The Devil in The World Today


In the last of his talks on the Devil, author and occult historian Gavin Baddeley brings us bang up to date, detailing the part played by the Prince of Darkness in the crises we currently face. First, however, Gavin takes us back to the end of the Second World War, when the horrors of Hiroshima and the Holocaust tested the faith of many Christians. The ensuing generation turned their back on tradition and declared a sexual revolution, looking for enlightenment in drugs and alternative beliefs. Suddenly witchcraft was groovy, as swinging London’s definitive bad boys the Rolling Stones expressed Sympathy for the Devil. In 1966, in San Francisco Anton LaVey – the world’s first Satanic Pope – declared it Anno Satanas Year One, while TIME magazine shocked America by asking ‘Is God Dead?’…

Yet the posthumous comeback remains the Almighty’s signature move, and the Church launched a counterattack, culminating in the 1980s when Evangelical Christianity began to dominate the political and cultural agenda. In an episode with sinister echoes of the Witch Craze of 500 years earlier, Christians saw the Devil everywhere, from daycare centres and popular pharmaceutical brands, to Saturday morning cartoons like The Smurfs. By the end of the millennium, however, this Satanic Panic conspiracy theory collapsed under the weight of its own absurdity, but any hope of sanity prevailing would prove ill-founded…

In 2001, on September 11th, another group of religious fanatics made their indelible statement of religious violence. Though for these holy warriors, the West was the Great Satan. In the culture – and real – wars of the 21st Century, the Devil is frequently on the frontline. In recent years, American Evangelicals attempted to seize power by employing their ‘imperfect vessel’ Donald Trump. Trump in turn became a messianic figure to the new cults emerging in cyberspace, culminating in the amorphous QAnon movement, who saw him as their improbable saviour from a Satanic cabal of Democrat politicians and Hollywood stars, a belief that climaxed in an attempted coup in Washington D.C. in January of 2021. We conclude in Ukraine, as Gavin shows us the pivotal role of the Devil in the conflict that some fear could drag us into another World War…

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Gavin Baddeley is an author, journalist, and occult historian, whose works include LUCIFER RISING, SAUCY JACK, and THE GOSPEL OF FILTH. He’s worked for every major television network as a consultant or interviewee, and is in demand as a public speaker, addressing both academic and popular audiences on a broad range of topics, from vampirism in England, to the history of counterculture.

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