Monday, September 19, 2005

Malleus Maleficarum

For those who've never read it, the Malleus Maleficarum is online. This is the origin of the 'Satanic Panic'. I remember the height of the 'panic' back in the '80s. Heavy Metal had a lot to do with it. The fact that it had never really been popular to be evil before. Religious fundamentalism took up the 'anti-rock' banner, and Al Gore's wife went ballistic. Rock kinda took the brunt of it. The infancy of goofy stilted dirty-word rap and the insidious nature of the good-ole'-boy country music kept them from getting as much attention. 2 Live Crew got a little bit from the dirty lyrics, but for the most part, it was the guitar rockers.

In my personal life, I remember thinking how weird and cool that evil stuff looked. The more they told me it was scary and evil, the more I liked it. Everybody wants some sort of proof of the supernatural. People said in order to be a famous musician you had to make a deal with the devil just made a kid want to find out if that was true.

I remember becoming really religious during that time. I wouldn't let my cousin listen to Metallica on the way to school anymore. Every song I heard on the radio, I explained, was directly from Satan's mouth. I'd quote the lyrics back to the person who was with me and then raise my eyebrows and go, "see?" Stories of satanic cult activity in any stand of trees you could call 'woods' ran rampant. Of course, some of these stories were true, but I seriously doubt quoting Iron Maiden lyrics in a circle around a fire pit would inspire the devil or demons to make an appearance.

Girls who didn't give popular guys any attention were 'witches'. Guys who were shy and depressed were 'devil worshippers'. Pieces of paper with handwritten 'spells' on them circulated around the schools. Stories of so-and-so buring a candle to curse so-and-so made the rounds, as well.