Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Trend of Satanism: Part 1&2

First of all, I want to say that I have a curious fascination with Black Metal. I respect it for the most part, and have found that there's much more to it than a bunch of angry dudes wearing makeup and playing blast beats. I personally consider the whole genre an elite form of art, and one that I think ought to be considered one of the more unique and remarkable of it's kind. Not just that, many of the members of these bands are quite intelligent, and I daresay more than many people I've come across although I have found much of their world view to be erroneous. The problem, which is what I want to address, is the misconception of Christianity that goes along, inherently with the music. This paper is not here to preach or convert, but to simply clarify what I conceive to be wrong.

The trend of Satanism is rampant throughout the Black Metal scene and the goal of this paper is to find out why. Now, I've started this project and it seems there's two things to note before getting started. One is that many bands who are viewed as 'Satanic' are in fact not Satanists, in the true sense of the word; they don't worship Satan. Two, and more importantly, that their view of Christianity is skewed so drastically they've been forced to bear such labels. I want to examine what they think, and believe, and try to rectify and clarify their problems.

Part 1: Gorgoroth-Gaahl


Let's look first at Gaahl's view of God to get an understanding on where he, indeed a lot of people are at in their thinking. Gaahl was the singer for the band Gorgoroth, and has since given metal up to pursue other forms of art/music. I don't believe he took part in the actual 'Church burning' which took place in the 90's, but his view on it is by no means opposed.

He says regarding Church burnings that “As long as the church has the power it has and supports oppression, we shouldn’t give the church any sympathy2.” And also that he “supports them 100%1.” So already there's a confusion about words being used. To oppress, according to the dictionary means: to keep (someone) in subservience (to obey others unquestionably) and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority. Now of course, anyone would agree, even among the Christian community that it's wrong to oppress people, and in fact they ought to encourage people to question everything, especially the pastor. The view he holds is that the Church is oppressive. Gaahl makes the broad statement 'the Church supports oppression' as though enough has been said. But let's look further.

We must now ask: What is the Christian view on oppression and freedom compared to Gaahl's? Gaahl considers the Church to be oppressive, but Christianity considers Satan to be oppressive. There's a strange dichotomy here. Both views hold that the other is the oppressor, but why? If Gaahl is correct, then the Church is the oppressor, and is trying to control people. But is this the actual case? Or is this argument futile? If we look at the true Church, the one who actually follows the real Jesus, we are hard pressed to find any sort of oppression. In fact, almost all the Churches I know do things to help the less fortunate and are in no way oppressive. The misconception arises when people claiming Christ begin to force their beliefs upon people, and I think that is where the main problem lies.

People don't like to be told their wrong and Christians are good at telling people they are. It's all over the media, and is hard to miss. But I think the fundamentals* are the ones getting most of the attention, while the others are behind the scene shaking their heads with disappointment. The problem is religion. Religion implies rules, and laws. Religion is what tells people they can and cannot do something, but, while Jesus was alive he spent most of His time telling the religious people they were wrong. It's no wonder why the message of Jesus has been lost, it is because people have brought religion into it.

So if we go back to our question about who is the oppressor, let's assume now that Christianity is correct. Christianity says that Satan oppresses, and that true freedom lies in knowing Jesus. So the definition of freedom is also different in both worldviews; while in Gaahl's he believes that doing 'the will of man' is what's natural4 where as in Christianity freedom is doing what God wants, and the 'will' of man is intrinsically sinful. An analogy in regards to real freedom can go as follows:

In a small town there were two fathers, Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith. Both of them had sons who wanted to sow their wild oats.

When Mr. Jones’ son got in trouble at school for not turning in an assignment, Mr. Jones quickly grounded his son and made his son do his homework. Later on when the son was caught smoking marijuana in the school bathroom and was expelled, Mr. Jones made sure to enroll his son in an alternative school that taught proper discipline. When the son was arrested for theft, Mr. Jones did not bail out his son, but rather let his son sit in jail to learn from his deeds. Eventually the son grew to learn there are consequences for his actions. During this entire time the father did not yell at the son, beat the son, or refuse to accept the son during the son’s times of repentance. Rather, he simply let his son endure the natural consequences for his actions.

Mr. Smith, however, took a different approach to parenting. When his son didn’t turn in a grade assignment, Mr. Smith simply affirmed his son’s choice. He figured his son was experimenting with alternative ways to learn. When his son was caught getting high on school grounds, the father went to the defense of his son asking why the school had such strict regulations to begin with. When he was caught for stealing, Mr. Smith posted bail and hired an excellent defense attorney for his son, because he couldn’t bear to see his son go to jail and suffer.

Which father displayed the greater love? The one who disciplined the son or the one who affirmed the son?3

So from this we can gather that discipline is not inherently bad, indeed it is beneficial to our being, and upon reading the analogy one ought to agree that the father who disciplined showed more love; because he cared what happened with his child. Being truly free does not mean doing whatever you want when ever you want. It mustn't. In the case of Christianity, God knows better than us, and we view what he says in such a manner. It is as though a father telling his son not to touch the stove because he knows the child will get hurt. Of course, the child is free to touch the stove, but will it benefit him? The Bible says 'Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but not everything is constructive. (1 Cor 10:23). A sailor in a boat is free to sail the ocean, but what about his direction and guidance? If he has no direction or guidance, then is he truly free? Or is he hopeless lost in an ocean, doomed to sail aimlessly sacrificing guidance in the name of being free? The sailor may consider himself to be free, but to an onlooker it's obvious he is not, and, it seems we are at an impasse. Both views do not, and will not agree.

{The Title of Satanist}

Gaahl has also said, regarding his Satanist title that “We use the word ‘Satanist’ because it is Christian world and we have to speak their language. To the world I am a Satanist, which means resistance to everything that holds you down4.” He goes on to say “Yes, I am opposed to everything that denies the individual to grow, so for me Satan is natural in that matter. When I use the word Satan, it means the natural order, the will of a man, the will to grow, the will to become the superman and not to be oppressed by any law such as the church, which is only a way to control the masses and has nothing to do with god. And the word religion also means ‘man made*’. Man made the belief in god and that is basically what it means and in my opinion man cannot create god. God can create a man but the opposite does not work. I am not interested in a group of people that will obey some kind of master or whatever, I want them to grow, I want the individual to grow, and I want people to decide themselves what they want to be4.” “Satan means resistance5.” He confirms that God can create man, but man cannot create god. Of course, this lines up exactly with Christianity, only he thinks the Christians have made up god. But, without knowing, we both agree on this point. (*Religion doesn't mean 'manmade'.)

These final statements are somewhat ambiguous, but again, we can see his view of 'growth' is completely opposing the Christian view. A Christian considers growth to be producing the 'fruit of the spirit' which is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Faithfulness, Goodness and Self Control. Growth in this definition comes from God, although the claim is not exclusive in a way that omits non-Christians. Everyone is capable of these things, but, without God the true 'fruit' cannot be produced. In Gaahl's view, growth comes when doing one's will, which, it seems is whatever you want; be held down by no one and nothing. According to Gaahl he doesn't read a lot, and usually sticks with what he writes. It almost seemed as though he were resistant to reading in the one interview6, although his music contains many references to Nietzsche, including three albums, according to King, the bassist7. It's obvious Gaahl has read something in his life, to what ends I do not know, but from the way he talks it seems as though his view is abundantly ethnocentric.

Although Gaahl uses the term Satanism, he denies evil's existence, but, he unknowingly is being exactly what he thinks he is not. In the Christian worldview, Satanism is doing exactly what Gaahl does; worship creation and not the creator, be selfish, and elevate yourself to the position of God; pride at it's fullest. He says 'when I use the word Satan, I mean the natural order of things'. To the Christian, this means sin. According to the Bible, the 'natural order' is: we all live in sin (Romans 3:23). So, despite his lack of knowledge, he's actually confirming the Christian view without realizing it again. When he says 'the will of man' he's considering the will of man to be doing what man wants in able to 'grow'. He goes on to make this evident by stating again that when he says Satan it means “the will to grow, the will to become the superman and not to be oppressed by any law such as the church4.” He doesn't seem to think there is a black or white (as the Church makes it out to be) either, in regards to 'good' or 'bad', “There's never been right or wrong, it's always been a mixture...there is no absolutes, basically5.”

With no absolutes our civilization would come to utter ruin. Who's to say I can't kill you for your shoes? Who's to say what Stalin did was wrong? The implication of living without moral absolutes brings forth to big of argument to tackle right now but I will address it briefly again, and link to further sources.

Moving on, Gaahl seems to think the Church has nothing to do with god, which is fine, but it's important to note his view of god is a pantheistic view. In an interview he had this to say, “God is within yourself, that's the only true god, the within is the highest spirit of everything, and not this control freak that's telling you 'you are not supposed to do this, you are only supposed to bow down and kneel before what I say'. God is within nature, and nature will always grow. The force of all life, is to grow6.” If the Church has nothing to do with god, it is because it has nothing to do with a pantheistic god. The obvious difference being one makes god everything, and the other makes God beyond everything. It's curious that his view of Satanism is actually correct, despite his lack of belief in Satan himself. But, his view of Christianity is obviously wrong. Let's look at another example.


He says elsewhere “Most Christians they are out for money2.” This is simply wrong. In fact, were I to do a search on goole for Christian non-profit organizations I could easily find hundreds8. (That's not to say everyone claiming to be 'non-profit Christian' is helping, we all know there are deceivers out there looking only for money.) But the fact is, despite this misconception, money isn't important to a Christian. That's not to say it's of no value, or useful, but money is by no means everything to the genuine Christian. This is another reason people think Churches just wants your money. They don't realize when we give our money to the Church, it's not because we have to, but to shows money is not our God. We view it entirely differently, because in many cases, people make their god money.

Gaahl rejects Christianity based on the fact that “There's always been a bad taste, to letting others die for your sins5.” To be honest, I'm not sure what he means by this, but I suppose he figures if sin exists, and he had to make up for it, it would be a pathetic display to let someone else take the fall for you. And I think that's where his pride comes in, and that's where he's missed the mark of God's grace. Somehow he has received the wrong information about Christianity, which becomes obvious with what he says. He is not differentiating between religion and the claims of the true Christian (Christ follower), and the main problem is the way he views freedom. Without coming to terms with these, neither side will understand each other. Both think the other is doing the wrong thing and is oppressed. I suppose the obvious way to tell is to ask a real had-my-life-changed Christian.

Overall, if we compare what Gaahl says with what Christians say, presuppositions aside, they could agree. They both believe man should grow, and be free. Neither side wants the 'masses' to be controlled as though mindless subjects who never question authority. Nay, I say both sides need to put their notions aside, and examine the case reasonably. Anyone who is foolish enough to base his perspective upon a worldview by judging it's followers needs to think again. The actions of the followers don't acquaint the truth of their world view. As a brief example I offer the following to conclude.

You love dogs, and decide to make an organization to protect them, call it Me-For-Dogs. Over time, your organization becomes large, and has many people joining up. Your happy about the progress Me-For-Dogs is making, but are ashamed to find out some people who are devoted to your cause are caught farming puppies and abusing them. Their actions have brought shame to your name, and soon you have people protesting against your other followers; the ones who genuinely care about puppies.

Now, is the fact that you love dogs any more fallacious now that some people who claimed to be part of Me-For-Dogs have abused them? No. The truth of the matter is you still love puppies. So if people are judging crazy fundamentals actions and basing it upon the truth of the Bible, doesn't that seem insensible? If people say one thing, and do another that holds no barring on weather the claim they make/their worldview is true or not. So just because people use Jesus as a way to spread hate, and lies, the fact is someone who follows the real Jesus most likey won't be this way. But that's not to say people don't make mistakes. Again, the misconception is that since Christians are so good and pointing the finger, they shouldn't mess up either. That's simply not the case. I could write a whole paper on just this (which I will) but for now, let's leave it there.

Part 2: Gorgoroth-King


King, the bass player for Gorgoroth says Well, we (Gorgoroth) aren't linked to Nazism at all, and the reason for that is simple: it's ideology for the flock. It's also birthed out of Christianity; it's something I'm totally against and I could never share any of those ideas9.” Unfortunately saying something doesn't make it true and anyone who knows anything about a)Hitler and b)Christianity knows both views two are completely incompatible. For one, Hitler killed Christians. For two, Hitler used religion as deception in his speeches. Indeed I don't know how he (King) arrived at the conclusion that Naziism rose out of Christianity, and I would like to know, but with such a broad statement and no means of conversation, I suppose I never will. Readers can also note the book 'The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches' by Julie Seltzer Mandel which addresses this exact issue.

Then he talks more, almost with a stronger vehemence than Gaahl about his roots in Satanism. He says “Satanism is about a lot more: it's about considering your environment and your situation based on your personal experiences, and it's about the value that you attach to human beings.”

{Moral Relativism}

King says he doesn't believe in evil, and doesn't believe in good either9, which to me is strange. One need only look around at what happens in the world to see the amount of evil that goes on. He goes on to say “I believe that you decide what's evil and what's good, and that creates a lot of conflict with the rest of the population9.” What I'm finding hard to believe is that King seems to not even realize what he's implying, which is moral relativism. In further study one will realize that no one is truly, under harsh scrutiny a moral relativist10, 11. (This subject is to large to cover in one or two blogs, so take from it what you will.)


When asked about violence King had this to say: "I don't think that violence necessarily is a good thing. The problem today is that the flock are trying to keep the ones that are living in an individual way down, by creating flock-laws, flock-values and a flock-society. This has to be fought against at all costs. A person can not find his inner truth by adapting to flock values. Therefore we must use any methods necessary, even if it includes church burning or murder. The stronger individual must be given the power to reach his potential. Most people are trying to sabotage this and must face the consequences7."

As though stunting him from being an individual King poses that anything resembling a 'flock-like' nature is the 'problem of today'. Does he assume that these flocks are getting their laws and values from out of thin air? It bothers me that someone would say this knowing, or hopefully knowing, where people come up with laws and values. From the Christian view, God has set in place laws and value for a reason; so that we may live in harmony and not destroy ourselves. Everyone is supposed to be equal, although this is often not the case. But I think, even were one to approach this in a neutral position, they would be better off choosing Christianity rather than Satanism for the mere fact that Satanism denotes that human value is relative. Human life is of intrinsic value to the Christian, but not the Satanist.

To conclude, looking at what we've read, I find it hard to believe such seemingly smart men could be so ignorant towards Christianity. King is so passionately against the 'flock', but for what? Is he so arrogant to think that anyone who has a 'common' worldview contrary to his own superiority is somehow of less value or importance. It's a shame to see people so ignorant. I would love to know how he and Gaahl have been influenced in their lives, and why they are the way they are. As it is, I can only use what little I have found on the internet and deduce what I can.


I realize I avoided certain subjects, but for now felt they would be vain and require me to write a whole book. Part 3&4 will come soon, but this paper is merely here to inform, and nothing else, of the misconception I feel is so widespread throughout the metal scene regarding the Christian worldview. I think Part 3&4 will look at more views of other bands in a more broad sense, and I will try to pick out things that didn't come up during this paper. Despite some of the things I've said towards the two members of Gorgoroth (ignorant, superiority etc.) I should hope that those were not taken as insults, but merely my inevitable reaction to what I thought they were implying. And so, I implore the onlooker to investigate more into this because I not only feel my mediocre attempt to defend my belief is sub-par, but that I feel it is, in fact, the most important thing one can do. As as smart man once said:

“If Christianity is true, it is of infinite importance, and if false of no importance. The only thing it can not be is moderately important.” -C.S. Lewis






6) (see full documentry.)






*I consider WestBro Baptist Church to be nothing more than extreme hate mongers, and want the reader to know they have nothing in common with real Christianity.

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