Here is a letter from someone who came to my site, and had some typical statements to make about LaVey and LaVeyan beliefs:
Not to be too critical, but it seems as though Lavey plagiarized much of the Satanic Bible, from Nietzsche and others. Also, it didn’t seem to work for him, he died pretty much broke and the San Francisco ‘black house’ was in disrepair and eventually sold. Lastly, everyone around him seemed to desert him, Aquino, his wives, children…I wonder did Lavey practice what he preached?”
I will reply to each statement:
“Not to be too critical, but it seems as though Lavey plagiarized much of the Satanic Bible, from Nietzsche and others.”
First of all, here is something that I have learned about the way that people write. When someone begins a statement with the words “I don’t mean to be..”, “Not to be critical, but.. ” and statements like that, its a statement disguised with hidden intent. The hidden intent is to be critical and demeaning, but to apologize for it first so that the statement is softened into a commentary instead of a criticism. So, when this guy started his statement with ‘Not to be too critical..” that’s exactly what he intended to be!
Now, on to answer the questions. These questions like the ones that were asked here, could be misunderstood as the typical ‘trollish’ comments that Satanists are given in forums and on the internet. These are the same criticisms that a lot of Satanists have had to hear from others. A lot of their criticism means nothing when you are able to reveal the sources of their misunderstandings.
“Lavey plagiarized much of the satanic bible”
Actually, he didn’t start out that way. I have seen the early pre-1980’s edition of the Satanic Bible that contained every reference that LaVey used in his book. Along with this is the reading list that is available at the Church of Satan website. Its a known fact what books that LaVey was inspired from, and he let it be known that these writers and philosophers were (in his view) proto-satanists.
The later versions of the Satanic Bible did not contain the Bibliography of his writings. Thus, many people think that the writings are plagiarized, when they are not. The SB’s Book publisher, Avon, chose not to publish the list of books that LaVey referenced from the 80’s onward. You can read a review and purchase a copy of the Satanic Bible through my Left Hand Path Book blog.
“Also, it didn’t seem to work for him, he died pretty much broke and the San Francisco ‘black house‘ was in disrepair and eventually sold. “
I think everything he wanted worked for him. He wanted to create his version of Satanism and be the leader of the Satanic empire, and that is what he did. He is in the history books as being the founder of Satanism. The Black house was only important in the beginning of LaVey’s career and after he left control of the COS to others, it no longer mattered to him or to the members of the COS.
His house and his personal affairs are discussed at the Church of Satan website. There is also a history of his life in the PDF by Aquino, “The Church of Satan”.
For anyone interested in knowing the real story of who LaVey was, that is a good place to start.
I’m sure there’s lots of people who ‘died broke’. I doubt that in the last days of his life, money was an issue. His family owns the copyrights and ownership of the organization and it is alive and well today, and that is what matters.
“Lastly, everyone around him seemed to desert him, Aquino, his wives, children..”
His wife sued him for Palimony in the late 80’s. He beat his children, his wife and his animals. He was an abusive man. Anyone who thinks differently is welcome to read the COS website or the COS book written by Aquino. LaVey wasn’t perfect and so what? he had to deal with his own consequences. Its a case of do-as-i-say, not do-as-i-do, which is very typical for religious organizations, and typical of cult leaders.
Michael Aquno and 9 others of the original Church members, left because as time went on, they had lost the original spirit and ideals that LaVey had started the church with in the 60’s. It happens frequently with occult orders. The Temple of Set was formed when Aquino and others carried on their work in a new tradition of occult practice. Called the Temple of Set, they worshiped the dark forces of Set and have a structured order of Magic.
LaVeyans were more focused on the physical attributes in life, and others involved with them were looking for a spiritual approach. If anything, it was an evolution of Satanism and a new avenue to explore for seekers of the LHP.
I am not Laveyan, but at the same time, the only thing that I can appreciate about LaVey and his life is that he made Satanism socially acceptable, and he is a historical figure. beyond that, I have no admiration for him personally, and no admiration of how he treated his family. I wont demonize him, but i wont make him a saint either. He was human and he had problems like all the rest of us do.
“I wonder did Lavey practice what he preached?”
If you mean, eye for an eye, selective compassion, and aggressiveness towards others, then yes.. he did. He had ideals that he shared with everyone that became the foundation of Satanism. Whether those ideas are worthy to follow and emulate in your life is up to you to decide.