Pr ODF Majere reviews Malleus Satani: The Hammer of Satan by Suzanne Ruthven in the Bkwyrm archive.
This book might be seen, perhaps, as Britain’s (belated) answer to Arthur Lyon’s “Satan Wants You”. The purpose of the book is (apparently) to expose the truth about Satanism and Witchcraft (as opposed to the propaganda of church and media) and also to distinguish the differences between both paths themselves. The book sounds promising, and indeed in some respects it is, but it also lacks in several departments too. Perhaps the most notable one to Satanists is the fact that while the book supposedly deals with the situations arising in the United Kingdom, no British Satanists are consulted or interviewed – instead the author goes to the American Church of Satan, which has no real involvement with the British scene at all. Instead, she glibly rattles off a brief criticism of a single tract written by British Satanists which she evidently read second-hand, and no suggestion is given anywhere that she tried to contact any British Satanic groups for further details on their beliefs and views. However, other parts of the book are interesting, particularly the details regarding the Christian zealot “siege” of the prominent British occult supplier “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” and the battle of it’s owner, Chris Bray, against pagan/occult persecution from all quarters. Ruthven also quotes details of the 1990 “Occult Census” of British occultists and pagans – the results of which paint quite a different picture of esoteric practitioners than the image promoted by both the sensationalist media and religious zealots. Recommended.