Occult Explosion… Satanism Segment
In 1973, Anton LaVey participated in the production of a LP record with Nat Friedlander called “OCCULT EXPLOSION,” on which several popular occultists of the day were featured. This is a transcript of his segment. — Jake
“Satan is to us a symbol, rather than an anthropomorphic being, although many members of the Church of Satan, who are mystically inclined, would prefer to think of Satan in a real, anthropomorphic way. Of course we do not discourage this because we realize that for many individuals, a picture — a well wrought picture — of their mentor or their tutelary divinity is very important for them to conceptualize, ritualistically. However, Satan, symbolically, is the teacher, the informer of the whys and the wherefores of the world. And, in answer to those who would label us devil worshippers, or be very quick to assume us to be Satan worshippers, I must say that Satan demands study, not worship, in his truest symbology. We do not grovel, we do not get down on our knees, genuflect and worship Satan. We do not plead and do not implore that Satan give us what we wish. We feel that anyone who be blessed by a god of his choice is going to have to show that god that he is capable of taking care of the blessings that are received.
The Church of Satan is an organization which is comprised of Satanists who, because of their abilities and lifestyles, and I must stress this, lifestyles, reflect a higher than average human potential. Through this avenue, the Church of Satan, the Satanists will become the prototype for a more rational, certainly more finely tuned society.
The stress has been on nude altars. The nude altar is an integral part of the Satanic service, and with good reason. The nude altar reflects man’s fleshly heritage, the very earth, the mother, the womb from whence we came, and we feel there is nothing bawdy, there is nothing licentious, nothing lewd about the nude woman that is employed as an altar. We also feel that there is nothing wrong with bawdiness, licentiousness, or any type of sexual activity. We feel as though the ritual chamber is no place for either overtly or covertly and there is no need to be surreptitious in our ritual, where our sexual predilections are concerned.
Now, for centuries, churchmen and laymen have been defining the devil according to their needs, all the while playing the game of muzzling the enemy. They’ve been inventing the rules of how devils should behave; how Satan should behave, how worshippers should act, and they have been in an authoritative position to do so, because they are the men of god, they are the men of the church. Supposedly, they are the men who have been doing battle with this devil, and have been absolving their parishioners.
In this manner have they maintained a convenient means by which to escape the blame for their inadequacies and indiscretions. “The Devil made me do it,” has long been a stock alibi. Once it held, and held very firm. Now, fortunately for us, it has become ludicrous to say, “The Devil made me do it.” Yet many, while still laughing, play the old game of self deceit, blaming the devil in one way or another. So, the old game is still going on. This is made amply clear in, of all places, the world of the occult.
Witches, who held the devil’s name for centuries, now refute Satanism with a passion, employing it as “the other side of the fence,” which they are certainly not. All manner of occultists, from ESP researchers to to faith healers denounce Satanists as worthless, meaningless, dangerous, ad nauseum, but never is there to be found a positive adjective about Satanists. We Satanists only smile at such transparencies, because they are transparent opinions. Their motivations are most clear. It shows that even those who now claim emancipation from Inquisitors need devils themselves to make their art more palatable to others.
Ironically, the masters of the world have always been Satanists. The masters of magic have always practiced Satanic magic. That is, magic without the trappings of self deceit, because self deceit is always an inhibiting factor in the ultimate success of a magical rite. Great devil’s advocates of the past Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, Herbert Spencer, H.G. Wells, Shaw, Bierce, all of them. They were able to hold a looking glass up to man. But man, momentarily dealing in self deceit, upon reading the works of these people, could quickly avert his gaze and find solace in his spurious rule books.
The time for an organization of devils was not yet ready, when these devil’s advocates existed. For only a strong organized movement could force the mirror of self revealing before the world’s eyes and hold it there. And this is what we wish to do; hold that mirror up.
It is said that the most powerful thing in the world is an idea whose time has come around. The idea that the enemy might conceivably have something worthwhile to say is now with us. In fact, is that demon within each of us really an enemy as we have so long been taught, or will it be recognized as the guiding spirit of enlightenment that it really is? We must remember the word daemon does not imply evil, but simply a guiding spirit… a motivating spirit. Man must quit kidding himself. Only when he emancipates himself from dubious interpretations of good an evil, will he truly rise above them, beyond good an evil, realizing that these terms are probably the most relative terms in man’s existence.
When he can accept the long obscene name of Satan, and that is a dirty word, Satan. The occult world even seems to find it more so. When he can accept this name into his vocabulary as a sound to be honored, then he will be free. Until then, he will walk in fear of the very scapegoat he has created, and his potential guide will remain his nemesis. Satanism allows us to recognize and realize our own potential. This is what I would call “the balance factor,” to realize that man created equal, but each according to his own opportunity and natural ability, must make the most of what he has. But he must also realize that he cant force cards into his computer that will not be programmed, and will be rejected. And he must, as a Satanist, knowing this, realizing what his human potential is. Eventually, and here is one of the essential points of Satanism, attain his own godhead, in accordance with his own potential. Therefore, each man, each woman is a goddess, of Satanism, but must never make the mistake of assuming there may not be another god or goddess next door that may be a little stronger than he or she.
We feel that Satanism is a religion of life and I can’t understand why some of our detractors seem so repelled and compelled to establish Satanism as a religion of death, because nothing could be further from the truth. Satanism believes that we should live this life to the fullest and get every drop of enjoyment from this life. We believe this is the best of all known possible worlds. If there is another one, then it will be Satanists, or Satanically inspired scientists who find it. We feel that life is the great indulgence, and death is the great abstinence. I made this very clear in The Satanic Bible, and yet, there are many who still say that Satanism is death worship. So you might say that this is a gateway to new and more vigorous life for the individual who might be struggling under the burden of depression.
The greatest misconception about Satanists is the human sacrifice thing. They seem to overlook the fact that a curse can be thrown, without any blood being shed on the part of the magician, or the victim that the magician may choose. Satanists accept human life as a precious thing, albeit wasted on some individuals. Ad we feel that thee is nothing inherently wrong with anyone who just lives and allows others to live, according to their own dictates. But, nevertheless, curses have to be thrown. A curse is a symbolic act, which means that it gives vent to one’s anger, his emotions, and if it is directed properly toward the victim, the victim, then, suffers accordingly. This is the power of ceremonial magic.”