Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Satanic Identity and History9szbg

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Satanic_Identity_and_History9szbg SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, satanism, satanic, fucking, satanist, satan, read, history, religious, part, satanic temple, practice, lavey, satanists, willful ignorance, book, tst, talk, anton lavey, identity SPEAKERS Will, Stephen Bradford Long, Chalice Blythe

Will 00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast. Hey, I'm Will and they call me the doctor. And I'm Joe, the maestro, we host a podcast called common creatives, where we break apart the art, we love to see what makes it tick. Basically, we give you the definitive take on whatever or whoever we're discussing, you don't need to go anywhere else. So check out common creatives wherever you listen to podcasts.

Stephen Bradford Long 00:48 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and we're here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com. All right, well, I am here with the incredible with the fabulous Minister Shelley's Blythe. You've been on the show several times. And you're like one of my favorite people. You're just saying that I am not just saying that you really are. No, I think you're badass. We are colleagues in the Satanic Temple. And you are also a minister. And in general, I just kind of want to be you when I grow up. Like you really are just amazing. So and you've been a longtime friend of the show, you've been on the show multiple times, so longtime listeners will remember you. But before we get to our conversation, I do have to thank my patrons. My patrons are my personal lords and saviors. And I really cannot do this show. Without them. I believe in bringing my show to you to the world for free. I think these are important conversations. But in order for that to happen, I need your help. So for this week, I have to thank Emma and Keith, thank you so much. I truly could not do this without you. Every little bit goes a long way. I understand that the that the economy is still on fire and people are still struggling though from the COVID pandemic. So there are other ways to support this show. One of the best ways is to just leave a five star review on iTunes that tells our digital overlords that this show is worth sharing with others. And most of all, listen to it and enjoy it because it is here first and foremost for your enjoyment. All right, show Chalice. How's it going?

Chalice Blythe 02:38 Oh, you know it goes. Interesting. It's been an interesting last couple of months, hasn't it?

Stephen Bradford Long 02:43 Yes, it really has. So you did you lead an incredible service? Last week? We are recording this on July 19. And you'd lead a service for the Satanic Temple last Tuesday at the Tuesday evening services at the satanic estate for people who don't know what we're talking about, by the way, the satanic estate How would you describe the satanic estate and what what they do? They're

Chalice Blythe 03:14 so so so sorry. Just pause one minute. I cat is trying to get situated.

Stephen Bradford Long 03:22 Oh, we're fans of cats. What's your cat's name?

Chalice Blythe 03:24 His name Sebastian. Yeah, he's, he's a black parlor Panther. And you just whenever he sees that I'm doing something that requires me to pay attention to literally anything else is got to make sure the gets in my lap gets situated, knocks everything over and makes a bunch of noise. So now that we're situated,

Stephen Bradford Long 03:47 very good. I'm so glad. Well, so every say every time there's a cat on the show, we have to stop everything. You have to meet the cat. We have to derail everything. Okay, so the cat has been met so we can move on now.

Chalice Blythe 03:59 Yeah, his needs, his needs are met. So we're good for now. Yeah, so the satanic estate is essentially the electronic platform that serves as a virtual headquarters for the Satanic Temple and they do a lot of work for for TST they hold a lot of their own events. You know, they really were able to create and bolster a community, especially when the pandemic hit. So we've done all sorts of things on on the estate, we've we've done you know, TC official religious events, we've been able to do things like the the grief action world, the very first conference we ever did, we were able to do on that platform. And now we have what's called temporal Tuesdays, which is how we are conducting our religious services. So, you know, they they do do them physically at headquarters. But, you know, due to the nature of things right now being is uncertain and, you know, just trying to take as many Take precautions as soon as possible and wanting to be able to kind of do these things and have it available to more people than can make it up to Salem. We have temple Tuesdays. So we do religious services every Tuesday. And those services are led by an ordained minister.

Stephen Bradford Long 05:16 Yeah. And it's so cool watching the services, because each time it's a different minister. And so it's, it's, you know, each Minister brings a different perspective and like a different vibe to the service. And then it's a conversation like it's a public discussion. And then there's the chat, which is always super cool. It's just an incredibly awesome experience. So if anyone is interested in it, I'll post a link to the satanic estate, but you gave a fantastic service where you led a fantastic service and discussion last week, and it was about something that I've been thinking about quite a bit. And I wanted to have you on specifically to discuss this theme that you've clearly put a lot of thought into, which is cultivating our satanic heritage and identity and our history. And I guess I'll just leave it off there and let you let you share what you meant by that.

Chalice Blythe 06:13 Yeah. So the topic of my service was knowing our history. And when I say knowing our history, I mean, very specifically knowing our satanic history. A lot to it has a lot of pioneers has a lot of philosophical works, a lot of occult work has a lot of big, crazy characters that brought a lot of their own interpretations of things and, you know, created what we know to be Satanism today. And I think we lose sight of that. It definitely is very underappreciated in, in our community, meaning I think, generally speaking, the the Satanic Temple community, we kind of lose focus on that. And what we noticed, and the reason I wanted to talk about history, is because I think knowing your history has a lot to do with how you identify. And, you know, having that understanding of yourself and where you fit within that community. So, you know, the Satanic Temple, I mean, it as an organization is still very young, you know, is established in what 2014 So, you know, it hasn't been around for very long. And, you know, it takes its, it takes its place within the overall milieu of Satanism. And, you know, that definitely has its place within modern Satanism, which was not started by the Satanic Temple is some revisionist have tried to argue, you know, we're just one of many that have that, you know, that were inspired by the works before us. So the, the goal of the service was to not only highlight, you know, how, how identity and, you know, meeting your sense of self is informed by where your community came from, and where that philosophy comes from, where the foundations lie, who did that work, and, you know, where we have, you know, taken that foundational thought and involved them into what we are now. But, you know, making sure that we're not partaking in any revisionist history, we are not telling people that we are not allowed to seek that knowledge to it, you know, not only acknowledge that that history exists, however problematic it might be, and, and to also make sure that we are cognizant of the fact that, you know, attaining knowledge and even if it's knowledge that is controversial, challenging, is, you know, to say one cannot seek that, simply because we don't adhere to it is deeply on satanic. And so that's, that was something that I really wanted to press upon in this service. So yeah, one of the some of the points that I that I touched on was, you know, to understand who you are and how you identify, you know, you need a sense of self and, you know, your religious identity can be a very huge part and how you construct that sense of self, you know, historians have long held that, you know, to be a part of this, to be a part of that community. You know, part of building your identity is learning where you fit in the story of that community. You know, that history will tell you where that community came from, you know, the foundations that it lies on and you know, where it grew from there and how you know, how you can spot and appreciate the the legacies of those who created it before you you know, how you can carry that into your own religious practice and, you know, Satanism Satanism itself is very unique among religious philosophies, right. It's very unlike anything that you know, URI or most people grew up into, even if you grew up in a second their household, you know, it's very different. It's incredibly individualistic in nature, and that philosophy and practice, you know, doesn't fit really narrowly into some, you know, a narrowly defined scope. So, you know, one of the things I wanted to clarify to with this was that, you know, nobody has the authority to define for you, you know, the validity of your identity as a Satanist or demand that, you know, we need to be scholars that we need to, you know, read X amount of books, and we need to do all these things, to consider ourselves valid Satanists, I mean, nobody has the authority to do that. But on the other end of that, on the other end of that coin, you know, when you talk about Satanism, you know, the ISM part, right, the philosophy, the practice, you know, that's representative of a collective of, you know, a narrative structure that, you know, unites these individuals into a generally shared framework of belief. So, you know, that, you know, that encompasses a whole lot of things like a body of symbolism, you know, a culture, shared values, and because of that, I think if you are, if you are, you know, coming into your own sense of self and your own identity into Satanism, and you want to be a part of that community, I think it's really important to understand where that community is coming from where did it stem from, you know, we have all these different things that we utilize as part of our practice, we've got ritual, we've got symbol we've got, you know, this the name Satan, you know, and you know, what that represents, you know, it's in the things that separates us from being you know, like humanists or atheists or, you know, any anything else, you know, all of these elements, they had to start somewhere and so, you know, the point I tried to make was that, you know, for as brilliant as Malcolm and Lucian are, they didn't come up with all this right? This comes from a long history of of occult practice that goes all the way back to you know, you know, black masses that was started by level song you know, during teen 100 France and then you know, your you've got your Aleister Crowley's, you've got your LFS lovies you've got your Anton, the vase, and all of these other groups and practices that, you know, that have done all this work that, you know, in some of them having not even identified as Satanists. You know, Elvis LaVey wasn't a Satanist. You know, Aleister Crowley wasn't a Satanists wasn't a self identify sickness, but we get so much of our practice, especially how we utilize ritual. I mean, that's, that's, that's, that's magical decay. That's, that's Crowley, um, and, you know, we still we still utilize that in our, in our practices today. And so and then, of course, you know, we can't talk about Satanism or modern Satanism without acknowledging Anton LaVey. And, you know, I, I tend to, I personally, disassociate, Anton away with how the church of Satan is now because I see, I see an organization he built, and I see what exists today. And I just, I don't see the similarities, or I just, I don't know, I think I don't, yeah, I just don't personally see how it is today to be anything like what, you know, he, he started it out to be or maybe what he even thought it to be. I mean, there's actually interviews that he did at the, kind of towards the end of his life where he, you know, acknowledged, you know, where things were starting to turn sour, and that, you know, he probably should have done more to avoid it. But, you know, when you get to get to that age, well, you know, what are you going to do so the reason we talk about all this, right, um, you know, really, really, from my experience, the reason I it's been stewing in my mind for years, and something that I felt was really fucking important to use this platform, you know, the religious, you know, our temple services to talk about is because, unfortunately, you know, as someone who has been in a member and in leadership for many, many years in this organization, we've actually had people within the organization or people that say they're members who make the argument that there is no purpose and knowing you know, the author's or even the, the texts or you know, any, like, they don't want to do any of the reading, they don't want to do anything to expand upon their knowledge. This all came about when somebody dared make the dare make the statement that, you know, to really like, you really should read the Satanic Bible or, you know, you should really know what it is what it is you're talking about is, you know, if you're saying something is something, or if you're even saying you hate the Satanic Bible, a lot of times what you'll find is, you know, you're it's being set by people who've never even read it, they've just been told by other sources or other people that they shouldn't or that it's bad or whatever the case may be. So, you know, the argument is always that you know, because you because we don't rely on these religious texts, or we don't rely on these on these different sources of information for what we currently practice that somehow it's like an affront to ourselves, you know, and I had mentioned earlier that I was even seeing people argue that somehow TST was the beginning of modern Satanism. And I mean, that's just actually incorrect.

Stephen Bradford Long 15:22 We would not, we would not exist if it weren't for Anton LaVey. We simply would not and Anton LaVey would not exist if it weren't for Crowley and elephas. Levy, and probably Madame Blavatsky, and, and so on and so forth. I mean, we're part of a lineage we, we are part of a religious lineage. And, you know, as I was hearing you talk, I, what came to mind was the age old question that we all get asked all the fucking time, which is, well, why Satan? And yeah, that question is so much harder to answer. If it isn't placed within the context of the tradition, and I have the the that stream that religious stream, that esoteric occult stream it is so much harder to answer why Satan? Why do you why did you choose Satan as your religious icon? Why are you following the left hand path? Why do you do a, you know, a cult ritual as a non theist? As a non supernatural list? I mean, it's so I find it so much harder to answer that question, if I don't bring in the the long lineage of the Romantics and the Western esoteric assists and occultists Does that make sense? Like it?

Chalice Blythe 16:49 Yes, that makes a lot of sense. And, and TST is really unique in this way. Because, you know, we don't have a Bible like the Satanic Bible, you know, our founders have not written any definitive text on, on the philosophy, they they reflect on, you know, they they base how they interpret Satanism, how we practice it, you know, how we utilize, you know, you know, the, the inspiration for the tenants all that on, on a book on on revolt of the angels. And not only is it based off of, maybe like the last fucking page of that entire goddamn book. I in that's kind of a sort of a joke, because you can read that whole, you read that whole book. And but but it's only the last few pages, where you actually get to the part, which is really the inspiring part where we actually take our take our, our, our whole thing from so anyways...

Stephen Bradford Long 17:44 you have to get through, you have to get through all of the pages of of lineage of the library and cafe and a cafe and like several gazillion pages of a family history of all these people that then you never hear about for the rest of the book. But yeah, it's still a fantastic book.

Chalice Blythe 18:06 It's still a fantastic book, but where we, where we draw our inspiration, where we draw a lot of how we put you know, Satan within that narrative is you know, the last few pages but um, you know, that didn't necessarily start there. I mean, so the Romantics when we talk about, like, you know, the Romantics we're talking about a bunch of like, authors and philosophers who started turning the narrative of Satan around, and in basically putting it in the narrative of like, you know, the the misunderstood or now represented hero of the story and, and kind of putting Satan within a narrative of being, you know, not this, this entity of which brings all chaos and ruin and sin and evil and all that, but as this, you know, as the hero of the story, the you know, the one that actually, you know, championed very humanistic writing very humanistic traits, and, and was very reflective of who we are as people. And when we talk about the underdogs, when we talk about people that, you know, fight against the oppressors, you know, why not Satan? Why can't satan be representative of that and not all the terrible things that have been associated with like the evilness? And so you know, that that's what started turning the head of that narrative. And so we we get the overall sense of who we are as Satanists when we say we're, you know, part of, you know, what, when we're seeing this and why we identify with with Satan, and we're not just a humanist, or we're not just an atheist, I mean, we're very specifically talking about, you know, this this character that represents knowledge represents, you know, a finding against the oppressor, being very active in that, you know, there's there's so much history and there's so much there that represents the whole of why Satan, you know, we couldn't be called anything else. So we've not only have that from the Romantics, but so that takes Her like the overall philosophy of it, right? But then it's like, well, religious practice, you know, we've got we've got iconography we have ritual we have, you know, how we actually how we utilize that religious identity in our day to day lives, you know, how do we actually practice our religion and they're in comes in all of the things that were created by the occultist by you know, by the the Crowley's the vase. And, you know, we had the iconography from Elvis Levy, and he was a magician, who, interestingly enough, converted back to Catholicism right before he died. So, you know, take that for what you want. But you know, we have the Baphomet you know, because of Ellika, Celebi, L and he was also responsible for the when we invert the pentagram that came from Elvis Levy. So, you know, we're talking about magicians and occult people, black masses, you know, the black mass originated during the the affair the poisons, and, you know, this was, this was done by a woman love a song who was a, you know, she was a magician in her own right, you know, she was a, you know, she made potions, she was an abortionist, you know, she was somebody was very much involved in kind of like the, the underground in Paris at the time. And her and another Catholic priest did these black messes, which were the first some people will dispute this, but it just kind of depends on the source, but it's more, it's widely accepted that when we think of the black mass when we talk about, you know, a mass in which, you know, Satan is actually called upon to create an outcome that did start with love with soil, and that was, you know, connected to the, to the royal court and everything. It was a big fucking scandal, but, you know, that's where we, that's where we get these things. And again, they weren't, you know, level of salt, you know, wasn't a Satanist. You know, she's basically a con artist, and, you know, an underground magician, but, you know, we utilize that in our every day. And so it's just, it's crazy to me to think that, you know, there's so much there's not only so much cool history out there, but there's so much really cool knowledge and there's a lot of weight, a lot of things that, you know, I've I've subjected to mice subjected myself to intellectually that I wish I hadn't, you know, things that are very challenging things that, you know, seem very grotesque to me, but I still put myself through it. Because, you know, you can't you can't say that you are somebody who's part of your identity is seeking knowledge and not do that, even if it's difficult knowledge.

Stephen Bradford Long 22:30 Absolutely. I agree with everything that you've just said. And you know, one thing that I was going to say with love is our VA czar, how do you say her name?

Chalice Blythe 22:41 You know, I probably been pronouncing it wrong this whole time. So anybody who speaks French is probably going to be like that. That dumb American girl she can't even Google the shit I actually tried. And they it wasn't la voi si o en la, ya la la la sides. It looks like law. Watson. Right. But yeah, I I'm taking a lot of liberties and how I protect so good. Well, Katherine do shares you can call her Catherine dishes.

Stephen Bradford Long 23:11 There you go. She was those Confessions of a black mask. We're also extracted under horrific conditions of torture as well. Yeah. And so the black men, that is another part of our heritage, that is another part of our history. I shouldn't use the word heritage so much here in the south that has, I'm in North Carolina that has that has an unpleasant connotation. So let's maybe not use the word heritage, our history, history is our that's an important part of, of the history of Satanism, where the black mass emerged from the womb of literal religious torture and persecution. And for me, the black mass, you know, enacting the black mass is standing in solidarity with all of those who have been tortured by theocratic and religious power and it and it's historically very significant that the these, the confessions of the black mass were extracted through horrific acts of torture. And, you know, that's just another interesting point for me one of one of the things that you said, about a cult, ritual practice. Let's talk about Aleister Crowley, because I think that that there are several points that that I want to get to here. One of one of which is how Aleister Crowley really laid the groundwork for the kind of ritual magic that we do and I'm and I'm not going to shy away from the word ritual magic because it is ritual magic. It is magic with the CK and that is true even though we are non Supernaturalists. Right. And he laid the groundwork for that and He was kind of a sociopath. Yeah, he was he was kind of a monster. And, and that's, that's something that I really want to explore. Because I think that a deep engagement with literature in history forces us into a very uncomfortable place of breaking down a hard binary between good and bad. And, and I had a and this is actually very central to my personal satanic practice and you know, one of the things that that is so threatening I think about the symbol of Satan is that he trespasses boundaries, part of what part of what my Satan does is he's, he's a trespasser of boundaries, and a defiler of purity. And what part of what that means is that is define elation of intellectual purity, moral purity, and, and so on and so forth. And I think that any deep engagement with our history, with history in general and with literature in general, reveals deep complexities of the human race, where on the one on the one, and we tend, I think the Internet right now tends to divide people into Jesus or Hitler. And, but, but that is, unless you are actually Hitler, or a fascist. Most people fall somewhere in between those. And we really, really don't like that. And I think that people like Crowley, people, like Anton LaVey, are those sorts of people, and part of my satanic practice is to take the good and spit out the seeds. And to trespass the boundary between simply good or simply bad, but being willing to engage with the whole complex creature of a human being through their writing.

Chalice Blythe 27:18 Yeah, yeah. I mean, you can't, um, you know, you can't understand the person without understanding their complexity. And so, you know, when people talk about, you know, well, you know, we are not going to read the Satanic Bible, and we're not going to read the book of the law. And we're not gonna do these because, you know, Anton LaVey had, you know, a lot of personal issues himself. And you know, Aleister Crowley talking about, you know, when it comes to violating boundaries, he tend to, he tended to do that with his lovers a lot. So

Stephen Bradford Long 27:45 and he did it in a in a not good way. Like, when I talk very, not good. And just to clarify, when I talk about violating boundaries, I know actual, intellectually and metaphysically I do not mean personally or physically, just so that we're clear, because I am getting very used to being taken out of context. So just to make that clear.

Chalice Blythe 28:09 Yeah, I know the feeling. Um, yeah. So this will kind of comes down to being able to take the things out of their work that serve you, right, you can have people like, you know, like the Crowleys like a love vase where there's a lot of body of work of which you know, you don't agree with but still get those little kernels of things that speak you know, very deeply with you and that were for their time, you know, not only for their time but even for now incredibly powerful I mean, you've got so you know with Crowley, one of the things that I take from from Crowley practice is sex magic. Now. You know, he didn't it wasn't unique to Crowley at all, actually, sex magic was practiced by a 19th century guy, a cultist, Pascal Randolph, but, you know, during Crowley's time, you know, he had made, you know, six magic teachings part of the OTO the order templates, Orientis, which was actually founded with, which he was part of for a little while, but then he that was, that was a clusterfuck. But anyway,

Stephen Bradford Long 29:16 he has so many burnt bridges. He and so many people committed suicide, because of him. And like, so many organizations were just wrecked because of him. Like it was yeah, it was not. Yeah. Anyway, go on.

Chalice Blythe 29:32 Yeah, he was he he was a very interesting human being, but he was also pretty shitty human being. But um, but anyway, um, so, part of his practice part of selama which is actually the you know, the thing that he created which has been implemented by the OTO, which he actually inserted into there, but you know, the various you know, the whole concept of of Thelema you've got, you know, the emphasis on basic sexual liberation celebration, especially when it comes back to Anybody that is not solely heterosexual, which is not only which was not A, not only a big deal in his time, but it's still a big deal in our time. I mean, you know, we know somebody is somebody who is queer, you know, I feel more able to, you know, express myself in that way more so than I did maybe 10 years ago, but that's still, you know, it's still not a safe place to be for somebody in that way. And so, you know, when I think about sex magic, being unapologetic about your sexual identity and your activity, or lack thereof, could be the other way around. You know, that's, that's a foundational part of identifying as as a Satanist. I think there's a lot of that components, you know, a lot of that component that that's there. And so, you know, that's something that I really appreciate about what Crowley did, and which actually is still very much utilized today, in various types of satanic practice. And of course, you know, he was also the one who, in when we talk about ritual, when we talk about, you know, greater or lesser magic, you know, we didn't get into the whole thing about whether or not whether belt LaVey men it was real magic or not real. I mean, it's, it's, you know, not worth getting into, you know, in this discussion.

Stephen Bradford Long 31:14 Honestly, I don't care. I do not care, either. I don't care if love a thought magic was real or not. What, what matters to me is that I think he had some very real insight into the importance of enchantment, yeah, or, you know, being able to

Chalice Blythe 31:32 will things into being I mean, you've got, you know, magic, you know, is described as a system of physical, mental and spiritual exercises, which the practice practitioners believe that they benefit from. And so, you know, what is that benefit, that benefit could be either real or, or even just what you feel, you know, you're talking about, you know, you do ritual to get maybe catharsis or maybe, you know, the way in which you do your ritual, bring something into being whether that's simply something where you, you get your, you know, you get that feeling from it, or, you know, maybe something actually does happen. So, you know, certain rituals, you, you know, you create psychodrama, you create all these, you create all of these elements that lead to a very real outcome. And so whether you whether or not you say it's, you know, your, your fears of, you know, making something happen, you're the one who willed it to happen, and that's magic, or if you know, your practitioner, say, you know, greater or lesser magic, whatever it is, that has a history going on that big tangent and bringing it back to the the knowledge part, without like, without really knowing where those things come from. I mean, I think it would be really difficult to appreciate why we do it today. I mean, I know people that, you know, came into TST, like a week ago, and they're already wanting to do black masses, they're already wanting to do, you know, ritual and stuff like that, but have absolutely no, you know, maybe they have no idea where any of this come from, you know, they think this is just a TST thing, or whatever the case may be, and it's like, no, it's got such a cool fucking history behind it. You know, I think I think knowing that history really helps you appreciate not only where that stems from, and, you know, the really amazing boundaries that pushed especially for those that did it at a time, but you know, we can take those things and maybe evolve, you know, maybe evolve them into something new, I mean, obviously, we're not going to do everything the same way that others before us have done, that's kind of a kind of negates the point of why we create, you know, why tasty was created in the first place. But I think there's also like a lot of things that we take from, from that historical context and take from that historical practice, and we utilize, and that ties into what makes us Satanists ties into what makes us who we are, and not just what we came out of, or, you know, if you're talking about humanism, or, or, or atheism, you know, atheism doesn't have all of this history and all of this practice that goes along with it, you know, and humanism is completely different to and so it's, you know, not even a religious identity. So, keeping, keeping in mind, keeping in context, that which sets us apart helps us appreciate it more, I think, and that's why I think it's a really important thing. And, you know, the other the other thing I tried touching upon was that, you know, there's kind of this concept of, you know, these arguments about, you know, whether we started modern Satanism or we shouldn't be reading certain books, or we shouldn't be attaining certain knowledge and different things. I mean, that to me, I mean, it just, it's factually inaccurate, it negates the really, really amazing history of satanic practice. But, I mean, the very concept of banned or forbidden knowledge is like the cornerstone of all authoritarian systems, right. And Satan is very well known to be against that, you know, at the, you know, it's talked about revolt of the angels. I mean, at the end of that book, argument's sake makes a very salient point about not wanting to become the very thing you fight against. So why then would you inherit? Or would you, you know, embrace this identity, and then do everything you can to completely chip away at what makes that thing what it is, you know, just because you're maybe intellectually unprepared to be challenged, or maybe you just don't know where to start. Or maybe you're still trying to like deprogram yourself from years and years and years, I've been told that, you know, one, you don't have to know anything about the religion, you're a part of to be a part of it, I see that a lot or two, seeking knowledge has a very bad outcome. And even though intellectually, you probably know, that's not real, you know, because you've forsaken or, you know, you don't believe in those things anymore. That's hard to get out of your psyche, I understand, I understand when people are coming out of wherever they're coming from, right, whether that's a theistic, or maybe even a secular background, you know, you are still subjected to, you know, what society deems is right and wrong, and the things that you need to be in do to just be able to get through life, right. But then there's the willful ignorance. And I think, during the conversation we had on Tuesday, or, you know, the, you know, during my service, that was something that ruffled some feathers, and I thought that was a really interesting, a really interesting pushback, because when we're talking about seeking knowledge, and when we're talking about how those that don't acknowledge, you know, it's considered to be on satanic This isn't this isn't talking about whether or not people have the ability to afford the $300 academic books, or, you know, they don't know where to start. I mean, we're, we're not talking about those things. And we're not talking about people that just aren't there yet. And we

Stephen Bradford Long 36:51 also, we also aren't talking about genuine issues of accessibility, who might have some, like reading disorders or learning, learning disorders, so on and so forth. That is not what we're discussing. Some people have accessibility issues, I have accessibility issues, I dropped out of high school because I'm super duper dyslexic. So so I get it. And I And so just to make that clear, that's not what we're talking about.

Chalice Blythe 37:20 Yeah, yeah. It took me three years to get through one book.

Stephen Bradford Long 37:25 Yeah, by the way, learning disability not not learning disorder, Jesus Christ, I'm tired to be using my words right now. Sorry, go on.

Chalice Blythe 37:35 Yeah, no, and, you know, I have the same issue, I had a, I had a minor, A minor stroke when I was when I was a teenager. And so I actually do have a, I do have a physical disability, you know, of the brain. So those kinds of things are very difficult for me as well. Things take me two to three times longer than I wish it would. But, ya know, I definitely understand that argument and why that's, that's part. But again, that's not what we're talking about. What we're talking about is willful ignorance, we are talking about people that have their own volition. And, you know, they're the ones making the decision that they don't want to seek this knowledge, or they don't want to know anything about it. Or they come in with their own ideas about what this is and want to completely redefine for everybody else with this is based off of their having no idea even where any of this comes from. That's the kind of willful ignorance we're talking about. Because what we what we see a lot in the Satanic Temple is people that come in they, they see us for one aspect of who we are, right, and I'm talking about the activism, you know, people come into tsp for a lot of reasons, you know, we have members, we have allies, and we have, you know, people that kind of fall in between where whatever speaks to them, that draws them in, you know, that's, that's their prerogative. But the problem then becomes is that when you've got when you've when you've got people that only want to see that part of it, you know, the activism that is merely a an expression of our religious faith, you know, and I can get into, you know, all of that in a bigger rant, but only see us for this one element of it, and then are very uncomfortable with the religious part of it and where that history comes from, and the fact that Satanism by its very nature has a very dark history. And, you know, we're only starting to kind of be a little bit more enlightened, but like every other religious identity out there or, you know, religious philosophy out there, you know, it has a very, not only interesting start, but it's also been practicing utilized by people that like to interpret it in really fucking weird ways. So they come in with this understanding with this very limited understanding and then they don't take the time or Are the care to understand it. And then they start getting into arguments and start getting upset with people that say, you know, this stuff you're talking about it? It just it really isn't. It really isn't applicable here? Or it seems like you, you just don't know a whole lot about Satanism as a religious practice, why don't you like, here's some places to start, you know, here's, you know, start with the Satanic Bible, maybe you start with these passages in revolt of the angels, I mean, you know, those are the kinds of people that we get the most frustrated with, because not only are they kind of like shown the way of how to, like, navigate those conversations, you know, they're there, they are given the ability to do that, and they just refuse to do so. They don't want to see TST as the religious group that it is, they just want to see it for the activism that it engages in, when it's necessary, you know, when it is what it has, has everything to do with who we are as a religious people, not, you know, not just our sole function, our activism is, you know, the things that are important to us, the things that drive our activism are informed by our religious faith, it's not the other way around. And a lot of that religious faiths of faith and identity and what drives those things, you know, have a history, they have a foundation, they have, you know, text, and they have, you know, history and they have all these things behind it that inform, you know, the cornerstone of why Satan why Satanism. And that's when that so that was for me what necessity, what necessitated this conversation, you know, during temple services, because I think a lot of this needed to be heard by a lot of people that whether they were doing it purposefully or not fell within the category of, you know, being very willfully ignorant of, of what their behavior and what their actions were saying and doing and how it was creating a very toxic and, and destructive atmosphere within within the religious community.

Stephen Bradford Long 42:07 I agree with everything that you said there. And when I think of willful ignorance, I think of the hilarious interactions that I've had with some people were usually atheist types, you know, just just Stone Cold atheists, and I love them. I love my Matt Dillahunty. I love my Richard Dawkins. I love my Sam Harris's they're great. I'm not dissing them. But I have had several hilarious interactions with atheist with just hardcore atheist where they're like, Yeah, I love what what TSP is doing, I love that it's posing as a religion, to, to, to, you know, for the activism and to, you know, stand for the separation of church and state. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, you don't understand we are actually a religion. And they get this knowing look in their eyes, and they say, but that's what you're supposed to say. You You're supposed to say that, because that's part of the bid. That's part of the thing. Because if you don't say that, then you can't adequately protest and troll like part of the troll is that you have to insist that it's a religion and I'm like Jesus Christ. There is nothing ironic about my Satanism. I am not there is seriously I don't like irony. I don't do an irony. I don't get irony. In general, like, I don't mind, there's nothing ironic about my Satanism. This is 100% a genuine religion, and they're like, yes, but that's exactly what what you're supposed to say for the troll to work. God dammit, I give up. That is willful ignorance.

Chalice Blythe 43:51 That is definitely willful ignorance. Absolutely. And, you know, willful so the problem is, is there's a difference between willful ignorance inside and outside. Outside willful ignorance is something I can deal with because it's like, you know, these are these are outsiders, these are people that don't consider themselves you know, Satanists and they'll forever think we're a troll group and you know, fuck it fine, whatever, they think we're hilarious. And, you know, they'll, you know, do their little devil horns and say, hell Satan and giggle as if they're in on some fucking inside joke. I don't care about those people. You know, it's just like, you know, let them think whatever they want the willful ignorance from within that is the thing that I am trying to, to touch on and to try and get people to think about you know, if they want to be a part of the community because you know, you can be a part of the community and be an ally. You know, just don't fucking denigrate my religious identity. You know, the religion aspect of it, you know, you can be a you know, a Satanist who's very new and still learning and, and, you know, be open to you know, Thinking of Satanism in one way. And then over time completely, completely rethinking, thinking it as you kind of attain knowledge over time. That's, that's great. I mean, I was that person, you know, I, you know, I was I was familiar with, you know, and telophase work. I mean, when I was a teenager, I mean, I read the Satanic Bible when I was 14. And, you know, the satanic witch when I finally got my hands on it when I was 16. And then, you know, over time started reading all this stuff. And, you know, at the time when I was a teenager, I was reading all this stuff. And you know, it didn't speak to me in the way that like, I wanted to become a Satanist. Right then and there because I knew people who were members of the Church of Satan, I knew how they kind of conceptualized Satanism, the religious practice, and I didn't really like it. You know, I was just like, I mean, I like what LaVey saying here, but what you guys are doing in practice, I don't want anything to do with it. So, you know, I was very interested in the words and I got, I remember writing like fuckin Satanic Bible quotes in my little edgy diary I had back in the day, which I on earth for the first time in like 10 years, the other day. And I've got all these like, LaVey quotes and stuff like that. You forgot, I've done all that. So anyway, um, obviously, that a lot of that spoke to me, but as a religious practice, I wasn't quite there yet. And, you know, when I became when I fully embraced my identity as a Satanist, when I discovered the Satanic Temple, and how the Satanic Temple conceptualized satanic practice, you know, with the, you know, with the tenants, but also like with the community and how it was actually practiced and applied, including the activism. That's where I was like, that's, that's where it's at. For me, this is how this is how I think, you know, Satanism for me is best conceptualized in best practice. But that's changed over time. So the interesting thing is that as I became as I learned more and more and more, and I'll never stop learning, I'm going to go into my grave being so pissed off that I didn't get to that final book, or I didn't get to that one thing or that, you know, I don't feel like I knew absolutely everything I could possibly know. I mean, you know, as a Satanist. I pride myself in the fact that I will never stop learning things and I will never stop challenging myself intellectually as best to my capabilities. You know, given my given my TBI, but that's changed, you know, you know, what, what drew me to what drew me to Satanism, or what drew me to TST in the beginning isn't the same thing that draws me to it now I've I've you know, I've I I've matured in my Satanism I've learned new things I've experienced new things. And you know, I've had experiences in my own personal life and with the satanic community that's kind of informed what brings me joy in my satanic practice now and you know, that's it's different now than it was and that's perfectly okay. And so that's in that that is a product of me always seeking knowledge and for always challenging myself and being put in challenging positions and and actually talking to people that think I'm a fucking poser, you know, I subject myself to you know, these asshole CEOs people that you know, want to sit and argue and tell me how not a real satanist all goddamn day long. But the reason I do that, is because I I don't want to be so consumed by I don't want to consume my entire identity around the organization. You know, my my identity is Satanism. My part of my my religious identity is Satanism. And, as of now Tuesday fits within that, but that could change and that's fine. But you know, I don't want to lose I don't want to close this bubble around myself where I am denying myself outside sources where I'm dissident denying myself outside knowledge. I'm not being challenged. I'm not being you know, simply challenged to kind of like justify why I'm a Satanist. Some people would shy away from that, but I actually really enjoy the intellectual challenge because not only could I possibly learn about how, how to maybe better frame the narrative or maybe think of things in a different way and learn something from other people. But you know, it helps me really solidify and maybe ask that question all the time. Like, am I still saying that and then yeah, no, I still Well, yeah. Yeah.

Stephen Bradford Long 49:27 It's so funny that you say that because I have the exact same cycle. I have the exact same process of oh, this is an interest all kitty Oh, those gorgeous eyes.

Chalice Blythe 49:40 Oh, he's so upset with me right now.

Stephen Bradford Long 49:42 He's beautiful. So beautiful.

Chalice Blythe 49:44 Big baby. Anyway, sorry.

Stephen Bradford Long 49:46 No, you're good cats. Cats are cat interruptions are always welcome. Every so often, I will absorb a new piece of literature or information or put perspective or whatever. And I'm like, Okay, how does this mesh with my Satanism? Is this something? Is this true? Is it not true? And I mean, like in a broad philosophical sense like, like I can't think of a specific example right now off the top of my head but but there's like this constant challenge to my Satanism that that I am subjecting it to and it's like Am I still a Satanist? Does my Satanism still hold and allowing it to grow and evolve? Yeah, I relate so much to what you're saying. So what you're saying brings to mind a couple of things. So I've been shrieking a lot I've been screeching a lot online about Jordan Peterson because I'm reading Jordan Peterson and all of this is bringing to mind reading the experience of of trying to engage sincerely with with Jordan Peterson's work. Now let me clarify, I am not a Jordan Peterson fan. I think that he is at best a buffoon and at worst, really fucking dangerous. Right. And, and especially, a lot of his non clinical stuff, like some of his clinical work is really super interesting, but a lot of his non clinical stuff. I find it clownish I find it buffoonish. And some of it I find super fucking dangerous. I still find things of value that I can pull from Jordan Peterson. None of that is to say that I am a Jordan Peterson fan. None of that is to say that I couldn't don't. Jordan Peterson. That that isn't it. It's much more complicated than that. And I'm just so fascinated by the response to a lot of people in the community to my writing about Peterson in which I've made I have made very, very, very clear, I'm not a fan of this man, I don't support him. However, he was called the greatest public until the most important public intellectual of the Western world by the New York Times. Yeah, that certainly didn't go to his head, that certainly didn't go to his head. The point the point being, he's meeting some kind of need. And I would be so remiss to not deeply examine that and try to figure that out. The response that I and that to me is very satanic, doing the fucking reading to quote, your took what you're doing, you know, to quote your high school English teacher do the fucking reading, like doing the reading is part of my satanic practice. And the response that I've gotten is so interesting, which is, you know, one person on Twitter asked, Why, why would you even attempt, why would you even do this? And I, because I tweeted an article in which I said, you know, in which I tried to find common ground with Jordan, B. Peterson. And they were like, why? I said, because it is valid. Well, because it is a helpful and challenging exercise. And they said, I'm sure it's challenging. I'm skeptical unhelpful, because to me, I would, I would assume it's just toxic and poisonous. And I'm like, and I've gotten this response from a lot of people. And I'm like, What do you fear would happen? What what do what is your fear? What is what is the fear? And this applies to everything else? What is the what are you afraid of when it comes to reading Anton LaVey? What? What is it? What is the thing that you are afraid will happen? If you actually sit down and read Anton LaVey? Are you going to die? Are you going to become a fascist? Are you going to become anti semitic? Are you going to start spouting might as right? Are you going to go on to a 24 hour podcast and say horrible anti semitic things? I'm kidding. I won't include that one. Are you going? Are you going to like what are you afraid is going to happen? There is this strange fragility There is this strange anti intellectualism and fragility that is across the Internet right now. Yeah, that is that seems almost frightened of the, of what they perceive as the waste, the wasted time of engaging in controversial literature. And I honestly think, Jesus Christ, I'm going to regret saying all of this, I'm going to get so much shit for saying all of this. When people say, I don't have time, I don't have the energy to read such and such to read Anton LaVey to engage or there's there's a genuine fear of the wasted time and engaging with challenging literature. I think that the simple and obvious reason for that is you don't read?

Chalice Blythe 55:12 Yeah, well,

Stephen Bradford Long 55:14 I don't know how to put it night more nicely than that.

Chalice Blythe 55:18 Well, at the very least, maybe it's not even a reading issue. And there's definitely a part of it. But you know, you certainly do not seek out and form those opinions for yourself. Because a lot of the times what I see is when when you have these people saying, well, why are you doing that? Why are you doing that the internet told me this is bad. And if I even so much as not say, you know, stay in line with what I'm expected to be told, expected to say and have feelings on this, then I'm going to become a Brian, I'm going to become the worst people either, but as Satanists we're not afraid of, you know, challenging ourselves and having nuance. You know, we're not afraid of people being upset at the knowledge that we seek. That's part of why we're fucking Satanists. And so, my whole thought on this is, you know, I think it's very normal now, for people to be expected to have these, you know, concrete stances on a array of issues, where they neither have knowledge or the intellectual training to seriously examine those complex issues, but they're expected to have them anyways. So, you know, it's normal for peers to promote the expression of unsubstantiated opinions, venting of uninformed emotions, and in the habit of acting on those opinions and emotions. And they all do all that while ignoring or dismissing opposing views, without having either the intellectual equipment or the personal experience to weigh one view against the other in a serious way. So and I think that new normal lends itself to the reactions we see where you know, for example, with what you're experiencing by reading, you know, fucking Satan for video reading Jordan Peterson book, or you know, anybody,

Stephen Bradford Long 56:58 or Sam Harris, like, or whatever. Yeah, Anton LaVey. Or literally, anyone who hasn't fucking know anyone who is in fucking Noam Chomsky. Like, yeah, it anyway, sorry, go on.

Chalice Blythe 57:11 Yeah, well, you know, one thing I think people forget is that, you know, at one point in time reading something like the revolt of the angels was considered forbidden was considered dangerous was considered, you know, if we were to read anything from Milton, again, at what point in time that was considered, you know, to be very dangerous and could bring down you know, and, you know, the, the fucking destruction of the entire world I mean, even though those things don't compare to, like, you know, you know, Jordan Peterson or whatever, I'm not making a comparison. But what I am saying is that, you know, a lot of the times, you know, we we, ourselves become enlightened, through challenging our views, you know, you know why I know my coffee is a terrible fucking book, because I read that terrible fucking book. And not only were the things written, incited a pourraient. It was, it was a challenge to read the words, he was the worst. Fuck, I don't know how he got so many people to follow him. He was the worst fucking writer I've ever read. It's just

Stephen Bradford Long 58:20 got so many garbage, she got so many people to follow him. Because none of them read him.

Chalice Blythe 58:26 Because none of them read it. It was all about how he presented and yes, yeah, it was a very charismatic, you know, he was really good at speeches and emotion. And presenting himself is like, understanding, you know, the people. So it's like, you know, if you're somebody who says that we shouldn't be reading, it's like, well, then how do you like, you know, what, what's your feeling on historians? You know, the people that are the ones that when a society starts going, like, starts trending and starts, you know, starting to kind of reflect maybe a pattern and the way it's structured, in a way that's just like, oh, this is an alarm? How do they know that? That's an alarm, will they read the fucking stuff that, um, you know, they're the ones that had to read that history and know that history and how you apply that history and how you either you know, make something better or you prevent it from doing or becoming terrible and you you know, you don't see those warning signs or you don't see where you're progressing unless you know what that history is and you know, knowing history gives you so much context for you know, where you are now and how you're going to evolve in the future. And yeah, so you know, again, this anti intellectualism I mean, I think I think Satan is is probably the the most against anti intellectualism, it's in our goddamn invocation, you know, let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat or the tree of knowledge. And it's so you know, people accept that, you know, they think it's a really nice thing to read. They say that invocation every Tuesday, they think it's a great thing. But then they don't utilize, then they don't utilize it. And and you know, they're probably the same people that go on Twitter and tell you not to read fucking Jordan Peterson and it's like, it's self imposed. It's a self imposed barrier they're putting on themselves, for fear that will somehow speak to them or for fear, it'll somehow I don't know, it's a fear of knowledge, I'll never understand it.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:00:32 It really is like exposure therapy, where the further we, the more we avoid, the scarier the subject of our avoidance becomes. Yeah, and, you know, I had this experience a while ago, where I have a friend who is conservative, and he told me to read a particular book called the madness of crowds by Douglas Murray, who's a gay conservative guy. And I had a choice at that moment, which was to feel threatened, or defensive, or whatever. And instead, I just chose to read the goddamn book. And it was truly that simple. And then I could go back to my friend and say, he didn't cite his sources. And my friend knew as well as I did that a that citations make or break a book. And that was the end of the conversation. And I, and I didn't have to, I didn't have to cower in fear. I didn't have to, I didn't have to wring my hands. I didn't have to stress. I just had to read the book. And it's, it really is. And when I read it, the citations weren't solid. And it was that simple. And I really feel like there's a sort of exposure therapy to all of this, where it's like the the more we avoid the hard work of engaging with messy people, and the hard work of engaging with messy history and messy literature, messy subject matter, messy art, whatever it is, the more we avoid it, the scarier and bigger and harder it becomes. Yeah, and the most liberating thing that I have found, is to just read it, just engage with it. I have found that the most liberating and powerful thing because I don't need to be afraid of it. And you know, it doesn't have to exert such enormous power over me. Hold on a cat wants and want to see my cat. He's a fat boy, you want to see that? He's a talk.

Chalice Blythe 1:02:48 Oh, chunks. Oh, look at that chunky veins.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:02:52 Yes, he is one of six. Oh, and he won't he might want to say something. Do you want to talk?

Chalice Blythe 1:03:05 Yeah. So, you know, you're saying all that and in really, really what it comes down to in my mind is that, you know, how are you possibly able to oppose this arbitrary authority? How are you possibly able to fight a bet against your oppressor if you don't know where your oppressor is coming from, you know, what's informing your oppressor, what's, you know, what, what's the language? What's the idea? What's the, you know, what, what concepts do they have about you, that makes you the, you know, makes you the Satan, they want to squash you know, you can't know how best to fight that unless, you know, you know, the, the ammunition of which they're using against you. And so I think that it's not only a matter of, you know, living true to your site, tannic satanic ideals, but it's the way in which you fight the oppression, you know, you fight the very thing, you know, when we talk about, you know, people that are brought in by maybe the by the activism element, we know the language of which the these people are speaking, you know, we have to read it, we have to force ourselves to expose ourselves to it. And because we know these things, that's how we are able to, you know, fight against it. And so, it's not only a matter of, you know, a philosophical truth, but it's a matter of self preservation. So, this also comes down to one of the things that got brought up, which I think doesn't get talked about enough. So, you know, I was talking about the history of Satanism, you know, people coming in, not knowing, not knowing or not wanting to know anything about why we identify religiously, like we do, but people come in and they they don't they, they, they come in with such fervor and they just, you know, they they find, they find TSD they find this, this group that exists that you know, has the tenants and then everything they do in the world, you know, really speaks to them and the things that are important to them. But they don't take two seconds to Google this. And that ends up becoming a problem. Because one of the things that tes T has never shied away from is how flawed we have been, and how flawed our history is. And boy howdy, does it have quite the history, and it has had quite the experience of, you know, bad turns or, you know, things that come up from like, maybe our founders past, you know, that don't apply anymore, but somehow make the rounds every three months, you know, um, you know, we even have a book, you know, Speak of the devil by Joseph Laycock, who, you know, covers all these things and things we don't shy away from, you know, that, you know, we had, you know, you know, a large group of people that left, you know, we call that the ship naming and, you know, that was over a lot of things that, you know, I think it was a half and half I think half of the things that, you know, they talked about were absolute garbage, but then the other half there was some validity to that. And then, you know, you've got the the infamous, right, you know, might is right radio show from when, you know, our founder or co founder, Lucien Greaves was, like, 20 years old, and still, CEOs, sameness. So, you know, there was some, there was some things said during that radio that 24 hour radio show that, you know, we're we're of issue and, you know, taken out of context can be seen as being a lot worse than what it actually was. But, you know, when we talk about identity, and when we talk about, you know, that sense of self, right, people tend to latch on to an organization before they they latch on to the overall, you know, the overall philosophy. And we see that a lot in tst. So, one of the things that I always like to tell people, you know, when I was on IC, one of the things I always tell potential chapter heads is, before you dedicate yourself to this, before we even go through this process, before we waste each other's time, I want you to go to this website, this website, this website, and this website. All of these websites have statements from people that have left. This website has the radio show excerpt from forever ago that makes everyone think that Lucien Greaves is an anti Semite, this is this is this, this is this, this is this here is all of sordid history that has been linked to and used as a weapon against TSD. And what I want you to do is, I want you to sit, I want you to contemplate all of this, I want you to ask me questions, because I'll have an answer for all of it. I've been here for all of this, except for the radio show, I didn't know which agrees when he was 20 years old, Thank fuck, but like, here, here is everything laid bare here is everything there is to know, here is all of the underbelly shit that is unpleasant, but it is a part of our history. And once you understand that, and this is still something that you, you know, feel very strongly about, then let's move forward. But you know, don't, don't make this about your entire identity. Don't Don't put all of your eggs in a basket Don't you know, don't make this thing a pillar of of your entire sense of self and this new part of your of your life that you're clinging on to, you know, with your new satanic identity, don't do any of that unless you know all the sordid bits, because assorted bits are gonna keep coming up over and over and over again. And unless you can talk about those things, with all the confidence knowing the history, knowing the details, knowing knowing that this exists and not feeling like you've been sidelined by it, you're gonna have a really hard time and then you're going to start becoming a part of the the purity problem, you know. And so I think that that concept not only applies to our own organizational history, but you know, when we're talking about the grander history of Satanism, and all the sordid history there is there all the challenging things, all of the all of the greatness but all of the really not very great parts of it. I think that in turn helps you with, you know, really coming into that part of your identity and your association with that.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:09:31 Makes me think of an experience that I've been having lately that I think is kind of a parable for all of this were a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge, huge influence on my life has been Marilyn Manson. And he shaped my worldview and my creative expression and my identity so much. Yeah, high school through college. EJ like it and you know, he was there was a queerness about him. There's you know a violence about him a darkness about him that that deep philosophy of the reconciliation of opposites Marilyn Manson and so he's kind of like a Baphomet he has like very masculine and feminine aspects. So that a lot of a lot of what, so a lot of what I had, as a, as a kind of proto satanist as an embryonic Satanists, when it came to T S T, was implanted in me by Marilyn Manson. And when I saw the Baphomet and heard Aleutians explanation of it, I instantly got it because of Marilyn Manson. There is a fucking problem. Marilyn Manson is being accused of horrific sexual torture against multiple partners. And I have not responded well to this. And I was just like, fuck, well, you know, fuck, I can't, I can't listen to him anymore. I can't, I just have to, like, basically yank this whole part of my life out. And it's, it's occurring to me that I cannot do that. Because it is impossible. It is impossible for me to yank the influence of Marilyn Manson out of my life at its roots, because he might be a horrific sexual predator. The good that he has built inside of me, or that I took from him is there and has flourished and I can't get rid of it. I feel like that is a metaphor for our history itself, not just as the Satanic Temple but as Satanism as a whole. Yeah, and not to not to in any way compare any of our that's a very extreme example. And so I'm not comparing, you know, Lucien. But but you know, like, I cannot, I cannot get rid of Marilyn Manson's influence in my life, even if I wanted to. And so the only thing I know to do, is to just be okay, with this uncomfortable tension. I mean, my show is called sacred tension for a fucking reason to just be okay. With this tension of this man who has been so enormously influential on my life, on my creativity, on my religious practice, on my view of Satanism and has left such a positive impact on me, might also be a serial rapist. What do I do with that? And the answer is nothing. I just let it be I just let it be complicated. I think that we have a tendency to round up to, to people's best qualities and see people through the lens of their best qualities, or we round down to their very worst qualities and see them through their worst qualities. And I think that there are some people for whom it is valid to do that. Right. Like, there are, but I think, for me, personally, more often than not, it's more helpful to not round up or down at all, to just let it be a fucking mess. And to not reconcile it, to not try to bring these things into reconciliation, to just let it be complicated to just let it make me uncomfortable. And that's okay. Because that's, that's human nature. And I think that that is brutally hard. Because I'm experiencing it right now. So I get why people I want to fall into this good bad dichotomy. It with everything, I want to do that with all of the people I read, I want to do that with, with all of with it with everything, I am very, very susceptible to that. It's just deeply uncomfortable. And so to me, so much of my Satanism is being willing to just rest in that discomfort and be okay with it. And it is deeply uncomfortable, especially with Marilyn Manson. I'm like, he's my hero, was my hero. He was my hero shaped my life. And, and then Evan, Rachel Wood brings out these horrific allegations against him and it has dawned on me, I can't I can't change his influence on me. Like that's done. Yeah, I can't get rid of it. So anyway, I think that's a I think that's a parable for the complexity of this whole subject.

Chalice Blythe 1:14:51 Yeah. And it is a really complex subject. So you know, unfortunately, you know, in this in this conversation, I mean, we could get into all the nitty gritty and We can talk about all the variants and we can talk about, you know, and try to say something the right way, but then having to go back and like give a little bit more context for everything we say. But you know, it's just, it is it is a complex, it's a complex idea, it's a complex religion, and it is a religion that is taking on some of the most complex part of human nature and am saying, this is a part of the philosophy, you know, this is this is the heart of it, you know, the complexity, the nuance, the things that are not narrowly defined, you know, there is no, you know, there are no guarantees, there is, you know, things evolve, there's no definitive answers, you know, there are no, you know, there are no answers, you know, it's, it's, it's hard to go from, you know, a frame of mind growing up where things were a lot more simple. And through, you know, one religion or through group or whatever, there was that certainty, there was assurances there was, it makes it a lot easier. But we have for ourselves, you know, defined our existence, as you know, part of what sets us apart is because we don't accept things as black and white, we do not accept things as being simple. You know, we know that things are complicated. We know there's nuance, we know, there's challenges, and we know, there's discomfort, and we know that our very existence is defined by those things, and that's okay, we still have to live with it. And we still have to deal with those challenges. And, and how that is, you know, how that goes in practice is, is very unique to every individual being, but it's when we start, it's when we start trying to find comfort in that old way of thinking of, you know, anti intellectualism or, you know, not not challenging ourselves or cherry picking what we do and do not want out of Satanism as a as a philosophy, that's when we start having a struggle. And, you know, I understand that people come into it with their own levels of trauma, their own levels of, you know, where they're at, in their life, and, and the barriers and the mental and emotional roadblocks, they have to, may have to destroy in themselves to get really to the heart of things or to really feel like they're truly living, you know, they're their satanic ideals. But that's, that's okay. But the issue always then comes in where you know, those things start affecting other people, or you start imposing that discomfort or imposing those barriers and other people who are probably beyond that they're at a different level, they're in a different, you know, phase of their, their own healing or, you know, they, they have different beliefs than you that go outside the, the spectrum of, of Satanism. You know, it's one of those things where I like to say that, you know, Satanism isn't about your, your, this, this, this and this, and that's what makes you a Satanist. It's, you know, when you're a Satanist, everything, everything else in your life is informed by it. You know, your sadism informs these other parts of your life. And that's why you have so many people that have varying, you know, you know, you can put 10 TSG Satanists in a room and they're gonna have 10 Completely different views of the world, what unites them is the Satanism and where the, you know, where they fall within that, that spectrum. You know, where cheese, tea lies, but how they utilize that Satanism and how that informs the rest of their lives and their experiences and how they deal with it in that context is going to be very different. So you know, so when you're coming at this from a frame of mind, where things have to be in a tiny box, where there's no nuance or complexity, either something's good or something's bad, that's when you start having the problems. And that's when you start seeing each other, like, you know, people tearing each other apart, and start going down in these like purity spirals and they start going into this, I'm not going to read this, nobody should read this. Because, you know, did you know that this, you know, this person was an anti Semite, did you know this, this and this and this? It's like, well, of course, I did. Of course, I knew all these things, but I'm getting I'm not getting those things out of this. You know, there's a reason this is part of foundational part of the foundations of our of our philosophy, because all that dumb shit aside, there are some things in here, you know, we talked about LaVey, when talking about Crowley, and when we talk about how were their inspirations, you know, like the complexities of you know, what they were taking, and that was informing them, you know, with LaVey, you know, you've got Enron and Midas Right. And, you know, it's like, well, why, why were those things informing him so much, you know, because he was getting all the Crowley and magic and then he was taking all these other things that come from more of a you know, humanistic, you know, natural you know, the, you know, natural Kingdom Um, you know, all that stuff? Um, you know, there was a lot of reasons why that's where he, that's where he took Satan. That's where he got the inspiration. And obviously, we have detracted from that. And, you know, we, we have evolved past that we have more information, now we live in a different time, we know that certain things that were thought to be true, then we just know that they're not true now, and that's okay, you know, we just evolved past it, we're not, we're not, you know, we don't have things set in stone, we don't have our tenants set in stone, you know, those could change. And I think that's why, with all of the frustrations I've had over the years with, with TST, and in my, in my very complex relationship, and in the complex ways in which I've been involved with it, you know, what I like about it is that, you know, it is always willing to evolve, you know, nothing is set in stone. And, you know, we're constantly trying to better ourselves, especially as we learn from the failings of of our of our past. And again, if we weren't cognizant of that history, and we didn't embrace it, and know it and challenge ourselves, and like, you know, having it be a fucking gut punch, and, you know, gut punch for us, then, you know, we wouldn't be trying to better ourselves, so we would try to be better Satanists. And, you know, be something that could be, you know, better for the community. So, anyway,

Stephen Bradford Long 1:21:26 I think that's a fantastic note to end on. We should do this more often. This was, yeah, this was great. You're You're welcome back anytime. Anytime you want to come back on and rant about something, just let me know. And we can rant together.

Chalice Blythe 1:21:43 Yeah. Oh, I could just rant I could rant at you with you all day long.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:21:49 I mean, that's basically what we do together in text anyways. Yeah, that's very true. We do that we do that quite regularly. No. Well, I think you're fucking iconic and amazing. And I think you're such an important satanic voice. And so I really appreciate you coming on the show again, and seriously, anytime you want to come on, just let me know. Well, thank

Chalice Blythe 1:22:11 you so much. I appreciate the opportunity. And you know, you're you're very kind words and yeah, I hope to have some more nuanced and complex conversations with you

Stephen Bradford Long 1:22:22 in the future. Absolutely. This will probably this whole this show. I expect will will piss some people off, but that's okay. We love you all. We love you. And it's okay. No one's going to die.

Chalice Blythe 1:22:34 And you can listen to this and tell and tell me to go fuck myself.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:22:37 Yeah, same same. Tell me go fuck myself. I'm okay with anything. I

Chalice Blythe 1:22:40 said. You can go through this whole goddamn thing and just being like, well, she's got her head so far up harass I you know, it's how the hell is she even speaking right now?

Stephen Bradford Long 1:22:48 And maybe we do. Maybe we do. Maybe we maybe we are completely wrong. And a lot of stuff that we've said here. In fact, I expect that we are in some way. Because that's life. And so well, that's our that's our experience. Exactly. My experience is that I am wrong way more often than I'm right. And so I am open to hearing. Of course, I'm open to hearing feedback on the show. If you want to get back to me, if you want to share your thoughts, please email me at Steven Bradford long, forward slash contact. You can also reach me on Twitter at Steven B long, although I try to make a habit of not regularly checking my mentions. Really one of the best ways to get in contact is at my Discord server. There will be a link in the show notes. You can join the conversation about this podcast and Satanism and all kinds of other stuff going on there. For people who want to find you Where can they do that? Do you want to be found is that that is the real question.

Chalice Blythe 1:23:55 I mean, you know, well I've got to have I've got to have a place where people can tell me go fuck myself. Right. So I'm mostly so mostly I'm on Twitter these days. I have a Facebook actually splice. But I'm going to tell you I don't check it. So you know that that's probably not going to be the best way. But I'm Twitter. I'm just at Chili's life. And do I have anything else? No, that's just it.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:24:23 Yeah, you're a great follow on Twitter. Everyone should go follow you on Twitter. Oh, thank you. All right. Well, that is it for this show. The music is by the jelly rocks and eleventy seven you can find them on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to music. This show is written and performed by me Steven Bradford long and is edited and produced by Dante salmoni. It is a production of rock candy recordings and is supported by my patrons@patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford blog, as always Hail Satan, LLC.