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Church of Satan commonly asked questions

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Archive-name: religions/satanism/cos
Posting-Frequency: monthly and whenever I see the need
Last-modified: 2004/03/23
Version: 2.3
Copyright: (c)2001 Church of Satan, P.O. Box 499, Radio City Station,
New York, NY 10101-0499 USA

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Authors who contributed to this document:
(in alphabetic order)

Blanche Barton
Peter H. Gilmore
Peggy Nadramia
Matt G. Paradise
Herbert Paulis

Special thanks for correction and improvement suggestions:

Phil Marfuta
André Schlesinger
Lestat Ventrue


1. Introduction and Terminology

1.1. What is the purpose of this document?
1.2. What is a FAQ?
1.3. Common Abbreviations and Terms

2. What is the Church of Satan?

3. Anton Szandor LaVey

3.1. The man and his life
3.2. LaVey's death
3.3. The Church of Satan after LaVey
3.4. Myths and truths
3.5. Isn't Anton LaVey merely ripping off Nietzsche?

4. Satanism as seen by the Church of Satan

4.1. The philosophies
4.2. The Nine Satanic Statements
4.3. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
4.4. The Nine Satanic Sins
4.5. What is the Satanic Bunco Sheet?
4.6. To apply the name of Satan to this church implies a connection
     to the Bible. What is the stance of the CoS on these popular
     tales and predictions? Who is Christ to the CoS?
4.7. As a representative for Satanism, you do interviews and lectures.
     Isn't this preaching? And, doesn't this violate your rule of not
     giving your opinions unless asked?

5. Membership in the Church of Satan

5.1. How can I become a member of the Church of Satan?
     What if I do not live in the US?
5.2. What happens if I change my mind and want to get out of all this
5.3. I am not 18 years old yet. Can I still become a member?
5.4. The Church of Satan charges application fees for membership and
     further involvement and accepts money from people. Sounds like
     your garden-variety tent-show evangelist scam.
5.5. I really want to join the Church of Satan... I mean, A LOT! I
     want to be a Priest and be one of you. I want magical powers and
     a direct phone-line to Satan.
5.6. Do you find most of the membership of the CoS to be 'Xtian
     refugees' or do they come from all sorts of backgrounds?

6. Satanic Literature

6.1. Books by and about Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan
6.1.1. Where can I get a copy of _The Satanic Bible_?
6.1.2. Where can I get an electronic copy of _The Satanic Bible_?
6.1.3. How to obtain these books from the US?
6.1.4. How to obtain these books from outside the US?

6.2. Satanic Magazines and Publications
6.2.1. The Cloven Hoof
6.2.2. The Black Flame
6.2.3. Not Like Most
6.2.4. The Raven
6.2.5. Others

6.3. A little Satanically-inspired book suggestion
6.3.1 Non-Fiction
6.3.2 Fiction

7. Satanic Music and Videos

7.1. Music by Anton Szandor LaVey
7.2. Other Music of Satanic value
7.3. Videos

8. The Church of Satan on the Internet

9. Artifacts and where to look for them
9.1. Artifacts
9.2. Societies
9.3. Shops


1. Introduction and Terminology

1.1. What is the purpose of this document?

   Many misunderstandings, false rumors and plain lies about the
   Church of Satan have been spread online, especially in the
   alt.satanism forum on Usenet and on several web pages, as well as
   on many hours of television shows and in numerous newspaper articles.
   This document is intended to correct these pieces of misinformation
   and to give accurate information, authenticated by the Church of Satan
   and signed electronically. It is not meant as a form of proselytizing,
   a practice which is frowned upon by the Church of Satan.
   See also topic 4.7.

1.2. What is a FAQ?

   "FAQ" is an acronym for "Frequently Answered Questions" or
   "Frequently Asked Questions", for what it's worth. These are
   documents on various topics, forming a veritable library of free
   information, usually put together by voluntary enthusiasts in order
   to answer certain questions that constantly come up in some
   newsgroups (hence the name). They are periodically posted to their
   home newsgroups and (usually) to news.answers, and archived at
   various places. This FAQ isn't really a proper list of frequently
   asked questions and their answers; it's more of a fact-file or an
   introductory brochure than a traditional Usenet FAQ, although some
   Q&As are included and hopefully more will be added in future. In
   some cases an author is noted for a portion of this FAQ. In other
   cases the text is compiled from several authors' contributions.
   Intermediate forms occur.

   The language in these articles is without doubt colored by the fact
   that some contributors have other mother tongues than English - and
   so it will remain. Nevertheless proposals for more idiomatic
   wordings are always cordially welcomed.

1.3. Common Abbreviations and Terms

   To save typing during discussions and in electronic mail, several
   abbreviations have been generally adopted and are listed here for
   the convenience of the reader.

     CoS, C/S            Church of Satan
     TSB                 _The Satanic Bible_
     TSR                 _The Satanic Rituals_
     TSW                 _The Satanic Witch_
     DN                  _The Devil's Notebook_
     ASL                 Anton Szandor LaVey
     Statements          The Nine Satanic Statements
     Sins                The Nine Satanic Sins
     RotE                The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
     LHP                 Left Hand Path

   Some Satanists find themselves discussing Christianity frequently.
   In order to cut down on keystrokes many type "Xtian" and "Xtianity"
   rather than the longer versions. A few may intend it partly as a
   slur, but most do it only for convenience. The abbreviation itself
   is far from insulting; it is accepted and used by many Christians
   including (we are told) the Pope, as the first letter of Christ in
   Greek is Chi which looks like the Roman character "X".

2. What is the Church of Satan?

   We were established in 1966 C.E. by Anton Szandor LaVey who declared
   the Year One, thus opening the floodgates to a revolution designed
   to smash the hypocrisy and unreason which has reigned for the past
   2000 years. We have, since 1966, stood as the most formidable threat
   to those who would halt progress in the name of spirituality. We are
   explorers on the untrodden paths of science, human motivation and
   mystery -- all that is most _truly_ occult.

   Those who proudly carry our cards identifying themselves as members
   have the strength and dedication to implement the tools of Satan,
   the imagination to confound and confuse, the wisdom to recognize
   the Unseen in our society, and the passions of a classical Romantic

   In modern parlance, the Church of Satan may be called a user-driven
   organization. Members are involved and advanced exactly as their
   own desires, abilities and accomplishments dictate. There are no
   set activities, meetings or contacts. The new member comes to the
   organization, ideally, with his own goals and plans for achieving
   them; he presents them to us and is directed in the way that would
   be most mutually beneficial. The CoS is not looking for people who
   join and want us to "put on a show," taking them by the hand,
   introducing them to their new friends, telling them what time to
   show up for the weekly get-together and what to wear. Satanists are
   not put in contact automatically, or even by geographical proximity.
   True elitists are by their nature very individualistic and neighboring
   members won't necessarily have anything in common; "just being
   Satanists together" isn't enough. When we observe members making
   advances on their own in their chosen fields of endeavor, we may put
   them in contact with other members running on the same track; we've
   watched this happen many times and we're pleased and proud to say the
   results are often magical. There are also members who are satisfied
   simply to join and be counted among the adherents to a philosophy
   that best embodies their own true nature.

3. Anton Szandor LaVey

3.1. The man and his life

   (This is an excerpt from Blanche Barton's book, _The Church of
   Satan_. For an even more detailed and fascinating LaVey biography,
   read _The Secret Life of a Satanist_, also by Blanche Barton. See
   the books section of this FAQ for details.)

   Anton Szandor LaVey was born in gangland-era Chicago on April 11,
   1930; but his parents moved to California soon after his birth.
   After a restless youth, where he had his first supernatural
   experiences, he dropped out of high school at the age of 16,
   deciding to  become second oboist for the San Francisco Ballet
   Orchestra. Later, he decided the circus was a good place for an
   energetic young man with his talents, and so he signed on with the
   Clyde Beatty Circus.

   At 17, LaVey was taming eight Nubian Lions and four Bengal tigers
   alone in the big cage and developed a close relation with and an
   affection for the big cats. But his musical talents were not
   wasted, either, and he played the calliope regularly, accompanying
   circus greats from the Flying Wallendas to Hugo Zachinni.

   LaVey extended his knowledge of the outdoor entertainment industry
   by joining the carnival and amusement park circuit, working some of
   the biggest traveling shows on the Pacific Coast. Playing calliope,
   Wurlitzer band organ, or Hammond along every midway, LaVey also
   worked with famed freaks in the "Ten-in-One." He was in his element
   among the loners, drifters and marginal types who have always been
   attracted to the cynical carnival atmosphere. It was here LaVey
   learned how much people will pay to be fooled -- how desperately
   they want to escape their own dull lives.

   After a short career as a photographer for the SFPD and an
   investigator in occult affairs, LaVey completely devoted himself to
   exploring the occult and magic. He founded the "Magic Circle" and
   held lectures on various magical and outré subjects. Finally, on
   Walpurgisnacht 1966, his life work came to a significiant culmination
   when he founded the Church of Satan, proclaiming the Satanic Year I.

3.2. LaVey's death

   As many (false) rumors and even more lies have been spread over
   the net (and they still are), here is a short factual account of
   Dr. LaVey's death.

   Having a long-standing valvular problem associated with rheumatic
   heart disease, Anton LaVey had some kind of massive cardiac
   arrhythmia after several internal bleedings in late summer of 1997
   C.E. had been treated in hospital. He died on October the 29th, in
   St. Mary's Hospital, a Catholic hospital associated with the
   University of San Francisco. He was brought to St. Mary's because
   it was the closest facility to him; he had never been treated
   there before. He made no "death bed" recantations of his philosophy.

   Although there has been some confusion with his funeral records,
   some listed Halloween as his death date, rumors that his death has
   been caused deliberately by a Xtian nurse are grossly false. He was
   being given a Satanic funeral, attended only by his closest
   relatives and was cremated afterwards, as per his wishes.

3.3. The Church of Satan after LaVey

   Blanche Barton, Anton LaVey's long-time companion and mother of his
   son Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, acted after his death at first alone
   as High Priestess of the Church of Satan. In May 2001 she ordained
   Magister Peter H. Gilmore as new High Priest and his wife Magistra
   Peggy Nadramia as Magistra Templi Rex to assist her in the leadership
   of the organization. Read a short excerpt from the High Priestess'
   Walpurgisnacht XXXVI communiqué for this announcement:

   "... 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 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499),
   as will approval and coordination of present and future Grotto
   Masters. ...

   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. ..."
   (You can find the full text in the news section of the Church of Satan
   web site.)

   Finally, on Walpurgisnacht 2002, the transition was completed when
   Blanche Barton appointed Peggy Nadramia as the new High Priestess of
   the Church of Satan, taking herself the title of Magistra Templi Rex.
   In her own words: "Together, High Priest Gilmore and High Priestess
   Nadramia have generated potent magical energy between them as husband
   and wife, and will now be able to apply that same balance, cooperation
   and vitality to the Church of Satan."

   Note that the new mailing address for membership registration and
   correspondences, as of 30 April, Walpurgisnacht, XXXVI A.S., is our
   New York City office:

   Church of Satan,
   New York Contact,
   P.O. Box 499, Radio City Station,
   New York, NY 10101-0499, USA

   Memberships registrations and correspondences sent to other prior
   Church of Satan addresses (san Francisco, San Diego) will be processed
   however there may be a delay.

3.4. Myths and truths

   Zeena LaVey, his younger daughter, chose to disown her father in
   1989 and had no more contact with him nor the Church of Satan since.
   After his death, she has gone on TV shows, claiming that she has proven
   herself to be the more competent Satanic magician as her father died
   due to a curse she placed upon him. Of course, no such curse was
   mentioned prior to his death. She has contacted reporters to claim
   among other things, that her father was a wife-beater (no evidence
   has been provided to back up this assertion), and that he never had a
   relationship with Jayne Mansfield (despite the fact that several photos
   prove the contrary, see _The Secret Life of a Satanist_) or any
   involvement with the film _Rosemary's Baby_ (LaVey was known to have
   helped promote the San Francisco premiere and the publicity concerning
   the Church of Satan clearly influenced Ira Levin, author of the novel).
   She has cursed herself to a miserable fate.

   Karla LaVey, his older daughter, chose not to be affiliated with the
   Church of Satan.

   People often wondered about the "Doctor" title seen once in awhile
   in connection with LaVey's name. Formally speaking, Anton
   LaVey did not hold a Ph.D. or anything similar. But he never said
   that he did earn such a degree. It was and still is the practice that
   his friends and people who hold him up in great respect called and
   continue to call him "Doc" or "Dr. LaVey" as a kind of honorary title
   (_The Secret Life of a Satanist_, p.223). It is only natural that
   there were and will always be people who run him down because of
   this. So what? If they are not good enough to get an academic
   degree for themselves at some university and not famous enough to
   get an honorary title, chalk it up to envy and jealousy.

3.5. Isn't Anton LaVey merely ripping off Nietzsche?

   Extremely limited (and limiting) thinking, indeed. When LaVey
   refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone
   else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the
   indices of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems or is similar
   to past concepts, oftentimes, this material is augmented with modern
   circumstances, his own thoughts, and may be synthesized from past
   thinkers. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, a working blend
   of science and philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the
   valid concepts of old, working with them in our new context and
   taking them into the future. (If we didn't, who else would?) It is
   the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many
   other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went
   along with established thought and never added to it. It's evolution,
   pure and simple.

4. Satanism as seen by the Church of Satan

4.1. Our philosophies

   If you have not already done so, we strongly suggest you purchase
   _The Satanic Bible_, and study it. It is a diabolical book, the
   basis for our philosophy. Satanism is not for everyone, but if it
   is for you, we welcome you. We are not a fan club, a pen-pal
   society, or a lonely hearts group. We are a group of dynamic
   individuals who stand forth as the ultimate underground alternative
   -- the Alien Elite. We realize what we have, what we are, and what
   we shall become. Our scope is unlimited, and the extent of your
   involvement is based upon your own potential.

   In recent years, we've wasted far too much time explaining that
   Satanism has nothing to do with kidnapping, drug abuse, child
   molestation, animal or child sacrifice, or any number of other acts
   which idiots, hysterics or opportunists would like to blame on us.
   Satanism is a life-loving, rational philosophy that millions
   of people adhere to. Now we're ready for something that goes quite
   a few steps beyond just explaining our principles. Every
   revisionist movement needs a set of goals/guidelines that are
   clear, concrete, and that will effect significant changes.

   The following Five-Point Program reflects attitudes which allow
   others to decide whether they wish to align themselves with
   Satanism or not. Each is necessary for Satanic change to take
   place. When asked what we're "doing", here's the answer:

   1) STRATIFICATION -- The point on which all the others ultimately
   rest. There can be no more myth of "equality" for all--it only
   translates to "mediocrity" and supports the weak at the expense of
   the strong. Water must be allowed to seek its own level without
   interference from apologists for incompetence. No one should be
   protected from the effects of his own stupidity.

   2) STRICT TAXATION OF ALL CHURCHES -- If churches were taxed for
   all their income and property, they'd crumble overnight of their
   own obsolescence, and the National Debt would be wiped out as
   quickly. The productive, the creative, the resourceful should be
   subsidized. So long as the useless and incompetent are getting
   paid, they should be heavily taxed.

   INTO LAW AND ORDER ISSUES -- to re-establish "Lex Talionis" would
   require a complete overturning of the present in-justice system
   based on Judeo-Christian ideals, where the victim/defender has been
   made the criminal. Amnesty should be considered for anyone in
   prison because of his alleged "influence" upon the actual
   perpetrator of the crime. Everyone is influenced in what he or she
   does. Scapegoating has become a way of life, a means of survival
   for the unfit. As an extension of the Judeo-Christian cop-out of
   blaming the Devil for everything, criminals can gain leniency, even
   praise, by placing the blame on a convenient villain. Following the
   Satanic creed of "Responsibility to the responsible," in a Satanic
   society, everyone must experience the consequences of his own
   actions -- for good or ill.

   forbidden industry. An economic "godsend" which will allow everyone
   "power" over someone else. Polite, sophisticated, technologically
   feasible slavery. And the most profitable industry since TV and the

   BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS OF SAME -- Privately owned, operated and
   controlled environments as an alternative to homogenized and
   polyglot ones. The freedom to insularize oneself within a social
   milieu of personal well-being. An opportunity to feel, see, and
   hear that which is most aesthetically pleasing, without
   interference from those who would pollute or detract from that

4.2. The Nine Satanic Statements

   1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.
   2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe
   3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical
   4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of
      love wasted on ingrates.
   5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek.
   6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of
      concern for psychic vampires.
   7. Satan represents man as just another animal -- sometimes better,
      more often worse than those that walk on all-fours -- who,
      because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development,"
      has become the most vicious animal of all.
   8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to
      physical, mental, or emotional gratification.
   9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He
      has kept it in business all these years.

4.3. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

    1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
    2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they
       want to hear them.
    3. When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go
    4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and
       without mercy.
    5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating
    6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a
       burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
    7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it
       successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of
       magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose
       all you have obtained.
    8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject
    9. Do not harm little children.
   10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for
       your food.
   11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone
       bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

4.4. The Nine Satanic Sins

   1. Stupidity -- The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal
      Sin of Satanism. It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.
      Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on
      stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they
      are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture
      that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn
      to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.
   2. Pretentiousness -- Empty posturing can be most irritating and
      isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal
      footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation
      these days. Everyone's made to feel like a big shot, whether
      they can come up with the goods or not.
   3. Solipsism -- Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting
      your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is
      probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of
      expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy
      and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead,
      Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as
      they do unto you." It's work for most of us and requires
      constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of
      everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would
      be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or
      perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far
      from that point.
   4. Self-deceit -- It's in the Nine Satanic Statements but deserves
      to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay
      homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the
      roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time
      self-deceit should be entered into is when it's fun, and with
      awareness. But then, it's not self-deceit!
   5. Herd Conformity -- That's obvious from a Satanic stance. It's
      all right to conform to a person's wishes, if it ultimately
      benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting
      an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a
      master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the
   6. Lack of Perspective -- Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain
      for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you
      are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We
      are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider
      historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key
      to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit
      things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do
      not be swayed by herd constraints -- know that you are working
      on another level entirely from the rest of the world.
   7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies -- Be aware that this is one
      of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something
      "new" and "different," when in reality it's something that was
      once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We
      are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and
      forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
   8. Counterproductive Pride -- That first word is important. Pride
      is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with
      the bath-water. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you,
      great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted
      yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm
      sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow,"
      then do it.
   9. Lack of Aesthetics -- This is the physical application of the
      Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and
      should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any
      money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the
      time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but "an eye"
      for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must
      be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It's not what's
      supposed to be pleasing -- it's what is. Aesthetics is a
      personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are
      universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should
      not be denied.

4.5. What is the Satanic Bunco Sheet?

   Because Anton LaVey has made Satanism so popular, it appears that
   everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. If you're new to the Realm
   of Darkness suddenly feeling the fires of Satan burning within you,
   be warned: there are unethical individuals out there who will attempt
   to prey upon you, claiming they can teach you how to become a Great
   Black Magician overnight, offering "instant priesthoods" in bogus
   "Satanic Churches," who will promise instructional fellowship and
   activities with "True Masters", who may claim unverifiable links
   with the Church of Satan or other such lineage. Save your money.
   The Satanic Bunco Sheet is a tip sheet to recognize pseudo- and
   anti-Satanic groups that have sprouted up since LaVey started the
   original Church of Satan.

   Some places where you can find and read the complete Satanic Bunco

4.6. To apply the name of Satan to this church implies a connection
     to the Bible. What is the stance of the CoS on these popular
     tales and predictions? Who is Christ to the CoS?

   We take the name Satan in concept only. Any other connection is
   thrust upon us by anxious, ignorant, and/or misinformed people. The
   archetype itself, by whatever name is appropriate, is far older
   than Xtianity or Judaism, and it was these religions that, in order
   to gain a foothold in the world, decided to destroy and bastardize
   the "pagan gods." Satan has generally been the character who has
   challenged sterile thought, encouraged indulgence, rebelled against
   slavery, and truly represented human nature and all that the
   mundane world offers. By extension, instead of worshipping Satan,
   we emulate him. The Xtian bible was probably one of the greatest
   pieces of propaganda (with Mein Kampf running a close second) in
   world history but, quite frankly, we think that the intelligent
   members of a scientifically, philosophically, and technologically
   advanced civilization should logically cease to have a need for
   such outmoded parables and slave ethics. But, seeing as insecurity
   never goes out of style, those in need seek their baby-sitters in
   whatever avenue is acceptable; in LaVey's words, a "privileged lie."
   Many Satanists also view the Xtian bible as an example of mankind's
   hypocrisy, incompetence, and spinelessness. Jesus Christ is the
   paradigm for these qualities, and is thus reviled by Satanists.
   How can anyone with human insight and reasonable logic skills
   accept the phrase "the meek shall inherit the Earth" without
   laughing? History certainly doesn't support this assertion. From my
   experience, many people who call themselves Xtians are so merely by
   convenience and not so much by a rational decision, if rationality is
   possible. It's a truly insecure philosophy that demands its tenets
   to be installed in humans from early childhood, because if it was
   introduced for the first time to adults, many would raise their
   eyebrows in suspicion and disgust. Many Xtians I've met haven't even
   read their bible (at least, not critically), but keep the book on
   their coffee table to appear "righteous." And, some just skip the
   sanguine parts. Many of them really seem to "get off" on their
   religion; the self-righteousness feeds their impoverished egos.

4.7. As a representative for Satanism, you do interviews and lectures.
     Isn't this preaching? And, doesn't this violate your rule of not
     giving your opinions unless asked?

   This isn't preaching and it doesn't go against the First
   Satanic Rule of the Earth. If you open a magazine, turn on your
   radio, or click on your television and see an interview with a
   Satanist, you've reached a point where you will either not read or
   look at it, or you will. If you choose the latter, you have
   consigned yourself to the information and, by your own actions,
   have given your non-verbal consent to receive such information
   about our religion. If you attend a lecture, you have even more so
   welcomed yourself to our "opinions." No one coerced you to attend
   or read or watch or listen. Assuming that Satanism can be preached
   is to assume that anyone can be a Satanist, which is grossly false.
   We say that Satanists are born, so proselytizing to us, unlike other
   Religions, would have no point. It would waste our time and we'd
   have to care about amassing numbers, which we don't. Quality, not
   quantity, is our standard.

5. Membership in the Church of Satan

5.1. How can I become a member of the Church of Satan?
     What if I do not live in the US?

   We don't solicit memberships; however, if you wish to join us, to
   show your support or appreciation, you can become a Registered
   Member. Write a letter to  P. O. Box 499, Radio City Station,
   New York, NY 10101-0499, USA, with a self-addressed stamped
   envelope (or include two International Reply Coupons, if you live
   outside the US) and ask for our membership information. You can
   also download and print the form from many web sites on the WWW.
   The Church of Satan accepts members from all over the world.

   For a one-time registration fee of one hundred dollars, you will
   receive a crimson card declaring you a member of the Church of
   Satan. No further dues will be expected. All names and addresses
   are held in strict confidence and you are under no obligation as a
   Registered Member, unless you choose to present yourself for
   further consideration.

   You'll also receive a questionnaire. Filling out the questionnaire
   indicates your more serious interest in our organization. By
   completing and returning it, you will be included in our E-Bulletin
   List so you can receive announcements pertinent to your

5.2. What happens if I change my mind and want to get out of all this

   There are those who propagate such rumors as "there is no possible
   way to get out of a Satanic organization other than death." This
   is intended to scare the gullible into thinking they will be held as
   members against their will. It is nonsense. All one has to do to end
   their association with the Church of Satan is to _write us a letter_
   telling us that they want to resign.

   No one is expelled unless they do something that is blatantly
   against our tenets (which can include criminal behavior). Unless
   people let us know in writing that they want to resign, or their
   membership is terminated by the administration, we consider
   them members.

5.3. I am not 18 years old yet. Can I still become a member?

   You may become a member of the Church of Satan at any age, though
   further participation in the organization is limited to those who
   are eighteen years of age or older. This is not meant as a judgment
   of your maturity; we've received letters from 14-year-olds who had
   a distinct, mature grasp of Satanism. But we must be realistic
   about the world around us. One reason is that we don't want to
   become a haven for the kind of sanctimonious perverts that
   Christian churches and other "Goodguy Badge" forums (such as Big
   Brother/Big Sister, Boy Scouts, etc.) often are. There are a lot of
   sick people out there, and we don't want our vital young Satanists
   to become victims of twisted adults who are more interested in
   contacting young kids than they are in practicing Satanism.

   Another reason we restrict activities of minors is because your
   parents or other adults in your life may not understand us or
   might be hostile toward your exploration of this religion. They
   may try to cause trouble for us, perhaps by falsely accusing us
   of any number of things, just because they feel threatened. So,
   we simply cannot allow anyone under the legal age of consent to
   participate in any activities directly sponsored by the Church of
   Satan. The _only_ exception to this rule would be with the
   _written permission and attendance_ of your parent or legal
   guardian. Some of you may be lucky enough to have a very good
   relationship with your parents and they may be supportive, even
   enthusiastic, about your exploration of the "Dark Side." They may be
   willing to go with you to meet a local Grotto Master and decide on
   your level of participation at this point in your magical
   development. If this is the case, let us know.

5.4. The Church of Satan charges application fees for membership and
     further involvement and accepts money from people. Sounds like
     your garden-variety tent-show evangelist scam.

   First off, you are probably confusing two different terms. The
   Church of Satan is an organization. Satanism is a religion. Since
   we are one of the few (if not the ONLY) religions whose
   organized body REJECTS the tax-exempt status other religions cling
   to, the CoS accepts money to keep it moving, and we pay BACK into
   the economic system. ("Responsibility to the responsible.") Also,
   there seem to be a couple of presuppositions hiding under this
   statement. The first is that we should feel "bad" or "humble" about
   money. Why? We are Satanists. Most of us appreciate success in one
   form or another and, in business, we know that money often enough
   helps this along. We lay our cards on the table and have no problem
   with it. If a credible Satanist pays into the CoS, he or she does
   this in support, and does it knowingly because he or she is wise,
   like all good Satanists are. If your average ignoramus throws money
   at the CoS, the organization is happy to take that, too. But, it is
   the idiot, not the CoS, who should be held responsible because,
   quite frankly, we didn't rush up to his house with Uzis, drag him
   to the ATM, and make him empty out his account for us. You don't
   even have to be a member of the CoS to be a Satanist, so no money
   is required, unlike that required by others for tithes, collection
   plates, and holy corn meal. (The monetary fee, by extension, also
   keeps out most of the trend chasers, the occultniks, and the
   terrorists. We don't want them and we won't put up with them.) The
   second presupposition lies in the penchant for equating us with
   the model of religion which Xtianity ostensibly portrays. It has
   been adequately stated and PROVEN that Satanism is not inverse
   Xtianity. It's an old point. Tell the spiritual churches to pay
   THEIR taxes and see what they say. The differences are enormous.

5.5. I really want to join the Church of Satan... I mean, A LOT! I
     want to be a Priest and be one of you. I want magical powers and
     a direct phone-line to Satan.

   Go away. Reading _TSB_ should make it clear why we do not welcome
   persons with this attitude.

5.6. Do you find most of the membership of the CoS to be 'Xtian
     refugees' or do they come from all sorts of backgrounds?

   Surely, I couldn't speak for all Satanists, but I would assume that
   many, particularly older Satanists who grew up in an era when
   Xtianity was taken a bit more seriously, had some sort of Xtian
   indoctrination in their childhoods. Oftentimes, teens will approach
   Satanism as a reaction to their growing disdain for Xtianity, and I
   think that's an honest and healthy step, speaking from experience.
   However, once a Satanist (a true Satanist, and not some drugged-out
   devil-worshipping metalhead with a penchant for feline slaughter)
   grows up a bit and experiences some of the outside world, Satanism
   becomes a lot more than a game of shock-the-sheep and the Satanist
   applies himself/herself to attain goals and engage in meaningful
   pursuits. I wouldn't use the phrase "Xtian refugees" to describe
   the situation mentioned above, simply because there is an implied
   idea of victimization riding shotgun with it, and victim is a label
   no Satanist cares to wear - mainly because it's unproductive as
   well as being antithetical to pure Satanic philosophy.

6. Satanic Literature

6.1. Books by and about Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan

   -- by Anton Szandor LaVey.
   Published in paperback by AVON BOOKS; available in all major
   bookstores, in the Occult or New Age sections.

   -- by Anton Szandor LaVey.
   Published by Feral House, available in all major bookstores. If
   needed, bookseller can order, or copies are available from the
   FERAL HOUSE, 2554 Lincoln Blvd. #1059, Venice, CA 90291, USA.
   Send SASE for info.

   -- by Anton Szandor LaVey
   Dr. LaVey's last (and final) book, released
   1998 by FERAL HOUSE (address above).

   -- by Blanche Barton.
   The authorized biography of Anton LaVey, published by FERAL HOUSE.
   In the "Biography" section of bookstores (paperback or hardcover),
   or send SASE to FERAL HOUSE (address above) for info.

   -- by Blanche Barton.
   Detailed history of the Church, with photos, instructions on
   forming Grottos or groups, lists of Satanic films, music, and
   books. Available in stores, or order from:
   P. O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499.
   Send SASE or 2 IRC for information.

   -- by Arthur Lyons.
   Published in 1988 by MYSTERIOUS PRESS (paperback and hardcover
   editions). Buy or order in stores.

6.1.1. Where can I get a copy of _The Satanic Bible_?

   _The Satanic Bible_ can be found (in America) in most chain
   bookstores in the New Age, Philosophy, or Religion sections.

   Many non-U.S. readers have written that _The Satanic Bible_ is not
   available in their country for various reasons. I suggest trying
   one of the following methods:

   If your local book store does not carry _The Satanic Bible_ or any
   other books mentioned here (or, what would be the correct truth in
   most cases, does not _want_ to hold them in stock), you can mail
   order them from most of the addresses mentioned here without
   problems. (See also the list at the end of this FAQ file.)

   They also will be glad to serve inquiries from other countries,
   although you may find the air mail charges rather steep. In Europe,
   you might also try PENTAGRAM, P. O. Box 66, Dewsbury WF12 0XY, UK.
   They carry most of the books mentioned here.

   If you have access to the Internet, you could also place an on-line
   order with one of those companies:

   A great place for book searches is also

   and finally you might find a bargain or a rare artifact at

6.1.2. Where can I get an electronic copy of _The Satanic Bible_?

   We do not support any electronic transmission of this text as
   such is a violation of copyright laws.

6.2. Satanic Magazines and Publications

6.2.1. The Cloven Hoof

   The official _Bulletin_ of the Church of Satan. Current news,
   articles, poetry, reviews, and analyses pertaining to all subjects
   Satanic. Includes the latest LaVeyan releases and rip-offs. An
   interactive communiqué, disseminating information received from our
   vigilant Satanic Forces around the world! Address submissions and
   subscription requests to:
   Blanche Barton, The Cloven Hoof, PMB #365, P.O.Box 390009
   San Diego CA 92149-0009, USA. $35 per year, Sample copy $5
   (U.S. funds). Make U.S. checks or money order to "Blanche
   Barton". Foreign orders add $8.00 for subscription or $2.00
   for single issue.

6.2.2. The Black Flame

   This _magazine_ is the international forum of the Church of Satan.
   Published once per year, this comprehensive magazine will inform
   you about trends in Satanic happenings and thought. Filled with
   articles, reviews, poetry, and artwork of vital interest to all
   Satanists. Single copy is $7.00 ($9.00 outside U.S.), two-issue
   subscription is $14.00 ($18.00 outside U.S.). Send U.S. funds or
   money order to: HELL'S KITCHEN PRODUCTIONS. (See address above).

6.2.3. Not Like Most

   A Satanic publication adhering to the philosophies set forth by
   Anton Szandor LaVey, The Church of Satan and directly affiliated
   publications. Its primary audience is comprised of Satanists,
   although it is also written for non-Xtian and anti-Xtian readers.
   _Not Like Most_ is published once per year and is available by
   mail order for $4.00 ($5.00 outside the continental United States.)
   Payment is to be made either by cash or a United States postal
   money order filled out in the publisher's name, not the publishing
   company. NO CHECKS.
   Publisher: Rev. Matt G. Paradise, Priest - Church of Satan
   Not Like Most, P. O. Box 88131, Burlington, Vermont 05402, USA

6.2.4. The Raven

   "The lighter side of the dark." Empower a vitally important Satanic
   attribute: your sense of humor! Enjoy our insightful and humorous
   take on life, food and wine, religion, culture, current events,
   etc. Issued quarterly (Equinoxes and Solstices). $10.00 per
   year($15.00 outside US), payable to:
   N.B. Smith, Box 163, Stratford CT 06497-0163 USA

6.2.5. Others

   The Black Pun-kin
   Canada's Satanic Forum
   $7.00 US American residents, $7.00 CDN Canadian residents,
   $10.00 US Overseas
   All checks and money orders payable to Robert A. Lang
   The Black Pun-kin, P. O. Box 32017, 1386 Richmond R.d.,
   Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2B 1A1

6.3. A little Satanically-inspired book suggestion

   Food for discussion groups or diabolical rumination. Most of these
   have nothing to do with Satanism per se, but the keen reader will
   be able to glean much from them, nevertheless. These works are just
   a small selection from Anton LaVey's bookshelves, but it should
   give you the idea and whet the appetite.

   Please note that this is just an arbitrarily shortened and biased
   (by the FAQ maintainer) version of the much longer, albeit still
   only hinting, list on books, music, and films which is given in
   the appendix of Blanche Barton's book, _The Church of Satan_.

6.3.1 Non-Fiction

   Carl Jung: _Man and His Symbols_

   Friedrich Nietzsche: esp. _Beyond Good and Evil_, _The Anti-Christ_
                        and _Twilight of the Gods_

   _The Johnson, Smith and Company Catalogue: Surprising Novelties,
   Puzzles, Tricks, Jokegoods. Useful Articles, etc._

   Ambrose Bierce: _The Devil's Dictionary_

   H.L. Mencken: esp. _The American Language_

   Jerry Mander: _Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television_

6.3.2 Fiction

   Charles Finney: _Circus of Dr. Lao_

   Fyodor Dostoevsky: _Notes from Underground_

   H.G. Wells: esp. _The Island of Dr. Moreau_

   Jules Verne: _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_

   Oscar Wilde: _The Picture of Dorian Gray_

   Jack London: esp. _The Sea-Wolf_, and books of lycanthropic

   Fred Saberhagen: _The Dracula Tape_

   Macabre stories and poetry of _Weird tales_ and Arkham House
   writers Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap, August Derleth,
   et al.

7. Satanic Music and Videos

7.1. Music by Anton Szandor LaVey

   See the Sources page at
   EMPIRE, also known as "Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse", written and
   performed by Anton LaVey).

7.2. Other Music of Satanic value

   Look out for Franz List (Mephisto Waltz, Faust Symphony), Modest
   Mussorgsky (Night on Bald Mountain), Richard Wagner, Richard
   Strauss (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), Frederic Chopin, Igor
   Stravinsky, and many more.

7.3. Videos

   -- Video interview by Nick Bougas.
   LaVey intersperses musical performances with his unique and
   penetrating commentary, ranging from American pop music to World
   Wars to Whoopie Cushions!

   -- with on-camera introduction and narration by Anton LaVey.
   Extremely graphic morgue shots and crime scene photos. Not for the
   faint of heart!

   -- Similar material, but with soundtracks by Peter Gilmore.

   For information about all video selections above, write to:
   FERAL HOUSE, 2554 Lincoln Blvd. #1059, Venice, CA 90291, USA.
   Please include a SASE or IRC.

   -- a 1968 documentary film about the Church of Satan.
   A fascinating documentation about the early days of the Church of
   Satan, giving many philosophical insights and witness to magical
   rituals. This jewel has long been lost, but recently it turned up
   Send SASE or IRC to:
   Strength Through Joy Prod.,
   P. O. Box 82435, Portland, OR 97282, USA

8. The Church of Satan on the Internet

   Our online representative is High Priestess Peggy Nadramia:
   The official web site of the Church of Satan

   Some selected web sites where you may also find information from
   and about the Church of Satan and Anton LaVey provided by our
   affiliates. Use them as starting points for your own research.
   Caveat Emptor!
   Purging Talon Publishing Headquarters
   The current incarnation of the Satanic Network
   Herbert's Dark Corner of the Web

9. Artifacts and where to look for them

9.1. Artifacts

   THE SATANIC BIBLE and THE SATANIC RITUALS were published briefly in
   hardback editions in the early 1970's by UNIVERSITY BOOKS. They
   turn up very rarely in stacks of used books. Anyone looking for
   these should probably use a book search service.

   THE DEVIL'S AVENGER, a 1974 paperback biography of Anton LaVey, is
   long out of print. Rare copies sometimes turn up through book
   search services, however.

   THE SATANIC MASS (an LP) was the first recording of authentic
   Satanic rituals, made in 1968. It has been re-released on CD by
   Amarillo Records (address above). A rendition by Anton LaVey of his
   HYMN OF THE SATANIC EMPIRE has been added, making this album a real

   THE COMPLEAT WITCH (which originally had U.S. hardcover and
   paperback editions as well as an Italian hardcover edition) has
   been re-released as THE SATANIC WITCH.

9.2. Societies

   BCM 3406, London, WC1N 3XX England
   (The society for submissive ladies.)

   P. O. Box 3582, Lacy, WA 98509
   (The only organization for those who share a vampire aesthetic.)

9.3. Shops

   (Please send SASE or IRC for ordering info.)

   PO Box 48-WEB, Middlefield, MA 01243-0048, USA

   17 East Campbell Street, Arlington Heights, IL 60005, USA
   (Gargoyles, etc.)

   60 Pearce Ave., Tonawanda, NY 14150, USA

   P. O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499, USA

   236 West Manchester, Los Angeles, CA 90003, USA

   4514 19th Street Court East,
   P. O. Box 25500, Bradenton, FL 34206-5500, USA

Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8 for non-commercial use <>


User Contributions:

Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 14, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
One of the most relate able philosophical concepts of Satanism, for me, is individualism. I discovered and enhanced my musical ability from a very young age and have never ceased to hone it , yet my family always shunned my ambition to become a recognized musician. Thus after my school years I migrated into more common mainstream occupations of physical labor to generate income, becoming another young man who simply existed to collect his paycheck, when being a faddist/herd mentalist etc was never truly part of my make-up. The issue is, TSB is encouraging me towards my music/performing arts ambition yet physical labor has (like a regular smoking habit) almost become normal for me (which my heart does not truly want). Could the coS lend me its advice?
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Feb 7, 2022 @ 10:22 pm
(ASP Culture)
Church of Satan reverend Ashley S Palmer explains why he has no interest in worshipping the devil...

Kashmira Gander
Friday 06 November 2020 13:04

[This article was first published in 2017]

Picture a Satanist, and you might imagine someone dressed in a black cloak and mask engaging in bizarre violent rituals. At some point in this vision, Satan might even burst through the floor in a flurry of fire and bring an end to the world.

All in all, a Satanist is not the sort of person you'll be calling up to have dinner with your mum anytime soon. But those are the sorts of stereotypes that Ashley S. Palmer, a reverend of the Church of Satan, wants to debunk.

How the Satanic Temple is turning religion upside down
Satanists may not sound like the friendliest types, but the 33-year-old who lives on the south-east coast of England with his wife and baby daughter is happy to explain why his religion is misunderstood. It has nothing to do with devil worship, he stresses.

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Inspired by
The religion, founded just over 50 years ago by US author and musician Anton Szandor LaVey has much more to do with atheism and libertarian ideals of the freedom to indulge, muddled together with a dash of Machiavellian pragmatism.

Palmer spoke to The Independent about how Satanism affects his daily life, and why a Satanist's favourite holiday is their birthday.

How old are you, where are you based, and what is your role in the Church of Satan?

I am a 33-year-old entrepreneur living on the south-east coast of England with my wife and baby daughter.

My role in the Church of Satan grew organically out of my passion for the philosophy, and pursuits pertinent to the propagation of Satanism as codified by its founder Anton Szandor LaVey. These activities were recognised by High Priest Peter H. Gilmore as authentic and effective additions to our world view, and I was ordained a Priest out-of-the-blue due to these meritorious ef (...)

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