I am John Allee, one of the co-founders of the Allee Shadow Tradition, along with Lillee Allee. The Tradition is not a religion, but a philosophical and magical group.
Aren't you a well known Satanist?
I play one on television, but any similarity ends there. Actually, I'm a Deist. I believe the Universe was created and not eternal or accidental. We have the painting, but to dismiss that there is no painter is illogical.
Does This Mean That You Believe In A Personal God or Devil?
Not necessarily. You see, individual perception is everything. Each one of us is the center of a Universe.
And if your Universe is an atheist one, then FOR YOU a deity really doesn't exist.
On the other hand, if you believe in Allah, Vishnu, Yahweh, Satan or whatever.. then FOR YOU a deity really does exist. The self-assumed delusion becomes one's operational and functional personal reality. We create gods in our own image from a force within our psyche and the universe tends to mirror back what individual consciousness projects upon it. This is the whole idea behind co-creationism.
It's that simple and that difficult to understand. Personal reality is NOT a one-size-fits-all situation.
What Happens When A Person Changes Their Belief System?
One of my students mentioned the experience of a man who was an atheist most of his life. He then experienced a personal crisis and an epiphany occured where a deity came and spoke to him. Following this experience, the former atheist turned his life around - stopped drinking, developed a renewed sense of purpose, joined a philanthropic group. The question is, "If perception is reality, how can a god seemingly come to you if your personal perception is that of an atheist?" Good question.
I've heard more than a few stories of people having an epiphany following a crisis. One such story describes the genesis of the Temple of Set. But I'm not satisfied with a simple pop psychology explanation. Such transformative experiences do occur, but it is questionable whether a devil or saint was involved. I offer another explanation:
Change is the universal constant and that includes one's personal reality. The subjective universe we carry between our two ears is malleable and can be influenced by external forces, both physical and non-physical. We live in a universe of infinite possibilities and layers upon layers of intelligence, subtly interwoven. There are other life forms and other dimensions, co-existing.
In times of crisis, an expansion of consciousness may occur, the mind reaching out. In such cases, one can experience contact with an intelligence more complex than his own and his mind will translate the experience as an encounter with a mythic form. What's important is not the mask they come wearing, be it devil or saint, but the message they impart and how that it affects the individual's life.
Do you worship evil?
You can not even define evil without discussing what is good. Therefore, the two are inseparable. One can not understand darkness without experiencing light. One cannot appreciate day, without having night. Opposites compliment, define and complete one another. To destroy all evil in the world means there would be no good left to appreciate, therefore the Shadow Dweller does not worship or disrespect either quality! We value ourselves and nature instead and venerate opposition in balance!
The definition of good and evil is subject to change because it exists only as a perception. "Evil" is a label we assign according to our mood swings to those who are politically incorrect. The ascended masters of Eastern Philosophy become the fallen angels of Western Philosophy. One man's "demons" are another man's "saints." Theologians create gods and devils in man's image, then conflict between them to divide the heart and conquer the soul! They pit spirit against matter, then appoint themselves position of supreme arbiter, divine interpreter of right and wrong, good and evil.
"Good" are the things we like. "Evil" are the things we dislike. It often depends on who or what you are. As Diane Vera says, if you're a mouse, cats are evil, but to the pet owner, cats are heavenly. Therefore, evil is not an essence - it is a value judgment. From a Christian point of view, Satan is "evil." Shadow Dwellers are truth seekers who desire to peek behind such labels.
Of course, there are certain ethical wrongs, but they are set by a society or culture so that all can live harmoniously. Examples of these would be thieving, disrespectful behavior and killing or abusing an innocent.
A chief attribute of the trickster god is the role of Devil's Advocate. The Shadow Dweller illustrates "opposition in balance," wielding contradiction like a scalpel in the hand of a skilled surgeon. Our objective? Closure to this unnatural dichotomy, this madness you call "good and evil." Bringing flesh and spirit together. The establishment of a New World Order, free of guilt, self-loathing and shame, where every man and woman is the god of his or her own life. We look upon religion as the starter of wars and the breeder of hate and intolerance. We believe that people are intelligent enough to instill moral and ethical codes into a societal structure without a threat of an imaginary supernatural being wreaking havoc on an offender.
Are God and the Devil enemies?
As I've explained, if you're going to believe there is a god and a devil who are enemies, that will become your personal reality. And you will be at war with yourself, because those two elements will be struggling against one another in your mind. It is the conflicted personality that is the easiest to control and manipulate, and that's how organized religions operate.
Islamic fundamentalists and Christians define themselves as monotheists, but practice dualism; they imagine a devil opposed to the creator, but creation cannot be divided against itself. Using their own logic, one could argue; if a devil physically exists, then God exists. And, if God created Satan, then God is Satan. You cannot create something unless it is a manifestation of your own will. How can you make a computer if you don't know how? You would have to base it on knowledge of that computer, or in this case, God's knowledge of "evil." So, God is evil. If God created hell, he'd have to know about eternal torment, meaning God is tormented. If God created humans, and humans are imperfect, God is imperfect. Even the bible contradicts the split mind theology practiced by Christians. I refer to Isaiah 45:7, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
Do you believe in hell?
Polybius, the ancient historian, said:
"Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions."
As you can see from this quote, it was political and economic leaders who created these religious myths in order to keep people under their power. The ancient Roman leaders gave the people breads and circuses; carnivals, gladiator shows, and a host of underworld myths in order to keep the people ignorant and too busy to think for themselves. People create their own heavens and hells.
What are the rules of the Allee Shadow Tradition?
People who are looking for a book of rules to live by do not win my respect. Our brand of spirituality isn't based upon a book, presumably inspired by some higher authority.
We are not looking for those who want to argue over their past conditioning or who wish to confine themselves based on their past experiences. We wish to help those individuals who are intelligent enough and courageous enough to not only create a set of rules for themselves, but then live by them. Only this will result in balanced individuals who can function in society.
Is Satanism a negative, destructive force in the world today?
The result of manifesting something in your life can be pleasant or catastrophic. In this case, it all depends on how the individual relates to this dark figure. Do you believe in a Devil who was a heroic symbol for some during the Middle Ages, liberating the serfs from the shackles of slavery to an oppressive Church system? If you attach yourself to this hero figure, that will be reflected in your life - you may even become a positive role model for others. But if you follow the current Hollywood trend and worship a nasty Devil who rebels against everyone, chances are, you will become the thing you worship: an outcast - someone who can't work or play well with others - in other words, a loser. To quote Thomas Paine, "Belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man."
Is Satanism a valid path?
The validity of a spiritual or philosophical path, can only be weighed and determined by the individual because we are essentially dealing with relative truths. If you were to rephrase the question and ask if I believed Satanism helps one to excel, again I would state that it depends on how the individual relates to various aspects of the philosophy and what it reveals to them. People look for a symbol or metaphor to attach blame or praise, but much has to do with the will and intent of the individual responsible and the way in which these symbols are interpreted.
What About Exorcisms?
Originally this word came from the Catholic Church with set rituals and prayers. Priests who were trained would deal in cases such as this. Also, believers were given prayers to say that would help keep 'evil' at bay.
Today's Roman Catholic Church still has trained exorcists, however, they rarely perform exorcisms, and the Church always looks for natural, medical and psychological causes first.
Other religious sects are not so professional in their dealings with their beliefs. Recently here in the United States, two Christian parents were arrested for beating the devil out of their child during an exorcism rite, effectively killing her.
Of course, you'll never hear a lead story with the caption "Christian parents kill child" because it would offend many listeners. It is also irresponsible journalism. But if the caption reads "Satanist parents kill child in bizarre ritual," that would be front page headlines.
Since Paul's letters in the New Testament, the devil has served the convenient function of scapegoat and that tradition is reflected in today's news headlines. What this accomplishes is to deflect blame onto an impersonal devil. People need to take responsibility for their own thoughts, words and actions.
The truth is, you won't see these cases of demon possession in cultures that don't believe in a devil. The Christian and Islamic cultures induce this form of socialized schizophrenia by telling you that the animal side of you is "evil"and must be suppressed! And so, like a pressure cooker, certain people blow their tops. Their heads spin, and they vomit pea soup. But that's what you get for going against nature - that's what you get for waging war against the "devil," which is really an important and necessary part of you. And so you see, I'm not arguing that these incidents occur, I'm arguing why they occur. And it isn't the devil's fault. It's our fault.
The truth is, there is no objective basis for evil, otherwise it would have consistent features that are clearly definable. Again, I'll use the analogy: To a mouse, cats are hideously evil monsters with fangs and claws that rip you apart. To the cat owner, they are heavenly bundles of fur, who purr and can even lower your blood pressure when you pat them!
So, are cats good or evil? The answer I usually get is, "Neither. They are what they are." Well, the same could be said of humans - we are what we are. So, let's stop playing these games of "good" and "evil" because it is causing too many problems. People even crash planes into buildings believing that they are killing Satan. It isn't working. Satan is alive and well and living inside each of us. The only way you are going to get rid of him is to destroy the human race... who wants to be first?
Is the Devil all about repressed thoughts and desires?
There could be something to this idea. Certainly, throughout history, we have seen that people believe that the devil is responsible for thoughts and actions considered "evil" and "wicked." This would include alternative sexual lifestyles, radical beliefs, or anything that is not what could be considered a societal norm.
When I was featured in a Boston weekly entertainment newspaper during Halloween or Samhain, I received many phone calls from transvestites - men who were fond of wearing women's clothes. At first, this confused me, because
I couldn't understand why they would have any interest or feel a connection to what I had to say about Satanism. What I found is that the devil often represents repressed thoughts and desires; those things we never want anyone to know about or that we are ashamed of in our lives. The devil represents those characteristics within ourselves
that we find undesirable - that we would rather shove into one corner and totally ignore. Some of these naturally should be explored, others are best given an alternative outlet.
My question to you is, "Do you really think it's wise to repress thoughts and desires?" When a person goes for psychological counseling, they are attempting to focus on certain memories or experiences locked away in the shadows and bring them out into the light where they can be examined. This is why I tell people they should not
fear the devil, but attempt to look beyond good and evil in their search for the truth.