Reply to GaianGuy’s comment

May 13, 2011

GaianGuy posted the following comment in reply to the section of my Theistic Satanism site To Wiccans and other Pagans and occultists. The comment was originally posted below my post Deities and element correspondences?, where it is off-topic. So I’m moving it to a separate thread here. (GaianGuy also posted an on-topic comment below my post Some of my history of challenging prejudice (mainly anti-Satanism by Pagans).)


You asked: “Why reconstruct an “Old Religion” this way, rather than just going back to the records of actual old religions? Other forms of neo-Paganism, e.g. Asatru and neo-Druidism, which do base themselves more on what’s known about actual ancient religions, are far less likely than Wicca to be confused with Satanism by outsiders. Why do Wiccans insist on using words like “witch” and “coven” when they could easily use other, more respectable-sounding words?”

But your question is rhetorical – you answer it a little later: “…at least some of them are using words and images popularly associated with Satanism as a way to attract attention, and/or because they themselves enjoy feeling naughty” – and you are absolutely right about that! – in my opinion, based on my experience. I’ll be more specific however – some Wiccan witches want to believe they have magical powers, and very much want OTHER PEOPLE to believe that being a Wiccan witch means they have magical powers. They don’t, of course…no one does. There is no divine/supernatural causation.

“Wicca is not “the Old Religion”…” – true.
“Much of Wicca’s self-image is based on the Paganized re-interpretation of alleged Devil-worship, rather than on actual ancient religion” – true.
“Much of Wicca’s terminology and imagery, e.g. the words “witch”, “coven”, and “sabbat”, are used because of the Wiccan myth that Wicca is the survival of an underground medieval religion that was the target of the witchhunts. (Regardless of the linguistic origin of the words themselves, this constellation of terms comes from the witchhunts.)” – true.

“The related idea that modern Wiccans too are in continual danger of being confused with Satanists is at least partly a self-fulfilling prophecy” – true.

“Far fewer people would confuse modern Wicca with Satanism if Wicca didn’t use so many witchhunt-derived words and other trappings popularly associated with diabolical witchcraft” – absolutely true, and I’ve been saying the same thing since 1978 or so.

“My point here is not that Wiccans shouldn’t use the words “witch”, “coven”, and “sabbat”. My point is that if they do use these and other diabolical-witchcraft trappings, they should accept responsibility for the consequences. For example, when explaining that Wicca Is Not Satanism, they should acknowledge the main real reason for the confusion: that modern Wiccans have chosen to identify with the victims of European witchhunts and have chosen their terminology accordingly. Wiccans certainly should not blame Satanists for Wicca’s own public-relations difficulties, as some Wiccans do” – yes, yes, yes, that’s all true.
—————————-

“Many Pagan Witches have said, in their “We’re not Satanists” disclaimers, that Satanists are “Christians” or “Christian heretics.” The point is that the idea of Satan is derived from Christianity (and Judaism), whereas Neo-Paganism aims to revive more ancient religious concepts”.

No, that’s not the point.
I’ll ‘fess up here…I’ve made these kinds of statements “that Satanists are “Christians” or “Christian heretics”, or that “you have to be a Christian to be a Satanist” – many times since 1976 – in personal conversation & correspondence, on television, on radio and in print. What you consider to be “the point” of saying those things, might be true for Bonewitz or others, but that’s not the point for me.

“Calling Satanists “Christians” or “Christian heretics” is an insult to both Satanists and Christians” – that’s getting closer to the point, but I still suspect you don’t really “get it”. And, I certainly have no wish to “insult” MOST persons who call themselves “Satanists”, nor MOST persons who call themselves Christians.

“…nor am I willing to engage in private email discussion or debate about the topics discussed on my website or blogs”

What a shame.

If I don’t “get it,” would you care to explain?

As for private discussion, after we get to know each other a bit via public correspondence, perhaps we can exchange phone numbers. But I need to limit my private interaction with people I don’t know. When I do have private interaction, I usually prefer phone to email.

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2 Responses to “Reply to GaianGuy’s comment”

  1. GaianGuy Says:

    “If I don’t “get it,” would you care to explain?” Yes, I would care to – thank you for asking me to.

    First, though – I believe that I understand, and to a great extent share, your concerns regarding this subject.

    I am aware that some Wiccan/neo-pagan persons and/or groups DID use such disclaimers that you have described and expressed concern about, in the context of stating that they believed SRA claimants, (sometimes also claiming that they had occult community “insider knowledge” about the reality of SRA “satanists”). In effect saying: “yes, SRA satanists are real, but we are not anything like them”. The Zells did something like this, in “Green Egg”, and I condemned them for it.

    If any Wiccan/neo-pagan/whatever groups made such statements, being fully aware that SRA satanists are a total fiction, for the purpose of directing witchhunters of any kind away from themselves and toward someone else instead…effectively saying: “It’s not US – it’s THEM! It’s those satanists over there!”, THAT would be absolutely unforgiveable. If that could be proven, of anyone, I’d be first in line to chase their sorry *sses out of the community for good.

    Now – the point of saying that ‘Satanists’ are “Christians” or “Christian heretics”, or that “you have to be a Christian to be a Satanist”.

    Clearly, this does not apply to anyone who SELF-DESCRIBES as “a Satanist” – nor is it meant to. The ‘Satanists’ referred to in these statements – specifically the ‘reverse-Christianity’, Satanic Ritual Abuse satanists DESCRIBED BY SRA SURVIVOR CLAIMANTS – are a total fantasy, they don’t exist at all.
    [That's part of the reason why intentional witchhunters, such as Larouche or the Patriot militias, use this (imaginary) model for the satanists/witches they claim to hunt - because they don't really exist. If they existed, they could be uncovered & dealt with, and there could be resolution of "the problem". If they don't exist, they can't be dealt with and the witchhunt can go on & on and be applied to anyone they choose to target]

    If they did exist, however, all of those statements which so trouble you would be true of them; they would necessarily be Christians, they would necessarily be Christian heretics, and no one who was not a Christian could be one.

    Refer to Colin Ross’ description of these imaginary ‘Satanists’, in “Satanic ritual abuse: principles of treatment” (pg.32):
    ““The Satanic rituals…are the mirror opposite of repressive Christianity; the Christian devours the spiritual body of Christ, the Satanist eats his victim’s heart [or consumes an 'anti-eucharist' composed of feces & urine], the Christian has an upright cross, the Satanist has an inverted one; the Christian is washed in the Blood of the Lamb, the satanist in the Blood of the Goat; the Christian Priest is celibate, the Satanist is a pedophile; the Christian reads the Bile, the Satanist defecates on it. The Satanist does literally what the Christian does, in a disguised form: the Christian drinks wine that represents the Blood of Christ, the Satanist drinks actual blood [preferably from a sacrificial human infant, of course]; the Christian god was nailed on the cross, the Satanist ties his victim to the altar, and so on”.

    These imaginary ‘Satanists’ would apparently hold their primary purpose to be BLASPHEMING Christ-Jehovah, and blasphemers are heretics:
    http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T971

    ” Blasphemy is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning literally “to speak harm.” In the biblical context, blasphemy is an attitude of disrespect that finds expression in an act directed against the character of God. The New Testament broadens the concept of blasphemy to include actions against Christ and the church as the body of Christ
    One kind is considered to be a statement that is against faith. An example given in the Catholic Encyclopedia is “God is cruel or unjust”. Another type of blasphemy is to have contempt for God. One way of showing contempt is to openly disrespect God. The third form of blasphemy listed in the Catholic Encyclopedia is to have malediction against God. For example, a person may blaspheme by saying, “Away with God.’” Cursing God can be direct or more subtle”

    http://www.heretication.info/_atheists.html
    “St Thomas Aquinas regarded blasphemers as heretics, and heretics as blasphemers. For him heresy and blasphemy amounted to the same thing”.

    I’ve never made those statements so troubling to you, in relation to self-described Satanists. I’ve said those things, specifically in response to the SRA reverse-Christian Satanists fantasy. I’ve said them because, if such Satanists really existed, these things would be true of them – but the main point is to make clear to the Christian majority in our society that, despite the witchhunters use of terms like “satanist” or “witch”, in reality any one of THEM could be targeted for accusations of being a secret SRA abuser and in fact they would make better, more probable targets than self-described pagans, pagan witches or satanic-styled atheists.

  2. GaianGuy Says:

    [Diane - This is an expanded reposting, with links & other potentially problematic lines removed. If it creates a duplicate posting, please delete the prior one]

    I didn’t actually seek you out to engage you in argument or debate. Primarily, I wanted to express my delight, and agreement, with much of your writings, particularly as previously noted, and especially this paragraph:
    “Much of Wicca’s terminology and imagery, e.g. the words “witch”, “coven”, and “sabbat”, are used because of the Wiccan myth that Wicca is the survival of an underground medieval religion that was the target of the witchhunts. (Regardless of the linguistic origin of the words themselves, this constellation of terms comes from the witchhunts.) The related idea that modern Wiccans too are in continual danger of being confused with Satanists is at least partly a self-fulfilling prophecy. Far fewer people would confuse modern Wicca with Satanism if Wicca didn’t use so many witchhunt-derived words and other trappings popularly associated with diabolical witchcraft”.

    I’ve been saying something similar for a long time – privately; amongst my friends, my local community and private networks – but not publicly. I have regrets about that. I wish, now, that I’d said this in more public ways and about 20 years ago. I’m very glad that YOU have been saying these things, publicly, for a long time. I am, intentionally, a person of no particular importance in any sphere – nevertheless I’d like to belatedly add my voice in support of what you expressed there.

    Secondarily, I wanted to congratulate you on & thank you for your excellent Satanic Panic work – and fill in some of the gaps, regarding Wiccan/neo-pagan participation in that struggle, in your history of it.

    You said: “If I don’t “get it,” would you care to explain?”

    Yes, I would care to – thank you for asking me to.

    First, though – I believe that I understand, and to a great extent share, your concerns regarding this subject.

    I am aware that some Wiccan/neo-pagan persons and/or groups DID use such disclaimers that you have described and expressed concern about, in the context of stating that they believed SRA claimants, (sometimes also claiming that they had occult community “insider knowledge” about the reality of SRA “satanists”). In effect saying: “yes, SRA satanists are real, but we are not anything like them”. The Zells did something like this, in “Green Egg”, and I condemned them for it.

    If any Wiccan/neo-pagan/whatever groups made such statements, being fully aware that SRA satanists are a total fiction, for the purpose of directing witchhunters of any kind away from themselves and toward someone else instead…effectively saying: “It’s not US – it’s THEM! It’s those satanists over there!”, THAT would be absolutely unforgiveable. If that could be proven, of anyone, I’d be first in line to chase their sorry butts out of the community for good.

    Now – the point of saying that ‘Satanists’ are “Christians” or “Christian heretics”, or that “you have to be a Christian to be a Satanist”.

    Clearly, this does not apply to anyone who SELF-DESCRIBES as “a Satanist” – nor is it meant to. The ‘Satanists’ referred to in these statements – specifically the ‘reverse-Christianity’, Satanic Ritual Abuse satanists DESCRIBED BY SRA SURVIVOR CLAIMANTS – are a total fantasy, they don’t exist at all.
    [That's part of the reason why intentional witchhunters, such as Larouche or the Patriot militias, use this (imaginary) model for the satanists/witches they claim to hunt - because they don't really exist. If they existed, they could be uncovered & dealt with, and there could be resolution of "the problem". If they don't exist, they can't be dealt with and the witchhunt can go on & on and be applied to anyone they choose to target]

    If they did exist, however, all of those statements which so trouble you would be true of them; they would necessarily be Christians, they would necessarily be Christian heretics, and no one who was not a Christian could be one.

    Refer to Colin Ross’ description of these imaginary ‘Satanists’, in “Satanic ritual abuse: principles of treatment” (pg.32):
    ““The Satanic rituals…are the mirror opposite of repressive Christianity; the Christian devours the spiritual body of Christ, the Satanist eats his victim’s heart, the Christian has an upright cross, the Satanist has an inverted one; the Christian is washed in the Blood of the Lamb, the satanist in the Blood of the Goat; the Christian Priest is celibate, the Satanist is a pedophile; the Christian reads the Bile, the Satanist defecates on it. The Satanist does literally what the Christian does, in a disguised form: the Christian drinks wine that represents the Blood of Christ, the Satanist drinks actual blood; the Christian god was nailed on the cross, the Satanist ties his victim to the altar, and so on”.

    These imaginary ‘Satanists’ would apparently hold their primary purpose to be BLASPHEMING Christ-Jehovah, and blasphemers are heretics.
    From the Holman Bible Dictionary on Studylight.org:

    ” Blasphemy is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning literally “to speak harm.” In the biblical context, blasphemy is an attitude of disrespect that finds expression in an act directed against the character of God. The New Testament broadens the concept of blasphemy to include actions against Christ and the church as the body of Christ
    One kind is considered to be a statement that is against faith. An example given in the Catholic Encyclopedia is “God is cruel or unjust”. Another type of blasphemy is to have contempt for God. One way of showing contempt is to openly disrespect God. The third form of blasphemy listed in the Catholic Encyclopedia is to have malediction against God. For example, a person may blaspheme by saying, “Away with God.’” Cursing God can be direct or more subtle”

    and, from heretication.info:
    “St Thomas Aquinas regarded blasphemers as heretics, and heretics as blasphemers. For him heresy and blasphemy amounted to the same thing”.

    I’ve never made those statements so troubling to you, in relation to self-described Satanists. I’ve said those things, specifically in response to the SRA reverse-Christian Satanists fantasy. I’ve said them because, if such Satanists really existed, these things would be true of them – but the main point is to make clear to the Christian majority in our society that, despite the witchhunters use of terms like “satanist” or “witch”, in reality any one of THEM could be targeted for accusations of being a secret SRA abuser and in fact they would make better, more probable targets than self-described pagans, pagan witches or satanic-styled atheists.

    It wouldn’t trouble me, however, if saying that “Satanists are Christian heretics” offended the kind of “Satanic” youths that engage in vandalism of Christian or Jewish houses of worship and/or cemeteries – and actually do pointless, asine things like defecating on Holy Books or altars – without any comprehension that such actions amount to “rat in a cage” behaviour and only serve to demonstrate their ongoing enslavement by Christ-Jehovah. Nor would it trouble me if saying that “Satanists are Christian heretics” offended the “Christians” who continue to promote the ‘reverse-Christianity’ satanism myth, being too witless to comprehend that it doesn’t even make sense from a Christian perspective – as you’ve noted yourself.


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