The CoBG and the Black Goat Cabal > Cathedral of the Black Goat
The Cathedral of the Black Goat
and the Black Goat Cabal:
Response to Myrmydon, Nero, et al
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006 Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
- Brief summary
- Founding of the Cathedral of the Black Goat and the Black Goat Cabal
- The split
- The CoBG and H.O.M.E.
- The beginning of hostilities
- The Orthodox Temple of Satan (O.T.O.S.)
- The alleged hacking of the O.T.O.S. website
- The return of the CoBG
- The removal of Myrmydon's and Melek's writings from the Black Goat Cabal site
- The CoBG's Myspace profile
- The publication of this page
- Nero disavows association with the CoBG
- As the stomach turns ...
- Brief summary
Alas, the Satanist scene these days is highly competitive and full of bitter infighting and slanderous mudslinging. I would recommend that you, dear reader, not believe anything that any Satanist leader has to say about any other Satanist leader, especially if presented without any evidence.
Normally I just ignore those who badmouth me. However, one particular cluster of people has had an ongoing vendetta against me since the summer of 2004 and has continued to spread false allegations about me and sometimes about other people who post in my forums as well. So, I feel that it is necessary to tell my side of the story.
The people in question are (1) "Rev. AAX" a.k.a. "Brother Myrmydon," founder of the Cathedral of the Black Goat; (2) "Nero," founder of the very Christian-based duotheistic form of Satanism that Myrmydon has believed in since the spring of 2004 or so; and (3) a few other people associated with the above two leaders, such as Kasey Koon, a.k.a. "Brother Obitus" and "Brother Belphegor." These folks claim to be "orthodox traditional Satanists" and embrace a belief system which combines close-to-pure inverse Christianity with a fundamentalist-like reverence for sacred texts such as the Al Jilwah. (Ironically, the Al Jilwah itself does not support such fundamentalist-like reverence for sacred texts, for it says, "I teach without a revealed book.")
Nero's groups practiced, or at least claimed to practice, animal sacrifice - unlike the vast majority of Satanists, including the vast majority of theistic Satanists. One of Nero's gripes against me is that I have supposedly whipped up hysteria against him on the animal sacrifice issue, when in fact I have always taken a middle-of-the-road stance on animal sacrifice. (See my article on Animal sacrifice.) I don't believe in animal sacrifice myself, but I do believe in upholding the religious freedom of those who do believe in it, provided that the animal is killed in a reasonably humane manner.
Nero, Myrmydon, et al. have jumped to the most outrageous and groundless conclusions about me, such as a claim that I either masterminded or was somehow otherwise involved in an alleged hacking of one of Nero's websites.
Myrmydon has claimed that I "stole" the Cathedral of the Black Goat's original website and Yahoo group. This claim is a drastic re-writing of the history of what was, in fact, a mutually negotiated agreement made in May 2003 between AAX/Myrmydon and Diane Vera and approved by the CoBG's Council of Six, as detailed further down on this page. In fact, the idea of an organizational split between the CoBG and its original online infrastructure was originally suggested by AAX/Myrmydon himself. (Previously, said online infrastructure had been run by me all along, from the very beginning, in consultation with AAX/Myrmydon and the Council of Six.)
Thay have also tried their darnedest to try to discredit me as a theistic Satanist leader by claiming, for example, that I have never done a ritual and that I have never had a spiritual experience of any kind. Obviously, these claims are neither verifiable nor falsifiable, especially by anyone who hasn't met me in person. My personal spiritual experiences are personal, and I simply refuse to be drawn into an argument about them. All that you, dear reader, can really judge is how my writings may or may not have affected your spirituality. Quite a few people have told me about powerful spiritual experiences they've had as a result of reading some of my stuff, and to me that says something, especially since I'm not much of a poet or anything like that. A lot of other people have told me that they found my writings to be informative and thought-provoking. Of course, I don't expect everyone in the Satanist scene to be affected similarly by my writings, which, for all I know, very well might leave a lot of people cold. Spirituality is a highly individual thing. Unfortunately, there are people in the theistic Satanist scene who refuse to recognize that spirituality is a highly individual thing, and whe believe that anyone whose experiences differ substantially from their own must not have had a real spiritual experience.
How did their vendetta against me begin? Below is my side of the story. I will try to back it up with evidence where I can. And indeed I can provide evidence (mostly in the form of posts in still-existing public Yahoo groups) for some of my points. On other points, I'll have to admit, it's just my word against theirs. I'll have to leave it to the reader to look at the behavior of both sides and then to decide who is more credible.
- Founding of the Cathedral of the Black Goat and the Black Goat Cabal
In October 2002 C.E., the Cathedral of the Black Goat was founded by "Rev. AAX," now known online as "Brother Myrmydon." The CoBG was originally an online-based umbrella group for traditional / theistic Satanists of all kinds. At that time there weren't yet very many traditional / theistic Satanists online, and AAX thought it would be a good idea for us all to get together. I heartily agreed. I offered to create a website for the CoBG, as a section of my own then-new, separate Theistic Satanism website (hosted originally on Angelfire).
The CoBG was originally managed by an online-based Council of Six. I was one of the charter members of the Council of Six, and I was by far the most active member online. I created the original CoBG website and the Black-Goat Yahoo group in November 2002 C.E. I also created my own separate Theistic Satanism Yahoo groups where I could have more in-depth philosophical discussions than AAX was interested in having in the Black-Goat forum, and where I could also have friendly dialogue with the more tolerant symbolic Satanists, who were excluded from Black-Goat.
On January 27, 2003 C.E., AAX founded Semjaza's Covenant, an offline coven in Texas. His coven was later to become the heart of a reorganized Cathedral of the Black Goat.
From May 2003 until August 2004, the Brief history section of the Black Goat Cabal's Who we are and how to join page read approximately as follows:
Diane Vera, now the Coordinator of the Black Goat Cabal, has been active in the public Satanist scene off-and-on since the early 1990's C.E. She is best known for her articles on Satanism addressed to Pagans, including Satanism and the History of Wicca, and a column in the occult zine Abrasax back in the early-to-mid-1990's. She left the public Satanist scene in the late 1990's and returned in the fall of 2002 C.E.
On October 27, 2002 C.E., the Cathedral of the Black Goat was founded by Rev. AAX as a group for all traditional / theistic Satanists. (Rev. AAX is now known online as Brother Myrmydon.)
The CoBG was originally managed by an online-based Council of Six. Diane Vera, one of the charter members of the Council of Six, created the original CoBG website and the Black-Goat email group in November 2002 C.E. She also created her own separate Theistic Satanism website and email groups.
On January 27, 2003 C.E., Rev. AAX founded Semjaza's Covenant, a real-world coven in Texas.
In May 2003 C.E. Rev AAX decided, for logistical reasons, that it was no longer feasible for the CoBG to be run by an online-based Council. Also, he wanted the CoBG to become more focussed in its aims, more of a religious and magical school, and more like a church, with its own theology.
So, Rev. AAX and the most active member of the CoBG Council, Diane Vera, agreed that it would be best for the CoBG to divide into two distinct groups: (1) a reorganized Cathedral of the Black Goat, based in Texas, and (2) the Black Goat Cabal, which would continue and expand upon the online activities of the CoBG in its original online-based form, and would continue to bring together a variety of different kinds of traditional / theistic Satanists. The Black Goat Cabal has also taken on a new aim: to bring together people who are working to advance the public visibility of traditional / theistic Satanism in various ways.
Note that the Black Goat Cabal and the Cathedral of the Black Goat are now separate organizations, with separate leadership, and do not necessarily endorse all of each other's policies. But the division was not a hostile one.
The above is copied and pasted from a file I have which was last modified on August 13, 2004. Later versions after that date, until I made some substantial revisions in late 2005, retained the above wording plus a brief history of subsequent policy changes on the part of the Black Goat Cabal. And, as long as I remained on friendly terms with AAX/Myrmydon, the wordings of all my statements about the Cathedral of the Black Goat were subject to his approval, word by word.
Since summer 2005, I've seen "Brother Myrmydon" attempt to backdate the founding of the CoBG considerably. The Myspace profile for "cathedraloftheblackgoat" even goes so far as to say (as of October 7, 2006) "100 years old" (which certainly isn't Myrmydon's personal age either). A less absurd claim can be found on an Angelfire page that can now (as of October 7, 2006) be found by Googling "Cathedral Black Goat 2001," where it is alleged that the CoBG was "Founded by HIGH PRIEST MYRMYDON October 31st, 2001." Similarly, the Wikipedia page on "Cathedral of the Black Goat" (an obvious vanity page, contrary to Wikipedia's policies) now makes the unsubstatiated claim that the CoBG was "founded By Myrmydon as a real world Satanic coven on Halloween of 2001." In a thread about Ritual Sacrifices in the OFS Demonolatry forum, "Donald" (AAX/Myrmydon) claimed on Nov 28, 2005 that the CoBG "was originally founded in 2001 to be a chapter of HOME."
But my dates of October 27, 2002 and January 27, 2003, as the founding dates of the originally online-based Cathedral of the Black Goat and AAX's offline coven, respectively, are the dates that AAX himself gave me im May 2003 when I consulted with him about the above-quoted first edition of the Brief history section of the Black Goat Cabal's Who we are and how to join page, back in the days when the CoBG and the Black Goat Cabal were still on friendly terms and still had a mutual agreement that the Black Goat Cabal would continue to promote the CoBG. And indeed these dates jived with my own memories at that time. I recalled that he had posted his initial announcement about the CoBG in the original Joy of Satan group and various other Satanist Yahoo groups in mid-fall 2002. The founding "Council of Six" members were recruited from amongst those who replied to that initial announcement. About a month later I created the Black-Goat Yahoo group, whose founding date of November 29, 2002 can be verified by looking at its Yahoo home page. And I distinctly remember him telling me about the founding of his then-new offline coven a couple months after that, in late January or early February. I even remember him telling me about his recruitment of two or three of his coven's founding members only a week or two before then; he had met them at a meeting of a local group run by a symbolic Satanist. (According to what I remember him telling me at that time, another of his coven's founding members had discovered the CoBG via its online presence, and the remaining two or three were people he had met at Goth clubs, and whom he had approached because they were wearing Baphomets.)
I am now, as of October 2006, beginning to suspect that the dates on the Black Goat Cabal's "Who we are and how to join" page may have been one of the unacknowledged real reasons why he now hates me so much. Of course, at this point, it's just his word against mine as to when the CoBG was actually founded.
Not so regarding an astounding claim that Brother Myrmydon made, in late 2005, that I myself had not even become a Satanist until 2002. That claim is blatantly, provably false. As anyone who Googles my name can easily verify, there are many, many websites that have preserved Satanist writings of mine from back in the early-to-mid 1990's (including some writings that I myself am no longer particularly proud of).
- The split
The split between the Black Goat Cabal and Cathedral of the Black Goat occurred in May 2003 C.E. As noted on the above-quoted page, the division was not originally a hostile one. Athough the split did originate in a misunderstanding, the misunderstanding was promptly resolved (or so it seemed to me at the time), and the division was then negotiated, in detail, on friendly terms. Part of the deal was that the Black Goat Cabal website would have a page promoting the newly reorganized CoBG, until such time as the new CoBG was able to put up its own website. As far as I could tell, there were no hostilities until over a year later. Perhaps AAX secretly harbored some resentments, but he didn't show them. And, despite some major theological disagreements, I was happy to continue to help publicize the CoBG. During the next year AAX and I continued to have occasional friendly phone conversations - sometimes for the purpose of updating my page about the CoBG, and sometimes just to exchange news.
Here's how the split occurred:
On Sunday, May 18, 2003 C.E., without any prior consultation, AAX suddenly posted an announcement to the CoBG Council of Six's Yahoo group announcing a radical reorganization of the CoBG, among other things demoting the Council to advisory status only.
I immediately called him on the phone and objected to his announcement on the grounds that, because we had previously agreed that the CoBG was to be run by a council, only the council could decide to change the group's structure; he didn't have the authority to make such a decision all by himself. And, given how much work I'd put into both the website and the Black-Goat Yahoo group, I wasn't willing to be demoted to taking orders from him rather than having a voice in decision-making. (I had done all this work on a volunteer basis; I was not being paid any money for it.) Furthermore, AAX lacked not only the authority but also the ability to force such a drastic organizational change, because I -- not he -- was the owner of both the website and the Yahoo groups.
AAX said he thought that "it should go without saying" that he, as the founder, had the authority to reorganize the group any way he wanted at any time he wanted. I replied that, no, in the formal decision-making structure of any organization, nothing goes without saying; everything needs to be spelled out explicitly. We never had an explicit agreement that the organization's structure could be changed at any moment by a decree from AAX. And there are plenty of organizations, including the Temple of Set, in which the founder does not have such authority. (Moral: Every organization needs a formal constitution and/or a set of by-laws, including a procedure for amending said constitution or by-laws.)
AAX then suggested the following compromise:
- That the CoBG, in its original online-based form, with its original aims (to bring together theistic Satanists of various kinds) and its original infrastructure (i.e. the website and email groups), could change its name to something other than "Cathedral of the Black Goat."
- That the name "Cathedral of the Black Goat" could then be used as the name of a new, separate organization which would be built from scratch as a national or international extension of AAX's local Semjaza's Covenant group. The new CoBG would be more like a church, with its own theology, rather than a group for theistic Satanists of all kinds. It would run by AAX and his girlfriend NNX.
At first I didn't like this idea, but, after thinking about it, I agreed that it was a good idea. I could see some good reasons why AAX was dissatisfied with the old organizational structure. At that point he had Internet access only once a week, which made it very difficult for him to coordinate anything with the online council. The only kind of organization that was feasible for him to be involved in running at that time was an organization centered around his offline coven. At the same time, AAX was very attached to the name "Cathedral of the Black Goat" - much more so than I was. I could also see how, from AAX's point of view, the online-based council had not been serving any useful purpose. Most of its members didn't really do anything except rubberstamp decisions that had been discussed by AAX and myself on the phone. (One council member, Melek, had written several very good articles for the website.)
So, AAX and I agreed that it would be best for the CoBG to divide into two distinct groups: (1) a reorganized Cathedral of the Black Goat, based in Texas, and (2) an online group with a new name, which would continue and expand upon the online activities of the CoBG in its original online-based form, and would continue to bring together a variety of different kinds of traditional / theistic Satanists. We also agreed that the website of the renamed online group would have a page promoting the new CoBG.
I proposed this idea to the online council. It was accepted. Details continued to be discussed over the next couple of weeks, and the split was finalized, with all parties in agreement, by the end of May 2003.
The new name I came up with for the online group was "Black Goat Cabal," which I chose largely for convenience, so I wouldn't have to change the name of the Black-Goat Yahoo group, and so that I could build upon name recognition for my online work over the previous half year.
The Black Goat Cabal also took on a new aim: to bring together people who are working to advance the public visibility of traditional / theistic Satanism in various ways.
All of this was acceptable to AAX too at that time. As far as I could tell, he and I had successfully worked out our differences, and all the other involved parties were happy with the arrangement too.
However, for whatever reasons, the other old CoBG online council members were not interested in continuing to be on the council of the Black Goat Cabal. Two or three of them had already dropped out of sight completely by this time, and the remaining members said they just wanted to be regular members of the Black Goat Cabal, with no responsibility for being involved in running it. So, by default, the Black Goat Cabal ended up being run just by me. I gave myself the title "coordinator."
Another part of our agreement was that all the articles then published on the former CoBG website were now joint property of the CoBG and the Black Goat Cabal. They would continue to be published on the Black Goat Cabal website and could also be published on the forthcoming new CoBG website, if and whenever AAX or some other CoBG member ever got around to creating a new website for the newly reorganized CoBG.
And, as I mentioned earlier, we agreed that I would continue to have a page promoting the CoBG. The most recent version of that page, last edited on December 7, 2003, read as follows:
The Cathedral of the Black Goat is an initiatory order for Satanists in the traditional primary sense of the word "Satanist" -- those who worship Satan as a deity.
Our belief system is essentially a polytheism within a pantheism, in which venerate the Four Lords of Hell (Lucifer, Asteroth, Beelzebub, and Lilith) as aspects of the dark God Satan.
All who worship Satan are welcome to apply to join the Cathedral of the Black Goat, as long as they do not engage in any criminal activities such as murder, cruelty to animals, child molestation, or drug abuse. You cannot serve Satan very well from inside a jail cell.
We do NOT welcome those whose Satanism is purely symbolic -- those who, like the Church of Satan, deny the existence of Satan. Nor do we welcome those with belief systems in which Satan plays only a tangential role, or is not a primary object of worship.
Of those who apply to join, those whose aspirations are deemed compatible with our own will have the option of seeking the higher warlock / black witch training.
For more information, see also Venifica: Black Witchcraft on The Cathedral of our Lord Satan.
If you are interested in applying for membership in the Cathedral of the Black Goat, please join our public email group [name and link omitted from this 2006 copy]. Please introduce yourself there and inquire about the CoBG's current membership policies. Please include "CoBG" on the SUBJECT line of your post.
We reserve the right to refuse membership applications for any reason we deem necessary.
The above wording was developed over the phone between AAX and myself, originally in May 2003 and subsequently updated a few times, each time approved by him word for word. The mentioned website and email group were run by Melek, who at that time remained a member of both the CoBG and the Black Goat Cabal.
As the above wording implies, AAX's theology at that time was not nearly as Christian-based as it apparently became later. Although this is not mentioned on the above-quoted page, The CoBG belief system did already include a kind of reverse Zoroastrianish duotheism, i.e., Satan and Jehovah were seen as two equally old, more-or-less equally powerful twin cosmic gods. In contrast, "Nero," with whom AAX joined forces a year later, believes that Satan is a mere angel in rebellion against an ultimate cosmic God, yet somehow powerful enough to have a reasonable chance of winning his war to overthrow the Christian God. After CoBG became a chapter of Nero's group, AAX's theology apparently became more Christian-based as well, judging by subsequent public statements of his. Also, when I first got to know AAX, he did not yet practice animal sacrifice, but he did begin to practice it later, at least occasionally, according to what he told me after he got involved with Nero's group.
- The CoBG and H.O.M.E.
When and why did things eventually turn sour between AAX and myself?
As far as I can tell, the trouble began brewing in the spring of 2004 when AAX joined H.O.M.E. (Horned Order's Magical Existence), a small Texas-based group that had been around off-and-on since the early-to-mid-1990's and had never really gotten off the ground. H.O.M.E., founded by one Brother Nero, had a belief system closer to pure reverse-Christianity than any other theistic Satanist group I've ever run into. (Truly pure reverse-Christianity is simply not logically possible, and no one does it.)
Earlier, in October 2003, I had had a phone conversation with Nero to get his imput on an article I had been trying to write summarizing some beliefs that most of the many different kinds of theistic Satanists hold in common. Nero was extremely hot-tempered and irritable, yelling at me several times during the conversation, despite all my attempts to be friendly and conciliatory. At one point he yelled that I "must not have had any real spiritual experiences!" because of something I said that he disagreed with. By that point, I just wanted to get my article done and the phone conversation over with, so I chose not to argue with him about spiritual experiences. Instead, I focussed on asking how he would re-word the offending sentence.
Before Spring 2004, AAX had never gotten along well with Nero either. Yet somehow they suddenly became bosom buddies.
Apparently AAX had always seen Nero as a role model, despite his earlier inability to get along with Nero. Back in the 1990's, Nero had bashed the Church of Satan a lot in online forums, even going so far as to claim that Satan Himself was offended by people who called themselves Satanists but didn't believe in Satan as an actual being. Similarly, when the CoBG was founded in 2002, AAX seemed to think that the best way to promote the CoBG was to post insulting messages about "modern Satanists" (or "moddies," as AAX liked to call them) in various Satanist online forums. (Some examples can be found in both the Theistic-Satanism and Black-Goat Yahoo groups, back in the early days. AAX used the Yahoo ID "poisoned_nectar.") Like Nero, AAX claimed that Satan Himself was offended by "moddies." But I and others on the CoBG Council of Six asked him to stop picking fights with "moddies," and eventually he did.
In the spring of 2004, AAX somehow managed to make peace with Nero, who had previously disliked AAX. The reorganized Cathedral of the Black Goat became, temporarily, a local chapter of H.O.M.E.
At around that same time, I had some disagreements with another H.O.M.E. member, Kasey Koon, a.k.a., "brother_obitus," in various Yahoo groups of mine.
On May 1, 2004, in the main Theistic-Satanism forum, brother_obitus posted message # 2825, about H.O.M.E.'s "dream of a real Satanic Church Building where ALL of you would be welcome to come and pray and recieve [sic] such services as weddings and baptisms." He asked people to buy H.O.M.E. T-shirts, etc., to raise money toward that and other lofty goals. I replied saying I would forward his message to the Black-Goat and post a more detailed reply there. I replied in message # 1303 in Black-Goat, pointing out that (1) there simply aren't enough Satanists in any given geographical area to make a church building feasible, and (2) even if the idea of a church building were feasible, H.O.M.E. would need a track record of carrying out smaller projects reliably before anyone would be inclined to contribute money toward a church building.
On May 4, 2004, some other aspects of this discussion were diverted to the Yahoo group now known as Theistic-Satanism-ethics-and-politics, which then had the name Theistic-Satanism-politics. The relevant posts in Theistic-Satanism-politics began with message # 808, to which brother_obitus replied, on May 6, in message # 820.
On that same day, brother_obitus also posted message #824, which started a discussion about what he believed to be "Satan's laws." He elaborated on this theme in message #830, in which he advocated a revival of the custom of dueling - and a society in which, more generally, people would be freer to get into physically violent fights with other individuals.
I replied in messages # 825, 836, 837, 841, and 850. In those last two posts, I reported on some quick web research I had done on the history of dueling. Apparently the custom had died out later in the South (including Texas, where H.O.M.E. was based) than in other parts of the U.S.A. I also speculated on the possibility that, because the South industrialized later than the North, perhaps the South still retained some aspects of feudal culture, and I wondered whether this might have something to do with the reasons why Nero and brother_obitus - both Southerners - might think that a revival of the custom of dueling was good idea.
Brother_obitus never replied to those posts. On May 10, brother_obitus posted messages # 860 and 861 in reply to two of my earlier posts, and I then replied in messages # 862 and 863. There were no further replies from him after that.
At some point around that time, I'm not sure exactly when, AAX told me on the phone that the CoBG was now a chapter of H.O.M.E. He advised me that I might not want to promote the CoBG on the Black Goat Cabal website anymore, because H.O.M.E. practiced animal sacrifice. I told him that, while I personally do not believe in animal sacrifice, especially by Satanists, I don't necessarily have a problem with those who do practice it, provided, at least, that the sacrifices were performed in a humane and otherwise legal manner. And, based on what Nero himself had told me in an earlier phone conversation, it was my impression that he indeed did perform his animal sacrifices in a humane and legal manner. I called AAX's attention to an earlier version of the article on my Theistic Satanism site about Animal sacrifice, which states my personal position and then discusses the relevant Supreme Court decision and urges those who do practice animal sacrifice to make sure they know all the relevant local laws.
I was indeed surprised that AAX had joined H.O.M.E. and that the CoBG had become a chapter of H.O.M.E. And I told AAX that, while I didn't necessarily have a problem with H.O.M.E. on account of animal sacrifice, I did feel that Nero was counterproductively fanatical in some other ways. But I was still willing to maintain a page about the CoBG at that point, and we discussed how to update the wording.
(Since then my policies have become stricter. These days, if I have reason to believe that a group practices animal sacrifice, I will not link to its website unless it contains detailed instructions on how to perform animal sacrifices humanely and in accordance with all the relevant laws of at least one specific locale.)
- The beginning of hostilities
Soon afterward, I was banned from H.O.M.E.'s public Yahoo group for no apparent reason. Also Nero deleted the link to my Theistic Satanism site on the H.O.M.E website. (Previously Nero's site and mine both linked to each other's, despite disagreements.)
I called AAX to ask what was going on. AAX told me to call Nero, which I did.
Nero told me he had heard that I had horribly insulted all southern Satanists in a recent post in one of my forums, and that his Texan pride was deeply offended. It turned out that he was referring to my debate with brother_obitus about dueling. Apparently my speculation that perhaps the South retained some aspects of feudal culture was taken as meaning that Southerners are idiots. I explained that that was not my point. Rather, I was simply trying to figure out why on Earth anyone might think that a revival of the custom of dueling would be a good idea.
Nero was also offended that I had told AAX that I thought of Nero as "fanatical," a comment that AAX had passed along to him. Nero and I then had a long discussion about various counterproductively fanatical behaviors of his.
Also at some point that summer, it came to my attention that Nero had posted an audio sermon in which he claimed that I supposedly once admitted to him that I had never had a spiritual experience of any kind. Never having said any such thing to him, I called him up to ask what he was referring to. He insisted that I had indeed. I told him he must have misunderstood something I had said. Perhaps I had admitted to not having had some particular type of spiritual experience? I didn't remember having said the latter to him either, but it was at least a possibility, whereas I certainly would never have said I had not had any spiritual experiences. After all, the reason why I become a Satanist in the first place was because of a profound spiritual experience back in 1991.
Later, long after I got off the phone with him, I recalled our October 2003 conversation in which Nero had yelled at me that that I must never have had a spiritual experience, and in which I had chosen not to debate with him on that point. Perhaps he took my non-response as an admission that I had not had any spiritual experiences?
I called AAX about this matter too, in an attempt to straighten things out with him too.
At some point during the summer of 2004, AAX told me that the CoBG was no longer a chapter of H.O.M.E. He told me that the CoBG split from H.O.M.E. because the CoBG wanted to go completely underground for a while, believing that it was too dangerous to be as public as H.O.M.E. was. But he was still friends with Nero, he told me, and still believed in Nero's teachings.
Eventually, in one conversation that summer, AAX suddenly told me he didn't want to hear from me anymore. It wasn't at all clear to me what his problem with me was, and my memory of this conversation generally is not very clear.
However, if he didn't want to hear from me anymore, then I certainly wasn't in any position to consult with him about any changes I might make to the Black Goat Cabal's policies. Over a year later, well after the CoBG ceased to be "underground" in August 2005, I learned that AAX was angry about some changes I made to the Black Goat Cabal in October 2004. For example, until then, the Black-Goat forum was run as a public, open-membership, fully moderated forum (whereas the Black-Goat-Cabal forum itself was and still is private, restricted-membership, and unmoderated). In October 2004, the Black-Goat forum became semi-private, and a lot of lurkers (including AAX himself) were removed and invited to join the main Theistic-Satanism forum. (Had AAX been willing to stay in touch with me at that time, and had he made a real effort to remain on friendly terms and to help resolve the issues between Nero and me, then we could have arranged, say, for a list of the deleted lurkers to be given to AAX as well, or perhaps to Melek, so that they could be invited to the CoBG's public Yahoo group too when and if they saw fit.)
The CoBG remained "underground" until August 2005. After AAX told me in the summer of 2004 that he didn't want to hear from me again, I heard nothing further from or about the CoBG until they resurfaced in August 2005.
- The Orthodox Temple of Satan (O.T.O.S.)
At some point in late 2004 or early 2005, H.O.M.E. disappeared from the web too for a while, but then it returned in the spring of 2005, reorganized under a new name, the Orthodox Temple of Satan (O.T.O.S.). At this time the CoBG was still "underground" and did not have an online presence.
As I learned later, the O.T.O.S. had only three people willing and able to be its officers. And yet it already had an elaborate hierarchy of priests, bishops, and even archbishops.
On May 24, 2005, someone with the Yahoo ID of "os_tos_apprentice" tried to post an "URGENT MESSAGE FOR ALL SATANISTS" to the main Theistic-Satanism forum. It was off-topic there under our rules, so I forwarded it to Theistic-Satanism-ethics-and-politics, as message #2566, rather than letting it through directly in the main Theistic-Satanism forum. The post furiously denounced the Joy of Satan.
If I recall correctly, a similar statement by Nero appeared on the O.T.O.S. website.
On Wed May 25, 2005, Kasey Koon a.k.a. "son_of_belphegor" posted a similarly fierce message to the First Church of Satan's Yahoo group FCoS, as post #16509, with the subject line "Maxine Dietrich: The filth of Satanism." This post began with, "I am Brother Belphegor of the Orthodox Temple of Satan. You may have known us a while back when we were known as HOME. I know we have never exactly been known for our tolerance of other groups, and we've never been very famous for working together with the Satanic community. But now something has happened that is so tragic, so horrific, and so terrible that we feel that the time has come for all of the Satanic churches to put our differences aside completely for this extreme emergency which has struck the Satanic community." It ended with, "You can reach this traitor who makes a mockery of everything we believe in at [Email address]. Please all of you, let this woman know what a disgrace to our religion she is. If there ever was a time for Satanists to unite for a common goal, this is it. This woman must be stopped. Please, for our religion, for yourself, and for Satan, do not let this woman get away with this. We will not rest until this is stopped."
I replied in message #16693 on Jun 9, 2005. I questioned why this was an "extreme emergency." I wrote, "If Maxine has done anything illegal, then Dann and other knowledgeable JoS dissidents should report it to the relevant authorities. I see no need for the rest of us, who don't have firsthand access to the evidence, to get actively involved. If the point is simply to expose Maxine's alleged wrongdoings to other Satanists, then this too should be done by knowledgeable JoS dissidents, who should present their EVIDENCE to the rest of us. Again, I don't see any need for the rest of us to get actively involved, except perhaps to give the ex-JoS folks some helpful advice if we are in a position to do so." I questioned the point of urging us all to send Maxine a bunch of hate mail, which struck me as both pointless and possibly bordering on illegal harassment. I ended my post with, "There are indeed some matters on which a united effort by Satanists of all traditions would indeed be desirable, but I don't think that this is one of them."
It would sure be nice if more Satanists would speak out against the blending of Satanism and neo-Nazism by some groups including the Joy of Satan. But that's an entirely different matter from there being an "extreme emergency" requiring us all to single out one such group in particular. Frankly, what I suspect that Nero was most pissed off about was the simple fact that Maxine was better than Nero at convincing some of her followers to contribute significant amounts of money.
In any case, this episode clearly demonstrates that both Nero and Kasey Koon believed in making policy decisions and major public statements (1) while still "shaking with rage" (as both posts put it) and (2) based on hearsay from people whom they did not personally know well, such as Dann, former High Priest of the JoS.
(No offense intended to Dann; I'm very glad to see that Dann left the JoS and began thinking for himself. But this doesn't mean that Dann's statements - or anyone else's - should be treated as infallible, especially by people who don't know enough about him to judge his credibility one way or the other. And it is only sensible to be at least mildly skeptical about a disgruntled ex-member's horror stories about the organization one has just left. We should all keep in mind the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" and apply it to organizations as well as individuals.)
Soon afterward, as I learned later, the O.T.O.S. went through quite a bit of internal trouble. It was legally registered as a nonprofit corporation; and, in order to be eligible for its nonprofit corporation status, it needed to have at least three officers. However, one of its three officers came to believe, rightly or wrongly, that other people in the group, including the other two officers, had been performing illegal and inhumane animal sacrifices. The officer who was worried about this then resigned and demanded that his name be taken off the documents ASAP. But there was no one who could replace him, so the organization collapsed as a legal corporate entity.
To this day I'm not sure exactly what the O.T.O.S.'s recommended practices were regarding animal sacrifice. I'm not sure what species of animals they recommended that their priests kill and by what methods they recommended killing them. Ex-members and other outsiders besides myself have tended to react emotionally rather than inquiring deeply enough into the details to know whether the O.T.O.S.'s practices were in fact illegal or inhumane. All that I've been told for sure, from multiple informed sources, is that (1) only the priests were expected to perform animal sacrifices, not the rank-and-file members, and (2) the animal had to have all-black fur, which is irrelevant from a legal point of view. If indeed the O.T.O.S. did NOT have any specific guidelines for its priests on how to perform animal sacrifices, beyond "the animal must be all-black," then in that case there would have been at least a very high risk of illegal and inhumane activity, even if only unintentionally so. But I don't know whether the O.T.O.S. had the kind of guidelines that would have ensured that their animal sacrifices were humane and legal.
I've been told that Nero once scolded another member for having used an insufficently sharp knife, thereby causing the animal a lot of unnecessary pain. But this alleged botched sacrifice, if I recall correctly, was said to have been performed long before the formation of the O.T.O.S., hence should not be considered a reflection of O.T.O.S. policy even by omission. In any case, this alleged episode (which I heard about from people who were extremely upset about the mere fact that the O.T.O.S. practiced animal sacrifice at all) would seem to demonstrate that Nero at least cared about ensuring that animal sacrifices were performed as humanely as possible.
Note to the reader: I would suggest that you not make any judgments one way or the other about the O.T.O.S. and its animal sacrifice policies unless you've investigated the matter yourself. If you do choose to investigate, please keep a cool head and keep in mind the actual relevant legal issues, including the relevant Supreme Court decision, and please keep in mind the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." (See my article on Animal sacrifice.)
- The alleged hacking of the O.T.O.S. website
In July 2005, the O.T.O.S. website disappeared and was replaced by a page by Nero announcing that the site had been hacked. Nero blamed "a few of Diane Vera's lackeys" for the alleged hacking.
The three alleged "lackeys" were all people who had participated in my forums, but none of them were people who had worked closely with me, nor were they in any sense followers of mine. All three had been members of the O.T.O.S. too - and more actively involved in the O.T.O.S. than they had ever been in any group or project of mine - but had left the O.T.O.S. for one reason or another. One was the officer who quit over the animal sacrifice issue.
Another of the three, MizzCrowley, tells the story in a blog she created for this purpose a month or so later. See the entry titled Conclusion-jumping Writ Large Answered.
As far as I am aware, none of the accused three hacked the O.T.O.S. site, and I myself certainly did not urge them to do so.
At least one other person asked Nero his basis for believing that the site was hacked, and whether Nero could find any actual evidence, e.g. in the site's logs. Nero never got back to that person. Nor, as far as I am aware, has he ever produced any evidence to anyone else.
Frankly, I question whether the site was ever hacked at all. I can't help but wonder whether, perhaps, Nero may have made completely fake allegations in an attempt to drag me down with him, given that his organization had already collapsed anyway. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether the site was really hacked or not.
When Nero first posted his allegations, neither MizzC nor I made any public response at first. We both felt, perhaps incorrectly, that the best response was to ignore him. We responded only later, after AAX came back online and launched an intensive campaign of very strange allegations against me, and to a lesser extent against MizzC as well.
[Update, December 2006: I've heard from both MizzC and Herod that Nero has apologized to them, indirectly, via Mike Grace, for accusing them of hacking his site. Apparently Nero now believes that the hacker was someone else, though I haven't heard who.]
- The return of the CoBG
On Tuesday, August 9, 2005, after a long absence, AAX returned to the web using the name "Brother Myrmydon."
It was then that I first saw him make the unprecedented claim that I had "stolen" the Black-Goat Yahoo group. He made this allegation in the First Church of Satan's FCoS Yahoo group, in message #17428 (which I forwarded to Theistic-Satanism-ethics-and-politics as message #2862). He also accused me of "pitting us against Maxine and Joy of Satan against us, theoreticly for the end purpose that we would destroy eachother and SHE would be the last one standing." And he, like Nero, insinuated that I was involved in the hacking of Nero's website, claiming that "Diane Vera's top confidants (that being Herod and Miz C) successfully shut down the OToS website and began a chain reaction of rumors against the group that eventually led to its downfall." He then outright accused me of "trying to silence those with a different opinion."
I was utterly shocked by this flood of accusations. I wrote a detailed reply, which I sent to both the FCoS and Theistic-Satanism-ethics-and-politics Yahoo groups.
Lillee, then the main moderator of the FCoS group, suggested that I write a much briefer reply instead. So, in consultation with me, Lillee rejected my original post. Copies of my original post can be found in TS-eth-pol in messages #2863 and #2870. My briefer reply, in FCoS, was message #17465 (August 10).
In FCoS, most of the other replies to Myrmydon were fed-up condemnations of all the bickering in the Satanist scene. The very first reply to him, for example, was message #17445 by Demondove. Later in reply to Brother Myrmydon's post #17459, Anna Fang pointed out (in message #17463) that his claims were unsubstantiated. I posted another very brief reply in message #17488. Myrmydon then posted message #17500 claiming that my "inability to publicly condemn the actions of her own members is enough evidence to assume that she obviously approves of their malicious and destructive actions." (He also insinuated that I had been making "false allegations," without specifying what any of these supposed false allegations might have been.) Anna Fang replied in post #17514, and I replied in post #17515, both pointing out that Myrmydon still had not substantiated any of his allegations against anyone.
In post #17542 I commented on a claim by Nero, in one of his audio files, that I had been whipping up hysteria against him on the animal sacrifice issue, when in fact I had always taken a middle-of-the-road position on that issue, not believing in animal sacrifice myself, especially as part of Satanism, but defending the religious freedom of those who do practice animal sacrifice as long as it is performed in a relatively humane manner and in accordance with applicable local laws. In post #17549, MizzCrowley agreed that I had been a voice of reason on the issue of animal sacrifice, calling people's attention to the relevant Supreme Court decision whereas other people had been "more reactive."
Geifodd, in post #17520, questioned Myrmydon's use of the term "Orthodox Traditional Satanism." As Geifodd put it, "How is it that there can be such a thing as orthodox Satanism? Considering the fact that Satan is the Patron Saint of Heretics, this would appear to be a blatant oxymoron from my view." Gene Trosper too questioned the term "orthodox," in post #17532, as did MizzCrowley in post #17550 and August Numley in post #17537.
In post #17551, Myrmydon replied to Geifodd:
No Geifodd, From what I understand you are wrong. There are a specific set of beliefs and there are a specific set of traditions. Those who call themselves Traditional Satanists but who cannot accept duotheism because their previous modern Satanist programming has made it a subconcious taboo are the only Heretics. The Al-Jil-Wah is the revealed word of Satan but there are unrevieled texts as well. Those who call themselves Traditional Satanists but do not recognize the revieled word are heretics. (even Maxine knows that because she used to belong to the fFirst Temple of Demonolatry egroup) I totally disidentify myself and my group from the term "Theistic Satanist." This is a term made up to designate all Satanists that Believe in Satan. That means technicly that you would believe that Satan is a baked potato and worship him withe rites of the sour cream and you would still be a 'Theistic Satanist.'We are Orthodox Traditional Satanists because we follow after men such as Herbert Sloane--The real codefier of 20th century Satanism and the 'Lord Egan' of his day. (This is meant as a compliment if you are reading this John)
The First Temple of Demonolatry was run by the same people who now run OFS Demonolatry - and who do not, in fact, advocate a fundamentalist-like adherence to allegedly infallible sacred texts. They do say that their beliefs and practices are rooted in some family traditions, but they do not display anything like Myrmydon's one-true-way attitude. In any case, the traditional theological beliefs of Demonolatry are utterly unlike Myrmydon's, being pantheistic and based on Hermetics rather than based primarily on reverse-Christianity.
And, if there is such a thing as "orthodox traditional" Western occultism, Hermetics is surely it. Reverse-Christian duotheism, on the other hand, is not an "orthodox" belief in any longstanding organized Satanist or occult tradition that I know of, although it's a type of belief system which recent Satanist deconverts from fundamentalist Christianity do naturally tend to gravitate towards at first, before they begin to mature intellectually. "Previous modern Satanist programming" is certainly not the only reason why a theistic Satanist would reject Christian-based duotheism. (See A brief critique of Christian-based duotheism on the Church of Azazel site. Not all Christian-based duotheists come from fundamentalist Christian backgrounds; both Nero and Myrmydon themselves, for example, apparently do not.)
As for Herbert Sloane, I've seen no evidence that Brother Myrmydon has been able to acquire any in-depth knowledge of Sloane's teachings, beyond the small amount of information available in such sources as the Encyclopedia of American Religion by J. Gordon Melton and Satan Wants You by Arthur Lyons. What little information we do have suggests that Herbert Sloane's beliefs were based on Gnosticism, which doesn't have very much in common with Myrmydon's brand of close-to-pure inverse Christianity combined with a fundamentalist-like reverence for the Al Jilwah. Indeed, to a Gnostic, Myrmydon's dogmatic reliance on sacred texts would be a sure sign that Myrmydon has not yet achieved true gnosis. The ancient Gnostics did make use of sacred texts too, but interpreted them in the same very flexible symbolic manner that Myrmydon and his cronies despise in many of today's theistic Satanists.
Anna Fang replied to Myrmydon in post #17555. Rev. Setnakt replied in post #17556. Mastorn replied in post #17635.
Darren Ahern asked about Herbert Sloane in post #17567 and again in post #17602, and yet again in post #17638. Geifodd also asked, in post #17578, "What did Herbert Sloane teach that you and other traditional Satanists practice today?" Myrmydon never replied to this question, at least not publicly in the FCoS forum.
The debate wandered onto various other topics that I won't bother to discuss or cite here, except for a few highlights. Geifodd responded to some of Myrmydon's accusations against me in post #17606. Anna Fang, in post #17607, again challenged Myrmydon to provide any evidence of wrongdoing, such as by looking at the logs on Nero's website. No such evidence was ever provided.
On August 20 and 21 some relevant posts from the FCoS Yahoo group were forwarded to TS-eth-pol, in messages #2880 to #2887. Also my friend Renee posted message #2878 in TS-eth-pol, and the former secretary of O.T.O.S. posted message #2879 in an attempt to be conciliatory toward Nero.
Anyhow, in Myrmydon's original August 9 post to FCoS, he wrote, "I run a little group called The Cathedral of the Black Goat and some of you might know that we are affiliates of the former Orthodox Temple of Satan." As we shall see later, Nero subsequently denied any recent affiliation with the CoBG.
- The removal of Myrmydon's and Melek's writings from the Black Goat Cabal site
In Novemeber 4, I suddenly got an email from Brother Myrmydon, who suddenly seemed to want to negotiate a truce. Unfortunately he caught me at a time when I was extremely busy with other things and didn't have time to give my full attention to any negotiations or discussions. Moreover, by that point I simply did not trust him, and hence did not give the negotiations as high a priority as perhaps I could have.
At one point, he made the following demands:
- That I give him ownership of the Black-Goat Yahoo group.
- That I change the name of the Black Goat Cabal to something without "Black Goat" in it.
- That I remove all references to the Cathedral of the Black Goat from the Black Goat Cabal website. (He alleged that my statements on the Black Goat Cabal website were somehow hurting his organization. He didn't explain how they were hurting his organization, and, at that time, I was too distracted to ask. In retrospect, I can only guess that my mention of the founding dates of both the CoBG itself and Myrmydon's offline coven were interfering with his own attempts to rewrite history. At that point the Black Goat Cabal's Who we are and how to join page did not yet say anything derogatory about the CoBG, either by name or pseudonymously. I had not yet even gotten around to revising that page at all since the sudden outbreak of hostilities from his end a few months earlier.)
- That I remove all writings by CoBG members (i.e. by himself and Melek) from the Black Goat Cabal website.
Of these four demands, only the last one seemed reasonable to me. If Myrmydon didn't want me to publish any of his own writings, I certainly didn't need to publish them. So I promptly removed them. I also promptly removed Melek's writings, plus some writings by Robert Reynoso, one of the original members of the CoBG Council of Six, whom I had not heard from in a long time. On the pages that formerly listed their writings, I invited both Melek and Robert to write to me if they wanted me to display their writings again.
Since then I've also removed direct references to the CoBG from the Black Goat Cabal's "Who we are" page, replacing all references to the "Cathedral of the Black Goat" with "Cathedral B," and replacing all references to "Rev. AAX" or "Brother Myrmydon" with "B.M." Pardon the crude pun, but the initials "B.M." did seem to me to be very appropriate.
- The CoBG's Myspace profile
As long as I am writing a page about the CoBG, I guess now is as good a time as any to speak my mind about the Myspace profile of cathedraloftheblackgoat, even though it doesn't pertain to me directly.
As of October 9, 2006, it claims to be "The only aboveground church that practices the religious worship of Satan." Well, obviously, that's not true. Two of the bigger groups these days, each with an offline presence, are OFS Demonolatry and the Reformed Church of Satan, both of which, last time I checked, are unashamed to say that they worship Satan. (See Other theistic or theistic-friendly Satanism/LHP websites.)
As mentioned earlier, the CoBG claims to be "100 years old," which I know is not the true age of either the CoBG as a group or Myrmydon himself personally.
Further down on the page is the following statement:
As Satanists in the traditional sense of the word we feel at liberty to define neither Satan nor Satanism by recourse to our own fanciful notions, for both of these ideas have been in use for literally centuries, and are not disputed terms, except paradoxically within the so-called "Satanist scene". Everybody knows who Satan is, and Satanism is simply the religion which declares Satan for its God. There is no need to rename him as we see fit, or redefine him according to our own neurotic needs.
The above is an excerpt from a longer article, "The 4 pillars" by Jason King, to which there is a link elsewhere on the page. This article, taken as a whole, conveys a message very different from just the above statement, taken all by itself out of context. However, since the out-of-context statement is what appears on the main page of the CoBG's profile, its impact needs to be considered too.
By itself, the out-of-context statement implies that Satanists should simply accept the Christian view of Satan en toto, without questioning it in any way whatsoever, including the idea that Satan is "the Evil One," and that any deviation from the Christian view of Satan is merely "neurotic" and couldn't possibly be based on any valid philosophical arguments, historical evidence, spiritual experiences, etc.
Thus, the out-of-context statement is likely to attract Satanism's criminal fringe, as well as a lot of mindless people who don't like to think at all. I do not believe that the CoBG is, in fact, intentionally promoting criminal activity, nor do I have any reason to believe that the CoBG is in fact practicing anything illegal. However, they might want to consider clarifying the wording as it appears on their main page. In any case, their seeming promotion of a mindless attitude among Satanists is irresponsible, in my opinion. I do hope they don't end up giving birth, inadvertantly, to a new Norwegian-style Black Metal Circle.
The "4 Pillars" article itself isn't nearly as mindless-sounding, but does contradict itself, in that the "four pillars" include some things very much at odds with what "everybody knows" about Satan.
One of the four "pillars" is "First century Gnosticism," whose reinterpretations of the Hebrew scriptures are neither more nor less "fanciful" than many of today's theistic Satanists' views of Satan. The only significant difference is that the Gnostics happen to have lived 2000 years ago. Apparently older equals better, in the CoBG's view, even though the ancient Gnostic sects didn't have a very long lifetime.
Another of the "4 pillars" is the Al Jilwah of the Yezidi sect, for whom "Satan" most certainly is a "disputed term." In fact, they consider the name "Satan" to be a blasphemy and refuse to utter it. In any case, their theological view of Azazil (Melek Taus) is very different from both the Christian and Islamic views of Satan, and, insofar as it is publicly known, the Yezidi theology is very different from Gnosticism as well.
The other two pillars are "Elizabethan-era Black Witchcraft" (about which, the author admits, very little is known) and "The scriptures of the enemy." Supposedly, one can arrive at a one true Satanism by combining these four pillars into a unified whole. But, given that these four pillars are very different from each other and contradict each other on numerous points, there are any number of different possible ways of combining them. Thus, Jason King's prescription may yield many different possible belief systems, not a single well-defined orthodoxy in which "Satan is simply Satan, period."
The main page of the CoBG's Myspace profile also contains a link to an article "On the Al-Jilwah" by Darren S. Ahern, who joined the CoBG for a while and then left, and who, as far as I am aware, no longer holds the views voiced in that article. The article voices puzzlement as to why some theistic Satanists regard the Al Jilwah as "purely Yezidi" rather than as the infallible revealed word of Satan for all Satanists in all times and places.
Here's my answer: (1) There's no reason to be sure we have an accurate translation of the Al Jilwah in the first place, given that the Yezidi tradition is mostly oral and traditionally very secretive. (2) The Yezidi religion is tribal and does not admit converts. The Yezidis themselves do not believe that Sheik Adi's teachings are intended for anyone except the Yezidis themselves. I am sure they would want nothing to do with us Western Satanists, given that they consider the very name "Satan" to be a blasphemy. (3) As I mentioned earlier, the very idea of relying so heavily on sacred texts is contrary to the Al Jilwah itself, which says, "I teach without a revealed book."
- The publication of this page
For a long time I procrastinated writing this page. I probably should have posted a first draft shortly after Myrmydon showed up in the FCoS group in August 2005, but lots of other projects always seemed much more important, including my Against Satanic Panics site and some additions to the Church of Azazel site, as well as various matters in my offline life too. I've been writing bits and pieces of this page now and then since November 2005, but didn't finish the first published version until October 2006.
What spurred me, finally, to hurry up and finish it were the following recent developments, in September and early October 2006:
- Email from some Christian-based duotheists, one of whom asked for a link exchange. This led me to realize that (a) I needed to develop a coherent policy regarding listings of Christian-based duotheist sites on my Theistic Satanism site's main links page (especially regarding those groups that practice animal sacrifice) and (b) if I was going to interact with these people at all, I was probably going to need to be prepared to answer Nero's and Myrmydon's accusations against me, so it behooved me to be able to show them a page with my response.
- A person who tried to post a message to the main Theistic-Satanism forum asking why Myrmydon's prayer had been deleted from the Black Goat Cabal website. Since the answer to this person's question would require an off-topic discussion about the internal politics of the Satanist scene (on-topic to some extent in Theistic-Satanism-ethics-and-politics, but not in the main Theistic-Satanism forum), I did not allow the post through. But I decided that I ought to be able to answer this person's question privately at least, another reason to get my answer written up ASAP.
- At least one person, apparently from or at least influenced by the Nero/Myrmydon camp, who attempted to post some flamey messages to my forums recently, giving me the feeling (correct or not) that they may be going on the warpath again, so I ought to be prepared with a response.
To my main links page, I added a new category "Christian-based duotheists," with the following policy:
Some though not all Christian-based duotheist groups practice animal sacrifice - in contrast to the vast majority of Satanists, including theistic Satanists, most of whom abhor the idea of animal sacrifice. Furthermore, even those Christian-based duotheist websites which don't advocate animal sacrifice, and even some which outright condemn it, typically contain links to at least one website which advocates it. So, within the Christian-based duotheist category, I've decided to list only those websites I'm aware of which either (1) state specifically that they do not advocate the practice of animal sacrifice or (2) contain detailed advice on how to perform animal sacrifices humanely and otherwise legally. (Regarding the relevant Supreme Court decision, see my article on Animal sacrifice.)
This response to Myrmydon, Nero, et al is being published at the same URL as what was once my page promoting the CoBG.
- Nero disavows association with the CoBG
In late October 2006, a few weeks after putting up this page, I happened to discover the following:
On the "Announcements" page within the "Articles and Documents" section of the former OTOS website, now named "Nero's Traditional Satanism Ministry," Nero has this to say about the CoBG:
Date: September 2, 2006 - Cathedral of the Black Goat And Other Satanic Groups
It has come to my attention recently, that there are more and more people claiming to be associated with me and that they teach what I teach. In most cases these claims are untrue, so I feel I have a moral obligation to inform visitors to my site that the only organization that I associate with and wholeheartedly endorse is the sanctuary of Satan in the United Kingdom. Sanctuary of Satan is certainly not the only group I am working with at the moment, but they are the ones who share my views most closely.
Also, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I do not work with nor do I endorse The Cathedral of the Black Goat. I have not work with them in several years, and I have absolutely no association with them whatsoever. Moreover, they do not teach anything close to what I teach. If an organization is not listed on this page as a group that I support, then it is safe to assume that I do not endorse their teachings.
On the main page of this web site, I give a synopsis of my occult history, and groups with which I have been involved with, or groups that I have influenced in some way. Just because they're mentioned on my web site does not mean that I endorse them.
Hmmm .... If Nero is telling the truth here, then by "several years" he must mean "a little over two years," because I do know for a fact that Nero and Myrmydon were working together during the spring and summer of 2004. But Nero evidently means to deny that he and the CoBG had anything to do with each other as recently as 2005, and hence that the CoBG was an affiliate of the OTOS as was claimed by Myrmydon in August 2005.
- As the stomach turns ...
This story is, most likely, not over yet. As further developments occur, I may post about them here.
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