What is called Satanism, but shouldn't be:
When people think of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and many other religions, they have at least a general idea of what the religion involves. "Satanism" is an exception. In North America, it has become a general-purpose religious "snarl" word:
Most religious historians, mainline Christians, liberal Christians, etc., view Satanism as Satanists themselves view their religion: a very small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges and attack their enemies.
Conservative Christians generally believe that there are only two powerful supernatural forces in the world: their God and Satan. A few of them believe If a person does not worship their God and hold their beliefs, then they must be worshiping Satan -- the latter are, by definition, Satanists. Thus, they view all Christian denominations whose beliefs differ significantly from their own, and all other religions, are forms of Satanism. Satanists would then make up perhaps 95% or more of the world's population. Using this definition, the term "Satanism" becomes almost meaningless.
Some feel that all non-Christian religions are forms of Satanism. This would imply that all Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims - in fact about 67% of the world's population are Satanists.
Others feel that all religions other than the Abramic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are inspired by Satan and are thus a form of Satanism. By this reasoning, about 45% of the people of the world are Satanists.
Still others feel that the major world religions are not Satanism. However, they view a wide variety of unrelated religions (such as Santeria, Vodun, other Caribbean religions, New Age, Druidism, Wicca, and other Neopagan religions) as forms of Satanism. They often include some non-religious groups and activities (such as the Masonic order, the Occult, astrology, and tarot card reading) within their definition of Satanism.
Describing Buddhists, Druids, Hindus, Jews, New Agers, Santerians, Taoists, Wiccans and other Neopagans, followers of Vodun, etc. as Satanists creates massive confusion in the minds of the public. Most of these religions do not teach an all-evil quasi-deity, like the Christian and Islamic Satan.
Such definitions create great confusion, and stir up religious animosity against followers of benign faith traditions. It has been known to trigger lynching, attempted mass murder, fire bombings, shootings, common assaults, etc. We strongly recommend that the terms "Satanist" and "Satanism" be used only to refer to religions that have some direct connection to Satan in some form. That a Satanist either:
Worships the Christian devil, or
Worships a supernatural entity -- a precursor to Satan -- such as the ancient Egyptian god, Set, or
Accepts Satan as a pre-Christian life-principle concept worth emulating.
More restricted definitions of the forms of Satanism: The following are recommended terms and descriptions of four essentially unrelated beliefs and activities that recognize Satan in their belief system:
1. Religious Satanism: This religion recognizes Satan, either as a deity or as a life principle. Followers are usually serious adults, although a few are mature teenagers. Three main traditions exist: the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set and the Church of Satanic Liberation. Other short-lived Satanic groups currently exist and have existed in the recent past. According to Statistic Canada, the 1991 census found only 335 Canadians who identified themselves as Satanists. This would imply that there are about 3,500 Satanists in the U.S. The actual number is probably significantly larger. A US Department of the Army pamphlet #165-13 estimated that there were 10 to 20 thousand members of the Church of Satan in the US during the late 1970's. 1,7 Accurate data for this movement is impossible to estimate, since the largest group (the Church of Satan) does not release its membership totals. It is important to realize that the Satan that they recognize has few if any points of similarity with the conservative Christian concept of Satan. The Satanists' concept of Satan is pre-Christian, and derived from the Pagan image of power, virility, sexuality and sensuality. To most Satanists, Satan is a force of nature, not a living quasi-deity. Their Satan has nothing to do with Hell, demons, pitchforks, sadistic torture, and profound evil. They have occasionally engaged in a Black Mass for publicity purposes, in which the Roman Catholic Mass is ridiculed. But, otherwise, their rituals have no connection to those of Christianity. Starting in 1980 and continuing until the mid-1990s, there was a widespread belief that Satanists were involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and killing of innocent infants, children and adults. This belief has faded due to lack of hard evidence. It is a Christian urban legend based on fear.
2. Gothic Satanism: It is an imaginary, profoundly evil religion that was invented during the late Middle Ages by the Christian church. These Satanists were said to ritually kill children, sell their soul to the devil, break crucifixes, conduct black masses, etc. Gothic Satanism has never existed in the past as an organization, and does not exist today, except in the imagination of the public, and in horror movies.
Gothic Satanism should not be confused with the Goth sub-culture. The latter is a philosophical, musical, cultural group that is unrelated to Satanism.
3. Satanic Dabblers: A syncretistic religion which blends elements taken from Religious Satanism, Gothic Satanism, ceremonial Magic, and any other useful source of ritual that the followers can find. It is typically practiced by rebellious teenagers or young adults -- generally for a short time. They probably number in the tens or hundreds of thousands at any one instant in North America. An exact estimate is impossible to obtain, since they are totally devoid of any central organization. They occasionally engage in minor criminal activities such as vandalizing cemeteries and painting Satanic graffiti on walls. In very rare instances, a few have been known to sacrifice small animals.
4. Other types of Satanism:
Occasionally, a serial murderer will claim to be a Satanist in order to justify his horrendous activities. This is "the Devil made me do it" defense. Police investigation reveals that they know little about the religion, and are not really Satanists.
A small percentage of child molesters will abuse children in a Satanic setting as a means of controlling the victims. The molesters are pretend Satanists; they are simply using the facade of Satanism to further their criminal acts. A government study in England found three such perpetrators. Some heavy metal rock bands pretend to be associated with Satanism. Their main motivation is to gain notoriety. The suggestion of Satanic involvement increases record sales. These three quasi-Satanic groups will not be dealt with further in this information sheet.
While many of the beliefs of the Unification Church are identical to those of other conservative Christian groups, there are some major differences:
They view God as a single being with "perfect intellect, emotion and will". They reject the traditional Christian concept of the Trinity. God contains within himself positive (male) and negative (female) aspects, which are in perfect harmony with each other.
The Holy Spirit is the feminine counterpart to God. She is not a person, but is a form of energy that is derived from God.
Before Adam and Eve's were married in Eden, Eve had an affair with the Archangel Lucifer. This caused the spiritual fall of mankind. She later engaged in an pre-marital sexual relationship with Adam. This caused the physical fall of mankind. Together, these illicit sexuality caused them to form an imperfect family. Their sin led to Satan taking control of the world.
The church links Communism (the expression of Satan) with Cain and Democracy (the expression of God) with Abel.
Jesus Christ is viewed as a unique human being who was born without original sin. After his crucifixion, he was spiritually resurrected, although Satan took his body away.
God's original intent was for Jesus Christ to form a perfect marriage in order to redeem humanity, and undo the harm perpetrated by Adam and Eve. Since Jesus was executed before accomplishing his mission, it will be up to a third Adam to form this perfect marriage and complete Jesus' task.
By his spiritual resurrection, Jesus has made possible spiritual salvation for persons who accept him as savior and believe in his message. They will, after death, live with Jesus in Paradise. However, because Jesus did not complete his original task, physical salvation is not possible on earth during one's lifetime. Complete salvation (spiritual and physical) awaits the arrival of the third Adam and his subsequent perfect marriage.
St. Paul is viewed as the originator of Christianity. Through his expertise, he converted the teachings of Jesus concerning the kingdom of God into a formal religion about Jesus.
Hell exists on earth. Over time, Hell will be transformed into the kingdom of heaven on earth. Hell exists in the spiritual world as well, as an extension of life for those of us who live in hell on earth.
One of the main purposes of the Unification Church is to unite all of the fragments of Christianity into a single body.
The third Adam was born in Korea between 1917 and 1930. (The first Adam was the individual described in Genesis; the second Adam is Jesus). He will be recognized as second coming of Christ, the perfect man. He will marry the perfect woman, and will become the "true spiritual parents of humankind". Some members of the Unification Church regard Rev. Moon and his second (and current) wife Hak Ja Han as these parents, although the Church itself has never made this claim.