5 Phases of an Adolescent's Slide Into Satanism

Interview With Journalist Carlo Climati

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ROME, JUNE 25, 2004 (Zenit.org).- What do certain rock music and Internet groups, adolescent curiosity, and moral relativism have in common?



They are all doors of access to Satanism for young people, warns Italian journalist and writer Carlo Climati.

Italy is still shaken by the discovery, in early June, of the bodies of Chiara Marino, 16, and Fabio Tollis, 19, in the woods northwest of Milan. They were last seen in January 1998 with other members of their rock band, the Beasts of Satan. Investigators say they were victims of "ritual" killings.

In this interview with ZENIT, Climati describes how adolescents get involved in Satanism and proposes ways to detect and prevent it.

Q: How widespread is the phenomenon of Satanism among young people?

Climati: It is certainly a phenomenon that is growing rapidly and is difficult to control. I would describe it especially as a do-it-yourself Satanism, which young people practice by listening to rock music and surfing the Internet.

Naturally, one must not fall into the error of generalizing and condemning all rock music. But at the same time, one must be realistic and realize that Satanic rock already turns over a volume of business worth billions. Too many singers spread the non-culture of violence, drugs and hatred.

Q: How can an adolescent enter into contact with the world of Satanism?

Climati: It is a process that takes place in "phases" and that can be easily explained because of young people's great familiarity with the new technologies and means of communication.

The first phase generally consists of the simple and banal interest in a Satanic singer. First, a young person buys his CDs and is passionate about his music. But then he feels the need to know more about the singer.

The second step is knowledge of the texts of the songs and the consequent exposure to a transgressive philosophy of life.

The third phase is the young person's purchase of music magazines that talk about his favorite singer. Lately, in certain rock periodicals, there is not just talk of music, but also of Satanism and esotericism. Sometimes even addresses are given of Satanic sects or Internet sites of singers linked to the world of the occult.

So, in order to know more, the fourth phase is entered: the search on Internet. Starting from simple curiosity for the sites of Satanic rock singers, there is the risk of going to the pages of authentic sects, or discussion groups frequented by Satanists.

The fifth and last phase is the young person's direct contact, through e-mail, with a sect or a practitioner of black magic.

Q: What is the philosophy of young people's Satanism?

Climati: In analyzing this phenomenon it is very important to examine it in depth. One must not stop at incidents of violence or macabre rites that are carried out in forests.

I want to stress especially the "Do what you feel like" idea, an invitation to moral relativism and a life without rules. It is man with his presumption who wants to usurp God's place and live under the standard of his own egotistical pleasure.

Moreover, at the base of Satanism is the death of hope. The invitation to withdraw into oneself and believe in nothing -- in the fact that life is only a jungle in which the powerful triumph over the weak.

Unfortunately, many young people seem to be fascinated by certain terrible philosophies. It is not difficult to identify them at night, outside premises that offer this kind of music. In general, they are dressed in black. Often their arms are marked by small, self-inflicted wounds.

These cuts are a sign of rendition, of pessimism. They symbolize, perhaps, other deeper wounds, which are those of everyday life. A life often marked by inability to communicate, lack of conversation in the family, difficulties in school or at work.

Q: How can the phenomenon of Satanic rock be combated?

Climati: The solution lies in accustoming young people to have a greater critical sense. Young people should not "imbibe" passively everything that certain rock stars say. We must help them to reflect, to understand, to reject those who promote the non-culture of death.

One must not allow oneself to be ensnared by terrible philosophies. If a singer promotes violence, we must not buy his records. Let's applaud those artists who communicate a positive message in favor of life. There is no lack of good examples. Suffice it to look for them.

This is the way that must be chosen to change the balance of the record market, a market that is often merciless and bent on making money at the cost of youth.

Before purchasing a CD, we must learn to ask ourselves what kind of ideology is behind it and what messages it is trying to impart. Otherwise, Satanic rock singers, imperturbable, will continue to hold the top spots in the charts.