The Cloven Hoof
During the early days of the classic Church of Satan, The was a much beloved publication called The Cloven Hoof. For decades this served both as newsletter for the CoS, and an annual magazine publication. Over the years The Cloven Hoof flitted back and forth between a small news letter to magazine to news letter again.
Eventually, this long running publication, that had garnered a huge fan bas within Satanism, was shut down by Peter Gilmore in his ongoing narcissistic quest to paint LaVey and Satanism as atheists.
One of those methods is to do away with as much of LaVey's tool's and works, as possible, without drawing attention. Sadly this meant that The Cloven Hoof was the first thing to go.
The Cloven Hoof began it's life initially as a simple newsletter sent to members. Eventually it would grow into a full magazine. This became one of the primary staple publications of LaVey's Church of Satan.
The Cloven Hoof did eventually go on a hiatus in the mid to late 1980s, in which a new Satanic Magazine was born from the shadow of The Cloven Hoof. This was The Black Flame Magazine. It would remain the primary publication of the CoS only for 16 issues until 1995 when The Cloven Hoof re-emerged as the primary publication of the CoS once more
The Cloven Hoof would remain the official publication until issue #133, when in 2003, only 3 issues after the memorial issue of Anton LaVey, issue #130, it was returned back to a private newsletter and eventually halted all together by Peter Gilmore.
During it's long run, The Cloven Hoof , became well known for sporting the often naughty and lurid art of Coop. Whose smoking Devil became the unofficial mascot of the Church of Satan.
Throughout it's decades long existence The Cloven Hoof attained a beloved and legendary status. Becoming the model by which all other Satanic periodical publications were measured by. And a reminder of what Anton LaVey was really about.
It became a thorn in Gilmore's side, and as long as it existed, certain back issues could be ordered. These particular issues it is now known to have cast a very different light on LaVey's points of view.
The publication was shut down and back issues placed under lock and key with none being given to the public. This lock down treatment was not isolated to The Cloven Hoof however.
Put under similar lock down was
back issues of The Black Flame.
One such back issue was from 1974. The July-August edition, issue #6, sported an article that if left un check would undo all of Gilmores claims to Satanism being atheism. (This article is explored in our Jantsang Files.) LaVey had at this time retaken over being the editor of The Cloven Hoof, when a response to a letter to the CoS crossed his desk. The article had been written by Michael Aquino in response to one of a number of letter writers asking, "Does Satan exist?", and, "I read the Satanic Bible and it sounds very theistic, but everything else sounds like you're saying it's not. What gives?"
It was at this point LaVey had come to the legendary cross roads. A year later him and Aquino would split ways on fundamental differences of opinion. However this was the moment that would cement his views for all time to the public. Had LaVey chosen to say no we are not theistic, that it is a bunch of metaphorical hog wash for the psyche, now was his chance to simply pass on the article and deposit it into the waist bin beside his desk.
Yet this was not what he did. He put the article in the publish pile, and printed it in the next issue or The Cloven Hoof. Giving the controversial piece his stamp of approval.
So what did this article say in no uncertain terms that Gilmore could not have floating out in the public?
"Indeed Satan exists. Not as just a myth, nor as a mere psychological archetype, nor as only a colorful figure of speech - but as an essential, intelligent entity."
This article if it got out would spell doom for Gilmore's atheist narrative. It would cripple all he had worked to achieve. He had run the entire LaVey family out of CoS, and taken control of the singularly most influential non-conformist religious organization in the world. He had the power now to do the unthinkable. Change the definition of what atheism was, and make non-belief a religion of itself. Effectively creating an "Anti-Religion". However, if it got out that Satanism was not atheism. that it was indeed built on theistic values for even just a moment, his narrative would crumble. Thus for 20 years now The Cloven Hoof has laid silent and forgotten. An uncomfortable memory in Gilmores mind.
And this is where STS steps into the story.
The Satanic Thulian Society, being an organization dedicated to the revitalization of Satanism, and its literature, has laid claim to the The Cloven Hoof title and publication choosing to bring it screaming back from the grave in a new magazine newsletter for our membership.
Thus begins a new chapter for this much beloved publication as it promises to bring new life back to an old friend.
New editions to The Cloven Hoof will begin publication quarterly in mid August of 2022, picking up right where it left off with issue #134. Sadly for copyright reasons, and ironically in the spirit of what it started out as, we are keeping this publication as a members only magazine.
New digital editions will be set free to our registered members via email, with links to buy physical copies.
Unfortunately at this time we cannot provide reprints of back issues from before our taking on the title. If we do manage to acquire a comprehensive collection of back issues, we will provide reprints for a cost to our membership.