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     I've noticed some so-called "non-LaVeyian Satanists" have been cutting and pasting this information for their own website, as if to somehow say LaVey was a poser, while they are the genuine article. But the facts are :      

1. Without Anton LaVey, there never would have been a Satanist movement in the late 20th century

2. The "non-LaVeyians" owe the exitence of their groups to Anton LaVey  and

3. There usually isn't a dimes worth of difference between those groups and LaVeyian Satanism, anyway.

     Please realize, even if you are a so-called "non-Laveian" Satanist, that this really changes nothing. Satanism is a pastime for anti-Social misfits, no matter what label you put on it, and no matter how you try to rationalize it. Obviously you intend to offend Christians in particular if you call yourself a "Satanist". If you claim otherwise, you're just kidding yourself. And no, I'm an agnostic.

 Some of this info has appeared on the internet from time to time, including a website of Zeena LaVey and the now defunct "Maledicta" Satanist website that used to hawk Satanic jewlery...which is now out of business (why couldn't their magick powers keep them in business???) I have copied it so this information will always be available, plus added a few things they missed.


Anton Lavey : Wizard...or Just A Lying Pimp???

    Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997), is like most occult figures, extremely overrated. The amount of notoriety he received is disproportionate to what he actually deserved. LaVey, called by some a "junkyard intellectual" was really just a kook who lived in an old broken down house his mom and dad gave him. Had it not been for his involvement in Satanism, he would have passed from this world completely unknown.

 LaVey is probably one of the greatest con men ever, spinning a yarn about himself that even his enemies (both Satanist and Christian) repeat. LaVey would later complain about Satanic conspiracy stories and stories of "breeders" who sacrificed their own children, but really LaVey had no one to blame but himself for the snowball of lies that got out of hand. Indeed, LaVey very much depended on that same notoriety to scratch out then meager existence of his later years.

 Here then, is the truth at last...the myths of Anton LaVey.

Myth 1. His name was even actually Anton Szandor LaVey.
"Anton Szandor LaVey" was not his birth name, in fact it was actually  "Howard Stanton Levey". [SOURCES: Birth certificate 4/11/1930, Cook County, Illinois. Confirmed by relatives.]

Myth 2.  Anton LaVey and the people who follow his  "philosophy" are the "real" Satanists, while the Satanic killers like the Mansons and the Night Stalker Killer are just the "nuts". The truth is, LaVey prescribed rituals for Satanists that normal people would find crazy. For instance, a nude girl is used as an altar (Satanic Bible, Satanic Rituals). A human skull is used in Die Elektrischen Vorspiele ritual (Satanic Rituals, p. 109). A human leg bone or arm bone is used in Homage to Tchort ritual (p.137). A woman dressed as nun urinates before group into a bedpan in the Black Mass ritual (p.43). The urine is then sprinkled like holy water (p.44). A man climbs into coffin with nude woman (or nude man if he is gay) in Le Epais ritual (p.59). LaVey gives instructions for "turning into a werewolf" that include running around outside on all fours with a wolf mask (The Devil's Notebook) .

 LaVey claimed nuts were quickly given "the bum's rush" when they tried to join his Church of Satan. That still didn't stop two of the Masons (Susan Atkins and Bobby Beaseliel) and Richard "The Night Stalker " Rameriez from joining. Satanist Patricia Hall was arrested for murder of an elderly man in Florida, and participated in the flogging and gang rape of a teenage girl. She claimed to have been baptized by LaVey himself, which he of course later denied.  There have also been other thrill killers that have claimed to have been members of the Church of Satan, even though LaVey later denied it.

 Even if they weren't officially CoS members (most Satanist aren't in fact), it proves criminally minded, violent people are attracted to Satanism. Susan Atkins actually appeared with LaVey and a couple of other girls in a corny strip club act. She played a vampire, not surprising when you consider she licked the blood stained knife she killed Sharon Tate and her unborn child with.  Bobby Beausoleil appeared in the movie by fellow Church of Satan member Kenneth Anger, Lucifer Rising. During the Tate/Labianca murders, Beausoleil told his terrified victims, "I'm the Devil, and I'm here to do the Devil's business!" A fourth  killer/cannibal, Stanley Baker,  who actually ate his victims, was caught en route to meet LaVey. Would LaVey have given this 3rd person the heave ho? Maybe, maybe not. LaVey claimed that he too,  and members of the Church of Satan, once dined on a   human leg (Satan Wants You, also mentioned in The Church of Satan and The Secret Life of a Satanist). The leg was obtained (obviously illegally) by a CO$ member who was a pathologist from  a local hospital, at least according to LaVey. No LaVey family member has ever denied this event happened. The leg was prepared by Diane in Triple Sec with fried grub worms on the side, supposedly how they serve human flesh in New Guinea. The only participant who reportedly ate the worms was LaVey's 3 year old daughter Zeena, and most members were to squeamish to actually eat the leg meat. See the Occult Crime webpage and you'll notice a disproportionate number of crimes committed by Satanists. There's a reason for that, and it all can't be dismissed as "Satanic panic".

Myth 3. LaVey claimed his parents were Joseph and Augusta LaVey. They were actually named Michael and Gertrude Levey. He probably lied about their real names to cloud his uneventful past. [SOURCES: Birth certificate 4/11/1930, Cook County, Illinois. Confirmed by Anton LaVey's daughter Zeena and daughter Karla according to her entry on Anton LaVey's death certificate. ]

Myth 4. LaVey claimed he was introduced to the Dark Side by his Transylvanian Gypsy grandmother, who regaled him as a child with supernatural folklore and tales of vampires and werewolves. But his grandmother was not Transylvanian nor of Gypsy stock. She was a Ukrainian named Cecile Luba Primokov-Coulton ("Coulton" was Anglicized from "Koltonoff"). Despite his frequent claims, Anton LaVey had no Gypsy ancestry. Gypsies are very clannish people, and it's very rare for them to marry non-Gypsies. [SOURCES: Relatives, including Anton LaVey's parents. King of The Gypsies by Richard Maas]

Myth 5.  In 1945 the 15-year-old Anton LaVey was brought to the ruins of postwar Germany by his uncle, a U.S. Coast Guard officer. There the teenaged Anton LaVey was shown top-secret films inspired by Satanic cult lodges and their rituals. Anton LaVey claimed that the "German" rituals in his 1972 book  The Satanic Rituals were actual transcripts of the filmed rituals he saw as a youth. In fact, little Howie spent the entirety of 1945 in suburban northern California, and never visited Germany at any time in his life! The uncle who he claimed brought him to Germany was incarcerated at McNeill Island Penitentiary for involvement with Al Capone-related criminal activity during 1945, and was never even in the armed forces. Allied martial law forbade U.S. citizens from visiting postwar Germany. The "German" rituals in The Satanic Rituals are written in extremely poor, Anglicized German. They are clearly un-credited adaptations of the short story The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long and H.G. Wells' famous novel  The Island of Dr. Moreau. [SOURCES: Anton LaVey relatives, former common law wife Diane LaVey, The Hounds of Tindalos, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Satanic Rituals, Church of Satan member Rosalind Herkommer who translated Anton LaVey's rituals into German.]

Myth 6. The 15-year-old Anton LaVey played second oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, making him the youngest musician ever to play with that prestigious institution. There was in fact, no "San Francisco Ballet Orchestra" in 1945. The San Francisco Ballet was accompanied by a local orchestra, whose records show that none of its three oboists was named "Levey" or "LaVey". [SOURCES: San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum, San Francisco, California. ]

Myth 7. In 1947 Anton LaVey ran away from home and joined the Clyde Beatty Circus. The Circus employed the 17-year-old as a lion tamer. He then replaced the Circus calliope player, accompanying such famous Beatty acts as the Concellos, Harold Alanza, and the Cristianis. But the reality is, the voluminous Beatty archives show no record of a "Levey" or "LaVey" as lion tamer or musician. The Concellos, Alanza, and Cristianis were never Beatty performers; they worked exclusively for the Ringling Brothers Circus. [SOURCES: Beatty 1947 Route Books, Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin (Wright, "SD", page 67); Anton LaVey relatives. ]

Myth 8. : In 1948 the 18-year-old Anton LaVey was engaged to play organ at the Mayan burlesque theater in Los Angeles. There he met a young stripper named Marilyn Monroe, with whom he had a passionate love affair in the period before her rise to film stardom. According to Anton LaVey, Monroe had resorted to stripping to pay her rent. As "proof" of his relationship with Monroe, Anton LaVey later showed visitors a copy of Monroe's famous nude calendar inscribed "Dear Tony, How many times have you seen this! Love, Marilyn". Guess what? He lied! LaVey never knew Monroe.  Monroe intimate Robert Slatzer and Harry Lipton, Monroe's agent in 1948, have exposed and discredited this tale. Lipton paid Monroe's expenses, including her rent. Paul Valentine, director of the Mayan Theater, has stated that the Mayan was never a burlesque theater, and that neither Monroe nor Anton LaVey ever worked for the Mayan in any capacity. Diane LaVey, Anton LaVey's former wife, has admitted that she forged the "Monroe" inscription on the calendar. Anton LaVey's former publicist Edward Webber claims Anton LaVey admitted he never knew Monroe. If you were hoping Satanism could help you get girls (or guys), it can't. [SOURCES: Diane LaVey, Paul Valentine (Wright, "SD", page #68), Harry Lipton (Aquino-Lipton conversation 12/1/82), Robert Slatzer (letter to Aquino 11/27/82), Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91). ]

Myth 9.  Anton LaVey was exposed to the savagery of human nature during his stint as a San Francisco Police photographer in the early 1950s.  The San Francisco Police Department past employment records includes no "Howard Levey" or "Anton LaVey". Frank Moser, who was a SFPD photographer in the early 1950s, said that Anton LaVey never worked for the Department. In the snuff film Death Scenes, the narrator mentions LaVey was given a book of crime scene photos by a police photographer friend, which is probably how LaVey conned people into believing he himself had been a police photographer. [SOURCES: SFPD records, Frank Moser (Wright, "SD", page 68), Death Scenes Video].

Myth 10. Anton LaVey studied criminology at San Francisco City College during the Korean War.  SFCC has no record of Anton LaVey's enrollment at any time. LaVey was, in fact, a high school dropout who never attended college or even earned his G.E.D. (And sorry, reading a bunch of books doesn't count as a college education). [SOURCES: SFCC records (Wright, "SD", page 68). ]

Myth 11. Anton LaVey earned a Doctorate Degree. Anton LaVey is often referred to as "Dr. LaVey", but LaVey never actually earned a doctorate; he simply awarded himself a "Doctorate of Satanic Theology". The Church of Satan was not authorized to grant degrees by the State of California, so it was about like anyone  awarding themselves any type of degree they felt qualified for. Or it's like buying a $29.95 "Doctor of Divinity" degree from the Universal Life Church. The degree was not a genuine college degree, and actually worthless other than as a novelty item, or to impress non-critical young readers. LaVey in fact never attended college, but was a high school dropout, as mentioned. You could download the faux "Doctor of Demonology" degree from the equally faux Miskatoic University on the homepage of this website, and it would have exactly the same academic value. In fact, here it is, knock yourselves out.  Congratulations you spooky ol' Doctor of Demonology, you!

Download Honarary Doctor of Demonology Degree from Miskatonic University

Myth 12. LaVey did not actually claim to believe in magic.
This is a myth "atheistic Satanists" believe in. The reality is, the Satanic Bible gave very specific details about how to cast spells to make them effective. LaVey detailed timing, imagery, clothing, the balance factor, which Enochian key to use for what purpose, etc., LaVey also warned Satanist to always acknowledge the things that they had gained by magic, or else they would lose them. In The Devil's Notebook, there's a chapter about how to make Satanic magic work.

LaVey ambiguosly seemed to eschew mysticism, but also endorse it at the same time. In his [probably ghost written] biography, The Secret Life of a Satanist, Lavey mentions a mysterious stretch of California highway where he "saw something large and black crawling sideways like a crab". He claimed after Jayne Mansfield's death, a light bulb blew out and he claimed his wife saw a ghostly pink heart, implying Mansfield's spirirt was trying to send a sign from beyond the grave. While crawling under a theater that was about to be torn down, and saw "unearthly things" like demons, and got out when he saw something flying toward him. He also claimed that as a child electrical equipment malfunctioned whenever daughter Zeena was around.

Then there's the "necromancy" ritual that he and Michael Aquino supposedly performed in which the ghost of Marilyn Monroe was conjured up!

 Clearly, his view of the supernatural was ambiguous at best.

Myth 13. LaVey treated the members of the Church of Satan kindly and was unjustly stabbed in the back by many of them. The reality is LaVey routinely blackmailed members of the Church of Satan, according to defector P.E.I. Bonewitz, whom LaVey called a "not-so-sour-grapes authority" in The Devil's Notebook. It seems it was LaVey who was doing the backstabbing, rather than the other CoS members. He also pimped out female followers and beat them when they didn't bring back enough money...this was called "Satanic Sex Therapy" by LaVey. [SOURCE: Real Magic by P.E.I. Bonewitz, The Church of Satan by M. Aquino]

Myth 14.  The Church of Satan was a body of open minded and tolerant individuals. Defector P.E.I. Bonewitz noted most of the members of the Church of Satan were racists. LaVey seemed at first to welcome homosexuals, Jews, blacks, and anyone else into his church in the 1960's that had cash to join. But by the 80's, LaVey was writing to appeal to Neo-Nazis and KKK members, as The Church of Satan and The Secret Life of a Satanist indicate. LaVey supposedly accepted a membership in the National Resistance Party (a Neo-Nazi Group) in 1970, according to defector Michael Aquino.

 In 1979 the NRP  staged  a rally marking the 10th anniversary of the "sacrifice" of Sharon Tate by Charles Manson, in which the daughter Zeena read from the Satanic Bible. Zeena herself seems to be anti-Semitic from some of her online writings (who do you think she learned it from?) and is married to a Manson follower named Nicholas Shrek. Aquino's break away group, The Temple of Set, is disturbingly fascinated with Nazism. The Satanic movement seems to attract a very high percentage of racists and Neo-Nazis. {SOURCES Real Magic by P.E.I. Bonewitz Raising Hell by Michael Newton, the "Unfather Letter" written by Zeena, posted online]  

Myth 15. LaVey didn't really believe in the Devil. Church of Satan defectors have noted LaVey never really made his position on the Devil's existence clear. Michael Aquino for instance said at times LaVey seemed to say Satan was a dark force of nature, and at other times he seemed to talk as though he believed the Devil were a personification - - even referring to him as "the man downstairs".

When CoS member Ed Webber was asked if LaVey merely believed in Satan as figuritive rather than literal, he replied:

"Not at all. He was quite definite that he did believe in the existence of Satan. This is what made the concept of a Church of Satan so fascinating.

His position seems ambiguous at best. [SOURCE: The Crystal Tablet of Set, The Church of Satan by Michael Aquino]

Myth 16.  Anton LaVey purchased the house at 6114 California Street (which would later become the headquarters of the Church of Satan - the infamous "Black House") because he discovered on first inspection that it was the former brothel of Barbary Coast madam Mammy Pleasant. The house was honeycombed with trapdoors and secret passageways, built by Pleasant to elude police raids. The fact is  6114 was actually Anton LaVey's parents' home! It was never a brothel, nor did Mammy Pleasant ever live or work there! Anton LaVey's parents first allowed Anton LaVey and his first wife Carole to live in the house, & then transferred ownership of it to Anton LaVey and his second wife Diane in 1971. Such secret passages and hidden rooms that exist were constructed by Anton LaVey. [SOURCES: Relatives, San Francisco property records (Michael & Gertrude Levey, Joint Tenancy Grant Deed, July 9, 1971). ] Note: The house was demolished a few years after LaVey's death in 2001, despite efforts of Satanists to save it - - proving with Satanism, failure is ALWAYS an option!

Myth 17.  In the 1950s Anton LaVey traveled to Nice, France, where he recorded an album of organ music under the psuedonym of "Georges Montalba". The fact is LaVey's first and only trip to France was in the mid-1970s, when his Dutch disciple Maarten Lamers, Amsterdam sex club owner, financed his voyage. The "Anton LaVey=Montalba" story appeared in 1989, when a gullible Church of Satan member found a Montalba album and suggested that it was similar to Anton LaVey's own music. Anton LaVey, never pleased by competition, responded with the preposterous "pseudonym" claim which is still ardently supported
picture of the real Montalbaby his posthumous followers. Georges Montalba (or George Montalba) was the psuedonym used by pipe    organist Robert Hunter, a resident of Glendale, CA. In 1958 Hunter/Montalba recorded Pipe Organ Favorites & Fantasy in Pipe Organ and Percussion at  Lorin Whitney Studios.  He later went on to work with George Burns and Carol Channing on Broadway, in addition to working with Leopold Stokowski, Shirley Temple, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Eddy, Judy Garland, Two Popes,  and John & Jacquelyn Kennedy to name a few! His career spanned 60 years! He was a Christian, too, by the way! Even though Hit Thing records has re-issued Montalba's album complete with liner notes and an explanation of the LaVey/Montalba hoax, the CoS (at this writing) is still apparently promoting the lie LaVey was Montalba (along with many other lies)!   [SOURCES: Hit Thing Records, Diane LaVey, Zeena LaVey, Robert Hunter]

Myth 18.  Anton LaVey was the official city organist for San Francisco until 1966, playing for gala events such as government banquets and political meetings.  The fact is San Francisco has never had an "official city organist"! According to Anton LaVey's first wife Carole, his only income of $29.91/week was generated by his regular engagement at the "Lost Weekend" nightclub, where he was the house Wurlitzer organist. [SOURCE: Julie Burford, Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California (Wright, "SD", page 68). Carole LaVey's divorce proceeding records (Wright, "SD", page 68).]

Myth 19.  On the night of April 30, 1966 (the German Satanic festival of Walpurgisnacht), Anton LaVey in a "blinding flash" declared himself the High Priest of Satan, proclaimed that the Age of Satan had begun, and founded the Church of Satan as a religious institution.  The fact is In 1966 Anton LaVey supplemented his income by presenting weekend lectures on exotic and occult topics, and by conducting "Witches' Workshops". He charged $2 a head, filling his living room with the curious and establishing a local reputation as an eccentric. Professional publicist Edward Webber suggested to Anton LaVey that he "would never make any money by lecturing on Friday nights for donations ... it would be better to form some sort of church and get a charter from the State of California ... I told Anton at the time that the press was going to flip out over all this and that we would get a lot of notoriety".

In the summer of 1966, long after the fictional founding-date invented later, a newspaper article about Anton LaVey's lectures offhandedly referred to him as "priest of the Devil's church". This mixture of Webber's idea and the newspaper's characterization resulted in the creation of the Church of Satan as a business and publicity vehicle. Jack Webb, a San Francisco Police investigator who knew Anton LaVey from the "Lost Weekend" nightclub, also suggested that he should form a church of some kind to exploit his "recondite knowledge". [SOURCES: Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91), Jack Webb, Diane LaVey.]

Myth 20.  Anton LaVey's trademark shaved head was the result of a ceremonial head-shaving on April 30, 1966, to formalize his role as High Priest of Satan. This ritual was performed in the tradition of the Yezidi devil-worshipping tribes of Iraq, who had a similar ceremony.  LaVey shaved his head in the summer of 1966 due to a light-hearted dare from his common law wife, Diane. The "LaVey look" had nothing to do with the Church of Satan founding nor any mystical meaning attached to it later. Nor do Yezidi "qawwals" (religious teachers) shave their heads. [SOURCES: Diane LaVey; Ethel S. Drower, Peacock Angel, 1941; C.J. Edmonds, A Pilgrimage to Lalish, Royal Asiatic Society, 1967.]

Myth 21  In 1966 Anton LaVey personally designed the Baphomet emblem of the Church of Satan. He owns the right to this design, claiming it cannot be reproduced without obtaining licensing rights from the Church of Satan. 

The Baphomet emblem used by the Church of Satan was neither original to it nor created by Anton LaVey, hence cannot be trademarked. The original Baphomet [Baphomet simply being a linguistic corruption of "Mohammed"] dates at least as far back as the medieval Knights Templar. The symbol of the goat's head inside a pentagram has been attributed to the Templars, but it certainly did not originate with them. It probably dates back no earlier than the 19th century.

    The artwork for the current emblem's goat/pentagram first appears in a 1931 book by Oswald Wirth. The complete emblem with the added circles and "LVYThN" Hebrew letters appears on the cover of a book by Maurice Bessy two years before the creation of the   Church of Satan. Early photos of Church activities often show Anton LaVey or his disciples using the Bessy book as a photo-prop because of its prominent cover with Baphomet, and he included that book in his Compleat Witch bibliography. The Baphomet, including this rendition of it, is clearly in the public domain. [SOURCES: Oswald Wirth, La fran-maconnerie rendue intelligible a ces adeptes - II, "Le compagnon", Paris: Derry-Livres, 1931, page #60; Maurice Bessy, A Pictorial History of Magic and the Supernatural, London: Spring Books, 1964 [the original edition of this work - Histoire en 1000 images de la magie - was published in 1961 by Editions du Pont Royal]; Thomas H. Hilton, Sex and the Occult, Vol. I, Los Angeles: Centurion Press, 1974;Church of Satan members, The Black Flame (a 1980s Church of Satan magazine).]

Myth 22  LaVey served as technical advisor for the 1968 Roman Polanski film Rosemary's Baby, and also played the curiously un-credited part of the Devil in that film. LaVey actually had no involvement with Rosemary's Baby! Polanski's close friend Gene Gutowski (original producer of the film) stated that there was no technical adviser, nor did Anton LaVey ever even meet Polanski. Producer William Castle, who details all aspects of the film's production in his autobiography, never mentions Anton LaVey. He does describe Polanski's diligence in basing the film exactly on the Ira Levin novel from which it was adapted, eliminating any need for technical advice. The father of the actress who played Mia Farrow's body-double in the Devil scene recalled that a young, very slender professional dancer played the part, dressed in a small rubber suit.

  In 1971 this suit was acquired by Studio One Productions in Louisville, Kentucky, for use in a low-budget horror film Asylum of Satan. Michael Aquino, technical adviser for that film, examined the suit and concluded that the 200-pound, 6-foot Anton LaVey could not possibly have worn it. [The suit was worn by a girl in the Asylum film.] Not a single member of the cast or crew of Rosemary's Baby has ever mentioned Anton LaVey's involvement. In 1968 a San Francisco Theater did ask Anton LaVey to make an appearance at the film's local opening as a promotional event. This appears to have been Anton LaVey's only connection with the film that engendered the 1960s' popular interest in Satanism.

    Aside from a couple of documentaries (Witchcraft '70 and Satanis) the only horror movies LaVey seems to have actually had a hand in was a 1990's snuff film called Death Scenes 2, and The Devil's Rain (1975), which was a movie LaVey never seemed to mention or recommend in his writings. The Devil's Rain was a box office flop, and the distributor actually went bankrupt because of it! Prior to that, they had big success with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deep Throat. Anton and Diane LaVey both had bit parts in the film. The Devil's Rain had rituals taken word for word out of The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals and no doubt further convinced some Church of Satan members LaVey had  indeed "sold out". The Church of Satan broke up the same year as the movie's release.

     The plot was about a 300 year old Satanic cult leader (played by Ernest Borgnine) that turned his followers into soulless zombies, who followed him blindly. The zombie followers got destroyed in the end, while Borgnine's character escaped unharmed, laughing. Perhaps the reason LaVey wanted to forget the film was it showed how he really thought of people who followed him!   [SOURCES: Gene Gutowski; William Castle, Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants off America, New York: Pharos Books, 1992; Diane LaVey, Michael A. Aquino (COS, page #17, TNT Monstervision episode # 76 featuring The Devil's Rain aired 9/11/1999 with Joe Bob Briggs).]
Myth 23.  Jayne Mansfield, Hollywood sex symbol and actress, was a card-carrying Satanist and had an affair with Anton LaVey.    She only contacted LaVey as a publicity stunt.  She was never serious about Satanism. Anton LaVey was smitten with the actress, not the other way around. Mansfield, who made no secret of her many affairs, denied knowing Anton LaVey intimately, and no associate of hers has ever confirmed any supposed romance with Anton LaVey.

      In a 1967 interview she said, "He had fallen in love with me and wanted to join my life with his. It was a laugh." According to Anton LaVey's publicist Edward Webber, Mansfield would mock her Satanic suitor by calling from her Los Angeles home and seductively teasing him while her friends listened in on the conversation. Anton LaVey's public claims that he had an affair with Mansfield began only after Mansfield's death in an automobile accident, which he also claimed was the result of a curse he had placed on her lover Sam Brody. A common trick used by sorcerers is to later claim some misfortune that befell an enemy was a result of a curse, even though no curse was thrown. [SOURCES: Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91); interview with Mansfield quoted in Jayne Mansfield by May Mann, Pocket Books, 1974.] Publicity agent Tony Kent, an associate of Ed Webber, arranged the meeting between Mansfield and Anton LaVey

Myth 24. Anton LaVey wrote The Satanic Bible, his principal work, to fulfill his congregation's need for a scriptural guide.
The Satanic Bible was actually conceived as a commercial vehicle by paperback publisher Avon Books. Avon approached Anton LaVey for some kind of Satanic work to cash in on the Satanism & witchcraft fad of the late 1960s. Pressed for material to meet Avon's deadline, Anton LaVey resorted to plagiarism, assembling extracts from an obscure 1896 tract - Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard into a "Book of Satan" for the SB, and claiming its authorship by himself. [Ironically these MiR passages are the ones most frequently quoted by Anton LaVey disciples.] Another third of the SB consists of John Dee's "Enochian Keys", taken directly but again without attribution from Aleister Crowley's Equinox. The SB's "Nine Satanic Statements", one of the Church of Satan's central doctrines, is a paraphrase, again unacknowledged, of passages from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The last words in the SB - "Yankee Rose" - have been puzzled over for years by readers. "YR" is actually the name of an old popular tune in Anton LaVey's nightclub repertoire. SOURCES: Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible; Ragnar Redbeard, Might is Right, Port Townsend: Loompanics (reprint), 1896; Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (Galt's speech, ca. pages #936-993); "Yankee Rose" by Sidney Holden & Abe Frankl (Irving Berlin Music, 1926).

Myth 25. Anton LaVey claimed that at the height of the Church of Satan's popularity there were hundreds of thousands of formal members.  Diane LaVey (who administered the Church as High Priestess 1966-1984, until she finally left LaVey after years of physical abuse), Michael A. Aquino (senior Magister of the Church of Satan and Editor of its Cloven Hoof newsletter 1971-1975), and Zeena LaVey (High Priestess of the Church 1985-1990) have all affirmed that the figures claimed by Anton LaVey were grossly exaggerated. The membership of the Church of Satan never exceeded 300 individuals, several of whom were nonmember subscribers to the newsletter or Anton LaVey friends receiving complimentary mailings. LaVey would make reporters wanting to write stories about the Church of Satan join and pay the $20 membership fee, furthering the membership numbers. [SOURCES: Diane LaVey, Michael A. Aquino, Zeena LaVey. Satan Wants You, Arthur Lyons]

Myth 26.  Anton LaVey was a multimillionaire, owning three homes in northern California, a convent in Italy, a chateau in France, a fleet of luxury automobiles, a 185-foot yacht, three salvage ships, and other property. LaVey initially claimed he made $50,000 a year during the Church of Satan's heyday, and even that figure is probably exaggerated. It would have been extremely unlikely LaVey could have amassed such a fortune from $50K per year, even so. During Diane [LaVey] Hegarty's 1988-91 lawsuit against Anton LaVey, and Anton LaVey's subsequent 1991 filing for bankruptcy, Anton LaVey stipulated under oath that he owned nothing more than 50% of the house his parents had given jointly to him and Diane, along with the personal items he kept therein.

Even though apologists claim LaVey lived "comfortably" in his final years, the facts speak otherwise! The CoS website claims (at this writing) LaVey made in the "high five figures" the last year of his life, but doesn't offer real proof, such as a copy of a tax return. Considering he filed for bankruptcy a few years prior, it sounds extremely doubtful he could have earned that much...especially when considering with their track record of telling the truth.

According to bankruptcy records LaVey testified this is what he made for the years '89-'91

1989 $  8,091
1990 $14,146
1991 $ 8,981

     Family and friends say Anton LaVey's final years were subsidized by California state aid (next time you see someone pay at the grocery store with WIC or food stamps, think of Anton LaVey). Assessors declared the house to be in such poor repair as to be nearly worthless on the real estate market. Family members have attested to the fact that by the mid-1970s the LaVeys lived in near-poverty, frequently having to rely upon Anton LaVey's father's generosity. According to other LaVey relatives, Anton LaVey continued to rely on handouts from friends and relatives until the end of his life. In the 1990's, it was revealed LaVey's teeth had rotted out, a common aliment of people who live in poverty.  [SOURCES: Hegarty v. LaVey (San Francisco Superior Court Case #891863), Anton LaVey Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern California, Case #91-34251), Zeena LaVey, other relatives. The Church of Satan by M. Aquino)   
Myth 27  Anton LaVey was a close friend of Sammy Davis, Jr. and inducted him into the Church of Satan.

 Sammy Davis, Jr. was invited to accept an honorary membership in the Church of Satan by Michael Aquino after he and other CoS members saw Davis in a movie for television titled Poor Devil on NBC. In the film (which was meant to be a pilot for a TV series), The Church of Satan is mentioned, and seeing an opportunity to gain publicity, they sought out Davis. No doubt Sammy Davis Jr. probably saw it as a way to gain publicity for the movie so it would be picked up as a TV show.

After Davis sent Aquino his acceptance he was presented with honorary membership on April 13, 1973 by Aquino and Karla LaVey alone. Anton LaVey did not meet Davis until August 1973. Davis would later renounce Satanism, claiming later he was "only into it for the chicks" and re-embraced Judaism.

    At a nationally televised event honoring him a few weeks before he died [The People's Choice Awards], Davis said "First of all, I want to thank Jesus for letting me be here tonight.", completely shattering any doubt he had any lingering affinity to Satanism, and making some think Davis had even gone full circle back to the Christianity of his childhood. Davis had been an activist for civil rights, and battled racism, in contrast to the racists and Neo-nazis that often embrace Satanism. His brief experience with Satanism might best be described as a curiosity seeker. [SOURCES: Davis letter to Aquino 3/17/73; Church of Satan Priesthood Bulletin 4/30/73; Aquino, COS, Chapter 23; Sammy Davis, Hollywood in a Suitcase (pre-publication text, printed in Daily News, New York, 9/11/80), Karla LaVey.]

Myth 28 Anton Szandor Lavey presented himself as a loving family man.

 Reality was quite different. Anton LaVey violently beat his wife Diane throughout their marriage. In 1984 a police report was made describing Diane being strangled into unconsciousness by Anton LaVey, who was in such a murderous rage that his daughter Karla had to pull him off Diane and drag her outside the house to save her life.

     Anton LaVey routinely physically beat and abused those of his female disciples with whom he had sex, forcing them into prostitution as part of his "Satanic counseling" and collecting their earnings. Shock preformance artist Lisa Carver was involved with Neo-Nazi Boyd Rice, a man who was Zeena LaVey's lover before her, and believes Zeena was sexually abused by LaVey and thinks Stanton is a product of incest. In 2005, Staton's common law wife known as "Szanora" got in a physical altercation with Carver over the claim. [Drugs Are Nice; A Post Punk Memoir by Lisa Crystal Carver, 2003 ISBN-13: 978-1932360943 ] In 1986 Anton LaVey was a passive witness to the sexual molestation of his own grandson by a longtime friend who was later convicted of sex crimes with minors. In 1990 Anton LaVey informed a mentally-ill stalker of his daughter Zeena of her whereabouts and the time & location of a public appearance she was scheduled to make, deliberately endangering her life. [ SOURCES: San Francisco Police records of Anton LaVey attack on Diane LaVey, Zeena LaVey, Diane LaVey, Stanton LaVey.]

Myth 29. Anton LaVey had a deeply affectionate relationship with Togare. While Anton LaVey was always careful to portray himself to the public as an animal lover, in private he was cruel to and neglectful of his pets. When he was given Togare as a cub in 1964, he was ill-equipped to deal with such an exotic, wild animal despite his pretensions as a circus lion-tamer. As Togare became larger and more unruly, Anton LaVey frequently used an electric cattle prod to hurt and frighten him into submission. Many animal-rights proponents, including Togare's final owner Tippi Hedren, agree that it is detrimental to a wild animal's development to be raised in a domestic environment.

Anton LaVey was arrested due to Togare's unruly behavior, and Anton LaVey was ordered to donate him to the San Francisco Zoo. After complying, Anton LaVey made only two visits to Togare. Due to the trauma of his early life, Togare needed special care at the Zoo and at every animal-care facility in which he subsequently lived.

[SOURCES: Jack Castor (Lion Keeper, San Francisco Zoo), Diane LaVey, Zeena LaVey, Tippi Hedren (The Cats of Shamballa, McGraw-Hill, 1985).]

Myth 30. Anton LaVey had a deeply affectionate relationship with his other pets. In the late 1960s Anton LaVey acquired a Doberman Pinscher (Loki) as an accent to his "sinister" image. Anton LaVey never took the time to housebreak or train Loki, and relegated him to the overgrown and unkempt backyard of the house, regardless of weather. If Loki ever tried to slip into the house for shelter, Anton LaVey routinely used Togare's cattle-prod on him to terrify him back outside. In his old age Loki developed such severe arthritis that he could not climb the stairs to the back door to eat, and began wasting away from malnutrition. Anton LaVey then gave him to one of his prostitute "students", who at least saw that Loki had a warm, inside home until he died a few months later.

 During her young childhood Anton LaVey's daughter Zeena once awoke late at night to hear slamming sounds and the shrieking of her German Shepherd puppy. Running downstairs, she saw Anton LaVey savagely beating the cowering, cornered dog with a wooden plank. When Zeena begged Anton LaVey to stop and asked him what the dog had done to deserve such treatment, Anton LaVey screamed, "She won't listen to me! I'm going to force her to obey me!" Anton LaVey continued beating the dog until her face was covered with her blood, then dropped the plank and left the dog quivering in the hallway, so injured and frightened that she wouldn't let even Zeena come near her. This incident left the dog traumatized for a long time afterward.[SOURCES: Diane LaVey, Zeena LaVey.]

Myth 31. Anton LaVey was a bastion against religious hypocrisy. While LaVey's rants about Christian hypocrites throughout his books, he fails to realize that there are more than just hypocrites - - people who fail to practice what they preach - - that make up Christianity! Just because there are hypocrites doesn't mean there are no real Christians who try to live their lives as their supposed to. You can find examples of hypocrites in just about anything, not only Christianity. For instance, everyone knows obesity and smoking are bad, but how many times have you seen an RN or MD that's overweight or a smoker, or both? Does that mean you should ditch medical treatment forever more because some hypocrites exist in it?

 LaVey simply created a straw man of a Christianity no one would like, created from his own one dimensional view of it, in which every Christian was a hypocrite.  LaVey made it appear to non-critical readers that Satanism was an alternative to perceived hypocrisy of other religions, even though LaVey himself was an enormous hypocrite, exacerbated by the fact that he claimed to hate hypocrisy! A look at the myths already presented here show that he was indeed a hypocrite. Perhaps the biggest hypocrisy was his disdain for asceticism in The Satanic Bible, but when he had to live in poverty, tried to conceal the fact by saying he was eschewing commercial materialism for asceticism (hypocrisy on top of a lie)! He was also a hypocrite for claiming to abhor charity, but lived on state assistance and handouts from friends and family members (i.e., charity!).

Even though he originally said all churches should be taxed, and said this is why the CoS paid taxes, during his bankruptcy proceedings, he described the Church of Satan as "a non-profit organization", completely reversing his view. Even LaVey couldn't live his own Satanic philosophy.

Myth 32 On Anton LaVey's original death certificate the date of his demise was recorded as October 31, 1997 (Halloween).
An official investigation by the City of San Francisco determined that Anton LaVey's actual date of death was October 29, 1997 and that the "Halloween" date had been illegally written on the document, apparently in a last pathetic attempt to make him look sinister. It's been alleged daughter Karla was the culprit. [SOURCES: Death Certificate #380278667, San Francisco Department of Public Health; Dr. Giles Miller (attending physician at Anton LaVey's death), Physician's Amendment to Death Certificate, 11/26/97.]

Myth 33 Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible outsells The Holy Bible on college campuses. Yet another urban legend without a grain of truth. No college campuses are known of to sell The Satanic Bible now or since the 1970's when the rumor first started. It's doubtful many college campuses sell The Holy Bible either for that matter, other than Christian colleges.

MYTH 34 Anton LaVey was murdered by a Christian nurse who gave him a lethal injection.  This is an internet urban legend, popular among some Satanists, but there is not a single grain of truth to it.  Even the Church of Satan dismisses it outright on their website! LaVey was in poor health for several years, which included bleeding from the arteries. He died from pulmonary edema (i.e., swelling of the lungs) which killed him. [Source: Death Certificate for Anton LaVey, Church of Satan Website FAQ]

MYTH 35 Anton LaVey made a dramtic deathbed convervsion to Christ.  While deathbed conversions to Christianity certainly do happen [Oscar Wilde Leonardo DaVinci, and W.C. Fields are just 3 examples], there is no evidence that LaVey made such a conversion. A video posted on YouTube features what appears to be a Christian talk show in which a woman gives an account of a "famous Satanist" who saw a vision of Hell on his deathbed and converted to Christianity. LaVey is not mentioned by name, but a picture of LaVey is edited into the video.  The video gives many innacurate details about [LaVeyian] Satanism, including the false idea that "Satanists celebrate death". While it is true LaVey died in a Roman Catholic hospital, he was taken there because it was the closest hospital, not because LaVey wanted to convert. [Source: Church of Satan website, YouTube]

MYTH 36 Anton LaVey appeared on a talk show and claimed Proctor and Gamble donated millions of dollars to Satanism.
This was part of an urban legend which started in the late 70's/early 80's that Proctor and Gamble was involved in Satanism, stemming from the "man in the moon" and 13 star design on their products. LaVey supposedly appeared on the Mike Douglas Show, Johnny Carson Show, Merv Griffin Show, or Phil Donahue Show, depending on which version of the story you hear, and made said claim. LaVey never appeared on any of the aforementioned shows ever, with the exception of Phil Donahue. He didn't make those statements on that show either.  The idea that Proctor and Gamble would promote Satanism, let alone have Anton LaVey blab about it on national television, is obviously ludicrous.

 This story seems to be a confabulation of yet another urban legend; that LaVey appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and was combined with the Proctor and Gamble/666 urban legend. Although it has been repeated many times that LaVey appeared on the Tonight Show wearing his devil horns, a cape, and carrying a sword, he in fact never did. Of the many self-promoting lies LaVey repeated, oddly even he didn't repeat that one. Some film footage of LaVey, apparently from Satanis was once shown on The Tonight Show around 1969, but LaVey was never actually a guest on the show.

Proctor and Gamble was never involved in Satanism. In another variations of the story, the President of Proctor and Gamble himself appeared on a talk show and made the claim, Roy Crock, CEO of McDonald's supposedly made the claim that McDonald's donated millions to Church of Satan on a talk show, and in the latest incarnation of the myth, Liz Claiborne supposedly appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and claimed she tithed 30 percent of her income to the Church of Satan. Niether Liz Claiborn, Proctor and Gamble, nor McDonald's, et al,  are involved in Satanism. Proctor and Gamble has had several lawsuits against rival Amway for promoting the Satanism rumor against their company, and thus we begin to see where the real sources of these rumors arise.   [Source:]  

MYTH 37 Anton LaVey was a supporter of Senator John Kerry and even allowed himself to be photgraphed with him.

There was a photo circulated around the internet during the 2004 U.S. Presidential election which purported to show Anton LaVey and Kerry in a newpaper article titled "Strange Bedfellows". The photo is obviously a forgery, and was made with Adobe Photoshop from a composite of two photos, one with Kerry from a 1998 photo, and a 1994 photo of Lavey. Snopes has devoted an entire page to the hoax. [Source: ]

MYTH 38 The Eagles wrote the song "Hotel California" as a tribute to the Church of Satan. The Church of Satan appears on the cover of the album and Anton LaVey can be seen in the picture looking out a window. The song "Hotel California" has had a lionshare of rumors and speculation over the years because of its ominous imagery [i.e., "They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast" "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave", etc.,]. Some versions of the rumor even say the song is about a human sacrifice the Eagles made for LaVey.

    The song, rather than being about The Church of Satan or any kind of Satanism at all, is really about the hedonism and greed  in the 1970's...hence the line about "We haven't had that spirit here since 1969".  The line, by the way, is not referring to the year the Church of Satan was founded...that was actually 1966, not 1969.

The Hotel California is NOT a real place, but rather, a metaphor for the music industry and its corrupting effect on musicians. In this light, it might actually be viewed as an anti-Satanic song. The building pictured on the cover is not the Church of Satan, but in fact, The Beverly Hills Hotel. The hazy figure which appears in the window is actually a woman - - a professional model who was hired for the album cover photo shoot. The Eagles were never members of the Church of Satan. [Source:]

Myth 39 Anton LaVey killed lawyer Sam Brodie with a curse which also acciedntally took the life of Jayne Mansfiled.  
LaVey merely took credit for their deaths after they were killed in a car accident. This is a trick also used by black cult leader Father Divine, who claimed he killed a judge with a curse after he died of a heart attack. Aleister Crowley took credit for S.L. Mathers' death some 17 years after their fued started, giving ample time for Mathers to pass away. First Church of Satan leader Lord Egan claims he's killed two people with curses, no doubt with the same technique.  Zeena LaVey also used this trick by claiming she killed her father with a curse after his death (who do you think she learned it from?), even though she made no claim to placing a curse on him prior. This also demonstrates the ambiguity of Satanism; on the one hand, mysticism is denounced, on the other hand a belief in magic and curses is promoted. It also demonstrates the hypocrisy of CoS members who denounce the "lies of organized religion who try to frighten people with boogey men", and then in the next breath lie about having the power to kill people with magic.  [Sources Church of Satan website, Larsons Book of Cults]

Myth 40. Satanism is really just "atheism" or "humanism", because it's the worship of the self; it's for people who can stand on their own two feet!  Satanism isn't "humanism" or "atheism", it's just a juvenile way to shock and alienate people, nothing else. That's why this or that rock star claims to be a Satanist when they're really not...just to shock people and make their CD's the forbidden fruit that a rebellious pubescent wants. Think about it, how many millionaire rock stars responded to Blanche Barton and gave money to save the LaVey house when it was slated for demolition? None. That's because they don't really care about Satanism. A self proclaimed 20 y.o. Satanist in Queens, NY was beat up by some neighborhood teens in 2005. The Satanist in question dressed like it was Hallowe'en every day, had blue dyed hair, black painted fingernails and wore make up (plus he made sure everyone knew he was a Satanist).  Now Satanists want the altercation he got into labeled a "hate crime". Satanists supposedly deal in brutal reality and cold logic. Wouldn't the cold hard truth be this kid wanted to shock people, wanted people to hate him, and has himself at least to partly blame for what he got?  Wouldn't have been logical for this kid, seeing how he had run ins with the same teens before, to have toned down his image?

Satanism is embraced by people like that angry kid that hated everybody and sat alone in the lunch room that no one talked to. It's embraced by the racist stoner that's in and out of jail. It's embraced by the psychotic off his medication who listens to the voices in head. It's not for the successful self made man who "stands on their own two feet".

LaVey never wanted people who could "stand on their own two feet", as he claimed, nor could he get any. Talk about unnamed Senators or Congressmen or heads of corporations offered as "proof" Satanism attracts successful people is just If they could name names, they would. LaVey lied about his achievements, making himself sound like Indiana Jones; a lion tamer, a criminologist, a world traveler, a college graduate, a lover of two movie stars, and a millionaire. Satanists who feel inadequate in their one lives make up for it by living through LaVey vicariously, rather than trying to improve themselves. Satanism is, in fact, just a personality cult centered around Anton LaVey.

A look at the documentary Satanis The Devil's Mass shows LaVey assembled a collection of misantrhopes, perverts, and lonely middle aged losers going through mid-life crisis who needed someone to follow. In the movie, daughter Karla says her father told her on numerous occasions not to go downstairs to the meetings because the Satanists were "crazy". Even LaVey thought Satanists were weird! The only people who follow him are angry at the world, and at Christians in particular. If they could stand on their own two feet, they wouldn't need Satanism.

  RESEARCH REFERENCES: Wright, Lawrence, "Sympathy for the Devil", Rolling Stone #612, September 5, 1991, Saints and Sinners. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993. Aquino, Michael A., The Church of Satan. San Francisco: Temple of Set, 1983. Thanks to Anton LaVey's relatives and associates who contributed their memories.



 Really? You mean you personally knew LaVey better than his own family (even though you never actually met him)? Did Zeena, Diane, et al, make Lavey's Criminology degree disappear? Did they make the San Fransico Ballet Orchestra disappear? Did they make all the records from the Clyde Beatty Circus that said LaVey was a lion tamer disappear too? It seems to me Anton was the was the one doing the lying.


 This is the kind of rationalizing Scientologists have made about L. Ron Hubbard, and Moonies about Rev. Moon.  'It didn't matter if [insert cult leader's name here] lied and mistreated people -- even his own family and followers- - his 'religious philosophy' is what really mattered." This isn't the talk of elitists or self made men, but of sycophants. Brainwashed people say these kinds of things!

LaVey was certainly no one to admire. He was an opportunist who used people, and blackmailed CoS members. He lied about his achievements, and people that look to him as a role model of success are decieved. He even physically abused his wife and female followers (and face it, he more than likely abused his kids). Satanism makes people who feel alienated and anti-social to become even more so,and makes them take on the label of something people instictively dislike. LaVey didn't create something that helps people.

 When you subtract the lies from LaVey, you really don't have anything left but a fraud.If you want to really "stand on your own two feet", ditch Satanism.

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