From the 1980’s through the ’90’s, a new generation of iconoclasts sought out Anton LaVey. These people grew up knowing of the existence of the Church of Satan, and pursued all manner of expression inspired by LaVey’s philosophy, while reflecting their own natural perspectives. Individuals such as rogue publisher Adam Parfey, documentarian Nick Bougas, artist of bountiful beauties Coop, performance artist and film-maker Larry Wessel, “misanthropologist” Carl Abrahamsson, horror publishers Peggy Nadramia and Peter H. Gilmore, and many other shadowy figures from the new counter-culture found the Church of Satan to be a fountainhead of philosophy that was in synch with their pragmatic views of the human animal. LaVey himself felt that he now had solid administration for his organization, particularly with the arrival of Blanche Barton in 1984, who became his “girl friday,” succeeding estranged companion Diane Hegarty. Magistra Barton would be his High Priestess, his biographer, his lover, and the mother of his only son, Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey. LaVey could now concentrate on refining his personal expression; he began recording his legendary keyboard sessions, now available on several CDs, and published, through Parfrey’s Feral House, several new books collecting his diabolical observations.
During this period LaVey also decided to revive the Church’s Grotto system, using the vision of hindsight to head off the difficulties which had arisen during the earlier attempt. With the subsequent proliferation of Internet social networking, Grottos have been discontinued as unneccessary.
Anton LaVey died on October 29th of 1997, but he left behind the capable administration which had been working with him directly for many years, assuring that the Church of Satan would move forward according to his vision. High Priestess Blanche Barton was forced from The Black House by its owners, and it was demolished on October 17th of 2001, after standing as a haunted sentinel for several years. The Central Administration followed Magistra Barton to Southern California, until she made the decision to appoint long-time administrator and LaVey associate Peter H. Gilmore as High Priest on Walpurgisnacht of 2001. At that point, the Central Grotto functions relocated to New York City, where the current High Priest resides. On Walpurgisnacht of 2002, Magistra Barton appointed Peggy Nadramia, wife to Gilmore, to succeed her as High Priestess. Magistra Barton remains chair of the Council of Nine, editor of The Cloven Hoof, and pursues her writing as well as the stimulating task of raising LaVey’s son.
And the Church of Satan continues to make history, some of which you’ll find chronicled on the News page of this web site. Our journey has reached a mature stage, and there will be much more to come from this continuously extending cabal of the alien elite.
by Blanche Barton ©2003
(condensed from The Church of Satan and with supplemental material by Peter H. Gilmore)