World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Anton LaVey

Article Id: WHEBN0000238765
Reproduction Date:

Title: Anton LaVey  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Karla LaVey, Church of Satan, Kenneth Anger, Boyd Rice, The Secret Life of a Satanist
Collection: 1930 Births, 1997 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century American Writers, American Atheists, American Occult Writers, American Occultists, American Organists, American People of Russian Descent, American People of Ukrainian Descent, American Satanists, Church of Satan, Deaths from Lung Disease, Disease-Related Deaths in California, Founders of New Religious Movements, People from San Francisco, California, Satanist Religious Leaders, Tamalpais High School Alumni, Writers from Chicago, Illinois, Writers from San Francisco, California
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Anton LaVey

Anton LaVey
Born Howard Stanton Levey
(1930-04-11)April 11, 1930
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died October 29, 1997(1997-10-29) (aged 67)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Known for LaVeyan Satanism
Religion LaVeyan Satanism
Spouse(s) Carole Lansing (1935–1975) (m. 1951–60)
Partner(s) Diane Hegarty
Blanche Barton
Children Karla LaVey (born 1952)
Zeena Schreck (born LaVey – 1963)
Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey (born November 1, 1993)

Anton Szandor LaVey[1] (born Howard Stanton Levey; April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) was an American author, carnival and circus performer, musician and occultist. He was the founder of the Church of Satan and the religion of LaVeyan Satanism. He authored several books including The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, The Satanic Witch, The Devil's Notebook, and Satan Speaks! LaVey was labeled many things by journalists, religious detractors and Satanists alike, including "The Father of Satanism",[2] "The Black Pope",[3] and the "evilest man in the world".[4]


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Church of Satan 1.2
    • Death 1.3
  • LaVey related books 2
    • Books by LaVey 2.1
    • Books featuring writings by LaVey 2.2
    • Books about LaVey 2.3
  • Recordings of Anton LaVey 3
  • Films starring LaVey 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7
    • Writings by LaVey 7.1
    • Interviews with LaVey 7.2
    • About LaVey 7.3


Early life

LaVey was born as Howard Stanton Levey in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Michael Joseph Levey (1903–1992), from Chicago, Illinois married LaVey's mother, the former Gertrude Augusta Coultron who was born to a calliope. He did covers of instrumentals like Harlem Nocturne by Earle Hagen.[5]

He attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California, until the age of 16.[6][7] According to his biography, he left high school to join a circus and later carnivals, first as a roustabout and cage boy in an act with the big cats, then as a musician playing the calliope. LaVey later claimed to have seen that many of the same men attended both the bawdy Saturday night shows and the tent revival meetings on Sunday mornings, which reinforced his increasingly cynical view of religion. In the foreword to the German version of The Satanic Bible, he cites this as the impetus to defy Christian religion as he knew it. He explains why church-goers employ double moral standards.[8]

His "genius" on keyboards later garnered him work as an organist in bars, lounges and nightclubs.[9] While playing organ in Los Angeles burlesque houses, he allegedly had a brief affair with then-unknown Marilyn Monroe when she was a dancer at the Mayan Theater. This is challenged by those who then knew Monroe, as well as the manager of the Mayan, Paul Valentine, who said she had never been one of his dancers, nor had the theater ever been used as a burlesque house.[10]

According to his biography, LaVey moved back to San Francisco, where he worked for three years as a photographer for the Clark Ashton Smith appears in Blanche Barton's biography The Secret Life of a Satanist.

In 1950, LaVey met Carole Lansing and they married the following year. Lansing gave birth to LaVey's first daughter, Karla LaVey, born in 1952. They divorced in 1960 after LaVey became entranced by Diane Hegarty. Hegarty and LaVey never married; however, she was his companion for twenty-five years and mothered his second daughter, Zeena Galatea Schreck (née LaVey), in 1963.[12] At the end of their relationship, Hegarty sued for palimony.[13][14]

Church of Satan

Becoming a local celebrity through his Wurlitzer at the Lost Weekend cocktail lounge, he attracted many San Francisco notables to his parties. Guests included Carin de Plessin, Michael Harner, Chester A. Arthur III, Forrest J Ackerman, Fritz Leiber, Cecil E. Nixon and Kenneth Anger. LaVey formed a group called the Order of the Trapezoid, which later evolved into the governing body of the Church of Satan.[15]

LaVey began presenting Friday night lectures on the occult and rituals. A member of this circle suggested that he had the basis for a new religion. On Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, he ritualistically shaved his head, allegedly "in the tradition of ancient executioners", declared the founding of the Church of Satan and proclaimed 1966 as "the Year One", Anno Satanas—the first year of the Age of Satan. Media attention followed the subsequent Satanic wedding ceremony of journalist John Raymond to New York City socialite Judith Case on February 1, 1967. The Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle were among the newspapers that printed articles dubbing him "The Black Pope". LaVey performed Satanic baptisms (including the first Satanic baptism in history for his three-year-old daughter Zeena, dedicating her to Satan and the Left-Hand Path, which garnered world-wide publicity and was originally recorded on The Satanic Mass LP)[16][17][18][19] and Satanic funerals (including one for naval machinist-repairman third-class Edward Olsen, complete with a chrome-helmeted honor guard), and released a record album entitled The Satanic Mass.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, LaVey melded ideological influences from Friedrich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand,[20] H. L. Mencken, Jack London and Social Darwinism[21] with the ideology and ritual practices of the Church of Satan. He wrote essays introduced with reworked excerpts from Ragnar Redbeard's Might Is Right and concluded with "Satanized" versions of John Dee's Enochian Keys to create books such as The Complete Witch (re-released in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), and The Satanic Rituals. The latter book also included rituals drawing on the work of H. P. Lovecraft which were actually penned by Michael A. Aquino, who would later found the Temple of Set.

Due to increasing visibility through his books, LaVey was the subject of numerous articles in the news media throughout the world, including popular magazines such as Look, McCall's, Newsweek, and TIME, and men's magazines. He also appeared on talk shows such as The Joe Pyne Show, Donahue and The Tonight Show, and in a feature-length documentary called Satanis in 1970. He would be credited for the mainstreaming of Satanism and witchcraft in the U.S. during the 1960s, 1970s and after.

In 1972 the public work at La Vey's Black House in San Francisco was curtailed and work was continued via "grottoes" or subsidiary branches of the Church of Satan located throughout the USA and some in other countries.

LaVey's third and final companion was Blanche Barton. Barton and LaVey are the parents of Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, born November 1, 1993. Barton succeeded him as the head of the Church after his death, and has since stepped down from that role and handed it to Magus Peter H. Gilmore.


Statue of LaVey in Wax Museum, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.

Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997, in St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco of pulmonary edema.[22] He was taken to St. Mary's, a Catholic hospital, because it was the closest available. A secret Satanic funeral, attended by invitation only, was held in Colma after which LaVey's body was cremated.[6]

LaVey related books

Books by LaVey

Books featuring writings by LaVey

Books about LaVey

  • The Devil's Avenger: A Biography of Anton Szandor LaVey by Burton H. Wolfe (Pyramid Books, 1974, ISBN 0-515-03471-1, Out of print)
  • The Black Pope by Burton H. Wolfe (a drastically revised and updated edition of The Devil's Avenger);[23]
  • The Secret Life Of A Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey by Blanche Barton (Feral House, 1990, ISBN 0-922915-12-1).
  • Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch's Mouth by Jack Fritscher ; featuring Anton LaVey (University of Wisconsin Press : Popular Press, 2004, ISBN 0-299-20300-X, hardcover, ISBN 0-299-20304-2, paperback)
  • The 2009 play 'Debate' by Irish author Seán Ferrick features LaVey as a character. He is one of four witnesses in a case between God and The Devil, and events from both his life and after his death are used as evidence. He was portrayed by Mark O'Brien and Fiachra MacNamara

Recordings of Anton LaVey

  • The Satanic Mass, LP (Murgenstrumm Records, 1968; re-released on CD with one bonus track, "Hymn of the Satanic Empire, or The Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse", by Amarillo Records, 1994; Mephisto Media, 2001)
  • Answer Me/Honolulu Baby, 7" single (Amarillo Records, 1993)
  • Strange Music, 10" EP (Amarillo Records, 1994; now available through Reptilian Records)
  • Satan Takes A Holiday, CD (Amarillo Records, 1995; now available through Reptilian Records)
Religious titles
Preceded by
Church established
High Priest of the Church of Satan
Succeeded by
Peter H. Gilmore after vacancy

Films starring LaVey

See also


  1. ^ a b Wright, Lawrence – "It's Not Easy Being Evil in a World That's Gone to Hell", Rolling Stone, September 5, 1991: 63–68, 105–16.
  2. ^ "Contemporary Religious Satanism". 
  3. ^ "Anton LaVey, Church of Satan founder". SFGate. 
  4. ^ "ROLLING STONE - SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL - 920S-000-004". 
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ a b Hatfield, Larry D. (November 7, 1997). "Anton LaVey, Church of Satan founder". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Stafford, Matthew (Tam 1978) (August 22, 2008). "Cool for school: For 100 years, it's been one Tam thing after another...". Pacific Sun. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ LaVey, Anton Szandor (1999). Die Satanische Bible (Satanic Bible). Berlin: Second Sight Books. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Lloyd (September 11, 1959). "Bright Lights". San Mateo Times. p. 17. Anton La Vey, genius of the calliope and organ entertains Sunday afternoon and evenings 
  10. ^ The Church of Satan by Michael Aquino p. 17-19, detailing information from Harry Lipton, Monroe's agent, Paul Valentine and Edward Webber"
  11. ^ Lewis, James R. (2003). Legitimating New Religions. Rutgers University Press. p. 109.  
  12. ^ Lattin, Don (January 25, 1999). "Satan's Den in Great Disrepair". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-16. Both Karla LaVey [ 
  13. ^ "Palimony Suit Rests on Bed of Nails".  
  14. ^ Phillips, Richard (September 13, 1988). "The End is Near". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-09-16. Anton Szandor LaVey, high priest of San Francisco's Church of Satan, lived with Diane Hegarty for 22 years. Now they are squaring off in a palimony suit over household property. 
  15. ^ High Priest, Magus Peter H. Gilmore. "The Magic Circle / Order of the Trapezoid -". 
  16. ^ "The Satanic Mass/Zeena's Baptism Track A9 go to 3:42". 
  17. ^ "The Satanic Mass, Track A9 (Zeena's Baptism)". Murgenstrumm, 1968 Vinly LP. 
  18. ^ "Satanist Anton LaVey Baptising Daughter". San Francisco, California, USA: Bettmann/CORBIS. May 23, 1967. LaVey [...] said the mystic ceremony was the first such baptism in history. 
  19. ^ "Clippings of Zeena's baptism world wide". 
  20. ^ Lewis, James R. "Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile". Marburg Journal of Religion. June 2001.
  21. ^ "Satanism: The Feared Religion by Magus Peter Gilmore references Social Darwinism as a satanic philosophy.". 
  22. ^ "Anton LaVey; Founded the Church of Satan". Los Angeles Times. November 8, 1997. Anton LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan in 1966 and wrote the "Satanic Bible" as a guide for international followers, has died at the age of 67. LaVey was cremated Tuesday after a satanic funeral at Woodlawn Memorial Chapel in Colma. Security concerns led his daughter, Church of Satan High Priestess Karla LaVey, to demand "absolute secrecy from all who knew of LaVey's death and satanic funeral," family spokesman Lee Houskeeper said. ... 
  23. ^

External links

Writings by LaVey

  • The Nine Satanic Statements
  • The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
  • The Nine Satanic Sins
  • Pentagonal Revisionism: A Five-Point Program, 1988
  • The World’s Most Powerful Religion
  • Enochian Pronunciation Guide
  • Letters From The Devil from The National Insider, Vol. 14, No. 17, April 27, 1969.
  • On Occultism of the Past from The Cloven Hoof, September 1971 c.e., Volume Three, Number Nine.

Interviews with LaVey

  • Section concerning Anton LaVey in Chapter XII (Satan in the Suburbs) of "Occult America" by John Godwin (Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972)
  • Section concerning Anton LaVey in "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sorcery, But Were Afraid to Ask" by Arlene J. Fitzgerald (Manor Books, 1973)
  • “Anton LaVey: America’s Satanic Master of Devils, Magic, Music, and Madness” by Walt Harrington in "The Washington Post Magazine", February 23, 1986.
  • “Anton LaVey / The Church of Satan Interview” by Eugene Robinson in "The Birth of Tragedy", No. 4 "The God Issue", November 1986 – January 1987
  • "Dinner with the Devil: An evening with Anton Szandor LaVey, the High Priest of the Church of Satan" by Reverend Bob Johnson in "High Society", August 1994.
  • "The Doctor is in......" by Shane & Amy Bugbee in "MF Magazine" #3, Summer 1997.
  • Interview with Anton LaVey by Michelle Carr and Elvia Lahman, originally published in the September 11, 1997 Velvet Hammer souvenir programme.

About LaVey

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.