Along with this was issued proof that many looked at the dark doctrines on Vad's site, bought the Tantra and Kaballa articles from Marsh, and looked no further - sent in the $100: only to find out that the majority of COSsers are inversionist xians that hate the dark doctrines because they are alien to anything they know or feel. An example is with the Mephisto people who wanted Mephistopheles to be what they wanted, but not what Goethe wanted despite many known textbooks on the issue with Goethe's own writings in them. Of course, the cossers hated "marsh and jantsang" for writing about it. Did they even once say thank you when shown Goethe's own writings? Of course not.
It was then said that the COS could no longer use the dark doctrines to lure people into their organization. What's left then? Heavy Metal garbage, neo-fascitoid garbage and Barton's Luddite ultra right xian fundie shit. Nothing LHP at all. If there is, show us. The only LaVeyan idol worship left even, is the worst shit Anton ever said; it's not even fun. That statement, that they can't USE the dark doctrines to hide behind or lure people in, was told to all orgs out there on the Satanic Council and otherplaces. Previous to Doc giving TJ the title of MAG, the Satanic Doctrines were clearly seen as "other" as "different" from the cos; and they were. People were not lured into the cos by them at all; they bypassed the cos altogether.
It was only after Nadramia and Gilmore whined and pleaded that Marsh and Jantsang (and many others) write things (mailed on discs, posted by Nadramia and then written and posted by others when the flame shit hit the fan) that the dark doctrines were linked to the cos by LaVey himself. This was "against the TOS." Actually it was only against one thing: what the dark force is and is not. It is evident that Gilmore's gang found this all some kind of threat. While praising it and claiming "those who really are Satanic" will understand and feel that darkness, he fretted over a non-existent "Tani clique" with another hand - of course he wrote this to a person, Tim Stewart Epperhart, that is objectively and literally semi-retarded.
Tomas Lindahl was reluctant to remove the Mag titles since LaVey gave it. Jantsang compromised since she can't force him to do it. The fact is, (we have it) Phil flamed and trashed Barton for her idiocy in a letter - and LaVey then made HIM a Magister. Someone explain that! The fact remains, they used these titles in arguments only when prompted by cossers to do so, often enough against other "titled" cos people who were bullying the person asking them to use the titles. When dealing with other organizations, they didn't use the titles, nor did they use them on anything they write or sell. If pushed, they adamantly insist the truth: they never did and never would, join the cos. The association they had, by reason of that title, with scum like Nagy was an emabarssment.
LaVayan Satanism is Addams Family Fun. It's the 9 statements. It has no roots, no history. It is not LHP of any kind. It is not even occultism or any kind of magical tradition. But LaVeyan Satanism can be exemplified today in the person of Karla LaVey and her allies, Rick Rinker and John Raptis. Both of them, alone with Karla LaVey, were driven from the Barton/Gilmore corporation (corporate fascists!). What is the Corporation of Satan today? It's fascitoid, xian fundie values, atheism, inversionist xianity. That's all it is. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.
The following is Hr. Vad's letter to Blanche Barton.
Århus, 04 October 2000
About the voiding of Tani's title
At the time of writing this I have not yet seen your letter to Tani informing her of this. However, I have seen Tani's response to your letter.
First off I'm surprised to discover you have written one of the "usual" letters to her with all the usual accusations such as her "wanting to use the CoS as an identity", "wanting to start a new CoS" and similar oh-so-known ones.
I don't know how you've reached your conclusions, but they seem to have no relevance as to the animal Tani is. She is just not like your run-of-the-mill usurper and I'm surprised you have chosen to believe that. I am certain, however, that you are being deceived - or maybe you're deceiving yourself? Can't you see that it is just too easy to dismiss Tani the way you do? I have seen this CoS type of dismissal/demotion before. Propaganda-wise it is clever: say some bad things about the person in question; stuff that no one can disagree is bad ("make another CoS", etc.). But is it necessarily true? The official stance on quite a few seem to follow this "profile", even on people like Egan who is nothing like anything I've seen before: like a Dr. Lao he is content to be seen as the village fool, but much of his behavior is incongruent with the "standard profile".
I wouldn't be surprised to hear if some other people are now telling you "how Tani has changed", but these people are liars. She is the same person now, as when I got to know her at first and in the same way that Doc never really changed since 1975 - in the same way Tani has not changed. So if she has not changed, then what has happened?
If I were you I would be careful to jump to conclusion based on what intelligence you have, for it seems you have very one-sided info so far. Still, I'm not sure how you get your information, but I don't recall you asking me, or anyone who really knows Tani, about what is going on. That said, I'm guessing you're getting your information from the same incompetents and fascists that hate Tani and her exposure of them, or alternatively from second hand sources.
Tani is Durga and as such she is the one destined to expose klippothic, untrue and un-Satanic individuals wherever they may be. She is an excellent judge of character in this respect. And as such she has gotten her share of enemies.
She was told by Masons to assist the CoS and give the Dark Doctrines to them, and at the same time divorce the Temple of Set from The Church of Satan. A task no one had really been up to until she came around.
In rooting out the Setians she was subjected to a large number of attacks from her enemies. At the time such attacks came primarily from the Setians themselves and their unaffiliated supporters. After completing this task it came as somewhat a surprise to see various CoS members attacking Tani with the same arguments and accusations as did the Setians. And this behavior was rampant a long time before Tani ever got online.
I will mention a very typical example of this violent reaction to anything "Tani" even in her absence. At an e-list (electronic email list) owned by Ole Wolf I "dared" inform the Grotto Master of the Mephisto Grotto about the principle "Mephisto". In so doing I quoted a short passage from Tani Jantsang's Package of Doctrines while also making my own comments. The reaction? Well it sure wasn't "Thanks pal, I really appreciate your helping me understand the deeper meaning of the name of my Grotto". Rather my helpful advice heralded the beginning of several vicious remarks that used to belong to the un-Satanic Temple of Set, such as "the gobbledygook of Tani and Phil". Yet this fucking moron, appointed Grotto Master of the Mephisto Grotto, had the gall to ridicule Tani, Phil and me on what was freshman level knowledge about the life of Johann Wolfgang Goethe (and you may wonder how I know that: well, I read it in a book - in German - that my girlfriend owns ... she studies German language at the University). What's typical of this case is that even the slightest exposure to truth tends to make certain individuals freak out: those with no truth in them! Such persons are also in the CoS and Tani, above others, knows how to deal with them.
Due to her being Durga you might think that Tani is like a "Cop for Satan", always ready to pounce on any innocent passer by (a bit like some people see André Schlesinger). But I can only emphasize what she's told you herself: she never attacks anyone first - and then never the person per se, always the idea! Some people have attacked Tani off- and on-line. Offline I recall then-Priest Michael Rose who published terrible lies about her, and online such persons as the Jill and Carl Panther, Lupo LeBoucher (Scott Locklin), Dan Clore, Red of The Australian Satanic Council (TASC) [who put the Grotto Master's Handbook ONLINE!] and others.
Actually, Tani gets along great even with FCoS members (as do I), non-denominational Satanists and others. This is one of the reasons our chat room works wonderfully: each person is no more or no less than what he appears to. If he or she can interact with the others in a civil way it's OK to hang out on our room. Hell, even the much-reviled Les Master (who is or used to be in Egan's church) helped me set up our room and showed me a few tricks to the trade. (This whole approach relates to what I say in the other letter I've sent you: the CoS does not have a monopoly like in the old days and some people may be in other organizations due to plain ignorance or happenstance. That way it doesn't hurt to treat members of other orgs with respect, because they may not be members of that org due to "a serious desire to be un-Satanic".)
I have not been happy to discover that many CoS members, including high ranking members like Magister Nagy and Reverend André Schlesinger are violently opposed to the truth of the Satanic tradition, and it has been a shock to realize the pettiness of people like Lestat Ventrue. I shall, for example, remain forever in doubt that John Raptis ever did anything wrong, because what I see is this: Raptis has a wonderful and beautiful website, and along comes envious Ventrue. Unfortunately Ventrue isn't content with creating his own paradise and thinks he will be the "Internet God" if only he can destroy Raptis. Of course, I don't really know what went on, but Raptis was probably framed or the fascist gang fucked with him in some way. Did you know (you should, because Tani has informed you of this) that Lestat Ventrue talked her out of creating her own chat room and he left her believing that somehow he had a monopoly on CoS chat rooms and that his was the "official" room. If Sir Chaos hadn't stirred up such a fuzz Peggy might not have recommended Tani and I start a chat room. Inevitably it seems, the existence of the chat room caused much envy, and several people from Lestat's #satannet crowd tried to mess up our room. The last I heard (and after that I stopped caring for those petty bastards) was when Metadromos got the ultimatum to chose between our #satanmuse or Lestat/Schlesinger's #satannet. WE never asked such silliness of people, nor have we even required that our chatters stay only on our room (an age-old rule at #satannet). No, all such divisive demands have solely come from the Lestat/Schlesinger/Nagy gang.
I thought the CoS would be free of this sort of self-aggrandizement on other's expense, especially with higher-ranking people, but that is obviously not the case. Also the whining weakness of several CoS members have been baffling - it seems no one can discuss anything anymore, no clarity to what they do. I mean, lack of clarity, how's this for you: big bad John C. Davis, self-declared warrior on the Bushido, who everyone thinks is a hot shot Satanist. He blows his brains out in front of his wife, and when alive he epitomized the stoic, austere, stiff upper lipped, Teutonic warrior. And Nagy, he idolizes the "superman" while pictures of him leave much to be desired for the master race. And the GM for the Mephisto Grotto freaks out when someone tells him what Mephisto really means (instead of what he imagined it meant - like Xtians freak out when someone tells them something real about Jesus which is a long shot from the fantasy they base their faith upon).
To be honest I am disgusted with the handling of this "issue" and almost everything else going on right now. And I am very surprised at how little you seem to grasp of the situation, Blanche.
Looking back I see NO ONE more helpful and loyal to the CoS than Tani. On and off-line she has cleaned up one mess after the other, often messes created by other CoS members and their vile, disgusting treatment of others. She has gathered untold evidence of situations you ought to be glad she found out about. Not to mention the many times she has defended Anton LaVey and his writings. No one in the CoS has described in such depth what "The Dark Force in Nature" is, no one has explained so clearly and scientifically what "psychic vampires" (or pretas or klippoths) are about. No one has defended LaVey's use of "lay man terms" as much as Tani Jantsang. And last but not least: no one has ever been even remotely able to provide the Church of Satan - and with it Satanism - with a no-nonsense historical context. EXCEPT Tani!
Yet at every turn COS PEOPLE have turned against her, bad mouthed her, obstructed her work, lacked appreciation and understanding.
Now, as the last drop, you choose to giver her and the CoS's enemies the last "I told you so" by your revoking her title.
And as if that wasn't enough there is now the new trend in the CoS where Magister & Council of Nine member Peter Gilmore is telling people to be obedient and blindly loyal, and that "If people have substantial disagreements with LaVey's work, or wish to promote something else as the basis for Satanism, like the "dark doctrines," then they should not be members and should tender their resignations immediately."
Blanche, if you wish to cut off the very root of Satanism and elevate LaVey's work to unassailable scripture I think you're insane. I also think that you are not practicing Satanism, as Dr. LaVey would have wanted it. Whatever happened to "The chief duty of every new age is to upraise new men to determine its liberties, to lead it towards material success - to rend the rusty padlocks and chains of dead custom that always prevent healthy expansion. Theories and ideas that may have meant life and hope and freedom for our ancestors may now mean destruction, slaver, and dishonor to us!" Come on, the Satanic Bible, Rituals and Witch were written more than 30 years ago, and they were the synthesis of the past 30-40 years of experience prior to that. What remains of the path described in LaVey's works is still true, because he described the basic idea of the Left Hand Path quite well. So within his works lay also the seed of its own change, its own becoming something else. So while the path is still valid, some of the implementations are not.
Finally, I must also mention my disgust with the new puffed-up attitude of Peter Gilmore and his Waffle SS Stormtrippers (Nagy, Ventrue, Schlesinger, Jacqueline, etc.). He and others are acting up like anyone around here will bow down to their authority. Most of all I am reminded of Eric Cartman's "Respect my athoooreetahhhh". Not a pretty sight I assure you.
He might think I, Ole Wolf and whoever else cares whether we get kicked out of the CoS, or cares what he thinks of us. But we do not ask, "how high" when someone says, "jump!". We tell people to FUCK OFF!
I have lost almost all respect I have for the CoS and the people who represent it, and I see that you are not willing or able to deal with the situation to my satisfaction. However, I understand that you may be woefully misinformed by whatever sources you have. Hence it will still remain to be seen what happens: will you get off your butt, get in the know, and clean up this mess, or will you clean out any remaining vestige of Satanic thought in the CoS. That remains to be seen.
If you chose to further distance the CoS from the Dark Doctrines, the Left Hand Path and/or the scientific evidence brought forth during the last few years, please kick me out of the CoS as well.
PS: For the reasons given above I will not report anything to Nagy or you, and I will NOT relay ANY information about members of the Prometheus Grotto to anyone in the CoS. As of today this effectively means that no recruiting what so ever will take place.
As you may notice the date on this letter is quite old, as it was begun quite some time ago. I have just not gotten around to sending it before now.
This letter should be read first.
Århus, 01 November 2000
Many of these thoughts are sparked by recent events on the Internet, as well as by the re-cent communiqué "Why Are You A Satanist?". I am afraid that big mistakes are being made as we speak, and I feel compelled to make my opinion heard in this matter. (In the meantime several other issues have cropped up, but these will be dealt with in another letter also en-closed in this envelope).
You probably do not know much about me, but let me refresh some facts as well as pro-vide a few new ones.
My experience with computers is very extensive and goes back to when they were first made "personal computers" and reached the normal consumer in the mid eighties. Even as a small child I was very interested in technology and scientific advances, and it was a great day when I bought my first computer. The year was 1984. At that time I began to program various things on the computer, among other things animations, and I also programmed assembler code (primitive 2nd generation language). Since then I have known the computer as a tool that does my bidding when I want it to. It was only much later, in 1994 that I got online at my school. Today I work for one of Denmark's largest Internet portals, http://opasia.dk/, and I'm doing much the same now as back in the early eighties.
The bottom line first
Let me start out journalistically by presenting the bottom line first:
I don't think you understand the Internet very well, and I think the CoS is about to make some big, big mistakes. This also applies to the way the official online representatives Peggy Nadramia and Peter Gilmore are handlings things.
I think that although Peter and Peggy have been online for a long time they do not truly understand the media, and they certainly do not appear to master it with the same effortless-ness that I and other "heavy users" do (let's just call that group "young people").
In so saying I am also asserting that you (plural) are very much out of sync with how young people today are using and perceiving the Internet. That is, you're harboring solipsistic ideas about the whole thing and presenting your limited understandings and personal tastes as fact.
I also find the official statement and disclaimer about chat rooms to be hypocritical and lacking understanding of how people do perceive things. It represents more the situation you would like to see than how the world really works.
Addressing the issues
The perhaps greatest misunderstanding of yours is the underlying "the Internet is not real".
Let me state this as early on as I can: the Internet is absolutely very real, and "real life" spills over into the Internet - not the other way around. And how people behave online is reflective of how they really are.
There is of course the old shorthand "IRL" meaning In Real Life, an expression that arose in the very beginning of the existence of the Internet, but the phrase seems to have stuck with many. In the essays on the official CoS site you frequently advice people to do something "real" like "visit a museum". Obviously, the only thing I deduce from this is that you do not consider the Internet real. I guess that much is known. In that sense I guess you're no different from what I imagine Doktor felt about the Net. Peter and Peggy also seem to subscribe to this underlying premise to some degree.
Yet none of you seem very different from the reactionary voices that rose up years back when the telephone was invented. Actually, all your criticisms have been heard before! Those who weren't so fortunate to be around when the phone was first invented grew up not even noticing the phone as it was just yet another way of interacting, albeit more practical than sending smoke signals and a hell of a lot more personal.
Of course, the people who missed the invention of the phone all got their day when television was invented, at which time the same age old arguments could once again be heard. Today yet another generation of way too old people is having a ball punching the bag called the Internet. I think you're in this last group of people, and like those before you find it necessary to point out how the Internet will "pervert human relationships".
Well, you're of course entitled to your own opinions, but I can assure you that there is a whole generation of young kids growing up that do not feel the Internet is in any way special. It is just something that's there and they are using the media so naturally and effortlessly, and in ways you can't possibly begin to imagine. Why? Because you are one of the old guard, a reactionary who does not feel totally comfortable with this new media. Hell, I'm working each an every day with the Internet media and with everything it touches upon: WAP, SMS, mobile telephony, e-commerce, news-providers like Ritzau and what have you, and I am revising my own ideas of how things work each day. There is shit out there that's so "marginal and uninteresting" that I wouldn't have thought anything of it - if it weren't for the fact our traffic logs confirm these things are huge successes.
This is why I can state with absolute certainty that you don't know your target audience if you think the Internet is "not real" or in any way less real than most other ways of communication.
Regular users of the Internet fall in love, meet, and marry. They feel exhilaration, joy and wonder - and they feel blue, trampled and abused at other times. And really, why shouldn't they? Why is it more legal to feel joy and wonder from a bunch of compressed, dried, rectangularly shaped objects called "pages in a book"? Why is it more OK to get joy from an old movie you stick in your VCR than from an interactive computer game? The answer is, of course, that you find certain pastimes more appropriate because you've grown up with them and have never been told to perceive them as threatening or perverted - these media have never been an issue with you. In the same way a lot of people today have no issues with the Internet and they understand the media and use it for their own purposes.
When Chat-Masters aren't
You also obviously have a problem with complaints about chat rooms since you've now written two essays on the subject as well as outlined some "rules for chat rooms" that have been passed around via email.
To begin with I didn't use chat on the Internet but I have recently begun to do so, and in doing so I (now) strongly disagree with the two essays about this subject as I find them hypocritical and evasive of the whole problem.
As you may know, Tani and I recently launched a chat room called #satanmuse. We did so due to popular demand, a demand that was uncovered when Tani (per request) gathered evidence of nasty chat room behavior - as well as a number of other exploits by André Schlesinger. Obviously people were extremely dissatisfied with Lestat Ventrue's #satannet room, where Schlesinger, Hecate, Nagy and various other members have hung out.
I will admit one thing to you about the "chat experience": when it comes to hanging out with the bunch at #satannet you are probably right in stating every bad thing you say about chat. The people there have abused and scared away many people who just wanted to learn something about Satanism and perhaps get a few pointers online as to where they could learn more. All they seem to have gotten is abuse from that crowd, but Tani have already presented much of this evidence so I won't go further into detail here.
I will, however, take your statement:
As you'll notice elsewhere on this site, we've made a policy announcement discouraging participation in chat room "conversation." This is because conversations don't occur in these forums - only schoolyard scuffle and petty bickering
And to that I will add that you have never been to our room, #satanmuse, and seen what's going on there. The tone is nice and open, and you would feel welcome there. Actually, in just three months we have built a room that is packed every night and bustling with activity in weekends, and people are exchanging ideas and furthering Satanism. Not every discussion is about The Deep End of Satanism, and people often just discuss history, where the next guy or girl lives, and what their country is like. But ever so often some deep issues are discussed despite the limited opportunity to post Ph.D. papers in this media. However, people are happy with what they get even though they're just pointers to stuff on the CoS site or on the Dark Doctrine website (that's my site). If you visited you wouldn't see that nastiness or the suffocating, bullying shit you write about in your articles on the CoS site.
You see if you let someone without big, neglected Egos run chats you don't get the hellish environment some out there are used to. Even the fucking nutcases on #satanmuse are dealt with in a decent way, although in a very few cases we've been forced to ban people from the chat, but those are the exceptions. Actually, according to the Satanic Bible we do treat others as they treat us, but we always start out by treating people really nice and we are tolerant enough to accept that some people are ignorant as hell. However, just because some people are ignorant or happen to have joined even Egan's fake church doesn't mean we can't answer their questions. The end result on our chat, the #satanmuse, is that people see us offering Satanism and behaving like ones.
So you have to ask yourself: why is it that we can offer Satanism to people and have them like it, while highly decorated clergy members of the CoS scare people off, treat them bad and are oppressive and suffocating as hell? And you also have to ask yourself if it is really necessary to deal with the abuse and vile behavior of the CoS reverends and magisters by making disclaimers on the CoS site?
I find it highly suspect that individuals have been honored with such lofty titles as Reverend and Magister, yet are on their own completely unable to interact in a productive and meaningful way with other individuals. If you take a person like Andre Schlesinger you'll find that the NY Wonder Boy have fucked with several of my best friends, first and foremost Amina Olander Lap whom he abused so bad she lost all interest in chatting with other CoS members and began withholding potentially vital information from other CoS members because he suffocated every effort she ever made. That hurts the CoS. Furthermore Schlesinger presently owes merchandise/money back to one other Prometheus Grotto member merchandise or money back (Johnny NyMann Pedersen) and another very promising Danish Satanist, Torben Knudsen. So you see the Internet and "real world" melt together.
Finally, both essays on the CoS site hints at the fact that you don't know what to do about this whole situation. It's like saying "I can't cope with this so I'll make a bad excuse and hope people buy it".
How is an organization judged?
Sometimes I hear stuff like "The Church of Satan is NOT a function of it's Members!!"
Yet I think it is as this is just another disclaimer that tries to save somebody's ass from the unpleasant facts. Underlying the conclusion is, however, the same idea of discontinuity or split-apart-ness as the claim that the behavior of CoS members on chat rooms is not real.
Without any members there would be no organization. "Organization" implies some sort of building blocks (individuals) that happen to partake in some sort of organizing. How people judge the CoS as an org will depend on both how the collective and the individuals act. It will especially matter how the clergy of the CoS behaves. But even lay members will aid in defining what the CoS is!
So if you have people behaving like assholes (like Nagy, Schlesinger, Davis, Ventrue and others online) they will define the CoS and attract/repel certain people. This whole Internet is like a giant window at the mall: what is displayed, what the higher-ups sanction and what people do in it decides who will visit your store. And once in the store, how the salespersons treat you will impact your stay in the store and how you will speak of the store when you go out and meet other people. Walk into "Gary's Shoe Store for Women" (from Married With Children) and you'll find Davis, Schlesinger, Nagy and all the rest serving the customers.
You run this business, Blanche, so you tell me if you want fucking Al Bundy serving your customers? Who do you think old Al will attract? And whom will Al repel from his store? Those are easy questions to answer. So if you run a business I'd be very careful with the signals you send to people. Walk around yelling "Heil Satan", abusing people and making an asshole out of yourself you will attract nothing but power hungry, naziphile creeps, who never experienced a moment in their life when they were in control of their destiny. The people will come online and they will start bossing people around, as these empty power plays will feed their starving egos. Or keep telling people to "do Satan's bidding", "summon Demons and spirits" and keep telling them to "defy God" (and make sure to write articles that should have been confined to the Ritual Chamber) and you'll attract all the Xtoid waste products that are unable to escape their indoctrination. Or: give them pure Dark Doctrine and you won't get the ego starved, repressed bullies that are normally attracted to the perceived fascist aspects of Satanism.
It's all about setting up a honey-pot, and some laws of attraction exist here. E.g. if you try to attract people to a "self-help religion" in the sense that joiners must use the CoS to get what they do not already have (strength, joy, etc) you actually start out with a bunch of have-nots or people who are weak to begin with. If the attraction presented is primarily "ego boosting" they attracted persons will be made to feel powerful and they will happily lick up this opiate. Chances are, however, that these people will be content to feed upon the opium presented to them, and instead they will not become powerful/joyous/whatever. End result of this honey-pot: members high on Ego. If you set up a different honey-pot with the Dark Doctrines as the lure you will not get weak people like this as the Dark Doctrines do not cater to people's Egos. Of course, there has to be a balance here, especially if one is to appeal to people who have grown up as Xtians, but special care must be taken not to become a watering hole for thirsting Xtoids.
These are all choices to be made and you're the High Priestess so you're the one calling the cards. So what will you be selling this year and the years to come: empty ego gratification and fantasy of grandeur, or will it be pure, fundamentalist Satanism which is totally resting in itself, free of the tethers of Xtianity?
But back to the mall: if the whole fucking business is unable or unwilling to get rid of the shitty salespersons (the Al Bundies). Then what? I can tell you from experience that if I shop in such a place I never come back and I will wonder if the leaders are not weak and inefficient as they allow incompetence to eat up their profits.
I will also state something else: people who are not already in the CoS, and even people who are seriously contemplating joining will not give a rats ass about your disclaimers on the CoS site. These people will look at both lay members as well as "higher-ups" when deciding whether to join or not. In the old days I had no contact with other CoS members before joining, and I joined totally on the premise that the CoS was representing Satanism as it was meant to. Today you do not enjoy that luxury, Blanche.
All monopolies must fall
What I'm trying to do is get past the "org think" that's preventing everyone from seeing what's going on.
Once upon a time those who contacted the CoS could be (safely) assumed to have read The Satanic Bible or pretty much nothing except a bit of Colin Wilson, Richard Cavendish and what-have-you. Basic fact of those days: the CoS set everyone's agenda and there was no alternative! Or in the case of alternatives, people would not perceive there was an alternative, often because of the lack of marketing on the part of alternative Satanic churches.
Today the first exposure to Satanism is going to be the Internet, and that percentage is on the increase if anything. People like me don't even read the newspapers anymore: we read everything on the Internet. Popular media also never feature the books of Dr. LaVey or yours Blanche, but they do feature websites, provide urls to them and often quote directly from them. Why? Path of Least Resistance! It's easy! Some of my Danish texts on Satanism are part of at least one high school curriculum.
A completely ignorant person (as far as Satanism goes) who goes online will not be as likely to consider the CoS "The Thing To Do" as in the past. Those newcomers will feel they actually have a choice, and the CoS will not have much of an advantage over the other "Satanists" out there, be they Egan or Aquino. You know their condition, it's called Xtian osmoconsciousness or Xtian encirclement, and people are at best ignorant, but willing to learn. When these people get online something must be done to sway their choice in the CoS's direction - yes I'm talking marketing of some kind.
Hell, these people may be looking for a religion to suit them, and maybe if they see the corporate CoS and the (we must always remember it, always...) copyrighted Baphomet they may have more instant sympathy for Egan who freely offers his symbol as a religious symbol (see Egan's site). Well, what's in it for me? A free symbol I can use, or a symbol I have to beg on my knees to use (not to mention pay money to use). Although Egan is a shitty Satanist at best, some might find his approach on many things very much to their liking.
I won't even go into what's "right" here, but I'm just noticing stuff. The CoS has lost its monopoly. And I'm saying: if your do not acutely feel that there are "other alternatives out there" you are not in sync with how many people see it right now. I.e. as a marketing person and journalist you are not in touch with our audience.
So you can lean back and put your feet our on the keyboard like the American car industry did in the 80's where they enjoyed good times behind barriers to entry (protectionism), but you and the whole CoS will surely be overrun when the barriers to entry crumble and the CoS faces a multitude of young people who understand the Internet media totally and take it seriously.
The Internet has something other media don't
The Internet is not like TV. The net contains primarily pull technology where the user has to make an active effort to achieve exposure to certain material. Furthermore the individual has a number of tools at his disposal with which he can alter the way he is exposed to things on the Internet. You may have heard of the (in)famous "kill filters" or "Ignore" options where a person can "turn his deaf ear" on a pesky individual - if you ignore or kill filter a person you just won't ever see him again, so whatever he's doing cannot bother you. Such end user moderation is maybe a concept totally foreign to you, but it is a very empowering feature that can save you a lot of aggravation if you don't like to engage in "flaming".
Also, with the Internet you actually have the opportunity to let your voice be heard without any censorship at all. You can totally be yourself, and to me it has meant the opportunity to offer Satanism to people without the "creative cutting" seen on TV.
That is why it is sad to hear the "rhetoric of reaction" from you and the officially appointed online representatives. You are clearly not intimate with the Internet and its working and you seem to have a basic distrust that I doubt you will ever overcome as long as you live. So you yell "sour grapes" and base your judgment on hearsay and the experiences of a few incompetent magicians who can't even make a simple chat room into a pleasurable experience for their guests.
And I know you're basing 90% of what you say in those articles upon hearsay. You didn't ever chat on those rooms, and I doubt you ever chatted with anyone online. I also deduce that the same applies to your experience with newsgroups as the recent communiqué does nothing to distinguish between newsgroups and chat rooms - and that is an important distinctions to make, especially as some of what you say apply more to newsgroups than to chat rooms. It is also pretty well known that Peter and Peggy do not use chat, so in reality they have no experience with it - just more hearsay.
It is also known that Doktor was no authority on computers, and even less so on the Internet. Furthermore you refer back to 1995 predictions about the Internet, but the Internet is changing rapidly as new technologies arise, people get faster and cheaper access and just plainly get used to it. 1995 means a lot less today and a lot of the rhetoric from those days is the same stuff as sour grapes are made of. Let's face it: I know old people and they just don't get it computerwise, except a small percentage of very adaptable individuals who grasp is very quickly (like Tani Jantsang who by all measures started out as a fucking moron on computers).
So I really don't care what Doktor might have had in the compartment of personal opinions about the Internet, because he was never there when it happened, and you have never chatted online, or went to newsgroups, or been a regular user of the world wide web and I don't think you know your way around so well there's no barriers or frustration when you use it.
Taking a step back
In the above I've argued a great deal about the nature of the Internet, because I wanted to make you understand how people really do perceive and use it.
However, what is really going on if we look at the big picture? I have my doubts whether ignorance of the Internet is really the greatest problem, and I alluded to this problem earlier by stating that the official CoS stance really looks like someone is giving up on the issue because they can't handle it.
In my view, there are some core aspects of the CoS that has changed recently (especially since Dr. LaVey died!).
Put plainly there has emerged a fascist faction within the CoS and it even seems that anyone challenging their ideas are put down by this clique, including by Peter Gilmore. Actually, some people today (and I mean CoS members) are attacking e.g. the Dark Doctrines with the same arguments as the Temple of Set used a few years back when Phil, Tani, Ole and others thrashed them. Especially the Dark Doctrines that defend Dr. LaVey's use of the phrase "the dark force" ("force" is a layman's term which is perfectly OK to use, but many have attacked this forcefully).
Recently Peter Gilmore told Kaiden Fox this: "If people have substantial disagreements with LaVey's work, or wish to promote something else as the basis for Satanism, like the "dark doctrines," then they should not be members and should tender their resignations immediately." Personally I find it amazing that he said this, but it's a fact that he did. I mean: does he (do YOU) really wish to destroy every single foundation and tradition Satanism ever had, does he wish to let Satanism become rooted in Xtianity (because that's the only think left to BE rooted in if you take out the stuff from Satanic Roots part 1-2) - despite Dr. LaVey's numerous references to Masonic influences. Does he really wish to make Anton LaVey's works into scripture despite the fact that LaVey never intended this and actually put in the Satanic Bible that the people of every day and age should define their own values - because what is stimulating and good for one time might be stifling for people at other times. So, like it or not, the works of LaVey contains the seed of their own undoing or development.
Blanche, I have to ask: are you even aware that this is happening? Are you seeing just half of what is happening or do you just get sketchy reports at best?
Let me give another example of this change of heart. The most influential magazine in Satanism today is The Black Flame, and in 1995 (actually 1996 if I remember it correctly) you published Sycophants Unite! Now that was cool with me and there was a lot of good stuff in that article, and you basically said to people that they needn't be ashamed that they like the CoS or what LaVey wrote in the Satanic Bible - none of that would make one a "follower" or "spaniel".
Then take 1997 Black Flame (vol. 6) that features the article A Heathen Manifesto, by Robert Rust. By all accounts this articles is scientifically wrong and woefully ignorant of even first-year textbook knowledge on zoology, biology and evolutionary theory. Not that there weren't available at the time essays that were scientifically valid, there most certainly was. However, the scientifically invalid was chosen above the scientifically correct.
However, contrast that article with the recent Black Flame article called To Arms, by Reverend K.S. Anthony. I know that he can't speak as authoritatively as you, but the articles are nevertheless approved by to of the most influential Magisters in the CoS and Council of Nine spokespersons, Peter Gilmore and Peggy Nadramia, and Anthony himself is a Priest. In Anthony's short article I read nothing but pure Solar Male, warrior ethic, Bushido, Xtoid bullshit. I am told that:
"Anyone who lacks the courage and audacity to stand behind our leaders 100% should leave NOW. Anyone who is interested in debates about moot points should get out NOW. Anyone who doesn't agree with our goals, our methods and our aims should turn in their cards and get out, NOW".
And he continues:
"Your blood and soil are being threatened. The honor of the organization you've sworn loyalty to is being profaned. People who have betrayed the sacred legacy passed on to us to Anton LaVey [...] There is an inner circle [...] one think in common: a fanatical dedication to their Church, its leader and its philosophy. Not merely and interest, mind you, but a violent, unwavering, all-consuming love."
Well HELLO! Since when did YOU, Blanche, become infallible like the Pope? Since when did the CoS change from a "non-joiners organization" to an army of regimented SERFS who are required to do their Lord's bidding? Since when did you or anyone else in the CoS become unassailable icons of truth whose thoughts and behaviors are beyond reproach? Since when did a Satanist have to unquestioning follow "Der Führers" commandments? Another thing is this fanatical love of the CoS, LaVey, all the talk about what LaVey left is "sacred". What is that? This guys may be loyal, but for all the wrong reasons! He's done nothing but replace "The Church, Jesus and Xtianity" with "The Church of Satan, Anton LaVey and Satanism". Where's his loyalty to himself?
This is the "fascism" of the CoS that I'm seeing right here, right now and I don't like being told by ANYONE that I have to shut up and obey orders! Some people round here seems to think the CoS is the army, but in reality no person in the CoS has any real power over anyone and they're kidding themselves if they think so. Sure, they may think everyone quivers with fear once the "higher-ups" speaks, but that only shows they do not know people like me very well.
Of course this is not exactly the "political fascism" Hitler or Mussolini stood for. No, this "fascism" just shares the same cultural background that provided the soil for Hitler's Third Reich to grow, and that cultural background is Xtianity and Solar Cult doctrine, it is Adamic doctrine! You should recognize this trend easily enough if you read Male Disease by Tani Jantsang, or maybe something like From the Avesta to Modern Christian Thinking, also by Tani Jantsang. Personally I find their behavior transparent as hell, but let me provide an example of a well know nutcase Solar Male if there ever was one: John C. Davis. Tough like hell to listen to, he's even stated that he'd only take a piss in public toilets in the cabins and not at the pissoirs due to security issues. As it (always) turns out his own worst enemy was himself, as he blew his brains out in front of his wife. Yet he was a typical example of the Solar Male, fascistoid type that actually receives much press and praise in such magazines as The Black Flame. He was typical in the sense that he would choose Bushido (samurai path) over the Ninpo (Ninja, dark path), the Apollonian over the Dionysian, and the stoic over the emotional, and the stiff upper lip over the smile.
The troubles on the Internet are just reflective of what's going on in "real life"
Let me just finish by saying that I am worried by the future of the CoS, now that it is maneuvering itself between the nails of both Jews and Nazis (Jews because they hate Nazis and Nazis because they hate Satanists). I don't find the flirt with Fascist/Nazi/Xtian tradition funny and it only serves to attract pure scum, and it also dilutes what could have been pure Satanism divorced from the Patriarchal, Xtian husband. I don't think Satanism is a bitch that needs to be slapped around by such a husband. In my opinion we need a divorce, and we need it fast. Time to clean house.