Today I was extremely lucky to be able to speak to top Satanic Scholar and editor of ‘Contemporary Religious Satanism‘ and the ‘The Devil’s Party’ Jesper Aagaard Petersen on the surge of minority Satanism.
How are rationalised Satanic subcultures gaining weight in the community?
“The original Church of Satan was rationalised to begin with. However a big part of Rational Satanism’s success stems from an interest in organising and publishing to attract lots of non-affiliates into this broad, satanist movement.”
With Rational Satanism releasing their fourth book in such a short time frame, many seem to be joining the religion because of it’s fast pace.
Jesper added: “Many Satanists feel that the old religion has to do something new in order to survive.”
Could we see the Church of Satan fall in the UK?
“The beliefs and practices of the Church of Rational Satanism will continue to develop but they will not kick the Church of Satan to the kerb. As a group it is much too established and successful to just disappear because of competition.”
How are new Rational Satanic groups re-branding themselves to make the religion more approachable?
“The Church of Satan has integrated rational and esoteric thought from the outset. The stronger focus on rationality as well as pushing the elitist and magical thoughts to the margins, is new and something more groups will adapt in the future.
One of the way’s to get people to believe in Satanism as a peaceful and law abiding new religion is to focus on the philosophical and individual aspects rather than being transgressive or elitist, which is what we are currently seeing with new satanic groups entering the fold.”
Are there any legitimate contenders to the Church of Satan in the UK?
“They have been very critical of competition from the beginning. In their opinion if you’re disagreeing with Church of Satan principles you’re not a Satanist. From a historical point of view it is reasonable to point to the Church of Satan and say they established modern religious Satanism. Nevertheless, things have evolved since then and many legitimate alternatives exist.”
Why are these minorities are forming?
“If you look at the post internet period, a lot of Satanists feel annoyed or cheated when they have to do things a certain way. They feel the Church of Satan is closing any discussion rather than opening one, making any new developments a problematic issue for the Church of Satan.”