Atheistic Satanism
Sigil of Baphomet, the Church of Satan's official symbol.
General Information
English name Atheistic Satanism
Other names LaVeyan Satanism
Number of adherents Unknown
General classification Atheism
Place of origin United States
Approximate dating April 30, 1966[1]

Atheistic Satanism, often referred as LaVeyan Satanism or simply Satanism among adherents, is a tradition founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey. Its core beliefs and philosophies are based on individualism, secular humanism, religious skepticism, freethought, epicureanism and "eye for an eye" morality.

In the 1960s Anton LaVey formed a group called the "Order of the Trapezoid", which later became the governing body of the Church of Satan. The group included "The Baroness" Carin de Plessen, Dr. Cecil Nixon, Kenneth Anger, City Assessor Russell Wolden, Donald Werby and Michael Harner. According to the Church of Satan historiography, other LaVey associates from this time include noted Science Fiction and Horror writers Anthony Boucher, August Derleth, Robert Barbour Johnson, Reginald Bretnor, Emil Petaja, Stuart Palmer, Clark Ashton Smith, Forrest J. Ackerman and Fritz Leiber Jr.[2]

Founded on April 30, 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey, the Church of Satan claims the acceptance of "man's true nature as a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to its existence". According to the institution, Satan is the symbol that best suits the nature of the "carnal by birth" (people who feel no battles raging between their thoughts and feelings, who do not embrace the concept of a soul imprisoned in a body). For them, Satan represents pride, liberty, and individualism.[3]

Politics and media attention Edit

In the first year of its foundation, Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan publicly performed a Satanic marriage of Judith Case and journalist John Raymond. The ceremony was attended by Joe Rosenthal. LaVey performed the first publicly recorded Satanic baptism in history for his youngest daughter Zeena, which garnered world-wide publicity and was originally recorded on The Satanic Mass LP. A Satanic funeral for naval machinist-repairman, third-class Edward Olsen, was performed at the request of his wife, complete with a chrome-helmeted honor guard.[2]

n the 1980s the media reported concerns of criminal conspiracies within the Church of Satan. The FBI would later issue an official report refuting the criminal conspiracy theories of this time. This phenomenon became known as the "Satanic Panic". LaVey's daughter Zeena was the spokesperson and High Priestess in the Church of Satan during the 1980s. During this period, she appeared on television and radio broadcasts, in part to educate about the Church, and in part to debunk the mythology surrounding the Satanic Panic — a period of time in the same era in which Satanism was blamed for the actions of satanic ritual abuse.[2]

In the 1980s and 1990s remaining members of the Church of Satan became active in media appearances to refute allegations of criminal activity. The Church of Satan and its members were very active in producing movies, music, films, and magazines devoted to Satanism. Most notably Adam Parfrey's Feral House publishing, the music of Boyd Rice, musician King Diamond, and the films of Nick Bougas, including his documentary Speak of the Devil: The Canon of Anton LaVey. The Church of Satan and Anton LaVey were also the subject of numerous magazine and news articles during this time.[2]

After LaVey's death on October 29, 1997, the role of High Priest was empty for some time. On November 7 of the same year, Karla LaVey made a press release about continuing the church with fellow high priestess Blanche Barton. Barton eventually received ownership of the organization, which she held for 4 years. Karla ultimately left the Church of Satan and founded the First Satanic Church.[2]

Philosophical views Edit

Satanic philosophy has a strong focus on the glorification and gratification of the self. It also rejects a variety of common social taboos as well as taboos in general that lack practical justification. They emphasize that each person is a master of their own fate, and that actions are not subjected to any sort of spiritual judgment. This should not, however, be interpreted to mean that Satanists have no ethics, appreciate all behavior equally, or encourage people to simply do whatever they want.[4]

As claimed by LaVey in his "Satanic Bible", man invented all the gods, as "many of our species cannot accept or control their personal egos, feeling compelled to conjure up one or a multiplicity of characters who can act without hindrance or guilt upon whims and desires. All Gods are thus externalized forms, magnified projections of the true nature of their creators". This claim deals with the personification of aspects of the universe or personal temperaments which many of their followers find to be troubling, which would cause any god cult to be worshiping by proxy those who invented that god. Since satanists don't believe in higher powers, they place themselves in the center of their own subjective universes, regarding the "self" with the highest value. Satanists thus believe in a sort of "personal god", describing themselves as "beneficent deities", who give love and deliver wrath to those who deserve.[3]

Satanists are free to indulge in anything that involves consenting parties, and shouldn't feel limited, for example, by the fact that society might consider a certain sexual practice to be "deviant". This statement in itself shows the views of Satanism in issues such as sexuality and consensual "taboo" practices. One should also feel free to use one's own property and spend money as one sees fit, never being shamed into giving to charity (although more than welcome to do so by choice) or putting on an air of moderation, restraint and prudence.[4]

Satanism holds to a "survival of the fittest" mentality of sorts, as they believe that in order to attain success, one needs to face competition, and those that play nice will be walked over by those who do not. Behaving overly brutal, however, will probably bring more consequences than benefits. Satanists are, by consequence, very encouraged to work against those who have wronged them. Satanists are welcome and highly encouraged to form their own personal codes of ethics, as otherwise the individual would be "parroting the outlooks of someone else", and that the Church of Satan and even LaVey himself shouldn't be followed too strictly without thought.[4]

The Nine Satanic Statements Edit

The Nine Satanic Statements originally appeared in The Satanic Bible, © 1969.[3]

  • 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!

The Nine Satanic Sins Edit

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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![3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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 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.[3]

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth Edit

  • 1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
  • 2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
  • 3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
  • 4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
  • 5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
  • 6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
  • 7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed 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.
  • 8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
  • 9. Do not harm little children.
  • 10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
  • 11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

Pentagonal Revisionism Edit

In 1988, the Church of Satan released a "five-point program" in order to detail their views on kidnapping, drug abuse, child molestation, animal/child sacrifice and anything classically associated to Theistic Satanism. In it, they claim that Satanism is a life-loving, rational philosophy.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

References and footnotes Edit