Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

Satan Returns

TIME magazine: The Occult Revival
[VII A.S. Monday, June 19, 1972 c.e.; section concerning Magus LaVey & The Church of Satan]

TIME: The Occult RevivalSATANISM

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: anton lavey, books, church of satan, history, infernal empire, literature, magazine, occult, satanism

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