February 27th, 2008


Those Curious New Cults [transcription]


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 scne 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, La Vey 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 saviour, 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.