Marilyn Manson has long been associated with Satanism and the occult. Why, considering that his breakthrough album was called Antichrist Superstar, white suburban mothers all across America saw his popularity as the sign of the downfall of both religion and society – a view that was compounded after he became a scapegoat for the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.
In fact, Marilyn Manson explained in his 1998 autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell, how back when he was on tour with Nine Inch Nails in 1994, The Church Of Satan’s founder, Anton LaVey, requested a meeting with him.
“Near the end of our visit, he said, ‘I want to make you a Reverend,’ and gave me a crimson card certifying me as a minister in the Church of Satan,” Manson explained. “It was like an honorary degree from a university.”
“As I left, LaVey put a bony hand on my shoulder, and, as it lay there coldly, he said, ‘You’re gonna make a big dent. You’re going to make an impression on the world.'”
Ever since then, this fact has been spouted by fans all over the Internet, and used as questions at trivia nights all over the world. However, it sounds like it might all be a bit of a miscommunication.
Taking to Twitter recently, a user engaged in a discussion with the official account for The Church Of Satan, arguing the fact that Manson was in fact an ordained minister for the church, as is widely believed.
“Nope, he’s an ordained priest for the church of Satan,” wrote the user. “You said he wasn’t, you were wrong. I can’t take you seriously.”
However, The Church Of Satan were quick to respond, explaining the full situation. “No. Almost 30 years ago he was given an honorary priesthood for his real world accomplishments at the time,” they wrote.
“That is not ‘ordained’ nor is it related to anything he might say decades later.”
No. Almost 30 years ago he was given an honorary priesthood for his real world accomplishments at the time. That is not “ordained” nor is it related to anything he might say decades later.
— The Church Of Satan (@ChurchofSatan) August 22, 2018
As Loudwire notes though, this whole situation was explained rather succinctly over a decade ago in an interview with The Church of Satan’s High Priest Peter Gilmore, who explained that while Marilyn Manson was indeed a member of the church, he’s not exactly out there representing the religion at every chance he gets.
“He’s a member who has been given an honorary priesthood,” explained Gilmore. “When asked about what Satanism is he can be very articulate in explaining it. But his own music is his own art. His stage shows are his own, and they don’t really exemplify Satanism in particular.”
“He’s an honorary priest, but he does his own thing,” he continued. “If asked about our philosophies he can explain it.”
“I told Anton LaVey that this guy was pretty smart and this gimmick is going to do well; it’s clever. He’s using this serial killer and Hollywood star combination, and he’s a smart guy and creating his own persona that is probably going to be successful. It took off immediately, and when Marilyn Manson was out on tour in California he asked if he could meet Anton LaVey and he was impressed.”
So while Marilyn Manson’s involvement in The Church Of Satan isn’t quite what it’s been made out to be for all these decades, it’s definitely helped to solidify the image that he’s attempted to portray since he first broke into the world of music.