The LNN has been rather delinquent in the timeliness of its coverage lately, and for this we apologize. In all lugubriousness, we try not to bemoan the nature of our captivity within the clutches of capitalism too loudly, yet sometimes the pangs of hunger necessitate shirking our duties with the LNN for the sake of maintaining one's foothold in the nefarious cabal of the corporate world. This, and the fact that we hate typing on laptops while traveling, explains the delay.

However, I can say with the utmost confidence that today's article is incontrovertibly worth the wait.

Ladies, Gentlemen, etc., it is our distinct pleasure to introduce Venger Satanis, the High Priest of the new 501(c)(3) non-profit group, The Cult of Cthulhu.

The Cult of Cthulhu, as we understand it, has recently received official non-profit religious status from the Internal Revenue Service and functions as a vehicle for spiritual, physical, and intellectual development--or degeneration, depending on how you look at it--that is open to the public. Drawing from the literary tradition of H.P. Lovecraft and the pragmatic, magical practices of LaVeyan Satanism, the Cult of Cthulhu is difficult to categorize.

For some reason, Mr. Satanis and his heterodox theological pursuits remind us of a David Cronenberg film: always entertaining, intelligent, colorful, and yet deeply disturbing on some subconscious plane that we can't quite put our finger on.

The Lovecraft News Network is proud to be your friendly, monopolistic provider of interviews with real cult leaders, though we recognize that this is primarily because no one else is crazy enough to do it.

Disclaimer: The following interview is neither an endorsement nor decrial of The Cult of Cthulhu and/or Mr. Venger Satanis. As intellectual adventurers on a turbulent sea of portent, the LNN presents the following for the perusal and delight of our audience, and we leave it to them to decide what to make of our unique, fascinating, and slightly terrifying encounter with an unforgettable individual.

LNN: You write the following:

For years I have used Satanism and the Mythos as interchangeable models... even the very same paradigm at times. I am one of the few, however. There always seems to be resistance from one side or the other... "Cthulhu is not at all Satanic", one guy says, or "Satanism has nothing to do with the Mythos", spouts another. Poppycock, I say to both camps! The same exact elements can be found in each.

Crazed wizards worshiping ancient things that existed millennia ago; hideous secrets scrawled in forbidden tomes of flesh; contacting evil servitors who will do the sorcerer's bidding...All of these are Satanic and Lovecraftian. HPL tapped into something, an area that Satanism later explored. Here it is the 21st century and most people still cling to the idea that there's a heretical disparity between the two. Well, no more! The Devils of our culture are the same as the Old Ones from weird fiction. Eldritch Infernal is a celebration of these similarities.
Alright, now let's not dance around the issue. You are obviously well read enough to know that Lovecraft was a fiery non-believer, and though Simon's Necronomicon is good fun, people with the intellectual aptitude to actually read Lovecraft generally also know that it is fiction. As the leader of the Cult of Cthulhu, surely this irony is not lost on you. As one of our readers put it, "I thought the whole idea of Satanism was to put secular humanism in a ritual canister without having to solicit the approval of God(s)? A kind of self-worship in goth regalia, cribbed from Rand, Nietzsche and with a sprinkling of Crowley. The idea of a deity-centric Satanism outside the purely metaphorical allusion seems silly." That said, my limited understanding of contemporary magick tells me that the perceived power of magical practice lies within the individual practitioners and ritual itself, and not in the actual existence of any of the deities being invoked. How do you explain this apparent paradox to those unfamiliar with the contemporary culture and history of the occult? Similarly, how serious is the Cult of Cthulhu and its modes of spirituality to you?


Venger Satanis: Yes, I have an extensive knowledge of HPL’s fiction and the man himself. There are different types of non-believers. Or, more accurately, there are different explanations people have for either believing in something or not believing in something. HPL strikes me as an atheist for the following reasons: hatred of Christianity’s doctrine, disgust for the mainstream religious values of the day, his extreme self-reliance and nihilism, and just not being exposed to Left Hand Path spirituality.

I wager if a real Cthulhu Cult was around when HPL was living, he’d desperately want to be a part of it. In fact, his writing is a kind of wish-fulfillment. He couldn’t rationally come to terms with his own ideas regarding the nature of time, space, reality, God, and the universe… so he laid out his beliefs in a fictional mythology. Reality is what we make it.

For the record, I’m not really into the Simon Necronomicon. If people enjoy that sort of thing, then great for them. Just not my cup of tea.

The fact that the Cthulhu Mythos manifested from a series of weird tales makes it easier to use. This is our paradigm; an artificial system for operating at a vastly different vibration than the rest of the masses. Was HPL receiving images from man’s primordial past? Was he the reincarnation of some demonic wizard? Was he a prophet who somehow unearthed a knowledge that goes beyond man’s pedestrian understanding of the world? To all of these, I say "perhaps…"

Regarding Satanism, that’s one view. Post-Modern Satanism is very much like dark humanism with the Nietzsche, Rand, and other atheistic philosophers. That’s not my idea of Satanism, though. A wider view of Satanism is closer to traditional Devil worship, but with a more contemporary understanding of magic, physics, folklore, theology, and human nature. It is a type of self-worship or self-deification, but why exclude the possibility of external forces at work?

Satanism can sound as silly as a religion based on the Cthulhu Mythos… or a white-bearded man sitting on a throne in the sky rewarding the virtuous and punishing sinners. Anything can seem ridiculous if looked at in a particular way. What I try to do is look behind Satan and Yog-Sothoth; I stare deeply into the commonalities they share. If those entities are mere masks, our attempt at conceptualizing inhuman forces, then we can use their name and likeness in worship.

You are correct in thinking that magic stems from the individual more than from any ritual or ceremony, and yet how does reality change if there isn’t something outside the universe we live in? After awhile, we stop looking at the big picture because we know the answer isn’t verifiable. Who created everything? Why are we here? Why is the human species so alien to the rest of nature? What is it about us that makes us different… is it our consciousness? Why does everybody suffer? Religions try to answer those questions, but most religions came about thousands of years ago. They are a bit out of date, to put it mildly.

The Cult of Cthulhu attacks problems we face every day. It’s a tool or instrument for reaching something better. So yes, we take this organization very seriously. The Cthulhu Cult is a means to an end.

LNN: What is most rewarding aspect of being the leader of a Satanic cult?

Venger Satanis: The most rewarding thing? Knowing that I’m right where virtually everyone else on the planet is wrong, or at least 99% of the population. Sure, there’s a fair amount of fear, power, respect, freedom, and so forth; but being the individual who is running the opposite way of everyone else… that is a truly amazing feeling.

LNN: What are your immediate and long term goals?

Venger Satanis: My immediate personal goals are these: artistic creation, effectively managing the Cult, keeping the money coming in, pursuing sexual pleasure, maintaining friendships, and being in the best physical shape I can be. Long term goals are pretty much more of the same but on a bigger scale, along with having children, raising awareness of our religion, and finding new and more entertaining distractions.

The Cult of Cthulhu has three goals: Awakening, manipulating reality, and bringing the Old Ones back. These have always been and will always be our chief objectives.

LNN: What are the primary benefits of joining the Cult of Cthulhu for the lay members?

Venger Satanis: You get to communicate with us, benefit from our wisdom and experience. We provide a purpose and Cult members can add to our paradigm with their participation. What are the primary benefits of joining a school, except to get an education? The Cthulhu Cult is in the business of educating mankind.
LNN: Are there any possible plans for a physical location for a church, and if so, what would it ideally look like, and where would it be located?

Venger Satanis: There are plans in the works, but I don’t know if such a thing will materialize in 2010. God willing, we’ll have at least one physical temple by the end of 2012. Ideally, it would look like something that’s just risen from the sea. Cyclopean masonry, bizarre angles, hideous bas-reliefs… you know, the works. Practically, I don’t know what our temples will look like. The next house I buy could be an old church which I could renovate into a Cult temple. That would probably make for an excellent show on HGTV.

If anyone wants to help with building or acquiring a Cthulhu Cult temple, just let me know.

LNN: Tell us about the name you adopt, Venger Satanis. Considering Lovecraft's view of cosmic apathy and rejection of Judaeo-Christian mythology, how do you justify your title's cultural baggage?

Venger Satanis: I don’t dispute that HPL rejected the Judeo-Christian mythology; however, he did use a lot of Satanic imagery in his fiction. Lovecraft knew that certain archetypes are imbedded in our consciousness. Fear of the unknown is an emotion that few artists throw themselves into, but every human being experiences at one time or another. How can the unknown be personified… as some dark messenger? An entity more exotic than Satan? Just because the Christian God doesn’t exist doesn’t mean there’s an absence of black forces from Outside. What influences a God can be societal, cultural, or something altogether alien. However, preconceived notions are inevitable. There will always be some sort of baggage, whether it be cultural or otherwise.

Venger was the bad guy from the 1980’s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon while Satanis is the name of the first Church of Satan documentary with Anton Szandor LaVey. My middle magical name is As’Nas which relates to poker actually. I love Texas Hold’em.

If the name Venger Satanis strikes fear, excitement, fascination, or even mild curiosity in people, then I’m happy. And if it doesn’t, then oh well… I still think it sounds cool.


LNN: How do your practices and affiliations affect your professional development, social life, and romantic opportunities? There have to be some great stories here. . . please indulge us.

Venger Satanis: Professionally, I don’t really have a problem or issue. There’s no reason to advertise what I do around the office.

I’ve always been a weirdo, so all of my friends growing up, high school, college, and other times/places are either into weird stuff or tolerant of my eldritch interests. It came as no surprise to many of my chums that I started the Cult of Cthulhu. Some have given me strange looks or just shook their head and laughed, but I do what I do. I need friends who support my endeavors.

The romantic opportunities are probably the most interesting. Typically, I try to wait awhile before telling a woman that I’m the Cult of Cthulhu High Priest. Unless, of course, she finds out ahead of time. There have been a few girls who found out about my calling by doing a google search or finding my facebook / myspace page. At that point, it’s about damage control. How do I convince these girls that I’m not going to cut them up and put them in my freezer? A couple ran screaming for the hills, but most eventually came around, realizing that I’m not like every other guy, but not clinically insane. I have also hooked up with a couple women precisely because I was a strange and enigmatic cult leader.

Most girls are curious and skeptical, but once I explain things they are cool with it. Girls should try to get to know the man himself, not just what he does or what his hobbies are. I think a lot of girls take the time to do that, and I’m glad. The girl I’m dating now has known about me for years. She had a few assumptions that I was a sex-crazed monster, but I allayed her fears long enough for her to see that the Cult of Cthulhu High Priest can be a nice, normal guy as well… when he wants to be.

Years ago, when I only identified as a Satanist, it was the same sort of business. Not much changes when you’re born this weird.

LNN: Tell about the head crab pictured on the introductory page of your website. Has it been de-beaked, and what are the Cult's foreign policy protocols for dealing with Combine diplomats? Would they not be likely sympathetic to your cause and legitimate candidates for adoption into your pantheon?


Venger Satanis: That’s a popular misconception I see on youtube. It’s actually a Yog-Sothoth mask created by John Cherevka who, incidentally, recently created a 3 foot latex tentacle for me. I love that mask. It’s definitely alien and kind of disturbing, if you ask me.

Combine diplomats? I just tried to google it, and I came up with nada. The Cult would like to eventually do away with such arbitrary boundaries of land, culture, language, and belief. Why not a singular order for the entire world? Those familiar with the Mythos who want something more out of life might want to adopt our pantheon.

LNN: The image of you demonstrating the "Baptism of the Jade Ichor" is a striking one many of our readers are curious about. Please describe the metaphysical purpose of this ritual, and what hygienic considerations a candidate should take to avoid accidental self-miscegenation.



Basically, it’s like a traditional baptism. One is becoming reborn or cleansed anew via a magical ritual and Cult sacrament. It separates the Cultist from nature. We need to be protected from this universe, shielded from all the laws we are under. It’s important to align oneself with the Ancient Ones via ceremony.

Human beings are all of a mixed race. We are part ape and part Old One. But most of us have very little ancient, green blood flowing through our veins. The Baptism of Jade Ichor will increase the chance of self-miscegenation. I say, bring on the mutations! We should try to become more like the Dark Gods.


LNN: In addition to your theological and metaphysical endeavors, you have also been involved in--as I understand it--the creation of a proprietary role playing game called the Empire of Satanis (EoS). You describe it as, "akin to Lovecraft on an acid trip hurriedly transcribing the insanity of Hell as he falls deeper into the Pit," and it revolves around the premise of the character not combating, but becoming a Lovecraftian monstrosity. Tell us about the creative process behind the game's creation and how its goal parallels that of the Cult.



Venger Satanis: I don’t have much contact with Empire of Satanis anymore. And my interest in that table-top roleplaying game is quite tangentional. The player characters in EoS are alien demonic beings who corrupt reality, harass mankind, and try to become more Godlike. So in that way, I guess the relation between EoS and the Cult of Cthulhu is clear.

Empire of Satanis, and the one supplements I created for it, Satanis Unbound, is a free PDF download on lulu.com if anyone is curious enough to read and maybe even play it.

LNN: You write that EoS entails, "the adventures of a satanic Fiend whose principle interests are sexual deviancy, ultra-violence, and dark weird horror." How does the inclusion of sexual deviancy as a stated goal change the gaming experience, and is their any further significance to this beyond mere hedonistic pleasure? And while pursuing ultra-violence, does one get to stop at the milk bar with one's droogs while enjoying some Ludvig Van?

Venger Satanis: Haha, yes! A Clockwork Orange deeply affected and influenced me when I was a young man. I like to include little tributes to things like that in my writing. Not that I’m defending my stylistic choices in writing Empire of Satanis. Some of that prose is fairly cringe-worthy when I read it now. But it was a lot of fun to write and play at the time.

For me, sex is connected to practically everything I do, everything I think, and everything I’m interested in. So, it seemed like a no-brainer to include sex with the EoS roleplaying experience. When playtesting the game, delving into sexual material produced some very cool and bizarre results. Some have likened it to Hentai. If people want sex with their Lovecraftian horrors, then who am I to stop them?

LNN: On that note, tell us about the buxom, young cultist you have on this page of your website. Specifically, tell us about the practice of sex magick within the Cult of Cthulhu and Chaos Magick in general. Most importantly, of course, at what rank in your organization does one receive ones own female cultist in the mail?

Venger Satanis: There are dozens of lovely ladies who are Cultists or simply Cult fans/supporters/groupies. Sex magic is just as vital to our religion as other forms of magic. Like the early Church of Satan, if we must have sexual hang-ups, then let us be defined by them willingly and consciously.

As the tenets of Chaos Magic have taught us, there’s no right or wrong way to pursue a magical experiment. Sometimes sex itself can be the ritual or sex could be the result. Speaking of mail order females, I just ordered a Real Doll (warning: NSFW www.realdoll.com ). I don’t have trouble getting sex or finding female companionship, but having a $6,000 sex toy intrigues me. When my silicone doll arrives, there will be plenty of pictures… and strange mannequin-esque threesomes.

LNN: You have taken the time to establish yourself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Whence the need to jump through bureaucratic hoops? Is this a matter of pragmatic economics, an attempt to legitimize the group, or are you secretly just a big fan of IRS paperwork? Is the realm of modern bureaucracy not just a new type of unspeakable, Lovecraftian horror?

Venger Satanis: I do hate bureaucracy, paperwork, and jumping through hoops. However, the economics and legitimacy were the most important factors in making that decision. As a religion, the Cult is interested in more than material wealth, so why not take advantage of the non-profit niche that other religions use?

Like the building of temples, I wouldn’t say no to assistance with the non-profit aspect of the Cthulhu Cult. If you have some background in such things, then let us know how you can help spread the green slime of our beliefs throughout the world.



LNN: Tell us about the Cthulhu 2 conventions. What is their purpose, how do they fit into the scope of your group's practices, and what should a newcomer expect upon attending?

Venger Satanis: The first Cthulhu Convention, Cthulhu One, was held on May Eve weekend of 2005. The Cthulhu Two Convention was held on May Eve weekend of 2009. I’m planning Cthulhu Three for 2011 and hopefully it will continue every other year (with a special gathering planned for 12/21/2012 – 12/23/2012) . Not sure if it will remain in WI or not, but that’s where I currently reside.

Everything we’re about is showcased during our cons. There are lectures and demonstrations for all of our beliefs and practices. The highlight is a Cult ritual on Walpurgisnacht itself.

LNN: Here's a scenario for you: the Cult of Cthulhu wakes up in the middle of a gladiatorial-style area wearing only a loin cloth. In the sand next to you is a rusted short sword and a flimsy iron buckler. All of the sudden, the crowd begins to cheer and a giant portcullis opens. You know what must be done. In walks Richard Dawkins bearing the staff of angry atheism, Immanuel Kant brandishing the cudgel of the categorical imperative, Pat Roberston wielding the halberd of Haitian hate, and DJ Grothe with the scimitar of secular humanism. How does the Cult of Cthulhu defend itself against these powerful, competing ideologies?

Venger Satanis: Haha, that’s an amusing question. I think the Cult would hang back until most of the fighting was finished. I assume the lion’s share of bloodshed wouldn’t involve the Cthulhu Mythos since we’re opposed to mankind remaining a broken machine. However, when the bitterest feuds had been resolved and it was the wounded survivors against the Cult, then I would try to form an alliance with whoever looked strongest. As long as we’re dominant, we’re happy.

Sure, I’m an idealist, but I also want to be realistic. If the Cult’s survival means joining forces with another paradigm, then so be it.

LNN: Now make no mistake about it: here at the LNN we love to learn about cultists and malevolent space entities. Heaven knows, the universe is full of them. However, we like and appreciate them in the same way we like sharks, jellyfish, and giant cephalopods: we think they are cool, but they scare the hell out of us and are not likely to get an invitation for Sunday brunch. I suppose what I am getting at is that however interesting the Cult of Cthulhu is, are your practices not a direct threat to the survival of the human species, and are we not thus obligated to add you to the LNN blacklist of deadly cultists that must be crushed, like Tom Cruise and Stephanie Meyer, out of a basic instinct for self preservation? Don't take this wrong way, but should we not encourage you take a cue from Syd Barrett and hop on a one way rocket into the heart of sun? I mean, from a utilitarian perspective, it worked out pretty good for everyone with Marshall Applewhite, don't you think?

Venger Satanis: If we were hell-bent on destroying humanity, then I agree… you should avoid us and possibly try to actively plot our downfall. However, we see ourselves as the “good guys”. The only thing we want is for humanity to Awaken from its sleep; for mankind to evolve. That can’t happen on its own; it requires force.

Change is scary, but this is beneficial change. Doesn’t the LNN want to kill and revel and enjoy life… not to mention all that sexual ecstasy!

LNN: Anything else you would like to put on the record?

We’re always up to something new, so keep an eye on us. Check out our various websites, youtube channels, pages, spaces, blogs, and books. Thanks for the interview.

LNN: It was our absolute pleasure.
 

Feeling brave? Learn more about Venger Satanis and The Cult of Cthulhu:
http://www.cultofcthulhu.net/

Feeling really brave and want to join? (It's free--as in it costs no money. However, we won't say it is without cost!)
http://www.cultofcthulhu.net/I-am-the-way-demons1a.htm

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