Dealing with Other Satanic Organizations

There are a number of different Satanic organizations oper- ating in the United States and across the world today. It can be truly said, however, that most of them derive the core of their philosophy from the Church of Satan, founded in A.S. I (1966 C.E.) by Anton Szandor LaVey. The Ordo Templi Satanis is no exception to this.

The major differences in the various Satanic groups would seem to lie in two areas; cosmology and organization. Cosmologi- cally speaking, for instance, the Church of Satan is a materially oriented group which does not believe in a literal Satan, but which does profess belief in the powers of ceremonial magic. In these respects the Church of Satan is much like the Ordo Templi Satanis. Other groups, however, such as the Temple of Set, do indeed believe in a literal figure, which they name Set (from the Egyptian deity) and have a very involved cosmological explanation of the universe, drawing on the works of Crowley and a purported "infernal revelation" from Set to Dr. Michael Aquino, founder of the Temple of Set (and a former member of the Church of Satan).

Organizationally, however, groups such as the Church of Satan and the Werewolf Order (founded by Nicholas Shreck and Zeena LaVey, daughter of Anton LaVey) are decentralized to an extreme, saying that no organization is necessary or desirable. Each Satanist, they claim, should follow his own Satanic path, and eventually the goals of Satanism will be achieved by a con- fluence of individuals working separately, but with a common mind set. Other groups, such as the Ordo Templi Satanis and the Temple of Set, have retained a much more organized structure (the Ordo Templi Satanis is perhaps the most rigidly organized among them), stating that such organization fosters the growth and development of the membership along Satanic lines of thought, and that commu- nication between members strengthens their commitment to Satan- ism.

This very diversity among Satanists is indicative of the depth of the Satanic philosophy, which is a big enough tent to harbor many diverse groups. No group should claim any sort of spiritual, moral, or political superiority over the others; such claims are self-defeating and such dissension only plays into the hands of Satanism's enemies.

How then should the Ordo Templi Satanis deal with these other Satanic groups? Obviously we have much more in common, philosophically, cosmologically, and politically, than we have differences, and we are certainly closer to one another than we are to any other religion. The Ordo Templi Satanis should there- fore attempt to cultivate friendly and cooperative relationships with the various Satanic groups and the major individuals who represent the shining stars among Satanists today. All groups have little to lose by such association, and everything to gain.

However, there will always be groups and individuals that will, for whatever reason (usually pride) refuse to have anything to do with others, claiming an exclusive lock on the truth or some sort of inherent position of leadership which sounds more like Christianity than Satanism. If such individuals and groups persist in their hostility towards the Order, then by all means the Order should react if necessary. In this (as in all things) we should strive to apply the Fifth Satanic Rule of the Earth: "If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and with- out mercy."