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Aquino, Cults, and Social-Political Persuasion

To: alt.pagan,alt.satanism,alt.religion.wicca
From: raven@solaria.sol.net (Raven)
Subject: Re: Aquino, Cults, and Social-Political Persuasion
Date: 29 Jan 1998 04:09:40 -0600

For the sake of balance, here's .net Magazine's interview with Aquino:

(http://www.futurenet.com/netweb/netmag/issues/issue35/devil/aquino.htm)

                            THE DR AQUINO STORY

After scouring the Net on Dr Aquino's background, including various
bizarre comments from enemies in the Church of Satan (CoS), we asked
him a few direct and unusual questions:

What do you have a doctorate in?

   BA, MA, PhD Political Science, University of California. MPA Public
   Administration, George Washington University.

Have you engaged in any Satanic rituals involving children?

   No, and since its founding, the Temple of Set has prohibited minors
   (under age 18) at any of its activities.

Were you charged with any child molestation crimes?

   Neither Lilith nor I have ever been charged or convicted of any crime
   whatever.

Did you leave the Army immediately after the investigation Curio refers to?

   No. The investigation concluded in mid 1989. I remained in the Active
   US Army Reserve until 1994, when I decided to retire and was awarded
   the Meritorious Service Medal by the Secretary of the Army. I remain
   today in the Retired Reserve component of the Army as a Lt Colonel.

What do you think about ElectriCiti's inability to assist you in
tracking down Curio?

   ElectriCiti, if it did not know which one of its accounts was being
   used, could have created a log to discover it. It refused to do so.

Is it shying away from the main issue and pointing the finger at you
for being a member of a Satanic cult?

   I think it is obvious ElectriCiti is trying to misrepresent the actual
   issue of the lawsuit, and to incite religious bigotry against my wife
   and myself. Strictly speaking, The Temple of Set is not 'satanic',
   since we do not believe in Satan. Setians generally do not refer to
   themselves as anything but 'Setian'. Nor are we a 'cult' -- unless all
   legitimate religions are to be considered cults -- since we were
   legally incorporated as a non-profit-making church in 1975 and
   received full California and United States recognition that same year.

What do you think of the First Amendment free speech rights claim by
ElectriCiti?

   This is not a First Amendment lawsuit, but one concerning negligence
   and infliction of emotional distress by ElectriCiti. Obviously
   ElectriCiti would like to divert attention from that. I emphasise that
   the Temple of Set is not a party to this lawsuit, and that the lawsuit
   is not about my religion, nor about my own personality.

Considering the effectiveness of anonymous remailers, do you think
you're just picking on ElectriCiti, even though its details were
mentioned in some of Curio's e-mails?

   ElectriCiti is being held accountable only for broadcasting the Curio
   transmissions that originated from ElectriCiti. I requested its help
   politely and courteously, and gave it every opportunity to provide it.
   When it refused to do so, I had no alternative but to seek legal redress.

If you can't get any results through the courts, what will you do? Can
magic rituals be used to help out?

   I consider this as a straightforward legal issue to be addressed quite
   normally by the courts.

What's the point in being in a Temple of Set if you can't use some
sort of spiritual power to get rid of this harasser?

   That's a topic we generally do not discuss with non-initiates for a
   number of reasons. Our understanding of magic is very subtle and
   complex. There are also many different kinds of it, and part of being
   a magician lies in selecting the correct kind for a given situation.

There was a mention that you were a medium for 'The Book Of Coming
Forth By Night'.

   This is a ceremonial record from the Temple of Set's founding ritual
   working. It is oversimplistic to call it 'mediumistic'. You may call
   it a meditation of mine concerning the existence and essence of Set.

Are you a Second Beast? Or an incarnation of Set?

   I do not believe in Christian mythology at all. I am neither the
   incarnation nor the son of Set -- his son was the god Anubis. Setians
   believe that the essence of Set dwells in all initiates of his
   religion equally.

Are you the founder and high priest of one of the foremost Satanist
organisations in the world, that has several hundred members?

   The Temple of Set was collectively founded by about 100 initial
   members in 1975. I served as the high priest until 1996, when I
   retired. I do not now hold any office in the Temple, though I remain a
   member. As noted above, the Temple is Setian, not Satanist. We do not
   discuss our membership figures, so Alan has no basis for the "several
   hundred" statement at all.

Do you have naturally pointy eyebrows?

   Yes, since birth. They keep the rain off and get me in to Star Trek
   conventions at a discount.

Does your wife's name, Lilith, mean goddess of death?

   It does not mean goddess of death to her at all. That is evidently a
   pejorative superstition belonging to the Judaeo/Christian religion. To
   her it has always symbolised the mystery and beauty of feminine magic.

Will any Temple members physically attack Mr Alan? Is he in danger
from Charles Manson-type followers?

   No. The members of the Temple of Set are all law-abiding ladies and
   gentlemen. On the other hand, Mr Alan personally e-mailed two threats
   of personal harm to me.
      March 4, 1997: "I am about to go bezerker (sic) on you." According to
      my dictionary, berserk means "marked by a display of violent, erratic
      behavior indicative of extreme excitement or agitation and suggestive
      of sudden mental imbalance."
      March 5, 1997: "By all means alert the authorities. I will be seeing
      you soon."
   I am conferring with my attorney on the necessity of seeking a
   judicial restraining order against Mr Alan to ensure the safety of my
   family accordingly.

Why has your group been labelled 'Satanic'? Is it to do with worship
practices?

   We consider Satan a Judaeo/Christian corruption or caricature of the
   pre-J/C Set. It was habitual of J/C to label competing and
   pre-existing gods of other faiths as demons and devils.

Have you sacrificed any goats?

   No animal is ever harmed in any way in Setian ceremonies. As our
   membership literature states quite specifically, anyone caught doing
   that would be expelled immediately and referred to civil animal
   protection authorities. Since our founding we have never had reason to
   invoke this.

What about sex orgies?

   What consenting adults do on their own is their own business and the
   Temple does not intrude.

From the material at your Web site, it seems that Setian worship
rituals are devised by individual members.

   Correct. We consider rituals as necessarily personal events, not rote
   activities.

Have you had many on-line hassles from religious bigots, or do they
mostly leave your members alone?

   We often joke that the definition of cult is "the other fellow's
   religion"! Between members of different religions -- and atheists or
   agnostics -- there is always going to be debate, sometimes friendly,
   sometimes a bit heated. Since we are considered more exotic than most,
   many people have exotic opinions about us. That's understandable,
   human nature being what it is. However we do not go out of our way to
   be offensive to anyone else, and do not try to convert anyone. Curio
   is a dangerously psychotic exception -- a 'witch hunter'.

Is it like Christian religion where they ask God for help?

   No. We do not need to pray to Set at all.

It seems your group is more reliant on the individual to 'self
empower' and take action.

   Correct.

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