251 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's not what you think...
I have owned this book for quite some time and have read it several times through. When i first purchased it i wasn't looking for a religious experience, nor did i find one. I have always been an Atheist and i like reading about the world;'s many religions so i can offer a non-biased view of this book.
Most christians would have you believe that the Satanic...
Published on November 16, 2006 by J. C.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The most dangerous book of the century NOT
When I was a teenager, the Satanic Bible was considered to be the worst and most dangerous book ever written, with the possible exceptions of "Mein Kampf" and "The Anarchist Cookbook". Everyone was talking about it, but nobody had actually read it. I believe they sold copies of it in some dim lit corner of the local science fiction bookstore. Naturally, the Church of...
Published on July 28, 2007 by Ashtar Command
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251 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's not what you think...,
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This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)I have owned this book for quite some time and have read it several times through. When i first purchased it i wasn't looking for a religious experience, nor did i find one. I have always been an Atheist and i like reading about the world;'s many religions so i can offer a non-biased view of this book.
Most christians would have you believe that the Satanic Bible is a 'set of rules' one would follow on the pathway to Hell, yet it is not. On the contrarty, a 'true' Satanist' does not indulge in the many wicked practices church-goers would have you believe. Of course, that is because they are only repeating what they have been told by the preacher of their said church.
Satanists hold the ohysical body of man and woman on high as a temple, much like christianity, and do NOT perform rituals of bloody sacrafices at night in the nude. Just as christians are bound by the 7 virtues, Satanists hold the so called 'seven deadly sins' high up to keep their way of life a good one. Here is a part from this very book for reference about this:
"The seven deadly sins of the christian church are: greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust, and sloth. Satanism advocates indulging in each of these 'sins' as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.
A Satanist knows there is nothing wrong with being greedy, as it only means that he wants more than he already has. Envy means to look with favor upon the possession of others, and to be desirous of obtaining similar things for oneself. Envy and greed are the motivating forces of ambition--and without ambition, very little of any importance would be accomplished.
Gluttony is simply eating more than you need to keep yourself alive. When you have overeaten to the point of obesity, another 'sin'--pride--will motivate you to regain an appearance that will renew your self-respect.
Anyone who buys an article of clothing for a purpose other than covering his body and protecting it from the elements is guilty of pride. Satanists often encounter scoffers who maintain that labels are not necessary. It must be pointed out to these destroyers of labels that one or many articles they themselves are wearing are not necessary to keep them warm. There is not a person on this earth who is completely devoid of ornamentation. The Satanist points out that any ornamentation of the scoffer's body shows that he, too, is guilty of pride. Regardless of how verbose the cynic may be in his intellectual description of how free he is, he is still wearing the elements of pride.
Being reluctant to get up in the morning is to be guilty of sloth, and if you lie in bed long enough you may find yourself commiting yet another sin--lust. To have the faintest stirring of sexual desire is to be guilty of lust. In order to insure the propagation of humanity, nature made lust the second most powerful instinct, the first being self-preservation. Realizing this, the Christian Church made fornication the 'Original Sin.' In this way they made sure no one would escape sin. Your very state of being is as a result of sin--the Original Sin!
The strongest instinct in every living thing is self-preservation, which brings uo to the last of the seven deadly sins--anger. Is it not our instinct for self-preservation that is aroused when someone harms us, when we become angry enough to protect ourselves from further attack? A Satanist practices the motto 'If a man smite thee on one cheek, smash him on the other!' Let no wrong go unredressed. Be as a lion in the path-be dangerous even in defeat!"
This is taken directly from the Satanic Bible, chapter 3 page 46. Anton Szandor LaVey is the original founder of the first Church of Satan and these are but some of his words. As i read the book thoroughly, i found quite a bit of it interesting as much of it contradicts what the Christian Church would have you believe a Satanist really is. But what ruined the book for me personally was the last few chapters on rituals of/and magic. Now, i am a man of science so i don't believe in such things but for those who do, you may very well be delighted with what you read. The funny thing is that the book tells you more than once that it does not condone, nor do Satanists practice habitually, rituals of human sacrafice.
The rituals contained within are akin to 'voodoo' and the like in that you do certain things in front of an alter such as chime a bell and whatnot, and then you 'pray' for certain things such as better fortune or karma if you will on one that has wronged you or a loved one.
The whole premise of the book is that man is not much different than the animals we dominate. Our basic instincts and drives are what helped us to populate the earth and we should not try to now separate ourselves from those instincts.
Of course, you may be thinking that this is barbaric, but if you do infact read this book you will note, as per further reading of the 'sins', that if all of man kept himself to the seven sins, much of the wrong that plagues the woprld would be very much avoided.
Pride seems to be praised alot as it seems to be the sin that keeps the others in check. Your pride won't let you get fat, be lazy, sleep around, hurt others unnecessarily out of anger, or envy others too much because if you do then it will motivate you to work harder to achieve the things you do envy.
I gave this book 5 stars because it contains ALOT that has been hidden, twisted and made to be misinformed to those unaware. And though i would have given it four stars because of its parts on ritual magic, i realize that my personal beliefs do not matter when offering this review to others.
Pretty much, it is the same as Christianity, with Lucifer/Satan (he has many names in the book) taking the place of Jesus as the angel of knowledge. And where Christianity focuses more on submissive compassion, Satanism focuses more on confident and real expectations in our every day world.
It doesn't harp on the notion that if everyone becomes a Satanist then this world would be at last with peace for it says that world peace is quite impossible simply because of our primal instincts. And that, as it presents itself, is the way it should be; just as in all of nature.
Nor does it tell you to go around forcing your way to get what you want. The 'if a man smite you one one cheek, smash him on the other' mantra is only a metaphor not to be taken literally. It is meant to represent the confidence one is supposed to have in themselves to achieve what they desire and not let others impose upon them as they do the same.
I can sum up most of the teachings of this book with this:
"The harder you work for the things you wish to achieve, the more likely you will achieve them."
If you still think that Satanism is nothing but a religion where you are allowed to willingly hate others for your own expense then i urge you to buy and read this book. It will prove to you otherwise. It even says that a Satanist does not waste their precious time hating others as this is only a waste of your own time.
Weird how much Christianity and Satanism actually have in common. The thing i find most fascination is that one could not exist without the other, as you will see in reading this book.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The most dangerous book of the century NOT,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)When I was a teenager, the Satanic Bible was considered to be the worst and most dangerous book ever written, with the possible exceptions of "Mein Kampf" and "The Anarchist Cookbook". Everyone was talking about it, but nobody had actually read it. I believe they sold copies of it in some dim lit corner of the local science fiction bookstore. Naturally, the Church of Satan were considered to be dangerous extremists, and their black-painted church in San Fransisco sure looked spooky.
Or did it? Well, not really. When I finally read "The Satanic Bible", I was very disappointed. *This* is supposedly the most dangerous book ever written?! You gotta be kidding. And, of course, Anton Szandor LaVey *is* kidding. His Church of Satan isn't really Satanist at all, and uses the designation mostly to provoke people, Christians in particular. If anything, "The Satanic Bible" is libertarian and hedonistic. When I read it, it struck me that the morality of LaVey, considered shocking 40 years ago, is actually embraced by most people today. Has the West gone Satanic? Hardly, but it has become more overtly secularized, liberal and hedonistic than it was on Walpurgisnacht 1966, when LaVey supposedly shaved his head and formed his black arts organization.
True, the Satanic Bible does contain statements that sound distinctly fascist. But it's obvious from context that this is simply another provocation, especially since these portions are deliberately plagiarized from a 19th century parody of Social Darwinism, "Might is Right". LaVey actually condemns most practices usually associated with Satanism: human sacrifice, rape, wanton violence, child molestation. Ironically, if people would follow the precepts of the Satanic Bible, they would probably be better behaved than they are! But, of course, they *would* throw the occasional kinky sado-masochistic fetish party. Perhaps in 10 years, even that will be considered normal. Strictly speaking, LaVey isn't a moral relativist or nihilist, but rather a believer in a secular version of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", which really isn't controversial, once the principle is correctly understood. (The fetish parties might be.)
When one reads LaVey's tract, one wonders why he didn't simply become a hedonistic atheist? The answer comes in the latter sections, where it turns out that LaVey actually believed in magic (well, sort of). But his magic borders the ridiculous, and perhaps functions mostly on a symbolic level. Indeed, the present leader of the Church of Satan explains in a foreword to the black bible that the magical rituals are simply "powerful psychodrama". The idea of sticking needles in voodoo dolls to harm your enemies would strike most people as...well, hardly worth reporting to local law enforcement.
So why do some people still consider this book to be dangerous? Some might object to its hedonism, which I would consider to be a serious-minded criticism. But many others are apparently still outraged by the Satanist label. Christians are offended, but so are secular people, since Satanism is associated with child molestation or drugs. I heartily recommend "The Satanic Bible" to all such people. Read it and make up your own minds.
Hail Satan! :-)
145 of 174 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening for it's convincing logic !,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)I bought the Satanic Bible out of pure interest. I wanted to know why there could be people who are interested in these kind of ideas.
The book though takes a turn when you start reading it. This is not some idiot who writes about the devil and sacrificing virgins for fun, but an intellectual person who clearly explains that all other religions are wrong....and he seems to be right in practically all ways.
LaVey tells us that Satanism ( in this logical form ) has never said a bad word about other religions, but that all other religions have been putting Satanism down since the beginning of it all.
It's a scary tought that he's actually right. Luckily it has "sort of" a happy ending, where also LaVey slowly changes from the Mr.Spock of religion into the priest we'd expect him to be and Satanism turns into just another one of those religions ( created by human hand rather than some God ( or Devil that is ) ).
This is not a novel, but a bible that is 10 times easier to read than the Christian one. It also contains a reference part for everyone who wants to indulge into Satanic rituals or masses.
I wouldn't try it out at home but for everyone who still thinks that Anton Szander LaVey ( Still the most famous Satan-whorshipper ) is a lunatic, this book may just change your mind completely on the basis of Satanism.
57 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Art of the Carnival,
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)Anton LaVey was certainly a very astute man, and a fascinating character too. This book is good in many aspects: It can be a powerful antidote for those who have never seen any but mainstream thoughts expressed before; it can provide a channel for people who are seeking to increase the outlets for power, control, and the 'evil' emotions in their life instead of repressing themselves; it avoids the violent and illegal craziness that cat-sacrificing, media (and Christian leader) promoted varieties of 'Satanism' may inspire; and it can provide grounds for a tasty lawsuit if brought into the right public-school classroom.
However, in the long run, the truly powerful option is to forge your own identity and philosophy in life. Therefore, while reading and even somewhat agreeing with this book is fine, simply taking in its precepts hook, line, a sinker would prove to be as much a mistake as doing the same for any other religion or school of thought.
92 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curious about Satanism? Then read this!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)"The Satanic Bible" is the basis of contemporary Satanism and offers a refreshing and powerful philosophy. Portions of the text are based on sources other than Anton LaVey, for example "Might is Right" by Ragnar Redbeard and the Enochian Keys from a biography of John Dee. Although some readers have criticized LaVey for incorporating other authors' ideas into "The Satanic Bible," I think it's marvellous to find a religion which was developed from research, experience, and logic instead of a lunatic's "divine revelations." Here you will find a religion based on good common sense, the law of the jungle, and human nature. Whatever your beliefs may be, I strongly recommend that you read this book. You'll learn what Satanism is really about, which you won't find in any of those old episodes of "Geraldo" or in fairy tales about ritual abuse. However, be warned! Reading this book might just change your outlook on life. Hail Satan!
120 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satan: The Rebel,
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)Its understandable how this book can upset people. Either Christians, pagans, occultists or whomever. However, regardless of the word Satan, I found this to be a good base to start out for anyone looking to understand ourselves in a new way. You could probably go over the book and replace the word Satan with God, or even with Your Own Name and the results will be similar (if not more profound). From what I can tell, LaVey is not presuming Satan to be a mythical figure from the Bible. Although he trashes Christianity, I believe he does this because Christians have a human conception of God, so therefore Satan must be human, which LaVey is showing you how to change your perception of what Satan means. The book, to me, is about questioning authority. To not let otehrs decide your fate or likes or dislikes, but for your self to determine what makes you happy. Furthermore, to question yourself as an authority. Who controls your thoughts, what controls your thoughts and how did they get there? Control them! The book has a masterialistic ring to it all, but I think the essence is in questioning what authorities are controlling your life and to be released from it. I think its irrelevant that he may have 'stole' rituals from older Orders (as other reviewers yelled about). Crowley has done that, Regardie and so many others have used rituals from the past and revised them to their liking. Picasso said "Good artists copy, great ones steal." Its up to you to determine the level of ingenuity LaVey has. The Satanic Bible offers some good advice, but can misconstrued as evil (easily so) if not taken lightly and religiously. I enjoyed the book and the message LaVey sends, for I dont see it as Satanic in the childish perspective, but as a means to get the neurons firing and the blood pumping and to stretch those muscles at the corners of your mouth upwards.
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Satanic Bible,
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)My study of Satanism (I started when I was about 13, I'm 17 now)has influenced and improved my life over the past few years. Of course, I was the one who had to put forth thought and effort, and I was the one who had to strive and mature. But, the SB gave me initial food for thought, and I learned and developed independently from there, both as a Satanist and as a general human being.
I was initially impressed with how I much I agreed with the opinions expressed in the SB, as well as other Satanic texts I found on the Internet. Here was a book that examined society and human nature with honesty and intelligence. Here, human nature is seen as natural, rather than "evil" or "depraved." Instead of being told to repress desires and put on a stiff mask, Satanists are encouraged to explore, learn about, and experience life, and to respect themselves as important individuals and worthy creatures. This is a very liberated mindset that has the potential to promote high self esteem and good mental health. Of course, with liberty comes responsibility, so Satanists are advised to use logic, intelligence, and discretion before diving in to certain things.
Satan is seen as an archetype, rather than an actual being. Rather, Satan is seen as a force in nature that represents values like intelligence, creativity, self-reliance, self-respect, and individuality. Instead of cowtowing to a dull, rigid Jehovah archetype, people can indulge (wisely) in the pleasures of life, seek to mature and grow as people, and revel in their alive-ness and their humanity.
I suspect many people gave such bitter reviews of the SB because they were expecting a grotesque, bloody tale of devil-worship. Rather than enjoying the SB for what it was and what it had to offer, they lamented about what it wasn't.
And yes, LaVey did take parts from the philosophies and writings of people like Nietzsche, Rand, Redbeard, and Crowley. Yet, rather than act bitter about this, I choose to be intruiged by it. The SB has sparked my interest in these writers and their ideas, and I can now increase my learning.
And of course, LaVey was not a flawless person. His ideas and writings aren't flawless. I don't agree with every last thing he has to say but then, I realize that I am my own Satanist, and I must fulfill my own Satanic potential and seize my own Satanic destiny. The SB was not intended to be a Holy Bible to be followed to the letter, nor is it supposed to be a crutch for around-the-clock support. Ideally, it was intended to act as a springboard for new thought and new development.
And, to those of you who agree with it, yet claim not to be Satanists, I daresay you are incorrect. If you agree with the core messages of the Satanic Bible, you are a budding Satanist. Instead of fretting over or fearing this label, examine it and enjoy it. If it fulfills you and describes you, embrace it and revel in it. Celebrate yourself and sing yourself.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the Satanic Bible, and I recommend other writings like it, such as Leaves of Grass (Whitman), Self-Reliance (Emerson), or any number of things written by Rand or Nietzsche, such as the Fountainhead or Beyond Good and Evil.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dangerously clever book by a dangerously clever man,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)The Satanic Bible doesn't read like religious text. It might as well be called The Satanic Brainstorm. Although I don't agree with everything in it, this book makes more sense than anything I've ever read. By the end of it, the reader is left wanting to read everything LaVey's ever written. The one and only criticism I have is the constant restatement and emphasis on the hypocracy of Judeo-Christian ethics. To even understand this book, one most likely is already aware of these contradictions. Make that two criticisms; LaVey has his own occasional hypocracy, although it's very hard to pinpoint or even realize. Because so much of this book is shrouded with sarcasm, these seemingly hypocritical ideas may be intentional. All in all, this is the finest philosophical work I could have ever imagined. It puts all of your own ideas, that you were too blind or scared to realize, down on paper in a clear and frighteningly clever way. This book is the bible for the thinking man. Young impressionable teenagers shouldn't read it. I know a 16 year old who read it and got the totally wrong idea. One needs to already have a mature idea of what one believes before reading this. The sarcasm needs to be recognized for what it is.
47 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You know you like it!,
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)If you're interested in Satanic philosophy, then this is the place to find it. Regardless of what you've heard on the media, you're not going to read about virgin sacrifices, black cats, bloody alters, et al, or any of the other silly crap the media loves to purport in its everlasting campaign of subjugation as to the true content of this highly controversial book.
So, here's what you will find: essays about social darwinism, indulging in the happiness of love, self-improvement, independance. Doesn't sound very Satanic to me, you say?
As far as I can see, this is one of the most misunderstood books ever written, maybe even more misunderstood than the "Holy Bible" itself (and that's saying a lot).
Today, LaVey's Satanic philosophy of hedanism and self-discipline (admittedly a curious combination) is more prevelant than ever before, which is good for Satanists, bad for Christians.
Contrary to popular (i.e. false) belief, the Satanic religion, or, philosophy, is not about worshipping some idiot with horns and cloven feet....
What is"Satan" to a Satanist? For most, he's simply a symbol ofpower, lust, and genteel romanticism. The reason their philosophy iscalled Satanism, when they don't even recognise any supernaturaldeities, such as god or the devil, is because Satan is a representation of the powerful concept of stratification and elitism- hence, the "productive outcast".
Just read this book if you have not. Whether you are Satanist or not, it is enlightening and always interesting.
PS: keep an eye out for LaVey's outrageously comical humor- this guy could have done standup!...
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars _The Satanic Bible_,
This review is from: The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)In 1969, three years after Anton LaVey had started the Church of Satan in San Francisco, Avon Books invited him to submit a manuscript about it for publication. Anton had available a number of diatribes on various social/historical topics, as well as basic instructions on how to perform personal magical rituals, previously distributed to Church members on mimeographed handouts. This material was not enough to fill up a paperback, however, so Anton added an additional diatribe - an extract from an obscure old political tract _Might is Right_ by Ragnar Redbeard - and the Enochian Keys from Aleister Crowley's _Equinox_ (modified with Anton's own "Satanic" interpretation). The Redbeard extract became the "Book of Satan", Anton's diatribes the "Book of Lucifer", the ritual instructions the "Book of Belial", and the ritual texts & Enochian Keys the "Book of Leviathan": collectively the _Satanic Bible_.
Thus from a "technical" perspective the _SB_ is most accurately seen as a snapshot of very early Church of Satan social criticisms - this was San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury era! - combined with some inflammatory & mysterious occult filler material. Within a year or so after the book's publication, it was already obsolete: The Church was rapidly developing more sophisticated approaches to Black Magic, and 60s' social-confrontationalism was also giving way to the more cooperative, tolerant "New Age" climate of the 1970s. Nor did society seem greatly shocked by a book with such an impudent title; about the only objections to the _SB_ in those days came from Crowley/Golden Dawn pundits who were infuriated by Anton's further piracy of their own previously-from-John-Dee pirated Enochian Keys.
So the _SB_ enjoyed a modest, peaceful existence as a niche-curiosity more famous for its name than its actual contents until the 1980s, when a bizarre outbreak of Satanic themes in rock music and hysterical urban myths about "Satanic cult crime" combined to rocket Satan/Satanism into the public media spotlight. Both Heavy Metalloids and tabloid television alarmists needed a book to wave and yell about, and *this* was the one with the right title and appropriately-black cover! The _SB_ was now a pocket guru for rebels without any other cause - when it wasn't being "found at crime scenes", of course ...
In the midst of all this mania, Anton's Redbeard plagiarism was discovered & exposed, and a number of new scholarly works on Dee's Enochian system had taken away the _SB_'s "primitive mystery" in that area as well. Not that any of this mattered; the book had now reached the mythical status of an icon, and as such will cruise ominously onward before the eyes, if not through the brains of the Great Unwashed for many years to come.
In 1971 Anton invited me, as the senior Master of the Church of Satan, to write a new Introduction to the _SB_, which replaced Burton Wolfe's in all hardcover editions as well as paperbacks 1972-75. In that Introduction I compared the book to Robert Chambers' fictional _The King in Yellow_, "a psychopolitical work that supposedly drove its readers to madness and damnation". I'd say that the poor old _Satanic Bible_, at least as much to its author's surprise as anyone else's, has certainly gone a long way towards doing just that!
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The Satanic Bible by Anton Szander Lavey (Mass Market Paperback - December 1, 1969)