The Goodguy Badge

1. Hollow Good Guys

Consciously or unconsciously, people tend to behave in a way that boosts their own social position. Not everyone is good at this, but it is a major part of all Human psychology. Part of our social self-esteem often includes the desire to be seen as socially good. People are on the whole weak and pathetic. They are not in touch with their own emotions or psychology. To question their own motives is very difficult. They don't know why they seek acceptance from others, why they are doing what they are doing in life, or where they're going. But they want to be seen as a good. Every culture develops symbols that signify "good", and people come to adopt those symbols in order to feel good about themselves upon seeing that others, outside their group, do not display those symbols. This is social psychology in action, and it is mildly shallow, mildly pretentious and generally hollow. The whole shambles serves to boost the egos of those who do not have genuine skills.

If social approval motivates helping, then in experiments we should find that when approval follows helping, helping increases. And it does.

"Social Psychology"
David Myers (1999)1

People adopt a "good-guy badge", to use the phrase coined by Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, to describe the shallow things people do to appear 'good' but which are really based on (often subconscious) selfishness and the desire to feed their own egos with a sense of self-satisfaction.

Book CoverMan is a selfish creature. Everything in life is a selfish act. Man is not concerned with helping others, yet he wants others to believe he is! [...] The first rule of the prideful is to make an exhibition of piety and charity, with a Goodguy Badge to pin to his lapel. Man cannot progress one step further towards his own godhood until he removes that Goodguy Badge.

"The Devil's Notebook" by Anton LaVey (1992)2

Anton LaVey points out correctly that the genuinely worthy gain recognition through strength of character and talent. But "the rest attempt to gain it by attaching a label to themselves".

There is disagreement between Satanism and white light religions on the basic nature of mankind. Anton LaVey wrote critically about the white magicians and white witches who claim to use their powers "only for good", or to keep only "good" motivations. They may not be conscious liars, but, they severely misunderstand their own nature, and the nature of all other social animals. Any religion where the basic concept is that "we represent the force of good" is inherently imbalanced, and dishonest. Accepting that all altruism is long-term selfishness and that any good motive is based on carnal animal instinct is an essential part of our emotional honesty. Without this we are not in touch with ourselves and we become less understanding of our own motivations and desires. Without self understanding there is less control, therefore, worse behaviour is obtained alongside an increase in naive stupidity and foolishness.

"White Light Religions: 2. Imbalance" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

2. Altruism is an Illusion 3

Biologists, sociologists, philosophers and above all, psychologists, have held to the "universal egoism" theory: that all apparent altruism is really selfishness in disguise. Most arguments for altruism are based on ignorance of the underlying reasons for behaving good towards others or are purely semantic in nature, not logical. "We are born selfish" writes the eminent biologist Prof. Richard Dawkins in "The Selfish Gene" (1976), and this is why, he argues, we need to teach altruism, to give others good moral guidance, to think about our actions carefully, and that when we understand our motives better, we are better equipped to behave well, and overcome the ethnically-biased altruism that we are born with4.

People behave altruistically for a number of selfish reasons. We are programmed genetically to behave in a way conducive to the sociability of the species: This unconscious species-instinct is the closest thing we have to true selfless altruism and this drive is shared with other social species too. In nearly every other conscious sense, altruism is an illusion. We behave well because social good behaviour fires off pleasant neurochemicals in our brains (the pleasure reward), because consciously or unconsciously we want others to see us as a good person (the social reward) or to feel good about ourselves (for pride and self-esteem). This internal reward system means that while we think we act well towards others' for their own sake, we actually do it for the biochemical buzz that it gives us. Altruism is image and illusion.

"Altruism is an Illusion" by Vexen Crabtree (2006) page menu:

3. Creating the Bad Guy: Pretend Enemies

Because many people are worthless, there is a need for people to make themselves feel better about themselves. A good way to feel good about yourself is to fight for a cause you believe in. That would be the method of the strong; to fashion the world into the shape they want it to be. But the path of the untermensch is not so brave. They will create enemies, and declare themselves on the side of 'good', and then do nothing more!

The weak want an enemy that can't fight back, a goodguy badge that won't fade, and recognition that requires no work! This, my good readers, is the shallow path of the weak and I am sure you have recognized many of its lost wanderers. Such people often do not know why they are apathetic or lazy; the reason is because once they've got their goodguy badge, they do nothing else! That is why LaVey says... to progress, to become, you need to drop the goodguy badge!

Many god-believers, be they Muslim, Christian or even polytheists, have chosen to accept a belief system where they get to pour scorn upon a fictional bad guy (say, the devil), and pour praise upon a fictional good guy (say, God, Muhammad or Jesus), yet not actually have to do much work besides! What the strong call subservience and weakness, the Christians call "salvation by faith". In other words: All they have to do is claim to be on "God's side" and they've got their goodguy badge! People will like them! Society will approve! And they won't have to do anything. Because if they tried to do things, everyone would realize they're talentless morons with no important wishes or wants! Without goodguy badges, peoples' inadequacies come to the fore. Creating an enemy in order to denigrate it is a perfect way of attaining goodguy badges! Long live the enemy!

4. Satanism

Long live the enemy, indeed. Strength, power, willpower and confidence are required of those diabolical few who choose not to wear goodguy badges. In fact, if you really wanted to make things hard, and you saw that the mindless masses are weaving themselves into a web of confusion with their semi-believed goodguy-badges white-light nonsenses, then you could actively wear... a bad guy badge!

In recognition of the delusions of the masses and the petit psychology of group dynamics that leads people into frivolous associations with imaginary goodness, the Satanist proudly stands apart from the crowd, with a symbol of cleansing fire.

Satan represents the state of affairs recognized by Satanists: That all good is based on evil: That love and altruism are both selfish and carnal. Satan represents the evil and uncaring attitude of the dark force in nature. It represents good being dependant on evil and life being ultimately defeated by death. Satan represents all of this evil which in turn creates all good. Without our evil sides we are lost and Satan represents acceptance of this.

"Good is Derived from Evil: Satanic Theory: 7. Satan Represents Evil as Necessary"
Vexen Crabtree

5. Some Examples of Goodguy Badges

People in public positions are the worst at adopting goodguy badges. They hide every selfish motive... and as such, no-one trusts them! Because everyone knows that everyone has ulterior, selfish motives. The more you hide them, the less trustworthy you are. A goodguy badge or two is socially acceptable, even normal for the masses who lack genuine strength of character, but if you start collecting them en masse like a sex-starved sociopath, then you give the game away and everyone knows you're not sincere! Hence the odd contrasts of people who are in the public eye; they feel compelled to collect more and more goodguy badges as their audience grows. Their companions who do not do this and serve through willpower and determination tend to have the better, more honest, more capable admirers! A shallow veneer attracts only shallow followers; the leader with his goodguy badge is man blind to his own motives, leading the masses who are also blinded from his selfishness by his veneer. The totality of this system should be called "the herd", because they are all sheep, and nothing more.

6. Not all Causes are Shallow

Take care not to attribute every good act the status of shallow social engineering. Many people rightly do good things for generally good reasons. Some who wear the goodguy badge are also actually good people. If they are doing good, then does it really matter what their true motives are? If they are deluded into thinking their good acts are selfless altruism, not a long-term social technique to seek power, then the delusion can be challenged but their good acts should be commended, in themselves.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! Don't reject good causes in the name of rejecting your goodguy badge! Stick with the causes, but change your attitude towards them. Get in touch with your own state of mind and know where your self-appraising good actions are shallow, and where they are meaningful.

To be a Satanist, to be a worshipper of the self and a worshipper of truth, you cannot accept these false and shallow goodguy badges. To shed lies and deceit, to purge them with fire, is to will more honesty and more responsibility upon people. To see people in their true light! Then, the strong will be seen for who they are! And the weak will be seen for who they are! And goodguy badges will be seen, at last, as the deceitful, confused and selfish contradictions that they are!

Hail Satan, Hail the Infernal Empire!

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By Vexen Crabtree 2005 Aug 29
(Last Modified: 2015 Jan 04)
Parent page: Satanists and Satanic Community: How many are there and what are they like?

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Book Cover

Crabtree, Vexen
(2002) "White Light Religions" (2002). Accessed 2015 Apr 09.

Dawkins, Prof. Richard
(1976) The Selfish Gene. 30th Anniversary 2006 edition, published by the Oxford University Press, UK.

LaVey, Anton. (1930-1997) Founder of the Church of Satan.
(1969) The Satanic Bible. Published by Avon Books Inc, New York, USA. Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966.
(1992) The Devil's Notebook. Published by Feral House, CA, USA.

Myers, David
(1999) Social Psychology. 6th 'international' edition. First edition 1983. Published by McGraw Hill.


  1. Myers (1999) p476-477. Added to this page on 2006 Sep 01.^
  2. LaVey (1992) p20.^
  3. Added to this page on 2015 Jan 04.^
  4. Dawkins (1976) p2-3.^

© 2015 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.