- Nov 9, 2013View SourceCould it be that you meant to say "Religion? A squishy word at *worst*"? At best it is not squishy at all. On the other hand many words become squishy at worst, "love" and "faith" being two common examples.As for CW and lust for power, to be fair all of us struggle with this albeit in different guises. It might even be "the last idolatry". One way to understand martyrdom is that a martyr overcomes this final temptation and choses truth over power.IsaacOn 9 November 2013 19:04, Ahnemann <ahnemann@...> wrote:Satanism? A lust for power. CW wasn't above that at times in his life. Religion? A squishy word at best. I've known people who practiced a 'religion' of owning a Porsche.AJA
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On Nov 9, 2013, at 12:50 PM, Steve Hayes <hayesstw@...> wrote:
A quote from "War in heaven", followed by a question:
Gregory turned his head to see better the young face from which this summary
of life issued. He felt perplexed and uncertain; he had expected a door and
found an iron barrier.
"But," he said doubtfully, "had Judas himself no delight? There is an old
story that there is rapture in the worship of treachery and malice and
cruelty and sin."
"Pooh," Lionel said contemptuously; "it is the ordinary religion disguised;
it is the church-going clerk's religion. Satanism is the clerk at the
brothel. Audacious little middleclass cock-sparrow!"
"You are talking wildly," Gregory said a little angrily. "I have met people
who have made me sure that there is a rapture of iniquity."
"There is a rapture of anything, if you come to that," Lionel answered;
"drink or gambling or poetry or love or (I suppose) satanism. But the one
certainty is that the traitor is always and everywhere present in evil and
good alike, and all is horrible in the end."
"There is a way to delight in horror," Gregory said.?
=== end quote ===
There is a quite widespread perception that Satanism was invented by Anton la
Vey in the 1960s, yet here is Williams using the term in a book written 30-40
The Wikipedia article on Satanism
speaks of it is a religion, but while it may be possible to speak of post-
LaVeyan Satanism as a religion, before that I believe it was thought of more
in terms of this conversation, and it may have been entertained by some
people in the ritual magic circles that Williams came into contact with.
What I am concerned to explore is how Williams understood the term. I think
it is far to say that Williams's understand of satanism (with a lowercase
"s") was embodied in the character of Gregory Persimmons in "War in heaven",
and that the way Persimmons treated Adrian Rackstraw might nowadays be
described, at least in some circles, as "Satanic ritual abuse".
What is perhaps more debatable is whether Williams thought of satanism in the
way Lionel Rackstraw describes it -- as "ordinary religion disguised" -- in
other words, whether for Williams "satanism" was not a religion per se, but a
kind of Christian deviation, a heresy.
I originally posted this in the neo-Inklings forum, and did not at first post it here because I feared it might get bogged
down in discussions of whether magic is "real" or not. My concern is rather
what Williams (and perhaps his contemporaries) thought of "satanism".
There is more in a blog post here:
but my views have changed quite a bit since I wrote that, manly as a result
of the Kirsty Theologo case, in which a group of members of a church youth
group decided to sacrifice a couple of their friends to the devil so that
they could gain power. On Thursday two of them were found guilty of
premeditated murder. I still think that is is related to Williams's "clerk at
the brothel" comments, though I'm having to remix my hypothesis.