Category Archives: satanism

The Imaginary Stories Of Tom Raspotnik

Listen well “dr” Raspotnik…

 Image13“There is a huge difference between proof and nothing but talk or defamation both in public opinion and legal opinion. The failure to understand that can be costly and ignorance of the law is no excuse.  An attempt to play childish games of “you did it first” also will fail.  You can’t dodge accountability for breaking the law by claiming some other wrong was done to you. They don’t wipe each other out. Each is considered on it’s own merit and needs to be supported by evidence, not just words. Anyone can say  words or blog accusations that’s easy. When you are expected to prove those words are based on actual events and can’t you are in trouble …”

Reality –

That is where I will begin.  This all stems from a childish attempt by Tom Erik Raspotnik to discredit me by making up fictional stories in his head and then posting those stories in his blog as if they actually occurred. Tom then rambles on his Sound Cloud account using his cell phone to talk shit and publicly defame me. It seems odd he would do so because when I one time attempt to call him on the phone to ask him why he insists on telling lies about me sexually abusing my daughter, he hung up on me. He did tell me that he wouldn’t talk to me because I “record shit”.  What damn difference is there between my recording him and his recording it to Sound Cloud?  None.

Tom has accused me of stalking his wife. He does this despite the fact I have only encountered the woman one time. It is all on video. One time was enough

Documented.

The claims Tom Raspotnik has made are numerous. As he becomes more frustrated because I won’t do as he commands, the accusations grow. Now he claims I have been harassing him on his phone. I have exchanged text messages with Tom, he was texting me threats so I was texting him back politely asking him to “fuck off”. Eventually I grew tired of his moronic threats like “your suffering will be legendary” and “you will kneel before me at my throne” and told him not to contact me anymore. He of course had to text me one last time to get the last word because that is his style…childlike

Tom also claims I am making calls to his phone. As usual no proof is offered to support his claim. The one thing Tom Raspotnik has proven beyond doubt is he lacks credibility. i have not made any calls to his phone since the last time he hung up me and that was months ago.

A Question-

What kind of moron would brag  about “making you famous” by posting bullshit about you on the internet and tagging you, friends, and family?  Tom Raspotnik.

In his Sound Cloud recordings Tom constantly threatens to make anyone he is pissed at “famous” along with publicly shaming them. You can hear the gears in Tom’s head slowly turning as he speaks. As he carries on whining and moaning about how little people respect him. He grows more and more angry and the fictitious claims grow more and more serious. As Tom tries to convince the listener he is successful and superior in all possible ways a picture forms of a man who is also trying to convince himself at the same time. Tom runs around and around in this self validating circle of imagination until his confidence fully inflates. He has performed this ritual about 160+ times at the time of this post. That’s just on Sound Cloud, his blog is the same sad story.

I don’t know what his motives are except to do harm to others. It seems that Tom is so intent on being the “leader” of something, controlling others, and winning he will do/say anything.

His own ego has gotten they best of him. It has caused him to underestimate the resolve of those he has been bullying. I can only speak for myself when I say there is no possible way I will ever give in to Tom Raspotnik. No fucking way.

Tom has offered to  “make a deal” where I take down my posts and he drops all his accusations including “burying” the story from the fictitious “ex girlfriend”. Funny how easily  Tom can simply forget all the things he has accused me of isn’t it? Not really cause it was all created in the vast empty space between Tom’s ears.

A “deal” is never going to happen. I won’t make a deal to remove the truth about Tom Raspotnik in order to have him remove his lies and pretend it never happened just so he can go on and do the same to someone else.

WTF?!

Those of you reading probably have never seen the kind of crazy ongoing shit I’m writing about here before. There is a reason for that. It is against the law. Most people understand that and even if they say things on the internet which are unlawful they do it anonymously which is ineffective without proof. Tom has made his accusations in numerous blog posts, internet forums, comment sections, recordings, twitter, facebook, scoopit, and others I’m sure.

Nice Job Dick

For those of you who don’t know it I have been looking for work. Tom has made it clear he intends on making that search as hard as possible while at the same time attempting to undermine my credibility by constantly describing me as an unemployed alcoholic. Just another example of the strength of his character.

Women

Just a day ago Tom attacked a friend of mine named Renee because she called him on his unsupported accusations. The same day he recorded a Sound Cloud calling Renee a fat cunt among other things and constantly belittling her during his pathetic rant. If you listen to other recordings on Tom Raspotnik’s Sound Cloud and hear him attacking women in exactly the same manner numerous times

You can hear the “enhanced” version of Tom’s rant at Renee here  (warning: It isn’t nice)

The Good News

While what you have read so far may be troubling, do not fret. There are things that can be done about people like Tom Raspotnik. I have never been the type to bluff. It seems a pointless en-devour to me. We have systems in place to deal with this type of behavior. You don’t need to have money and you don’t need to put up with people who try to intimidate you, your family, and friends.

New Friends

Another good result comes out of the irresponsible and spineless actions of Tom Raspotnik. Tom has been going out of his way to create a divide among Satanists. There have been some Satanists who have come to me about Tom’s accusations that I want to to destroy Theistic Satanism. That is not the case.  Tom forgets that Satanists aren’t sheep, they do not blindly believe whatever is told to them especially by some guy who has declared himself a “leader”. When I explain the facts it becomes clear very quickly that Tom is trying to fool people. I have had the opportunity to meet Theistic Satanists that I may never had met without Tom’s “help”. Bridges have been built. Tom has failed in his attempts once again. He is no Satanist that is obvious to anyone, except him

Others who have been targets of Tom’s bullshit have also contacted me. Tom would do well to realize none of these people are going to play his childish game of “cease-fire”.

The End?

It would be foolish of me to think I can stop Tom completely. He is a 50 y/o dickhead. Unless he chooses to stop being a dickhead that will not change. I can and will make sure that he is accountable for his actions and words. (see above: bluffing)

The most incredible part of this entire “episode” is the way Tom seems completely clueless to the reality of it. Listening to him he acts as if he has nothing to worry about and has support of his “members”. He is exactly like a small child with imaginary friends.

The truth of it is he has no support and the entire world can see it except one small weak man named Tom Erik Raspotnik.

An Answer To A Response

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So Tom Raspotnik responded to my last blog. It is so full of lies and make believe that I felt I should point out a few things. The first thing I would like to point out is I think it is shameful for a 50 year old man to spend so much time posting slander/libel, threatening,  and outright lying to people and then attempt to  make himself out to be a victim when the person he attacks doesn’t cave in. It is the type of shit you expect from children, not grown adults.

Allow me to present my counter points…..

Tom says–“Daniel Paden has been stalking me for months after I exposed a few intriguing facts about him, and his gang of internet stalkers.”

The screenshots below are from the comment section of “Letters to Satan: How do you respond to the widespread accusations of Satanic ritual abuse and Satanic occult crimes? ” 12/02/14

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Does that say 4 months ago?  So when Tom Raspotnik tries to claim I have been stalking him for months, it turns out he is full of shit the truth is exactly the opposite….again.

Tom has been making claims that some “ex” of mine contacted him. Let’s talk a look at the origin of that idea and when it formed in Tom’s pea brain.

At first I guess Tom didn’t have his plan worked out yet. You can see in the chat suddenly a guy named Rhinelander has “some dirt” on me then some Erlanger shows up. These profiles are basically just names no chat history on their profiles, no profile information. It’s as if someone just created them for this occasion…and they all use the same wording and have the same grammar errors as Tom Raspotnik.

First, someone named Rhinelander says something about me abusing my son. Then a threat to call Child Protective Services. That doesn’t work out  when I tell them my son doesn’t live with me so they move to the next option…

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For the record… I don’t know Adam Daniels. I have never met him or exchanged any type of communication with him, ever. Not once.

 

 

 

 

 

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So now I have told Tom exactly what he can do . Now lets look at some of Tom’s replies…keep in mind these are all in the same thread and the time window is about 90 min or so , maybe less. Watch the shit pile grow.

 

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So Tom hatches a plan to accuse me of abusing my daughter. First some random pals of his claim to have “dirt” on me. Then in the same thread a sort time later he  claims all his info comes from an “ex” girlfriend of mine. In the past 4 months or so Tom has changed the details  of his contact with this “ex”. First it was emails, then a phone call, then Tom claims he has built some kind of rapport with the “ex” and she is telling him “dirt” about me. Then it turned into I had stalked my “ex” for 9 months. Again, none of it supported by anything except Tom’s word. I asked Tom if he could even provide a name for his contact. he couldn’t. I know exactly why. Because none of it is true, it is a tactic Tom uses to try and ruin people he doesn’t like or can’t beat any other way.

Since I got back from MI in addition to publicly accusing me of stalking his wife and father for doing nothing more than asking them where Tom was,  Tom’s story of the ex has grown. Now Tom Raspotnik has announced he is doing a second interview with my “ex” and that will give more “dirt” on me. Funny how anytime Tom feels like he is going to be held accountable for his actions or someone doesn’t bow down to his demands. Suddenly Tom’s  blog will exclaim BREAKING NEWS! Next thing you know there is some negative claim against that persons character and damage done to their reputation. Not to  mention the stress of defending themselves from a false claim against them. How can you defend yourself from information that is made up by another party as needed? It is difficult to do and it takes a lot of energy and time. Even if you do prove there is no validity to the claims there is no way you can totally undo the damage that has been done .

Of course as always Tom doesn’t have anything to support his claims.  No case number after turning evidence over to police, no name for this “ex”, no emails…..nothing except -Tom said so.

 


 

In Tom Raspotnik’s rambling “answer” to  me  He tries to accuse me of “stalking” anyone who disagrees with me. This is just silly. Over the last 8 years of blogging, podcasting, activism,  and speaking out against frauds and bullies of course you are going to find examples of conflict and fighting I have been involved in. I can honestly say the majority of those disputes have ended on a positive note and some of the people I disagreed with became good friends of mine in the end. There are some people I will never agree with, that’s okay. No reasonable person expects to get along with everyone they ever meet. It has never been my style to lie or threaten people who disagree with me I don’t see how that is useful to anyone involved.

I would also like to mention  none of the people I have had disagreements with in the past  have attempted to bring my kids into the argument or openly threatened my friends and family until Tom Raspotnik came along.


 

Besides the lack of writing ability Tom’s logic often fails during his attempt to fabricate stories and talk shit in order to shield himself from the truth. For example..

Daniel questioned my Academic Background.I have presented several photos of my degree and my certificates, as usual someone being a low education level, he failed to see the photos I presented and decided to put a “spin” on my credentials acting in sheer jealousy since he is unemployed and has been underemployed most of his working life.

If Tom had at  some time provided photos of his degree and associated materials how would a “low level education” have kept me from seeing those photos? Does our education system teach students how to see any photographs whenever we wish?  I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. How hard would it have been for Tom to post those photos along with his answer? That would have put the issue to rest. No photos were included and a person could use basic reasoning to guess the most likely reasons. Either Tom doesn’t want to resolve the issue or he can’t resolve the issue because he has no photos.

I worked for 25 years as Facility Manager of the  largest indoor entertainment center in northern CA. One quick look at my youtube channel can provide some proof of that. I have a background in IT, electronic repair, HVAC, plumbing, interior design, building repair, landscaping, commercial food service equipment repair, audio/video systems, stage and effect lighting, I can even repair AMF 82-70 pinsetters and bumper cars if needed. I worked 60 hour weeks for years and made pretty good money. I’m changing careers now and all of Tom’s criticism about my being unemployed or underemployed is just another example of how little he actually knows about me. He lives 2000 miles away, How much could he really know ?

Another problem Tom has is the fact I don’t consider him to be  a leader of any sort in Theistic Satanism or anything else for that matter. Besides the widely accepted fact Satanism is not a religion that assigns “leaders”, he just doesn’t display leadership qualities.

He shows a lack of  ability to accept responsibility for his actions and a total disregard for the consequences of his actions. Look at the way he attempts to trash me based on lies and then threatens to include all my friends and family members. Then he attempts to blame me for any harm his actions cause because I let them be hurt by not doing as Tom demands of me.

“Look what you made me do.” Really showing some great leadership qualities there Tom.

As someone who worked in management for decades I would inform Tom Raspotnik that good leaders are respected not feared.


 

Tom’s reply continues…

   “Daniel claims I am smearing him by calling him an alcoholic, and all the pictures including this picture I am using where he is smashed on a bench drinking the “cheap beer” Pabst. “I thought only old men drink Pabst?” Many people from his past have admitted to me he has a long record of drinking”

Again I would point out that Tom Raspotnik lives over 2000 miles away from me. What  he knows is what he sees on facebook.  There is very little chance that Tom has had any contact whatsoever with any people from my past much less anyone who would say I have a “long record of drinking”  because it simply isn’t true. I drink, lots of people do. I drink a wide variety of beers. Sometimes I drink cheap beer, other times I drink more expensive beer.  For Tom Raspotnik to attempt to judge my character and make false public claims about me based on one picture shows the limited ability he has to understand exactly how little he knows. Besides Tom I was on my first beer….


 

Then this …

The Temples of Satan Clergy condemn the actions of Daniel Paden, and condemn his internet stalking behaviors, we have begun to inform the public and shall fight the good fight against those involved in offenses against the Theistic Satanic Community. Please contact our TIP LINE should Daniel Paden threaten you as a member or clergyman or woman.

That  entire paragraph is bullshit. First I am the one being threatened. I have posted proof here on this blog and I have plenty more. I am the one who is being defamed and lied about.  I’m no victim and I my refusal to be a victim is why Tom Raspotnik has tried tactic after tactic to get me to shut up and back down from him.

I told Tom 2 weeks ago if he would remove any and all material he has posted that can not be supported by evidence then I would see that as a sign Tom wants to engage in mature dialogue and we could go from there. he refused. Now he claims to be the one who is offering to make peace…on the condition I remove my posts and videos of events. Meanwhile Tom has literally dozens of blog posts and recordings accusing me of molesting my daughter, stalking, being an alcoholic, and getting fired from past jobs for criminal behavior.

I have told no lies about Tom Raspotnik and I have never said or done anything to threaten him or his family. They were mad I was bringing attention to their statements claiming “real Satanists” engage in animal sacrifice.  I don’t expect them to be happy about it but holy shit to threaten my daughter while I’m in MI? Tom Raspotnik is old enough to know what his words insinuate.

 

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How does Tom explain this shit?

“Daniel has made claims I am stalking his daughter, and posting pictures of her on Face Book I did provide him an insightful picture of his daughter so he would know I knew who his ALLEDGED VICTIM was, and that it was shameful if the allegations were real. I did no way stalk his daughter who is classified an adult. I have stood up for children in the Occult and while his daughter probably not an occultist I would hope has had some form of counseling if the allegations are real. “The more I look into these allegations I am of the opinion these allegations are “very real.”

 

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This is “an insightful picture”? Right. And the only reason my daughter would need  counselling is if she saw that you were threatening to come visit her on her fathers Facebook wall while he was in MI. You clueless idiot.

You know what  strikes me as a bit odd? Tom claims that I was stalking his wife and father and engaging in “criminal  behavior”  Then he mocks me for “running away”  instead of waiting to meet him.  The facts are when Tom heard I was in Michigan he immediately started making public his intent to head to California, as you see above. The entire time I was in Michigan Tom was texting me trying to convince me he was at or near my house. Why wouldn’t he just head home instead? I’m sure many are asking the same question, only Tom knows the answer.

Tom has made a claim about my editing video to leave out any security or law enforcement involvement. That claim has no basis in truth and and I never interacted with any security or law enforcement during my time in MI because I wasn’t there to break the law. If I wanted to break the law I could do it without flying in a plane 6 hours. I was there to bring attention to an animal abuse/rights issue as a Satanic Priest and provide an example to counter Tom’s claim that “real satanists” ritually sacrifice animals. I also wanted to hear Tom explain why he was making false claims about me involving my children. Since it was something he kept posting about and speaking about in public forums despite having any proof I felt like I had a legitimate concern and interest in the matter.

At this point it is pretty clear Tom Raspotnik will deny and lie to the end. He is a grown man with the behavior habits you  should expect of a ten year old. Problem is he isn’t 10 he is an adult with the freedoms and ability of an adult but lacking sound judgement as to not harm others just because he can.


 

Tom also says that my claim he has used  harassment and bully tactics on others have no validity. He denies intimidating, lying, or making threats towards other people. Tom has posted attacks on Zach Black in his blog more than once. Tom has been making false claims about The Satanic Temple for about a year now. And those aren’t the only examples. Unlike Tom I will back my words with some evidence.

Robbie Fraize has nothing to do with any of the issues between Tom Raspotnik and myself. He wants nothing to do with any of it and I have done my best to keep him out of it. Despite Robbie doing nothing more than adding me on Facebook he gets this from Tom.

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Do those look like threats to anyone else? Is it just me ? I’m pretty sure those are threats to once again post negative content to harm Robbie for some imagined betrayal.  And Tom Raspotnik expects me to agree to any informal deal with him?  Why would I? So later he can come up and threaten to ruin my reputation again? NO THANKS Tom.


 

Tom wraps up his reply like this-

“I am done with Daniel Paden and Beth Hedrick, I appreciate the time you took in reading this article and shall now move forward with my wife, issuing this warning if you decide to return and “stalk” my wife or any family member I shall make sure you face the most severe repercussions because in closing I know as well and many in the Theistic Satanic Community that this argument was never about your daughter and allegations of your ex girlfriend or was it an issue with religions sacrificing animals during religious practices but simple a failed attack upon those who stood against the Satanic Temple, nothing more nothing less and you Daniel were elected the spokes idiot.

Thanks Dr. Tom Erik Raspotnik”

    All I can reply with here is that Tom obviously has no care for the damage he does to others in any form. The public claims I raped my daughter and that he had a legit source for those allegations and the damage those false claims do to me mean nothing. The fact my daughter has to pay extra attention when she goes to work or out to dinner , just in case. The stress that puts on her means nothing to Tom Raspotnik, not to mention the horrible things she has to hear said about her father. Tom  seems very comfortable with his actions and considering the number of people he has done this sort of thing to I guess that should be no surprise. If you read Tom’s blogs or listen to his soundcloud recordings he is so busy trying to convince people he is successful or superior to everyone else he never notices how foolish he sounds


    Now …the day after Tom says he is done, he has recorded a soundcloud post titled “Bored Stupid Actions“. In his recording he assures the listener that he has”people who will handle certain things ” several times. This is a clear threat towards those of us who have refused to cave in to Tom’s threats. Tom seems to have no clue whatsoever about the truth is and assumes people believe anything he chooses to say. In other words- nothing has changed. Tom refuses to stop making threats of harm to others and he doesn’t show any awareness that his ongoing defamation is harmful or care that it is against the law.

 It is too bad Tom can’t spend his time doing more productive things. After learning about his work involving Satanism I’ve noticed it is very difficult to find anything positive or constructive Tom Raspotnik has taken part in, that is the legacy he will be remembered for. At least he can take full credit for it.

My Reply To Tom Raspotnik…

 

UPDATE 2/6/15: Tom Raspotnik has posted a reply to this blog. There will be a reply posted on 2/7/15 addressing Tom’s false account of events.

It’s been a while….I would apologize but I have been very busy. I’m back now and let’s get this rolling with a little story about a guy who needs to be addressed.

 

“Dr” Tom Erik Raspotnik who claims to be a doctor and claims to have some education in philosophy. He also claims to be “the leader of theistic satanism”

Couple of problems here right out of the gate…. Tom’s “education” comes from an on-line diploma mill type school Fort Jones University go ahead and check it out. If you look they offer no philosophy degree.  Makes it a bit tough to claim the title of “Dr” as Tom Rasponik likes to do, doesn’t it?  (note: I’ve contacted Fort Jones to ask them to clear this up, just to be sure)

The next problem would be Tom’s claim to be “the leader of theistic satanism” . As any true Satanist will tell you… Satanism has no real leaders. To even make the claim you lead other Satanists is a display of extreme ignorance about what Satanism is. There are those who lead groups or organizations of Satanists but those people don’t lead the individuals who are members. A true Satanist has found their own path and does not allow themselves to be governed by another. There are those who’s work is  respected by other Satanists but Tom has never done anything to help Satanism progress. In fact it is safe to say he has done it harm by misrepresenting it. If a member of the general public comes across Tom Raspotnik and forms an opinion about Satanism based on his representation it harms the religion and undermines the work we have done.

As you may or may not know I am a priest for The Satanic Temple. If you follow the link you will find an organization working towards progress. I’ve always believed in the strength of words but the strength of actions along with those words can not be questioned and make clear exactly what you intend to do an how you intend to do it. Tom has a problem with this.

Tom has been very critical of TST. He worries that they are attempting to speak on his behalf.  The problem is…Tom is the one claiming a “leadership” role not TST.

Now that I’ve made it clear the root of the problem let’s talk more about Tom Raspotnik.

Many would say he is not worth considering and they may well be right. My words are more to address the type of person he is and the things he has done involving me because, after all, this is my blog.

I’ve been calling out Tom on his own words and actions. I did a painful interview with Tom for the Modern Satanism podcast.

I say painful because Tom is obtuse to say the least. It is impossible to have a reasonable discussion with him.

As a result of my ability to point out the countless weaknesses Tom displays when he criticizes others…Tom has begun an attack on me which includes the following-

  • Claims I have sexually abused  my daughter. Tom also claims he has been in contact with an “ex-girlfriend” of mine who is passing him information.  tom likes to use the word “alleged”. He may think this saves him from any responsibility for his words. Unfortunately for Tom I have spent a considerable amount of time reading about Michigan law he would do well to spend some time doing the same instead of posting memes and talking shit.
  • Tom has made veiled threats  towards my daughter and posted pics of her Facebook profile while telling me he is coming to my house while I was in Michigan .
  • Tom has threatened to use a gun to shoot me if I come near his house or business (which I did in a non threatening manner)
  • Tom has claimed I have been stalking his wife because I asked her “is Tom around” at the business they both own. You can see the video of my exchange with Cindy Raspotnik  here
  • Tom has claimed I’m an alcoholic
  • Tom made claims my ex-wife filed charges against me for domestic violence I’ve never been married and there have never been any such charges brought against me by anyone.
  • Tom has posted my address in forums and called on theistic satanists to “do him a favor’ I think it is safe to assume he is suggesting they confront me at my home
  • Tom has warned me that someone is waiting for me at my home and my “suffering will be legendary” Yes he actually said that. I guess Tom likes Hellraiser movies
  • I have received death threats from a number about 25 min  from my house. This occurred shortly after I completed a trip to protest Tom and his wife killing animals in ritual sacrifice. To be clear I can’t give the credit to Tom except  for the fact he has been publicly calling out to other theistic satanist to help him deal with the problem. The problem with this is Tom shows no concern whatsoever for what may occur as a result of his “call to action”  There may well be some moron who thinks it worthwhile to follow Tom’s lead and do what he suggests. Tom claims to be “the leader of theistic satanism” obviously he thinks he has followers who listen to him.
  • Tom claims I am dangerous even going so far as to say he is starting a “tip hotline” so that people can inform him of any information on my actions.
  • Tom has made countless allegations about the TST and those who are involved in the organization. These claims include involvement and support of sex offenders  by TST.
  • Tom has made public the real names of people who have used pseudonyms in order to protect themselves from possible harm. Again Tom has no concern for  others and shows a total disregard for their safety. He has no idea what kind of actions may be taken based on his public disclosure of these individuals.

I will stop here to address “Dr” Tom Raspotnik….

 

Tom, in case you are too stupid to figure it out there are laws in this country. We have those laws for a reason. In the past you have been able to intimidate others with false claims and threats. That is not going to be the case here. You will be held accountable for your actions and your lies. You have come upon a force that is too dedicated to their cause and too strong in character for you to bully and intimidate. You can choose to ignore this fact all you wish but know this… I know you are full of shit and I am sick of seeing people stressed and afraid because you only want to do harm to them. It will not continue. Unlike you I do not choose to make false claims or physical threats towards others.

Here one of the strongest and most telling points of all.

Tom Raspotnik has not one single time  provided any actual proof of anything he claims about me or TST.

Not once…. nothing. No sources, no case numbers, no actual emails. All of his claims are backed by his word alone. Tom claims he is not allowed to publicly talk about “ongoing investigations” yet he continues to talk about the issues void of any facts. I think it is safe to say Tom has no idea how foolish this makes him look.

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact I don’t cower and I don’t allow others to intimidate me especially those who lie. Liars repulse me and strengthen my resolve. The truth always wins.

One last fact for the “doctor”…

I have documentation of everything, the forum comments, the rambling soundcloud rants, the texts you have sent, the pathetic blogs you have posted. Even if you were smart enough to remove it all today the damage has been done. I will however publicly ask Tom Raspotnik to remove any and all posts in any form he can not provide reliable sources or evidence for.

Singular Satanism

 heroworship

 I’ve told you about Magus Peter H. Gilmore’s criticism of atheists and other Satanists. I was hoping maybe he would chill out and go do his thing while leaving people who are interested in actually doing things to bring positive change alone.

I guess that isn’t the case.

In a recent post on the COS “newsfeed” titled “Satanic Monuments” Peter says some interesting things. The first thing I found interesting was the way Peter refers to Anton LaVey, it’s a lot like hero worship.

Peter is constantly talking about how Anton did this, Anton didn’t do that,  what would Anton do? I mean give the guy credit but damn. You are close to becoming what you hate. Does Peter want Satanism to be stuck in a single form that adheres to a single man’s instructions or beliefs? What if you don’t want to do things exactly the way Anton LaVey would want? You can’t be a Satanist? Really? That’s what it sounds like Peter is saying to me.

In another part Peter says-

“Our religion is young, but I suspect that if the philosophy can be communicated with clarity for years to come, that ever more wonderful things will be wrought.”

Didn’t Peter Gilmore tell us not long ago he frowns on evangelical satanism? Where is the difference between communicating and being evangelical? Did Anton tell all the Satanists about that too? Just like the problems Christians have with their bible and addressing subjects that never existed 2000 years ago it seems that Anton LaVey’s version of Satanism is stuck in the era in which it was created in some ways.

Then Peter says this

“These will stand as testaments to the value of Satanism in a powerful way, demonstrating well-lived lives, and that is the ultimate goal of every Satanist, and a fitting monument for the legacy of Anton Szandor LaVey.”

What? So Peter is against tangible monuments that represent a way of thinking but is okay with people living their lives as to represent a (albeit intangible) monument to a single man? i would be uncomfortable with doing that I would think Peter would be uncomfortable saying it.

Of course Peter also does something else I would advise him of not doing in the future for his own benefit…Quoting himself in articles he takes credit for writing. It really defines conceit and it makes you look silly and/or really creepy. It leaves me wondering if Peter talks like that to himself throughout the day. “Peter would like some coffee. Peter would be happy to get Peter some coffee. Peter Gilmore said Thank you. You’re welcome Peter” ugh, stop doing that!

While all of this is interesting to me it leads to this conclusion- Magus Peter Gilmore and The Church of Satan can do as it pleases. I hope they are very successful and I hope that they manage to communicate their philosophy despite being discouraged to do so most  times. More power to them. It would be nice if the spokesman for the COS would get the chip off his shoulder and quit acting like his organization owns satanism. It isn’t as if Anton LaVey coined the phrase. Is Peter expecting us to allow him to tell us what the definition of satanism is just like the Christians want to tell us what the definition of marriage is?  I’m beginning to think Peter should change his first name to  “Contradiction”

Reply to Church of Satan Part 2- What Is Your Favorite Position?

satanseenohearnospeakno

In a post on the Church of Satan website titled “Lets-You-And-Him-Fight” Peter Gilmore has voiced his opinion in a response to The Satanic Temple and it’s attempt to be an open active participant in society. I responded to part of that post here. This is the second part and my final thoughts on this matter.

Peter seems to be against anything that could be construed as proselytizing or promoting his church and that is beyond a doubt his choice to make. In fact there is little anyone can say about the way the CoS is managed. As long as they are not causing harm, violating any laws, or making any unfounded public statements that could damage the reputation and credibility of others they should be allowed to go about their business as they please. At the same time no one is above constructive criticism and in this case Peter has not found misrepresenting others beneath him. What you are reading here is a clarification of facts or “the other side of the story”. I am not attempting  to demand anything from anyone or to dictate how others run their organizations beyond the simple and fair expectation they are accurate when posting pubic assessments of others.

In his post Peter says the following-

Some atheists seem quite pleased by such actions since they take the attitude that it is fun to watch self-proclaimed “Satanists” mud-wrestling with Christians in a vain attempt at self-promotion in forums which by all rights should maintain religious neutrality.

There may be some atheists who are pleased by such confrontations. I will admit I have been part of such internet exchanges and it is good to see a self righteous apologetic put in their place. In my opinion I don’t care how a person identifies themselves, if they are reasonable and fair I will support them. If someone is promoting fantasy as reality and making claims about things  that have no factual basis then I will attempt to explain to them the flaws in their logic. There are countless places where I would like to see religion left out of the conversation but that is not how the world works. Since there are some people who want to insert religion into everything  there needs to be those who will reply to those attempts. We can not eliminate law enforcement and just say  “Police should not be attempting to catch criminals. People should stop breaking  the law.”  While that is true, people should not be breaking laws, simple making that point has not proved to be an effective deterrent to criminal behavior. If only policing the herd were so simple, eh Peter?.

Peter goes on to claim there is some attempt to trick satanists into fighting with others just to watch the fight and to avoid the blame for starting it. I don’t know how to answer that because I have never seen this happen. if it is occurring I would encourage people to ignore such childish and pointless activities. They certainly are not the norm and most every atheist I’ve ever met would find such activity immature and silly.

evan·ge·lize

: to try to convert (a group or area) to a different religion (especially Christianity)

Peter goes on to say-

We’ve seen others lifting passages from our literature, courting non-Satanist atheists to support their acts with a wink and a nod, meaning they likely really don’t want to be evangelizing Satanism, but do so to annoy the Christians and “make a point.” Of course, “Who gets the point?” is the real question. And, if the ulterior motives for such actions are made clear, then the disingenuousness of the actual proposed project (which might require funds that are lacking) may well be enough to negate the validity of such efforts.

Again I can’t see that any atheists are promoting Satanism purely to “annoy the Christians” or to “make a point” that is obviously meaningless. Maybe Peter doesn’t agree with the point but that doesn’t make it meaningless it simply makes it meaningless to Peter Gilmore. I’m not clear exactly what type of “point” Peter is referring to because he provides no examples. He then suggests some actions are disingenuous but this seems to be Peter’s default position and not one that one that comes from observation. Again this is difficult to know because there are no examples provided. It could be safe to assume Peter is talking about The Satanic Temple but there has been no indication that they lack funds for what they have proposed or that they are less than genuine. It would be fair to wait until someone actually does the thing  you are holding them accountable for before reprimanding them or concluding their motives are negative.

Next Peter makes it clear that-

The Church of Satan has an atheist philosophy and so we support the American ideal of separation of church and state, which is a means for the secularization of our society. The U.S. is a republic, not a democracy, and this is a wise device for maintaining a balance so that a majority does not force other minority positions into compliance with their values. We Satanists are against evangelizing and proselytizing (in any form) as we consider these to be intrusive, bullying acts that are antagonistic to free will. Having any religion foisted on unwilling people is not Satanic. Such deeds in a rational society should be deemed to be criminal. Laws that promote a majority religion’s beliefs which could hamper the civil rights of those outside that religion should be repealed where they exist.

i don’t disagree with most of this  but I have a problem with what Peter defines as “evangelizing and proselytizing (in any form)” Is simply telling someone what your beliefs are an example of this? The use of the word evangelizing is also problematic to me. If someone is promoting the use of logic, skepticism, and tolerance rather than expecting people to “have faith” and believe in incredible stories of magic and the dead coming back to life can they really be accused of evangelizing ?

Peter also says “we (CoS) support the American ideal of separation of church and state” I do not doubt this is true but I am disappointed in the way that support manifests itself. If you are supporting the separation of church and state then shouldn’t you support fair use by all religions of public space if there is to be any use at all?

In McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ky. Justice Scalia writes in his dissenting opinion

“If religion in the public forum had to be entirely nondenominational, there could be no religion in the public forum at all. One cannot say the word “God,” or “the Almighty,” one cannot offer public supplication or thanksgiving, without contradicting the beliefs of some people that there are many gods, or that God or the gods pay no attention to human affairs. With respect to public acknowledgment of religious belief, it is entirely clear from our Nation’s historical practices that the Establishment Clause permits this disregard of polytheists and believers in unconcerned deities, just as it permits the disregard of devout atheists.

“The three most popular religions in the United States, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam–which combined account for 97.7% of all believers–are monotheistic . . .. All of them, moreover (Islam included), believe that the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses, and are divine prescriptions for a virtuous life . . .. Publicly honoring the Ten Commandments is thus indistinguishable, insofar as discriminating against other religions is concerned, from publicly honoring God. Both practices are recognized across such a broad and diverse range of the population–from Christians to Muslims–that they cannot be reasonably understood as a government endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint.”

The above was written in 2005. We still have to fight in order to keep a wall of separation between church and state. No one instance can be allowed to “slip by” no matter how small because of the possibility of it being used to build a larger machine in order to tear down that wall. The only way to do that is to make sure there is no allowance of disregard of atheists or any other religious point of view. Being silent and unwilling to publicly represent your religious views leaves you open to the possibility of having those views dismissed.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (He who is silent is taken to agree; he ought to have spoken when he was able to)

—Latin proverb

Is standing up for your religious view the same as trying to convert or proselytizing? A  reasonable person should be able to do so without giving an impression of trying to convert anyone.

Peter says that the CoS would

” enjoy the deletion of “In God We Trust” from our currency.”

But what would he do to help that happen? That’s a fair question I believe.

The  United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”

Yet another way religious reference has snuck into our government. Another popular argument is “We have done it this way for so long it now has historic value and doesn’t really support any religion”  The reason it has been allowed for so long is because no one was willing to stand up against it. One possible reason could be they were afraid of “evangelizing and proselytizing” so afraid that they would rather allow that right to be dismissed by the courts than stand up for it’s right to be considered.

Despite all the claptrap about keeping opinions  to yourself Peter slips a little

Satanism is a newer religion, having been concretized as a coherent philosophy and spread by a global organization beginning in 1966. We have been faced with prejudice and misunderstanding because Anton LaVey purposely chose an iconoclastic paradigm, but in the almost five decades of our existence we’ve made headway into being taken seriously by scholars, historians and certain aware segments of the general populace.

First, Satanism is not a “newer religion”. The Church of Satan is a newer form of Satanism. I’m pleased he feels like the CoS is being taken seriously by historians (time will do that) and the public is becoming aware of them. There are others Satanists in the world too and they are entitled to the same consideration. At least they should be given the opportunity to prove they deserve it.  Now if he coulda just stopped there. Instead, this –

 

We don’t want to undercut this success by going for “cheap shots” meant to garner quick publicity when such could make Satanism seem like a position that is just as offensive as the spiritual religions clamoring for unearned attention, part of their agenda of hijacking society for their own belief systems. We support the secularization of society as do many others who value reason and free thought. You who believe in Gods or Devils are free to embrace your own religions, just don’t force them on those of us who are not interested or actively find them to be repugnant.

First, standing up for your rights, rights that have been granted to others is not a “cheap shot”. Next, public attention is EXACTLY what any group fighting to be treated in an equal and fair manner wants and needs. How are you ever going to gain public support if you don’t get people’s attention and educate them. NOT CONVERT…educate. Do you think that educating people about the fact gay men are not all child molesters as many used to believe has helped people to accept gays and treat them no different than anyone else? I think it probably played a part. People fear what they do not know and they discriminate based on ignorance and fear.

In my opinion religious views such as the ones held by most Satanists and atheists have one thing going for them that other religions usually are lacking in some aspect, reality. This expectation that we leave fiction stories and imaginary friends out of the process we use to create laws and find truth is more than reasonable, it is vital. No one is ever judged or treated fairly when supernatural beliefs are involved because those have no place in a system made up of people who are limited to a world of logic,reason and science as the only way of determining what is likely true in our day to day interaction with the world around us. I’m not going to say that anyone should be forcing their views on anyone else but it should be made clear the answer to every question mankind has answered about the world so far has never been “magic” or “god did it” To me that is a important observation that people should take into consideration.

As I have said the CoS is free to run their organization any way they see fit. In light of that it seems that the CoS has dismissed itself from any need of consideration about it’s opinion on issues of church and state or any others for that matter, including Satanism. Their position is -They take no position. Can’t argue with that I suppose.

Up next…definitions are important

Reply to Church of Satan- The Many Uses For A Pitchfork

hell2

You may or may not know I have been a supporter of the Church of Satan. I’m not an official card carrying member but I know their belief system pretty well and am also aware they are largely misunderstood. To eliminate the ignorance people may have about satanism I have talked about the subject on my podcast, wrote about it on my blog, and interviewed guests who were knowledgeable about the subject. While I have agreed with much of  what Satanism represented I felt no pressing need to join into any group much less one that expected me to pay them so I could be an official club member. The base cost of getting a card and bragging rights from the Curch of Satan is $200.00.The COS website rationalizes the $200 ($208 if you use paypal) by claiming that-

“Most Christian churches will charge you a tithe that counts for 10% of your yearly income—membership in them is not free, as so many assume.”

Maybe I’m just naive cause I don’t get to church much these days but I have never heard of anyone being kicked out of their church or told they can’t love Jesus unless they pay the dues. Maybe some type of guilt trip or that “you will burn in hell someday” thing but a mandatory 10% or you cant be god’s kid anymore? Okay….

A little further down it reads

For those who think we ask too much, we suggest that you look to your other possessions and expenses as a comparison. Most people spend far more than this amount on general entertainment. We’ve discovered that most individuals can muster these funds if membership is something they truly desire. Bear in mind that our church has real people doing work, such as corresponding with individuals, and otherwise helping to run an international organization (postage, paper, computers, email accounts, and so on are not free). Our administrative staff’s time is precious—isn’t yours? Also, we are emphatically not altruists. We’re Satanists, so we expect to be compensated for our time and efforts.So, our reasoning is quite simple, and we think it is a bargain. If you disagree, then you don’t have to affiliate with us.

So they charge a membership fee, big deal, lots of groups do. I am uncomfortable with the reasoning. Why mislead people into  being comfortable about the cost by making it sound like all other religions? ironic thing is-They trick people into handing over their cash just like the other religions do. So be upfront about it at least.  Another thing that turned me off from actually becoming a part of the COS is the overall feeling I get from the above paragraph.  They really don’t care about anyone or anything. Find a way to get the money or too bad for you. A big point of the COS is individual belief, almost to a fault. I’m not the type to need other people to validate me or anything I do but I do realize that concern for others is important. I don’t have a problem reaching out a hand or into a pocket to help the best interest of the individual or the group so long as my help isn’t pissed away on things that are not helpful. It is probably safe to assume there are very few if any homeless and lower income people who are officially affiliated with the Church of Satan since saving up $200 is not a realistic goal for those people. The tactic is sometimes referred to as “pricing out the riffraff” The Church of Satan shows no concern about any Satanist who can’t put an extra $200 together.  I guess that’s why the traditional suggested donation to a church is 10% they don’t wanna miss out on even the smallest revenue generating possibility.

The application to become a member is also a bit too intrusive for my tastes. I mean 39 lines of questions to answer? I have a problem with Christians sticking their noses into my life already why would I invite more of it from another religious group? The fact that they are interested or concerned to such a degree about my preferences and personal habits is a red flag. Most of what they are asking really should have no bearing on whether I am a satanist. I assume some of these questions are to help recognize those who may be intent on using their affiliation with the Church of Satan as an opportunity to act out whatever warped suggestions their mental illness or hatred demands of them. I can understand that is probably a needed precaution. I also wonder what becomes of an applicant who answers question #29 “Kicking babies”

 It seems like the COS should simply be doing a background check on all members before allowing them in or would that be too herd-like?

One of the people I have had an opportunity to talk with about satanism and The Church of Satan is Peter Gilmore.  I enjoyed the conversation. Peter seemed to be a intelligent guy. He was easy to talk with.   We never really discussed other satanic groups during our talk so when I heard about a group called The Satanic Temple attempting to erect some sort of monument in Oklahoma near an existing ten commandments monument I wondered what Peter would think about that.

But before I did anything to find the answer to that question I contacted Lucien Greaves who goes by the title of Overlord at The Satanic Temple and is their spokesperson. I asked him if he would be interested in having a conversation with Al Stefanelli and myself about his request to the OK leadership that a satanic monument be allowed equal space as the ten commandments at the state capitol. He accepted and we spoke for an hour and a half about Satanism and his activism.

I came away from the conversation with a new perspective on Satanism. There was some of what I thought had been missing from the COS in The Satanic Temple approach to Satanism.

The Church of Satan requires that people accept “LaVey’s principles” before becoming members of the church. Anton Lavey’s Satanic Bible is a mix of various influences in his life and has been criticized by many for various reasons I’m not going to go into here because it isn’t as important as the end result of the entire text. I was not exposed to the Satanic Bible until my religious beliefs were very well established. After I read it I did not feel as though I needed to make any changes. I found Anton Lavey himself to be very interesting as an individual and the founding of the Church of Satan has had undeniable effects on society and the way many look at  religion.That however does not give it unquestionable  authority on Satanism. The Church of Satan can run it’s organization as it sees fit but it should be careful of not becoming what it hates.

After my conversation with Lucien I reached out to Peter Gilmore and the COS. here is what I received in reply-

On Tuesday, December 17, 2013 3:32 PM, Administration <administration@churchofsatan.com> wrote:
As always, look to our news feed. This should make our position clear:

http://news.churchofsatan.com/post/69495555098/lets-you-and-him-fight

We do not even think ³The Satanic Temple² has any legitimacy except as a
means for doing stunts to get them attention.

Sincerely,

Administration
Church of Satan
www.churchofsatan.com

First, I suggest you follow the above link and read the response Peter Gilmore has to many types of action/behavior by Satanists and atheists lately.

The post by Peter Gilmore troubles me for many reasons. One of those is the amount of strawmen in his post. I am disappointed at the end of reading because I had respected Peter Gilmore. I can understand and respect well supported disagreement on the issues but to belittle and misrepresent? Those are not acceptable and not deserved in my opinion.

Peter starts out by saying-

Their theory is that if Satanists demand the same irritating forms of public proselytizing as do certain Christian sects, then “people” will “wake up” and see how foolish the Christians are and so end their irksome displays. Would that raising consciousness in the herd were so simple.

pros·e·ly·tize:

to try to persuade people to join a religion, cause, or group

I’m not sure that requesting equal opportunity to display a monument is of itself an example of proselytizing. Does anyone think that a ten commandment display is going to convert anyone to become a  Christian anymore than a Satanic display is going to convert anyone to Satanism? I’m not sure if Peter agrees with me on this or not because on one hand he thinks simply having a monument in view  is an example of proselytizing. Then he reminds us a monument is not going to “wake up” anyone because (in condescending tone) “raising consciousness in the herd” is not so easily done. Doesn’t that mean it will be difficult for a monument to be considered persuasive just because it exists?

In an effort to clarify this for Peter I’ll explain the reasoning most are using when they voice opposition to religious displays.-

Having one display allowed and no others does suggest that there is one set of beliefs that are considered “better” or “more correct” by the state government in Oklahoma and that is not how the law works in this country. In our efforts to reach justice and/or truth we offer as much information as possible and then allow people to consider that information in order to find the truth or the closest thing possible. When it comes to something as personal as religion we have chose to leave those decisions up to the individual. Our laws dictate that we not include religious preference in the operation of our government. Some people have found ways to circumvent those laws in order to further their own agenda. That leaves a couple of choices.

1- Court battles over the display which do not always result in removal and can go on for extended periods.

2- The space be shared so that there is an opportunity for people to form their own opinion after being provided diverse viewpoints . At the same time the land is being shared among the people who own it, everyone. Sharing with others is a behavior taught at a very early age in this country. Adults should be able to grasp the concept easily

For Peter to dismiss the request by The Satanic Temple as “doing stunts to gain them attention” and leave it at that indicates a lack of  understanding about the implications of unchecked use of public areas by one group. When a person walks around in public areas and all they see are monuments representing one religious group THAT is public proselytizing

If Peter Gilmore and the members of the Church of Satan do not find it productive  to actively challenge groups that will/would/have limited freedoms by imposing their own religious beliefs on others then they should not do so.

They should also refrain from criticizing those who will take on such challenges since they benefit from the successes.

I’ll clear up some more of the straw Peter Gilmore left laying around in the next blog. Unless he wants to clean it up first (or at least put the pitchfork down) which is what I would prefer rather than spending time correcting people who I have more in common than differences with. It is a waste of time better spent, I hope we can agree on that.