Podcasts/Sacred Tension-STLaCarmina

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STLaCarmina SUMMARY KEYWORDS satanism, people, satanists, satanic, book, baphomet, religion, satanic temple, satan, satanist, symbols, japan, identify, knights templar, absolutely, world, subculture, tst, buddhism, find SPEAKERS La Carmina, Stephen Bradford Long

Stephen Bradford Long 00:13 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long. And as always, I have to thank my patrons. My patrons are my personal lords and saviors, and I truly could not do this show without them. I love doing this podcast, I love bringing these conversations to you for free every single week, I believe that we need free and accessible, interesting conversations on challenging topics. That's what the world needs right now. But in order to do that, I need your help. This is also a full time job. I do all of the editing, all of the booking, all of the writing, and all of the recording, all of that adds up. And in order to make it sustainable, I really need your help. So you can go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long there's also a link in the show notes, all content, all extra content that you get access to on my Patreon gets unlocked at just $1. You know, I want you to still be able to, you know enjoy your life and support me simultaneously so everything gets unlocked at $1 and you get access to my patrons only podcast house of heretics in which Timothy McPherson former Salvation Army officer turned Christian heretic and myself, Minister of Satan in the Satanic Temple talk about religion and philosophy and meditation and news and current events from our slightly differing sometimes discordant perspectives, and it's always a good time. Also, patrons get to join in live on the show in the chat every Wednesday mornings. So if that's interesting to you, please do become a patron and it really helps. All right, for this week, I have to thank Arthur Robert Rory, Chad and cat. Thank you so much. I also don't talk about my Discord server enough on the show, I really need to start shouting out to them at the beginning of each episode, I have this fantastic community on Discord. There are all kinds of interesting people there. And there is a link in the show notes. There's conversation going on every single day. Also. Finally, if you are not subscribed to my weekly newsletter, and blog, go ahead and do that it's super easy. Just enter your email address on my website, Steven Bradford long.com. And you will get regular content every single week I write about everything from Satanism, to faith, to skepticism to philosophy. This week, I wrote a 2000 word article on my choices to not be a father to be child free. So I write about all kinds of interesting stuff. So if you enjoy the podcast, you will most certainly enjoy my newsletter as well. All right. With all of that finally out of the way, I am delighted to welcome La Carmina to the show. How are you?

La Carmina 03:15 I'm doing great ready to head to Japan very soon. So.

Stephen Bradford Long 03:20 Yeah, that's fantastic. Yeah. So you're amazing. And I'm so glad that you're taking the time to talk to me, I so appreciate it. Tell us some about who you are and what you do.

La Carmina 03:30 Sure. So I'll tell you some bits and pieces that I don't usually talk about just because of your personal interests and the theme of the podcast. So I'm Canadian. I grew up in Vancouver, and I went to Columbia University in New York for school. And there are some people may not know, but I majored in political theory. And I also have a lot of interest in Asian spirituality and religion. So I took courses on Hinduism, Buddhism, and my thesis was, in fact, about nonviolent movements in India, with Gandhi and in Tibet with the Dalai Lama. So I always had that interest. And that led me to law school at Yale, something that again, people may not know. So I've kind of had all these influences gather together, but at the same time, I identified with alternative subcultures, especially golf. Ever since I was a teen. I was always kind of the misfit, you know, outsider kid into these cultures. So after law school, it just wasn't me to go into a traditional firm environment. I wanted to do something more creative, that still meshed with my interests. And that led me to spend a great deal of time in Japan, and started I started blogging in 2007, which was very early in the days of blogging. So that was really to my advantage because I was one of the OGS and it led to a lot of opportunities being a first and one of the first people on the scene. I mostly wrote about Japanese culture and fashion this way. Actually Gothic, Harajuku and then Satanism because there's a very vibrant Japanese satanic scene. And that just all took off my blog led to what I do today, which is writing books, writing articles for different publications. I did some travel TV shows, and I'm quite involved with other aspects, you know, with Satanism with this book coming out the little book of Satanism.

Stephen Bradford Long 05:22 Wow, that's a lot. You, you, you do a lot. You just mentioned that there is a thriving satanic scene in Japan. Tell me some about that. That sounds fascinating.

La Carmina 05:34 Yeah, it is amazing. They are so welcoming over there. So I spent time investigating and participating in the satanic subculture in Japan, particularly Tokyo and Osaka, around the mid to late 2000s. And it's just incredible you in Osaka, there's a satanic shop territory that, unfortunately is now closed as the owner passed. But if you go in there, you'll just see these incredible relics, Baphomet statues and all these rarities books, antiques, and he does these parties turkeys on he does this incredible party that involves satanic imagery and all these ritualistic elements. His cousin has a satanic Gothic and fetish bar in Kobe as well. And she'll do rituals that are tied in with chivari, the Japanese art of rope tying so it's really visual. And it's earnest. There's a lot of differences, though, from the Western satanic scene just in terms of influences. I mean, that's a whole topic. But it's just really interesting to see how Satanism is expressed by people all around the world since I think Western Satanism tends to take up the conversation.

Stephen Bradford Long 06:46 Definitely. And no, I'm always so fascinated to hear about different manifestations of Satanism that aren't necessarily Western. So every so often something fascinating like that will come across my radar. And I'm just so intrigued by it, what led to your own interest in Satanism. So, of course, you have a new book coming out this October. By the way, we should probably go ahead and say that it is called The Little Book of Satanism. I was reading it today it is fabulous. But before we get to that, what is your own path to Satan? What drew you into Satanism?

La Carmina 07:22 Sure. So as I mentioned, I always was identifying as Gothic. Even as a teenager, I would go to goth clubs. As I got older, I love to participate in the fashion. And the Gothic scene in Japan is also a whole other world. People go all out in the way that they do their makeup and the way they style themselves. It's so creative and expressive and Ernests. So that was in a way a portal to Satanism. When I was living in New York and going to clubs, sometimes you'll meet people who identify as Satanists, generally they would be the church of Satan lavande Satanists back in the day. And then when set when I was in Japan, meeting all these people who participated in the Japanese satanic subculture, that's when I really became interested in whether these values Why is Satan important to them as a metaphor? In Japan, it really is important because in the society that's quite conformist and collectivist identifying as a rebel, the outsider that stands up against arbitrary authority really resonates with the satanists in Japan. And that ties in Yeah, with the Satanic Temple as it came. It's like we started my friends and I started seeing news articles about them around 2013 2014. And the more we saw their evolution, the more we were also intrigued. So I got to get to know the Satanic Temple and I now do a show on TST TV with my co host, Dr. John Scotland, who also spent a decade in Japan and investigates the satanic scene for his for his PhD and for his research,

Stephen Bradford Long 08:53 you keep using one specific word that I want to pause on and that word is earnest, that the the expression of Goth in Japan is very earnest and that the Satanism that you came across in Japan is very earnest why that word? Why is that so important to you? Well, I

La Carmina 09:11 think because sometimes people miss characterize goth or satanic affiliation in Japan, especially as simply some form of cosplay, as if it's just window dressing. It's all visual, and there's nothing beneath it. And I think sometimes, because it seems to me having participated in both Western and Japanese subcultures, people in the West are often quite fixated on labels on a certain identity and kind of, ironically within an alternative subculture conforming to that, but it's a lot more free flowing in Japan. Sometimes people Yeah, they don't necessarily identify with even one religion or any religion that all a lot of people for instance, have. Shinto and Buddhism be part of their cultural background, even though they may not identify as religious or as part of either religion, but it may maybe part of their cultural practices just to go to a temple, or to, you know, get new year's blessings. So I just use that word because I think sometimes people write off a lot of what they see as Gothic expression thinking, Oh, they're not real goth. They're not into the music or whatever it is that they tried to gatekeeper. Or at least from what I see among a lot of people in the West when it comes to goth subculture or Satanism. And so I just wanted to emphasize that, you know, even if I just think people in Japan, they really are sincere in their religious identification as Satanists.

Stephen Bradford Long 10:37 You Yeah. You know, I was just talking to a guy named Levi Walbert several weeks ago on the show, and he is a Buddhist, actually from a from a Japanese tradition of Buddhism. He's a, he's an ordained minister, in some Buddhist tradition, I would get it very wrong if I tried to say which one it was, so I won't. But he did a study of Satanism from the perspective of a Buddhist and he wrote his his like doctoral thesis, or master's thesis, or whatever it was on the philosophy and theology of Satanism, specifically, the Satanic Temple. And one of the things that was most interesting about it is how he pointed out specific things within Satanism that might, on their surface, just look kind of banal and primarily aesthetic, and just for the sake of shock, or camp or what have you, but that they're actually vehicles of earnest religious transcendence. So like, the, like, the dark imagery like that, that isn't just that isn't just about aesthetics, although the aesthetics are fucking amazing. And, you know, we love it for a reason. But it isn't, it isn't just that it is also, you know, it holds really deep meaning for us. And it is a form of religious transcendence. It's a way for us to connect with these values that we hold as Satanists. And that's one of the thing that I so appreciated about that conversation is how he was able to kind of point out these specific things and Satanism that most I think most people on the outside would look at and be like, Oh, they're just being edgy, or oh, they're just being ironic, or what have you. And no, in fact, they're actually very sincere, it they're very sincere expressions of deeply held convictions and attitudes. And that's what I'm hearing you say, as well, that that a lot of stuff that from the outside might look arbitrary. People might describe it as cringe or, or reactionary, or what have you. It is actually really rich with meaning for us.

La Carmina 12:48 Yeah, I think you nailed it, I'd be fascinated to read that and learn more about his work. Because I also write a lot about Buddhism, I do see a lot of flow in between Satanism and Buddhist values, especially if you're talking about what people call secular Buddhism.

Stephen Bradford Long 13:06 So you have this fantastic book. It's called The Little Book of Satanism. And it is indeed very little, it's like the the perfect introduction to Satanism. Like someone, someone could read it in the afternoon. And when your publicist reached out to me and was like, hey, you know, we're luck, Carmina is publishing this book. And you know, it'll be for a popular audience. And I was just like, over the fucking moon. Because Satanism absolutely needs something like this, something accessible, something simple that isn't, you know, that is a bit updated from the Satanic Bible, and will lay out the history and philosophy and so on. So it's fantastic. What was your goal in writing this book? Like, what did you want to accomplish?

La Carmina 13:51 Yeah, so I think you've really hit the nail on the head and terms of, it's a little book, and that was part of the greatest challenge to keep it to about, I think it was 20,000 words, which is difficult when there's so much to distill. There's so much more that could be said about every single topic in there. But as you mentioned, it isn't a book for Satanists. It's really a for the general audience, as if they were interested in learning more about Taoism or Jainism. I think I hope the book helps people have a better sense of the development of the history and culture of Satanism and dispel misunderstandings that are ongoing with the Satanic Panic. There's so much judgment and fear mongering and conspiracy theories still about Satanists? And I think one of the best ways to combat that is through information through helping people understand where Satanism really does come from, and hopefully, hopefully, if they take an open mind and give it a read, they can get a better understanding of the roots of values that Satanists tend to share. And maybe come to a The change their minds and instead of having a negative knee jerk reaction to the word Satanist, maybe it helps them to take a different perspective.

Stephen Bradford Long 15:08 Yeah, what are the specific misconceptions that you find yourself pushing against? Hmm.

La Carmina 15:15 Well, that is addressed a bit in the foreword, which is by wishing, greets.

Stephen Bradford Long 15:21 That's the one part that I didn't read, by the way. I've just, I just had Lucien on last week. And so I'm like, Oh, Jesus Christ, this fucking guy again. Which is great. He's, he's wonderful. I love Lucian. And he's a brilliant writer to like more people need to read his stuff. He's, he's just such a fantastic writer.

La Carmina 15:41 Yeah, I'm really happy with how the foreword came out. And I think it really encapsulated it well, because in popular media, you get a lot of portrayals of Satanists as these evil devil worshipers that are Hexing, the public, and that's not really the main issue, and that he addresses that in this forward, I don't think the average person thinks that Satanists are literally lurking in the shadows ready to poison you in your children and sacrifice babies or whatever all those stereotypes are. And I'm sure there's some people out there that really do believe that. But perhaps the more pervasive problem, it's when you just pick up these cues, this negative bias towards Satanists, or even just not taking them seriously as a people a part of a religion. And you see these biases come out with, for instance, in the satanic temples actions when they tried to do the indemnification, right. And before a council meeting, any religion should be allowed to do so. But they're always denied. So little things like that little denials of little signs that just they're not taken seriously, as religion, I think it's far more pervasive. And once we go through the history, which I cover in the book, you really see where it comes from, such as the link between Satanists and Freemasons, like this is big Freemason conspiracy. And one part of my book talks about how that really originated with the taxall hoax back in France centuries ago. hoax that went out of hand, I guess, you know about?

Stephen Bradford Long 17:09 Absolutely. Yeah. And so, you know, and I'm curious if you get this misconception all the time, too. I very rarely, like you said, there are very few people I think, who really believe like the crazy 80s and 90s, Satanic Panic stuff of you know, there's this enormous Cabal, I mean, those unfortunately, that has not died. Q anon is the modern manifestation of the Satanic Panic. But I think, in my personal interactions, the misconception that I pushed up against all the time is you're not a real religion, or you're, or you're a troll, or you're doing this ironically, in some way. And then when I tried to push back and say, Well, no, you know, this is this is a very authentic religious experience for me, you know, I've written about my conversion to Satanism, from Christianity. There's, I'm, I'm very serious about it. There's nothing ironic about it. And then they always get like this, you know, if they're the like, online atheist type, they always get this knowing look in their eyes. And they're like, Yeah, but that's what you're supposed to say. Because it's a troll. Just like you. But do you ever get that to like this? This is not sincere. This is this is just a troll. This is a poison pill. Oh, I

La Carmina 18:29 think everyone in satanic circles gets that. And you also get that from other people that are saying this, but they identify as card carrying members of maybe the Church of Satan, and then they are not as Satanists. We are. You see a lot of stuff on Twitter. Yep. But I would say, you know, I should also reiterate that this book, I'm, it's not a personal journey. It's not a personal book, it's, I kind of think it is more effective by taking a nonfiction historical, cultural, almost a detached approach. I'm not encouraging or pushing satanic values at all in the book. It's as if I'm covering any religion out there. I'm just trying to fairly present here. This is where it came from. These are symbols and practices that Satan has tend to, like how they tend to express their religious identification and find meaning as a Satanist. Keeping it again, more general, I said in the introduction, I'm not trying to define a one to Satanism. I acknowledge there are a minority of theistic Satanists. Some people they identify with the Church of Satan. There's a whole section about Anton LaVey and his importance modern Satanism, there's a section about the Satanic Temple. And of course, there are people that don't identify with either their individual they have their maybe their independent groups or they're just individually practicing Satanists. So this is kind of acknowledging all of the above and, again, not even pressing or advocating for anyone to be a Satanist or even agree with Satanism, it's more, hey, let's take a look at where it comes from. And you can come to your own conclusions. And I think that is better rather than someone just going by what they see in the media or just not thinking too critically about it. Because I sometimes think we just get these influences from growing up from pop culture, from TV from what people say about other people. And that soaks in whether we acknowledge it or not.

Stephen Bradford Long 20:25 Yeah, so it's, it's almost like you're just examining, you know, taking a neutral posture and just examining like, well, by and large, this is what Satanism has been through the years through the centuries. And you know, here it is, in 20,000 words and take it or leave it. And I think that's a really, really important approach. So you mentioned the taxall hoax. So just to give people an idea of the some of the fascinating historical moments that you cover, in the book, tell people what happened during the taxall hoax because so many people don't know that this insane thing happened,

La Carmina 21:06 right? So around the 1890s, there was a man who took on the name of Leo Teksu, if we want to be French about it, and he had a beef against the Catholic Church. And it's kind of funny, in a way he was being a troll. He wanted to troll the Catholic Church. So he started publishing books as a cat Fisher with today, under a different name, different faiths, different identity. And the books that he published the push the idea of pellet ism, a secretive satanic cabal operating within Freemasonry.

Stephen Bradford Long 21:38 Say the name of the group again...

La Carmina 21:41 Sure, Palladism or Palladis.

Stephen Bradford Long 21:44 Palladism, or palladis. Yes, got it.

La Carmina 21:46 Yeah. And already, the Catholics were, well, they, they had aside towards any other denomination, or any other religion, but particularly the Freemasons, because of their kind of, you know, bizarre seeming practices and rituals and their lodges and whatnot. So it was easy enough to drum up some fears among the general public, particularly Catholics that Oh, no, there's this world, a political conspiracy of Satanists plotting to do horrible things within Freemasonry. And so he published different books that spread this idea from different perspectives, creating all this cast of characters really just like the cat Fisher in modern day, and it succeeded. People bought his books, they really ate up his ideas. He had a big poster that had a Baphomet on it, so that again, kind of linked to anti Freemasonry to Baphomet to Satanism. And then, this went on for about 10 years, until one day, he just couldn't hold the threads together. He had a big presentation where he announced, guess what, everyone, I've been pulling your leg the whole time, the whole thing was a hoax. And he got chased off the stage, but he succeeded in making the Catholic Church look a bit ridiculous and making some money out of it. So that's the story.

Stephen Bradford Long 23:04 And it's, it's insane how far it went, and the number of incredibly powerful people who bought it. Like it is absolutely nuts. And, you know, I think that it it exemplifies this really challenging part of Satanism. So I think Satanism is what would be called an invented religion, which is where it's like, okay, we know we're making this up. And yet, that doesn't make it any less earnest for us. And I think a lot of people who are maybe coming from more of a religious perspective, really struggle with that. And one of the challenging things I think about Satanism is how it has these really influential moments like the taxall hoax where it was basically an enormous hoax that ended up having huge cultural influence, and and really shaped the discourse around Satanism and we are now modern Satanist, you know, kind of inheriting the legacy of the taxall hoax and also talk about the knot. I was going to say, the Shriners and I'm like, No way. That's the wrong one. The Shriners or the are the modern day ones with the silly hats. The the ones who who allegedly worshipped Baphomet Oh, the Knights Templar the Knights Templar. Right. So yeah, the Knights Templar are also a fascinating piece of satanic history. Tell our audience about that. What what went on there?

La Carmina 24:31 Yeah, sure, I think throw the to one part of my book is historical Satanism, and it goes through what I call the devils foot print from medieval times, like the Knights Templar incident that I'll talk about, through the witch hunts, to, you know, the height of exorcisms and to incidents like the affair of the poisons and the tactile hooks. And I think in writing this for myself, I really got to see how that's the same story over and over with tactile hooks. Great. These misunderstandings get The pan and create this negative, these negative stories, these narratives about Satanists, but you see that also with the witch hunts towards women that were outsiders. And you see that with the Satanic Panic towards these metalhead types that were deemed devil worshipers and even some of them were jailed. And for without any recourse,

Stephen Bradford Long 25:21 I think that that's worth pausing on, because there is so so you mentioned several key historical moments. One was the Satanic Panic of the 80s and 90s. There was the taxall hoax there was the affair of the poisons, which maybe we can get to later. And then there is the the Goddamnit i can't i cannot retain their name. The the ones who worshipped who allegedly worshipped Baphomet Knights Templar. So the scholar of Satanism, Ruben van lac, in his book, children of Lucifer talks about the process of identification, attribution versus identification. So it's almost like an all of these cases that you just described, they are situations where, where Satanism is assigned, where the identity of being a devil or a Satan is assigned to some outsider. So yeah, through kind of satanic pre history, Satanism is a weapon. And it is assigned to outsiders as a way of controlling them, killing them, denigrating them, etc. And this was done towards Jews. This was done towards, you know, various religious seconds.

La Carmina 26:40 Yeah, women. Exactly. Yeah,

Stephen Bradford Long 26:44 yeah, all of the above. And then this really bizarre thing happens and kind of the 19th and 20th centuries, where that starts to shift to identification, where there's this this transfer, from attribution to identification, where people start to take on the label of satanist as a form of empowerment. And so when people ask, Well, where did Satanism come from? I say, well, it was invented by the Catholic Church. It was like, technically, and Joseph Laycock, who's a religious scholar, and he wrote the book Speak of the devil, which is about tst. He, he said, at one point, he was like, Yeah, you know, I'm a Catholic. It's like checking in on my kids. You know, working with TST it's like checking in on how my kids are doing. But yeah, there's this there's this, there's this process of going from a from attribution to identification from the term being an insult a weapon to people being like, okay, these are actually this name actually represents affirmative values that I support. Therefore, I am now a Satanist.

La Carmina 27:58 Yeah, and I know a lot of the scholarly books like the one you mentioned, children of Lucifer, which I cite, it's a fantastic book. Yeah. But they're not easily accessible. And they're very thick and dense. And there's a lot in there. So I'm hoping that my book still accurately but more succinctly and in a more conversational manner, is able to convey exactly the ideas that you presented. And I think people can see that going through the history, it goes through the romantic Satanists ready to suddenly treating Satan is this metaphor of the hero, the antihero, and it talks about satanic precursors. Crowley has a great quote about how the devil is the god of any one that one personally dislikes, which kind of sums it all up.

Stephen Bradford Long 28:43 Yeah, that's amazing. And All right, so we were going to talk about the Knights Templar Oh, before we do that, I just want to say, I totally agree with you. That's one of the things that I was thinking, actually, as I was reading your book, like, oh, this thank God hippin thank Satan. This is so much more accessible than, you know, the gargantuan tomes about Satanism, like children of Lucifer, which are great books, but it literally took me like three months to get through that fucking book. So yeah, you accomplished that by making it very, very accessible. So the symbol of the Baphomet, allegedly, and so people will know the symbol of the Baphomet. It is the goat head or the sabbatic goat with one hand pointing up one hand pointing down, angel wings, et cetera, et cetera, right, that allegedly is traced all the way back to the Knights Templar. talk some about that? Part of satanic prehistory.

La Carmina 29:42 Yeah, absolutely. So that happened during the Middle Ages during the times of the Crusades. It's just so fascinating to see how it all links together because Baphomet is so present and important in modern Satanism, but really, it led it has its roots to the Crusades, the Knights Templar Were a special order that were set to defend the holy lands from the Muslims. And they were became very powerful and rich and successful in doing that. But then as time passed, the Crusades started to dwindle, and the Muslims were gaining ground and the Christians were falling back. But at the same time the Knights Templar regained they still were very powerful. So money talks, right money and power talks. And that's why the French King Philip the fair of all names, thought, Okay, it's time to crack down I want to take the Knights Templars lend their money and get my get power back into my hands. That's why they they went out against the Knights Templar and accused them of all these horrific crimes like sodomy, and cavorting with Lucifer in the shape of a black cat, and

Stephen Bradford Long 30:54 all things, all things that I am guilty of, I have lots of gay sex. I definitely cavort with Satan and I have a black cat. So I am guilty on every single cat.

La Carmina 31:09 Yeah, so maybe true. In your case, man. There's no corroborating evidence whatsoever of these practices. It was just to subdue a group. It was political, right? It's to put down that suddenly, they they don't like the thing. Like Crowley said, the devil is the god of anyone, one personally dislikes. And that's a really powerful way to say these people need to be put to death. They were brought to trial. False trials, of course. And within that there's testimony of the Knights Templar, worshipping an icon name, mathematics, something like that. I think it was a mystery. Well, they said Baphomet, but it was a mispronunciation perhaps, of Muhammad, which is French for Mohammed. So again, of course, the whole anti Satan, this idea, you know, deeming anyone, and then other group to be of the devil's party, Muslims would be included in that. And so for the Knights Templar to be involved in worshipping some sort of Muslim Idoma, who met Mohammed Baphomet, a two or three headed goat head figure, and that became associated with the terrible satanic crimes. But then, as you mentioned, people kind of took back that symbology today, Satanists today have Baphomet as a symbol of the Union of opposites, something to strive for, right?

Stephen Bradford Long 32:30 Yeah, absolutely. And there's also a similar thread in the affair of the poisons, and we won't we don't have to rehash like all of these very complex historical moments. But briefly, the affair of the poisons was just this horrific affair where I forget what it was in the 1700s.

La Carmina 32:49 I think, yeah, between 1677 So 17th century we we 14 got

Stephen Bradford Long 32:55 it got it. Basically, it was my understanding is that it's when the Catholic Church and then the kind of church slash state union between between, you know, the king and the Catholic Church, or what have you started to really crack down on the occult underground in Paris, and it was just kind of a network of of midwives and potions, sellers and whatnot folk magic, right? And they horrifically tortured a lot of these people and under conditions of just unimaginable torture, they extracted confessions of the black mass, which was this inverted, blasphemous, you know, inverted, blasphemous version of the Catholic mass. And, you know, it's just a horrific story. And so why then, is it important to Satanists to practice the black mass? Well, the reason is because the black mass is literally a legacy of theocratic torture and abuse. It is a remnant it is an artifact, it was invented by the theocrats and, you know, who knows, maybe there was some measure of satanic underground activity. We don't know we will never know. But I think it's more likely that the Catholic Church forced to these confessions and created this fantasy. And so the black mass is literally this symbol of horrific theocratic oppression and embracing the black mass can become like this cathartic statement of independence and remembrance of all of those who have been tortured and abused by theocratic power. And there's there's the similar theme with the Knights Templar where they were tortured and you know, the confessions of the Baphomet were extracted, you know of worshipping the three headed Baphomet and so a lot of these core symbols and rituals within Satanism Sorry, I'm I'm going on and on and on. This is all stuff. This is all stuff that I'm that I absolutely love. But a lot of these core symbols are actually artifacts of torture from the Catholic world. And by reclaiming those things, it's almost like that, in and of itself is an act of defiance. And, and self actualization.

La Carmina 35:27 Yeah. And you know, you've mentioned the affair of the poisons, which I cover, if you look at it from one perspective, you mentioned this underworld of sort of love potions, sellers, people who were kind of soothsayers in the occult underworld, they tend to be women, and they were midwives and people giving abortions, which were illegal and now are illegal still. But back then, you know, these women did them secretly. And also, some of these people were LGBTQ. So that's why they were kind of relegated to this world where they could be themselves and find that some sort of, you know, women were made pregnant against their will, they would come to them to get help. And so it's interesting, again, these threads throughout history, it's people on the margins that are most likely accused of being Satanists and put through all this torture, because they don't jive with the, with what authority wants great with theocratic values, and so they're put to death because of it. And we're still fighting that today.

Stephen Bradford Long 36:26 Yeah. And I mean, all of this just goes back to like this. This isn't mere edge Lord stuff. So you know, I love my edge lords. They're, they're fantastic. You know, I'm not, I'm not deriving the edge Lords at all. But it isn't merely that there is, there is real depth and historical meaning in here and in a lot of these symbols. And, you know, my hope is that when people read your book, they will be able to at least see the historical underpinnings for why we do what we do. Talk to them about your own satanic practice. You might I don't, I might have not gotten this far enough. In the book, you you. You might not cover this. But would you be comfortable just talking about what does your own personal Satanism look like?

La Carmina 37:15 Yes. So I don't cover any of this in the book, because I keep it objective, I keep it impersonal. And I don't really speak too much about it usually to mean it's funny, because I grew up in a different context. I, my parents are from Hong Kong, and so they are staunch atheists. So I grew up with a very staunch atheist background, quite different from a lot of people that are drawn to Satanism that come from often quite conservative, strict Christian backgrounds. So yeah, I grew up in an environment where religion is not like it was ridiculed, but no one really saw the point.

Stephen Bradford Long 37:49 So let's, let's pause on that. So why? I mean, I have my own reasons for why but why are you drawn to a religion? Because I, you know, so often I come across and, you know, various atheists like the atheists that you just described, where it's like, you know, they're, maybe they aren't necessarily against religion, they just don't see the point. Like, it's almost like walking backwards, like, Okay, well, why would you want to go backwards into religious sectarianism or whatever? So So what draws you to religion? Why does religion have meaning for you?

La Carmina 38:25 Yeah. And that's really tied into even my university days, taking classes in a lot of the more East Asian spirituality, I think, because a lot of the New Atheists talk about this too. Even if you're an atheist, you can still seek ways of to live a better life, to consider questions of what is well being, what's the best way to exist in this world, how you want to be a part of the world. And sometimes these questions are more spiritual ones, if you want to define them in that way. And so a lot of people, they might turn to mindfulness or meditation, things that are connected to Buddhism, but without any element of supernatural or belief systems, they don't even have to identify as Buddhist to find value, and to actually find in their daily lives as I do a lot of benefit in learning about these techniques and learning about the Buddhist worldview and meditation. And so same goes with Satanism. I think I'm kind of, I follow the Japanese, or more Asian version of things where it's a lot more free flowing. I don't identify. I don't attach myself to particular labels. But I'm very interested. And I think there's a lot to be found in terms of personal meaning, community, ways of thinking about the world in Satanism, as there is in Buddhism and some other religions. I love

Stephen Bradford Long 39:51 that Yeah. And you know, that that kind of free flowing approach, it's so refreshing and honestly you know, in my journeys in Satanism and in the Satanic Temple in particular, I just keep coming across people who, for lack of a better term have dual religious identities, you know, and so I've I've come across people who are Quakers and consider themselves still very Quaker Quaker is is an important part of their religious life. And they're also fully dedicated Satanists, and that for them is not a conflict for them. I have a lot of friends who are Jewish, and who are who still observe all the festivals, they go to synagogue, they do all of the things. And they are very dedicated Satanists. And so just, I think that Satanism actually kind of lends itself to kind of a syncretistic approach to religion, you know, it's like, you can have so many dual identities, multiple identities, you can flow between them, you know, and I think that's so refreshing.

La Carmina 40:54 Yeah, I think especially with Satanism, and the emphasis and rebellion, questioning, and an individualistic practice. So there's a lot of room for your own take on things if you know what I mean. And yet syncretism really lends itself well. You see that with, with Buddhism with Satanism, and like you, I know a lot of people that really are identified with all sorts of religions and practices without holding on too tightly. That's quite a nice Buddhist way to approach it. Right? don't grasp too tightly to any labels to anything at all.

Stephen Bradford Long 41:26 Absolutely. You know, one of the things that I love is getting popularized is though, is talking about my Satanism or or personal Satanism is, it's like, I can't, I can't say what Satanism is, I can only say what my Satanism is, I have my own Satan, I have my, I have my own vision of who Satan is, and what that symbol means. For me, there's obviously going to be a lot of overlap with other Satanists and TST you know, we all have this shared guiding values of the satanic tenets. But at the end of the day, we're we're all operating off of this individual vision of who Satan is for each one of us and then we build that and then we have a you know, different metaphysics for each one of us. And so, you know, my my friend, Panama, he's really big. He's really big into transhumanism, you know, and so for him Satanism is ver Transhumanism is a very profound expression of his Satanism, right? And for others is going to be veganism. For others, it's going to be mindfulness meditation, you know, and, and I, what I find so refreshing, honestly, about that is that that's true of all religions. Every every religion, every practitioner of every religion is ultimately following some individual, personally curated version of of who they think that God is of who they think Jesus is, right? You know, at the end of the day, everyone is doing that. We are just honest about it. Right.

La Carmina 42:58 And we don't impose it on others.

Stephen Bradford Long 43:00 Exactly. We don't. We don't have to live with that cognitive dissonance of habit of trying to like, like, force other people into our vision of what Satanists or or you know, what have you.

La Carmina 43:14 Yeah, of course oneself to be living. Oh, I'm not living a sin free enough life.

Stephen Bradford Long 43:18 Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So at the beginning of the show, you mentioned some similarities that you see between Buddhism and Satanism. I find that topic fascinating. And I know that you don't cover this in your book, or maybe maybe you do later. But what are some of those similarities but that you see between Satanism and Buddhism? Hmm.

La Carmina 43:37 Well, first, I should say, I'm speaking more about what they call secular Buddhism. So if Yeah, without any spiritual, any supernatural or requirements of beliefs and any things that you can't, that can't be confirmed through science? So a lot of the noble truths, they're just truth about the world, right? That it's suffering and ways to their ways to not suffer so much in daily life, especially just by not clinging and accepting, you know, equanimity in the moment. So I just love the approach that you don't have to be beholden to what's imposed on you. You can reframe the world and you're the narrative, you don't have to live the story that people tell you, you have to live. And I see that similarity with Satanism, perhaps even more so because there's still this edge, Lord, as you put it, connotation there, it's still a big deal to identify as a Satanist, you get a lot of negative feedback and, you know, even downsides. I heard recently of some employers being upset at someone identifying as a Satanists. So it really takes a lot to stand up against that and say, I'm not going to accept what's imposed upon me. I'm going to think critically, I'm going to make decisions based on a compassion. That's a big thing in both Buddhism and, and in at least a second. isn't about the Satanic Temple.

Stephen Bradford Long 45:01 There's definitely a lot of similarity between the seven tenets and the Four Noble Truths. Like I see a lot of the the seven tenets of the Satanic Temple and the Four Noble Truths. And they they both kind of draw one towards accepting reality as it is, in a way, you know, for example, the fifth tenet is you no one should oh, god dammit, this is me failing satanic confirmation class. It was. So I was in a conversation with a Christian seminarian A while ago, and he was like, So what are the tenants? And I tried to tell him and I could not remember. And he was like, yeah, man, you're failing St. St. Satanic confirmation class right now. You know, belief should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world, one should never distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs. You know, there's something, I think that there is something very similar to mindfulness about that, you know, a lot of adhering to that tenant requires being comfortable with a lot of mystery, a lot of disconfirming evidence, a lot of stuff that we'd probably not like to be true, you know, life at at the atomic level is just not very gratifying. And at the cosmic level, it's absolutely huge and terrifying and overwhelming. And it takes a certain measure of mindfulness to just accept that and yes,

La Carmina 46:33 critical thinking, Yes. As objectivity. Yeah, putting aside emotional bias, and it's hard, like you said, and it's not fun, it's a lot more fun to play into this fantasy or this label that you feel oh, you know, this is me out in the world, or this is how it should be. And everything should conform to that, when that's not the case.

Stephen Bradford Long 46:52 Absolutely. So another thread that you that you hit on in the book is feminism, and the role that that Satan plays in women's empowerment. And that also includes, you know, of course, trans women. And so all women, but let's talk specifically about feminism, and maybe the role of Lilith. So do you find personal empowerment in the image of Satan in the symbol of Satan, as a woman? And what is that, like?

La Carmina 47:23 I think, because my background is so atheists and because I didn't grow up in a very religious environment. I'm from Vancouver, Canada. So being outside of the US, you get, you don't have as much theocracy in government, and just in your day to day life. So when I talk to my friends who grew up in a very strict Christian background, they seem to have a lot more resonance, with symbols like Satan, and Lilith, or even the inverted cross, just because that was the narrative imposed on them from such a young age. And these symbols were told to have spiritual I mean, essential meeting, right, the most important meaning that one could have. And that's not something I grew up with. So I would say that while I find these symbols, and figures, inspirational and powerful, I don't think I resonate with them as much as someone who grew up, you know, believing in the literal God and, and whatnot, and then later questioning that, and then perhaps finding a different relationship to the idea of the devil, because of that rejection.

Stephen Bradford Long 48:31 Yeah, no, that makes complete sense. And, you know, it's so interesting how I encounter a lot of Satanists, or the satanic adjacent, you know, people who might not necessarily identify themselves as Satanists, but you know, are in one room over, like, in the hallway, in the hallway outside of Satanism, or what, or what have you, you know, allies of, of Satanism or satanic adjacent, and a lot of people are, do not come from a religious background and talk about and when you when I talk to them about this, they don't relate to symbols, like, for example, the inverted cross, because to them, there is no, there is no personal significance in inverting it. There is no personal significance in inverting that religious symbol because that religious symbol was never used to abuse them. And so they're drawn to other parts of Satanism, maybe like Lucifer, the Morningstar, who is a symbol of, you know, beauty and enlightened. And so maybe they're drawn more to that or they are drawn more towards kind of affirmative values that are not necessarily in there can be affirmative values that are in opposition to religion, of course, absolutely. But I think a lot of them are drawn to affirmative values that aren't necessarily in opposition to religion at all. They they draw their wrong to religion to Satanism as basically like its own thing and didn't enter it from, you know, the the door of Christianity or Judaism or what have you. And I find I find that so interesting. Yeah, I

La Carmina 50:15 was, I thought you just made me remember that. I once watched the hail satan documentary about the Satanic Temple with some high school friends that do not identify as goth. They're really not very alternative subculture people by any definition. And they thought that the documentary was fantastic. They really liked the satanic temples works, the tenants, but I remember they said to me, well, in the scenes where you see a congregation, everyone kind of has gos pierced his body modifications are really looks alternative maybe whereas pentagrams and they said, Well, I really like what they're doing. But I just don't feel that's me and I don't feel I would really belong in that. But for me, I've been wearing Gothic fashion. I've been involved in Gothic clubs music subculture for so long. So in that sense, the aesthetics they do appeal to me they very much feel like you can I mean, I always post pictures of my outfits on Instagram and on my locker Mina blog, and I've long been dressing up in very dark ways incorporating satanic symbols. So in that sense, it has personal meaning to me and resonance in a way that perhaps a more adjacent person outside the room might not.

Stephen Bradford Long 51:24 Yeah, also you your Instagram, you look just absolutely fucking amazing. Like your makeup is incredible. The clothing is amazing. And I really need to like ask you off off air like I need you to to consult for like makeup and fashion. You should start like an academy. It could be like LA Carmina is Academy for drab satanic gays. Because I'm a very drag. I'm a very dour satanic gay I cannot dress myself I look like a homeless person. And so but ya know, you're the artistry that you display with clothing and with makeup is just absolutely fucking amazing.

La Carmina 52:06 Yeah, that's something that I've always loved. I feel like the more you talk about your roots, I think it's something that's always been there. So even I loved Halloween as a kid. I loved being able to wear these flamboyant outfits and do crazy face paint and makeup. And that just continued in through as I was growing up, right? I was more comfortable with alternative brightly colored hairstyles and makeup and outfits that might turn a head, but that's just who I am.

Stephen Bradford Long 52:33 Yeah, I love that. And I am what what I like to call a Normie satanist I go stealth. You know, no one would look at me and be like, Oh, he's a Satanist. And then you get to know me. And it's like, oh, yeah, no, he's, he's a covert Satanist. He's a he's a minister of Satan in the Satanic Temple. But you look at him, and he's just wearing like, a cat t shirt and jeans. And honestly, you know, I think that that's one of the things that I love about TST is it can draw people, all different types of people with all different sorts of aesthetics. Because it's a religion, religions will draw many different types of people. And that's great. And so there will be people. You know, a while ago, I interviewed James Paine Minister James Payne, who's the head of the uniformed coalition in TST, which is the campaign for the military police officers and nurses, and he is a complete Normie. He, you would never look at, or listen to him talk and be like, Yup, there's the Satanist. And then I love that, you know, right next to James Paine could be, you know, some, you know, super goth, badass dominatrix. And I just think that's a beautiful thing.

La Carmina 53:48 It is. And, you know, I think often people who are more active on social media, post photos and whatnot, they, the focus tends to be on them. But I always like to remind everyone that social media is not real life turning that talking about narratives, and what's real, right. I think sometimes the same people, the same supporters and detractors show up again and again, especially on Twitter. Yeah. But in fact, there are 1000s upon 1000s of people out there that support who had their own Satanism, or in this case, support the Satanic Temple that you've never heard of. I mean, people don't know any of the satanists that I know in Japan, right, just because of the language barrier. And because they're in a different country, and they've never met them. But they're, they're doing their thing. And yeah, I think, for me, having gone to law school, there's a lot of people that were interested in the Satanic Temple because of their legal campaigns. And they came to it because of that.

Stephen Bradford Long 54:39 Absolutely. Yeah. It's super interesting. Well, we're at the hour, but is there anything else that you wanted to mention anything else that you wanted us to talk about before we wrap up?

La Carmina 54:51 I think we covered so much. I'm just excited to continue to do more in the world of Satanism. There's a book coming out, I do the show on TSD A TV called satanic show until we invite guests notable guests to show their morbid and bizarre possessions that are related to the devil. So that's been a lot of fun. For me, I'm always writing Yeah, I'm always writing about Satanism and sharing as much as I can, especially from around the world. And I will be doing that when I'm in Japan. Very soon. I'll be reporting about all the hellish going on in the lab. Yeah, in Japan.

Stephen Bradford Long 55:27 That sounds amazing. And for people who want to find that, do you have like a website that where they can access all of this amazing information?

La Carmina 55:36 Yes. So people can Google lock Pertamina, and you'll find everything. But I've been running my site since 2007. It's like carmena.com. There's a treasure trove of posts from Gosh, you should see the fashion my friends and I wore in Japan back in 2007 2008. It's like a time capsule. It's really fun, because I will.

Stephen Bradford Long 55:56 After this, I will go and look that up. I'll go deep into your archives. Yeah, so

La Carmina 56:04 trouble point and shoot cameras, but you capture things that you don't know become important. Later. I was just talking about my friends and the things we did and parties we went to and we didn't know we were capturing the evolutions of Japanese Satanism in figures that are now gone.

Stephen Bradford Long 56:18 Yeah, that that's so fascinating. Yeah. So everyone can go find that at law Carmina and when does your book drop?

La Carmina 56:23 The Little Book of Satanism comes out October 25. So right before Halloween, but people can preorder it now. It's in paperback and digital. And you can find info on my site lock carmina.com or just google the little book of Satanism.

Stephen Bradford Long 56:37 Beautiful. Yeah. And everyone really should go buy it and buy multiple copies so you can give it to your friends. Like if anyone asks, no longer do you have to rely on URLs? No longer do you have to rely on random blog posts to you know, send your friends when they ask you questions about Satanism. Now you can just hand them the little book of Satanism. All right. Well, you're you're always welcome back. This has been a fantastic conversation. I'd love to do this again. Matthew, thank

La Carmina 57:07 you so much.

Stephen Bradford Long 57:08 Absolutely. All right. Well, that is it for this show. The theme song is called Wild by eleventy seven you can find it on iTunes Spotify. No, iTunes doesn't exist anymore. You can find it on Apple Music Spotify, or wherever you listen to music This show is written produced and edited by me and it is supported by my patrons@patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long as always Hail Satan. And thanks for listening