Topic Blog 2: Challenging Cult Perception; LaVeyan Satanism.

Topic Blog 2: Challenging Cult Perception; LaVeyan Satanism.

Satanism has its preconceptions, such as blood sacrifices, seances, and summoning circles. In this blog post, I’ll be talking about LaVeyan Satanism exclusively, and how the symbolism, practices and beliefs used have a much different reality than we might initially believe.

(For the remainder of this blog I will be referring to LaVeyan Satanism as just simply Satanism, and Laveyan Satanists as Satanists. This is not discrediting the existence of other Satanist groups, but for the sake of my word count will be simplifying the religion)

Anton Szandor LaVey, also known as his birth name; Howard Stanton Levey was born in 1930, and became the father to the modern day ‘Church of Satan’ after publishing the Satanic Bible in 1969. The Church of Satan had its beginnings in the notorious Black House, which was bought and painted black in 1950, becoming the headquarters for the Church for several years, oddly nestled between two stark white apartment complexes in suburban San Francisco, California.

The Church of Satan started out as a small organization named the Order of The Trapezoid. LeVay then renamed the organization to the official Church of Satan in 1966, declaring this the first Year of Satan, or Anno Satanas. Satan became the centre figure of the Church of Satan, but LaVeyan Satanists do not worship Satan, rather, they believe Satan represents ideals that should not be repressed. Satan fosters the idea of pride, enlightenment, materialism, individualism, egoism, carnality, and the pursuit of indulgence, the underlying message behind this lifestyle being; life is too short to restrict yourself, so it’s okay to occasionally indulge.

The Church of Satan has three main practices and beliefs, such as the Nine Satanic Statements, The 11 Satanic Rules of The Earth, and The Nine Satanic Sins. Upon reading these Satanic requirements, you’ll find your preconceptions of Satanism shattered, as many of these are agreeable. In the 11 Satanic Rules of The Earth, it addresses issues such as rape, pedophilia, animal activism and home invasion. the Church of Satan also has policies on drug use, illegal activities, and politics, which is hard to find in other religions. It’s very apparent that LaVey disagreed with other organized religions, especially Christianity, as he believing they were repressive and deceitful. This distaste towards Christianity led to the Satanic imagery we all know, such as the Pentagram, the Leviathan Cross (which is really just the Alchemical symbol for Sulfur), Lucifer’s Sigil, and the use of Baphomet.

In conclusion: Anton LaVey believed in questioning reality, messianic figures, and deviating from herd conformity, promoting individuality, but also utterly freaking out those that were unwilling to do so. Because of his use of Satanic symbolism he gained a following of individuals that were perceived as socially deviant due to the independence and non-conforming nature that the Church of Satan encourages, while also setting a distinct difference from other majority religions, questioning their following and beliefs. Due the advocation of sex, wisdom, and responsibility, perhaps we’re all a little Satanic in that regard.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Sources:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-invention-of-satanism-9780195181104?cc=us&lang=en&

http://www.churchofsatan.com/index.php

http://symboldictionary.net/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Anton-LaVey

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4 thoughts on “Topic Blog 2: Challenging Cult Perception; LaVeyan Satanism.

  1. great topic and a very interesting talk, satanism has come a long way from what Anton created in the 50’s. it could be said that he created the start of the exact same thing that he hated. in the sense that now there are ton of different satanic groups that took his bible and made it fit their views and somewhere along the line lost the original mean or belief that this religion was created around. i found a broadcast of one of the first founders of the religion talking about his life within the satanic church. within this broadcast he talked about how Anton should never be worshipped or be viewed as a leader but he was. he also talked about what the religion started as and now how much of it has changed and he doesn’t agree with some of the changed that people have made. it is a cool broadcast but hard to hear some parts of it.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-hermetic-hour/2016/11/25/the-devil-you-say-satanism-then-and-now-re-broadcast

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The idea of the dualism is very interesting. It is about opposites; light only exist when it is compared with darkness; goodness (socially accepted behaviours) when it is compared with evilness (not socially accepted or perverted behaviours). One element or trait, or force, or energy, can be seen in opposite ways; the presence or the absence.
    The satanic and God metaphor may be interpreted as chaos and order. Satan is the symbol of the amoral society, while God symbol represents the order as has been defined by religious laws. Freudian, Libido and Thanatos concepts and Jungian archetypes explain how we inherited evolutionary natural drives and how humankind have created figures, characters, symbols, beliefs, cults, religions, etc. to justify the dark and unknown part of our humanity.

    http://www.carl-jung.net/theory.html

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  3. The article I found talks about how some cults hire people who are good “persuaders” to make people feel like they belong and to convince them to do certain things or act a certain way. It also talks about how court cases involving people from cults can be very difficult as they often claim they were under the influence of some unknown/secret power when they committed crimes or other bad acts. It talks about a couple different cult court cases if you’re interested in checking it out!

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/23917160.pdf

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    1. Hello Anastasia! Thank you for your comment! 🙂 In a previous blog I mentioned how cult leaders are very persuasive and convincing to produce large followings. Its been proven that people who call themselves “leaders” such as Jim Jones and Anton Lavey possess manipulative qualities. In a study testing for the abuse of leadership positions, the results found that CEO’s with psychopathic qualities such as egocentricity, deceptiveness, lack of empathy and irresponsibility had a higher chance of abusive supervision. So, perhaps a supervisor with abusive qualities (like Jones or Lavey) could foster the mob mentality through their persuasive qualities. Thank you again!

      Like

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