Goth vs. Satanism

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gothic girl with cross

Let’s start right at the beginning and clear away a few harsh and unnecessary misconceptions. 

I wrote this article because I believe there is a major cause for concern for the welfare of many, many young teenagers and adults, who are wrongfully being labelled as Satanists by ignorant and uninformed people – they themselves may be misled.

The Daily Voice reported on May 30, 2012, about shocking cases of Satanism in Cape schools. Unfortunately, Goths and Emo’s were also mentioned, without making it clear that these two cultures have in fact, absolutely nothing to do with Satanism.

The definition of Satanism is as follows: Satanism is a group of religions composed of a diverse number of ideological and philosophical beliefs and social phenomena. Their shared features include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, and even veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and liberating figures. (Wikipedia)

SATANISM is a religion, very real and threatening. It is propagated by certain musical bands, TV programmes, books and other media. But it is a religion, a belief, like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism etc.

GOTHIC and EMO are cultures. Please take very clear note of this. The Gothic movement is a CULTURE – therefore any person of any religion can partake in it. As the South African culture is to watch rugby, drink beer, braai and complain, so is Goth a culture dedicated to the morbid, the mystic and romantic art.

Many heavy metal fans and Satanists are often confused with Goths because they wear black, however black is not required for either heavy metal, Emo or Satanism. Traditional Gothic fashion is inspired by medieval, Elizabethan or Victorian fashion, and is mostly black. Black makeup, hair and nails again are neither proof of being Satanist or Gothic – it is attributed to personal taste. Gothic fashion is often confused with Heavy Metal fashion and Emo fashion: outsiders often mistake fans of heavy metal for Goth, particularly those who wear black trench coats or wear “corpse paint”.

The Goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It compasses dark, romantic storytelling, musical, theatrical influences, tragic and romantic writers, camp menace, elegance and mystique. Most true Goths are either fine art students or active artists, musicians, poets, writers or photographers. Goth is filled with smoke, bats and cobwebs, mystic, morbid and romantic motifs. A beautiful definition of Goth I found was, “Goth is seeing beauty and its coming destruction at the same time”.

In the late 1700’s, nostalgia for the medieval period led people to become fascinated with medieval Gothic ruins (Gothic here being the style of architecture, as opposed to Classical, during the Renaissance). This fascination was often combined with interest in medieval romances, religion and the supernatural. The 1764 publication by Horace Walpole, “the Castle of Otranto”, was responsible for the more modern term Gothic, where associated with horror, morbidity and the supernatural (as opposed to the occult), iconography included graveyards, ruins (castles and churches, such as the painting by Caspar David Friedrich, “Graveyard in the snow”), ghosts, vampires, nightmares and melodrama. The most famous Gothic hero is of course Dracula.

The gothic subculture is one where mood is very important, inspired by romanticism and neoromanticism. Goth is also a type of visual defiance against social norms (being “cool”), and is marked by emphasis on individualism, tolerance for diversity, a strong emphasis on creativity, a tendency towards intellectualism and sometimes cynicism. To join this subculture can be very fulfilling, especially in creative terms (for artists). However, because most people are ignorant about what Goth truly is (as explained above) it can also be risky, because young people can be accused of Satanism and witchcraft – which is absolutely no part of Goth. The value people find in being Goth is evidence in the fact that is has continued to exist long after other subcultures such as the New Romantics have died out.

Spiritual, supernatural and religious imagery play an important role in gothic fashion, lyrics and art, especially Catholic imagery – not Satanic!

Goths have also been wrongly associated with violence, white supremacy, intolerance, anarchy, self-harm. Many articles about Goths also state that Goths wear different types of occultist jewellery, but fails to take into account that most of them are in all probability not aware of the occultic meaning of the item. The reason Goth is hard to define is because, in the end, it is a statement about individuality, and each person has his/her own personal ideas about what gothic is, however common misperceptions should be addressed, especially where it leads to discrimination, abuse and murder of people who are Gothic.

However, the following definition can be made: Goth is romantic and tragic; it is a movement of quiet, reserved people of high intellect, who appreciate beauty and morbidity. There is no violence, no hatred, and no witchcraft or demonic rituals involved in being a Goth – simply a love of darker things, most of it found in the human psyche, not in demons. This love is also not selfish or self-centred, because Goths are a community and young people who join this community are welcomed and cherished. Goths also are not depressed, miserable people, but are individualists and artists. The depressed, miserable, desperate people are these days labelled as “emo”. Goths are optimistic and see much beauty in the world, which Satanists (and lot of “normal” people) do not. Goths are perfectly peaceful, law-abiding people who pose no threat to anybody. (Byrne, Paul (29 April 2008). “Life jail trms for teenage thugs who killed Goth girl”. dailyrecord.co.uk. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2008/04/29/life-jailtrms-for-teenage-thugs-who-killed-goth-girl-86908-20398652/. Retrieved 18-3-12.Pilling, Kim (29 April 2008). “Two teenagers sentenced to life over murder of Goth”.Independent.co.uk. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/two-teenagers-sentencedto-life-over-murder-of-goth-817218.html. Retrieved 18-3-12.)

Satanism is a cruel, violent religion that requires blood sacrifices, and can essentially be called “egoism with ritual”. (Wikipedia) People who engage in Satanism do so for the power it gives, power over other humans, animals and inanimate objects. Satanists are people who believe in Satan, worship Satan as Christians worship God, and perform rituals and brings offers to honour him. Adolescents will sometimes use Satanic symbols like the inverted pentagram/Sigil of Baphomet, trappings of black mass, or demonic imagery to give the impression of Satanism. This is done for the shock value it holds, and it may be that the children involved in these acts are in fact not Satanists, are not interested in being Satanists, may not even know what Satanism is and do not necessarily believe in the philosophies of Satanism.

However – it seems the medieval fear of witches and witch hunts has not yet subsided and people are still uninformed, ignorant and superstitious – the reason so many Goths are accused of being witches or Satanists, and are abused or killed because of it.  Long after witch trials were no longer being held in medieval Europe, the people of the land still believed if a chicken died, that the neighbour’s wife was responsible. This is, apparently, despite the dawn of the Age of Reason, and despite centuries having passed in which so many vast advances has been made, still the norm – when confronted by something deemed supernatural (from a human’s viewpoint), shoot first, ask questions later. This ignorance and blindness has to end. The persecution of innocent children wearing black nail polish has to end. The offensive connection between Goths and Satanism itself, has to end.

Sadly, in all of this, the Christian Church is unfortunately more part of the problem than the solution. Most churches deny the existence of demons, and over-theologizes it into pure abstract theory (which of course, anyone who has ever encountered a demon, will be able to tell you, is absolute nonsense and does not help at all) or they fall into the superstitious trap I have mentioned above. Also, Goths (like myself) are treated very badly when going to church, showing therefore that the Church, which preaches “love and tolerance” only has love and tolerance for a select few – which of course is extremely unbiblical. This of course, drives people – not only Goths, but anyone who has ever been in need of the Church and found only cruel criticism and lovelessness – further from the light of God and into more “tangible” and unfortunately, powerful religions, such as Satanism, especially people who have revenge in their hearts and wants to hurt the Church, who has hurt them. This is not theories – this is the truth, which most people again, do not want to hear. I speak here from my own experiences, and experiences and testimonies of other, very real, people – even reformed Satanists.

The reason young people turn to the darkness is quite simple and I can testify to this, because of my own experiences. I am a Goth, and a Christian. I became a Goth while still in high school. I am also an artist, writer and poet. I find the association between Satanism and Goth offensive and insulting.

The reason I became a Goth is because I have always been an outcast – not “cool” enough. Young teens are rejected because their parents are poor, because they have different ideas than the popular students, they do not excel in sports (heaven forbid if you are good at Math, Science and Literature, because then you will never be good enough for the popular students. Any child that reads books in school is a freak, according to popularity. Again, of this I have personal experience.)

Other reasons are abuse (physical, sexual and emotional, especially emotional) and neglect of children. Children are lonely, and find solace in the darkness, it is a safe wall to hide behind because it seems that no-one cares.

With the rapidly changing times we are living in, the children becoming involved in Goth, Emo and Satanism are becoming younger and younger. Please note, however, that Goth is a relative safe place because it is not a religion. Most self-harm by teens are done before joining the subculture,

and that joining the subculture would actually protect them and help them deal with distress in their lives, because it is a place where they will be accepted. (a b c Gaia Vince (14 April 2006). “Goth subculture may protect vulnerable children”. New Scientist. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8996-goth-subculture-may-protectvulnerable-children.html. Retrieved 18-3-12.)

The public incorrectly commonly associates Goths with Marilyn Manson, who was appointed a priest of the Church of Satan by its founder, Anton LaVey. From this Satanic connection, the perception has grown that Goths are Satanists – there are a few, but they are very rare – as Goths are artists and creators, who seek beauty, and Satanists are cruel and promote death and destruction.

 However, if a child becomes involved in Satanism (for the same reason, plus an added sense of security, because the dark powers will assuredly give this), it is a serious and potentially fatal matter.

I have done courses in spiritual warfare. I have dated a Satanist, and I can testify that wearing dark makeup and black nails has absolutely nothing to do with being a Satanist. This Satanic young man wore jeans and brightly coloured T-shirts. He never wore makeup, never painted his nails. He was, however, cruel and violent. Satanists looks just like everyone else – that is the reason they are such a menace to society. Satanists will go to church, too, sit in the back pew and pray curses and binds down on the worshipers while the sermon is going on.

Of course, the most ridiculous part is the fact that most Goths who are treated like witches, will be wearing at least one gigantic cross somewhere on them – something a Satanist will never do. Satanists and witches do not wear crosses, but pentagrams, inverted crosses and other occultist symbols.

If kids in schools themselves would stop discriminating against so-called “uncool” children, “nerds”, “dorks”, “geeks”, “losers”, “freaks” etc – there would be a lot less emotionally insecure children, and there would not be a need for these children to find refuge and solace in other, darker places. If parents would care for and nurture the children they brought into this world, children would not need to escape to darker places to feel safe.

Ironically, if more people adopted a Gothic point of view – tolerance, individuality, dignity, respect – a lot of children would not become lost along the way. People should also stop and think before acting. Get informed about Satanism and the dangers it holds, instead of wasting time accusing innocent children of things they haven’t done.

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

Wikipedia: Goth Subculture

Wikipedia: Satanism

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Comments
  1. marietjie says:

    I like!

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