"We don't worship Satan, we worship ourselves using the metaphorical representation of the qualities of Satan."
Anton LaVey (Howard Stanton Levey) was a musician who joined the circus to work with the big cats and play the calliope. It was said that while in the circus, he learned that people would pay to be fooled. He had a cynical view of religion. He accused church attendees of having double moral standards after seeing them at his shows at night and church meetings the following day. He became a local celebrity, playing the organ at a cocktail lounge in San Francisco. He also worked as a photographer and later devoted himself to the occult and magic. He began giving lectures and writing books and essays, and in 1966 he shaved his head "in the tradition of ancient executioners" and founded the Church of Satan. He claimed to be a "regular guy...an old cornball," but against his advice, people began to idolize him. When they saw that he was just a regular human being, it was claimed, they turned on him with hostility. He died in 1997 of pulmonary edema after many years of heart problems.
SATANISM: The worship of Satan or the powers of evil.
Followers of Satanism: Less than 1% of the world's population (note).
Authoritative Texts: The Satanic Bible contains:
• Instructions for calling upon Satan.
• Rituals and magic surrounding indulgence, love, hate, sex, lust, compassion and destruction.
• Challenges to the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.
• Writings that promote hedonism, the doctrine that pleasure and happiness is the highest good.
Author: Anton LaVey