Something is very wrong with our world when a man who sports a hat with little devil horns as day wear talks more sense than some politicians either seeking election or actually in government. Founder of the “Church of Satan” [sic] Anton Szandor LaVey’s ‘Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth’, 1967:
1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
Perhaps it’s not strange at all that most of these rules resemble what one might expect from a Christian if they’d actually read and understood what Christ says in the New Testament, as opposed to most self-proclaimed Christians who spend their lives poking their noses into other people’s business and vomiting up half-remembered, barely digested chunks of stuff that was in turn forced down their own throats when they were children. These people tend to like the “Satanic” destruction part, though.
I’m neither a Satanist or a Christian, incidentally, and I’m not necessarily endorsing everything on the list or holding LaVey as a perverse paragon of virtue. He seems like as a person he was probably kind of a dick. In any case I’m an atheist who doesn’t believe there are any supernatural, invisible beings controlling us, influencing our lives or sitting in judgement on us. Actually, as far as I can tell, LaVey didn’t believe that either. It’s definitely on record that he dismissed Californian Thelemites and other modern occultists of their ilk as silly and feeble-minded, and he derided the “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley as a junkie with delusions of grandeur, which is spot on.
The characters of Satan, Jesus and the so-called “Satanist” LaVey all in their own ways tell us that even if there is something out there watching us, it does not give us an excuse to evade responsibility for own actions and behaviour. And this is obviously such a frightening prospect to some people that they can read the Bible (or the Koran, or any religious or philosophical book) from cover to cover but still not dare to accept that simple truth.
Even leaving the larger theological and moral landscape out of it, there are definitely people on the internet who’d do well to bear in mind some of these rules. Take “Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself” for example. If everyone suddenly starting following that one, internet traffic would plummet by about a quarter instantly.
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