Crowley was NOT a Satanist! But every time you turn on the news or otherwise see a reference to him in the media (be it mainstream, corporate media like television, magazines and newspapers, or - increasingly - crackpot conspiracy-theorist media like 'truth' blogs)... EVERY TIME the man's name comes up, it is invariably phrased as follows:
"Famous Satanist Aleister Crowley" (or something similar)
For starters, logic dictates that in order to be a 'Satanist', you must first be a Christian. How can you 'worship Satan' if you don't beleive in the devil? Of course, the fundamentalist Christians responsible for the crusade against Crowley never did have much of a reputation for their ability to parse logic.
Secondly, Crowley was a POPULIST and as-such, took a staunchly anti-capitalist / anti-imperialist / anti-authoritarian stance on everything from spirituality to sex. He was a libertine. THAT is why Christians and Capitalists invoke 'Satan' every time they discuss Crowley. Not because they are opposed to his stance on 'god', spirituality or religion (although Crowley most certainly took issue with all of those in turn), but rather because they oppose his stance on class.
Thirdly, the so-called Church of Satan (a contemptable organization - consisting almost entirely of Republicans - that does everything in it's power to promote and to further propogate the meme of 'rational self interest' - but at least they have the decency and sense of civic-mindedness to not only pay taxes to the state, but to oppose the tax-exempt status of churches) - did not even exist in Crowley's day. Rather - thet are an organization dedicated to the acceptance of the 'carnal self', as articulated in The Satanic Bible, written in 1968 by Anton Szandor LaVey - long after the zenith of Crowley's career. Pink0™ Staff has investigated this organization and it's literature at length and was hard pressed to find even the most tenuous refference to Crowley.
Fourthly, Crowley devised and adhered-to his own religion known as that he himself devises which he called Thelema (Greek for: WILL). The Greek concept of 'thelema' so thouroughly predates Christianity that to call Crowley 'Satanic' would be roughly tantamount to calling Jerry Seinfield a Nazi - not only is it ridiculous and laughably absurd, but it is historically inaccurate to the point of making no sense whatsoever.
Thelema is primarliy a populist, anti-autoritarian philosophy that states plainly:
Do As Thou Wilt Is The Whole Of The Law
But what exactly does this mean? The controversy over this question seems to rage on endlessly but there is little or no use in discussing it at any great length. The matter has been settled. Thelema is not simply a rationale for unmitigated self-interest.
As one Thelemite put it:
"Crowley was raised in a heavily religious family, so he had a particular idea of how a religious pronouncement would sound. It seems he was trying to use the Shakespearean style of the most well known contemporary editions of Christian scriptures, trying to make simple ideas sound spiritually profound because he thought people wouldn't recognize them for what they were if they were in normal english. But the ideas are simple enough:
Thou has no right but to do thy will.
Do that, and no other shall say nay.
"This can be summed up in the words: "I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as they're not hurting anyone...", which is a very very common sentiment, especially among the "poor" and "uneducated". If this principle were adopted as a constitutional basis for criminal law, state oppression would end overnight. The people who say otherwise are usually those who work or want to work in parasite "law enforcement" professions that benefit from government attempts to micromanage everyone else's lives.
Every man and every woman is a star.
"Each to their own orbit, we have a path but each path is unique. Each has the right to follow that path without disruption so long as they are not trying to disrupt another's.
There is no god but man.
"Contrary to popular belief, the universe is not a dictatorship. The idiotic arbitrary laws that power obsessed human rulers invent are temporary. Obeying or failing to obey the orders of ruling human authorities will not effect what happens to you when you die, regardless of what names they stamp on their obsessions. The central thesis of the barbaric monotheistic cults is that the universe is a dictatorship, that an all powerful Adolf Jehovah stands with an army of goose stepping angels to enforce an ever changing mess of thou shalts and thou shalt nots. This is why monotheistic religious institutions,, though always preaching freedom, peace and love, have yielded nothing but war and oppression whenever given state control.
"If one accepts the idea of a Godless/non-authoritarian reincarnative cycle of birth and death, an "afterlife justice" is very possible and much simpler to accept. We currently live in purgatory, a world where an impoverished majority subsidize the lifestyles of a wealthy minority. You will be treated as you treat others.
"You will be reborn into the world that you've made.
"If a majority don't work to make a better world you won't be born into a better world.
"If corporate rule isn't stopped, we will be reborn in Hell.
"But we could also have heaven, if we work together for the entire planets mutual benefit. Unlike the heavens of other religions, it could be real.
"It is the heaven that Jesus described, but he couldn't let go of the authoritarian god myth so his message was tainted and fascism was made stronger.
Sady, this enlightened peice of writing only represents one half of the Thelemic schism. As another Thelimite put it:
"...I believe the current and quite proverbial state of Thelema is despicable, dying, and drying to the human spirit. It is not an oasis of sustenance but a desert of the unreal ranging from the one extreme that continues to make overt moves toward Institutionalized Thelema à la the Vatican State to the other extreme of radical individualism that recognizes no authority by any name while paradoxically living out their perpetual state of servitude, in one form or another, to the unholy dyad of consumerism and corporatism."
See? If you want to find 'Satan', look on Wall Street.
If Crowley wasn't a Satanist, then what's all this stuff about "The Beast", 666 and 'Anti-Christ'?
That there is a tough nut to crack my friend. First you must decide: Who was Christ and what did he really stand for? (Right now, all of my atheist friends are probably screaming: "Who gives a shit?!" - Please, be patient my friends, this is important). But you will also have to ask: What constitutes "Satanism"?
According to the Online Etymolgy Dictionary - a fabulous resource that allows us to find out where our words come from:
proper name of the supreme evil spirit in Christianity, O.E. Satan, from L.L. Satan (in Vulgate, in O.T. only), from Gk. Satanas, from Heb. satan "adversary, one who plots against another," from satan "to show enmity to, oppose, plot against," from root s-t-n "one who opposes, obstructs, or acts as an adversary." In Septuagint (Gk.) usually translated as diabolos "slanderer," lit. "one who throws (something) across" the path of another (see devil), though epiboulos "plotter" is used once.
"In biblical sources the Hebrew term the satan describes an adversarial role. It is not the name of a particular character. Although Hebrew storytellers as early as the sixth century B.C.E. occasionally introduced a supernatural character whom they called the satan, what they meant was any one of the angels sent by God for the specific purpose of blocking or obstructing human activity." [Elaine Pagels, "The Origin of Satan," 1995]
Satanic "pertaining to Satan" is first recorded 1667 (in "Paradise Lost"); meaning "diabolical" is from 1793. Satanism "worship of Satan" dates from 1896, with ref. to France, where it was said to be active at that time; Satanist is attested from 1559, applied by their enemies to Protestant sects.
In other words, modern Christianity owes more of it's imagery and terminology to Milton's Paradise Lost than it does to the bible. But Pink0™ could have told you that. And from a strictly linguistic perspective (we are after all, discussing the meaning of words) the Hebrew origin of: "Satan" (Herew: 'shaitain', or: - שתנ) means: "an adversary - one who plots against another". Hmm... Sounds just like the behavior pattern of the fundamentalist Christians I've encountered. People in glass houses... Aways throwing stones.
Conversely, deciding what constitutes: 'antichrist' or: 'anti-christianity' depend largely on your views, perceptions and preconcieved notions regarding religion, politics, philosophy, education, authority and rebellion.
From a purely Thelemic perspective, it could be said that mainstream Christianity is definitively anti-Christian in that mainstrean, fundamentalist Christians actively work against the very principles of tolerance, charity and kindness that Jesus promoted. It could also be accurately stated that the Republican party is deeply anti-Christian in that they are motivated purely by greed and avirice (the 'love of money').
Chew on it for awhile... Then put your social capital where it belongs and join the REVOLUTION
UPDATE: Still don't believe Pink0™? Try this on - Go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley, and then press Ctrl+F (Apple+F) to search the page... Type: "satan", "satanism", or "satanic" (with or without quotes), then hit enter... Nada, Zip, Zilch (Friday, 7-16-2010)
PS: Ever notice that "antichrist" is an anagram for "anarchist"?
PSS: To that twit who once asked Pink0™ if he was a "Crowley worm"... Bitch, henceforth - you may address him as: "God's Gift Maggot" or: "Pinko" ('Pink... Oh!', 'Lord Buddha', 'Badass Motherfucker', 'The Jesus', 'The Duke' or 'Jeezifer' are also all acceptable misnomers ;)