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Does Satanism attract "failures"? | Forum

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johnnywatts Chapter Head
johnnywatts Aug 20 '15

I've been a Satanist for at least 7 years now, and for most of it I've been alone in its practice. While practicing alone, I read as much as I could about the philosophy behind Satanism, and one thing above all stood out to me: That the Satanist must be competent and strong in his pursuits.


As such, I've made strides to ensure some semblance of competence in my life. I ended up dropping out of college earlier in life, but I got an apprenticeship-like job and eventually got promoted to a senior management position. Now I'm back in college to finish what I started, and will be graduating next year from a semi-prestigious school. After that it'll be a Masters, from which I will attempt to join the aerospace industry.


So, at least in my view, I have been moving upwards in my life given the cards I was dealt. I have very clear plans for the next 5 years of my life, and general plans for 10 years and beyond. All I'm doing now is executing my plans.


Based on observation, however, I've recently  come to the conclusion that the membership of Satanism consists largely of "failures" in life, based on my observations. Minimum wage workers, the unemployed, those who do not walk a clearly defined path towards a better life, or those who don't even have a plan for their lives.


Why is this? I'm not sure LaVey would be happy if his entourage who hung out in his Black House consisted mostly of such "failures". Furthermore, given our philosophy, should we not be pursuing the betterment of our lives?


Besides discussing the why's, can people also point out successful Satanists they know of? Celebrities don't count, because becoming Marilyn Manson is not a viable path in life.

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Rob Graves Chapter Head
Rob Graves Aug 20 '15
I have made some of these same observations, Johnny. I think that the reason the lifestyle attracts such people is primarily because people who don't amount to much generally have typical personality traits, and one is being flamboyantly inflammatory. One could potentially argue for days as to whether this trait of theirs is caused by their failures, or whether their failures are caused by the trait, but I feel the end result is the same. They find the trappings of a Satanic path perfectly caustic, and use it to further their hobbies of pretending to be persecuted and pissing off their parents. 

These people tend to be intimidated by the company of other Satanists, and their Satanic façades tend to crumble in the face of any real scrutiny. I don't particularly count these people as Satanists. 

However, at the same time, I feel it is nearly always worth noting that LaVey did not present the one and only Satanic path, and so not everyone stands to be judged by his standards. 
Shawn
Shawn Aug 20 '15

@johhnywatts: There's a kind of... narration ... that is used in Satanism especially the failures, or someone momentarily feeling weak as a way to shore up their ego.  


So, I have to ask, who are you to judge who is and isn't a failure? This is something that can only be judged by the person themselves because only they know what they want out of life. If someone was relatively poor, like I don't know, LaVey himself, there's a good chance that money isn't what they wanted. Go figure. But hey, what did he know right? He was only a carnie organ player. 


Secondly, given the highly individual nature of what people want in life, who are you to recognize what a 'clearly defined path' is for them, or even if they need a plan. On the other hand, this is a clear example of Satanic Sin #3. 


And no, Satanists don't have to be "competent and strong in his pursuits." The bare minimum is being honest about whatever you make of your situation and not be a whiner about it. Getting real, it also turns out, is vital to the path of Mastery which is what leads to being "competent and strong in his persuits." It's the process that's important. It's like you're saying a Satanist must be physically fit, but exercise? Nahh. 

Shawn
Shawn Aug 20 '15
@Rob Graves: "However, at the same time, I feel it is nearly always worth noting that LaVey did not present the one and only Satanic path, and so not everyone stands to be judged by his standards." 


There is no such thing as a "satanic path". Satanism is an objective path. Nice try, though, as I've only heard that bit of sophistry a thousand times before. In the biz, we call that a "cop out." ;)


Since LaVey was both heavily influenced by and borrowed heavily from Ayn Rand (you knew that already, I know), here's some Ayn Rand to illuminate the issue:


"The Objectivist ethics holds man’s life as the standard of value -- and his own life as the ethical purpose of every individual man.


The difference between “standard” and “purpose” in this context is as follows: a “standard” is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man’s choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. “That which is required for the survival of man qua man” is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of applying this principle to a concrete, specific purpose—the purpose of living a life proper to a rational being—belongs to every individual man, and the life he has to live is his own.


Man must choose his actions, values and goals by the standard of that which is proper to man—in order to achieve, maintain, fulfill and enjoy that ultimate value, that end in itself, which is his own life."


"Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil."


"“Man’s survival qua man” means the terms, methods, conditions and goals required for the survival of a rational being through the whole of his lifespan—in all those aspects of existence which are open to his choice."


And, I'll just leave this last quote right here: 


"These people tend to be intimidated by the company of other Satanists, and their Satanic façades tend to crumble in the face of any real scrutiny."

johnnywatts Chapter Head
johnnywatts Aug 23 '15

Quote from Rob Graves I have made some of these same observations, Johnny. I think that the reason the lifestyle attracts such people is primarily because people who don't amount to much generally have typical personality traits, and one is being flamboyantly inflammatory. One could potentially argue for days as to whether this trait of theirs is caused by their failures, or whether their failures are caused by the trait, but I feel the end result is the same. They find the trappings of a Satanic path perfectly caustic, and use it to further their hobbies of pretending to be persecuted and pissing off their parents. 
These people tend to be intimidated by the company of other Satanists, and their Satanic façades tend to crumble in the face of any real scrutiny. I don't particularly count these people as Satanists. 
However, at the same time, I feel it is nearly always worth noting that LaVey did not present the one and only Satanic path, and so not everyone stands to be judged by his standards. 
While I agree that LaVey did not place any hard and fast requirement on the Satanist to be successful, I sincerely find it strange that Satanists like to claim that they're the "enlightened few"/"elite few"/"<whatever few>" while being unemployed.


If our enlightenment is put against a backdrop of life filled with failure, be it financial failure, academic failure, intellectual or otherwise, it becomes quite clear that said enlightenment is detrimental to our lives. And if something is detrimental to our lives, should we not be quick to discard it in the name of self-preservation? Which, if true, will mean that Satanism is an inherently meaningless philosophy to profess for yourself.



Quote from Shawn

@johhnywatts: There's a kind of... narration ... that is used in Satanism especially the failures, or someone momentarily feeling weak as a way to shore up their ego.  


So, I have to ask, who are you to judge who is and isn't a failure? This is something that can only be judged by the person themselves because only they know what they want out of life. If someone was relatively poor, like I don't know, LaVey himself, there's a good chance that money isn't what they wanted. Go figure. But hey, what did he know right? He was only a carnie organ player. 


Secondly, given the highly individual nature of what people want in life, who are you to recognize what a 'clearly defined path' is for them, or even if they need a plan. On the other hand, this is a clear example of Satanic Sin #3. 


And no, Satanists don't have to be "competent and strong in his pursuits." The bare minimum is being honest about whatever you make of your situation and not be a whiner about it. Getting real, it also turns out, is vital to the path of Mastery which is what leads to being "competent and strong in his persuits." It's the process that's important. It's like you're saying a Satanist must be physically fit, but exercise? Nahh. 


Do not misunderstand. I'm not calling such people "failures" based solely on their financial success. I'm talking about people who clearly do not have a path in mind. I'd name names as examples, but then that will cross the discussion over into personal territory, which isn't exactly suitable for the Philosophy part of this board. So..., I guess you'll sort of have to guess what I mean?


In any case, to respond to your points:


Who am I to judge? I don't subscribe to the Christian maxim of "Judge not, lest ye be judged". I judge because I can. 


I agree that what constitutes "success" or "mastery" of one's own life to be highly individual. But yet, I should point out that, to anyone who professes a Satanic philosophy, self-preservation sits pretty high as a virtue, if not at the very top. Without this inherent selfishness, you're in White Light Religion territory.


I struggle to imagine unemployment, drug abuse, alcoholism, academic failure, financial failure, etc. as conducive to self-preservation. In 2015, anyone who has the aforementioned problems in life is likely to suffer for it. 


If one chooses to say, simply accept their "station" in life and not work towards dealing with said problems, then I'd argue that they're committing Sin #1: Stupidity. If not stupidity, then at the very least, complacency.



Quote from CorvusCorvus JW- We've chatted a bit and with modrate familiarity, I approach this question with an awareness of your academic and personal capacity for achievement in specific areas. You have found your passion and developed your talent. That is not rampantly common. You are, as we have established, The Golden Child. (deep bow...gong clangs)


Your claim, that becoming (like) Marilyn Manson, is not viable, is clearly subjective. It is unlikely, but decidedly possible. I assume you're positing that his path is so rare as to be practically irrelevant. Perhaps your defintion of success is too conditional? Also, could the influence of an icon in Satanism, known for a rare achievement, stand as a high mark, drawing effort to achieve from those below?
I would suggest that what might be considered "successful" to the main stream culture, may not apply in most cases to the larger Satanic movement, or other counter cultural, contrarian, revisionist, or similarly unorthodox social constructs. Satanist who revere knowledge over material may appear as a failure for one whose metrics differ.
Likely, those Satanists who are sucessful in the ordinary (materially.socio-economic) sense are more likely to conceal, obfuscate and remain anoymous. If your sample of Satanists is sourced from chat rooms, forums and mostly the online presence, your scope may be again, overly narrow.
If it isn't and you sense a notewothy loser-factor still, once you've defined your terms and sharpened the persepctive, than indeed, there may be something to your sentiment. At first glance, I assumed a similar position. Now, after actually meeting some people here, I see a wider and more diverse expression of both lifestyles and approachd to Satanism, both subtle and obvious. Intellect is often accompanied by social deficits, and genius masqurades as lunacy.
In conclusion, as a Satanic observer, I would assign a higher liklihood to your potentially taking a critical, skeptical, elitist, or exclusionary stance, and this too, would lead to an inflated, if subjectively accurate, failure measurement.
Your biases aside then, and with mine suspended as well, my opinion is that at all stages of development from so-called failure to self actualized icon, the abandonement of abrahamic faith traditions, or any other expression of metaphysical retardation is at the very least, one small victory of a defiant self over the collective weakness of the herd. 
I would add that to my defintion of what a non-failure is.


On the matter of viability of becoming Marilyn Manson, let's be real now. It simply isn't. What are the odds of success? Let's say 1%, to be generous (the real percentage is probably many decimals away). If a doctor proposes life saving surgery on you, with a 1% chance of success, is that a viable option? It clearly isn't. Sure, if it's the ONLY option, it probably is the only viable option (100% dead vs 99% dead). However, real life has many options, many of which have much higher odds of success.


My definition of "success" in life is a state where the Satanist does not face high levels of suffering daily. Struggling to put food on your table, difficulty on satisfying your own vices (drugs, alcohol, etc.). The "successful" Satanist to me is one who does not have to struggle hard to meet their own desires. i.e., they're happy (not "happy" as in "I'm okay with this shithole, I'll just stay here", but genuinely happy). So even if you're a drug addict, but a billionaire who can afford all the cocaine in the world, I'd call your life a success.


You bring up the example of a Satanist who reveres knowledge over material wealth. Let's be pragmatic for a second here: In 2015, if you are unemployed, your #1 priority is to eat. It is simply detrimental to yourself if you simple forgo nourishment in favor of say, books. I'd go as far as to say, it's suicidal and stupid. So even if an individual's metric is different, clearly being suicidal is counter to the philosophy said individual professes.


I agree, however, that perhaps my sample population is overly narrow. But yet, my sample population is more than likely going to be the same population non-Satanists are exposed to. So, at the very minimum, the crux of the issue will be loss of public trust/respect. Now, why Satanists should want public trust/respect is a really long discussion for another day. Suffice to say for now, that those of us who want the public to ignore us (instead of persecuting us) would very much prefer that Satanists are seen as regular people, instead of bottom-of-the-barrel types.


On the matter of your final statement, if this victory results in your own physical starvation, then it is not a victory at all. You don't claim victory in war by having your entire army starve.

Kat Chapter Head
Kat Aug 24 '15

Regarding Marilyn Manson, it's not such a ludicrous idea some one could achieve what he has -all be it not to the widespread knowledge of the public. On a basic level he is an artist and a musician, which is not so much of an outrageous career path. As a whole many Satanists are more original and free thinking than the general public  so are by nature more likely to be successful in the creative arts.


It's also easy to look down upon people as failures to the point of resentment if you have a lack of experience of worse situations yourself. Success is all with respect to what has occurred before. In Aristotle's ethics, it's said that ideas we have of achievement are null and void because they are never representative of a person, just of society as a whole. If you judge one man by the achievements of another, you instantly limit him.

It's ludicrous to judge a person's success based on material possessions - if you inherit $1,000,000 that doesn't mean you've been successful, even if you have it in the bank. 


@johnnywatts, when you talk about how Satanists as people are viewed by society, when do you suppose we will be considered normal? By definition we go against the herd and human nature rejects the strange, so we'll never be respected to the degree of Christianity. If you consider say the Mormons, the Amish, the KKK, there are many heinous sections of Christianity, there is a lot of Christianity in poor areas with high unemployment and drug addiction rates, just look at the trailer parks in America, the gypsies in the UK, Eastern Europe and Latin America as a whole. Yet when the public thinks of Christians they don't think of these people, so a few Satanists who aren't in the best place in their lives aren't going to make the general public think any less of Satanism than they already do.



Anna
Anna Aug 24 '15
@johnnywatts

Sometimes, these losers and failures are happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who think they are successful. It's often the matter of personal standards, priorities and expectations. There are people who really don't need much and though their lives may appear shitty to the general observer, it doesn't have to be so to the person living such a life.

Consider, for example, Anton LaVey. Every respectable businessman would consider him a loser. I mean... did that guy ever have a decent serious job? Moreover, he died in debt (about which he didn't give a fuck) and he should have died homeless. He didn't because he was crafty enough to screw his ex-wife out of her legal rights to the house. Was he happy? Who knows?

Personally, I think that how you deal with life challenges and ordeals shows what you're made of. Shit happens. Sometimes, people end up unemployed or on the verge of poverty through no fault of their own. The question is what they are doing to get themselves out of troubles. Are they struggling to get up or did they give up? Pulling yourself out of the drain takes some time and effort.

As far as planning your life goes, I'm not sure if it's such a good idea. Sure, you can plan things but future events can fuck up your plans to greater or lesser extent. I think it's not planning that ensures success but rather being flexible and able to adapt to new situations.
The Forum post is edited by Anna Aug 24 '15
Shawn
Shawn Aug 24 '15
@Kat:


"Success is all with respect to what has occurred before. In Aristotle's ethics, it's said that ideas we have of achievement are null and void because they are never representative of a person, just of society as a whole. If you judge one man by the achievements of another, you instantly limit him."


Yeah, it's difficult to be elite while using other people as one's base because that limits one's goal doing only slightly better than average. I've found it's more productive for progress to outdo myself.


@Anna:


Well said.

Beavery
Beavery Aug 26 '15
@JohnnyWatts There are plenty of Satanists who are successful by the standards which you speak.
As Robert Greene stated in his book, "The 48 Laws of Power" the first one is "Never outshine the master." and it is the first law for a reason.

The economic law of supply and demand is in fact a natural law all the way down to the level of the microbe. Since there are allot of people who want to be famous artists and famous musicians there is allot of competition in these arenas and to be successful in any of the arts requires truly exceptional talent which most do not have. The same could be said of sports only the competition is even more rigorous if one wants to become a professional athlete again due to the demand.

Should you find something you enjoy and are exceptionally good at on a large scale you have a career and money will follow. If you find something you enjoy but are not exceptionally good at you have a hobby. Many people simply mistake a hobby for a career and the money never comes.

You speak of completing college and going into the Aerospace Industry,  if it is something you enjoy and that you have a talent for I'd recommend you go for it and act quickly. 

P.S. I currently work in the Aerospace Industry, if you have any questions PM me.
Shawn
Shawn Aug 26 '15
" Since there are allot of people who want to be famous artists and famous musicians there is allot of competition in these arenas and to be successful in any of the arts requires truly exceptional talent which most do not have."


Everyone who wants to be a famous artist / famous musicians doesn't want to make good art/music -- they want to be famous. That's their criteria -- if a song gets them fame then it's a good song. The truly exceptional talent which most do not have is simply enjoying their craft for it's own sake. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tac71micVyQ

RevMel Member
RevMel Sep 6 '15
You are only a failure if you don't make honest attempts to improve your life and existence in both the physical, and spiritual sence. There were times in my early life, that I've wished: "why couldn't I have been born a rich white kid? My life would have been so much better now." Well, that's simply not a guarantee. A "failure" in my opinion, is someone who just doesn't try. Sits there, complains, makes no efforts to discover new things, not open to advise, so close-minded, that nothing get's into their mind. That person, who falls into a comfort zone, and settles. The airm chair quarterback, who instead of offering solutions, simply adds to the problem.
Heh
Heh Sep 16 '15
Every path attract failures and hard workers. It is not the system that improves or destroys the individual but the effort they put into improving themselves whether through religious indoctrination or mundane effort.
Zach Black Owner
Zach Black Sep 17 '15
Good one Johnny. I missed this one. You bring up good point. And I agree with you up to a certain point. I think any extreme political/religious group will attract those who feel powerless, un respected and helpless. Extreme terrorist, white power gangs, minority gangs ect. The downtrodden look for a way to have power and respect. They tend to look for the path of least resistance.

I mean, I do not look at the dude asking if I want it super sized for a dollar more as someone who has earned my respect. But then again I do not look at someone who makes six figures with respect either. But, you get what I am saying.

Why are so many Africans asking how to sell their soul for rich and fame? Because they got none and never will.

Look at the Nazi movement. Hitler was able to make a call to arms in Germany at a time went Germany was on the brink of collapse. And we all know how that went down.

On the other hand. Some are ' okay ' with having little to show but time. Time you may ask? Time to do what? IDK.... like make a shit load of youtube videos and create a network like this :)
The Forum post is edited by Zach Black Sep 17 '15
Beavery
Beavery Sep 17 '15
@ Zach  - Excellent point, time is the most valuable asset anyone has. I've been waiting to stumble upon you saying something worth some honest praise so I could earn a couple honest suck up points. Yeah, I don't get on here too often.
johnnywatts Chapter Head
johnnywatts Sep 20 '15

Quote from Anna @johnnywatts

Sometimes, these losers and failures are happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who think they are successful. It's often the matter of personal standards, priorities and expectations. There are people who really don't need much and though their lives may appear shitty to the general observer, it doesn't have to be so to the person living such a life.

Consider, for example, Anton LaVey. Every respectable businessman would consider him a loser. I mean... did that guy ever have a decent serious job? Moreover, he died in debt (about which he didn't give a fuck) and he should have died homeless. He didn't because he was crafty enough to screw his ex-wife out of her legal rights to the house. Was he happy? Who knows?

Personally, I think that how you deal with life challenges and ordeals shows what you're made of. Shit happens. Sometimes, people end up unemployed or on the verge of poverty through no fault of their own. The question is what they are doing to get themselves out of troubles. Are they struggling to get up or did they give up? Pulling yourself out of the drain takes some time and effort.

As far as planning your life goes, I'm not sure if it's such a good idea. Sure, you can plan things but future events can fuck up your plans to greater or lesser extent. I think it's not planning that ensures success but rather being flexible and able to adapt to new situations.
I don't have time to write a succinct rebuttal, but I'd like to show you the correlation between happiness and wealth.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23231724


Clearly, there is a strong correlation between wealth and happiness. That old adage of "money doesn't buy happiness" is bullshit, and there is little scientific evidence to support it.

Anna
Anna Sep 22 '15

Quote from johnnywatts

Clearly, there is a strong correlation between wealth and happiness. That old adage of "money doesn't buy happiness" is bullshit, and there is little scientific evidence to support it.


I understand where you're coming from but what does that have to do with Satanism? The number of "failures" among Satanists is proportional to the number of "failures" in general. Why should Satanists be different from the rest of the society? Because they are the self-proclaimed elite? Get real. Since when have wealth, prosperity and success depended on the religious or philosophical label?
Anna
Anna Sep 25 '15
Actually, you can buy love, Frater. Friendship too...
Zach Black Owner
Zach Black Sep 26 '15

Quote from FraterLuciferi Love is the result of brain chemistry like all other feelings... You can't buy to feelings... sigh, I still wonder what you are doing on a satanic forum if you are not a Satanist...
I would not reduce love or any emotions to simply chemical compounds in the brain. Sure emotion does trigger certain chemical changes but it can not be deduced to simply that. 


Anna has been around as long as I can remember. Although she may not be a Satanists, her contributions are welcome, usually :)

The Forum post is edited by Zach Black Sep 26 '15
Zach Black Owner
Zach Black Sep 26 '15
@Frater  I see your point about Anna not being a Satanist. But her opinion is still valid. If you want scientific proof that emotion is more than just brain chemistry see Wilhelm Reich book Function of the Orgasm and Character Analysis. Both go into great detail that there is more than just chemistry. There is thousands of pages of scientific research data on this ' force' . Even Einstein agreed this force exists after being presented with the evidence and research data. 


Both books can be found in our PDF library.

The Forum post is edited by Zach Black Sep 26 '15
FaustHabenicht
FaustHabenicht Sep 28 '15
This all depends on ones standards.  There are many who are perfectly happy with a modest wage and are, according to their own needs, able to do nearly everything they want and obtain everything they need.  If they are both content and happy, what reason do they have to cause themselves stress by striving for something they don't particularly want?


For others, including myself, unforeseen circumstances and factors that have nothing to do with what they personally have chosen will cause them to "fail".  Laid off due to a recession, not able to find work in their field and having to change fields (meaning either more training or more schooling), discovering after working a few years in a career that they simply can't stand it in practice, etc.

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