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Features Archive:

2003 Archive:
Ley Lines, Old Straight Tracks, and Earth Energies by Jeff Belanger
December 13, 2003

Dybbuk - Spiritual Possession and Jewish Folklore by Jeff Belanger
November 29, 2003

What to Look For in a Paranormal Group by Andrew D. Laird
November 24, 2003

Reincarnation: Thoughts, Aspects, and Musings by Lee Prosser
November 17, 2003

Inside the Psychic Mind of James Van Praagh by Jeff Belanger
November 15, 2003

Exploring Our Dreams by Jeff Belanger
November 1, 2003

Halloween 2003 - What Scares Us by Jeff Belanger
October 18, 2003

Supernatural Glossary by Brian Leffler, with contributions by the staff
October 13, 2003

L'Empire de la Morte by Jeff Belanger
October 4, 2003

Spell Casting and Green Witchcraft by Jeff Belanger
September 20, 2003

To Light a Candle by Lee Prosser
September 18, 2003

The Ghosts and Legends of Juneau's Alaskan Hotel by Jeff Belanger
September 6, 2003

A Glimpse of the Afterlife: Near-Death Experiences by Jeff Belanger
August 23, 2003

Gargoyles: Sacred Scarecrows by Jeff Belanger
August 9, 2003

Astral Travel Agents by Jeff Belanger
July 26, 2003

What's Your Sign? by Jeff Belanger
July 12, 2003

The Skeptic's View by Jeff Belanger
June 28, 2003

Mercy Brown, the Rhode Island Vampire by Jeff Belanger
June 16, 2003

It's in the Cards by Jeff Belanger
May 31, 2003

Exploring Satanism by Jeff Belanger
May 17, 2003

My First Ghost Hunt by Jeff Belanger
May 3, 2003

Leaps of Faith by Jeff Belanger
April 19, 2003

Sance - A Round Table Discussion by Jeff Belanger
April 5, 2003

Exorcism: Vanquishing Demons by Jeff Belanger
March 22, 2003

Do All Dogs Go to Heaven? by Jeff Belanger
March 8, 2003

Which Witch is Which? by Jeff Belanger
February 22, 2003

Being Psychic With Peter James by Jeff Belanger
February 8, 2003

Funeral Practices and the Afterlife by Jeff Belanger
January 25, 2003

Lawrenceville Library's Most Famous Headstone by Jeff Belanger
January 11, 2003

May 17, 2003

Exploring Satanism

By Jeff Belanger

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law -- Aleister Crowleys infamous quote from his The Book of The Law, and one of the founding tenets of Satanism, a religion and/or philosophy founded by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1966. I admit I was scared when I first decided to write on this subject. My Sunday schooling taught me plenty about God and Satan -- and Satan was not one to be messed with. After all, my eternal soul is at stake here, isnt it?

I didnt know much about Satanism and Satanists -- no one ever told me about it, and popular media typically portrays Satanists as evil people who commit human sacrifices and other diabolical acts. At my first pass on the Internet, I saw people dressed in black capes holding swords, t-shirts emblazoned with 666, and altars adorned with black candles and skulls. However, once you get past all of the symbols, something entirely different is unearthed.

To gain some insight into Satanism, I spoke with Rick Morgan, a Satanic priest based in Dallas, Texas and the founder of The 600 Club -- an Internet community of Satanists that began in 1995. The name of his community is a play on The 700 Club -- the fundamentalist Christian television show started by Pat Robertson in 1966.

All Satanists are atheists, Morgan said. They dont believe in god above, or the devil below for that matter. Satanists believe that each individual is god of his or her own life. Morgan said, Its a religion or philosophy that was meant to free man of his built-in fears of the unknown and of god. Really teaching that the only higher power is yourself and the abilities that you possess. It means doing for yourself instead of praying for somebody else to do them for you.

It is important to note here that there are people who do believe in the devil as their god. I will refer to them as Devil Worshipers to delineate them from Satanists -- and in a future article, we will definitely delve into Devil Worship. The Satanists were discussing here are atheists by definition. But, does that mean there are atheists who might be Satanists and not even realize it?

No, Morgan said. Theres an elitism with a Satanist. Its for the guy that knows hes a little smarter than everybody and kind of loathes the way most of society walks around and conducts themselves. Sort of a misanthrope.

So why the name Satanism? Satan in the Bible was known as the adversary or the opposer, Morgan said. The adversary here is to the contemporary thought of believing in a god, doing what youre told, and being a sheep.

The symbols that some Satanists choose to wear, such us an upside-down crucifix or 666, are intended to be a blasphemous parody of Christian symbols. Some divisions of Satanists may also practice a black mass, which acts as a mockery of the Roman Catholic service. Part of the black mass may include a naked woman as the altar, the deconsecration of the bread by dipping it in bodily fluids (preferably with a stolen Eucharist from a Catholic church), and sometimes sex acts with the woman on the altar. Devout Christians may be in shock from the very idea but thats part of the point of Satanism.

Satanisms founder, Anton LaVey, was born in Chicago in 1930, but his family moved to California when he was very young. LaVey dropped out of high school and took up with the carnival, where he learned about showmanship, cons, and a lot about human nature. In addition to working the acts, LaVey also played the organ and keyboards, both for the carnival and in nightclubs.

During the 1950s, LaVey worked part time as a psychic investigator, and local police departments would refer customers to him regularly. During this time, LaVey learned how many people seek supernatural causes for what is very often natural events or problems.

Anton LaVey took ideas for his new religion from his experiences and from many other sources, including Darwin, Aleister Crowley, Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, and even P.T. Barnum. LaVey was once quoted as saying that if he didnt found Satanism, someone else, perhaps less qualified, would have. The Church of Satan was officially born on the last night of April, 1966. LaVey then declared that 1966 would be renumbered to year One, Anno Satanas -- the first year of the Age of Satan.

According to Rick Morgan, the audience that is most drawn to Satanism tends to be Caucasians, 13-16 years of age. They grew up in a Christian family, are disenfranchised, generally have a higher IQ than most people in the neighborhood -- and when they find it, it just clicks for them. Theyre not going to stay there long, but thats the foundation, and then they go off and pursue other things, Morgan said.

There have been many split-offs from the original Church of Satan during LaVeys life, but especially after his death in 1997. Morgan gave some examples: The Temple of Set went off on a very paranormal route -- kind of drifting from the atheist standpoint and more into the traditional occult-ish magic working. They did that in 1975. Theres been a few little groups here and there -- nothing of real significance. In 1998, the First Church of Satan popped up. 

The First Church of Satan was founded by Lord Egan who, according to his Web site (, died earlier this month. Lord Egan actually faked his own death, Morgan said. Hes still alive. Hes been around since the old days when LeVay first started his Church, which is ironic, because the thing he started turns out to be the biggest joke on the Internet.

Satanism means to embrace selfishness or rational self-interest. Do whatever pleases you, but understand there are consequences for your actions. Morgan explained, Theres no such thing as a selfless act. Everything you do is for selfish reasons. Just recognizing humans for what they really are were animals, were very selfish, and were very greedy -- and instead of fighting that, you can embrace it. 

It seems to me that our modern society exists because of cooperation. I have time to write this column because I dont need to be hunting or farming for my food -- we all do our individual occupations to the benefit of the whole society. So could modern society exist if we were all Satanist? I think so, Morgan said. You would go back to Darwinism where the strong would survive and there wouldnt be charities to allow the weak to continue to reproduce and continue to survive and water down our race. There was a point where humans werent as smart, or maybe as strong, or as innovative as we are now. I think now were slowly starting to recess as a result of charity and everybody being equal -- there has to be a benchmark that determines who is better than whom. There is no egalitarian.

The nine Satanic statements discuss seeking your own gratification and personal fulfillment, taking vengeance when needed, and only offering your friendship to those who deserve it. To embrace these core values is to become a Satanist. The nine sins of Satanism include stupidity, conformity, self-deceit, and lack of perspective. Satanism is the opposite of most Christian teachings. 

As our society continues to evolve and become more advanced, we seem to become less dependent on organized religion to explain everything to us. Combine our technological progression with a continual weakening of influence from cultural behemoths like the Catholic Church, and Satanism only has room to grow. 

Rick Morgans Web site is: He can be reached via email at:

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014