Such (inaccurate) definitions create great confusion, and stir up religious animosity against followers of benign faith traditions. They have been known to trigger genocidal proposals, lynching, attempted mass murder, fire bombings, shootings, common assaults, etc.
We strongly recommend that the terms "Satanist" and "Satanism" be used only with a qualifier to refer to religions that have some direct involvement with Satan in some form. Thus a "Satanist" is one who either:
1. Theistic Satanist: One who worships the Christian devil. Although the Christian Churches taught during the Renaissance that devil worshipers were very common, such individuals were in fact quite rare, and remain so.
2. Religious Satanist: One who accepts Satan as a pre-Christian life-principle worth emulating. They follow a number of religious traditions, of which the largest by far is the Church of Satan.
16th century Satanism: This is an imaginary, profoundly evil religion that was invented during the late Middle Ages by the Christian church. The Church taught that Witches worshiped Satan, ritually killed children, boiled down their bodies to make magical implements, sold their soul to the devil, broke crucifixes, conducted black masses, created hail storms to damage crops, caused disease in farm animals and humans. etc. They were said to totally dedicate their life to harming others.
The church's creation of Satanism gave the theological foundation for the "burning times" in which tens of thousands of religious heretics, mentally ill people, and supremely unlucky individuals were burned at the stake (in Roman Catholic countries) or hung (in Protestant countries).
This form of Satanism never existed in the past as an organized entity. It does not exist today, except in the imagination of the public, and in horror movies. Belief in the reality of Satan-worshiping witches remains widespread in North America today, particularly among religious conservative.
Serial murderers: Occasionally, a serial murderer will claim to be a Satanist in order to justify his horrendous activities. This is "the Devil made me do it" defense. The perpetrator admits guilt, but says that he was not responsible for his crimes because he was under the control of Satan. Police investigations reveals that the perpetrator is faking it.
Psychotic murderers: Occasionally, news of a Satanic ritual murder will surface, complete with Satanic rituals, symbols, etc. But, after investigation, the prime cause of the murder will be found to be severe mental illness on the part of the perpetrator(s). A case in Germany hit the newsstands during 2002-JAN. The accused couple, the Rudas, talked about glowing eyes, a glowing knife used as a murder weapon, a glowing victim, "Several witnesses have testified that the couple suffered from personality disorders. They could both face long terms at secure psychiatric institutions."
Child molesters: A small percentage of abusive pedophiles and other child molesters have been known to abuse children in a Satanic setting as a means of controlling the victims. The molesters are pretend Satanists; they are simply using the facade of Satanism to further their criminal acts. They figure that if one of their child victim complains to authorities, their disclosures will not be believed. A government study in England found three such perpetrators.
Heavy metal rock bands: Some musicians pretend to be associated with Satanism. Their main motivation is to gain notoriety and capture free publicity. The suggestion of Satanic involvement increases record sales. Few bands are actually formed from sincere Satanists.
The Temple of Set: In 1975, a member of the Church of Satan, Michael Aquino, left the Church after a disagreement, and organized the Temple of Set. This follows the religion of Setianism. Members recognize a pre-Satanic deity, the Egyptian God Set as a living entity who stands separate and apart from the forces of the natural universe. He was typically portrayed as a man with the head of an animal (perhaps a hyena). Set was copied by the Chaldeans who called him Had or Hadit; this later became Shaitan, and still later the Satan of Christianity and Islam. The media have linked the Temple of Set with the Church of Satan and called both forms of Satanism. Leaders of both religious groups deny that they are related.
Starting in 1980, there was a growing and widespread belief that Satanists were involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and killing of innocent infants, children and adults. In the late 1980s, believers in SRA expanded their accusations to include a wide variety of other small religious groups as perpetrators. Belief in SRA faded during the 1990s due to a complete lack of hard evidence. It is accepted by most investigators to be a Christian urban legend, based on fear, misinformation, and false memories created during recovered memory therapy.
Anton Szandor LaVey was born April 11, 1930 to Joseph and Augusta LaVey. His father was a liquor salesman. They soon moved to the San Francisco, California area. The name LaVey came from an immigrant ancestor who in passing through Ellis Island was given the name of his place of origin, Levey, France.
Known as Tony, he showed early musical talent, and received musical training. He was always an outsider. He left home after an incident where another youth knifed his face and Tony fought back. He joined circuses and carnivals, learned carny jobs and to play the calliope. He knew Clyde Beatty and Tim McCoy. He played organ for burlesque, and had a short affair with Marilyn Monroe.
He left Los Angeles and returned to San Francisco where he continued as an organist and became a police photographer. He married Carole and started his Magic Circle meetings. He later left Carole for even more beautiful Diane. There is a tape circulating of an episode of the local TV program "The Wonderful World of Brother Buzz", narrated by Pat MacCormick, which centers on LaVey's lion Togare, but also shows the life of his "wonderful normal family" with wife Diane, and daughters Karla (by first wife Carole) and Zeena, as well as many animals, who lived in the soon to be famous Black House.
At that time Anton was a psychic investigator. He and Diane founded the Church of Satan as a partnership in 1966. It was the world's first openly acknowledged Satanic Church. Anton was spokesman and still remains the very image of Satan and Satanism. High Priestess Diane LaVey was equally Satanic but performed the role of good wife and church administrator. Soon followed the first public Satanic wedding, then a first baptism (for their daughter Zeena) and first Satanic funeral. This period of public rituals, about 1967-70, generated intense worldwide publicity and growth in membership.
The movie Satanis (1970) allowed Anton to espouse many of his views, and shows the church at that time. The LaVey's associated with many famous and accomplished people, particularly actors, writers and circus people. Among them were Jayne Mansfield, Sammy Davis Jr., Kenneth Anger, Forrest J Ackerman, Joseph Cotten, Barbara McNair, Elke Sommer, Keenan Wynn, and directors Milo O. Frank Jr. and Robert Fuest.
Anton authored several well-known books on Satanism and witchcraft. Most of what he's told about himself is true as he saw it through his own biases, although he did not tell all. It was NOT a "self-created legend" as charged by critics.
As with many '60s celebrities who were private people there was a burnout factor. Press distortion, harassment from many quarters, including gunshots, vandalism and pestering fans caused him to withdraw from most public activities in his last 20 years. Speak of the Devil (1995) (V) once again gave him a chance to express his views on film. He had a son Xerxes with his last companion and successor to the church leadership, Blanche Barton. He was able to spend some time with his grandson, Zeena's son Stanton LaVey. Many fascinating details of his life are still unknown to the public, and some points have been argued back and forth by those who do not know.
I. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
II. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
III. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
IV. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
V. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
VI Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
VII 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!
VIII Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
IX Satan is the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!
The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
I Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
II Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure that they want to hear them.
III When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
IV If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
V Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
VI Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the person and he cries out to be relieved.
VII Acknowledge the power of magic if you have used it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
VIII Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
IX Do not harm little children.
X Do not kill non-human animals unless attacked or for your food.
XI When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
Stupidity The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.
Pretentiousness Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone's made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.
Solipsism Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as they do unto you." It's work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.
Self-deceit It's in the Nine Satanic Statements but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it's fun, and with awareness. But then, it's not self-deceit!
Herd Conformity That's obvious from a Satanic stance. It's all right to conform to a person's wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.
Lack of Perspective Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints -- know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.
Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something "new" and "different," when in reality it's something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
Counterproductive Pride That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow," then do it.
Lack of Aesthetics This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but "an eye" for for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It's not what's supposed to be pleasing -- it's what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.
1. Stratification—The point on which all the others ultimately rest. There can be no more myth of “equality” for all—it only translates to “mediocrity” and supports the weak at the expense of the strong. Water must be allowed to seek its own level without interference from apologists for incompetence. No one should be protected from the effects of his own stupidity.
2. Strict taxation of all churches—If churches were taxed for all their income and property, they’d crumble overnight of their own obsolescence, and the National Debt would be wiped out as quickly. The productive, the creative, the resourceful should be subsidized. So long as the useless and incompetent are getting paid, they should be heavily taxed.
3. No tolerance for religious beliefs secularized and incorporated into law and order issues—to re-establish “Lex Talionis” would require a complete overturning of the present in-justice system based on Judeo-Christian ideals, where the victim/defender has been made the criminal. Amnesty should be considered for anyone in prison because of his alleged “influence” upon the actual perpetrator of the crime. Everyone is influenced in what he or she does. Scapegoating has become a way of life, a means of survival for the unfit. As an extension of the Judeo-Christian cop-out of blaming the Devil for everything, criminals can gain leniency, even praise, by placing the blame on a convenient villain. Following the Satanic creed of “Responsibility to the responsible,” in a Satanic society, everyone must experience the consequences of his own actions—for good or ill.
4. Development and production of artificial human companions—The forbidden industry. An economic “godsend” which will allow everyone “power” over someone else. Polite, sophisticated, technologically feasible slavery. And the most profitable industry since T.V. and the computer.
5. The opportunity for anyone to live within a total environment of his or her choice, with mandatory adherence to the aesthetic and behavioral standards of same—Privately owned, operated and controlled environments as an alternative to homogenized and polyglot ones. The freedom to insularize oneself within a social milieu of personal well-being. An opportunity to feel, see, and hear that which is most aesthetically pleasing, without interference from those who would pollute or detract from that option.
This is the encapsulated version of the current thrust of Satanic advocacy. So when someone asks you, “Well, what do Satanists do?”, you will be qualified to tell him.
If a substance is legal, a Satanist may or may not choose to indulge in it. “Indulgence, NOT compulsion” is your guide. Since survival is the highest law, the Satanist will not ruin or poison his or her body, even if it is legal to do so. This is an important distinction. Self-destructive, suicidal hedonism—via whatever means—is ultimately un-Satanic as it threatens the very thing a Satanist holds most dear: his own life. There is no mystical “Scoreboard in the Sky” dictating whether such an act is Wrong or Right; it simply IS, and dead brain cells, blackened lungs and non-functional livers are not a matter of opinion.
From The Satanic Witch, originally titled The Compleat Witch, publication date: 1970.
“Let me state categorically at this point that drugs are antithetical to the practice of magic, as they tend to disassociate the user from reality, even though he oftentimes thinks himself closer.”
Letters From the Devil*, publication date: January 10th, 1971
“The official stand of the Church of Satan on the subject of drugs is vehement opposition! Asking me to provide you with drugs is like asking a hippie to give an eulogistic speech on the merits of big business.”
Letters From the Devil, published in 1971
“You obviously have a good mind and possess the potential to attain, through proper training, your self-godhead. Don’t throw it all away for cheap miracles; drugs are NOT the answer nor even the first step. They are, instead, a step backwards for any aspiring magician.”
From an interview in Black Magic, Satanism and Voodoo by Dr. Leo L. Martello, publication date: 1972.
“...drugs are great for slaves, but no good for the masters. The glories attained through a drug experience are no more valid than the meaningless baubles with which the status-seeking drone surrounds himself... Those who eulogize on unfoldment gained through drugs have obviously been insensitive to such awareness-provoking stimuli as complete sexual fulfillment, beautiful music, inspirational literature, etc. The excuse that certain drugs are a necessary adjunct to the practice of magic is quite lame... “I consider drug abuse a polite alternative to suicide. Perhaps one day euthanasia will be be made attractive enough and the drug problem will be solved.”