Same as it ever was
Imagine you're a fifteenth century French peasant and your child is missing. Imagine you're not alone; the disappearances have been occuring for sometime. Now imagine the chief suspect is the local nobleman, the Marshal of France and champion of the Church, Gilles de Rais. What do you do?
Not much. After all, you're a peasant. Your word and your loss mean little in an age of aristocracy. Still, there are enough of you with similar stories and losses that authorities are compelled to proffer an explanation. According to the official account, the children have been delivered to the English, by order of the King, who are to train them as pages. Case closed, with mundane and plausible reasoning. ("Whether this relieved the parents is not recorded, but the disappearances continued.")
Actually the children, almost exclusively young boys, were victims of sex magick to summon demons to De Rais' service. Whether the magick worked is irrelevant; what matters is De Rais had sufficient belief to sacrifice scores. The precise number remains unknown. Dozens appears a certainty, and hundreds a possibility. (A figure as high as 800 has been alleged.) Many of the bodies were cremated in the castle over a slow-burning fire to minimize the smell, according to the testimony of Henriet Griart, one of de Rais' accomplices. Another - who, like Paul Bonacci of the Franklin Cover-Up, had himself been an abductee - claimed the ashes were then disposed of in the moat.
Imagine you're a parent in Florida and your child is missing. Imagine you're not alone; the disappearances have been occuring for sometime. Now imagine many of the missing children were supposedly in the care of the state. What do you do?
One thing you do not do, should you want sympathetic treatment in the press, is suggest either the involvement of a satanic cult or the state's collusion in the disappearances. (Consider the treatment accorded Noreen Gosch by The Des Moines Register after she alleged both.) Maybe you commend the governor's office, which declared victory in November, 2002, because it had located a third of the missing children. Perhaps you're relieved that Florida recently became the first state to fully privatize its child welfare services. Or maybe you worry that by reducing public oversight, more children are likely to "fall through the cracks."
And how do you do respond if you're a parent in Texas, and read this story dated April 15, entitled "School officials fear satanic crimes"? Do you smirk at the credulity and irrational fear of your neighbours, even though the ritual murders of the Matamoros drug cult remain close in time and place? ("Before we knew it," said the sheriff, "we were digging up another one and another one and another one.")
A satanic scare is sweeping the Rio Grande Valley – at least according to school officials and counselors who warn that devil worshippers are snatching children and cutting up their bodies.
The corpses are never found because the killers pulverize the body parts, turning them to dust, said Ruben Garcia, 35, a drug counselor who warns of such dangers at forums for parents and students.
Cult leaders "are very organized," Mr. Garcia said. "They know exactly what they're doing. Like anyone with a criminal mind, they think about everything."
"If large numbers of children were disappearing, we would be aware of that," said Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. "We are not aware of any satanic cult kidnappings or ritualized murders that are occurring in the Valley at this time."
It was just one week before the discovery of the Matamoros slayings that the "FBI's top expert on child abuse claimed that there is no such thing as Satanic ritual human sacrifice." Similarly, prostitutes were disappearing from Vancouver's East End for years before police admitted a problem, let alone a pattern, and recovered the remains of dozens of victims from the Port Coquitlam pig farm of Robert Picton. Underclass victims are still largely invisible.
Aleister Crowley attributed the charges against de Rais to the product of conspiracy theory, and the sarcastic tone with which he dismissed the aristocrat's crimes against children is still the dominant voice:
The main accusation against Gilles de Rais is therefore just this general accusation against anyone in Christendom who exhibited any desire for knowledge. Only, in his case, it was concentrated and exaggerated to fantastic lengths by some factor or other on which I feel it useless to speculate. The one thing of which I feel certain is that 800 children is a lot.
I don’t know over how many years these practices were supposed to have spread. As I think you must all feel sure by now, I know nothing whatever of my subject.
But scientific experiment in those days was always a very prolonged operation. They thought nothing of exposing some unknown substance to the rays of the sun and moon for periods of three months at a time, in the hope that in some mysterious way the first stage of some dimly—visaged operation might be satisfactorily accomplished. And even if they sacrificed a child every day, it would have taken a matter of two and a half years to dispose of 800 children. Besides, it must have taken more than a few minutes to kidnap a child with the secrecy obviously required. Did the disappearance of the first four hundred, say, put no parents on their guard?
Crowley, naturally, selects the high-end figure of 800 victims to render the incredible crimes that less credible. And, of course, parents were on guard. Unfortunately for them and their children, they were peasants, so that didn't count for much. It was only when de Rais overplayed his hand and kidnapped a prominent priest that the testimony of 110 witnesses could see something like justice done.
In Psychic Self-Defense, advocate of the right-hand path, the Christian occultist Dion Fortune, writes "It may not generally be realised, but there is just as much danger of corruption in a Black Lodge for boys and youths are there is for women":
In ancient times, and among primative peoples, human sacrifice was a common incident in connection with occult practices. It is not unknown in Eastern Europe even at the present day. The nursery story of Bluebeard has its origin in the practices of the infamous Gilles de Rais, Marshal of France and comrade of Joan of Arc, who slaughtered innumerable children and youths in connection with his magical experiments. I have never heard of a case in England, but there have been at various times some curious killings reported from the United States which look suspiciously like ritual murders, but in the absence of adequate information it is impossible to come to a final conclusion upon them.
I think we can say that, since Fortune's time, adequate information has been forthcoming to conclude that a number of America's "curious killings" are indeed ritual murders. And provisionally, I think we can add that sometimes, they are perpetrated with the indulgence of state apparatus.
In political terms, magick's left-hand path has a decidedly rightward bent. Nazi fetishism among cultists is well-known and hardly surprising. And philosophically, the left-hand path aggrandizes the self, while the worth of much of humanity is denied beyond their simple utility, rendering it amenable to fascist elites.
Luciferianism has always been a religion of the aristocracy, distinct from the low magic and superstitions of the underclass, and scornful of the "herd morality" of the dominant faiths which preach humilty, charity and self-sacrifice. And significantly, to keep turning the wheel of torture, Luciferianism also appeals to those who aspire to aristocracy and hope to gain its favour.
For an example of this appeal, here's an excerpt from The Book of Darkness, an official work of the OrdoTempli Satanis:
Given the premise that there is, indeed, a natural aristocracy at work in the population, the question must be raised: how should this aristocracy comport itself? By what strictures should it govern its own behavior?
At the onset, it should be remembered that it is unreasonable to assume the natural aristocracy would act according to the same restrictions and under the same assumptions as the Masses. Being possessed of abilities, inner drives, and creative forces totally beyond the ken of the ordinary masses, the natural aristocrat cannot be expected to lower himself to the level of the ordinary citizen. Indeed, it is the aristocrat who is called upon by society to engage in the grandest acts of self-sacrifice by being forced into the role of leader and driving impetus for society as a whole.
No rational person, and certainly not the Satanic aristocrat, would think of engaging in such self-sacrifice (or indeed, in self-sacrifice of any kind) without expecting to receive something in return.... The Satanic aristocracy sees the masses as tools; means by which the ends envisioned may be achieved. To this point of view, it must be added that individual suffering, as such, is irrelevant. The ends are all that matter to the Satanist; the means are chosen based on totally utilitarian and logical decisions.
On the other hand, this should not be taken to mean that the Satanist will go out of his way to sustain the life of any individual, merely for its own sake. If one of the masses must be sacrificed in order to achieve a worthwhile goal, then the Satanist should have no qualms about doing so.
De Rais died more than 500 years ago. That seems a long time ago. But there are just over a dozen generations separating our day from his. That's not so many.
Secular modernity is a comfort to some, that dispells chthonic darkness and the superstition of our ancestors. But it's wafer thin, and just beneath it rests ages of living hermetic tradition transmitted by secret societies and elite orders from which are recruited future leaders for the cryptocracy. Aristocrats and their mystery religions remain with us, as does their inclination to regard the "herd" with utilitarian disdain.