An Interview with Venger Satanis, founder of The Cult of Cthulhu

Posted: Sunday, 25 December, 2011 by J.V Krakowski in Articles of Interest, Community Articles
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As a writer, I was cursed with a stubborn idea light, so I needed a good mystery and set up to fuel it. The current interview suggestions were interesting, but I needed someone who sparked possibilities and deep thoughts to help inspire me.

I leaned forward at my desk, idly tapping a pencil and hoping for a spark of anything to show. There was a quiet ding and a message box popped up.

Another message has been posted to Graveyard Press Staff.

I’d been doing a bit of research for a potential people to interview, but I dropped everything to see that new message. I held my head up on a folded arm, skimming replies and hoped for something new. The previous interview suggestions were interesting, but hadn’t inspired me at all.

Venger Satanis, founder of The Cult of Cthulhu.

An interview with a Satanist! That was an interesting and thought-provoking assignment. There were many possibilities with him.

I accepted it without hesitation.

What sort of person was Venger Satanis? What were his motives and background? In my experience, the Left Hand Path frequently attracted people with a god complex, selfishly power hungry and/or negatively ambitious.  Perhaps he won’t be bad as that, I thought to myself. Afterall, he was suggested interview subject.

What direction should my article go? Would people be interested in The Cult of Cthulhu or Venger Satanis? What would leave readers with deep thoughts and a dash of curiosity?

While it took me longer than I liked, I managed to work out a direction that seemed interesting. After drawing up a few questions, I contacted Venger Satanis.

Interviewer: Why did you choose “Venger Satanis” for a name? What does that name mean to you?

Venger Satanis: I liked the sound of it. Venger came from the 1980’s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. Venger – a single horned, winged black horse riding, tall, pale, and robed creature with a shadow demon servant – was the force of evil within the realm of Dungeons & Dragons. Venger was like a D&D Sith Lord. He was my favorite character.

Satanis came from the first Anton LaVey / Church of Satan documentary. A bit later, I decided to add a middle name. As’Nas seemed appropriate because that was a Persian name for poker which had its origins in France – Ace being the highest and best card. I have a lot of French blood in my veins and the Mythos has a lot of Arabic influence. Plus, I’ve always loved poker, especially no limit Texas Hold’em. That’s what I play now, and I’ve been doing fairly well. It’s good for the mind, like chess.

Does Venger As’Nas Satanis mean anything when it’s all said or written together? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. I wanted something that fit me personally and had a certain flow.

Interviewer: From your name, you’re a follower of Satanism and LHP practitioner. Why does it appeal to you?

Venger Satanis: I used to identify a lot with Satanism. I still think The Satanic Bible is one of the great occult texts of the 20th century. These days, I feel that I’m just as much a Satanist as I am a Christian – which is to say that I’m not wholly one or the other. However, the Cult of Cthulhu is most definitely Left Hand Path. The ideas of success, achievement, and progress have always appealed to me. Not sure why… must be genetic.

For those who don’t know, the LHP practitioner strives for Autonomy, Power, and Self-Deification. I feel those are worthy goals.

Interviewer: You said that the LHP practitioner strives for Autonomy, Power and Self-Deification. Why do you think people have a need for that?
Venger Satanis: Some people have a need for that.  Some people, such as myself, have a gargantuan, deep-seated, unquenchable thirst for Autonomy, Power, and Self-Deification.  It’s in the blood.  Most could take it or leave it.
Interviewer: Do you think other forms of spirituality and religions strive for that, too?
Venger Satanis: That aren’t Left Hand Path?  No.  For one thing, it’s way too hard.  What could be more difficult than becoming like God?  It means completely tearing yourself down, reprogramming, rewiring, and rebuilding everything, and then constantly challenging yourself to go even further.  
 
I’m sure that many religions find the idea of Self-Deification too blasphemous to contemplate.  But what’s a heaven for if not to usurp it from those lesser gods who feast upon our daily suffering?
Interviewer: Why do you think people are afraid to go against the universe (God)?
Venger Satanis: Why are people afraid to go against their parents or their boss or the clerk sitting behind the counter?  Man is a frightened breed.  I learned that from the Twilight Zone.  It happens to be true, by and large.  Going against the powers that be usually results in self-destruction, especially if there’s no plan.  The average person asks, “why risk it?”
Interviewer: In your reply, you mentioned feeling just as much a Satanist as a Christian. Why and how do you feel Christian?
Venger Satanis: In the Work (that’s what we call the Fourth Way), it’s important to consider how other people think and feel.  It’s perfectly natural to react from self-interest alone, but if that’s all we do, then the world becomes increasingly shitty.  I admire Jesus Christ (no matter if he was real or fictional) just as much as I admire Anton LaVey, Michael Aquino, and dozens of other dedicated Satanists who manifest their infernal will.  Anyone who struggles through this world yet refuses to bow down before it is someone to be emulated.

Interviewer: What misconceptions and stereotyping do you think people put towards you? (Possibly from your name alone, or your cult.)

Venger Satanis: There’s too many to name, I think. I’ve heard every possible misconception. Fortunately, after people read my writing, watch my videos, and engage me in one-on-one discussion they realize I’m not what they assumed.

Interviewer: How did it make you feel? To face stereotypes and misconceptions (or worse)?

Venger Satanis: The same as anyone who is judged before someone gets to know them. Those in the limelight get a closer look, of course. Even a “Z” list celebrity such as myself has to face the ignorant masses. Oh well. That’s not the biggest cross to bear.

Interviewer: How did you deal with it?

Venger Satanis: Not being afraid to confront people and show them what I was really about. People are generally OK with having their assumptions smashed, if done gently and gradually. I also have a thick skin – but that came with time. Now, it doesn’t bother me if haters post malicious comments. I take it in stride.

Interviewer: You said your thick skin came with time. Does that mean people’s viciousness strongly affected you at one time? How did you grow your thick skin? What helped?

Venger Satanis: I was born with a certain amount of sensitivity.  You learn to desensitize yourself when it comes to areas that keep getting hit.  Yes, at one time I was strongly affected by vicious attacks, negativity, and the monotonous drone of so many people telling me I’m wrong or crazy.  It takes time to build up emotional callouses.  But first, one needs to accurately appraise the situation… to look consensual reality in the face and overcome it.  Without the will, there is no way. 

Interviewer: How do you see yourself? (As a man, Satanist, LHP follower and Cult of Cthulhu leader.)

Venger Satanis: As a man, I see myself caught between monkey and God.  It’s not easy being human.

As a Satanist, I sometimes see myself in the likeness of Anton LaVey.

As a Left Hand Path follower, I’m forced to challenge myself all the time.  In challenging myself, I end up challenging others – and that freaks people out a lot of the time.  My fellow LHP practitioners will just have to deal.

Being the Cult of Cthulhu leaders is an ordeal all on its own, but one that I take pleasure in.  Being human isn’t easy, but trying to be more than human is damn near impossible.  Nevertheless, I continually try.

Interviewer: From your videos, you’re a painter. What inspires you, other than Cthulhu? How did you get into it?

Venger Satanis: I’ve always loved art and the act of creation.  Color inspires me.  So does form, texture, and meaning.  What an artist puts into his work can tell you a lot about his essence.  I paint for pleasure.  I don’t think I’m that great, but I do try to make a little progress every year or so.
Interviewer: Are people ever surprised that a Satanist and LHP practitioner has artistic talents?
Venger Satanis: I don’t know.  I would hope not.

Interviewer: When you first started studying Satanism and Occult Arts, how old were you?

Venger Satanis: I began to read H.P. Lovecraft in 6th grade or so. I had always been fascinated by creatures, robots, demons, magic, and weird stuff. Ironically, I was too afraid of horror movies to watch them when I was really young. There was still a fascination though. I used to walk through the horror section of different video stores, looking at all the gruesome and vile video sleeve cover art. I was attracted and repelled at the same time. I was afraid but I also had a need to confront my fears. It didn’t hurt that a lot of horror movies used sex to entice potential renters.

I’ve made up for that since then. I own roughly 1,000 DVDs and most are horror, scifi, and exploitation films.

I picked up The Secret Life of a Satanist about Anton Szandor LaVey when I was a Sophomore in High School. From there I read the rest of LaVey’s works and then went on to study psychology, philosophy, politics, sociology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and everything that interested me.

Interviewer: Did you hold to any common misconceptions, myths or stereotypes?

Venger Satanis: I don’t think so. I knew I was entering unknown territory. That both frightened and elated me, heightening my senses. I went in with an open mind.

Interviewer: During your studies, what was an important or profound lesson or discovery for you?

Venger Satanis: That reality wasn’t fixed; it was malleable. As soon as I read that, it immediately resonated with me and became the building blocks for my own personal development.

I realized, too, that consciousness filtered reality – my senses collected and interpreted data – but a higher conscious state could also be used to alter my subjective reality deliberately. There is a strong, magical connection between subjective and objective reality. One can influence the other, given enough energy and focus.

Interviewer: What appealed to you about LHP and Satanism, in particular?

Venger Satanis: Being able to shape my destiny. It didn’t hurt that I was attracted to all the aesthetics of Satanism since my childhood – from monster coloring books to heavy metal videos. To this day, if I’m looking at blondes in black leather bikinis, blood spattered skulls, flaming swords, foreboding castles, or monstrous tentacled fiends – I get a charge.

Interviewer: How has it changed you? What parts of your life does it influence?

Venger Satanis: I was born this way, so I don’t know if it has actually changed me – except that I’ve continued to travel deeper, certainly opening up a few more doors. The stuff I’m into influences most of my life. Even when I’m at the poker table or watching The Big Bang Theory with my wife… there’s an influence.

Interviewer: There are many people that confess an uneasiness with or hostility towards LHP. Why do you think that is?

Venger Satanis: Either they don’t fully understand the LHP or they are afraid of going against the universe (God). I don’t blame them for being uneasy. As a species, we’re generally not that comfortable with the unknown.

Interviewer: If there were dangers to studying LHP, what do you think it is? Why do you think it exists and what advice would you give to new practitioners?

Venger Satanis: Too much self-love. That’s always a danger. To put it another way, over-inflated ego. When a person thinks there’s nothing left to learn, that they know it all and encompass all that is awesome – watch out! That dude is going in the wrong direction.

My advice is to laugh at yourself every once in awhile. Realize that you’re on the road to perfection, but you still have a long ways to go. Achieving Godhood takes decades of constant and tremendous effort. The individual must be guided by a conscious school.

Interviewer: There are many people that adapt H.P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos or believe it a true telling. Why do you think that is?

Venger Satanis: I’m sure they adapt Lovecraft’s stories and create their own original works within the Cthulhu Mythos because of the sheer magnitude of Lovecraft’s cosmic horror. Those in the Cult of Cthulhu see HPL as a prophet. Obviously, not every word should be taken as gospel. Nevertheless, there are deeper truths in his prose; a profundity which 99% of scifi/horror writers cannot match.

Interviewer: Why did you embrace H.P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos for the Cult of Cthulhu?

Venger Satanis: The Cthulhu Mythos is an artificial paradigm. Lovecraft is obscure, but many have heard of him. The Mythos hints at thousands of nightmarish secrets, yet it doesn’t give too much away. The Mythos has influenced and been influenced by such things as Satanism, black magic, and the LHP.

We should keep in mind that not all Cthulhu Mythos media is consciously aware of H.P. Lovecraft. If the Mythos comes from an external source – something beyond Lovecraft, then it’s easy to see that sensitive writers, musicians, and artists are creating stuff on their own – without realizing there’s a name which encompasses all that hideous blasphemy: Lovecraftian!

No surprise why I chose Lovecraft’s Mythos for the Cult of Cthulhu. “The Call of Cthulhu” might just be the greatest weird tale every written. Why not use that for the basis of a new religion?

Interviewer: You adapted several other structures, works and beliefs for the Cult of Cthulhu. Can you explain a few important points of each of them?

Venger Satanis: My interpretation of the Left Hand Path continues where Stephen Flowers’ book, Lords of the Left Hand Path leaves off. I define it as the struggle for Autonomy, Power, and Self-Deification.

The Fourth Way, as taught by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, is my way of connecting with or realizing those LHP goals. The Fourth Way explains how we’re asleep, a collection of oblivious ‘I’s, and how little control we have.

Using the LHP and the Fourth Way, I’ve been able to see the parallels between Buddhism, Christianity, Satanism, Chaos Magic, Thelema, and other belief systems. They each have something to offer.

Interviewer: Why did you think it important to adapt more than Satanism into the Cult of Cthulhu?

Venger Satanis: Satanism, on its face, is limited. Unfortunately, most Satanists don’t realize what true Satanism is all about. The movement solidified in the mid-1960’s with Anton LaVey. Before that, Satanism had many different meanings. A lot of information about Satanism came from the Christian church.

LaVey and his Church of Satan allowed people’s imaginations to go wild. Some viewed Satan as a dark force in nature, others saw him as an extra-terrestrial being or adversary to Jehovah, and a few conceived of him only as a metaphor.

That’s why today, there’s no general consensus on what exactly Satanism is and what makes a Satanist. There are a few authorities, but at the end of the day everyone is free to decide what Satanism means to them.

With all that baggage, it’s no wonder why I wanted a paradigm somewhat divorced from Satanism. I needed something dark, primal, alien, and outrageous. It needed to resonate emotionally and intellectually. Satanism has a similar vibe, but Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos is a purer distillation of those adjectives.

Interviewer: Why do you think Satanism is limited?

Venger Satanis: Satanism, by it’s very nature, is based upon or rooted in Satan.  We could argue about what Satan is for a good long while, but at the end of the day it comes back to Christianity.  My understanding of Satanism, back when I still identified as a dyed-in-the-wool Satanist, tried to separate itself from Christianity as much as possible.  I didn’t want my religion defined by what it opposes.  Satanism is reactionary, but if that’s all it is, then it fails.  Too many Satanists are content with reacting to Christianity.  
 
The Cult of Cthulhu is active, not reactive.  It’s about the Great Old Ones, unspeakable oaths, unquiet voids, hideous sanity-shattering secrets, and magic as black as the yawning gulfs beyond time and space.  Our religion has no limitations.  That makes it demonstrably superior to Satanism.

Interviewer: What inspired you to establish the Cult of Cthulhu?

Venger Satanis: I’ve always felt like a natural leader. I like teaching and helping people. There was a need for more direction, authority, and leadership within the Left Hand Path. Additionally, I had a lot of strange ideas that were coming together in such a way that I needed to give them a platform… to see my incongruous intuitions take shape.

I had created a few Satanic organizations before… with marginal success. I looked around – realized that no one had created a group called the Cult of Cthulhu or Cthulhu Cult. I decided that it was high time someone did.

Interviewer: What are your hopes for it? What future plans do you have?

Venger Satanis: My hopes for the Cult of Cthulhu: seeing our religion Awaken as many individuals as possible. To free man from the prison that is himself. And then, Dread Cthulhu willing, the Great Old Ones shall be loosed upon the earth once more.

Interviewer: How do you think humans imprison themselves?

Venger Satanis: If humans have no control, then there is no freedom.  The lack of freedom equates to imprisonment.  Once upon a time, I used to believe that I had control over my life.  I woke up from that dream years ago.

Interviewer: What do you hope people take away from studying with the Cult of Cthulhu?

Venger Satanis: A better understanding of themselves and their place within this universe. Cultists have a certain way of doing things. We try to examine a problem from all sides, weighing it carefully, considering all the ramifications, going back to study it again and again – a thousand times, if needed. That’s our strength.

Interviewer: Ultimately, what do you think the Cult of Cthulhu gives and teaches people?

Venger Satanis: Hope of seeing the world as it truly is; not how we perceive it. Those who are driven to make progress and evolve… they are the ones who might benefit from our viridescent teaching.

Becoming God is the ultimate prize. I intend to claim it. Some follow in my footsteps.

Interviewer: You wanted people to see the world as it truly is. How do you see it? How is the world as it truly is?
Venger Satanis: I’ll give you a brief example.  For the rest, I suggest the reader investigate the Cult of Cthulhu.
 
People indulge in their negative emotions, expressing them all the time.  They live on them – more than you would ever guess.  But at what cost?  Negative emotions = McDonald’s food.  How great is life going to be if we’re slowly poisoning ourselves?
Acknowledgements:

I would like to offer thanks to Venger Satanis for allowing an interview. He answered each question with careful consideration and deep thought. The interview was intellectually stimulating and very enjoyable. He surprised me with his intelligence, courteousness and desire to help others.

Further Reading:

The Cult of Cthulhu – Venger Satanis

Resources:

The Right Hand Path and The Left Hand Path – About.com

The Right Hand Path vs. The Left Hand Path – Thoughts.com

The Right and Left Hand Paths – Wikipedia.com

H.P Lovecraft Archives

Satanism – Religious Tolerance

The Fourth Way – PDF Document from Firehead.org

Chaos Magick – Chaos Matrix.org

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Comments
  1. m1manowar says:

    This was a beautiful read and many of Venger’s points (starting with his first name itself, I used to watch that cartoon and recently mentioned the coolness of the main antagonist) resonated well within me. I shall be looking into the Cult of Cthullu more myself, especially with my more recent interest in the Theosophical works of the world at large.

  2. I have to agree with you and your enticing logical threads of reasoning have seriously change the way I look at issues and due to that I have to admit that in my life I have never seen anything at all like this I have to say that never before in my life have I read such an informative piece of writing What I want to point out is that never before in the history of existance have I read something so amazing and enlightening I am just a normal crazy person that has a that has a stupid brain and that will never even in thousand years reach level of refinement you just displayed today and one thing that I am sure off is that writing anything so magnificent like your article is fully beyond me, and I always will be I mean that I never before learned so much about the commercial life just from one post and that I simply couldn’t ever write a thing so astounding What you did here is just outstanding In my whole existence, in which I worked in the commercial industry for decades I have never read anything so informative and intelligent What I am trying to say is that I at first worked as a traveling beggar and salesman of assorted products (including and not restricted to: used toothbrushes, dirty water , dead animals I picked from the street and I really worked unbelievably hard and never attained anything but your article has really influenced me Finally I have the strength to improve my life for the better From this moment on I will promise myself that I will no longer sell stuff that I don’t like and that it is possible for me to make something good out of myself I can now stop thinking of myself as a filthy piece of trash and I can finally live my life to the max and I have only you to thank for it Really this post has been a lifesaver If you think I kind off bable right now and that my post isn’t really related to what you have written you should know that I am under the control of some quite strong prescription drugs. Including but not limited to: prosac , cocaine, dope, and glue . Your post has inspired me so much that I will watch this site twenty four hours a day and if for some bizarre reason (I would never imagine why you would ever do that, but oh well) you would not approve or delete this remark I would most likely commit suicide , I have attempted it many times before, as is expected from a loser like me, who could never be compared to your greateness

  3. Soeur Satani says:

    I read with interest your interview and I felt no confusion or ambivalence in your answers you are true to yourself! Thank you for sharing (and letting us know about your French blood running in your veins) Lol
    soeur satani Cult of Cuthulhu member.

  4. Venger Satanis is a clear and present voice for throwing off our death-dealing false perceptions of the static world and understanding existence as the fundamentally amorphous and incomprehensible process that it is.

    When Lord Cthulhu returns and opens the portals for the Great Old Ones, our miserable human “consensus reality” will be rent asunder like the rotten fabric of lies it is, so what are we whining about now?

  5. I am laughing still, did this man not “quoted” say Jesus was Left Hand Path in one of his other blathers , that is almost as funny as thinking some slimy creature is real the product of H.P. Lovecraft is in no way whatsoever real, I would challenge for proof so such reality, well I guess in the minds of “atheists at play” perhaps.
    I noticed his change in copyright for his book after it was uncovered that he stole H.P. Lovecraft writings in an attempt to “cut and paste” Lovecraft..so off to Lulu.Com did Venger go!

    • Sin Jones says:

      If you understand the use of the “Adversary”, in the New Testament Jesus is being adversary to the cultural and social norms at that time, to reinforce the values taught in Old Testament. Take for example his role in pointing out that a public stoning of a ‘sinner’ does not make the people righteous. No, in fact it takes them directly off the path of righteousness. Every person sins, Jesus was trying to change the culture by opposing the values being upheld. These parables are stories to teach valuable lessons. The Bible should be treated like a wholly occult work. What is Reality Tom? Tell me. Do you believe that you can change the nature of reality? Venger’s Cthulhu Cult book is a primer into Quantum Religion. Any critique should consider the burden of compromise. If you expect to be taken seriously as a ‘leader’ then you should be willing to mediate and be more diplomatic in the public eye. It is always watching you. 😉

  6. very curious my brother as i am attempting to tread a simialar path myself,with self deification as well as forming the o.c.a there is so much work to be done and it is up to men like ourselves to further the cause ;i look forward to chating .all hailz .from robert j strank

  7. […] An Interview with Venger Satanis, founder of The Cult of Cthulhu (thegraveyardpress.wordpress.com) FacebookDiggShareEmailPrint […]

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