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Satan Wants You | Those Curious New Cults | Child of Satan, Child of god | The Psychic World of California | Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sorcery, But Were Afraid To Ask | Satanic Sex | The Fortune Sellers | Giving The Devil His Due: Anton LaVey and The Church of Satan | The Mammoth Book of The Supernatural: The Power of The Witch | Time: The Occult Revival | Look magazine: Witches Are Rising | Occult America | Argosy: The Satanist Who Wants To Rule The World | RE/Search: Modern Primitives | Rolling Stone: Sympathy For The Devil | Seconds Magazine | Straight From The Witch's Mouth: An Interview with Anton Szandor LaVey, High Priest and Founder of The Church of Satan

Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship In America by Arthur Lyons
Chapter 8: The Church of Satan.

"The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God." - Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice

"P.T. Barnum said, 'A sucker is born every minute.' With the population explosion, by now there must be five." - Anton Szandor LaVey, conversation, 1986

Satan Wants You

From the outside, it is an unlikely looking Vatican. Apart from the electronically controlled, barbed-wire-topped gate barring uninvited visitors, the three-story grey Victorian house from the outside appears little different from its neighbors. The interior, however, is another story.

The living room contains such arcane bits of furniture as an Egyptian sarcophagus, a sled-chair once owned by Rasputin, and a coffee table made from a yogi's bed of nails. In the den, a wall of shelves lined with books on every esoteric subject imaginable --- from the carnival to cannibalism --- is, in reality, as secret passage that opens into an adjoining sleeping chamber decorated with ceremonial masks. The entire house, in fact, is honeycombed with secret passages, left over from its days as a bordello and speakeasy. The fortunate visitor might even be taken down the staircase behind the fireplace and into the old speak, now the Den of Iniquity, a private saloon created by the master of the house, the so-called Black Pope --- Anton Szandor LaVey.

Glowing against one wall, an old Rockola jukebox faces a drum set and Hammond organ with red- and blue-lit keys. A disheveled woman is passed out in one corner, her dress hiked up above the top of her garter-secured nylons, a puddle of urine spreading between her splayed legs. At the bar, a sailor in uniform has his fist raised menacingly to a glassy-eyed slattern wearing a ratty-looking fur boa.

There will be no violence here tonight or any other night. These patrons are regulars at the Den of Iniquity, and although they begin to look real after a time, and even feel real, they are polyurethane mannequins fashioned by LaVey himself. The Satanic High Priest often comes down in the middle of the night to serenade them with songs from the 1940's, the period that the Den of Iniquity was set up to evoke.

"This place is a time warp," the Black Pope proclaims as he plucks out a rendition of "Devil Moon." It is more Satanic than a Black Mass because it is more stimulating to the imagination. You wait. After a while, those mannequins will start to move."
And they do.

The fact that it is merely an illusion makes no difference, LaVey insists, for that is the purpose of any magical ritual, to blur the lines of subjective and objective reality. The basis of all magical thinking, from primitive to modern, is that by altering the subjective the practitioner can alter the objective.

Sixteen years ago, a passerby, hurrying through an evening fog, might have heard strange chants coming from inside the then-black house. But in 1970, LaVey stopped holding Satanic rituals at his home, now using it solely as an administrative headquarters for his church. Today, all one might hear would be one faint strain of "Honolulu Baby" or "I'm Heading For The Last Roundup" from either the Den of Iniquity or the mass of synthesizer keyboards occupying most of the upstairs kitchen.

LaVey, whose working day, like that of a vampire, is from dusk to dawn, plays almost every night in those hours when most people are asleep and at their peak of psychic receptivity. His music is a form of ritual magic, he asserts, and its vibratory frequencies are setting in motion forces that will result in a worldwide takeover of the ideals of a new Satanic Romanticism.

"Certain frequencies transmitted on the ether effect the human subconscious and control behavior, much in the same way elephants can be made to march by the playing of certain circus tunes," LaVey explains. However, the effects can more than psychological: LaVey believes things like the weather can be affected, and blames his angry banging on the keyboards one night for the disastrous 1986 earthquake in Mexico.

Is the man serious, or merely suffering from a major ego problem? It is often difficult to know when LaVey is kidding; he has the irreverent, cynical sense of humor of a true carnie, will try to get away with whatever the rubes will allow. "LaVey is a junkyard intellectual," wrote Washington Post reporter Walt Harrington after interviewing him, "a philosopher of the sordid, a savant, and ingratiating and funny man. He's a man who could find no faith, until he discovered magic. But Anton LaVey worships only Anton LaVey. His religion is egotism, and that, as LaVey would say, is truly Satanic." [1]

At the age of sixteen, LaVey ran away from his Oakland home to join the Clyde Beatty Circus as a cage boy, later becoming assistant lion tamer, which he credits having taught him force of will. At eighteen, he left the circus to work in a carnival. There he became a stage hypnotist and mentalist and also learned to play the organ, a skill he transferred a few years later to burlesque houses. It was at one of those clubs, the Mayan, in Los Angeles, that he played bump-and-grind --- both on and off stage --- for a young stripper named Marilyn Monroe, who LaVey described as a willing, but not very imaginative, sex partner.

Inspired by his first wife to live a more sedate life, LaVey entered San Francisco City College as a criminology major and soon landed a job as a photographer for the San Francisco Police Department. That job only reinforced his growing cynicism, for it exposed him to the degraded and aggressive side of human nature. Man was much worse than the four-legged variety of animal, he decided. So if there was a job and this was his crowning achievement, then he must be terribly flawed.

Disgusted by the senseless violence he witnessed, LaVey returned to playing the organ for his livelihood, and on the side resumed a serious study of the occult teaching and practices of ceremonial magic, which had always fascinated him. He became so proficient in esoteric subjects that he began to hold Friday night lectures in his house, and for a small fee the public would pack the front living room to learn about werewolves, vampires, sex magic, and witchcraft. During one such lecture on cannibalism, a severed human leg was brought from East San Francisco Bay Hospital by a physician-member, basted in triple-sec, and served to the less queasy in the group.

The lectures, the strange black house, and LaVey's own colorful background and character made perfect fodder for local columnists like Herb Caen, who began to write about LaVey's midnight investigations and haunted houses and other alleged examples of psychic phenomenon. Another favorite subject of Caen's was LaVey's odd choice of pets --- a black leopard and a housebroken 400-pound Nubian lion name Togare --- which lived with LaVey and his second wife, Diane. {the leopard escaped and was killed by a car, and LaVey was eventually forced to give away Togare after neighbors repeatedly complained to the police about the animal's nocturnal roaring.}

A core of serious students of the arcane began to find their way to the house, like film-maker Kenneth Anger and novelist Steven Shneck, and with them LaVey formed the Magic Circle, whose weekly rituals were not open to the public. The thought soon struck LaVey that the energy of the group was being squandered trying to move a teacup by psychic means and might be put to better use spreading the philosophy he had developed throughout his eclectic evolution. Thus, on Walpurgisnacht 1966, the Magic Circle became The Church of Satan, with LaVey as its High Priest, and his pretty blonde wife, Diane, as High Priestess.

In 1967, the Church received national press coverage when LaVey performed a Satanic wedding for socialite Judith Case and radical journalist John Raymond. In May of that year it made news again when LaVey performed a Satanic baptism of LaVey's three-year-old daughter, Zeena, and in December, he created another media event when he performed Satanic last rites for a sailor member, complete with full naval color guard. With the publicity came a flood of would-be initiates to the church.

Among the curious seeking entrance into the "Devil house" were celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr., singer Barbara McNair, and veteran actor Keenan Wynn, upon whom LaVey later bestowed and honorary priesthood. Davis was such a fervent member that, for a time, he wore a Satanic Baphomet medallion on stage and actively proselytized the cause, setting up dinner meetings at his Los Angeles home between LaVey and various movie and entertainment personalities. While most of the more famous Hollywood figures requested their affiliation with the church be kept secret for fear of harming their careers, one who didn't mind was buxom sex symbol Jayne Mansfield.

Mansfield showed up at the church in 1966 with a request that the High Priest put a curse on her second husband, Matt Cimber, with whom she was engaged in a child custody battle. After she won a favorable court ruling, she became an ardent Devil's disciple. When her young son, Zoltan, was later critically mauled by an animal at Jungle park Wild Animal Park, the actress called LaVey fir help. The High Priest drove to the top of Mount Tamalpais, near San Francisco, and in the middle of a torrential rainstorm summoned all his magical powers while bellowing out a soliloquy to Satan. Mansfield credited the boy's miraculous recovery to Satanic intervention and swore her undying loyalty to LaVey and the Prince of Darkness.

Unfortunately, the relationship with LaVey inspired the jealousy of Mansfield's boyfriend, Sam Brody, who threatened to expose LaVey as a charlatan unless he stayed away from Jayne. LaVey responded by putting a curse on Brody, who shortly thereafter smashed up his Maserati and broke his leg. Undeterred, Brody continued his threats and LaVey retaliated with yet another cursing ritual, this one more serious.

LaVey claims that he called Jayne and warned her to stay away from Brody, but she did not, and on June 29, 1967, the car in which she and Brody were traveling rear-ended a truck outside New Orleans. Brody and the driver were killed instantly and Mansfield was decapitated in the crash. LaVey blamed himself for Jayne's death. It seems that while clipping some newspaper articles, he noticed that on the back of one was a photograph of Mansfield and that he had cut off her head. It was then he received the phone call saying she had been killed. To this day, LaVey claims to be shaken up by the "coincidence."

Mansfield's tragic death and subsequent revelations about the "curse" proved to be a media bonanza for the Church of Satan, and membership mushroomed. LaVey's The Satanic Bible, expounding his philosophy, became an immediate occult best-seller upon its publication in 1969, its sales soon topping the half-million mark. There was even a poster parodying the Army's image of Uncle Sam: a horned, pointing LaVey announcing, "Satan Wants You."

Applicants with emotional disorders could generally be spotted from their correspondence, as was the case with a female executive in a large East Coast cosmetic firm, who was coming to California on a two-week vacation and wanted to pay LaVey five-hundred dollars to crucify her in the woods. The woman had her own "gold spikes" and wanted to be up "at least five days, not twenty-four hours, like that wimp, Jesus Christ."

The ones harder to weed out were the numerous early male recruits who believed the more lurid publicity and joined the church ready to dedicate themselves to Satan in the Friday night orgies. Generally, these fellows were disappointed, for, although a naked woman was used as an altar, there were no orgies.

Not only were there no orgies, there was not even a Devil on or near the premises. Satan was not a literal deity. LaVey told his followers, but merely a symbol, as defined in his Nine Satanic Statements:

1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!
2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!
5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!
6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!
7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!
8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!

Social psychologist Marcello Truzzi, who has studied the church since is inception, says:

The Church of Satan's philosophical world view is really more accurately designed as an ideological rather than religious one. The name "Satanism" and its other seeming relations to Christianity are actually somewhat misleading, for these are mainly used in a symbolic sense {thus, Satan is simply the symbol of the adversary, in this case to the dominant belief-system of Christianity}. Thus, The Church of Satan is not really a sect of Christianity in the same sense as are most present and past Satanic groups

His brand of Satanism, explains LaVey, was designed to fill the void between religion and psychiatry, meeting man's need for ritual, fantasy, and enchantment while at the same time providing a rational set of beliefs on which to base his life. The other major religions are outmoded, he asserts, because they are trying to keep superstition alive in a technological age. Christianity preaches, the virtues of altruism and asceticism, LaVey acknowledges, but or political, not world, reasons.

"What are The Seven Deadly Sins?" he is fond of asking. "Gluttony, avarice, lust, sloth --- they are urges every man feels at least once a day." How would you set yourself up as the most powerful institution on earth? You first find out what every man d\feels at least once a day, establish that as a sin, and set yourself up as the only institution capable of pardoning that sin."

For LaVey, it is the guilt that makes people sick, not their urges. If an individual is law-abiding, and causes harm to no other creature, then he or she should be able to indulge in whatever activity, sexual or otherwise, that he or she feels pleasurable. Distinguishing self-indulgence from compulsion, however, LaVey cautions, "If a person has no proper release for his desires, they rapidly build up and become compulsions."

For those former Catholics still emotionally involved with their own religion, a blasphemous Black Mass was performed, minus any horrific elements. Other rituals bordered on psychodrama, such as the Shibboleth, its purpose to reduce certain fears by confronting them and acting them out.
During a performance, Shibboleth participants would dress up and behave like someone they considered hateful and intimidating. A man who feared his authoritarian employer might stomp around the room, for example, threatening to fire everyone for incompetence, or a woman who was afraid of her domineering husband might shout at the female members in the room to get dinner. After the role-playing, a court would be held at which the Satanic priest for the evening would take the part of the accuser and through a penetrating cross-examination, expose each "actor's" defense mechanisms.

Many of the early rituals were designed to grab the attention of the media. "Das Tierdrama," a ritual authored by LaVey as a paean to man's animal nature, was an exception, for it had a dramatic impact that stood in great contrast to those moments in which men and women climbed into coffins together, with onlookers shouting, "Hail Satan!"
This solemn rite began in total darkness. After a preliminary invocation, the four cardinal points were invoked, symbolically opening the "gates of Hell." Then the circle of light reveals the scarlet-robed priest seated on a throne, wearing the mask and the hairy hands of a werewolf. A lictor stands beside the throne, holding a bull-whip in his black-gloved hand. Next the priest summons the "beasts" by banging a wooded staff on the floor; one by one, they emerge into the light, wearing the paper-mache' heads of various animals.

The litany used in this ceremony had its origins in the combination of an obscure 1930's occult tract called The Emerald Book of Thoth and H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau. First the priest:

I am the Sayer of the Law. Here come all that be new, to learn the Law.....
Say the words! Learn the Law.
Say the words! Say the words!

Not to go on all fours: this is the law
Are we not men?


Then the beasts:
Not to go on all fours: that is the Law.
Are we not men?

Invocator:

Not to show our fangs in anger.
Are we not men?
{repeated by beasts}

Invocator:
Not to snarl or roar. That is the Law.
Are we not men?

Invocator:
Man is God. {repeated}
We are Men. {repeated}
We are Gods. {repeated}
God is Man. {repeated}

After this is ended, the red-robed invocator, representing half-man, half-beast, drinks from a chalice, containing any liquid but blood. Finally, a live mouse in a cage is produced and turned loose. The "beasts" crouch down, as if tempted to chase it and kill it, then restrain themselves and slouch out of the light. The ceremony is concluded in the standard way, with the prise "closing the gates to Hell" by ringing a bell while turning counterclockwise in a circle.

The purpose of the ritual, according to LaVey, was for the celebrants to willingly regress into "an animal state of honesty, purity, and increased sensory perception."
"Das Tierdrama" was just one of the non-traditional Satanic ceremonies authored by LaVey. Another, "Die Elektrishen Vorspiele", inspired by pre-World War I German expressionistic films like Metrolopolis, employed Van DeGraaf generators, neon tubing, and strobe lights in an effort to "charge" the ritual chamber with energy.

After this is ended, the red-robed invocator, representing half man, half beast, drinks from a chalice, containing anything but blood. Finally, a live mouse in a cage is produced & turned loose. The "beasts" crouch down, as if tempted to chase & kill it, then restrain themselves & slouch out of the light. Te ceremony is concluded in the standard way, with the priest "closing the gates to Hell" by ringing a bell & turning counterclockwise in a circle.

The purpose of the ritual, according to LaVey, was for the celebrants to willingly regress into "an animal state of honesty, purity, & an increased sensory perception."
"Das Tierdrama" was just one of the nontraditional Satanic ceremonies authored by LaVey. Another, "Die Elektrischen Vorspiele", inspired by pre-World War II German expressionistic fills like Metropolis, employed Van De Graaff generators, neon tubing, & strobe lights in an effort to "charge" the ritual chamber with energy.

LaVey even commissioned one of his members, Michael Aquino {who later broke away & formed his own "satanic" group}, to author a set of rituals based on the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Some traditionalists have scoffed at his "Cthulhu" rituals, saying that they invoke gods that do not exist. But LaVey says these critics miss the point: all gods are fictitious. The purpose of his ritual, he says, is to evoke emotion, because "there are virtually no Satanic rites over one hundred years old that elicit sufficient emotional response from today's practitioner, if the rites are presented in their original form.....In short, one no longer needs a Victorian romance for sexual titillation."

Emotion, or "adrenal energy", as LaVey calls it, is the cornerstone of his system of magic. His rituals, he has explained, were designed to induce in the celebrant a subjective state through which he or she might be able to summon & direct his or her own psychic powers to achieve external goals. This is not "magic," in the classic sense of invoking demonic entities & sending them out to do one's bidding, but the harnessing of one's own extrasensory biological powers --- what LaVey calls "applied psychology multiplied tenfold."

There is nothing supernatural about his magic, the High Priest insists. It is merely tapping into & exploiting a system of casual relationships always operational in the universe but presently unknown to modern science. As he puts it:

I don't believe that magic is supernatural, only that it is supernormal. That is, it works for reasons science cannot yet understand. As a shaman or magician, I am concerned with obtaining recipes. As a scientist, you seek formulas. When I make a soup, I don't care about the chemical reactions between the potatoes & the carrots. I only care about how to get the flavor I seek. In the same way, when I want to hex someone, I don't care about the scientific mechanisms involved whether they be psychosomatic, psychological, or what-not. My concern is how to best hex someone. As a magician, my concern is with effectively doing the thing --- not with the scientist's job of explaining it.

That LaVey's magical ideas were strongly influenced by the writings of Aleister Crowley can be seen in the distinction he makes between "greater" & "lesser" magic. Crowley defined "MAGICK" as the science of effecting environmental change in conformity with one's will that could be manifested in mundane forms of physical or mental control, such as banking or farming.

Similarly, LaVey's "lesser magic" is that lower order of "magic" which man uses to manipulate his every day environment --- moving the right way, saying the right thing, using appearance & demeanor to accomplish one's goals. In this sense, the use of sex is a basic tool of lesser magic, & in 1970, LaVey put out a a sexually oriented how-to-manipulate manual for females called The Complete Witch, or What To Do When Virtue Fails. "Greater magic", on the other hand, is regarded as the accomplishment of changes in the objective universe through those "great subjective outpourings of the will" summoned during a ritual. This is how curses work, LaVey says, although he is quick to point out that even if a curse doesn't work objectively, it doesn't matter, because it is cathartically beneficial to the cursor.

Throughout the early 1970's, LaVey's Church of Satan continued to grow. By 1973, grottoes, as the local chapters were called, were flourishing in New York, Boston, Detroit, Dayton, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Petersburg, Louisville, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, & Chicago, as well as in Vancouver & Edmonton in Canada. Estimates for memberships at that peak time range from 300 {a figure given by disgruntled former Church of Satan members} to 10,000 {by COS spokesmen at the time}.

OCCULT AMERICA by John Godwin
Chapter 12, pp.241 - 249 [Section concerning Anton LaVey & The Church of Satan]

All you have to do is ring a certain San Francisco telephone number and wait until a chirpy secretarial voice at the other end says, "Good morning, Church of Satan." It is, let's face it, a wee bit anticlimactic.

The Church was founded in 1966 by Chicago-born Anton Szandor LaVey, whose exotic names derive from Romanian, Alsatian and Georgian ancestry. He got off to a rather creaky start when - in order to raise support for his movement --- he staged some embarrassingly naive nightclub rituals involving topless witches and a bikini-clad "inquisitioner"; allegedly a former councelor for Billy Graham. But two years later came the film release of Rosemary's Baby and with it a tremendous upsurge of popular interest in matters demoniacal. The Catholic Legion of Decency helped by bestowing a "C" {condemned} rating on the movie. This positively convinced vast segments of the public that they were getting inside dope on Witchcraft and/or Satanism, despite the fact that director Roman Polanski's knowledge of - and interest in - either subject amounted to zero. {There was, incidentally, more concentrated evil in one pallid smile of Cocteau's Infants Terrible than in Rosemary's entire pregnancy.}

Millions of moviegoers saw LaVey in action, although his name didn't appear on the credit list. He was the curiously reptilian Satan who raped Rosemary. The film's box office success resulted in a blaze of publicity for America's only registered Satanic Church and enabled its High Priest to drop his nightclub routine. At the moment you have to shoehorn your way into his presence through throngs of newspaper reporters, magazine interviewers, occultist researchers, and would-be adherents.

Before meeting LaVey, I was inclined to regard him as an American version of Aleister Crowley, the gentleman from Lemington, England, who called himself the Great Beast, imbibed ten grains of heroin per day and never got much beyond being a grubby little boy thinly disguised as a monster.

I once met a Reuters correspondent who had known Crowley well before his death in 1947. And I recalled his comment on the self-styled "Wickedest Man in the World": "Crowley was a fine mountaineer and a pretty good chess player, but as a Satanist he was a crashing bore. You see, everything about him was secondhand. Even his motto, 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' He had lifted that from Reblais." The Church of Satan is a black-painted Victorian structure of memorable ugliness. The type of house rampant in London's Bayswater district, but rare in San Francisco. A plate on the door said, "Do Not Disturb Unless You Have An Appointment," but there was a very welcoming black Manx cat sitting underneath. Anyway, I had an appointment.

I was greeted by Mrs. LaVey, a smiling, outgoing, hospitable little blonde, with long hair and stylish spectacles. "Please sit down," she said. "Anton will be here in a few minutes." She kept me company, but refused to be interviewed. "That's Anton's department."

The front parlour smelled like the inside of an antique mattress; either the walls were damp or the windows were never opened. I sat down beside a tombstone serving as coffee table and admired the fittings. There was a regular dentist's chair, an operating table, a hanging skeleton, a lumpily stuffed possum, and a large bookcase with the warning: "Whoever removes books from this shelf will have their hands chopped off." The telephone, decorated with a Satanic seal, bore the notice: "Do not make outside calls with this phone." The Church, it appeared, was big on notices.

LaVey made a good entrance. He is a massive six-footer in his early forties, dressed completely in black, wearing a clerical collar and a silver pentagram medallion around his neck. His skull is clean-shaven, Tartar fashion, and he sports a black chin beard a la Ivan the Terrible. He has a forceful, calm voice, a surprisingly amiable laugh, and a patiently cautious way of answering questions he must have heard several hundred times before. "How do we visualize Satan? Purely symbolically, as the all-pervasive force. The only true God, in fact."

"Well, then whose adversary is he?" LaVey smiled. "The adversary of all man-made spiritual religions. To all that we consider the contemptible crutches man has had to invent. We totally reject the concept of there being an antithesis to God. He is God."

"In other words," I said, "you consider Satan the personification of life - good and evil. Do you think that evil outweighs the good?"

"Well, we consider that what the theologians regard as man's predaliction for evil will always outweigh the good. So - from the theological point of view --- we are evil individuals."

He did not, however, go along with the dramatization of evil as performed in the original Black Mass. "Those," he explained, "were psychodramas at a time when people needed them. They had to express their opposition, their rebellion against an established church. Our rituals are suitably modified to express the needs of our particular era."

The rituals are outlined in LaVey's Satanic Bible, a piquant mixture of liturgy, history, and magical recipes, such as how "to Cause the Destruction of an Enemy", or "to Summon One for Lustful Purpose or Establish a Sexually Gratifying Situation." It's an intriguing book, although chunks of it are written in a mysterious tongue called Enochian, rendering certain parts - literally - unspeakable.

For a time LaVey also played the role of a sulphurous Ann Landers by running a weekly tabloid column, "Letters from the Devil." Among the do-it-yourself tips he passed out were the correct specifications for a voodoo doll, and the brewing of love potions, using ginseng root as a substitute for the hard to get {in fact unobtainable} Mandrake.

"Our religion," he said gravely, "is the only one, I think, in complete accordance with human nature. It is based on indulgence. Instead of commanding our members to repress their natural urges, we teach that they should follow them. This includes physical lusts, the desire for revenge, the drive for material possessions." LaVey gives a low, rumbling laugh, that seemed to come from his solar plexus. "That's how most of them live already, in any case. Only hitherto have they been following the devil's creed without giving the devil his due. And suffering from guilt complexes because their hypocritical faiths keep telling them they have to live differently. This religious dichotomy is a breeding ground for neurosis. We free them of such conflicts by making it clear that Satan - or God - meant them to live according to their inborn tendencies."

"Does that mean," I asked, "that you encourage drug habits or alcoholism?" He fielded that one easily. "We certainly don't. Both are self-destructive. Typical of losers. And we don't want losers. Satanism is a winner's creed. Now" - a sweep of his black sleeved arm --- "would you care to see the rest of the house?" The church is a veritable FuManchu castle, bristling with hidden doors and secret panels. Wildly sinister or high camp, depending on your attitude. The parlor fireplace and sections of the bookcase swing inward on silent hinges, revealing dark passages into the bowels of the place. The smell gets mustier the deeper you penetrate.

Downstairs is the Ritual Chamber, draped in black and scarlet. The centerpiece consists of the altar, next to it a large Hammond organ, which LaVey plays with magnificent flourish. {He used to play a calliope in a circus.} "No, we don't have any special Satanic music." He ran a finger over the keys. "We use Wagner for some ceremonies, Berlioz, Liszt, even church tunes."

Everywhere you look, there are artfully gruesome masks, a titanic paper-mache' spider, an arms collector's dream of carbines, pistols, swords, daggers, maces, clubs, some ceremonial, others businesslike. Also skulls, phallic symbols, the inevitable black candles, a bell, and a very handsome chalice. The whole sanctum is rather like a cross between a chapel, an arsenal, and the clubhouse of a juvenile gang.

By opening a case containing a mummy you step into the Red Room next door. Most of it is occupied by a towering bed, hung with black drapes, contemplated from the ceiling by ceremonial masks that look as if they remembered everything that went on below.

Upstairs we were joined by seven-year-old Zeena LaVey, just back from school. Zeena was the cause of a minor scandal some years ago when her father baptized her into his church.

Although as a minister he was entitled to do so, he created considerable indignation by performing the ceremony before the live, nude, and female diabolical altar, sprinkling his daughter with earth and water while intoning, "Welcome, Zeena, new mistress, creature of magic light, child of joy....."

When we arrived back in the parlor, the child of joy was being hauled off the hinged fireplace by her mother. "How many times have we told you not to step on the fireplace! We've already had it fixed twice!"

She abandoned the fireplace and agreed to show me her art class work. Her drawings were lively, imaginative and mostly of ponies. I asked her if she intended to become an artist when she grew up.

She thought for a moment, then shook her head. "No, I'm going to be a ballet dancer."

LaVey said, "I'm sorry we can't show you our lion. He used to live in the back. We had to present him to the zoo, unfortunately. The neighbors complained about his roaring at night."

The Satanic Church has less trouble with hostile elements than might be expected. "Occasionally, some nut comes to the door, but I can handle that," grinned the Devil's High Priest. "And we have very good burglar alarms in the house." He grew rather laconic when I asked about membership figures.

"We stopped divulging them after we reached seven thousand. That was - er - some time ago. But I can tell you that the Church is nationwide. We have Grottoes - that's what we call them - all over the country. And then there are large numbers of crypto-Satanists. People who are not Church members, but like what we're doing. We get quite a lot of donations from them."

LaVey began his career by dropping out of high school and joining the Clyde Beatty Circus as a cage boy --- which meant feeding lions, tigers, and leopards. He also had a decided musical bent. Taught himself piano and organ and played the oboe in the San Francisco Ballet Symphony Orchestra.

From the circus he graduated to a carnival, learning hypnosis, stage magic, and the elements of carny spieling. Then - oddly enough - he enrolled in college as a criminology major, which - even odder - led to a job as forensic photographer with the San Francisco Police Department. He made - and maintained - some handy contacts during his three years with the force. In consequence the Church of Satan is one of the best protected establishments in town. "I went ghost hunting long before Hans Holzer thought of it," he told me. "But instead of taking along a medium --- the way he does it --- I went at it with electronic alarms and infrared cameras. Maybe that's the reason why I never came to believe in ghosts."

His church evolved from his quiet clientele who came to hear him lecture. "One night I had something like a breakthrough into the gray area between religion and psychiatry," he remembered. I found I could help people by bringing the Devil out into the open, so to speak. By proclaiming his creed as a legitimate, active faith." LaVey's main concern is to keep out the "losers" - his pet expletive for the varieties of kooks inevitably drawn to a cult that allegedly conducts weekly orgies. Candidates must fill in a lengthy questionnaire containing points like, "What do you expect to gain from Satanism?" and "If you are a woman, would you consider being an altar?" They also have to pass muster at a confrontation, which is frequently arranged by subterfuge. If accepted they pay a forty dollar registration fee, then an annual ten dollars, which is not expensive by cultist standards.

The Satanic congregation tends to be on the young side of thirty, and composed of very much the same types you would find in, say, scientology or Golden Circle meetings. Good-looking, rather tense, and slightly vague men and women who indicate that they know what everything is about, but can't quite express it. The High Priest --- or another appropriate guru - does it for them. Friday night is the big night for Satanists, the night of the High {not Black} Mass. It opens with a lengthy ceremony in the Ritual Chamber, conducted by LaVey in full regalia, complete with a silken horned cap. Organ music and chanting, which has Gregorian overtones, punctuated by the exclamations "Shemhamforash!" and "Hail Satan!" repeated by the entire congregation.

The naked altar girl lays fairly comfortably on a fur rug. After LaVey has emptied the chalice {contents optional} he places the vessel on her belly or pubic region, where it stays for the remainder of the ritual.

Then follows the business part of the evening, but it's a fair way moved from the orgiastic.

Members come forwards to lay their requests before Satan. Almost in the forms of almost classical maledictions directed at unseen enemies: "Let his rotting dungheap brain writhe in unending agony as hordes of phantom rats gnaw at his diseased spirit for the rest of his life..." Others, in a gentler vein, ask for love, sensual pleasures, business triumphs.

LaVey touches them with his sword, rather as if dubbing them knights, while the congregation joins in a united "willing" of fulfillment, their voices rising in a tremendous "Hail Satan!" to drive their message home.

Occasionally, there is an elaborate psychodrama, in which one member impersonates someone he or she detests. It can be a boss, a rival in love or - frequently - a father or mother. The actor hams up the role gleefully; ranting, lecturing, or whining to bring out the ugliest, most ludicrous feature of the subject. LaVey plays judge, the congregation the jury, as they sit in trial over the hate object. If their verdict is "guilty" {depending on the virulence of the impersonation}, they can bring down any of a score of horrific punishments on the {absent} offender.

At the end of the evening the participants are emotionally replete, warmed with a sense of accomplishment, and pleasantly relaxed. Their curses are cursed, their hatreds spilled, their enemies smitten hip and thigh. They are - temporarily - at peace. And their peace may quite possibly endure until the next High Mass, come Friday.

At the moment LaVey heads the only officially recognized Satanist movement in the United States; the only one, that is, entitled to baptize, marry and bury its members, and enjoying the tax-exempt status of a church {no longer applicable}.

Table of Contents

Those Curious New Cults by William J. Petersen
{Pivot books, 1975 c.e.; Chapter 7: "Satanism", pp. 91, 93, 94, 95, 98, 99, 100}
[Sections concerning Anton LaVey and The Church of Satan]

Only since the mid-1960's has Satanism been making a comeback. The catalyst of the revival was a Paramount Pictures box-office smash named "Rosemary's Baby."

Anton Szandor LaVey, self-styled High Priest of San Francisco's First Church of Satan and author of The Satanic Bible, played the role of the devil. Later, he called the film the "best paid commercial for Satanism since the Inquisition."

No doubt it was.

The film shockingly concludes with a scene in which the heroine, Mia Farrow, accepts to her bosom the child that was implanted in her by the devil. At the close, the witch-leader Castavet triumphantly cries out:

"God is dead! God is dead and Satan lives! The year is One, the first year of our Lord! The year is One, God is done!"

The film was easily the box-office hit of the year. It grossed forty million dollars and became one of the top fifty moneymakers of all times.

The first proponent of Satanism today is Anton LaVey, who often gives the impression, like Crowley, that he is trying to shock people, not convert them. Yet he converts them too. Today he claims to have more than ten thousand active members in his church in America, although an estimate is hardly more than a guess.

Born in 1930 of Russian, Romanian, and Alsatian ancestry, LaVey dropped out of high school to join the circus when he was sixteen. After two years of feeding lions and playing the circus calliope, he left the Clyde Beatty Circus and became a magician's assistant in a carnival. Quitting that, he became a police photographer for three years and after that he played the organ at nightclubs. All the while, he was studying more about the occult, and eventually started classes in black ritual magic in his home.

Finally in April 1966, LaVey shaved his head, grew a Mephistophelian beard and announced the formation of his Church of Satan. All other churches, according to LaVey, are based on worship of the spirit and a denial of the flesh. So he decided that his church would be "a temple of glorious indulgence that would be fun for people... But the main purpose was to gather a group of like-minded individuals together for the use of their combined energies in calling up the dark force in nature that is called Satan."

Satanism, LaVey admits, "is a blatantly selfish, brutal religion. It is based on the belief that man is inherently a selfish, violent creature, that life is a Darwinian struggle for survival of the fittest, that the earth will be ruled by those who fight to win."

LaVey is an inveterate showman, a sensationalist who grabs headlines however he can. At the same time, he keeps current his long-time contacts with the police, and until recently housed a pet lion as a remembrance of his circus days.

His Satanic Bible, which outsells the Holy Bible in many bookstores, is inscribed to a motley collection of fifty people including Rasputin, P. T. Barnum, Marilyn Monroe, Tuesday Weld, Jayne Mansfield, Horatio Alger and Howard Hughes. Sometimes you feel that LaVey is P. T. Barnum, who said "A sucker is born every minute." At other times you have the feeling that La Vey is dead serious about his satanic craft.

But what does LaVey believe?

Listen to his own words: "We hold Satan as a symbolic personal savior, who takes care of the mundane, fleshly, carnal things. God exists as a universal force, a balancing factor in nature, too impersonal to care one whit whether we live or die.... We literally want to give the Devil his due. There has never been a religion that has given him credit... We believe that man is sometimes lower than the animals, that he is basically greedy and selfish, so why feel guilty about it? We accept ourselves as we are and live with it."

While LaVey's church has no doctrinal statement as such, it does have a list of nine Satanic Statements to which a prospective member is expected to subscribe.

These nine statements declares that Satan represents indulgence, vital existence, undefiled wisdom, kindness only to those who deserve it, vengeance, responsibility only to those who are responsible, the animal nature of man, all the "so-called sins", and "the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years."

When LaVey appeared on the Johnny Carson show, he wore a horned hood and brandished a ceremonial magic sword. He shocked his national audience when he said that his church altar was a live and naked woman to symbolize the pleasures of the flesh. Because the Church of Satan is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, his income, far in excess of $25,000 a year, comes tax-free as dues from his church members.

Anton LaVey and his Church of Satan in San Francisco is hardly typical. He denies any link with the rest of the Satanic movement, and insists that members of his church be stable, sincere individuals. Our members, he says, "are accomplishment-oriented people, who believe that the Satanic magic they perform will assist them in gaining money, lovers, better positions." So LaVey is not fighting society. He is seeking to use Satanism to climb the ladder. He opposes the use of drugs and is reluctant to perform a Black Mass.

Lest that make him sound too noble, you should remember that LaVey takes credit for the death of Actress Jayne Mansfield, who was a member of his church. "Jayne and I were very close," LaVey says, but Attorney Sam Brody was Jayne's boyfriend at the time and "Sam Brody hated my group." So LaVey put a ritual Satanic curse on Brody and told him that he would see him dead within a year. Within a year, Brody was killed in a car crash near New Orleans. Jayne Mansfield, who was with him, was decapitated.

While LaVey takes pride in his respectable adult clientele (his magic formula is "one part outrage to nine parts social respectability"), most of the Satanic covens are frequented by young people. LaVey calls it hedonism, the abandonment of yourself to the pursuit of self-gratification. He calls it "glorious indulgence that would be fun for people."


Note: Regarding paying taxes, The Church of Satan does in fact now pay taxes to remain consistent with Pentagonal Revisionism.

Child of Satan, Child of God by Susan Atkins
1977 c.e., Logos International. Chapter 7: "Break". Pages 65-73. Section concerning Anton LaVey}.

It was a slow afternoon, and I considered my first thirty-minute routine as merely a warm-up for the wilder things to come with nightfall. I was just finishing when Mr. Garnet, the owner, walked in with a man I had not seen before. The room was quite dark but the afternoon sunlight splashed through the swinging door behind them. The man seemed to be dressed entirely in black. His face and the top of his bald head were extraordinarily pale - white.

Garnet and the stranger walked toward me. "Sharon," my boss said as I reached for a wrap and moved toward the side of the stage. "Sharon, I'd like you to dance one more number."

"But I've just finished, Mr. Garnet."

"I know, sweetheart," he smiled, "but I'd like for you to do one more number for Mr. LaVey here. This is Mr. Anton LaVey."

I smiled at the man. His gaze was a intense as any I'd ever seen, even though his mouth was smiling. His eyes seemed to be black - and glistening.

"It's important, Sharon." Garnet said. "You can stretch your break a bit afterward."

"Okay." I walked over to Tommy the bartender and told him to put on my favorite record. "I might as well give him the works," I mumbled to Tommy.

The intensity of the stranger's black eyes deepened as he watched my movements. A smile curled about his lips. I slipped into one of my fantasies about Sharon King the dancer, the sensuous, long-legged, full-breasted movie starlet, the Broadway queen. The music penetrated the lower depths of my abdomen and up into my chest cavity. It possessed me.

Garnet motioned me to the small table where he and Mr. LaVey were seated. "She is one of my best girls, Mr. LaVey. Do you think there's a part for her in your production?"

"Hello, Sharon." LaVey's voice sounded as though it were in an echo chamber. "That was very good."

He turned to Garnet. "Yes. Yes. She would be very good for the vampire role."

"Vampire role?" I asked, silently.

Garnet turned to me. "You see, Sharon. Mr. LaVey has agreed to stage one of his productions here at the club - a witches' sabbath - topless and all - and I think it could be fun for you if you're interested."

"What's a witches' sabbath?" I asked, looking first at Mr. Garnet and then back at the bald-headed man.

LaVey threw his head back and gave a barking sort of laugh. "It's a time, my dear, when the witches worship their leader - Satan. It's a marvelous ceremony and will be very colorful for your club. It's a bit out of the ordinary."

I shrugged. "It sounds it." I thought it was weird, but it might be the trick to launch my career. "Sure, if Mr. Garnet wants me in it, he's the boss."

"Good. Good." LaVey rubbed his palms together.

"But what about costumes and all that, Mr. Garnet?" I asked, trying to understand the thing better.

"Don't you worry about those details," LaVey interrupted. "You won't need much to wear. Besides, we will be having a meeting at my house to discuss these matters. It will all work out."

He turned to Garnet. "I think she will be excellent. And she will also be good for the witch in the torture scene."

"Torture scene?" Again I only spoke to myself.

"It's been nice meeting you, Sharon," LaVey said to me, turning to walk away. "I know you will find this most interesting."


I was near exhaustion the next night. The men in the crowd demanded more of me than I was able to perform. They seemed to want explicit sex acts, not merely free dancing by nearly naked young women. They equated dancers with hookers. I welcomed Garnet's high sign to cut my last number short and come to his table.

"Sharon," he said, "I know tomorrow is your day off, but I would like to have you join the other selected girls and me in going to Mr. LaVey's house. He wants to fill us in on the witches' sabbath and black magic. We've got to start preparing."

"Why his house?" I was still uneasy about LaVey.

"It's all part of a Satan worship routine. You know anything about that?"

My silence spoke for itself.

"Everyone has his own hussle going," Garnet said. "LaVey's is this Satan thing. He calls himself the high priest of Satan. He's a full-fledged honcho in that stuff. His wife is a full-fledged witch. They have a Satan church in their home. It's a big thing around here."

"You're kidding. You mean they really worship Satan? It's not just for show?"

"Hell no. They really mean business. Of course," he grinned, "they put on a really good show too. It's good show business. And that's what I need right now - something to get us out in front of the other clubs. We can be the hottest thing on the strip."

He paused, looking first at the drink in his hand and then into my face. His mouth was set. "So I need you to come with us tomorrow. We'll leave from here at three o'clock."

"All right, Mr. Garnet. But only because I need the job. I don't go for this Satan stuff."

He laughed. "Neither do I, but business is business."


We turned the corner and there was no mistaking LaVey's house. It sat in he middle of the block, with empty lots on each side. The house was wholly black. Not one bit of white or other color showed. Even the curtains were black.

"Wow!" one fo the girls wheezed softly.

"This is weird," I said.

"Look at the lawn," Garnet said. "It's all weeds and dirt."

He was right. Nothing of any beauty seemed to be growing around the two-story black monster.

"What a place for Halloween!" one of the girls said. We all laughed, a bit too loudly.

When I stepped out of the car, I was actually shaking.

"Mr. Garnet," I asked weakly, "are we really going into that house?"

"Aw, come on, Sharon. If you don't believe in black magic, nothing can hurt you. Don't be afraid."

I wasn't convinced. I don't believe the other girls were either.

Garnet reached for the doorbell. I expected a gong, or a howl, or something. It was an ordinary "ding dong."

The door opened, and there stood LaVey, all in black, his powdery white skin glowing. I felt sick at my stomach as I walked past him. His smile was sickly, I thought. Then I froze in my steps. Straight ahead at the far end of the entrance hall was a human skeleton in a glass case. It seemed to have the same sickly smile as LaVey.

"This is all the horror movies rolled into one." I thought.

"What am I doing here? I wonder if I'll get out of here in one piece."

"Please come right into the living room," LaVey said, with refined politeness. His manners were exaggeratedly excellent.

My stomach sickness immediately deepened. The first object to attract my eyes in the living room was a huge, black grand piano. That was okay. But right beside it stood stuffed, full-grown wolf, and atop the piano itself was a stuffed raven. The fireplace mantle held a large stuffed owl.

LaVey and Garnet launched immediately into discussion of the witches' sabbath. But I had trouble maintaining concentration. The decor of the house was beyond my imagination. I examined the stuffed animals and found myself shivering. Their eyes seemed alive.

"The May pole ritual is a fertility dance." LaVey's voice penetrated my consciousness for a moment.

I smiled and felt a giggle inside. "I played that all the time when I was a kid," I thought, "how come I'm not pregnant?"

The giggle choked inside me as I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of someone descending the staircase in the hallway. It was a woman with the longest hair I'd ever seen. It was as black as it could possibly be and hung at least three feet below her shoulders, full and thick. At first I thought it must be a wig, but it was real.

"Ah, my wife," said LaVey, rising.

"Hello, everybody," the woman said, softly and seductively. Her manners were as impeccable as her husband's. She stood for a minute, smiling warmly at everyone, and then said, "Would you girls like to come into the kitchen with me? I'm going to prepare some coffee."

"Yes, ladies, why don't you go with Mrs. LaVey while we finish up these details? But we'll be finished soon, and I do want you to stay for our evening services. Things will come a lot clearer to you when you see it first hand."

We all looked quickly at one another.

I spoke first, and my voice was not particularly steady.

"I'm afraid I won't be able to stay, Mr. LaVey. I hope you won't be offended, but I don't believe in the devil, and..."

LaVey interrupted me with a wave of the hand and a wide smile across his white face. "But, Sharon, we don't believe in God either, but that doesn't mean he isn't real."

I only shook my head and followed the others into the kitchen. His remark left me speechless, but my first sight upon walking into the large, quite ordinary kitchen changed that. Through a full-glass back wall I could see a real lion in the yard. He was huge, and rather mangy-looking, but he gave a loud roar as he saw us enter the room.

"That's too much," I said, only barely audibly. "What kind of place is this?" I added under my breath.

I backed out of the kitchen and retreated to the living room.

"Mr. LaVey," I interrupted, "I'd like for you to excuse me, please. I'm not feeling too well." I turned to Garnet.

"Mr. Garnet, I think I'd better leave now. I'll be your vampire and witch, but I must be going now."

"Sharon," LaVey's voice was gentle, but his smile was still strange. "You've only just arrived. Won't you please stay? I'm holding services this evening - there will be special secret rites - and I'm sure you would enjoy it. It isn't often that I invite an outside guest to these rites."

I looked right into his eyes momentarily, but I couldn't withstand his gaze. "No thank you, Mr. LaVey. I hope you won't be offended, but I was raised to worship God, not the devil. I must leave now."

Garnet apparently recognized the urgency and decided against getting tough with me. "Okay, Sharon, you take the car and we'll get a cab later on."

He walked me to the door and out to the car. "Will you be all right?"

"Yes." I stopped beside the car. "I'm sorry, Mr. Garnet, but my imagination must have been working overtime. I had visions of somehow being sacrificed and all that. Besides, I'm tired and need to go to bed early tonight." Looking back at the scarey, black house, I wasn't sure I'd be able to go through with LaVey's plans, but then again, what other course did I have?


I looked at my two-inch-long false fingernails, painted brilliant red. And my face was something special, as I looked up into the mirror. It was eerie - milky-white, broken by bright red lips that matched the color of the fingernails by seemingly sunken blue-black eyes expertly twisted upward at the outside corners - grotesquely exaggerated cat eyes. Jet black hair framed it all. I was the perfect, sexy vampire, ready for my casket lying at the center of the stage.

Using care because of my fingernails, I reached into my big, black handbag and fished out a pill. Rehearsals had gone well - we were ready for the weirdest show on the strip, but I knew I'd never be able to get into that casket for real without beng stoned. I popped the acid tab into my mouth, carefully avoiding any lipstick smears.

As the end of the production neared, I lay inside the casket. I remembered very little of the show. I had shaken several people with the reality of my performance when I had risen from the casket and pointed a long, blood-red fingernail at the audience and marked them as my next victims. Gasps, from both males and females, had sounded all around the club. But as I lay there, I fancied the idea of being dead and still hearing all the sounds around me. I heard everything - the footsteps, the breathing, the sighs in the audience. "But I'm dead," I thought. "It's so pleasant... I'm outside of my dead body... I'm a spirit... I can see and hear everything... I'm dead... But I'm really alive..."

I lay in the casket so long that I missed the curtain call by five minutes. I just didn't want to get out of it.

The audience went wild over the performance. Garnet had himself a hit. I was convinced he had a whole lot more than he realized.

But the night's success spelled trouble later. Gary, my current lover of about three weeks standing, layed quietly in bed as I entered the room. I was still stretched tight from my acid trip and sat down next to him.

"You're awfully quiet, Gary. Is there something the matter?"

"I don't like what's happening to you, Sharon," he blurted out. "This whole thing you're into at the club is crazy. It's changed you. All through the rehearsals I've watched you change."

"I don't understand," I said softly, not wanting to get into a hassle. "I haven't changed."

"Yes, you have," he said sharply. "It's hard to describe. But something's happened to you. When you play your autoharp, for instance, it's creepy. There's a strange sound to it, and when you sing with it, it's like something far out, from somewhere else."

I persisted with my soft approach. "Aw, come on, Gary, you're imagining things. This is just a job. There's nothing to that black magic stuff if you don't believe in it. Relax, babe."

"Please, Sharon, baby, get out of this show. You don't need the money. We can live dealing dope. You don't need this stuff."

Gary was getting to me. And the room started to close in.

"I'm going out for a while, Gary. I'm really wired from the acid I dropped tonight. You go to sleep. I'll be back."

I picked up my harp and walked out into the street, throwing a gray cape over my shoulder. The night was foggy. I walked along quietly for several minutes and then began to strum the harp softly. I tripped out again - and was a little fairy playing my music. I sat down under a window and played softly for the whole neighborhood. Strangely, no one bothered me.

It was dawn when I walked back into the apartment and found a note from Gary. I saw immediately that his things were gone. "Sharon," the note read, "I love you too much to sit and watch you lose yourself to LaVey. Goodbye."

I sat quietly and sadly, strumming my harp and humming.


The show was a smash hit along the strip. Garnet had scored big. But the witches' sabbath, and my total sellout to LSD, marijuana, and hashish, and to sex with virtually any attractive man, landed me in the hospital in four months. I was half dead from gonorrhea and had a complete physical breakdown.

The Psychic World of California by David St. Clair
{pp. 88 - 92; Bantam Books / October VIII A.S. \ 1973 c.e.}

The Psychic World of California

Amid all the "positive" magic, "good" vibrations and "white" light of the San Francisco occult scene, stands Anton Szandor LaVey. He stands apart, laughing and stroking his pointed goatee. HIs bald head shines in the light from the flames of the black candles at his "black" magic ceremonies. He wears black robes and a priest's white collar. He is the self-styled "Black Pope" of the occult nether-world. Some talk of him with awe and great respect. Others never mention his name, refer to him quickly as "that man."

LaVey believes in the powers of the devil and says that it's time Satan was openly worshiped instead of being suppressed. He claims that if it wasn't for Satan there would be no need for the Christian church. "Satan has certainly been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years. Without a devil to point their fingers at, religionists of the right-hand path would have nothing with which to threaten their followers. For two thousand years man has done penance for something he never should have had to feel guilty about in the first place. We are tired of denying ourselves the pleasures of life which we deserve. Today, as always, man needs to enjoy himself here and now, instead of waiting for his rewards in heaven. So why not have a religion based on indulgence? Certainly it is consistent with the nature of the beast."

Anton LaVey's ancestors came from Georgian, Rumanian, and Alsatian stock and a gypsy grandmother told him tales of vampires and werewolves. His first reading materials was Weird-Tales magazine, Frankenstein and Dracula. In 1942, at age twelve, he decided that since guns and weapons coud be bought in Europe easier than food and clothing that the bible was wrong. The earth would not be inherited by the meek, but only by those who were strong enough to take it. He learned to play the oboe and the piano, joined the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and then left high school and home to join the Clyde Betty Circus. His job was simply to water and feed the lions and tigers, but Beatty saw his "natural ability to tame fierce beasts" and promoted him to assistant trainer. At eighteen he left Beatty for a carnival, where he assisted a magician, learned how to hypnotize and began to study the occult. He also began to study human beings. "On Saturday night I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the organ for the tent show evangelists I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. I knew then that the Christian Church thrves on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out!"

He married a lovely blonde named Diane, took a steady job with the San Francisco Police Department as a photographer, and studied criminology at City College. But what he saw in three years on the force only affirmed his ideas that Satan was the real ruler of the world. "I saw the bloodiest, grimiest side of human nature. People shot, knifed. Little kids splattered in the gutter by hit-and-run drivers. It was disgusting and depressing. I asked myself, 'Where is God?' I came to detest the sanctimonious attitude of people toward violence, always saying it's God's will."
He began dabbling in ritual magic and held weekly meetings at his home with a small group of friends. They studied the Black Mass and pagan ceremonies of such groups as the 14th-century Knights Templar and the 19th-century Golden Dawn Society. They read what the Aztecs and Egyptians had to say about Satan and as they worked these rituals and charms LaVey discovered he could conjure up parking spaces at the last minute in front of theaters, make business deals come his way and make two people marry even though one disliked the other. "I discovered an ability through magic to bring reversals to enemies and gain advantage for myself. I realized I had stumbled onto something."

So on April 31, 1966, at Walpurgisnacht - the most important festival in witchcraft - LaVey shaved his head and announced the formation of his Church of Satan. The temple was in a three-story silvery-black Victorian house on California Street. The rooms became crammed with books, tombstones, coffins and a skeleton. One room was set aside as the ritual chamber.
His church first gained attention when he performed a marriage before a "living altar." The altar was a nude woman and the local press was invited. Shortly after that he performed his first funeral, where he consigned the soul of a young soldier to the devil. A U.S. Navy honor guard stood by.

From all across California the curious and the disturbed come for sessions. He bars no one, asks few questions. It is a church and open to the public. Some famous names have been there and admit it. Most of them prefer not to admit it. Public opinion is still one of negative suspicion.

Perhaps the most famed of his congregation was Jayne Mansfield. She attended several sessions and supposedly once stretched herself out naked as a Black Mass altar. Shortly after that she was decapitated in an automobile accident. One young man (who has asked to remain nameless) told me that he had seen Jayne at the Church of Satan many times and was there the night "she opened herself to the devil." He glanced at his watch and swears it was almost immediately to the minute the newspapers say the actress died. At home, later, his father was walking across the kitchen when he suddenly collapsed onto the floor. His eyes rolled back and his breathing was heavy. As the boy and his mother tried to revive the man he began to speak, but it wasn't his voice that came out but Jayne's. "She cried and said she didn't want to die. She asked us to tell LaVey that he had to do something. She blamed that Black Mass for her death." The man came out of the trance but never returned to the church. "It was too heavy," his son recalls. "Just too heavy to fool with."

La Vey has written his own book of rules and calls it The Satanic Bible. It was published in pocketbook form by Avon Books and runs 272 pages. Available at most metaphysical bookstores (some shops refuse to carry it), it has become a best seller. The Black Pope pulls no punches. This Bible graphically discusses sexual intercourse, encourages personal ambition and berates passivity. "Hate your enemies with a whole heart," he advises, "and if a man smite you on one cheek, SMASH him on the other; smite him hip and thigh for self-preservation is the highst law!"

"Behold the crucifix; what does it symbolize? Pallid incompetence hanging on a tree."

"Blessed are the strong, for they shall possess the earth - Cursed are the weak, or they shall inherit the yoke!"

"There has never been a great 'love' movement in the history of the world that hasn't wound up killing countless numbers of people to prove how much they loved them! Every hypocrite who ever walked the earth has had pockets bulging with love!"

LaVey's Bible tells the novice how to set up his own ritualistic circle, how to dress (or undress), how and what to drink as an offering to Satan, what to ask for and how to work up enough emotion to cause whatever you wish to come true. He refers to this book as "a primer - a basic text on materialistic magic. It is a Satanic McGuffy's Reader."

Whether LaVey is putting on an act or not is a debatable question. His years as a carnival magician give him a theatrical flair, yet he seems convinced that his mission on earth is to be the Devil's high priest. His church "answers a need in this Godless society" and also brings him a good income. He is not concerned with scoffers, for "the victim of a hex or curse is much more prone to destruction if he DOES NOT believe in it! So long as man knows the meaning of fear, he will need the means and ways to defend himself against these fears. If religious faith and fervor can make bleeding wounds appear on the body in approximation to the wounds supposedly inflicted on Christ...why then should there be any doubt as to the destructive extremes of fear and terror? Therefore, never attempt to convince the skeptic upon whom you wish to place a curse. Allow him to scoff. To enlighten him would lessen your chance for success. Listen with benign assurance as he laughs at your magic, knowing his days are filled with turmoil all the while. If he is despicable enough, by Satan's grace, he might even die - laughing!"

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sorcery, But Were Afraid To Ask By Arlene J. Fitzgerald
1973 Manor Books {PP. 41 - 45}

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sorcery, But Were Afraid To Ask by Arlene J. Fitzgerald A phenominon among occultists is Anton Szandor LaVey, doctor of Satanic Theology & High Priest of the First Church of Satan. It has become fairly obvious in recent years that LaVey is leader of the Satanist pack, both in this country & abroad. As one journalist has observed, "The Devil makes good copy", with the result that LaVey's face, which bears a striking resemblence to most people's concept of the "Dark Prince", has become familiar to virtually every man, woman, & child with access to a newspaper or magazine.

Essentially a witch {Warlock! - DB} who practices Black Magic, LaVey has a following of some 10,000 carefully screened disciples who participate in rites featuring nude females as altars & phallic symbols as instruments of benediction.

LaVey, who contends that every man has a devil inside, emphasizes in his Satanic Bible that the Satanist realizes only by taking the in initiative can man expect to get what he wants from life. The popular Satanist advises to act on their own behalf instead petitioning God to intercede for them. His premise, that a positive attitude brings results, reads amazingly like simular statements attributed to Christiandom's Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

Condemning all forms of "white light" action, which include both modern occultism & religions, as hypocritical, Satanists assume a realistic point of view which claims to see man as he is: a goal-striver who is out to get all he can from life for himself. As LaVey puts it, it is no sin to be as greedy as you like!

As is the case in both white & Black Magic, it is the end in which it is directed that makes the difference, the white magic practitioner supposedly infusing his will with love & devotion toward a spiritual ideal, while the will of the Sorcerer involved in Black, or Devil Magic, is said to be motivated by feelings of resentment, lust & greed.

It is for this reason that magic is considered by many to be dangerous, not only to the individual who is apt to be carried away by the force of his own power, once he has succeeded in proving himself that he can inflict his will on others in a forceful manner, but becaus the magical formulas, pentacles, spells, incantations anf other rituals which are powered by the individual will can also be directed by the accumulated energy of any who have ever used them in the past. Accordingly, malicious forces are unleashed & continue to gain in strength as they are re-energized & their power enhanced by each successive use. Such forces are said to be capable of wreaking destruction. The same theory of reinforced power is said by religionists to be behind the beneficent healing forces which cause miraculous cures to occur at consecrated places.

The very sins set forth as "deadly" by the Christian faith have become part of the Satanist's creed. Envy is viewed by LaVey, as explained in his Satanic Bible, as viewing the possessions of others in a favorable light. Envy & greed are seen by him as the motivating powers that trigger ambition without which there would be very little if any progress toward achieving personal goals.

Gluttony is considered by LaVey to be equally innocuous, since it is merely of eating more than is needed to maintain life. When carried to extremes it serves to trigger yet another sin, pride, which will then motivate the individual so affected to take action in an attempt to regain his appearance & restore his self-respect.

"Satanism is simply being honest," a feminine devotee has said of the cult. "Brutally honest. But why kid ourselves? Who doesn't want the best out of life? Aren't we all basically involved in trying o make our lives as good as is humanly possible. It's human to want to gain greater control over what we can be & can acquire for ourselves in the way of material possessions. Satanism lets you be human."

High Priest LaVey writes that his religion is a faith of the flesh. As defined by him, it is a religion that realizes the current needs of man & serves to fill the gap between religion & psychiatry, the former no longer being able of providing enlightened man with the ritualistic ceremonies he needs while psychiatry is said to have robbed man of the wonder & fantasy that was once provided by his religion.

Unlike certain witchraft ceremonies, Satanist rites are not designed to evoke demons, a product LaVey sees as a product of fear since most witches see fit to protect themselves by carrying out their black magic while protected by a magic circle.

There is nothing furtive about the Satanist. In fact, every aspect of his religion would appear designed to promote man's ego. To the dedicated Satanist, the name "Satan" is representative of "a force in nature" & has little to the usual behorned, cloven-hooved, black-coated creature who presented his posterior to receive the kisses of adulation bestowed upon him by early-day practitioners.

Nor are sexual orgies & promiscuity common to LaVey's brand of Satanism as he explains it in his Satanic Bible, the general concensus being that those who wish to "swing" are free to indulge heir desires, just as any who may prefer to remain chaste may do so with no fear of condemnation. The choice belongs entirely to the individual to be decided by his own tastes & inclinations, with any type of sexual activity that fulfills inividual desires being condoned, so long as it involves no one who does not wish to be a part of it.

On the whole, most of what LaVey has set forth to serve as a guideline to his church members lets them have their cake & eat it, too. Contending that sociaty in the future will be based on "indulgence," LaVey is quoted by Judith Rascoe in an article appearing in McCall's, March 1970: "We've......established a philosophy that advocates all of what most Americans practice whether they call it Satanism or not."

At least one of the questions posed by the questionnaire for membership in the First Church of Satan delves into the quality of the petitioner's sex life. LaVey said that he would prefer those who are actively seeking fun-and-games to do their searching elsewhere. Thus a good qualification for possible acceptance by his group seems to be a well-developed love life that poses no psychological problems.

"If you join the Church of Satan, you will be judged on your individual merits & abilities & nothing else," LaVey advised a homosexual who queried him via his "Letters To The Devil" column which appeared in National Insider. The homosexual asked if his particular sexual preference would help him to become a better Satanist. "What you do so far as your sex life is concerned is only the affair of yourself & your partner(s)."

It is only when America's Black Pope delves into the casting of the spells that are an essential part of all magic ceremonies that some serious doubts may begin to take root in the mind fo the observer. Certainly, very few would be apt to object to the use of psychic powers to help bring about a more favorable circumstance in a more or less harmless manner, such as attempting to bring back a recalcitrant husband or lover or restoring health to a loved one.

But what of the death spells designed, as LaVey tells us, to destroy an enemy by proxy? Do they really work? Anton LaVey's Satanic Church has gained a certain acceptance & even respectability in American society, thanks to his superb sense of timing.

"Somehow the counter-culture was ready for a Satanic Priest, & Anton was ready to present himself Prince of Darkness......" San Francisco journalist, Merla Zellerbach, wrote resently of this modern-day version of Satan incarnate in her Chronicle column. As Mrs. Zellerbach goes on to observe, "Every success story has its imitator......"

But as yet, no Black Mass enthusiast has succeeded in posing any serious threat to LaVey in his prominant role as "the Advocates' Devil."

Satanic Sex by Arlene J. Fitzgerald
VIII A.S. Manor Books. [Segment about Anton LaVey & The Church of Satan [pp. 12 & 13]:

Satanic Sex Witchcraft and Satanism have always exerted a tremendous attraction for the idle and the wealthy but unfulfilled individual." writes Anton LaVey, High Priest of The Church of Satan which is headquarters in San Francisco. "This does not mean to imply that well adjusted people are not interested. It simply means that the first mentioned types are much less discriminating in the authenticity, quality, and seriousness of the group with which they involve themselves. What they re primarily interested in is 'kicks' - nothing more."

One need not look far to realize that the cliche' Halloween image which most of us have come to associate with witches scarcely applies to today's occult practitioners. The modern-day sorceress is, more often than not, as sexy as the love potions she peddles, shunning the traditional fairy-tale garb and magic broomstick in favor of abbreviated mini skirts and a high powered convertible. Her male counterpart is equally sensual and dynamic.

"We come from every walk of life," states an avid west coast priestess.

An investigation of leads supplied by individuals closely involved in the flourishing cult substantiate this and other claims that persons from all classes and professions are organizing into covens at an astonishing rate. It has been roughly estimated that there are more than 750,000 self-professed witches in America today. Recruits are most generally acquired through personal contact in a widespread campaign which is encouraged by the film industry and the various news medias and which common manifests sexuality as a means of inducement. Very frequently, potential initiates to the cult are lured through advertisements placed in the underground newspapers which grew out of the hippie movement.

Commenting on the latter, Anton LaVey has stated:

"If you read about it {witchcraft} in an ad in an underground newspaper, you can be reasonably certain that it's a front for sexual activities with just enough 'witchcraft' to ease the conscious of the 'free' people attending."

* [Satan's Scroll review]

The Fortune Sellers: The Occult Phenomenon of The 20th Century
By Gary A. Wilburn; G/L Publications, Regal Books.
VII A.S. Chapter 'The Devil Made Me Do It: Satanism', pp. 140-142. [Section concerning Anton LaVey & The Church of Satan].

A particular group is The Church of Satan, with home offices in San Francisco, which boasts a national membership of over 10,000 active parishioners. Its High Priest, or "Black Pope" is one Anton LaVey, D.S.T. {"Doctor of Satanic Theology"}.

The Church of Satan came into existence in 1966 when LaVey was inspired to shave his head, put on a Roman collar and announce the new "Satanic Age." The Church's first major publicity was given to LaVey's Satanic Wedding {performed in front of a nude woman reclining upon a makeshift altar}, celebrated with the chants, decorum, and macabre usually associated with many second-rate horror movies. Soon after this, the christening of infants became a regular observance, and a "Satanic funeral service" was held by LaVey for one of the members, Mr. Ed Olsen, a Navy man, who had been killed in an automobile crash. It was Olsen's widow who concluded that he would have wanted to be buried with "full Satanic honors."

Basing his operations from a three-story, thirteen-room Victorian home in a San Francisco residential district, LaVey surrounds himself with the traditional open coffins, tombstones, skeletons, ans black cats o necessary to his trade. Absorbed in interviews, rituals and conversations clarifying his views as expressed in his "Satanic Bible", he finds little time to shepherd his ever-growing flock. Many applicants sincerely interested in doing evil are rejected by LaVey in favor of the "beautiful people," {some of them well monied} who desire more of a social club/therapy group than a contract with The Devil.

"{Many} feel that this is a clearing house for perverts, sex creeps, real losers, people hat have been rejected by society. And it isn't," says LaVey. "Because the true image of The Satanist from the beginning of what, by one name or another would be considered Satanism, is that of the Master, the Leader, the controller of societies, the image makers. All these people that have been winners have practiced intrinsically a Satanic concept of life."

The Church of Satan seems more concerned with letting people do what they want, regardless of society's laws and mores, than with forcing them to worship a personal supreme deity. By his own admission, LaVey expresses that "my church is based on (self) indulgence. Eventually, I want to build pleasure domes - retreats for my followers. I think a church should be something people can't wait to get into instead of a place they can't wait to get out of." LaVey and his followers subscribe to a philosophy of total freedom, sexual as well as personal. "We believe in the pleasures of the flesh, living to the hilt, enjoying all there is to be on earth," LaVey admits.

There are those followers of The Church of Satan who are dead serious in their pursuit of Satan, but these might very well be in the minority.

When asked, "Have you seen The Devil?" LaVey coyly replied, "Oh, yes, every time I shave!"

GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE: Anton LaVey & The Church of Satan by Michael Marinacci.

There's something about Anton LaVey that reminds one of an aging yet still dangerous lion.

Maybe it's his eyes. After glaring at the world from countless news photos and TV screens over three decades, LaVey still fixes his subjects with the cold, calculating gaze of a predator.

Or his voice. Best described as a modulated growl, it still rumbles with undertones of both humor and menace.

And there's his presence. At once, LaVey radiates quiet dignity, great power and carny-barker cynicism, the Mephistophelean qualities of a man who's spent a quarter-century as the Devil's most prominent advocate -- his Church of Satan the world's largest and most notorious public diabolist sect.

Sitting in the purple-walled library of his Addams-Familyesque "Black House" in San Francisco, surrounded by bookshelves overflowing with all manner of strange and esoteric tomes, LaVey muses on his Church's mission in a society mired in spiritual and sociological confusion, where the Devil still gets his due as the author of all evils:

"Things are changing, but only through Satanic influence will they really change," he says of modern America. "What we've done is to hold up a mirror to Christians to show them their true nature. So genuine fear is appearing on the face of the land. And the true evil is surfacing in the form of their antics."

Not that any of this panic surprises LaVey. His whole life seems to be a tribute to dealing creatively with human ignorance and gullibility by both exploiting, and transcending them.

Born into gangster-era Chicago, LaVey knew from an early age that he was different. That he was drawn instinctively to the Dark Side of existence. School bored him; he sought intellectual refuge in horror stories, military histories, oddball science and philosophy, and eventually dropped out and become a lifelong autodidact.

The teenage LaVey wanted real-world knowledge as well, and found it working at the circuses and carnivals that criss-crossed Forties America. There he played the organ during shows, and developed a life-long affinity for big cats as an apprentice animal-handler. He saw how hungry people were for mystery, wonder and terror, and how easily crooked carnies exploited them in ingenious scams.

But his greatest revelation came during weekend organ-playing gigs. As he put it in The Satanic Bible, "On Saturday night I would see men lusting after half-naked girls in the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday night they'd be back at the carnival or some other place of indulgence.

"I knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out!"

But what could he do with this knowledge? Many occult books and horror stories he'd read hinted of Dark Brotherhoods existing in society's shadows, libertines and freethinkers dedicated to overthrowing the Christian guilt-and-fear culture-complex. Certainly England's 18th Century Hell-Fire Club had been one of them; more recently, Aleister Crowley's Sicilian Abbey of Thelema had raised a Luciferian pleasure-dome against two millennia of Jehovan Thou-shalt-not prohibitions.

All the young LaVey could find in the way of postwar occult cabals, however, were timid White-Lighters who invoked Jesus along with their elemental spirits, and promoted Eastern asceticism and ego-negation. They had none of the egoistic, hedonistic, deeply ironic spirit that LaVey felt necessary for a true rebellion against Christianity.

Though he settled into married life and a straight job in 1950s San Francisco, LaVey grew even more alienated from what he saw as Christian superstition and sentimentality. Working as a Weegee-style police photographer, he nightly recorded blood-spattered tableaux of human brutality and viciousness: murder, rape, child abuse, mayhem, disasters. LaVey recoiled when people explained away the horrors as "God's will," wondering how a God of love and justice could randomly inflict such suffering on his "children."

Sickened by the endless carnage, LaVey quit his photography job, and went to work as a nightclub organist, spending his spare hours in pursuit of his first love: the outre and bizarre. He became something of a self-made expert in things occult, and began to hold regular lectures at his house, charging the public admission for seminars on ghosts, werewolves, witchcraft and sex magic.

He also indulged his love of big cats by keeping both a panther and a 400-pound lion at his home. The lion, Togare, once appeared on a local children's show, "narrating" a documentary about life in the LaVey household from the leonine point of view.

LaVey combined his flair for the sensational with a will to follow theory with practice. For a lecture on cannibalism, he obtained a severed human leg from a physician, basted it in Triple Sec, and served portions to hungry audience members. He conducted "Witches' Workshops" for novitiate sorceresses at a time when most of today's feminist/environmentalist "Wiccans" were children.

LaVey might have remained a colorful local character, his doings written up regularly in Herb Caen's columns, had he not come to a realization early in 1966. During that period, he presided over a semi-secret "magical circle" composed of illustrious and unique figures from Northern California society, all throwing their considerable energies into psychic experiments, many of which seemed to be working for LaVey's benefit.

He had at his disposal, LaVey believed, a cabal of talented, powerful people, and free access to paraphysial realm few humans dared explore. These elements, combined with his anti-Christian, hedonistic philosophy, were perfect ingredients for a real, modern-day "Black Brotherhood" of the kind he'd sought in youth. Like God, if such a thing didn't exist, then it was necessary to invent one.

And he had the perfect deity in mind to represent this new religion. Though he didn't believe in the literal existence of Satan, LaVey thought the Evil One was a perfect symbol of rebellion, freedom and skepticism in a culture still Christian in name, if not in practice.

On April 30, 1966 -- Walpurgisnacht, the holiest night of the pre-Christian European pagans -- the goateed LaVey shaved his head bald, donned a clerical collar, and declared the formation of the Church of Satan. He claimed the title of High Priest, and chose as the Church symbol the inverted (two points up) pentagram, with a goat's head inscribed on the star and Hebrew letters at each point spelling out the "infernal name Leviathan."

His timing and locale were perfect. By the mid-sixties, the Calvinist Protestant weltanschauung, for three centuries America's official conscience, seemed to be losing its grip on a generation that had witnessed the real-world hell of the Holocaust and the Bomb, and that was experiencing the here-and-now Paradise of sexual freedom, psychedelic drugs and the general postwar economic prosperity. San Francisco, with its colorfully eccentric history, its topless clubs and sexual-liberation agitators, and its ever-expanding legions of hippies and Hell's Angels, was the flash point of a growing revolution against the pleasure-hating Christian God.

LaVey, however, carefully distanced himself from the Bay Area's burgeoning hippie scene. A staunch law-and-order advocate who mixed "one part outrage to nine parts social respectability" in his quest for success, LaVey disliked the flower children's habitual drug use, seeing it not only as an invitation to legal trouble but as a psychic crutch that interfered with the truly magical uses of consciousness.

The few flower children that affiliated with the Church of Satan usually couldn't pass his muster, and moved on to more chemical-friendly scenes. Typical of the breed was dancer Susan Atkins, who played a bloodthirsty vampire in a LaVey-produced "Witches' Sabbath" topless-revue, only to repeat the role in real life under a more literal-minded guru named Charles Manson.

(Atkins, currently serving a life term for murdering Sharon Tate on Manson's orders, wrote an autobiography called Child of Satan, Child of God, where she blamed LaVey for leading her down the path to Helter Skelter. The Satanic leader claims Atkins was a hopeless drug casualty when he first met her.)

As LSD melted hippie minds in the Haight-Ashbury, as napalm seared Vietnamese flesh across the sea, and as the Holy Land rumbled with the threat of a high-tech Armageddon, 1967 Anno Domini seemed to be the perfect time for a Satanic Second Coming. That year the Church of Satan blasphemed Christianity's prime sacraments, in three ceremonies covered on front pages around the world.

On February 1, 1967 LaVey performed a Satanic wedding for Church members Judith Case and John Raymond, both of them Bay Area society figures. Newspapers, radio and TV stations from around the world covered the ceremony, which featured the bald, goateed, black-caped LaVey looking just like the Adversary himself as he solemnized the couple's vows in the name of Satan while a nude woman (the "living altar") lay prostrate on the brick mantelpiece, and Togare the lion roared from the depths of the Black House. Applications for Church membership poured in.

Three months later, Zeena LaVey, Anton's three-year old daughter, was publicly baptized in Satan's name. Clad in a special red robe and seated before the "living altar," the little blonde girl happily chewed gum while Dad initiated his "(s)mall sorceress, most natural and true magician" onto the Left-Hand Path before a throng of worshippers and reporters. The ritual again brought the Church fabulous publicity, and outraged Christian groups across the world.

In late 1967, LaVey delivered yet another Satanic sacrament. Edward Olsen, a Church member and US Navy machinist stationed at the Treasure Island base, had been killed in a traffic accident, and his wife -- also a Satanist -- requested that the "Black Pope" officiate the funeral.

Again, reporters flocked to the ceremony. The world was treated to media images of a chrome-helmeted Naval honor guard standing next to black-robed Satanists, and a positively Mephistophelean-looking LaVey reading a Luciferian eulogy over Olsen's Old Glory-draped coffin. Not only did the Church gain even more media exposure and members; it became a recognized religion in the US Armed Services' Chaplain's Handbook, a status it's maintained since.

Thousands of people joined the Church of Satan in the wake of this publicity bonanza. Among the converts were celebrities like singer Barbara McNair and actor Keenan Wynn. An especially fervent member was entertainer Sammy Davis Jr., who openly displayed his inverted-pentagram "Baphomet" medallion at concerts, and proselytized for the cause among Hollywood's highest social circles. According to LaVey, many more famous people became Satanists during this period, albeit on the sly to protect their careers.

One celebrity who openly associated with the Church of Satan was Jayne Mansfield, the blonde sex goddess of countless period B-movies. The buxom actress not only attended LaVey's Satanic rituals, and had herself photographed taking "communion" with him, but even served as the nude "altar" in one spectacular private ceremony!

Mansfield and LaVey had a short love affair in 1967 that ended in bloody tragedy. Jayne's regular boyfriend, attorney Sam Brody, got word of the liaison and threatened LaVey with all manner of retribution if he didn't leave her alone. LaVey has often claimed that he retaliated by cursing Brody, but the hex backfired and killed both the lawyer and Mansfield in a gruesome auto accident weeks later.

The Black Pope himself got a taste of celluloid immortality a year later. The hit film Rosemary's Baby featured LaVey in a cameo role as Satan himself, the true father of Mia Farrow's mysterious child. He asserted the film "did for the Church of Satan what Birth of a Nation did for the Ku Klux Klan, complete with recruiting posters in the lobby."

During this period, when he wasn't juggling media appearances or conducting rituals, LaVey wrote The Satanic Bible. A collection of essays, rants and rituals that comprised Church of Satan theory and practice, the book first appeared in 1969, and remains the definitive neo-Luciferian manifesto.

Dedicated to a plethora of historical anti-heroes and individualists like Rasputin, W.C. Fields, Friedrich Nietzsche and Wilhelm Reich, The Satanic Bible has allegedly sold over a million copies. Its open availability in chain bookstores is still cited by Christian fundamentalists as proof of a vast diabolical conspiracy to corrupt America with demonic doctrines.

In the book's "Nine Satanic Statements," LaVey summarized the Evil One's meaning to 20th Century humanity:

1) Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!

2) Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!

3) Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

4) Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!

5) Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!

6) Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!

7) Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those who walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!

8) Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

9) Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!

LaVey claims that these aphorisms, along with various rituals and psychological exercises in The Satanic Bible and the follow-up, The Satanic Witch, anticipated the guilt-busting self-help philosophies of the 1970s.

By this time, the Church of Satan claimed some 10,000 paid members, organized in dozens of local lodges called "grottoes." Many Satanists were refugees from the still Christian-damaged occult/"white witchcraft" world. Others were rebelling against strict religious upbringings. Many more just joined in a vain search for cheap thrills and Satanic sex orgies.

LaVey himself continued to fan media interest in the Church. His fame peaked in August 1971, when Newsweek magazine devoted a lengthy article to the Church, and Look's cover featured the Black Pope's scowling countenance.

But the Church's success brought LaVey serious problems as well. Fanatics and crazies of all kinds harassed his family with deranged missives and death threats. The Church ranks swelled with dilettante pseudo-Satanists, who hid their neuroses and personal failings behind prominently-displayed Baphomet medallions. And too many Church members used Satanism as an excuse to be irresponsible jerks, embarrassing and irritating the sensitive, disciplined LaVey.

The Church of Satan was rapidly becoming un-Satanic, and LaVey took radical steps to combat what he saw as its growing corruption. In 1970, he stopped conducting public lectures and rituals. Two years later, he closed the Black House to the public completely. And in 1975, he all but abolished the grotto system, feeling that it encouraged a "Moose Lodge" syndrome, where no-life nobodies and losers held back more talented Satanists by virtue only of Church rank.

LaVey himself retreated into obscurity. He rarely granted interviews, and communicated with Church members only through The Cloven Hoof, the Church newsletter. Rumors of his death, and the Church's demise, circulated across the occult grapevine.

But LaVey says he had merely changed his strategy. He felt that the Church had long since accomplished a major goal: publicly blaspheming the Christian religion and moral structure for fun and profit. The group concept had worked up to a point, but nonproductive members were draining the Church's time and energy.

Now, the real battle had to be fought underground. By attracting and encouraging talented individualists -- people who could use their alienation creatively, and prosper without leaning on a collectivist crutch -- LaVey felt he could promote Satanism's Promethean philosophy far more effectively than by the same old ritualistic rube-rattling. People could still join the Church for a $100 life-membership fee; they just had to realize that Satanism was no social club or support group.

These Mephistophelean moles might have operated wholly unmolested but for the Great Satanic Cult Scare of the 1980s. LaVey and his rebellious ilk had surfed effortlessly through the Sixties on a Satanic Tsunami that crested, crashed and receded, stunning a still Christian-dominated America. But in Reagan's America, a riptide of reaction, fueled by fundamentalist hysterics and talk-show sensationalists, threatened to drown the Church and its founder in a sea of paranoia and panic unknown in the West since the Salem Witch Trials.

Formerly, media coverage of Church activities had placed them in human-interest or Halloween-season contexts, alongside witches, astrologers and Tarot readers. By the mid-1980s, however, the focus had changed: LaVey's glowering visage was now often sandwiched between images of murderous lunatics like Charles Manson and Richard Ramirez. Satanism itself was portrayed as a massive secret conspiracy to corrupt young people with heavy-metal rock, peddle drugs, sacrifice babies, and generally bring down a vengeful Biblical Apocalypse on America.

LaVey was both amused and disgusted by the "Satanic cult survivors" of the 1980s, so crazily creative with their claims, yet so utterly bereft of evidence to support their wild yarns of big-scale Belialian bloodletting. "I read horror stories," he told the author, "but they couldn't possibly rival the things people on TV claim Satanists do: the disemboweling of children, all the other calculatedly compulsive fantasies these people have...they're like masturbation! Where do the talk shows come up with these cretinous creatures?"

But LaVey didn't let the panic rattle him too much. Ever the cynical realist, he kept the hysteria in perspective, seeing it as a symbiotic media-manipulation game.

"The evangelical Christians are really more against the Wiccans and New Agers then they are against me," LaVey says. "Because they need me! Remember the Ninth Satanic Statement?" he asks, referring to the above aphorism about Christianity's best friend.

And the still-active anti-Satanist Crusade has financial rewards as well. "When Bob Larson (Fundamentalist TV personality) is up there, telling hundreds of thousands of viewers about the horrible Satanic Bible, it just sells more copies!" In a classic case of the value of negative publicity, not only book sales but new memberships have been rising steadily since the brouhaha began around 1982, as countless people who might never have heard of the Church otherwise decided to check the wild tales out for themselves.

If anything, two relatively recent, unrelated incidents caused the Church far more distress than ten-plus years of talk-show lunacy. Zeena LaVey, the world's first Satanically-baptized child, who grew up to become an articulate public spokesperson for her father's cause, disavowed him in 1991 and formed her own diabolical order. Several months later, a Rolling Stone article about LaVey punctured many of his more colorfully-lofted autobiographical anecdotes, especially his claim that he had a short, tempestuous affair with Marilyn Monroe around 1950. (The author, Lawrence Wright, later included the piece in his Saints and Sinners, an excellent survey of American spiritual figures.)

But LaVey persists in the face of adversities both public and private. These days, with both daughter Zeena and second wife Diane out of the picture, Blanche Barton, a young, intelligent, slightly zaftig blonde who dresses like a 1940s screen siren, takes the roles of LaVey's lieutenant, biographer and constant companion. She has also mothered his first male child: the inevitably-monikered Satan LaVey.

The three live together in the Black House, working and playing on a nocturnal schedule. LaVey, an avowed Film Noir-era revivalist, often spends the wee hours rendering romantic Forties pop tunes on his synthesizer, believing that the sound waves will enter the sleeping city's collective unconscious and stimulate renewed interest in the "Satanic" aesthetics of his childhood.

Ironically, the retro-romantic LaVey appeared on Sacred War, a 1990 compilation CD of abrasive, atonal industrial rock. LaVey's contribution, "Hymn of the Satanic Empire," featured him reciting apocalyptic lyrics over an anthemic melody punctuated by synthesized sonic effects.

It was strangely appropriate. Though present-day occultists may deny his influence, and media savants may portray him as an eccentric charlatan, much of the modern youth culture sees the sexuagenarian LaVey as a kind of substitute father figure, a less sentimental and more sinister Gomez Addams. To post-Baby Boom who devourhorror books and films as holy writ, and wear their disaffinity for both straight society and politically-correct subcultures as a badge of pride, the Church of Satan's founder is not so much a spiritual leader, as a curious anti-hero whose morbid tastes and iconoclastic attitudes anticipated theirs.

In a world where the Christian Church has lost most of its power to inspire or terrify the masses, where sexual freedom and sensual pleasures are almost human birthrights, and where anybody clever and articulate enough can start his or her own religion on outrageous and blasphemous grounds, Anton Szandor LaVey, ex-carny, organist and self-taught "junkyard intellectual" stands as an archetype of the alienated, creative misfit made good.

The Mammoth Book of The Supernatural by Colin Wilson: The Power of The Witch, pp. 322, 323.
{Segment about Magus LaVey & The Church of Satan}

America's most notorious black witch is an ex-circus ring-master and police photographer, Anton Szandor LaVey. On April 30, 1966 LaVey initiated the 'First Church of Satan' on California Street in San Francisco (April 30 is Walpurgis Night, the great feast of the witches' year). LaVey and his followers openly practice black magic, putting evil curses on their opponents, performing weddings, funerals, and baptisms in the name of Lord Satan, and preaching 'indulgence instead of abstinence'. The Church of Satan is dedicated to the worship of The Devil and the glorification of carnal pleasures - a far cry from the assurances of Sybil Leek and the Wilsons.

LaVey, known variously as the 'High Priest of Hell' and the 'Black Pope of America', goes out of his way to look Satanic by wearing a pointed black beard, Fu Manchu mustache, and shaven head. He is the author of a work called The Satanic Bible, which contains invocations to Satan in a language called 'Enochian' and LaVey's own system of 'Satanic morality'. States LaVey, "Blessed are The Strong, for they shall possess the earth. Cursed are the feeble, for they shall be blotted out!"

LaVey's church is expanding, but there are many students of the Occult who claim that no one can handle Black Magic without risk. An event that took place in 1967 seems to support this view. On the evening of June 29 a middle-aged man suddenly collapsed on the floor of his San Francisco apartment. He and his family were all members of LaVey's church. As his son and wife knelt beside him, trying to revive him, they heard a woman's voice coming from his lips, saying, "I don't want to die."

The mother and son immediately recognized the voice as that of actress Jayne Mansfield, a fellow member of LaVey's congregation. Later they learned that the actress had died in a road accident earlier that very evening. She had been driving with her attorney n a narrow road near San Francisco when a truck hurtled from under a narrow bridge, and crashed into their car. Jayne Mansfield was decapitated, and her attorney, Sam Brody, was also killed.

Newspaper reporters soon unearthed a story of violent conflict between Brody, who was Jayne Mansfield's lover as well as her attorney, and LaVey. It arose because Jayne Manfield's film studio was grooming her as a successor to Marilyn Monroe, and rumors of her membership of The Church of Satan were bad publicity. Brody threatened to start a newspaper campaign that would drive LaVey out of San Francisco, and LaVey retaliated by pronouncing a solemn ritual curse on Brody. He told Brody that he would see him dead within a year, and shortly before Jayne Mansfield's death he warned her not to share Brody's car. "She was the victim of her own frivolity", said LaVey dispassionately after the crash; but there were members of California's Occult underground who declared openly that LaVey's curse had got out of hand, killing the disciple as well as the unbeliever.


The facts are that she was warned to stay away from Brody because she would be on ground zero when the Curse materialized. LaVey cared enough for her to grant this warning, which she unfortunately did not heed, to her fault and detriment. Brody really had it coming to him, and this was an absolutely justified Curse, which is why it worked so well. He was a disrespectful, rude, antagonistic manipulative abuser who obviously sought to tangle with the wrong person. Read the elaboration on this story in The Secret Life of A Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey by Blanche Barton. ∞

TIME magazine: The Occult Revival
[Monday, June 19, 1972; section concerning Magus LaVey & The Church of Satan]

SATANISM.

“Blessed are the strong, for they shall possess the earth. If a man smite you on one cheek, SMASH him on the other!” This inverted gospel —from Anton Szandor La Vey’s The Satanic Bible—sets the tone for today’s leading brand of Satanism, the San Francisco-based Church of Satan. Founded in 1966 by La Vey, a former circus animal trainer, the Church of Satan offers a mirror image of most of the beliefs and ethics of traditional Christianity.

La Vey’s church and its branches might well be called the “unitarian” wing of the occult. The members invest themselves with some of the most flamboyant trappings of occultism, but magic for them is mostly psychodrama —or plain old carnival hokum. They invoke Satan not as a supernatural being, but as a symbol of man’s self-gratifying ego, which is what they really worship. They look down on those who actually believe in the supernatural, evil or otherwise.

La Vey’s church is organized, incorporated and protected under the laws of California. La Vey, 42, stopped giving out membership figures when his followers, who are grouped in local “grottoes,” reached a total of 10,000. The most striking thing about the members of the Church of Satan (one of whom is shown on TIME’S cover) is that instead of being exotic, they are almost banal in their normality. Their most insidious contribution to evil is their resolute commitment to man’s animal nature, stripped of any spiritual dimension or thought of self-sacrifice. There is no reach, in Browning’s famous terms —only grasp. Under the guise of eschewing hypocrisy, they actively pursue the materialistic values of the affluent society—without any twinge of conscience to suggest there might be something more.

They jockey for upward mobility in the five degrees of church membership, which closely resemble those in witchcraft covens: apprentice, warlock (or witch), wizard (or enchantress), sorcerer (or sorceress) and magus—the degree that La Vey holds. The ruling Council of Nine, which La Vey heads, makes appointments to various ranks on the basis not only of the candidate’s proficiency in Satanist doctrine but also his “dining preferences,” the “style of decor” in his home, and the “make, year and condition” of his automobile.

The Army officer who celebrated the recent ordination in Louisville is a fourth-degree Satanist priest, a memmber of the Council of Nine and editor of La Vey’s “confidential” newsletter, the Cloven Hoof. He is also the author of a widely used ROTC textbook. Other La Vey Satanists include a Marine Corps N.C.O. from North Carolina and, in New Jersey’s Lilith Grotto, a real estate broker and an insurance executive. Beyond such devotees, La Vey’s sinister teachings reaches hundreds of thousands more through the black gospel of The Satanic Bible and his second book, The Compleat Witch {correction: The Satanic Rituals was LaVey's 2nd book, with The Compleat Witch 3rd}, in which his advice reaches the downright sordid.

Look Magazine

WITCHES ARE RISING by Brian Vachon
Look Magazine, August 24, VI A.S. / 1971 c.e. [section concerning Anton LaVey & The Church of Satan]

The bank check was thumb-tacked to the door of the waiting room. "The Church of Satan, Louisville, Ky., sends to Central Church of Satan," the check declared in funeral script, this payment "for 15 souls."

The room was in front of the three-story, solid black, San Francisco headquarters of the First Church of Satan. A coffee table at an ornate black sofa was a tombstone with legs. On the mantel, a small stuffed animal - a rat - stared down with an eternally frozen grin. To its right was the severed head of a bald eagle, staring nowhere.

On one wall of bookcases was a small label suggesting that persons caught removing any books would have their hands amputated. On the other three walls hung paintings all depicting death and un-nice ways of reaching that state, all signed by Anton Szandor LaVey.

After what seemed an interminable marking of time, one of the wall bookcases slowly revealed itself to be a door, and the large, broad-shouldered, demoniac Anton LaVey glided into the room.

LaVey has been called - to his sheer delight - "America's black pope." As titular head of the First Church of Satan, he has also been called a lot of other things. But principally, LaVey is a witch. He practices his magic of the occult - in his case, black magic.

His church, which claims 10,000 carefully screened members, specializes in ceremonial psychodramas designed to eliminate all inhibition; rituals in which naked women are occasionally used as altars and phallic symbols are shaken toward each point of the compass for benediction.

"There is a demon inside man," LaVey said with his basso at its most profundo. "It must be exercised, not exorcised - channeled into ritualized hatred."

This is the black side of witchcraft - "hedonism with control" in LaVey's Satanic church, but grim forays into the occult and the unknown for a growing number of unorganized black witches.

LaVey says he does not worship Satan, or even believe in his existence. "But there is a Force - a Godhead or whatever you want to call it. It is a displacement of the energy of human beings that will become a malleable source of action for the magician - the witch."

OCCULT AMERICA by John Godwin.
Chapter 12, pp.241 - 249]

All you have to do is ring a certain San Francisco telephone number and wait until a chirpy secretarial voice at the other end says, "Good morning, Church of Satan." It is, let's face it, a wee bit anticlimactic.

The Church was founded in 1966 by Chicago-born Anton Szandor LaVey, whose exotic names derive from Romanian, Alsatian and Georgian ancestry. He got off to a rather creaky start when - in order to raise support for his movement --- he staged some embarrassingly naive nightclub rituals involving topless witches and a bikini-clad "inquisitioner"; allegedly a former councelor for Billy Graham. But two years later came the film release of Rosemary's Baby and with it a tremendous upsurge of popular interest in matters demoniacal. The Catholic Legion of Decency helped by bestowing a "C" {condemned} rating on the movie. This positively convinced vast segments of the public that they were getting inside dope on Witchcraft and/or Satanism, despite the fact that director Roman Polanski's knowledge of - and interest in - either subject amounted to zero. {There was, incidently, more concentrated evil in one pallid smile of Cocteau's Infants Terrible than in Rosemary's entire pregnancy.}

Millions of moviegoers saw LaVey in action, although his name didn't appear on the credit list. He was the curiously reptilian Satan who raped Rosemary. The film's box office success resulted in a blaze of publicity for America's only registered Satanic Church and enabled its High Priest to drop his nightclub routine. At the moment you have to shoehorn your way into his presence through throngs of newspaper reporters, magazine interviewers, occultist researchers, and would-be adherents.

Before meeting LaVey, I was inclined to regard him as an American version of Aleister Crowley, the gentleman from Leamington, England, who called himself the Great Beast, imbibed ten grains of heroin per day and never got much beyond being a grubby little boy thinly disguised as a monster.

I once met a Reuters correspondant who had known Crowley well before his death in 1947. And I recalled his comment on the self-styled "Wickedest Man in the World": "Crowley was a fine mountaineer and a pretty good chess player, but as a Satanist he was a crashing bore. You see, everything about him was secondhand. Even his motto, 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' He had lifted that from Reblais." The Church of Satan is a black-painted Victorian structure of memorable ugliness. The type of house rampant in London's Bayswater district, but rare in San Francisco. A plate on the door said, "Do Not Disturb Unless You Have An Appointment," but there was a very welcoming black Manx cat sitting underneath. Anyway, I had an appointment.

I was greeted by Mrs. LaVey, a smiling, outgoing, hospitable little blonde, with long hair and stylish spectacles. "Please sit down," she said. "Anton will be here in a few minutes." She kept me company, but refused to be interviewed. "That's Anton's department."

The front parlour smelled like the inside of an antique matress; either the walls were damp or the windows were never opened. I sat down beside a tombstone serving as coffee table and admired the fittings. There was a regulr dentist's chair, an operating table, a hanging skelaton, a lumpily stuffed possum, and a large bookcase with the warning: "Whoever removes books from this shelf will have their hands chopped off." The telephone, decorated with a Satanic seal, bore the notice: "Do not make outside calls with this phone." The Church, it appeared, was big on notices.

LaVey made a good entrance. He is a massive six-footer in his early forties, dressed completely in black, wearing a clerical collar and a silver pentagram medallion around his neck. His skull is clean-shaven, Tartar fashion, and he sports a black chin beard a la Ivan the Terrible. He has a forceful, calm voice, a surprisingly amiable laugh, and a patiently cautious way of answering questions he must have heard several hundred times before. "How do we visualize Satan? Purely symblically, as the all-pervasive force. The only true God, in fact."

"Well, then whose adversary is he?" LaVey smiled. "The adversary of all man-made spiritual religions. To all that we consider the contemptable crutches man has had to invent. We totally reject the concept of there being an antithesis to God. He is God."

"In other words," I said, "you consider Satan the personafication of life - good and evil. Do you think that evil outweighs the good?"

"Well, we consider that what the theologians regard as man's prediliction for evil will always outweigh the good. So - from the theological point of view --- we are evil individuals."

He did not, however, go along with the dramatization of evil as performed in the original Black Mass. "Those," he explained, "were psychodramas at a time when people needed them. They had to express their opposition, their rebellion against an established church. Our rituals are suitably modified to express the needs of our particular era."

The rituals are outlined in LaVey's Satanic Bible, a piquant mixture of liturgy, history, and magical recipes, such as how "to Cause the Destruction of an Enemy", or "to Summon One for Lustful Purpose or Establish a Sexually Gratifying Situation." It's an intriguing book, although chunks of it are written in a mysterious tongue called Enochian, rendering certain parts - literally - unspeakable.

For a time LaVey also played the role of a sulphurous Ann Landers by running a weekly tabloid column, "Letters from the Devil." Among the do-it-yourself tips he passed out were the correct specifications for a voodoo doll, and the brewing of love potions, using ginseng root as a substitute for the hard to get {in fact unobtainable} Mandrake.

"Our religion," he said gravely, "is the only one, I think, in complete accordance with human nature. It is based on indulgence. Instead of commanding our members to repress their natural urges, we taech that they should follow them. This includes physical lusts, the desire for revenge, the drive for material possessions." LaVey gives a low, rumbling laugh, that semed to come from his solar plexus. "That's how most of them live already, in any case. Only hitherto have they been following the devil's creed without giving the devil his due. And suffering from guilt complexes because their hypocritical faiths keep telling them they have to live differently. This religious dichotomy is a breeding ground for neurosis. We free them of such conflicts by making it clear that Satan - or God - meant them to live according to their inborn tendencies."

"Does that mean," I asked, "that you encourage drug habits or alcoholism?" He fielded that one easily. "We certainly don't. Both are self-destructive. Typical of losers. And we don't want losers. Satanism is a winner's creed. Now" - a sweep of his black sleeved arm --- "would you care to see the rest of the house?" The church is a veritable FuManchu castle, bristling with hidden doors and secret panels. Wildly sinister or high camp, depending on your attitude. The parlor fireplace and sections of the bookcase swing inward on silent hinges, revealing dark passages into the bowels of the place. The smell gets mustier the deeper you penetrate.

Downstairs is the Ritual Chamber, draped in black and scarlet. The centerpiece consists of the altar, next to it a large Hammond organ, which LaVey plays with magnificent fluorish. {He used to play a calliope in a circus.} "No, we don't have any special Satanic music." He ran a finger over the keys. "We use Wagner for some ceremonies, Berlioz, Liszt, even church tunes."

Everywhere you look, there are artfully gruesome masks, a titanic papier-mache' spider, an arms collector's dream of carbines, pistols, swords, daggers, maces, clubs, some ceremonial, others businesslike. Also skulls, phallic symbols, the inevitable black candles, a bell, and a very handsome chalice. The whole sanctum is rather like a cross between a chapel, an arsenal, and the clubhouse of a juvenile gang.

By opening a case containing a mummy you step into the Red Room next door. Most of it is occupied by a towering bed, hung with black drapes, contemplated from the ceiling by ceremonial masks that look as if they remembered everything that went on below.

Upstairs we were joined by seven-year-old Zeena LaVey, just back from school. Zeena was the cause of a minor scandal some years ago when her father baptized her into his church.

Although as a minister he was entitled to do so, he created considerable indignation by performing the ceremony before the live, nude, and female diabolical altar, sprinkling his daughter with earth and water while intoning, "Welcome, Zeena, new mistress, creature of magic light, child of joy....."

When we arrived back in the parlor, the child of joy was being hauled off the hinged fireplace by her mother. "How many times have we told you not to step on the fireplace! We've already had it fixed twice!"

She abandoned the fireplace and agreed to show me her art class work. Her drawings were lively, imaginative and mostly of ponies. I asked her if she intended to become an artist when she grew up.

She thought for a moment, then shook her head. "No, I'm going to be a ballet dancer."

LaVey said, "I'm sorry we can't show you our lion. He used to live in the back. We had to present him to the zoo, unfortunately. The neighbors complained about his roaring at night."

The Satanic Church has less trouble with hostile elements than might be expected. "Occasionally, some nut comes to the door, but I can handle that," grinned the Devil's High Priest. "And we have very good burglar alarms in the house." He grew rather laconic when I asked about membership figures.

"We stopped divulging them after we reached seven thousand. That was - er - some time ago. But I can tell you that the Church is nationwide. We have Grottoes - that's what we call them - all over the country. And then there are large numbers of crypto-Satanists. People who are not Church members, but like what we're doing. We get quite a lot of donations from them."

LaVey began his career by dropping out of high school and joining the Clyde Beatty Circus as a cage boy --- which meant feeding lions, tigers, and leopards. He also had a decided musical bent. Taught himself piano and organ and played the oboe in the San Francisco Ballet Symphony Orchestra.

From the circus he graduated to a carnival, learning hypnosis, stage magic, and the elements of carny spieling. Then - oddly enough - he enrolled in college as a criminology major, which - even odder - led to a job as forensic photographer with the San Francisco Police Department. He made - and maintained - some handy contacts during his three years with the force. In consequence the Church of Satan is one of the best protected establishments in town. "I went ghost hunting long before Hans Holzer thought of it," he told me. "But instead of taking along a medium --- the way he does it --- I went at it with electronic alarms and infrared cameras. Maybe that's the reason why I never came to believe in ghosts."

His church evolved from his quiet clientele who came to hear him lecture. "One night I had something like a breakthrough into the grey area between religion and psychiatry," he remembered. I found I could help people by bringing the Devil out into the open, so to speak. By proclaiming his creed as a legitimate, active faith." LaVey's main concern is to keep out the "losers" - his pet expletive for the varieties of kooks inevitably drawn to a cult that allegedly conducts weekly orgies. Candidates must fill in a lengthy questionnaire containing points like, "What do you expect to gain from Satanism?" and "If you are a woman, would you consider being an altar?" They also have to pass muster at a confrontation, which is frequently arranged by subterfuge. If accepted they pay a forty dollar registration fee, then an annual ten dollars, which is not expensive by cultist standards.

The Satanic congregation tends to be on the young side of thirty, and composed of very much the same types you would find in, say, scientology or Golden Circle meetings. Good-looking, rather tense, and slightly vague men and women who indicate that they know what everything is about, but can't quite express it. The High Priest --- or another appropriate guru - does it for them. Friday night is the big night for Satanists, the night of the High {not Black} Mass. It opens with a lengthy ceremony in the Ritual Chamber, conducted by LaVey in full regalia, complete with a silken horned cap. Organ music and chanting, which has Gregorian overtones, punctuated by the exclamations "Shemhamforash!" and "Hail Satan!" repeated by the entire congregation.

The naked altar girl lays fairly comfortably on a fur rug. After LaVey has emptied the chalice {contents optional} he places the vessel on her belly or pubic region, where it stays for the remainder of the ritual.

Then follows the business part of the evening, but it's a fair way moved from the orgiastic.

Members come forwards to lay their requests before Satan. Almost in the forms of almost classical maledictions directed at unseen enemies: "Let his rotting dungheap brain writhe in unending agony as hordes of phantom rats gnaw at his diseased spirit for the rest of his life..." Others, in a gentler vein, ask for love, sensual pleasures, business triumphs.

LaVey touches them with his sword, rather as if dubbing them knights, while the congregation joins in a united "willing" of fulfillment, their voices rising in a tremendous "Hail Satan!" to drive their message home.

Occasionally, there is an elaborate psychodrama, in which one member impersonates someone he or she detests. It can be a boss, a rival in love or - frequently - a father or mother. The actor hams up the role gleefully; ranting, lecturing, or whining to bring out the ugliest, most ludicrous feature of the subject. LaVey plays judge, the congregation the jury, as they sit in trial over the hate object. If their verdict is "guilty" {depending on the virulence of the impersonation}, they can bring down any of a score of horrific punishments on the {absent} offender.

> At the end of the evening the participants are emotionally replete, warmed with a sense of accomplishment, and pleasantly relaxed. Their curses are cursed, their hatreds spilled, their enemies smitten hip and thigh. They are - temporarily - at peace. And their peace may quite possibly endure until the next High Mass, come Friday.

At the moment LaVey heads the only officially recognized Satanist movement in the United States; the only one, that is, entitled to baptize, marry and bury its members, and enjoying the tax-exempt status of a church {no longer applicable}.

RE/Search: Modern Primitives

RE/Search: Modern Primitives: An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment & Ritual
XXIII A.S.

A N T O N L A V E Y


Anton Szandor LaVey, author of the noir classic The Satanic Bible, is a "Rennaisance man", whose conversation draws from a vast storehouse of occult (in the true sense of "hidden") knowledge and culture; forgotten books, magazines, film, music, artists, power figures and incredible characters. In 1966 he founded The Church of Satan in San Francisco; many of its rituals and exorcisms were essentially under-documented performance art pieces. Besides producing one classic LP, The Satanic Mass, he also authored The Compleat Witch and The Satanic Rituals, plus the forthcoming Satanic Papers - books overflowing with shrewd psychological insight, witty societal analysis, and much more.

The following was excerpted from a much broader conversation lasting until 4 in the morning, when LaVey played on organ and synthesizers his version of "Je' T' aime" which the Temple Ov Psychic Youth has previously recorded, splicing in a recording of LaVey's voice speaking. Present were A. LaVey, Blanche Barton (secretary and an administrator of The Church of Satan), Genesis and Paula P-Orridge (T.O.P.Y.), and V. Vale. (For further information on The Church of Satan send a self-addressed, stamped envelope or 4 IRC's to: P.O. Box 210082, San Francisco CA 94121.)


VALE: Why do you think there's an upsurge in "modern primitive" activity - piecing, tattooing, scarification?

ANTON LAVEY: I would say the past motivation (in contemporary Western society as we know it) for adornment, embellishment, and tattooing, was much more experiential, or rite of passage. When a man joined the Navy, or got a girlfriend, or was out with his buddies and drunk for the first time... doing something that in a peer sense would establish this belonging, a sense of camaraderie.

But now it's much more of a solitary choice. The person who proclaims, "I have this symbol on me" is trying to say, "You should recognize it because it's important to me." Now it's not necessarily something that's universally understood; it can be much more esoteric.

Today most people just don't go into a tattoo parlor and get the stock tattoos that are displayed on the wall; they have something much more personal in mind. Nowadays there are so damned many people who have an occult or mystical interest (I call them occultniks - these magical idiots - they're not very magical, of course) who have this idea that their particular symbology or bodily adornment is much more important than it actually is!

I've known some heavily tattooed people. One couldn't help but wonder about how they were motivated, especially when a guy would go into a tattoo parlor and have this incredible Egyptian deity tattooed on his back, or one on each thigh, and across his chest have something like the double eagles of the Harpsburgs or a huge symbol of Baphomet across his back! Of course, things like that weren't being done at the turn of the century, or in the twenties or thirties. Now tattooing involves much more diverse symbology.

V: Sometimes there's a totemic relation, in that person believes he derives personal power from the symbol that's tattooed. If the tattoo constantly reminds him of certain goals he's striving toward, then perhaps it actually does give more power. And if a piercing gives someone more sexual pleasure, then that person probably gets more out of life! Besides whatever pleasure that derives from just the adornment itself...


I think that if a person feels alienated, if the frequency they're on leads them to that Dark Side instead of the light side, if they didn't happen to be born looking freaky or strange, then activities like getting a tattoo are a way of stigmatizing oneself.


LV: You can put the various forms of bodily adornment into classifications. Fakir Musafar has been at his activities for many, many years: infibulation, nipple piercing, constriction, etc. I saw a lot of that sort of thing when I was in carnival work [late forties]. At that time tattooed people had to live in almost a twilight world; a society set apart from ordinary society. They were really aliens. Now many supposedly "respectable" people are able to celebrate a secret or fetishistic life. That's a motivating factor that didn't exist so much in the past; the satisfaction that knowing that one is different underneath one's business suit...

In the carnival there's a pecking order: born freaks vs. made freaks. The people who are made freaks have special acts they've learned that enable them to work in the ten-in-one, the Side-show, as opposed to the people who don't have to do anything - they're born that way. If a person is freakish enough to start with, probably they will not get tattooed. Born freaks - for example, Frank Lentini who had an extra leg, or the Hilton Sisters, Violet & Daisy (Siamese twins) - I've known them, and Johnny Eck, who had no bottom half of his body. Prince Randian was another one - the human torso. It's not just accidental that these people didn't have any tattoos, because they really were alienated - so different they probably never felt the need to adorn themselves.


I've known plenty of people who have had tattooing and all kinds of modifications to their bodies that I would say are really screwed up!

I think that if a person feels alienated; if the frequency they're on leads them to that Dark Side instead of the light side - if they didn't happen to be born looking freaky or strange, then activities like getting a tattoo is a way of stigmatizing one's self - I've done that. When I shaved my head, when I took on certain appearances to augment what I already had, I had reasons.

I'm sure that with people who get extensive tattooing, it's often a feeling that, "Well, maybe if I didn't look strange or of I didn't do something strange to my body, and I did or could blend in, lord knows what I might do that might be really dangerous!" So it's a safety valve, a way of keeping yourself - not on the straight and narrow, certainly, but from maybe being a mass murderer! I really feel that we who are not as others (to use Dan Manix's title) often (whether we know it or not) are inclined to sort of wave a sign and say, "Okay, here I am - keep a good eye on me, because as long as I am strange, bizarre, outrageous, and different, you people don't really have much to worry about! But when I start being devoid of anything bizarre, then lord help you!"

That's why I think a lot of people gravitate to modern primitives alterations in their bodies; it's like taking an antidote which enables them to co-exist with the workaday world. It's a way of linking themselves with the twilight world or the Dark Side. Some people do this in ways without physical change; doing, saying, or thinking things that would certainly alienate them from "normals". But that's just another variation.

In other words, people set up a certain stigma that says, "Watch out for me - I am dangerous!" - like the hourglass on the black widow spider's belly. Modern primitive activity serves as a self-alienation device to bring attention to the owner of that particular device, whatever it happens to be. Because a sailor doesn't look at it the way (one of the old-time sailors, that is), he wants to be one of the guys. He wants to be identified with a group rather than outside of a group.

BLANCHE BARTON: The outsiders are taking what used to be a method for identification inside a group and using it for "nefarious" inverted purposes! - sort of appropriating it.

V: Modern primitive activity facilitates stratification in society.

GENESIS P. ORRIDGE: People who dissociate from society by doing it can recognize other people who've dissociated. They don't have to agree on a philosophy, but they can see a kinship on a certain level. "There's another person whose chosen to step outside ... and there's another one." They get reinforcement of their decision, too. So it's strange you step outside to become part of a tribe that's fragmented, that doesn't have a common bonding except the mark of being outside of the other society.

LV: It's a reversal of it used to be.

BB: But that's what binds us together: that fact that we're outside the majority.

LV: Sometimes people that outwardly look the most weird or the most bizarre are, when you get to know them, the most tuned into the frequency that I'm on. Not always, of course, but often. There's got to be a stratification tell-tale signs that are little litmus tests by which you can know other people.

GPO: Almost like a developing initiation. You think, "That person may be an idiot, but they've still gone through this amount of pain, and this decision making; they've still done something irrevocable. Therefore a certain amount of attention can be spared on them, at least."

V: But the speech is always the dead giveaway.

LV: The dead giveaway. We are victims of our speech patterns. And when someone talks like a prole; opens their mouth and starts using pop expressions - certain terms, certain phrases - or displays common denominators like knowing all of what's going on on TV, then... I'd say the concordance of society is - well, the supermarket checkstand tabloids are the checklists of what the person is supposed to know about if they're going to be one of them as opposed to one of us!

Also, proficiency at sports, when anyone has a consuming awareness of or interest in spectator sports or in group sporting activities, and it really matters to them, you can;t help but wonder what frequency their brain is on that obviously yours is not. And certain articles of clothing; I call them uniforms.

There are certain uniforms that are just universal, almost like prison garb; they might as well be black and white stripes on the old chain gangs! When you see somebody in a jogging suit and running shoes - sweatpants and the whole thing; or a prole cap, T-shirt and stonewashed jeans, you know there's a mind-set there. I think, "Could I feel right wearing that?" I would actually feel impotent, I'd feel uncomfortable, I'd feel vulnerable, I'd feel weak. I would feel I was sapped of any vitality or resourcefulness if I were to look like that. Those clothes would place me in this amorphous mindless grouping that would be enervating; it would deplete my energy. I call them slave clothes; any kind of clothes that were worn by impersonal slaves or slaves to "the system."

So you think, "Well now, these people obviously feel warm and good dressed that way; they feel right." Obviously they're n a different frequency, a different level... just like the occultniks whose lifestyle and nitpicking, pedantic approach to magic is such that obviously they're not magical - it's all on a cerebral level.

BB: They have no conception of intuition ---

V: Or that sense of humor!

BB: That's what the litmus test for these occultniks is; if they don't have a sense of humor. If they can't laugh at themselves or get some perspective that way, then it's pointless to talk to them.

LV: Yes... pretentiousness and pomposity. And I've known plenty of people who've had tattooing and all kinds of modifications to their bodies that I would say are really screwed up! You can't just generalize and say that everyone who goes and gets their foreskin pierced or walks around with clothespins on their nipples all day is where it's at, you know. Because if we're going to be really objective, a lot of people are just plain and simple gluttons for punishment! They simply thrive on pain - which is great if they can get it! (I think self-aware masochism is wonderful, but full-time unself-aware masochism is terrible.) And if they get it by being squeezed in a box, or if they get it by getting their anus clamped together, it's all relative. Whatever it is, it's only effective if it's done with a real desire and need, ad isn't done to follow the lead of someone else.

GPO: Do you think this Modern Primitives book is just going to encourage people to emulate and mimic... like people becoming junkies to emulate William Burroughs, or people going to prison to emulate Jean Genet?

V: Tattooing and piercing are basically forbidden by the Bible in the book of Leviticus and most of the world is ruled by biblical religious beliefs - even Africa now. I want to encourage anything that's a statement against Christianity, because over the past 500 years becasue Christian missionaries systematically destroyed virtually all of the world's diverse cultures, making the world a much less interesting place.

No other religion - Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Paganism - did anywhere near the damage Christianity did. Bishop Landa burned almost all of the one-of-a-kind Mayan codices - an incalculable historical loss. There have been so many atrocities (like the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials) in the name of Christianity that - it can't be too soon to be rid of that alien belief plague. In fact, aliens from Outer Space could hardly have devised a more cripplng weapon against the people of planet earth than the Christian religion.

The Christian religion, especially Catholicism with its unscientific, suicidally reckless birth control views, is responsible for the major unstated problem in the world today: overpopulation. In less than 25 years the world population has doubled, from 2.5 to over 5 billion. The populations that are breeding the fastest, yet have the fewest resources - Latin America and Africa - are mostly Christian, and usually Catholic.

LV: No one addresses that problem anymore; overpopulation. Nobody addresses a lot of problems anymore. And you can feel the overpopulation - it's oppressive - very oppressive.

BB: They want to just keep feeding Africa, keep feeding Third World countries, loaning South America billions, keep feeding all the poor. How about inundating all those countries with birth control pills? No, we can;t do that! People say, "I have the right to keep having children as long as God tells me to keep having children."


That's why I think a lot of people gravitate to modern primitive alterations in their bodies; it's like taking an antidote which enables them to co-exist with the workaday world.


V: The modern primitive trend is a reaction against overpopulation, fueled by so many uninteresting-looking, conforming clones and drones.

LV: There is going to be stratification; there has to be. There's no choice. There will be cell systems, small groups or clans; there will be - not communes, but certainly communities or environments; insular options for people to move within. I've mapped it out as a series of total environments conducive to the particular lifestyle of the individual who would enter that total environment, very much like an Epcot Center or a Westworld or a Disneyworld, but on a much less commercial level, certainly, where they develop their own necessity - much like Solvang, the Danish community in Southern California.

Let's just say we have a film noir city - wouldn't that be great? And when people go in, they have to wear the right clothes, the cars even have to be the right vintage, and the music is the right kind of music. Just like Frontierland - if someone wants to be like Cowboys and Indians but on the banks of the Rhine with the Germans and the Russians having their cowboy camps and teepee villages, then that's what it'd be. And that'd be great - that's what I'm looking forward to. And them that don't like it can [waves hand] because at least there will be guidelines. And for the people who can have fun or at least can feel comfortable in that kind of environment, then even the weather can hopefully be controlled.

I think that'd be wonderful: total environments. If a person wants a Gay Nineties environment - fine! They can live in that as long as they wish. A Victorian environment with gaslights - fine, but with modern conveniences, and only those which will augment the reality of what appears to be authentic. In other words, instead of having to go through striking a flint, the street lamp will be lit automatically, bit it'll still look like a real gaslamp, and for intents and purposes be one.

V: If you set the stage right, somehow you can regenerate the spark of the actual original spirit that might have been present---

LV: You have just touched on the essence of my principle; you set the stage. The approximation; if it's there, even if it's not authentic - if it just looks authentic, it's close enough to evoke that feeling. I've been working on the concept of creating a total environment since 1965, and I know it works. Because you know it may not be actually turning the clock back in time, but if it's aesthetically pleasing and does something to make you feel good, to make you feel better than you would in this Land of the Dead, then it serves a very worthwhile purpose, I think. And you would certainly want to opt for that!

Meanwhile, to survive, I feel the vampire concept is a valid one, in terms of being awake at night and sleeping during that day - having the best, most creative time available; the time when other people are sleeping and not cluttering up the atmosphere - not jamming the frequencies, not dehydrating the ozone layer, so to speak.

V: It's also much quieter at night.

LV: Especially in urban areas where there's a great deal of concentrated activity. That's why I always gravitated to the opposite - whatever the opposite may be! Almost as if it's the most natural direction for me to go, shunning the average or usual or the predictable, very much like I would shun a poison. Because I know that no matter what it is that is immediately grasped upon as the norm or the thing that is the positive ionization factor, it's immediately going to be the wrong thing for me. So it's almost a cybernetic reflex - I have to almost not analyze it, but simply go with it. If I run towards it or run away from it, that's what makes it right or wrong! That's a rule of thumb - a mean average, a calculated risk that I'm going in the right direction.

I inherently believe man is a foolish, self-defeating, self-destructive creature who can't stand too much success, too much pleasure - he dies of satisfaction, because his life has outlived the potential for his boredom to override it. So he just can't go on any longer. But with all my "humanitarianism" I still feel there's a chance for improvement - at least a slight chance! Although Satan knows we sure need a good thinning out process. Every time there's a disaster or something goes wrong, I start tallying things up and start wondering not that it was such a tragedy, but wondering only, "So few? Is that all?"

V: As people stratify themselves into small groups or clans, what other standards apply? Certainly not race.

LV: My most elitist, Satanic society dream is on something that's not based on racism, but based on intelligence vs. stupidity - THAT'S IT! There are the stupid and there are the intelligent. There are the people who are alive and vital and sensitive and thinking, and there are the people who are the dead, the pods that are just things. They're the ones that I feel should be put to the flamethrower, regardless of race.

I have to keep an overview of all these things. Fundamentally, everything translates down to stupidity. That's the great Satanic sin: stupidity. That's the cardinal sin.

V: Whether or not you have tattoos or piercings, the bottom line is that purposeful, self-evolved intelligence... whether or not you've done the most you can with what you have - that's always the goal. If the tattoos or piercings help you evolve, then they've more than justified themselves.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by Lawrence Wright for Rolling Stone magazine, September 5th, 1991 c.e.

"It’s not easy being evil in a world that’s gone to hell"

Anton LaVey, High Priest of Satan Is the Devil real? This certainly looks like the Evil One himself getting out of a black Jaguar and coming through the glass doors of a restaurant with a blonde on his arm. It's an interesting proposition and one that, after all, millions of Americans believe: Satan lives, and his real-life incarnation is the person of Anton Szandor LaVey.

His devilish appearance is cultivated, of course: the shaved head; the black slacks, black shirt and ascot, black leather jacket and black fisherman's cap; the Leninesque goatee, still shimmeringly black, although LaVey is now sixty-one years old; and the tiny gold ear loop in his left lobe. That much, however, would describe most of the leftover beatniks still wandering around San Francisco. No, there's definitely some-thing more, something innately sinister about this man.

His ears, you notice, are slightly pointed, and when he doffs his cap, you see his head is as well. He has a peculiar walk -- a splayfoot shuffle he says he picked up during his days in the circus and the carnival. Pale skin, which you would expect in a man who never sees the sun, but unnaturally youthful and lightly flecked with freckles. A gaptoothed smile that is missing an upper-left incisor. Amber eyes that scarcely look human -- more like the eyes of a big cat, with a cat's sleepy intensity and implacable in-difference. It is a wicked face, which is to say that it is charming, defiant, jaded, beguiling, humorous, bitter, knowing and even a bit insouciant. How else would the Devil appear?

LaVey's reputation as the Devil incarnate began with his establishment of the Church of Satan, in San Francisco in 1966, and was enlarged through his writings most notably The Satanic Bible, which was published in 1969 and has sold more than 600,000 copies through thirty printings. It was this book — a romantic celebration of indulgence, vengeance and existential doubt — that earned him the reputation among many religious believers as the ``evilest man in the world.'' It also made him a dark hero to the disaffected, the alienated, the marginal personalities, for whom his philosophy rang chords of recognition and identity.

``Anton LaVey is the pivotal figure in the growth and dissemination of satanic theology in America — he is the Saint Paul of Satanism,'' says Dr. Carl Raschke, author of Painted Black, which surveys the spread of satanic activity amid the young and the phenomenal rise in reported cases of ritual abuse. And yet, as LaVey points out, ``I've never presented myself as having spoken directly to Satan or God or being in touch with any sort of divinity or having any sort of spiritual mandate. I just feel that what I'm doing is part of my nature.''

Reviled as a despoiler of youth, dismissed as a con man and a carny trickster, pursued by thrill seekers and Bible-thumpers and occult weirdos, LaVey has become increasingly reclusive over the years. Indeed, he is often rumored to have died long ago. His church, which once boasted ``grottoes'' in many major cities in the country, is now largely disbanded. During the Sixties, LaVey fashioned himself into an archetype of our depraved unconscious; he hobnobbed with movie stars and boasted of affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield; he was our libido let out of its cage; he was the Black Pope, raging and blaspheming and flaunting our taboos. Back then Satanism was new and shocking, and LaVey was its most conspicuous practitioner. The post office would deliver mail to him addressed only to Satan.

Now, in the Nineties, satanic cults are springing up, it seems, in every little township and crossroads in America. Rock groups openly worship the Devil. Police departments all over the country are coping with rumors of human sacrifice and hospitals with survivors of ritual abuse. The signs of satanic activity can be found not only in the graffiti on subway trains but in the growing number of teenage suicides and actual cases of ritual murder. Meanwhile, the spiritual father of this movement has retired to his gloomy house in the Richmond district of San Francisco, where he lives a self-consciously ascetic life, surrounded by his books, weapons and keyboards, by his pets and magical artifacts, and by Blanche Barton, his Boswell and omnipresent blonde companion.

I had read increasingly sketchy reports about LaVey's existence and wondered whether he was sick, or in hiding, or even if, in some secret fashion, he was reformed. I suppose I hoped for that. He has made a career out of exploring the shadows of the human psyche. ``I am all that is vile, reprehensible and evil in the world,'' he has boasted. ``I am people's worst nightmares.'' Despite the absurdity of the claim, I felt more than a little anxiety about our meeting. After all, the danger that LaVey represents to society is not who he is but who we are.

``WHAT DRESSING WOULD YOU LIKE ON YOUR SALAD?'' the waiter inquired.

``Blue cheese,'' I said.

LaVey and Barton exchanged a look, then returned to their menus. Unknowingly, I had just failed the LaVey Salad-Dressing Test. According to The Satanic Witch, his guide for lovelorn sorceresses, ``dominant, masculine archetypes [like LaVey] prefer sweet dressings, such as French, Russian, Thousand Island,'' because the smell resembles the odor of a woman's sexual organs. Blue cheese, on the other hand, is ``reminiscent of a locker full of well-worn jockstraps.'' It is suitable, really, only for wimps and submissive females. LaVey ordered the twenty-two-ounce porterhouse steak, rare.

We were talking about violence and the corruption of art, which LaVey blames on television. ``But a lot of what has been unleashed is because of the Church of Satan,'' said Barton, a plump and intensely pale young woman with little spit curls poking out from under her blue pillbox hat - - a sort of blond Betty Boop but with a Phi Beta Kappa pin on her dress.

LaVey agreed: ``I promoted the idea where everybody is a god. That's the Pandora's box I'm partly responsible for opening. I helped create this big-shotism in everybody.''

``And are you glad you opened Pandora's box?'' I asked, innocently enjoying my salad.

``Yeah, because things have to get worse before they can get better,'' said LaVey. ``But I think we've already reached the lowest level of artistic expression as a result of this new-found sovereignty in every man.'' Although he spoke quietly, a terrible cloud had come over his face. ``Here we're really dealing with the `dignity' of the human animal. I find more dignity in the movement of a fish, the shape of a horse. . . .''

He was off on one of his misanthropic rants. I would hear that theme played again and again over the two weeks we would spend dining together and hanging around the parlor of his famous black house. During those sessions, which lasted until I staggered away in exhaustion, usually around four in the morning, I often wondered what it was that had caused him to become so alienated from the human race. I thought if I could get to the bottom of LaVey's rage, then I would find some great truth about the human need to pursue evil. Later I would realize that the notion that one could find truth and perhaps even salvation through the exploration of repressed human needs was itself a satanic idea — perhaps the ultimate satanic idea.

LaVey and companion Blanche Barton, author of his biography, 'The Secret Life of a Satanist' ``I actually have more respect for vegetables than I do for people — I hate to even leave a pea on my plate,'' LaVey said as he pronged one with his fork. ``This little pea died for me. I know I'm beginning to sound like Albert Schweitzer, but for this pea to be able to grow and fulfill its purpose on the planet, that's more than most humans ever accomplish.''

``Do you believe peas have souls?'' I asked.

``Well, I wouldn't use the word soul, but I do believe there are living entities beyond what we normally understand. Anything can have life bestowed upon it == a car, a good faithful car; a typewriter; a house, certainly, becomes a living entity. Who can say these objects are not alive?'' With that, the pea moved on to its final reward.

``I've always been fascinated by the underbelly of humanity,'' LaVey told me in one of our early-morning discourses in his purple parlor. He was sitting in his armchair, beside a bookcase predictably filled with obscure occult literature, but there were also a number of coffee-table books on Hollywood, biographies of Marilyn Monroe, books on circus and carnival lore. I noticed Yeats's Memoirs, as well as several rare books by one of my favorite authors, Ben Hecht. Also The Complete Jack the Ripper, Eros and Evil and My Father, by Maria Rasputina, which was inscribed ``Happy winter solstice, To my father, Love, Karla.''

On the mantel above the fake fireplace (it was actually a secret entrance to a ritual chamber) were pictures of his daughters, Karla and Zeena. Karla is like her father, with black hair and humorous black eyes. ``I've always been conspicuous,'' she confessed when we met. ``Like my teachers would tell us to write a story about our pets, and I would write about my pet tarantula and the leopard who slept in my bed. We were really like the Addams family.'' Karla is now a realtor in Marin County and an occasional lecturer on witchcraft.

Zeena, LaVey's younger daughter, is an exotic pale blonde who has become a notorious spokesperson for Satanism in her own right. She has appeared on a number of talk shows, usually with her boyfriend, Nikolas Schreck, a member of the band Radio Werewolf. ``Zeena is trying to gain recognition,'' LaVey told me with obvious mixed feelings. ``She feels she has a legacy to gain. I think she's got a father fixation.''

There were no windows in this parlor. The only light came from what I supposed to be a twenty-five-watt bulb in the lamp behind LaVey's chair. He claims to be photophobic, one of his many vampiric qualities, which include an allergy to garlic. When he reads, even in this light, he wears a pair of bifocal sunglasses. Beside him, on one side of his chair, were his crystal ball and bullwhip; on the other, a stuffed armadillo and a machine gun. ``I guess,'' LaVey said, ``I've lived a sort of noir existence since I was a kid.''

He was born, he said, Anton Szandor LaVey, on April 11th, 1930, in Chicago, to Joe and Augusta LaVey -- although even these initial details have been the subject of some dispute.

He had what he called a ``subjective childhood.'' His parents were ``very normal,'' with no interest in the dark side: ``The story of my father's life was to blend into the woodwork. My mother was the same way. They were very paranoid about the neighbors and what people thought of them. In a way it was good. I was allowed to take my own lead. In that sense, I couldn't have chosen better parents.''

His religious background was ``very iconoclastic and extremely permissive,'' he said. ``My own family were nonparticipants. I was never pushed into a religious formula. The only thing I ever heard about religion was `Another name for God is nature.' We did have relatives who were Christian and Jewish. I had an aunt who was a Christian Scientist and an atheist uncle. You could say I grew up a second-generation nonbeliever or cynic.''

According to LaVey, most Satanists are stigmatized as youths. When I asked him about the stigmas of his own childhood, he spoke vaguely about his unpopularity with other kids and his inability to dance. ``My life wasn't awful -- my only stigma was up here,'' he said, pointing at his face. ``I was odd looking. By today's standards I would have looked fine, but in 1939 I was not cute. I was certainly not a Van Johnson or a John Wayne.'' He did talk about his horror of going to gym with the other boys, which was so great that he managed to get a doctor's excuse to avoid it. He said he spent his gym periods in the clinic eyeing the sexy school nurse.

Frankly, these did not seem like such traumatic experiences that they would catapult a person into Satanism. I was still groping for some telling incident in LaVey's childhood as I read the manuscript of Barton's authorized biography of him, The Secret Life of a Satanist (since published by Feral House). There I ran across this passage: ``Had tail removed. Extra vertebra removed near the end of Tony's spine which formed a prehensile tail, a caudal appendage, which seems to occur about 1 in every 100,000 births.''

``You had a tail?''

``Yeah. I had it removed when I was thirteen or fourteen, under very painful circumstances.''

``Don't you think that might have been stigmatizing?''

``I never thought about it,'' said LaVey, ``although it really was profoundly disruptive to everything I did. I couldn't sit straight in a chair because it would get inflamed. Several times it had to be lanced and drained. The last time it happened we were camping on rocky terrain. I rolled around and must have banged it. Next day it started itching. Two days later it really flared up.'' It was wartime, and there was a shortage of hospital rooms and anesthesia. He said he was operated on, on a gurney in the hospital hallway, with a local anesthetic that was not very effective. He recalled biting through the rubber cover of his pillow.

World War II was in many ways a thrilling period in LaVey's life. He would wear military outfits to school, and occasionally he got to go on submarine patrols in a boat owned by his uncle, who had been recruited by the Coast Guard Reserve. ``The Second World War and its permissiveness were not lost on me,'' LaVey said. ``Prurience was the order of the day.''

He had already experienced what he would later term an E.C.I. (for Erotic Crystallization Inertia) when he was five years old. A girl at a birthday party invited him into her room. When her mother suddenly came to find them, the little girl was so upset she peed in her pants. ``The E.C.I. is the split second of sexual awakening,'' LaVey explained. ``A switch goes off inside.'' After that, the sight of women urinating became a particular fetish for LaVey. He associated it especially with carnivals, because that was a place where girls became giddy and excited on rides; it felt like a lustful environment.

When he was eleven, he was earning money picking up bottles around an outdoor dance pavilion, and he discovered a hole under the ladies' restroom. ``Tony made sure he was front and center whenever he spied an interesting woman going to relieve herself,'' Barton notes.

When he was sixteen he experienced another E.C.I. He was at a party; some of the kids were wrestling, and a girl's dress was hiked up so that LaVey could see her plump thighs and pale skin. She was a blonde. ``She was just another schoolgirl,'' LaVey said. ``I wasn't even interested in her.'' But forever after, blondes were it for him -- an unending source of love and trouble.

We had moved into the kitchen, where LaVey kept his eight keyboards, his two house cats and his pet boa constrictor, Boaz. Music has always been at the center of LaVey's life and of his magic as well. ``I play kitsch music -- bombastic, schmaltzy, corny -- the kind of music you hear in the background of cartoons,'' he said unapologetically as he took a seat inside his nest of synthesizers and samplers.

``Satanic music is not heavy-metal rock & roll,'' he said. In his opinion, the music of supposed satanic groups such as AC/DC and Slayer is not really occult, because millions of people hear their songs on records and in concerts. What is really occult is what no one ever listens to anymore, songs that were popular but now are long forgotten, such as ``Telstar'' and ``Yes, We Have No Bananas.'' LaVey keeps a list of such lost songs. He believes that by playing them, he releases their power.

``Music is a magical tool, a universal language,'' he said. ``If you wanted it to rain, for instance, you could play every song with rain in the title. If no one else is playing those songs, there is still a certain charge in them. It might just rain.''

That sounded pretty tame to me, although LaVey has claimed in the past that he went cuckoo on the keyboards one night and caused the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City.

His musical career began, LaVey said, at the age of five, when he went into a music store with his mother and spontaneously picked out a tune on a harp. Soon he was studying violin, then drums and oboe. By the time he was fifteen, he said, he was sufficiently accomplished to play second oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

The kitchen was painted black, with fiendish murals on the walls. There was a small hum of electricity when LaVey turned on his synthesizers, which aroused Boaz in his lighted box on the kitchen table. LaVey himself became visibly energized. His life story resumed, this time set to music.

He began with ``The Gladiator's Entry,'' the traditional opening song of the circus, played with a wheezing calliope sound. LaVey's legend, as he has told it many times, is that in the spring of 1947 he ran away and joined the Clyde Beatty Circus. ``I got in trouble with the law and had to take off,'' he said without further explanation. He signed on as a roustabout and cage boy. ``After a short time, 17-year-old LaVey was handling eight Nubian lions and four Bengal tigers in the cage at once, '' says Barton's book. LaVey said that he learned some elemental lessons in magic upon being knocked to the ground and finding himself on his back with the hot breath of a lion in his face: ``You have just one defense left: willpower. Any good cat trainer has to learn how to use it, how to charge himself full of adrenalin, to send out gamma rays to penetrate the brain of the cat. That's when you really learn power and magic, even how to play God.''

One day the calliope player, Fred Mullen, got drunk, and LaVey was pressed into service. He played the William Tell Overture -- to such enthusiastic reviews that Mullen spent the rest of the season on the sidelines. ``Anton would subsequently perform mood-setting, emotionally charged music to accompany some of the world's most famous circus acts: the Hannefords' riding team, the Concellos, Harold Alzana, the Flying Wallendas, the Cristianis and others,'' says the Barton biography.

Now the music changed. It was the snaky sound of ``The Billboard March'' — the melody of the midway, the freak shows, the hoochie-coochie girls. The next stop of the LaVey legend was the carnival, where in the late Forties and early Fifties he said he played the Hammond organ and learned to tell fortunes: ``I got to rub elbows with human oddities — freaks, dancers, showgirls who wanted to be stars -- it was a chance to meet people who were really marginal.''

LaVey claimed to have gotten a critical insight into the nature of religion during this period because he was often recruited by traveling evangelists to play gospel tunes. ``My exposure to grass-roots Christianity was on a real dirt-lot, tent-show level,'' LaVey recalled. While he was playing ``Bringing in the Sheaves,'' he would look out at the audience clamoring to be saved. ``I'd see the same goddamned faces that had been ogling the half-naked girls at the carnival the night before.'' It was, he has said many times before, a revelation: ``I knew then that the Christian church thrives on hypocrisy and that man's carnal nature will out no matter how much it is purged or scourged by any white-light religion.''

When winter came in 1948 and the carnival closed for the season, LaVey started playing burlesque houses in Southern California — in particular, a theater called the Mayan, in Los Angeles. ``That's where I met Marilyn Monroe, at the Mayan,'' said LaVey. ``The guy who ran it was Paul Valentine.'' Monroe was down on her luck and had taken up stripping to get by.

LaVey began playing ``Slow Boat to China,'' which he said was one of Monroe's numbers, followed by ``Harlem Nocturne,'' a classic stripper's tune. He played it in the organ mode, with a bawdy snare drum in the background outlining the bumps and grinds and a lonely trumpet crying out for love and attention. ``She was what the girls would call a chain dragger, which meant she was slow to take her clothes off,'' LaVey explained. He had not been particularly interested in her until he noticed her white, marshmallow thighs, with a trail of bruises, which he thought added an air of vulnerability. His old fetish for pale blondes made a sudden entrance, and within a few days he and Marilyn were lovers. The affair lasted about two weeks.

``I think she was attracted to your darker elements,'' Barton observed as she fed a mouse to Boaz.

``She did have a strange fascination with the dark side,'' LaVey agreed. ``I've tried to retrace all the places we stayed, like the fleabag motel on Washington Boulevard where we lived together, the whole West Adams section of L.A., where we drove around in Marilyn's Pontiac. . . .''

As a souvenir of those days, LaVey produced a copy of Monroe's famous nude Golden Dreams calendar, which he said she sent him. There she was, lusciously recumbent against a red satin drop, her legs curled under and her left arm raised invitingly, her body so white but her open lips so red; even her nipples looked red against that pale, pale skin. ``Dear Tony,'' the inscription read in a large and handsome script, ``How many times have you seen this! Love, Marilyn.''

``Her big break came right after we broke up,'' LaVey recalled. ``She did a walk-on in a Groucho Marx movie. Then John Huston gave her a great part in Asphalt Jungle.'' (As it happens, the romantic lead in the Marx Brothers' movie, Love Happy, was the same man who ran the Mayan Theater).

While Monroe moved quickly on to stardom, LaVey drifted to San Francisco, and it was here, in 1950, that he met a tiny teenage blonde named Carole Lansing. They married a year later, even though Carole was only fifteen. The Korean War was going on at the time, and in order to evade the draft, LaVey signed up to study criminology at San Francisco's City College. His first daughter, Karla, was born in 1952. To support his young family, LaVey got a job as a police-department photographer. He saw children splattered by hit-and-run drivers, women cut to pieces by jealous husbands, the bloated bodies of suicides fished out of San Francisco Bay. He came to the conclusion that if this brutal carnage was God's will, then he wanted nothing more to do with God. ``There is no God,'' he said he decided. ``There is no supreme, all-powerful deity in the heavens that cares about the lives of human beings. There is nobody up there who gives a shit. Man must be taught to answer to himself and other men for his actions.”

A switch here, a switch there, and the sound deepened into a throaty theater organ. It was ``Deep in the Heart of Texas,'' which LaVey slyly played in my honor. He said he was the official organist of the city of San Francisco until 1966, playing ``the largest pipe organ west of Chicago'' in the Civic Auditorium, where so many conventions were held. ``I played official banquets, political functions, basketball games.''

Blanche Barton had a cold. She stuck a package of tissues in her purse and glanced outside. ``It's nice out,'' she said, looking at the fog and the light, chilly rain.

It was sundown, and LaVey was just rising. He sleeps, he said, in four-hour stretches. While we waited for him to emerge, I roamed around the small parlor, where — with the exception of the kitchen and the bathroom -- I had been restricted. It was a great frustration for me because I knew from old newspaper accounts and from speaking to former associates of LaVey's that there really were secret passages and amazing artifacts buried in this thirteen-room house. A trapdoor to the basement, for instance, led to his famous Den of Iniquity, with his Hammond organ, a Rock-Ola jukebox and his mannequins -- Steve the Sailor, Bonita the Whore, Fritz the Cabbie and Gwen the Drunk, the last passed out on a bar stool with a puddle of urine on the floor beneath her. It was LaVey's latest in a series of attempts to create a ``total environment,'' one in which time stands still. Downstairs, it was 1944.

``Anton literally has created an underground world in his basement,'' says his old friend Kenneth Anger, the filmmaker and author of Hollywood Babylon, one of the bitchiest books ever composed. ``We share a fondness for mannequins,'' Anger says sweetly. When he and LaVey met, ``it was just like a friend I should have known forever -- we've never had a quarrel.''

Anger met LaVey in the early Sixties, when Anger was in San Francisco working on Invocation of My Demon Brother, a film version of a black mass. Anger fell in with an informal group of friends who met each Friday evening in LaVey's house to discuss the occult. They called themselves the Magic Circle. It was this group that eventually became the nucleus of the Church of Satan. It included novelist Stephen Schneck; a Danish baroness named Carin de Plessen; Donald Werby, who is one of the wealthiest investors in the city (he owns interests in the Clift, the Grosvenor and the Holiday Inn hotels in San Francisco); and Werby's wife, Willy. Along with this group was a selection of science- fiction writers, a tattoo artist, a dildo manufacturer and a handful of San Francisco police officers.

These meetings became famous in the city, and eventually LaVey opened them to the public, charging $2.50 a head to hear his lectures ``Fortunetelling and Character Analysis'' or ``Love Potions and Monkey Glands.'' Vampires, werewolves, freaks, homunculi, bondage and torture, moon madness — it was a survey course of the weird, the forbidden and the occult. People would spill over to the stairway outside and listen through the windows. One memorable evening LaVey spoke on the subject of cannibalism, and his wife — his second wife, a slender blonde named Diane — served a small portion of a human thigh, which a doctor friend had salvaged from an autopsy.

By 1964, LaVey was cutting a conspicuous public figure in San Francisco as a ``psychic investigator'' who drove a coroner's van and could be seen strolling a black leopard named Zoltan. Zoltan used to sleep in the crib with Karla. When the leopard was run over by a car, he was quickly replaced by a ten-week-old Nubian lion named Togare.

Whatever LaVey's actual connections were to the circus, people who visited him were impressed with his ability to handle the lion in his own house. Togare could be rambunctious -- he left a scar on Karla's back — but LaVey had him trained so that he would not eat until his master had taken a bite of his own dinner.

``I used to call him to his meal by playing `Onward, Christian Soldiers,' '' LaVey said. Unfortunately, Togare had the habit of roaring at night, which kept the neighbors awake. Eventually a city ordinance was passed forbidding lions in private homes, and Togare was taken to the zoo.

His successor was a German shepherd named Bathory, who was confined to the pitch-black narrow entranceway between the front door and the door to the parlor. I could hear the creature breathing; she had her nose stuck under the door as if she were craving even the minimal light in the parlor. Her odor, and what seemed like generations of leftover animal smells, suffused the room. But the overarching essence in this clammy parlor was that of snake -- although as far as I knew, Boaz was seldom let out of his box.

Beside the couch was an antique examination table with stirrups on the side, which seemed to me the most sinister object in the room. Next to it was a chair stacked full with LaVey's various black hats. Above that, in a light so dim I could scarcely make it out, was a framed sign: ``My worst enemies are those who presume me to be harmless. They cannot imagine how much I resent and disdain them, or just how great a threat they would face if I could get at them. . . . Some day, with the help of time, space and circumstance, I will be able to humiliate them properly - - not in a manner they would enjoy, but in a style calculated to make them wish they had never been born.''

Just then, LaVey entered and greeted me. The missing teeth, he had already admitted, he had extracted himself: ``I don't get them fixed, I just pull them out when it's time.'' I supposed it would be difficult to get a dental appointment in any case, given his schedule.

LaVey stuck his Smith & Wesson .38 in his holster in the small of his back and a nifty five-shot derringer in the pocket of his leather jacket. ``I never go out without armament,'' he said. He claims to be a champion marksman and trick shot.

``Do you have a permit for those?'' I asked.

He laughed and flipped open his wallet. Inside was a San Francisco Police Department badge. ``Look at the serial number,'' he said. It was number 666.

We were going over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County for dinner tonight. Barton was driving, despite her wretched cold.

On the way LaVey talked about androids, his favorite hobbyhorse. He has spent years working on his own android prototypes -- his mannequins -- preparing for the day when the science of robotics will enable industry to begin the production of artificial human companions. ``The forbidden industry,'' he called it. ``Polite, sophisticated, technologically feasible slavery.'' Most of his dolls are store mannequins with their faces sawn off, replaced by latex impressions taken from his friends.

``I sculpted one entirely out of polyurethane foam,'' LaVey said as we edged across the bridge through the fog. ``I inhaled all those fumes trying to create a realistic woman with actual sexual parts. I put so much of my personal fetishistic desire into it that I became like Pygmalion. I kept expecting her to show up on my doorstep.''

``Do you have sex with your dolls?'' I asked.

Pause.

``I tried to,'' he said. ``It was going to be my great test run. Just as I was entering her, the damn room started shaking. An earthquake hit. I figured it was God's way of trying to tell me something. So I ceased'' — he laughed — ``my activities of the moment.''

LaVey turned suddenly solemn. ``When I say `God,' you know, it's just a figure of speech.''

His theology is a puzzle. He has often tried to break off Satanism from any belief system. ``Satanism is not just an occultnik-type thing,'' he told me. ``It is a way of life, an aesthetic ideal, a code of behavior.'' Perhaps what he stands for is best understood this way: More than anything else, LaVey's life is spent evoking a mood, an era and a way of looking at the world through his art. He sees it as a satanic exercise, a way of replacing God with his own vision of creation. He is still in mourning for the lost moment of the Forties.

``I like dark, wet environments with street lights reflecting in the wet pavement, little towns with farmhouses in the distance, all-night gas stations in the middle of nowhere, bars with glass-brick fronts that are dark inside even at two in the afternoon, back alleys in the lost parts of town, streets that wander off into the fields, general stores that double as Greyhound depots, the sound of a siren in the night, automobiles with long hoods and short rear ends, women with moll-like qualities who are real sidekicks, the clicking of high heels on the pavement. . . .''

In LaVey's world, women still wear bright red lipstick and the music swings softly and sex is there but not there, in the teasing, exaggerated fashion of the DC Comic books that he used to read and save and still has inside plastic envelopes, and men have undreamed-of powers just like the film noir anti-heroes he grew up on -- the Green Hornet, the Shadow, the Whistler. ``Batman,'' he told me, ``is the perfect manifestation of the satanic ethic. These are the heroes who work in the shadows, doing what officials cannot do or will not do.''

His music, his mannequins, his writings, the ``total environments'' he attempts to create, his taste in just about everything, are reflections of this satanic pursuit of making his own world. Later, as I began to take apart the literary creation he had made of his life, I would realize that ``Anton LaVey'' was itself his supreme creation, his ultimate satanic object, a sort of android composed of all the elements his mysterious creator had chosen from the universe of dark possibilities.

And yet there was still a question in my mind about what he actually believed. He had told me that he believed in a ``balance of nature, a natural order.''

``That's God,'' he said. ``And that's Satan. Satan is God. He is the representation of the state of flux; he is the action-reaction; he is the cause and the effect; he is all the elements interwoven in what we call evolution.'' That statement seemed to me little more than an elaboration of his parents' single religious dictum: Another word for God is nature. Another word for God is Satan. Another word for nature is evolution.

I recalled a queer passage in a book by Susan Atkins, who was a topless dancer in LaVey's short-lived North Beach nightclub act, the Witches' Workshop, before she became a killer in Charles Manson's family. At that time, Atkins was dancing under the name Sharon King. While LaVey was trying to recruit her for the vampire role, he invited her to attend one of his satanic services. She told him she preferred not to, since she didn't believe in the Devil. ``But, Sharon,'' he said, ``we don't believe in God, either, but that doesn't mean he isn't real.''

``I am a skeptic,'' he admitted when I pressed him on the subject, ``although I want to believe in something. And whenever we want to believe in something so strongly we do speculate on its existence. But I need something more than pap or cliches, something more personalized. Maybe I'm practicing solipsism.''

``YEAH, I KNEW LAVEY BACK IN THE late Forties or early Fifties,'' says a retired San Francisco police inspector with the improbable name of Jack Webb. ``He was an outstanding pianist locally.'' Webb used to hear LaVey play at the Lost Weekend, and during breaks the two would chat about magic and the occult. Webb was impressed: ``One night I said off the cuff, `Tony, with all your ideas you ought to start your own church.' ''

The seed of that idea fruited in 1966 when LaVey ceremonially shaved his head and ordained the beginning of the Age of Satan. It was April 30th — Walpurgisnacht, the highest holiday of the satanic calendar. Now it was Walpurgisnacht more than two decades later, and LaVey was in a reflective mood. ``I try to minimize it, but deep down inside I can't — it's still a meaningful anniversary,'' he said as we sat in his favorite neighborhood French restaurant. The chef noticed LaVey as he entered and sent out a tray with a glass of Dubonnet on the rocks for each of us — LaVey's only alcoholic indulgence. ``Life everlasting, world without end,'' LaVey said in a sardonic toast.

He had thought, he said, that his little church would be a covert activity: ``I had no idea it would snowball in a year's time. I was stunned when everything happened so fast.''

The publicity explosion began with a satanic wedding that LaVey performed for John Raymond, a former writer for the Christian Science Monitor, and Judith Case, the daughter of a Republican stalwart in New York. A photograph of the couple, with LaVey standing beside them in his black cape and horned cowl and a naked redhead, who'd served as the altar, behind them, was carried in newspapers and magazines all across the world.

Barbara McNair, the black actress and singer, attended the ceremony. That began a correspondence between LaVey and Hollywood that would add luster and credibility to LaVey's organization. Among the stars LaVey has claimed as friends over the years are Kim Novak, Christopher Lee. Laurence Harvey and Keenan Wynn.

LaVey has served as a consultant on many different films — notably, the stylishly kitsch Abominable Dr. Phibes, in which Vincent Price played a character based on LaVey, and Rosemary's Baby, in which LaVey himself played the serpentine devil who impregnates Mia Farrow. LaVey called that movie ``the best paid commercial for Satanism since the Inquisition.''

LaVey's most notable conquest in Hollywood, however, was Jayne Mansfield. ``I remember Jayne, all right,'' says Jack Webb. In the early days of the church, Webb used to drop by for some of the rituals, along with several other San Francisco cops. ``One night she was lying naked on Tony's grand piano. I'll never forget that sight.''

Mansfield had already made a reputation in Hollywood for her vigorous sexual appetites. ``She liked to be humiliated,'' LaVey said. ``She longed for a stern master.'' He claimed Mansfield sought him out after reading a newspaper article about him. She wanted LaVey to put a curse on her Italian husband, with whom she was involved in a custody dispute. Soon after that, she became a priestess in the Church of Satan. She even posed for publicity photographs with LaVey, showing herself kneeling at his feet as he administered a chalice of some magical liquid. Satanism seemed to strike some deep chord inside her. She called it ``Khalil Gibran with balls.''

For his part, LaVey responded to what he saw as a kindred spirit. ``She never let the image down, not even in private — I could see a lot of myself in that,'' he once admitted. ``Perhaps she feared people wouldn't love her without the image.''

Her death would become a major element in the LaVey legend. Sam Brody, Mansfield's lawyer, agent and frustrated suitor, was jealous of LaVey's relationship with his client. LaVey despised Brody from the first moment he saw him. ``I don't know why attorneys have that effect on me — to the point that I have no choice but to say, `Look, you don't know who you're dealing with. . . .' ''

One night Brody mischievously lit a pair of black candles on LaVey's altar. ``Mr. LaVey was furious with Sam,'' Mansfield told her biographer. ``He proclaimed, `You are cursed by the Devil. You will be killed within a year!' ''

A few months later, on June 29th, 1967, Mansfield and Brody were riding on U.S. 90 near New Orleans when their driver rear-ended a tank truck that was spraying for mosquitoes. Brody and Mansfield were both killed instantly — the actress was actually decapitated in the accident.

LaVey claims he had been looking through his scrapbook when he noticed that in clipping an article about his placing flowers on Marilyn Monroe's grave, he inadvertently had cut into a picture of Mansfield on the next page. He had lopped off her head. Then the phone rang. It was an AP reporter with the news.

He puts a lot of weight on such coincidences. Walpurgisnacht, for instance, is the birth date of television at the New York World's Fair in 1939. (``What a satanic bomb that proved to be!'') It is the day Hitler committed suicide in 1945. The day LaVey's lion, Togare, died in 1981. Just this very afternoon, Barton was reading through a Mansfield biography and observed the date of Mansfield's first studio tryout: April 30th, 1954.

``Things are always turning up like that,'' LaVey said, unsurprised. ``It's the little things that are the big things.''

He was beginning to turn melancholy. ``Deep down, I still have an urge to put on the paraphernalia and go through a ritual,'' he admitted. But that is all behind him. He hasn't performed a black mass in twenty years.

He was talking now with his eyes closed. It was a peculiar affectation, one that hinted of his great need to live in his own world, to shut out the intrusions of reality and stay locked inside his head with his dark imagination. He said he expected society to stratify itself naturally, with Satanists rising to the top to inherit the earth -- a process he said was happening faster than he could have predicted. But until that day comes, he has chosen the strategy of abdication. ``I have decided to withdraw, to give up my citizenship in the human race.''

Later I learned that, earlier in the evening, LaVey's younger daughter had chosen this special day to renounce her father. ``I officially and ritually ended my positions as Church of Satan representative-defender and daughter of Anton LaVey,'' Zeena declared in a letter to LaVey's archenemy, Michael Aquino. She complained that her father ``was filled, and still is, with petty jealous criticism of my efforts -- this was easy for him to do from the safe vantage point of the comfortable and risk-free easy chair we know he has lived in for decades.''

LaVey's duck arrived, baked in a currant sauce. This seemed to revive him. He started railing against the predominant notion that Satanists are child murderers or that they sacrifice animals. He himself has always preached against such practices, he said. He despised the assault on public order: ``The police force has to take care of people without conscience; in fact there's very little conscience left. I'm not advocating a benign police state exactly, but there's a need for certain elements of control. There has to be tyranny. If you don't want to call it tyranny, call it rational stratification. The alternative is chaos and anarchy, savage and bestial. If this sounds fascistic, so be it.''

``He loves Disneyland,'' Barton added. ``That's been a real trial balloon for a lot of this — the incorporation of androids, a private enclave with a self-contained justice system, its own private police force. It's a good example of capitalism at its peak.''

Where was all the sin? Where was the ribaldry? Where was the dangerous action? From my two weeks of observation, Anton LaVey lived a life more circumscribed and reflective than a Benedictine monk's.

This observation put him on the defensive. ``I'm just as ribald as I used to be,'' he said, ``but I have to be more careful now. Security isn't what it used to be.''

But what were his indulgences? So far all I had noticed were his single glass of Dubonnet in the evening and an occasional Excedrin, which he took instead of coffee for ``a little lift.''

``I would like to indulge more,'' he admitted. ``If I were unencumbered,I would. My vice now is to wake up in the morning feeling halfway decent.''

``What about sex?''

``I've been around women all my life. It takes more than a lot of nude female bodies to move me now. I'd rather be reading an old book.

``I don't want to say I'm too old to cut the mustard,'' he continued elliptically. ``But if the battle's raging and shells are coming through the window, the stress level rises, and it does tend to dampen one's ardor. These guys that go around saying their pilot light's out — maybe they're concerned about their health — they're going to get pretty limp. The demoralization factor has to be considered rather . . .'' He groped in the air for a word.

``Inhibiting?'' Barton suggested.

``Inhibiting,'' LaVey agreed.

No liquor, no tobacco, no drugs, no sex, no black masses, no baby sacrifices -- what vice or indulgence was left for a Satanist to set himself apart from the common herd?

``What if they kill people?'' LaVey said.

``Do you kill people?''

He looked up and smiled. The waiter had just arrived with a healthy slice of mud pie.

``I don't want the legend to disappear,'' LaVey told me anxiously in our last conversation, after I confronted him with some of the inconsistencies in his story. ``There is a danger you will disenchant a lot of young people who use me as a role model.'' He was especially offended that I had tracked down his eighty-seven-year-old father in an effort to verify some of the details of LaVey's early life. ``I'd rather have my background shrouded in mystery. Eventually you want to be recognized for what you are now.''

It was a theme he had sounded many times before. ``I don't want to give anyone the satisfaction that they have me all figured out,'' he says in Barton's biography. ``If people only knew. I've always loved that ubiquitous Johnson-Smith Company ad copy, `Imagine the expression on their faces . . . !' That's a kind of leitmotif that has tempted me into most of the heinous, evil or disreputable things I've ever done. Just imagine people's reaction if they ever found out. But they won't. It began in mystery. I want it to end that way.''

Anton LaVey - "The Satanist Who Wants to Rule the World"
IX A.S. Argosy Magazine, June 1975; By Dick Russell.

Argosy magazine: 1976 c.e.The black house is set back 25 feet from the road. Broken glass weaving around it's courtyard is a 10-foot high cyclone fence whose long coils of barbed wire thrust menacingly toward the heavens. There is a small booth that hides a closed-circuit TV monitor with a wide-angle lens which patrols the fence. Inside the night's rhythms, waits a Doberman Pinscher. It's name is Loki, an ancient word that means "Devil."

Near midnight a man begins his journey through the old house. At the touch of concealed switches a fireplace and then a bookcase revolve to open a hidden passageway for him. The darkened ritual-chamber waits beyond.

Now he sits near the center of the chamber, one foot poised above a floor-switch that controls a rectangular black box near the far wall. He waits quietly, his other leg cradled underneath a slate rocking chair that once belonged to Rasputin, the mysterious figure whose powers dominated the life of the last Czar of Russia.

The man's body blends into the darkness because he is dressed in black from head to toe: black shirt, black levis, black socks, black shoes. All that is missing is the black robe that he dons for official Satanic ceremonies, and the black motorcycle cap that he wears outdoors to protect his shaven head.

Now, as his foot brushes the floor switch for the first time, his face suddenly glows luminous in a surge of light. It's a long, oval face. Below the head he shaved in 1966 in proclaiming Year One of the Satanic Age, his ears are set back and distinctly pointed. In the left ear is a small gold earring and a goatee and a mustache that stops growing at the middle of his upper lip surround his mouth like a clump of thistle.

The flash fades as rapidly as it came. Again enveloped by darkness, the man rises and moves his powerful six-foot frame toward the black box. He checks the two huge porcelain insulators that cling to each side, then the pair of protruding two-foot-long rods. He advances once more to the slate chair, with a strange graceless gait. It is a jerky, detached rhythm, as if despite his 45 years on earth, living here is still alien to him.

In the chair he begins to rock gently back and forth, back and forth, his foot hovering over the floor switch. From somewhere beyond the chamber come the faint chords of an organ. Then, without warning, the bolt of light flashes again. This time it doesn't subside.

The voltage in the electrostatic generator by the far wall begins to climb, shooting in violent spasms between the two rods, twenty thousand volts...thirty thousand...forty...

The chamber is ablaze with the cascading light. The crimson and black walls reveal themselves inside incredible gyrating spiraling streaks, as if any second the room will lift from it's roof, onward into the night sky.

The man lurches up on his feet. One foot Still on he switch, every ounce of his energy pulsing as he stands in the center of a vibrating capsule with one hand thrust toward the sky, alone and lost in the cauldron of his own creation, he chants the same word louder and louder: "Rise......RISE......RIIIIIISE!"

Anton Szandor LaVey has a master plan, and he doesn't think he will need force to achieve it. He expects it might come to him as naturally as the 25,000 followers who already carry his red card declaring themselves Citizens of The Infernal Empire. Before he dies, Anton LaVey believes that he and an elite force of Satanists will rule the world.

Since founding his Church of Satan in San Francisco on the annual witches' holiday of Walpurgisnacht on April 30, 1966, LaVey has become the central force behind the growth of Satanism in America. His "Satanic Bible" has sold over one million copies, and he claims as many as two and a half million students. For years rumors have swirled about his intimate relationships with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield-and the bizarre rituals in the black house.

Yet for some time LaVey has been all but inaccessible to the public. Moving between three California homes and retreats in the eastern U.S. and Europe, he has become an almost mythical recluse.

Now, Suddenly in 1975, he has come out in public-to the dusty Mexican provincial capital of Durango. For nearly a month he's been serving as technical adviser on the location of a new film, "The Devil's Rain," not far from the Sierra Madre pass where Pancho Villa traded his soul to Satan for unlimited power.

When I glimpse him for the first time he is standing on the porch of his hotel room on Durango's outskirts. His image looms up-broad-shouldered and brooding upon the horizon between the shadows of dusk and the dim light from behind his room's closed drapes.

Coming toward him along a gravel path, I pause a few doors away. Is he really so sinister, or is it all in my mind? Then, as if somehow he's already sensed my apprehension, LaVey turns. His gaze rivets upon me, and I have no choice but to go on.

As I introduce myself, his faces shows a curious, almost child-like smile. It dissolves my dark imaginings, and I find that I'm extending my hand.

"In Durango" he says, "I suppose I'm a captive audience."

He is wearing the familiar black garb, with a silver amulet of a goat's head inside an inverted pentagram hanging from his neck. His words come slowly, punching out phrases in choppy stops and starts. He agrees to meet me for dinner in half an hour.

In the restaurant. eyes rise and then rapidly fall to stare at tablecloths, and Mexican waiters whisper among themselves. LaVey strides briskly, jerkily, to a corner table, where almost immediately a waiter is upon him with a menu.

A bewitchingly feline girl named Terrazina has come to join us. She is 22, an employee of the local governor's office. Having met LaVey at a party a couple of weeks ago, she has sine become a Satanist: the "agent" for his newest "grotto." Tonight, after dinner, she wants to draw his portrait.

"Terrazina lives in what used to be an convent," LaVey is saying. "it's a wonderful place, lots of legends about the ghosts of headless nuns making lonely walks by night. All of the rooms were nuns' cells or old planked floor classrooms, and there's an old upright piano in one of them. I sat looking out on the courtyard and played for hours."

"In California, I have my organ in my inner sanctum. It's set up like a bar and one of my other prize possessions is there, a 1947 Rockola jukebox with the little spinning globe that makes flickering lights on the ceiling. And I also have... my people."

LaVey pauses drastically. His dark eyes glaze and half-innocent, half-barbaric smile crosses his lips once more.

"Yes, I make people," he continues. Out of polyurethane and fiberglass. they're partially automated. I move them with solenoids. I suppose most of them are actually disgusting human beings. Drunk floozies, sailors trying to pick up women, and one of them even passed out under the bar!"

He chuckles loudly, but not a single head in the restaurant turns to witness it.

"But I created them. So they become not reprehensible, but people you would meet at any neighborhood bar. Friends that you sit and have a drink with. Sometimes I have one of them get behind the drums and I sit at the organ. We play together for a few hours, real ricky-tick style, like in the '50's. And I've created another room, the perfect replica of a cheap hotel, even the smells. Cheap booze and urine and stale smoke permeating the wallpaper, the neon sign..."

LaVey pauses again and gazes wistfully into space. A chill passes rapidly down my spine. "I collect things," he shrugs. "I've always collected things.

"For example," he goes on, beginning to chuckle again, "there's a guy at MGM who calls me from time to time. A while ago they'd had a tremendous auction-the entire prop and wardrobe department-and afterward he called and said, 'Give me ten dollars and you can haul off whatever's left.' And there, inside the auction room, stood this huge box bursting at the seems with the underwear of MGM's most famous stars- from Greer Garson to Liz Taylor - with the labels still on them! What a haul, what a fetishist's field day! It must have weighed 150 pounds, but somehow I carried it upstairs and a full block uphill to my car. Talk about a madman! I keep this collection in plastic bags inside a footlocker!"

Uncontrollably, I begin to laugh. Soon Terrazina is laughing, and LaVey is laughing, and it seems the whole restaurant-the whole world-must be laughing.

There are tears in my eyes and when I glance up at him. He is bringing a glass of wine to his lips, grinning like a large whiskered cat. The grin brings me back to reality. In my mind I try to construct my next question. What of the group ceremonies he is said to conduct behind his chamber doors? The legendary images of nude females with long blonde hair flowing down their backs, reclining on a coffin alter while LaVey, in his black robe, shakes phallic symbols at his assembled flock...

As if reading my thoughts, LaVey says: "I don't conduct large ceremonies anymore. I've written two books that lay the groundwork for them, and my own presence is no longer necessary. But we do have grottoes in every major city, and my agents assist those members who wish more guidance. Most of my people prefer to remain anonymous."

A deep silence begins to hum at my ears. For an instant the restaurant seems to no longer exist, and I don't know where we are, yet a strange calm possesses me.

But afterwards, as we walk to LaVey's room in pitch darkness, the gravel path feels like teeth gnashing at my feet.

The quiet Terrazina takes a seat on his bed and brings out her sketchpad. LaVey opens a large suitcase stuffed with bric-a-brac, reaching for a fifth of Early Times bourbon and half-a-dozen cassette tapes. Then, moving into his closet area, he returns wearing a custom-made white hat of the French Foreign Legion. From a tape recorder the soft refrains of "Deep Night" become his background. Nodding to the music, he lifts the bottle to his lips, and sits down on a chair directly across from me.

Carefully I study his face. A blend of Gypsies and Mongolians and Huns, as timeless and inscrutable as the merger of so many strains in his blood. He closes his eyes, losing himself in the music of Ramon Navarro, Hank Williams, The Beatles and Puccini.

"When the outside world speaks of you," I say finally, "people seem to believe that you have certain powers. A way that you can exert influence over others and...can you...have actually ever put a curse on someone?"

For a long moment LaVey doesn't reply, bobbing and waving to the music. Then: "Yes, there are certain tricks that can be learned. It is possible to curse a person by working up enough adrenal energy so that you create a change in the atmosphere and it breaks through as a sort of gamma radiation. Like a force field."

His eyes open wide. And there is the disquieting feeling that someone of something is pulling his phrases along on strings.

"I hate to have to be cruel," he goes on, his voice rising. "I resent it when people place me in that position, nothing angers me more than that, and when I retaliate it's not because I want to. I've just been pressed too far, that's all. Like on the movies set the other day."

"The movie set?" I ask, and there is a no disguising the quake in my voice.

"You may simply say that a situation arose where I felt I was being minimized. I was able to crystallize and direct the energy of some people who felt the way I did. The results were rapid. Extremely rapid. I found I was soon blamed for all kinds of things. They were glad to get rid of me. And I was delighted."

Now something else flashes in my memory. Something about LaVey and another Hollywood curse. The year that Jayne Mansfield died in that accident...

As to the question, a new sensation sweeps over LaVey's face. A profound sadness even a glimmer of fear. Then, instantly, these give way to black scowl and a look of hatred so intense that a prickly energy digs claws up my arm and advances toward my neck. I stir uneasily at the edge of the bed.

"Yes, there was Sam Broady," LaVey is saying. "He worked overtime at being detestable, kept her doped and liquored up and had guys fooling around with her in the bedroom while he took pictures. If she ever left him, he promised to ruin her career and see that she lost custody of her kids. He was despicable, utterly despicable!"

Jayne Mansfield had been one of the charter members of LaVey's church. He had been her confidante, perhaps her lover, and Sam Brody had done everything he could to curtail the relationship.

"Once he drove out to North Beach and told about 20 tough young blacks that Jayne Mansfield was inviting them to a party. He brought them all to my house, and they broke through the front door. I'd really had it with Brody. I went into the backyard and pushedd the first bolt on the quarters where I kept Togare, my 500-pound Ethiopian lion. I gave them five minutes before I'd turn him loose."

"The police came just in time. They cleared my place. I was willing to consider the matter at an end. Then Brody telephoned, calling me a crook, a charlatan, a con man. I was pulled too far. I told him that I had more power than he could possibly imagine. I told him that he would be dead within a year. he slammed the phone down."

Now LaVey rises slowly to his feet, his face contorted with anger and grief. The last opera of Puccini writhes its wild strains through the hotel room, and somewhere clocks tick on toward midnight.

"All I could do was warn her. I couldn't be with her 24 hours a day! The tragedy was that she knew. She knew being with him was antagonistic to her own well-being!"

In the early hours of June 29th, 1967, precisely six months after LaVey had worked his curse, Jayne and Body were driving on a Louisiana highway when their car slammed into the rear of a spraying mosquito truck.

"I was in my den, clipping a picture out of the newspaper of myself placing flowers on the grave of Marilyn Monroe. And when I turned the page over, I saw there had been a picture of Jayne on the other side and I... I 'd cut straight across her neckline. Fifteen minutes later a friend called with the news. Brody had been killed instantly and she'd been almost decapitated."

From the cassette player a gong strikes three times. Barbaric powerful harmonies blend with a priest's maniacal laughter in the background. Suddenly, catapulting between myself and the standing LaVey, I am sure I see a bolt of lightning, a burst of yellow light summoned from nowhere, and my senses careen before it as I follow it's vanishing path down a long endless chasm.

Abruptly, the music stops. Just as abruptly, so does the shaking inside me.

"Did you see that?" I manage. LaVey nods, and goes on keeping time to the music that is no longer there.

Terrazina has finished her drawing. So intent has she been on capturing LaVey's image that she'd become almost invisible. Now she extends her sketchpad to him, and he gathers it gently in his hands.

"Oh, I like this one!" he exclaims. "A combination of Mephistopheles and Fagin!"

The hour is late, I say to myself. Very late. Willing myself to my feet, I leave the two of them laughing together over the countenance of Anton LaVey.

There is no rational explanation for the events of the night. They toss and turn in my mind, defying logic. The only thing I can think to do is rise early, drive out to the set of "The Devil's Rain," talk to the cast, and later try to catch up with the LaVey in Mexico City.

Now, as my car approaches a backdrop of old wooden building along a dusty winding path, dark clouds suddenly cover the sky and raindrops begin to pelt the windshield. The wrath of heaven seems to be unleashing it upon Durango.

The storm lasts about a minute, then subsides, and I begin to ask around about LaVey. It is like peeling away layers of masks only to find more disguises.

"A bent Billy Graham"... "Reverend Ike with an inverted collar"..."Well, he didn't snort brimstone, if that's what you mean"..."Just say that his brand of Satanism began to clash with the director"..."A stimulating conversationalist"..."A man of many talents"..."A true connoisseur of the arts..."

No opinion the same, and no one willing to be pinned down about the events that led to LaVey's early dismissal. But something is definitely seething below the surface. Ida Lupino, who plays the devil's victim in the film, is wearing a crucifix, not only on the set, but everywhere she goes in Durango. Ernest Borgnine, cast as the devil, admits he has accepted an honorary priesthood extended by LaVey. Among the local Mexican villagers, who before had always welcomed the arrival of gringo filmmakers, even more portentous feelings had arisen.

"I took a hunting trip last weekend with a couple of them," says actor William Shatner, onetime "Star Trek" hero. "Things went wrong that apparently had never happened before. People cut their hands, the oars of our canoe broke, the pattern of the birds was impossible to follow. Finally, the canoe tipped over and these people were sure it was the presence of the devil in Durango."

I pore over all my notes. Had it always been that way? Had he always been so many guises to so many different people?

Years ago, he first "cased the mark" of human nature in circuses and carnivals. At 17 he had joined Clyde Beatty's circus as a wild animal trainer. He merged himself totally with the existence of the big cats. Sharing their hamburger on the ground, imitating their growling sounds, crawling through the sawdust after putting them through their paces, often sleeping in the huge roaring cage below the bigtop. Sometimes a lion had turned on him, thrown him to the ground and planted itself above his helpless body, and Clyde Beatty had marveled at LaVey's miraculous escapes. This was how he mastered willpower, LaVey had said.

He had gone on to play the calliope, arranging music for the high-wire Wallendas and Human Cannonball, and sending eerie organ chords through the tents of the swamis. He moved on, playing the organ in a burlesque house in Los Angeles, and had a brief affair with a stripper named Marilyn Monroe. When he joined the San Francisco police department as a criminologist, he specialized in "nut cases"- oddballs who believed in demons and haunted houses-and by the mid-1950's, this son of a traveling liquor salesman could be glimpsed on foggy nights walking along the bay in a dark overcoat with a leopard at this side. Soon he became the city's official convention organist, and he bought the old 13-room house of the most famous madam of the Barbary Coast heyday. he painted it black, and began to conduct a "Magic Circle" at midnight each Friday. His mysterious reputation began to grow.

Aging practitioners of the same Black Arts that he'd studied at 12 began coming to him with their legacy of secrets. People looking to advance careers or private pleasures took strength from his private consultations, and paid him with cars or even homes. At least, the year before his portrayal of the devil in "Rosemary's Baby," he founded his church as a blasphemy of Christianity that invited man to accept and even revel in his selfish, carnal nature. Indulge to the fullest, he proclaimed, and look forward to nothing but your material existence.

His first wife had left him, but their daughter and a second wife remained his staunch supporters. And so his followers had begun to gather. Some, like Charles Manson, came to one ceremony and never returned. Others, like Jayne Mansfield, did not survive. Kim Novak, Sammy Davis Jr., and a number of politicians and business men quietly affiliated. It was a select membership. Long before he acquired the converted convent in Italy, the mansion in Bavaria, the three ocean going salvage ships at his disposal in Belfast, and a devoted Sicilian driver who chauffeured him in his black Buick and guarded his 1937 Cord, LaVey had let it be known that he was building "an elite of the future."

As I drive away from the set of "The Devil's Rain," a Biblical image of a grinning Lucifer enters my mind and won't go away.

Forty-five minutes from Mexico City there is a little Indian town called Tepotzlan. It lies in a valley below the fabled volcanic mountain Popocatepetl, and is said to be the magical center of all Mexico. Witches covens flourish along it's narrow rutted streets, and foreign settlers stay primarily on it's outskirts.

It is afternoon when LaVey arrives at the spacious weekend home of a short, stocky, bald-headed writer who made his acquaintance in Durango. From his backyard you may watch the nearby cliffs stab their sires into the heavens and glimpse the opening to a cave where the rebel leader Zapata once hid.

"On certain nights," Says our host, "always at the same hour, a black riderless horse will pass on the street outside. And the candelabra in the house will begin to sway. I don't know any explanation for it."

Hearing this, LaVey begins to pass slowly through all the rooms, studying the white walls and steel framed windows, the ancient artifacts and placement of furniture. Then he returns and stands meditatively beside a swimming pool.

"Yes, there is a trapezoidal shape to this house," he explains. "Walls that are slightly out of square can exert a certain influence on a room, a disturbing influence..."

The writer's face turns ashen. "We built this house ourselves," he says nervously "And there wasn't one square wall in it!"

LaVey reassures him with a smile. "To me, that's wonderful," he says. "But you know, it's very strange," the writer continues. "Because sometimes I feel as if this house owns us."

LaVey nods. "The Mayans and Aztecs and the Germans knew damn well what they were doing in their architecture. There are certain cuts of stones, bunkers in war, offshore oil rigs and even a variety of jinxed cars with all one thing in common: Angles that break tranquility.

"The is the kind of house Marilyn Monroe would have had," LaVey says, "The house where she died was the same style."

He sits down beside the pool, positioning himself to view both the house and the mountains.

"My relationship with her was so short physically," he says abstractly, as if talking to the house. "But I was young, and a lot could be crammed into a few weeks. We were both floundering when we met, it may have been the lowest point of my life. It was a much more romantic era then. The style was to make love in the back seat of a car, in a secluded place. We used to go up by that Frank Lloyd Wright building on the promontory in the Los Feliz hills. His Mayan house. Wright had been putting the finishing touches on it when his houseboy went berserk at Taliesen and killed seven people. It was said that the house was cursed. He built it for a shoe magnate, and the man lost everything in the Depression. The next owner's wife jumped off the parapet. Marilyn loved strange things. We would stay there for hours.

"I left her for someone else. All through the fifties, I couldn't bear to talk about her, or see any of her films. She sent me that famous 'Golden Dreams' calendar, inscribed. I kept it locked up."

After Marilyn Monroe died, he continues, a wealthy doctor and his family had moved into her mansion. The doctor refused to change a room of it. Even the same linens remained on her bed. A year to the day after her death, the doctor's mother died there. One evening the doctor left and never returned.

"I never went up to the house until 1973. It was the night of the 11th anniversary of her death. I was drawn there, to conduct an experiment, I didn't have any choice, and she..."

LaVey does not finish the sentence. The writer and I stare at him as he hovers by the swimming pool, his glassy reflection looming long over the water and his shadow cast beyond the protective wooden wall and toward the nearby foothills.

"I'm sorry," says LaVey. "I really can't say anymore. There are some things I can't speak about. Even telling you this much, I can't explain why, just something about the ethers of this valley, this house..."

"That's one reason why I wanted you to come, Anton," says the writer. "I wanted to see if you would feel it."

"Oh, yes," says LaVey quickly. "There is definitely a vibration here." He glances over at him. "Would anyone like to take a walk?"

"The two of you go ahead," the writer says, "I've some things to finish up here."

A moon is already coming into view as we begin to trace a path leading out of Tepotzlan, in the direction of Zapata's cave.

"Do you believe that you will leave your mark on history?" The question leaps from me so quickly that it takes LaVey by surprise.

He contemplates a moment, then replies: "I'd be maudlin to say I didn't. I honestly feel that a hundred years from now, when most of these Watergate figures are long forgotten, people will know who Anton LaVey was. Selfish as it might appear on the surface, I also sincerely believe I'm doing something that will elevate man's self-awareness. Even if it's a tiny, tiny little step."

"But what about the future?" I ask him. "What do you foresee?"

LaVey close his eyes, but continues walking blind down the shadowed path. " 'The ghost kings are marching, the midnight knows their tread. From the distant stealthy planets of the dim unstable dead, there are whisperings on the night winds and the shuddering stars have fled... The Satanists are marching, where the vague moon vapor creeps, while the night wind to their coming like a thunder's herald sweeps. They are clad in ancient grandeur, while the world unheeding sleeps.' "

The poem comes in a torrent, until the end. Then his words tumble slowly, softly into the wind, and his eyes open once more.

"Think of a cat on the limb of a tree in the jungle," he muses, "Waiting for something to pass underneath at just the right time. He can leap any time he wants, but if he's not hungry he just lies there and lets antelope, deer and other small game go by. It's just the knowledge that he can spring, that he has that power vested in him...

"Someday then," I say, "you envision an elite group, perhaps your own, taking control of the world?"

"The truth about Satanism is far more frightening than anything people might expect to see. Yes, eventually it has to be, if humanity is to survive. But it will be far more sophisticated and subtle than someone like Orwell ever dreamed. It's happening already. Like stage magic, you see? The conjurer says: 'You'll observe this perfectly empty box in my hand.' But he's he's really doing the trick with the other."

In that moment the many masks of Anton LaVey seem to melt before my eyes. Mad scientist, carnival barker, intellectual broker: All of these melt, then form again, one sinking into the quicksand of the next. And when he turns to face me, it is the most terrifying Prince in my life, yet I'm unable to tremble for I am gazing only at sleight-of-hand, at a face with a definable shape, a face both as charming and as monstrous as any I could possible imagine. The face of the anti-Christ.

SECONDS Magazine #46, XXVIII A.S., 1994 c.e.

"Only a fool is going to believe in absolute good or absolute evil"

In the Sixties, Anton LaVey was everywhere: on television, in the movies, and on the newsstand, glowering down from the covers of major magazines. He was more than a household name; he was everyone's favorite brand name for evil. But as his fame grew, so did his misanthropy. As his ideas became increasingly high profile, he himself grew increasingly less so, withdrawing into the self-imposed exile of the recluse. For nearly a decade he maintained an icy silence, turning down large sums of money for television appearances and turning down all interviews. Rumors that he was dead circulated. Though his Satanic Bible continued to outsell the Christian Bible on college campuses, he had, by all appearances, vanished from the face of the Earth.

Then, in the Eighties, a funny thing happened. LaVey, touched by the obvious sincerity and enthusiasm of a young admirer named Eugene Robinson, broke his silence to grant an interview for Robinson's underground paper, The Birth of Tragedy. That interview was literally like the shout heard 'round the world. Not only was it a hard- hitting, funny, blasphemous and intelligent, it served notice that LaVey was still very much alive and kicking and was still a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, the article served as a call to arms of sorts. People who had grown up on LaVey's material began to come out of the woodwork, anxious to pay homage to the man and acknowledge their gratitude for his early influence. An entire generation of people who had established successful careers as artists, musicians, publishers, filmmakers, et cetera began to rally around LaVey and his Church of Satan.

Today there is a wealth of information dealing with LaVey, his life and his philosophy. One can easily obtain his biography, his books, newsletters, and any number of magazines devoted to his Satanic Creed. There is so much information about Anton LaVey (and as much, if not more, disinformation!) that one might as well ask the question whether or not there is still more that we don't know about him. The answer to that question is an emphatic "yes." There is probably far more about Anton LaVey that is not known, perhaps never will be known, than all the words about him on the printed page betray. Only now are the ideas he espoused some thirty years ago starting to be embraced by a new generation - ideas once thought extreme, harsh, unthinkable. And despite their growing acceptance by certain sectors of the public, these ideas still remain far too bitter a pill for most of today's self-proclaimed purveyors of extremism.

Ironically but appropriately, LaVey remains an outsider even in an era where outsider culture has been widely embraced and marketed to a society where "rebellion" has become the status quo. In an age where faggot junkie William Burroughs did Nike commercials and Henry Rollins endorses laptop computers, it's somehow reassuring that Anton LaVey is still a pariah after all these years.

To the religious Right, LaVey is still a very dangerous figure - a libertine Antichrist, whose philosophy of sex, violence, and power will surely usher in The End Of The World. To the liberal Left, LaVey represents an equal but opposite threat: for them he's the modern face of Fascism, a man whose anti- democratic principles will set the stage for the reemergence of totalitarianism and erase the triumphs of egalitarianism. Though both scenarios are undoubtedly the result of fear and loathing carried to their logical extreme, both nonetheless bear a kernel of truth. LaVey is both tyrant and libertarian at one and the same time; a tireless champion of humanity's Promethean nature who nevertheless acknowledges our more fundamental status as a beast. To most people, such a view would seem a contradiction. Some would consider it a paradox. To Anton LaVey, it's simply Satanism.

Seconds: Is Satanism a power philosophy or a religion?

LaVey: Both. It's unlike any other religion that's ever existed. And it's more than just a power philosophy because, even though there's a charismatic leader in most of the power philosophies, there still isn't the outspoken element of the unknown, of magic or sorcery. Whereas I think this is a blend of the two and that's what makes it work.

Seconds: Most religions lack a primary understanding of power and its application to one's life, most power philosophies lack that extra element that satisfies the soul.

LaVey: Exactly. This possesses the structure of the power philosophy and the religious element and that's why it works out. Especially because the separation of Church and State has always encouraged that people's conscience be their guide, and their conscience is usually going to be the guy in the sky or Jesus or something like that. And these supernatural forces are what decide whether their behavior is going to be accepted or frowned upon. Whereas the secular element of control has been the police, armies, various militia...and the two don't really meet except in wartime when you have chaplains in uniforms.

It's like that song in World War Two, "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition" - the image of a chaplain with a gun is a very hypocritical one, but of course we're talking about people who've been practicing hypocrisy for two thousand years. "Onward Christian soldiers, swords against the foe" - The Prince of Peace could not possibly condone such an idea. It used to be a man of substance could be a clergyman or a military man, but there was never a chance to be both. And in its broadest sense Satanism is a philosophy that embraces both. A person can be very religious and not have pangs of conscience when it comes to exercising feelings of hate and destructiveness in a very productive manner.

Seconds: Satanism seems to be the fastest-growing religion on Earth. What is the reason for the frenzied interest?

LaVey: Cults and sects - and we aren't a cult or sect - depend on a belief system that may not be completely reasonable or logical.

Seconds: The more unreasonable or illogical, the more successful they are.

LaVey: [laughs] That's right! And the feedback we get is unanimous: the reason that Satanism will prevail is that for every one person who joins a cult or sect there are ninety-nine other people who wouldn't ever join. And they're the people who, after two thousand years of religious dogma, are going to sit up and take notice when something really makes sense. And from the feedback we get, that's the answer. You don't need to have read all the great philosophers to be able to recognize it when something comes along that finally makes sense, and Satanism just makes sense.

Seconds: Some members of your organization say they believe in Satan as an anthropomorphic deity.

LaVey: The people who believe in an anthropomorphic Satan are possible people that would be "ideal", or born, Satanists. But their need for imagery is so strong they just can't shake it off. For example, people raised in a very strict Catholic upbringing, where they've had plaster saints and paintings of the Last Supper and that sort of thing - they're so oriented toward imagery that it's almost impossible to divorce themselves from having an icon that's a very visual representation of their beliefs.

The entire concept of Satanism is not dependent on image, although we can and do use it. We use it in a very symbolic sense, where Satan becomes more than just a super-villain with nothing much to say. We've taken that symbol, and even if it's only symbolic, we've incorporated and attributed some really grand qualities into it - Promethean qualities. And we've brought out and emphasized the legacy of that which would be Satanic for the first time! It's never been codified before. Now here's a guy who's been pictured maybe on a can of deviled ham or a beer bottle of something like that, and it's the Devil. But he's more than that, and that's what we want to emphasize. Because there hasn't been enough emphasis on the writings of Milton or Mark Twain. Or the activities and lives of Da Vinci, Galileo, Paganini, Franz Liszt, Camille Saint-Saens - many of these people who've been so productive have been very Satanic people. But there's been no stress put on that, the reason being that there's never been any codification or guidelines for what constitutes a Satanic personality. Yet there's always been a depiction of the devil that the Church uses to represent the bad guy. The enemy. That's because man needs evil - and good. He needs to be against something.

The scapegoat has always been the Devil, except in times of war when there's a universal enemy. And even today, with the massive spread of Satanism, Satanists are the only minority, the only religious group, the only special interest group that can be maligned and slandered with-

Seconds: - with impunity.

LaVey: With impunity and without compunction! There's no other group you could do that to. No ethnic group. No religious group. No special interest group - not any other group. But they can with the Devil, with Satanists. Well, we're here to smash that. We're here to create a forum and give a valuable voice to all those people who are natural- born outsiders. And if using the image of the Devil helps do that, so much the better. And if this guy with horns and cloven hoofs scared the people who don't like him, so much the better. They can have the old man with the white robes and the long white beard and we'll keep the guy with the horns. Compare these two archetypes and you'll see the difference between the two very distinct approaches to life.

Seconds: Those archetypes conjure up diametrically opposed world views; if you showed them to someone who had no conception of their meaning, they would intuitively know that the Devil represented action and vitality because his aesthetic is much more powerful. He has more fun, has more sex, knows how to live -

LaVey: Yes. There's definitely a Satanic aesthetic. There are objects, there are everyday implements, there are artifacts, architectures, automobile designs, things like firearms, that look Satanic. You wouldn't say something looks very Christian: "That's a very Christian-looking car." Or that something like a Luger or .45 looks very Christian. But you might say it's a very Satanic-looking thing because of its configuration.

Seconds: Some things look innately evil.

LaVey: That's right. They have that appeal.

Seconds: Some in your organization say there's no such thing as evil, while others claim to worship evil. What's your slant?

LaVey: My slant is that I'm afraid I just have to parrot Nietzsche and go beyond good and evil. I mean, only a fool is going to believe in absolute good or absolute evil. There are intrinsically evil things - I don't even like to call them "evil." There are intrinsically rotten things people can do that violate the Darwinian law of survival, where they're just crying out to be destroyed; but that doesn't mean it's good and evil. To do something harmful or destructive or disruptive to others purely on the grounds that it's evil might qualify.

Historically, great wars have been fought on the grounds of subduing an evil adversary and even that is specious. There's never been a side that has said, "We're the bad guys and they're the good guys." Everyone has always thought their side was the right side, the good guys. And I'm sure that from Attila the Hun to the American Revolutionaries to the Nazis to the Stalinists, they all thought that they were trying to build a better world. So nobody has ever gone and said we need good and we need evil and we're the evil ones. So what we're doing is saying what Nietzsche said and that is: "There is nothing good. There is nothing evil. One man's meat is another man's poison." Good things are bad things to some people and vice versa. It's as simple as that.

Now as far as transgressing the codes that human communities agree upon to govern conduct - however transitory they may be - some people do things that even in the animal kingdom would be grounds for their own destruction or for being beaten out of the pack. Because you need a strong code, a moral code, of loyalty. I would say that within a given society, loyalty is probably the most important thing regardless of whether that society is considered good or evil. Loyalty to that society is far more important, Satanically, than whether that society is considered good or evil.

Seconds: The Church of Satan has taken flak recently for making Marilyn Manson a priest. He's taken a lot of flak for being affiliated with you. Yet you seem very supportive of one another.

LaVey: Because he's performing in a manner like a pied piper, through outrage. His entire presentation is beneficial, and certainly not as harmful as some of the saccharine sugar-coated pop scene as being nice. And because of the climate of the times, he's doing the right thing. He's doing what has to be done. He's a very intelligent, well- spoken, sensitive, and certainly dramatic individual. He's priesthood material. Our criteria for clergy or priest is based upon what influence a person has on the outside world. And you'd have to be under a rock not to understand that he has had an influence on the outside world.

Seconds: Jayne Mansfield and Sammy Davis Jr. were members, and no one considered that the least bit outrageous.

LaVey: That's right. We have people who are very high-profile on today's scene in terms of music, art, publishing and so on who are doing exactly what I would do if I could split myself up into a lot of different people and go out there and do it all myself. And they are in today's marketplace, using today's idioms and today's tools and blending them with something that may be a little more serious. And that's what Marilyn Manson has done so eloquently - something a lot of these performers can't do: blend outrageousness and blasphemy with articulation. Few people can do this. King Diamond does it. Thomas Thorn of The Electric Hellfire Club does it. But even the ones who can't do it are serving a purpose. They're like lesser elementals; their mere presence serves to -

Seconds: Stir the pot?

LaVey: Stir the pot! What Marilyn Manson is doing today on a large scale is not all that different than what I was doing in 1966, '67, '68, or '69 - drawing people into a Satanic ritual. He's just making use of another means. And people who'd say that Rock is an inappropriate means have misinterpreted me.

Seconds: You pronounced Christianity a spent force, which was discounted as empty rhetoric; in the Sixties it seemed to be the most powerful force on the planet.

LaVey: I've always felt that man created God in his own image, not the other way around. When I see accidents on the highway where someone's drunk or stoned out of their mind and plows into a car full of people, they're always the ones who seem to survive where the innocent victims are the ones who get killed. And when I see a baby die from crib death or a child die from some horrible disease, it saddens me. Then to think that people imagine that some god is protecting them - I get angry. He always seems to protect the assholes. I don't want any part of such a god. If I could shoot my gun into the air and somehow blow this god away, I would do it. But you see, it's an invention, a construct of assholes who needed a god like that.

Seconds: Isn't it a superstition that's kept them in line, through fear of punishment?

LaVey: Let's put it this way: you do need a god created in man's own image, as it has always been, to keep those people in line. That will make them god-fearing - and again the stress is on fear and punishment - but he's just sort of dismissing them with a wave of his hand, knowing they'll keep. But the one he really smiles on, the one that concerns me, is the asshole. He doesn't really smile on the ones who petition him or get down on their knees wearing out their nylons. They aren't his problem.

Seconds: The fact that you've been so widely ripped off is a testament to the power of your ideas, yet people still have a problem with the "s- word." If the s-word had not been involved, would the ideas have become even more widespread?

LaVey: If the s-word hadn't been attached, the ideas would have never seen print, so they wouldn't have been around to be ripped off. Nobody would have given a shit whether I had something to say or not. But because of the s-word - it's like hitting the mule with the two- by-four; you've got to get its attention first. And the Devil is always good copy - it represents the dark side of man's nature, the rebellious side, the side that's always been repressed and the side that is not really evil, just unpopular, unfashionable.

Seconds: Through promoting the primacy of the individual, have you helped give certain conceits to classes of people who never before had them?

LaVey: Janitors who had always been content cleaning toilets were suddenly malcontents demanding more rights, more respect. Hobos who had always liked being hobos suddenly felt society owed them something more. Everyone wants to be a big shot, even if they can't deliver the goods.

I do think there's been a trend or movement towards that. Of course these people haven't digested the whole equation. They perk up when they hear the part about each man being his own god, but simply ignore the aspects that deal with personal responsibility - which of course is the key element. I've probably talked about this more than anyone else; I griped and complained about how everyone's a big shot. But I figure "Well, let them be big shots," but at least let the people who can see through all this say "No!" They can strut foppishly around and they can pretend they're big shots, but there should be enough people around who will say "no" to them; that's being Satanic.

Seconds: Was the world a better place when you were young?

LaVey: In some ways it was, yeah. Because of exactly what you just asked me. It wasn't so full of big shots. If somebody wanted to elevate themselves from a blue collar job, working in a mill or a coal mine or something like that, there was an opportunity for them to set themselves above that. You had what they called the dignity of labor and so they could take pride in being an employee of an automobile plant or something like that. Which was great in a way, because the few who could strike out on their own really did make something of themselves. By today's standards, you look back on that and you see what these people turned out to be and how productive they were and you realize that maybe they were just a little shrewder and - not necessarily - brighter than the guy who was working at the drill press. Maybe he was just as bright, but maybe they had a drive to go out and do something on their own, which is so important to a Satanist. They had individuality and wanted to remove themselves from the herd.

Seconds: Or they're self-starters. A lot of people who are smart or talented don't act upon it.

LaVey: That's right. People who were big shots back then were self- starters, usually. Now there are fewer self-starters because it's been made too easy to take the path of least resistance.

Seconds: The more you take the path of least resistance the more programs there are for you. If you're an alcoholic there's a program. If you're poor...what is it you used to say, "The rich get richer, and the poor get richer"? If you have nothing there's always a program to give you whatever you lack.

LaVey: That's right. And they get paid for having kids. There's a lot to be said, though, for the welfare system. On the surface I might be assumed to be against it, but it's like finding a worm in an apple - it's better than finding half a worm. The welfare program is very supportive of the weakest, least productive members of society. And yet, what about all those stupid people who are going to and from jobs? They're self-righteous, they've got their important positions, their titles and things. Please spare me! On any floor of offices there are usually two or three people who do all the work. And the rest are on occupational welfare. They show up, put in their time, collect their check and go spend their money at the company store. Their real job is to keep the money in circulation. They shouldn't have their self- righteous attitude because when all is said and done most of them are on welfare, just another sort. Who's to say that the bum collecting welfare isn't smarter maybe that the white collar worker who shows up to work every day then brags about how important he is, how he's going places? In my experience, the people who talk the loudest about how hard they work are usually the ones who work the least.

Seconds: People try to dismiss you by calling you a huckster.

LaVey: I've been accused of being a charlatan, an exploiter, the worst sort of phony-baloney huckster - I can only answer to that that I am no more, and no less, than what my position dictates. I heard a similar answer to a similar type of question in an interview with Charlie Manson. And he said "I'll be whatever you want me to be." Well, I'll take it a step further and say "Okay, I'll be whatever it takes, whatever I need to be to fulfill those requirements necessary to present what I have to present."

Seconds: What brings you joy?

LaVey: Strength...through joy! [laughs] No, I think what gives joy, and I'm going to sound like a real devil now...Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a rather obscure musical composition called Antar. It's a symphonic suite in four movements, each representing a different delight, and the one I like most is called "The Delights Of Vengeance." That's ironic because Tod Brownin in Freaks chose to use that as a leitmotif. The film opens with the barker and in the background you hear "The Delights Of Vengeance." It sort of sets the stage for what happens in the end. I think that's the most elusive of joys, the one you sit and wait for and you never hear about. And you wish - you wish- you could sit back and celebrate and savor the moment - like the very moment that the curse works. But it is probably the most elusive joy. My son gives me joy. Untold joy. Because of my age now and because I can devote the time and give him the input, I really appreciate him. Of course I like to think of him as the once and future king. And my animals...that's a form of joy I get that goes beyond the bounds of human relationships. In Zarathustra, Nietzsche said pretty much the same thing - that they Overman, or Superman, learns from the children and the animals. That's where the great lessons are to be learned. When in doubt, don't ask another person; go to the zoo. Or a circus. Or ask your cat.

Seconds: What really pisses you off?

LaVey: [long pause] What pisses me off is injustice. I guess as a kid I listened to The Lone Ranger too much on the radio. Or The Green Hornet, or The Shadow, or The Whistler. What pisses me off is what pissed them off - Injustice! I want to get out there and do something about it. To me, joy is somebody getting their comeuppance. I don't think there have been enough films, enough plays, enough books written where this sort of thing happens. I want to see some real Satanic literature written, some real Satanic screenplays, where it takes Death Wish to its highest power. Where there is no redemption at the end.

Seconds: I like to ask people, if you could travel in time and have sex with any famous woman at her prime, who would it be? But maybe it's pointless to ask this of a man who's been involved with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield -

LaVey: I'll admit I have a penchant for flashy blondes that are rather chubby and predisposed to cellulite. But there's a blonde type that has dark hair or black hair and does the hula hula dance or the belly dance. But she's still that type that is the opposite of myself! That is, cherubic and innocent - but still very naughty with a sort of lwed innocence. So I admit that my choice in women that I enjoy the most, up to and including Blanche, are basically cast in that mold. There are very few depictions of that type of woman these days, but I should give a plug where it's due and say that the artist who today seems most dedicated to rendering that ideal is Coop. I like the kind of women artists like Roy Crane and Matt Baker drew, but right now I think that Coop is the greatest exponent of that sort of thing.

Seconds: You've championed forgotten music for as long as I can remember. Now a lot of this stuff is experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity. Are you happy that more people can enjoy this music, or are you sad because something which was once your private obsession has become the flavor of the month?

LaVey: There are mixed emotions. I feel that it would be wonderful if everyone were exposed to this kind of music, but on the other hand, I feel it's too good for them. And it might make them think or feel something. I know that you've been singing the praises of Martin Denny for the last twenty-five years - how do you feel? To be into something so alien to mainstream contemporary music that no one takes any notice of, then suddenly it's sold to people and they act like they've discovered something brand new. I'm waiting to see if this music really has come back, or if it's going to be diluted and destroyed by modern practitioners who have no understanding of it. If it has come back, then it's a very dangerous phenomenon because, as I said, it will make people really feel something for a change. They'll become addicted to it like a maniac. Or like glazed donuts or apple pie with cinnamon sauce.

Seconds: You worked in the carnival, then as a crime scene photographer, then as a musician; what would you have pursued if you hadn't founded The Church of Satan?

LaVey: I wish I had eight or ten lifetimes to live. I can think of a lot of things I'd like to do if I had another thirty of forty years. This life flies as it says in the Rubayiat of Omar Khayyam. One thing is certain, this life flies. When I think about it, I would have liked to pursue painting. When I was painting, I thought I could very easily been satisfied with that life. To sit down and be absolved by something like a painting or drawing for endless hours, I know what that's like and that's why I'm so appreciative of great artists. I've loved animals so much I could have been satisfied working with animals, especially big cats. I have an affinity with big cats. Criminology always interested me. Working with law enforcement and dealing with the mysteries of life and death on a daily, gut level. Solve a few crimes, maybe. Or commit a few crimes, even. I would have liked the chance to pursue an occupation in that field.

And music has always been my first love. I started playing when I was five years old and I guess I wouldn't be able to exist without music in my life. If I had my life to live over and then another live and another still, I could pursue these things on a more in-depth level and my life wouldn't be so fragmented. But then people have told me, "Don't forget that fragmentation is what led to your philosophy and to the cohesion of The Church Of Satan."

It's not an epiphany, not some great horned god speaking to me in puff of smoke and flame. It's a result of dabbling and dabbling and dabbling in all these things. In a Darwinian sense, perhaps it was necessary to have gone through all those careers, jumping from one thing to the other. That eclecticism prepared me. I meet people who, egotistically speaking, are like my children. I don't meet a lot of them; the supply never quite fulfills the demand. But these people are out there, doing the sort of things that I'd be doing in their place. And they're just terrific, they're producing some great stuff. They can take the ball, I can pass the torch. Easily. I take great pride in these people and what they're doing. And probably in 1997 I would be doing things in much the same way they are, with minor variations. Nothing is ever permanent when it comes to fads and fallacies and the changes that reflect the mercurial nature of the world. But there are certain things that are ageless, like mountains and oceans...

Seconds: And human nature.

LaVey: Human nature. That doesn't change. You're right. Human nature doesn't change. But there will always be those people who stand out from these...humans. [LaVey says the word contemptuously] And those are the people that I pride myself on. They're people who don't so much search and seek you out, but seem to be magnetically drawn. They come through my portals eventually. It's like sending a flare up, giving the signal. Getting it out into the ether, the atmosphere. And sure enough, they appear.

Straight From The Witch's Mouth: An Interview with Anton Szandor LaVey, High Priest and Founder of The Church of Satan by John Fritscher, Ph.D. (Jack Fritscher)

"As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect." --Emerson Self-Reliance

WITCH-HUNTING THESE DAYS IS A SNAP. In fact, new inquisitors have it easy since witches advertise. Where advertisement is lacking, ask the manager of the local occult bookstore. If he is not awitch, he'll know who is. Check out the backwater boutiques and the slightly off-campus shops with window signs reading "Occult Records." Catch up on occult symbolism and casually confront anyone wearing mystic insignia during a rock concert. (The median age of witches has lowered drastically. Crones are out.) Read the classifieds of the local college newspaper or the advertising in the local TV guides (free for the taking at supermarkets). Clip addresses from the Wanton Ads of the Underground Press or from overground tabloids like The National Enquirer.

Let your fingers do the walking through the Bell System's Yellow Pages (pop culture's surest and handiest index): check listings for astrologers, astrology schools, and palmists. In every instance, ask the persons listed what they think about witchcraft. (What they're advertising is often not what they're selling. Witches advertise as palmists because of Dis(ney)-crimination against witches. After all, in the popular mind what does a witch do? Witch is too indirect a come-on. Palmist, astrologer, numerologist are titles specific of what the consumer expects and will get.) In any group of seven or more people, interrupt the conversation to ask, "Has anyone here any American Indian blood?" Always there will be someone. Try the same with: "Does anyone here know a witch?" Once a witch is found, ask for a referral to his or her friends in the Craft.

If all else fails, join a psychic encounter group or better yet the Psychic Club of Dayton, Ohio. For ten dollars this club, which advertises itself as the place "where witches and warlocks abound," will give. you--besides what you deserve--an astro-twin pen pal, a Free Location Service for correspondence with others with the same interests, and a one year subscription to the Psychic Club Bulletin.

In the last analysis, witches, like beauty and smut, are in the eye of the beholder. What they say about themselves, though at times repetitious is often more revealing than what we say...

Anton Szandor LaVey, High Priest and Founder of The Church of Satan; San Francisco, California

"I don't feel that raising the devil in an anthropomorphic sense is quite as feasible as theologians or metaphysicians would like to think. I have felt His presence but only as an exteriorized extension of my own potential, as an alter-ego or evolved concept that I have been able to exteriorize. With a full awareness, I can communicate with this semblance, this creature, this demon, this personification that I see in the eyes of the symbol of Satan--the goat of Mendes--as I commune with it before the altar. None of these is anything more than a mirror image of that potential I perceive in myself.

"I have this awareness that the objectification is in accord with my own ego. I'm not deluding myself that I'm calling something that is disassociated or exteriorized from myself the godhead. This Force is not a controlling factor that I have no control over. The Satanic principle is that man willfully controls his destiny; if he doesn't, some other man--a lot smarter than he is--will. Satan is, therefore, an extension of one's psyche or volitional essence, so that that extension can sometimes converse and give directives through the self in a way that mere thinking of the self as a single unit cannot. In this way it does help to depict in an externalized way the Devil per se. The purpose is to have something of an idolatrous, objective nature to commune with. However, man has connection, contact, control. This notion of an exteriorized God-Satan is not new.

"My opinion of succubi and incubi is that these are dream manifestations of man's coping with guilt as in the case of nocturnal emissions with a succubus visiting a man or of erotic dreams with an incubus visiting a woman. This whole idea of casting the blame off one's own sexual feelings onto convenient demons to satisfy the Church has certainly proved useful in millions of cases. When the priest is confronted one morning by a parishioner holding a stiffened nightshirt, a semen encrusted nightgown, the priest can tell him about this 'terrible' succubus who visited him in the night. They proceed to exorcise the demon, getting the parishioner off the sexual hook and giving the priest a little prurient fun as he plays with the details of its predication on some pretty girl in the village. This, on top of it all, leaves the girl suspect of being a witch. "Naturally the priest can keep his eyes open as to who fits the succubi descriptions that he's heard in the confessional. Of course, the concept of incubi and succubi has also been used by people who have engaged in what they would consider illicit sexual relations. More than one lady's window has been left open purposely for the incubus to enter--in the form of some desirable male. This can then be chalked up the next day to demonic possession. All these very convenient dodges have kept Christianity and its foibles alive for many hundreds of years.

"The birth of a satanic child is another manifestation of the need to extend the Christ-myth of the virgin birth to an antithetical concept of a demonic birth, a Devil-child. Rosemary's Baby wasn't the first to use this age-old plot. The Devil's own dear son or daughter is a rather popular literary excursion. Certainly the Devil walks in the sinews and marrow of a man because he is the representation of fleshly deity. Any animal heritage, any natural predilections, any real human attributes would be seen in the personification of the Devil. Consequently the Devil would have offspring and be proud of them, antithetic as they are to Christianity. Instead of being ashamed the child was conceived in sin and baptized out of sin, the Devil revels in the lust conception of his child. This child would be involved much more magically than one who was the by product of an environment that sought to negate at first opportunity the very motivating force--carnal desire--that produced him.

"Religious artists' desexualizing of the birth process (Christ coming out of the bowels of Mary) has caused women to suffer childbirth pains much more than they need to because of the age old collective unconsciousness that they must suffer this and the periodic suffering that comes every 28 days. Both these are attempts to stamp out or discredit what is in the animal world the most passionate feelings when the animal comes into heat at that time of the month. The "curse" of the menstrual cycle is a manufactured thing, manufactured by society that recognizes this period as one of great desire. Automatically, we have overemphasized its pains, tensions, turmoil, cramps. This taboo is not just Christian. Women have been placed in huts outside many villages. Every culture has thought she'd cause more jealousy and turmoil at this time because of this increase in her passions. Male animals fight more when the female is in heat. Having been a lion tamer, I know even the females are morecombative at this time.

"Christianity has put women at this time in more need of self-recrimination. This is the big difference between tribal customs and Christian: in the tribe, the woman is considered bleeding poison; in Christianity the woman is not only considered taboo, but she has to endure her pain as a 'moral' reminder of her mortality and guilt. The primitive woman can give birth relatively painlessly and return to the fields. She goes through the physical act, but not through the moral agonies of the Christian woman. Such is the compounding of guilt. This kind of hypocrisy is my enemy number one.

"I don't think young people can be blamed too much for their actions and antics. Although they coat their protests in ideological issues, I think what they resent most is not the actions of older adults, but the gross hypocrisy under which adults act. What is far worse than making war is making war an(l calling it peace and love and saying it's waged under the auspices of God or that it's the Christian thing to do. On. ward, Christian soldiers and all that. I think that the worst thing about Christianity is its gross hypocrisy which is the most repugnant thing in the world to me. Most Christians practice a basic Satanic way of life every hour of their waking day and yet they sneer at somebody who has built a religion that is no different from what they're practicing, but is simply calling it by its right name. I call it by the name that is antithetical to that which they hypocritically pay lip service to when they're in church.

"Take for example, the roster of people executed for witchcraft in the Middle Ages. They were unjustly maligned because they were free-thinkers, beautiful girls, heretics, Jews, or people who happened to be of a different faith than was ordained. They were mercilessly tortured and exterminated without any thought of Christian charity. The basic lies and propaganda of the Christian Fathers added to the torment of the people. Yet the crime in today's streets and the mollycoddling of heinous criminals is a by-product of latterday Christian charity. Christian 'understanding' has made our city streets unsafe. Yet helpless millions of people, simply because they were unbelievers or disbelievers, were not 'understood.' They were killed. It's not right that a mad dog who is really dangerous should be 'understood' and those who merely dissent from Christianity should have been killed. At the Church of Satan we receive lots of damning letters from people condemning us in the most atrocious language. They attest they are good Christians; but they are full of hate. They don't know if I'm a good guy or a bad guy. They only know me by the label they've been taught: that Satanism is evil. Therefore they judge me on the same basis those people did in the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries. These very same people hardly ever get worked up over a murderer.

"I think, in short, that Christ has failed in all his engagements as both savior and deity. If his doctrines were that easily misinterpreted, if his logic was that specious, let's throw it out. It has no place. It is worthless to a civilized society if it is subject to gross misinterpretation. (I'm not just protesting the 'human element' in Christianity the way Christians do when something goes wrong with their system. I void the whole of the system that lends itself to such misinterpretation) Why the hell didn't the writers mean what they said or say what they meant when they wrote that stupid book of fables, the Bible? This is the way I feel about it. "Anybody who takes up the sanctimonious cult of white light is just playing footsy with the Christian Fathers. This is why the bane of my existence are these white witches, white magicians, people who'd like to keep their foot in the safety zone of righteousness. They refuse to see the demonic in themselves, the motivations Satan's Majesty and Nature has placed inside them for their terrestrial goal. Materialism is part of Satanism, but a right kind of materialism. Everyone wants to acquire. The only thing wrong with money is it falls into the wrong hands. This makes it a curse, a disadvantage rather than an advantage. The marketplace is full of thieves. Easy wealth may be something would-be Faustian Satanists would like to get ahold of. In my experience people have come to me after I had opened doors for them. They come back wanting to know how to turn "it" off as they have more troubles than they had before. Once I offer to people what they think they want, given a week to think it over, they get cold feet. Success is a threat. Threatened by success, most people show their true colors. They show they need a god or an astrological forecast to really lay the blame on for their own inadequacy in the threatening face of imminent success.

"Man needs religion, dogma, ritual that keeps him exteriorized outside of himself to waylay his guilt and inadequacy. Men will always, therefore, search for a god. We should, however, be men in search of man. The man in search of God is the masochist: he is the world's masochist. There are more than we imagine. "In the beginning I may not have intended Satanism to evolve into an elitist movement. But experience has taught me that Satanism can be a mass movement insofar as its basic pleasure seeking premise is concerned. You build a better mousetrap, and people are going to flock to it. A pleasure principle is going to be more popular than a pleasure denying. I can't heir) attracting the masses. As for the people who practice a truly Satanic way of life, you can't expect the masses to transcend mere lip service to the pleasure seeking principle and get into the magical state of the Absolute Satanist. The Absolute Satanist is totally aware of his own abilities and limitations. On this self-knowledge he builds his character.

"The Absolute Satanist is far removed from the masses who look for Satanic pleasure in the psychedelics of the headshops. We Satanists are magically a part of all this surface. I realize what my magical lessons have done, the things I've stumbled upon. We necessarily spawn our neo-Christian masses seeking their sense of soma through pills and drugs. Certainly I don't oppose this for other people who get stoned out of their minds. When they do this, the more material things there will be for me and my followers since all those people who freaked themselves out on drugs will be satisfied with their pills and will move off to colonies based on drugs. The rest of us, the Materialists, will inherit the world.

"Actually, I'm very much opposed to drugs from a magical point of view, from a control point of view. I feel drugs are antithetical to magic. The pseudo-Satanist or pseudo witch or self-styled mystic who predicates his success on a drug revelation is only going to succeed within his drugged peer group. His miracles go no farther than his credibility. This type of witchery is limited. This, I say, despite the fact that the druggies are no longer just a marginal group, but are a very large subculture which threatens to be the New Spirituality or the New Mysticism or the New Non-Materialism. They don't realize the whole concept of witchery is manipulation of other human beings. Druggies are not manipulative witches. To manipulate someone you've got to be able to relate to that someone. Their idea of witchery is not witchcraft so much--in the sense of witchery being manipulative magic--as witchery equaling revelation of a spiritual nature. Their superego gets developed through the use of drugs. This superego can be the earmark of a new world of drones who, through so ma, would attain superegos which allow them while so controlled to think they have superiority over those really enjoying the fruits of the earth. This is why as the leader of the Satanic movement I have to examine these popular movements in the culture from a very pragmatic point of view.

"The point is there will always be, among the masses, substitutes for the real thing. A planned way of life--not drugs--gets the materialist what he wants. There's nothing wrong with color TV and cars in the garage as long as the system which provides them respects law and order--a terribly overworked term. But as long as people don't bother other people, then I think this is an ideal society. I'm in favor of a policeman on every corner as long as he doesn't arrest people for thinking their own way or for doing within the privacy of their own four walls what they like to do.

"We haven't been hassled too much by the law because we have so many policemen in our organization. I'm an ex-cop myself. I worked in the crime lab in San Francisco and I've maintained my contacts. They've provided for me a kind of security force. But all in all we have a very clean slate. We are very evil outlaws in theological circles, but not in civil.

"How could we murder? We--unlike Christians--have a real regard for human bodies. The Satanist is the ultimate humanist. The Satanist realizes that man can be his own worst enemy and must often be protected against himself. The average man sets up situations for himself so he can be a loser. We Satanists have ancient rituals which exorcise those needs for self-abasement before they happen. We wreck Christians' tidy little dreams. When you have somebody rolling orgasmically on the floor at a revival meeting claiming an ecstasy, you tell them they're having a 'forbidden' orgasm and they hate you for enlightening them. You've robbed them of their 'succubus,' of their freedom from guilt. They push their evilness on to us. In this sense, then, we are very evil.

"I needn't send my child to a private school. Why should I when children are, in fact, all Satanists. She has no trouble at school. Ironically enough, the majority of our members are that often-attacked silent middle class. At least fifty percent of our members have children; the other fifty percent are not rebels, but they're not losers. "I was very liberal in my younger years. I would have been thrown into prison during the McCarthy purge had I been of any prominence. I was ultra liberal, attending meetings of the Veterans of the Spanish Civil War, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the Revisionist Movements of Israel's founding. This was all very liberal at the time. I was always for civil rights. I had Negro friends when Negro friends weren't fashionable. A man should be judged on his accomplishments, his kindness and consideration for others. A certain planned form of bigotry may be a little healthy. I mean, if a person is the worst that his race has produced, he should be prevented from using his race unless he is a credit to his race, religion, whatever it is.

"Martin Luther King was killed because he was an articulate gentleman, concerned about his wife and family. He tried to do things in a mannerly way. A man like that belongs on a pedestal. But these loud baboons--and I choose the term--are nothing but rabble rousers, spewing venom. The more a person has at stake the more he watches his p's and q's. This is my test of a person's sincerity. The public is no judge. The public is not too particular in its choosing of heroes.

"I voted for Wallace to act out a magical ritual. I performed it--knowing he would not win, but wishing simply to cast my runes. Wallace's advantage was he would have been helpful in the inert area between action and reaction. The pendulum is swinging. I've been misinterpreted when I've said people like Reagan and Nixon are doing a lot to help Satanism because they are causing tremendous popular reaction whereby we're getting off the hook in Vietnam.

"Popular opinion is simply a reaction against the leaders who have made their stand so heinous that the protestors don't realize they're doing exactly what the masters want them to do: they're getting the masters off the hook. The masters arc using the old magical technique of allowing the people to think it's their idea. This explains the government's permissive attitude toward protest. The idealists of the early fifties during the McCarthy era were certainly just as against violence; but the Government posture did not lie in that direction so they had to be shut up fast. Currently the show of rebellion is, therefore, a very magical ritual.

"The new emphasis will be placed on staging. Life is a game and we'll realize it's a game. Life is not "God's Will." We have to go to the point of no return before we can return. We will get to the point where anybody who is establishment oriented is suspect as being the worst kind of individual. This will happen before we return to a rather safe normality, to a sane discrimination as to who are really the contributing members of society and who are the cancerous tissue.

"Satanically speaking, anarchy and chaos must ensue for awhile before a new Satanic morality can prevail. The new Satanic morality won't be very different from the old law of the jungle wherein right and wrong were judged in the truest natural sense of biting and being bitten back. Satanic morality will cause a return to intrigue, to glamour, to seductiveness, to a modicum of sexual lasciviousness; taboos will be invoked, but mostly it will be realized these things are fun. "The various Liberation Fronts are all part of the omelet from which the New Satanic Morality will emerge. Women's Liberation is really quite humorous. Supposedly women were liberated after the Industrial Revolution when they got out of the sweatshops. They're going to defeat themselves because they're not using the ammunition of their femininity to win as women. They're trying to reject their femininity which is their greatest magical weapon. "They're parodying themselves.

"Speaking of parody, the historical Black Mass is a parody of a parody. The Black Mass parodies the Christian service which parodies a pagan. Every time a man and woman go to church on Sunday they are practicing a Black Mass by parodying ancient earth rituals which were practiced by their ancestors before they were inverted by the Christian Fathers. Our Satanic mass captures the beauty of the self and ritualize that; the Satanic mass is no parody. It is catharsis. The Women's Libists should simply use their femininity by taking the Devil's name and using it and playing the Devil's game. They should take the stigma that cultural guilt has thrown at them and invert the values, making a virtue in their semantic reversal. This is what we have done in Satanism. What theologians have supplied in stigma, we use as virtue. We therefore have the attraction of the forbidden. This has greatly aided our success.

`"I know I have been rumored to have cursed Jayne Mansfield and caused her death. Jayne Mansfield was a member of the Church of Satan. I have enough material to blow sky high all those sanctimonious Hollywood journalists. She was a priestess in the Church of Satan. I have documentation of this fact from her. There are many things I'll not say for obvious reasons. Her lover, who was a decidedly unsavory character, was the one who brought the curse upon himself. There was decidedly a curse, marked in the presence of other people. Jayne was warned constantly and periodically in no uncertain terms that she must avoid his company because great harm would befall him. It was a very sad sequence of events in which she was the victim of her own--as we mentioned earlier?inability to cope With her own success. also the Demonic in her was crying out to be one thing and her Apparent self demanded that she be something else. She was beaten back and forth in this inner conflict between the Apparent Self and the Demonic Self. He was blackmailing her. I have definite proof of this. She couldn't get out of his clutches. She was a bit of a masochist herself. She brought about her own demise. But it wasn't through what I had done to curse her. The curse was directed at him. And it was a very magnificent curse. "The dedication of my Satanic Bible to Marilyn Monroe and Tuesday Weld was, in Marilyn's case, homage to a woman who was literally victimized by her own inherent witchery potential which was there in her looks. I think a great deal of the female mystique of beauty which was personified in Marilyn's image. In the case of Tuesday Weld it's part of the magical ritual. She is my candidate of a living approximation of these other two women. Unlike them Tuesday has the intelligence and emotional stability to withstand that which Marilyn Monroe could not. For this reason Tuesday is not in the public eye as much. Her own better judgment has cautioned her not to bite off more than she can chew.

"I'd like to point out that another popular American, Ben Franklin, was a rake without question. He was a sensual dilettante. He joined up with the British Hellfire Club Their rituals came to them from the Templars and other secret societies. We practice some of these same rituals secretly in the Church of Satan. Not only did Ben Franklin influence the activities of the Hellfire Club, his very association sheds some light on the quality of members of what would appear to be a blasphemous group of individuals. This proves the Devil is not only a gentleman but a cultured gentleman.

"Throughout history the witch most feared is the witch most antithetical to the physical standards. In Mediterranean cultures, anyone with blue eyes would have been the first to be named as a witch. The black woman Tituba in Salem was antithetical to New England physical standards. Anyone who is dark nag an edge because of all the connotations of black arts, black magic, the dark and sinister side of human nature. Tituba probably was not only more feared but also more sought after. She was set apart physically from the rest of the people. She was the magical outsider.

"The Church of Satan does not employ males as altars simply because the male is not considered to be the receptacle or passive carrier of human life. He possesses the other half of what is necessary to produce life. Woman is focal as receiver of the seed in her recumbent role as absorbing altar. A male would defeat the purpose of receptor unless he were fitted out with an artificial vagina and were physically and biologically capable of symbolizing the Earth Mother.

"We do, however, accept homosexuals. We have many in the Church of Satan. They have to be well-adjusted homosexuals--and there are many well-adjusted homosexuals who are not on the daily defensive about their sexual persuasion. Many have a great amount of self-realization. Of course, we get the cream of the crop. Since they cannot relate to the basic heterosexuality of the Church of Satan whatever they do must be modified. If the homophile were involved in defining the dogma of our Church it would be very imbalanced for the masses of people with whom we deal. The homophile would very easily like to substitute a male for the female altar. It's a fact that a heterosexual can accept homosexuality more readily than a homosexual can accept heterosexuality. Relating to the existence of the other sex is something that must be in evidence. Women cannot be denied their function in our Satanic Church. Needless to add, man-hating women cause us a great lack of sensual scintillation. "My book The Complete Witch; or What to Do When Virtue Fails is a guide for witches. It doesn't stress the drawing of pentacles on the floor. It smashes all the misconceptions that women have had, not only about witchery but about their own sexuality. I think of this book like de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Even if a woman is a man-hater, she can use her femininity to ruin that man. This book tells her how to do it. If she wants to enjoy men, this book will open her eyes to a few things. "Sexual fetishes we find natural. Everybody has one. These should be catered to. Sexual deviations are only negative factors when they present an obstacle to one's success. They present an obstacle when they are carried out of the ritual chamber, out of the fantasy room into the world where others will see them disapprovingly. "I must tell you something quite amusing. Rosemary's Baby did for us what The Birth of a Nation did for the Ku Klux Klan. I never realized what that film could do. I remember reading at the premiere of Griffith's Birth of a Nation recruiting posters for the KKK in southern cities. I Chuckled because at the premiere of Rosemary's Baby there were posters of the Church of Satan in the lobby. Here at the San Francisco premiere there was a great deal of consternation, but the film started an influx of very worthwhile new members. Since Rosemary the quality of membership has gone up. Immeasurably.

"Since that film with Polanski, I am constantly confronted with scripts by thick-skulled exploitation producers who want me either to be technical advisor or play the role of the Devil or the Satanic doctor in their new films. They think to one-up Rosemary. What they don't realize is that Rosemary's Baby was popularly successful because it exploded a lot of the preconceptions of Satanism: it didn't chop up the baby at the end. It threw all the crap down the drain and showed the public who was expecting the sensational the real image of the Satanist. It will remain a masterpiece.

"The allegory of the Christ child in reverse is simply the birth of the new Satanic Age, 1966. The year 1966 was used in Rosemary's Baby because it was our Satanic Year One. The birth of the baby was the birth of Satanism. Rosemary's Baby stands foursquare against the popular image of child sacrifice. The role that I played in the picture--the devil in the shaggy suit was not from my point of view anything other than it should have been: man, animal, bestial, carnal nature coming forth in a ritualized way. The impregnation of Rosemary in that dream sequence was to me the very essence of the immodest, the bestial in man, impregnating the virginal world-mind with the reawakening of the animalism within oneself. This impregnation was very meaningful because it spawned literally the Church of Satan. Among all the rituals in the film, this was the big ritual in Rosemary's Baby.

"These others who want my opinion on their scripts are simply producing more trash of the blood-sacrifice variety. In Rosemary's Baby, the girl who went out the window and landed on the pavement died in the pure Satanic tradition. She had made it clear--although the people who saw the film didn't realize it--that she was a loser. Everything she said pointed to it. She'd been kicked around. She'd been on the streets. She'd been on dope. She was obviously the wrong girl to be a carrier. Satan saw her lack of maternal instinct, of winning instinct, of spunk to carry this baby out into the world. She therefore, sort of fell "accidentally" out the window. The end of the film shows Rosemary throw away her Catholic heritage and cherish the devil-child. The natural instinct of Satanism wins out over man made programming.

"Even though I have done the consulting for Mephisto Waltz for Twentieth Century-Fox, that film still has the old elements of witchery. It's going to take a lot to come up with a film that's as much a blasphemy as Rosemary's Baby. Polanski's other film The Fearless Vampire Killers is like nothing else that's ever been done before in the film world. That film explodes all the puerile Christian myths about vampires. The old professor, sort of a Count Dracula, is shown to be not only the doddering old fool he really is but also the real victim at the end. The fact that all those unfortunate murders took place at Polanski's--his wife Sharon Tate and all the rest--was used by the press to highlight Polanski's interest in witchery and Satanism. The deaths had nothing to do with the films. The Polanski's were simply plagued with hippies and drug addicts. If I were to allow it, my house would be full of the sycophantic lounger. If I neglected them, they'd be paranoid. I would have been put in the same position as those people at Polanski's house had I allowed it. He attracted, as people in Hollywood do, all the creeps, kooks, and crackpots. He wasn't around to stop it or was too nice to put his foot down. He, in a sense, put himself in much the same position as Jayne Mansfield.

"Those people that were killed were all freak Ed out of their minds anyway. They were people who were only a little better than the killers. As far as their warped outlooks on life, their senses of values, it was a case of the blind destroying the blind. Sharon was probably the victim of her environment, but I can't find it in myself to whitewash these people. I know firsthand how the people at the Factory and the Daisy and these other nightclubs behave. They're quite indiscriminate as to the people they take up with.

"The devil in Rosemary's Baby was depicted as a combination of many anthropomorphic ideals of the bestial man: the reptilian scales, the fur, claws. A combination of the animal kingdom. It was not a red union suit with a pitchfork. Nor was it Pan transmogrified by Christians into a cloven hoofed devil. The Cloven Hoof title of our newsletter was chosen precisely for its eclectic image in the popular mind as one of the devil's more familiar and acceptable traits. Cloven hoofed animals in pre-Christian times had often been considered sacred in their association with carnal desire. The pig, goat, ram?all of these creatures--are consistently associated with the devil. Hence our title.

"The truest concept of Satan is not in any one animal but is in man, the evolutionary accomplishment from many animals.

"The historical note that Satan has an ice cold penis is a very pragmatic thing because when Satan had to service the Witches who would come to aim to draw from his power at the Sabbaths, he could actually remain erect either with those who stimulated him--that is the magician who portrayed Satan--or until he became expended of his sexual vigor. Naturally then, under his fur cloak or garb he had to strap on something of an artificial nature, a bull's pizzle, a dildo. In the night air. it would cool off. The witches all swore that it was cold. He would have to use something like this to maintain his position as the devil.

"It is of interest to me that hippies and Hell's Angels tattoo themselves with the markings of Satanism and other symbols of aggression. Tattooing is an ancient and obscure art. One of the few books on it is called Pierced Hearts and True Love by Ebensten. There's also George Burchett's Memoirs of the Tattooist. Certainly much needs to be said of the relation of Satanism and witchery to tattooing. We have members that were tattooed long before the Hell's Angels made it fashionable. One man has the Goat of Bathona, the Satanic Goat, tattooed across ills back. Beautifully done. The devil headed eagle is on his chest. Then on each thigh he has the figure of Seth. He's quite spectacular. He has a shaven head and the build of a professional wrestler. He is extremely formidable when tie is in ceremony wearing only a black pair of trunks with a very small mask across his eyes. His are very symmetrically contrived attempts at using tattoos for ritualistic purposes.

"Witchcraft has a lot of show business in it. Religious ritual after all was the first theater. For this reason, I think, Dark Shadows and Bewitched are fine. White witches think these TV shows are terrible because they play the witch as a pretty girl who can snap her fingers and get things done. They try to impress the world that a wicca is not up to that sort of thing. They try to play that they're an intellectually justified "Old Religion." The popular image of the witch is a gal who can get things done in apparently supernatural ways. Like I Dream of Jeannie. Why not take advantage of the glamorized witch? If this has been the very element that has brought witchcraft out of a stigmatized, persecuted stereotype, then why put it down? It is the glamorization of Witchcraft that gives the erstwhile white witches the free air in which to breathe. Why knock it?

"This gets me to Gerald Gardner, whom I judge a silly man who was probably very intent on what he was doing; he had to Open a restaurant and get it filled with customers. He took over a not too successful teashop and turned it into a museum. He had to say he was a research scholar. He got the term white witch from a coinage in Witchcraft's Power in the World Today. Gardner used the term because witchery was illegal in England at the time. To avoid persecution he opened his museum under the guise of research. He stated he wasn't a witch until the repeal of the laws in 1953. Then he made it very clear he was a white witch. That's like saying, "Well, I'm a good witch. The others are bad witches. So don't persecute me." Gardner did what he had to do, but I don't think he was anymore of an authority on the true meaning of witchcraft than Montague Summers. I think that he simply followed Summers' crappy rituals of circles and "Elohim" and "Adonai." They used the name of Jesus and crossed themselves.

"I have broken the barrier. I have made it a little bit fashionable to be a black magician. A lot of them, therefore, are trying to say now that their horned god is not a Devil. It is just a horned god. Well, let me tell you, until five or six years ago they wouldn't even admit to a horned god. Suddenly they like to intimate that perhaps they have made pacts with the Devil. For many years the Old Religionists used Albertus Magnus, the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, the Book of Ceremonial Magic, crossing themselves as they turned the pages, denying theirs was a Christian based faith. Why in the hell did they use all these accoutrements? White witches are no more than a by product of Christianity, or they wouldn't have to call themselves white witches in the first place. I don't think white witches have the courage of their convictions.

"I have said that Aleister Crowley had his tongue jammed firmly in his cheek. I think Crowley was a pragmatist. He was also a drug addict. The demons he conjured were the products of a be numbed mind. Basically he was a sweet, kind man who was trying to emancipate himself from the throes of a very strict upbringing. He can't be blamed for anything he did from a psychoanalytical point of view. He wasn't really that wicked of a man. He had to work overtime. All the arbitrary numbers, dogma, and so on of his magical curriculum were constructs he invented to answer the needs of his students. Crowley's greatest wisdom was in his Book of Lies. The particular page can be paraphrased: "My disciples came to me, and they asked, Oh Master, give us your secret." He put them off. They insisted. He said it would cost them ten thousand pounds. They paid, and he gave them his words: "A sucker is born every minute." This says more for Crowley than all his other work. His judgment of the popular follower was accurate; most of the public wants gibberish and nonsense. He alluded to this in his numbering of his Libers which are not immense volumes but just a few bound sheets of paper. He's saying the real wisdom is about ten lines long.

"Like Crowley, Gerald Gardner probably knew a good thing when he saw it and got something going that turned out to be more sanctimonious than it should be. Ray Buckland began the same way. Now he admits to once being part of the more mundane rather than the complete esoteric he was made out to be. Ray Buck land certainly knows a great deal about the occult. He has a good synthesis of the Arts. But sanctimony still comes through. His famous chapter on black magic threatens that if a curse is not performed properly it will return to the sender. He defines things like good and bad, white and black magic for those who--as I say in my Satanic Bible--are frightened by shadows. I maintain that good like evil is only in the eyes of the beholder. Ray Buck land has guts, though, to sit in his Long Island home conducting his rituals and not caring what the neighbors think.

"I don't know whether Sybil Leek is as big a fool as she sometimes seems, or whether she's laughing up her sleeve. Sybil is a good businesswoman. I don't want to judge her--if she is a good businesswoman she knows on which side her bread is buttered! My only complaint with Sybil--and I do know her personally--is she has done nothing to dispel all the crap about black and white witches. If she's after the little old ladies in tennis shoes, fine. But she is a dispenser of misinformation.

"Alex Sanders has become more public in proclaiming himself the King of the Witches. He is a dispenser of misinformation too. He's not too bad; in the stifling climate of England he's a forward man among a backward people. He's got a big load. For this I admire him. He's great enough to claim himself King. I don't put much credence in astrology --it's a case of the tail wagging the dog. A competent sorcerer, however, should know his astrology because it is a motivating factor for many people. Sydney Omarr, the popular syndicated astrologer, is basically a level-headed guy who sees through a lot of the fraud. "I'll be the first to give Sybil Leek and Louise Huebner and all these people their due. They don't say, 'We witches don't want publicity.' That takes moxie in a sanctimonious society. They're not like these damn cocktail party witches who can't defend their self-styled reputations when called to do it. These people give me a pain. It's part of being a witch, the ego gratification of being a witch, to want to talk about it in detail in public."

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