Code of Conduct
This code of conduct describes the values that inform the work and activities of Satanic Bay Area (“SBA”) and establishes basic guidelines for the kind of behavior that we expect of each other.
Satanic Bay Area is an independent grassroots group founded on the inherently Satanic principle of questioning authority. We don’t like a lot of rules or a lot of bureaucracy. Nevertheless, practicality demands at least a minimal standard if our community is going to function and grow.
The Code of Conduct describes our values and behaviors in broad terms. It is not exhaustive, and a “common sense” test will apply in many cases not explicitly addressed here. Repeated – and in severe cases, first-time – violations of this code will result in intervention from the SBA administrative group, which can result in a member being asked to quit their association with the organization.
Satanic Bay Area adheres to values of humanism, secularism, reason, compassion, and empathy for others, left-wing political action, feminism, intersectionality, and both self-reliance and group cooperation, as befits a given situation.
Safety: Physical integrity and emotional safety are basic human rights. SBA members should not assault, degrade, or cause harm to anyone in the organization. Some degree of conflict is inevitable, natural, and even in some cases healthy, but violence or threats of violence against fellow Bay Area Satanists creates such a difficult and hostile environment that we can’t brook it and expect the community to continue functioning.
Character: Political resistance is a serious undertaking that requires loyalty, commitment, integrity, and courage. None of us are perfect, and no one person is responsible for the group as a whole or is expected to live every moment with SBA in mind; however, like it or not, part of the tradeoff of working together means that what one of us says and does can reflect on everyone else, and we all have a responsibility not to undermine everyone else’s work with needlessly destructive behavior.
Respect & Equal Opportunity: We believe that everyone is entitled to respect and should have an equal opportunity to contribute to our work. While individual freedoms are of utmost importance, no bigotry or discriminatory actions or language can be part of our efforts; anyone who is truly dedicated to exercising those particular freedoms would be better off doing it elsewhere.
Consent: Satanic Bay Area is a consent-based organization, in all things. Bay Area Satanists attend and organize events, interact with each other and the public, create and plan together or separately etc. because they want to and because they’ve made an informed decision to participate. Organizers for events have a duty to make sure everyone attending knows (in at least general terms) what will be going on and to make sure they’re there of their own accord. Similarly, no one has the right to impose on each other’s time, personal space, or mental and emotional state unless that party wants to be dealing with you. In short, we’re all friends here–but let’s show the necessary respect to keep it that way.
III. ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES
Leadership: Everyone in SBA has the opportunity to be a leader, and every person has some quality of leadership in them in one way or another. Part of leading means taking responsibility, so the rule is that any action, group or individual project, or internal initiative that you propose should be one you’re willing to spearhead yourself. While it’s acceptable to hand off a project to someone else you may feel is better suited for it if they’re willing to take on the labor, the default burden always falls on you to execute your own plans – with any assistance the rest of the community can offer too, of course.
Public statements & interactions with media: Before any public-facing event where media, either professional or amateur, might be present, one person in particular should be selected as point person for giving statements, comments, or interviews. If no one has been appointed, the organizer for that event is the default contact person. Be cautious about giving statements; while media attention is incredibly helpful for us, it can also be risky.
Confidentiality: Members should respect confidentiality. Members’ names and contact information are considered private and shouldn’t be shared unless they give explicit permission. If a member uses a pseudonym while on SBA business, be careful not to let their real name slip. If a member prefers not to be photographed or recorded at SBA events, respect their wishes. If you’re not sure what someone wants, default to playing it safe; unfortunately we don’t live in a world where it’s always safe to call yourself a Satanist, and we have to work to make sure our spaces stay safe for everyone.
Copyright: Bay Area Satanists may produce original art, text, designs, or compositions as part of actions and creative projects, and usually the creator donates the time and resources involved to the community. However, the right to reproduce a members’ work always defaults to that member, and you should get express permission before using it in any other capacity. Further, no one is obligated to donate their work free of charge; if your fellow Satanist expects compensation for their creative labor, they should either be paid or else their creative output should not be used without their permission.
Health & Safety: Members are expected to take responsibility for their own health and safety and the health and safety of others when undertaking work or organizing events on behalf of Satanic Bay Area.
Public Harassment: If members ever feel harassed, bullied or uncomfortable as a result of an interaction with outsiders we encourage you to remove yourself from the situation. If placed in an uncomfortable situation, treat others with respect and refrain from behavior that may be construed as bullying or harassing (even if they “have it coming”) and concentrate on de-escalating if you can.
First published Thursday, January 10th, 2019.