01. State your case. Who are you and what do you do. Please be specific.
Well, I’m not trying to win anyone over, so all I can say is that I like to write. People are welcome to take it or leave it.
02. I understand you have a musical project. Tell us about that.
“Music” is probably the last thing I would call it. It’s really just a personal hobby that generated more interest than I ever expected. I’m sitting on hours of audio material that I have not decided what I want to do with yet. I had been tinkering with it for awhile, in the background, but did not put anything together until I was working on these little videos and needed soundtracks to go with the images, and I did not want to get caught up in all the bullshit of using other peoples “music” so I started working out audio tracks to go with the videos. I never expected to put out audio material, but then people have expressed interest in it so I may as well do something with that, plus I enjoy making it. It is interesting working with completely non-musical sound, experimenting what comes out of an original sound processed through layers upon layers of
distortion and alterations of speed and pitch. It is also interesting experience emotional or psychological responses to completely non-musical frequencies. They say “music soothes the savage beast.” This does something else. It does a lot of other things. I have ideas on this that I’m working out on paper. As an aside, it is definitely intended to be an affront to conventional popular music, which I detest, and music-oriented subcultures that think they are somehow superior to more mainstream garbage just because they are smaller or “underground” (so called). I detest those scenes even more than the mainstream because they imagine they are somehow superior while engaging in exactly the same bullshit. I don’t call what I do music. Don’t get me wrong, thought goes into it, but I know classical musicians and composers – real, formally trained and
educated musicians and composers – Peter H. Gilmore for example – what Dr. LaVey called “No Bullshit Music.” My grandfather was a real, no bullshit musician, in the LaVeyan sense, and I grew up around music – there is a big difference. Then there are all the pretentious bullshit “rock stars” and “underground” artists who are invariably vapid ignorant pretentious clowns. Those people I detest and would not want to be identified with. The only thing lower than your garden-variety performing musician is their fans and their bullshit pretentious little scenes – they should all be shipped off to a death camp in some third world shithole.
03. You have a book concerning Satanism coming out this year around Halloween. What topics are you writing about and what inspired you to make a book?
I like to write. I was actually working on a more detailed full-length book (and still am) when several people within a month or so offered to publish the essays and articles I had already posted online over the last few years. I didn’t think it was worthwhile, but after going through my files and putting it all into a formatted document, I realized I already had couple hundred pages worth of material, so I changed my mind about publishing it. I like writing essays and short excursions, and it is an established genre of writing within Satanism, so I decided to go ahead with it. The book is called Essays in Satanism (First Series), that will be followed up by Essays in Satanism (Second Series)… etc. whenever I have enough material together that warrants putting out a book – at least 200 pages or so. I already have the beginnings of the Second Series put together. As with the first it will be a combination of material previously posted online, with longer unpublished essays on important subjects, so people aren’t just getting what they’ve already read in various places. You’ll probably see my internet writing getting shorter as I reserve the more involved pieces for book publication. Subjects in the First Series of Essays in Satanism include Satanic Magic, Sex Magic, Canonical Horror Films, uses of Memory and Imagination, Survivalism, Self Protection, articles on pseudo-satanism, Aleister Crowley vs. Satanism, Satanism vs. Drug Abuse, observations on history, comments on various idiotic subcultures, etc. The Second Series will be including a number of articles on the Invisible War, longer discussions of important books (the First Series has no book reviews!), and other subjects. The Essays in Satanism series will serve to occasionally publish collected shorter writings on various subjects. The full-length book I have in preparation, and partially done, is on the “Deep Satanism” concept, although it probably won’t be titled that. Once I get the first volume of Essays in the bag, I’m making a concerted effort to finish the Deep Satanism manuscript in time for it to be published in 2008. I have detailed outlines, notes, and extensive raw material for two other specific full-length books after that. There are other possibilities also.
04. What is your favorite sin and why?
Dante’s Luxuria (lust) is probably my favorite, because women are just, well, gosh, so darn pretty.
05. How did you first come to embrace Satanism as your belief system?
I was actually very familiar with different religions, general philosophy and psychology, and standard works on ceremonial magic before I ever read The Satanic Bible. I read a lot. By that time I was sorting through what was useless there, and philosophically aligned with Nietzsche, so when I really read LaVey closely with that background, I appreciated the work he had already done. I frequently read Dr. LaVey being criticized for being over-simplified in his approach to magic, what that really means is that his methods are more direct, with all the erroneous metaphysical assumptions and other bullshit baggage weeded out. Also, on another level, when you familiarize yourself with his writings as a whole, and taken in conjunction with a lot of other material he refers to and hints at, he really does have one of the most unique, subtle and complex systems of magic in history. It is generally unappreciated by the dull types who can’t recognize anything not bogged down in the same tired bullshit, because it would actually require them to think for themselves, and actually work. Also, and this is the most amazing things, is how many facets of Satanism I was already attuned to long before ever even hearing of the Church of Satan; for example I was always completely obsessed with classic horror films, Karloff, Lugosi, Hammer Films, etc. and loved to read classic horror fiction; Blackwood, Bierce, Poe, Machen, Lovecraft, Derleth, etc. and aesthetically anything with Waffen SS skulls and crossbones, but the most amazing thing was discovering, even after I knew about Dr. LaVey’s basic works for awhile, about the whole Artificial Human Companion thing. This was long before the internet and before anything like Fact Sheet Five, but I had collected mannequins and made life size dummies, it was a huge rush to find out that Dr. LaVey had worked out a whole line of thought surrounding this! So in those and other ways, finding the Church of Satan was like finding the perfect suit, tailored to fit. It is an amazing thing that has not disappointed since. You see these people out there, yea-sayers with no thoughts of their own agreeing with everything because its part of the program, but then there are those of us who are with the program because we were genuinely on the same page, really in agreement. It’s interesting to observe conversations with people in the Priesthood that may have never met before, there is a tacit understanding of a broad spectrum of things, so many things that don’t have to be explicitly said or agreed upon, so the exchange is immediately taking off from a whole other level. Satanists, real Satanists, are the Master Race, and I mean that in the same sense that one would say a “master craftsman,” real Satanists are at a whole different level of the game. Real Satanists are also scarcer than hen’s teeth!
06. I, like yourself, have a very ill-will towards Christianity. What exactly turns you off in regards to that particular religion.
I grew up in a very non-religious household, so I don’t really have much personal rancor against Christianity. In fact I can’t think of anything more boring than people who call themselves Satanists who are locked into the Anti-Christian gear – they obsess and talk about Christianity more than most Christians! Don’t get me wrong, Christianity is loathsome toxic bullshit that poisons the world, as are ALL otherworldly religions, but Christianity is the species of religious idiocy we encounter most frequently in the West. Fortunately Christianity has been castrated by the advent of mass-media, and most Christians have been secularized and pacified to the point that they are not as fanatical or dangerous as their more fanatical elements, which are closer to fundamentalist Muslims in temperament. Any belief in an immortal soul and an eternal afterlife determined by the judgment of an invisible god distorts every action of the believer. It is literally insane. Religion is a form of mass insanity, so pervasive that it is more expedient for the state to cater to it and exploit it than it is to remedy it, so it’s not going away any time soon. The best you can hope to do is curtail its intrusion into your personal life, and into the political and legal structure of society as much as possible. Religion should be undermined by secular influences as much as possible. Take something as banal as myspace.com for example, you have all these women in thongs posting photos of themselves in sexual positions, basically advertising to get fucked, obliviously next to photos of their parents and families, alongside photos of them getting drunk with their girlfriends, and then stating “I am a Christian.” Those are the kind of Christians you want to see more of; people who don’t really give a shit, or let it influence their life, but occasionally have to assert that they are a Christian once in awhile to make themselves feel better, to alleviate whatever little shred of guilt they might still feel over actually living life. They are one step away from recognizing religion is not necessary AT ALL and phasing it completely out of their life. That is mainstream society moving in the right direction. The masses are always going to be vapid – you want them to be vapid but non-invasive.
07. I understand Anton LaVey appointed you to priesthood in 1996. Has this changed your life any?
Well, I’m a very independent person, some would say pathologically independent, and there are very few people who I would acknowledge as having any “authority” or valid position that their endorsement or approval would matter to me one way or another. Dr. LaVey was one of those people. His appointing me to the priesthood was totally out of the blue and unexpected, so it was as much of a surprise as it was an honor. If anything, I would say it was confirmation and reinforcement of who I already was and what direction I was going. I would say it galvanized or reinforced my life rather than changed it. A truly strong ego, a Satanic ego, is not challenged or threatened by acknowledging others or aligning with others of like mind. That is why Dr. LaVey created the Church of Satan. I think, along with others involved with the Church of Satan, it also made us more interested in carrying on his legacy, out of true respect, unlike some of the worthless scumbags who bailed out after his death who showed their true colors, they weren’t really aligned with the philosophy to begin with, all they wanted was a personality cult to pilfer some “notoriety by association” from, because they had nothing worthwhile of their own to show. Good riddance to them. The Church of Satan, Anton LaVey’s legacy, is stronger without them.
08. What are some of your favorite musicians or bands?
None. I really don’t have any. I can’t think of anything more stupid and embarrassing than these asshole bands bobbing around on stage blasting their garbage like it means something. Most people don’t believe me, but I really don’t listen to music or watch television. I watch movies. Only recently I figured out how to download music to my computer, not that I couldn’t figure it out before, I just didn’t care. I probably have less than twenty mp3s on my computer and they are mostly odd things from my past that evoke memories, not even that I particularly liked the music but that I associate it with poignant episodes of my life, or it evokes some mood, and I rarely listen to them. Sometimes I just listen to the first minute or so of the track, I don’t have to listen to the whole thing, I remember what it sounds like. I understand traditional Chinese and Japanese music better now, but I rarely listen to it. An old friend of mine recently took up bluegrass, banjo and fiddle, and actually studies under some old time bluegrass players, people no one has ever heard of unless they were really into regional bluegrass over the last fifty years or so. These are people who only play at rural flea-markets, outside garages and barber shops in extremely rural areas of the real south. Fortunately he has a digital recorder and sends recordings to me – the musicianship is incredible – these people are masters of stringed instruments, the technical proficiency is incredible. He recently sent the most incredible version of Mule Skinner Blues performed at a Saturday night hoedown in an auto garage in West Virginia. Its one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever heard. Not something you are going to hear from your local bullshit hipster music scenes, at tower records, or on TV. This is from another world that does not care about that shit. Also, these old fashioned country people would probably kick your ass if you told them you were a Satanist!
09. Who are some of your favorite authors do you have a favorite book?
This is an impossible question, which book is my favorite. I’ve read voraciously since I was a child. My personal library is about 30,000 books on all subjects, so it is impossible to single out a favorite book, or even a short list. For some time now I’ve been enjoying “grand narrative” style history books, such as J.M. Roberts, William Langer, William H. McNeill, even H.G. Wells’s Outline of History, and other big cohesive overviews of various subjects such as Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything or Daniel Boorstin’s From Dawn to Decadence. Another book I’ve been reading recently is Bryan Magee’s Confessions of a Philosopher, which is turning out to be one of the best popular overviews of Western philosophy I’ve ever read. He’s very gifted at cogently summarizing complex ideas without oversimplifying them. He’s a very no-bullshit writer, which is the highest compliment I can think of. I’m very much a devotee of the “Great Books” concept. I think it is important to be familiar with the most important works in the history of civilization. Even if you think some of them are bullshit, you should be able to articulate or justify why you think so. I hate stuffed-shirts who are dismissive of something, yet when you press them it is immediately apparent they have NO idea what they are talking about. I’m also a big fan of good reference books. I love the “Oxford Companion” series, I spend hours perusing through those. My favorite books are those that deliver the most pertinent information in the most direct way possible. I want to know about everything, because I find everything interesting. Unfortunately I’ve developed a mental block when it comes to reading fiction. I lack the patience for it. I’ve read a lot of “classics” in literature, but I suspect eventually I’ll get back into reading literature again – there is a lot to be gained from it – it’s just a very different mindset.
10. What’s the most intelligent thing you’ve ever read? A favorite quote?
That’s a hard question, for the same reason it is difficult to single out one favorite book; there are too many of them. At the moment I might single out Daniel Boorstin’s From Dawn to Decadence because the author covers and deeply comprehends so much material over as vast an area as Western Civilization, plus it is the product of a long lifetime of study and contemplation, I think he was in his 80s when the book was written. I recall an interview with him discussing his writing process, he pointed out a huge file cabinet and said it was filled with nothing but outlines for this one book – he had devoted that much time and effort to finding the best way to systematically cover the vast amount of material he was working with. Another work that I think is outstanding in its scope is Will Durant’s 11 volume set The Story of Civilization. I won’t go so far as to say it is the best written work of history out there, but its scope and the work that went into it impresses me. Wherever possible he visited the most significant places discussed, as well as visiting the museums and collections where the artifacts and works of art discussed were housed to see them first hand. The work was criticized by many academic specialists, but they were not his intended audience, and for general use the work holds up. I also admire the conception and work that went into The Syntopicon of The Great Books of the Western World – outlining and indexing the key ideas and their subordinate ideas as they are discussed throughout the Great Books. I like things of that scope. If you ask me the same question at another time I would probably have a different set of replies just as worthy.
11. Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?
That is as hard to answer as my favorite book, for the same reasons, I love films and have seen probably thousands of them. It is difficult to single out one favorite film or even a short list. Apocalypse Now would be in the top list – I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this film, and all the various cuts of it. Just in it’s scope and execution it stands out in the history of film – all that Coppola went through to make it – and that it is based on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which is one of my favorite novels. Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch is without a doubt one of my favorite films, definitely my favorite western. It would be difficult to pick one favorite by Scorsese, but I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Taxi Driver. There are other films that I love, Coppola’s The Godfater, Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers, any number of films by Josef von Sternberg, Carl Theodor Dryer, Lodge Kerrigan and a few others. I’m also a huge fan of classic Horror films, especially early Horror, and I’ve also watched nearly everything by John Waters and Herschell Gordon Lewis any number of times. Too many favorites to list.
12. Do you have plans to start a website? You’re a really interesting figure.
I don’t know that I’m interested in maintaining a full-scale website. I’ve had several people offer to host a website for me for free, but I have yet to take them up on it. I like tinkering with software, but I don’t want to get distracted by maintaining a full-scale website. I’m also ambivalent about self-advertisement. I’ve used a few free services, such as blogger, myspace, and a couple forums, but the advantage of that is you have no financial commitment to keep the show going, you can hit “delete” on the whole thing without having pissed away anything but the time you put in writing there. But I write anyway, so at least the material is saved to be used for some other project, such as a book.
13. I understand you corresponded with Charles Manson for several years. What was that like?
It was very interesting. I’ve always been fascinated with Manson without going so far as admiring him. His rhetoric is fantastic, and while I do think he is “deranged” he is also highly intelligent and extremely insightful. It always amused me to see him interviewed by idiots like Tom Snyder or Geraldo, who are both intellectually outgunned by a wide margin by Manson. I do think he got a bum rap, although I think he was accessory to a few of the crimes, I don’t think he warranted the scapegoat treatment he’s received. At this point he really doesn’t give a fuck. He is definitely byproduct and a casualty of the Invisible War, and some of the most interesting aspects of my communication with him bears directly on that subject, in specific terms. One of the most interesting things that came from being in communication with him was the number of people on the outside who contacted me at his direction. Very interesting stuff. The prison authorities cut off the correspondence.
14. What’s your opinion on aesthetics in facism?
Black and silver are a winning color combination. Hitler and Cocoa Cola understand the visual power of the black and white on red combination. Most of what is called “fascist aesthetics” are classical Greco-Roman standards so it is a misnomer, and usually a negative epithet to disparage traditional Western standards of beauty. National Socialist art only loses me when it verges into Norman Rockwell-esque kitsch, but who cannot feel moved by the power of Triumph of the Will, the huge symmetrical podiums, black leather jackets and jackboots, peaked caps, thousands sharply dressed killers aligned in perfect rows, eagles, wolves, runes and skulls? Whatever anyone may say against National Socialism or Fascism, historically, politically, or philosophically, they had outstanding aesthetic sensibilities.
15. What do you think about Aleister Crowley? Genius? Insane?
Crowley is only a slightly more interesting example of the Bullshit Factor at work. The reason I get suckered into discussing him so much is that people are constantly making the mistaken assertion that he was a Satanist or had something relevant to say about Satanism. He was not a Satanist and never claimed to be. No one with any real understanding of Satanism has ever held that he was. Crowley was almost systematically wrong about everything, and like any other “spiritual” philosophy, created a self-validating reinforcement matrix of systematic delusions and fallacies. Most people you encounter into Crowley, or most forms of religion or occultism for that matter, don’t really know about anything outside of their little area of interest. Or at least don’t maintain outside interests that would give them any real perspective. Even when you encounter someone from that field with a professed interest in philosophy or the history of ideas, they invariably distort it to reinforce their bias. They are “true believers” in Hoffer’s sense of the term, just as much as Christians or Scientologists.
16. Anything you’d like to share before I let you go?
These are “interesting times” for Satanists. There is a LOT going on, in the open and behind the scenes. High Priest Peter H. Gilmore’s book The Satanic Scriptures has just come out and is the most important book on Satanism to be published since the writings of Dr. LaVey. Several other members of the Church of Satan hierarchy are coming out with books in the near future. The Church of Satan is stronger than ever before. It is a good time to be alive!