Theistic Satanism: Home > To Pagans > Stop scapegoating Satanists!
Stop scapegoating Satanists!
Various Pagan sites and their not-Satanists disclaimers
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
Pagan Witches do sometimes get asked, "Are you a Satanist?" or "Do you worship Satan?" And they do have the right to say that they are not Satanists. However, I ask that they phrase those disclaimers in a way that does not scapegoat, misrepresent, or otherwise insult Satanists. (See my critique of some common not-Satanists disclaimers.)
On an earlier version of this page, I wrote:
I do not ask that Pagan spokespeople make an effort to educate the public about Satanism as well as about their own beliefs. If a Pagan group, or an individual Pagan, does want to educate the public about Satanism, then I'll be happy to help, but that's not what I'm asking Pagans to do.
Nor do I ask Pagans to discuss, in their own introductory literature, the real historical ties between Satanism and modern Pagan Witchcraft. (See Satanism and the History of Wicca.)
I ask only that they stop scapegoating, misrepresenting, and insulting us. I ask that they say as little about us as possible and say it in a non-scapegoating manner. I also ask that they stop making false claims about themselves and their own history in order to exaggerate the distance between themselves and us.
Below are the beginnings of what will probably be a long series of attempts to educate various Pagan organizations and webmasters on this issue.
I would now say that it is actually in the best interests of the Pagan community itself for Pagans to debunk "Satanism" scares, for reasons spelled out in detail in To Pagans and occultists: Why it behooves Pagans and occultists to oppose a Satanic panic on my new Against Satanic Panics site.
But my focus here, on this page, is just on asking Pagans to stop misrepresenting and scapegoating us.
- Isaac Bonewits
- The offending document: The Enemies of Our Enemies by Isaac Bonewits
- Skeptic Tank Text Archive copies of replies to the original version of Bonewits's article when it was first published in Green Egg back in 1991 C.E.:
- Comments by Temple of Set founder Michael Aquino, written in 1991 C.E., concerning (1) Bonewits's "Enemies of Our Ememies" article itself and (2) Bonewits's reply to Aquino's comments
- Open Letter to Green Egg by Diane Vera, written in 1992 C.E.
- Bonewits's article My Satanic Adventure, about his days in the Church of Satan, and Michael Aquino's reply
- Pamplets distributed by Diane Vera on Saturday, October 1, 2005 C.E. at the New York City Pagan Pride Day festival, where Bonewits was a keynote speaker:
- To Pagans: Explain your beliefs without maligning another minority religion (featuring a critique of Bonewits's article "Enemies of our Enemies")
- What Is Satanism?
- Isaac Bonewits and "dualism"
Pagan Educational Network (PEN)
- The offending document: Modern Witchcraft on an archived version of the PEN website.
- What's wrong with PEN's "Modern Witchcraft" document
- Proposed revisions to PEN's "Modern Witchcraft" document
- PEN's Yahoo group SacredAction (If you join, see the archived posts beginning with #3661, Friday, October 17, 2003. Warning: heavy-duty displays of willful ignorance on the part of several PEN folks. At least Nancy, the moderator, was one of the more reasonable PEN members, but even she had a very annoying habit of repeatedly misreading what I was asking.)
If you support my effort but do not wish to join PEN's Yahoo group (in which new members are moderated), please email PEN.
Update, 2011: It appears that "Modern Witchcraft" did subsequently get revised to remove most of the references to Satanists. The only remaining mention of Satanism is in the sentence "Lastly, while terms such as 'white Witch' and 'black magic' may seem like good clarifiers to separate Witches from Satanists, the terms are actually inherently racist and most Witches do not use them." website. (A subsequent version can be found on a PEN's own archived version of the PEN website.)
This will be an ongoing project.
If you would like to help out, please either (1) join my email group Theistic-Satanists-and-others, introduce yourself there, and say what you are willing to do to help, or (2) email me privately.
Also, feel free to post the URL of this page in any Pagan online forum.
If you have a website (Pagan or Satanist), I would appreciate it very much if you could show your support by linking to this page. Click here for link code for either a text link or a banner link, whichever you prefer.