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The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey Paperback – September 1, 1992


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The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey + The Satanic Bible + The Devil's Notebook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922915121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922915125
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A.M. Manes on June 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Blanche Barton's 'Secret Life of a Satanist' gives an intriguing account of the life of Dr. Anton LaVey, founder of America's first 'official' Church of Satan.
Dr. LaVey rose up from a dissatisfied childhood to enjoy success in a variety of careers, including lion taming (or 'lion training,' as he prefers to call it), performing as a musician on a variety of instruments (primarily organ), and working as a crime photographer for the San Francisco police department. Along the way, he allegedly has a brief relationship with Marilyn Monroe while performing music for various West coast clubs.
As his life progresses, his ferocious views lead him to start an occult group in San Francisco, in his new home which would become the notorious 'Black House.' This group (which I believe was called 'The Order of the Trapezoid') evolved into the Church of Satan, which officially emerged in 1966 (or in Satanic parlance, A.S. 1; the first year of Satan).
Following the birth of LaVey's church, the 'good doctor' is associated with various shocking events, especially the death of Jayne Mansfield.
Parts of this book will set off your nonsense detector (assuming you have one), especially when Dr. LaVey suggests that in the future, space colonization will lead to the Satanization of the earth. He also claims to have seen a real life Lovecraftian monster in a cave, and a four-foot caterpillar. In addition to this, the book includes a ritual for lycanthropic transformation. I found these things to be a little hard to swallow.
In spite of these sillier points, this book is otherwise a very compelling story of a driven individual who was determined both to get something out of his life, and to make his mark on the world.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I also read The Devil's Avenger, by Burton Wolfe (1974), and experienced extreme deja vu. Going back and comparing them, I find many parts identical, often word for word. Read them both and judge for yourself.
Some have written that Anton LaVey ghost-wrote both books. That would explain the situation, and why Wolfe (or heirs?) took no action against the newer book.
I regard this book as a revised and updated edition of The Devil's Avenger.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Arno Parke on August 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I never knew Lavey. Sometimes, reading about him, one wonders whether anyone ever really did. If you can read between the lines though (too few can), there are some deeply funny and even profound brushes which can be had with the man.

In choosing to either deify or villify him, both his sycophants and his detractors seem to get it all wrong. Lavey is best evaluated warts and all, but also with an eye to the card hand that his critics desperately hide. A quick survey of the characters (or lack thereof) of his three biggest antagonists (the sources of basically every negative accusation making the rounds) speaks for itself. But to whitewash him of any fault would equally leave an impression unworthy of what his legacy suggests.

Much has been made about the fact that Lavey seems to have invented a large part of his 'past' and I feel, from reading this book that this is evidently true. This is supposed to prove that Lavey was a fake and that any of his ideas are suspect. If this is so, then the works of Andy Warhol, Vladimir Nabokov, Jim Morrison, B. Traven and Orson Welles should all be dismissed as counterfeit.

According to Freud, we all make up our 'personas' and attendant 'pasts' as we go along. However, if this book is any record, we don't all do it with equal skill or taste.

Perhaps Lavey's greatest feat of Black Magic was his ability re-enchant the world by awakening an interest in all that is lost, forgotten or damned by consensus reality. Perhaps... but even if he was nothing more than an endearing curmudgeon with a renaissance grasp of junk culture, all his 'artifacts' would still be worth a million kewpie dolls to those with eyes to see.

Yankee Rose indeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DLR on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
i think this was a very good bio into the life of Mr.LaVey. After reading most of his books, this gives a better understanding of who he was and how he came to be the founder of the Church of Satan.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "rjgrib" on December 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
The majority of reviewers on LaVey's books usually fall into 3 categories; 1) Slobbering, groveling, worshipping followers of anything he said or did. 2) Pseudo-intellectuals trying placate their egos with supposedly intelligent perspectives on LaVey. 3) Slobbering, groveling, worshipping religious Jesus-junkies denouncing everything about LaVey. Why can't people just accept him for what he was; a colorful character with a brilliant philosophical outlook on life. Much can be gained by reading his views, but to make a religion out of it is the greatest trick he ever pulled off.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
An informative account of the development of a philosophy unlike any other; from the perspective of a misanthropic genius. An amazing man, an amazing life and an incredible tale. This book is recommended reading for anyone interested in contemporary Satanism, the Church of Satan and its founder, Dr. Anton Szandor LaVey. Four Stars!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "haereticus" on October 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
The biography of the Satanic Pope gives a great appreciation of what the satanism is all about. The book presents the basics and principles aside from the biography of an open minded and well respected man, the Satanic Pope. It has photographs of different moments of LaVey's life. A satanist must-have book.
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