So, I normally don’t do two posts in the same day, but I was really excited to get this one out there and I know you’ll be really excited, too. I also didn’t want to skip a day in my Seven Sins essays as I have a bit of a thing going. Ever forward!
So, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this entry in The Infernal Interviews!
Our sacrifice today is the wonderful Mitch Horowitz
So, from the extensive research I’m currently doing, as well as what I’ve seen on Twitter, I can tell you that Mitch is a busy guy. He is an award-winning historian, as well as an author on subjects ranging from The Occult to the secret life of Ronald Reagan. His voice has been used to bring tales to life in the form of audiobooks and has been a voice of “alternative spirituality on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, CNN, and throughout the national media”, according to his blog. He has been published but has also been on the other side of that as a publisher.
Honestly this is all on his blog and if you want to check that out, click here and you will go there. Don’t click here though, it’ll go to something else.
So, without further ado, lets get on with this entry in…
1) What is your relationship to the Church of Satan?
I am not a member (I’m an ecumenical Satanist) but I greatly admire CoS and the work Anton did in founding it. Aesthetically and ethically, CoS has been an earthquake on the religious scene. And I admire Peter Gilmore’s work—I’m more metaphysical in my orientation, but he has sharpened CoS’s focus in a manner that keeps it from being a museum to what Anton did, and keeps things fresh.
2) Do you have any creative projects on which you are currently working?
I have a new book called The Miracle Clubcoming out in October, and I am writing and speaking a lot. I’ll be Los Angeles in October discussing the life of Manly P. Hall, women and occultism, and why magick works. Soon I plan to present a series of talks and a book on Satanism called God of the Outsiders, so I’m looking forward to that. My pal Ronni Thomas and I are also making a film version of the occult book The Kybalion. (Oh this all sounds fun)
I wanted to lay down the law that there is an ethical code on the Left Hand Path. The other night, one of my kids asked me, “Dad are you a Satanist—yes or no?” I said yes, but realized that I have trouble explaining even to my own kids that that doesn’t mean what they get taught online or hear in their peer group. I think that was the inception for the article, which has gotten an incredible reaction.
5) How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I like to be alone. I might do a ritual of some kind, or write down aims for the future. I do like getting gifts—generally anything having to do with artist Steve Ditko, and I don’t care if I have it already because I also like giving stuff away
6) Do you think there is relationship between how well somebody can drive and their religion?
Wow—amazing question. I have noticed that Hasidic Jews drive like shit. I can say that because I had an Orthodox bar mitzvah. So, I really don’t know, but that’s one observation!
7) How do you define Satan?
I do believe in a nonphysical aspect of life, so I see Satan as the name that humanity has placed upon the energies of rebellion, discontent, protest, and consequences-be-damned art. Whatever term you use, I do believe that there is an extra-physical presence called Satan whom you can approach. Approach him at twilight at a crossroad—he’ll give you a new name.
8) What’s your biggest Pet Peeve?
People who think they’re badass because they call people names online. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it digitally.
So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you would have probably (Hopefully) read my blog posts about Lighting Design and Teaching. Well, I didn’t end up where I am by accident. I got here by working hard and loving what I do. Technically my degree is in Creative Writing, so most people think I’m going to be an English Teacher or a starving writer, but I’m not really using it in either of my jobs.
As a Lighting Designer and a Drama Teacher, I am one of those few who can actually say that I make my money through theatre. I started my career in community college and had only briefly worked backstage in a high school production my freshman year. Well, Until I met Dave.
Dave was my Theatre and ASL Teacher in Community College and, the first week of class, pointed at me and informed me that I was the Stage Manager. I loved it! I ended up finding myself drawn towards the lighting aspect of the stage, though, and that’s now what I introduce myself as. I have thought about doing an SM job at some point soon… I digress.
Oh and he likes to float around under water breathing canned air. I only make it sound strange because I am hugely jealous at what he gets to do and see when he is going scuba Diving. More amazing than that, Dave is a PADI instructor at Seattle Scuba who is gay friendly and will teach you in ASL if that’s how you prefer to learn.
So, if you want to check out more about my wonderful, director, mentor, fellow actor, and friend, you can check out his website here.
For now, let’s dive into his actual brain in this entry of…
with David Alan Morrison
1) What do you like to do with your free time?
I have a lot of varied interests. I wish i could chalk it up to being an interesting man, but the truth is more mundane…I’m restless and A.D.D. I spend a lot of time directing community theatre, line dancing and 2-step (country/western dancing). I used to do quite a bit of scuba diving, but a while ago, my apartment burned down and I lost my equipment. I still haven’t replaced it all. 2) Are there any creative projects you are working on right now?
I’ve been doing two things: 1) making edits to my middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN and 2) outlining a new book I’m working on. Unfortunately it’s going slowly, though. I keep getting hung up on how much (and what kind of) sex to put into a “romance”. (Thoughts, readers?) 3) Tell me about your books. I would love to do that! I have four books out: a middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN, a memoire, TRAVELS WITH PENNY; OR, TRUE TRAVEL TALES OF A GAY GUY AND HIS MOM; a Magical Realism, GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN; and ANGAKOK, a gay-themed suspense thriller. RESCUING AWEN is one of my favorites – it’s about a sentient planet that is dying from pollution and ecological disaster. She gives a young Earthling super powers in an attempt to heal her. TRAVELS WITH PENNY is a popular one with women – especially mothers. It centers around coming to grips with the definition of “family” and how it effected my coming out process. 4) Give me the craziest drama you’ve experienced in your theatre career.
So many! Probably doing an original one-act in a local pub – we used the alley in back as our dressing room. Not only embarrassing, but the night it rained, it made for a very wet evening. 5) What is your interpretation of Satanists?
I’m not sure. I haven’t had enough exposure to know. I don’t believe in “hell” or “satan”, so I reject the idea that it is worshiping some kind of “evil spirit”. I also reject that it is akin to what some refer to as “Black Magic”. I think of realists; those who understand that for every YIN there is a YANG and every good deed, there is a bad. Which means Satanists can see the order in chaos; the sanity within the insanity of today’s world. Rather than throw personal power aside and let “Jesus Take The Wheel”, they choose to exercise their power of choice and forge their own way amongst the fucked up-ness we see around us. Am I right? What do I win? (Five Starts for Dave: 𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐) 6) Do you have a religion you subscribe to? I follow a belief system most people call “Pagan”. It’s actually a combination of traditional Paganism and Taoism . I believe that there is a series of events that we have no control over, as life is a complex combination of the fates of all humans. That belief, mixed up a devout belief that humanity is tied to our Earth – makes for an interesting lifestyle. 7) Which celebrity (dead or alive) is your dream man?
I’m not too picky – I have quite a few of “wanna haves”: although I must admit, 1970’s Burt Reynolds was pretty hot. 8) Tell me your favorite joke.
I can’t – it’s a joke I learned in American Sign Language and has no direct English translation. Besides – jokes are so firmly rooted in culture, that while Deaf people may think it’s hysterical, Hearing people won’t get it. 9) What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen while diving?
An ancient Sea Turtle who floated just feet from me, chowing down on some underwater plants. He seemed totally unfazed by me and my fellow divers. Such grace! The creatures are amazing. 10) What in your life are you most proud of?
I am *tremendously* proud of students who I have taught who have then gone on to great success. Whether it be using their theatre education, or sign language, I fill with pride when I hear from them and they tell me how I helped kick-start their future.
Dave is really one of the best people I’ve ever met and can either be the nicest person in the world or a total bitch, depending on if he likes you or not. Or if he’s hungry… or hasn’t had a soda for a while… LOVE YOU, DAVE!
That’s it for now, kids! I’ll see you all tomorrow, a day further down the left hand path.
It’s been bit of a crazy day for little old me today, so I’m taking a moment to relax with a hike in a little bit. But, before I go off and do that, I’ve decided to listen to The Satanic High Mass (it relaxes me) and bring you another of my Pre-Pulitzer Prize winning interviews in the newest edition of…
Today, we are speaking to Reverend Raul A!
1) Describe your position within the Church of Satan.
I’m a Priest/Reverend (Third Degree). This is a title granted by the Church of Satan to individuals who’ve applied Satanism to the real world successfully.
2) What finally brought you to apply for membership?
I was interested in Satanism and self-identified as a Satanist since I was teenager. In my early 20’s I was promoting, organizing, and DJ’ing for outsider art events and the industrial music scene in New York City, and often worked with members of the Church of Satan. Since I was already collaborating with members I wanted to make it official and continue to develop that network. I felt that it would be mutually beneficial, and it certainly was.
3) Do you have a favorite toothpaste?
Whatever is on sale.
4) Do you have any pets?
Yes, a cat named Kaspar.
5) What projects are you currently working on?
I’ve got four podcast projects in development. I have two mixtape music podcasts on Radio Free Satan: Chaos Sedated for dark ambient, neofolk, and industrial; Black Signals for minimal techno, synthwave, and electronic post-punk. I’m the host and producer of The Forest Passage podcast for Heathen Harvest, on which I interview post-industrial artists and discuss various related topics with my co-host. And I’m currently outlining the next episode of Den of Iniquity, in which I discuss culture, film, and books with other Satanists.
I’m working on my own music as Anarch. I’m currently working on a collaborative release with several other outsider electronic musicians, and recently released a track for the Church of Satan’s Finding Frankenstein project.
I also do some proofreading, editing, and writing for various websites.
More personally, I’m dedicating more time to reading and working out.
6) What in your life are you most proud of?
I’d say my relationship with my wife and my family. My wife has taught me the importance of seeing other perspectives and her own accomplishments have motivated me in countless ways. My family has always supported me and taught me the ability to balance reason with emotion.
7) If you suddenly couldn’t smell, what smell would you miss most?
My wife’s hair.
8) How you do describe Greater Magic?
Greater Magic is the application of various techniques and tools in a controlled environment with the intention of channeling emotional, instinctual, and sexual energies out of the individual practitioner(s) and into a third-party. This can be sympathetic, lustful, or destructive. It can be a lone Satanist in a ritual chamber focusing on custom sigil, or a band performing on a stage in front of thousands of people. It can also be an artist creating something new, embedding it with their will and letting it loose on the world.
9) What would you do if all spiders were under your command?
Drown my enemies.
10) How do you deal with negative reactions towards your being a Satanist?
I don’t get much of any negative reactions, mainly because I’m not entirely open about it public. But when I have received negativity, it’s usually from some form of collectivist or moralist, each trying to pin Satanism down to some other ideology or persons that they oppose and assign guilt by association. I don’t feed that any of my energy and let my own work speak for itself. That’s not so hard when you don’t care about being “the good guy”.
Alright, kids, I’m out! If you don’t hear from me in a day or two it’s because I’ve been eaten by a bear.
Hey, guys, before I get into this infernal interview, I want to be a little vain. I was going to say “hope that’s alright with you” but I don’t really care and I’m going to do it anyway!
As I said briefly in my last post, I am going to be interviewed by our wonderful Reverend Campbell on his podcast Speak of the Devil!
This is really exciting for me because, well, I’m a baby Satanist and people actually give a shit about Reverend Campbell. This will be a live interview and will start at 7pm PST. You’ll be able to comment and we will comment back in real-time, so it should be a really fun conversation. I hope to see you there!
Okay, all of that out of the way, it’s time for our newest…
Our latest victim is NOT a member of the Church of Satan as of right now, but that may change. Ya never know. Until then, let us welcome our Satan-Friendly friend Marco S. into the pit!
1) What is your relationship with the Church of Satan?
I’m not a card-carrying member, but I’ve considered myself a Satanist since I was about 19, I’m 37 now.
2) How did you first discover Satanism?
I specifically remember when my neighbor (mentor, band mate and long time metal brother) lent me a Dimmu Borgir album, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, I was a little intrigued by this verses:
Whispering voices, summoning screams
Waiting for Satan to bless their sins
Blackhearted angels fallen from grace
Possessed by the search for utter darkness
That was completely new to me, asking for Satan’s blessing and at the same time wanting to search for utter darkness, willing to sin again. This was strange because I grew up with my grandmother in a Catholic family and even though I stopped believing in God since I was 14 or 15, I never thought these words could represent anything other than “going against God”, which at that point I considered just bullshit.
After a quick online search I found information about the Church of Satan and asked my friend’s mom (who was very liberal) to order a Satanic Bible from Amazon for me. I grew up in Mexico and at the time I didn’t have a credit card, and there was no way my dad was gonna buy this for me. Naturally when I read the book I realized what most of us do at some point, it spoke to me, it spoke about me.
3) What are your favorite book?
I love many, many books, there’s an obvious spot reserved for the Satanic Bible, because it opened my eyes to who I really am, and it gave me comfort when I realized that being a misfit and an outlier is not “wrong”, it only means you don’t fit in the status quo, it’s an advantage.
Also I have to mention Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky, with that book I discovered the power of the mind, the power of the palpable change you can create for yourself and your own reality without the need to summon anything or anyone with supernatural powers. In this same tone but as pure fiction, I loved The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda, pretty much any Castaneda book has a magical power that’s hard to contain.
A short list should also include Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan, Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath, Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Cronica De Una Muerte Anunciada.
4) What would you do if you were suddenly placed into a horror film, such as The Evil Dead?
I’m not a big fan of horror, I’ve never watched that movie so I assume I’ll just try to… survive? I don’t now.
5) Do you have any pets?
Not at the moment, I had dogs growing up, although I get along really well with cats too.
6) Are you currently working on any projects?
Aside from my 9-5 job I always try to have side gigs to keep my mind distracted, I’ve been teaching myself how to code for about a year now so I try to find things that will help me improve on that ability. At the moment my biggest project would be updating my online portfolio building the site from scratch!
7) If a spaceship landed and asked you to take them to your leader, to whom would you take them?
Oh well… it would be a difficult choice but I would probably go with a scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene or someone of the like. Someone who is more likely to know what to do in a situation like that rather than someone actually in power. People in power are not always the smartest you know…
8) Do you like to travel? If so, where?
I do like to travel, me and my wife would hop on trains or planes for short stays in small and big cities in the North East, we have yet to go to the West Coast. Lately I’ve been going to Ukraine a few times per year, visiting great cities and places over there. Poland, Germany and Egypt are in our list.
9) What would you like Non-Satanists to know about Satanists?
I’m not sure about this one. I don’t mind if most people don’t know what Satanism is, as long as they don’t use us as a scapegoat or an excuse for their own ridiculous behavior. Maybe it would be good for them to know that this is not an obscure sect and we definitely don’t sacrifice babies? It’s appalling the amount of people who associate that with Satanists, but then again, the average person is really stupid.
10) Which of the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth speaks to you the most?
I try to guide myself by all of them, but if I had to pick one that represents who we are it would be the 11th Rule, it was the first one I read somewhere on the internet, and I absolutely loved it. I think it broadly defines a simple but powerful way to look at life; to me it’s about two things, one is the idea that you should live your life without messing with anyone, and two is that everyone deserves respect until they prove otherwise (sometimes the proof comes VERY quickly).
Alright, kids, that’s it for the day! I’ve got a long week ahead of me and I’m already running late. I hope you loved reading this interview as much as I did!
And the fun part is that he actually took the time to answer them! Each of these interviews is designed to inform and entertain, which this one does for sure! The joke at the end made me laugh so hard that I scared my cats.
1) Tell me about a powerful Greater Magic moment.
The most powerful Greater Magic moment I’ve experienced was my first. It was a destruction ritual for a psychic vampire I was dealing with at work. The ritual itself was full of powerful anger and hatred, and afterwards I felt such a euphoric feeling. Within two weeks the person received several performance related write ups. They quit shortly thereafter.
2) Do the people close to you know you’re a member of the Church of Satan?
My wife knows and has read all the books in my collection as well as one of my brothers. The rest of my family would have to be blind not to know as I have the fact that I’m a member on all my social media pages. There are interviews I’ve done on Good Mourning America and Speak of the Devil that are easily found with a google search. I don’t go around telling people but will honestly answer if asked.
3) How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I love to go out to a steak house that is close by, they have the best new York strip that they cook to a temperature called “blue”, then having either key lime pie or caramel brulee. After that it’s home for great sex and a great old movie for the night.
4) What would you do if you were turned into a horse for a day?
I would be the fastest horse on the track in my youth, and enjoy being a stud in my later years. Being from Kentucky originally I’ve seen that most horses live better than their owners, so what a life that would be.
5) How do you explain Satanism to Non-Satanists?
I explain Satanism as being a powerful philosophy for “I-theists” as Magus Gilmore has called us. The tools within Satanism allow a born Satanist to develop themselves into successful, fully responsible adults who shape the world the way we want it to be. Through everything from art, music, television, technology, etc. Satanists are living the fullest lives with the most impact.
6) What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is stupidity. I can deal with people who are ignorant but those who choose to be ignorant of a subject is, in my opinion, the worst kind of stupidity.
7) Are you currently working on any projects?
I am getting in to painting and I write poetry and songs. There are some videos from when I was a touring musician on YouTube for those who like “retro” music. I am working out a plan of putting together a book of stories from the road accompanied by some of my poetry.
8) What are a few things on your bucket list?
I want to sky dive on my 40thbirthday, take my oldest daughter (6) to Germany, and get together with Reverend Campbell and Warlock Jeff Bowling for a beer.
9) Would you rather give up toothpaste or toilet paper for a week?
Toothpaste. I think there are somethings you could eat or gum you could chew to fix the cleanliness of my mouth. Not much you could do comfortably for your ass.
10) Tell me your favorite joke.
My girlfriend’s dog died the other day so I surprised her by going out and getting her an identical dog. She was livid, she said “what am I supposed to do with two dead dogs?”
My cats have calmed down now and are trying to get me to love them now. Or feed them. It’s the same, really. I was going to say this was a fun interview for me, but that’s obvious. How about I just tell you when an interview irritates me, yeah? Cool.
Hold on, I know what you’re thinking. “But, Lauren, you blog is called I’m A Satanist And…”. I know. But hold on!
So, there are degrees within the Church of Satan and each comes with its own title. As I’ve said before, I’ve interviewed Witches, Magisters, Warlocks, Magistras, and even people not associated with the Church who still identify as Satanists. Fuck, I’ve even interviewed a Devil Worshipper! So, I thought I’d give a little bit of an explanation on where I fall before we get onto the Internal Interview.
So, I fall right in the first one with no degree. I just got my Red Card in February and my Active Membership application is probably sitting quietly, waiting to be read. They have a lot of work to get through so it may take up to a year before it even gets glanced at! That’s fine with me because it literally doesn’t matter. With or without Active Membership, I can still be a Member of the Church of Satan who is active. I think that’s what it says on the top of the page, come to think of it.
Today we will be talking with somebody who is a First Degree Satanist in the latest installment of…
Our victim today is Satanist Laz C.! I sat down across the table from a computer and sent him over some hard-hitting questions to get to the bottom of what is going on in that brain.
1) What do you like to do on your free time?
What is this “free time” that you speak of? Hah! When I’m not in the workshop, I’m usually gaming. I can’t do that because my video card is broken and those things are very costly, so I’m ignoring it for the time being.
I also like to catch up on the latest episodes of my favourite true crime podcasts such as Sword and Scale, Casefile, Courtjunkie, Canadian True Crime, They Walk Amoung Us etc. Also This is War, where military vets tell their stories.
I also like to go fishing. So many fish, so little time.
2) Describe your ideal vacation.
Hopping on a boat (I hate flying) to a desert island. Also camping in the middle of a forest, with a river for fishing purposes. As far away from other people as possible.
3) What brought you to apply for Active Membership?
I’d been a member for about 6 years previously, and I wanted to step things up. I’d just gotten Southern Star Woodworks started, I just wanted to become more active with Satanism in general. I tend to take my time with things, but the time was definitely right.
4) Do you think Satanism affects your driving?
I don’t drive! I rely on walking, public transport, lifts, taxis etc.
Does it affect my lack of driving? Eh, perhaps in a way.
One thing that separates us Satanists from the rest is our ability to make things happen. Where life obstacles stump other people, we can carry right on through. So if I need to get somewhere, I get there somehow.
5) What kind of projects are you working on right now?
Let’s see… I have 3 plaques I’m working on at the moment, one is almost ready to ship. 3 altar tiles, and one card holder. I’ve just sent a headphones stand off. I’ve got new items for the store I want to finish and put up when I can.
That explains the lack of free time! (I’ll be ordering something for my alter soon so be prepared)
6) How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I just like to take the day off and have it for me. I’ll shower myself in snacks and cool beverages. Perhaps a bit of life reflection. I usually start celebrating a day or so early. Why only have one day? It’s mostly a quiet affair.
7) Does your family know that you’re a Member of the Church of Satan? Friends?
The only family I have to speak of now are my two sisters. One knows, I’m fairly sure my other sis does, but we have differing life paths so it doesn’t ever come up. I think being able to have good relationships with people who are living their life in a different manner to you is important. It transcends the limits people place on themselves.
Mum knew and thought it was great, I gave her The Satanic Bible to read and she read it. She was quite spiritual, but on some things we could find common ground.
I’m open about it with friends. I think sometimes my reputation precedes me and word spreads, which is fine. It’s magic. I’ve never found myself in a negative situation with it.
8) Which era would you live in if a wizard made you pick a new one?
If there’s a wizard walking around forcing people to choose a new era to live in, I’d say that’s a rude wizard! Also, this is a hard question. I’m gonna need another coffee, BRB.
I’m going to choose… the 40’s. The fashion, the war, the music, the birth of new technology and the invention of Tupperware. It’s not so far back that I’m going to lack medical care, and not so close to now that things are familiar.
9) Which Satanic Rule of the Earth speaks to you the loudest at the moment?
I’m always a fan of #1. It’s the breaking of that rule that really ticks me off. But then again, can’t realistically hold other people to my lofty standards. Currently I’d say #11, especially with the goings on in the world. I try to avoid the news as much as I can, but some of it still filters through friends etc. I’m all for leaving other people the fuck alone.
People seem to latch onto that one in confusion. Destroying someone/something isn’t limited to physical destruction. You could perform a destruction ritual, however small. Just forgetting about a stranger who’s ruined your day could do. Or in practical terms, say for example the guy who runs the corner store is a twat, and you just so happen to know illegal activities of some kind go on over there, you could be sure the police would like to know about it. It allows for creativity. And I’d say that creativity is the perfect remedy for negativity.
10) How do you define Satan?
He’s the knowledge and mysteries of the universe. He’s the drive that keeps me going when I’ve been pushed down. He’s my rationality when I feel irrational, and most importantly, he is me. He’s the ultimate symbol of rebellion and moxie and I aspire to be the embodiment of this.
I hope you liked my silly questions! There will be many, many more Infernal Interviews coming soon, as well as various rantings from yours truly.
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.