According to 101 Facts About Satanism in America, You're Probably a Satanist Already
Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
101 Facts About Satanism in America
Author: Rev. John C. Hagee, who has said that Hurricane Katrina was God's retribution for homosexuality,
Date: None listed, but this reeks of 1986
Publisher: John Hagee Ministries
Discovered at: The great Gardner's Used Books, Tulsa, OK
The Cover Promises: There are apparently 100 must facts about Satanism in America besides "Satanism isn't a problem in America."
"Down the street comes the shining serpent promising love, loyalty, and all the fun in the world ... and America's youth are flooding into Satanism."
From Facts 90 to 95, "Satan's Five-Point Attack on the Church":
"Members of the Church of Satan will be assigned to infiltrate the church. The female members will try to obtain a counseling session with the preacher and entrap him in a sexual scandal."
So, you know those quaint 1980s you've heard about from Reagan fetishists and their pop-culture equivalent, 30ish writers who insist the music and culture of their childhood was better than that enjoyed by anyone younger than them? If you actually lived through them there's some things you might not know, small human tragedies like the fact that my junior high band class had to hold bake sales to afford special wooden percussion blocks just so we could play the Night Court theme right.
Or the fact that America's end-times profiteers, faced with a declining Soviet Empire but not yet angered up with the idea that all of Islam was a'coming for 'em, found themselves without a good-for-fundraising enemy. Fortunately, pioneering spirits like Rev. John C. Hagee stepped up to lead the nation on two great crusades: First, the banning of pornography, which they totally accomplished THE END, and, second, the fight against the organized Satanists who over the course of the decade led shiny snake parades through America's cities and stole all of our babies forever.
Hagee insists,"Satanists are are vigorously recruiting your children in the public schools. The pitch that the trained Satanist makes to your child goes like this: 'There's going to be a little party over at Billy's tonight. Food, fun, and a little ritual.'"
And he adds, just in case you're slow, "The 'little ritual' is a Satanic ritual."
Of course, you might be wondering, "Neither my children nor I have ever encountered a well-organized and weirdly-formal-in-its-invitation-etiquette group of Satan worshipers. Could Hagee have been exaggerating, possibly to win terrified followers the same way that today he insists we're moving inevitably toward apocalypse in the Middle East?" But questions like that simply don't stand up to the numbers!
Here's how pervasive the influence of Satan had become in the 1980s:
I bet all through the manuscript process he had a Post-It there saying "Citation needed, or people might start to think I'm just making things up!" And then Satan sent a breeze, and that Post-It unstuck itself.
With all those schools blowing up, it's no wonder some shaken preachers grew paranoid. Up above, we saw Hagee's warning that whorish Satanists would be attempting to seduce our preachers, which is pretty much the greatest pre-emptive "devil-made-me-do-it" in history. Hagee also pins on the Satanists another frequent failing of 80s TV preachers.
"Other [Satanists] will be told to seek employment, especially in the Business Dept., and release to the press any embarrassing or damaging information they find."
So, if Hagee's Cornerstone church was proven to have fleeced its members, that would only prove Hagee right! And if embarrassing the Church is Satan's plan, then, weirdly, publicizing Satan's plan in a book this ridiculous actually fulfills that plan. Help me, grad students - surely there's a literary term for an act of screed-writing that accidentally creates the very harm it warns against?
As with most these anti-Satan screeds, Hagee makes no distinction between warning of an actual active Satanic cult and warning his adherents against letting Satan reach into their lives through workaday sin. And so he lumps the following people in with actual Church of Satan worshipers: churchgoers who spread lies about each other; "preachers on television" who are not John C. Hagee; the writers of horoscopes; "any person who seeks to control another person beyond the dimension of spiritual authority God permitted in Scripture"; orphans; kids whose parents have divorced.
That last one warrants bit of explanation:
"Every divorce emotionally scars the children for life and opens the door for Satan's seducing demons to totally destroy their lives. Jesus is the Prince of Peace ... Satan and his demonic goons can't even spell the word."
But that's not the end of the list of Americans in the devil's thrall. In fact, the list pretty much covers all Americans except him:
"Every drug addict in America is a slave to Satan. Every alcoholic is a slave to Satan. Every person addicted to pornography is a slave to Satan. Every person living in fear, depression, debilitating doubt is a slave to Satan."
What if that fear, doubt, and depression comes from having endured the teachings of John C. Hagee?
"Cities on Earth and in America have distinct personalities reflecting the evil personality of the prince of demons who rules over that area. For example, Las Vegas has the Spirit of Greed as its ruling spirit, which is manifest in the gambling there. New Orleans has as its spirit the Spirit of Lust, evidence by its wide open prostitution. San Francisco has the Spirit of Perversion ruling over it. And San Antonio has the Spirit of Witchcraft ruling as is evidenced by the unknown thousands that openly practice witchcraft there."
A couple observations.
1. Cities on Earth and in America? That narrows it down.
2. Sometime since the book's publication, the Spirit of Greed decamped to New York City and left Las Vegas to the Spirit of YOU WILL BUY INTO THIS TIMESHARE.
3. "Wide open" prostitution is the least appetizing yet the most efficient.
4. I like how there's no citation needed on the San Francisco one.
5. If the San Antonio's witches are so open about it, why is the number of them "unknown thousands"?
From Fact 98, "The Eleven Ways Jesus Dealt With Demons":
"1. Jesus dealt with demons publicly. (Mark 1:28)
2. Jesus spoke directly to demons. (Mark 1:23-26)
3. When Jesus demanded demons to come out, there were powerful physical manifestations. (Mark 1:26, Mark 9:20, and Acts 8:7)
4. Jesus did not interview demons all night. He commanded them to come out and they did so immediately. (Luke 8:31-33)."
Jesus did not have time for demon horseplay. Jesus demanded demons say "Yes, sir." Jesus always made eye-contact and upon meeting each demon made a point to use that demon's name in a sentence. Jesus sometimes wouldn't let demons into the house until they had hosed off in the yard.
Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap on the Twitter thing.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.