The Liminalist # 215: What Makes a Satanist (with Carl Raschke)

Conversation with Carl Raschke on negative identity formation via cultural aesthetics.

Part One: From New Age to Satanism (0 – 25 mins)

Jasun’s emerging from occultism, from movies to paranoia, the hidden side of culture, pushback against Painted Black, mapping the countercultural spirituality, from the New Age to Satanism, police sources, researching Painted Black, no middle ground, propaganda mills on the left, the Wiccan community, the Omega Foundation, book sales.

Part Two: The Pearl in the Oyster (25 – 50 mins)

A scholar of postmodernism, a contemporary Bataille, moral panic, satanic ritual abuse, warring PR campaigns, The Witch-Hunt Narrative, getting quoted, becoming an authority, buying off academics, the occult underground & organized crime, off-the-books government, satanism as negative protest, the Satanic Temple, SJW-Satanists, the trope of Satan, the Illuminati, Richard Ramirez, negative identity, from Wicca to Neo-Nazism, black occultism & fascism, self-worship, recalibrated postmodernism and toxic identity politics, a reverse patriarchy, Crowley & Gardner, peekaboo & plausible deniability, Hail Satan, the hidden side of the Satanic Temple,  Zeena LaVey, satanism as drug, media-incompetence

Part Three: A Downward Spiral (50 mins – end)

Immersed in occultism, the allure of transgression, negative identity, Crowley’s traumatic imprint, Nietzsche, threshold drugs, addictive personalities & magical thinking, cultural narcissism, no typology for satanism, a downward spiral, the trajectory of cocaine consumption & satanism, Escobar & the CIA, satanic culture, school shootings, from sensationalizing to ignoring, symbolic furniture, the Cathars, Gnosticism & Satanism, phonies rush in where academics fear to thread, ideology & aesthetics, identity formation via cultural aesthetic, public deception and self-deception, candidacy for Satanism, neoliberalism & identity politics (Carl’s next book), how Carl came to Christianity.

Carl’s site.

Songs: “Gotta Cheer Up (Live @ KEXP) by Cotton Jones; “Dancing in the Dark” by Buck Curran; “Day Three” by Kristin Hersh.

4 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 215: What Makes a Satanist (with Carl Raschke)”

  1. Jasun, thank you for this. Very informative and clear headed talk. The banter was fun and refreshing to listen to. Thank you also Mr. Raschke

  2. Great interview, Jasun. Thanks so much. A quote from Anna Salter, PhD on the subject: “However, the argument between the field of child sexual abuse and the backlash against survivors is not an academic debate between two well-meaning groups equally invested in ascertaining truth. It is a political fight.
    “It is a political fight between a group of well-organizrd people whose freedom, livelihood, finances, reputation, or liberty is being threatened by disclosures of child sexual abuse and–on the other hand–a group of well-meaning, ill-organized, underfinanced, and often terribly naive academics who expect fairplay.” Sorry I can’t find the cite for this quote. When I find it, I will post it. I just happened upon it in my papers today. I know it’s from awhile ago.
    I became a fan of Dr. Anna around the same time I became a fan of Dr. Raschke. Dr. Salter was the first person I found besides my sources who recognized the danger of Ralph Underwater, PhD, pedophile proponent.

  3. Hi Jasun
    Excellent work in reaching out to Professor Raschke for an interview. Like you, I discovered Painted Black relatively recently, promptly ordered a used copy from England and read it. I first heard about the book in a blog post on a bonafide ‘conspiracy’ site  – the post, found here focussed on the overwhelming and seemingly organized attack on the book upon its release in the early 90s, which is what piqued my interest. It was very compelling to hear Raschke’s take on all of this – and that he was in fact a new ager in the period leading up to and during the writing of the book, and that he made a genuine attempt to write Painted Black in as objective and academic manner as possible in order to avoid it being construed as conspiracy theory or an expression of Satanic panic. Raschke clearly recoils from conspiracy theory, but it appears to me that the original reaction to his carefully written, ‘substantial’ book, coupled with what has come to light in the past thirty years, is proof of a wider conspiracy. And I couldn’t help but get the impression that Raschke withdrew from this field of research after significant intimidation and the implicit threat that this was a no-go zone for employed academics. Another interesting point brought up in the interview was how the discussion of Satanism in the media today is virtually non-existent – almost as if the dialectic in the 80s and 90s of global Satanic crime network versus right-wing Christian ‘Satanic panic’ effectively neutralized any legitimate discussion of Satanism and occultism, leading the way to the full-blown normalization of the Satanic aesthetic in popular culture we see today. Anyway, great interview and retrospective of a the book that clearly, and rather suspiciously, caused such a hyper-reaction in the nerve centre of the occult underworld.


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