Author: Anton Szandor LaVey
Publisher: Avon Books
Date Published: 1969
“On Saturday night I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday night they’d be back at the carnival or some other place of indulgence.
I knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man’s carnal nature will out!’
This paragraph is displayed on page 1 of The Satanic Bible. It gives a brief preview of the premise of the book: a response to a religion which Anton found false and hypocritical. It could be said that The Satanic Bible is not a bible as such – it does not trace the origins of its particular faith or attempt to explain creation. It is a rebuttal which forms the basis of ideology.
I have always been fascinated by religion and plan to read all major religious texts in my lifetime. I was drawn to read Satanism first due to its mysteriousness. What is real Satanism? What rules do they have? Is it based on magic or theology? I found that all my questions were answered. It is extremely hard to review this book because there are so many facets and so many subjects that could be spoken of. I could write pages based of one chapter.
‘The Black Bible’, as it is referred to, has been split into four major sections:
- (Fire) Book of Satan – A rebuttle to the portrayal Satan and Satanists by Christianity and the bible.
- (Air) Book of Lucifer – Essays on the theories, lifestyles and ideaologies of Satanists.
- (Earth) Book of Belial – Theory, practice and any other information on Satanic magic and rituals.
- (Water) Book of Leviathan –19 Satanic Keys for ritual magic, written in Enochian and English.
The parts that I found best to read were the (Fire) Book of Satan and the (Air) Book of Lucifer. I think they were the sections where LaVey’s charisma and talent for communication really exuded. His theories about Satanism, humanism and christianity were interesting and well thought out. I particularly found his discussions on sexuality, the pagan roots of Christianity and his stance on vengeance to be of particular noteworthyness. It never felt like I was reading the rants of a teenager or attention seeker who felt that Satanism was their newest way to rebel. But to say that LaVey is not an attention seeker is wrong – he loves it. After all he could have simply called the religion ‘Humanism’, but it was not a strong enough choice for a title (he admits this himself). Also, Satanism does have religious dogma and also magic which would not have been suited for the title of ‘Humanism’.
Of the Satanic magic, which is mainly featured in (Earth) Book of Belial and (Water) Book of Leviathan I was not so interested. For readers who would like to practice Satanic Magic or ensure they are doing things correctly these sections would be invaliable. But for those like myself who is not interested it was somewhat lost. Though I do have to say that I enjoyed reading how someone would properly go about doing that from a Satanic viewpoint.
What is interesting is the unashamed worship of the flesh and human needs. Being in a mostly christian influenced society, it is odd to read a text which is unapologetic regarding fulfilling its less than holy desires. There is usually a tinge of guilt associated with being interested in gratifying the self. For example in most fiction there is a sense that a character is unusual if they do not feel guilt based on their immoral behaviour. The Satanic Bible says ‘I do it because I want to, I don’t feel guilty about it and what are you going to do about it?’. It throws out many questions based on the human condition and its inevitable guilt under the christian faith. What should we feel guilty about? Are we even feeling guilty about the right things? Is there a need for guilt? The reason Satanists do not feel guilty is not because they do not believe in right or wrong – but that they do not agree with Christianity’s view of right and wrong. It is all about view; this book is a different lens to see life through. And what an interesting lens it was to read.
The Satanic Bible also sets about clarrifying misconceptions about Satanism and its founding principles. The book describes the nature of Satanic rituals – their uses, methods and the correct invocations – the Satanic dogma, lifestyle and viewpoints. It attempts to clarrify the ‘baby sacrificing’ view. The Nine Satanic Statements are outlined in the beginning of the book:
- Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!
- Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
- Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
- Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!
- Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!
- Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!
- 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!
- Satan representes all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental and emotional gratification!
- Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!
I found it enjoyable and refreshing to read. I think that it should be read by Christians, other religious people and atheists alike in order to understand Satanic viewpoints. I think it would also be an interesting exercise for those who are staunchly against Satanism to try and read it – what better way to test your own tolerance and ‘turning of the other cheek’ than to try to truly understand thy neighbour? Anyone who likes to be challenged and broaden their mind or those who want to know what it is really all about should read this bible.
♥♥♥♥ – 4/5