Remember when everyone was afraid of Devil worshipers? I remember being told that famous musicians were using songs to recruit for the church of Satan, and talk show hosts were saying that the majority of U.S. towns had local chapters of one massive Satanic cult that spanned the globe and threatened our very safety. Parents ransacked their kids’ music collections to set all of the rock albums on fire (which only caused more kids to buy that terrible “devil music”). It was a pandemic.
And it was all false.
There was no global network of Devil worshipers. Bands never back-masked hidden meanings into their records. And children who claimed that they were sexually abused at secret cult meetings turned out to be little liars who faked their infamous “recovered memories.”
(Point of order. Some young children have been molested by local cults – I knew a young lady who came from such a horrific background. But the famous cases of this trauma that made the news and landed many people in jail turned out to be false – and those who were put in prison have since been found innocent. This has happened locally, but not as part of a large scale conspiracy as we were being told.)
What this leads us to is a question: was anyone actually worshiping Satan?
How about the Church of Satan? Nope. They don’t even believe in a Devil. (Sound odd? I’ll tackle those guys, later, this month. They’re an odd group.)
I’ve known a few people who claimed to have insight into “dark powers” or something creepy like that, but they always fall short of actually saying prayers to a devil. These sorts of mystical/religious views were very popular when I was a teen, but worshiping Satan is just never in vogue.
A few groups do pop up, though, who venerate Satan. But, there’s a catch – he’s not really the Satan we know. These groups claim that Satan is not some evil figure, but a hero, a good guy. The Luciferians do this when they claim Lucifer is a good person and not an enemy, at all. There’s no Satan worship here – they’ve just made up someone new and claimed that we had misunderstood the Devil all this time. They are not worshiping him as an evil creature and opponent of a benevolent God – you’ll have to look long and hard to find anyone worshiping that Satan.
Here’s the infamous Baphomat. Supposedly, he/she was worshiped by Satanists, but it was actually the creation of King Phillip IV who used him to scare people and would claim that his political enemies worshiped it in order to have them thrown in prison. More politicians would use Baphomet for such purposes before any occult groups (who obviously didn’t know what they were doing) associated themselves with him/it.
A few times in history we hear about Devil worship. The Templars admitted to worshiping him, but only a few of them and only after being tortured for a few days. In fact, every historical case of Satan worship that I hear about involves the person admitting to it after being tortured, or is simply a work of fiction that people have taken seriously. (Based on what I hear people say, I’m pretty sure that future generations will read Harry Potter books and say, “This must have been based on something that really happened – I’ll bet Hogwarts is around here, somewhere!”)
I hate to burst you bubble, again, but the Devil worshipers didn’t exist; it was just some public paranoia that got out of hand. But, don’t worry, there’s a lot more of the occult to investigate, this month.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)