Satanic Bible

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Satanic Bible

Continuously in print since its initial publication in 1969, The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey (1930–1997) is the foundational text for the contemporary Satanic movement. Written in a compelling, aphoristic style, The Satanic Bible offers a hedonistic alternative to mainstream Christianity, emphasizing indulgence over abstinence, rational self-interest over altruistic sacrifice, and activity in this world over dreams of a future existence. In LaVey's formulation, Satan is not a supernatural being but a human principle, and Satanism a system of self-actualization based on positive thinking, goal-oriented action, and the elimination of sexual guilt and other impediments to personal gratification. Though contemptuous of conventional morality, Satanism is not wholly antinomian. LaVey instructs his readers to "do unto others as they do unto you," to respect the rights of others, and to protect children and animals. The Satanic Bible sets forth the precepts of Satanism and includes instructions for rituals and invocations. Other works by LaVey include The Compleat Witch (1971; reissued in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), a training manual in erotic manipulation; The Satanic Rituals (1972), a collection of rites designed "to elevate the self"; and two collections of essays and epigrams. There are several organizations devoted to Satanism, most notably the Church of Satan, which LaVey founded in 1966. But the relatively small memberships of these groups belies the much wider impact The Satanic Bible has had as inspiration for a number of youth subcultures.

See alsoDevils, Demons, and Spirits; Lavey, Anton Szandor; Neopaganism; Satanists.


Barton, Blanche. The Secret Life of a Satanist:TheAuthorized Biography of Anton LaVey. 1990.

LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Compleat Witch. 1971. Reissued as The SatanicWitch. 1989.

LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Devil's Notebook. 1992.

LaVey, Anton Szandor. Satan Speaks! 1998.

LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Satanic Bible. 1969.

LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Satanic Rituals. 1972.

Bradford Verter