I have met a handful of Satanists in my time, and I was shocked to realize that they were nothing like many people had made them out to be. Satanists are a misunderstood bunch, and you might be surprised what they’re really like.
I have met a fair number of Satanists in my life, and interestingly enough, I have never met one that was anything like what the media and some people say they are. I think the popular view of Satanists as evil, murdering, amoral people who have orgies and kill goats is perpetuated by the Church and people’s lack of willingness to learn the truth. The simple truth is: most of them aren’t as bad as people think.
It’s been my experience that Satanists are more like Atheists than anything else. Not many of them actually worship Satan. Instead, they believe that self is more important than any God. This is actually why they invert the Christian cross and Pagan pentacle. The top of both symbols represents God above all. Inverting these symbols puts flesh above spirit. While there are Satanists that follow Satan as a god-form, I haven’t come across very many of them.
From what I’ve seen, Satanists believe in worshiping self, and taking personal responsibility for one’s actions rather than laying blame on a non-corporeal deity. Satanism entails making one’s life fit their desires, feeling good and powerful at all times, and being willing to take any steps to achieve such. However, Satanists in general seem to abhor violence without reason. They don’t go around beating on people and killing, unless they feel it achieves a greater purpose. Killing animals is also frowned upon, since it’s considered a waste. If you’re not going to wear it or eat it, why kill it?
I had my first experience with Satanists back in high school. A group of students I knew considered themselves to be Satanists. They read the Satanic Bible, and had “dark rituals”. Out of my curiosity I once asked to read the book, but was told “It’s not for you.” (Worth noting, I’ve never met a Satanist that tried to convert others, they believe you come to it of your own will, or not at all.) At first I thought they were kind of scary. In time, they turned out to be valuable friends.
I was a geek; skinny, glasses, Honor Society, the whole deal. I got picked on and pushed around on a regular basis. The Satanists came to my rescue for what appeared to be no reason at all. I’d never been close to any of them, but I treated them with the same respect I did anyone else. Turns out, it bothered them to see someone being harassed for no good reason. They were great bully deterrents.
This seems to be a common theme with Satanists. Abuse against women and children is not tolerated. Harming the defenseless is not something they look well upon. Later in life I became acquainted with another Satanist who was as good a guy as you could ever meet. You never would have known what he was if he didn’t tell you.
He told me about an event in his past, where he’d felt violence was justified. A friend (a woman) was being beaten by her husband. The police did nothing and she was in fear for her life. He beat the living daylights out of the husband and forced him to leave town. He said it was one of the few times in life he’d felt a need to commit violence. Under normal circumstances, it simply wasn’t done.
From those I’ve known, talked to and associated with online, I’ve never experienced the violent, cult-like Satanists people always go on about. I think that as in many cases, the antics of a horrid few have colored public opinion of the whole group. There really isn’t all the violence, sexual deviance, anarchy and animal sacrifice that media and movies so love to depict. They’re really a lot more like the rest of us than you might think.
If you ever meet a Satanist, give them a chance. You never know how it might work out. Just because there are some bad apples out there, it doesn’t mean the whole barrel’s rotten. Get to know people, then judge them on personal experience rather than hearsay and misinformation. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.