You cannot claim a comprehensive knowledge of the occult without a look at the darker side. So here is a round-up of the real black arts.
The development of Satanism is a perfect example of the powers of propaganda and public relations. Christianity comes to the heathens and one of the early Church fathers has the bright idea of telling everyone that the old fertility religion that they used to follow is actually worshipping the Devil. (See Witchcraft and Gnosticism.)
They convince everyone that the local god is the Devil in disguise and then put it about that his worshippers cavort about in the nude, indulge in abandoned group sex and drink heavily. Then they wonder why they are losing even more people from their flock.
The Church Fathers scratch their heads a bit and come up with the idea of telling everyone that these devil worshippers eat children, sacrifice virgins, drink urine and defile graves. This works for most of the congregation but of course there has to be one person who thinks "That sounds interesting. I'll need to give it a try next full moon." And so Satanism is bom.
The essence of it is that you should act in the most bestial and offensive fashion you can think of like some sort of mystical Hell's Angel - and you will attract the attention of the infernal being and he will reward you with super-human powers. That's the theory, anyway.
Whether anyone has ever got any super-human
Eowers is debatable, but by the time the Satanists ave finished:
a) turning crosses upside down b) using a prostitute's naked body as an altar c) drinking and eating all sort of unmentionable things instead of the host;
they have got so used to their depravities, they keep doing it just for the fun.
Black Mass - Supposedly a serious Satanic ceremony, although it seems more popular as a particularly lurid night club act.
'Do unto others as they do unto you' - The motto of the Church of Satan*. You wonder how many long winter nights they sat up thinking up that one.
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