One thing that I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of, well, similarities between people of faith. We all know that stereotypical Christian family that has 2.5 kids and a dog. Yes, the people you are picturing are blond.
People tend to think that applies to Satanists as well and in some ways they’re right. We hold the same core values of Satanism since we are, well, Satanists, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. We are all from different walks of life. There are Republican Satanists and Democratic Satanists and Satanists in between and beyond.
One of the ways I like to showcase this is through the Infernal Interviews and I did cover this topic with our latest victim in…
I sent some questions to Citizen of the Infernal Empire Chris!
1) What is your relationship to the Church of Satan?
I am a Registered, card-carrying member of the organization. I am not an Active Member, thus I’m considered a Citizen of the Infernal Empire. This is not to say that the organization is not aware of my activities or progress as I try to make sure that I send them an email about once a year to let them know what important things are going on in my life.
I was honored to be invited to the home of our High Priest and High Priestess the day after the 50th Anniversary celebration. Two of the videos I shot during the Devils Reign II art show (curated by Magus Gilmore) have been featured on the Church of Satan’s YouTube channel, and I was surprised to wake up one afternoon and see one of my photographs of Magus Gilmore from that same event was used for his birthday announcement in 2017. So, I guess I’m doing okay by their standards.
2) When did you finally decide to apply?
After discovering what Satanism was through reading Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible in 1990, I waited until after I had finished my enlistment with the United States Navy in 1993 to start studying the religion deeply. It was in 1994 that I re-read the Satanic Bible, and the rest of Magus LaVey’s work that I could find. Now, you have to remember, back then the Internet was not as ubiquitous as it is today. If you wanted this information, you had to go out in the world and look for it, and esoterica wasn’t particularly easy to find. One day while at Tower Records in Tustin, California, I just happened to discover a copy of “The Black Flame” magazine, which was the International Forum for the Church of Satan. The magazine was produced and printed by Hell’s Kitchen Productions, run by (then) Magister Peter H. Gilmore and Magistra Peggy Nadramia. In the magazine was a half page advertisement for the Church of Satan complete with the address for information. Send off your S.A.S.E. (self-addressed, stamped envelope, for our younger readers), and they would mail you registration materials.
The one hundred dollar membership fee back then was a bit steep for me as this was during a time when I wasn’t in the best financial situation. I still wanted to join, so I kept the membership packet and saved up the fee over time. By the time I was ready to apply, I had studied the organization and knew what their mission was. What really appealed to me was I saw the mission had not changed after Anton LaVey died. I wanted to show my support for the organization, so I got the rest of the money together and mailed in my application in 1998.
3) What would you like Non-Satanists to know about Satanists?
This religion does not foster homogeneity. Don’t expect all Satanists to think the same way. Satanism is not a cause. The cause in Satanism is the individual person, and what works for one may not work for another. About the only thing all Satanists WILL have in common is the shared religious philosophy codified by Anton Szandor LaVey, and that’s it. Even then, each Satanist will apply the religion and their personal perception of it differently to their own lives.
4) Would you rather be a horse or a cat? The Wizard gives you 3 seconds to decide.
That’s easy: a cat. Yes, it’s a shorter life span, but nobody is expecting me to do any hard work or carry them on my back, and I get to sleep all day.
5) Describe your ideal home.
I’m kind of partial to Bag End, the underground home of Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien’s work. Being under ground, it would help keep the energy bills down during the summer. As long as my wife and cats are there, I’m good.
6) How do you celebrate your birthday?
That depends on my mood, so it varies. If there’s a band in town I’m fond of, I may go to the show. I may see a movie. I’m fortunate to live within ten miles of that home of Total Environments, Disneyland. My wife and I are Annual Passholders, so that is always an option.
7) Describe a powerful Lesser Magic moment.
A Lesser Magic moment I experienced, or one I performed? If it’s one that I experienced, then it would be my wife’s wedding proposal to me. She’s quite the Satanic Witch. As for one I performed, I could say the groundwork I laid for my promotion to Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor with the law enforcement agency I work for, but those details are confidential. (Wink)
8) How do you describe Ritual Magic, or Greater Magic, when people are genuinely curious?
I tell them it’s a fun way of clearing my own brain so I can get on with my life and do what I need or want to do. I also add that I feel that doing so too often robs the ritual of its special properties, so I typically reserve Greater Magic exclusively for those things I can’t get over by any other means. For the rest of the day-to-day, I have other ritualistic activities, such as Itosu-ryu Karate, and weight training.
9) Where do you think my left sock keeps going?
It’s goes to the pile that also includes my missing metric adjustable wrenches and football bats.
10) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
If my sanity and health hold up, and with a bit of studying, I hope to promote to the second rank of Supervisor at work. With some more work, I should also be at the level of Shodan (third degree black belt) in my Karate school and maybe teaching my own students.
Have a great rest of your weekend, guys! I’m going to be taking it easy and looking for my left socks.
I will be hanging out on the internet with Reverend Campbell on June 8th, so watch out for that!
One thing I believe whole-heartedly is that you can never learn too much. One can never have perfect knowledge on any subject. Not me, or The President, or Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is one of the reasons why I do these interviews, as I’ve said before. It is part of my job as a Satanist to learn as much as I can about Satanism and be able to look at it from various points of view. It is, similarly, my job as a productive member of society to be able to consider points of view that are different from your own in general. This is how you grow as a person.
So please enjoy the latest entry in…
This time I sat down at my computer and sent some carefully constructed questions with Magister of the Church of Satan Bill M. I highly recommend taking these answers to heart, checking out The Devil’s Mischief, and following Bill on Twitter.
So, without further ado, Magister Bill M!
1) How did you discover the Church of Satan?
I grew up in the 1980s during the Satanic Panic, so I had heard here and there about the Church of Satan. Various representatives would get a tiny bit of airtime on the many sensationalist daytime talk shows, if they were lucky. It wasn’t until the mid 1990s that I really read The Satanic Bible as an adult and came to identify myself as a Satanist, then inevitably found out more about the Church of Satan. I’ve been a member for about 20 years.
2) What have you done in your life that you are the most proud of?
It’s easy to name the more obvious stuff: my mathematics degrees, my engineering career, music talent, and the other sorts of things they’d put in a newspaper obituary. But I guess overall I’m just proud of my ability in and of itself to hone skills and turn frustration into creations. That might seem vague or corny to some, but it’s a work ethic that led to my podcast (The Devil’s Mischief) and other work for Radio Free Satan, my websites such as GeorgeCarlin.net, other Internet creations like my Facebook group “Ridicule of Shitty Writing”, numerous essays, things I’ve done as a musician, meeting people whose work I’ve admired, seeing the improvement in students of my own with math or music, and lots of other things which may seem little in and of themselves, but add up to enrich my life on the whole.
3) What is your position within the Church of Satan and what does that mean?
I hold the title of Magister. I tell non-Satanists that in layman’s terms, it’s sort of like the rank of bishop. To me though, it’s a proud honorary title that says my life as a Satanist has caught the attention of the Church of Satan, and that they’ve deemed my understanding and presentation of Satanism to be exceptional. I think with the title though comes a responsibility with certain things I say and where I say them, knowing that people might stupidly (or deliberately) misconstrue my personal views as being some sort of official statements from the Church of Satan. Obviously that’s not what being a representative of an organization means, but hey, you know how the media and the Internet can be.
4) If a wizard came up and told you that he would give you $100,000,000 but you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would you do with your money and what song would you pick?
I’d honestly pass on that deal. I already make a sizable salary, and music is too important to me to make a sacrifice like that. But just to play along with this fun hypothetical scenario anyway, I think I’d pick something without words, like Ravel’s “Bolero”. I’d take maybe $1 million to blow on fun things, another $1 million to help out some close friends and relatives, then put the rest into a mix of investments and real estate. I’d keep the money a secret otherwise, to avoid hearing from too many supposed “friends” who’d want a cut.
5) Has anybody ever given you shit for being a Member of the Church of Satan?
Oh yeah, this happens from time to time. In the offline world, not many of my acquaintances know of my affiliation. I’m very selective about whom I decide to come out to as a Satanist, because I know the reality of the status quo’s perception of our deliberately adversarial religion. I don’t tell co-workers, in part because I don’t think ANYBODY should be talking about religion in the workplace. But most people I choose to come out to are smart enough to understand me and get the gist of what the COS is about, after I give them the 60-second Satanism 101 talk. I’ve certainly misjudged a few people before though, including people who I thought seemed level-headed enough but suddenly turned all self-righteous and irrational over hearing that “S” word, or vice-versa; a couple of people whom I thought would react all angrily and emotional surprisingly accepted the Satanism thing just fine.
Online of course, where I’m an “online persona” and more transparent about being a Satanist, it can get expectedly nasty. It used to be the Jesus freaks who’d find me and give me shit most often. But these days, I probably get more shit from the equally annoying “new atheist” crowd, or at least the more militant of them, who can’t wrap their brains around concepts like atheists in non-theistic religions or using captivating metaphors. Both the Jesus freaks and the militant atheist crowd though are ultimately letting Christianity define the meaning of things like “religion” to them, and are largely motivated by the pipe dream of wanting to see at least 90% of the world adopt their way of thinking.
Then of course you have the even more annoying pseudo-Satanists who parrot whatever anti-COS or anti-LaVey lines they read somewhere on the Internet. I’ve lost count of how many “Satanic organizations” have come and gone who claimed to be some sort of superior replacement for the COS, and turned out to be basing their beliefs on things that don’t even make sense within Satanism, trying to do things we’ve already found not to work (we don’t need grottos in 2018, folks), or stupidly replace entire parts of Satanism with contrary parts and think it can still work. Some other trolls who bash COS membership are simply idiots who view any form of commitment as being “conformity”, as if having any sort of structure would be a threat to their personal liberty. It’s ridiculous.
6) What is your favorite swear word and why?
I find myself saying “motherfucker” a lot these days. I’m not sure why. I think I like the multi-syllabic quality of it.
7) Define Greater Magic.
This may forever be one of those nailing-Jello-to-a-wall topics when trying to explain it to outsiders. A lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s a subjective experience that calls for controlled suspension of disbelief, so to try to intellectualize it is a contradiction. But I’ll try my best.You know how The Satanic Bible says, “Herein you will find truth, and fantasy”? Well, here’s where the fantasy part comes in. And note that the word is “fantasy”, which means by definition it’s something viewed as being imagined, as opposed to a belief that supernatural things really exist. Just as we use the figure of Satan as a metaphor, you could view the concept of magic as being a metaphor, too. A dictionary will tell you that when people use the word “magic”, they’re typically never referring to the alleged supernatural powers claimed by spell-casting occultists. Rather, the word is most commonly used to refer to the sleight-of-hand art of stage magic (which many occultists dry to distance themselves from by spelling their own practice as “magick”, with a “k”), where the magician knowingly sets up an illusion for his audience for the purpose of triggering an emotional response. Other times people use the word “magic” or “magical” to refer to something exceptionally enchanting or beautifully surreal, as in “That wedding was simply magical!”. These two last usages of the word relate much more with Satanism’s use of magic than the typical occult one does.
I would perhaps define greater magic as the self-transformative use of symbolism and ritual in a focused, subjective setting to facilitate the manifestation of one’s own stated desires. That may seem like a lot of wordage, but keep in mind we’re talking about a topic that takes up 2/3 of the pages of The Satanic Bible, all of The Satanic Rituals, and several essays among other books like The Devil’s Notebook, Satan Speaks, and The Satanic Scriptures. To further elaborate on my definition: you start with a clearly-stated desire, and to help you along in transforming your mindset and setting you on the right path to that, you utilize a ritualistic setting. In fact, as Dr. LaVey said in his essay “Ravings from Tartarus”, Greater Magic is ultimately a way of formalizing acts that otherwise may not have gotten any attention without the ritualistic trappings. Mechanically speaking, the essence of the practice has much more in common with the sort of goal-visualizing techniques and meditations you’d find in a self-help program, than occult practices that depend upon faith in actual supernatural concepts. The added Satanic trappings of a greater magic ritual however help emotionally connect everything back to the philosophical core of Satanism.
I’ve talked about Greater Magic at length before, in a number of printed articles and interviews. I encourage anybody who’s interested in the topic to listen to my extensive talk on the Demented1’s YouTube videocast.
8) Are you working on any creative projects right now?
Currently I’m trying to put together a special episode to celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Devil’s Mischief. Magister David Harris has helped me out with this. The Devil’s Mischief is, as far as I know, the longest-running Satanic podcast still in existence. More information on the show can be found on the official site. I also continue to make original content for the Dr. Schitz page, am working on a book of my past Satanism-related essays, and always have a number of musical projects going on at any given time.
9) How do you celebrate your birthday?
For several years I would alternate between celebrating in Las Vegas and celebrating locally here in the Boston area. I absolutely fell in love with Las Vegas the very first time I went there in 2000. There’s never a shortage of things to do there. But whether I’m celebrating in Sin City or celebrating close to home, a recurring theme is treating myself to one or more live events and the best food, for starters. Every year is always a little different and takes some planning, but I’m determined to have an amazing time.
10) If you had to live in another time period, which would you pick?
On the one hand, I’d like to travel back to the 1970s to see a lot of my favorite pop culture things in the flesh: favorite arena rock bands at the height of their popularity, sit in the audience for a live taping of TV shows like “All in the Family”, watch some of my favorite movies on the big screen, pay for a coffee with a quarter, and so on. However, I don’t know if I’d want to live there, especially when I think of having to throw away so many modern technological conveniences we take for granted, like ATMs and cell phones. Not to mention the gas crisis and high crime. I think it’s all too easy to romanticize the past. The Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris” has some Satanic lessons on that. We live in a great time right now where we have a lot of wonderful technology to create Total Environments of past times and places if we want to, keeping only the parts we like. So if I did have to live in another time period, I’d want to explore some period in the far future, where we’d presumably have even better technology for optionally creating whatever environment we want.
I hope you guys loved this interview as much as I did! The answers were long and thought-out, which, when coupled with Bill’s voice in his writing, makes reading enjoyable and informative.
Keep learning, Darling Devils, and keep hoping that stupidity becomes painful.
Before I sent in my Church of Satan Membership application, along with my Active Membership Application, I started learning. I learned about Satanism though The Satanic Bible and various texts you can find on the Church of Satan’s website. I explored the reading and the interviews and the movies. I listened to the music and, most influential for me, podcasts. Today I will be posting the first of two interviews with the hosts of my two absolute favorite Podcasts.
This first one is with the host of Confessions of a Wicked Witch on Radio Free Satan. This is where I learned about Lesser Magic, Greater Magic, Rituals, Holidays and so much more. I love listening to the Podcast and look forward to each new post. I find Magistra Ygraine’s voice really soothing, too, so I like to listen to it when I’m trying to relax.
Sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy.
1) Tell me about your Podcast.
Confessions of a Wicked Witch has been on Radio Free Satan for years but we are changing the format. I’d like to surprise folks but I will say that it is high time I take these Confessions to an appropriate authority figure. After all, what good is a confession without a Priest to hear it?
2) What do you think the biggest difference is between a Satanic Witch and a Satanic Warlock, if any?
Other than genitalia, you mean? I prefer to stay on my side of the fence. It is more fun to be charmed by a Satanic man than to analyze his charms.
3) What would you do if all toothpaste suddenly tasted like burnt hair?
Grow mint and make my own.
4) What in your life are you most proud of?
My daughters. My Grandfather. My Mom. My Dad. My connections to humanity that haven’t been ruined by, well, humanity.
5) What is your ideal car?
The family joke is that I started as a minivan Mom and have, intentionally gotten smaller cars to avoid driving people around. My dream car? The Lotus Elon Emma Peel drives in the British series, The Avengers. 2 seater, you’ll notice.
6) If somebody said they would give you $100,000,000 if you punched your best friend in the face, how would you spend your money?
1/2 to the punch-ee. Then, well, ask around. I know how to spend money in truly decadent ways.
7) Is there a part of The Satanic Witch that speaks the loudest to you?
TSW did not automatically “talk” to me. I was too indoctrinated in the WORDS of feminism to notice I was practicing the arts LaVey described, as feminism. I tried, diligently, to shatter the salad dressing tests and the clock, and once again, Dok knew his shit.
8) Describe to me the experience of realizing you were a Satanist.
I think I knew before I knew, if that makes sense. Yet, the first time it came on like a light bulb was in The Black House, sitting with LaVey, happily discussing the Bacall/Bogie movies. I had been so nervous, so sure I would say or do something stupid, that when I snapped to I realized I had never been so comfortable, so me, in a “religious” setting in my whole life.
9) Tell me about The Wicked Witch of the year award.
I can only escape so much of my upbringing and experiences. I come from strong, accomplished women. I have given birth to three strong and accomplished women. As social media allowed more interaction I wanted to use my platform to introduce to Satanists at large, as well as to the mainstream, accomplished Satanic witches. It really is that simple. The rest is just my usual shits & giggles approach to life.
10) Define Satan to me as if I were a Non-Satanist.
I owe this one to Magistra Templi Rex Barton . The Miltonian ideal in Paradise Lost: He who would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. He who will not kneel, will not yield, and will not apologize for his earned pride.
Thank you again to Magistra Ygraine for not only sitting down to take the time to answer my silly questions, but also taking the time to create a podcast that really helped me on my quest to the best life I can have. Her words have given me confidence and strength in my daily life and I hope you all get a chance to read her words.
Have a great day, my Darling Devils and pop by tomorrow for an interview with The Raising Hell Podcast.