The Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey and exalts itself as the first-ever religious community that is dedicated to serving the true nature of humans: the carnal beast within us. In their minds, Satan is the best representation of what human beings truly are. They are vicious, they are indulgent, they are sinful and should be at peace with that nature. Satanists try to become one with their carnal instincts and long to shed that long-held belief that human beings are purely vessels that hold a soul.
The Church of Satan does not see Satan as a god, and they believe that man himself created gods. Therefore by worshipping gods, they are worshipping man, who has free will and a working mind. Satanists manipulate the mind through magical rituals and they embrace sin in all its forms. Sinning is individualized to each specific person and therefore there cannot be limits against it.
Have fun reading this list of 10 incredible facts about the Church of Satan you won't believe. You may find out something new about this underground religious cult that claims to be the first above-ground organization that is devoted to the carnal beast.
10 It is Full of Atheists
How does a “church” have atheists as members? Well, followers of the Church of Satan hold the belief that gods and goddesses are the creations of men, not of some omnipresent, all-knowing being. Since gods were supposedly invented by men, then Satanists (and their atheist peers) worship men, not gods. Followers hold a deep regard for human qualities and believe that personal traits are the results of human effort, not some right given by a deity. Atheists also like the fact that the Church of Satan states that we are responsible for our own lives on this planet, and that no one can control our fate.
9 They Have Their Own Holidays
Since the Church of Satan places such high importance on the self, it makes sense that each follower will think their date of birth is the most important and spectacular day of the year. Followers are all about celebrating their special day, and while some of them may celebrate around more popular holiday seasons, it usually has a different meaning. For instance, followers are big believers in nature and its power, so they tend to celebrate equinoxes, solar and lunar eclipses, and summer and winter solstice. Any traditions or practices that are performed on these “holidays” are not for anyone but the individual.
8 It Markets Itself With Movies and Television
The Church of Satan does not need a whole lot of reading material; it just uses pop culture aspects to teach its followers. It has referred followers to movies such as Fantasia, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Blue Velvet. The Church of Satan has an underlying focus on sociology, psychology, and good versus bad, so it tends to suggest that followers watch movies the center on those motifs. It also has a nice sampling of celebrity followers, such as Sammy Davis Jr, Marilyn Manson, Liberace, and Jayne Mansfield. Due to its ties to Hollywood, the Church of Satan has become more accessible to mainstream society.
7 They Have Their Own Kind of Magic
Believe it or not, the Church of Satan does not agree with black or white magic. Rather, it has its own magical practices and rituals. Their magic is termed Lesser and Greater Magic and involves a lot of logical and psychological aspects. It is about control and Lesser Magic deals more with the intellect and psychology. Greater Magic is more about emotions and using the mind to perform magical rituals. There are also ceremonial services that relate directly to Lesser and Greater Magic. There are five elements that go into the magic: desire, timing, imagery, direction, and the balance factor.
6 They're Trying to Teach Kids
At least in Florida, USA, the Church of Satan looked into supplying reading material for school-aged children. The pamphlets contained some propaganda with the hope of children and their parents fighting for the right to practice Satanism in schools. Since it became legal to hand out Christian Bibles in public schools, the Church of Satan felt it was only fair to distribute their reading materials as well. The Church actually got away with handing out the material. They used a cover-up: their philosophy of humanism as well as a main character who tried to stop bullying and build true friendships.
5 It Started With a $2 Entrance Fee
Back in the day, if you wanted to know more about the Church of Satan, you had to fork over two whole dollars. This would have allowed you to listen to the founder of Satanism, Anton LaVey, as he gave riveting speeches about the cult every week. Before too long, LaVey was turning his weekly lectures into a full-fledged organization, which yielded a much better profit. In 1969, LaVey wrote the Satanic Bible and worked hard to gain more followers in the Church of Satan until he died in 1997. Not surprisingly, he and his family received angry letters and even some violent protesters.
4 It Fought off the Authorities
Back in the 1980s, there was a lot of hype and fear around the Church of Satan. People began to call out followers and the church for its against-the-mainstream ideals and practices. The church was also accused of many violent and crazed rituals such as sacrifices and sexual abuse. LaVey spoke publicly about the church and tried to calm the hype. He stated that the Church of Satan was actually against slaughtering animals and children. The FBI dropped the accusations. However, other Church of Satan members were sentenced to decades in jail for being accused of heinous crimes, only to be released early.
3 Now it Costs Hundreds of Dollars to Enter
Now if you want to become a member of the Church of Satan, you will have to hand over a bit more than $2. Actually, it will cost you $200 to become a member. It is a one-time charge and even comes with a membership card. So, what do membership fees buy you? Certainly not any clarification. Members are never told where that $200 goes, and the authorities of the church even say that if you want to know, then you probably should not become a member. Paying the fee and receiving a membership card are not completely necessary, as the Church of Satan will accept you to practice the customs and hold the beliefs even if you are just interested.
2 It's Got Contrasting Principles
There are nine Satanic statements in the Church of Satan, but believe it or not, they are not all totally centered around being evil and malicious. However, some of the statements seem contradictory, such as Satan represents sin, and sin should be indulged in. However, compulsion is not acceptable. Violence is, if you are challenged with violence, and vengeance is totally okay. Lust is a go-ahead, and only those who deserve kindness should receive it. People have free-will and abstinence does not have a place in the Church of Satan. Indulgence is a statement and the amount of it depends on the follower's specific needs.
1 It's on Craigslist
Yep, you can find a Satanist in your area by hitting up Craigslist. If you are excited about the Church of Satan and want to know more, why not contact local Satanists and participate in some rituals, practices, and religious meetings? While membership is available, there is no legit record for members or attendance, so no one really knows how many followers of the Church of Satan there really are. Since there is so much hatred pent up against the Church of Satan, many followers are not likely to be very public about it, which can make meeting like-minded people difficult. Good thing for the Internet.