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The author of 'The Satanic Bible'

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Written on 3:18 AM by Mrudula


Anton LaVey

(April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) born Howard Stanton Levey, was the American founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan as well as a writer, occultist, musician and actor. He was the author of The Satanic Bible and the founder of "Laveyian" Satanism, a synthesized system of his understanding of human nature and the insights of philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism, for which he claimed no "supernatural inspiration”.

In 1998, estranged daughter Zeena Schreck and her husband Nicolas Schreck released a document titled "Anton LaVey: Legend and Reality". It claims LaVey deliberately misrepresented a number of the facts of his life. In "The Georges Montalba Mystery", LaVey’s biographer, Blanche Barton, replies to these accusations. Among the accusations: Anton's former wife Diane claimed that she forged Marilyn Monroe's autograph and inscription to Anton, which he had used as his proof of his affair

For brevity's sake, only the most well-known aspects of the legend will be clarified here.
LEGEND: Claimed that "Anton Szandor LaVey" was his genuine birth name.
REALITY: Born "Howard Stanton Levey".
SOURCES: Birth certificate 4/11/1930, Cook County, Illinois. Confirmed by relatives.
LEGEND: Claimed his parents were Joseph and Augusta LaVey.
REALITY: Parents were Michael and Gertrude Levey.
SOURCES: Birth certificate 4/11/1930, Cook County, Illinois. Confirmed by ASL's daughter Zeena and daughter Karla according to her entry on ASL's death certificate.
LEGEND: Claimed he was introduced to the Dark Side by his Transylvanian Gypsy grandmother, who regaled him as a child with supernatural folklore and tales of vampires and werewolves.
REALITY: ASL's grandmother was not Transylvanian nor of Gypsy stock. She was a Ukrainian named Cecile Luba Primokov-Coulton ("Coulton" was Anglicized from "Koltonoff"). Despite his frequent claims, ASL had no Gypsy ancestry.
SOURCES: Relatives, including ASL's parents.
LEGEND: In 1945 the 15-year-old ASL was brought to the ruins of postwar Germany by his uncle, a U.S. Coast Guard officer. There the teenaged ASL was shown top-secret films inspired by Satanic cult lodges and their rituals. ASL claimed that the "German" rituals in his 1972 book The Satanic Rituals were actual transcripts of the filmed rituals he saw as a youth.
REALITY: Young Howard spent the entirety of 1945 in suburban northern California, and never visited Germany at any time in his life. The uncle who he claimed brought him to Germany was incarcerated at McNeill Island Penitentiary for involvement with Al Capone-related criminal activity during 1945, and was never in the armed forces. Allied martial law forbade U.S. citizens from visiting postwar Germany. The "German" rituals in the Satanic Rituals are written in extremely poor, Anglicized German. They are clearly uncredited adaptations of the short story The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long and H.G. Wells' famous novel The Island of Dr. Moreau.
SOURCES: ASL relatives, former wife Diane LaVey, The Hounds of Tindalos, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Satanic Rituals, Church of Satan member Rosalind Herkommer (who translated ASL's rituals into German).
LEGEND: The 15-year-old ASL played second oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, making him the youngest musician ever to play with that prestigious institution.
REALITY: There was no "San Francisco Ballet Orchestra" in 1945. The San Francisco Ballet was accompanied by a local orchestra, whose records show that none of its three oboists was named "Levey" or "LaVey".
SOURCES: San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum, San Francisco, California.
LEGEND: In 1947 ASL ran away from home and joined the Clyde Beatty Circus. The Circus employed the 17-year-old as a lion tamer. He then replaced the Circus calliope player, accompanying such famous Beatty acts as the Concellos, Harold Alanza, and the Cristianis.
REALITY: The voluminous Beatty archives show no record of a "Levey" or "LaVey" as lion tamer or musician. The Concellos, Alanza, and Cristianis were never Beatty performers; they worked exclusively for the Ringling Brothers Circus.
SOURCES: Beatty 1947 Route Books, Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin (Wright, "SD", page 67); ASL relatives.
LEGEND: In 1948 the 18-year-old ASL was engaged to play organ at the Mayan burlesque theater in Los Angeles. There he met a young stripper named Marilyn Monroe, with whom he had a passionate love affair in the period before her rise to film stardom. According to ASL, Monroe had resorted to stripping to pay her rent. As proof of his relationship with Monroe, ASL later showed visitors a copy of Monroe's famous nude calendar inscribed "Dear Tony, How many times have you seen this! Love, Marilyn".
REALITY: ASL never knew Monroe. Monroe intimate Robert Slatzer and Harry Lipton, Monroe's agent in 1948, have exposed and discredited this tale. Lipton paid Monroe's expenses, including her rent. Paul Valentine, director of the Mayan Theater, has stated that the Mayan was never a burlesque theater, and that neither Monroe nor ASL ever worked for the Mayan in any capacity. Diane LaVey, ASL's former wife, has admitted that she forged the "Monroe" inscription on the calendar. ASL's former publicist Edward Webber claims ASL admitted he never knew Monroe.
SOURCES: Diane LaVey, Paul Valentine (Wright, "SD", page #68), Harry Lipton (Aquino-Lipton conversation 12/1/82), Robert Slatzer (letter to Aquino 11/27/82), Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91).
LEGEND: ASL was exposed to the savagery of human nature during his stint as a San Francisco Police photographer in the early 1950s.
REALITY: San Francisco Police Department past employment records include no "Howard Levey" nor "Anton LaVey". Frank Moser, who was a SFPD photographer in the early 1950s, said that ASL never worked for the Department.
SOURCES: SFPD records, Frank Moser (Wright, "SD", page 68).
LEGEND: ASL studied criminology at San Francisco City College during the Korean War.
REALITY: SFCC has no record of ASL's enrollment at any time.
SOURCES: SFCC records (Wright, "SD", page 68).
LEGEND: ASL purchased the house at 6114 California Street (which would later become the headquarters of the Church of Satan - the infamous "Black House") because he discovered on first inspection that it was the former brothel of Barbary Coast madam Mammy Pleasant. The house was honeycombed with trapdoors and secret passageways, built by Pleasant to elude police raids.
REALITY: 6114 was ASL's parents' home. It was never a brothel, nor did Mammy Pleasant ever live or work there. ASL's parents first allowed ASL and his first wife Carole to live in the house, then transferred ownership of it to ASL and his second wife Diane in 1971. Such secret passages and hidden rooms that exist were constructed by ASL.
SOURCES: Relatives, San Francisco property records (Michael & Gertrude Levey, Joint Tenancy Grant Deed, July 9, 1971).
LEGEND: In the 1950s ASL traveled to Nice, France, where he recorded an album of organ music under the pseudonym of "Georges Montalba".
REALITY: ASL's first and only trip to France was in the mid-1970s, when his Dutch disciple Maarten Lamers, Amsterdam sex club owner, financed his voyage. The "ASL=Montalba" story appeared in 1989, when a gullible Church of Satan member found a Montalba album and suggested that it was similar to ASL's own music. ASL, never pleased by competition, responded with the preposterous "pseudonym" claim - which is still ardently supported by his posthumous followers.
SOURCES: Diane LaVey, Zeena LaVey.
LEGEND: ASL was the official city organist for San Francisco until 1966, playing for gala events such as government banquets and political meetings.
REALITY: San Francisco has never had an "official city organist". According to ASL's first wife Carole, his only income of $29.91/week was generated by his regular engagement at the "Lost Weekend" nightclub, where he was the house Wurlitzer organist.
SOURCE: Julie Burford, Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California (Wright, "SD", page 68). Carole LaVey's divorce proceeding records (Wright, "SD", page 68).
LEGEND: On the night of April 30, 1966 (the German Satanic festival of Walpurgisnacht), ASL in a "blinding flash" declared himself the High Priest of Satan, proclaimed that the Age of Satan had begun, and founded the Church of Satan as a religious institution.
REALITY: In 1966 ASL supplemented his income by presenting weekend lectures on exotic and occult topics, and by conducting "Witches' Workshops". He charged $2 a head, filling his living room with the curious and establishing a local reputation as an eccentric. Professional publicist Edward Webber suggested to ASL that he "would never make any money by lecturing on Friday nights for donations ... it would be better to form some sort of church and get a charter from the State of California ... I told Anton at the time that the press was going to flip out over all this and that we would get a lot of notoriety". In the summer of 1966, long after the fictional founding-date invented later, a newspaper article about ASL's lectures offhandedly referred to him as "priest of the Devil's church". This mixture of Webber's idea and the newspaper's characterization resulted in the creation of the Church of Satan as a business and publicity vehicle. Jack Webb, a San Francisco Police investigator who knew ASL from the "Lost Weekend" nightclub, also suggested that he should form a church of some kind to exploit his recondite knowledge.
SOURCES: Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91), Jack Webb, Diane LaVey.
LEGEND: ASL's trademark shaved head was the result of a ceremonial head-shaving on April 30, 1966, to formalize his role as High Priest of Satan. This ritual was performed in the tradition of the Yezidi devil-worshipping tribes of Iraq, who were said to have carried out a similar ceremony.
REALITY: ASL shaved his head in the summer of 1966 due to a light-hearted dare from his wife. The "LaVey look" had nothing to do with the Church of Satan founding nor any mystical meaning attached to it later. Nor do Yezidi qawwals (religious teachers) shave their heads.
SOURCES: Diane LaVey; Ethel S. Drower, Peacock Angel, 1941; C.J. Edmonds, A Pilgrimage to Lalish, Royal Asiatic Society, 1967.
LEGEND: In 1966 ASL personally designed the Baphomet emblem of the Church of Satan. He owns the right to this design, claiming it cannot be reproduced without obtaining licensing rights from the Church of Satan.
REALITY: The Baphomet emblem used by the Church of Satan was neither original to it nor created by ASL, hence cannot be trademarked. The original Baphomet dates at least as far back as the medieval Knights Templar. The artwork for the current emblem's goat/pentagram first appears in a 1931 book by Oswald Wirth. The complete emblem with the added circles and "LVYThN" Hebrew letters appears on the cover of a book by Maurice Bessy two years before the creation of the Church of Satan. Early photos of Church activities often show ASL or his disciples using the Bessy book as a photo-prop because of its prominent cover-Baphomet, and he included that book in his Compleat Witch bibliography. The Baphomet, including this rendition of it, is clearly in the public domain.
SOURCES: Oswald Wirth, La fran-maconnerie rendue intelligible a ces adeptes - II, "Le compagnon", Paris: Derry-Livres, 1931, page #60; Maurice Bessy, A Pictorial History of Magic and the Supernatural, London: Spring Books, 1964 [the original edition of this work - Histoire en 1000 images de la magie - was published in 1961 by Editions du Pont Royal]; Thomas H. Hilton, Sex and the Occult, Vol. I, Los Angeles: Centurion Press, 1974;Church of Satan members, The Black Flame (a 1980s Church of Satan magazine).
LEGEND: One of ASL's most widely-accepted falsehoods is his claim that he served as technical advisor for the 1968 Roman Polanski film Rosemary's Baby. ASL also claimed to have played the curiously-uncredited part of the Devil in that film.
REALITY: ASL had no involvement with Rosemary's Baby. Polanski's close friend Gene Gutowski (original producer of the film) stated that there was no technical advisor, nor did ASL ever even meet Polanski. Producer William Castle, who details all aspects of the film's production in his autobiography, never mentions ASL. He does describe Polanski's diligence in basing the film exactly on the Ira Levin novel from which it was adapted, eliminating any need for technical advice. The father of the actress who played Mia Farrow's body-double in the Devil scene recalled that a young, very slender professional dancer played the part, dressed in a small rubber suit. In 1971 this suit was acquired by Studio One Productions in Louisville, Kentucky, for use in a low-budget horror film Asylum of Satan. Michael Aquino, technical advisor for that film, examined the suit and concluded that the 200-pound, 6-foot ASL could not possibly have worn it. [The suit was worn by a girl in the Asylum film.] Not a single member of the cast or crew of Rosemary's Baby has ever mentioned ASL's involvement. In 1968 a San Francisco theater did ask ASL to make an appearance at the film's local opening as a promotional event. This appears to have been ASL's only connection with the film that engendered the 1960s' popular interest in Satanism.
SOURCES: Gene Gutowski; William Castle, Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants off America, New York: Pharos Books, 1992; Diane LaVey, Michael A. Aquino (COS, page #17).
LEGEND: Jayne Mansfield, Hollywood sex symbol and actress, was a card-carrying Satanist and had an affair with ASL.
REALITY: Publicity agent Tony Kent, an associate of Ed Webber, arranged the meeting between Mansfield and ASL as a publicity stunt. ASL was smitten with the actress. Mansfield, who made no secret of her many affairs, denied knowing ASL intimately, and no associate of hers has ever confirmed any supposed romance with ASL. In a 1967 interview she said, "He had fallen in love with me and wanted to join my life with his. It was a laugh." According to ASL's publicist Edward Webber, Mansfield would ridicule her Satanic suitor by calling from her Los Angeles home and seductively teasing him while her friends listened in on the conversation. ASL's public claims that he had an affair with Mansfield began only after Mansfield's death in an automobile accident, which he also claimed was the result of a curse he had placed on her lover Sam Brody.
SOURCES: Edward Webber (interview by Aquino 6/2/91); interview with Mansfield quoted in Jayne Mansfield by May Mann, Pocket Books, 1974.
LEGEND: ASL wrote the Satanic Bible, his principal work, to fulfill his congregation's need for a scriptural guide.
REALITY: The Satanic Bible was conceived as a commercial vehicle by paperback publisher Avon Books. Avon approached ASL for some kind of Satanic work to cash in on the Satanism & witchcraft fad of the late 1960s. Pressed for material to meet Avon's deadline, ASL resorted to plagiarism, assembling extracts from an obscure 1896 tract - Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard into a "Book of Satan" for the SB, and claiming its authorship by himself. [Ironically these MiR passages are the ones most frequently quoted by ASL disciples.] Another third of the SB consists of John Dee's "Enochian Keys", taken directly but again without attribution from Aleister Crowley's Equinox. The SB's "Nine Satanic Statements", one of the Church of Satan's central doctrines, is a paraphrase, again unacknowledged, of passages from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The last words in the SB - "Yankee Rose" - have been puzzled over for years by readers. "YR" is actually the name of an old popular tune in ASL's nightclub repertoire.
SOURCES: ASL, The Satanic Bible; Ragnar Redbeard, Might is Right, Port Townsend: Loompanics (reprint), 1896; Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (Galt's speech, ca. pages #936-993); "Yankee Rose" by Sidney Holden & Abe Frankl (Irving Berlin Music, 1926).
LEGEND: ASL claimed that at the height of the Church of Satan's popularity there were hundreds of thousands of formal members.
REALITY: Diane LaVey (who administered the Church as High Priestess 1966-1984), Michael A. Aquino (senior Magister of the Church and Editor of its Cloven Hoof newsletter 1971-1975), and Zeena LaVey (High Priestess of the Church 1985-1990) have all affirmed that the figures claimed by ASL were grossly exaggerated. The membership of the Church of Satan never exceeded 300 individuals, several of whom were nonmember subscribers to the newsletter or ASL friends receiving complimentary mailings.
SOURCES: Diane LaVey, Michael A. Aquino, Zeena LaVey.
LEGEND: ASL claimed to be a multimillionaire, owning three homes in northern California, a convent in Italy, a chateau in France, a fleet of luxury automobiles, a 185-foot yacht, three salvage ships, and other property.
REALITY: During Diane [LaVey] Hegarty's 1988-91 lawsuit against ASL, and ASL's subsequent 1991 filing for bankruptcy, ASL stipulated under oath that he owned nothing more than 50% of the house his parents had given jointly to him and Diane, along with the personal items he kept therein. ASL's final years were subsidized by California state aid. Assessors declared the house to be in such poor repair as to be nearly worthless on the real estate market. Family members have attested to the fact that by the mid-1970s the LaVeys lived in near-poverty, frequently having to rely upon ASL's father's generosity. According to other LaVey relatives, ASL continued to rely on handouts from friends and relatives until the end of his life.
SOURCES: Hegarty v. LaVey (San Francisco Superior Court Case #891863), Anton LaVey Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern California, Case #91-34251), Zeena LaVey, other relatives. 

- Munnu

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