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Life and times of Anton LaVey

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 1:44 PM
  • 10 Replies

 

LaVey was born as Howard Stanton Levey in Chicago, Illinois to Jewish parents. His father, Michael Joseph Levey, was a liquor distributor and second-generation French-American from Omaha, Nebraska.[2] His grandfather, Leon Levey, was born in Paris, France and emigrated to Douglas County, Nebraska in 1886, where he married Louisville-native Emma Goldsmith on October 23, 1888.[2] Anton's mother, Gertrude Augusta Coultron,[2] was born to Russian father and Ukrainian mother who emigrated to Ohio in 1893, and both became naturalized American citizens in 1900.[2]

His family soon moved to California, where he spent most of his early life in the San Francisco Bay Area and later in Globe, Arizona. According to his biography, his ancestry includes French, Russian, Ukrainian[2], Alsatian, German, Georgian, and Romanian stock.[3] His parents supported the development of his musical abilities as he tried his hand at various instruments, his favorite being keyboards such as the pipe organ and the calliope.

LaVey's biography tells of his dropping out of Globe High School in his junior year to join a circus and carnivals, first as a roustabout and cage boy in an act with the big cats, later as a musician playing the calliope. LaVey later noted that seeing many of the same men attending both the bawdy Saturday night shows and the tent revival meetings on Sunday mornings reinforced his increasingly cynical view of religion. He later had many stints as an organist in bars, lounges, and nightclubs. While playing organ in Los Angeles burlesque houses, he reportedly had a brief affair with the then-unknown Marilyn Monroe as she was dancing at the Mayan Theater. This claim has been challenged by those who knew Monroe at the time, as well as the manager of the Mayan, Paul Valentine, who stated that she had never been one of his dancers, nor had the theater ever been used as a burlesque house or for "bump and grind" shows.[4]

According to his biography, LaVey moved back to San Francisco where he worked for three years as a photographer for the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). He also dabbled as a psychic investigator, looking into "800 calls" referred to him by the police department. Later biographers have questioned whether LaVey ever worked with the SFPD, as there are no records substantiating the claim.

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 many years, and mothered his second daughter, Zeena Galatea LaVey, in 1963.[5] At the end of their relationship, Hegarty sued for palimony.[6][7]




by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 1:44 PM
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glitterteaz
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 1:45 PM

 

Becoming a local celebrity through his paranormal research and live performances as an organist, including playing the 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, Dr. Cecil E. Nixon, and Kenneth Anger.

LaVey began presenting Friday night lectures on the occult to what he called a "Magic Circle" of associates who shared his interests. 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 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 radical journalist John Raymond to New York 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 one for Zeena) 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 Ayn Rand,[8] Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleister Crowley,[9] H.L. Mencken, and Jack London 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 Satanic Bible, The Compleat Witch (re-released in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), and The Satanic Rituals.

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 Joe Pyne, Phil Donahue, and Johnny Carson, and in a feature length documentary called Satanis: The Devil's Mass in 1970.

glitterteaz
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM

 

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

Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997, in St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco of pulmonary edema.[10] He was taken to St. Mary's, a Catholic hospital, because it was the closest available. For reasons open to speculation, the time and date of his death was incorrectly (by two days) listed as the morning of Halloween on his death certificate. His daughter Zeena Schreck claimed responsibility for LaVey's death through putting a ritual curse on him. A secret Satanic funeral, attended by invitation only, was held in Colma. LaVey's body was cremated, with his ashes eventually divided among his heirs as part of a settlement, on the assumption that they possess occult potency, and can be used for acts of Satanic ritual magic.

fallentears1986
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:08 PM

good

Very nice, I always though LaVey was a very intelligent man!

"I have made a rule that I will not meet with or entertain anyone who petitions me without their having advanced some respect or praise for me or my work. If asked, "Does someone have to agree with you in order to be your friend?" my answer is a resounding "YES!" My reason is that there are so many people who disagree witih me and resent me, that I can use all the support I can get. Anybody doesn't like me or the way I do things can go f**k themselves. they are not entitled to their own opinion." -Anton laVey

glitterteaz
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:10 PM

 Highly intelligent, here is one of my fave quotes from him.

“It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.”

Quoting fallentears1986:

good

Very nice, I always though LaVey was a very intelligent man!

 




Lil_ol_me9306
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:17 PM

lol!  Continue, my dear.  It is a much more educational posting than most around here!

glitterteaz
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

 

Anton Szandor LaVey (1930—1997) was the founder of the Church of Satan, the first organized church in modern times promulgating a religious philosophy championing Satan as the symbol of personal freedom and individualism. Unlike the founders of other religions, who claimed exalted “inspiration” delivered through some supernatural entity, LaVey readily acknowledged that he used his own faculties to synthesize Satanism, based on his understanding of the human animal and insights gained from earlier philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism. Concerning his role as founder, he said that, “If he didn’t do it himself, someone else, perhaps less qualified, would have.”

Born in Chicago in 1930, his parents soon relocated to California, that westernmost gathering place for the brightest and darkest manifestations of the “American Dream.” It was a fertile environment for the sensitive child who would eventually mature into a role that the press would dub “The Black Pope.” From his eastern European grandmother, young LaVey learned of the superstitions that are still extant in that part of the world. These tales whetted his appetite for the outré, leading him to become absorbed in classic dark literature such as Dracula and Frankenstein. He also became an avid reader of the pulp magazines, which first published tales now deemed classics of the horror and science fiction genres. He later befriended seminal Weird Tales authors such as Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Barbour Johnson, and George Hass. His fancy was captured by fictional characters found in the works of Jack London, in comic strip characters—like Ming the Merciless, as well as historical figures of a diabolical cast such as Cagliostro, Rasputin and Basil Zaharoff. More interesting to him than the available occult literature, which he dismissed as being little more than sanctimonious white magic, were books of applied obscure knowledge such as Dr. William Wesley Cook’s Practical Lessons in Hypnotism, Jane’s Fighting Ships, and manuals for handwriting analysis.

His musical abilities were noticed early, and he was given free reign by his parents to try his hand at various instruments. LaVey was mainly attracted to the keyboards because of their scope and versatility. He found time to practice and could easily reproduce songs heard by ear without recourse to fake books or sheet music. This talent would prove to be one of his main sources of income for many years, particularly his calliope playing during his carnival days, and later his many stints as an organist in bars, lounges, and nightclubs. These venues gave him the chance to study how various melodic lines and chord progressions swayed the emotions of his audiences, from the spectators at the carnival and spook shows, to the individuals seeking solace for the disappointments in their lives in distilled spirits and the smoke-filled taverns for which LaVey’s playing provided a soundtrack.

His odd interests marked him as an outsider, and he did not alleviate this by feeling any compulsion to be “one of the boys.” He despised gym class and team sports and often cut classes to follow his own interests. He was an avid reader, and watched films such as those which would later be labeled film noir as well as German expressionist cinema such as M, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and the Dr. Mabuse movies. His flashy mode of dress also served to amplify his alienation from the mainstream. He dropped out of high school to hang around with hoodlum types and gravitated towards working in the circus and carnivals, first as a roustabout and cage boy and later as a musician. His curiosity was rewarded through “learning the ropes” and working an act with the big cats, and later assisting with the machinations of the spook shows. He became well-versed in the many rackets used to separate the rubes from their money, along with the psychology that lead people to such pursuits. He played music for the bawdy shows on Saturday nights, as well as for tent revivalists on Sunday mornings, seeing many of the same people attending both. All of this provided a firm, earthy background for his evolving cynical world view.

When the carnival season ended, LaVey would earn money by playing organ in Los Angeles area burlesque houses, and he relates that it was during this time period that he had a brief affair with a then-unknown Marilyn Monroe. Moving back to San Francisco, LaVey worked for awhile as a photographer for the Police Department, and, during the Korean War, enrolled in San Francisco City College as a criminology major to avoid the draft. Both his studies and occupation revealed grim insights into human nature. At this time he met and married Carole Lansing, who bore him his first daughter, Karla Maritza, in 1952. A few years earlier LaVey had explored the writings of Aleister Crowley, and in 1951 he met some of the Berkeley Thelemites. He was unimpressed, as they were more spiritual and less “wicked” than he supposed they should be for disciples of Crowley’s libertine creed.

During the 1950s, LaVey supplemented his income as a “psychic investigator,” helping to investigate “nut calls” referred to him by friends in the police department. These experiences proved to him that many people were inclined to seek a supernatural explanation for phenomena that had more prosaic causes. His rational explanations often disappointed the complainants, so LaVey invented more exotic causes to make them feel better, giving him insight as to how religion often functions in people’s lives.

In 1956 he purchased a Victorian house on California Street in San Francisco’s Richmond district. It was reputed to have been a speakeasy. He painted it black; it would later become home to the Church of Satan. After his death, the house remained unoccupied until it was demolished by the real estate company which owned the property on October 17 of 2001.

LaVey met and became entranced by Diane Hegarty in 1959; he then divorced Carole in 1960. Hegarty and LaVey never married, but she bore him his second daughter, Zeena Galatea in 1964 and was his companion for many years. Hegarty and LaVey later separated, and she sued him for palimony and this was settled out of court. LaVey’s final companion was Blanche Barton, who bore him his only son, Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey on November 1, 1993. According to LaVey’s wishes, she succeeded him as the head of the Church after his death on October 29, 1997. In 2001, she passed-on this position to Peter H. Gilmore, a long-time member of the Council of Nine.

Through his “ghost busting,” and his frequent public gigs as an organist, including playing the Wurlitzer at the Lost Weekend cocktail lounge, LaVey became a local celebrity and his holiday parties attracted many San Francisco notables. Guests included Carin de Plessin, called “the Baroness” as she had grown-up in the royal palace of Denmark, anthropologist Michael Harner, Chester A. Arthur III (Grandson to the U.S. President), Forrest J. Ackerman (later, the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland and acknowledged expert on science fiction), author Fritz Leiber, local eccentric Dr. Cecil E. Nixon (creator of the musical automaton Isis) and underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger. From this crowd LaVey distilled what he called a “Magic Circle” of associates who shared his interest in the bizarre, the hidden side of what moves the world. As his expertise grew, LaVey began presenting Friday night lectures summarizing the fruits of his research. In 1965, LaVey was featured on the The Brother Buzz Show, a humorous children’s program hosted by marionettes. The focus was on LaVey’s “Addams Family” life style—making a living as a hypnotist, psychic investigator, and organist as well as on his highly unusual pet Togare, a Nubian lion.

In the process of creating his lectures, LaVey was led to distill a unique philosophy based on his life experiences and research. When a member of his Magic Circle suggested that he had the basis for a new religion, LaVey agreed and decided to found the Church of Satan as the best means for communicating his ideas. And so, in 1966 on the night of May Eve—the traditional Witches’ Sabbath—LaVey declared the founding of the Church of Satan as well as renumbering 1966 as the year One, Anno Satanas—the first year of the Age of Satan.

The attention of the press soon followed, particularly with the wedding of Radical journalist John Raymond to New York socialite Judith Case on February 1st, 1967. Famed photographer Joe Rosenthal was sent by the San Francisco Chronicle to capture an image, which was then printed in the Chronicle as well as the Los Angeles Times and other major newspapers. LaVey began the mass dissemination of his philosophy via the release of a record album, The Satanic Mass (Murgenstrumm, 1968). The album featured a cover graphic named by LaVey as the “Sigil of Baphomet:” the goat head in a pentagram, circled with the Hebrew word “Leviathan,” which has since become the ubiquitous symbol of Satanism the world over. Featured on the album was part of the rite of baptism written for three-year-old Zeena (performed on May 23rd, 1967). In addition to the actual recording of a Satanic ritual, side two of the LP had LaVey reading excerpts from the as-yet-unpublished The Satanic Bible over music by Beethoven, Wagner, and Sousa. His Friday lectures continued and he instituted a series of “Witches’ Workshops” to instruct women in the art of attaining their will through glamour, feminine whiles, and the skillful discovery and exploitation of men’s fetishes.

By the end of 1969, LaVey had taken monographs he had written to explain the philosophy and ritual practices of the Church of Satan and melded them with all of his philosophical influences from Ayn Rand, Nietzsche, Mencken, and London along with the base wisdom of the carnival folk. He prefaced these essays and rites with reworked excerpts from Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right and concluded it with “Satanized” versions of John Dee’s Enochian Keys to create The Satanic Bible. It has never gone out of print and remains the main source for the contemporary Satanic movement.

The Satanic Bible was followed in 1971 by The Compleat Witch (rereleased in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), a manual which teaches “Lesser Magic”—the ways and means of reading and manipulating people and their actions toward the fulfillment of one’s desired goals. The Satanic Rituals (1972) was printed as a companion volume to The Satanic Bible and contains rituals culled from a Satanic tradition identified by LaVey in various various world cultures. Two collections of essays, which range from the humorous and insightful to the sordid, The Devil’s Notebook (1992) and Satan Speaks (1998), complete his written canon.

Since its founding, LaVey’s Church of Satan attracted many varied people who shared an alienation from conventional religions, including such celebrities as Jayne Mansfield and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as rock stars King Diamond and Marilyn Manson, who all became, at least for a time, card-carrying members. He numbered among his associates Robert Fuest, director of the Vincent Price “Dr. Phibes” films as well as The Devil’s Rain; Jacques Vallee, ufologist and computer scientist, who was used as the basis for the character Lacombe, played by Francois Truffaut in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind; and Aime Michel known as a spelunker and publisher of Morning of the Magicians.

glitterteaz
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

 

LaVey’s influence was spread by numerous articles in the news media throughout the world, popular magazines such as Look, McCalls, Newsweek, and Time, men’s magazines, and on talk shows such as Joe Pyne, Phil Donahue, and Johnny Carson. This publicity left a mark on novels like Rosemary’s Baby (completed by Ira Levin during the early days of the Church’s high profile media blitz) and Leiber’s Our Lady of Darkness, and films such as Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Devil’s Rain (1975), The Car (1977), and many of the later “Devil Cult” films from the 1970s through the 1990s that picked up on symbolism from LaVey’s writings. A feature length documentary, Satanis: The Devil’s Mass (1969) covered the rituals and philosophy of the Church, while LaVey himself was profiled in Nick Bougas’ 1993 video documentary Speak of the Devil.

LaVey’s musicianship is preserved on several recordings, primarily Strange Music (1994) and Satan Takes a Holiday (1995), both originally released by Amarillo Records, now available through Reptilian Records. These reflect his penchant for tunes from the 1930s through the 1950s, which range from humorous to doom-laden as well as devil-themed songs. LaVey renders them on a series of self-programmed synthesizers, imitating various instrumental groups. They are impressive, as these are not multitrack recordings, but are done in one take with the sounds of the full instrumental ensemble created through the simultaneous use of numerous synthesizers played by LaVey’s hands as well as his feet, on an organ-style foot pedal keyboard hooked up via midi.

Two biographies have been written about LaVey: The Devil’s Avenger (1974) by Burton Wolfe and Secret Life of a Satanist (1990) by Blanche Barton. The authenticity of some of the events chronicled in these works has been disputed in recent years, particularly by detractors of LaVey, who accuse him of self-promotional exaggeration. LaVey was a skilled showman, a talent he never denied. However, the number of incidents detailed in both biographies that can be authenticated via photographic and documentary evidence far outweigh the few items in dispute. The fact remains that LaVey pursued a course that exposed him to the heights and depths of humanity, full of encounters with fascinating people; it climaxed with his founding of the Church of Satan and led to notorious celebrity on a worldwide scale. The Church has survived his death, and continues, through the medium of his writings, to continually attract new members who see themselves reflected in the philosophy he called Satanism.

GreenEyePixie
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I like that and it is so true!!

Quoting glitterteaz:

 Highly intelligent, here is one of my fave quotes from him.

“It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.”

Quoting fallentears1986:

good

Very nice, I always though LaVey was a very intelligent man!

 


CoeyG
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 4:02 PM

 Every now and then Levay would appear on television or do a radio show and I'd listen/watch.  Scared the you know what out of my mom!  hmmm maybe that's why she often asked me if I was "alright"  LMAO. 

Quoting glitterteaz:

 

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

Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997, in St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco of pulmonary edema.[10] He was taken to St. Mary's, a Catholic hospital, because it was the closest available. For reasons open to speculation, the time and date of his death was incorrectly (by two days) listed as the morning of Halloween on his death certificate. His daughter Zeena Schreck claimed responsibility for LaVey's death through putting a ritual curse on him. A secret Satanic funeral, attended by invitation only, was held in Colma. LaVey's body was cremated, with his ashes eventually divided among his heirs as part of a settlement, on the assumption that they possess occult potency, and can be used for acts of Satanic ritual magic.

 




Older single proud mom of Shannon.  Alpha mom to Pebbles & Sadie.  Jill of all trades.         Certifialbe Lunatic  http://coeyg1.bravehost.com/




 

glitterteaz
by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 4:31 PM

 Ya he made it a big show when the cameras were on LOL I mean made it seem so bizare then laugh his ass off at them for buying into it~~

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