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Oh, funny thing is, uhm, denizens of Hell like me, we don't... really like the Satanists. Yeah, not even the demons themselves like them. They are kinda like, I don't know, religious paparazzies, I suppose, but with less camera and interviews and more blood sacrifices and stupid things done in the demons' name.
Matt Wright

Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on Satanael, although they have been accused of worshiping Satan.

Overview

There are many sects of Satanism, most of whom don't have anything to do with the Prince of Darkness, rather they either base their philosophy on the idea of a fallen angel rebelling against an ultimate authority or they worship a Satanael, a being similar to Satan but who has a much different moral framework. They have wrongly been confused with the Order of Nine Angles, a fringe hate group who perform actual human sacrifices.

History

Middle Ages

Before Satanism was actually founded, the term Satanism was just used by Christians when they came into contact with other religions. They claimed that these pagan gods weren't actually divine, rather they were demons in disguise. Claims also arose that these so called "Satanists" engaged in incestuous orgies, murdering infants, and acts of cannibalism.

This all came to ahead where the Catholic Church started labeling other Christian and Abrahamic sects as Satanic, such as Islam, Gnosticism, and Yazidism. Alongside this, accusations that people were being possessed by demons eventually led to the Salem Witch Trials; where people were accused of and eventually handed for being witches. During the Seventeenth century, a number of non-extreme criminals in Sweden informed others that they venerated a spirit named Satanael, due to him providing more assistance than the Christian God.

Enlightenment period

There wasn't that much development in the ideas of Satanism during the 18th to 20th centuries. Various secret societies would mock Christianity and make toasts to the Devil, but these groups were atheistic in nature and most likely did it as a sign of showmanship.

In 1789, the French Revolution dealt a heavy blow to the power that the Roman Catholic Church had in parts of Europe. This led to various Christians spreading rumors of a conspiratorial group of Satanists who were the masterminds behind every event against Christianity. Yet again, various groups of people, some not even religious, were accused of being apart of this Satanic conspiracy. This continued to happen during the 1960s and 70s in the United States while the real conspiratorial cabal started to gain power whilst staying hidden.

Keep in mind that while all of this history is important to Satanism, the actual religion has yet to be officially founded.

Modern Era

While various religious groups used Satanic symbolism around this time, it wouldn't be until 1966 when Anton LaVey founded the true Church of Satan. The church wasn't based around the prince of darkness, rather it was based on the ideas of a separate entity that intrigued LaVey. Another group would arise around this time called Our Lord of Endor Coven; founded by Herbert Sloane, the organization claimed to have been founded before LaVey's church, although this claim is unsubstantiated.

Myths and Legends

Quotes

O, Satanism. What Christians call an abomination, I call knowledge. Satanism places the ego as God, praising life, contrary to the religion of God, which many preach the devaluation of life, and that life is a burden, believing that after death something better will happen. That's why many of them are oppressed, because they believe that life after death will be better, they don't value their own life.
Berith Edwards about Satanism.

Gallery

Trivia

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