Archive for the 'anti-Satanism' Category

The Satanic Kindred Organization’s “History of Satanism” page, recently echoed by “God Discussion”

June 9, 2011

On a website called God Discussion, with the ability to send its blog posts to Google News, there’s a post titled “Theistic Satanism Booming on the Internet, says Catholic Conference: But Why Would anyone want to Worship the Devil?” by johnthomas didymus, June 7, 2011.

First, thanks to the author for linking to a page on my Theistic Satanism website. Alas he also linked to, as an alleged authoritative source, a page about “The History of Satanism” on the website of the Satanic Kindred Organization. That page contains some serious errors which are echoed in the God Discussion post.

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Some of my history of challenging prejudice (mainly anti-Satanism by Pagans)

March 19, 2011

Lately, challenging people’s prejudices has gotten much harder than it used to be. Once it was easy and fun. Over the years it became much more difficult. Lately, it often seems to have become almost impossible. For whatever reasons, it seems that most people today are a lot less willing to consider new ideas than most people were, say, back in the 1970’s.

Nevertheless, even today it is still possible to make progress in counteracting specific prejudices, if one is willing to be persistent about it.

Here’s a brief history of some of my major successes and failures at challenging people’s prejudices over the past few decades:

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Catholic priests who secretly practice Satanic rites?

March 3, 2011

In a comment on my previous post, Preliminary response to Michael Cuneo on exorcism, Raul Gil requested a separate thread to respond to my page about the murder case of Father Gerald Robinson in Toledo, Ohio (U.S.A.) on my Against Satanic Panics site. So here it is.

Raul, thanks for respecting the topicality of the original comment thread.

In particular, Raul wanted to discuss allegations about Catholic priests who secretly practice Satanic rites.

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The Catholic exorcism trend and Italy’s Satanic panic

February 9, 2011

The recent movie The Rite is loosely based on a (supposedly) nonfiction book that was published two years ago, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The book is about an American priest who spent his sabbatical year in Italy training to be an exorcist.

As Laura Miller explains in “Eat your saints, purge your demons,” Salon, March 27, 2009:

Father Gary Thomas, Baglio’s trainee exorcist, half fell into the job; he volunteered when, in 2004, the Vatican asked every Catholic bishop to appoint an official exorcist to his diocese. This startling development can be explained by the fact that for the past decade Italy has been gripped by an intermittent satanic ritual abuse panic similar to the hysteria that swept through the U.S. in the 1980s.

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The JBFCS Cult Clinic and Satanism: A response to Arnold Markowitz, LCSW

January 27, 2011

(revised February 10, 2011)

Here in New York City, there is a Cult Hotline and Clinic run by the JBFCS (the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services). They provide various helpful services to ex-members of “cults” and to estranged families and friends of “cult” members. They are, as far as I can tell, the only place in New York City that offers such services.

Truly harmful religious groups certainly do exist, and it’s good that there are at least a few places, like the JBFCS Cult Clinic, where people who have been hurt by such groups can get help. But the website of the JBFCS Cult Clinic associates Satanism in general with “cults,” even though the vast majority of Satanist groups (or, at least, most of the ones I’ve run into) do not fit the JBFCS Cult Clinic’s definition of a “cult.”

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Christine O’Donnell and her alleged “little midnight picnic on a satanic altar”

September 19, 2010

In response to Bill Maher’s re-playing, on Friday, of Christine O’Donnell’s claim to have “dabbled into witchcraft” and “had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar” (as reported by New York Magazine, ABC News, the Washington Post, and Think Progress, among other sources), some Pagans have defensively insisted that she must have dabbled in Satanism and not witchcraft/Wicca, and that the alleged “witch” whom she dated must have been a Satanist and not a Wiccan.

In fact, neither a serious practicing Wiccan nor a serious practicing Satanist is likely to have a picnic on one’s altar.

A more sober Pagan response is Speculations on Christine O’Donnell and Witchcraft by Gus diZerega, Saturday September 18, 2010. He even admits the possibility that she might have dated one of the “creeps infesting the Pagan community” who “used his alleged ‘magickal powers’ to try and impress simple-minded women attracted by power that he was hot stuff.” Of course, as Gus diZerega correctly points out, such “creeps” are not representative of the Pagan community.

Anyhow, to put Christine O’Donnell’s claim into perspective, we should note her tendency to confuse Satanism with not only Wicca but also rock fan culture.

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Reply to Henry Makow fans

June 28, 2010

Someone posted a link to my post Aloysius Fozdyke, Satanic conspiracy hoaxter in a comment on a page on Henry Makow’s site. This led to a flurry of anti-Satanist comments being posted here on this site. I’ve let through — and will now respond to — those comments that do not also contain bigoted remarks against some other religious group too (such as Jews) and which do not contain threats of violence.

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Reply to Geral Sosbee

June 28, 2010

Geral Sosbee posted a rambling, off-topic comment beneath my post America’s Most Wanted: The “Satan worshipers” who allegedly killed Kimberly Simon. His comment was about “the scenario today on the world stage with the fbi/cia/pentagon (and their minions, stooges,shills, thugs,punks,assassins,operatives, agents,informants,and police/national guard Gen d’armes, all acting as mafia type figures.” It ended with a bunch of links to pages on his website on which he claims to have been a victim of various fbi/cia-sponsored abuses.

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Aloysius Fozdyke, Satanic conspiracy hoaxter

June 15, 2010

Yesterday, Satanic panic promoter (and all-around bigot) Henry Makow published an email from one “Aloysius Fozdyke,” alleged to be a “prominent Satanic insider.” This email was the latest installment in a saga which began, back on January 2 of this year, with the publication of a message from “Aloysius Fozdyke” by a grand conspiracy website called “Love for Life.”

The long, rambling January 2 message is obviously a prank. I mean, just look at the section about the “Order of the Toilet” and its “latrine doctrines.” To me, this reads like a parody of traditional occult orders.

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Beer-lovin’ anti-Satanist

May 22, 2010

More foul-mouthed nonsense, this time from an anti-Satanist believer in grand conspiracy ideology — or, perhaps, from someone whose idea of a joke is to pretend to be an anti-Satanist believer in grand conspiracy ideology? Below is an edited version of a rejected comment from someone named Jesse, with an email address proclaiming a fondness for beer. Apparently he had consumed quite a bit of his favorite beverage before writing the following:

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A book about the SRA scare by Paul R McHugh

July 7, 2009

I’ve come across some reviews of a book, written within the past year, about the recovered-memory aspect of the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare: Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind by Paul R McHugh.

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Stephen Lemons on Satanists who don’t like neo-Nazis

July 2, 2009

Recently I came across Thomas Coletto Renounces Neo-Nazi-ism, Alleges Former Comrade to be Satanist by Stephen Lemons on the Phoenix New Times site, June 9, 2009. This blog post is about Thomas Coletto, a former member of the National Socialist Movement, the same neo-Nazi group that Joy of Satan founder Maxine Dietrich’s husband Clifford Herrington had a leading role in.

The post contains a link to my page How can we effectively discourage neo-Nazism in the Satanist scene?, in a sentence which reads: “There are also Satanist Web sites out there where Satanists discuss how to weed neo-Nazis out of their ranks, which begs the question: Which is worse, genuflecting to Beelzebub, or slapping a swastika on your arm?”

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“Voodoo, black magic or Satanism, call it what you like” – No!

April 26, 2008

In a news story from the Tenerife Canary Islands in Spain, Gruesome goings-on in Arona’s cemetery, Fortnightly Tenerife News, Spain – Mar 27, 2008, the first sentence says:

Voodoo, black magic or Satanism, call it what you like, the gruesomely shocking results have scandalized the residents of Arona and have angered and horrified the relatives of those whose bodies have been desecrated by some profoundly unbalanced individuals.

No, don’t “call it what you like.” Find out what it is. Don’t just go randomly slurring nonmainstream religions.
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Gwan Garrison, the next Mike Warnke?

April 19, 2007

I recently ran into the following two stories, both on the website of Baptist Press in Tennessee:

Gwan Garrison claims to be an ex-Satanist. Googling “Satanism Gwan Garrison,” I found the following earlier versions of the above two articles, on Christian Index, a Georgia Baptist site:

His bio seemed awfully fishy to me.

I also found some witty and thought-provoking commentary on About.com, on Witchvox, and on J-Walk Blog.

On About.com, in an article titled “Satanic Panic, or ‘I was a Satanic Witch (No, Really, I Could Fly and Everything!)’,” Jennifer Emick sums up Gwan Garrison’s story as follows:

Baptist Pastor Gwan Garrison talks about how much he enjoyed “persecuting Christians,” and he’s sure to mention (with the amount of accuracy typical in these stories) his “Satanic altar” and his “crystals.” It’s light fare compared to some of these stories- no bloody sacrifices, no marriages to Satan- but there is a glowering cat and a high-voltage Satanic bible- and there is, of course, that ever-present character, the tirelessly persistent evangelical whose refusal to stop pestering the ungodly results in his miraculous transformation.

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More about school shootings and stereotypes

April 19, 2007

Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone would start talking about “Satanism” in connection with school shootings, in the wake of the Virginia Tech murders — even though the killer at VT, Cho Seung-Hui, had no connection with any kind of Satanism, as far as I can tell.
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Satanic panic in Russia?

April 17, 2007

A Russian Orthodox public movement called the “People’s Council” has made some ill-informed, panic-stricken claims about Satanism:

  • “People’s Council urges authorities to equate Satanists to terrorists,” Interfax-Religion, Russia – Apr 2, 2007

It released a statement claiming that “ritual murders” and various other nasty activities are all “characteristic of Satanic organizations.”

The statement is said to mention several ritual murders including the allegedly notorious “murder of three Optino monks killed by a Satanist on Orthodox Easter.” (I found no further information about this crime via Google.)

The statement also says, “There is an enormous number of Satanic organizations and groups acting in Russia today. Many of them are united in a single branchy network.”

Yeah, right.

The statement then goes on the mention the “Church of the Satan” [sic], failing to note that the Church of Satan has been an above-ground organization for over 40 years and does NOT endorse any kind of criminal activity.

I found the following blog entry:

  • “‘Satanists as dangerous as terrorists! World at risk from Satan cults’ claim Russian Orthodox,” Signs of Witness

It closes with the comment, “It could be that Religious Right Hysteria is the real ‘danger to Society…'”