Capitalism is the only evil guaranteed to rise from the abyss on 6/6/06
by Shane Johnson
In the United Kingdom, some pregnant women with due dates near June 6 have reportedly induced labor or scheduled Cesarean sections to ensure their offspring aren’t marked with the biblical number of the Beast, 666. Aside from that, and an Internet pastor who’s apparently preparing to reveal the identity of the Antichrist on 6/6/06, the hysteria appears isolated.
That hasn’t stopped the devout, the blasphemous, Hollywood or the altogether different animal Ann Coulter from trying to cash in on the novelty. Coulter’s latest smashmouth polemic Godless: The Church of Liberalism is slated for release that day by no accident. The same goes for a remake of the 1976 occult classic, The Omen, and the 15th installment in evangelical novelists Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ “Left Behind” series, The Rapture. And it’s only fitting that the sultans of Satan should get in on the action because, at its core, that’s what Satanism is all about.
“It’s a big day,” says Jason Harris, co-owner of The Redrum Shop in Murray with his fiance Kim Owens. “But only because Christians have made it a scary day, which ignites our fun button.”
To that end, Harris and Owens are set to tie the knot June 6, with a creepy reception to follow that evening at Rocky Point Haunted House. Though Harris isn’t a Satanist, per se, the former Mormon definitely tends toward the “Left-Hand Path,” signified by self-indulgence and the rejection of religious morality and literal deities.
Serial-killer trading cards and T-shirts, horror-movie posters and even some old Ed Gein Fan Club merchandise make up the stock and trade at Harris’ Redrum Shop.
“A lot of serial killers have a God complex and so do too many super-devout Christians,” Harris says. At that, he supposes there’s not much practical difference between launching pious wars and slicing up damsels to be buried in the backyard.
Explaining the fascination with serial killers, if not the lure of Satanism, “A lot of people have had the thought of, maybe not killing someone, but doing what you want to do with no regard,” Harris says, “for example, punching someone in the face or peeing on your neighbor’s lawn.”
But for his nuptials, Harris would likely be cashing in on Devil’s Day alongside Shane Bugbee, who’s set to exploit the occasion for all it’s worth. When the multifaceted Minnesota Satanist isn’t spinning death metal on Radio Free Satan, his Internet station, he’s hawking Ely Elixir, a decidedly un-sinister blueberry soda recipe. Anything for a buck.
En route to Los Angeles for Satan’s Rockin’ 666 Eve—which backer Bugbee bills as a celebration of the carnal and cerebral sides of darkness—he and wife Amy Bugbee will drop by The Redrum Shop on Thursday, June 1, to pimp his book True Crime Warped Minds and the first issue of her periodical Hellraiser Homemaker.
Bugbee’s been a self-employed dabbler in underground culture for about 20 years, publishing ’zines, dark comics and true crime books. His political “fetish”—Satanists embrace rather than repress theirs—was aroused when the Parents Music Resource Center launched a campaign to regulate explicit music lyrics, and he joined the grass-roots counteroffensive. But when George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, he says he cried and resigned himself to political impotency.
On that note, “Bush is a very Satanic individual, as the definition goes,” says Bugbee. “‘I’m with the haves and the have mores?’ At least he’s honest in what an a—hole he is. My hat’s off to him.”
Bugbee subscribes to the satanic philosophies espoused by Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible. Shortly before LaVey’s death in 1997, Bugbee won an audience with the so-called “Dark Pope,” and flew out to his home in San Francisco to pitch a business deal. Bugbee was set to re-release Might is Right, a 19th century primer on Social Darwinism which LaVey borrowed from liberally for his Satanic Bible, and he wanted LaVey to write the forward. They hashed out an agreement over Double Stuf Oreos in LaVey’s kitchen, whereupon Bugbee was made a priest in the Church of Satan.
“I went in looking at him as a pop-culture icon, and I left there with the realization that the guy really had his hustle on,” says Bugbee, adding, “The last time I met someone so true, so honest and so nice … was when I met Dead Heads,” following Jerry Garcia and the gang.
Bugbee notes that he’s yet to sell out the 666 Eve event. But not to worry, even if he does, “I’ll be out front scalping tickets for double.”
To the LaVey Satanists, there is no Satan, no God, no Jesus and, most importantly, no afterlife. All of the above appealed to Storm, a Montana-born Catholic turned unapologetic hedonist, artist and manager of Attatude Tattoo in Salt Lake City.
“I think [LaVey] named it Satanism as a way to be shocking,” says Storm, who can reel off the Church of Satan’s Nine Statements, Nine Sins and 11 Rules of the Earth, but isn’t a member. He sees Satan as the literary and folkloric representation of the darker side of human nature, not an evil deity driving estranged teenagers into the woods to sacrifice house pets. That’s a figment of popular culture, he says, and among other attributes, the Church of Satan preaches individual responsibility and kindness—to those who deserve it.
“You look at classic cinema and you’re going to have blood sacrifice, replete with nudity and all sorts of orgiastic activities, and you’re going to be gutting an animal and drinking its blood in the name of an actual physical deity named Satan,” Storm says, adding, “I think that’s great in a movie … but absurd in the real world.”
In keeping with the debauchery, Storm’s Art on You Studio, his wife Renee’s Dark Queen Apparel, Attatude Tattoo and Radio Free Satan are sponsoring Salt Lake City’s own 666 Eve celebration at the Cell Block private club. The June 5 event promises freaks, fetishists and a sexiest devil-girl pageant.