Hearing other Satanists tell their stories on discovering that they are Satanists and when they joined the Church, a theme emerges. It seems most people spend considerable amounts of time living as a Satanist before actually registering for membership. With that being the norm, it is easy to see that I may be considered a little extra eager or a little extra edgy because I joined shortly after turning 18. This assumption is understandable. Waves and waves of edgy teens probably blow $200 on a membership card just so they can show their buddies that they are somehow affiliated with the Church for a month or two, and end up moving on to another organization when titles aren’t given or belief structures change. I see it myself in the “religious discussion” themed chats that I am a member of. One week an individual is a Buddhist, the next a Satanist, and the next irreligious. I understand the tendency to take an 18 year old young man as “just going through a phase,” but for some of us this is immeasurably frustrating at times. When I was 15, I discovered Satanism by accident while conducting research for a school project. At the time, I was fully aware of the fact I would not be taken seriously and despite my First Phase tendencies I was okay with it. I spent the time between 15 and 18 simply pursuing my goals and reading up on the Cannon and other works. I truly understood “study not worship” both in my first phase and after it. I like to think I know my shit by now, and I know myself well enough to know that it reflects me, not the other way around.
But why become a member so early? What is the point? I asked myself the same question in 2014, and after doing the research on the Church of Satan’s website, I wanted to know a little more about what membership would do for me. I reached out to the host of the only popular Satanic podcast I knew of the time,The Raising Hell Podcast, and bombarded the poor man with questions. To his credit, he graciously answered all the ones he could, until it came to the point that he was understandably reluctant to continue our correspondence due to my age. So, I waited, mulling over this new information. After some further correspondence after I turned 18, I resolved to register. I had finally learned the two things that matter most in this decision, what you get out of membership is what you put into it, and I really admire and support the Church of Satan. The later is the most prominent reason I registered, though I initially didn’t normally mention it. I honestly feel that the Church of Satan as an organization and the administration deserve my money for what they do. They provide resources I can point to in explaining my religion to those I choose to share it with. They provide outside confirmation that Satanic Ritual Abuse is a myth that I can easily find because they provide it. Hell, they seem like cool people! So why 18? I had the money, had done the research, and wanted to give the support. Simple as that.
Outside of that which is given above and reviewing my Active Application at some point in the future, The Church of Satan has done nothing for me. Every interaction I have within the confines of Satanism have been a product of my own action, and nobody should expect anything more. Becoming a member has not changed my life. In a way I am glad for that, because it reinforces that every change in my life is because of me. So yes, I signed right up when I could, but don’t try to tell me I’m edgy for it.