I first got into Satanism when I was 20. My parents are committed Christians who tried to take my sister and I to church when we were kids. A few years earlier, I had started hanging out on YouTube and listened to Tupac. I'd gotten into alcohol, and masturbated to sexual things. It became a choice between hanging out with Satanists on YouTube in what I saw as the 'real world', or listening to Bible stories with my parents and coloring in pictures of Noah’s Ark. I chose rebellion.
One night I spotted Satanism online. I took it and everything changed. Satanism seemed to acknowledge the pain and anger I was feeling. The next day, I hibernated myself in my room and started drawing a pentagram - the symbol of the Church of Satan - on my sketchpad. People interpret it in different ways but, to me, Satanism was about loving yourself at the expense of others. In a philosophical sense, it’s actually got little to do with devil worship. Most Satanists believe in doing everything in their power to get what they want out of life. Indulging in desires such as sex, food, and booze is encouraged. It breeds selfishness within you, which is what makes it so dark - for yourself as well as those around you. Putting yourself first all the time, and not caring about others, is lonely.
But, at the time, I felt like the Christian God that I grew up with, who was meant to be good, didn't seem to care about my suffering. I was rebelling with beer, swear words and derogatory signs like the middle finger. My parent’s brand of suburban Christianity didn’t offer me any solace. It seemed to be all about pretending everything was fine; there was no room for darkness or controversy. So I rejected it.
Satanism gripped me like a mother to her child. It became my life. I drew the pentagram on everything, from my school books to my already demented drawings. My friends and my girlfriend were freaked out - they all thought I'd gone too far. I went from being pretty popular to being "the emo kid". But I didn't give a damn what they think, I'm my own god, and that's all that matters.
But, there's something that caught my attention, how people believe that cats are supernatural creatures, and that they are the devil in disguise.
Now, cats are not everyone’s flavor of pudding, but they serve an important role in many urban areas, especially in the developing nations outside the western world. Without them, pests would run wild, and not just rats. Cats are natural hunters. They catch cockroaches, snakes, and scorpions too. You wouldn’t hate that, would you? Did Pope Gregory the Ninth’s comfort with the law cause him to overstep his station as the pope? His condemnation of cats may not be responsible for the spread of the black death, but it’s definitely connected to the decline in cat populations at the time, and the proliferation of rat populations.
Gregory lived from 1145 to 1241, AD. He was born Ugolino di Conti, but took the name Gregory when he became the pope. That was when Ugolino was over 80 years old. Even for modern times, that is not a young age to take on the papal role. The cat thing is a footnote in his story. He is mostly known for issuing the Decretals and starting the Papal Inquisition. The Decretals reorganized the whole library of Catholic laws. The papal inquisition rained down justice on heretics, the people who spoke out against church canon. It was Gregory’s past as an astute lawyer that connected him to his acts of justice within the church. It was his distaste for cats that penned the Vox in Rama. That was the first church document condemning black cats as instruments of Satan. By Gregory’s decree, there was a target on the head of every black cat.
Allegedly through torture and terror, Konrad reported he had uncovered a satanic cult which worshiped devils in the forms of a demonic man and of a diabolical black cat. The inquisition of Konrad was controversial: shortly after Konrad arrived in Mainz, a papal official called Bernard wrote to Gregory stating that Konrad had been forcing innocent people to confess by threatening them with burning at the stake if they refused to do so. Shortly thereafter, Konrad was assassinated, possibly by the servants of Henry II, Count of Sayn, whom Konrad had accused of fostering heresy. The issue of the bull was a response to Konrad's allegations, urging Siegfried III and King Henry, representing the ecclesiastical and temporal authorities respectively, to seek out and destroy the heretics.
The black cat as "the Devil" in Christian sects: The Waldenses Many different Christian sects began to flourish during this time. One of the first was the Waldenses, founded in 1170 by Peter Waldo. The Waldenses believed that the individual could communicate directly with God. This of course threatened the church, the pope and his followers.
Now to me, this pope is considered as the "Donald Trump" of Medieval Germany, and is one of those crybabies who get offended by almost everything around them. Everything they see, everything they hear, and everything they smell, they start freaking out like a child's mother in Junior High. It seems like every time we try to entertain ourselves, those braindead bastards try to ruin it. They have no excuse to kill, abuse, and torture cats. Cause taken from the Bible (remember, not a Christian), all animals are made by God, and those papals had the balls to kill them because of their beliefs.
Because the cat is my favorite animal in the Animal Kingdom, this made me hate God more and more.
I did all I could to block out all Christianity with more alcohol, more drugs, and more Satanism. I began sacrificing small woodland animals to please Satan, and fuel the rage I have against God. I began snorting more cocaine 'till I began tripping out, and my liver was like the Pacific Ocean by all the beer I guzzled down. I was beginning to get tired; tired of sinning and rebelling. I would puke out my guts, and stick my face in a place where anyone's face should never be. I'd hold the toilet seat as all the contents of my stomach rose up my esophagus and out past my lips into the toilet water. I'd flush, but I could still taste the putrid bile in my mouth. I could feel sweat beat down my face, and could see everything spinning like I'd just got off a merry-go-round gone mad. My body couldn't take much abuse by the looks of it, so I stopped for a couple of days.
One night when I was drunk after drinking can-after-can of Budweiser, I began to feel sick as usual when you're drunk as a skunk after taking so many drinks. I staggered into the bathroom, holding my mouth as vomit was almost spirting out passed my five digits, getting chunks of stomach fluids all over the walls.
After minutes of gagging and heaping, I flushed, and turned around to see something I didn't expect seeing. It walked away from the bathroom's doorframe for just a split second before vanishing down the hallway. I didn't know what it was, but all I know is that it was the same height as a human being. But it didn't look human, so something about it was off. I peeked out the door and scanned both ends of the darkened hall, trying to see what it was that was watching me puke in the toilet. But nothing was there.
I was about to go on ahead and flush the toilet until I was face-to-face with what I thought was something out of someone's nightmare. It had the head and hind legs of a hairless cat, and the body of a human; it's skin wrinkled and black; it's large eyes resembling two balls of fire; it's ears large and bat-like; and it's long tail was so thin that it almost resembled a whip that danced of it's own accord. I use "it" because I couldn't tell if it was a male or female. Or.... did it have gender at all? I jumped back and yelped, almost knocking my own self out as I slammed the back of my head against the closet door. The shadowy creature seemed to notice my shock and spoke, "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to startle you!" It's voice was unlike anything I could ever imagine. It sounded like both a man and a woman speaking in unison, making the thing even more creepier. I also realized that it spoke with a French accent, which I didn't bother noticing until now. I did not dare look away, I watched as the phantom monster stepped up to me, making me tremble and sweat bullets. "Please, don't be afraid. I'm only trying to help you." The thing said.
It took me seconds to notice the look on it's feline face, it seemed to take pity on me, like it felt sorry for what I'm going through or something. I finally managed to utter a question. "I... I don't under-"
Suddenly the creature interrupted, it knew what I was going to say in a heartbeat, "I know, you're confused. I'm not like the other demons you know, I'm what you call a 'Demon Cat' or something to that effect."
I just stared at the thing, not knowing what the hell's going on. It continued, "With you being a human, you often deceive yourself into thinking that you can redefine your bad choices as good. Let mask you, do you feel stuck in this cycle? There's good news. Through the name of Jesus, you can break your bondage of sin." At first I didn't know what it meant, but now I knew it was talking about me and my Satanic lifestyle. "Look, I'm no Christian okay? I've been done with that shit a long ago." I told it.
While Satanists vary on their beliefs, you can generally put them into two categories. The first type is composed of those who would consider themselves a part of the Church of Satan or "LeVeyan Satanists". They base their beliefs on the Satanic Bible (written by Anton LaVey). I am a part of the second (and more popular) category of Satanist, which I’d call myself a "self-taught" Satanist. Since I'm ‘self-taught’, I'm determine the way I follow Satan.
"I know..." The beastly apparition replied, clawed hands on it's waist, "you performed rituals to conjure up satanic empowerment, and oftentimes have a few friends that participate in these rituals with you. You listened to heavy metal music that focuses on very dark themes like Satan, murder and graphic sex. Ritual sacrifices of animals are sometimes part of the rituals that you may engage in. You oftentimes looks, acts, and dresses for shock value, so you will see yourself dressed in black and portray a very rebellious attitude. You also have a strong hatred of God and any type of organized religion."
"How'd... How'd you know that?" I asked.
"I know everything. I'm not an idiot." The creature smirked.
I just shook the cobwebs of amazement and awe at the site of the demon before me, and stood back up. "Wait a minute. If you know everything, then how many stars there are in the entire galaxy?"
The creature just stared at me like I'm a dumbass for asking that question, "Look, I'm not God, cause he and he alone knows how many stars there are."
Just then, it held out one single inhuman hand. I knew what was going on, it wanted me to join it as we would travel all the way to Hell.
And believe it or not... That's exactly what we did.
As I took it's hand, a flash of light shown on my face as if I was surrounded in strobe lights. And the next thing I knew, I was taken to Hell. There's no describing it, it's Hell, what do you expect from it?
It lead me through the dimly lit darkness till I saw a huge castle-like structure in front of us. Lightning and thunder boomed and flashed around us as I looked up at the blood red clouds that spiraled around the castle like the cover art of some death metal band. We entered and saw numerous demons torturing people (as you'd expect), with every disturbing act of punishment inflicted onto them every time we passed by. The screams of the damned was so unbearable that it can easily drive someone to inescapable madness.
We then entered a large chamber with a flight of stairs made of the flesh and bones of people who are damned to be made into objects in the most horrific ways possible. We walked up the stairs, the squishing and crunching sound of flesh and bones under our feet, until we were in the presence of a throne room. Sitting on the throne next to some hellhounds was what I can say is the Devil himself. He wasn't like your typical demon with horns and a pitchfork, he was a humanoid figure with burnt skin, and a black hooded robe that looked torn and withered.
Due to his height and weight, he kind of reminded me of Randy Orton from WWE, except wearing a Ghostface costume, minus the iconic mask.
"Who dares enter my domain?" The monster spoke.
"It is I, my Lord." said the feline Hellspawn, "I've brought someone to us, someone who's followed you in the art of cruelty."
The Devil looked at me, and gave me a smirk so vile and sinister that it shook my very being. "A Satanist I presume... One of those men who fled the flock of mindless sheep and walked a path of violence, darkness, selfishness. Perfect." He looked at me, then back at the creature beside me. "Good work, Putrid, you're not the ungrateful bastard I thought you were." I looked, and the creature seemed to be smiling a bit. Not a smile of embarrassment, nor from pleasure. But like someone who's unsure of himself. "And now to business." Said Satan.
"So, what do you want me to do, my Lord." I asked.
"What I want you to do, is to pick up this here blade," he showed me a large knife that popped out of nowhere on a glass table, "and show Putrid here the sinner that you are."
I looked at the creature, who I assume is named Putrid, and back at the Devil. Not wanting to piss off a being that can easily shatter a human soul just by looking at it, I picked up the knife, and asked, "Now what?"
"Strike it down." He replied with a smile.
"Wait, wait, what?" I asked in shock and disbelief, "This guy, gal, whatever just took me here and guided me through Hell, what do you mean, you want me to kill it?"
"Well, duuh, that's what I said. Now what are you waiting for? Show it who's boss."
I looked at Putrid, who's face gave a look of self-pity. "I can't, I mean, I know I've been a loyal servant but... this is fucked up even for me."
Satan rolled his eyes, "Oh c'mon, really? Now you chicken out? After all the crazy shit you did over your time on Earth? I've expected more from you Alex."
"C'mon Satan, give the guy some slack." Putrid said to Satan. He looked at me, "Satan has done nothing but harm to me and the other demons during our damnation, he beat us, abused us, gave us nothing but crap over the years. Remember me telling you I'm not like the other demons? Well, I was right! I was a normal black cat till this douche turned me into this. Ever since, he abused me and fed me to dragons if I misbehaved! Now I'm sick of his shit, it's about time he faced the music!"
"And what do you mean by that?" Satan asked with a hint of aggravation.
"It means that I'm denouncing you as my leader! You have no control over me anymore! Alex will be my leader, and will one day dethrone you and rule Hell with us!"
With that said, Satan let out a huge laugh that almost shook the entire place, "You think you can just let some pathetic mortal over-throw me? How gullible! With the flick of my wrist, his entire diaphragm would be nothing but a pile of guts."
"What the hell's going on?" I finally asked. They both looked at me, confused as to what I said.
"What do you mean by that? You're already here aren't ya?" Satan asked.
I watched as the two argued back and forth, it was both weird and hilarious at the same time. But what did Putrid mean by having me take the Devil's throne? I have no clue as to what's going on.
"Look Alex," Putrid said, "he's been nothing but cruel ever since he had us kicked out of Heaven! Ever since we wanted to go back, but God didn't want to let us in. And it was all because of this asshole! This God-Wannabe who lies through his teeth!"
"That's it!" The Devil spat, and with that he snapped his fingers and a couple of Hellhounds came bounding towards Putrid, mauling the poor demon to shreds. I was blown away by the sheer brutality of Putrid being torn apart by the demonic dogs.
"Hey man, call them off! He doesn't deserve this!" I told Satan.
"He denounced me as his master. Why should I play fair?" Satan sneered.
"You don't have to be a dick about it, okay? This is not cool. I know Hell is depraved and cruel, but not this cruel."
"In case you're wondering, yes, Hell is an unfriendly environment, but there is a limit to how much violence we dish out towards one-another. Think about it: I've transformed people into puppets on strings. I made them eat each other, kill each other, hell, I even made them took the many lives of animals and wildlife! Making fish into sushi is one thing, but making the murder of a hundred cats a natural sport, hot damn! I mean, How long do you think I've been doing this?"
As Satan said this, everything in my mind went into dead silence for just a minute or two. I looked into his face, his eyelids widened and a huge grin spread from cheek-to-cheek, like a little child at Disneyworld. "What?" I said.
"You heard correct, it was me Alex." Satan said with a cackle, "It was me all along. And I'll do it all over again. And to think they've been all created by the same God that brought nothing but destruction, famine, plagues, and the million deaths of pets and children!"
At that very moment, everything that he just said came to me like a slap in the face. It was as if I was hit by a bus. The events of the Vox in Rama was just a scandal by Satan to trick people into becoming agents of destruction. "If you were the mastermind behind all of this, why not make the papals disappear?"
"That's a vulgar display of power, Alex." Satan said as he got up from his seat, and walked around me like the predator he is.
By this moment, every time I blink, he would be in a different form, each was of an animal, like a fox, a cat, a dragon, even another woman and a man as he continued his speech, "Besides, the great thing about being a shapeshifter is that you can blend in with the crowd outside, rob banks, or rip-off some other joint. No use of just dicking around with some random bystander like a jackass. Of course, there's also a chance you won't lay a finger on any of your loved ones, instead deciding to do something a little more subtle... more insidious. Like drop off a few nondescript, unmarked packages on certain doorsteps in the dangerous part of town. Or locate a particular dusty, age-yellowed text in the storeroom of your local library and intentionally misfile it in the Young Adult Literature section. Or whisper seven very choice words into the ear of the distracted-looking young redhead waiting for the 3am subway train." By this time, he stopped fucking with my head with his shapeshifting and turned back into his original form, "Or maybe you'll decide that, in this age of waning superstition, not enough people are getting interested in your games, and the knowledge of them is in danger of being lost. Maybe you'll decide you need to get the word out a bit more, do a bit of networking, attract some new suckers... Maybe you'll take a quick peek at your friends' browser history, see where the impressionable, curious minds are hanging out these days. Maybe you'll even write a quick tutorial, in modern parlance rather than some inscrutable, obsolete demonological text... post it on the Internet and see how many bites you get..." "You ain't lying there." I said.
"Have I ever lied?"
"Well, to some degrees, you did lie to other people into-"
"Sure, I've not been truthful to some fuckwits in my spare time, but that was when the world was under my thumb. Till that asshole Jesus won back mankind. And thanks to that no good, troublesome piece of elephant filth, all my bases of operations have been shut down! But you too have to deal with this big bully, which brings us to our little discussion now. Here's the deal, I'll let you off because you're not ready yet. But, one day when you surely die, you'll be mine..."
By that moment, he sent me and Putrid out of Hell, and we winded up going to Heaven. We were at the pearly gates, and the site of Heaven was indescribable. It was so beautiful that it could make men cry of joy.
"Oh my God..." I gasped as I took it all in.
"I know, beautiful huh? Wish I could just walk in and see God one more time." Putrid lamented. He looked at me and said, "You know, I always wanted to ask you... Do you love cats?"
"Me? Yeah, I love cats."
"Are you sure?"
"Dude, where is this going?"
Putrid then looked dead serious as he exclaimed, "Cause every cat is being killed day by day by humanity's own selfish volition ever since the Vox in Rama started, and it's up to you to punish them, severely. Sure cats aren't going to be extinct any time soon, but seeing this act of sin has gone completely unpunished even when the evidence clearly shows that these people are in the wrong. And another question... how much do you hate God?"
"Well, after what just happened, I don't think I'm ever gonna follow Satan ever again. So, I don't know to be honest."
"I told you Satan is not who you think he is. Just look what happened to me."
We stopped talking for what felt like minutes on end. Then Putrid said, "Before I take you back to Earth, I want to let you know one thing. Jesus loves you, no matter what. Even though there is some tough times with the things of planet Earth, he still loves you."
You know, it's funny. All of this Christian things are coming out of a demon! How funny is that? "Wait, if you're a demon, then why telling me Jesus is King?"
"Because God created me remember? I still believe Jesus is King, even when it looks like I'm in allegiance with Satan, which I have never been."
And ever since, I've been skeptical about my beliefs. I don't know if I should follow God's path of righteousness, or continue down a path of evil. But for now, I'll just stick to my own path as an Atheist: Not believing in both God or Satan.
Besides, I can't tell which one is telling the truth.