Anton LaVey

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Anton LaVey

Born April 11, 1930(1930-04-11)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died October 29, 1997 (aged 67)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Occupation writer, public speaker
Notable work(s) The Satanic Bible
The Satanic Witch
Children Karla LaVey, Zeena Schreck, Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey

Anton Szandor LaVey,[1] (April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) born Howard Stanton Levey, was the American founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan as well as a writer, occultist, and musician. He was the author of The Satanic Bible and the founder of LaVeyan Satanism, a synthesized system of his understanding of human nature and the insights of philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism, for which he claimed no "supernatural inspiration”.


[edit] Biography

LaVey was born in Chicago, Illinois from a Jewish family, to Michael Joseph Levey, a liquor distributor from Omaha, Nebraska, and his wife Gertrude, Augusta Coultron.[2] His family soon moved to California, where he spent most of his early life in the San Francisco Bay Area and later in Globe, Arizona. According to his biography, his ancestry includes French, Alsatian, German, Georgian, Romanian, and Jewish stock.[3] His parents supported the development of his musical abilities as he tried his hand at various instruments, his favorite being keyboards such as the pipe organ and the calliope.

LaVey's biography tells of his dropping out of high school to join a circus and carnivals, first as a roustabout and cage boy in an act with the big cats, later as a musician playing the calliope. LaVey later noted that seeing many of the same men attending both the bawdy Saturday night shows and the tent revival meetings on Sunday mornings reinforced his increasingly cynical view of religion. He later had many stints as an organist in bars, lounges, and nightclubs. While playing organ in Los Angeles burlesque houses, he reportedly had a brief affair with the then-unknown Marilyn Monroe as she was dancing at the Mayan Theater. This claim has been challenged by those who knew Monroe at the time, as well as the manager of the Mayan, Paul Valentine, who stated that she had never been one of his dancers, nor had the theater ever been used as a burlesque house or for "bump and grind" shows.[4]

According to his biography, LaVey moved back to San Francisco where he worked for a while as a photographer for the police department. He also dabbled as a psychic investigator, looking into "800 calls" referred to him by the police department. Later biographers have questioned whether LaVey ever worked with the police, as there are no surviving records substantiating the claim.

LaVey met and married Carole Lansing, with whom he had his first daughter, Karla LaVey, in 1952. They divorced in 1960 after LaVey became entranced by Diane Hegarty. Hegarty and LaVey never married, but she was his companion for many years, and bore his second daughter, Zeena Galatea LaVey in 1963.

Becoming a local celebrity through his paranormal research and live performances as an organist (including playing the Wurlitzer at the Lost Weekend cocktail lounge), he attracted many San Francisco notables to his parties. Guests included Carin de Plessin, Michael Harner, Chester A. Arthur III, Forrest J. Ackerman, Fritz Leiber, Dr. Cecil E. Nixon, and Kenneth Anger.

LaVey began presenting Friday night lectures on the occult to what he called a "Magic Circle" of associates who shared his interests. A member of this circle suggested that he had the basis for a new religion. On Walpurgisnacht, 30 April 1966, he ritualistically shaved his head in the tradition of ancient executioners, declared the founding of the Church of Satan and proclaimed 1966 as "the year One", Anno Satanas—the first year of the Age of Satan. Media attention followed the subsequent Satanic wedding ceremony of radical journalist John Raymond to New York socialite Judith Case on February 1, 1967 (photographed by Joe Rosenthal). The Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle were among the newspapers that printed articles dubbing him "The Black Pope." LaVey performed Satanic baptisms (including one for Zeena) and Satanic funerals (including one for naval machinist-repairman third-class Edward Olsen, complete with a chrome-helmeted honor guard), and released a record album entitled The Satanic Mass.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, LaVey melded ideological influences from Ayn Rand,[5] Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleister Crowley,[6] H.L. Mencken, and Jack London with the ideology and ritual practices of the Church of Satan. He wrote essays introduced with reworked excerpts from Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right and concluded with “Satanized” versions of John Dee’s Enochian Keys to create books such as The Satanic Bible, The Compleat Witch (re-released in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), and The Satanic Rituals.

Due to increasing visibility through his books, LaVey was the subject of numerous articles in the news media throughout the world, including popular magazines such as Look, McCall's, Newsweek, and TIME, and men’s magazines. He also appeared on talk shows such as Joe Pyne, Phil Donahue, and Johnny Carson, and in a feature length documentary called Satanis: The Devil's Mass in 1970.

Hegarty and LaVey separated in the mid-1980s, and she sued for palimony. The claim was settled out of court. LaVey’s next and final companion was Blanche Barton. Barton and LaVey are the parents of Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, born November 1, 1993. She succeeded herself as the head of the Church after his death, but has since stepped down from that role.

Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997, in St. Mary's Hospital, San Francisco of pulmonary edema. He was taken to St. Mary's, a Catholic hospital, because it was the closest available. For reasons open to speculation, the time and date of his death was incorrectly (by two days) listed as the morning of Halloween on his death certificate. His daughter Zeena Schreck claimed responsibility for LaVey's death through putting a ritual curse on him. A secret Satanic funeral, attended by invitation only, was held in Colma. LaVey's body was cremated, with his ashes eventually divided amongst his heirs as part of a settlement, on the assumption that they possess occult potency, and can be used for acts of Satanic ritual magic.

LaVey was known by many as "doctor" (sometimes spelled "doktor"), not a claim of academic standing.[citation needed]

[edit] The First Family of Satanism

  • Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997)
    • High Priest and Founder of CoS (the Church of Satan).
  • Carole Lansing
    • Anton's First Wife and Mother of Karla Maritza LaVey.
  • Karla Maritza LaVey (born 1952)
    • Daughter of Anton and Carole.
    • High Priestess of the Church of Satan (1990 to 1997); High Priestess of the First Satanic Church (1999 to Present).
  • Diane Hegarty-LaVey (born 1942)
    • Anton's Second Wife; Mother of Zeena Galatea LaVey.
    • Hostess, Model-Enchantress, Mother, Magician's Wife, and High Priestess of the Church of Satan (1966 to 1984).
  • Zeena Galatea LaVey-Schreck (born 1963)
    • Daughter of Anton and Diane.
    • High Priestess of the Church of Satan (1985 to 1990).
    • Wife of Barry Dubin, AKA Nikolas Schreck (1988 to Present); Mother of Stanton Zaharoff LaVey.
    • Alpha Female and Co-director of the Werewolf Order and Radio Werewolf (1988 to 1993).
    • Priestess of the Temple of Set (1995 to 2002); Co-Founding member and High Priestess of the Storm International Vanguard of the Sethian Movement (2002 - Now Defunct).
  • Stanton Zaharoff LaVey (born 1978)
    • Son of Zeena Galatea Lavey.
    • Stanton carries on the family tradition as a "lifestyle Satanist." He is supportive of his grandparents' character and philosophy.
    • Married Szandora LaVey on 06/06/06 (marriage lasted only one year).
  • Szandora LaVey (born 1981)
    • Ex-Daughter-in-law of Zeena LaVey-Schreck.
    • Worked as a go-go dancer and hula-hoop artist for a 1950s surf band, The Swank Bastards.
    • Satanic Model, Satanic Witch.
    • Married Stanton LaVey on 06/06/06 (divorced the following year).
  • Blanche Barton (real name Sharon Densley; born 1959)
    • Last Companion of Anton; Mother of Xerxes.
    • High Priestess of the Church of Satan (1997 to 2002).
    • Now Magistra Tempi Rex and Chair-mistress of the Council of Nine (the governing body of the Church of Satan).
  • Xerxes Carnacki LaVey (born 1993)
    • Son of Anton and Blanche. A standing member of the Church of Satan.

[edit] Controversy

Many different sources quote him saying : "The first time I read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, my instinctive reaction was, So what's wrong with THAT? Isn't that the way any master plan should work? Doesn't the public deserve it - nay, demand - such despotism?"

In The Book of Satan, LaVey acknowledged the influence of Might is Right by mentioning both it and Ragnar Redbeard in his dedication page of the Satanic Bible (only early prints of the Satanic Bible have this page), as well as in an introduction to a later edition of Might is Right.[7] In an interview with LaVey a question regarding the book arose. LaVey responded by stating:

"Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard is probably one of the most inflammatory books ever written, so who better to write an introduction? It was only natural that I excerpted a few pages of it for The Satanic Bible."[8] LaVey went on to state that:
"The book has been so indelibly linked with me, it was felt that any new edition should have my name on it."[8]
  • John Smulo, a known critic of Anton LaVey, has stated that "Though LaVey justly charges that many Christians are guilty of hypocrisy, LaVey falls short himself. The sixth of LaVey's Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth says, 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. Unfortunately, when it came to writing The Satanic Bible, LaVey hypocritically fell short of following his own rules." Smulo further claimed LaVey's most well known written work, The Satanic Bible relied heavily on many writers of a philosophical nature, most notably Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Aleister Crowley. LaVey has stated that his religion was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added",[9] though many say that he should be given credit for his creative synthesis of the thought of others into what has become the most influential statement of modern Satanism.[citation needed] LaVey has denied claims of plagiarism in The Satanic Bible.[10]
  • LaVey did not play, nor ever claim, the role of Satan during the rape scene of Rosemary's Baby (in fact it was actor Clay Tanner) and no technical advisor was used,[11][12][13][14][15] the rumor also went unmentioned by Blanche Barton in "The Georges Montalba Mystery"

[edit] LaVey related books

[edit] Books by LaVey

[edit] Books featuring writings by LaVey

[edit] Books about LaVey

[edit] Recordings of Anton LaVey

  • The Satanic Mass, LP (Murgenstrumm Records, 1968; re-released on CD with one bonus track, "Hymn of the Satanic Empire, or The Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse", by Amarillo Records, 1994; Mephisto Media, 2001)
  • Answer Me/Honolulu Baby, 7" single (Amarillo Records, 1993)
  • Strange Music, 10" EP (Amarillo Records, 1994; now available through Reptilian Records)
  • Satan Takes A Holiday, CD (Amarillo Records, 1995; now available through Reptilian Records)
Preceded by
Church established
High Priest of the Church of Satan
Succeeded by
Peter H. Gilmore after vacancy

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Wright, Lawrence - "It’s Not Easy Being Evil in a World That’s Gone to Hell", Rolling Stone, September 5, 1991: 63-68, 105-16.
  2. ^ Ancestry of Anton LaVey
  3. ^ Barton, Blanche The Secret Life of a Satanist
  4. ^ The Church of Satan by Michael Aquino p. 17-19, detailing information from Harry Lipton, Monroe's agent, Paul Valentine and Edward Webber"
  5. ^ Lewis, James R. "Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile". Marburg Journal of Religion. June 2001.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Might is Right, (Bensinville, IL: Michael Hunt 1996). Ragnar Redbeard, ISBN .
  8. ^ a b Shane and Amy Bugbee. "The Doctor is in". 
  9. ^ Ellis, Bill - (cited in Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 2000, p. 180). (Refer also to the "Satanism and Objectivism" essay on the Church of Satan website where this connection is examined at length.)
  10. ^ Hypocrisy, Plagiarism and LaVey
  11. ^ "Imdb Entry Clay Tanner"
  12. ^ "The Church of Satan by Micheal Aquino p. 17"
  13. ^ "Imdb entry for Anton Lavey"
  14. ^ "Imdb Entry "Rosemary's Baby"".
  15. ^ Castle, William "Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants off America"

[edit] External links

[edit] Writings by LaVey

[edit] Interviews with LaVey

[edit] About LaVey

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