The dissertation Satanism – An Examination of Black Magic‘s final chapter, Ritual Sacrifice, examines the perspectives of four Satanic groups on the subject: The Friends of Hekate (now defunct), the Order of Nine Angles, the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set.
“The Friends of Hekate, operated throughout England between the 1960’s and the 1980’s. Although the group is believed to still operate under a different name or names, they have been linked to a number of disappearances and deaths that occurred in Sussex during the 1970’s and 80’s. Altogether the deaths of five people have been connected to the sacrificial rites of the Friends of Hekate: a policeman, a vicar, an old age pensioner and two women all disappeared during this space of time. Both the policeman and the vicar were found on a ley line and furthermore, both the vicar – whose disappearance occurred on 31st October – and the policeman were found in an area that had been thoroughly searched beforehand. The vicar himself was the rector of two villages in Sussex where a number of Satanists were alleged to operate and, according to a letter received by Toyne Newton, author of ‘The Demonic Connection’ which examines the activities of the Friends of Hekate and the concept of an international Satanic conspiracy, members of the Friends of Hekate actually lived within these villages. Another supportive piece of evidence to suggest accusations of human sacrifice are true concerning the Friends of Hekate, comes from a letter addressed to Toyne Newton, care of The Unexplained magazine. In this letter the anonymous writer practically confirms that the Reverend was ritually sacrificed by the Friends of Hekate:
‘A few years back a friend of mine joined them, they are called the friends of Hekate, they meet in the woods and barn up by the church and make ritual sacrifices at the time of Orion and the archer.’ The anonymous writer goes on to say that his friend: ‘…was very frightened when the police (were) looking out for the vicar you mention (Rev. Harry Neil Snelling) and when I said I was going to join the search party on the downs he said no need, they’d got him.'(26) Whilst the evidence points to the fact of ritual sacrifice by the Friends of Hekate, little is actually known of their rites although they are believed to focus specifically up on the worship of the ancient Greek goddess Hekate. Whilst the information concerning the connection of the Friends of Hekate with human and animal sacrifice is both scarce and hypothetical a far more open approach is advocated by the Order of Nine Angles.
The sacrificial tradition of the Order of Nine Angles is believed to date back to the time of the semi-mythical land of Albion. Originally the Order of Nine Angles state that the sacrificial custom occurred once every seventeen years, when a Priest of the tradition was sacrificed in order to ‘retain the ‘cosmic balance’ – in modern times to keep anexion open.'(27) This tradition has continued until modern times and although it is believed to have remained as it once was in essence, the outward form, that is, the words and chants of the ritual are believed to have been altered over the years. What is understood is that the ritual sacrifice was performed in honour of the dark and violent goddess Baphomet – the severed head being associated with her worship. The Priest himself would have secured an acausal existence in the Land of the Dark Gods and would thereby become immortal.
In more modern times the Order of Nine Angles approach to ritual sacrifice has significantly altered from a willing sacrificial victim – that of the initiated Priest – to that of an unwilling sacrificial victim. Yet such acts are not performed without conscious decision, accurate planning and reasoned behaviour, for the Sinister Satanist – as a follower of the Order of Nine Angles Tradition is sometimes known – is an individual who is in control of his or her actions, actions that are both conscious and willed. It is for this reason that the victims, or Opfers as they are more commonly known, are usually selected in this tradition impersonally. They are tested according to their character and, should they fail the test, are judged to have selected themselves. As an Order of Nine Angles manuscript states ‘the actions/life of a victim are indicative of weakness, of all these traits and actions which Satanists despise. Things such as cowardice, sycophancy, treachery, fear, lack of self-discipline.'(28) Combined with this judgement is the decision to select an Opfer whose death will in some way aid the Satanic dialectic. As such victims include ‘zealous interfering Nazarenes'(29) over-inquisitive journalists or politicians or businessmen whose philosophy and actions are anathema to the Satanic Spirit.
Differing from the two groups mentioned above, the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set have both actively disputed the traditional view that Satanists need to sacrifice humans or animals. The Temple of Set have even gone to the extent of banning its members from association with the Order of Nine Angles due to the latter’s views on, and advocation of, human sacrifice.
The Church of Satan have approached the choice of human and animal sacrifice from the perspective of the amount of energy that it dispels. When comparing this dissipation of energy with the energy produced through emotional and sexual release, Anton La Vey, High Priest of the Church of Satan, concludes that ‘the only time a Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be if it were to serve a two-fold purpose; that being to release the magician’s wrath in the throwing of a curse, and more important, to dispose of a totally obnoxious and deserving individual.'(33) It is apparent then that there is a comparison between the Order of Nine Angles methods for the selection of victims and that of the Church of Satans. Both select victims that are naturally obvious as targets for Satanic wrath. However, the Chruch of Satan, although adhering to this Satanic tradition, do not actively carry out direct human and/or animal sacrifice as do both the Order of Nine Angles and the Friends of Hekate.
It can be seen from the above examples, stemming from modern Satanic traditions, that the concept of the virgin or small-child as victim is obsolete in modern Satanism and whilst the media often portrays the essential nature of Satanism as one that advocates and indulges in virgin sacrifice, child abuse and the like, the actual fact of the matter is that traditional Satanic groups, such as the Order of Nine Angles and the Church of Satan, would be more inclined to sacrifice the child abuser than the child.”