Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner).


Marilyn Manson—a name formed of the names of two American cultural icons, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson—had a lot to say about hypocrisy in society. Growing up in a strongly Christian America, Marilyn Manson would become a strong critic of the religion, targeting it in his lyrics and in his controversial stage shows. He would even become friends with Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of the Satan.

Manson later downplayed his association with the church. But in his 1998 autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, in which he discusses the effect of religion on his life and even cites famous critic of Christianity Friedrich Nietzsche (‘God is dead!’) multiple times, he says this, which is interesting:

'What nearly everybody in my life . . . had misunderstood about Satanism was that it is not about ritual sacrifices, digging up graves and worshipping the devil. The devil doesn't exist. Satanism is about worshipping yourself, because you are responsible for your own good and evil. Christianity's war against the devil has always been a fight against man's most natural instincts—for sex, for violence, for self-gratification—and a denial of man's membership in the animal kingdom. The idea of heaven is just Christianity's way of creating a hell on earth.'



Thus, in Manson’s Nietzschean view, Satanism is a way of disavowing Christianity’s abasement of our instincts and a way of restoring what it is to be human. This is a fascinating way to look at it.