February 7, 2011
Host: Robert M. Price
The nineties witnessed an outbreak of "Satanic Panic," with psychologists dredging up false memories of "Satanic ritual abuse" which landed innocent parents in jail and banked the fires of hysteria. It seemed the Salem Witch Trials had returned! But what is Satanism? Are there actually murderous, nihilistic cults sacrificing human lives? Were there?
Actual Satanism seems to be much more innocent, despite a name which invites negative publicity. In this respect Satanism is not unlike atheism. A "dirty word," it seeks to be a positive force. But how can that be if Satanists worship the devil? The Church of Satan, founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey, was a hedonistic and theatrical form of religious humanism, a cult of campy schtick. But from it emerged, in 1975, the Temple of Set, founded by Michael Aquino. This new sect describes itself as Neo-Platonic and reveres Set, an ancient deity understood as a force of will, challenge, and self-development. This religion defies most stereotypes, and thus ought to be of special interest to rationalists, skeptics, and humanists who are weary of debating standard-brand Christian theism.
Don Webb, weird fiction author and former High Priest of the Temple of Set, is our guest this week. Join host Robert Price as he interrogates this remarkable figure. How do you play Devil's Advocate with a guy who has been an active practitioner of the Left Handed Path of magic for three decades? Some of Don's fiction is available in the collection When They Came. Nonfiction books include Seven Faces of Darkness and Uncle Setnakt's Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path. Don't miss an unparalleled opportunity to learn the inside story of real Satanism, as opposed to tabloid hysteria.
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Books Mentioned in This Episode:
August 10, 2007