I made the mistake of punching Satanism into Google today just to see what would come up. Apart from the obvious Church of Satan website and affiliates, I saw no less (and this is not hyperbolic) one hundred million different forums about Satanism, the occult, devil worship, etc, plus a few videos of idiots talking about how the big, mean old CoS has "changed" and about how their own new organization is superior in every way.
Yes, that's right. A guy in a Yankees cap who clearly lives in an apartment was talking about how the CoS is outdated, how his new organization was superior, and how the CoS could affiliate with him if they wanted. And this garbage is everywhere.
The thing about Satanism I have learned over the years is that you can't get jack shit by "talking" about it. All of these vapid windbags who spend their time chatting it up about the philosophy are blowing smoke out of their asses. Not one of them seems to come close to a real understanding of what the philosophy means; if they were, they'd be practicing it actively.
Places like LttD and...LttD...are the only exception to this rule. There is actually very little time spent yakking about Satanism itself; it is a playground, nothing more. Some extremely profound things have been said, sparks lit up, about other greater topics there, which of course directly tie into the philosophy in a meaningful way. But there are no endless threads discussing (from a completely uninformed and shallow point of view) the makeup of the organization, or the people who have left it, etc.
Oh no, so Jack Malebranche and Rex Church have apparently resigned! And like the end of a Batman episode: is this the end of the Church of Satan? First off; fuck no, of course not. The ideas are there for anyone to become acquainted with regardless of any actual organization in existence. As long as their are copies of The Satanic Bible, there will be Satanists; period. But secondly, even though members may abandon their affiliation over time because their own personal views have changed over time, who gives a fuck? It's just more idiots treating the CoS like some cult of personality, and the questions of "I wonder who will follow them along?" are just as irrelevant as discussion about them leaving in the first place; let the followers of these people go, if they are that easily swayed, if the reason they ever affiliated in the first place was because they worshiped some personality within the membership, who wants them? Just another slew of green eyed hamsters looking to stand on the shoulders of someone who has achieved more than they ever could, and nothing more.
Hell, I even feel like writing this is a waste of time. I know "finding" any of those websites certainly was. If I never spoke to a single other member of the CoS it would be completely irrelevant to what I am doing, and to what my worldview was. Even if the entirety of humanity was wiped out by a holocaust and I was the only one left in the world, I would still consider myself a Satanist, because applying that label is something I do for myself, personally. I do it because I am in agreement with every single aspect of The Satanic Bible, because nothing else has come along which is superior, and which better describes my personality type.
I can say in no threatening manner (as if the CoS would care anyways, and they shouldn't) that if something more accurate came along, some identifier which better described me, I would gladly apply it to myself instead. Because it isn't about belonging, it isn't about socializing, and it certainly isn't about community. The people I have met through the Church, the very very few who I work and correspond with and have in the past, are people who I would do so with regardless of their status and membership. It certainly helped that LttD was around for me to meet them, but I would love to know them regardless.
What I would never do though, is make a YouTube video of me "quitting" like a pretentious cuntbag asshole, pretending that someone actually cares, or simply just trying to get the attention of other idiots who would actually get a kick out of that sort of thing. I am not interested in communicating with other people in an attempt to get perpetual metaphorical hand jobs. I am also incredibly selfish when it comes to metaphorical hand jobs. I don't do internet reach arounds!
Bottom line; there are no "rules" in the Church of Satan just from the perspective that, if they ever FEEL like "rules" that you risk "breaking", you should probably take a look at yourself and really try to understand why you feel that way. And if you feel like maybe you are struggling with some second thoughts, or that the philosophy is not something you are in agreement with, it is a hindrance FOR YOU, as an INDIVIDUAL, to be mistakenly trying to apply Satanism to yourself. If I ever read a single word in any of the canon Satanic literature that I say "no, this is wrong" to, that's it; membership privately rescinded, and the name if this blog will be changed to "Guy Who Is Pissed Off About Everything And Fuck You."
I'll still be a social darwinist, I'll still love the book Might is Right, I'll still adore Doctor LaVey for the work he did in his lifetime; but I'll be a fan, not a Satanist, and I will be honest enough to outright admit it without taking a shit on the carpet and throwing myself out the window.
That is a standard everyone should hold for themselves just as people who are honest about who they are, and that is why folks have left in the past, and will in the future. Sometimes it takes a lifetime of introspection to really understand who we are, and how we really look at the world; and it always, always, takes a boatload of honesty to get there.