1. Manson and Satanism:
b) Extract from the Beast among us which clears everything:
2. Interview with Manson extracts:
1. Manson and Satanism:
Being a Satanist surely is what has been the most reproached to Manson. Everybody agrees to say that Manson is against Catholicism but his opinion on Satanism and other religions remains unknown. Since the beginnings, in the early 1990's, at the time of the Spooky Kids, Manson had the reputation of being Satanist and the famous story of the chicken in 1995 increased the accusations against him ; it was undeniable that Manson sacrificed animals on Satan's altar on stage. But wasn't he since 1994 the "pastor" named by Anton Szandor La Vey himself, creator of Satan's Church ?
But as it is written in his autobiography, this nomination wasn't followed (as it had been the case for many people) by a huge ceremony, on the contrary. Anton and Manson were friends and Anton proposed him to become a member of the Church, which Manson simply accepted. Many symbols used by Manson have a connotation with religion or Satanism : the shock-logo, the acting on stage imitating fascism during the live interpretation of "Antichrist Superstar", lyrics and symbols (the number 6 notably) in the booklet of the album, allusions to angels… the cross in fire of the booklet of "The last tour on earth", all the allusions to the Bible (God's sheep, crucifixion notably in "Holy Wood") and to God directly ("Holy Wood"…). It is a fact that Manson is very influenced by religion, it even is his main source of inspiration and criticism, but he disagrees with the fact of being considered as a Satanist, in the meaning of revering Satan.
Thus, in an interview he declared that all the world finishing with "ism" were interesting for him : Catholicism, Buddhism, Satanism… he thinks it is better to take what is best in all these ideologies to create our own religion and think by ourselves : which is for him the true meaning of the word Satanism "be your own god-think by yourself". What he reproaches most to religions and to Catholicism in particular is that the adepts are to a certain point "slaves" of this Church which dictates everything they must do, just as their television… The lyrics of "The Fight Song" ("Holy wood") aim in the same direction. "I'm not a slave to a god that doesn't exist". Moreover, we ignore if God really exists or note. Manson claims his independence before everything else. (see interview excerpts bellow) He also highlights the aberrations and cruelties in the Bible, especially in the Old testament. That is the kind of speech he says during the song "antichrist superstar", just before tearing off the Bible and throwing it into the public. To sum up, the Bible says that only "the good" will have access to Paradise and the others will go to Hell, it's all or nothing. Finally, he denounces religious extremism by showing demonstrations willing to forbid his concerts at the beginning of his video "Dead to the World".
b) Extract from the Beast among us which clears everything:
Manson considers Christians as the weakest people of society, mainly because their doctrine is totally opposed to the individualistic theories that the singer defends. What annoys him most is their hypocrisies because he considers they do not show the example and that their so-called faith hides their true reasons of getting rid of him.Now one knows that Manson has a deep loathing towards Christians because of his religious education and that little Brian Warner developed the character of Marilyn Manson in order to get his revenge on the people who used to frighten him when he was a kid by using doctrines on Antichrist and the horrible tortures the damned and sinners had to suffer. It is precisely the Christian concept of Sin, most of the time which irritates Manson because it prevents people from being happy and even against human nature, most of the time. "All that is considered as sin are simply emotions of human nature so as to automatically feel ill with our inner self. They raise children in their own shame. And there, finally, the only thing we obtain is ill-living teenagers who end-up by committing suicide or killing other people….And afterwards, society rejects the guilt on rock music or television.
One of the forms of Christian morality repressions he hates most is sexual repression. For Manson, it is the human being's nature's own negation and it provokes even more violence than pornography. "To sum up, planet earth doesn't rotate around the sun but around a gigantic dick" he said. However, regression and prosecution of sexuality is an everyday reality in the United States. In a majority of states, oral and rectal sex are illegal and in the southern states, any sign of homosexuality is also illegal. "America feels ashamed of what she is and is not willing to accept its own decay, which explains that she is so tense and violent" he said during and interview for Kerrang! in May 1997.
Sexual freedom does not imply Manson's amorality in such a subject. Pedophilia and zoophilia are behaviors he hates because they imply abusing of defenseless souls. Concerning other sex forms, he accepts them although he doesn't apply them.
Manson is a strict defender of abortion. He defends it for two main reasons : on the first hand it is one more face to face with Christians. On the other hand it recalls his theories on species selection. "I don't believe that stupid people should educate, so I'm favorable to abortion" he said during an interview published in 1995. And in fact, his first single "get your gunn" was an attack against associations defending life who had placed a bomb in an abortion hospital which had for consequence the death of doctor Gunn, consequently to the bomb's explosion. Manson wanted to highlight the incoherence of people defending a fetus' life but capable of killing an adult.
Manson finds that Catholicism and religion in general are full of contradictions. Madonna Wayne Gacy, probably the group member who agrees most with the leader's ideas will clearly explain it in 1995 in an interview. "Religion is illogical. It is mean less, it's bullshit. It is based on faith which is a proof less theory. That is exactly the opposite of what the Western philosophies pretend : finding evidences of Catholic faith but the latter says clues do not exist".
Twiggy Ramirez also agrees concerning the hypocrisy of Catholicism. "As for most religions, it works thanks to fear (…) Loads of sins are made on purpose -for example lying- and since they disappear thanks to confession, one can do it again. It is hypocrisy (…) It helps people avoid the responsibilities of their acts whereas we should all assume this responsibility".
Besides all of this, Marilyn Manson says he doesn't reproach anything to religions, but he likes showing their weaknesses and contradictions so as to make people think. He considers America as a nation based on contradiction, on capitalism and at the same time lead by Christian morality ; thus capitalism and Catholicism are totally opposed theories. When capitalism says we should be better than our neighbor, Catholicism considers everybody is equal and encourages us to love everyone. All this according to Manson is an answer to the Christian domination of the weak. "Catholicism has always pretended to manipulate the weak human beings and keep them aside. This is very intelligent. In fact I envy Catholicism". This was part of an interview published in Alternative Press in October 1996.
Marilyn Manson wouldn't exist without Christian extremists. There are his main reason for continuing his struggle and provoking scandals during his concerts, precisely because they reply to his provocations. He usually makes the distinction between extremists and moderate Christians. Extremists are for Manson "the lowest form of human intelligence, people who haven't reached the next step." However, he identifies himself to Jesus Christ to a certain extent and his public are the first adepts of his doctrine. "What Catholicism has started is nothing else but what one can see in my concerts. Someone stood up and said what he felt, and a lot of other people answered him. "yes I can feel it too". Jesus was the first rock star, the first sex-symbol and the first icon…and someone decided to turn it into a religion in order to manipulate people. That is exactly what disk companies do with me" this was excerpted from an interview for Kerrang! in September 1997.
Manson considers that each period of time has had its own antichrist and that his main masters - Nietzsche, Crowley and LaVey - were antichrists who tried to destroy Christian civilization with their ideology but unable to reach their goal. He thinks that he has replaced them somehow and hopes to succeed where they failed, thanks to music. He thinks that the moment is appropriate : "science hasn't been able to prove that the Christian's god existed, but it however demonstrated that another god existed, that is to say human intelligence. It is time for us to grow in numbers again and Christians have much in common with dinosaurs : they are also an endangered species" this was excerpted from an interview for Kerrang! in September 1997. The antichrist is not even a human being : it is the lack of faith in Christian religion. It is the Church's main fear : that people would stop believing. From the moment this will happen, her business will be terminated. And this is precisely the Armageddon Manson tries to provoke with his texts : we are not speaking about physical destruction of the Christians, no throwing them to lions or so but to persuade people to believe in their own capacities and to stop this blind trust they have in a god who is always ready to cut the grass under their feet.
2. Interview with Manson extracts:
Rock N'Folk: Now that Anton La Vey, the master of Satan's Church is dead, you are the last great Satanist alive. Could you briefly explain what summarizes your religion?
Marilyn Manson : I only believe in myself. God, the Devil, Right wing/ Left wing, the Good/the Bad are antinomies located in everyone of us. Why should we choose one or the other? Catholicism makes people feel guilty concerning some aspects of everyone's personality and Satanism enables people to express the natural desires of everybody without any consequence. I incarnate the contradictions of any human being.
Hard Force : Do you think that Anton Lavey ["Satan's Bible"] would have had a larger public if he had worn platform boots and big tits?
Marilyn Manson: I don't think he desired stardom. He was very intelligent and had many things to say. I borrowed his ideas and simplified them.
Rock N'Folk : Can we say that you are the prototype of the disappointed Christian? The guy who thinks that the world is too sad, that it lacks of animation, and who decides to dress up as the antichrist...
Marilyn Manson: (long silence) This could be a way of showing things. Many people misinterpreted Christ's message. Himself has become a commercial phenomenon. Could he imagine appearing on all the wall of the Christian world? He sacrificed himself. It is his story I tell in my disk ("Holy Wood", ndw) in my way. I do not ignore the Bible, I re-write it.Since Anton La Vey's death (Satan's church grand priest) we are lacking of information.
Rock N'Folk : Are you the new grand priest?
Marilyn Manson: I have learned a lot from La Vey. I think I will always be fund of history of religions and this church of Satan is a fundamental element of the struggle we are about to lead. La Vey was a fantastic man but I never became a member of his church or of any other. You attended La Vey's funeral with Trent Reznor. Who is actually leading Satan's church? Is it La Vey's daughter Zeena? I don't know. I can't answer your question… (ndw according to the official website, the church of Satan is actually headed by the great priestess Blanche Barton).
Hard Force :And now the great question : Have you ever met Satan? Since you describe his coming during hellish shows?
Marilyn Manson:(long silence) Well, sometimes….you feel something in an empty room. A ghostly strength. Usually, people ask the question differently. They ask me if I believe in paranormal. In fact I believe that nothing is natural. Some forces exist and some human beings were born with a power (pointing at the living-room table). The fact that someone could imagine such a thing and produced it in large quantities is for me some kind of magic. The only true thing is talent.
Hard Rock : Could you explain us the conception of Satanism, that of Anton Szandor La Vey, the author of Satan's Bible...
Marilyn Manson: Everyone describes things as he wishes to. As far as I'm concerned, God and Satan are words that people use to describe Good and Evil. As for my name : Marilyn Manson. My interpretation of Satanism is a theory of evolution, only the strong survives, self-preservation, individualism and what you believe in. God and Satan have very little in common with this kind of philosophy ; I'd rather speak about humanism. Satan only represents rebellion since God incarnates the quo status. Satanism is not a religion as far as I'm concerned, it is a philosophy, an opinion. I have learned a lot from La Vey but I do not live my daily life as he did.
In Hard Force : "In fact I am priest of Satan's Church ! Satanism is something I'm find of, it is the ultimate rebellion against order and God..."