The Church of Satan II: Volume II - Appendices by Michael A. Aquino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This second volume documenting the history of the Church of Satan continues telling the story of the Church through various article, letters and rituals penned by a variety of different author. Where as part 1 documented history in narrative form, this book has articles, mostly written by Michael Aquino himself which delve deeper into the philosophy of LaVeyan Satanism. Many of these article were published in the monthly Cloven Hoof, the monthly publication for Anton Lavey's Church.
Of the rituals published in this work are Cthulu rituals, Dracula rituals, Satanic Wedding and the possibility of other. There are some works in there that are written by Stephen Flowers. On work in particular goes into the origins of La Vey's Satanic philosophy . In many ways La Vey read Ayn Rand's book " Atlas Shrugged and almost paraphrased it in his book. This is most evident in La Vey's 9 Satanic Principles. Another article debats on whether Aleister Crowley was a traveler of the Right Hand Path or the Left Hand Path. Those who follow the Right Hand Path wish to merge with God while those that follow the Left Hand Path wish to realize the individual deity within themselves.
Mr. Aqino include articles on Christians who interview or debated with Anton La Vey along with others who wrote about the "Black Pope". Who ever interacted with Anton had to respect his intelligence and articulate manner of speaking even if you disagreed with him. Needless to say many pagans and Christians strongly disagreed with him. La Veyan Satanism did not believe in a god but rather used the old deities as symbols. They believed that the magic or power was drawn up from within the individual. The deities were just symbols. La Vey also believed that after we died that was it. Man ws just a machine with impulses and a consciousness.
Many of Aquino's essays delved into scientific matters such as parallel universes and mankind creating life from nothing. Incredibly brilliant with it sometimes going over my head. Several of the essays debunked astrology with good scientific reasoning behind it. I m convinced. Paganism is not spared the criticism. Seen as a regression with the same fears as monotheism. The ancient ones tried to appease the gods to avoid their wrath. Wanting a protector god to save you is infantile.
It is dangerous to have heroes as they almost always never end up living up to the standard we set for them. Anton La Vey was brilliant and he set up a church that grew in leaps and bounds. He had to filter the nuts out but he could have formed something more lasting. But further investigation shows that many claims he made about himself were not true. He ended up betraying his own organization by selling of degrees. This caused all the important people to leave and start the Temple of Set . He ended up getting divorced from his wife. During the divorce he physically abused her and went back on his word several times.
The book was very informative and very enlightening. At times I considered it too long and could not wait for it to end. The letters showing the behind the scenes operation of the church were of no use to me as wer the court documents pertaining to the divorce.
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