For Year 50 Anno Satanas we have relaunched The Black Flame as part of the news feed. As you see below, The Black Flame is comprised of articles regarding the application of Satanism and its principles. Our members are encouraged to submit pieces that offer what they've learned in their pursuit of their myriad indulgences. Practical wisdom, words to the wise, recipes, things worth pursuing, places of interest and even tips on how to move the world according to one's will. The Odditorium heading may include thoughtful reviews of music, literature, theatre, films and anything else that has brought pleasure. Within the articles of The Black Flame, Satanists will share what they've discovered in their ongoing journey of personal bliss.
He said it best, “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.” And for 91 years no one lived that philosophy better than Playboy magazine founder, exemplary rake, epicurean and de facto Satanist Hugh Marston Hefner who passed away on September 27 at the iconic Playboy Mansion. A free speech warrior and steadfast champion of personal liberty, Hefner built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history encompassing publications, clubs, casinos, film studios, merchandise licensing and the Playboy Foundation that fights censorship and funds human sexuality research.
The groundbreaking Playboy Interviews tapped some of the greatest free thinkers of the 20th century including luminaries like Frank Sinatra who shocked the world in his 1963 interview with his views on the hypocrisy of organized religion and disbelief in a personal God to whom he never looked for comfort. “I’m not unmindful of man’s seeming need for faith; I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.”
Hefner’s passing is surely sad, but his lust for life was my personal beacon for more than half a century.
Like some prophetic universal shift, magic was surely at work in the first year of my life when Hefner created Playboy in 1953. His zeitgeist somehow penetrated my psyche even as an infant influencing nearly everything I aspired to be for the next 60+ years. The inaugural editorial that year stated; “We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d'oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.”
That quote and Hefner’s philosophy for living a carnal life (much akin to Satanism) resonated and pushed me to the goal of one day working for my idol. The “is-to-be” happened in 2003 when I was hired on as a Playboy executive. And later, the creation of Old Nick magazine that’s commonly referred to as “Playboy With Horns.”
Having the profound honor and pleasure of being in his presence I am fond of remembering how whenever a mixed group of men and women gathered Hefner’s focus was ALWAYS on the gals – men came second. Like Church of Satan founder High Priest, Anton Szandor LaVey, Hefner knew the real power women hold — nude or not!
He may not have carried a CoS red card but Hefner truly understood the power of a strong ego: “It’s good to be selfish. But not so self-centered that you never listen to other people.”
“If you let society and your peers define who you are, you’re the less for it.”
Hefner’s respect for all who embrace themselves as their own gods — especially where sexuality is concerned — was unmatched; “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong too.”
One of my favorites was his mocking of the Christian beatitudes in the Playboy Philosophy and words for all Satanists to live by; “Blessed is the rebel, for without him there would be no progress.”
Film icon George A. Romero has passed away
at the age of 77. His extensive and
varied filmography is one of daring and uniqueness and will continue to be
studied, enjoyed and admired.
Romero shocked audiences in 1968 with his jarringly bleak zombie
offering NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The
film’s haunting chiaroscuro, over-the-top violence and surprisingly grim
conclusion shocked viewers used to rubber monsters and happy endings. With this film he changed the entire
mythology of zombies, turning them from docile, voodoo-created undead into the
ravenous, rotting flesh-eaters that have become the expected norm.
1977 he attacked another traditional monster mythology, twisting the folk rules
of vampirism in his masterpiece MARTIN, an endlessly curious investigation of
the parameters of religion and psychology resulting in a stark indictment of
religion and irrational belief.
In DAWN OF THE DEAD Romero upped the ante
with outrageous inventive violence, special effects, and “splatstick” comedy to
create one of the greatest critiques of blind conformist consumerism. The scathing satire has spawned countless
copycats and remakes ad nauseam, but none have come near the profound, layered
brilliance of this entry.
Romero’s hilarious grand guignol anthology, CREEPSHOW remains a classic
homage to the EC horror comics that both he and writer Stephen King were
inspired by. It remains a perfect
synthesis of chills, gore, bizarre characters and stories.
was fortunate to have met Mr. Romero and found him to be gracious, witty and
fun. We discussed his career, a mutual
fondness for the dark fantasy films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger,
how their vivid fairy-tale depictions of the surreal and grotesque inspired his
work. He expressed great pride in his
place in culture and film history, and although he understood imitation as
flattery, he wondered aloud why more film makers didn’t develop unique ideas
and take more chances. We spoke about
audience reaction and how much it thrills him; he chuckled as I related a story
of an ill-fated trip to THE DARK HALF to a theater full of crack users who
fearfully conversed with the screen.
During a recent revival of MONKEY SHINES I delighted in hearing audience
members shriek at the absurd finale and marveled at the staying power of his
films, remembering our conversation and realizing how much he would have loved
to hear the screams.
While George A. Romero’s unique oeuvre has frequently displayed humans
at their most cruel and volatile, they have also depicted the power of the
individual against gruesome odds. They
also cleverly, powerfully and profoundly articulate the humor in the darkest
moments, absurdity arising from tragedy.
John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” has been announced with Martin...
John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” has been announced with Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit” and BBC’s “Sherlock”) producing. Paradise Lost is the 1667 poem which describes the fall of Satan and his seduction of Eve to eat of the Fruit of Knowledge. Attempts have been made in the past to make a live movie with Australian Director Alex Proyas (“The Crow” and “I Robot”), however production stopped due to budget restrictions.
Now English company, Dancing Ledge Productions and Martin Freeman are bringing the classic to life via a TV series. Dancing Ledge CEO Laurence Bowen noted that “Paradise Lost is like a biblical “Games of Thrones” transporting the reader into an internecine world of political intrigue and incredible violence. At stake? The future of mankind. There’s never been a better time for big, original, bold drama series and Martin and I both feel incredibly inspired by the material.”
Actor/Producer Martin Freeman added: “Paradise Lost is epic, exciting and surprisingly modern. And maybe the first time the devil gets all the best tunes!”
Finally, Satan gets his due and Satanists and Church of Satan members might look forward to finally seeing the media portrayal of Satan we have been longing for years!
Speak of the Devil – Reverend Campbell Interviews Magister...
Speak of the Devil – Reverend Campbell Interviews Magister Robert Lang
I have, on occasion, had the privilege of collaborating with like-minded Satanists, and through the course of those interactions I have learned that those of substance do not typically have the time to commit to an active online life. They are either too busy actually living their lives, or their contempt for the denizens of those virtual prisons holds no interest for them. One cannot hope to achieve his goals, or to manifest his desires if compulsively congratulating other social media thralls, after all.
The Church of Satan is defined by its members. In over 50 years it has attracted many different types. Some Satanists affiliate themselves with the Church of Satan and live their lives as productive members of society, with no one the wiser. Other Satanists join to make waves, attempting to draw the attention of the Alien Elite by seeking mutual admiration. Then there are those Satanists who join the organization and, through the natural course of realizing their passions and motivations, are recognized as superior human beings—individuals who, when they make a mistake, learn from it. They are individuals whose reputations precede them and who are known by their actions, even if not witnessed first hand.
As a content creator it can be a challenge to connect with Satanists of substance. If they are like you, you may never have the opportunity for an encounter. Often these Satanists will only join you if they believe you will not only provide a professional outlet for the discussion, but also ensure you are not wasting their valuable time. I have the distinct pleasure of bringing you my discussion with one such Satanist. From his contributions to now legendary Satanic publications, to his performance in Satanic Rituals and Ceremonies, my guest tonight has demonstrated his authority as a potent Satanic Magician time and time again. So it is my distinct pleasure to present to you, my interview with Magister Robert Lang. Enjoy!
RC: Magister Lang, it is a pleasure to speak with you. I suppose we should start from the beginning. Would you tell me a little about yourself?
ML: I have been a CoS member for at least 35 years now. I am an artist working in several mediums, a writer, editor and budding musician/singer as well as a character actor in some underground radio dramas.
RC: I was not familiar with the scope of all of your projects, can you elaborate on your music and acting work?
ML: Sure! The music is at the moment just for fun and I would never profess to be a professional musician. As you know, Magister Sass and I collaborated on the The Black House: A Tribute to Anton S. LaVey album years back for the soundscape ‘Death Rune’ which was a curse projected on particular individuals at the time. I collaborated with the very talented Warlock Eric Ouellet for a side project called Infidels of Iblis. The song 'Vlad the Just Petitions You’ was the result of that. The words are lifted from an early essay by myself depicting Vlad the Impaler having risen from the dead and giving a speech to a modern audience. It is a spoken-word piece with me trying to sound like Vlad. Eric wrote and performed the music. The song was submitted and accepted to a Heathen Harvest compilation but we later pulled it in favor of a future Church of Satan compilation that Reverend Raul Antony may release some day.
Because of that song I was asked to play a part in a radio drama released by a friend of mine on Broken Sea Audio Productions entitled Sword of the Crimson Tatters. I may do more of those.
It’s fun trying to judge which intonation, emotion and inflection to use without the other actors present. I simply read the script and recorded 3 versions of each line. The producer would then choose the best version that would go into the finished recording. What I am doing now is simply practice for a future secret project which would be improper to speak of at this point.
RC: Improper? Now I’m truly curious! However, I respect your wish for secrecy. Aside from the super secret project that is the only thing I want to know about at this point, what are a couple of your most proud accomplishments thus far?
ML: I would have to say that my proudest accomplishment was realized at the Church of Satan’s 50th Anniversary conclave. I had so many people come up to me, talking about how some of my work had influenced them to become who they are today, how they looked forward to a new issue of the Black Pun-kin (a Satanic magazine I put out), or a piece of art I created or film I was featured in (6-6-06 and Inside the Church of Satan). These comments were inspiring to me also as the wonderful people who shared this with me were of such high quality, talent and intellect that I felt proud all my hard work in the past helped to influence these people to become who they are today. It seemed so worth it all of a sudden. It was like, WOW! Made me feel awesome!
RC: Can I ask you about the Black Pun-kin? When was that released, and will it be available in any form again?
ML: I think it came out in XXIX A.S. Some of that material may come out as a compilation or as part of a book. Unfortunately, all of that stuff will need to be re-typed by hand as one of my Great Danes spilled water on my Mac Book where all the files resided. Looking into trying to recover that stuff somehow. Damn!
RC: Ah yes, the joys of our pets and children. When I was in college my toddler son hit the power button on my computer, erasing a project I had been working on. I lost the whole piece, so I feel your pain. Let me ask you about the 6-6-06 ritual. Was it challenging to get into the ritual headspace with the size of the ritual production and that vast audience present?
ML: No, not at all. We had rehearsed over and over again. Once every word and action was set perfectly to memory, the confidence obtained made everything flow so perfectly once it began. To tell you the truth, the only time I even really saw the audience was when I was doing the incense burner walk and during The Benediction of the Cthulhu phallus sequence. The moment where I am directly talking to the other Satanists in the room, when I made true eye contact with certain friends there, that was one of my personally favorite moments. I loved the Fatwa part as well. I found out the next day that at that very moment in the ritual Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was bombed and killed. I had in mind another text for my curse on the fanatics, but we changed it in order to make the curse seem all encompassing.
RC: With the documentaryInside the Church of Satan, did you have any reservations going into or coming out of the project? Did it end up as you had hoped it would?
ML: Absolutely, most especially using that stupid green night vision that they insisted upon using. I spent days working on the aesthetic for that rite only to have it ruined because somebody had the idea that “paranormal” activity might be caught on camera. You always have reservations with these things and the most important one to us was security. Fortunately that was respected, and the end product. although not having high production values, gives the Church of Satan a pretty fair shake for outsiders. There was the odd bit of poking fun at us, but that is to be expected by folks who are not of our persuasion. We can take it.
RC: How did you first discover Satanism?
ML: I discovered Satanism at the age of 13 (go figure). I think I was mostly influenced towards my darker side by watching old HAMMER films with Christopher Lee as Dracula. That is where I first saw the Baphomet and was exposed to the idea of Black Magic. Eventually I walked into a Coles bookstore and saw a copy of The Satanic Bible with the Sigil of Baphomet sitting there in the Occult section. I picked it up and was immediately aesthetically charged by the front cover and the evil looking man on the back cover. I proudly marched up to the front with my forbidden tome and placed it on the counter. The woman at the cash register asked me if my parents knew I was buying this and I said “YES, they do indeed.” Reading it was like looking into a mirror and all of a sudden what had been disorganized in my mind due to a Christian upbringing seemed all of a sudden reorganized again. "This makes sense,” I said to myself. “This describes who I am.”
RC: How did you perceive Satanism and the Church of Satan? What attracted you to it?
ML: I perceived both as something remotely dark and beautiful, a romantic marriage of forbidden knowledge and earthly delights. It was like coming home.
RC: Do you still feel that poetic connection to both?
ML: Absolutely, it’s something that never goes away. The Black Flame only expands and burns larger as we move through life. The more we learn, the more we experience the deeper into it we BURN!
RC: How did you see other Satanists? Can you tell us about your experience with Grottos?
ML: I was alone for at least a decade where my only contact with other Satanists being in the print form of The Black Flame.
My first contact with a real Satanist was with Magus Maestro Peter H. Gilmore and Magister Michael Rose through snail mail by submitting work to Rose’s From the Pit and The Black Flame. Eventually Peter put us in contact with some Canadian members—Witch Marguerite Thompson (whose funeral I officiated at years ago) and Warlock Rick Jaggard, two early members of the Church of Satan with whom we started our own un-official Grotto, The Infernal Garrison. It was unofficial simply because at that time there was no Grotto system. Through that vehicle we made even more contacts around the world, as well conducting interviews and answering questions for many magazines including Playboy and authors writing books on alternative religions like J.C. Hallman and others. I suppose by the time the official Grotto system came back we had had enough of the work that is involved in running an organization. We had by then our own little cabal of people in close proximity to one another and streamlined our focus on being Church of Satan media reps instead.
RC: What did you draw on as inspiration when planning to officiate the funeral?
ML: That was the first time the Satanic Funeral was ever performed. Peter had written it for this occasion, to mark the passing of our dear friend Witch Marguerite Thompson. It was her last request on her death bed.
RC: There is something to be said about the connection Satanists can make with each other. Do you think Satanism connects individuals as friends more than life experiences or is it not a factor in lasting connections in your opinion?
ML: It is both. Certainly experiencing the camaraderie of like minded individuals and building friendships is a special thing. However, it is the life experience shared with them that makes it precious and when all of a sudden one of those people goes bat shit crazy, it hurts all the more. I would never befriend someone just because they are a Satanist. They have to truly resonate with me.
RC: Going back to your first connection with the Maestro, submitting your work to The Black Flame, or even performing a ritual with him, what was it like working with him?
ML: HP Gilmore always has a way of making you feel comfortable in ritual or in any project. He has a great way of suggesting changes to your approach while still complimenting your strengths. No matter how good you think you are at something there is always a way of making it better. His guidance at the Hellfire Caves ritual rehearsals were a prime example of this. He would take centre stage at the centre of the room like some Master Yogi, tell us what he thought of what we were doing wrong and then took up the director’s gauntlet and began doing so. Without his direction that ritual could have been so much less than the great magical experience it ended up being.
RC: I have heard rumors of a now infamous phallus incident. Would you be willing to share your knowledge of this?
ML: That was hilarious, but not so hilarious if you did not know what happened as we waited back in the catacombs getting ready to perform our parts in the ritual. They are laughing at us I thought. What could have gone wrong? As it turned out, the two foot long glow-in-the-dark giant phallus designed to literally GWAR the audience with fake semen had broken during Priestess Fifi Labonne’s exuberant attempt to spray the congregants. As she swung it, the thing broke in half and went flying across the room, striking the gong in perfect timing. As it turned out, cock #1 had been dripped upon from the chalk walls and had lost its ability to keep a hard on. In perfect ritual form, Magistra DeMagis very ceremoniously recovered it and presented it back to Priestess LaBonne who continued her benediction with the now very bobbly shaft. We did however consider that there was a possibility of it breaking, so earlier on during prop constructing and rehearsals, we had constructed a backup cock. But we did not bring it.
We actually really forgot about it. Months later it was discovered in Reverend Entity’s hot water heater closet where we put it to dry. It was like the Fungi from Yuggoth at that point. As for the phallus that broke, I think it’s still there, so if you ever visit the Hellfire Caves, you might come across this historic artifact.
Funny that John Wilkes (a prominent member of The Hellfire Club) who wrote, The Essay on Woman used a cock with wings on the frontispiece of that book.
The ritual achieved what we intended—to revive the thriving spirit of those great people that used to haunt that place for fun, frolic and collaboration.
Francis Dashwood, Benjamin Franklin, William Hogarth, Paul Whitehead, John Wilkes, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, Robert Vansittart, Thomas Potter, Francis Duffield, Edward Thompson, Lord Chesterfield and others…here’s a cheer to some true iconoclasts and lovers of life. Hail Satan!
RC: Are there any memorable experiences you’ve had as a media rep you would like to share? What was your least favorite experience as well?
ML: The fun one was the Spring Rite which is on the CoS website with Colonel Akula as Pan. Lots of fake blood, masks and debauchery. Magister Rose wrote that one. The Hellfire Caves rite was also amazing! Having the crew there filming it was cool and the after-ritual impromptu rite in the main ritual chamber of the Hellfire Club was a very fond memory. I look forward to that ritual footage making an appearance. Some of it was shown at the CoS 50th salon presentation by Magister Harris.
The Spring Rite was also the most disappointing one, as well as the coffee table book with photography of different religious ceremonies that never came to fruition. We had a blast though taking the photos. Everything was very over-the-top as it always is during our rites.
RC: In your time as a member of the Church of Satan, what was communication between the organization and other Satanists like?
ML: Communication was one of those things you really looked forward too. Snail mail demanded patience which is something you do not see much of these days. A typical response to a letter could often take months, however when you did get a response it was usually a very beefy letter.
Looking forward to a new magazine like Not Like Most (Matt Paradise), From The Pit (Michael Rose) The Raven (Neil Smith) or The Cloven Hoof and The Black Flame was like hitting the Jackpot when you went to your P.O. Box. These were things you kept and cherished. Nowadays things are too easy and the value of the materials has cheapened due to ease of communication. There is good to that as well, it’s just less inspiring to me.
RC: I always felt like the art of writing a letter was very ritualized for me. The process of thinking about what you are going to write before putting pen to paper took consideration, discipline and an appreciation for the written word. Not to mention the cathartic experience of receiving the response letter. Do you think the decline of the art of writing a letter has any connection with the inability for some to focus or clearly convey a thought? Like a muscle that’s not exercised becomes atrophied?
ML: LoL! Just joking. Absolutely, one hundred percent with you on this one. Writing a thoughtful letter, the act of putting it in the mail and the patience and anticipation of receiving a response are core values of ritual that should be held dear. Though it is very nice being able to contact my friends at the drop of a hat, there is definitely something missing—the magic, I’d say.
RC: Do you think the lack of an Internet helped or hindered early Satanism and why?
ML: It helped develop strong leaders who were patient and passionate about what they were doing which laid a strong foundation for our organization. Because things were so hard to obtain we all worked that much harder to put out a quality product. A communication was like gold, the gift of a new Baphomet medallion was a big deal. Things were harder to obtain and therefore there was more value placed upon such things. Today you can get anything at the wave of your hand. Granted, I like that, but the mentality is different. Patience is VIRTUALLY non existent.
RC: I see what you did there. Do you think the pervasiveness of 'Satanic’ merchandise is a gift or curse? With overabundance comes mediocrity, I think.
ML: It’s a curse. I would say especially for the business person as things are not so desperately sought after. If there’s too much of it then it’s never going away therefore the consumer delays at purchasing things because it can be had at any time.
It does not increase with value over time either. Like my Wolf-Hook Rune ring for example. Many wrote me asking me to start making them again, then when iSatanist makes them available for half the price I was selling them for then hardly anyone wants one. So if you want one, get them while you can folks.
RC: When the internet became pervasive, and you saw sites like SatanNet pop up, where there could be in-time communication between Satanists and fan boys, did you see it as a positive or negative form of communication?
ML: Both negative and positive. Positive in the fact that we could get our information out there and fight misinformation. Negative in the fact that any little piece of shit could start up their own pseudo organization and cause shit being their own self-styled Grand Poohba of pseudo-satanic drivel. This creates confusion to an ever-lazy media not willing to do proper research. Now everyone can make a big noise.
RC: We have all had embarrassing or shameful interactions in social media, it’s what clues us into the true negative human interaction this medium encourages. Is there any interaction that informed you about the ugly face of social media.
ML: Yes, I’ve been guilty of taking the bait at times. I remember a certain interaction with a certain grandson of somebody that I wish had not happened. I was defending my friends who I consider family and therefore in doing so I used what may have been confidential information to bitch slap the asshole. I regret doing that, but I do not feel sorry for the harm it caused him. Like I said earlier, I am very passionate about the people I came up with in the organization. When someone attacks them, they are attacking me.
RC: I think what’s important about those types of interactions is learning what caused your reaction, and evaluating what you could have done differently. This is a lesson I learned many times over. What is your philosophy for interacting with detractors or trolls now?
ML: Let them eat STATIC!
RC: Was there any other turning point you can identify that caused you to shy away from the hourly social media interaction that seems to be applauded in our culture?
ML: I spent too much time being out there as a representative—way too out there. I changed careers, and in order to do that I had to step back from the spotlight and be pragmatic. I decided that a lot of it was a waste of my time and that I could be spending that time on things that really matter. There’s plenty of others willing to step up to the plate. The turning point was after Inside the Church of Satan came out. Too much energy put into it with little or no return as a final product.
RC: Do you think there can be an effect on Satanists or Satanism through the constant interaction of social media?
ML: Yes, you are not doing anything productive. You should be constantly interactive with real life. Social media should be something you do with a morning coffee, to wake up.
RC: Why do you think social media is so popular amongst those who claim to champion real life?
ML: It’s because they usually have no life.
RC: I can’t argue with you there. What do you think is the biggest downfall of most Satanists nowadays?
ML: Social media. The inability to recognize the skill and time it takes to create something valuable due to its ease of access now.
RC: What is the single most important Satanic principle(s) Satanists should continually keep in mind?
ML: The best advice you will ever get in my opinion was from Anton LaVey. “Dare to keep company with those smarter and more accomplished than yourself, then see what happens.”
RC: What is next for you, are there any new projects or goals you would like to share?
ML: I am interested in making music these days as it is something I have not challenged myself enough on—and getting back into my painting again.
RC: Thank you for your time, I would like to ask, without a hint of irony, if there is anywhere you would like to direct the readers to connect with you online or to learn more?
ML: I am FreyjaFru on Facebook and Magister Lang on Twitter where Donald lives.
Hail Satan! —Reverend Campbell
Note: Photos used with permission, given to Magister Lang. Article photo, Magus Gilmore in Lotus position and profile photo of Magister Lang were taken at the Hellfire Altar by Diana DeMagis. Inside the Church of Satan photos used with permission Joshua Warren. Nude altar still from 6-6-06. The photographer for Pan and myself for Inside the COS is C. Eric Scott. Magister Lang standing beside the Nude Altar was taken by Bob Johnson. Latex backed nude Altar was taken my Bob Johnson for an issue of Old Nick Magazine.
Hello Carl. Thank you for taking the time to give an interview
to Der Rabe.
As a starter, how would you explain
Satanism to someone who comes again and again with the same old arguments like
child molestation, animal sacrifice, and church burnings, to name but a few? It
is after all difficult to make it clear to these bigoted humans and also to the
media that this is bollocks.
think the main thing to do is point to the web site of the Church of Satan,
where everything is so clearly stated. And, in extension, to LaVey’s own
writings. If the people in question are intelligent enough to do that, then
maybe A) nothing needs to be explained by you, or B) an interesting conversation
How did you personally arrive at this
my teens I felt attracted to Nietzsche but also to a magical approach to life.
Of course, Aleister Crowley pops up immediately with his Thelemic philosophy.
And LaVey. So that’s what happened. I read a lot of books, and resonated with
some of these writers and ideas. LaVey and his Satanism was one of these things
I found invaluable, giving credence to both psychological and magical facets of
the human mind, and connected to a Nietzschean philosophy.
We know each other for quite some time now
and I do know that you personally got to meet Anton Szandor LaVey. How did you meet him and what person was
was fascinated by LaVey and his Church and had read all of his writings. At the
same time I was also obsessed with American pop culture, including movie stars
like Jayne Mansfield. Given that she knew LaVey, I was inspired to write a song
called Sweet Jayne, which I recorded with my band at the time: White
Stains. I sent him the record and he wrote a really nice letter back, and
making me a member at the same time. Then I went over to San Francisco to see
him several times. He was an amazingly intelligent and humorous man who led a
very interesting life. He was also supportive of what I was doing in terms of
my own writing and publishing, and that initial inspiration has never really
faded away for me.
You are not only a musician and a
filmmaker but you also write and publish books. Your new book “California
Infernal“ was published
recently. A wonderful collection of photographs of LaVey and Jayne Mansfield. How
did you get to make this project and what does it mean to you?
was like a ”full circle” experience. My original inspiration (meaning LaVey’s
relationship with Jayne Mansfield) and that record led to my meeting LaVey.
This was in 1987/88. In 2013 or thereabouts a Swedish collector, Alf Wahlgren,
showed me his collection of photographer Walter Fischer’s prints and negatives.
And they were all of LaVey and Jayne, and also the early days of the Church. I
was thrown back into the original inspiration and it was really fun. We decided
to make a book, and that became California Infernal. That gave me a
chance to tell that old story again, and also to have LaVey’s old friend
Kenneth Anger write a short memento-text. It really became an amazing book!
As you know, Der Rabe is a German speaking
outpost for the Church of Satan. What is your opinion in general on the understanding of Satanism in German
speaking countries? Do you see any differences when one considers that
the founder of modern day Satanism and the Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey, lived in America?
to answer. The philosophy of indulgence and life enhancement with inclusions of
ritual is of course universally applicable. LaVey wove in sources from many
parts of the world to create an ultra-pragmatic and applicable method. And of
course the information should be available in different languages and cultures.
So Der Rabe is an inevitable manifestation of that need.
Do you think that Satanism and the
understanding for its philosophy have changed after LaVey’s death, considering
that one has to keep up with the times?
or groups always encounter many difficulties after a strong leader has passed.
But I’m happy to say that the Church of Satan seems stronger than ever before.
The publishing of new canonical books (Gilmore, Johnson et al) is a sign of
health and a movement forward. I think that general understanding and tolerance
of the Church has increased greatly. It’s all in the presentation, isn’t it?
Is occultism and Satanism similar to surrealism and realism? Or how do you
connect to the occult part of the philosophy, if such a thing does exist after
the Church has declared a secular and atheist stance, there is still an
open-minded attitude towards occult technologies and methods. It all lies with
the individual; to what degree he or she wants to include occult methods or
mind-frames. The hocus pocus is not at all necessary. On a personal level, I
integrate ritual and have a belief in “supra-causal” methods for affecting
changes in life. But that’s me.
Photo Copyright from Vanessa Sinclaire
I would like to address an actual subject.
The cruelty we encounter today with war and terrorism in God’s name is hardly
imaginable. I want to mention that this drama repeats itself in history again
and again and what is considered normal in some Muslim circles is not different
from how Christians acted during the crusades. What do you think how this is
going to develop and how Europe will look like in the future?
certainly seems like an increased polarity is happening, in the US and Europe.
I find this very unfortunate because it simplifies the game considerably and
thereby decreases the potential for creative pragmatism and a genuine appreciation
of individualism and liberty – two seminal Satanic qualities. Action now merely
triggers reaction, and when people and cultures are afraid, this process goes
spiral. I’m a strong believer in cultural heterogeneity, and the monotheistic
mind-frame always brings a weak “monoculture” (Christian, Muslim, Jewish etc).
Unenlightened monotheism is to blame for basically everything that’s going
wrong today, and it even endangers the planet as such. If I were in charge, I’d
make sure that people keep their religion at home. It should be banned in
public places and dialogues. If people in public offices are publicly devout
within any form of monotheism, they should be fired. It’s especially sad that
Christianity, which is the weakest form of these three evils, is allowed to
permeate political life, like it apparently is in the US. Applying a Christian
matrix on anything is a guaranteed path to rapid failure.
Finally, what are your plans for the
future? Do you have any new projects we can be looking forward to?
doing my best at trying to enjoy life to the maximum, and I’m pretty good at
that now. So I write, make music and films, and also publish books that
interest and inspire me (and hopefully others), like The Fenris Wolf
series. So the future basically means more of that: life enhancement via
culture. It’s great now and also will be in the future!
Thank you for your time and all the best
for the future!
After the completion of his ninth symphony in 2011, Philip Glass felt that he needed to complete a tenth to avoid the “curse” of not getting past nine numbered and completed symphonies alleged to have dogged composers writing after Beethoven and his mighty nine. Of course that is simply a myth and many composers of symphonies move past nine without any problem. The idea may have been originally promulgated by Gustav Mahler. He resisted calling Das Lied von der Erde—a song-based symphony—his ninth, and then he died in the process of working on his tenth (which received a splendid completion by musicologist Deryck Cooke), seemingly confirming his superstition.
So, Glass swiftly completed a tenth symphony in six weeks before the January 2012 premiere of his ninth on his 75th birthday. This work is based on an expanded orchestration of an earlier occasion piece from 2008, Los paisajes del rio, which was written to accompany fireworks for the 2008 Expo Zaragoza. The symphony is thus a bit lighter and more programmatic than its two very dense and abstract predecessors which had departed from the text based symphonies 5-7. With that conceptual barrier out of the way, there was now a freedom to write more symphonies in their own time.