666 Days of Satan! Day 5
Growing up, I was obsessed with the supernatural. I began by reading all four books available at my small town library about five times each. When I started getting an allowance I would pore over used book stores and yard sales and buy any book on haunted houses and demonic possession I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, I inevitably began looking into the science that might explain how ghosts are able to walk the earth, but every time I’d hear a theory that worked, I’d find all sorts of contradictory evidence, or more plausible explanations for hauntings and the like.
Alas, once I hit my teens I began focusing more on the occult and the possibilty that secret cabals of Satanists were among us, spraying their marks around town, sacrificing young virgins, and plotting wider massacres. Imagine my disappointment when I finally bought a copy of the Satanic Bible and learned the darkest secret of all… Satanists don’t even believe in Satan – Satanists are, in fact, atheists who don’t even believe in the supernatural. WTF?
The strange spraypainted symbols that I’d seen around town turned out to be markings by surveyors and assorted utility companies indicating, among other things, where power and sewage lines were buried. I was crushed.
Still, my fascination continues to this day, as I still cling to hope that maybe, somehow ghosts really do exist, and that there are Satanic forces at work that might need to be blogged about and be exposed.
Until then, though, I thought I’d bring to light a number of falsehoods about the Church of Satan, considering that tonite they’re holding a “sold out” mass at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood…
To begin, the Church of Satan wasn’t founded until the summer of ’66, way past June 6th as he and his followers would have you believe, More importantly, like a similar (albeit more successful) cult in our city of angels, The Church of Satan was founded with one intent: to make some money for its founder, Anton LaVey, and to freed his eho with some notoriety.
LaVey’s daughter Zeena compiled and posted a list of the lies and fabrications spread by LaVey over the years:
LEGEND: On the night of April 30, 1966 (the German Satanic festival of Walpurgisnacht), ASL (Anton LaVey) in a “blinding flash” declared himself the High Priest of Satan, proclaimed that the Age of Satan had begun, and founded the Church of Satan as a religious institution.
REALITY: In 1966 ASL supplemented his income by presenting weekend lectures on exotic and occult topics, and by conducting “Witches’ Workshops”. He charged $2 a head, filling his living room with the curious and establishing a local reputation as an eccentric. Professional publicist Edward Webber suggested to ASL that he “would never make any money by lecturing on Friday nights for donations … it would be better to form some sort of church and get a charter from the State of California … I told Anton at the time that the press was going to flip out over all this and that we would get a lot of notoriety”. In the summer of 1966, long after the fictional founding-date invented later, a newspaper article about ASL’s lectures offhandedly referred to him as “priest of the Devil’s church”. This mixture of Webber’s idea and the newspaper’s characterization resulted in the creation of the Church of Satan as a business and publicity vehicle. Jack Webb, a San Francisco Police investigator who knew ASL from the “Lost Weekend” nightclub, also suggested that he should form a church of some kind to exploit his recondite knowledge.
SOURCES: Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91), Jack Webb, Diane LaVey.
Other falsehoods include LaVey’s claim that he appeared in Rosemary’s Baby and acted as the film’s technical advisor, that the Church once had hundreds of thosands of members, and that he was a millionaire (Zeena writes that in addition to having filed bankruptcy, LaVey “lived in near-poverty” during the 70s).
The Satanic Bible itself is paraphrased material from other sources, some better known than others:
ASL resorted to plagiarism, assembling extracts from an obscure 1896 tract – Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard into a “Book of Satan” for the SB (Satanic Bible), and claiming its authorship by himself. [Ironically these MiR passages are the ones most frequently quoted by ASL disciples.] Another third of the SB consists of John Dee’s “Enochian Keys”, taken directly but again without attribution from Aleister Crowley’s Equinox. The SB’s “Nine Satanic Statements”, one of the Church of Satan’s central doctrines, is a paraphrase, again unacknowledged, of passages from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
(It should be noted that in spite of the availability of this information, even the recent article in the LA Alternative Press about tonite’s Black Mass regurgitates the same false history of the Church of Satan.)
Perhaps there is little harm in any of this. In fact, perhaps LaVey’s interpretation of Satanism saved some wayward souls who picked up the Satanic Bible hoping for something else…
drawing from giveawayboy via Flickr