Anton LaVeyPosted: November 17, 2013
I am not a member of The Church of Satan and I don’t want to get into any dispute with those who consider themselves strongly LaVeyan Satanists; but just for the record I want to put down my thoughts about the guy who undoubtedly invented modern Satanism and gave it a huge shot of publicity.
Anton LaVey was not a God, nor a profit or even a very distinguished writer. He was not and is not the timeless voice or representative of Satanism. His Satanic Bible is not a great work of art or literature or even philosophy. It is not particularly well written and may not even be the best book on Satanism that is available.
I do think all Satanists owe Anton a nod of respect for several reasons. He certainly was a Satanist. He lived a life and wrote works which either by luck or judgement encapsulated much of what being a Satanist in the modern world means. Undoubtedly some of his writing was at least inspired if not plagiarised from other people. But he said it more simply and directly and reached people that others didn’t. His Satanic statements, rules and sins may not sound pretty or poetic and they may be couched in unhelpful anti-Christian rhetoric; but they do contain truth and wisdom for those with the eyes to see it. His flair for the dramatic and creating publicity brought Satanism out of the shadows and became the yoke on which many of us could later feed and grow and develop our own satanic style.
In short he made it possible for the likes of me to live relatively openly as Satanists, to take his raw ideas as catalysts for thought and personal development. And as long as his works and his examples are taken as catalysts rather than dogma, he will remain a leading figure in Satanism even if it develops in ways far beyond his original ideas and imagination.