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Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America Hardcover – June 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

So-called satanic cults in the U.S. are investigated in this survey by Lyons (The Second Coming: Satanism in America) who shows that many claims regarding Satanist conspiracies do not hold up to scrutiny. He documents the historical roots of devil worship in "black Masses," sexual orgies and other rites and practices. He views contemporary charges of Satanism against such flamboyant groups as the Church of Satan, founded by self-proclaimed Satanic high priest LaVey, as evolving from media hype and hysteria. A theologian quoted here notes "very little of what is currently being called Satanism is actually religious phenomena, let alone a religious movement." From his study of supposed satanic cults and their widely differing orientations, Lyons demonstrates only that people have emotional and psychological needs that provoke strange behaviors.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (June 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892962178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892962174
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best or the best book on satanism ever written. It's a shame it's out of print. this is a must-have for occultists and Christians, who will learn negative accustions against satanism are patently untrue. I enjoyed the chapters on Crowley, LaVey and the Temple of Set the most, though the Crowley chapter should've been longer. Aquino left the Church of Satan partially because LaVey was selling priesthoods wheras Aquino thought it should be on basis of magickal merit. Also Aquino didn't put anything on world merit in satanists where LaVey drew on popular entertainers and respectable world jobs. Satanic serial killers are covered, as are witch hunts. This book is excellent, and holds a very high place in my occult library.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By RWeiser@28bbl.wa.com on October 11, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a High Priest of the Wiccan religion, I read the cover with some trepidation - was this going to be another re-hash, trashing my religion?' Thankfully, the answer was a resounding "NO!"
Mr. Lyons, in the first few pages of the book, immediately put my fears to rest, as he describes the
differences between the Goddess-worshipping, Earth-centered spirituality of the Wiccan religion and
the beliefs and practises of Satanism today, "as they themselves define it." Re-assured, I immediately
read on, and was impressed by not only his scholarship, but his general neutrality in writing about this
religious movement. Several chapters are devoted to the development of the concept of 'the Devil', and
its rise in popularity from the Middle Ages to the present. One chapter that was especially well-thought out
was the "Urban Legends" chapter, detailing several instances of 'ritual abuse' that had made headlines in
recent years.
Although somewhat dated now, this is one book that I feel does the subject justice, and is both entertaining
and well-researched.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an absolutely wonderful book about Satanism. The author actually has a sense of humor, such a rare thing when writing an exposition on modern Satanism... Read this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By dpbelle@aol.com on December 21, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book belongs on the shelf next to LaVey's Satanic Bible, for it puts Satanism in more of a historic and modern context. The chapter on heavy metal was particulary interesting. While the public's "fear" of this type of stuff has abated during the 1990s, this book remains a must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jerry on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America" by Arthur Lyons is a comprehensive analysis of the history and implications of satanic culture. Through his well-supported and remarkable research, Lyons attempts to summarize what it means to be a “Satanist,” and why the media and fundamentalist Christian groups frequently seem to label individuals with this term in the recent decades. With the exception of the introductory chapter, Lyons sensibly constructed the book in chronological order, spanning from the origin of a religious adversary in the ancient world and the grotesque Sabbat rituals observed by early Spanish Inquisitors, to modern media crime stories and urban legends which involve supposed devil worshippers. Because of Lyons’ successful attempts to debunk folk tales and misconceptions involving the idolatry of Christianity’s infamous antagonist, I believe the book is educational, enlightening, and an essential read for any American.

Through his substantial knowledge of the history of Satanism, Lyons successfully provides an extensive record of devil worship in the United States and explains why he believes contemporary Satanism is not to be feared. I found the book to be quite insightful and scholarly; Lyons often provides examples of instances in which people disagree with his opinion, before disproving them. Furthermore, the book is clearly well-researched. Lyons quotes no less than eighty references in the book’s short 183 pages. He also chose to keep the book somewhat compact; he bushes the shallow surface of some topics, like Crowley and the Salem Witch Trials, which he feels are not as important as others, such as the “Counterculture” and “Urban Legends” chapters, in which he spends more time for discussion.
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