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Satanism
Founder: Anton LaVey

Overview
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 ridiculed. 

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 church".

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 Set."

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 importance are:

  • Walpurgisnacht (evening of April 30) and Halloween (evening of October 31),

  • Solstices in June and December,

  • Equinoxes in March and September,

  • Satanic Revels are held five to six weeks after each equinox and solstice

Rituals and ceremonies contain the following concepts:

  • 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 types:

    1. Sex magic (includes masturbation),

    2. Healing or happiness ritual

    3. 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.

  • The 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.

Cult Beliefs:

  • They believe in nine Satanic statements which form the core of their beliefs:

    • Indulgence, not abstinence.

    • Vital existence, not spiritual pipe dreams.

    • Undefiled wisdom, not hypocritical self-deceit.

    • Kindness to those deserving of it, not love wasted on ingrates.

    • Vengeance, not turning the other cheek.

    • Responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires.

    • Man as just another animal - the most vicious of all.

    • Gratification of all ones desires.

    • The best friend that the Christian Church has had as he has kept it in business for centuries.
       

  • They believe in nine Satanic sins:

    • Stupidity

    • Pretentiousness

    • Solipsism (theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing)

    • Self-deceit

    • Herd conformity

    • Lack of perspective

    • Forgetfulness of past orthodoxies

    • Counterproductive pride

    • Lack of aesthetics.
       

  • 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 you.

    • 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 goddess.
     

  • They believe in respecting and exalting life. 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 regard.


Further information can be found in the book, Lucifer Dethroned by William & Sharon Schnoebelen.

 

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