As far as I’m concerned, I would like my organization, the Church of Satan, to exist as a cabal for the mutual endowment of those already occupied with interests and activities other than organizational. I have often stated that I like to think of the Church of Satan as an organization for non-joiners. Affiliation need not negate independence. Affiliation should be based on respect, rather than desperation. Respect for a set of principles and for other men and women who share those principles, yet who are not dependent on an organization to give substance to their lives. The obvious question arises: “Why then, would such persons need a Church of Satan?” The answer is, “They don’t, unless it can do them some good.” Affiliation should enhance one’s life, rather than be a substitute for it.
Anyone who resists affiliation with the Church of Satan yet draws from it for any reason, personal or financial, is not independent, only parasitic. Accordingly, any vainglorious exemption from organizational affiliation, based on personal freedom and independence, falls upon deaf ears. That is scavenging of the lowest sort. It is the parasitic role of the groupie, the hanger-on, the lot louse, the kibitzer, the shnorrer, the cake eater, the panhandler who loiters outside a restaurant accosting diners as they depart. There is nothing admirable in hawking “independence” while sucking existence from a bloc of beneficially linked, but individually productive persons—in the present case, members of the Church of Satan. Translation: they want all the benefits of affiliation, with none of the responsibilities.
It will be argued that, Satanically speaking, if anyone can assume and maintain the aforementioned position of having ones’ cake and eating it too—more power to them. My answer to that one is: “Fine, but not with my outfit, they don’t.” And if anyone in my outfit supports such chicanery, they in turn, should quit the Church of Satan and start their own thing. Just don’t expect to pull the same parasitic dodge yourself. It won’t wash any better with you doing it. If your freedom stops at the end of my nose, your profit stops a whole lot further away than that.
Members of the Church of Satan may not be fulfilling their destinies to their complete satisfaction, but they do have destinies. The best of them have already taken steps to actualize those destinies. The Church of Satan should serve as a generator for existing energy.
Originally published in Satan Speaks (Feral House, 1998).
Anton Szandor LaVey
Founder of the Church of Satan
We Are Legion
A Moment In Time
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