Those Bernal Heights Animal Sacrifices Probably Aren't the Work of Real Satanists

Courtesy of the badass
Sounds like it might be time to form a new city commission to look into this
A few weeks ago, we told readers about the pentagram smeared in animal blood painted on the top of Bernal Hill. The story and photos sparked much debate about who left the eerie symbol and perhaps more importantly, why.

The neighborhood was already shaken up after a decapitated goat and dead chicken were found strewn across the sidewalk along Capp Street. People started blaming  practicing Santerians, who, some say, routinely participate in animal sacrificing as part of their religion. Others claimed it was the work of local Satanists -- and the pentagram found shortly after crystallized that fear. 

But as our Exhibitionist blog notes today, Santeria -- a religion based in West African, Caribbean, Catholic, and Native American traditions -- is markedly different than Satanism.

In short, those who practice Santeria do sacrifice animals (for healing purposes only), but they don't leave behind bloody pentagrams. That's an important distinction!

So then who did plaster this pentagram across the hill? And were the animal deaths part of a real religious ritual?

Probably not, says Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of anticruelty services for the American SPCA. "Sacrificial remains found in parks, especially those adorned with talismans like candles or pennies, are most often the work of religious novices, teens, or satanic dabblers," he says.

Read the full story on the Exhibitionist.

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Eric Kauschen
Eric Kauschen

True Satanists do not perform animal sacrifices in any way.


This is known as the "No True Satanist" fallacy.

Eric Kauschen
Eric Kauschen

Read a copy of the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey. There is no organized Satanic or Left Hand Path group that advocates animal sacrifice. I've actually heard friends who are of a Christian background joke about spraying pentagrams around road kill because they thought it would be funny. There isn't enough information in this article to really say what is going on. I suspect some Mission District hipster will come out and claim it was a piece of guerrilla  artwork that they've done.


Why would I want to read the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey? I am behind on plenty of interesting books that weren't written by dreary narcissists.

There are no "real" satanists or "left hand path" groups, it's all just stupid nonsense, but you can always count on some pathetic emo sad-sacks to snivel and bleat that some other social maladjusts are doing it wrong.  "Waah, they put the pentagram in the wrong place and no *true* follower of Anton LaVey would kill animals burble burble burble".


So, what would a "real satanist" do? Do "real" satanists worship the "real" satan? But only "satanic dabblers" kill animals? I'm impressed by the subtle theological insight provided by the SPCA here.

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