In the dead of the night, monsters are real.
A couple of days ago, I played Diablo on my XBox One, as usual, and stopped earlier than usual because I was tired. On TV, a local crime solving documentary called “Solving It” played. One case rounded off as I watched, and the show didn’t look too bad so I continued watching. Lo and behold, the next segment was introduced with “scary” death metal, gothic imagery and Satanic symbols. Fade into an “expert” talking about Satanism being a religious cult that includes ritualistic murders and the usual fear mongering bullshit about Satanists. I tuned out and turned off the TV in disgust.
If you want to know what type of “Satanist” carries out such murders, there is only one question you need to ask yourself:
- Who believes in a literal Satan?
The answer, of course, is Christians. Only Christians believe in an evil Satan, their devil. Only Christians believe anyone would worship the antagonist in their story. And only Christians, albeit very confused Christians, ever actually worship their devil. Not convinced? Well, we have to backtrack a little to see how they get there…
An interesting thing happens to us psychologically at night. Night time is when we watch horror movies and read horror novels, especially the supernatural ones. We can’t suspend our disbelief in the day when it comes to stories featuring ghosts and haunted houses, demons, Satan, possession, exorcism, and so on. But at night, when we can’t see what lies in the dark, we revert to our childlike mental states. We fear the dark. We fear the unknown that lies in the dark. Most of us don’t even realize it happens; so little self awareness we have. But it does happen. At night, the monsters are real. We talk to our closest family and friends, about haunted houses, UFOs, and our other fears. At night we tell those stories with hushed voices as if the ghosts and ghouls might hear us, and we believe them, as do those who listen. On some level we know we cannot discuss those things with the same conviction during the day. At night, many of us believe those things, then but only then… unless we hear an authority, like an expert on Satanists, tell us that the subjects of our fears are legitimate and our fears are justified. We really haven’t moved on much from our primitive superstitious roots, and as we watch those shows with baited breath, we are mere inches from shouting, “Burn the witch!”
An even more interesting thing happens to us psychologically when we use hard drugs, such as methamphetamine. We revert to that same childlike mental state, but not only at night. It becomes more permanent. Day and night, the monsters are real. Maybe not all of us, but many… Many addicts suddenly get into the occult, but it isn’t because of “demonic influence” or anything that a lunatic believer might tell you – it’s because they’ve reverted to that same childlike mental state where all those things they fear seem real, the same state that nearly everybody goes into in the dark. It’s probably why Stephen King wrote such great horror stories on cocaine. (While he remains one of my favourite authors, he hasn’t had that edge since the eighties.) If you think about it, being high, edgy, anxious and paranoid while hearing voices and maybe also seeing things when you have some deeply ingrained religious fears… is a fine recipe for a sudden interest in the occult.
What drives the fear of Satanism and Satanic rituals among Christians? Again, those who fear it aren’t exactly honest with themselves about it. It’s not just fear. It’s exciting. They want it to be real. They want to imagine that people can really sit in a circle with a pentagram chalked on the floor, and summon demons. They want to believe that people can somehow gain personal power when committing violent acts during such rituals. And when such people (who want to believe) use drugs, ironically they are the ones who then mimic the “Satanic” rituals they saw in movies and read about in horror pulp fiction. Theirs is more a cargo cult than a religious cult, carrying out stupid pop culture rituals as if they are characters in movies like The Craft. And when they get caught, they make up their nonsensical claims about covens and groups of evil Satanists. And other Christians believe them because they want to believe them. But the bottom line is this: Those evil Satanists you are so scared of are just junkie Christians.
Actual Satanism is something completely different. It is simply a parody of religion, used as a tool to try bringing about secularism. (The separation of church and state.) For example, when militant Christians impose their religion on a state owned institution, forcing prayers before meetings, this is where an atheist jumps in, calling himself a Satanist, insisting that Satanic invocations can then happen before meetings, because due to freedom of religion, it must be given equal prayer time. It takes advantage of Christian fear – and in such cases, Christians in power will very quickly make rules barring all prayer, which is exactly what the secularist wanted in the fist place. In the same way, a Satanist who is really an atheist parodying religion, might place a Satanic statue in a state owned facility where extremist believers place their religious statues or monuments. The objective is the same.
And that is why I dislike Satanism. Even when it works to push secularism, as in the examples above, it does so dishonestly by pretending to be a religion. They might get away with it legally by displaying all the trappings of religion, but it can be argued that their beliefs are not sincere. (They’re not sincere.) But more importantly to me, it further perpetuates the nonsense that atheism is a religion and that atheists worship Satan. Ultimately it doesn’t get the point across that it should because the point should be to prevent religious extremists from imposing their religion on everyone, not to piss them off by imposing another “religion” on everyone. And Christians who are the target of such tactics will cling even harder to their faith and negative belief about Satanists; after all it is their fears that are being played on. Make no mistake though, Satanists don’t believe in or worship any deity or devil.