Over the past several weeks Satanism, directly and indirectly, has caught the attention of the media. Lunatics are blaming the Devil for their deranged acts of violence, rumors of "Satanic" cults are spreading among the tabloids and fans of True Detective are searching for the Yellow Sign in satanic rituals. Peter H. Gilmore, the current High Priest of the Church of Satan, has been a guest on CNN, interviewed by the CBC and numerous other outlets (published and unpublished) in an effort to defuse a revival of the Satanic Panic from 80's and 90's. It's a shame that for many people the only exposure to Satanism is in reaction to such grim, pointless insanity; when by and large the Satanists I know are some the most life-loving individuals I've ever encountered.

Due to the recent media exposure I'm not surprised to see several threads hitting the front page of Reddit mentioning Satanism, attempted AMA's from questionable sources, and a genuine interest in what Satanism and the Church of Satan is actually about. Obviously one can go to the Church of Satan's website and check out the basic texts and FAQ, but we recognize that humans are social creatures and a certain level of interaction can help drive points home.

That said, my name is Raul A. and I'm an officially ordained Priest in the Church of Satan, and have been an active Satanist for over 10 years. In my time with the Church of Satan, and well before that, I've interacted with Satanists with a wide range of interests, personalities, and backgrounds. I've organized concerts with Satanic folk bands to experimental electronic musicians. I am the technical director of Radio Free Satan. My wedding was officiated by a Satanic Priest, I enjoyed Tiki drinks and 50's music with High Priestess Peggy Nadramia, and watched Kaiju films and talked Pacific Rim with High Priest Gilmore. I've also known many nonpublic Satanists who, for various reasons, cannot openly proclaim their worldviews.

Why am I doing this AMA? For one, I think the Reddit community is interested in the topic and has been mostly given a poor representation of what Satanism is about, in theory and practice. I've seen some fairly interesting questions go without responses, and mostly a lot of talk from people who "read Crowley in high school" (FYI, Crowley never identified himself as a Satanist, and has very little to with Satanism) or "knew a guy once". Responses are often such a bore and miss the point entirely.

So here's your chance, ask me anything! And, like any decent Satanist, let's make this fun! Let's try things other than the usual "Why call it Satanism if you don't believe in Satan" (*), let's talk about life, experiences, and the pleasures of the material world! Let the games begin!

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/wAPvz?gallery

  • The "Satan" in "Satanism" refers to the Hebrew word for "the adversary", and that is the context in which we use it. We understand that the human animal has an innate need for religion, symbolism, and dogma so we Satanists willfully choose the one we most identify with.

Edit: I have a business call to attend to for an hour or so, I'll be back shortly!

Edit: Seems that many of my responses have been downvoted to Hell (ba dum). Here's a handy Q&A table http://www.reddit.com/r/tabled/comments/1zgfeg/table_i_am_a_priest_in_the_church_of_satan/

Edit: Time to roll up the tent. Overall I had a fairly good time, answered a few good questions, made some new friends, and ran into some old ones. If you haven't seen my responses, especially in the first few hours of this AMA, it's because my comments were immediately being downvoted and hidden from the default views(I didn't realize Reddit were such big fans of the Westboro Baptist Church). See the table above or my comment history to see my responses, which apparently is more than most celebrity AMA's combined. Special thanks to the moderators who've attempted to inject some rationality and to /u/Milagre for the help with the Q&A Table.

Comments: 3429 • Responses: 23  • Date: 

wackylol94 karma


Invisible-War11 karma

Do fans of Darth Vader believe he existed in the real world? Can you be a fan of Star Wars and accept that it was a made up story? Man will always have religions, whether they are spiritual or material (most soccer fans I know are way more religious than Christians). We accept that religions are made-up, but they serve sociological, psychological and cultural roles. Satanism as an above ground, open religion is a relatively new phenomenon, and it won't be the last religion to disregard spirituality.

cheeriosandwhiskey65 karma

What do you make of heavy metal bands slapping pentagrams and upside down crosses on their album covers? I love heavy metal, but lately I think it just looks cheesy when they try to look all badass.

Invisible-War26 karma

In the late 90's I worked with a number of Black/Death metal bands in the NYC area, organizing and promoting shows, reviewing albums, etc. Satan and the Devil is low hanging fruit, easy material to piss people off and get attention. Which is fine, but they rarely go beyond that and actually accomplish anything with that. King Diamond actually does a great job of creating a whole performance and mythology out of his use of Satanism, as well as GHOST BC. I wish more bands would do the same.

I would also check out the work of ULVER to see how a band can evolve and grow out.

Onlove62 karma

What exactly is your function as a satanic priest ?

Invisible-War20 karma

Satanic Priests don't hold any actual functions, it's an honorary title that says you have the respect and authority from the Church of Satan to represent the religion in public if you choose to do so. It's more of an acknowledgement from people you agree with and respect.

Aprilesauce60 karma

Could you just basically explain what it is that you believe?

Invisible-War13 karma

I believe in the power of symbols and archetypes. I believe in living your life without guilt but also acknowledging my own limitations and flaws. I believe that man's most natural, instinctual state is best represented in the symbol of Satan. I believe there is no afterlife, there is no heaven or hell, and that this is the only life we have. This is the opposite of spiritual religions, who believe this life is in preparation for an afterlife, and thus take the name of the accuser, the opposer.

igaveitashot36 karma

I wrote a paper on Luciferianism and Satanism last year and it was really eye opening. How would you say your religion impacts your everyday life, and have misconceptions of it negatively impacted you in any way? Thanks for doing the AMA!

Invisible-War12 karma

Since my religion just mandates that I live my life naturally, I would say it has no "impact", it just is. In public I'm polite, in private I expect respect and will not tolerate rude behavior. The music and art I enjoy and collect tends to have a darker aspect to it, but also a sense of fun and adventure. Most misconceptions don't impact me in anyway because I do not openly declare myself as a Satanist. If I were to openly declare myself as a Satanist it may impact my career, so I choose not to do that. I want a comfortable, productive life, and I have a healthy enough ego to work around that.

wedsa517 karma

How do you feel about the WBC?

Invisible-War78 karma

They are despicable.

sczmbz1 karma

How do you feel about satin?

Invisible-War2 karma

I don't really like satin actually, makes me itchy.