“The Church of Satan was one of those secret societies which is no longer terribly secret. It was more powerful years ago. But now they’re just sort of full of old men who are hanging in there. It attracts the younger folk, too. But younger folk don’t go to meetings and things like that.
“To me, to call myself a satanist is to attach myself to something which doesn’t completely define who I am. With that attachment comes all these fantasies and perceptions.
“I was talking to someone the other day about a cat I had who had died, and the person, she straight away said, ‘What, did you sacrifice it?’. And you think, ‘Oh, that’s a bit nasty’. If you look in the satanic bible you’ll discover Anton LaVey specifically says ‘Do not harm little children or animals’.
“The word ‘satan’ means ‘adversary’ or ‘accuser’ and in the Hebrew it’s spelt with a lower-case ‘s’. So it’s dealing with adversity. I suppose it’s a religion, or more a philosophy, for the rebel. It’s celebrating the goat as opposed to the sheep, the idea being the goats are the outsiders. And society [is] more or less sheep. It’s individualistic, it’s being strong, it’s being responsible to yourself, not blaming others. It’s eliminating dependencies. You just become self-reliant and self-sufficient. There are all these different sort of beliefs and things. And very rarely do I meet a satanist who actually believes in demons or the devil or Satan.
“I would call it western Zen or western Daoism in many respects. But the difference is, instead of the focus being on enlightenment, which is Zen and Daoism, I take the Jungian approach and focus on ‘en-darkenment’. People all have their most enlightening moments from their darkest periods. And that’s where I agree with Satanism because it’s a darker power but it’s more powerful than enlightenment.
“You do learn from ‘the devil’, ‘the man in black’. He causes you to stumble and fall and learn from those experiences.
“The Christian view is to learn how to destroy the dragon — that is, the devil — but the satanist view is to learn how to master it. Once you’ve mastered it, you’re stronger for it. I agree with satanism in that regard, but I do see it in other systems too.
“I was a Church of Satan Grotto Master for many years. But you know I still meet these people. The Church of Satan comes in here [Drew’s occult bookshop] and there are grotto masters around the country.”
— Drew Sinton, 51, is a former Grotto Master in the Church of Satan