The Satanic Influence (Way of the Master)

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The Satanic Influence is the 6th episode of the second season of Way of the Master.

Contents

Episode Synopsis

This episode addresses the "dark influence" that Satan is exerting on the world that manifests itself as rock music, pornography, violent video games, and more. It contains interviews from Ozzfest, clips from concerts and lyrics of musicians who supposedly worship the Devil, Ray's discussion with a member of the Church of Satan and Ray and Kirk's criticism of modern preacher's who don't preach "true repentance."

Comment: Though Ray and Kirk make repeated claims that Satan is a real tangible being who can directly influence the world, they provide no evidence for this beyond metaphorical lines from Anton LeVey and cryptic song lyrics from Slayer. Similar to their God, skeptics are expected to take the existence of Satan on faith. This episode does the following:

  • Seriously misrepresents the humanistic philosophy of Satanism.
  • Relies heavily on anecdotal evidence from the supposed Satan worshippers themselves to prove Satan's existence
  • Quote mines Aleister Crowley, Anton LeVey and other's
  • Demonizes those who disagree with Christianity.

Episode walkthrough

Introduction

About this episode

(00:00-00:31)

  • As the camera pans over Ray and Kirk seated in a dimly lit alleyway with a spooky torch in the background to set the mood, Kirk greets the viewers and says, "Today we're going to talk about something that most people don't even think about, unless you happen to see a grisly murder scene with Satanic symbols at the scene of the crime. We're talking about Satanism... and not just the obvious and blatant work of humanity's greatest enemy, but also the most subtle of Satanic deceptions.

Comment: Right off the bat, Kirk incorrectly associates Satan worship with Satanism. Satanism, also known as the Church of Satan, was founded in the 1960's by Anton LeVey, with "Satan" representing the carnal part of man and it's opposition to religions that deny the self; it's a metaphor not meant to be taken literally. Two of my close friends are Satanists and I can assure you, they don't worship Satan or any other supernatural being. Secondly, I've never heard of or seen a murder scene with "Satanic symbols" scrawled in blood above a corpse. As always, Ray and Kirk are big on assertions and short on evidence.

(00:31-1:01)

  • Opening Credits

Rock and Roll is the Devil's Music

(1:02-2:02)

  • An Ozzfest attendee answers the question, "Do you think there's any Satanic influence behind rock and roll music?" with..
"Hell no! And if you let music guide you in life, the way people do and blame it, use it as an excuse, that's f---ing stupid as can be."
  • A clip is shown of a performer who yells loudly into a microphone, "We will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of Christianity!" and his fans reacting with wild cheers.
  • Another fan is shown who rejects the premise that Satan influences rock and roll, claiming instead that "It's all a show, that's all it is."

Comment: While the footage is intended to show how ignorant these two concert goers are, all it really does is show that one rock star doesn't like Christianity. But to Ray and Kirk, the rejection of Christianity and supposed allegiance with the Lord of Hell are one and the same; in the words of Jesus, "he who is not with me is against me."

(2:02-2:24)

  • A box with a quote from Frank Zappa appears that reads, "I'm the devil's advocate. We have our own worshipper's who are called groupies. Girls will give their bodies to musicians as you would give a sacrifice to a god."

Comment: I could not find where this quote came from. However, please note that the "devil's advocate" is a well-known term for a person who argues a side just for the sake of the arguement that was supposedly created by the Catholic Church for canonization hearings. And, even if girls are offering up their bodies as living sacrifices, this only proves that the girls are worshipping the musicians, not Satan.

(2:24-2:50)

  • More interviews with people who reject the notion that Satan has some influence on rock music, instead chalking up rock and roll's popularity to "Kid's care about what's cool and what isn't" and "People listen to what they want to listen to."

(2:50-3:06)

  • Clips from Insane Clown Posse concerts show, including one in which a white faced man announces, "And I'm influencing your children..."

Comment: Though Insane Clown Posse can look a bit freaky, band member Violent J stated in an interview with the Metro Times, "I believe in God" and insisted, "We're just telling scary stories." This aside, the implication from Ray and Kirk is that if something looks scary or confusing, it must be from the Devil.


(3:06-4:14)

  • Ray interviews a shirtless man who claims "There is no message in rock music that has anything to do with Satan or the Devil" which our dynamic duo counter with lines from Slayer's song "Alter of Sacrifice" which reads...
"Waiting the hour, destined to die, here on the table of Hell. High preist awaiting, dagger in hand, spilling the pure virgin blood."
  • Another red block comes up on screen with an uncredited quote from one of "two Slayer fans who murdered a 15 year old girl" that reads "I'm embarrassed I allowed Slayer's music to influence me."

Comment: Though the shirtless man is clearly wrong, this still does not prove that Slayer has any connection with the Devil... unless one takes their word for it, which seems odd for Ray and Kirk to want when they reject all other religions that say "Take our word for it." As for the murder case, I found several articles: one had a quote from one of the three boys involved in murdering the girl (the fact that the quote on Way of the Master got the number of boys wrong makes me even more skeptical of it's veracity.) According to Joseph Fiorella, one of the murderers, "The fact is that Slayer music didn't have anything to do with the murder. The police went into my house and saw some Slayer posters and records and they made up a motive that it's this devil thing. They don't have a motive -- so they make up their own." Another article reported that the supposed confession was "unrecorded." See "Facing the music" and "Are Slayer to blame for teen's murder?" on www.ew.com

Aleister Crowley and Black Sabbath

(4:14-5:37)

  • Kirk Cameron says, "Aleister Crowley who died in 1947 is known as the father of modern Satanism. Here's Ozzy Ozbourne singing a tribute to this Satanic High Preist."
"Mr. Crowley, what went on in your head?
Mr. Crowley, did you talk to the dead?"

Comment: This is hardly the kind of praise one would expect for a revered "high preist," with the first line questioning Crowley's sanity. The song goes on to say "Your lifestyle to me seems so tragic, with the thrill of it all. You fooled all the people with magic, yeah you waited on Satan's call..." Despite the fact that Ozzy incorrectly states that Crowley worships Satan, he sounds like he's mocking Crowley rather than praising him. And besides this, Crowley died 13 years before the Church of Satan was established, so he couldn't be a "Satanic high preist."

  • Kirk goes on to state that, "In (Crowley's) publication The Book of the Law he summed up the essence of Satanism, it is...
"Do as thou wilt, that shall be the whole of the law."

Comment: The Book of the Law is the central holy book of the religion of Thelema, not Satanism. The Book of the Law makes mention of numerous Egyptian gods and goddesses like Horus and Ma'at but oddly enough, no Satan, the Devil, or Lucifer. Kirk practically had to use this quote because it's about the only coherent thing Crowley wrote; beside cryptic metaphors and incomprehensible gibberish, the Book has a section that is literally random numbers and letters with Crowley insisting, "Someone will come after me and interpret this." Um... sure.

  • A quote flashes across the scene from a member of Black Sabbath that reads...
"Black Sabbath was launched in the U.S. with a party in San Francisco with head of the Church of Satan, Anton LeVey, presiding... all of sudden, Sabbath were Satan's right hand men."

Comment: We're beginning to see a pattern in which Ray and Kirk want the viewer to draw the conclusion that, "Because people say that they worship Satan, he actually exists and they really do worship him." Let's try this again with slighty different words: "Because Hindus worship Lord Brahma and the Hindu pantheon of gods, the gods really exist and they really do worship them." As for the quote, I don't have the album handy, but there's several ways one can interpret this. One: because Black Sabbath had Anton LeVey as a guest, people thought they were associated with Satan worship. Two: just like Christians (but possibly tongue-in-cheek) Black Sabbath is attributing their success to Satan; but again, just because someone says something doesn't make it true.

Interview with a member of the Church of Satan

(5:37-

  • Ray begins his interview of "Warlock" Jack Malebranche (a member of the Church of Satan) by asking for some background on the Church. Malebranche replies, "Well, the Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton LeVey, who was kind of an interesting character. He had, uh, an interest in the occult and had been an organ player at different circuses around the country... eventually, in 1969 he published the Satanic Bible..."

Comment: So far, so good. Supposedly, LeVey saw the same people at risque circus shows as he did at tent revival meetings and this gave him a cynical outlook on religion, especially Christianity.

  • Ray asks Malebranche, "If you could summarize the message of the Satanic bible, what would it be?"
  • Malebranche responds, "Live life in the here and now."

Comment: Jeesh, and I thought it was going to be "Kill all the Christians." Also note that he didn't say, "Worship Satan" or "Try to trick people into going to Hell."

  • Ray continues and asks, "What would annoy the average Satanist about the average Christian?"
  • Malebranche responds, "I think Satanist's are generally very annoyed by everyone; we're a very misanthropic bunch. We have very small groups of friends who don't annoy us. I mean, uh... basically if a Christian preached to us we would find that annoying, because we just want to be left alone to go about our own business and follow our own interests. A lot of us are readers, and we kinda like to do our own thing."

Comment: Wow, this is one evil dude Rays got on his hands! He likes to read!? And to be left alone!? Gosh, I bet he's so wicked that he enjoys fresh air and rainbows. But on a serious note, what Malebranche is talking about is the basis of Satanism: each person is their own "god," in the sense that each individual Satanist is the only one who makes decisions for his or her life.

  • A clip is shown right after Malebranche states that joining the church means "throwing your lot in with Satan... and taking up that archetype" of a "high ranking member" of the Church of Satan who says, "Satan represents the power of force in nature, and we feel that a cleansing of the idiot religion of the palette of Christ is in order... we're doing this through the venue of aesthetic terrorism, which we're doing through the use of art, music, writing; effectively what we call propaganda, the dissemination of information to influence what we call "iron youth"..."

Comment: Again, despite the creepy sculptures and drawings, this man is only advocating a non-violent way of spreading ideas. The part where the viewer is supposed to gasp is when he mentions directing information at kids; as we all know, only Christians are allowed to target children! (using venues such as Vacation Bible School, "Jesus camps," Youth group activities, etc. How many Satanist kid's camps do you know of?)

  • Ray asks, "I understand that Marilyn Manson joined the Church of Satan, how did that affect things?"
  • Malebranche responds, "Well, Marilyn Manson is a very big public figure, but he's also attracted a lot of young kids to the Church of Satan, and a lot of young kids aren't really Satanists. So, while we respect him and the things that he does" (an "interjection clip" is shown of Manson tearing pages out of a Bible and throwing them off the stage, as if to say "How could someone respect such actions?") "we find that we have to kind of go through (the people he attracts.)
  • Ray presses him to expound and says, "When you say they're not Satanists, do you mean they're not doubting enough?"
  • Malebranche laughs and replies, "No, they're more interested in shocking their parents. They want to put on the make up like he does... they're followers, and we want leaders in the Church of Satan."

Comment: I don't think this interview is going the way Ray intended; it surprises me that Ray even let someone on to represent the "bad side." Besides the fact that Malebranche has not once said, "We worship Satan," he also has said that the Church of Satan is choosey about who they allow in; if this was the "Drag lots of people down to Hell" group that Ray and Kirk claim it is, you'd think they'd accept anyone with open arms. Note to, that Malebranche states explicitly that the Church of Satan is not really all that interested in young kids, which directly contradicts what the last clip tried to make the viewer believe.

  • Malebranche continues explaining the philosophy behind Satanism and says, "On a certain level, Satan is a part of ourselves that we tap into. When we say, "Hail Satan!" to a certain extent, I'm saying, "Hail me!"
  • Ray: "You're on the throne? So it's a self church?"
  • Malebranche: "Yes."
  • Ray: "But that would not that hold the shock value that the Church of Satan does, right?"
  • Malebranche: "Certainly... we want people who are not interested in what other people are going to think."

Comment: Well, I'm glad we've got that cleared up; now that Ray's discovered that Satanism is actually a self based philosophy, we can just forget about the whole first part of the episode.

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