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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

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?


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

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

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}.

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."

LaVey 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 resemblance 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 consensus 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 society 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 prominent 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!"

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.


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