BY: Lucifer LeGivorden
It should be noted, that when I first wrote The Satanic Testament, political ideologies were in fact the furthest thing from my mind. The year was 2009, I was still a much younger man and while I had been a Satanist for a few years, I was still very new to the whole aspect of Satanism from the clergy stand point. Politics had very little interest to me in those years of youthful brashness and flagrant brazenness.
It was the first days of the Obama Administration, and I like so many others couldn’t have cared less who was the new President aside from the fact that he was a Black dude for once. Naturally that quickly changed for many people. As we entered in eight years of political administrative Hell.
Now in 2020. Near the end of the first term of the Trump Administration, and praying there will be a second term. In a politically volatile climate the likes of which, has not been seen in this country since the early years of LaVey’s Church of Satan in the 60s and 70s, or even the Lincoln Administration, also sitting on the cusp of a potential Civil War. I am left wondering, what the Laveyan political tendency is? For that matter how does Satanism in general tend to flow politically? What was Anton LaVey’s political viewpoints?
These may seem like arbitrary questions to most. Does Satanism not preach for the Separation of Religion and Politics?
The answer is invariably, yes it does indeed preach and advocate for the Separation of Church and State. However things are never as simple as they first appear.
For one thing many folks forget that Religion itself was the first form of political system. And in many tribal areas it is still used as such by tribal leaders. If a person walks into a tribal village in any part of the world, invariably the two most important people in the village will be the village leader, and the village Shaman or “Wiseman”. After these two leadership is also mitigated by a counsel of village elders.
We see the same structural make up in any political or religious system in the world no matter where we go.
Invariably then, understanding LaVey’s political views and the views of the people he surrounded himself with, would logically grant a keen insight on how and why Satanism is how it is and what makes it unique among the world’s religions.
Let’s start with how the Church of Satan views politics nowadays.
The Church of Satan depicts itself as an apolitical entity whose members choose their politics freely in accordance with their needs. This includes members who identify and sympathize with the Alt-Right and fascism. The organization puts forth the argument that it is apolitical because it doesn’t in any official manner endorse any political party or candidate and that its membership spans the political spectrum, from far-Left communists to far-Right fascists, and liberals and centrists in between.
“As has been said many times before, one’s politics are up to each individual member, and most of our members are political pragmatists. They support political candidates and movements whose goals reflect their own practical needs and desires. Our members span an amazing political spectrum, which includes but is not limited to: Libertarians, Liberals, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Reform Party members, Independents, Capitalists, Socialists, Communists, Stalinists, Leninists, Trotskyites, Maoists, Zionists, Monarchists, Fascists, Anarchists, and just about anything else you could possibly imagine. It is up to each member to apply Satanism and determine what political means will reach his/her ends, and they are each solely responsible for this decision. Freedom and responsibility—must be a novel concept for those who aren’t Satanists. We take it in stride. Members who demand conformity from other members to their particular political fetish are welcomed to depart.”
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore,
from “A Map for the Misdirected”
At first glance this would seem to answer much of the question. Accept for the fact that LaVey seemed to lean very heavily on Alt-Right literature when writing the Satanic Bible. What is more is that when we look at his inner circle of confidants and even his own Son in Law, we make a startling discovery. The Church's inner circle included figures from various underground far right neo-Nazi groups and subcultures, including Nikolas Schreck, who married LaVey's daughter Zeena. Boyd Rice, whom LaVey arguably, originally wanted to take over the Church of Satan when he passed away. Nick Bougas, the man considered to be the author of the A. Wyatt Mann cartoons that produced the infamous “Le Happy Merchant” caricature. Kurt Saxon, who was a notable member of several groups, the American Nazi Party, the John Birch Society, the Minutemen, the Church of Scientology, and the Church of Satan, and notable author of the five part Poor Man’s James Bond book series.
With such a collection of rouges sitting in his inner circle most of whom are known to have ties to the far right and fascist movements. What was LaVey’s political views if not a fascistic one? For this answer we go to perhaps the most obvious of sources, Wikipedia.
“LaVeyan Satanism has been characterized as belonging to the political right rather than to the political left. The historian of Satanism Ruben van Luijk characterized it as a form of “anarchism of the Right”. LaVey was anti-egalitarian and elitist, believing in the fundamental inequality of different human beings. His philosophy was Social Darwinist in basis, having been influenced by the writings of Herbert Spencer, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ayn Rand. LaVey stated that his Satanism was “just Ayn Rand's philosophy with ceremony and ritual added”. Characterizing LaVey as a Nietzschean, the religious studies scholar Asbjørn Dyrendal nevertheless thought that LaVey's “personal synthesis seems decidedly his own creation, even though the different ingredients going into it are at times very visible.” Social Darwinism is particularly noticeable in The Book of Satan, where LaVey uses portions of Redbeard's Might Is Right, though it also appears throughout in references to man's inherent strength and instinct for self-preservation”
What is ironic was the fact that Anton LaVey was by blood part Jewish! And yet he maintained very firm ties and connections to people in which whose ideology he was the enemy of by blood!
LaVey’s Satanism placed an emphasis on the role of liberty and personal freedom. LaVey believed that the ideal Satanist should be individualistic and non-conformist resisting any herd mentality, and should place oneself, and one's family before others. LaVey also felt they should be, mindful one's own business, and that men behave as gentleman, while women should use sex and sexual whiles as tools to manipulate men, in order to level the playing field with men. He rejected consumerism and what he called the “death cult” of fashion.
Another point to note was LaVeys acceptance of homosexuals from an early point in the Churches formation. This makes sense when one looks at what LaVey was trying to project to the world. An organization and religion that willingly breaks social taboos unabashedly. It could be argued then that the true Satanic thing in our modern era would be then to take the reversal of that acceptance and promote heterosexual relationships and the Nuclear Family dynamic that has been all but lost.
LaVey, who was of partial Jewish ancestry, was well aware of the irony of his radically individualist philosophy finding traction among believers in various political systems. Some of which that calls for subsuming individual identity to the will of the nation and/or race.
He envisioned Satanism as a way for modern, non-practicing young Jews, especially those from mixed Jewish/Gentile marriages, who didn't fit in with the synagogue, the church, or the white supremacist movement, to claim a new, “tough” identity as an alternative to the humanism of the secular, liberal Jewish mainstream. LaVey jokingly suggested that the Church of Satan was where a Zionist, Odinist, Bolshevik, Nazi, Imperialist, Socialist, or Fascist could thrive.
In some ways this has come about. But in others it could argued that it is far from anything more than a joke. The truth is that while the Church of Satan still has an open door policy concerning race or ethnic background, and that it claims to hold a very apolitical philosophy, much of its views and recent activity does tend to drift more towards the Political Far Right.
The Church of Satan regularly promotes posts for The Accusation Party, a podcast that focuses on an anti-SJW, anti-feminist, anti-antifa, pro-free speech, Alt-Right narrative.
In other various news feed on their website news feed and Facebook accounts, one can simply do a search and find various instances where political fascism is promoted. In one Heathen Harvest episode dating back to 2015, American far-right activist Augustus Sol Invictus, was featured. Who later was a headline speaker at the Unite the Right rally at Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017.
Although personally neither a fascist nor neo-Nazi, LaVey was on good terms with various neo-Nazi and other right-wing groups operating in the United States.
LaVey believed in the political right. In addition, he believed that society would enter an Age of Satan, and that Christianity would invariably die. After which a generation living in accordance with LaVeyan principles would come to power.
LaVey did indeed support eugenics, and expected it to become a necessity in the future, when it would be used to breed an elite who reflected LaVey's “Satanic” principles. In his view, this elite would be “superior people” who displayed the “Satanic” qualities of creativity and nonconformity. He regarded these traits as capable of hereditary transmission, and made the claim that “Satanists are born, not made”. He believed that the elite should be siphoned off from the rest of the human “herd”, with the latter being forced into “ghettoes” located on other planets.
Jean La Fontaine highlighted an article that appeared in The Black Flame, in which one writer described “a true Satanic society” as one in which the population consists of “free-spirited, well-armed, fully-conscious, self-disciplined individuals, who will neither need nor tolerate any external entity 'protecting' them or telling them what they can and cannot do.”
So it is in conclusion that I say this.
Given all the evidence here. While LaVey was never a Neo-Nazi himself, he did indeed idolize the Third Reich. Some of his notions were definitely way out there at times, but this is to be expected.
What is interesting though is that even after his death, the Church has continued with the same ideological threads even against its own denials of such practices. Certainly one only needs to do a cursory look at the current Church of Satan, to notice that there is a very strong authoritarian cult following of Magus Gilmore, and idolization of LaVey himself. Much in the same vain as Neo-Nazis celebrate Hitler, his writings and even his birthday.
When one boils it all down. And looks objectively at it all. One can’t help but to feel that while Real Satanism can indeed fit with most political outlooks, it is perhaps ironically best suited to the Far-Right political constructs. A “Satanic National Socialism” in this case wouldn’t be a far cry from unlikely. Conversely it would be probable in almost every aspect and notion to be functional. Space Ghettos aside of course.
One a final note. It has been said to me, that it is strange how Satanism and National Socialism mesh so well in their ideologies. Given that National Socialist ideals clearly played a large part in shaping LaVey’s outlooks I don’t find it surprising at all. What is more is that when we look at how both Satanism and National Socialism are viewed by the general public, one could say that National Socialism, is the political form of Satanism. If that is the case, is it then any wonder then why so many Neo-Nazis identify as Satanists?