Letters from the Devil

Letters from the Devil Banner

Letters from the Devil

by Anton LaVey

From The National Insider Vol. 14, No. 17; April 27, 1969

Last week I devoted my column to describing some of the most commonly accepted fallacies concerning the requirements of the successful witch or warlock. Now allow me to set out some of the requisites for the person who wishes to practice the true art of the magical manipulation of human beings, the practical nature of sorcery.

First of all, one should not enter into the study of practical witchcraft out of desperation. Far too many people expect to wave a proverbial magic wand, and thereby solve all of their problems. Everyone is looking for a shortcut, an easy way, a system. No one knows this better than Satan. Everybody wants to get something for nothing. The millions of contests, raffles, lotteries, bonus gifts, special offers, and free premiums, are proof of this. So are the myriad books, pamphlets, courses, study groups, etc. that purport to teach the ““great secrets” or “revealed wisdom” of one master or another. The true magician knows one thing for certain, and that is an adage so corny it hardly seems worth stating, but very brutally true:

“You get out of life exactly what you put into it!”

The man that comes to me after losing out In everything he has ever undertaken and expects the Devil to have pity on him just because, In desperation, he decided to sign his name on the dotted line, is sadly deluded.

One of the unanswered questions about the book and film “Rosemary’s Baby” is why the girl who was originally living with the elderly couple met her untimely death on the pavement outside the building—whether she fell, jumped, or was pushed.

To the Satanist, the reason is quite obvious. The girl in question had been established in the story as a “loser.” Satan, in selecting a suitable choice of woman to impregnate, would want no such woman to carry his own child, but would look for one with some enthusiasm for life. No one had to push the girl out of the window. She was destined to lose, by her own actions. Her own accident-proneness caused her destruction, prompted by the very fear of the unknown which she evidenced.


In order to be a competent witch one must be able to first learn
and utilize the principles
of applied psychology.”

There is indeed, great power In magic, but one must be prepared to take advantage of this power. If a person is a perennial loser, they cannot be expected to know how to safeguard their success, if and when it should arrive. Even if you could learn to be a wizard overnight, you would need the proper personality to go along with it. Rule number one in the practice of real magic is: You must be able to conduct a smooth running life for yourself! Throughout the history of the world It has been established that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, or more bluntly—them that has—gets! If you haven’t a damn thing and want to get something, you must start out by at least pretending that you have something!

The old maid who looks under her bed every night for a man is never going to find him there, until she starts being seen with a man outside of her room. It will be said by some at this point that what I am saying is nothing more than applied psychology.

It’s amazing to me the amount of people that apparently know all about applied psychology, that never seem to be able to apply it. In order to be a competent witch one must be able to first learn and utilize the principles of applied psychology. All you dirty old men out there that think you’re going to get a sexy young girl just by saying a magical incantation or buying a do-it-your-self voodoo kit have another think coming!

All of you plain, dumpy, women that feel a handsome young man should love you for your “inner beauty” are deluded fools! If you are a loser and expect Satan to bless you after God has given you the boot, there IS a possibility that you have simply been playing on the wrong team, and a change in philosophy is in order. If, however, your change in theology produces no more success than you had before, don’t blame Satan and his earthly concept of life. Don’t blame the ineffectual past concept of “God” either for your failure. Blame yourself for wanting to lose!


Another person, situation, or god, is always a convenient excuse for our own shortcomings and defeats in life. The winner makes mistakes and learns from them not to make the same mistake again. The loser makes mistakes and never learns a thing from them. Next we come to step number two in the preparation for witch-hood—glamour. Glamour is the term by which the enchantments and manipulations of witches and sorcerers was known for many years. Now the meaning of the word has changed to denote a dazzling display of beauty. We will simply define glamour as that which will compel visual attention, thereby distracting the viewer from other things. Closely akin to this is another word long used in connection with sorcery—fascination. It has been said that you can’t tell a book by its cover, but nevertheless people do! In fact, If most people didn’t tell books by their covers, there would be no need for such a saying. A successful witch must have glamour in her presence, whether it be in her sex appeal, her bizarre ugliness, the devices and conveyances with which she surrounds herself, or the place in which she lives. No girl who presents a dowdy, uninteresting appearance will ever make it as a witch. The reason people are intrigued by magic and witchcraft In the first place is because it represents one of the secret facets of life—the element of wonder. If the fascination for the occult itself is what makes it so popular, then it stands to reason that anything that intrigues, fascinates, or causes one to wonder, will meet with the same reaction on the part of the onlooker—potential compulsion. Just look at any successful prostitute; invariably she will be dressed in a manner that will attract men and alienate women. Their choice of clothing is that which will titillate, intrigue, and command the attention of potential customers—in short, a promise of more and better things to come. Who is the man most likely to cause an arousal in the women at a social gathering? Surely not the loud, boisterous and totally open-book type, but the guy who is obviously different from all the rest in appearance, but with what appears to be an underlying sensual strength, promising deep emotions. We are still animals, despite our attempts to hide from the fact, and intellect is dandy but it’s the old gut reaction that will win out every time.


That which is most intriguing
is that which is
not meant to be seen.”

This is why the Devil has always had it so easy, ruling the world. The spiritual, the higher planes, the concert of God, is basically an intellectual development, an idealistic invention—and must be thought about in order to function. On the other hand the necessities, desires, indulgences, and compulsions are purely emotional and need no analysis to put them into operation! Therefore the aspiring witch or warlock should learn well the importance of emotional appeal, and first in order of importance is visual stimulation. There is one hard, fast rule that applies to successful visual stimulation of a sexual nature—one that will always serve the witch who is reasonable attractive, in fascinating others. That rule is: That which is most intriguing is that which is not meant to be seen. This is so aptly proven by the men in a topless club who will shift their gaze from an almost totally nude girl who is throwing her body about erotically, to an attractive young woman sitting with her husband at the bar, who while watching the show is displaying a generous amount of thigh above the tops of her nylons. The difference between the woman on stage and the woman in the audience is, the gal up there dancing is viewed by other women present with amusement, and even secret identification. The young housewife, with her apparent carelessness in keeping her skirt under control, is observed by other women present in a resentful and critical manner. The reason for the disapproval from other women and the sneaky but approving glances from the men is obvious to those who know. The woman sitting at the bar, well dressed from her neatly styled hair to her high heels, is presenting a far better show with her revealed garters and an occasional glimpse of her underwear than the near-nude on the stage because the married gal (who probably has three kids at home) is showing something that is NOT MEANT TO BE SEEN! Do you know what the most disheartening thing in the world to the Devil is? Such things as the “unisexual look,” where you can’t tell the boys from the girls because they dress the same. An honest homosexual likes guys that look like guys!


A healthy transvestite wants to look like a woman when dressed up! A confirmed lesbian likes gals that look like either guys OR gals, but not both! Either people ought to wear no clothes at all, or wear garments that signify one sex or the other. If a woman has feminine charms, she should show them. If a man has sensual appeal, he should display it. The wearing of “cod pieces” in the middle ages is no different than the padding of the “basket” in the gay world of today—it displays something that is not meant to be seen! Of course all of these uses of sexual intrigue are as the result of unfounded guilt established by the men of “God”, but nevertheless they’re here and we’re stuck with them, so we might as well use them and enjoy them. There is an opportunity to free oneself from these “hang-ups” by the use of drugs, but look what it produces—lack of discrimination resulting in the aforementioned “unisexual look.” I would rather be “hung-up.” It’s a lot more fun. This is why the Satanist revels In what are considered to be sins. We Satanists consider “hang-ups” to be “hang-ONS”—the very foundations of what makes our personality, our likes and dislikes what they are. We like our fetishes and resent any attempt to remove them. This is why we are not a “love” religion that claims to like everything and everybody. We feel that when one loses their sense of discrimination, they become like ants in an anthill. Fortunately, most people are still possessed of “hang-ups and are “up tight” about some things. Those that think they are “free” are usually working at it so hard that they have become enslaved by their “freedom.” Next week I will answer some of the letters that have been coming in, asking the Devil’s opinion on various matters concerning the black arts, manners and morals, and other subjects approachable from a Satanic point of view. I will also add further ingredients to our study of PRACTICAL witchery. Until then, sin well!

From the collection of Chris X, and transcribed by Kevin I. Slaughter.

Now Reprinted

Letters From the Devil Cover
Letters from the Devil
Anton Szandor LaVey
ISBN 978-0557431731

The entire collection of Magus Anton LaVey's column Letters from the Devil from the pages of The National Insider, has been meticulously scanned, and arranged for your enjoyment by Underworld Amusements, and is available now where all fine books are sold.

LaVey Sigil

We Are Legion

LaVey Sigil

A Moment In Time

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

LaVey Sigil