Anton Szandor Lavey founded The Church of Satan, on April 30, 1966. At that time, he had an inconsiderable figure of 10,000 members from countries such as the United States, England, France, Germany and Holland.
How did a newly married man, who had been a lion tamer, circus organist and magician become the “Black Pope”? In his eagerness to find a stable job to meet the needs of his home and lead a normal marital life, he ended up studying criminology and finally obtained a position as a photographer in the San Francisco police department.
His job was to photograph traffic accidents, victims of murders, assaults, etc. “So, every day I was in touch with the most terrible and dark aspects of human nature. People killed by madmen, people stabbed by their friends, kids crushed on the road by drivers who fled at full speed … It was depressing and disgusting. ”He said.
Fed up with the existence of robberies, murders, abuses, rapes, robberies … that most of the time went unpunished and that people accepted without batting an eye, believing that God or destiny wanted it, Lavey decided to quit his job and also lost his last religious feelings. “If what I see on the streets is the will of God – he said to himself – I do not want to know anything about him.”
That was how he returned to play in the cabarets to survive and began to seriously study the occult sciences, until he found himself in a position to teach on this subject. Little by little he built a family of like minds and that was how the church started from there.
Lavey’s church attracted many great Hollywood names, such as Sammy Davis Junior, Jayne Mansfield, and Marilyn Monroe, who had a brief but intimate relationship with Lavey.
Contrary to what one might think, it is not easy to affiliate with the Church of Satan, since everyone is not accepted as such. In the first place, the possible faithful are warned very seriously that orgies or bacchanalia are not celebrated there. The admission of an acolyte is considered a very serious matter, which requires several phases of indoctrination and a final examination that includes a very extensive written examination on the nature and principles of the Church to which the subject wants to belong. Likewise, the knowledge that the person possesses about occult sciences and Satanism is evaluated.
The last step consists in a private interview with the Council of the Church, an inner circle of outstanding members who evaluate the aspirant from all points of view. For Lavey, the most important thing would be to eliminate the “psychic vampires”, individuals who are simply bystanders and absorb the magnetic energies of others, without giving anything in return.
Its members include people of all social strata, from what can be washers or sweepers to doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, former members of the FBI, executives of large companies or police.
What are the main foundations of your religion?
The Church of Satan gives information about what Satanism is and is not and serves as a point of reference for Satanists around the world. “We are not an initiatory group: we do not demand that the members “be baptized”. Lavey writes his books so that anyone can read our literature and say, “Hey, this makes sense!” And start applying Satanism to his own advantage.
To explain it in a few words, I will say that Satanism is reduced to not buying the ox. Everyone tries to sell you something, whether it’s a TV guy who sells toothpaste, a priest who sells heaven, or any other madness, everyone tries to make you believe what they want you to believe in. But Satanism allows you to enjoy life, be creative, exercise your right to independence, fulfill your wishes without harming others and get everything you want. Really simple!
But do they worship Satan?
No. We worship ourselves. Our rituals serve to exorcise the feelings against us that may block our path. We do not expect Satan to appear in a cloud of smoke and grant us our wishes. This does not mean that we do not take our rituals seriously.
Satanism is a philosophical, religious option, and a way of understanding the life that has been freely chosen by her follower, as licit as any other, maybe even more than many. According to her followers: “At no time do we advocate murder, rape, or crime. We are adults and responsible, not a group of fans who justify their acts with Satanism as they could with politics, football or faith. ”
Another Satanist, Max Bautista disclosed his perception of Satanism
Max, how and why did you become a Satanist?
The reason is also very simple. I did not want to believe in abstract fables, nor did I want to have rules for my life, nor did I want to repress what I wanted to do, I wanted to believe in myself and only in me. And above all, I did not want to belong to an indoctrinated community that accepts anything in the Bible as absolute truth.
However, I wanted to practice something I am comfortable with and could have fun and enjoy my “spirituality”. Something that was not hypocritical and full of an immense cloud of symbols and stories in which they cannot agree on whether they are real or not.
Is Satanism a religion?
A religion has symbols, dogma and God and Satanism does. The symbol is what you want as long as it is an adversary to the traditional God, the dogma is the need for fantasy and you can practice it as you want, and the God is you.
Satan, Lucifer, and the devil, are they the same entity?
That’s right, in general for those who are not practicing Satanism and want to understand it from the beginning. But the variations of meanings are merely personal, for example, I take Leviathan as the king of magic, Lucifer as prince of the intellect, and Belial as ruler of the will and Satan as emperor of instinct.
If another Satanist wants to put something like a Wolf in Satan’s place, the archetype would be the same. These would happen if you want to put Mr. Bean on the altar or Enki. The goal is to have a kind of “idol” that looks like you or at least you think it looks like.
In Satanism, what is the point of view regarding to the origin of the universe?
It is merely personal; we must remember that Satanists escape ignorance and lack of culture. If, with all that was investigated, read or studied, the practitioner concludes that the Big Bang theory is the one that most convinces him that will be his belief regarding to the origin of the universe.
Most of us are a kind of atheists / agnostics, and presumably we Satanists believe in the Big Bang. But neither should we reach exaggerations that resemble that Lucifer created the universe and then God overthrew Lucifer, or something like that, we distinguish between dogmatic fantasy and reality.
What books or material would you recommend to anyone who wants to approach Satanism in a serious way?
Besides the Satanic Bible, I highly recommend the book of The Satanic Scriptures, the Notebook by Pedro Botero, the Infernicon, or The Naberiana Bible. Sure there are many other books, but these were the ones I started with in Satanism.