Founder: Anton LaVey
The Church of Satan is highly
decentralized, believing that a strong central organization is not desirable.
Each Satanist is expected to follow his/her own path. Local
CoS groups of Satanists are generally called grottos.
The beliefs, practices and
rituals of the Church of Satan (CoS) have few, if any, points of
similarity with the Christian concept of Satan. The CoS' concept of Satan is derived from the
pagan image of power, virility, sexuality
and sensuality. Satan is viewed as a force of nature, not a living quasi-deity.
Their Satan has nothing to do with hell, demons, sadistic torture,
demonic possession, and profound evil. Its followers have occasionally engaged
in a Black Mass for publicity purposes, in which the Roman Catholic Mass is
Religious Satanists existed in the
1950's, both in the United States and the UK. But they were little known to the
public. Legends describe how modern Satanism burst into mass consciousness on
Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, when Anton LaVey announced the
creation of the Church of Satan. In reality, LaVey was teaching weekly
lectures on occult topics for $2.00 a person during the spring of 1966. A
professional publicist, Edward Webber, suggested 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". Formation of
the Church of Satan occurred much later in 1966; it was triggered by a
newspaper article that referred to LaVey as the "priest of the Devil's
LaVey wrote the Satanic Bible in
1969. This was followed by The Compleat Witch (1970) (later republished
as The Satanic Witch). The Satanic Rituals was published in 1972.
These are essentially the only readily available books on Satanism that can be
found in most bookstores. Many additional publications have been written by
other Satanic groups. However, they are not in wide distribution; one normally
has to discover them through specialist publications or Satanic Websites.
Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997.
Someone later forged the death certificate to read October 31 -- Halloween.
Michael Aquino ousted LeVey before he died, and
changed the name from First Church of Satan to the "Temple of
Many Satanists feel that Wiccans
are hypocrites, because the latter restrict their work to positive, healing
activities. Satanists use Magic and other rituals to benefit themselves and
their friends, but also are free to use these same rituals to harm their enemies
-- persons who have hurt them. Some have incorporated some anti-Wiccan elements
in their rituals.
The highest of all Satanic
holidays is the birthday of the individual Satanist. Of lesser
Walpurgisnacht (evening of
April 30) and Halloween (evening of October 31),
Solstices in June and
Equinoxes in March and
Satanic Revels are held five
to six weeks after each equinox and solstice
Rituals and ceremonies contain the
Names used include Satan,
Lucifer, Belial and Leviathan.
Ceremonies are pageants, which
are used to celebrate a person or element of faith.
Magic rituals consist of three
Sex magic (includes
Healing or happiness ritual
Destruction ritual (may
include sticking pins in a doll; drawing a picture or writing a
description of the victim's death; delivering a soliloquy, etc.).
Destruction rituals are best performed by a group. If a person
targeted by a destruction ritual is not deserving of it, the ritual
will not harm them.
Male Satanists generally wear
full length black robes, with or without a hood.
Young women generally wear
sexually suggestive clothing; older women wear all black.
Many Satanists from different
traditions wear amulets carrying the symbol of the Sigil of Baphomet.
This is a goat's head, drawn within an inverted pentagram (5-pointed
star with one point downward and two up). It is surrounded by a circle.
Although there have been many similar symbols involving the head of a
goat and an inverted pentagram in a circle, this particular
configuration is a registered trade mark of the Church of Satan.
Satanic Bible shows a symbol located over the Nine Satanic
Statements. It is an infinity sign (a figure 8 on its side). A Roman
cross is placed at the center of the figure with a second, longer cross
piece added. This is not a Satanic symbol; it is an ancient alchemical
symbol for brimstone.
When the Satanic Bible was
written (1969), a nude woman was customarily used as an altar, since
Satanism is regarded as a religion of the flesh, not of the spirit. She
reclined on an altar that was trapezoidal in shape, about 1 m high and 2
m long and placed against the West wall of the room. Her head pointed
South. A live altar is now rarely used in the CoS.
One white candle is placed to
the right of the altar; it symbolizes the belief of Satanists in the
hypocrisy of "White Magicians" and Wiccans
because of the latter's insistence on avoiding doing harm to others. At
least one black candle, representing the Powers of Darkness, is
placed to the left of the altar. These powers are sources of energy
which are currently unknown and hidden. Additional black candles are
oriented as needed to provide sufficient illumination.
The language used during magical
ritual is Enochian, whose words variously sounds similar to Arabic,
Hebrew or Latin. It was revealed to Dr. John Dee, court astrologer and
metaphysician to Queen Elizabeth I, through his helper Edward Kelley.
Kelley said that he was in contact with the Angels described in the
Apocryphal book of Enoch.
They believe in nine Satanic statements
form the core of their beliefs:
Indulgence, not abstinence.
Vital existence, not spiritual
Undefiled wisdom, not
Kindness to those deserving of
it, not love wasted on ingrates.
Vengeance, not turning the other
Responsibility to the
responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires.
Man as just another animal - the
most vicious of all.
Gratification of all ones
The best friend that the
Christian Church has had as he has kept it in business for centuries.
They believe in nine Satanic sins:
They believe in following rules of behavior:
Prayer is useless; it distracts
people from useful activity.
Ritual killing (of humans or
animals) violates Satanic principles. Blood drawn from a victim is
useless. Victims are killed symbolically, not actually.
Members enjoy indulgence instead
of abstinence. They practice with joy all the seven deadly Christian
sins (greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth)
If a man smites you on one
cheek, smash him on the other.
Do unto others as they do onto
Engage in sexual activity
freely, in accordance with your needs (which may be best realized either
through monogamy, or by having sex with many others; through
heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality; using sexual fetishes as
you wish; by yourself or with one or more consenting adults). The ideal
is a monogamous relationship based on compatibility and commitment.
Suicide is actively discouraged.
They believe people have created gods in many
forms; pick one that might be useful to you.
They believe that "no
redeemer liveth" - that each person is their own redeemer, fully
responsible for the direction of their own life.
They do not worship a living deity.
They believe Heaven and Hell do not exist.
They believe Satan is not a being, a living
entity; he is a force of nature.
They believe Satan represents love, kindness
and respect to those who deserve it.
They believe Satan is not closely related to
the modern concept of the Christian Devil. Satanists view Satan as a
pre-Christian life principle which represents the carnal, earthly, and
mundane aspects of life.
The believe in placing
power and authority of the individual Satanist, rather than on a god or
They believe in respecting and exalting
Children and animals are the purest expressions of that life force, and as
such are held sacred and precious...
They believe human life is held in sacred
Further information can be found in the book,
Lucifer Dethroned by William & Sharon Schnoebelen.