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EVERTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SORCERY, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK
By Arlene J. Fitzgerald; 1973, Manor Books
Pages 41 - 45 (section concerning Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan)
A phenomenon among occultists is Anton Szandor LaVey, doctor of Satanic Theology and High Priest of the First Church of Satan. It has become fairly obvious in recent years that LaVey is leader of the Satanist pack, both in this country and abroad. As one journalist has observed, “The Devil makes good copy,” with the result that LaVey’s face, which bears a striking resemblence to most people’s concept of the “Dark Prince,” has become familiar to virtually every man, woman, and child with access to a newspaper or magazine.
Essentially a witch who practices Black Magic, LaVey has a following of some 10,000 carefully screened disciples who participate in rites featuring nude females as altars and phallic symbols as instruments of benediction. LaVey, who contends that every man has a devil inside, emphasizes in his Satanic Bible that the Satanist realizes only by taking the in initiative can man expect to get what he wants from life. The popular Satanist advises to act on their own behalf instead petitioning God to intercede for them. His premise, that a positive attitude brings results, reads amazingly like simular statements attributed to Christiandom’s Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.
Condemning all forms of “white light” action, which include both modern occultism and religions, as hypocritical, Satanists assume a realistic point of view which claims to see man as he is: a goal-striver who is out to get all he can from life for himself. As LaVey puts it, it is no sin to be as greedy as you like!
As is the case in both White and Black Magic, it is the end in which it is directed that makes the difference, the White Magic practitioner supposedly infusing his will with love and devotion toward a spiritual ideal, while the will of the sorcerer involved in Black, or Devil Magic, is said to be motivated by feelings of resentment, lust and greed.
It is for this reason that magic is considered by many to be dangerous, not only to the individual who is apt to be carried away by the force of his own power, once he has succeeded in proving himself that he can inflict his will on others in a forceful manner, but becaus the magical formulas, pentacles, spells, incantations anf other rituals which are powered by the individual will can also be directed by the accumulated energy of any who have ever used them in the past.
Accordingly, malicious forces are unleashed and continue to gain in strength as they are re-energized and their power enhanced by each successive use. Such forces are said to be capable of wreaking destruction. The same theory of reinforced power is said by religionists to be behind the beneficent healing forces which cause miraculous cures to occur at consecrated places.
The very sins set forth as “deadly” by the Christian faith have become part of the Satanist’s creed. Envy is viewed by LaVey, as explained in his Satanic Bible, as viewing the possessions of others in a favorable light. Envy and greed are seen by him as the motivating powers that trigger ambition without which there would be very little if any progress toward achieving personal goals.
Gluttony is considered by LaVey to be equally innocuous, since it is merely of eating more than is needed to maintain life. When carried to extremes it serves to trigger yet another sin, pride, which will then motivate the individual so affected to take action in an attempt to regain his appearance and restore his self-respect.
“Satanism is simply being honest,” a feminine devotee has said of the cult. “Brutally honest. But why kid ourselves? Who doesn’t want the best out of life? Aren’t we all basically involved in trying o make our lives as good as is humanly possible. It’s human to want to gain greater control over what we can be and can acquire for ourselves in the way of material possessions. Satanism lets you be human.”
High Priest LaVey writes that his religion is a faith of the flesh. As defined by him, it is a religion that realizes the current needs of man and serves to fill the gap between religion and psychiatry, the former no longer being able of providing enlightened man with the ritualistic ceremonies he needs while psychiatry is said to have robbed man of the wonder and fantasy that was once provided by his religion.
Unlike certain witchraft ceremonies, Satanist rites are not designed to evoke demons, which LaVey sees as a product of fear since most witches see fit to protect themselves by carrying out their Black Magic while protected by a magic circle.
There is nothing furtive about the Satanist. In fact, every aspect of his religion would appear designed to promote man’s ego. To the dedicated Satanist, the name “Satan” is representative of “a force in nature” and has little to the usual behorned, cloven-hooved, black-coated creature who presented his posterior to receive the kisses of adulation bestowed upon him by early-day practitioners.
Nor are sexual orgies and promiscuity common to LaVey’s brand of Satanism as he explains it in his Satanic Bible, the general concensus being that those who wish to “swing” are free to indulge heir desires, just as any who may prefer to remain chaste may do so with no fear of condemnation. The choice belongs entirely to the individual to be decided by his own tastes and inclinations, with any type of sexual activity that fulfills inividual desires being condoned, so long as it involves no one who does not wish to be a part of it.
On the whole, most of what LaVey has set forth to serve as a guideline to his church members lets them have their cake and eat it, too. Contending that society in the future will be based on “indulgence,” LaVey is quoted by Judith Rascoe in an article appearing in McCall’s, March 1970: “We’ve......established a philosophy that advocates all of what most Americans practice whether they call it Satanism or not.”
At least one of the questions posed by the questionnaire for membership in the First Church of Satan delves into the quality of the petitioner’s sex life. LaVey said that he would prefer those who are actively seeking fun-and-games to do their searching elsewhere. Thus a good qualification for possible acceptance by his group seems to be a well-developed love life that poses no psychological problems.
“If you join the Church of Satan, you will be judged on your individual merits and abilities and nothing else,” LaVey advised a homosexual who queried him via his “Letters To The Devil” column which appeared in National Insider. The homosexual asked if his particular sexual preference would help him to become a better Satanist. “What you do so far as your sex life is concerned is only the affair of yourself and your partner(s).”
It is only when America’s Black Pope delves into the casting of the spells that are an essential part of all magic ceremonies that some serious doubts may begin to take root in the mind fo the observer. Certainly, very few would be apt to object to the use of psychic powers to help bring about a more favorable circumstance in a more or less harmless manner, such as attempting to bring back a recalcitrant husband or lover or restoring health to a loved one.
But what of the death spells designed, as LaVey tells us, to destroy an enemy by proxy? Do they really work? Anton LaVey’s Satanic Church has gained a certain acceptance and even respectability in American society, thanks to his superb sense of timing.
“Somehow the counter-culture was ready for a Satanic Priest, and Anton was ready to present himself Prince of Darkness...” San Francisco journalist, Merla Zellerbach, wrote resently of this modern-day version of Satan incarnate in her Chronicle column. As Mrs. Zellerbach goes on to observe, “Every sucess story has its imitator….”
But as yet, no Black Mass enthusiast has succeeded in posing any serious threat to LaVey in his prominant role as “the Advocates’ Devil.”