—ALICE VAN HAMMER
Luke 10:18 “So he said to them, ‘I beheld Satan’s fall as lightning from heaven”.
With that said, I’ve always really enjoyed DC’s Captain Marvel, or as he’s become popularly known, Shazam. The brightly coloured Marvel couldn’t be a better example of the childhood notion of the superhero empowerment fantasy- with a simple backstory that is just as at home in 2019 as it was in 1940.
Young child Billy Batson is summoned to a mysterious temple by an ancient wizard who deems him to be pure of heart and worthy of gifting with the power of SHAZAM, an acronym of 6 immortal elders who grant him their powers(Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury)- basically turning him into a magic-infused Superman but with lightning powers instead of his heat-vision and freezing breath. The good-hearted child in the body of a nigh-invincible godlike being goes on to battle evil in all it’s forms, establishing many of the tropes we would see repeated in graphic novels and superhero stories to this day- such as the template from which most comic book “mad scientists” are drawn, his arch-nemesis, Doctor Sivana.
The recent cinematic release did not paint this exact picture- However, during the movie a point came up which really struck home with me.
In the recent film release, we see a very different take on both Billy Batson and Doctor Sivana. As opposed to the original comics, Sivana is not introduced as a bitter, evil adult, but the youngest son of a harsh, driven business mogul. The young child Sivana is also offered the power of SHAZAM, yet at the last moment is deemed unworthy of it- succumbing too easily to thoughts of vengeance and malice- and was cast out of the wizard’s temple.
Fast-forward thirty years and Sivana returns to the temple. His entire life he has sought the means to strike back at the one who hurt him so in his youth, honing his intellect and filling his heart with the poison of jealousy, spite, and the callous lack of empathy which allows for humanity’s most hideous acts. He takes that power and strikes down the wizard, all the while spitting curses of decades of his anguish-
“Do you have any idea what it does to a child to be told that they will never be good enough?”
This brings me to the point which struck home to me as a human and a Satanist.
I despise Gatekeepers. They exist in almost every group- people who feel entitled to ownership of an entire group and feel justified in placing their personal expectations upon individuals in the group and deciding with no authority but their own ideals who is “worthy” of belonging in their group. These ideals are often the result of a weak sense of personal identity outside of the group or the conservative mindset often developed as we advance in years and become too set in our ways to accept and embrace change. Sadly, they are just as often an offshoot of some manner of personal prejudice.
Gatekeepers seldom see themselves for villains. More often than not, they feel completely justified in their mistreatment of others. They are the protector of their group, driving out those who they feel aren’t “good enough” to be a part of their club- for whatever reason.
Satanism has a BIG problem with persons of this mentality.
Far too often a person approaches Satanism with curiosity, hope, even. Generally, they come from a christian family or at the least a very conservative one. They have been neglected, outright abused, lied to and manipulated for their entire life and they are looking for a home to call their own, a group, a sense of belonging to something more. They may be a teenager- they may be in their 40’s. Either way, they are, after a fashion, a child, seeking a new home and a new understanding.
The persons they interact with now have a unique opportunity to help shape the path this person will take.
Will they meet them as a torch-bearer, a guide to the understanding of what Satanism is? The history of the religion- or philosophy if you will- and it’s place in culture? The intellectual responsibilities it entails?
Or will they shut the door in the person’s face, deciding that they’re not worth the time and effort required for such fare? The person is “too young”, “stupid”, “listens to the wrong bands”,”wears the wrong t-shirts”, “is only lashing out at their parents”, “only doing it for attention”- whichever of the myriad of excuses which the intellectual coward and the social bully use to fill their grab-bag of justification?
Will they take this opportunity to make the next Sivana or the next Shazam?
I make no deception in my position-
The cynicism of the Gatekeeper is truly intellectual cowardice- a shield they hide behind to keep themselves from the heavy and painful responsibility that is personally guiding the next generation of Lucifer’s children to have a better chance than we did- to be better than we were, to have a better knowledge base, keener understanding of who they are, finding their place in this world, what they fight for and the enemy that will stop at nothing to see them driven to their knees in supplication and fear.
Some would say our intellect is our greatest gift as a species. It is by this, the guiding light of The Baphomet or the rising dawn of The Morning Star, Lucifer, that we see our way in this world to a better, more prosperous and hale tomorrow. However, it is a gift which is tempered by our sense of empathy, compassion for our fellow being and the responsibility that we choose to take upon ourselves.
Satanism is growing in strength but we are still a relatively young movement and one which is VASTLY outnumbered and out-funded. Our enemies, the enemies of all free-thinking and free-loving peoples, are legion, by comparison and account for an economy exceeding 1.1 trillion dollars in America alone.
Can we truly afford to continue to turn away potential allies? To push those who would stand with us and mock them, belittle their efforts and ignore their pains, turning them to the sidelines in what is literally the fight of our lives? Rather than inspire them with the same fire which drives us, do we infuse them wit hapathy, creating another snarky atheist, sitting on the sidelines, bellowing their superiority to all parties?
Or worse, will we send them away so embittered by our repulsion to return to their oppressors? Bolstered by their interaction with the would-be nobles of Satanic elitism, do we just create another angry sheep- another soldier in “christ’s army” against us?
Aren’t there enough Sivana’s in the world?
Rise to the challenge that is your birthright, the fire of divinity that is your intellect, and become the guiding light for the world.
Love the world enough to inspire that love in another. If this world has truly fallen to Satan, let’s start acting like it.