Feb 8, 2023

What You've Been Getting Wrong About Satanism According to Actual Satanists

“You don’t have to obey anyone, you’re only accountable to yourself.”

Camilla Sernagiotto
January 27, 2023

This article originally appeared on VICE Italy.

“Being a Satanist in Italy isn’t easy,” says Jennifer Crepuscolo, 33, founder of the Union of Italian Satanists (USI). “It means representing something that’s considered uncomfortable by society.” Crepuscolo founded USI in 2010. Her goal was to spread information about the cult of Satan that represented the movement in its own terms, without external moral judgments. 

“If you try to look for information about Satanism in books, newspapers or on TV, you won’t find anything provided by actual Satanists,” she writes on the organisation’s site. “USI wants to give a voice to those who, for millennia, couldn’t speak without risking persecution, censorship, condemnation, or being burnt at the stake.” 

According to Crepuscolo, Satanism is split into two main branches: the traditional cult, where followers believe in Satan as a real entity and deity; and the more philosophical interpretation, where followers see Satan as a symbol of rebellion against mainstream religion. Within these two branches there are also many other schools of thought, some religious and some atheist.

The USI supports traditional Satanism, also known as theistic Satanism or religious Satanism. In particular, they believe in Satanismo Originale (Original Satanism), an Italian school of thought elaborated by USI itself that has some followers in different countries, too.

According to Original Satanism, Satan is a real ancient God who was later –quite literally – demonised by the Abrahamic religions, like other demons. The Mother Goddess is a central figure in the cult, “She is the dark and shining feminine figure that is widely stigmatised by patriarchal religions,” Crepuscolo explains. 

The group believes that these ancient Gods once descended on Earth to offer knowledge to humans, joining some of them carnally and creating a new lineage of descendants called “Satanids”. Together, they form a community known as “the Clade”. Since they are biologically related to Satan, Satanids can access divine knowledge through their own blood, which is inscribed with “genetic memory” of this knowledge, as Crepuscolo explains. All USI members understand themselves as Satanids.

“We refuse all forms of hierarchical organisations based on the subordination of Master and follower,” she continues. Satanids are on their own path to knowledge, but they’re also connected by the Clade. As a result, they can access this knowledge independently “and share it with others, teaching and learning without predefined roles,” Crepuscolo said.

Today, the union has around 6,000 subscribers on their website, 12,000 on Facebook, 2,000 followers on Instagram and 10,000 on YouTube. Crepuscolo’s own TikTok account also has over 100,000 followers.

Maybe surprisingly, most members are women – it’s about a 65/35 percent split – between the ages of 18 and 34, “but some are minors and people over 50,” adds Crepuscolo. “They come from all walks of life, from high school students to housewives, from blue-collar workers to teachers, from lawyers to doctors and even politicians (who we obviously can’t name for privacy reasons).”

Crepuscolo says that many Satanists affiliated with the union – even very devout ones – are in the closet, out of fear of being socially shamed or even attacked. Crepuscolo herself has received numerous hate messages and even rape and death threats because of her social media presence. 

We spoke to some USI members who are not in hiding about why they decided to join. They asked us not to include their surnames because they don’t want to appear in Google searches.

“Pope Francis said violence against women is a Satanic act, but actually, it’s patriarchal religions that cause misogyny.”


“I’ve had my doubts about Christianity since I was little. I noticed inconsistencies, and didn’t experience a sense of comfort when I thought about Jesus.

Then, a friend of mine told me about Satanism, and I finally felt like I was at home. In order to overcome prejudices about the cult, I felt I had to be the first not to be ashamed or afraid. So I told people about it – my parents, my friends, one of my teachers and my girlfriend. My friends and teacher were interested, but my parents became angry with me and my girlfriend left me. It was difficult, but now, I have a girlfriend who I love immensely and who is also in the cult. 

I know a lot of gay Satanists, because sexual orientation makes no difference for us. And women are very respected, too. Pope Francis said violence against women is a Satanic act, but actually, it’s patriarchal religions that cause misogyny.

Satanism isn’t a doctrine, we don’t have to follow dogmas, just our Satanic nature. For us, the notion of converting someone doesn’t exist, because if you’re a Satanist you feel it in your bones, so if you aren’t one, you can’t become one. We don’t have hierarchies, this is one of the things I love most about it. You don’t have to obey anyone, you’re only accountable to yourself.” - Claudia, 19, student and Satanist for five years.

“For me Satan is the primordial entity, whereas for many people he is a set of stereotypes.”


“I’ve always been attracted to the occult, ever since I was a child. Actually, I was fascinated by anything sacred and initially became interested in Christianity, so much so that I became an altar boy.

Then, one evening nine years ago, I was called towards Satan. It was an unforgettable experience. On a cold February night, I felt my body being permeated with the God's energy. It was a warm and intense feeling, difficult to explain. It was my first time experiencing something like this, yet my soul recognised it immediately. 

I knew that it was Satan, but I wasn’t scared, I felt good and safe. In the next few days, I found USI and met other people like me. I ‘came out’ straight away. Today, everyone knows I’m a Satanist, even people at work. I have tattoos of the seals of the Gods and wear them with pride.

We don’t believe in the biblical devil. For me Satan is the primordial entity, God of knowledge, God of the human soul, whereas for many people he is a set of stereotypes. 

People think Satanists are criminals because of people who commit crimes in the name of the devil and label themselves Satanists. These people are more anti-Christians, criminals who don’t have a real calling, they just want to rebel against the system. They are actually a byproduct of Christianity, since they do not really worship Satan, but exploit the concept of the devil to vent their frustrations. Their devil does not correspond to the true figure of Satan, it’s a Judeo-Christian invention created to frighten the masses and keep them at bay.” - Eugenio, 25, baker and Satanist for nine years.

“I was bullied for being Satanist. I was punished for sharing where I worked because my name could have damaged the company’s reputation.”


“I don’t exactly mention I’m a Satanist the first time I meet someone, but I do tell them calmly if the topic of spirituality comes up.

This didn’t go down well at work, so much so that I now avoid working for any kind of boss. I was bullied for being Satanist, I couldn’t take credit for any of my work, I was even punished for sharing where I worked because my name could have damaged the company’s reputation.

I find it shameful that in the 21st century, things like this still happen. Religious discrimination should never be tolerated, particularly when it comes to the right to work. Beyond these explicit things, there’s a lot more hidden discrimination going on, but that’s hard to quantify. For example, you don’t know how many times your CV has been refused after a Google search, but that does happen, I think.

The most deeply-rooted cliché about Satanism is the association with crime. Nowadays, there are also a lot of conspiracy theorists associating Satanism with powerful elites and ritualistic forms of child abuse. These beliefs can escalate into dangerous forms of mass hysteria, and it all comes from misinformation.” - Alessandra, 31, legal consultant and Satanist for 13 years.

“We respect anything that comes from nature, that is why we are trying to dispel the myth that we sacrifice animals.”


“Satanists don’t have a physical meeting point to go to out of safety reasons, but it would be nice to have one, even for official meetings. We also consider nature to be our temple, so that’s basically everywhere.

We come from nature and we celebrate its cycles. We respect anything that comes from nature, that is why we are trying to dispel the myth that we sacrifice animals. What value would the blood of a defenceless animal hold for a true God? The only sacrifice Satanists make is that of ignorance on the altar of wisdom.” - Davide, 39, retail worker and Satanist for four years





No comments: