Because of the ideas that I write and talk about frequently, I frequently get asked a simple to ask, but complex for me to answer, question: “So, what exactly are your religious beliefs?”
What follows is typically a lot more of an answer than the asker bargained for.
Though, really, I could sum it up by quoting the Dalai Lama: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
In one of my favorite children’s holiday specials It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, one of the characters, Linus, says, “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”
That’s good advice, that I usually adhere to, but getting asked about religion, so much, I thought, “Why not take a look at religion in wrestling, by having open, non-judgemental discussions with my fellow wrestlers from different faiths?”
I also thought, “Why not start with a provocative one: Satanism?”
Well, it just so happens that one of the people who has asked me about my beliefs, happens to be a card carrying member of the The Satanic Temple,
Let us address the Great Pumpkin in the room, shall we?
I was waiting to talk to a guy, that I had never heard of, about professional wrestling training, at the (now, no longer) Holiday Inn, in Oak Hill, WV, after a local-indie event.
While I waited, I couldn’t help but overhear (literally, unless I had headphones or walked outside) one of the wrestlers, a cruiserweight, whose name that I didn’t recall from the earlier matches, speaking negatively about every subject that came up.
In my mind, I thought, “Man, I don’t like that guy.”
In typical that’s-life fashion, that man turned out to be my first real, hands-on, professional wrestling trainer (having had the responsibility deferred to him by the guy I was waiting for, that night), and one of my best friends, and espouser of Satanic values, TJ Phillips.
I wrote a preface to this interview by sharing my first memory/impression of you. Please, be candidly over-honest and share your initial memory/impression of me.
TJ: My first recollection of meeting a young Jason Kincaid is that of a sloppily dressed, 17 year old kid, with two different shoes on. He was there with some of his friends wanting to train to be wrestlers. After the first day all that was left was Jason; who puked his guts out, but kept coming back for more. He did that for a month.
So, how long have you been a LaVeyan Satanist?
TJ: Well, to quote (Church Of Satan Founder) Doctor LaVey; "One doesn't become a satanist, one is born a satanist." And, in all honesty, that's very true.
I didn't know what I was, growing up. I was raised Methodist, going to church as a child. I even played Jesus Christ in a church play, one year, but I knew, really early on, that something was off; it just didn't add up to me. The doctrine that was preached to me definitely wasn't how I felt, or believed, but I just kept my mouth shut and kept going, until I was about 8 or nine.
Then, I finally embarrassed my mother enough, with an answer I gave to a question the pastor raised to the children:
He had us all sitting in front of the altar and asked if any of us knew who Jesus was.
I answered first, "He's the son of Godddddddzilla!!!!”
Well, as amusing as the other parents found my answer, my family was mortified and I never had to return to church.
So, I had all these thoughts, ideas, and feelings about things and Jesus, and his book, definitely didn't fit into any of them.
So, at about 16, I found a copy of Doctor LaVey's book The Satanic Bible, at the bookstore, at my local mall. I only got to read a small part of it, because I was with my holy-rolling, high school sweetheart and I definitely didn't want her to catch me looking through it, so I quickly set it back on the shelf.
Oh, but what I read blew me away! It was exactly how I had always felt: to a tee. It was like it was written from my own brain and I didn't remember writing it.
So, I would make secret trips to read a little more, every few days or so; gradually gaining more knowledge on the subject.
The more I read, the more I knew what I am. I am a satanist I just never knew how I felt had a name.
That's when sh__ got scary for me. Because I knew, in my heart, this is who, and what, I am, but people have a preconceived notion about it from title alone.
The word Satan has a negative connotation to it and, honestly, it’s a total misconception.
As a satanist people immediately jump back into the Satanic Panic of the 1980's, saying things like we kidnap children, sacrifice humans, or animals, and drink their blood, and worship the Devil, and so on and so forth. All of that is completely FALSE!
Please, for the misunderstanding reader, would you explain the difference between Devil Worshipers and Satanists?
First of all, Satanists are atheistic; we don't believe in a god or a devil.
We don't believe in sacrifice in any way, shape, or form; in fact, it's quite the opposite! We believe in indulgence, not sacrifice.
It would be hard to worship a devil, or demons, or a god, when we don't believe in their existence, at all.
The Devil Worshiper misconceptions come from the name Satanist. So, I'm sure you are wondering: why call yourself a Satanist then?
Well, it's simple, really; the Christians helped with that. The word Satan doesn't mean evil, or devil, or anything of that nature. It means "adversary".
So, Doctor LeVay coined the term Satanism. You see, much of what Christians call sins, we believe lead to either mental, physical, or emotional gratification; I feel those are good things!
At the point that I decided that there is no actual hell, or afterlife, because there's no proof of any of it, I could start enjoying life because, after all: if all I have is one life time, I'd best enjoy it to the most.
But the bigger issue I had was: I was still hiding it from the World.
It wasn't until my second marriage ended that I just stopped caring, and stopped hiding my beliefs, and joined The Satanic Temple; I am a legitimate, card carrying member.
I publicly study my religion without fear, any longer, even though there are still misconceptions about what it really is.
When called a devil worshiper, I simply reply with "I can't worship something I don't believe exists." And, usually, leave it at that, but some people are curious, then, and ask questions, and I gratefully answer to clear up confusion.
Then they usually want to see my membership card, for some reason. I guess it's not real to them until they see it.
You used the word “religion”, yet also consider yourself an “atheist”. That might seem contrary to some readers, though many consider one of the leading World faiths, Buddhism, to be an “atheistic religion”, as well, since it doesn’t acknowledge a Supreme Creator. Care to elaborate on that point?
TJ: In Satanism, there are no gods: only ourselves, and it is my personal goal in life to amass enough knowledge to become godlike.
Yes, we are atheists: atheists with a path.
I found the right path for me and it's the left-hand path.
Have you gotten any negative feedback since openly speaking about your beliefs?
TJ: Yes, a ton. Even from my own family, but I no longer care.
People are going to have opinions of their own, and that's fine. I don't mind it, at all.
Just know that satanism doesn't believe in turning the other cheek, so: if you say something ignorant to me, then, be prepared to hear the truth in return.
Do your beliefs influence you as a professional wrestler?
TJ: Absolutely! My in-ring personality is a walking billboard for my beliefs. But, also, it allows me to think more clearly about the things that are most important: myself and those that matter to me.
As Satanists, we don't believe in wasting love on ingrates. So, it makes doing business easier, but there's no emotion to it. You just do what's best; makes things simple.
I think we covered enough ground to dispel a lot of misinformed, preconceived notions that people may have had going into this. Anything else you would like to add?
TJ: I would like to say: people should look into the truth behind things, rather than jumping to conclusions. Just because I am a satanist that doesn't make me a bad person, just a focused one.
Much appreciated, brother!
TJ: No, thank you, bub!