Are You There Satan? It’s Me, Markland

kiddevil.jpg666 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

17 thoughts on “Are You There Satan? It’s Me, Markland”

  1. Zeena LaVey (who changed her name to Zeena Schreck) isn’t a reliable source for anything factual. Especially since she’s a big part of a competing “satanic” organization, anything she says about the Church of Satan or Anton LaVey can be assumed to have been made up on the spot. Same goes for Michael Aquino. It’s good for their business to trash talk about her father.

    Since almost everyone who has ever been involved with Zeena wants nothing to do with her, I don’t think I’d be using her as a source. Here’s a little less bias:

  2. Thanks for setting everyone straight, Sean. The roasted baby heart is in the mail…

  3. Oh God – Satanism is so last century. I used to include LaVey’s house in the Sunset on my standard tour of San Francisco. It was practically falling apart.

  4. “Oh God – Satanism is so last century. I used to include LaVey’s house in the Sunset on my standard tour of San Francisco. It was practically falling apart.”

    Yeah, jaded, too-cool-for-school hipster types are “so last century” too, yet you’re still here. I guess we’ll just have to take Rodney King’s advice and just get along.

  5. Sean:
    Thats a bad sign if your claiming Wikipedia is more reliable than anyone.
    However, most of what Zeena wrote is verified. Anton was not part of Rosemary’s Baby. There is a different name on his birth certificate. Someone did try and alter Anton’s death certficate so that it said he died on Oct. 31.
    The response from the Church of Satan didn’t dispute the facts, but wondered why Zeena was so hateful that she needed to point this out.

    In short, Zeena may not be the most reliable source, but she does cite every one of her claims. If you dispute any what I reiterated above, feel free to offer some evidence. But I stand by my own point that LaVey was full of shit in most of what he wrote.

  6. Good post, Coop. Zeena Schreck is full of shit, and that’s being kind. Nic Schreck was such a coattail rider of Anton’s, until he was snubbed and somehow brainwashed his daughter into turning against him. I lost any respect for anything Nic or Zeena do or claim many years ago, once this came to light. As for Aquino, he also lies about the CoS, but at least his lies aren’t based on personal issues.

    As for Anton’s house, it was torn down years ago after no one would buy/renovate it.

  7. Markland-

    I posted before I read your response to Coop- and it’s pretty well acknowledged that LaVey modified passages from numerous sources for the Satanic Bible. Yes, without crediting them. But I also don’t think that he claimed “real” authorship of them, either. Which led Boyd Rice to publish “Might Is Right” in its entirely some years later.

    Anyway, the simple fact that even her only son won’t have anything to do with her, pretty much means that Zeena is not a good source for unbiased information on the Church.

  8. I’m always baffled by how much a person can so blindly and completely NEED to believe everything one person says (in this case Zeena, someone with Zero credibility) and at the same time be so vehemently skeptical as to disbelieve anything from another person.

    Anton LaVey never claimed not to have changed his name. Who cares about that? Crap like that is a far cry from the more substantial accusations (lies) of plagiarism and all the other wild hallucinations Zeena has put forth.

    The Schreks and the Aquinos did and said whatever they did because they were jealous of LaVey and wanted to start their own organization when he failed to recognize them for the gods they imagined themselves to be. Everything they did was an obvious attempt to denegrate the Church of Satan for their own purposes.

    Do I need to ask where any of them are today?

    Me, I like actions – where are the books Zeena’s written? The music? Her organization?

    Anton LaVey’s writings and legacy are out there for anyone to discover. Great men and women always have detractors. It’s just part of the package.

  9. Thats all fine and swell, Ruth, but you’re take LaVey on his word as well. Much of what Zeena wrote can be and has been backed up.

    Instead of a blanket dismissal of Zeena’s points, why not challenge any of them?

    So far I’ve had two commenters agree with what Zeena wrote, but at the same time say she’s full of shit.

    And you’re right, “Great men and women always have detractors. It’s just part of the package.”

    L. Ron anyone?

  10. David, do you still keep a photo of David Hasselhoff in your wallet, and do your farts still smell like rotten eggs and burning tires?

    I’m not attacking you, I just want to get the facts straight…

  11. You insist all of Zeena’s claims have been verified. By whom? My point was that you are overzealous to dismiss all but your own opinions.

    Further, again I ask you to show me anything at all that Zeena has produced that didn’t warrant a courtesy flush.

  12. She’s full of shit because she’s trying to tarnish her fathers name for the sole reason of hyping her own copycat church, and using info that’s not even worth debating. Does it matter what specific day the church was founded? This month or last? Does that change anything about what he was trying to do with it? And hell, he worked in a circus as a kid, you don’t think he knows the value of some good showmanship? As for debating the specific points, that’s also not even worth it because she’s making up the scandal:

    “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.”

    Anton LaVey write the intro to the reissue of ‘Might is Right’ stating himself that it was a major influence on his own writings. What’s to debate?

  13. I still haven’t seen any substantial proof that your farts don’t smell like rotten eggs and burning tires, David… what are you hiding?

    ( and please don’t cite Wikipedia, as we all know how unreliable a source that is.)

  14. Coop, is the rumor true that LaVey made you a high priest, giving you and Ruth a slightly less than unbiased opinion about the man, and perhaps explaining the personal attacks against me?

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