Founded in 2013 by Asha’Shedim (aka Reverend Elijah Lawless, aka Aka Paimon, aka John Putignano) the Lilin Society is an occult fraternity dedicated to the study and practice of the Dark Arts. If its doctrinal background is clearly the current 218 (Anti-cosmic Satanism), his teachings borrow in various corpus, such as the cult of Qayin, that of Santa Muerte, Voodoo, the Quimbanda the qlipphothic Kabbalah, etc. The Lilin Society presents itself as targeting the « serious practitioners » in search of the « Luciferian Gnosis ».
Hello, Asha’Shedim and thanks for accepting this interview. As a start, could you tell us something about your personal journey into esotericism?
Well I was born to a Catholic Italian family in the Boston Metro area of MA (United States). My family wasn’t big on Catholicism other than for tradition but they made me go through Sunday school and my first communion anyhow.
Early on I felt a draw toward Satan. I can’t explain it but even at such a young age I rejected the thought of Jesus Christ and what I now know to be the Demiurge. I discovered later that this was the Azoth within me screaming out to be free of these cosmic shackles. My devotion to Satanism began when I was thirteen years old. I am thirty-two as of this interview so that is almost two decades of devotion.
What does the nomen « Asha’Shedim » mean exactly ?
Asha is a Zoroastriam term which means truth. The Shedim in Judaism are demons who descended from serpents. Sinful people often sacrificed their daughters to the Shedim. The Shedim followed the dead and stuck around graves.
The Lilin Society in its present form was founded in 2013, but other esoteric fraternities have preceded it before. It seems that the history of this order is somewhat complex. Could you sum up its genesis and evolution?
It began around 2005 as the Church of Luciferian Light. I set out to attract like minds in the Providence, Rhode Island area but unfortunately I attracted the weekend Satanists; people who claim Satanism but use it for fashion or shock value. I then formed the Sect of Angra Mainyu shortly after. This time I attracted the right people. It was an order devoted to anti-cosmic Satanism. A fallout came between me and the Council so it ended. The council went on to form the Temple of the Weaver and I returned to solo practice.
It was in 2013 that I decided to try it one last time, to form a society which would reach all areas of the globe through the internet. I set out to create the Lilin Society.
If you could describe the guideline of the Lilin Society in a few words / sentences?
Our guidelines are brotherhood, secrecy, practice and evolution.
The Lilin Society claims to be an occult order in line with the current 218, but the teachings and practices come from multiple sources. Is this melting pot part of a syncretistic perspective, as it is often the case in anti-cosmic orders, or do you consider these currents as complementary points of view?
As Satanists we should never limit ourselves. Our goal is evolution and superiority. We must tap into all areas that work for us to achieve this goal. I have tied Quimbanda in to Anti Cosmic Satanism but that exists in the work entitled the Pitchfork of Maioral Lucifer, which currently is not available to the public but will be available in 2016 when I release the book The Tome of the Lilin Society. I use what works for me, as does the members of my society.
In this regard, in The Grimoire of Asha’Shedim the main chapters are dedicated to the Voodoo, to the Quimbanda, to The Cult of Santa Muerte and to the Qliphothic magic. How do you manage to master all these different arts? Do you have a preference for one? Have you been initiated to these magics before practicing?
I work within all the arts I teach. Mastering an art takes a lifetime. I am a student in these arts and do not claim to master any. Anyone who claims to master any art at such a young age is a liar. As for preference I have had the most success from the Cult of Santa Muerte. Her sorcery is strong as is my bond with her. As for initiation into these systems I have not gone through the traditional initiation. Most practitioners in these arts haven’t either (although many claim to), but from what I have accomplished I am convinced initiation, although helpful, is not a make or break for anyone. For example, the Exu and Pomba Gira within Quimbanda will work with you as long as you respect them and do not use them. Many people who use Voodoo try to treat the Lwa as circus animal to entertain, and that is why they have no luck in using them. With initiation comes a profound respect, but this respect can be gained without initiation.
If I got it right, the Lilin Society offers a system of self-initiation and members are very independent, yet the LS offers also a system of grades and exams. Can you explain further this way of operating? Is the Lilin Society rather a structured order or an association of free individuals?
It is both. One decides their level of commitment to the Society. Self-initiation will not expose you to our secret work however. It is through grades and exams that one will gain access to our non public work. I encourage anyone interested to go through this path. I have been known to let people in on merit, people whom I have established a dialogue with.
How big is your membership?
The exact number is unknown. There are individuals and sects which fall under our umbrella. It is world wide with many claiming the Society whom haven’t entered a grade.
What are the criteria’s for someone wishing to enter the Lilin Society?
One must contact me personally from the website. They will be given some material and expected to complete an exam and write a short essay. Their packet will be reviewed and if it is decided they can enter they will be contacted by me.
I noticed that, in your documents and books, the emphasis is focused on technique. You also insist much on the need for a « serious » practice. Do you think that esotericism is spoiled by the continual blahblah of armchair theorists?
I think “book collectors” and “weekend Satanists” have saturated the art. I think many love to read and study but few actually practice. This is why my books are written as they are. The practitioner should have some history of occult knowledge before using my method and system. I think a lot of books are written by these armchair theorists who do not practice the art themselves and it sickens me. I think one can tell if they dig deep whether or not the writer is full of it or not.
The influence of the ONA (Order of the Nine Angles) seems increasingly present in the Lilin Society. If this current is one of the pillars of Chaosophie, the latter tended rather to go away from the ONA. Is it for you something like a return to basics? And, more broadly, what are your views on the ONA?
I think the ONA has some fascinating views on the acausal universe. To not give them credit to Current 218 is just absurd. I think one needs to explore the roots further to evolve. There are parts of the ONA I do not agree with, such as Nazism, but no one should agree 100% with any organization. Even my own Society, I do not expect members to hang on my every word. That would be the work of lemmings and I do not respect lemmings. Many within the Society do not necessarily support the ONA teachings, and I respect that.
Furthermore, in some texts, you use the term Azoth as synonymous with Black Flame. Could you clarify this?
The Azoth is the spirit. The Fireborn have spirit whereas the Clayborn do not. I refer to this spirit as Azoth and within it is the Black Flame. It is separating oneself from the physical.
In an interview, you said: « I do not partake in human sacrifice rituals at all. » In another text, maybe later, you precised than only voluntary sacrifices are approved in Lilin Society and you also say that the group follows the ONA’s position on this issue. So, it is not very clear for me. What is the current position of the Lilin Society on human sacrifice?
The Lilin Society does support Human Sacrifice through ritual sorcery. I at one time did not but have evolved as a practitioner and see the importance of it. Have I or any member partaken in the physical sacrifice? I have not. As for my members I cannot say for I do not know. We do not condone physical sacrifice due to the laws that govern. Incarceration will hinder and limit your involvement in the art and should be avoided. Sorcery is the loophole to partake without breaking any laws. When in recent history has someone been convicted orf sacrifice through sorcery?
You founded in the 2000s an experimental electronic music band : Black Lodge Laboratory, which is about to release an album. Could you tell us something about this musical experience and about your band?
Black Lodge Laboratory started out in the year 2000 as an electronic solo project. It has evolved over the years and now is an industrial rock band with Perry Padgett on guitar. The album coming out this year is Something Witchy which is an anti-christian, anti-society, anti-order album. We plan on shifting over to industrial metal in 2016 as we evolve our style more. This band has been a great inspiration to me and has been wonderful to work with.
I heard that you also write novels. Are you building bridges between art and esotericism? And if so, how does the both articulate?
My novels might have hints of Anti-Cosmic Satanism in it, especially my book Pleasures in Putrefaction, but overall they are separate. Pleasures in Putrefaction, Torture Porn and Torture Porn Two are all extreme horror books. God’s Drunk is a genre called Redneck Noir and it is a dark crime novel. Malkuth is a sci fi cyberpunk novella. I have considered following the ONA concept of uniting fiction with the art but haven’t as of yet.
In several documents, you mention the enemies of the Lilin Society. Did you come up against much opposition, critics?
I have been threatened and criticized by many since this Society started getting known within the occult community. We have critics all over who feel we have stolen from the Temple of the Black Light. These people haven’t read our work obviously for as you mentioned earlier our work is a melting pot of different areas. The Temple of the Black Light was inspired heavily from the ONA and some of their work has been almost copied from the book Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic. The Temple does not own the religion, nor did they create it. It is open for all to use.
As for enemies I have found some. Some who wish to cause problems within the Society and try to topple it, some who have infiltrated it and brought unwanted attention from other Sects. Opposition is expected, and I welcome it and the critics who try to bash my Society.
I heard that you had problems with the Temple of The Black Light. Can you talk about that or is it taboo?
I would rather not talk about it. I still respect the teachings of the Temple and thus will leave our run ins in the dark, away from the public.
And otherwise, can I get your logo tattooed or should I request permission from Tiamat? (laughs)
I would have no problem with anyone getting our logo tattooed. I plan on it myself in the near future.
You wrote several esoteric works, such as The Grimoire of Asha’Shedim or Book of the Lawless: Essays on Anti-Cosmic Satanism. Does these books are mostly intended for the members of the LS or can a wide audience understand and appreciate them ? Which book would you advise to our readers to discover your works ?
Anything that is publicly released is intended to be used by all practitioners. I suggest starting with the Grimoire of Asha’Shedim first for it introduces the system I have created.
Some current projects?
I do have a new book in the works called The Tome of the Lilin Society. This book will contain previously unavailable work including the Pitchfork of Maioral Lucifer and the Devotion to Qayin ritual as well as other new works.
You hold an esoteric shop online with your wife, Crossroads. In one section, it is stated that all the artefacts are consecrated by yourself on your altar. I have myself a necklace from your shop and I love its vibrant energy. How did you get this idea? Because these ritual jewels are primarily intended for the members of the Lilin Society? And what are the customers’ feedbacks about it?
I am glad you like the necklace. Yes, I consecrated all jewelry at my altar but unfortunately the store is now closed. I couldn’t keep up with the orders. I got the idea one day trying to explore new avenues. I didn’t expect it to take off like it did. I specialized in real human bone jewelry. I can make things to order if people contact me at times but the store isn’t running to the capacity it once was.
In conclusion: between all the magical and mystical experiences you have lived, what is the one that impressed you the most – if you agree to talk about it?
I will not talk about specifics because I don’t think a practitioner should but I will say that Santa Muerte has protected me. She has saved my life on more than one occasion, helped me in the material world and the spiritual world. I am very impressed with this system.
Thanks Asha’Shedim !
The Lilin Society