Beast Wishes

Satanists disdain the season -- they'd rather be carnal than good for goodness' sake

Bored with our misperceptions, Satanists play with them, ending letters with "Beast wishes" or "Hail Satan!" and indulging in an occasional game of "shock-the-sheep." Fear "can be used to an advantage," observes Nasty. "It's like letting people know John Gotti's your uncle. If you have no teeth and one of your paws is broken and the other one has no claws, they knock you out of the way and you starve to death." To survive, they cultivate our terror, and "the legend grows because it's just too good a story."

Nasty's black T-shirt, for example, announces, "Our name is Legion, for we are many" -- but they're probably not. Past attendees remember a ceremony held in an auditorium at Rainbow Village, a decidedly unsatanic residence for people with developmental disabilities in Creve Coeur, and say there seemed to be only a dozen or so "core" members, plus 50 or so curiosity-seekers. Satanists are "born not made," they say -- anyone plagued by cowardice, self-loathing, stupidity or unconditional niceness need not apply. They also screen out "drugged-out devil-worshiping metalheads with a penchant for feline slaughter." But they do want to start a newsletter and a Café Satan at a local coffeehouse.

Like other Satanists, the Legion mocks weak, "herd-dependent" individuals. Isn't it a bit odd, then, for unabashed worshipers of the self to band together in such clubby fashion? "The wolf pack can feed itself on smaller acreage than can a lone wolf," Nasty counters dryly. "There are economies of scale. Besides, while a wolf pack has a certain structure, it also has a certain feral quality. We live in a world of contradictions. Paradox abounds."

They thank the waitress and go out into the cold black night. "Are you parked far?" asks Selene worriedly. "We could walk you to your car, make sure you're safe."

Read the sidebar, "The Source of Evil."

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