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Wolfe provides an extensive biography of LaVey and a history of the Church of Satan. He mentions Rosemary's Baby as contributing to the popularity of Satanism, though he does not claim LaVeyan Satanism to have directly influenced its creation. Aquino, who later went on to found the Temple of Set with a number of members of the Church of Satan. He gives a detailed analysis of the Satanic philosophies, and dispels myths about LaVeyan Satanism. He explains that it is not " devil worship ", and that LaVeyan Satanists in fact reject the worship of external gods completely.

He too provides a brief background on LaVey, explaining how LaVey brought some of the knowledge he had acquired while working with the circus to his religion.

It included some of the same content as the version, with an expanded biography of LaVey and more information on the various conflicts between other religions and LaVeyan Satanism. In this introduction, he discusses his discovery of LaVeyan Satanism and his relationship with LaVey. He then goes on to provide a detailed biography of LaVey and addresses allegations that LaVey falsified much of the story of his own past. The introduction also provides a history of The Satanic Bible itself, as well as that of two other books by LaVey: LaVey explains his reasons for writing The Satanic Bible in a short preface.

He speaks skeptically about volumes written by other authors on the subject of magic, [41] dismissing them as "nothing more than sanctimonious fraud" and "volumes of hoary misinformation and false prophecy". He complains that other authors do no more than confuse the subject.

He mocks those who spend large amounts of money on attempts to follow rituals and learn about the magic shared in other occult books. He also notes that many of the existing writings on Satanic magic and ideology were created by " right-hand path " authors.

He tells that The Satanic Bible contains both truth and fantasy, and declares, "What you see may not always please you, but you will see! The prologue to The Satanic Bible begins by discussing the concept of gods, good and evil, and human nature. It includes the Nine Satanic Statements:.

They also served as a template for later publications by LaVey, such as his "Nine Satanic Sins". Much of the first book of The Satanic Bible is taken from parts of Redbeard's Might Is Right , edited to remove racism , antisemitism , and misogyny. LaVey, through Redbeard, strongly advocates social Darwinism, saying, "Death to the weakling, wealth to the strong! It criticizes both law and religious principles, instead suggesting doing only what makes one happy and successful.

Satanic Black Mass Draws Christian Anger

LaVey continues to denounce other religions, and he rails against what he considers to be arbitrary definitions of "good" and "evil". Long-standing lies that are believed to be irrefutable truths are identified as the most dangerous. It details how Christianity has taught that God is good and Satan is evil, [50] and presents an alternate view.

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It describes that the concept of Satan, used synonymously with "God", is different for each LaVeyan Satanist, but that to all it represents a good and steadying force in his or her life. Believers have been called "atheistic Satanists" because of this lack of belief in external gods, [4] but others identify as antitheistic. LaVey rejects the idea of prayer, instead urging Satanists to take action to fix a situation instead of asking for a solution.

He says that Satanism is a form of "controlled selfishness", in the sense that doing something to help another will in turn make one happy. The Golden Rule is again mentioned, and LaVey suggests altering it from "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" to "Do unto others as they do unto you" so that if someone is treated poorly, he or she can respond viciously. The Book of Lucifer contains a long chapter titled "Satanic Sex", discussing Satanism's view on sexual activity as well as misconceptions surrounding these views.

He denies the belief that sex is the most important element in LaVeyan Satanism, and that participation in orgies or other promiscuous behavior is forced. He explains that sexual freedom is encouraged, but only in the sense that believers should be free to explore their own sexualities as they please, without harming others. He explains that the only time a LaVeyan Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be to accomplish two goals: He considers the action of hurting another person a request to be destroyed, and explains that the Satanist is morally required to grant this request in the form of a curse.

LaVey also says that a Satanist would never sacrifice a baby or an animal, as they are pure carnal beings and considered to be sacred.


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He explains that one who has lived a full life will dread death, and that this is the way it should be. He also does not agree with the idea of reincarnation. He encourages a strong will to live, comparing it to animals' instincts to fight viciously for their lives. Suicide is discouraged except in cases of euthanasia , where it would end extreme suffering.

Following one's birthday in importance are Walpurgisnacht and Halloween. But by the early s, many influential experts in clinical medicine and in law enforcement were proclaiming that satanic cults were widespread and dangerous. Blaming a wide range of mental and physical illnesses on in-dwelling demons, a faction of the Pentecostal movement became convinced that their gifts of the spirit were being opposed by satanic activities. In some of the cases Ellis considers, common folk beliefs and rituals were misunderstood as evidence of devil worship.

In others, narratives and rituals themselves were used to combat satanic forces. As the media found such stories more and more attractive, any activity with even remotely occult overtones was demonized in order to fit a model of absolute good confronting evil. The strengths of Raising the Devil lie in its meticulous research in many cases, uncovering a wealth of obscure materials , close attention to detail, and broad view of the subject. An insightful contribution to a vital topic that refuses to give up and die.

An interesting analysis of satanic folklore and organized antisatanism in the US and UK. Highly valuable to scholars interested in the Satanic panics, in rumour panics in general, in the ways in which institutions draw on folklore for their own purposes, or in belief. A fascinating study that should become a classic. For instance, during charismatic Christian religious ecstasy, an individual may occasionally manifest voices or personalities that appear to witnesses as decidedly ungodly, leading them to conclude that the individual may be possessed by the devil.

Ellis notes that similar, apparently demonic personalities can also emerge during the use of Ouija boards. Thus, techniques that access the autonomous imagination through alternate states of consciousness can unleash both positive, healing experiences and frightening negative ones, and vernacular beliefs about demonic possession may be rooted in some of these negative experiences.

In tracing the development of the satanic legend complex on American soil, Ellis demonstrates that Pentecostal Christianity, with its emphasis on possession by the Holy Spirit, divine healing, and deliverance from demons, needed to distinguish its own spiritual gifts from forms of what had been categorized as "magic. Ellis goes on to examine the social context of the s that led to the reemergence of the satanic legend complex in full force, including the claims of the psychologically unstable and their apparently easily duped therapists that satanic ritual abuse was occurring on a mass scale.

At the same time, the existence of self-proclaimed witches in the new religions such as Wicca and Neo-Paganism was just the "proof" the legend complex needed to expand further into popular culture.

The Satanic Bible - Wikipedia

Ellis also traces the legend complex across the Atlantic to Britain, which had its own fears of witchcraft and black magic during the economically depressed s, and he examines the role of media in a highly publicized hunt for a "vampire"—actually a series of grave desecrations—in Highgate Cemetery. He then returns to North America to look at legends of cattle mutilations in the western states and their link with the satanic legend complex. This book is not the first study of Satanism scares in society, but it is the first to take such a broad geographic and historical scope.

More important, it raises substantial questions about the instrumentalization of folk and vernacular discourses by hegemonic forces. Ellis argues that folk legends and beliefs about Satanism are, for the most part, benign, even helpful, in that they give a name to puzzling syndromes and malaises and suggest a cure—exorcism—that seems to help many believers overcome their problems.