Sacred Tension: Hellfireside Chat with Black Mass Appeal

In this episode of Sacred Tension I’m joined by the hosts of Black Mass Appeal — the largest Satanic podcast on the planet — to discuss Satanism, cats, conspiracy theories, theism, and so much more. Find Black Mass Appeal at

Note: this episode was recorded prior to the BLM protests.

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8 thoughts on “Sacred Tension: Hellfireside Chat with Black Mass Appeal

  1. I think the question “does belief in irrational/incoherent thing X create negative outcomes?” is incredibly hard to assess, and doesn’t have a definitive generalized answer. The question must be answered on a case-by-case basis, and as Stephen said even varies from person to person. One person might quietly believe in Flat Earth, keeping to himself, and it never really affects his life or others. Another person might believe in Flat Earth and use it as an excuse to be a terrorist because “the government is lying to people”. What matters, as you all pointed out on the show, is what people do with the belief.

    For me, what makes me worried when I find out that someone has an irrational belief that seems harmless now, is when I think of how things evolve over time. I think about the process of radicalization, and how there is a kind of positive feedback loop where people believing fringe things tend to progressively get more disconnected from reality and embrace more and more irrational beliefs. That’s where my mind goes, and what makes me worried: sure, it’s harmless now…. but is it the seed that will grow into something else?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is something I struggle with too — in part because I’ve seen it happen. For example, I’ve seen a lot of theistic Christian friends embrace pseudoscientific remedies. I’m not sure if supernaturalism and medical pseudoscience are linked for them, but it does worry me.


  2. OK, sorry for double-commenting, but a thing about the discussion of atheistic Christianity at the end of the episode: this IS very much a thing, and has been for a long time. Unitarian congregations have embraced atheists for a long time. Whiteheadian “process theology” can be construed as consistent with a purely materialist / non-supernaturalist metaphysics. I’d recommend people check out the book “When God is gone, everything is holy” for a good introduction.

    So, it’s not that Christianity hasn’t made that move… it’s that they aren’t causing PR trouble by being antagonistic to their theistic Christian brethren.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. re: Satanism as a parody religion, I think that’s actually a good thing. The role of the trickster is about not taking oneself too seriously, and also TST stands on the shoulders of giants because the tradition of parody religions (and a lot of what TST does) falls within the lineage of the “laughing philosophers”. I wrote an essay on the historical role of comedy in atheistic (and LGBT) activism some years ago, prior to TST coming under my radar. At some point, I may write a second part to the essay to include mention of TST.

    Swinish Herds and Pastafarians: Comedy as an Ideological Weapon


    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment.

      I’m afraid I must quibble with your comment. I personally don’t see or experience my Satanism as parody. It is not fundamentally about mocking, trolling, comedy, or making a political or philosophical point. It’s my religion, and I take it very seriously. Satanism occasionally engages in humor because it follows in the footsteps of an archetypal “trickster god,” making humor a sincere expression of my religion. That does not, in my mind, make it parody. While I appreciate a great deal of what The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has done, I don’t relate to them much. I see their religion as fundamentally different from my own.

      I have not yet read your article, but I look forward to reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really should be annoyed with you…because your podcast has completely taken up hours of my time every day for about a week now.
    I’m only a few years into my Satanic journey….and the Black Mass Appeal podcast was the first satanic podcast that I really enjoyed.
    And then, through them, I stumbled across Sacred Tension….and yeah, I’m hooked. I love how well produced it is, how great the guests are, and your overall vibe as a host.
    Really excellent content, both about Satanism in general….as well as topics tangential to that.
    Really good stuff. So glad I stumbled across this!

    Liked by 1 person

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