Animum nodis exsolvere: Unknotting the Mind and Freeing the Self from Self-Imposed Bonds, Part I

I ended the previous installment of this blog series on Satanism as religion with seventeenth-century English poet Robert Herrick’s memorable phrase “wild civility.” So let me pick right back up and open this belated fourth post on that same note. Wild Men in an Eastern Wilderness As an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, I [...]

Satanism, Epicureanism, and the Unbinding of Religio

The philosophical school founded in the late fourth century BCE by the iconoclastic empiricist Epicurus was quite unlike its other major Hellenistic rival, Stoicism, despite the fact that the two shared a commitment to a physical or materialist view of the world, even up to and including the human soul. The Stoics, however, argued that [...]

Entremets: Where are all the good men dead? In the heart or in the head?

When actress Minnie Driver’s character Debi Newberry utters the words that form the title of this essay in the 1997 movie Grosse Pointe Blank, her concern is entirely personal. She wonders where the good men are out in the world and why the ones she feels attracted to, like “the man who vanished” Martin Blank [...]

The Questionable Merit of Tying Knots: How Religio has Us All Bound Up in Them

In order to begin attempting the Gordian knot of how my conception of Satanism, so keen on unknotting many of the ties that bind our delayed-return societies together in impersonal and abusive dependencies, might nonetheless comprise a kind of religiosity, we must first visit the issue of how religion came conceptually to involve the tying [...]

Fiction, Reality, and Minimal Counterintuitiveness: The Truth of Festivus

In my recent piece on Santa, belief, and the violation of “slow epistemology” in traditional religion, I briefly discussed how, in his work De Carne Christi or On the Flesh of Christ, third-century CE Christian Church Father Tertullian sought to defend the Bible against claims mounted by Greek philosophers of his day that it propagated [...]

The politics of pee on the 4th of July

This fourth of July, 2017, found my little nuclear family back for the third consecutive year in Arlington, Texas, for what is billed as the largest fourth of July parade in the state and one of the largest in the nation. As luck and a morning spent at home sipping on more than three large [...]

Not Today, Santa: I Have Seen the Father of Lies, and He is Us

“You sit on a throne of lies.” —Buddy the “Elf” It being the Christmas season and all, this past Friday Family Movie Night found my little nuclear family all huddled in obeisance before the flat-screened iconostasis, watching the 2003 Will Ferrell flick Elf.  Part of what makes the movie so brilliant to me is its [...]

Free Your Mind

A little known fact from my former Mormon days is that I had a calling in two separate wards across two different states as a Gospel Principles teacher. For those of you “gentiles” who know little about the Latter-Day Saint (LDS) faith, a calling is a job or duty assigned to you by a priesthood [...]