Cover image for Satanism today : an encyclopedia of religion, folklore, and popular culture
Satanism today : an encyclopedia of religion, folklore, and popular culture
Lewis, James R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 371 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


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BF1548 .L49 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This authoritative reference work presents a full image of the Prince of Darkness as he appears throughout traditional theology, mythology, art and literature, and popular culture.

* Nearly 300 entries ranging from the anticult movement to Zoroastrianism

* A chronology of information on earlier manifestations of the Western occult tradition that provided the background for the creation of modern religious Satanism in the 1960s

* 66 photos, illustrations, and drawings including depictions of satanic rituals and ingredients used for casting evil spells

* Three appendixes including a Satanist survey conducted by the author in August 2000 on basic demographic data on contemporary Satanists

Author Notes

James R. Lewis is a professional writer and academic specializing in new religions and the New Age.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Proposing "to survey contemporary images of the Devil," this book examines not only "religious Satanism" but also various satanic organizations, traditions, and personalities. The general focus is on the Christian-Jewish-Islamic tradition of Satan, but there are articles discussing Buddhism and Taoism and their somewhat different demons and hells. Lewis also explores the contribution of Zoroastrianism to both Satan and the concept of hell in the three great monotheisms and the influence of Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey on the modern satanist movement. Several entries address satanic ritual abuse, both in individual cases and as a broader topic. One of the appendixes to the book is the 1992 FBI report on satanic ritual abuse that generally demolished the concept. Other appendixes contain samples of contemporary satanic writings and a survey Lewis did of satanists. The book is in dictionary format. Articles range from a few sentences to several two-column pages in length. Most articles have see also references and a list of further reading, much of it recent. Where appropriate, Web sites are also listed, as many satanist organizations have considerable Internet activity. There are some errors. In the article on Fantasia, several composers but not the right one (Mussorgsky) are credited for the music in the film's final sequence. In the article Magic and magical groups, the creator of Wonderland (as in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) is identified as Reverend Charles Ludwig (instead of Lutwidge) Dodgson. The name "Lucifer" is translated as "light giver" in the Lucifer article and "light bearer" (correctly) elsewhere. Still, this is a useful book. It is remarkably evenhanded. The bibliography and list of nonprint resources are valuable, and many of the titles can be obtained at larger public libraries. The FBI report and the survey of satanists are almost worth the price of the book. Most larger public and academic libraries will want to consider this for purchase.

Library Journal Review

The author or editor of numerous reference works on popular and fringe religions (e.g., The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions) as well as UFOs, Theosophy, dreams, and witchcraft, Lewis (religious studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Stevens Point) has written the first thoroughgoing study of contemporary Satanism. He treats a sensational topic without being sensationalistic, offering undergraduates and lay readers scholarly and reasonably objective assessments. Some 300 articles cover beings, symbols, religious beliefs, and popular media portrayals of Satan and hell, each with cross references and a short bibliography. Particularly interesting entries cover "backward masking," the supposed insertion of words recorded backwards on vinyl analog discs; Chick Publications, a publisher of frightening Christian tracts graphically depicting hell and damnation; and Dungeons & Dragons, the role-playing game that many parents thought led to Satanic behavior. (An article on runes, however, appears peripheral.) Lewis also discusses many films relating to Satanism but, strangely, not recent, popular demon-related television programs like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A chronology traces the cultic background to modern Satanism, and appendixes of sample documents include the 1992 FBI study of "satanic ritual abuse" that stemmed accusations of such abuse. In fact, the articles on the ritual-abuse phenomenon and its ultimate debunking are worth the price of the book. Michael Newton's Raising Hell: An Encyclopedia of Devil Worship and Satanic Crime (o.p.) covers similar territory but is not as au courant and is heavier on the blood and gore. Recommended for academic and public libraries.DWilliam P. Collins, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Lewis's excellent encyclopedia examines the role of Satan in modern popular culture by considering its roots in folklore, movies, books, theology, religious practices, etc. Lewis (religious studies, Univ. of Wisconsin at Stevens Point) contends that the Devil has come to symbolize more than pure evil in modern society, which is both repelled and fascinated by the Devil's attributes. This is reflected in movies, stories, and other writings. The topical entries examine this fascination/repulsion with ideas of the Devil and diabolical behavior, including cases of so-called satanic abuse, synopses of movies about Satan, theological writers on the Devil, and various churches devoted to Satan. The tone is scholarly and informative; each entry is clear and precise, and has see references and well-chosen citations for further reading. Two appendixes consist of sample documents and the very important "1992 FBI Study of Satanic Ritual Abuse." At the end are an excellent bibliography and a good index. Highly recommended for general and specialized collections. G. Wood SUNY College at Cortland

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Abaddonp. 1
The Abbey of Thelemap. 1
Abraxasp. 2
Adramelechkp. 2
Advertisingp. 2
Ahrimanp. 4
All Dogs Go to Heavenp. 4
Amuletp. 4
Angel Heartp. 6
Angel of Deathp. 7
Angel on My Shoulderp. 7
Anticult Movement, Thep. 7
Apparitionp. 9
Appolionp. 11
Apsarasp. 11
Aquinas, Thomasp. 12
Aquino, Michael A.p. 14
Archonp. 15
Ascendancyp. 16
Asmodeusp. 16
Astarothp. 17
Asurasp. 17
Aurum Solisp. 17
Azazelp. 18
Backward Maskingp. 19
Baphomet (Sigil of Baphomet)p. 20
Bardo Thodol (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)p. 21
Baudelaire, Charlesp. 23
The "Beast" Computer Legendp. 23
Beast of the Yellow Nightp. 24
Bedazzledp. 24
Beelzebubp. 24
Beliarp. 25
Belielp. 25
Bellsp. 25
Belphegorp. 26
The Beyondp. 26
Beyond the Doorp. 26
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journeyp. 26
Bishop Auckland Casep. 26
The Black Holep. 27
Black Massp. 27
Black Rosesp. 29
Blake, Williamp. 29
Bless the Childp. 30
The Blood on Satan's Clawp. 30
Bogeymanp. 30
Book of Jubileesp. 31
Bosch, Hieronymusp. 31
The Brotherhood of Satanp. 33
Brotherhood of the Ramp. 33
The Brothers Karamazovp. 33
Buddhismp. 33
Builders of the Adytump. 35
Candlesp. 37
Catharsp. 38
Cattle Mutilationsp. 39
Cerberusp. 42
Ceremonyp. 42
Chaos Magicp. 42
Charleroi Casep. 44
Chick Publicationsp. 45
Childrearing, Satanicp. 47
Chinap. 48
Church of Satanp. 50
Church of Satanic Brotherhoodp. 51
Church of Satanic Liberationp. 52
Church of the Morning Starp. 52
Circlep. 52
Collective Unconsciousp. 53
The Craftp. 54
The Crazep. 54
Crimep. 54
Crowley, Aleister Edwardp. 55
Curse of the Demonp. 56
Cursesp. 56
Damn Yankeesp. 61
Dante Alighierip. 61
Dante's Infernop. 62
Dark Angel: The Ascentp. 63
The Dark Secret of Harvest Homep. 63
Dee, Johnp. 63
Demiurgep. 64
Demonsp. 64
Descent into the Underworldp. 68
"The Devil and Daniel Webster"p. 68
The Devil and Max Devlinp. 69
Devil's Advocatep. 69
The Devil's Bridep. 70
Devil's Daughterp. 70
Devil's Eyep. 70
The Devil's Handp. 70
The Devil's Messengerp. 70
The Devil's Partnerp. 70
The Devil's Rainp. 70
The Devil's Son-in-Lawp. 70
Devil's Trianglep. 70
Diabolus in Musicap. 72
Dogmap. 73
Dragonsp. 73
Dungeons and Dragonsp. 74
Egyptp. 77
End of Daysp. 80
Enochp. 80
Enochian Magicp. 81
Ereshkigalp. 82
Evocation and Invocationp. 84
The Exorcistp. 85
Expressionsp. 86
Fallen Angelsp. 87
Familiarsp. 88
Fantasiap. 88
Faustp. 88
Fear No Evilp. 89
Filmp. 89
Fire (Hellfire)p. 90
First Church of Satanp. 91
Flightp. 91
Fraternitas Rosae Crucisp. 92
Fraternity of Lightp. 93
Fraternity of the Hidden Lightp. 93
Fraternity (Society) of the Inner Lightp. 94
The Gate and Gate 2p. 95
Gnosticismp. 95
The Gnostic Order and Temple of Satanasp. 96
Goblinsp. 97
God, The Devil And Bobp. 97
Goth Subculturep. 98
Grimoirep. 99
Gris-grisp. 100
Hadesp. 101
Halloweenp. 103
Harrowing of Hellp. 104
Harut and Marutp. 104
Heavy Metal Musicp. 105
Hell and Heavenp. 108
Hellholep. 110
Hellraiserp. 111
Hell's Angelsp. 111
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawnp. 111
Hexp. 113
Highway to Hellp. 113
Hinduismp. 113
Humorp. 118
Iblis (Eblis)p. 121
Impp. 121
Incubi and Succubip. 122
Indo-Europeansp. 124
The Infernal Chapelp. 125
Ingram Ritual Abuse Casep. 125
Invitation to Hellp. 128
Islamp. 128
Jacobp. 131
Jinnp. 132
Johnson, Robertp. 132
Judaism and Hebrew Scripturesp. 135
Judgment of the Deadp. 139
Kerk van Satanp. 141
Kiss of Shamep. 141
Last Judgmentp. 143
LaVey, Anton Szandorp. 144
Laws and Ritual Abusep. 147
Left Behindp. 148
Left-Hand Pathp. 148
Levi, Eliphasp. 148
Leviathanp. 149
Lilithp. 151
Limbop. 151
Lisa and the Devil, a.k.a. The House of Exorcismp. 152
Little Nickyp. 152
Little Witchesp. 152
Lost Soulsp. 152
Love (Lust) Spellsp. 153
Luciferp. 153
Luciferian Children of Satan (Bambini di Satana Luciferiani)p. 154
Lucifers Denp. 155
Magic and Magical Groupsp. 157
Malikp. 159
Mammonp. 159
Manichaeismp. 159
Manson, Charlesp. 160
Marap. 162
Mark of the Devilp. 162
Mastemap. 164
Matamoros Murdersp. 164
Mather, Cottonp. 167
Mathers, Samuel Liddellp. 169
McMartin Ritual Abuse Casep. 170
Mephistophelesp. 173
Mesoamericap. 173
Milton, Johnp. 175
Mind Control, Satanicp. 176
Molochp. 178
Monastery of the Seven Raysp. 179
Mr. Bubbles Casep. 180
Near-Death Experiencesp. 183
Neopagan Witchcraftp. 184
Nephilimp. 187
Nergalp. 187
Netherworldp. 188
Newcastle Ritual Abuse Casep. 188
Night Stalkerp. 188
Nightmaresp. 190
Nimrodp. 192
The Nine Satanic Statementsp. 192
The Ninth Covenantp. 193
The Ninth Gatep. 194
The Omen, Damien: Omen 2, and The Final Conflictp. 195
The Order of Infernal Lightp. 195
Order of Nine Anglesp. 196
Order of the Black Ramp. 197
Ordo Lux Kethrip. 197
Ordo Templi Astartep. 197
Ordo Templi Orientisp. 198
Ordo Templi Satanasp. 200
Our Lady of Endor Covenp. 200
Oxford Golden Dawn Occult Societyp. 201
Pact with the Devilp. 203
Palop. 205
Pembroke Ritual Abuse Casep. 206
Peretti, Frank E.p. 207
Peter Ellis Casep. 209
Possession and Exorcismp. 209
The Processp. 215
Procter and Gamblep. 216
Prometheus Societyp. 218
The Prophecy and The Prophecy 2: Ashtownp. 218
Purgatoryp. 218
The Pyx, a.k.a. The Hooker Cult Murdersp. 220
Rabid Granniesp. 221
Raelian Movementp. 221
Rand, Aynp. 223
Rivera, Geraldop. 224
Robin Hood Hills Murdersp. 226
Rochdale Ritual Abuse Casep. 228
Rosemary's Babyp. 229
Runesp. 230
Sabbatp. 231
Sacrificep. 233
Salem Witchcraftp. 235
Saltp. 237
Salvationp. 237
Sammaelp. 238
Satanp. 239
Satanic Redsp. 239
The Satanic Rites of Draculap. 240
Satanic Ritual Abusep. 240
Satan's Cheerleadersp. 245
Satan's Princessp. 245
The Screwtape Lettersp. 245
Seancep. 245
Season of the Witchp. 246
Semyazap. 247
Serpent's Lairp. 247
The Seventh Victimp. 247
Shaitansp. 247
Shakespearep. 247
The Shawneep. 249
Shemhazai and Azazelp. 251
Sheolp. 252
Shock 'Em Deadp. 252
Sorceressp. 252
Sorceryp. 252
South Park: The Moviep. 253
Spellbinderp. 253
Spellsp. 253
Stay Tunedp. 253
Tales from the Hoodp. 255
The Temple of Lylythp. 256
Temple of Setp. 256
Thee Satanic Churchp. 258
Thee Satanic Orthodox Church of Nethilum Ritep. 259
To the Devil, A Daughterp. 259
Torment of the Damnedp. 259
Trick or Treatp. 261
Twilight Zone--The Moviep. 261
UFOs and Demonsp. 263
Underworldp. 266
The United Kingdom, Ritual Abuse inp. 267
Virgilp. 271
Vodoun (also Voodoo; Vodun)p. 273
Walpurgisnachtp. 277
War in Heavenp. 277
Warlock; Warlock: The Armageddon; and Warlock 3: The End of Innocencep. 278
Watchers (Grigori)p. 278
Wheatley, Dennisp. 279
Wicca Lettersp. 280
Witchboardp. 281
Witchcraftp. 281
Witcheryp. 281
Witches of Eastwickp. 281
Wormwoodp. 281
Zoroastrianismp. 283
Chronologyp. 285
Appendix I Sample Documentsp. 291
Appendix II 1992 FBI Study of Satanic Ritual Abusep. 299
Appendix III Satanist Surveyp. 325
Resourcesp. 337
Indexp. 347
About the Authorp. 371