|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (January 2014)|
|Church of Satan
First Satanic Church
|Anton LaVey · Peter H. Gilmore
Diane Hegarty · Karla LaVey
Suitheism · Might is Right
|The Satanic Bible · The Satanic Rituals
The Satanic Witch · The Devil's Notebook
Satan Speaks! · The Black Flame
The Church of Satan
The Secret Life of a Satanist
The Satanic Scriptures
||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (April 2013)|
The LaVeyan Ideology was founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey. Its core beliefs and philosophies are based on individualism, secular humanism, religious skepticism, freethought, epicureanism and "eye for an eye" morality.
Anton LaVey established a church in 1966, and codified the religious practices in The Satanic Bible in 1969.
In 1969, LaVey published The Satanic Bible, which outlines the basic concepts, philosophy and rituals of Leveyan ideology.
The other major organization affiliated with LaVeyan ideology is the First Satanic Church, founded in 1998 by Anton LaVey's daughter, Karla LaVey. She argues that, after her father's death, the church moved away from his original modus operandi, and shifted towards a commercial money making machine. Thus, the First Satanic Church can be considered a re-founding of the original, although the leaders of the LaVeyan Church have often distanced themselves from Karla LaVey since.
In The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey clarifies that there is no real Satan and instead says that Satan is a symbolism representing a motivating and balancing dark force of nature and one's inner personality and desires.
In his essay, "Satanism: The Feared Religion", the Church of Satan's current leader, Peter H. Gilmore, states:
“ Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshiped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will. Thus any concept of sacrifice is rejected as a Christian aberration—in Satanism there’s no deity to which one can sacrifice. ”
Instead, LaVey proposes that if all gods are creations of humans, worship of an external deity is worship of its creator by proxy. He then suggests that the rational Satanist should instead internalize their gods and, therefore, worship themselves; hence the Satanist maxim, "I am my own god".
It follows that LaVeyanism shuns the idea of belief in all other deities as well. Belief in any such externalized deities is generally considered grounds for excluding someone as a LaVeyan. Satan-worship in particular is considered nothing more than a misguided perversion of Christianity, and its practitioners are regarded by LaVeyan's as on par with Christians or other adherents of the 'Right-Hand Path'.
Central is the idea that an individual must enforce their own meaning on life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. The Satanist is seen as equivalent to Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch; LaVey claimed "Satanists are born, not made" and that "[Satanists] have a disease called independence that needs to be recognized just like alcoholism." There are progressive and libertarian elements here; diversity is encouraged, everyone is expected to discover his/her own sexuality, chart his own personality, and decide their own ambitions in life. In this stress on individuality, Satanism is considered a "Left-Hand Path" religion.
Adherents to "life-denying" religions are often regarded as self-abnegating in their devotion to their own servility. LaVey's Satanic creed views religion as promoting an impersonal relationship with what the churches referred to as "God". Satanism was presented as an opportunity to self-identify with one's own concept of God. Great attention was paid to details gleaned from noir films like White Heat and The Big Sleep in creating one's ideal Self from deliberately invoked forms. Satanism encourages a follower of the religion to grow throughout their life as they see fit.
LaVeyan Satanism is critical of Abrahamic sexual mores, considering them narrow, restrictive and hypocritical. Satanists are pluralists, accepting polyamorists, bisexuals, lesbians, gays, BDSM, transgender people, and asexuals. Sex is viewed as an indulgence, but one that should only be freely entered into with consent. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth only give two instructions regarding sex: "Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal" and "Do not harm little children", though the latter is much broader and encompasses physical and other abuse. This has always been consistent part of Church of Satan policy since its inception in 1966, as Peter H. Gillmore wrote in an essay supporting same sex marriage:
Finally, since certain people try to suggest that our attitude on sexuality is “anything goes” despite our stated base principle of “responsibility to the responsible,” we must reiterate another fundamental dictate: The Church of Satan’s philosophy strictly forbids sexual activity with children as well as with non-human animals.
— Magister Peter H. Gilmore
In that essay he also stated:
The Church of Satan is the first church to fully accept members regardless of sexual orientation and so we champion weddings/civil unions between adult partners whether they be of opposite or the same sex. So long as love is present and the partners wish to commit to a relationship, we support their desire for a legally recognized partnership, and the rights and privileges which come from such a union.
— Magister Peter H. Gilmore
Lex Talionis, or "The Law of Reprisal" (from the Latin lex/legis (f.), "law", and talio, -onis (f.), "retaliation", "rejoinder") informed much of LaVey's Satanic formulation. "Do unto others as they do unto you" supplanted the directive to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", so that you are only to give compassion and sympathy to those who deserve it. It is a reactive rule, compared with the Christian proactive rule; by the rule, love, compassion, and sympathy are not to be wasted upon "ingrates"; these are to be given only to those who the practitioner feels deserves them. The religion of Satanism, as LaVey espouses it, is centered almost exclusively upon the concept of being one's own god; as such, values and attachments such as love, affection, and caring, along with opposing concepts such as hate and wrath, are to be disseminated at the discretion of the individual Satanist. As such, it is the individual's responsibility (and not that of a god, or the fault of any devil) to both justify and accept the consequences of their actions. LaVey felt that intelligent and strong people spent too much time caring for psychic vampires — weak individuals who always demanded attention and care, yet would never give any back. He taught that Satanists should strive to remove themselves as much as possible from such people in order to live in accordance to their instincts and individual wills.
- The Church of Satan
- First Satanic Church
- Anton LaVey
- Peter H. Gilmore
- Karla LaVey
- The Satanic Bible
- The Satanic Rituals
- The Satanic Scriptures
- Church of Satan Book
- Satanism: An interview with Church of Satan High Priest Peter Gilmore
- "Church of Satan FAQ 18. DRUG ABUSE". Churchofsatan.com. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- Aquino, Michael (2002). The Church of Satan.
- Steiger, Brad (1999). The Werewolf Book. Visible Ink Press.
- Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Gale Group Inc. 1996.
- "Satanism: The Feared Religion". Churchofsatan.com. 1966-04-30. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- LaVey, Anton (1969). The Satanic Bible. Avon.
- Interview with Peter H. Gilmore, David Shankbone, Wikinews, November 5, 2007.
- "Founding Family: 'Morality' versus Same-Sex Marriage".
- Official Church of Satan website
- Religious Tolerance Official Page on The Church of Satan
- Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism