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"Satanism, as LaVey describes the modern philosophy, is a true inversion of Christianity, just as it has always been accused of being. It starts as a secular philosophy of rationalism and self-preservation (natural law, social Darwinism, animal state) and wraps these basically sound ideas in religious trappings to add to its appeal. A Satanist enters the supernatural realm by choice, with eyes open and hearts clear rather than taking a supernatural belief as a *starting point*, like jungle primitives trying to explain lightning. Christianity foists faith in the supernatural on believers from the word go. LaVey explains that is one reason why any mystical religion is intellectually stifling. 'When you start with the supernatural you must end with the supernatural -- you can explore no further, unless you entirely suspend the mystical, which is a major break. Satanists take up religious trappings as a conscious choice because we feel it enriches our lives and understanding.

"'But we must have a firm grounding in rational thinking as a foundation to stand on first!....'

"Most people who do even a modest investigation of Satanism have run across LaVey's Nine Satanic Statements, which he includes in The Satanic Bible as a general definition of what his philosophy is all about:

"1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.

"2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.

"3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit.

"4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates.

"5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek.

"6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires.

"7. Satan represents man as just another animal -- some - times better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours -- who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development" has become the most vicious animal of all.

"8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.

"9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years.

The Church of Satan, by Blanche Barton, Hell's Kitchen Productions, 1990; pp. 62-4.