The Church of Satan wants you to stop calling these ‘devil worshiping’ alleged murderers Satanists


Washington Post:

The Church of Satan wants you to stop calling these ‘devil worshiping’ alleged murderers Satanists

The North Carolina couple accused of killing two men and burying them in the back yard regularly performed “satanic rituals” in their home, according to court documents. The couple’s house had Satanic sayings all over the walls, a friend told the Winston-Salem Journal.
One of the suspects, Pazuzu Algarad, even changed his name from John Lawson over a decade ago to incorporate the name of a demon from the novel and film “The Exorcist.”

The headline-grabbing allegations against Algarad and Amber Burch have prompted the Church of Satan to comment on the case. In short, the Satanist organization says that its members, unlike Algarad, do not worship the devil.
In a statement, the organization’s leader, Magus Peter Gilmore, said the Church of Satan “stands firm in opposition to criminal acts, whether or not they are perpetrated in the name of any deity.” People like Algarad, Gilmore said, are really “devil worshipers.” Calling them otherwise gives Satanists a bad name.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Print this story out so you’ll have it if you ever need to explain the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.


As much as I despise the Church of Satan, I actually have to agree with the complaint as it has been put forward. The COS is atheistic, and doesn’t recognize the existence of Satan, so any acts perpetrated in the name of Satan can’t technically be considered associated with the COS.

That said, the term ‘Satanic’ has been around far, far longer than the COS, so if anything they are the ones co-opting the name, and can shut their faces. >_>


Fine. Call them “dabblers in Satanism.” And if they are indeed guilty, call them murderers and put them in prison where they belong. And pray for their conversion. 'Nuff said.


The “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy.


Precisely, you nailed it. But I don’t even take that kind of stuff very seriously, especially the Church of Satan stuff. I’ve met quite of them, and they’re really just atheists with very poor and misinformed ideas about Christianity. It’s easy for me to find common ground with them, because they seem to just recoil at perceived Christian hypocrisy. And really, I dislike hypocrisy myself, so I try to be charitable with them the same way I am with anyone else who’s involved with different religions. In truth it’s just a form atheism, albeit with a strong streak of contrariness thrown in. I used to work with somebody who espoused that stuff, and even she expressed wonder and awe at certain Christian works of architecture and art and writing and whatnot. They’re just some of those people who’ve bought into all of the fraudulent misconceptions which mass media constantly rattles off about the Church and Church history. The fact that they’re appalled by actual murderers identifying with them speaks volumes, in my opinion. So even though this news story is completely absurd in many ways, I think I understand where they’re coming from. The Church of Satan people I’ve met respond to friendliness and love the same way anyone else would, they just seem sort of lost. I think that some of them might be actual seekers, though, so I just relax around them. They respond to witnessing goodness in people just the same as all other atheists do. Plus, I get the feeling that when I’m openly Catholic around them, some of them actually admire that as some sort of new and unexplored form of transgression!:slight_smile: I think if I stay at it it’s possible one or two might even surrender to the idea of God…


If the satanic group is offended because they are just your average benevolent bunch of people just as opposed to criminal activity as the next person, perhaps it is they who need the new monicker.

closed #7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit