Myth busting in Satanism is a problem.
Hold on, I don’t think you read that correctly, because you’re agreeing with me. Let me try again: MYTH BUSTING is the problem, not the “lack of myth busting.” Yes, myth busting itself. (Okay, now we’re on the same page.) It’s true. I don’t feel comforted to know that people are trying to “explain Satanism.” In fact, some days I’m afraid it may give me an ulcer. I know that something is about to be shared that isn’t true. I know that someone’s going to walk away feeling educated, even though they are more than likely farther from their target than before. Even Satanists who accurately identify as Satanists often say the wrong thing when they’re trying to “help dispel misconceptions.” It’s horrible. You wouldn’t think this would be an issue since it’s not an issue in other belief systems, but no, it is, and it’s entirely unnecessary because the authorities in Satanism have made it very clear:
Stop. Please. Stop speaking for the religion! Speak only for yourself!
Unfortunately, they’re ignored. People are still out there trying to be myth busters and I find that the reason boils down to three major areas that are somewhat unique to Satanism: first, that Satanism is controversial; second, that Satanism is arcane; and third, that Satanism promotes individual identity in a way I’ve never seen other religions even consider tackling.
Satanism is Controversial
It doesn’t really matter how you look at this one to know what I mean. Whether you’re considering its social presence (stigma) or its history (academic vs cultural), it seems like there is a lot of arguing about who/what is right and wrong. There’s also a lot of defamation out there and disinformation (Disinformation is intentionally misleading someone with bad information), and good-intentioned people are very aware. I believe that there are some wonderful people out there who have done an absolutely through investigation into what Satanism is, and who could answer each question thrown their way at them about it, but, none of it matters because the religion doesn’t want people advocating for it unless they’re ordained. Satanism wants you to let the ignorant continue to be ignorant because in Satanism if someone isn’t going to put the time into understanding the whole philosophical concept, it doesn’t matter if they know just a thing or two about it. Have you ever heard the phrase, “He knows just enough to be dangerous?” This is a good application for it. The best and most convincing lies are the ones that are mixed in with some truth. Consider if the person who you are “myth busting” hears a few truths, but then communicates bad information to the next person. Maybe they think they are fully informed now that they have been corrected once or twice, but they aren’t. They’re cocky. They’re assured. They’re convincing, but they are far from informed.
The only way for someone to understand the religion is to read the Satanic Bible and perform their own critical analysis on what it means to them. Listening to one person communicate to another how they interpret Satanism is not how to go about trying to understand Satanism. Consider it the difference between telling someone that there is a painting depicting a lady on the wall, and letting them look at and examine the Mona Lisa, themselves. They may take something from it that you never would have understood. The only way to do this is to point them to the painting itself.
Satanism is Arcane
The irony for this one is that I think it’s a myth itself that Satanism is arcane. But, what I believe doesn’t matter, just like how it doesn’t matter to others that authentic material is easily accessible, and that Satanism is a real, represented religion in our current era that isn’t hiding in the shadows. It doesn’t matter because people have assigned the arcane sentiment to its subject matter, and because of that it has become a beacon of light for all of those who seek to feel important and superior to others by being sharing information that seems in any way, shape, or form to be: forbidden, privileged, and secretive.
I will say that I have never found a true expert in something who tries to keep their studies a secret. Usually, this person is someone who has researched something to such an extent that their curiosity and passion overflow, and they can’t contain it within them. They want to share all the nuances of their work with you—if only you’ll let them, they plea! They may keep some thoughts secret and private of course, but they are otherwise an open book to the right person who offers their research its due respect.
By contrast, with Satanism you tend to see people making pretentious and egotistical claims that they refuse to support with any real research. Sadly, there are far too many “posers” on the internet who will greedily suck up any few random “busted myths” they trip over, and then turn around use them as evidence for research that they haven’t performed. They play up the charade of being an expert in the arcane to inflate self-importance to intellectually bully and spiritually prohibit others. Unfortunately, many fall for these self-professed “experts” who are “myth busting” despite the truth that they’re actually the least informed out there!
Satanism is Individualistic
Satanism is individualistic, which to many people means; “I can interpret it however I want, and I can also tell people that anything goes.” I’m definitely not here to tell you that you can’t interpret it however you want, but I can say that one of the qualifications of a religion is consensus among the practitioners. That means that you can’t say that you are a Satanist if your beliefs don’t harmonize with the religious creed, and it means that you can’t go around telling other people that they can do whatever they want and call yourself a myth buster. What you’re really doing is misinforming them. Some beliefs are antithetical to the religion, and if you are firm and secure in those beliefs then you would not be properly identifying yourself as a Satanist.
Generally, the myth busters in this category have entirely wholesome intentions. They’re people who want to promote the good things about Satanism, but they don’t realize that they are imposing their own beliefs on the horde. Every person has their own biases and that’s why it’s important to resist the urge to correct people and “bust myths” about Satanism. If you have analyzed Satanism’s texts, but continue to “myth bust,” you may unwittingly pass along your unconscious biases onto other people’s interpretation when you “myth bust,” which means people are interpreting your analysis instead of the philosophy. It becomes a game of “Telephone.” (If you’ve never played, one person whispers a secret to the person to their right, and that person whispers it to the person on their right, and so on, until it gets back to the original secret speaker. Amazingly, the secret is completely different from what they had first whispered in the first place.)
In the end, the myth busting efforts for Satanism, noble as most of them are, only end up creating more confusion on the religious frontier. Even if someone has the best intentions at heart, the small act of trying to “fix” an inaccuracy or “bust a myth” can create a domino effect that ends in a place completely different than you intended. Perhaps in the moment you can help someone to feel better or more included, but in the long run, you may be opening a door for more problems when other “myth busters” don’t share your perspective. It’s also extremely difficult to recognize your own biases, and your own areas of misunderstanding since even incorrect information feels like correct information to most of us. You may be unconsciously spreading misinformation due to a bias or misunderstanding you may have even if you, yourself, have read the source material, and if you haven’t, let me ask you this: how do you know that the “truths” you’re trying to share are true at all, instead of just a game of social media “Telephone?”
This is why myth busting for Satanism is dangerous. Speak for yourselves alone. Don't try to be a myth buster. You'll find an unexpected peace at only being responsible for yourself, instead of trying to dictate the religion and beliefs of others. If other people want to know about Satanism, they will do the research. Allow them to. Point them in the right direction, but allow them to research the rest.
Who is the Witch?
Once I called myself a Christian, then an atheist, and a Satanist. At the end of the day, I'm just a person who is living her truth one day at a time. I'm interested in religion, its effects on the mind, the occult, and more. Learn more about me on the about page.