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May 2001

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In this issue:    Suicide Sandler!     Coping With Satanism!     Doin' it Crankenstyle!     PLUS: Hippie Holocaust!, And a castration-free CULT PICK!.
A Literature Review of Coping With Satanism
by Allen J. Ottens, Ph.D. and Rick Myer, Ph.D.

X- The Geoff With The X-Ray Eyes

There are dozens of self-help books on the shelves these days, many of them recommended by Oprah, Rosie, or some other daytime celebrity with their own self-titled magazine. Cures for low self-esteem, smoking, porn addictions, chicken soups for your gay brother's best friend's sisters' dog... you name it. Regular readers of PULP will all nod sagely when I tell the world that there are more pressing social issues. Like Satanism. What if you or someone you love is a Satanist, or is developing satanic leanings? What do you do? Alanon can't help you. No manner of liquid meal will suffice. You must turn to COPING WITH SATANISM.

Written in 1994, shortly after the Geraldo-fronted anti-Satanic flap of the late 80's, COPING is a fairly balanced study of a very complex issue. Its hundred-odd pages and large typeface bring to life the rich history of Satanism and indeed the whole of the Evil Occult Arts. While ostensibly a psychological

study of the practices of devil worship and worshippers, there pervades the work a subtle and pungent aroma of Christian condescension. Rather than detract from the book's tone, I feel it only adds to the enjoyment. The reader is introduced to the subject via a fictional account of young Jamie and the new kids at her school that frighten her even as they arouse curiosity deep within her secret places. After Jamie considers turning to evil the book moves on to a brisk, yet full, history of the concept of evil.

The 2 and a half pages devoted to the metaphysical musings of humankind are some of the most rewarding I have ever read. Drop your religion and philosophy classes now, kids. It's all in here.

There's an interesting list of alternate names for the Prince of Darkness, most of which also seem to be suitable euphemisms for the male genitalia. "Black Prince", "Old Hairy", "Old Horny", "Ash", "The Good Fellow", and my personal favorite "Lusty Dick".

Our historiography continues, taking us from Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost all the way to Burns' Oh God! You Devil!. We are shown how various marginalized Christian sects from the Gnostics to the Knights Templar have had their beliefs perverted, no doubt by Evil, into those of the Satanist. We end our journey through time with Anton LeVey, head of the Church of Satan and the actor who starred as Satan in Rosemary's Baby.

Just in case you may already be a Satanist and not know it, the next chapter illustrates a number of common signs and sigils used by Satanists when they are keeping it real. You have your inverted pentagram, your baphomet (don't believe Ash, there is a difference), your 666, inverted crosses and so on and so forth. The authors do stray here and seem to throw in every symbol associated with society's fringes that they can find.

This chapter also identifies a number of Archetypes of Satanic Individuals that I suspect every regular reader of PULP falls into somehow. There's the Psychopathic Delinquent, The Angry Misfit, and The Pseudointellectual. The chapter ends with a glance at that bastion wrongdoing, Dungeons and Dragons.

Let me quote from the text:

"Becoming engrossed in these games...could cause a player to relax defenses against evil and thus provide Satan a window of opportunity to gain control of his or her personality."

They couldn't be more right. Gentle reader, you may or may not be aware that toy industry giant Hasbro has recently released a new edition of the quarter-century old D&D game through their Satanic Hobbies Division, Wizards of the Coast. Rest assured, this abomination must be halted! Pick up your pencils and write to:

BADD (Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons) 295 Main Street Boxford, MA 01921USA

You'll be glad you did.

Continuing on, the chapter on Rituals and Ceremonies cautions the reader that it is not a 'how to', and it sure isn't. It teases the reader with hints of incantations, conjurations, and sex magick, but it never pays up. Departing from the Christian positivity for a moment, the authors sum up the practice of Satanism as one of self-esteem building as opposed to religiosity. It also states that perhaps people get into Satanism because they are lazy.

Need some helpful dates on which to Blaspheme? Let me assist you:
Feb.02: Candlemas
Apr.30: Walpurgis Night/Beltane Eve - a great time for sacrificing children!
June 23: Midsummer's Night - Satanists celebrate it 2 days late. They're so
Evil! Aug.01: Lammas
Oct.31: Ash's Birthday (He prefers it if you refer to it as his 'Special Day')
Dec.21: Winter Solstice

Chapter 5 presents the Four Levels of Satanic Involvement, as modeled by Law Enforcement consultant Robert Hicks. Level 1 is the much rumored level wherein broad conspiracies exist, ritually abusing and murdering hordes of children. Most sane people and the FBI put this level of Satanism in the same category of imaginary things as UFOs and Michael Jackson. Level 2 is the home of organized public Satanism, such as LeVey's Church of Satan and the O-Town Official Fan Club. At the 3rd level we have 'self-styled' Satanists, like Chuckie Manson. I like to put TV shows like "Will and Grace" and "Dharma and Greg" in here too. Something foul spawned those. 4th level involvement consists of 'ritual dabblers' and anyone who has ever listened to Heavy Metal music. Signs of this level of involvement could include:

  • -reading books on Satanism
  • -conducting ceremonies in cemeteries
  • -changes in diet
  • -the appearance of odd alphabetic marks on clothing

Thus some 4th level Satanists are:

  • -anyone who reads 'Coping With Satanism'c
  • -funerary officials
  • -anyone at Jenny Craig
  • -Tommy Hilfiger

Chapter 6 devotes most of its time to the next most serious issue in Satanism after D&D: Heavy Metal music. While not daring to just come out and say that Heavy Metal is the music of Lucifer, a rather large finger is pointed just so. Never mind that by 1994 Heavy Metal as a genre had largely been subsumed by the uber-genre of Alternative Rock, but perhaps the Devil is merely hiding his handiwork. After all, a strong argument could be made that Treblecharger and OLP have more to do with social disintegration than either Ratt or Quiet Riot ever did.

The book begins wrapping things up with another fictional story that could have been torn from today's headlines in 1994. This time it's Mike. Mike starts dressing in black, doing poorly in school, writing violent stories, and scoring with chicks of questionable character. If Mike had been in high school 5 years later, he would have proceeded to get Daddy's gun and make like a postman, but back in the innocent and naive early 90's, he merely turned to Satanism. I won't spoil the ending of this nail-biter... There is also a short chapter on Getting Out of Satanism and a helpful glossary of terms to round things out.

Overall, the book was a highly enjoyable, super-charged read, on the level of any John Grisham thriller. Before his timely death, Stanley Kubrick was said to be working on a motion picture adaptation. Steven Spielberg picked up the pieces and turned it into AI, coming this summer, to a theatre near you. I know I'll be at the front of the line. Until then, though, all we can do is read the book that started it all, and look around us and wonder, who are the Satanists? They could be your teen-aged daughter, your grandfather, or the editor of an internet infotainment rag. You just never know...

This book gets 8 out of a possible 10 stars, losing points for not being graphic enough and not really hiding the Christian soppiness.

Referenced in Coping... is the book Satanism: A Guide to the Awesome Power of Satan by W. Baskin. It is a much more satisfying read.

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