Satanism generally has a bad reputation, the cultivation of which can mostly be attributed to TV, movies, and print media that portray the religion as a dark cult. When most people think of the Church of Satan, they're likely to picture sacrificial offerings, devil worshiping, or magical dark rituals - but these ideas are, at best, exaggerated, and at worst, completely inaccurate. Satanism has always mainly pursued enlightenment and individualism, emphasizing the preservation of life and making the most of each day.
While this ideology may strike some as a somewhat anarchistic system, Satanists - like members of any other organized school of thought - do have specific rules and regulations by which they have to abide. While they're generally common sense, these requirements are designed to ensure Satanists continue to adhere to the central ideas of Satanism.
Stupidity Is The Most Egregious Satanic Sin
Members of the Church of Satan must avoid committing any of the Nine Satanic Sins. The first and most abhorrent of these is stupidity; Satanists must learn to "see through the tricks" of society and the media, as they "cannot afford to be stupid."
Other sins include pretentiousness, solipsism, self-deceit, herd conformity, lack of perspective, forgetfulness, counterproductive pride, and lack of aesthetics. All of these sins are designed to form Satanists into independent individuals who strive to be leaders, rather than followers of the rest of humanity.
Rituals Are Optional
In keeping with the Satanist ideals of individuality and self-determination, there are no real rituals that members are required to perform. While there are dozens of magic ceremonies, ranging from Halloween worship to "compassion rituals" meant to spread goodwill, the church recommends these only be carried out by those who honestly want to experience their effects.
The same is advised for more intensive or destructive rituals. The only ceremonies specifically encouraged by the Church of Satan are ones to do with significant days for the individual, such as a birthday or anniversary.
Aggression Is Only Used As A Last Resort
Despite the reputation Satanists often carry - that they torment and sacrifice as part of their everyday religious rites - they generally do not advocate the use of aggression, nor the infliction of harm.
The Church of Satan does understand conflict is an inevitable part of human nature and self-defense may be necessary in some instances, but they recommend avoiding heated, physical confrontations, if possible, and settling conflicts through peaceful means.
Hurting Children And Other Satanists Is Strictly Forbidden
While the use of force is warranted on occasion in the eyes of Satanism, aggression against other Satanists is strictly prohibited. There are some exceptions, such as when another member threatens you or otherwise encroaches on your life.
Satanists are also specifically told in the Rules of the Earth to “not harm little children.” This includes any harm, whether it be physical, emotional, or psychological.