This kind of thing annoys the shit out of me for two reasons: first because "Satanists" in 2022 are basically just fedora-tipping Redditors attempting to troll boomer Christians, and second because Christians always, always
end up taking the bait in exactly the way they were meant to, like Charlie Brown running after Lucyfer
's football. The problem stems from Christians not understanding what "Satanism" really is.
There are basically two writers credited with being the progenitors of modern Satanism: Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey. Crowley was basically a Hermetic magician who gained notoriety for referring to himself as "the great beast 666" and for his polemic attacks on Christianity. The magical order he founded and his religion of Thelema was largely just a modification of the rituals and doctrines of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and had basically nothing to do with Satan or any other Christian mythological figures. In my view Crowley was fairly based; he had an extensive working knowledge of High Magick and was respected by a lot of important figures on the fringe right, most notably Julius Evola. However, these days, most people of a Crowleyan bent grow out of being Satanists and move on to more serious traditions around the time they sprout their first pubes, so there aren't very many Crowleyan Satanists around anymore.
The more significant figure for our purposes is Anton Szandor LaVey, who wrote the "Satanic Bible" and founded the official Church of Satan in the late 1960s. The main difference between these two is that while Crowley was a serious spiritualist who used provocative Satanic imagery to troll people, with LaVey it was literally all imagery and trolling. LaVey was a rational materialist who viewed magic and religion as psychological flim-flam that only had value insofar as it could be used to manipulate people. Out of curiosity I recently bought a copy of The Satanic Bible
, and I've been mostly disappointed by it so far; it's basically just Atlas Shrugged
for goth kids. LaVey's "religion" is just a philosophy of radical individualism and social Darwinism. It rejects all forms of religious and social authority, and advocates individuals using whatever means are at their disposal to achieve whatever material ends they desire, without regard for morality or social norms. People seriously interested in this sort of thing would be better served reading Max Stirner imo; he's considerably more articulate, and in terms of his actual beliefs is probably more extreme.
The main takeaway from LaVeyan Satanism is that it's not a religion in any proper sense at all, and this is important because the overwhelming majority of people who proclaim themselves as Satanists these days are talking about LaVeyan Satanism. Satanism has absolutely nothing to do with worshipping an actual Devil; if you ask a Satanist about their beliefs, the first thing they will generally tell you is that they don't actually believe in God or Satan. Once you subtract the theatrics, modern Satanism is basically just Secular Humanism with the Humanist component (usually) removed. This is an important distinction if you want to understand what "The After-School Satan Club" is really trying to accomplish.
Let's take a look at what the club's organizers actually have to say:>This actually isn't a club that's meant to proselytize Satanism or even engage in discussions about religious opinion>This is an educational program meant to focus on critical thinking and just basic education skills.
My guess would be that if you were to attend an actual meeting of this club, it would be a fairly innocuous and inoffensive gathering. The meetings probably involve simple lessons about logic and critical thinking, and that's about it. I assume that the guy is not lying when he says that religious topics are not discussed, because that's the whole point. It would be accurate to call this subversive, but the manner of subversion is more subtle than it appears to be.
Instead of deliberately provoking people with something they could reasonably object to, they take something that most people wouldn't
object to, but attach a lot of edgelord devil-worshipper imagery to it as a way to specifically provoke Christians. Then, when they have everyone's attention, they can explain that their club is basically just an afterschool debate club, and it's really not that big a deal. It's a completely passive-aggressive subversion tactic that LaVey would have loved: create something innocuous, provoke a group of religious conservatives into overreacting to it, and then use their overreaction to discredit them.
From the editorial response at the bottom of this article, we can see that the subversion tactic worked, and that the idiots have once again
taken the goddamned bait:>Satan is after our children. Pray for this nation.
The key thing to understand is that the "Satanic Temple" doesn't give two shits if their afterschool club gets dissolved or not. The object is not to convert children into devil-worshippers or even to teach them "critical thinking skills", the object is to provoke Bible-thumping retards into getting mad about something silly, as part of a long-game campaign to discredit organized religion in the public view. They've mostly been successful.
Instead of freaking out about "muh devil-worshipper cult," a better reaction to this sort of thing would be to point out how empty and stupid it is. "Satanists" are really just emotionally-stunted atheists still wearing edgy Pentagram jewelry into their thirties and forties, because they never outgrew their whiny teenage feud with their parents' religion. They deserve to be laughed at, not feared, and deep down that's probably what they're most afraid of. Ironically, attacking weak, pathetic people by punching them right where it hurts is also something LaVey would have approved of.