The Difference Between Wiccans and Satanists

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Bookslut interviews J.C. Hallman about his new book, “The Devil Is a Gentleman: Exploring America’s Religious Fringe”. While exploring “fringe” religions he learns how Wicca and Satanism are different in their treatment of newcomers.

“You see a lot of teenagers interested in Wicca and Satanism. They’ll find material put out by one of the organized groups. A lot of teenagers are just dabbling and as they get older they fade away from it. In Satanism, there’s tension between adults who have been Satanists for a long time and teenagers who are up and coming. Wicca too is largely made up of middle-aged/elderly women but they’re inundated with applications from young people, many of whom are more interested in the image than the old school teachings. They need to act out a rebel status using those Goth fashions. Satanism makes sure that the people they bring into the fold are more serious whereas Wicca is more nurturing. They would provide people with opportunities for learning.”

There is also that little matter about having completely different worldviews and belief systems, but why quibble? I’m sure it was the interviewer’s poor wording of the question, and not Hallman lumping the two faiths together. He seems genuinely respectful of minority faiths. In addition to Satanists and Wiccans, he also covers modern Druids, so it may be worth a look.