I’ve heard a lot of people ask this question and a whole lot more give their opinion without being asked. Many say that Satanists don’t believe the Satan part; they just use it to scare children and make them compliant. Others say it is only an excuse for pedophilia and all the money that comes from selling children sexually.
I have always thought that Satanists are not all that different from other people (except for being Satanists and all that goes with that.)
What do regular church attendees really believe? Some attend to sincerely worship their God. Others go to hedge their bets; they doubt if there is a God, but it doesn’t hurt to go to church just in case. Some go because their wife/husband/mother/father would have a tizzy fit if they didn’t. Some think it’s a good place to make social connections and set the stage for business deals. Kids may go to meet other kids and maybe fall in love. And then there are those who sing in the choir and only care about the music.
You can’t crawl into a person’s mind and heart and know for sure what a person’s motivations are. You have to ask them to find out and trust that they are telling you the truth. Keep in mind that they may tell you the truth in private or in an anonymous survey, but they are less likely to in front of their minister — or wife/husband/mother/father.
Why should the range of motivations be any different for Satanists? Why shouldn’t their honesty vary with circumstances? And what makes you think you can tell what they really believe without asking them?
I was talking about this last weekend with friends. One person had asked members of her family, who were cult, and asked more than once. She told us that she got different answers at different times. They were multiple, of course, and different alters had different opinions. Not surprising, since survivors who are healing often have alters with different religious beliefs — an atheist, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Satanist, a new-age tree-hugging white witch — and believe with different degrees of intensity.
Now comes another question — does it really matter? Regardless of what a perpetrator’s motivations are, the children will believe what they are told and will take it in on a very deep level. They will be taught, in gruesome ways, to reject and distrust all other religions, making it extremely difficult to reclaim their spirituality as adults. They will believe they are evil to the core, worthy only to be used, thrown away, hurt, and hated. It doesn’t matter if their perpetrators are pious or just putting on a show to terrify the children — the children will indeed be terrified.
Let’s move on to more pressing issues. There are survivors to support in their healing, young therapists to train to help the next generation. There are politicians and law makers and ministers to convince that ritual abuse needs their attention, now. There are child porn rings to bust, international child trafficking rings to stop. We have enough to keep us busy for a very long time.
PS I forgot to say that there are some Satanists who do not do illegal things. They are, in a sense, individualists, paying close attention to their own wishes and desires. I have no quarrel with them because they do not hurt others. For about a year I corresponded with such a Satanist — he was a vegetarian because he did not want to hurt animals and was outraged to hear what had been done to me in the name of his religion. He was a nice person and interesting to get to know — we were closer morally and philosophically than one could have imagined.