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14 the black mass

NO other single device has been associated with Satanism as much as the black mass.
To say that the most blasphemous of all religious ceremonies is nothing more than a
literary invention is certainly a statement which needs qualifying - but nothing could
be truer.
The popular concept of the black mass is thus: a defrocked priest stands before an altar
consisting of a nude woman, her legs spread-eagled and vagina thrust open, each of her
outstretched fists grasping a black candle made from the fat of unbaptized babies, and
a chalice containing the urine of a prostitute (or blood) reposing on her belly. An inverted
cross hangs above the altar, and triangular hosts of ergot-laden bread or black-stained turnip
are methodically blessed as the priest dutifully slips them in and out of the altar-lady's labia.
Then, we are told, an invocation to Satan and various demons is followed by an array of
prayers and psalms chanted backwards or interspersed with obscenities . . . all performed
within the confines of a "protective" pentagram drawn on the floow. If the Devil appears he is
invariably in the form of a rather eager man wearing the head of a black goat upon his
shoulders. Then follows a potpouri of flagellation, prayer-book burning, cunnilingus, fellatio,
and general hindquarters kissing - all done to a background of ribald recitations from the Holy
Bible, and audible expectorations on the cross! If a baby can be slaughtered during the ritual,
so much the better; for as everyone knows, this is the favorite sport of the Satanist!
If this sounds repugnant, then the success of the reports of the black mass, in keeping the
devout in church, is easy to understand. No "decent" person could fail to side with the
inquisitors when told of these blasphemies. The propagandists of the church did their job well,
informing the public at one time or another of the heresies and heinous acts of the Pagans,
Cathars, Bogomils, Templars and others who, because of their dualistic philosophies and
sometimes Satanic logic, had to be eradicated.
The stories of unbaptized babies being stolen by Satanists for use in the mass were not only
effective propoganda measures, but also provided a constant source of revenue for the
Church, in the form of baptism fees. No Christian mother would, upon hearing of these
diabolical kidnappings, refrain from getting her child properly baptized, post haste.
Another facet of man's nature was apparent in the fact that the writer or artist with lewd
thoughts could exercise his most obscene predilections in the portrayal of the activities of
heretics. The censor who views all pornography so that he will know what to warn others of is
the modern equivalent of the medieval chronicler of the obscene deeds of the Satanists (and,
of course, their modern journalistic counterparts). It is believed that the most complete library
of pornography in the world is owned by the Vatican!
The kissing of the Devil's behind during the traditional black mass is easily recognized as the
forerunner of the modern term used to describe one who will, through appealing to another's
ego, gain materially from him. As all Satanic ceremonies were performed toward very real or
material goals, the oscularum infame (or kiss of shame) was considered a symbolic requisite
towards earthly, rather than spiritual, success.
The usual assumption is that the Satanic ceremony or service is always called a black mass. A
black mass is not the magical ceremony practiced by Satanists. The Satanist would only
employ the use of a black mass as a form of psychodrama. Furthermore, a black mass does
not necessarily imply that the performers of such are Satanists. A black mass is essentially a
parody of the religious service of the Roman Catholic Church, but can be loosely applied to a
satire on any religious ceremony.
To the Satanist, the black mass, in its blaspheming of orthodox rites, is nothing more than a
redundancy. The services of all established religions are actually parodies of old rituals
performed by the worshippers of the earth and the flesh. In attempts to de-sexualize and dehumanize
the Pagan beliefs, later men of spiritual faith whitewashed the honest meanings
behind the rituals into the bland euphemisms now considered to be the "true mass". Even if
the Satanist were to spend each night performing a black mass, he would no more be
performing a travesty than the devout churchgoer who unwittingly attends his own "black
mass" - his spoof on the honest and emotionally-sound rites of Pagan antiquity.
Any ceremony considered a black mass must effectively shock and outrage, as this seems to
be the measure of its success. In the Middle Ages, blaspheming the holy church was shocking.
Now, however, the Church does not present the awesome image it did during the inquisition.
The traditional black mass is no longer the outrageous spectacle to the dilettante or renegade
priest that it once was. If the Satanist wishes to create a ritual to blaspheme an accepted
institution, for the purpose of psychodrama, he is careful to choose one that is not in vogue to
parody. Thus, he is truly stepping on a sacred cow.
A black mass, today, would consist of the blaspheming of such "sacred" topics as Eastern
mysticism, psychiatry, the psychedelic movement, ultra-liberalism, etc. Patriotism would be
championed, drugs and their gurus would be defiled, acultural militants would be deified, and
the decadence of ecclesiastical theologies might even be given a Satanic boost.
The Satanic magus has always been the catalyst for the dichotomy necessary in molding
popular beliefs, and in this case a ceremony in the nature of a black mass may serve a farreaching
magical purpose.
In the year 1666, some rather interesting events occurred in France. With the death of
François Mansart, the architect of the trapezoid, whose geometrics were to become the
prototype of the haunted house, the Palace of Versailles was being constructed, in accordance
with his plans. The last of the glamorous priestesses of Satan, Jeanne-Marie Bouvier
(Madame Guyon) was to be overshadowed by a shrewd opportunist and callous businesswoman
named Catharine Deshayes, otherwise known as LaVoisin. Here was an erstwhile
beautician who, while dabbling in abortions and purveying the most efficient poisons to ladies
desirous of eliminating unwanted husbands or lovers, found in the lurid accounts of the
"messes noir" a proverbial brainstorm.
It is safe to say that 1666 was the year of the first "commercial" black mass! In the region
south of St. Denis, which is now called LaGarenne, a great walled house was purchased by
LaVoisin and fitted with dispensaries, cells, laboratories, and . . . a chapel. Soon it became de
rigueur for royalty and lesser dillettantes to attend and participate in the very type of service
mentioned earlier in this chapter. The organized fraud perpetrated in these ceremonies has
become indelibly marked in history as the "true black mass".
When LaVoisin was arrested on March 13, 1679 (in the Church of Our Blessed Lady of Good
Tidings, incidentally), the die had already been cast. The degraded activities of LaVoisin had
stifled the majesty of Satanism for many years to come.
The Satanism-for-fun-and-games fad next appeared in England in the middle 18th Century in
the form of Sir Francis Dashwood's Order of the Medmanham Fanciscans, popularly called
The Hell-Fire Club. While eliminating the blood, gore, and baby-fat candles of the previous
century's masses, Sir Francis managed to conduct rituals replete with good dirty fun, and
certainly provided a colorful and harmless form of psychodrama for many of the leading
lights of the period. An interesting sideline of Sir Francis, which lends a clue to the climate of
the Hell-Fire Club, was a group called the Dilettanti Club, of which he was the founder.
It was the 19th Century that brought a whitewashing to Satanism, in the feeble attempts of
"white" magicians trying to perform "black" magic. This was a very paradoxical period for
Satanism, with writers such as Baudelaire and Huysmans who, despite their apparent
obsession with evil, seemed nice enough fellows. The Devil developed his Luciferian
personality for the public to see, and gradually evolved into a sort of drawing-room
gentleman. This was the era of "experts" on the black arts, such as Eliphas Levi and countless
trance-mediums who, with their carefully bound spirits and demons, have also succeeded in
binding the minds of many who call themselves parapsychologists to this day!
As far as Satanism is concerned, the closest outward signs of this were the neo-Pagan rites
conducted by MacGregor Mathers' Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and Aleister
Crowley's later Order of the Silver Star (A... A... - Argentinum Astrum) and Order of Oriental
Templars (O.T.O.)*, which paranoiacally denied any association with Satanism, despite
Crowley's self-imposed image of the beast of revelation. Aside from some rather charming
poetry and a smattering of magical bric-a-brac, when not climbing mountains Crowley spent
most of his time as a poseur par excellence and worked overtime to be wicked. Like his
contemporary, Rev.(?) Mantague Summers, Crowley obviously spent a large part of his life
with his tongue jammed firmly into his cheek, but his followers, today, are somehow able to
read esoteric meaning into his every word.
Perennially concurrent with these societies were the sex clubs using Satanism as a rationale -
that persists today, for which tabloid newspaper writers may give thanks.
If it appears that the black mass developed from a literary invention of the church, to a
depraved commercial actuality, to a psychodrama for dilettantes and iconoclasts, to an ace in
the hole for popular media . . . then where does it fit into the true nature of Satanism - and
who was practicing Satanic magic in those years beyond 1666?
The answer to this riddle lies in another. Is the person generally considered to be a Satanist
really practicing Satanism in its true sense, or rather from the point of view taken by the
opinion makers of heavenly persuasion? It has often been said, and rightly so, that all of the
books about the Devil have been written by the agents of God. It is, therefore, quite easy to
understand how a certain breed of devil worshippers was created through the inventions of
theologians. This erstwhile "evil" character is not necessarily practicing true Satanism. Nor is
he a living embodiment of the element of untrammeled pride or majesty of self which gave
the post-Pagan world the churchman's definition of evil. He is instead the by-product of later
and more elaborate propaganda.
The pseudo-Satanist has always managed to appear throughout modern history, with his black
masses of varying degrees of blasphemy; but the real Satanist is not quite so easily recognized
as such.
It would be an over-simplification to say that every successful man and woman on earth is,
without knowing it, a practicing Satanist; but the thirst for earthly success and its ...
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