October 13, 2017

I'm leaving the Church of Satan, and here's why.


I am resigning my membership in the Church of Satan, and I'm writing this letter to explain why. Depending on who you are, you're going to see this resignation letter differently.

If you're a supporter or member of the Satanic Temple (TST), I'm not sure I could guess at what you'll see here. It's possible that you'll see some of your own criticisms, but owing to the fact that I've never been a member of your organization and have very little contact with your membership I'm not drawing on any of your criticisms. What follows are my own criticisms based on my own experiences. If my criticisms overlap with yours, then this is representative of common observations (and not a motivated conspiracy, as some readers will probably attempt to assert.)

If you're a supporter or member of the Church of Satan (CoS), then in all likelihood you're going to see this letter as an attack against the organization and possibly against yourself. In the words of Anton LaVey, I suspect you'll almost immediately accuse me of being the house masochist who took a shit on the carpet before throwing himself out the window. If you are such a person who regards this letter as a juvenile temper tantrum unworthy of serious consideration, then I invite you to live by the words of Oliver Goldsmith who said, "Be not affronted at a joke. If one throws salt at you, you will receive no harm, unless you are raw."

You might also accuse me of attempting to revenge myself against an organization that didn't "do anything" for me, but the reality couldn't be further from the truth: except asking for the CoS to link my website on their member page (a service offered to all members), clarify what I felt to be inconsistencies in their organizational policies, and to publish essays in the Black Flame (because they invite submissions), I've never asked for anything, nor do I feel that I was ever owed anything.

And depending on your level of skepticism, you might also think that this letter is intended to be some kind of clever marketing ploy to manipulate the combined interwebs of TST and the CoS to drive traffic to my blog and sell Tarot readings. The truth is that I do almost no business with Satanists either because they already practice fortune-telling or because they think fortune-telling is bogus. Believe my motivations or not--the choice is yours--but as many doors as this letter closes for me among supporters and members of the CoS, and doesn't open for me within TST, it probably only serves to isolate me. If you can find a clever answer to the question of "Cui bono?," please don't keep it to yourself.

The cause for this letter is not because I feel that I've been treated unfairly or to win free advertising for my blog. The cause for this letter is because no matter my criticisms I've been a consistent supporter of the CoS in the past and I feel like it'd be dishonest to leave and not say why. It's true that I maintain this blog for commercial purposes, but I also use it as a digital extension of my lair where I speak my mind about the things that are important to me. If you don't like what I have to say, you're welcome to depart my lair at any time.

The principal point to this letter is to say that I've come to feel that the CoS as an organization has become intolerable to me and is no longer deserving of my support. I'm not arguing against the literature--if you have the time, I'll tell you the Satanic equivalent of a born-again testimony how the Satanic Bible, the Satanic Witch, and the Satanic Scriptures totally changed and invigorated my life--but I am arguing against the orthodox and authoritarian body that the CoS has become.

I am resigning my membership in the CoS because I can no longer tolerate the attitude of grittiness for which there seems to be an unwritten rule that all members must nurture in themselves. I accept that whining about the status quo is generally no better than sadly masturbating in the dark, and in all circumstances it's preferable to seize any opportunity, but I also think that embracing grittiness--or a sense of determined courage and will to power--has its pitfalls, among them the tendency to not question authority and look down on anybody who dares say that the circumstances in which they find themselves are unacceptable.

An attitude has developed certainly within the online community of the CoS and probably within its extended real-world circles that any form of protest is synonymous with weakness and whining. This attitude tends to accompany the assertion that any form of organized protest is synonymous with a lack of critical thinking, surrender of individual will, and herd mentality, because why else would it be organized?

So this attitude goes, people who join protests are just acting blindly and are merely parroting what other people are saying. This attitude is even described in an authoritative essay on the CoS website as being akin to a piss fetish in which the politically motivated protester is only agitating because he or she enjoys agitation (instead of, you know, having a self-motivated interest to stand up for the kind of world in which he or she wishes to live.)

This attitude is even more sharply pronounced in regards to anybody who protests while at the same time openly identifying as a Satanist. I can't recall the number of conversations I've witnessed in which the accusation was made against TST that its members are sheeple who are incapable of manifesting their will and so cos-play their preferred fantasy as useful idiots for the dastardly Lucien Greaves.

Satanism as I came to understand it through the Satanic Bible, the Satanic Witch, the Satanic Scriptures, and the collected writing of Anton LaVey is a religion which surely embraces grittiness and getting things done no matter what stands against you, but it surely also embraces accusation and opposition for criminals and authoritarian tyrants who work against personal liberty and self-autonomy. At what point did it become embarrassing for Satanists to play the role of accuser and opposer? At what point did it become unfashionable to embody the spirit of Satan and use every infernal tool available (including dark aesthetics and volatile theatrics) to ram a blazing pitchfork up the asshole of every Christian dominionist, ignorant racist, or fascist autocrat who thought to get away with mooning us?

There's a lot to be said for the individual choosing for him or herself how to interpret and apply the principles of accusation and opposition, and I accept that many Satanists for very pragmatic reasons prefer to keep their Satanic identity tucked quietly away so that they're able to cooperate with other people and organizations which might otherwise shun them, but there's also a lot to be said about openly flying the black flag. Symbols have power, and if they have sufficient power to accomplish meaningful, substantive goals that affect real people and improve their quality of life and the lives of those they love, why should those symbols stay locked in a ritual chamber? It's not whiney, immature, unfashionable, or embarrassing to hold people accountable for their actions. To argue against using Satanic aesthetics to accomplish material goals is to disguise a separate agenda.

I am resigning my membership in the CoS because I can no longer believe that the CoS is an apolitical organization given its clear dog-whistles to the contrary. Anybody who's spent any amount of time reading the CoS's website (and it's political FAQ in particular) will encounter its declaration that the organization itself (but not its members) is apolitical and does not participate side-taking.

The explanation provided is that it's the individual member's responsibility to decide for him or herself which if any political agenda is worth pursuing, and that for the organizational leadership to officially endorse, support, promote, or agitate in any way for a political position would at best give the appearance of Satanic "politics" but at worst spoon-feed weak-minded Satanists who can't think for themselves.

Judging by the writing published in the news-feed by High Priest Magus Gilmore, it's true that he himself neither openly nor definitively supports any political candidate or party. In fact, going by the frequency with which he writes anything that hasn't been copy-pasted from a year before, his absence from the news feed is so complete that you'd hardly know he was there at all.

But going by what is in the news feed, a definite constellation of values emerges. There are several examples I could provide, but the one which I believe speaks loudest is the statement made after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia which featured actual Nazis marching in the streets and culminated in the death of a peaceful protester exercising her civil rights to accuse and oppose an ideology which she deemed unworthy of the world in which she wants to live.

Given Magus Gilmore's authoritative refutation of racism and fascism as being incompatible with Satanism in his canonical Satanic Scriptures, and insistence that people of all nations and ethnicities who are members of the CoS, it would be non-controversial for him to write a statement condemning the violent ignorance of fascists and racists who want to turn the USA into a whites-only ethno-state.

Instead of easily condemning the actual Nazis, the CoS under his leadership issued a bare 179-word statement written by a spokesperson affirming the work of the ACLU to protect freedom of speech. On its own, it says nothing except that the CoS believes--as do I--that the right to free speech in the USA exists specifically to protect offensive speech (since authoritarians of any stripe will always attempt to redefine what qualifies as "offensive" when it serves their purposes.)

But when in the wake of what is a national tragedy by any measurement of the word the CoS publishes a conspicuously short affirmation of freedom of speech followed very shortly after by a panel discussion featuring two of its most prominent spokespersons elaborating upon how the political left is propelled by white guilt, how pervasive leftism is infiltrating every facet of society, and communist radicals protesting against ethno-statists is a danger to society, then this is in fact a deeply political statement.

As the discussion continues the host of the show makes what appears to be a genuinely believed assertion that the USA is a bigoted, racist, and divided country because it's inhabited by people of so many different nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures with too many painful pasts to ever hope to live peacefully together. Does he realize that he's making the verbatim argument put forward by the ethno-statists that if everybody lived in racially segregated communities that racism would magically disappear? As an expat American living in Canada, all I've got to say is that if what the host of this discussion is seeing is what he believes to be the natural state of the USA, then I don't know how to explain what it's like to live in post-national, multi-cultural Canada.

For the CoS to post these two items in rapid succession following the racist fuck-fest that happened Charlottesville is glaringly political and when you connect the dots to see who and what they're not criticizing, you almost immediately see what they're supporting.

I am resigning my membership in the CoS because I can no longer invent reasons to explain High Priest Gilmore's complete and total abdication of organizational leadership. For a long time, I convinced myself that Magus Gilmore is practicing a form of servant leadership in which he elevates and gives voice to the most intelligent, successful, stimulating, and innovative voices within the membership, but based on all observable evidence I've come to feel that this is too generous an evaluation of his leadership style. Oh, sure--there are scattered interviews in the occasional blog, vlog, podcast, or magazine--but he's curiously silent when it comes to using his status within the hierarchy to speak to the membership at large and use his own worldly success and considerable knowledge to set a masterful example for others to follow. Magus Gilmore's complete abdication of leadership responsibilities has left a void that's been filled by authoritarian apologists and racist sympathizers.

There are people reading this who will say that if this is how I feel, that I'm no Satanist at all for expressing my disappointment that there's no leader to show me the way, but as Magus Gilmore himself said in the Satanic Scriptures there's no shame in accepting figurative slavery in service to a master worthy of your devotion. What I learned of Magus Gilmore in his Satanic Scriptures convinced me that he's an intelligent, capable man and at the time I sincerely believed that he and the organization he leads are worthy of my support; however, since I became an active, registered member in December 2015, more than once I've witnessed his childish name calling and--compared at least to the leaders I served in the United States Marine Corps--his refusal to lead from the front has convinced me that he's a master unworthy of the slavery which I'd offer him. Judging by all observable evidence, Magus Gilmore's talents do not exist within the categories of either management or organizational development.

And to preempt the argument which is about to made, yes--I'm aware that Magus Gilmore is following plans written by Dr. LaVey before his passing in 1997 which outline his desire for the CoS to become a kind of social club which operates as a mutual appreciation society to recognize its most successful members, but I've gotta say: What if Dr. LaVey was wrong? Both Dr. LaVey himself as well as Magus Gilmore have ridiculed people who held up Dr. LaVey as the great, infernal hope and both insisted that the man was a joker at heart who made it clear from the start who and what he was. After all, Satanists understand that their leaders are only human, unlike the Christians who insist on creating saints from whole cloth.

So if everybody including Dr. LaVey himself insisted that he was "merely human," then why are his desires given such weight? Is Magus Gilmore really no more than a place-holder to the best laid plans of mice and men from almost exactly 20 years ago? I'm not calling for change for the sake of change, but for a leader who's mindful to the law of the jungle: adapt, evolve, and overcome, or get eaten by something bigger and stronger.

I am resigning my membership in the CoS because I can no longer tolerate the hypocrisy how on one hand the CoS asserts that it is an elitist organization which operates in the shadowy margins and doesn't concern itself with the to-dos of the hoi polloi, but on the other hand is consistently and deeply concerned with the public discussion of Satanism among outsiders and its own representation in popular consciousness.

The CoS can't have its cake and eat it, too: either it's going to be a home for the alien elite and stand boldly on the infernal boundaries of polite society where it forges ahead according to its own agenda without a care for all the other people and organizations which it has repeatedly insisted are beneath its concern, or it's going to have to admit that it does in fact care about its place in popular awareness and is is deeply invested in participating in popular culture in order to sustain the value of its social currency. The CoS has got to make up its mind, because its effort to stand on both sides of the line is the worst kind of hypocrisy.

I am resigning my membership in the CoS because I can no longer tolerate the selective outrage that I've witnessed among the broader membership as well as the leadership of the CoS. Before I joined the CoS, I devoured the available literature and was utterly captured by its force of conviction. The power I felt in the literature emboldened me and the black flame of accusation was lit within my heart. It's a dramatic description, but the time I spent first-phasing was a thrilling period for me.

And if I'm going to be honest with you, one of the most thrilling things about it was the deep certainty that I'd discovered something pure and original. I fell hard for the literature, and for a brief period of time was one of the Satanic keyboard warriors on the Internet who made a few of those sophist arguments that anybody who practices outside the definition provided by the CoS isn't a real Satanist. They could be devil worshippers, inverted Christians, opportunists, or nut-jobs, but they couldn't be Satanists because they didn't fit the definition of the word. It was an easy argument to make, you know, because it was binary: either, or.

And according to this binary choice, Satanism is a zero sum game: either you're a supporter or member of the CoS, or you're a detractor. Friends of the CoS are welcomed as citizens into the infernal empire, but detractors are objects of ridicule which true Satanists are encouraged to avoid so as to not give even the faintest whiff of legitimacy to their non-Satanic delusions. As it happens, the CoS even maintains an official policy that members who express support for non-Satanic organizations are implicitly declaring their opposition to the CoS (which is so totally not a Christian attitude.)

So you can imagine my surprise when the CoS promoted in its news-feed of member activities a podcast in which the host interviewed racist, fascist, theist, animal-sacrificing Augustus Sol Invictus--who also happened to be a headline speaker at the Unite the Right rally--about his views regarding eugenics. Because I didn't understand how this is in any way consistent, I contacted the central office and asked for help understanding what I was seeing. After multiple emails asking for a response, six and a half months later I was finally answered by an official spokesperson who played a word-game in which he told me in as many words that I was stupidly wasting his time. But you know, it didn't feel stupid: how does it work that anybody who has a different vision for the meaning of Satanism regardless of any other skills, knowledge, or abilities is automatically persona non grata, but a person like Invictus who despite his grossly offensive and thoroughly non-Satanic world paradigm is welcomed onto a podcast (hosted by one of the CoS's most prominent spokespersons and promoted in the official news-feed) because he has something interesting to say?

At the time, I cared very deeply about my organizational membership and was sincerely attempting to navigate the question as respectfully as I could. It was clear to me that this was both the only and the final answer I would receive on this question and the matter was closed to further inquiry. I wasn't satisfied with the answer I received, but owing to my desire to be recognized by my peers and climb the hierarchy I was willing to suppose that I could be wrong and just didn't have an accurate understanding of the source material. I regret that I didn't challenge the answer I received, but at the time it was very important to me that I cultivate grittiness and respect the authoritative answer given to me. But you know, times change, and so do I.

I am resigning my membership in the CoS because I can no longer tolerate the foundation the CoS has built for itself upon a No True Scotsman fallacy. For reasons that I've already provided, I reject the notion that because the CoS was the first organization to provide a clearly defined and precisely codified religion called Satanism that nobody else is allowed to do it differently; however, given the official statements being made by the CoS at present, this makes me an extreme outlier. If the CoS is making as its first article of faith the assertion that it is the one true Satanism and all others are either demon worshipers, inverted Christians, opportunists, or nut-jobs, then you can count me out.

For an organization which claims to revere intelligence, self-awareness, and perspective, the statements being published in the official news-feed of the CoS are disturbingly ignorant and childish. If only there were a way to know what Magus Gilmore himself thinks about people who collect and post other people's information on the Internet in order to badmouth them? Oh, wait - here it is:
"So the spiteful brats who can’t bear to be ignored at times strike back by posting personal information about our members and representatives with whom they’re obsessed, or by stealing the sort of copyrighted material they could never create and illegally transmitting it (a real crime, folks). If that doesn’t give them away for failures, squealing for attention, then you might belong in their company." Source: Magus Peter H. Gilmore
For this reason and all the others I've outlined above, I'm unwilling to continue my support for the CoS and am resigning my membership. I'm not doing this to club the CoS over the head with my resignation--I sincerely doubt I'll be missed, and I'm skeptical that the observations I've shared in this letter will be remembered within a year's time--but it's important to me that I say it because I feel that to do otherwise is a disservice to myself.

I am not renouncing my choice to identify as a Satanist, only my choice to affiliate with the Church of Satan. There's no stopping Satanism: it's here to stay and will continue moving ever forward.

But given what I've observed, I'm doubtful that the CoS will go with it.

33 comments:

  1. Well said. Best of luck with the path ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anton LaVey said that you don't have to belong to any satanic organization to be a satanist.
    Gilmore said you don't sell your magic. Yes you do. He published a book, he sold his magic.

    Ramon Priddy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Speaking as a member of TST, I just want to say that your criticisms are certainly aligned with our own in many ways.

    The CoS, whom I used to respect very much, has fallen into a whirlwind of change that no longer aligns with how LaVey once envisioned the future of Satanism.

    White supremacist racism and irrational logical fallacies will never stunt the growth of Satanism. We'll always push forward!

    Hail!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on what I've seen, I think the problem is not that the CoS no longer aligns with how LaVey envisioned it, but that it aligns perfectly with how LaVey envisioned it. LaVey wrote a lot of stuff that I happen to think is quite powerful and useful, but like I said--the man is only human--and judging his choices by the results of history I think that his idea for the CoS as a self-involved, withdrawn social club has proven to be less successful, instead of more successful. But what do I know? I'm a nobody, I'm a nobody...

      Delete
  4. Well said. CoS has become what it once ridiculed. LaVey would astonished at what CoS has become. Ave Satanas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assuming that such plans really exist--and I'm not aware if anybody outside of the CoS leadership has seen them?--the CoS is reportedly becoming exactly what LaVey planned it to become. Depending on who you ask, the CoS is exactly where it wants to be, but given its temper tantrums in the news-feed I find that claim difficult to believe.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for saying what others are thinking. Ave Satana and good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Charlotte McFarland10/14/17, 2:53 AM

    Free Speech! Peaceful Protest!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think back to the conversation we had a few months ago, where you were laying out issues you were having with the COS. You kept saying things, and all I kept saying was "That's not Satanism, that's Christianity", or "That's not Satanism. That goes directly against the Nine Statements". I'm no Satan theologist, but even I could see the bullshit behind what they were doing. I stand eager to hear your next step, because I know as well as you do, THERE IS A NEXT STEP.

    Bryan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Bryan; we should get together for a drink next weekend.

      Delete
  8. Speaking as a former LaVeyan and current TST member. It's a shame that it has come to this. Satanism as a religion is as individualistic as possible working within small and slightly different codifications. I see no problems with multiple branches of Satanism working towards similar goals while accepting our differences. The problem comes with the No True Satanist fallacy and the implied ownership game of We did it first.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for not blindly following the CoS. I started my Satanic journey in the CoS as well before I also left, for some of the above reasons. I too became a Satanist without an organization. Eventually I came to join TST, and I can tell you that, in general, we support your statements. You are not a member of our organization but you are making good points and still a Satanist. Doors are open for you at TST, even if you choose not to use them.
    Ave Satanas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been really surprised at the response this letter has received from supporters and members of TST considering that the audience for whom it was primarily intended is composed of supporters and members of the CoS. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and if I'm seeing these things and thinking these things, then there must be other CoS supporters and members who are seeing and thinking the same.

      I'm not naive enough to think that this letter will immediately change anything in the CoS as an organization, but I am choosing to believe that this will spark important discussions that I think needs to be had. Whether it's correctly attributed or not, I feel a debt of gratitude to the CoS for promoting a body of literature that's had a really profound impact on my life. I've got other projects to occupy my time and energy, so I hope to not write any further about the CoS.

      As far as TST goes, I'm rather burnt out on joining at the moment and am taking a wait-and-see attitude while I continue to unpack attitudes and beliefs that I've acquired through the CoS. My only plans right now are to make no plans, and I'll see where that goes.

      Delete
  10. I was particularly reticent to engage in Satanism when i was exposed to it as a young teenager, almost entirely by the toxic and disingenuous personalities i was aqquanted with who were aligned with the ideology. In 2012, The Satanic Temple caught my attention, and there were friends i had from my rather discordian circles who brought me into the fold. During the time i spent trying to act as a contributor i encountered my own epiphany, not brought on by any canon or rhetoric but rather a self realization of empowered fulfillment. It was the moment when i understood it was not mere iconology or some philosophical conjecture i was practicing but actually seizing my role in the events of the world around me and taking responsibility for my ability to influence them.

    Not long after I developed my own gripe with TST, not entirely dissimiliar to the issues you've raised in terms of organizational and community efficacy and solidarity, and have since then branched off with our group of friends to pursue our own agenda focusing on our locality, where we feel both most responsible and influential to disrupt the condition of the status quo and how it affects the lives we desire to create.

    For i think most of us that pay credence to the symbol of deviant thought and individualist action, it is something that cannot be tarnished by an appeal to an authority or the human weakness for social belonging. There are no heirarchies that can dictate how you navigate your path nor any permissions to be granted for any one of us who take their own.

    Always walk in the light of the Morningstar my friend. Ave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't ever compare TST to CoS when it comes to "organizational and community efficacy and solidarity" simply because they are two entirely different organizations with different ways of working, but TST is new and has had its own very bad apples in the past heading their chapters. From looking at both orgs, one is stuck in decades old misogynist and racist thoughts, the other is fairly new and growing exponentially. I find TST to be extremely progressive in the way it honors women as opposed to the way CoS objectifies them. Usually "gripes" developed with TST are ones that are solely held by former chapter people who wanted to go rogue while having TST approve personal agendas.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. *reposted edited for clarity

      Your statement is fair enough at face value. I'm not going to persue any further details because it is irrelevant to the purpose of my statement. I think plenty of us will be privvy to exactly who and what you're talking about.

      However, in terms of organizational efficacy in particular, and the end result of community solidarity that paridigm has created, i think it's not only fair but generous to say they have a lot of room to grow into the shoes they've chosen to don.

      I'm not attempting to be slanderous. Please don't approach it as such.

      Delete
  11. "It's possible that you'll see some of your own criticisms, but owing to the fact that I've never been a member of your organization and have very little contact with your membership I'm not drawing on any of your criticisms."

    The thing is, if you had asked me to sit around and complain about the Church of Satan I couldn't have buried them this hard even if I wanted to. Part and parcel of being critical of the organization in the first place is that I just don't bother to pay that much attention to them, and certainly never deal with the high muckity mucks. Result being that even though I've never liked or supported the Church except in the most abstract and detached way, I had a much, much less toxic opinion of them.

    Indeed, whenever I considered criticisms like these I always tried to at least be thoughtful and consider that maybe it wasn't so. The feint of claiming to be apolitical, for example, always struck me as obviously two-faced, but at the same time I couldn't help wondering, what if I really just don't understand the official position to begin with? What if I have a skewed perspective because I lack firsthand experience with the relevant parties? What if it really does all make sense to them?

    But in fact, you make it all sound much, much worse than even I would have anticipated. Live and learn.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It was blunt and to-the-point. It doesn't take a member or a newcomer to see what's been happening with CoS. No organization enjoys what they perceive as competition, however, only CoS saw TST as competitors while TST didn't seem to have much issues with CoS other than the way they always tried to claim ownership combined with trashing TST every chance they had. It was always childish until the most recent actions which could be seen by some as dangerous. The behaviors of CoS have completely regressed and devolved and it's apparent in their blogs and social media. Nobody needs a group to be a Satanist. Community is lovely and there are many satanists in the world who belong to no organizations. I think i do like the community of TST, though. They seem to be pretty welcoming and respectful of those looking to enlighten themselves, helping them on their journey while not requiring membership or devotion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was particularly irresponsible to list personal contact information in the fact sheet. The CoS is well aware (and has spoken about the issue several times) that it can be very dangerous to be outed. At best, the author of the fact sheet just wasn't thinking about the potential consequences, and at worst it was a deliberate attempt to invite personal danger into the life of somebody who's made an effort to maintain some degree of anonymity.

      Delete
    2. I would usually want to agree that it was simply irresponsible behavior, but I've been to both of their social media pages and they have been listing names and addresses of the TST founders for over two years now. Only last month did they put it all on one sheet, but when I first saw it two years ago, that's what turned me off. Satanists are not a "protected" class by any sorts, and some people need to change their names for jobs or to protect their families. That was done deliberately.
      I also must add to this, something you may not be aware of, but they have tweeted that fact sheet to christian media sites, the Daily Caller, for example, and several Christian law makers. To me, and to many, that was them throwing the entirety of Satanism under the bus just to cause a smear campaign and to remain the "only" known satanists. They sent the names and addresses of TST members to evangelical christians, some who have been publicly open about wanting to burn TST's headquarters to the ground, and in doing so, are trying to help those theocrats in their taking away women's reproductive rights. I, for one, will never understand this childish behavior, but it's far worse. it was outright intending to cause them and many others harm. I am very sorry you revoke your membership to an org you once valued. Leaving behind a group where you have found help and support and enlightenment is never easy. I hope when you're ready you will find your community elsewhere. I wish you much luck in the future and look forward to reading more of your work.

      Delete
    3. I don't use Twitter, so I wasn't aware that was happening. Considering the very real potential for grave injury to result from the CoS's doxxing, I'd say this is borderline criminal and potentially grounds for a violation of Twitter's terms of service: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169991

      Delete
  13. Charlotte McFarland10/15/17, 2:11 PM

    Doug Mesner's name and address have been visible on his own public FB page for some time now: https://i.imgflip.com/1mmvle.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a UPS store.

      Also, I'm sorry that you're an angry, angry woman in need of help. Please get it, Charlotte.

      Delete
  14. You certainly have the right to express your discontent with the CoS and, in that measure, go the way you feel best benefits you.
    However, you have displayed in your reasoning a misunderstanding of how the CoS itself works in its announcements at the administration level compared to what is posted on the CoS's news feed.
    There's a reason why many members state that what they speak of in relation to Satanism as CoS members doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the organization itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The argument that the official news feed of the CoS shouldn't be considered representative of the views of the CoS is probably the dumbest argument I've heard all week.

      Delete
    2. That's why I stated 'at the administration level compared to what is posted on the CoS's news feed.'
      For example, if it's posted by Peter Gilmore or Peggy Nadramia (or is quoted therefrom them) then it's administrative and official of the CoS at an organizational level.
      However, if it's by someone who is, say, putting on a concert or releasing a book, then it's advertised on the news feed that explicitly states it posts what CoS members are doing worldwide. However, members' activities (art, activism, etc.) are of their own volition.

      To elaborate. You write this:
      "Judging by the writing published in the news-feed by High Priest Magus Gilmore, it's true that he himself neither openly nor definitively supports any political candidate or party."

      This is an example of a CoS administrator of the organization. He has been deemed to make decisions on behalf of the CoS. That's the responsibility of the High Priest of the Church of Satan. This does not contradict anything in a philosophy that champions individual goals and pursuits.

      Then you write this:
      "But going by what is in the news feed, a definite constellation of values emerges. There are several examples I could provide, but the one which I believe speaks loudest is the statement made after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia which featured actual Nazis marching in the streets and culminated in the death of a peaceful protester exercising her civil rights to accuse and oppose an ideology which she deemed unworthy of the world in which she wants to live."

      I'm not really sure which statement you are referring to, but a lot of the political posts in relation to what you speak of are in the 'Third Side Intelligence' section. Therein you'll notice that it's members speaking their minds as individual members, but not in the act of representing the CoS beyond practicing the philosophy it represents.
      There are no announcements made or positions communicated in which each person is speaking the mindset of the CoS. Rather, they are stating their opinions based upon actions in society.
      That's the difference and the confusion here should now be put to rest.
      If not, please reread this carefully.

      Delete
    3. And the reason that your argument that member activities posted in the official news-feed shouldn't be considered representative of the COS is broken is because you know as well as I do that members promoted up the hierarchy--who far and away are the people promoted in the news-feed--are active, registered members who've had their Satanic bona fides evaluated by the administration and deemed to be "right thinking" members. This is especially the case since two of the people who feature prominently in this letter are both leading spokespersons for the CoS.

      Going by your argument, for example, any tweet on the @POTUS account on Twitter not signed by the president are just the work of an enthusiastic staffer whose views may or may not align with either the policies of the White House or the views of the president.

      The idea that the CoS cannot be held responsible or in any way connected to the things the administration chooses to publish in its news-feed considering the rigorous screening process imposed on members as they progress through the hierarchy is a fallacious argument.

      For example, the two posts shared about the Missouri abortion cases and the fact sheet. Neither of those documents are signed by Magus Gilmore or otherwise marked as coming from the administration. Are those just the work of an enthusiastic Satanists who thought they'd be a good fit in the news-feed? Or are they official views of the CoS? I guess we'll never know!

      The administration of the CoS doesn't get to promote member activities and other member-produced content in the official news-feed and say that it doesn't represent the views of the CoS merely because the content listed isn't appropriately marked.

      Delete
    4. You still aren't getting how the Church of Satan at an administrative level differs from its members' actions and opinions posted on their news and/or Twitter feeds or elsewhere. And it's reasonably clear in your responses that you never will.

      If you still feel the need to really know, then heed my suggestion and reread my comments until it sinks in.

      I sincerely wish you the best in whatever path(s) you pursue.

      Delete
    5. And you, whoever in the world you are dear Anonymous, are still not understanding the total and complete hypocrisy of the CoS policing its member activities and associations in order to prevent any measure of recognition for so-called "pseudo-Satanists" even to the point that members are expelled from the organization for too speaking too favorably of them, and then on the other hand apparently either not knowing or not caring about the definitively non-Satanic viewpoints and opinions expressed by its members which the CoS posts to the various sections of its official newsfeed.

      Isn't it just so weird how in these situations the CoS likes to argue that Satanism is just a tool-kit to be used the individual as much or as little as he or she sees fit for his or her own success so long as the CoS's definition of Satanism is never called into question, but the moment somebody uses that tool-kit--even drawing on the exact same source literature?--in a way that the CoS doesn't approve, suddenly the argument becomes that Satanism is a codified religion which has been crystallized into a specific definition, the meaning of which isn't open to interpretation and must be vigorously defended against all who would tear down the past 50 years' hard work of the CoS?

      The official news-feed is called the official news-feed because it's official. If the CoS shares an announcement for a book signing, nude witch revue, album release party, art show, or fundraiser on its official news-feed, a reasonable person can assume that the CoS supports the event in question and likes the goals of the event. If the CoS shares an interview, essay, panel discussion, or podcast hosted or produced by one of its members on the official news-feed, a reasonable person can assume that the CoS supports the views of the member and likes what he or she has to say.

      Your argument that content in the official news-feed shouldn't be considered official unless it's specifically marked as official is infantile. To be honest, your argument is only a half-step away from Schrodinger's Douchebag who makes outrageous statements and then decides after the fact depending on the audience's response whether the statement was intended seriously or comically.

      Delete
  15. I suppose that merely typing "I no longer feel my needs and wants are met by the Church of Satan, so I resigned," would have been too wordy? Wait! That would have been if you didn't want to use them for publicity and validation. This magnum opus is designed to make others see your ever so socially responsible good guy badge. Sadder still, you don't have the balls or social skills to do activism on a personal level (as so many CoS members do,) but you need an org to back you up. Finally, trust me, women don't need your silly Temple to keep their reproductive freedom. They fought for and will continue to fight for their rights without your transparently manipulative efforts to use this them and this issue to shore up your inadequacies,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem to be confused: you are aware, aren't you, that I'm not a member of the Satanic Temple?

      Delete

Freedom of Expression =/= Freedom from Consequences