Anton Szandor LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 while living in San Francisco, California. He frequently walked his tiger through his Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and was known as a local eclectic. At this time he also helped organize meetings at his home regarding occult practices and seminars to help empower others. To make more money from the venture LaVey eventually registered The Church of Satan to make his operation more legitimate.
Surrounded by the acid dropping hippie revolution of the late ‘60s Anton LaVey opened his home up to the public, a Richmond District house painted all black. The home featured multiple altars and many rituals, sexual and otherwise, were held there before the place was demolished in the early ‘00s. The Church of Satan has been through the Manson and La Bianca murders, “Satanic Panic” in the ‘80s, and even the death of LaVey himself in the late ‘90s.
This religion is now practiced all over the world. The name implies devil worshipping freaks but those who practice in The Church of Satan are a widely misunderstood religious sect. This list reveals the darkness that Satanism revealed in people, some of them Church of Satan members and some Christians.
15. It’s Made Up Of Atheists
Satanists don’t actually worship Satan at all, in fact Satanists are atheists. They believe that the universe is completely indifferent to human beings. Satanists idealize the idea of Satan as a symbol of something to strive for, as a pinnacle of pride and individualism. They do not, however, believe that Satan is a person. They also regard morals and ethics as a human construction, nothing to do with religious belief or a construct of ‘God’. Their position is to be self serving and self centered, they believe that people are at the center of their own subjective universe: not God. For this reason, Satan is the most attractive because he so famously rebelled against God in scripture. According to their own website’s FAQ page, The Church of Satan does not partake in ritual sacrifice or believe in supernatural beings. So actually, those who worship in The Church of Satan don’t actually believe in Satan at all.
14. Who Is Aleister Crowley?
This man was not only a member of the Church of Satan but also a famous occultist who identified himself as a profit. Many believed the Aleister Crowley was a follower of the Decadent movement and a romantic, he certainly had grandiose ideas about the restoration of Pagan beliefs. Most specifically Aleister Crowley was under the assumption that entering the 20th century would bring people to an age of enlightenment in which they would gain increasing control of their destiny. He called this era of the world the Aeon of Horus. Though Crowley never admitted to being a Satanist it was widely understood that he did practice with the Church of Satan. He surely wasn’t a Christian and later in life was known for sending Anti-Christmas cards to friends and family. At his darkest Crowley was accused of condoning human sacrifice, specifically of young boys. Aleister is one of the dark corners of the Church of Satan.
13. The Black House
Located on California street in what is now known as the Richmond District of San Francisco, The Black House is where The Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey gathered members for occult meetings that were open to the public and held until 1972. The Black House earned the name from the ominous all black paint job and LaVey owned it until 1991 after a court settlement with his estranged romantic partner of 25 years. LaVey was still permitted to live in the gathering place for Satanists until his death in 1997. LaVey held parties, rituals, and seminars at the household but the most notable gathering was for the Satanic baptism of his daughter Zeena. The philosophy that is followed in The Church of Satan is called LaVeyan Satanism and is called the first of its kind by many historians. When one first entered the house they were greeted with the altar, and if it was the night of a ritual there would be a thick woman lying nude right over the top of it.
12. First Ever Church of Satan Baptism
Anton LaVey was high priest of The Church of Satan until his death and until 1991 his High Priestess was Diana Hall. The pair had a child together, naming her Zeena and raising her in The Church of Satan. It was her baptism that was so highly publicized as the first ever baptism into the Church of Satan. The church still holds weddings, funerals, and baptisms despite the major negative publicity from the baptism and from the politically fueled witch hunt of the ‘80s. Zeena was only three years old when she was baptised and the young girl remained in the public eye for most of her childhood. After being subject to many biased, negative reports mostly in adult and men’s magazines Zeena grew up in a “pack of wolves” as written by Burton H. Wolf in the foreward of The Satanic Bible. Despite having a son and two half siblings Zeena Schreck has had no contact with her family since 1990.
11. “Satanic Panic” in the 1980s
After a quiet decade post-Manson murders The Church of Satan met another foe in the form of political agenda. This movement was called “Satanic Panic” by some and is considered the most recent witch hunt in American society. The basis of this widespread paranoia came after a Manhattan Beach, California man was accused of abusing a woman’s 2 ½ year old son in 1983. The mother making these claims turned out to have paranoid schizophrenia but this wasn’t discovered until after she reported that hundreds of children had been molested by Satanists in black robes. After a seven year trial it turned out that not one of the children who came forward had actually been molested, but the damage had been done with the status quo. The lack of defense from Anton LaVey inspired his daughter Zeena to come out as the spokeswoman for Satanism. It was the “Satanic Panic” that birthed rumors that black metal albums played backwards revealed messages from the devil.
10. Marilyn Manson Received Honorary Priesthood
The shock rock singer was given an honorary priesthood in the Church of Satan. When asked about the church in interviews Manson can eloquently discuss the philosophies. Young Marilyn Manson became interested in meeting Anton LaVey during his first West Coast tour. It was at this time that Manson was made an honorary priest. Less than a decade later Manson was weary on the subject and no longer referred to himself as a Satanist. What Marilyn Manson has always been clear about is his disrespect and distaste for the Christian faith. More recently we would identify Manson with atheism over Satanism but at the end of LaVey’s life Marilyn Manson was the only publicity stunt that the Church of Satan had left. Manson is surely a philosopher and has been candid on his intellectual understandings of religion since he first made it big.
9. Stanton LaVey Sexual Assault
The Church of Satan had stayed out of the news for quite awhile by the time that Stanton LaVey and his wife made headlines in the San Joaquin Valley of California. It has never been indicated whether or not Satanic ritual was involved in the bizarre crime but even so the reports of the incident are anything but normal. The Visalia Times reported in 2011 that LaVey, grandson of the legendary Anton LaVey, and his girlfriend Mishael Nicely were arrested for assaulting a 19-year-old girl. The couple invited the girl home to smoke marijuana with them and then prohibited her from leaving. She was then bound with tape around her hands and over her mouth. They sexually assaulted the young victim and forced her to watch pornography. After they were finished with her, around three in the morning, they just let her leave. The couple was arrested the day after the assault.
8. The Joel Osteen Theory
Famous Evangelical Joel Osteen and his beautiful wife easily make headlines since they’re energetic and not so bad to look at. One of our favorite theories is that Joel Osteen is actually a Satanist who believes that he, and every other person, is God. A quote by his wife had led people to believe that they might be Satanists as she suggested Christians do it for themselves instead of God. The Joel Osteen Ministries is a multi-million dollar corporation which is a level of affluence that Jesus certainly didn’t ascribe to. Since Satanism is essentially the exaltation of self we can’t help but wonder if this theory has some foundation. After all Joel Osteen has started a ministry which views him on television and he whitens his teeth to be more attractive to the masses, which is a clear attempt to gain attention. Osteen has also claimed that he denies the existence of the devil, a basic tenet of Satanism.
7. Taylor Swift is A Clone of Zeena LaVey
Another wacky but fun to follow conspiracy theory involved Taylor Swift being clone of former high priestess Zeena LaVey. With absolutely no bearing this theory took off on the internet September of this year. The theory first emerged in 2011 because Swift looks so much like the 1980’s and ‘90s version of the former High Priestess of the Church of Satan. In some versions the theory states that Zeena made a pact with the devil to stay young forever and is living out another life as a young pop star. Another version states that Zeena was cloned somehow to be unleashed on the world once again. Conspiracy theorists see album title 1989 as a clue to the theory since this was the final year that Zeena was High Priestess in the Church of Satan. Neither Swift nor Zeena have commented on the bizarre but somewhat hilarious theories going around about their relation.
6. Innocent Lives Lost
The lives that were lost to Satanism actually came from a stigmatized witch hunt in the ‘80s colloquially “Satanic Panic”. In one particular incident, a married couple that ran a popular day care in their Texas home were accused of ritualistic abuse in 1991 which was during the height of “Satanic Panic”. It all started with a little girl who had been acting out telling her therapist wild stories about sexual abuse even including chainsaws being used on her dog’s vagina. The therapist decided that it was surely ritual abuse so the police were notified. Even after police investigation exonerated the parents continued to talk. Children started to make up stories along with the troubled little girl and one year after the initial report the couple was arrested and tried for ritual abuse. They both spent decades in prison before the court ruling was overturned as an unfair trial. This horrific story is that of two people who were victims of mass hysteria in a small town.
5. The Father of Stanton LaVey
It has never been revealed who the father of Zeena Schreck’s son Stanton truly is. She was only thirteen years old when she became pregnant, making her pregnancy something to be questioned in our current society. Not even Stanton knows who his own father is and since he is estranged from his mother it is possible that the world will never know. There are many rumors that Stanton is a child of incest between Anton LaVey and his daughter Zeena. Musician and performance artist Lisa Carver released her book Drugs Are Nice.. in 2005 and dropped some bombshells about the Church of Satan. Aside from accusing Anton LaVey of starving and freezing his pet dogs she also implies that Anton LaVey impregnated his own daughter, the product of which is Stanton LaVey. The implications were so upsetting to the young man that Stanton and his then-partner Szandora met Carver outside of her book signing to beat her up.
4. Jayne Mansfield’s Involvement
It is said that Jayne Mansfield met Anton LaVey while visiting San Francisco for a film festival. The bombshell actress was hosting a cocktail party at the apartment where she was staying. While drinking and chatting a member of the media mentioned The Church of Satan and Mansfield was interested. The party moved to the church where Mansfield met LaVey for the first, and only, time. It was then that the High Priest of Satanism made Jayne Mansfield a High Priestess in the church. The truth is that nothing of this story came out until after Mansfield’s death. The relationship between the two was highly speculated upon but all of these speculations arose post-mortem, including a rumor that LaVey had set a curse on Mansfield’s serious boyfriend Sam Brody. Although there are images of the pair spending time together many believe that LaVey started the rumors about Mansfield to combat the serious decline in Church of Satan membership in the ‘70s following the Manson murders.
3. Anton LaVey & The Illuminati
By the late ‘60’s Anton LaVey and Satanism were popular among mainstream Hollywood. Once the world heard news of the brutal Charles Manson murders and their possible connection to The Church of Satan it was no longer a celebrated tradition. Quickly after the gruesome Manson crimes LaVey was shunned by his Hollywood starlet friends and director buddies. This connection between the ‘father’ of Satanism and Hollywood often feeds theories about the Illuminati and the devil’s involvement in the mass success of many stars, producers, and even directors that are famous even to this day. LaVey was on set for movies like Rosemary’s Baby when he actually played the devil in the rape scene. The Church of Satan was not actually happy about how the movie portrayed Satanists. He also worked on set for a sitcom before his film debut but the pilot never aired. These facts lead us to wonder if Anton LaVey was more interested in fame than actually being a religious leader.
2. There’s Very Little Dark Side
The reality about the Church of Satan is that it isn’t actually all that dark. Most of the basic rules of the religion are common sense ways to navigate the world on a mission to preserve Western civilization. What the Church of Satan really represents is a principle of atheism with emphasis on scientific questioning. Those who worship at the Church of Satan don’t actually worship the devil or believe that the devil exists, as mentioned earlier. Their Pagan rituals aren’t filled with human sacrifice and they don’t drink the blood of animals, but Christians wouldn’t call them normal either. Satanism is more of a philosophy than a religion and as many opponents claim, The Church of Satan is just a bunch of people collecting money at this point. In fact, a Satanist described the basic philosophies of his religion like those of famed scientists Carl Sagan, Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins.
1. The Charles Manson Connection
Before toning it down and trying to be more mainstream, Anton LaVey would hold Witches’ Sabbath burlesque parties that featured topless ‘witches’ and, as some rumors state, wild sex orgies. One of these topless witches was none other than Susan Atkins, one of the killers in the horrible murder of a very pregnant Sharon Tate. Coincidentally one of the victims that night, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, was a former attendee of the Church of Satan a few years prior. In the ‘70s, the decade following the Manson murders, LaVey stayed sort of under the radar compared to his previous publicity stunts. Everything was quiet until the 1980s when there was a political raid on Satanists out of fear. Although Anton LaVey has cut all ties from Charles Manson there is another tie between Manson and a LaVey family friend Kenneth Anger. Anger owned a large Victorian where many transients and Church of Satan members lived and took acid. One of these transients, Bobby Beausoleil, met Charles Manson at Anger’s house.