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  • Writer's pictureCat Ward

DEMONS, DAEMONS, DIFFERENCES?

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


Demons, as portrayed in religion and film, and the Ancient Greek "Daimon", or "Daemon" portrayed with Socrates, and offering a gift to a woman, the Greek letters for Daimon δαίμων (daimôn) which became Demon, possibly beginning around 250 BC in the Septuagint Bible.


There's a distinct point I wish to make here, as it seems my views were misinterpreted, possibly due to religious beliefs- not my own, as I'm an Atheist, but due to the beliefs of the person with whom I was speaking.

I believe something is running the show up there, I just don't think it's arrogant enough to need a name. A friend recently said perhaps we are the homework of an alien child, a science project- hit a button for a fire, flood, famine, or disaster, and see what happens. Whatever is up there, or whoever is up there, doesn't appear to be doing its best work currently, and many killings and acts of terror are still committed in the name of religion, by misguided zealots and fundamentalists, and I'm here to try and correct a few misinterpretations.

I was having what I thought was a polite discussion about religion with a new friend recently, and I mentioned that I'd found an interesting FAQ sheet on the

Church of Satan website a long time ago, and also their funny and often charming Twitter feed where they post recipes and God and Satan argue in a good-natured way, and they shared some news about Taylor Swift recently too, which is kind of sweet actually! This opened my eyes to the differences between Satan and the Biblical Devil or Demon. In Ancient Greek mythology, as defined here. Demons were originally Daimons, and it was possibly the Septuagint Bible, written from 250 BCE in Alexandria, which first used the word with an evil connotation, as the Greek letters for Daimon and Demon somehow ended up the same. Demons are of course also known as Devils, and this is loosely transposed with Satan on occasion. There's an interesting thesis you can read about the evolution of the word too.

Satanism was officially founded by Anton Szandor LaVey, an American author and musician, (who founded not only the Church of Satan but also the religion itself) in 1966. He wrote the Satanic Bible also, the Satanist version of the traditional religious Bible.

some of the frequently asked questions on the website are as follows, and you will find them quite interesting;


Why do Satanists worship The Devil? We don’t. Satanists are atheists. We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions. Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the “God”) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an “I-Theist.” Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

Do Satanists perform sacrifices? No. We are atheists. The only people who perform sacrifices are those who believe in supernatural beings who would consider a sacrifice to be some form of payment for a request or form of worship. Since we do not believe in supernatural beings there is no reason for a Satanist to make a sacrifice of any sort.

I heard that Satanism supports sex with children and other ways to harm them—how do you justify that? Satanism has strong rules prohibiting sexual activity with children and non-human animals. In fact, if a Church of Satan member abuses children sexually or otherwise, his membership is automatically terminated without possibility for re-instatement. The Church of Satan also does not accept anyone who is not legally adult as an Active Member. In Satanism, sexual activity is only advocated between consenting adults.

Do Satanists ritually abuse people? No. Our ritual is basically a form of self-therapy and is most often done in private. The three basic rituals are presented in The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey and these do not demonstrate any type of abusive behavior.

What is “Theistic Satanism”? There is no such thing. People who believe in some Devilish supernatural being and worship him are Devil-worshippers, not Satanists. Anton LaVey was the first to define Satanism as a philosophy, and it is an atheist perspective. “Theistic Satanism” is an oxymoronic term and thus absurd. In Satanism each individual is his or her own god—there is no room for any other god and that includes Satan, Lucifer, Cthulhu or whatever other name one might select or take from history or fiction.

Isn’t LaVey’s Satanism just plagiarized from other sources? When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indexes of his books. If anything LaVey wrote seems similar to past concepts, oftentimes, he augmented it with modern circumstances as well as his own thoughts. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, an attempt for melding science with philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the concepts of old, working with them in our context and taking them into the future. (If we didn’t, who else would?) This is the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. It’s evolution, pure and simple.

I AM A CHRISTIAN AND YOU ARE GOING TO HELL

Says an undereducated or misguided person on the website, and here's the Church's polite reply to the attack;

“Judge not lest you be judged.” Remember your “saviour’s” words?

We trust you are praying to your God for forgiveness, as you certainly aren’t living up to the tenets of Christianity. Do you remember the dictum “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”? Well, is it that you want strangers to send you hateful email out of the blue, as you have done to us?

You are clearly committing a sin by your own standards by this action, and if you don’t get it forgiven, it may be one of the many which bar your entry into the Heaven in which you believe.

Your bigotry and intolerance are exactly the same as that shown by the terrorists who kill those who do not share their beliefs. The free world of rational secular individuals is tired of people like you. You will reap as you have sown.

It is the church's belief that Alastair Crowley, also known as "the Beast" who was responsible for distorting the traditional Satanist beliefs and rituals with his hedonistic, drug and sex-fueled orgies, and their reply is as follows;

Was Aleister Crowley a Satanist? Crowley was many things—a poet, a mountaineer, an occultist, an author and the founder of a religion based on the principle of Thelema, the Greek word for “will.” He was not a Satanist, and he did not consider himself to be one. His intention was to found a religion that employed the “method of science and the aim of religion.” It is a spiritual doctrine melding aspects of eastern and Western religion, ceremonial magic and it reveres ancient Egyptian deities as primary figures.

Was Aleister Crowley part of the Church of Satan? No. Crowley died in 1947. The Church of Satan was founded in 1966.

Is Satanism allied with Wicca, VooDoo, or other non-Christian or neo-pagan religions? No. Satanism is an atheist philosophy, hence it is not congruent with any other philosophy or religion which endorses the belief in supernatural entities, whether they be considered gods or devils.


There's an interesting research paper you can read here which explains the evolution of the word daemon or daimon, traditionally seen as a guardian spirit in the minor Pantheons, but twisted by early Judaism and Christianity, and it looks at how both religious cultures truly “demonized” the demon, pardon my pun. It gives a detailed explanation of the evolution of the daemon or daimon, and it tries to show that while there were significant changes to the daemon in the 4th century B.C.E, it was the rising influence of Christianity culminating in the statements by Augustine of Hippo that had the most lasting impact on making it a figure of evil, rather than good.

Hollywood, especially movies such as The Exorcist, or The Amityville Horror

and indeed the misguided beliefs of the now fallen-from-glory Warrens doesn't help, nor the "Satanic Panic", nor does the infamous overacting of Zak Bagans, originally an acting student whose Mother ran a Haunted Objects travelling sideshow, some or all of the objects in which are now housed in the "Haunted Museum", and also the infamous Warren museum, which houses the supposedly-cursed Annabelle, doesn't help either. looks at how religious cultures truly “demonized” the demon. It gives a detailed explanation of the evolution of the daemon or daimon, and it tries to show that while there were significant changes to the daemon in the 4th century B.C.E, it was the rising influence of Christianity culminating in the statements by Augustine of Hippo that had the most lasting impact on making it a figure of evil, rather than good. Demons are mentioned in the Septuagint Bible also, which contains descriptions of incest, kind of a no-no in general...

Just as a final point, here are the 9- yes 9- deadly Satanic sins.


Stupidity The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.

Pretentiousness Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn’t applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone’s made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.

Solipsism Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won’t. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of “Do unto others as they do unto you.” It’s work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.

Self-deceit It’s in the “Nine Satanic Statements” but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it’s fun, and with awareness. But then, it’s not self-deceit!

Herd Conformity That’s obvious from a Satanic stance. It’s all right to conform to a person’s wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.

Lack of Perspective Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints—know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.

Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something new and different, when in reality it’s something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the creator and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.

Counterproductive Pride That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow, then do it.

Lack of Aesthetics This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but an eye for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It’s not what’s supposed to be pleasing—it’s what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one’s own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.

And that's a mic drop from here, friends- I'm not a Satanist but I am an atheist, and I'd rather a religion that does no harm, doesn't kill or destroy, or commit their own cardinal sins such as paedophilia, lack of charitable principles in some cases, and abuse in the name of something than one that does! I'm editing this, you may have noticed, as I had an afterthought earlier- if I were to be religious, I'd possibly choose Buddhism, or perhaps Wicca- gentle and harmless ones that don't hurt or kill.

And as a certain famous comedian once said;

"Religion is like a penis- it is fine to have one but not to wave it in others' faces". I 100% agree, and also...don't believe the Demonic hype people, read a book, and please don't judge it by its cover!

-Cat

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