Echoes from the Satanic Panic Era: Satanic Hysterics
I’ve written about the Satanic Panic Era in past blogs, and while I call it echoes it should really be regarded as tongue-in-cheek humor. The reality is, the past is always dragged into the present and the echoes often come from yesterday.
Case in point, some Satanists get over-dramatic and hysterical when it’s even suggested that crimes committed had anything at all to do with a person’s Satanism. They prefer to sweep dirty secrets under the carpet hoping no one will notice. Some Satanists are under the impression that only Modern Satanism is valid, and ensures a Satanist is following the guidelines outlined by Anton Szandor LaVey in his own treatise on Satanism.
They often negate the human condition, and the state of mind of the individual. Even if a person were to follow Anton LaVey’s guidelines to the letter, it doesn’t ensure a person to be completely reasonable, rational or excused for their behavior as mentally ill.
A recent News Report comes to mind, and one straight out Virginia where I live. The weirdest thing is, I spoke with this man in tinychat often enough to get a sense of his demeanor and he seemed like a happy-go-lucky sort of guy. It doesn’t mean I knew him intimately, only that I did have an opportunity to speak with him. I can’t know in all certainty what his state of mind was at any given time, or the details of his life which may have caused him to commit these murders then commit suicide.
Courtney Stuart is being lambasted for providing shotty journalism. The thing is, people seem to be ignoring the fact that she was writing reports from the moment she had any information at all to offer the public. She provided updates as new information became available to her, and a minor mention of Noah Romando’s membership over at the Satanic International Network was being sensationalized by the readership, not the journalist. She was providing some insight into Noah and his family members as people as a way to humanize them. Some of the commentary while it may be unsavory did offer the public some intel into not only who they were, but activities they engaged in such as blogging and participating in social networks.
When mentioning that Noah had an account on the S.I.N. site, she offered some of the information she managed to extrapolate, taking it a step further by offering an explanation of Modern Satanism, without actually knowing if Noah considered himself to be Modern or following the precepts of ‘LaVeyan Satanism’. She simply offered a more mainstream summary so as not to get people up in arms about concepts of evil, devil worship and the “devil-made-me-do-it” ploy.
She quoted Noah from his account as follows:
”…lists his gender as “beast” and describes himself as “a self-styled Satanist.” “
“ “I am on here to talk to intelligent human beings, which are hard to find these days,” he says. “If there is anyone I cannot stand, it is people that hate on other people’s religions and racists. Honestly, there is no f**king point.” “
This particular report was published on 8/30/12 at 4:38 pm with a notation that the story was still developing. Much like the reports she published a day prior.
She shared a screen capture of a photo posted by Noah which gave the public an inside look.
The original title of the article read: “Did Satanism play a role in killings? ” It appears to either have been updated or removed due to the public outcry by Satanists either involved with the S.I.N. site, or demanding that the journalist stop sensationalizing the story.
It finally hit NBC News extracting information from the previous reports by Courtney Stuart. As the officer stated in the news report, public statements are released to ensure the community that there’s no immediate threat to be concerned about. No threat, but the community is obviously concerned about the family left behind, and are looking for closure as to how these events came to pass.
The Satanic Panic Era themes arise from the Satanists themselves that scream, piss and whine about the media sensationalism that occurs when ‘Satanism’ is mentioned in any measure in news reports. I find it amusing really, seeing that most crimes and criminal reports also include the religious slant of the individual, as well as any reading material they may have had influence over their mindset.
We can’t know in all certainty if the environment of S.I.N. or the reading material that Noah Romando was exposed to had any affect on his own mindset. To sweep it under the carpet, or ignore it entirely is just foolish. The fact is, Noah was only 19 years old and still maturing as a person. Obviously he was having troubles in his life which may have been the catalyst for the murder/suicide. What trouble? Who can say really, it will all be based on second-hand accounts at this point, because the young man is dead and can’t speak for himself.
As I stated, I had some personal interaction with him, and he was always full of smiles and an eagerness to chat with others in S.I.N.’s tinychat. Even if I never got the impression that he was having trouble at home, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t. People maintain their social privacy even when they speak about their daily lives.
Placing blame on the journalist for asking the hard questions, and using what was available to her in public media is just another method of scapegoating. Does it somehow distract from the fact that a murder/suicide occurred in Stony Point?
I mean, it’s a valid question right? Did Noah’s Satanic thought process have anything to do with these murders? No one ever receives answers without first asking the questions. Maybe the answer will be No, but it could possibly be Yes. And then what? Does that automatically make all Satanism the cause for people to commit murder/suicide? Look around you people, the religions and philosophies of other people are in fact the underlying cause for their actions. To down-play that is a shame in lieu of understanding the way the mind ticks.
Take a look at the social commentary on the report, I’m sure the comments will keep flowing and as readers banter on, the reality is, a family is dead. A mother, and her three children – all dead. The community has to figure out a way to cope, just as the members of the S.I.N. site will have to learn how to cope with both the magnitude of the situation and their own thoughts and feelings it invokes.
Having dealt with LeRoy myself, I can say he’s a little rough and tumble with his commentary, but most people find him to be an up-front sort of guy. Maybe this is his way of coping with the backlash he suspects. Is this helpful? Is it needful? For me, I don’t think this is the proper approach, but this is just my opinion. I’m not Thomas LeRoy. I’ve added my commentary to the youtube, and I’m sure some readers will find my comments unfavorable. I’m not really concerned with favor, I’m more concerned with thinking about the issue more critically.
This is the impression that I got from talking with Noah myself. I think this photo is an accurate depiction of the kind of guy he was. Who knows why he shot his family and then turned the gun on himself. Was it Satanism? Not likely the cause for his trouble, but perhaps an influence over the way he handled what ever it was he was dealing with.
The bottom line for me is, this is a tragedy, and one that has been given public attention. Not because he was a Satanist but because 4 people are dead in a quiet Albemarle County town. Now that its been given public attention, crying that the media is sensationalizing it, is counter-productive. Some sensationalizing is required to give it the attention it deserves. A catchy title for a news article is hardly a reason to dismiss the entire reporting as ‘Enquire Like’ because up until Courtney Stuart began her reporting at 9am on 8/29/12 the community had very little detail, if any, as to why bodies were rolled out of a home in Stony Point.
I’m sure more hysterics are forth-coming. In the meantime, the S.I.N. sitehas put up a memorial blog for Noah8, and has to deal with the users on the network and their statements which are fully public.
I’ve read my fair share of commentary that stated that there’s no such thing as bad press, I disagree, of course there is! Some users seem to believe that Satanic International Network will now be given national attention getting some of the members there in a state of paranoia. Why the paranoia?
Perhaps it was a statement such as this from one of the readers of the article reviewing the site for ‘quality’:
Jeff D August 30th, 2012 | 8:39pmHaving taken a look at the ‘Satanic International Network’:
It appears the founder is a San Diego surfer-dude whose main theme is promoting homophobia.
Its membership is a hodge-podge collection of neo-Nazis, extremist left-wingers, homophobes, speed metal fans, punkers, emo-posers, fashion addicts, tattoo freaks, fans of fantasy fiction, and meth-heads. A few claim to perform ‘rituals’ in their home and feeling aroused. Some claim to be anti-religion while others claim to be devout Christians or devotees of other major religions.
Homophobia itself seems to be a top theme amongst the members despite their presented image of looking like cast members from the Rocky Horror Pictureshow—featuring ‘I’m cool’ pics and underwear-in-the-mirror pics.
All-in-all, the S.I.N. members each appear to be rather brainless and aimless people who have latched onto one out-of-date fashion trend or another and imagine themselves to be cutting-edge anti-establishment—despite all evidence to the contrary. Their level of knowledge of subject-matter is blatantly close to non-existent as they spew on about Babylon, vegetarian virtues, politics, Hitler, Catholicism, etcetera—all of which seems to be wimpy attempts towards posing themselves as arch-narcissists. Above all they are believers in the concept that generation-X is the educated and intelligent generation.
There is nothing more to be observed about these people—unless one of them posts a favorite recipe or how to ride a skateboard.
BTW: in reference to Ms. Suart’s article, the members of this S.I.N. website are now referring to Stuart as ‘They”—meaning the imaginary controllers of a conspiratorial global society. They seem to believe that The Hook is a major news outlet to be quoted by the rest of the world and a leader of the big conspiracy (as I said: brainless people). They are also expecting the police to release pages of detailed findings—obviously they do not know Virginia.
In an attempt to make the site accessible to the general public, common sense should tell members that the public will form their own opinions about what they see, and what they read. Oh that’s right, the public is ignorant while the users over at S.I.N. are all knowing…right. Talk about existing in a vacuum.
Some of these news reports fall off the radar when the topic gets cold, there’s no guarantee that updates will be posted, but I’ll include updates when I see them.
P.S. The News Report is called ‘The Hook’ with reasoning, if you got caught up on the fisherman’s pole, you may want to consider that stick you have shoved up your ass, open your mind and consider all aspects of the matter at hand.