The Church of Satan I by Michael A. Aquino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Church of Satan
One thing that I have become acutely aware of since becoming involved with the Pagan?Occult World, is that you should not readily drink the Kool-Aid.
Not everyone is exactly as they say they are and the stories are always subject to embellishment and fabrication . This applies to Gerald Gardner, Robert Cochrane, ALEISTER Crowley and last but not least Anton Lavey.
The book is poignantly written by Michael Aqino, for level four priest in the Church of Satan. Having joined up with "The Church of Satan" from it's beginning on Walpurgis Night 1966, when Anton Lavey walked into as San Francisco dressed in Satanic gear, he was with the church until it's real end in 1975. Michael Aquino was active in building the church and was a confidante of Anton Lvaey up until the Churches downfall when Micael Aqino founded the Temple of Set.
Michael Aquino is very truthful about the subject he is writing about and ins very knolwedgeable in his occult knowledge. Yet when it comes to his career in the Army I have heard from certain sources that he was not in Psyops but rather just another desk jockey. Perhaps an embellishment. For Anton Lavey , much of what he said is fabriccaTION.
CONTRARY TO popular report he was not born Anton Szander Lavey but rather Hoawrd Standon Levi. Anton maintained he worked in the carnivals , but as Michael Aquino let's us know there is no record substatiting this report nor of even ANton Lavey being a photographer for the police. What is true is that prior to forming the Church of Satan, ANton founded the Magic Circle which taught magic and occultism to student who were interested . Later he expandced it into the Church of Satan.
Dressed in Satanic gear and with impressive charisma and character Anton Lavey was the spokesman for his brand of Satanism. Ever the showman people did not get too alarmed or too frightened. His message was not the love of evil or some evil entitly but rather an acknowwlwdgement of our nature which is vain, greedy, lustful and power hungry. Satan was an embodiment of the ultimate individualism. We were not to be slaves to Jehjovah but rather we were to become gods unto ourselves. Kings of our own universe. The philosophy was atheistic, no real belief in the afterlife only that we were here on this earth once and should do our best to both improve ourself and enjoy it.
As the church of Satan grew , Anton expressed a desire that candidates be a higher caliber or excellent human being. He wanted super people, achievers into it for themselves, Yet loving the Church of Satan. Anton himself would later not live up to these ideals. As the Church expanded they added more grottos to the central office on 6114 Calfiornaina street in San Francisco. THis brought the benefit of spreading the word and it also brought forward controversy and mediocrity . These factors would later burn out Anton Laway. People like Lilith Sinclair, John Ferro and Michael Aquino would be dynamos, yet others like John Dehaven would bring disreprepute by being involved with drugs and theft. Anton also charred another member named Steenburger for not defending Satanism public ally when teen age devil worshippers committed sacrilegious murders. As the church progressed things began to fall apart.
Rival churches sprung up and changes in doctrine had to be embraced along with a whole milieu of issues. In the end Anton was let down by the caliber of membership and finally in 1975 he sold titles to the priesthood. This irked many member including Micahel Aquino. Things fell apart, Diane Lavay , Anton's long term live in filed for Palimony and amidst heavy courtroom drama we see how the Church and ANton deteriorated.
The book gives the reader a real good inside look as to what goes on in the church and his involvement. HE has admiration foor the subject as well as critical eye. The book is overly long and laden with stories and detail.This is but a brief summary. Many letters and excertpts are reprinted sometimes hard to tell where one begins and another ends off. At the end of the book I was praying for the bloody thing to just end. It is still a good book though.
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