Stephen Brown to Mr. Milner
14th March 1991eh
Dear Mr. Milner,
Thank you for your letter. I have sent items you requested by separate post. You raise two matters which are of considerable interest-viz. is the obtaining of wealth and power the sign of a ; and can there really be such a thing as a Mandate given by the Prince of Darkness.
I shall answer your first question, first. The pursuit and obtaining of wealth and power, like all worldly things including the pleasures of the flesh, is a worthy Satanic goal – indeed, it is one which all Satanic novices should aspire to. However, the fundamental aim of the way of Satanism is the achievement by the individual Satanist of a unique Destiny – i.e. fulfilling the potential of existence latent within. For some, this Destiny is the obtaining of wealth and influence in the world. For others, however, the goal is different – it may be creativity (e.g. inmusic or some other artistic form), or discovery (e.g. in knowledge, science) or exploration or the achievement of Wisdom (i.e. a deep esoteric understanding and skill in esoteric Arts, particularly Aeonic magick). For all, however, the fulfillment of Destiny implies excellence –achievement in a specific field or fields. Thus, while one Master or Mistress may because of their unique Destiny achieve material’success’, another Master or Mistress may to all outward appearances be ‘poor’, and mostly bereft of material possessions. Fundamentally, what matters is what each achieves with their lives – what is internal, what is known, learnt, experienced, rather than what is outward appearance or show.
The common image of a Satanic ‘Master’ as someone possessing great wealth who dresses in a certain way (e.g. like Mephistopheles in an amateur production of Faust or like Mr. Lee in Dracula) is a fictional image. That some who call themselves Satanists ape this image, just shows their lack of understanding of genuine Satanism. A Satanist is a chameleon – someone who adapts and blends into their surroundings, for the most part. However, sometimes a Satanist (e.g. during the novice stage of development) may assume a certain ‘role’ or ‘roles’ (such as the fictional and popular image of a ‘Satanist’) for a particular purpose. This purpose is usually to obtain experience – e.g. in manipulating others; enjoying playing the ‘role’) – but once the purpose is achieved, the Satanist moves on, to other adventures. The role has served its purpose.
Regarding your second question. I presume you refer to certain organizations who base to claim to representing Satanism on the factthat they claim to be empowered by the Prince of Darkness Himself.One organization, based in America, uses the term ‘Infernal Mandate’ – they claim their Priesthood and only their Priesthood are truly representatives of the prince of Darkness because of this Mandate.
In reality, the very concept of a mandate is anti-Satanic – it is, in fact, a Nazarene concept. The Prince of Darkness desires Comrades, not sycophantic followers – that is, He wishes us, as individuals, to be like Him. He is proud, defiant, individualistic and creative. Satanists seek to be like Him – to become gods, to be Satanic in their own lives. Of course, Satan Himself and His Comrades likewise, often use others for Satanic ends – and this is natural and necessary. For essentially individuals divide into two groups – those who lead, and those who follow. Satanists are always leaders – they are the manipulators.
Further, the concept of a mandate means a religious approach – a dogma, a zeal in upholding that dogma, a rigid structured grouping wherein individuals are rewarded for their zeal, for their conformity to dogma and authority. And also the religious approach means a certain attitude, a certain way of being – it means acceptance, observance, a mental weakness, a lack of defiance, of pride.
The whole of Satanism is a defiance against this religious spirit, this religious attitude. Thus, an organization which upholds or claims to uphold Satanism as a religion cannot be Satanic – it is, in short, a fraudulent organization.
I repeat, that Satanism is a rebellion against all those forms which hold our being, our spirit in chains – which bind us, which restrict our potential, our evolution – and the most potent form which has bound us, and which still binds the majority, is the religious attitude, the dogmatic approach, be this overtly expressed via a religion or a religious approach or covertly by social and political zealousness and conformity. Religion emasculates us.
Naturally, groups like the Temple of Set cover their religious approach and dogma in fine-sounding words. For instance: “The Temple seeks merely to be a forum for Setians to communicate and cooperate with one another constructively and courteously…” [Extracted from the General Information and Admission policies of the Temple of Set]. To which should be added – ‘provided they are obedient to what their ‘Master’ says or lays down as law or policy’. They are forbidden to associate with certain people/groups (of which I am one, and the ONA one group) because those people/groups are “proscribed” – for a reason or reasons devised by the ‘High Priest of Set’ himself. In effect, certain people/groups are cast out as ‘heretics’. Does this all sound familiar? The Temple of Set uses subtle intellectual ideas to propagate what they say is ‘an individual striving’ for becoming (or ‘Xepher) – but what it amounts to in reality is an individual subservience to the Temple, its ways, its authority and its ‘Master’. This reality is ‘justified’ by the ‘Infernal Mandate’ – i.e. Aquino in particular and the Temple of Set in general have a “sacred duty” apparently given by the Prince of Darkness Himself. What this means is that Aquino claims his authority because he claims to have received a Mandate from some entity. Real religious stuff.
A genuine Satanist, on the contrary, has authority by virtue of his or her Wisdom – and has achieved Wisdom by virtue of practical experience. There is no need to claim a ‘spiritual’ authority given by some ‘entity’ be that entity Satan or Set whatever – indeed, to so claim such authority exposes the individual who so claims as needing this spiritual crutch because they lack real Wisdom: i.e. they rely on something external to themselves, something external to their own achievements. Such individuals have to rely on something external because what really matters is missing – that which is created by the following of the Black Arts to their ultimate ending. In brief, such ones who claim and so need to rely on an external mandate are charlatans.
This neatly returns us to the first question. A genuine Satanic Master (or Mistress) can be known because they possess character – i.e. they are unique charismatic individuals (although often the charisma is veiled) who have depth: it shows in their eyes, in their attitude. They have been to Hell and back – and been to Heaven and back; they have experienced, and so learnt. They do not need to pose, assume a ‘role’ or claim some ‘mandate’ or even an ancient lineage. They just are themselves.
I trust this will be of interest.
With best wishes,
Stephen Brown [signed]