MM: The Church of Satan emerged in the ’60s, simultaneously with the “Love Generation” crowd. Compared to the Hippies, you must have looked like a pretty tough and sinister lot.
ASLV: We were the only real, disciplined counter-culture in the ’60s, unless you want to include the Klan or James Madole’s National Renaissance Party. The Left was established, and if it wasn’t for Charles Manson’s people going up to the Tate house, it might have just continued along at the same speed. Those murders didn’t kill it entirely but they did put some fear into these people who were so full of acid that they felt superior to everyone.
MM: It’s unfortunate, though, that Manson had to take the fall for his associates’ actions.
ASLV: What can I say about Charles Manson that hasn’t been said? I do feel they’ve made him out to be something he’s not—he’s not the little guy with scissors who cuts little kids’ fingers off. The media keeps trotting Manson out to say things, but it’s so safe. He’s behind bars. Unless of course maybe he’s sowing invisible seeds of rebellion in a few people’s minds. But he’s just been used and used as a convenient scapegoat for so long. It’s redundant. There are a lot of other people who did commit murders and who may have a lot to say
—like James Huberty and John Luigi Ferry—but they’ll never be heard from.
MM: Getting back to Satanism, how do you respond to the hearsay and accusations that are leveled at your activities? A lot of Christians will be really disappointed to hear you haven’t offered me a cup of infant’s blood or a desecrated communion cracker.
ASLV: The information has been there for a quarter of a century and if they want to continue to think that way maybe it’s all for the best. The material’s been there and so they must not really want to find out the truth. In the future the same herd behavior will be present and they’ll follow Satanism. I wouldn’t even now attempt to enlighten them. We still get people writing saying they can’t find The Satanic Bible and can we please tell them about it. What rock have they been under? That’s like asking about the Easter Bunny! Often these
people are just psychic vampires who want to get it straight from you, knowing it’ll be a drain and a redundant waste of your time. If I ever respond to these types it’s only to have fun with them and tell them lies—like the chapter in The Devil’s Notebook, “Let Me Entertain You.”
“A lot of Christians will be really disappointed to hear you haven’t offered me a cup of infant’s blood or a desecrated communion cracker.”
MM: One of the first substantial profiles of the Church appeared in Burton Wolfe’s 1974 biography of you, The Devili’s Avenger. How did he really feel about what he witnessed?
ASLV: He was sort of a ’60s well-meaning, old style liberal writer—narrow in some ways, but he was enthused about what he wrote. Some of it was a way of projecting his own views on me to get himself off the hook. That was his cop-out to get a disclaimer with his publisher. The truth of it was that after The Devil’s Avenger, he became closer than ever. Later he got very bitter and misanthropic. He was a good fellow, a comrade in arms, with a good sense of humor. He did a book on the Hippies that was really blasted by them—how many books were written like that then? And he did a book on Hitler and the Nazis for young people that was really informative. He was never, at any time, antagonistic, despite what it says at the end of The Devil’s Avenger.
If they want to achieve a desired result it would behoove people to practice sex magic. There are certain rules and procedures that you apply but you have to break established rules and be blasphemous, not be afraid of boundaries that may be stifling.
MM: Early on your philosophy was described by some observers as “Humanism writ large,” but you’re really a rather misanthropic and illiberal fellow—which to my mind doesn’t smack of Humanism at all.
ASLV: I’m a bitter man, as well I should be. I’m essentially a very happy man in an unhappy world, and that makes me dismayed. I see many areas where there doesn’t have to be a problem but shit-disturbers make a point of creating one. They’re my archenemy. They’re pretty stupid people usually and they’re people who can’t enjoy life unless there’s discord and disharmony.
They’ve even tried to say that’s what Satanism is based on! I rather prefer to think it’s founded on innovation, a Promethean spirit, not disharmony. People complain that I’m a misanthrope but they should be glad I don’t join their activities. They should be glad I’m listening to old music and watching old movies. What would they rather have me doing? Joining in on their games? They presume because I’m polite, chivalrous, and a gentleman, that’s the way I’ll be everywhere. What they see is what they figure they’ll get—that’s not necessarily the case. When we’re in another’s lair we treat them with respect. But we don’t invite them into our lair, or if they do have to come in then we don’t knuckle under. The best thing to do is stay away. I know things will piss me off in the marketplace too much, so I stay out. In the past I used to welcome these lukewarm quasi-Satanists, and make apologies for them and take up the slack and be a gentleman, and now I don’t see them mentioning Satanism in their books and literature. They’ve got a long way to go to even being de facto Satanists. I’ve talked about Humanism and said some nice things about it when I was younger. But let’s turn the tables—can these humanists and their egos stand to say anything nice about me? Russia, as an atheist country, thought me aligned enough to put me in their museum. I had the Soviet Union considering me alike back then, so why should I be doing cartwheels now, just because someone 25 years later starts to act like we’re not so bad. Why isn’t The Satanic Bible in lists of influential books? That’s what irks me. So why should I give these people the time of day, especially in these academic circles?
MM: Another accusation about the Church of Satan is that what you’re advocating is really just a brand of Machiavellian materialism.
ASLV: I do believe in magic. I don’t want to sound like Crowley or Blavatsky, and go off the deep end with the occultnik stuff. Balancing everything out is even more crafty—to know which side one’s bread is buttered on, but at the same time to acknowledge the dark forces. Keep ’em guessing. Keep ’em confused and confounded ’til the stars be numbered!
MM: Your detractors often seem to be uncertain which way to go—they’ll first dismiss you as little more than a sideshow carny, and then try to say you weren’t even that!
ASLV: When I was first getting publicity I was stigmatized for being a roustabout, and then a couple of years later I see people coming out of the
woodwork bragging about their carnival backgrounds! And then later they come around and try to say that actually I wasn’t doing it. Don’t let them see anything as an advantage because they’ll try to take it away from you! The bastards! They’re so devoid of anything scintillating so they want to pin that devoid-ness on you. As if I’ve been licking stamps or delivering newspapers my whole life! I worked in the carnival for a year. I helped with the lions for a season. I met people who later became famous. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
MM: How has the sexual climate changed a lot from the period in which you wrote The Satanic Bible and The Compleat Witch?
ASLV: I’m amazed at what I read about sex these days, that’s openly and frankly discussed. Subjects like fetishism, and certain styles of clothing, that weren’t discussed in the ’60s, are being talked about now.
MM: How important is sex to the Satanist?
ASLV: Sex is a motivating force—it’s the dance of life. But there’s certainly more to life than sex. A Satanic attitude starts with the sexual. Once that is spent, the true sensualist moves to the next thing—that’s where a Satanic ideology comes in. There are more productive things to do than just fucking or seeking perpetual sexual release, having this obsession with sex. I like sex and I’ve had my share of exploits but I can look at someone without thinking about whether or not they’d be a good lay. I can get my mind off it. Sex is the great motivator and that’s why it can be sublimated into religiosity or patriotism, like in “I Love a Parade” where the guy sounds like he’s having an orgasm. And these ministers rolling in the aisles—I’ve played for them and they’re having multiple orgasms in the aisles, soiling themselves! You can’t tell me they just have the Holy Spirit—it’s sexual. It’s been going on a long time, for centuries.
MM: What’s a Satanic view on sex magic?
ASLV: If they want to achieve a desired result it would behoove people to practice sex magic. There are certain rules and procedures that you apply but you have to break established rules and be blasphemous, not be afraid of boundaries that may be stifling. You have to reach down into the secret vices of people and through imagery invoke them. If it’s powerful and the shock value is there you’ll reach them. Like Pygmalion when he carved the woman
and she came to life because he’d invested so much energy into her. Like with my artificial people, I worked and worked, inhaled the dust and fumes and invested sexual energy—they don’t come to life literally but others will say they saw them move out of the corner of their eye, and later someone will show up on the doorstep who looks just like them. Explain that! If you put enough energy into your fetish you’ll see others changing. People will no longer be into whips and leather corsets. I’ve seen it happen with my own fetishes. If you have the strength, the magical energy, and the focus, somewhere down the line it will come to be. Hugh Hefner may be a great sex magician because he took a type—the Playboy bunny—and made it the standard. One man with drive and will made it that way. What’s good for General Motors is good for the rest of the country! Other people who may not even know why will fall into line. You just sit back and relax and don’t tug on the rope and it’ll come ‘round.
Hugh Hefner may be a great sex magician because he took a type—the Playboy bunny—and made it the standard. One man with drive and will made it that way.
MM: Your dedication to the concept of artificial human companions hasn’t abated, then?
ASLV: We’re getting back to slavery too. You can’t wipe out slavery. Everyone wants to be above someone—now they can buy a slave on the installment plan. These people can get excited about the TV characters in their living room, but they say an artificial companion won’t be “real” enough
MM: Can someone develop a fetish for anything?
ASLV: I’ve known people who can spread out pictures of trains and streetcars and get sexually excited! And abandoned buildings—I can actually feel sex charges in certain locations. There’s something for everyone. People are getting off right now, sitting at computers with erections.
MM: An inverted situation is when things that are touted as being the most sexual are often totally unexciting, as is the case with much of the so-called “pornography.”
ASLV: The people who run these skin mags give the people what they want, but I can’t find a single girl in one of them who’d even give me a tingle down
there. They’re like life-size Barbie dolls, so goddamn squeaky clean and sterile, sanitized and uniform. It’s like they’re made of injection-molded plastic. And so skinny—they look like residents of Dachau! It’s just obstetrics and gynecology, really.
MM: What is it that they’re missing?
ASLV: Pulchritude—not a one of ’em has that. It’s a lost word in the language. The Women’s Movement caused a lot of this, not to mention creating such a boring, somber atmosphere everywhere. Try to tell a joke and they’ll attempt to dig their heels in further—so humorless, these feminists!
MM: What are your views on raising children?
ASLV: I’m interested in eugenics and genetics. How people are conceived and comparing notes on conditions of birth, like how much attention is paid to a child and what kind of music they were exposed to. It’s funny how so many people who share our views are not at odds with their parents, and so many liberals who should love their parents yet are at total odds with them. My parents never pushed me in any religious direction. When I wrote The Satanic Bible it didn’t phase them—not because they were liberal, but they just didn’t have an opinion. My father wasn’t a musician, he couldn’t tell one tune from another. But I’d hear these classical pieces and they just moved me, and I started reading because I had a thirst for knowledge. It’s chromosomal. Parents can foster it or set the stage, but you can’t just produce a predisposition artificially. You can have completely normal parents with a child who’s exceptional. I’ve seen it happen so much. Even with alcoholic parents, sometimes the kids are brilliant.
TV is the single most numbing influence in a child’s development and the most stultifying ingredient in their lives. It’s been said so many times—that’s the worst culprit. Still you have people who will say, “But there are different kinds of TV” What you see is just adjusted for different levels and different demographics, but the propaganda is the same. The media is always the message. TV is the means it gets into every home like some kind of Orwellian eye. It keeps them in line—that’s good. For people of limited imagination, TV is their savior, their life. Mini-series = miseries.
MM: You must have always felt apart, ever since childhood.
ASLV: I had a torture chamber in my basement as a kid! In the crawlspace I
built all these elaborate torture instruments, including a rack, straight from the middle ages. We’d find suitable victims, but then we got into some trouble, word got around, and we had to shut it down. This was just before the war and I must have been around eleven.
MM: Eugenically speaking, there has to be some good material to start with, in order for an advanced personality to develop. Most people seem pretty hopeless to improve into anything superior, especially when they’ve become adults.