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Data Hitch-Hiking on the Super-Highway

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Created page with "<pre> Data Hitch-Hiking on the Super-Highway By Reverend Lestat Ventrue Part 1. Ever since I developed The Satanic Network, I have watched Satanism gr..."
Data Hitch-Hiking on the Super-Highway

By Reverend Lestat Ventrue

Part 1.

Ever since I developed The Satanic Network, I have watched
Satanism grow on the Internet. With more and more people
connecting to the Internet every day, our community presence
on-line is growing. As with anything, growth causes problems.
One of these problems is a conflict of interests. What I mean by
this is how people define the word Satanism, and sadly this
problem has two parts. The first part is "what makes you a
Satanist?" Now from reading The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey
this question is answered very easily, but a lot of people tend
to take this to a different level. Some people believe that by
acting in a Satanic manner on a message board, in a chatroom or
by making a Website that focuses on Satanism, they are now
Satanists. Well I will tell you right off, they are wrong.
Satanism is a way of Life. It can, however, include the Internet
but is not limited or centered around the Internet alone. "Life,
On-Line" as they call it is not Real life, and I cannot stress
that enough. The Internet is merely a Tool for communication, a
form of Media for passing out information quickly and in many
cases is more cost effective than phone, visits, and mailings.
To sum it up it's Entertainment. The Internet is a great tool
for showing others your Ideas, thoughts and projects but it does
not make you a Satanist just because you use it. Most members of
the Church of Satan are not even on-line, we interact within the
real world. We have real jobs, work on real books, magazines and
other real world projects. We make ourselves a formidable force
to encounter in our everyday lives dealing with Satanists and
non-Satanists alike. With the Internet a person can be whomever
they dream up. There is no real interaction on the Internet
since you cannot see the person you are communicating with. You
could think you were talking to a really wonderful woman who
seems very intriguing and her name "goth-girl" really lights
your fire. You talk for a few days and everything seems as if
it's going great. You decide that you want to be careful and
take things slow, so you do some checking on her Email address
and the information she gave you. You finally come across her
Profile, and to your surprise you even find out something
completely off the wall, like she is really a he. Wow, wouldn't
that suck! Things like this happen all the time. It shows you
that you can be anyone and anything that you want, and so can
everyone else. So as I always say, "The Internet a REAL Satanist
does not make," though you can sure as hell pretend. So, the
next time you jump into that chatroom or post on that message
board, think twice before trusting everything you see. Trust is
built with time. In concordance with time is real life
interaction, seeing, touching, and hearing, not typing. Another
issue dwells on Websites. As I said before, a person is not a
Satanist just because of his/her Website. To show my point, I
will use my own history as an example. I started The Satanic
Network over 6 years ago. I had been a member of the Church of
Satan for over two years at that time. I became a Priest within
the Church of Satan a few years after the site was created. Many
people claim that my Website was the reason I was given the
title of Priest. I can honestly say that part of that is true
and part is false. I was not given the title of Priest just
because of my Website, even though it did grow to become the
largest, most visited and publicized Satanic site on the
internet. But that was not the reason for my title or my "fame".
While I was hosting the site, I also did many radio interviews
and fought a court battle to keep Satanism on the Internet. Some
Christian organizations took a few ISP's and mine to court
because of the content of our Websites. Needless to say they
lost, but the fact remains that I was doing things off the
Internet. Along with the above mentioned items, I published an
issue of my Magazine, worked on other projects, helped out other
Satanists and ran a Church of Satan approved Grotto in my area
(the grotto issue is another big problem on the Internet, but we
will get to that a little later). To sum it up, No, my Website
did not make me a Satanist nor is it the reason I was given the
title of Priest. Now when you browse around the Internet viewing
the plethora of "Satanic" sites, try to look a little deeper
past all the graphics and text. Consider the person or group who
created it, what do they stand for, or what have they done in
the real world, and you may be surprised at what you find. Also
another issue that comes to mind, "how much is too much?" Many
web creators have this belief that if they post or display as
much information about Satanism on their Website it makes them
more of a Satanist or shall we say a "better" Satanist. I do not
know how else to say that this is so very misleading. If you are
familiar with The Satanic Bible, you should know that there are
some key points to Satanism, one happens to be the whole mystery
of it and finding things out for yourself. Now you tell me, if I
were to post as much information that I could find on Satanism
and the Church of Satan for the world to see, am I acting in a
Satanic Fashion? If you answered No, you are correct. I have
always said that to get the most out of Satanism you must find
it for yourself. Finding the information on your own also gives
you a sense of accomplishment, you did the work and you were
rewarded for your work by the information you dug up. I believe
that Websites created with a Satanic Nature should reflect the
personal views and the personal creations of the owner. Copying
and plagiarizing other people or using pictures made by other
people is one of the worst ways to promote yourself as a
Satanist. Write your own essays, design your own graphics or
pictures from scratch. Do not just paste together a bunch of
pictures of Anton LaVey, a Baphomet, a nude woman and then call
it your own, because guess what, it's not yours. It just
represents the fact that you aren't creative enough to come up
with your own ideas. In other words "Don't quit your day job!"
Now we move back to the Grotto Issue. On-line Grottos, are there
any? The answer is NO. The Church of Satan created a system of
local divisions in each city called Grottos. These Grottos are
headed by a Church of Satan member called a GrottoMaster or
Mistress. These people must go through an extensive screening
and application process before they are granted this title. One
of the main functions of a GrottoMaster can be to serve as a
contact point and media representative for their area. Grottos
exist within the Real world, not the On-line world. Again we
move back to the fact that the Internet is a great place to
relay information or to advertise information. The Internet is
not a place to run an organization. A word of wisdom, if the
group does not offer any off-line activities, Join at your own
risk, more than likely you will end up disappointed by what you
find. In short there are many Websites out there that present
themselves as grottos but in reality are not a part of the
Church of Satan, and many times do not even support the Church
of Satan. If they did, they would have already applied for
Grotto Status. So when looking for a group of like minded people
within your area keep in mind the question: Are they a real
Church of Satan Grotto or are they just using the Grotto name to
sound valid? A good way to check them out is to contact the
Church of Satan itself or a real Church of Satan representative
and ask them about the Grotto you are interested in.

Part 2.

Ask yourself this question: "What is Satanism?"

Ever since I created The Satanic Network, I have watched many
different groups pop up on the Internet. The Church of Satan
started in 1966, but when did these other groups start? Well
truthfully, most of them started within the last two years,
riding the coattails of the Church of Satan. The Church of Satan
has always been the imperious focal point of the Satanic
Movement, in fact The Church of Satan caused the Satanic
Movement. So if you really want to get technical, The Church of
Satan (including but not limited to the philosophies of Anton
LaVey) IS Satanism. Many people will claim "Satanism started way
before Anton LaVey", but if you actually look at the facts, it
did not. Before 1966 people who lived on the dark side of life
were call Devil Worshippers not Satanists. The term Satanism did
not truly catch on until after 1966, when Anton LaVey introduced
it. Just about any reference in today's world that has to do
with Satanism points its ugly finger at the Church of Satan. The
Church of Satan IS Satanism, as we know it today. Now mind you
there are many people who will disagree with that statement.
They want to lay claim to some of the Black Flame Anton LaVey
created, and to do this, they must alter the meaning to suit
them. They run over and grab their Webster's Dictionary, look up
the word Satanism and find a definition pertaining to the
worship of the Devil or something similar. Well, according to
that definition we (The Church of Satan) are not Satanists, but
take a hard look at exactly where this definition comes from:
Christian mentality. This Christian who wrote this book cannot
and does not want to understand the differences between us and
the "Devil Worshippers." Why do they still call it Satanism
then? Because Satanism is the Modern definition for Evil, Unholy
people. We (The Church of Satan) know that Satanism is defined
by us in this modern world, people still try and group everyone
under one label. So I will make this very easy and very clear,
Satanism is The Church of Satan. "Satanic" groups are popping up
all over the place these days, but step back and truly take a
look at them. Each and every non Church of Satan group that I
have happened upon exhibits one particular trait. They ride the
coattails of the Church of Satan, and what Anton LaVey created.
In order to avoid promoting or advertising for these so called
groups I will not mention names, but I know you at one point in
your life must have run across one. Each group either states
that they follow the ideas of Anton LaVey or "agree" with part
of his philosophy but not all of it. Yet these groups choose not
to actually support the Church he founded by becoming members.
Why is this? It's very easy to see what they are trying to
accomplish. They use the name but will not give the Devil his
due, how typical. They start their groups with hopes of becoming
the Church of Satan, it's as clear as day. Why else would you
agree with the idea but not commit to the organization?
Amazingly by going through the proper channels you can almost
accomplish this same goal. With a Grotto you can build a group
and run it like the Church of Satan without being the Church of
Satan or disrespecting the Idea of the Church of Satan. With
your Grotto you can better our organization, make it Stronger
and feel better about yourself as you work with the organization
that made this all possible. It's about respect. You have to
have it in order to get it. We owe Dr. LaVey and the Church of
Satan for everything they have accomplished for the Satanic
Community over the years. We owe them Respect. These "groups"
work hard at disrespecting the Church of Satan and its
Officials, yet they continue to ride in our wake because without
us they would be nothing. This type of group attempts to talk
badly about the Church of Satan and its Officials, yet they copy
us almost to the "T". One such group even dared to copy our
name. When it comes to lacking original ideas, you cannot get
any closer than that. On the bright side of things it is quite
humorous to read that this group follows Dr. LaVey's Ideas yet
refute them, then they mention that they communicate with
"Satan" on a regular basis. That always brings a smile to my
face. I can image it: "I was talking with Satan last night, he
told me Dr. LaVey sucked, but to use his ideas since some people
might think we are on that level." I guess they are really
giving the Devil his due, every night under the covers with
their crack pipes. I am glad to say that these groups barely
survive a year before vanishing into nothingness. These groups
are pathetic, and will one day get what is coming to them. Most
of the time it takes little or no effort, since they almost
always disappear months after their creation once they find out
they cannot in their wildest dreams become anything like the
Church of Satan. So called "Satanic" groups, just like "Satanic"
web pages come and go. Alas, the facts of life of the Internet.
The Internet is truly an ambiguous tool that both promotes
Satanism and undoes the work the Church of Satan has
accomplished over the last three decades. Do not get me wrong, I
fully support the "Online" Satanic Community, Hell I practically
started it. If a Website is done well, with original ideas and
content, I support it 100%. I feel the Internet adds to our way
of life, helps us with our creative selves, and makes
communication between members and friends a lot easier. But
watch where you tread. Your best bet is to stick close to known
Church of Satan supportive and supported Websites, and if you
get lost, sit back and have a good laugh at what you find out
there. One way or another you can always find your way back to
familiar territory. As one of my favorite maxims goes, "Choose
your friends wisely, they can make or break you". You cannot
image how important lesser magic is on the Internet, employ it
often and reap the rewards you create for yourself.

Hail Satan!
Hail the Church of Satan!

Reverend Lestat Ventrue

GrottoMaster of Satan's PlayGround Grotto
Priest of Mendes within the Church of Satan


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