By now, we’ve all had time to enjoy inventive and indulgent Walpurgisnacht and May Day festivities. I trust you all had an invigorating shimmy around the maypole, or whatever connects you to that dynamic energy now electrifying the earth with renewed life after a frigid Winter. I’ve been inspired by the emerging season to do some reviewing and reflecting of my own and, in the spirit of rejuvenation, have a couple of announcements to make.
Dr. LaVey appointed me to the position of High Priestess to make sure that the organization to which he devoted his life would continue after his death, along the lines he had already established. But he never expected me to carry on alone. He placed several people in key positions of authority, and knew that the passage of time, and levels of dedication and ability, would sort those appointees into their appropriate roles, especially when facing the inevitable tests that arose after he died. Many of you have stepped forward, to take responsibility as Grotto Masters, as accepted representatives, and many hundreds more have decided to become members as a way of supporting Anton LaVey’s legacy. I want to thank you all for your unswerving loyalty and your unflinching perspective in maintaining our diabolical continuum.
It is now time for me to take the initiative to reestablish balance, and I will do so now by acknowledging the efforts of two Satanic individualists in particular. These two were privy to certain of our confidences before our High Priest’s passing and I’ve come to depend more and more on their judgment, loyalty, and administrative acumen over the past three and a half years. Magister Peter H. Gilmore created and maintains our award-winning official web site, has been the editor of The Black Flame magazine for many years, has written astute and insightful Satanic observations in innumerable forums, and continues to be an intriguing and elucidating spokesman for the Church of Satan, combating misinformation on the Internet and further defining Satanism in interviews broadcast worldwide. Magistra Peggy Nadramia, Magister Gilmore’s wife, is equally capable in her conception and her articulation of Satanic principles. She has, since 1985, edited and published an outstanding horror fiction magazine called Grue, discovering and grooming writers who have subsequently gone on to significant renown. Magistra Nadramia is an educated, accomplished and passionate woman whose sharp wit and equally sharp tongue were greatly admired by Dr. LaVey.
Because of these attributes, as well as other personal and magical reasons, I hereby appoint Magister Peter H. Gilmore to the position of High Priest of the Church of Satan, and Magistra Peggy Nadramia to the position of Grand Mistress of the Temple—Magistra Templi Rex, as outlined in our articles of incorporation. I will retain the position of High Priestess, but the Central Administrative Offices will move from the West Coast to the East Coast, and most membership issues will be handled through the Church of Satan’s New York Contact address (P.O. Box 666, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602-0666). I will continue to edit The Cloven Hoof; any questions, orders, or article submissions should still be sent to the Southern California Contact address ( Church of Satan, P.O. Box 210666, Chula Vista, CA 91921).
This fine-tuning is in keeping with Dr. LaVey’s goals for fortifying and expanding the Church of Satan at the proper time, and I know these changes will strengthen the organization as a whole. Since Dr. LaVey’s passing, we have grown significantly in size and scope. It is time for us to broaden our administrative base in order to better coordinate our worldwide efforts. It will ensure that the right people get the proper feedback and attention, and that orders and correspondence are handled more quickly. High Priest Gilmore and Magistra Nadramia have extensive knowledge of the Internet, and know how it can be put to better use in our organization. They also have intriguing ideas about updating our databases and improving communication. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of their leadership blended more overtly, more authoritatively, with my own. I trust these new arrangements will free time for me to work on The Cloven Hoof, to correspond and interact with select individuals, to continue with my writing and homeschool my son, as well as continuing to represent the Church of Satan in all its complexity and potential to our ever-widening audience.
Anton LaVey was an original. No one will ever replace him. But he never wanted his personality to overshadow the philosophy he devised and defended. He wouldn’t want us to leave the role of High Priest indefinitely sacrosanct out of misguided respect for him. He wanted the Church of Satan to grow stronger, to evolve, to remain a gathering place for eccentrics and an inspiration to outrageous genius. I cannot shoulder all the administrative and representative burdens of this organization alone. To demand that of myself is unrealistic and, ultimately, detrimental to the Church of Satan. Dr. LaVey trusted me to make whatever decisions would best preserve his legacy. After much consideration, I have every confidence these decisions will benefit us all, placing the right people in their proper positions of authority, and streamlining our operations so that our sharply-increased membership and other administrative duties can be handled more efficiently.
I remain as steadfastly committed to the Church of Satan as I did when I first picked up The Satanic Bible. If you share my dedication to Dr. LaVey’s ideals, I know you will welcome High Priest Gilmore and Magistra Templi Rex Nadramia in their new roles, offering them the respect they’ve already earned over many years.
May this Walpurgisnacht bring us all new clarity and rejuvenation, and may you be courageous enough to use the challenges placed before you as opportunities to orchestrate your boldest desires.
High Priestess Blanche Barton
Church of Satan