Called "The Black Pope" by many of his followers, Anton La Vey began the road to High Priesthood of the Church of Satan when he was only 16 years old and an organ player in a carnival: "On Saturday night I would see men lusting after halfnaked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday night they'd be back at The carnival or some other place of indulgence."I knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out!" From that time early in his life his path was clear.
Finally, on the last night of April, 1966-Walpurgisnacht, the most important festival of the believers in witchcraft-LaVey shaved his head in the tradition of Ancient executioners and announced the formation of The Church Of Satan.
He had seen the need for a church that would recapture man's body and his carnal desires as objects of celebration. "Since worship of fleshly things produces pleasure," he said, "there would then be a temple of glorious indulgence . . ."
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- Publication Date: 01/12/1976
- Category: Satanism & demonology
- ISBN: 9780380015399
Showing 1 - 5 of 14 reviews.
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Review by slaveofOne
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. The handbook of philosophical Humanism and psuedo-spiritualism dressed in mock-religious ceremony and words. I only gave it 1 star because while something like "The Chants of Maldoror" is nonsense by virtue of it not trying to make much sense at all, this is nonsense by virtue of Lavey's ignorance and failing to argue intelligently (it also comes across in places like a teenager's immature rant).
Review by multifaceted
I’ve heard Satanism being described as “the religion for rebels”. Well, it seems more like “the religion for teenage ‘rebel’ caught up in being as stereotypically rebellious as they can while still trying to find their actual personality, which lies somewhere between their ‘hardcore Christian upbringing’ and their ‘hardcore rebellion’”. Ok, I understand that is a stereotype (and probably a run-on sentence, haha). I know there are people of every religion who are very respectful of others, very understanding, very intelligent, and very devoted. Unfortunately, Satanism seems to attract a lot of the teenage kids wanting to “rebel”. Maybe this is partly due to the religion’s notoriety after popular bands like Marilyn Manson and Cradle of Filth supposedly identified with “the church” (they now both deny ever following Satanism, of course).I never quite fully understood this book. So if you don’t believe in God, then why don’t you call yourself a simple Atheist? (Tons of Atheists act like they’re their own god, too, after all!) The way the ideas are set out in this book, it seems mostly like glorified Atheism. Or rather, it seems like Atheism for the “rebel” who doesn’t want to believe in God, but can’t live without the ritualistic components of many religions (I believe even LaVey said that some people need a “ritual”-like component in their life). For example, there are parts about performing rituals and spells, invoking the name of the devil (or whomever) in order to make your life better. Well, if you don’t believe in God, then you don’t believe in the devil. So is the devil supposed to be some deep metaphor for your inner self? And if so, then why don’t you just learn to make yourself do something, not go through some kind of ritual?I’ve also heard some say that the ideas in this book aren’t really very new or inventive, and it’s pretty true. You can find similar ideas in a lot of other books out there—even some of Mark Twain’s writing, of all things. BUT, Anton LaVey *was* noted as someone who could get many people riled up, and his writing is pretty sensationalistic; the writing’s not so bad, in and of itself. It is kind of funny, but I’m not always sure it’s supposed to be.However, there are some books you don’t keep on your bookshelf, just so others don’t have the misfortune of seeing them. This is one of those books!
Review by dayooper
written by an ex-carnival barker and general opportunist to make money off rebellious teenagers. The Enochian translations inaccurately replace Theistic references with references to Satan.
Review by badgenome
When he wasn't busy fabricating his biography, LaVey managed to write some essays explaining his philosophy- basically Objectivism in a black mask, spiced up by his love of camp and pedantry. He compiled about a dozen of these, stuck a spellbook in the back for you to laugh at (or, provided you're lame enough, attempt to make use of), and called it <i>The Satanic Bible</i>.
Review by craigim
Anton Szandor LaVey found religion when, as a carnival organist, he encountered the same people whooping it up and partying on Saturday night, and then filing into the tent the next morning for the revival meeting, praising god. The first half of the book reads like a self-help book, with ideas borrowed liberally from Alistair Crowley and Ayn Rand, and should appeal mostly to disaffected teenagers and college freshmen, although he does state that pure selfishness is not necessarily in one's best interest, a notion that Rand would disagree with. The rest is a description of various satanic rituals and incantations intended to release magic and bring about the desires of the participants. I imagine that when it was written, these rituals were shocking and highly blasphemous, but they sound like a bunch of LARPers getting together in their parent's basement. Again, mostly appealing to disaffected teenagers and college freshmen.I enjoyed it mostly because I'm a huge fan of The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson, which borrowed from LaVey, Crowley, and other underground popular occult and conspiracy theories floating around in the late 70's and brought them to life. I've been slowly reading up on the source materials, and the Satanic Bible and the rituals contained therein feature prominently.Overall, a fun read, but I'll stick to atheism, thank you very much.
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