By Vexen Crabtree 2002
Some theologies and theories place Satan as a saviour and a defender of righteousness, and the white light God as an evil oppressor. Most common is the acceptance of Satan as a "true" correct symbol used to represent crisp reality, with God as the negative symbol of delusion. Satanic religions hold to this idea even if they lack the actual belief in a real god or Satan. These are common themes in Satanic music, and are also present in nearly all schools of thought that are labelled as Devil Worship. Some ancient Gnostic religions also hold that the good-seeming god is evil, whereas there are other more obscure good forces in life.
A non-dualistic religion is one that does not have a good god and a bad god. As most religions fall into this category, the term also has other common uses. None-dualism therefore often describes religions that do not describe everything in terms of "good" and "evil". Non-dualistic religions have therefore been slightly more sensible and realistic than dualistic ones.
Satan in LaVeyan Satanism is reality, nature in all its violence, the cold vastness of the inhospitable universe, and all the loves and desires of mankind. This is definitely the most sensible and useful belief on the Left Hand Path, and is the stance that the Church of Satan takes. There are no gods, no spirits or angels, there is merely Human projection. The symbol of Satan best represents reality. This website is mostly about LaVey Satanism, whereas the rest of this page describes lines of thought that are not part of mainstream Satanism, and are not compatible with normal atheistic Satanism.
In this theology, Satan is a real being, a living, conscious being. It may be a pantheistic, Universe-consciousness made up of the endless cold void of space and every living thing in it. He may be a semi-omnipotent being that lives in the Universe, and is the Universe's avatar or guardian. In all cases, Satan is the cycle of death, ultimate entropy and both the force of decay and the light of life, a conscious being with a will of its own, but not a being that pretends to be "good". Some hold that such a being can be conversed with - or at least, that its will can be discerned - whereas others hold it up as something more akin to fate, cold and silent, the dark everlasting spirit of the universe.
“The existence of such large quantities of suffering, despair, pain, of natural disasters such as earthquakes, of the death of the unborn and the immense suffering of lovers & kind-hearted people means that god is evil and intentionally creates life in order to create suffering. That all life exists in a food chain means that life is completely tied to death, and such a barbaric biological cycle could only have been made by an evil god. Also, that such a god appears not to exist, or actively hides itself, is a source of confusion, conflict, war and stress and is again more likely the antics of an evil god. Given the state of the natural world, it is impossible that a good god exists. It is more likely that an evil god exists, but, it is sensible to assume that there is no god of either type. Even if there is not a god of either type, as the dominance of death and violence in the natural world, a result of nature being abused by life and not being designed for life, I think the evil symbol of Satan is the best representative of the state of reality and the universe, whether or not an actual evil god exists.
If God did exist and was evil, it would undoubtedly lie and tell everyone it was a good god and that it loved them. It would create maximum confusion by preaching multiple conflicting religions. It would create heaven and make it hard to get to in order to tease and torture people into making their own lives hell. As all of those things happen, if there is a God, it is doing the things an evil God would do!
Once I recognized and accepted this state of affairs and adequately called myself a Satanist, I could concentrate my life on happiness, love, stability and peace. Because I know and understand that death always wins, that life is temporary, I waste no time on short-term whims that reduce my quality of life, or of those around me, and I waste no time with spiritual pipe dreams. Recognizing Satan as the personified meta-figure of reality is self-affirming, life-affirming, positive, honest and clarifying.”
Dualistic religions have two gods: one good and one evil. Zoroastrianism was the first religion in history to present a coherent and clear dualistic theology, pitting Ahura Mazda against Ahriman. These types of religions have tended to have a theory of morality and action that is naive and simplistic, and less realistic than non-dualistic religions, and they tend to take normal events and embellish them with supernatural meanings in a quite fantastical way. Dualistic battles have always made for more drama and excitement than other forms of religious struggles. There are no solid Satanic organisations who espouse a dualistic form of Satanism but some transitory groups and individuals have done so, although chaos, instability and, often, puberty, put an end to them before they have a chance to grow deep roots.
A truly fearsome form of belief is a Satanic dualism where they believe that the strongest god is also the evil component in a cosmic battle between good and evil. This belief is the most hated both within Satanism and outside of it. It frequently looks and sounds like Christian devil-worship. The Dark Lord has to be revered, or, at the time when he manifests and conquers the Earth, all those who do not accept him will be tortured and killed. This form of primitive belief is diametrically opposed to the Satanic belief system of the Church of Satan. Adherents are normally considered rebellious Christians and young or stupid. But some adherents do not seem to fit this stereotype at all, there being old and young adherents both of whom have had no Christian upbringing to rebel against.
A dominant theme in dualistic Satanic literature is the feeling that God and Satan are not what they appear to be. There is a strong belief in nearly all Satanic thought that if Satan is real, then it represents a struggle against tyranny and a fight against the brainwashed masses and the unthinking, cruel and punishing hordes of mankind that have been tricked into following God. God has deluded mankind into accepting its gospel truth by offering heaven - which doesn't exist - and by preaching good-sounding things that are unobtainable lies, which people accept out of hope and desperation. The majority of mankind are too stupid, fearful, weak and sheep-like to ever realize that they are following the wrong god.
God uses below-the-belt tactics to spread lies and corruption, spreading his monotheistic religions that have been the center of bloodshed and evil and using all his powers to trick humanity. However such tricks only work on the sheep, the mindless hordes. Those who represent truth, the oppressed and alien elite, either face a life of being hidden outcasts and secret aliens in society, or face a difficult struggle against the foolish herds of man. Satan is this context is most similar to Lucifer, who brings enlightenment and intelligence.
Fighting for truth is much harder than spreading lies, which is why the world remains (and will always remain) biased against the left hand path: The infernal path of the intelligent, strong and those vital forces of life that prevent mankind from slipping into a permanent dark age.
Righteous Satan theologies accepts many groups as allies such as freethinkers, atheists, humanists, and members of most left hand path groups.
Sometimes a person can go so far that even Jesus, Buddha and others are considered good, but that stupidity and lies (such as organised religions) have distilled and corrupted their otherwise-true message. Once you get that liberal and hippy though, it is best to drop the label of Satanist.
This section contains excerpts from: "Gnosticism (1st-7th Century): The Birth of Christianity" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).
Gnosticism is an ancient religion stemming from the first century (approximately), and is an alternative messiah-religion that shares many features with Christianity. There were a huge number of Gnostic groups2,3, sharing a common set of core beliefs. An inferior angelic being created the Earth, and this being is a hindrance to spiritual development. Many Gnostic schools taught that the Hebrew Scriptures were the religious creation of this inferior god3. To trick this god out of power, a saviour was sent by the true god, and the sacrifice of this innocent man undermined the power of the old god, allowing the possibility for people to become saved and align themselves with the true god. Gnosticism was heavily attacked by the first Christian anti-heresy writers. Some authors such as Freke & Gandy (1999) argue that Christianity as we know it is a shallow version of Gnosticism which has mistaken symbolic stories for real ones4, whereas many academics find that the historical and archaeological evidence is unclear: Christianity and Gnosticism are related, but, and although we don't yet know which one came first, it seems that early Christianity was much more Gnostic than it is now, and perhaps the Gnostic/literalist divide simply didn't exist for the first two centuries of Christian history. By the 7th century, literalist Christians had overwhelmed Gnosticism and related forms of Christianity, leaving us with modern Trinitarian Christianity.
Such beliefs may sound like your ordinary mixing of ignorance and myth-making, however, Gnosticism was capable of taking some turns for the strange. Stranger, even, than other religions of the time, I mean. Because it turns out that if the God of this world is actually evil, then, those who oppose that god are in fact the good guys. It seems that in the ancient world Satan itself had some supporters! Or, it would have, if only it was a more concrete and popular concept like it is nowadays. Although Gnostics haven't been caught admiring Satan (nor the various names by which Satan might be known by), they have sometimes been found identifying themselves with Cain, Korah and Judas - you know - Satan's henchmen!
Irenaeus mentions the Cainites near the end of the book 1 of Against Heresies. [...] Why would any group of religious believers identify themselves with Cain, of all people? It must be remembered that these Cainites were Gnostics, who believed that the creator god of this world - the one who punished Cain for disobeying him - was not the true God but a lesser, inferior divine being. The Cainites evidently believed that in order to worship the true God you needed to oppose the god of this world. And if this god was against Cain, then Cain must have been on the side of the true God. [...] According to Irenaeus, the Cainites saw Korah as one of the heroes of the faith. This is a figure who opposed Moses and urged a rebellion against him; in response, God caused the earth to open up and Korah and all his family were swallowed alive (Num. 16).
Irenaeus explains that the Cainites also revere Judas, who through his actions allowed a trap to be snared, for through the murder of a truly innocent spirit, the fake God of this world (as the God of the Old Testament) was overthrown, and the true god was revealed.
Also Judas, the traitor, they say, had exact knowledge of these things, and since he alone knew the truth better than the other apostles, he accomplished the mystery of the betrayal. Through him all things in heaven and on earth were destroyed. This fiction they adduce and call it the Gospel of Judas.”
“The one that stands in the shadow might see the one who is the light, but the one standing in the light doesn't see anything standing in the shadow.
This is true that a man who walks in the shadow can see both the dark and the light.”
To worship and concentrate only on the aspects of life that we like - love, apparent altruism, niceness - is to create an imbalance that effects every aspect of both our inner lives and then society itself. If we hide our selfish and ulterior motives to such an extent that we believe they don't exist, we no longer have an honest and realistic approach to our own emotions. Repression breeds moral disaster. Also, social justice requires condemnation, action, violence sometimes, and it seems that as the entire food chain (with us at the top) is steeped in struggle, violence, blood and death it makes little sense to worship only nice symbols, as our very appreciation of what is "nice" results from us sitting calmly atop the food chain. Not a nice system, at all!
Satanism is holistic: philosophically, theologically and psychologically accounting for what we would call "good" and "evil". Satanism allows for the self-development and life-embracing doctrine that is required for healthy-minded and indulgent types, but also of all the religions has the most developed doctrine of despair and evil as part of the universe and natural world. Our doctrines are more sensible, wiser and healthier for the self than any that splits mankind up into metaphysical "good" will versus "evil" will.
Satan is the best and most complete symbol of reality. It embodies intelligence and enlightenment, beauty and love, strength and self-empowerment, happiness, life. But Satan also represents death, despair and darkness and in total to be a Satanist is to accept a balanced philosophy of everything rather than to pretend to be able to strive for goodness sans ulterior motives!”
God is evil: an oppressor who must be resisted and whose biggest lie and source of power is its assertion that it stands for "good deeds only", a concept that itself leads to division, intolerance, evil, counterproductive pride and stupidity. As the majority of mankind is weak minded and feel they are worthless they will accept anything that tells them they are worth something: And the attention of some cosmic karmic judge is a great compliment.
This Satan, this scapegoat, is the bad guy of organized religion: he is the saviour of the anarchist, the romantic, the fool who tries to cease human (and his own) suffering by removing the sheep mentality that allows powerful governments or forces to rule unquestioned; this Satan is the last strength for a strong moral person trapped in a weak and immoral world. The Satanic rituals, the calling on the elements to remove hypocrisy and corruption, stupidity and irresponsibility; is not the summoning of evil as white light religion sees it, and does not have evil effects, but is the single most important stand against the mindless tyranny of the majority of the Human race: it is a cleansing of the air around the Earth.
All #tags used on this page - click for more:
(2013) "Gnosticism (1st-7th Century): The Birth of Christianity" (2013). Accessed 2017 Apr 12.
(2006) The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot. Published by Oxford University Press.
Hinnells, John R.. Currently professor of theology at Liverpool Hope University.
(1997, Ed.) The Penguin Dictionary of Religions. Paperback book. Originally published 1984. Current version published by Penguin Books, London, UK. References to this book simply state the title of the entry used.