Today we are going to talk about the emergence of Satanism as a rebellion against the Church. Now after the first millennium the Church was in trouble. The devastation of Rome by earthquake, fire, and famine made people doubt the religion itself. They even doubted that humanity could survive.
Life became of survival of the fittest where the most powerful people began to take advantage of the situation. In the feudal society land was sacred. It was the most sacred thing one could possess and it got passed down from father to the oldest son and never split up. That’s how it retained its power.
But what about the younger children of rich and powerful families? A lot of the younger children were granted key positions of power and authority within the Church. They were educated and part of the elite wealthy families. They got these spiritual positions within the Church as political positions of power and authority. Spirituality and religion didn’t have a lot to do with it.
Many of these people abused their positions and the common folk began to complain.
What kind of religion is this anyway? You expect all these things of us and then your own behavior is so evil! These are not the teachings of a love based religion! They rebelled and screamed out. “We’ve got to reform the church, get rid of this corruption and bring it back to the message of Jesus! A message of love and the heart. A message that the common people could understand.
At that time the Church was divided into monks and priests. Most of the priests were actually married. But Pope Gregory VII proclaimed celibacy for the priests and he incited the monks against the priests. Pope Gregory was a monk himself and there were horrible consequences to this.
In fury the people threw themselves upon the priests who refused to give up their wives. In reality the general population was just looking for an excuse to overthrow the corruption within the priesthood and they turned upon the priests. They drove them away from the altars, beat them, mutilated them, and even tore them to pieces inside the sanctuary of the church itself. They began to spit upon those things they had once revered as holy. They drank holy wine mixed with urine and desecrated the host.
The power of the priest was broken. Now only monks and the Pope ruled the world, no one believed in the priests anymore, and you could argue that this was really the beginning of Satanism. But it was actually because of the actions of the Church itself.
Other atrocities were permitted. Dunstan allowed the concubine of an English king to be mutilated. Pope Gregory VII rewarded an abbot with a bishopric after the abbot had a monk castrated. The theologian Manegeld openly taught that married priests should be killed. The church pushed women away as unclean animals, as servants of Satan and as eternal death and damnation incarnate.
Pietro Damiani roamed throughout Italy, preaching countless sermons and attacking women.
“I am talking to you scum of paradise, bait of Satan, poison of the soul, spear of the heart, all dressed up with jewels, you little chicks, she-wolves, insatiable bloodsuckers.”
Those were the kinds of things that the Church was preaching! The holy doctors declared that man should distance himself from woman. Peter of Lombardi professed that marriage was a sin, at least a venial sin.
The first thousand years of Christianity allowed a balance of sexuality and a balance between males and females. Priests were even allowed to be married. This all changed after the destruction of Rome and the Pope’s move to a new headquarters at Avignon.
That’s when the movement against the Church really started and it just got worse as time went on. This was not the nature loving religion of the simple folk. They instinctively knew within their hearts that love within balanced male and female relationships was powerful and empowering, and that it helped to develop the soul of both men and women.
They understood this instinctively, but they were being told the opposite by the authorities. They were being told by the elite within the powerful Church that what they believed was wrong and a lot of them rebelled.
But their rebellion became twisted and instead of being a healthy rebellion of pure Organic Gnosticism, which was in their roots, in their nature, it combined with a hateful rebellion against the Church. It became a rebellion against the priest, a rebellion against the mass, against the sacred host and communion. In their anger and hatred they reacted against all those things that the Church taught and what they believed became twisted.
It became a twisted religion and reaction against the Church and it became a very powerful force. When you take something that’s taboo or forbidden and you break that taboo there’s a powerful psychic force released. It’s very powerful because you’re no longer a slave of that taboo. By doing what is forbidden you have broken free from the chains of fear that held you enslaved.
This rise of Satanism happened because the Church not only allowed it, but created the hatred that fed into it.
PS: I have started a Facebook discussion group called Organic Gnosticism. Feel free to join if you are interested.