Post link 20 April 2016, 17:52
“We do not seek followers, but collaborators”

http://www.mastakongo.com/news/images/Articles_photo/2016/April/devil1.jpgBaphomet
It was exactly this sort of coalition that TST spokeswoman Jex Blackmore hoped to forge through events like the Sabbat Cycle.

In Austin, Texas, Blackmore took the stage before a screening of “The Witch” at the Alamo Drafthouse and explained that the film was a “microcosm of a patriarchal theocratic society that results in satanic revolution.” In Blackmore’s reading of the film, the titular witch was driven to witchcraft by Puritan oppression.

Afterward I got to chat with Drafthouse employee and film buff Laird Jimenez about this assessment. He noted that “escaping patriarchy” is currently part of a cultural zeitgeist that includes films like Oscar-winner “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which depicts women escaping – and then overthrowing – a patriarchal warlord.

Following the screening, everyone migrated to a bar and music venue called The Sidewinder, where TST held their ritual. Members from the Detroit and San Antonio chapters began setting up and handing out satanic American flags painted in only black and white. I mingled with a small crowd of Satanic sympathizers and the curious. Leather jackets, tattoos and pentagrams were in abundance.

During the ritual, a speaker played an excerpt from a speech by Baptist pastor Dr. Jeff Owens, in which Owens warned his congregation, “Satan does not want you to do what he wants you to do. Satan wants you to do what you want to do.” (Other eyewitness accounts of the ritual can be found here and here.) Owens had been warning that Satan uses people’s pride and selfish desires against them, but the ritual imposed its own interpretation onto his message: To TST, Satan represents moral autonomy and personal responsibility.

Blackmore eventually appeared from beneath a hood and took to a podium to deliver what can only be described as a “satanic jeremiad.” She warned that Christian theocrats were taking over America and that those present – atheists, satanists, fans of heavy metal and punk music – were allowing it to happen: “There’s too much apathy and not enough resistance!”

She told the audience, “We do not seek followers, but collaborators.”

Afterward I spoke with some young people from the crowd. One explained that he was attracted to Satanism because “It’s about knowledge,” not dogma.

http://www.mastakongo.com/news/images/Articles_photo/2016/April/Lilith-Starr-chapter-head-of-The-Satanic-Temple-of-Seattle.jpg
Lilith Starr, chapter head of The Satanic Temple of Seattle, holds a plastic skull while being photographed in her home Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Seattle.


Another, Jonathan – who identified as a witch – seemed the most likely to be sympathetic to TST’s politics. He said that when he attended high school in Virginia Beach, his classmates targeted him for openly identifying as a Pagan. Someone even pretended to be him and called in bomb threats to his school. The events attracted the attention of Detective Don Rimer, a notorious “occult crime expert,” who confiscated all of Jonathan’s books on witchcraft as evidence. There was an attempt to forcibly commit Jonathan to a mental institution.

I asked Jonathan if he thought TST was really a religion.

“Definitely,” he said, “Some people treat Christianity as a hobby. But no one thinks it’s not a real religion.”

Can the satanists win?

As the event wound down, I was able to interview Blackmore. Like Marx, Blackmore saw her revolution as inevitable: the Christian Right would naturally drive people to rebel against it.

She told me that she’d recently met a French journalist who said that nothing like TST could happen in France. The French model of laicité – a much more ingrained version of America’s professed separation of church and state – leaves nothing to rebel against. By contrast, TST wants to challenge the popular belief that America is a “Christian nation.”

Many TST members and allies I spoke to described strict Christian upbringings. In Blackmore’s assessment, progressive cities like Austin are paradoxically the most apathetic about resisting the Christian Right because people in progressive cities feel they are unaffected by religion-influenced laws. Blackmore saw “The Witch” as an opportunity to get more people involved and hasten their political revolution.

But Jonathan pointed out that this dialectic can swing both ways: revolution begets counterrevolution. For example, in the 1970s, the New Christian Right formed, in part, as a response to the perceived excesses of the 1960s.

Likewise, there is a risk that an openly satanic presence in American politics will energize the very forces TST opposes. Right wing news sites such as Breitbart.com and LifeSiteNews have given TST heavy coverage precisely because their rhetoric can be used as fodder for antiabortion activists.

Conservative voices have claimed TST “proves” what they have said all along – that God is with them and their political opponents are literally demonic.

In many ways, TST is the heir to the “New Left” of the 1960s and such figures as Abbie Hoffman and Allen Ginsberg. Events like the “exorcism” of the Pentagon in 1967 demonstrated an understanding of ritual and semiotics: the strategic use of religious symbols could change what the Pentagon represented to the public.

But the New Left also intentionally straddled the line between prank and sincerity in order to draw media attention to their cause. It is contested today what effect the New Left actually had toward the goal of ending the Vietnam War and it is similarly unclear what effect TST might have on America’s political center of gravity.

Nonetheless, millennials now outnumber baby boomers. They’re a more diverse generation than their predecessors, and major changes to the political landscape seem inevitable.

Still, supporters like Jonathan remain skeptical of TST’s true viability.

“It’s not that they’re wrong,” he said, “But this is Austin, and look how many people came out? And how many people here are actually going to do anything?”

Promoting Satanism in movies


The Actual Scary Movie "Witch"

The movie starts, and the poor The Witch family self-banishes from their Puritan community to set out for a new life in a clearing by the woods, and I’m back to orange.

Already bone-afraid in general of the plight of Puritan families in the woods, here’s a family with (a) a dad who has taken his Puritan family away from the Puritans because they are not hardcore enough; (b) a doe-eyed teen (nothing good happens to doe-eyed teens in movie woods); (c) creepy-ass twins (proposal: boy/girl fraternal twins are way scarier than identical twins); (d) a mom played by the actress last seen being moon-doored by Carcetti on Game of Thrones; and (e) a goat that is so clearly the devil that it makes me fundamentally skeptical of the depth of the family’s Puritanism.
And there they are, at the edge of the woods, creepy twins singing creepy songs to their clearly-the-devil he-goat, terrifying-Moon-Door-mom warning her doe-eyed daughter not to go into the woods. There’s a repressed preteen leering guiltily at his doe-eyed sister, they live in a drafty, candlelit hovel among their bleating livestock and their howling dog, and everything about this setup terrifies me.


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Topic edited 1 times, last edit by RouTe, 20 April 2016, 17:53  

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