Theistic Satanism: Home > Ex-hard-Xians
For Theistic Satanists from hardcore Christian backgrounds (as I am too)
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2003 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
- What is hardcore Christianity?
- For all of us theistic Satanists from hardcore Christian backgrounds
- To recent deconverts from hardcore Christianity
- To those who haven't yet fully decided to leave Christianity, but are drawn to Satanism and thinking about it
- To older deconverts from hardcore Christianity
- To all who are exploring the Satanist scene
- Relevant online forums
- What is hardcore Christianity?
"Hardcore Christianity" is my term for all the more doctrinaire forms of Christianity, including the more conservative and dogmatic people within Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as Protestant fundamentalists, evangelicals, Pentecostalists, and charismatics.
Here's a link to a dictionary definition of the word "hardcore" (for those illiterates who have never heard the word "hardcore" outside the context of either pornography or a music genre).
- For all of us theistic Satanists from hardcore Christian backgrounds
So far, it seems that the majority of Satanists, including the majority of theistic Satanists, are not from hardcore Christian backgrounds. Most are from only moderately Christian backgrounds, and some are from non-Christian backgrounds.
I would like very much to get to know more theistic Satanists who were brought up in -- or are otherwise deeply familiar with -- at least one of the more hardcore kinds of Christianity. To that end, I've created the Theistic-Satanists-ex-hard-Xian email group, just for us.
Here are articles on some topics we can discuss, among many others:
- Satan and "Evil" in Christianity (and Satanism)
- Advice for Christian evangelists (satire)
- How do we differ from other Satanists?
- More later.
To recent deconverts from hardcore Christianity
If you have recently deconverted from Christianity, I would strongly urge you to become throughly familiar with the arguments against Christianity, to assure yourself that you have done the right thing by leaving Christianity, and to help you banish lingering fears of hell, etc. To that end, perhaps you might find my Counter-Evangelism site useful, especially the following sections:
- Arguments against hardcore Christian beliefs
- Counter-Evangelistic humor
- My list of Resources for ex-fundamentalists, ex-"cultists," and ex-Christians
You might also find it helpful to join some of the online forums mentioned on my "resources" page.
If you're already familiar with the arguments against Christianity but are haunted by what you regard as purely irrational fears, then you might find rites of blasphemy helpful. Note: I recommend rites of blasphemy only after you have fully addressed your fears on an intellectual level by studying the arguments against traditional Christian beliefs. Do your homework on an intellectual level first, then use rites of blasphemy to help you banish any remaining purely irrational fears.
Also, try to make some non-Christian friends in real life, if you have not done so already.
I would also urge you to learn about other religions besides Christianity and Satanism, for three reasons:
- To determine whether Satanism is really for you, or whether some other religious path would really be better for you.
- To learn about the many other possible answers to the philosophical questions that Christianity claims to answer. Such knowledge will give you further reassurance that you have done the right thing by leaving Christianity.
- If, after studying a variety of religions and occult traditions, you still feel that Satanism is best for you after all, then your comparative religion studies will help you develop a more sophisticated understanding of Satanism, based on a broader perspective about religion and spirituality in general.
You might be under the false impression that your only real alternative to Christianity is to worship Satan, due to the more fanatical Christians' traditional insistence that all non-Christian religions are "really" just disguised forms of Satan worship. If you still believe that, then you have a lot to learn about other religions. If you do decide to embrace Satanism, make sure you do so knowledgeably, and not out of a lack of awareness of your other alternatives. For example, Satanism is not the only religion/spiritual category that approves of sexual freedom. So too do Wicca and even the more liberal forms of Christianity these days.
Even if you're absolutely sure you want to be a Satanist for the rest of your life, I still recommend the study of other religions, to help you develop a theologically more sophisticated understanding of Satanism itself.
I'm in process of developing a collection of online resources on world religions. My listing is far from complete, but you may find it useful.
You should also study the many kinds of Satanism too, of course. Make sure your attraction to Satanism is based on reality, not on Christian propaganda or tabloid sensationalism. For example, if you were hoping to join a world-ruling conspiracy, well, sorry to disappoint you, but there is no hard evidence that a world-ruling conspiracy of Satanists exists. (See Some articles on Satanism by academics, reporters, etc..)
If you've just left Christianity and converted directly to Satanism, then the kind of Satanism most likely to appeal to you at first will be what I call Christian-based duotheism, which pretty much accepts Christian theology (including the idea that the Christian god is the cosmic God and the Creator) except for siding with the Other Guy. However, Christian-based duotheism will drive you crazy and will most likely drive you back to Christianity. It is inherently very de-stabilizing emotionally. If you believe that the creator of the universe is out to get you, then how can you help but be paranoid? In this regard, Christian-based duotheism is even worse than the kinds of Christianity that worry about demons, demons everywhere. Furthermore, most forms of Christian-based duotheism do little or nothing to alleviate your fear of Christianity's eternal Lake of Fire. They are unsure whether Satan will win His war against the Christian God. They just say we should be loyal to Satan forever no matter what. In a way this is admirably courageous, but it also encourages an extremely reckless attitude toward life in general, rather than encouraging self-responsibility. Therefore, you owe it to yourself not to accept Christian-based duotheism without question, but to consider carefully the arguments against Christian theology (including the many good reasons not to believe that the Bible is an infallible revelation) and to explore other Satanist theologies. If you can ever manage to leave Christian theology behind you entirely, then your life will be much more enjoyable. (See also my brief critique of Christian-based duotheism on the Church of Azazel site.)
It now seems to me that OFS Demonolatry is probably one of the healthiest forms of Satanism that would also be emotionally satisfying to most of those theistic Satanists who have just recently left Christianity. OFS Demonolatry is solidly rooted in the Western occult tradition and is based on Hermetics, which is radically different from traditional Christian theology but can also give people a sense of cosmic meaning, or at least a sense of having answers to fundamental cosmological questions, which is something that recent ex-Christians typically crave. (I personally reject the very idea of a cosmic-based approach to theology, in favor of a more here-and-now Earth-based approach. But, for an ex-Christian who has not yet resolved one's ex-Christian issues, it can be very helpful to immerse oneself in an alternative view of the cosmos. Even though I personally have my disagreements with Hermetics, it does contain a lot of wisdom and is clearly a much healthier belief system than Christian-based duotheism. The people I've known who have converted from Christian-based duotheistic Satanism to some Hermetic-based form of Satanism have all been much better off as a result.) Other Satanist groups that encourage the study of Hermetics include the Society of the Onyx Star (SoToS), and the Reformed Church of Satan (RCoS). Of these groups, the OFS most strongly encourages reverence for Satan as a deity. To a lesser extent RCoS does too, whereas the SoToS tends to eschew the idea of "worship," though not nearly as dogmatically so as LaVeyans.
Also, you need to make some non-Christian friends, if you have not done so already. If almost everyone you know in person is Christian, this in itself will make it extremely difficult for you to shake the Christian worldview. That's another reason to explore other religions besides Satanism, because there aren't likely to be very many Satanists living in any given locale. I would especially recommend exploring your local Pagan/occult scene. I would also recommend getting to know some atheists.
To those who haven't yet fully decided to leave Christianity, but are drawn to Satanism and thinking about it
The above advice to recent deconverts applies even more to you. I especially recommend that you look at the websites on my list of Resources for ex-fundamentalists, ex-"cultists," and ex-Christians and join at least one of the listed email groups and other electronic forums, so that you can talk out your doubts and fears with ex-fundies and ex-Christians of a variety of current religious persuasions, not just Satanists. Also, you're welcome to join the Theistic-Satanists-and-others-2 email group, for dialogue between theistic Satanists and people of all religions and worldviews, including Christians.
See also my answer to the question I'm thinking of leaving fundy Christianity. Can you help me? in the FAQ on my Counter-Evangelism site.
So far, quite a few of the active participants in my Theistic-Satanists-ex-hard-Xian forum have been people who left Christianity because of a deep emotional attraction to Satan. (For at some, the attraction also had a sexual component. For example, one man wrote that his first step in leaving Christianity ws being "thrilled erotically" by an anti-Christian blasphemy website with Satanic imagery. But, for others, there was no sexual component.) Nearly all of these people have bounced back and forth between Christianity and a form of Satanism quite a few times. At least one has also bounced around amongst Christianity, Wicca, and a form of Satanism.
If you too are thinking of leaving Christianity because you feel deeply drawn to Satan, then you need to take a good, hard look at Christianity on an intellectual level, not just on an emotional level. Otherwise, you'll keep running back and forth between Christianity and "Satanism" in an endless cycle of irresistible attraction to Satan, then guilt over that attraction, then repentance, and then irresistible attraction to Satan again. If you would like to get off the merry-go-round once and for all, then you absolutely must invest some time in looking at the arguments against traditional Christian beliefs, including the many good reasons not to believe that the Bible is an infallible revelation.
To avoid an endless merry-go-round, it is also absolutely essential that you make a serious study of other religions and occult systems so you can make better-informed decisions about theology.
Also, you need to make some non-Christian friends, if at all possible. This will make it easier for you to weigh your alternatives fairly, rather than remaining Christian due to sheer social pressure.
If you already love and revere Satan as a deity, then again I would strongly recommend OFS Demonolatry as one of the first forms of Satanism for you to explore.
To older deconverts from hardcore Christianity
I'd like very much to hear from you too, including both (1) those who became Satanists soon after leaving Christianity and (2) those who did not embrace Satanism until many years after leaving Christianity. (I myself am in the latter category.)
I would be especially interested in your comments on my article How do we differ from other Satanists?
If you're either new to theistic Satanism or otherwise interested in exploring the theistic Satanist scene, then I recommend that you explore:
- Some Hermetic-based form of Satanism, if you aren't already familiar with Hermetics, and especially if you still crave a sense of cosmic meaning and certainty on cosmological questions.
- My own Church of Azazel, if you (a) worship Satan as a deity, (b) are polythiestic, (c) are interested in opposing the fundamentalist mindset and fighting back against the Christian religious right wing, and (d) have moved or are beginning to move beyond the need for certainty on cosmological questions and can appreciate both The here-and-now principle in theology and what I call Post-Copernican natural theology.
- Chaos magick, if you have a strong interest in magick and have moved or are beginning to move beyond the need for certainty on cosmological questions. (See the Chaos magick sites listed on my page on ceremonial magick.)
To all who are exploring the Satanist scene
If you're exploring the Satanist scene, there are other things you might want to avoid besides Christian-based duotheism. See my article on Avoiding harmful religious groups in the Satanist scene on the Black Goat Cabal site.
Relevant online forums
Following are relevant email groups moderated by me:
- Theistic-Satanists-ex-hard-Xian (T-S-x-h-X), for theistic Satanists who were brought up in (or are otherwise deeply familiar with) at least one of the more hardcore forms of Christianity, e.g. fundamentalism. Also welcome here are people who have left hardcore Christianity and are exploring alternatives including Satanism. (Such people will not be pressured to become theistic Satanists. On the contrary, as explained above, I urge such people to explore a variety of alternatives before committing themselves to theistic Satanism.) Note that T-S-x-h-X is a semi-private, restricted-membership forum. To be eligible to join, you must FIRST participate in a few rounds of dialogue in on or more of our public Theistic Satanism email groups.
- Theistic-Satanists-and-others-2 (T-S-a-o-2) and Theistic-Satanists-and-others-3 (T-S-a-o-3), the only ones of the Theistic Satanism email groups in which we allow Christians to post. If you're feeling a great deal of inner conflict, it is recommended that you at least watch the discussions here, and perhaps participate.
- The Counter-evangelism email group (on my Counter-Evangelism site)
If you are a recent deconvert from Christianity, or if you are still in the throes of leaving it, then I also recommend the forums (run by other people) which are listed on the page of Resources for ex-fundamentalists, ex-"cultists," and ex-Christians on my Counter-Evangelism site.
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