat difficult. We’re also looking at Podchaser for people leaving reviews. And then if you feel that you’ve left it someplace where we might not see it, or we, it was sometime in the past and we didn’t see it, drop us an email! We just love to hear the feedback, good, bad, anything in between, and so now we’ve got a couple of new reviews to read. This one comes from Vanilla Knux, who says “Sooo informative- As a baby Satanist, this podcast has been a great resource. I highly recommend to anyone curious about Satanism.”

Tabitha 6:41
Well, we did it. We can just pack this thing up. *laughter*

Simone 7:13
*laughing* Yeah. I do have to wonder- like, the people who are just curious about Satanism. They have had no exposure. Maybe they saw the documentary Hail Satan; maybe they saw something in the news and then they stumble upon us. I wonder how it goes for folks who have very, very, very little exposure to actual modern Satanism, and then see what us dorks are up to. *Tabitha chuckles*

Daniel 7:42
Yeah, it’s actually kind of a big problem. People hear about Satanism in the news, maybe, or maybe they know somebody who knows somebody who knows some Satanists, but there are not a whole lot of easy, accessible, straightforward resources that really educate you on this topic. Simone mentioned the documentary Hail Satan. That is one of them; that is good, although it’s not as comprehensive as we have been over, say, 100 episodes. Although, to be fair, they have like, what, 90 minutes to work with, so. And then, what else is there? I think- I would have assumed that a lot of people would go read the Satanic Bible-

Simone 8:11

Daniel 8:12
But even times, a lot of times people don’t even think to do that. Which, you know, in itself is a resource that is only going to tell you a little of the story about modern Satanism-

Tabitha 8:19
Yeah, I feel like that’s a boon. *laughs* Do not read it!

Daniel 8:21
-in the 21st century- *more laughter*

Simone 8:22
I feel like, I feel like it all depends on what your method of entry is. Like, do you have a crazy aunt who lived in San Francisco in the 60s and 70s and so you know a little bit about Anton Levey? Well then, maybe you’ll go that way. Maybe you stumbled across the documentary Hail Satan on Hulu, so maybe you go through TST. Maybe you are just super into, you know, Christopher Lee Hammer films where he’s either *laughing* a Satanist or someone fighting a Satanist. Well, I don’t really know where you go from there, other than watching more Christopher Lee films, which I *Tabitha laughs* advocate for. But, however folks find us, I’m just always interested to know what their impressions were about three real people really talking about really running as a Satanic community and also how much we love our cats. I don’t know. *Tabitha laughs again*

Daniel 9:12
The few books that are published about Satanism every year are either academic works-

Simone 9:16
Mmhmm, yeah.

Daniel 9:16
-which can be very good, but they can also be opaque and difficult to find-

Tabitha 9:19
Or very dryyy.

Daniel 9:20
Yeah, depending on, depending on the writer. Or, they are these kind of self-published books by first-time Satanist authors. Some of which are good-

Simone 9:28

Daniel 9:29
-and some of which are of varying quality.

Tabitha 9:32

Daniel 9:33
So there’s not really a lot of go-to’s. [It] would be nice if there was an accessible, comprehensive overview of the topic that was more readily available to more people. Which is why, for example, we do things like this episode we’re recording right now, which, hopefully, hopefully, will be a good tool for some curiosity-seekers in the future. I will say that Vanilla Knux here says “a good resource for anyone curious about Satanism.” On the other hand, I feel like this is a terrible resource for anyone who was in-curious about Satanism. *Simone laughs* Can you imagine there’s, like, some- one really frustrated listener, like, ‘man, when are these guys gonna get off this? I’ve been with the show for a long time. I feel- I assumed they were gonna move on at some point.” *laughter*

Simone 10:12
Well, we’ve known from some other previous reviews that were quite irritated at our left-iness, that not everyone reads or listens to that beginning, kind of, description, logline, disclaimer, *chuckling* about what this show is about, so I would not be surprised if someone has stumbled across us going, you know, ‘when are they going to talk about, you know, nature documentaries. That’s what I’m here for.’ *Tabitha chuckles* All right. Well, our next review comes from Captain Spastic who says, You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll actually learn something! Few podcasts keep my interest for more than a few episodes. These hosts are not patronizing, they’re intelligent, fun, and happy to involve all, using their own learning. Eight thumbs up, says Cthulhu.”

Tabitha 11:03
Wow, that’s some deep praise.

Simone 11:07
Whomp, whomp.

Tabitha 11:07
Booo. *laughs*

Simone 11:10
Well, I guess, so. Wait. So Cthulhu is humanoid. He’s got two arms, implying, you know, two hands and two thumbs, and then he’s got the tentacles on his face, so it’s still only really be two thumbs up. Unless he’s got the extra somewhere?

Tabitha 11:29
I don’t know. I mean, maybe- Yeah, maybe he’s hiding some of them. We don’t know. He’s asleep. *laughter*

Daniel 11:36
We are making some very humano-centric assumptions about Cthulhu and how he expresses approval here.

Simone 11:42
That’s true. Maybe, maybe Cthulhu expresses his approval by not murdering us all.

Tabitha 11:48

Simone 11:49
In which case we’re doing pretty good.

Tabitha 11:50

Daniel 11:51
So far, yeah. *Simone laughs*

Tabitha 11:52
That was us-

Tabitha 11:53
And then a foot stomps through the roof, like the- *Tabitha laughs* or a hand reaches up like the end of-spoilers- Cabin in the Woods. Anyway,

Daniel 12:00
Great movie. By the way-

Tabitha 12:01
I thought you were gonna say foot like, like Monty Python, you know *Simone chuckles* Like, *sings* dun dun dun. *fart noise* *laughter*

Daniel 12:07
By the way, I have to say it is very generous of Captain Spastic to say that I’m not patronizing. I think we all know that’s a lie. Although, Satan is the Prince of Lies, so that is appropriate. *laughter*

Simone 12:17
I don’t know, I just- I feel like on this show, we, I mean, try to be really real and not condescending, but I know that, in our hearts, we all can be really condescending about some things.

Tabitha 12:31

Simone 12:31
Like, don’t talk to me about, you know, action films, especially Die Hard because I will take a very irritating tone of voice *Tabitha chuckles* and then bore you with a list of facts. So here, here, I’m trying to be real, but it’s not to say we couldn’t be patronizing.

Tabitha 12:47
It is very possible. *Simone laughs*

Daniel 12:49
On the subject to patrons!

Simone 12:51

Tabitha 12:52

Simone 12:52
Very good transition.

Tabitha 12:54

Simone 12:55
Well, so we have our Patreon and Patreon is the sole means by which we financially support this show and then also the works of Satanic Bay Area, so if you like what we’re doing, if you could just throw us a buck and we appreciate the contributions of every single person and we’ve got a new set of contributors to thank. So the first up, we have Terrence Nash, and then in the Mark of the Beast Club, which are the folks who are contributing $6.66 per month, we’ve got TJ Currie, Andrew Fox, and Toshiioo!

Tabitha 13:32

Simone 13:32
I said it like that because there’s a lot of vowels at the end. Like, there’s, like, two I’s and two O’s. Also I liked seeing it that way.

Tabitha 13:39
Toshiioooooooooo. *Simone laughs* Ooooooooo! *laughter*

Daniel 13:47
It’s the little things.

Simone 13:48
Yeah, we’re recording in person again and so, we all just kind of looked at Tabitha and she…

Tabitha 13:52
Look! *laughter* I don’t know what you want from me other than ‘ooooooooh!’

Simone 13:57
No, that’s what I want from you.

Simone 13:58
Yayy! Oh, good!

Simone 13:58
Like, that was, that was right on.

Tabitha 13:59
Wait! Oh.

Daniel 14:00
*chuckling* That was your cue.

Tabitha 14:01
I nailed it! Yes! *Simone laughs*

Daniel 14:04
We’ve got, we’ve got a lot of ‘yes and’ improv rule around here, I feel like. *Simone laughs*

Tabitha 14:08

Daniel 14:10
Speaking of ‘yes and’s’ Yes, if you back us on Patreon, you are helping produce the show *and* you get a few extra rewards. For example, I just put out another episode of Conspiracy Weary, our backers-only bonus show where you get to hear me talk about the strangest anti-Satanist sentiments floating around the internet. On this most recent one, I devised a drinking game around the conspiracy-themed subreddit, which was a terrible idea. *Simone laughs* Definitely don’t do that ever in your life, but why would you? Why would I? Why did I? You’ll have to listen to find out. Also, as we record this, we are taking nominations over, from the backers for themes for upcoming Black Mass Appeal episodes. Which, in a couple of weeks, the backers will be able to vote on which of those will actually manifest into real shows down the line. You control our dark and attributable destinies. We are completely at your mercy *Simone laughs* in this one limited capacity.

Simone 15:09

Daniel 15:10
Nevertheless, I feel like it’s quite a lot of power to wield over us, actually.

Tabitha 15:12

Daniel 15:13
Especially because we have had some great backers-selected episodes in the past. If you go back to- what did we do most recently? We did the Highgate Vampire-

Simone 15:20
Yep, that was popular.

Daniel 15:21
That was a big winner on the poll. What were the other shows that we did after that?

Simone 15:26
You’ll have to excuse us- we’ve done so many of these shows now *laughs* and also, we’ve got pandemic brain, so I can hardly remember what we did *laughing again* in the last couple episodes sometimes. But, you know, so for, for Black Mass Appeal, we three, we get together, we talk about topics that we’d like to cover, maybe some things come up in the news that’s made something a little bit more timely, maybe it’s an interesting- topic that’s always interested us and we just haven’t gotten to it yet. So we have, kind of, a bank of ideas, but we also love hearing what our listeners want to hear more of, and so this is an opportunity for folks to nominate and vote the topics that they’re interested in and it’s, you know, led to some really cool and fun shows.

Daniel 16:07
So, if you have been listening and said to yourself, ‘man, I like this show. What’s a good timely opportunity to help get in on making this happen every month?’ This. This is a good opportunity. Go over to Patreon, pledge any amount per month, you too will be able to pitch some show ideas and vote on the poll when it comes up in a little bit and then reap the dark fruits *chuckling* of your labor. Later in the summer and fall, I think, is when we’ll probably be getting to those shows. And, of course, we want to give a shout-out. Thank you very much to TJ Currie, Andrew Fox, Toshiioooooo, Terrence Nash, and everyone else who backs us on Patreon. Everyone who ever has backed us on Patreon and, you know, even if you haven’t backed us on Patreon, thanks very much for listening to the show. That helps, too. That’s the form of support that means the most because otherwise, we would just be three weirdos in a small, sweaty room talking into microphones for no reason. *laughter*

Tabitha 16:58
Uhh, so hot.

Simone 16:59
Four weirdos! There’s Jesse right here.

Daniel 17:00
Well, yeah, but he ain’t saying shit. *Tabitha laughs*

Simone 17:03
Damn it. Okay. I was trying to goad him. All right, well, let’s go ahead- Not goat him, goad him. *Tabitha does her weirdly realistic goat sounds, Jesse does, too?* *Daniel laughs* We’re gonna take a break and we will come back with the news.

Black Mass Appeal 17:16
*interlude music*


Tabitha 17:16
*old-timey breaking news doots*

Simone 17:33
So that means it’s, it’s time for the news.?

Tabitha 17:36
*in a silly voice* It’s time for the news!

Simone 17:39
The doots, the time for the doots is the time for the news?

Tabitha 17:41
Yes, doot news time. It’s new, new news dootin.’ *laughter*

Simone 17:49
Okay, um, well, today we are unfortunately reading from the New York Post. I say unfortunately because it’s a bit of a rag but it’s a- well, you’ll see why we got our eyes caught by this, this article here. “US priest: Exorcisms on the rise as demons now haunt victims by text.” I mean, how can we pass up that one? “Battling demonic forces is regular duty for Monsignor Rossetti, a Catholic priest who worked in two parishes in the Diocese of Syracuse for five years. Now based in the Washington DC diocese, he and his team perform up to 20 exorcisms each week, liberating people- and homes- from what he calls ‘demonic and satanic evil.’ And, the 70-year-old told The Post, exorcisms have ‘grown exponentially’ in the past decade or so. The United States, wracked by discord and a moral crisis is ‘demonically oppressed. I think this is going to get much worse before it gets better,’ he said…Rossetti alleges he’s seen demons at work: doors banging, TVs turning on and off spontaneously, dogs howling uncontrollably, victims communicating in ancient languages they never learned- even spewing foreign objects like nuts and bolts.” Dogs and cats living together. Total chaos! *Tabitha cackling louder and louder* “‘There are stunning things that happen that are not humanly possible,’ he said…And then there was the young woman who reached out to him after an upside-down cross appeared ‘burned’ into her shoulder. At the same time, her dad was receiving ‘snarky’ text messages from demons. *Tabitha cackling* ‘The texts were a typical demonic rant: She belongs to us,’ Rossetti said. Rossetti said the messages appeared to come from the phone number of the woman. Upon careful investigation, however, Rossetti insisted there was no evidence of her having sent the messages.”

Daniel 19:51
Wait a second! *laughter*

Simone 19:55
You know, like, a priest doing an exorcism with a background in, like, IT- *Tabitha laughs* I wonder how far they would get.” The woman had more to worry about than text from Hell, though.” I’ve gotten texts from Hell; they’re called texts for my ex.

Tabitha 20:12

Simone 20:13
“‘As a child, the father dedicated her to Satan,’ Rossetti said. ‘If someone is perverted enough to join a satanic cult to begin with, then it’s not a stretch to imagine them offering their children to their ‘god…’ Rossetti was appointed a diocesan exorcist by his bishop in Washington. By his telling, ‘the Blessed Virgin Mary picked me for the job.’ He trained in Rome and in the US under a senior exorcist and has been involved in many hundreds of exorcisms since 1999…The Monsignor admitted that many who think they are ‘possessed’ or ‘oppressed’ by demons are, in fact, suffering mental illness. But he’s seen enough to believe.” Yeah, yeah, all this hard evidence like dogs barking a lot because they never, they never do that.

Tabitha 20:59

Simone 21:00
Tabitha would not know anything about dogs barking.

Tabitha 21:03
*sighs* My, the dog next door definitely doesn’t bark if a person walks by, or a dog walks by, or a car goes by, or a bird- *chuckles*

Simone 21:09
Does that, does that dog tell you- is his name Sam? Does he tell you to do things?

Tabitha 21:14
No, his name is Simba. *laughs* [editor’s note: Simba is a sweet boy, just a loud boy!]

Simone 21:17
Ok. Alright. Just gotta double-check. And then, you know, the TV’s turning off and on. I believe there’s, you know, buttons and remote controls *Tabitha mmhmm’s* that can be, you know, possibly responsible for that or-

Tabitha 21:26
Or even, like, sleep modes and stuff that TVs have.

Simone 21:29
Oh my god, you know what I just put together? My Roomba is possessed by a demon.

Tabitha 21:35
Oh shit! *Simone laughs* Did you ask its name? *laughs*

Simone 21:39
It just calls itself Roomba.

Tabitha 21:40
*disappointed tone* Oh.

Simone 21:41
So, yeah. It is supposed to take itself to with little dock when it’s done doing its thing, and multiple times now, it has taken itself to its dock and then removed itself from its dock and gone about vacuuming a second time without being told, so clearly, clearly, I need an exorcist to, to pull the demons and, hopefully, maybe empty the dustbin. *Tabitha chuckles* Because that’s annoying to do it all the time.

Tabitha 22:08
Or maybe an electrician. One of the two.

Simone 22:10
Yeah, so mmm. Some hard evidence no one can dispute.

Tabitha 22:14

Daniel 22:15
Yeah, like, doors opening, TVs turning on, dogs barking. These are all just elements of our everyday world *Simone laughs* operating as they’re supposed to. The other big sells [?] and, of course, you hear these all the time in these quote, unquote exorcist stories. Look, I have seen a number of exorcisms, at this point- not in person, but, you know, recorded exorcisms. They’re very boring. They’re very- there’s nothing remarkable going on in any of them, and the stories always outstrip the experience. The ones you get here are people speaking languages they couldn’t possibly know. I gotta tell you, man, if somebody is speaking Latin to you, it means they know Latin. What- this really just means that you have a failure of imagination to conceive of how they know Latin. But case in point, I just read a book called “Possessed,” which was about the exorcism of Robbie Doe in 1949. That exorcism being the case that later inspired the writing of The Exorcist, and indeed, Robbie spoke Latin. But as one of the many priests who conducted those many exorcisms on him pointed out, he was just repeating the Latin phrases that the priests were saying. They’d been praying over him in Latin for weeks. Of course, he learned some Latin. *Simone laughs* Come on, this isn’t that hard. And then finally, the trick of regurgitating objects. That’s a stage trick; people can do that. I couldn’t do that, but I could learn to do tha and apparently then get a free exorcism out of the deal. *laughter* But in any case, these attention-seeking exorcists are always planting stories like this incredulous- publications like the New York Post. Here, obviously, the only reason we bothered to bring this up is the text messages.

Simone 23:37

Daniel 23:38
You gotta have a gimmick. You gotta have a gimmick if you’re gonna want to get some attention these days as an exorcist. What was that bit about her, her dad dedicated her to Satan?

Simone 23:47
Yeah, that was really- so- just some like random-

Daniel 23:51
And I- who, who wrote this story? Can we get some follow up questions on that, please? *Tabitha laughs*

Simone 23:54
Yeah, so the, the woman is, she thinks that she’s possessed, she’s dealing with some shit and then the dad is also getting weird texts that look like it’s from his daughter, but the priest says that there’s no evidence that it’s from the daug- you can delete that! Like, you could just go on your phone and delete your sent messages. This is not hard.

Tabitha 24:14

Daniel 24:15
Yeah, again, it’s not that hard- If you get a text message from a certain phone, it’s probably that person who was sending you that message. This is not that difficult. It’s also very easy to fake where messages come from.

Simone 24:24
Yeah, to spoof. I mean-

Daniel 24:26
But, that doesn’t mean the Devil is doing it either. It probably just means somebody’s talking with you, especially if they hear that you think you’re possessed. That’s probably- there are probably some unkind people who might take advantage of that. *chuckles*

Simone 24:36
Yeah, but still, just, like- the, so- the, the father and the daughter are both going through some shit and priest is just, like, ‘oh, yeah, it’s because the father dedicated his daughter to Satan.’ Wait. I’m sorry, what?

Tabitha 24:46
The wha-? When did- when?

Simone 24:47
When- Who said that?

Tabitha 24:48
How? Where?

Simone 24:46
Are you assuming? Are you just assuming that you must, he must have done it in the past because certainly, no other explanation would, would suffice.

Tabitha 24:52
You know, why? I have, I have many questions.

Simone 25:02
How does the dad feel about this accusation? *laughter*

Daniel 25:04
I assume this is a story the family tells- something we have discussed before is that claiming to be a former, reformed Satanist is a good way to get attention for yourself.

Simone 25:11

Tabitha 25:12
Mmhmm. mmhmm.

Daniel 25:13
This is the more of the kind of thing I would expect if you dedicated your firstborn to Verizon, which is why you have to read those terms and conditions very carefully before you check the little box. *laughter*

Simone 25:20
it’s not worth the iPhone upgrade!

Tabitha 25:22
I just love the idea of a demon, like, down in Hell, like, ‘okay, I gotta go up to the mountain to get cell service. I gotta fuck with this guy really quick.’ *Daniel cackles*

Simone 25:30
What emojis do you think that the demon was using? *Tabitha cackles*

Tabitha 25:33
The fucking monkeys.

Simone 25:35
Oh, yeah,

Tabitha 25:36
The ‘hear no evil’ monkeys.

Simone 25:37
Or, or I’ve learned recently- I mean, we’re all about the same age. We are elder millennials. I have learned that the children do not use emojis and they do not use reaction gifs. These are old and cringeworthy. I don’t know what they use instead. Probably something on Tik Tok that I don’t understand.

Tabitha 25:56
I will use reaction gifs until I die. They are my favorite. *chuckles*

Simone 26:00
They are so perfect- they encapsulate entire emotions and reactions. Anyway-

Tabitha 26:04
Also, I don’t give a shit what the next generation thinks and *stage whisper* neither should you.

Simone 26:09
*chucking* Yeah.

Tabitha 26:09
*continuing to stage whisper* Relax!

Simone 26:10
But what I want to know- what, what tactic is the demon taking?

Tabitha 26:15

Simone 26:15
Is it-

Tabitha 26:16
Is the demon an elder millennial? *laughing* Is what you’re asking.

Simone 26:20
The demon is an Eldritch millennial.

Tabitha 26:21

Simone 26:23
I’m just now imagining demons doing Tic Tok dances as a means of cursing and possessing people. *Tabitha laughs*

Daniel 26:31
You know, actually, Tabitha’s on to something here, talking about how demons go to get cell service. Something I didn’t mention on our history of Hell episode. That was what? I think show number 97. The idea that demons live in Hell is relatively new *Tabitha hmm’s* and not that well established. Originally, the idea is that demons live in the upper atmosphere, under heaven, but above Earth. That’s why in some of the New Testament, they referred to Satan as the prince of the powers of the air. *Simone mmhmm’s* So clearly, demons are cellphone satellites!

Black Mass Appeal 27:04
*excited gasping and oh’ing*

Daniel 27:04
They’re sending the texts!

Simone 27:06
And that’s why when you get vaccinated and you get your 5g chip, it’s coming from the Devil!

Tabitha 27:11

Daniel 27:11
It’s all coming together.

Tabitha 27:13

Simone 27:13
Oh my- oh, wow!

Daniel 27:14
You gotta bounce your text messages off of a demon and if he wants to fuck with it, he’s got every opportunity.

Simone 27:18
Oh, this is very good.

Daniel 27:21
See, look, we did all of the legwork for this priest and he’s not even going to thank us. *laughter*

Tabitha 27:26
This is gonna come out as a conspiracy theory. You’re gonna do one of your episodes be, like, guess what happened? Somebody listened to our show and now it’s a thing.

Daniel 27:32
Ah, yeah, you gotta be careful what you put on the internet. I will say, I prefer when the Devil texts because last time he left a voicemail, hundreds of scorpions came out of my phone and that was very inconvenient. *Tabitha chuckles*

Simone 27:41
You know, and also, there’s nothing more demonic than just trying to FaceTime someone without warning them first. So rude. [so true. i’m never prepared.]

Tabitha 27:49

Simone 27:49
So unacceptable. Clearly the work of the Devil.

Tabitha 27:52
Also, on the flip side of that is accidentally starting a FaceTime with people and they’re like, ‘oh!’ and they get ready and then you’re, like, ‘help! I didn’t mean to. Help!’ *laughter*

Daniel 28:01
In all seriousness, though, if you ever start to suspect that you are the victim of demonic oppression, or possession, you’re not and you should talk to a doctor. Not the doctor your exorcist sends you to.

Simone 28:13

Daniel 28:13
Get a better doctor. Seriously. *Simone chuckles*

Simone 28:18
All right, well, we’re gonna go ahead. We’re gonna take a break and we’re gonna come back with the beginnings. Satanism 101, all over again.

Black Mass Appeal 28:37
*Maxine Nightengale’s Right Back Where We Started From plays*


Simone 28:47
It’s time to repeat ourselves as 100 episodes of Black Mass Appeal have brought us right back to where we started. Four years ago, we tried to give listeners the very basics of modern Satanism in our first episode. But, since Satanism is always a learning experience, we’ve since come into a much broader and more diverse understanding of our Luciferian lifestyles. So, today, we’re getting a do-over and presenting Satanism 101, Part Two.

Tabitha 29:15
The revenge.

Simone 29:16
*chuckling* Son of Satanism. *Tabitha laughs* No, that’s a different episode.

Tabitha 29:20
This time it’s personal. *Simone laughs*

Simone 29:22
You know, it’s funny, so over four years ago, we all gathered in Tabitha’s Satan shed, *Tabitha chuckles* which now hosts a beautiful, gigantic alter.

Tabitha 29:31
That’s true.

Simone 29:32
And we had, like, our little microphones that we’d scrounged up and our- my little laptop in the center and we recorded 57 minutes of, kind of echoey, but not bad material, where we were establishing this show, and who we are, and what we believe in. And so, we know that not all of our listeners have gone back and listened to the previous episodes and I don’t blame you, so we thought we, kind, of just do, like, a reset. Like, reintroduce ourselves, reintroduce what it is that we’re doing here.

Tabitha 30:03
And this time, I won’t be high on painkillers. Which is good because last time I was extremely high on painkillers. *laughs*

Simone 30:10
Well, you didn’t bring enough for the class, so.

Tabitha 30:12
Yeah, sorry.

Simone 30:13
And we, we don’t have grapes. We had grapes for, like, the first three episodes that we recorded.

Tabitha 30:18
*laughing* Oh, right? We talked about those grapes a lot.

Simone 30:20
I know.

Daniel 30:22
Those were prescription painkillers, for the record.

Tabitha 30:24
Yes! Yes, it was. Yeah. It was some, I had-

Simone 30:26
For a hot second, I thought you’re gonna say they were prescription grapes! *laughter*

Tabitha 30:29
They were also prescription grapes. They were from my mom. It was- not the painkillers. *laughs* The grapes!

Simone 30:35
Each, each grape had a tiny painkiller, like, shoved into it. *laughter*

Tabitha 30:40
Oh, no. Oof, that was a- it’s funny, because, like, thinking back on that time- man, I was going through a real rough patch. It was my back that was my problem, so, now you know. *laughs*

Daniel 30:50
I would say that just like the show has had pretty much the same structure and pretty much the same aims and values the entire time, but now we are, perhaps, a little bit better at communicating those and making the audience aware of, say, the way the show is put together. Same thing, here, I would say that my attitudes and opinions about Satanism are largely what they were four years ago, but now I have just done a better job of refining them and learning to communicate them. So, even if you have been with us ever since that very first show- by the way, thank you very much for sticking it out. We really appreciate your support particularly. Even if, I think then this will still probably be a useful and enlightening episode for you.

Simone 31:31
Well, let’s get started with the start and just sort of talk about, briefly, who we are, who the- that’s one of the things I’ve always, you know, when talking to people about podcasting, you have to figure out who are you and why the fuck should people care?

Tabitha 31:47

Simone 31:47
Why the fuck should people listen to what it is that you’re saying? Why do people care about what Daniel, Tabitha, and Simone have to say? Well, in general, we run a Satanic community in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s pretty populous. We’ve got a lot of really great people. We’ve been doing this for some years now. We’ve been very practiced at it because we do a lot with it, including this show. And so, while you can take that or leave it, one of the reasons for doing this show is to impart that experience. Let’s start with Daniel. *chuckling* Who are you and what are your general Satanic beliefs?

Daniel 32:26
Hi, my name is Daniel Walker. I am an organizer for Satanic Bay Area, a group that we founded back in 2014-15, excuse me. We were called twi- San Francisco for a little while there, and people ask you questions like, what is Satanism? What does that mean? What do Satanists believe? And, as we’ll get to some of the sources we’re gonna discuss in a little bit, that is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, but when asking for myself, I usually say things that I believe in things like humanism, education, reason, rationalism, feminism, basic human rights, religious freedoms, and pluralism, and I believe that, for hundreds of years, Satan has been used as a metaphor, and a symbol, and a fictional character who represents and communicates all of those values, in art, and in literature, and in popular culture. The Satan that I take personal inspiration from is not identical to, say, the Satan of the Romantics- you can hear about back on, what was that? Episode 75, we did Romantic Satanism? But it is very clearly inspired by that, and I have an awful lot of sources that I will go to refer to that give me a very sound idea of what words like ‘Satan’ mean to me. At the same time, it’s not just that I believe in these values, I also take personal profound inspiration in Satan as a character and as something that pushes me to be a better version of myself. Sometimes people ask if you’re atheists, why do you call yourself Satanists? Why not just call yourself atheistS? And the answer that is, well, I’m not just an atheist. I also really, really love this story, and this aesthetic, and this tradition, and this milieu- is a word we’re going to use a few times in this show. And that really, I think, what makes a person a Satan, a Satanist at the end of the day. There are lots of people in the world who share my same values and are not Satanists, and that’s because they don’t have that, if you’ll pardon the expression, relationship with Satan that I think we all do. *Tabitha chuckles* At the same time, I think all three of us at this table, and everybody listening, has a different idea of who Satan is and what that word means, and that’s by no means unusual. I actually think all religions work that way. I think that when everybody goes to church on Sunday, nobody there is really worshipping the same God and the same Jesus. They might think they are, but I think that they’re wrong and I think that it is actually, as, as was said on our friend, Steven Bradford Long’s blog earlier this year- maybe it was last year, [unitelligible]. In our case, this is a feature, not a bug. It’s actually very empowering to be able to create your own religious iconography, in this way, and to get to do it consciously and intentionally, in a way that serves you instead of, say, a 2000-year-old institution.*chuckling* So, anyway, I could go on about- and I have, at length, but I feel like that’s a lot to start with.

Simone 35:03
Yeah, yeah. Tabitha, what about you?

Tabitha 35:07
Well, geez, take my answer, Daniel! *laughter*

Simone 35:10
I know, I know.

Tabitha 35:12
Hi, my name is Tabitha Slander. I’m an administrator for Satanic Bay Area and I do all of our art, including our amazing logo.

Simone 35:19
It is [an] amazing logo. I’ve got a 3D-printed right over there, so.

Tabitha 35:22
But no, I think the only other thing I’d like to bring up is just, kind of, finding strength within yourself, of realizing that you are good enough and that, and the story of Satan for me, actually, does reflect that quite a bit as just being, like, ‘well, here I am. This is isn’t quite where I expected to be right now, but I’m happy here and I’m glad to be doing it.’ So, basically, just, let’s just copy-paste what Daniel said, but also, meeeeee! *laughs*

Simone 35:54
Put a little hyphen at the bottom, ‘Tabitha Slander’.

Tabitha 35:57
Yes. It was my quote. Cough. *laughs*

Simone 36:01
Wayne Gretzky, Michael Scott. *Tabitha laughs again* Well, so my name is Simone Lasher. I’m also an administrator for Satanic Bay Area, and, again, a lot of what Daniel said, and I think it’s- that’s part of the reason why we three, I think, works so well together. We’re really on the same page about a lot of things. *Tabitha mmhmm’s* But, you know, slight differences, slight different life experiences that brought us here, to this point, and so, for me, you know, I grew up as an atheist, but it kind of always bothered me that atheism tells you, you know, tells the world, the one thing you don’t believe in. It doesn’t really tell you anything else. It can imply- I think a lot of people here ‘atheist’ and infer that you might be, you know, humanists, or liberal, or whatever, but that’s not actually true, especially if you spend more time in the atheist community. You see that it is- there’s a lot of godless people out there and some of them agree with you politically, and some of them don’t, so it’s not that helpful, as a, as a designation. And so, I was always interested in, you know, like, the, the occult and horror movies, and so I had some exposure to the idea of Satanism and looked into a little bit with the Satanic Bible, later heard some talks by Jex Blackmore, and I realized that the Satanism that’s out there, mostly, now, is stuff that I already aligned with. You know, I am a Feminist, pretty hard left-leaning, you know, believe in, you know, being an ally for the LGBTQ-plus community, Black Lives Matter, all the stuff, so that aligned, and then the whole- layering the whole idea of, like, a Satan character on top of it to sort of embody that was really interesting to me. Because, you know, a lot of religions have their figureheads or whatever, but a lot of them seem to think that they’re real. Here, we know that it’s a story. It’s a metaphor; it’s an archetype; it’s, it’s illustrative, you know, and so, it’s given us a guide for the aesthetic, it’s given us a lot of material to read, and digest, and take in. And so, you know, the, the modern amalgam character of Satan, I feel is really representative of a lot of my beliefs, and so it all just kind of clicked right into place.

Daniel 38:24
I actually want to add a couple of things that I was reminded of when Tabitha talked. I think there’s a couple of really critical values that we haven’t mentioned here. A lot of the time when people talk about Satanism, you hear them talk about individualism and the individual, but oftentimes, it’s very elusive what that means. *Simone mmhmm’s* I have started to favor, instead, a word that somebody mentioned on our Instagram last year, where they said ‘selfhood.’

Simone 38:44
Mmm. I like that.

Daniel 38:45
And I really, really love that.

Tabitha 38:47

Daniel 38:47
And that is actually something that’s very hard to find in, not only conventional religion, but in a lot of the institutions of society- don’t necessarily want us to emphasize our own identities and our own rights to identity in a way that is healthy for us and I like to think that Satanism has been a great tool to explore that theme. And also, the idea of choice-

Simone 39:08
Yeah, absolutely.

Tabitha 39:08

Daniel 39:08
-the idea of personal choice, something I harp on quite a bit is this idea that the word ‘heresy’ comes from the word meaning ‘to choose,’ and so, you know, a lot of the times people want us to opt for the choices that have already been made for us, and sometimes those are okay, but we should at least have the option of deciding for ourselves, and I feel like Satan embodies and represents that, as well as another theme that a lot of people talk about the idea of challenging, *collective mmhmm’s* challenging authority, challenging the status quo, even just the basic concept of change, the idea that things should be changed, or at least should be changed- or should be able to change is something that sounds basic, but the more you look at it, you realize it’s actually very, very difficult. It’s something that a lot of the assumptions that we are, make, or are forced to make, are very hostile to.

Simone 39:49
Yeah, you know, we had our Seven Deadly Sins episode quite a while ago, and that was one that really stuck with me because looking at the things that a lot of, you know, Christianity and other religions called sins, are things that I think that could actually be motivators to improve one’s place in life. *Tabitha mmhmm’s* Like, if you see someone with something that you want, you go, ‘oh, well, maybe I should work and get that for myself.’ And it’s been a motivation. Maybe someone has wronged you, and you’re angry, so you work, you know, to overcome that, or- I’m not advocating for, like, stealing other people’s shit or for taking, you know, some vigilante revenge, but these things that are called sins can be used to [improve] your station in life and I realized that they don’t want you to. *chuckles*

Tabitha 40:35

Simone 40:36
They don’t want you to question. They don’t want you to work to, you know, move outside of your, your station. They don’t want you to shake up the system, and I was, like, ‘oohhh. Yeah, no. Satan is definitely the one I want to be with on this one.’

Tabitha 40:51
Right. It’s like the, just the idea of not, like, it’s like the anti-oppression. It’s just the idea that, ‘no, no, like, you don’t. No, you don’t have to do it. Whatever it is, no. It’s fine. It’s fine to be angry.’ It’s okay to feel all of the range of feelings that you have. In fact, you probably should, otherwise it might not be great for you later. Like, you know, some Christians that are feeling very persecuted for no fucking reason. *laughter*

Daniel 41:19
Since we’ve mentioned Satanic Bay Area a few times already, we should probably fill people in on what that is and what that means. Again, even if you’re a longtime listener, it might have been a while since we maybe spelled this out. So Satanic Bay Area is a local, grassroots, Satanist community, based in and around San Francisco that we hel- that we helped found about five or six years ago, and we exist to promote Satanic community, left-leaning political activism, and religious authenticity for all of our members. Like I said, we say we are a local grassroots, I don’t always term nondenominational-

Simone 41:54

Daniel 41:54
but we don’t really care what kind of Satanist you are.

Tabitha 41:57

Daniel 41:57
We care whether you get along with everybody, whether you more or less share our goals, and whether you want to show up and participate and be part of everything that we helped create here, and so we have a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds. A lot of different Satanist religions, and organizations, and philosophies, and also people who are just kind of Satan-curious and even some people who really only kind of identify as Satanist through the work that they do with us, which is actually very exciting to watch.

Simone 42:02
Yeah, I mean, we have people from all different religious backgrounds who have then come to Satanism. We have people who are committed to the idea of Satanism in different ways. You know, we have some folks who, kind of, you know, a little bit of what Daniel was saying earlier, some people who believe very much what we believe, they just, they just don’t want to use the S-word, and that’s fine. They are, like, our great Satanic-adjacent friends and members. And yes, we are an independent group. We are not run by or in collaboration with any other of the larger Satanic denominations that you might be familiar with. We founded ourselves, you know, by ourselves, and we just are, kind of, self-governed. We have kind of a flat hierarchy in terms of, you know, nothing terribly formal in terms of, you know, heads or leaders of anything. It’s just whoever shows up to do the work and we also do some collaborations with our nearby Satanic groups, including TST, including non-affiliated groups, and we just kind of enjoy doing our own thing.

Daniel 43:33
One thing that’s interesting to contrast, maybe with our first episode is, especially in the last six or seven years, we have seen a lot more attention paid to atheistic Satanism in America and a lot more people getting into that, and so, obviously, that’s because of, mostly because of the Satanic Temple. I’m a member of the Satanic Temple and perfer- I identify very closely with their Seven Tenets, and so do a lot of our Satanic Bay Area members, and I know a lot of our Black Mass Appeal listeners. But I also know that just in the last couple of years, we have also seen a growth in new, different independent Satanic organizations that are maybe very similar thematically to the Satanic Temple in many ways, but, for whatever reason, are pursuing their own, different courses and that has actually been very fascinating to watch. I know from observing history that a lot of Satanist religions and organizations are short-lived, but maybe some of these will also endure and become interesting and unique traditions on their own. It’s also been very interesting seeing groups grow that, kind of, have their own experimental identity, that are not 100% sure what sort of ideology and framework they want to follow but still feel very invested in this idea of Satan and Satanism. That has been really, really intriguing to watch, so that is something that has changed, a little bit, maybe, since we recorded the first episode- become much more diverse field of the applications of the S-word. *Simone chuckles* than there were even just a few years ago.

Simone 44:50
We don’t have any, like, formal numbers on, you know, the number of Satanists across the country or in different organizations, but just, you know, from my perspective, standing here, and having been involved very heavily in the last four years or so, it’s been an explosion. I mean, just, you know, big cultural touchstones of, you know, Satanic-themed, you know, pop culture, movies, TV shows, the Hail Satan documentary, you know, TST popping up in the news, some other organizations, Satanic organizations popping up in the news more and more, and so it’s been really interesting to watch this growth and this evolution because it’s not the same, you know, even- we’ve got more people, of course, but then also, the, the groups have changed and evolved, and, you know, the philosophies have been discussed and have been, you know, argued and have become more nuanced, and there’s just so much more out there, like, other Satanic podcasts popping up, more Satanic books being published. It’s been really great to see this growth.

Tabitha 45:54
Also, something that I think needs to be said about us, and probably other groups too, is that, like, the fact that we have just, kind of, catered to our own social groups in the sense that, like, like, I like doing our art night, and that’s something that’s really important to me, and that’s something, I think, is really special about our group. And also- I mean, probably every group is the same way, *Simone chuckles* but, like, we have our own little special things that we do, say, the art nights, or our own rituals, and that sort of stuff, and I think that it makes each group really its own thing, and I think that’s actually what makes us special- is that we have, you know- and it’s not just, like, the big things like rituals, but, like, little projects we do-

Simone 45:58

Tabitha 46:02
-or, like, you know, I like, I like doing the cemetery walks and that stuff, as well, so we have our own- like, when we used to do the salons, which I’m sure we will get back to again.

Simone 46:38
*chuckling* Yeah.

Tabitha 46:39
It’s just our own little, little spins that we put on these things that make it, make it into something that you can be really proud of.

Daniel 46:46
I think the big secret that I’ve clued in on over the last four years, as Tabitha points out, is that self-expression is a fundamental part of religion.

Simone 46:54
Mmhmm. Mmhmm.

Daniel 46:54
And also, *stage whispers* don’t tell anyone, but religion is also a form of self-expression. *Tabitha and Simone laugh*

Simone 47:01
So, that’s a little bit about us and Satanic Bay Area, and, well, you’re listening to a podcast right now that was born out of us and Satanic Bay Area. Just over four years ago, now, we decided- well, Daniel and I, Daniel and I had been interviewed by a college student who was working on an audio project, and he was just interviewing us about, you know, Satanism, and in general and stuff, and so we finished the interview, we went over to a bar, over in [the] Haight, I think, in San Francisco, and we were just talking about, you know- we hadn’t known each other terribly long, but we just had this really interesting and good interview, and we’re talking about Satanic Bay Area, then Satanic San Francisco, and the direction we, kind of, wanted it to go in and how we could do that, and some, you know, potential projects, and I’d always been interested in podcasting. I have a little bit of a background in radio; I have a bunch of friends who are podcasters, and so I always wanted to, you know, have a podcast but didn’t want to do it the wrong way. *chuckles* I didn’t want to have another, you know, dumb comedy podcast where my friends and I just sit around and bullshit. Like, those never turn out well, unless you’re, like, a trained, professional comedian. But the idea of a podcast to talk about Satanism was very interesting because it allowed for longer conversations, more in-depth conversations than you might get just from flitting around on Twitter, or whatever. It would not be a high cost of entry, whereas, like, you know, a video, or a video series, or a movie might be, you know, bit more of a time and money commitment, and we could be consistent with it and release it, you know, consistently over time. And, you know, especially at the beginning, we were a little bit concerned about anonymity, and protecting our identities, and that kind of thing, and certainly, it’s still a concern. It’s a concern if you’re a Satanist in the world *chuckles* so, but it- just all these things sort of lined up that made podcasting a really good idea, a really good fit, and so, you know, we put together our first couple episodes, and they went pretty well! You know, I’m sure you could hear a difference in the sound quality, since, you know, before we had Jesse, helping us out, and also in our just own personal, like, ability to speak and, and research, and write for the show, and so yeah, so that’s how this podcast came to be.

Tabitha 49:33
You know what’s funny, when we started the podcast, it was really, you know, I was on the first couple of episodes because we were doing it in my garage, and, and I didn’t actually think I was going to be on it for that long. I just figured,’ oh, we’ll just do the first couple because we’re doing it in my garage, and then when they get, you know, when they really get things moving then I’ll, you know, I don’t really have to be on it. Because- it’s funny, I have this, kind of, like, seesaw thing where I’m, like, ‘I don’t really want attention, please do not perceive me. I need to be on all the things!’ *laughter*

Simone 50:01
Yeah, yeah.

Tabitha 50:02
Yeah, so that’s, that’s really my takeaway from it, is that I’m really glad that I’m on it. I’m really glad that I get to talk to you all about me, *laughter* but, but also just, like, don’t look at meeeee! *laughs*

Simone 50:17
Okay, now we’ve all told you who we are and why we’re here. Let’s talk about the other beginnings, the beginnings of Satanism, as in, ho the hell is Satan?

Daniel 50:30
Right, so no points for guessing. The root of Satanism is Satan, but-

Simone 50:35

Tabitha 50:35

Daniel 50:36

Tabitha 50:37
I’m leaving. *Simone laughs* The podcast is over!

Daniel 50:40
But who is Satan? What does that word mean? I think all of us feel like we have an idea of this character, but it’s very, very hard to articulate it sometimes and it is especially difficult to trace where this story comes from. And- this is something I’m happy about- back in 2017, if you’d asked me to answer this question, I don’t think I would have given you a comprehensive enough reply that I would be happy about. Now, on the other hand, I am going to give you the really, really fast- is Cliff Notes a dated reference at this point?

Simone 51:09
Yeah, do kids know what cliff notes are?

Tabitha 51:10
I don’t know. What would be the, like, the wiki page?

Daniel 51:13
Well, there were-

Simone 51:13
I guess so.

Tabitha 51:14
The wiki synopsis?

Daniel 51:14
There used to be SparkNotes, but I feel like nobody even uses that anymore.

Tabitha 51:17

Daniel 51:18
In any case, I’m going to give you the bird’s eye view, bat’s eye view-

Tabitha 51:22
You gotta- the down and dirty version. *giggles*

Daniel 51:25
Yes, the down and dirty version of Satan. Are we ready?

Tabitha 51:29

Simone 51:30

Daniel 51:30
All right. So here’s how this works: Satan is a Hebrew word, variously translated as accuser, persecutor, enemy, obstacle, etc. In his book, The Satan, Bible scholar Ryan Stokes argues that Satan specifically means something like ‘attacker’ or ‘executioner’ which is an interesting perspective, feel free to check that book out if you’d like- that’s another thing I noticed about this episode, the bibliography is a lot longer than our first show four years ago. *laughter*

Simone 51:53
So, essentially, that kind of Satan was more of a job role than an individual character.

Daniel 51:59
Well, we’re getting to that.

Simone 52:00

Daniel 52:00
So if you read Jewish scriptures, like Job or Zachariah, we are introduced to a character called Ha-Satan, ‘The Satan.’ Although as Simone likes to point out, they dropped ‘the’ after a few years because?

Simone 52:11
It’s cleaner.

Daniel 52:12
Yes. Now, seemingly-

Simone 52:15
*laughing* Does anyone get that reference? It’s, like, from The Social Network, but it was mostly in the trailer, with Justin Timberlake telling that to the Mark Zuckerberg character. Wow. No one uses Facebook anymore. Anyway. *Daniel laughs*

Tabitha 52:28
I was gonna say, ‘hhaaahhhhh, Satan.’ *laughter*

Daniel 52:32
Now, seemingly, the Satan is an angel and he has the job of persecuting mortals for their sins- these books don’t come out and explain this, it just seems to be the cultural context of it. Presumably, the people who were thought to be the audience for these texts are, already knew this. Although he is adversarial, the Satan is apparently obedient to God’s commands, he acts as an adversary for humankind instead of an enemy to heaven. [if anything here sounds like a direct quote, I’m pretty sure it’s just because Daniel is a great writer] In his book, Satan: A New Biography, UCLA Professor Henry Kelly argues that any angel could serve as the Satan, but generally these days we imagined him as a specific character. During the Second Temple period, which is around 500 BCE to 70CE, many Jewish preachers adopted an apocalyptic point of view. They imagined the world as a constant conflict between supernatural powers of good and evil. And increasingly, these preachers assigned blame for worldly evil to a kind of chief evil spirit character. In her book, The Origin of Satan, Princeton Professor Elaine Pagels writes, these stories were allegories for the fraught religious politics of the period, in which we have these reactionaries and extremists who believe that our fellows are just not sufficiently dedicated to true Jewishness, and so they imagined that them as being corrupted by the evil powers represented by this devil character.

Tabitha 53:49
*giggles* So they’re not true cult. *laughter*

Daniel 53:50
Yes! Actually, *more laughing* Yes, that’s exactly what it was. *laughs*

Simone 53:55
And they, they really- they had to, you know, which, which chef is it that says, you have to kick it up a notch?

Tabitha 54:01
Oh, uh, Emeril Lagasse.

Simone 54:02
Thank you. *Daniel giggles* I thought, I thought that was gonna be Guy Fieri, but I was wrong. So, it wasn’t enough that you had religious disagreements with your fellows. You- it had to be kicked up a notch into a ‘cosmic conflict.’

Daniel 54:14
That’s a, that’s a-

Tabitha 54:14
You had to, you had to bam. [IDK if that’s what Tabby actually says – I don’t get the reference, sorry!]

Daniel 54:16
That’s exactly how Pagels puts it in her book. She said the question wasn’t who is Jewish- it was assumed that we are all Jews, we being you know, Judea at the time, obviously, not everybody here in this room. It is assumed that, that was assumed- the question was, which is the Jews are really on God’s side and which of them had been led astray? That was the religious conflict these people were having at the time, and we saw this manifested in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different characters. For example, one of the texts at the time, the Book of Watchers: here we learned that the story of how certain angels become sinful out of lust, and they spread all manner of evil teachings to humankind, and they have a leader angel who sometimes called Samyaza, or Azazel. I think it was actually in Kelly’s book where he points out that we probably have two different names because this was probably a couple of different stories that got mixed together, and so they’re a bit inconsistent. In some books that are included in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Devil is called name’s like ‘Belly-All’ [typing this out phonetically; he’s talking about Belial]- No- I always screw that one up; is it ‘Belly-All?’

Simone 55:07

Tabitha 55:08
I, I like Beh-LIE-ul.

Simone 55:10
That’s how I say it.

Tabitha 55:11
But I don’t know if it’s right, but also I don’t care.

Daniel 55:14
I think, I think that’s-

Simone 55:15
Let’s just summon him real quick and ask him.

Tabitha 55:16

Daniel 55:16

Simone 55:16

Tabitha 55:16
*makes wagging tongue sound* [that’s the best I can describe it, the gifs looked right when I googled it]

Daniel 55:18
I think it’s Belly-All.

Tabitha 55:19
I’m speaking in tongues, do you hear it? *more wagging tongue sounds from Tabby; laughter*

Daniel 55:24
Well, sometimes he’s [Belial], sometimes he’s Melikrisha, sometimes he’s the Angel of Darkness- that one’s really metal, actually.

Tabitha 55:29

Daniel 55:29
And then in texts like Jubilees, he’s Mastema, who is the king of evil spirits, who is, we see, submissive to God in that book, but he also acts as an antagonist for the prophets, especially for Abraham and for Moses, so he, sort of, he walks a fine line there between working for God, but also constantly trying to meddle with God’s plans. And then, other texts for the time reference names like Beelzebul, Asmodeus, or the Prince of Darkness, but most often, he was just called Satan. I imagine, because, that was a name with pedigree. And, around this time, the Jesus cult, in particular, liked to adopt Satan as a villain for the gospel stories and Jesus appears to preach about Satan at various points in the gospels. It’s not necessarily clear who the Satan he’s referring to is all the time, but nevertheless, that idea is at least kicking around. In the centuries to come, Rabbinic Judaism mostly retired the Devil. They decided that the blame for human evil was human nature, and not supernatural agents, but Christianity, liked Satan, and kept him around, and so we end up with these distinct religious traditions today, even though, you will notice, most of the texts that are important to explaining who the Devil is, and its origins and his motivations are not ones that make it into the holy books. Now they’re instead what we call Apocrypha, those ancient books that were once considered religiously authoritative and now have been kind of forgotten, or laid aside-

Simone 56:52
On the cutting room floor.

Daniel 56:53
Yes, not considered canonical. So, that is a really, really broad overview of who Satan is and where he comes from. There are a lot of other issues, like, why do we imagine that Satan is an angel, for example. There’s nothing- that’s not answered here. Also, something that I spent a long time trying to figure out myself- think I’ve got a good answer now, but we just don’t have enough time on this one show *laughter* to delve into all the details. You need, you-

Tabitha 57:15
*stage whispers* That’s why we have a podcast. *laughs*

Daniel 57:17

Simone 57:17
Yeah. I enjoy how Christianity decided they liked keeping Satan around because it meant that nothing was their fault.

Tabitha 57:25
Right. I also loved the idea of him retiring, and then being brought out from retirement for *laughing* one more job.

Simone 57:31
I’m too old for the shit! *Tabitha continues laughing*

Daniel 57:34
Well, in any case, the reason why I characterize these as difficult questions to answer is because, if you’ve never read the Bible- by the way, good for you. *Simone giggles* Nah, actually, it’s, it’s interesting reading. Sometimes, yes-

Tabitha 57:45
I haven’t read it, so, we’re in the same club.

Daniel 57:46
If you’ve never read the Bible, you might naively assume that it tells you who the Devil is and where he came from, but in fact, it does not, or at least, the references are fleeting and obscure. There’s actually very little about Satan in the Bible. Go check out our Satan in the Bible episodes for more on that. Instead, you’ve got to do a surprising amount of research into non-biblical texts to try to piece together answers to what seemed like very basic questions, so we did we’ve done our best there to fill you in, as best we can. For more information, see the previous 100 episodes. *laughter*

Simone 58:17
Well, now that Daniel has told us who Satan is, it’s time for the ultimate question of, what is Satan-ism?

Tabitha 58:26
The myth of a secret cult of evil people consorting with demons and practicing evil magic is probably as old as human religion itself. In his book, Children of Lucifer, Satanism scholar Ruben Van Luijk, writes that early Christians imagined heretics- rival church traditions- to be servants of the Devil, but only indirectly. For a surprising number of centuries, the idea of heretics actually worshipping Satan was surprisingly rare, although with time, it became more common to accuse heretics, “witches,” and especially Jewish people, of consorting with Satan.

Simone 59:02
This reminds me of a Twitter argument I got in recently where someone was insisting that there were no actual Satanists, Satanism, or Satanists were words used *solely* for accusations against other people. They didn’t actually exist; it was only a name being used to call the out-group, the heri-heretic group, or whatever. And I was like, *smacks her lips* ‘yeah, except, no Satanists are real because I am one.’

Tabitha 59:31
Yeah, except hi. I exist. *Simone laughs*

Daniel 59:34
Something I want to add, by the way, that mentioned there about the relationship between antisemitism and early accusations of Satanism. Right here on the table in front of me, I’ve got a copy of Joshua Trachtenberg’s The Devil and the Jews, which I’m in the middle of right now. This book is wild and it answers a lot of the questions that I’ve had, or prevents potential answers, to a lot of the questions I’ve had. For example, you ever wonder why people assume that Satanists commit animal and human sacrifices? It seems like a very strange assumption. Well, it might be because, once upon a time, they believed that Jewish people were running around-

Simone 1:00:04

Daniel 1:00:04
-committing nefarious sacrifices. And they then just, kind of, folded that antisemitic trope into increasingly, an increasing variety of out-groups over the centuries. So, it’s kind of a tough read sometimes, but really worth it. Anyway. Sorry.

Simone 1:00:20
Okay, so steering us away from other people calling other people Satanists. *Tabitha hmm’s* Starting at the end of the 18th century, certain European writers, artists, and political dissidents began identifying with Satan in a positive way. And especially with the 17th-century epic poem of Paradise Lost. We did a whole show on it. Freethinkers, religious radicals, and Libertines like William Blake, Flora Triston, George Sand, and Lord Byron imagined Satan as a rebellious individualist and God as a corrupt tyrant. These Romantic Satanists probably did not think of themselves as Satanists in the religious sense, but they did have some pretty daring ideas about religion, spirituality, and the Devil that influenced our future, or current, understanding.

Tabitha 1:01:04
This is when Satan got hot. I just wanna- *Simone laughs* We can just gloss over the whole thing. Satan got hot! *laughs*

Simone 1:01:11
There’s a whole statue about it.

Tabitha 1:01:12
Yep. In his book Satanic Feminism, scholar Per Faxneld proposes that 19th-century Polish novelist Stannis, Stanislaw ‘Perverscezzy-‘ [this one’s way too hard to type out phonetically, the dude’s name is Stanislaw Przybyszewski. Just no, Tab def can’t pronouce it and, because of course he can, Daniel totally can]

Daniel 1:01:25

Tabitha 1:01:26
Fuck you. *laughs*

Daniel 1:01:27
No, no- it’s Przybyszewski. *laughs* [joke being that he pronounced it the same way as he did before, because the dude’s name is NOT ‘fuck you.’ Lolz]

Tabitha 1:01:30
*still laughing* Fuck you! Fuck this name!

Daniel 1:01:33
I’m doing my best, here, Przybyszewski. [continuing the joke]

Tabitha 1:01:34
Stanislaw P! *laughs* -might have been the first person to publicly identify as a Satanist. Thanks for having really complicated name, dude! *laughs* I want to celebrate you! *Simone chuckles* Oddball Danish Freemason, Ben Kadosh [pronouced how it looks], might also- I want to say ‘Kadoosh,’ because I’m, apparently, Jack Black. *Simone starts cackling* -might have been the first person to found a religion specifically about Satan, or Lucifer as he seemed to prefer it, *uses a silly voice* which was popular at the time! *Simone and Tabitha laugh*

Simone 1:02:02
*laughing, also in a silly voice*As was the style at the time!

Tabitha 1:02:04
Thank you! Although it’s not clear whether he attracted any followers in his day, early 20th century sects like the Knights of the Golden Arrow and Brotherhood of Saturn similarly revert, revered the devil but didn’t last.

Simone 1:02:18
Yeah, so those are some very, very early actual Satanists, but, as you can see, they had some limited success.

Tabitha 1:02:25
Right. Probably got killed for it. *Tabitha and Simone laugh*

Daniel 1:02:29
By the way, Tabitha, if it’s any consolation, if you read stuff from Przybyszewski, you probably wouldn’t want to celebrate him, actually.

Tabitha 1:02:34

Daniel 1:02:34
*laughing* He’s kind of a dick.

Simone 1:02:36
Stan P, you suck!

Tabitha 1:02:38
Yeah, fuck you, Stan. *laughs*

Daniel 1:02:39
I also should point out that [to] say, the Brotherhood of Saturn is still around. There are actually two groups that claim to be the Brotherhood of Saturn, but at this point, they don’t seem to have much to do with Lucifer anymore. They kind of buried the Satanism a little bit. They were originally an offshoot of Steven, Steven Crowley- who the fuck is Steven Crowley? *Tabitha cackles* *Daniel laughing* Aleister Crowley’s-

Tabitha 1:02:59
*laughing* Steven Crow- *in a fake serious voice* John Crowley. *continues laughing*

Daniel 1:03:02

Simone 1:03:04
Now I’m just picture-

Daniel 1:03:04
It’s- Folks, it’s really hot here, okay. *Tabitha starts laughing again* We’re doing our best.

Tabitha 1:03:07
*laughing* It is!

Daniel 1:03:07
Anyway, yes. Originally, protegees of Aleister Crowley and so, they went in some interesting directions after that. *Tabitha tries to stifle her giggling*

Simone 1:03:15
Well, now moving into the 1960s in the US, we get to, the one that most people know, Howard Luh-Vay. [spelled LeVey]

Tabitha 1:03:24
P U! [i’m just now realizing I have no idea how to write this…]

Daniel 1:03:27
Sorry, Lee-Vee.

Simone 1:03:27

Daniel 1:03:27

Tabitha 1:03:27
*gasps dramatically*

Simone 1:03:28
Oh, my goodness. *Tabitha laughs as she finishes her dramatic gasp* So- of course, now, I’ve associated the name Howard with Howard the Duck and I’ve got a really interesting mental picture going on. *Daniel laughs*

Tabitha 1:03:37
Ugh, I hate it! *fake vomit sound* *laughs*

Simone 1:03:39
Run, Lea Thompson, run. Okay, so, in 1966, Howard LeVey [pronounced how Daniel did], who was better known by his public name, Anton Levey-

Tabitha 1:03:48
P U.

Simone 1:03:49
founded his Church of Satan in San Francisco. Now, eventually, LeVey promoted the idea that he believed in Satan only as a metaphor, making the Church of Satan an *atheistic* religion, and establishing atheism as, you know, kind of surprisingly, if you think about it, the *norm* for American Satanists. Rival religion the Temple of Set, which revered the Devil, or Set, as a *real* spiritual being, broke away in 1975. In the decades since, there have been dozens, or even hundreds, of small Satanic sects founded, most of them small, local, and often brief in their tenures. You know, it’s funny, the, the meme going around that the Confederacy only lasted for years so other things, comparatively, should be more culturally treasured.

Tabitha 1:04:37

Simone 1:04:37
So I mean, you know, Satanic Bay Area, been around longer than the Confederate, Confederacy did.

Tabitha 1:04:43

Daniel 1:04:45
So this is our culture and heritage? *chuckles*

Tabitha 1:04:47

Simone 1:04:47

Tabitha 1:04:48
Can we put up statues?

Daniel 1:04:50
Well. *laughter* I would like to. Recent history tells us that’s a trickier question than perhaps achieved. *everyone continues laughing*

Tabitha 1:04:58
If you hear about Satanists in the news, these days, it’s almost always because of the Satanic Temple, a new Satanist religion founded in 2012, which reveals the old Romantic model of Satan as a patron of humanism and enlightenment. In recent years, even more experimental new Satanist groups have appeared around the world. I like the idea of, like, the experimental group, but it’s like experimental like music, so they’re, like, *silly sounds, kind of like tongue-wagging, devolves into chuckling*

Simone 1:05:23
Can we just have, like, John Cage Satanists running around *Tabitha starts laughing* silently?

Tabitha 1:05:28
*laughing* Yes. Exactly.

Simone 1:05:31
Alright, so, that’s a kind of an overview of the development of Satanism as a religion and some of the major players within it.

Daniel 1:05:40
Again, yeah, that’s kind of the loosest possible timeline of how we get from the character of Satan to the modern idea of Satanism, but it still doesn’t really tell you a lot and we’ll get into more details in a bit, but when they keep running into is, it’s hard. It’s hard-

Simone 1:05:55

Daniel 1:05:55
-to pin things down in very specific ways. *chuckles*

Simone 1:05:58
Okay, and now we’ve got some really great quotes and passages, here, from experts of varying areas. *Tabitha chuckles* All about different perspectives on Satanism and what Satanists believe. So, let’s jump right in.

Daniel 1:06:14
Here we’ve got a very brief selection from the 2016 book, The Invention of Satanism, by Dyrendal, Lewis, and Peterson. “Parallel to New Age, Satanism is not a single movement with a single voice of doctrine, but a milieu with a multiplicity of debating voices. What they may have in common may be as much the intentional act of declaring oneself a Satanist as any specific point of view. Satanism comprises imminent, materialistic, as well as transcendental idealistic views of the self, and the atheistic and theistic views of Satan. Satan is a symbol of contention: All groups and individuals relate to the finger of Satan, but they do so in different ways. He is associated with sex, pride, nonconformity, rebellion, and individualism. Satanism is understood primarily as post-Christian.” So, I liked this- this quote is actually cobbled together from a couple of different places in the same couple of pages, here, but they’re a couple things that I took away from this one. I liked the comparison of the term New Age-

Simone 1:07:07
Yeah. Mmhmm.

Daniel 1:07:07
-a term that has no specific definition, but everyone knows what it means. *chuckles*

Simone 1:07:11
Yeah, yeah.

Daniel 1:07:13
That was a really, really handy analogy when I first read this book. And, this idea that everyone relates to Satan; *chuckling* no one really agrees with what that means, but that is, maybe the only thing we all have in common. *Tabitha laughs* That, and maybe a certain aesthetic. Like, we all relate to symbols like Baphomet and the pentagram, although, again, in very different ways. And I found this idea of Satanism as post-Christian- this is something that, I think, was Peterson who showed up in the documentary, Hail Satan, talking about that- Satanism is not anti-Christian. Satanism frames itself as post-Christian; maybe in the same way that Christianity is post-Jewish. And Judaism itself emerged from Canaanite culture, way back in a period of history that’s a little bit murkier. And so, those ideas really kind of fired my imagination. I didn’t really like this book all that much, to be honest. I found it a little dry for me, but, even here, I think it’s, like, yes, this is actually a really, really useful, objective perspective on these themes that I was grasping for and finally found here.

Tabitha 1:08:10
I actually especially like the idea that he posts about, just- not, nobody fucking agrees, because *Simone laughs* man, is that true! Nobody fucking agrees! It’s just, we’re all, like, we all say we’re Satanists, so we’re all in it together, in a sort of a way. *laughs*

Daniel 1:08:26
But here’s my question for, for everybody else at the table is: Is this really unique? For example, if we look at the different Christian denominations, Catholics and Mormons both claim to be Christian, but man, they have *wildly* different ideas about what that means. Is Satanism really more diverse and varied than the other religious traditions? Or do those other religions just enjoy the privilege of appearing to be more consistent than they actually are? What do we think?

Simone 1:08:51
Well, one of the things I was getting into my little Twitter beef about is, I think that if you relate to the character of Satan, you are a Satanist. Like, if that is the archetype, or myth, that you feel most closely represents, or organizes, your beliefs, then I think it’s okay to call yourself a Satanist. Whether you’re a theistic Satanist, or an atheistic Satanist, whether your Church of Satan, TST, none of the above, so that does imply, like, a community of Satanists, because we all have that one thing that we agree on, but I agree *laughs* that we could take such different perspectives. And the part of the, the back and forth I was having was, what would we call ourselves? You know? We’ve gotten into this topic before of quote, unquote, why Satan? But it seems so clear, to me, that if you have chosen Satan, for whatever your reasons are, that makes you a Satanist, and I think that the other religions have that privilege of, you know, longevity, of being so mainstream for so long, so dominant for so long, that, you know, we, kind of, take for granted that these are all people who, in one way or another, follow Christ, and so they get to call themselves Christians, but they can be so wildly different, but no one seems to stop and argue with you that one group or another is not Christian, *laughs* except for other Christians, perhaps. Because I know some, some people think that, you know, Catholics are their own forms of, you know, idolaters or, or magic-users, or whatever, but yeah. So, I think that’s really interesting. And then, I, on the one hand, I like the idea of Satanism as being post-Christian, because it’s, kind of, if you look at it in the way that Daniel has sort of positioned it, each one is sort of a step progressing from the previous. However, I think that Satanism pulls from a lot of stuff that’s pre-Christian anyway. We’ve talked about this before; in terms of, like, how the Devil looks and how that’s borrowed from pagan religions and, you know, stuff that’s got its roots in ancient, you know, Jewish culture, so while I think it’s post-Christian almost, like, on a timeline kind of way, I don’t want that to be misleading into thinking that it’s solely a reaction to Christianity. Because there’s more to it than that.

Tabitha 1:11:17
Yeah. I think the only real *chuckles* difference, to be honest with you, is time.

Simone 1:11:22

Tabitha 1:11:22
You know, Christians have been around for a lot longer, they have a lot more time to get beefs with each other, for dissonance, for splintering, all of that stuff, and I-

Simone 1:11:31
For just simple understanding.

Tabitha 1:11:33

Simone 1:11:33
Like, I think, you say, ‘oh, Jesus Christ,’ I think that people around the world have an understanding of what that is.

Tabitha 1:11:39

Simone 1:11:39
But given the fact we’ve just had to define who Satan is, he, Satan doesn’t have that privilege.

Tabitha 1:11:45

Daniel 1:11:46
I agree with what Simone is saying, is the fact that Satanism certainly is not just a response to Christianity- sometimes people will try to argue Satan is a Christian character, and I say, ‘weird, he’s got a Jewish name, then, isn’t it?’ *Tabitha chuckles* Satan is a much more complicated character than any one religious tradition, or even irreligious tradition, but one thing I will say is the fact that maybe the most common story of how people become Satanists is that they were sort of jilted out-

Tabitha 1:12:11

Daniel 1:12:11
-of another religious tradition, usually a Christian one-

Tabitha 1:12:14

Simone 1:12:14

Daniel 1:12:14
-found Satanism, at least initially attractive, because of that. We are unusual-

Simone 1:12:18

Daniel 1:12:18
-in that, *chuckles* that is not our story, but it’s far more common to hear that. So, for example, when I talk about defying the arbitrary authority, represented by God, when I say God, I’m usually not just thinking about the Christian religious deity of God. I’m also thinking about things like white supremacy, misogyny, capitalism.

Simone 1:12:38
Mmhmm. Yep.

Daniel 1:12:38
All of these things that are tied up in the religious and cultural traditions that we associate with people’s idea of God and Jesus, and so that, even that word becomes much bigger, and broader, and scarier. *laugher* Just what you learn in church. So, these ideas are not nearly as simple as we might like to assume, in the moments when we are inclined to be glib about them. *chuckles*

Simone 1:12:38
Yeah, Satan and God, neither of whom exist; God is more than just the gray beard cloud daddy and Satan is more than just the red-skinned, horned pitchfork dude. But they’re both made up. *Tabitha laughs* So.

Tabitha 1:13:17

Simone 1:13:18
Okay, so this next passage, we’ve already, kind of, made a reference to it; this is from Children of Lucifer by Ruben Van Luijk, from 2016. “Despite the spontaneous images that it conjures, defining Satanism is no straightforward endeavor.” Boy Howdy. *laughs*

Tabitha 1:13:35

Simone 1:13:35
“I define Satanism as the intentional, religiously motivated veneration of Satan. The veneration must have a religious character, but as of yet scholars have not agreed upon a proper definition of religion. Historian EB Taylor defined religion as belief in supernatural beings, but supernatural is itself a term not easy to define. Other schools sought to define religion by stressing social or ritual parameters, but what makes a Satanist a Satanist is not performance of ritual actions but their relationship to Satan. Nor can I agree with those who deem the social dimension an essential part of religion: An individual alone who is praying, conducting a ritual, or giving expression in words or art is still practicing a religion.” Yeah, that’s, that’s one of those things- if we can’t decide upon, like, you know, Satanists don’t have one single doctrine. Satan is not one single character, as perceived by the people practicing. So, what, what makes the religion? We don’t believe in the supernatural. There’s, there’s one. But atheistic religions exist and have existed before Satanism. Do we all do the same ritual? Do we all have the same events? Well, no. Do we all necessarily come together in communities? Again, no. Sometimes by, you know, by design. Like, someone wants to practice on a solitary basis; that’s their choice, and some people don’t have the opportunity to meet other, you know, Satanists in their, their local area, so none of those things is the through-line.

Daniel 1:15:09
Even more than that, you know, sometimes a question you’ll run into is this idea that is Satanism or religion? The answer is yes, but that then runs immediately into the roadblock of, how do you define religion? The answer is nobody does, actually. I have, I have, I have tried to find a workable, agreed upon, scholarly definition of what religion is and it just doesn’t exist. *Simone laughs* You can definitely articulate one that makes sense to you, but you will find that you end up leaving out-

Simone 1:15:35

Daniel 1:15:35
-people that feels weird to exclude.

Tabitha 1:15:39

Daniel 1:15:39
And I think, maybe, more than anything, the Joe Laycock book Speak of the Devil, which we’ll get to in a little bit, made a very interesting point that I’ve never heard anybody else raise. They point out that the Church of Satan is an atheistic religion, and yet nobody ever questioned that it was a religion. Only when the Satanic Temple started making news and getting into court- arguments with elected officials, public officials, did the question of, is atheistic Satanism or religion come up, and he argues that’s because the Satanic Temple was challenging assumptions about religion in the way that other religious groups vaguely similar, thematically similar groups before had not done. And so, really, religion seems to be a set of assumptions. Like Van Luijk, here, says, ‘when we say Satanism, it conjures up immediate images.’ Everyone thinks of very, very similar ideas, and concepts, and aesthetics when we say that word, but if we asked to articulate what they mean, it’s almost impossible to do. Maybe religion is just the assumptions that we make about each other’s beliefs and our own. Maybe that is all there is to it.

Tabitha 1:16:36
Or just, I want it. *laughs* What, what are, Why are you a Satanist? Because I want to! *laughs*

Simone 1:16:42
You know, I, I always try and think about how Satanism looks to outsiders, to try and understand, you know, where they’re coming from. I don’t want to be one of those people who gets into, into Satanism so deeply that I can’t see the outside perspective-

Tabitha 1:16:56
*laughing* How you could not be a Satanist?

Simone 1:16:58
Well, and see, sometimes we do ridiculous shit. It’s fine. I’m cool with ridiculous shit, but I can *see* how it’s ridiculous to other people.

Tabitha 1:17:05

Simone 1:17:06
So, in thinking, trying to put myself into the shoes of an outsider. If I am an outsider, mainstream Christian person, and I see Anton LeVey on a talk show, you know, in his, you know, crazy getups and see still images of him conducting ritual, I think, ‘well, maybe he’s just like a dark Catholic,’ or something, because it still looks, you know- you’ve got the ritual, got the trappings, got the costumes. And then, when the Satanic Temple started to, was formed, and started to make the news, I feel like it was harder to understand because they weren’t presenting themselves, like, ritual first? Costume first?

Tabitha 1:17:51
Or anti-Christian, particularly.

Simone 1:17:53
Well, they were, they were, like, you know, political first-

Tabitha 1:17:56

Simone 1:17:56
-which people still separate that in their, in their minds. That doesn’t seem like religion to them. Now, I think it is religion. I think that politics manifests people’s beliefs that include their religious beliefs, so, like, I get it. But I can *see,* I can see how, to an outsider, you see the Satanic Temple, you know, rising in profile and you’re, like, ‘I can’t just assume that these are dark Catholics because they’re, you know, in court with somebody-

Tabitha 1:18:25

Simone 1:18:25
-instead of doing a ritual on a naked lady altar.’

Tabitha 1:18:28
Up next, we have from the Lure of the Sinister, Gareth Medway, 2001. “One thing all Satanists have in common is that they are rebels against arbitrary authority. For this reason, they do not take kindly to authorities within Satanism itself.” *laughter*

Simone 1:18:45
*laughing* I mean, it’s herding cats over here.

Tabitha 1:18:49
*flatly* Cough. “People have such anarchic frame of mind do not sit easily with organization, within organizations, and Satanic orders are generally small. They are not obviously morally worse than any, anyone else: Satanism usually pursues ego gratification and personal power, but, but these are the common values of contemporary society.”

Simone 1:19:13
Interesting. I mean, I don’t, I don’t disagree. Because we’ve seen, you know, sects of Satanism splitting off from each other and people having little snipes and gripes with each other. A lot of the Satanists I know are very independently minded, and strong-willed, and have very clear feelings on what they think is right, or wrong, or how things should be run. However, it is- so, so Satanic Bay Area is a relatively small group because we are very specifically geographically located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we have members who are into Satanism of all stripes and have chosen to to be with us, so we’ve got a pretty good group going, but we have no interest in expanding beyond that and I feel that the larger an organization gets, just the more difficult it is to run. You know, we see this all the time, not just in Satanism, and so, you know, the, the idea in this passage that people do not sit easily within organizations and Satanic orders are generally small, is, like, true and not true? Because, you know, the Satanic Temple is, has grown, as we’ve said, over the last couple of years. They’ve got chapters all across the country and around the world, but then again, the chapters themselves, I haven’t seen any that are terribly large. I think, I think it-

Tabitha 1:20:45
Well, that could be on purpose, too. Like, some of these chapters don’t, you know, you never hear anything about them because they’d like to, you know, they don’t want to talk about what they’re doing, which is fair. *Simone laughs*

Simone 1:20:53
Well, also, it’s just, you know, but, at the same time, people have chosen to join a TST group, for example, as opposed to starting their own or joining an individual group, so I can’t say that I fully agree with this passage. It’s, it’s both true and not true. *laughs*

Daniel 1:21:12
The thing that I respond to, when I read this the first time, is what he mentions, here, that this idea that ego gratification is actually a contemporary value, it is not a rejection of contemporary values. That, that was a Gordian Knot moment for me. *Simone chuckles* I said, ‘yes, he is absolutely right.’ When we hear these ideas, these, kind of, like, 20th century, Ayn Rand-tinged ideas-

Simone 1:21:32
Yeah. Yep.

Daniel 1:21:32
-of Satanists talking about rational self-interest. I’m like, that’s not rebelliousness; that’s what society is feeding us all the time. *Tabitha and Simone both mmhmm* But, you see, the difference is just that- it really does come down to- it becomes perilously subjective. Case of point, I approach issues like trans rights and gender queerness as a profoundly Satanic topic, theme, and element because I perceive those people as not only fighting for their own individual selfhood, but also challenging these ancient entrenched, really decrepit and often abusive and toxic, institutions. That, to me, is the story of Satan: rejecting this tradition that has been handed down to us in favor of something that is better for us. On the other hand, chuds see, see trans rights as, as a horrible conspiracy being forced on them by Disney, and China, and Communism. And of course, the difference between that is that I am right, and they are delusional. *Simone and Tabitha laugh* But you’ll never convince them of that- this idea, we all say, ‘yes, we are all for, about the individual; we all want to reject authoritarianism.’ But then, we go completely inverse directions with that, and so, I find that I don’t know what the cure is for this, as I said, perilous, perilous subjective, subjectivity. Maybe there isn’t one; maybe there shouldn’t be one. But it does mean it makes it very, very hard for us to really, I feel, pin this down as a truly Satanic value, or as a value at all, if it becomes that slippery and indistinct.

Simone 1:22:59
Yeah, I’m just trying to think of, like, you know, what if I met some white nationalists separatists who’s living out in the, you know, the backwoods of Montana somewhere, and we were sitting in a bar, I’m like, ‘yeah, I arbitrary authority, I push back against that all the time,’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah! Me too!’ And I’m like, ‘I think that trans people are people who should have rights,’ and they’re like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘I thought we were on the same page!’

Tabitha 1:23:25
*laughs* No!

Simone 1:23:26
So it’s, yeah, it’s can go so wildly different.

Daniel 1:23:31
Here, I guess, is maybe all I have to say, ultimately, about this is that all of us conform, sometimes.

Simone 1:23:37

Daniel 1:23:37
And that is actually normal, and expected, and would get pretty weird if we never did. At the same time, all of us want to preserve our own privilege to be ourselves. The tension between those two compulsions is, I guess, the role that we be- ends up being the role that we play in society. And so, we have to accept and be honest about that before we start to decide ideas, like, you know, what does rebelliousness mean to us, really?

Simone 1:24:05
I just- the idea that sometimes you do want to conform. Yes. I see, I see someone a friend who has, you know, like, a cool job or has just watched an interesting movie, and so I, by exposure to them, now I’m interested in that thing, too and maybe there is a feeling of wanting to join them in something that we can then have in common and talk about or whatever. The idea of trying to rebel against everything and do everything different than every other person on this planet is so exhausting. *chuckles* I mean, we all know people who are just such contrarians-

Tabitha 1:24:42

Simone 1:24:42
-and that they are never happy. They always hate everything and it’s *exhausting.*

Tabitha 1:24:47
It is. And it must be exhausting for them, too.

Simone 1:24:50

Tabitha 1:24:50
Like, how can you- like, going through life hating, literally, everything that you come across, and- or *finding* a reason to hate everything you come across.

Simone 1:24:57
Or, or you liked something at first, and now you don’t like it because somebody else does.

Tabitha 1:25:02

Simone 1:25:02
So tiresome. Okay, so this next one, we are revisiting Satanic Feminism by Per Faxneld, 2017. “Myth becomes a battleground for political values. Many scholars remark on the conservative quality of myth, saying that its purpose is to strengthen tradition and endow it with greater prestige. Counter-myth serves the opposite function of ‘ordinary myth,’ subverting instead of supporting the dominant discourse on how the social order should be organized. Undermining hegemonic narratives is never an end unto itself: Counter-myth is always intended to cause some shift in power structures. Of course, myth itself can have a liberating, radical effect. It is impossible to reduce religion or myth to just a tool of the ruling class.”

Daniel 1:25:52
So this one gets a little bit academic for us, I think, but the point is, some people frame Satanism as a counter-myth, that we are taking elements of this predominant narrative and using it to undermine the institutions and assumptions based on it. Other people counter and they say, ‘no, really, that’s what all myth is.’ All myth starts off as counter-myth-

Simone 1:26:11

Tabitha 1:26:12

Daniel 1:26:12
-or has elements of it in that- kind of, like, just like, what I was saying, is that we cannot easily divide the world into these two categories like this, as much as it would be nice and convenient to. What do you think, Simone?

Simone 1:26:25
It makes me think of- one of the things I like [about] Satanism is one of the things I like about a lot of the, the films, and books, and TV shows that I like: I like the idea of seeing the main narrative, you know, the, the main myth, and seeing who we accept as the heroes, who we are told are the heroes, and then who we are told are the villains. And then I like to try and think about things from the perspective of that villain, so in, you know, the larger, you know, religious, you know, world thinking, what if Satan was right? What if Satan is the, you know, actually the hero and God is the villain? And it just kind of trickles down to, you know, what if Hans Gruber was actually, kind of, like, an Ocean’s 11 type movie and then he was the hero for stealing all that money from the terrible Nakatomi Corporation. Or, Hannibal Lecter? *pauses, pops tongue* Still can’t-

Tabitha 1:27:17
Well, yeahhhh. *laughs*

Simone 1:27:18
Still can’t justify eating people. Still can’t justify eating people, but shows from, you know, shows, books, movies, from his perspective is, at least, more interesting than a lot of, you know, the, kind of, flat heroes that were presented with. So, yeah, I just like thinking about the, the narrative, and how it’s presented to you, and how you’re *supposed* to view it versus what if you just flipped it and looked at it from the other way?

Tabitha 1:27:45
Or even took it and looked at it from your own perspective, so instead of, like, reading it, or, like, it, pretty, pretty obviously stating some kind of moral or something, we say, ‘well, what if, how do, how do I apply it?’ Like, if this was me? Or, you know, if this was my myth. Like, what, what do I think actually was happening here? Or if I put myself in the shoes of anybody in this, even a bystander, like, what do I think would be going on?

Simone 1:28:08
*chuckling* I kind of think that Disney is starting- Fuck Disney! -is starting to do this, though, because they have that Cruella movie where it’s, like, *in a stupid voice* ‘what a Cruella was really the hero and it turns out-‘

Tabitha 1:28:20
Well, it’s just the Joker… *chuckles*

Simone 1:28:21
It’s just stupid- that, I mean, sorry. I’m sorry Cruella’s mom was murdered by Dalmatians and now she wants to skin puppies; I still am not on her side.

Tabitha 1:28:29
Yeahhh, I really think that Cruella might not have been the best choice. I’m not, I don’t want to get into this for a long, long period, but she was so fucking evil. *Simone makes a sound of agreement* How about Ursula?

Simone 1:28:41
Ah, Ursula!

Tabitha 1:28:42
We don’t know *anything* about her, really. That, I think, is, would make a much, much better treatment than Cruella, who is so obviously evil- I mean, she wants to skin puppies-

Simone 1:28:51

Tabitha 1:28:51
Like, how, how much worse can you get?!

Simone 1:28:53
I think, I think the reason that, that Disney and other studios are, kind of, going in that direction, though, is to continue to make use out of intellectual property that they already own.

Tabitha 1:29:04

Simone 1:29:04
As opposed to branching out with original stories, so while you might think that I’m into this, you know, reversal, this hero to villain reversal, it’s still, I attribute that to not wanting to pay *chuckles* new writers for stories.

Tabitha 1:29:21
*quietly* Yeahh.

Simone 1:29:21
So, not on board with that kind.

Daniel 1:29:24
You know, my perspective is I don’t care if Satan is good, or evil, or right, or wrong because he’s a fictional character and his actions don’t have moral consequences. I care that Satan is a character whom I can relate to. Satan is a human-seeming and humanistic character-

Simone 1:29:40
Mmhmm. Yep.

Daniel 1:29:40
-who is depicted as being profoundly like us. He has our same flaws. He has our same struggles. He is fallible. The Satan myth, fundamentally, is a story about somebody who has something, as- *tries* to do something very, very difficult and very profoundly important and *fails* on a level that is so catastrophic you can’t even imagine what it must be like, and then must continue going on. That, to me, is incredibly engaging. The idea of traditional, monotheistic gods as the, sort of, distant, remote, infallible, perfect characters-

Daniel 1:30:12
Yeah. Yep.

Daniel 1:30:12
-I was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell’s book Lucifer: The devil in the Middle Ages, and he was summarizing the medieval concept of God, saying ‘God is completely other. God is completely outside our perception.’ I thought, ‘how am I supposed to respond to that?’ The idea- how am I supposed to relate to that? Not only-

Simone 1:30:27
God is an alien.

Tabitha 1:30:27

Daniel 1:30:28
Yeah! It’s not only inhuman, it’s dehumanizing. I would have to be *less* of a person to be more like that. That’s horrifying.

Tabitha 1:30:35

Daniel 1:30:36
Satan, on the other hand, you know, depending on the story, and depending on the part of the story, is he right? Sometimes. Other times, maybe not, but Satan is *always* somebody whom I can understand, and is compelling, and is, is interesting to me on a level that feels profoundly empathetic, and that is why I love that character. I’m also deeply suspicious of the roots of this myth. Of this Iron Age idea that the ultimate source of good and the world is this all-powerful, divine, patriarchal king figure, and that the root of all evil is the first person to ever try to change things. Boy, that feels awfully convenient-

Tabitha 1:31:14

Simone 1:31:14

Daniel 1:31:14
-for certain kinds of people, doesn’t it?

Simone 1:31:16

Tabitha 1:31:16

Daniel 1:31:18
So yeah, that’s where, that’s, that’s the, kind of- I guess, maybe, if we’re gonna continue with the, with the, with the horrifying Disney analogies, *Simone chuckles* it would be, like, watching Loki, you know? What makes Loki an intriguing character in that show? It’s not that he’s good, because he’s not, or at least he is sometimes, but it’s that they go out of their way to try to make him somebody who is relatable, somebody whom you can understand why he is doing these things, even if these things are not necessarily *chuckling* always the best thing to do. Also, there’s a scene where they laser his clothes off, and I suspect that’s what Simone is imagining, as I’m looking at the dreamy expression on her face right now. *Tabitha giggles*

Simone 1:31:48
You know, I would totally let Loki explain to me why he does the things that he does. Slowly. With a lot of eye contact. *giggling* Anyway.

Daniel 1:32:00
We should move on.

Tabitha 1:32:01
Oh my goodness.

Daniel 1:32:02
And now we’re going to hear from a perspective we’ve actually never had on this show before. This is a selection from the essay, Satanism: The Feared Religion by Peter Gilmore. Interesting to note that Peter Gilmore is these days the head of the Church of Satan, but he was not at the time that he published this in the early 1990s. At the time, old Anton was still with us. Gilmore says, “Let us look at contemporary Satanism for what it really is: a brutal religion of elitism and social Darwinism that seeks to reestablish the reign of the able-” By the way, my cohosts should feel free to react in real-time.

Simone 1:32:35

Tabitha 1:32:35

Daniel 1:32:36
“-and wholesale rejection of egalitarianism as a myth that has crippled the advancement of the human species.”

Tabitha 1:32:40
Oh, jeez.

Simone 1:32:41

Daniel 1:32:41
“The Satanic code of behavior is based on human nature as it is and thus comes naturally to most people who have not been deeply indoctrinated. *Tabitha scoffs* The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. *Tabitha tries to stifle a chuckle* Satanism encourages a return to more ‘traditional’ values *Tabitha groans* in art and literature *Tabitha groans again* such as mastery of technique and emotional communication, of form and function, design and execution. All are eagerly sought. Satanists find a wealth of material in Western culture to be treasured for the pinnacle of human achievements…and not to be buried under the swill of multiculturalist attempts to displace them.” Yes.

Tabitha 1:33:17
Are we sure this isn’t PragerU? *laughter* Because I meannnn, it sure sounds like it. *chuckles*

Simone 1:33:23
Just. Wow. Just,’ Satanism encourages a return to more traditional values and, dot ta ta, and a mastery of technique and emotional communication.’ I’mmmm not going to, you know, I’m sorry, *Tabitha chuckles* I just can’t get there with Peter Gilmore and even old, stinky Tony being ‘masters of emotional communication.’ *Tabitha, as we call it in our house, troll laughs*

Daniel 1:33:48
“The principle of this-” I’m quoting again, by the way, *laughter* in case this is not clear. “The principle of the survival of the strong *Tabby noises* is advocated on all levels of society.”

Tabitha 1:33:48

Daniel 1:33:49
“Any [assistance] on all levels will be on a quid pro quo basis. There will be a concomitant reduction in the world’s population as the weak are allowed to experience the consequences of social Darwinism-“

Tabitha 1:34:05
Jee- Fuck you, man! Grr!

Daniel 1:34:08
“Thus has nature always acted to cleanse and strengthen her children. This doctrine would be a complete cessation of the welfare system, an end to ‘no-strings attached’ foreign aid and new programs to award and encourage gifted individuals. Meritocracy will replace the practices of- practice of injustices such as ‘affirmative action’ and other programs designed to punish the able and reward the undeserving. Satanists also seek to enhance the laws of nature by concentrating on fostering the practice of eugenics. This is not some exotic doctrine hatched in the brains of Third Reich medical madmen.”

Tabitha 1:34:39
Yes, it is.

Daniel 1:34:40
It is the practice of encouraging people of talent and ability to reproduce, to enrich the gene pool from which our species can grow. We will be pleased to see the institution of an elite police force, an American Schutzstaffel as it were-“

Simone 1:34:51

Tabitha 1:34:53
Pump the fucking breaks, Peter! [seriously, go fuck yourself, peter!]

Daniel 1:34:55
I find it very interesting that when the Church of Satan reprints this essay today, they omit the SS reference, here.

Tabitha 1:35:01

Simone 1:35:01
I wonder why?

Tabitha 1:35:02

Daniel 1:35:02
I am *fascinated* both by the fact that it was included in the first place and that it was later removed. *chuckling* “-of men and women in peak physical and mental condition, trained in advanced techniques of crime-fighting who would be truly equipped to handle the vermin that make so many of our cities little more than concrete jungles.” Hey, guys, I’ve got a question. Is being a Satanist just also being a Breitbart editor?

Simone 1:35:22
*vomit noises*

Tabitha 1:35:23
*groaning* Oooh, wow.

Simone 1:35:24
Okay, so in our, one of our pre- most recent, previous episodes about Satanism and people living with disability, I said- I was, like, didn’t Anton say something about eugenics? And I couldn’t quite remember.

Daniel 1:35:42

Simone 1:35:42
*laughing* It is because I had read this essay!

Daniel 1:35:44

Tabitha 1:35:44

Simone 1:35:45
And that’s what I was pulling from but I was misremembering that it was not Anton himself. It was Gilmore. Kind of don’t care. Except there’s a diff, but-

Daniel 1:35:57
Well, LeVey also loved to talk about eugenics.

Simone 1:35:58
Yeah. So I mean, this is what I was getting at. Like, this whole, ‘the, the strong will survive. We need to let the weak, you know, die off and practice eugenics and blah-‘ you know, calling other people vermin. This is the shit that really, really turned me off of Church of Satan.

Tabitha 1:36:17

Daniel 1:36:17
Now, hang on. Because we’ll get emails. We should point out: first of all, this quotation that I’ve singled out here runs the whole gamut of the essay. I just picked out the juiciest bits here; I left out a lot of stuff. Not that any of it, like, undermines any of what I just quoted. *Simone chuckles* But I should point out that, in fairness, when they talk about the ‘weak and the unable,’ they are not necessarily talking in ablest or racist terms- although they do use ablest and racist terms. Always they try to couch this as the weak as being stupid and incompetent. Now, of course, that is always sort of a moving target about-

Simone 1:36:51

Daniel 1:36:52
And also, again, not really a new or daring idea. That’s just-

Simone 1:36:55
And also, who defines these things, and blah, blah, blah.

Tabitha 1:36:57

Daniel 1:36:57
This is just ditching Nazi eugenics and going back to Victorian eugenics, which is, you know, not, not…

Tabitha 1:37:03
Any better. *chuckling*

Daniel 1:37:05
I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s not really a deep well, that they’re trying to draw out of, here. But you know what? Weirdly enough, I like this essay, and the reason why I like this essay is not the things that it says, but the fact that, here, is where they come out and say it.

Simone 1:37:18

Daniel 1:37:18
It’s actually very, very hard to find a single source that you can pin down to find, what does this institution believe? In real practical terms. You would have to read *chuckling* many, many books *Simone chuckles* by their founder to get all this stuff, especially towards the end of his life, he started to lean pretty hard into the Alex Jones eenis of *chuckles*

Simone 1:37:39
Of it all? *chuckles*

Daniel 1:37:39
Yeah, of it all. Here, it’s, like, it’s all in one place. It’s all in one, long, meandering, unedited, place, but, nevertheless, it is all there, and so I find it a very, very helpful reference. And I bring this up, because, you can probably tell by our editorial insertions, we do not believe this. Actually, I think a lot of people who even say they follow the Church of Satan don’t believe this.

Simone 1:38:01

Daniel 1:38:01
But nevertheless, these are the beliefs of the longest-lasting Satanist institution in the world, and that has had profound effects on the formation of Satanist subcultures around the world, particularly in the 20th century.

Simone 1:38:13
Hell, I don’t think people in the Church of Satan, some of them, know that this essay exists. Because, remember, when we did Satan Speaks, people did not believe us that that was Anton LeVey’s writings and I’m, like, ‘you are in Church of Satan, and A. you don’t know that this book exists and B. you’re, like, trying to fight with us about whether or not these quotes are real.’

Tabitha 1:38:35

Simone 1:38:36
On Facebook? And-

Daniel 1:38:37
There does seem to be questionable literacy among Anton’s modern, uh-

Simone 1:38:40

Daniel 1:38:41
Fan Club. *chuckles*

Tabitha 1:38:42
Also, does Peter get to decide who, who is the best, you know, person who, who the eugenics will favor, or not? Like, is he this deciding factor of *Simone laughs* who are strong, who is smart? Like, why, why does he get to decide? Why does anyone get to decide who lives and dies?

Daniel 1:39:01
See, we talked about this back on the Satan Speaks episode; here is the problem. That’s always the problem with these sorts of standards: is the fact that there is no way to keep your biases from poisoning the rubric that you want to apply to the rest of society. Here, when he’s saying things, like, is like, ‘Oh, well, it’ll just be we’ll, we’ll just make things, no-strings-attached and hands-off, and the people who don’t make it will be the people who were too weak to get ahead,’ but this thing- the thing I find fascinating in here is where he goes on this, sort of, Limbaugh-an rant about ‘we need to stop foreign aid!’ And, this is an incredibly naive position, that he seems to think that we do foreign aid because we feel compassionate and because, like, every state department from Carter through Trump were just a bunch of bleeding hearts. No, we do it so that those countries will implement policy that we want, or so that when they do things we don’t like we can take away that air or threaten to take it away to get them on board with us! For somebody who is such a profound cynic, *Simone laughs* he should know how this works! This is a really weird, naive, sheltered perspective on international policy; I find that *so* telling it’s such a weird way. Pete is a weird dude.

Tabitha 1:40:04
Do you- so, do you think that he’s going to favorite people with weird eyebrows?

Daniel 1:40:09
You’re thinking of Aquino.

Tabitha 1:40:12
Ah, fuck!

Daniel 1:40:12

Tabitha 1:40:13
Do you think that he thinks Aquino is the perfect man? The Ubermensch? *laughter* [ok, but upon googling, i kind of love his eyebrows. also, its three in the morning…]

Daniel 1:40:20
Now I strongly suspect that Gilmore didn’t think much of Aquino.

Tabitha 1:40:22
Aw, dammit!

Daniel 1:40:24
You know? Gilmore was, kind of, like- I think he was the replacement for Aquino-

Tabitha 1:40:28

Daniel 1:40:28
He was, like, the- *chuckles*

Tabitha 1:40:30
All these churches Satan people look the same. *laughter*

Daniel 1:40:35
He’s got quite a beard, so maybe there’s that? Maybe, maybe it’s the beard-yness that makes him, makes it-

Tabitha 1:40:40
Yeah, only people with beards get to live through-

Simone 1:40:42
With, with remarkable facial hairs.

Tabitha 1:40:45

Simone 1:40:45
Of some kind.

Tabitha 1:40:45

Simone 1:40:46
Or another.

Daniel 1:40:46
The other thing that I also observed is that, I feel that when elitists place themselves into so-called elitist organizations, the results are often not what they think they are going to be because um, I dunno, you know… As insensitive as it may sound to say it, many people who endorse this, sort of, authoritarian elitism, will find that they are committing themselves to a slow form of suicide without realizing it.

Tabitha 1:41:12

Daniel 1:41:12
That’s all I’ll add there. In any case, thoughts?

Simone 1:41:16
I mean, just, just what you just said, kind of reminds me of all these people who thought that they were preppers, for the end of days, and they stockpiled on all their guns, and their canned foods, and then, the pandemic hit, and they fucking fell apart. Because-

Tabitha 1:41:31
Yep. Absolutely just lost their fucking-

Simone 1:41:32
-it was a different kind of, quote, unquote, end of the world, where you had to be nice, and stay at home, and not fight, you know, marauding bands of zombies.

Tabitha 1:41:42
Right, and you have to be compassionate towards another, other people.

Simone 1:41:45
So, all these people, like, really, really think very highly of themselves, but the second you, you change the scenario from the ideal scenario that they’ve prepared for, you know, they are not prepared for anything. They’re prepared for the one thing they’ve put together in their imagination.

Tabitha 1:42:03
Yeah, and they’re not prepared for that either. To be quite honest with you, I think that if the thing that they expect to happen happened, they, they would fall apart, then, as well.

Simone 1:42:12
Yeah, and so, here, it’s, like, you know, so this kind of Satanism is all about lauding the people who are strong, but what kind of strong? Apparently Gilmore’s definition of strong, but that’s not the only strong that there is, and it’s such a limiting imagination-less perspective when, in reality, we find that the more people we talk to, the more perspectives we get, the more diversity we have of thought, of people, of backgrounds of experience. That’s, that’s the real strength, and that’s, that’s the kind of Satanism that I like: the one that recognizes that.

Daniel 1:42:49
I could go on about this all day-

Simone 1:42:51

Daniel 1:42:51
-like I said, I really love this essay. It’s awful, but I love it because it provides a lot of- it provides very useful services, let’s put it this way. Case in point, I don’t know if anybody else saw this, earlier this year, the Church of Satan made a public statement about, against police brutality. And I think to myself, that’s great, but what happened to the American SS? What happened to the concrete jungles and the vermin in the streets?

Tabitha 1:43:07

Simone 1:43:12

Daniel 1:43:12
Maybe, maybe they’ve just changed their perspective in 30 years, which would not be unreasonable, but I’m guessing they would not consider it a change of perspective. They seem to like to- well, I don’t want to get into the, I want to get into speculating about their motives, but it struck me, not only that there was a change, but that nobody acknowledged that it was a change.

Simone 1:43:30
Well, it- they-

Daniel 1:43:31
That’s fascinating to me.

Daniel 1:43:32
They’d have to still be relevant in some way for people to remark upon such a change. *Daniel chuckles*

Tabitha 1:43:37

Simone 1:43:37

Tabitha 1:43:38

Daniel 1:43:39

Tabitha 1:43:39
And we’re gonna round out our discussion with Speak of the Devil, from Joe Laycock, 2020. “The Satanic Temple can be read as another manifestation of what I call appropriating the discourse of evil. They identify as what their culture understands to be evil, then flip the script by arguing that it is Satanists who really believe in justice and compassion, while their opponents promote intolerance and authoritarianism. Identifying evil is always an exercise in power. TST proposes that Satanists and Christians alike should be judged by their actions and values [instead of…] out-group standards. One might think that coexisting with ‘Good Satanists’ would be preferable to ‘Evil Satanists,’ but responses frequently demonstrate the, just the opposite: Christian opponents accuse the Satanic Temple of not being ‘proper Satanists,’ to the extent that their actions are morally defensible. There is a need, it seems, for Satanists to be evil.

Simone 1:44:50
*chuckles* This kind of makes me think of someone I am distantly related to, who is Catholic, and who did not take kindly to my being a Satanist, although it was never confirmed to them, but I was just, like, ‘okay if we want to look at at this according to your own rules, I’m a better Catholic than you are!’

Tabitha 1:45:15
Naah. *chuckles*

Simone 1:45:15
Because somebody got knocked up out of wedlock…

Simone 1:45:19

Simone 1:45:20
And then got divorced.

Tabitha 1:45:21

Simone 1:45:22
And I’m like, ‘so, uh, as far as your own rules go, this Satanist here is is less bad of a Catholic than you are.’ *Tabitha chuckles* Always amuses me.

Tabitha 1:45:33

Simone 1:45:34
Not that, not that getting pregnant out of wedlock and getting divorced, in my view, are bad, but in their view-

Tabitha 1:45:41

Simone 1:45:41
-are bad, so.

Tabitha 1:45:42

Daniel 1:45:43
Well, that’s the contrast between, you know- we have a humanistic religion and they have an apocalyptic religion. What makes a good Catholic a good Catholic is not necessarily things like charity, *Simone mmhmm’s* and being nice to people, they’re encouraged to do that, but [they’re not] doing that for the sake of those people, or at least they’re not supposed to be, they’re doing it for the sake of God. *Simone mmhmm’s* Thing with being a Catholic is that that they have a personal relationship with Jesus and they have atoned for their sins and when the judgment day comes they’ll be on the right side of things. Their relationships with people are subordinate to that, or, at least, that’s how it’s designed. Whereas, we have a kind of a people-first mentality because, what else is there, really?

Simone 1:46:15

Tabitha 1:46:16
Well, it’s funny because they say it’s, like, a go- first thing, but, really, it’s a, it’s very selfish because it’s, like, ‘oh, if I do these things, it’s it’s for me, it’s so I get to be where I need to be when, in the afterlife.’ It’s not having to do, you know- they don’t do the thing. Not even- I mean, they say it’s for God, but really, it’s just so I, I just want to make sure that I’m safe when, when, you know, the Ragnarok comes or whatever. *laughter* Continuing: “It may surprise some that a community that rejects supernaturalism finds, finds, such meaning in ritual. However, theorists suggest that, in a serious way, ritual creates our reality and identity. There is a demand for Satanic ritual because they lend the weight of a religious community to individuals whose understanding of themselves has been at odds with their religious upbringing. To claim that the power of ritual is supernatural is harmful, but admitting it is an illusion that the community elects to participate in is empowering. In this way, Satanism is like an honest magician, inviting the audience to enjoy the experience of a religion without asking them to compromise their intelligence.”

Simone 1:47:28
That is something that I like and agree with.

Tabitha 1:47:32
Yeah, wholeheartedly.

Simone 1:47:34
You know what’s funny. My dad watched our 100th episode Black Mass.

Tabitha 1:47:38
No, he didn’t!

Simone 1:47:39
He did. And I said, ‘oh, was that weird for you?’ And he said, ‘yes.’ Although, apparently you didn’t watch the whole thing, he just watched the parts that I was in. And I was, like, no, I mean, I get it, and I, kind of, had to do the schpeel with hi, because I haven’t actually had that ‘why we do ritual’ schpeel with him, but just, like, you know, it’s, it’s performance art. It is a community bonding experience. Or, it can just be, like, a personal comfort if you’re doing an individual ritual. And, but yeah, we don’t think we’re summoning anything; we don’t think that the power of prayer is going to solve all of our problems. So, I do like getting to, you know, consciously go in and do this for these benefits that we know without, like Laycock says, without compromising our intelligence.

Tabitha 1:48:31
Mmhmm. And for me, I mean, I mentioned on the show many times, I love the spectacle. I just love-

Simone 1:48:36
It’s just fun!

Tabitha 1:48:37
Yes, it’s so much fun.

Simone 1:48:38
And what’s wrong with that?

Tabitha 1:48:39
It’s, it’s just fun, and I love- and I feel like people are really engaged in it. And- it’s funny because when, like, even when I started going to these things, like, at first, I was, like, ‘oh I feel silly-‘

Simone 1:48:49

Tabitha 1:48:49
-but not even- within one of these things, within, you know, 10 to 15 minutes, I felt included, and I felt-

Simone 1:48:57

Tabitha 1:48:57
-like I was having a good time, and that it wasn’t silly, or dumb. That it was, you know- Oh, wow! Yeah, this, that this makes me feel fucking great! *laughs*

Simone 1:49:06
It is, it is one of those things that, when you are coming from the atheist side of things, you feel, like, you know, you start with ‘religion is stupid,’ and then you, kind of, maybe open yourself up a little bit more and- but then you go, ‘oh, so ritual is stupid. What’s the point?’ And it can be- that’s the, the hump to, to get over. Whereas, I think, people coming in from, you know, other religions, they understand the ritual. It’s just, like, they, you know, need to come to grips with the atheistic part or with the, you know, the S-word part. I mean, I think it is known that ritual has benefits, and so, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging those benefits to your, you know, personal mental health, and emotional well-being, and your bonding with your community. Those are good things, kind of across the board, but it’s an even better thing when it’s not layered over something that is toxic and destructive.

Tabitha 1:50:05
Mmhmm. Or just obviously not real.

Simone 1:50:07

Tabitha 1:50:07
And that people have to grapple with real-life and this supernatural thing that they probably don’t actually believe in. Like, and of course, I’m not talking about all Christians or anything, but you know that there’s a subset of these people that are, like, constantly grappling with the fact that they actually probably don’t believe in this-

Simone 1:50:25

Tabitha 1:50:25
-but they are indoctrinated or they have family that they’re like, ‘well, I can’t leave,’ and, you know, having to sit through that, that must be really difficult.

Daniel 1:50:34
There’s even a sociological term for that: Functional Atheist; somebody who is a part of a supernaturalist religion, but is, in terms of their actual convictions, an atheist.

Tabitha 1:50:44

Daniel 1:50:44
And yeah, that can be incredibly difficult. I’m told. *chuckling* Um, I wouldn’t know.

Tabitha 1:50:48
*chuckling* Yeah. I’m very fortunate that I don’t know what that’s like.

Daniel 1:50:52
This is a conflict I see played out on social media over and over again, over the last five years, people are attracted to a group, like the Satanic Temple, or to us- we attract very common- we have a very common appeal. Because, they-

Tabitha 1:51:05
Oh, a Black Mass Appeal? *Simone laughs*

Daniel 1:51:06

Tabitha 1:51:06

Simone 1:51:08
She said the name of the show!

Daniel 1:51:11
-because they perceive, based on news coverage, that is a political stunt-

Simone 1:51:15

Daniel 1:51:15
-and that intrigues them, but then they become confused when they encounter additional religious trappings, like ritual events. Now, I want to make it clear, some Satanists don’t dig that kind of thing, and that is fine. That is their right. But, I strongly suspect that the people who do participate in practices like ritual, have an easier time integrating into their Satanic communities and end up with more deeply-entrenched Satanic identities and values. I haven’t studied that; I just really think that that is true. Here’s the catch. Ritual is just the practical application of myth; they work exactly the same way. Just like we don’t think our myths are literally true, but they still have value for us. We don’t think that our rituals are magical, but they still perform the same functions as pretty much every other religion. When a priest is standing at the front of the church and giving his sermon, he’s not talking to God because, spoiler, *Simone laughs* God is not there.

Tabitha 1:52:12
*sarcastic fake surprise* Whaaaat?!

Daniel 1:52:13
He is talking to himself, and to the people in the room, *Simone chuckles* and their responses are the point! He may not acknowledge that that’s the point, but that is the real, tangible value of that ritual interaction. It’s just like the same thing for us. The only difference is, we know what’s what. We are very, very honest and straightforward about what is the nature of this, and who is really benefiting, and what that benefit is. And it works; it really does work.

Simone 1:52:38
Well, that was a lot, and there was still more that we could have possibly talked about. I think we’ll just have to have another *chuckling* 100 episodes or so to get through it all.

Tabitha 1:52:50

Simone 1:52:52
But, let’s just, kind of, round out this conversation with what’s, you know, what’s one thing, one takeaway, about Satanism that we’d like to impart to our audience or to strangers? Tabitha, what about you?

Tabitha 1:53:07
For me, I really feel like there’s something to be said about if you’re not early into this thing, just leave us alone. *laughter* And I know, for some people, that’s impossible, especially when you talk about, like, the Satanic Temple and their, you know, push into politics, and, like, you know, and trying to see how, like, show how silly some of the, kind of, Christian beliefs that we all have to, like, kind of, live with us in this country. But, look into it, and learn about it, and if you’re still like, mmm, then just go away. *Simone laughs* And if you’re interested or even, even just a little bit, like, there are people who want to talk to you about it, and you can also listen to our show, and we’ll tell you a lot, a lot about it. *laughing*

Simone 1:53:52
I think for me, so, so this is kind of hard to translate to strangers, or to a larger audience in general, but whenever I’m talking to someone about Satanism, what is Satanism? Why am I Satanist? The thing I just, kind of, want to say is, look, you know me, right? You know me not to be a malicious, evil person, you know me not to be- well, I’m a little bit mentally ill, but not, you know, unreasonably so. *Tabitha laughs* And so, and so, trust me. Trust me that I have looked into this; trust me that I have made a conscious, thoughtful decision, and so trust that I have reasons, and I’m very happy to share those reasons with you. And you don’t have to agree with me, but trust me. I’m not out here eating babies. I’m not out here sacrificing virgins. There are good things, and you know me, and you know what kind of person I am, so trust that there are good things. So, that’s kind of what I would say-

Simone 1:54:56
Or go away. *laughs*

Simone 1:54:57
Yeah. Yes. So, that’s kind of hard to translate to, you know, strangers or, or, you know, people who, who don’t know me in a larger context, but if you are trying, if you the listener, if you, as a person, as an individual, are having trouble, kind of, expressing that, just think about, you know, who it is that you’re talking to. If they’re your friend, if they’re a close family member, then have them trust you a little bit.

Daniel 1:55:24
I guess if I wanted people to know one thing about thing- projects like Satanic Bay Area and Black Mass Appeal is, I would like for everyone who could possibly potentially hear this to know that somewhere out there, there is a place that you belong. Maybe, you’ve got personal reasons why you feel like the conventional values of society, and normal religious institutions, just don’t work for you. Maybe because you’re gay, you’re queer. Maybe because you’re trans or non-gender conforming. Maybe because you’re disabled or you have mental health challenges. Or, maybe you’re like me, and you’re none of those things- actually, I guess I’m a little queer, but I have straight privilege. Let’s not get into the details. My point being that maybe you just don’t feel like it fits for you. Maybe it always just seemed like it was always something that was meant to appeal to other people and meant to turn you off. I want all of those people to know that they- it is entirely possible for you to have those same things: to have community, to have those kinds of relationships with your people, to have this thing in your life that strengthens your resolve and teaches you about yourself, and motivates you, and creates these profound personal connections with the past, and the present, and the future, and that it’s actually okay to want those things and to pursue them. Even if you don’t dig- like, maybe you just don’t dig us that much. Maybe you hear about the Satanic Temple and you don’t like them; a lot of people don’t, but that’s okay. You can go out there and you can find other people who are like you and you can form those relationships; you can create it. You can do it. Religion does not have to be something that is created 1000 years in the past and handed down to us in this sort of decrepit, institutionalized way- I’ve used the word institution so many times in this episode, somebody throw me a synonym, please. *Tabitha laughs* -in this, in this, in this, in this sort of strict, binding, orthodox way. It doesn’t have to be something that you have to compromise yourself for or sacrifice the things that are important to you. It can, and it should be, things that affirm and strengthen all the things you love about yourself, and make you better, and make you love yourself better. That’s been my experience, and I’m so, so happy that it’s happened and that I get to share with the people in this room and the people listening to this, and all I really want, for all of the people out there, is for them to know that it is possible for them to- unless you’re an asshole. *laughter* But you probably didn’t make it all the way through this episode in that case. *(chuckles*

Tabitha 1:57:37
Or go away. *laughs*

Daniel 1:57:38
Yes. And those are the things that I think about when I think about Satan, and that is why I love the character and why I love the practice. I feel like Satan is the person who stands in for all of those people who otherwise would not have anything that stands for them.

Tabitha 1:57:53
That was beautiful. [seriously, daniel. way to make a girl want to cry at like four in the morning]

Simone 1:57:57
Yeah. All right, well. Right before we go away, let’s leave you with the place where you can contact us, which is BlackMassAppealpod@gmail.com. You can also check out our website, BlackMassAppeal.com, and contact us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as @BlackMassAppeal.

Daniel 1:58:15
If you want to find out more about Satanic Bay Area, check us out at SatanicBayArea.com. You can find us on Instagram and on Facebook as Satanic Bay Area; or follow us on Twitter as @SatanicSF. You can also check out Tabitha on Tik Tok, the handle there is @DailyBaphirmations. And, if you want to come down and add something to our Satanism 101- you see a little math-related humor there, *Tabitha laughs* to follow up on your opening.

Tabitha 1:58:38
I what, I don’t, I, I don’t get it.

Simone 1:58:40
I almost failed math.

Tabitha 1:58:41
What was math? *Daniel giggles*

Daniel 1:58:42
You can do it at Satanic coffee hour at Wicked Grounds coffee shop in San Francisco. Now, here’s the deal!

Tabitha 1:58:48
*Tabitha goes back to the Belial tongue-wagging sound*

Daniel 1:58:50
Wicked Grounds has been closed during the pandemic, of course, and we have been doing Satanic coffee hour online- which meant that there was not nearly as much coffee as there used to be-

Simone 1:58:57
it was-

Tabitha 1:58:57
For you.

Simone 1:58:57
BYOC. Bring your own coffee.

Daniel 1:58:59
The cafe has reopened, but we had- it took a while to get things rescheduled, you know? They, they’re, they’re, they’re populating their calendar. We’re getting in touch with the people who were in charge of things. We have not been able to return for in-person Satanic Coffee hour yet, but! We will. In August. However, there has been a change. Satanic coffee hour is now the third Tuesday of every month- previously it was the third Thursday- before that it was the second Thursday. *Simone chuckles* But, eventually we’ll have been doing this so long that every day on the calendar will have been Satanic coffee hour at some point.

Tabitha 1:59:32

Daniel 1:59:33
But starting in August, third Tuesday’s of every month, from 6 to 8PM, at Wicked Grounds coffee in San Francisco.

Tabitha 1:59:38
Change is scary! Ah, I’m scared! *laughter*

Daniel 1:59:41
But change is also the essence of Satan. Although, Satan is also kind of scary, so.

Tabitha 1:59:44
Ahhh! *laughs*

Daniel 1:59:46
Well, Tabitha, do we know what we’re going to be having when we’re there?

Tabitha 1:59:48
Well, um, the apricot tree’s still going crazy- although, by August, the apricot tree won’t be going crazy. Green beans! We will be having green beans because I’m going to bring everybody green beans from the yard.

Daniel 1:59:59

Tabitha 1:59:59
So many green beans!

Daniel 2:00:02
And on that note, do we want a ‘Hail Satan’ to go out on? *Tabitha cackles*

Tabitha 2:00:06
I love you trying desperately to make, to get green beans to the, our outro. It was a really good try.

Daniel 2:00:12
I mean, green beans to the outro is what’s happening right now. *Tabitha laughs*

Tabitha 2:00:15
*laughing* Yes I would love to say ‘Hail Satan’ to close out. *Simone laughs*

Daniel 2:00:19
Three, two, one…

Black Mass Appeal 2:00:21
Hail Satan!

Black Mass Appeal 2:00:27
*Propellerhead’s History Repeating plays*


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