LONDON (AFP) - A technician in the Royal Navy has become the first serviceman in Britain's armed forces to be officially recognised as a Satanist, the defence ministry said.
Chris Cranmer, 24, has been given the go-ahead by his captain to perform Satanic rituals on board the HMS Cumberland and is reportedly lobbying his employers to register Satanism as an official religion in the armed forces.
"There is a guy who has asked to practice his (Satanic) beliefs on a Royal Navy ship," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP. "His request was treated sympathetically by the ship's commanding officer."
Cranmer holds the rank of leading hand -- the naval equivalent of corporal -- and in line with British naval tradition will be permitted to have a funeral carried out by the Church of Satan should he be killed in action.
He realised he was a Satanist nine years ago after stumbling across a copy of the Satanic Bible written by Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.
"I then read more and more and came to realise I'd always been a Satanist, just simply never knew," he was quoted as saying.
The Church of Satan was established in San Francisco in 1966 and LaVey was its high priest until his death in 1997.
Followers live by the Nine Satanic Statements, which include "Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence", "Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek" and "Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification".
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Yahoo: British military enlists first Satanist
Telegraph: The Devil and the deep blue sea
The Herald: Navy registers ‘Demon Jock’ the Satanist
CNN: Royal Navy to allow devil worship
Daily Record: Her Majesty's Satanist
CBC News: The Devil you know, sails on
World Net Daily: Devil worship OK aboard navy ships: War veterans stunned as officer gets permission to honor Satan
[Note: In regards to the inaccurate mention within some of these reports using the term "devil worship": for the uninformed, there is a vast difference between that, and Satanism. Devil-Worship is merely an inversion of Christianity, a heretical mythology beneath the aegis of spirituality, and remains within the Judeo-Christian spectrum, whereas Satanism is completely removed from that paradigm altogether, although we may sometimes use certain metaphores to establish a larger point regarding philosophical explacation. We do not "worship" an external deity, but recognize Ourselves as God absolute and supreme, utilizing archetypal symbology and psychodrama to manifest the incarnate Devil within. Satanists are the embodiment of the Satanic principle, the essence of the divine and the infernal. Again, those interested in educating themselves about Satanism should read The Satanic Bible by Dr. Anton LaVey.]
This reminds Me of Citizen David 'Nightmare' Powers' performance on the USS Harry S. Truman last year. The report from Nefarious News went as follows :
"LUCIFER and Church of Satan member David Powers wins first prize at talent show for 'Hump Day' celebration during Mediterranean Deployment. As representative of the Legions of Darkness, Powers performed mostly LUCIFER material for nearly a half an hour (plugged and unplugged) to the ecstatic crew.
Powers currently serves in the United States Navy on board a Guided Missile Destroyer in the Harry S. Truman Carrier Battle Group."
Mr. Powers is also currently composing music for the next LUCIFER unleashing.
The Order of The Black Dragon congratulates Mr. Powers in this accomplishment, and we look forward to his safe and victorious return. Hail United Satanic America! HAIL SATAN."
Also on the subject of The Church of Satan in the military: Department of The Army Chaplains' Handbook [United Satanic America].