Once I wrote a letter to a personality I called “the Arrogant Apprentice.” This personality archetype is the individual who says they want to research Satanism but won’t do anything to actually learn it. Instead, they seem to think that we can transfer information via the cloud (what would the Hell version of “cloud” be? Smog?) in some sort of fantastical automatic download. They don’t want to spend the time learning Satanism, they just want to already know it, and they want to know it yesterday! They want to be able to take the perceived “arcane” information and turn around to dangle it in front of their friends as a way to feel knowledgeable and superior. After all, look at how fast they learned the religion! Good thing they hooked up with a real Satanist who was able to just explode all this information at them—because in their eyes, that’s exactly what’s normal. They grew up in a world where people are constantly trying to convince them to join their side. Not so with Satanism. We couldn’t care less. Maybe that’s why we react the way we do with respect to their approach with the Satanic Bible?
It has to be one of the most common complaints that I hear. “I can’t learn about Satanism because I can’t get the Satanic Bible!” This is usually a line that follows a Satanist saying something like, “Read it, then we’ll talk,” because why on Earth would we try to rephrase what was already phrased perfectly in the first place? Well, this Arrogant Apprentice will of course balk at the demand and throw a “Victim tantrum.” It’s similar to people saying they don’t have enough “time” for something, in my opinion. Guess what: we all have the same amount of time in a day and what is actually happening is an issue of priority. So, when I hear people griping about how their Christian parents are super strict and how they don’t have a bank account, all I can think of is, “All right, then. If you can’t figure this out on your own, then you don’t deserve to read it.”
What a strange place to find myself in with this bold opinion of mine. It’s not really unpopular; I believe a lot of people share it with me, but I will admit that there is a lick of snobby elitism that scoffs beneath the breath. I think it might be one of those evident opinions that goes unspoken simply because even the opinion itself, dare I propose, wouldn’t be understood by someone who can’t even dedicate 10 minutes to figuring out how to get their hands on a mass-produced book. I’m tired of excuses. I’m tired of people proposing to one another to pirate the book as if that’s a new idea. Piracy is illegal, which means it isn’t condoned by Satanism. It’s not something that you’d know in advance, but clearly if you’re okay with theft then you’re not a Satanist, so why investigate Satanism with the belief that it’ll suit you?
There is something special about Satanism. It’s not a gateway religion by any means. I have heard that there are well-known individuals out there who learned of Satanism from a young age, but it doesn’t shake my belief one bit that you must have a certain amount of life experience before you can appreciate it for what it is. Just as Anton LaVey spent time observing people, you too must live and observe. You too must develop your own thoughts and draw your own understandings of the world around you. Otherwise, you run the very obvious risk of being influenced by the ideals and adopting them for your own rather than finding a reflection of them already within you. It’s easy to find what’s in the Satanic Bible as agreeable—but is it you? How can a person know if the Satanic Bible describes them if they don’t even really know who they are yet? Adolescence is a time of discovering who you are, and for many that extends into college. That’s why, I have heard, the search for religious identity may start at 14 for some, but it usually is concentrated in the years 16-23. You must be 16 to have a bank account, right? You must be 16 to get a job, to contribute to society, to learn how the world works. You shouldn’t claim you know who you are until you have had a chance to discover how you respond to enough experiences. So, if people say to me, “I can’t buy this because I don’t have an account,” it’s obvious to me that they’re too young and should move along to Taoism or Buddhism before they return to sample Satanism. Simply put, this “age gate” makes sense. Don’t learn Satanism before you learn about yourself. The dictum, “Satanism deserves study, not worship,” doesn’t mean, “memorize the facts and internalize them.” These things should already be there if you are a Satanist.
The second shortsighted excuse I hear is, “My mom/dad/friend/dog will find it and then all Hell will break loose—pardon the pun.” My immediate retort is, “Really? You’re how old and you don’t know how to hide something so someone else won’t find it?” Clearly if you can’t even protect your stuff, you’re in no position to be able to protect your identity as a Satanist if you discover one. Most people seem to underestimate the negative reputation of Satanism on a large scale. It constantly impresses me how little people realize from their research on this. They hear about persecution and they hear about the Satanic Panic, but for some reason it just doesn’t register. They believe that the constitution will protect their right to religion, but they don’t see how easy it is for a company to fire someone for an unlawful reason and record it as a lawful one. That’s not even getting on the discrimination tour; these Arrogant Apprentices probably believe that general atheists don’t face any discrimination whatsoever. Clearly, they’re not ready to read the Satanic Bible if they’re not willing to put in the effort for the minimal security required to hide a book in their own interest.
I’m not even going to touch the excuse of, “I can’t afford it.” The book is $10. It’s affordable. If you can’t figure out how to fenagle your finances to afford an $10 book, you have much, much bigger problems on your hands than your religion. Maybe put Satanism to the side for a little bit and focus on whatever current situation has you suppressed.
There is only one excuse which I sympathize with, and I do still consider it an excuse because I know that if I want something, I’ll make it happen. The excuse is, “It’s not sold near me.” If you physically can’t get the book into your hands because nobody wants to sell it to you, you can’t exactly wave a magic wand and make it appear. However, this excuse is just as fragile as the rest once you take a sharper eye to it. Did the Arrogant Apprentice actually look for it in the first place, or are they assuming? Are they looking in the right section in the book store—did they ask for help? Did they ask if it could be ordered? Did they consider how they might be able to buy it from Amazon? (A friend even purchased his with a visa gift card on Amazon since he couldn’t make online purchases with his bank account.) There is also Paypal and Venmo for Ebay, and now-a-days you can even charge something to your phone! Still, if all of this fails and the Arrogant Apprentice has genuinely exhausted all of their options—and I do mean genuinely—this one can be a challenge. Some libraries won’t carry it. Some bookstores are very Christian-minded and refuse to order it. Some countries, for instance, simply don’t carry it. On top of it all, the coronavirus has shut down a lot of access that citizens have previously enjoyed… but it has also opened up other avenues…
The National Emergency Library
Have you ever heard of the National Emergency Library? I doubt it, not because I hadn’t heard of it, but because it is brand new. The National Emergency Library is an online archive that has 1,400,000 books available for “borrowing,” from any location in the world (not just the United States). It’s only accessible until June 30th, but the books that it does have includes the Satanic Bible. This is a lawful resource to obtain your material because as described in the New Yorker article about it, libraries have ‘superpowers’ when it comes to copyright.
When I took a quick browse through its archives for myself, I found a number of other books related to Satanism which looked interesting; books about the history in academic circles including a few others. The books I rented operated like a scan of the pages, so you can be sure that you’re getting the real deal instead of someone typing something up and doctoring the content to suit their own thoughts—such as an illegal PDF circulating on the internet and the Android Play Store may… I’m just sayin….
The bottom line here, Arrogant Apprentices, is that there is no excuse for not reading the Satanic Bible if you’re ready to read it. It may be difficult for some people to get their hands on it, but the thoughts and philosophy in the book are a tier just above the reach of the average sheep and so shouldn’t be availed for just anyone, in my opinion. Some would read its words exclusively at face value, ignoring the context, and believe that “what you see is what you get.” Sure, this is the case in certain parts of the book, but it also dabbles in metaphor, and the religion of Satanism as a whole is defined using its own lexicon—so what one word means to a Wiccan does not hold true for a Satanist. You need to have the right mindset to understand what is being explained. If you can’t figure out how to even get the book, Arrogant Apprentice, it’s clear to me that you first need to upgrade your mindset. You may think that Satanists are being snobs, elitists, and/or egocentric, but for us it’s really just common sense.
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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.