Anton Szandor LaVey (April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997), born Howard Stanton Levey, was the founder of the Church of Satan. He created a religion called LaVeyan Satanism. He wrote several books describing his beliefs. His first book was called The Satanic Bible. He reported a dramatic life story, although some say he lied about his past.
Early life[change | change source]
LaVey was born with the name Howard Stanton LaVey and was of Jewish descent. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. His family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of California soon after he was born. He was talented with musical instruments, particularly the pipe organ and calliope. He read a lot. His biography says that he stopped going to high school to join the circus. When the carnival was not active, he played organ in burlesque houses. He then worked as a police photographer in San Francisco, though this has been questioned.
Church of Satan[change | change source]
In the 1960s, LaVey began giving lectures at his house to a group of people he called his "Magic Circle." A member of this Circle told him that his ideas could become a religion. He agreed, and founded the Church of Satan in 1966. In 1969, he published The Satanic Bible. The Satanic Bible was a collection of writings he had published in the past years that outlined his philosophies and the basics of the religion. It was influenced by Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, H. L. Mencken, and other authors and philosophers. In 1971, LaVey published The Compleat Witch (later released as The Satanic Witch). The Satanic Witch was a manual of magic. In 1972, LaVey published The Satanic Rituals. This contained instructions for performing rituals. In the 1990s, LaVey published two books of essays, The Devil's Notebook and Satan Speaks.