Born and raised in San Diego, Magistra Barton graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Redlands College with a degree in journalism and literature. She met Anton LaVey the day after Diane Hegarty, the previous High Priestess, left The Black House. Barton became LaVey's companion, lover and mother of his only son, Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey. She succeeded Hegarty as High Priestess of the Church of Satan, holding this title until April 30, 2002, when she appointed Peggy Nadramia as High Priestess and assumed Nadramia's prior role of chairmistress of the Council of Nine. Her biography of Anton Szandor LaVey, The Secret Life of A Satanist : The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey, was originally published in 1990 and an expanded edition is now available. Additionally, her book The Church of Satan: A History of the World's Most Notorious Religion has been released.