Since we recently had a discussion about whether one could be both Wiccan and Satanist in which there were a number of posts indicating that many here are not familiar with Satanism in its various forms I thought I would post something where we could all learn a bit more about just what Satanists really do believe. After all we get upset when people believe negative things about various Pagan paths, so isn't it also wrong of us to tar Satanists with the brush of evil based on misunderstanding of who and what they are?
The first thing to understand is that there are a variety of individuals who classify what they do as Satanism.
First of all there are the rebellious teenage variety who dress all in black>, claim to worship Satan, desecrate graveyards, and generally try to shock and irritate their parents. Mostly this is a case of simply acting out and has nothing to do with real spiritual beliefs. Their idea of what real Satanism is about comes from watching too many scarey movies.
Then there are those mentally disturbed individuals who torture animals and sometimes other humans believing this is part of their religious requirements. These are rather few in number...but they get the majority of the press. Likewise these are not the real Satanists
Check thi link for more >information:
Then we do get to the organized Satanic groups such as the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set.
Members of the Church of Satan do not actually worship Satan..in fact they are more truly atheists who feel that humankind is the pinnacle of creation. Their practices do not normally cause harm to others, but are rather aimed at self-gratification. You might be surprised to know that they also have a code of ethics which govern the way they behave.
Information on the Church of Satan can be found at
http://www.religioustolerance.org/satanis1.htm and http://www.churchofsatan.com/
The Temple of Set is another organization frequently referred to as being Satanic. However, members of the Temple of Set do not worship Satan either..but rather the ancient Egyptian god, Set..who many centuries later became the Shaitan (or Satan) of Islam.
Information on the Temple of Set can be found at
http://www.xeper.org/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Set
There are also theistic Satanists who do in fact worship Satan as a deity, but they are not what many think they are. You can find a good deal of information about how theistic Satanists view Satan and his place in their religion at:
http://www.theisticsatanism.com/varieties/FAQ-TS.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_Satanism
And finally there is a small religious community called the Yezidis who are part of the Kurdish communities of Iran/Iraq/Turkey. They worship a being referred to as the Peacock Angel who is also Lucifer. They are actually a fascinating group and you can find some information about them at the link below.
If you take the time to do a bit of research on the various forms of Satanism you will find that (with the exception of the first two categories I mentioned) it has been tarnished with a bad reputation it really doesn't deserve. Let us not be like other faiths and judge the path of another without really understanding that path.