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.
Seriously, you guys, I am so excited! While this wasn’t an in-person interview, I am so Honored that Magister David Harris was willing to give up time out of his day to answer some questions we had.
According to David’s Twitter account, which you can find here, he is not only a Magister of The Church of Satan, but also a “smut peddler and occasional comedian”. You can also follow his podcast, Sex, Songs, Sinema, & Satanism with David Harris, on Stitcher where he discusses topics such as Slenderman, interview first-time fetish models and members of the Church of Satan, and so much more.
David, along with his wife, runs an east-coast based production studio that specializes “in creating custom fetish and erotic films for clients seeking a more personalized content viewing experience”. His website, Dave’s Custom Media, goes on to explain that they are there for all kinds of interests and desires, which is pretty dang cool if you’re into something that may not have a wide array of options or if you’re looking for something specific. Potential customers can search videos, check out photos, look through models, and email a request to David to find out pricing.
REMINDER: These questions have been carefully selected to dig deep into David’s brain so we might discover the demonic diamonds hidden within.
1) What attracted you to the Church of Satan?
The notion that I, and I alone, have more ability than anyone else, to affect positive change in my life. The idea that I am my own god is probably what made Satanism most appealing to me.
2) What kind of projects are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m focused on promoting Dave’s Custom Media’s 1st full-length film, “Nadia & The Therapist.” It’s a light-hearted fetish comedy/adult film starring Nadia White, Heidee Nytes, & Autumn Bodell, that tries to invoke the spirit of the classic era of pornography. Back when adult films had storylines. I actually enjoyed knowing why the folks in porn were doing what they were doing, and I’m learning that I’m not alone in that. Incidentally, anyone that’s interested can see the trailer and buy the movie at my website, www.davescustommedia.com.
I’m also focusing on the “custom” portion of Dave’s Custom Media. We produce custom erotic & fetish videos for folks that have a particular thing they’d like to see. Even with all of the free porn out there, it can be hard to find that perfect scene that really gets you going. You can contact us and let us know what you want to see, and for a fee we can shoot it for you. Depending on what you specifically want to see, videos can run you as little as $100, or well into the thousands.
3) What about Satanism would you like Non-Satanists to know most?
Beyond the usual notion that Satanists are atheists, and not people who worship the Christian devil, I’d like people to know that no two Satanists are alike. Satanism is very much a religion for the individual, and everyone has their personal view of the world that they filter through Satanism. And so long as that view adheres to the philosophy outlined by Anton LaVey, those individuals can be said to be leading a Satanic life.
4) What is your favorite kind of music?
Ten years ago, I would have said metal, hands down. But I’ve mellowed as I’ve reached middle age. Many of my favorite bands are still metal bands, but I’ve grown deep passions for a lot of different genres, from disco, to folk music, to 70s singer/songwriters, to electronic & industrial music. I don’t feel as though there’s a definitive answer to that question anymore.
5) What is your movie about?
Nadia & The Therapist is about a girl named Nadia (played by Nadia White,) who seeks the council of a psychotherapist, (played by Heidee Nytes.) Nadia’s wedding is approaching, but she doesn’t feel as though she can tell her husband-to-be about certain sexual needs that she has. She confides in Dr. Nytes stories of her experimenting with self-bondage, being forced to orgasm while bound, as well as the trials and tribulations of BDSM dating, which can often lead to some awkwardly funny situations involving flogging, spanking, and more.
6) What is your third favorite lizard?
The Draco. Gotta love a flying lizard.
7) How do you celebrate your birthday?
My mood on that varies from year to year. I turned 40 this past year, and we had a big disco celebration capped off with a midnight nude swim in the ocean. There have been other years when a quiet dinner was all I wanted. My wife is amazingly in tune with how I want to celebrate my birthday, and always knows what to plan.
8) Which of the 11 Satanic Rules of the Earth speaks to you the most?
Lately, I’ve been big on #5: “Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.” I think straight men today, thanks largely in part to the media, have become more and more uncomfortable with talking to women. They’ve forgotten how to initiate a conversation, and they’ve forgotten how to read body language. You’re certainly not gonna get her to go home with you if you just stand across the room and stare like a creep. You actually have to start a conversation, and from there, read the situation.
But I also think that the alleged “war on men” that you see being portrayed in the media is not real. It’s very much been manufactured by folks who have a vested interest in the suppression of female sexuality. Here’s a hot tip, fellas: straight women WANT to talk to men. They WANT to flirt with men. And yes, they even WANT to sleep with men. You just have to treat them like people. Listen to them, and make them comfortable in their decision to do so.
9) What have you done in your life that you are most proud of?
I ran two very successful stand-up comedy fundraiser events to raise money for the Little Shelter of Long Island, which is a no-kill animal shelter in Suffolk County. We raised several thousand dollars over the course of those events. We’re big animal lovers, and to put on those two shows in the comedy club that I ran briefly was a great experience, and is something that I’m extremely proud of.
10) Tell me your favorite joke.
Well… you asked. 😉 (The Author is nervous)
I want you to picture a small town. Just your average, run-of-the-mill, Anywhere, USA kind of place. Not much to it. It’s got a Main St, where the local grocery and the post office sits across from Mr. Miller’s Pharmacy (est. 1908.) Like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. And in this ordinary town, lived an 8-year-old boy. And as you might suspect, life for this little 8 year old boy in this ordinary town was remarkably dull. There’s not much to do when you live a small town life, so his life was filled with a number of mundane tasks that he essentially did to mark the hours of his life. He’d get up, he’d shower, he’d eat breakfast, he’d get dressed, go to school, come home, do his homework, maybe see a friend or two, then go to bed, and do it all over again the next day.
One particular day, as he’s returning home from school, he sees something he hasn’t seen before. It’s a sign nailed to a lamp-post.
And the sign reads “Circus coming… in one year!”
The boy runs home, excited about the news he’s learned! And he’s excited because he knows that today may suck, tomorrowmay suck, and yes… the day after may suck as well, but in one year’s time, the circus is coming to town, and it’s going to be the end all, be all, greatest time of his life!
He counts down the months…
He counts down the weeks…
He counts down the days…
Finally, the day of the circus arrives! The boy wakes up early, showers, and shaves for the 1st time (because he’s only 8 years old.) And as he walks into town, he sees the tent, and its the biggest tent he’s ever seen in his life! And he enters the tent, and its everything he ever could have imagined, and more! A grander spectacle had never been witnessed in this sleepy little town! In the left ring is a lion tamer, in the right ring is an acrobat, and in the center ring…
… is a clown.
And this clown is telling joke, and doing magic tricks, and making all of the boys and girls laugh and laugh. And the point comes in the clown’s performance where he asks for a volunteer from the audience. And who does the clown pick? Yes… our little 8-year-old friend. The boy goes down to the center ring, and the clown places his hand on the boy’s shoulder as he speaks.
“Boy… are you a dog,” asks the clown.
“No, clown,” replies the boy.
“Boy… are you a horse?”
“Boy, are you a cow?”
“Boy… are you a duck?”
The clown holds his finger in the air, as if he’s had a grand epiphany, and proclaims “WELL, THEN BOY… YOU MUST BE AN ASS!”
Everyone in the tent bursts into uproarious, hysterical laughter, and the boy runs out of the tent, completely crushed and devastated. His dream of magical and wondrous day has been turned into his worst nightmare come to life. He runs home, bawling his eyes out and throws himself onto his bed. And he makes a solemn vow to himself. He vows that, one day, somewhere, he is going to exact his revenge on this clown; this painted villain that took away his dignity. He doesn’t know how or where, but vengeance will be his.
He marks off the years of his adolescence in his small town hell like an inmate tracking time. He finally graduates from high school, and goes off to college. Not just any college, but the College of Quick Comebacks. He studies his ass off for 4 long, grueling years, and manages to graduate 1st in his class, with honors, from the College of Quick Comebacks. And after graduation, he returns to his small, ordinary home town.
He is now 21 years old.
And he just happens to have returned to town on the day that the circus has come back to town, as well.
And as he walks into town, he sees the tent, and its STILL the biggest tent he’s ever seen in his life! And he enters the tent, and its STILL everything he ever could have imagined, and more! A grander spectacle had never been witnessed in this sleepy little town! In the left ring is a lion tamer, in the right ring is an acrobat, and in the center ring…
… is the clown.
And this clown is telling joke, and doing magic tricks, and making all of the boys and girls laugh and laugh. And the point comes in the clown’s performance where he asks for a volunteer from the audience. And who does the clown pick? Yes… our now 21 year old friend. He goes down to the center ring, and the clown places his hand on the boy’s shoulder as he speaks.
“Boy… and are a dog,” asks the clown.
“No, clown,” replies the boy.
“Boy… are you a horse?”
“Boy, are you a cow?”
“Boy… are you a duck?”
The clown holds his finger in the air, as if he’s had a grand epiphany, and proclaims “WELL, THEN BOY… YOU MUST BE AN ASS!”
And the boy turns to the clown and yells “FUCK YOU, CLOWN! FUCK YOU!!!”
(THE AUTHOR IS LAUGHING SO HARD!)
Well, all, I hope you all enjoyed reading these questions and answers. I know I did! I really hope I can get my claws on some more members… I’ve got my eyes on you Magus Gilmore…
Have a wonderful rest of your day, my Demonic Darlings.