Church of Satan
The Satanic Temple
the truth of the comparison
To be very clear. STS tries to refrain from the standard shit talking that is prevalent in much of Satanism. We don’t go out of our way generally to say one group is wrong while the other is right. We don’t try to place ourselves on a pedestal of moral superiority over any other group. We don’t feed into the whole Atheism vs Theism elements. Simply put our goal is not to clash with other groups but in the end to work cohesively and respectfully. But also, honestly, and with integrity.
It is painful for us to have to look at another organization and say, “You are frauds. You do not represent our values, or any part of our religious beliefs.”
We don’t like doing it. But in this particular instance it is a necessary evil.
That said we are also not scared to hurt their feelings to drive home our points. So let the butt hurt commence.
For many this will seem to be a bit of a silly or moot point to make. Clearly Satanic Thulian Society is a vastly different beast than the current popular Satanic organization, The Satanic Temple. But for many it is very jarring to see these differences for themselves.
It’s not without good reason that STS and other long-standing Satanic organizations such as the Church of Satan, have called TST fake or “pseudo” Satanism.
Mind you Church of Satan has cried wolf a few too many times in the Satanic Community to really be listened to much anymore. They made the mistake of getting into the habit of labeling every other Satanic organization that came along as fakes and frauds, even when their ideologies lined up with the CoS’s own system. This has in turn made the vast majority of the Satanic community ignore them for the most part to go do what ever in the corner as the lonely eldest member of the family.
It’s sad because this time it’s true, and CoS, who has been so fearsomely vocal in the past with other groups, now chooses to sit quietly in the corner praying for TST to go away.
What makes it worse is this behavior now leaves it up to others to step up and shine the light of Lucifer onto the lies and cast back the perpetrators.
Thus, enters STS. The Satanic Thulian Society.
Let’s get started.
One of the most basic ways to express one’s philosophy to potential members is by creating a comprehensive required and recommended reading list.
The Satanic Temple claims to be the progressive evolution of LaVey’s Satanism. If that were so then why is none of LaVey’s literature included in the TST recommended reading list? Frankly speaking if you’re an evolved form of something religious wise, would it not be logical to recommend to your adherents to learn about where their doctrine comes from?
One of the things TST points out is the different reading material for both organizations in a side by side comparison chart.
Let’s use this same chart to point out their fraudulent claims.
This first panel shows that TST claims to have a "Vast Literary Canon" of "foundational texts", verses only "the writing of Anton LaVey" for CoS. Please take note of how they keep all but LaVey's name in lower case, versus their capitalized first lettering. This is clearly intended to make them look more important. So, what is in their "vast literary canon"?
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL: THE WAY THE SATANIC TEMPLE IS CHANGING THE WAY WE TALK ABOUT RELIGION BY JOSEPH P. LAYCOCK
REVOLT OF THE ANGELS BY ANATOLE FRANCE (1914)
THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: WHY VIOLENCE HAS DECLINED BY STEVEN PINKER
ROMANTIC SATANISM: MYTH AND THE HISTORICAL MOMENT IN BLAKE, SHELLEY AND BYRON, AUTHORS: SCHOCK, P.
THE SATANIC EPIC BY NEIL FORSYTH
Litanies of Satan by Charles Baudelaire (from The Flowers of Evil, 1857)
THE MASTER AND MARGARITA by Mikhail Bulgakov
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL: an Anthology of Demonology
LA-BAS by Joris K. Huysmans
HISTORY OF SATANISM
THE INVENTION OF SATANISM BY ASBJORN DYRENDAL, JAMES R. LEWIS, AND JESPER AA. PETERSEN
THE DEVIL'S PARTY: SATANISM IN MODERNITY BY PER FAXNELD & JESPER AA. PETERSEN
CHILDREN OF LUCIFER: THE ORIGINS OF MODERN RELIGIOUS SATANISM by Ruben van Luijk
THE ENCYCLOPEDIC SOURCEBOOK OF SATANISM BY JESPER AAGARD PETERSEN
THE AFFAIR OF THE POISONS BY ANNE SOMERSET
EUROPE'S INNER DEMONS: THE DEMONIZATION OF CHRISTIANS IN MEDIEVAL CHRISTENDOM by Norman Cohn (2001)
THE DEVIL AND THE JEWS by Joshua Trachtenber
THE SATANISM SCARE
THE ENEMY WITHIN: 2,000 YEARS OF WITCH-HUNTING IN THE WESTERN WORLD by John Demos (2008)
EVIL INCARNATE: RUMORS OF DEMONIC CONSPIRACY AND SATANIC ABUSE IN HISTORY by David Frankfurter (2008)
SATAN'S SILENCE: RITUAL ABUSE AND THE MAKING OF A MODERN AMERICAN WITCH HUNT by Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker (2001)
THE OLD ENEMY by Neil Forsyth
THE DEVIL: A NEW BIOGRAPHY by Philip C. Almond
HERE'S TO MY SWEET SATAN: HOW THE OCCULT HAUNTED MUSIC, MOVIES AND POP CULTURE, 1966-1980 by George Case
THE HAPPY SATANIST by Lilith Starr
THE LAST ILLUSION by Clive Barker (with essay by Lucien Greaves)
THE SOUL MACHINE by George Makari
PHANTOM TERROR: POLITICAL PARANOIA AND THE CREATION OF THE MODERN STATE, 1789-1848 by Adam Zamoyski
FIRE AND LIGHT by James MacGregor Burns
ASSAULT OF THE THEOCRATS
ONE NATION UNDER GOD: HOW CORPORATE AMERICA INVENTED CHRISTIAN AMERICA by Kevin M. Kruse
INVENTING A CHRISTIAN AMERICA: THE MYTH OF THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDING by Steven K. Green
FREETHINKERS: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN SECULARISM by Susan Jacoby
Don’t let it fool you. Fonts in all caps look bigger and take up more space.
Ok so if we look at foundational texts Let’s assume this would be their “Primary Reading” list. I only count three books. One of which is Revolt of Angels which for the longest time used to be at the top of their reading list. This is interesting because if we look to Michael Aquino’s Satanic Bible 50th anniversary revision, Aquino points out that this was one of the first bits of literature to get thrown out the window by LaVey when creating his philosophy, as most Satanists of the era had not desire to pull God from his throne, and was more content just putting a thumb tack or whoopy cushion under him.
So, if this is the TST core text, how does it compare to the CoS’s core texts. Mind you according to TST, only the writings of Anton formulate their core philosophy, which is over shadowed by TST’s massive three book canon. (Not comparing the rest of their recommended reading lists yet, just their mandatory ones.)
So here is the Church of Satan’s primary Canon reading list. This does not include secondary books by members on Satanic Philosophy.
By Anton LaVey
The Satanic Bible
The Satanic Rituals
The Satanic Witch
The Devil's Notebook
By Blanch Barton
The Secret Life of a Satanist
The Church of Satan
By Peter H. Gilmore (current High Priest)
The Satanic Scriptures
By Dr. Robert Johnson
The Satanic Warlock
That clearly is vastly smaller than TST’s primary reading list. (You can use your imagination to hear our sarcasm.)
So just for shits and giggles let’s look at the rest of the CoS recommended Reading list
Books by members on Satanic Philosophy.
The Fire From Within
Essays in Satanism
James D Sass
Bearing the Devil's Mark
Matt G Paradise
Carl Jung: Man and His Symbols
Ben Hecht: Guide for the Bedevilled
1001 Afternoons in Chicago and his fictional works
Fantazius Mallare and The Kingdom of Evil.
Herbert Spencer: The Study of Sociology
Principles of Sociology
James Yaffe: The American Jews
Robert Eisler: Man Into Wolf
Peter Viereck: Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind
Wilhelm Reich: The Function of the Orgasm,
Michael Foucault: Madness and Civilization
Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil
Twilight of the Gods.
Benjamin Walker: The Esoteric Encyclopedia of Man
The Johnson, Smith and Company Catalogue
Paul Fussell: Class
Jan Howard Brunvand: The Vanishing Hitchhiker
Daniel Mannix: History of Torture
Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others
The Hell-fire Club
Ambrose Bierce: The Devil’s Dictionary
H. L. Mencken: The American Language
Dr. Robert O. Becker and Gary Selden: The Body Electric
Niccolo Macchiavelli: The Prince
Thomas Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population
Elias Canetti: Crowds and Power
Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams, etc.
James A. Haught: Holy Horrors
Jerry Mander: Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television
Dr. Robert U. Akeret: Photoanalysis
Charles Finney: The Circus of Dr. Lao
Nathanael West: A Cool Million
(read any Horatio Alger book to get the full appreciation of West’s wit)
Robert W. Chambers: The King in Yellow
A. Merritt: Seven Footprints to Satan
Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
Horatio Alger, Jr. (Any of his books - delicious use of the English language and reinforces ethics of responsibility to the responsible) Ragged Dick
H. G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau
War of the Worlds
Terry Southern: The Magic Christian
Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Bob Randall: The Fan
Jeffrey Frank: The Creep
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
Jack London: The Sea Wolf
William Lindsay Gresham: Nightmare Alley
Monster Midway (non-fiction)
W. Somerset Maugham: Rain
A Writer’s Notebook (autobiographical sketches)
George Bernard Shaw: Man and Superman
Cornell Woolrich: The Bride Wore Black
The Black Curtain
Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Ray Bradbury: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Fred Saberhagen: The Dracula Tape (this novel allows the Count to speak for himself, portraying himself as a misunderstood Satanic anti-hero)
Anthology: H. P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H. P. Lovecraft
Robert E. Howard: The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard
Frank Belknap Long: The Hounds of Tindalos
Clark Ashton Smith: The Return of the Sorcerer
August Derleth: The Cthulhu Mythos
The Watchers Out of Time (with HPL)
Ira Levin: Rosemary’s Baby
John Milton: Paradise Lost
Hmmmm. Seems CoS has no need to put their reading list in all caps to take up space. They’re trying to save space!
What’s more is they also have a wonderful movie list too. But we won’t discuss that just yet. However we feel the need to point out that outside of the CoS or TST, there is an equally vast literary Canon of books written by Satanists, and devoted to Satanism in its many different denominations. You can get a sampling of this vast literary resource from the STS reading list.
So here is the next thing. Politics. The hot button topic of our times. TST Revels in political activism. Here is what Greaves himself says about TST’s political affiliation.
“A Non-Theistic movement aligned with Liberty, Equality, and Rationalism.”
Interesting. Especially when one looks at the description of LaVey’s quoted statement in the next column. “Just Anne Rands philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.”
Considering LaVey was formulating a Religion, and not a Political Movement, this actually makes sense. But for argument sakes let’s go just a bit further.
Whereas TST naively quotes an off the wall comment by LaVey, we looked directly to Peter H. Gilmore, the current High Priest of the Church of Satan, for a response regarding CoS’s political position.
“As has been said many times before, one’s politics are up to each individual member, and most of our members are political pragmatists. They support political candidates and movements whose goals reflect their own practical needs and desires. Our members span an amazing political spectrum, which includes but is not limited to: Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Reform Party members, Independents, Capitalists, Socialists, Communists, Stalinists, Leninists, Trotskyites, Maoists, Zionists, Monarchists, Fascists, Anarchists, and just about anything else you could possibly imagine. It is up to each member to apply Satanism and determine what political means will reach his/her ends, and they are each solely responsible for this decision. Freedom and responsibility—must be a novel concept for those who aren’t Satanists. We take it in stride. Members who demand conformity from other members to their particular political fetish are welcomed to depart.”
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore,
from “A Map for the Misdirected”
While there is certainly much more that could be said to the subject, we will leave this topic one final note.
A large number of TST members are known to support, or be affiliated with ANTIFA, and have been spotted participating in the riots and massive civil unrest that has swept our nation this year in 2020. According to various sources, many of them have been arrested in connection to these violent acts. The organization itself is very well known for it's political activism in which it uses the imagery of Satanism in connection with offensive material at times to shock and harass the general public.
This of course flies directly in the face of the 11th Satanic Rule of the Earth: "When walking in open territory, bother no one. if someone should bother you, ask him to stop. If he Does not stop, destroy him."
(To further understand the STS political position, you can read LeGivorden’s complete article on Satanic Politics HERE.)
TST Prides itself on having a physical head quarters in Salem Mass. It even lords this over other groups and tries to waggle it in the face of CoS. We here at STS find this rather amusing considering that CoS has had a new Black House HQ since 2009. It’s in Poughkeepsie NY. Referred to as The Haunted Hudson Valley Black House, it is the current HQ of the Church of Satan.
Left: The Satanic Temple art museum HQ in Salem Mass.
Right: The Church of Satan New Black House HQ in Poughkeepsie NY.
Mobile site viewers please look to bottom of page.
(As a little side note, STS also possesses its own HQ called Firethorne Manor in South Carolina, in which sits our infamous Black Parlor Ritual Chamber.)
We could continue with all the little falsehoods in this list but will wrap it up with this final one.
The Satanic Temple, commissioned for itself a documentary to be filmed. This film is heralded by TST members and by Greaves himself as being one of a kind. They even feel the need to try to throw it in the face of the would be prospective members by claiming they’re the only ones with such a documentary. Especially a documentary in modern times.
Now we are by no means CoS members. But even we know better than to fall for this stupidity. While TST has 1, and we do mean ONE lonely documentary, called “Hail Satan?”. (Which is universally mocked by most non-TST members.) CoS has been the subject of multiple documentaries and videos.
Satanis: The Devils Mass (1968)
Witchcraft 70 (1970)
Speak of the Devil: The Canon of Anton LaVey (1993)
Church of Satan 6-6-06 High Mass Video. (can be watched via YouTube)
Inside the Church of Satan (2010)
Are You Ready To Become a Satanist? (2019)
We think that, while not an exhaustive look at the TST’s lies, and stupid inaccuracies, is sufficient enough for now to warrant a proverbial Mic drop.
And while we in no way want a clash with the Church of Satan, we do feel the need to say this much. With all due respect. You’ve had years to point this stuff out. You’ve had years to set the record straight. And yet, it is a tiny little upstart group that has to step up and do your job for you in cleaning house. And you wonder why CoS is no longer considered the leading voice in Satanism? Magus Gilmore, either do your job or find someone better suited to do it for you. It is ridiculous at so many levels that you have never even done a single article like this, let alone any public statement to the media to denounce TST, or stand and challenge them in court.