12 Ways Satanism Is Surprisingly Similar to the Mormon Church
As much as the Church of Satan presents itself as the antithesis to everything upright and orderly, there are actually more than a few similarities between Satanism and Mormonism. While there aren't an overwhelming number of shared beliefs between the Church of Mormon and Satanism, the ones that do exist will shock you right out of your magic underwear.
Both religions have a curious relationship to blood and to water, and both try to maintain an air of secrecy around their private ceremonies, bordering on the plot to the latest Dan Brown novel. In many creepy ways, the more you zoom in, the more the two institutions start to look the same. To learn about the similarities between the Mormon and Satanist religions, light a candle and read on below.
Both Religions Have a History of Blood Sacrifices
In Satanism, a blood sacrifice is usually performed to "throw the energy provided by the blood of the freshly slaughtered victim into the atmosphere of the magical working, thereby intensifying the magician's chances of success." So, if you're trying to perform a spell to meet more women, add a little blood and you'll clean up on the dating circuit.
On the other end of the spectrum, blood atonement was once a type of punishment used by the LDS on sinners who had committed acts so heinous that not even Jesus's death on the cross was considered sufficient to expiate them. These sins included apostasy, theft, murder, fornication, adultery, and miscegenation (people of different races marrying one another). Instead, these sinners had to be killed and their blood shed on the ground as a sacrificial offering.
Blood atonement is no longer practiced by the mainstream LDS church, but the doctrine is still held by some more extreme Mormon groups.
Both Religions Had Controversial Beginnings
Even if you're buying what Anton LaVey is selling, you have to admit that he was quite possibly a snake oil salesman when he made his foray into religion. LaVey began his life as a carnival barker who realized that he could just as easily sell religion as he could anything else, so he wrote a new religion.
Meanwhile, according to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, in 1827, an angel revealed to him the location of gold plates buried in a hillside in New York. These plates were covered in a previously unknown form of writing Smith called "reformed Egyptian," and the angel assisted Smith in translating them into English to create the Book of Mormon, the religion's primary text. However, mainstream historians and archaeologists are extremely skeptical about this claim, to say the least.
They Both Have Some Very Strange Tenets
In addition to the biblical ten commandments adhered to by all Christians and Jews, the Church of Latter Day Saints added 13 new beliefs, including the belief that the New Jerusalem will be constructed in the Americas. They also add, "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth."
As far as the Church of Satan is concerned, they broke from Moses's ranks and created the nine Satanic Statements, all of which end with exclamation points. Some of the statements include "Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!" "Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!" and "Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!"
Both Religions Have Some Bizarre Rituals
Whether you're holding a black mass in order to communicate with Satan, or letting your friends in on a secret handshake that will get them into heaven, Satanists and Mormons alike understand that ritual plays an important part in any religion. Both religions contain a hefty amount of ceremonies that include everything from swearing oaths to banging on a gong. And in some Satanic ceremonies, apparently also stripper music.
In the LDS, certain elements of the temple endowment ceremony are considered to be secret and should not be shared outside the temple. Previously, part of the endowment ceremony itself involved swearing secrecy and acting out with symbolic gestures the penalties for breaking that oath, including having one's throat slit and being disemboweled. The mainstream LDS removed these penalties in 1990; however, some extreme splinter groups, like the FLDS, continue to use them.
Both Religions Have Myths About Evil Sea Monsters
Nobody could've predicted that the Mormon church and Satanism to have such a long list of crossovers, but it turns out that they even agree on the concept of water being demonic. According to both Anton LaVey and the Old Testament, Leviathan is a sea dragon monster that waits in the deep to be called upon for destruction. There's even an invocation for the monster in the Satanic Bible.
In the Mormon faith, there's a myth that missionaries shouldn't swim because "Satan" controls the oceans.
Polygamy Fits Right Into Satanism's Concept of Free Love
At first glance, Satanism's openness to all kinds of love and sex (self-love, LGBTQ, kink, etc.) might seem at odds with the sexually conservative Mormon religion, but Mormonism's historical embrace of polygamy (outlawed by the mainstream church in 1890 but still practiced by some splinter sects) would fit in nicely with Satanism's acceptance of non-monogamy, plural marriage, and group sex.