Her passion against the Church of Satan was nearly too hot to touch, and the conversation was a difficult one to have due to the sudden fierceness. I’d never really seen her like this before; and while I was beginning to understand her disdain for my lil’ol fictional character, I couldn’t quite understand what could have happened to her that she’d have amassed so much hatred for an entity she had nothing to do with. I was able to pull it out of her gently and gradually, and it came out in a story that boiled my blood as well, though for a different reason that I couldn’t confess to her. My friend had a friend who was abused by her partner to a point where her psychological well-being put her physical well-being in danger…and he took pride in what he did because he was a Satanist whose narcissism was compulsively and egregiously exercised under the horrifically false, self-serving and self-designed claim that Satanism required him to be an abuser since he "was a god" and everyone else, including his partner, was "beneath him."
I closed my eyes and held my breath as I listened to her explain to me what had happened to her friend, and I heard the blame in her voice for the institution which, in her eyes, “promotes and encourages people to lose themselves in their ego, and fails to implement methods to keep that ego in check so that it doesn’t harm others.” I see flaws with her perspective, but I don’t blame her for them. My confusion is no longer directed at her, and I’m no longer angry for the unhinged, blind and ignorant slander she’s been pouring into my ear about my church (she's unaware it's my church) since I’m so horrified and distracted by both what she's telling me and the absolute plausibility of this to happen to anyone anywhere. The core of the “history of incidents” lies in that the Satanist was clearly already a narcissist and found permission in his religion to abuse others. We Satanists know this isn’t Satanism. Satanism does not give you permission to harm others because you would like to. Yes, instead it promotes responsibility to the responsible, and it does not condone bullying or harming innocents. Our golden rule is to treat others how we’d like to be treated and adjust our behavior accordingly depending on how the other individual treats us.
There will always be that person who will find what they seek to justify their disturbed habits, whether it be prohibited adult content, unlawful narcotic use, or even something such as religion and philosophy. Incels will find ways to justify their misogyny, and Christian Fundamentalists will find passages in the Holy Bible to support their antiquated and exclusionary views. It happens here in our own religion, too. Although not a problem unique to us, it’s a problem that belongs to us since it’s our group, and we are responsible for speaking up when we see something is wrong, just like how we would support any partner’s separation from abuse by their partner (which, by the way, can be abuse of any sexuality or gender identification). It’s good to feel bothered. It’s good to be upset. It’s good to feel restless and opposed to maltreatment that you see. It is not okay to give in to injustice, to pretend it doesn’t happen, and to eschew your personal responsibility for yourself and those who bring your happiness.
My friend continues to hate the Church of Satan. I’m not going to try and change her anger here because as far as I can see it, we failed her. We failed my friend, and we failed her friend. They’re allowed to be angry, they’re allowed to be biased. Next time let’s do better and prevent this from happening to even one more person by policing ourselves better and by paying attention to the situations of those we care for. We may not think to wonder if someone is in an unsafe relationship unless we know to look for the signs.
If you believe you know someone who is in need of help, regardless of whether Satanism is involved or not, please educate yourself about how you can do so. If you’re located in the United States you can do this through to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline website. You can also find some helpful content on the DAIS website for how to identify if someone you care about may be in an unsafe relationship.
Here is that info again. (United States)
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1−800−799−7233 / thehotline.org
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services: 1-800-747-4045 / abuseintervention.org
May responsibility lie forever with the responsible.