- Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Avon; 1st edition (December 1, 1969)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380015390
- ISBN-13: 978-0380015399
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (985 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Satanic Bible Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1976
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One might expect The Satanic Bible at least to offer a few prancing demons or a virgin sacrifice, but if you hopped this train expecting a tour of the house of horrors, you're on the wrong ride. Far from a manual for conquering the realms of earth, air, fire, and water, The Satanic Bible is Anton LaVey's manifesto of a new religion separate from the "traditional" Judeo-Christian definitions of Satanism. While LaVey rails against the deceit of the Christian church and white magicians, he busily weaves his own deceptions.
The Satanic Bible claims the heritage of a horde of evil deities--Bile', Dagon, Moloch, and Yao Tzin to name a few--but these ancient gods have no coherent connection between each other or to Satanism, except that all have been categorized by Christianity as "evil." Calling on these ancient names like a magician shouting, "Abracadabra," LaVey attempts to shatter the classical depiction of Satanism as a cult of black mass and child sacrifice. As the smoke clears, he leads us through a surprisingly logical argument in favor of a life focused on self-indulgence. The Satanic Bible is less bible and more philosophy (with a few rituals thrown in to keep us entertained), but this philosophy is the backbone of a religion that, until LaVey entered the scene, was merely a myth of the Christian church. It took LaVey, and The Satanic Bible, to turn this myth into a legitimate public religion. --Brian Patterson
About the Author
Anton Szandor LaVey was born Howard Stanton Levey on April 11, 1930. He was an American author, musician and occultist. He was the founder of the Church of Satan and the religion of LaVeyan Satanism. He authored several books including The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, The Satanic Witch, The Devil's Notebook, and Satan Speaks! In addition, he released three albums, including The Satanic Mass, Satan Takes a Holiday, and Strange Music. He played a minor on-screen role and served as technical advisor for the 1975 film, The Devil's Rain, and served as host and narrator for Nick Bougas' 1989 mondo film, Death Scenes. LaVey was the subject of numerous articles in the news media throughout the world, including popular magazines such as Look, McCall's, Newsweek, and TIME, and men's magazines. He also appeared on talk shows such as The Joe Pyne Show, Donahue and The Tonight Show, and in two feature-length documentaries; Satanis in 1970, and Speak of the Devil: The Canon of Anton LaVey in 1993. Two official biographies have been written on LaVey, including The Devil's Avenger by Burton H. Wolfe, published in 1974 and The Secret Life of a Satanist by Blanche Barton, published in 1990. Historian of Satanism Gareth J. Medway described LaVey as "A born showman" with anthropologist Jean La Fontaine describing him as "A colourful figure of considerable personal magnetism". Academic scholars of Satanism Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen described LaVey as "the most iconic figure in the satanic milieu". LaVey was labeled many things by journalists, religious detractors and Satanists alike, including "The Father of Satanism", the "St. Paul of Satanism", "The Black Pope", and the "evilest man in the world". There is a long standing rumor that the Church of Satan was involved in making the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”. This has been denied but that didn’t stop a urban legend from growing. The plot is Rosemary is given drugs to make her delerious and then she is raped by Satan himself. As a result, a baby is born. Movie folklore insists that Church of Satan leader Anton LaVey not only served as a "technical consultant" on the film, but was the actor for the film's notorious rape scene. The child that is born is the Spawn of Satan. However, it is almost certainly not true that Anton Lavey appears in the movie. Anton Lavey died on October 29, 1997 in San Francisco, California, USA. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The biography by Peter Gilmore is pretty laughable at parts, but serves to give a bit of context to LaVey's life. The philosophical essays which make up the primary content only take up around a quarter to a third of the book's length, but they're worth reading. I found the book easier going if I penned sarcastic comments on everything I disagreed with or thought was laughable in the margins of the text. The way LaVey talks about magic is absolutely ridiculous, but it was interesting to read the "official" CoS rules regarding rituals of greater magic. It gives me a jumping-off point to build my own psychodramatic rituals.
Almost the entire second half of the book is devoted to mostly-empty pages containing translations of the Enochian Keys. I don't care for their inclusion, because they smack of the dumb, dogmatic mysticism that LaVey rants against throughout the rest of the book, but I especially don't care for the formatting of this section. I suspect the intent was solely to pad the book out and make it look like it has more in it than it really does, because these could've easily been formatted in such a way as to take up around an eighth the amount of room that they actually do.
Early on in internet culture, you would see Pagan websites making statements such "We're not Satanists!" with long drawn out explanations of why they shouldn't be confused with Satanists with unfortunately just as much misunderstanding as some Christians have. I think anyone from either belief system who has preconceived notions about Satanism should read this book, whether you have any intention of being a Satanist or not, just as I think anyone who wants to criticize the religious beliefs of others should at least learn a little about them first. That doesn't mean that criticism should be avoided as seems to be the politically correct norm these days but simply to become less ill-informed.
This is what I gather from The Satanic Bible -- LaVey was a small L libertarian and an atheist who advocated living for this life as it's the only one we've got. You need to consider when this book was published. He used Satanic imagery not because he believed the horned one exists but I believe for two other reasons. One, because he felt we need to loose the shackles of the wages of sin from our psyches and images used in ritual that go directly against the majority view of what's sinful help us do that. The other reason being that he knew this imagery would repulse those who wouldn't get was he was saying anyway. As a cynic, I would add a third reason, that being that it was a great gimmick to sell the idea of rebellion and debauchery (and books).
There have been comparisons to Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy. I honestly don't know if he lifted her ideas, but along with the people from religious and/or spiritual backgrounds I mentioned above, I think objectivists, atheists and agnostics would find this an interesting read as well simply to understand the impact this one atheist had on our culture. I could be wrong about his atheism but that's how I read it. Even though it may seem dated at points,it's a quick, sometimes humorous read that pointedly lays out his philosophy.
I find the most interesting parts of the book to be the early chapters, where Lavey lays out his philosophy with acerbic wit. The latter chapters of the book are devoted to magic and the 'Enochian keys,' which can be mildly interesting to anyone with a curious nature. If you are into ceremonial magic and esoterica, you will like this part of the book.
If you would like to dress up your atheism in something with some character, and would like a guide to living your life as you see fit, you may find this book useful.
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.