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Subject: Church of Satan commonly asked questions

This article was archived around: 20 Apr 2006 04:35:03 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: religions/satanism
All FAQs posted in: alt.satanism
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Archive-name: religions/satanism/cos Posting-Frequency: monthly and whenever I see the need Last-modified: 2004/03/23 Version: 2.3 URL: http://www.churchofsatan.com/ Copyright: (c)2001 Church of Satan, P.O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499 USA
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 ********************************************************************** * Please note: * * This document is considered invalid without PGP signature! * ********************************************************************** Authors who contributed to this document: (in alphabetic order) Blanche Barton Peter H. Gilmore Peggy Nadramia Matt G. Paradise Herbert Paulis Special thanks for correction and improvement suggestions: Phil Marfuta André Schlesinger Lestat Ventrue CONTENTS: 1. Introduction and Terminology 1.1. What is the purpose of this document? 1.2. What is a FAQ? 1.3. Common Abbreviations and Terms 2. What is the Church of Satan? 3. Anton Szandor LaVey 3.1. The man and his life 3.2. LaVey's death 3.3. The Church of Satan after LaVey 3.4. Myths and truths 3.5. Isn't Anton LaVey merely ripping off Nietzsche? 4. Satanism as seen by the Church of Satan 4.1. The philosophies 4.2. The Nine Satanic Statements 4.3. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth 4.4. The Nine Satanic Sins 4.5. What is the Satanic Bunco Sheet? 4.6. To apply the name of Satan to this church implies a connection to the Bible. What is the stance of the CoS on these popular tales and predictions? Who is Christ to the CoS? 4.7. As a representative for Satanism, you do interviews and lectures. Isn't this preaching? And, doesn't this violate your rule of not giving your opinions unless asked? 5. Membership in the Church of Satan 5.1. How can I become a member of the Church of Satan? What if I do not live in the US? 5.2. What happens if I change my mind and want to get out of all this again? 5.3. I am not 18 years old yet. Can I still become a member? 5.4. The Church of Satan charges application fees for membership and further involvement and accepts money from people. Sounds like your garden-variety tent-show evangelist scam. 5.5. I really want to join the Church of Satan... I mean, A LOT! I want to be a Priest and be one of you. I want magical powers and a direct phone-line to Satan. 5.6. Do you find most of the membership of the CoS to be 'Xtian refugees' or do they come from all sorts of backgrounds? 6. Satanic Literature 6.1. Books by and about Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan 6.1.1. Where can I get a copy of _The Satanic Bible_? 6.1.2. Where can I get an electronic copy of _The Satanic Bible_? 6.1.3. How to obtain these books from the US? 6.1.4. How to obtain these books from outside the US? 6.2. Satanic Magazines and Publications 6.2.1. The Cloven Hoof 6.2.2. The Black Flame 6.2.3. Not Like Most 6.2.4. The Raven 6.2.5. Others 6.3. A little Satanically-inspired book suggestion 6.3.1 Non-Fiction 6.3.2 Fiction 7. Satanic Music and Videos 7.1. Music by Anton Szandor LaVey 7.2. Other Music of Satanic value 7.3. Videos 8. The Church of Satan on the Internet 9. Artifacts and where to look for them 9.1. Artifacts 9.2. Societies 9.3. Shops ********************************************************************** 1. Introduction and Terminology 1.1. What is the purpose of this document? Many misunderstandings, false rumors and plain lies about the Church of Satan have been spread online, especially in the alt.satanism forum on Usenet and on several web pages, as well as on many hours of television shows and in numerous newspaper articles. This document is intended to correct these pieces of misinformation and to give accurate information, authenticated by the Church of Satan and signed electronically. It is not meant as a form of proselytizing, a practice which is frowned upon by the Church of Satan. See also topic 4.7. 1.2. What is a FAQ? "FAQ" is an acronym for "Frequently Answered Questions" or "Frequently Asked Questions", for what it's worth. These are documents on various topics, forming a veritable library of free information, usually put together by voluntary enthusiasts in order to answer certain questions that constantly come up in some newsgroups (hence the name). They are periodically posted to their home newsgroups and (usually) to news.answers, and archived at various places. This FAQ isn't really a proper list of frequently asked questions and their answers; it's more of a fact-file or an introductory brochure than a traditional Usenet FAQ, although some Q&As are included and hopefully more will be added in future. In some cases an author is noted for a portion of this FAQ. In other cases the text is compiled from several authors' contributions. Intermediate forms occur. The language in these articles is without doubt colored by the fact that some contributors have other mother tongues than English - and so it will remain. Nevertheless proposals for more idiomatic wordings are always cordially welcomed. 1.3. Common Abbreviations and Terms To save typing during discussions and in electronic mail, several abbreviations have been generally adopted and are listed here for the convenience of the reader. CoS, C/S Church of Satan TSB _The Satanic Bible_ TSR _The Satanic Rituals_ TSW _The Satanic Witch_ DN _The Devil's Notebook_ ASL Anton Szandor LaVey Statements The Nine Satanic Statements Sins The Nine Satanic Sins RotE The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth LHP Left Hand Path Some Satanists find themselves discussing Christianity frequently. In order to cut down on keystrokes many type "Xtian" and "Xtianity" rather than the longer versions. A few may intend it partly as a slur, but most do it only for convenience. The abbreviation itself is far from insulting; it is accepted and used by many Christians including (we are told) the Pope, as the first letter of Christ in Greek is Chi which looks like the Roman character "X". 2. What is the Church of Satan? We were established in 1966 C.E. by Anton Szandor LaVey who declared the Year One, thus opening the floodgates to a revolution designed to smash the hypocrisy and unreason which has reigned for the past 2000 years. We have, since 1966, stood as the most formidable threat to those who would halt progress in the name of spirituality. We are explorers on the untrodden paths of science, human motivation and mystery -- all that is most _truly_ occult. Those who proudly carry our cards identifying themselves as members have the strength and dedication to implement the tools of Satan, the imagination to confound and confuse, the wisdom to recognize the Unseen in our society, and the passions of a classical Romantic soul. In modern parlance, the Church of Satan may be called a user-driven organization. Members are involved and advanced exactly as their own desires, abilities and accomplishments dictate. There are no set activities, meetings or contacts. The new member comes to the organization, ideally, with his own goals and plans for achieving them; he presents them to us and is directed in the way that would be most mutually beneficial. The CoS is not looking for people who join and want us to "put on a show," taking them by the hand, introducing them to their new friends, telling them what time to show up for the weekly get-together and what to wear. Satanists are not put in contact automatically, or even by geographical proximity. True elitists are by their nature very individualistic and neighboring members won't necessarily have anything in common; "just being Satanists together" isn't enough. When we observe members making advances on their own in their chosen fields of endeavor, we may put them in contact with other members running on the same track; we've watched this happen many times and we're pleased and proud to say the results are often magical. There are also members who are satisfied simply to join and be counted among the adherents to a philosophy that best embodies their own true nature. 3. Anton Szandor LaVey 3.1. The man and his life (This is an excerpt from Blanche Barton's book, _The Church of Satan_. For an even more detailed and fascinating LaVey biography, read _The Secret Life of a Satanist_, also by Blanche Barton. See the books section of this FAQ for details.) Anton Szandor LaVey was born in gangland-era Chicago on April 11, 1930; but his parents moved to California soon after his birth. After a restless youth, where he had his first supernatural experiences, he dropped out of high school at the age of 16, deciding to become second oboist for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Later, he decided the circus was a good place for an energetic young man with his talents, and so he signed on with the Clyde Beatty Circus. At 17, LaVey was taming eight Nubian Lions and four Bengal tigers alone in the big cage and developed a close relation with and an affection for the big cats. But his musical talents were not wasted, either, and he played the calliope regularly, accompanying circus greats from the Flying Wallendas to Hugo Zachinni. LaVey extended his knowledge of the outdoor entertainment industry by joining the carnival and amusement park circuit, working some of the biggest traveling shows on the Pacific Coast. Playing calliope, Wurlitzer band organ, or Hammond along every midway, LaVey also worked with famed freaks in the "Ten-in-One." He was in his element among the loners, drifters and marginal types who have always been attracted to the cynical carnival atmosphere. It was here LaVey learned how much people will pay to be fooled -- how desperately they want to escape their own dull lives. After a short career as a photographer for the SFPD and an investigator in occult affairs, LaVey completely devoted himself to exploring the occult and magic. He founded the "Magic Circle" and held lectures on various magical and outré subjects. Finally, on Walpurgisnacht 1966, his life work came to a significiant culmination when he founded the Church of Satan, proclaiming the Satanic Year I. 3.2. LaVey's death As many (false) rumors and even more lies have been spread over the net (and they still are), here is a short factual account of Dr. LaVey's death. Having a long-standing valvular problem associated with rheumatic heart disease, Anton LaVey had some kind of massive cardiac arrhythmia after several internal bleedings in late summer of 1997 C.E. had been treated in hospital. He died on October the 29th, in St. Mary's Hospital, a Catholic hospital associated with the University of San Francisco. He was brought to St. Mary's because it was the closest facility to him; he had never been treated there before. He made no "death bed" recantations of his philosophy. Although there has been some confusion with his funeral records, some listed Halloween as his death date, rumors that his death has been caused deliberately by a Xtian nurse are grossly false. He was being given a Satanic funeral, attended only by his closest relatives and was cremated afterwards, as per his wishes. 3.3. The Church of Satan after LaVey Blanche Barton, Anton LaVey's long-time companion and mother of his son Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, acted after his death at first alone as High Priestess of the Church of Satan. In May 2001 she ordained Magister Peter H. Gilmore as new High Priest and his wife Magistra Peggy Nadramia as Magistra Templi Rex to assist her in the leadership of the organization. Read a short excerpt from the High Priestess' Walpurgisnacht XXXVI communiqué for this announcement: "... I hereby appoint Magister Peter H. Gilmore to the position of High Priest of the Church of Satan, and Magistra Peggy Nadramia to the position of Grand Mistress of the Temple - Magistra Templi Rex, as outlined in our articles of incorporation. I will retain the position of High Priestess, but the Central Administrative Offices will move from the West Coast to the East Coast, and most membership issues will be handled through the Church of Satan's New York Contact address (P.O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499), as will approval and coordination of present and future Grotto Masters. ... This fine-tuning is in keeping with Dr. LaVey's goals for fortifying and expanding the Church of Satan at the proper time, and I know these changes will strengthen the organization as a whole. Since Dr. LaVey's passing, we have grown significantly in size and scope. It is time for us to broaden our administrative base in order to better coordinate our worldwide efforts. It will ensure that the right people get the proper feedback and attention, and that orders and correspondence are handled more quickly. ..." (You can find the full text in the news section of the Church of Satan web site.) Finally, on Walpurgisnacht 2002, the transition was completed when Blanche Barton appointed Peggy Nadramia as the new High Priestess of the Church of Satan, taking herself the title of Magistra Templi Rex. In her own words: "Together, High Priest Gilmore and High Priestess Nadramia have generated potent magical energy between them as husband and wife, and will now be able to apply that same balance, cooperation and vitality to the Church of Satan." Note that the new mailing address for membership registration and correspondences, as of 30 April, Walpurgisnacht, XXXVI A.S., is our New York City office: Church of Satan, New York Contact, P.O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499, USA Memberships registrations and correspondences sent to other prior Church of Satan addresses (san Francisco, San Diego) will be processed however there may be a delay. 3.4. Myths and truths Zeena LaVey, his younger daughter, chose to disown her father in 1989 and had no more contact with him nor the Church of Satan since. After his death, she has gone on TV shows, claiming that she has proven herself to be the more competent Satanic magician as her father died due to a curse she placed upon him. Of course, no such curse was mentioned prior to his death. She has contacted reporters to claim among other things, that her father was a wife-beater (no evidence has been provided to back up this assertion), and that he never had a relationship with Jayne Mansfield (despite the fact that several photos prove the contrary, see _The Secret Life of a Satanist_) or any involvement with the film _Rosemary's Baby_ (LaVey was known to have helped promote the San Francisco premiere and the publicity concerning the Church of Satan clearly influenced Ira Levin, author of the novel). She has cursed herself to a miserable fate. Karla LaVey, his older daughter, chose not to be affiliated with the Church of Satan. People often wondered about the "Doctor" title seen once in awhile in connection with LaVey's name. Formally speaking, Anton LaVey did not hold a Ph.D. or anything similar. But he never said that he did earn such a degree. It was and still is the practice that his friends and people who hold him up in great respect called and continue to call him "Doc" or "Dr. LaVey" as a kind of honorary title (_The Secret Life of a Satanist_, p.223). It is only natural that there were and will always be people who run him down because of this. So what? If they are not good enough to get an academic degree for themselves at some university and not famous enough to get an honorary title, chalk it up to envy and jealousy. 3.5. Isn't Anton LaVey merely ripping off Nietzsche? Extremely limited (and limiting) thinking, indeed. When LaVey refers to an idea, concept, or quote derived or taken from someone else, he often cites the author, either in the paragraph or in the indices of his books. If anything LaVey writes seems or is similar to past concepts, oftentimes, this material is augmented with modern circumstances, his own thoughts, and may be synthesized from past thinkers. Seeing that Satanism is a work in progress, a working blend of science and philosophy, we are fully justified in choosing the valid concepts of old, working with them in our new context and taking them into the future. (If we didn't, who else would?) It is the same process used by scientists, doctors, psychologists, and many other professionals. Nothing would get done if individuals merely went along with established thought and never added to it. It's evolution, pure and simple. 4. Satanism as seen by the Church of Satan 4.1. Our philosophies If you have not already done so, we strongly suggest you purchase _The Satanic Bible_, and study it. It is a diabolical book, the basis for our philosophy. Satanism is not for everyone, but if it is for you, we welcome you. We are not a fan club, a pen-pal society, or a lonely hearts group. We are a group of dynamic individuals who stand forth as the ultimate underground alternative -- the Alien Elite. We realize what we have, what we are, and what we shall become. Our scope is unlimited, and the extent of your involvement is based upon your own potential. In recent years, we've wasted far too much time explaining that Satanism has nothing to do with kidnapping, drug abuse, child molestation, animal or child sacrifice, or any number of other acts which idiots, hysterics or opportunists would like to blame on us. Satanism is a life-loving, rational philosophy that millions of people adhere to. Now we're ready for something that goes quite a few steps beyond just explaining our principles. Every revisionist movement needs a set of goals/guidelines that are clear, concrete, and that will effect significant changes. The following Five-Point Program reflects attitudes which allow others to decide whether they wish to align themselves with Satanism or not. Each is necessary for Satanic change to take place. When asked what we're "doing", here's the answer: 1) STRATIFICATION -- The point on which all the others ultimately rest. There can be no more myth of "equality" for all--it only translates to "mediocrity" and supports the weak at the expense of the strong. Water must be allowed to seek its own level without interference from apologists for incompetence. No one should be protected from the effects of his own stupidity. 2) STRICT TAXATION OF ALL CHURCHES -- If churches were taxed for all their income and property, they'd crumble overnight of their own obsolescence, and the National Debt would be wiped out as quickly. The productive, the creative, the resourceful should be subsidized. So long as the useless and incompetent are getting paid, they should be heavily taxed. 3) NO TOLERANCE FOR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS SECULARIZED AND INCORPORATED INTO LAW AND ORDER ISSUES -- to re-establish "Lex Talionis" would require a complete overturning of the present in-justice system based on Judeo-Christian ideals, where the victim/defender has been made the criminal. Amnesty should be considered for anyone in prison because of his alleged "influence" upon the actual perpetrator of the crime. Everyone is influenced in what he or she does. Scapegoating has become a way of life, a means of survival for the unfit. As an extension of the Judeo-Christian cop-out of blaming the Devil for everything, criminals can gain leniency, even praise, by placing the blame on a convenient villain. Following the Satanic creed of "Responsibility to the responsible," in a Satanic society, everyone must experience the consequences of his own actions -- for good or ill. 4) DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF ARTIFICIAL HUMAN COMPANIONS -- The forbidden industry. An economic "godsend" which will allow everyone "power" over someone else. Polite, sophisticated, technologically feasible slavery. And the most profitable industry since TV and the computer. 5) THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ANYONE TO LIVE WITHIN A TOTAL ENVIRONMENT OF HIS OR HER CHOICE, WITH MANDATORY ADHERENCE TO THE AESTHETIC AND BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS OF SAME -- Privately owned, operated and controlled environments as an alternative to homogenized and polyglot ones. The freedom to insularize oneself within a social milieu of personal well-being. An opportunity to feel, see, and hear that which is most aesthetically pleasing, without interference from those who would pollute or detract from that option. 4.2. The Nine Satanic Statements 1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence. 2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams. 3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit. 4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates. 5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek. 6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires. 7. Satan represents man as just another animal -- sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours -- who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all. 8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification. 9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years. 4.3. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth 1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked. 2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them. 3. When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there. 4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy. 5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. 6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved. 7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained. 8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself. 9. Do not harm little children. 10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food. 11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him. 4.4. The Nine Satanic Sins 1. Stupidity -- The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid. 2. Pretentiousness -- Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone's made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not. 3. Solipsism -- Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as they do unto you." It's work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point. 4. Self-deceit -- It's in the Nine Satanic Statements but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it's fun, and with awareness. But then, it's not self-deceit! 5. Herd Conformity -- That's obvious from a Satanic stance. It's all right to conform to a person's wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many. 6. Lack of Perspective -- Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints -- know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world. 7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies -- Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something "new" and "different," when in reality it's something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society. 8. Counterproductive Pride -- That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bath-water. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow," then do it. 9. Lack of Aesthetics -- This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but "an eye" for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It's not what's supposed to be pleasing -- it's what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied. 4.5. What is the Satanic Bunco Sheet? Because Anton LaVey has made Satanism so popular, it appears that everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. If you're new to the Realm of Darkness suddenly feeling the fires of Satan burning within you, be warned: there are unethical individuals out there who will attempt to prey upon you, claiming they can teach you how to become a Great Black Magician overnight, offering "instant priesthoods" in bogus "Satanic Churches," who will promise instructional fellowship and activities with "True Masters", who may claim unverifiable links with the Church of Satan or other such lineage. Save your money. The Satanic Bunco Sheet is a tip sheet to recognize pseudo- and anti-Satanic groups that have sprouted up since LaVey started the original Church of Satan. Some places where you can find and read the complete Satanic Bunco Sheet: http://www.churchofsatan.com/ http://www.purgingtalon.com/nlm/bunco.htm http://www.HerbertsDarkCorner.com/ 4.6. To apply the name of Satan to this church implies a connection to the Bible. What is the stance of the CoS on these popular tales and predictions? Who is Christ to the CoS? We take the name Satan in concept only. Any other connection is thrust upon us by anxious, ignorant, and/or misinformed people. The archetype itself, by whatever name is appropriate, is far older than Xtianity or Judaism, and it was these religions that, in order to gain a foothold in the world, decided to destroy and bastardize the "pagan gods." Satan has generally been the character who has challenged sterile thought, encouraged indulgence, rebelled against slavery, and truly represented human nature and all that the mundane world offers. By extension, instead of worshipping Satan, we emulate him. The Xtian bible was probably one of the greatest pieces of propaganda (with Mein Kampf running a close second) in world history but, quite frankly, we think that the intelligent members of a scientifically, philosophically, and technologically advanced civilization should logically cease to have a need for such outmoded parables and slave ethics. But, seeing as insecurity never goes out of style, those in need seek their baby-sitters in whatever avenue is acceptable; in LaVey's words, a "privileged lie." Many Satanists also view the Xtian bible as an example of mankind's hypocrisy, incompetence, and spinelessness. Jesus Christ is the paradigm for these qualities, and is thus reviled by Satanists. How can anyone with human insight and reasonable logic skills accept the phrase "the meek shall inherit the Earth" without laughing? History certainly doesn't support this assertion. From my experience, many people who call themselves Xtians are so merely by convenience and not so much by a rational decision, if rationality is possible. It's a truly insecure philosophy that demands its tenets to be installed in humans from early childhood, because if it was introduced for the first time to adults, many would raise their eyebrows in suspicion and disgust. Many Xtians I've met haven't even read their bible (at least, not critically), but keep the book on their coffee table to appear "righteous." And, some just skip the sanguine parts. Many of them really seem to "get off" on their religion; the self-righteousness feeds their impoverished egos. 4.7. As a representative for Satanism, you do interviews and lectures. Isn't this preaching? And, doesn't this violate your rule of not giving your opinions unless asked? This isn't preaching and it doesn't go against the First Satanic Rule of the Earth. If you open a magazine, turn on your radio, or click on your television and see an interview with a Satanist, you've reached a point where you will either not read or look at it, or you will. If you choose the latter, you have consigned yourself to the information and, by your own actions, have given your non-verbal consent to receive such information about our religion. If you attend a lecture, you have even more so welcomed yourself to our "opinions." No one coerced you to attend or read or watch or listen. Assuming that Satanism can be preached is to assume that anyone can be a Satanist, which is grossly false. We say that Satanists are born, so proselytizing to us, unlike other Religions, would have no point. It would waste our time and we'd have to care about amassing numbers, which we don't. Quality, not quantity, is our standard. 5. Membership in the Church of Satan 5.1. How can I become a member of the Church of Satan? What if I do not live in the US? We don't solicit memberships; however, if you wish to join us, to show your support or appreciation, you can become a Registered Member. Write a letter to P. O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499, USA, with a self-addressed stamped envelope (or include two International Reply Coupons, if you live outside the US) and ask for our membership information. You can also download and print the form from many web sites on the WWW. The Church of Satan accepts members from all over the world. For a one-time registration fee of one hundred dollars, you will receive a crimson card declaring you a member of the Church of Satan. No further dues will be expected. All names and addresses are held in strict confidence and you are under no obligation as a Registered Member, unless you choose to present yourself for further consideration. You'll also receive a questionnaire. Filling out the questionnaire indicates your more serious interest in our organization. By completing and returning it, you will be included in our E-Bulletin List so you can receive announcements pertinent to your affiliation. 5.2. What happens if I change my mind and want to get out of all this again? There are those who propagate such rumors as "there is no possible way to get out of a Satanic organization other than death." This is intended to scare the gullible into thinking they will be held as members against their will. It is nonsense. All one has to do to end their association with the Church of Satan is to _write us a letter_ telling us that they want to resign. No one is expelled unless they do something that is blatantly against our tenets (which can include criminal behavior). Unless people let us know in writing that they want to resign, or their membership is terminated by the administration, we consider them members. 5.3. I am not 18 years old yet. Can I still become a member? You may become a member of the Church of Satan at any age, though further participation in the organization is limited to those who are eighteen years of age or older. This is not meant as a judgment of your maturity; we've received letters from 14-year-olds who had a distinct, mature grasp of Satanism. But we must be realistic about the world around us. One reason is that we don't want to become a haven for the kind of sanctimonious perverts that Christian churches and other "Goodguy Badge" forums (such as Big Brother/Big Sister, Boy Scouts, etc.) often are. There are a lot of sick people out there, and we don't want our vital young Satanists to become victims of twisted adults who are more interested in contacting young kids than they are in practicing Satanism. Another reason we restrict activities of minors is because your parents or other adults in your life may not understand us or might be hostile toward your exploration of this religion. They may try to cause trouble for us, perhaps by falsely accusing us of any number of things, just because they feel threatened. So, we simply cannot allow anyone under the legal age of consent to participate in any activities directly sponsored by the Church of Satan. The _only_ exception to this rule would be with the _written permission and attendance_ of your parent or legal guardian. Some of you may be lucky enough to have a very good relationship with your parents and they may be supportive, even enthusiastic, about your exploration of the "Dark Side." They may be willing to go with you to meet a local Grotto Master and decide on your level of participation at this point in your magical development. If this is the case, let us know. 5.4. The Church of Satan charges application fees for membership and further involvement and accepts money from people. Sounds like your garden-variety tent-show evangelist scam. First off, you are probably confusing two different terms. The Church of Satan is an organization. Satanism is a religion. Since we are one of the few (if not the ONLY) religions whose organized body REJECTS the tax-exempt status other religions cling to, the CoS accepts money to keep it moving, and we pay BACK into the economic system. ("Responsibility to the responsible.") Also, there seem to be a couple of presuppositions hiding under this statement. The first is that we should feel "bad" or "humble" about money. Why? We are Satanists. Most of us appreciate success in one form or another and, in business, we know that money often enough helps this along. We lay our cards on the table and have no problem with it. If a credible Satanist pays into the CoS, he or she does this in support, and does it knowingly because he or she is wise, like all good Satanists are. If your average ignoramus throws money at the CoS, the organization is happy to take that, too. But, it is the idiot, not the CoS, who should be held responsible because, quite frankly, we didn't rush up to his house with Uzis, drag him to the ATM, and make him empty out his account for us. You don't even have to be a member of the CoS to be a Satanist, so no money is required, unlike that required by others for tithes, collection plates, and holy corn meal. (The monetary fee, by extension, also keeps out most of the trend chasers, the occultniks, and the terrorists. We don't want them and we won't put up with them.) The second presupposition lies in the penchant for equating us with the model of religion which Xtianity ostensibly portrays. It has been adequately stated and PROVEN that Satanism is not inverse Xtianity. It's an old point. Tell the spiritual churches to pay THEIR taxes and see what they say. The differences are enormous. 5.5. I really want to join the Church of Satan... I mean, A LOT! I want to be a Priest and be one of you. I want magical powers and a direct phone-line to Satan. Go away. Reading _TSB_ should make it clear why we do not welcome persons with this attitude. 5.6. Do you find most of the membership of the CoS to be 'Xtian refugees' or do they come from all sorts of backgrounds? Surely, I couldn't speak for all Satanists, but I would assume that many, particularly older Satanists who grew up in an era when Xtianity was taken a bit more seriously, had some sort of Xtian indoctrination in their childhoods. Oftentimes, teens will approach Satanism as a reaction to their growing disdain for Xtianity, and I think that's an honest and healthy step, speaking from experience. However, once a Satanist (a true Satanist, and not some drugged-out devil-worshipping metalhead with a penchant for feline slaughter) grows up a bit and experiences some of the outside world, Satanism becomes a lot more than a game of shock-the-sheep and the Satanist applies himself/herself to attain goals and engage in meaningful pursuits. I wouldn't use the phrase "Xtian refugees" to describe the situation mentioned above, simply because there is an implied idea of victimization riding shotgun with it, and victim is a label no Satanist cares to wear - mainly because it's unproductive as well as being antithetical to pure Satanic philosophy. 6. Satanic Literature 6.1. Books by and about Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan THE SATANIC BIBLE and THE SATANIC RITUALS -- by Anton Szandor LaVey. Published in paperback by AVON BOOKS; available in all major bookstores, in the Occult or New Age sections. THE SATANIC WITCH and THE DEVIL'S NOTEBOOK -- by Anton Szandor LaVey. Published by Feral House, available in all major bookstores. If needed, bookseller can order, or copies are available from the publisher: FERAL HOUSE, 2554 Lincoln Blvd. #1059, Venice, CA 90291, USA. Send SASE for info. SATAN SPEAKS -- by Anton Szandor LaVey Dr. LaVey's last (and final) book, released 1998 by FERAL HOUSE (address above). THE SECRET LIFE OF A SATANIST -- by Blanche Barton. The authorized biography of Anton LaVey, published by FERAL HOUSE. In the "Biography" section of bookstores (paperback or hardcover), or send SASE to FERAL HOUSE (address above) for info. THE CHURCH OF SATAN -- by Blanche Barton. Detailed history of the Church, with photos, instructions on forming Grottos or groups, lists of Satanic films, music, and books. Available in stores, or order from: HELL'S KITCHEN PRODUCTIONS, P. O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499. Send SASE or 2 IRC for information. SATAN WANTS YOU -- by Arthur Lyons. Published in 1988 by MYSTERIOUS PRESS (paperback and hardcover editions). Buy or order in stores. 6.1.1. Where can I get a copy of _The Satanic Bible_? _The Satanic Bible_ can be found (in America) in most chain bookstores in the New Age, Philosophy, or Religion sections. Many non-U.S. readers have written that _The Satanic Bible_ is not available in their country for various reasons. I suggest trying one of the following methods: If your local book store does not carry _The Satanic Bible_ or any other books mentioned here (or, what would be the correct truth in most cases, does not _want_ to hold them in stock), you can mail order them from most of the addresses mentioned here without problems. (See also the list at the end of this FAQ file.) They also will be glad to serve inquiries from other countries, although you may find the air mail charges rather steep. In Europe, you might also try PENTAGRAM, P. O. Box 66, Dewsbury WF12 0XY, UK. They carry most of the books mentioned here. If you have access to the Internet, you could also place an on-line order with one of those companies: http://plaza.satannet.net/ http://www.psinet.co.uk/pentagram/index.html http://www.feralhouse.com/ http://www.amazon.com/ A great place for book searches is also http://www.abebooks.com/ and finally you might find a bargain or a rare artifact at http://www.eBay.com/ 6.1.2. Where can I get an electronic copy of _The Satanic Bible_? We do not support any electronic transmission of this text as such is a violation of copyright laws. 6.2. Satanic Magazines and Publications 6.2.1. The Cloven Hoof The official _Bulletin_ of the Church of Satan. Current news, articles, poetry, reviews, and analyses pertaining to all subjects Satanic. Includes the latest LaVeyan releases and rip-offs. An interactive communiqué, disseminating information received from our vigilant Satanic Forces around the world! Address submissions and subscription requests to: Blanche Barton, The Cloven Hoof, PMB #365, P.O.Box 390009 San Diego CA 92149-0009, USA. $35 per year, Sample copy $5 (U.S. funds). Make U.S. checks or money order to "Blanche Barton". Foreign orders add $8.00 for subscription or $2.00 for single issue. 6.2.2. The Black Flame This _magazine_ is the international forum of the Church of Satan. Published once per year, this comprehensive magazine will inform you about trends in Satanic happenings and thought. Filled with articles, reviews, poetry, and artwork of vital interest to all Satanists. Single copy is $7.00 ($9.00 outside U.S.), two-issue subscription is $14.00 ($18.00 outside U.S.). Send U.S. funds or money order to: HELL'S KITCHEN PRODUCTIONS. (See address above). 6.2.3. Not Like Most A Satanic publication adhering to the philosophies set forth by Anton Szandor LaVey, The Church of Satan and directly affiliated publications. Its primary audience is comprised of Satanists, although it is also written for non-Xtian and anti-Xtian readers. _Not Like Most_ is published once per year and is available by mail order for $4.00 ($5.00 outside the continental United States.) Payment is to be made either by cash or a United States postal money order filled out in the publisher's name, not the publishing company. NO CHECKS. Publisher: Rev. Matt G. Paradise, Priest - Church of Satan Not Like Most, P. O. Box 88131, Burlington, Vermont 05402, USA 6.2.4. The Raven "The lighter side of the dark." Empower a vitally important Satanic attribute: your sense of humor! Enjoy our insightful and humorous take on life, food and wine, religion, culture, current events, etc. Issued quarterly (Equinoxes and Solstices). $10.00 per year($15.00 outside US), payable to: N.B. Smith, Box 163, Stratford CT 06497-0163 USA 6.2.5. Others The Black Pun-kin Canada's Satanic Forum $7.00 US American residents, $7.00 CDN Canadian residents, $10.00 US Overseas All checks and money orders payable to Robert A. Lang The Black Pun-kin, P. O. Box 32017, 1386 Richmond R.d., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2B 1A1 6.3. A little Satanically-inspired book suggestion Food for discussion groups or diabolical rumination. Most of these have nothing to do with Satanism per se, but the keen reader will be able to glean much from them, nevertheless. These works are just a small selection from Anton LaVey's bookshelves, but it should give you the idea and whet the appetite. Please note that this is just an arbitrarily shortened and biased (by the FAQ maintainer) version of the much longer, albeit still only hinting, list on books, music, and films which is given in the appendix of Blanche Barton's book, _The Church of Satan_. 6.3.1 Non-Fiction Carl Jung: _Man and His Symbols_ Friedrich Nietzsche: esp. _Beyond Good and Evil_, _The Anti-Christ_ and _Twilight of the Gods_ _The Johnson, Smith and Company Catalogue: Surprising Novelties, Puzzles, Tricks, Jokegoods. Useful Articles, etc._ Ambrose Bierce: _The Devil's Dictionary_ H.L. Mencken: esp. _The American Language_ Jerry Mander: _Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television_ 6.3.2 Fiction Charles Finney: _Circus of Dr. Lao_ Fyodor Dostoevsky: _Notes from Underground_ H.G. Wells: esp. _The Island of Dr. Moreau_ Jules Verne: _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_ Oscar Wilde: _The Picture of Dorian Gray_ Jack London: esp. _The Sea-Wolf_, and books of lycanthropic transformation Fred Saberhagen: _The Dracula Tape_ Macabre stories and poetry of _Weird tales_ and Arkham House writers Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap, August Derleth, et al. 7. Satanic Music and Videos 7.1. Music by Anton Szandor LaVey See the Sources page at www.churchofsatan.com: STRANGE MUSIC (10"), SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY (CD), and THE SATANIC MASS (CD)--which also includes THE HYMN OF THE SATANIC EMPIRE, also known as "Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse", written and performed by Anton LaVey). 7.2. Other Music of Satanic value Look out for Franz List (Mephisto Waltz, Faust Symphony), Modest Mussorgsky (Night on Bald Mountain), Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), Frederic Chopin, Igor Stravinsky, and many more. 7.3. Videos SPEAK OF THE DEVIL: THE CANNON OF ANTON LAVEY -- Video interview by Nick Bougas. LaVey intersperses musical performances with his unique and penetrating commentary, ranging from American pop music to World Wars to Whoopie Cushions! DEATHSCENES -- with on-camera introduction and narration by Anton LaVey. Extremely graphic morgue shots and crime scene photos. Not for the faint of heart! DEATHSCENES 2 and DEATHSCENES 3 -- Similar material, but with soundtracks by Peter Gilmore. For information about all video selections above, write to: FERAL HOUSE, 2554 Lincoln Blvd. #1059, Venice, CA 90291, USA. Please include a SASE or IRC. SATANIS, THE DEVIL'S MASS -- a 1968 documentary film about the Church of Satan. A fascinating documentation about the early days of the Church of Satan, giving many philosophical insights and witness to magical rituals. This jewel has long been lost, but recently it turned up again. Send SASE or IRC to: Strength Through Joy Prod., P. O. Box 82435, Portland, OR 97282, USA 8. The Church of Satan on the Internet Our online representative is High Priestess Peggy Nadramia: HPNadramia@churchofsatan.com http://www.churchofsatan.com/ The official web site of the Church of Satan Some selected web sites where you may also find information from and about the Church of Satan and Anton LaVey provided by our affiliates. Use them as starting points for your own research. Caveat Emptor! http://www.purgingtalon.com/ Purging Talon Publishing Headquarters http://www.personalsatan.com/ The current incarnation of the Satanic Network http://www.HerbertsDarkCorner.com/ Herbert's Dark Corner of the Web 9. Artifacts and where to look for them 9.1. Artifacts THE SATANIC BIBLE and THE SATANIC RITUALS were published briefly in hardback editions in the early 1970's by UNIVERSITY BOOKS. They turn up very rarely in stacks of used books. Anyone looking for these should probably use a book search service. THE DEVIL'S AVENGER, a 1974 paperback biography of Anton LaVey, is long out of print. Rare copies sometimes turn up through book search services, however. THE SATANIC MASS (an LP) was the first recording of authentic Satanic rituals, made in 1968. It has been re-released on CD by Amarillo Records (address above). A rendition by Anton LaVey of his HYMN OF THE SATANIC EMPIRE has been added, making this album a real treasure! THE COMPLEAT WITCH (which originally had U.S. hardcover and paperback editions as well as an Italian hardcover edition) has been re-released as THE SATANIC WITCH. 9.2. Societies THE LADY O SOCIETY, BCM 3406, London, WC1N 3XX England (The society for submissive ladies.) TEMPLE OF THE VAMPIRE, P. O. Box 3582, Lacy, WA 98509 http://temple.home.netcom.com/ (The only organization for those who share a vampire aesthetic.) 9.3. Shops (Please send SASE or IRC for ordering info.) AzureGreen/Abyss, PO Box 48-WEB, Middlefield, MA 01243-0048, USA http://www.azuregreen.com/ DESIGN TOSCANO, INC., 17 East Campbell Street, Arlington Heights, IL 60005, USA (Gargoyles, etc.) EDMUND SCIENTIFIC, 60 Pearce Ave., Tonawanda, NY 14150, USA http://www.scientificsonline.com/ HELL'S KITCHEN PRODUCTIONS, P. O. Box 499, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0499, USA INDIO PRODUCTS, 236 West Manchester, Los Angeles, CA 90003, USA http://www.indioproducts.com/ JOHNSON SMITH COMPANY, 4514 19th Street Court East, P. O. Box 25500, Bradenton, FL 34206-5500, USA http://www.johnsonsmith.com/ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8 for non-commercial use <http://www.pgp.com> iQA/AwUBQGCqZ/G68VmSghPwEQLI3ACdF6CH4a+dBQOCPAD1GuPHg06ujscAn2h3 2grqpFIh6sW/ObpT74qfmaQj =e0VG -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----