Why Satan: Damien’s Story

Our paths to modern Satanism are varied. Why Satan is our ongoing blog series where we tell about our individual journeys in our own voices. We are hoping that these stories provide inspiration and comfort to those taking this path less traveled. If you would like to participate and share your story, you may email your contribution to bastet@renosatanic.com or, if you prefer, fill out our form.

*Submissions may be slightly edited for length and clarity.

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Damien Maze: Coming Out as a Satanist

I grew up in a Christian home. Mom was a Christian and Dad didn’t believe in a god.

From the age of 7, I have always loved science and how things worked to my best understanding. At the age of 10 I know I started to take interest in both males and females but stayed only dating girls. At the age of 12, my mother asked me if I would be interested in joining the local youth group at the little Nazarene church three doors down from the house I grew up in. She told me this would be a good way to try to make some new friends, at the time I only had one friend at the time. So I did. At first, I knew the stories that my mom told me about the Bible from one of those “My First Bible” books. But other than that I didn’t know much else from it. 

I will say I enjoyed the youth group purely for the fact I wasn’t by myself as much as I once was. It was nice to have people around but there was something that never sat right with me. Like I couldn’t be myself. To skip ahead a little bit the whole youth group put a hold from the games and free pizza to actually read from the Bible and as a punishment we would have to read Numbers. We would screw around from time to time and some we did have to read number and that’s where I found number 5 21-24 (which is basically an abortion). During all this time I hear the same lines that you would hear in any church, “God is love and loved the world gave his who gives a fuck.” So I was still reading the Bible and being horrified by all the violence in it in the name of a so-called God. When I was 14, the youth group fell apart due to the fact we lost our youth pastor got promoted and left us without a pastor. So still without a pastor I still went to Sunday School because I still didn’t finish the understanding of the religion. 

At this time I was very angry as early teen always getting into school fights, pot, and sex was fun, and I loved heavy metal music. I always loved dark and spooky things:  horror movies and dark themed books like Edgar Allen Poe, and Dante’s Inferno, Frankenstein etc. Now I’m 16 and I started dating this gal who was Wiccan. You can say we didn’t always see eye to eye on religious views but I always learned something new about a different religion. Well we didn’t last. At the same time the youth group got a new pastor so I thought I would check it out. Now this pastor was different and I really didn’t care for how he thought about the youth group like a backwoods’ church pastor. This is where I start hearing the hate that most people hear from the bible like. Being gay was an abomination and that if you don’t follow Jesus you will burn in hell forever. Well, Hell is never clear in the Bible so I pictured it like Dante’s Inferno and was scared. Well at that point I got baptized to be on the safe side. 

Now age 17 I was you can say a Christian and I started dating a young gal from the youth group. She had a few mental issues: bipolar and low schizophrenia and said dark spirits were trapped in her mind. Being stupid I believed it. When I was 18 I was turned away from the youth group and was put in the young adults group. At this time I stopped going for a while still dating the same girl from the youth group. I started to learn what I was told to be fighting against. I started learning about what an abortion was and what other religions where about and the crazy part was there was always a rumor that there was a Satanic church in the back of the valleys. I searched all over and never found it. I started to broaden my views and to be less hateful to these things I was told to hate and I strayed away from the church. 

Then I read The Satanic Bible and satanic adjacent books and then I started listening to the Thinking Atheist a lot and started being agnostic. I went back and read the Bible again but this time I was seeing it from a different point of view, growing up loving sex and metal music that even my own mother would call satanic. At this time I was still dating the same gal and her parents said if we were to continue dating I must start going to church again and seeing the Bible from a different point of view. So I started to rebel against their teachings and challenged their view.  They didn’t like that too much.

Well now I was stuck with a choice: leave the girl I loved and shared 5 years of my life with and a religion I was now being forced to go to and dealing with issues. Age of 20-21 now I did just that, I put childish things away and left that all behind. This is where my Satanic path was built, now it was time to learn and do what I wanted to do with my life. I went out to find myself and had sexual encounters with men, transpeople, and a wide range of women, indulging in what was sinful. 

I heard about The Satanic Temple in 2015 – 2016 with their monument campaign in Oklahoma. That’s when I first heard about them and liked them on Facebook and other satanic groups that I could find on the internet. The more I heard about them in the coming years the most interested I got about the occult and other things that people would call satanic. So I didn’t have a community to be a part of and didn’t need it. The more I read, I liked Paradise lost, the romantics, Twain, Poe, France, Voltaire and started to learn the religion part from the writings of LaVey and was still popping in and learning what The Satanic Temple and reading up on Church of Satan essay. I notice that The satanic temple at the time only had a mission statement and their 7 tenets.
() my own thoughts on them.

One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason. (no need to be a dick, spiteful and lash out to those not deserving of it like a wild animal.)

The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws  and institutions. (This one only under that justice only prevail when a law is unjust and needs to be changed. Not just break the law because it doesn’t apply to you.

One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.( this one is quite obvious as nature rules its fight to survive, however as the species have turned into societal we have made rules and laws about touching others and telling others what we can and can not due to our own bodies, it sounds nice but it is still a fight for survival).

The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach  upon the freedom of another is to forgo your own. (I see this one a lot being defined as being a freedom to be offensive because you can. However that is not the point of this one. Its to say that just you purely existing as a Satanist is considerate to be offensive to that of the hierarchy of the orthodoxy of that of the Abrahamic religions. are you going to stop living because someone else finds your existing? Hell no you are going to tell them to fuck off and go on with your life).

Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our own beliefs. (Seeing that all gods are made up bull shit, “thanks Carlin” the supernatural ceases to exist. Science is just the study of the physical and natural world. As Satanist we play with ritualistic theater to feel a sense of cathartic environment knowing that you are still only part of the physical world).

People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused. (We are only human, not only does responsibilities go to the responsible and it is okay to be ignorant but once informed and choose to not concede to logic of facts and data. Then that just turns into stupidity and I wish it was painful maybe some people will learn better).

Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word. ( I’m not looking for a good-guy badge but to just engage with the social progress of the world to live for myself.

One of the best sayings is “No two Satanist will ever be the same and neither is the path taken to get there, but for the nobility of one’s action to speak louder than how others speak about one through ignorance.” – Unknown 

In the year 2019 I did I become a member of The Satanic Temple, I started My own community in the Reno Nevada area under the banner Reno Satanic. During my time with TST may have only been 3 year it wasn’t to last. due to infights and differences of satanic philosophy. See as I listed them above, many contradict with that of the writings of LaVey. So I started to think what is this symbol call Satan? So I began to dive deep into study of all the things that LaVey drawn from, the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Desmond (Redbered), Charles Baudelaire, John Milton, Matthew Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe, J-K Huysmans, Dante Alighieri, Mark Twain, Washington Irving, Charles Maturin, William Beckford, Anatol France, Johann Von Goethe, Christopher Marlowe, Stanislaw Przybyszewski, François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), Percy Bysshe Shelley, Maria De Naglowska, Giosue Carducci and more.

Or as Mark Twain quoted, “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”

Everyone listed played a part of influencing Lavey and have now been influencing me. The way that Lavay was able to use what he did from these authors plus his own writings, a real take what is useful to you and discard what is not this was a big influence to me. Sociologist Ann Swidler once argued that cultures are like “toolkits.” “All real cultures, contain diverse, often conflicting symbols, rituals, stories, and guides to action.” Like other cultures, satanic culture does not push Satanists in a particular direction; rather, It just provides a repertoire of possible actions and approaches that Satanists may draw from. So What I did is take everything of inspiration of the satanic and use it as a tool when it is needed. The 7 Tenets, The 9 Satanic statements, the 11 satanic rules of the earth, The 9 satanic sins, the Satanic Assertions, and philosophy. All these wonderful things that have been made into a tool I use in as a guiding principle of applying satanic philosophy as a fulcrum point of that I’m already doing with my life, and that is naturally living.

For Giosue Carducci like LaVey, Satan symbolically represents all those wonderful things which the hierarchy of the orthodox Christianity opposes and attempts to suppress: beauty in nature and art, sensual pleasures, confidence in man’s ability to transform the physical world, freedom of thought and expression, unprejudiced intellectual inquiry, economic and social progress. – R Merciless

 I have helped built a grassroots community where we don’t have to hide anything from what we practice and to be true to our own selves in the pursuit of what we want as individuals, that fills our lives with joy. To end the stigma or what it means to be a Satanist in the 21st century. We will not live by the notion of those who fear or hate us for we live for ourselves.

You can say that the situation I was in was very fortunate. My family understands why I chose the path that I did and are supportive in what I want from life. Though they might still not understand Satanism they do not reject my views, and to still show me the same love that they have always had.

As this is a living document edits and update to come as need.

Would you like to read more stories about our personal journeys to Modern Satanism? There’s more here…