By Vexen Crabtree 2002
Satanism happily sails alongside Nietzschean philosophy with the embrace of the very simple idea that some people are better than others. The Ubermensch (over-men, over super-men) is the name given to the elite; those who (mostly through willpower and effort) stand aside from the crowd, and who make their lives meaningful in a manner that does not involve seeking accolades from others. The opposite are the Untermensch (underlings), who fulfil predictable roles in society and who remain tied to their own cultural and personal limitations.
Freethinking, fit and capable: the elite are somehow better than other people. They have an edge. They seem to know something that others don't. Elitism is not specialisation, and although all specialize and excel in something in particular, the elite can maintain their own in nearly all circumstances and situations. True, confident and knowledgeable (both about the world and their own shortcomings), the elite are rarely caught off guard or easily led astray. The Church of Satan is elitist. Although in practice some Satanists do not care too much to compare themselves to others in such a forceful way as to say they're elite. Yet in behaviour even humble Satanists prove themselves worthy of their title.
“[Satanism is] a religion of elitism and Social Darwinism that seeks to re-establish the reign of the able over the idiotic, of swift justice over sluggish injustice, and for a wholesale rejection of egalitarianism as a myth that has crippled the advancement of the human species for the last two thousand years. Is that something to fear? If you're one of the majority of human mediocrities merely existing as a media-besotted drone, you bet it is!”
Elitism within Satanism is concerned with responsibility, in making sure that those in charge are the elite. Respect within Satanism is in relation to productivity and ability. All people have different abilities and strengths. The bio-philosophical basis of elitism in Satanism is in pragmatism, the ubermensch philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and Social Darwinism.
“Superman (or overman): Nietzsche's image conveying the idea of human life enhanced and transformed in a manner sufficient to render it worthy of affirmation, in contrast to all that is 'all too human' about it, dispensing with all other-worldly hopes and illusions, and overcoming all disillusionment. The apotheosis of human vitality and creativity, this image functions as a guiding idea by reference to which 'higher' and 'lower' human types can be distinguished, and as the locus of meaning ('the meaning of earth') in Nietzsche's naturalistic reassessment of this life in this world. It has élitist rather than racist overtones and implications for Nietzsche, emphasizing the importance of the respects in which human beings individually differ in their abilities, and of the manner in which their differing abilities are cultivated and employed. This reflects his fundamental conviction that what matters most, and so what is decisive with respect to human worth and 'rank' alike, is 'the enhancement of life', which he conceives above all in terms of the flourishing of cultural life. (See e.g. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, prologue; The Antichrist, sect. 4; The Will to Power, sect. 866.)”
By Matt Paradise of the Church of Satan
“[Nietzsche] argued that the play of forces that made up earthly existence had no goal or final purpose, and what raised one person above another was "the will to power". The future therefore belonged to those human beings capable of raising themselves by their creativity above the herd. A person of that type he called an ubermensch or "superman".”
"Ideas that Shaped Our World" by Robert Stewart (1997)2
Nietzsche taught that any person can become a powerful superman, but he needs to rise above the people around him: that natural leaders are born who will break free, become greater and ascend above their own past and previous self. Satanism does not hold that every Satanist is a natural born leader, but still the Superman principal is otherwise fully embraced as we all strive to develop ourselves to our full power. Psychologists have studied natural leaders, and conclude that people come to lead in different situations; no single set of traits defines a 'leader' type3. There are supermen, powerful people, who are not natural born leaders, who do not have an instinct to lead. Given the stupidity of Humanity and the useless herd mentality of the majority that follow, it takes particular skills to lead that not all possess.
“There are two classes - freemen and slaves; man is born in the bondage of his passions, but he can reach emancipation through intelligence. Between those who are free already and those who as yet are not there is no equality possible. The part of reason is to rule and of instinct to obey. On the other hand, if you impose on the blind the office of leading the blind, both will end in the abyss. We should never forget that liberty does not consist in the license of passion emancipated from law, which licence would prove the most hideous of tyrannies; liberation consists in willing obedience to law; it is the right to do one's duty, and only just men can be called free. Now, those who are in liberation should govern those who are in bondage, and slaves are called to be released, not from the government of the free but from the yoke of brutal passions, as a consequence of which they cannot exist without masters.”
Levi is a white lighter and therefore believed that devout believers in God were the free, whilst all others were slaves of passions and sin. Of course the whole idea makes much more sense from an Atheistic point of view; genetics and upbringing determine who can take their lives into their own hands and rise above their own nature and history, in order to become the elite, the ubermensch, the freemen. The slaves are the masses of humanity who are led along by popular culture and stupidity, not questioning why their lives are as they are.
The idea that Levi puts forward is of course of the most natural kind; that those who are freemen, the alien elite, should be the ones who are leading the rest forward.
Satanic Statement number 6 opens with "Satan represents responsibility to the responsible", and this accords with the Satanic belief that those who are role models, in the public eye, should have real, wide-ranging talents like the greats of history, but unlike much of the icons of pop culture. Also that those in charge, who have power, should be those who have risen above other-worldly concerns and excel at real life.
The social and political systems that encompass such beliefs are known collectively as meritocracies.
“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.”
Your own culture will limit you and hold you back, you cannot know yourself if you can't break the mould that you are set in, if you are limited to one rigid culture then there are entire trains of thought closed to you.
“So the more cultures you perceive, the more imperfections you can see in your own. This happens during war; it becomes essential for the governments to convince its citizens that the enemy are inhuman, house-burning, wife-raping hordes. Once people discover that the enemy are just ordinary people, they can't fight! Cross-culture makes it harder to hate people.”
Vexen Crabtree 2001 Jun (in email to Anon)
“You may be on to something here. I think the less we mix with our current society, the more free we are from its unhealthy burdens, definitions and standards.”
Anon 2001 Jun (in email to Vexen)
One of the greatest hurdles in achieving self development is your own culture. Your culture's traditional values and, most of all, assumptions; can be hard to overcome and are frequently even hard to even notice. People can operate perfectly well within their own culture as everyone is operating by the same rules. Many wars have been fought where one side has lost because their own cultural assumptions have not been questioned.
Every culture and race has shortcomings, failings and weak spots. By studying people across the world and living away from your own culture you become free to be more critical of it, to see it from the outside amongst people who owe it no respect. There are bad points of an entire nation's lifestyle that are overlooked through complacency and assumption. With increased experience of alien cultures you will see more and more the subtle (and not so-subtle) abhorrence of your own. Learning the downfalls of your own culture allows you to become a greater person.”
Finding out your own weak spots as a result of the way you were raised is essential in developing yourself to the level of superman. Rise above your own culture, learn its negative history.
Likewise as you must not get caught on your cultures inhibitions, you should apply the same impartial, stand-offish attitude towards religion or any belief system that claims to monopolize absolutes, Truth (yes, normally they do spell it with a capital 'T', so watch out!) or morality. All such things are different from time to time and place to place, and becoming rigid in your beliefs is going to limit your ability to move in the world and remain above complacency, counterproductive pride, stupidity and failure.
Satanism is an embrace of rising above religion, of anti-theism. Satanists should be able to be critical of Satanism and its history and groups as much as any other religion. It is especially important to know the shortcomings of the things you associate yourself with, because familiarity with them is more powerful than innocence.
The alien elite are those supermen who have risen above their own culture, are not tied down to slavish instincts, or any cultural place or time. They belong nowhere, can survive anywhere, and take their own survival and power into their own hands.
We use the phrase 'Alien Elite' to describe ourselves. Often, it is the shortsightedness of people that disallows them to comprehend what this phrase means, even if they've read all of our books, magazines, and websites. Typically, they skip the word 'alien.' A big mistake, considering that it is an important modifier in the term. What it means is that we, as Satanists, are largely alien in the society at large: we do not generally subscribe to the disposable, consumer-obsessed culture that others do, our issues are different, the stands we take are often neither right or left but something else entirely, we question everything in a world that mostly goes along with established thought and rarely inquires as to how or why, and we simply represent something that most do not (some could say that we are not like most) -- all of this is in step with the archetype of Satan which we embrace. And we also embrace this alienation. By living such a pure and undiluted life, we are, in many ways, better than most of the human sheep. By being a minority (and we will always be a minority due to the laws of nature -- she simply does not give all of her gifts to all people) and possessing forward-thinking values that are above the interest of the masses, plus add the intellect and instinct, the creativity and the resourcefulness, and all of those qualities reflected in our books, we are indeed the Alien Elite.7
People are not equal in any way, shape or form. Human Rights are truly worthwhile and valid, but, this still doesn't mean that everyone is equal nor that you have to treat them so. Socially and in terms of ability, no-one is equal to anyone else. Everyone is unique and that means that (according to the situation) everyone has different talent.
Not everyone can lead, not everyone can follow. Not everyone can physically defend themselves, and not everyone can entertain complicated theory. In different times and places people's different skills are brought to bear. It is the individual's job to find his natural position in society where he can be productive. It is society's job to help some of those who cannot perform in some areas. Each individual has weaknesses, and without society to protect us, many of our weaknesses would be fatal. Society is essential for stability and growth, even for people whose growth potential is truly greater than others.
Life is unfair, the elements and the universe do not accept that we have rights. You must give, create and develop yourself in society... there is no other way. The Alien Elite are those who can succeed where they want, according to their abilities, and who understand the role of society and culture around them, and still not be victims of this amoral system, but see and understand how it works.
LaVey himself is much more extreme about the ideas of promoting the more individualistic, freethinking type of person in society.
“Instead of encouraging "proliferation of the weak", LaVey feels it's imperative to isolate and foster the emerging new genetic strain of Satanists. With the debut of The Compleat Witch in 1970 (later The Satanic Witch), LaVey presented his guide for selective breeding. In an August 16, 1971 article, "Evil, Anyone?", Newsweek captioned a picture of LaVey baptizing his daughter, Zeena, "... Building 'a better race'," and quotes Anton describing his Satanic goal as "the creation of a police state in which the weak are weeded out and the 'achievement-orientated leadership' is permitted to pursue the mysteries of black magic."
Later, in The Satanic Ritual, LaVey included this directive to his followers: "Now it is the higher man's role to produce the children of the future. Quality is now more important than quantity. One cherished child who can create will be more important than ten who can produce - or fifty who can believe!"10
When asked exactly what kind of Master Race he envisions, LaVey explains that the Satanic stratification and segregation he advocates is based on "ethics rather than ethnics." "As I've said, I wish to identify, isolate and breed a new ethnic - one that's been there all along, unrecognized, from the beginning of man's existence. There have always been leaders, innovators, risk-takers among all cultures. These are the few, perhaps one-tenth of one percent, that lead nations forward, lead evolution forward. Satanism is the first time in history where a master race can be built of genetically predisposed, like-minded people - not based on the genes that make them white, black, blue, brown or purple - but the genes that make them Satanists. We need a forum from which to assert our culture. Any person I've ever met who has accomplished anything in his life had a real disdain for his own 'people'. Not that they hate Jews or Germans or Irish or Italians per se - just they hate stupidity and herd mentality. They hate the idea of using any ethnicity as an identity.”
I do not agree with LaVey that such a police state or entire master race culture is possible. I do believe in forbidding the most pathetic people from breeding, but I know that there is no valid way to measure who is unworthy - there are plenty of geniuses who have no qualifications, are scruffy, messy individuals who may be judged "unworthy" - in fact, some of the greats of history have been such polar characters. Also, some of the people with the best-sounding qualifications are also some of the most mindless. Attempting to differentiate between Humans is impossible, and therefore I don't support any attempt to actually employ tactics to "improve" the Human species through such means. Unless I am satisfied that they are fail safe and moral: but of all the systems of this kind that have been discussed in literature, and attempted in history, I know of none that I can say have pacified my scepticism.
A clear and perfectly voluntary way to push humanity forward is to embrace the emerging field of genetic engineering, and allow it to be used not just to prevent terrible birth diseases, but to actively increase the number of positive traits we are born with. While some people bemoan that it will be expensive and exclusive, this hardly seems like a reason not to proceed.
“Genetic self-modification evokes opposition all across the political and cultural spectrum. Some liberal thinkers object to the expenditure of scarce research funds on what they regard as elitist genetic research. Others fear an emerging division between genetic haves and genetic have-nots. Some feminists who already see assisted reproductive technologies as a male usurpation of female reproductive powers join others opposed to the use of genetic testing for sex selection. The opposition includes environmental activists who believe that respect for untampered nature should extend to the human genome.”
It seems that there is much irrationality and fear of success amongst the protestors; if things go wrong and we accidentally cause harm, then, this can hardly be as bad as some of the horrible genetic diseases that nature afflicts some people with and if it succeeds, humanity will begin to advance in leaps and bounds. If to start with the genetic benefits only accrue amongst the rich and powerful then so be it, it will be no different to being able to afford great health insurance, but the benefits will persist and accumulate through generations.
It is difficult, when faced with mobs, uneducated and pathetic Human beings with no sense of social responsibility or of self-improvement, to not wish they would die. But, if so many people curled up and died, society would break down. I believe that there will always be the untermensch, the inferior Human beings, and that they will be numerically superior. As such, I believe it is more important for the elite, and whoever includes himself amongst them, to be publically humble.
This means: learning how to deal with people. This is harder than becoming bitter and hateful. It is harder, and more rewarding, to be able to mingle, fit in and be calm within society. The true ubermensch, who have risen above their own cultures, knows, like a vampire, that it is better to use these people than it is to oppose them. That's what the religions of the world do very well, because they have it right: The untermensch will not rise, not improve, and are only ever pacified into accepting the status quo, or led under charismatic leaders.
What those charismatic leaders do, the ones who lead mankind (for better or for worse), is learn how to control the people on their own terms. To be above them, yet part of them, to be elite, yet humble: appear normal!
I will use words spoken by LaVey as an example of an unproductive way of dealing with inferiors:
“They have to be expected to come up to our standards rather than us lowering hurdles to suit them. If they can't, they should be told, probably for the first time in their lives, 'You know what? You're stupid! You're inferior!" instead of being protected from the effects of their incompetence. If a person is ethical, productive, sensitive, and knows how to conduct himself among human beings, fine; if he's an amoral parasite, he should be dealt with quickly and cruelly.”
LaVey's advice, however awesome, is less useful than to drop seeds into their lives that may enable them to improve themselves. Sometimes, this does include cruel and maybe physical vengeance, but most the time it does not. Most the time, this is the behavior that made them the way they are in the first place, and you merely be playing them at their own game, and therefore not change them. The excellent warlock knows how to drop subtle hints, clues, comments and advise to a person that can stimulate them to look at themselves honestly, but not destructively, and see how to improve themselves. Sometimes, such lessons never sink in, but at least you tried - and sometimes of course, calling a pile of shit a pile of shit can do wonders.
One of the best approaches to the untermensch is to simply avoid the milling hordes of the mindless. Heed the warning of the High Priest of the Church of Satan, Peter Gilmore for a soldier of the elite traipsing through the swamp of mediocrity:
“One leech is clearly not a match for our solider. [...] Holding his gun overhead, he proceeds through the neck-deep ooze. Once he emerges and then soon stumbles in a weakened condition, he begins to strip his clothes from his body and finds that thousands of tenacious mouths are now draining him of his very life's blood. He tears them from himself, stomping them to death in his fury, but the wounds continue to bleed because of the anti-coagulant employed by the small feasters. He notes, as his consciousness fades, that he is now too weak to rip the rest of them from himself. He has been vanquished. Groups of humans can be like these leeches in having the ability to overwhelm what looks like to be a superior aggressor.”
Blanche Barton quotes Anton LaVey talking about death, where he explains that many build citadels of their own social and intellectual worlds to escape the dulling throb of the masses:
“...and that we can see so clearly the mechanics of our own destruction, is a terrible realisation. Most people can't face it. They'd rather retreat to the comfort of New Age mysticism. That's all right. All we want, those few of us who have the strength to realize what's going on, is the freedom to create and entertain and share with each other, to preserve and cherish what we can while we can, and to build our own little citadels away from the insensitivity of the rest of the world.”
Friedrich Nietzsche says the same:
“Every superior human being will instinctively aspire after a secret citadel where he is set free from the crowd, the many, the majority...”
Don't let your wider outlook on life prove a detriment to your general character! Be nice to the lower animals and other people, and accept them for what they are. You share nearly every trait and drive with other people, and the more you admit and understand this, more amenable and influential you will be. We all struggle against our own humanity and against 'the herd'. Every member of every group thinks himself an imposter and perceives a greater mass of people arranged against hir. What we think are greater aims and drives, and what we think are the more important character traits, do not impress other people. We do not know that the truly great personality facets are. We merely try our best. Guess what - that's just what everyone else is doing too. There are many more limited, less sensible and less worthwhile people in the world, but, that doesn't mean they're not Humans who are, just like us, trying to get on in life.
The true Satanic attitude is one of subtlety and greatness; not arrogance and hubris. Those negative traits, when put into action, are the ones that pull society apart and slow down human progress. You don't treat a pet poorly because they don't understand the higher tasks required of the household. The masses are merely pets that don't happen to be yours. Most the time antagonizing and fighting against them isn't a hallmark of a great person, but of a middle-minded fool whose life is out of balance. To be a great cook, you have to be able to produce results - nice results - even if some of your ingredients are not the best. Just like how you will disguise your imperfect ingredients using skill, your fellow men, no matter how fresh or stale they are, have great attributes and histories that are disguised by their general conduct. Some of them should be crushed into the garbage compacter, that's true, but with many of them all they need is the right mix and the right approach, and they turn out to be adequate enough - which is, incidentally, just the same as us, and just the same as me. Adequate enough!
It is a common theme in philosophy and literature, as well as personal belief, that there are natural leaders and those who appear to have natural talents that make them simply better than others due to some hidden secret, special skills or special senses. Calling the development of extra senses "Faculty X", Colin Wilson writes about them in chapter 2 of his book "The Occult":
“In the autumn of 1969 I discussed questions of the occult with the poet Robert Graves at his home in Majorca. Graves immediately made a remark that startled me. 'Occult powers are not so rare. One person in every twenty possesses them in some form.'
What interested me so much was the exact figure: 5 per cent. This is also the figure for the 'dominant minority' among human beings. In the early years of this century, Bernard Shaw asked the explorer Henry Stanley how many of his men could take over leadership of the party if he, Stanley, were ill. 'One in twenty,' said Stanley. [...]
The matter of the dominant 5 per cent was rediscovered during the Korean War by the Chinese. Wishing to economize on man-power, they decided to divide their American prisoners into two groups: the enterprising ones and the passive ones. They soon discovered that the enterprising soldiers were exactly one in twenty: 5 per cent. When this dominant 5 per cent was removed from the rest of the group, the others could be left with almost no guard at all. [...]
The interesting question arises: How far is the biologically dominant 5 per cent the same thing as Graves's 'occult 5 per cent'? There are certainly many reasons for assuming that the two groups are identical. In primitive societies the leaders are also priests and magicians. [...] What is the power that distinguishes the leader? It is the power to focus, to concentrate the will in emergencies. That is to say, it is a form of Faculty X.”
Unfortunately I have never discovered any academic study of what proportion of people are charismatic leaders, elite in both leadership, practical skills and intellect. Without the corroboration of scholars such as Weber, I recommend Colin Wilsons' "5%" be taken with a pinch of salt. Despite this, it still serves to highlight the commonly accepted idea that a portion of us have innate sensitivity to the subtleties that enable an occult-like influence of the people around them.
Satanism is for some the key that enables them to realize their potential as powerful people. The trick is to rise above the shackles of your own society and upbringing, to become an alien to society, yet still of course remain an active part of it. If Human society is a jigsaw of ideas, then the top 5% are those who can step back and see the whole picture, rather than the rest of the players who are limited to their own particular roles in their own particular positions, and who can't function anywhere else but in their place. The life of the untermensch, whether or not sometimes he gets a glimpse of the whole picture, is forever limited until they learn to escape.”
Current edition: 2002 Jan 19
Last Modified: 2015 Sep 10
Parent page: The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
All #tags used on this page - click for more:
Gilmore, Peter. High Priest of the Church of Satan (as of 2001+).
(2007) The Satanic Scriptures. Hardback book. Published by Scapegoat Publishing, USA. Compendium of texts. Many essays are new editions of older texts by Gilmore.
(1996) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. Paperback book. 3rd edition. Published by Hodder & Stoughton, London UK.
(2003) Political Ideologies. Paperback book. 3rd edition. Originally published 1992. Current version published by Palgrave MacMillan.
(1860) The History of Magic. Paperback book. Published by Rider & Company, London, UK. Translation and Preface by Arthur Edward Waite, 1971; first edition of Waite translation was 1913. Eliphas Levi is the writing name of Alphonse Louis Constant.
(1997, Ed.) Ideas that Shaped Our World. Hardback book. Marshall Editions edition.
(1971) The Occult. Paperback book. 1976 edition. Originally published 1971 by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, London. Current version published by Granada Publishing Limited.