We’re loosening up some family ties and getting to know Satan’s heir apparent. The Antichrist is a regular contributor to both American popular culture… and American fundamentalist paranoia fits, but no prophet’s book ever actually tells us who the Antichrist is. So, where did this myth come from, and is there anything in it to interest a Modern Satanist? To help us get some anti-answers, we’re joined by Professor Robert Fuller.









Simone 0:04
Welcome to Black Mass Appeal, a podcast that brings modern Satanism to the masses. Today on Black Mass Appeal, we’re loosening up some family ties and getting to know Satan’s heir apparent. Also, Satanic Bay Area has words of encouragement and, in the news, Satan serves up some devilish dining. Joining me today, I’ve got Daniel.

Daniel 0:27
Hi, my name is Daniel. I’m an organizer for Satanic Bay Area and I’m a member of the Satanic Temple, and I tried really hard for Tabitha’s sake to book Sam Neill on this episode, but, unfortunately, he’s busy all week counseling a baby horse on Tik Tok, so there you have it.

Simone 0:43
Also joining me is Sam Neill fan Tabitha.

Tabitha 0:46
*laughing* Are you gonna put that before my name every episode now? Dang it! *giggling* Hey, this is Tabitha. I am an administrator for a Satanic Bay Area and I am a fan of Sam Neill. *giggles* [i was all excited because i confused sam neill and jeremy irons 🙁 sam neill’s pretty cool, i guess, but he’s no scar or pope of rome!]

Simone 1:06
Joining us later in the show will be Professor Robert Fuller to talk about, what else, but the Antichrist. Until then, you’ve got me my name is Simone. I’m an administrator for Satanic Bay Area, and I recently learned that Tabitha and Daniel have not seen the Sam Neill movie Possession from 1981 and I cannot fucking wait until they do because I want to hear all about their reactions. If you’ve seen the movie, you know! So.

Daniel 1:28
First-time listeners are very confused as to whether this is a pod- is this a, this is a Sam Neill, just, fan podcast now for some reason.

Tabitha 1:36

Daniel 1:37
I also have to add- it’s one thing if we intro Tabitha as a Sam Neill fan every episode; I’m still confused about why there’s a sticker about it on her driver’s license. You know where it says organ donor for most people? For her, it just says ‘Sam Neill fan.’ I’m still confused.

Simone 1:50
You know, there is, there’s a podcast about every fucking thing under the sun, and there is a podcast about every single Dennis Quaid movie ever made, called, I’m not joking, “Quaid in Full.” *Daniel cackles; Tab groans* I thought it was a joke at first- that someone had just come up with that really funny name and then, no, it turns out the podcast is real. So, what I’m saying is, Tabitha, if we come up with a really funny, punny, Sam Neill title, I think we can at least do a couple episodes. A Sam Neill celebration show.

Daniel 2:27
You know, Simone, I don’t know if you remember, but a couple of years ago, I pitched a Bela Lugosi podcast, but you were in the middle of your Die Hard podcast at the time, so it didn’t work out schedule-wise, and then, of course, the world ended so we were not really feeling like taking on extra projects at the time. But, I don’t know. Maybe one of these days, we could kick that idea around again. *chuckles*

Simone 2:43

Tabitha 2:44
Neill Before Pod. That’s what I got.

Simone 2:48
Damn, Tabitha!

Tabitha 2:49
That’s what I got for you.

Simone 2:50
Right out the fuckin’ gate! *Tabitha starts laughing*

Daniel 2:51
I know!

Simone 2:52
Wow! *Tab is still laughing, Daniel cackles* [seriously that was amazing]

Simone 2:56
I want to, like, end the show now and start working on that, but, OK. Let’s-

Tabitha 3:01
Sorry. *clears throat*

Simone 3:01
-say- we’ll, we’ll work on Neill Before Pod *laughs; Daniel is wheezing he’s laughing so hard* and we’ll work on ‘untitled Bela Lugosi podcast,’ to be named later. Until then, let’s focus on where we’re at, which is, Black Mass Appeal. Black Mass Appeal is a product of Satanic Bay Area and it is not associated with any other Satanic groups. It’s a podcast for Satanists to discuss modern Satanism, its history, left-leaning political activism, and how Satanism relates to current events and pop culture. We’re 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 is SBA, Satanic Bay Area, been up to lately, guys?

Daniel 3:40
Well, I’ll tell you what- of course, as we record this, we’re still getting ready for Pazuzu’s Blessing on August 1- refer back to the previous show for more details on that, and once that goes down, we’ll tell you all about it. In the meantime, we thought, maybe, this is just a good opportunity to remind people that, speaking of that year when the world ended, one thing that did come out of that period is that is when we started our Daily Baphirmations. If you have checked out our SBA Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, also, Tabitha’s Tik Tok, you can see that everyday there- we post an image of Baphomet along with, hopefully, an encouraging, insightful, or unorthodox bit of wisdom to make your day, maybe, slightly, a little bit easier and to affirm yourself with, a little bit, more strongly. This is something that we just started doing during the initial, supposedly, couple weeks-long lockdown period in San Francisco, and as that lasted a lot longer than we expected, *chuckles* so too have the Daily Baphirmations because they have proven extremely popular. In fact, if you look over at the growth of, say, our Instagram account, it has, it kind of took off last year, almost entirely on the basis of this. So, the point that- there are, I think, are some people who follow us on some platforms who don’t know that we do anything else and then get very confused and surprised by some of the things that we say in different contexts. Nevertheless, this is coming up because constantly, constantly over the last year and a half or so, people have asked us, ‘are you going to do a book with these? Are you going to do a calendar with these? We really like these, what have you got?’ And, I personally resisted that because it was, it was just not, you know, what they were intended for. I, kind of, thought of them as, like, sort of, like, a moment in time, but, you know, the demand is so regular that we did, just the other day, start talking about, ‘okay, how, in what way, can we possibly transition these into some form of more enduring media’ to meet that demand because people really seem to want it. [i’d buy it]

Simone 5:35
And, to that end, if there’s been a daily affirmation that was particularly meaningful or special to you, one that you really think was good and should be highlighted for any kind of hardcopy edition- whatever that form that may take on- let us know. You know, shoot us a note on social media, shoot us an email, and let us know what your favorites are. [mine is the favorite where i’m in the background. oh, and the one with my dog in it 🙂 ]

Daniel 5:57
I also want to point out, not to toot my own horn- although why else do we have this show- these are, especially, really hard for me to do. I do not like or trust positivity culture, so it is very hard to come up with something to say everyday that is supportive and does not sound trite, or weird, or like something that your aunt would put on Facebook in front of a picture of a pine forest. *chuckles*

Tabitha 6:02
Or a minion. *laughs*

Daniel 6:06

Simone 6:07
Oh, god! oh- *groans* Yeah, no, a- toxic positivity is a thing, that idea of, like, being positive, no matter what happens and not letting your other emotions come through, or not letting yourself take time or work on more practical solutions. It’s, it’s a, it’s a, totally a thing, and I really like Daily Baphirmations because Daniel has a way of, just, having these messages that are affirming and positive but not in a toxic or overly sappy, positive way; that, that’s just very real. That’s just very, like, ‘yeah, you know what? That’s, that’s what I already thought,’ and this is just a nice encapsulation of it.

Daniel 7:06
Well, you know, that’s interesting. That’s one of- my great fear with these is that I’ll run out of ideas and just stumble into that sort of thing whereas, Tabitha, over with her Tik Tok Daily Baphirmations, has a much different attitude about it in that, Tabitha, I remember you often model those on other sorts of, like, positivity means that- your argument being, people like us never get those sorts of things directed at them and so, that is, the purpose of that particular account is just to, like- those people, those people also feel acknowledged if they need that same sort of input.

Tabitha 7:41
Yeah, and it’s not just that. I also, like- they’re really brief. I, if I do more than about six to, like, or maybe even eight words, like, it’s unusual. I usually like to keep them very brief, and that, you know, the necessity of that, kind of, changes context. But, also, yeah, I really like to, kind of, like, hold up a mirror to some of these Christian ones that are just like, ‘god is in control!’ And, then, you could just say, ‘no, I am in control,’ and wow, that makes me feel so much better! *laughs*

Simone 8:12
There’s something, I think, to be said about some, some truths are universal but they get passed off as being Christian, or [of] other religions. You know, that it’s their *scoffs* intellectual property or whatever. You know, things like believing in yourself, things like, you know, optimism, positivity, that doesn’t belong to anybody, but I mean, not, not that I want a Satanic version of ‘live, laugh, love’ on my wall, [i mean, i literally make those…js] but what I’m saying is is that some people, you know, they see Satanist imagery, they hear the word Satanism or satan and they go, ‘Oh, they’re just nothing but evil people and blah, blah, blah,’ but we are human beings and some human experiences are universal, and the desire to be affirmed or reassured is universal and Satanists deserve that too. [fuck yeah!]

Daniel 9:10
I want to get the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ pillowcase, but pray is p-r-e-y. I feel like that’s good. *laugher* [stealing that!]

Tabitha 9:17
I’m gonna do, like, a, maybe, a deep cut and just say, ‘Alive. *fake laughs* Fuck!’ *laughs*

Daniel 9:24
So, anyway-

Tabitha 9:25
*laughing* You either get it or you don’t. That’s, that’s as far we go. *laughter*

Daniel 9:29
That’s the update- people who have asked all year, ‘are you doing anything with these?’ The answer is finally yes, although we’re not yet ready to announce quite what, so keep a weather eye out, is all I can say now.

Simone 9:40
We have so many fun projects coming, you guys. Like, we did a lot of stuff behind the scenes during [the] pandemic; stuff that hopefully will be ready for some sort of public introduction soon-ish? I’m just bursting. I’m just bursting. So, before I burst and, like, spill all the beans, which would make Tabitha sad-

Tabitha 10:00

Simone 10:00
-let’s, let’s move on to reviews so that there’s no crying over spilled beans. Okay, now, for reviews, we look at places like Apple Podcasts, we look at places like Podchaser, and if we’ve missed any reviews, please feel free to email us and say, ‘hey! I dropped your review over here; here it is,’ and we will say thank you and read it. And, again, whether it’s good, bad, constructive criticism, whatever, we just like hearing back from our listeners. And so, we’ve got two new ones to read. The first one comes from That Cuban in the Corner, who says, ugh, but it’s a positive ugh. “You guys are great, keep the eternal flames alive. If I could give you six stars I would. PS, what happened to ‘unholy biscuits,’ that was my favorite phrase of Daniel’s.”

Daniel 10:46
Does anybody remember me saying ‘unholy biscuits’ because I, I’m drawing a blank? *laughs*

Simone 10:51
I think I do.

Tabitha 10:52
I mean, I’m sure you did. *laughs*

Daniel 10:54
I believe it, but I don’t remem- recall it. *laughs*

Simone 10:57
if not then. then time to bring it back now.

Daniel 11:01
Is this, like, our equivalent of communion wafers, unholy biscuits?

Tabitha 11:04

Simone 11:04
That would be, that would be kind of funny. *Tab laughs* What an interesting challenge that would be on Great British Bake Off. *Tabitha laughs again*

Tabitha 11:11
I also, I want to say that, I don’t think this is ‘ugh,’ I think it’s, ‘huh!’ [like punching the air cool] *laughs*

Simone 11:17
I took it as, like, ‘ugh! I love you guys!’ Or-

Tabitha 11:21

Simone 11:21
‘Ugh! You guys are great.’ Like, sometimes, with my friends and my loved ones, I am so disgusted by how much I liked them.

Tabitha 11:29

Simone 11:29
Like, ugh! Daniel and Tabitha, *sighs* what am I gonna do with you guys? Ugh!

Daniel 11:35
I took it as titles are a pain in the ass and it’s actually unreasonable that we expect people to come up with them on the fly.

Simone 11:40
Also true.

Tabitha 11:42

Simone 11:43
Okay, our next review comes from Darth Weggy.

Tabitha 11:45

Simone 11:47
And, I believe, this is from Podchaser because I don’t think Podchaser has a little title field, so if you don’t want to make up a title, go over to Podchaser instead!

Tabitha 11:56
*laughs* The title of this one is also, ‘Ugh!’ *laughter*

Simone 11:59
Darth Weggy says, “I discovered I was a Satanist in early 2021 and I pretty quickly stumbled upon this podcast. In this time, I have unfaithfully listened to every episode and became a ‘Mark of the Beast Club’ member on Patreon, where additional awesome content like Conspiracy Weary can be found. BMA, in addition to providing its listeners with informative discussions on niche or esoteric topics, has helped to build and establish a sense of Satanic community. The hosts are intelligent, hilarious, and passionate about their Satanism. I look forward to supporting BMA (and Conspiracy Weary) for a long time to come. Hail Satan and May the Force be with You!” Ugh, that’s the best sign-off; Hail Satan and May the Force be with You.

Tabitha 12:40

Simone 12:40
It’s, like, all the things I like.

Tabitha 12:41

Daniel 12:42
I just, I just want it on record. I did not sprinkle this Conspiracy Weary content *chuckles* into the text, here. This, this, this was really the review.

Simone 12:51
Well, nor would you have to. Conspiracy Weary is a bonus that our Patreon supporters get a chance to listen to, exclusive to them, and I think it’s worth it. As does Darth Weggy.

Daniel 13:05
I want to say a couple of things. One, whenever I hear people say, ‘oh, I’ve listened to every episode in the last six months,’ that is wild to me! There are very few podcasts where I’ve gone back and listened to the entire catalog, even when I really love the show. It’s just, like, a very intimidating amount of time to commit to something, so that always makes me feel really good. I also feel really good when I hear from people who are relatively recently come to the idea of Satanism. Oftentimes, we will hear people, sort of, rhetorically lean on how long they’ve been a Satanist, the number of years or the number of decades, and, in truth, that is often a really relevant point to bring up; there is no substitute for experience, and people who have been around for a long time have had the opportunity to think about some ideas and learn some things that maybe the rest of us haven’t. On the other hand, though, there is also value to being new to an idea, and to entertaining ideas for the first time, and to coming into discoveries in a way that, maybe people who have been at this longer, have overlooked or forgotten about, so both those perspectives, I feel, it’s very Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience kind of perspective that I have on it, so it’s always great to hear from those folks.

Tabitha 14:08
I also feel, like, this is a really nice, like- not just a review, but, like, an actual overview of, like, what the show really is. You know, some of these are just, like, ‘yeah, these guys are great,’ which is perfectly fine, but this one really feels, like, if you are looking for this and you go into the comments of something and you see that, then you actually get a really, really good scope of how the show works.

Simone 14:27
All right, well the other thing that folks can do if they want to help support the show, besides leaving a review, they can contribute to the Patreon, that we just mentioned, that gets you Conspiracy Weary episodes. So, Patreon is the means by which we support this show and also some of the works of Satanic Bay Area, and so we have some new contributors to thank, and that is- we’ve got Adrienne Reece, and then in the Mark of the Beast Club, which are the folks are contributing $6.66 per month, we’ve got Jaidyn Casey. Jaidyn, Adrienne, thank you both so much for supporting Black Mass Appeal. [thanks for helping me pay my billssss]

Daniel 15:03
Also, a reminder, you don’t just get some bonus content like Conspiracy Weary when you join, back us on Patreon, you also get to decide what future episodes are going to be about. By the time this episode is out there, our new Patreon backer poll will be up and we’ve got eight, eight different ideas for future BMA shows that you can decide which ones are actually going to happen. That’s two suggestions for each of the hosts and, also, two that were nominated by the Patreon backers themselves, and so, too early right now to say what a favorite is going to be but I am watching the polls intently. Remember all of us obsessively watching that election map back in November? That’s how I am about the Patreon poll every time. *Tabitha chuckles* Except, obviously, the stakes are a little bit lower in this particular case.

Simone 15:44
Yeah, I was gonna say, except the FBI didn’t have to come into my workplace and, like, give us a debriefing on their polling and findings. *laughter* Jesus Christ. *sighs* Yes, our Patreon poll is a way that our listeners can help steer us on some topics that maybe weren’t on our radar, maybe that are important to folks that they’d like to hear us talk about it, just haven’t gotten to it, helps us prioritize, helps us know what people out there are looking for, so we, we really enjoy that feedback and *chuckling* I’m looking forward to the poll results myself.

Daniel 16:16
For example, last time, the poll was the reason why we did that episode on the Revolt of the Angels, which was an episode that taught me an awful lot about that book and gave me a lot of new perspectives on it, and as longtime listeners know, I really love that book already, but, nevertheless, there are still always a lot of things to learn even about an old topic so I’m very, very grateful that they voted for that and pushed us to do that show when we did. I think we probably would have talked about that book sooner or later anyway, but, who knows when? After all, there are a lot of other things to get to.

Simone 16:43
Sometimes I think about the Satanic topics that we haven’t gotten to and just how many of those there are. Like, we are never out of ideas, you know? But then, also, there’s all these ones that we’ve already covered but we’ve only, like, covered it one time and there was so much float [?] we had to leave on the table that couldn’t make it into the show, and so, I’m, just, like, we have- there’s content out there and available forever, so- *laughter*

Tabitha 17:11
Yeah, you’re gonna be stuck with us for, forever! *laughs*

Simone 17:14

Daniel 17:15
This, this is true. By the way, somebody nominated a show on Patreon; they said, like, ‘have you ever thought about doing this?’ And, I responded, that has been on our spreadsheet for four years now; I swear we’re doing that show eventually! I- maybe, maybe, maybe now depending on how people vote, *Simone laughs* but I’m just, like, it’s, like, ‘have you ever thought about that?’ It’s, like, ‘yeah, oh yeah, we thought about that one!’ *laughs*

Simone 17:33
Well, we may be doing the show for some time so we’re gonna give you guys a tiny little break right now, and then we’re gonna come back with the news.

Black Mass Appeal 17:41
*interlude music*


Tabitha 17:56
*old-timey breaking news doots*

Simone 17:57
And, those doots mean, order up! No, wait, that’s, that’s the little bell, like in a diner. Doots, doots is news. But, we are talking about food today because we are reading from Fodors Travel, from a piece by La Carmina, who was a guest on this show, who is also an amazing travel writer, and this piece is called “Salem Satanic Temple has Satanic Chef.” The Satanic chef- Adam Ostrofsky- begins each episode of his web cooking show by burning the Holy Bible [metal]…Ostrofsky is the official cook of the Satanic Temple…known for conjuring up demonic food events at TST’s Salem headquarters…’I use shock value when creating food to liberate us from religious indoctrination,’ Ostrofsky explains…As a chef and a Satanist, Ostrofsky has dedicated his life to affirming those who fall outside of conventional norms and advocating for social causes in the spirit of benevolence. Ostrofsky’s road to becoming The Satanic Chef began in Needham, Massachusetts where his classmates labeled him a misfit because of his learning disabilities. ‘Kids in junior high beat me senseless daily for a while,’ he recalls. As an escape from such ostracism, Ostrofsky turned to books and pop culture. He was drawn to topics considered forbidden fruit by mainstream society, including tales of the devil and the paranormal. He cites Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible and Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha among the most influential works for him, saying, ‘I found Siddhartha’s journey of individuality to be reminiscent of Satanism- that you should be yourself…’ Reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential was a defining moment for the young chef, as Ostrofsky related to the concept of cooks as punk-rock outsiders who banded together. ‘To me, Bourdain was portraying the idea of Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost,'” he says. Interesting comparison, especially considering that Bordain’s- is he a Patron Sinner now, or has he just been nominated a couple times?

Daniel 19:59
*chuckling* He’s been nominated several times.

Simone 20:01
All right, well, maybe 2022 is his year. Going back to the article. “In 2016, TST opened an official headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts- in a former Victorian funeral parlor [also metal]- and Ostrofsky began catering its food events. He created menus around themes near and dear to Satanists, such as a tea party for a scholarly debate on theocracy and moral panics [omfg yes please]…Among The Satanic Chef’s most meaningful events have been his ‘Pizzagate Pop-Ups,’ a nod to- *Daniel starts wheezing trying to hold in his laughter*

Daniel 20:32
Sorry, sorry. *Tabitha laughs*

Simone 20:30
“-a nod to a 2016 conspiracy theory that falsely accused a pizzeria of harboring a child trafficking ring run by a ‘Satanic cabal of elites.’ *Simone is definitely smiling and trying not to laugh* Ostrofsky’s menu included flatbreads with ‘sacrificed lamb ragu,’ and small plates like ‘spicy Goetia meatballs.’ *Tabitha giggles*…The Satanic Chef will soon release his long-awaited cookbook entitled Black Arches. ‘It’s got over 40 recipes and stories that are shocking, reactive, and entertaining,’ he says. ‘It isn’t going to be suitable for anyone who’s squeamish about Satanism.'” Anyone who’s squeamish about Satanism or is a picky eater. Or is picky- just picky in life? I don’t know. Now, I’m just thinking about, like, people with Satan allergies.

Simone 20:35
I wonder how many riffs on deviled eggs he has? *Simone chuckles*

Simone 21:25
Well, we had our own food episode where we talked about different, different devilish foods.

Daniel 21:31
So, couple of reasons why we’re picking up on this story. One, La Carmina is awesome. Go back to, I think it was, episode 91, where she was here talking about Satanism in Japan. Great Listen; great topic. Also, we did have a Satanic chef of our own on the show back on episode 80; Keith Breedlove, great Satanic chef in his own right. We did touch base with Ostrofsky about that episode but the scheduling didn’t work out, so maybe someday, and so, this seemed like a good opportunity to, at least, give him a little bit of attention on the show. He’s got a show over on TST TV; that’s a good watch. Seems like, seems like a cool guy.

Simone 22:03
Yeah, the topic of Satanic food comes up over and over again. One of our early pre-Conspiracy Weary minisodes, I talked about the origins of Devil’s [food] cake, and *chuckles* we were once interviewed by Mel Magazine to talk about, what else? Deviled eggs. That has to be one of the most fun, fun press requests we’ve ever gotten in our inbox.

Daniel 22:30
*laughing* Yeah, we said yes to that one immediately.

Simone 22:33
They were, like, ‘you want to talk about deviled eggs and whether or not you’re offended by the term?’ I’m, like, ‘deviled eggs are delicious. Of course, we want to talk about it!’

Tabitha 22:39
Yeah, hello. *Daniel laughs*

Simone 22:41
Um, some good news is that- so Mel Magazine looked like it was going under for a hot second there, but it looks like it might be revived. It’s, kind of, a- you know what? I’ve enjoyed reading some of the articles but I can’t characterize Mel Magazine as a magazine in its entirety. Some great film reviews, though, from someone that I know, Katie Walsh, did a whole series on women who work in action films, so, of course, you know, I love that. And, then, they seemed to like us enough to talk to us about deviled eggs, so I’m happy to see that they’re sticking around.

Tabitha 23:16
I will talk to you about any Satanic foods you can think of. Deviled ham? I’m there. Deviled…cake? Yes.

Simone 23:24
I remember when Daniel and I did a live recording of Bizarre States, which was a podcast on the Nerdist network, and someone asked us what our favorite foods were, like, if we had Satanic foods, and I was, like, it’s a pizza cut into a pentagram. *Tabitha chuckles* That’s my favorite.

Daniel 23:44
I said angel food cake, but you got to ground the angel really fine.

Simone 23:49
Don’t get any feathers stuck in your throat.

Daniel 23:51
*laughs* Yes, exactly. So, two things about this story that I want to, I want to bring up one here. So, we hear this story about how, when he was younger, the Satanic Bible really helped him through a difficult time, and I’m always struck when we hear stories like that because, as longtime unfaithful listeners know, the Satanic Bible is not a book that particularly inspires or helps any of us here, but there are often people who bring it up and say, ‘you know, I was at this really difficult period in my life and this did help me. This did help me a lot.’ And, I’m always actually very encouraged by that, and so it is good to keep those perspectives in mind, even when they diverge from our own. That can be very, very valuable to just stop and consider that for a little bit. The other thing that I want to bring up- so, burning the Bible, weirdly enough, a very sensitive topic with a lot of Satanists; a lot of people don’t like that kind of thing because they don’t like the imagery of book burning, just generally, no matter what the book is, and a lot of people also feel that it’s just, sort of, provocative and a childish way. [burn baby burn] There was a, there was a Satanic Temple Estate sermon about this couple of weeks, I think, last week, talking about what are the forms of blasphemy that are constructive for us and what are the ones that are not? And, of course, there are a lot of different opinions about that. I do like that Ostrofsky, here, has a particular reason why he says he does that, so he has put some thought into it, and so that always makes me feel like it’s a little bit more of a sensitive process and not just something somebody is doing for- because they think it’s, you know, funny or just to get a reaction in a gratuitous way, so that always makes me feel better, but I don’t know, how do we, how do we feel? For the record, this kind of thing usually does not bother me, but I get why some people are bothered by it. What are, what are- I wonder what my cohosts’ opinions are?

Tabitha 25:30
I like fire. *Daniel cackles*

Daniel 25:32
K. *Tabitha giggles*

Simone 25:37
I don’t know, I just- I think it’s intensely personal. I think it has to do with what has meaning for you. What has meaning for others, for the larger world. Something, like, burning pages out of a Bible, I would feel literally nothing, so I don’t know that I would do it because it doesn’t mean much to me because- I’m not a fan of book burning, in general, but, you know, I get, I get the symbolism. It’s just that, for me, personally, I just don’t feel any kind of way about it. I’m not someone who’s doing things to be shocking for the sake of being shocking. That’s just not my style, but I don’t, it doesn’t bother me that other people do it.

Daniel 26:19
Here’s why I get hung up on this- is if someone is burning a Bible, or any other book, I, kind of, reflexively, find that imagery off-putting, but there are, say, art pieces or performance pieces that involve the destruction of objects, often Bibles, that is one that comes up, for obvious reasons, not infrequently, and that, once you’ve changed the context, in that very minor, but critical way- at that point, I become comfortable with it, and I wonder, is that an arbitrary distinction? I guess, because- I mean, people aren’t ever burning a Bible for no reason. It’s just, maybe, a question of, again, how much thought have they put into the presentation?

Simone 26:57
I think that’s a good point because I think that the idea of book burning in this culture has taken on different meanings. We think about- some of us think about the book Fahrenheit 451, and the meanings behind book-burning there. We think about imagery of Nazis burning books, we think about imagery of Christians burning books and records, and even, even things, like, group-smashing of disco albums in baseball stadiums in the 70s is this weird, kind of, reaction to how popular it was. All of these, kind of, public instances of book and media burning or destroying feels weird, feels kind of dangerous and fascist, but an individual transforming something, even through destruction, has a different context to me, and even if it is, you know, fire is one of those things, it’s sort of on the bubble, because it is so closely associated with the more fascistic destructions, but, again, it is about the context and I do think an individual doing it for a thoughtful, expressed purpose, I’m much more comfortable with that than what can appear to be, sort of, just a mob destroying something that they have some sort of weird gut reaction against.

Daniel 28:21
Is it, is it punching up when it’s the Bible? Sometimes, I have that attitude about it, personally.

Simone 28:25
Yeah, there’s that too. There’s definitely that too. Like, we’re not, we’re not in any danger of running out of Bibles. Like, if we burn a couple, it’s not, like, we’ve taken that text away from other people to, to read and consume. When we think about, like, larger burning, you know, group burning contexts, a lot of the point of that was to prevent people from reading the work inside.

Tabitha 28:48
*monotone* Fireeeee. Good. *laughter*

Daniel 28:53
Yeah, if anything, people have gone out of their way to give me Bibles, which if they knew what happened to some of those texts, they might have second thoughts about that. *laughter* At the same time, it’s, like, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t make ya.

Tabitha 29:03
Am I, am I the anti-Frankenstein by saying fire good? *laughter* I’m sorry, Frankenstein’s monster!

Simone 29:10
But, he wasn’t Frankenstein because he was the son of Frankenstein, if you think about it.

Tabitha 29:14

Daniel 29:15
There’s this short movie, actually, it’s not, I don’t think it’s a short- I can’t remember, the title is something, like, Frankenstein’s Monster; Monster Frankenstein, *laughter* and, like, I can’t, I can’t stop running, I can’t stop repeating that phrase in my head. I get that- that might not, that might be it, I don’t know. I’ve only seen this maybe once, *chuckling* but now I can’t stop thinking about it. Okay, off topic!

Simone 29:36
All right, well, all, all this talk about food, and fire, and cooking makes me really want some barbecue, actually. Do you think adding a couple of Bible pages to your charcoal starter will make it burn a little hotter and faster, if you’re looking for that?

Tabitha 29:54
I guess it depends on what you’re making.

Simone 29:56
Yeah, anyway.

Daniel 29:57
Well, as we’ll learn when we get to our main topic, it can be a highly inflammatory text. *Simone laughs*

Simone 30:02
All right, well, we’re gonna take a break, have some snacks, and we will come back with our main topic: introducing the Antichrist! [oh, so, you mean my toddler? i mean, if you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s the antichrist]

Black Mass Appeal 30:49
*interlude music*


Simone 30:50
The Antichrist, Satan’s apocalyptic representative during the end times, is a regular contributor to both American popular culture and American fundamentalist paranoia fits, but no prophet’s book ever actually tells us who the Antichrist is, or even uses that term in a consistent way, so where did this myth come from and is there anything in it to interest a modern Satanist? To help us get some anti-answers, we’re joined by Professor Robert Fuller. Professor Fuller, thank you so much for joining us on Black Mass Appeal.

Professor Fuller 31:21
We’re gonna have some fun in this conversation! *Simone laughs*

Simone 31:25
Well, for our listeners who might not be already familiar with your work, can you share a little bit more about who you are, the topics you write about and teach about, and what interests you in, in these topics?

Professor Fuller 31:36
For some strange reason, in college, I became- had an insatiable appetite for learning about religion, and I majored in the psychology of religion and got my doctorate in that field, and I’m very interested in the kinds of religiosity that fall outside *chuckles* mainstream churched religion. And, one day, it just dawned on me, this whole notion of an Antichrist or ‘end times,’ and so I spent about two years delving into apocalyptic religion, end times religion, and all the mythology that surrounds that.

Daniel 32:14
*flatly* Wow, religion that falls outside mainstream churches; *Simone starts laughing* that interests us on this show, too, actually.

Professor Fuller 32:18

Tabitha 32:19
How funny.

Simone 32:20
Nail on the head.

Professor Fuller 32:21
By the way, most religion *does* fall outside. *laughs* Throughout all of human history, humans have some proclivities that could be labeled religious, but institutional religion, while having certain types of monopolies, certainly doesn’t cover the whole gamut.

Daniel 32:36
Now, on that note, longtime unfaithful listeners probably think that this episode was my idea, but, no, actually, Simone pitched this one. I did second it really fast, so- boy, I hope Tabitha was on board with this because we formed a quorum on that one almost immediately. *Simone laughs* But-

Tabitha 32:53
Well, yeah, you know how much I love the Antichrist. *Daniel giggles* [my kid is pretty loveable]

Simone 32:56
I mean, I can’t believe we’ve gone four years of doing this show and 102 episodes without directly addressing the Antichrist. We’ve only kind of touched on it and topics about revelation or, you know, the movie The Omen.

Tabitha 33:08
*chuckles* The Antichrist in the room? *chuckles*

Daniel 33:11
But, this came up because I read Professor Fuller’s book last year, and I read it because when we were getting ready for episode 58, when Simone was talking about Elaine Pagels’ The Origin of Satan, a book we talked about in the show a lot, I found a review of that from 1995 that also mentioned Professor Fuller’s book, Naming the Antichrist, which came out around the same time, so that critic was saying, ‘oh, here’s two interesting Satan-specific books side by side,’ and I said, ‘Naming the Antichrist? I’ve never heard of that, but I’m intrigued,’ because, like everybody, I knew this idea culturally, but I was never clear where it came from. It’s not in the Bible, as will soon learn, at least not directly, so I was always profoundly confused about its origins. So, I picked up the book, I read it, and I was really enthusiastic about it when I was done. I think I’ve mentioned it on this show before because not only does it account for this myth, but it also clears up an awful lot of things about American religion and American religious culture that may have puzzled many of us who are not a part of those traditions going into it, and so that is one of the reasons why Professor Fuller is on the show right now. So, there you go, there’s your butterfly effect.

Simone 34:19
Well, let’s go ahead and kick things off. So, you know, the, the popular idea of the Antichrist as specifically the ‘son of the Devil’ and/or the ‘Devil’s Chief Deputy,’ who will, briefly, rule the world, is critical in many American religious beliefs and yet it’s not even, as Daniel said, not even really dug into in the Bible, so let’s open up this conversation with: where does this myth come from? And, why does it seem so important, especially considering that it’s not mentioned?

Professor Fuller 34:51
I was mystified! When I first started going down this trail, of tracking down, what does the term even mean? I came through it from popular culture; there was a very, you know, influential book by Hal Lindsey called The Late Great Planet Earth, and in more recent times, there was a series of books called- about the end times- called Left Behind. And, I picked up, kind of amorphously, images of it, and then I went back to the Bible and found that nothing *laughs* compared, nothing was anchored in the Bible that would any way justify how the Hal Lindsey’s, and how these other end times thinkers, use the word. In fact, you only find the word in [the] Christian New Testament three times in the most obscure books that [even exist] in the Christian New Testament. First John and Second John.

Daniel 35:43
Yeah, of course, I had a similar experience. I talked in this show before about reading the Bible in college and being surprised at how little it says about topics like the Devil, and Hell, and feeling like I’ve, kind of, been sold a bill of goods about what this religion entails and then not necessarily finding any kind of substantive sources for that where you would expect to find them. The Antichrist, by comparison, is even more thinly-sourced in the Scripture; barely there, if there at all, so that was, again, a deeply confusing experience for me. Professor, before we dive into some terms, here, I’m curious- or maybe we should save this for the end- but one of the things that your book touches on is this idea that, why is this concept, this word, this character, this myth, so important to so many people when, again, it seems rooted and moored in so few of the sources they would consider authoritative? Is it too early in the conversation for us to broach that or do you think it’s a good jumping-off point?

Professor Fuller 36:49
Yeah, you know, the term Antichrist- maybe we’re going down the wrong path a little bit if we ask what it is? Or where did it begin? How does Scripture, for Christians, guide them because almost no one uses it in the, in the few references that scripture would give a Christian, that use it to demonize enemies, and I think this is more important, and, maybe, all over the spectrum, including us today on the podcast, we do sometimes like to think of ourselves as the champions of all that’s right, and true, and how could anyone not see it our way? And then, how do you account for those who don’t see it our way? And, Christians have a long history, 2000 years history, of demonizing their enemies, people who would attack those who hold on to the righteous path, and so the term is one to create a dialectic between the holy good, the holy righteous, and those who in their deceiving, cunning ways are trying to lead others astray from this narrow path of righteousness.

Daniel 37:53
Well, that is a theme we’ve talked about on this show before, about how Satan, the myth of Satan existed, originally, to create and define outgroups, which then, ironically, is what makes it attractive to people like us in an entirely different context.

Professor Fuller 38:06
Daniel, if I can jump in there- just for one second, let’s go to the first use of it in Christian theology, back, back in these obscure letters called First John and Second John-

Daniel 38:18

Professor Fuller 38:18
-and look at the setting- and I’m gonna stick with First John for a minute- the phrase goes: “They went out from us, but they were not of us…Many Antichrists have come.” [I think this is paraphrased? idk, but i’ll trust the religious studies teacher lol] Now, who are they referring to? They’re referring to some individuals from their small community who strayed outside their community, so this is all about who’s in-group, who’s out-group, who’s a tribal member, who’s an enemy of our tribe, and they’re not coming up with a measure of great inner spirituality, or love, or charisma or, anything of, that I might be attracted to about anything spiritual at all. They’re referring to conformity to their tribe’s doctrines, and anyone who strays away from those conforming doctrines is an Antichrist, and this is how it’s used. No beast from the sea, no diabolical enemy; it’s just those in our community who don’t conform, they are not sharing the right idea of Christ and what our group is propounding, so it’s very much about boundary setting. Tri- who’s in-group, who’s out-group, who’s a tribal member, who’s an enemy of the tribe? And then, this continues right on into Second John, and it reads: “Many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an Antichrist.” So, again, New Testament scripture is very much about boundary-setting, tribal boundary-setting, and what doctrines put you in, clearly in the tribe, which ones define you as an outsider? Because, remember, we’re kind of pledged to support, and love, and be charitable towards *in-tribe* members, but- it’s called upon us, if we are true lovers of our group, we must use, with all passion, to attack outsiders, people who would try to deceive or stray away, so it’s very much social boundary-making, but it has nothing to do *laughs* with the kind of imagery from the Book of Daniel or the Book of Revelation. [this guy is so stoked to be talking about the antichrist and it makes my little black heart happy]

Daniel 38:18
Well, speaking of boundaries, before- and I’m glad you talked about First and Second John, obviously, but before that, so- just to define a couple of terms, for listeners, Christ, which comes from a Greek word meaning ‘anointed one,’ so it’s a title, not a name; I’m [not?] surprised a lot of people don’t know that. I didn’t know that for a long time, so it’s not, like-

Simone 40:48
Well, I mean, the title of Satan is a, or- the word Satan is, was a title, not a name, at first, as well.

Daniel 40:54
Absolutely, so, so it’s not, like, you know, Mary and Joseph Christ had little Yeshua Christ. And then, here’s something that, again, I picked up Professor Fuller’s book originally, that really got my gears turning- so, the word Antichrist means not just against Christ, or the opposite of Christ, but can also mean instead of, like a substitute, or like a counterfeit, for Christ, and so that then makes things like those John references that we were just talking about, maybe, a little bit more clear, maybe a little bit more obvious what that’s supposed to mean.

Simone 41:25
Yeah, that’s a really, really fascinating point that Professor Fuller made just a moment ago, that, you know, if we’re pledged to love, and cherish, and help each other, the people within our group, boy, sure makes things easier if you can easily define people into an out-group so that you don’t have to do that! *laughs* And, you know, one of the things that’s been the most interesting about doing this show over the years and learning is, I mean, I kind of already had a sense of how much human beings love to define themselves and the others, but the thing that was a little bit more surprising to me was the amount of effort put towards creating out-groups within a group that is, you know, already incredibly similar to yours. We see, you know, these people over there, they have a different religion than us, they worship a different god, and they look different, and they dress different, and they eat different food- that’s very easy to use to define as an other group, but, you know, as we’ve looked at over, you know, our shows here, *chuckles* there’s so many folks who are, like, ‘yes, they, they worship the same god as us, and they look like us, and they dress like this, but you know what? They do it slightly wrong.’ And, that’s all the difference that there needs to be! And, now, they are terrible people and we’re gonna call them others as well. It’s, it’s really an interesting insight into human society.

Daniel 42:48
Well, I’ve always really liked- historian John Demos wrote this book about the history of witch-hunting and he called it The Enemy Within- that is always the fear about Satanism and that’s the subversive enemy-

Simone 42:57
Yeah, yup.

Daniel 42:58
-the one who maybe looks like you *in a sort of spooky whisper* but is not really like you, and this, you know, sort of undermining your culture, or your in-group from within, you know, that’s the essence of Satan, right?

Professor Fuller 43:08
Yeah. Daniel and Simone, I want to pop in for another take on the ‘enemy from within;’ sometimes, I think it’s even the enemy within ourselves, not just our social group-

Simone 43:19
Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Professor Fuller 43:19
-don’t all of us, at times, have impulses to think differently and to, therefore, leave our group. Think of the, for example, teenage child growing up in a righteous Christian, bible, fundamentalist family, who comes across ideas with their friends, out of movies, pop culture, or in their classroom, that lead them away from the strict teachings. They will start to have, within themselves, temptations from within, to stray away from the tribal boundaries. How do you suppress those impulses? Those- that little voice within that, ‘hey, I think I’ve been wrong all this time *chuckles* and I should correct my thinking.’ How do you suppress those impulses? And, I think that some of this projection and characterizing of this as tyrannical, and deceptive, Antichrist, Satanic, is a way of even walling off, some kinds of, impulses and thoughts from within ourselves.

Simone 44:20
That is such a good point, *chuckles* and I think a lot of our listeners and cohorts are folks who- the suppression didn’t work. *laughter* We, you know, the, the three hosts of the show, here, we are all coming from atheistic backgrounds, but we have many, many members of our community who are coming from very strict religious, you know, Christian-

Professor Fuller 44:20

Simone 44:22
-or other mainstream religious backgrounds, who- you know, there was a cognitive dissonance there, it wasn’t, something wasn’t right, and the suppression didn’t take and now they’re Satanists, so *laughs* that’s how a good chunk of us came to be where we are. Now, so-

Professor Fuller 44:59

Simone 45:00
-Professor Fuller’s already mentioned some of the passages in the Bible that mention the Antichrist, but we have a couple of more here that we can, sort of, throw out there for, for some digestion. Daniel, do you want to take this first one?

Daniel 45:13
Oh, you bet I do. So, yes, the Bible, if you read it- the New Testament does not talk about the Antichrist as some sort of fiendish world ruler or king, but it does talk- make some reference to some figures, or characters, or allegories, or symbols that perhaps fit that mold, but are not explicitly called an Antichrist. For example, here is a passage from Second Thessalonians, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except that man of sin be revealed-” ‘That they shall not come’ being the Final Judgment- “…the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called god, so that he sitteth in the temple of god, showing [himself] that he is god. Then shall the Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume and [shall] destroy- even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with [all] power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” So, this is usually one of the passages that’s cited for this eschatological, Christian fundamentalist idea of the Antichrist, is this very powerful, profound, political, worldly figure, who will, you know, persecute the just until God comes along to smite him. And, by the way, I want to point out, as always on this show, I [am] always defaulting to the King James Version, even though there are a lot of people who would tell me not to. Well, the reason for that being that I just really liked the way it sounds. *Simone laughs* For example, if we look here in the New Revised Standard Version, which I think is the favored scholarly translation here- here, they, here they refer to this character as ‘the lawless one’ and ‘the one destined for destruction.’ That sounds pretty cool, but it’s not nearly as cool as ‘man of sin’ and ‘son of perdition;’ *laughter* I’m obviously going to go with that, *chuckling* so there’s a little insight into, into my, into my process.

Simone 46:58
Yeah, some of the, some of the prose is more artful. *laughs*

Professor Fuller 47:02
Yeah, I think that this quote from Thessalonians gets to, kind of, the growth of this idea about how the idea of Antichrist is *used.* Now remember, it doesn’t use the word Antichrist, *laughs* I might point out, but it’s concerned with two things. People who deceive us, and deceive us here means any idea that would lead us [to] no longer to conform to groupthink, but the other thing is growing here is persecution, and as we see how the idea of Antichrist starts to emerge over time right to today, 2021; it’s these combined themes. On the one hand, something about Antichrist leads us astray, tempts us to quit being the true believer, so it’s deception, but the second is persecution, we’re being persecuted by those people out in society who are thriving, economically and culturally, but they’re not true believers, and so, we feel persecuted by them. So, does the Antichrist one, persecute the true believer? That’s one theme. And, second, tries to deceive and lure away from the narrow truth. So, deception and persecution, and this Thessalonians quote, I think, gets to these combined themes of the Antichrist.

Simone 48:25
And speaking of colorful prose, the last bit we have here directly from the Bible is from Revelation. Tabitha, do you want to read this passage?

Tabitha 48:35
I would love to read this passage. This is from Revelation 13. “I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his [heads] the name of blasphemy.” [so metal] I also have that name on my head-

Tabitha 48:37
Is it tattoed on you like the Joker, like, Jared Leto as the Joker?

Tabitha 48:57
*cackles* Yes. *Simone laughs* No, it really isn’t. Please don’t, don’t think that of me.

Simone 49:01
*laughing* Oh, no! *laughter*

Tabitha 49:01
Anyhow. “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. One of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast, and they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast, and there was given unto him a mouth to speak great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue fourty and two months. It was given-“

Simone 49:32
That’s very specific. That’s, like, a, the length of a car lease.

Tabitha 49:36
Right, *Simone laughs* and they’re, like, two months, 16 days, four hours. *laughter* “It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them, and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundations of the world.”

Daniel 49:57
Ooh, hot stuff. Thank you, Tabitha. [originally the transcription program had replaced Tabitha with Deborah and it read very differently lol]

Tabitha 50:00
Yeah, you gotta, you gotta really give it, give it oomph if you’re reading from Revelation.

Professor Fuller 50:03
Tabitha, you did a good job. I think the purpose of that is to make me afraid, and you did! *Tabitha laughs* Dragons, and a beast, and a plethora of mouths, *laughing* and a plethora of horns, and creating war on the saints. A sense of being persecuted [and?] under attack. [hard to hear what he’s saying here in context to the rest of this, sorry] And, whether you’re looking at Republicans in contemporary America, or Christians in contemporary America, and they somewhat, completely overlap, *Simone laughs* they- you get the sense that we’re under attack! We’re the righteous and- it’s afraid, but look, if you look at the bigger sense of the Book of Revelation, or the Book of Daniel, we’re under attack. Oh, and it might even get worse, but if you hold on; you don’t doubt, you don’t question, you don’t stray from tribal conformity, we- you are assured victory in the long run. These haughty people attacking us, and holding popular cultural views, and seemingly prospering in the world, they’re- the first shall become last, and even some of us who were among the last, we shall become first. Were assured ultimate victory, and so in getting me to be afraid and clinging on even harder, that’s a good function of this idea of the Antichrist; that we’re under attack from all sides. It’s a deceiving attack, but boy, it’s real. They say horns, *laughs* mouths devouring us, beasts, and dragons. It’s rich imagery, all to strike fear, because nothing so motivates people to tribal loyalty as being afraid.

Daniel 51:41
I think this passage-

Simone 51:41
I would say amen to that, but I would catch on fire, so. *laughter*

Daniel 51:47
So, three things about this passage are particularly significant. We’ve talked about Revelation on the show before, back on episode 53, our second Satan in the Bible show, but so- common, like, Hal Lindsey Left Behind-style readings of this, say, three things. One, that the beast from the sea is the Antichrist, even though does not say this. Two, this idea that one of his heads is wounded almost to death; there is this popular idea that whoever the Antichrist is, there’s going to be an attempt on his life and he will recover miraculously, that this will create this great public support for him- was one thing mentioned in Professor Fuller’s book is that when-

Professor Fuller 52:21

Daniel 52:21
-Reagan survived being shot, that made a lot of people very nervous, all of a sudden. Even though you would think the people who would be into this would be Reagan supporters, but maybe that’s what scares them. And, then also, that, that, that period of time, 42 months, you hear a lot of that repeated. 42, I think, is actually a number that pops up in the Bible quite a bit, prophetically speaking, and so-

Daniel 52:22
Uh, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.

Daniel 52:41
Oh, yeah. *laughter*

Tabitha 52:41
Yeah, it, it is the answer, so I get it.

Daniel 52:44
*laughing* I never put that together, oh, my goodness! So, when you hear those elements of this popular eschatological myth, these are where they come from, even though, again, it doesn’t say any of those things, really, although I guess it doesn’t *not* say those things. If you want the book, if you want the, the text to say that, you can pretend that it does, but as we can see here, it’s hardly unambiguous.

Professor Fuller 53:08
Yeah. You know, I have folders through of material. When people come through the town that I live in doing ‘end times prophecy’ workshops, and giving spellbinding lectures on it, they always conflate the term Antichrist to these images from Revelation and Daniel. And, why? Because, again, it’s not Biblical. These very people who claim to be Biblical fundamentalists, Biblical literalists, go to the Bible for all truth, they throw that out the window when it’s not useful to them, and it’s useful to them to use this imagery from Revelation and Daniel to scare people, bring fear, make them just afraid to question, afraid to trust any inner thought process, and again, conform [loyal-tely?] to groupthink. So, the book of Revelation and Daniel, have very effective imagery on the human emotional system, and so this is the biggest modern legacy of the Antichrist, is not rooted for the way it’s used, literally in the New Testament, but these images are being persecuted by evil, demonic people.

Daniel 54:17
By the way, FYI, for our listeners; so, we’ve talked about the Book of Daniel several times already. That is not one of those elections we’ll be discussing directly, however, simply because I can’t make heads or tails out of it. Seriously, I tried; it’s just a mess.

Professor Fuller 54:29
Wait, and you made sense out of Revelation? *laughs* Because, to me, they’re the Tweedledee, Tweedledum.

Daniel 54:37
Sense is [a] very relative term, here.

Simone 54:38
Yeah, I gonna say, a kind of sense. *chuckling*

Daniel 54:43
So, if we want to get an idea of what some of the earliest and most influential Christians thought these texts were saying, here, we’ve got a selection from Irenaeus, who was a Greek bishop in the second century, I think? That sounds about right.

Simone 54:56
Yeah, so the-

Professor Fuller 54:57
Yeah, I think Irenaeus is one of the earliest Christians to wear his underwear too tight. *laughter* [good one, teach]

Simone 55:06
Well, we have a passage here from Irenaeus’ Against Heresies; it goes something like this. “For when [Antichrist] has come and accomplishes whatever he shall do, sitting also in the temple of God, so that his dupes may adore him as the Christ, wherefor also [shall he] deservedly be cast into the lake of fire: God, foreseeing all this, and at the proper time sending such a man that they may believe a lie, that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but consented to unrighteousness; whose coming John has thus described in the Apocalypse…Danger shall overtake those who falsely presume that they know the name of Antichrist, for they will be easily led away by him, as supposing him not to be the expected one who must be guarded against. When they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction shall come upon them.” Some more of that colorful language there.

Daniel 56:00
So, this was second-century text, so we see, even that early, this idea was very cemented that Antichrist meant a specific person and they had a specific role to play in the final judgment, and, also, we see here, I find it very interesting, that Irenaeus is warning: don’t try to figure out, don’t try to guess who this guy is going to be; that’s a bad idea. And, Christians after him proceeded to do that exact same thing for 2000 years up to the present day. *laughter*

Simone 56:26
*laughing* I was gonna say, like, you, I mean, tick-tock, I’m sure we’re due for yet another declaration of who’s the Antichrist now.

Professor Fuller 56:33
I think we are. You know, I like the concept that we have a 2000-year history of pinning the tail on the Antichrist.

Simone 56:41
Ooh, new party game. [def playing this at my kid’s bday party]

Professor Fuller 56:42
It’s always, we look out and we think, who is, right now, so effective of articulating a worldview of rationality and evidence-based thinking that would, might lure individuals away from our narrow tribe? And, those are the individuals who, most likely, get that pin, *laughs* tail pinned on them. Naming the Antichrist, finding them in our midst, and, of course, there’s such a legacy from early Roman times clear through Barack Obama.

Simone 57:18
You know, I don’t want to get on too far of a tangent, but I’ve, sort of, been feeling a little frustrated with the state of the news today, and particularly thinking about the Coronavirus pandemic, and the suspicion of the people who are scientists or experts, you know, the people who, you know, have spent years in learning this field and are trying to share that learning and are being told that they’re, you know, liars, or misleading, or deceivers, and this inherent suspicion of who is thought to be the elite. And, meanwhile, I’m over here, like, they have degrees. They’ve been in laboratories. I think they know what they’re talking about.

Professor Fuller 57:57
But, of course, they represent, again, an evidence-based thinking and rational analysis *laughs* that’s so different between-

Simone 58:03
I know. It’s just crazy for me to think so. *laughs*

Professor Fuller 58:06
-checking your brains in at the door and agreeing ahead of time to submit. So, scientists will always be suspect, and, you know, if you look into history, the, one of the big moments that spurred Antichrist-naming in American culture was the birth of evolutionary biology-

Simone 58:29
Ahh, yeah.

Professor Fuller 58:29
-both in the very final decades of the 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s. Imagine all of the teachers in high schools and college teaching evolutionary biology and those children come home to their families, saying, you know, ‘I’m persuaded. The teacher showed me *chuckles* how this works, and I think this is true, but it conflicts with, with the Bible.’ You can imagine how science, therefore, becomes part of ‘secular humanism,’-

Simone 58:58
Yep, yep.

Professor Fuller 58:58
-becomes part of the modernist enemies of modern, evangelical Bible fundamentalism, so scientific authorities have a long history of being tagged and having the tail of the Antichrist pinned to them.

Simone 59:13
It went from sounding, like, a real fun party game to, now, I don’t want to play it anymore. *laughter* [i mean, we can MAKE it fun…]

Daniel 59:20
So, next, we’ve got, from about 100 years later, we got a third-century text by Hippolytus; Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, so here we’re going to see some of the logical devices that lead to the popular idea of the Antichrist. “Christ is a lion, so Antichrist is also a lion; Christ is a king, so Antichrist is also a king. The Lord sent apostles among all the nations, and he in like manner will send false apostles. The savior raised up and showed His holy flesh like a temple, and [Antichrist] will raise a temple of stone in Jerusalem…For Moses speaks thus: ‘[The Tribe of] Dan is a lion’s whelp, and in naming the time of Dan, he declared clearly the tribe from which Antichrist is destined to spring.” Wait a- w, what? *chuckling* Wait a minute? Okay…

Simone 1:00:04
Yeah, I thought we weren’t supposed to be naming them, but okay.

Daniel 1:00:07
“For as Christ springs from the tribe of Judah, so Antichrist will spring from the tribe of Dan. We also see [from] the words of Jacob: ‘Let Dan be a serpent, lying [upon] the ground, biting the horse’s heel.’ What, then, is meant [by] the serpent but Antichrist? That is in reality out of the tribe of Dan, then, that [that] tyrant and king, [that] dread judge, that son of the devil, is destined to spring and arise…This was signified none other than Antichrist, who had to raise the kingdom of the Jews.” So, a couple of contexts there. Dan- which is a word meaning ‘judge,’ I’ve recently [learned]- was one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, those people who were sent into exile after the eighth century and, supposedly, just, kind of, vanished from the record. The idea that the Antichrist would be born Jewish, that he would preach a seemingly Jewish faith, that he would rebuild the temple in Israel as his way, of, kind of, counterfeiting the life of Jesus, are all ideas that we find, here, in writings by writers like Hippolytus, and, I guess, that kind of makes sense. You can see how they reach those conclusions, saying, ‘well, if Jesus did this, what would the opposite of Jesus do?’ But, this established a very, very sinister idea of the role that religiously and ethnically Jewish people would play in the coming times that, as we’ll see, when he gets to some of the other sources, gets kind of out of hand in a woefully predictable way, I’m afraid. *chuckles*

Tabitha 1:01:25
Daniel, you have a tribe?

Daniel 1:01:27
Well, I mean, it’s a lost tribe, so I don’t know where it is. *laughter*

Tabitha 1:01:30
Oh, you *had* a tribe.

Daniel 1:01:31
Right; exactly. *laughter* Weren’t we looking for that just the other day?

Tabitha 1:01:37
Your tribe?

Simone 1:01:37
It’s under the bed. *Tab giggles*

Daniel 1:01:39
I often-

Simone 1:01:39
It’s always under the bed; it’s fallen and [rolled] under there. [Simone said ‘rollen’ and it took me a second to realize that’s not even a word, but, like, it works?]

Tabitha 1:01:48

Daniel 1:01:48
I often suspect; yes.

Professor Fuller 1:01:45
That passage, by the way, though, does reflect even some modern uses of the idea of the Antichrist. One, you know, it parallels- just as God sent Christ to do God’s will on Earth in the redemption of humanity, Satan sends Antichrist to do that work on Earth, so that paralleling of their, of their identities- you know, Elaine Pagels made a lot of the early splits among people over religion related to Christianity, and she said, some- the demonizing of enemies was- remember the first generation or so, all Christians were Jewish who then opt for this new sect of Judaism called Christianity, and so there was an animosity towards those fellow Jews who didn’t do that. So, there was a kind of, of two different groups of Jews coming to separate and form different tribes and the clashes. But, boy, of course, this also shows us how we go forward in time; this, always thinking that Jews are somehow connected, therefore, with Antichrist, denial of Christ, enemies against Christ, and that the Antichrist will emerge as a Jew. Think of the long-term historical implications when each new generation of Christians gets taught that among Jews is the feared Antichrist and we just need to be wary and on the lookout for who that individual is. That leads to a lot of energizing of anti-Semitism over the centuries.

Simone 1:01:49
Yeah, scratch the surface on a lot of these things, and boom! Anti-Semitism. *chuckles* Not the surprise that you want, but, anyway.

Daniel 1:03:36
Also, you heard me reacting, there, in real-time. Speaking of Judaism, you know, of course, the further we get into the future, the more Christian writers want to appropriate Jewish religion for their own, but in the process, also change it, so here we’ve got this idea that oh, did you know Moses predicted who the Antichrist would be? upset? I’m sittin’ here, like, ‘the hell he did!’ *Professor Fuller chuckles* You think you’re gonna put that one over on me; what the? *laughs* That is, that is, that is- I know it sounds weird [these?] days, but, like, that is an outrageous claim. I cannot sit still for that, even though, if Hippolytus were here, instead of having been dead for centuries, I would have some words. [defintely in the form of a strongly worded letter] *Simone chuckles*

Simone 1:04:13
All right, well, let’s go ahead and move on to our next passage here. Tab, you want to take it?

Tabitha 1:04:16
Yeah, of course. So, this is from The City of God, Augustine of Hippo, in the fifth century. [awesome title] “Some think that the Apostle Paul referred to the Roman Empire [as the Antichrist], and that he was unwilling to use language more explicit, lest he should incur the charge of wishing ill to the empire. He alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be as the deeds [of] Antichrist. And hence some suppose that he shall rise again and be the Antichrist. Others, again, suppose that he is not even dead, [but] that he was concealed that he might be supposed to have been killed, and that [he now] lives in concealment.” Okay, that is a really long sentence that could be shortened a lot. *laughs*

Tabitha 1:04:30
I’m just sitting here, like, so, what if Nero wasn’t dead? What if Nero was a zombie? *Tabitha gasps* Then, you’ve got Zombie Antichrist Nero?

Tabitha 1:05:18
Oh, my goodness.

Simone 1:05:19
How has that horror movie not been made?

Tabitha 1:05:21
I was just thinking of, like, Elvis. *Simone laughs* Like, he’s not really dead! Not that Elvis is the Antichrist. Don’t, don’t quote me! *laughs*

Simone 1:05:29
Oh, no, we’re gonna get emails now.

Tabitha 1:05:30
*laughing* Damnit! Anyway, continuing. “But I wonder that men [can] also be so audacious in their conjectures…Christ will not come to judge unless Antichrist first come to seduce those who are dead in soul; [fuck yeah, he will] [then] shall Satan be loosed, and by means of that Antichrist shall work with all power in a lying [though] a wonderful manner…the Jews shall believe; Antichrist shall persecute; Christ shall judge; the dead shall rise; the good and the wicked shall be separated; the world shall be burned and renewed.” That’s a great recipe. “All these things, we believe, shall come to pass; but [how], or in what order, human understanding cannot perfectly teach us-” Because, of course, it can’t. “-but only the experience of the events themselves. My opinion, however, is that they will happen in the order in which I have [related] them.” Love, Augustine. *laughter* [xoxoxo]

Simone 1:06:33
Thanks, Augustine!

Tabitha 1:06:35
*laughing* I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that those are not my opinions.

Simone 1:06:38
Everyone got the- Augustine’s itinerary, right? We know what order things are happening in? *Tabitha laughs* Cool. Just making sure.

Professor Fuller 1:06:45
Well, geez, Augustine, though, set something loose in Western culture: is that history is the forces of God versus the forces of Satan, and this is an us versus them mentality. I’m not going to say Western culture is the only place it could arise, but, right here, we pointed to the man who did it, and he did it for Western culture, and he used Antichrist notion- if you’re not with me, you’re Antichrist; you’re an agent of Satan, [fuck yeahhhhhhh] and there’s no compromise with you. There’s no working with you. In fact, I’m not only, I’m justified in even the most intense and violent methods to oppose you. So, there we go; Augustine giving us this Antichrist language to demonize all of those who differ from us. [fuckin’ Augustine]

Daniel 1:07:38
Point of order: for four years now, we’ve been saying [Aug-gus-teen] on this show, but apparently, it’s [Uh-gus-tin], so somebody who has been profoundly annoyed at us for 102 episodes is now *really* thrilled. *laughter* I was struck in his passage by- Now, now we’re on to the fifth century, and the idea has come, not just that, you know, this, this figure, this character is real and is coming, but that there’s a particular order of events, you know, the end times will not come until this happens. Jesus won’t come back until this guy comes back first; that’s it.

Professor Fuller 1:08:06

Daniel 1:08:06
It’s like, it’s like, it’s like a Rube Goldberg theology. I found that really fascinating. And, by the way, I wonder if Tab noticed; so that very long, complicated sentence, which, actually, I edited down from the original, for the record, you’ll notice is unnecessary because Augustine then immediately says, ‘ehhh, but I don’t think that’s true! *Tabitha laughs* That’s, that’s all a bunch of nonsense.’ That’s, like, when you’re getting direction and they- it’s, like- and they, they give you the long, circuitous route with- and then at the end, ‘don’t go that way! Instead, go over here.’ *laughter*

Tabitha 1:08:39
Just reminds me of, like, it’s like being in a bar with a really drunk person and they’re trying to tell you a story, *Simone laughs* and they’re, like, ‘ Well, I think he might be not dead, but he also could be dead, but not dead. You understand what I mean?’ *laughs*

Simone 1:08:51
It’s more like trying to describe a dream to somebody.

Tabitha 1:08:51
*laughing* Yeah.

Simone 1:08:51
*in like an excited dude voice* Okay, so he’s dead, right? But then, he wasn’t dead, but he was still not alive. He was un-alive, okay? *pauses* Okay, so, moving on. Our next passage here comes from Lucifer: the Devil in the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Burton Russell, and this was written in 1984. “Two different ideas of Antichrist were common. One was that all sinners, though especially heretics and Jews, were Antichrists. The figures of Satan and Antichrist often merge. But the idea that the Antichrist was an individual rather than a personification of continuing evils was more dramatic and more apt for eschatological speculation, and it came to dominate the theology. For some writers, the Antichrist was the form that Lucifer would take at the world’s end, when he pitches [his] last battle against the Lord.” So, again, we have, you know, different characterizing of the Antichrist. Some folks believe that it was all sinners, but some believe that it was a very specific individual, and not even necessarily a personification or manifestation but, again, a person, which, you know, we see that with other figures in religion all the time. Is it a person? Is it a title? Is it a manifestation? Sometimes, I throw up my hands in the air and go, who knows?!

Daniel 1:10:12
But, I like Russell’s rationale here because, of course, as we already discussed, the idea that all sinners are Antichrist is much closer to what we see in the scripture, but, as he points out, the idea that it’s one particular person is just so much more compelling. It’s a better story; it’s more fun to talk about and speculate about, and that might be why it caught on.

Simone 1:10:32
Everyone loves to gossip-

Professor Fuller 1:10:33
*chuckles* [unitelligible, sorry all] I want to throw in, too, don’t forget that some people just want to call Feminism the Antichrist or they want to call rock music- *Simone laughs* Why? Because it’s deceptive; it could lead young people to stray away from conformity to the tribe, and so sometimes, Antichrist can be used for a movement. I’m not- ooh- *laughs* I think we’ve gone far enough in this podcast today to know nothing is really scripturally sound on this; it’s however you want to use it to characterize your enemies as wrong even if they appear right.

Simone 1:11:07
Oh, yes, the cherry-picking and the spin. *chuckles*

Professor Fuller 1:11:11

Simone 1:11:11
It’s amazing how- I mean, of course, these texts are, some of these texts are so, so old and have been, you know, subjected to so many interpretations over the years-

Professor Fuller 1:11:19

Simone 1:11:19
-that, the original meaning? Who cares?!

Daniel 1:11:23
I’m gonna skip ahead, now, to- here’s a passage from a book that I mentioned just on our previous episode, The Devil and the Jews, by Joshua Trachtenberg, a book that I’m a little bit anxious about reading in public because the title might give people the wrong idea in our current political climate. [yeahhhhh] But, this, in fact, is Trachtenberg’s expose of the roots of 20th-century anti-Semitism-

Simone 1:11:45

Daniel 1:11:45
-disconcertingly published in 1943, when it was a bit topical.

Simone 1:11:48
I was just about to say, *laughs* that’s quite a telling year.

Daniel 1:11:51

Simone 1:11:52

Daniel 1:11:52
So, and this book is wild and explains an awful lot of things about, say, the assumptions people have about Satanists, from roots that are woefully predictable, but nevertheless had never previously occurred to me. Here’s what he has to say about the topic of the Antichrist; there’s a whole Antichrist chapter in this book. “[Early in the] Christian era it was written that if Jesus was the Messiah the only person on whom the Jews would be waiting is the Antichrist.” And, I brought this up before, the word ‘if’ does a lot of hard labor in our language, sometimes. Continuing: “In a medieval French play, a Jewish prostitute eagerly offers herself to Satan in order that she will bear a child through whom ‘Christendom will be destroyed.’ [someone wrote my biography? who do i sue?!] Another version has a Jew deliver his daughter into Satan’s hands for the purposes of mothering the Antichrist. Throughout, acute contrast is drawn between the Jews’ rejection of god’s son and their acclimation of [Satan’s]. [At the play’s end] the Antichrist and [the] Jews all fall dead and the millennium is ushered in with great rejoicing, as much over the damnation of the Jews as over the final victory of the church.” Even that word, ‘Jew,’ as a noun, we don’t like to use very much these days. I get kind of uncomfortable cramming it into the sentences so many times-

Simone 1:12:57
Yeahh, yeahh.

Daniel 1:12:57
-but, nevertheless, so we skipped over some of the sources, a little bit, that the debate over whether Satan, the Antichrist, would be literally the son of Satan or only metaphorically. You would think literally, since they believe that Jesus was literally the son of god, but, for some reason, this idea was just too weird for some people to get on board with and so they, instead, used a more abstract definition of the term ‘son.’ But, here, we see that, by the time we get to the tenth century, people just believe that, people are just interpreting it in a much more straightforward manner, and we also see, again, it’s not hard to figure out why those earlier Christian writers said, ‘of course, the Antichrist would be Jewish because Jesus was Jewish,’ but now we see where that train was running, was heading this entire time because the idea of being Jewish in the context of Jesus and being Jewish in the context of early or now, [i’m not totally sure what he’s saying here, sorry] medieval Christianity are wildly different values, unfortunately. *chuckles*

Simone 1:12:57
I feel, kind of-

Professor Fuller 1:13:10
I would just want to put in that probably the most enduring theme, *chuckles* historically, is that the Antichrist is likely to be Jewish, and this ties into, of course, history and historical anti-Semitism throughout Western culture.

Simone 1:14:11
Okay, so, next up, Tabitha, you want to take this next one from a very familiar author?

Tabitha 1:14:17
*laughs* Sure! So, hmmm? This is from Naming the Antichrist by Robert Fuller in 1995. I wonder who that is? “Throughout the 1760s, American clergy warned of the growing ‘popery’ in England…[and] the age-old view of the Antichrist as a tyrannical being soon made clear the resemblance of King George to Revelation’s Beast from the sea. The logic was clear and straightforward: If the Antichrist were the epitome of tyranny, and if the British government were tyrannical to the core, then no colonists [could] escape the necessary conclusion that the British civil system that enslaved them was the worldly face of the dreaded Antichrist…Upon hearing that the continental congress had finally declared America’s independence, a group of soldiers celebrated by throwing down and decapitating ‘the image of the beast’- a statue of King George.”

Professor Fuller 1:15:14
Now, I suppose the question here is: how do you ramp people up to move from a disagreement over tax policy, and then mild rebellion, to a full Revolutionary War? And, the clergy helped out with this by providing this ‘us versus them,’ and that were being persecuted by an evil adversary, so how do we characterize this? Just someone with whom we disagree or someone who represents Satanic suppression of all that’s good, true and, *chuckles* and the American way as it’s emerging- [honestly, this is a RAD this baby historian hasn’t heard before and i am here. for. IT.]

Simone 1:15:50
Yeah, you gotta kick it up a notch?

Professor Fuller 1:15:51
How do you ramp up that commitment? And, by providing Antichrist imagery to the British government, there was more, ‘we don’t compromise here. It’s all out; it’s a war to the end.’ All sacrifice is necessary because once we can understand our adversary as Satanic, or in league with Satan, as Antichrist, doing Satan’s work, we can justify all kinds of urgency, all kinds of violence, because finally we are serving the will of God. Beautiful imagery! And, by the way, this repeated in the Civil War. Southern preachers characterized the suppression of Northern states and Northern preachers looked at slavery and those who would uphold it as, as Antichrist institutions, and this apocalyptic imagery just carried clear through then and came alive again in the Civil War. And then, we saw it in the Cold War. In my boyhood, always Soviet leaders were thought to be Antichrist. Now, here’s one instance where we strayed away from the Jewish nature of it- unless they were in league with, of course, Jewish bankers or something, often comes in- but Soviet leaders, and then as the Soviet Union fell, I saw Arab leaders being characterized as Antichrist, so it’s a long American theme: to name the Antichrist and to characterize our worldly adversaries by making it all good versus all evil. [omfg i need to read this guy’s book!]

Daniel 1:17:21
Of course, we’re glossing over some history here, like the longtime Protestant antagonism of the Roman Catholic Church as supposedly the Antichrist, and vice versa-

Professor Fuller 1:17:30
Mmhmm. Yeah.

Daniel 1:17:31
-or when the first colonizers came to America and their ideas that the native people were the children of the Devil, quite literally in many cases, and then you’ve got during the French and Indian War, it’s, it’s the French, obviously, who represent the power of the Antichrist; they are Catholic after all. And, the, the, the fear of Muslim encroachment and the idea that we can rally Christendom against them by suggesting that Muhammad is the Antichrist, or whichever particular caliphate ruler was of most concern at the time, on and on it goes.

Professor Fuller 1:18:03
You know, I’m always reminded of a quote that Eric Hoffer did in his book, The True Believer, and the quote is, ‘you can have a fanatic cause without a god, but you can never have a fanatic cause without a Devil. And, Antichrist imagery, Satan imagery, is often used to strike fear and, well, along with fear, comes of heightened metabolism, *chuckles* a sense of urgency, a sense of all-out effort for survival, and justifying really any actions because it’s now understood to be a holy action, a righteous action. I think that, no matter what time in history we looked at, the concept of Antichrist comes up with this- you can’t have a fanatic cause unless you can characterize your enemy as in some way Antichrist.

Simone 1:18:51
That’s something I’ve been wondering over the course of this conversation is, you know, obviously, a lot of these passages, these readings come from, you know, places around the globe, but we do see, over and over again, how important this whole Antichrist notion is to, especially American, Christians, evangelicals. Is this, kind of, a unique American thing that they have picked up on it so much? Or is this kind of interest in Antichrist equally as interesting to folks in other countries?

Professor Fuller 1:19:22
Yeah. Well, I suppose all cultures, first of all, have some kind of ‘end times’ of imagery, and remember, for most people, it’s probably just innocent speculation of, ‘where’s this all going it? Will it ever end?’ But, for others, it’s a very urgent one, and it always has political-slash-social economic moorings to it. Who are the group that I should adhere to and be loyal to and who are the groups and individuals to whom I should be in opposition? And, it’s always used that way. Can I point out that, in terms of just the concept of the Antichrist, it is a little bit more of a Protestant Christian than it is a Roman Catholic image-

Simone 1:20:09
Hmm. Mmhmm.

Professor Fuller 1:20:09
-for no other reason than Roman Catholicism is, traditionally, a very stable institution and wants stability. End times-thinking, about agents heralding the final days of good versus evil, in upheaval, of sometimes of the current order, that has been more connected with Protestantism at various points in history, and Catholicism doesn’t want [these] ups and downs; it wants stability, and so it deemphasizes the Book of Daniel, the Book of Revelation, First, John, Second, John; these will never come up in Roman Catholicism, whereas, especially in highly conservative Protestant Christianity, it’s a *laughs* go-to theme to get the masses activated and ready to go all-out effort to spread their interpretation of the truth.

Simone 1:21:05
That is fascinating! The thought that- well, one of the problems that I continually have, thinking about religion in America is the fact that, you know, I think it was what 70% of Americans self-identify as Christian, and, you know, the varying denominations of Christianity, kind of, divide up that, that group, but, you know, Protestant Christianity is so dominant in our culture, it’s a wonder to me that they might, you know, want to shake things up, not, not pursue that stability that Catholicism seems to be quite happy with, and I’m just always left wondering, what more can they want? They have control. You know, they have majority rule, in terms of population; Protestant Christians are so dominant in our government and other, you know, leadership figures. I’m just, like, what more do you guys want? *laughter* What war do we have to have now for ya?

Professor Fuller 1:22:01
Yeah, but it’s slipping, and isn’t-

Simone 1:22:05
That’s true.

Professor Fuller 1:22:05
-Antichrist rhetoric and anti-, you know, psychology, of labeling your worldly adversaries as in league with Satan as some expression of Antichrist- [Doesn’t?] that show some kind of subtle inner doubt; that you’re trying to rol-

Simone 1:22:05
Yes, exactly!

Professor Fuller 1:22:07
-and because we do see, you know, that Bible-oriented Christians always see themselves as under attack, under siege-

Simone 1:22:15
Mmhmm. Mmhmm.

Professor Fuller 1:22:28
-and to some extent, I think they are losing cultural influence. You know, we see the rising number of people who stray away from institutional religion, whether they be agnostics, atheists, or just mildly spiritually curious, those numbers are growing. They see their grip on the American economy, modern technology, modern medical science, all taking the world in intellectual places that leave them behind. *chuckles* You know, what’s funny- and I hope some of our readers get this- in the ‘Rapture scenario,’ that true Christians will be raptured up into the air to be with Jesus and be saved [from] the worst that will come to humanity in the final days, and only the unbelievers- those listening to this podcast- *Simone laughs* will be left behind and they’re gonna get there’s. You’ll be left behind! You’re gonna have all these terrible times on Earth when us who conformed, we got raptured up into the sky. Well, this left behind- it’s said that unbelievers will be the left behind, but it’s really the believers who are being left behind. [fuck yeah, professor fullerrrrrrr i love this guy] They’re being left behind, and even when the Book of Revelation was written, it was written in a small, little secluded Christian community that was getting left behind. The Roman economy was booming. Anybody who was willing to be, if you will, *laughs* a secular humanist, Romanists, was, was living a good life, and they were the ones who were falling behind, and poor, and downtrodden, and so they came up with this, ‘but we’ll *someday* be rescued! If we hold on we’ll someday- the last shall become first.’ And, the rhetoric appealed to them, but I think, increasingly, we’re looking out at Bible-based Christianity, and there’s a sense in which they’re getting left behind. We just have to look at the way technology has taken people into thinking about what causes things to happen? How do we make our life better? How do we protect ourselves from disease? It’s leading to science. It’s leading to technology. It’s leading away from Bible-based thinking. So, I think that some of the motivation we see today for Antichrist-naming in our culture expresses this deep-seated, if never explicitly acknowledged, fear that their worldview is being left behind. [partyyyy]

Simone 1:25:02
I just had this, *laughs* this vision of: the Rapture happens, and our download numbers remain completely the same *laughter* on this podcast because all of our unfaithful listeners will still be right here with us, so thanks for sticking around, guys. *Professor Fuller laughs* [thanks for keeping me employed even during the end times!]

Daniel 1:25:19
So, we gotta start wrapping up here, unfortunately. There was a lot of cool stuff we didn’t get to here; we didn’t get to the Egyptian scholar Arjin [? I don’t have a reference for spelling and google isn’t helping!] explaining- ‘you idiots; you simpletons. Of course, there’s going to be an Antichrist; it’s math basically.’ We didn’t get to the 10th-century text about how the Antichrist will be raised by witches and trained by sorcerers; that sounds cool. I’d love to read that, I love that you read that YA novel. We didn’t get to the stuff from Professor Miller’s book about technophobia and the Antichrist; why so many people in the 20th century became terrified of this idea of supercomputers, and microchips, and this- even on to vaccine paranoia, as Simone already suggested, so lots of cool stuff that maybe we’ll be able to, to broach on a different show, but there’s *one* topic that we’ve gotta bring up on the topic when discussing the Antichrist. Here, I’m reading from a 2013 story in The Guardian and the headline there is *chuckles* “One in Four Think Obama may be Antichrist. “A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, asked a sample of American voters about a number of conspiracy theories, phrasing the questions in eye-catching language that will have the country’s educators banging their heads on their desks.” Oh, oh, you poor dears. You have no idea what you’re in for the next seven years. *clearly throat* “The study revealed that 13% of respondents thought Obama was ‘the Antichrist,’ while another 13% were ‘not sure-‘” You know, weirdly enough, it’s the ‘not sure’s’ that I’m the most befuddled by. I feel like you should probably have a strong opinion about that one way or the other. *clears throat again* “-and so were at least appeared to be open to the possibility that he might be [the Antichrist.] Some 73% of people were able to say outright they did not think Obama was ‘the Antichrist.'” Well, that’s reassuring. I will say, in terms of, like, weird, wild Antichrist speculation on the internet in the last 10 years, I’ve heard a lot of names. I’ve heard people bring up Vladimir Putin; I’ve heard people bring up Donald Trump, even though that’s not very popular because Antichrist paranoiacs tend to be pro-Trump supporters, but there are still a few out there- a lot of people don’t like Pope Francis; some people have mentioned Erdogan, the president of Turkey, for example, especially when he survived assassination attempts some years back, but the one that comes up more than any, you will not be surprised, is always Obama, and Professor Fuller, you were saying earlier, that’s come up for you, as well. *chuckles*

Professor Fuller 1:27:31
Oh! *laughs* During the Obama years, I would receive, you know, just because, I don’t know, somebody enters into Google search, the word Antichrist and somehow my book might come up, so people go on, they find my address, and they email me *always* handwritten letters in laborious and frenzied handwriting, with all kinds of scriptural references in there showing me why that might lead, and by the end of their long, handwritten document, it’s a logical conclusion: Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and I wish I had saved them. I put each and every one of them *laughs* into the garbage can, but it was a continuing theme because think of what he represented. Even over and beyond the racial dimensions of it, he represented someone who was really smart, Ivy League education, tried to do evidence-based thinking, tried so hard to read widely, and to use information to guide his thinking. He was pedantic, professorial when he spoke. All the thinking processes that are leaving behind the Bible fundamentalists who, for whom hone [?] scriptural language of characterizing our worldly enemies and adversaries, is so important. Yeah, Barack Obama *laughs* really was was a popular theme, and of course, now, that’s receding a bit.

Daniel 1:29:01
I’ve got to tell this anecdote. So, it goes back to- I just moved to San Francisco; it was 2008. I was down at the Muni station waiting for a train, trying to get to class, I was reading the newspaper, and this was during the primary season in 2008, and so this guy sits down next to me and he looks at the headline, and he says, ‘Obama, huh? And, I say, ‘Yeah.’ You know, I’m not really paying attention to him. And, he goes, ‘you an Obama fan? And, I’m, like, ‘well, you know, I liked some of the things that he says.’ And, then he tells me, ‘well, you know, the Bible says that a false prophet is going to arise to deceive the masses-‘

Simone 1:29:30
Oh, boy.

Daniel 1:29:30
-and at that moment, this older woman, who’s trying to find a seat here in the station looks at me and she goes, ‘can you make a little room for me here? Can you scoot over?’ And, I instantly stood up, put my newspaper under my arm, and said, ‘you know what, this one is all yours,’ *laughter* and I got on the next train, which was not my train, but I was just, I was not standing there for, I was not sitting through any of the rest of that. *laughs*

Professor Fuller 1:29:30
Well, you know, if you really think about, what causes people to worry? That there will be someone who’s charismatic and seems so right, so with it, so informed, and so articulate. In those ways, Obama was the popular high school biology teacher or college biology teacher, who [was] leading people to believe in science rather than conforming to tribal doctrine. Obama did represent the learned, evidence-based thinker who, if allowed his way [?], will tempt many in your tribe to leave your tribe.

Simone 1:30:30
It’s just this simple, ‘they appear to be better than me and I am the best, so someone better than me is very, very suspect.’ [there’s a weird ringing sound here, almost like a microwave going off? idk what it is]

Professor Fuller 1:30:41

Daniel 1:30:41
I also want to mention before we wrap up, at the beginning of this conversation, we said, is this Antichrist-ness something that should really be of particular interest to Satanists outside of, kind of, peering at the weird religious culture that we find ourselves in against our will, and, actually, I think, the Antichrist is not a figure that a lot Satanists seem that interested in appropriating or reclaiming, although I’ve seen a little of that here and there. What I found, was going back to the beginning, when we defined the terms and, again, that thing that I learned from Professor Fuller’s book, that Antichrist can also mean, ‘instead of Christ,’ or a ‘substitute for Christ,’ and that I found a very powerful and empowering idea. You know, society always wants to prescribe certain things to us, they say you need this in your life, and it can be very powerful for us to actually say, ‘you know, what? I’m not necessarily sure that’s true.’ That can, literally, be Christ in the case of the religion and the values that a lot of people are presuming we need, but it could also be a lot of other things, we can be anti- a lot of things in our lives, not just in terms of being against those things, but in saying, ‘I don’t need that, I have something else instead,’ and that I find very inspiring as a Satanist, and so that is the message that I have taken away from it.

Simone 1:31:46
Well, and, on that note, we want to thank you again, Professor Fuller, for joining us. If folks are interested, please be sure to check out his book, Naming the Antichrist, which came out in 1995. Check out your local booksellers, and your major booksellers, for a really, really cool read. So, thanks again, Professor Fuller, for joining us on Black Mass Appeal.

Professor Fuller 1:32:07
Well, this is a lot of fun for me and being introduced to a community which, Simone, as you put it, even when the Rapture happens, this community will gather together, *laughter* [I can’t hear what Professor Fuller says here, sorry!] will still be a tribe. Wonderful to-

Simone 1:32:22
I’m looking forward to real estate prices going down after the Rapture, so- *laughter* And, once again, we just want to say thank you so much to Professor Robert Fuller for joining us for this really awesome conversation today. If you have any opinions on who you think the Antichrist might be, go ahead and email them to us at BlackMassAppealPod@gmail.com. Our website, of course, is BlackMassAppeal.com, and you could find this as Black Mass Appeal on most social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Daniel 1:32:53
To find out more about Satanic Bay Area, check us out at SatanicBayArea.com. Follow us on Facebook and on Instagram as Satanic Bay Area, or you can follow us on Twitter; the handle there is @SatanicSF. You can also follow Tabitha on Tik Tok; the handle is @DailyBaphirmations. And, if *you* are the Antichrist, you can come down and share that- actually, don’t share that with us; we get enough of those emails as it is. *laughs* Nevertheless, you can come down and meet us at Wicked Grounds coffee shop on the third Tuesday of every month at 6PM for Satanic Coffee Hour. Yes, Satanic Coffee Hour has changed moved because-

Simone 1:33:29

Daniel 1:33:29
-change is a strange and immutable part of life, I guess.

Tabitha 1:33:33
But I’m scared! I don’t like it!

Simone 1:33:35
I know.

Tabitha 1:33:36

Simone 1:33:36
I know. Guys, guys, I know it’s on a different day. I know it’s on a day that also starts with T-

Tabitha 1:33:41

Simone 1:33:41
-but it’s a different day that starts with T-

Tabitha 1:33:43

Simone 1:33:43
-and it’s still in the third week of the month, but it means we get to do this in person again!

Tabitha 1:33:49

Daniel 1:33:51
And, if you are there, *Simone laughs* you might, you might help Tabitha’s anxiety about it a little bit, so, you know.

Tabitha 1:33:56
*groans, then laughs*

Simone 1:33:57
It is, you know, the, we are still, of course, monitoring very carefully and are concerned about the resurgence of the Coronavirus, which, gosh, *fake confused voice* who could have predicted-

Tabitha 1:34:07

Simone 1:34:07
-that a country that doesn’t want to get vaccinated or wear their masks might have had a spike after the *laughs* initial, initial fuckin’ three spikes? I don’t know. Another, yet another spike. But, given that the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco in particular, the population has been generally very, very cautious, and we will, of course, be abiding by the CDC’s latest guidances for our in-person meeting, but it looks like our in-person meeting will be able to go forward and we are very excited to see our friends again.

Daniel 1:34:07
And, of course, thanks to our buddy, the Antichrist, all of us are vaccinated, as are about 80% of adults in San Francisco, so we’re well-positioned relative to some parts of the country we shall not name.

Simone 1:34:51
I still can’t wait for someone to, like, try and talk to me about being vaccinated, and getting the Mark of the Beast, and then flipping my hair over, and be, like, pointing to my 666 tattoo I have on my scalp- thanks to our Patreon supporters- and just being, like, *in a fake spooky voice* ‘it happened to meeeee! Oooooh,’ *Daniel laughs* and see what happens.

Daniel 1:35:08
Well, Tabitha, when we’re at Wicked Grounds, what are we going to be having?

Tabitha 1:35:12
I hope to have soup. I want some soup.

Daniel 1:35:16
That sounds good. We haven’t been, we haven’t been in since they reopened, so we don’t know what the menu is, but we’re gonna bank on soup.

Tabitha 1:35:23
Yay, soup!

Daniel 1:35:25
And, since we’ve already run down the Antichrist, vaccines, and soup, those are all of the most Satanic topics that we could possibly have touched on today. *Tabitha chuckles* Therefore, I think we just want a ‘Hail Satan’ to go out on.

Tabitha 1:35:36
Yes, please.

Simone 1:35:36

Daniel 1:35:39

Black Mass Appeal 1:35:39
Hail Satan! *Slayer’s The Antichrist plays*


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