A year ago this month, I received a package from the Church of Satan containing a certificate constituting me as an Active Member of the Church of Satan—Satanist 1st°. I first joined the Church of Satan in the summer of 2011, and received my crimson membership card shortly after contacting Central. My Active Membership arrived at a very significant time, and I view it as a symbolic event. It was a very investigative time philosophically, where it was necessary for me to reexamine certain positions and uncover flawed ideas. I started to become more rigorous in philosophy and critical thinking—adopting a more academic lifestyle. I also decided to dive into counter-apologetics and study the various arguments and positions of theists, and rebuttal god claims. When I dug into the package, I was delighted to read the words: “…being a conscientious student of Satanic Theory…”. The student. I thought that was significant as I adopted a lifestyle more reflective of a student. It’s now been a year since I’ve gotten my official degree, and I’ve become even more committed and stringent in philosophical undertakings and investigations.
The Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey in San Francisco. LaVey defined Satanism in The Satanic Bible as an atheistic philosophy of indulgence and vital existence. Satan is merely a symbol for the human animal and iconoclastic rejection of socioreligious mores. After LaVey’s passing, Peter H. Gilmore was appointed High Priest by Magistra Blanche Barton in 2001, with his wife High Priestess Peggy Nadramia. Gilmore has since released The Satanic Scriptures—a collection of essays, and has disseminated the tenets of Satanism in a plethora of interviews and various writings.
The existence of the Church of Satan is to communicate Satanic philosophy, while not being a proselytizing entity. The principles of the organization can be summed up in Pentagonal Revisionism—a Five-Point Program laying out the goals and guidelines of the Church of Satan. These goals are presented thus:
1.Stratification: the advocacy of a meritocratic society.
2. Strict taxation of all churches: the Church of Satan is leading by example; it has never maintained tax exempt status.
3. No tolerance for religious beliefs secularized and incorporated into law and order issues: the advocacy of Lex Talionis—a justice system where one must face the full consequences of one’s actions.
4. Development and production of artificial human companions: humanoids, robots, sex dolls/bots, artificial intelligence, etc.
5. The opportunity for anyone to live within a total environment of his or her choice, with mandatory adherence to the aesthetic and behavioral standards of same: environments that aesthetically capture the totality of a world or era.
The first three points are the most political.1 The Church of Satan champions a pluralistic society, where no one religion has hegemony over another, as in line with the Establishment Clause. As a cabal of atheist secularists, Church of Satan Members are free to work with other secular organizations to bring about separation of church and state and freedom from religion.
This secular stance is what brought me to join the organization. It’s quite refreshing to be part of an organization that champions secularism and free-thinking. As a religion, Satanism augments humanistic ideology while critiquing and ridiculing irrational religious beliefs. As a religion for non-joiners, it has completely flipped the coin of what religion consists of. I admire the organization for its progressive and secular furtherance. I’m grateful to the Administration for reviewing my Active Membership Application and deeming me worthy for further involvement. I’ll continue my studies and philosophical undertakings while reflecting on the significance of Active Membership. The Church of Satan continues to be a source of inspiration and motivation for me, and for that I am grateful.